Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: On the eve of Yuriko's sexual harassment case going to court, she has, at last, allowed herself to stay the night with Midori.

Volume 5, Issue 9

"The End of the Line"

Yuriko ran a hand up Midori's silk stocking–clad legs, purring her pleasure. She laughed as Midori wiggled her toes, and blew a low wolf whistle as the brunette picked up the edge of her skirt suggestively.

"This is nice," Yuriko whispered softly into Midori's ear, as she zipped up the other woman's dress. "Can I come over every morning and help you dress?" The whisper turned into a kiss on the ear, which became a kiss on the cheek, which migrated towards the mouth. A short time later, Midori pushed Yuriko away lightly.

"Stop that! We'll be late if you keep this up. And who said you'd be leaving in the first place?" Midori pressed a kiss onto her finger, then the finger onto the blonde's nose.

"I'll have to go home to get *my* clothes from time to time." Yuriko said, trailing behind Midori, as the other woman entered the bathroom.

"Mm." Midori pulled out makeup and a hairbrush. "Here." She handed Yuriko the brush. Yuriko stared at the item for a moment, then at Midori's hair. Midori laughed at the expression on the blonde's face – torn between rapt adoration and fear. "Maybe I'd better do it." Midori took the brush back. "I can help you dress then?"

Yuriko grinned. "Better not – or we *will* be late."


The conference room was crowded. Yuriko gestured for Midori to precede her, and entered herself. She greeted the gathered parties seriously, receiving nods from all but Bando and the Watanabes. Kishi and Miyamoto sat next to Ishinabe – Yuriko wasn't surprised to see the head of her agency there, or representatives from her studio and their law firm. Mie sat at one corner of the conference table, her eyes fixed on her lap. Despite herself, Yuriko felt pity for the girl.

At last, the lawyer from the school arrived. He was a portly man, but well put together and he gave Yuriko's party a pleasant greeting. Bando and the Watanbes received a polite bow.

"Well," said Bando, "shall we begin?" His gaze grazed Yuriko, sliding slickly off the blonde and lingering just slightly too long to be polite on Midori. His sneering smile made Yuriko want to slap him.

The school lawyer cleared his throat. "I believe that would be a good idea. If it would be alright with you, Bando-san, I'd like to begin with an overview of the school's investigation into this matter."

Bando started to speak, but the school's lawyer continued as if his request had been granted. He read some notes from a piece of paper, highlighting the fine points of the charge and the investigation, then the findings. Yuriko, lost in the legalese and pedantry of the document, and in her own unhappy mindset, was completely unable to follow the gist of the investigation. It wasn't until the lawyer looked up at her over his reading glasses and said, "In conclusion, we find that the accused party is completely innocent of any charges." He gave Yuriko a tight smile and let the sheet drop onto the table. Turning to Bando he continued, "In fact, as far as the Board of Directors goes, these charges are unwarranted and I was instructed, if you continued in this suit, to offer my assistance to Yuriko-san's legal representation."

Bando looked as if he'd been hit. His face was red and his eyes blazed. He chose to vent his spleen on the most likely target, hissing at Yuriko, "I don't know what you paid the school to make this decision, but..."

"That will be enough," Ishinabe stated quietly. "Bando-san, you exceed your jurisdiction. If you want to file a separate case against my client, then do so. Right now, we will deal with the matter at hand."

Bando had gotten himself under control. "Yes, we will. My client is a young girl, a girl who has been preyed upon by this...woman," he leered at Yuriko once again, "and whose life may never be the same. You're absolutely right, Ishinabe-san - we will deal with this today." The little lawyer turned back to the school lawyer with a nasty smile. "Does your client have anything further to add?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact. Before we go one step further, I was instructed to introduce some evidence in favor of our findings, since" he nodded towards Ishinabe, "my client would like nothing better than to see these charges dropped." The lawyer rose, and left the table to open the door. An older woman entered, a woman with bright, intelligent eyes behind round glasses. "This is Asahi-sensei, the doctor at Mitsukawa High School. Asahi-sensei, would you be so kind as to tell us what you saw occur on the day in question."

The doctor spoke towards Mie, her voice soft, but inexorable. "I saw this girl launch herself at Yuriko-san."

"And then?"

"I could not hear what was said, but Yuriko spoke to the girl and I heard the word 'don't' repeated several times. Then Yuriko extricated herself from the girl's embrace and ran past me. I doubt she saw me - she looked very upset."

Everyone turned towards Bando, waiting for his reaction. The lawyer sat, his mouth moving, without sound, his eyes angry and red.

"This is not a court of law!" He said at last. "This is not a formal witness - you may have paid her off..."

"Enough," a small, tired voice said. "That's enough."

Every face turned towards the girl who now sat upright. Her eyes were dull and sunken, her face grey, but she looked determined and, in some strange way, peaceful. "This is all my fault, from beginning to end. I can't even say it was a misunderstanding, because...because I lied."

Bando sat down heavily in his chair. Mie's father opened his mouth, but Mie hushed him and continued hurriedly. "Father, I lied. I said that Yuriko-san had made advances towards me - because that's what I *wanted* to happen! Asahi-sensei is right. It was me who threw myself at Yuriko-san, and she was very adamant about not wanting anything between us...nothing at all. And I was so upset that I came home and...and...and I said some things to people that were meant to hurt Yuriko-san, because I was so hurt. But when she didn't get hurt, I became angry and I told you some things that weren't really truthful and...." Mie sucked in a great breath and bowed, "I'm very sorry - this was all my fault!"

Ishinabe stood. "I think we should all take a break, don't you?" he shot a glance towards the school lawyer who nodded. "We'll be down the hall when you need us," he said towards the stricken Bando.


Time passed slowly. The four women and assorted lawyers tried to act as if nothing occurring in the conference room involved them. Yuriko envied the lawyers' calm demeanor - she was a wreck and she knew she looked it. Midori stayed close, pointing out inconsequentials that she could use in her writing, trying to keep the conversation light, but not ingenuously so.

After thirty minutes has crawled by, the door to the conference room opened, then shut immediately. Bando, his briefcase in one hand, marched past them without a glance; looking directly ahead – and as if he had swallowed something very bitter.

The conference room door opened and Mie's mother stepped out, asking everyone to come in to the room. The woman's face was drawn and it was clear that she had been crying.

Mie's father took the lead. His belligerence had turned to deference and his red face was now gray and aged. "As you can see, we are at fault here – our daughter...she is still young and impressionable..." the man sighed and passed his hand across his face wearily. "We are terribly sorry for the trouble," he bowed, followed quickly by Mie and her mother. Clearly the family was at a loss for words. Watanabe-san stood, and excused himself quickly. The door shut sharply behind him, leaving the assembled in an awkward, tense silence.

The school's lawyer cleared his throat to break the silence. "As this seems to have been settled from my client's perspective, I think we should be going..." he gestured towards Asahi-sensei, who took her cue readily.

Mie's mother stepped forward and spoke to them all in a quiet voice. "I feel I must apologize for my husband – he is not a vindictive man, he..." she swallowed hard. "He lost his job a little over a year ago and has been very unhappy. Mie is his only child and when Mie told us...what she told us, he became angry and hired a lawyer. We did not know Bando-san personally., but he told us that he would help. He didn't really care for Mie or her feelings, but he fed my husband's anger..." the woman's eyes filled with tears. "Please forgive us."

The school lawyer cleared his throat once again – it seemed to be a nervous tic as much as anything. "I can't speak for the school's administration, but...if your daughter comes to the Principal's office tomorrow morning, we may be able to work out something..." he let the sentence end vaguely. The two Watanabe women bowed deeply, with expressions of thanks and further apologies until the lawyer and doctor had left.

Yuriko could not bring herself to look at the miserable girl – and did not envy her return to school the following day. Feeling sick and saddened once more by the whole mess, Yuriko only wanted to leave this place – and the school behind her. At length, after further apologies, Yuriko and her party managed to free themselves from the unhappy Watanabe family.

Midori glanced at Yuriko. "Looks like that's over," she said with obvious relief, as the door shut behind them.

The idol turned to her agent and manager with a nod. "Yes, I'd say that this whole project is over, wouldn't you Kishi-san?"

Her agent looked up from the cigarette she was lighting, then over to the agency owner, who nodded. "I'll let them know," Kishi said, nodding towards the studio representatives.