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"Be My Sex Coach, Victor!"

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“And he ended it by saying that it didn’t help that I suck in bed.”

“Fuck him, he was a douchebag,” Phichit slurped through a mouthful of pho.

“Except me fucking him was the exact problem,” Yuuri pointed out in a mutter, repeatedly picking at a small piece of beef floating at the top of his soup, like he was channeling his regressed desire to stab at his dick of an ex.

“Look, Yuuri, don’t listen to him. You said it wasn’t that great either,” Phichit reasoned, flashing his signature smile of encouragement. The one that came with all of Phichit’s pep talks, whether it was no one saw you fall that time I swear, not even me to his your ass looks so great in those jeans I’d be shocked if he didn’t try to eat it the second you show up. Phichit had a talent for saying exactly the right and wrong things at the same time. “So, whatever, ditch the loser and get yourself someone who’ll worship your body like the temple that it is.”

“We’re in public,” Yuuri groaned, sinking further into his chair, ready to pull his hoodie over his head. Bad enough his sex life—or lack thereof—was now dinner conversation, he didn’t need the family of four at the table behind him overhearing Phichit’s ranting monologues about how he thought Yuuri’s thighs probably could build an Instagram cult on their own.

“You need to date around more,” Phichit declared, fishing leftover noodle fragments out of his bowl. “Or just sleep around more.”

“Phichit!” Yuuri hissed, as the mother of family-of-four glared over at them. Yuuri wanted to melt into the floor and dribble out onto the street where maybe he could be absorbed by the soil and never have to deal with the words dating or sex or boyfriend ever again.

“What, I mean if you want it, you gotta go for it! If you don’t think you’re good, then get good. Just like anything, you know? Practice makes perfect. Actually you know what, gimme your phone.”

Eyebrows arched high in skepticism, Yuuri pulled the phone from inside his hoodie pocket and placed the device into Phichit’s expectant hands. No point in protesting when all odds were Phichit would end up obtaining it one way or another, as he always did when he wanted something.

Yuuri abandoned the rest of his soup and watched Phichit’s fingers flash across the screen of the phone. He didn’t bother asking why Phichit knew his lock code, even though he had changed it a few days ago. “If you text JJ, I swear—”

“Eww, gross, no, no frat boys.” Phichit crinkled his nose in dismissal, scrolling through some options.

Yuuri sat up, leaning across the table in an attempt to see what it was that Phichit was doing. No luck.

“Where do you keep all your good selfies?”

“Uhhh… I don’t?” Yuuri replied. His for the most part ignorance of all social media trends was a constant state of conflict in their apartment. Phichit had recently celebrated reaching his ten thousandth follower on Instagram. Yuuri hadn’t opened his account in at least seven months. He couldn’t even if he wanted to, password long swept from memory.

“What about that one from regionals?” Phichit pressed, not looking up from the screen, dark skin lit up by the bluelight blaring from it. Yuuri knew for a fact that Phichit always carried no less than two portable chargers in his bag at all times, in addition to a lightning cable, because lord forbid his phone ever dip beneath 30%. Yuuri had anxiety attacks before competitions. Phichit’s were triggered by the white of the battery display turning yellow.

“It’s on your phone, not mine,” Yuuri answered, craning his neck but still unable to glimpse anything beyond Phichit quickly swiping through a wall of social media posts.

“Ah, found it!” Phichit declared happily, tapping his thumb on the screen to download the photo to internal memory, instantly flickering out to another site.

“What are you doing?” Yuuri tried again, helpless to whatever it was no matter what, as once Phichit got rolling, there was nothing to stop him.

“Setting you up on tinder,” Phichit quipped, smile stretched wide across his teeth, obviously pleased with his latest brilliant plan.

“Phichit—”

“No buts! Seriously, give it a try. And signing up doesn’t mean you have to go with everyone that contacts you. But, you can’t whine to me about your dating issues and then do nothing about it. You refuse to go out with anyone at school so—”

“—I don’t want to be stuck in a class with them if we break up—”

“—or that barista who is always winking at you—”

“—I like that place and don’t want to have to find a new coffee shop—”

“—and it’s not like your social butterfly ass is fluttering around town picking up hot guys, so let them come to you. Plus this way, you can chat them up a bit before you meet and not have to be as nervous, maybe? It’d be good for you to hook up a couple times, practice those skills you’re lamenting on.”

Yuuri’s skills were not the problem. The problem was his skills were non-existent. The last few times he had managed to find someone to date, the same issue kept creeping up. Reportedly, Yuuri Katsuki was a terrible lay. And no matter how much Phichit tried reassuring him that first times were always awkward and that maybe Yuuri simply hadn’t found someone he was compatible with yet, the common denominator in all of those relationships, no matter how brief, had always been Yuuri.

It was not as if Yuuri didn’t like sex. It was just that sex didn’t seem to like him.

Yuuri waited patiently, watching Phichit input information and fill out details as easily as if were setting up his own profile, until he finally reached the point when the potential matches popped up. Without skipping a beat, Phichit swiped through those as well.

“You’re not even going to let me choose?” Yuuri laughed as Phichit made the selections for him.

“You’d just overthink it. Plus I already know your type.”

Yuuri slumped back in his chair, pushing away the cooling bowl of pho. Wednesday night had been designated by Phichit as “Asian Night” when they had first become roommates two years back. The habit carried on rather consistently, broken only during events like mid-terms and competitions.

Six weeks prior, Yuuri’s first date with douchebag had been on a Wednesday. Phichit made reservations for them and hissed, “If he doesn’t like sushi, you dump his ass right then and there and bring me back a spider roll,” before shoving Yuuri out of the apartment. Yuuri should have listened. Avoided the whole mess, because douchebag had indeed not liked sushi, making a face of disgust and a comment along the lines of if I wanted to taste raw fish, I’d date a girl. Should have known then.

Yuuri slumped even further. “See, this is what I mean. Who in their right mind would want to put up with me?”

“Thanks for that, Yuuri.”

“You’re my roommate! I pay half the rent, you have to put up with me. I’m not paying to date. Even if I did, apparently sleeping with me is like the kiss of relationship death.”

“You do pay for dinners. And stop trying to curse yourself.” Phichit winked and handed Yuuri back his phone. “All done. Now we wait for the flood of messages of peopling clamoring for a piece of Yuuri Katsuki.”

“You make me sound like a piece of meat.”

“I did mention your thighs under the special skills category.”

Yuuri groaned and wished for the sweet relief of death. Or a new best friend. Whichever came first.

~~~~~~~

Yuuri could not do much beyond stare. And stare some more.

He blinked, repeatedly, but the text and image remained present. As clear as they were unbelievable. At some point in the last fifteen minutes, Yuuri had slipped from the normal world where he was falling on nearly every attempt at a salchow into a parallel universe where a specimen of human perfection had begun to message Yuuri out of the blue.

Maybe not out of the blue. Through the dating app Yuuri had tried to all but forget over the course of the last week. The notifications from it had not been as sparingly thin as he expected, but Yuuri had ignored more messages than he had answered. And the expression out of the blue was much better reserved for the piercing color of the eyes captivating Yuuri from the photo he had been sent.

Yuuri felt reduced to a Japanese stereotype, entrapped by blue eyes, silver-blond hair, pale skin, and soft pink lips curved up into an unrealistically gorgeous smile.

>> Hi! Saw on your profile you liked poodles? Man after my own heart~ (/ ^ ♡ ^ )/

It was unfair. Because in the selfie Mr. Human Perfection had sent, he was lying on a bed, a standard poodle’s adorably happy head resting against his shoulder, the dog’s tongue lolling out. Together they looked like something out of an ad for the kind of pet shop that sold clothes for dogs at a hundred bucks a pop. Didn’t the world know that super hot guy plus super cute dog was Yuuri’s ultimate weakness? How was he supposed to ignore this?

>> Do you have a pupper too?

Yuuri nearly clutched at his chest. He called dogs puppers. Hot plus adorable. Plus dog. Yuuri hated Phichit. Yuuri loved Phichit. Yuuri was going to murder Phichit.

<< No, I wish. I’m a student so I can’t have one right now. But I’ve always wanted one. I’m the person that finds the dog at a party and doesn’t leave its side the whole time, lol.

Yuuri winced the moment he sent the message. Why did he say that? What kind of thing was that to admit to someone as part of the first thing he had ever said to them? It was basically the equivalency of Hi, I’m a bit awkward and anti-social, haha, isn’t that cute? Good job, Yuuri. This was exactly why he thought the whole online dating thing was a bad idea. At least in person, he had a better filter to keep such stupid things from falling out of his mouth.

>> Me too! No uncomfortable small talk with puppers, right? \( ^ ♡ ^ )/

Fuck. Yuuri was so fucked. So very fucked. Or, he wanted to be. The jawline in the photo could probably cut diamonds and the low-cut V-neck shirt he was wearing gave a promising preview of his collarbone. Yuuri flipped through Mr. Perfect’s profile. Unfortunately, he found exactly what he wanted.

A shirtless photo of Mr. Perfect and Adorable Poodle at a beach, running along the waterline with joy splashed across both their faces. That chest looked like it had been chiseled out of marble by Michelangelo himself. Yuuri wouldn’t mind seeing it in person. Touching it in person. Tracing the lines of those very toned abdominals with his tongue in person.

>> I saw in your photos that you ice skate?

<< Yeah, I do. I compete sometimes.

>> Wow, amazing! (^v^) I went skating with a friend last Xmas, think I spent more time on my ass than on my feet

Don’t think about his ass. If his perfect face and chest were anything to go by, he probably had a perfect ass as well. Yuuri pictured something he could bounce quarters off. Or, preferably, his hands. But Mr. Perfect was more lean. It was probably all firm muscles, with a dip along the curves, pert and great for sinking teeth into. Could Yuuri get any thirstier?

<< Yeah, it can be hard. I’ve been skating for over ten years and I still ended up on my ass today. More than once.

>> Ten years?! You must be really good! You’ll have to teach me

Yeah, because that’s exactly what Yuuri wanted. To embarrass himself in front of Mr. Perfect. He should have avoided the topic altogether. Although, he had not been the one to bring it up. He could steer away from it though.

<< Maybe, but it’s honestly not that great of a thing to do on a date.

>> So you’re already thinking about a date?

Oh. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Yuuri had not meant that. He had not meant to imply that. How else would that comment be interpreted though? Then again, why else had Mr. Perfect contacted him if not for a date?

The first few days after Phichit had installed the app, Yuuri had quickly blocked a few messages that came through, lewd in text and in photos attached. A couple others had started off seeming okay but then descended to a level or topic that Yuuri was not comfortable with. But this was the first that was something normal. Or at least so far.

<< If you want?

>> How about Friday? Around 6? Doesn’t have to be ice skating (^_~)

The emojis were giving Yuuri the impression that Mr. Perfect was the type of guy with a smile permanently plastered across his handsome face and made Yuuri curious on how his laugh might sound. His voice was probably as amazing as the rest of him.

Yuuri had no plans for Friday at six. Phichit had a class that ran till seven, something he complained about all semester, ever since reluctantly signing up for it to fill required credits. Yuuri could do Friday at six. Yuuri could do Mr. Perfect Friday at six—could do a date. A date. Sometimes things happened on a date though. After a date. Yuuri had things happen after a date before—he forced himself to derail that train of thought. Because those things had not ended well on that date. Did not mean it had to be the same this time around.

<< I think that should be fine for me.

>> (^w^) Have you ever gone to a pottery studio? Not the sexy type like in Ghost, the type where you end up with more paint on your hands than the thing you’re supposed to be decorating?

The laugh dropped from Yuuri’s mouth before he could stop it. Maybe Phichit’s idea wasn’t so bad after all.

A shout came from behind Yuuri, reminder that break time was over. He typed back a quick confirmation that the idea sounded good to him and set his phone down, heading back out onto the ice with a small smile on his lips. For some reason, he felt like trying for that salchow again.

The landing wasn’t perfect and he wobbled heavily coming out of the spin, but Celestino called out a few words of encouragement from across the rink. Yuuri smiled wider and kept skating. It stayed stretched across his lips through the rest of practice and until he left for the evening, fueled by the occasional glance at his phone and exchanged messages.

It was not until Yuuri got back to his apartment when the smile slipped.

>> Have something I need to tell you, because I don’t wanna lead you on and it can be a turnoff for some people…

The message came like a cruel joke at the same time that Yuuri slid the key into the door lock, a dramatic irony on exactly why nicknames like Mr. Perfect should never be applied to anyone.

One hand on the door handle and one on his phone, Yuuri watched the message screen, seeing the indicator that his online match was typing appear, then disappear, then appear again.

What was it? He was married. He was jobless. He was a member of an organized crime syndicate—no, Yuuri was getting ahead of himself. It probably nothing. Nothing significant. His phone vibrated.

>> I’m a pornstar

~~~~~~~

“A what?!”

“Don’t make me say it again,” Yuuri groaned, collapsing on the sofa in the living room of their shared apartment. The cushions were worn, color fading in places. The fabric at the bottom of one corner was frayed, chewed through by one of Phichit’s hamsters on a grand escape.

“Wait, maybe he meant, like, working in adult film? Part of the production crew and not part of the-…”

“Production?”

“Yeah!”

Yuuri flipped over and buried his face in a couch pillow. He had kept messaging Victor back and forth, after the job title confessional, which he had played off as oh, that’s fine, I can understand and then a I promise, it’s cool with me, at least it’ll be a good ice breaker on the date? even though really it wasn’t all that fine and he wasn’t exactly cool with it. And because of course. Of course gorgeous-and-funny-and-charming-as-hell-in-all-his-text-messages would turn out to work in a profession that made a complete mockery of Yuuri’s bedroom anxiety.

Had it been any other time, Yuuri might have blocked him the very second that message came through. Except messaging with Victor through the afternoon at the rink had actually been fun. And Yuuri could admit to himself that he had not felt so at ease at first contact since Phichit’s million-watt personality barrel-rolled through all of Yuuri’s nervous isms and declared them best friends from day one.

Other than for the apparent fact that Victor was a pornstar, agreeing to continue on with the date plan did not seem all the intimidating when messages with cute emojis and little jokes slipped in kept arriving on Yuuri’s phone, making him smile at every one.

Spending an evening blushing at how good-looking Victor probably was in person actually seemed appealing, especially if the conversation continued as easily as it did in their online chats. The biggest challenge was just going to be getting over all the implications behind Victor’s job… Mainly the fact that he was literally a sex professional and Yuuri couldn’t even give a blowjob without boring his partner.

“He said, and I quote, ‘I’m a pornstar.’”

“Dude, this is perfect!”

The lower half of Yuuri’s legs bounced when Phichit threw himself at the end of the sofa and then over Yuuri, forcing him over. “Who better than a pornstar to help you out with your sex problem?”

Blankly, Yuuri stared back at Phichit’s overtly excited expression. Dark eyes sparkling and whole face alight like whenever he thought he had a hashtag genius idea. Yuuri deadpanned his response, “No.”

“What do you mean, no?!” Phichit grabbed for Yuuri’s hands, tugging him up as if the change in positioning would help him be any more convincing. “Listen hear me out, if you do this guy then you could ask for—”

“No, Phichit, I don’t want to—” Yuuri could not imagine anything more intimidating than trying to have sex with a pornstar. Someone who knew exactly how everything was supposed to work and would see exactly how badly Yuuri didn’t. There was no doubt in Yuuri’s mind that the last thing Victor would want after working at sex would be working at sex. Even if all the photos on Victor’s tinder profile made Yuuri feel quite inspired to try. “You really think a pornstar would volunteer to have bad sex?”

“Come on, you don’t know that you’re bad!”

“Just according to everyone I’ve ever slept with.”

“That’s bullshit and you know it. How many people have you even slept with?” Phichit challenged, arms crossed over his chest.

“A few,” Yuuri defended.

“And they’ve all said that you sucked?”

“No, but—”

“But what?”

“But none of them said it was good!”

Phichit scoffed. “So that obviously means you’re bad. Real life isn’t a porno, you know. Not everyone’s going to be shouting about how great it is.”

Yuuri chose that moment to study a spot on the floor, where of the rug still bore evidence of a stain from a mug full of red wine. The result of a dramatic night over another break up. Not Yuuri’s, but Phichit’s. However, somehow it was Yuuri that ended up drunk that night, lamenting on his own failed relationships after his attempts to reassure Phichit went stale.

“Maybe they should be.”

Phichit rolled his eyes as obviously as he could. “Go out with the guy, Yuuri, one date, see if he’s a creep and if he is, don’t worry about it! Or if he’s not, bang him and get a professional’s opinion! Cause if he doesn’t know what he’s doing, no one does.”

The phone in Yuuri’s pocket buzzed. Avoiding Phichit’s badgering, Yuuri opened the message notification and was rewarded by a photo of Victor’s poodle with a plush toy in her mouth. A plump white snowman.

>> No ice skates at the pet store, this was the closest I could get

Yuuri would have chuckled if it were not for Phichit craning over to look at the phone screen.

“Oh my god, is that from porn boy? He has a poodle?”

“He calls her Makka,” Yuuri said as he typed back a reply before even registering that he was doing it.

<< Good idea, skates can be expensive. Don’t know if you want to spoil her that much.

“Oh my god,” Phichit said again, his focus flickering up from the phone to Yuuri’s face. Watching Yuuri’s eyes crinkle and lips curl at the corners when another message arrived. “Oh my god, you like him. You like him already. How long have you been messaging him?”

Heat seeped through Yuuri’s cheeks. “Since yesterday.”

“And you’re teasing already? Holy shit. Holy shit, Yuuri, you need to go out with porn boy. Please Yuuri, please for the love of me, go on one date with porn boy. You don’t need to marry him, but go on one date, please.”

Yuuri knew that Phichit’s pestering would not stop. “I am. I already told him I would. Tomorrow,” he admitted. He could do one date. Too late to back out now.

>> Spoil her? How dare you? That diamond collar she wears was a gift from my mother and the filet mignon for her dinner tonight was on sale!

Yuuri laughed. Phichit’s eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.

<< You better send proof if you want me to believe you.

Beside him, Phichit was practically flailing. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing, Yuuri Katsuki’s actually flirting with someone he just met. Show me his photo, right now.”

“We haven’t met yet,” Yuuri corrected, scrolling up through the message log to find the selfie that Victor had sent him the previous day. The blush darkened when Phichit whistled at how far up the series of exchanges went. He found the photo and handed the phone to Phichit.

Phichit stared. Then backed out of the messages to go through Victor’s profile pictures, just like Yuuri had done. “I lied. You need to marry porn boy.”

“Way to play it cool.”

Phichit kept flipping through a few more photos until he reached the one of Victor on the beach with his poodle. He stopped and his mouth dropped open. “Ohhhhh. Oh my god. Yuuri, Yuuri I know him!”

That was exactly what Yuuri needed. For Phichit to recognize his adult film star of an online dating match. “Don’t tell me you’ve seen his porn.”

“I’ve seen his porn.”

Yuuri didn’t want to know. Except that he did. He might have already been tempted to do a quick google search but thought that it would be a bad idea to have those types of images flashing very vividly through his mind when he actually met Victor. Plus it would not be constructive to see the kinds of partners Victor had professionally as he would end up needlessly comparing himself to them.

“It’s not weird, is it?”

Phichit laughed and sat back, his smile morphing into a delighted, knowledgeable smirk. “I liked it. A lot. If you know what I mean.”

Yuuri groaned and collapsed back down onto the couch, burying his face in the pillow once again. He shouldn’t have asked.

~~~~~~~

Every minute felt like a century. Yuuri spent the majority of the day wondering if it was a good idea. He came off way more confident and flirty and not as prone to anxiety in their online exchanges. Victor would arrive expecting a Yuuri whose account photos had all been carefully selected by Phichit to show him in the best possible light, and who could fire back teasing remarks like it was nothing. Instead he’d receive a Yuuri that tended to be intimidated by prolonged eye contact and that could not make a first move to save his life.

Then again, maybe Victor wasn’t the dictionary definition of perfection come to life in the real world either. Maybe all his photos were filtered. Or edited. Maybe he had a friend advising him on the type of flirty and amusing lines to send in order to almost quite literally flatter the pants off Yuuri. Maybe the dog wasn’t even his.

So maybe Yuuri did not need to worry at all. Maybe Victor’s ass was flat instead of pert. Maybe he had a receding hairline which was expertly manipulated out of view in his selfies. Maybe his voice sounded like he had sucked down a mouthful of helium. Maybe he was not as stunning and charming and absolute—

“Yuuri!”

Oh but fuck, he actually was. This was a mistake. A huge mistake. The biggest mistake Yuuri had ever made and that included that bedazzled pink mesh costume he wore during his short program his first year in Juniors. Victor did not look like his online photos. He looked better.

Skin flawless, hair more silver than blond, body all lean lines, and blue eyes dazzling. And he was tall. Long legs in dark slacks and broad shoulders in a dress shirt that was half floral patterns and half sheer maroon, like something out of a couture catalogue. Yuuri’s heart decided to develop palpitations.

“Hope I didn’t keep you waiting, I was held up in the parking lot.” Victor smiled, in an impossible imitation of those heart-mouth emojis he had spammed Yuuri’s inbox with over the past two days.

“No, it’s fine, I just got here,” Yuuri replied quickly, even though it was far from fine. Because not only did Victor look like he had stepped off a fashion week runway, he had an accent. Not overtly thick, but certainly unmistakably Russian in the way he had stretched out the vowels in Yuuri’s name when he had called it as he approached, the way that ‘r’ rolled off his tongue like a purr. Yuuri was not going to be fine at all.

“Good, can’t be making a bad impression on our first date,” Victor winked and grabbed Yuuri’s hand as if it were nothing. Yuuri stumbled for half a step, surprised by the contact and at being so suddenly pulled across the small plaza of the open air mall. Victor’s hand held on, firm and eager, and Yuuri did not have a single thought to pull away.

The shop Victor pulled them into was small, walls splattered in multi-colored paints. Shelves brimming with white blank-slate mugs, plates, clay-formed animals and an assortment of a whole lot more ready to be painted to the heart’s content.

A short, blond teenager sat behind the shop counter, legs kicked up, phone in hand. Victor strode over and shoved his feet off the counter. They fell heavily, the thud accompanied by a glare. “What!?”

“Is that any way to treat your customers?”

“Are you actually going to buy something?” the teen asked, tone overflowing with doubt.

“I brought a date.” Victor gestured to Yuuri, who waved politely.

The blond scowled once more and set his phone aside, standing up. “Whatever. You know how this works, you don’t need me.”

Victor flashed another dazzling smile and rounded back onto Yuuri. “Ever done this before?”

When Victor suggested the idea of pottery painting as a date, Yuuri had been surprised. Perhaps he was projecting, but he would have expected something more along the lines of a club or a bar, or the kind of fancy restaurant that had course menus designed with the goal of making clothes fall off easier after the date. However, this did seem more fitting when Yuuri considered the amount of emojis and exclamation points that Victor used in his texts.

“No, it’s my first time.”

“You pick out what you want to paint,” Victor explained, pointing to the assortment of items sorted into different sections along the walls, cute placards providing short descriptions and prices. “But that’s probably obvious. Then over there you grab whatever paint and brushes you want, and then you go wild.”

“How wild?” Yuuri asked, studying the collection of various dishes and mentally questioning whether he should try for something practical. “Girls Gone levels?”

No answer came back, so Yuuri glanced over his shoulder to see Victor’s tight, unreadable expression.

“Wow, Yuuri, buy me dinner before you start making those kinds of jokes.”

Yuuri nearly stumbled into an apology, but then the amusement spread tellingly across Victor’s face. His own heated in reaction to both being called out for his comment and also at how shockingly easy it had fallen.

Victor’s chuckle was a deep and comforting rumble beside him. “If you’re going to tease me like that right from the start, you need to give me some material to come back at you with. Otherwise, this is going to be very unfair.”

Victor winked and Yuuri turned pinker still when his date’s hand brushed along the small of his back, gently guiding Yuuri forward through the shop to browse through the other items on display.

After a proper look around, Yuuri selected a coffee mug, while Victor plucked up a bisque of a sitting dog with floppy ears. They picked out a table in the corner, by the shop windows. Victor brought one of every paint color over, along with a handful of brushes. Genuine excitement radiated off him as he uncapped a bottle of ‘light brown.’

“Do you do this often?” Yuuri said, a pencil in hand with which he sketched line work across the surface of his mug.

Victor began coloring the dog with random strokes of paint. “First time. The owner of his place is a family friend, I’ve been promising to come for a while. That’s his son at the counter. Giant ray of sunshine, if you couldn’t tell.”

Yuuri glanced back to see the teen glaring over at them, as if their presence was somehow offensive in itself. “He doesn’t look like he enjoys working here.”

“He’s a teenager, what do you expect?”

A light laugh skipped from Yuuri, earning him another perfectly formed smile from Victor. Concentrating on painting a mug seemed like a waste of time when there was a human work of art sitting across from him.

“You have a nice laugh,” Victor remarked, as casually as if he was not sliding flirty compliments into normal conversation. “And you’re even cuter in person.”

If his previous blush had faded, it came rushing back in full force. “Thank you…” Hearing that from a man who looked like sex on legs could do wonders to Yuuri’s ego if it continued. “I didn’t expect you to have an accent?”

“Don’t like it?” Victor asked and Yuuri nearly dropped the pencil in his hand.

“No! No, I-… I didn’t mean that!” If anything, Yuuri liked it too much. How certain syllables danced off Victor’s tongue with that foreign inflection, seizing Yuuri’s attention and making him wonder how whispers in that accent might warm his ear and send shivers slipping down the length of his spine. “It’s just surprising.”

“I’ve often been told it’s sexy,” Victor replied and Yuuri’s mind busied itself with saving the way Victor pronounced the word ‘sex’ to a special sort of memory bank.

“How long have you lived in the States?” Yuuri asked, figuring it best to steer his mind away from the edge of the kinds of thoughts he really should not be considering on a first date. Although, given Victor’s profession, it may be hard to avoid. It would not be shocking if there expectations of something more following the date, but then again, pottery painting did not strike Yuuri as a seduction technique.

“About ten years now.” Victor turned his dog, already completely covered in brown paint, brushstrokes visible in every which way. Yuuri was not sure why he found that so charming.

Setting down his paintbrush, Victor rolled up his sleeves to keep the wet paint from getting on them as he filled the little color tray with ‘dark brown.’ Yuuri wanted to know if this was the type of place that art students mocked for imprecise color labelling.

“How about you? Is Detroit your hometown?”

Shaking his head, Yuuri painted ‘light blue’ along the bottom centimeter of his mug in broad, short strokes. “I came here for school and to train.”

“Skating?”

Yuuri nodded, adding highlights of white to the ring of blue, like the reflections of light off the ice. “My coach is based here and I got a small scholarship from the university, so it was an easy choice.”

“Impressive.”

“Maybe a little,” Yuuri admitted softly, the stiffness in his shoulders loosening with each traded sentence. Talking with Victor was as relaxed as texting him, and with each rumble of Victor’s laugh, Yuuri melted a bit more.

“You said you competed, anything coming up soon?”

Normally, Yuuri shied away from the topic of competitions. The average person knew nothing about ice skating and it always felt too close to bragging to explain in detail exactly the level he was at. That and there was always the underlying weight of pressure and anxiety when his confession was met with the wishing Yuuri best of luck at winning gold.

“Yeah, in a week, I’m going to a qualifier…”

“Local?”

“In China.”

A bottle of paint sprayed flecks of black across the table’s surface when Victor knocked it over. “China, China?”

“Technically Beijing, China,” Yuuri answered, pleased when Victor’s laugh rewarded his correction.

After cleaning the spilled paint off the tabletop, Victor hastily pulled out his phone, unlocked it, and handed it over to Yuuri, YouTube application open to the homepage. “Show me? Please?”

Teeth chewing into his lower lip, Yuuri hesitated for a moment, then typed his own name into the search bar. He found an upload of his short program from the previous year, at Skate America. He had flubbed half of his jumps in his free skate, but the short program had at least been decent. The landing on his first quad had not been clean and he had been deducted points, but Victor’s blue eyes did nothing less than sparkle as he watched the video of Yuuri skating to a piece from his favorite ballet.

When the video cut after the start of a loud round of applause, Victor met Yuuri’s gaze with wonder. “I don’t think I can continue with this date. You’re obviously way out of my league.”

Yuuri waved him off. “That’s my line. I was pretty sure I was being cat-fished when you messaged me. Besides, I’m not that great. I placed fourth at that competition.”

“This is an international event, right?” Victor pointed to the phone. “So, meaning fourth on a world scale? That’s not good enough?”

“First is better,” Yuuri replied, smiling a little when Victor leaned back and answered with an amused, “that’s true.”

Victor’s questions turned to Yuuri’s competitive history and travel experience, marveling at Yuuri’s stories regarding a few of the ISU events he had been to. He supplemented with his own about a couple of the places abroad that he had visited, carrying the conversation smoothly between them.

By the time Yuuri finished painting a skater posing on the ice on his mug, he had to set down the brush in his hand because his ribs ached from laughing too hard at Victor’s retelling about how he and a friend accidentally purchased a live chicken while trekking through some tiny Vietnamese village one spring break.

Midway through the story, Victor had switched seats, coming over to sit next to Yuuri rather than across from him. He had flipped through photos of proof when Yuuri demanded them with an assertive, “pics or it didn’t happen.”

Victor’s hip was in very close proximity to Yuuri’s and Yuuri noticed the brush of their calves whenever either of them moved. Each one made him want to shift half an inch to the right, closer to Victor.

“What’s your favorite color?” Victor asked, after the conversation had settled into more standard small talk, opening up debating into favorite films, and at one point how it was a shame that the Academy Awards did not have a special category for B-grade horror.

“Blue,” Yuuri said, rotating his completed mug, inspecting it for any needed final touch-ups.

Brown of the dog’s fur dried, Victor used the ‘sky blue’ to paint a collar around its neck. “Are you going to tell me that it’s because it is the color of my eyes?” Victor teased, selecting ‘golden yellow’ to add in dog tags to the front of the collar.

“Kinda heavy for a first date.” Yuuri watched Victor put the finishing touches on his poodle. It was painted less than professionally, but more than adorably so. Victor had used the darker brown to imitate curls in the dog’s fur, black to paint shimmering eyes and a wet-looking nose accented in pink. A decent dedication to his dog.

“Are you implying you would be open to a second one?”

The question gave Yuuri pause. He had yet to consider that going on a date with Victor might mean going on another date. He had not had much of a vision for this one, beyond the worry of how awkward it would be going out with a pornstar. Yet, thus far there had not even been an instance of uncomfortable silence clumsily broken by forced questions desperately seeking a point of commonality like Yuuri experienced on so many other first dates.

Instead, Yuuri caught himself thinking a few times about a place in the city he wanted to show Victor, or how it might be nice to see those heart-mouth emojis lighting up the phone with cheers and well-wishes before his first skate in China. Especially now that he knew those emojis were an exact reflection of Victor’s actual, gorgeous smile. “If you’d want to… I don’t know what you’re looking for though. I mean, relationship wise.”

Victor hummed in understanding, shrugging his shoulders. “Anything really. You know what I do. It’s hard maintaining a steady relationship because of it. I wanted someone outside my work friends, for obvious reasons,” he laughed in good-nature. “Something casual is fine, and a good place to start. I don’t expect anyone to want to jump into a commitment to someone who has sex with other people as a job. But, this has been really nice. I’m glad you came out with me, and I wouldn’t mind doing it again.”

It was not difficult for Yuuri to reply, “Me too,” but it did take another moment to follow it up with, “I wouldn’t mind a second date…”

Victor’s smile was twice as wide and twice as breathtaking than before. “How about right now then? There’s a good Japanese place around the corner, although I’m not sure how authentic their sushi is. If you’re hungry. You can buy me that dinner.”

“It’s very unauthentic.” Yuuri knew the place well. Phichit and him went there at the end of any month when bank account balances allowed for a bit of a splurge. “Still good though, I like it.”

Victor’s thigh pressed against Yuuri’s purposefully but too briefly before Victor stood, carefully picking up both his dog and Yuuri’s mug. “I’m officially taking you on a second date then,” he stated and, when Yuuri gave his agreement, carried their painted bisques to the shop counter.

Yuuri set the paint bottles back on the shelves, wiped the table and replaced washed brushes before digging his phone out of his pocket. As expected, he had a few messages from Phichit.

>> how’s it going? ur out w porn boy, rite?
>> is it like being in a bad porno?
>> elevator music n lotsa cheesy pick up lines?

<< This isn’t good, Phichit, he’s perfect…

A text came back immediately.

>> how perfect?

<< He likes sushi.

>> bang him
>> bang him n tell me if it’s as good as his videos

Yuuri hurriedly blacked out the screen when Victor returned, holding out a copy of the receipt.

“Do you want this so you can pick up your mug on your own once it’s ready? Or do you want me to hang onto it so we have an excuse for a third date?”

Yuuri accepted the receipt. “Let’s see how the second one goes first.” His phone vibrated repeatedly in his back pocket, no doubt more messages from Phichit that Yuuri really did not need Victor accidentally reading.

“Mmm, you’re right, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

Yuuri would not mind if they did. Not with how he buzzed when Victor settled a hand low on his back as they left the shop to another scowl from the teen behind the counter.

At the Japanese restaurant around the corner, Yuuri rested an ankle against Victor’s under the table. They ordered a couple of rolls to share, along with a recommended small bottle of sake. Yuuri’s fingertips stroked across the back of Victor’s palm as he showed his date the proper way to hold chopsticks, teasing Victor’s determination to change positions and receiving it back for his choice of wording.

Each soft laugh, short instance of contact, and sip of the milky sake drove Yuuri on, earlier doubts washed away by warm blue eyes and flecks of paint lingering on both their hands.

The slow stroll through the parking lot together, illuminated by orange overheard lights, culminated in Victor pausing mid-step when Yuuri made a comment about how his hair matched the color of the waning moon.

Emboldened by the drinks at the restaurant, Yuuri had laced their fingers together when Victor offered to escort him to his car, and now found himself being tugged sharply in.

Victor’s mouth tasted of the sweet rice wine they had shared, body warm against Yuuri’s in the late evening chill as Yuuri slid his hands up to thread fingers into silver hair shining of moonlight. The strength of Victor’s arms around his waist had Yuuri captivated, sighing into the gentle nip of teeth pulling at his lips. Eager, he drank in the heat of Victor’s tongue and groaned in approval when hands wandered lower, grasping at Yuuri’s ass through the growing tightness of his jeans.

When Victor moved to break the kiss, Yuuri chased it, sucking Victor’s lower lip into his mouth and smiling when Victor exhaled with a hushed swear.

“My place isn’t far from here…”

“On a first date?” Yuuri muttered against Victor’s mouth, hands mapping the dip and curves of the solid muscles of Victor’s chest through the light material of his shirt.

“Second, remember?” Victor said, hands kneading into the flesh of Yuuri’s ass, the action helping Yuuri to grind forward and feel the hard outline of Victor’s proposal. He barely stopped a whimper from escaping.

“Feel free to say no…” Victor’s mouth sent sparks firing through every nerve ending as it trailed up the expanse of Yuuri’s neck, to breathe hot against a sensitive spot beneath Yuuri’s ear. “But, if you say yes, I promise that I can be very good to you…”

Yuuri had never said yes so quickly before.

~~~~~~~

>> How’d that hot date go?

<< Chris, I think I’m in love

>> Damn. He fuck you that good? Feel like I should be envious, but not sure in which regard

<< He didn’t. I didn’t. Not… technically?

>> Not technically? What’s that supposed to mean, you didn’t ‘technically’ sleep with him yet you’re already confessing love? How amazing is this guy at ‘not technically’ fucking?

<< You need you get your ass here stat cause this is an in-person kind of story. You’re not gonna believe me otherwise

>> Wow. Holy shit, Vic. That good?

<< No. It was the worst attempt at sex I’ve experienced in my entire life

>> ………
>> I’ll be there in 20 min. You better be ready to tell me everything

Chapter Text

“It can’t have been that bad,” asserted both Chris and Phichit in two different apartments at opposite ends of the city.

Yuuri’s reply was muffled into the mess that was his bedding. He had buried himself in shame beneath his blankets the second he had gotten home, ignoring Phichit pulling on his sleeve and badgering him with an endless slew of questions. “No, you don’t understand, it honestly was the—”

 

“—worst sex ever.” Victor handed Chris a glass of red wine, from the bottle his guest had brought over in anticipation that such a claim would need to be supplemented with copious amounts of quality alcohol.

“What, did he blow his load in his pants?” Chris raised a perfectly-sculpted eyebrow, smirk amusing all of his fair features. “…Did you?”

“No, we—”

 

“—didn’t even get that far,” Yuuri sighed, making eye contact with his pillow and his pillow alone. Acknowledging the situation any more than necessary was just going to make him want to disappear off the face of the planet more than he already did. “It went… so, so wrong…”

“Did he kick you out of his place as soon as he’d finished?”

“We didn’t go to his place—”

 

“—in the car?! On a first date too, damn Vic, didn’t realize you were leaving work unsatisfied like that.” Chris’s rich laugh teased in sync with his commentary.

“I didn’t plan it that way! But, fuck, Chris, he kissed like…” Victor trailed off, swirling the wine in his glass as he considered an accurate description of how it felt to have Yuuri’s mouth burning hot against his own, exchanging breaths like prayers. Yuuri had chased his kisses like reality and drank the oxygen straight from Victor’s lungs. “Remember your mystery man from that Geneva club?”

“That is a very grand comparison you’re making,” Chris drawled out dubiously.

Victor was going to have none of his protests. Not when even the notion of kissing Yuuri again sent his nerves alight. He could lose himself on those lips for days, take vacations on the taste of sake coming off Yuuri’s tongue. “I’m not exaggerating. For real. He was so damn cute the whole date, smart and quick, and then suddenly he’s this-… I don’t even know how to describe it, like eroticism-personified and—”

 

“—he was just so…” Yuuri had no way to describe Victor without it coming off as too much. How was he supposed to explain that being with Victor had felt as natural as waking up in the morning, his mouth like the drowsy draw of dawn, laugh like the grace of summer sunlight.

“You already said perfect, find another adjective.” Phichit interjected, stealing the exact word Yuuri had been ready to repeat.

“I don’t know then. It felt right? I kept forgetting he’s a pornstar. I didn’t worry about it once and that’s…”

“Weird for you?”

Yuuri lifted his head off the pillow, gaze wandering to his phone on the nightstand. The whole date had been weird for Yuuri. Feeling comfortable enough to make jokes about pornography, to accept the compliments Victor paid him in wonder about his skating. Confident enough to flirt back without a second thought, to take Victor’s hand after a dinner that Yuuri had not minded extending through flowing conversation and soft exchanged smiles. Attracted enough to welcome the forwardness of Victor’s kiss and dive deep into the invitation which had followed. “A bit.”

“So when he offered to bone-down in his car you went full-on slut mode and said ‘hell to the yeah, do me porn boy’?”

“Please don’t say that. Don’t say anything of that, ever again. And he didn’t ask to do it in the car, it kinda just—”

 

“—happened.” Victor had not intended to conclude his date with Yuuri by getting hot and heavy in the parking lot of an open-air shopping plaza. When Yuuri had consented to continue their eager fumbling at Victor’s apartment, he had fully meant to take Yuuri there, and then to take Yuuri there. But that would have meant taking his hands off Yuuri, taking his mouth off Yuuri for the short and frustratingly long drive. Evidently, Yuuri had felt the same with the way he kept sucking on Victor’s tongue, kept dipping his fingers into Victor’s belt line.

“You just happened to end up fucking in the front seat?” The amusement splashed across Chris’s face had not faded for a single second, legs crossed high as he continued to pull out details from his friend. “How is that bad?”

“I think I need you to pour me some more of that wine because—”

 

“—it started okay? I mean, it was a nice car too, if that helps?” Yuuri knew that it did not help. He knew that perhaps he should have felt some semblance of embarrassment for so shamelessly jumping on his date’s offer to have sex after meeting each other for only the first time. Apparently, the world thought so too and had taken care of delivering that embarrassment for him, tenfold.

“How?” Phichit pressed. Each of his questions were gentle in tone, giving Yuuri time to respond when needed, despite the curiosity dancing vividly in his eyes.

“How? What do you mean how?”

“I mean, were you under him or—”

 

“—he’s in my lap.”

“Hot,” Chris supplied.

“It was, he’s stunning.” Victor had never before struggled to open a car door, torn between getting them inside so they could take advantage of the fraction more privacy, and the possibility of simply pining Yuuri against the car, marking up that lovely neck with ill-advised love bites. “Did I mention that he figure skates? He’s got thighs like a god, and I’m nearly losing it just from having those gorgeous things straddling me. Pretty much the only thing I can think about is how much I want to get my hands or my mouth on him, so I can see how beautiful that face of his looks when he’s… you know.”

“Oh, I know.”

“And he’s trying to undo my belt while I’m trying to—”

 

“—get my pants down enough.”

“Holy shit, Yuuri, and here I thought you didn’t put out on a first date, but I guess I was wrong.”

“I don’t!” Yuuri avoided Phichit’s delighted grin. No doubt Phichit was beyond entertained by the fact that the one time Yuuri had agreed to sleep with someone on a first date was with a pornstar, of all things. Usually, Yuuri’s nerves would not have even allowed for the thought of climbing into bed, or the front seat, so quickly. “But… I really liked him…”

“Hey, okay, don’t worry about it, you’re allowed to like a guy and want to fuck him senseless, first date or whatever!” Phichit patted Yuuri’s shoulder in a way that was supposed to be reassuring. “So, you’re trying to get into each other’s pants and what next?”

“Well, it’s not a good position for that. Kinda awkward, so I lift off him, enough for him to… uhhh…”

“Get your pants down?” Phichit offered, getting a short nod from Yuuri in response.

“Yeah, that. And, ummm, he puts his hands on—”

 

“—the most perfect ass that I’ve ever had the privilege of being in the vicinity of.”

“Jealous.”

“You should be.” Watching Yuuri shift and move over him had left Victor struggling to find words, wondering if it was too early to recite sonnets in praise, while also barely able to whisper out the simplest of directions.

“How was his dick?” Chris was as unfiltered as always.

“Beautiful. Like the rest of him.” Victor had already been smitten with Yuuri through their flirty, teasing messages. With how quickly Yuuri responded with little jokes and yet maintained a tone of genuine shyness whenever Victor had dropped him compliments, before coming back with a sharp wit that had Victor chuckling aloud, and at times showing off the comments to a clueless Makkachin. Yuuri in person had Victor stumbling as he fell for warm brown eyes, hesitant smile, and sweet personality that tugged at Victor like a magnet.

“Oh god, are you listening to yourself? How are you so far gone? Should I be looking up wedding planners?”

“Do you want me to finish or not?” Victor glared at Chris’s far too obvious eye roll.

“Yeah, yeah, you’ve got your hands on his perfect ass and are drooling over his perfect dick, then what?”

“He pushes back, right? Into my hands, making this sinful little moan like it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him and—”

 

“—you set the horn off with your ass?!” Yuuri really could not blame Phichit for laughing so hard he nearly fell off the edge of the bed, grasping at his own knees as he bent over in his fit of giggles. “Oh my god, Yuuri!”

“It’s not funny!” The heat radiating off Yuuri’s cheeks was evident even to him and he wanted to sink into his mattress. He would never be able to honk a car horn ever again, without subjecting himself to a death sentence from embarrassment.

“It’s pretty funny. You ass-blasted the parking lot.”

Yuuri put his pillow to better use and retaliated by smacking Phichit across the shoulder with it. “You’re a horrible friend and I will now refuse to tell you the rest.”

“Sorry!” Phichit’s continued chuckles did not seem sorry. “What happened after you blew his horn with your ass?”

“He laughed and went to shift the seat back but—”

 

“—I’ve still got him in my lap, so I’m not thinking about…”

“...the extra weight?” Chris guessed, already able to see where Victor was going.

“Yeah. I finally get a hand on the lever to slide it back and it goes back hard.”

“I was going to ask about that bruise on your massive forehead. Not even to the rough sex yet and already cracking your skulls together?”

“Keep mocking me. I’ll stop.”

“There’s more?!” Chris gaped, incredulous. “You didn’t give up at that point? How—”

 

“—desperate were you?” Phichit demanded, flapping his arms for emphasis.

“What was I supposed to do, climb awkwardly off him and go, ‘well obviously we’ve got no sexual chemistry going for us, why don’t we call it a date and swear to never talk about it ever again’?” That would have been the smart thing to do. Call it early, save himself. Maybe salvage an ounce of dignity on the walk back to his own car.

“Uhhh, yeah?”

“Right. Completely trash the best date I’ve ever been on, and have him block me the second I’m out of sight? I still thought we had a chance at that point.” Despite his issues with nerves and anxiety, Yuuri had never been one to quit. He pushed through, kept going until it was too late and he crashed hard. This time had proven to be no different.

“You don’t know that he’d do that, you said he was nice.”

“I didn’t want to risk it. Plus, he wasn’t upset?” Yuuri might have gone into a full-blown panic attack at that point had it not been for Victor’s good-natured laugh, low and gentle, muttering stupid jokes about two heads being better than one. He shrugged off the pain and ineptitude of the moment like it was nothing, heart-shaped smile and a too-sweet kiss to Yuuri’s lips. It made Yuuri’s heart flutter and his dick twitch. “Laughed it off and kissed my forehead as if he didn’t care that I alerted half the city to our activities with my ass on the car horn and then smashed my head against his… It made me want to…”

“Marry porn boy?”

“I’m going to block you, Phichit.” Yuuri threatened.

“You can’t block me, we live together.”

“I’ll get a new roommate.”

“Make sure it’s porn boy and I’ll bless you personally in real life and online.”

“Get out of my room.” Yuuri hit Phichit with the pillow again and pointed toward the bedroom door.

“Fiiiine, go on.” Phichit put on his best pout, the one that got him tons of squealing comments on Instagram. “You’re ashamed but still horny cause porn boy is a sweetheart, who knew. Did you get—”

 

“—the seat down flat and shoves me down. And fuck, Chris, seriously, I went from massive headache to massive hard-on in a second flat.” Yuuri had set his hands flat on Victor’s chest, fingers splayed and without warning pushed Victor down into the seat. Smirk curling his kiss-swollen lips, glitter of mischievous intent behind his dark eyes. Hot as hell and sinful as it too. Victor had been prepared to sell his soul for another millisecond of touch if Yuuri asked for it. “He’s pushing his hair back and pulling on his lower lip with his teeth. It was the most erotic thing I’ve ever seen.”

“What then, does he get into some really bad dirty talk to take your mind off the forehead smash?” Chris questioned, tipping his glass to his lips.

“No, he went down on me.”

Chris choked on his wine. “Wow, eager.”
“Very, but—”

 

“—the position is still awkward and ummm, well, it’s…” The blush was back in full force, telling the story more obviously than Yuuri could.

“A big pornstar dick? Yeah, I know, I saw his videos, remember?” Phichit suggested, helpful as ever.

“Don’t remind me.” Knowing there were videos of Victor like that available on the internet was already enough of a temptation. “But yeah… And I’m trying to, you know, go for it, but—”

 

“—I think it might have been his first time?” Victor said, uncertain. Yuuri’s confident demeanor had seemed to falter as he dipped his head down and his tongue out to kitten-lick at Victor’s cock. “I mean, I’m not saying it was a bad blowjob, but it was kind of a bad attempt at a blowjob.”

“Pretty hard to fuck up a blowjob, if you ask me. Did you take pity on him?”

“I told him that—”

 

“—I didn’t need to worry about it?” Victor’s fingers had slipped under his chin, lifting his face up and his mouth off. That had been enough of a sign to stop, without Yuuri needing to hear the words vocalized.

“He told you to stop blowing him?”

Yuuri did not want to acknowledge it. “…Yes?”

The look Phichit was giving him was beyond sympathy, like he was trying to figure out how to best comfort a kicked puppy. “…Okay, Yuuri, you know that it may be called a blowjob but that you don’t actually blow, right? You suck.”

“Well, I did suck, apparently! Sucked enough that he didn’t want me to suck anymore!”

“Oh my god.” Phichit laughed without humor. “I can’t believe that you’re actually bad at sex, did he say anything about how—”

 

“—he looked so upset?” Victor almost regretted pulling Yuuri off, but he could tell the positioning was not ideal. He had not wanted Yuuri to hurt himself, especially before a competition, craned forward in an attempt to get his mouth around Victor. “Has the cutest pout on his lips that made me want to kiss it off. I was going to tell him that we could stop, that it was fine if we didn’t do anything, but before I get the chance, he’s got his tongue down my throat, one hand on my cock, and the other pushing my fingers there—”

 

“—wait, you still tried to ride him?!” Phichit exclaimed, dropping the volume of his voice when Yuuri shushed him in fear of neighbors overhearing. “In the car? Like legit, go all the way? Why didn’t you just give him a hand job, like a normal person?”

“I wasn’t thinking about that, okay? I was thinking about—”

 

“—getting the condom and lube from the dashboard. There’s no way I can reach it though, so I tell him where it is and he leans over, fishes them out—”

 

“—and it slips from my hands. Falls in that crack between the seat and the gearshift. I spent a full minute trying to grab it—”

 

“—he’s blushing like mad, but he’s so determined and it’s… endearing? I’m sitting there thinking that… this is obviously the worst foreplay imaginable and it’s so bad it’s actually funny, but at the same time it’s… real? Completely different from what I expected? It’s all clumsy mistakes and we’re both trying not to laugh but I liked that?” Victor paused, leaning back against his sofa. Somehow, amongst every awkward moment, Yuuri managed to charm him more each time, with his cute blush and unwavering determination. “I realized it wasn’t something I was ever going to forget. And in that moment, I wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t want to forget it either?”

“So, you fucked him good and hard?”

“No, I—”

 

“—was really gentle with the, ummm, the…”

“Stretching?”

Yuuri hummed in response, closing his eyes. Despite it all, Victor had been slow and caring, asking for Yuuri’s approval each time he slipped in another finger, swallowing Yuuri’s quiet mewls as he kissed him to distract from the initial discomfort.

“I can’t believe you went on a date with a pornstar and actually ended up in a porno situation. I’m actually proud of you.”

“Don’t be, because—”

 

“—he couldn’t get the condom on? Damn, Vic, you actually took this boy’s virginity in your car? I thought you were classier than that.”

“He didn’t tell me!” Victor had assumed Yuuri wasn’t, but thinking back on the whole series events, the possibility seemed mortifyingly real. Eagerness mixed with the hesitation of inexperience. And what a horrible introduction to sex would Victor have given him, if that were actually the case. “I mean, I don’t know if he was just nervous or what, condoms can be a bitch sometimes, you know that.”

“How long did he spend?”

“A good couple minutes…”

“I’m so sorry.” Chris sympathized by holding his empty wine glass out to Victor for a refill.

“And then he got it on me inside out.”

“I’m so very sorry.”

“It got worse.” Victor lost count at the amount of times Chris laughed at him.

“How could it possibly get worse?”

“Because by the time he went to get on top of me, it—”

 

“—wouldn’t go in…” Yuuri whispered, wondering that if he spoke quietly enough there was a chance Phichit might miss it and let it go without asking him to repeat.

No chance. “It wouldn’t go in?”

“No… he, ummm… again, bad angle and maybe because… well, he wasn’t exactly hard anymore…”

“You killed his boner.” Phichit confirmed.

“I didn’t mean to! The stupid condom wouldn’t go on! And come on, what am I going to do by that point, Phichit, the whole thing was so ridiculous.” If Yuuri were not so frustrated and angry with himself, he might have been on the verge of tears. “He just looked at me! Looked at me and laughed, and said that maybe having sex on our first date wasn’t a good idea…”

“Guess not. But, things like this happen, Yuuri! Sounds like he was a good sport about it all, that’s what you should be focused on.”

“I fucked up having sex with a pornstar, Phichit. How bad does someone have to be for a pornstar to give up hope on them?”

“You’re being too hard on yourself.”

“Someone’s gotta, cause obviously Victor wasn’t hard on me!”

“One, kudos on the pun, I noticed and approve. And two, what are you going to do? You said you liked the guy, are you going to see him again? Maybe let him put the condom on this time?”

“I-… I don’t know Phichit.” Yuuri wasn’t sure how he could possibly face Victor again, after that disaster. They had not even said more than a couple words to each other, upon realizing what a lost cause it was. Victor had discarded the unspent condom, while Yuuri wiggled back into his pants before stumbling out of the car and stuttering through a weak apology which Victor quickly dismissed. “I don’t know if I can bring myself to see him again after this—”

 

“—I don’t care if he turns out to be the worst lay on the planet. It was the most genuine fun I’ve had in a long time, bad attempts at sex or not. It was a good reminder of how ridiculous and fantastic being in a relationship can be. I want to take him on another date. I want to date him.”

“What are you going to do then? If he actually fled the second you got out of the car, I don’t know if he’ll be up for a repeat performance, or lack thereof.”

“I don’t know, Chris.” Victor glanced down at his phone, laying next to him on the sofa. He had held back on messaging after Yuuri had taken off, turning down Victor’s offer to escort him back to his car. He had watched Yuuri walk away, barely stopping himself from chasing after. “I just know that I need to see him again after this…”

~~~~~~~

8 Unread Messages

>> Hey Yuuri. Hope you’re not too upset about what happened? \( ‘_’ )/ I wanted to apologize in case it seemed like I pushed you into doing something you didn’t want to. But I had a really good time with you and promise that normally things don’t go that badly

>> Not that you were bad! It was all bad, I mean

>> Not all bad! That’s not what I meant. The date was great, the situation after was bad

>> If you’re still interested, I’d really like to make it up to you? Please? (/^w^\)

>> But not in the sex way! Another date, if you want! It was the best date I’ve been on in a long time, and I really hoped to see you again, if you still were okay with that

>> I didn’t mean that I didn’t want to try having sex again though, if you wanted to! I would, but I thought maybe you wouldn’t, but I’m okay either way, I promise

>> ….I backread all that and think I’m making this whole thing worse, so I’ll stop. If you want to retry, please let me know?

>> Good luck with your competition in China, btw! \(^♡^\) (/^♡^)/ I’ll be cheering for you, no matter what

~~~~~~~

>> yo, didja talk to porn boy yet?

<< No.

>> why nooooooooooooooot

<< I’m trying to concentrate on getting ready for CoC. I’m still not landing the 4S.

>> lies, saw u land it yesterday. u’ll be fine. stop avoiding porn boy
>> yuuuuuuri, talk to him! maybe u can get some good motivation via his big pornstar dick

<< Not helping.

>> ur rite, too uncomfortable trying to jump after a good dicking

<< I’m not talking to you anymore.

>> np, but talk to him. u said u like him, don’t let him get away

<< I tried, okay? I couldn’t.

>> u caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

<< I did that thing you told me not to do.

>> wut do u mean?
>> wait omg
>> omfg
>> u watched his porn?!

<< Maybe a little?

>> (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

The screen of Yuuri’s phone flashed, switching from his text message exchange to display an incoming call. Sighing, he swiped across to accept, lifting the phone up to his ear. “Hey Phichit.”

“Why would you do that?!” Phichit’s voice was loud enough that Yuuri had to draw his phone away by a centimeter, or risk losing his hearing. “Seriously, Yuuri, you can’t compare yourself to that! It’s not real, okay? It’s a job, it’s acting. It’s not legit, you can’t watch that and take it to mean you’re doing something wrong!”

Yuuri skated across the ice to rest against the rink wall. It was late, the junior skaters already having left at least an hour prior if Yuuri had to guess, but he had not been paying close attention to the time. Celestino had placed the keys in Yuuri’s hands, after making him promise he would not attempt any more quads while on his own. Yuuri had only half listened, cutting them out of his repeated run-throughs after the third time that he hit the ice. “Yeah, I know.”

“If they make a mistake, they cut it out of the film! And they might be super bad, but you’ll never know because it’s their job to act like the sex they’re having is the best in the world. People make mistakes, okay? Someone comes in your eye and it’s not sexy, it hurts like a bitch, but whatever, you can’t let that ruin sex for you! So what if your first attempt was bad? No one has mind-blowing sex the first time, I keep telling you, stop putting that expectation on yourself. Besides, he’s still trying to text you, right?”

Yuuri had yet to reply to or open Victor’s messages. For a combination of reasons. He did not need the distraction from his competition preparations. He was still unsure if he could keep himself from breaking down in embarrassment if he actually were to meet Victor again. And if everything did end up fine, then what? Yuuri doubted he would be able to shrug off the knowledge that the day after another date, no matter how good or bad it went, Victor’s job meant he would be having sex with someone else. A couple days of texting and one night out together, and Yuuri’s thoughts were already stuck on Victor like a broken record. Dating him could only be a bad idea which would turn worse the longer it went on. “He was.”

“So, if you liked him enough to try and bang him that fast, why don’t you message him back?”

“Because isn’t that the problem!” Yuuri exclaimed, grip tightening on his phone and the rink wall. “I liked him. But I don’t want to go out with him and spend the whole time worried about the fact that he’s going to be sleeping with other people who are way better in bed than me! And why would he want to anyway? It won’t work out, so why bother?”

“Uhhhh, because you liked him?” Phichit deadpanned, like the answer was simple enough he could not believe he had to state it. “I know I said marry him, but I wasn’t serious, okay? You don’t need to commit, but have some fun with the guy. Use his expertise until you’re happy with whatever skills you think you’re lacking, and don’t feel guilty moving on. Dating or sleeping with him doesn’t mean you’re going to be expected to go into a lifelong partnership agreement.”

Yuuri carved aimless patterns into the ice beneath him with the tip of his skate, despite knowing better. “And what if I end up wanting to?”

“Come on, isn’t that the worry in every relationship? Can’t let that stop you, otherwise you might as well never date at all.”

“Sure,” Yuuri muttered, glancing over his shoulder across the rink.

“Still think you should bang him. Properly. At least once.”

The ice was always cold, hard, and unforgiving. Yuuri had fallen on it too many times to count. But it never stopped him from jumping. “I’ll think about it.”

“Too much thinking, not enough banging.”

Yuuri laughed, always amazed by how chipper Phichit could be saying something like that. “I’m going to finish practicing.”

“Should be practicing banging porn boy.”

“Bye Phichit.”

“See you later. Drive safe, okay? There’s curry in the fridge for when you get back.”

Yuuri thanked Phichit and set his phone aside, skating back out to the center of the rink to do one final run of his free skate, his thoughts not entirely on the ice.

~~~~~~~

Yuuri hummed along to the music streaming from his earbuds, visualizing the steps which would be synchronized to each note. He could envision himself swaying side to side as he moved gracefully along the edge of the rink, skates gliding smooth, carving the pattern of his sequence into the ice’s surface.

The music swelled, classic violin singing out the melody of his short program. Yuuri pictured himself gearing up for a jump, going in on the inside edge, muscles in his lower back and legs tensing as he imagined lifting off into a spin, one, two three, four rotations, coming down firm on the outside of his skate, slipping—

“Ready?”

Yuuri raised himself out of his stretch when Celestino’s hand grasped his shoulder, deep voice pulling Yuuri out of his pre-routine prep. Removing his earbuds, he nodded because there was nothing else he could do. Ready or not, his turn was coming up and it was either get on the ice or drop out.

“Bin’s finishing up now.”

Again, Yuuri nodded as he followed his coach down the hall to the rink, rolling his shoulders in a weak attempt to relieve the tension seizing up his body. His chosen music gone, the waves of applause for the Chinese skater performing on his home turf shook through the venue and through Yuuri.

“You’ll be fine. You know your routine, you did well enough at practice. Do it like you did this morning and you can place at the top.”

No pressure. Biting the inside of his cheek, Yuuri nodded once more. Slow, steady breaths. He filled his lungs with oxygen, exhaled out carbon as his heart beat fast and heavy until his ribcage felt ready to fracture.

Yuuri dug his phone from his pocket, curling the wire of his earbuds around it. The notifications of Victor’s texts still remained displayed on the lock screen, because Yuuri had yet to clear them. The first line of the last text was visible in the preview.

>> Good luck with your competition in China, btw! \(^♡^\)

The large screens overhead showed Cao Bin’s short program score. It was high.

Yuuri would need all the luck he could get.

~~~~~~~

The morning after the free skate, Yuuri sat on the edge of his hotel bed, staring down at the carpeted floor. He had woken up with silver still strung around his neck, an ache in his head and an ache in his ass, and neither of them pleasant.

Prickles of hangover served as an inescapable reminder of ill-made spur-of-the-moment decisions to get into a drinking match with an Italian skater.

Yuuri ended up on top in that competition, then on bottom in bed afterwards. High enough on his medal, drunk enough to throw caution to the wind, and sexually frustrated enough to convince himself than bad sex was better than no sex at all.

A glance at his pillow still showed teeth marks from where Yuuri had bit into it, muffling soft whimpers against enthusiastic thrusting that had gone too hard, too fast, and ended too quickly.

Rubbing at his lower back, Yuuri winced at the jolt which shot through his spine and down the backs of his legs as he left his messy, empty hotel bed and headed into the bathroom. He splashed water on his face and swallowed some painkillers.

A quick shower helped wash off the remaining evidence of bad decisions from the night before and the hot water melted off the strain of mental nagging that maybe bad sex really was worse than no sex. Yuuri might as well resign himself to a series of encounters that resulted in less than satisfactory results. It was a pattern from which he couldn’t escape.

Deciding on a one-night stand with a skater that didn’t care enough to help Yuuri get off after finishing himself. Going to someone’s apartment following a university party and getting so distracted by the roommate’s dog that his partner gave up trying to get them to the bedroom. Trying to fuck his first boyfriend only to be told to stop after hardly a minute because you’re not making this feel good.

And frankly, Yuuri was tired of it. Sex was supposed to be enjoyable. He wasn’t supposed to go into every experience fearing it could end badly, hoping that maybe, maybe this time was going to be the one. The one time that demonstrated, proved to him that sex could be good, could be great.

Perhaps it would be best if Yuuri simply gave in to a lifetime with his right hand, because at the very least then he could get what he needed without any embarrassing or awkward interactions to potentially spoil the entire experience. Not like he didn’t try… Or didn’t want to try.

He was tired of seeing magazines at supermarkets declaring 101 Ways to Have the Best Sex Ever or overhearing the occasional conversation on campus or when traveling about the various, exciting bedroom adventures of strangers. Phichit dropped comments about sucking dick like it was the best thing in the world, while Yuuri had only ever felt like doing it out of a sense of obligation.

Stepping out of the shower, Yuuri wrapped himself in a towel and located his phone, discarded carelessly on the nightstand. There was a missed call from Celestino, a few texts from Phichit and some messages from his family, no doubt more congratulations on his medal. If only they knew how Yuuri had chosen to celebrate.

The notifications of his messages from Victor plagued the icon at the side of his home screen. Yuuri didn’t open them. Instead, he accessed his web browser and searched through his history, for the video he had viewed before leaving for China.

It was admittedly strange seeing the man he had gone on a pottery painting date with filling the screen of his phone. Yuuri muted the volume, not sure if he could handle the secondhand embarrassment of badly written dialogue that always accompanied that particular genre of film.

Like anyone, Yuuri browsed the occasional streaming service for a bit of inspiration on a lonely night. Or afternoon. Or morning. He never paid much attention to the actors, not when the intent was on the action itself. However, Victor was something else…

Porn was always a little awkward, played off to the camera with little use in concealing that the only goal was to get the two—or however many—people fucking. Yet, there was Victor, as gorgeous as he had been on their date and in all the selfies he had sent Yuuri, sucking on some good-looking blonde’s tongue at the same time that he stroked the guy’s dick with a firm, talented grip.

Yuuri had only allowed himself to see less than a minute of the video after the catastrophe that had been his in-car fumble with Victor. That had been enough, seeing Victor bent over some granite kitchen counter as the same blonde ate his ass like it was katsudon. Victor’s fingers grasping at the edge, mouth hanging open as moans and swears of encouragement spilled endlessly, white knuckles and the arch in his back betraying the fact that he wasn’t just acting.

There was Victor, beautiful beyond belief as he got eaten out by an actual professional. Meanwhile, Yuuri had done so poorly that Victor told him to stop blowing him and then lost his erection because for some goddamn reason, Yuuri’s hands had been shaking so much he couldn’t get a condom on his partner in a timely manner.

Yuuri admired the view of Victor’s sculpted chest and taut abdominals, which had been hidden from Yuuri’s sight by shirt fabric in the car. Along with the shift of the camera, he regarded the v-cut leading from Victor’s hipline which Yuuri wanted to follow with his hands and mouth. Victor was almost graceful in the way he sunk his impressively erect cock inside his costar, who was bent over and spreading his own cheeks in a greedy display for the camera.

The way Victor moved was fluid, rolling his hips as he thrust in. Yuuri bit down hard on his lower lip, imagining how Victor’s fingertips would curl around his waist, hold him steady as he filled Yuuri up. Slow and careful, muttering out praise through the shallow, beginning thrusts that would leave Yuuri quickly crying for more.

Phone grasped in one hand, Yuuri slid the other down his stomach to palm against his hardening cock, muffling a groan. In the video, Victor was pistoning in and out of the attractive blond who was on all fours, and Yuuri wondered what it would have been like to be the one receiving each snap of Victor’s hips. To be the one pushing back to meet every sharp, hard movement, moaning out little pleads of ahh, yes and more, please, Victor without any effort because having Victor inside him really would feel as good as sex was meant to.

Yuuri bucked into his own hand, getting off with short, quick strokes, picturing himself flipping over and hooking his legs around Victor’s waist, arching up to meet him. Victor’s mouth would burn wet, misplaced kisses across his mouth, catching his tongue between hard, possessive thrusts.

Yuuri had to bite his tongue to keep himself from gasping out Victor’s name as he came, streaking his hand and a portion of the carpet in white. On his phone, Victor’s cock kept disappearing within his partner, and Yuuri thought of how it would feel to be fucked through an orgasm, overstimulated and shaking, yet still whimpering for Victor to keep going, to bring him there a second time, until he was thoroughly fucked and sated for the first time.

His phone alarm blared, shrill ringing bouncing off the hotel room walls, repeating the harsh reminder of get up, get packed, and sending Yuuri’s mild hangover pulsing again. Hastily, Yuuri silenced it, closing out all the open windows on the device at the same time. Victor’s video disappeared with the cleared alarm, leaving Yuuri in the silence of his own guilt.

Getting off to a video of his date fucking another man for a paycheck… Could he sink any lower in desperation? But seeing Victor so in control was hotter than Yuuri had been expecting, and the regret of missing his chance to be fucked as good as that looked settled sourly in the pit of his stomach.

Yuuri cleaned off the bedsheets as best as he could, wiped down his skin and his phone with a damp towel, catching a view of the message count happily displayed on the corner of the dating app.

Eight. From Victor.

Yuuri should clear them. Clear them and forget about the whole thing, uninstall the application so he would not be reminded of the charming, ridiculously attractive pornstar. Yuuri recognized that contacting Victor would be a bad idea. Dating Victor would be a bad idea. Getting into a relationship with him would be a bad idea. Sleeping with him, however…

Yuuri had never had good sex. And that wasn’t fair. Wasn’t that supposed to be one of the perks of being a world-class athlete? Even if he didn’t know exactly what he needed to be doing, or what exactly he seemed to keep doing wrong, accepting the potential of a lifetime of bad sexual experiences was not something he was prepared to do.

He wanted to emulate that blissed-out expression Victor’s costar had worn when the Russian bottomed out inside him. Up till now, all of Yuuri’s experiences had been on a spectrum of unpleasant and unappealing, finishing off in half-hearted reach-arounds or jerking off onto his own stomach amidst the frustration at not having been able to come during the sex itself.

If anyone could be good to Yuuri, it would be Victor. Like he had promised at the start, and Yuuri was inclined to trust him, with how gently he had pressed his fingers inside Yuuri, whispering flattery into the dip of his throat like Yuuri was a lover and not a near-stranger who had already messed up so much of their so-called foreplay.

Yuuri’s thumb hovered over the message notifications, as he mentally waged a war on decisions.

If nothing else, he should not leave Victor hanging. If Victor had not already forgotten about Yuuri after almost a week of no replies, he should message and politely decline any sort of continuation if it was what Victor had been looking for. Yuuri should thank him for their date, apologize for his awkwardness, and wish Victor the best of luck finding someone more suitable than Yuuri. Someone who didn’t drop lubricant between seats and disappear to a different country without a word out of sheer embarrassment.

Yuuri opened the messages, skimming down the lines.

A laugh escaped around the fifth sentence, morphing into one continuous when he reached the last heart-mouthed emoji. Stupidly charming in the way that it made Yuuri want to answer immediately, forgoing all logic.

Agreeing to go on another date would be asking for trouble. He knew that. There was no end but a break up, and Yuuri already liked Victor a ridiculous amount. Another date would be like taking a step further along a plank leading to a deep sea of heartbreak.

But Yuuri did want to see Victor again. Wanted those silly emojis filling up his phone. Maybe there was a happy medium. Perhaps Phichit had been right. Yuuri wanted to be good in bed, and just like skating, good came from practice. Practice and a good coach.

Yuuri tapped at the keypad.

<< Hey, I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I was focused on getting ready for my competition and I guess it kept slipping my mind. You don’t need to apologize to me for what happened, it was all my fault anyway.

>> Yuuri! (/^w^)/ No problem, I understand! How did it go, are you still in China, China?

<< Haha, very funny. I am, heading back today.

>> Did you kick butt or do I need to argue with some judges? o(`□´)○

Yuuri sat back down on the edge of the bed, shoulders looser than when he had woken up, the ache in his head and his lower regions fading. A light smile twitched up the corners of his mouth.

A short online search produced a decent photo of him taken by the Japanese media, with his hair messily slicked back and pride shining off his face as he held up his medal. He sent it to Victor.

>> Wow, amazing! \( ^ ♡ ^ \) Are you happy?

<< I figured if silver’s good enough for your hair, it’s good enough for me.

>> ∑(゚ロ゚〃) Really? You don’t message me for a week after our date and now you come back at me like this? What am I supposed to think about this relationship?

Yuuri paused, ignoring a dull thump in his chest.

<< Actually I wanted to talk to you about that… I’m not sure if I’m ready to date right now. I really enjoyed spending time with you too, but I’m busy between school and competing right now, trying for something even resembling steady wouldn’t be manageable. I hope you understand?

>> I do. I know I’m not ideal boyfriend material either. However, I wanted you to know that I honestly liked being with you. And maybe if you’re more free in the future, you might think about me?

<< I wasn’t finished though! I don’t mean that I don’t want to see you at all, but…

>> (^w^) But?

Taking in the same kind of deep breath he did before stepping onto the ice, Yuuri made his decision. It was like jumping. Take off, no turning back.

<< You said you were fine with something casual, right?

The reply wasn’t immediate. Yuuri watched the messenger indicate that Victor was typing, then deleting. A few minutes passed before a response arrived in his inbox.

>> Sure. If you want.

<< This is going to sound like a weird request but, ummm… I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m not great at sex. At all. However, you’re… well, you know. And I don’t want you to waste your time with someone that sucks in bed, but I do think you’re really attractive so…

>> Yuuri, you didn’t suck, that was just a series of unfortunate events

<< I do though! Really. My ex broke up with me because of it. I know I do, but I want to get better. And I thought, you’re a professional, so maybe, if you were okay with the idea would you… Be my sex coach, Victor?

Chapter Text

"I don't see why you can't go naked," Phichit said, sorting lazily through the pile of clothes accumulating on Yuuri's bed. "Since the whole purpose of this is getting you naked anyway. Or go in a trench coat. The classic show up at his doorstep and flash him when he answers. 'I like you... now blow me.'"

"The point of this is for me to learn how to blow him," Yuuri muttered back, beyond shame by this point. He had set up a literal sex lesson with a pornstar. There was not a shred of self-decency remaining.

“He’s actually going to coach you through sex?” Phichit picked up one of the Yuuri’s skate shirts and tossed it into the No Way in Hell pile. “You do realize this is exactly like the set up to a bad porno, don’t you?”

“My whole life is a bad porno,” Yuuri answered, tossing yet another sweatshirt onto the bed. Why did he own so many? It was disgraceful. At least three of them were university branded.

What did a person wear to a sex lesson? Something sexy but restrictive? Yuuri didn’t own anything like that, unless he wanted to put on one of his older skating costumes but he did not think that amount of glitter would be appropriate in the daytime.

Maybe sweats for the easy access. Too casual. He did not want Victor to think he was not taking this seriously. But not too seriously. Yuuri did not think showing up in a pressed suit and bowtie would be appropriate either. Except if Victor had a suit kink. Who didn’t have a suit kink? Everyone had a suit kink.

He should have asked Victor what to wear. Made the whole ordeal so much easier. If Victor told him to show up in lacy red crotchless panties and nothing else, Yuuri would have done it. Instead, he was standing in front of his closet, wondering if he should take Phichit’s advice and show up naked. That was the point. The whole point. His and Victor’s naked bodies smooshing together. What a sexy thought. Yuuri was so screwed. And not in the good way.

“So are you going to pay him a coaching fee or what?” Phichit questioned from the edge of Yuuri’s bed. “Or is the fee paid in premium Katsuki booty?”

Yuuri had spent the entire trip back from China and the past couple of days asking himself the same question. He had yet to figure out why it was Victor accepted Yuuri’s proposal. It was not like he was getting anything in return for helping Yuuri.

The first guess would have been an excuse at sex, but it wasn’t as if Victor were lacking the opportunity otherwise. Even outside of his job, Yuuri was certain that Victor was not short on prospects. Who wouldn’t want to hook up with a gorgeous, funny, flirty platinum blonde that had a hot accent and made people orgasm for a living? All Victor needed to do was open that dating app and there would be no shortage of far more reasonable choices for him to sort through.

Yet, his texts kept arriving on Yuuri’s phone. Emojis and all. Welcoming Yuuri back to the States. Arranging their lesson. Wishing Yuuri ’Good luck (/^o^)/’ when he mentioned needing to finish a report for a class. Making each exchange burrow itself painfully into Yuuri’s chest.

“Don’t know, I’ll ask him.” Yuuri took down a knit, cream-colored sweater that his mother had sent him for the previous Christmas. He had yet to wear it. When he held it up, Phichit flashed a thumbs up. It went promptly over his head and navy undershirt, along with a sense of relief.

The full length mirror on the closet door did not reflect the internal mess Yuuri felt broiling inside. It showed him looking relatively well put together, glasses swapped out for contacts, hair swept back in the same style that he normally wore on the ice. The sweater was not half bad, complimenting the dark contrast of his hair. He was ready. He could do this. Could do Victor. It was like skating. Like stepping out onto the ice and readying himself for a routine. Except the ice was a porn star’s apartment and the routine was going to be performed on Victor’s dick.

“Not like you can straight up pay him for sex, that’s prostitution,” Phichit mused, thumb stroking over the head of a hamster seated in his palm.

Yuuri snapped around. “Fuck, Phichit, is that what this is? It is, isn’t it? I asked him to teach me how to have sex, what if he wants me to pay him for it, what have I done, I should cancel, I should call him, I can’t do this right now, what if—”

“Yuuri, breathe, hold on a second.” Phichit was up in an instant, his hamster diving happily into the pile of clothes. Hands settling on Yuuri’s shoulders, Phichit drew Yuuri’s attention to him, off the sudden eruption of worries. “You don’t need to go if you don’t want to, it’s fine. I can tell him you got busy if you want. But think about this for a second. If he’s really offering to coach you and you want to try, you should do it. Sure it’s a little unconventional, but whatever. Actually, I’m kind of jealous. Wish I had a hot sex coach. If it doesn’t go well, you don’t need to see him again, you know? You’re not training for the Sex Olympics here, you can call it quits anytime.”

The tension gathering in Yuuri’s shoulder dissipated. “You’re right.”

“Damn right I’m right.” Phichit grinned. “Do you want to go get a sex lesson from a hot Russian porn star?”

Yuuri laughed, at the question and at his own response. “I do.”

“Good. I do too. But only one of us should be so lucky.”

Once he was sure Yuuri’s spat of nerves had calmed, Phichit rescued his hamster from the mass of clothes. Or rescued the clothes from the hamster, who had started chewing on a shirt sleeve. “Leave me the address and if I don’t hear from you by morning, I’m assuming a horror movie scenario and calling the cops on porn boy.”

“I’ll be back tonight.” Yuuri did not plan to spend the night at Victor’s. He had never done casual before, but assumed staying the night was not part of that. Waking up together was too close to what Yuuri wanted to avoid with this whole arrangement. It was enough that an excited surge went through him anytime Victor’s name flashed up on his phone.

“You sure?”

“Yeah, I don’t want it to get weird.” If things went badly again, Yuuri wanted an easy escape. And it was easier to escape someone else’s apartment than to force them out of his own.

“It’s not weird already?”

Yuuri did not know what to call it. It certainly was not normal. However, he wanted to focus more on the realization which had hit him in China. Maybe he had not struck gold there, but he deserved to have gold-standard sex. At least once. At least more than once. If he could be an international professional athlete, couldn’t he have at least the equivalency of amateur satisfaction in bed? “Guess I’m going to find out.”

Phichit’s smile lit up the room brighter than the LED lights on the ceiling.

On his way out of the apartment, Yuuri received a high-five from Phichit and nodded at the reminder to text. He swallowed any prickling hesitations, convincing himself that even if things did not go great, there was no way it could be worse than the previous time.

The drive to the address Victor had texted Yuuri was not too long, but it was long enough for Yuuri to work himself back up into worry. He did not know much about Victor, while many details regarding Yuuri’s life could easily be found with a quick Google search. His birthplace, his home, his school, his favorite food as described in interviews both English and Japanese. What if somehow Yuuri’s romp with a porn star ended up online too?

Yuuri had not considered that before. He had already been reckless. How would his family react to a headline reading, World Figure Skater Yuuri Katsuki Caught Hot and Heavy With Sex Worker in Detroit Parking Lot. Probably too long of a headline. They would cut it down into something more jarring. Porn on Ice! Porn in ice? Porn star in ice skater. If the ISU did not find that amusing, maybe Yuuri could find an alternative routine of employment.

Though what kind of sex work was there for someone who sucked at sex?

Yuuri sat in his car for a good fifteen minutes, bouncing back and forth between restarting the engine and never coming back, and feeling more guilty by the minute for keeping Victor waiting past the agreed upon time. Right. Victor was waiting. Yuuri was already there. At the right address. All he had to do was open the car door and cross the lot of the rather upscale condominium complex.

Victor had been nothing but kind to Yuuri. Then again, so had Yuuri’s exes at the start. So had the Italian skater in China, with his crooked smile and charm worthy of his country’s image.

Fuck that guy.

Fuck all those guys.

Yuuri was going to fuck a porn star and enjoy it.

Biting the inside of his cheek, Yuuri got out of the car and slammed the door behind him. He was going to fuck Victor. And learn how to do it properly.

Yuuri marched his way to the condo number Victor had sent him, fists balled tight at his side after he knocked, familiar surge of determination flaring through him. He had something to prove. That he could be a good lay when he had a good partner.

Yuuri could do sensual on the ice. Seduce crowds through his dance and well-timed winks. He had apparently already seduced Victor once without trying. He was enough to get a porn star hot and bothered so much that they couldn’t move beyond a parking lot. That had to count for something.

The door to the condo opened and Yuuri stepped in to throw his arms around Victor. To delve into silken silver hair and seize plush lips with his own because he was rather certain there would be a sex lesson containing something about surprising your partner with heated passion. Destroying them without warning and leaving them broken with want. Except—

Victor already looked destroyed.

The perfectly styled hair which graced all his photos stuck out to the four corners of the earth, striped blue and white t-shirt bunched and soaking wet. His pants were rolled up to the knee but slipping, also splattered in dark wet patches, exposed skin red and irritated. Yuuri instantly noticed the long scratch marks marring his forearms.

Victor’s expression quickly morphed from exasperation to surprise, mouth forming a little ‘o’ before his brows furrowed. “Yuuri! You-… you came?” His words came out short, punctuated by breathlessness. “Didn’t you see my text?”

Yuuri’s phone was in his back pocket, silenced. He had not checked it for the past couple hours, fearing if he glanced through his messages with Victor that he would end up changing his mind. “No, did I-... am I interrupting something?”

He was interrupting something. Victor looked like he was in the middle of filming something belonging under the S&M category. Sweat glistened along his messy hairline, decorated the curves of clavicle peaking out from the stretched out shirt collar.

Victor was in the middle of having sex and Yuuri was literally knocking the door in.

Victor was with someone else. Having sex with someone else. Obviously rough sex. And he had texted Yuuri to tell him not to come, because of course he had. Why was he soaking wet though… Yuuri was not sure what kind of sex involved getting soaking wet. He was not sure he wanted to know.

He kind of wanted to know.

Victor had been in the middle of banging someone else, whether for work or not, and Yuuri missed the text telling him not to come, not to disrupt. Yet here he was, making a fool of himself once again in front of this gorgeous man that Yuuri should have known was too good for him from the very beginning.

“You’re not, I—” Victor’s strikingly blue eyes kept flickering over his shoulder before shifting back to Yuuri. Checking on his waiting partner. What kind of position had they been left in?

Momentarily, Victor looked lost, split on a decision. Then his eyes met Yuuri’s and he laughed, opening the door wider. “Come in. I’m-… I texted you saying, Makkachin got into the trash while I was cleaning and now she’s fighting me through a bath.” He gestured down the hall. Muffled whimpers of a protesting dog sounded, followed by the tell-tale scratch of claws against wood.

Dog. Trash. Bath. A wet, scratched up, destroyed looking Victor. Yuuri shrunk down into nothingness at his own stupidity. “…Looks like she’s winning.”

“You think?” Victor asked, glancing down at the small puddle forming beneath him, droplets falling from his clothes and hair. “She’s having fun. I’m not.” His smile said otherwise.

Victor closed the front door behind Yuuri, who carefully stepped around the puddle.

The interior of Victor’s apartment was pristine, smart, monochrome. White walls accented by sleek black furnishings. Hardwood flooring with a plush teddy bear brown rug at the center of the living space which looked like it might match the fur of his poodle.

The only thing marring the cleanliness and organization was a spattering of dog toys littered around the base of a roomy sofa, concentrating around a regal-looking dog bed. Maybe Victor had not been joking when he mentioned providing Makkachin with filet mignon dinners.

“I need a few minutes to finish with Makka, wait here?” Victor asked, moving toward the whines coming from what Yuuri guessed was the bathroom.

“Do you need help?” Victor looked like he needed help. Desperately.

“Only if you’re ready to end up looking like this.”

That sounded like a fine invitation.

Yuuri pulled his sweater over his head and left it on the couch, following Victor to the bathroom. Makkachin’s cries intensified. Cracking open the door, Victor fended off a shaggy, half-wet poodle long enough for Yuuri to slip inside.

The moment he was in, Makkachin leapt up and nearly knocked Yuuri over, planting her paws against his chest in greeting. Her tongue lolled out of her mouth, barking out an excited introductory hello.

“Makkachin, down,” Victor commanded, grabbing hold of her collar to pry her away from a laughing Yuuri.

“What did she get into?!” The poodle’s brown fur was covered in black specks and she left dark paw prints on Yuuri’s shirt.

“Nothing bad for her, luckily. Mostly banana peels and a whole lot of coffee grinds. You should have seen the kitchen ten minutes ago. Looked like a Starbucks exploded.” Victor led Makkachin around to a large shower stall, frosted glass from floor to ceiling. He shuffled her inside, back on the path to overwhelmed as his focus shifted from the dog, to Yuuri, to the shower faucets. “Ummm…”

“Help?” Yuuri offered again and Victor nodded with relief.

“Can you hold her as I wash? Roll up your pants, I’ll be careful with the water.”

Shedding his socks, Yuuri hitched up his jeans and stepped into the shower. It was spacious. Expensive tile flooring and marble slab walls, more than enough space even with the three of them inside it together. Porn must pay decently well.

Yuuri took hold of Makkachin from Victor, who turned on the water. The poodle pranced when the warm spray hit her feet. “Why did you let her into the garbage?”

“I didn’t let her, she got in on her own.” Victor scowled, washing coffee grinds off her back legs. Yuuri had to grip on to keep her from twisting around to snap at the water. “I put her in the living room while I vacuumed. The noise scares her and I guess her method of stress relief today was tearing apart the trash can.”

“Why were you vacuuming if it scares her?” Yuuri asked, scratching behind Makkachin’s ears to keep her calm and steady as water ran around his feet to the drain, speckled with coffee grinds.

“Because I had a guest coming over,” Victor winked.

Yuuri almost asked who before realizing it was him. He was the guest. Victor had been cleaning in preparation for Yuuri’s arrival. It was rather endearing. Yuuri dropped his gaze back to Makkachin, dipping his face down to hide the bit of blush spreading over his cheeks.

Only he could show up to a pre-arranged sex lesson and end up helping give a bath to a dog. He was not sure if that could be defined as some sort of dramatic irony or if it was just the universe laughing at him.

“Hold on a sec, I forgot her shampoo,” Victor said and held the shower head for Yuuri to take, while he slipped out to grab a bottle of shampoo off the bathroom counter.

Yuuri sprayed down Makkachin’s back, washing out loose grains of used coffee from the wires of her fur. She panted, lapped at the small streams of water which coursed down her muzzle. Her tail wagged from side to side, perfectly behaved until Victor stepped back into the shower and shut the glass door with an audible click.

Yuuri’s eyes lifted off the dog for a split second. She seized the opportunity faster than either of them could react, violently shaking her fur and spraying them in a shower of doggy-water.

Laughing, Yuuri wiped down his face as Victor scolded her, faking a few sobs to absolutely no reaction of sympathy from his pet. Makkachin just gazed up delightedly at them both, then shook once more in mere defiance. Victor groaned. “I’m so sorry.”

Yuuri’s shirt was three-quarters of the way to dunked-in-a-pool, clinging to his skin. “Don’t worry. I wasn’t expecting to come out dry.”

“I tried to warn you. You should check your messages more,” Victor said, setting down the bottle of dog shampoo. The bold lettering on the side promised a luscious fur-coat sheen.

“I know, Phichit says the same thi—” Yuuri fumbled with the last syllable, because Victor grabbed the hem of his own shirt and peeled it off, tossing the material into a corner.

Seeing Victor’s fit form in the photos and videos was one thing. In person, within arm’s reach, glistening and wet, was a whole other thing. Droplets caught and collected on his sharp collarbone, making Yuuri want to drink off it. Streaks like raindrops trailed down his pale, flawless skin, riding down the ridges of his sculpted abdominals. Water had never looked so delicious.

For the first time in his life, Yuuri wished there wasn’t a dog in the room with him.

“Phichit?” Victor cast Yuuri a pleased smirk, no doubt noticing Yuuri’s staring admiration.

Yuuri’s heart ran out of his chest and his tongue tied itself into thirsty knots. “My roommate,” he clarified, watching the shift and pull in Victor’s muscles as he squeezed shampoo over Makkachin’s back. Was dog washing always so sexy? Yuuri wasn’t sure it was supposed to be that sexy. Victor could make dog washing into a visual art form. Yuuri was already pre-ordering front row seats. Premium price. Maybe with a VIP meet and greet.

“You should listen to your roommate more then.”

Yeah, Victor was right. He should. Phichit had also said something about marrying porn boy. Yuuri could definitely see himself marrying porn boy.

Victor switched off the shower water and snapped Yuuri out of his daze by handing him the shampoo bottle. Swallowing a mouthful of air, Yuuri helped lather up Makkachin’s fur, digging into her curls to draw out the remainders of the coffee grinds. His fingertips brushed the side of Victor’s hand as they both worked at her back so Yuuri shifted to washing her neck.

Carefully, he soaped up her ears and the fluff of fur at the top of her head. Victor laughed when Yuuri gave her a miniature afro made of bubbles. “I’m guessing dog washing isn’t part of the lesson.”

“Oh, that’s where you’re absolutely mistaken. Step one is to seduce your partner. What better way than to have your dog make a giant mess of your kitchen by rolling around in coffee, thereby forcing your unsuspecting counterpart into the shower with you. It’s all part of my devious plan,”’ Victor replied with the same smile that had Yuuri praying for a kiss when they’d walked back to the parking lot after their date. Light and good-natured, defining happiness without effort.

“And what did your devious text say?” Yuuri questioned. Makkachin lifted a paw as he rubbed down her leg and between the pads of her toes. “‘Help Yuuri, my poodle and I need you wet and wild for us’?”

“I don’t know how wild this is,” Victor said, swatting at Makkachin’s tail since it kept thumping merrily against his knee. “I think it was more along the lines of, ‘I’m in the shower with a naughty, dirty girl. Come join us.’”

Groaning with exaggeration, Yuuri closed his eyes, leaned back with a pained expression. “That’s awful. No.”

“Better than yours,” Victor pointed out, blowing a few shampoo bubbles in Yuuri’s direction.

Yuuri burst them between his hands. “I don’t see why you needed a devious plan when I was already coming here with full intent to have sex with you.”

Victor let out a tiny gasp. “Yuuri! So bold! There’s children present, quick, Makka, cover your ears!”

Immediately, Makkachin lifted a paw and rubbed it over the top of her head, covering her muzzle with it.

The laughter dropped freely from Yuuri. “You trained her to do that?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, she’s simply highly intelligent. Right, Makka?”

She barked in confirmation.

Yuuri had to bend over and clutch at his stomach as he laughed harder. “Best trick ever.”

Victor smiled back, mouth taking on that wonderful heart-shape. “She gives high-fives too. But doesn’t know well enough to stay out of the trash.”

“On the contrary, she knows that’s where all the good stuff is.”

The soapy, bubbly, more-white-than-brown poodle switched her dark eyes from Victor to Yuuri, seemingly preening at the compliments.

“You look way too pleased with yourself for someone who is meant to be in trouble, young lady,” Victor told her and switched the water back on.

Yuuri aided to rinse the suds off her, managing to get all the way to her head before she made to shake again.

“Makka, don’t!”

The poodle, however, did not listen.

Instead she launched another assault, shaking off water and bubbles, her tail smacking the back of Victor’s knee. The shower head clattered to the floor, dropped in surprise, and Makkachin jumped in startled reaction to the loud noise. With a yelp, Victor went down, slipping on rinsed-off shampoo.

Yuuri darted out, hand catching Victor’s in attempt to save him, only to be dragged down by gravity and the weight of a falling Russian. His hipbone hit the tile, followed by a thwap across the face by Makkachin’s tail. The rogue shower head kindly proceeded to spray him at full force, soaking him the rest of the way through.

In sympathy or proud glory, Makkachin bestowed a couple sloppy kisses to both their faces. Victor attempted to scramble up, only to slip and come down hard again to Makkachin’s bark of approval. Yuuri collapsed against Victor’s shoulder in giggles. “I don’t know about seduced, but you’ve got me thoroughly wet for you.”

Chuckling out another apology, Victor carefully stood and then pulled Yuuri up by the hand. They resembled less the willing participants of a dog wash, and more the soldiers of a water war. “Mission accomplished then.”

With a little more struggle and a couple more fur shakes, they managed to get Makkachin rinsed and clean of the remaining coffee grinds. Then through a fussy blow-dry, at the end of which she looked like a giant ball of overjoyed fluff while Yuuri and Victor remained in dripping clothing, with bruises blossoming on their hips.

As soon as she was done, Victor shuffled her out of the bathroom while Yuuri shed his wet shirt and wiped down the floor with a spare towel.

Victor returned a moment later, completely nude apart from tight, skimpy black underwear which left little to the imagination. Not that Yuuri had to imagine. He’d seen it. Felt it. Licked it. Tried to sit on it. His face burned hot.

“If you give me your clothes, I’ll—” Victor cut off, eyes racking over Yuuri’s exposed chest.

Yuuri blushed a bit more, realizing that even though he had seen Victor nude, Victor had yet to see him. Their clothes had stayed mostly on in the car. Yuuri was mid-season too, peak of physical shape, and he smiled as Victor’s gaze trailed down the centerline of his chest and along the waistline of his jeans. “You’ll what? Poodle got your tongue?”

Victor laughed and stuck said tongue out at Yuuri. “I was going to say, get naked and I’ll put your clothes in the dryer. I’ll grab you something to wear.”

Yuuri did not want something to wear. But he did want to get naked. With Victor. Without a dog or the awkwardness of trying to fumble around a front seat. He wanted Victor’s water-slicked skin under his touch, wanted a proper chance at this round. Step one was seduce, right? He could do that. “Or you could put my clothes in the dryer and get in the shower with me.”

Victor’s pupils dilated, and Yuuri tossed him the water-logged shirt from inside the shower. Then, deliberately slow, peeled off the rest of his clothes. He was half-hard under Victor’s intense blue gaze as he stepped out of his boxers and set them in Victor’s hands. “Hurry up.”

Victor obeyed the command as quickly as a dog performing a trick, gone and back by the time Yuuri got into the shower.

The water was hot on Yuuri’s shoulders. The feel of Victor’s open-mouthed kisses trailing over them was hotter. Victor’s hands traced up his hips, tugging Yuuri’s back to his chest, hips rutting against Yuuri’s ass.

Tipping his head back against Victor’s shoulder, Yuuri’s lips curved into a smile at the sight of diamond-like droplets blinking in Victor’s long silver lashes. Fingers skirted over the v-line leading from Yuuri’s hips, dipping down until Yuuri arched into the touch.

“So you were seduced after all?” Victor’s lips formed the words against Yuuri’s jaw, arms looped around his waist.

“Shockingly, your unconventional methods proved effective,” Yuuri muttered, rocking back. His teeth sunk into his lower lip, holding back a pleased noise at the sensation of Victor’s hardening cock sliding between the cleft of his ass.

Victor followed the movement of Yuuri’s mouth with his eyes, inhaling the soft gasp which escaped when his fingers wrapped around Yuuri’s dick. His strokes were firm and practiced, sending spasms through Yuuri’s thighs.

Yuuri hastened to turn, to get his hands on Victor and reciprocate in some fashion. Victor’s other hand found his ass, kneading and drawing Yuuri in closer. Canting forward, Yuuri slipped a hand between their bodies to curl his fingers around Victor, copying the movement of his strokes until they were exchanging soft moans into the valley separating their mouths. Yuuri sighed, sparking with each motion, trying to shift closer together despite their bodies being already flush.

He wanted to tip up and catch Victor in a kiss, smolder like embers again with the heat coiling low in his abdomen. Victor’s exhales danced sweetly across his face, melding with quiet encouragements, with a gasp when Yuuri seemed to twist his hand just right. “Mmm, Yuuri…”

His name was like a blessing coming off Victor’s tongue. Yuuri wanted to know if it would taste as sweet as it sounded if he were to swallow it off Victor’s lips.

“Yuuri, how did you-… what did you want to—”

In another moment, Yuuri might have been tempted to tease Victor. A porn star not able to finish a simple question. But at that moment, Yuuri was just as helpless, awash in the expert strokes of Victor’s hand over his cock, already weak-kneed at how Victor toyed at his entrance, tracing the rim and making Yuuri ache for something to fill him. “I want you,” he managed, pushing back into Victor’s teasing, maddening touch. “Fuck me.”

Russian words sounding like a swear sullied Victor’s mouth and his grip on Yuuri’s hip could have left more bruises. “Turn around.” Yuuri did.

Victor guided him to bend over, with a hand pressing firmly on his tailbone, making Yuuri arch for him.

Hands planted on the marble wall, Yuuri let Victor nudge his legs apart, shivering at the kiss swept between his shoulder blades. “You keep lube in the shower?” Yuuri asked, watching Victor select a bottle off the corner shelf.

“Keep lube anywhere you could possibly need it, it’s far more practical than trying to convince yourself conditioner is a good alternative.”

Yuuri had to agree when the cool liquid hit his cheeks, sliding down between them with the guidance of Victor’s talented fingers. His body ached to be filled, taken apart by Victor, who granted him it by slipping a finger in, hesitant, to the first knuckle.

Instantly, Yuuri rocked back for more, whispering for Victor to add another. He wanted what he had watched in Victor’s film with the other blonde, wanted the rough stretch and the apparent bliss of being taken in one sharp thrust. Wanted to moan out like it was the best thing on Earth. Two of Victor’s fingers thrust inside him, scissoring him open, and Yuuri let out whimpers like he was supposed to. “Victor, ahhh, please…”

With another kiss to the center of Yuuri’s back, Victor withdrew his touch and wiped his hand along the outside of Yuuri’s thigh, before switching off the shower water. “Come on, let’s do this one right.”

The mattress of Victor’s bed was firm, like his body. Yuuri bounced on it before Victor descended over him, guiding him up the bed. They shoved the blankets and top sheet to the side between hasty touches, breathing into each other’s mouths. Victor delved into the bedside table, dropping another bottle of lubricant and a condom beside them.

Yuuri plunged his grip into damp silver hair, crashing their mouths together. Leg looped around Victor’s waist, Yuuri struggled to get closer, to push their chests together and slide his erection along Victor’s in a way that drew moans from them both.

Victor’s fingers found their way back inside Yuuri, pushing deep, slick and filling. Yuuri protested against Victor’s mouth, arching off the mattress and opening his legs until he was spread-eagled beneath Victor. “I want you in me…”

“Fuck, Yuuri…” Victor sat back, cheeks flushed, chest constricting with each heavy breath he released. “Already? You sure?”

“Please, I want you,” Yuuri pleaded again, grabbing for the foil and shoving it into Victor’s hands, “inside me…”

Victor nearly dropped the condom, catching it before it slipped and tearing the wrapper open. He grabbed Yuuri’s hands, brought them to his cock, guided Yuuri to roll the condom on, properly. The blush dusting Yuuri’s cheekbones deepened at the murmur of, just like that. Yuuri barely had a moment to process the flush of embarrassment at the reminder, because Victor was nudging against his entrance.

He kissed Yuuri through it, sucking on Yuuri’s tongue and drinking in his whimpers. Yuuri clung to Victor’s shoulders, nails leaving behind crescent moons even as he rocked down, taking more of Victor inside him.

“You okay?” Victor asked, stroking dark bangs away from Yuuri’s face as he clenched his eyes shut.

“F-fine, please,” Yuuri answered, digging his heels into Victor’s tailbone, driving Victor in deeper. “Move…”

Short, slow thrusts left Yuuri crying. Victor’s cock dragged inside him, making him pulse with each piston of his hips. Releasing one of Victor’s shoulders, Yuuri gasped into the back of his wrist, muffling the whines being unwillingly ripped from him. Victor halted.

“Yuuri, you’re really tight.”

Yuuri lifted his lashes, burning up with the stretch of Victor inside him. His voice came out more pained than he intended. “Good?”

“No, not good, you need to relax,” Victor said, gazing down between them.

His breath hitched in his throat, knocked out of his lungs. Panic flashed through him, witnessing Victor’s expression change from the flush of desire to displeasure. He watched Victor lean back and pull out, leaving him throbbing and empty.

What was he doing wrong? What was making Victor move away, face painted in confusion instead of the lust that belonged on it? It was going so well, what did he do, did he say something, did he not do something right? Was the position wrong? Victor did not want to be tugged into missionary, how boring, what was he thinking, of course not…

Yuuri scrambled to flip over, onto all fours, thighs spread to present himself. “Like this?” he tried, wincing at the desperation in his own voice.

It was like going into a jump in a routine, all nerves and anxiety threatening to rush forward and knock him off his feet before he even went into it. He still tried. He always tried. Knowing he would come crashing down, he still jumped. “Victor, please, fuck me…”

He wanted Victor, wanted him lost in pleasure. Wanted him moaning for Yuuri like he moaned in his videos as he plunged inside someone more worthy, someone better, someone who could take a cock without tears stinging at the corners of his eyes. “Please…”

He cried out as Victor thrust inside again, splitting him open. Yuuri’s elbows slipped on the mattress and he fell forward, grasping for a pillow to bite into and muffle the quiet sobs threatening to spill forward. They did when after another single thrust, Victor stopped altogether.

“Yuuri, does this feel good for you?” The concern threading deep in Victor’s voice tore at him.

“I-…. I’ll be okay, keep going,” Yuuri whispered, closing his eyes. He tried to count the beats of his heart, but it was impossible, thundering in his chest like a growing storm.

“Please, Yuuri, answer my question.”

He didn’t want to. He wanted to keep going, get through it, prove he could be good for someone. “I t-told you, I’m not good at this… I’m—” Awful. Horrid. The worst lay ever. A failure before he even got started. He couldn’t satisfy a porn star. Why couldn’t Victor have the decency to act, like he did professionally? Pretend for ten measly minutes that Yuuri wasn’t worthless in bed, give him a shred of hope instead of ripping him to pieces?

“Yuuri, you’re not-…” Victor stopped again and the tears spilled down Yuuri’s cheeks when Victor pulled out of him.

Then there was a kiss on the back of his neck, an arm sliding under him to hold him gently as Yuuri struggled not to cry into the pillow. Victor spoke against Yuuri’s skin, lips brushing like soft reassurance with each syllable. “Why did you tell me to start if you weren’t ready? I don’t want to hurt you.”

Comforting and warm, Victor’s voice sent the nerve endings at the nape of Yuuri’s neck alight, trembling down the length of his spine. “I-… I don’t care, it’s fine. It always hurts, I didn’t want you getting bored.”

Yuuri squealed when the arm around his waist tightened and tugged him up, backwards into Victor’s lap.

“You were serious.” He heard Victor mutter quietly against his hair, felt the heavy sigh against his ear. “I didn’t think you were serious… You really think you’re bad at this?”

Craning his neck around, Yuuri took in the disbelief radiating from Victor. He wiped the tears from his face with the heel of his palm. “I told you, my ex dumped me because of it…”

The scowl did not suit Victor’s handsome features. “I don’t know who told you that, but sex isn’t supposed to hurt. And you need to try extremely hard to be as bad as you seem to think you are.”

“You told me to stop blowing you! In the car, you told me to stop!” Yuuri protested. He sank into the loose embrace of Victor’s arms around him, gulping down breaths to try to keep himself from shaking. Victor didn’t want him. He couldn’t get a professional to want him. Or pretend to want him. Katsuki Yuuri; world ranked skater, silver medalist at this year’s Cup of China, potential GPF finalist, and a favorite for the Japanese Olympic team; couldn’t satisfy a dick if it literally slapped him across the face.

Victor’s mouth opened then closed, brows creasing in consideration. “You’re saying that you’ve never had good sex?”

“I’m starting to think it’s a big conspiracy and that everyone lies about sex being good,” Yuuri muttered, bitter at the familiar dull pain numbing his legs. It felt like the end of a long day on the ice, without the satisfaction of progress.

“Of course it isn’t going to be good if you’re telling your partner to fuck you before they’ve stretched you properly!” Victor said, concentrating on Yuuri, who avoided his concerned gaze.

“It doesn’t matter. It always hurts, what’s the point, just get it over with…” A moment passed. Then another. Yuuri tilted his head up, seeing Victor staring down at him, incredulous. “What?”

“Lesson number one,” Victor stated firmly, taking one of Yuuri’s hands in his. He formed Yuuri’s fingers into a tight fist. “Stretching.” Still keeping Yuuri’s fist clenched, he wiggled a finger into the curl to simulate a different type of penetration. Pushing further in, he allowed Yuuri to loosen his fist enough to accommodate and slipped a second finger in, repeated the gesture, then added a third.

“Lots of lube, lots of time. Your partner won’t get bored. If they do, they don’t deserve to be with you. They should be taking care to make sure that when they enter you, it feels good for you both. Stretch it out until there’s no discomfort, and you’re ready for…” Victor took Yuuri’s now loosened fist and moved it to slip over Yuuri’s flaccid cock with relative ease, tightening up the grip slightly on the way down.

Yuuri laughed at the ridiculousness of it. “Wouldn’t it be better to demonstrate for real?”

“Next time. I’m afraid I’ll just hurt you more at this point.” Victor shook his head, but cast Yuuri a sweet smile. “Tell me, what do you like?”

“What do I like?” Yuuri repeated, mind grasping for Victor’s meaning. “In sex?”

“Mmm, what feels good for you?”

It was a good question, one Yuuri wasn’t sure he had an answer to. He knew what was supposed to feel good, yet it was always rather lackluster. Mediocre. What felt good… “I don’t know?”

Victor blinked. And blinked again. “You don’t know?”

“I-…” Yuuri raided his memory of disappointing boyfriends and half-hearted bedroom sessions. Not the first time, not the next. Not the last time.

“What about on your own? Do you get off by yourself?”

The memory of jerking off to Victor’s porno in a Beijing hotel room assaulted Yuuri. How he’d come harder than he remembered doing since he was a teen. Need pulling in his core, imagining Victor’s hands on him, caressing him with heated intent, driving him to the edge like— “Ahh, the shower! In the shower, you touching me… That was good… that felt good.” Victor’s fingers expertly working his hard flesh, building pleasure on every stroke until Yuuri had been so ready to come.

His dick twitched with recalled interest, and a moan tore from his lips as Victor took him in hand again. Gentle, careful, fingers splayed over Yuuri’s flesh as if in worship, working him back to a full erection. Yuuri leaned back against Victor, eyes fluttering shut again.

“Lesson two, there’s more than one type of sex,” Victor murmured, voice rough, weaving tingling warmth into Yuuri. He lifted Yuuri up, pulled him in closer until he could feel the press of Yuuri’s ass against his cock.

His mouth traced the shell of Yuuri’s ear at the same time that his hand returned to stroke Yuuri into shudders. “Do you want to help me?” Victor asked, but Yuuri could hardly manage not to melt under Victor’s touch, the way his tongue and teeth left Yuuri quivering with how they explored his neck.

The precome collecting on him was smeared away by the roll of Victor’s thumb over the tip, drawing out a mewl. Yuuri tossed his head back against Victor’s shoulder, giving in to the trickle of pleasure sparking from each stroke of his hand.

Victor’s lips kept dusting reassuring mutters over Yuuri’s neck, nipping and causing his skin to blossom color. Yuuri jerked up, fucking into Victor’s hand. Waves washed over him, making him shiver and grind back into Victor’s lap. “Ah, V-victor…” His voice caught as Victor twisted his fingers over the head of his cock, Yuuri bucking up in response.

“Better?” Victor purred and Yuuri’s whimper of agreement came back pleased.

“S-so good…” The words were like a confession, prayer offered in wonder as Victor kept working him to a state of destruction, grip slick with lubricant. His other hand slipped down, palming at Yuuri’s balls and teasing down the sensitive line of his perineum.

Yuuri could feel the hard press of Victor’s erection against his lower back and he keened, overwhelmed by the heat coursing through him. Toes curling, back arching, abdomen tightening, and he came in Victor’s hand, flooded with the shudders of a strong orgasm. Victor milked him through it, until Yuuri was shaking with oversensitivity.

“Don’t move,” Victor breathed across his shoulder, holding Yuuri to him. He mouthed at the crook of Yuuri’s neck, teeth catching gently, and Yuuri rocked back with a moan, grinding himself against Victor’s cock. “Mmm, Yuuri!”

Yuuri gasped at the gentle bite and the way Victor’s hold on him tightened momentarily, squeezing him with a groan. Victor’s temple rested between his shoulder blades, and Yuuri relished the warmth of his breaths on his skin before starting in realization. He twisted around, catching the fading ripples of surprised pleasure on Victor’s face. “Did you-… you came.”

Victor offered a weak smile in return. “Told you not to move.”

Shocked, a hand flew up to cover Yuuri’s mouth, before the apologies started to cascade from him. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to, I just-… it felt really good, I wasn’t thinking, I thought you were—” He stopped when Victor laughed and shook his head.

“You’re amazing,” Victor muttered instead, faint trace of a heart-shaped smile decorating the curves of his lips.

The compliment hit him like a punch to the gut.

Yuuri wanted to grab onto Victor, kiss him breathless, steal him away from the world and plead for more lessons until he was cleansed of every other experience that did not leave him gasping out Victor’s name in sheer abandon.

Instead, Victor was the one who leaned forward and touched his lips to Yuuri’s forehead, kissing it despite the sweat clinging to his bangs, smiling despite Yuuri being lost for words. Then Victor was moving away, off the bed and leaving Yuuri feeling cold for the short moment before he returned with a hand towel to wipe Yuuri clean, the condom on him discarded.

“Your clothes are dry,” Victor said, his gaze gentle in a way that Yuuri couldn’t entirely read. “Do you want them or…”

Yuuri did not know what the ‘or’ could trail off into. So he nodded, then redressed when Victor returned with his clothes, warm from the dryer. Victor had stepped into a pair of pajama pants, chest still bare and Yuuri could not help but notice a few new scratch marks just above Victor’s left wrist. He had not realized he had clutched on that tightly.

“Ummm, I should go,” Yuuri said, unsure of where to go from there or what to say. His limbs felt a bit weak, body still buzzing, mind in disarray.

“You could stay a bit,” Victor offered, as Makkachin bounced into the bedroom, pushing in past the now open door. “Makka likes having guests for dinner?”

“I promised Phichit I’d be home tonight,” Yuuri answered automatically, then bit his lower lip. Was that the wrong answer? Was he supposed to stay? He wanted to stay. But he didn’t know what he would say or do or when would be a good chance to leave, and when Victor nodded, there was no turning back.

“Okay, sure, I understand.” The smile on Victor’s lips did not look genuine. Yuuri’s cue to depart. He let Victor escort him to the door.

As he stepped outside, Yuuri turned, ready to say something, anything to try to explain the mess of thoughts swirling inside him.

Victor got there first, by leaning in and swiping a light kiss across Yuuri’s cheek. “Sorry if it wasn’t what you expected coming over. I mean, I know it wasn’t what you expected coming over.”

“No, no, it was good!” Yuuri cut in, almost frantic, and was rewarded by another small smile. “Ummm, I liked it. Meeting your dog and… the lesson.”

“Do you want to try again?”

Yuuri gazed up at Victor through his lashes, bit his lip, then nodded. “Third time’s the charm?”

Victor’s laugh echoed all the way through him. “I’ll be sure to give you a proper lesson next time. Text me later?”

Nodding, Yuuri took a step back, hesitant, unwilling. “Okay. I promise to check my messages more.” With a wave and a short goodbye, Yuuri turned his back, walking across the lot to his car. He took his phone out when he reached it, just in time to see a new message from Victor flash across the screen.

>> Good night, Yuuri ( ^ ♡ ^ )ノ

The little heart-mouth made Yuuri’s chest feel tight.

<< Good night, coach.

Chapter Text

“I mean, I’m impressed. I honestly thought it was a lame excuse to get into your pants.”

“I did too.” Victor leaned back against the bench he was sitting on with Chris, looking out at the green field in front of them. “He keeps surprising me.”

“What are you going to do?”

What was he going to do… The calendar in his phone already had another day marked by the note Lesson with Yuuri (/^ w ^\). The emoji might have been a bit much, he knew. But it was difficult to rationalize with the irrational part of him that was shamelessly excited at the thought of seeing Yuuri again.

Despite his better judgment, he could not resist following up their last meeting by sending a photo to Yuuri. Makkachin in the middle of the pile of trash she had torn through, before Victor had cleaned up the majority of it. Her face black with the coffee grinds, chewed up banana peels at her feet.

Yuuri had responded with a string of kisses for her, and later sent Victor a photo of a latte cup with a dog’s face drawn into the foam. The text accompanying it read, Almost as cute as Makka. It wasn’t Victor’s fault that he could not stop his smile from growing or his pulse from jumping. “I’m going to coach him.”

“Honey, that’s a bad idea.”

Victor scowled at Chris’s blunt response. He did not think it was a bad idea. A bad idea would be letting someone like Yuuri continue thinking of sex as something that was always a bad experience. Victor had his fair share of bad sex, but it was more than balanced out by far, far more positive experiences. Yet seeing Yuuri in tears, proclaiming statements as horrifically wrong as it always hurts left Victor feeling like a wreck.

A bad idea would be permitting Yuuri to slip away without showing him exactly how good sex could be. Was supposed to be. “I will not permit myself to be another horror story marring his sexual history. He’s so sweet, Chris, nobody deserves that.”

Makkachin came bouncing from across the grass, a tennis ball in her mouth. Chris waved her over, pried it from her teeth, and tossed it again. She raced off after it.

“You say he’s sweet, but I see someone who is using you for sex class,” Chris said. “Wasn’t the whole point of you trying to get into a relationship not being used solely for sex?”

“This is different,” Victor protested, trying to deny to his own logic that Chris was right. Signing up for the online dating app had been done with the purpose of getting into a regular relationship, offline.

The budding romantic in him wanted silly dates filled with easy exchanges and natural comfort. The kind of person who wouldn’t mind holding hands in public, who would ruffle Makkachin’s ears with as much affection as he did. Someone who laughed with genuine joy, who tolerated Victor’s lame attempts at jokes. Someone who he could make breakfast for, who could make his heart trip over itself with their smile.

Somehow, the world played the cruel joke of giving him Yuuri.

Yuuri, who had been completely open to the suggestion of pottery painting and who had been the one to slip his hand into Victor’s. Who volunteered without missing a beat to turn a hook-up into a dog wash and who looked all the happier for it. Who smiled with the light of the sun and laughed like a comet burning into Victor’s atmosphere. And who kept the majority of their contact behind online text messages and said he was not ready for a relationship.

“What’s your plan?” Chris asked as Makkachin pranced up again, panting. “You gonna bang your way into his heart?”

Victor shrugged, taking the ball from his poodle and resting it between his knees as he rubbed her head, cooing praises. She ignored the affections and tried to wrestle the ball away from him.

He did not have much of a plan. Coach Yuuri through sex, like he had been asked, and hope that Yuuri opened up a bit more. In more ways than one.

The reason he had accepted the offer originally was that he had anticipated the complete opposite. Thought that maybe the ridiculous chemistry on the first date had been a fluke and that he would not be so smitten after some casual sex. He had been anticipating Yuuri would show up and treat Victor like any other person who viewed him as an easy lay due to his profession.

That would have been fine. Would have been better, because then it would have been easy for Victor to say, sorry but I don’t think this arrangement is going to work. He could be done with it without any lingering feelings or doubts.

Instead he wound up swooning more than before, nursing the onset of a heartache. Right now, his basic plan was to help Yuuri. Gentle, adorable Yuuri who cared so much about pleasing his partners that he apparently had never taken care to make sure he was experiencing the same type of pleasure that he was trying to give. Victor wanted to make up for every bad experience Yuuri had, wanted to drown him in the love he deserved.

“Don’t do this to yourself.” Chris’s voice sounded distant despite them being side by side. “Look at you. Skater boy doesn’t contact you for a week, comes back and asks for sex, only then he doesn’t even get you off. Plus he slaps you across the face with that coach text. Isn’t that enough of a figurative red flag or should I start waving a real one?”

“I got off,” Victor corrected, sending Makkachin chasing after the tennis ball again.

Chris draped an arm over the back of the bench and turned toward Victor. “Excuse me? You said he didn’t—”

“He didn’t technically,” Victor explained, realizing he had left off some of the finer details of his evening with Yuuri. He had been preoccupied in ranting about whatever kind of inconsiderate exes had given Yuuri such bad impressions of sex. “After I jerked him off, he kept grinding against me and… I came.”

Chris arched an eyebrow and leaned back, amused. “You came just from his ass bumping against your dick? Damn, what kind of premium grade booty does this boy have?”

“Figure skating booty,” Victor said with a small smile. He tried not to be too superficial, but Yuuri’s ass was the kind that Victor dreamed of using as a pillow.

“I’m in the wrong profession,” Chris chuckled, expression softening. “I’m warning you though, that premium figure skating booty is playing with you and you’re letting it.”

“It’s fine,” Victor dismissed. “This will be good for me. Helping someone who has issues with sex, it’s a chance for me to return to my roots.”

“It’s not fine. You’re going to fall hard and he’s going to say thanks, then skate off with some ice dancer.”

“At least he’ll learn how to have good sex with the lucky ice dancer,” Victor muttered, taking the ball from Makkachin when she came back to drop it into his hands.

Chris rolled his eyes as obviously and dramatically as he could. “This is the stupidest idea you’ve ever had.”

Victor chucked Makkachin’s tennis ball as far as he could. “I know.”

~~~~~~~

<< Hey, I got held up at dance practice. I’ll be a little late, is that okay?

>> No problem!
>> You dance too? (*゚O゚*) What kind of dance?

<< Yeah, it’s part of my training. Mainly ballet. Some hip hop that I do with Phichit. A bit of something else.

>> Wow, amazing! \( ^ ♡ ^ )/

<< Okay, I have a serious question for you.

>> (*゚ロ゚) What?

<< How do you make all those emoji so quickly?

>> Special keyboard app (´・♡・`)
>> It flips between English, Russian, French and emoji

<< You speak French?

>> Oui, mon chéri ( ^ 3 ^)ノ⌒♡*:・。

<< Impressive. I’m leaving the studio now, be at your place in about 20 minutes.

>> Can’t wait (^_-)

<< ♡⌒ヽ( ^ ε ^ )

~~~~~~~

“Relax, Yuuri.”

Relax. Easy for Victor to say. He was not the one with a pornstar between his thighs, watching him spread lubricant over his fingers. Yuuri had already nearly tripped over himself trying to get out of his sweatpants in front of Victor, after being told to go clean off in the shower. On his own this time. Regrettably.

It was more awkward settling onto Victor’s bed without the heated foreplay. Victor shuffled Makkachin into the living room and quickly closed the door behind him. Without the rush of being caught up in the moment, spreading his legs felt more like a task than a natural reaction.

Victor’s fingertips danced up his thighs, slick with lube, to flirt around his entrance. Yuuri clenched unconsciously, jittering with nerves, and heard a sigh.

He expected frustration. Instead Victor cast him a smile and moved up to rest beside him on the bed. His right hand remained between Yuuri’s legs, but his fingertips played around the base of Yuuri’s barely hardening cock instead.

“Hi,” Victor greeted, blue eyes peeking through silver lashes, and Yuuri laughed.

“Umm, hi?” Yuuri tried.

“Are you okay?”

Victor’s bangs fell into his face, the little smile that he wore and the lightness with which he spoke sent a different sort of rush through Yuuri. It wasn’t fair for Victor to be so good-looking. He belonged in a magazine or on some sort of podium, not pushing his body flush against Yuuri’s. Although there was something nice about that too.

Like how Victor’s thighs were quite nice. Especially in how he hooked a leg around Yuuri’s, so that his inner thigh rested over Yuuri’s outer. There was strength in them that did not exactly rival Yuuri’s mid-season muscles, but Victor’s thighs were still delectable enough that Yuuri could see himself making a dinner out of them.

Victor’s hips pushed against Yuuri’s, not a single layer between them and there was no shying away from the fact that he could feel every part of Victor. Yuuri might have thought about that part of Victor once or twice since their last session. Might have thought about all of Victor. In multiple ways.

Like how he kissed Yuuri, in a way that felt like a scene in a movie. Like how his arms around Yuuri brought on a sense of comfort like a fleece blanket on a rainy morning. Like how he shocked Yuuri with the care that he took, with how sweet that he was, with how much Yuuri found his thoughts straying to Victor throughout the course of the day. Like how he had the most beautiful dick Yuuri had ever seen, and Yuuri had never really considered dicks to be all that attractive before.

Yuuri had been thinking about Victor a worrying amount. Little thoughts popped up before he could stop them. He could not even get through his standard exercises without the question bouncing up of how it was Victor kept his abs so washboard. Yuuri wondered if Victor had a strict gym regime or if it was a by-product of banging for a living. All the thrusting surely sculpted muscle. Maybe if Yuuri increased his lessons with Victor, he could cut out some crunches and substitute them for arching up to steal a series of kisses as Victor pounded into him.

That would certainly spice up his interviews when reporters asked him for his workout schedule.

“Yuuri, if you’re not comfortable with this, we don’t have to do it.” Victor’s words cut through his tangle of thoughts. “I don’t want you to feel obligated.”

“Me?” Yuuri asked, bringing his focus back into the bedroom. “I’m the one who asked you to do this.”

“Sex isn’t an obligation,” Victor replied. “You have the right to say no at any time, okay? Before, at the start, in the middle, even right at the end. If you don’t feel comfortable or feel good, you have every right to stop. It's your body. You don’t owe it to anyone, for anything.”

Yuuri nodded slowly. He knew that. He recognized that. It was sometimes hard to remind himself of that. “Okay then… do you want to do it?”

Victor’s smile was breathtaking. “I’d love to be your coach through this. But only if you do.”

“I-… I want to,” Yuuri admitted, relaxing under the way Victor’s fingers skated patterns across his thighs. He wiggled closer into Victor without thinking. “I’m just nervous.” He did not know what he would do if it did not go well. Victor wanted to show him how to properly prep and Yuuri had been avid on the notion, but now a low sense of dread milled in the pit of his stomach.

What if it did not feel good, even with Victor working him through it? What if the discomfort never went away, despite what Victor said? Yuuri did not want to end up a disappointment again, doing the walk of shame out of Victor’s apartment without either of them having enjoyed it.

“It’s okay to be nervous,” Victor answered, sliding his other hand up to sweep a few strands of hair behind Yuuri’s ear. “It’s normal. Do you get nervous when you skate?”

“Sometimes,” Yuuri said, tipping his face into Victor’s touch. It was reassuring.

“What do you do?”

“Try to concentrate on the aspects of my routine that I know I’m good at,” Yuuri replied automatically, finding himself gazing into the blue of Victor’s eyes. It was enthralling, how Victor followed his words, gave little hums to show he was listening, smile widening when he saw Yuuri grow less rigid. “And breathe.”

“What are the aspects of this that you know you’re good at?” Victor prompted.

Yuuri paused. Victor asked all of the right questions. Except again, Yuuri was left without an answer. His perceptions of his skills in the bedroom were still near zero. He was not even sure how he had managed to get Victor interested, least of all to the point where Victor was volunteering his time like this, claiming that he wanted to.

He did not consider his flirting skills good enough. Certainly nothing when it came to actual performance. The only thing he really had going for him on their first date was the kiss turning heated. Yuuri had not intended to get so carried away with it. But Victor’s kiss had been hot against the November chill. The sweetness of the sake coming off his tongue made Yuuri want to swallow the pleased sighs tumbling from his lips, made him want to coax out more.

Tipping up, Yuuri caught Victor’s gaze for a split second before he caught Victor’s lips. There was surprise there, mild and momentary, melting away into the thread of Victor’s fingers into his hair. Yuuri sucked a plump lower lip into his mouth before welcoming in Victor’s tongue, moving their lips together and breathing heavy when they broke. Then Victor’s mouth was back of his, firmer, more demanding, and Yuuri gave eagerly, burning like a pilot light. He chased the kiss, tasting his own name as it fell, quiet in wonder. “Yuuri…”

He sparked.

Yuuri reached down and took hold of Victor’s hand, guiding it down between his legs again. He let one fall open, granting Victor more access and whispered a please into their kiss.

“Are you sure?” Victor questioned, not pulling away but not pressing on until Yuuri nodded. “Okay, but talk to me. Tell me if it hurts or if you don’t like it.”

Victor’s fingers traced over his hole again, spreading the lubricant there. Yuuri twisted at the waist, tilting into Victor’s body. His fingers curved over one of Victor’s shoulders, grounding himself.

“Yuuri, breathe,” Victor instructed and Yuuri let go of the air he had been holding.

Victor pushed in.

Yuuri laughed.

“What?”

“Little finger first?” It wasn’t unpleasant, a hesitant introduction to the smallest first knuckle. A familiar feeling of a slight stretch, but without discomfort.

“I don’t know what you can take at the start, and I want to be careful after last time,” Victor said. “Are you telling me you’re okay with more?”

“Yeah.” Yuuri nodded again, and felt Victor’s pinkie slide in further. “Bit more.”

All of Victor’s motions were cautious, slow. He switched from the little finger to his middle after a minute, keeping his gaze on Yuuri’s face, watching for a reaction. When he pushed in again, Yuuri’s eyes closed.

“Too much?”

“I-I’m okay,” Yuuri replied instantly, then caught himself. “No, hold on a second…”

Victor listened, waited until Yuuri muttered he was fine to continue.

“Go slow, okay? Especially if it’s your first time with your partner. As you get more comfortable with them, you’ll learn the right pace and amount for them, but don’t rush it. I should have done better last time. You were distracting…” As he spoke, Victor pushed slowly in and out of Yuuri, waiting each time for the nods that told him Yuuri was feeling okay.

Yuuri was more lost in the sound of Victor’s voice. Low and accented. Yuuri loved how vowels lengthened on his tongue, how consonants sharpened. He concentrated on the words, swimming in them, forgetting the initial burn each time Victor went a little deeper.

“Push your fingers in a little at a time. If it gets uncomfortable, pull them out and wait until any discomfort fades. Then try again if your partner wants to go on. It should get easier each time.”

Yuuri responded with an okay to every statement, growing accustomed to it exactly like Victor said.

“You can use a circular motion to stretch out the rim, like this.” Victor copied his own words, making Yuuri feel more of the stretch until it felt natural. “And when they’re ready, you can add another. Are you ready, Yuuri?”

“Yeah, I’m good,” Yuuri confirmed, looking down between them as Victor drew his hand away. More lubricant was spread over his fingers and he returned them to circle the still tight ring of muscle. Yuuri wanted to keep going. “Please…”

“Please what?” Victor smiled and Yuuri blushed. “Communication, remember?”

“Please keep going,” Yuuri corrected, rewarded by two of Victor’s fingers pushing back inside. It was more of a stretch than before, prickling, but Yuuri breathed out to calm any rising concerns. He trusted Victor to take care of him, relaxing once more.

Victor kept his movements slow and steady, talking Yuuri through it, littering him with tips and suggestions until Yuuri was pliant enough for the third. He whimpered into Victor’s shoulder when they sunk in deep, squeezing, and Victor halted immediately. “Does it hurt?”

“A little…”

Victor removed his fingers and the ached dulled. “It’s easier to judge on your own what your limits are. Do you want to try?”

“By myself?” Yuuri clarified, eyes growing wider.

“Yeah. Have you ever done it to yourself?”

Yuuri shook his head. Since his experiences with a partner had not been good, the drive to explore himself in that regard had never manifested. Not to say that he had not been tempted, but the fear of something going wrong always won out. He did not want to skip practices with the explanation that he had accidentally injured himself attempting anal masturbation. Sorry, can’t skate, tried to fuck myself too hard on my fingers.

The look which flashed across Victor’s face was difficult to read. “Would you like to try now?”

“Yeah,” Yuuri said, biting back the unfurling of nerves. He felt comfortable with Victor’s touch, his well-paced guidance. Any ripples of discomfort or pain faded swiftly with the care that Victor took, leaving him not minding more. Thinking of more. Wanting a bit more. “Will you still help me?”

“Of course, whatever you want.”

Yuuri’s hand trembled a little when Victor poured a generous amount of lube onto it. Victor showed him how to warm it between his fingers, encouraging Yuuri on. “You can start with one again, make sure you’re not pushing yourself.”

Taking the suggestion, Yuuri carefully slid a finger into himself. It slipped in without much resistance. Yuuri could not place the sensation. Having something inside was always odd at first, an intrusion, but this was different.

“Yuuri?” Victor spoke into his ear, stirring him back to attention.

“Ahh, I’m okay,” he reassured, smiling a little, wanting to wipe the concern from Victor. “It’s just… weird.”

“You can stop.”

“No, not like that,” Yuuri said and pushed another finger in. Remembering Victor’s words, he scissored them, stretching himself until he was comfortable enough to add a third. As he pushed deeper, his body resisted and he pulled it out, waited for the discomfort to settle before trying again. “I’m not used to it feeling… okay.”

"Does it feel good?"

Yuuri tipped his head back, so he could gaze up at Victor directly. There was a faint blush on the Russian's cheeks. His own blazed up at the realization that Victor was watching him closely, observing how Yuuri fingered himself open. Shifting, he angled his hip between Victor's, brushing against his half-hard erection. Yuuri bit his lower lip and pushed his fingers deeper into himself. "It—ahhh... it felt better when you were doing it."

Something flashed behind Victor's eyes and he pushed off the mattress, leaning over Yuuri. "Let me help you then."

Yuuri gasped when one of Victor's fingers pressed into him alongside two of his own, the back of his palm slotting into Yuuri's. Victor let Yuuri guide their movements, working him open together until the sensation began to melt something akin pleasure. "Mmm, Victor..."

"How is it?"

He could have cried. Instead he buried his face in Victor's collarbone, reveling because it was fine. Because Victor had promised him to take it slow and careful, to show him how it was supposed to be, to make it feel good.

Yuuri was awash in disbelief. With a skimmed kiss to the center of Victor's clavicle, Yuuri let slip a low moan. "I-... it's good." He closed his eyes, back arching into Victor as they drove into Yuuri again, a fraction faster.

"Really?"

Nodding, Yuuri pushed himself down onto their hands, wanting more of the feel. Lifting his eyelashes, he glanced down at himself. His chest was flushed, bleeding color that faded and rebloomed in his inner thighs. His cock was hard against his stomach, precum beading at the tip. Yuuri moaned freely at the sight of his own and Victor's fingers disappearing inside him.

"Then, if you curl your fingers just a bit, you should..."

Yuuri's breath hitched at the sudden burst which shot through him. He froze entirely, the fingers resting on Victor's shoulders digging in. Then Victor rubbed over that spot again and Yuuri arched, his gasp breaking into a mewl. "Ahh, s-stop, stop!"

Victor stilled immediately. "Sorry, too much?"

Yuuri could feel himself trembling, the tingling in his nerves stretching down to his toes. "Wha-... was that...?"

The moment which passed between his half-question and Victor's response was unnaturally quiet. Victor's fingers hooked under Yuuri's chin and tilted his face up, taking in wide brown eyes and parted wet lips. "Your-... you didn't know?"

Self-consciousness swept over Yuuri. He forced himself to meet Victor's searching ocean gaze, chewing on his lip before attempting to answer. "I-... I know, but..."

"That was your first time?" Victor finished for him. His fingers slipped out of Yuuri and curled around his wrist, pulling Yuuri's fingers out as well. Yuuri did not protest, despite the hallowed feeling the departure left, which for once was not a relief.

"I think so?"

Victor's eyes burned intense and his mouth set into a thin line before he leaned in, pressing them to Yuuri's temple. The same heavy sigh from their last session blew against Yuuri's bangs. "Can I try again?"

Yuuri let his legs fall open in invitation, whispering out a quiet yes to ensure his meaning was not lost. This time around, Victor thrust in two fingers, a little faster and rougher than before, but Yuuri keened in response, clenching around him. It was fine, more than fine, it was good.

Yuuri wrapped both his arms around Victor's shoulders as best as he could, clutching on as Victor filled him in a way that had Yuuri buzzing for more. It only took a moment for Victor to hit his prostate again, and that time sparks erupted throughout Yuuri.

Wicked heat coursed through him, crawling in waves up his spine, making the nape of his neck prickle. Another brush and the muscles in his thighs spasmed, toes curling as the sensation rushed down to them.

Each patterned rub sent pleasure crashing through him and Yuuri could hear himself panting in short, labored breaths. He whimpered out Victor's name, fucked himself onto Victor's fingers, exhaled hot across Victor's skin.

Another precise press had him writhing.

Words spilled without his control, a mix of Victor and ahhh, good, it’s so good, because it was. It was overwhelming and not enough, making him plead out for more, chasing every intense spark flooding through him until Victor's other hand wrapped around his cock.

Yuuri threw his head back against the sheets, crying out as he erupted. His cum splattered over both their abdomens, thick white ribbons coating Victor's hand. He shook through it, coming off a high he had never climbed to before until he was limp against Victor.

Strong arms snaked around his waist and tugged him close, and Yuuri was more than happy to disintegrate into them. His heart beat wild inside his chest, mind momentarily numb just like the rest of his tremoring body.

"Yuuri?" His name came gentle, laced with concern, and Yuuri wanted to blanket himself in the sound.

"That was... so good," he managed, nestling himself into Victor's loose embrace, counting his slowing heartbeats. Was that what it was supposed to be like? Shattering. Like ascending beyond heaven and being scattered amongst the bliss of floating on clouds.

Victor's chuckle was warm over the top of his head. "I'm glad."

Humming his agreement, Yuuri shifted, one of his legs settling between Victor's. He lifted his knee, sliding it up to get closer in, then felt the hard press of Victor's cock against his thigh. He shot up.

Surprised by the sudden action, Victor blinked up at him, but Yuuri cut him off before he could ask. "You-... you're still hard. I want to-... I wanna take care of you."

Victor smiled back. "Don't worry, this is about you."

Yuuri was not about to let him get away with that. "No. You said sex is supposed to be about feeling good for both partners. I want to make you feel good."

A light laugh and a nod was his response. Victor flipped over, onto his back, so he could look at Yuuri straight on. "Good point. I'm glad you're paying attention." He parted his thighs, stretching out his long legs for Yuuri. "How would you like to make me feel good?"

Yuuri blushed, small lingering ripples of his orgasm still pulsing through him. Victor's cock was hard, standing tall and proud against his stomach. A drop of precum glistened at the darkened tip, making Yuuri want to taste it. "I want to suck you off."

That seemed to not be the answer Victor was expecting, because his blue eyes widened at the declaration. His mouth twitched into a smile and he reached down, curling his fingers around the base of his own shaft. Yuuri could not look away, watching him stroke himself languidly in a clear show that Yuuri was absolutely buying. "Come and get a taste then."

Yuuri could have slipped on the sheets in his scramble to sink down between Victor's legs, hands grasping his thighs, only to be stopped at the last moment. "Yuuri..."

"Hmmm?" He glanced up to an amused smirk. "What?"

"Flattered as I am." A small foil package waved in his face. "Condom."

Swallowing down his embarrassment, Yuuri sat back on his heels and carefully opened it, very aware of Victor's watchful gaze. "I-... I know how to put one on," he muttered, removing the latex from the package.

"I never said you didn't," Victor answered, sitting up against the headboard, moving a pillow behind his back.

"I was just... really nervous the first time," Yuuri explained, pinching the tip before rolling the condom onto Victor in one smooth motion. The right way round. He made sure. Double-checked. He was not about to make the same mistake twice. "You were really hot and so much had already gone wrong. But-…"

“But?”

“You still haven’t told me why you stopped me in the car.” Everything else, Yuuri could excuse to bad luck, bad timing, bad location.

“Oh.” Victor’s exhale came out ending in a short moan because Yuuri dipped down, licking at the tip.

The latex was fruity and slightly sweet. Yuuri had always assumed flavored condoms would be off-putting, sticky. Instead he was now doing his best not to think of Victor’s erect dick as a tasty lollipop. The artificial taste of strawberry flooded his tongue as he licked a strip down to the hilt.

“The position was awkward... I didn’t want you getting injured.”

“Not because I was bad at it?” Yuuri muttered, fingers wrapping around the base of Victor’s cock. He dotted kisses over it, shoulders tense, awaiting a reaction.

“It wasn’t great,” Victor confessed after a moment.

Yuuri buried his blush into Victor’s hipline. Not great. He had heard worse. His performance at Four Continents last season was not great, but he could still be proud of his short program. No reason to quit. So he was not great at giving head. As Phichit said, practice makes perfect, whether you’re jumping on the ice or a dick.

“I haven’t had a lot of practice,” Yuuri said, dark lashes fluttering as he met Victor’s gaze. “Teach me how?”

A curse escaped Victor and he bit his lip, nodding. Shifting further up the bed, he raised his knees so Yuuri could more comfortably position himself between them. Yuuri took the cue when Victor threaded fingers into his hair and lapped at him again, tracing the underside of Victor’s cock.

For the first time since they started, Victor seemed lost for words. His gaze was heavy, knees splayed on either side of Yuuri. Running a hand up the side of Yuuri’s neck and across his jawline, Victor pushed his thumb over Yuuri’s mouth and slipped it in, gently pulling Yuuri’s mouth open. “Will you take me in?”

Yuuri wondered if he should have watched another one of Victor’s videos. Studied his technique. Saw how a professional blew a dick and endeavored to copy it. The browser on his laptop had a private bookmark with Victor’s name on it, but it had not been opened it since China.

He wrapped his lips around the head, encircling it with his tongue. A pleased sigh from Victor drove him on. Yuuri slid down further, listened as Victor started to mutter out guidance of a little more, Yuuri, and you can suck a bit harder and look up at me when you do that and use your tongue as you go down—mmm, yeah, just like that.

Victor’s fingers wove deeper into his hair, massaging his scalp. Yuuri found himself pursuing the moments when they tightened, pulling at the strands, chasing after the noises which intermixed with Victor’s speech when he did something right. Yuuri heeded every instruction, pride swelling when they broke coming off Victor’s lips.

He kept his hands on Victor’s thighs as he bobbed his head bit by bit. Victor’s cock was heavy on his tongue, too much to take in all at once. He lifted up, pursed his lips around the tip as he lavished it with the flat of his tongue, and felt Victor tug at his hair again, hips giving a short thrust. Yuuri smiled around him and mimicked the motion, hollowing his cheeks and drawing out a beautiful moan—

The bedroom door slammed open.

Yuuri jerked up, yelping.

A large, brown shape flew across the room, leaping onto the bed. Victor jumped and shouted something that Yuuri did not hear, because Makkachin had bowled straight into him and sent Yuuri tumbling off the bed.

“Makka!” Victor’s call was followed by a sharp yell and a yip from the dog.

Pulling himself off the floor, Yuuri watched Victor try to ward his poodle off with a pillow, pushing her toward the edge of the bed. She clearly had an idea of her own, latching her teeth onto the corner, starting a game of tug-o-war.

“Makkachin, no! Oh my god, get off!”

Yuuri laughed at Victor’s exasperation as he picked his dog up around the middle and heaved her over the side of the bed, struggling to carry a flailing Makkachin out of the room. He set her outside, about to scold, but she burst back in, running straight to Yuuri.

“Makka,” Victor whined, leaving the door open.

Yuuri squatted down, ruffling her ears and angling his face away to keep it out of licking range. Her tail wagged madly from side to side. “I think she disapproves,” Yuuri joked.

Victor sighed heavily. “It’s past her dinner time. She’s going to start begging in a minute. Right, Makka?”

She barked happily, making Yuuri laugh again.

“Then we should feed her. Right, Makka?”

Another bark. Yuuri beamed. Still the best trick he had ever seen from a dog.

“All right. Can’t say no to you now. Come on, dinner time.” Victor whistled and Makka rushed from the bedroom. Casting a short apologetic look at Yuuri, Victor went after his dog. Yuuri tailed after them.

In his spotless kitchen, Victor prepared the poodle’s dinner. A cup of dry food was mixed with shredded chicken that he pulled from the fridge. Yuuri watched with curiosity, leaning against a dining table.

If he thought dog washer Victor was hot, dog food chef Victor was on a whole other level. Not because he was entirely naked… Partially because he was entirely naked. Yuuri would not mind having his own personal nude chef Victor making him a meal. That or Yuuri could make a meal out of Victor himself. His pert ass was good enough to eat.

“Do you want to eat something too?” Victor asked, startling Yuuri with his question.

Yuuri wanted to say, your ass. He didn’t. Too soon. Let sleeping dogs lie. Or not. That was the problem.

“I mean, if you still wanted something in your mouth after that.” Victor grinned.

Yuuri was proud of himself for not choking on air. “Ummm, sure? I didn’t eat anything after practice.”

Makkachin whined, pawing at Victor’s leg. He shushed her, taking another plastic container out of the fridge. Yuuri leaned in, brows furrowed as he squinted, because the contents were bright orange.

Victor scooped a spoonful into Makkachin’s bowl. “Pumpkin. Good for her stomach,” he explained, setting the bowl in front of her. She dove in. Victor watched her chew down a mouthful, then looked to Yuuri. They both knew there was no salvaging the previous situation. “So… how did you get into figure skating?”

“I started with ballet. My teacher recommended skating after a couple years. A friend of mine was doing it at the time, and she thought I’d have more fun if I was practicing with someone I knew. So I gave it a try,” Yuuri answered, taking a seat at the dining table.

He wondered if Victor minded his bare ass making contact with the chair, but the comfortable way in which Victor moved through the kitchen to put away Makkachin’s leftover dinner ingredients told him Victor was likely often nude in his own home.

Yuuri was not a stranger to it, having grown up at his parent’s onsen, but it was different being naked in the baths and being naked without reason in someone else’s kitchen. Well, getting interrupted by a hungry dog in the middle of a blowjob lesson was a good reason. “Turned out I was pretty good at it. I liked winning, so I kept at it.”

“You enjoy it a lot then?” Victor asked, frown settling on his lips as he searched through several cupboards and came up with nothing.

“Yeah I do,”’ Yuuri said, amused when Victor placed his hands on his waist and cocked a hip. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t have anything I can make,” he said, turning toward Yuuri.

Victor had removed the condom at some point and Yuuri blushed dark red, quickly dropping his gaze to the floor. Even soft, Victor was… a pornstar. And as cute as Makkachin was, Yuuri rather wished he had gotten to finish him off. He would get to say he successfully sucked a pornstar’s dick and slap his ex across the face with that. Figuratively. He was not about the share the privilege.

“I don’t know if you have a diet or what, but how about ordering pizza?” Victor mused.

Yuuri’s stomach might have growled.

Laughing, Victor motioned for Yuuri to wait, going to grab his phone. Nearby, Makkachin was licking her bowl clean.

“I don’t know if you’re sabotaging this on purpose or if you have some sort of diabolical plan, but either way, I can’t tell if it’s working or not,” Yuuri told her. She did not reply.

“Yuuuuuri,” Victor called from down the hallway, reappearing the next moment. Still naked. Yuuri did not mind. Victor held a hand over the mike of his cellphone. “They say there’s a special on Hawaiian. Your vote?”

Yuuri crinkled his nose. Victor flashed him another dazzling smile and finished placing the order for a pepperoni. He set his phone down and grabbed Makkachin’s emptied bowl, patting her head. “When’s your next competition?”

“Next week. In Moscow,” Yuuri said, cheeks flushing. “If I do well, then I’ll go to Barcelona for the Grand Prix.”

“Sounds big,” Victor set Makkachin’s bowl into the sink.

“It is. One of the biggest…” Yuuri worried at his lower lip with his teeth. His practices had been going well over the past couple of days. Celestino had said something about skating light, building off his performance in China. Yet that always stacked pressure, made him feel like he was waiting for something to crack. “How did you… how did you get into porn? If that’s okay to ask?”

There was something about Victor’s smile that was reassuring. How his lips curved at the corners and parted over perfectly white teeth. How it formed a heart when it grew genuinely wider. Whenever Yuuri saw Victor’s emojis, he thought of his smile and caught his own growing in response.

“Yeah, it’s okay,” Victor said, taking a seat at the corner of the table adjacent to Yuuri. He leaned an elbow on the surface, cupping his chin in his palm. “I came here as a student. I was studying psychology, but I was never the type that was good with text books and lectures. Ended up doing a research project about how porn affected the actors’ personal sex life, but I wanted to understand the industry better for myself. I always learned better by doing, so to speak.” Victor winked to make sure Yuuri caught his drift. “Someone suggested I try for myself, so I did. And like you said, turned out to be something I was good at. So I kept going. It was more fun than writing a thesis paper.”

Yuuri tried not to let the surprise show on his face. Of any guess he had, that was not one of them. “Do you still enjoy it?”

Victor shrugged his shoulders. “As much as anyone can enjoy a job. But it’s work, you know? I wanted to start dating because I was tired of sex being work. However, turns out it’s hard to find someone understanding of my job. I won’t lie about it. But so far, the people I’ve tried to date either got put out by it, or just wanted to fuck around.”

Yuuri’s eyes grew wide, words hitting him. He was an idiot. By his own definition, he had the perfect man sitting in front of him, yet turned out Yuuri was the complete opposite of what Victor was looking for. Judging him for his job and using Victor for sex lessons. “I didn’t realize—I’m so sorry.”

The apology was waved off. “I didn’t mean you. You’re a bit of a miracle really.” Yuuri could not bring himself to admire Victor’s smile. “You’re a reminder of how I got myself into this position in the first place. Don’t worry, Yuuri. I’m enjoying this, more than I thought I would. I hope you are too.”

The guilt cut deep. Yuuri did his best to push it under. Victor undoubtedly deserved better than how Yuuri had treated him. It left him with two choices. Excuse himself and give Victor the opportunity to find someone who could be a proper partner to him. Or make sure that for however long they carried this on, Yuuri did his best to make sure the sex wasn’t work for Victor. Throw his anxiety aside and push himself as hard as he pushed on the ice. If he could get gold in a competition, he could give Victor gold in bed.

Yuuri shifted the conversation, asking Victor a few lighter questions. Which part of Russia was he from, how long he’d had Makkachin for. In return, Victor questioned him about his studies, where he had traveled for competition, his favorite place overseas.

Yuuri was in the middle of telling Victor about winning the drinking contest in China when the doorbell rang. Makkachin barked. Victor stood up. Yuuri almost fell off his chair.

“Don’t answer it!” Yuuri commanded when Victor made for the door.

Victor’s hand was on the doorknob. “Why not?”

“You’re naked!” Yuuri pointed, eyes darting around the room in desperate attempt to locate anything that would adequately shield Victor’s nether regions from an unsuspecting deliveryman.

“I thought I’d do the classic, ‘oh Mr. Pizza Man, I don’t have any money. Is there some other way I could possibly pay you?’” He wiggled his butt, causing Yuuri to snort with laughter.

Grabbing one from the couch, Yuuri threw a pillow at him. Victor smacked it to the floor. “What are you going to do if he doesn’t go for dick?” Yuuri demanded. “Is this going to be one of those awful straight-to-gay videos?”

“Let’s find out!”

Yuuri yelped when Victor undid the lock, scrambling for the bedroom. He snatched the first pair of pants he saw on the floor and ran back, tossing them at Victor.

“These are yours!” Victor laughed when he caught them.

“Just get in them!”

“Yuuri, you don’t need to ask me twice to get into your pants. I’ll happily—”

“This is twice! Get in them and get the door!”

Chuckling, Victor stepped into the sweatpants and opened the door, barely giving Yuuri enough time to dive onto the couch so that his own bare naked ass would not be exposed.

He had to muffle laughter into a cushion upon hearing Victor purr out a sultry, Oh hello there, to whomever was at the door. Yuuri bit fabric when Victor loudly complimented the man’s uniform, his over-the-top flirtatious comments answered by a weirded-out, uhhhh thanks?

The door clicked shut.

Yuuri peeked up from the couch to see a smirking, entertained Victor. “What, you didn’t invite him in for a threesome?”

“He wasn’t my type,” Victor replied lightly, grabbing two plates from the kitchen and carrying the box of pizza over to Yuuri. He nudged Yuuri’s feet to make room, flopping down next to him. The pizza box went on the coffee table, lid popped up.

“What’s your type?” Yuuri grabbed a slice, placing a cushion in his lap so he wouldn’t drop hot pizza on anything important.

“Cute naked Japanese skaters,” Victor said, earning himself a light kick to the shin. “Besides, a threesome is advanced level sex lessons. You gotta work your way up. Food play comes way before that.”

Yuuri almost inhaled a mouthful, coughing so he wouldn’t choke. “I don’t think pizza makes for good food play.”

“Of course it does. The pepperoni goes right over your nipples.” Victor plucked a round slice of the sausage off as if ready to demonstrate what he meant.

“Put that on and I’m walking out of here,” Yuuri threatened, receiving a pout. Victor stuck out his tongue and ate the pepperoni.

“Looking like that?” Victor’s eyes raked eyes up and down Yuuri’s body. “You’ll cause at least a few heart attacks.”

“At least they’ll die happy,” Yuuri replied, pouring on the confidence the quick exchanges with Victor always gave him. It was worth it to see Victor’s pupils bloom, blue irises sparkle, mouth twitch into the shape of amusement.

“Yuuri, how is it that you’ve never been in a good relationship before?” Victor asked, sounding lost in wonder. “I find that hard to believe.”

“I didn’t say the relationships were bad,” Yuuri said, dusting off his hands after finishing off his first slice. “My first boyfriend and I… we dated for about six months before we tried anything. It was the first time for us both. In high school. It was hard to find time or a good place, and we lived in a small town.”

Yuuri could remember the hazy summer day. He had gone to his boyfriend’s house after skating practice on the weekend, under the pretense of studying. “His parents were out one day, so we thought we’d try it out. I don’t think we really knew what we were doing.” No condoms, using hand lotion, a whole lot of struggle. “I always heard that the first time was supposed to hurt. A few weeks later, we tried the other way around and that didn’t go great either.”

Victor listened quietly, turned to face Yuuri as he did his best to explain.

“It was awkward between us after that. So we broke up.” Yuuri could not say if he regretted it. At the time, they were finishing high school and dealing with all the pressures that came with that. For Yuuri, it was even more, debating on the opportunity to leave Japan for school and training in America. A boyfriend was not at the top of his list of priorities.

His second boyfriend had come as a result of his first college party. There he learned about the proud American tradition of red plastic cups and a game called seven minutes in heaven. Seven minutes turned into fourteen and Yuuri stumbled out with a new number in his phone. Somehow, he ended up dating that guy’s roommate.

Nice enough, a tennis player who understood Yuuri’s strict schedule and never pressured him into anything. Except that was the problem. Whereas Yuuri wanted to have sex, to try out the kinds of things that got gossiped about in the university quad, his boyfriend didn’t. He was stoic, in bed and out, and the conflict in their sex drive finally caused Yuuri to call it quits. Kind of.

“Those aren’t your fault, Yuuri,” Victor sympathized. “It happens. People don’t always have chemistry, and not everyone likes the same thing.”

Yuuri knew. He didn’t feel bad about his decision. He had tolerated the infrequent, careless, bored sex for far too long for that. He spent the majority of the relationship worried about what it was he wasn’t doing right, if he wasn’t attractive enough, exciting enough, gay enough. Finally, it had been Phichit that sent the break up text to the guy, sparing Yuuri the fretting and inducing a stroke of panic at the same time.

Then there was Yuuri’s most recent. The one Phichit dubbed douchebag. Yuuri should have known better after the uncomfortable first date. But the guy had been attractive, and Yuuri might have been swayed by the rumor that he was good in the sack. He had wanted to experience that for himself, discouraged by his previous boyfriends and a couple messy, unsatisfying one night stands. “He didn’t like that I would go skate rather than spend time together.”

Thinking back, the word possessive came to mind. Yuuri cancelled a date to stay longer at one of his dance classes with Phichit, leading to a fight. The next time they met up was rough as a result, ending in a bad attempt at make up sex and the break up when Yuuri refused to apologize.

When Yuuri finished talking, Victor’s face was set in stone. “That’s… Yuuri, you should never ever have to put up with such an utter douchebag.” He sounded stilted, like he was restraining himself from saying more.

“That was Phichit’s opinion too,” Yuuri confirmed, rubbing at his knees with his hands. “It’s fine, we’re done. I don’t plan on going back to that.”

“Good,” Victor stated flatly and stood up, collecting their plates. He carried them, along with the pizza box, to the kitchen.

Great. Yuuri had crashed the mood. Scaled up the side of a cliff and shoved the both of them off without a parachute with his sob stories. Yuuri joined Victor in the kitchen, helping him wash the dishes by taking the rinsed plates and setting them to dry.

When Victor switched the water off, Yuuri bumped their hips together, wanting to get Victor’s attention. Only he underestimated the motion, doing it hard enough that Victor stumbled. Yuuri grabbed onto him, saving him from tripping, and ended up closer than anticipated.

Fraction of an inch between them, one of Yuuri’s hands held onto Victor’s wrist, the other having grabbed his shoulder. He slid it down to rest on a defined pectoral. If Victor had modeled for life drawing classes, Yuuri would have signed up for every empty slot. Then bribed the other participants out of it. And conveniently forgot the art supplies.

He noticed Victor staring down at him. “What?”

Victor brushed his thumb over Yuuri’s lower lip. “Maybe you didn’t have great boyfriends, but surely one of them told you how gorgeous you are?”

Kissing Victor was a bad decision. Yuuri did it anyway. No protest came. Instead, Victor’s arms lopped low around his waist, fingertips skimming his tailbone and sending tingling vibrations up his spine.

Yuuri decided he very much liked having his hands in Victor’s hair. Fine silver threaded like silk through his fingers. Victor’s mouth moved and pressed against his own. Warmth bloomed into heat and Yuuri moaned when Victor’s teeth toyed at his lip.

Large hands gripped at his ass, kneading in a way that had Yuuri pushing back for more. Yuuri squealed when Victor grabbed on tighter, lifting him up to set him on the kitchen countertop.

Yuuri’s mind raced and his heart seized, sending blood rushing south. The higher position meant he could angle Victor’s face up by tugging on his hair, claiming him in a deeper kiss. Victor’s tongue pushed against his own and Yuuri swore as Victor’s hand found his cock again, turning his partial erection into one full-fledged with a few strokes.

Victor broke away, mouth wandering down the center of Yuuri’s chest and stomach, pausing to scatter a few shallow marks that would fade easily. Yuuri wanted them to go deeper, bolder, thinking what it might be like to skate with dark bruises from Victor’s mouth underneath his costume.

Teeth sunk into a sensitive spot on his thigh and Yuuri gasped, clamoring to clutch at Victor’s shoulders. “Wait, I want to-… I want to finish from earlier. I want to make you come.”

The heart was back gracing Victor’s smile. “Hold on,” he said, not giving Yuuri a chance to protest.

Throwing his arms around Victor’s neck and hooking his legs tight around his waist, Yuuri bit back laughter as Victor heaved him up. Carried to the bedroom, Yuuri was deposited onto the bed, only letting Victor go so he could shut the door. Firmly this time. He locked it for good measure.

“Come here,” Victor called Yuuri over, joining him on the bed, pants stripped off. “Get on top of me and turn around. We can help each other.”

The moment that Victor pressed a condom into Yuuri’s hands and opened a second one, the suggestion processed. “Oh. Okay.”

Victor guided him into the right position, on all fours above Victor, his groin over Victor’s face. He felt the condom go over his dick and hastened to copy. Incredible, really, now fast Victor grew hard in response to Yuuri’s touches. Yuuri stroked for good measure, each knee positioned on either side of Victor’s head as his mouth hovered over his cock.

Victor’s hands caressed Yuuri’s ass again, pulling him down to suck the tip of Yuuri’s dick into his mouth. Yuuri wasted no time responding, taking account all that Victor had told him earlier. He wound his fingers around the base, working at what his mouth could not yet reach.

The way Victor sucked on his cock had Yuuri reduced to moans in a few minutes. He pulled off a couple times, whispering encouragements to Yuuri, pressing kisses to his thighs and nipping at his buttocks. Yuuri whimpered through it all, running the flat of his tongue over the entirety of Victor before going down on him once again, saliva pooling in his mouth. His moans resonated around Victor as he took his cock as deep as he could before it hit the back of his throat, sucking hard.

“Yuuri, fuck, ah—that’s it…”

The breathy praise had Yuuri eager to hear more, repeating the motion. Victor’s hips stuttered. Each noise which fell from Victor and hummed around his cock had Yuuri striving for another, wishing he could see Victor’s face. He wanted to watch how it might become more beautiful with a blush across his cheeks, mouth parted as he brokenly breathed out Yuuri’s name.

Victor’s fingers dug into his thighs, bruising, and he spilled into the condom. In turn, Yuuri cried out as Victor swallowed around him, forcing him to pull off so he could groan into Victor’s thigh as he came.

Once Yuuri caught his breath, Victor patted his ass cheeks, beckoning him to turn around. Carefully, Yuuri swung his leg over Victor and discarded the spent condom. Victor did the same, but when Yuuri moved to face him, Victor opened his arms.

Yuuri hesitated.

“Yuuri,” Victor whined, cute as could be, foot nudging at Yuuri’s lower back. “Another lesson. Don’t go running off so quickly. Makes your partner feel used. You can stay for a minute.”

Perhaps he was happier about it than he should have been. Yuuri descended into Victor’s embrace, resting his head on a broad shoulder. He smiled when he felt Victor playing with the hair at the nape of his neck.

“Good job. Much better. Not a perfect class, but I can’t really give you any deductions for my mistakes,” Victor teased.

Yuuri was tempted to discover if Victor had any ticklish spots. Instead he closed his eyes, entire body humming in the bliss of a second orgasm and at being nestled against Victor’s warmth. “Maybe I need a better coach.”

“How dare you? Have I left you so unsatisfied?” Victor faked scandal well.

Yuuri had to stifle a laugh into his shoulder. “No… you’re really, really good.” Everything was still processing. Just how good Victor made him feel. All of it left him light and elated, like the conclusion to a perfectly executed routine. Like leaping onto the center of the podium, bowing his head for gold.

“You too… Feel like you learned something?” Victor’s breath puffed against the top of his head, rustling his hair.

“Mmm,” Yuuri agreed. “You’re the best coach.”

“Then you’re the most fantastic student.”

Yuuri dozed off preening at the compliment.

~~~~~~~

A steady, even heartbeat pulsed against Yuuri’s palm.

He should move it. Take his hand off Victor’s chest. Off his heart. Untwine his legs from Victor’s. Stop marveling at the morning sun shining off his skin. In awe of the curve of his nose, the height of his cheekbones.

Yuuri did not want to move, despite knowing he should. He had classes later in the morning, practice in the afternoon. He needed to find his phone, text Phichit, tell him he was fine. He’d simply fallen asleep with a pornstar. With Victor.

Yuuri could count each silver lash, see the faint smile lines at the corners of his eyes. His hair reflected the sun streaming though the window, almost white with highlights. Pale pink lips parted, giving glimpse to the tips of his pearly teeth, and Yuuri wanted. Wanted the morning. Wanted the feeling of fluttering as he awoke beside Victor more than just on accident.

He stretched his legs, skin sliding along clean cotton sheets. Nothing in his body strained or protested, no soreness to make him fret with worry. Only the temptation of wanting to wrap himself in Victor’s arms, nuzzle into his chest and stir him with a good morning muttered lips to lips. He resisted.

Victor’s lashes lifted and Yuuri felt like drowning in the blue which greeted him.

In the dawn light, they exchanged shy smiles and Victor reached out, brushing back Yuuri’s bangs.

“Can I make you breakfast?”

Chapter Text

Yuuri’s skate bag dropped to the floor with a heavy thud. Closing the apartment door with his heel, he collapsed back against it. Eyes shut, Yuuri sighed and took in a deep breath. In and out, lungs expanding in his chest as he tried pointlessly to slow his racing heart. It beat in his pulse points like a mantra of the name plaguing his thoughts.

Too much.

Waking up with a dog at his feet and Victor, so close to being pressed against him was too much. Feeling warm in his presence despite the cold of the incoming winter was too much. The question of breakfast, simple and domestic, offered with a beautiful morning smile was too much.

Yuuri recalled one morning, a year back, when he and Phichit first moved into their apartment. They had come in to something feeling close to home, despite the boxes scattered around, many largely unpacked. Shoes kicked off unceremoniously, they had heaped onto on the secondhand sofa, giddy and exhausted off a competition they had both ranked in. Their first time skating against each other. Phichit was supposed to be his rival, but Yuuri showered endless praises for the silver in Phichit’s luggage.

Two in the morning, both destroyed after the cramped flight back, and Phichit had kicked at Yuuri’s feet, sparkling with sudden, inexplicable energy. “Let’s go celebrate!”

Three in the morning, they had sat on the hood of Yuuri’s car in a White Castle parking lot, sharing a sack of cheese sliders and sneaking drinks off a bottle of champagne wrapped in a paper bag.

When the sun came up, Yuuri had woken up in his bed with a mild headache and Phichit octopused to his side, muttering short excuses about how ditching morning classes was perfectly acceptable for two world-class athletes. As tempted as Yuuri had been, he had slugged off only ten minutes behind schedule.

The idea of spending the morning tangled up in Victor’s sheets, being fed breakfast and lounging in comfort had tested every milligram of Yuuri’s resolve. Ditch class, spend the time with Victor. Maybe have another lesson in Victor’s shower.

But then Yuuri’s alarm had rung and rudely reminded him that slow mornings were something that boyfriends did. And they were not boyfriends.

They were not anything that made sense.

“That’s a walk of shame look if I ever saw one!” Phichit’s voice was chipper as it floated through the apartment.

Yuuri pushed himself off the door, left his bag discarded, and walked over to their kitchen. Phichit had a hamster on his shoulder, and poured Yuuri a mug of coffee without asking.

Yuuri shook his head to decline. “I already had some.”

Phichit drank deeply from the mug, his face twisting at the bitter taste. He topped it off with milk and a spoonful of sugar, smacking his lips at the adjustment. “Porn boy made you coffee?”

“He… he made me breakfast,” Yuuri replied, shuffling his feet.

Phichit’s eyes grew wide and delighted, so Yuuri scrambled to correct any assumptions before it was too late.

“Nothing big! Just some eggs while I showered, I didn’t have a lot of time…” Or he would have let Victor make him something more, if it were offered. Maybe helped. Returned his kind favors and care by making rolled omelet, Japanese style. Victor had let him feed Makkachin with short instructions after Yuuri had come out of the shower, redressed in the same clothes from the evening before. It felt a shame when he had to excuse himself shortly after.

“So then, how was your class?” Phichit asked, stretching out the interjection, making it impossible for Yuuri to miss his meaning.

The blush attacked Yuuri’s face, thighs twitching at the memory of Victor’s mouth trailing over them. “Ummm, good? Pretty good. He gave me homework?”

Phichit nearly choked on a mouthful of coffee. “Sex homework?”

“Websites and articles to read, about… certain things.” Victor spammed his phone with links over a plate of arguably the best scrambled eggs Yuuri had ever eaten. Pages dedicated to talking about safe sex, proper stretching methods with step-by-step guides. Information describing the anatomy of male and female bodies, suggestions for positions to maximize pleasure in any gender combination. Sites detailing different types of condoms and lubricants, with reviews and listed out pros and cons of each. All sent with a wink and a promise of a potential pop quiz.

“Sounds like he’s taking this coaching thing seriously,” Phichit remarked, and Yuuri could see the hundred teasing comments simmering behind his dark eyes. “What’s sex with a pornstar like anyway?” Phichit asked offhand, feeding a string of shredded carrot to the hamster riding on his shoulder.

When Yuuri had washed off in the shower that morning, he ran his hands down his own body. Cupped his buttocks and ghosted a finger over his own entrance. Curious after just how undone he had been by Victor’s touch. If he were not on a schedule, he might have been tempted to try to find that spot inside himself again. Or called Victor over, convinced him to join Yuuri in seeking it out together.

He had felt light getting out of bed that morning, tension in his muscles lax, as if still riding high off the previous evening. That’s what it was supposed to feel like, after all. Lingering pleasure flirting in his nerves, beckoning for another round being taken apart in Victor’s arms. He finally understood why some people grew addicted. “…Amazing.”

“Oh my god.” Phichit dropped his hamster onto the counter and grabbed for Yuuri’s hands. “Really? Really, really? Did he like… what’d you do?”

“Stuff?” Yuuri felt weird talking about it directly. Phichit rarely censored himself, always free in the things he shared with Yuuri, while Yuuri usually preferred to keep details vague and just confirm when Phichit guessed.

With Victor, it had felt normal to discuss. Listening to him explain sex and all that came with it in a manner that felt as natural as an everyday conversation. But telling Phichit about how he came with Victor’s fingers in his ass and around his cock felt like giving away something he preferred to keep private. “Not… not fully sex, umm… but he showed me how to prepare myself and then we… uhh, we sixty-nined?”

Phichit laughed at that, clapping Yuuri on the shoulder. “Wow, so advanced! How do you feel? Bit better about yourself?”

That was a loaded question. Yuuri was unsure, lacking confidence to say otherwise. There was also a layer of guilt in that he had only gotten Victor off once actively in their rounds. If Victor told him to go out and try with someone else, Yuuri would quickly reduce to a mess of self-doubt and apprehension. But with Victor, he had woken up feeling satisfied, for what was the first time in his life.

Amongst all the web links Victor had sent him, there were included a couple recommendations for toys Yuuri could order for himself, if he felt confident enough to try. There was one Victor specifically mentioned as being very good for prostate stimulation. Yuuri might have bookmarked it. Homework. So that the next time he saw Victor, he could be ready, less nervous. Eager to welcome him pressing inside.

Yuuri spent his entire morning class thinking about the wrinkles around Victor’s eyes when he smiled. The way he pushed Yuuri just enough to get him where he needed to be, how he had laughed at being interrupted mid-blowjob by his dog, and made Yuuri stifle giggles as he actually pulled flirty porno lines on an unsuspecting pizza deliveryman. Oh. Oh no.

“I like him…”

“Good. Probably not the best idea to be getting sex lessons from him if you didn’t,” Phichit chirped, scooping his hamster back up and saving it from going headfirst into the sink.

“I mean… I really like him.”

After his class had let out, Yuuri wanted to text Victor. With no reason for it. Start under the pretense of thanking him for the night. For letting Yuuri sleep over. For making him breakfast. Apologize for potentially taking up Makkachin’s spot in the bed. Beg for her forgiveness. Ask for a photo of her, which he knew Victor would supply. Complain about how boring his class had been and admit that he could not pay attention, wishing he had swapped the dull lecture for spending the morning together.

Too much.

He had sat in his car, fingers over the touchscreen keyboard of his phone until it became hard to breathe and he abandoned the plan altogether.

“You really like porn boy,” Phichit repeated. “What’s the problem?”

That in itself was the problem. “He said he wants to date.”

“You?”

“In general,” Yuuri corrected, sinking back against the kitchen counter. “He’s looking for a relationship and not… casual.” Not whatever the hell Yuuri was trying to get away with. Victor wanted a boyfriend and yet Yuuri was taking up his time being exactly not that.

“And you’re feeling guilty because…. You really like him but don’t want to date him?” Phichit’s questioned formed slowly, as he guessed at the issue behind Yuuri‘s hesitation.

“I’m feeling guilty because I do. But I told him that I don’t.” Yuuri toed at his own foot, knowing that he made little sense.

“Sounds like an easy thing to solve. Ask him out and tell him you wanna go for it. He’s already got you orgasming, I’m sure porn boy will buy you dinner as well.” Phichit talked like it was that simple.

Yuuri elected not to tell him that Victor had technically bought him dinner last night, refusing to accept any money from Yuuri before he left Victor’s place. Pizza and a couple of orgasms. Better date than dinner and a movie, if Yuuri had to choose. Except it wasn’t a date. It was just… something.

“Ask him out and what? Have a boyfriend that I can’t talk to about his work or his day because he was literally sleeping with other people? How does that conversation go? ‘Hey Darling, I know you got railed hard by a couple guys today, was it a good day?’

The look Phichit cast him was sympathetic. “You gonna stop then? What do you wanna do?”

“I don’t want to stop.” He liked Victor too much to stop, but too much to keep going. He needed to focus on the lesson aspect. Victor was his coach, as untraditional and unusual as their arrangement was. “I’m gonna… I don’t know.”

Stop having ridiculous moments together that made his heart flutter. No more dog baths. No more naked pizza ordering. Ignore the fact that when he pictured having sex with Victor, he thought about it in missionary, because it meant he could be wrapped in Victor’s embrace, kissing the moans he hoped would fall off his lips. “Bang porn boy and leave.”

“Never thought I’d hear you say something like that,” Phichit quipped.

Yuuri agreed. It didn’t sound like him. Yet what else was he supposed to do? He wanted to continue seeing Victor, but dating him felt like taking the fast lane to heartbreak. All accidents aside, their two sessions had gone well and Yuri would easily admit that sex with Victor felt good, really good, and he practically tingled in excitement at the idea of seeing what the real deal would be like. Selfish, but if Victor was still offering, Yuuri would take it. Eagerly.

“You know he won’t be porn boy forever.” Phichit nudged Yuuri’s foot with his own, getting his attention. “It’s not the kinda job people have till retirement. Ask him about it.”

“What, like if he plans to quit?” Yuuri clarified to Phichit’s nod. Yuuri could not imagine how much a question would go. Victor, I like you a lot, but I can’t date you as long as you’re porn boy so please stop being porn boy if you want an awkward figure skater boyfriend that doesn’t know how to have sex.

Even if he reformed that into something resembling normal, there was no way he could do that. Victor was doing nothing wrong by being a pornstar. The issue would be Yuuri’s inability to separate the work from the relationship and it could not be fair to put that pressure on Victor.

“No, that’d be-...” Manipulative if Victor liked him, humiliating if he did not. Victor deserved better, someone who would not have the same hang-ups as Yuuri. “Be weird asking him something like that. That’s his life and his choice, I have no right to try and change it.”

Phichit sighed and leaned back against their fridge. “Don’t know what to tell you then, Yuuri. If you wanna keep banging porn boy, I won’t stop you. But you gotta give me all the dirty details. Does he live up to the film hype? Get you moaning out like in a porno?"

The depth of Yuuri’s blush had Phichit laughing.

“I’ll take that as a big yes. Well, get it good for as long as you can and try not to venture too deep into feelings territory. Bang and leave. Cuddling is definitely a bad idea. Did you cuddle last night?”

“No cuddling,” Yuuri confirmed. Maybe a little. And a hint of regret that he had not woken up against Victor’s side... But Phichit was right. Keep out of feelings territory.

“You should make yourself a set of guidelines,” Phichit said, amused. “Porn Boy Manual for Yuuri. No cuddles, no cute shit. Bang and leave. Maybe do the Japanese thing and start bringing him thank you gifts. Although that might fall under the cute shit category. Scratch that.”

Yuuri laughed and nodded. Fine. He could do this. Like he told himself before. He could do Victor. Do him and nothing else. Get good and give it good, make it as enjoyable as he could for the both of them until one of them found someone more suitable in terms of relationship material. People did casual all the time. Yuuri could too. Could casually bang Victor.

“You know how else you could solve this whole issue? For both of you to get your happily ever after?”

“I’m not marrying porn boy.”

“Then I got nothing.”

~~~~~~~

<< I’m stuck at my rink. Phichit was supposed to come get me but he’s busy with something else. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it.

>> Where’s your rink? I can come get you, if you want (^♡^)

<< Are you sure? It’s a bit out of the way for you.

>> You’re not cutting class on me that easily, Yuuri ( ^__~ ) Can I come get you?

Yuuri sent Victor the rink address in response, worrying his lower lip with his teeth.

Celestino had asked him that afternoon if there was anything on his mind distracting him. Yuuri brushed him off with a mutter about it being a bad day, because the truth was explaining that he had a whole different type of coaching scheduled after he was done practicing. Somehow, he thought that might not go over well.

The flight out to Moscow was the following evening, and Yuuri was practicing double time in order to ensure his spot at the Grand Prix Finals. He and Phichit were pushing each other on, with both literal and figurative pats on the back, lining up their training and skate sessions together as much as possible for the mutual support. However, amongst Phichit’s bright confidence, Yuuri edged the plains of pressure coming off his performance in China.

The problem with performing well was that it meant expectations were even higher the next time. Yuuri had already skimmed the Japanese articles online, describing his silver skate and asking whether he could take the podium again in Russia, with ending lines all expressing hope for gold at the Finals.

Japan’s Ace and all he could really do was remind himself to breathe. Deep breaths, slow, calculated.

His skates glided clean over the ice. The muscles in his calves and thighs protested from hours of exertion. His back was sore, shoulders aching. Feet numb. Mind close to the same.

He should text Victor, tell him not to bother. The decision would be to go home, soak his poor body in a hot bath and bandage up any damage that came with the sport. Rest, relax, maybe watch half a film with Phichit before inevitably knocking out on the sofa. That was the smart choice.

Yuuri left his phone untouched on the rink wall, hands laced together behind his back as he skated around the edge of the rink. The ice was marred with the memories of step sequences, spins and jumps, hard stops and point turns. Yuuri’s hands had felt the surface several times that day, the raw spots on the heels of his palms a present reminder.

He could skate the base elements on his programs without thinking. They were ingrained early on, body moving naturally even without music playing through the speakers overhead or through earbuds. He lost count of how many times he listened to the piece for his free skate, the notes conveying love in a way that Yuuri endeavored to emulate but always felt to be just out of reach.

In moments of frustration, it felt like a farce, trying to sell an intangible feeling that he was not even sure he understood the meaning of. Not entirely. Love of family, of friends, of skating, of winning. Those he knew well. Well enough. Yet, his performance sometimes felt as if he was stepping onto the ice with skate guards still on, with components missing.

The rink was empty save for him, and Yuuri danced like he always did when no one was watching. His bones groaned as he pulled himself into the opening pose and began to fly.

Perhaps he could take the chill that would be awaiting in Russia and skate to the image of a different type of love. The kind he was learning from Victor.

A couple days prior, a cancelled seminar resulted in a free afternoon which led to a short flurry of texts with Victor. Those ended with Yuuri kneeling at the foot of Victor’s bed, doing his best to remember everything Victor had told him the previous time they were together. Perhaps skating that kind of love was best reserved for someone else, because Yuuri choked on the ice like he had choked on Victor’s cock. Struggling not to gag and having no success.

Yuuri landed his first combination cleanly.

Victor’s fingers had stroked through his hair and lifted him off, laughter on his lips. Yuuri did not have time to flash with disappointment, because Victor had looped an arm around his waist and flipped Yuuri onto the mattress with a joke about choking under pressure, a wink and a watch me.

Yuuri never thought it would be possible to laugh through the start of a blowjob. He gasped out a sorry, only to be assured that laughing with a cock in his mouth could provide some very pleasant vibrations. After Victor’s masterfully skilled demonstration, they switched again, and Yuuri had to slap at Victor’s thighs to keep him from making a string of bad ice skating jokes with the intention of getting Yuuri to laugh.

That afternoon turned from a blowjob lesson into learning how to make a pornstar come while Yuuri smiled around a mouthful of his dick.

Four rotations into a flawless toe loop, and his legs and spine complained, but his heart soared through his concluding spin. Perfect program, and no one to see it.

As he unfurled an arm to hold out in invitation meant to be welcoming in a new love, Yuuri wondered what that might feel like.

Clapping startled him out of his ending pose.

Yuuri snapped around, toward the sound, and saw— “Victor!”

“Yuuri, that was amazing!”

The stuttering of his heart and the flush on his cheeks had everything to do with the run through of his routine and nothing with knowing Victor had seen at least part of it, Yuuri was certain.

He made his way over to the rink wall where Victor was standing. There was no use trying to contain the smile spreading wide across his face, not when it was in response to that heart-shaped one illuminating Victor’s. “You got here quick.”

“I was driving in from a shoot,” Victor responded, casual. Yuuri’s smile faltered. “Do you need to do more? I can wait.”

“No, I’m done. Let me grab my stuff real quick, I can meet you in the parking lot?”

Yuuri was out of his skates, rinsed in the showers and in a fresh set of clothes not long after the five minute mark. Bag slung over his shoulder, he found Victor’s car parked in front of the building and slipped into the passenger seat.

Weak attempts were made to ignore the recollections of what had transpired the last time he was in that car. Straddling Victor’s lap, sucking tongue and clashing teeth together as they struggled to get Yuuri out of his pants. His ass would forever be imprinted on the steering wheel. Maybe he could sign it, so Victor would be able to sell the car at auction to some wild collector. Pre-owned Cadillac, good condition. Honked by Yuuri Katsuki’s ass cheeks prior to his silver medal victory at this year’s Cup of China, do we have an opening bid?

Victor was apparently thinking along the same lines. “Maybe we should include car sex in your curriculum.”

“Practical portion of the final exam,” Yuuri replied and Victor’s chuckle melded with the sound of the engine as they drove out of the lot.

“Were you practicing for your next event?” Victor questioned, striking up conversation easily as he always did as he maneuvered the streets with the relaxed demeanor of someone who knew a city well.

“Yeah, flight is tomorrow night.” Yuuri sunk into the seat of the car, closing his eyes. Pressing his back straight relieved some of the pressure, and he kicked his legs forward. Wiggled his toes in his sneakers, arching his soles as best as he could. The soreness was familiar, sitting heavy on his shoulders. His mind was still repeating jump sequences, steps, twists, counting in time to the memorized music. He wanted to focus on something else. “You said you worked today?”

“I did.”

Victor tapped his fingers against the steering wheel when he waited at stoplights. His eyes scanned the road before him, but Yuuri noticed he had a tendency to forget to switch on turn signals and that he drove the standard five miles over the speed limit. Yuuri stayed relaxed in his seat. “How… how was it?”

“Same as usual. A pain in the ass.”

It took a moment and a betraying smile, but the joke processed. Yuuri groaned when he got it and Victor scowled at him.

“What?” Victor defended himself as Yuuri buried his face in his hands. “You can make porn jokes, but I can’t?”

“If it’s a pain in the ass, you’re doing it wrong,” Yuuri said, catching how Victor’s eyes flickered to him, mouth quirking at the corners.

“Pop quiz passed,” Victor teased, and turned off the main road.

“Why did you agree to see me if you already worked today?” Yuuri asked. The guilt crept through his tired feet, up to the base of his spine. Victor had outright told Yuuri he was tired of sex being work, and yet there Yuuri was, about to give him a double shift.

“I don’t know what you think filming is like, but it isn’t like the final product,” Victor replied, gaze back on Yuuri to take in the way he had shrunk down into the seat. “There’s an hour on set decoration, then another hour filming the intro with the pizza delivery arriving because I’m an idiot who kept pushing a pull door.”

Yuuri chanced a short laugh. “You didn’t actually film a pizza one, did you?”

“No, that would have been more fun. Theme of the day was dog walker meets rich estate man. Don’t tell Makka, she’ll be jealous.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad,” Yuuri mused. He could picture the scenario. Victor being tugged along by an army of different dogs pulling in all directions, getting tangled up in their leashes. Sounded more cute than sexy. Although he supposed if Victor fell onto his doorstep tied up in dog leashes, Yuuri might also have been tempted to take advantage.

“It is when your costar turns out to be allergic to dogs and you have to spend twice as long filming because he won’t stop sneezing.”

Yuuri shrugged. “Some people might be into that.”

“Oh, I know,” Victor chuckled, carefully turning right on a red light. Yuuri recognized the street as being one close to his complex. “I filmed with a guy once, a couple years back. I was fighting off the start of a cold, and I sneezed while he was inside me… He came.” The amusement shining off Victor was unmistakable. “Everyone was really curious after that. There might have been a month long game of Trigger the Sneeze which drove our director up the wall.”

“I find that hard to believe,” Yuuri said, sitting up straighter.

“What, because porn is so serious? I told you, it’s work. I try to have as much fun at my job as anyone else might at theirs, but that’s not always possible. And trying to maintain an erection through four different advanced yoga poses when you got a crew of twenty milling around watching you while you’re under something called a pussy light isn’t the sexiest thing in the world.”

Yuuri had something close to a crew of twenty questions after that statement, but decided to go with the biggest one. “Why do you keep doing it then?”

Victor’s expression went a bit tight. “Like I said, I’m good at it. People enjoy my work, and occasionally I end up filming with someone I really like. We’ll try to see how corny we can make some of the lines before the super serious Korean camera guy rolls his eyes at us.”

A smile cracked on Yuuri’s face at that. “Worse than asking the delivery guy if he likes extra sausage on his pizza?”

“I filmed one where I played a dentist and the line was something like, ‘looks like you need a little more drilling.’

Yuuri frowned and shook his head. “Should have gone with, ‘I think your mouth needs a different type of filling.’

Victor nearly missed his turn, stepping hard on the brake. “I think you might have a career in porno scripts ahead of you.”

“Are you sure the garden is the only thing that needs ploughing, said the gardener to the housewife,” Yuuri continued on, drawing out a laugh from Victor.

“Postman. I have a big package delivery going in the back door,” Victor countered.

“X-ray technician. Looks like you’re missing a bone in your body… mine.”

By the time they reached Victor’s condo, the soreness had spread to Yuuri’s cheeks. Forcing down a smile was hardly a simple task when Victor kept sprouting line by line. Each was more awful than the last, long after Yuuri’s imagination was exhausted, no match for a career professional.

“I could be the locksmith, crafting up the key to your heart,” Victor said as he unlocked the door.

Yuuri stepped inside after him without hesitation, instantly dropping down to greet a bouncing Makkachin. “That sounds like a Valentine’s Day card, not a porno line.”

“Mmm, true,” Victor admitted, setting down his keys and closing the door behind them. “Roses are red, violets are blue,” he recited thoughtfully, an arm snaking around Yuuri’s waist and tugging him as close as he could when there was a poodle wiggling in between their legs. “I’d like to start this sex class with you.”

Yuuri laughed openly, fingers curling into the fabric of Victor’s shirt. “I take back every nice thing I’ve ever said about you.”

He had to convince himself that Victor’s smile of response was not the single most beautiful thing he had ever seen. There had to be better things. Championship gold medals. Sakura blooming in the spring. A hundred percent on a midterm. A large bowl of steaming katsudon. Yet none of those made Yuuri forget how much his muscles ached and feet bled after hours of practice. Victor did.

“You say nice things about me?” Victor inquired, hands slipping under the back of Yuuri’s shirt.

Yuuri’s cheeks lit up at being caught out. “Only because you make me come.”

Victor guided them through the living room, hands resting on the small of Yuuri’s back. Expecting to be led to the bedroom, Yuuri let out a soft squeak of surprise when Victor turned and tipped him onto the couch. “Now that’s a real porno line, Yuuri. What did you want to practice today?”

Right. That’s why Yuuri was there. To practice his sex skills with a pornstar coach, and not to exchange jokes or smile till his cheeks hurt. Bang and leave. Stay out of feelings territory. If he was going to craft up a set of guidelines, he needed to stick to them. Trading lines fit for an adult film had to be a deduction. “I didn’t really think about it, but I’m open to suggestions?”

Yuuri folded his legs under himself as he perched on the couch, teeth worrying his lower lip again. Victor closed the space between them, fingers coming up to stroke across Yuuri’s jawline. The pressure of Yuuri’s bite on his own lips was replaced by Victor’s thumb, and briefly Yuuri wondered if it was a move he might find employed as a signature should he watch another one of Victor’s movies. Highly effective at making his pulse jump.

“It’s always a good idea to let things develop naturally,” Victor said, gripping Yuuri’s thighs as he leaned in. Forehead tipped together, blue eyes angled down to watch how Yuuri’s lips quivered when a breath swept across the short gap between them.

Victor could write a textbook on seduction. 101 Ways to Make Yuuri Katsuki Drop His Pants. Step one, be an unfairly good looking Russian with a coy smile that wrecked havoc on logic and made want swirl in Yuuri’s gut. “W-what’s a good way to start?”

Apparently it was whatever that Victor was doing. Going zero to sixty from dumb jokes to making Yuuri wish he was naked with a dick in his hand. His or Victor’s. Either was fine. Preferably Victor’s. Maybe that way he could pretend he had any semblance of control.

“A kiss is usually good,” Victor advised, only to bypass Yuuri’s mouth and settle his lips at the curve of Yuuri’s jaw. A teasing tug on Yuuri’s earlobe, then littered nips down the line at the right of his throat. Yuuri arched as Victor’s arms hooked around to support his lower back.

Head tipped back, Yuuri’s eyes slipped shut as Victor’s tongue traced a cool trail across the ridge of his collarbone. Victor made it easy to sink into the sensation of his touch and his kisses, indulge in melting under the ministrations. Yuuri found the hem of Victor’s shirt and tugged it up, splaying his hands over smooth skin.

Victor’s kisses across the lining of his shirt collar were like sinking into a hot bath. Each one sent warmth and pinpricks tingling through Yuuri. The caress of each exhale against his skin was soothing, making Yuuri fall further into the care of Victor’s arms around him.

Hazily, he registered a gentle bite at the hollow of his throat and his head fell back to grant Victor everything he wanted. Victor sucked at his flesh, and Yuuri parted his lips, to moan in encouragement.

Instead, it stretched into a loud yawn. Yuuri slapped his hands over his mouth, feeling the rumble of Victor’s laugh.

“Am I so boring?” Victor pulled back as Yuuri violently shook his head.

He went to protest, and was betrayed by another yawn. “No, I’m-… I guess I’m more tired than I thought.”

“You should have told me… Stay here, let me feed Makka,” Victor said, giving Yuuri’s hand a squeeze before moving away.

Yuuri settled back into the couch, battling off a wave of disappointment. He should have. Called it off and gone home, like he had thought to back at the rink. He had woken up early to train, spent the day bouncing between the rink and school so his mind was as worn as his body. He hadn’t though, for the simple reason that he had wanted to see Victor.

“How long were you at the rink today?”

“A few hours,” Yuuri said, shifting his position. The feel of Victor’s mouth remained on his skin, as well as where his fingertips had burned into Yuuri’s thighs. Stretching out his legs, Yuuri began to massage at his own calves, working at the stiff muscles. “Bit more than usual because it’s right before a skate. I want to make sure I’m as good as I can possibly be.”

“Are you worried?”

A breakfast bar separated the living room from the kitchen, allowing Yuuri to watch Victor as he mixed his poodle’s dinner and served it to her. “I always worry. If you’re not worried about screwing up, something is wrong.”

While his fingers dug in to massage at his muscles, Victor’s laugh felt like one for his soul. Always genuine, giving Yuuri no reason to doubt it. He wanted to chase it, bring it bubbling out of Victor more and more. Except he shouldn’t.

Yuuri slipped off the couch and moved to the kitchen. He should apologize for taking up Victor’s time and excuse himself. Go home. Rest like he was supposed to. Eat a quick bland dinner, make sure everything was set for the next day. If there were to be no banging, then he should leave, he should—

“You haven’t eaten dinner yet, right?” Victor asked when Yuuri approached, stopping him mid-thought.

No, he hadn’t. “I was going to when I got home.”

Victor paused at his fridge, grip on the handle and Yuuri bristled at the sharp look Victor cast him. “Yuuri, part of being good at sex is being good to your partner. That means making sure they are cared for, comfortable and satisfied. In the bedroom and out. What’s your diet supposed to be? I know pizza isn’t part of it, despite the fact that it hits all the major food groups.”

Victor looked as good standing in the kitchen in clothes as he did out of them. Offering to make Yuuri dinner as freely as he had offered breakfast. Again, it was impossible to refuse.

“Lean meat and greens?”

Victor searched through his fridge. “I have chicken breasts and the makings of a salad. Plus Makkachin’s pumpkin, but that’s not green and she’d probably fight you for it.”

There was no need to prompt a command for her to speak for Yuuri to know that she absolutely would with how she licked her bowl spotless. “That’s fine.”

“Want to help?”

Yuuri was afraid he might agree to anything that Victor asked him. Post-coitus breakfast. Making dinner together in lieu of a sex class. Pottery painting as a first date. Victor could ask him to come make a porno together and Yuuri might have gone stumbling like a drunk after that heart-shaped smile. “Yeah.”

The strange thing about being with Victor was how not strange it was. Usually it took Yuuri time and effort to settle in with people. Yet with Victor, it was as effortless as breathing. Yuuri forgot to stop and think, forgot to worry. He answered questions as they came without fretting over the choice of his words, laughed without thinking if he was being too loud.

The conversation flowed like a stream between them as they prepared dinner, led by Victor’s curiosities. His training schedule, how it worked around his classes. How Yuuri juggled exams with ice shows, and what were ice shows. The admission that Yuuri once actually begged on his hands and knees for a make up session after accidentally accepting an interview scheduled at the same time as a final.

Victor supplemented with his own story about how in university, he had Skyped into a presentation from the St. Petersburg airport. The excuse given was a cancellation due to engine maintenance. The confession to Yuuri was a bad hangover and a missed flight. They assured each other that both situations were perfectly understandable.

Victor was a steady presence at Yuuri’s side. Straight posture and firm lines. The folds in his shirt favored the toned muscle beneath, clinging like they wanted to be painted on.

They bumped elbows more than once and did not put extra distance between them.

It was so simple, falling into patterns with Victor. Taking direction to fetch the olive oil from here or some dried herbs from there. No different from when Yuuri helped Phichit with a recreation of a Thai recipe he missed, or when Phichit supported Yuuri in making bowls of katsudon that they certainly had not earned.

Yuuri mixed salad as Victor grilled the chicken, and grabbed plates from the cupboard at which Victor pointed when they were cooked through.

“Here, hold these breasts for me,” Victor said as he plated the chicken. The wink he threw in follow up had Yuuri rolling his eyes.

“Don’t start again.”

“Afraid you can’t keep up?”

Yuuri chuckled, bringing the bowl of salad to the dining table. He sat adjacent to Victor, passing him the silverware he had fetched as per request. “I just wanted to say thanks for letting me toss your salad.”

“Oh, Yuuri, who taught you such dirty slang?” Victor laughed in response.

Yuuri shrugged, serving up a small pile of greens onto Victor’s plate as well as his own. “American university has done wonders for my language skills in more ways than one.”

Victor hummed in agreement around a forkful of chicken. Yuuri noted how his lips pouted around the utensil, the bob in his throat as he swallowed. Victor even ate like an art work, pink tip of his tongue darting out to lick at the line of his own lips. Yuuri wanted to know if chicken would taste a million times better coming from Victor’s mouth instead of a plate.

“When did you start studying English?” Victor asked, making Yuuri drop his gaze to his food so he would not be caught staring. Or drooling. He took a drink from his glass of water.

“It’s required learning in Japanese schools,” Yuuri replied, starting to work his way through the meal. The mix of spices Victor rubbed in had flavor bursting on Yuuri’s tongue, simple but far better than anything Yuuri previously accomplished with such quick work at home. “I started in middle school, but most Japanese schools focus on grammar and tests. I hated it. But when I got into high school, I got access to the internet at home so I would read articles and watch interviews from other skaters, things like that. My ballet teacher spoke English too. I asked her to start instructing me in English as much as possible, so I could practice.”

Yuuri paused to chew through a mix of greens. “I remember my first interview when I tried to do it without a translator. I stayed up half the night practicing what I would say when I lost, but I ended up getting first place and was completely unprepared. I kept saying ‘skate’ with a Japanese accent and finished with ‘arigato’ instead of thank you.”

Victor regarded him with interest, little smile entertaining his lips. “Why did you assume you would lose?”

“Ah…” Yuuri pushed a slice of cucumber around his plate. “I tend to lack self confidence… I get nervous before competitions, usually more when I’m expected to do well. Jumps aren’t my strong suit, so if I fall during the warm-up I usually let it get to me and don’t do so well...”

“Can’t you skip the jumps during your warm up then? Or do you have to do them?” Victor asked.

“I could but…” Yuuri glanced up, meeting Victor’s eyes. The grip he had on his fork tightened. “What’s the point of me being there if I can’t push myself?”

“Spoken like a true competitor,” Victor leaned back in his chair, slipping Makkachin a few leaves of spinach which she gobbled up eagerly. “Well, I can’t speak for your skating skills, but that was best tossed salad I’ve ever had.”

Yuuri laughed, clearing his plate as well. “Wait till you try the real thing.”

Victor’s expression flashed and he leaned in across the table. His hand rested light on Yuuri’s wrist, skimming down the back of his palm. Fingers traced fingers and Victor plucked the fork from Yuuri’s hold. “You’re lucky I just ate, Yuuri, or I’d throw you down on this table and make dessert out of that fine ass of yours.”

Yuuri turned as red as he did when he drank too much. Victor knocked the air from his lungs with another smirk, and then swept their plates off the table, leaving Yuuri’s side for the sink. Yuuri waited for his heart to stop throwing itself against his ribcage.

He ended up skirting off back to the couch to play with Makkachin while Victor washed the dishes. The quiet was easy, filled by the sound of running water and the clink of plates as they were rinsed and set to dry.

A short game of tug-o-war with a rope chew ended with Makkachin on his chest. Yuuri laid back against the cushions, rubbing at Makkachin’s ears as she buried her nose under his armpit. He could see Victor at the sink, smiling at them both. Yuuri ducked from under the fond blue gaze, closing his eyes as he nuzzled into Makkachin’s fur.

Stomach full, chest warm with the dog’s weight, feeling oddly pleased, he was flooded with exhaustion and a sense of relaxed ease. Yuuri did not even realize that he had drifted off to sleep until he awoke to find the apartment dark.

Makkachin was still nestled against his side, dozing. Yuuri shifted and realized that a blanket was draped over him, resting midway up his chest.

The back of his mind was fuzzy with slumber, a gentle prodding to flip onto his side and return to fleeting dreams. Beside him, Makkachin puffed out a sigh. Yuuri slid an arm over her neck as he turned, scratching at the crown of her head.

The room had chilled during the night, cold nipping at Yuuri’s ankles. At least that was what he told himself as sleep evaded him despite his eyes being shut, black against the interior of Victor’s apartment.

Yuuri had a hard time barricading his thoughts from Victor. He was there to stay the second Yuuri’s mind touched on his image. Delighted as he clapped for Yuuri in the rink, excited as if he were witnessing a spectacle of value. With his laugh like music, an encouragement to whatever joke Yuuri made, sparkling amusement to any hint of a flirty line. The softness writ across him as they cooked together, Yuuri knowing he did not need to drop an apology when their feet stepped too close. The way Victor settled his hand on the small of Yuuri’s back as he turned to twist around Yuuri to grab a plate, like he was a counterweight.

Victor was frustrating in everything that he did, in how it wove into Yuuri. Making his blood run hot, common sense to cease functioning, logic fading, because in those moments, the only thing that mattered was staying close to Victor.

Yuuri tossed on the couch, a bit too roughly because Makka yelped sharply beneath him as he accidentally squished her tail and he rushed to whisper for her forgiveness.

Huffing out deeply, Yuuri pushed the blanket off and sat up. Makkachin’s head perked up, getting a pat from Yuuri before he swung his legs over the edge of the sofa. He sat with his feet planted firm on the floor, listening to the quiet broken only by a clock ticking somewhere on the wall behind him and Makkachin’s steady panting.

A moment passed. Then another. Yuuri was not sure what he was waiting for, perhaps for Makkachin to make a move, but instead her brown eyes shut and her head flopped back down onto the blanket.

“Come on,” Yuuri finally muttered and stood, shuffling as quietly as he could across the apartment.

The door to Victor’s bedroom was cracked, opening silently as Yuuri nudged it. He told himself he meant to lead the poodle in and return to the couch, not daring to intrude.

As always, Makkachin had other plans, leaping onto the bed and landing heavy at Victor’s feet. Yuuri went rigid as Victor stirred, muttering out to his dog before his lashes lifted and he saw Yuuri.

Victor had left the window curtains parted. Moonlight skirted off his sleep-messed hair and the hint of a smile that his lips curled into. “Yuuri? Something wrong?”

Everything was wrong. How his heart twisted in on itself, demanding an excuse, an explanation. How Victor waited, saying nothing, not pushing Yuuri despite the haze of sleep radiating off him, his gaze at half-mast. How Yuuri’s feet refused to carry him back out of the bedroom. “I got cold. Can I-… can I sleep here?”

Victor answered by holding up the corner of his blanket, the space beside him empty. Yuuri filled it, curling up at the edge, mattress dipping with his weight. The blanket barely covered him, back exposed as he tried to take up the least amount of the bed as possible.

In the dark, Victor’s quiet laugh seemed deafening. “You’ll fall off over there. Get comfortable, Yuuri, you’ve slept in my bed before. Remember what I said about making sure your partner is taken care of? I don’t mind.”

“I don’t wanna...” Invade. Take more than was being offered. Assume and end up nursing a hurt ego and a bruised heart. It was too much again. The jokes, the dinner, the blanket draped over him while he slept. Again, Yuuri was thieving Victor of his time and his space, without giving anything back in return. “I’m sorry I stole Makkachin.”

“It’s fine. I took her out after you dozed off, but she jumped straight back onto the sofa with you as soon as we got back. You’re magic, getting her to switch loyalty so quickly.” As he spoke, sleepily, Victor’s lashes fluttered shut again, exhales steady against his pillow.

Quiet settled in between them for a few minutes, before Victor addressed him again. “Yuuri… communicate with your partner. If you want something, you need to tell me. I can’t always guess.”

Yuuri wanted. Wanted the slide of his legs against the smooth skin of Victor’s. Wanted to fall asleep with Victor’s breath teasing the back of his neck. Wanted that same feeling of waking up with each other, except with the chance that the next morning he might do so pressed into Victor’s side. “Is it okay if you-… Last time was… nice.”

Victor leaned in, stretching out his arm beneath the blanket. His hand traveled over Yuuri’s waist, sliding over the curve of his hip. “Come here, turn around.”

Yuuri knew that he was not always the best listener. He pushed himself when he was instructed not to, changed aspects of his routine at the last moment on a whim, sometimes permitting an odd spur of confidence to lead him into risk-taking. A split-second decision to follow an ill-formed idea which would be far more likely to have him tumbling to defeat. Yuuri slid into Victor’s invitation.

The embrace wound loose around him. One of Victor’s arms slid beneath the pillow under Yuuri’s head, the other draped over his waist. Victor did not tug him in tight, letting Yuuri settle where he wanted. Back not quite to chest, Yuuri bumped the heel of his foot against Victor’s ankle and felt the slide of Victor’s knee creasing into his.

Yuuri closed his eyes and fell asleep with Victor’s temple a reassuring press between his shoulders.

~~~~~~~

Mornings always came unfairly quickly, bright and brilliant even at the cusp of winter. Yuuri woke with Victor’s hand resting low on his stomach, their hips slotted together with his ass pushing back against Victor’s groin. The smallest shift had a soft groan rolling into the nape of his neck, along with a muttered apology at the hard outline that Yuuri felt.

Yuuri did not give Victor the chance to move away, taking hold of his wrist. He could not form the words, but he could communicate else how, drawing Victor's hand down to the same stiffness between his legs.

“Ahh, fuck, Yuuri…” Victor’s voice was rough with the morning, mouth hot as it skimmed along the exposed part of Yuuri’s back. He palmed at Yuuri through his pants, while Yuuri ground back against him.

Still half asleep, Yuuri was vaguely aware of time, his schedule for the day. Class, a single session at the rink, then home to pack and find his passport. Check in for his flight, make sure Phichit did not forget to do the same. Luggage, wallet swapped out with the rubles he had already exchanged, his skating ID, printout of hotel arrangements. All washed away by the dance of Victor’s fingers under the waistband of his boxers.

Yuuri twisted at the waist, reaching back so he could push down Victor’s underwear. He breathed into Victor’s mouth as they stroked each other’s cocks, making his toes curl with the rush.

“Mmm, wait,” Victor muttered, drawing away with reluctance when Yuuri started to let soft sounds fall off his lips more freely.

Yuuri pulled off his shirt as Victor shooed Makkachin from the room. He had barely stripped out of his pants before Victor descended back onto the bed, capturing Yuuri’s mouth as his hands grasped onto Yuuri’s thighs. Yuuri whimpered at fingertips digging in, high and close to his twitching cock.

“Can I try something?” Victor murmured into the kiss.

Yuuri nodded without bothering to hear what, swallowing down his moans as Victor licked into his mouth. Transferring his grip to Yuuri’s hips, Victor flipped him over and Yuuri let him.

Shivers coursed in deep waves through him as Victor left kisses from his shoulder blades to midway down his back. Each petal-like caress of his lips burned in the wake of departing contact. Victor’s teeth sunk into the lower curve of his ass, massaging the sting away with a couple laps from his tongue. “You have such gorgeous thighs, Yuuri… will you let me fuck them?”

The sheets muffled Yuuri’s yes. A proposal for an idea Yuuri had never considered before, yet Victor reduced him to sighs of approval with just a few words.

Yuuri had suffered through enough bruises after years of falling on ice, torturing himself through hours of hard training. The subtle marks of teeth and suction that Victor scattered along his skin felt like they should for display rather than cautious aftercare following a long day. If his tongue were not tied in his mouth, Yuuri might have moaned out for Victor to leave more of them, make them deeper so that he could still find them the next time he undressed, perhaps overseas.

“Lay flat.” A palm on his back guided Yuuri down. His dick rubbed into bedsheets warm from their combined heat. Yuuri grabbed a pillow and hugged it to his collarbone, nestling his face in. Victor spread lubricant between his legs, thumb brushing against the underside of Yuuri’s balls. He was already sparking in reaction, ass canted into Victor’s supporting hands.

“Keep your legs together, tight like that.” Victor purred into Yuuri’s hair and he let out a whimper of acknowledgement. Heart beating in his throat, Yuuri closed his eyes as Victor pushed in between his thighs.

Cock sliding slick and heavy, Victor’s hips pressed into the curve of Yuuri’s ass. Yuuri kept his legs locked, making his muscles quiver in a way that brought a curse from Victor’s lips. He squeezed tight and drew out another until the drag of Victor’s cock against his balls and perineum had him quieting his own moans into the pillow.

Yuuri arched off the mattress when Victor slid an arm beneath him, bringing them closer as he thrust in, unhurried in the fluidity of his movements. Yuuri had Victor’s weight above him, Victor’s mouth on his neck, mixing kisses in with hushed praise.

Yuuri wanted to see Victor’s face, watch him exhale out every utterance of his name and shuddered breath, see himself reflected in blue eyes as they drank him in, wanting and on the edge just from the thrusting of Victor’s cock between his thighs.

Fingers curved under Yuuri’s jaw, tilting his face up and back. Victor kissed the corner of his mouth and Yuuri strained to seize it deeper, sucking at Victor’s tongue as best as the angle would allow. “Do you want to come like this?” Yuuri choked out his yes and no sooner did Victor wrap his cock tight in his grip, jerking him off as he fucked Yuuri’s thighs.

Yuuri keened, pushing back into Victor’s pistoning thrusts and then jerking forward into his hand, spilling onto the bedsheets. A minute later, Victor painted his thighs white and guided Yuuri over. Yuuri did not wait, plunging his hands into silver hair and stealing whatever words Victor intended right off his tongue.

Victor seemed content to mutter into the kiss, but Yuuri was deaf to it, the glow still spreading through him. He pulled away only when his lungs demanded air, lifting his lashes to meet Victor’s gaze and smile when Victor greeted him good morning.

Yuuri almost missed the question Victor mumbled against his mouth, lost in the kiss and their proximity. “I’m not going to make you late to anything, am I?”

Yuuri shook his head without even checking the clock. He skipped his morning class.

~~~~~~~

Moscow was cold.

Cold and filled with bold Cyrillic, with speech that came out sounding hard and cornered, unlike the accented layers in Victor’s voice.

Celestino had advised Yuuri to sleep on the flight, but Yuuri stayed up jittery with nerves, Phichit snoring against his shoulder in economy. Every relax, you did great this morning, your routines are solid which came from them both translated to you’ll have a shot if you don’t mess up, don’t slip, don’t fall on that salchow.

Yuuri had called home before boarding and the promise that his family would be watching only ensured that by the time they made it to the hotel Yuuri was a mess, barely able to walk a straight line. What were sobriety tests like in Russia? Yuuri would fail it. Unless the cultural differences and stereotypes combined into seeing whether he had enough in him to down a shot of vodka and be able to tell that it was some Polish brand and not one coming out of the great motherland herself.

The combination of long-haul exhaustion, anticipation of his short program rapidly approaching and overall anxiety had Yuuri sitting in the hotel lobby at past midnight. He fidgeted with his phone, staring at the translation app open on it. English or Japanese, both versions of the question he wanted to ask seemed far too intimidating for his sleep-deprived mind.

Somehow, he would fuck up and end up taking the lobby hostage in an attempt to cleanse himself of the embarrassment of butchered Russian. Maybe he could find one of the Russian skaters or coaches wandering around. He thought he saw the redhead down the hall from his room and she had always been friendly enough. Surely she could lend him some Russian help that would not have Yuuri wanting to bury himself six feet under.

Except how was he supposed to approach? Middle of the night before a competition, knocking on random doors and hoping not to get whatever was the modern-day equivalent of the KGB coming after him under suspicion he was trying to sabotage the Russian skate squad. Yuuri flipped nervously through the apps on his phone and paused, waited… Then pulled up his texts.

<< How do I ask for extra towels in Russian? It’s late and the person at the front desk doesn’t speak English.

Plus she looked like she was about to snap Yuuri’s head off if he attempted to explain via a mimic of a toweling action one more time. Yuuri stared, calculating the time difference. Halfway past five in the afternoon. No response came back.

Yuuri sighed and hung his head. Maybe Victor was working. Or out with Makka. Or doing anything else. Yuuri debated going back to his room. Or running by the hotel bar to see if he could find someone bilingual and drunk enough they would not pay too much mind to the foreigner asking weird questions.

>> Можно мне ещё несколько полотенец, пожалуйста?
>> What’d you do? (・_・ヾ

Yuuri jumped up and rushed to the front desk, showing the message to the woman at the counter. She barely looked at Yuuri, reading it and then departing wordlessly. She returned a minute later, handing Yuuri two folded towels. He managed to stammer through a spasibo which she did not seem to hear, then sprinted for the elevator.

<< Tried to take a bath. Flooded the hotel bathroom a little.

>> I feel like I shouldn’t laugh, but I’m laughing

Relief cracked through Yuuri for the first time in some eighteen hours. He kept the towels to his chest with his left arm, phone in his right as he walked down the hall back to the room he was sharing with Phichit. He entered quietly, spreading out the towels on the bathroom floor to soak up the water which had spilled over the edge of the bathtub because he had not been paying attention as he waited for it to fill.

>> It’s late, shouldn’t you be sleeping? (゜◇゜)

<< Couldn’t. Gonna try now. Thanks for the towels, I got them.

>> Are you skating tomorrow?

<< Yeah, my short program. I’m up third.

Third or the perfect position to have to worry most about the scores coming before and after him. Although, Yuuri thought that no matter which position he skated. They were all bad, a pressure whichever way it went.

>> Do you mind if I watch you skate on tv? Think I found a channel airing it ( ̄ー ̄)

Yuuri did not type a message back right away. Instead he set his phone down and mopped up the rest of the lukewarm water, wrenching it out into the sink. The bath was still full, but Yuuri drained it, watching the water level sink. The next morning was an early one, up for breakfast, at least one interview, practice at the rink. Celestino was dividing his attention between both him and Phichit, who had even more pressure on him to qualify for the finals.

<< If you want.

Victor’s response did not come back immediately. Yuuri turned off the lights in the bathroom and slunk back to bed, casting a short envious look at Phichit, who had been out like a light the moment his head had hit the pillow.

Yuuri curled up on his side, turning the brightness of his phone screen down as he waited to see the message bubble pop up. It flashed up and disappeared a couple times, and Yuuri’s eyes slipped shut, fading into sleep momentarily. He forced them open, taking a moment to process that the message he had received had come from Victor.

>> 頑張れ, 勇利 ( ^ 3 ^)ノ⌒♡*:・。

He fell asleep with phone still in hand.

~~~~~~~

Yuuri could hardly breathe. Each breath snagged in his throat, constricted.

Too much.

The screens in the back room of the Moscow ice arena showed live stream of the second skater posing to the opening notes of his short program. Yuuri knew him, an American, they had met a few times. His vision blurred even further than it usually did without his glasses on, Yuuri’s hands clenching into fists in his lap.

He was not where he was supposed to be. He needed to be rinkside, waiting his turn. He needed to find Phichit or Celestino, but instead he couldn’t even find the strength to take another step, frozen. Ready to shatter, smash onto the ice.

The first skater, the Canadian, had skated nearly a flawless program. Yuuri had not landed a single jump at practice, keenly aware of cameras on him, on the commentary that would sure to be running in Japanese, in English, in Russian, speculating and worrying. Making comments about how there was something off about him, about whether he would be able to pull himself together in time for his skate.

He couldn’t.

Time ticked and someone came by, touched his shoulder. Yuuri didn’t recognize them, and bolted. At least he went in the right direction, for the right door. Heading toward where he was supposed to be, but did not want to go.

His hands shook. His legs shook. His heart pounded, overtime, harder than if he had finished a routine. Yuuri tried to gulp down air, but could not swallow.

He was so close. Today did not matter. He could skate a bad program and still come back in the free skate, still qualify. He had done it before.

His family would be watching. The skate club back in Detroit would be watching. Victor.

Victor was watching. Sitting at home, Makkachin resting in his lap. Waiting for Yuuri to come on. Maybe hearing the comments that might even be questioning why he was not at the sidelines already. Saying his coach looked concerned.

He did not want Victor to see his first skate like this. A wreck, on the verge of tears.

Victor had driven him home, listening to Yuuri explain the story behind his short program. Music reminiscent of a tango, sensual. He had meant to challenge himself this season, with a theme of erotic love, portray the type of sexuality on the ice that he could not off it.

Yuuri had thought he could do even better after China, incorporating the sexuality of his extra coaching sessions with Victor into his program. New and bold, more experienced, understanding.

Instead, Yuuri was dangerously close to missing it altogether. He did not want Victor to watch him fall, watch him go crashing down hard, because Yuuri knew if he slipped, he might not be able to push himself up.

He thought he could get through, with Victor’s help, with that cheer written out for him in his native language. Yuuri clenched his phone in his hand and held it up. There were missed calls on the screen, from Celestino, from Phichit.

With trembling fingers, Yuuri unlocked the screen and tapped on it. The call screen displayed, tone dialing. It rang three times and clicked.

“Yuuri, aren’t you supposed to be skating?”

Yuuri finally managed to take a breath. “Victor… I’m scared.”

Chapter Text

“Yuuri, are you coming? Leo texted, he and Guang-hong are already at the restaurant. Apparently JJ is dropping by too… Yuuri?”

A pillow muffled Yuuri’s response. The subsequent shout of I can’t hear you from the bathroom had Yuuri lifting his head. “No, I think I’ll… stay here,” and wallow. Feel sorry for himself. Try and convince himself that being social was an overrated concept anyway. Incomprehensible Russian soap operas were less torment than posing for countless JJ Style photos. Yuuri was not even sure his thumbs could bend that way.

“You should be celebrating too, you know.” Phichit emerged from the bathroom, winged eyeliner freshly and expertly applied. He smiled like the light of the sun. Too bright. Yuuri winced and rolled over.

No sympathy given, Phichit crashed down on the bed beside Yuuri. “Come on, pleeeeease? We both made it, you should be happy!”

“I’ll just bring the mood down. Go enjoy your podium party.”

Phichit’s sigh was heavy. Before Yuuri could protest what he knew was coming, Phichit latched onto him with a bear hug from behind. “Okay, but I already sent you the address in case you change your mind. It’s down the street, you can’t miss it. Don’t hold back if you wanna come, okay? Everybody will be glad to see you.”

“I partied last time and woke up with a splitting headache and a sore ass. I’m comfortable skipping both those aspects.” Yuuri did not want to end another night being pounded into the bedsheets by an Italian for all of a careless five minutes.

“Right, you gotta save that privilege for porn boy.”

Yuuri could feel the width of Phichit’s smile behind him.

When Yuuri had finally come running to the rinkside for his short program, his name being called for the final warning, Phichit had waved with relief and grabbed the phone from Yuuri’s hands. Both Celestino and Phichit had had no time to ask Yuuri questions, barely a second passing before Yuuri threw off his skate guards and jacket, mounting the ice. He had taken his position at the center, heart pounding so loud he could not think above the noise.

When the routine had concluded to enthusiastic applause, Phichit found Yuuri heading into the Kiss and Cry. He had slipped Yuuri back his phone, Victor’s name still displayed on the screen.

“Fine, I won’t tease. But promise me we’re celebrating together when we get home? Ain’t no party like a Katsuki party.”

“We can watch The King and The Skater with the director’s commentary,” Yuuri replied.

Phichit squeaked in delight, much like one of his hamsters, and squeezed Yuuri round the middle prior to hopping off the bed. “Director’s commentary and Chulanont commentary.”

“There’s no mute button for Chulanont commentary. But deal.” Yuuri flipped over, met with Phichit’s ecstatic face. “You look happier about that than you did on the podium.”

Phichit grinned. “What do you think? Too much if I wear it out?” He plucked up his gold medal from the bed and hung it over his own head, rocking his chest from side to side to show off how it glinted under the lights.

“JJ might propose, make you his prince,” Yuuri warned. It had been good to see Phichit at the center of the podium, especially after he had set a personal best with his free skate. The gold looked brilliant against his dark skin, as bright and dazzling as Phichit’s best Instagram smile.

“Kay, definitely not wearing it then.” Phichit set the medal back on his mattress, gleaming with pride as he admired it once more. “Sure you don’t wanna come?”

“I’m sure, have fun. I’ll text if I change my mind,” Yuuri said.

Phichit flashed him a thumbs up. “If I’m not back by… uhh, one, assume I’ve been kidnapped and notify the embassy.” He swiped his hotel key off the nightstand and did a quick check of his reflection in the mirror by the door.

“Which one, Thai or American?”

“Yes,” was Phichit’s response as he bounced out the door with a wave, phone already in hand. “See ya!”

Chuckling, Yuuri turned back into his pillow and let himself sink into the mattress as the door shut.

Competitions were always exhausting. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Coasting off the good spirits of a medal made it easier, but missing the podium was simply draining. Hours and tears, blood and bruises, all to be left only with a practiced interviewed statement of I’ll promise to do better next time! that was spoken with conviction and enthusiasm that he was never confident he could deliver.

The only reassurance sat on the fact that expectations were always less after a mediocre performance. If he did poorly next time, it would be chalked up to a bad streak. Or retirement rumors would start flying. He was at the age where better skaters passed their peak.

There were younger athletes in Japan coming into the limelight. Fresher faces, more consistent. Not riddled with anxiety that reduced them to a shaking mess minutes before a skate. The name Katsuki was hardly a household name, rarely mentioned outside of short news clips during the season. A dime-a-dozen athlete who did not even have a medal to ship home to his parent’s onsen.

Perhaps at the very least he could pick up a postcard. Or one of those nesting dolls. He had seen one the previous day, painted with brightly blushed cheeks and silver hair falling over blue eyes.

Yuuri grabbed his phone from the nightstand, screen lighting up as he unlocked it. His wallpaper had remained the same for a couple of years. Cute face and floppy ears of a poodle belonging to a friend back in his hometown. Same kind Yuuri dreamed of having once he decided on a place to settle down.

He had already stopped himself from changing it to a photo of Makkachin. His phone memory housed photos snapped on his few trips to Victor’s apartment, as well as those saved from the messages Victor had sent him. It was hard to resist. Makkachin made for the cutest photos. Posing with her tongue lolled out and belly up. Spread like a queen across the sofa. Toy in her mouth and the biggest, darkest puppy eyes begging to play.

His favorite was the one of her tucked against Victor’s side, her head on his shoulder as they both beamed up at the camera. The first selfie Victor had sent him, before their date. That would have been the image set as Yuuri’s background and lock screen if Victor were his boyfriend.

Yuuri wondered if Victor would be the type to set a photo of Yuuri and Makkachin on his phone as well. He seemed like it. The kind of boyfriend that showed off his partner with pride and a wide smile, brimming with compliments and little heartwarming stories he deemed necessary to assault the world with. The kind to brag that his boyfriend was a figure skater before anyone even asked. The kind to fill his Instagram with domestic images tagged with sickeningly sweet captions and several hearts.

Yuuri pulled up his messages, seeing the restaurant address Phichit had sent him. Under that was a message from his family, and beneath that sat a couple of Victor’s. Highlighted. Unread. Yuuri touched Victor’s name.

>> Yuuri! \( ^ ♡ ^ \) Good job, you were amazing! The news said you qualified for that Grand Prix, congrats! (ノ^ヮ^)ノ*:・゚✧

Victor’s emojis never failed to bring out a smile. Yuuri scrolled up, to find one he could copy.

<< Thank you ( ^ ω ^ ) It’d be more of a congratulations if I had medaled.

Hardly a minute passed before the bottom of the screen indicated that Victor was typing a response.

>> You were less than a point from third, right? That’s very impressive

<< All that means is that if I had done the tiniest bit better, I could have had it.

>> (  ̄-- ̄ )Kay, point taken

<< Point taken was exactly my problem.

Yuuri blinked, because his screen changed, overtaken with Victor’s name and the words Incoming Call. It reached the second ring before Yuuri accepted it, pulse spiking.

“Well, I think you did brilliantly.” Victor’s accent was rich in Yuuri’s ear, the sound of his voice a welcome surprise. “And they totally underscored you on… something.”

Yuuri shifted over to lie on his back, cradling his cell against the side of his face. “And what do you know about judging skating?”

“Not much. But I do think that Canadian should have had points deduced. Did he really have a song about himself, or was I missing something?”

The tone of scandal coming from Victor made Yuuri laugh. “He did. It was a big hit in Canada. It charted.”

“I’m not surprised. It’s disgustingly catchy. Makka has been singing it all day.”

Yuuri was almost disappointed that Victor did not follow the declaration up by giving him a doggy rendition of The Theme of King JJ. Complete with howls and all. “You sure it’s Makka and not you?”

“How dare you imply that I’d be humming to anything other than your music, Yuuri?”

Talking to Victor was like having a hot beverage on a cold day. Warming all the way down to his bones. Like slipping snow-chilled hands into pockets lined with kairo. The comfort of coming home after a long journey. It did not matter whether it was light, cringe-worthy jokes or a hushed encouragement of You can do it, Yuuri. You know you can. Today’s no different from any other day. Go out there and skate, like you always do. Victor reeled Yuuri in like a kite on a string, the wind kindly blowing Yuuri straight into his open arms.

“Thank you, by the way, before my short program…” With Victor’s words to ride on, Yuuri skated to a solid second, only just falling short the following day with nerves jittering through him once more. Fourth overall, but it had been enough to secure his spot in the finals when combined with his silver in China. “I’m sorry I didn’t do better. I shouldn’t be so weak. I know I can do better. I-… I really wanted you to see me at my best.”

“I know you’re not happy with how you did, but you didn’t fail, Yuuri,” Victor said, gentle even from half a world away. “Everyone has bad days. Most people can call out sick to work, switch shifts with a coworker or reschedule appointments. You still went out and skated, and were still one of the best people in the world. You know what I did for work today? Memorized the most awfully cheesy dialogue you can imagine. You did, what’s that one jumped called… a salt-cow?”

Yuuri laughed so hard that whoever was in the room next door probably heard it. “A salchow.”

“That one. My point is, no one thinks you’re weak, Yuuri. You shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help. It’s not weakness, it’s recognizing what you need and not being afraid to do what you think can help you.”

Nodding despite knowing Victor could not see it, Yuuri hummed in general agreement. “I know. Communicate, right?”

“Exactly.”

Yuuri sighed, quiet. He could believe in himself. Yet, it helped to have someone else believing in him more than he believed in himself. “Thanks. And sorry, this call isn’t sexy at all.”

Victor chuckled, the sound relaxing away the tension in Yuuri’s shoulders. “That depends.”

“Depends on what?” If Yuuri had a thousand guesses about how a call discussing his anxiety was supposed to be sexy, he would not be able to come up with the first one. Unless Victor was into men who panicked before competitions they had over a decade of experience in. Nothing could be hotter than talking to a casual sex partner through an episode of crippling self-doubt. What a kink to get off to.

“What are you wearing?” Victor teased.

Yuuri had two choices. Break into giggles at the heavily put-on purr Victor layered on, or refuse to lose. Maybe he had not medaled, but he was not about to lose to a Russian. He had enough of that in his skating career. Even if he was technically on Victor’s home turf. He could come up with something sexy to say. Those crotchless panties. Something strappy and tight. Booty shorts. Lululemon leggings, from before the lawsuit to make them thicker. “Umm… a tshirt and pajama pants?”

Victor’s answer came back without a second in between. “Hot.”

“How is that hot?” Yuuri laughed.

“Cause you’re naked underneath,” Victor reasoned.

“I’m always naked underneath.”

“And you’re always hot.”

When had Yuuri started falling for smooth talk? Very recently. In the span of the last month. Or since he had met Victor. What a coincidence. His blush ratio had also skyrocketed in that time period. That could not be healthy. He should probably see a doctor. Preferably one named Dr. Nikiforov, who had very questionable morals when it came to doctor-patient professionalism and would bend Yuuri over his work desk… Yuuri was getting ahead of himself.

“What are you wearing?” Yuuri countered, because he had no idea what else he could say.

“Whatever you want me to be. What do you like, Yuuri?”

Yuuri liked Victor. So far, in any and every state. In person, by text. Feeding Yuuri lines over the phone that were working just as well as they would if Victor had been whispering them against Yuuri’s skin. “You look really good when you’re not wearing anything.”

Victor’s low chuckle rolled itself under Yuuri’s skin, making him hot despite the cool of the hotel room. “If I get naked, you have to strip down too, Yuuri. I want to feel you against me.”

“O-okay…” Yuuri swallowed around his own words. Was that how this happened? He had tried sexting once before. It was forced and weird and his phone had kept automatically changing fuck to duck which made things even more awkward.

“Where are you right now?” Victor asked, voice hushed softer, sending an electric buzzing through Yuuri.

“In the hotel, in my room… Alone. Phichit went out but I wanted to…” Avoid socializing. Make sure he did not down too many shots of vodka. Ensure he did not run into a certain Italian he had spent the entire competition dodging.

“Seduce me in private?” Victor supplied, throwing Yuuri a desperately needed rope.

Yuuri clutched on. “Is it working?” No. Definitely not. He had told Victor he was in pajamas and then mentioned his roommate. Pure seduction, that was. He did not even know where Victor was. Probably walking around the diary aisle of a grocery store, debating on whole milk versus two percent, all while Yuuri stumbled through the potential opening lines to phone sex.

“I was all yours the second you texted. The only thing better would be if you were in my bed right now.”

Yuuri had woken up that morning with an erection pressed between the sheets and his stomach. Vision of Victor sucking at his dick and balls not entirely faded. Awake, the memory of Victor thrusting between his thighs and dotting kisses across his back fueled him to a quick jerk in the shower before his cell phone alarm had gone off.

Taking a steadying breath, Yuuri shifted up the bed. “I-… I dreamt about you last night.” He swore he heard a hitch over the line and continued. “And I… thought about you, when I showered.”

There was a pause in Victor’s response and some background noise that Yuuri could not entirely place, but then Victor’s voice was low and deep in his ear, playing off the accent which could melt Yuuri faster than the peak of a Kyushu summer. “What did you think about, Yuuri?”

“About having you in there with me. I-… I wanted to feel your fingers inside me.” Yuuri had been so tempted, aching for the press of Victor inside him as he stroked his own cock under the spray of the shower water. Muffling his moans into his bicep, eyes shut as he pictured Victor’s weight against his back. Holding Yuuri close as he fucked between his thighs and moved his hand expertly over Yuuri’s dick. “I had to skate but… I wanted you so much.”

“Yuuri...” Victor was breathy, the sound encouraging Yuuri to tug his pants off. He was halfway to erect, simply from imagining how Victor might look as he listened to Yuuri’s confession. “How about now? Have you tried, fingering yourself like I told you?”

“I wanted to but…” No time, no opportunity. With Victor’s lessons added into his schedule, Yuuri barely had time to think, let alone attempt to fuck himself open on his own hand. “Can you help me now?” No podium meant no exhibition. Yuuri’s showcase could be reaching orgasm with Victor muttering hot encouragements over the speaker.

“Are you still dressed?”

Yuuri’s mind skipped ahead to thoughts of being back in Detroit, worshipped in Victor’s bed. The suggestion had him tenting his boxers. Yuuri palmed himself through the material, grinding into the touch to relieve some of the pressure. “I am…”

“I’m not. Don’t you want to join me?”

Yuuri had never lost his clothes faster, shedding his tshirt as he rushed to latch the door. His heart beat rapidly in his chest as he hurried back to the bed, grabbing a small bottle of lubricant he had tucked into a corner of his suitcase. Just in case.

As he lifted his phone back to his ear, Yuuri heard a low moan mixing with his name and the quiet sound of skin on slicked skin. Definitely not in a supermarket then. Victor was already getting off, simply from being on the phone with Yuuri. Maybe Yuuri could not place in a competition, but he could sure as hell seduce a pornstar. Over the phone was not that much different from in person. He would not have to hide his blush and Victor would not be able to see how his hands trembled in uncertainty.

“I can’t believe you’re in Russia and I’m not there to warm you.”

“You’ve already got me hot for you,” Yuuri said and then slapped his hand over his face. If he had thought nothing could be worse than the porn line exchange from their last date—session. Their last session. That was definitely worse.

Victor’s laugh on the other end of the line meant Yuuri had not been lucky enough for it to have gone unnoticed. “Are you nervous, Yuuri? Ever had phone sex before?”

“You’re my first.” And possibly last, if Yuuri died of embarrassment along the way. He could do this. He had made it through everything with Victor so far. He had learned to how to suck a dick without gagging. A big pornstar dick. If nothing else, he deserved a medal for most improved.

“Lay back and close your eyes,” Victor instructed. “Tell me what you want.”

What he wanted was Victor against him. Mouth marking a bruise into his shoulder, to match the ones scattered across his hips and feet. Wanted their bodies pressed together and Victor’s hard cock slotted between his buttocks. Teasing the promise of more as Victor’s fingers wrapped around him. “I want you to touch me…”

Victor’s touch could reduce him to basic instincts within moments, send pleasure sparking through his nerves. He was greedy for it, for Victor’s hands stroking down his sides, lips drinking him in, tongue tracing the line of his throat. For the silk of Victor’s skin under his touch, his curves and sharp lines, the way he made Yuuri’s name sound like a prayer.

“Do it for me, Yuuri. Touch yourself for me, like I’m doing now.”

Yuuri mewled at that, curling his fingers around his own cock. He stroked slow, from base to tip. Imagining Victor’s firm and steady grasp on him, smearing the wetness at the tip to make the drag back down slicker. “Ahhh, Victor…”

He could hear Victor’s exhale hitch on the other end, gaining a boost of confidence in knowing that he was not the only one affected. “W-what are you doing?” Yuuri questioned, needing to know that Victor was just as bad as him. Flushed and hard, straining into his own hand.

“Stroking myself and imagining that it’s your tongue.” Victor was breathless, and Yuuri could picture him thrusting up into his fist, silver hair splayed across his pillow.

“R-really?”

“Yes, you’ve gotten so good Yuuri, I want your mouth around me.”

Yuuri wanted it. To sink between Victor’s long and gorgeous legs, fill his mouth with the weight and taste of Victor’s cock against his tongue. Watch how Victor’s pale skin flushed in reaction, how his lips parted as Yuuri sucked as good as he had been taught. “I want to see you,” he muttered, sliding his hands down past his cock to stroke his fingers over his entrance. “I want you in me.”

Victor let out a soft, shuddery sigh. “Can you video call?”

“Yes.” He could not even consider another response. “I… I have a laptop, I can skype you.”

“Do it.”

Yuuri threw down his phone and grabbed his small laptop off the desk across the room, setting it on the bed. Victor provided him with a username that Yuuri had to type in twice due to the tremoring of his hands. The call connected before the first dial tone finished ringing.

Victor looked halfway to wrecked, naked and hard. His hair was a bit messy, his lips moist and parted, but he smiled as gorgeous as ever when he saw Yuuri. “It’s only been a few days, you missed me so much?”

If Yuuri had any shame, it had gone out the window the moment Victor had come in to grace his life. Instead of trying to formulate a response, Yuuri angled the screen so the camera would capture the view as he spread his legs for Victor, stroking his cock in show. “Please don’t tease me right now.”

“Not when you ask like that.” Victor’s sentence was punctuated by a quiet swear, his gaze dark as he devoured the sight that Yuuri presented. “Do you have something you can use on yourself?”

“Yeah, I… I brought this.” Yuuri picked up the small bottle of lube, the cap clicking open. He poured some on his fingers, being careful not to be too messy, and peeked over his glasses to make sure he had all of Victor’s attention. His fingertips circled the rim of his entrance, delighting in the ripples of pleasure it sent through him and how it made Victor wet his lips as he watched. “Don’t take your eyes off me.”

Yuuri recalled how Victor had spoken against his ear when he had first explained to see how to do it, then again when they had practiced together, helping Yuuri to discover how good it could feel. He slipped one finger inside himself, breathing through the stretch as he gently removed it in and out to the first knuckle, listening to Victor’s voice as he muttered about how beautiful Yuuri looked.

Yuuri worked himself up to the second, lifting his eyelashes to see Victor on the screen, stroking his cock. The lubricant squelched as Yuuri pressed deeper inside himself, biting on his lower lip. “Ahh, Victor…”

“Curl your fingers in, right there,” Victor whispered and Yuuri obeyed, instantly finding the spot. He arched off the sheets with a gasp and kept rubbing, making himself leak precum onto his own stomach with each little push.

The room filled with the combined sounds of himself and Victor, hushed noises being exchanged as Yuuri turned his head to muffle a mewl into the pillow.

“Yuuri, let me hear you, please… I love how you sound like that.”

Yuuri would do anything Victor asked when he was like this and he released his next moan freely, rocking back against his head. He could hear from the way Victor’s breath was ragged and see from the pace of his hand that he was close, and Yuuri wanted nothing more than to bring them both there together.

“Fuck, Yuuri, you’re gorgeous… Ahh, you’re so good.”

The praise shot straight through him and Yuuri came over his fingers as soon as he wrapped them around himself, spine curving off the mattress. The sight sent Victor over as well, Yuuri seeing the white of his release painting ribbons across the ridges of Victor’s abdomen.

Quiet settled as they both caught their breath and Yuuri slid his fingers out of himself, wiping them clean on the sheets. He met Victor’s gaze, casting him a shy smile, uncertain of what to say.

“Yuuri, let me ask you… did you like it when I complimented you?”

If most of Yuuri’s blood had not still been pooling in his lower regions, he would have blushed harder. “Yes… A lot. Is that strange?”

“No,” Victor responded with reassurance, leaning forward into the camera. “It’s good to know.”

Yuuri noticed that the flush spread further than Victor’s cheeks, coloring his skin to almost midway down his chest. As beautiful as the rest of him. His chest rose and fell with each breath, muscles in his stomach rippling. Yuuri could admire him forever. “Is there anything you really like?”

“I like knowing that my partner feels good. That’s why I like hearing you moan. And you always sound gorgeous when you do.”

Yuuri wanted to be there with him, kissing the words off his lips. Whispering just how good Victor made him feel in the pauses between each stolen exhale. Barely finding a moment to speak because he would rather continue pressing their mouths insistently together. Breathy and breathless as he explained how Victor flooded him, overwhelmed him, left him remembering each stroke, each feathered brush of the fingers, each searing kiss with how good it was. Like being ruined and rebuilt.

“And I like using sweet names, with a partner. Darling, love, that kind of thing. There’s so many goods ones in Russian too.” As Victor continued, his eyes met Yuuri’s through the camera, as if he were looking at him directly. “Miliy, solnishko, moy zolot—”

Pupsik.”

Victor stopped midword, lips parted and hanging open as he stared straight at Yuuri. The flush drained from his face, and suddenly he was gone from view. Dropped and burying his face into his blankets. Yuuri could see his shoulders trembling as he stifled laughter. “Oh god, Yuuri, no, where did you… who taught you that?!”

A thousand worst-case scenarios shot through Yuuri. He had said it wrong. He had been lied to. The quick online check earlier had failed to address some slang version that now meant Victor resented him. He was screwed and never getting screwed. Not by Victor. Because every earlier doubt had been correct and he had completely butchered the attempt at some cute Russian. “I asked one of the Russian skaters. I looked it up, to make sure, is it wrong? She said it meant something like baby, I—”

Victor groaned, loud and deep, like he had heard something horrifying. “It does, Yuuri, but…” Victor peeked back into view, his eyes crinkled at the corner, his expression of amusement and embarrassment combined. “My mother used to call me that. Definitely not the kind of thing I want to be hearing in the middle of sex.”

Yuuri wanted to slide off the bed and lay flat on the floor, stare up at the ceiling. Be absorbed by the carpet. Typical. He had picked the one potential nickname which was wildly inappropriate specifically in this situation. What an accurate reflection of his sex life. Victor was still laughing at him.

Falling back against the pillows with an exasperated huff, Yuuri whined out an apology. Thank his luck that he had not used it in the middle of the session and murdered it altogether. Perhaps that was a good sign though. Even his fuck-ups were improving bit by bit.

“Yuuri, why did you ask someone about that?” Victor’s voice came from the laptop, curious.

“I don’t know,” Yuuri muttered in his shame. “I thought-…. You sent me that message in Japanese, wishing me luck. I wanted to say something back in Russian. So I asked one of the girls, but she ended up giving me a bunch of words and phrases… That one sounded cute.”

No response came back from Victor, so Yuuri sat back up. On the screen, Victor was smiling broadly. It spread further when he saw Yuuri.

“What?” Yuuri asked, accusatory. He should have known better.

“You tried learning some Russian for me?”

Yuuri wanted to die. Death would be easier than admitting that yes, he absolutely had. Though Victor looked like he had never been happier, and it made Yuuri’s chest constrict.

“You looked up Japanese for me,” he countered, crossing his legs to sit more comfortably on the bed. It sent a reminder of the stretch inside him coursing up his spine. “I wanted to say something like spasibo but… guess not.”

The blue of Victor’s eyes sparkled like the sun reflecting off a tropical sea, evident even behind the filter of the camera. “You can say spasibo by having another class with me when you get back.”

Yuuri was nodding in agreement before Victor finished speaking. “Yeah, I want to.” He should not seem so eager, but his body was still buzzling, aching. He wanted to hear Victor’s laugh without the lag of dodgy hotel wifi. Get down on his knees in offer of a proper thank you. “I’ll be back Thursday afternoon and, uhh… I don’t have any classes or anything.” A recovery day. Perhaps evening sessions were a bad idea, since he kept ending up in Victor’s bed overnight. A lunch time bang might be a safer call.

“That should be fine,” Victor said. “I have a check up around three, but I can meet you after.”

Yuuri wondered if Phichit might be planning something for the day they got back to Detroit and how easy it would be for him to get out of it. He could manage. “Check up?”

“For work,” Victor said.

Yuuri frowned. In Japan, companies often required workers to undergo annual health check. However, he thought that was not common practice in America. Though the sex industry probably had a different set of rules, due to the— “Oh, you mean…. STDs? Because of…”

“Because of the sex part of that, yes,” Victor finished for him.

It was not something that Yuuri had considered in depth, regarding Victor’s profession. Yet it was another reminder of the reality. “Is it… a problem?”

“What, the check up? Or the risk? Not really.” Victor shrugged. “When it’s your livelihood, everyone makes sure they stay clean. I go once a month. And no, I’ve never had any problems. Porn stars do a much better job at keeping themselves healthy than regular actors. Or regular people.”

Yuuri shifted, gazing down at his lap. “I’ve… I’ve never…”

“Never been tested?”

Logically speaking, Yuuri knew that was what he was supposed to do. Though he had not really been aware of those kinds of services before coming to the States. The sex ed in his high school in Japan had been lacking, in that there was none of it. Internet searches and gossiped rumors served as the main source of information. Buying his first condoms had been a terrifying experience. He had been convinced that the cashier would be magically aware that he intended to use them with another boy. “I don’t sleep around a lot, and I always used condoms. I never had any… issues…”

Victor was casting him a hard look that Yuuri could not duck out from under without being obvious. “There’s not always symptoms, Yuuri.”

“I know.”

“Condoms break.”

“I know.”

“And you tried to blow me twice without one.”

Yuuri winced and shrunk down. “I know…”

Victor chuckled, halting in consideration. “Come with me.”

That caught his attention. “Huh?”

“I know it’s intimidating to go on your own. Especially your first time,” Victor said. “You don’t have to, if you’re not comfortable going with me. But you should go on your own. Or go with a friend. Your roommate. I can get you an address or—”

“I’ll go with you.” Yuuri cut in, bringing up another smile from Victor. “I’d rather go with you.”

“I’ll hold your hand if you’re scared,” Victor offered, playful.

Yuuri laughed and shook his head. “I think I’ll be okay.” Certainly, it would be a unique way of celebrating. What could be a better gift than sexual health. That, followed up by a session with Victor. Going home felt like more of a reward by the minute.

“Good. Yuuri, I need to go, but text me later, if you want?” It was difficult trying to read the look Victor wore. Pleased. Tender.

“Okay.” Yuuri nodded. “I think I’ll get some rest… You wore me out.”

“And from a different continent,” Victor smirked. “Seems like I’m gaining some new skills too. Alright, I’ll catch you later, Yuuri.”

“Victor, wait, real quick,” Yuuri called out, before he could sign out. “What would have been a better word to use, as a nickname?”

“For me?” Victor asked, tilting his head to the side in thought. He tapped a finger to his lips, then smiled. “You can call me Vitya. Anything else might make me way too sweet on you.”

Yuuri thought that Victor was already way too sweet on him. “Okay… Have a good night.”

Victor disconnected the video call with a wink, leaving Yuuri to sit in the quiet of his hotel room. He stayed unmoved for a few minutes, before finally pushing himself off the mattress, stretching his back.

Yuuri cleaned up and set away his laptop, picking up his pajamas. He considered them for a moment, then grabbed his jeans and coat instead, firing off a text to Phichit. Might as well see a bit more of what Russia had to offer.

Hotel key in his back pocket, Yuuri sent a message to Victor as well. It came back instantly.

<< Don’t know if it’s weird to say, but… thanks for the Skype sex. It was really good.

>> Not weird. You don’t need to thank me, Yuuri, I had as much fun as you did (^♡^)

<< You said to communicate with your partner. Nobody ever told me I was good and it was always something I wanted to hear. I’m trying to be a good student here.

>> Okay. You’re right. You’re welcome. And thank you. You’re amazing ((o〃∇〃))o

<< Have a good day, Vitya.

>> (〃⌒∇⌒)ノ♡ Good night, zolotse

~~~~~~~

Before Yuuri had met Victor, he thought no one could be more free and comfortable talking about sex than Phichit. However, it did make sense that the topic would be natural when conversing with Victor. Simple and relaxed, like a regular part of life. Which, Yuuri was realizing, it should be. And wanted it to be. Even if it meant fending off Phichit’s teasing comments the entire flight back.

After they had come back from the dinner with the other skaters, Yuuri was confronted with the horror that he had forgot to put away one important thing. The lube. Phichit had been impossible after that, unstoppably grinning once Yuuri finally confessed that it might have been a possibility that he had had another call with Victor.

However, having questions regarding his sexual activities read off like a grocery list was different to what Yuuri had expected of a sexual health clinic. His travel-tired brain was already having a hard time keeping up, but the nurse in the room with him paused only when her manicured fingernail hit question number twelve on the sheet he had filled out in the waiting room.

“Says here you have had sex with someone who exchanges sex for drugs or money?”

Okay, he had kind of expected that one to come up. There needed to be a shorthand guide for explaining, I’m not that great in bed so I’ve asked someone who makes adult films to coach me through various sexual practices until I no longer suck at sucking, which reportedly now I can do pretty well, so we are moving on to other activities, most recently Skype sex. What he managed was, “Ummm, my partner is a pornstar? I wasn’t sure if that counted.” Partner was fine, right? Saying sex coach would lead off to a whole other area of judgment.

The nurse did not react beyond glancing back down at the questionnaire. “Blonde hair, blue eyes, built like a model and in the waiting room now?”

It took a second to process that her deadpan tone referred to Victor. “Yes?”

“Lucky you. About time.” She set down her clipboard and handed a plastic cup to Yuuri, directing him to a restroom down the hall. When he returned, hands freshly washed, she pricked his finger for a blood sample and slapped a band-aid on before he could blink or feel the sting.

Fifteen minutes later, he was back out in the lobby, shown toward a goody basket of free condoms and single use packets of lubricant. She stared him down until he grabbed some.

Victor waited for him with a smile splashed across his face. “You look dazed.”

“I think that nurse made a sex joke?” Yuuri said, uncertain. His flight had landed late, delayed a couple of hours heading out of Moscow. He had barely gotten his bags back home when Victor had arrived to pick him up for the scheduled appointment they had agreed on before Yuuri left Russia.

“About how it’s probably the first time you’re happy to get a minus on a report card?” Victor said knowingly.

Yuuri nodded and chose not to question anything else. He had not slept on the plane despite his best efforts and was fighting off the urge to nap on Victor’s shoulder. The only motivating factor was the desire not to mess himself up with jetlag for the next week. A fight he was losing, because after they left the clinic with the promise that he would be called with the rest of the test results in two weeks, Yuuri found himself in Victor’s car without remembering walking there.

Groaning, he rubbed his face and the sleep from his eyes. “I need a hundred cups of coffee.” He had rather been hoping his first trip for sexual health testing might somehow be exciting enough to keep him awake. Instead, it went by as dull and clinical as any other appointment. A thousand times better than a visit to the dentist. Nobody shoving cotton in his mouth while making uncomfortable small talk.

“I can take you home,” Victor offered, clearly entertained by Yuuri’s state.

“If I go home, I’ll sleep and I’m determined to make it to a proper bedtime,”’ Yuuri protested.

“Nine o’clock?”

“Eight. I don’t hate myself.”

Victor laughed, tapping his fingers against the steering wheel. Yuuri was tempted to ask him to recreate some Russian car dashcam footage to help keep him awake. Victor offered a better alternative. “How about a Starbucks run and a dog walk?”

Yuuri did not have the brainpower to consider how that might be a bad idea. Coffee and a poodle. Sounded like perfection.

Half an hour later, Yuuri was sitting on a park bench, sipping at a mocha with two extra shots of espresso as Victor threw a tennis ball to Makkachin.

On the stroll to the dog park not far from Victor’s home, Yuuri had held her leash. She had pranced happily between the two of them, occasionally deviating to smell at some spot of apparent interest. Yuuri had almost choked on his coffee twice as Victor narrated her steps in a high-pitched voice of doggy thoughts, speaking out for her with little oh my god, a bush, my favorite bush and then a no, this is my favorite bush, wait the next one, that’s my favorite bush.

The feigned excitability was infectious, getting Yuuri to coo back responses until both he and Victor were laughing while Makkachin was none the wiser as they took turns pretending to be her.

Makkachin panted around her tennis ball, hustling back with her tail wagging. After a bit of coaxing and sweet talk, she dropped the ball into Victor’s hands so he could toss it again. She watched him with rapt attention as he wound up, her ears perked. The second his arm pitched the ball forward, she bolted after it.

The park was relatively empty. A few other people had passed through with dogs but had not stayed long. Yuuri had only remembered that it was a holiday when Phichit mentioned he would be out that evening, attending a Thanksgiving party hosted by some of his film appreciation classmates.

The grass was green and lush despite the season, and Yuuri imagined it made for a good picnic spot in summer. Long, lazy afternoons spent playing with Makkachin and dozing under the sun on a spread out blanket. Fingertips brushing Victor’s… The drowsiness was getting to him.

Yuuri set down his coffee when Makkachin came running back, gesturing to her. She quickly diverged from her route aimed toward Victor, jumping around her owner to head straight to Yuuri. “Gimme the ball,” he prompted, ruffling the top of her head. She deposited the ball into his hands, eagerly waiting for the toss. Yuuri threw it as far as he could and watched her go sailing after it.

“I’m starting to fear that if we have a custody battle, she’d choose you,” Victor said, taking a seat beside Yuuri. “You’re not sneaking her treats, are you?”

“Busted. This is all an elaborate ploy to steal your dog,” Yuuri replied, watching Makkachin bounce to catch the ball in her mouth after it had hit the ground. “I secretly run a black market trade of adorable poodles.”

“I knew it,” Victor sighed heavily. “The whole thing was too good to be true.”

“Awful attempts at car sex and taking me for STD tests is too good to be true?” Yuuri questioned with disbelief, glancing at Victor. “You have extremely low standards.”

“Excuse me? Aren’t you an Olympian? How much higher could standards possibly get?” Victor said, incredulous.

Cheeks already bitten by the afternoon chill, Yuuri blushed. “How did you know that?”

“The tv commentators mentioned it when you were skating.”

“Did they also mention how I did?” Yuuri inquired, already knowing that the likely answer was yes. The note usually accompanied him in a good majority of news reports. The worse offenders were the Japanese media. The entire year of the previous winter Olympics, his sister was teasingly referred to him as Olympian Katsuki at any opportunity.

“They did,” Victor said before trailing off.

Yuuri waited a moment before looking back over and seeing that Victor was staring at him. However, he did not feel like shrinking away from the intense blue gaze of obvious admiration. He knew the exact question that was coming. It was always the same. “Go ahead and ask.”

“Can I see it?”

Shaking his head, Yuuri laughed. “I don’t carry it with me!”

“It’s an Olympic medal, I’d never take if off!” Victor replied, waving his arms and startling Makkachin. He quickly whispered a sorry to her and sent her chasing after the ball again. “Come on, I’ve always wanted to see an Olympic medal, please? It’s heavy, right? Bring it next time.”

“It’s only a silver, the Russians swept gold that year,” Yuuri said. “And I don’t have it. It’s back in Japan, at my family’s inn.” On a very prominent display, along with the rest of his big awards.

“Sounds like I need to go to Japan then.”

“I think my mom would love you if you did. She’d show off every ribbon I’ve ever earned if you let her.” He could picture his mother showering Victor in photos and awards from every event Yuuri had participated in until Victor was up to his neck in memorabilia.

“Mama Katsuki and I would get on very well then,” Victor chuckled, sitting back against the back of the bench. Yuuri had the wild urge to lean against his side and rest his head on Victor’s shoulder.

Makkachin came back, panting hard. She dropped the ball at Victor’s feet, huffing. Victor was about to take hold of her face when a bark caused her to jerk around.

Not far off, a man with cropped blonde hair strolled toward them. A husky trotted ahead of him, head held up high. Makkachin dashed for them before Victor could do anything to stop her.

Yuuri made to chase after her, but then noticed that Victor was waving to the duo.

“Chris, hey! Who’s this?” Victor stood up when the man approached, Makkachin and his dog sniffing at each other.

“This is Max. He’s Seung-gil’s. I’m dog sitting for the weekend. Thought I’d come by and see if you were hanging around here since you weren’t answering my texts, how absolutely lucky I am,” the blonde responded, but his gaze traveled from Victor to Yuuri. His expression was blank as he took Yuuri in, up and down, before his lips curled into a handsome smirk. “Oh, honey, is this him?”

Yuuri leapt forward, extending a hand to introduce himself. “I’m Yuuri.”

“I’m aware.” Chris took his hand but did not shake it. Instead he tugged Yuuri in close and leaned in, glancing over and down his shoulder. Yuuri went rigid as the man laughed richly against the side of his face. “Victor, you weren’t exaggerating, Mr. Premium Booty indeed.”

He pulled back as Yuuri gaped for what to say. “My name’s Christophe, but you can call me whatever your pretty heart desires. And any time too.” He winked as he released Yuuri.

Yuuri did not have the wherewithal to blush or stammer through a response, unsure of what half of that had meant. His own eyes locked on Chris’s face and the long curve of his dark eyelashes.

“Chris, behave,” Victor stated, glancing at Yuuri who was still slightly flabbergasted. “Yuuri, don’t mind him.”

“Oh no, I just—” Yuuri frowned, raking his brain to find the source of a sudden nagging. “I feel like… I know you from somewhere?” Yuuri had a bad tendency of putting his foot in his mouth when it came to meeting people. On more than one occasion, he had introduced himself before realizing by the reaction that they had already met. Usually came from instances when he had been trapped in his own head. Chris looked remarkably familiar.

“Maybe you know me from my work,” Chris drawled, running a finger over his lips. The tint of amusement in his deep voice sent more familiarities tingling through Yuuri’s mind.

“What do you do—” Yuuri dropped his question as it struck him. Instantly, his face heated up enough that he was afraid the air around him might start boiling. He knew exactly what Chris did. And to whom. He had definitely seen that cocky smirk before. Cocky due to cock. Yuuri desperately needed the nearest escape route.

“Well, occasionally, I do Victor,” Chris stated without any gloss or shame. Beside him, Victor introduced his face to his own palm. “Although, to the disappointment of my heart and my dick, not recently.”

What did social norms dictate in this situation? Dictate. Dicktate. Quick, pick another word. One less sexually implicative. Now Yuuri was thinking about sex. No avoiding it now. His memory filled with the fact that he had jerked off to a video of the two men beside him having sex. Together. Chris had a premium booty of his own. One that Victor had clearly appreciated. In a minimum of two different positions.

Yuuri was royally fucked. Or not. Chris had been royally fucked. By Victor. Yuuri had yet to be granted that privilege, despite his Olympic medal. Perhaps he could ask his family to ship it back, so he could ride Victor with it on, like he had something to prove. Or a gold to earn.

“Chris and I work together sometimes.” Victor’s explanation was far more safe for work.

It did not stop Yuuri from blurting out, “I know,” and then it was too late.

Victor’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline and Chris barked with a good-natured laugh. “Your taste is impeccable, Yuuri. Now, I can hardly blame Victor for rescheduling our shoot just so he could watch you skate. But I do warn you, don’t go too far back through Victor’s videography. Or do. And call if you decide you’re tired of Russian and want to try some Swiss cuisine instead. On the house, of course.”

Mentally, Yuuri was planning his own funeral. A small ceremony. Friends and family. Good amount of flowers. Hopefully someone would cry and no one would drop his bones while they were being transferred into his urn. And no one would mention that Yuuri had just admitted, out loud, to having watched Victor’s porn. Right in front of him. Because then his ghost or spirit or whatever might die a second death.

Yuuri was saved from his continued loss for words by Victor assaulting Chris in a brigade of rapid French. The words flowed smoothly from him, the Russian accent which weighed on his English vanished. The syllables came off soft and every bit as romantic sounding as films made the language out to be.

Chris responded short and languidly, the meaning completely going over Yuuri’s head. After a minute, Chris waved a dismissive hand at Victor, turning back to Yuuri. “I’ve been informed that I am interrupting and need to excuse myself. Which, as a gentleman, I shall do, before Max and Makka here decide to try for puppies. Although mixed couplings like that are always the cutest.” He smirked and tugged at the husky’s leash, pulling him away from Makkachin. “Hope to see you around, Yuuri. That tush of yours is too good to be a stranger.”

“Thanks?” Maybe Yuuri had fallen into a porn script. The opening sequence to a threesome. In the next scene, Chris would be the pizza delivery boy who brought a complimentary side dish of condoms. It did not need to make sense story wise, it was a porno.

Chris sauntered off, throwing a wave over his shoulder. Yuuri and Victor waited until he was out of sight to glance awkwardly at each other. They spoke at the same time.

“You talk about me.”

“You watched my porn.”

Yuuri was glad to see that he was not the only one blushing. Except Victor had a very unfair advantage, and Yuuri was not sure if his pride could survive explaining the circumstances under which he had come to watch Victor’s video.

“Yes,” they both confirmed and laughed, the atmosphere lifting.

Victor’s curious gaze was impossible to escape from. Yuuri knew there was no getting away from it. What did Victor expect though? Yuuri had more than seen his porn, he had already experienced a good amount of it firsthand. “Just once,” he admitted under his breath. “I wanted to see who I was hiring as a sex coach.”

“Take it that means you liked what you saw.” Victor could not look more pleased. “I do quality work, wouldn’t you agree?”

Very quality. Enough for a guilty wank and a formal request for sex lessons. Yuuri had no material to defend himself with. Perhaps he needed to rewatch, with the audio on. Quoting bad dialogue at Victor would probably be a good strategy out of any uncomfortable situation. “Even the early ones?”

Victor’s teasing smile faltered. “Don’t ask about those. They are from my dark era.”

Yuuri suddenly had visions of dungeons and red candles. A bear-skinned rug. Plus a different kind of bear. “What, like…. BDSM?” The thought of Victor tied up and at his mercy remained as appealing as before. If that was what Victor was into, Yuuri could dabble. Part of the advanced course. Post-graduate level.

“No…” For the first time, Victor was hesitant. Dropping his gaze, embarrassed. He clipped the leash back onto Makkachin’s collar. Yuuri grabbed his nearly empty coffee cup and threw it in a nearby trashcan, falling in step with Victor as they began the walk back to his apartment complex. “I started in parody porn.”

Yuuri blinked at him. “Parody porn?”

“Yeah. Parodies of famous movies. The porn versions,” Victor explained. “I used to have long hair and was told I could play… I assume you know the Harry Potter series?”

Yuuri nodded, wondering how that connected. When Victor did not supply more information, it clicked. “Oh. Oh! You did Harry Potter porn?!”

“They said I could play an older Draco or something like that!” Victor exclaimed, his cheeks bright with embarrassment. The pink stained down his neck, making Yuuri laugh.

“Oh my god… Did they… Did they have bad porn names?” They had to. Yuuri was not an expert, but the titles of pornos were never anything classy or tasteful. “Harry Potter and the…”

“Sorcerer’s Dick,” Victor provided in defeat. “None of them were subtle.”

“You did more than one?!” Yuuri had to see that. Porn dialogue from the video with Chris be damned, Yuuri felt like he had just been handed a gold mine. Except it might be impossible to take Victor seriously after this. Sexy image ruined by bad sexual puns. Genuinely bad puns.

“I did six.”

Yuuri was proud of himself for not falling off the sidewalk or tripping over his own feet. “Six? What were the others? Harry Potter and the Chamber of…. Sex Secrets?”

“Just sex. It wasn’t a secret,” Victor corrected. “And it wasn’t Harry Potter. They used my porn name in the titles.”

Yuuri did falter in his steps that time. He had yet to consider that Victor would have a porn name. When he had watched the video, he had not paid attention to the title or anything other than the main actions being filmed. The link he had gotten off Phichit, after much begging and swearing not to watch it for the purpose of torturing himself. A broken promise. Just to have, he had insisted. Just in case. “What’s your porn name?”

“I’m not telling you.”

Yuuri pouted but Victor remained steadfast. Makkachin did not provide an answer either, despite Yuuri’s best efforts to coax it out of her. He whipped out his phone, typing in the title of the first porno and Victor’s name. He found what he was looking for soon enough. “Viktor Thickiforov and the Prisoner of Azkabang. Oh my god.”

“Don’t Google my porn!” Victor cried out in horror and grabbed for Yuuri, who easily dodged him.

“The Triwizard-on-Wizard Tournament. Victor, these are classic!”

“Yuuri, don’t you dare.” Victor reached around him, trying to steal Yuuri’s phone.

“You can’t tell me and expect me not to look!” Yuuri laughed, searching through the results to find the others. “Viktor Thickiforov and the Order of the Penis! The Half Hard Prince! Oh, they keep getting better.” Yuuri’s sides felt like splitting from the ache of his prolonged laughter. “There’s videos on here, I have to see this.”

“No, you don’t.”

Yuuri made a show of clicking on the video link, yelping when Victor seized him by the waist. He finally snatched the phone from Yuuri’s hand and closed out the windows, smile wide as Yuuri wiggled in an attempt to escape his clutches. Victor held the phone out of reach, arm tight around Yuuri‘s waist as Yuuri squirmed and protested. “It’s not fair, Victor!”

“This is not an agreed part of your curriculum.”

“We don’t have an agreed curriculum, let me watch your porn!”

“Again? You liked it so much the first time?”

Yuuri spun in Victor’s grip, mouth open and ready to object when he realized how close they were. Chest to chest, hips to hips. Victor’s arm around him, holding him tight. Blue gazed down at him through silver and Victor’s breath came out in a tiny cloud, steaming up with the chill of the air. Yuuri lost track of the comment that had been on its way out of his mouth, concentrating too much on Victor’s. He wondered if the lip balm that Victor wore was flavored.

Victor’s other hand dropped to Yuuri’s hip, pressing the hard corner of Yuuri’s phone into it. Yuuri quickly grabbed the device back from his hands. “Wait, what was the last film?”

“That was the last one. The studio stopped producing them after some legal trouble. They never made the seventh one.”

“What, with the real thing?” Yuuri was a lot less interested, watching the movement of Victor’s lips. They always felt so good against his own. Soft and sweet, just right. Yuuri could kiss them for hours, no sex attached. Lounge in bed, relishing the contact without the pressure or expectation of anything more. Yuuri was not sure if it was the exhaustion coming back to make his thoughts so hazy and daydream-like.

“No, with another company that was making parodies.” Victor finally, finally stepped back, allowing Yuuri to clear his head.

They had reached the complex gates, and though it was quiet, Yuuri felt that yelling porn titles would not be appreciated. However, he now had an arsenal of information stacked against Victor—as long as Victor did not go looking through videos of Yuuri’s interviews or the odd one Phichit posted to his various social media accounts. He did not need Victor seeing his pre-hell week rant about how final exams sucked ass, followed by the loud and drunken exclamation that he actually wished they literally did suck ass, because that was supposed to feel pretty damn good.

“Come on, let’s get Makka back and then I’ll drive you home. You should rest tonight.”

Yuuri nodded, no argument to give. Despite the coffee, his body was not holding up well to the lack of sleep coupled with the sixteen hours of transit. Yawning on Victor twice in a row would spell out humiliation worse than any parody porn or admissions of having watched such. Yuuri would fall asleep during some kind of sex-job and that would be a blow to egos that neither of them would survive.

His guess turned out to be right, as he dozed off again in Victor’s car on the drive back to his and Phichit’s apartment. Victor’s hand rested on the small of his back as he walked Yuuri to his door, teasing him with lines about being a sleeping beauty.

Yuuri fidgeted with his apartment keys when they reached the doorway. “Sorry if that was a waste of a class. But I appreciate it all. Taking me to the clinic and letting me play with Makka. Keeping me up.”

“Not a waste. You learned something new. And you ruined the mood anyway, with all your yawning and mocking the humble origins of my career,” Victor replied, beautiful smile curling his lips. Not a full heart-shape, but getting there.

“I did not ruin the mood, how is a porn discussion not the perfect lead up into sex?” Yuuri questioned, as if offended. “If you let me watch them, that would definitely set the mood.”

“Depends on the mood you want. Porn parody mood or something else. Most people you date might not like the porn talk,” Victor warned with a chuckle.

“What mood do you want then?” Yuuri said. On their first night together, the mood had been similar. Light. Driven on by the exchanged teasing, the ease of carrying on with the perfect partner. Perfect enough for a parking lot fumble.

“I like the mood of a successful date,” Victor said after a moment of consideration. “The feeling of not wanting to say goodbye... Unsure of that next step, whether you’re gonna step forward or backwards. You know what I mean?”

Yuuri stepped forward. Grabbed onto Victor’s collar and pulled him in, tipping up on his toes to catch Victor’s mouth with his. The spark was instant. Victor’s arms wound around his back as his lips moved to claim Yuuri’s.

His lip balm was not flavored, or else Yuuri failed to notice as his back hit the apartment door. He moaned at the taste of Victor’s tongue, the firm press of Victor’s body.

In the dusk of the setting sun, Yuuri wanted to let Victor pin him there. To wrap his legs around Victor’s waist, be supported by his strength. To burn skin to skin, head thrown back against the door as Victor thrust into him, at last taking Yuuri for his own. The groan of approval was all Yuuri needed when he whispered I want you into the unbroken kiss.

Yuuri had opened a door easier when drunk, managing to get it unlocked only after nearly dropping the keys twice.

Victor’s coat came off in the entranceway, peeled away by Yuuri’s eager hands. Victor returned the favor, stripping Yuuri of his jacket at the same time they kicked off their shoes.

Yuuri pushed Victor down onto the sofa in the living room, and straddled him, fingers threading into silver strands as he greedily kissed the breath off Victor’s lips. Victor gripped at his thighs, digging into them. Rest was swept entirely from Yuuri’s mind, replaced by the need of pressing himself into Victor as close as he could.

Grinding down onto him, Yuuri was proudly aware of the hard outline of Victor’s cock against his ass, evident even through the fabric of their pants. Victor made quick work of getting them off Yuuri, lifting him up. He scattered kisses across Yuuri’s collar and down the center of his chest, kneading at his ass once it was bare in his hands.

Whimpering into Victor’s neck, Yuuri worked his belt undone, dipping his fingers inside to draw out Victor’s cock.

“Ahhh, Yuuri, do you have—” His words tapered off into a low moan as Yuuri twisted his hand around the wet head of his dick.

“Yeah…” He had to force himself off Victor.

Yuuri muttered for him to wait. He grabbed the condoms and lube he had gotten at the clinic from the inside of his jacket pockets, turning back to the distracting sight of Victor kicking off his pants and undergarments.

Yuuri sunk back into his lap, mixing moans as Victor’s cock slid between the cleft of his ass. He rocked against it, already aching for how it might feel inside him. Filling him up deep, dragging along his prostate each time that Yuuri bounced down to meet Victor’s hard thrusts. Arms locked around each other, stealing oxygen off each other’s mouths.

Pressing the lubricant into Victor’s hands, Yuuri leaned forward. He tilted his ass up so Victor could reach around, slide his touch down the curve of Yuuri’s spine. Yuuri muttered a please into the crook of Victor’s shoulder as Victor traced a slicked finger around his hole, making his back arch when it pushed inside.

The stretch felt good and Yuuri rocked against it, adjusting quickly. With the second, Yuuri threw his arms around Victor’s shoulders, fingers playing with the soft hair at the nape of Victor’s neck. He moaned freely when Victor flirted his touch across the perfect spot, pushing back to chase the feeling as he exhaled out requests for more, please, Victor.

Victor turned his face into Yuuri’s, ghosting a kiss across his cheek as he slipped in a third finger, his movements careful, practiced, and far too slow for the state that he was driving Yuuri into each time that he barely brushed at his prostate. A whining plead from Yuuri along with a thrust down against Victor’s hand had him laughing warm against Yuuri’s skin. “I thought I said you should rest.”

Yuuri threw him a playful glare and ripped open the condom wrapper, rolling the latex onto Victor’s cock. He stroked his hand along it for good measure, loving the moans which resulted. “I can rest after you’ve fucked me, Vitya.”

“Fuck, Yuuri, that’s playing real dirty saying it like that,” Victor groaned, his hands sliding over to hold the underside Yuuri’s thighs, helping him shift into position.

Yuuri’s heart thumped madly in his chest as the tip brushed against his entrance. He met Victor’s eyes, fingers curling tight in his hair and leaned in to catch him in another kiss just as the apartment lock clicked and the door opened.

Yuuri could not be sure what happened first. The scream, the eye contact with Phichit, or the nearly falling off the sofa in shock, caught by Victor’s arms at the last second.

The door slammed shut the same moment that Yuuri leapt from off Victor’s lap, eyes wide in horror. Victor did not look any more sure of what to do, but neither had a chance to react, because Phichit was yelling through the door.

“Oh my fucking god, Yuuri, are you banging porn boy on our sofa?!”

“I-…” Well, he was not now. And nor would he be in the foreseeable future. Or ever.

“Jesus Christ, put a fucking tie on the door or something! I know I’ve seen both your dicks before, but I really don’t need to see both your dicks together, argh, my innocent non-virgin eyes!”

Yuuri supposed that maybe in a year, this could become a fun story. Hey, remember the time you walked in on me trying to have sex on the sofa? In that moment, it was not a fun story. He was certain that his heart had pounded right out of his chest and was halfway down the street. Along with his dignity. And sense of decency. Most likely the ability to make eye contact with Phichit for the rough length of the rest of eternity.

“He’s seen my dick before?” Victor quizzed and that was really not the question that Yuuri needed. The question Yuuri needed was how quickly it was possible to relocate to Canada. Far, far north Canada. Where he would not need an ice rink because the ground was frozen solid year round.

“Dude, I would totally leave you to bang, but I got a report I need to write tomorrow morning and need to sleep!” Phichit was not finished shouting from outside. Loud enough that the whole apartment building was probably getting the low down on Yuuri’s sex life. “So, like, if you are gonna bang, can you kindly retreat to your room and do so quietly enough that I can block it out with some loud-ass Kpop?! And by that I mean, loud enough not to hear your ass getting pounded!”

Victor was laughing and it was not helping. It was possible that Yuuri was more forceful than necessary when he threw Victor’s clothes at him, scrambling into his own. He checked three times to make sure both he and Victor were dressed properly, then twice more before he opened the door to an aghast Phichit.

“Sorry? I thought you were gonna be out?”

“I was out! I came back! I live here!” Phichit shouted, refusing to quiet despite Yuuri’s shushing scowl. He nudged past Yuuri, glaring hard at Victor. “Hey, porn boy! Maybe this idiot doesn’t know any better, but aren’t you supposed to be coaching him? Include some sex etiquette in your bang sessions! A warning of some sort might have been nice. I have a Snapchat, it’s better for more than dick pics!”

“I apologize,” Victor stated, smiling sheepishly.

Yuuri grabbed him and wheeled him to the door before he and Phichit could exchange any more details that could leave Yuuri scarred for life. Out of the corner of his eye, he could still see Phichit making some sort of flailing motion.

Victor’s gentle laughter relaxed the sheer terror coursing through him, and Yuuri glanced up to meet Victor’s gaze. “You should go.”

“You know that I have a last minute cancellation fee, right?” Victor asked, blue eyes twinkling with promised mischief. The question of what the fee was tossed aside by the slide of Victor’s fingers hooking under his chin, tilting his face up. Victor pressed a soft kiss to Yuuri’s lips, pulling back before Yuuri could react. “And collected.”

The decision to kiss Victor a second time was not consciously made. But the heart-shaped smile it earned him had Yuuri’s escaped heart fluttering somewhere down the block.

As Victor walked away, Yuuri lifted a hand, touching his fingers to his lips. Dazed. He turned to realize Phichit was still behind him, frozen and staring. He looked as incredulous as Yuuri felt.

“Yuuri. Dude…”

“Say nothing.”

“…Can I say one thing?”

Phichit had probably more than earned that privilege. “What?”

“If I’m not your best man, I’m throwing a riot.”

Smiling so wide it made his cheeks hurt, Yuuri tackled Phichit onto the sofa.

“Awww, gross, you were just having sex on here, you’re buying us a new one with your next sponsor check!”

Yuuri muffled Phichit with a cushion to the face.

Chapter Text

<< Sorry about Phichit walking in. I honestly thought he’d be out later…

>> I’m pretty used to being observed during sex \( ^ω^ )/ Though I admit I would prefer our sessions stay private

<< I’m not sending him an invite, don’t worry. But I still wanted to apologize.
<< I really wanted to do that with you.

>> It’s fine, Yuuri. You need your rest. We’ll pick a better location next time(^_-)No roommates, no dogs. Get caught up on sleep until then ( ^ 3 ^)ノ⌒♡

<< Can’t. Not for at least another fifteen minutes. I set a goal for myself and I need to make it.

>> What do you propose then? (´・♡・)

Of all the guesses Victor had, he did not expect Yuuri to send him a reply via photo. Angled from above, Yuuri’s dark eyes stared up at Victor from behind blue frames. Cheeks flushed and lips sinfully parted. It was a still image, but the rolling motion of Yuuri’s bare chest and sculpted abdomen was vivid. As was the tension in his spread thighs, his cock hard and tight against his stomach.

Yuuri’s fingers were curled around the base of the very same pink prostate stimulation toy that Victor had recommended to him a couple weeks prior.

A second photo followed before Victor even had a chance to properly process the first one. Yuuri’s head was thrown back against pillows, his eyes shut. The image was a bit blurry from movement, but Victor could clearly see the toy sunk deep inside of him.

Victor dropped his phone, snatched it up, and then dropped his pants.

Best fifteen minutes of his life.

~~~~~~~

<< Can you send me a photo of Makka?

>> Kay, gimme a sec.(⌒▽⌒ゞ
>> Why?

<< I need a pick-me-up and she’s the first thing I thought of.

A few minutes later, a photo arrived on Yuuri’s phone. Makkachin was seated in a mess of Christmas decorations. Her paws and muzzle were tangled in tinsel, but she had the happiest grin on her furry face, tongue hanging out of her open mouth. Clipped to one of her ears was a green and red bow with a glittery plastic snowflake at the center.

<< You’re putting up Christmas decorations already?

>> It’s officially after Thanksgiving, or so I’ve been told. We’re helping out Chris, he’s hosting a party next weekend

<< Are you as cute as Makka right now?

Victor responded with a selfie. Smiling wide with Makkachin pressed against his side, now clean of the mass of tinsel. A Santa hat sat haphazardly on top of Victor’s silver hair. Yuuri wished Victor was also adorned with a bow, so he could unwrap Victor like a real gift.

>> What’s my score, judge?

<< Adorable/10.

>> I’ll take it. (〃⌒∇⌒) Good enough of a pick-you-up?

<< Perfect.

~~~~~~~

<< I was hoping you’d let me Slytherin to your chamber.
<< Is that a Basilisk in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
<< I’d prefer it if you worked some magic on my wand.

>> Yuuri… Yuuri don’t do this to me. I can’t believe you found them

<< You can keep riding that broomstick. Or you can ride… my dick.

>> Please tell me you didn’t actually watch them

<< Are you a Dementor? Cause I have something you can suck.

>> I refuse to tolerate this sort of insubordination. As your coach, I’m ordering you to cease and desist

<< ……..
<< Are you a howler? Because I'm sure if I opened you up I could make you scream.

>> (#`ロ^;)
>> I hate you

~~~~~~~

>> Are you aware that you have at least two fan club websites?

<< I know. They’re not official.
<< Why are you looking at those?

>> They’re all in Japanese, Yuuri. (*゚O゚*) How do I join them? Which symbols mean join?

<< Oh my god, Victor, no.

>> Oh my god, Victor, yes
>> Google translate it is then! ( ̄▽ ̄)ノ

<< Please don’t do this.

>> I request that you look at our texts from yesterday, zolotse

<< …Pretty please don’t do this?

>> Fine. I won’t. Because I am going to be the better person (︶▽︶)
>> Besides, I already joined some Facebook groups. The Russian one is currently having a very detailed discussion about how firm your butt is

<< I don’t need to know that.

>> Someone wrote “У него такая аппетитная попка! Только посмотришь - и вся диета на фиг.”

<< Do I want to know what that means?

>> Roughly it translates to, “His butt is so appetizing, I’m breaking my diet just looking at it.”
>> Should I tell them that they’re absolutely right?

<< I promise I won’t watch anymore of your HP porn.

>> Then I won’t stalk anymore of your fan sites d(´▽`)b

<< Even though “they don’t call you Head Boy for nothing”?

Victor sent him a screen cap of a post from Phichit’s Instagram. It was of a photo his roommate had uploaded a couple months back, which had Yuuri bent over in a stretch, his palms flat against the floor and his ass up in the air. The first comment on it was in Japanese, reading Gochisousama, followed by a prayer hands emoji.

~~~~~~~

“Are you finally texting back porn boy?”

After four days, Yuuri had finally gotten Phichit to stop apologizing for walking in on him and Victor. Once Phichit found out that was the supposed to have been the first time they were going to bone down, as he put it, the fake tears and dramatic statements of regret came at every opportunity.

Text me next time and tell me you’re about to get a pornstar dick up your ass, and I will make sure to not be there to support you, Phichit had declared that morning over their breakfast smoothies.

“I’m not texting him,” Yuuri defended from the rink wall, phone in hand as he took a short break.

“Why not?” Phichit asked, peeking over Yuuri’s shoulder. He snickered as he read the messages Yuuri scrolled through.

>> Yuuri, I’m sorry
>> Please answer my texts
>> You’re making me sad
>> I know you haven’t blocked me, I can see the read receipts
>> Did you still want to come over tomorrow?
>> Makka says she wants to see you
>> I want to see you
>> 。゚(*´□`)゚。
>> 。・゚゚・(>д<)・゚゚・。

“You’re cruel, Yuuri. Can’t you see how porn boy suffers?” Phichit elbowed him gently in the ribs. “Have you really not said anything to him since yesterday? He’s gonna start thinking you’re actually upset.”

With a small smile, Yuuri took pity and typed out a reply. Phichit watched every character as it appeared on the screen.

<< Will you stop looking for photos of my butt?

>> I don’t make promises I can’t keep (  ̄▽ ̄)

“I don’t blame him. You got a good butt,” Phichit remarked. Yuuri bumped their hips together, pushing Phichit across the ice and away from him.

<< Will you stop sending me photos of my butt?

>> Absolutely

<< I’ll be there after I’m done skating.

>> \(^♡^\) (/^♡^)/

“You’re going to see him tomorrow?” Phichit asked once Yuuri set down his phone, the little smile still painting his expression. “What about us?”

“I thought we agreed on lunch?” Yuuri said, checking to see that his laces remained tightened. “I was going to see him in the evening.”

“Planning on coming back before morning this time?” Phichit skated backwards, hands behind his back, his eyes trained on Yuuri.

“Yes,” Yuuri stated, the conviction in his tone fading as quickly as Phichit managed to arch an eyebrow. “I plan to.” Exactly like he had planned to the previous times. If he was determined, he would have asked Phichit to spam his phone with calls and messages reminding him about the whole bang and leave rule.

Instead he found himself thinking that it was probably too forward for him to bring along a toothbrush and a clean set of pajamas. Maybe just a toothbrush. Victor would not mind him sleeping naked. Yuuri did not mind sleeping naked if it was with Victor. Especially if it meant waking up with Victor’s cock hard against his ass.

“What’s the lesson this time?”

Yuuri wanted the lesson to be about having Victor’s cock hard in his ass, but he had a session booked at the rink early the morning after. So Victor had made an alternative suggestion. “How to set the right mood for… you know.”

“With candles and rose petals, that kinda thing?” Phichit asked. He and Yuuri skated laps, keeping up their heartrates as Celestino tended to a couple younger skaters.

“I don’t know. He said to dress up like I would on a date.” Victor had not given him any details, a simple winking emoji sent after Yuuri had agreed. He wondered what Victor had planned. If they might end up going out somewhere together. His mind raced off on a whole assortment of possibilities. How to set the mood…

He wanted to bring Victor to the rink. Hold his hands as Victor wobbled in his first steps on the ice, like any novice. Skate lazy circles while the speakers played the sappy pop songs that looped when the rink was open to the public. Show Victor what that salt-cow looked like in person.

“Yuuri, I don’t want to say the painfully obvious but… porn boy likes you. Likes you likes you.”

Yuuri glanced up to see that Phichit’s smile had fallen away. Instead, there was concern plastered across his face. It had the same effect as all the hearts in Victor’s texts did, slapping Yuuri with guilt. “I know.” He could not deny it if he tried. Not when Victor replied to his messages day and night, never going long between any of them. Especially not when Victor had ended their conversation two evenings before bidding him Oyasumi to which Yuuri jumped at the chance to respond with a carefully checked, Spokoynoy nochi.

“Stop messing with his feelings then.”

Every now and then, Phichit’s happy-go-lucky demeanor fell away into the hard lines of serious determination. Before a competitive skate. Heading out of the apartment on the first day of final exams. When he was trying to capture the best angle for a picture of one of his hamsters munching on a snack, cheeks stuffed adorably full. Yuuri had never had it directed at him quite like this before.

He knew what he wanted to say, what he wanted to ask of Victor. However, actually doing it was on a whole different level. Finding the right words, the right opportunity. Then there was dealing with what happened after. Whether the answer was the one Yuuri wanted to hear or not.

Yuuri could not ask Victor to step away from his job just so Yuuri would feel comfortable dating him. No matter how good it felt to spend time with Victor, no matter how easy it was to talk with him or get lost in the idea of home-cooked dinners and a dog that always slept at the foot of their bed.

Yet Yuuri could not force himself over the hurdle that was Victor’s job. It was different now. Victor wasn’t his, he had no right to be upset with how freely Victor brought up his work or introduced a costar during a happenstance run-in. And he wasn’t. Despite the surprise of dirty lines and lewd winks from Chris, Yuuri had been fine with it. Almost shocking how much he had not minded. Sure, Chris had referred to him as Mr. Premium Booty, but Phichit had called Victor porn boy straight to his face, so Yuuri really had no standing to critique choice of friends. At least Chris’s nickname was a compliment.

Yuuri did not want to risk that changing if he started dating Victor. How would he feel, meeting up with Victor and knowing that his boyfriend had slept with someone else right before? Even if it was only in terms of work. Slipping his fingers inside Victor’s body and understanding exactly the reason why it was already loose.

There was no balancing both aspects. Yuuri wanted to date Victor. But dating porn boy would be setting them both up for heartbreak.

“And stop messing with your own feelings,” Phichit finished.

Yuuri said nothing, because he had nothing good to say. He focused on the scuff marks on the tips of his skates, making a mental note to buff them out later. When Celestino called over to them, Yuuri hurried to cut across the rink, still without answering Phichit.

He had no answer to give.

~~~~~~~

When Yuuri pulled into the complex, Victor was already waiting outside. He waved the moment he saw Yuuri, sliding into the passenger seat as if it were something he had done a hundred times. He smiled and it took everything in Yuuri not to lean over the center console to kiss him in greeting. However, he could not stop his own smile from spreading, pit of his stomach tightening as Victor buckled himself in and turned his attention to Yuuri.

“Hi.”

Absolutely unfair, how good Victor looked. Coat draped over his shoulders, his silver hair neat, lips glossed, the blue of his eyes dancing. He had a scarf wrapped around his neck, tempting for grabbing or perhaps a bit of light bondage. “Hi.”

“Ready for your first field trip?” Victor asked, settling in as Yuuri reversed the car.

“We’re really going somewhere then?” Yuuri had guessed that much, but he had not asked to be sure. Knowingly agreeing to go somewhere with Victor was too close to what Yuuri was trying to avoid. If he had asked, he was sure that Victor would have told him of the intended plan. In a more rational state of mind, when not caught up in the draw of Victor’s presence, Yuuri might have declined.

Going out was not necessary for learning how to please a dick. His own or someone else’s. However, going out seemed to please Victor. And Yuuri wanted to please Victor. He was not done chasing that heart-shaped smile. Not even close.

“I’m going to teach you how to set the mood on a date,” Victor said, providing Yuuri with driving directions without being specific on where they were headed. Wherever it was, Yuuri trusted Victor’s judgment.

“Are you saying I didn’t set the mood correctly when we went out?” Yuuri thought he had done a good enough job. Good enough to get Victor’s tongue in his mouth and hands down his pants. Good enough that Victor agreed to coach him through sex acts, despite the disaster of their first attempt and Yuuri avoiding him for a week after that. Good enough that Victor was seated next to him now, looking as happy as Yuuri felt at seeing him.

They had texted every day since the interrupted session on Yuuri’s living room sofa, but Yuuri still found himself glancing sidelong at Victor like he had missed him.

“Were you aiming to get me in bed that night?”

Yuuri would be lying if he said the thought had not crossed his mind. Going to meet Victor, Yuuri had been more preoccupied with worrying about how he was supposed to carry a conversation with a drop dead gorgeous pornstar. Then Victor had charmed all the anxiety and self-consciousness out of him within the first minute, when he had grabbed Yuuri’s hand in order to drag him to paint some pottery.

“Not actively? I just wanted to go on a date with you.” Yuuri had not been expecting it to go as well as it had. He certainly would not have placed himself grinding in Victor’s lap by the end of the evening.

The answer seemed to be the right one, because Victor’s smile did not fade. It grew a little wider.

“Well, your goal tonight is going to be exactly that.”

“Exactly like that? I already have you in my car,” Yuuri replied, taking a turn where Victor indicated. “If you climbed into my lap right now, it’d be very distracting.” And impractical. And dangerous. Not that Yuuri had not imagined what it would be like to have Victor straddling him. Just not in the car while he was driving. A more classic fantasy accompanied that scenario. Primarily having to do with Victor’s pretty mouth sucking him off as Yuuri tried his hardest to keep the car straight. Keep something straight, since Yuuri was undeniably very, very gay. Double or triple that when it came to Victor. Yuuri was super gay for Victor.

“I’m flattered that you think so. But I want you to focus on your assignment for tonight.”

“Setting the mood?”

“Seducing me,” Victor smirked.

Yuuri swallowed a dry mouthful. How was he supposed to do that? He didn’t know the first thing about seduction. Seduce Victor, who was a literal sex symbol and made Yuuri’s blood pressure lose control with a single wink and flirty line. Sure, he could try. Because that’s what Yuuri was good at. Not backing down from a challenge. He could be nervous as hell, leading into a jump already knowing it would end in failure, but still trying for it. It hurt just as much on the way down, but occasionally he could surprise even himself with the results. He had nothing if he didn’t try.

“Shouldn’t I have been the one to pick where we’re going then?” Yuuri said. “If I’m supposed to be seducing you?”

“You should be comfortable with charming your date wherever you go. On their suggestion or on yours,” Victor replied, leaning his elbow against the door.

“What if it turns out I don’t like my date?” Yuuri asked. That had happened once or twice. A stiff and awkward dinner over stilted conversation.

“Then you wrap it up as quickly as but naturally as you can, and thank them for their time. If you aren’t enjoying the date, they probably aren’t either. And if they can’t see that you’re uncomfortable then, what makes you think they are going to see that once you’re in bed with them?”

With his teeth, Yuuri worried at his bottom lip, rolling his question around in his head. “What if I really love my date?”

Yuuri wondered if Victor’s smile would ever stop stomping all over that border into feelings territory. Probably not. Yuuri might as well let it drop kick the fence in, and permit it to settle, stamp its visa. Allow it to build a house. Adopt a hundred and one poodles and live out the rest of its beautiful life in indisputable bliss.

“In that case, your date probably adores you as well.”

Yuuri sat on that answer until Victor directed him into a small lot lined with a few shops. A laundromat, a comic book store, a barber’s and a couple ethnic restaurants. Yuuri had somehow been expecting something a little more middle class.

“What’s here?” The sun was already dipping below the horizon behind them. It was the type of area where Yuuri always checked twice to ensure that he had locked his car and not left anything valuable-looking on the seats or the dashboard.

“I figured you didn’t have a lot of time to explore Russia while you were there. So I thought I’d show you some of the most authentic Russian hospitality you can find in Detroit.” Victor waved at the shop at the end, that had a sign with the name written out in letters imitating a Cyrillic style.

“How do you know that I didn’t?” Yuuri asked, trying not to come off all aflutter. He needed to be seductive. That was hardly going to work with him gushing up like a tropical storm and tripping over his shoelaces.

“Did you?”

“No.” He rarely got much sightseeing done during competitions and his nerves at Rostelecom had destroyed his normal motivation to sample at least one local dish.

Victor grinned in his victory. Yuuri took it as a challenge for the next round. As he joined Victor’s side on the approach to the restaurant, Yuuri rested his hand on the small of Victor’s back, guiding him in through the door. Touch light, like Victor’s had been when they had cooked dinner together in his apartment. Victor leaned back into it.

The interior was a little kitschy, with patterned wallpaper and a couple cheap chandeliers strung up. Shelves stocked with an assortment of imported groceries for sale lined a section near the front. The small square tables were draped with white table clothes and unlit tea candleholders stood at attention next to the salt and pepper shakers. A europop-like song played over speakers and Yuuri presumed it to be in Russian, because similarly pronounced words left Victor as he spoke to the hostess.

Following them to a table toward the back, Yuuri took a seat across from Victor. The rest of the restaurant was empty, which was good. Yuuri would not have to worry about butchering his way through Russian yet again. The last two times he had tried speaking the language had not worked out well for him.

The menu did nothing to dissuade that fear, typed out in a combination of Russian and English. The explanations with ingredients written underneath were even less helpful. Yuuri stared at the romanticized version of the names, printed in loopy letters. There was no way trying to pronounce them could be any worse than the last time. He could use that as the wind beneath his wings.

“What’s selyodka pod shuboy?” Yuuri chanced, glancing up to see Victor’s attention already on him.

“It means herring under a fur coat,” Victor explained with a cheery smile. “It’s very popular at parties. But it’s high calorie, might mess with your diet. And it’s made with pickled herring, which I would not recommend if you’re trying to seduce your date. Unless you want to be trading fishy kisses later.” Victor winked. Yuuri blushed.

Definitely not. He had enough things go wrong on his sessions with Victor. Being rejected on the account of tasting like fish was not the course Yuuri wanted to embark on that night. He was rather hoping that a good performance on his assignment might mean a not-so-literal roll in the hay after. A roll in the sheets. Or on top of some couch cushions, where there was no roommate to walk in on them. “What’s your recommendation then?”

“I think you’d like the golubtsy,” Victor answered without looking at the menu. “The piroshki here are good too.”

Yuuri found the dish and skimmed the description, nodding.

Victor unwound his scarf, and Yuuri thought it would probably be a tad possessive if he were to mark up the expanse of pale skin left exposed there. Have evidence of his presence preserved on whatever Victor filmed next. Even if it was covered up by make up, Yuuri would still know it was there.

Fortunately, Yuuri was saved from taking the idea too far by the hostess returning, doubling her role as their waitress. She was rather tall, imposing, with bright blush on her high cheekbones and her black hair pulled so tight against her scalp Yuuri thought it looked painful. She gazed at him over the tip of her European nose, then snapped her attention to Victor, speaking to him in a fast procession of sharp vowels and consonants.

The brief question of why Victor appeared so amused was put on hold when she rounded back onto Yuuri, tapping her order pad with the end of her pen. “And you?” Her accent was thicker than Victor’s, the demand in it making Yuuri sit up straight in his seat.

“Uhhh, the golubtsy?” Yuuri did not bother attempting the word resemble how it should sound, proud enough of not stumbling over the syllables.

“We don’t have that. Sold out,” she said, the w sounding more like a v coming off her lipsticked mouth. She looked at him expectantly.

“Oh… um, the stroganoff then?” He knew what that was, no risks taken by accidentally ordering something containing pickled herring.

“Don’t have that,” she repeated, waiting.

Yuuri barely stopped the but it’s on the menu which threatened to spill forth. “Borscht?”

“No.”

Across the table, Victor snickered. Yuuri contained the urge to glare at him. “What do you have?” he asked, ready for the menu to be whipped from his hands and be told that nothing was available if he kept mispronouncing the names. Career ended early, pride shattered by a Russian waitress with no patience for uncultured college students.

“You eat gluten?” she questioned, hard gaze unwavering. Yuuri chose not to point out that he had indirectly answered the question by trying to order the stroganoff and simply nodded. “You’ll have piroshki.” She marked her notes without waiting for his response and whisked away the menus, her high heels clicking on the floor as she walked off.

Yuuri turned to Victor, finally understanding the delight radiating off him as Victor began to laugh. “I thought you said this place was the best?!” Yuuri demanded, eyes flickering over to make sure their authoritarian waitress was not about to round the corner and sentence him to a gulag.

“I said it was the most authentic,” Victor corrected, grinning like a child in a toy store with unlimited funds. “Feels just like home. No say in what you get to eat, you can only say thanks for whatever is served.”

“Isn’t that true for every kid though?” Yuuri said. He had had no choice in most of what was prepared growing up, outside of birthdays and victory dinners. “I rarely got to eat my favorite food. After I graduated high school, I went to Tokyo for a week with a friend and ate katsudon for lunch every day I was there. When I got home, my mom asked if I wanted it for dinner and I nearly got sick. My family were convinced I was dying when I said no.”

“What’s katsudon?” The Japanese word was far too cute coming from Victor.

Yuuri wished he had a bowl of it, so that he could feed Victor a bite off his chopsticks. “It’s pork cutlet. Breaded and fried, with egg on top. My dad makes it at the inn my parents run.” He had asked his sister to send him the recipe, but she refused. Said that it would remain at the inn as a lure for Yuuri to come back to. He had made do with different Googled recipes, but it never came out quite the same, lacking the taste of home.

“Sounds good.”

“Not after a solid week of it,” Yuuri replied, drawing out a chuckle from Victor. If laughs and smiles counted for seduction points, Yuuri was doing quite well. He could make do with that. Climbing into Victor’s lap would likely get them thrown out faster than taking advantage of the table clothes, to sample another type of Russian delicacy under the table.

That was probably part of the advanced curriculum, alongside threesomes with pizza men. Yuuri wasn’t there yet. He was not sure if he ever wanted to get there. He would be more than happy with lazy morning loving, wrapped up in Victor’s arms as they started the day with the slow exercise of moving against each other amongst rumpled pillows and bunched up bedsheets.

Yuuri ducked his face to conceal his heated cheeks as the waitress returned, setting down a plate in front of Yuuri and a bowl before Victor. The enjoy seemed like an unnatural afterthought, but Yuuri automatically said his thanks in return.

Leaning over the table, he peeked into Victor’s dish. It was full of small dumplings sprinkled with dill, a portion of sour cream on the side.

Pelmeni,” Victor explained without prompting. “Want to try one?”

Quality of service aside, the food was good. Yuuri hummed in approval at each of the flavors. His piroshki turned out to be a set of three, one loaded with beef and mushrooms, the next a mix of cabbage and shredded carrots, the last tasting of herb-seasoned mashed potatoes. Midway through the meal, Victor stole half of the cabbage one, swapping the portion out with a few of his dumplings.

Yuuri stretched out in his seat and found his foot brushing Victor’s ankle beneath the table. Instead of apologizing, he let it rest there, smiling through bites of piroshki as Victor told him a story about the first time he had made them on his own.

“I got home and realized I forgot the flour. So I left everything on the table and when I came back—ten minutes later—Makka had gotten into the bag of groceries and eaten the entire pound of meat. Half the cabbage too!”

Yuuri laughed, clearing the bit of sour cream off his plate with the last traded dumpling. “Did she look guilty?”

“Not at all. She regretted it later, once the stomachache hit her,” Victor said, shaking his head. “She still begged for dinner that night too. The gall!”

“Did you have to go back to the store a third time?”

“Yep. Same cashier every time too.”

“Did they say anything?”

“I put down the stuff and said, ‘dog,’ and he immediately understood.”

Yuuri laughed into his napkin, feeling the toe of Victor’s shoe nudging playfully at his calf. He nudged back.

Plates cleaned of food, their waitress returned to pluck them up, asking for a dessert order. Yuuri was about to decline when Victor clapped his hands together. “Yuuri, we should celebrate your qualification! You were hoping to make it, right?”

No denying that. Maybe his performance in Moscow had been lacking, but Yuuri was determined to secure a spot on the podium in Barcelona. Make up for the previous year’s disaster. Phichit had pointed out that Yuuri could not do any worse than sixth place, and that somehow had actually helped. That combined with Victor’s emojis, their asterisk pompoms and heart-mouths cheering him through every practice since.

“Do you feel okay having a glass of champagne?”

“Half a glass?” Yuuri replied. Driving aside, his last few rounds with alcohol had not ended well. He wanted to be able to get himself to the ice rink the next morning. Additionally, he was not sure he wanted Victor to see the type of decisions drunk Yuuri made. The memories from the last Grand Prix banquet haunted him enough.

Victor gave the order to the waitress, who glanced at Yuuri. “You have ID?”

Yuuri pulled his license from his wallet and handed it over. She scanned it and returned it to him along with a Russian phrase that flew well over his head.

Victor’s eyes, however, widened. “It’s your birthday? Today?”

“Maybe? Yes?” Yuuri said, meeting Victor’s gaze.

“Why didn’t you mention it?”

“What am I supposed to say? Hey Victor, guess what, I’m older today?” Yuuri shrugged his shoulders. With his birthday coming in the middle of the season, he usually skipped any sort of celebration. Since Phichit had become his roommate, the last two years had been passed with a cupcake delivered to him at breakfast, but otherwise Yuuri did not mind letting it go by quietly.

“That’s one of many ways, yes,” Victor said and spoke to the waitress, who disappeared and came back a minute later with two cuts of a Napoleon cake which Yuuri knew Celestino would scold him for, birthday or not. The cake was accompanied by two flutes of champagne, half-filled like Yuuri requested.

“Please don’t toast to me.” Yuuri picked up the glass when Victor did, appreciating the gesture all the same.

“Such an ego, Yuuri, as if I would.” Victor teased back, catching his smile and tossing one back. “We can toast each other. What would you like to have, in the near future?”

Yuuri watched the color of the bubbles dancing in the glass. “Gold,” he answered honestly. “How about you?”

“Love,” Victor responded and his foot tapped against Yuuri’s again as if in punctuation.

“That’s my theme this year.”

“Well, I wouldn’t say no to gold either.”

Yuuri smiled a little more. “To love and gold then.”

Victor echoed him, clinking their glasses together. The champagne was as sweet as the cake on Yuuri’s tongue. It could only be sweeter if it had come off Victor.

The last time Yuuri tasted alcohol coming off Victor’s kiss, they had concluded their first date. At a Japanese restaurant. Could have been a cute pattern, if it did not make Yuuri’s heart ache. Maybe he could attempt a redo. Push Victor into the backseat of his car this time around, where they were no horns or seat levers to worry about. Start the whole thing over, do it proper this time around. Finally ask Victor for that second date, without it being thinly veiled under the pretense of a lesson. Yuuri drew his foot back, sitting up in his chair.

Their check arrived after their dessert was finished. Victor picked up the booklet before Yuuri had the chance, silencing the protest he saw coming. “You want to pay for your own birthday dinner?”

“That’s not what this was supposed to be.” It was supposed to be a class, yet it had gone by without any tips or teasing advice from Victor. “I thought I was seducing you. Isn’t picking up the check a standard part of that?”

Victor chuckled. “Hmmm, you’re right. Give me your card.”

Surprised to have won that easily, Yuuri gave Victor the debit card from his wallet. Instead of shutting the booklet on it, Victor put his own next to it and stood up. “We’ll share. Better?”

Yuuri agreed that it was, watching Victor go off to find their waitress. Possibly with his focus being on how nicely the pants Victor wore outlined his ass. If there ever was a compliment Yuuri felt comfortable accepting, it was regarding his tush. Figure skating had a way of sculpting that area. Victor’s was equally top quality though. Yuuri would have preferred it to the cake as a dessert.

Great, there was his perfect seduction line, coming to him five minutes too late. Like a comeback days after the argument. Though Victor might still appreciate it if he tried. Knowing himself, Yuuri would mess it up and call Victor’s ass a desert instead, like a human oral typo.

When Victor returned, Yuuri signed the receipt. He left a good tip solely for the reason he was scared to be hunted down by the waitress if he didn’t.

“You should sign a napkin for me too.”

Yuuri furrowed his brows in confusion. “Why?”

“That way I can have your autograph.”

Yuuri looked up from the receipt, response lost when instead of Victor he saw a clear bag filled with some sort of candies. Little rectangles with pointed edges, wrapper colored with a Russian name scripted in golden letters under the drawing of a young girl with large blue eyes. Yuuri accepted the bag, as it was obviously being held out for him to take. “Thank you. What’s this?”

“If I had known it was your birthday, I would have grabbed some flowers as well, but you’ll have to do with only chocolates.” Victor spoke while Yuuri selected out one of the individually wrapped candies to examine it. “They’re the most famous chocolate in Russia. I used to love them as a kid.”

“You don’t like them now?” They left the restaurant, the sky dark outside but Yuuri’s car remained in one piece where he had left it. Graciously.

“A few might go missing if you’re not careful,” Victor warned, taking the bag from Yuuri once they got back into the car.

Yuuri mostly remembered the way, with Victor’s help. The drive back was quieter than the drive to the restaurant, though not unpleasant. An NPR program ran quietly on the radio, until they paused at a stoplight near Victor’s complex. “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course.” The answer was instant, with no consideration that it might be something personal or uncomfortable, or however else unappreciated.

Yuuri’s foot pressed a fraction harder on the brake pedal. “It’s a weird question, but are you still doing the online dating? Since you said you were looking for a relationship.”

“Why, are you thinking of setting me up with someone?” Victor questioned light-heartedly, shaking his head. “I’m not at the moment. Thought I would take a break since I wasn’t having much luck. And you’re taking up a lot of my free time.”

Yuuri did not feel like apologizing for that, easing off the brake as the light turned green. “What are you going to do when-… if you change jobs?”

“That’s a very good question. I’ve been asking that myself, but I haven’t put a lot of thought into it yet.”

There it was. Not quite what Yuuri had been looking for. Then again, it would have been too much to hope for a concrete timeline laid out in a formal PowerPoint presentation on Victor’s phone. The end point marked with a heart and a Date Yuuri. If Phichit got his way, there would be an additional one tagged with the benchmarks Propose to Yuuri and Marry Yuuri. Though that was not a requirement. The former could very well be Get Proposed to by Yuuri. Either was good. Or both. Both were good.

“How about you?”

Yuuri blinked himself out of the image of Victor in a wedding hakama. Inappropriate… Inappropriately hot. Where was the off switch for his brain? “I don’t know. I’ll probably be asked to be a commentator in Japan, for figure skating events. But I haven’t really considered it either.”

Another year older, ever closer to retirement talk and his body aging itself out of high level competition. There were several logical routes he could take, but he was fine with waiting a little longer to make that decision. One goal at a time. His current goal being Victor, and that was one which was certainly within his grasp.

Yuuri parked in a guest spot at Victor’s complex, shutting off the engine. “So what’s my grade for the assignment?”

“You haven’t completed it yet,” Victor answered, undoing his seatbelt and turning toward Yuuri. “You’re forgetting the last step.”

“The last step….” How was a date supposed to go? Go out, have a good time. Share some stories, get to know each other better. Flirt and laugh and play footsie under the table, if his date was into that kind of thing. Maybe fall a little bit more in love with their smile. Pay for dinner or split the check. Drop them off at home if there wasn’t a second destination and— “Oh.” Right. The thing he had already thought about a few times that night.

Yuuri leaned over, into the space of Victor’s seat and kissed the smile blooming on his lips. Sweet. Like Russian champagne and buttercream. The plastic of the bag of chocolates crinkled in Victor’s lap as he kissed back.

Yuuri did not want to pull back, eyes remaining closed as Victor muttered against his mouth. “A-plus.”

“I didn’t really do anything though.” Most of the time, the goal of seduction had been entirely forgotten, creeping up only in the short moments between. He had been regular old Yuuri.

“That was my point. You don’t need to change or do anything else. You already had me seduced by being yourself.”

Yuuri could not stop himself from laughing, straightening back up. “That’s a horrible line.”

“Don’t make fun of me for telling the truth, Yuuri. I’m gonna take off marks.” Victor pouted.

Yuuri wanted to kiss that ridiculous pout and never bother to stop. “You can’t. Too late. I’m taking it.”

“In that case… Yuuri Katsuki, Olympic skater and A-plus seducer, would you like to come join me for a second round of dessert?”

If it were not for the wink Victor threw in, Yuuri might have dismissed him. The meaning processed and Yuuri promptly pocketed his car keys. “Yeah, I do. Yes.” Way not to sound eager.

The feeling seemed to be mutual. Victor nearly dropped the chocolates halfway to his condo, because Yuuri grabbed his hand, catching the corner of his mouth in a quick peck. Yuuri blushed, the forwardness paid back by Victor lacing their fingers together and shamelessly locking their lips the rest of the way to his doorstep.

A scandalized neighbor was worth the pressure of Victor’s mouth on him, the heat of his skin as Yuuri slipped his hands past the folds of Victor’s coat and under his shirt. He could feel the shiver pass through Victor, from the cool of Yuuri’s fingers making contact with the line of Victor’s belt, dipping beneath it.

The lock clicked, but Victor did not push the door open. Instead, he pushed his tongue into Yuuri’s mouth, traces of Napoleon melting on it. Yuuri added making out against doors to his list of things he had learned he really enjoyed. Making out with Victor in general was on it. Maybe he could request a few sessions centered on that. Spend a whole afternoon on Victor’s lips.

With a nip of his teeth, Yuuri drew Victor’s lower lip into his mouth. He knew by now exactly what Victor liked, how hot kissing Yuuri got him. It made for the best fuel. Victor moaned into the kiss and they stumbled in through the door together.

For the first time, neither of them paused to greet Makkachin. Victor shooed her off with gentle hands, ignoring her whines for attention as it was focused on Yuuri. Their shoes, coats and Victor’s scarf got left behind in the living room, chocolates tossed onto the dining table.

Yuuri pulled off Victor’s shirt before they made it to the bedroom, kissing at his throat and shoulders. Wasn’t like there was anywhere Yuuri could leave a mark on Victor that would go unseen. Belt undone, he palmed at the bulge in Victor’s pants, canting back into Victor’s hands as he squeezed Yuuri’s ass.

“Is that your second dessert?” Yuuri asked, making Victor groan and grasp more firmly at the curved flesh, rutting his hips into Yuuri’s.

“Get naked.”

Yuuri was more than happy to oblige. His jeans felt too tight anyway, discarded to the floor at the foot of Victor’s bed. Bending over to tug off his socks, Yuuri froze when Victor gripped his hips. Kisses littered the base of his spine, dipping lower with each one. Yuuri tensed as Victor’s teeth and tongue trailed a line to the crease of his cheeks. “Victor, wait…”

“You haven’t slept with anyone else since the clinic, right?” Victor’s mouth was hot against his skin.

“N-no.” Thinking straight with Victor’s touch on him was an impossible task. “I haven’t at all… not since we started doing this…”

“Good.”

Yuuri did not know the specifics of what was good, but it was difficult to care about details when Victor was tugging him onto the bed. Onto the bed and on top of Victor. He figured out what Victor intended the moment after it happened.

Victor guided Yuuri up the bed, facing the wall, and nudged his legs apart, spreading the globes of Yuuri’s ass with his hands. The first lick over his entrance shot up Yuuri’s spine and into his scalp. Gasping, Yuuri clutched at the headboard to keep himself from buckling. Putting his weight on his knees, Yuuri moaned as Victor’s tongue sent him reeling faster than anything ever before. “Ahhh, f-fuck…”

Yuuri rocked down, fingernails digging into wood as Victor ate him out, licking and sucking until Yuuri’s gasps fell into alternating mewls and incomplete sections of Victor’s name.

“I’ve wanted you to sit on my face since I met you, you’ve got such a gorgeous ass. So fucking perfect,” Victor muttered under him. Yuuri whimpered, biting down on his bottom lip as he rocked shallowly, riding Victor’s tongue like it was something else.

Each flat wet swipe and gentle drag of teeth had Yuuri moaning, encouraging Victor to bury himself in Yuuri’s ass. Victor rimmed him until Yuuri was hardly able to keep himself upright, dropping his temple against the forearm resting atop the headboard. He bucked in short thrusts as Victor licked hard over his perineum, slipping his tongue past the loose ring of Yuuri’s fluttering hole, milking out every pleasured noise possible.

Yuuri was hard and straining, precum smearing over his abdomen with his curled-in position. Victor slid a hand under one of Yuuri’s thighs, squeezing at tremoring muscles as Yuuri grew needier, pleading without purpose. “W-wait, Victor, wait, wait!” Yuuri grabbed onto Victor’s fingers, halting them because he knew he would be gone the second Victor touched him.

Trembling, Yuuri lifted off, shivering at the feel of Victor’s open mouth following the movement along the inside of his thigh. “I wanna… I wanna come together.”

Some Russian resembling a curse escaped Victor’s lips and he bit a response into Yuuri’s thigh, sucking hard enough to blossom a mark. Yuuri nearly came from that alone, quickly clamoring off Victor’s face and laying flush against his side.

One hand plunged into Victor’s hair, directing Victor into Yuuri, and catching him in a dirty kiss. The other wrapped around both their cocks, strokes slicked by the precum leaking from their tips. Victor groaned into his mouth and Yuuri sought out more, sliding his hand over them with fast jerks. Victor broke from the kiss, mouth open against the hollow of Yuuri’s throat instead.

Head tipped back, Yuuri’s eyes fell shut as Victor thrust into his hand, dragging against his dick with the motion. “Mmm, Yuuri, Yuuri, fuck, I-…” Victor’s words fell apart, hand coming to join Yuuri’s, twisting over the tips of their cocks.

Another stroke and sighed compliment of his name had Yuuri spilling over both their hands. Victor’s cum mixed with his only a moment later, coating their skin in pearled droplets.

Yuuri exhaled deeply, dropping his head forward. His nose nestled into Victor’s hair, roots of the strands damp with sweat. Yuuri breathed against his scalp, reveling in the kiss Victor left on his collarbone. He would not have minded staying like that for a minute, or an hour. The whole night. Victor against him, breath warm on Yuuri’s skin.

When Victor glanced up at him through silver lashes, a night did not seem like enough either.

“I think it’s safe to say you no longer need to worry about lacking skills in bed, Yuuri.”

Yuuri’s smile slipped a bit, suddenly aware of how sticky the semen between them was. Victor shifted away, handing Yuuri a few tissues to clean up with. His fingers brushed over Yuuri’s wrist as he took them back, tossing the used tissues in the trash. “We should rinse off… Actually, I had something else for you.”

Yuuri glanced over at that, sliding off the bed and back into his underwear, then into his jeans when he noticed Victor grabbing a pair of sweats from his dresser. The room was considerably chillier without the body heat enveloping him. “What?”

“How is it supposed to be a surprise if I tell you?” Victor held out his hand for Yuuri to take.

Hesitating a moment, Yuuri took it anyway. “It’s not a sex for dummies book, is it? You just said that I didn’t need it anymore.”

Victor’s laugh carried down the short hall from the bedroom after he opened the door. “Go take a quick shower. I’ll make some tea and see if you can’t find it on your own—”

Yuuri sensed something was wrong before Victor cut off. The realization hit him the same time that it hit Victor. His hand dropped from Yuuri’s, and the world was ice cold for a reason different from the settled winter night outside.

A few colored wrappers scattered the floor, torn and chewed. The crinkle of plastic was deafening when Victor stepped on it, along with the choked and wheezing breaths filling the air. Victor kicked aside the emptied bag of chocolates which had been knocked off the table. “Yuuri!”

Before he could think, Yuuri was on his knees in the living room floor, cradling Makkachin’s head in his arms, listening to Victor’s rapid-fire directions. His fingers pried her jaw open, hearing her haggard breaths as Victor reached into her mouth, pulling out one of the candies from inside it, whole. Makkachin coughed, lurching in his arms.

Yuuri’s pulse pounded in his ears as Victor swore, delicately running his fingers over her throat. “Yuuri, it’s stuck…”

“I can drive.”

Yuuri grabbed his keys and wallet off bedroom floor, pulling his shirt on as he rushed out. Victor was already out the open door, his coat thrown on and Makkachin cradled heavily against his chest.

They left the door unlocked. Yuuri broke the speed limit purposefully for the first time in his life. The rearview mirror reflected Victor in the backseat, Makkachin sprawled out and barely breathing as Victor clung to her.

Yuuri parked across two spaces. Victor did not wait, heaving his poodle up in his arms, out of the car and through the front door of the emergency clinic. Yuuri rushed in after him, to the shouting of voices, the loudest of which was accented and panicked.

“I know, Victor, I know, but you gotta stay here, okay?”

Yuuri stood just past the entrance, watching Victor argue with another man who was keeping him from going through the double doors leading into the back of the animal hospital. Makkachin was gone from his arms, her presence replaced by the lost expression on his face.

Yuuri did not know what to do, heart racing, nerves on edge. He could recognize the terror coursing through Victor, mind blind to his surroundings. Conjuring up only the worst case scenarios, desperately grappling for any solution, a way to scale out of a seemingly bottomless pit.

Reaching out, Yuuri touched Victor’s arm, redirecting his attention. “Victor, let them do their job…”

The tension in Victor’s shoulder plummeted, defeated. With another reassurance from the nurse holding him back, Victor stepped away and fell into the nearest chair. Getting a sympathetic glance from the nurse who retreated into the back rooms, Yuuri sat down beside Victor, saying nothing.

Victor stared straight ahead, his still kiss-bitten red lips pressed into a thin line. The blue of his eyes was dull, unchanging until Yuuri chanced setting a hand on his knee.

And just like that, Victor broke. His shoulders shook, the first tear splashing onto the back of Yuuri’s palm. Grasping Victor’s hand, Yuuri let Victor hide his silent sobs into the material of Yuuri’s jacket, crying until the tears ran dry and the waiting room fell into quiet disturbed only by the ticking on the clock. Victor stayed there, face hidden, while Yuuri watched the long clock hand drop digit by digit.

Minutes passed, feeling stretched into hours. Victor did not move when a woman came out from the back, going behind the front desk. She entered something into the computer before catching Yuuri’s gaze, her eyes traveling to the form slouched against him.

“Victor?”

Victor jerked up at the sound of his name, on his feet and at the counter within seconds. “Makka—”

“She’s breathing, we got it out. She’s okay.”

Yuuri felt like he could breathe again. Victor looked ready to let his legs cave out from under him in relief.

“Was it milk or dark chocolate?”

“Milk.”

“Do you know how many she ingested?”

Victor shook his head, so Yuuri stood up, carefully wandered over. “I counted about five wrappers on the floor, but we didn’t see how many she ate before that.”

“There was still half there, it can’t have been much more than that,” Victor murmured, lifting a hand to rest it low on Yuuri’s back. Yuuri gave him the comfort of the contact.

“Okay. I want to keep her here overnight. I’ll need to examine her throat again later, make sure there wasn’t any damage. And I want to watch her for signs for chocolate poisoning, but if that’s all she had, she should be okay. She’s a big girl.” The doctor smiled but Victor did not return one of his own. “If everything checks out in the morning, she should be good to go by noon. I’ll be here all night, we’ll call if anything happens.”

Information checked and Victor’s request to see Makkachin denied in order to keep her resting, it still took time for the vet to persuade Victor to leave. They sat in the darkness of the clinic parking lot, the hour turning before Victor muttered the request for Yuuri to drive them home.

Back at the apartment, Yuuri helped Victor pick up the wrappers and chocolates in silence, throwing them all in the trash. As soon as Victor’s eyes met his, Yuuri choked out his apology. “Victor, I’m so sorr—”

“Don’t you dare blame yourself.”

“You bought them for me.”

“And I left them there.” Victor crossed the living room, collapsing on his sofa. “Right after I told you the story about how she’s stolen stuff off the table before, I’m a fucking idiot.”

“I—”

“You didn’t do anything, Yuuri. It was an accident. Shit happens, okay?” Victor sighed and buried his face in his hands, breathing deep and purposeful to keep himself steady. “She’s gonna be okay…. Vet said so. Fuck.”

Yuuri remained standing where he was, unmoving. The apartment felt cold and unforgiving. Makkachin’s bed and toys off to the side of the couch were like judgment personified. Time crawled slowly, and for the first time since meeting Victor, Yuuri was honestly at a loss of what to do. “…Should I go?”

“Please don’t.” Victor did not look up, but the plea crashed into Yuuri hard. “Just… talk. Tell me anything.”

Yuuri did. Stayed and talked. About what he knew best.

He sat next to Victor and told him about his first memory of getting on the ice. About the video tapes his mother had, of him wobbling in his skate at five years old and doing his first jump at six. About getting his first costume at ten, and his first Juniors medal at thirteen. Only bronze but it was the first year he had qualified. He talked about the decision to move to the US to study and train, explained the point system. He talked about meeting Phichit at a moment when he was considering going back to Japan, making his first real friend in figure skating, and how it kept him going.

The night turned into early morning hours by the time they moved off the couch and into the bed. Victor leaned against Yuuri’s shoulder, showing off a slideshow of Makkachin’s puppy photos from his phone. Each one was cuter than the other, with her growing a little bigger in each one. By the time they got to pictures of her full-grown, Yuuri’s message inbox was filled with adorable shots of the poodle which Victor sent whenever Yuuri made a remark. His wallpaper got changed to one of her too, Victor chiding him when Yuuri asked for permission to use it.

Victor fell quiet after a little while, and Yuuri glanced over when he noticed Victor trembling against him. Raising his hand, he swept Victor’s silver bangs out of the way, smiling a little. “Are you still crying?”

“Don’t be so mean.” Victor slapped his hand away. “I’m allowed. She’s my baby. And you’ve stopped talking.”

Yuuri searched for something else to say, coming up blank. The exhaustion had settled over him. He needed to be at the rink in a few hours, but he was not sure how he was going to skate with the weight on his mind, even if he was rested. “Oh. You said you had something for me?”

“I had no idea you were such a selfish person,” Victor said, no malice in his voice. “It’s nothing, it’s stupid…”

“You can let me judge that one,” Yuuri replied, nudging his knee against Victor’s legs. “I technically no longer have a birthday gift from you.” He hoped the statement was not pushing it too far.

A smile pulled across Victor’s lips and he chuckled softly. “You’re awful. Though my gift is even more awful now…” Victor sighed, closing his eyes. “I got you a spare toothbrush, in case you spent the night again. Though this really isn’t the circumstance I was hoping for.”

Yuuri bit the inside of his cheeks. He felt like breaking. Leaning down, he pressed his lips to the top of Victor’s hair. “Thank you…”

“You’re welcome.”

The alarm on Yuuri’s phone went off before the sun came up, stirring both him and Victor from the light, uneasy dozes they had both slipped into. Yuuri showered, then changed a shirt Victor gave him to wear. Loose but warm. They ate the breakfast Victor prepared in relative silence, watching the time for the same reason.

Yuuri stopped in the doorway on his way out. He was going to be late making it to the rink, but he had already texted Celestino an apology and his excuse. Sunrise was still nearly an hour away, noon even further. “Victor…”

“Yeah?” The smile Victor cast him was nowhere close to forming a heart-shape.

“Want to come watch me skate?”

Chapter Text

>> At the risk of sounding like a broken record, why don’t you talk to him?

<< And say what?

>> How about ‘I like you very much, please date me?’
>> What, you don’t have a snappy comment to respond to that?
>> Ok, Vic, I get it. Premium booty like that makes it hard to think straight. Not that you ever think straight. But you need to build your pretty boy self up and ask. He says yes, hallelujah. Congrats and all that jazz. He says no, then you get over it and stop torturing yourself. I’m all for friends with benefits, but that stops working at a certain point. And I know you aren’t about that. You get ass every day and you’re still hung up on your skater boy.

<< Difference is I actually want his ass

>> Charming. So romantic. I can see why he likes you. Tell him the plan and ASK. HIM. OUT.

<< That’s manipulative. I’m not going to guilt him into dating me

>> And disguising dates as sex lessons isn’t?

<< (・-・。)

>> Why don’t you ask him what he wants then? You’re waiting for him, and he’s probably waiting for you. It’s gonna be five years later and you’re gonna be living together still pretending you just want to coach him through his millionth orgasm. Do you know how big of a dumbass you’re being about this?

<< I’m well aware
<< I’ll talk to him

>> You sure about that?

<< I will. I want to

>> Do it quick. Or you’re gonna end up dumped before you even get your chance.

<< He’s got a big competition next week. I’ll do it after

>> Good. Get your paperwork done in the meantime, if you’re serious. You’re cutting it awfully close.

<< I am. I decided I’m doing it regardless

>> You’re breaking hearts, including mine, but good.

<< Thanks, Chris. I appreciate it

>> Too soon to say that, chéri

~~~~~~~

“Victor!”

Yuuri skated up to the rink wall, gripping onto the side. He caught Victor’s gaze, watching him set down his phone and give Yuuri half a smile that did not reach his eyes. Victor looked tired and defeated, drained far beyond the exhaustion seeping through Yuuri’s bones.

Directing his focus into his routines and Celestino’s feedback was proving as difficult as Yuuri had suspected. Operating on less than two hours of sleep and the acute knowledge that Makkachin had spent the night alone in a clinic cage did not exactly work wonders on the spirits.

His thoughts wandered to constant worry, for once not centered on his own performance. Instead, Makkachin and Victor dominated his mind and Yuuri could not force himself to shove them aside. Not with Victor sitting rink side, casting Yuuri weak smiles whenever they made eye contact.

“You look great out there,” Victor said but the normal conviction behind his compliment was missing. Yuuri forgave him easily.

“You’re not even paying attention.” Not that Yuuri could blame him. Watching Yuuri skate in circles and work at his jumps was not primetime entertainment. Yuuri’s goal had been to distract Victor and he was not doing any better job at that as he was landing his combinations.

There were few things that Yuuri actually hated. Interviews immediately after a skate, when he had not yet had time to process scores or standings. The blare of his alarm after a late night. Multiple choice quiz questions where he could equally reason between B and D, but definitely not C. Days when it felt like he could get nothing right, on the ice or off it. Turned out that the slump of Victor’s shoulders and the complete absence of his usual brilliance was also one of these.

“Put those on.” Yuuri nodded at the pair of rental skates to the side of Victor’s feet.

“Aren’t you supposed to be concentrating on yourself?” Victor removed his shoes as he asked, stepping into the skates.

“I have a short break,” Yuuri said, glancing over his shoulder. Celestino had given Yuuri a very dubious look when Yuuri came in late, handsome stranger at his side. Yuuri had not offered much by way of an explanation, leaving the conversation on a promise that his guest would not be a distraction. Easier said than done.

Victor had been a distraction to the majority of Yuuri’s practices of late, through his texts and the way in which he had a habit of overtaking Yuuri’s thoughts even when he was not sitting a few feet away.

Shakily, Victor made his way to the rink entrance, setting foot on the ice. He slipped the moment he let go of the wall, grabbing onto Yuuri’s forearms to keep himself upright. Stiff as he precariously kept his balance, Victor lifted his gaze to see Yuuri laughing at him. “You’re gonna make fun of me, aren’t you?”

“Maybe a little,” Yuuri said, helping Victor right himself. “I thought Russians were all supposed to be naturally gifted when it comes to ice skating.”

“Not this Russian,” Victor answered, clinging onto Yuuri as he chanced a slow step forward, then another when that one did not send him crashing down. “Think I’ve skated twice in my life and both times I ended up with giant bruises everywhere.”

“You just don’t know how to fall.” Yuuri nudged Victor’s feet closer together, so he looked less like a newborn deer struggling to stand.

“Are you gonna teach me to fall?” Victor asked, letting Yuuri guide him through small circles toward the end of the rink. “Because I wouldn’t mind falling into your arms.”

“Figure out how to stand straight before you start choreographing a pair skate.” Yuuri let go of Victor. Miraculously, he did not fall over. He stood frozen like a marble statue. “Wow, amazing. Can you move at all?”

“No.” Victor was rigid, not daring to let a single muscle twitch. His pout puffed out his full lower lip. ”I thought you were going to hold my hand and be a good coach, Yuuri.”

“Is that what you want?” Yuuri skated a couple teasing loops around Victor, one facing forward and the second backwards. Victor pouted harder. Yuuri laughed. “I can’t help you if you don’t move. Lean in and march.”

Instead of listening to Yuuri’s instructions, Victor inched forward, shifting his weight into a little wiggle until he had pushed himself close enough to Yuuri to grab on. “Why can’t you just hold my hands and pull me around?”

Amused, Yuuri laced his fingers through Victor’s and did exactly that. “So you can give instructions but you can’t follow them?”

“Sex is natural,” Victor replied, eyes on their feet as he tried to imitate Yuuri’s effortless gliding steps. “Strapping dull butter knives to your shoes in order to stomp around an ice block isn’t.”

“Are you making fun of my profession now?”

“The opposite. Anyone can do what I do,” Victor said, uneven and unsteady in his movements but managing to maintain a balance. “But what you do is amazing.”

“All it takes is a little practice,” Yuuri replied.

“A little?”

“Okay, a lot.” Yuuri did not want to know how many hours he had dedicated to skating, neglecting other aspects of his life because the ice was always where he felt most at home. At rinks before the sun rose and after it set. There were times when the ice was steadier than solid ground beneath his feet.

“Do you ever feel like quitting?” Victor was not looking at the ice anymore, his eyes on Yuuri.

“Of course,” Yuuri confessed. The thought, the possibility was always there. He saw skaters come and go regularly, never moving past the introductory classes offered at the rink. The same with professionals, who lasted a season or two and disappeared before Yuuri could commit their names to memory.

At his level, there was always the question of who would be the next to leave and make room for everyone new. Age, injuries, life in general. All in conflict with those goals of gold. Some people just decided they had enough. That they had spent too long carving patterns into the ice only to have it smoothed away without impact too soon after. To Yuuri, every fall was like that, and the falls came far more often than the victories.

“What keeps you going?”

“There’s nothing else that I would rather be doing.” Yuuri smiled. “Besides, I haven’t gotten my Grand Prix gold yet. I don’t want to waste your toast.”

Nodding, Victor slipped his hand out of Yuuri’s, skating forward on his own. Yuuri followed close along, tickled by Victor’s horrible but adorable form. Knees bent a bit too far, arms coming up to keep his balance anytime he swayed. Victor somehow kept himself going straight, a little smoother with each step, picking up the pace.

A little bit too much, because after he got going, he threw Yuuri a desperate look. “I don’t know how to stop.”

Yuuri had several options for responding to Victor’s plea. Remind him about the existence of physics and friction. Allow Victor to keep going till he collided with the rink wall. Trip him over and teach him that quick lesson in falling in return for all the times Victor had teased Yuuri about his less than perfect technique in bed. Except it was a shame to put bruises on that cute tush not directly caused by Yuuri himself.

Yuuri went with the final option. He let Victor skate into his arms, grabbing his hands and spinning them into a halt. “Definitely not naturally gifted.”

“Told you,” Victor said, a sincere smile sneaking onto the corners of his lips for the first time that morning. “Invite me here more often. I can get better. Maybe next year, I’ll be able to do a flip for your birthday.”

“I’d love to see that.” The answer left Yuuri’s mouth without a second thought. Then Victor finally smiled in full and it hit Yuuri like an aftershock. Where was that border into feelings territory? Destroyed. Non-existent. It was a free-for-all of fondness flooding in, mocking Yuuri with the notion that a year later he might still have Victor’s hand in his, stroking a thumb over Yuuri’s forefinger as they skated together. How would that even feel?

Great, probably. Yuuri liked holding Victor’s hand. Liked seeing that smile beside him, liked being able to wash some of the melancholy off Victor. Liked it a lot. Too much. Definitely way too much. And from the way Victor squeezed at Yuuri’s hand, it was a safe bet that Victor was not fairing much better.

That morning, Yuuri had brushed his teeth in Victor’s apartment, after eating the breakfast Victor had made in line with Yuuri’s training diet. Yuuri had thrown the plastic which contained the toothbrush into the trash, trying hard not to think too much of the gesture.

The domestic image of two toothbrushes sitting in a cup on the sink was like an assault. Blue of Yuuri’s leaning against the purple of Victor’s. Should have been cute. Romantic. The guilt of it had made Yuuri’s stomach twist.

At the other end of the rink, Celestino called out a greeting and Yuuri glanced over to see Phichit coming in. His friend’s wave stuttered when Phichit saw Victor, expression tensing up. Phichit did not yell out to Yuuri like he usually did, turning to talk to Celestino without any further acknowledgment. The weight on Yuuri doubled.

“Break’s over, Yuuri. Get your boyfriend off the ice!” Celestino shouted and Yuuri had no way of correcting him. If there was a point to it. What would he say? Not my boyfriend, my sex coach. Seems that way though, doesn’t it?

Definitely not boyfriend. Boyfriends did things like go on dates. Share personal aspects of their lives. Text constantly and without real purpose. Use each other’s languages. Talk about family and ambitions. Ditch classes or work, just to spend a little more time together. Cook dinner and cuddle when it got cold. Spend day and night with little thoughts of each other coming up at the smallest bit of stimuli. Boyfriends teased, laughed, fell in love. Or they were supposed to.

Yuuri led Victor off the ice. “Sorry.”

“I don’t mind,” Victor replied and the gentle smile he wore tore Yuuri to shreds. “I wouldn’t mind.”

No need to ask what he meant. Yuuri knew. Could not be oblivious to It, no matter how much he wanted to be. Being oblivious would have been easier. He could not ignore how Victor looked at him, how his hand lingered in Yuuri’s until the last possible second.

Yuuri left Victor sitting rinkside, a bit brighter than before.

Phichit caught up to him before Yuuri could return to Celestino. “Porn boy’s here.” Did that really need stating?

“I know.” Yuuri had sent Phichit a quick message late the night before, telling him he was staying at Victor’s without explaining why. He did not have the energy to do it now.

“Are you—” Phichit dragged his eyes down Yuuri’s front. “Is that his shirt?”

“Yes.” Yuuri had not changed out of it when he got to the rink, not having a spare shirt in his locker. He had tucked the material into his skate pants, but it remained obviously loose.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“No.”

“Later?” Phichit asked, not letting Yuuri escape.

“Later.”

“I’m holding you to it.”

Yuuri had no doubt that Phichit would. It was fair enough of an exchange. He could concentrate better on practice with Phichit’s chipper voice keeping him grounded, rather than lost in the whirl of thoughts inside his head.

Yuuri pulled himself out of the draw of Victor’s blue eyes, working through sections of his routines with firmer focus. Enough so that when Yuuri’s session rounded its conclusion, he found Victor was no longer watching him from the bench. He was up, pacing away as he talked on his phone.

The relief on his face when he turned toward Yuuri was explanation enough of its own. Yuuri smiled and gestured for him to go. Before Victor rushed off, he blew Yuuri a quick kiss.

It was all Yuuri could do to stop himself from reaching out to catch it.

~~~~~~~

<< How’s Makka?

>> See for yourself! ( ^♡^)/

Yuuri’s phone downloaded a sequence of photos. All of Makkachin, panting grin wide across her face. She was on her back, belly up on a large and plush dog bed. There were several toys scattered around her, the makings of a canine paradise.

<< Are all those new?

>> It’s possible I permitted her to do her own shopping at the pet store today. She’s on soft food for a couple weeks but I don’t think she’ll complain

The messages played on Yuuri’s heartstrings like a harp.

Class and his evening practice dragged. When Yuuri got home, he locked himself in his room with a textbook and the false conviction that he was going to study. He accomplished nothing of the sort. Instead, Yuuri shut out the world with headphones and his free skate music on loop.

He had lost count of how many times he had skated the routine, in practice or in competition, yet it still felt incomplete. Like a part of it was out of reach. He was skating on piano notes and violins without being able to see what they were meant to represent.

On his own on the ice, left feeling like he was dancing a duet without a partner. Grasping for gold while knowing he did not deserve it if he could not figure out the message he was trying to convey through his own performance.

What was the point of challenging himself when he did not know what it was he was trying to overcome. If it was his own anxiety, he should have picked a theme like ambition. Instead, when he tried to think about the influences of love in his life, all he could see was what he was stealing from Victor.

Eventually, he was going to need to own up to it.

~~~~~~~

On the first of December, Phichit hung up Christmas lights around the perimeter of their living room. In practice, Yuuri fell on every quad he attempted.

On the second, Yuuri guessed his way through a quiz and auto-piloted through dance class. If there was music, he didn't hear it.

On the third, he ignored the messages from Victor on his phone and ignored the unnaturally hard looks from Phichit every time it vibrated.

On the fourth, he sent Victor a text excusing himself, saying he was busy practicing for Barcelona. He deleted the heart-mouthed emoji which came back to him. Yuuri spent the full day at the rink, skating until his limbs were numb and Celestino ordered him off the ice.

On the fifth, Yuuri answered a call from an unknown number.

Normally, Yuuri regarded unknown numbers with a wary eye and waited for them to go to voicemail, like most sane people his age. Calls related to press and the like went through Celestino, and Yuuri was of the texting generation when it came to communicating with the few people he kept in regular contact with.

However, his phone had buzzed with the same call twice the day before and once that morning. One voice message had been left, but it was so short and grumbled that Yuuri had not been able to make it out.

“Hello?” Yuuri had bags building under his eyes. Immediately after the Grand Prix, Yuuri had class finals and the excuse of competition only worked on certain professors. Victor’s texts and sweet question of whether he could wish Yuuri luck in person sat heavier on him than both combined.

Skates hitched up under an arm, bag in the other with his phone balanced between his cheek and shoulders, Yuuri stopped when a young voice muttered out a forcefully formal greeting. Took Yuuri several long seconds to process it.

“Are you gonna come pick up your piece or do you want it donated?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Your mug. That you painted and left here. Back in October. Do you still want it or not?”

Painted mug. October. It clicked. “Oh! Right, I’m sorry, I forgot.” First and only date with the Russian pornstar that would not vacate Yuuri’s thoughts. Not that Yuuri had really been trying. He was as soft on Victor as the feathered pillows on Victor’s bed. Terrible for neck support. Yuuri would have preferred one firmer. Adding that to the blue toothbrush was a horrifically tempting idea.

Yuuri could not remember wading in, but the water was midway up to his chest. Ripples pulsing around him from the rhythm of his heart. At some point, he had ended up way too deep in Victor. “I’ll come get it now.”

Makkachin’s big brown eyes beamed at Yuuri when he ended the call, ridiculously adorable face set as his wallpaper. He had not changed it back.

Yuuri had gone with Phichit on a run to the pet store in the morning, picking up new food and bedding for the hamsters. Yuuri spent most of the time sorting through dog costumes in Makkachin’s size, wondering if she would look better as a snow angel or as an elf. He had almost asked Phichit which of the two he thought Victor would prefer. Almost.

Might as well make a Christmas cake and buy a couple promise rings, if Yuuri was going to keep being so callous with how much he liked Victor. Messing with feelings could not get much worse than that.

The pottery painting studio was significantly busier than the last time when Yuuri walked in. There was a birthday party inside, a little girl at the center with a celebratory hat plopped on top of her head. The other tables were also filled with kids her age and their parents, rainbow colors splattered across many hands.

The same blond teen scowled at Yuuri from the counter when he approached. “Umm, hi, I got a call an hour ago, about picking up my… thing. My name’s Yuu—”

“I know your name,” the blond said and swung around, snatching up a brown paper bag with the shop logo. He deposited it in front of Yuuri with a clank. “Please check to make sure those are yours.” The request came out like a hiss.

Yuuri had not really enjoyed helping his family around the inn as a teen either. He had avoided the responsibility as much as possible, taking off for the local ice rink, letting his sister do him the favor of aiding their parents’ business. He understood the sentiment well.

Inside the bag were two pieces. Yuuri’s mug and Victor’s poodle. Makkachin in bisque form. “This isn’t mine, it’s Victor’s.”

“He said it was for you. Something about getting your very own poodle.” The teen waved a dismissive hand, holding a receipt slip out to Yuuri. “If you don’t want it, tell him. Otherwise, have a nice day.”

Yuuri placed the receipt in his pocket, still looking at the two glazed and finished pieces sitting side by side in the bag. Yuuri’s carefully designed figure skating mug and Victor’s free spirited dog. They did not really match, but he liked the look of them together. “Thanks.”

In his car, Yuuri removed the dog, admiring Victor’s painting skills. He could not say much about the quality of artistic talent, but it certainly looked like a cute poodle. Wiry brown curls and little pink tongue peeking out of the corner of her mouth. Yuuri had not noticed the Cyrillic on the dog tag before. He could hazard a guess that it spelled out her name.

Yuuri turned the mini Makkachin over, seeing that Victor had written the date and painted a heart on the underside. If Yuuri added a couple caret marks, he could make it look like one of Victor’s emojis, imitating his gorgeous smile.

Setting the painted poodle in his lap, Yuuri snapped a photo to send it to Victor along with a thanks. His heart pulled every which way in his chest. He deleted the message.

Yuuri still had Victor’s shirt at home. Loose and warm. He had slipped it on before bed without thinking, letting it wrap him in soft fabric like Victor’s embrace. The pang of realization vibrated through him when Phichit had pursed his lips together upon seeing Yuuri slip his fingers past the too-long sleeves as he sipped his morning coffee. Yuuri did not need Phichit to voice the Really?, able to read it off his face in the cold December silence of their kitchen.

Too much. Too deep. Yuuri needed to get out before the tide swept him away.

Or he could fill his lungs and dive in. Go deeper and hope he would never need to come up for air. Take the chance on setting sail, despite the storm brewing on the horizon. Drown himself in Victor.

Yuuri wished he had never learned how to swim.

<< Hey, I have some time tomorrow. Can I come see you?

~~~~~~~

On the sixth, Yuuri checked into his flight online. He spent a couple hours at the rink, not entirely satisfied with how his routine had developed despite Celestino’s positive feedback. At home, he ran through his usual checklist and left his luggage by the door as a reminder for Phichit to finish packing his own.

His passport was nearly filled, pages marked with excessive amounts of international stamps and visas. He would need to renew it soon.

Yuuri had not been to Spain since his Junior days, and it would be his first time in Barcelona. Phichit had already insisted they make time for selfies at La Sagrada Familia and with the Güell park lizard.

Everything set for their evening flight, Yuuri drove to Victor’s complex, playing his own short program music over the car radio. That he could visualize perfectly. He had surprised himself with it in Moscow, score barely edged out by JJ’s. Skating a sexualized routine, determination flashing with Victor’s words echoing through him. Weaving a story on the ice and knowing that half a world away, he had Victor’s undivided attention.

When the sensual guitars had strummed through the venue, Yuuri had licked his lips and thrown a flirty kiss to the cameras. Playing off his character, he wanted Victor to see exactly the kind of performance he could put on. Wanted the world to see.

Victor had been right. Yuuri always got on the ice and skated. He had never let anything stop him before, not even himself. No matter how nervous and unsure. Yuuri did not give up that easily.

His free skate had not gone as well as his short program, but it had been enough to land him in the finals. All he needed now was to figure out that last missing component of his theme.

Victor opened the door with his heart-shaped smile and Yuuri instantly wanted to slide straight into his arms. He had woken up that day, with a pillow hugged to his chest, wondering why it was that the few mornings he had spent with Victor were far more welcoming.

“I thought you were heading to Barcelona,” Victor said as Yuuri walked in. He looked back to his normal self, skin fresh and styled silver hair asking to be messed with. Eyes shining the moment they settled on Yuuri.

The window blinds were all open, winter sunlight softly illuminating the cleaned apartment. Everything was neat like it always was when Yuuri came over. Yuuri had a hard time believing that Makkachin had trashed the apartment prior to his first visit, until he had seen the photos. Victor always had it impeccable for him.

“I am. My flight’s in a couple hours. I wanted to see you before I left.” Yuuri had not wanted to leave with his resolution sitting heavy on his shoulders. He could not wait the near week in Barcelona, knowing that it would be filled with messages from Victor flashing up on his phone. Messing with his feelings the whole time. Yuuri knew exactly what he wanted. He had wanted it from his first date with Victor. “Where’s Makka, how’s she now?”

“She’s fine.” Victor pointed, Makkachin sleeping in her new luxurious bed by the sofa. Her paws twitched as she dreamed. “I took her to the park and she ran himself ragged. Collapsed as soon as we got home. Well, after she got a few treats in her belly.”

Yuuri smiled and wandered over, sitting down on the sofa. He did not move to pet her, not wanting to stir her from her sleep. It was tempting to spoil her more, though Victor had been doing a very good job of it based on the photos he had sent Yuuri.

“Yuuri… are you okay?” The cushions beside Yuuri dipped.

Read easier than a children’s book.

“I wanted to talk about…” Yuuri paused and took a deep breath. Calm, collected. He had been skirting his questions since the start and that had gotten him nowhere. That wasn’t entirely true. It had gotten him everywhere. In Victor’s bed on several occasions. Where Yuuri wanted to be. Except he wanted more. He wanted to stay there, to know that he did not have to leave. That he could set himself in Victor’s arms and pour out his soul, dance on Victor’s lips and drink his laughter straight off them. Yuuri was balancing himself on the edge of hopeless, and he was reckless enough to want to jump off. “About us.”

“What about us?”

Victor was too close. His hip rested against Yuuri’s, knees bumping together. Yuuri could easily picture himself crawling into Victor’s lap as they rested back on the sofa together, watching some seasonal film on the big screen television across the room. Victor seemed the type for romantic comedies. Definitely the type to cry if a dog died. He probably liked musicals too. Yuuri would watch all the musicals for Victor. Including the King and the Skater, in case Victor had not seen it before.

“I keep thinking that…” Yuuri had never considered himself good with words. Being fluent in two languages should have helped, but it only made him trip over what he wanted to say more. Talking to Victor had always been so natural, so easy. Yuuri never worried about picking his words or saying something wrong. He could play off Victor’s jokes, catch his stories, laugh any time he stumbled over an English phrase because sometimes Victor did it too.

Being honest and open with Victor was not difficult. This time was different.

“I like you. A lot. And I keep thinking about this, this arrangement, or whatever this is… It isn’t fair. When I asked you to… to coach me, I was being selfish. I didn’t think about your feelings. I was going off a stupid idea because I was so tired of feeling sorry for myself. I thought, maybe we’d have sex a couple times and I’d find out for sure if I was actually that bad, but I didn’t think about what I was actually asking for.” Yuuri directed his gaze onto the floor, clenching his hands into fists in his lap.

Like he had done every time before, Victor sat next to him and listened. No interruptions, no objections. Yuuri was used to interviews, to Celestino, to Phichit. To having questions and quips fired back at him before he finished thinking. Not with Victor.

“I know what you want, Victor. Carrying on like this… I don’t want to do it anymore.” Neither of them wanted that. It had stopped being casual. Maybe with something as simple as the toothbrush, maybe when Yuuri had spent the night. Maybe from the very first session, when they had bathed a coffee-coated Makkachin together instead of climbing straight into bed.

“What do you want to do then?” Victor asked and Yuuri wanted to tell him. About every single thing Yuuri had daydreamed of doing with Victor.

Yuuri wanted to take that painted figure skating mug and leave it in the cupboards of Victor’s kitchen. He wanted to drive to Alpine Valley and throw snowballs for Makkachin to chase, share a cup of hot chocolate and warm each other’s frozen fingers. He wanted to shop for a Christmas tree and decorate it with Victor, tangling one another in multi-colored lights and tinsel. He wanted Victor to show him how piroshki were made when Makkachin wasn’t scarfing a pound of beef off the table, wanted to make katsudon together.

He wanted to call Victor from Barcelona and fall asleep with the call still connected, wake up to a text greeting him good morning with heart-mouthed emojis sending virtual kisses. Wanted to bring home gold, wear it as Victor marked up his thighs and made Yuuri feel so good that he forgot to keep quiet so as not to disturb their neighbors. Yuuri wanted too much.

“Let’s end this.”

Silence was loud. It had been loud before Yuuri’s short program in Moscow, loud when Yuuri had laid on that sofa and fought the urge to slip into Victor’s bed in the dead of night, loud in the animal hospital lobby. It was louder now.

“…What do you mean?”

There were few things Yuuri hated. How broken Victor’s question sounded had to be the worst one.

“You said… you said you wanted to date,” Yuuri muttered. “You said you didn’t want for sex to be work for you anymore. But I’m making it into work for you. And last time, you said that I don’t need these lessons anymore. You want to date someone, and I’m keeping you from doing that, so let’s end this.”

Yuuri had spent his life being selfish. Skating was a profession centered on himself. He spent years focused on his own goals, his own achievements. Striving to push himself to the top, above everyone else. Victory was not something he chased for his family, his coach, his country. He chased it for himself, like he had chased Victor.

However, that was not what a relationship was supposed to be. Victor had told him that, time and time again. It was about working with his partner, communicating, making sure they were comfortable and happy with what they were receiving and giving. Mutually beneficial.

“Yuuri… Yuuri, that’s not—” At least Yuuri was not the only one struggling to choose the right words. “Yuuri, I want to date you.”

“I know.” Yuuri would have been more surprised not to hear it. In any other situation, it might have been reassuring, how well he had been able to see that. “I told you though. I’m selfish. I waited till the last minute to tell you, because I was scared to talk to you. Now, I can get on a plane and fly off to Europe and avoid it... Every time we meet, it’s on my schedule. I’m in a different part of the world every other week and that’s not going to stop. I dedicate all my time to myself. Even spending time with you is about giving me what I want! That… it isn’t fair to you. You’re so good, Victor. You deserve someone who isn’t-…” what? Someone who could accept every part of Victor, including his damn job.

Victor had told Yuuri from the start it was what people judged him for, used him for, and Yuuri had done exactly that. There were plenty of porn stars who were in good relationships, who were married, who had partners who accepted that it was a job and that it did not make their loyalty or dedication or love any less. Victor needed someone like that.

“What, who isn’t you?” Victor asked, curt laugh bitter on his lips.

“Yeah.” Yuuri nodded, looking up and over. The last time they were together, Yuuri had wanted to do anything he could to bring Victor’s brightness back. Now, there he was, stripping Victor of it completely. “I mean, you can’t be happy continuing on like this!”

“Of course not!”

“So then why are we?” They were not making it any easier. Each text, each minute added a layer to the heartbreak they were hurtling towards. “You know what you want, Victor. I know what I want. It’s not going to change. I asked you to coach me until I was good enough to go sleep with someone else. I guess that I am now. So that’s it. That’s the end of it. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

“That’s it? No discussion?’

“I don’t know what there is to discuss…”

“How about the fact that you started this whole thing by saying, I like you?”

“That’s the problem!” If he didn’t, then it would have been easy. The fact that he liked Victor was what made it difficult. Because every other part of Yuuri objected, tried to grasp at straws to find reasons to extend whatever it was they were doing. But then what? Take a leap of faith and hope that by sheer luck and stubbornness everything worked out? Life never went like that. “I like you, but it’s not going to work out.”

“Why?” Victor’s expression flashed and he sat up straighter.

“I told you…” Yuuri chewed on the inside of his cheek. Being honest with Victor was easy, in every other situation. Telling Victor the truth now, the full truth would not go well. He could see two conclusions, and neither were was what Yuuri was prepared to accept. He could not expect Victor to promise to quit his job in order to try for a relationship, and he could not expect himself to promise to be fine pursuing one while Victor remained doing what he did. “It won’t.”

“You’re not even going to try?”

“No.”

Victor’s posture slumped. He looked to Yuuri, searching his face. There was a moment where he seemed ready to protest, to argue back and say something, but then he bit his lower lip and the moment passed. “I really like you too, Yuuri.”

“That doesn’t help either of us.”

The clock behind them ticked steadily. Cars passed under the window. Makkachin’s paws twitched in her sleep again. Adjusting his glasses, Yuuri ran a hand through his own hair and pushed himself off the sofa. “…I should go. I can’t miss my flight.”

Victor grabbed Yuuri as he stepped away, right before he was out of reach. Yuuri did not pull away. Again, the silence was loud. Deafening as Victor curled his fingers around Yuuri’s hand, holding on.

“Victor…”

“You honestly think you can walk out of here without letting me wish you luck?”

Victor’s skin was pale against the darker hue of Yuuri’s. Pink undertones wrapped around muted gold. The contrast looked so good together. Yuuri could spend the rest of his life admiring it. “You-… what?”

“Good luck, Yuuri. Have a safe flight. I’ll be cheering for your skate in Barcelona, if that’s okay with you... I know you’ll be incredible. You always are.”

Victor would never stop being too much. And Yuuri doubted he would ever stop being selfish. It came with being a skater, a world-class athlete in an individual sport. He had never been a good team player.

Yuuri had his arms thrown over Victor’s shoulders the exact moment Victor’s arms went around his waist.

Kissing Victor was what had done Yuuri in from the very start. In the cool October air, under the buzzing of parking lot lights. The bliss of Victor’s mouth erased any and all rational decision making. Or perhaps that was Victor in general. Everything about him seemed to be designed for discovering weaknesses Yuuri had never known he had, taking full advantage.

Yuuri had been charmed by mismatched brushstrokes of brown paint on a poodle bisque, weak to an overuse of emojis, turned on by praise whispered into the curve of his collarbone or over international Skype calls. He had drowned without ever realizing that he had already plunged in too deep.

Yuuri wound his fingers through silver hair as Victor hitched him up, hooking his legs around Victor’s waist. He whimpered when his back collided with the wall behind him, melted under the heat of Victor’s tongue. He clung on, supported by Victor’s strength and the need to pull them closer together, kissing back until he lost his breath and could only choke out his plea.

Victor’s name fell from his lips, begging for him not to move away because Yuuri did not want to let go. He repeated his plea when the backs of his knees hit the frame of Victor’s bed, their clothes lost somewhere along the hall.

Skin burned under Yuuri’s fingers, and he felt like he could cut himself on the sharp lines of Victor’s hips, fall off the dip at the center of his chest. The bedsheets were cold where Victor’s touch was hot, where his mouth left searing bruises.

Yuuri remembered nothing of what Victor had taught him, arching without thought in reaction to every kiss, every sigh, every quiet murmur. He writhed above Victor with the spark of his touch, nerves alight as he ground onto Victor’s lap, gasping into his neck as Victor stretched him, fingers familiar and welcome inside Yuuri.

Foil and bottle were tossed onto bunched blankets, and then Victor’s slick fingers dug into Yuuri’s hips, halting them in place. Yuuri stole the question off his lips, answering it with a please and the press of his nails into Victor’s shoulder blades.

Outside, the sun was setting, staining the clouds with color.

In front of Yuuri, Victor was also stained with color. The silver mess of his hair, the flutter of his long pale lashes. The blue of his eyes, the swollen red of his lips. The flush from his cheeks spilling down his chest, to the budding pink of his nipples. Purple had begun to blossom on his shoulders, from where Yuuri had finally left his mark with the white of his teeth. Victor’s cock filled with color too, dark in Yuuri’s hand under the sheer of the latex Yuuri rolled on.

Yuuri felt himself bloom in the same shades as he sunk down, slow, clinging to Victor as he descended onto what was meant to be love. Victor breathed his name like a mantra as Yuuri gasped, open-mouthed over the rapid pulse of Victor’s heart.

Body arched in, Victor’s hands supported Yuuri until they were all the way there, wrapped in each other’s arms as one.

None of it was what Yuuri had expected. He was lost in emotion, in the petal soft caress of Victor’s lips on his bangs, his eyelids, his nose, his cheeks, his mouth, his jaw.

The pads of Victor’s thumbs pushed into the toned muscles of Yuuri’s inner thighs before sliding around to guide their gentle rocking movements. They breathed off the short distance between them, temple to temple until Yuuri had to break away, lifting himself up before falling back down. Victor thrust up each time, meeting him halfway.

Just like the first time and every time after, Victor was overwhelming. He made Yuuri bend like a bow above him with each pulse of pleasure that he drove through Yuuri, made Yuuri cry with each kiss and each stroke. Moans mixed into music as Yuuri trembled with each drag of Victor’s cock against his prostate, each fluid motion between them.

Too much and not enough, not enough at all because Yuuri begged for more and Victor listened like he always listened.

Yuuri came with Victor’s name on his lips and the shrill sound of his phone from the hall. He did not let go, burying his face in the crook of Victor’s neck, riding Victor through his orgasm until Victor’s movements stuttered beneath him. Yuuri stayed, panting against Victor’s skin until his phone stopped ringing.

The sun had set.

Victor’s arms did not drop from around him, but they had to move. Carefully, Victor shifted Yuuri off his lap and discarded the condom. Hearing it hit the bottom of the trashcan beside Victor’s bed made Yuuri jerk back.

“I-… I have to go…”

Yuuri could not meet Victor’s eyes. When Victor leaned in, Yuuri pulled back. Emptiness replaced heat, and Yuuri could barely make out the apologies cascading from himself.

His phone rang again. Time smashed into Yuuri. The wrecked state of the bed, the smell of sex on his own skin. Victor’s silence. Clothes on the floor, in the bedroom, missing articles out in the hall. “Victor, I-…”

“Go catch your flight, Yuuri. Get your gold.”

Victor did not follow Yuuri out of the bedroom. Yuuri caught sight of him turning into his mattress, sinking down to bury his face into a pillow.

Yuuri dressed in the living room, cancelling the incoming call on his phone without looking to see who it was from. Makkachin lifted her head, tail thumping when she saw him. Yuuri was out the door before she could get up to greet him.

When Yuuri turned on the engine of his car, the radio switched on along with it.

Yuuri’s vision blurred the entire drive home.

He made his flight with an hour to spare, no new messages lighting up his phone.

Chapter Text

“You did fucking what?” Phichit hissed the question, incredulous. “You dumped him and then rode his dick? Damn, that’s…”

Yuuri sunk as low as he possibly could in his airplane seat. He could not supply a word to help out Phichit, not knowing himself what could accurately convey the absurdity of his decision. He had nothing to say, no real way to defend himself.

“…better than the other way around?”

“What, him dumping me?” Yuuri asked, complimentary blanket pulled up to his chin like he was hiding under it. He had been silent on the flight from Detroit to Newark, staring out the window into the pitch black. Phichit had left him alone until an hour into the connecting flight into Barcelona. Then, Yuuri had bit into the pillow handed out by the flight attendant, shoulders trembling as his breathing went uneven. There was no holding Phichit back after that.

“I meant banging and dumping him right after that.”

“I didn’t mean to…” Yuuri muttered. He did not know how he had expected the conversation with Victor to go, but certainly not like that. “It just happened…”

“I don’t know anyone that just happened to sleep with someone immediately breaking up with them.”

Yuuri could not bring himself to look over at Phichit. He had his shoes kicked off, legs pulled up to his chest, heels precariously balanced on the edge of the seat. It was not comfortable, but nothing Yuuri felt was comfortable at that moment. “What do you want from me?”

“To say that I told you so?” Phichit tried, casting Yuuri half a smile.

“No, you told me to marry him. Repeatedly.” That was the last thing Yuuri wanted to think about. How good Victor would have looked in a wedding tux. Pressed and fitted. Flower pinned to his lapel. Yuuri’s imagination needed to stop being so overactive. Especially since he had ruined any and all chances of that wild fantasy coming true. Not that he wanted that. Phichit had a way of getting into his head.

“A better decision than breaking up with him.”

“Can’t break up with someone I wasn’t dating,” Yuuri mumbled, prying at the threads of his thin economy blanket. It was an end to an arrangement that had been a bad idea from the beginning. Sooner or later, they would have had to put a stop to it. Not like Victor could coach him through various sex acts forever. Yuuri had chosen sooner.

It was just that, he had not thought it would be so hard to let go. He had not expected Victor to hang on, to cling to him like Yuuri had wanted to cling. Yuuri’s resolution to use the deadline of his flight had worked out too well. Had it not been for it, he might have stayed tangled up in Victor till dawn like all the times before. And perhaps the dawn after that and the one following that.

“Yuuri, you know that you’re my best friend and that I love you. But you’re an idiot.”

“Thanks, I know.”

“The fact that you know makes it worse. Because you still went for it. Hope it was worth it, at least.”

Yuuri said nothing. For once, it would have been better to actually have the awful sex that he had been accustomed to prior to Victor. Might have been easier to convince himself that there was nothing to regret, that there was some aspect of Victor that was not goddamn perfect. Yet, for once, Yuuri got exactly what he had been so desperately hoping for. And promptly trashed it.

“Did you at least tell him the real reason you didn’t want to date him?”

“No.”

“Wow.”

Yuuri buried his face into his knees in response. He might as well start getting used to the constant feeling of shame because he doubted it would be easy getting over this time.

“Why’d you do it right before the Finals?” Phichit asked, tone a bit softer.

“I thought I’d be too preoccupied thinking about calling it quits after to concentrate on skating, if I didn’t do it before.” The layers of guilt had thickened each day until the weight of it was heavy enough on his shoulders that Yuuri felt like he couldn’t jump. How was he going to aim for gold knowing that if he snatched it up, there was no presenting Victor with the love he wanted. An uneven exchange.

“So this is better?”

“I didn’t think it was going to be that bad, okay? I didn’t plan to sleep with him.” What a grand summary of his short-lived relationship with Victor. Not intending to sleep with him and ending up doing it anyway. On their first date, car escapades gone disastrously wrong. The nights he had spent in Victor’s bed, despite promising both himself and Phichit that he wouldn’t. Going to end the loose excuse of sex lessons and instead, to the world’s dramatic sense of irony, finally having the type of perfect sex he had previously been convinced did not exist.

Although, Yuuri supposed perfect sex was not meant to end with him hating himself for jumping on a porn star’s dick without really considering what he was doing. He had simply wanted to stretch the moment, the bliss of being kissed by Victor. Feeling the heat and beckoning that his short program was meant to convey. At least now he knew what it was meant to feel like.

“Doesn’t mean you had to end it by lying to him.”

Telling Victor the truth would have made it worse. Explaining that Yuuri could not date him because of Victor’s job only would have set off an argument. Pointing out that Yuuri had not really had issues with it the whole time, so why should putting the label of dating on their relationship make it any different? Yuuri had talked with Victor about his job, laughed about it, teased about it. Met a coworker that Victor regularly slept with, then still not had any problems heading home to try to ride Victor on his living room sofa. Why would that suddenly change if they were actually dating…

Over the years, Yuuri had answered many interview questions in regards to his love life. Phichit had too. All athletes did. Japan liked to gossip about relationships as much as any other country. There was a reason why the standard answer was an honest denial.

Finding someone who understood his sport, his schedule, his dedication was near impossible. An extra practice would always trump a date. Even the off season did not mean that he was free from skating. There were ice shows and sponsorship appearances. Plans for the season, sessions at the rink to make sure his skills did not get too stale. Yuuri lived and breathed figure skating. Finding someone who encouraged it, supported him despite that, like Victor had was…. Oh. Yuuri was such a hypocrite.

“Phichit….” Yuuri glanced up. The plane was somewhere over the Atlantic ocean. In the seat front pocket before him, Yuuri’s phone sat tucked against the thick pages of a duty-free magazine. Switched off, but the last message from Victor was still on it. An enthusiastically cute emoji, in response to Yuuri’s request to meet. He had not been able to bring himself to delete it. “Phichit, I made a mistake.”

Not the first time Yuuri had made the mistake of sleeping with someone. Except this time, Yuuri was on the other side of the coin. He had made himself into the douchebag ex. That was not the character development he had been going for.

His friend blinked in surprise. “That took way faster than I thought it was going to.”

Halfway to Barcelona and nothing he could do with his realization. Not that it mattered. Yuuri could hardly turn around and press the undo button. Maybe he could hijack the plane and use it to spell out an apology with the exhaust over Victor’s apartment. Be a bit difficult to see in the dark though and at present, Victor undoubtedly would not be waiting for Yuuri to get out of federal prison. He could guess that no amount of frantic texting would get him out of this either.

Yuuri whined and wondered if it was not too late to pay for an upgrade to first class. It was possible, by some miracle, they included a sex-coach-relationship-mending service. The ridiculous amount they charged for a seat surely constituted that. “I can’t fix this, can I?”

“There’s a bright side,” Phichit said, holding up a finger, prepared to make his point.

“What’s that?”

“Pretty sure that my biggest competition for the podium is now out of the way.”

Yuuri did not have enough fight in him to smack Phichit with his plane pillow.

~~~~~~~

Fourth. Yuuri was in fourth. He thought he could do better than fourth.

The performance had been fine. Just fine. Yuuri had forced himself to clear his mind of all but the music, focusing on the elements of his skate, and there had been his problem. Spin, jump, step, bend. Nothing more. Dull like worn down blades.

Barcelona was bright and beautiful. On the coast, the ocean water sparkled and the streets shone with holiday decorations. Yuuri’s phone filled up with social media notifications, selfies and posts from the other skaters who were actually taking advantage of their chance to experience Spanish hospitality.

Phichit had given up on trying to pull Yuuri out so they could admire the view from the towers of La Sagrada Familia or make the ill-advised decision of eating paella from a pavement café along La Rambla.

Yuuri sunk out of the hotel on his own, hat pulled low over his bangs. Mid-competition was not the right time to need a moment to himself.

He wandered alone, the top of his nose chilled pink, hands plunged deep in his pockets. Strung up lights twinkled from store fronts. Yuuri passed shops, dodging past people holding hands and shopping bags. He walked without aim, not sure what he needed to be thinking about.

Fourth meant he could avoid the press conference which came after the short program, but it did not mean he had been able to avoid interviews. He struggled through the questions about his skate, dodging away as soon as he was able. It wasn’t as if he could give the excuse that he had put all his Eros into his final performance atop a porn star. No matter how good a news story that would make.

There was a street market, but Yuuri made his way through it without pausing. Not like there was any souvenir or good luck charm that was going to help him now. He needed to get out of the mess he had dug by himself. Whether that meant trying for the impossible, or giving up. Moving on.

A couple stood in front of a brightly lit jewelry store, peering in on the window display. Faces blushing in the hint of a promise. Looking at love and gold. Yuuri kept going.

He needed to focus on his free program, on pulling himself up. Victor told him to get his gold. Encouraged Yuuri to go after his goal, despite the fact that Victor had just given up his own. So that was what Yuuri needed to do. Go for gold. Or what would have been the whole point? He would be going home empty-handed and broken-hearted. Better to be a disappointment in one regard than in two.

Easier said than done.

Yuuri stopped in front of a church, catching the melodious singing of a choir. In his pockets, his fingertips chilled and there was no one with him to chase the cold away. Uncertain of where it was he had been heading, Yuuri turned and left, without looking back.

~~~~~~~

“Yuuri Katsuki, Japan.”

Yuuri Katsuki, Japan. 24. Called an Ace in his home country, but every commentator reporting on the Grand Prix across the world would now be commenting on his performance last year. Dead last, with no excuse to offer behind it. Nerves, expectations. Fear that he was not good enough made into a self-fulfilling prophecy. That meant he had nowhere to go but up, right?

There would be talk ongoing, discussions and speculations. Using words like inconsistency. An article he had glanced over before Phichit snatched the phone from his hands called his short program lackluster. He had to agree there. That was exactly how he felt. Lackluster. No amount of crystals on his costume was going to make it for it.

“Any last advice, coach?” Practice earlier had Yuuri so distracted that he had nearly knocked the Canadian skater off his feet. Phichit had warned him that he was going to get accused of sabotage if he was not careful.

Distracted and inconsistent. That should have been Yuuri’s theme instead. He spent half the night awake, listening to his free music on loop, but he kept thinking back to the same thing.

“Think about love.”

Yuuri could have laughed. He would try.

Accepting the good luck wish from Celestino, Yuuri took his position at the center of the rink. Think about love. What did he know about love?

When he had selected it as his theme, it seemed like something universal. Trying to convey it through a skate though, that was like trying to physically grasp onto something intangible. Not like slipping his fingers through Victor’s. That had been real, a solid warmth above the chill of the ice.

Piano filled the arena and Yuuri breathed. Drawing his arms into himself, he thought about love.

In the finals and he still did not know the image he was supposed to have as he skated. From films, love was running through an airport after someone important, someone who did not see what it was they were leaving behind. Yuuri had always wondered how many times something like that had actually happened in real life. From songs, love was writing out confessions on secret notes. Dancing in the dark. Guitars and violins. Love was big proposals amongst grand scenery. Yet, what came to Yuuri’s mind were heart-mouthed emojis.

Tiny crystals of ice sprayed under Yuuri’s feet at the pressured landing of his first combination.

Think about love. Yuuri thought of the onsen back home, of his family. He had not been back to Hasetsu in five years, since he had left for the States. He had been back to Japan, for competitions, for promotional work, ice shows. Yet he had not found the time to spend an extra twenty-four hours to travel south and spend a day at the inn. His family had sent him birthday wishes the previous week. Yuuri had responded with a few Line stickers and pocketed his phone, spending that night with Victor.

A clean quad Salchow.

Think about love. Yuuri thought about the love he had for his rink mates. Junior skaters who trained under Celestino and looked at Yuuri with stars in their eyes. Yuuri thought about Phichit, whose free skate he did not have the chance to congratulate before heading out for his own. Though, to be fair, it was Phichit’s fault that Yuuri had ended up in the mess of his relationship with Victor in the first place.

Yuuri forgot to count the rotations on his flip, but he took the applause to mean he had not gone over or under.

The ice felt smooth beneath him as he moved, arching. Ina Bauer. Somewhere online, there was a small community of fans that liked to collect photos of him in the pose. He wondered if they were one of the groups Victor had stumbled upon amidst his teasing research.

Triple axel. Yuuri had never had much trouble with that one. When they had started training together, Phichit mentioned that fact in envy.

Think about love. Back in Japan, his family would be hosting a viewing party. Yuuri thought about the couples he had passed on the streets the evening before. Christmas was for romance in Japan. Couples would fill stores, seeking out gifts for each other. The displays in jewelry shops would change to pair rings, to be exchanged as promises or vows. Santa became a cupid.

Yuuri thought about the photo Victor had sent, of Makkachin with green and red ribbons in her fur. Definitely not the most productive elf, Victor had said of her later. Yuuri wondered if Victor would enjoy the idea of pair rings. Yuuri was not exactly sure what kind of Christmas present would be good to give a porn star.

Four turns into his toe loop, Yuuri pulled out of the spin as if it were effortless.

Think about love. Actively trying to find love was like hunting for a fairytale. Yuuri had never gone after love. The hours, the strain, the determination it took to climb to his level did not leave room for love. Love of skating, yes. Love of competition. Love of victory. Love of gold. Yuuri had always put that first.

Triple combination. Axel, loop, salchow.

Salt-cow. Yuuri smiled.

Love and gold. They didn’t really go together, did they? Gold was a solitary venture. Coach, friends, family, but Yuuri still had to get there on his own. Gold was selfishness. The pinnacle of striving for victory, for himself. Love was the opposite. Gold was for taking. Love was for giving.

Triple Lutz, triple toe loop.

Yuuri should have been able to skate Eros, because he had learned Eros. He couldn’t learn love. Even in his lessons with Victor, Yuuri had always been taking. What had he given back in return? His company? A few jokes? Half-decent blowjob? That wasn’t the kind of love he was supposed to be thinking about. He had greeted Victor on their first date with the type of humor that probably should not have worked. For some reason though, it had introduced Victor’s beautiful smile to Yuuri.

Think about love. What had Yuuri said in the past when asked about what it was he loved? Katsudon. Freshly sharpened skates. Dancing. Last minute cancellations on exam days. Poodles. The difference now was that Makkachin replaced poodles in that list, with her brilliant tricks and awful table manners.

As Yuuri stepped through his sequence, he thought about love. Love was not something he had been looking for, not when he picked his theme, not when he agreed to go on his date with Victor. Yet, from the start, it had been obvious that Victor was. Yuuri should have known better then. Victor was hard to resist.

How he smiled, how he laughed at himself. How his accent transformed words when he spoke, breath warm over the shell of Yuuri’s ear. How he flirted, how he could help Yuuri both keep and break his diet. How he texted. How the strength of his arms felt wound around Yuuri’s waist, how his mouth felt on Yuuri’s skin. How the silver of his lashes convinced Yuuri the color was absolutely natural. How he painted dogs on pottery. How he had not left Yuuri’s thoughts since his first message had arrived on Yuuri’s phone.

Think about love.

Yuuri thought about Victor and jumped.

There was never any guarantee of landing. Yuuri had spent more of his life falling on jumps than coming out of them clean. That never stopped him. Not his nerves, not his misgivings. Not his self-imposed convictions that this time, this skate, might be his worst. Every season, every practice had a worst moment. Yet, he kept going.

There was never any guarantee of gold. Firmly positioned in fourth, he was still skating for it. Gold had escaped Yuuri so many times, but he always leapt for it. There wasn’t a guarantee in love either.

Yuuri landed. His blade hit ice, and he kept skating.

His lungs burned. Legs burned. Heart burned. Gracious, Yuuri slowed emerging from his combination spin and reached out. He was meant to be reaching out for love. Just like gold, how was he supposed to grab hold of it if he didn’t jump?

Yuuri’s pulse jumped for him, and his world erupted.

His smile burned too, as Yuuri gasped, trying to catch the breath he had not realized he had lost. Bouquets and stuffed toys littered the rink, the audience around him blooming with white and red flags, roaring with support.

Skate guards barely on, Yuuri was almost tackled to the ground by Phichit’s embrace as he stepped back onto solid ground. He smiled, vaguely aware of Celestino pushing a water bottle into his hands and guiding him to the Kiss and Cry. His mind was still out on the ice as he waited, watching his own skate replay on his monitors. There was chatter, feedback. Celestino said something about technical elements.

“The score for Yuuri Katsuki is—”

The numbers were lost in the thunderous applause. Off to the side, Yuuri saw Phichit leaping in joy, pumping a fist into the air as he yelled. Celestino clasped a hand over Yuuri’s shoulder, beaming. Yuuri leaned in closer to the screen and squinted.

“—broken the world record for the Men’s Single Free Skate!”

The scores and ranking flashed, shooting his name to the top of the list.

Yuuri Katsuki. FS: 221.58. Total: 319.41. Rank: 1.

The applause did not stop. Beside him, Celestino was laughing at Yuuri’s amazement. “Yuuri, stand up.”

He hastened to obey, bowing and waving as a smile cracked wide over his own face. It took longer to leave the Kiss and Cry than ever before, caught up in hugs from Phichit and Celestino. Reporters were already clamoring in the press area. The excitement surrounding Yuuri did not die down even as the competition proceeded, a daze of questions and congratulations around him.

When the final skater left the ice, they already knew.

Yuuri’s position at the top of the list remained unchanged.

~~~~~~~

Cameras flashed.

“Can you please give a word about your performance today?”

“Describe your feeling about making the podium today, as compared to your standing at last year’s Grand Prix.”

“Moving into the second half of the season, what experience and thoughts will you take forward from the first half?

“What are your goals for the future? Do you plan to remain competitive until the next Olympics?”

“Do you have a comment you can make for the audience?”

“What was on your mind today before your skate?”

Yuuri responded to the press questions as they came, still feeling like he was buzzing in his own skin. He had barely gotten away long enough to wash up and change, making brief comments to those that approached him before the press conference.

He had stolen a moment away to call his family and had another moment stolen by Phichit. Yuuri had laughed at Phichit’s elation, his friend more outwardly excited for the gold than Yuuri. After the victory ceremony, Phichit had posted their selfies on Instagram, smiles shining at a million watts. Filters and hashtags included.

It was not Yuuri’s first press conference. Far from it. However, it was the first time that Yuuri was actually riding high off his victory like this. He made the standard responses, about being disappointed in his short program and needing to develop it more in order to be at his peak for Worlds. The previous year, Yuuri had grieved in true disappointment. He rather preferred having the weight of gold around his neck to that. When asked about his thoughts on his choice of music, Yuuri joked that he would have preferred skating to JJ’s.

There was still the exhibition and the banquet left to go. Yuuri dreaded neither. The one thing holding him hostage was his phone, tucked into the inside of his Team Japan jacket pocket. There was only one congratulations message missing from the masses that had flooded in after his free skate had concluded. Yuuri had not realized it was possible to miss emojis.

“This question is for Skater Katsuki….” The Japanese address came from a reporter that Yuuri recognized. “Your theme for the Grand Prix this season was love. Did you complete your record breaking free skate with someone in mind?”

Yuuri heard the ISU’s Japanese translator chuckle beside him, relaying the question into English for the rest of the press core.

He had received a similar question at the start of the season, when he announced his theme. Was there someone in his life influencing that as his decision. Yuuri had said no then.. Yuuri always said no. His previous relationships had never crossed his mind when taking on questions about love. Part of him had wanted to say that he had only chosen love as his theme because ‘sex’ would not be approved.

Yuuri leaned forward in his seat, eyes down on the surface of the table as he began to speak into the microphone.

“Before this season, I never gave much thought to love. Even though I’ve been blessed with a lot of support, I’ve always felt like I’ve been fighting alone… There were some parts of my life where I had begun to feel hopeless in, when it came in regards to love. Recently, I’ve discovered something different. I found someone unexpected, who came into my life in a way that I least anticipated.

“Until today, I was never happy with my free skate. Perhaps that was because I didn’t know what I was skating for. I’ve always been skating for myself before. Today, I skated for them.

“I’m not sure if I can call it love just yet, but I finally found someone that I want to hold onto. This person supported me, even though I can’t be sure why. And I thought that as much of it they have given me, I want to try to give back, if I can. Skating today, I tried to think about my theme and what it meant to me. And every thought that I had kept coming back to them… I guess that, maybe, that’s what love is.

“So, in response to your question. Yes. I did have someone in mind today, for the first time. And if I can, I would really like to keep them in mind, from now on.”

Yuuri bowed his head.

The translation which followed caused a flurry before it had even finished.

~~~~~~~

>> yuuri
>> yuuri holy shit
>> did u just
>> confess
>> in the middle of a press conference
>> dude
>> the net’s exploded
>> there’s like a million speculations
>> proud to say im suspect numero uno

>> wait
>> pls say u talked to porn boy before this
>> u didn’t, did u
>> u just
>> did that
>> omg
>> omfg
>> ur a dumbass
>> i luv u
>> u better propose to him when u get back cuz otherwise this is gonna be weird af
>> #MarryPornBoy2K17

<< Tweet out that hashtag and they’ll never find your body, Chulanont.

>> does porn boy know?
>> pls say he knows

<< No.

>> wow

<< Yep.

>> u gonna tell him or should I send him the vid?

<< Do that and I tell the landlord about the hamsters.

>> ur a monster
>> text porn boy u monster

<< I don’t think this is a text kind of conversation.

>> tru
>> think about what ur gonna do
>> then run to him
>> run to him, yuuri
>> or fly to him
>> u know what I mean

<< I know what you mean.

>> cya at the banquet, rite?
>> kiss ur gold for me
>> then kiss ur porn boy

Yuuri wanted to more than kiss his porn boy. He wanted to bring him back gold. Love and gold.

~~~~~~~

Detroit was cold and getting colder when the plane landed.

Yuuri had gotten no rest on the flights, fidgeting in his seat until Phichit kicked at his legs repeatedly in order to make him stop. They got told off by a flight attendant.

At the airport, Yuuri asked Phichit for a favor. He got waved off without hesitation. “Go and don’t come back.” Yuuri left without collecting his luggage.

Turning up at Victor’s condo was scarier than skating in the Grand Prix. Yuuri had done that before. He had experienced failure there, knew that to expect at rock bottom. He had never done this before.

Yuuri rang the doorbell and jumped when Makkachin’s bark came from behind the door. Nine hours from the connection in Amsterdam and Yuuri had thought of every single possible thing he could say and do. None of them seemed good enough. Apologize. Apologize was a start. Yuuri doubted all the apologies in the world would make up for it.

How was he supposed to explain everything in his head? Everything he had been sorting through, attempting to figure out for himself? Where would he start? Hey Victor. Sorry for banging you and leaving. I got my gold medal, so take me back? He would throw himself out for that one.

Sorry for asking you to be my sex coach. That wasn’t true. Yuuri was not sorry for that one. Having Victor as his sex coach was possibly the best thing that had ever happened to him. A demonstration of how dumb decisions did not always end badly. Except that it had. If it had not gone well, Yuuri might have already been making out Victor in the back of a taxi cab on the way from the airport. He would have been certain to give the driver a very good tip. More like a bribe than a tip, if that were the situation.

Sorry for leading you on. He had not done it intentionally. He never went to Victor with the purpose of having anything more than a sex class. Other things simply tended to happen when they got together. Dog baths. Pizza deliveries. Sleepovers and birthday dinners. Skate dates under the guise of distraction from potential tragedy. Phone sex. Skype sex. Text sex. Sexting, it was called sexting. Yuuri had really liked all those.

How would a date work if they actually agreed to go on a real one? Better or worse? Yuuri did not think it could get better. What was better than perfect?

No one answered. Yuuri rang the bell again. Makkachin barked. The door stayed closed.

Glancing down toward the parking lot, Yuuri noticed that Victor’s assigned car spot was empty. Right. Well then. That’s what he got. Should have known better. Of course Victor was out. There was no reason for this to be a best case scenario. Resigned, he sat down on the stairs. To wait. Or to feel sorry for himself.

Going on Yuuri’s luck, Victor was out meeting the love of his life. Taking them to paint mugs or something as equally and charmingly ridiculous. Quite literally charming their pants off with his heart-shaped smile and laugh that brought lines to crinkle the corners of his eyes. Sharing photos of his poodle and teaching them about keyboard apps that had emojis programmed in. Whoever it was, Yuuri bet that they couldn’t make porn jokes.

“Yuuri?”

Yuuri snapped his face up and saw blue wide in surprise. Leaping to his feet, Yuuri snuck a peek behind Victor to make sure he was not being accompanied by a non-existent date. Nope. Victor was alone. Alone but gorgeous in his pressed coat, scarf wound around his neck. Yuuri wanted to know if he would be able to see lingering evidence of their last encounter if he took it off. Inappropriate. Not the thought to be thinking. He needed to stay on track.

Suddenly, Yuuri was aware that he probably looked like a mess. No one ever looked good coming off an international flight in economy. Except maybe Victor. Victor definitely would.

In his arms, Victor carried a stack of binders and files, a few thickly bound books. Altogether they looked a bit heavy. From inside the condo, Makka whimpered and scratched at the door.

Victor opened his mouth, but Yuuri cut him off. Now or never.

“I lied to you.” That was no exactly where he meant to start. Too late. “When you asked me if I was fine with you being a pornstar. Before our first date. I said that I was, but I wasn’t. I’m not really sure why I did. I already kinda liked you, I guess, and I wanted to see what you were like. Then I lied to you when I said I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I mean, I wasn’t, not really. But, I said that because… because I thought that dating you wouldn’t work out. I thought you wouldn’t be interested after how badly it went after, in the car. Though, now that I think about it, it really doesn’t make sense cause I still asked you to coach me in sex, which I don’t get why you said yes to anyway but…”

Yuuri was rambling. He knew it, could see the bit of amusement on Victor’s expression. That was good. Better amusement than anything else. If making a fool out of himself was what it took, Yuuri could do that.

“I lied to you last time too. When I said I wanted to end our whole… thing. Kinda. I said I didn’t want to date you but… I did. I do. I said I didn’t because I kept thinking about your job—no, wait, let me finish. I kept thinking what it would be like to date you and every time that I did, I got scared. I thought I couldn’t, because I wouldn’t be comfortable with your job and that would not be fair to you. I really liked you, but I thought I wouldn’t be able to compete with the people that you worked with. I didn’t want to tell you, because I didn’t want to make you feel like you had to chose one. Or feel guilty for the way I felt.

“I had two relationships end because I kept choosing skating over them. I was scared you’d choose your job over me. Or that you’d choose me over your job. Or, I don’t know what a third option would be, but whatever it was wouldn’t go well either. Then I realized… that hadn’t happened. While we were doing our thing, I mean. We weren’t dating, but you never got upset when I chose skating over our lessons. Even after… after last time, you didn’t stop me. You were way better to me than I deserved. So then, I was thinking that it isn’t fair, you know? We spent so much time together and your job never actually bothered me. I kept thinking that it would, but it didn’t. But I was not willing to give it a chance, because I was more worried about what could happen than what was actually happening. And what was actually happening was really good and... this isn’t making me look any better, is it?”

Victor shook his head.

Yuuri sighed, rubbed at his cheeks, and restarted. “You gave me a chance. When I asked you to coach me. I don’t know why, but you did. So, I thought that I should have done the same for you. Maybe it wouldn’t work out, but using that as my only excuse was a stupid reason. I was so caught up in thinking that everything would be different that I didn’t stop to think… why would it be? Why couldn’t there be a chance that it worked out just fine? Because everything always worked out just fine when I was with you… Am I making sense?”

“Barely. Are you still going?”

“I just wanted to say…. I’m sorry. For everything. That’s it.” Not like he could ask for anything more.

“That’s it?” Victor’s brows furrowed at the center. Yuuri wanted to smooth out the little creases.

“Yeah. I’m sorry. That’s it.”

“Okay then. Hold these for me.”

The books and documents were placed in Yuuri’s arms. He staggered. Heavier than they looked. Yuuri held on, watching Victor dig out his keys and unlock the door.

Victor grabbed onto Makkachin before she could bowl Yuuri over, getting her into a collar and leash. Her tail thumped wildly. “Oh, no, Makka. We’re still upset with Yuuri. Right?”

She did not bark back her response at the command, panting happily between her excited attempts to lap at her owner’s hands.

“Makka! Right?”

She barked that time, though her big doggy grin suggested otherwise. Yuuri would have reached down to pet her if the books weren’t loading up his arms.

Victor did not give him a chance to set the items down inside, shutting the door and tugging on Makkachin’s leash to lead her down the stairs. Yuuri stared after them until Victor called out to him from the bottom.

“You coming?”

Yuuri tripped on the top step in his hurry to tail after them.

Victor took Makkachin around the grassy area surrounding the building, allowing her to do her evening business. He stayed quiet in consideration and Yuuri chose to wait. He had already blabbed enough.

“Five out of ten,” Victor finally stated.

“Five out of ten?”

“Your apology. Five out of ten,” Victor asserted, not looking at Yuuri as he spoke.

“Why five?”

“You can’t make an apology about a lack of honest communication, then not tell me what you actually came to say. Five out of ten.”

“How do you know that’s not what I came to say?”

“How did you get here, Yuuri? I didn’t see your car.”

Frowning, Yuuri glanced over his shoulder at the lot. “I took a taxi.”

“From the airport?”

“Yeah.”

“How were you planning on getting home?”

Yuuri had not thought about that. From the second the plane, his mind had one track. Find Victor. Apologize. Or something. “Oh… ummm, I could always call another one.”

“Communication includes being honest with yourself, Yuuri. What did you really come to say?”

“Okay. You’re right.” Yuuri shuffled in his spot and took another breath. Should have been funny. That Victor was both the easiest and the hardest person to talk to. “That’s not it. I’m sorry. I was an ass, but I hope that you can forgive me because I want to start over. Completely over.”

“That’s not how life works, Yuuri,” Victor said, finally looking over at him. “There’s no pretending it didn’t happen. That would make it harder, not easier.”

Yuuri hung his shoulders, fingertips playing with the corners of some papers. “Then what?”

“Did you come here thinking it would be easy?”

“No, but I thought I would be able to come up with a way better apology speech.”

A smile cracked on Victor’s lips. He turned Makkachin back in the direction of his building. “Is that so? Did you think I was going to come falling back into your arms?”

“You told me to go get my gold. I did. Didn’t realize that silver was going to be so much harder.”

Victor laughed. “So you want another chance? I don’t know, Yuuri. You broke my heart. I’m going to need some time. Maybe some flowers. A spa certificate. Romantic getaway. Something that really screams I’m sorry, Victor, in a ten out of ten way. Something like a public statement, where you declare your realization in front of an international press core and a dozen video cameras, several of which are live streaming footage.”

“I—” Yuuri stopped, mouth open midway through finding what he wanted to say. He felt fire beneath his cheeks. “You saw it.”

“I’m kinda of jealous, admittedly. Had no idea you were in such a deeply committed relationship with your roommate.”

“Oh god, you read the comments too.” Yuuri ducked his face to hide the embarrassment flushing through it. He was too tired for this.

“Of course I did. You know all your fan clubs went absolutely wild. I was able to read translations in three different languages. French makes it sound very romantic, even Chris agreed. The great Yuuri Katsuki has a love interest. If only they knew. What an absolute scandal.”

Yuuri groaned. He had been trying to avoid social media after the conference, but that had been difficult to avoid with Phichit cheerily reading off quotes to him. His sister had spammed his phone with articles too. Asked him when the wedding was. Yuuri had to beg Phichit not to share his porn boy hashtag with her. “I don’t care. I’ll skate to bad porno background music at Worlds for you, if you want.”

The sound of Victor’s laugh was better than any real music Yuuri could chosen anyway. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Yuuri.”

“If I can get it past the review board. I think the Harry Potter parodies had some that could pass.”

“Is that a continued part of your ten out of ten apology?”

Yuuri nodded. Victor’s smile took his breath away faster than a record breaking skate. Which wasn’t difficult, seeing that his free program ran nearly four minutes.

“How about something more practical?” Victor asked. “Help me practice for my interview.”

Yuuri blinked. “What? What interview?”

“You’re usually more observant. Guess long flights do that.”

“Oh.” Yuuri glanced down at what it was he had been carrying for Victor. The books were academic. He could not sort through the files, but he could read the page sitting at the very top of the document stack. A photo-copied graduate research proposal. “Oh. You’re-….”

“If you want to skate to porno music, I can help you find something good. I’ll be staying in touch with my company, easier to have a connection with firsthand sources if my thesis gets accepted, but my old advisor put in a good word for me so I’m hopeful.”

“You’re quitting?” Yuuri confirmed, taking another look at the books in his hands. One of them had Victor’s name written on the cover. His real name. Not his porno name. Thankfully.

“I quit. Last week. I thought, if I wanted to finish my degree, it would be better to concentrate on it. Rather than split it between research and filming, like I had tried doing last time. Plus, I thought I was going to have to fit pining after this athlete that I really liked into my schedule as well.”

If he weren’t holding onto Victor’s things, Yuuri would have jumped into his arms. Probably good that he didn’t. They did not need to scandalize neighbors in two different communities. However, he could not stop smiling as he followed Victor back up the condo stairs, waiting at the doorway as Victor let Makkachin off the leash and back inside.

Yuuri handed the books and documents off to Victor across the threshold, pocketing his hands. When Victor came back to the door, Yuuri wished that he had something good to say, but nothing that came to mind seemed right. Instead, he hung back, stifling a yawn into his shoulder. “I think I should stop coming to see you after really long flights.”

Victor smiled back at him. “So, do you want me to call you that cab? Or are you hoping I’ll invite you inside?”

“If we’re doing that honest communication thing, then I’m really hoping you’ll invite me to come inside,” Yuuri said. “Not like that though. I mean, if you wanna… go slow.”

“Does Phichit know that you’re here?”

“He told me not to come back. To our apartment. From here.”

“I’ll invite you inside on one condition,” Victor said, arms crossed over his chest. “You also need to apologize to Makka. She was very sad when you left. Might have chewed up your toothbrush.”

Makkachin did not appear very sad when Yuuri knelt down to the floor and called out her name. She bowled him over instead, paws on his chest and her tongue all over his face. Victor was not kind enough to pull her off. Yuuri had to do that on his own, wiping his face clean with the sleeve of his sweater.

“You can start your apology to her by making her dinner,” Victor called out. “And then continue on by making me dinner.”

Yuuri ruffled Makkachin’s ear and did just that. Victor’s place was as clean as always. When Yuuri opened the fridge, it was actually stocked. Yuuri pretended not to notice a note on a bottle of white wine which read, For crying over premium booty -Chris.

Halfway through making a quick stir-fry with an assortment of things he had pulled out the fridge and cupboards, Victor shooed Yuuri out of the kitchen and into the bathroom, handing him a clean set of clothes. The hot water of the shower washed off the discomfort of air travel from his skin, but set the dull sense of exhaustion in his bones. Yuuri had gone from his lowest to his highest in a matter of days, now hovering somewhere in the low middle.

In the cup by the sink, there was still a blue toothbrush. Unmarred by any dog teeth.

Eating dinner with Victor was strange. Draped in uneasiness in a way it had not before. Yuuri asked about Victor’s thesis. Victor asked about Barcelona. Makkachin laid in the distance between their feet, occasionally huffing in the pauses of conversation.

When Yuuri started nodding off, Victor took him by the hand and led him to bed. He left Yuuri there, head on Victor’s pillows and tucked under Victor’s blankets, as he returned to the kitchen to clean after their dinner. Yuuri buried himself in the smell of freshly washed sheets.

He had left Victor there, on his own, hardly saying anything. After breaking up with Victor and then sleeping with him. And all he had come back with was a bad apology.

Yuuri listened to the sound of running water, Victor’s hushed voice as he spoke to Makkachin about something or the other. The shutting and opening of the bathroom door. Bare feet soft on carpet, then the rustle of sheets as Victor slipped into bed beside him.

Without waiting, Yuuri turned into Victor, nestling into his chest. It took a moment, but Victor’s arms slid around his waist, holding on. Yuuri closed his eyes, keeping his breaths steady. “Why did you agree? When I asked you to coach me?”

“Because I liked you. The date we had was the best I’d ever been on.” Victor spoke against his hair, voice low in the dark of the bedroom. “Thought maybe there was a chance you’d change your mind on the whole casual thing. Didn’t entirely work out how I hoped.”

“I’m so sorry,” Yuuri muttered against Victor’s skin. “I-… I don’t even know what I can say. I kept thinking, about all the bad experiences I had with people and… I made myself into one of them. I didn’t mean to.”

“Didn’t mean to sleep with me?”

“Yes. No. I… I don’t know why I did it. I didn’t really want to break up with you, I didn’t want to leave so I... I know that’s not an excuse.”

“That kind of bad decision making takes two people, Yuuri. I didn’t exactly stop you.”

Victor had not stopped him from leaving either. Yuuri bit down into his lower lip, tightening the grip he had around Victor. He was afraid to let go. “Do you think… do you think this is a good idea?”

There was silence for a while. With his head on Victor’s chest, Yuuri could count the beats of his heart.

“Probably not. Trying to have sex in my car after our first date wasn’t a good idea. Doing the whole sex coaching thing wasn’t a good idea. Pretending to teach you classes so I could take you on dates and make you fall hopelessly in love with me definitely wasn’t a good idea. Didn’t end up that badly though,” Victor said and Yuuri could feel his smile spreading through his hair.

“You call this not ending badly?” Yuuri asked, tipping his face up.

“Could have been worse. We both got what we wanted though, right?”

Any hint of resolve left in Yuuri cracked. He reached up, winding his fingers through Victor’s hair. He probably didn’t deserve it, but Yuuri had learned to stop questioning luck when he started jumping. Taking a leap on Victor was going to be the most difficult one of all. Yuuri wasn’t known for giving up, even when he came crashing down.

Yuuri cried into the kiss as Victor returned it, tasting the salt of his tears on their lips until Victor pulled back and wiped them away. “Oh, Yuuri, I’m really not good with people crying in front of me. This isn’t fair, I don’t know what to do. Should I just keep kissing you?”

Yuuri gave his response by pulling Victor in, pressing their lips together until his tears stopped sliding down his cheeks. He fell asleep with Victor’s lips caressing his hair, wrapped tight in his embrace.

~~~~~~~

In the morning, Yuuri woke up alone. The sheets beside him were still warm, but the inside of the apartment was quiet. Yuuri’s vision was blurred, glasses folded away on the nightstand on Victor’s side of the bed. The other side of the bed. The whole bed was Victor’s bed. Yuuri could not assign himself a side, even if he did always sleep on the same one.

After a minute, Yuuri heard the front door, followed by Makkachin’s nails clicking against tile kitchen flooring. A minute longer, and Victor came back into the bedroom. His touch was like ice, making Yuuri squeak and pull away to a quietly laughed apology.

“What time is it?” Yuuri asked, shifting over so Victor could sit on the edge of the bed beside him.

“A little after seven,” Victor said, leaning over to grab Yuuri his glasses.

Yuuri shook his head to decline them, nowhere near ready to get up. Outside the curtains, it was still dark. If he was being permitted to stay, Yuuri was going to take advantage. “That’s way too early. For you too.” Curling his fingers around Victor’s wrist, Yuuri tugged him back into the bed, shuffling around in order to throw the blankets over Victor.

Victor’s skin was chilled by his walk with Makkachin. Yuuri warmed it by sliding his hands under Victor’s shirt, by kissing the cold off his lips. Victor melted easily against him, meeting each movement of Yuuri’s lips, welcoming the taste of his tongue.

Yuuri pushed at the fabric covering Victor’s chest, bunching his own sleeves as he moved further up. They broke apart long enough to pull off each other’s tops and wiggle out of their bottoms, coming back with added heat.

Shivers coursed down Yuuri’s spine as Victor’s fingertips traced over his thighs. He hooked a leg around Victor’s, digging the heel into the back of Victor’s knee. Using the momentum, he rolled Victor onto him, arching up into the firm lines of his body.

“You sure about this?” The question ghosted between them.

“I really should be the one asking you,” Yuuri answered into Victor’s warmed mouth, breathing against his kiss. “You don’t think this might turn out to be another bad idea?”

“Do you have any flights to catch or hearts to break?” Victor swept back Yuuri’s bangs before drifting his touch down the side of his face, stroking a thumb over where tears had left streaks the night before.

“You broke mine too, you know,” Yuuri objected.

“How’s that?”

“I thought you might send me a congratulations text.” An unrealistic expectation, but that had not stopped Yuuri from hoping. “Since you said you’d be cheering for me.” Granted, that was before the kiss and everything that had followed.

“I typed up about ten. But I thought it looked a bit desperate… Congratulations, Yuuri.” The well-wish was far fonder than it had any right to be. Yuuri would accept it a thousand times over.

“Thanks.” Smiling, he wove his fingers through silver strands. He had missed seeing the color against his skin. “I could have done better.”

Victor laughed. “Better than a world record? You’re incredible.”

“If I had not messed up my short program, I might have been able to break three. Both skates and the combined score. Far more impressive.”

“I’m sure you can do it next season.”

“I’m going to try to do it at Worlds.”

“Will you be doing so with someone special in mind, skater Katsuki?”

Victor’s name left Yuuri in a gasp when the question was punctuated by fingers wrapping around his half-hard cock, along with a slick touch slipping between his legs.

“Mmmm, good answer.”

Yuuri dropped his hands from Victor’s hair, grasping onto his shoulders. He held on, moaning quietly at the stretch inside him, the tease of fingertips flirting with that spot that Victor was always so good at finding.

There wasn’t the same desperation as before. They moved in reaction to each other’s guidance. Victor accepted each kiss that Yuuri pressed to his mouth, tilting his head back when Yuuri littered more down the center of his throat. Yuuri leaned away when Victor turned him onto his side, before being pulled in, back flush to Victor’s front.

One of Victor’s arms slid under the curve of Yuuri’s waist, holding him close. His other hand smoothed over Yuuri’s ass, lifting his leg a degree and slotting his cock in between the plush of Yuuri’s cheeks.

Yuuri rocked back, grinding himself on Victor. He reached around, hardly successful in his fumbling attempt to help Victor roll on a condom. Amused puffs tickled at the nape of his neck, but Yuuri had barely finished murmuring out his please when he felt Victor gently pushing in.

Lying side by side on the edge of the bed, Yuuri let his eyes flutter shut. Victor’s weight was reassuring behind him, arms a comfort as they kept Yuuri as close as he wanted to be. Yuuri shifted in reaction to every slow motion, seeking out more of the feeling of being filled while wrapped up in Victor.

Kisses scattered his shoulder blades, sending Yuuri alight in warmth and the softly rolling pleasure each time that Victor sunk into him. Slow and lazy, like the rays of sun peeking in from the part in the curtains, illuminating the bedroom.

Yuuri grasped at Victor’s left hand, squeezing at fingers beneath his own as they moved. He was so close to the edge of crying again, in the happiness washing over him. “Victor… Victor, I want to see you.”

It hardly took a moment, the shift of Victor’s embrace. Then Yuuri was on his back, Victor’s smile above him. This was it. How it was supposed to be like. How Yuuri always wanted it to be like. With Victor and no one else. Yuuri laced his fingers together over the nape of Victor’s neck, arching up to kiss him as Victor thrust in and drove the curve of his spine into a higher angle.

Yuuri let the compliments fall freely. The type of real praise he had always wanted to hear, and the type that had always been so wonderful to receive from Victor. His ahhh’s mixed with hushed so good’s and more’s, chasing the utterances of his name which fell onto him from above.

He was close, so close, able to get there just from the wonder of exactly how good it was. Victor had always been good, in every way. Yuuri should have clung onto him from the very beginning.

As he came, Yuuri plunged his fingers into Victor’s hair, dragging him into a deep kiss at the same time that he threw his weight up to push at Victor. He flipped them over and, unintentionally, right over the side of the bed. Yuuri’s side of the bed.

They landed on the floor in a tangle of limbs, bedsheets, and yelps of surprise. Yuuri’s hands cradled the back of Victor’s head, preventing it from hitting the ground with the force of gravity. Their eyes met after a moment of stunned silence. Yuuri was not sure which of them laughed first.

Dipping down, Yuuri hid his face in the crook of Victor’s neck. “You know, one day we’re going to have to get this completely right.”

“That sounds like a thinly-veiled request for more sex,” Victor responded, eyes glittering when Yuuri pulled back to look at him.

“Well, I-…” Yuuri paused, glancing down over his shoulder. “Wait, did you—”

Victor blushed. Hard. “That last move was very advanced and very hot. Next time though, try moving toward the center of the bed and not the side.”

“I don’t know if that is more embarrassing for me or for you,” Yuuri said, leaning down to peck a playful kiss onto Victor’s lips. It was followed by one from Victor to him.

“Definitely for me. You didn’t even notice.” Victor pouted in a manner that was far too cute.

Yuuri bit at his bottom lip, unable to stop his smile from spreading. When he tried to move, Victor did not let him up. Instead, he reached up and dropped a pillow down to rest his head on. Yuuri did not protest, content enough to lounge on the floor in a mess of bedding.

“Guess this is a good a start as any other,” Victor stated, fingertips ghosting over Yuuri’s back while Yuuri’s skated patterns over his chest.

“Ten out of ten?” Yuuri teased, loving the smile that it brought on. Gorgeous and genuine. Not quite forming a heart yet, but he thought he could get it there.

“Very well could be. You could assure that by asking me out on a date today.”

“I was actually thinking about asking for a little more than that,” Yuuri said, brown of his eyes meeting blue. “Will you be my boyfriend, Victor?”

Yuuri got the gift of a full heart-shaped smile.

Chapter Text

“Are you ready yet?” Phichit dangled his feet off Yuuri’s bed, kicking them in excitement. Overhead he held his phone, scrolling through a wall of replies to his latest tweet. “Or you gonna keep him waiting?”

“Almost.” Yuuri replied from in front of his closet, smoothing down the fabric of his shirt. His heart was beating rapidly in his chest, no matter how many mental reassurances he tried to pass down to it.

“Sweet. Oh, did you see that article I sent you?” Phichit asked, clicking on the link that popped up in the retweets of his social media feed. “And if you did, can I use it?”

“I did not and I’m pretty sure that even if I said no, you’d pretend you didn’t hear me.” Yuuri huffed out a sigh. He did a visual sweep of his room, checking for nothing in particular. Not like he had anything he needed to take with him. Less was more. A lot more, in his situation.

He did not need to be nervous. He was a professional performer. He had done this a thousand times. Years of practice. In a studio though. Merely as training. Never in front of an actual audience. Forget skating in front of thousands of people, an audience of one would be more nerve-wrecking. He could fall on the ice and get back up almost seamlessly, because there was always the expectation of falling. Not here. Why had he decided to do this? Because he loved Victor. Right, that was it. Because he loved and wanted to surprise Victor.

“It’s super cute though, Yuuri,” Phichit insisted, not at all paying attention to Yuuri’s miniature mental crisis. “Listen, okay? Tell me if you’re cool with it. ‘Olympic gold medalist Yuuri Katsuki and former adult film star Dr. Victor Nikiforov are finally set to tie the knot this weekend. The two have taken social media by storm throughout the course of their relationship, mainly attributed to Nikiforov’s constant posting of #relationshipgoals photos to his personal Instagram account—’ That’s totally right, you know? His plane one of you guys from the other day? I think I cried.”

“If you wanna use the article so bad, why don’t you print it and hand it out at the reception?” Yuuri said, doing a quick check of himself in the mirror. Not that it mattered. Victor always insisted he was gorgeous. Actually made him believe it too.

“You sure? Because— ‘It is speculated that the couple started dating prior to the 2016 Grand Prix Final in Barcelona. Katsuki’s impassioned press conference statement regarding his theme of love is wildly believed to be about Nikiforov, who not-so-coincidentally quit starring in adult entertainment the very same week. Neither have confirmed this rumor.

“That’s not so bad, everyone knows that by now,” Yuuri replied.

Phichit’s smile kept growing as he continued reading. “Over the past two and a half years, Katsuki and Nikiforov’s relationship has been at the center of several viral news stories, including the video of their proposal and the controversy caused by a televised interview where Katsuki announced their engagement. After being questioned about whether he was aware of Nikiforov’s films, Katsuki responded with a curt, ‘Do you mean other than ours?’ A subsequent online frenzy followed, with individuals attempting to hunt down or purchase the alleged sex tape. Katsuki later apologized and retracted the comment, insisting that no such tape existed.

Yuuri’s face turned to the color of beets and Phichit had to scramble away to protect his phone from being seized. “Please never mention that ever again.”

“But Yuuuuuri, that’s like your most badass moment ever!” Phichit argued, skimming down the rest of the article detailing Yuuri’s romantic history with Victor. He barely managed to duck out from a second swipe.

“I would rather not remind my family and everyone of the time I confessed to making a sex tape.”

“You were dating a pornstar, it’s kind of expected.” Phichit laughed, pocketing his phone after Yuuri slapped at his hands. “Okay, I promise I won’t add it in. All of today is off the books, I swear. You all set? Chris texted and said they’re done setting up.”

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Yuuri muttered and breathed out deeply. “Okay, you gonna be fine here on your own?”

“Yeah, Chris is coming back and we’ll run through what we prepped for tomorrow. Minako’s gonna help us check the subtitles—don’t look at me like that, have I led you astray yet? You’ll like it.”

“I did have to stop you from printing those t-shirts,” Yuuri reminded. He had really not wanted Phichit presenting the guests with shirts reading #MarryPornBoy, no matter how good the design. Japan did not need any more weird English on its clothing.

“A real tragedy,” Phichit lamented with a dramatic shake of his head. “All right, get going.”

Yuuri was pushed out the door, down the hall and the staircase to where Victor waited for him in the lobby. Smiling, expectant. Yuuri’s mouth suddenly went dry. Luckily, he had Phichit to unceremoniously shove him straight into Victor’s arms, not giving Yuuri a chance to back down.

“Have fun, kids!” Phichit’s grin was too obvious to not be suspicious.

Victor seemed to notice. “Hi there, zolotse.”

The arm Victor slid around his waist gave Yuuri some reassurance. He could do this. Bring them full circle. He had done everything else and gotten them this far.

Before Victor could begin questioning or his family came by to do the same, Yuuri dragged Victor out of the inn and to the car they had rented for the visit. He stayed quiet as he drove, trying to psych himself up and calm himself down at the same time. Very aware of Victor’s patient gaze on him. Patient and affectionate, like Yuuri could do no wrong.

Yuuri centered his grip on the steering wheel, and smiled.

~~~~~~~

“You should tell me.”

“That spoils the whole thing,” Yuuri replied, keeping his focus on the road as he navigated the car down the narrow city streets. The lights of the buildings and street lamps reflected in the lenses of his glasses. Their colors flashed off his skin, painting Yuuri like a masterpiece. “Can’t you wait a few minutes?”

“I’ve been waiting all day, Yuuri,” Victor protested, glancing out the windows in hopes of glimpsing a clue. No such luck, after only a few days the city was still unfamiliar to him. Every guess that he had bounced off Yuuri previously had either been denied or gone unacknowledged. And even if the sign had been staring him directly in the face, it was very unlikely that Victor would have been able to read it.

“And you’ve survived so far,” Yuuri said, pulling on his lower lip with his teeth. He had been particularly ruffled that morning as well, though Victor perfectly understood the sparks of nerves.

The whole week had rushed by, swept up in a flurry of phone calls and emails, last minute changes to their schedule. Victor had also tingled in a mix of anxiety and anticipation, from the visit to the country clerk’s office in Detroit to their arrival in Yuuri’s hometown. Did not help that the flight had been delayed, then somehow set back on schedule. As if the extra stress was necessary.

Victor had never seen Yuuri looking so flustered and adorable before. They had checked all their arrangements at least four times prior to departing, Yuuri making multiple calls to his family while Victor checked in on friends. By the time they had boarded their flight, an exhausted Yuuri dozed off immediately on Victor’s shoulder. Not that he minded.

He had draped a blanket over both their laps and snapped a selfie before catching a few winks of his own. Underneath the complimentary covers, Yuuri’s hand stayed in his for almost the whole flight, occasionally stroking over his knuckles.

Yuuri parked the car in an alleyway next to an old building, his cheeks dusted in pink. He took in a slow breath and turned off the engine. “Come on.”

Victor still did not know where he was supposed to be come on-ing to, but he followed Yuuri. He would always follow Yuuri. All the more so tonight, when the black jeans that Yuuri wore were sinfully tight. He made a wonderful vision to follow. Especially if Victor got to come on to that in a different way later.

Yuuri took him by the hand and led him the short distance to an entrance of a small bar. Victor was about to question, as the sign on the door read closed, but Yuuri faced Victor, still worrying at his lip. “Umm, close your eyes.”

“Close my eyes?” Victor repeated, complying when Yuuri nodded. “And keep them closed?”

“Yes. You’ll know when to open them,” Yuuri answered, letting go of Victor’s hands.

Victor heard no keys, Yuuri opening the door without them. He was guided in by gentle hands, keeping his eyes shut as promised. A chair scraped behind him, which he was directed onto. It was quiet but not silent, Victor able to make out more than one set of footsteps. Hushed voices. Victor heard a feminine chuckle and a familiar deep tone.

Like any normal person would, he peeked. Hardwood floors, dim lighting, a row of barstools to his left. He glanced the toe of high-heeled shoes approaching and closed his eyes again. Yuuri murmured a thanks in English to whomever was there, and then the bar door opened and shut.

Victor had thought that the night might have passed quietly. Spent on another round of drinks with Yuuri’s parents, the warmth of the alcohol helping them communicate across the language barrier. Yuuri had gotten them through the first conversations, cheeks beautifully flushed from the locally brewed sake, eyes sparkling at how quickly Victor was dubbed Vicchan by his mother.

Sinking into the hot springs was like an earthly blessing, the heat soaking through to his bones and finally giving him the understanding of why Yuuri melted anytime he had spoken of them. Victor had fallen in love with the inn and Yuuri’s family from his first step past the sliding entrance doors.

Victor jumped when a hand trailed over his shoulder, disappearing a moment later. Somewhere from the direction of the bar, music started playing. The arrangement was not a version he had heard before, but the seduction of the Spanish guitar strings was unmistakable.

The first question Victor had upon opening his eyes was why there was a golden stripper pole set up at the end of the very small bar they were in. He suspected it had everything to do with Chris, as such things typically did. Trust him to be able to produce something in a city he had never been to before, where he did not speak the language.

However, that question was thrown out the window all of zero seconds later, when Victor saw the smile on Yuuri’s lips. Glossed lips. That Chanel sponsorship kept on giving. At some point, Yuuri had stripped. He was wearing a pair of dance shorts that Victor could only define as indecent. They hugged his hips and kissed the glorious curve of his ass, much in the same way that Victor wanted to.

The white button-down shirt was undone, teasing the view of his chest. Victor firmly agreed with a large portion of Yuuri’s fan base, that there was never a moment in which Yuuri was not perfect. Yuuri was perfect on their early morning walks with Makkachin, in how he smiled even when he was scolding Victor for pulling some line. When he skated and when he fell, when he picked himself back up with steely determination. He was perfect in how he mispronounced Russian words, in how his tongue pulled on Japanese syllables. Even in arguments, when he puffed out his cheeks upon realizing that he was in the wrong and huffed out an apology beneath his breath.

Then Yuuri winked, wrapping his fingers around the pole, and Victor was gone, ascending on the sharp notes of music. Victor had been in awe from the first time he had seen Yuuri dance, miniscule on the screen of his phone. Witnessing the art of Yuuri’s dancing in person would never stop being a privilege.

Yuuri swung with the lilt of the music, lifting himself effortlessly off the floor. Victor could see the muscles in his thighs tighten, his biceps flex, his flat stomach ripple as he moved. Fluid as he arched, spine concave, supported only by the strength of his legs hooked around the pole. Victor desperately wanted to replace it with himself.

Victor knew the theme behind Yuuri’s music. There was no escaping the glow in Yuuri’s eyes each time they passed over him.

“Wow.” So that was it. The other type of dance training that Yuuri had never confessed to. Certainly explained a few of the more creative positions Yuuri had surprised him with. “You’re amazing.” As if Victor had not already been madly in love.

Yuuri laughed and slipped a centimeter, quickly correcting his grip. “Shut up, you’re breaking my concentration.”

“How can you expect me to be quiet, I’m in awe,” Victor answered, loving the way Yuuri’s smile lit up his face. He followed the lines of Yuuri’s legs as he spread them into a split in mid-air, all smooth skin and taut thighs begging to be worshipped. Perfect, from the shift of his hips to the stretch of his reach, the trace of fingertips playing over his own skin.

“Be in quiet awe,” Yuuri teased, pulling himself higher with a single hand. Victor wanted to propose all over again.

It was absolutely, ridiculously unfair for Yuuri to have kept such a secret for so long, and Victor would have it no other way. Not when Yuuri was an absolute wonder, moving to the chords of guitar and the trill of violins. Legs splayed open, a crystal of sweat shimmering down the centerline of his abdomen. Victor dearly wanted Yuuri to twist around his waist instead.

When the music reached its crescendo, his wish was granted. Yuuri dropped with grace, slipping straight into Victor’s lap. His chest rose and fell with the pace of his panting breaths, but the smile of accomplishment on his lips was unparalleled. Whatever Victor had been expecting from that night, it was not a pole-dancing Yuuri confidently threading fingers through his hair, tugging him in for a breathless kiss.

That was the approximate point when Victor processed that they were alone, shortly before Yuuri licked into his mouth and nearly made Victor fall off the chair when he rocked down against him.

“Wow,” Victor exhaled again, hands resting on Yuuri’s hips, letting his fingers slip under the material of Yuuri’s shorts. “When are you going to stop surprising me?”

“Never, I hope,” Yuuri answered, grinding into Victor’s lap once more and drawing out a pleased groan. “Did you enjoy the show?”

“A Yuuri Katsuki exclusive? Yes. You’re far too talented, zolotse. Any chance you’ll be incorporating some of that into your final season?”

“I think I would get disqualified the second I stepped out in these shorts.” Yuuri looked down at himself, laughing.

“If you did, you’d certainly make your mark on history again.” Victor smiled, walking his fingers up Yuuri’s spread thighs, only to have them slapped away before they reached their goal.

“I just wanted you to see it. For your eyes only.”

“Me and whoever your instructor is,” Victor corrected, hands sliding up the back of Yuuri’s shirt. His fingers skirted up each vertebrae, caressing every inch of skin within reach.

“Mmm, and Phichit. The classes were his idea. Builds core strength,” Yuuri explained, wiggling when Victor’s touch tickled at his sides. “The performance is only for you though. I’ve never actually tried doing it like that before.”

“Can I have another demo?” Victor questioned, beaming when he received a nod in response.

Yuuri restarted the track, but instead of returning to continue his performance on the pole, he came back to Victor. Hips swaying, eyes half-lidded, shirt dropping off the curve of his shoulders.

Engrossed, Victor watched Yuuri brush his fingers over the fabric of his own shirt and then the fabric of Victor’s. Buttons snagged under his nails, tie becoming twisted around Yuuri’s hand. He jerked on it as he craned down to ghost the breath of a kiss over Victor’s lips before stepping away, turning on his heel. Yuuri rolled his body, legs spread as he dropped his ass onto Victor’s groin, grinding onto it.

Victor was not taking any more of it, grabbing onto Yuuri and pulling him down. It did not have the desired effect. Yuuri arched, wiggling down further against Victor’s crotch, head tossed against his shoulder. Rocking with the music, Yuuri reached back, palm on the nape of Victor’s neck. He was strung like a bow, tight under the play of Victor’s touch, halting only when Victor’s mouth grazed his.

The kiss was sweet on Victor’s lips, languid as his arms wound Yuuri’s waist to hold him closer. The music track ran out and his hands slipped to Yuuri’s thighs, palming them until he felt Yuuri shiver. Yuuri’s laugh bubbled when Victor lifted him up and spun him round.

Victor deposited Yuuri on the closest barstool, sliding in between his legs to kiss at his mouth, his neck, the hollow of his throat. Yuuri tipped back, guided by Victor’s hands, until he was arched over the bar, weak to the press of every kiss on his skin.

“Wait—wait,” Yuuri muttered, grasping onto Victor before his fingers could dip beneath the waistband of his shorts. “This is Minako’s bar and she will skin me if she finds out.”

“You set up a pole-dance at your ballet instructor’s bar?” Victor asked, incredulous.

Yuuri smirked in an impossible contrast of shyness, hair messy as it splayed across the wood beneath him. “It was the only place I could think of, and she let me.”

Victor pulled Yuuri up, catching him before he could stumble, setting him back on solid ground. But it wasn’t Yuuri that fell. It was Victor. Straight into Yuuri’s arms when they draped over his shoulders, Yuuri leaning up to steal another kiss, then a second, and a third. He never stopped falling. From their first date on, more and more with each passing moment. Yuuri didn’t stop kissing.

Victor was lost on Yuuri’s lips, stumbling out of the bar that Yuuri locked behind them, drunk on love. Yuuri kissed him all the way back to the car, which Victor nearly protesting the opening of, until he was pushed down into the passenger seat and found himself with a lap full of Yuuri.

“Yuuri…” A flood of memories warned of bad ideas, swept away the moment Yuuri’s hands undid his belt, mouth swallowing protests. The seat slid back smoothly, Yuuri making it drop with expert precision, seductive smirk brimming with pride. Victor could not tell if there an angel or a devil straddling him, deciding that it was both.

“I don’t think you ever gave me that final exam, coach.” Yuuri breathed against the shell of Victor’s ear, and Victor felt like dying. Because how could life get any better? It did. Yuuri guided his hips up, dragging Victor’s pants down just enough, stripping off his dance shorts to reveal nothing underneath. Life was bliss.

Yuuri’s shirt stayed on while Victor’s got unbuttoned. Kisses dotted his collar and his chest, while Victor’s hands kneaded at the firm muscle of Yuuri’s ass, delighted as Yuuri rocked back into them.

“Is that what this is?” Victor chased Yuuri’s lips for another kiss. His question turned to a gasp when Yuuri’s fingers wrapped around his cock, grip warm and slick. “Ahh, fuck, Yuuri, when did you—” He bucked into the strokes, glimpsing the small bottle of lubricant resting on the center console.

“You know how our best men kept insisting on something resembling a bachelor party? I thought we could have a better time with just the two of us.”

Victor had no coherent words to offer, lost in admiration. His hands were taken by Yuuri’s, lubricant spread over fingers which Yuuri brought to his entrance, encouraging Victor to slide them in. Like Victor could ever deny Yuuri anything.

He buried his fingers within Yuuri, one at a time, relishing how Yuuri pushed down against them. Teasing like Yuuri had teased, pulling on the rim of his entrance until Yuuri complained. Victor did not relent. Color blossomed across Yuuri’s skin like sakura coating the coastal town, the petals of his lips fluttering when Victor finally found what he wanted, making Yuuri fall against him.

“What are we gonna tell our guests when you get us arrested for public indecency?” Victor purred against Yuuri’s ear, moans rolling hot against his skin.

“Then be gentle enough with me that you don’t rock the car hard enough for anyone to notice,” Yuuri countered, adjusting his position. He shifted over Victor, dropping his hips. The cleft of his ass slid down the length of Victor’s cock, plush against it.

Yuuri sunk down onto Victor in one fine movement. His knees framed Victor’s lap, arms around his shoulders, fingers tangled in silver hair. Humming in the satisfaction of being filled, Yuuri muttered out his soft request. As he always did, Victor listened. He guided Yuuri fully onto him, gentle. Hot and deep, starting slow with each push inside.

Just like the first time they had tried, Victor was captivated. Yuuri moved like he danced, with purpose, intent. The awkward fumbling and embarrassed blushes had been left behind a long time ago. Yuuri channeled the same confidence with which he skated, an enchantment on the ice and off it.

Victor grasped Yuuri’s hips in his hands, breathed off the valley between their mouths. Dim light from outside the car reflected off the dark of Yuuri’s hair, skipped off his flushed skin. The whimpers and sighs spilling from Yuuri mixed with his own. Victor thrust harder, pulling out moans when his cock dragged against Yuuri’s prostate. Yuuri rocked down to help find the perfect angle on every stroke, chasing their high together.

Yuuri’s exhales fell apart across Victor’s skin, fading into continuous broken pleas. His grip in Victor’s hair tightened, skin burning with their shared movements. He drove himself as deep as he could onto Victor, cock hard and dripping against his stomach. Soft utterances of more and please spilled from him, honest and natural.

Arm snaking firm around Yuuri’s waist, Victor flipped them with one hard push, smiling at the surprise widening Yuuri’s eyes. It washed away with a small cry as Victor drove in hard, sucking marks onto the edge of Yuuri’s collar and above his heart.

Victor wanted to gather Yuuri up in a kiss and never let it break. Yuuri’s hands dropped to purchase on his shoulders, slipping beneath the fabric of his shirt. He could feel the warmth of the metal around Yuuri’s finger, and knew that he would never have to.

Against Yuuri’s open mouth, he whispered love words, hushed praise which had Yuuri sparking and tightening around him. He thrust hard, until Yuuri’s moans filled the interior space of the car, body clenching whenever Victor plunged into him.

Yuuri came in Victor’s hand a moment after it wrapped around him. He arched off the car seat, legs hooked around Victor’s waist, heels pressing into the small of his back to pull him in closer. His moans flowed with abandon, encouraging and pleading until Victor’s hips stuttered and stilled.

Breathing heavy, Victor leaned in to kiss Yuuri once, twice, tipping back to see brown eyes shimmering, his expression amused to a fault. “What?”

“We’ve definitely broken some part of the rental agreement,” Yuuri said, laughing when Victor pushed off his response.

“Is that honestly what you were thinking about?” Victor faked being wounded.

“No. I was thinking that I adore you and that I wish things had gone so well originally,” Yuuri tried saving himself, throwing his arms back over Victor. He whispered the rest against Victor’s jaw, dotting kisses between words. “And that I forgot my pants in the bar.”

“You’re awful, zolotse,” Victor said, melting the second Yuuri’s lips pressed against his in a quiet please.

Yuuri pulled tissues from the dashboard, cleaning them up and then tapping his hand against Victor’s ass to chase him out.

Keys in hand, Victor found Yuuri’s discarded jeans back inside the bar. He laughed as Yuuri tried to redress inside the restricted space of the car, grinning triumphantly when he managed.

Warmth, that was what Victor always felt when he was next to Yuuri. Being with Yuuri was like coming home, surrounded by the comfort of knowing it was where he belonged. Smitten with Yuuri’s smile, no matter how many times he had seen it, especially in the times when he knew that it was him who put it there. Causing it to widen with the briefest brush of his lips over the nape of Yuuri’s neck, reflected in their mirror bathroom as Yuuri brushed his teeth in the morning. Drawing it out when Yuuri saw Victor arrive at the rink just to watch him practice. Cooking breakfast together, not always in sync with Yuuri’s diet regime. Yuuri’s smile made hotel rooms abroad feel like home whenever they traveled for his competitions, filled with his warmth and overflowing with love.

Just like Yuuri did now, pecking thanks to Victor’s lips as he stole the car keys from his hand.

“Wanna head back so I can sneak into your bedroom tonight, traditions be damned?” Yuuri asked, his smile not fading.

Victor hoped that it never would. “I do.”

~~~~~~~

Yuuri thought he was dreaming. It was the only explanation to the lightness of his steps, the pure joy flowing through him. Victor’s hand tightened around his, grounding him. A reminder that he was firmly set in reality. One in which Victor stood beside him, clad in the black fabric of a formal kimono. Mari had made a comment to him earlier about it being blasphemous for a foreigner to look so good in a haori and hakama.

Yuuri disagreed. Or agreed. He was not sure which would be technically correct. Both, definitely both. Both was good. Because Victor was stunning in his Japanese wedding attire, the white of the Katsuki family crest suiting him perfectly.

Yuuri had been unable to look away from him the entire ceremony, his eyes straying during the purification ritual and the sharing of the three cups of sake. Victor was no more appropriately behaved, pulling Yuuri into him a step outside the shrine, lips sweet against Yuuri’s under the blooming color of the surrounding sakura.

If it was a break to tradition, it was encouraged by the cheers and laughter of their witnesses.

The cheers only grew louder when he and Victor came into the banquet room of his family’s inn, to a combination of Japanese, English, and Russian. Victor’s smile blessed the room, pushing the bubbling of happiness throughout every inch of Yuuri’s chest. As they walked through, congratulations blended into calls of omedetou, both overtaken by the shouts of gorka! when they reached the front of the room. Yuuri laughed as Victor immediately proceeded to kiss him breathless, provoking the Russian toast all the more.

The first sip of champagne was barely past Yuuri’s lips when Phichit called their guests to attention, keeping his introduction speech graciously short due to the mix of languages in the room. Their luck ran out there, with the lights dimming so that a video could play on a screen behind their seats, backed by a medley of poppy love songs.

Beneath their table, Yuuri laced his fingers with Victor’s as they watched.

Photos from their pre-wedding shoot overlapped on the screen. Hiroko had refused to hear any protests, ordering enough to fill an entire album. In kimono and in suits, under the cascading pink petals of the sakura trees around the inn. Walking up the steps to Hasetsu Castle. Victor lifting Yuuri bridal style outside Ice Castle. Skating together inside it, Victor appearing deceptively steady in the selected still shots.

Each photo after moved backward in time. Yuuri recognized a number of them pulled off their combined social media accounts. Russian and Japanese passports along with plane tickets to Fukuoka. Victor and Yuuri outside the Detroit county clerk’s office a few hours prior to their flight, marriage certificate in hand. The two of them laying against each other in bed, showing off a pair of golden rings, with Makkachin snuggled in between them.

Victor seated with his hands folded on a desk in a respectable office, framed degree and license on the wall behind him. Makkachin sporting a black velvet tam. Yuuri skating at the outdoor rink outside Rockefeller Center, the background featuring several captivated onlookers. The both of them bathed in the kaleidoscope from the Formosa Boulevard Dome of Lights, right before Yuuri’s participation at Four Continents in Taipei.

Photos of Yuuri’s competitions dropped one over the other. Nagoya, Moscow, Helsinki. Yuuri on the podium in Pyeongchang, followed by a shot of him tugging sharply on Victor’s tie. Stealing a kiss over the barrier of the ice rink, gold medal around his neck.

With each trip came more photos, laden with the various standings that Yuuri had earned.

A bronze at the 2017 Worlds, Yuuri’s short program distracted by the fact that his boyfriend was in the audience for the first time. Silver at Four Continents, edged out by a well-deserving Phichit. His second gold at the Grand Prix. Consecutive titles in the Japanese nationals.

Victory at the previous year’s Team Challenge Cup, marked by a photo of Victor with his arm around Yuuri’s shoulder as they posed on the Vegas strip. The photos faded into a video.

“How did you lose them?” Chris asked on camera, walking quickly along the busy streets of the Nevada city.

“They snuck off!” Phichit’s voice was out of breath as he hustled, trying to keep his filming steady. “I didn’t think they were gonna—oh my god, is that them—umm, excuse me, cameraman coming through—goddamnit Yuuri, you were supposed to warn me…”

Music played in the background, timed to the choreography of the Bellagio fountains. Phichit pushed through a gathered crowd with a few more apologies, breaking past to where a small space remained cleared. He squeaked with elation, adjusting the view of the camera.

“Can you believe these are the same idiots who broke up before they started dating?” Chris drawled from off to the side, as the video focused in on Victor and Yuuri dancing hand in hand, back-dropped by performance of the fountains. Victor followed as Yuuri led them to the tune of romantic saxophones, their eyes only for each other. “Making the rest of us look bad.”

Victor and Yuuri looked lost to the world, caught up in one another’s arms, unaware that nearby spectators were paying more attention to their dance than the one of the fountains. Yuuri spun an overjoyed Victor, dipping him low and sweeping him back up, laughing along with each other.

They did not separate even as the music faded. Victor tipped their foreheads together as they swayed, his smile growing impossibly as Yuuri’s lips moved to form a question. Then Yuuri shifted back, taking one of Victor’s hands in both of his own.

Gold glinted in the bright Vegas lights, flaring as Yuuri slid a ring onto Victor’s finger.

“Oh, you’ve gotta be kidding me… At the same time?” Chris laughed off camera, because the next moment Victor was placing a band on Yuuri’s hand. The crowd around them exploded in applause.

The video cut off with Phichit sprinting toward the two, shouting his congratulations and “I knew it!!”

More photos overtook the screen. Victor waiting rinkside at Yuuri’s practices. Dance classes taken together. Makkachin and Victor dozing on the sofa, a stack of books and academic papers scattered across the floor. Park dates, coffee dates, beach dates. Some featuring friends, some with just the two of them, Makkachin making guest appearances in many.

Boxes beside a moving truck. Yuuri blushing and nervous, while Phichit jumped excitedly behind him.

Ice shows and Yuuri’s graduation. Birthday cakes and Christmas trees. Yuuri napping with their poodle splayed across his lap in the back of Victor’s car.

With each photo, Yuuri managed to fall more in love. He leaned back into Victor, whose embrace wound loose from behind. He could feel Victor’s lips against his hair as they watched each memory counting down the days until it hit their first October.

It was marked by a photo of a painted mug and poodle, still kept in a place of prominence in their shared cupboard. That image faded too, replaced with a side-by-side of two screenshots pulled off Phichit’s and Chris’s phones. Dual texts, time-stamped for the same day, only a couple hours apart.

>> Chris, I think I’m in love

>> This isn’t good, Phichit, he’s perfect…

Below the cropped messages, the translations were captioned in Russian and in Japanese. Yuuri tilted his head back, meeting the blue of Victor’s eyes and the fullness of his heart-shaped smile.

They didn’t need the yells of gorka! which echoed through the room, crashing into a kiss all on their own. Yuuri did not pull away, drawing Victor’s hands up between their chests as they kissed to the deafening cheers. He held on, tracing the wedding band on Victor’s hand.

They had found it together. Love and gold.