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Katsuki Yuuri is not having a good day.

He knew it wasn’t going to be a good day when he woke up this morning and had to rush to the bathroom to throw up, his stomach upset from the too heavy food he ate the previous night -  a bad decision spurred from the high of landing a solid fourth place after the short program.

Then it was the anxiety that had made his hands unsteady and his breathing ragged, making him even more nauseous.

Celestino had called his parents and pressed his phone to Yuuri’s ear before he could say anything. It hadn’t been a bad idea. Sometimes talking with the people back home, especially Minako, could help Yuuri find the center of gravity he needed and do his best. It could’ve worked if weren’t for Vicchan.

If the pressure of the whole world watching and Yuuri’s indisposition hadn’t been enough to wreck him mentally, the death of his childhood dog did the job quite thoroughly.

That had been the final blow to Yuuri’s already poor mental state. The grief and guilt that the death of his dog brought him clouded his entire performance and sunk him down to sixth place, and somehow Yuuri managed to score the lowest he’s ever scored this season.

And now this .

As if crying in a bathroom wasn’t bad enough, he had to get shouted at for it by a tiny Russian child.

Yuuri crouches down, because it seems like the polite thing to do. If this kid is going to yell at him and Yuuri has sunken as low as humanly possible, why not sink a little lower and at least be at eye level while he’s being yelled at?

“Sorry,” Yuuri says, thanking past him for being obsessed to the point of taking Russian classes for years until he was fluent enough to hold a polite conversation and read news articles. “My Russian isn’t very good.”

The kid stops shouting and blows hair out of his face, revealing a cherubic face contorted in what Yuuri can only describe as holy, bratty wrath.

Yuuri blinks twice at him and then sighs in utter resignation. He’d like to say he’s surprised that Victor Nikiforov’s child is yelling at him in a public bathroom, but at this point he’s really, really not.

Yuri Plisetsky glares at him with all the righteousness five year olds possess, and says in heavily accented and clumsy English. “Be more gooder, stupid!”

And then he storms out in a sweep of blond hair and blue and red lights from his Sketchers.

Yuuri stares after him for a moment.

Well, at least his day can’t get any worse than this.

He considers going back into the stall and having another good cry, then reconsiders and decides that locking himself in his private hotel bathroom and crying in the bathtub is a much better, more comfortable option.

It takes three solid seconds for Yuuri to convince himself to get up, and an additional seven minutes for him to walk out of the bathroom.

Yuri Plisetsky is walking up and down the hall, head swiveling around, eyes wide.

Yuuri looks heavenwards for strength.

“Are you lost?” he asks, switching to Russian.

Yuri stops and Yuuri can see how his bottom lip trembles and how he bites it and gives him a fierce glare.

“No! I’m not a baby! Babies get lost!”

Yuuri blinks and hums. “Okay.” He takes in a steadying breath At least having a child in distress overrides the low thrum of his anxiety for the moment. “I’m a bit lost, do you think you could show me the way?”

Yuri glares at him some more, eyes squinting in suspicion. “Yes, but only because I’m not lost.”

Yuuri nods, “of course,” and starts shuffling towards the right direction. Yuri picks up the hint and strides in front of him.

They don’t speak as Yuuri herds the boy as subtly as he can back to the locker rooms where at least one of the members of the Russian team will be to take him back, and then Yuuri will be more than free to collect his things and go have a mental breakdown somewhere he won’t be interrupted.

“Dad!”

The word registers too late, and before Yuuri can properly panic there is Victor Nikiforov standing a couple of meters away from him and crouching down to check his son for injuries, talking in soft worried Russian that Yuuri doesn’t manage to understand.

It’s jarring for a lot of reasons.

Yuuri wasn’t expecting to be faced with him just yet. Not when he’s still not worthy, not when he has just delivered the worst performance of his entire career as a professional athlete, and certainly not before he painstakingly picks himself up and gets back on his feet, not before he tries his best to mold himself into something worthy of standing before Victor.

He’s not ready to officially meet Victor, not by a long shot, but part of his brain – the part that spent long hours staring up at dozens of images of him on his wall and learning Russian so he could understand all the nuances of the interviews Victor gave – can’t help but think maybe, maybe maybe…

But then Victor looks up and spots him.

Yuuri doesn’t pretend to know Victor well enough to judge what he’s thinking or to suss out his thoughts from his expressions, but even him, who has only watched Victor from afar for as long as he can remember can see the change.

Victor’s smile is camera ready, he loses the softness that dote the corners of his eyes and mouth. He looks at Yuuri like he might as well be looking through him, and all Yuuri can think is don’t say anything don’t say anything don’t say-

“A commemorative photo?” Victors asks and tilts his head in a move that has been perfected to break hearts. “Sure.”

Ah , Yuuri thinks.

Ah, I was wrong. It could get worse .

He turns on his heel and walks away.

«»

Victor watches the Japanese man walk away.

Well, that was… surprising.

Victor can’t remember the last time someone walked away from him so dismissively, especially after he offered a photo. It wasn’t hard to tell the man was a fan by the way his eyes widened. Victor was very well acquainted with the starstruck sheen with which people looked at him, and yet .

Something hits him in the thigh. Victor looks down just in time to see Yuri punch him again.

“Dad, you ruin everything!”

“You’re going to hurt my feelings, Yura.” He clutches his chest. “I will die of heartbreak, then what will you do without your poor father?”

Yuri crosses his arms and glares. “Live with Grandpa because Grandpa isn’t mean to other skaters.”

“I wasn’t mean,” Victor denies immediately before the second part of the sentence catches up to him, and oh.

Oh .

Victor might’ve messed up a little bit back there.

“Then why did he go away! I wanted to ask him why he fell so much and why he was crying in the bathroom and now I can’t .”

Okay, Victor might’ve messed up a lot back there.

“Is this the skater you like?”

Yuri looks away and flushes. “I don’t like him. I just think it’s cool that we have the same name. Except when he falls a lot. Then it’s stupid and he needs to better if he’s gonna have the same name as me.”

Victor should’ve known better back there. He should’ve recognized Katsuki Yuuri, if not as a fellow competitor who he thinks did fairly okay for himself in the short program, then as the name Yuri keeps asking him to write on the Youtube search bar.

He hasn’t actually watched him do a full program, he doesn’t think. Just bits and pieces here and there. Enough to know that he’s not a threat and enough to know that he’s a fan.

The first one is obvious by how lackluster some of his programs are, the choreography good but not great , a clean triple axel but a messy everything else, good step sequences and spins, but overall, very average. The second one is obvious in his hands. He moves them like Victor has trained himself to move his own hands for years, and in the little step sequences that recall to Victor’s past programs, one or two costumes that he has seen that have one or two similarities to past costumes of his.

“How about this. I’ll apologize at the banquet and you can ask whatever you want, okay? But be nice .”

Yuri’s face twists at the last word.

Fine . I’ll go ask Mila how to be nice since you’re so bad at it.”

“I’m perfectly nice,” Victor informs him and Yuri punches him in the thigh again. He should really start breaking him out of that habit.

“Fake nice doesn’t count, stupid.”

Victor considers this for a moment and replies the only way he can: by hauling Yuri up and throwing him over his shoulder.

Yuri screeches and grabs fistfuls of the back of Victor’s shirt. “Put me down! Put me down! I’m not a baby. Dad!”

“You know I would , but since I’m very mean I’m not going to.”

Ugh ,” Yuri sighs and flops against his back, wrapping his hands as best as he can around Victor’s middle. “You’re the worst .”

“I know, I’m just awful ,” he says, turning back towards the locker rooms, and see if he can get Yuri back to the hotel room where it’s quiet and he can take a nap after all of today’s excitement, and if he’s really lucky, Yakov will let him rest for the rest of the day and not pull him into any unnecessary interviews where Victor will be asked repetitive and invasive questions.

And Yuri must’ve been getting really tired, because his arms starts going lax around Victor as he grows heavier in his arms. Victor changes positions and puts him on his hip, where he can comfortably lay his head on his shoulder and pass out if he wants to.

«»

[image description: Victor winking at the camera, his cheek pressed against Yuri’s who is glaring at the camera and looks like he’s trying to untie the little bowtie on his tailored suit]

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v-nikiforov Getting ready for the banquet with the seconds handsomest boy #grandprix #sochi #sochibanquet #prouddad #hehateshisbowtiebutlookssocute #beautyispain

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christophe-gc can’t wait to see the cutest boy and his dad ♡♡♡

v-nikiforov I thought I was the cutest boy

christophe-gc age has made you delusional, darling ♡ ( З )

2 HOURS AGO

«»

Yuuri is not drunk, but he’s about to be in just a moment.

Getting plastered at the banquet probably isn’t the smartest idea, but after the day Yuuri had yesterday, combined with how beautiful Victor looked during his gala skate – which Yuuri watched because of course he did , after all whether he had crushed Yuuri’s dreams or not, he’s still Victor Nikiforov – he thinks he has earned the right to drown his sorrows in alcohol.

Someone should probably stop him, but there’s no one in the world who cares if Yuuri ruins his career further or not, so-

He loosens his tie and undoes the first couple of buttons on his dress shirt. downing his fifth glass of champagne of the night.

Yuuri whirls, looking for a waiter with another flute or two he can swipe, maybe with a little luck, he’ll even be able to swipe a whole tray, and almost trips over something small and blond and definitely angry.

Yuri Plisetsky glares up at him. “You!” he shouts.

“Me!” Yuuri says cheerily. “Hello again.” His Russian isn’t the best, but he’s not drunk enough to forget some basic courtesy phrases.

Yuri looks up at him. “Why did you suck?” Yuri demands, tugging at the collar of his shirt..

That looks uncomfortable. If tipsy Yuuri couldn’t handle a tie, he can’t imagine a five year old who has been up way past their bedtime can handle a bowtie.

“Is the knot too tight?” he asks, tapping his own collar twice when Yuri gives him a confused look.

“Yes! I hate suits, they’re stupid and boring.”

Yuuri crouches down at his level, overbalances and ends up falling on his ass.

In any other circumstances he’d be hit with a wave of shame and embarrassment, anxiety riding quick on their heels, but right here and right now he thinks it’s funny, so he laughs.

“Ah, that’s bad. I hate suits too,” Yuuri confides.

Yuri is looking at him very carefully now. It’s like he’s found a brand new animal and he’s not quite sure if it’s the kind you can pet or the kind you need to get an adult to handle.

“Do you want me to take it off?” he asks, pointing at Yuri’s bowtie.

Yuri continues looking at him and then, after a second, nods, taking a step towards Yuuri and lifting up his chin.

It is tied kind of tightly, but considering how much Yuri has had to have been messing with it all night – and it must’ve been a lot if that adorable Instagram picture earlier was anything to go by – it had to be.

Yuuri slips the scrap of fabric from around his neck and gives it to Yuri, who clumsy shoves it in his pocket before unbuttoning the top button of his shirt and sighing.

Yuuri gives him an indulgent smile because he can relate. That was him just a couple of seconds ago. Then he remembers the question Yuri had asked and says, “my dog died.”

The boy is obviously startled by this, going so far as to take a step back.

“That’s why I was so bad. My dog died so I was too sad to skate.”

”That’s an okay excuse. I guess.” Yuri plops himself down in front of Yuuri. And then, “sorry your dog died. Can I see him?”

Yuuri blinks and then gives him a smile. “Sure,” he says, taking his phone out of his pocket and opening up his gallery.

He passes the phone to Yuri.

“His name was Vicchan. He was the best dog.”

“He looks like Makkachin. Was he better than Makkachin, because Makkachin is the bestest dog ever. Dad says so.”

Yuuri considers this. “He was the best dog for me. I taught him how to do ballet and everything.”

Yuri scrunches up his nose and drops Yuuri’s phone back in his lap. “Ballet is stupid. You don’t get to do any cool jumps like in skate. Or beat up other people.”

“I can do cool jumps.”

“No, you can’t.”

“Yes, I can.”

“No, you can’t.”

“I’ll show you,” Yuuri decides, pulling his shoes off and shedding his jacket. He starts slow and easy, standing on the tip of his toes and stretching a leg out behind him, arms poised but loose, making it look easy. He falls into a couple other familiar positions before he takes a leap across the room and launches himself into a first jump, something nice and easy.

He spins in the air, one rotation, then launches himself into another, two rotations this time, then a leap that stretches his legs into a split. He lands neatly on the banquet room’s floor like he struggles to do on the ice.

Yuuri slows down, spinning slowly, elevating his leg until they stand perpendicular with the floor. He lets years of classical ballet melt down through his shoulders and touches one hand to the floor.

He goes into a handstand, pointing his toes towards the ceiling, ankles slightly crossed. Then, very carefully, stretches one of his legs to the side to balance his body weight and takes one of his hands off the ground, bending his arm at a 45 degree angle, hand in front of his abdomen. It’s difficult like this. Especially tipsy as he is, but-

He looks over at Yuri who has his mouth hanging open looking at him.

But it’s so worth it.

“Upside down ballet,” Yuuri says and carefully gets himself back on his feet, taking a proper bow.

“Teach me! Teach me, you have to, that was so cool ! I wanna do upside down ballet, too.” He’s bouncing on his feet a little. Yuuri isn’t really one for children. He never quite knows what to do with them, and he lives perpetually afraid of accidentally making a kid cry. But he has to admit, there’s very few things cuter than a five year old, bouncing with excitement.

“Well you have to learn regular ballet first.”

“I’ll learn all the ballet! I’m going to do upside down ballet on the ice and destroy Dad’s records,” Yuri proclaims, with a fire in his eyes that tells Yuuri he might’ve just made a mistake.

“Yura!” a gruff voice calls. “It’s time to go.”

Yuri turns at the same time as Yuuri looks up.

“But Yakov -“

“No buts, I have let you stay one hour past your bedtime. It is time to go. Now .”

Yuri huffs, disturbing his bangs.

“Fine ,” he pouts. He turns to Yuuri and says, “That was kind of cool,” he shoves his hand in his pocket and takes something out, extending it towards Yuuri. “And the thing with your dog sucks, so you can have this, and the next time you skate you can’t fall so much. Because we have the same name and it’s embarrassing, okay?”

Yuuri accepts the tiny piece of wrapped chocolate Yuri gives him. He looks down at it dumbly, then up at Yuri.

“Chris gave that to me. It’s really good .” He looks away, looking suddenly shy. It’s giving Yuuri whiplash.

“Thank you.”

Yuri nods once, firmly. Then turns on his heel and runs away.

Yuuri looks back down at the chocolate, oddly touched by what’s possibly the softest, warmest thing that has happened to him in the past two days. He might be tearing up a little.

“Yuuri!” someone calls, and he looks up in time to see Sara making her way towards him. “That was beautif- oh .” She halts when she sees his face. “Oh no, what’s wrong?”

“My dog died and Yuri Plisetsky was really nice to me.”

Oh no . Vicchan died? That’s awful, I’m so sorry. Here let’s have a drink, you can tell me about it.”

«»

[image description: Yuri Plisetsky looking down at a phone while Katsuki Yuuri sits in front of him, his tie gone and the first couple buttons of his shirt unbuttoned]

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v-nikiforov I think he made a friend!! #grandprix #sochi #grandprixbanquet #katsukiyuuri #prouddad

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49 MINUTES AGO

«»

Katsuki Yuuri is a revelation .

“Who is he?” Victor asks, clutching faintly at Chris’ bicep because wow .

First, a beautiful and elegant display of ballet that had ended in upside down silliness, which had made Victor’s kid, a self-proclaimed hater of ballet, to want to give it a try. Yuuri had managed to accomplish in five minutes what Victor hadn’t managed to in over a year.

Then, the salsa dancing with a laughing Italian girl that Chris informs him is named Sara. Yuuri somehow twirling her with one hand, keeping the steps perfectly in times with her while he held a bottle of champagne in the other and chugged it down. Sara stole the bottle from him during their dance, a couple of times, trying to chide him, and Yuuri smiled, and dipped her and stole it right back, keeping in step with the upbeat Latin music filtering from the speakers Sara plugged into her phone.

“And more importantly: is he straight?

A man approaches Yuuri and Sara and wrenches her away from him. Victor faintly recognizes him as one of the other competitors. Maybe.

The man yells at a confused looking Yuuri, and then grabs him by his collar.

“Get away from my sister, you depraved sex demon!”

“Mickey, oh my god , let him go! We were just dancing.”

Yuuri cocks his head and smirks, leaning forwards. “Dance off!”

Mickey lets him go and takes several steps backwards, taking Sara with him. “No way will I let you entrap me with your unholy wiles!”

Yuuri frowns. “No dance off?”

Mila steps between the siblings. “Pair dance off! Come on, Crispino, don’t tell me you’re going to back out from a challenge like this.”

Mickey goes a little red in the face.

“My job is to protect Sara.”

Mila takes Sara by the hand and twirls her to Yuuri, who catches her clumsily, making a soft sound when he almost drops his bottle.

Sara laughs and Mickey makes this unholy sound in his throat, not unlike an angry goose.

Mila takes Mickey’s hands and twirls him, just as Sara coaches Yuuri to regain his dance with her. There are quick steps and lifts as the pairs dance around each other, Mickey trying to get to Sara, Sara trying to get the bottle from Yuuri, Yuuri trying to get his bottle and Mila just having the time of her life playing a very fun looking version of keep away.

Victor watches helplessly as Yuuri lifts Mila and Mickey lifts his sister in an oddly synchronized move, and how Mila passes the bottle of champagne she snaffled from Yuuri into Sara’s hands. As soon as the girls are safely back on their feet, Mila shoves the bottle into Mickey’s hands, before she twirls her way into grasping Sara’s hand and switching partners.

Mickey splutters something about sex demons and not getting to me this time Katsuki to which Yuuri seems impervious to as he dips an increasingly reddening Mickey and steals the bottle from him in a grand finale as the music comes to a close.

Mila and Sara have fallen over each other, laughing at how Mickey pushes away from Yuuri’s arms and takes several steps back, heaving.

Yuuri upends the bottle and frowns when nothing comes out of it. He peers into it suspiciously, and shakes it, then pouts when he realizes there really is nothing left.

Victor can’t help but think he looks absolutely adorable.

Mickey scrambles to put himself between Yuuri and his sister. “Sara, what did I tell you ?! You can’t get near him, he’s dangerous! Before you know it you’ll be entrapped -“

Sara slaps her forehead. “ We were fifteen, let it go!”

“Sara! You have to resist! Don’t tell me he has gotten into you, too!” He grabs Sara by the shoulders and shakes. “Resist, Sara!”

Chris snickers. “Poor Crispino. I can’t believe he’s still not over that.”

“Not over what? Chris! Who is he?”

“You know exactly who he is. Your kid is half obsessed with him.”

Victor huffs, disturbing his carefully styled bangs into an artful disarray. “I might not have been paying as much attention as I probably should have.”

Chris side-eyes him. “ Shocking .”

“Chris,” Victor whines. “Tell me what you know.”

Chris sips on his champagne, puts the empty glass in Victor’s hand, and says, “I’ll do you one better and show you something exquisite. Pay attention, darling.”

Then he takes long strides across the ballroom, picking up another two glasses from a passing waiter and sidling up to Yuuri.

Victor watches as Chris hands one of the glasses to Yuuri and slides a hand onto his hip, leaning close until his mouth is ghosting Yuuri’s ear. From this angle he can’t see Chris’ lips, but he can see Yuuri’s expression, and the way his eyes widen incrementally and then cut to Victor.

Yuuri’s eyes are a soft, warm brown, pupils wide with the drink, and as Chris continues whispering they grow lidded, still watching Victor and pinning him to the floor. He doesn’t think he could move if he wanted to.

Chris steps back and tilt his glass towards Yuuri.

Yuuri doesn’t take his eyes off of Victor when he clinks their glasses together clumsily, spilling some champagne on the tiled floor and on his pants, before downing the rest of the glass and giving it to Chris.

Chris turns to him with a wink that promises very bad (or good, it’s always a toss up with Chris) things to follow.

And then, while Chris borrows the speaker from Sara, Yuuri takes off his pants and suddenly there’s a pole and slow sensual music playing out of someone’s phone as Yuuri wraps his hand around the pole and walks a lazy circle around it, as if getting acquainted.

If Yuuri does ballet like a graceful paradoxically strong and fragile creature, and dances salsa like he’s having fun, then he pole dances like he’s trying to seduce a crowd that will never be allowed to touch him.

Victor’s jaw is somewhere on the floor, and his soul somewhere in the high heavens, because, again, witnessing Katsuki Yuuri is like revelation and at this point he’s pretty sure he’s ascended.

There’s a complexity to him that clashes and that Victor itches to unravel.

And then Chris gets on the pole and Yuuri steps down, cheering and clapping, as happy to witness as he was to do. He’s panting a little, and Victor should probably do his friend the courtesy of watching him work the pole, but instead he’s watching Katsuki Yuuri smile stupidly and slide his hair back from his forehead, gripping it for a second, before his bangs fall over his eyes again and wow .

If Yuuri was beautiful with his bangs over his eyes, he’s devastatingly handsome like with them pushed back, his features growing a little sharper.

Victor watches Yuuri climb back on the pole with Chris and watches them put on an exhibition of core strength and charm. There’s more than one phone recording and taking pictures, though, knowing the ISU, everyone at the banquet will be sworn into secrecy over threat of some sort of legal action.

What happens at ISU banquets, stays at ISU banquets, even if most of them are mind-numbingly boring.

Chris climbs off the pole first, with Yuuri stumbling into his arms barely a second after, laughter bubbling out of him. Victor watches Yuuri leaning forward and pressing his lips against Chris’ ear, words too low for him to hear, before he pushes back and cocks his head.

Victor is reminded of a puppy.

Chris nods once and Yuuri beams launching himself forward to wrap Chris is a hug.

Someone pushes Yuuri’s clothes into Chris’ arms and Chris takes no time trying to get Yuuri into them, managing to slip his dress shirt back on and his ugly blue tie around his neck. Yuuri makes a disgruntled face and immediately unfastens his tie and starts tugging it out. It gets caught on his forehead and after a second of clumsy tugging, he lets it rest there.

Victor is filled with an inexplicable need to step forward and help.

Now, Victor isn’t a cruel person, at least he doesn’t like thinking himself one. He knows he has his moments of compassion, but mostly Victor is extremely jaded and self-centered. He can admit that much. Life has made him too weary to have enough energy to care enough for others to want to help random drunk Japanese men at Grand Prix banquets. The extent of his caring encompasses Makkachin, Yura, and chasing the sort of validation that has been eluding him ever since Victor stopped being able to surprise his audience.

Happiness had always been a shiny gold medal, but lately shiny gold medals aren’t cutting it for him anymore, so maybe he should start chasing after pretty Japanese boys drunk on champagne instead.

He takes a step forward just as Chris is leaning down to attempt wrangling Yuuri into his pants.

Yuuri must catch his movement in the corner of his eye, because Victor has barely finished taking his first step and Yuuri’s head snaps to him, face going bright and sparkly. He pushes off of Chris like it’s nothing and throws himself on Victor and wow-

Wow. Okay. If those hips seemed fluid when he had been twirling on the dance floor, they are certainly fluid now, grinding against Victor as the man speaks quick Japansese.

Chris comes to his side looking surprised and absolutely delighted .

Victor has no idea what to do with himself.

Not when Yuuri shouts “Be my coach, Victor!” and certainly not when Yuuri drags him to the dance floor – after Chris managed to wrangle him into his pants and some shoes -  and slowly coaches Victor in what he thinks is supposed to be a dance off but quickly develops into something exciting and new and somehow intimate.

Katsuki Yuuri dips Victor with one hand on the back of his neck and the other on his thigh like it’s the easiest thing, giving him a low-lidded and completely smitten smile that Victor can’t help but mirror in earnest, completely breathless.

He hasn’t been this excited in a very very long time, and the way Yuuri thumbs his bottom lip like Victor is his personal plaything and then leans their foreheads together like Victor is only to be held and touched as if he were made of spun glass, does nothing to quell his interest or to make his heart beat any slower.

And then just as he had appeared, he’s gone again, leaving Victor and probably a good amount of the people in the ballroom feeling ill footed and breathless.

Victor slumps against a chair, dazed .

“Who is he?” he asks helplessly for the third time that night.

No one can really give him an answer.

«»

[image description: Yuri Plisetsky sitting on top of two suitcases stacked up, eating swiss chocolate with a soft tiger plushie laying carelessly across his lap]

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v-nikiforov Thanks for the memories Sochi #sochi #grandprix #prouddad

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7 HOURS AGO