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Music Box

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“I pirouette in the dark   

I see the stars through me   

Tired mechanical heart   

Beats until the song disappears”  

  

The tiny, silver-haired child smiled in glee at his new present; his Mama had gifted him one of the town toy maker's finest, new creations. It was a small, black and silver, painted box the toymaker had called a “Music Box” in his gravelly voice. When Victor opened the lid to the box, a tiny, painted figure popped up from underneath the mirrored top and proceeded to spin around like he was dancing, in a perpetual pirouette.  

The little dancer inside was dressed in a black, form-fitting outfit that had long sleeves, that extended into partial gloves, and long pants, reaching to his ankles. The ensemble had a partial skirt ruffled to one side and silver, jeweled embellishments shining on the dancer's miniscule chest and at his hips brightly, and his short, dark hair was styled back from his face but for the detail of a few, dark wisps curling forward onto the sides of his forehead. The dancer's teeny feet were covered in black, satin pointe shoes and he remained in a frozen en pointe pirouette position with his little arms in a high fifth above his head.  

The little dancer was so beautiful, just like Victor hoped to be someday, already enrolled in ballet classes with Miss Lilia. Victor loved to open his music box and watch the little dancer for hours until he would shut the lid and cuddle the music box close to his chest. He even slept curled up around his beloved toy, which he had discovered could store a myriad of his precious, unique discoveries: shiny rocks, lost teeth, and once he had even tried to make a home for his pet rollie pollie in the little music box, but it hadn’t gone well; his rollie pollie had escaped the dark enclosure and left the tiny, dancing figure alone once more.   

Victor named the little dancer inside, ‘Yuuri’, similar to a popular Russian name but also close to a name from Japan. Japan had many beautiful dances that Victor liked to play at practicing when he wasn't dancing ballet or learning to skate on the ice. Victor would talk to Yuuri a lot when he was feeling lonely or sad. Yuuri would spin around happily, always listening, until the music stopped and Victor shut the lid to his music box once more.  

Victor gathered so much comfort from his beloved music box; he wished Yuuri could be his real friend. Someone who would listen to him and go on adventures with him outside the little box, to skate with him on the ice, and to dance with him after the music stopped; but Yuuri was only a carved figure, and the music box was only a toy, and as Victor got older he tried to remind himself of this when the other children made fun of him for carrying around the small, painted box to school and to all his dance and skating lessons.  

  

“Somebody shine a light  

I’m frozen by the fear in me  

Somebody make me feel alive  

And shatter me  

So cut me from the line  

Dizzy, spinning endlessly  

Somebody make me feel alive  

And shatter me”  

  

Victor was older now, almost fourteen, and his beloved music box sat on his nightstand each day while he trained for his debut in the Junior Grand Prix Final of figure skating, growing from his desire to be a ballet dancer to becoming an ice dancer; and if he still cuddled the little box close at night, then no one needed to know. He opened the box each night before he slept and let the tinkling song soothe him; and of course, Yuuri always could bring a smile to his face as the pretty, dancer spun happily in an eternally gracious pirouette. He knew this was entirely odd behavior, his attachment to the toy, but it just felt-right-like there was something more about the toy calling to him, always drawing him in.   

Some nights he just shut his eyes and wished so desperately that Yuuri would pop out of the box, alive, to be with Victor forever. When Victor turned nineteen, when he could no longer get away with his strange attachment to the toy; it had sat on his nightstand for years, unopened, and gathering dust; until, one day, after a particularly stressful argument with his skating coach, Yakov, about his routine choreography for the upcoming skating season, Victor felt he couldn’t make it without listening to Yuuri’s joyful song and watching his tiny, carved friend dance around and around for just a few minutes. However, when Victor opened the creaking lid, Yuuri didn’t immediately pop up, he was broken. His beloved Yuuri was broken!  

Victor panicked and clutched the music box to his chest before letting out a miserable sob that choked off into pained cries. How could this have happened? He took such good care of his precious music box! Had all his hours of watching Yuuri finally broken the toy? He didn’t know anymore, couldn’t comprehend anything other than that something that had come to mean the world to him, that had almost been his coping mechanism since he was a child, was now broken and he had no way to repair it. He curled up into a little ball on the mattress, sheltering the broken music box against his aching ribs, and cried himself to sleep for the first time in many years.  

All he wanted was for Yuuri to be real. Victor clearly needed the little figurine much more than if he were but a toy, and as his eyes shut he couldn’t help but try and daydream through his misery-dream of gentle hands caressing his face and warm arms encircling him comfortingly.   

  

“Shatter me   

Somebody make me feel alive   

And shatter me!  

  

If only the clockwork could speak  

 I wouldn’t be so alone   

We burn every magnet and spring   

And spiral into the unknown”  

  

Victor woke a little while later nestled against a warm, solid body in his bed. At first he didn’t realize what was happening, he thought he was dreaming again about the nameless, dark-haired dancer that somehow closely resembled the figurine of Yuuri that would dance through his dreams on occasion.   

The silver-haired skater turned into the dancer's body and cuddled against their chest gently, sighing in content and mumbling out, “Yuuri,” before startling and jerking awake harshly when his sleepy words were responded to.  

“Victor,” the dancer whispered back.  

Victor sat up and took in the man lying in his bed, appearing rather rumpled, as if he had slept there with the skater most of the night. This man looked identical to his Yuuri, his music box dancer; he was even wearing the same ensemble as the little, wooden figure. The alarmed skater looked to where his music box was now lying on the foot of the bed, split in half, with the little figurine of Yuuri entirely missing.   

“W-what’s happening?” Victor stammered in shock.  

“You made me come alive, Victor, like you always wished! Like I always wanted…” Yuuri trailed off, while his face blushed a bright scarlet.   

 “I-I don’t…y-you’re really Yuuri?”   

Yuuri nodded shyly, realizing that while he had spent his whole existence listening to everything about Victor and storing the details away lovingly in his tiny, mechanical heart; he had been unable to speak back-clockwork can’t speak-and so Victor had been left lonely, without Yuuri’s true companionship. 

 Everything had hit a crescendo last night when Victor had opened the music box to find Yuuri’s springs broken, it had been the first step in Yuuri attempting to join Victor in reality. Victor hadn’t known, but all that was needed were his tears, his pure heartfelt wishes, and some sort of breaking point in the magical barrier; and Yuuri had been transformed. Victor had shattered through the darkness encasing the little dancer and had brought him to life; and now Yuuri could share with him all the longing in his mechanized soul, everything that he’d held in without choice for all these years.   

“You brought me to life, now we don’t have to be alone anymore,” Yuuri uttered happily.  

  

“Somebody shine a light  

I’m frozen by the fear in me  

Somebody make me feel alive  

And shatter me  

So cut me from the line  

Dizzy, spinning endlessly  

Somebody make me feel alive  

And shatter me 

  

Shatter me   

Somebody make me feel alive   

And shatter me 

  

“If I break the glass, then I’ll have to fly  

There’s no one to catch me if I take a dive  

I’m scared of changing, the days stay the same  

The world is spinning, but only in rain”  

  

When Victor remained silent, gaping at the blushing dancer on his bed, Yuuri began to feel something akin to nervousness in his stomach-something he had never really experienced before, and he didn’t like it. Did Victor not want him? Had he misunderstood the longing in the skater's voice over all the years? The dancer felt like he had taken a jump from far up and was falling-falling-and he didn’t know if his Victor would catch him. It was rather frightening and he whimpered low in his throat before Victor snapped into motion.   

Victor didn’t understand at all how this was happening; and he had decided upon realizing he was causing his most beloved Yuuri distress, that he didn’t care. He lunged over to Yuuri and awkwardly jolted their bodies together, tangling himself around the dancer in a fierce hug while they both gasped and smiled so widely their faces ached-there was Victor's beautiful, heart-shaped smile Yuuri loved seeing so much. 

“Yuuri, you’re here, with me,” Victor murmured in wonder.   

Victor tangled his fingers in the dancer’s short, dark locks and tugged gently, affectionately, like he had always wanted to do. He suddenly paused in his enthusiastic touching and blushed fiercely, he supposed he was being rather forward, just throwing himself onto Yuuri like this; but he really felt as if he’d known the other for his whole life, they already felt like dear friends-more, actually.   

Yuuri nodded enthusiastically, “Finally, Victor, and I’m never going back.”  

“Just-how-I mean; why didn’t you come to me before, if you could?” Victor asked quietly, his gut twisting when he thought of all the times he had miserably curled up with his music box, alone, wishing for Yuuri’s company.   

“Shhh dearest Vitya,” Yuuri whispered, watching the skater's ears redden at the affectionate diminutive while placing a gentle finger comfortingly to his heart-shaped lips, “I’m not sure how the magic worked, I just knew when it was right, and I promise you I came to you as soon as I could. I’ve been longing to be here with you, to escape my little music box as soon as you opened it and I looked into your sapphire eyes, so full of life and wonderment.”  

Victor calmed at Yuuri’s soothing words, his insecurities ebbing away and leaving nothing but a warm fulfillment in their wake. The skater grabbed at Yuuri and cuddled into him, wrapping his leg over the dancer’s torso securely and burying his pink face into his neck shyly, even as Victor continued to wiggle and scoot as close as possible to his love. Yuuri gasped and cleared his throat somewhat embarrassingly while the passionate skater wrapped himself around the dancer tightly; in all his years, Yuuri had never, ever seen Victor act like this with someone else-he hadn’t thought Victor would want him romantically, though in his dizziest daydreams he wanted Victor very much like that.   

Yuuri had been with Victor to his lessons, had listened in when his mother had given him “the talk” about emotionally intimate and physical relations; and since those days his innocent desire to be Victor’s very best friend, hunting rollie pollies and playing at pirates and cowboys, had morphed into something much more-into a deep desire to be with him as Victor's mother had described two married adults.  

Yuuri just didn’t know how to respond, didn’t know what he should do or say; and oh, what if he was reading the signals wrong? What if Victor was just very affectionate with everyone like this and Yuuri had never noticed before? Yuuri felt entirely flustered and very, very…hot? Like his whole body was tingling and on fire with every new squeeze and nuzzle from Victor. Yuuri squirmed in Victor’s ardent embrace, wondering what he should do; how he should respond to let Victor know how he really felt, or not, if the skater didn’t want the same things he did.   

“Something wrong, Yuuri?” Victor mumbled into the dancer’s sweaty neck, hoping worriedly that he wasn’t making the newly animated man uncomfortable; this must all be so new, so overwhelming, for Yuuri, and Victor was throwing himself at the poor dancer so readily.   

“N-nothing, I just-I never even-I didn’t think,” Yuuri stuttered awkwardly, before gulping and simply embracing this, the beauty and love that was so clearly between them; he didn’t need to question it, didn’t need to understand it even-it was just a new part of the magic that had enfolded them.   

“I-I love you Yuuri, you know that, right?”   

“Yeah,” Yuuri responded, wincing when his new voice cracked with emotion, “I love you too Vitya, I always have.”  

  

“If I break the glass, then I’ll have to fly  

There’s no one to catch me if I take a dive  

I’m scared of changing, the days stay the same  

The world is spinning, but only in rain  

(Hold me)  

  

Somebody shine a light  

I’m frozen by the fear in me  

Somebody make me feel alive  

And shatter me  

So cut me from the line  

Dizzy, spinning endlessly  

Somebody make me feel alive  

And shatter me

  

Shatter me   

Somebody make me feel alive   

And shatter me”   

  

Victor raised himself up above Yuuri and stared deep into his warm, chocolate gaze, “I always thought myself a crazed fool for being so attached to, so in love, with this idea of you-of my music box dancer,” he admitted, “And since you’ve been listening all along, you know how I’m not supposed to let myself get distracted with 'childish things' or anything that's not skating, really,” he finished with a touch of bitterness, reminded of his most recent argument with Yakov. 

“Well I’m here now, with you; you brought me to life, you caught me when I was spinning endlessly in the darkness, you…” Yuuri’s voice cracked again and he felt his first tears run down his cheeks, so filled with emotion as he was.   

Yuuri keened softly before trying to choke the rest out, “…You saved me, Vitya, you’re everything to me, always have been; and I-I would be yours always, if you want me,” Yuuri finished with a hopeful whisper, staring shiningly into the sapphire eyes of his beloved, and feeling happiness flutter in his caged chest like a flighty bird trying to escape.   

“Of course I want you Yuuri! You’re mine, and I’m yours. Always,” Victor assured his tearful love, “Thank you, thank you for finding me Yuuri, I couldn’t imagine another day without you; I need you, so much,” Victor softened his voice to a quiet hum before leaning down over the dancer and letting his warm breath ghost over Yuuri’s twitching mouth.   

Victor couldn’t do this, he didn’t want to steal Yuuri’s very first kiss-didn’t want his own first kiss to be something he took, and was not given. He hovered over Yuuri, suddenly unsure, before glancing back into the dancer’s loving eyes and seeing that the Yuuri’s pupils had blown wide with hazy need. Yuuri released a breathy moan and pushed himself up into Victor ever so softly, before pressing their lips together gently, like he had always imagined.   

Yuuri slotted their lips together clumsily, but sweetly, their mouths bumping tenderly and tingling with new sensations. Victor gasped into the kiss and Yuuri pressed his tongue into the skater’s open mouth passionately, searching the hot cavern ardently while Victor’s fingers tangled and tightened in the dancer’s dark hair, seeking to grounding himself in the face of the immense emotions rolling through him. Yuuri petted Victor’s teeth with his tongue and whimpered when the skater responded by sucking on the slick muscle invading his mouth. The dancer had no idea what was happening to his body, he felt hot and achy all over-but in a very, very good way. He felt hot tingles spiking through his fingers, making his new bones feel like they were creaking with need.   

He could feel Victor’s body responding in kind, when the skater rubbed himself slightly timidly against the dancer underneath him, almost as if to ask, ‘Is this all right?’   

Yuuri only pressed himself closer to Victor, moaning hoarsely whenever their hips kissed, and clutching at the skater’s sturdy shoulders desperately, like Victor was the only thing keeping him from shattering into a million pieces against the bed.   

“I-I love you, Yuuri,” Victor panted against the dancer’s kiss-swollen lips.  

At Victor’s tender words, said in breathless passion, Yuuri felt his heart cracking open and all the warmth inside of him pouring everywhere; rolling over his whole body like a tidal wave. Despite his firm grip on Victor’s shoulders, Yuuri was shattered, into a million pieces, all spinning dizzily around as he was entirely overcome with his love, his devotion, to this amazing person on top of him. He had never before felt so alive, his body thrumming with emotion, his heart beating strongly in his chest, throbbing with love.   

“L-love you more, Vitya,” Yuuri managed to choke out beyond the thick lump in his throat, not helped when Victor brushed his thumb gently over the dancer’s cheeks, wiping away the fresh tears while Yuuri keened at his affectionate ministrations.   

Victor leaned down and placed little kisses all over Yuuri’s face, over his tears, over his fluttering eyelids, on the bridge of his delicate nose, and finally, softly on his forehead before sighing and rolling off of the dancer to cuddle against his side closely.  

“You’re everything,” Victor whispered into Yuuri's dark hair.  

“You’re more,” Yuuri responded in content.   

They laced their fingers together and Victor fell back asleep while the morning sunshine pooled through the closed curtains, listening to Yuuri’s newly awakened heartbeat as the dancer petted his fingers through the skater’s hair happily. He didn’t have to be terrified of being alone anymore, of the dark, of the endless dance that had been his meaningless existence; Victor had caught him and made him whole, made him feel, made him live-and Yuuri would spend the rest of their lives together lighting up Victor’s days with his thankful, joyous smile and his devoted love while Victor simply marveled that his beloved dancer had found him in this life and had indeed loved him back.