Competition matters to Phichit, but he lets people think otherwise. If people underestimate him — which they often do — it means he can still surprise them. But people also forget that he's the reigning Cup of China champion, and placed at Four Continents, right after Yuri and ahead of JJ. It's just that he likes to have fun and people also mix up fun and dedication, thinking you have to be serious all the time to be taken seriously. But that's stupid.
This is Phichit's first time in Helsinki, here for World's and even though he's serious about placing as high as he can here, he's still going sightseeing. It's called living life without regrets; if Phichit sees an opportunity, well, he'd be an idiot not to take it.
He flicks out his selfie stick and snaps a pic in front of Helsinki Cathedral, winking and flashing a V. His followers will like that one; whenever he travels or posts pics with his skater friends, he gets comments in every language begging him to take them with him. Phichit firmly believes that social media is uniting the world in a way that's never been possible before, and all the good and bad that comes with it. Phichit starts walking with the selfie stick still extended; maybe he'll turn them into an Instagram Story later. Visuals are very important to Phichit, both on and off the ice.
Which is probably why he should look where he's going.
Phichit gets knocked onto his ass, selfie stick and phone skittering dangerously away. "Ow," says a deep voice from a foot away.
"Chris!" Phichit scrambles to his feet and runs over to pull him up. "I'm so sorry! I didn't see you there! Though it's always nice to run into someone I know." He chuckles at his own joke.
Chris is rubbing his backside and twisting from side to side, but seems otherwise okay. "That's not the first time a big stick did a number on my ass, but it was definitely the least pleasant."
Phichit bends over and laughs. "Oh!" He scrambles over to pick up his phone. The glass is cracked all over, only a couple of safe places where Phichit can swipe and not shred any skin. "Crap."
Christophe lets out a low whistle. "I don't think I've ever seen you without your phone. What are you going to do?"
"Skate my best at World's and then get it replaced when it's all over." Phichit closes one eye and groans. "Can I borrow your phone?"
"What was that, a whole minute?" Chris asks.
"Hush," Phichit says. "I just want to text my coach and let him know I'm with you." He guesses it's good Celestino made him memorize his number last summer, even though that's such an old person thing to do. Phichit sends the text and hands Chris his phone back. "So, what were you doing?"
Chris adjusts his round glasses on his face, pushing them back into place. Phichit knows he wears them when he's not competing, but it seems like a crime to ever cover up those eyelashes. "Sightseeing," Chris says. "You?"
"Same! Let's combine forces!"
Chris tilts his head and reaches forward to brush Phichit's hair off of his face. He steps back and makes a frame with both hands, peering with one eye through it at Phichit, which is a little weird, but okay, sure. Phichit knows a lot of weirdoes.
"You'll do fine," says Chris eventually.
Phichit blinks and grins, still confused, but whatever. "Great!"
Chris has been to Helsinki before, both for training and competitions, so he brings Phichit around to all the best spots, and when Phichit's stomach growls loudly enough to be heard through his heavy coat, Chris takes him to his favorite restaurant in the city. "Victor Nikiforov really likes this place."
"You don't have to say his full name," Phichit reminds him. "He's in love with my best friend, remember."
Chris rolls his eyes. "Like I can ever forget."
Phichit opens the menu and then snaps it shut again. "LOL," he says out loud, and okay maybe the phone withdrawal is setting in now. "Chris, I definitely don't have enough money on me for this."
Chris waves his hand lazily. "Don't worry, I'm letting the other table take care of our tab." He points over Phichit's shoulder and waves, and Phichit turns around to look. Victor and Yuri are sitting at a table in the corner, both on the same side of the table, like who does that? Victor is also stroking the side of Yuri's face and Yuri's cheeks have turned approximately the color of a chile pepper.
Phichit turns back to Chris and nods. "Yeah, they can pay for me." He waves widely and enthusiastically enough that Yuri finally sees, a smile lighting up his face as he motions Christophe and Phichit over.
"Are we interrupting anything?" asks Chris as they sit down at Victor and Yuri's table. He raises his eyebrows as he says it, and what's that even supposed to mean? Chris is so OTT. Like, does he really think that if Phichit lifts up the tablecloth, he'll find Victor giving Yuri a handjob underneath? Phichit laughs to himself because that's probably exactly what Chris thinks, which is pretty great. Phichit needs more people in his life who think spontaneous public handjobs are a frequent real world possibility.
Victor shakes his head and smiles warmly at Chris. "It's been forever since I've been in this place," Victor says. "I think the last time was with you."
"Oh my god," Phichit says to himself. It's just occurred to him that maybe Chris thinks that because he's gotten a secret under-the-table handy from Victor Nikiforov right in this very spot. Phichit's Yuri stories are nowhere near that good, but when you're in the room with a master, you respect the master.
"Are you okay?" Yuri asks him. He's got his concerned face on. Well, one of them. Yuri has a lot of concerned faces.
Phichit shakes his head and pulls out a chair. "I'm fine." He reaches in his pocket and winces when his fingertips touch the cracked glass. That's at least the eleventh time he's done that in the last hour. "Damn it."
Yuri narrows his eyes. "Where's your phone? I haven't noticed you taking pictures in at least three minutes."
Phichit puts up the lay off me hands. "I dropped it," he admits. "No selfies for me all tournament!" He widens his eyes. "Oh god, my followers probably think I'm dead! Quick, Yuri, give me your phone!"
Yuri does, and they proceed to have a nice dinner altogether after Phichit posts a picture of all four of them to his Insta and does a quick scroll through Yuri's photo roll for any dickpics and comes up short. Chris had a ton on his. Phichit orders every little plate on the menu and eats about half of them, and before Victor and Yuri can make their exit or ask for their half of the bill, Phichit is pulling Christophe up by the wrist and out the door.
"Dine and dash," Phichit says and grins. Chris grins back. "Can we hail a cab anywhere around here?"
Phichit takes full advantage of the back of the taxi because, like, why wouldn't he? Chris is hot, he's hot, and neither of them seems to know what boundaries are. Plus, Christophe definitely has stories. Phichit loves stories. He straddles Chris's lap, and Chris doesn't even look vaguely surprised. Phichit doesn't even need to ask if he has people crawling into his lap all the time.
"So," Phichit says, pushing his fingers through Chris's hair and leaning down so their lips hover close together without really touching, "you and Victor."
Christophe laughs. "We had fun." He winks. "You look like you like to have fun, too."
"I do," agrees Phichit, and pulls Chris's glasses off his face and tucks them safely into his pocket. Killer lashes from close up, yes, that's exactly what Phichit ordered. He fits their mouths together and sighs as Chris digs his fingers into Phichit's thighs. This isn't the kind of cab with those privacy dividers like in the movies, so Phichit's just hoping their driver can roll with it. Maybe he's one of those pervy cabbies who posts videos of the sex people have in his cabs. Phichit shrugs. That's all right with him, if it's true.
"So," Chris says in between kisses, when they come up to take a breath, "you and Yuri."
Phichit laughs, delighted. Christophe is literally the first person who's worked that out, or at least the first one to confront Phichit with the information. "We had fun," he confirms, and slides down to his knees between the seats. It's a tight fit, but Phichit is pretty bendy. "I like thinking about all my best moves being used on Victor now."
"All of Victor's best moves are mine," Christophe says, his voice pretty breathy as Phichit's hands go to his waistband.
"Oh yeah?" Phichit says and licks his lips. "Show me when we get back to the hotel."
"My daughters love ice skating," the cabbie tells them when he drops them off in front of the hotel where the competitors are staying. He's leaning out of the cab, a pen and paper in hand. "Can I have your autographs?"
Phichit doubles over with laughter and touches his swollen mouth as he straightens up again. Christophe is already signing, complete with a little caricature of himself, and Phichit signs his name twice, once in Thai and in Roman characters underneath. "Thanks for the ride," Phichit says to the cabbie, and gives him a big tip. Once he drives off, Phichit grins at Chris, "Ready for another ride?"
Hey, he's got to keep himself occupied without a phone somehow.