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I'll Be There for You

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"Ciao Ciao said we should relax more." Phichit took his plate over to the the couch and fired up Netflix. "Breaking Bad?"

"Someday he's going to hear you call him that." Yuuri sat down beside Phichit. "Let's watch Friends. And we're relaxing now." He tucked his feet up on the couch. Practice, training, supper, TV, sleep. That was the routine. Yuuri liked routine.

"No offence, but this isn't relaxing, it's boring," Phichit said. "Our apartment is boring. Our supper is boring. If I posted this activity to Insta, I'd lose half my followers."

"It's not boring." As he chewed a forkful of salmon, Yuuri looked around the living room: overstuffed green couch, a TV so old they needed four cables just to connect Yuuri's laptop to it, game controllers on the floor, a silk Peace Lily gathering dust. Blank walls except for a poster of Bangkok Phichit had tacked up. Okay, it was a little boring. But it was a furnished apartment, so they were stuck with it.

"Also Friends is a terrible show from a long time ago. Just because it's Ciao Ciao's favourite." Phichit pushed his sock foot into Yuuri's thigh. "But I'll watch it with you if you go out with me later."

"You mean tomorrow? We could do something after jazz dance." They weren't supposed to train on Saturdays but Yuuri figured a little dance wasn't training, it was just a hobby. To help him relax. And Celestino had asked Yuuri to keep an eye on Phichit.

"Later tonight." Phichit shot Yuuri his most brilliant smile. "We're going clubbing!"

+

"Hold still." Phichit leaned in and rested his thumb against Yuuri's cheekbone.

Yuuri watched the pencil loom closer and resisted the urge to close his eyes. "Number one," he said. "I can do my own eyeliner. Number two, why do I have to wear eyeliner?" Other than competitions, he generally didn't attend events that required eyeliner and it was making him nervous.

"I just watched this YouTube tutorial on how to do the perfect cat eye." Phichit stroked on the liner in three careful movements, then switched to the other eye. "You can do your own mascara."

Phichit's own eyes were winged out with a shimmering silver into multiple swirling lines, a different design on each eye. He was wearing a blue shirt with a transparent pattern and slim white slacks and looking way more cool than Yuuri had previously suspected he could.

Yuuri curled his eyelashes and got close to the mirror to add the mascara. "I was going to wear that green shirt."

"White collared shirt, black slacks," Phichit said. "That's all you need. And do your hair like you do for competitions."

As he slicked in product, Yuuri wondered if six episodes of Friends was really worth all this trouble. "I'm not sure this is what Celestino meant by relax. What if he finds out?"

Phichit held out his phone. Yuuri stared. At a photo. Of Celestino at... "When was this taken?"

"He's twenty-one."

"He's blond!" A bleached blond mane of hair tumbling over his shoulders, tight red silk shirt open to show an extremely generous amount of pectoral cleavage. Even tighter black trousers. Clearly enjoying a dance with more than one lady friend.

"At some disco or something. I found it on a fansite."

"He's probably not old enough for disco."

Phichit pulled the phone away. "Could you be any more literal?" Yuuri groaned and Phichit laughed. "You're the one who made me watch the show."

"Come on," Yuuri said. He fussed with his hair, pulling a few pieces out around his face. "The sooner we go out, the sooner we can —"

"Start shaking our asses!" Phichit slung his arm around Yuuri's neck and held up his phone. "Say 'disco'!"

+

Yuuri shivered. "You should have let me bring my jacket."

"You don't want people to think you're the kind of person who cares more about comfort than looks," Phichit said. "We'll get in soon, trust me, I just have to catch the bouncer's eye one more time."

"Wait—" Yuuri hugged his chest as the wind picked up. "Are you even old enough to get in?"

"Not a problem!" Phichit struck a pose, one hand on his hip and pouting with his glossed-up lips. "I'm pretty. Also, I have a fake ID."

"Where did you get that?" A frisson of doubt chased up Yuuri's spine but he was impressed in spite of that. He wouldn't have the first idea how to go about getting a fake ID back home, let alone in Detroit. Well, Mari probably knew someone.

"Wendy the ice dancer hooked me up." Phichit showed Yuuri the card: Phichit's photo but his name was —

"Pierre Smith?" Yuuri laughed.

Phichit made a face. "She wouldn't let me pick the name."

"What if you get caught?"

"Then we go to the next club and try again. But we'll be — they're waving us up!" Phichit grabbed Yuuri's hand and pulled him to the front of line where the bouncer didn't even bother to check either of their IDs, just let them in.

The music throbbed in Yuuri's ears and people bumped against him as he and Phichit pushed their way to the bar. He was almost dizzy, getting that crowd-blind feeling, and he closed his eyes for a moment, trying to reset.

Phichit pushed a shot glass into his hand. "Thanks, Pierre," Yuuri shouted.

"Three drink minimum!" Phichit frowned. "We should have pre-gamed, though."

Three drink maximum, Yuuri thought. Which wouldn't be hard if the prices were as high as he assumed from Phichit's expression. He downed the shot and grimaced at the sweetness. But it slid warmly all down his throat and chest.

"China White!" Phichit handed over a second shot. "Aren't they great?"

"All three?" Yuuri shrugged and tossed it back. It didn't seem quite as bad, now that he knew what to expect. By the third shot, he was almost starting to enjoy it. But that wasn't why they were here. The music moved through him, changing his heatbeat and sparking all his nerves.

He grabbed Phichit's wrist and pulled him out on the dance floor.

Yuuri hadn't been in a club before but he could tell a good dancer from a bad. He looked around and copied some moves to get the feel for it. It didn't take long before he'd internalized enough to just cut loose and let the music move his body.

Phichit was keeping up okay, he had some moves. They danced together pretty well, Yuuri thought. He held out his hand and spun Phichit around.

The shots all hit at once, an expanding warmth from his chest and belly all the way out to his fingertips and toes, and he had a moment when he felt like he was spinning too, around and around. He shook his head and the dizziness went away, leaving a sense of exhiliration and ease and a friendly feeling for the people who kept dancing up on him and Phichit.

He spun one of them too, then grinded on her for a while, until a guy pulled him over to dance with him. Then back to Phichit, synchronizing their moves so perfectly that Yuuri felt caught in a loop, a dance loop, they'd be doing this move until the morning. "Everybody wants to dance with us!" he shouted.

Phichit grinned. "It's the butts! We've got great butts!" He rolled his hips and Yuuri copied him, laughing, arms in the air, relaxed, relaxed, relaxed.

+

"Water," Yuuri called and mimed taking a drink. Phichit mimed back and Yuuri hoped he wasn't expecting another round or two of shots. Yuuri danced his way off the floor, took a side trip to the bathroom, and pushed his way to the bar for the most expensive water he'd ever purchased.

It took Yuuri a while to find Phichit again. He slid through the crowd, fitting himself gracfully through the smallest gaps, and executing a double spin when he got a little floor space. He stopped to dance half a song with a couple of girls, then eased out from between them when he caught sight of Phichit.

He was talking to a man — looked a few years older than Yuuri — or the man was talking to Phichit, leaning over him at the edge of the dance floor. Maybe they were all going to dance some more now.

"Hey, Pierre!" Yuuri held out one of the bottles.

"There he is," Phichit said. And instead of grabbing the bottle of water, Phichit grabbed Yuuri's face and kissed him right on his surprised mouth.

A shock went through Yuuri, surprise chased by pleasure. He thought it must be part of the full dance club experience so he wrapped his arms around Phichit's waist, bottles still in his hands, and got into it a bit. He opened his mouth, caught Phichit's lower lip. Phichit's hand slid down Yuuri's back and onto his ass. Then he pulled his head back, out of the kiss. Yuuri frowned.

"So, both of you then," the man said and ran a finger down Yuuri's cheek. Yuuri flinched back. Definitely less good.

"No," Phichit said firmly. His hand was still on Yuuri's ass, not really squeezing it, but definitely cupping.

Yuuri dropped one of the bottles and cupped Phichit's ass too. It fit nicely under his hand, so beautifully curved, and he did squeeze. It was as firm as Phichit's refusal. "It's the butts," Yuuri said and laughed.

"We're dancing," Phichit said. He looked at the man. "Sorry." He dragged Yuuri back out onto the dance floor and Yuuri lost the other bottle of water.

Phichit glanced back to where they had been. "Thanks for the save."

"Ciao Ciao said I should take care of your butt," Yuuri said and they grinded on each other until it was time to go home.

+

"Water." Yuuri filled two glasses of nice free tap water and handed one to Phichit. He headed to the living room and dropped down on the couch.

Phichit followed him, yawning. "Um, about before," he said.

Yuuri looked away. His buzz was fading and the empty space it left behind was filling with embarrassment. He could just about deal with having done before. Talking about it too was more than any human being should have to bear. "I'm pretty sleepy."

"I had to get out of that somehow, so thanks." Phichit set down the glass and leaned back against the cushions. "Yuuri, thanks for going out with me. The truth is I'm a little homesick."

"Oh." Yuuri downed the rest of his water and set the glass next to Phichit's. He hadn't really considered how Phichit might be feeling, just how he fit into Yuuri's routine. Even after Celestino had asked Yuuri to look after Phichit.

"And, well, I broke up with someone before I moved here." Phichit stared straight ahead, like he was watching an imaginary episode of Friends on their crappy television. The One Where Phichit Is Sad and Has a Nice Butt. "So I've been a little down." He turned to Yuuri. "Thanks for being a friend." He threw his arms around Yuuri's neck and hugged him.

Yuuri stared at the blank TV. His ears still rang from the club. Phichit's hands pressed his shoulder blades and his cheek leaned warmly against Yuuri's, breath huffing down Yuuri's neck. Some friend I am, Yuuri thought, and slid his arms around Phichit's waist.

Phichit's arms tightened and his breath hitched, his back rising and falling under Yuuri's hands. It was more disconcerting than the kiss in the club, Phichit's slim body so close in the quiet room. And Yuuri had no excuse when he turned his head and touched his lips to Phichit's cheek.

For one second, two seconds, neither moved, and Yuuri began to wonder how he was going to disengage and head to bed. Then Phichit shifted in Yuuri's arms and they were kissing, deeper than before, Phichit leaning against Yuuri's chest and pushing him back against the couch cushions.

It was good, too good, pricking heat all over Yuuri's skin, and he slid all the way down on the couch, pulling Phichit on top of him.

Phichit settled in with a wiggle, one thigh pushing between Yuuri's and his tongue teasing into Yuuri's mouth. Definitely a more experienced kisser and Yuuri let him lead. Yuuri concentrated on finding the rhythm like he had in the club, copying the moves until he knew them.

It wasn't long before he was embarrassingly hard and trying — trying — to keep his hands on Phichit's back. Then Phichit rolled against him, pushing his own dick against Yuuri's, and Yuuri stopped trying and just let the arousal cloud his mind and move his body. He put his hands on Phichit's ass, cupped it again, squeezed it again, so great, and held on as they bucked against each other, friction, friction, so much better than Yuuri's own hand.

Phichit tensed and spasmed in Yuuri's arms, choking out words Yuuri couldn't understand, and collapsed for a few breaths while Yuuri wondered what he was supposed to do now. Then Phichit shifted so his hipbone was tight against Yuuri's dick and rolled with him, synced up like their dance moves, until Yuuri tensed and gasped and came into his dry-clean-only slacks.

The glow lasted for nearly thirty seconds, Phichit lying limp on top of Yuuri, both of them breathing quietly. Then Yuuri felt the embarrassment creep back in. He closed his eyes and wondered if it would be more or less awkward to pretend to be asleep.

Phichit climbed off and stood beside the couch. Yuuri still had his eyes closed but he could feel Phichit there, looming. "Um," Phichit said. "Good night." He touched the top of Yuuri's head, just a brush of his fingers, and left the room.

Yuuri waited until Phichit's bedroom door clicked shut before he opened his eyes.

+

The sun around the curtains hit Yuuri's face as he blinked awake. He checked his phone: nearly noon, too late to make it to jazz dance. He pulled the covers over his head for as long as he could but his bladder got him up in the end.

He was halfway to the bathroom before he remembered the night before. He froze, half in horror, half in a glow of satisfaction, and listened to Phichit clattering around the kitchen.

"There's coffee," Phichit called.

Yuuri scuttled into the bathroom. There were dark circles under his eyes and smudged silver eyeliner on his cheek. He climbed into the shower and stood under the hot water for as long as he thought he could get away with. But he had a caffeine headache and a growling stomach so he slunk into the kitchen with wet hair and poured a cup of coffee — boring coffee, probably — and grabbed an orange.

Phichit wandered in, stretching, and tipped the last bit of coffee into his mug. "About last night," he said.

Yuuri looked at the refrigerator. He drank some coffee; it tasted old. "Um."

"I didn't mean for that to happen. But —"

"It's okay," Yuuri said to the refrigerator. "I didn't either."

Phichit laughed, like Yuuri had told him a joke. "I'll make more coffee. Netflix? I'm too tired to do anything useful. I'll even watch more Friends."

"Breaking Bad," Yuuri said. "Friends is a terrible show from a long time ago." He stole a glance at Phichit's butt as he reached up for the coffee filters.

"Maybe," Phichit said, into the cupboard, "we could go dancing again some time. To relax."

Yuuri bit his lip. He took a breath. He looked at Phichit's ass one more time. "I'd like that, Pierre."