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 stockingclad 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
"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
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
"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."
"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
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