Summary: This is an AU fic. High school senior Eiri Yuki is dating high school sophomore Shuichi Shindou's older sister Maiko, but it turns out he is more interested in Shuichi than his sister, when the two boys embark on a secret affair that threatens to tear the Shindou household apart.
Disclaimer: This is an original work of fiction, but the characters of Shuichi Shindou, Eiri Yuki, Hiroshi Nakano, Tohma Seguchi and Maiko Shindou are borrowed from the Gravitation manga and TV series by the illustrious Maki Murakami.
Warning: This story contains strong sexual content of a homosexual nature.
Chapter 1: Music Man
"God!" Shuichi Shindou exclaimed dramatically. "Will this day never end?!" He flung his head back and draped his arm across his forehead for emphasis. "I swear time passes more slowly when we are in class."
His best friend, Hiroshi Nakano, watched him with open amusement. "You're such a drama queen, Shuichi. Look at the clock. School will be over in ten minutes."
"A veritable lifetime," Shuichi groaned. "I have this song in my head and if I don't record it soon, I may forget the melody. The greatest song ever composed may be lost because I'm stuck here. This is so wrong!"
"Well, if you hadn't been caught composing in class three days in a row, you would not have been forbidden to bring your keyboard to school."
Shuichi leaned forward and pointed at Hiro. "A true artist heeds the muse when she calls. My talents are wasted here."
"Well, that's probably true," Hiro agreed. "Your brains aren't getting much of a workout either."
"You are nearly at the bottom of the class."
"That's only because I was sick the day of the last placement test," Shuichi declared. "Just wait. I'll move way up in the rankings after the next test."
"Which is next week."
"Next week?! You're kidding? It can't be next week! I haven't been studying! I'm not ready!" Shuichi waved his hands in panic and his voice got so loud their teacher frowned at him.
"Shush!" Hiro admonished him. "We're supposed to be studying quietly, remember?"
"Dammit!" Shuichi dropped his head on his desk. "Now I've forgotten the melody AND I'm going to fail the test next week. This sucks!"
"Maybe you should concentrate on studying for a while."
"A man should not have to choose between his passion and graduating from high school," Shuichi grumbled. He rolled his head to the side and glared at Hiro. "I haven't noticed you giving up the guitar."
Hiro grinned sweetly. "That's because I can play the guitar and study at the same time." He leaned forward and poked Shuichi on the nose. "You, on the other hand, get so lost in your music when you're composing that you don't think about anything else at all, including eating, bathing and sleeping."
"I don't need that other stuff when I'm making music."
"I'm not sure your mom and Maiko would agree with that. Didn't they drag you outside the other day and hose you off in the garden because you smelled?"
Shuichi sat up indignantly. "I did not smell! I had bathed just two or three days before!"
"That's not what I heard. I seem to recall Maiko grumbling something about two or three weeks."
"She's lying!" Shuichi glared angrily at Hiro. "Anyway, it's not like I forget to change my underwear."
"Most of the time," Hiro murmured.
The bell rang to end the period and Shuichi leaped to his feet with a shout of joy. "Finally!" The other students dissolved into giggles when their teacher rose to his feet to glare at Shuichi, who was the only student standing. Shuichi turned beet red and sank back into his seat.
"Now that I have Mr. Shindou's attention," Mr. Hanodi, their homeroom teacher, said acidly, "I'll make the final announcements." He picked up a paper from his desk. "Don't forget to copy the homework assignments for the weekend from the board. Your English papers are due on Monday. Placement testing will be conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please study hard and be prepared. That's all." He put the paper down and glared at Shuichi. "Mr. Shindou will remain after class. The rest of you are dismissed."
Hiro whispered to Shuichi as he leaned over to pick up his backpack. "I'll wait for you by the front gate."
Shuichi watched the other students crowding out of the room, chattering happily about their plans for the weekend, and sank even lower in his seat. Mr. Hanodi glared at him steadily from behind his desk. When the last student was gone, Mr. Hanodi leaned forward with his hands folded in front of him.
"Shindou, I am disappointed with your classroom performance."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Hanodi." Shuichi sat up straight and tried to look sincere.
"If your test scores sink any lower, Shindou, you might be in danger of retention. I'm sure that would be a terrible blow to your parents, after your sister's outstanding career at this school. She's one of the top five students in the senior class. She is assured of placing into a top university. You, on the other hand, are in danger of failing high school."
Shuichi dropped his eyes. He hated it when people brought up his sister. He loved Maiko dearly, but always being compared to her was starting to get on his nerves.
"You have nothing to say for yourself?" Mr. Hanodi continued.
"I'll try harder, Sir," Shuichi grated out. "I'll study hard this weekend for the placement test."
"Good. And don't forget to complete your English paper. The last one made me think you were studying Latin, not English."
"You are dismissed."
Shuichi managed to not start running until he was out in the hall, where he ignored the hall monitor who immediately ordered him to stop running. He raced out to the front gate, where Hiro was waiting surrounded by a group of adoring female students, including a few junior and senior girls. Shuichi barged his way through them and grabbed Hiro's arm.
"Come on, let's go!"
"Hey!" one girl cried. "Don't be so rude!"
"Yeah! We were talking to Hiro!"
"You can talk to him on Monday!" Shuichi growled. "We have more important things to do!"
"You can't talk to us like that!"
"That's right! We're important, too, you know!"
"Yeah, sure, I'm sorry! Excuse us!" Shuichi dragged Hiro away, ignoring the insults hurled after him by the angry girls. "Geez! What are you, honey? Girls are always buzzing around you."
"I happen to like girls."
"So do I, but right now we have to get home and play. I remembered that melody, and there's a part that's just perfect for guitar so I need you to come listen."
"Can't you just compose it and play it for me later?"
"No, no, no! You have to listen right now!"
"All right, stop tugging on my arm. I'll come home with you." But Hiro was clearly in no hurry. He waved at people and stopped to exchange greetings several times, while Shuichi stood to one side, fuming.
"Do you have to talk to every single person we pass?" Shuichi complained.
"I'm just talking to a few friends," Hiro said with an urbane smile. "I know a lot of people, that's all."
"I know a lot of people, too," Shuichi grumbled, "but you don't see me stopping to talk to each and every one."
"Quit complaining. Your house is on the next block."
But when they turned the corner, a crowd of girls blocked the sidewalk.
"Oh, look!" A girl pointed at the two boys. "It's Maiko's brother. I think his name is Shuichi."
The girls crowded around them and for once Shuichi was the center of their attention and not Hiro.
"Shindou-san," the same girl addressed him. "Is it true that your sister is now dating Eiri Yuki?"
"How would I know?" Shuichi exclaimed. He stared around at the excited crowd of females in faint alarm.
"But she's your sister!" someone else exclaimed. "Has Eiri Yuki been to your house?"
"I don't know. I don't think so." Shuichi threw a panicked look at Hiro. Hiro's amused grin did nothing to alleviate his alarm.
"Girls," Hiro said, "it's just a rumor about Shindou-kun's sister and Eiri Yuki-san, but if it's true, I will be the first to tell you."
"Promise?" they squealed. They all stared at him with wide eyes, their hands clasped excitedly in front of their faces.
"I promise," he assured them gravely.
"Thank you! Thank you so much, Nakano-san!"
The girls hurried away, chattering excitedly among themselves. Shuichi stared after them in round-eyed astonishment.
"What the hell was that about?" he demanded of Hiro as soon as the girls were out of earshot.
"Don't you pay attention to anything?" Hiro laughed. "The rumor about your sister and Eiri Yuki started this morning."
"Who the hell is Eiri Yuki?"
"Man, you are so totally out of touch! Eiri Yuki is the hottest guy in school. He's editor of the school newspaper and writes most of the articles. He's even had a few short stories published in periodicals. All the girls are totally hot for him." Hiro flicked his long hair back over his shoulder and grinned. "Except for the ones who are hot for me."
Shuichi just stared.
"You've probably seen him. He's got light hair and eyes and he's really handsome. He's kind of aloof, but the girls all go for him anyway."
Shuichi continued to stare blankly.
Hiro laughed. "I give up! He's not a keyboard or sheet music, so I guess you wouldn't have any clue who he is. Come on. There's your house."
Shuichi quickly forgot all about Eiri Yuki and his sister as soon as he had his keyboard in front of him and he could finally start playing the melody that had been filling his head all day. Hiro lay on Shuichi's bed with his arms folded behind his head and his eyes closed. He slowly moved one foot in time to the music.
Shuichi finished playing and looked at Hiro. "Well? What did you think?"
"It's nice, but a little rough."
"What did you expect? That's the first time I've ever played it."
Hiro rolled onto his side and propped his head on one hand. "It has potential. You should keep working on it and write some lyrics to go with it."
"Lyrics?" Shuichi frowned thoughtfully. "Yeah, I guess I could do that. What kind of lyrics, though?"
"It sounds kind of like a love song to me."
"You think so? I was thinking more like a break-up song."
"That's still a love song."
"I guess." Shuichi slid his fingers over the keyboard, teasing out a light riff. "Well, you heard the guitar piece, right?"
"Yeah. That needs work too."
"Ok! Ok! I get it. I'll tighten it up and put in the other parts before I make you listen to it again."
"Good." Hiro rolled off the bed. "I'm going home. I want to finish my English paper tonight so I have the whole weekend to study."
"You're almost done with your paper?" Shuichi groaned. "I haven't even started mine. I don't even know what to write about."
"Write about writing music. It's the one thing you really know, so all you need to do is figure out how to say it in English."
"It's not that easy. It'll take me all weekend to write the paper and then I won't have time to study." Shuichi buried his face in his hands. "I'll fail the placement test and Mr. Hanodi said they'd keep me back next year if I don't do well."
Hiro squeezed Shuichi's shoulder. "Don't freak out, Shuichi. I'll come over tomorrow and help you with your paper and then we'll study together. Ok?"
Shuichi grinned up at him. "Thanks, Hiro! You're the best!"
"I know." Hiro tousled Shuichi's hair and started to leave, but then he stopped in the doorway. "Do your homework tonight. I want it done before I get here tomorrow."
"But the song…"
Hiro shook a finger at him. "I mean it."
Shuichi's shoulders slumped. "Fine. I'll do my homework."
"Good. See you tomorrow."
"Good night, Hiro."
At dinner that night, Mrs. Shindou was very excited. "Maiko has a date tonight, Shuichi, so you'll have to help me with dinner."
"But I have homework! Why can't Maiko help before she leaves?"
"Because she has to get ready for her date!" Mrs. Shindou exclaimed in exasperation. "The young man she's going out with comes from a very prominent family. It's important for her to make a good impression."
"So who is he?"
"His name is Eiri Yuki. You should know him; he goes to your school."
"Eiri Yuki?" Shuichi scratched his head in surprise. "So she really is dating him."
His mother held out an apron. "Here, put this on before you chop the tomatoes. You always spatter."
Shuichi put the apron on without thinking and knelt down to start chopping.
Maiko swept into the room. "Mother, how do I look? This dress isn't too short, is it? I don't want to look like a tart."
"You look lovely, dear," Mrs. Shindou said. "I've always liked how that dress looks on you. The color suits you perfectly. Don't you think so, Shuichi?"
"Huh?" Shuichi looked up. "Oh, yeah, you look great Maiko."
"Thanks, Shuichi." Maiko beamed at him. "We're going to dinner and a movie. I hope I don't make a fool of myself. Yuki-san is taking me to a French restaurant. My French is so rusty! I don't know if I'll be able to order."
Shuichi stared. "Do you have to order in French just because it's a French restaurant?"
"Well, no, but it makes you sound more sophisticated. I want to impress Eiri Yuki." Maiko clasped her hands together and smiled dreamily. "A lot of girls have gone out with him once, but he almost never asks the same girl out twice. I want to be the one he asks out more than once." She twirled around lightly on one foot. "I have to go finish putting on my makeup." She dashed back upstairs.
"All that for just a date," Shuichi muttered.
"It's important to your sister, so be nice."
The doorbell rang.
"I'll get it." Shuichi hopped to his feet and trotted to the front door. He opened it to find a handsome young man with light brown, almost blond, hair and hazel eyes waiting outside. Shuichi stared in surprise. Eiri Yuki was considerably more handsome than he had expected. He was also quite tall. He looked down at Shuichi with a faintly amused expression.
"Hello. I'm Eiri Yuki. I'm here to take Maiko out to dinner." He looked Shuichi up and down. "Nice ensemble."
Shuichi looked down at his tomato-spattered apron and flushed. "I'm helping with dinner," he mumbled, his cheeks growing even redder as Yuki continued to smile at him with an amused, slightly condescending air. Shuichi opened the door wider and stepped to the side. "Please come in; you're expected."
"Thank you." Yuki walked past him into the front hall. He exuded confidence and self-control as he moved past Shuichi and Shuichi suddenly felt short, clumsy and unsure of himself.
"Um, if you'll wait a moment, I'll tell Maiko you're here."
Shuichi hurried up the stairs to Maiko's room. The door was open, so he just walked in. Maiko was seated at her little dressing table, putting the finishing touches on her makeup.
"Maiko, Eiri Yuki is here."
"Already?" She leaned forward to finish applying a delicate layer of powder to her throat. "There, I think that's enough." She turned to Shuichi. "Do you really think I look all right?"
Shuichi smiled. "You look great, Sis. He's lucky to be going out with you."
"Thanks, Shuichi!" Maiko gave him a nervous smile. "I just hope he likes me. I've wanted to go out with him for a long time. I never thought he'd ask me."
"Just be yourself, like Mom always says. You're a great girl, Maiko-chan."
Maiko hugged him quickly. "And you're a great brother!" She grabbed her sweater, took a deep breath and then walked sedately down the stairs. Shuichi watched her from the top of the staircase.
"Hello Yuki-san, I'm sorry to keep you waiting."
"Not at all; I've only just arrived." He took her sweater from her hand. "It's a little cool out. You should put this on." He held the sweater for her while Maiko slipped her arms into the sleeves.
Yuki opened the door for her and followed Maiko out. Shuichi came downstairs to find his mother watching from the kitchen doorway.
"What a gentleman!" she exclaimed to Shuichi. "I hope this works out for Maiko."
"What does she need a boyfriend for? I thought she was going to university."
"There's nothing wrong with a girl having a career and a family in these modern times," Mrs. Shindou said. She returned to preparing dinner. "And besides, maybe she'll decide she'd rather have a family. One never knows these days. Girls have more choices than they did when I was young." She pointed at the cutting board. "Get back to those tomatoes, please."
"Yes ma'am." Shuichi knelt back down and resumed chopping.