Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Yuriko's reunion with her brother Takeshi was not what she expected. Always a mecha otaku, Takeshi is now working with artificial intelligence. His complete lack of social propriety has made the reunion nearly painless.

Volume 5, Issue 4

"Life in the Jungle"

"I guess you visited their grave," Takeshi said abruptly. Yuriko nodded. "I told Fumie not to leave that letter, but you know her - always a crisis. She wasn't really like us, was she?" He gave Yuriko a tight smile. "All she ever wanted was to grow up, move out, have her own family and career - be normal."

"I wanted that too," Yuriko insisted.

Takeshi removed his glasses and gave Yuriko a piercing look. "Don't blow this pleasant afternoon by lying, sis. You and I know, we both hid who we were from Fumie, from Mother and Father, from mostly everyone."

Yuriko did not respond. She sipped her tea.

"You should probably write back. Fumie may not show it, but she was devastated when she found out the truth - and she blames herself in some way I can't understand."

"That's exactly why I don't want to get in touch with her. I don't need that right now." Yuriko sighed. "Maybe ever."

"Well," Takeshi said, sitting back with a groan. "I won't tell you what to do." He glanced at a clock on the wall and said, "I'm sorry to do this to you, but I have to get back to work."

Yuriko checked her watch. "I know this was kind of sudden, I'm glad you had time to chat." She stood. "It was really good to see you again, big brother." She smiled and bowed.

"Don't be such a stranger anymore, okay?"

"I promise."

Takeshi walked them towards the hallway and through the maze of cubicles. "And a few seats at your next concert might be cool, too."

"Oh, have someone special to bring?" Yuriko said archly.

"No," Takeshi said with a grin, "but a ticket to one of your shows might be a big draw. I expect several years of backlogged perks."

Yuriko laughed. "Takeshi, you haven't changed a bit."

"No, but you have...and it looks good on you."

Their parting was swift and polite. Fukui guided them back to the elevator, and Midori and Yuriko found themselves once again on the street.

"Your brother seems nice." Midori ventured. "Strange, but nice."

"An accurate description. I never really understood anything that he talked about. But I could always go to him with a problem - he never offered advice, just listened." Yuriko said. She waved a taxi down and asked the other woman, "where to?"

Midori looked up at the blonde with a small smile. "My place." She gave the address to the cabbie, who nodded.


Midori opened the door and welcomed Yuriko to her home. Yuriko looked around as she removed her shoes.

"It's beautiful here," Yuriko commented in awe. The light that came through the two skylights was filtered through the virtual jungle of greenery in the room. Yuriko could see an alcove with the kitchen, but the rest of the apartment seemed to be one room.

"I do all my writing here, so I like it to be light and airy and live. But when I sleep, I'm happy that it's small and cozy. Even more so when I have to clean." Midori laughed. "Tea or coffee?" she asked, "Or something stronger?"

"Whatever you're having," Yuriko repressed a yawn. "I feel beat, like I haven't slept in days."

"You haven't."

"That would explain that."

Midori put out a tray of tea and stepped over to the table that served her as a desk. "I noticed that you don't have a computer," she began.

"I do, actually, a laptop I use for school assignments and the like."

"But no internet connection?"

"Nah," Yuriko said. "It never really interested me. I like to interact face to face with people."

"Then you have no idea what a vanity search is?" Midori grinned.

"No, what is it?" Yuriko rose from where she sat and walked over to read over Midori's shoulder.

"I'll show you," said the writer, "what your fans really think of you."

"The 'I hate Yuriko' club?" Yuriko asked, amazed. Her jacket was off, sleeves rolled up and collar open. She drank more tea and rubbed her face.

"Well, you have to expect that," Midori said comfortingly. "You're everywhere - TV, film, radio. Some people are going to feel overwhelmed."

"I don't want to go there," Yuriko pouted. "I want to see what my fans think."

"Okay," Midori said as she clicked a few buttons. ""

"What's that?" Yuriko asked.

The writer laughed, "A bulletin board where people fantasize about having your children."


Midori read some of the subject lines out loud, "If you had Yuriko for one night; Where can I find the lyrics to...; ah, here's a fanfic someone wrote about you. Do yourself a favor and don't *ever* read fanfics about yourself."

"What's a fanfic?"

Midori gave her an evil, toothy grin, "It's a demented story written by a pathetic fan, starring someone with none of your qualities except your name - frequently doing hideously embarrassing activities, most often with someone who completely randomly has the same name as the author."

"Sounds lovely," Yuriko commented dryly.

"Here's a web ring of your loyal fans." Midori clicked through a few pages. "Ahah! Here's 'Yuriko no Miko' your NUMBER ONE fan in the whole world, according to their site."

"Yuriko has the voice of an angel and the soul of the devil," Yuriko read out loud. She stared in fascination at the pages of pictures, information, sound clips and messages all about herself. "This is really creepy," she said at last.

"Very. You should see what happens when you star in a movie - or release a new record. There are several unofficial fan clubs for you - including one in America, run by lesbians." Midori laughed at the look on Yuriko's face. "Are you really that surprised?" she asked at last.

"Yes!" Yuriko said emphatically. "I had no idea. It's a whole world I don't know about. I wonder if Kishi-san knows..."

Midori laughed, delighted with Yuriko's naiveté. "My dear Yuriko - you have an official website, with Kishi-san's email address as contact."

"I do?" Yuriko asked. "What does it look like? I want to see!"

Midori smiled and clicked her way through the world of Yuriko on the Internet.