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Reality Check

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Until last New Year’s, Yuuri hadn’t really thought much about soulmates. They were a thing, he’d find out who his was when he was eighteen unless they came to find him earlier, nothing he could do would affect who his soulmate was, and after watching his sister deal with her soulmate Yuuri wasn’t too sure he wanted to know. Mari’s soulmate probably wasn’t a bad person, but he was constantly in trouble, and Mari had decided to get out before she got caught up herself. When Yuuri did think about it, he thought of his best friend Yuuko. She was nice, she was pretty, she skated too, he was comfortable with her, and the chances of her getting him arrested were low.

Then, of all people, Viktor Nikiforov had showed up to tell him he was his soulmate. Once Yuuri got through the initial disbelief and fear, it had turned out to be both wonderful and horrible. Wonderful in that Viktor seemed to genuinely care about him, wanted to support him in his skating career, even going so far as to convince his coach to take Yuuri on as well, and, well, it was Viktor Nikiforov. The guy Yuuri had been crushing on for two years.

The horrible parts: the media. Yuuri had only just started getting noticed on his own when suddenly he was thrust up to a much higher level of notoriety. A lot of people hated him, accusing him of using Viktor for his fame. He and Viktor had laughed hard at an article that came out shortly after the European championships, “proving” that Yuuri had managed to somehow fake Viktor’s dream and had stolen Viktor from his true soulmate, who would be heartbroken when she had her dream. It was ridiculous, of course, but it was also a reminder to Yuuri that a lot of people hated him.

Also horrible was the separation. Viktor lived in Russia, Yuuri lived in Japan. He was moving to Russia after Worlds, but even though they talked twice a day and texted any time they could, Yuuri missed Viktor. It was stupid. He and Viktor had only been together for two weeks. How could Yuuri have gotten so accustomed to Viktor’s enthusiasm and presence?

Thankfully, he’d just finished his last day of school. He’d done passably on his exams, despite the horribleness of school. Viktor’s support hadn’t managed to convince his classmates that he wasn’t a fat pig or a loser, although talking to Viktor right after school had always helped soothe the sting. Now it was just skating, packing, and waiting – and, of course, watching Worlds.

Viktor’s experience hadn’t been much better, from what Yuuri heard from Viktor and Yakov. He was skating fine, working hard, spending time making plans for what to do with their free time once Yuuri arrived in St. Petersburg (Yuuri was, frankly, alarmed by some of them – he appreciated Viktor’s enthusiasm to show off the city, but renting a plane for an aerial tour? That seemed a little over-the-top). Once he hung up so Yuuri could go to sleep, Viktor didn’t do much of anything. Ate what his nutritionist said to for dinner, walked Makkachin, planned adventures, and went to bed. His rinkmates tried to drag him out and occasionally managed, but even then, he was subdued.

The day before the World Championships started, Minako came to check on Yuuri’s progress in packing. They’d be leaving for Russia the next week, so that Yuuri could start skating with Yakov April 1st. When she was satisfied that Yuuri was making adequate progress, she handed him an envelope. “Viktor sent you a present, and I’ve checked with your parents. They say it’s okay to accept it.”

Yuuri opened the envelope, hands shaking a little. He was a little confused as he pulled out the papers, and then he screamed. There were plane tickets, hotel reservations, but the big one… Viktor had gotten him tickets to the Worlds, which were being held in Tokyo that year. “Mom and Dad say I can go?”

“As long as I go with you. You won’t just be going to see Viktor again, though. You’ll have work of your own to do. Yakov intends to introduce you to some potential sponsors.”

Yuuri stammered out thanks. No wonder Viktor had seemed so odd the last time they'd talked, when he reminded Yuuri that he’d be out of contact for travel and Yuuri had said he wished he could go. Yuuri would see Viktor tonight.