Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Several weeks of preparation for the tour have passed. Yuriko is being given time off for good behavior.


Volume 2, Issue 1

"On the Road"


"I'm leaving!" Yuriko called out with a wave. The technicians that heard nodded, a few waved. Mayumi didn't look up, nor did Renzo, or the others involved in the process of marking the stage, moving the scenery, checking the sound and lighting, or either of the Assistant Directors. Yuriko sighed with relief and left the stage quickly, before anyone could protest.

The past few weeks had been exhausting. Yuri changed her clothes quickly, avoiding Haru as much as possible. She had one long weekend before she had to be back and she was going to hoard every second of that free time. She was feeling stripped – emotionally and physically. Rehearsals were going smoothly enough, but Mayumi's continued high-level dislike had begun to wear away on Yuri's nerves.

If anyone deserves a vacation, it would definitely be me, Yuriko thought to herself.


Midori met her at the studio gate. The writer was wearing shorts and a thin cotton t-shirt. As she approached, Yuriko allowed herself a long, lingering look at her lover. Midori was thin, but not too thin, Yuri thought. Not too thin, but not too heavy. Just right.

"You're perfect." Yuriko commented as she moved into Midori's range of hearing.

Midori smiled beatifically. "Of course, but what brought that on?"

"I saw you and it just came to mind." Yuriko leaned down to buss the other woman lightly on the cheek in greeting.

"Very appropriate," Midori joked. She pulled Yuriko a little closer and whispered, "You're pretty darn perfect yourself."

Yuri's cheeks reddened. "Thank you," she said, hesitating a little.

"Well, are you ready?" Midori asked.

Yuriko took the other woman's arm and threaded it through hers. "I wanted to talk to you about that," she began. "Are you really sure you want to do this?"

The writer looked sharply at Yuriko. "I thought we'd already discussed this. Yes, this is what I want."

Yuriko waved a hand dramatically. "But a week? In a car? I mean, we can take a train, or fly…"

Midori's hand, which had been gripping Yuriko's arm rather tightly, relaxed. "Oh, you meant the car. I thought…well, never mind."

Yuriko looked carefully at the other woman. "I'll admit that I'm nervous about going to visit your family too, but no, I didn't mean that. It's just such a long ride and cars…"

Midori pulled her hand from Yuriko's arm and stopped walking. "But you take cars all the time!"

Yuriko looked chagrined. "Sure in the city – but the country's a whole different thing - what if we breakdown? And people on highways always drive poorly and there's trucks and strange people..."

Midori pursed her lips for a few moments. "It's not the car, is it? You're afraid of the wide-open spaces." She laughed lightly. "Come on, Yuri, it'll be fine. I love to drive, so you can just sit and watch the landscape pass by. Just like you do here." She began to walk again, leaving the blonde behind in a few steps.

Yuriko watched her walk away, looking nervous and unsure. "I just have a weird feeling about this. What if, after a few days, you can't take it anymore?"

"Then we'll leave," Midori said without turning.

"I meant," Yuriko said quietly, "what if you can't take me anymore?"

Midori stopped. "Then we won't be able to live together." She turned to face the blonde. "Think of it as an audition for the part." Her smile was so warm and confident that Yuriko found herself returning it. In a second, the doubt cleared and she stepped smartly up to her lover and they walked on together.


The rental agent slipped the keys across the counter and smiled at Midori. "It is our great pleasure to do business with you," she intoned. Midori nodded and scooped the keys up with a smile. There was an air of hesitation about the woman though, and Midori paused.

"Is there something else?"

The rental agent looked chagrined. She licked her lips nervously and finally, in a hushed voice so no one else would hear, she asked, "I was…I was hoping that maybe …that I could get Yuriko-san's autograph."

Midori looked at the woman in surprise for a second, then turned to the idol. Yuri, whose attention was completely wrapped up in the television that was displayed prominently in the office, jumped when Midori tapped her on the arm.

"This woman would like an autograph from the famous idol," Midori said meaningfully.

Yuriko's eyebrow lifted, but she pulled a pen from a pocket and leaned forward without hesitation. The woman slid a piece of paper forward much as she had the keys to their car. Yuriko asked her name, signed the autograph and graciously accepted the agent's effusive thanks.

The two women left the office thoughtfully.

"Penny for your thoughts," Yuriko said at last.

"I was thinking that you are dangerously unselfish," Midori admitted. "You just give your fans whatever they want."

"Not really. If that were the case, I'd keep a pocket full of headshots, with sexy messages all ready to go."

"What were you thinking?" Midori asked, laughing.

"Me?" Yuriko looked startled, then a bit embarrassed. Laughing at herself, Yuriko said, "Actually, I was wondering why on earth we were renting a car."

"I thought we'd *been* through that…" Midori began petulantly.

"No, no, no," Yuriko waved away the writer's concerns quickly, "I mean, here we are, both of us successful, not extravagant buyers, we pretty much have all the money we need – we could just as easily buy a car as rent one!"

Now it was Midori's turn to be surprised. "And what would we do with it, once we returned to the city?"

"Oh, I don't know," Yuri joked, "give it away, leave it on the street…something."

"Gives a whole new meaning to "disposable income," doesn't it?" Midori said with a grin.

The two women found their car and within moments, were nearing Yuriko's apartment.

"I have a phone call to make," Midori said, "you bring the luggage down and I'll wait here with the car."

"Oh, nice," Yuriko grumped. "Make me do the heavy work."

"You big baby," Midori was already dialing, "you'll get the doorman to do it anyway."

She was correct. One look at the mass of luggage that filled her hallway and Yuriko was on the intercom, asking for help. A short struggle later and the luggage was lodged firmly, if not elegantly, in the car's trunk.

"Are we ready?" Midori asked, as she put her cell phone away. "My editor says 'have fun' by the way."

Yuriko waved her thanks at the absent editor. "Thanks, Rie-san!" She looked around them and nodded. "I guess we're ready."

Midori slid into the driver's seat and Yuriko lowered herself into the passenger side. Turning to the blonde, Midori laid a hand on Yuriko's leg. "And how about you?" she asked pleasantly. "Are you ready?"

Yuriko nodded again. "As I'll ever be!"