Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko
The Story So Far: Yuriko has survived her first meeting with Midori's family. It was
overwhelming, but not unpleasant. She's more than glad for a few hours of rest right now.
Volume 2, Issue 7
"Truth or Dare"
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhh." Yuriko luxuriated in the feeling of sheets against her back
and a warm blanket over her toes. "This is nice." She smiled happily as Midori
finished her preparations for bed. "This was really your bedroom when you lived
here?" Yuriko craned her head around, taking in the tasteful decorations of a
decidedly adult nature. No posters, no bookshelves of magazines or romance novels, nothing to indicate that a
young girl had once lived here.
"Yes, but they redecorated when I moved out." Midori slipped into the bed
next to Yuriko with a contented noise. "I wasn't quite so delicate in my choice of
color, for one thing."
"Yeah?" Yuriko rolled over and looked down at her lover with a smile.
"What did you have your room decorated with? Posters of pop stars? No, wait, you'd
never have done that...pictures of famous writers. I'm close aren't I?"
Midori snuggled close to Yuriko. "Not even a little. I'll tell you what, if you
can guess what I was into in high school and no asking my family, that would be
cheating we'll do something special, my treat, when we get back to town."
"Mmm, something special?" Yuriko waggled her eyebrows suggestively,
"Okay." she laid back, her arms behind her head. She grinned. "I know
you were into Takarazuka."
"Not anime?" She couldn't keep the distaste out of her voice.
"Not anime," Midori reassured her. "I read manga, but everybody does
"You're forgiven." Despite having had a few roles as voice actress, Yuriko
could never understand what appeal people saw in animation. Life outside the TV was always
more interesting than what was on it.
"Did you really want to be a writer?" Midori asked suddenly, running her
fingers through the blonde's forelock.
"Well, as much as anyone wants to be anything when they're a kid." Yuriko
closed her eyes. "I wanted to write, I wanted to hole myself up in an ivory tower and
labor in obscurity for the whole of my unknown, tragic life and become famous years after
my death when my writing was discovered."
"You wanted to be Thomas Chatterton?" Midori asked, laughing. "How
gothic of you I had no idea." She grinned at the thought of Yuriko, pale and
sickly, surrounded by her undiscovered writings.
"What did you want to be when you grew up?" Yuriko wondered out loud.
"I wanted to be a teacher." Midori curled the blonde hair around her fingers
and tickled Yuriko's nose with the ends until she made a face.
"Why didn't you? You could have done that, right?"
"I didn't have the patience. Then I thought I wanted to be a wife, but I wasn't
very good at that either." Her voice was soft as she thought back to her short and
"I disagree," Yuriko said earnestly, leaning over the writer and tickling her
nose with the ends of her hair. "I think you're a great wife."
Midori laughed and brushed her away. "That's because we haven't lived together
"But I'm looking forward to trying," Yuriko insisted.
They gazed at each other for a long time, smiling. Yuriko rolled onto her back and they
lay quietly, side-by-side, hands clasped under the blanket.
"You haven't told me what you think of my family yet," Midori whispered
"I think they're great!" Yuriko was emphatic. "They've been so welcoming
and they're all really interesting. Aoi-san knows a tremendous amount about art
she was telling me about the collection at the local museum. And," Yuriko gave
a soft yelp of laughter, "that Misono-chan, she's something else. Not an ethical bone in her body, is there?"
Midori laughed. "Not a one. And she's too smart by half. I've got my bid in for
her to take over the family business. I hope so she'll be a spectacular
"The rest, well, I barely got a chance to talk to anyone for more than a few
minutes, but everyone seems nice." She looked thoughtful for a moment, then said,
"Everyone seems so...okay with us. I can't say I'm not relieved, but it seems, I
"I understand what you mean, but you know, you're infamous, and they already know
"And you were brought up in a family with genuine class." Yuriko stated
firmly. "How did they react when they found out..." she stopped for a moment.
"How *did* you find out, I mean, who was your first love?"
The writer sat up in bed. "I don't want to say." Her voice was pained.
"Hey are you blushing?" Yuriko laughed as color obviously crept across
her lover's face and neck.
"No, it's just that it was a terrible cliché'."
"Oh no!" Yuriko cried. "You didn't fall in love with your best
"Worse, "Midori admitted, hiding her face in her hands. "My gym
They laughed together at the thought of Midori having been so stereotypical. Then Yuriko
"Eww, I just thought of my gym teachers they were horrifying." She
grinned. "Rumor had it that they were lovers, of course two bitter, shriveled
old women who lived together." She shrugged. "They might have been lovers at
"How about you?" Midori was laying back once again. She rolled over to face
Yuriko, laying cold feet on warm legs.
Yuriko made a face, but bore the sensation bravely. "Why is it that really
feminine women *always* have cold feet?" she asked of no one in particular.
"What about me?"
"Who was your first love?"
Yuriko cast her mind back, a nostalgic smile on her face. "Her name was Junko. We
both wrote poetry, you see, and we would write poems and share them with each other. We
were great mutual admirers of each other's work. I guess," she smiled again at her
memories. "I guess it's natural that we wrote some love poems and the mood got contagious."
"Was it a good thing?" Midori asked, intensely interested in the answer.
"Yes, it really was, now that I look back on it, but it wasn't at the time. I, we,
were horribly worried that we'd be found out. She broke under the pressure. Eventually, I
fell in love with another girl and it all went to hell."
Midori was quiet for a long time. When she spoke, her voice was soft, thoughtful.
"Mine was awful. I would shake every time the woman was in the room with me, which
was nearly every day. I couldn't look at her; I was so sure that my thoughts were visible.
I'd lay there at night, half of me wanting to tell her, touch her, do something, anything,
and the other half telling me that it was a stupid crush and it didn't mean anything,"
The writer shook her head. "It's the one thing I wish I could go back and fix. Tell
my younger self that it would be all right." She sighed heavily. "That was
partly why I married so young. Akira was so sweet and kind and I really thought I loved
"Ah." Yuriko said with comprehension. "Sometimes I think that we should
be allowed to send one message to our younger selves, just so we don't regret the
decisions we make."
Midori looked into the singer's eyes. "Do you regret any decisions you've
Yuriko pushed the hair away from her eyes, then brushed her hand along the writer's
cheek. "Not recently," she said. "You?"
"Not ever." Midori leaned forward for a long kiss.
Saiyuu no Ryokou, all characters and situations, copyright E. Friedman.