Viktor and Yuuri were as different as day and night. Viktor was friendly and warm, Yuuri was distant and cold. Viktor was bold and expressive, Yuuri was timid and nervous. Viktor was immature and childish, Yuuri was sensible and responsible. Viktor was rash and careless, Yuuri was rational and levelheaded.
But the most striking of their differences was that Viktor was a morning person, and Yuuri simply wasn’t.
“Yuuri! Rise and shine, my sleeping beauty!” Viktor greeted his fiancé cheerfully.
Viktor heard groans from underneath the covers. His fiancé pulled over the blanket tightly.
Viktor paid no mind to the protests. He snuggled up to his love and kissed him on the lips. “Oh, Yuuri~”
Yuuri was flat-out ignoring him.
Viktor made a tsk sound. He looked around, and spotted Makkachin in his dog bed at the corner of the bedroom, recently moved from the living room. Viktor scooped up Makkachin and placed him on the bed. The affectionate poodle started licking all over Yuuri’s face.
Yuuri squirmed around, but made no attempt to get out of bed.
Viktor was starting to get a little impatient. Hmmm, what would be the best way to wake him up? He thought about it for a little while, and thought of a common way how most people decide to wake others up. He quickly rose and ran to the bathroom. He filled a small cup with water, which was surely cold from the December air. He went back, and poured the freezing water over Yuuri.
It had no effect whatsoever.
Viktor was about to tear his hair out from frustration if it weren’t for the fact he wanted as much hair on his head as possible, thank you very much. Wasn’t there any other way…
An idea popped into his head.
Viktor walked to the kitchen, still holding the cup he had used earlier. This time, he started heating up water for his morning coffee. However, when he was done, instead of pouring it straight into his coffee mug, he poured into the bathroom cup until it was full. He walked back to the bedroom, and poured the boiling hot liquid over his love.
Yuuri was up and about in five seconds, screaming in confusion.
“Yay! It worked!” Viktor hugged his dripping fiancé with a huge heart-shaped grin on his mouth.
“V- Viktor,” Yuuri stuttered, “why in the world did you pour boiling hot liquid all over me?”
“Because you were asleep, Yuuri, and nothing I was doing was waking you up!”
“But you know that pouring boiling water on others is dangerous! You could’ve burned me!”
The grin on Viktor’s face started to fall. “Wait, really?”
Yuuri sighed. “Yes, Viktor. People can get seriously burned by boiling water. It’s 100 degrees Celsius. Normal body temperature is 36 degrees. I understand what you were trying to do, but please, don’t ever do that again, even with other people.”
“Oh.” Viktor shuffled restlessly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. But,” he started in a defensive tone, “you know how important today is! It’s not just your first day in St. Petersburg – not including yesterday because all we did was unpack stuff – we’re going to meet everyone at my old skating rink! I know you’re vaguely acquainted with all of them, but it’s a good way to start the New Year if we have friends before it even begins! Besides, we’ll get to see Yurio!”
Yuuri scratched his head with a patient look on his face. “Okay. I get it; I promise I’ll get up early – or at least be easier to wake up – when it’s an important day. But please, never use boiling water. Okay?"
“Deal! Now hurry up, Yuuri!”
Thankfully, the skating rink was just a ten-minute walk away from the apartment. They had a short breakfast at a nearby bakery, before quickly entering the skating rink.
Not surprisingly since it was relatively early in the morning, very few people were there, but they were all competitive skaters and coaches that Viktor was sure Yuuri could recognize. Majority of his former rinkmates appeared to be there, including Mila and Georgi. Viktor couldn’t see Yurio at the moment, but since Yakov was there, he was certain that Yurio was just nearby. Yakov and Lilia were discussing something with the other coaches, probably about the upcoming competitions after the Grand Prix, as well as the new arrangements with him and Yuuri here.
“Good morning, everyone!” Viktor cheerfully greeted the mostly empty building. “It’s great to be back here with all of you!”
“Well, well, well, welcome back, little Mister Love-struck,” commented Mila. “I knew you were the biggest drama queen out of all of us, but I never thought I’d get to see the day that Georgi’s affairs seemed reasonable.”
“Hey!” Georgi pouted at her. “How dare you insult me like that!”
“Georgi’s right,” a loud and demanding voice called out from behind the two Russians. “The old man might be worse, but Georgi’s never been reasonable.”
“Yurio!” Viktor ran in between his former-turned-current rinkmates and jumped at the fifteen year old. Unfortunately, the blonde stepped to the side and Viktor ended up falling flat on his face.
Yurio made the most disgusted look he could possibly muster, even though Viktor was certain that he would attempt to break that record the very next day. “I was hoping you’d stay back in Hasetsu,” he muttered.
Viktor smiled back at him. “Awww, I missed you too, Yurio.”
“And that’s not my name!”
“Why are you calling him Yurio?”
“Don’t you dare start calling me that, old hag!”
“Well, wouldn’t it be confusing with two Yuris?”
“Huh, that makes sense.”
“Well, let’s all call him Yurio then!”
“Hell no, what the f-”
Viktor laughed as he joined his fellow Russians. While he did enjoy his life in Hasetsu, he would be lying if he didn’t say that he didn’t miss his friends back here in St. Petersburg, in particular, the people who were also under Yakov. It wasn’t a completely dreadful life before Yuuri, after all.
Speaking of Yuuri…
He looked behind him to see Yuuri hiding near the bleachers. Yuuri caught his eye, and realizing that Viktor had noticed him lagging behind, he moved to hide near the bleachers.
Oh, not so fast, my little darling!
Viktor jogged towards Yuuri, and while Yuuri started moving backwards quickly, Viktor sped up so that he could drag Yuuri’s hand and introduce him to everyone.
“Hi, everyone, I know that technically speaking, you’ve met him, but apparently he drank so much that he doesn’t remember anything about the Sochi banquet, so let’s do some introductions again!” Viktor raised up Yuuri’s hand. “This is my fiancé-slash-student Yuuri Katsuki.”
He then nudged Yuuri in the side.
“Uh, oh, um, hi,” he shyly waved at everyone. “I, uh, am sorry I don’t remember meeting most of you and I, uh, would really like to apologize for whatever I’ve done at the Sochi banquet. That was completely uncalled for and, um…”
Viktor noticed that his fiancé’s hand was getting rather cold. Must be the cold temperature from the building. He started rubbing circles onto the hand he was holding, to both warm up Yuuri and ease his anxiety.
“No, it’s totes fine, Yuuri.” Mila extended a hand for him to shake, and winked at him. “Mila Babicheva. It’s nice to finally meet the one who turned Viktor into a Georgi #2, as well as give me another thing I can use to tease Yurio.”
“Shut the hell up.”
Mila gave a huge laugh, before elbowing Georgi and coughing loudly.
“Ah, er, yes.” Georgi inclined his head a little, looking contemplative in thought. “Georgi Popovich. I think we’ve met at the Cup of China.”
There was a moment of silence before he clasped Yuuri’s hands. Everyone, including Yuuri, was shocked, most of them taking a step back.
“Yuuri,” Georgi called in a desperate tone, “would you please listen to my request and help me?”
“Then please, would you kindly teach me how to be a good lover?”
Every single Russian in the group groaned simultaneously.
“Georgi, I know you were able to score a date with that blonde costume designer,” Mila pointed out with a lot of frustration in her voice. “I know that you are fully capable of getting over Anya. I have full confidence in your dating capabilities, so you don’t need to bring your romance problems to the rink.”
Georgi’s eyes went wide. “Wait, Mila, you really believe in me?”
“Of course she doesn’t, you moron,” Yurio hissed at him. “She just wants you to shut up about your damn relationships, like everyone else here.”
Mila laughed. “Alright, alright. I can’t deny it.” She turned to focus on Yuuri. “But really, aren’t you a lucky little darling! I mean, having a figure skating genius for your coach must great for you, especially since you do a little more than just skating.” She winked at him.
Viktor chuckled as Yuuri blushed. “Th-that’s not-”
“Alright!” Yakov came over along with the other coaches. “Stop wasting time on your mundane chitchat and start doing your stretches.”
The group of skaters dispersed. Yakov caught Viktor’s eye, and scowled.
That’s strange. Normally he would sigh.
“Yakov!” Viktor jumped at the aging coach and hugged him fiercely. “Oh, how I missed you.”
“Vitya,” he greeted dryly. “I see that you have returned.”
Viktor jumped off and gestured to his fiancé. “You remember, Yuuri, right? We’re going to be practicing here! Isn’t that wonderful?”
Yakov’s eyes were devoid of emotion. “And you will be coaching him while competing at the same time,” he asked, in a very flat tone.
“Of course! Won’t this be a fun season?”
“Vitya, the world may see you as my most successful student, but frankly, I don’t know if it was worth the effort.”
Viktor pouted. “Come on, Yakov! I promise that we were had a very professional student-coach relationship.”
Yakov grunted. “Then show me the results of this coaching instead of babbling around here.”
Viktor smiled at his old coach. He had a funny way of showing affection, just like Yurio.
He patted Yuuri’s back. “Alright, Yuuri~ You heard what Yakov said! Hurry up, do your stretches, and show Yakov what you’re made of!”
“You know,” Mila commented as the skaters gathered together for lunch, “I take back what I said earlier. I feel so sorry for you, Yuuri.”
“Huh?” Viktor looked at Mila with a very confused look on his face. “How come?”
“Probably because you’re a terrible coach to have,” Yurio grumbled.
Viktor gasped, dramatically placing his right hand over his chest. “What? But did you not notice how well Yuuri was doing earlier?”
“We did. And quite frankly, we all thought that you were thinking the exact opposite.”
“What? I would never think that way of Yuuri! What gave you that impression?”
It was at that moment when Yuuri, panting hard and finally done doing some last minute spins, had settled beside Viktor and added to the conversation, “Maybe they noticed the fact that you are infinitely worse compared to Yakov when it comes to critiquing.”
“Huh? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Oh really now? Wanna ask Yakov?”
“Sure! Hey, Yakov!”
Viktor waved at Yakov, but he noticed that Yakov was busy on the phone. He seemed to be rather agitated.
“Let’s just ask later,” Georgi uncertainly said.
“Alright. But I still think that my critiquing skills are excellent.”
Viktor noticed that both Yuris were glaring at him.
“What?” Yurio stood up and said a few choice words in Russian that Viktor was never teaching Yuuri. “I mean,” he said as he posed dramatically, pretending to act as himself and Viktor. “‘If I need agape to make my performance better, then what the hell is it?’ ‘Oh, it’s a feeling. I could never describe it. But I think a temple would help you find it!’”
“Oh, but Yurio, didn’t the temple help at all?”
“No. Screw the temple.”
The silver-haired Russian gave the saddest look possible, complete with puppy-dog eyes. He scooted over to his fiancé’s side, nuzzling into Yuuri. “Yuuri, you believe that I’m a brilliant coach, right, my love?”
Yuuri just stared at him.
“After the Onsen on Ice competition, you basically completely tore apart each and every movement I made, carelessly criticizing each one, and that was before I had any self-esteem,” Yuuri stated in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. “You do the same thing after every event.”
Before Viktor could interject that Yakov did that too, Yuuri continued, “We wake up at five in the morning to get to Ice Castle Hasetsu at six-thirty, practicing until four to five in the evening. Half of that time was me practicing jumps, aka the quadruple flip, which is the third most difficult jump to master. And most importantly, you don’t allow me to eat katsudon.”
“But, Yuuri, we agreed that katsudon is only for when you win a medal!”
“Then you shouldn’t get any either because you haven’t won any medals for half a season!”
Viktor was taken aback, unable to think of a snappy reply fast enough to retort with.
Unfortunately, this meant that the rest of the skaters, who were watching the debate with keen interest, were rather entertained by the Japanese skater’s sass, and promptly started laughing.
“Oh my gosh, yes!” Mila cheered. “I knew that you were a great person if you could rile up little Yura, but I didn’t know you were a savage to Viktor too. I am so glad Viktor fell for you. I bet you can say anything you want to him and he won’t mind.”
Yuuri squirmed in his seat and Viktor noticed discomfort slowly moving in his expression.
He frowned a little. He remembered the panic attack that Yuuri had yesterday. Viktor couldn’t help but wonder what was it that Yuuri was scared to talk about with him. He wondered if he hadn’t shown that he was fairly open to anything when it came to sex. When he thought Yuuri wanted sex, he introduced himself in Hasetsu buck naked in the onsen. When he realized Yuuri was different from what he remembered, he quickly caught on and stopped pushing. It seemed simple for Yuuri to tell him what he wanted.
Unless… the problem was bigger than that?
Viktor shook his head. He had to trust Yuuri. He would tell in his own time.
“Everyone!” Yakov called over. He must be done with the call. “Go to your respective coaches. We have some important news to tell you all.”
Everyone hurried over. Viktor noticed that his coach looked like he was trying to control his anger, akin to the expressions he would wear around Viktor in front of the press when Viktor answers a question in a way that he swears is perfectly okay.
“Alright. As I said earlier, this is very important news. I personally find it terrible, but perhaps it would make some of you feel better. Quite frankly, I don’t think so.”
“Just get it over with, old man.”
“Yuri Plisetsky, I do not have the time to deal with your damn attitude.”
Woah. The news must have been really bad if Yakov’s addressing Yurio by his full name.
“If everyone’s finally willing to listen to me, I’ll announce it now.”
How bad could it be?
“The ISU has canceled the rest of the season.”
For five seconds, there was pure silence as everyone slowly processed the information.
“So all my practice was for nothing?”
“Do we have a seven-month break now?”
“Wait!” Yuuri pushed towards the front of the crowd. “As in just Nationals, or just Four Continents, or…”
“Everything, Katsuki. Up until Worlds.”
“What the fuck?” Yurio roughly barged through the crowd. “What do you mean they canceled the rest of the fucking season? Why the fuck would they do that?”
Yakov pushed away the skaters, who were slowly advancing on him, mumbling Russian curses. “Look, I am not allowed to disclose the reason for the sudden cancellation-”
“Well, I’m not giving up until I receive explanations! This is stupid!”
“I’m with the old hag here! I don’t want to skate if that moronic organization won’t even acknowledge our damn rights!”
“I’m sorry, Yakov, but I can’t understand why you won’t tell us. I don’t feel like skating if this is the case.”
“Gaaaaaaah!” Yakov pulled on his hair, as if needed to be pulled out even further. “You know what? Fine! You want to know the damn reason why they canceled the rest of the season, then so be it!”
“Then what is it?!”
“The ISU believes that one of the skaters is a Magus in hiding.”