Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko
The Story So Far: Yuriko has been unjustly accused of sexual
harassment and has left school, very likely permanently. Midori has showed up at her
apartment to help her get through the crisis.
Volume 5, Issue 1
"Breakfast of Champions"
"So, basically, that's what happened." Yuriko said, brushing her hair out of her
Midori looked down at the blonde head, which lay on her arm. She reached out to stroke a
cheek gently. "It sounds like she doesn't have much of a case to stand on. Her word
against yours." She put her finger on Yuriko's lips, forestalling the obvious
comment. "I know, it doesn't make it any better. Really, though, I'm surprised you've
managed to get this far without anything like this popping up."
Yuriko sat up. "What do you mean by that?" she asked, a little annoyed.
"I mean," Midori said soothingly, "I've been sued twice for plagiarism and
once for contract violation."
"Really?" Yuriko asked incredulously.
"Really." Midori sat up, pulling her arm from around Yuriko's shoulders.
"The second time I was sued, it was all over the trade press. I was sure my career
was over, that no one would touch me with a ten-meter pole."
"What happened?" Yuriko asked, interested despite herself.
Midori gave a self-deprecating smile. "By the end of the week I had three agents
competing to represent my next book, and calls from half a dozen publishing
companies." She smiled wryly at the blonde. "You and I, we work in industries
populated by vultures."
"I suppose that's true." Yuriko agreed. "I wonder, when the news gets out,
whether I'll be ostracized or become the new hot topic."
"Both, most likely." Midori said.
"Mmm." Yuriko nodded. "You're probably right." She stood, then leaned
down over the sofa, where Midori looked up at her with tired eyes. "Thank you."
Midori didn't bother pretending to not know what she meant. "You're welcome."
Yuriko closed the distance between them. Midori leaned forward into the kiss.
When they parted, Yuriko took a deep breath. "You smell wonderful."
Midori laughed. "Thank you." She held Yuriko's face in both hands and searched
her face. "How are you doing?"
Yuriko put her hands on Midori's and pulled them away. "I'm fine. Really." She
kissed one hand, then the other. "I don't know if I would have been, though, if you
"Shhh." Midori said. "Don't even think about that."
Their arms slipped around each other and held each other for a long moment.
Yuriko stood again, stretching a little. "Are you hungry? I don't have much food in
the house, but I have a ten o'clock meeting with the lawyer..."
"I'm going with you." Midori stated.
"Why?" Yuriko looked genuinely surprised. "It'll be boring and tedious - as
well as gut-wrenching and miserable."
"Exactly why I'm going with you." Midori said, in a tone that brooked no
argument. "Someone has to be there for *you,* Yuri."
Yuriko stared down at the other woman, her eyes huge. "Say that again."
"Someone has to be there for you..."Midori said, then comprehension dawned.
"Midori." Yuriko slipped to her knees in front of the writer and placed her head
on the woman's lap.
"Yuri," Midori said again. Then again, whispered as she stroked the blonde hair
beneath her hands.
Despite herself, despite the sickening feeling she got every time she thought of today's
deposition, despite the horrible sinking feeling that she experienced when she saw Mie's
face in her mind, Yuriko smiled. Despite everything, Yuriko thought, I've never been so
happy in my life.
"This is not a deposition, as you know," Ishinabe said carefully. "All
we're doing today is a little fact-finding and position juggling." The lawyer gave
Yuriko a severe look. "If you insist on being here, then *I* must insist that you say
nothing - regardless of what you hear, or what is said."
Yuriko nodded. She could feel Midori's foot press against her own and she gave the writer
a thankful smile.
The lawyers arrived. The lawyer for the school was typically buttoned-down and
conservative, but the Watanabe's lawyer looked sleazy, from his slicked back hair to his
sharkskin suit. Yuriko's eyebrows rose as he greeted Ishinabe - even his voice sounded
like a shyster's.
"Are we all here?" he said, his voice nasal and demanding. "Fine, then
Yuriko looked at the clock on the wall. Three hours had gone by and every muscle in her
body ached with tension. Surely they had to take a break sometime soon?
"Your client's reputation..."
"Is completely above board and honorable." Ishinabe looked cool as the
"If you say so - I expect we won't have a hard time finding women who will testify to
the contrary." The Watanabe's lawyer, Bando, gave Yuriko a nasty leer.
"If you insist on bringing that issue up in court, we'll have to bring up the issue
that you client has been seeing professional help for mental instability for several
Bando let this remark slide by. Turning to the school's lawyer, he attempted to get a rise
from him. "And don't think your client will be forgotten - it's the school's fault
that this...woman...was allowed to prey on suggestible girls."
The school lawyer simply met Bando's eyes. "The school is undertaking its own
investigation into the matter that we believe will clear us of all culpability. I do not
suggest your client name us in this ridiculous suit."
Ishinabe shook his head. "Bando-san, your case relies on hearsay, rumor and
insinuation, please reconsider before taking this any further. If you and your client
insist on this course of action I will make sure that the girl testifies - and her story
will not survive testimony."
Yuriko moved to protest, but Ishinabe gave her a firm look. Midori put a hand on her arm
and Yuriko subsided. Her jaw clenched in anger, but she said nothing.
At last the meeting broke up and Yuriko had the chance to confront Ishinabe. "I
thought I told you that I don't want this going to court."
"And I understand that perfectly," the lawyer said smoothly. "But I have a
job to do here - and if it means I need to intimidate a young girl and her family, then
that's what I'm going to do. If you can't trust me to do my job, then this case is over
Yuriko's mouth opened, then shut with a snap. "Do your job then." She turned
away, anger etched into every line of her body.
Midori bowed briefly to the lawyer and caught up to Yuriko, her voice soft and pacifying.