Viktor had mentally prepared himself for how the Grand Prix Final banquet in Sochi would go. After all, not much changed from year to year. The only difference being which skaters were present, the sponsors who showed up, and the country they were located. But every banquet was stuffy, boring, and filled with people who were trying to get close to him for all the wrong reasons.
What Viktor hadn’t prepared for was the enigma known as Katsuki Yuuri. Of course, he suspected—based off all the shocked and scandalized faces in the crowd—no one could have properly prepared for the Japanese skater even if there was advanced notice. Not that anyone was displeased when one of the top certified skaters in Japan got completely wasted and showed everyone how to really party.
At that point, (most of) the sponsors were gone and they were left with awkward interactions amongst themselves and feigned happiness for their competitor’s success. Enter drunk Katsuki Yuuri: who challenged Yuri Plisetsky to a breakdance dance-off. And won. It wasn’t even close, despite what the 14-year-old would insist.
Next came Christophe Giacometti’s specially designed challenge. All done on a pole and mostly naked. Not that anyone but Yuri Plisetsky complained. Chris had a hot body, knew how to put on a show, and had pole-dancing skills of a sex god. Enter an even drunker Katsuki Yuuri: who rose above the competition figuratively and literally. And once again, won. Despite nearing blackout levels of alcoholic consumption.
The final challenge came from the Japanese skater to himself, Viktor Nikiforov. A legend amongst skaters and excelled at many forms of dance. The man rambled half in Japanese and half in English, before declaring if he won the dance-off Viktor would become his coach.
It was adorable and Viktor could feel his body react to every movement, every touch from the Japanese man. He wondered if the other could feel it too despite their drunkenness. Which is probably why he ill-advisedly accepted the next dance challenge: ballroom style. Enter adorably trashed Katsuki Yuuri: who had mastered every dance style known to man.
Halfway through, he knew he would lose. He wondered if Chris and Yuri had come to the same realization at this point. But he was having too much fun to stop. Somehow, as the dance-off progressed, they had gotten more alcohol in their system. Not that Katsuki Yuuri needed any more. Nor did he.
It wasn’t until what he assumed was several minutes later that he realized the two of them were alone, walking the streets of Sochi. The Japanese skater rambling on about various things about his life: his family, their onsen in Hasetsu, how Viktor would love the festivals there.
Most importantly: how Katsuki Yuuri couldn’t wait to introduce everyone to his new boyfriend. To anyone else, that statement might have been a stone cold wake up call. But to Viktor, there was something completely natural and comforting about that declaration.
Viktor Nikiforov, Katsuki Yuuri’s boyfriend.
Somehow, they had obtained more alcohol. Viktor had insisted on drinking both of their shares because he insisted the Japanese skater was still too drunk from earlier in the evening. The other only protested mildly, but accepted the decision—especially after a searing kiss between the two of them.
“Wow,” they both breathed after breaking apart.
It was the longest break they took after the first kiss. That Viktor fully remembered anyway. Vaguely he recalled talking to a stranger, talking to Yuuri, stumbling back to his hotel room, and eventually falling asleep. The little details of what happened in between lost in the haze of alcohol and the drug known as Katsuki Yuuri.
All he knew in the morning was that his head hurt horribly, he had the best night of his life, and Katsuki Yuuri was his soulmate. And he had forgotten to exchange contact information with the Japanese skater—who had already left by the time Viktor had realized this major detail.
A fact he would lament for the next three months.
At Russian Nationals, his program was just as lonely as when he skated it in the Grand Prix Finals. It had devastated him not to be able to get in contact with Katsuki Yuuri. He had spent the two weeks in between the Finals and Russian Nationals trying to find any way to get in contact with the other.
He discovered that while Katsuki Yuuri had social media, all of it was private and his friend requests hadn’t been granted. Viktor had tried to get in contact with the Japanese skater’s best friend and social media guru, Phichit Chulanont, but was ultimately dismissed as another fake account.
Chris had even tried to procure the Japanese skater’s contact information just to get him to shut up about Katsuki Yuuri. Also to no success. Viktor was frustrated to say the least. In Sochi, he had met his soulmate and didn’t even know how to get in contact with the man.
But he still considered himself to be Katsuki Yuuri’s boyfriend.
There was a month between Russian Nationals and Europeans. He kept trying to get in contact with the Japanese skater with the same amount of success as before. Viktor was not used to getting what he wanted. So to be kept out of reach from Katsuki Yuuri was starting to feel like a personal insult from the universe. But nevertheless, he persisted. This time, he dedicated his programs to the other.
Perhaps hoping that somehow the Japanese skater would be the one to try and get in contact with him instead. But he never heard from Katsuki Yuuri. There was one more chance they could meet—at the World Championships.
But Katsuki Yuuri hadn’t been selected to represent Japan. Viktor spent the entire time thinking about the younger male. Their drunken night together. How he fell in love. And how much it hurt to be separated from the other. More of the memories were coming together.
How they had walked together around the town. How they had ended up back in his hotel room. How they exchanged heated kisses, searing touches, and unified breaths.
Unsurprisingly, he won gold.
Every reporter wanted to know what had inspired such a deep, emotional performance from him. It was the best one they had seen from him this year so far.
He couldn’t tell them the truth.
When Viktor returned home after the final competition for the year, he was determined to forget about Katsuki Yuuri and move on with his life. He couldn’t get in contact with the Japanese skater and obviously the other wasn’t trying to find him. So why waste his time?
Then the video of Katsuki Yuuri skating Stammi Vicino went viral.
And Viktor’s resolve crumbled. Just like that. Katsuki Yuuri had too much power over him. And he was perfectly fine with it. That was also the day when part of that drunken night had hit him like a truck. He remembered the Japanese skater mentioning something about an onsen and living in a place called Hasetsu.
Bless Google and its power. Viktor was able to find out the correct spelling of Hasetsu, where it was located, and the fact that an onsen was a hot spring with an inn. Also blessedly, it was easy to narrow down which business belonged to the Katsuki family.
That settled it; he was going to Hasetsu and be with his soulmate.
The thing about Viktor is that he never bothers to unpack between competitions because it was too much of a hassle. This time was no exception. He merely put the case in his closet until it was time for him to travel once again. It saved on time and energy on his part. Plus, it meant he was less likely to forget something important.
So it wasn’t until he dragged out his travel suitcase from competitions to pack a fresh bag for Hasetsu that he discovered a very important document buried underneath all the spare clothing he had taken along with him during his trips.
He picked it up, smoothed it out and began to read the familiar Cyrillic writing.
“Oh,” he breathed out.
See, there’s another thing about Viktor that even he didn’t know until three months after Sochi’s banquet.
He was married to Katsuki Yuuri.
The memories of that drunken night kept coming back to him in bits and pieces. It had been Chris who suggested they go out on a date together, commenting on how cute of a couple they made. The idea delighted the Japanese skater and Viktor saw no harm in indulging the other. The spark was already there.
They wandered the streets together, arm in arm. Mostly due to the fact that Katsuki Yuuri could hardly walk. He could breakdance, perform on a pole, and ballroom dance, but walking was clearly the more difficult task of the evening.
“What do you say, Viktor?” the Japanese man asked earnestly. “Will you be my boyfriend?”
Viktor mulled the idea over in his head once. Viktor Nikiforov, Katsuki Yuuri’s boyfriend. He liked the sound of that.
“Yes,” he agreed.
The snowy evening had turned into a rainy one. They took refuge in the nearest building. A place that had more alcohol. They drank some more. Well, Viktor drank some more and they kissed. Again and again, until the rain cleared. That’s when they headed back to the hotel to take things further. But they didn’t make it very far until they had to take refuge again.
This time, they had gotten stuck in a wedding chapel.
“I love you,” Viktor declared suddenly.
“I love you too,” Katsuki Yuuri answered. “So, you want to do this?”
“More than anything.”
They said their vows in three languages. First in their native languages, then again in English. There was more to drink after officially being tied together in matrimony. While rushed, it was still a beautiful celebration of what they both felt, both knew and couldn’t deny.
Their last stop was back at their official hotel. His room. Where all the touches, kisses, and emotions finally could be indulged upon. They had wasted no time in stripping their clothes, exploring each other’s bodies. Viktor pushed the Japanese man, his husband, on to the bed.
“Can I?” he asked.
“Claim every part of me. I’m yours.”
Viktor didn’t need to be told twice. They made love several times over.
The perfect ending to a beautiful night.
And then the morning came. An empty bed. No trace of the man who had captured his heart. And a vague line of memories, until the discovery of the marriage certificate. Viktor couldn’t get to Hasetsu fast enough.
First, he threw everything he could in his carry-on and called Yakov about his discovery. The older man didn’t believe him until a lawyer examined the document and determined that yes, it was real. Yes, it was legal. And any chance for annulment must come with the consent of both parties.
So, Viktor left for Hasetsu. Not just to ask for an annulment. But to be the proper husband this legally binding contract obligated him to be. To be back in the presence of his soulmate. Yakov tried to use the only other weapon he knew to keep Viktor in Russia. But even skating couldn’t keep him away from heading to Japan.
On the flight to his country, he imagined how lonely Yuuri must have been. Imagined if it had been equally as painful to be separated for three months. Of course, Viktor hadn’t counted on one small detail.
Katsuki Yuuri didn’t remember a damn thing.
There are several thoughts running through his mind once Viktor realizes this fact. The first is that he wants to wave and shout the truth to the Japanese skater. Maybe he just needed to job his memory of that night like Viktor had. If it weren’t for the marriage certificate, he wouldn’t have remembered all the details either.
But then he realizes this is the opportunity to get to know the man he undeniably loves better and learn how to support him—like a good husband. With a new focus for his time in Hasetsu (aside from helping Katsuki win gold at this year’s Grand Prix Final), the days become easier to bear.
He doesn’t mind taking things slow. Even if they’re progressing too slow in his opinion. No normal person would be able to resist the charms of Viktor Nikiforov. But then again, his husband isn’t exactly a normal person. He lets Yuuri set the pace for their relationship.
By the time domestic competitions started, the Japanese skater was finally comfortable with his touches and actively sought them out. They helped him get in the proper mood, Yuuri reasoned. Viktor smiled and gave the man everything he asked for. Now that he knew how his husband was, he didn’t push.
Of course by the time Cup of China rolled around, he was frustrated at the lack of progression in their relationship. Every time Yuuri opened up to him, there was always a crash and they would seemingly regress back to where they had been before.
The roller coaster of emotions had left him incredibly frustrated and it boiled over right before the free skate. The breaking of Katsuki Yuuri led to an unexpected breakthrough in their relationship. He wasn’t able to hold back. Viktor kissed his husband in front of a large audience.
He felt the spark again. Knew that Yuuri felt it too. The hurdles they had faced before had been worth it. They were starting to get back to that night of the banquet.
And then the Rostelecom Cup came. Makkachin had ended up at the vet. Viktor took an emergency flight back to Japan. Yuuri had to skate alone. Without him. They were separated and it was painfully lonely. Viktor hated this feeling. He had spent three months without his soulmate.
Spending two days apart was just as much torture. This time, Yuuri had felt it too. When they met at the airport, they vowed to never be apart again. It was a promise Viktor had every intention of keeping. And everything was right with their world once again.
Until the Grand Prix Final.
The evening had started off pleasant enough. They went sightseeing and shopping together. Then, it was Katsuki Yuuri’s turn to surprise him. Gold rings exchanged. They were given under the pretense of good luck charms. But to Viktor, it was an outward sign that his husband wanted to be reassured of his commitment.
It was an easy one to reaffirm. Again. And again. They ended up in a restaurant with other skaters. Phichit happily announced they were married after taking one glance at their matching rings.
Something they dismissed. But Viktor couldn’t resist saying that he was engaged, much to the embarrassment of his husband. When they arrived back at the hotel, Yuuri hadn’t let the subject drop.
“Can you believe Phichit thought we were married?” he laughed.
“At least he congratulated us. Though it is a year late.”
Viktor froze. He hadn’t meant to let the fact that they were already married slip out so casually. That was a conversation for after competitions, not before the free skate.
“Nothing,” he tried to dismiss.
A look of realization spread across Yuuri’s face. “We’re married,” Yuuri whispered.
Viktor dug out the marriage certificate from his coat pocket—a habit he had gotten in to shortly after arriving in Hasetsu.
Yuuri took the certificate from him, looking it over several times. The silence between them weighed heavily. “How long have you known?”
“Since after Worlds.”
“That long?” Yuuri asked in disbelief. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Because there were more important things to handle when I arrived. Our marriage is legal. I had a lawyer look into it.” The silence returned. “I’m going to shower. You can process this and we’ll figure out what to do. Together.”
Viktor tried to take as long as possible in the bathroom. He knew that Yuuri wasn’t like him. Yuuri needed time to think. To make his own decisions. A sudden realization washed over him.
What if Yuuri didn’t want to be married?
He brushed that aside. Everything had pointed to the opposite. Their relationship was going well, wasn’t it? They had talked about living together. Getting married. All the signs of them being together were there.
When he came out, he could tell something was off. They couldn’t put off the conversation forever. But they could at least discuss something else.
“Ah, yes, you wanted to talk about something earlier?” Viktor said, hoping this would be a pleasant distraction to what had happened earlier.
“Let’s end this,” Yuuri said.
It was Viktor’s turn to cry. He didn’t want this to end.
“I didn’t think Katsuki Yuuri could be so selfish.”
“Yes, I made this selfish decision on my own.”
“But what about everything that’s happened over the past few months? We talked about getting married before. The fact that we already are doesn’t change the fact that I still want to be with you. I still want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“You want to end our marriage.”
“No, I don’t!” He looked up, blinked the tears from his eyes.
“Of course not, Viktor! I’m shocked, yes. But I was talking about skating. I don’t think you should be my coach anymore. I know you want to return back to competition. And I’ve been thinking about retiring.”
“Oh,” he breathed. “So I can call you my husband now? Officially?”
Yuuri groaned. “That’s not the point of this conversation, Viktor.”
“We can make a decision about skating after the free skate tomorrow. This is more important. Can I officially call you my husband?”
Yuuri took a deep breath and leaned forward to kiss him. The spark between them still there. He smiled.
“Of course you can call me your husband. I’m yours forever.”
See, here's another thing about Viktor. He doesn't care that it took them a year to reach this point in their relationship. Because all that matters now is that he gets to be Viktor Nikiforov, Katsuki Yuuri's husband.
And there's nothing better in life than that.