Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: The weekend brought relaxation and pleasure, as well as respite from pressures of the world. Now Yuriko has been told that her outlook is good fortune. She's just hoping for a steady routine.

Volume 4, Issue 13

"Payback's a Bitch"

Yuriko rolled her head and shoulders. She wasn't getting any younger...and while her teammates seemed to be thriving on the fierce competition on the court, she was wondering whether she'd make it through practice alive.

To no one's surprise, the basketball team had finished first in their league - and was in serious running for the prefecture championship. This week they would have their first game of the tournament. From what Yuriko could see, the other teams didn't stand a chance. With that thought, she found herself standing a little taller with a kind of shared pride. Yes, she commented to herself, it was all right to be proud of these girls...they were, after all, her teammates.

"This "teamwork" thing is insidious," she commented to Ruriko-sensei.

The coach looked at her askance. "Oh? Why do you say that?"

"Forget it. I know I can't play, but," Yuriko gave the other woman a lop-sided grin, "can I come with you to the next game?"

Ruriko-sensei smiled broadly. "I think the team would be delighted." She shook her head regretfully, "It's a damn shame, though, that you can't suit up - think of the effect it would have on their morale!"

"I think I'd better not." Yuriko said, and rolled her eyes as the coach laughed.


Yuriko looked up from her locker. Midori stood there, smiling pleasantly. She hadn't seen the woman all day and had had a vague suspicion that all was not well with them. The sight of Midori had a soothing effect on Yuriko, however. She smiled back and stood.

Midori bowed. "I'm sorry I couldn't make it in earlier - there was a meeting at the studio and I was required to attend." She grimaced, "Apparently, they needed someone to pour the coffee."

"Don't they usually have OLs for that?" Yuriko asked.

"Yes, but apparently it's considered part of the dues one pays."

"Oh." Yuriko wondered, not for the first time, why anyone, ever, became a PA.

"I had the oddest experience this morning, while listening to the radio." Midori commented with a wry smile. "I heard my name mentioned by a gossip columnist."


"Yes." The woman laughed, "I am, it seems, your new "companion" and have been seen with you frequently."

"The price of fame," Yuriko quipped.

"I'm not used to being part of someone else's fame," Midori said. "Not yet, at any rate."

"Hey," Yuriko said softly, "are you okay? You seem a little..."

Midori gave her a tired smile. "I'm fine. This assignment's been alot of hard and not very rewarding work, that's all."

Yuriko nodded. "I agree with that!"

Midori looked startled, then laughed. "I didn't think of that!" she admitted. "How *did* your homework go?"

Yuriko grinned. "I'll find out tomorrow."

The women parted after a few more words, and a promise to get together for a quiet meal one night this week. Yuriko grabbed her coat and bag and left the school, whistling happily to herself. She dismissed the car and driver, making a sudden decision to go into town for a walk and dinner. She pulled out her phone and left a message with Mariko to call her, then made her way to the nearest subway stop.

The phone rang while she stood on the platform waiting for the next train. She and Mari agreed to meet at a cafe for a light meal and she rung off, checking her watch. Twelve minutes was her best time. She grinned, at least today she was in camouflage to a certain extent....

Yuriko wandered over to stand with a group of high school boys. Although she was as tall as the tallest, her uniform identified her as one of them. The kid next to her nodded and asked her if she had a cigarette he could bum off of her. She shook her head and grunted "no" at him. He shrugged and turned back to his friends.

The train came. She and her "group" all shoved themselves into a space too small to fit them all. She could see a few clumps of girls huddling together, salarymen returning home, and the like. She closed her eyes and let the movement of the train carry her away for a time. At the next stop, she checked her watch again. Seven minutes.

The doors shut, more people wedged tightly into the small space. Yuriko reopened her eyes as a small altercation broke out at the other end of the car - something tedious like a groping. She tuned it out. Ten minutes...

"Ah, excuse me." The voice was shy and accompanied by giggles. Yuriko looked down into the wide eyes of a group of teenaged girls, their faces alight with embarrassment. "Excuse me...are you Yuriko?"

She glanced at her watch. Eleven minutes. Damn! And she had hoped that the school uniform would have helped her break the record. Oh well. She smiled down at the girls and nodded slowly.

"Yes," she lowered her voice a little, giving it that "sexy" tone she reserved for fan flirtation. The girls all squealed - if they hadn't been crushed immobile, they'd have certainly jumped up and down.

"Ohmigodohmigodohmigod!" the pack of them shrieked with ecstasy.

Yuriko laughed at their excess. "I'm not a god, you know - only a singer." The shrieks rose and people were turning towards them to see what the fuss was.

As the train continued along its tracks, Yuriko spent the rest of the ride signing autographs for her appreciative fans.