Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Midori has dragged Yuriko kicking and screaming into the age of the Internet. She may have created a monster.

Volume 1, Issue 11


Midori was awakened by an excruciating pain in her neck. She rolled over on the sofa, trying to escape the discomfort, but the new position was worse. Her eyes opened and she looked around peevishly for the clock on the shelf. Its glowing red numbers proclaimed an unreasonably late (or early) hour. With a groan, the writer sat up, massaging her neck with one hand. Blearily, she could make out Yuriko's form silhouetted by the light from the computer screen.

"Mhngh? Midori said. She worked her tongue around her dry mouth and tried again. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing." Yuriko's tone belied her words. Despite the time, she seemed wide awake. Midori stood, rubbing her eyes and tried to see past her lover. Yuri turned slightly with a disturbing smile and closed the screen. "Really, nothing," she assured the other woman completely unconvincingly.

"Mmm," Midori yawned. "That's why you're chortling. I understand totally." She slipped her fingers into the blonde hair, stroking the short locks. "It's late – why haven't we gone to bed yet?"

Yuriko leaned into the writer's hand happily. "I'm sorry. I got caught up in my new toy." She stood, slipping Midori's hand into her own. "Don't complain – it's all your fault, anyway." She yawned hugely and glanced at the clock. "Wow – it is late."

"So what was so fascinating that it kept you up so late?" Midori watched as the singer shut the computer down.

"What else?" Yuriko laughed. "You." She turned and gathered the other woman into her arms. "I was reading messages on a," she paused to find the right term, "a "mailing list" - is that right? About you. The topic was," Yuriko smiled hugely, "whether your favorite flower now was a lily, since after all..." she leaned down to claim a kiss from the rather rumpled writer in her arms.

Midori chuckled. "And? What was the consensus?"

"Well, after a fierce battle between the pro-lily people and the anti...with some snide comments by the rather vocal anti-Yuriko faction..."

Holding up a hand, Midori stopped the commentary. "You know what? I don't care what they think my favorite flower is. Let's go to bed. We both have busy days tomorrow," her face was dark with emotion as she spoke and her voice angry. She turned away and headed for the bedroom.

Yuriko watched her for a moment, wondering what had upset the writer so badly, then turned back to the computer. She counted to twenty, the followed Midori into the bedroom. The other woman stood facing her dresser.

"I'm sorry," Midori said quietly. "I shouldn't take it so personally."

"No, I'm sorry," Yuriko shook her head. She walked up behind the other woman and put her arms around her. "I won't tell you stuff like that any more." She leaned her cheek against Midori's head. "I'd better not tell you that I told everyone on the list that I've slept with you, either, huh?" Yuriko smiled as she felt Midori's tension dissolve a little. "Or that I told the whole list really personal information about you? I'll just keep all that to myself."

Midori turned to face the blonde, a look of amused irritation on her face. "Yuri, you are totally insane." She slipped her arms around the blonde's waist and held on tightly. They stood in contented silence for a few long moments, then Midori moved away to undress.

After they had crawled into bed, gotten comfortable and were well on their way to sleep, Midori could feel Yuri stirring against her. "So," the blonde's muffled voice asked softly, "what is your favorite flower, anyway?"

Midori smiled a little and pressed herself against Yuriko. "Lilies," she answered. And with that, they both fell asleep.


The next morning was foul right from the start; the air in the apartment was stifling. Midori pulled aside a curtain and was greeted with a thick, dark atmosphere outside. Yuriko looked over her shoulder.

"What is it?" she whined. "Forest fire? Approaching Apocalypse?"

Midori let the curtain fall back into place. "Looks like we're getting a storm or something." She sighed and rubbed her neck. "I have a crick from sleeping on the couch." She stood and dragged herself off to the kitchen to make much-needed coffee.

The pot was nearly full when Yuriko slumped in to join her. The blonde looked terrible. Her skin was sallow and dark bags made her eyes look puffy. Midori handed over a cup of coffee with a grunt.

Yuriko took the cup solemnly and sipped the hot liquid. "I hope I look better than I feel." She set the mug down and rubbed her temples. "I slept terribly and had a strange dream." Her sunken eyes met Midori's groggy ones. "I dreamt that I was digitized or whatever and sucked into the computer."

Midori gave a sour smile. "I saw that movie when it came out." She picked up her mug and walked out to the table.

Yuriko followed her. "It was a movie?"

"Yes, you turtle." Midori smiled, her face clearing of sleepiness. "It was. For a pop idol, you don't know much about pop culture, do you?" She stroked her hand across Yuriko's cheek. "I'm sorry you didn't sleep well. I keep trying to get the air conditioning working, but the building's so old..."

"That's alright," Yuriko reassured the writer. "I think it'll be fine if it rains." She swallowed a mouthful of coffee and rose. "I'd better get going, or I'll be late." She leaned over the table, placing a kiss on Midori's forehead. "Thank you for my going away gift – I'll look forward to future installments."

Midori smiled up at her lover. "Have a wonderful day. You start choreography today, right?"

"Yes!" Yuriko snapped to attention, then grabbed her head with both hands. "Ah! I mean, yes," she said with less energy. "Madame Kommandant will begin the whipping into shape process this morning."

"Take some aspirin." Midori stood to walk Yuriko to the door.

"I will." Yuriko paused at the door and turned to face the other woman. Placing both hands on Midori's shoulders, she squeezed gently. "I was thinking, a little last night," she began hesitantly. "I want you to think about something – there's no rush or anything, but," Yuriko paused and took a deep breath. One hand lifted to gesture at the apartment generally, the other gripped Midori's shoulder tightly. "This place is kind of small, and as you said, old and my apartment,'s okay, but..." Yuriko looked down into Midori's eyes. "What I'm asking is, when I come home from the tour, I'd like us to move in together, to a place of our own."

Midori found herself swallowing hard around a lump that had formed suddenly in her throat. Yuri's blue eyes stared at her guilelessly, a little expectant, a little hopeful, and a little braced for rejection. Midori had lived alone and with a husband, then a lover, but never before had she received a proposal so heartfelt. She could feel tears filling her eyes.

She opened her mouth to respond, but Yuriko stopped her with a gesture. "Don't answer right away – I really want you to think about this." She pulled Midori close in a quick, overtight hug and practically skipped to the door.

One hand on the open door, Yuriko turned to face her lover, a smile wreathing her pale face. "I love you."

Midori pushed the singer out the door with a smile. "I love you too – now go, you'll be late!"


Yuriko was late, a fact that was made plain to her the moment she entered the dance room. Madame stood stiffly at the head of the room, addressing a frowning Mayumi. The little singer glared at Yuriko, then snapped at one of the background dancers that had lingered.   Yuriko smiled at two of the female dancers who passed by her in the doorway with a murmured greeting, then stepped in to face the combined wrath of the two women. Instead, she found herself frozen out by Mayumi completely.

Madame Sophia, however, felt no compunction about letting Yuriko know that she had broken a cardinal rule. Several minutes into the staccato lecture about punctuality, Yuriko remembered that she had forgotten to take any aspirin.