Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Yuriko is meeting all of Midori's family – at once. It's both overwhelming and wonderful. Having been given Midori's mother's approval, Yuriko now prepares to face the final test – Midori's father.


Volume 2, Issue 5

"Performance Anxiety"


"You're not nervous, are you?" Midori teased, seeing Yuriko blanch.

"Not at all," the blonde lied smoothly. "Why should I be? I'm just meeting my lover's father for the first time in his house, surrounded by his family, with no means of escape." She swallowed visibly. "You know this is the first time I've ever had to do this, right? Should I shake his hand heartily, proclaim my intentions and ask for your hand?"

Midori laughed at the image. "You could try it and see what happens." She tugged on Yuriko's elbow lightly. "It'll be fine – I'm sure you've had auditions that were more grueling than this." She gazed up into her lover's eyes. "If it makes you feel better, I take after him the most, so I'm sure he'll love you too."

Yuriko allowed herself to be escorted across the room at that, basking in the warmth of the word "too."

By the time she came face to face with the man himself, Yuriko's well-honed social skills had kicked in. Now was not the time to think of fathers in general, or how they treated their daughters. Instead, Yuriko found herself bowing respectfully and smiling pleasantly as Midori began the introductions.

"Father, I'd like you to meet Yuriko."

The polished gentleman in front of her bowed politely.

"This is my father, Yumi Mishima," Midori continued with a reassuring smile for the blonde.

"It's a great pleasure to meet you, I'm Yuriko." She spoke calmly, as if her knees weren't knocking against each other audibly.

"Please, call me Mishima." His voice was cultured and professional, yet warm. "You probably will anyway, if I know my daughter." Mishima shot a look of affection at Midori who made a face.

Yuriko found it amusing to watch the interaction between father and daughter – it was side of Midori she hadn't yet seen. She could see the resemblance between them, especially in their eyes and mouth. For some reason this comforted Yuriko considerably, making Mishima less of an unknown factor. She could feel her shoulders relax slightly, as they bantered with each other.

"So," Mishima turned to include Yuriko in the conversation. "Thank you for coming out here to visit us. We've heard quite a bit about you. Not from Midori, of course."

Yuriko grinned unpleasantly at the writer. "Your mother said exactly the same thing. Am I going to have to nag you to call your parents more often?"

"Yes, please!" Mishima exclaimed over Midori's protests. "I know you're busy, but your mother would like to hear from you from time to time."

Midori flushed. "I think I hear Ritsuko calling me," she said. "I can leave the two of you alone to persecute me without me having to listen to it." The writer stomped off, clearly annoyed with the both of them.

Yuriko grinned at her `father-in-law.' "I'll remind her, but to be fair, she does have a grueling schedule."

"Oh I know – we keep up with all her work. But on our side, we actually learned about your relationship from a television show. It was rather awkward. It would have been nice to have been told."

Yuriko rubbed the back of her head, embarrassed. "I think that may have been my fault," she admitted. "There was a, um, public relations issue involved."

Mishima took a long look at Yuriko, then nodded. "I'm afraid that we just don't really understand the lives of the rich and famous up here in our artistic enclave."

"It's not so much the rich," the blonde said seriously, "as the famous part that drives the train."

"I imagine so." Mishima graciously allowed the subject to drop. "Have you had a chance to see the rest of the house?" he asked. "When Midori returns, make sure that she takes you to the courtyard – I think it has a pleasing design." He guided Yuriko towards the side of the room, where a sideboard stood with the usual array of cocktail ingredients.

"I'm told that you designed the house and grounds," Yuriko took the opportunity presented to her. "From what I have seen, it's exceptional – you've integrated the house nicely with its surroundings"

"Are you interested in architecture?" Mishima's eyes lit with hope.

"I don't know much, sadly." Yuriko admitted, nodding with thanks at the drink Mishima handed her. She sipped at her wine, nodding again in appreciation. "I'm familiar with well-known designers, of course, like Ban Shigeru, but not much more than that."

"Well, let me bore you a bit, then, and you can act interested." Mishima downed his drink, poured another and was off on a detailed discussion of modern Japanese architecture, which was genuinely interesting, if overwhelming.

Midori rescued Yuriko after ten minutes or so. "You'll have all weekend to tell Yuri about what's wrong with modern building design later, Father. I'm going to take her to see the garden."

Mishima waved them off pleasantly and joined his wife in the middle of a heated discussion about Peking Duck.

"I'm sorry – was he terribly dull?" Midori asked, as she led Yuriko down a long hallway.

"Not at all!" Yuriko protested. "I had no idea that paper tubes could be used for roofing material."

Midori made a conciliatory noise. "After that, I won't ask you what you think of him."

"I think," Yuriko took Midori's arm in hers and stopped walking, forcing Midori to stop as well, "that you need to relax. So far I think your family is terrific. Your father was charming and friendly and frankly, that's more than I ever hoped."

Midori took a long look at her lover, then turned and walked quickly away. "Come on," she said, as her pace increased. Yuriko, still holding onto her arm, was dragged a few steps, then caught up.

They passed several doors on either side of the corridor, then the left opened up onto a small, yet elegantly designed, garden. Midori didn't stop, but turned at the corner and walked past the garden to one door among many in a darkened hallway. Sliding the door open Midori pushed Yuriko in, slid the door closed behind her, then fused her lips to the singer's; her hands pulling at her waistband and slipping underneath her shirt. Yuriko gasped as Midori stroked her, and again as teeth sank into her neck.

In the darkened room, Midori embraced Yuriko with a fierceness the singer recognized – this was as much about inexpressible emotion as it was about passion. Yuriko let Midori take control of her, until they were both spent.

In silence, the two women rearranged their clothing.

"You want to talk about it?" Yuriko asked mildly, tucking her blouse back into her pants.

"Nothing to talk about," Midori answered just as blandly. "I came out of the kitchen with Ritsuko and I watched you talking to my father," she leered up at her lover happily. "You looked so sexy I couldn't stand it."

"Well, your self-control is pretty remarkable – I thought this was more about the whole family thing."

Midori leaned forward to kiss Yuriko lightly on the lips. "No – you were completely right about that. I'll lighten up. Come on and I'll show you'll the garden."


They were lingering in the beautifully arranged courtyard, discussing the aesthetics when Hayao found them.

"There you are!" he exclaimed. "Aoi was looking for you. We're going out for karaoke."

Yuriko blinked. "I thought she was kidding when she said that."

"Oh no," Hayao laughed. "And we all *know* you can sing."