Title- Less Than Hero

Disclaimer- I in no way claim ownership of Gravitation, and seek no profit from writing this.

Warnings- none.

~**~**~**~

There are times when Hiroshi Nakano feels less than heroic.

He's a good guy, and a great friend, but no Superman.

He can remember many times, especially in high school, where he came through with some sort of favor for Shuichi, usually helping him cheat in order to pass a test, and the boy would graciously thank him for 'saving the day' and then jokingly proclaim him 'My Hero.'

Hiro and Shuichi.

Shuichi and Hiro.

They shared an epic bond, a match that could be likened to that of any legendary friendship, easily able to be numbered among the greatest.

Like Frodo and Sam.

Or Tom and Huck.

Or even Ash and Pikachu

Since the day they met they were instantly best friends and damn near inseparable. The pair was often seen together, often getting in trouble. There was no stunt they wouldn't pull and soon they became an infamous duo.

They were always together; So much so, that Hiro can hardly remember a time when they thought of by others as separate individuals and not as a single entity.

It seemed to be Shuichi's job to get them into trouble.

And Hiro's duty was to get them out of it.

He didn't know exactly when he had taken on that responsibility but eventually he had come to think of himself as Shuichi's protector, his champion, his defender, his…

His hero.

Shuichi had an incredible way of affecting everyone around him. He seemed to draw in the whole universe around him. So lofty were his goals, and so focused was Shuichi on attaining them, that he often couldn't see the path to reach them.

But that was where Hiro came in.

One way or another, Hiro was always looking out for Shuichi. That was what allowed Shuichito reach even for the very stars: Hiro stayed on the ground to make sure he didn't stumble.

It was hardly surprising that his efforts were rarely noticed. But that didn't matter to Hiro; he was happy with his role as Shuichi's protector, he was happy being an unsung hero.

But someone has usurped his title.

Shuichi has someone else to protect him now.

And usually Hiro is fine with it. All he ever wanted out of this was for Shuichi to be happy, so usually he's glad for his friend.

But sometimes he's not.

Like now, when Shuichi has come, yet again, knocking on his door asking to stay the night. He wants to tell Shuichi no, he wants to ask Shuichi why he bothers, he wants to tell Shuichi to give up on Eiri Yuki.

But he doesn't.

He knows that whatever argument the couple got into this time will be long forgotten by morning.

He knows that despite that man's contrariness and apparently cold demeanor he really does care about Shuichi.

And he knows that he makes Shuichi happy.

All Hiro ever wanted was for Shuichi to be happy.

And whatever Shuichi wants he always chases wholeheartedly.

So Hiro can't help Shuichi this time, all he can do is support him to keep him from falling, and provide a safe place for him to land when he needs it.

"Come on in, Shu, you can crash on the couch."

Yes; there are times when Hiroshi Nakano feels less than heroic.

But, to Shuichi Shindou, he is never less than Hiro.

~**~**~**~

Thanks to my beta, lawless523, for keeping me from totally screwing up mine Engrish.

This turned out much different than my usual comedic fare, but I hope you all enjoyed it. My next fic will be a lot happier, but I hope you all can forgive me for experimenting with style. I really like Hiro, it's a shame he kind of fades into the background so much of the time. Maybe my short story can remind everyone what a wonderful character he truly is.

Enough blabbing. I hear it's good luck to leave a review; give it a try