Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko


Omake, Part 1

"Trial and Eroor"

In the darkness Yuriko could hear nothing, although her hearing and her nerves were pitched. Her breath sounded loud, rasping in the bitter cold warehouse air and her vision could not penetrate the darkness. The hulking carcasses that hung in the locker were invisible. Her shredded clothing felt dank against her skin.

A sound - a mere breath of a movement - and Yuriko threw herself forward into a roll. Coming up in a crouch, she pointed her gun at the origin of the sound, squinted slightly and let fly with several rounds. A grunt told her she had hit her target and a grim smile spread across her face as she stood slowly, her gun pointed forward. She took one step. A metallic clink drew her attention. Her gun lowered marginally as the sound registered in her mind. She threw her body as far across the meat locker as she could, hoping desperately to find some cover....

"Okay, cut!" The director's voice snapped. "Lights." The overhead lighting went on in the soundstage and Yuriko blinked at the change. "Get the stunt double in there. Set up the explosion shot..." The director's voice faded out as he turned away to address several people standing behind him. Yuriko relaxed as an assistant wiped the sweat and makeup off her face. She took the can of tea offered to her with profound appreciation. Stretching, she wiggled inside the skintight and drenched dress she wore. She felt soggy,
cold and underdressed. With a grimace, she glanced at the tattered skirt that showed leg up to the curve of her ass, and the artful rip that highlighted her cleavage.

Sitting down in a chair marked with her name, Yuriko sighed. She was hungry, tired and this made-for-TV movie was absolutely exhausting! To add to her unhappiness, her best friend was out of town on a trip and her co-star in this movie was a cold fish. She had tried to like him, really, but he would barely give her the time of day. The sexual tension between them was non-existent, and it was all she could do to imbue her character with some attraction to his overwritten and underacted persona. And he was a pervert to boot. His groping was surpassed in annoyance only by creativity. If she thought for a second that he even liked women, she might take it personally.

One of the production crew smiled at her sigh. "Hey, only three more scenes and we're done for today," he grinned, giving her a thumbs up. She shot an OK back at him and leaned back in her chair, closing her eyes.

It seemed like only a few seconds had passed when she was called back.

"Okay," the director said. He began all his sentences with "Okay." "Okay, so Kintaro has just saved you from the explosion and you have a reunion scene. Remember, you thought he was dead..."

*I wish,* thought Yuriko, and grinned. "Okay," she responded.

"Okay," the director said, turning to the young man who stood at his side. He looked rumpled in an elegantly cut tuxedo, as if it didn't fit quite right. It was Yuriko's studied opinion that she should have been wearing the tux and Kintaro the torn dress, but then, she wasn't in charge of costuming.

"Okay, so, she thought you were dead and you've just been in deep cover and have blown it to save her, right? Remember, this is an emotional thought you'd never see her again..." Yuriko could see the flicker in Kintaro's eyes. It wasn't hard to figure out what he was thinking.

They let themselves be set up, Kintaro wrapping his arms around Yuriko's shoulders, she pressing her head into his chest. She brushed his hand away from her breast casually, not even bothering to react. She breathed shallowly, allowing her eyes to fill with tears, letting her hair hang in front of her face. Kintaro leaned into her head, holding her tightly, digging one hand uncomfortably into her shoulder.

"Ready...lights..." the lights went dim, "cameras..." confirmations from all cameramen were given, "action!"

Yuriko sobbed. "I thought..." she looked up at Kintaro, her eyes glistening with unshed tears, "I thought you were..."

"That I'd never see you again..." he mumbled. His hands moved slimily across her arms onto her chest.

Yuriko reached out an arm and touched Kintaro's face gently, stroking it. Tears rolled softly down her cheeks. Smiling sadly, Kintaro reached out and brushed them away with his fingers.

"We can't stay here. They'll come looking for me."

"Just one more moment, together. Please. It's been so long." Yuriko leaned up to kiss the young man lightly on the lips, but he gripped her shoulders and shook her.

"No! Don't you understand? They'll kill me now. I spent months building this cover...." Kintaro laughed bitterly. "And now, now they know, or suspect, who I am. You have to get away from here." He let go of her abruptly, standing and turning away from her. Yuriko collapsed, sobbing uncontrollably.

"Go! Drop the case, get away! I don't want you to die. Not after all this time."

Yuriko held her hands to her face for a moment, then stood stiffly.

"I won't!" she shouted at his back. "I won't leave you."


Yuriko breathed a silent prayer of thanks. The dialogue alone was killing her. She took a deep breath against the exhaustion she felt. Two more scenes to go.


Orchestral music filled the room. Yuriko nudged the volume up a notch, smiling grimly as the sound of the phone ringing disappeared in the horn line. She put her hands behind her head and leaned back on the sofa. This week had been difficult, between the TV movie, three live appearances at record stores, five radio interviews and two television shows. She deserved a few moments of peace and quiet. The violins swirled around her in agreement. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

It was dark in the apartment when her eyes opened. The music had ended, the CD player blinked fitfully in the gloom. She yawned loudly and switched on a light.

And screamed.

Not loudly to be sure, but it was certainly a scream. A perfectly justifiable scream, Yuriko thought, as she fought to bring her breathing under control.

Sitting next to Yuriko, calmly reading through her mail was a child. Well, a small woman, anyway. Her face was perfectly formed, almost doll-like, but the eyes, when they met hers were old. The smile that broke out on the face was more than a little peevish.

"I was wondering if you were ever going to wake up. You're not my only visit tonight, y'know. I've got two more deliveries to do before the morning." The doll-woman's voice was childish and annoyingly lispy.

"What?" Yuriko asked, gaping quite visibly.

The little figure sighed heavily. "I'm a magical creature, come from another dimension, yadda yadda, and you're a magical girl, who has to save the earth yadda yadda." The bored tone was accompanied by large, melodramatic gestures.

"A magical girl?" Yuriko laughed. "Like hell I am! Magical girls have to wear stupid outfits and give ridiculous speeches, before launching absurd attacks. There is no way..."

"Oh right, like you never do that."

Yuriko grimaced, thinking of her costume and lines from that day's shoot.

"Anyway, your magical formula is 'Nari Nari Nasu,'" the doll said tiredly. "Look, I told you - I got two more of these to do before morning and I just don't have time to dicker." Out of seemingly nowhere, she pulled a golden stick with a cluster of leaves on the top. "Wave this around - trust me, it'll practically wave itself, and you're good to go."

Yuriko did not accept the wand. "Nasu?" she asked skeptically. "What am I, Queen of Eggplants?"

The doll rolled its eyes. "No - it's a magical formula, it doesn't have to make sense. Go ahead, try it once before I leave." She jiggled the end of the wand a little.

Yuriko took the proffered object, holding it gingerly, as if it might turn into a serpent. "What if I don't?" she inquired, looking down at the thing with distaste.

"Then that nasty ole Kintaro guy will take over Tokyo."

"What?" Yuriko's head snapped up. "Did you say 'Kintaro?'"

"Yeah, that greasy co-star of yours, he's an evil overlord - couldn't you tell?"

Yuriko shook her head quickly back and forth, trying to get everything to settle in. "Wait a second," she said at last, "that can't be right. If you're my, whatever, familiar, then aren't you supposed to help me on my quest and I'm supposed to figure out who the bad guy is - even thought it's always obvious..." she ran out of breath and stood panting.

Standing on the sofa, the little figure grimaced into Yuriko's face. "Yeah, well, it used to work like that, but we kept getting realllly slow magical girls, so now we just cut to the chase. Anyway, try it out."

Yuriko looked at the doll, then the wand. "What's your name, anyway?" she asked.

Smiling, the doll-woman said, "Hey, cool! You're the first one to ask me. You can call me Nagusa-chan," and for the first time, her smile was genuine.

Yuriko held up the wand, took a deep breath and said, "I'll be able to kick Kintaro's ass?" She shrugged. "Okay, here goes...Nari Nari Nasu!"