Title: Inspire Me
Author: Sayuri (email@example.com)
Title: Inspire Me
Type: AU, romance (Eiri x Shuichi)
Spoilers: Yuki Eiri's real name
Warnings: yaoi, language, au, student-teacher romance
Disclaimer: Gravitation does not belong to me, nor am I profiting from this work.
Archive: Sure! Just ask first, ok?
Author's notes: This is my first Gravi fanfic, and is AU. It will have approximately 6 parts, give or take. Thanks for all the positive feedback I've been receiving – always nice to get some validation! ^_^ I also appreciate your patience with me while I wrap up my other projects.
"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for falling in love." - Albert Einstein
Chapter One: The New Sensei
"Ne, Shuichi, are you just going to stand there all day? The bell's just rung." Nagano Hiiroshi stood with his arms folded against his chest, critically eying his best friend, Shindou Shuichi, who was engaged in a serious daydreaming session.
"Hn? Nani?" Shuichi lifted his head off his arms and looked over at his friend before letting it flop back down, his forehead making contact with the metal railing he was leaning against.
The pair stood atop the roof of their drab-looking high school watching over the railing as their classmates filed in the doors to begin a new week of classes. The pair were clad in identical black high-collar uniforms with a few exceptions: while Hiiro was impeccable, and ready for another day of rules and regulation, Shuichi's collar was sloppily undone, and he sported a dangly earring in his left ear. On top of that, his hair was bleached in streaks and dyed a deep shade of red, offsetting his purply eyes which were currently concealed behind a pair of rose-tinted sunglasses. His feet were encased in perilously high platform boots with a garish red-leopard pattern and wide black laces.
Hiiro shook his head hopelessly at Shuichi, attempting to conceal a smile. "Shuichi, if you don't get downstairs, they're going to whip out the search dogs. Come on."
"Don't wanna..." Shuichi continued to pout, his right arm outstretched and fingers chasing after a yellow butterfly which flittered in the breeze.
"Well, fine then! Don't go to school, don't graduate, don't get into a good college and become a respectable salaryman. Drop out, keep writing those sappy love songs, and wait for fame and fortune to fall out of the sky into your lap."
That got Shuichi's attention. He looked up at Hiiro, his eyes having gone all wide and watery, his nose starting to run. "Hiiro-kun! Don't be so mean!"
After blowing his nose, the boy composed himself and continued, on a more serious note. "You know that I'd never do that. I just...I just don't see why I can't do what _I_ want to, sometimes. I mean, all this math and literature - yuck! Why is there only one hour of music class every two days?"
Hiiro shook his head again and spoke with full sarcasm and a now definite hint of a smile."Ah, yes, the injustice inherent to the system."
"Soo desu, ne? See, I'm being repressed!!" Hiiro laughed at the dramatic face Shuichi made, knowing that he caught the reference. Shuichi could be so stubborn, sometimes, so determined not to fit into the molds that others made for him. It was actually one of his most endearing qualities, and the reason why Hiiro had originally been drawn to the outlandish youth back in primary school.
Giving up, Hiiro reached over, latched onto Shuichi's forearm, and drug him along the roof to the stairs and down toward their homeroom.
"Come on, baka, we're late. And if sensei gives us flak over it, you're taking all the blame, *Shu-chan.*"
Guiltily sneaking in ten minutes after the bell, Shuichi and Hiiro slunk across the classroom and took their seats in the back row, receiving dirty looks from the assistant principal, Tanaka-sensei, who was standing in front of the room with a man neither of them had seen before.
"As I was saying, class, before your classmates decided to grace us with their presence, this is your new homeroom teacher and Japanese literature sensei, Uesugi Eiri-san."
The new sensei surveyed the class before speaking, nodding first to Tanaka-sensei, then bowing politely to the class. "Hajimemashite, minna-san."
From the back row, Shuichi thought that there had never been a voice so perfectly suited to its body before. The tones were rich and smooth, the rhythm of the speech unaccented and flawless in its execution. As for Uesugi-sensei's looks, he was impressive enough to give rise to giggles from various females in the class, and with good reason. He was tall and blonde, with sharp gold eyes and a somewhat cool, business-like air about him. His navy suit was pressed neatly, and although he wore no tie, he looked very professional, and Shuichi groaned as he realized that this was undoubtedly the type of teacher who expected a lot from his students. And in literature, his worst subject!
As the various appraisals went on, the class neatly replied, "Hajimemashite, Uesugi-sensei."
Tanaka-sensei looked around the room once more before turning to Eiri and muttering under his breath, "Good luck, Uesugi-san. There are some real slackers in this class." With that, he turned and left the room.
Eiri stayed silent for a moment, ignoring the stares, scoffs, and giggles, and simply unpacked his briefcase, placing a single book on his desk. "I understand you have been reading Sosei Natsume's "Kokoro" with your temporary teacher. I will be continuing our study of this book until I am satisfied that you have mastered its intricacies."
The announcement was greeted with open moans from Shuichi and several others, who had practically jumped for joy when their previous teacher had abandoned their study of the volume, instead being content to allow the class to devote their time to "independent study," consisting mostly of gossiping and swapping mangas, and for Shuichi, writing song lyrics. Shuichi's head hit his desk as he realized that there was no way this new guy would let him pass in his "songs" for extra-credit.
"Yamashita-san, can you tell me what is the source of Sosei-sensei's increasing pessimism in 'Kokoro,' as compared with his earlier work, 'Wagahai wa neko de aru?' "
"I...I don't know, sensei." The girl stammered, a blush rising to her cheeks.
Slightly irritated, Eiri moved up the list to another name: "Okay...Kurozawa-san, how did Sosei-sensei illustrate the difficulties in searching for morality?"
The tough-looking boy had a cocky grin on his face and took pride in replying, "I don't know, sensei."
"Anybody?" The sensei's question was met with a nervous silence. Placing the class list back on his desk next to the novel, Eiri sat down at his desk, slight agitation clear on his face. "Did anyone here even _read_ the book? Or are you all too busy killing your brains with pop music and video games to study?"
After another few awkward moments, Eiri continued, his voice low and dripping with contempt. "This is your language, it's fundamental to all communication you undertake. How can you function as members of society if you can't grasp its richness? These aren't just some wishy-washy shoujo mangas we're reading here, it's art. Literature is language at it's most expressive, its deepest. If you aren't willing to look beyond your own small minds to encounter it, there is very little I can teach you."
In the back row, one student wasn't cowering like everyone else, in fear of the wrath of their new sensei, but rather, was leaning over his desk, as if pulled toward the angry man. Shuichi was spellbound by not the off-putting tone in the man's voice, but by the fierce blaze in his cool golden eyes. There was a passion there that Shuichi had only seen in one other place: on his own face, when he watched himself in the mirror performing one of his own songs, belting out into his hairbrush microphone and oblivious to the world outside his own rhythm.
As Shuichi watched his sensei, he knew that if there was beauty, it was in front of him, running a pale hand through silky light-brown hair and absentmindedly lighting up a cigarette at his desk.
Reaching inside his desk and pulling out a ratty notebook and a pen, Shuichi began to write furiously. He found his inspiration. Uesugi Eiri was going to be his new song.