Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Having been set up on a date with Midori, Yuriko is using the opportunity to get a little public visibility in. Midori seems to be treating the whole thing as a kind of anthropological

Volume 4, Issue 10

"In Some Kind of Groove"

They wove their way through the gyrating bodies on the dance floor. Neither of them spoke - there was no point in trying; they would not have been heard. Yuriko knew from experience that more than a few minutes of exposure to noise this loud shut her brain down very had had its uses in the past.

Eventually, the two women broke free of the crowd and found themselves facing a wall of doors, each guarded by a large, if laconic guard. Yuriko gestured towards one of the doors, approaching the watchdog, who looked Samoan.

"Yo, Denny," Yuriko said with a grin. The Samoan uncrossed his arms and smiled at her. Midori wasn't surprised to see gold teeth. This whole place was an enormous stereotype. She shrugged internally, the stereotypes had to come from somewhere....

"Yuri-chan!" The Samoan reached out and lifted Yuriko into an enormous bear hug. Midori laughed behind her hand, as she watched Yuriko struggle to regain breath - and composure.

"What brings you here?" Denny asked, when he finally released Yuriko. "It's been what, let's see..." his eyes rolled upwards and his lips moved as he did the calculations, "8 months, 6 days and 3 hours since
you were here last."

Midori gaped. Yuriko shrugged. "I'll trust you on that." Turning to Midori, she explained, "Denny always remembers times - and faces. He can tell you the first day the bar opened, to the last time Kandori Miyao stopped by for a drink."

"July 7, 1998." Denny said to Midori, who acted suitably impressed.

"So, I know it's been a while, but I wanted some decent drinks and a place to be seen. You know, the usual." Yuriko turned back to the guard.

Denny showed off his gold teeth. "Go ahead on in. I'll go tell the boss you're here."

"Cool." Yuriko said and slapped Denny's hand with her own. Midori could see a few bills pass between them. "Send over a few house specials, okay?"

"You got it!" Denny said, gesturing them through the door into a short hallway that led to a quiet glass-enclosed room that looked down onto the dance floor.

When the door closed Midori let out a sigh of relief. "Ahhhhh, I can hear again."

"Yeah, it's alright in little chunks." Yuriko said, as she seated Midori on a plush banquette. The writer looked around, fascinated, at the well-known faces around them. From where they sat, Midori could see stars from nearly every field in entertainment - and at least one popular gossip columnist.

"I had no idea that places like this existed outside movies and novels." She laughed. "I suppose that sounds naive."

"Not at all!" Yuriko said. "You should have seen me the first time I came here - I gaped like a tourist."

"How is it that you're such good friends with everyone - I wouldn't have pegged you for a club girl."

"I'm not. I did - speaking of clichés - I did a favor for the owner a while back and have had a standing invitation ever since. I prefer slow dancing to this kind of thing," Yuriko waved at the window, "but the drinks here are good and if I want to be seen with a lovely lady on my arm, this is the place to do it."

"I'm honored." Midori said, a little tartly.

"Uh, no offense intended!" Yuriko hastened to explain, but Midori relented.

"No, that's alright. I understand why you're doing this. It's just so...alien." She looked at the dancers on the other side of the window and shook her head. "In my business live appearances mean book signings, and television interviews, not making love on a dance floor."

Yuriko sat next to her. "We can go if you'd like," she said, her voice low and earnest.

"No - I'd like to stay." Midori said quietly, turning to look at Yuriko. "Do you dance?"

Yuriko felt her cheeks warm up at that liquid gaze and was glad for the low lighting. "I love to dance."

"Good." Midori said firmly.

Denny appeared carrying a tray and leading a small, heavy-set, balding man. Yuriko rose, as did Midori, and she introduced the two.

"Yukano Midori, this is Madogawa Hayao, the club's owner."

The owner raised one eyebrow. "Yukano Midori-san? Akutagawa-winning writer? I'm extremely pleased to meet you. And honored to have you as my guest." He bowed formally and gestured them back to their seats. "I'm glad to see you back here, Yuriko-san. It's been too long. Shall we keep the press away from you tonight?"

Yuriko shook her head. "That won't be necessary."

Madogawa nodded his head. "Then, please enjoy yourselves. Let Denny know if you need anything at all." The two men exchanged a few words and left the two women alone once again.

"Wow - this place is unreal." Midori said. "I expect lap dancers to appear any second - or Chippendales or something."

"That costs extra." Yuriko said with a grin. She took a glass off the tray and set it on the table. "Drink first or dance?"

Midori turned away from the window and looked at the blonde. "Dance."

Yuriko offered Midori her arm. "Your wish is my command."


Yuriko's head bounced against the seat back as the cab stopped abruptly. She groaned and grabbed at her forehead, where the club's bass line still pounded incessantly in her frontal lobe.

Putting her face in her hands she moaned again, thinking how she had just passed up a perfectly respectable offer of a nightcap in order to return home.

"I'm getting old," she whined to herself.

Midori had been so understanding and, after all, Yuriko *had* promised Aya to apply herself to her schoolwork...but what was she thinking? A good night's sleep? Ugh. Yuriko banged her head lightly on the driver's seat.

The cab driver gazed up into the rear view mirror at his fare. She didn't look so good. "You okay?" he asked solicitously. "Lived it up a little too much, eh?"

Yuriko sat up and gave him a bitter smile. "No. Not enough."