Saiyuu no Ryokou: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Yuriko has just completed recording a new album and seems to be enjoying success in her career and personal life. Tonight she and Midori are celebrating.

Volume 1, Issue 2

"Beginnings and Endings"

"You look absolutely amazing tonight." Yuriko stepped into the apartment after recovering her lower jaw from the floor where it had dropped.

Midori executed a slow turn designed to show off the dress she wore. "Well, it is our eighth month anniversary," she smiled as she completed her pirouette, "so I wanted to look especially nice."

Yuriko gathered the other woman in her arms and pressed her lips into Midori's neck just below her ear. "You always look especially nice," she murmured quietly. "Tonight you look edible." She spent a few moments proving her point before she whispered, "Run away with me. Let's leave all this behind and travel the world together." She stood upright and smiled down at her lover. "Come on, it'll be fun!"

Midori laughed. "So the tour is really going to happen?"

Yuriko nodded. She turned away to retrieve Midori's coat from the closet. "Yeah, it's all finalized. We kick off in just about a month. It'll be a shared bill, the company's got a few albums it's promoting. Mine and...'' she paused, holding the coat open.

Midori slipped her arms into the coat and waited until Yuriko had let go before she turned to face the other woman. "And??" she inquired gently.

Yuriko didn't answer. Midori's eyes narrowed. "Yuri?" she asked.

Yuriko heaved a heavy sigh. "They've got me sharing top billing with..." she sighed again, "Mayumi-san."

Midori watched her lover's face closely. Yuriko was, at heart, a very sensitive person. As their friend Mariko often said, she wanted everyone to be happy...and took it very personally when people stubbornly refused to be happy around her. Nakayama Mayumi was a very unhappy person by all accounts, and as difficult by reputation to work with as Yuriko was easy-going. Midori hadn't actually met the woman in her time at the studio, but stories about her were legendary.

"That's absurd!" she said with some heat. "What are they thinking of? That woman's a..." she shook her head as she strove to find an appropriately insulting turn of phrase. "A bitch," she said finally, her writer's grasp of language failing her in her emotional state. "She's horrible! How can they expect you to work with her?"

Yuriko looked down at Midori seriously. "Because that's my job," she said. "But hey, maybe by the end of the tour we'll be friends." She smiled, making a joke of her words.

"Mmm." Midori ground out cynically. "That'll happen."

Yuriko took Midori in her arms and kissed her forcibly. "*You,*" she said, giving the other woman a little shake as she spoke, "are not to worry about this for me...I'm plenty worried for both of us, okay?"

Midori nodded as she was shaken once again. "Ye..e..e..sss. Okay! Okay! Just stop that!" She laughed as Yuriko let her go. "Alright, I'll trust you can handle this like the mature, gentle creature you are." She ignored the noise Yuriko made. "Tonight, your job is to treat *me* like the goddess I am."

Yuriko swept the door open with a flourish, gesturing Midori out into the hall. "Then, by all means, My Lady, tonight is yours and yours alone."

"As it should be." Midori said haughtily as she walked past the deeply bowing blonde, then laughed as Yuriko caught her up and swept her, quite literally, off her feet.


By unspoken consent, they let the matter drop through a lovely and appropriately romantic dinner.

In the taxi on the way back to Yuriko's apartment, Midori laid her head against the blonde's shoulder and whispered, "How long will you be gone?" Yuri could hear the writer trying not to sound desperate and she drew Midori closer into an embrace.

"At least six months," Yuriko said at last.

Midori didn't answer, but Yuriko could feel her fingers caught in the other woman's hand. She gave a little squeeze and received an answering one from Midori.

"You could come with me, you know."

The writer shook her head. As the streetlight reflected off her features, Yuriko could see tears gathered at the corner of her eyes. She pulled out her handkerchief and handed it over solemnly.

"I'm sorry," Midori said, after dabbing at her eyes. "I promised myself I wouldn't do this - get all possessive and grasping." She passed the handkerchief over her face again.

"Come with me," Yuriko insisted.

"I can't. You know that," Midori said sadly. "I have that novel to finish...and that series of articles for Asahi."

Yuriko nodded slowly. "I know. So we would have been apart for a while anyway."

"But not six months," Midori commented acerbically.

"No, not that long." Yuriko sighed. "Let's look on the bright side - at least while I'm not around, you'll have the impetus to finish the novel!"

Midori leaned into Yuriko with a laugh at the reference to her well-known penchant for writing while under the influence of extreme misery. "Six months. It's a long time, isn't it?"

"Yes, but I trust you." Yuriko laughed as Midori launched a hand towards her head.


The darkness in the room was thick, but not stifling. Like a warm, cozy cave, Yuriko had always thought. She pressed her lips into Midori's hair and was rewarded by a small moan of pleasure. She could barely make out the other woman in the dark, but since their bodies were so closely intertwined, it was moot. She could feel nearly every surface, every curve, every angle in Midori's body.

They had been together eight months and no one was more surprised than they that the relationship was as strong as it was. Yuriko, who had never been able to see herself with anyone for more than a week or two, found herself planning for next winter, the summer after, and five years down the road with the woman in her arms.

"Happy Anniversary," she whispered. Warm lips covered hers in answer.

They lay together in the warm, dark night and talked of random things. Midori spoke of story ideas, Yuriko of her music, of everything but their pending separation. At last, Midori rolled over onto her stomach and stared down towards the pale hair, which was just visible in the gloom.

"Do you trust me?" Yuriko asked softly.

"What?" Midori sounded startled.

"Do you trust me? I'll be traveling around the world - maybe meeting old lovers, or..."

Midori sucked on her teeth for a moment. Yuriko knew this meant she was extremely agitated.

"I don't know, really," the writer said honestly. "Do you trust you?"

"Do I trust me?" Yuriko was confused.

"I mean, do you think you might be tempted to wander?" Midori's voice was soft, but the edge had returned to her words and Yuriko flinched from the sharpness.

"I don't know," Yuriko admitted. "I've never had anything to wander from." She reached out and stroked the long, thick hair that draped itself across her. Yuri passed her hand through Midori's hair again and laughed. "What the heck am I thinking? Of course I trust me! You're the most delightful thing to ever enter my life... there isn't anyone or anything I could possibly find worth losing you over." She shook her head at even the thought of potential folly.

Midori shifted herself slightly, her voice muffled against Yuriko's skin. "That's all I'm asking," she said with a smile in her voice.

"But you still haven't answered my question," Yuriko pouted a little. She gasped as lips moved softly across her chest.

Midori's voice was once again muffled as she answered, "I trust you - I never had any doubt at all." Her tongue flicked out across Yuri's nipple and once again, by common consent, the topic was dropped.