To Be Or Not To Be Shuichi\'s Father

BY : chochowilliams
Category: Gravitation > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 692
Disclaimer: I do not own Gravitation or the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.


To Be Or Not To Be Shuichi’s Father


Witten by: Chochowilliams

Disclaimer: I do not own Gravitation or the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Summary: The man Shuichi calls Dad is not his biological father. That honor falls to a man who chose his career over his family. Now that man is dead.

Warning: slight-AU, mentioned OCs, Romance, Language, slight-Angst & Hurt/Comfort

Pairings: Shuichi/Eiri

Inserts: original poems: “The Wooing of My Intended”; “Naked Fairies”

A/N: I’m slowly working on a fairly long one-shot called, “The Boy With the Pink Hair”. I’m not sure when it’ll be out, but be sure to look for it. Till then, enjoy this short one-shot!






To Be Or Not To Be Shuichi’s Father


The possibility makes my heart a flutter

And gives me hope

It hasn’t been for naught.

Until the day it proves to be,

The wooing of intended continues.


An insistent buzzing sound drew Eiri’s attention away from his student’s poem.


Several years ago, an acquaintance of his who taught at a local university was forced to take a leave of absence for a semester a day before classes were scheduled to begin.  Instead of canceling her classes, she asked Eiri to take over her classes for her for that semester.  With a little encouragement from Shuichi, Eiri reluctantly agreed.  Among the classes were a couple creative writing courses.  One of which was a poetry class.  One semester turned into two, which turned into three and here he was five years into his professorship.


Peering over the top of the paper, he glanced at the vibrating cellphone on the kitchen counter.  The cellphone was in the midst of attempting a suicidal plunge into the kitchen sink.  Setting the paper down, Eiri took a sip of his tea.  Setting the cup into the matching saucer, he glanced back at the cellphone that was still on a direct course towards the kitchen sink.  A glance at the kitchen island showed him his husband who had his face glued to the screen of his laptop, oblivious to the disaster about to occur.  Sitting back, Eiri stretched his legs out and folded his arms behind his head.


“You know what happens when a phone is dropped into soapy dish water?” Eiri asked aloud.


A distracted Shuichi answered back with, “Hm?”


Eiri rolled his eyes.  Shuichi recently discovered Yoville and was obsessed with it.  “The same thing that is going to happen to your cellphone is, oh, about five seconds.”


“Huh?”  Shuichi glanced from his laptop.


Eiri jerked his chin behind the singer.


Shuichi half turned and crying out, jumped forward to save his cellphone from a horrible death.  Breathing a sigh of relief, he hugged the device to his chest.


“Idiot,” Eiri muttered as he turned back to the poem.  Picking up his red crayon pencil, he made a mark at the top of the paper and then scribbled a couple comments at the bottom.  Then he set both the paper and the pencil aside and reached for another poem.


There used to be a breeze

Swimming through the trees

And it sang a song-


“Are you going to answer the phone or do you just like holding vibrating objects?” he asked as his eyes skimmed over the rest of the short poem.


Blushing fiercely, Shuichi turned his back on Eiri and turned to the phone which continued to vibrate in his hand.  His eyes lit up at the familiar name on the screen.  “Hey, Ma.”


“Hey sweetie.  I have some bad news,” came his mother’s voice in his ear.


Shuichi frowned.  It sounded as if his mother had been crying.  Dread set it immediately.  “What’s wrong?  What happened?” he demanded.


Eiri eyed his husband over the top of the paper.


There was a sniffle and then, “Your father passed away.”


Shuichi stopped breathing for a short span as his mind tried to absorb the news.


“They-they said,” his mother stuttered as she sobbed quietly, “he-that he-that he was-that when he was called to the scene of a domestic disturbance-”


What his mother was saying finally penetrated the thick wall of white noise.  “Wait.  What?”


“You father…he was shot when-”


Violet eyes narrowed.  “You mean Yusuke was shot and killed while in the line of duty.”


Eiri frowned.  Yusuke?  Who the hell was that?


“I mean your father.”


Shuichi uttered a noise that Eiri couldn’t quite make out.  It sounded as if Shuichi had scoffed and snorted at the same time.  “That man never was and never will have the honor of being known as my father.  He lost that honor a long time ago.”


“Shu,” his mother whispered thickly.  “Don’t do this.  Not today.”


“Why the hell not?  Just because the bastard’s dead doesn’t mean all the crap he put us through is suddenly forgiven.”


There was a tired sounding sigh.  Then, “I know he wasn’t the best father, but can’t you-?”


“No.”  With that said, Shuichi ended the call and tossed his phone onto the counter.  He glared at it as if it was its fault he was suddenly in a foul mood, then dropped his face into his hands and growled.


Eiri cocked an eyebrow.  “Mind telling me what was that was about?  And if you say nothing,” Eiri continued, “I will smack you into next week.”


Shuichi’s mouth, which had been open to say just that, closed with an audible snap.


“Shu,” Eiri called out to the singer.


Hearing the warning in his husband’s voice, Shuichi had no other option but to comply.  Sighing, he dropped his arms.  He hated it when he and his mother fought, but it was inevitable when the subject of Yusuke Shindo was brought up.  Even after all of these years, his mother was still in love with the man.


Resting his elbows on the marble surface of the island, Shuichi dropped his face in his hands.  He wondered if Eiri was going to be mad that he had kept this from him.


“Who is Yusuke?” Eiri asked.


He sounded closer.  Lifting his head, Shuichi saw that Eiri was indeed closer.  In fact, the writer turned professor was sitting on one of the stools opposite him.  He hadn’t heard him cross the room.  “Yusuke Shindo is…my father,” Shuichi found himself saying.


Eiri cocked an eyebrow.  “Excuse me?”


Straightening, Shuichi rounded the free standing kitchen counter and slid into the stool besides Eiri.  “Naoya Shindou-”  No relation.  -is not my biological father.  He‘s my stepfather.”


Technically, that was the truth, but it wasn’t a completely accurate description of the only real father he has ever known.  It may not be Naoya Shindou’s blood running through his veins or his DNA Shuichi would pass along when he and Eiri decided to start a family of their own, but Naoya Shindou was his father for all intents and purposes.  This was the man who raised him and took care of him.  Naoya Shindou was the man who was there when he scraped a knee.  It was Naoya Shindou who was cheering as he was blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.  Naoya Shindou was the one to drive him to his piano lessons.  Naoya Shindou bought him his first unused synthesizer.  Naoya Shindou bought him his first computer -- with appropriate music programs for the budding musician.  Naoya Shindou was the one who showed up at his junior high and high school graduations.  The one who showed up at Shuichi’s concerts was Naoya Shindou even though the man was more of a Mozart type of guy.  It was Naoya Shindou who had given him away at his wedding.  It was also Naoya Shindou’s name he took.


“Naoya Shindou is not your biological father.”


Shuichi shook his head.


Eiri was not too happy that he was just learning something this monumental about the man he has been with for over a decade.  “Why haven’t you ever told me this before?”


Shuichi shrugged.  “Don’t think about it.  I mean, I don’t think of him as my stepfather.  He’s just…Dad.  Ya know?  He’s the only father I’ve ever known, even when he was just dating my mother.  He tried to adopt me you know, but Yusuke refused to give up his parental rights.”  He snorted.  “Ironic seeing as he was never around to be a father.”


Eiri was surprised by the bitterness he heard in Shuichi’s voice.  Not even when referring to Aizawa had Shuichi sounded this hostile.


“Honesty, this is the first time I’ve thought about Yusuke in…years actually.”


Not having anything to say to that, Eiri said, “You said something about him being shot and killed in the line of duty.  Is he a cop?”


Shuichi nodded.  “For forty years.”


Eiri was impressed.


“Ya know…Yusuke was never around when I was growing up.”  Shuichi gazed out the window over the sink at the inky black sky where stars sparkled and pulsated.  “Even when he was there he wasn’t really there.”


It was Yusuke Shindo’s blood that ran through his veins and whose DNA he would, unfortunately, be passing on to his children, but it took more than getting your wife or girlfriend pregnant to make a man a father.  Yusuke Shindo was never there to comfort him when he scrapped a knee or had a nightmare.  When he started questioning his sexuality, it wasn’t Yusuke Shindo who assured him that he would always be his son no matter what type of genitalia his partner had.  Yusuke Shindo never volunteered to drive him and Hiro to their gigs.  Yusuke Shindo was never there for family get-togethers or family vacations.  He received nothing more than a hurried belated voice mail from Yusuke Shindo when he graduated from junior high and high school.  Yusuke Shindo hadn’t even showed up at his wedding.


“It was why my mother eventually divorced him.  I was…eight maybe?  I heard her and Yusuke arguing one night,” Shuichi continued.  “She said it was like being married to a ghost.  Yusuke said that wasn’t fair.  She said it was a fair assessment because he wasn’t there.  He had become nothing more than a faded memory, a picture on the wall, a ring on her finger.”  He laughed.  It was a harsh sound.  “I remember when I was little; I used to be so proud of the fact that my father was a cop.  He was like a superhero.  A real life Batman.”


Eiri smiled at the way Shuichi’s face lit up.


“So even though I didn’t like that he was never around, I understood.  He was out catching the bad guys.  He was helping people.  But then…”  As if a switch had been flicked, Shuichi’s expression fell.  He stared down at his folded hands.  “It got to the point where I didn’t recognize him anymore.  He was just this guy who showed up from time to time.  After they divorced, my father was granted every other weekend and one night during the week, but…He’d stand me up again and again or he’d cancel at the last minute.  Those few times when we actually did get together and he wasn’t distracted by whatever case he was working on, he’d always get a call and there went our weekend.  Even after he swore up and down that he was supposed to be off that weekend.  It was always, ’If it weren’t an emergency, you know I’d never go in right?’  He’d promise he’d make it up to me.  Always.  And you know what?  He never did.  Ever.  Then my mother started dating Naoya and he…”


“Became what Yusuke refused to be.”


Shuichi nodded.  “Yusuke was a good cop, but as a father…It was clear his job was more important to him than his family.  He would become obsessed with a case and nothing else mattered.  Then one day, he just stopped coming by, stopped calling.  Just…stopped.”


Eiri draped an arm around his husband’s shoulders and pulled him against his side.  “Sorry,” he whispered into Shuichi’s soft raven locks right before he planted a kiss on the side of Shuichi’s head.


Shuichi shrugged.  He couldn’t say, “It’s okay,” because it wasn’t okay.  It still hurt when he thought about That Man from time to time; the man who should have been his father, but hadn’t been.  What would have been different had That Man considered his family more important than his job?


“I was eleven when my mother and Naoya married,” he said.  “You know that was when I started using his name?”  At first, he’d taken Naoya’s name in order to gain attention from Yusuke who, at that point, he hadn’t seen or heard from in nearly six months.  Unfortunately, it gained the attention of everybody but That Man.


“What’d Yusuke have to say about that?”


Shuichi shrugged.  “Who knows?”  Seeing the look on his husband’s face, he explained, “He never said anything to me and if he said anything to my mother or Naoya, they never said anything to me about it.  They actually tried to talk me out of dropping ‘my father’s name’, but I stubbornly refused.  I said if ‘my father’ wanted me to keep his name than he’d better start acting like my father and come tell me himself.  He never did.  Ever.  Not even when I made it official after I graduated from high school or when Bad Luck started making headlines.”


With a mischievous twinkle in his golden hazel eyes, Eiri chuckled, “Don’t you mean when you started making headlines?”


Shuichi blushed.


To most people, the difference between S-h-i-n-d-o and S-h-i-n-d-o-u was insignificant.  Anybody researching their family genealogy knew there were various spellings of any given family name, sometimes within the same record.  What was the difference between a “U” at the end or not?  To Shuichi it was a big deal.  S-h-i-n-d-o-u was the name of the father he had chosen.


A peaceful lull enveloped them.


Leaning his head on Eiri’s shoulder, Shuichi closed his eyes and enjoyed the feeling of being in the arms of the man he loved.


After several minutes, he spoke up.  “You know, I think I will go to his funeral.”




“Yeah.  Just to tell him that I grew up just fine without him.”


“Yes you did,” Eiri agreed tightening his grip around Shuichi.






A/N: If you want to read the full poems featured in the story, go to my profile.  They’ll be at the bottom.

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