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Half a Chance

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00. BEFORE


 

The whole goddamn mess started, Yuri thinks much later, when he cried at their wedding.

-

v-nikiforov: YURIO
v-nikiforov: Congrats!!!!!!!!
v-nikiforov: (party popper emoji)(party popper emoji)(party popper emoji)(party popper emoji)(dancer emoji)(dancer emoji)(dancer emoji)(dancer emoji)
v-nikiforov: I’m so proud
yuri-plisetsky: thx
v-nikiforov: you did SO well
v-nikiforov: the axel is looking great
v-nikiforov: 4F landing unusually wobbly
v-nikiforov: but so much to celebrate!!
v-nikiforov: what a send-off!
yuri-plisetsky: ok yeah next time, just stick to congrats

katsuki.yuuri: oh my god, congrats!!!
yuri-plisetsky: ty
katsuki.yuuri: what a skate. You feeling good??
yuri-plisetsky: i think so
katsuki.yuuri: Viktor cried
yuri-plisetsky: omg
yuri-plisetsky: no way
yuri-plisetsky: thank you for sharing that with me
yuri-plisetsky: it’s better than any possible gold medal
katsuki.yuuri: even a gold at Worlds that beats Viktor’s record for youngest ever first win??
yuri-plisetsky: ...nah you’re right
yuri-plisetsky: that feels pretty fuckin good
katsuki.yuuri: it’s weird to not be there but you held it down
yuri-plisetsky: any time (thumbs up emoji)
katsuki.yuuri: (thumbs up emoji)
katsuki.yuuri: we’ll see you in just a few weeks!
yuri-plisetsky: 5 weeks but who’s counting

-

(But when he genuinely thinks about it, he realizes it started much earlier than that.)

-

“Pack the Armani,” comes Mila’s voice.

Yuri startles, thwacking his head on the underside of the bed. “Ouch!” he yelps, then, “For fuck’s sake, Mila!”

Mila is standing in the bedroom doorway, laughing openly at him when he crawls out, rescued dress sock in hand, covered in probably a decade of dust. Yuri swipes his bangs out of his face with one hand and lobs the sock at her with the other. Mila snatches it out of the air.

“Oh god.” She wrinkles her nose. “Have you ever even thought about sweeping your room, Yuri Plisetsky?” She holds out the sock between her thumb and forefinger.

Yuri grabs it. “What are you even doing here?”

Mila sweeps past him to seat herself on the bed. “Making sure you pack the Armani. Vitya will be very upset if you don’t put the ‘best’ in ‘best man.’” She crosses her ankles, arranges her hands artfully, and puts on a magnificent Lilia sneer. “Yuri Plisetsky! You represent not only yourself and your team, but also your country wherever you go. I will not allow you to shame all of us with your willfulness!”

Yuri throws the sock again. Mila lets out an undignified squawk when it hits her right in the face. “If she’s also giving that talk to Yakov, I can live with it,” he tells her, turning back to his suit bag.

Mila shrugs. “She probably is.”

Yuri does a final sock count, then steps back to assess. “I was already taking the Armani, just so you know. I might wear the Coppley, though, it’s more of a late-spring fabric...” He catches sight of himself in the mirror and his fingers immediately jump to the already-forming bruise on his forehead. “Mila, you absolute bitch, look what—"

He’s cut off by Mila leaping at him from the bed. They go down in a tangle of elbows, Yuri shrieking much louder than he would care to admit. He struggles valiantly, but Mila has several centimeters and witchcraft on her side.

“The Coppley?” she yells in his face. “I will murder you myself—" she knees him in the kidney “—if you show up to Viktor’s wedding in a Canadian suit. Fabric be damned, you will not shame your country—"

“I was joking, holy shit, you are actually crazy, get the fuck—"

Mila lets him up. Yuri elbows her, Mila elbows back, and the ensuing scuffle ends with them sitting against the foot of Yuri’s bed, panting.

Yuri fingers the bruise on his forehead gingerly. “In six months,” he says after a moment, “I’ll be taller than you and you won’t be able to pull that shit anymore.”

“In six months,” Mila replies, “Viktor will be married, he and Yuuri will be living in here in Russia, and who knows what horrors that will unleash.”

Yuri genuinely, actually can’t think about it. Viktor, married? The only thing stranger will be having Yuuri practicing with them every day. Both impending events are beyond comprehension.

Mila elbows him again, more gently this time. “You might actually have to confront your long-standing Katsuki crush.”

Yuri goes from irritated to incandescent with anger so quickly he feels like his head might explode. “For the last goddamn time,” he screeches, flushing immediately at the desperate sound of his own voice, “there is no crush and there never has been! Professional admiration does not count!”

No one lives down their teenage crushes, but Yuri carries the eternal tribulation of 1), watching his former—FORMER!!—childhood crush and idol marry his (basically) elder brother, and 2), having made the grave mistake of telling Mila last year when he lost gold to Viktor and silver to Yuuri at his second Grand Prix. He will carry both regrets to his deathbed.

Mila turns her giant cow eyes on him. “Mila,” she says, sticking her face in his, “do you think the Katsudon has a high enough technical score to make it to the GPF this year? Mila, do you think he can land the quad flip? You saw how shaky he was at the Trophée. Mila, do you think I should hug him if he wins? Mila, do you think Yuuri will challenge me to another dance-off now that he beat me? Viktor better keep him from drinking too much at the gala; I don’t care that he won gold.”

“You—" Yuri tries to tickle her but Mila snatches both his wrists.

“But!” she gasps. “Does Otabek know his only competition for your affection will soon be out of the game? Does he know that his worthy devotion may soon be reciprocated?!”

Yuri lets out a wordless shriek and kicks at Mila. She’s too nimble, but he tries nonetheless, punctuating every word with another strike. “There! Is! Nothing! Romantic! Between! Otabek! And! I!”

“You can lie if you want. Unrequited crushes are cute on a fifteen-year-old, but less so on a seventeen-year-old,” she says.

Yuri wrenches out of her grasp. “Please,” he scoffs. “The Katsuson’s crush on Viktor is legendary, and he was way older than me,”

“You’re forgetting one very important detail.”

“Which is?”

“Yuuri is marrying Viktor.”

Yuri stands. “Whatever.” He takes a very deep, steadying breath. “If you help me cover this bruise, I will consider not murdering you in your sleep.”

Mila’s laugh is needlessly hearty. “Yura. We all know nothing would stop you from doing so if you really wanted to.”

That, Yuri thinks as he and Mila look through his concealer collection, is exactly the kind of reputation he wants to have.