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Do the thing Beka...Please?

Chapter Text

Otabek got home around 4. Early enough to tidy up the house, go to the store, and shower. Usually Yuri would have gone home with him, but this was a late practice night. Otabek sighed heavily, dropping the grocery bags on the counter. He hated late practice night. It didn't happen often, but when it did it was never for a good reason. It was usually Yakov's sadistic way of punishing students for slacking off, or being mouthy. Yuri naturally received this punishment at least twice a month.

Yuri had been pissy that day, more so than usual. It seemed like everything set him off. No matter what anyone did, he took issue with it. He had even shouted at Victor for breathing too loud. Which led Victor to laugh, and breath even louder on purpose. Infuriating Yuri further.

Otabek had just sat down for a break, and listened to Yuri bicker and gripe at everything, and everyone. He often wondered if Yuri had some sort of cycle. He himself, had two sisters, he was well aware of how female moods would ebb and flow throughout the month. Yuri was much the same.

He smirked at the thought, maybe he'd slip a Midol into Yuri's water bottle sometime, see if it had any effect. He made a mental note to purchase some next time he was at the drugstore. Even if it didn't change his mood, it would be a funny story to tell Yuri (and everyone else) at a later date. Otabek was no saint, as much as he adored Yuri, he loved to wind him up. Yuri was easy to rile, but with Otabek it was always short lived.

Otabek heard Yakov blustering loudly. He was at his limit concerning Yuri's shitty attitude, "Yuri, you're staying late tonight, maybe it will teach you to shut your trap once in awhile and focus on why you're here!"

Yuri's face scrunched into a look that could freeze lava, he opened his mouth, ready to bitch, but caught Yakov's glare. His jaw snapped shut.

Guess I'm going home alone tonight. Otabek thought to himself.

That was a few hours ago, Otabek was starting to unpack the groceries, and set the oven to preheat. Yuri would be even crankier when he got home. He'd be hungry for dinner, a shower, and anything else his overly dramatic brain could think of. Otabek suddenly dropped the loaf of bread he was putting away, it fell to the floor with a smack.

Oh crap, he's gonna want one tonight...he's gonna want a foot rub.

He groaned out loud. He loved Yuri deeply, he'd do anything for him, and had proven it time, and time again. He'd stuck by Yuri through their long distance relationship, eventually getting so tired of it that he moved to St. Petersbourg. He and Yuri had moved in together shortly after that. He'd left his family, his friends, his coach, and never regretted the decision. He'd do anything for him but.

Touching Yuri's feet? Putting his hands on those bony, misshapen, cracked monstrosities at the ends of Yuri's legs? Even Otabek had his limits.

He didn't hate feet, not at all. In previous relationships he had gladly given foot rubs. He enjoyed massaging sore muscles, working out tense knots until they melted away under his touch. He had been told by several friends, that he had a knack for it. Otabek was even toying with the idea of going into something therapy related after he retired from skating. It could be a decent career, it seemed like everyone had some kind of stress these days.

No, feet in general were not a problem, just Yuri's.

It's not like his own feet were anything to write home about. They were just as beaten, and battered as any other skaters. However, he was meticulous about taking care of them. He'd soak them in Epsom, cushion the blisters, bandage the cuts. He'd rub cream on his heels, and kept his nails trimmed, and clean. He'd occasionally get a pedicure, which Yuri taunted him mercilessly about. Otabek took care of his feet, and he wasn't ashamed of it.

Yuri was different. He took a sick satisfaction over the state of his feet. Wore his cuts, and bruises as a badge of honor, proof of how hard he had worked. He'd poke at blisters, and pick scabs. More than one of his toes had been broken over the years, leaving some of them at slightly odd angles. His heels though, sandpaper had nothing on Yuri's heels. In bed, his rough, cracked skin would snag on the blankets. Yuri paid it no mind, but listening to them scratch, and catch on the soft sheets gave Otabek the willies. More than once Otabek had pleaded with Yuri to get a pedicure with him, but Yuri stoutly refused.

Otabek had just finished putting dinner in the oven when another horrifying thought crossed his mind.

He'll want me to do the thing...

Otabek shook his head. No, he'd refuse, there's no way he was doing that. His day had been just as hard as Yuri's. Worlds was just a few weeks away. Both their stress levels were dangerously high. Maybe Yuri would be merciful, and excuse him from the thing.

Before he could think any more about it, he heard the front door unlock.

"Hi Yura." Otabek called from the kitchen, trying to mask his the uneasiness in his voice.

"Nnnghh," Yuri groaned as he dropped his stuff and kicked his shoes off, "Yakov can go straight to hell." he spat.

"Hungry? Dinner will be ready in a few."

"Shower first, food later." Otabek set plates out, as he heard the shower turn on.

Maybe he'll be too tired, maybe he won't want to.

Oh if only...

After dinner they were on the couch. Yuri in his sweats, hair still slightly damp from the shower and tucked up into a messy bun. Otabek noticed Yuri's feet were bare.

That's not a good sign...he thought to himself

Yuri usually wore socks around the house, thick, cushy socks in wild prints. Encasing them in plush, expensive socks was just about the only nice thing he did for his poor feet. The fact that he was sock less, did not bode well.

Otabek had settled on one end of the couch, reading a book, feet propped on the ottoman in front of him. Yuri laid on the opposite end, knees bent, playing on his phone. All was quiet for awhile, until..

Yuri stretched his legs, his gnarly feet coming in contact with Otabek's leg. Otabek cleared his throat, and continued to read, paying no attention to him.

Yuri played with the fabric of Otabek's sweatpants with his toes, tugging at it. Otabek shifted away slightly.

"Beka..." Yuri said with a small whine at the end.

"Hmmm?"

Yuri began to inch his toe towards the book he was reading, nudging it.

"I want you..."

Please let it be anything else, a blowjob, a fuck, another helping of dinner, a dozen cats anything other than...

"to rub my feet."

Damn.

Otabek set his book down, lazily running his hand up and down Yuri's leg suggestively.

"Are you sure you don't want me to do anything else? I could suck you off if you want."

Distract him with sex, maybe he'll forget.

"Too tired for that, I just want to relax, my feet are killing me. Yakov just about broke me tonight."

"What about a movie? I could scratch your head while you watch."

"Sounds nice, but my feet are just so sore."

Otabek sighed, usually promises of sex, or a good head scratching were enough to distract Yuri. Tonight it all fell on deaf ears.

He resigned himself to his fate while running a hand through his black hair, "Okay."

Yuri smiled greedily, happy that he was getting what he wanted, and slid his feet into Otabek's lap.

He began rubbing the arch of Yuri's left foot. Yuri let out a pleasant groan. He worked the tired muscles, kneading the balls of his feet with gentle pressure. He scratched the top of his foot lightly, and worked at his ankle. All the while trying to avoid the minefield of blisters and bruises. He worked his way down to the heel, it was like running his palm over rough concrete, hard and scratchy. He fought the chill that ran down his back as his skin brushed over a deep crack. He squeezed hard on his heel, and Yuri let out a sigh of relief.

"Ahhhh," Yuri purred, relaxing into the couch.

Otabek rubbed each bony toe. They were long, and slender and would have been almost elegant looking if they had been taken care of.

"Beka," Yuri moaned quietly, "feels so good..."

To anyone listening, the groans and sighs falling off Yuri's tongue would have sounded like he was in the throws of sex. Yuri was always vocal while being pleasured, whether it be fucking, or a foot rub.

Otabek gave his foot another once over before setting it back in his lap.

Alright one down, one to go.

He started the process again on the other foot. Yuri's right foot was worse than his left, it was his dominant foot, and therefor took far more punishment. Yuri's second, and third toes had broken a few years ago during an intense ballet practice. They had healed rather quickly, but in the process both had turned ever so slightly in opposite directions. As if the toes had, had an argument and refused to speak to each other. He grimaced while he rubbed each one, individually.

"Beka, your hands are magical" Yuri breathed, he was was in heaven, eyes closed, a smile on his lips.

Otabek trailed down to squeeze his heel. Yuri groaned again.

He would normally feel proud of how relaxed he could make Yuri feel. Savoring the moans and breathy praise, but instead he was just trying to get through it as quickly as possible.

He was coming to the end, he took almost every one of Yuri's toes between his fingers to give them each a rub.

"Better?" Otabek crooned, hopeful that the answer would be yes.

Yuri's face faded into a small pout, his eyes cracked open in disappointment.

"You forgot one." he mumbled. Wiggling his toes in Otabek's face. He swatted Yuri's foot before it got too close.

"No I didn't, I did everything the same on both feet."

"Liar, you missed one." he trailed off, "come on Beka, do the thing."

The thing...

"Yura," he started to protest, but Yuri cut him off.

"But I need it, " he pouted, "please? Pretty please, Beka?"

That damn face...that sweet, pleading look Yuri had on. His green eyes big and round like a tiny, begging kitten. He was certain Yuri could conquer the world with just that look alone. Otabek tried to be strong, but then he noticed Yuri's bottom lip quivering ever so slightly.

That was Otabek's undoing.

"Fine." he growled, not angrily though. Yuri again laid his right foot on Otabek's lap. Gently stretching his toes apart.

There it was; the bane of his existence. The little piggy that wee, wee, wee'd all the way home.

Yuri's baby toe on his right foot was the worst offender of them all. It had also been broken long ago, when Yuri was still a child. He had fallen down the stairs, his pinky toe taking the brunt of it. It jutted slightly away from the other toes, and would have been more akin to a claw... if it had any nail to speak of.

That was a night Otabek would never forget. For as graceful as Yuri was on the ice, he was careless and klutzy at home.

It had been ages since the mishap that led to the little piggy's demise. They had both been sitting on the couch one evening. Otabek idly flipping channels, Yuri busily giving his skates a once over, and putting new laces on them. He, like many skaters were particular about how their skates were laced, and it took him awhile to get them just right. It was getting late, and he was so tired. He set both skates down on the floor next to the couch.

"Put the guards on those, and put them back in your bag, Yura." Otabek reminded him, still channel surfing.

"I will in a minute." he huffed, rubbing his temples, eager for sleep.

They had gone to bed awhile later, the skates long forgotten.

Otabek was usually a sound sleeper, which was an understatement. There were many mornings he would wake up on the couch, not because of a fight, but because Yuri had tried to wake him and couldn't. That night was different, Otabek was out of bed like a shot when he heard the unholy yowl coming from the living room.

"Yura? What's wrong? Are you okay?" he called out, rushing down the dark hall towards him.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuuuckkk..." was the only reply.

Otabek flipped the light switch and found Yuri in nothing but his boxers on the floor. His hands encircling his right foot, eyes squeezed tight against the pain. The skates nearby with just a hint of blood on them..

"What the hell did you do Yura?" Otabek crouched down beside him, trying to unlace Yuri's fingers from around his foot.

"I was getting a glass of water, and I tripped over my goddamn skates. I snagged my little toe on the blade. Jesus, fuck it hurts." he hissed.

After a few more colorful curses, Otabek was able to survey the damage. The nail was gone, sheared off by the blade of his skate.

Otabek resisted the urge to tell Yuri that he should have put his skates away, no sense in adding insult to injury.

Underneath his toe there was an impressive slice, but nothing that couldn't be taken care of at home. Yuri still seethed with pain. He kept his eyes closed, unable to look at the damage. Poor Yuri was certain he had sliced his toe clean off. If he opened his eyes and saw his baby toe lying on the carpet he was sure he'd pass out.

"I've got good news, and bad news Yura." Otabek said, still looking it over.

"Christ Beka, fuck the drama just tell me is my toe still there?" he snapped.

"Your toe is still there, you lost the nail though, and you've got a pretty good cut, doubt you'll need stitches though. I think you'll pull through." He bent to give Yuri a kiss on his forehead.

Relieved, but still in pain Yuri cracked one eye, and then the other. It was ugly, the nail was definitely MIA, but it wasn't as bad as he imagined.

Otabek cleaned his toe, and helped him back to bed. It didn't take long for the cut to heal, Yuri was quick to heal when he didn't pick at things. The gash left just a ghost of a scar. However, the nail never did grow back. So Yuri was left with a pink, nail free, nub. Which grossed Otabek out to no end, but he never divulged that to Yuri.

Otabek was lost in the memory until he felt Yuri nudge him with his foot.

"Beka please..." Yuri whimpered.

Otabek huffed quietly, "Alright, alright."

Bracing himself, Otabek took the tiny, toe like appendage (it wasn't a toe anymore, he was certain of that) and rolled it between finger and thumb. He squeezed, kneaded and worked at the nub until loosened up a bit. After a few more minutes, he grit his teeth and gave the nub a pull until the joint made a loud popping noise, followed by a few more quieter, but no less sickening cracks.

That was what Yuri had been waiting for, the thing. He reveled in the sensation, the pressure on his sore digit finally released.

"Beka, so amazing..." Yuri sighed, giving him a drowsy smile. He continued rubbing for a few more seconds longer, until he was sure Yuri was satisfied.

"Good?"

"So good..." Yuri answered sleepily, it wouldn't be long before Yuri passed out. Foot rubs, and sex always ended with Yuri sleeping soundly soon after.

Otabek untangled himself from Yuri's legs and stood up. He grabbed the blanket that was draped over the back of the couch and covered Yuri, tucking him in. He walked quietly, and calmly into the bathroom, locked the door, and proceeded to freak the fuck out. Cringing and shuddering, rubbing his hands across his arms as if someone had just tipped a box of live spiders over his head. Normally his granite like persona was unbreakable, but it had crumbled into to dust, all over a single, albeit gross, pinky toe.

Once he had fully rid himself of his heebie geebies, he steadied himself, and went back into the living room. He looked down at Yuri snuggled into the blankets, lips parted, softly snoring. Pieces of his bun had fallen down, blond tendrils trailed across his face. Otabek wound a few soft strands around his finger while he watched Yuri's sleeping form.

He looked so relaxed, it wasn't often that Otabek saw such a blissful expression of peace on his face. Even in his sleep Yuri was prone to scowling. He assumed that even in his dreams Yuri was yelling at others, but tonight he was serene, flawless, and utterly relaxed.

He couldn't help but lean over and kiss Yuri's parted lips.

Yuri's eyes fluttered open, arms drowsily lifting up towards Otabek, "Carry me to bed?" he whispered.

Otabek smiled, and scooped him up as if he weighed nothing. Even at 20 he was still small and lean. Yuri curled an arm over Otabek's neck, and snuggled in close as limp and relaxed as a rag doll. Otabek loved feeling the weight of Yuri's body against his own, he carried him down the hall and wondered how he had gotten so damn lucky in life.

Otabek would do anything for Yuri, even the thing..

Chapter Text

It was Saturday afternoon, Yuri and Otabek finally had a day off. The last few weeks at practice had been grueling. It was all they could do to drag their tired asses home at night, and fall into bed. Only to wake up at 6am, and do it all over again the next day. Their social lives were in danger of becoming nonexistent.

Earlier that week, they had gotten some good news though. Pichit and Chris were both coming to town for a long weekend. Victor and Yuuri insisted they all go out on Saturday for dinner, and drinks. It sounded like it could be a fun night.

Otabek was sure Yuri would decline the invite, but oddly enough he seemed almost eager to go.

"You actually wanna go?" Otabek asked when the plans were sent out.

Yuri shrugged, "I need a break. We haven't been out in weeks, so at this point, I'll take what I can get. Even if it's going out with those geezers."

"Okay, I'll tell them we'll be there."

It's true they hadn't gone out in weeks, and it had been at least a week and a half since they'd had any kind of energy for sex. Maybe a night of boozy fun would be the kick start for a much-needed roll in the sack. Otabek was dangerously close to having a crisis. Not only had he been worked to the bone and starved of sex, but he was also slowly being driven insane. All because he agreed to do a favor...for JJ

JJ had hit him up about two weeks before. He'd found a piece of music he wanted to use in his free program, but it was lacking some edge.

"Come on Altin, work your DJ magic." JJ pleaded.

Otabek did a spectacular eye roll (Yuri was rubbing off on him), "I don't know JJ, I haven't had much time to do anything but practice and sleep."

"I'll send you the file, once you hear it I know you'll want to work on it" totally ignoring Otabek's protests.

He sighed, "fine send me the file and I'll see if I can tweak it for you." Otabek was reluctant but agreed.

He really didn't hate JJ, tolerate was a better word, and the thought of doing something that wasn't skating or sleeping did sound appealing. So JJ had sent him the music. The piece was pretty good, he was sure he could punch it up for him. Maybe it would be fun after all.

Unfortunately, Otabek wasn't prepared for all the texts from JJ that flooded his phone all day, and night. JJ wanted a daily progress report on it, Otabek did not work like that. It was to the point that he his kept phone silent most of the time. After a few more days of JJ's hounding, Otabek sent him a simple text.

"I'm working on it, it's coming along fine, will send when finished."

After that the texts slowed from everyday, to every other day.

Otabek had finally finished the music the night before, he was happy with it and prayed JJ would be too. It had actually been a welcomed distraction. Something to do in between practice and staring hungrily at Yuri's ass, but having zero energy to do anything more than that. All he had to do was send JJ the files and he'd be out of his hair.

He opened his laptop and sent the music files. He was certain he'd hear from him in just a few seconds, but no call or texts came. Otabek shut the laptop and got up, he wasn't gonna wait around to talk to JJ, he had other things to do.

"Yura, I'm going out for a jog, be back in an hour or so."

"K, see you later, " Yuri called from their bedroom, he was ankle deep in clothes, trying to find something to wear to dinner. After another ten minutes of rifling through his closet, he had picked out an outfit. Black skinny jeans, and an army green tank with star shaped studs around the neck. He laid a black leather jacket beside the clothes and a pair of boots that had more hardware on them than necessary. He stood back to admire his creation. It wasn't the greatest outfit he had ever come up with, but for the crowd he was going out with tonight it would work.

He made his way to the bathroom, usually, he preferred showers, but he thought a hot bath would do his aching muscles good. He turned on the tap and left the tub to fill. He surveyed himself in the mirror. His skin looked like absolute hell, the bluish puffy circles under his eyes were getting worse. When your schedule is: wake up, train, eat, sleep, repeat, things like skin care suffered. Yuri went through his giant collection of toiletries, (he really needed to toss a few things) and picked up his new favorite treatment, a charcoal face mask. He slathered the thick black cream all over his face, avoiding his eyes and mouth. He had originally bought it just because he thought the black cream looked cool. It turned out that not only did it look cool, but it did wonders for his skin. It tingled when he applied it, and had a nice mentholated smell that he enjoyed.

Pampering himself felt nice, it had been a long time since he had treated himself to any sort of luxury. On a whim he decided he may as well make an afternoon of it. He went into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of white wine. It was dry and had almost zero sweetness, just the way he liked it.

The bath was filled almost to overflowing. Otabek had gotten after him for overfilling the bath tub, the last thing they needed was water seeping into the apartment below them. The lady under them disliked them enough without Yuri ruining her ceiling to boot. However, Otabek wasn't there, and what he didn't know wouldn't kill him. He shut the water off and tossed a bath bomb in for good measure. It fizzed and bubbled, turning the water a milky green color and gave off a clean, but manly scent of mint and lemongrass. Victor had bought a ton of them over the winter and had raved about them for days. He ended up giving Yuri a bunch to try. Victor secretly knew he was a sucker for bath products (having nosed through his bathroom cabinets on more than one occasion). Yuri had to admit that the bombs were pretty awesome, but that was classified information that Victor would never know.

Yuri grabbed one more thing from his nightstand, his mini tablet and earbuds. Music was a must. He set the tablet on the edge of the tub, it was so old that if it fell in it wouldn't be a huge tragedy, in fact, it would give him a good reason to upgrade.

Yuri stripped, being careful not to smudge his charcoal mask with his shirt. His left foot dipped into the water, it was the perfect temperature, as hot as he could stand. He sank into the water, enjoying the tickling sensation of the bath bomb as it bobbed and puttered around him in the tub. His pearly white skin was already turning pink from the heat, and his aching muscles relaxed. He put his earbuds in, pressed play, and leaned back, shutting his eyes.

About 15 minutes later Otabek was walking up the two flights of stairs to their apartment, legs burning nicely from his run. He unlocked the door and toed his shoes off, kicking them to the side. He looked up towards the hallway when he heard a weird sound coming from the bathroom.

"Come on, come on, turn the radio on it's Friday night and I won't be long gotta do my hair, I put my makeup on..."

What the hell was he hearing? It was a strange, low, warbly noise that was slightly off key. The TV was off, the stereo was too, he listened a bit more before it registered.

Yuri was singing.

In all the years he'd known Yuri he had never heard him really sing. Sure he'd heard him idly sing in the car, but never like this. There was no music for one, it was just him. Otabek realized why he had never heard him sing, Yuri was awful. He winced as he heard Yuri's voice crack. It was hopelessly endearing and hysterical all at once.

Otabek crept silently down the hall, dying to see what his boyfriend was up to. The door was cracked, he carefully peeked in making sure Yuri wouldn't notice.

He was neck deep in the tub, black goop on his face, earbuds in. A half full wine glass dangled between his fingers over the side of tub. His hair was in two braids, wrapped over his head, Heidi style. His eyes were closed, and his foot was propped up against the wall at the other end of the tub, tapping out the beat of the song. He was completely oblivious.

"Baby I don't need dollar bills to have fun tonight, I love cheap thrills..."

Otabek bit his tongue, trying not to laugh. A terribly devious idea popped in his head, and no force on Earth was going to change his mind about doing it.

If a stranger had to describe Otabek they would definitely use the words stoic, and humorless. And that's what he was to people he didn't know or didn't care to know. It was only the people who were closest to him that he showed his true nature. Humor was for the ones he loved, not the general population. He had a dark sense of humor, enjoyed a good prank, and loved stirring the pot. Basically, Otabek was a closet shit disturber, and there was no ones shit he enjoyed disturbing more than Yuri's.

With phone in hand, Otabek hit the record button on his phone, holding it as close to the door as he dared. The memory of his strangled singing saved for posterity. Yuri belted out the entire song until it ended and then sat up from the water.

Otabek silently scrambled, fearing Yuri was nearing the end of his soak. He crept back down the hall, grabbed his shoes, and quietly shut the door behind him. He didn't want Yuri to have any idea that he'd been there.

He walked down to the street and replayed the recording. The sound was damn near perfect. Yuri's singing, was like an ear splitting gift from God himself. And Otabek knew just what to do with this little piece of magic. He went into the settings on his phone, and changed his ringtone. He smiled wickedly to himself, now all he had to do was wait.

He grabbed himself a coffee and waited another15 minutes before returning home, wanting to make sure his bathing beauty was finished. Yuri was out of the bath and getting dressed in their bedroom when Otabek walked in.

He came up behind him, encircling Yuri's small waist, hands trailing over his belly. He nuzzled into Yuri's neck inhaling the scent of his freshly bathed skin. Yuri leaned his head back to rest Otabeks shoulder enjoying the quiet moment.

"That was a long run Beka. We've got a busy night ahead of us, I hope you didn't wear yourself out."

"Nah, I grabbed a coffee after my jog. I'm wide awake for tonight. Gonna hit the shower really quick. I should be ready to go in about 45 minutes. "

"Sounds good," Yuri grabbed his black eyeliner, applying two perfect wings over each eye.

Otabek was quick to get ready, he wasn't like Yuri, he had a handful of outfits that he rotated. All of them good for almost any occasion. He pulled on dark wash jeans, an evergreen v-neck shirt, and his dark brown leather jacket. Yuri loved that jacket, he had given it to him on his last birthday, it matched Otabeks eyes perfectly. Yuri's belly fluttered a bit watching how effortlessly sexy Otabek was, it really should be a crime to be that hot.

After running his hands through his hair with a little wax Otabek was ready. They were out the door in just under 30 minutes. It was late Spring, and the weather was nice, but still chilly. They nixed the idea of taking the bike, deciding to walk to the restaurant instead, it was only a few blocks away.

They were the last to arrive at the restaurant. It was a simple tapas place they all liked. Victor and Yuuri had gotten there early and had ordered a bit of everything, so the food was waiting for everyone when they arrived. They already had a few drinks under their belts, so Yuri and Otabek had some catching up to do. After they said their hellos, and placed their drink orders, they fell into conversation.

Dinner was pleasant. They laughed and joked, reminisced and teased one another. Even Yuri laughed heartily after Chris told the same joke they had all heard a million times before.

"And that's the difference between metric and inches!"

While everyone was distracted, Otabek put his cell phone on the table. It was an innocent gesture that no one paid any attention too.

"If this works, I can pretty much kiss any sex I was going to get tonight goodbye" he thought to himself. Then decided that it was worth the cost. Winding Yuri up was almost as satisfying as sex with Yuri.

They ordered another round of drinks and things started to get more raucous. They each began telling embarrassing stories about one another. It was the usual stuff. Chris's long and colorful sex life, Pitchit and Yuuri's days in Detroit, Victor and Chris' antics when they were younger and dumber. Even Otabek let loose with a few stories of his teenage years running around with his rowdy group of friends in Almaty.

The only one who didn't share was Yuri.

"Yuri, don't you have anything funny or embarrassing to share?" asked Pitchit downing a third vodka tonic.

Yuri shrugged, "not really, I never really had friends to do stuff with when I was younger."

The thought made him feel kind of sad, like he was being left out somehow.

"But you must have something to share?" Chris tsked, "here we are baring our souls, and the petit chaton has nothing to give us in return? So sad..."

Yuri hated being put on the spot, his lack of friends when he was younger was a sore subject for him. So he went to his default mode: Bitchy.

"Sorry I don't have any dumb stories like you old geezers. I had more important things to do than run around doing dumb shit. Besides, I don't really get embarrassed that much, I don't give a fuck what people think." Yuri grabbed his drink and downed it, clearly pleased with himself.

There was a lull in the conversation, the group returned to their food. It was then; in Otabek's mind at least, that the heavens opened up and granted him a wonderfully hilarious miracle. He couldn't have planned it better if he'd tried, especially after Yuri's speech about never being embarrassed.

His phone lit from an incoming call.

A croaky, off-key voice warbled through the phone at full volume.

"Come on, come on, turn the radio on it's Friday night and I won't be long gotta do my hair, I put my makeup on..."

The entire table looked up, confused as hell.

Chris and Pitchit stopped mid drink wondering what they were listening to. Victor quirked his head, a smirk growing on his lips as he listened to the strange voice. Yuuri sat listening, fork paused in his mouth.

Otabek let the song go for a little while longer, and then answered the phone as if nothing was amiss.

"JJ hi! Did you get the music files? Good. And you liked the changes? Awesome, happy to help. Can't wait to see your free program. Listen, I'd talk more, but I'm out with friends so I'll talk to you later." He hung up and looked at the dead silent group.

"What did I miss?" he asked nonchalantly

"Was that Cheap Thrills by Sia?" Pitchit asked.

"Yes, yes it was," Otabek said popping an olive in his mouth.

"That didn't sound like Sia." Chris replied

"Nope, it sure didn't" he answered sipping his drink.

Yuuri still looked confused, "That voice sounded kind of familiar didn't it? It definitely wasn't a professional singer though."

They all began to wonder a loud about why it sounded so familiar, racking their brains trying to place it.

While under the table Otabek felt Yuri's nails dig mercilessly into his leg, he winced. That would leave a mark in the morning. Otabek didn't dare look at Yuri's face, not out of fear, he was trying desperately to hold it together and not piss himself with laughter.

"Otabek...Motherfucking...Altin... You fucking, fuck...When did you?" Yuri growled, gritting his teeth so tightly he was sure they'd shatter.

"Hang on, that was YOU!?!" Pitchit yelled pointing a finger at Yuri's scarlet face.

It dawned on the group that Pichit was right. Which was followed by earth shattering howls of laughter.

Chris slammed his hand on the table repeatedly, begging for mercy in his native French.

Tears were streaming down down Yuuri's cheeks, his stomach aching from laughter.

Pitchit just sat silently convulsing, he was certain this was the end for him. Cause of death? Yuri's shitty singing.

Victor begged Otabek to send him the file so he could use it as Yurio's personal ringtone on his phone.

Yuri wanted the floor to swallow him up, he wished he would spontaneously combust, at least then he could take Otabek down in the flames with him. He was completely and utterly mortified. He shook his head, wondering how the hell Otabeke had caught him.

"I thought I was home alone." he snarled.

"You were, for the most part," Otabek laughed, trying to catch his breath, "I came in from my run and heard you singing. I recorded it, then snuck back out so you wouldn't know I was there."

Another round of laughter. Most of them weren't familiar with this side of Otabek, which made the whole thing that much more hysterical.

"You're a prick Altin," Yuri spat, picking up his fork and stabbing at his food, "why would you even fucking do that?"

Otabek gave him a smile, "I had never heard you sing before, it was such a thrill to hear it."

"It didn't cost anything, you could say it was a cheap thrill..." Yuuri deadpanned.

Yuri's fork dropped onto his plate with a clang, his hands slapped over his face. The somewhat settled group was dying once more over Yuuri's painfully bad joke.

Victor took Yuuri's face and kissed him square on the lips "Oh my sweet Yusha, I want to marry you again for that remark alone." He grabbed his chest, Yuuri's savage sass was too much to bear.

Otabek looked at Yuri with dark puppy eyes, hoping Yuri could maybe find the tiniest bit of humor in it all.

Yuri rolled his eyes, "fuck off Beka, puppy eyes don't work on cat people."

Otabek grabbed his hand and squeezed it under the table.

"It was adorable to watch you in the tub you know. You looked so cute." 

"Don't sweet talk me," he huffed.

Otabek tried a few more times during the night to get back on Yuri's good side, but was shot down each time. Yuri would never be able to live this down. He knew it would be a horrible running gag that would pester him until the day he died.

They got home around 2 am. Yuri, still livid, stomped into the bedroom and grabbed Otabek's pillows. He threw them out into the hall, slamming the bedroom door after.

"So how long are you going to be pissed at me?" Otabek asked through the door.

"I dunno how does an eternity sound?" came the reply.

Otabek chuckled and made his bed up on the couch.

About an hour later he heard the bedroom door open. He saw the bathroom light turn on, and about a minute later he heard the toilet flush. The light flicked off as Yuri went back to bed. However, he didn't hear the bedroom door close. Yuri must be either half asleep, or his anger towards him had lessened. If Yuri were still pissed, he would have slammed the door again, just to make it clear to Otabek that he was still in the doghouse.

"Maybe I can still get on his good side..." he thought.

He knew Yuri would relent eventually, he never stayed angry at him for long.

He decided to try one last time. He cleared his throat and started singing into the darkness, just loud enough that Yuri could hear him. Unlike Yuri, he had a beautiful voice, low and smooth sounding, like warm honey. He came from a large, musically inclined family. Growing up there was always someone singing around the house, it was second nature to him.

"Come on come on, turn the radio on."

He paused, waiting for a reaction...silence.

"It's Saturday and it won't be long."

Yuri had shifted in bed, he could hear the sheets rustling.

"Gotta paint my nails, put my high heels on..."

He heard a loud, forceful rush of laughter from Yuri.

Yuri had been trying desperately to hold back. Wanting to keep the wall of fury he had built that night standing. But once he heard Otabek, of all people, singing that stupid song, he couldn't hold it in any longer. The dam had burst, and the laughter came tumbling out of him.

Otabek grinned, he knew he'd weasel his way back into Yuri's good graces some how.

"Fuck you Altin, get your ass in here already. " Yuri called out.

Otabek grabbed his pillows, and made a beeline for their bed. He pounced on Yuri who was laying flat on his back, the sheets kicked to the floor. He grabbed Yuri's hips, and effortlessly dragged him down the bed so they were eye to eye.

Yuri noticed the hungry look in his eyes and swallowed hard.

"Mmmm, fuck you Altin..." Otabek repeated, caressing Yuri's thighs. "I hope that was an invitation."

"Don't push it Becka," Yuri said, giving in and kissing his neck, "you proud of your little stunt tonight?"

"Oh I am, you know I love to rile you up." his voice was dark, almost a growl. Yuri shivered as he felt a hand snake down to squeeze his ass.

"Why don't you try riling me up a different way asshole."

Yuri rolled them both over and straddled him, grinding slow, teasing, circles against Otabek's groin. They were a tangle of limbs and tongues after that.

The drought was over, they had finally had some fun. Otabek was quickly forgiven, after giving Yuri the sound fucking he demanded as payment for his embarrassment.

The next morning Otabek may, or may not have sent Victor the recording to use on his phone.

 

Chapter Text


Yuuri was startled awake by a banging on the front door. He squinted at the clock, 2:45 am.

He nudged Victor, "Vitya, wake up."

"Hmm?" Victor rolled over, bleary eyed.

"Vitya, someones knocking."

They both got up and staggered to the front door. There was only one person they knew of that was ballsy enough to bang on their door at 3 am.

They weren't too concerned, they were used to an occasional late night visit from Yurio. Although since moving in with Otabek it didn't happened much anymore.

 "He's probably too drunk to go all the way home," Yuuri yawned, scratching the back of his head.

Their house was halfway between the club Otabek DJd at, and their apartment. Yuri would crash there on occasion just since it was closer than home. Otabek would come to collect him after he got things squared away at the club.

The knock got louder and more insistent.

"Alright Yurio, cool it, we're coming!" Yurri yelled.

They were expecting to see a shitfaced Yuri slumped against the door frame.

They were not expecting to see a very sober Otabek.

He barged in scanning the room, "Is he here?"

"Who? Yuri?" Victor said, sleepiness fading from his voice.

"Yeah, he's not answering his phone, and he's not at home. I was hoping he'd be here." His voice going slightly frantic realizing that his last hope was a bust.

"What happened? Where did you see him last?"

"I had a gig tonight, he was going to meet me a little later." Otabek paced, nervously checking his phone, then shoving it back into his pocket.  

Victor had never seen Otabek this agitated. Actually, he'd never seen Otabek agitated ever, but there he was; pale and stricken, looking to them for help.

"Did he make it to the club?" Yuuri asked.

Otabek stopped mid pace, "yeah...yeah he did, then..." he fidgeted with his hair, trying not to make eye contact.  

Victor recognized the look on Otabek's face. Guilt.

"So?" Victor snapped, crossing his arms over his chest. Yuri was missing, he didn't have time for games.

There was no answer for a moment. Otabek was trying to come up with the right words to explain, but only three words were uttered.

"...I fucked up.." Otabek said finally, slumping into one of the living room chairs.

Victor was at the end of his tether. Being woken up to the news Yuri had was wandering the streets was bad enough. But to hear Otabek of all people, use the phrase, "I fucked up" was enough to put him on high alert. His mind was buzzing. What does that mean? Did they argue? Did Yuri catch him with someone else? Did he get fired? The possibilities were endless,none of them put him at ease.

"Otabek, I like you and all,  but if you did something to hurt him I swear to God..." Victor was close to shouting. Yuri was like a brother to him, and even though Yuri was an adult, he still felt the need to shield him from any sort of unhappiness. Victor had a very short shit list, but most of the people on it, were there because they had hurt Yuri. He was getting ready to mentally add Otabek's name to the list. 

Yuuri placed a hand on his husbands shoulder,  "Vitya, take a breath. Yelling at him isn't going to help. Let him talk."

Yuuri and Victor sat down on the couch across from Otabek, "tell us what happened."

Otabek swallowed, and ran a hand through his hair.  He wasn't used to being put on the spot and reprimanded.  

"My friend Alan was passing through town." he started slowly,  "he's been traveling the last few weeks and called this morning to say he was in town for the night. I had a gig at the club, and I couldn't cancel, so he planned to stop by. We were gonna hang out after I was finished. Yuri was supposed to meet up with us a little later, he wanted to give us time to hang out by ourselves for awhile, you know, catch up."

"Okay, so far so good," Yuuri was careful not prod for more details. Otabek wasn't one to be pushed, he'd get his story out, but only on his terms.

"Alan and I were hanging out behind the club after I was done. It was fun, I hadn't seen him in years and we talk. We'd had a few beers, and chatted, but then Yuri found us while we were..."

Victor was getting impatient again, he wanted to smack Otabek and get him to spit it the hell out.

Otabek paused again, playing the moment back in his head, "we were smoking."

Victor sat back into the couch, "oh shit..."

He didn't curse much, but this was definitely an "oh shit" moment.

To most people smoking, while gross, wasn't a huge deal. To Yuri, it was major issue, he loathed it, and saw it as the  highest offense possible.

"Yeah..." Otabek said.

Otabek had one dirty habit, he liked to smoke.

He wasn't a chain smoker. He didn't even really consider himself a social smoker, seeing as he preferred to smoke alone.  He barely went through a pack every two months or so. And by then, they were so stale he'd end up throwing them away. It was a guilty (very guilty) pleasure. He'd have one walking home once in awhile after a shitty day at the rink (when Yuri wasn't with him), or after a really good night DJaying.

 
The club was filled with smokers, so Yuri was never the wiser when he'd come home reeking of smoke. He just assumed it was other people's cigarette stench, not his own. Otabek wasn't proud of his habit. He knew as an athlete, it was just about the dumbest thing he could do. He learned early on that Yuri didn't approve of it. Which was one of the reason Otabek had kept it a secret, hoping someday he'd be able to finally kick the habit, such as it was. Yuri would never need to know about it, ever.

Otabek had picked up the habit as a young teen back home. It wasn't unheard of for kids to dabble in it where he was from. Kids his age were too old to play, and too young for booze, so they needed a way to feel wild and rebellious, and cigarettes were pretty easy to come by. He and his friends would pilfer a few from their fathers, and wander the streets smoking, marveling at how it made them feel older, cooler. No one ever paid any attention to them, almost all of their male relatives smoked. So, to their young male minds, it seemed like the net logical step to becoming a man.

He was ashamed of his nasty habit as he grew older. It was definitely not information he spread around, no one except his friends back home, and a few co workers at the club knew. None of his fellow athletes, or coaches knew either.

Yuri certainly didn't know; until he caught him in the act...

It had happened when they had first moved in together. Yuri was out with Victor and Yuuri that night, their monthly dinner ritual. Yuri used to hate these dinners as a teen, he didn't like being grilled by them. As he grew older though, he had softened towards the two men. They had done so much for him over the years, and he knew it. He couldn't ever tell them that he loved them outright. Instead, he decided to start calling their monthly dinners, "Dinner with the Family", which made Victor and Yuuri beam when they first heard it. Instantly knowing the underlying emotions behind it.

Otabek was home alone, and Yuri would be out late.

Otabek had, had a hellish day. One of those days, where clock didn't seem to budge, and everything he touched turned to shit. Nothing he did at practice was worthwhile, and Yakov let him know it. It was a miracle he made it home. Meanwhile, Yuri was at his "Dinner with the Family", which only made him miss his own. He was in a dark mood, and just wanted a few minutes of peace to try and blot out the day.

It was unseasonably warm out for March, and he'd opened the living room window wide to let the breeze in. He'd poured himself a drink, pulled a cigarette from the pack and lit it. It's scent was familiar, and reminded him of home. He exhaled out the open window, watching the plumes of smoke billow out into the air.  He was halfway through it, and was just starting to feel like there was a light at the end of the tunnel, when Yuri walked in.

He wasn't supposed to be home until later, but his night had ended early.

Yuri was as still as stone when he saw him. His mind had crashed trying to understand what he scene before him. This had to be a mistake, a stupid joke that wasn't funny, but all the signs were telling him that it was all very, very real. He ripped the cigarette out of Otabek's hand, flicking it to the street below and quickly brushing his fingers on his pants.

"I don't ever, wanna see you doing that fucking shit again, " his voice was cold and low. It was a tone Yuri used towards other people. It had never, ever been directed at Otabek.

Yuri stood silent for a long time, waiting for some explanation, but Otabek had none to give. He wished Yuri would scream at him, or throw something at least. Instead he was just standing there, searching Otabeks face as if it were the first time they had ever met.

"I thought you were better than that."  Yuri's said finally, his tone had changed, it wasn't angry anymore, he sounded...disappointed.

After that, Otabek had tossed the pack away and never bought another one. Cold turkey was his only option, what was the alternative? Unfortunately, there's a reason it's an addiction.

Every couple of months, usually at the club (doing it at home was impossible now) he'd get a craving for one. He'd never buy a pack himself, figuring that was a slippery slope, instead he'd sheepishly bum one off a co-worker, or a club patron. He was only human after all, he had his weak moments just like anyone else.  

Unfortunately, his latest moment of weakness had come at the worst possible time.

He had started the night in a such great mood, and it only promised to get better as the night went on. Alan was there, he was the first friend of his from back home to visit him since he'd moved. He was eager to talk to him. His time on stage had been phenomenal, there was a high energy crowd there that night which always got his blood pumping. Yuri would be there, he had never met Alan so he was eager to introduce him. It was turning out to be a memorable night.

After his set, he and Alan ordered beers and decided to go out behind the club, it was near impossible to talk inside.

Alan lit up a cigarette, casually offering one to Otabek.

Otabek had, had such a stellar night, and wanted the euphoria to continue; a good rush of nicotine would do the trick.  He plucked the cigarette from his friends hand and lit it, inhaling the smoke and holding it inside, letting it warm his lungs. He still had time before Yuri arrived, it would be fine if he was quick about it

It was just one, and he hadn't had one in so long...

He was enjoying the nice buzz spreading over him when he heard Yuri call his name, he turned, mid drag, not realizing his mistake until it was too late.

He knew he was in deep, deep shit this time.

Yuri's eyes darkened, his happy smile fading into a look of total incredulity. The bottle in his hand dropped to the pavement and shattered, splashing beer all over his favorite leopard print shoes.  He was silent for a moment, before shaking his head in disbelief.

"Fuck you Altin, I'm outta here." he bolted for the door, disappearing into the throng of club goers.  

Otabek tossed the cigarette and scrambled after him, but Yuri was lightening fast when he wanted to be.  Otabek lost him in the crowd almost immediately. He checked the bathrooms, and the VIP section, but he wasn't in either. He finally went up to the bartender closest to the front entrance. Yes, she had seen Yuri run out a few minutes ago.  

"He looked fucking pissed, even more than usual. What happened?" she asked.

"Nothing, forget it" Otabek muttered.

He said his goodbyes to Alan, who needed to get going. It had been a good visit, even if it had ended on very sour note.  

Otabek left all his gear at the club, his stuff could wait, he needed to find Yuri first.

****
Victor and Yuuri sat quietly listening to the whole debacle unfold.

"I went to our apartment first, he wasn't there. I called Mila, but she didn't answer. I was hoping he would have called you guys, or better yet shown up at your door."

"He never came here, and we haven't heard from him. He must be out walking around somewhere." Yuuri answered.

"I don't understand why he ran off like that? Over something so stupid as a cigarette." Otabek grumbled.

Victor sighed, he was getting the sneaking suspicion that Yuri had been keeping a few of his own secrets.

"Has he ever told you why he hates it so much?" Victor asked.

Otabek shook his head, "I just assumed he hates it for the same reason everyone else hates it. Even I sort of hate it, it's not something I'm proud of."

"Well partly, tell me, how much do you know about Yuri's grandfather?"

"Not much, only what Yuri's wanted to tell me, just a few stories really. I only spoke to Nikolai a few times on Skype. I never got to meet him in person. I wasn't even able to make it to the funeral."

Nkiolai Plistetsky had died about about two years into their budding friendship. They weren't even dating yet, merely testing the waters to see how the other would react.  

At this point they were only seeing one another every few months, usually during competition season. Skype was their main way of connecting. He knew Yuri loved his grandpa, that he was Yuri's only family. And it was pretty plain to see that Nikolai adored Yuri, but most of the time, Nikolai Plisetsky was just in the background of his computer screen, quietly leaving the two boys alone to talk.

Otabek had to admit that when they were teenagers, Nikolai wasn't exactly a hot topic of conversation between them. No more than his own parents were. They knew a little about each others families, and at that point, it was enough. They were young, and had other, more exciting things they wanted to discuss: video games, skating, competing, movies, music, etc...not serious stuff like family.

Yuri had wanted Otabek to meet Nikolai at some point, but it never happened. Nikolai passed away, before he could get the chance.

Otabek was in Canada for special training at the time so he was unable to make it to the funeral.

After that Yuri didn't talk about his grandpa very often. On the rare occasion he'd open up about him, he'd ended up choking on tears that wouldn't stop, which embarrassed him.  No, it was better to keep it locked away than turn into a blubbering mess in front of people, especially Otabek.

Victor rubbed his face in frustration. Otabek was clearly missing a very important piece of Yuri's history. History Yuri should have told him about by now instead of keeping it to himself. This mess might not have happened if the two had talked more.

"Nikolai wasn't a well man," Victor said quietly, "he was always a hard worker, but once Yuri came to live with him he worked doubly hard. He'd wanted to make sure Yuri had everything he needed. I never knew a time where he wasn't working more than two or three jobs to support his grandson. He didn't want Yuri to suffer any sort of hardship, he was still just a child, and already gone through enough. Eventually, once Yuri became more successful and started earning some real money, he insisted his grandpa retire. Yuri wanted to take care of him for a change."

Otabek nodded, it sounded like something Yuri would do. For all his tough words, and spiky shell, Yuri's love for those closest to him was overflowing.

"Nikolai was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis when Yuri was about 13. Nikolai had smoked most of his life, I think he started fairly young. You have to understand, the U.S.S.R was a brutal place to live back then... I was born just a year before it dissolved, so I can't even fathom what people had to live through. I know a lot of kids were expected to pull their weight, some were even expected to be the breadwinners. Childhood was a luxury not many could afford. A lot of people were suffering, so they found different ways to cope. Alcoholism, smoking, or much worse things... For Nikolai his coping mechanism was smoking. He wasn't that old when the doctors first diagnosed him, he must've been around 60 or so when he found out. Yuri was devastated, he read everything he could get his hands on about the disease. He knew his grandpas smoking just made it worse, so he was determined to get his grandpa to quit. He knew it wouldn't save his life, but it might give him a little more time. "

Victor stopped for a minute, remembering how desperate Yuri was when he first found out his grandpa. He'd found him sobbing in the locker room that day. The doctors had given Nikolai a few years at best.

"Nikolai was a good man, but so damn stubborn. He wouldn't quit, he wasn't one for change. He'd say he was already dying, so what was the point? He'd resigned himself to his fate early on. All he wanted to do was fill his remaining time with Yuri, and do the things he had always done. Unfortunately, Yuri didn't see it that way, he was still so young then...he couldn't understand why his grandpa wouldn't quit, not even for him. In Yuri's head, Nikolai had chosen cigarettes and death over him. It didn't stop Yuri from loving him, but it never made any sense at the time. I think when he got a bit older, he started to understand his grandpas reasoning, but it didn't make it hurt any less."

Victor rubbed his temples, it had been years since he had thought about any of this, and it still made his heart hurt. He hoped he'd never have to tell that story ever again. He shouldn't of been the one telling it in the first place. It should have been Yuri, and it should have happened a long time ago.

Otabek's heart throbbed, "I..I didn't know...he never told me any of this. If I had known...I've gotta find him." he stood up, ready to go back out onto the streets.

Yuuri held up a hand to stop him, "listen, let me make a few calls first, maybe someone's heard from him."

He laid his hand Otabek's shoulder, "we'll find him. Yuri's done this before, he's tough, but he never goes too far from home. He just needs to blow off some steam."

Yuuri called around to the other Russian skaters, but no one had seen, or heard from him.  Yakov and Lilia had no idea either. He tried Yuri's phone again, but there was still no answer, it rang several times before going to voicemail, so at least he had kept it on.

Yuri just didn't want to be found, at least not yet.

"It's late, you're welcome stay here tonight if you want, we've got plenty of room." Victor offered.

Otabek shook his head, "Thanks, but I think I'll just go home. If I don't hear from him in a few hours I'll call you."

He left their house very sad, and weary.

As soon as he left, Victor grabbed his phone and proceeded to call Yuri repeatedly, hoping the brat would get annoyed and answer his phone if he called enough times.

Otabek, stepped out onto the street and started for home. His hands were stuffed deep into the pockets of his jacket, eyes barely looking up from his feet as he walked home. He had never been so afraid in his life.

Afraid Yuri thought he wasn't important to him.

Afraid that Yuri was out wandering the streets alone and hurt.

Afraid that Yuri wouldn't come back.

He finally reached their apartment (was it theirs still?) and unlocked the door. He tossed his jacket in the general direction of the coat hook, too upset to care where it landed. Out of the corner of his eye he saw movement in the living room.

Weary brown eyes met sad green ones, red rimmed from crying.

Yuri had stood up when he heard the door open, letting a photo of his grandpa float to the floor.

Otabek's breath hitched at the sight of him, while a plethora of emotions started churning his gut. Relief that he was safe, anger at himself for being so fucking stupid, happy that Yuri had come home.

But mostly, he just felt lost...

Even after all this time, for whatever reason, there were things Yuri couldn't, wouldn't share with him. He hated that Yuri had kept this secret...that they had both kept secrets.

He felt hot tears stinging his eyes, it felt so foreign to him. He couldn't even remember the last time he had cried, probably not since he was a child. He felt like a child at that moment, weak and sad and needing comfort, needing forgiveness...

Yuri had been crying, and he was the cause of it. That haunted look on his face was his doing, and he hated himself for it. He could feel their relationship sinking, he needed to do something, anything, to keep them afloat. 

He went to Yuri, and dropped to his knees in front of him, wrapping his arms tight around his tiny waist.  

"I'm sorry Yura...I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry" he sobbed, burying his face in Yuri's shirt.

Yuri was speechless. All that night Yuri had wanted to punish him, shake him, scream at him, tell him how fucking brainless he was. He wanted to call him every name he could think of, and throw him out.  

But now... seeing Otabek; his strong and steadfast anchor, fall apart at his feet, he didn't want to do any of it. He softened, then, tentatively cradled Otabek's head, feeling hot tears soak into his shirt.   

"I'm, sorry too..." Yuri whispered back.

Otabek looked up; their eyes met, and Yuri's heart shattered when he saw how sorrowful he looked. He had never seen Otabek cry, part of him thought that he didn't know how.

"What do you have to be sorry about? I'm the one that screwed up." Otabek rasped.

"I should have told you about...about grandpa." Yuri ran a hand through Otabek's hair, the touch soothing to both of them,

"Victor called me about 15 minutes ago, stupid jerk wouldn't stop calling until I picked up. He practically throttled me through the phone for not telling you about grandpa. He's an idiot, but he's right, I should have. I shouldn't of kept it to myself, it's just...so hard for me to talk about."

He sniffled, and wiped his nose with the back of his hand, he had run out of tissues awhile ago.

"Instead I acted like I always do, I bottled it up and stuffed it away in my brain. You didn't know why I was so pissed about the smoking. I must've looked like such a crazy bitch..."

Otabek straightened up a little. It should be him apologizing, not Yuri!

"It shouldn't have mattered why. You were so upset the first time you caught me, that should have been reason enough to quit. I'm sorry....I fucked up, Alan was here and I..."

Yuri shushed him, "I know, shit happens, you make mistakes." he paused, a sad smile on his face," you know, I had this idea in my head after the first time I caught you, that you would just flip a switch in your head and never do it again. You're always so strong and resolute about things. I've gotta stop thinking you're this perfect superhuman. You're allowed to fuck up. Shit, I fuck up almost everyday, sometimes I wonder why you even bother with-"

Otabek stood up, cutting Yuri off. He took Yuri's face in his hands, locking eyes with him.

"Never again Yuri, never." he pressed his forehead to his, "I choose you... I will always choose you."

He kissed him, wanting to erase the whole night with his mouth.

They embraced, the entire night had been so draining. It had been a colossal error in communication and they had both suffered because of it. They still had a lot to talk about, but at the moment, it felt wonderful to just cling to one another. They had weathered a major storm and had came out the other side, slightly battered, but still together.

Otabek broke the silence, "will you tell me more about your grandpa sometime? I never got a chance to know him, and I'd like to hear more about him, if you'll let me..."

Yuri gave him a weak laugh and buried his face in Otabek's chest, "how long have you got?"

"For you? All the time in the world...."

Chapter Text

Monday


Yuri woke up feeling off, his head hurt, and his throat and inner ear itched.  

Better not be getting sick, I don't have time for this.

He downed a few ibuprofen with his morning coffee, and got ready to head out to the rink. Otabek had left earlier, needing to run an errand before practice.

It was the first week of November, but winter already held St. Petersbourg in it's grip. Winter never phased Yuri, he always ran hot, like an angry, blond furnace.  A jacket and hoodie sufficed most days, but today, when he stepped outside his door, the icy wind went straight through him, making his teeth rattle.

Shit, get it together Plisetsky, don't be a bitch. Since when does the cold get to you?

The raw, penetrating wind won out though. He went back inside, needing something warmer to wear. He grabbed a slouchy, purple knit hat, tugging it low over his ears, and shoved his leopard print gloves on. Tossing his jacket on the bed, he groped to the back of his closet for his thick, black puffer coat. He was sure it was still in there, somewhere. He hadn't worn it in years, but he hoarded clothes, and knew it hadn't been thrown out. Finally locating it it he pulled it. His shoulders, and chest had broadened since he'd worn it last, so it was a snug fit. He struggled a bit to get it zipped up, and looked like he had been poured into it, but it was warm, and that's what mattered. Lastly, he pulled out a thick, black scarf and wound it around his head several times.

He put his sunglasses on, and caught his reflection in the mirror; he looked ridiculous. Like a puffy, black marshmallow wearing a hat. The only thing not covered up was his nose, and he was sure once he was outside, that too, would get tucked in behind the scarf.

Grabbing his coffee cup, he made his second attempt at going to practice.

It felt like he had been trudging along for an eternity. Brown slushy snow sank through his shoes turning his toes icy. Why didn't he think to change his shoes before he left?  He had perfectly good, fur trimmed sorrels sitting in his closet, lot of good they did him there.

It was a difficult trek that morning. He needed to stop a few times to cough and wheeze. The frigid wind was determined to steal his breath away.

Mercifully, the rink finally came into view.

He walked in, grateful to feel the blast of hot air as he opened the door. Yuri stood by the boards for a few minute, holding his now lukewarm coffee, trying to thaw out.

Otabek skated up to him, and smirked, "is that you under all that Yura?"

"Ughh, it's fucking freezing outside, I'm so cold." his voice muffled under the scarf still wrapped around his face.

"You? Cold? I don't think I've ever heard you say that. You feeling okay?"

Otabek reached out, and plucked the sunglasses off Yuri's face. He had blue shadows under his eyes, and looked like he hadn't slept for days.

Yuri shrugged, "just a little off this morning, no big deal. I'm gonna get myself a new cup of coffee, then I'll meet you on the ice."

Over the course of the day he could feel himself going downhill. His headache returned with a vengeance, and his stomach would churn every so often which made him quietly gag to himself. He managed to finish his routine by the skin of his teeth, only to shiver violently once he was finished.  Yakov knew just by looking at him that Yuri was sick, no matter how loudly he denied it.

"Go home Yuri, you're sick. Get some sleep. Just make sure you're here tomorrow!" he barked.

Yuri scoffed.

Otabek came up beside him, "he's right Yura, go home, I'll bring dinner home tonight," he brushed his hand over his pale cheek, it felt warm, even for him, "text me if you need anything."

Otabek watched Yuri pull all his cold weather paraphernalia back on, and slump out the door. Lilia had offered to take Yuri home in her car, at least he wouldn't have to walk home.

Later that evening, when Otabek came home, he found Yuri on the couch under a pile of blankets, still wearing the purple knit hat from earlier.

"Feeling any better?"

Yuri coughed, and sat up, "Eh, Lilia got me some cold medicine, it makes me dopey, and tastes like crap."

Otabek had brought dinner home as promised. Soup and sandwiches, from the cafe down the block. The temperature outside had plummeted even further that afternoon, and it had started to snow. He hoped the soup was still hot when he took the lids off.

Yuri finally felt hungry for the first time that day, and had eaten his entire meal. It made him feel full, and dozy. Otabek took advantage of his lovers docile state, putting his hand to Yuri's forehead.

"You feel really hot Yura, have you taken your temperature lately?"

Yuri shook his, "couldn't find the thermometer. "

Otabek went and rummaged through the bathroom. He knew the thermometer was in there. Yuri just sucked at looking for things. If something wasn't sitting in plain sight, surrounded by blinking lights, with a sign saying "Here I Am", he'd just say he couldn't find it.

Otabek had to practically empty the drawers, but he finally found it, buried way in the back.

"Under your tongue, and don't bite it." he said putting the thermometer in Yuri's mouth.

"Yes mom," Yuri croaked.

They watched TV until they heard it beep.

"99.9, kinda high, but not too bad. It'd probably be higher if you hadn't taken that cold medicine."

"Then why am I freezing?" Yuri shivered.

"Just part of having a fever. Why don't you go to bed? Yakov said there was no skipping tomorrow, you've got your routine to fine tune in the morning."

Yuri groaned, and went to bed, taking all the blankets from the couch with him.

Otabek stayed up a little longer, wanting to finished the show they had been watching. After, he shut the TV off, and went to bed. He glanced at Yuri, he seemed pretty peaceful, though he was wearing a lot more clothing than he normally wore to bed. Flannel pants, thermal shirt, and thick wool socks. The blankets were over his head, leaving just a wisp of blond hair poking out of the top.

He slid into bed, and turned off the light, falling asleep to the sound of Yuri's wheezing.

***

Otabek's bladder woke him up about 2 hours later.

I've really gotta stop chugging water before bed.

Yawning, and absently scratching his side, he looked over and noticed Yuri wasn't in bed.

He must've beat me to the bathroom.

He stretched while he walked down the hall, and leaned against the wall outside the bathroom, waiting for his turn.

He waited, and waited. The light was on in the bathroom, but he didn't hear any movement.  

"Yura? Did you fall in or something? Hurry up, I've gotta pee too you know."

He listened, and heard some fumbling noises, and a sickly groan that sounded like it came from the floor.  Otabek jiggled the doorknob; locked.

He reached up, and slid his hand over the top of the door frame until he found the key, quickly unlocking the door.

The first thing he noticed was a smell, like a sewer had backed up.

The second was Yuri in his boxers, curled up in a ball on the bathroom rug. His pajamas in a rumpled pile next to him.

"Yura what's wrong?" he stooped down next to him. Yuri's skin felt hot and clammy, his damp hair stuck to his back. He did a full body shiver when Otabek touched him.

"I think...I'm dying.." his voice was hoarse.

"It certainly smells like you are. How long have been in here, and why'd you take your clothes off?"

Yuri shook his head, "Dunno, I was cold, then I got hot...then I felt nauseous, then crampy, nauseous, crampy," he repeated, hugging his belly, "I think I threw up a few organs, and managed to shit the rest out."

Otabek grimaced, apparently even at deaths door Yuri retained his colorful way with words.

"Nice talk Yura. Why didn't you wake me?"

"To do what? Watch me die on the floor?" he groaned.

Otabek grabbed a washcloth and ran it under warm water. He managed to sit him and wiped his sweaty face, then grabbed a glass of water.

Yuri shook his head, "no, I'll just throw it up." He pushed the glass away.

Otabek persisted until he managed to get a few sips in him.

"Yura, I'm no doctor, but it sounds like you've got the flu. Didn't you get a flu shot?"

"Tried to, line was too long."

Otabek shook his head, he knew Yuri had an aversion to needles. Remembering the time he went to get his ear pierced, only to chicken out last minute, "uh huh, come on, let's get you back in bed."

He helped Yuri off the floor, and got him into bed, getting in next to him. Over the course of the night, he heard Yuri get up a few more times, luckily, he managed to drag himself back to bed each time.

God it was going to be a long day tomorrow...

Tuesday

Otabek woke up the next morning, and saw Yuri attempting to put his leggings and track jacket on. He had trouble zipping it up with his trembling fingers.

"You're not going to practice today, you have the flu."

"I don't have the flu." Yuri snapped, his voice nothing more than a dry, gravelly whisper.

"You do too, you have a temperature, you were up all night firing out both ends, and you sound like shit." Otabek had gotten up, and was trying to maneuver him back into bed.

"Go away Beka," he croaked feebly, "I've gotta go.." weakly slapping Otabek's hands away

"You're so stubborn Yura, what are you gonna do? Go to the rink and just poop and barf your way through practice?"

Yuri huffed, "if I have to."

"Nope, what you have to do, is get back in bed. I'll call Yakov and tell him we're not coming in today. I doubt he'll want you there. He can't afford to have the entire Russian team down with the flu because of you. Although, I'm sure pretty sure they all got their flu shots."

Yuri tried to whine, but his sore throat denied him, "you don't have skip practice too."

He tried to get out of bed again, but only managed to halfway sit up.

"I do, I'm not stupid Yura. I know the minute I leave, you'll get up and try to head to the rink. Then I'll have to waste my time getting you back home. I'm calling Yakov. Get back in bed, now. Don't make me tie you down, you know I can!"

Yuri didn't have the wherewithal to react to the suggestive comment.

Otabek wondered if maybe he really was dying? Even a slightly off  Yuri would have fired off an equally dirty retort within milliseconds.

He dialed Yakov, who said no, he definitely did not want Yuri there.

"Make a doctors appointment for him," Yakov ordered,  "the teams physician is at the rink today, he'd be quicker than a normal doctor. He might even be able to a house call."

"I hope so, I don't think I'd be able to get him to a doctor's office, not unless I find some tranquilizers." Otabek joked.

Yuri hated to go to the doctors. He wondered if it was a genuine fear, or if maybe it was just because Yuri was too old to get a sucker after he was done. It really could be just that stupid of a reason when Yuri was concerned.

"If you manage to find any, save one for me. That kid is gonna kill me someday. Getting sick at a time like this, he's got Skate America in a few weeks!"

"I know, I'll do what I can to make sure he's ready for it," Otabek said, "I'll give you an update after the doctor sees him. "

He went back into the bedroom, Yuri was already back asleep. He left him be, and made coffee for himself.

If I make an appointment for him now, he can just sleep until the doctor gets here. Then he won't have any time to bitch about it. It's a little sneaky, but it's for his own good.

He called the teams physician, who had already heard from Yakov, he said he'd be there in an hour, or so.  Otabek thanked him, and sat down with his coffee.

Incoming texts started to pop up on his phone.

VKN: Yakov said Yuri was sick, is he ok?

OA: He's asleep now, he had a rough night. Pretty sure he's got the flu.

YKN: Oh no! If you need anything let us know, we know Yuri can be a bear when he's sick.

VKN: Stock the fridge with lemon-lime soda, he likes it, something his grandpa used to give him when he was ill.

OA: Thanks, I'll let you know what the dr says.

VKN: Tell my son I love him!

YKN: Victor not now...

OA: ttyl

Otabek tossed his phone on the table, and finished his coffee.

He tried to stay as quiet as possible, not wanting to wake Yuri. It was underhanded to let Yuri sleep, only to wake up and be at the doctors mercy, but it was the easiest way. He was fine with seeing the doctor when it was skating related, but when he was sick, he refused, insisting that he was fine.

Otabek looked at the clock on his phone, 9:30 he had awhile yet. He made himself breakfast.

About an hour and a half later he nudged Yuri, the doctor had come.

"Yura, Yura wake up."

He groaned, "Beka....stop, I'm dying remember?"

"The doctor is here."

Yuri shot one eye open, "Wha-...why?"

"You're dying remember? It's the teams doctor, Dr. Sokolov, you know him, he's a good guy."

"Fuck Beka...." Yuri flung an arm over his face and sniffled.

"Yura, don't be dramatic. It'll take 10 minutes. He'll look you over and give you medicine that will actually help."

Yuri just coughed disapprovingly. He really wanted to protest more, but didn't have it in him. The lure of stronger drugs overshadowed his desire to be petulant.

"You owe me Beka."

"Fine, if you survive this, you can bill me later."

Otabek walked out, "Yuri's awake, be prepared, he's not happy."

Dr. Sokolov smiled, "No problem, I'm used to difficult patients, him especially."

"If you happen to have a sucker in your bag give it to him, it might make my day easier." he jibed

The doctor gave him a look, not really getting the joke.

Otabek stifled a laugh,"never mind, he's through there."

 After about 15 minutes later Dr. Sokolov came out.

"Well you were right, it's the flu, a nasty one too. I thought I told all of the skaters to get their flu shots weeks ago? He said he didn't get one."

"Yeah...he said he "tried"," gesturing finger quotes, "but the line was too long. I think he just didn't want to get the shot. He's funny about stuff like that."

Dr. Sokolov shrugged, "I guess he's paying the price then. He's not allowed back at the rink for a week. Plenty of fluids, and rest, make sure he takes his meds, and get a humidifier for the bedroom, it'll help."

The doctor handed him the prescriptions.

"Get them filled today, the sooner he takes them, the sooner he can get back to practice.  He'll be fine, he just needs to ride it out. I prescribed an antiviral, it might help him recover quicker. "

Otabek thanked him, and showed him to the door.

He looked over the scripts. Decongestant, anti-viral, cough suppressant, and a stronger dose of Ibuprofen, it was an impressive list, hopefully he could get Yuri to choke them all down.

Otabek peeked in on Yuri a few minutes later, "Yura?"

"What?" he groused, shooting him a disgruntled look.

"Come on, you know you needed to see a doctor, Yakov's orders. Don't be a baby about it."

Yuri huffed, which mutated into a weird sneeze/cough, "I'm not being a baby, I'm sick."

"Okay Yura. Listen, I'm gonna go to the pharmacy and get these filled. Do you want anything while I'm there?"

"Gatorade, the blue kind, not that green shit, cherry cough drops with the mentholated stuff inside, and tissues with lotion."

"Is that all?"

Yuri nodded rolling over, and burrowing back under the blankets.

Otabek, left the room, but quickly ducked his head back in, "stay in bed!"

Yuri weakly tossed a pillow in his general direction.

Otabek walked down to the pharmacy, texting along the way.

OA: Doctor says it's flu, he's stuck at home for a week.

YKN: Poor Yurio, if you need anything let us know, we could bring dinner by tonight if you want.

VKN: Yes! We can bring whatever you need!

OA: Thanks guys. I'll see what he's up for.

It was nice to have a network of friends to lean on. With his family so far away, and Yuri's non existent, it was good know people where still looking out for them. This would be so much harder if they didn't have Victor and Yuuri living nearby, ready to help. He was glad he didn't have to tend to Yuri by himself, he was sure that would just end with one of them dead.

Otabek dropped the scripts off and said he'd for them to be filled. He wandered the aisles, grabbing things off his list.
He was perusing the humidifiers when he saw it. There, on the top shelf, was a tiger shaped humidifier.

Was it a childish thing to buy for a 20 year old man? Yes it was. Would Yuri love it? Yes, yes he would. It was added to the growing pile of supplies.  

At the last minute, he grabbed a 12 pack of lemon-lime soda, remembering Victor's advice.

His hands were full to bursting when he left the store. It was an ungainly trip back to their apartment, but he made it, closing the door behind him with his foot.

He put the everything away, read the pill bottles to see when they needed to be doled out, and unboxed the humidifier.

"You awake?" he asked, cracking the door.

"Yeah, did you get everything?"

"Yes I did, I also found something that reminded me of you."

He pulled the tiger humidifier out from behind his back, and watched Yuri's tired eyes light up.

Yuri gave him an appreciative wheeze, and smiled, "he's staying out even when we aren't using it."

"I thought you'd like it. I'm gonna go fill it, and bring you your medicine. Do you want water, Gatorade, or lemon-lime soda?"

Yuri quirked his head, "how did you know about the soda?"

"Victor mentioned that you liked as a kid when you were sick."

Yuri tried to roll his eyes, but it made his head hurt. Inside though, he made a mental note to thank Victor. The lemon lime soda was indeed something his grandfather used to give him when he wasn't feeling well. It was Nikolai's go to cure for almost any type of stomach upset. It was nice that the Victor had remembered.

"Just water so I can take my medicine."

After Yuri was dosed, Otabek set the tiger up on Yuri's nightstand, and let it do it's thing.

"I think I'm gonna try and take a shower before this stuff kicks in. I feel gross." Yuri said, knowing full well he reeked.

"You hungry at all?"

Yuri shrugged, "I'm a little gun shy about filling my stomach with anything, but maybe I could try some toast?"

"On it."

While Yuri was in the shower, he put the bread in the toaster, and changed the sheets on the bed, Yuri having sweat through them the night before.  

The toast was waiting for him when he was done, with a soda bubbling next to it. It tasted good, even if it didn't stay in his stomach long, he made a mad dash to the bathroom.

Yuri re-emerged, after brushing his teeth about twenty times.

"So much for toast."

He sipped the soda, and managed to keep that down at least.

"Maybe tomorrow when the medicine has had time to work, you'll be able to eat something."

Yuri yawned in agreement.

Yuri slept for the remainder of the afternoon, Otabek joined him, thankful for the respite. The room was dark when he woke up, it was close to 7, a text blinked onto his phone.

VKN: Still want dinner?
Otabeks stomach growled.

OA: Yes! I'm not sure what Yuri wants, he hasn't kept anything down today. At this point whatever you feel like bringing would be great. Thanks.

VKN: Be there in a bit.

Twenty minutes later Victor and Yuuri were at the door. Instead of take out, they had brought two giant bags of groceries. Fruit, soup, rice, juice, instant noodles, tea, snacks and more. It was more food than they would normally buy in a week.

"Guys, you didn't have to do this." Otabek said, greatly appreciating the gesture.

"We weren't sure if take out was the best idea," Yuuri said starting to unpack the bags, "so we brought groceries instead. We figured you'd need a bunch of different options, especially if the invalid can't keep anything down."

"I'm right here, you know," Yuri had woken up, and poked his head up over the couch.

"Yurio how are you feeling?" Victor asked, filling the kettle, setting it on the stove to boil.

"I've been better, just wish I could eat without puking. My brain says I'm hungry, my stomach disagrees."  

"Here try this." Victor tossed a banana towards him, "they're supposed to be good if your stomach is upset, something about the potassium."

Yuri gave a mumbled thanks while peeling it. He ate it, and then  waited for the telltale lurch in his gut. Thankfully, his stomach seemed to find the offering acceptable.

Yuuri brought him tea, and that stayed down as well. Yuri sat back, enjoying the feeling of food in his belly for the first time in almost 24 hours.

"Maybe the medicine's starting to work." Yuuri said.

"That's good, now I won't feel so bad about going back to the rink tomorrow." Otabek said, sipping his tea while leaning against the counter.

Yuri frowned, "you're not staying home with me tomorrow?"

Otabek shook his head, "I'd love to, but I can't. I've gotta go back tomorrow. You'll be okay, you can call me if you need anything."

"Okay." He didn't like the sound of being sick and all alone.

Vitor and Yuuri stayed a little while longer, then said their goodbyes, not wanting to tire Yuri out.

Yuri and his somewhat full belly got back in bed. Being away from the now humid air of the bedroom had started to make his chest ache.

Otabek followed, they had planned to watch a movie in bed, but they were both sound asleep after the opening credits.


Chapter Text

Wednesday

 

"Remember, if you need anything text me." Otabek said, kissing the top of Yuri's head, the only place on Yuri he dared put his lips.

Yuri was half asleep, he'd had another fitful night. His chest sore from coughing, and his fever still plagued him, but the nausea and umm...other internal issues seemed to have stopped. Yuri got up to take his morning dose of medicine, grabbed a bottle of Gatorade from the fridge, and gave a weak wave goodbye to Otabek as he left.

After a few more hours of sleep his chest pain had eased, the ibuprofen having done it's job. He flipped channels, but at this point TV bored him to tears. He wasn't into reading, video games made his head hurt, and there was no one to talk, or complain to. He could text his small circle of friends, but they would all be on the ice right now, no one would answer.

As the afternoon wore on the loneliness grew heavier. Being home alone was not usually something that bothered him, but something about the current situation made him terribly melancholy. He remembered being sick when he was younger, it never felt like this. Grandpa could rarely afford to stay home from work to be with him, so he'd stay home by himself, but he never felt alone.

Potya had been with him.

His beloved cat had passed away when Yuri was 17. She was a cherished member of the family, and it broke his heart to see here go. He had never gotten another cat after her, not wanting to insult her memory.

She was his constant companion when he was younger, especially when he was ill. She'd hop up on his pillow and curl around his head, purring loudly, kneading her little claws into him. It was like she knew he needed to be looked after, and was all too happy to do it. She was by his side day and night, giving him a sweet little chiruup noise every so often as if to say, "I'm here."

He wished so much to have Potya back. He would tell her all his thoughts and fears, knowing that even his deepest secrets were safe with her. He sniffled at the thought of her being gone, and grabbed his phone.

YP: Im lonely...I miss Potya

OA: I know you miss her I told you we could get another cat if you wanted one

YP: I just want Potya

OA: I'll be home soon I love you Yura.

After practice Otabek texted him to say he'd be a little while longer, Yakov had some things to discuss with him.

It was a lie.

Otabek had to go to a few different stores before he found what he was looking for, at the last store he was successful.

He walked into the bedroom, and set a gift bag down in front of Yuri.

"What's that?" he asked.

"Just open it." Otabek smiled.

Yuri took the tissue out of the bag, and reached down to the bottom of the bag. He made scratchy squeak of appreciation when he pulled the item out. He held a fluffy, and very life-like Himalayan plushie, the same color, and almost the same size as Potya.

He hugged it to his chest and felt a lump at his throat, "where did you find this?"

"I wasn't sure I'd be able to find one at all, but I thought I'd make an attempt. You sounded so sad before, I thought this would cheer you up. I had to go to a few different toy stores, but the last one I went to had a shelf full of plush cats and dogs. There was only one Himalayan left."

Yuri pet the soft fur, and sniffled, "thanks Beka...I love it"

"I know you aren't ready for a replacement for Potya yet, but I thought he might keep you company."

Yuri reached out to hug Otabek, it was the best he had felt in days.

That night he had his first real meal, and settled in bed his bed wonderfully full of food. Yuri laid tucked into Otabek's side. He could still feel a gentle heat radiating off Yuri, the fever hadn't quite loosened it's grip on him yet, but it was tapering off.

"Are you going to be okay tomorrow?" Otabek asked.

"I think so," he answered, Potya II as it was now christened was above his head on his pillow, where the real Potya use to lay, " I guess we'll find out. I just wish this flu was over."

Otabek hugged him close, "you'll be better soon Yura. Get some sleep."

Yuri slept well, until his fever broke that night, leaving him in a sweaty tangle of sheets, and damp pajamas.

 

Thursday

 

"Call me if you need anything." Otabek asked, tugging his track jacket on.

Yuri nodded from his pillow, Potya II snuggled against his chest. He wasn't looking forward to another long, quiet day alone, but what choice did he have? He considered just flat out begging Otabek to stay home, but he knew it wasn't an option. He'd have to just man up and get through it.

The fever was gone, and the chest pain was just a mere annoyance now. However, a new, more aggravating symptom had reared it's head. One Yuri wasn't expecting this late in the game. His entire body ached. This wasn't the usual ache that he was familiar with after a day on the ice. This was an unrelenting, penetrative ache that had settled into his bones, and sunk down to his toes. Otabek handed him the bottle of prescription Ibuprofen so he wouldn't have to get out of bed.

"I wish we had a heating pad," Yuri said, shifting in bed, "that's probably something two athletes should own."

"I've never thought to buy one, I'd just as soon take a hot bath."

"I don't want to get wet every time I want some pain relief."

"Maybe I'll stop on the way home and pick one up for you." Otabek said as he left the bedroom and headed out.

Yuri tossed, and turned, and cursed until he found a comfortable enough position that would allow him could go back to sleep. The day would go by faster if he just slept through it.

Otabek took a break a little before noon, he sat down next to Yuuri and pulled out his phone.

YP: can you die from muscle aches? if so I leave my possessions to you just bury me with Grandpa's hat and Potya II

OA: That bad huh? The ibuprofen isn't helping?

YP: It took the edge off, but I can't get comfortable, everything aches

OA: I'll stop at the store and see that I can find.

YP: This fucking sucks Beka just when I think I'm getting better something else goes to shit. I'm so done with this I'm fucking sick of being cooped up here.

Otabek was just about to reply when he felt a presence behind him.

"I have a giant heating pad at home, it's full body! I can get it and drop it off, maybe stay awhile to keep Yurio company!"

Otabek looked behind him. Victor was only a few inches away, shamelessly reading his texts over his shoulder. Otabek gave him a disdainful look, but Victor paid no attention.

"I dunno Vitya, you know how Yurio can be when he's sick" Yuuri warned.

Victor waved him off, "He's all bark and no bite when he's sick. He'll let me in when he sees that I'm bearing gifts."

"I don't want you to get sick too, you don't have to." Otabek said, hoping that would discourage Victor from going.

"Nonsense, I get a flu shot every year like clockwork. I haven't been sick in ages, I'll be fine. Yuuri, you can handle the rest of the day alone can't you?"

"Well sure but-"

"Great! I'm off to take care of our Yurio." he turned and left, waving to them both as he went out the door.

"Are you going to tell Yurio that Vitya's on his way over?" Yuuri asked.

"I can't decide if I should warn him or not. If I do Yura will try to leave, if I don't he might throw me out when I get home."

In the end Otabek didn't have time to text a warning to Yuri. His break was over, and Yakov was shouting for him to get back on the ice.

A half an hour later Yuri was startled awake by a loud knock on the door. He waited, hoping whoever it was would leave, but the knocking persisted. He got up, still wrapped in the beds comforter, ready to tell whoever it was to fuck off.

He opened the door, ready to shout, but Victor was already talking, cutting Yuri off before he could say a word.

"I've come to see the invalid!" Victor said loudly, he had two bags full of stuff in each hand.

"Why the fuck are you here Victor? I'm not in the mood, I'm in a shitload of pain right now. Wait, did Otabek send you? Cause if he did I'm so-"

"No, Otabek did not send me. I heard you were feeling achey, so I brought you this." He pulled out a large, rolled up piece of black cushioning, a long cord trailed behind it.

Yuri recognized it, he had used it on occasion at Victor and Yuuri's house. It was a huge, full body heating pad, complete with massage settings. Victor had paid out the nose for it, Yuuri couldn't believe he had spent so much on something so silly, but in Yuri's opinion, it was worth every penny. He drooled at the sight of it, greedily snatching it out of Victors hands.

"Fine, you can come in, but the minute you start to annoy me your ass is out, and I'm keeping the heating pad."

"Deal."

Yuri went back to bed, unrolled the pad, and plugged it in. Turning the dial to high, he laid on top of it, eager to feel the heat. After a minute or two, the warmth embraced him, he felt like a lizard basking on a hot rock. He tapped the massage button, and let out a pleasured, "ohhh".

"It's great isn't" Victor asked leaning against the door frame to the bedroom. Yuri could only nod in blissful agreement.

"You hungry? I can make lunch."

Another nod.

"Okay I'll be back."

"Take your time..." Yuri purred, his voice wavering slightly from the vibrations. He was in no hurry to eat, he'd have to sit up for that, leaving this blessed appliance unmanned.

Victor brought lunch in, and a soda for each of them. Yuri took the offered drink, "thanks for remembering about grandpa, and the soda." he said quietly.

"No problem Yurio, anything to make you well again."

They ate lunch haphazardly on the bed, bread crumbs bouncing onto the sheets.

"I can't believe you can get away with eating in bed. This is a serious no no at our house, Yuuri hates it." Victor said between bites of his sandwich.

"Otabek is kind of the same, but I think even he'd let it slide at the moment."

They ate in silence for a bit.

"So, how are you and Otabek?" Victor asked.

"We're good," Yuri paused, smiling, "great actually."

"So, have you guys talked about your plans?"

Yuri made a face, by now he was used to having these types of conversations with Victor, but this one made him uncomfortable. They had only talked about it once, and it was very brief. Since then talks of their future were non existent. The lack of discussion didn't bother him, he was only 20 after all, marriage and family were still a ways off.

"We talked a little, but nothing serious. He kinda asked what my thoughts on marriage were. I think he just wanted to see if they gelled with his own."

"Do they gel?" Victor asked while he cleared the dishes, and stacked them on the dresser.

Yuri shrugged, "I mean, I guess at some point, I'd like to get married. Otabek said he did too, but that's as far as it's gotten. I think we're just happy with the way things are right now."

"There's nothing wrong with that. If you're both happy that's great!" Yuri nodded in agreement, there was another pause. It looked as if Victor was debating his next sentence.

"Can I tell you something Yuri?"

Yuri sipped his drink, "I guess. Nothing gross please, my fucking stomach can't handle it. "

Victor laughed, "No nothing gross, I promise. So," he paused tentatively, "in the last few weeks, Yuuri and I have been talking about adopting."

Yuri's eyes grew wide. "are you shitting me?"

"I'm not really suppose to tell anyone, it's still so early in the process. Yuuri wants to keep it private, but if I don't tell someone I'm going to burst! It's going to take time, maybe even a few years, but we're so excited. Get ready to be an uncle, Yurio."

"Uncle Yurio." Yuri said, trying the name out on his lips. He liked the sound of it.

Victor smiled, "Uncle Otabek too" he added.

Yuri liked the sound of that even more. It would be fun to have a little kid running around. Contrary to what most people thought, he liked kids. Kids were honest, and blunt, much like himself. It was hard to believe that maybe in a year or two, there could be a new member of their funny little family. Having no brother or sisters (or even cousins for that matter), made the chances of ever being an uncle pretty slim. Otabek had two older sisters, they would have kids someday, but they lived so far away, they would hardly ever see them. This was just one more thing Victor and Yuuri had given him, a chance to have a family, complete with nieces and nephews.

"I wont' tell anyone," Yuri laughed, "I can't promise I won't slip and tell Otabek, but you can trust him. He's like safety deposit box when it comes to secrets."

"Oh, I already assumed you'd tell Otabek. Don't you know by now that when you promise not tell a secret, that doesn't include your spouse?!"

Yuri groaned, "he's not my spouse Victor."

"He will be, it's just a matter of time. Just wait, in a few years it'll be the two of you getting married and having kids."

Yuri laid back on the heating pad and covered his head with the blankets, not wanting to show the giddy blush on his face. He was happy enough with the idea of having a niece or nephew. The added mention of having family of his very own was too much to process.

Victor laughed quietly to himself, knowing all too well that Yuri hiding his face was a sign that their little heart to heart was at an end.

Victor grabbed the other bag he had brought with him, "let's watch a movie."

Yuri emerged from under the blankets, thankful for the sudden change in subjects, "what did you bring?"

Victor had gone through their giant movie library at home, and brought movies he knew Yuri liked. Mostly campy horror movies, and a few animated films that Yuri liked to watch when he needed comfort. He popped a DVD in and pressed play.

It was close to 3, and the sky was clouding over, promising more snow to come. The air in the room grew a little colder.

"If the air in this house gets any dryer my nose is going to shatter." Yuri sniffed, edging closer to the humidifier on the table beside him. It worked well, but there was only so much steam the little tiger could produce.

"Here's a trick Yuuri taught me. Shove two twists of tissue in each nostril, and breath through your mouth. It's not pretty, but it helps."

Yuri thought it was a stupid idea, but at this point, he'd settle for looking like an idiot if it helped him breathe easier.

"I can't believe this actually works," he said a few minutes later, nose full of tissues.

"See? My Yuuri's not just a pretty face."

Yuri rolled his eyes, and settled in to watch the movie. He drifted in, and out of sleep now that his dry nose, and achy bones weren't aggravating him.

Victor stayed next to him, stroking his forehead in a way he knew Yuri enjoyed. This was a familiar gesture to Victor now, but that hadn't always the case. There was a time when caring for sick people just made him nervous, and uncomfortable. Things changed quickly after Nikolai passed away and Yuri had come to live with them. Victor was shocked the first time Yuri was ill while staying with them. Victor had assumed Yuri would naturally go to Yuuri for comfort, him being the more caring of the two men. Instead he sought out Victors company.  Yuuri could be too motherly, something Yuri wasn't used to, he didn't like the sweet gestures, or the sympathetic tone he used. Victor was gentle, but not smothering. He was familiar to Yuri, they would speak their native tongues to one another, and they could reminisce in a way Yuuri couldn't. Victor would sit with him on the bed, and talk about nothing in particular, until Yuri grew drowsy. Then he'd quietly rub his head just like he was doing now. It didn't take Victor long to learn that Yuri didn't necessarily need someone to entertain him, or fuss over him when he was ill. He just wanted to know someone was nearby. Since Otabek wasn't available, he was more than happy to be there in his place. They were all family after all.

By the time the end credits were scrolling over the screen, Yuri was sleeping soundly. Victor got up, careful not to disturb him. He re-filled the humidifier, set a bottle of water by the nightstand, and took the dirty dishes to the sink. He needed to get back to the rink soon, he'd told Yuuri and Otabek that he'd be by to pick them up. Victor went back in to tell Yuri he was going to head out, but decided not to wake him.

He did however take a selfie...

Otabek and Yuuri were waiting outside the rink. Yuuri played on his phone, while Otabek sat wondering what kind of hell he was in store for when he got home.

"Oh, boy..." Yuuri said, holding the screen up so Otabek could see it

"I guess Victor survived." Otabek laughed.

"He may not for long after Yurio sees that picture in his feed."

Victor's bright, heart shaped smile beamed in the photo, while Yuri slept next to him, mouth open, Potya II tucked in his arms, and two balls of tissues sticking out each nostril .

#playingnursetoday #mypoorson #hessocutewhenhesasleep

Otabek had been home for an hour and half before he heard Yuri stirring in the bedroom. He heard a familiar sharp, thunk against the wall, Yuri had thrown his phone.

"Son of a bitch! Victor!!! Oh that is fucking it! I'm keeping his heating pad for good now!"

Otabek thought Yuri was starting to sound like himself again.

Chapter Text

FRIDAY

Yuri was the first to wake up that morning, it was still early, but his entire week had been spent sleeping, and he was desperate to move. He hadn't been this still in years, his brain nagged him to get up, do something, anything, even if it was just make breakfast.

He felt good, the achiness had abated, he was more stiff now than in pain. He really wanted to exercise, or at the very least go for a walk outside. For now though, he settled on making cereal and a cup of tea.

Yuri sat at the kitchen table, knees drawn up to his chest, sipping his tea. He hadn't looked at his phone since the night before. The photo Victor had posted had run wild overnight. Get well wishes were pouring in, most were from his rabid fans, but only a spare few were from fellow skaters. He assumed many of them were concerned, but also secretly hoping that he'd miss Skate America, giving them a better chance of bringing home gold.

Miss Skate America? Like hell he would!

He took a selfie of himself with his tea, giving the camera a sweet, yet slightly smug, smile.

#feelingbetter #getyourflushot #SkateAmerica3weeks

It sounded innocent enough, but he wanted to remind the other skaters that he was gunning for them. It would take more than the flu to keep him from competing.

Yuri was halfway through breakfast when he heard Otabek's heavy tread come down the hall. He smiled at Yuri, and pressed his lips to the top Yuri's head.

"You're up early. Feeling better?" he asked stuffing a filter into the coffeemaker.

"Much better today, I don't really hurt much, just stiff, nothing I can't handle."

"Make sure you still take your medicine."

Yuri nodded, he grabbed his daily dose, and downed them with the rest of his tea.

Yuri's eyes drifted over to Otabek. He was shirtless, black hair tousled, pajama bottoms riding low on his hips. Otabek was quietly humming to himself as he poured his coffee, and made breakfast.

Yuri drank him in, tilting his head lazily, while he watched the muscles in Otabek's back shift, and flex as he moved about the kitchen. His eyes trailed up his spine to the nape of his neck, and further up to his hair. Otabek was due for a haircut he noticed, the normally well groomed undercut was slightly shaggy. He wanted to run his hand through it, and tug at. Otabek hadn't shaved yet either, the dark shadow of morning stubble gave him a rugged look that left Yuri weak.

He felt a heat swell low in his belly.

Move, his brain told him. He didn't want to exercise anymore, he wanted to fuck. Doing so right now, would probably split him in two as stiff as his body was, but he'd be willing to risk it. It had been a week since he'd been truly kissed, or played with. Only innocent cuddles, and sweet pecks on the top of his head. During the worst part of his flu, sex was the last thing on his mind, but now that he was feeling better, it was all he could think about. He didn't want sweet, caring Otabek anymore, he wanted rough, commanding Otabek, who would take him any way he wanted, leaving Yuri wrung out and panting.

"Beka, I want you so bad... I need you to fuck me for like, a week straight." Yuri said getting up, and putting his arms around him.

Otabek laughed gruffly, his voice still husky from sleep. The sound was like pouring gasoline on the fire in Yuri's belly.

"I guess you really are feeling better," Otabek finished his coffee, and dropped the mug in the sink, "as much as I'd like to discuss a week long fuckfest, I need to get going soon."

Otabek hugged him, while Yuri shot him a dejected look.

Well, maybe a little teasing wouldn't hurt. Otabek thought.

Otabek slipped his hands under Yuri's shirt, fingers trailing down his spine, nails dragging against his skin. Yuri's eyes fluttered and his mouth parted, breathless from sudden the shift in Otabek's manner. His hands continued their pilgrimage down Yuri's back, and slid under the band of Yuri's leggings, kneading his ass. Otabek pulled Yuri roughly toward him.

Yuri's breath hitched. I can settle for a quickie.

He closed his eyes, waiting to feel Otabek's lips on his, but they merely ghosted over them. Each time his lips came close, Yuri would lean in to try and meet them, only for Otabek to pull away. Yuri opened his eyes in frustration, and was met by Otabek's dark, wicked grin. He stepped back, hands leaving his ass.

"I should get going."

Yuri growled, "cock tease."

Otabek winked at him, and Yuri melted inside.

"Don't do too much today," Otabek said walking down the hall, leaving Yuri and his erection alone in the kitchen, "you might feel better, but don't push it, stick to light exercise."

"I know, I know, just go to practice and think of ways to fuck me."

"Way ahead of you, Yura."

After Otabek left, he played with the idea of jerking himself off, but decided against it. He liked the idea of waiting a little while longer for sex. It was agonizing, but he kind of enjoyed the slow build that was happening between them. He took a cool shower instead, and spent his morning playing video games, trying not to think about sex.

Around noon Yuuri surprised him with lunch, his yoga mat rolled up under his arm.

"I'm gonna miss people bringing me food when this is over." Yuri said.

Yuuri laughed, "Otabek said you were getting antsy, and I don't have much to do at the rink today, so I thought I'd bring you lunch. After, I thought we could do little yoga. If you're up for it that is."

"Yes, I'm dying to do something."

After lunch, they pushed the ottoman against the wall, giving themselves more room. It felt great to stretch his stiff, unused muscles. He sat in a wide V sit, Yuuri gently leaning on his back so he could deepen the stretch. Yuri grunted as his nose touched the floor.

"Too much?" Yuuri asked

"No, it's perfect." he said, mouth muffled by the carpet.

After a brief warm up they fell into their yoga poses.

The two Yuri's did yoga together, oddly enough they were the perfect pair for it.

He had convinced Otabek try it a few times, but he was about as flexible as a cinder block. He'd get frustrated and quickly give up, cursing himself. Otabek was very self conscious about his inflexibility, and watching his naturally lithe boyfriend was liking throwing salt on the wound.

Yuri had tried it only once with Victor, quickly getting fed up with him. Victor couldn't handle the long stretches of silence, and felt the need to fill it with inane chatter.

Yuuri was the perfect partner for it, he was almost as flexible as Yuri was, and kept conversation to a minimum, preferring to just focus on the movements. They let their breathing slow, and deepen while they slid from one pose to another. They had a routine of sorts, each one knowing how long to hold each stance, before shifting to the next. Their bodies synchronized as they moved, neither needing to look to the other for any kind of direction.

"You think you'll be ready for Skate America?" Yuuri asked quietly, sliding into a forward bend and placing his hands flat on the floor. Yuri matched his movements, feeling his lower back stretch.

"I have to be, there's no way I'm missing it." he said, his face pressed against his knees.

"It's gonna be tough, you've missed an entire week, and you still won't be 100% next week. You're gonna need to do a lot of catching up."

"Damn Katsudon, nice encouragement." Yuri snapped, standing up.

Yuuri straightened, and waved his hands, "No, no, no that's not what I meant, you didn't let me finish! I mean, if you want someone to work with you outside the rink, I'd be willing to help. You know, get you back to your normal flexibility, maybe doing some ballet with you, just if you want. That's why I stopped by, I thought since you're feeling a little better you might want to start out slow."

Yuri felt like a complete dick, "Oh...sorry Katsudon, yeah I'd like that, if you don't mind."

Yuuri smiled, "I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want to help. You could to come our apartment tomorrow and use the studio." Victor and Yuuri had a giant dance studio in their sprawling apartment. Victor designed it especially for Yuuri as a wedding gift, and spared no expense. It was bright and airy, mirrors on two walls, so you could see every angle of your body as you moved. The outside wall was floor to ceiling windows, opening to a beautiful view of the city. Surround sound speakers were tucked into the upper corners of the room, perfectly engulfing a dancer in music. It was a beautiful space, so different from Lilia's stuffy, ancient studio.

Secretly, Yuri was green with envy over the space. The first time he saw the glistening studio he was determined to have a similar, if not better, space at some point in his life. Yuri itched at the thought of dancing in Yuuri's plush studio, even if it was just simple barre and floor work.

"That sounds awesome, I'd like that."

Yuuri gave him a shy smile, and went back into the last pose, Yuri following suit. They moved in silence, until they finished and it was time for Yuuri to head out.

"I guess that's it for today. You did a lot more than I thought you would. Your stamina has gotten so much better since you've gotten older." Yuuri said, rolling up his yoga mat.

Yuri's chest swelled, for Yuuri; the stamina king to compliment him on his own was something to be proud of.

"Thanks Katsu- Yuuri.."

***

Meanwhile, Otabek was making his third attempt at his routine, he'd flubbed something each time, making Yakov scream at him to do it again.

The teasing he gave Yuri that morning, had backfired horribly.

"Think of ways to fuck me." had been ringing in his ears all day.

During a triple axle, he pictured bending Yuri over the kitchen table, tugging his legging down to his knees, and leaving beautiful, round bites on his neck. Just as he was envisioning Yuri's lips in that gorgeous "o" shape they made so often; he felt his foot touch down weird, sending him tumbling across the ice.

That was his first mistake of the day.

The second happened when he came out of a spin way too early. Instead of focusing, he daydreaming about slowly sucking Yuri's cock, while Yuri begged for more. He pulled out of the spin, wobbly and dizzy, something he hadn't experienced in years.

The last mistake of the day was the worst. He'd completely forgotten his step sequence and just improvised, too busy picturing Yuri, riding him on the floor of their living room.

"Altin, get your head out of your ass," Yakov yelled, "what the hell is wrong with you today?"

Victor came up, and stood behind Yakov. He'd been watching Otabek crash and burn all day, taking notice of the glassy, far away look he had from time, to time

He knew that look...

Otabek skated over to Yakov, and stepped off the ice, "sorry sir, just an off day. I guess I'm thinking too much. It won't happen again."

"See that it doesn't! Yuri's still sick, and you're out there making it up as you go along! I swear I'm not going to survive this season!" Yakov stormed away, cursing under his breath.

Victor stayed behind, still stairng at Otabek, giving him a knowing smile.

Otabek slapped his guards on in frustration, and straightened to meet hid gaze, "what?"

"I know what you were thinking about..." he said in a sing-song voice.

Otabek shook his head. He liked Victor, but once in awhile, he totally understood why Yuri got so exasperated with him.

"Victor, if you really knew what I was thinking about, it would turn your gray hair, white." he walked off, leaving Victor in a state of shock, his mouth hanging open.

Otabek was almost to the locker room doors when he heard Victor cry out.

"It's platinum!!"

Otabek took the coldest shower possible. He'd have to keep these dirty thoughts to himself for just a little while longer. He wanted to make sure Yuri was healthy first, before he ruined him. If he gave Yuri any inkling of what he wanted to do to him, Yuri, healthy or not, would pounce on him. Yuri wasn't ready for pouncing yet, and he certainly wasn't ready for the types of positions Otabek had in mind.

When he got home Yuri was in the kitchen, making dinner. He was fresh out of the shower, clad in a pair of leopard print leggings, and his old Kazakh team shirt. When he was a teenager the shirt had been huge on his tiny frame. Yuri had grown, and broadened since then, the shirt was now more like a second skin. It was all Otabek could do to keep himself from devouring Yuri, leaving dinner to burn to a crisp on the stove.

Pull yourself together Altin, you've gone longer than this. What are you 16?

"How was your day" Yuri asked setting the timer on the oven.

"Maddening. I couldn't get a damn thing right today, I was thinking too much." He didn't dare mention what he was thinking about.

Yuri embraced him, and ran his hands along his back, "I'm sorry, everyone has a shitty off day."

"What about you? You're looking better."

"I feel great, Yuuri came by today. We did some yoga."

Yoga.

Otabek had three hobbies, bikes, music, and watching Yuri do yoga. He loved to watch as Yuri twisted, and contorted himself on the floor, and he had missed it!

"Oh yeah," he tried to keep his voice calm, "how did that go?"

"Better than I thought, he invited me to his studio tomorrow night. Nothing strenuous, just some ballet, maybe another yoga session. He figures it will help me bounce back faster."

"Sounds like a good idea. I'll go too." Otabek hadn't planned on going with him, until he heard the words "more yoga".

Then he realized it probably sounded weird. He'd never tagged along before when the two Yuri's would practice together.

"Tell them we'll buy dinner, as a thank you for all they did for us this week."

There, that sounded okay. Didn't it? Invite yourself over, bring dinner along, and then think about fucking your boyfriend all night. That sounded perfectly normal, right?

Yuri cocked an eyebrow, "Oookaayy. That sounds good, I guess. I'll let them know we're both coming over. Dinner will be ready in a bit, so if you want to get changed you've got time."

Otabek walked into the bedroom and collapsed face down on the bed.

When was this week going to be over already?

SATURDAY

Yuri woke up feeling like his old self again. The congestion was mostly gone, and the stiffness left him as soon as he got up and walked around.

I'm never missing my flu shot again, I'll make Otabek go with me next time, he won't let me puss out.

He made them both breakfast, and turned on the coffeemaker. He texted Yuuri, as he waited for the coffee pot to fill.

YP: Are we still on for tonight?

YKN: Yes! Say about 6 or so?

YP: Sounds good Otabek is coming too

YP: Said he wants to bring dinner as a thank you for this week

YKN: That's sweet of him, he's welcome to come! I can send Victor over to pick you up if you want.

YP: Thanks but I think we'll walk over. see you at 6

A few minutes later he got a text from Victor

VKN: You know that boyfriend of yours is ready to explode right?

YP: Wait? WHAT?!

VKN: I was watching him yesterday at the rink, he had that look on his face.

YP: What look? wtf Victor?

VKN: Like he couldn't decide if he wanted to savor you, or eat you all in one gulp. He had YOU on the brain, it was like he'd never been on skates before.

YP: Oh reaalllyy??

VKN: Yep like a dog in heat, you need to take care of that man.

YP: Oh I will...thanks

So that's why he screwed everything up yesterday, and why he wanted to come along tonight. Yuri knew about Otabek's penchant to watch him while he exercised.

"Oh, I can work with this." Yuri smiled deviously, thinking back to Otabek's cruel teasing the morning before.

Later that evening they were both getting ready to go, Otabek was in front of the bathroom mirror when he caught sight of Yuri as he walked past.

"Is that what you're wearing tonight?" obvious disappointment in his voice.

"What's wrong with how I'm dressed?"

Yuri had on a huge black sweater, and gray sweatpants. Otabek loved that particular sweater. It would slide suggestively off his shoulder, showing his sharp collarbone, but there it was, secure and in place on both shoulders.

"I just thought, since you'd be practicing that you would wear, you know, the appropriate clothing."

Yuri shrugged. Otabek watched the movement, hoping the sweater would slide off and show at least a hint of skin, but got nothing in return. Did he have that damn thing glued in place?

"Eh, we're not doing anything strenuous tonight, this will work." Yuri grabbed his dance bag, "come on, I'm not gonna be late."

Otabek wished he'd kept his big mouth shut, and stayed home.

They grabbed their coats, and made the short walk to Victor and Yuuri's apartment. They all decided to order dinner after the Yuri's did their practice, neither wanting to dance on full stomachs.

"Otabek, we can watch a movie if you want, or we can just enjoy a drink."

"Drink. Yes, a drink would be great."

He needed a drink, several, in succession.

"Yuuri I'll meet you in the studio in a minute. Gonna hit the bathroom first."

Yuri shut the door behind him, looked at himself in the mirror and grinned.

Otabek looked miserable. Good.

I'll teach him to tease me and leave for practice.

He plopped his dance bag on the counter, and unzipped it.

Otabek had settled onto the couch, drink in hand. He and Victor were talking about the upcoming competition season, when Yuri walked into the living room, dance bag, and baggy clothes in hand. His hair had been pulled back in to a bun on the top of his head, not his usual messy bun. This was sleek and neat, not a single hair out of place. He had on a black, long sleeved sleeved top that looked way too reserved for Yuri, and tight black, boy cut shorts that clung to his ass.

Otabek's eyes zeroed in on him as Yuri turned his back to the two men. He was busy stuffing clothes into his bag, paying no attention to either of them (or so they thought). The shirt, that looked incredibly wholesome from the front, was nothing but pure sin from behind. It was backless, showing an expanse of white flesh, a single string across the top, just below the nape of Yuri's neck, was the only thing keeping it from slipping off.

Otabek had long stopped listening to Victor.

Fuck, were those black tights?

Victor saw the look on Otabek's face and turned to look at Yuri, still paying no attention to either. Victor continued talking, knowing full well no one was listening.

Yuri bent at the waist to set his bag next to his shoes. The tights were slightly sheer, save for the dark seam that ran up the backs of Yuri's legs. Otabek's eyes followed the thin, black seam until it disappeared under his shorts. Yuri searched his bag, and pulled out his last means of torture. A beautiful pair of black satin pointe shoes.

He had bought them about a year ago while drunk shopping online. He had broken them in, but rarely used them, until now. He tucked the shoes under his arm, and walked down the hall, making a point to gently sway his hips as he went.

"Otabek?" Victor waved his hand in front of Otabek's face.

"Ummm, yeah sorry, I missed that, what were you saying?" he muttered, eyes following Yuri down the hall.

Yuri walked into the studio and quickly shut the door behind him, giggling quietly.

"What did you do?" Yuuri asked.

Yuri smiled deviantly, "Otabek needs punishment."

"That outfit's a good start, I'm surprised he's still in there talking to Victor, and not breaking the studio door down."

"Actually Victor was doing all the talking. I think Otabek might be in the middle of a small stroke. Serves him right."

Yuri explained about the teasing he'd received the morning before, and the texts he had gotten from Victor earlier.

"Oh, that poor guy, and you come in here dressed like that? He's gonna hurt something internally," he paused, running his hand through his hair, his Eros flip switched, "I can help you out with this."

Yuuri was an insufferable tease with Victor, this kind of game was his jam.

Yuri laced up his pointe shoes, wrapping the black ribbons around his ankles, tucking them in neatly.

"Where did you get black pointe shoes?" Yuuri asked, drooling over the satiny sheen that reflected off them, "I need a pair, like, immediately."

"Drunk shopping online, I'll get you a pair for your birthday." Yuri laughed.

Yuuri opened the door to the studio, and started the music, making sure the sound wafted out into the living room. It was a random mix, of slightly up tempo music that wasn't traditional, but fun to dance to. Yuri felt fantastic, no aches, no congestion, he was ready to move finally, after an entire week of being stagnant.

It had been awhile since Yuri had done any serious pointe, but you'd never know to look at him. His steps, and turns as graceful as ever. Looking even more statuesque now that he was taller. Yuri watched him do a few lazy pirouettes, and piques, then lifting into a flawless arabesque, chin lifted, foot turned out perfectly, holding stock still and balanced. Yuuri followed suit, he could match Yuri in gracefulness, but would never be able to match him in pure elegance.

Yuuri was a ballet dancer, but Yuri was still a prima ballerina.

After they were warmed up the went to the barre.

"Just follow my lead Yurio," Yuuri teased.

Yuri felt giddy, having a playmate help him out with punishing Otabek was even more fun than torturing him alone.

Victor had given up talking to Otabek, instead they flipped channels, settling on a movie they had both already seen. Otabek had finished his drink, hoping it would settle his frayed nerves, but it only made them worse.

Would it be rude to just go in there and tear his clothes off? Yes, definitely rude.

"Hey guys, can you come here a minute, we need a hand." Yuuri called out.

Otabek was up in a shot, Victor behind him. He'd never seen Otabek rattled like this. Yuuri was a shameless tease, Victor knew what was going on, and he felt for Otabek. He was curious to see how this normally stoic man would react.

Yuri was at the barre, en pointe, one leg lifted behind him, his arm stretched out in front, fingers flicked out delicately. He glanced at Otabek in the doorway, then shifted his eyes forward, tilting his chin up, knowing it made the pose even more beautiful.

Otabek stopped in the door, blood pumping due south.

Victor could see that Otabek had momentarily crashed. Victor was well aware of the game the two Yuri's were playing, he'd get the ball rolling if Otabek couldn't. He was always in the mood for games.

"What do you need Yusha?" Victor said closing the gap between them, giving him a look that said "I'm onto you."

"I was having trouble getting Yurio into a decent stretch, he needs someone a bit taller." Yuuri gave Victor a look, his eyes glancing over to Yuri then to Otabek who was still standing dumbstruck in the doorway. Victor got the message, they were masters at having conversations with just their eyes.

"Well, how about I help you, and Otabek can help Yuri. Otabek is taller than you, so he'd be better suited." Yuri had lowered his leg, but still stood en pointe, feet tucked together in a tidy fifth position. He leaned his elbows back on the barre, waiting patiently for Otabek to reboot.

"Beka?" he called out, Otabek snapped to attention.

"Sure, I can help," Otabek met him at the barre, "how were you stretching?"

"Like this." Yuuri said, he raised his leg, setting it gently on Victor's shoulder, this wasn't something he normally did, Victor being just a bit too tall for it, but he could manage it for a few seconds to show the technique.

"Oh...okay." Otabek swallowed, and took a step back, giving room for Yuri raise his leg to his shoulder, "like this?" Otabek said dryly.

"Mmmhhmm" Yuri purred.

He lowered his other foot so it was flat on the floor, enjoy the extra stretch it gave his leg. He locked eyes with Otabek, who he suspected, was finally caught up with what was going on around him. Yuri felt Otabek's hand starting to roam. His thumb tracing the long seam on the back of his leg. He heard Yuri give a quiet, breathy laugh. Otabek set his leg back down, letting Yuri slowly raises his other leg, repeating the process.

Otabek had his bearings now, once Yuri's foot was settled on his shoulder, he leaned in a little harder, making Yuri groan quietly at the increased strain. He bent towards Yuri's ear

"Now who's a tease?" he whispered, sending gooseflesh down Yuri's arms.

Yuri cocked his head, "I don't' know what you're talking about? I'm just here with Yuuri practicing."

Victor and Yuuri glanced at the two of them, lost in their own little world.

"Is Yuri trying to kill him?" Victor whispered, pretending to still help Yuuri stretch.

"He said Otabek needed punishment for teasing." Yuuri whispered back.

"And your helping? Poor Otabek, he doesn't stand a chance against you two. You know this is like leading a lamb to slaughter" Yuuri laughed and lowered his leg.

"So Yurio, you ready for a harder yoga session?" Yuuri said, trying to sound serious.

"Hell yes, yesterday was too easy." he answered placing both feet on the floor.

They unrolled their mats next to one another.

Victor went to Otabek, "Let's leave them to it."

Otabek wasn't moving, so Victor gave him a little shove. Otabek left the studio, disappointed. He immediately poured himself another drink, and sat down for a little while, but he was itching to go back and watch.

"Maybe I should check on Yuri, make sure he's okay."

Victor hid a grin, "maybe you should, we don't want him hurting himself."

Otabek took his drink, and walked down the hall. The door was still open, this time he just stood in the doorway, watching quietly, not wanting to disturb them. The music was softer now, they were synchronized once more, both moving gracefully, but Otabek only had eyes for Yuri.

He watched as Yuri went into a beautiful Standing Bow pose, his long, lean leg pulled up behind him, feet still clad in black satin. His eyes were closed as he focused on breathing steadily. Otabek stood silently watching, his heart swelling at how beautiful Yuri was as he slid from pose to pose. Each one more intense than the next, but he showed no signs of flagging. These were movements Otabek could never hope to do, but Yuri made them look so effortless.

Both Yuri's ended their session in forearm stands. Feet pointed to the ceiling. Yuuri always stayed straight as a board, but Yuri liked to deviate in this pose. He split his legs, front to back and bent his knees, holding it for a few seconds, then straightened them again. He was in complete control and never wavered. Otabek was spellbound as Yuri arched his back, bending his knees again, slowly lowering his toes, until the tips of his pointe shoes gently touched the top of his head.

"Wow." Victor whispered quietly, he had come up behind him, wanting to watch his own Yuuri practice.

"We'll never be as graceful as those two will we?" Otabek said quietly.

Victor shook his head in awe, "never."

Yuri straightened up again and lowered himself into a sitting position, Yuuri followed. They got up and started chatting as they rolled up their mats.

The show was over.

Otabek and Victor walked back down the hall.

"You're not staying for dinner are you?" Victor asked, knowing what the answer would be if he were in Otabek's shoes.

"Umm, raincheck?"

Victor laughed, "anytime."

Yuri changed, they both thanked them quickly, and practically sprinted out the door.

"What you two did to that boy was cruel, Yusha." Victor said giving him a gentle kiss.

***

The minute they left the building Otabek had Yuri pinned against the wall, their mouths crashing together. Yuri gripped Otabeks leather jacket, pulling him closer to him.

"What are you doing to me?" Otabek breathed into Yuri's neck.

"Me? You started this yesterday." Yuri gasped, "we need to get home...now!"

The 10 minute walk home was a blur. They tumbled into their apartment, Otabek barely kicking the door shut with his foot. They shook their coats off, dumping them on the floor. Both men looked at one another, chests heaving. Otabek moved towards him, eyes darkening.

"Bed." Yuri ran, Otabek quick on his heels.

They fell into bed, making rough work of stripping each other, in between fervent kisses. Yuri shook his hair out, letting it fall over his shoulders and chest. Otabek stopped.

"What?"

Otabek, ran a hand down Yuri's leg, "those shoes...put them back on."

Yuri licked his lips and got up, receiving an appreciative smack on his behind as he passed Otabek. Yuri returned, pointe shoes in hand.

"You like them?" Yuri asked slipping them on, he went to tie them, but Otabek stopped him.

"No, sit, let me."

Yuri sat on the bed while Otabek knelt in front of him, the dim light from the street giving him enough light to see. He slid the black satin ribbon through his fingers.

"I've never seen you wear them before tonight, I didn't know how beautiful you looked in them...you've been holding out on me Yura."

Yuri watched as Otabek wound the ribbon around his right ankle, he went to knot them, pulling the strings quick and tight. Yuri yelped at the quick pinch of pleasant pain it gave him.

Otabek smiled darkly.

He tied the ribbons around the other ankle, and reverently tucked the ribbons in.

"Stand up" Otabek ordered.

He gave Yuri his hand, and tugged him up on his feet. Yuri stood, his long hair brushed against his naked back, the blond locks glowed in the eerie light from the street. Yuri stood, waiting for direction, Otabek was running the show now. He was his toy now, to play with as he liked, and Yuri was eager to let him.

"Rise up." Otabek didn't remember the technical terms from his short time in ballet.

Yuri rose up into a pretty, third position releve, knowing that, that particular stance would made his back arch, and his ass pop beautifully.

"How long can you hold that?" Otabek asked, circling him like a lion with his prey.

"As long as you want me to," Yuri breathed.

It was an easy enough position, and he liked where this was headed, he'd hold it until his feet bled if he had too.

Otabek gathered his blond hair up and slid it over Yuri's shoulder, giving him a better view of his backside. He traced his hand across the arch of Yuri's spine and down to his ass. Otabek knelt, giving light, ticklish kiss to each of Yuri's cheeks.

Otabek got up and faced him. En pointe Yuri was taller than Otabek, it was funny to look down at him, but he dared not crack a smile. Otabek grabbed Yuri's neck, dragging him into a slow lingering kiss, his tongue making lazy circles with Yuri's. He moaned when he felt Otabek's other hand slide between them grabbing Yuri's erect cock. He gave it a few pumps, and felt it grow harder.

"Can you still hold this position?"

Yuri nodded, eyes shut, unable to speak.

Otabek sunk to his knees in front of Yuri sliding his mouth over his cock. Too hungry for teasing, he started to suck. Yuri thighs trembled.

Otabek let go of Yuri's dick, "put your hand on my shoulders, but stay where you are."

Yuri nodded, and did as he was told. Otabek continued sucking for a bit, but pulled off, not wanting Yuri to come just yet. Yuri let out a frustrated whimper as he felt the cold air hit his wet cock. The heat of Otabek's mouth returned quickly, and whimpers turned to moans, as Otabek slowly fed Yuri's cock deep into his mouth. Otabek kept up a steady motion of deep slow sucks, until he could feel Yuri mercilessly digging his nails into his shoulders.

"Beka...so close...more" he breathed. Otabek quickened the pace, eager to tip Yuri over the edge. He roughly grabbed Yuri's ass with both hands, and used the leverage to push him further into his mouth. That was the tipping point, Yuri hunched over, moaning, his hands snaked through Otabeks' hair, tugging it sharply as he came.

Otabek stood, "come down."

Yuri lowered himself to the floor, pleasure blurring the ache in his feet. Otabek backed him towards the bed, and turned Yuri around, his back facing him. Yuri knew what to do, he crept onto the bed on all fours. Turned his head to watch Otabek, who was already busy with the lube, giving his dick a generous coating. Usually there would be playful banter, and foreplay, but tonight neither had any use for either.

Otabek slid inside, Yuri's back arched as he pushed back, eager to feel Otabek buried inside him. Otabek bottomed out, and stopped, knowing that if he waited, Yuri would start begging. It took less time than usual.

"Beka, please...move...please" he begged. Turning his head to look at him, green eyes pleading.

He started to pump, hard and unwavering, quickly finding that sweet spot inside Yuri that made him see stars.

"Oh fuck...there...more" Yuri babbled, blissed out and panting.

Otabek continued his unrelenting pace, driving into Yuri with precision, sometimes hitting that sweet spot, other times, deliberately missing it, just watch Yuri squirm in heated frustration. Otabek grabbed Yuri's hair and wound it around his hand like a rope, tugging it, making Yuri's head pull back. It hurt, but he knew Yuri enjoyed the pain. Otabek didn't let go, or slow down. He continued the punishing pace, until he heard Yuri let loose a choked whimper as he came again, spilling onto the sheets below. Hearing him come tipped him over the precipice, with one final hard thrust he came, letting go of Yuri's hair and leaning onto his back, riding out the waves of pleasure.

They laid in a heap for a few minutes, catching their breath, until finally untangling themselves. Otabek deftly untied Yuri's pointe shoes and placed them on the dresser.

"Those are staying in the bedroom." Otabek said, tucking the ribbons into the shoes.

"If I had known you had a ballet kink, I would have worn them sooner,"

"I didn't even know I had a ballet kink, guess you learn something new everyday.  Shower?"

"God yes."

They were asleep before their heads hit the pillows that night.

 

SUNDAY

 

The flu was over, Yuri had taken his last dose, and felt normal again.

Yuri had called Victor, and invited them out for breakfast, feeling slightly (very slightly) guilty for running out on them like a horny teenagers the night before.

Otabek and Yuri walked to the cafe they were supposed to meet them at. It was the first time in a week Yuri had been out during the day. He enjoyed the feeling of the weak, winter sunlight hitting his face.

"Feels so good to be out." he said, watching people bustling from place to place.

"Remember this feeling next time you have to get your flu shot." Otabek said, sliding his hand into Yuri's.

"Oh, I already have a plan for next time."

"And, that is?"

"You're coming with me."

Otabek rolled his eyes, "if that's what I have to do, then fine. Just remember if I go with you, there is absolutely no way you're backing out."

Yuri laughed, "you know I'll try anyway."

They got to the cafe, Victor and Yuuri had ordered coffees and pastry for all of them.

"So Yurio? Are you ready to come back to the rink tomorrow?" Victor asked.

Yuri nodded, mouth already stuffed full of chocolate drizzled croissant.

He swallowed. "Hell yes, I've only got three weeks before I win gold at Skate America."

"You know, if you want, we can go to the rink today after breakfast." Victor said finishing the last of his coffee.

"I can't I have plans later today."

Today felt more like a day off, than a sick day, he had other things he wanted to do.

Otabek was confused, he didn't remember having made any plans. Under the table, he felt Yuri's hand run across his thigh.

Oh, those kinds of plans.

"Just make sure you're there early tomorrow, you've got a lot of work ahead of you." Victor warned.

They talked for awhile longer, and then paid the bill. They all stood getting ready to part ways, but Yuri stopped them.

"Hey guys, before you leave I just wanted to say, I was a horrible, gross, brat this week, but I appreciate what you did for me," Yuri pulled his hood over his eyes to hide the blush, "so, thanks."

"No need to thanks us, we love you, you know we'd do anything for you." Yuuri said, he wanted to reach out and touch Yuri's hand, but knew that the gesture would be too much for him.

Victor however, threw caution to the wind, not caring if Yuri died from the embarrassment. He gathered Yuri up in his arms, then tugged at Yuuri's until he joined. Yuri was smack in the middle, engulfed in arms and warm coats. Yuri's cheeks burned as he caught a quick glimpse of Otabek cracking a smile.

Yuri almost fought it, but stopped himself. Instead he relaxed into the hug. They had done so much for him, and still were, he would let them have this.

He muttered a quiet "love you too" to the both of them. Yuri was pressed so tightly against their thick coats, that he wasn't even sure they had heard him, until he saw Yuuri quickly swipe a tear from his cheek. They released Yuri, who pulled his hood even lower and hid behind his hair.

"See you tomorrow guys, thanks again. " Otabek said, shaking hands with both of them.

They took the scenic route home through the park. Yuri wasn't ready to go back home just yet enjoying the fresh air. He stopped, taking Otabek's hand.

"I need to thank you for taking care of me this week too."

Otabek pulled him into a hug, "Don't thank me, I'll always take care of you Yura."

They lingered for a bit, sitting on a bench watching the world pass by.

"Didn't we have plans today?" Otabek asked, giving Yuri a slow kiss.

Yuri's eyes met his, "race you home?"

Chapter Text

 

"Oi, Mila, you home?" Yuri yelled from the front door, he was weighed down with grocery bags in each hand, he pushed the door closed with his hip.  

"I'm in the kitchen." Mila shouted.  

Yuri plunked the bags on the kitchen table, pulling out a bottle of vodka, two 6 packs of beer, and a mountain of snacks.

"Hey Baba," Mila leaned her cheek out, Yuri gave her a quick peck, "open a window when you mix that shit, you're gonna asphyxiate us both."

He opened her fridge and started to shift it's contents, making room for the beer. The vodka he opened, and set on the counter.

He cracked the kitchen window, a gust of cold air pushed through the screen, clearing the air.

This was a standing date they had. Once a month, they would hang out at Mila's, stuff themselves full of crap food, wash it down with copious amounts of alcohol, and dye Mila's hair.

"You sure you're mixing that right?" Yuri asked, checking the consistency with the brush.

"You always say that, and it always turn out fine. I've been doing this for years, don't worry about it." she grabbed the brush from him.

"Shots?" Yuri pulled two shot glasses from the cabinet, and filled them with vodka.

"Yes please," she took the shot from him, knocking it back.

Yuri swallowed his, and then waved Mila away from the dye mix, "go sit down at the table and put your cape on. I'll finish this up."

He always looked forward to hanging out with Mila, he needed his quality time with her. He loved Otabek, Victor, and Yuuri, but he needed Mila to keep him sane.

Yuri only had a small group of friends, which were more family than anything. If he ever had a problem, he knew which friend to go to for help.  

He sought Yuuri out for good advice, knowing that he could rely on his level head, and empathetic nature. Yuri had neither.

He went to Victor with his his fears, no matter how silly they might be. His fear of losing, his dread of growing more (although he was pretty sure his growing pains were over), and his biggest fear of all; his inevitable retirement. He'd never admit it to anyone, but he thought Victor was pretty fearless. He had shown Yuri that retirement didn't necessarily mean the end, even when competing was no longer feasible, there were still so many things he could do.

Otabek loved him, and helped carry his burdens, Yuri could fall apart in front of him and know that he'd be there to catch him. He encouraged him, and kept him on an even keel, which was no small feat.   

Mila, she was more than a friend, she was a kindred spirit. Someone he could be his absolute worst with, and never feel bad about it. He could be shallow and petty with her, and she loved him for it. Together, they'd ruthlessly pick people apart (mostly other skaters), safe in the knowledge that nothing they said would ever leave her apartment. Yuri was free to rant, and complain, and Mila would join in wholeheartedly.  

He couldn't always be that free with the other people in his life. Victor and Yuuri would still try to scold him like a child if they heard him being catty. And while Otabek was a great listener, bitching to him often left Yuri unfulfilled. He would sit quietly, hearing every word, but rarely (very rarely), commiserated with him. People didn't bother Otabek, he could find something good in anyone. It was an admirable quality, but all his damn decency often made Yuri feel guilty about his strong dislike for others.

Mila was his sounding board, and he was hers, so once a month, they got together, and unloaded on each other.
This was also the day Yuri would come over, and help her dye her hair. She was perfectly capable of of dyeing it herself, but Yuri enjoyed the process, he was always on board with anything beauty related. His nimble fingers made a better job of it than she ever could.

"Okay, I think this stuff is ready, grab the beers." Yuri said snapping a pair of black latex gloves on.

Mila grabbed two beers, and a straw before pulling her cape on, and settling at the kitchen table. Yuri gathered up the bowl of dye, tinting brush, comb and clips.

Yuri set everything down, but the comb. He started the long process of detangling her mop of hair. Her hair was everything Yuri's wasn't, it was thick, coarse, short, and had natural wave to it. It was tough getting the comb through it, but he managed to wrestle it into sections, clipping each part into place.

"So Baba, how's life?" Yuri asked, stirring the dye one last time.

"Ugh, I dumped that guy I was seeing. Man, what a freak."

Yuri unclipped the first bit of hair, and parted that into smaller sections, applying the dye from root to tip.

"But, you like freaks Mila."

"Not like this one, he wanted me to meet his parents after four dates! I mean, seriously? I could barely remember his last name, and he wants me to meet his family? Ummm, no thank you."

Yuri grimaced, "You're right, he's a freak."

"Yeah, he had a nice ass though. I would have stuck with him a little while longer just for his butt alone."

Yuri laughed, "now who's the freak? Beer me, Baba."

Mila dunked the straw into his bottle of beer, and held it up for him to sip, his gloved hands already coated in dye.

"So, how are the dynamic duo?" Mila asked, taking a swig of her own beer.

Yuri sneered, "same as always. Victor just redecorated their bedroom. Apparently, that wasn't enough to get it out of his system. Now he's been bugging me to let him redecorate our place."

"Ugh, fucking Victor," she laughed. She loved Victor, but knew all too well how he could be. Once that man got an idea in his head, there was no stopping him.

"I know right? I wasn't even aware that it needed redecorating. I mean, we're not hobos sitting on milk crates, or anything.  Yeah, a lot of of our stuff is hand me downs, but neither of us want to spend the money right now. We aren't redecorating an apartment we're not going to stay in for much longer. I'd rather wait until we find a bigger place, but they're so hard to find."

"Aww, does Mrs. Altin wants a bigger love nest?" Mila cackled, the vodka was starting to kick in.

Yuri tugged her hair sharply, making her yelp, "that's enough out of you. Besides, if I end up being anything it'll be Altin-Plisetsky." he blushed a little, and was thankful Mila had her back to him.  He'd recently started to think about what their surnames would be if they got married, but that was the first time he'd ever said it out loud. It sounded so much better out loud.

"Seriously though," he continued, "we want a bigger place with three bedrooms, our tiny one bedroom isn't cutting it anymore. Otabek and I need our own spaces. His DJ shit is all over the place, I'm tired of tripping on chords every time I walk into the bedroom. "

"What do you want?" she asked, holding his beer up to his mouth again. He took a long sip, thinking about his ideal space.

"I dunno, I'd love an area big enough for a dance studio, but I'd settle for a room I can turn into a walk in closet. I can always use Katsudon's studio if I want."

"Oh, I'd do the walk in closet before the studio, the clothing situation at your apartment is appalling."

"I know, I know, I swear my clothes are reproducing on their own. I've run out of room, so I've just been slowly taking over Beka's side of the closet. I don't think he noticed his side as getting smaller, until he came into the living room the other day frantic, well, frantic for him anyway."

"Why? What happened?"

"He wanted to know if he looked fat."

Mila choked on her beer, "Fuck, are you serious? That boy is perfect."

"That's what I said, but he had these jeans on that he was just, spilling out of. I mean, his ass was gonna bust the seams, and he couldn't zip them. He was certain he had gained weight. Turns out, a pair of my old jeans from when I was like, seventeen, got mixed in with his clothes. I just about pissed myself picturing him laying on the bed, struggling to get them over his hips! I thought we were going to have to cut them off him!"

Mila snorted and convulsed with laughter.

"Do not, tell him I told you that! He was sooo pissed about it, and told me that I had to thin out my closet asap."    

"Well he's right. Why do you even have jeans from that long ago? I doubt even you could fit into them anymore." she reached behind and poked him in the belly, he'd packed on a little more muscle over the years, but he was still as thin as ever.

"Hey, I could if I wanted to, I just can't promise I'd be able to get out of them."

"I'll come by and help you go through your clothes. It'd be more fun if we did it together, and I'd love to see you try to squeeze your booty into your old clothes."

"You just want to see me naked Baba, don't lie"

"I wouldn't complain." she sniggered.

"I know you wouldn't bitch, I'm fabulous"

He moved to a different section of hair, and started dabbing it with the brush.

"So Mila, I don't think I've ever asked, but what color is your hair naturally?"

"Blond actually, it's a little darker than yours."

"Really? Why dye it?"

"I feel more like a red head, I never felt suited to being a blond."

"That's so weird, I can't even picture you as a blonde."

"Maybe you should try being a redhead, it's a whole different feeling. There's a power red heads have, it's hard to explain, you just, stand out more. Redheads are feisty, you could definitely pull it off."

Yuri liked the sound of it, he'd never done anything color wise to his hair. When he was younger he wanted to dye his hair purple, but Nikolai had quickly put the smack down on that notion, now though, there was no one to stop him.

"Maybe someday I'll give it a try."

"Well we've got the stuff, why not try it now? What's the harm?"

"I dunno, I mean what if it looks bad?"

"What if it looks awesome?" she countered.

It was hard to argue with her logic.

Yuri had finished up the last section of hair, and piled the goopy mess onto the top of her head.

He took another drink of his beer, and sighed.

"You know what? Let's do it."

Mila squealed, "Yay! I'll mix up another batch."

"Hurry up, before I change my mind."

Mila brought him another shot, and he gulped it back quickly. He needed the liquid courage.

She pulled her cape off, and snapped it around his neck and rushed to the kitchen to mix more dye.

She grabbed another pair of gloves, and got to work before Yuri could back out.  She quickly sectioned his hair, it was long and fine, with hardly any tangles to work through. She had a pang of jealousy over the slippery, silky feel of his hair, so different from her own coarse mop.

"Otabek is gonna freak when he sees it." she giggled, applying the first brush full of dye to his hair.

"No going back now." Yuri said, nervously.

Fifteen minutes later his hair was coated in dye and piled onto his head. Yuri kept drinking, trying not to think about what he had just done. He was known for his stunning blond locks, that was his thing. He remembered the shit storm that had erupted when Victor cut his long hair. What would happen when he shows\ed up at the next competition with bright red hair? His fans would certainly go insane, but would it be because they loved it, or would they mourn the loss of their blond, Russian fairy? He didn't care about his fans per se, but he had an image, and that image was most definitely blond.

Oh shit why did I do this? Why did I let her talk me into this?

Mila could tell he was silently freaking out, she kept talking, trying to distract him until the timer on the stove went off.

Mila rinsed her hair first, slathering it in conditioner, and rinsing once more. Twisting her hair in a towel, they waited a few more minutes for Yuri's hair to be ready.

"It'll look great Yuri I promise, change is good sometimes."

"God Mila, what if it sucks?" he whined, no amount of booze was going to get rid of this pang of regret in his chest.

"It won't suck. "

It took a long time to rinse and condition it. Yuri watched the red dye swirl down the kitchen sink. He caught a glimpse of his hair as it hung over his head, it looked dark, much darker than he'd expected.

"Don't worry," she said, knowing exactly what he was thinking,  "it looks darker when it's wet. It'll lighten when I dry it."

He twisted his hair into a towel, and tried to fend off the mounting panic he felt.

"What do I do if I don't like it? Can someone fix it?" his eyes went wide, "oh shit...oh shit, I'm gonna have to cut all my hair off aren't I?" he put his hands over his face, breathing rapidly.

"Let's cross that bridge when we come to it. Come on let's dry it, I want to see it."

Mila combed her hair out, leaving it to air dry. Then retrieved her blow dryer, and sat Yuri back down at the kitchen table.

Yuri calmed a little, the action of Mila brushing and drying his hair soothed him, and she wasn't cursing, so he assumed that was a good sign.

When she was done, she ushered Yuri into the bathroom, putting her hands over his eyes.

"Are you ready?"

"Just do it Baba, I'm nervous enough."

She pulled her hands away. Yuri gaped at his reflection. His blond tresses were no more, his hair was a sea of flaming red, and he loved it.

He'd never realized how monotone he had looked before, white blond hair, blond lashes and brows, creamy skin, his eyes were the only hint of color on his person. Now, everything looked so different. The red made his skin look slightly pinker, warmer, and his green eyes sparked next to the dark red backdrop.

"I'm never doubting you again. Baba." He said running his hands through his hair.

She played with it a bit, getting him acquainted with the new color.  Yuri loved the way it caught the light, his hair glowed like fiery embers. It gave him chills.

He couldn't wait, he had to show Otabek

"Mind if I head out early? I wanna see what Beka thinks."

"No problem, text me after."

Yuri grabbed his coat, and pulled his knit hat on.

"Wait, you should do a proper revel." She pulled the hat off, and twisted his hair up onto the top of his head, quickly slapping the hat back on to contain it.

Yuri gave her a kiss on the cheek, "thanks Baba, I'll text you later."

The great thing about being friends with fellow skaters is that everyone lived near the rink.  Which meant everyone was in walking distance of on another, it didn't take long for him to jog home.

He got home, bubbling with excitement. He imagined Otabek's jaw hitting the floor. Then, the feel of him running his hands through it, telling him how sexy it looked.

Otabek was in the kitchen, "you're home early. How's Mila?"

"She's good, we had a fun night, we umm, kinda did something crazy."

Otabek's smile faded a little, he raised an eyebrow, "what kind of crazy?"

The two of them were notorious for getting into trouble when they were together. They had been asked to leave more than one bar for being too rowdy. They had no problems with crashing parties, or sneaking into clubs. When they all went out as a group, it was easier to keep them reeled in. The divide and conquer approach seemed to work well, but alone together, left to their own devices, they were like fire and gasoline.

Otabek braced himself, waiting to hear what establishment they had been kicked out of this time.

Yuri pulled his hat off, the untethered bun fell apart, ruby red locks spilled around him.

Otabek was frozen in place.

Yuri laughed, "what do you think?" he asked, although he was fairly sure that he knew the answer already.

"Umm.." he said softly.

"I know, it's awesome isn't it?" Yuri gathered it up, and let it tumble over one shoulder.

"What the hell did you do?" Otabek frowned.

Yuri's face fell, "you-you don't like it?"

Yuri hadn't planned on the possibility of Otabek not liking it.

Otabek shook his head, "why would you do that to your hair? It was just...so beautiful before. This color, it's not you."

Before? Did he think it was ugly now?

Yuri felt tears pricking at his eyes, he resisted the urge to cry. He had assumed Otabek would love it, it was a massive change yes, but he had hoped he would find it new, and exciting.

"You really don't like it?" his voice was nervous, his hand twisting his hair into a bright red rope, "Mila thought it looked great."

"Mila talked you into this didn't she," Otabek rolled his eyes, and swore, "why am I not surprised?"

"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"

"It means that I like Mila, but she steamrolls you into doing stupid shit all the time, and you go along with it! Now look what she's done."

"I didn't get steamrolled into anything! I wanted to do this! I like it!  I-I thought you'd like it too."

"Well I don't, you don't even look like you anymore."

 He fought to keep the hot tears at bay, but lost, "Beka...how could you say that?"

"It's how I feel, I don't like it. I've never like red heads, they're pushy, like Mila. I hope that stuff washes out. Are you sure you can't just make an appointment with someone, and change it back?"

Otabek averted his eyes, unable to look at him.

Yuri was dumbstruck. He'd never known him to have an opinion on his hairstyle before. Why now? Why was he being so cruel? He reached out for Otabek, but he stepped back.

"Sorry, I just, I can't..." he turned, and walked down the hall.

"Beka? This is so stupid! Don't be like this! Please, Beka..." Yuri cried, his hand still reaching out to him.

"Get it changed Yuri." was all he said.

Yuri?

Had he really just called him Yuri? He hadn't called him that in years. It was only those first few days together in Barcelona that he had called him Yuri. After that, he had always been Yura. Even when they argued, he was still Yura.  

The cold, and abrupt name change sucked the air from his lungs.

Yuri was crushed, he stood alone in the kitchen, and called out Otabek's name, but the only answer he got was the loud slam of the bedroom door. Yuri sat down at the kitchen table, completely dejected. He buried his head in his arms, and sobbed.

Yuri sat up, the room was pitch black.

He was in bed. When did that happen? Did Otabek carry him to bed? He doubted it, as mad as he had been earlier. He didn't remember going to bed. He flicked the light switch on, and looked down, his hair was blond again.

He took a deep breath through his nose, and exhaled in relief.

Just a dream.

It had all felt so damn real, he could taste the vodka, and smell the hair dye. He still felt the awful, lonely, ache in his chest from Otabek's harsh words as he walked away from him.

Suddenly, the awful ache swirled into rage, remembering how Otabek had treated him.

Yuri looked over at him, sleeping peacefully on his stomach. He grabbed his pillow, and started to thwack Otabek repeatedly with it. He felt his teeth clench as he gave him an almighty thump on his back.

"Huh?- ow! Ow! Knock it- ow! What the shit!" Otabek shouted, bleary eyed and confused. He flailed, covering his head from the onslaught.  

"You dick. You stupid, stupid dick!" Yuri shouted, landing another hit.

Otabek managed to sit up, in between blows, and snatch the pillow away.

"Fuck, what the hell is wrong with you?" he tossed Yuri's pillow on the floor.

"I dyed my hair red! And you said you hated it! You wanted me to change it back, you said you didn't like red heads, and...and...you fucking called me Yuri !" he spat out his own name like it had been a curse word.

Otabek wiped his face with his hand, exasperated, "you were dreaming. Settle down."

"Ugh it felt so real though, and you were so fucking mean to me."

Otabek laid back down, and tugged Yuri towards him, letting him settle into the crook of his arm. He ran his hand through Yuri's definitely not, red hair.

"I was a jerk about it? Really?" Otabek chuckled.

"Jerk? Try asshole! You told me to change it, and that I didn't look like me anymore. You couldn't even look at me, then you walked away."

Otabek kissed the top of his head, "what did your hair look like? I can't picture it."

Yuri huffed, "it looked fucking amazing! It was this awesome bright red color that looked so good in the light. I was so happy about it, then you ruined it all. You called me Yuri and slammed the door on me!" he gave Otabek a light slap on his chest.

"You know it didn't really happen right?" he rubbed Yuri's arm, "I bet it did look amazing, but I like your hair this way too."

He gathered a bit of his blond hair, and wound it around his finger,  "You know I don't care what your hair looks like, it's just hair Yura."

"Say that again." Yuri said softly.

"What, it's just hair?"

"No, say my name again."

"Yura," Otabek lifted his chin with his finger, and kissed him, "my Yura."

Yuri took a deep, cleansing breath, the dream was starting to fade away. Evil Otabek was not real, real Otabek loved him no matter what. He felt so childish for pummeling Otabek now.

"I'm sorry I smacked you with my pillow. Can I have it back?"

"Nope, I don't trust you. I'll have to be your pillow tonight, Yura." he said pulling him closer.

Yuri didn't argue.

 

Chapter Text

Yuri was walking home from the rink when he saw it. No one but him, had taken notice of the little ball of fluff, huddled near some trash cans. It stumbled over the strewn garbage, mewling desperately as people passed by, ignoring it's tiny cries.

It was obviously a runt. He squatted near the kitten, and held his hand out towards it, waiting patiently. It's eyes were open, so it was at least two weeks old. Yuri was surprised it was even alive, the mother must have abandoned it very recently. Something inside him softened at the sight of the grubby kitten, it's tiny squeaks went straight to his heart.

"Hey there baby," he said softly, "I won't hurt you."

Ever since Potya had died, he hadn't wanted another cat. There had been a few times when he thought that maybe he was ready. He and Otabek would go to the local adoption centers, and look at all the cats, but they always left empty handed. Yuri liked every cat he came in contact with, but never truly connected to any of them.

"Don't worry Yura, there's no time limit, you'll find one eventually."

Yuri always felt terribly guilty leaving all those cats behind at the adoption center. He could give any one of them a good home, but none of them felt like a good match.

He clicked his tongue softly, trying to get it's attention. The kitten's little ears pricked up at the noise, and toddled over to him. It puffed up a bit as it got closer, curious, but wary of him. Yuri stayed still, hand still outstretched, whispering and coaxing the kitten to him. It inched closer and sniffed, then gave Yuri's hand a wobbly swat that knocked it off balance. Yuri laughed quietly, as the little claws tickled his skin.

He let the kitten nuzzle and play with his finger for awhile, making sure it was relaxed. Then, he carefully scooped it up. It was so, so tiny, Yuri held it in his hand, it maybe weighed a few ounces at most. The kitten found the tip of Yuri's index finger and began to nibble, and suck at it.

"Come on baby," Yuri cooed, holding the kitten close, "let's get you something to eat."

He stopped off at a nearby pet shop and bought some kitten formula, and a few syringes. He had fed baby kittens before. There were lots of stray cats near his grandfathers house, him and his grandpa had both taken care of their share of abandoned kittens. Some had made it, some had not. It had been years since he'd taken care of a runt, and he'd never seen one as small as this one, but he was confident that he could do it. Yuri was determined that this little kitten would live.

He walked home as quickly as he could, gently cupping the kitten in his pocket the whole way. It was getting colder out, if he hadn't found the kitten when he did, he was certain it wouldn't have survived much longer.

Yuri opened the door and kicked his shoes off, leaving his hoodie on.

"Beka," Yuri called out quietly. Otabek emerged from the bathroom, fresh from a shower, he was in his pajamas, and was about to get dinner started.

"Hi Yura," he kissed him, "it took you awhile to get home. Did Yakov keep you behind again?"

"No, I umm, found something." Yuri smiled.

"Oh god, what did you find?" Otabek said, knowing that with Yuri it could be anything from a five dollar bill, to a rocket launcher.

Otabek watched as Yuri pulled a tiny wad of something out of his pocket, he couldn't tell what it was, until it's eyes opened. Bright green eyes; greener than Yuri's, stared up at him.

"Where did you find it?" Otabek said quietly, gently touching it's dirty head.

"By some trash cans near the rink, it's a runt, his mother must have just left it. I had to bring it home, it's so cold out it wouldn't have lived."

Yuri had the kitten cupped in his hands, while it sniffed the tips of Otabek's fingers.

"We better find it some food, and it definitely needs a bath." Otabek headed to the kitchen, he had no idea what to feed a kitten that small.

"Way ahead of you, I stopped at the pet shop and got a few things."

Otabek watched, as Yuri busied himself in the kitchen, preparing the little syringe of kitten formula.

They sat on the couch trying to coax the little kitten to drink. Yuri gave it a few drops, then handed the syringe to Otabek.

"Me?"

"You need to learn how, we've gotta feed every few hours at least for the next couple weeks. If I'm not around you'll have to do it."

Yuri handed the kitten to Otabek, it looked even smaller in his broad hands. He held it nervously, afraid he'd make the wrong move and hurt the frail thing. Otabek took the syringe, but had no clue as to how to start, he looked at Yuri for guidance.

"What do I do?"

"It's hungry enough, just hold the syringe near it's mouth. It will sniff the milk out, just be patient. Once it does just give it a few drops at a time."

Otabek held the syringe up to the kitten, it immediately smelled food, and latched on, sucking greedily. Otabek gently pushed the syringe until the kitten hand drunk every last drop.

"Poor baby was so hungry" Yuri crooned, wiping a splash of milk from it's chin with his thumb.

Otabek chuckled, Yuri was in full on mama cat mode.

"Can you hold her while I fill up the sink?" Yuri asked.

"Her?"

"Or him, I don't know what it is yet."

It didn't take long for them to wash all the dirt off. Yuri wrapped it in a hand towel and gave it a thorough, but gentle rub down. He set the kitten on the kitchen counter and watched it waddle around.

"Looks like a baby girl to me. " Yuri said.

The little kitten sat on the counter, clumsily licking the excess water off it's paws. It was a bluish gray kitten, with big green eyes and a round little belly. Yuri could already tell she was going to be a beauty. He picked her up, and took her back to the couch. Otabek followed, still surprised that Yuri knew so much about kittens.

"How do you know how to do all this?"

Yuri shrugged, "I've taken care of a few runts, there were a lot near where Grandpa and I lived. Although this little girl is the smallest one I've ever seen." he kissed the top of the kittens head, it smelled like shampoo and wet fur. They watched as the kitten began to shiver.

"Aww, baby are you cold?"

"I'll grab a dry towel." Otabek said, relieved that he could finally be useful.

"It's okay, she doesn't need one."

Yuri leaned his head forward a bit, and brought kitten near the back of his neck, and lifted his long hair out of the way. The little kitten felt the warmth radiating from Yuri, and curled up between the nape of Yuri's neck, and the back of the couch. He tucked his hair over the kitten, enveloping it in warmth.

"Is that the scientific way to warm up a kitten?" Otabek laughed.

"Not really, but I haven't had a kitten who didn't like it. Your head radiates a lot of heat, and kittens like to burrow in and feel safe. Potya liked it too, when she was little." Yuri's smile looked a little sad.

Otabek took his hand, "Yura, you know we don't have to keep her. We can fatten her up a bit, and find her a good home if you aren't ready."

Yuri shook his head, "no, she reminds me of Potya. She was a runt too, she had come up to me just like this little girl did. She chose me, just like Potya did, I can't give her up, she needs me."

Otabek smiled, "good, I was hoping you'd say that. I don't want to give her up either."

They sat on the couch together while the little kitten snoozed in Yuri's hair. They started bouncing names for the kitten off each other, but nothing seemed to fit.

"What about Katya?" Otabek suggested.

Yuri shook his head, "that's such a cliche name for a girl cat."

"Tansholpan?" Otabek said, his accent heavy as he pronounced the name.

"No Kazakh names, I can barely pronounce that Beka. What about Alina?"

Otabek made a face, "hell no, I went to school with an Alina, she was awful."

They kept going for awhile, each one vetoing the others suggestions. Yuri was starting to get frustrated.

"Well, we've got time," Otabek said, peeking under Yuri's hair at the sleeping kitten, "we'll live with her awhile and see what kind of girl she is."

"I bought a little bag of cat litter and a box, could you fill it up for her Beka?"

Yuri didn't want to disturb the new baby.

Thanks to Yuri's insane body heat, it didn't take long for the kitten's fur to dry. Yuri excavated her from his hair and gave her a few pets, smoothing down her shiny gray fur. He got up, and set her in the box. He knew the kitten couldn't go on it's own, the mother would have helped it relieve itself. Otabek made a face when Yuri rubbed the kitten's bottom with at tissue.

"I think I'm gonna leave you in charge of potty training, Yura."

Otabek didn't want to be on such intimate terms with the new kitten.

"Did you hear that baby? Daddy won't help you poo." Yuri said, giving Otabek a disdainful look that was purely in jest.

Yuri praised her like a proud parent when she waddled around in the box, knowing just what to do next.

"Our little baby is so smart!" Yuri boasted.

"Only you would be that excited about a dirty litter box."

Yuri and Otabek took the tiny kitten to bed with them that night. Otabek was terrified that he'd crush her. He was such a deep sleeper, that on a few occasions, he had even managed to roll over onto Yuri's smaller form. Not hearing Yuri's muffled cries underneath him, until Yuri had pinched him hard on his arm. He was certain him sleeping with the little kitten nearby would be it's death sentence. Yuri paid him no mind.

"We're gonna be up a lot tonight feeding her, she'll be fine. Just watch where you roll, you big gorilla"

The kitten curled up into a tight ball between their pillows. Yuri hadn't realized how much he had missed the sound of purring until the kitten started to rev up it's tiny motor.

The next morning, Yuri woke up to find the kitten had moved after it's last feeding. He found it snuggled above his head, next to Potya II, kneading it's tiny little claws into the toy.

"Good morning baby," he whispered, not wanting to wake Otabek, "that's Potya, you can cuddle her anytime you want. She was the best snuggler. You've got some big shoes to fill."

Yuri didn't notice Otabek smiling as listened to Yuri tell the kitten about Potya. He could have laid there and listened to him all morning. Eventually though, they both had to leave their cozy bed, and head to the rink.

Otabek hadn't thought about what they would do with the kitten while they were gone.

"I guess we'll have to come back to feed her." he said.

Yuri shot him horrified look. "No way! We can't leave the baby here by herself! She's going to have to come with us so we can feed her."

Yuri was already gathering up her things, but Otabek wasn't sure if bringing her with them was a good idea. Yakov didn't look like much of an animal lover, he was sure they'd catch hell for bringing a cat to the rink.

"Better keep her well hidden then, I doubt Yakov would approve."

Yuri sniffed, "I'll deal with Yakov, if he doesn't want her there, he'll have to be prepared for me to leave too."

No one was going to come between him, and his new baby.

For once, Otabek was thankful for Yuri's giant hoodie collection. Yuri pulled a thick fleece hoodie out of his closet. It had a big kangaroo pocket in the front, lined in fluffy, white sherpa. He tucked the little kitten inside, and packed up a makeshift kitty diaper bag for it. Formula and syringes, a small box of clean litter, and a soft towel for it to snooze in when they were on the ice.

When they got to the rink they could already hear Yakov shouting.

Oh shit he's in a bad mood, this isn't gonna be easy. Yuri thought.

Otabek and Yuri set their stuff down next to Victor and Yuuri's things. It wasn't time for Yuri to get skating yet, and Otabek had gone off to fill their coffee cups. Yuri sat down, and cradled the kangaroo pouch with his hand, the kitten had fallen fast asleep on the way over, he wasn't about to wake her.

"Good morning Yurio!" Victor called out cheerfully, Yuuri trailing behind him.

"Shhhh!" Yuri hissed, "you'll wake the baby, moron."

Victor looked confused, "what?"

The two men stared at Yuri, still cradling the pocket. Yuuri noticed the pocket moving.

"What have you got in there?" he asked.

Yuri peeked inside the pocket, and saw two sleepy green eyes look up at him. He gently picked the kitten up, and pulled him out.

"Did Uncle Victor wake you baby? I know he's so loud isn't he?"

The two men melted instantly. Oh's and aww's tumbling out of their mouths. Yuuri, and Victor were dog people through, and through, but the sight of the little ball of fluff sent them both into a tailspin.

"When did you get him?" Yuuri asked, Yuri had put the kitten into Yuuri's gentle hands. Victor begged to hold her, but Yuri was afraid Victor would get too excited and squish her.

"It's a her," Yuri corrected, "I found her last night on the way home from the rink. I'm gonna have to bring her with me for awhile, she needs to be fed every couple of hours."

A few other rink mates had come by to admire their kitten. Yakov was still running the younger skaters through their paces. The older skaters all congregating together was a daily occurrence, Yakov took no notice of them.

"What's her name?" Mila asked taking the kitten from Yuuri.

"We haven't thought of one yet. For now she's just 'Baby'," Otabek said, he had come up beside Yuri, laying his hand on the small of his back, "she'll need to be fed in an hour or so. Yura, do you want to do it, or should I?"

The group of skaters traded smirks at the two of them, fawning over their new addition.

"I'm gonna have to get on the ice soon Beka, so you'll have to feed her."

"Look at you, like two proud papas." Victor teased. He swore he saw a pleased smile flit across Yuri's face.

The kitten was passed from person, to person, even Victor got a turn after he had calmed down a bit. Eventually, the kitten was redeposited safely in Yuri's hands again.

"Such a sweet malysh" Mila said.

Otabek scratched the kittens head, and took the kitten from Yuri so he could get his skates on. It snuggled into his arms, tucking it's nose into the crook of his elbow.

"Yuri, why don't we just call her Malysh? I like it, and nothing else seems to fit." Otabek said.

"I like it. Do you like it, Malyshka?" Yuri said running a finger along the kittens back. Malysh purred, and began kneading Otabek's arm, barely leaving a scratch with her tiny claws.

A few minutes later Yakov was yelling for them to get skating. Yuri quickly emptied the bag they had brought to carry her things. He put the towel inside, and made a nest for Malysh, and set a syringe of kitten formula next to the bag so it would be all ready for her next feeding. Otabek set the kitten in the middle of the nest, and left to start his warm ups.

It was a busy morning, and the time had flown by. Yuri had run through his routine several times. He didn't hear any shouting from Yakov, so he assumed he had done well. It was a little past noon, Otabek had fed her around 10, so he knew Malysh would be hungry again. He quickly put his guards on, and went to the bag she had been sleeping in.

The bag was tipped on it's side, empty.

"Beka," Yuri cried, "she's gone!"

Otabek was at his side in a flash. Yuri had already emptied the bag, and had started tossing the contents of his skate bag onto the floor, knowing full well that she wouldn't be inside. He looked under the seats, and even dug through Yuuri and Victor's things. There was no sign of her anywhere.

"No one here would take her, would they Beka?" Yuri pleaded.

None of his close rink mates would have done so, but there were new people in the other age brackets, ones he didn't know. Yuri eyed them suspiciously.

"One of them must have taken her." Yuri spat through gritted teeth, he made a move towards the other skaters, hands balled into tight fists.

Otabek put a hand out to stop him, "wait Yura, before you kill anyone, let's look around some more first. Then I'll go talk to them"

None of their friends had seen her. They had all been so busy on the ice, no one knew if anyone had been near their things. Otabek went to ask the younger skaters, making sure Yuri stayed far away from them. None of them had even known there was a kitten in the building.

Yuri was close to tears, certain that Malysh had been snatched. He turned down the hall to the locker rooms, and came up empty. He came back out to the rink, Victor, Yuuri, and Mila had joined in the search.

Yuri went up to Otabek, his heart breaking, "where is she Beka?"

Otabek pulled Yuri to his chest, "shhh Yura, we'll find her, she couldn't be far."

"But she's so small...she could be anywhere, she needs to eat..." Yuri choked.

"Yuri!" Yakov bellowed.

Yuri was at his wits end, the last thing he needed was Yakov screaming at him to go through his routine again. He couldn't do anything until Malysh was found.

"I can't skate right now Yakov, leave me alone!" Yuri yelled.

Yakov had made his way over to them, still grumbling loudly.

Yuri was beyond angry, he was not about to be forced onto the ice. Otabek held him a little tighter, knowing Yuri was close to losing it.

"Yura, calm down" Otabek whispered in Yuri's ear.

"Yuri," Yakov started.

"Are you deaf old man? I told you I'm not skating!" Yuri shouted, face still buried in Otabek's chest.

"you irresponsible brat!"

Otabek could feel Yuri start to shake, the last shred of calm had snapped. Yuri let go of Otabek, and spun around to face Yakov, ready for a fight.

"Listen here-" Yuri shouted, but got cut off

"Leaving her alone like that!" Yakov chastised, he didn't sound angry anymore.

Yuri stopped, mouth still hanging open. He watched as Yakov fished into the giant pocket of his coat and pulled Malysh out.

"Malyshka!" Yuri cried, reaching out for the kitten," where did you find her?"

"She found me. I was near your bags while you were skating, and felt her trying to crawl up my leg. She looked hungry, so I fed her for you. You need to be more careful with your pets Yurotchka."

Yuri almost threw his arms around Yakov's neck, but Yakov stopped him, instead he handed the kitten over to Yuri.

"Thanks Yakov, I thought I lost her." he said. Yuri was so relieved he felt a tear slide down his cheek. He quickly swiped it away, not wanting anyone to see.

"You almost did, next time bring a proper carrier for her."

"You mean I can bring her back?"

"Well it's either that or let her starve at home. At least here she'll be properly looked after," Yakov's face softened, "I had a little kitten like her when I was a boy, so if you need someone to feed her while you skate, I suppose I can help."

Yakov gave Yuri a fond look as he watched Yuri snuggle Malysh close to his chest. Yuri was still just a child in his eyes. Yakov knew how depressed Yuri had been after Potya had died. He had been so upset that his skating had suffered for weeks after. He had even caught him crying in the locker room a few times, although neither of them wanted to remember those awkward moments. Yakov hoped this new kitten would heal that old wound.

The kitten was passed around for the rest of the day, everyone wanting to help look after her.

That evening Otabek and Yuri took a proper trip to the pet store. Yuri almost bought the place out. His Malyshka would have everything she needed. Pet beds, treats, toys, a self cleaning litter box, and several collars.

"Yuri, I don't think Malyshka needs four collars." Otabek scolded.

"I don't know what color will look best on her, I'll return the ones that don't work." 

Otabek laughed, and let Yuri continue to fill up the cart with everything he wanted. Otabek hadn't seen him this excited in a long time. Yuri had a smile on his face that even Otabek rarely saw. A smile of pure joy, like everything was right with the world.

Once at home he held up each collar against Malysh's fur. After some long contemplation, Yuri decided the purple color looked best, even though it was still too large to fit around her tiny neck.

"In a few weeks you'll be big enough to wear it, especially if you keep eating like you do." Yuri cooed, bringing the kitten near his face so they could bump noses.

Otabek was in the kitchen making dinner, trying not to laugh at the absurd nonsense that was coming out of Yuri's mouth.

He'd heard him talk like this with Potya, but what was going on now, in their living room, was on a whole other level. Malysh already had Yuri wrapped around her paw, leaving Yuri a sweet, babbling pile of goo. Otabek figured Yuri must have years of built up baby talk inside him, just waiting for the right cat to use it on.

"Look at that little belly on you! You're such a good eater! Such a pretty girl aren't you Malyshka? Papa just loves you so much!" Yuri had just finished feeding her, she rolled onto her back happy, and full. He gently tickled the kitten's poochy belly, and peppered her head with little kisses.

"Yura, dinners ready." Otabek said.

"Did you hear that Malyshka? Daddy made dinner."

Otabek stifled a laugh, "if we can't give her a good Kazakh name, can you at least call me Akem?"

"I think Daddy is jealous," Yuri said tucking the kitten into his hoodie pocket.

Otabek sighed, he knew he wasn't going to win, he'd be 'Daddy' from now on.

After dinner Yuri curled up on the couch with Malysh tucked under his chin, both had quickly fallen asleep. Otabek read while he listened to Malysh's soft, chirpy purrs. He knew if Yuri could, he'd be purring right back.

Otabek couldn't resist snapping a picture of them, and quickly posted it.

#Yurisinlove #iwillnevergettoholdthiskitten #papadaddymalyshka

The photo practically broke the internet that night.

Chapter Text

Otabek tiptoed quietly in the dark bedroom, he threw the drapes back, flooding the room in sunlight. Yuri was still sleeping, sprawled out under a pile of blankets, Malyshka curled up in a ball between his legs.

"Happy Birthday Yura!" he shouted.

Both Yuri, and the cat practically hit the ceiling. Malyshka ran from the bedroom tail poofed. Yuri sat grabbing his chest, trying to catch his breath.

"Jesus Christ Beka! Is giving me a heart attack my birthday present?"

Otabek laughed, "just wanted you to start the day out right. Here."

He placed a tray of pancakes, bacon, and orange juice on the bed.

"Breakfast in bed? But you never let me eat in bed." Yuri set the tray on his lap.

"You can on your birthday," Otabek sat next to him while Yuri dove into his breakfast.

Malysh returned, and jumped back up on the bed, tail smoothed back to it's normal state. She was bigger now, no longer a little runt. She pawed Yuri's leg, knowing that if she meowed enough, he would cave, and give her a little scrap of whatever he was eating.

"Good morning Malyshka." Yuri cooed, giving her a tiny speck of his bacon.

Otabek shook his head, "don't feed that beggar Yura."

"It's my birthday, if I get to eat in bed Malyshka gets to, too."

"So what do you want to do today?"

Yuri shrugged, "I dunno, nothing that involves skating that's for damn sure."

"Well you're lucky we're off for the next two days. We've got all day until we have to go out with Victor and Yuuri for your birthday dinner."

Every year Victor and Yuuri took them out for his birthday. Yuri was never one to refuse a free meal and drinks, but they always managed to pick the snootiest restaurants. Yuri loved designer clothes, top shelf beauty products, and he never said no to expensive shoes; but high class restaurants always made him feel out of place.

Yuri rolled his eyes, "do we have to go?"

"We don't have to, but they love you, and want to celebrate with you. You know you'd break their hearts if you said no."

"I know, I know, I just...wish it was a restaurant I wanted to go to. They always pick these fancy places, and I end up feeling like a child who still needs a kiddie menu."

"Who knows, you might like it this year." Otabek averted his eyes, suddenly fascinated by a loose string on their comforter.

Yuri eyed him suspiciously, "you know where we're going tonight don't you?"

"I might."

"Will I like it?"

"I think so, finish your breakfast. After that, we'll go shopping, and you won't hear a single complaint from me."

"Promise?"

Otabek hated shopping, especially with Yuri who had an endless amount of energy when it came to spending money.

"I promise."

"So how does it feel to be twenty-two?" Otabek asked, stealing a piece of bacon from his plate. Yuri slapped his hand away.

Yuri shrugged, eating the last bit of syrup soaked pancake, "about the same as twenty-one. When do I start to feel like an adult? Cause I still feel like I'm seventeen."

"Dunno, I'm twenty five and I still don't feel like a grown up sometimes."

Otabek leaned over, and kissed him, tasting a hint of maple syrup on Yuri's lips , "hurry up and get dressed, or I'll start giving you your birthday spankings."

Yuri quickly rolled out of bed. As much as he loved Otabek in dom mode, there was no way he could handle twenty-two whacks on the ass from him. The man was relentless once he got started. Yuri could barely make it to seven without his eyes watering, twenty two would surely kill him.

Yuri showered and got dressed, "first we stop and get coffee, then shopping."

He scanned through his phone. His feed was drowning with Happy Birthday wishes from fans, and fellow skaters. He breezed through them quickly, and shoved his phone back in his pocket.

Otabek had promised not to complain about the shopping, but he was three hours in, and Yuri showed no signs of slowing down. He regretted wearing his boots, and not his comfy, worn in sneakers. In every store they went into he scanned the room for those life saving "husband chairs". He quickly found one in the latest shop they were in that was, thank god, actually comfortable. He breathed a sigh of relief as he sank into it. Otabek considered his endurance to be on the higher side, but there was something about shopping that just sucked the life out of him. He didn't see the appeal of going through piles of clothes, or trying on shoe after shoe. He preferred online shopping. No people to harass him, no stores to wander through, and better yet, he could do it in his pajamas if he wanted to, which was often the case.

They were in a new leather shop that Yuri had been itching to visit. Yuri loved leather, so Otabek hoped they would be in there for awhile. At least the smell of leather was pleasant, the last store reeked of perfume that made his head hurt, and his eyes itch.

He watched Yuri meticulously go through racks, and racks of clothes. He had a quick, but discerning eye, immediately knowing what worked on him, and what didn't. Otabek shut his eyes for a few minutes, wishing he had another coffee, when he heard a gleeful yelp from Yuri.

"Fuck, I want this so bad!"

Otabek's opened his eyes, "what did you find Yura?"

Yuri came over with a black leather jacket on. It looked a little plain for Yuri to be so enamored by it. It had a simple mock collar, and the sleeves were quilted, with black knit cuffs. The lining inside was a red satiny material, but other than that, Otabek wasn't sure what made it so special.

"It's nice, but don't you have a couple of leather jackets like that at home?"

"Wait, look," Yuri spun around, embroidered on the back was a giant roaring tiger head, surrounded by red roses, "badass right?"

It was garish and tacky, but unequivocally Yuri.

"It's definitely you Yura." Otabek chuckled.

Yuri placed it down next to the register, and searched his pockets for his wallet. Otabek stilled Yuri's hand, and handed the lady at the counter his own credit card. Yuri felt a giddy rush, he loved when Otabek did stuff like this. No discussion, no asking if he could pay, he just took over, and spoiled Yuri rotten. If they weren't in public, Yuri would have kissed Otabek, and whispered a sultry, "thanks Daddy" in his ear just watch his face turn scarlet.

Yuri had a daddy kink. Unfortunately, Otabek thought the whole daddy thing was creepy as hell. He was a magnanimous lover though, and did indulge Yuri on occasion. Daddy talk sent Yuri through the roof, and Otabek gladly reaped the rewards from it, but it still made him want to take an extra long shower once it was over.

Instead, Yuri gave him a tight hug after they exited the shop, "you didn't have to do that Beka."

"Call it my birthday gift, I never know what to get you anyway. This way I know you're getting something you'll enjoy. Besides, I like to spoil you."

Yuri almost skipped at the thought of his new jacket, "I'm wearing it tonight! You hungry?"

"Very." He actually wasn't all that hungry, but lunch equaled sitting for a long period of time, and that was all he wanted at this point.

They stopped for lunch at a fast food place, normally they didn't go to these places. Burgers and fries were definitely not on either of their strict diet plans, but it was a special occasion. Yuri ordered the most fattening meal on the menu, he could fuck his diet for one day.

Otabek was amazed at how much food Yuri could put away, the burger had disappeared within minute "where do you put it all Yura?"

"I'm an eating machine." Yuri said, his mouth full of fries.

"Well save room for tonight." Otabek picked at his plate, he wasn't a fan of fast food, it tasted good while he was eating it, but always made him feel queasy afterwards.

Yuri nodded, washing his food down with a soda. He could already feel the rush of sugar beginning to pump through him.

After lunch, they walked around a bit, not really shopping anymore, just wandering and enjoying the day. It was still cold, but the sky was clear and the sun was out. The streets were crowded, and busy, everyone was taking advantage of the sunshine.

"So where are we going tonight?" Yuri asked, hoping he had caught Otabek off guard enough that he'd spill the secret.

"You'll see." was all he said.

"Let's walk back home, I need a nap before tonight." Yuri could feel the sugar rush already starting to fade, he'd be crashing soon.

They headed home, Malysh was at the door to greet them when they arrived. Yuri picked her up, running a hand through her thick gray coat. She gave him a cheerful chirp noise, and butted his head.

"Let's take a nap Malyshka." he carried her to the bedroom, telling her about their day as he deposited her on the bed.

He stripped off his clothes, and curled up naked in his bed. He felt overly full from lunch, and he thought of a waistband tugging at his belly while he slept sounded torturous. He pulled the blankets over his head, and Malysh curled near his side, kneading him through the blankets, they were both out like a light within minutes.

Two hours later Yuri woke up to the feeling of wet warmth under the blankets. It took him a moment to realize Otabek had his mouth around his cock. Yuri moaned sleepily as he began to suck harder.

"Is this my birthday gift too?" he murmured, enjoying the strange mix of sleepiness and pleasure. It felt like he was drugged, his head fuzzy from sleep, but the coil in his stomach tightened as Otabek continued.

He let his mouth slide off his length, "I saw you sleeping naked and couldn't help myself," he sucked a few more times, "we should get going soon though"  he was lazily stroking Yuri's cock when he felt it flag a bit.

Yuri started to sit up, annoyed that they had to postpone this until later, "I guess we can finish this aft-"

Otabek put a hand to his chest, keeping Yuri in place, "shhh, we've got a little time, relax birthday boy, I'll make this quick."

Yuri's eyes rolled into his head as he fell back onto the bed. Otabek had sucked him back into his mouth, humming lightly as he did so. The things Otabek did with that beautiful mouth of his left Yuri weak.

Yuri groaned, he should sleep naked more often if this was the result....

A few minutes later Yuri was spilling into Otabek's mouth. He laid there breathless, waiting for the long waves of pleasure to subside. Otabek drew himself up beside him.

"Now I really don't want to go..." Yuri whined.

"Too late to back out now. I'll make you some coffee while you go get ready." He kissed Yuri's temple, and left.
Yuri got up and opened his closet. He tilted his head, wondering what to wear. He almost went for his black leather pants to go with his new jacket, but reconsidered, that might be too much leather, even for him. He decided on the dark red skinny jeans he had purchased that day, and a simple fitted black shirt. He grabbed a pair of studded boots from the closet, and pulled them on, neatly tucking the hem of his jeans into each boot

He ran a brush through his hair a few times before pulling it up into a high ponytail. Grabbing a long strip of black ribbon off the dresser, he wrapped it around the base of the ponytail a few times and tied a knot, leaving the long ends to trail down, and mix with his hair. He applied some eyeliner, and admired himself approvingly in the mirror.
As promised, Otabek left a fresh cup of coffee on the counter before he had taken his shower. Yuri was staring out the living room window, enjoying his coffee, when he felt a hand slip down the back of his pants.

"I should have gotten off too," Otabek growled into Yuri's ear, he smelled of soap and shaving cream, "I'm gonna have a hard on all night with you dressed like this."

Yuri laughed, and pulled away, Otabek was naked, save for a towel wrapped around his waist, "Beka, you're the one that wants to go so badly. I said I'd rather stay home."

As tempting as it was to just stay home, he denied himself, "I'll live," he removed his hand,"besides you'll have fun tonight, I promise."

As always, it took only a few minutes for Otabek to dress. Dark gray jeans, navy shirt, and his trusty leather jacket. He wound a black scarf around his neck, and put his black leather gloves on.

"You dressed warm enough to ride the bike tonight?" he asked, shoving his wallet in his back pocket, "we don't have far to go."

"Sounds good. Let's get this over with, I guess." Yuri drank the last bit of his coffee and set the mug in the sink.

Otabek gunned the engine, waiting for Yuri to get his helmet on in a way that didn't ruin his hair. Yuri mounted the bike and slid his arms around Otabek's waist. It was only a five block drive, barely enough time to enjoy the ride. Otabek parked the bike outside a small restaurant that Yuri had never seen before. The door opened as a couple left the restaurant, Yuri caught the familiar scent that followed them out the door. He recognized immediately, it was a ramen shop. His mouth started to water.

"Is this where we're going tonight?" Yuri hopped of the bike, and heard his stomach start to grumble.

"Otabek said you didn't want anything fancy, and Yuuri's been wanting to try this place since it opened."

Yuri turned his head, Victor and Yuuri had come up beside them.

"Happy birthday!" the two men said in unison.

"Thanks guys, this place looks awesome, and so much more my speed. I didn't even know there was a ramen shop nearby."

"It opened about three weeks ago, we've been waiting for the crowds to die down. It's been pretty busy." Victor said, holding the door for everyone.

Yuri loved most Japanese food, and nothing held a candle to Yuuri's moms kastudon, but on their last trip to Hasetsu he fell in love with all things ramen. He could have eaten it everyday, for every meal while he was there, not caring if he gained a fifty pounds in the process.

Ramen was hard to come by in St. Petersbourg, there was one on the other side of the city that was mediocre at best. IfYuuri thought this place looked good, then it must be the real thing.

They sat down and perused the menu, Yuri immediately picked the spiciest ramen they had, hoping it would not disappoint.

"For the birthday boy!" Victor said placing a small bag on the table.

Yuri took it, and pulled the tissue out. There was a hard eyeglass case inside, with Gucci embossed across it in gold. He opened the case, inside were a magnificent pair of leopard print sunglasses. He put them on, unlocking his phone for a picture.

"Thanks guys, I love them!"

"We thought you would. Anything to keep you from stealing mine."

Victor had a large collection of very expensive sunglasses, most were given to him from modelling deals he had done over the years. Even though he had retired from skating, he was still sought after by designers. Yuri had a weakness for beautiful sunglasses, and Victor had so many Yuri didn't think he'd miss a pair, or four. Unfortunately, Victor shared the same weakness, and knew exactly which ones had been pinched from his closet. It was a constant battle to get Yuri to return them.

"After these I don't think I'll want another pair. Thanks."

They chatted after they placed their orders. Yuri telling them about the whirlwind shopping trip they took that morning.

"Check it out, " Yuri stood up and turned his back so they could see the back of his jacket, "Otabek bought it for me."

"They must have known you were coming. Only you would be able to pull off wearing that." Victor teased.

Yuri stuck his tongue out playfully, and tossed his phone to Victor, "take a picture."

Yuri kept his back to the phone so the tiger was still visible. He put his new sunglasses on. Looking over his shoulder, he pulled the sunglasses down the bridge of his nose so his eyes peeked over them. Victor snapped the picture.

"That will get the angels going." Yuuri said, passing the phone over to Yuri.

"They've been clogging my feed all day, I guess I should give them something in return." he quickly posted it and sat back down, just in time for the ramen to come out.

Yuri breathed in that blessed scent, it smelled just like the stuff he had back in Japan. He grabbed his chopsticks, and sank his teeth into the delicious, chewy noodles. Yuri was sure he had died and gone to ramen heaven. He was silent for the rest of dinner, too busy slurping every last drop from his bowl.

"Yuuri what did you think?" Victor asked, wiping his mouth with his napkin and laying it on the table.

"It was the best I've had in a long time. It made me a little homesick actually. I noticed the owners are Japanese, I want to go thank them for the meal."

Yuuri got up and went to the young Japanese couple behind the counter. Their faces brightened when they heard Yuuri give them a sincere thank you in their native language. The three struck up a conversation in rapid Japanese, the three men at the table had no hope of ever following what was being said.

"Thanks for dinner tonight." Yuri said placing his new sunglasses back in to their case.

"Oh we're not done yet. There's more." Victor gave him a wink.

Yuri sipped the last of his drink, "there is?"

Usually it was just a quiet dinner on his birthday, then home. He wasn't expecting more. He looked at Otabek hoping for answers.

"We're going to the club tonight." Otabek said, "and I'm not working for once."

"Seriously!?"

Yuri still went to the club with Otabek on occasion. He enjoyed watching him diligently work the tables, and loved dancing to his music. But truth be told, Yuri would prefer to have Otabek on the dancefloor with him, but that hardly ever happened. Usually after Otabek was finished, he wanted to leave the rowdy club, and go back to their quiet apartment to decompress. As much as he loved DJ-ing; the crowds, smoke, and lights sometimes left him frazzled around the edges.

Yuri fluttered with excitement, a whole night dancing with Otabek. No quick hellos during breaks, no giving him lusty glances from the dance floor that went nowhere, no having to help pack up his gear after. Just him.

Victor paid the bill, and they all stood waiting for Yuuri, who bowed politely, thanking the owners again.

Once they were out on the street, Yuri was quick to put his helmet on and mount the bike, eager to get to the club. Otabek swung his leg over, and started the bike up, revving the engine a few times just because he knew Yuri liked it.

"We'll meet you there." Yuri yelled, waving a hand as they sped off.

"They must be freezing on that thing. It's only the first of March. I'm glad the streets are dry at least." Yuuri shivered as he got into their car.

"They're young, they don't feel the cold like we do." Victor laughed, closing Yuuri's door for him.

As they walked into the club, the pulsing bass penetrated deep into Yuri's chest, making his stomach flip. He couldn't remember the last time they had been to a club where Otabek didn't have to work. He just wanted to pound a drink and get out there.

It was as if Victor had read his mind. Within minutes he was there with a handful of shots. They knocked them back, the heat slithered down their throats, warming their bellies.

Yuri grabbed Otabek's hand and led him to the dance floor.

Otabek wasn't the best dancer, but what Yuri had in mind didn't call for any talent. Yuri could do some real dancing later. Right now, all he wanted to do with Otabek was move and grind to the beat. Out of the corner of his eye he caught Victor and Yuuri on the other side of the floor. They definitely had more finesse, and did actual steps, but Yuri didn't care. He was having a blast.

A kickass leather jacket, a belly full of ramen, Gucci sunglasses, and Otabek behind him, roughly gripping his hips while grinding slowly against him. He was so happy he thought his heart would burst.

He leaned into Otabek, reaching back and running a hand through his thick black hair. Otabek nipped his neck in return as they moved to the music. The DJ that night was good (Otabek was better), and the punishing beat got their blood pumping.

Best birthday ever!

Beads of sweat ran down his back, and he could already feel the beginnings of a blister on his foot, but he didn't care. He had all day tomorrow to recover. He closed his eyes and just took in the moment as they danced.

He danced for hours, only taking a few breaks for water, or to catch his breath. Otabek gave up after awhile, realizing that he couldn't keep up with Yuri's boundless energy. He enjoyed a few drinks instead, still keeping a vigilant watch over Yuri, like his own personal bouncer. Yuri was a stunning, blond magnet that pulled everyone to him, women as well as men. While Yuri gladly danced with the women who buzzed around him, other men (save the three he was there with) were not welcome.

There were a few times that night, while dancing alone, that men had tried to sidle up to Yuri, only to be flatly rejected. They'd rush away, unwilling to go through the embarrassment a second time. Unfortunately, a spare few were undeterred by Yuri's rejections. They'd try again, dancing up close to Yuri trying to close the gap, or worse yet, attempt to touch him. These foolish few, were quickly met by Otabek's looming figure, giving them a dark, "I dare you" look, while curling his hand around Yuri's waist, pulling him close. No words were ever uttered, but the message was clear. Yuri was taken, and definitely not there alone.

These few bumps in the night did nothing to ruin their evening though. Yuri never stopped dancing, and the strange, slightly possessive side of Otabek enjoyed fending off the fuckboys that came too close.

It was close to 3 before Victor and Yuuri cried uncle and sat down, unsure if they could get back up. Otabek had quit drinking around one, preparing himself for the drive home. Even Yuri was beginning to admit defeat, his hair was a knotted mess, and his clothes were damp with sweat. He could hear his bed calling his name.

"You guys good to drive?" Yuuri asked as they stepped out into the night, the brisk chill cooling their overheated bodies.

"Yuuri," Victor groaned, leaning into him, "I'm going to be so sore tomorrow, I'm just gonna spend the day in the tub. Want to join me?"

Yuuri turned red, and ignored Victor's advances.

Otabek had his arm hooked around Yuri's waist, afraid he'd collapse from sheer exhaustion.

"Yuri, you good?" Otabek said, giving Yuri's side a quick nudge, "we don't have far to go, don't go falling off the back."

"I'm good, just tired." Yuri halfway shouted, his ears were ringing so badly he could hardly hear.

Victor and Yuuri took advantage of his tired state and gave him a joint hug. Yuri was an odd mix of exhaustion and elation, he wrapped his arms around them both and squeezed tightly.

"Thanks guys, I had great time tonight."

"Happy Birthday Yurio. Text me when you get home so we know you made it?" Yuuri said.

Yuri rolled his eyes, and laughed, "ok, Mom."

Yuri pulled his helmet on, enjoying the envelope of silence it gave him. Otabek snapped the latch under his chin for him, making sure none of his messy hair got caught.

The engine roared to life. Yuri clung tightly to Otabek's waist, his head against his back. Once they were moving he had no trouble staying awake, the cold wind hit his face sharply, keeping sleep at bay. Otabek dropped a gloved hand from the handlebar, placing it protectively over Yuri's cold, bare hands.

Otabek smirked. He never remembers his gloves...

They shared a shower once they got home, letting the hot water warm their skin, and sooth their sore feet. They scrubbed each others backs in comfortable silence.

Yuri leaned his head against the tile wall after he was all rinsed off, hair slicked back, eyes closed.

"Tired?" Otabek asked rinsing the shampoo from his hair.

Yuri nodded.

"Did you have a good day?"

"The best."

"Good, happy birthday Yura." Otabek kissed him softly on his wet forehead.

They crawled into bed, Yuri whined at how cold the sheets were. Otabek barely had time to get comfortable before Yuri was curled around him like a snake, trying to steal his body heat. He shut the light off, enjoying the dark silence.

Yuri laid in Otabek's arms for awhile, before ducking under the blankets, Otabek felt a tug at his boxers.

"I thought you were tired?" Otabek said, breathless once he felt the wet heat of Yuri's mouth.

"Not tired enough to thank you properly for today. I can't leave you hanging." Yuri said, slightly muffled from the blankets.

The wet heat returned, Otabek relaxed and enjoyed his thank you blowjob.

The next day was spent mostly in bed, watching movies, while drinking copious amounts of coffee and water. Yuri had a splitting headache, and the blister on his foot was painfully tender, but it was so fucking worth it.

Chapter Text

It was a late night in May, when Yuri woke up. He reached over to Otabek's side of the bed, it was empty. Otabek had worked at the club that night, but still hadn't come home.

He grabbed his phone, and quickly flicked through it. No calls, no texts. Maybe he was just hanging out with his buddies at the club? They did that on occasion, especially if the weather was nicer.

Yuri looked at the time on his phone, 3:36 am.

It's later than I thought, where the hell is he?

Yuri dialed Otabek's number, it went straight to voicemail. His anger flared. Just where was he that he needed to turn his phone off?

YP: Where the fuck are you Beka?

He knew if Beka's phone was off his text wouldn't get through, but it still felt good to vent his anger. He laid there, as the minutes ticked by, trying Otabek's number now and then. Still no answer. Anger was slowly morphing into worry. This was not like Otabek, he always let him know where he was at, or what he was doing. He was the one who was bad for staying out without calling, not Otabek.

Yuri got out of bed, and flicked the light on. Malysh was laying on Otabek's side of the bed, blinking slowly at him.

"Where's Daddy, Malysh? Do you know?"

She meowed in reply, and then laid her head back down.

"You're no help." he muttered.

Yuri looked at the time again, 3:55 am.

Okay, this was getting scary, he was never out this late.

Paranoid thoughts of him in bed with someone else invaded his mind. He pushed the thought away, Otabek would never do that. Would he?

He loves you stupid, don't be dumb.

He needed to find out where Otabek was, not sit there and imagine up scenarios. He dialed Victor.

After a few rings Victor finally answered, his voice heavy with sleep.

"Yuri, what's wrong?"

"I don't know," he said nervously, "maybe nothing. Have you heard from Otabek? Has he stopped by, or anything?" he tried to keep his voice steady, fighting the lump already forming in his throat.

"No, I haven't. Is he not home yet?"

"No, and he hasn't called."

He could hear Yuuri's voice in the background. The two men were speaking to one another in hushed, worried tones. Yuri was about to say something, when he heard his phone beep.

"I have another call, maybe it's him. Hold on." Yuri clicked over.

"Beka?"

"Is this Mr. Yuri Plisetsky?" a male voice said.

"Yes." Yuri felt his stomach grow hot. That was not Beka on the other end. He didn't know who it was.

"I'm calling from Mariinsky Hospital. Do you know Otabek Altin?"

Oh god no.

"Y-yes, is he okay?"

"I'm sorry Mr. Plisetsky, there's been an accident. You'll need to come down immediately."

Yuri didn't answer back, he clicked back to Victor.

"Yuri? Was that Otabek? Is he okay?"

Yuri tried to speak, but only a mess of cries, and garbled words came out. Victor couldn't understand a word of it.

"Yuri? What's happened?" Victor's voice was stern, almost demanding.

"Be-Beka...sob...acc..accident." Yuri fell apart over the phone.

Victor's heart clenched, "I'm on my way Yuri. Hang on!"

Victor hung up the phone, and started grabbing clothes from his dresser, not caring what they were, as long as they covered him.

"What's going on?" Yuuri said, getting out of bed.

"Otabek's been in an accident."

"I'm coming with you."

Victor wasn't sure how fast he had driven that night. It seemed like seconds, and a lifetime all at once. He parked haphazardly on the street outside Yuri's building. If he got ticketed; so be it. They took the stairs two at a time up to his apartment. Victor's fingers fumbled for his spare key. He was so thankful he'd kept bugging Yuri until he gave him one.

Victor burst through the door, "Yuri!"

The apartment was dark, save for a dim light at the end of the hall. They heard a muffled cry, and followed the noise.

Yuri sat on the floor in his boxers, knees drawn up close to his chest, face buried, arms covering his head. He was a tight ball of trembling flesh, blond hair enveloped him, blocking out the light. His phone was dropped near his feet, Otabek's number pulled up, ready to dial again.

Yuuri's heart broke at the sight of him. Yuri, the boy they helped raise, nurtured, and loved was in pain, a torturous pain that Yuuri couldn't begin to imagine.

Years ago, Yuuri had seen the love the two young men had for one another, even before they themselves could recognize it for what it was. Yuuri was quick to notice the little things they did for each other. The way their eyes softened when the other entered the room. He saw the small touches, the quiet conversations alone, the way they walked close together, hands brushing one another, yet neither brave enough to grab hold.

If Yuuri could, he'd gladly take his pain and carry it himself. Yuri was too young, and had such a hard life already, he didn't need to have his other half ripped from him, not now...not ever.

Yuuri watched as Victor brushed the veil of blonde hair away from Yuri's face.

"Yuri. Yuri, stand up." Victor took him by the armpits, pulling him to a standing position. Yuri vaguely felt himself being set on his feet, the room was hazy, and his ears were full of the sound of his own blood pumping.

How am I standing? Who's talking?

Yuri's mind had turned in on itself since hanging up the phone. The voice he was hearing sounded familiar, but it wasn't Otabek's, so he made no move to answer.

Beka..why isn't it you? Why aren't you here?

Victor gave him a shake, hoping it would bring him round. Yuri tried to clear his head, someone wanted him to move, to get dressed. He didn't want to, he wanted to curl back up on the floor.

Yuri felt his face start to sting, whoever it was, was slapping his cheek, not hard, not enough to hurt, but enough to clear the haze. Yuri shook his head, Victor's familiar face finally made it's way through the fog.

Yuri locked eyes with him, things were starting to register again. Otabek wasn't there, he was at the hospital. Yuri's breath quickened, remembering the phone call, he started to hyperventilate. Victor put his arms around him.

"I'm here, Yuuri's here, shhh...easy, easy, take a breath, try to tell me what happened."

"Mariinsky..." it was the faintest of whispers, spoken between quick gasps of breath. Victor had to lean in close to catch the word before it floated away. It was all the information he needed, he knew where Otabek was.

"Get dressed Yuri." Victor made his voice sound gentle, yet firm. If Victor showed any sign of weakness, there would be no hope for Yuri. He needed an anchor, someone to take charge, usually that was Otabek, but it had to be him now, for how long he didn't know.

Yuri heard the request, but couldn't move, his feet cemented in place, brain fried. He stared blankly in front of him, as the two men scrambled around the room. Yuri felt a hand on his shoulder, guiding him to sit down, that much he could do.

They ended up having to throw clothes on him themselves, grabbing whatever was nearby, clean or dirty, it didn't matter they needed to go. Yuri sat comatose on the bed, letting his limbs be guided into sleeves and pants. Yuuri started to put a jacket around him, when Yuri pulled away sharply, like it had been a snake being layed across his neck. He shook his head weakly.

"Black...square...Beka's..." he hiccuped.

They were the first real solid words he had spoken since they'd arrived, but they made no sense. Yuuri was terrified; sure that Yuri had snapped and was just babbling randomly. He tried again to put the jacket around him, only for Yuri to fight more violently this time, repeating the words in quiet desperation. Yuuri looked at Victor, who remained calm. He touched Yuri's face gently, thinking he knew what Yuri was after.

"Alright Yuri, if it helps. I'll find it."

Victor searched the closet, quickly pulling out Otabek's black hoodie with the white square, and put it over Yuri's head, Yuri didn't protest this time. Victor covered Yuri's head with the hood, knowing what a comfort it was to him, when he felt vulnerable. Yuri sank deep into the hood, away from the world.

The two men lifted Yuri from the bed, he could feel his legs moving, but he wasn't sure how it was happening. He just felt numb, like his whole body had gone to sleep.

Sleep...he wanted to sleep. He wanted this to be a nightmare that he'd wake up from. Wanted to find Beka in bed next to him, wanted to hear him laugh, and tell him it was all just a silly dream.

Yuuri locked the door behind them as they left. They took the stairs at a snails pace. Yuri had a death grip on the railing the entire time, afraid he'd collapse and tumble down the hard cement stairs. Part of him thought it might not be a bad thing if he did. Maybe he'd be knocked unconscious and escape this terror for a little while.

Victor opened the passenger side door, and set Yuri in the back seat. Yuuri slid in beside him. He could barely get his seat belt on before Yuri was in a full on panic.

"Yuuri...what if he's..."

Upon hearing Yuri's first coherent sentence, Yuuri abandoned the seat belt, tugging the boy to him. He didn't answer him, or try to placate him, he didn't know what had happened. For all he knew, Otabek could be...

No, he wouldn't think about that possibility. Not unless he had to. All he could do now was hold him, while Victor drove like a demon. Yuuri was thankful that it was late, and the roads were deserted.

Yuri had gone deathly silent after his last outcry, and just laid crumpled against Yuuri. His breath spasming every so often, was the only indication that he was still with them.

Yuuri held him as tightly as he could, arms encircling him. Yuuri knew that he was cat like, even in grief. The smaller the space he was in, the safer he felt.

Yuuri's embrace eased him a little, but the arms were foreign, they weren't the ones he wanted. The arms he yearned for were heavier, stronger, and had the power to calm every fiber of his being.

What if he's gone...What do I do without him? How do I go on living, not seeing his face? I can't...I can't...

Yuri felt the car lurch to a stop, and the door being opened. Victor was there, pulling him out.

"Almost there Yuri, we've got you, just a little further." The two men held him up as they walked into the emergency room. It was empty save for a few people waiting. They found a group of chairs away from everyone, and set Yuri down. Yuuri sat beside him, holding his hand tightly.

Victor went to the front desk to find out what information he could. He spoke to the nurse for a few minutes, nodding grimly when she answered his questions. The two went back and forth for a few minutes, before the nurse rushed away.

"She didn't have much information, she's going to find the doctor."

Victor sat down next to Yuri, who leaned into him as soon as he was settled. Victor stroked his forehead, whispering to him in Russian. Yuuri only caught a few words.

Calm...love...breathe.

It felt like an eternity until the doctor came out to meet them.

"Mr. Plisetsky?"

Yuri looked up at the sound of his name, but Victor was the one who stood.

"He's here, what's happened?"

"Mr. Altin was in a motorcycle accident this evening. He-"

"Is he?" Yuri cut him off, dreading to hear the answer, but knowing it was better than the awful limbo he was currently in. It would either be good news, or the end of all the happiness in his life. He steeled himself waiting for the answer.

"He's alive. He's suffered a broken wrist, a dislocated shoulder, and has some abrasions, but nothing life threatening. His helmet saved him from any real damage."

Yuri didn't hear anything the doctor said after the word alive. His lungs filled with air, and his heart began to beat faster. That one little word meant so much.

Alive...Beka's alive...

He'd hear his laugh again, wake up next to him, hell, he'd even fight with him again. He wasn't gone forever, he was there, somewhere in building, waiting for him.

"When can we see him?" Victor asked.

"In a few minutes, we just reset his shoulder, and administered some pain medicine. I'll send the nurse out for you when he's ready."

Victor sank down into his chair, his head in his hands, "Thank god, thank god."

Yuuri mumbled a few relieved word in Japanese. All the other languages he knew escaped him.

Yuri just sat in stunned silence.

A few minutes later, a stout nurse with dark hair came up to them.

"Mr. Plisetsky?" she was older, and had a sweet sounding voice.

Yuri stood shakily, as the nurse motioned for him to follow her.

"Do you want us to go with you?" Victor asked.

Yuri shook his head.

The nurse led him down the hall to a small room at the end. She patted his hand warmly, "you can go in whenever you're ready dear. He's awake. You must be the one he's been asking for." She gave a him a warm smile, and left him to stare through the glass in the door. All he could see was an eerie light, and the curtain pulled around the bed.

Turning the handle he stepped inside.

He felt the heat in his belly return as he crept closer to the curtain, unsure of what he'd find on the other side. Yuri took a breath, gathering up what little courage he had, and pulled the curtain.

There he was, mere inches away. His soft brown eyes staring up at him.

"Yura..." Otabek whispered, reaching his hand out to him.

Yuri started to cry, hard heaving sobs of relief racked his chest. Seeing Otabek in the flesh overwhelmed him. He listened to the beeps of the monitor, it's steady, uplifting beat filled his head.

Alive. Alive. Alive.

Yuri went to him, just staring at him at first, not daring to touch him for fear he'd fade away. Otabek finally took Yuri's hand, and put it to his cheek, dying to feel his touch. At that, Yuri's hand began to move. He touched his face, ran his hands through his messy hair, traced his lips with his thumb. Otabek closed his eyes, letting him continue, every touch a balm to his aching body. Yuri couldn't stop touching him, he took in every bruised inch of him, making sure he was real.

Otabek's right wrist was in a splint, and covered by a sling. His knuckles were coated in painful road rash, but his face...his beautiful, smiling face, had only a few small scrapes. Hardly visible to anyone but Yuri, who had every part of him memorized. The visor and helmet had done their job.

"I thought you were..." Yuri stammered, the last word left unsaid.

Otabek lifted his left arm, inviting him in. Yuri folded towards him.

The last few hours had worn him so thin, he thought he'd rip apart. But once Otabek's arm closed around him; and Yuri felt that blessed, heavy weight he was so familiar with, the anguish and despair ebbed away, leaving him weak and boneless against him. He burrowed deeper into the embrace, breathing in Otabek's scent, it had a slight chemical smell, like bleach or maybe antiseptic, but it was still undeniably him.

"Yura, my Yura, I'm here, I'm ok." he said, his voice a little slurred from the drugs he had been given.

"I was so scared Beka, I- I didnt kn-know what I'd d-do without you." he buried his face in Otabek's neck sobbing. Would he ever run out of tears?

"Shhhh, don't think about that, I'm here. I'm ok. I'm ok." he held as tightly as he could with his one free arm.

Yuri shifted, laying his head on his broad chest, listening to Otabek's heart beat. It was music to his ears, he could listen to it forever. After a few minutes though, he felt Otabek wince.

Yuri shot up, "I'm sorry Beka. Did I hurt you?" he stammered, wiping his eyes.

"It's okay," he cupped Yuri's cheek, "I'm just sore, the doctors said I must've rolled across the pavement a few times."

Yuri bit his lip, "tell me what happened Beka."

Otabek took a deep breath, "there's not much to tell. I was coming home and a guy ran the red light. I was just entering the intersection when I saw him and swerved to get out of the way. I lost control, hit the street, and rolled. I don't remember much after that. According to the police I laid there awhile before someone came along and called an ambulance."

Yuri's heart pounded at the thought of Otabek laying in the road, alone.

"The doctor said your helmet saved you."

"It did, I kinda remember seeing it in the ambulance after they took it off, it was cracked to hell. "

"Is the bike?"

"Toast? I dunno, I don't even want to know right now."

Yuri left it at that. He knew Otabek loved his bike, but Yuri wasn't sure he'd ever sleep easy again knowing he was out riding around on it alone, at night.

Yuri took his hand, staring at the destroyed skin of his knuckles.

"I'm just glad you're okay," he leaned over and kissed him, then laughed nervously, "I didn't think I would ever be able to do that again."

Otabek smiled, "kiss me again Yura."

Yuri obliged, it was a deeper kiss this time. Yuri wanted to remember the feel of his lips, and the taste of his skin. He want to burn it into his mind, never forgetting it.

They were interrupted by a knock at the door. Victor poked his head in.

"Can we come in?" he asked.

"Yes." Yuri said, quickly wiping his eyes with his sleeve.

The two men came in, faces haggard, but smiling.

"You scared us tonight Otabek." Yuuri scolded, lightheartedly.

"Sorry guys, it won't happen again," he winced again, trying to sit up a bit. Yuri helped him get more comfortable, still unable to stop touching him, he finally settled his hand at the top of Otabek's head, stroking his black hair gently.

"how are you feeling?" Yuuri asked.

"Good at the moment, the drugs kicked in awhile ago. Tomorrow might be a different story."

Yuri squirmed, the stress of the night making itself known, "I'll be back. I'm a nervous wreck, and now I have to pee." he gave Otabek another kiss before he left.

"Thanks, for bringing Yuri here." Otabek said once the door closed.

"No need to thank us," Victor paused, "Otabek? Keep an eye on him the next few days if you can. He...he was in a state tonight. They didn't tell him anything over the phone when they called, he thought you were dead, we all did."

Otabek's heart broke at those words. He had been thrown across the pavement and beaten to hell, but what Yuri had gone through must have been ten times worse. At least Otabek had been awake, and able to understand what was going on around him. Yuri had been left in the dark, thinking he was dead for god knows how long. Otabek could kill whoever it was that had called Yuri. How hard would it have been to tell him he was alive? It made his blood boil.

He calmed himself, he was alive, and Yuri was there, that was all that mattered now.

"Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon," Otabek couldn't hold back a yawn, "except maybe to sleep. Sorry guys, these drugs are strong."

Yuri returned, his hair damp from washing the salty tears from his face. He sat down next to the bed, gently taking Otabek's hand again.

"We should get going. Yuri want us to drive you home?"

Yuri shook his head, "I'm staying here. I'll call you if I need anything."

"We'll bring you breakfast tomorrow morning. I'll call Yakov, and tell him what's happened. At least it's the off season, no need to worry about anything, but getting better."

Yuri stood, up, "Beka, your family! Do they know?"

Otabek drowsily shook his head, eyelids growing heavy "don't think so...your my emergency contact."

Yuri looked for Otabek's phone, it wasn't in the room.

"Beka where's your phone?"

"Broken." he slurred.

That would explain the calls never reaching him, it was smashed on the street somewhere. Yuri didn't have any of Otabek's family in his phone. He wasn't sure what to do, they needed to know.

Victor put a hand on his shoulder, "worry about that tomorrow, there isn't anything they can do now. Let Otabek call them in the morning. They'll be less worried if they hear his voice."

Yuri sighed, and nodded in agreement. He was beginning to feel like he was drugged as well. His body felt heavy, and his eyelids were starting to droop.

"Vitya we should go. Yuri try to sleep, we'll see you both tomorrow."

They left pulling the curtain around them as the went.

Yuri sat next to Otabek, his head resting on the bed. Otabek lazily stroked Yuri's hair, the motion so soothing to both of them.

"I love you Beka." Yuri said quietly.

"I love you too Yura."

They drifted to sleep, just as the gray dawn light was starting to creep into the room.

The next morning, Yuri woke first, sore from the hard chair he had slept in. He sat watching Otabek sleep for awhile, like it was the most amazing thing in the world.

In the bright light of day, Yuri could see the damage that had been done. Otabek's arms were covered in dark blue bruises, his hands swollen and tight. He lifted the blankets, and drew away his gown. His ribs and hips were bruised as well, his skin felt hot to the touch. There was road rash on both his knees, Yuri remembered that Otabek had worn ripped jeans last night. He trailed down his shins, to his toes. His feet and ankles were untouched, they had been safely encased in heavy boots. He would skate again that much he was sure of.

Yuri went to the other side of the bed to inspect his other half when he heard Otabek stir. He'd felt the cold air hit him when Yuri had pulled the blankets away and had been silently watching Yuri's slow inspection of him.

"It looks worse than it is." he rasped, he'd kill for a glass of water.

Yuri dropped the blankets, embarrassed that he'd been caught, "sorry Beka, I just had to see."

Otabek shook his head, "you don't have to stop, if it helps you."

Seeing, and cataloging each bump, and bruise did make him feel better. All the while reassuring himself that each would heal, and disappear with time. He continued, gently tracing bruises, and worrying over each scrape.

"Does it hurt?" he asked.

"Right now? A little, I can feel the drugs wearing off. I could really use a glass of water." he voice was scratchy.

"God, I'm so stupid Beka, here," Yuri poured him a glass from the pitcher on the bedside table. He helped him drink, wiping away the drops of water that ran down his neck, "better?"

Otabek was finally able to clear his throat, "Yes," he paused, "so how's it look down there?" gesturing to the rest of him.

"Better than I thought it would. Your knees are scraped up, but nothing major. It might be awhile, but you'll skate again."

He knew that's what Otabek had meant, he was just too nervous to ask outright. Yuri covered him back up, and helped him take a few more sips of water.

The doctor came in a few minutes later, looking over his file.

"How did you sleep Mr. Altin?"

"Good."

"Any pain?"

"A bit, I can feel the medicine wearing off."

"We'll give you another dose in awhile, it's not time just yet."

He shined a light in Otabek's eyes, he followed it as it moved from side to side.

"How's your head feeling, any headaches?"

Otabek shook his head, "My head feels fine, no headaches."

The doctor did a few more random tests, "everything seems okay. We did do a cat scan last night when you first arrived."

"You did? I don't remember."

"You were in, and out for a lot of it. The scans were all clear, no head injuries, and you look stable. Later today, if you can sit up and move around, I'll consider discharging you tonight. We'll leave the splint on you for a week, after that you need to come in to see if we need to put a cast on."

"What about his shoulder?" Yuri interrupted.

"His shoulder should be fine in a few days, just rest it and ice it as needed. I'll take a look at it again next week, just to be sure. Any questions?"

Otabek shook his head, "No, thank you."

"Buzz the nurses station if you need anything," the doctor said while he headed out the door, and on to his next patient.

"So, you could be coming home tonight? That's good news."

Otabek laid his head back on the bed, "it is. I don't want to be here any longer than I have to be. I want to go home."

Otabek was a homebody, he wanted his own bed, and his own pajamas to sleep in. He never liked hotels, and hated hospitals even more.

"I know you do. Just wait, in a few hours you'll be home, with me to fuss all over you."

"Nurse Yuri," Otabek chuckled, "too bad you don't have a uniform."

Yuri shook his head, "I'll see what I can do."

They sat in comfortable silence for awhile.

"Beka?"

"Hmm?" Otabek was busy running his thumb over Yuri's hand.

"I don't know how I feel about you getting another bike."

Otabek sighed, "I don't either. I don't want to stop riding bikes, I love it too much, and I don't want to be afraid of it, but I'm not ready for another one just yet. The good thing is, that right now, it doesn't matter. I can't ride anything for awhile. I'll heal up, and then we'll talk about it when the time comes."

Yuri nodded, relieved that Otabek wasn't planning on buying another bike anytime soon. He knew it was just a freak accident, and that Otabek was a more than competent driver, but the thoughts of how it could have ended up plagued him.

About and hour later, the nurse came to remove the IV from his forearm. Yuri turned his head away. He could deal with the cuts and bruises, but needles made him queasy. She gave him a pain pill to swallow once she was finished.

"It's not as strong as the stuff we gave you last night, but it will help."

Otabek was grateful to finally get that hellish IV off him. It had tugged at his skin all night long.

"If your hungry let me know, I'll send food to your room." With that, the nurse left.

Otabek, remembered that Victor had promised to bring breakfast. His stomach grumbled at the thought, he hadn't eaten anything since lunch the day before. Almost on cue Victor, and Yuri came in, breakfast and coffee in hand.

"You look better today!" Yuuri said with a smile.

"I feel better. The doctor said I could go home tonight if I can move around on my own."

"That's good, let us know, we'll be here to take you both home," Victor set a large black coffee on the wheeled table that hovered over Otabek's bed, "Yakov sends his regards, and said that if you needed any physical therapy to let him know, he'll book it with the teams therapist."

Otabek nodded while digging into his breakfast.

"Beka, you need to call your parents too, you can't keep this from them." Yuri handed him his phone.

"You're right." He wasn't looking forward to that conversation, he dropped his fork, and took a quick sip of coffee.

The three men ate in silence, while Otabek waited for his parents to answer.

Yuri understood a few words of Kazahk, he heard the word Анам, and knew his mother had answered. The rest was a blur, but he did hear him mention his name a few times.

He heard the word Әкем; his father must be on the phone now. Otabek no longer sounded sweet and reassuring, he was gruffer now, answering his fathers questions with as few words as possible. He spoke to both of them back and forth for a few more minutes before saying goodbye.

"How'd they take it?" Yuuri asked.

"Ok considering. Анам was ready to get on the first flight out, but I talked her out of it. I said I was okay, and that Yuri was with me, that seemed to calm her down."

Yuri beamed, he loved Otabek's mother. She had taken a shine to Yuri the first time she had met him. She said, she liked the fire in him, and the way he riled her quiet boy up. She had seen her son open up, and come alive when he had met Yuri. The fact that they were two men made no difference to her. Her son was in love, and that made her happy.

"Әкем was worried, but he expects me to be strong, and bear it like man. I told them I'd Skype them tomorrow once I'm settled at home. Mom wants a run down of every scratch, and dent on me."

Yuri laughed, "I should have taken notes this morning."

They finished breakfast, and talked a bit longer, before Victor had Yuuri to leave. The doctor had come in, wanting to see if Otabek was ready to get out of bed.

Yuri stood by him, ready to help.

It was a painful struggle, but he managed to swing his legs over the side of the bed. He had to sit for a moment, he felt dizzy and his stomach churned. He wasn't about to lose the delicious breakfast he had just eaten. He took a few deep breathes, waiting for the nausea to pass. Then, grabbed Yuri's hand, and lifted himself out of bed. His body was screaming, every inch of him stiff and swollen, but he powered through it. Knowing that moving was his ticket home. He managed a few steps holding onto Yuri, then let go, wanting to show he could move on his own.

The doctor nodded his approval, "I'll set up your discharge for around 4."

Otabek thanked him while sinking back into bed.

"Just a few more hours." he said, catching his breath, "I'm so tired now."

"Get some sleep. Now that I know you're okay, I'll go home, feed Malysh, and take a shower. I'll be back with some clothes for you to wear home."

Otabek nodded, already drifting to sleep. Yuri kissed his forehead.

It took awhile to get home via the Metro, their apartment was nowhere near the hospital. Malysh was meowing at the door when he opened it. Angry that her food bowl was empty.

"Hi Malyshka." he picked her up, "Daddy was hurt last night, but he's okay now. He'll be home soon, and we can all be together tonight. Won't that be nice?"

He filled her bowl, and replaced her water, giving her fur a few strokes while she ate.

Yuri's head hurt from crying, and he felt like he hadn't bathed in days. Last night was hazy in places, he had woken up that morning wondering why he was wearing dirty clothes from a few days ago. He'd have to ask Victor about that sometime. He downed some ibuprofen, and took a quick shower, the water so hot it almost hurt. He scrubbed his skin roughly with a loofah, wanting to clean every inch of last night off of him. He stood under the spray, letting it hit his sore neck and back, while he shampooed his hair. It felt good to be clean, he felt human again, not the blubbering mess of snot, and tears he had been the night before.

He dressed in clean clothes, and grabbed his leopard back pack, and packed a few things for Otabek to wear home. Loose navy sweats and a gray, oversized shirt he knew Otabek liked to wear on lazy days. Clean boxers, socks, and sneakers were also stuffed inside.

An hour later he was back at the hospital. Otabek was still asleep, when the nurse had come in, the few possessions that were left of his were in her hands. Boots, his scraped up leather jacket, and wallet.

Yuri took them, thanking her.

"He'll have to sign his release form too." she said, handing him a piece of paper attached to a clipboard.

"I'm going to wake him soon, I'll have him sign it once he's dressed."

Yuri sat next to Otabek, his leather jacket in his lap. This had also saved him, his arms had been shielded from the ghastly road rash his hands and knees had suffered. He traced his fingers over the worn patches, and scratch marks. There were still crumbs of pavement on it, he brushed them away, wanting all traces of last night erased.

"Beka." he gave Otabek a nudge.

Otabek groaned.

"Beka wake up, it's almost time to go home. You need to get dressed and sign your release form."

He cracked an eye, "how long have I been sleeping?"

"A few hours, it's almost three. I called Victor while I was on my way back to the apartment. He'll be here soon."

Otabek sat up, his head groggy. Yuri didn't need to be told this time. He had a glass of water waiting for him. Otabek drank greedily, he'd never been this thirsty in his life.

"Help me up Yura," he held out his good hand, "I'll need help getting dressed."

He helped Otabek stand. Then, wordlessly, Yuri helped him slip his arm out of his sling. Otabek grunted as he straightened his arm out. Yuri untied his gown, and tossed it aside. His heart clenched once he saw him naked. Twisted black bruises coiled around him from front to back.

Otabek felt him tense up, he took his hand, "it's ok Yura, I know it's ugly, but it will heal."

Yuri shook his head, "it's not ugly Beka, nothing on you would ever be ugly, it just...looks so painful."

"It's doesn't hurt too much, the medicine helps, it really does. Now, help me get dressed before Victor gets here."

Yuri had stripped him naked a thousand times, but this was the first time he ever had to put clothes on him. It was far more intimate than he had expected. He helped him step into boxer and pants, delicately drawing them up over bruised skin. Yuri gave him a sweet, lingering kiss, before lowering his shirt over his head, and easing his arms through the sleeves. It took time, Otabek moved slowly, gritting his teeth when the pain was too much, but never made a sound.

He's so strong, I'd be screaming like a child.

He let Otabek sit down on the bed, while he slid socks onto his bare feet, leaving his shoes on the floor until it was time to go. He slid his arm back into it's sling, and eased him back onto the bed. Otabek gave a breathless sigh of relief as his back hit the bed.

"Feels good to be in my own clothes again. Thank you Yura."

Yuri brushed his dark hair from his eyes. His hair was dirty, Yuri would wash it when they got home. He'd do everything he could think of when they got home. For now though, it was just a waiting game. Yuri had gone to the nurses station to give them the release forms, but that had been ages ago, it was already 4 and still they waited.

Victor and Yuuri arrived.

"Ready to go?"

"As soon as everything's processed." Yuri said. He had packed up Otabek's meager belongings, and set them by the door. It was another hour and a half before they were given the all clear to leave.

"4 o'clock my ass, it's almost 5:30" Yuri grumbled as he pushed Otabek's wheelchair.

"Just be glad we're going home Yura. I could've been here for so much longer."

You could not be here at all.

Suddenly, the time spent waiting in his room felt precious, remembering what the alternative could have been.

The ride home felt like forever. Otabek sucked his teeth in pain a few times when they hit bumps in the road, but he never cried out, or complained. Yuri took his hand, letting him squeeze it as much as he needed.

The walk up the two flights to their home was intolerable for Otabek. Yuri on one side of him, Victor on the other. Yuuri behind to catch him if he tumbled. Otabek cursed out loud, hating that he couldn't do it on his own.

"Lean on me Beka, let me help you," Yuri said in his ear, "I want to help you."

Otabek relented, and let them halfway carry him up the stairs. Eventually he was laid down in his own bed, Yuri helped him get comfortable.

It felt so damn good to be home.

Yuuri offered to bring them dinner, but Yuri declined.

"We have food, besides, I'd like to take care of him myself tonight. I can tell he wants to be left alone in his own bed for awhile. You know how he is."

Yuuri nodded, "call us if you need anything."

After they left, Yuri hovered in the door to the bedroom. Knowing what he wanted, but wasn't sure if it was okay.

Otabek looked at him, "what Yura?"

"Can I lay with you?" he said, almost childlike.

"Of course, since when do you have to ask?"

Yuri joined him. They switched places in bed, so Yuri avoided his right arm. He snuggled by his side.

"Am I hurting you?"

"No, get closer." Otabek said softly.

He inched closer, head laying in crook of his arm. They slept for hours, finally comfortable, and safe in their home.

Otabek healed with each passing day. The bruises darkened at first, but then slowly began to fade, until they were just grayish green splotches, hardly visible against his olive skin. The doctor decided a cast wouldn't be necessary when he saw how well he was healing. The thought of him being in a cast had been a constant worry for both of them. A cast meant 6-8 weeks of healing, that was time they didn't have. The season would be well under way by then.

Otabek discussed his options with Yakov, the teams doctor, and therapist. It was still only May, He had plenty of time to heal, and build up his strength. He might enter the season a little late, and probably not make it to any of the larger competitions, but he'd skate eventually.

Their days were back to normal, but the nights were still hard for Yuri. He had nightmares about that terrible night. More than once Otabek woke up to Yuri grabbing at him, making sure he was there. Each time Otabek would pull him close, and in a low voice, whisper to him.

"I'm here Yura, I'm not going anywhere."

Chapter Text

Otabek was nearing his breaking point. This was the third time this month that this had happened, and Yuri showed no signs of dealing with the situation. He didn't know enough curse words in Russian, English, or Kazakh to express his mounting frustration.

"Yura! Where the fuck are my boots?"

He'd been searching their large, shared closet for the last fifteen minutes, and was still coming up empty handed. He had taken them off, and put them in the closet two days ago; now they were gone. The closet had swallowed them whole, like so many of his other possessions.

Yuri was sitting on the couch, teasing Malysh with an old skate lace, "I don't know Beka, I don't wear them. Try the closet!"

"I'm in the closet Yura," he snapped, "all I see is your stuff! I don't even know where my stuff is anymore!"

Otabek had a near endless amount of patience, but the constant problem of never finding his things was getting ridiculous.  He didn't want much, just an area of the closet, free from Yuri's ever growing pile of crap. The closet was big enough, it took up one wall of their bedroom, complete with built in shelves and drawers on each side. It was one of the reasons they had chosen the apartment in the first place. They could split the closet down the middle, and each have plenty of room. That was almost three years ago, yet somehow, Yuri's side of the closet kept growing, slowly absorbing all of Otabek's things in the process.

Yuri could hear the annoyance in his voice, he set Malysh down on the floor, and joined him in the bedroom. Otabek was tossing random clothes, and shoes over his shoulder.

"Can't you wear another pair of shoes?" he said, dodging a sneaker tossed in his direction.  

Otabek spun around to face him, "No, I want the shoes I want! Is that too much to ask?"

Otabek was fuming now, he turned back around, and continued digging. Yuri heard him muttering a few of his favorite Kazakh cuss words, knowing full well they were aimed at him. He stuck his tongue out at Otabek's back. It was childish, but sometimes making faces behind his back, or flipping him off in the safety of another room was just so damn satisfying.

Yuri bent down, and started to dig through his half of the closet, which was actually more like two thirds. He finally found them buried under his own massive pile of shoes.

"Here." Yuri tossed them to him, relieved that he was able to find them so quickly.

"Finally," Otabek sat down on the bed pulling his boots on, "I mean it this time Yura. You've got to do something about that closet. You still have stuff in there from before we met!"

"I like to keep things for sentimental reasons."

They both knew that was bullshit. Otabek shot him an irascible glare, he was in no mood for Yuri's weak excuses.

It wasn't often that Otabek got truly angry with him, when he did, it was almost always closet related anger. When Otabek yelled, it made Yuri feel embarrassed and fidgety, like a child being reprimanded by his father. Yuri squirmed under his gaze, unable to make eye contact. He finally threw his hands up in the air, "alright fine! I'm a hoarder! There, are you happy now?"

Yuri was obsessed with clothes, but he wasn't snobby about it. It didn't matter if it was a designer label, or something from clearance rack. If it looked good on him, he bought it. Yes, he had expensive taste, but he was also shrewd with his money. Yuri could also smell a sale from a mile away, and had no problems digging through a bargain bin.

Otabek took a more minimalist approach to his apparel. He paid a decent amount on his clothes, he hated shopping so the better the quality, the longer they lasted, and the less he'd have to shop. He also made sure that everything he bought went with several pieces he already had. He went for quality over quantity.

"The first step's admitting it Yura."

Otabek stood up, and let out a cleansing breath, trying to keep his cool. He knew that yelling at Yuri, would do nothing to help this particular situation. They'd argued about this problem before, it was a pressure point for both of them. He'd raise his voice, Yuri would get defensive, and yell back. They'd have a screaming match. Then spend the next day pretending the other one didn't exist. Eventually, one of them would cave from loneliness, and beg forgiveness. The make up sex that came after was phenomenal, but nothing would get solved. Otabek needed a different approach. Somehow he needed to be stern, yet kind.

He had to be diplomatic, a good will ambassador for the closet, otherwise the cycle would never be broken.

He paused for a minute before he spoke. Trying to make his voice sound calm, but still firm, "seriously though, I can't live like this Yura. I know you enjoy clothing, and that I don't own much, but I need my own closet space. I can't keep digging through piles, and piles of your stuff every time I want my shoes.  It's not fair, you need to do something about this; for my sake at least."

Yuri wrung his hands, ashamed, and flustered from Otabek's scolding, "I know, I know, it's just, so hard to go through it all by myself. I need help."

Otabek knew where this was going. This was a common tactic Yuri used when faced with a difficult task he didn't want to do. 'Needing help' was Yuri's way of saying he wanted a patsy to shove all the hard work off on. He wanted someone to hold up each item of clothing, and patiently wait for him to decide whether to keep it, or not. It would be a bonus if they'd haul all the shit away when he was done.

Oabek pinched the bridge of his nose, trying his hardest not to lose it, "Yura, no one is going to do it for you, and I know you don't want me doing it."

That was a threat, and Yuri knew it.

Otabek was ruthless about throwing things away. He'd toss out anything that wasn't nailed down. Loose papers especially irritated him, if the mail, or any type of paper sat on the table too long, it would get trashed. He had learned to be more discerning though, after he accidentally threw away their plane tickets to Hasetsu a few years back. He hadn't realized he had done it, until they were at the airport waiting to check their bags. Each one thinking the other had the tickets safely tucked in their pocket. Thank god Yuri was more technologically savvy than he was, quickly retrieving their boarding passes on his phone. It never even occurred to Otabek that he could get boarding passes on his phone, he was old fashioned, and still liked to have a paper ticket in his hand. 

Yuri shook his head, "no I don't want you going near my clothes! I'll end up naked, with just skates to wear. I know my closet is bad, I'll get rid of some stuff, I promise Beka."

Yuri actually seemed genuine this time. Maybe Otabek's diplomatic approach had worked?

Otabek's face softened, relieved that they had come to some sort of an agreement without blowing up at one another.

Seeing how uncomfortable Yuri looked, he switched gears, wanting him to know he was no longer angry with him. He reached out to him, pulling him close.

"Skates and nothing else? Sounds good," he nuzzled into Yuri's hair, the herbal scent of his shampoo filled his nose, "you know," he kissed Yuri's neck, "I still have about twenty minutes before I have to leave."

Yuri wiggled out of his grip, exasperated at how Otabek could just turn on a dime, scolding him one minute, horny the next.

"No way Beka, forget it. You can't shout at me, order me to throw all my clothes away, and then expect a quickie."  

Otabek's beautiful lips formed a small pout. He rarely pouted, Yuri instantly felt guilty about rebuking him. He could admit (to himself at least) that he was in the wrong. He'd been needing to clean his closet out for months now, and kept putting it off. He also knew that Otabek had been more than patient about it, he had deserved the scolding he got.

Yuri stared at Otabek's face, his bottom lip pushed out a little further, his dark eyes round, and pleading.

How could Yuri resist that face?

He caved and gave Otabek a long lingering kiss, his way of an apology. He ran his hands through his dark hair, and dragged them down his back. Gripping his shirt in twisted handfuls, he used it to pull Otabek closer, as he ground his hips into him. He heard just a hint of a whimper from Otabek, shocked by Yuri's sudden ferocity. Yuri snaked his tongue deep into Otabek's mouth, their tongues wrapped around one another, gliding and teasing. Yuri quickly broke the kiss. Otabek leaned towards him, eyes closed, lips still searching for his. Yuri could feel the shiver that ran through Otabek's body.    

"How can I go to work after that," Otabek groaned, he found Yuri's neck once more, and grazed his stubble against it, "I'll be so quick, Yura, please?"

He was flat out begging now, already tugging at the fly of Yuri's jeans, not even wanting to wait for the go ahead from him. It took every ounce of willpower Yuri had to resist. Otabek was never quick. Yuri could come in a flash if he put his mind to it. Otabek on the other hand, was like some sort of sexual camel, able to just go for hours without stopping, or coming. He wouldn't even make it the club tonight if they started up now.

"Go to work Beka." Yuri said sweetly "I have a closet to clean."

Otabek sulked, as he rearranged his growing erection.

"You're the one in trouble, and yet I'm the one that ends up getting punished. How did you manage that Yura?"

"It's a gift, I'll see you later."

Otabek grabbed his keys, and phone, grumbling in needy, frustrated Kazakh as he left.

Alone now, Yuri sat on the floor, staring at the chaos that was his closet. He didn't know where to begin. There was just, too damn much! He grabbed his phone, and called the only person he could think of that would actually help.

"Hey Baba." Yuri said sweetly

"Oh geeze, what do you want Yuri?" She knew that sweetness in his voice meant he wanted something.

"What are you doing tonight?"

"I'm getting ready for a date, why? You lonely?"

"Don't flatter yourself Mila, I need help cleaning out my closet, otherwise Warden Beka's gonna toss all my clothes."

"Well I can't help tonight, but I'm free tomorrow, we can make a night of it. Just promise me, that if I find something I like, I can keep it for myself."

"Only if I don't want it anymore."

"Okay see you tomorrow say around 6?"

"Sounds good, thanks Baba."

Yuri hung up the phone and stared at his closet again. He knew he needed to do something, as an attempt at good faith. He had promised after all.

His closet was made up of layers; many, many layers. The deeper the layers went, the older the clothing was. He didn't even know what lurked at the very bottom anymore, for all he knew, his booties from when he was a baby were down there somewhere.

He picked up, and folded up a lot of the clothing he knew he wanted to keep. Put his dirty clothes in the unused hamper,  and paired up a bunch of his socks. He was wondering if thirteen pairs of cat print socks were too many, when Malysh scampered into the bedroom chasing her little ball. It was all downhill from there. The closet laid in much the same state as it was when Otabek left.

It was around 2 a.m. when Otabek came home. He sat on the end of the bed, undid his boots, and began to undress. Yuri woke up when he heard the closet door shut.

"How was the club?" he asked rubbing his eyes.

"Good, same as usual. I see you didn't get very far in the closet."

Yuri yawned, "I did a little, Mila's coming over to help me tomorrow."

"Just so long as you two actually do something."

"We will Beka, I promise. I know what the alternative is." He pictured Otabek gleefully tossing all of his clothes into the trash, and shuddered.

Otabek slid into bed, and pulled Yuri towards him, he latched onto his neck, and bit down hard.

"Ow!" Yuri yelled, he tried to wriggle away, but Otabek overpowered him with ease.

"That's for earlier. Now, how about that quickie?"

An hour and a half later, they both sprawled on the bed, covered in sweat and various fluids. The bite mark on Yuri's neck burned, and Otabek had a cramp in his foot from the last position they had been in.

"An hour and a half does not count as a quickie Beka." Yuri gasped, still winded from their romp.

"It does in my book," Otabek put his hands behind his head, finally satisfied, "you know I could go longer."  

***

The next evening Mila arrived promptly at six. A bottle of vodka in one hand, and a giant plastic bin in the other. She was certain she was going to come away from this closet cleaning with a whole new wardrobe. Otabek opened the door.

"Hi Otabek, you helping us tonight?"

Otabek shook his head, "nope, and neither is the vodka, I'll take that." he snatched to bottle from her.

"Hey!" she yelled, trying to grab it back from him. Otabek held it high over his head, well out of her reach.

"I know you two. After a few drinks, you'll forget all about the closet, and find some way to escape. Besides, I called in the cavalry. Yuri doesn't know it yet, but Victor and Yuuri are coming by for awhile. They want to hear some music I've been playing around with for one of Victors students."

Over the years Victor had become a sought after coach, he had quite a few promising students. He continued his passion for surprising the audience, through them. He often asked Otabek to lend a hand in creating the exact sound and feel he wanted. 

"Yuri is not going to like that." Mila said in a sing song voice.

"Well, if he's annoyed by them, there's a big, messy closet he can clean out to avoid them," he had lowered his hand a bit, and Mila made another attempt to swipe the bottle back. He dodged her, placing the bottle behind his back, "you can have this when I see some progress in there. Call it a reward."

"Blackmail is more like it." Mila pouted. She left Otabek, and her vodka in the living room, heading down the hall to see Yuri.

"Hey Yuri I-" she stopped, the bin dropped onto the floor with a dull thunk.

The bedroom was complete anarchy. Every inch of the floor was covered in clothes, shoes, bags, hats, and hoodies of every color. She heard Malsyh give a muffled meow, but didn't see her. She hoped the cat wasn't buried somewhere in the chaos. Yuri was on her in an instant, grabbing her arms, and giving her a shake.

"Baba, you have to help me," Yuri was in a frenzy,"I've tried like five times to start and I can't! I don't know what to throw out, what to keep, or what to give away! Tell me you brought something to drink."

Mila shook her head, "Beka took my vodka, he said we can't have it back until we make headway."

"Beka!" Yuri yelled.

"I'm not caving Yura," Otabek yelled from the kitchen, "get it done, or I'll send Victor and Yuuri in to help when they get here."

"What!? Why are they coming over?"

"They want to hear the music I've been working on for them. If you don't like it you're welcome to stay in there, but no vodka until I see you actually make a dent in that closet!"

"BLACKMAILER!" Yuri shrieked. He tossed a shoe down the hall like a rotten child. He was frustrated, and way too sober for the project at hand. Otabek ignored his outburst, and made no moves to pick up the shoe in the hallway.

"That's what I said," Mila put her arm around his shoulder, "look there's no trick to it. Just pick a corner and start, worry about the other areas when you get to them."

The two sat down in the corner closest to the closet. Most of the clothes on that side was new stuff, it was quickly stashed to the side.

"What about these?" Mila held up a pile neon colored tank tops.

"Toss em, I got them on sale, but found out I can't do neon, it makes me look paler, if that's even possible."

"Honey, I could have told you that, and saved you the money."  

Mila grabbed a pretty neon blue tank from the pile, she liked the way it looked with her hair, and tossed it in her bin.

They worked diligently for awhile on the largest pile of clothing. It was mostly crappy clothes from sponsors, and endorsement deals Yuri had done.

"You know you can give this stuff away right? You don't have to keep the crap the sponsors give you."

"I know, but I get so much of it, it piles up quick." Yuri said tossing yet another ugly t shirt. The had already managed to fill two black trash bags.

They heard the doorbell ring, and Victor's loud, cheerful voice echoed down the hall.

"Shit," Yuri groaned,  "do you think if I showed Beka the two bags of clothing, that he'll let us have vodka now?"

Mila shrugged, "worth a shot, he did say we had to show we were actually making progress."

Yuri left with the two bags, and dropped them along the wall near the door.

"Hi Yurio!" Victor gave Yuri's hair a ruffle.

"Hi Victor," he answered curtly, slapping his hand away and smoothing his hair back down, "Beka there's two bags of clothing, can we have a drink now?"

"What are you doing Yurio?" Yuuri asked from the couch.

"Mila and I are cleaning out my closet," Yuri cocked his thumb towards Otabek, "this slave driver said no booze until we made a dent."

"I guess you guys can have a drink, but you're cut off the minute you start messing around."

Otabek poured them each a glass, and sent Yuri on his way. Victor helped himself to a glass of vodka as well, and trailed after Yuri.

"Vitya, I thought you wanted to listen to the music?" Yuuri called out.

"We've got all night, I have to see what kind of mess our Yurio is in."

Victor came into the bedroom, and slapped his hands to his face.

"Yurio, is all this yours?"

Yuri nodded, his face already pink from the vodka, "yep, you here to help?"

Victor tiptoed through the piles of clothes, and made a quick leap onto the bed, "maybe I'll just observe for now."

Yuri was just about to tell Victor to fuck off if he wasn't going to help, when Mila started to giggle.

"Yuri, you still have this?" Mila held up a faded black shirt with a worn out picture of tiger wearing a bow tie.

Yuri snatched it from her, "of course I do, I love this shirt!"

"You can't possibly fit into it. You bought that when you were, what? Fifteen?"

Yuri scoffed, "of course I can."

Yuri pulled his shirt off, and slipped the bow tiger shirt on.

It definitely did not fit.

He pulled at the shirts hem, hoping it would cover his long torso, but it quickly snapped back up his stomach. The seams were nearing their breaking point, and the shirt wasn't so much a shirt as it was a crop top. The sleeves hugged his biceps in a way that almost looked painful.

Mila was dying from laughter, "wait, wait, you need to complete this ensemble. She threw him a pair of old, tattered skinny jeans that looked like they were from around the same era as the shirt.

The vodka had loosened him up a bit, and this was definitely more fun than actually cleaning. Yuri pulled the jeans on, struggling to get them over his lean, but muscular thighs.

"Fuck, how skinny was I?" Yuri laughed as he hopped in place, trying to hike the pants over his pert behind. There was no way he was going to be able to zip them up.

"Pretty damn skinny, there's a reason people called you a fairy." Victor teased.

The jeans were more like capri pants on his long legs, hitting him mid calf. He looked like he was ready for a massive flood to hit.

"Okay, my turn!" Mila shouted. She grabbed the black mock turtle neck top that she had seen him practice in when he was younger, and yet another pair of black skinny jeans.

"Yuri, do you own stock in black skinny jeans? They come in other colors. You do know that, right?" Victor asked, highly amused by the strange impromptu fashion show.

She pulled off her clothes, neither man batted an eyelash, but Victor still gave an appreciative wolf whistle. He preferred men, but he knew beauty when he saw it. Yuri paid no attention to her whatsoever. Mila in her underwear was nothing new to him, and she had nothing he was even remotely interested in.

Mila giggled as she put Yuri's old clothes on. She was actually able to zip her jeans up, but she was sure that the button would pop off is she made any move to sit down. She topped it off with his old leopard jacket with the black sleeves.

"Oh my god! Watch, watch, who am I?"

She pulled the hood low over her eyes, jammed her hands deep into the pockets, and gave them an award winning scowl.

"Victor! How could you run off to Japan and leave me all alone?!" Mila stomped her foot, and did her best Yuri impression.

Victor was hysterical, "stop Mila, stop!" he begged, "I swear I'll pee," he waved a hand towards the door, "go out in the living room and do that for them!"

"Mila! I do not sound like that," Yuri barked, as she trudged out the door, "and I don't walk like that either!"

She turned, giving him a nasty sneer, "who's Mila? I'm Yuri Plisetsky."

She entered the living room, "Oi Beka, give me the vodka."

Otabek had his back to her, and the impression was dead on for Yuri.

"Yura I already gave you a glass-" seeing Mila with a classic Plisetsky scowl was too much. Otabek shook his head, really wanting to get after her for goofing off, but quick bark of a laugh escaped him.

"Beka, I love you! Don't laugh at the Ice Tiger of Russia!" she continued, opening her arms wide to embrace him.

Yuri stomped out, still clad in the too tight clothes, "bitch, get back in the bedroom, and stop being me!"

He grabbed Mila by her hood, and yanked her back into the room, only to see Victor had also stripped. He was wearing the top from his Welcome to the Madness routine. It was a snug, but Victor, being Victor, still made it work somehow. 

The leather pants that went with it were still laying on the bed. He looked at them and made a face.

"There's not enough lube in the world to get me into those tiny things. So I settled for these!" he stuck his leg out for them to see.

He had on purple leopard print leggings. He topped the outfit off with a pair of sunglasses that he knew were his. He'd be taking them home with him tonight.

Yuri's face turned red, "ha ha ha, okay, I get it, I'm an ass. Can we get back to work?"

"Wait no, we need a picture." Mila grabbed her phone.

Yuri rolled his eyes, "fine, but don't fucking post it."

"Pfft, of course I'm gonna post it. Do you know how crazy your fans will be seeing you in your old clothes?"

She had a point, the bow tiger shirt had always been a fan favorite, the likes he would get from it would be insane.

"Okay, but waist up, I'm not showing these jeans off."

Even though the zipper was down and nothing was buttoned, the jeans were making no moves to fall down, the were stuck to him like glue. Mila snapped a photo and showed him. Yuri had to admit that it was pretty damn sexy. The shirt was incredibly snug and short, but it only enhanced how much he had grown in the last few years. He was no longer the spindly boy that had originally bought that shirt. Mila had shot just low enough to give his fans a peek at his hip bones, and the beginnings of an abdominal V that pointed towards more seductive areas.  

"Damn son, those girls are going to explode when they see this." Mila hooted.

Yuri looked at the picture again, and gave her a dirty smile, "you're right, post that shit. Also send it to me."

Yuri heard the ding of his phone as the picture was sent to him.

"Should I toss this Beka?" he texted him, along with the photo.

Otabek had only caught a quick glimpse of him when he had dragged Mila out of the living room. Seeing the photo, made his mouth run dry, he quickly answered back with simple, "fuck no."

"Yuuri, come in here and take a picture of us!" Victor called out.

Yuuri and Otabek came in, and saw the insanity that was going on. Otabek wasn't even angry at how little they had done, once he got a good look at Yuri, still wearing his tiger shirt. He cocked a sneaky look at him, before taking his phone.

"Vitya, you look ridiculous." Yuuri said snapping a few photos of the three of them.

"Wait Yusha, you've gotta get the back too!" Victor turned, and Yuuri swallowed hard, he had forgotten the shirt was shreded in the back

"Okay, maybe ridiculous isn't the word, you look very....Yurio."

Yuri rolled his eyes, "Okay you two out, everyone has had enough fun at my expense. "

Victor and Mila quickly posted the photos of the three of them. The previous picture of Yuri was already getting comments from rabid fans.  Most of the comments were just long strings of random letters, followed by "I can't even", or "I'm dead."

"I told you they'd like it." Mila snorted.

"They're pretty easy to please Mila, I could take a picture of my elbow, and they'd have the same reaction."

Once they were all back in their own clothes, they got down to work. Another trash bag full of clothes was quickly sent out to the kitchen.

Mila held up a sheer, flowy, peach colored top, "when did you wear this, and can I have it?"

"I wore it a few times when Otabek and I were first dating. I thought it would give him ideas, but he was still too shy to do anything. He just kissed me on the cheek like some high schooler. You can have it."

"And what about this?" she held up something black and lacy, it was more string than shirt. Yuri blushed.

"Heh, that was something I wore once I properly soiled Otabek. I had some fun times in that, I'm keeping it."

Mila tossed the lacy thing to Yuri who tossed it into his keep pile.

They were making good progress. Victor had even grabbed a few things he liked.

"I wish your feet were a little smaller, or I'd grab those gray leather boots I see in your closet." Victor said eyeing the soft leather.

"I wouldn't give those away anyway, I got those after I rode Otabek's bike for the first time. I still wear them."

Otabek still hadn't gotten a new bike since the accident. They had discussed it, but Yuri was still on the fence. That had been weeks ago, and Yuri assumed the subject was closed for the  time being. But, he had recently caught Otabek  perusing bikes online. As much as he dreaded the idea, he knew Otabek loved them. Yuri was sure another bike would be in their future whether he liked it, or not.

They were getting into newer and newer clothing now, and a lot of it ended up being Otabek's own clothing. Things he had been looking for, for months.  

"Is this Otabek's?" Mila held up an old blue, and yellow Kazakh team shirt.

Yuri tried to snatch it from her, but she pulled back, "it was, it's mine now, be careful with it! I plan on being buried with that shirt."

"Otabek!" Mila called out.

Otabek popped his head in a few seconds later, "what?"

"Two things, more vodka for the three of us, and put this on." She tossed him the shirt.

He held it up, and grimaced, "I'm not doing that."

"Call it tit for tat. I saw how you eyed Yuri in that tiger shirt." Victor shot him a knowing smile.

Otabek rolled his eyes, and left to get them refills. He poured three glasses of vodka, and set them on the counter. He stood for a minute staring at the tiny shirt, he had gotten half hard seeing Yuri in his old shirt. The way it rode high on his waist, had made him sweat. He could repay Yuri the favor, even if he looked like a complete ass in the process.

"Otabek?" Yuuri had a pair of headphones on, listening to Otabek's music, he slid them off his ears, "you okay?"

Otabek sighed, downed one of the glasses of vodka, and pulled his shirt off. Yuuri's cheeks burned, not knowing where to look as Otabek stripped, and wrestled into the tiny shirt.

"The things I do for him," Otabek grumbled.

Yuuri heard peals of laughter from Mila and Victor, he noticed Yuri had stayed silent.

Yuri stood still in the middle of the bedroom, mouth hanging open. Otabek had actually put on his old team t shirt, and holy fuck, did he still look good in it. If Yuri's tiger shirt was tight, then Otabek's shirt was damn near painted on. The faded logo was stretched and distorted across his broad chest, the hem hovered just over his navel, giving Yuri a teasing look at the trail of dark hair that dipped below his belt.

Yuri closed his mouth as it filled with saliva, "be right back," he grabbed Otabek's hand, and rushed to the bathroom.

Victor and Mila looked at each other, "ahh, young love."  

Yuri shut the door, and launched himself at Otabek, who was still high on the sight of Yuri in his old clothes. They pawed at each other for a few minutes, kissing desperately. Otabek finally let go of Yuri's lips.

"We can't stay in here all night." he panted.

Yuri backed off, "you're right, we'll give them another half an hour, then we kick everyone out."

Otabek gave him a quick, but hard kiss, "deal."

Yuri came back into the bedroom, lips red, and face flushed.

"Better?" Mila snickered.

"Quiet Baba, you guys have another thirty minutes, then I'm tossing you all out."

They managed to fill another bag, and Mila's bin was close to overflowing. Victor also had a tidy pile on the bed, ready to take with him. Along with two, of the four pairs of sunglasses Yuri had stolen from him. They had finally gone through all of his clothes. All that was left was the clean up. Yuri and Mila started to put the stuff he had left, neatly back into his closet.

Victor went to the pile of Otabek's clothes and started to fold, and put them away. He opened one of the built in drawers to place some balls of socks away when he felt something hard at the back of the drawer. He traced it with his fingers, recognizing the shape.

A ring box.

It could be nothing more than an empty box that had long since been forgotten. Except, he'd never noticed Otabek wearing a ring. Thinking back, he'd never seen him wear any jewelry. A family heirloom perhaps? But then why hide it away in a drawer? Before he knew it, he was lifting the lid.

A thin, delicate gold band, sat shining brightly on a cushion of black velvet. He, quickly looked over his shoulder at Yuri, he was still carrying on with Mila, oblivious to what Victor was doing.   

Could it be what he thought it was?

No, Otabek would have told him his plans surely. He and Yuuri had been Yuri's guardians after all, and Otabek was the type who would make his intentions known to them.

He plucked the ring from the box, inspecting it. The ring was small and thin, not like his own thick gold band that laid heavy on his finger. Maybe it was his mothers, or even his grandmothers ring? Just a piece of home he brought with him from Kazakhstan.

He turned the ring, and noticed a small inscription underneath.

My Yura

A thick lump formed in his throat, and his breath hitched as he read the inscription again. His hands started to tremble with excitement.

"Finished! See that wasn't too bad, was it Yuri?" Mila said, sliding the door shut.

Victor silently placed the ring in it's box, and put it back in it's original spot. He finished putting the rest of Otabek's clothes away, while trying to act natural.

"It would have taken me forever if you hadn't helped." Yuri said, as he tapped the plastic bin Mila was holding, "take care of my clothes Baba, no washing the stuff that's dry clean only."

Mila, and Yuri left the bedroom, Victor stayed behind, still gathering up his pile of stuff from the bed, stuffing them into the bag Yuri had given him, so he could carry it all home.   

That was definitely an engagement ring he'd just seen, there was no doubt anymore. He felt a little disappointed that Otabek hadn't come to him for help, but then quashed the feeling. Going out, choosing a ring, and purchasing it without help from anyone, was such an Otabek thing to do. He was always private, and resolute. Why would Victor expect him to be any different when it came time to propose?

Victor wasn't going to tell anyone (except Yuuri of course). Other than Yuuri, he would keep the secret til the day he died if he had too, but he hoped it wouldn't take that long for him to propose.  

The second he was in the living room, he gave Yuuri a quick, wide eyed glance, while nudging his head towards the front door. Yuuri knew it was his, "we need to leave" look.

Yuuri nodded. What could have happened to make Victor look so strange? He was on the verge of either sobbing, or exploding, he couldn't tell which. The anxious side of Yuuri thought something terrible must have happened, but Yuri and Mila were acting perfectly normal. Victor was the only one that looked like he was on the verge of a crisis.

Taking that as his cue, Yuuri stood up, "well it's getting late, Vitya we should get going. The music was great Otabek, I think it will be perfect, for what Victor has in mind. Thanks for working so hard on it, we really appreciate it."

Otabek shook his hand, "anytime, I enjoyed doing it"

Mila stretched, and yawned, "I should get going too, I'll talk to you later Yuri," she gave him a peck on the cheek, and picked up her bin of clothes. She nudged Otabek's shoulder, "bye Beka, thanks for the fashion show."

"Bye Mila." he handed her, her half empty bottle of vodka.

Victor said a quick good bye, before unceremoniously shoving Yuuri out the door. Mila followed behind taking no notice of his odd behavior, Victor acting weird was nothing new.  

Otabek closed the front door, gave Yuri a smoldering look, and chased him towards their now immaculate bedroom. Yuri grabbed the two tiny shirts off the bed.

"I'll put on mine, if you put on yours?" Yuri said, the shirts dangling from his fingers.

Otabek grabbed his, and quickly wrestled back into it.

***

Victor and Yuuri said good bye to Mila before she turned to go in the opposite direction. Once Victor was sure she was out of earshot he pulled Yuuri to him, giving him a hug so tight it lifted him off the ground.

"Vitya what's gotten into you?" Yuuri said, readjusting his glasses.

"I saw a ring box in Otabek's sock drawer! With a gold ring inside!"

Yuuri's eyes lit up, "seriously?"

Victor nodded, and shivered as another happy rush struck him.

Yuuri took a breath, trying to calm himself, "but Vitya, you could be mistaken, it could just be a ring. Maybe it was a family ring or-."

Victor shook his head, "no Yuuri, it was engraved."

"What did it say?"

Yuuri still wasn't convinced. An engraving didn't mean much, lots of rings were engraved.

"My Yura." Victor said, his voice cracking at those two little words.

Yuuri's hands slapped over his own mouth, "oh Vitya! Do you think he's going to ask him?"

"It sure looks like it. I hope so, he's the best thing to ever happen to Yuri, besides us of course."

He put an arm over Yuuri's shoulder, Yuuri slid his around his waist. They walked for awhile in happy silence, before Yuuri stopped and took Victor's hand.

"Vitya," he gave him a serious look, "this goes no further than us, okay? We can't ruin the surprise, or let on that we know. We don't know what Otabek has planned, and we can't take that away from him, or Yuri. Who knows when he'll ask, it could still be awhile. They're young; and remember how long it took them to start dating? For now, we have to just forget that we know, and be patient."

Victor nodded in agreement, but a tear welled up in his eye, he quickly wiped it away, and wrapped his arms around Yuuri, burying his face in his shoulder.

"Our Yuri isn't so little anymore is he Yusha?" he choked.

Yuuri shook his head, he too could feel tears welling in his eyes. Unlike Victor who tried to hide them, Yuuri let his happy tears fall freely.

 "No Vitya, he's all grown up now."

 

***

Yuri and Otabek laid in bed, the two tiny shirts laid in a sweat drenched pile on the floor.

"Thanks for cleaning out the closet Yura, I really appreciate it."

"I'm sorry I let it get so bad. I can't believe how old some of that stuff was. I did keep a lot of things that I can't wear anymore though."

"Like what?"

"Stuff like those shirts, things that reminded me of when we first met." Yuri yawned, his eyelids getting heavy, "good memories I'd like to keep."

"I'm glad you kept them." Otabek chuckled. He kissed the top of Yuri's head as he finally dozed off to sleep. Otabek listened as Yuri's breathing slowed, and evened out. His eyes trailed to his side of the closet.

Yuri was keeping their memories safe, while Otabek silently planned their future.


 

Chapter Text



Yuri was spinning on the ice, face uplifted, arms stretched above him. He came out of the spin, and into his step sequence, each move honed to perfection. He circled the rink, gaining speed, and leapt into a triple axle, arms above him. He had perfected this maneuver over the years, and could do all of his jumps with raised arms, much to the disdain of his fellow competitors. After a combination spin that seemed to last forever he rose up, gracefully sliding into his end pose. Head looking up at the ceiling, one arm lowered, one raised.

"Beautiful as always Yuri." Victor called from rink side.

Yuri stood catching his breath, it had been his second run through his routine, but he still wasn't satisfied. He skated over to Victor, who handed him his bottle of water.

"I think it could be better."

Victor shook his head, "nothing is ever good enough for you is it?"

"When it comes to skating? No."

Victor tossed him his towel, Yuri caught it, and wiped the sweat from his neck.

"Victor, where's Yuuri today?"

"He had an appointment."

Yuri's eye grew wide, "is it an adoption related appointment?"

Victor gave him a sly look, "maybe."

It had been two years since Victor had mentioned their decision to adopt. Victor remembered that day vividly, Yuri sick with the flu, and himself bursting to tell someone the news. Yuri had been the first person Victor had told, who in turn told Otabek. The secret had been kept between the four of them, and was rarely spoken of. Victor and Yuuri were afraid that any mention of it would jinx their chances for sure.

As the months turned to years, it looked more, and more like it was coming to fruition. After endless interviews, and several home inspections, they had finally been put on a waiting list. They were assured that the wait would not be long, the agency had a lot of babies needing homes. Now, every time the phone rang, they answered in hopes that it would be the call saying their family would be complete.

Once they were on the list, Victor and Yuuri told everyone they knew they were adopting. Yuuri's parents were thrilled.

They were waiting, somewhat patiently in Japan, ready to fly out at any second.   

Yuri, longed for a big, noisy family, complete with nieces and nephews. He wanted to buy them extravagant birthday gifts, and help teach them to skate. Later, he imagined them as moody teens, "running away from home", only to end up at his door, complaining about their crazy parents. He would commiserate with them, but also remind them that, while they were indeed crazy, they also loved unconditionally. He had been a product of that love, and knew how special it was.

Yuri was elated, but he couldn't tell how Otabek felt. He had always remained pretty silent on the subject. Yuri knew that children were not Otabek's forte, but it wasn't because he was never around them.

While his two sisters had no children yet, Otabek had a plethora cousins, and an ever growing population of second cousins. The last few times they had been to Almaty, someone in his family had a new baby. Otabek never showed much interest, and he never asked to hold them, preferring to keep his distance.

"I don't want to do something wrong, and hurt them." he'd say sheepishly, while simultaneously looking for an escape route.  

Yuri on the other hand, would always hold the babies when offered. The first time he had met Otabek's family, they were nothing but warm and welcoming to him. Everyone was so accepting of their relationship, that he never wanted to give them any reason to dislike him.  

Yuri could admit that babies were cute, but they weren't much fun. He preferred romping, and chasing the older kids, who had the same boundless energy he did. During these large Altin family gatherings, they would zero in on Yuri like tiny missiles, easily picking his blonde hair out in the sea of black, and brown.

The boys would bypass Otabek, and quickly tackle Yuri to the ground, squabbling over who Yuri would toss around first. Yuri played rough with them, and they loved it. They'd race, and play tag, wrestle, and rough house, until Yuri cried out for mercy. The boys; exhausted from the ruckus, would leave him be, only for the girls to snatch Yuri up for their own amusement.

He'd sit, chattering with the little girls, making them giggle and laugh, while they played with his long, blond hair that was now nearing his waist. They all took turns brushing, and styling it; Yuri was better than any doll they owned. He'd come away with a sore scalp, and all manner of braids, and bows stuck to his head.  

How Yuri could be so free with children, Otabek would never know.

Kids made Otabek uneasy. He didn't know what to say to people his own age, much less a child. He had no clue what kids liked, or disliked, or what they knew. They were a mystery to him, one that he was far too reluctant to unravel.

So, instead of joining in, and learning, he'd watch Yuri play their games, and fumble over the Kazakh songs they tried to teach him.  Otabek heard his little cousins call him Grumpy Beka on more than one occasion, he was sure it was something Yuri had taught them. His passive aggressive way of goading Otabek into playing with them, but he never took the bait.

It wasn't that Victor and Yuuri having a new baby bothered him, it didn't, he was genuinely happy for them. It was the thought of it being left in his care from time, to time that made him sweat. Yuri had already promised that they would babysit anytime they needed one. Having a child in your home made it really hard to avoid them.

Otabek came back from the locker room, fresh from a shower. He had finished early, and was busy packing up his things.

"Yura, I'll see you a little later, I've got some stuff I want to do."

Yuri knit his eyebrows, "stuff?"

Otabek smiled, "yeah, stuff. I do stuff sometimes. "

Yuri shook his head, "okay Beka, see you at home then, I guess."

Otabek kissed his cheek, "I won't be long."

"Does everyone have secret appointments today?"

Victor shrugged.

"I'm going through my routine one more time."

Victor nodded absently, and sat back down, nervously checking his phone for the millionth time that day.

Yuri's last run through was satisfactory, so he called it a day. He showered and changed, glad to get out of his sweaty workout clothes. He pulled his jacket on, and met Victor outside the locker room.

"Yuri, do you want a ride home?" Victor asked.

"Nah, it's a nice day, I think I'll walk. Call me if you hear anything?"

"After Yuuri's parents, you'll be the first to hear."

Yuri walked home at a leisurely pace, trying to wrap his brain around all the new changes that were on the horizon. He barely heard the low, guttural rumble that slowly drew up alongside him on the street. He turned his head when an engine was revved a few times.   

Otabek was there, on a shiny new bike, he slid into an empty space on the side of the street, and whistled at Yuri.

"Hey sexy, need a ride?" Otabek tossed him a brand new helmet, it was a slick, dark purple, with "Yura" written on the side.

Yuri caught it, "so this was the 'stuff' you had to do today?"

"Yep, you like it?" Otabek cut the engine.

Yuri looked at the gleaming machine in front of him, it was the same size as his old bike, but newer. The sun reflecting off the chrome nearly blinded him, while the gas tank and fenders were a matte gunmetal gray. It was a beautiful blend of shiny, and flat. He looked at Otabek perched on top, grinning from ear to ear, wearing a new, smoke gray leather jacket.

"I do like it. I just don't know how much I like you on it."

Otabek swung his leg over. Leaning on the bike, he pulled his helmet off, and smoothed his black hair away from his face.

Damn, he looks good though... Yuri thought to himself.

"Yura, we talked about this. I'm not going to stop riding because of one freak accident. I know it's a surprise, but I saw this bike online a few days ago, and I just, couldn't let it go to someone else. Besides, I've taken precautions," Otabek took one of Yuri's hands, and placed it on the jacket. The leather itself felt buttery soft, but there was stiff plating underneath it, "it's armored, I thought it might help you breathe a little easier."  

It did make him feel better, his old leather jacket had taken a beating in the accident. Otabek still wore it though; proud of the scratches, and worn spots that had helped save his life.

"Hop on Yura, we're almost home. There's something I need your opinion on."  

Yuri fidgeted, still apprehensive about either of them being on a bike, but then, he saw the look on Otabek's face. He looked so damn happy, happier than he'd been in months.

Since the accident, Otabek hadn't quite been himself. Yuri caught him moping a lot, and he grumbled about how terrible public transportation was to anyone who would listen. Any time a bike drove past him, he'd stare longingly at it until it was out of view. Otabek, wasn't Otabek without a bike.  

Yuri pulled the helmet over his head, and relented, "fine."

Otabek put his helmet back on, and mounted the bike, waiting for Yuri to join him.  He was determined to make the quick trip home, as smooth as possible. Yuri wrapped his arms around Otabek, and leaned his head against his back.
Yuri was sure he'd be terrified, but then, the cool breeze hit his face, and he felt Otabek give his hand a reassuring squeeze. He relaxed, finding himself enjoying the ride.

Ohhh, I've missed this...

Yuri had missed the speed, and the wind, but most of all, he had missed clutching onto Otabek while they weaved through traffic. It was still so exhilarating.

Maybe, just maybe, he could get over this fear.
 

"So, how was it?" Otabek asked, after he had parked in front of their apartment.

Yuri pulled off his helmet, and smiled, "I've missed this Beka."

Otabek gave him a cocky grin, "that's my boy."

They went up the stairs, where a package was laying on the doorstep. Otabek picked it up, and unlocked the door.

"Wait here." He said, dropping his keys on the counter, while heading into the bathroom.

Yuri waited, inspecting his shiny new helmet, already planning the stickers he would plaster on it. A few minutes later Otabek came out. He still had his dark blue jeans on, but they had been covered in sleek, black leather that zipped upped the sides, and belted around his waist.

Yuri's mouth quirked into a grin.

"I look stupid, don't I?" Otabek asked turning in place.

Yuri shook his head, "no, stupid's not the word I was looking for, you look....fucking incredible."

Otabek laughed, "I bought them to be safe, not to look incredible."

"Can't you be both?" Yuri asked, running his hand over the leather encasing his legs.

"So," Otabek grabbed Yuri's hand, holding it against his chest, "new leather, armored jacket, new helmet. Are you okay with me riding again?"

Yuri played with the zipper of Otabek's chaps with his free hand, "I thinks so," he shot him a serious look, "on one condition."

Otabek's face sank into a frown. He'd already done so much to ensure his safety. What fucking more did he want?

"Promise me you'll wear these," he tugged at the leather that hugged Otabek's hips, "without pants sometime."

Otabek rolled his eyes. If that's what it took, he'd wear them pants-less around the house everyday.

"I can live with that," Otabek kissed his forehead, "want to go for a longer ride with me? Nothing crazy, I promise."

"Okay, but I want a pair of these chaps too, they're so bad ass looking. I wonder if they make them in leopard print?"

"I knew I should have bought two pairs. I'll look and see what they have Yura, no promises on the leopard print though. Grab your jacket, I'll meet you downstairs."

Yuri pulled out his leather jacket with the tiger on the back, and put it on. He felt that bubbly, giddy rush that he'd gotten the first time Otabek had pulled up on his bike in Barcelona.

They left the city, and rolled through the country side. The weather was cool, and the sky was clear, it was a perfect day for a ride. They weren't headed anywhere in particular, just turning down random country roads that looked promising. Every so often, Otabek would stop at a crossroads, and asked Yuri to pick right, or left.

Otabek was thrilled to be back on a bike, he loved the freedom, the feel of the engine grumbling underneath him, nothing else felt quite like it. Not even skating gave him this kind of rush, and the fact that Yuri was behind him, arms wrapped tight around his waist, made it ten times better. He didn't think Yuri would ever warm up to a motorcycle again, but like so many times before, Yuri had surprised him.

It was almost 8 when they pulled back up to their apartment. They both dismounted, their legs vibrating from the long ride. Otabek pulled Yuri to him.

"Thanks for riding with me Yura. I know it was a lot to ask."

"I had a lot of fun today, will you take me out again, when we have a chance?"

Otabek kissed him, "anytime you want."

They were halfway up the stairs, when Yuri stopped abruptly, causing Otabek to crash into him, "I have 12 missed calls from Victor!"

"Shit, I wonder what happened?"

Otabek wasn't sure why Yuri looked so happy. He wasn't normally excited about receiving calls from anyone but himself. He noticed Yuri's hands actually trembled, while he pressed the call button.

"Victor?"

"Yuri! We got the call, a baby girl, only a month old!"

Yuri was beaming. Victor, and Yuuri had no gender preference, but Yuri had been secretly hoping for a girl.

"When do you get her?" Yuri was already planning a shopping trip, determined to have this baby girl appreciate fashion as much as he did. He'd seen the stuffy, boring, unisex clothing the two older men had bought when they weren't sure what they would get. Now that Yuri knew it was a girl, he was going to buy every frilly, girly thing he could find.

"Tomorrow morning!" Victor was nearly in tears over the phone. Yuri could hear Yuuri in the background, speaking to his parents in frantic Japanese, the same unsteadiness in his voice.

"Tomorrow? Shit, I need to go shopping tonight then."

"Yurio, we have everything we need, you don't need to-"

"Shut up, Uncle Yuri already has plans to spoil this girl stupid, just let me have this."

"Ok, ok," he laughed, "look I've gotta go, you guys are coming to see her tomorrow night, right?"

"Of course, now go calm Katsudon down, he sounds like he's having a melt down. Talk to you later."

Yuri hung up the phone.

"New baby?" Otabek asked, unlocking their front door.

"Yep, a girl. She's coming tomorrow. I've gotta go to the store tonight. Want to come with me?"

Otabek shook his head, "shopping for baby stuff? I think I'll pass."

"What's wrong, aren't you excited?"

Otabek shrugged, "it's a baby Yura, they don't do much, and I don't have much experience with kids, you know that."

"Says the guy that has like, 20 cousins under the age of 10."

"I have them, doesn't mean I know what to do with them."

"You'll just have to learn, it's not hard."

"I'm not like you Yuri, you know how to play with them, and talk to them. I just freeze up around kids, I don't think I'll make a very good uncle."

Yuri hugged him, "you will be, it just takes time. Now, I've gotta go the stores close soon."

Two hours later Yuri came back overloaded with bags.

"Victor and Yuuri are the ones getting the baby, not us."

"I know, but once I got started, I couldn't stop," he proceeded to show Otabek all the little dresses and shoes he had purchased. Each one girlier than the next, "this girl is going to be stylish if it kills me. That crap Victor and Yuuri picked out is so boring!"

Otabek sat dumbfounded, surrounded by dresses and booties. Everything looked so tiny, he didn't do well will tiny things. He thought back to when Malysh had come into their lives. He had been terrified of hurting her, that same fear was rearing it's head again.

Otabek cleared his throat, "so umm, tomorrow night, would it be alright if I stayed home?"

Yuri frowned, "No, it's not alright! The best way to get over this, is to jump right in. Just like I did today with your bike, I was afraid, but I tried, and I'm ok now. You have to do the same. Look, you didn't know anything about riding bikes when you first started did you?"

"No."

"But you learned?"

"Yes."

"Same difference."

Otabek gave a frustrated sigh, "it's not the same though. I don't talk to my bike, or play with it. You can't hurt, or disappoint a bike."

"Beka, you'll be fine. None of us know anything about babies, we're all going to be learning. It'll be ok, I promise," Yuri touched his arm, "and that's bullshit Beka, I've heard you talk to your bike a million times."

Otabek shook his head, still not convinced, "it's late, I'm going to bed."

The next day dragged by at a tortuously slow pace. Otabek went about his day unphased, while Yuri nervously bit his nails, and stared at the clock.  

Victor and Yuuri had invited everyone over that night to see the new baby. Because of this, a party like atmosphere had settled onto the rink, and nothing was getting done. Yakov eventually gave up trying to get them to practice, and let everyone blow off steam in the afternoon.

The team talked, and tooled around on the ice, waiting impatiently for the clock to run out. Otabek was the only one still diligently practicing his routine.

Mila came up beside Yuri, "what's wrong with Otabek?"

"He's afraid of the new baby."

"What's there to be afraid of? It's a baby, not a shark."

"I know, but he doesn't have much experience with them. He has a ton of little cousins, but he never talks to them."

"He does know that none of us have any experience with kids right?"

"I told him that, but you know him, he takes things way too seriously. He's afraid he'll hurt her, or do something wrong."

"Ohh, I think it's sweet, he's just worried about being a good uncle. Cut him some slack." Mila laughed.

"It is sweet, but you don't have to live with him. He's been a complete train wreck since yesterday. He even tried to get out of going tonight! I swear I can hear the gears in his head turning over this. He just needs to get over himself."

"I guess we'll see how he is tonight, there's no getting away from it once he's there," she gave Yuri a peck on the cheek, "I gotta go, I'll see you tonight."

Yuri looked at the time on his phone, "shit it's already that late? I gotta head out too," Yuri put two fingers in his mouth, and gave a sharp, loud whistle, Otabek looked up from the other side of the rink, "let's go Beka! We've got a baby to meet!"

Yuri was already on the bike, helmet in place, waiting for him, when Otabek finally came out.

"What took you so long?"

"Wanted a shower. You ready?"

"I've been ready for like, fifteen minutes," he grumbled impatiently.

Yuri thought he deserved an award for how quickly he had gotten ready once he was home. He grabbed up all the gifts he had bought, and stuffed them in his backpack. Otabek fussed with his hair in the bathroom, and took his time getting ready. He was dragging his feet on purpose, still not wanting to go. The nervous tension inside him was getting worse, and it made his stomach hurt.

What do you do with a baby? What do you do with any child?

Everyone around him was so happy, and excited, while there he was, dreading it. The ride to Victor, and Yuuri's apartment was over far too quickly for him.

Yuri could feel the tension rising off Otabek as they went up the stairs, "it'll be ok Beka, you're just over thinking it."

As they reached Victor, and Yuuri's apartment door, they could hear a baby crying loudly.

"Uh oh," Yuri rang the doorbell, "that doesn't sound good."

Victor answered. He didn't have the beaming face of joy Yuri had expected. He was pale, and his eyes were glazed over like a deer in the headlights.

"Yuri, Otabek hi," he shouted over the screaming, "come and meet Yana."

Mila, Giorgi, Yakov, and Lilia were already there, sporting the same drawn expression as Victor. This was supposed to be a party, but it was nothing short of a disaster. Yuuri stood holding the wailing pink bundle, his face white, and his eyes cried out for help. His parents wouldn't be arriving until tomorrow night. Until then, he and Victor would be left alone to care for their new baby. It was only the first day, and he was already at a loss. They had dreamed of this day for so long. Imagining the fun they'd have bathing her, feeding her and watching her fall asleep in their arms. Neither were prepared for the screaming ball of fury that Yuuri now held.

 "What's wrong with her?" Yuri asked, peering over the blankets. The baby was red faced, and a wisp of dark brown hair covered her tiny head.

"The adoption agency said she had colic. She's been crying for two hours straight." Yuuri's voice cracked, "I don't know what to do with her. She won't eat, she won't sleep, she's dry. Do you want to hold her Yurio? Maybe a new set of arms will calm her."

Yuri took the little pink bundle, "hey Yana, I'm your Uncle Yuri. What are you crying  about?"

She calmed, disarmed by the new voice talking to her. Everyone in the room breathed a collective sigh of relief.

"That's a good girl," Yuri cooed, as a smug smile spreading across his face. Just as he was ready to announce that he had saved the day, Yana turned scarlet, and let out blood curdling shriek. Everyone in the room winced as the sound reverberated off the walls. Yuri tried holding her in a few different positions, each time ended with her shrieking, "maybe someone else should take her. This is beyond me."

Lilia took her next, but her voice was too stern, and her face was pinched. Yana screamed even louder. She handed Yana over to Victor, glad to be away from her.

Lilia makes me want to do that too kiddo. Yuri thought, not blaming the kid one bit for her outcries.

Their guests were getting antsy. Mila nervously looked at the time on her phone. While Giorgi stared into space, wondering what excuse he could give for leaving, that wouldn't make him look like a jerk. Yakov didn't seem too bothered by her cries, but Yuri noticed Lilia's eye was beginning to twitch, a sure sign that she was nearing her breaking point.

Victor took Yana from Lilia, and swayed back and forth with her, patting her bottom, "we were told this was a nightly occurrence, she cries for a few hours, and then goes to sleep,  but I didn't know it was going to be this bad. They said it only lasts a few weeks, but at this point a few weeks sounds like forever."

Victor and Yuuri looked at one another, they already loved their daughter dearly, but neither felt confident. It had only been one day, and already they felt like they were failing her.

Otabek stood near the door, edging himself towards the hall, not wanting to get any closer to the furious baby. He was already shooting Yuri a, "can we go now" look, that Yuri pretended not to see. The cries went straight down Otabek's spine, and made him grit his teeth.

This. This right here was what Otabek was afraid of. A screaming, helpless, unhappy child that no one could do anything for. At least, he could be happy in the fact that he hadn't caused it.

Victor noticed Otabek sinking further, and further into the hall, "Otabek you haven't tried yet."

Otabek froze, and shook his head, "no, no, I'm no good with kids. If she doesn't like any of you guys, there's no hope for me."

"Don't be silly, here, take her." Victor tried to pass Yana to him, but he backed away.

"No Victor, I don't want to make it worse."

Otabek waved his hands in front of him, but Victor wasn't letting up, he laid the baby in his arms. Otabek fumbled with her, trying to mimic the way Yuri had held her, clumsily supporting her little head in his broad hand. He looked down at the squalling baby, and then over at Yuri, hoping for rescue.

"What do I do now? Take her, Yura please, I don't know what to do." he pleaded quietly, not wanting everyone to hear him beg like a helpless moron.

"No," Yuri shook his head, "hold her, talk to her Beka. Just try."

There was no escaping it, all eyes were on him. He remembered Yuri's advice.

The best way to get over this, is to jump right in.

If Yuri could get back on a bike, he could do this, right? There was only one way to find out.   

"Hi...Yana," he mumbled awkwardly, the baby continued to scream.

It was like talking to a meatloaf, a tiny shrieking  meatloaf that hated everyone, and everything. This was so stupid, what was he even doing? He wasn't cut out for this.

Yuri gestured with his hands, encouraging Otabek to keep talking.

He huffed nervously, "I'm, I'm your Uncle Otabek,". He tried speaking a little louder, so she could hear him, "but you can call me Uncle Beka."

Yana hiccuped a few times, and went quiet. Everyone held their breath, waiting for the inevitable scream, but nothing came. Yana looked up at the nervous, brown eyes above her, and gurgled instead. A small hand had escaped the blanket, tentatively, Otabek reached to tuck it back in, Yana grasped his finger tightly. His stomach clenched, she had such a strong grip, not at all what he was expecting from something so small.

Maybe she wasn't the fragile, china doll he had anticipated.

"Shhhh," he said softly, brushing a thumb over her tiny hand. She yawned, squirmed a bit, and relaxed in his arms, finally at ease.

If Yuri had ovaries, he was sure they'd be exploding right now. Seeing Otabek, rocking and talking to Yana was too much for his heart to bear. He took out his phone, and snapped a dozen or so pictures.  

The party revived once the baby had finally quieted. Gifts were opened, and celebratory drinks were poured. All the while Otabek stayed away from the crowd, quietly bouncing, and talking to Yana, until she fell asleep, nestled in the crook of his arm.

"Well that's it then, you need to live here now Otabek," Yuuri sighed in relief, "this is the longest she's been quiet since we got her. She must like you."

"You know why, don't you?" Victor said, refilling Yuuri's drink.

"Why?"

"Yana means bear in Russian. She's happy, because she's with her own kind."

Everyone in the room laughed, while Otabek just stood, grinning like an idiot. Right at that moment, Yana had stolen his heart completely. They were just two grumpy bears that wanted to be left alone, away from the noise, and crowds.  

Yuri came over to him, and traced a finger over Yana's cheek, "you look like a pro Beka."

"I still have no idea what I'm doing, but she's not so scary. "

Otabek held Yana for the rest of the night, still shocked that out of all the people in the room, she had chosen him to warm up to. She was a pretty girl, once the red face had faded away. She had dark brown hair, and long dark eyelashes that rested on her cheeks like tiny fans. Otabek peeked at her fingers, and toes while she slept, marveling at how small they were. And that smell! He never knew babies smelled so good. Like soap, and warmth, and a soft sweetness he couldn't identify. He briefly sniffed the top of her head when he thought no one was watching.

But Yuri was watching, unable to tear his eyes away from him playing with her toes, and brushing his hand over her soft hair. That clinched it for him. Someday, he wanted to have a dozen babies with Otabek.

It was time for them to leave, and Otabek reluctantly gave her back to Victor, she started to fuss. Victor peppered her tiny face with kisses.

"I'm sorry Yana, but Uncle Beka can't stay forever. You'll see him again."

Yuri gave Yana a quick kiss on the forehead, while Otabek touched her little hand again, "bye Yana, see you soon."

"She's beautiful guys." Yuri said, hugging them both before they left.

Outside in the stairwell, Yuri nudged Otabek's arm, "see, I told you, you would figure it out."

"Ok, you were right, I was over thinking it."

***

 It was late at night, about two weeks later, when Yuri heard a knock at their door. He was halfway down the hall, when he heard Yana's now familiar wail. Yuuri stood on their doormat, still wearing his pajamas, clutching Yana to his chest.

"I'm so sorry Yurio. Victor has to get up early in the morning," he blubbered, "Mom, and Dad left yesterday, and she won't stop! I thought I'd take her out for a walk, and I ended up here, and I-"

Yuri held up his hand to silence him, "I'll get him."

Over the past two weeks, they'd found that Otabek was the only one who could truly calm her colicky cries. Yuuri's mother was amazed. As soon as Otabek gathered her up in his arms and spoke to her, she stopped, without fail.  

"You have a gift," she laughed, running her hand over Yana's soft dark hair. Otabek just smiled, weirdly proud of his strange new ability.

A few minutes later Otabek trudged out from their bedroom, yawning, arms stretched out to receive the wailing child.

"Sorry Otabek, I know it's late, I just, didn't know what else to do. If I don't get some sleep I'm gonna lose it."

Yuuri was incredibly embarrassed. Realizing that he had just walked four blocks, in his pajamas, in the middle of the night, just so Otabek could work his baby magic.

Otabek didn't reply, he took her, and sat down on the couch. He held her in front of him, resting her on his forearms so she could see him, "Ohh Yana, Аю ақаулығы қандай?" (What's wrong little bear?)

He was half asleep, unable to speak anything, other than his default language, "cен әкеңді қайғыға айналдырдың." (you made your Daddy sad.)

Yana quieted once she heard his low, rumbling voice, still thick with sleep.

"Witchcraft," Yuri teased.

"I don't know what it is about you Otabek, but it works every time." Yuuri sank into the couch, rubbing his temples.

Otabek smiled, and rocked her, still speaking to her in Kazakh. Neither knew what he was saying to her. He could be reciting every Kazakh curse word in the book, Yuuri didn't care, as long as she was quiet for a little while.

"Look at him Yuuri. Uncle Beka thinks he's an  expert now," Yuri laughed, "want some tea?"

"Yeah that'd be great. You don't mind holding her, do you Otabek?"

Otabek shook his head, her eyelids were beginning to droop, he rocked her a little slower, "Шх, кішкентай аюлар ұйқыға мұқтаж." (Shhh, Little bears need their sleep).

He was speaking utter nonsense to her, but he couldn't help himself. He figured, as long as he spoke Kazakh, neither of the Yuri's would know, what a spongy dope this baby had made him.

"Yuuri, I hope you're okay with Kazakh as her first language." Yuri teased.

"What's wrong with that?" Otabek yawned, as Yana finally drifted off.

Yuri rolled his eyes.

"As long as he keeps her quiet, and puts her to sleep, he can speak to her in any language he wants." Yuuri sipped the tea Yuri had offered him, relishing the silence.

"I'm sorry again Otabek, I feel like I'm taking advantage of you. I don't know what I'm going to do when you leave for Rostelecom."

Otabek kissed Yana's head, that sweet baby scent filled his nose, "I guess we'll have to see if Skype has the same affect on her."

"Don't think I wont take you up on that."

"That's fine, I don't mind."

Yuri had never seen Otabek so enamored. Yana had him; hook, line and sinker, and he knew it would only get worse as she got older. With her parents love, Yuri's spoiling, and Otabek's boundless affection for her, Yana would one day be a force to be reckoned with.

"She's sleeping now, want her back?" Otabek whispered.

Yuuri nodded, "I should get home, you guys go back to sleep. Thanks Otabek."

"Anytime Yuuri, I mean it." Otabek held the door for Yuuri as he quietly tiptoed out.

Yuri and Otabek crawled back into bed, snuggling close.

"What do you think of babies now?"

Otabek grinned in the darkness, "I don't know about other babies, but I love her."

"Me too."

 

 

Chapter Text

"She's doing it again." Yuri grumbled. He was sitting next to Otabek, watching the other skaters practice.

"Who?"

"Her."

"Her who?" Otabek was genuinely confused.

"Her, her."

Yuri looked towards a short, dishwater blonde, sitting with a few other girls. She had been looking fondly at Otabek, but averted her eyes the moment Yuri made eye contact.

"Galina, she's been staring at you, it's fucking creepy."

Otabek smirked. Galina was somewhat new to the team. No one knew much about her, except that she was 19, and originally from Yekaterinburg. She had been practicing in Moscow for a few years, before Yakov asked her to join the team. He knew she had potential. She was an excellent skater, and under his tutalage, she quickly qualified for Rostelecom during her first season with the team.

She was bubbly, and sweet, and trying her hardest to fit in. Mila, being one of the older female skaters, had taken her under her wing, which seemed to bolster her confidence. With her help, Galina had already made several friends, and seemed to be fitting in well with almost everyone.

Yuri could not stand her, not because of her personality (although her relentless cheeriness didn't help), but because he was sure the girl had a crush on Otabek. He had noticed it the minute they were introduced to her. She had ignored Yuri completely, and immediately put her hand out for Otabek to shake. During their short conversation, Galina giggled at everything Otabek said. That was Yuri's first hint that something was up with her. Otabek wasn't that funny, not with people he didn't know. She'd hung on his every word, while absently playing with her hair.

"She hasn't been staring, you just think she has." Otabek teased.

"No, I'm serious, she's been watching you since this morning."

"Quit making shit up, Yura."

Otabek wasn't blind, he could see that she was interested in him, but he wasn't about to fuel Yuri's jealousy. He had zero interest in her, but that didn't mean he was going to be rude to her.

Otabek had always considered himself bisexual. He'd dated a handful of each gender, before he was with Yuri. Maybe that was why Yuri was so concerned. If he had been gay, there would be no problem. She'd just be a silly girl, hung up on someone she couldn't have. But the fact that he was attracted to women as well, niggled at the back of Yuri's mind. The possibility of a mutual attraction was there, taunting him.

He had told Yuri that there was nothing to worry about. But that didn't keep Yuri from raising his hackles every time she came near him.

Yuri groaned, as Galina skated up to them, Otabek squeezed his hand, a warning to behave.

"Hi Otabek!" her smile, just a little too big.

"Hi Galina." Otabek felt Yuri tense beside him.

"I saw your routine, you looked amazing."

Yuri made a quiet, 'tch' sound under his breath. Otabek tugged his hand sharply, urging him to stay silent.

"Thanks, you look like you're fitting in well here."

He was hoping she'd see their hands clasped together, but she either didn't notice, or didn't care.

"I like it here, everyone is so nice. I was at the Moscow rink for awhile before I came here," she grimaced, "the people there are so-"

"I'm from Moscow." Yuri snapped, looking pleased at the scarlet flush that spread over her face.

"Oh, umm...sorry, I-I didn't know." She stammered.

"Yeah, well now you do."

Yuri stalked away, Yakov was shouting for him to get on the ice.

"I'm really sorry Otabek, I didn't mean to-"

"It's okay, that's just Yuri. He's actually nice, once you get to know him."

Galina didn't want to get to know him. He was loud, foul mouthed, and scared the shit out of her. Yuri was striking to look at, but every time he opened his mouth, something rude came out of it. It made her grit her teeth in disgust. She couldn't understand why anyone as quiet, and kind as Otabek, would want to be around someone so crass.

"Maybe, but there are a lot of other people I'd like to get to know more." she smiled at him, nervously.

She certainly wasn't subtle. He could feel Yuri glaring at him while he went through his routine.

"Well, I'm sure you'll make a lot of good friends here." He noticed Victor had just walked in.

Finally an out.

"Would you excuse me?" He got up, and walked over Victor.

"Hi Otabek."

"Hi, look, can we talk for a bit? There's, umm, someone I'm trying to avoid."

"Galina?"

Otabek rubbed the back of his head, "yeah, I guess Yuri talked to you about her?"

"Shouted, is a better word," Victor looked past Otabek's shoulder, Galina was still watching them, "come on, I'll be your shill."

They sat down and started talking. To everyone around them, it looked like they were in the middle of a deep conversation. Otabek nodding with a serious look, as Victor spoke, gesturing with his hands. Rostelecom was in a few days, he and Yuri were both set to compete. The other skaters assumed Victor was sharing some last minute advice with him. In reality, he was giving Otabek a comical run down of Yana's morning. Gleefully telling him about the adorable little burp she made, after he had fed her.

Galina seemed to have taken the hint, and skated away.

Yuri had finished, and sat down next to them in a huff, "I guess you told her to take a hike?"

Otabek shook his head, "No, I didn't."

"If you don't I will!" Yuri made a move to stand, Otabek held him place.

"No, you won't, just leave her alone. She'll get the idea eventually, she's just a kid, Yura."

"A kid that wants to fuck you."

"Yuri!" Victor snapped.

Yuri's jaw shut tight, his last remark had been out of line, but that didn't mean it wasn't true. He looked over at Galina, she was giggling with the other girls, while looking over at Otabek every so often. It made his blood boil.

Yuri was in a mood for the rest of the day.

That evening, Otabek was outside, waiting patiently on his bike for Yuri to finish showering, and changing. He was quietly scanning his phone, when a figure came up behind him.

"Hi Otabek."

He jumped, letting go of his phone, it bounced from hand, to hand, before he finally caught it. Galina laughed.

"Uh, hi." He tucked his phone into his pocket.

"I love your bike," she shifted her backpack nervously, "you know, I've never been on one. They look like fun, I've always wanted to try it."

Her eyes roamed over the bike, but eventually settled on it's owner. A lazy, glassy eyed look passed over her face. Otabek suddenly felt very, very naked. He cleared his throat, wishing Yuri would hurry up. Otabek wasn't the most social person, but he was cordial, and could make polite conversation, even if it was stilted.

This girl however, was in no mood for polite conversation.

"Well, maybe one day, someone will take you for a ride." He needed to nip this conversation in the bud. He wasn't stupid, he knew full well what she was hinting at.

Galina's face fell, that was not the answer she had been hoping for.

She longed to sit in Yuri's place behind him. She wanted to feel what it was like to wrap her arms around his waist. The thought of him being in control, and keeping her safe, exhilarated her. She pictured them riding through the countryside, him showing her special places he had found on previous trips. She dreamed of long kisses, and passionate embraces. Her heart fluttered at the thought.

Otabek saw the far away look in her eyes. He cringed inwardly, wondering what state of undress she was picturing him in. He'd be taking an extra long shower when he got home.

Galina's daydream was quickly snuffed out, when she heard a sharp voice call out.

"Oi Beka, you ready?" Yuri walked up next to them, not giving Galina the time of day.

"Beka? Is that a nickname?"

She smiled warmly. He was very private, so any new bit of information about him was a precious gift to her.

Yuri sneered, and gave her a masterpiece of an eye roll.

"It's just something Yura calls me."

"I like the sound of that. Beka...it suits you."

Yuri fumed.

Oh that is fucking it! Buy a clue bitch!

Otabek was just about to tell Yuri to hop on, when Yuri gripped him by the collar of his leather jacket, pulling him into a hard, feral kiss. Otabek flinched, as Yuri's tongue pushed past his teeth and swirled into his mouth.

Yeah, get a good look kid.

Yuri let go of his collar, and snaked a hand into Otabek's hair; while his other hand slipped inside his open jacket, pressing against his side. Finally, just in case the girl still didn't get it, he poured a pleasured moan into Otabek's mouth. Yuri broke the kiss, licking his lips, eyes flickering mischievously.

Otabek was rooted to his bike, while embarrassment, anger, and desire played tug of war with him. He wasn't sure if he wanted to scold Yuri, fuck him, or do both at the same time.

"Oh, hi Galina, I didn't see you there." Yuri said breathlessly, feigning surprise.

Galina's mouth fell open, hands wringing the straps of her backpack. Her heart twisted in agony as she watched Otabek stare at Yuri. His eyebrows were knit together, and his mouth frowned. His features clearly said he was upset with Yuri, but his eyes...

His eyes were rounded, drunk with desire.

He'd enjoyed it.

"Ummm, I should get going." she blurted out, turning on her heels.

"Bye!" Yuri shouted, as she hurried away.

Otabek waited until she was out of earshot, "Yura, was that necessary?"

Yuri scoffed, "look, I just want her to know you're taken. Would you rather me tell her flat out?"

"No, she's scared of you enough as it is."

"Why are you so worried about her? Like you said, she's just a dumb kid."

"She's not a bad person Yura, she just has a crush. I know what that feels like, and so do you. Being attracted to someone, but not knowing if you'll ever be with them." He took Yuri's hand, "we were lucky enough to end up together, she won't have that luxury."

Otabek could still remember the crippling effects of loving Yuri from afar. The years of bittersweet friendship. Yuri, so happy to have a friend who cared, while he silently pined for him. Every touch, every friendly embrace, a joy, and a torture all at once. He remembered the terrible, crushing guilt he felt, touching himself while thinking of Yuri. The sex filled dreams he had of him that gave him goosebumps all the next day. He had tried dating back then, hoping it would quench the desire for his friend. But they were all just dull sparks, when compared to the lightening strike that was Yuri.

Of course, at the time, he didn't know Yuri was suffering right along with him. Both boys had kept their desires buried deep. If Yuri hadn't taken the plunge, and professed his feelings, they would still be in that horrible, whirlpool of malcontent. Or worse yet, no longer friends.

Otabek knew what Galina was feeling, and while he wasn't about to fulfill her desires, he wasn't going to add insult to injury. That was just cruel. He'd be kind to her, he had to be, they were on the same team after all, but he'd give her nothing more.

Yuri shook his head, "you're too nice Beka. Come on, let's go home. You're making dinner tonight."

Galina hurried away from the two men, her heart pounding. She desperately wanted to cry, but waited until she was far away from Yuri. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of knowing he had shaken her so much.

Finally reaching her room, she collapsed on her bed, and sobbed.

Why? Why was he with him?

That night, after the dinner dishes were cleared, Otabek and Yuri started to pack their things for Rostelecom. They'd be leaving the day after tomorrow. Yuri used to pack in a rush the night before, often forgetting things. Otabek had eventually broke him of the habit, but he still double checked Yuri's bag on occasion. If Yuri forgotten something, he would just take what he needed from Otabek. And while he didn't mind Yuri borrowing his boxers, he refused to relinquish his toothbrush to him.

"You know she'll be there, right?" Yuri grumbled, zipping his case shut.

"She is part of the team, there are a few of us going. Trust me, you have nothing to worry about, I can handle it."

"It's not you I'm worried about."

The plane ride to Rostelecom wasn't long, but Galina had managed to weasel herself a seat behind them them. It made the short 2 hour flight almost unbearable. Yuri grit his teeth as she settled directly behind Otabek.

No matter how long the flight, the hum of the plane always made Otabek doze off. Which left Yuri to his own devices. Even with his headphones on he could hear Galina. She was chatting and laughing with her fellow rink mate, a tall brunette that Yuri didn't know.

He huffed loudly, and shifted in his seat, waking Otabek up. He pulled Yuri towards him, settling him into a tangled heap on top of him.

"Yura, quit fidgeting, and take a nap with me."

Otabek began to scratch Yuri's head lazily, knowing it would settle him eventually. Yuri relaxed into it, closing his eyes, but he still couldn't forget who sat behind them. He heard Galina get up from her seat. She moved passed them towards the bathroom. On her way back, her eyes settled on them both. Yuri was watching her, under half closed eyelids. He couldn't help but snuggle closer, resting his head, directly over Otabek's heart. He opened his eyes, and stared right at her, giving her smug smile.

"Problem?" he asked.

She let out a quick gasp, and tripped clumsily into her seat.

Yuri let out a quiet laugh, it was far too easy, (and far too satisfying) to get under skin. Otabek gave him a nudge.

"Stop it Yura." He could tell Yuri was getting a big kick out of torturing her.

"I'm not doing anything Beka."

"Uh-huh, go to sleep."

They dozed for the rest of the short flight, waking up when the plane touched down. Everyone started to reach for their bags in the overhead. Yuri was always quick to stand up after after landing, eager to stretch his long legs. He had grabbed his bags from the overhead before anyone else could. The aisle opened up ahead of him, he move forward, giving Otabek room to get out. Galina was next to him, struggling to get her bag out of the overhead. She gave it a hard tug, and it tumbled out, almost on top of her. Otabek reflexively reached out to catch it before it hit her.

"Thanks, Otabek."

Could you be more perfect? She thought.

"No problem." Otabek set the case on the floor, and turned to see Yuri staring daggers at him.

"What?" Otabek asked, as they stepped off of the plane.

"Why didn't you just let it fall on her head?"

"Yuri, I would have done that for anyone."

"Yeah, but she isn't just anyone."

"Enough Yura, I'm tired of talking about her. Can we just get our stuff, and get to the hotel?"

Yuri let the subject drop, but silently stewed until they reached the hotel.

It took awhile for Yakov to check everyone in. Yuri and Otabek stood next to each other, Yuri's head resting on Otabek's shoulder. Their quick nap on the plane had only made them more sleepy.

Yakov handed everyone their key cards, and they made their way to their rooms. Yuri noticed that Galina, and the girl she had sat next to on the plane, exited on the same floor they did. They were only a few doors down from them.

Fucking great.

Otabek slid the card in the lock, and held the door open so Yuri could roll his luggage in. He followed, the door locking behind him.

They hung up their costumes in the closet, and set out their toiletries, before collapsing on the bed. They went to bed early that night. Otabek slept soundly, while Yuri tossed and turned. Thoughts of Galina keeping him from sleep. He woke up cranky, with blue shadows under his eyes.

"I take it you didn't sleep well?"

Yuri shook his head, "glad I brought concealer, I'm gonna need it. Let's get ready, I need coffee."

They gathered their things for the days competition, and met the rest of the team in the lobby. They all sat down to breakfast together, everyone itching to get to the rink. After his second coffee, Yuri started to perk up. He noticed Galina was across the room, and for once, she wasn't looking at Otabek like a lovesick puppy.

After breakfast, Yakov wrangled his team into the shuttles that took them to the rink. Once there, they mingled with the other skaters and warmed up. Yuri practiced a few jumps, just to get the blood pumping. He was feeling good now, ready to compete. That slow build of excitement twisting pleasantly in his stomach. Otabek looked good too. This was a major step for him. Neither thought he would make it this far after the accident, but he had pushed himself hard. Refusing to let his stiff joints, and achey shoulder get the better of him.

After his warm up, Yuri had to find Lilia so she could do his hair and makeup. She lifted a thin eyebrow at the dark circles under his eyes.

Yuri shrugged, "I didn't sleep well, the concealers in my bag."

She twisted his hair into a fishtail braid, pinning the tail into a low bun. Yuri thought it looked a little severe, but Lilia always had a certain look she wanted for him, and she had yet to disappoint. She applied his makeup, making sure to cover the dark circles. After sweeping a light golden eye shadow on his lids, and applying black eyeliner to his eyes, Yuri looked in the mirror. Perfect as always.

He stepped into his costume, black pants, with an emerald green top that clung to him. It plunged in the back, his skin covered by a thin film of flesh colored nylon. Tiny, dark green crystals were dusted across his arms and shoulders, flickering in the light. It was simple, but effective. Yuri didn't need much to captivate the audience, his skating would be enough. Once he saw the complete look he was satisfied. Lilia had done it again. His hair was perfect, swept away from his face, showing off his beautiful, angular features. His face no longer looked tired, but ethereal.

Lilia stood back, admiring her work. She gave him a pinched smile, she approved. Yuri put his team jacket back on, keeping his costume under wraps.

He found Otabek standing near the rink, it always took him less time to get ready. He usually didn't wear makeup, or style his hair in any special way, but this time he looked different. Yuri gaped at the thick black liner that spread across his eyes...that was new.

He wore black pants, and a wine colored shirt. It was short sleeved, with a mock turtle neck, and hugged his body perfectly. The color looked glorious on him, a pleasing contrast to his olive skin. The only bit of sparkle on him were two shiny stripes that ran down each pant leg.

Usually Otabek's costumes were more complex, and colorful. This was definitely simple, but it made him look dark, and foreboding. Since the accident, Otabek's skating had taken a much edgier tone. He'd been aggressive this year, more so than usual, and wanted that to show in his routine.

Yuri had seen the costume before, but the sight of the black eyeliner made him weak in the knees.

He embraced Otabek from behind, "your eyes look sexy Beka."

Otabek placed a his hand over his, "it was Victor's idea, he thought it might be an interesting touch, since I'm going a different way this year."

"I think you should always wear eyeliner."

Otabek chuckled, "don't get your hopes up Yura. It feels gross."

The audience was starting to file in, the competition would start in a little while. They went behind the curtained entryway, towards the locker rooms to wait

Yuri had lost sight of Galina during the course of the competition, which was fine by him. He had more important things to focus on without having to worry about what she was up to.

Yuri had been one of the first ones to go on. He did well, he under rotated a jump, but at the moment, he was in first place. For awhile he sat at and watched the other skaters, while Otabek continued to warm up. He wanted to be sure his limbs, and shoulder were as loose as possible.

Otabek was set to go on soon.

"You nervous?"

Otabek looked calm, but Yuri could tell by the way he shifted his weight from foot, to foot that he was getting antsy.

"Maybe a little, wish me luck?"

Yuri gave him a kiss, "Davai."

Otabek smiled, that one little world was all the encouragement he needed.

Otabek's routine was nothing short of astounding. The music was something he had created himself. A fast moving, pulsating piece, that immediately got the audience interested. He was flawless on the ice, every move, and jump honed to perfection. Yuri watched intently, not seeing a single flaw in his routine. Otabek went into his end pose, and the audience erupted. Flowers, and gifts rained down around him. Otabek straightened, trying to catch his breath. The whole thing had been a blur, he remembered entering the rink, and then suddenly he was in the kiss and cry with Yakov.

He had beaten Yuri's score by a full two points.

The moment he left the kiss and cry, Yuri leapt into his arms, showering him with kisses.

"God Beka, you were fucking amazing!"

Otabek held him tightly, afraid that if he let go he'd topple over in shock. Yuri let go of him, and tugged his hand

"Come on, we're both done, let's get out of here. I want to congratulate you properly."

Normally they'd stay and wait for the team, but Yuri was eager to be alone with him.

They tumbled into their hotel room, Yuri making fast work of stripping them both. Otabek helped take the pins out of Yuri's hair, combing out the braid with his fingers. His hair was wavy, and kinked, looking more like a mane, than hair. Yuri grabbed his neck, and kissed him.

"Beka, you looked so hot out there, and this.." he ran a thumb under his black lined eyes. "I had to sit on my hands, otherwise, I would have pulled you into a bathroom and made you fuck me."

Otabek groaned, lightly sinking his teeth into Yuri's neck, "I wouldn't have stopped you."

They fell into bed and became a twisting, writhing mass of limbs. Their moans, and cries bouncing off the walls, neither caring who heard them.

About an hour later Galina was walking towards her room, fumbling with her card key. She looked up when she heard a door open in front of her. Otabek walked out, freshly showered. A thick towel was wrapped around his hips, his black hair slicked back. He took no notice of her.

He went across the hall, ice bucket in hand, to the little alcove, where the ice machine stood. He filled it, and went back to his door, knocking on it.

It opened, she heard Yuri's voice, but was too far away to make out what he said. It must have been something funny, because Otabek laughed out loud. It was the first time she had truly heard him laugh, and it made her heart sing, even if it was Yuri's doing. She watched as Yuri gripped the towel around Otabek's waist, and used it to pull him inside.

She rushed into her room, locking the door. Tears pricked at her eyes when she thought about Otabek in bed with Yuri. She held back her tears, and stood in front of her mirror, looking at herself.

What did Yuri have, that she didn't, (besides the obvious of course) She was pretty, blonde, strong, talented, all the same things Yuri was, but she had so much more to offer. She was kind, thoughtful, quiet, and had no temper to speak of. She could see her and Otabek blending together so well. He couldn't possibly be happy with Yuri, they were polar opposites.

She had never wanted anyone as much as she wanted Otabek. They would be perfect together, she was sure of it. Her thoughts and dreams centered on him, and no one else. It was making her crazy. She could make him so happy, if he'd just let her try!

Right then and there, she had made a decision. The only question left was. When?

The second day of competition flew by. Yuri's program didn't go as well as he had hoped. It was good, but there were others that were better. Otabek however, had outshone everyone with yet another flawless performance.

In the end it was Otabek on top of the podium, Yuri just below him in third place.

Any other time, Yuri would have sneered at the bronze medal hanging around his neck, but he was too busy looking up at Otabek's beaming face. This time, his placement made no difference to him. Otabek had won, and he was beyond proud of him.

After the award ceremony, Otabek was surrounded by the press. Yuri knew it would be awhile before he would be ready to leave. He quickly showered and changed, then went in search of Victor and Yuuri. They had come for the second day of the competition, little Yana in tow. She was three months old now. The colic just a memory; and while Otabek was still her favorite by far, Yuri came in at a close second. The three of them were easy to find, Yana's excited babbles, and shrieks led him straight to them. She gurgled when he came near her, giving him a weird, gummy grin. She had just started to smile at people she recognized. Yuri scooped her up in his arms.

"Hi, Yana, did you see Uncle Beka win tonight?"

She smiled at him, limbs flailing. Yuri rested her against his chest, her head laying on his shoulder. She scrunched up against him, eyeing his hair as it trailed down his back.

"You did well too Yurio, congratulations!" Yuuri said smiling.

Yuri sighed "I'm happy about that too," he paused to gently untangle Yana's fist from his hair, "but Beka deserved to win more than anyone here. What are you guys doing after this?"

"Nothing, Yana just woke up, and we're starving. Want to go to dinner? We can eat at the restaurant in the hotel, that way if Yanna gets fussy we'll be near our room."

"Sounds good. I think I'll walk back with you, and get changed. It'll be awhile until Beka's done."

The three of them walked back to the hotel. It was a good fifteen minute walk, but Yuri was still buzzing with excitement and needed to burn it off. He was riding the elevator up with Victor and Yuuri, when he reached into his pocket.

His phone was missing.

"Shit guys, I have to go back, I left my phone at the stadium."

"You want us to go back with you?"

"Nah, I'll be fine. I think I know where I left it. Beka should be done by the time I get there. I'll wait for him, and walk back with him. I'll text you when we're on our way."

Otabek's head was swimming, dozens of people surrounded him, tossing out question, after question. The camera flashes left little sparkly squares in his vision. With Yakov's help, he managed to get through all the interviews and pictures. Eventually, he was able to leave.

He was alone in the locker room, enjoying the silence. It felt great to peel the sweaty costume off, and stand under the hot spray of the shower. His shoulder ached, but it was nothing a few ibuprofen wouldn't cure. He soaped himself up, still shell shocked. He had actually won, all the pain and hard work had paid off. He couldn't help the smile that spread over his face. Yuri had done well too, which made it all the better. He wasn't sure he'd be as happy, if Yuri hadn't placed too.

He turned the shower off, and dried himself. He put on clean clothes, and slipped his favorite pair of ratty sneakers on. During the interviews, he had noticed Yuri talking to Victor and Yuuri. He assumed Yuri must have gone back with them. Otherwise he would have met him in the locker rooms. He quickly gathered up his things, and shoved them in his bag. He left the locker room, eager to celebrate his win, but stopped in his tracks.

Galina was standing outside, waiting for him.

"Uh, hi Galina."

"Hi Beka."

She had a strange, erratic look on her face. Like she was standing on a cliff, deciding whether she should jump, or not.

Otabek had winced at her use of his nickname, it made him uncomfortable. His family, his childhood friends, and Yuri were the only people who called him that. Not even Victor and Yuuri called him Beka, unless they were speaking to Yana, and even then it was Uncle Beka. To hear someone not close to him, call him something so personal, was unsettling.

There was an awkward tension. She just stood there, hands fidgeting in front of her, not saying anything.

Otabek started to turn away, figuring a simple hello was all she'd wanted.

Galina rushed forward, flinging her arms around his neck.

"Beka, Beka you did so well! I'm so proud of you!" she cried.

Galina had fallen onto him with such force that the air left his lungs. She took his sudden gasp, as sign that he welcomed her affection. She pushed herself to go further.

"Galina, sto-" he felt her lips press against his, and froze.

It was a fumbling, inexperience kiss. Her teeth clacked against his, while she tried to push her tongue into his mouth. He made no moves to return the kiss, instead he turned his head, and gripped her sides. Just as he was about to push her away, he felt something hard ricochet off his hip, and clunk to the floor. He looked down at the familiar honeycomb pattern on the case.

Yuri's phone...

"WHAT THE FUCK BEKA!?" Yuri screamed.

Yuri had found his phone. It was still laying where he had been sitting during the competition. He had grabbed it, and went towards the locker rooms. Hoping to find Otabek there ready to go, or even better, still in the shower.

Instead, he was met with the sight of Galina kissing Otabek, her arms around his neck.

His heart dropped to his knees, and the floor suddenly felt soft and squishy. A sick feeling washed over him. He was glad his stomach was empty, or he would have thrown up.

This isn't happening...This isn't fucking happening...

He did the first thing that came to mind. He threw his phone as hard as he could, not caring if it hit either one of them. It bounced off Otabek's hip, and clattered to the floor.

Galina turned her head, and stared at Yuri.

Now was her chance...

She smiled at him.

It was the same smug grin he had given her so many times before.

She reveled in her triumph. Enjoying the look of absolute horror on his face.

How does it feel Yuri?

Otabek shoved her away, "Yura, it's not-"

"Fuck you both. You especially bitch."

His voice cracked, and he hated how weak it made him sound. He bit his lip so hard, the taste of blood filled his mouth. Yuri spat pink spit on the floor near their feet. It was the most hateful thing he could think of, and it helped ground him. He was not about to lose control in front her. He'd deal with Otabek later, when there wasn't an audience.

Yuri spun around, and went back into the stadium. The curtain that hung over the entryway flapped wildly behind him.

A sick heat began to bubble up inside Otabek.

He had been nothing but kind, and patient with her. But now she'd crossed the line and Hurt Yuri. He could tell from her smug grin, that she had enjoyed doing it too.

"Why did you do that?" His voice was flat, his brow furrowed.

Her smile faltered. Why did his voice sound so cold? She was sure he had enjoyed it.

"Because, I-I really like you, and...I want to be with you."

"I'm with Yuri." He snapped.

"But I could give you so much more! You can't possibly be happy with him, he's such a-"

"Enough!" he barked, the heat inside him was raging now. His vision went red.

Galina flinched.

Otabek had a temper, but it took a hell of a lot for him to lose it. Yuri's temper was like fireworks, loud, but short lived. Otabek's was closer to a forest fire, devastating and all encompassing. Once he unleashed it, there was little anyone could do to stop him. His wrath was severe, and he took no prisoners. He didn't shout like Yuri did. He went cold, and his tongue turned razor sharp.

"Don't say another word about him. You don't know him like I do, no one does. And you know what?" His eyes zeroed in on her, cold and unrelenting. "That's what pisses me off the most! No one takes the time to fucking get to know him. People just see a spoiled brat that yells, and throws stuff when he's angry. You don't know the things he's had to do, the shit he's been through! If you did, you'd see that all the screaming, and shouting, is just a fucking act! A shield, to protect himself against people like you. People who just want to fuck with him, and take the things he's fought so hard for! Yuri..." his voice faltered, "is the strongest, the kindest, the most incredible person I know. Fuck, I don't even begin to deserve someone who loves as hard as he does. I love him Galina! Him and only him, and that will never change. Not for you, not for anyone. He's it for me."

Galina shrank back, her face white, her body trembling, tears running down her face. This had all gone so wrong, but maybe..

"Beka, I lov-" she held her hand out to him. He stepped back, otherwise he would have slapped it away.

She still doesn't get it? He thought.

"No! You have no right to call me that. That's Yuri's name for me, it's not yours to use."

He spat the words at her, twisting them, making sure they stung. Hurting her was the only thing he wanted to do now. He wanted her to leave hating him. It was the only way to know for sure that she'd leave them both alone. It was ruthless, and cruel, but he didn't care. She had hurt Yuri, and he would make sure she'd never get another chance at that.

His last words punched through her heart like stake. Any hopes of being with him were crushed to dust, he'd made sure of it.

She sobbed quietly. There was nothing left for her there. Not knowing what else to do, she turned, and fled.

Otabek's felt hot, and his chest throbbed. Stunned at how angry he had become. He balled his hands into tight fists, forcing them to stop shaking. He had to find Yuri and clear this up, he couldn't imagine what he was feeling right now.

He picked Yuri's phone up off the ground, and rushed into the dimly lit stadium. He didn't see him. He hoped he was on his way to the hotel, and not out wandering around.

"Did you mean what you said?" the voice came from behind him, it was strained and quiet.

Otabek turned. Yuri sat huddled, tucked away on a seat near the curtained entrance. Otabek knealt beside him, brushing the tears off Yuri's cheek with his thumb.

"Yes."

He kissed Yuri's cheek.

"I did."

He pressed a kiss to his forehead.

"Every word."

Yuri was still balled up on the seat, but Otabek embraced him anyway, enveloping Yuri's body in arms. He felt Yuri let out a sob.

He wasn't sure why he was crying. He wasn't angry or hurt anymore, not after Otabek's speech. The whole drama had only lasted a few minutes, but it had left Yuri wrung out, and overwhelmed.

"I'm sorry that happened Yura. I hate that you saw that." He cradled the back of Yuri's head against his shoulder, "can you forgive me?"

Yuri looked up, and ran a thumb over his lips, wiping away any sign of Galina that was on them, "for what?"

Otabek searched Yuri's face, then dropped his gaze to the floor.

"I don't know...I just feel like I should be forgiven."

Yuri choked out a weak laugh, "there's nothing to forgive Beka, you made it loud and clear how you felt."

"So you heard everything I said then?"

Yuri nodded, "I was about to turn back around and fight you both, but then I heard you shouting at her." He sniffled, and wiped his nose with his sleeve. "Fuck Beka, I've never heard you talk like that to anyone."

"I know, I don't know what happened. She started to say something about you, and I just lost it. I'd say, I hope she's ok, but honestly, I don't give a fuck if she is, or not."

Yuri wiped his eyes, "I'm rubbing off on you Altin."

Yuri moved to stand up. Otabek helped him to his feet. He cupped Yuri's cheek, and kissed him.

"I love you Yura, don't ever doubt that."

Yuri's breath spasmed, "I love you too. You're...you're it for me too."

Otabek smiled, "really?"

Yuri nodded, "no one else."

They walked out of the stadium, the heavy air around them clearing with each step. They were halfway to the hotel, when Yuri stopped suddenly, and smacked a hand to his forehead, "shit, we're supposed to have dinner with Victor and Yuuri tonight."

"Are you sure you want to?"

"Hell yes I want to! I haven't eaten anything since breakfast, and we need to celebrate! I'm not letting that bitch ruin my evening anymore than she already has."

The restaurant over looked the lobby, Victor and Yuri waved to them from a table, when they walked in.

Yuuri noticed Yuri's puffy eyes, "everything ok Yurio?"

He nodded, " yeah, everything's fine. More than fine."

Halfway through dinner, they all caught sight of Galina, bags packed, rushing out the door to an awaiting cab.

"What's wrong with her?" Yuuri asked.

"I'll tell you later, it's not worth talking about right now." Yuri said, shoveling the last of his meal into his mouth.

After their dinner was cleared away, they ordered a few drinks in celebration. Everyone at the table relaxed, and chatted. Glad that the drama filled evening was over.

Yana started to fuss in her carrier. Otabek picked her up and cradled her.

"Менің кішкентай аю қалай?" (How's my little bear?)

He had never stopped speaking Kazakh to her, it was their own special thing they did. Yuri teased him about it, but Victor and Yuuri encouraged him to continue. Her family members came from so many different countries. It was important to them that she learn a little of everyone's native language. It pulled them all closer together as a unit.

Yuri stood up, "gonna hit the bathroom, I'll be back."

Otabek watched him leave, his smile faded into a serious expression, "Victor, Yuuri, can I talk to you?"

"Of course, what's on your mind?" Victor said.

"I...I want to marry Yuri."

Chapter Text

Victor and Yuuri clasped hands under the table, grinning from ear to ear.

Finally, after weeks of waiting, Otabek was going to have, 'the talk' with them. It had been sheer torture for Victor to keep the secret. He couldn't count how many times he had been chatting with Yuri, and almost let it slip. He was so excited, he'd even dug out his old wedding magazines and paged through them, dogearing things he thought the couple might like. But it wasn't enough to curb his need to tell someone. So, he went to the only person he knew who would absolutely keep his secret.

It was late at night, when Yuuri had caught Victor talking to Yana about the proposal. Telling her how happy he was, and how pretty her dress would be. Yuuri had to choke back a laugh; if Victor spilling his guts to a 3 month old kept him from telling their friends, then so be it.

Otabek knit his brows. He had expected more of a reaction from them. He'd even braced himself in his seat, expecting Victor to launch himself over the the table to hug him. At least he hoped it would be a hug, there was alway the very slim chance they wouldn't approve.

"Ummm, are you guys ok?"

"Yes! Of course we are! Why?" Victor beamed.

Otabek shrugged, "I figured you guys would be...well, more you, about this."

Victor and Yuuri shared a look, "Yuuri, should we tell him?"

Otabek's eyebrow quirked up, this was suppose to be him telling them secrets, not the other way around.

Yuuri sighed, and squeezed his hand, "you've been really good about keeping it quiet. Go ahead, Vitya."

Victor leaned in excitedly, "remember when we came over that night, and Yuri was cleaning out his closet?"

Otabek's face fell, "shit, don't tell me he found it? I had only just gotten it! It was the best hiding spot I could come up with on the fly."

Victor laughed, "No, no, I found it! Don't worry though, Yuri doesn't have a clue! I gotta say, I'm rather proud of myself for keeping it a secret for this long."

Yuuri patted his hand approvingly, "I'm really proud of you Vitya." He was so sure Victor would break, and tell one of their friends, but he had surprised him.

Otabek glanced at the bathroom door, he needed to make this quick. Yuri would be back soon.

"So, you guys are okay with this?"

"Of course we are! Did you think we wouldn't be?" Yuuri laughed.

"I wasn't worried, I just, I know how much Yuri means to you. I was nervous, and couldn't find the right time to tell you. Yuri was always around, and honestly, it was easier to tell my parents, than you. You two can be pretty intimidating when you want to be, especially where Yuri is concerned. I just want you know that I love him, and I will do everything in my power to make him happy."

Yuuri gave him a warm smile, and sniffled, "don't worry Otabek. We've been waiting for this moment for a long time. We couldn't be happier."

Otabek saw a flash of white blond hair near the bathroom.

"Thanks, guys. Mind keeping it a secret a little longer? I've got some things to plan first. I'll keep you posted."

"Absolutely."

The three men quickly leaned back into their seats, trying hard to act natural.

Yuri was just about to sit, when he looked around the table. All three had smiles on their faces, but refused to make eye contact with one another. He could hear Yuuri nervously tapping his foot under the table.

"Why are you all grinning like idiots?"

Victor waved a hand, "just something funny Yana did. Speaking of which," he picked her up out of her seat, "this little girl needs to get to bed, and so do we. We've all got flights to catch tomorrow."

They paid their bill, and rode the elevator up to their room. There were several people squished inside, each pushing buttons for different floors. The elevator was old, and took it's time slowly squealing from floor, to floor. The doors hung open for longer than was necessary, before slowly rattling closed. The four men were the last ones inside, as it shuddered to a halt at Otabek and Yuri's floor. Otabek hung back, mouthing a silent 'thank you' to the two men, as the doors closed. Victor gave him a quick wink in return.

Otabek slid his key card through the lock, and opened the door.

Their room was dark, save for a small glowing lamp on the bedside table. The drapes were pushed aside, and the lights of the city twinkled, and flashed in the night sky. Yuri sank onto the bed, kicking his shoes off. Otabek unzipped his leather jacket, laid it on the edge of the bed, and sat beside him. Yuri was quiet, but the gears in his head were clearly turning. A small crease formed between Yuri's eyebrow's as he stared at the floor.

"You okay Yura?"

Yuri shrugged, "I don't know Beka. I think so, but...I'd really like to get that picture of her kissing you out of my head. I was okay at dinner, but now that it's quiet, I can't stop thinking about it."

Celebrating Otabek's win had been a welcome distraction. Between dinner, and drinks, there was little time to dwell on what had happened. The alcohol he'd consumed had help dull his head for awhile, but it didn't last long. The painfully slow ride up to their room had given him time to think about it.

Now, in the deafening silence of their room, Yuri felt small and disconnected from Otabek. Like a child in the dark, fumbling for the switch. The kiss had done more than shock him, it had made him briefly doubt Otabek's feelings for him. His heart said they were okay, but his brain wouldn't stop second guessing everything. His anxiety was like a stubborn stain that wouldn't fade, no matter how hard he scrubbed.

"Can I do anything for you?" Otabek rubbed circles into the small of Yuri's back.

Yuri needed to reconnect with Otabek. He wanted his help curbing the anxiety he felt, but he wasn't sure how to go about it. Talking seemed like such a monumental task. He could talk about it; if he had the right words to describe what he was feeling. But they were so muddled, and twisted that it was hard to pin down any particular emotion. He fidgeted, nervously twisting his blond hair into a rope, "I dunno, just...hold me?"

Otabek said nothing, Yuri's body language said that he wasn't prepared to talk yet. He'd give him whatever he needed, when he asked for it, and wouldn't push for more. Pushing Yuri to talk would only make him angry. He wrapped his arms around him, letting Yuri rest his head on his shoulder. Yuri sank against him, hoping the weight of Otabek's arms would help, but the weird tension continued.

"Better?"

"A little," Yuri sat up, wiping his face in frustration, "I'm sorry Beka. I don't know why I feel so weird. I guess tonight messed me up more than I thought." He looked into Otabek's soft brown eyes, noticing the concern, "I know you love me, but it's like, my brain won't let it go. I can't stop thinking about it, I just..."

Otabek pulled him closer, "what can I do to help?"

Yuri averted his eyes, he felt so ashamed. Otabek's speech that night should have snuffed out any misgivings, but it didn't. Doubt was scratching inside his head, hankering to set up shop. Maybe it was just paranoia, or some residual shock from earlier, but he just wanted to be rid of it.

"Kiss me?" he whispered into Otabek's neck.

Otabek tipped Yuri's chin to face him. His lips grazed Yuri's at first, not teasingly, enjoying the soft tickle as their lips brushed together. When he finally made solid contact with his lips, Yuri tensed. Otabek wondered if it was too much, too fast, but Yuri didn't pull away. Otabek continued, cupping the back of Yuri's head, he sank into the kiss, relaxing. Yuri tried to follow suit, but his body still protested.

Otabek's hand trailed from the back of Yuri's head, and down his back, landing on his slim hip. Yuri liked the firm weight of his hand on him, it was steadying. Otabek's other hand was traveling, cupping his cheek, fingering through blond hair, and running down his arm so lightly, it made Yuri shiver.

Otabek's lips felt a little chapped, and Yuri could taste a hint of earthiness, oak and smoke as their tongues began to entwine. Otabek had enjoyed a glass of whiskey with Victor, in honor of his win. He didn't drink it often, but when he did, Yuri was always quick to steal a kiss from him. Yuri loved the lingering woody taste, and the way his lips tingled from the alcohol. The earthy tang of whiskey in his mouth, magnified the smell of Otabek's leather jacket, and the spicy, citrus scent of his deodorant. Yuri clamored for more, he wanted every one of his senses saturated with Otabek. His scent, his taste, the feel of his hands grazing his skin, the sound of his warm breath catching. It all helped remind him that Otabek was his, and his alone.

Otabek let out a rumbled groan, and it echoed through Yuri's ears like sweet music. A heated flush swept over him, turning his tense muscles into jelly.

He was overdosing on Otabek...he breathed in his virile scent, while gorging himself on every groan and growl he made, every shuddering breath he took. He couldn't think of a better way to go...

They normally didn't focus on kissing this much. They enjoyed it, but it was mostly something they did while pulling at zippers, and tugging at shirt hems. A bridge they crossed on their way to headier acts. Their kisses were hard, almost savage. Biting and nipping at lips, and tongues. Each one trying to dominate the other with their mouth, while their hands grabbed for limbs, and tugged at hair.

But this...

This kiss was firm and rapturous, slowly stoking the fires inside them. It made Yuri's chest throb, and his body tremble with relief. It was more assuaging than words could ever be. The kiss was uplifting, and familiar...it was home.

Otabek pulled away, taking shaky, shallow breaths. He brushed a strand of blond from Yuri's shoulder, fingers grazing along his neck as he did so. He felt Yuri's skin prickle into gooseflesh, and smiled lazily. He pulled back, wanting to see more of him. Yuri's lips were wet and pink, his glassy green eyes still puffy from the tears he'd shed earlier in the night. He leaned towards Yuri, and touched his lips to the corner of each eye, making them flutter close with each soft press. Yuri's breath hitched in his throat.

Otabek trailed back towards his lips, pressing into Yuri's mouth harder this time, his need growing. He slid his hand under Yuri's shirt, hand splaying across his back.

So soft...he thought, grazing his fingers over snow white flesh.

Yuri heard Otabek give the faintest of sighs. He melted, sinking into Otabek, relaxed and warm, like he had just stepped out of a hot bath. His limbs felt loose and noodely, the only thing keeping him from pooling onto the floor was Otabek's embrace.

In the midst of all this, Yuri gave himself a mental slap.

How could he ever think Otabek would do anything to hurt him? He shouldn't have doubted him for a second. How could he be so stupid?

Any residual anxiety burned away under Otabek's touch, leaving Yuri renewed.

Otabek gave a low whimper as he tugged at the band of Yuri's leggings. He wanted more, the kiss merely wetting his appetite. Yuri pulled his shirt off, and Otabek took in the expanse of milky flesh before him. He grazed his lips across Yuri's neck, trailing down to latch onto one of Yuri's nipples, sucking hungrily. Yuri moaned as he lifted Otabek's shirt, peeling it off him, and tossing it on the floor. They held each other for a moment, the skin on skin contact felt heavenly. So warm, so safe. Otabek's mouth found Yuri's neck again, nuzzling and biting. His hand traveled down between Yuri's legs, cupping and stroking him through his thin leggings. Yuri squirmed in delight, and was just about to lose himself in the moment... when visions of the night crept back into his head.

No, no, no! Not now! Go away...fucking get out of my head!

He remembered the odd, clumsy kiss she'd given Otabek, the way she flinched when he rebuked her. The wide eyed look of surprise and fear on Otabek's face when his phone collided with his hip.

He braced himself for the anxiety to come crashing down around him once more. But it never came. Now that he was in Otabek's warm embrace, the flashbacks weren't scary or upsetting.

They were funny...

Yuri burst out laughing, sharp and loud, his hot breath hitting Otabek square in the face.

Otabek sat back, staring at him like he had gone insane, the moment shattered. He frowned at him, eyes scrunched and brow furrowed.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Yuri laughed, "I know, bad timing but..." he tried to suppress a giggle, "the look on your face when I threw my phone at you! It was the funniest damn thing I've ever seen! I didn't even know you could make a face like that." he doubled over howling with laughter.

Otabek let out an exasperated huff, "Well I'm glad you can see the humor in it Yura. I can't."

Yuri gave him a quick kiss as an apology, but continued to laugh, his chest starting to tighten as more air left his lungs.

"But Beka...don't you see how funny it is?" He cackled, "I mean, what was her plan? Did she think you were going dump me on the spot, and carry her away?"

Otabek had to admit, her plan had some pretty big holes. He could feel the corners of his mouth start to pull up.

Yuri was gasping, desperate for air, " and...and, how stupid was I? I thought you were kissing her back! And then...I threw my phone like a jackass, and...and, oh shit, the way she ran out of the hotel, " he started to convulse, and wheeze, "so fucking stupid!"

Of all the ways Yuri could react to the nights drama, humor was not one Otabek was expecting.

Sulking? Yes. Vulnerable? Absolutely. Nearly pissing the bed from laughter? Not so much.

Otabek was none too pleased that their kiss had been cut short, but Yuri's laugh was infectious. The austere look on his face cracked, and he barked out a laugh.

He was right. It was all so, incredibly stupid.

They fell back on the bed, curling in on themselves, gripping each other for support as laughter racked their bodies. They tried to calm down several times. Their sides burning, and tears streaming, but then, they'd look at eachother, and the laughter would bubble up once more.

After a few minutes, Otabek finally managed a deep breath, "Yura...Yura," he gulped down more air, "we've gotta stop... we're going to hell for this. It's not supposed to be funny!" he snickered, "I traumatized that girl tonight!"

Yuri rolled onto his back, chest heaving, and gave him a quick raspberry, "who fucking cares. She brought it on herself. Besides, she's 19, in a week she'll be madly in love with someone else"

Otabek pinched him, before resting his hand on Yuri's stomach. He could feel his abs trembling from laughter.

"Am I that easy to get over?"

Yuri rolled his eyes, "maybe, two weeks."

"So generous," Otabek ran his hand lazily over Yuri's creamy flesh, "I guess this means you're better now?"

Yuri nodded, "I am, think we can finish what we started?"

Otabek's eyes flashed, as he pulled Yuri towards him. He wasted no time, already tugging at the edge of Yuri's pants. Their kisses resumed, more heated this time, both thirsty for more.

Otabek pulled Yuri's leggings off, and grinned. Yuri never did wear underwear under his leggings, it made things like this so much easier. He stood up, and Yuri gave a muffled whine as the hard press of his body lifted off of him. He shed his jeans and boxers, leaving them in a heap on the floor. He straddled Yuri's hips, and felt him buck when he finally rested on top of him. Otabek trailed his hand down Yuri's naked chest, grazing his nipples. His fingers tickled the soft trail of white blond hair that rested just below his navel. It was hardly visible, like the translucent fuzz on a young peach, so different from his own coarse, black hair. His tongue followed the trail his fingers had blazed, leaving soft wet kisses in spots he knew Yuri liked.

Yuri's whines increased, already pleading for more than the light touches Otabek was giving him.

"Beka...more...you're too...too..." Yuri couldn't finish the sentence. Otabek sunk his teeth into Yuri's neck, making him arch his back in surprised pleasure.

"Too what?" Otabek growled, his hot breath skimming Yuri's ear.

Yuri didn't answer, he could only groan out Otabek's name, hips trying to grind against any bit of skin he could find. Otabek sat up, and moved back. He roughly pried Yuri's legs apart, and settled between them, resuming his teasing. Otabek worked at Yuri's mouth while his hands busied themselves, running along the insides of Yuri's thighs, and reaching underneath to squeeze the firm flesh of Yuri's behind. Every so often he would press his hips against his, both men groaning at the friction.

It was all too much...

Yuri was so hard it was starting to hurt, his muscles taught and trembling. A thin film of sweat broke out on Yuri's skin. Otabek sucked at his collarbone, enjoying the salty taste that lingered on his tongue.

"Beka...no more..." he gasped, "teasing..." his voice dry, and raspy.

Otabek reached for the small bottle of lube on the nightstand and made quick work of applying it. He lined himself up with Yuri's entrance, slowly pushing in, not stopping until his pelvis met Yuri's. Their bodies halted, each savoring their own separate pleasures. Otabek, relishing the tight warmth that cinched around his cock, making beads sweat form on his brow. While Yuri let out a breathy moan, enraptured at how deliciously full he felt. The familiar, dull pain made him clench and squirm, which only heightened his already ruined senses.

"Yura...god...Yura..." Otabek started to move, slowly pulling out, enjoying the slow, dragging friction. Yuri braced himself, expecting a hard thrust to follow, but instead, it was the same achingly slow movement. Otabek repeated it again and again, enthralled by every twitch and squeeze Yuri's body made around his cock. He felt drunk, and hazy; Yuri affected him more than any hard spirit he could consume.

The slow, grueling pace Otabek was currently lost in, was driving Yuri berserk. Otabek was merely brushing against the tight bundle of nerves inside Yuri. Just a teasing kiss of pressure before slowly pulling away. Yuri ached for more, he wrapped his legs around Otabek, and dug his heels into his ass, forcing him to move faster.

Otabek wasn't expecting it, and let out a strangled groan as he was quickly forced inside, "Fuck, Yura..."

"That's better isn't it?" Yuri purred, lifting his heels off Otabek's ass.

"So good...d-do, a-again" Otabek stuttered, while slowly pulling out, leaving just the head of his cock inside.

Yuri dug his heels in again, rougher this time. Otabek relaxed and let Yuri drive him inside. Yuri watched as Otabek held his breath, his face turning a dusky pink. He exhaled between clenched teeth as he met Yuri's hips. His brown eyes, shut tight, lost in the moment.

"Beka...Beka..." Yuri whispered, his hand reaching out to cup his cheek. Otabek's eyes opened, his trance broken. He looked down at Yuri, as a bead of sweat dripped off his nose, and splashed into the hollow of Yuri's throat, "look at me Beka..."

Otabek could only nod, and went down onto his elbows. Encircling Yuri's head like halo as he quickened his pace. Yuri clung to him, and brushed his sweaty black hair from his eyes, their lips meeting once more. The heady scent of leather, and spice, and sweat filled his nose, and made him shudder. Otabek's hips drove into him, the sound of their sweaty flesh coming together filling the room. The noise, so deliciously obscene it made Yuri's eyes roll back.

For the second time that night he was drowning in all things Otabek.

Yuri gazed up at him, enthralled by the sight. His brown eyes rounded, almost pleading, while he bit his bottom lip in pleasure. Yuri's chest throbbed, and tears pricked at his eyes.

I love him so much it hurts...

Their eyes locked, Otabek noticed the tears, and went to wipe them away, kissing his brow.

"Yura...loveyousomuch," he breathed the words out as one, while he sought out the bundle of nerves inside Yuri, driving into them.

Yuri wrapped his arms around his neck, his tears smearing across Otabek's hot skin. The coil in his stomach tightened, and he let out a short sob as Otabek reached between them, and started to work at his cock.

Yuri felt his body grow tighter, and tighter, as Otabek focused on his sweet spot. His toes curled into the sheets, and his eyes squeezed shut as the coil was finally released. Every muscle in this body spasmed, and contracted, toes flexing and curling as waves of heat washed over him. A guttural whine left him as he came, white slowly spilling over Otabek's tight grip.

Watching Yuri come undone beneath him, tipped Otabek over the edge. His arm gave out, and he dropped on top of Yuri, filling him. He buried his head in Yuri's damp hair, breathing in the herbal scent of his shampoo. He vaguely felt Yuri's nails skim across his scalp, easing him through his release.

They laid still for moment, catching their breath, waiting for the aftershocks to subside.

Yuri was normally quick to comment after sex. He'd let loose with a breathy, "amazing," or a quiet, spaced out, "fuck, Beka." But this time, Yuri was silent.

Otabek lifted his head, and saw the tears rolling down his face, collecting near his ear.

"Yura, what's wrong, did I hurt you?" he wiped a tear from the corner of his eye.

Yuri shook his head, and sniffled, "no, I just...just love you so damn much," he laughed nervously.

Otabek brushed a damp lock from his neck, "I love you to Yura."

They showered in comfortable silence. Trading yawns, as they scrubbed each others backs. After they were rinsed, they embraced under the hot spray of the shower.

Something had stirred inside both of them that night, bonding them in a way they'd never experienced. Neither of them able to describe what it was they had just done. Fucking was too raw, and making love too simple. It had been something more than both of those things, but neither had the wherewithal to explain it. All they could do was hold onto one another, their devotion too much to bear alone.

They held each other for ages, trading tender kisses, and murmuring 'I love yous' into each others skin. They stayed in that dreamlike state until the water turned cool, and they both began to shiver.

They toweled each other off. The cold air sobered them, but neither lost the desire to be close.

"The maid is gonna hate us for what we did to this bed." Yuri teased as he pulled the blankets down to get in.

"We'll leave her a good tip, I'm sure it's not the first time it's happened."

They snuggled together, legs entwining, the heat of their bodies quickly warming the bed. Otabek spooned Yuri, marveling at how well they fit together, with no gaps between them. Otabek flicked off the light, and rested his head near Yuri's, listening to his breath even out. Yuri was already snoring softly after just a few minutes. Their hands were laced together, and Otabek took a moment to rub his thumb over the ring finger of Yuri's right hand.

Just a little while longer...he thought as he drifted of to sleep.

The next morning, over breakfast, Yakov informed the team that Galina had quit the team for, "personal reasons". Almost everyone was upset at the news, she had been so sweet, and had such talent. Her friends were in tears. What could have happened to cause her to just, up an leave in the night? She had told no one when she left, her roommate at the hotel had found a note with just a few short sentences.

"For personal reasons, I can no longer be on the team, I am sorry. I want to thank those of you who have been kind to me. I will miss you."

Otabek and Yuri looked at each other from across the table, trying hard not to snicker like children. Yuri was just about to let out a sharp cackle, when he felt Otabek give him a swift kick under the table. Yuri hissed, but his smile didn't falter, the urge to laugh only growing.

Otabek bit his lip, and shook his head, "Yura, stop it." He said under his breath, "if you start, then I'll start."

The plane ride home, was a torture. Everyone on the team still trying to figure out why Galina had left. Otabek and Yuri quickly donned their headphones, turning the volumes up as loud as they could stand.

It was late afternoon when they finally arrived home. On their way up the stairs to their apartment, Otabek stopped.

"Yura, how would you feel about taking a trip after the seasons over?"

Yuri's eyes widened, "that sounds awesome! Where do you want to go?"

Otabek smiled, "not sure yet, but I have some ideas. I'll take care of everything, all you have to do is show up."

"I'll be there."

Neither of them had ever wanted a season to finish so quickly.

Chapter Text

It was Saturday afternoon, and the sky outside was cloudy, and dark. It was late Fall which meant days, and days of heavy, cold rain.

Yuri sat cross legged on the couch, Malysh snoozing in his lap. It was two in the afternoon, but he had yet to get out of his pajamas. He'd decided early on, that this was going to be a day spent doing nothing. His hair was pulled up into a bun, it was greasy, and in dire need of washing, but even that sounded like too much work. The only thing he wanted to do was lounge around, and play on his phone.

Otabek had been back, and forth doing laundry most of the morning, taking advantage of the day off to catch up. They were lucky enough to have a laundry room in their apartment complex. They still had to pay, and it was a long trek across a now, muddy courtyard, but it was better than walking 2 blocks to the laundromat. He walked in with another basket of laundry, blowing a wet lock of black hair out of his eyes.

"I don't even know why I bothered drying my clothes. They just got wet again on the way back. " He muttered, placing a damp hand on his clothes.

Yuri didn't even look up from his phone, "I have two umbrellas Beka, use one of them."

"Yura, I'm not walking across the complex under a Hello Kitty umbrella.

Yuri made a face, "pffft, I have a leopard print one too, if you're so worried about the state of your manhood."

"I think I'll pass." Otabek set the laundry basket on the kitchen table, and started to pair his socks.

Yuri stretched out on the couch. Malysh gave a small squeak of protest, before resettling between his legs, pressing her claws into his knee. He shut his phone off and went limp, letting out a long, overly dramatic sigh.

"Beka, I'm sooo bored."

Otabek paired up the last of his socks, tossing them in the basket. He'd been waiting for the 'I'm bored' whining to start since noon. When it got dark and rainy like this, it triggered something in Yuri. He'd get lazy, bored, and childish almost simultaneously. Expecting Otabek to entertain him in some way.

"I don't know what to tell you Yura. I've been kinda busy. Read a book."

Yuri stuck his tongue out, "ugh, that's even more boring, than doing nothing. Next?"

"Play a video game?"

Yuri shook his head, "I've beaten all the games we have."

"You could always do your laundry." Otabek looked down the hall at the mountain of clothing piled up on Yuri's side of them room. Yuri never did his laundry until he absolutely had too. Which basically meant when he ran out of boxers, and even then, he had no qualms about going commando for a few days.

Yuri poked his head over the back of the couch, "Beka, just come sit with me. Pleeasse?"

Otabek left his laundry on the table and went over to the couch. He lifted Yuri's legs up, sat down, and deposited Yuri's feet in his lap. Grateful that those ugly things were encased in thick, yellow and black striped socks. Otabek noticed a pinkness in Yuri's cheeks, and lazy smile on his face.

Yuri got re-situated on the couch, haphazardly scrolling on his phone again, "Beka, did you know that tiger urine smells like buttered popcorn?"

Otabek shook his head, chuckling, "no, sure didn't."

"Did you know their spit is antiseptic?"

"Nope"

Yuri flopped his head back on the arm of the couch, giggling. "Beka, tigers are so great."

"Yura, have you been drinking?"

Yuri snickered, "I may, or may not have had a shot or two of vodka while you were switching out your laundry.

Otabek shook his head, "I was only gone for like 10 minutes, how are you drunk already?"

"They were big shots." Yuri laughed, pointing to a juice glass sitting on the counter.

"So, you're going to spend your Saturday afternoon drunk, reading fun facts about tigers?"

Yuri shrugged, "it's better than nothing. We could play a game."

Otabek wasn't one for board games. The only game they owned was Monopoly, and they had made a pact never to play it again. The last time ended with Otabek accusing Yuri of stealing from the bank when he wasn't looking, and Yuri flipping the board in protest. The never did find the little silver top hat piece after that.

"I'm not playing board games with you anymore, Yura."

"Fine, I'll find something for us to do." He scrolled through his phone. After a minute or two, his face lit up, and an evil grin spread over his face. Otabek knew that look, and nothing good ever came from it.

"What?"

Yuri turned his phone around so Otabek could see the screen, "Twenty questions to ask your boyfriend."

"Yura...I don't-" Otabek started to protest, but Yuri cut him off.

"Question one. What is the stupidest thing you've done that you've never gotten in trouble for?"

"I really don't want to play this game Yura."

"Oh come one," he whined, "what else is there to do? It's raining, and your laundry's done. Go take a shot, get the stick out of your butt, and play with meee. Who knows you might even enjoy it." Yuri's eyes rounded, and he stuck his bottom lip out, pouting.

He had a point. There really was nothing else to do. They had the weekend off, and the storm was a big one, set to last until Monday night. Otabek didn't exactly like being put on the spot with random questions, but it might not be too bad. And it was definitely something they'd never done before.

"Fine." Otabek grabbed his phone, and pulled up site that Yuri had shown him, already perusing the list of questions. They seemed harmless enough. Otabek was a fast reader and was already planning his answers for a few of the trickier questions in his head. He went into the kitchen, kicked back a shot, and return to the couch.

"What was the question again?" He asked, redepositing Yuri's feet in his lap.

"What's the stupidest thing you've ever done, that you never gotten in trouble for?"

Otabek laid his head back on the couch. It was hard to pick one single thing. Unlike Yuri, who had spent his childhood under the strict watch of either Yakov, Lilia, or his Grandfather. Otabek was pretty much left to run wild with his friends. Most of his early teenage years were spent doing stupid things.

"I dunno, I guess maybe when my friends and I use to do graffiti."

Yuri dropped his phone into his lap. They were only on the first question, and already he had learned something new.

"Seriously? You never told me that, that sounds cool!"

"You would be wrong, we weren't very good at it. We never had a plan when we did it. We just sprayed random shit on the sides of buildings, or in abandoned lots. It was Alan's idea most of the time, the rest of us just went along with it cause there was nothing else to do."

"And you never got caught?"

Otabek shook his head, "Not really, we did it late at night, and the cops had other things to deal with."

"DJ, biker, graffiti artist, and here I thought you couldn't get any cooler."

Otabek laughed, "trust me Yura, it wasn't that great." He scanned the questions, trying to come up with something interesting.

"You can have one superpower, and only one. What do you choose?"

Yuri laughed, "okay, so I don't know if it's a super power, but I've always wanted gills, like a fish. Then I could swim under water for hours. How fucking cool would that be?"

Otabek smirked, "that's your superpower? Gills?"

Yuri nudged his shoulder with his foot,"yeah what's wrong with that? You could just jump into the ocean, and stay under water for as long you wanted."

Otabek shrugged, "I just thought you would choose cat like reflexes, or the ability to fly or something. I guess fish gills counts."

"I already have cat like reflexes. Plus, I'm a Pisces Beka, we like the water. I just happen to spend most of my time on top of it, instead of in it." he paused, searching for another question. "What's the worst slip of the tongue you've ever heard?"

Otabek thought for a moment, and then lets out a loud laugh.

"Oh shit, this is actually something I wish I could forget. I was about fourteen or so, and my older sister Dinara had just learned to drive. Äkem let her use his car, but told her to return it to him exactly the way she found it. He loved this car, it was old, but pristine and he hardly ever let anyone drive it. But Dinara had begged him for so long, he eventually gave up and gave her the keys. So, Dinara takes the car out with her friends, comes home late, and goes to bed. Not realizing one of her friends had spilled soda on the backseat." Otabek stops to let out another burst of laughter,"the next morning, Äkem sees the damage and just, flips out. I'm in the kitchen eating breakfast. Listening to him going off about it, when I hear him shout, 'Dinara is gonna get eaten out when she gets up!' I just about choke on my cereal. I was like, chew dad, chewed out."

Yuri almost falls off the couch from laughter, "are you shitting me? That's fucking hysterical!"

Otabek shook his head, wiping a tear from his eye, "nope. What's worse is Äkem had no clue what the difference was, and wanted me to explain it."

"Did you?"

"Fuck no! I was fourteen. I just told him to google it."

"Shit Beka, that's messed up." Yuri snickered, "okay my turn."

"What's the strangest thing you have ever eaten?" Otabek knew this was going to be interesting. Yuri was an adventurous eater. Whatever country they were in, he would seek out the the grungiest looking food carts. Swearing that they always had the best food. The first few times they had traveled together, Otabek, like an idiot, trusted him on this. But after a particularly nasty bout of food poisoning, that almost kept him from competing, he refused. He never understood how Yuri never got sick. Either he was just used to it, or his stomach was lead lined.

"Hmm," Yuri had to take a minute. There were several things he could answer with, but settled on one in particular. "The third time I went to Japan with Victor and Yuuri, I said I wanted to try something different. So Yuuri took me to this restaurant one night, and... do you know what Sannakji is?"

Otabek shook his head.

"It's actually a Korean dish, but it's basically live octopus."

Otabek grimaced, "oh gross Yura! You ate a live octopus?"

"Well kinda, it was cut up, but yeah the tentacles still moved and shit."

Otabek shuddered, "did it like, stick to you?"

"A little, it was hard to chew, and swallow. The tentacles were little, but they still stick to your mouth a bit. Taste wise, it was just like eating sushi...that moves."

"That's disgusting Yura, I'm never kissing you again."

"Hey you asked the question! I can't help it if you're a picky eater Beka."

"I don't think wanting your food dead and cooked constitutes being picky. Your turn, I need another shot after that."

Yuri grinned, he knew Otabek would get into this little game if he just relaxed. "What is the creepiest animal?"

"Oh that's easy, opossums."

Yuri gave him a confused look, "I don't know what that is."

Otabek came back to the couch, shot in hand. "I forgot you haven't spent much time in the US. I think I was about 16. I was there for a few weeks of training. JJ was there too, so we decided to share a room."

Yuri sneers, "Ugh, that guy."

Otabek ignores his comment, not wanting to Yuri to go off on a drunken, JJ rant. "So late one night, I'm taking out the trash, because JJ never remembered to."

Yuri rolled his eyes, and grumbled, "of course he wouldn't, fucking lazy ass, son of a-"

Otabek pinched his leg, "can I tell the story?"

"Fine, sorry."

"So I toss the garbage into the dumpster, and I hear something hissing at me. I think it's some poor cat, so I shine the light from my phone around. And there is this giant, gray rat looking thing, staring at me with it's mouth open. It had like a million teeth, a hairless tail, and these spooky little pink hands. I have no clue what I'm looking at, and then it hisses again, and starts to scamper towards the dumpster that I'm standing next to."

Yuri is wide eyed, "what did you do?"

"I'm not ashamed to say that I screamed like a girl, ran back to our room, and slammed the door. I'm freaking out, and JJ thinks I've been mugged or something, and is ready to call the police. I tell him what I saw by the dumpster. I'm positive that it's some kind of mutated cat, and he just busts out laughing. Turns out they're pretty harmless, and like to dig through trash, and stuff. Creepy fuckers."

Yuri quickly googles opossums, and turns his phone to show Otabek, "Beka. This is what you were so afraid of?"

Otabek shudders, "Ugh yes..."

"You, were afraid of this, adorable little thing?"

"Adorable? You think it's cute? They carry rabies Yura, and they aren't so cute when you see one of them in the dark."

Yuri smiles at the photo. "What's not to like? Cute ears, cute face, lots of teeth, and they hiss like cats. I kinda want one."

"Why am I not surprised?" Otabek knocks back the shot he's been holding, "ask me another question, just thinking about them freaks me out."

Yuri gives him a second question. "What food do you hate, that a lot of people love?"

Otabek doesn't even need to think about it, "sushi."

Yuri's mouth drops, "you need to branch out Beka. Sushi is amazing, I'd eat it everyday if I could!" Yuri closes his eyes, remembering the feast of sushi he'd had in Japan. "I wish I had some right now," he pauses for a second, remembering their most recent trip to Japan, "hold on, you ate a ton of sushi in Japan!"

Otabek gave him a sheepish look, "I didn't want to be rude. Yuuri and his sister took us to dinner that one night, and it was the only thing on the menu. They had been looking forward to taking us out, and showing us around. So yeah I ate it, and, yeah I kinda gagged the rest of the night, but it made them so happy."

Yuri shook his head, "I'm pretty sure Yuuri would die of guilt, if he ever found out you gagged down a bunch of sushi, just to be nice." Yuri quickly pulls up Yuuri's number, "let's find out!"

Otabek sees his finger hovering over the call button, and launches himself on top of Yuri, trying to snatch the phone away from him. They wrestle over it, until Otabek digs his fingers into Yuri's ribs, tickling him mercilessly until he drops the phone.

"Don't ever tell him I said that Yura. I can't handle making Yuuri upset. He makes the saddest fucking face, and it makes you feel like you've just kicked a puppy, or something."

Yuri laughs, "I won't tell him I swear. My turn."

It takes him a while to find one worthwhile, eventually zeroing in on a good one. "What is the worst thing that somebody has walked in on you doing?"

Yuri groans, "pass."

"No, no, no there's no passing. Answer the question." Otabek grins. If Yuri is too embarrassed to answer, it must be something good.

Yuri covers his face, "Ugh, do I have to?"

"Yep, come on, it's me. How bad could it be?"

"It's pretty bad, and kind of involves you..."

"Well now I have to know."

Yuri covers his face with his hand. "Okay, I was living with grandpa at the time, so this was a long time ago. You and I had just gotten off Skype, and I go in and take a shower before bed." He pauses, squirming slightly, "so, in the shower, I start...doing stuff..." Yuri is turning pinker by the second.

Otabek lifts an eyebrow, his smile growing, "what kind of stuff Yura?"

"You know what kind of stuff Beka, don't make me spell it out."

"I think I know, but I might need you to clarify." Otabek is enjoying this. Yuri embarrassed, and fidgeting is adorable.

"I was, playing with myself, and...I kinda forgot the lock on the bathroom door was broken. Grandpa walks in to get something from the medicine cabinet, and there's me...talking."

"Talking?" Otabek chuckles quietly, and decides to press for more info. "What were you saying Yura?"

Yuri can't keep still, wriggling under Otabek's amused stare.

"I was saying your name, okay!" Yuri snaps. "Grandpa comes in, hears me jacking off, and just turns and leaves. Fuck, I just wanted to slide down the drain. I was so fucking embarrassed! He never said anything about it, but that just made it worse. We couldn't look at each other for days."

Otabek is convulsing with laughter, but then starts to do the math in his head. "So if your Grandpa was still alive, that means it was pretty early on in our friendship. When was this is exactly?"

Yuri curls into a ball, and quickly mumbles out, "third Skype call."

Otabek is stunned. Yuri had never really been clear about when he had started to have feelings for Otabek. Now he knew why he had dodged the question for so long.

"So, you're in the shower, thinking of me, just after three calls?"

Yuri nods his head, his face buried in the cushions. He's waiting for some kind of teasing remark. Instead, Otabek pulls him out of the couch, and hugs him.

"Don't feel bad, I did the same thing after our second call."

Yuri looks up at him, a tentative smile on his reddened face, "really?"

"Yep," he quickly pokes Yuri in the ribs, "but I was more careful, and made sure the door locked so no one walked in."

"Beka, don't remind me..." Yuri whines.

They were about to go on with the game when Yuuri called, inviting them to dinner.

"Beka do you want to go to dinner with Victor and Yuuri?"

Dinner sounded good, he had taken those shots on an empty stomach. He'd need food soon, or he'd pass out.

"Sounds good."

"Sure, that sounds great Yuuri" he looks over at Otabek, "how about sushi?"

Otabek gives him a dirty look. Yuri would pay for that later.

 

Chapter Text

 

The Grand Prix Finals were over at long last. They were in Beijing that year, and the competition was tough. Yuri had won a silver, missing out on gold by a mere point and a half. Naturally, he had fought hard for gold, everyone did at GPF, but it just wasn't meant to be that year. Yuri however, didn't feel that familiar burning pang of jealousy, as he watched a skater from Finland take the top of the podium. Maybe he was growing as person, or maybe it was the thought of a long vacation in his future. Either way, he received his silver medal with a gracious smile on his face, and waved to audience, appreciating their cheers.

Otabek, came in fourth, but wasn't remotely upset by it. Managing to make it to the GPF at all was accomplishment enough that year. He watched with pride as Yuri took his place on the podium.

The banquet was a blur of champagne, photo ops, and dancing. Yuri had even managed to get through his interviews with a smile on his face, while repeating the word 'vacation' over, and over in his head.

At the banquet, after downing a few glasses of champagne to loosen up, Yuri and Otabek danced with one another. Yuri took advantage of Otabek's pliant state, and tried to pull information from him on their upcoming trip. Even with four glasses of champagne running through his system, Otabek managed to stay tight lipped on the subject.

Yuri gripped Otabek's black leather belt, pulling him close. "Are you sure you can't give me a hint? I've been so good about it. Just one little clue? Please baby?"

Yuri was almost purring the words. He felt the shiver that ran down Otabek's back.

Otabek smiled, and slid his hand inside Yuri's black jacket grasping his waist, "oh, you think you've been good huh?" he chuckled, and whispered in Yuri's ear, "you've been anything, but good."

Yuri gave him a quick pout. He hated that he didn't know, but loved trying to coax the information out of him.

"Sorry Yura, no hints, no clues. You'd guess in a second, and where's the fun in that?"

Yuri huffed, but continued to dance, throwing Otabek a sulky look now, and then. Otabek held him close, his hand flat against Yuri's back, "you'll know soon enough Yura, I promise."

Yuuri and Victor were there as well. This would be Yana's big debut. All of their friends were there, and they were dying to show her off. She was dressed in a simple, royal purple dress, tied in the back with a black satin bow, tiny black patent mary-janes, and white tights with ruffles on the rear. Everyone wanted a chance to hold the newest member of the Katsuki-Nikiforov family. She gurgled and smiled at everyone, quickly becoming the darling of the night. Pitchit took dozens of photos of her, and posted every single one of them. He was just about to start another round, when Chris stepped in, and rescued her from Pitchit and his camera flashes.

Yana reached out to grab Chris' wire rimmed glasses, but missed. She had recently become fascinated with eye wear. Yuuri had learned early on to lean his head away quickly, before she snatched them off his face, only to toss them to the floor. Chris clicked his tongue at her, and babbled at her in French, "Qui est la fille la plus belle au monde? Tu es ma cherie." (Who is the most beautiful girl in the world? You are, my sweet. )

She was passed around from friend to friend, but eventually she began to fuss, and the crowd ebbed away to give her space. Victor handed her over to Yuri, who gladly accepted her.

"Hi Yana, don't you look pretty tonight. Have you had enough of all those people? Me too." He had his hair in a long braid, and quickly tossed it behind his back, well out of her reach. Next to glasses, Yuri's hair was her second favorite thing to grab at.

Victor quickly downed the last of his champagne. "Would you mind watching her for a bit Yuro? There are a few people Yuuri and I need to speak to."

"Not a problem," Yuri said, rocking her on his hip. "go do your thing."

Yuri and Otabek gladly took Yana so Victor and Yuuri could network unhindered. Yuri danced with her, making her shriek with joy, as he gently spun her around in his arms. A few other skaters, the ones who only knew Yuri by reputation; watched in shock as the ill mannered Ice Tiger of Russia, danced and swayed with her. Yuri continued, unperturbed by their gawking.

Afterwards, Yuri was pulled away to speak to one of his sponsors, begrudgingly giving her over to Otabek. She settled in his familiar embrace, snuggling into Otabek's shoulder. A slow song had started to play, and he swayed her to the music, quietly singing the words to her in Kazakh.

"Otabek, you're gonna impregnate every female in the room vicariously, if you don't stop." Mila giggled.

She leaned in, and gave Yana a quick kiss on her head, leaving a bright red smudge of lipstick behind. Otabek frowned, and licked his thumb, rubbing the offending mark off her forehead. He stopped after a few swipes, and shook his head, laughing quietly to himself.

Jesus, I'm turning into my mother...

"Sorry Mila, no can do." he looked down at Yana. "Ол қызғаныштан қорықпа." (Don't worry she's just jealous.)

Mila snickered. "Oh lord. Yuri told me you sweet talk her in Kazakh, but I didn't believe him."

Otabek gave her a cocky smirk, "I can't help it if she prefers it to Russian."

"Uh-huh, just watch out. There's half a dozen female skaters here dying to jump you right now."

Otabek rolled his eyes, and kissed Yana's chubby cheek, "too bad I'm already with the prettiest girl here."

Mila groaned at the overload of cute, and left them be. Sara had waved her over to join her on the dance floor.

Yuri was only halfway listening to his sponsors drone on. He was too busy stealing quick glances at Otabek, while trying to hold back a smile.

Otabek's green silk tie was balled up in Yana's pudgy hand, while she gummed the collar of Otabek's navy button down shirt. He had started chatting with Chris; not giving a second thought to the growing wet patch near his neck.

You'll just let her do whatever she wants, won't you Beka? You big pushover. Yuri thought.

Something about Otabek in dress clothes, holding Yana, made Yuri's stomach flip. How could something so innocent, look so dead sexy at the same time? He wasn't sure if he wanted to yank Otabek into the nearest bathroom, or run out and adopt ten babies with him. Yuri's heart fluttered nonetheless, and he lost himself in the moment. He vaguely heard his sponsor clear her throat, and had to ask her to repeat the question.

The banquet had been a fun whirlwind, and was over too soon.

They staggered to their room that night, buzzed from champagne, and exhausted. They both collapsed on the bed, neither of them having the energy to get up and shower just yet. Otabek rolled onto his side to face Yuri, whose eyelids were already beginning to droop.

"So, are you ready for vacation?" He asked, nudging Yuri so he'd stay awake.

"I am, when are we leaving?"

He had no idea when their trip would begin. He assumed they'd leave in a few days. Giving them enough time to re-pack, and maybe decompress for a day, or two.

"Tomorrow." Otabek said, loosening his tie.

Yuri's eyes shot open. "Tomorrow? We're leaving straight from here?"

Otabek nodded, "is that a problem?"

"Fuck yes it's a problem! I don't have anything packed! Shit Beka, you didn't tell me we were going straight from the finals! I don't even know where we're going. Am I supposed to wear a track suit, the entire time?" Yuri was gearing up for a tirade, but Otabek held him in place, shushing him.

"Relax, it's all taken care of. I packed our things a few days ago. Victor and Yuuri brought our stuff with them to Beijing. It's sitting all ready to go in their room."

Yuri went limp, wiping his face with his hand. "Jesus Beka, I can't handle this whole secret vacation thing. Why all the secrecy?"

"Because it's fun. I did tell you, all you had to do is show up. I took care of everything. We leave here tomorrow at 8 am."

Yuri made one last attempt. "To?"

"Barcelona."

Yuri beamed, "we haven't been back there since-."

"Since we first met. I thought it would be nice to see it again."

They had talked about going back for years, but never had the opportunity. What little free time they had, was spent in Almaty, or Japan visiting friends and family. So they waited, hoping the GPF would be located there again, giving them a reason to return. But each year, their hopes were dashed when it was scheduled for a different city. Now, they would be going back, without the coaches, skates, and pressure to win.

This trip was just for them.

Yuri closed his eyes, "that sounds amazing, Beka. And I'm really all packed, and everything?"

Otabek nodded, and started to unbutton Yuri's graphite colored dress shirt. "Yes. Victor is going to give us our luggage tomorrow morning," he opened Yuri's shirt, running a hand over his flesh, "and take our competition bags home with him."

Yuri hummed in delight, "can we go to bed now? The sooner we do, the sooner we can leave."

"Sounds good to me, we've got a long flight tomorrow."

Neither of them got much sleep. Yuri tossed and turned, exhausted, but buzzing with excitement. Otabek laid quietly, turned away from Yuri, trying to keep his brain from overloading.

You can do this Altin. You already know the answer, all you have to do is ask.

The sky was weak, and gray when they woke up. The sun had yet to rise. Not that they would see it, thick dark clouds coated the sky, and threatened to dump more snow on the city. They showered, and got dressed, stomachs growling for breakfast. Otabek brushed his teeth. While Yuri tied his shoes, and went through the room one last time, making sure they had all their things.

"Victor and Yuuri are meeting us downstairs in a few minutes. Are you all ready?"

Yuri nodded, bouncing on the balls of his feet with excitement. "Yes let's go already!"

Am I ready? Otabek thought to himself. He looked at Yuri hastily grabbing up his bags, eager to get going.

Yes.

They went down to the lobby. Victor, Yuuri, were waiting for them, Yana still asleep in her stroller. They ate breakfast in a rush, it had started to snow, which would make the trip to the airport difficult.

Otabek traded their competition bags, for two suitcases. Each packed full of everything the two of them would need for the trip.

"Thanks for taking our stuff back with you." Yuri said, pulling the handle up on his case.

"Not a problem. I hope you guys..." Victor paused, and gave Yuri a rib crushing hug, "have a wonderful time."

Yuri took a step back, rolling his eyes, "we're going on vacation Victor, not joining the Navy. We'll be back in a week."

"I know," he hid a sniffle, "it's just great to see you two going off, and having some fun now that the seasons over. You guys deserve it."

Is he crying? Yuri thought.

He looked over at Yuuri. He had the same bittersweet look on his face. "You guys okay?"

Otabek gave Victor and Yuuri a hard stare. Silently begging them to keep it together for just a few more minutes.

Victor gave a sharp sniff, and straightened. "We're good. Yana had a cold last week. I think we both might have caught it. You guys should get going, before we germ you both up."

Victor and Yuuri watched them climb into a cab, and head to the airport. Yuuri rested his hand in Victor's.

"This is going to be the longest week ever, waiting for them to come back. I wish we had something to do until then." Yuuri said, gently rolling Yana's stroller back, and forth.

"We'll manage Yusha. Just think how Otabek must feel."

Yuri and Otabek slept most of the way to Barcelona. The last few days were catching up to them. They shuffled like zombies as they changed flights in Vienna, just barely making it to their gate. It was late at night when they finally touched down.

They'd left a frozen, snow filled city, and were met with cool, salty air. They shed their heavy coats, the weather wasn't warm, but after Beijing, it felt down right balmy.

They were dead on their feet, and barely mustered up enough strength to drag their bags to an awaiting cab.

"What are we doing tomorrow?" Yuri yawned, and laid his head back, as the cab pulled away.

"Tomorrow we relax. I got us one of the best rooms, at the same hotel we stayed at during the GPF. It has a private balcony, jacuzzi, and a great view of the city. I have a masseuse coming to the room for massages tomorrow morning. Sound good?"

"Soo fucking good." Yuri murmured, "I haven't had a massage in ages. We're both getting one?"

"Yep, it's a couples package. I thought it would be a good way to start our trip."

It was close to two a.m. when the arrived at the hotel. It hadn't changed much over the years. Save for the room they were currently in, which was ten times better than the ones their coaches had booked for them, so many years before.

Yuri was tired, but not tired enough to pass up a dip in the jacuzzi. He stripped, and sank naked into the water, settling in front of a pulsating jet that hit a sore spot in his back perfectly. Otabek joined him. Both too tired to talk, they soaked in silence, listening to the water bubble, and the hum of the jets.

That night, they fell into a warm, coma like sleep. Neither stirring, until they got a call from the front desk the next morning. The masseuses would arrive at their room at eleven.

They showered, and ordered room service. Both picking the richest breakfast they could find. They sat on the balcony, in fluffy hotel bathrobes, eating sugar coated churros dipped in dark, dense hot chocolate. Yuri had never had hot chocolate like this before. He laid his spoon on top of it, and watched, as it slowly sank into the cup like quicksand. It wasn't very sweet, but heavy and rich, more akin to soup than a drink. It coated the twists of sweet dough like paint.

"Can I just get an IV full of this?" Yuri said, wiping the chocolate from his lips, "I can't ever drink hot chocolate from a packet again, Beka. I'm ruined now, forever."

Otabek could only nod, eyes closed in a state of euphoria, mouth full of chocolate coated pastry. He wasn't a fan of sweet, but if they stayed any longer than a week, he could see himself gaining twenty pounds on hot chocolate alone. The lady who had brought up their tray, had told them that it was generally enjoyed as a late night snack. Otabek was already penciling in another cup before bed.

About an hour later, the masseurs came, and quietly set up tables, while playing soft music on a small portable speaker. They closed the drapes, and dimmed the lights, inviting the two men to take their time, and get comfortable.

Yuri was sure he was dead, and this must be heaven. The hot chocolate had made him drowsy, and the masseuse was hard at work on his abused feet. She worked her way up his leg, settling on his glutes. Yuri felt her lay her elbow into the meat of his ass, gently working at the muscles that lay deep beneath his firm, white flesh. He didn't even know that he had tension in his ass, until it gave way. Leaving him soft, and pliant like warm dough. He turned his head, lazily looking over at Otabek. His masseuse was working his bad shoulder, kneading away tender spots that always gave him trouble. He had a blissed out expression on his face, and a bead of drool escaped his mouth. That was all Yuri needed to see, to know Otabek was thinking the same thing.

This had to be heaven, and this was only day one.

An hour later they both laid on the bed, wrapped up once more in their fluffy robes. The scent of lavender lingered around Yuri. While Otabek's skin smelled heavily of peppermint and eucalyptus, which tingled on his loose, warm muscles. Jet lag was beginning to rear it's head. Their listless minds, and limp bodies succumbed to it's affects.

"I...have never been...this relaxed...in my life." Yuri whimpered, his brain barely able to form words.

Otabek nodded, eyes drooping. "Mmm...the way she worked my shoulder. I had to bite my tongue, or I would have groaned out loud."

Yuri laughed softly, "I'd make you groan too, but my limbs don't work right now."

Otabek pulled him close, letting him rest his head in the crook of his arm. "No need. Just relax, we've got all week."

They dozed for the rest of the day, in a state of elysium. Swaddled in soft blankets and thick white robes. They had left the balcony door cracked, letting the cool salty air, and the cries of seagulls drift in. They slept soundly, while the sun crept across the room, slowly warming their bed. An aura of lavender and eucalyptus clung to them, while the taste of bittersweet chocolate lingered on their tongues.

They started to rouse themselves around nine pm, and ordered room service. Otabek made sure to add another hot chocolate to their order.

"Yura, you have to keep me down to just one, or two of these a day." Otabek said, stirring his cup, while the rich cocoa scent filled his nose.

Yuri sat sprawled on the bed, enjoying his meal. At home there was a strict no eating in bed policy, but here, the rules went out the door. He bit into the crusty bread on his plate, not caring about the crumbs that fell onto the sheets. The bread had been rubbed with garlic and olive oil, and topped with crushed tomatoes. It was a simple dish, but it hit the spot. He dabbed at the leftover crumbs on his plate with his finger, sucking the crumbs off.

"We're on vacation Beka," he mumbled, mouth still full, "you can have as many as you want. Besides, I like watching you drink it." He grinned, as Otabek flattened his tongue against the back of his chocolate coated spoon, licking it clean. "Who knows, I might like you soft, and squishy in the off season."

Otabek laughed, "You'll find out if I keep drinking these. This stuff is like a drug. I might have to find a recipe when we get home, although I know it's never going to be this good."

That night, they watched a movie in bed, and made out like teenagers, until sleep captured them once more.

The next day, they emerged from their room. Refreshed, and ready to see the city. Otabek had rented a motorcycle, and weaved in, and out of traffic with precision. They went to the Gothic Quarter, and wandered the narrow streets. Ducking in, and out of small shops, and stuffing themselves with bocadillos, and mushroom empanadas. They loaded up on souvenirs, wondering how they would get it all back without having to buy another suitcase.

They bought a bottle of Spanish Cava for Victor. A box of turrón for Yuuri, knowing his penchant for sweets, and a tiny pair of green and pink espardenyes for Yana. Otabek purchased a few bottles of craft beer, from a local brewer. While Yuri splurged on a pair handmade leather shoes, and a small replica of Gaudi's Lizard.

"I'm glad I brought my big backpack, otherwise I'm not sure we'd be able to get everything back to the hotel."

Yuri filled, and emptied his pack several times before he got most of it to fit inside. Otabek carried the beer and Cava, not trusting Yuri's back pack to keep it safe.

It took them awhile to find their way out of the narrow, twisting streets, and back to the bike. But neither complained, they couldn't think of a more beautiful place to get lost. They strolled past cafes, and charming apartments. Their balconies overflowing with plant life, and drying laundry. They passed crowded restaurants, their doors wide open, so the passionate sounds of flamenco music wafted into the streets. Yuri peeked into one of the restaurants, mesmerized, as a beautiful woman, in a jet black dress tapped, and twirled to the music. It made Yuri want to dance too, his feet subtly mimicking her steps. Maybe he could convince Lilia to let him do a flamenco next year, it was something he had never done, but he was itching to try. The music had a dark, resonating passion that made Yuri's heart throb.

Otabek watched him, knowing full well Yuri would be obsessed with all things flamenco for the next few months. He got that way when he discovered a new dance style he liked. Otabek was suddenly grateful that most of their apartment was carpeted.

The evening was spent in the jacuzzi, drinking the beer Otabek had bought. Yuri cupped the bubbling water, and let it pour out of his hands.

"Beka, can we just live here? It's sunny, and the people are so nice. Cold here, is like Spring in Russia. I don't want to go back home, and deal with snow, and slush, and clouds."

"That would be nice, but I like our home." He kissed Yuri's temple, "besides, if we lived here, we wouldn't appreciate it as much. We can always come back."

The next day was spent at the Tibidabo Amusement Park. Yuri loved a good roller coaster, and Otabek joined in, even though he felt queasy long after they got off. After dry heaving into a nearby trashcan, Yuri insisted they stick to the tamer rides. Otabek protested, not wanting Yuri to miss out.

"I'm fine Yura. I can keep it together long enough to ride a few rides." Otabek rubbed his stomach, his face tinged green.

"Forget it Beka. I'm not going to enjoy any of the rides if I know you're fighting to keep your lunch down. That's not any fun for either of us."

After that, they stuck to the slower rides, and watched the performers that wandered the pathways. That evening, they visited the little cafe they had chatted in the first night they had met at GPF.

"It really hasn't changed has it." Otabek said, grabbing a seat near the large windows that faced the streets.

Yuri shook his head, "I don't know. I never really noticed the cafe much. I was too busy talking to you."

Otabek sipped his drink. "I doubt I was that interesting. I was pretty nervous that night."

"You? Think how I felt. All of a sudden this guy on a bike whisks me away, and wants to be my friend. I had no idea how to be with a friend. There I was, ranting and complaining like a little bitch, and you never said a word. I was just waiting for you to stand up, and say, 'this was a big mistake', and leave."

Otabek stared at him, setting his drink down. "Yura, the only reason I was so quiet, was because I still couldn't believe that you, Yuri Plistesky, had actually agreed to be friends with me." he paused grinning, "I mean, you did call me an asshole earlier that night."

Yuri laughed, "I did, didn't I? Neither one of us were very good in the beginning. Maybe that's why it all worked out so well. We're just two morons that don't know how to socialize very well."

"I'm glad it worked." Otabek said, touching Yuri's hand.

"Me too."

"Tomorrow, we should go to Park Guell, and find that spot we talked. I'd like to see it again. We could go watch the sunset."

"I'd like that." Yuri said sipping his tea.

The next evening, after they had seen every tourist spot they could think of, they climbed the familiar steps. Taking a moment to take photos by Gaudi's Lizard. They reached the top of the Doric Temple just before sunset. The sky already turning from blue, to rosy peach. It was like time had stopped since the last time they had visited. Even the sunset looked the same.

Otabek stood behind Yuri, wrapping his arms around him.

He whispered into Yuri's ear, sending a chill down his back. "You still have them you know."

"Hmm?" Yuri leaned his head back, resting it on Otabek's shoulder.

"The eyes of a soldier."

Yuri laughed softly, "me, a soldier."

Otabek kissed his cheek, "friends?"

Yuri smiled, "friends."

On their way home, instead of going straight to the hotel, Otabek turned down several side streets. Yuri could hear him muttering to himself, while looking for familiar landmarks.

They stopped at a light, Yuri leaned in so Otabek could hear him.

"Are we lost Beka?"

"No, I'm looking for something. I know it's here near the hotel. I just haven't found the right street yet."

After a few hasty U turns, Otabek drove them down a dark alley way, pulling up near a dingy doorway.

"Well, there it is."

It took a few minutes for it to dawn on Yuri, "is this?"

"Yep, this is where I picked you up that night."

They got off the bike, and pulled off their helmets. Yuri stood in the doorway, remembering that fateful encounter. He leaned against the wall, hands shoved in his pockets. His hands were ice cold, the weather had turned chilly once the sun had gone down.

"How did you manage to find me? I always wondered."

Otabek shrugged, "pure luck. I was going to ask you to dinner that night, but then you called me an asshole, and I lost my nerve."

Yuri hunched his shoulders, and kicked the gravel that had collected in the alley, "sorry Beka. I was a dick back then."

Otabek pulled Yuri's hands out of his pockets, and rubbed them between his own, until they warmed up.

"That night, I went to dinner alone instead. I wanted to be friends with you, but after what happened in the lobby, I had my doubts. I almost had myself convinced that it wasn't meant to be. That's when I saw you in the alley, hiding from your fans."

Yuri knit his brows, "so, if you hadn't found me, you wouldn't have tried again to be my friend?"

Otabek gave him a sly grin, "I said, I 'almost' had myself convinced. My pride was a little bruised that night, but I would have tried again at some point that weekend. I didn't qualify for the GPF, and ride my bike from Almaty, to Barcelona to give up after the first try."

Yuri wrapped his arms around him. Their meeting really had been all luck, and happenstance. There were so many ways it could have gone wrong. If Yuri had turned down a different alley, or not gone out at all; things might've been different. But Otabek had managed to hit a sweet spot that night, stumbling upon Yuri, just when he needed a friend the most. Yuri was in a vulnerable state, stressed out, and hiding from his rabid fans. He had needed help, someone to lean on, and suddenly Otabek was there, like magic.

If Otabek had made another attempt to befriend him during the actual competition, or worse yet, at the banquet. Yuri was pretty sure he would have called him an asshole again, and put up his walls, never knowing what he had missed out on. It was because of that one vulnerable moment in the alley, that he was able to accept Otabek's offer of friendship.

All this threw Yuri for a loop. Everything had happened in just the right way, the pieces fitting together perfectly like, a puzzle. One single event out of place, and it all could have blown up in their faces, without it ever having started.

That night was spent in bed. Yuri found himself clinging to Otabek more than usual, wanting to satisfy him in every conceivable way. He had been terribly shaken by how tenuous it had all been.

He had lashed out, and called Otabek an asshole. Yet fate deemed him worthy of a second chance at friendship. He felt the need to apologize to Otabek, for the way he had treated him that night in the lobby. He was terrible with words, but could write poetry with his body. He made it up to Otabek the only way he knew how.

Otabek wasn't used to Yuri being such a giving lover. Not that he was selfish, but he was more tender that night. He was soft with his kisses, and less vocal than normal. Only managing to whisper 'Beka' a few breathy times, but it was said with such heartfelt conviction, it made Otabek's heart swell.

Otabek had always known how close they had come to not being friends, but it had all been news to Yuri. Otabek let Yuri love him in any way he saw fit that night, relishing the moment.

After, Yuri curled up next to him, "tomorrow is our last day." he frowned, "this week's gone by way too fast."

Otabek brushed a sweaty lock of hair from Yuri's eyes, "we can always come back, Yura. Whenever you want."

Their last day was spent on the beach. It was too cold to get in the water, but the sun was warm, and the sky clear. So they lounged on the sand. Soaking up every ounce of sunshine they could, before they had to return to the cold, Russian winter they'd left behind.

They walked along the beach, watching seagulls dip into the water.

During their stay, Yuri had turned pink in the sun, and a smattering of pale freckles had bloomed on his nose. Normally, he prided himself on his creamy skin. But at that moment, he was jealous of Otabek's honey colored hue, now turned bronze from the sun. There was only a hint of dusky pink on his cheeks, and not a single freckle dotted his face.

"It's not often I get a sunburn in December. " Yuri pulled the hem of his shirt up. Comparing his pink forearm, to the white skin of his stomach.

"You'll be all tan for Christmas." Otabek teased, admiring the dusting of freckles on Yuri's face. He only had a short while to enjoy them. They would soon fade once they were back home.

They ate dinner near the beach, and then went back to the hotel for their last night. They sat on their balcony, watching the city darken, and the street lights slowly flicker on one, by one.

"This was the best vacation I've ever had Beka. I think after the year we've had, we deserved it." Yuri let out a deep sigh, "so much stuff happened this year. The accident, Yana, you winning Rostelecom."

"Hey, you took second at the Grand Prix! Don't forget that."

Yuri gave a weak laugh,"I know, but honestly...the medals don't mean as much as they used to. I like to practice, and train, and compete, but it's different as I get older. There are other things that are more important to me now."

Otabek laced his hands with Yuri's. "Like?"

"You, family, friends. Winning is great, but it doesn't make me as happy as being with you, eating dinner with Victor and Yuuri, or playing with Yana. Don't get me wrong. I still want to win, and I still like kicking everyone's ass at competitions. But I don't have that desperate need to prove myself like I used to."

Otabek hummed, "I know how you feel. After so many competitions, and plane rides, and interviews it all starts to blur together. After awhile, you just want something more."

Yuri nodded silently in agreement.

Something more... Otabek thought to himself.

They had an early flight the next day. They treated themselves to one last breakfast of hot chocolate, and checked out. Yuri looked gloomy as they put their luggage into the trunk of the cab. He got depressed after vacations, and it always took him a few days to readjust to the real world. The fun was over, and all he could see on the horizon, was months of slogging through dirty snow, and hours of off season training.

Otabek knew how sulky he got. He reached out and brushed his cheek.

"You okay Yura?"

He shrugged, "there's nothing to look forward to, now that vacation is over."

Otabek smiled, "it'll be okay. There will be other things to look forward to. Christmas is only a few weeks away."

Christmas would be fun. Victor would have a party for his birthday. And Yuri had a long list of things he wanted to buy Yana for Christmas. After that though, he'd be right back where was now, with nothing to look forward to for months. It only made him feel more depressed.

The five hour flight took ages. Otabek dozed, while Yuri quietly sulked in his seat. Lilia would be badgering him the minute Christmas was over, wanting to start planning his new program.

Normally, he was ready to start training after the holidays, but in his current state of mopiness, it was the last thing he wanted to do. He wanted to go back to Barcelona, where it was just the two of them, and the sun always shined.

It was mid afternoon when they landed. They picked up their luggage, and hailed a cab. Yuri started to give the driver their address, but Otabek stopped him, and handed the driver a slip of paper.

"Drive us here please."

Yuri knit his brows, "aren't we going home?"

"Not just yet."

What could there be in St. Petersbourg that they needed to see right now?

"Where are we going?" Yuri groaned. The gray Russian sky, and frosty air had put him in a dark mood. He just wanted to go home, shower, and mope in bed with Malysh. Yuri had the whole weekend to sulk, and get it out of his system.

Otabek ran a hand over Yuri's forehead, petting him like a cat, "you'll see."

Yuri huffed, and watched the streets pass by, while Otabek nervously tapped his foot. His heart was already pounding, and they were no where near their destination yet.

Twenty minutes later, the car pulled up to an old building. It looked familiar, but Yuri couldn't place it.

Otabek paid the driver, and asked him to wait. He held the door open for Yuri, waiting for him to slide out of the car.

Yuri groused, "Beka, I'm cold, and I'm tired. Can't you just tell me where we are?"

Otabek held out his hand, "come see."

The double doors to building were unlocked, but the place was deserted. It looked like it had been a gym, or maybe a school at some point, but it was obvious it hadn't been in use for years. Every surface had a thin film of dust on it, and a few of the windows had been cracked.

Otabek led him down a dimly lit hall, to a room at the end. He opened it, and ushered Yuri inside.

It had been a ballet studio, Yuri knew that much. Bars ran along the walls in front of floor, to ceiling windows. It all looked familiar, but Yuri had been in a lot of dance studios over the years. After awhile they all looked the same to him. Yuri went up to the bar, running his hand down the smooth wood. Out of habit, his feet slid into first position. Otabek watched as Yuri did a few lazy plies at the bar, and then turn to face the window. A hazy memory started to come into focus.

Finally, it all clicked in his head.

"I remember this place." Yuri said leaning his stomach against the bar, staring out the window. "This was where Yakov did that summer camp when we were younger. Why did you-" Yuri turned to face Otabek, about to finish his sentence, but stopped short.

Otabek was down on one knee, something shiny glimmered in his hand.

"Beka?"

Yuri's brain fizzled out, unable to comprehend what was happening. Heat pooled in his belly, as a shaky hand went to cover his mouth.

"Yuri, I don't know if you've figured it out yet, but... the cafe, the park, the alley, the hotel. It a leads back to this. The place where we first met. I still remember it so clearly. You were standing by the bar, just like you are now, looking so perfect, and beautiful. While I was struggling to keep up. I brought you here, because, this is our beginning. I wanted this to be where I asked you..." Otabek's voice faltered, trying to find the words.

Yuri's heart was pounding in his ears, desperately wanting to hear the next few words.

Otabek held out a thin gold ring, and took a deep breath.

"Yuri Plisetsky, will you marry me?"

Yuri was silent for moment, trying to hold a flood of tears at bay. He held out a trembling hand.

"Yes." he choked out, the lump in his throat making it difficult to speak.

Otabek stood up, and shakily slid the ring on his finger. Yuri wrapped his arms around him, and let out the sob he had been holding back.

"Yes, yes, yes..." he repeated, unable to stop. He was laughing, and crying all at once, hardly believing what had just taken place. "I can't believe you want to marry me." he murmured into Otabek's neck.

"Of course I do Yura." he cupped the back of Yuri's head, pressing him close, "remember what I said? You're it for me. I want to wake up next to you, and come home to you. Take care of you when your sick, and make you happy when you're sad. I want to fight with you over closet space, and play silly games with you when you're bored. I want to grow old with you."

Yuri's heart was near bursting, "I-I want all that too, Beka. With you."

Otabek tipped up Yuri's chin and kissed him.

"You're shaking Yura." Otabek said, breaking the kiss. He squeezed his hands, trying to stop the trembling. Yuri felt the hard press of gold between his fingers, loving the sensation.

"You are too Beka." he laughed.

They embraced again, both trying to keep the other from unraveling at the seams. After a few quiet moments Otabek stepped back.

"See?" Otabek said, admiring the ring on his finger. It fit perfectly.

"See what?" Yuri asked, his head still reeling.

"I told you, you'd have more to look forward to."

Yuri smiled, "we both do now."

They walked back to the cab in a daze. They slide inside, and gave the cab driver their address. Yuri rested his head on Otabek's shoulder, admiring his ring.

Yuri sighed happily. "It's perfect Beka. You know, I always thought I'd want something big and flashy, but now that I have this? It's all I've ever wanted."

"Take a look under the band." Otabek said, unable to tear his eyes away from Yuri's hand.

Yuri slid the ring off, and saw the two tiny words etched in delicate script.

"My Yura," his lip quivered, and he buried his face in Otabek's leather jacket. "Beka, do you want me to cry like an ass the whole way home?"

Otabek ran his hand over Yuri's hair, "I might."

Once home, they set their bags down, and walked the few blocks to Victor and Yuuri's apartment. They couldn't wait to tell them the news. Yuri grilled him on the way, wanting to know everything.

"So how long have Yuuri and Victor been in on it?" Yuri asked. He knew they had be apart of it. The stupid looks they had on their faces before they left Beijing made total sense to Yuri now.

"Longer than I anticipated. Victor found the ring in my sock drawer that night you were cleaning out the closet. I didn't tell them officially until Rostelecom."

"Victor kept it a secret all that time?" Yuri said in shock. "I'm surprised, he can't keep a secret to save his life."

"Apparently he can when it's important. Yuuri did a good job keeping him in line though."

"How did you manage to get into the ballet studio? It looked like it was deserted."

"It had been closed for a few years, but Yakov pulled a few strings, and had it opened for me. It helped that Lilia is good friends with the owner."

Yuri grinned, even Yakov and Lilia had helped. He always thought the two of them were secretly big, romantic saps. This just proved it.

Yuri looked down at his ring, watching it glimmer in the weak winter sun.

"When did you get it?" Yuri wanted to brand every detail into his memory.

"Two weeks after the accident. I had been thinking about it for awhile, but after that happened. I didn't want to wait anymore. So I talked to my parents, told them what I wanted to do, and they sent the ring to me."

Yuri stopped in his tracks. "Wait, you didn't buy it?"

Otabek turned bashful, unable to make eye contact. He took Yuri's hand, fiddling with the delicate gold band.

"Ok so, you might think it's weird but, it was my grandmother's wedding ring," his thumb traced the band on Yuri's finger. "That's why it's so small and thin. She was a lot like you. She was loud, and determined, and never backed down from a challenge. No one told her what to do, or how to live. You would have loved her. I originally wanted to buy a ring, but Анам wouldn't listen. It was her mother's ring, and she insisted I give it to you."

Yuri's cheeks turned crimson. It sounded like something his mother would do. Yuri adored Otabek's mother Sagida, and she had loved him from the start. Instantly smitten with his blond hair, and creamy skin. She called him her, 'Qar Bala' (Snow Child). Yuri wanted to cry the first time he had heard it, (after Otabek had translated it of course). No one had called him anything so endearing, save for his grandfather. No matter how big he got, he had always been little Yurotchka, to Nikolai.

Sagida had been his biggest advocate, especially in the beginning. A few of Otabek's elderly family members had disapproved of their relationship. It was bad enough Otabek; Sagida's only son, was dating a man, but he wasn't even Kazakh. Otabek bore it in stoic silence, knowing that not everyone was going to accept them. But Sagida lashed out at her elders, like a mother bear defending her cubs. She refused to have them in her home, or even speak to them, until they apologized, and accepted her son's relationship.

Yuri felt honored to wear her mothers ring.

"I think I love it even more Beka. I'll have to thank Sagida the next time we Skype with her."

Otabek laughed, "she won't let you call her Sagida anymore, Yura. You know she'll make you to call her Анам now. She won't accept anything less."

Yuri felt a flush of warmth, "I'd like that, Beka."

And just like that, Yuri had added a fiance, and a mother to his small, but growing family.

They were only able to knock once on Victor and Yuuri's door, before they were enveloped in arms, and yanked into the room.

"Finally!" Victor laughed, "I've been waiting by the door like a dog for the past three hours."

Yuuri came in with Yana, "it's true, he's been a wreck since this morning. So, let's see it!"

Yuri held his hand out to show them the ring.

Yuri's mouth was going a mile a minute. Telling them all about the vacation, and the dance studio, and the story behind his ring. Victor, and the Yuri's talked up a storm, every event of the past week was discussed in detail. Otabek sat, silently watching Yuri tell them how wonderful it all been. His chest filled with pride when he looked at the sheer joy on Yuri's face.

They stayed for dinner. Yuuri knew they'd be hungry, and had made extra. They talked about the ideal time for a wedding. Victor insisted Spring was best, but Yuri was dead set on having it in the Fall. Claiming his preference for dark colors would look better then. The two started a debate, each one listing reasons why their preferred season was best.
Yuuri, tugged on Otabek's sleeve.

"You know, you'll have no say in any of this," he said under his breath. "I can already tell Yuri's going to be just like Victor, and take over everything."

Otabek stifled a laugh, "I don't mind, whatever makes Yura happy. We could get married in our kitchen, and I'd be happy."

"No such luck I'm afraid. If you ever need a Xanax, I still have a supply from when we got married. You can do what you want with it, but I suggest giving it to Yurio, instead of taking it yourself. Sometimes, it was the only way I'd get Victor to sleep at night."

The debate had suddenly turned heated. Yuri stomped his foot, and told Victor he could shove his prissy Spring wedding up his ass.

Otabek chuckled, "I might have to take you up on that, Yuuri."

Yuri and Otabek were fighting back yawns, after dinner. The excitement of the day, and jet lag taking it's toll. Yuri and Victor had called a truce, saving the debate for another day. Victor offered to drive them home, but they passed, preferring to walk home together.

Yuuri and Victor shed a few tears together after they left, "I didn't think that was ever going to happen." Yuuri sighed, relieved that the secret keeping was over.

"I guess we have a wedding to help plan now, don't we Yusha?"

"We? I hardly had any input on our wedding!"

That night, Otabek found Yuri curled up in bed, holding his hand up, admiring his ring.

"You like it?" he asked sliding in next to him.

"I love it."

"Do you want a photo to post?"

Yuri shook his head. "Not yet. I want this to be just between us, and our family for awhile. We'll tell the rest of the world another day."

Otabek agreed. It wasn't anyone's business right now. The media, and the fans would have their chance, but not just yet.

"We'll call my parents tomorrow morning. For now, I just want to sleep." Otabek yawned.

Yuri leaned over and kissed him, "good night Beka. I love you."

"I love you too Yura."

Chapter Text

"Yuri over here!" Mila waved to him as he entered the busy coffee shop. They hadn't seen each other for weeks. Well, they have seen one another, at competitions, and the rink, but there had been no time for conversation. They both found it hard to keep their regular dates during the season.

She knew he had been on vacation with Otabek, but since coming home, he'd been oddly silent. No texts, no phone calls, and he'd dropped off social media completely, since Beijing. His last picture was him and Otabek, with Yuri's silver medal. Mila and Yuri had competed in Beijing together, but during the rest of the season, they had been at different competitions.

They were both in desperate need to catch up.

Yuri waved to her, and weaved his way through the crowd. The place is packed, but on Saturday morning it's not surprising. Yuri dropped his phone, and scarf on the table. His hands buried in his pockets.

"Talk in a minute Baba," he slapped a quick kiss on her cheek, "I need coffee, or I'm gonna pass out."

"Go, but hurry up!" she says, waving him towards the line.

Yuri ordered a huge vanilla latte and a bagel, and plopped back down in front of Mila. He was glad that she was able to snag their favorite table. They liked the corner seat, near the window that overlooked the street. It was the best seat in the house for people watching. They could spend all day making fun of the people that went by, but people watching would have to wait. Today they needed a proper gab session.

"Bout time you called me Yuri. I haven't seen you since Beijing, and even before that, I barely heard from you."

Yuri smiles, "Sorry Mila, I've been...busy." He nervously turned the ring on his hand, still buried inside his pocket.

"Doing what? What's more important than me?"

Yuri decides to be smooth about this. He took his right hand out, and grabbed his coffee cup, taking a long sip.

Mila is about to bite into her bagel, when she notices the flash of gold on his finger. Her bagel lands with a splat, cream cheese side down, on her napkin.

"Yuri Plisetsky. What is that on your finger?"

"Oh, this?"

Yuri tried to play it cool, but it didn't last long. He bounced in his seat excitedly. When it came to talking about his engagement, his cool factor dropped to zero, and he turned into ...well, Victor. Yuri now understood why Victor was, the way he was, when he got engaged. Yuri tried to rail against it, but it was a losing battle.

He held his hand out, and Mila grabbed it, yanking it across the table.

"I'm engaged." he laughs, his face beaming.

"YURI!" Mila stood up squealing, and crushed him in a tangled hug, not even bothering to let him stand up first.

Yuri's face is squished awkwardly into Mila's breasts. While her purple mohair sweater is soft, and he enjoys her perfume, he's slowly being suffocated.

"Can't...breath...Baba...tits." he mumbled, tapping her arm.

Mila let him go, and he gasps for air.

"Sorry Yuri, I couldn't help myself." She sat back down, her mind racing. "Engaged? I don't believe it! When did it happen? Why didn't you call me? Why wasn't I informed?" Her voice is getting strained, as she slowly runs out of air. She sucks in a deep breath, "fuck Yuri, tell me everything!"

Yuri smoothed his hair out, and fished a strand of mohair out of his mouth. Mila snatches his hand again, for a closer inspection.

"Barcelona, well not Barcelona exactly." Yuri sips his coffee, "you know how Otabek wanted to go on vacation after the finals? Well, he planned this whole trip to Barcelona. We stayed at the same hotel we were at for finals that year we met, but in a much better room. We went back to all the places we visited, the first time we were there, and...shit Mila, it was amazing!"

Mila recovered her bagel, and took a bite. "I swear, Otabek is just...too perfect for words sometimes. Does he ever do anything wrong?"

Yuri swallowed his coffee, "yeah, he never rinses the sink out after he shaves, loads the dishwasher wrong, and leaves all the lights on."

Mila laughs, "that's hardly anything to complain about. Tell me more."

Yuri had been waiting all week to tell Mila about his engagement. They still hadn't made it official on social media yet. They wanted all their friends and family to know first. Yakov, and Lilia were pleased, but didn't press him for the story, so he didn't share it. Which had been a bit disappointing, he never got tired of telling it. With Mila however, he was free to be silly and gush over every detail with her.

"So, I had no idea any of this was going to happen. I just thought we were going on vacation. Apparently, he got the ring after the accident. It was his grandmothers ring. Which he thought was weird, but I love it. Sagid- I mean, Анам," he corrects himself. "wanted Beka to give it to me."

Otabek had presumed correctly. They had Skyped with his family, the morning after the engagement. The first thing Sagida did was make Yuri promise to call her Анам from now on. Otabek's father on the other hand, gave him a stoic smile (that was a dead match for his sons), and told him that he could keep calling him Alibek. Yuri was relieved, it was one thing to call Sagida Анам, but he felt funny calling Otabek's dad Akem. They weren't all that close yet, but there was a mutual respect.

"Анам." Mila giggles, "listen to you being all squishy with Otabek's mom."

"Hey, Otabek's mom is fantastic. You need to meet her when she comes for a visit in the Spring. The woman is amazing, her cooking is sooo good! I mean it's not as good as Grandpa's, but it's up there. Last time I was in Almaty, I could barely zip my pants up. She always wants to fatten me up. Oh, and the way she bosses Otabek around is hysterical! She could tell him to go play in traffic, and he'd do it without argument. He's such a momma's boy, but I guess if I had her for a mom, I would be too. Honestly Mila, you'll love her."

Yuri is suddenly aware that he's babbling, but Mila doesn't seem to mind. She's never heard him talk so much, while using so few curse words. The smile on his face getting bigger, and bigger as he continues. She can't remember a time when he's looked this happy, save for when he and Otabek had moved in together.

"Yuri, take a breath, we've got all morning to talk." She teased.

Yuri reels himself in, and sighs. "So, we had an awesome time in Barcelona. Massages, food, naps, shopping, the beach, it was great. But when it's all over, and we're getting ready to leave, I'm all depressed. You know how I get after vacation.

"You mean how you turn into a whiny bitch? Yeah, I'm familiar."

Yuri stuck his tongue out. They had taken a trip together years ago. Just a weekend road trip to the beach. The trip had been great, until it was time to go home. Yuri had sulked, the whole way home, and refused to take his turn driving. He was such a brat that even Mila, who loved his brattiness, had contemplated leaving him at a rest stop.

"Anyway," he snaps, "we're in the taxi to go home from the airport, and Otabek hands the driver a slip of paper, and tells him to drive us to the address."

Mila has abandoned her bagel and coffee, sitting in rapt silence while Yuri continues his story.

"Beka takes me to this building, and I know I've seen it before, but I can't remember where. Turns out it was the studio Yakov held that Summer camp, where him and I first met and..." Yuri trails off, remembering Otabek down on one knee, "he proposed."

Mila sits back, sighing at how romantic it all sounds.

"That sounds like something out of a god damn movie, Yuri."

"I know right? I was so shocked, I could barely say yes."

Mila stirred her coffee, thinking it all over.

"So I guess Victor and Yuuri know?"

"Oh, I forgot that part." Yuri revs up for another story, "Victor found the ring in Beka's sock drawer, that night we were cleaning my closet out."

"You're shitting me?"

"No, he told Yuuri that night, but other than him, Victor kept it a secret the entire time."

"I can't believe it, he can't keep a secret to save his life!"

"I know, Yuuri must have had a hell of time keeping him quiet. Otabek told them his intentions at Rostelecom. After what happened, Beka wanted to-"

Yuri snapped his mouth shut.

Oh shit.

He hadn't meant to let that slip. Rostelecom was still a tender subject for him. He and Otabek were better than ever, but it still wasn't something he wanted to dredge up. Anytime he thought about it, it just made him crazy. When he was in the shower, he'd gotten into habit of going over all the things he should have said to Galina, instead of running away. He kicked himself everyday for not confronting her.

Mila knit her brows, "wait, what happened at Rostelecom?"

Yuri didn't answer, he picked at the sleeve of his jacket, hoping that she would just leave it be. Mila touched his hand, and squeezed.

"Yuri honey, what happened? Spill it." Mila would badger him until he told her, there was no way out of it. She could tell it wasn't something good by the way he refused to make eye contact.

Yuri squirmed in his seat. Maybe it would be better if more people knew. Their rink mates still talked about what a shame it was, that Galina had left the team.

Yuri looked out the window, and let out a frustrated sigh. His breath fogged the window, and he nervously drew a picture of a cat with his finger, stalling.

Mila stared him down.

Finally Yuri relented.

"You remember that girl? Galina?"

"Yeaahhh." she says slowly.

"She had a crush on Otabek."

Mila smiles, "ppfft, tell me something I don't know. She glommed on to me when she found out I was friends with him. She wouldn't leave me alone, always asking me questions about him." She narrowed her eyes. "What did she do, Yuri?"

"Well, she kinda...kissed Beka after the competition."

"THAT FUCKING BITCH!" Mila shot out of her chair, and slammed her hand on the table, making their coffees slosh.

The entire cafe went deathly silent, and all eyes are on them. Yuri slumped into his chair, and covered his face with his hands. Mila isn't bothered, she's too busy wanting to find Galina, so she can kick her teeth in.

"Pipe down Baba, I don't need the whole cafe to know my business." he hissed.

She sat back down, not giving the crowd a second thought. "She kissed him? What the fuck? Why didn't you tell me?"

"It really messed me up Mila. And you weren't at Rostelecom, or I probably would have. I'd like to just forget the whole thing ever happened."

The din of the cafe erupted once more, everyone turning back to their coffees. Yuri sat back up, brushing his hair out of his face. Mila is on the edge of her seat, waiting for another story.

"Yuri you can't leave it at that. Tell me, I want to know."

"Okay," he huffed, "she kissed him, and told him she loved him, or some shit. I guess she thought he'd ditch me, and go out with her. Bitch even called him Beka, like she knew him or something." Yuri muttered, his voice full of contempt.

Mila made a face. "Did Otabek tell you all this?"

Yuri shook his head. "No...I sort of, walked in while she was kissing him."

"Oh Yuri...that fucking sucks." she groaned.

"I know, it was awful. I was so mad I threw my phone at them. She was all smug about it too. Until Beka ripped her a new one."

Mila looked pleased. "Good for him. Hmm, I guess that's why she left the team then?"

"Yup."

"Good riddance. What a cunt. I know that isn't the greatest word, but if the shoe fits."

Mila is seething. It was probably better that she hadn't known until now, or she would've been arrested for murder. She, like Victor and Yuuri, felt the need to protect Yuri at all costs. Yuri was the proverbial baby of the family, and no one fucked with him without consequences.

"Oh, I'm telling everyone at the rink." she spits out.

"Baba, don't do that." Yuri pleaded. He wanted to forget it all. If everyone at the rink knew, he'd never hear the end of it.

"Oh come on. She hurt you, Yuri! No one does that on my watch. What good am I as a friend, if I don't slag her off to everyone I know?"

He was so glad to have her in his corner. Victor and Yuuri knew that there had been some sort of fight between them at Rostelecom, but didn't know the details. If they had known what really happened, they would've wanted to hash it out with him, and he did not want to go through that. Mila on the other hand, didn't want to talk, she wanted to take action, which was something Yuri could get behind.

She did have a point though. It would be so satisfying to tell everyone about Galina's true nature.

Not everyone at the rink was a fan of Yuri, but they all respected Otabek. To hear that Galina had tried to sabotage his relationship with Yuri, would not go over well. It would finally put an end to everyone lamenting over her leaving.

An evil grin spread over Yuri's face. "Okay you tell people, but maybe not everyone. Just her friends."

"You got it." Mila says swallowing the last of her bagel. "I take it you, and Otabek talked it out?"

"There really wasn't a need to talk about it. He made his feelings for me pretty clear to her. You should have seen him Mila! He actually yelled at her, and made her cry!"

Mila let's out a low whistle. "Otabek? Our quiet, little Otabek made her cry? Shit, I wish I had been a fly on the wall to see that. I guess you guys are okay then? I mean, you're engaged."

"We talked, and I know he had no part in it. We're good now."

Mila glances down at his ring, "you're really lucky Yuri. Not everyone finds their Otabek."

"Tell me about it. There are times, where I just sit, and stare at my ring. Wondering if it's some big mistake. Me, Mila. He wants me. For like, forever, until we're old. It's so hard to wrap my head around. He's so great and I'm just-"

"Yuri shut your mouth. You're just as amazing as he is. You're talented, smart, funny, and you have a butt that won't quit." she teases him, but her voice turns serious. "You're the best Yuri. Otabek is lucky to have you too. You guys compliment one another. Besides, I don't think anyone would be able to deal with either of you, without killing you. "

"What's that supposed to mean?" His nose wrinkles, "Beka is the best, he could have anyone-"

Mila holds up a hand, "that's not what I meant Yuri. I mean you two are made for each other. You rile him up, and he calms you down. You're loud and brash, and he's quiet and thoughtful. And you both can be total assholes when you want to be. I'm saying you balance each other out. I can't think of anyone better suited for you, than him."

Yuri softens, "damn Mila," he sniffs, and grabs for a napkin, "I'm fucking emotional enough lately, without you going all mushy on me. Shut up."

The engagement had turned him into a softhearted moron. Anything even remotely romantic, put a lump in his throat, and made his eyes water. What's worse, is that he had no control over it. Victor told him it was something he liked to call, 'engagement hormones'.

Yuri scoffed, and pretended to gag. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard Victor. First off I'm a guy, secondly there's no such thing."

But after what happened the night before, he thought maybe there was some truth to it.

Otabek had come home from the club, only to find Yuri sobbing while watching Deadpool. Wilson had left Vanessa, so she wouldn't have to watch him die. That was all it took to open the floodgates. Otabek just backed out of the room, and left Yuri be. Confused as to why that was a reason to cry. Yuri was beyond mortified.

"So when do you want to get married?"

"Fall, definitely." Yuri sniffed, thankful for the change of subject. "Victor won't leave me alone about a Spring wedding, but he's not going to win that one."

"Oh god, he's trying to take over isn't he?"

"I wouldn't mind him taking over on some things. Neither one of us know where to start. We don't even know if we want a big wedding, or a private one. Beka's family is gigantic, and they all want to come. But fuck, I don't know anything about halls, and food, and stuff. Not to mention, finding a place for them to stay while they're here. Having Victor figure it all out would be easier, but Beka says it's something we have to do ourselves."

"Well, did you ever consider having the wedding in Almaty?"

Yuri sets his coffee down, and thinks about it. "No, I haven't, but now that you mention it, it would be easier. I mean, I don't have much family. Just you and Victor and Yuuri."

"And Yakov and Lilia, and Yuuri's family."

"Okay yeah, but other than you guys I don't have anyone. Beka's family is so damn big, and a lot of them are old. All of Otabek's friends are there too, and they all want to be groomsmen, or whatever. Plus, it would make Sagid-"

"Aham" Mila interrupts.

Yuri laughs, " yeah, it would make her happy to have the wedding there. Maybe Almaty is the answer. Good idea Baba."

"I aim to please."

Yuri shifted in his seat, the mention of groomsmen had reminded him that he needed to ask Mila a question.

"So, since we're on the subject. Mila?"

"Yeah?"

"Would you...would you, be my Bitch of Honor?"

It was Mila's turn to grab for napkins from the dispenser. "Yuri," she sniffled, "are you serious, you want me in the wedding?"

"Of course you! You're my best friend! Why wouldn't I want you up there with me? Plus, Beka's friends are pretty hot. Maybe you can find yourself a nice Kazakh boy. I recommend them."

Mila giggles, and dabs at her eyes, careful of her mascara, "of course I will, Yuri! Just promise me you won't make me wear an ugly dress."

"Nah, you can wear whatever you want, as long as you don't look better than me."

"I would never!" She scoffs.

"I'm joking Mila I know you wouldn't."

"Hmm, so Otabek has cute friends huh?"

"Yeah, but none of them are as cute as Beka, so you're shit out of luck there. Alan's okay, he's a bit of a bad boy, but he's good looking, I think you two could hit it off."

"I do like bad boys." Mila laughed.

"I know you do." Yuri teases.

The two talked back and forth for a little while longer, until Mila looked at her phone.

"Shit I gotta go babe, I've got errands to run."

They stand up and put their coats on. Before they leave, Mila pulls him into a tight hug. Yuri returns with an equally tight embrace.

"Love you kid." Mila says in his ear.

"Love you to Baba." Yuri kissed her cheek.

 

***

 

"Beka I'm home." Yuri called out, hanging his coat up.

Otabek is on the couch reading, "how was your date with Mila?"

"Fine, she's going to be my Bitch of Honor."

Otabek smirked, "don't let Victor and Yuuri hear you call her that."

"Pfft, it's my wedding I can call her whatever I want."

Yuri flopped onto the couch next to Otabek, resting his head in his lap.

"Actually Beka, she had a pretty good idea I'd like to run by you."

Otabek set his book down, "Hmm?"

"What if we got married in Almaty?"

"You'd be okay with that?" he says, clearly overjoyed at the idea.

"Yeah, I mean the handful of people I know can fly down. Your family is so big, it would be hard to have them all here. And it would make your mom happy wouldn't it?"

"She'd be ecstatic. She really wanted to cook all the food, but wasn't sure she'd be able to do that here." Otabek kissed Yuri's forehead. "Thanks Yura, I love that idea."

"Well it's settled then, a Fall wedding in Almaty."

Chapter Text

"Otabek I swear to god, if you don't move your DJ shit I'm gonna move it for you!" Yuri screamed.

Otabek was in the living room, flipping channels after dinner. He winced when he heard Yuri use his full name. Full name usage meant Yuri was fed up. Otabek turned the TV off, and resigned himself to his fate.

He walked down the hall to their bedroom, and found Yuri sitting on the floor, rubbing his ankle.

"What happened?" he asked.

Yuri gave him a stare that could shatter glass. "You know what happened! It's the same thing that always fucking happens. I whacked my ankle on your dumb shit!"

Otabek knelt down, and reached out to rub Yuri's ankle. Yuri slapped his hand away.

"I'm fine," he snapped, "but if I trip over that damn DJ thingy one more time, I'm gonna heave it out the window. Don't think I wont!"

Otabek had a large DJ controller, it was slim, but it was over 2 feet long. It leaned up against the dresser, when not in use, it was the only place it fit. The closet was jam packed. There was no space under the bed. And the living room was already full of furniture, the TV, stereo, and the large surround sound speakers, that were Otabek's pride and joy. Yuri had wanted the type that mounted to the wall. No muss, no fuss, but Otabek liked the look of the smooth, black speakers that sat next to the TV. Otabek was a techno junkie, but instead of the latest gadgets he gravitated towards older electronics.

Yuri preferred his gadgets on the small side. He liked his little notebook laptop, his sleek phone, and the small tablet that he could shove in his hoody pocket if he wanted. He listened to music via headphones, plugged into his phone, like every other human being on earth did.

Otabek was old school, he liked big speakers, clunky old stereos, and had more than one record player. Yuri had told him that times had changed. All they needed to listen to music, was their phones and portable speaker. Otabek balked at this, saying it all lacked warmth. Yuri smiled and nodded, then rolled his eyes when Otabek turned his back.

Yuri rubbed at his ankle, there would be a bruise there tomorrow.

"Beka, I took care of the closet, you have to do the same. No one needs three record players."

Otabek sat back on his heels, "I do."

"You're not being fair! You made me get rid of my clothes, but you can't be bothered to go through your stuff? That's a bit selfish don't you think?"

"The stuff you want to get rid of is different, I use it for work. It's not just random stuff I hoard."

"Okay Beka, tell me next time you haul one of those old record players to the club so I can watch."

Yuri ran a hand through his hair and stood up, only to trip over the cords that hung down from the controller.

"Otabek Fucking Altin I can't live like THIS!" he shouted, kicking at the tangle of cords wrapped around his foot.

Otabek flinched, "okay, okay! I get it. Our apartment is getting cramped, don't take it out on my stuff. Look, maybe the answer isn't getting rid of all our stuff. Maybe we should look for a bigger apartment."

They had been talking about it for the last two years. Their one bedroom apartment was already too small for them when they moved in. It was rented on the fly when Otabek moved from Almaty. Both of them too excited, to worry about trivial things like adequate living space.

Then life got in the way, and they just sort of acclimated to their cramped quarters. They had gotten used to bumping elbows while making dinner, and side stepping each other in the hallway, no to mention waiting to use the bathroom.

"Do you want to move?" Yuri asked.

"I dunno do you?" Otabek didn't relish the thought of moving, or searching for a place.

"Well, we always talked about it. I'm getting tired of just having one bathroom, and no space to call my own."

"I agree. So, I guess we'd need a three bedroom?"

"I guess we would. Fuck, where are going to find one of those? I don't even want to think about what rent on a three bedroom costs."

"I'm not all that worried about the money. Between us, we can afford it. Neither one of us is hurting for money. I'm just concerned we won't be able to find exactly what we want."

It was true, after the last GPF Yuri had a slew of advertising jobs. He was even offered a job modelling for a new clothing line. He didn't like doing the work, it was boring and stuffy, but the pay was good, and the free clothing was a definite perk.

"What do we want?" Yuri asked, laying back on the bed. Otabek laid down next to him, hands behind his head.

"Well three bedrooms for a start. A place for each of us to do what we want in."

"Two bathrooms, with a decent shower and a bigger bathtub, with jets. If I learned anything from that hotel in Barcelona, it's that baths are better with jets" Yuri added.

"Definitely. Maybe a balcony?"

"That would be nice. Malysh would like that, as long as she doesn't try to jump off, I wouldn't put it past her. We'd need a better kitchen as well. That kitchen hasn't been updated since Yeltsin was in office. And bigger closets!"

"Well if we got a three bedroom we'd each have two closets."

Yuri groaned at the thought of not just one, but two closets he could fill. Oh the shopping he could do with that much closet space...

"Beka, you just made me hard, thinking about closets." Yuri teased, playfully running his hand over his crotch.

Otabek laughed. "So?"

"So?" Yuri repeated.

"Does this mean you want to start looking?"

Yuri bit his lip, thinking it over, "yeah I do."

Otabek, kissed his temple, "then let's start looking."

They both went online, searching through realty sites, bookmarking a few they liked. Otabek made appointments to see a few the following evening. While Yuri got sidetracked looking at million dollar apartments, drooling at the sleek interiors.

The next night, the two stood in the middle of an empty apartment. The high ceilings were nice, and the view was great. It had three bedrooms, but only one small bathroom.

"So what do you think Yura?" Otabek asked, walking through the open kitchen, peeking into the cabinets.

"It's not bad," Yuri ran his hand over the shiny granite counter, but I want more than one bathroom."

"Okay, then we cross this off the list." Otabek said simply.

The next apartment was a disappointment. The neighborhood was shady, and the three bedrooms, were really two bedrooms, and a large storage room, that in no way resembled a bedroom.

The last one was a total bust, it had a contract on it, by the time they arrived for their appointment.

"Ugh, I hate this Beka." Yuri huffed.

They had stopped for dinner on the way home, both too tired to cook. Yuri cut into his chicken with more force than necessary. Frustrated that their first night looking had been so abysmal. He stuffed the too large piece of chicken in his mouth, chomping angrily.

"I know it sucks, but we'll find something eventually."

"That last one would have been perfect!" Yuri mumbled, mouth still full, "I could kick whoever got there before us. And would it have killed them to call us, and spare us the trip?"

Otabek sipped his drink, and tried to sooth Yuri. He was equally frustrated, but it wouldn't help for both of them to lose patience at the same time.

"It happens, Yura. There will be others we like just as much. At least we learned that we need to be quick if we find something we like. Otherwise someone else will grab it."

The next week was pure hell. Training during the day, and apartment hunting at night. Each place was either too small, too old, or too far from the rink. After yet another fruitless hunt, Yuri fell onto the couch in their living room, tired and cranky. As soon as he got comfortable, his phone rang. Victor had called, to see how the hunt was going.

"It isn't going anywhere Victor, and our lease is gonna be up in a few weeks. So we either find something soon, or we renew, and stay here for another six months, tripping over all our crap."

"I know it's not fun, but you'll find something. Would it help if I kept a look out for a few places?"

"Yeah I guess. Although at this point I think we've seen every apartment in the city. You guys should consider yourselves lucky to have found your place when you did. You're building is great, the neighborhood is good, and your apartment is huge. Although I don't even want to know what you pay for it."

"Not as much as you think. For starters, we don't rent, we bought our place. Which means we can do what we want with the space. We bought our apartment, and the one next to it. Did you think Yuri's studio just grew out of nowhere?"

"Oh, you bought it. I just thought you managed a miracle. Hmm, buying..."

"If you buy, at least you know that the place will be yours eventually. You're not just endlessly giving rent money away."

Yuri's gears were turning. With the money from his modelling job, and the few advertising deals he received, they would have a nice down payment. And he knew Otabek would want to put money towards it as well, if he thought it was a good idea at least.

"That might be an option. Hey can I talk to you later? I gotta run that by Beka, see what he thinks."

"Sure, I'll keep an eye out for a place. I know some people who might be able to help."

You always know people, you're like a one man mafia.

Yuri hung up the phone. "Hey, Beka?"

Otabek stepped out of the bathroom in his pajamas. "Hmm?"

"So I have an idea. Victor mentioned it. What if? What if we bought an apartment?"

Otabek looked dubious, "I don't know Yura, that's an awful lot of money up front."

"I've got it."

"You? I thought this was supposed to be an 'us' kind of a thing."

"We'll I mean I've got a chunk of it. From the jobs I did after GPF. What better way to spend than on a home for us?"

Otabek sat down next to him, "I have a bit socked away. Living here is pretty cheap. I'm just a little nervous, it's a big step."

Yuri started to get excited, "think of this way. We own it, it's ours. No shitty landlord to hike the rent, no leases, and if we don't like something, we can change it ourselves."

"Ourselves?"

Neither of them were very handy. Otabek could take a bike apart, and put it back together with no problem. But when it came to home improvements, his knowledge was lacking. And Yuri would just as soon hire someone to work for him rather than do manual labor.

"Or hire someone, or whatever. The point is, it would be ours. Please? I want to do it." Yuri pleaded.

It did sound like a good idea. They could afford to buy, and the thought of having a place of their own, that no one could take away did sound nice.

"Okay Yura, I guess we're buying now."

Yuri squirmed excitedly in his seat, "sweet! I'll call Victor. He said he'd look for a few places for us."

Yuri quickly called Victor, and told him the good news. He went to bed that night brimming with excitement.

His own place, his own home.

Oh if his grandfather could see him now! He had always stressed the importance of owning a home. At the time Yuri didn't understand why owning a home was so important, when paying rent would be so much easier. After years of fighting with crappy landlords, and rent hikes he understood it all to well.

The next afternoon, Yuri had just stepped off the ice when Victor pounced on him.

"Yuri! I've found it!"

"Found what?"

"A place for you two."

Yuri's eyes widened, "that was quick."

Victor gave him a sheepish look, "well, I might have had a place in mind when I spoke to you, about buying."

"You did?" Yuri chuckled, "where is it? Your building?"

Yuri meant it as a joke. Victor and Yuuri's building never had openings. The people who moved in stayed put. It was a beautiful building. The apartments spacious, and modern. All nestled onto a quiet street, lined with trees. Yuri was waiting for Victor to correct him. Victor just gave him a knowing look.

"You're kidding? There's an apartment available in your building?"

"Yes, the lady that owned it passed away."

Yuri made a face, "She didn't?"

"No, she didn't die in the apartment." Victor giggled. "Yuri it's perfect for you two. Three bedrooms, two baths, balcony, and a completely updated kitchen. She bought the apartment next door to her, like we did, and expanded."

"Where in your building? No offense, but I'm not so sure I want you two as next door neighbors."

"It on the floor above us, on the opposite side of the hall. So you won't have to worry about us hearing you...after hours." Victor teased.

"Ugh, gross Victor. I'm more worried about hearing you. I don't care if my neighbors hear my headboard banging against the wall, or not."

"Yurio!" Victor gasped.

"Grow up Victor, you're the one who brought it up. Who do we call, to go see it?"

"Well, I kinda already made you an appointment for tonight. I know the lady's son. We've talked a few times in the hall, and he told me he was finally looking to sell the place. I told him I might know someone who would be interested."

Yuri shifted nervously, "Umm...okay," he took a deep breath, "okay. Let's do this. I'll tell Beka, and we'll meet you at your place at?"

"Six o'clock."

Otabek left the rink, and was met by Yuri babbling almost incoherently.

"There's a place in Victor and Yuuri's building, for sale! The lady died, not in the house, in a hospital...I think, I didn't ask. It's got three bedrooms, a balcony, two baths, and an updated kitchen. Victor knows the lady's son, and he made an appointment at six, and it's five o'clock now, so we need to get changed, and-"

Otabek stepped back from the deluge of words. "Calm down. Okay we have an appointment tonight? We better go get ready then. Take a breath Yura, you're gonna pass out."

It was a mad rush to get home, shower, and change into something a bit more presentable than workout gear. They were two blocks away from Victor and Yuuri's building, when Otabek took Yuri's hand.

"So you don't mind living in Yuuri and Victor's building? I would have thought that would be too much for you."

"Yeah at one time I might've said no, but it's such a nice building. And, and you know...we'd be closer to...family" Yuri practically whispered the last word.

Otabek, pulled him close, "Yura, you don't have to be embarrassed to want to be near family. I think it would be nice. We'd be closer to Yana, I know how much fun that would be for you."

"Me? It would be more fun for you, you mean. You'll be carrying her around everyday!"

"Okay, me too. I like the idea. My whole family practically lives on one street, my cousins and I were always in, and out of each others houses when we were little. It's good to live near family. "

Twenty minutes later they were standing in their dream apartment. Hardwood floors ran throughout, not dingy old carpet that had been walked on, by who knows how many people. Three spacious bedrooms, with a large closet in each, and a balcony that overlooked the tree lined streets. The kitchen was pristine, with all matching stainless steel appliances, and a gas stove. Yuri had never cooked on a gas stove before, but he knew it had to be infinitely better than the crummy, coil top range they had at home.

Yuri walked into the master bathroom. The fact that it had a master bathroom, was pleasant enough. It meant an end to stumbling down a dark hallway to pee at night. But then, he caught sight of the huge tub, complete with jets. He practically had to wipe the drool off his chin. Otabek came up behind him, encircling his waist.

"What do you think Yura?"

"I think I want it." he smiled.

"The tub? Or the apartment?"

Yuri turned and embraced him, "both!"

Otabek kissed his cheek, "We should go make an offer then."

That night they ate dinner at Yuuri and Victor's apartment.

"I can't believe we're going to be living in that place!" Yuri laughed.

Yuuri started to clear the dishes away, and started a kettle of water to boil.

"I can't tell you how happy I am that you'll be just a floor above us. I like having family close. It's strange not being surrounded by family members all the time."

Otabek stood up, and set his own dish in the sink. "I said the same thing Yuuri. I'm used to living with family all over the place. I kinda miss it sometimes."

Yuri knit his brows, "not all of us had the luxury of a big family, you know."

Otabek took his hand, and kissed it. "You might not of when you were little, but you have that luxury now. Just think, You've got your whole family under one roof."

Yuri blushed, as little Yana army cralwed towards him. She pulled at his pant leg, itching to be picked up. Yuri lifted her into his lap.

"I'll be glad to see you more that's for sure." he said, kissing her cheek.

On the walk home, Yuri took Otabek's hand.

"So how long do you think it'll be until we can move in?"

"Maybe a month? It'll take time to do the paperwork, get the mortgage set up. And we still have a few weeks on our lease."

Yuri groaned, "I wish we could move in right now. I can't wait to get out of that apartment."

Otabek pulled him closer to his side, "don't knock our little apartment Yuri. We've got a lot of memories stored in that place."

He was right, they had lived there for years. They had fought, and made up countless times in that little apartment. They had watched movies, thrown parties, and had many a blissful night in that that cramped little bedroom.

"We do, don't we." Yuri smiled.

Otabek hummed in agreement, "and we'll have a lot more in our new home."

Yuri still couldn't believe it. He was going to have a home that was his...theirs.

Chapter Text

"I don't ever want to see a cardboard box again after we move." Yuri shouted from the kitchen. He was going through the cabinets, packing things away. Otabek sat on the the living room carpet, unplugging the mess of cables from their TV, carefully winding, and categorizing each one.

"The next time I plan on moving is when I die. At least then I won't have to pack." Otabek answered back, trying to make room in the box for the last few cables..

"Malysh get out of that box, or I'm packing you up with the plates!" Yuri scolded. He shooed her out of the kitchen, only to watch her scamper into another empty box. "At least Malyshka is enjoying herself."

They had been packing for the last two weeks. It had been easy at first. They had boxed up out of season clothing, and the various pictures on the walls, and Otabek's ever growing pile of books. Once those were packed, it was down to the more important things. Deciding what to pack, and when had somehow fallen on Yuri's shoulders, and he was surprisingly adept at it. Otabek admitted that he would have just packed everything at once, and just dealt with being uncomfortable. He would have lived out of a suitcase, and ate take out until moving day. Yuri however had made more than one move in his life, and new the drill. So Otabek left him to it, and awaited his orders.

Today, Yuri had made the executive decision to pack up the very last of the important things. Plates, glasses, electronics, food from the pantry etc.

Yuri wrapped newspaper around the last glass, and taped the box shut.

"I guess it's paper plates, and cups from now on." He marked the box with a thick marker, making sure to write FRAGILE on every side.

"And the TV is officially shut down, and packed up." Otabek said, snapping the lid on the plastic bin that held a mountain of cords, all neatly bound and marked.

The TV and the kitchen had been the last big items on the list. Besides a few odds and ends, they were ready. They would be going to sign the closing papers then next evening. After that, the apartment would be there's.

It was near midnight when they called it quits, having nothing left to do. They shared a bar of soap, and a single towel after their shower, all of their toiletries packed in a box somewhere waiting to be moved.

They collapsed into bed, which was now just a mattress on the floor. The bed frame dismantled, and propped against the wall. Yuri laid on his back, hands behind his head, feeling accomplished after a long days work. While Otabek tossed and turned, sitting up now and again to thump his pillow. He eventually landed on his stomach, but his foot hung off the end of the bed, and he kicked it back and forth repeatedly.

Yuri let him lay and twitch nervously for awhile. Hoping he'd eventually relax, but he continued until Yuri was ready to staple his foot to the mattress.

"Beka stop, go to sleep." Yuri turned on his side, and placed a hand on Otabek's bare back, rubbing small circles into his skin.

"I'm nervous Yura." Otabek mumbled into his pillow, foot still jerking rapidly.

Yuri laid a kiss into his soft black hair, "I am too, but it'll be alright. At least we're doing this together. Next week this time, it will all be over. The papers will be signed, our things moved in, and it will start getting back to normal."

Otabek loathed this entire upheaval. He liked his routine. He got up at the same time everyday, drank coffee out of the same mug, walked the same route to the rink, and then home to his own familiar surroundings. This move, had changed everything he did on a daily basis, and he was starting to flounder because of it. He was excited about their new apartment, but he knew deep down, that it would be ages until it felt like home.

"Baby, I know you're anxious. I know you don't like change, but this is a good thing. Once you get your bearings, you'll see that we're better off because of it."

"I know we will be." Otabek huffed, "I just don't' like feeling adrift like we are right now. I just want it all over and done with."

"I do to, and it will be before you know it. " Yuri rubbed his tense shoulders, "now try to relax, and get some sleep."

It was Yuri's turn to be Otabek's anchor. Yuri loved when things got stirred up, and changed around. He had gotten used to rolling with the punches at a very young age. Nothing in his life stayed constant, the only exception to this was Otabek. Yuri had moved several times throughout his life, from his parents house, to his grandpa's, to Lilia's, and then Victor and Yuuri's place, until he finally had a place to call his own. He was no stranger to change. Moving was never fun, but it was exciting, and each time he found himself in better circumstances because of it.

Otabek's parents still lived in the home he grew up in, and the only time he had moved, was to live with Yuri. It had taken months for him to acclimate to not only a new apartment, but a new country as well. Yuri had made the change bearable, but it was along time until he felt truly comfortable.

Yuri let Otabek cling to him that night, his arms wrapped so tightly around him, that it made it hard to take in a breath. Yuri laid quietly, until he felt Otabek's grip on him relax, and his foot had ceased it's twitching. Otabek had finally fallen asleep. Yuri eased away from him a few inches, and managed to find a comfortable enough position that allowed him to sleep.

***

The next night, Yuri and Otabek, sat down at the corner cafe. Both men sharing the same look of bewilderment. They sat in silence, like two deer staring down a set of headlights.

"So, did that just happen?" Yuri asked, hands encircling a mug of tea.

Otabek nodded, eyes glazed over, "yeah, yeah it did...we just bought an apartment."

"Why do I feel so happy, and terrified?" Yuri nervously played the the teabag string that dangled from his mug.

"Because we just handed over a huge amount of money, and sold our souls to the mortgage company." Otabek mumbled, still spaced out, eyes focused on the tabletop.

"Ah, that's why." Yuri took a generous swig of his tea.

They sat sipping their drinks in silence. Until Yuri cracked a smile.

"Hey Beka?"

"Yeah?"

"We just bought a home."

Otabek's eyes met Yuri's. He saw how happy those green eyes looked, staring back at him. His blank expression faded, and a smile grew on his lips. "We did, didn't we."

That night they walked into their apartment, now just a mass of boxes, and furniture.

"When do the movers come?" Otabek yawned, dropping the new keys on the counter top.

"Eight a.m. on Saturday, but we have tomorrow, and Friday to clean the place, before we move in. Yakov knows we won't be at the rink the rest of the week."

Otabek groaned, "do we really need to clean an empty apartment? We didn't clean this one."

Otabek was a clean person. He liked things neat and tidy, but was terrible at the type of cleaning Yuri was hinting at. The kind of deep down cleaning that made your nails split, and your bones ache the next day. It wasn't until he lived with Yuri that he had realized what a sheltered life he had led. His mother was very house proud, and did all the major cleaning herself, which included his room. He was an organized person, but he now knew that the reason it was so easy to keep tidy, was because his mother did all the heavy work herself. He was never asked to mop floors, or scrub tiles.

Yuri had no such luxury growing up. His grandfather also kept a tidy home, but Yuri was expected to do his share of the dirty work to keep it that way. Lilia had also kept him busy with housework as well. There were no free rides where she was concerned.

Oddly enough, Yuri enjoyed deep cleaning. He got a kick out of inspecting all the gunk, and grime he collected as he went along. It was the same kind of sick satisfaction he got from picking at the blisters on his feet. Both left him feeling weirdly pleased with himself.

"We were young, and in love then Beka. It didn't matter what the place looked like. It could have been on fire, and we wouldn't have noticed. Looking back on it, I wish we had. I found someones toenails on the bedroom carpet the first day we moved in. I'm not going through that again."

Otabek grimaced, "you never told me that. Ugh gross. Ok, so tomorrow we clean. What time? After practice today, and selling my soul tonight I'm beat, I need some sleep."

Yuri was in a rush to start, he couldn't wait to scrub his new apartment. "I'm going to the new place around eight thirty. If you want to sleep in a bit and meet me there that's fine. I was thinking of taking Maylsh over too, just so she's can check the place out."

Otabek kissed his head, "god thank you Yura. I haven't slept more than a few hours in the last few days. I've been too nervous."

Yuri chuckled, and led his tired fiance to bed. It was another fitful night for Otabek. He dreamed of the paperwork going missing, or the house falling apart the minute they walked in.

The next morning Otabek woke up alone and groggy, in a deathly quiet apartment. Not even Maylsh was there to give him a good morning chirp. There was no food in the house, so he got dressed, and picked up breakfast, knowing that by the time he got there, Yuri would be hungry.

Otabek found the door to their new apartment propped open with a bucket of water, and music playing loudly.

"Yura?" he called out. Malysh was stretched out on the balcony, enjoying a sunbeam that was slowly passing over the patio. She looked up at the sound of his voice, and blinked lazily to him.

A blanket and baby toys were sprawled on the floor in the empty living room. Yuri was in the kitchen, a purple bandana held his hair back, his hands sheathed in yellow rubber gloves. He was dancing with Yana, while music pumped out of his portable speakers.

Otabek watched for a few minutes, too enamored to break up the moment. Yuri started to sing to her, his strangled voice making Otabek cringe. Yana shrieked with joy as Yuri dipped her, holding onto her tightly.

Yuri spun her around, and stopped in his tracks when he spotted Otabek.

"I see you're busy." Otabek laughed.

Yuri hitched Yana up on his hip, and pulled his gloves off.

"We were taking a break. Yuuri and Victor went to buy me a mop. I kinda forgot ours was crap. Is that coffee?"

"Yeah, and donuts, thought you'd be hungry. Hi Yana." He cooed.

She bounced on Yuri's hip, chubby arms stretched out to Otabek. Yuri handed her over to him, and took his coffee.

"Traitor." Yuri teased, grabbing a jelly filled doughnut from the bag. "This move is gonna make me so fat! I've had nothing, but take out, and crap for two weeks." Yuri sucked some raspberry jelly from the donut before biting into it.

"Cleaning, and then moving over the weekend. We'll get plenty of exercise. Enjoy it while you can. No donuts, and take out once the season starts up again." Otabek fished out a glazed doughnut, tearing a small piece off for Yana to chew.

"Well I've got the master bath, and the bedroom done. The kitchen is almost finished, except for the floors. I've still got two bedrooms, the hall bath, and the living room to do."

"What do you want me to do?" Otabek asked. Yuri had cleaning down to a science, it was better to ask, rather than just dive in.

"Clean you're room, studio...whatever it's gonna be." Yuri handed him a spray bottle of cleaner, cloth and gloves. Otabek groaned, but dutifully pulled the gloves on, and set Yana down on her blanket to play.

He was halfway down the hall when he heard Yuri call out, "Make sure you clean the blinds!"

Yuri hadn't heard a peep out of Otabek for the next half hour, until he heard four loud sneezes in succession. Otabek left his room, eye watering, and nose running.

"Problem?" Yuri pulled a sheet of paper towel off the roll and handed it to him.

Otabek blew his nose, "it's so dusty in this place. Did that woman ever clean?"

Yuri handed him a mask to cover his mouth and nose, "I'm not sure she was much of a cleaner, at least towards the end. This whole place was covered in dust. Open the window in there. It's cold, but at least the dust has somewhere to go."

Otabek rubbed his eyes, "I can't go back in there with all that dust."

He pulled his gloves off, and walked out the door.

Yuri knit his brows, and looked at Yana, "you think he's coming back?"

Yana gurgled at him.

Victor and Yuuri arrived ten minutes later, with a mop and a new vacuum.

"I didn't need a vacuum guys."

"Call it a house warming gift. I know you're still using that old vacuum I gave you five years ago, when I upgraded." Victor said, setting the box on the floor.

Yuri opened the box, and pulled out the shiny new machine, reveling in all the the attachments. With this he could get to the hard to reach areas, and lay waste to the cobwebs that hung in the corners of the ceiling.

Fuck, when did I get so damn domestic?

A few years ago Yuri would have hated the thought of a vacuum as a gift. Now though, it was a little slice of heaven.

"Thanks, guys. I'll definitely put it to good use."

Victor picked up Yana giving her a kiss, "has Otabek shown up yet?"

Yuri shrugged, "he was here for about a half hour, then he left. Not sure where he went. He's been a little...off lately. It's nothing to worry about though. It's just Beka, being Beka. He just needs some time to-"

Yuri was interruppted by Otabek carrying a large box through the door.

"What the heck is that?" Yuri asked.

"Air purifier." he grunted setting the box on the floor. "I'm not sneezing my head off in my own home. I've been meaning to get one for years, but never remembered to buy one. Thought it would be a good time to pick one up."

Yuri rolled his eyes. Otabek's allergies flared at the drop of a hat. Having never suffered from allergies himself, Yuri always teased him about it being mind over matter.

"If it gets you cleaning fine. Go hook that monstrosity up in your room and have at it."

With Victor and Yuuri's help, the place was clean in a matter of a few hours. Yuri locked the door to the apartment, safe in the knowledge that everything was ready.

Yuri layed sprawled across their bed that night, stiff and sore. Otabek laid next to him, rubbing his stiff hands.

"So what's next on the list for tomorrow?" Otabek asked, dreading the answer.

"Well, you're not gonna like it."

"I'm already hating all of this. What could be worse?"

"Well, it's starts with an I...and ends in kea."

Otabek groaned shoved his pillow over his face, "please Yura...don't' make me go. I hate that place."

Yuri shook his head, "too bad Beka. We've gotta go. I tossed our old sheets and towels, most of them were hand me downs anyway. We need new ones, and you'll be happy to have both when we're done moving everything in."

"Fine, but I'm gonna complain the whole time." Otabek griped.

"I'll try to make it as painless as possible. Look, if you're good, I'll buy you meatballs for lunch."

"Don't patronize me Yura. You can't buy my silence with food."

"You can get new furniture for your studio." Yuri answered in a sing song voice.

Otabek perked up at the idea of furnishing his room. He already had an idea of what he wanted. A desk for one, and shelves for his books, and a table for his DJ equipment. Maybe shopping wouldn't be too bad, even if meant having to go to that pit of despair called Ikea.

Otabek let out a heavy sigh, "Okay, you win."

"Sweet! Victor said we could borrow the car, so we can load up stuff."

"You knew we were going for more than just sheets and towels, didn't you? Otherwise you wouldn't' have borrowed the car."

"Pfft, of course I did. Have I ever left Ikea without spending less than three hundred dollars?"

Otabek flattened the pillow over his face. "You're the devil Yura."

Ikea had been every bit as hellish as he anticipated. Every time he turned his back, Yuri was gone, chasing after the next thing on his long list. Which left Otabek to wander the aisles like a lost child, searching for his parent. He was just about to give up and page him, when he found him groping all the towels, judging them on their softness.

"Yura, would stop wandering away?" he grumbled.

"Which ones, gray or navy?" he held up two towels.

"I don't' care what color they are, as long as I have one when I get out of the shower."

"Okay, pink it is." Yuri grabbed for a set of shockingly pink towels that laid alongside the gray and navy.

Otabek stayed his hand, "Gray, definitely gray."

They left with not only sheets and towels, but a desk, table, and shelves for Otabek's room, a new chair for the living room, a dresser for each of them, and curtains for the living room. Yuri was ready to add a sofa to the list, but Otabek stopped him.

"Let's wait on that. Besides, I have yet to sit on a couch from Ikea that was comfortable."

Yuri agreed halfheartedly, and started to wheel their overflowing cart to the checkout.

They unloaded the boxes and bags at the new apartment and went walked back home.

"Tomorrow's the big day." Yuri said excitedly.

"It is, and I can't wait for it to be over."

"Oh come on Beka, it's not like we have to do any of the heavy lifting. We've got movers to do all that junk. All we have to do is make sure they don't fuck everything up. Could be worse, remember when we moved in here? We had to carry that damn couch up two flights of stairs ourselves. We even have an elevator in our new place. It'll be a breeze, I promise."

It was true, this move was going to be considerably easier than the last one. The hard part was over. Now it was up to someone else to do the heavy lifting.

Otabek took Yuri's hand and gave it a soft squeeze. "I'm sorry I've been so difficult. I just hate moving."

"No one likes moving Beka. It'll all be over soon, then we can take our time and unpack."

Otabek hummed in agreement.

The next day was a blur. The movers were there at eight a.m. on the dot. Yuri and Otabek both felt like the only thing they were doing was getting in the way. Everything had been clearly marked, so there was no need to even tell them where things went. It had taken them nearly a month to get everything packed away, yet it only took the movers an hour to load it all up. Yuri rode in the van with the movers, while Otabek drove his bike over. The one things he was immensely happy about was the garage that he could park in. His bike would be safe from all kinds of weather.

Everything was moved in by one. The two men sat on their couch, not even worried that the cushions were still packed away somewhere. Malysh jumped from box to box, until she had found the one that contained her food and toys. She scratched at it, meowing.

"Okay I'll feed you hold on." Yuri got up, groaning as his bones cracked and popped. He unpacked her dish and filled it, then sat back down with Otabek.

"So, I guess we oughta start unpacking. Kitchen first?"

Otabek nodded.

The rest of the day was spent arguing over where things should go. Yuri stating that the dishes couldn't go in the corner cabinet, because the dishwasher was in the way. Otabek disagreed, it was the biggest cabinet and therefore a perfect place for them. They debated back and forth, until Yuri lost his temper, and ordered him out of the kitchen. Otabek gladly obeyed, cursing him in Kazakh.

"I know what you're mumbling Beka. You think I don't know all the Kazakh curse words? I learned those first!" He shouted.

"Khoyanshyk!" (Bastard, son of a bitch) Otabek shouted back, throwing his hands up in frustration.

He was so damn tired. Otabek wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed, and sleep. But there was no bed to curl up in yet, and no chance for sleep. Not with Yuri on a tirade about getting things in order.

After their outburst things were quiet. Yuri diligently putting the kitchen in order, mumbling angrily to himself. While Otabek put the bed frame together, and started on the dressers.

Yuri eventually crept into the bedroom. Otabek had one dresser finished and was halfway through with the other. Yuri softened, he hated putting furniture together, and Otabek knew it.

Maybe he had been a bit too pushy the last few days, but it was only because he was eager to start life in their new home. He leaned against the door frame watching Otabek's nimble fingers at work. Yuri would have thrown the whole thing out the window by now, but his patient fiance had no trouble piecing it all together..

"I'm sorry I snapped at you." Yuri said quietly.

Otabek tossed the alan wrench on the floor, and got to his feet. "Me too. I was a jerk, and I'm sorry."

"Still want to marry me after all this?" Yuri nibbled at his lip.

Otabek hugged him tightly. "Of course. Unless you've decided you don't want someone as useless as I am."

Yuri kissed him. "You're plenty useful. Speaking of which, I'm thinking about trying out the new tub. Care to join me? There's room for two, and you can reach all the places I can't."

Otabek nuzzled into Yuri's neck. He hadn't shaved in days, and had the beginnings of a rather impressive beard. Yuri liked the way it tickled his skin. "Sounds perfect Yura. You get it started, I'll get to a good stopping point and come join you in a minute."

They spent the night soaking in hot steaming water, while Malysh sat on the side, her tail dipping into the water.

"Are you happy with our new place?" Otabek asked, Yuri leaned back against him, laying his head back on his shoulder.

"I am, it'll be even better when everything is set up. Are you happy, Beka?"

"Very. I like our new home. I just don't like that everything is out of place. I'll try to be better about it, I promise."

They soaked in happy silence, until their stomachs began to grumble.

"So, should we go bum a meal off Victor and Yuuri?" Yuri asked, stepping out of the tub.

"We could, or we could just order pizza again."

Yuri crinkled his nose. "No, no more pizza! I never thought I'd say this, but I don't think I can bring myself to eat pizza again."

"Lies, you'll be wanting it again for dinner in a few days."

They got out and dried off. They dressed in their pajamas and slippers and made the short trip to Yuuri and Victor's apartment. It was nice not having to pile on coats and shoes to see their friends. There were definite perks to living near family.

As they suspected, a big meal had been prepared.

"We figured you'd be hungry." Yuuri said, adding two extra plates to the table.

Yuri filled his plate. "Don't worry guys. We won't always show up for dinner."

"It's no trouble," Victor said, pouring them each a drink, "just have us for dinner once in awhile and we'll call it even."

"Deal."

That night, was the first night in weeks that Otabek had slept soundly. It didn't feel like home just yet, but with Malysh purring nearby, and Yuri curled into his side, it was a start. Things would be better from here on out, it would just take time.

Chapter Text



Otabek came home that afternoon to sharp beep of the smoke alarm, a haze of acrid smoke, and the sound of Yuri cursing.

"Shit, god damn it!"

Otabek slid the door to the balcony open, and grabbed a bit of junk mail to help wave the thick smoke out the door.

"We've only been here a month, and you're already trying to burn the place down?" Otabek shouted through the smoke.

"Beka? Ow, shit that's hot! When did you get home?"

Otabek heard the pots and pans clanking around. "Just now, what are you doing?"

Yuri coughed, and made his way towards the balcony, taking in a breath of fresh cold air. "Cooking, well trying to anyway."

"Cooking what?" Otabek made his way to the kitchen.

"Baursak," he coughed again, "I wanted to have some for your mom when she gets here."

Otabek picked up the long wooden spoon on the counter, and poked at the blackened bits of fried dough. They crumbled into a charred mass, and floated in the hot oil.

"What happened?"

Yuri ran a hand through his hair, "my fire was too high. I was supposed to turn it down, but then Yuuri called, and it kinda got away from me."

"I can see that. You know you don't have to prepare anything special for her. If anything she'll insist on cooking for us."

"I know," Yuri moved the pot of oil to the back of the stove, and started to wipe up the splattered oil, "but I just wanted her to feel at home. This is the first time anyone from your family has come to see us. I didn't want them to think I'm inept."

Otabek laughed, and grabbed a rag to help mop up the mess. "No one thinks that, Anam definitely doesn't think that. If you want to make something, maybe you should make something Russian. Anam makes Baursak almost every weekend,it wouldn't be anything new to her. You should give her a taste of Russia. She's never been here before, and I think she'd be impressed by your cooking."

Yuri preened at the compliment. "You think so?"

"I know so."

Yuri shuffled a few bowls across the counter, grabbed an old yellow recipe box, and started sifting through it. He plucked out a dingy recipe card, that was frayed at the edges.

"I guess I could make apple sharlotka. I haven't made one since I lived with Grandpa, but I have the recipe."

"Well, make that then. I'm sure she'll like it."

Yuri busied himself trying to figure out what ingredients he had on hand. He'd have to hit the store for apples, and some eggs, and some more flour. The last of the flour now a nasty, blackened mess. Yuri tossed a bunch of pots in the sink, and grabbed a notepad. "What time does your moms flight land?"

"Eight o'clock tomorrow night."

"I'll ask Victor if we can borrow his car." Yuri said, while scribbling out a quick grocery list.

"Already took care of it, he said it wasn't a problem."

Yuri yanked out the page and stuffed it in his pocket. "Okay, so we've got a day to clean, and stuff. Good."

Is he ever going to stop cleaning? Otabek thought.

Ever since they moved in, Yuri had become maniacal about keeping the house clean. Otabek assumed it had something to do with them owning the place, and not renting anymore. He was fine with keeping the place tidy, but he was starting to get genuinely concerned for the bathroom tiles. Wondering if it was actually possibly to scrub the glaze off them.

"Yura, you don't need to kill yourself over this. She's not gonna go over our bookshelves with a white glove or anything. It's just Anam."

Yuri shrugged his coat on, "I know, I just want everything to be nice when she gets here."

Otabek chuckled, and pulled Yuri into a hug, "who knew you could be such a sweet little housewife?"

Yuri bristled, and clambered his way out of the hug. "Screw you Beka. You know what I meant. I don't want her thinking we live like bums. I'm going to the store, do me a favor and pick up the place, and get a load of laundry going."

"I will, have fun shopping, dear." Otabek teased.

Yuri shot him a look. "You keep that housewife shit up, and you'll  be sleeping next to your mom on the pull out sofa."

"There's my Yura."

An hour later Yuri came home with his groceries, and was surprised to see the apartment cleaned, the dishwasher going, and Otabek separating the laundry.

"Thank you Beka," he gave him a quick kiss, "the place looks great. Okay, now that, that's done I've got a cake to make." Yuri pulled his leopard print apron from the pantry, and dug through his grandfathers recipe box again, quickly grabbing the recipe again.

Otabek opened his mouth, ready to offer his help, but then shut it. Yuri was an adept cook, and didn't appreciate people trying to help. Otabek would just be int he way, and would be booted out after a few minutes. His cooking know-how was limited, and it definitely didn't involve baking of any kind. He heard Yuri slamming cabinet doors, humming to himself and left him to it.  

Otabek settled in his studio, headphones on, quietly playing with a few new songs. He was halfway through a new mix when his mouth started to water. A tart, sweet smell of apples had wafted down the hall, into his room. There was a hint of something else floating along with, something strong and spicy.  

He wasn't the only one being drawn in by the pleasant aroma.

Yuri was wrist deep in dough, when he heard a familiar knock at the door.

"It's open!" he shouted.

Victor came in snuffling the air.

"What are you making? I smelled it as soon as I walked in the building. I hoped it was coming from your place." Victor came into the kitchen, nose working overtime.

"Apple sharlotka, and-"

"Mmm, pryaniki." Victor looked at the large bowl of dough, eyes shining in delight..

Yuri dusted his hands off and wiped them on his apron. "Yep, I had the ingredients, and I haven't made it in years. If the sharlotka doesn't turn out, I'll have gingerbread as a back up. And if they both turn out then all the better."
Victor pinched a bit of raw dough from the bowl, licking it off his finger. Yuri gave him a playful shove.

"Out! I don't need you, and your fingers in my dough!"

Victor squealed, and relegated himself to a stool at the counter.

"Is all of this baking for Otabek's mom?"

"Yeah, I thought it would be nice to have something special. I tried a Kazakh dessert, but it didn't end well." he pointed to the congealing pot of oil, and blackened dough soaking in the sink.

Victor wrinkled his nose at the sight. "I know she's getting in late, would you like to go out for dinner the next night?"

Yuri shook his head, "I think I'm going to make dinner that night, but I was going to invite you guys. I just haven't gotten around to it. You're family and I'd like her to meet you guys, she'd love Yana."

Yuri gave the dough a few more kneads, and tossed a spoon to Victor. "Here I've done the hard part, make yourself useful, and help me roll them out."

Otabek had stepped out of his studio at the sound of Victor's voice, but hung back in the hallway, listening to the two men gab back, and forth.  Maybe Victor would be able to get to the bottom of why Yuri was acting so flighty. He was good at getting Yuri to spill his guts.

"You nervous about her visit?" Victor asked, rolling a ball of dough between his hands.

"A little, I guess I just want to impress her. I know she likes me, but I want her to feel as welcome as she's made me when I visit. It's stupid I know." Yuri spooned a dollop of dough in his hands and started rolling.

"No it's not. I felt the same way when Yuuri's mom came to visit the first time. He kept telling me not to make a fuss, but I just wanted her to know he was-"

"Taken care of?" Yuri interrupted. He switched the full pan of dough balls for an empty one.

"Yes!" Victor said, dropping a ball onto the sheet.

"I get it. I feel the same way. I mean, I know Beka's a grown man, but I just want her to know he's got someone looking out for him. I want her to know I can take care of him."

Otabek leaned against the wall, his heart near it's melting point. Here he was, thinking it was just about making the house look nice. It was more than that, Yuri wanted to show her that Otabek was well looked after. It wasn't necessary, he knew his anam was already in love with Yuri, but the fact that he was going the extra mile was sweet nonetheless.

Victor rolled out another cookie, "what's Otabek's mother like?"

"She's the best." Yuri grinned,  "she's warm, and funny, and just makes you feel so comfortable when she's around. She's got Otabek wrapped around her finger, and it's great watching the two of them together. She was so happy when we got engaged. It makes me wish...I had a mother like her. Someone who cares, who worries when you're sick, and genuinely wants to know how you're doing..." Yuri gave a quick sniff, and cleared his throat, "but lets face facts. A slug is a better mother than mine was."

Victor stopped mid-roll, "Yuri, you have a family that loves you. It might be a little unorthodox, but it's true. Yuuri and I do all those things, and always will. Your mother missed out. She never got to see what a bright, talented person you grew up to be, it's her loss, and our gain."

Otabek's ears pricked up. It was so rare to hear Yuri speak of his mother. Yuri was three when he was handed over to his grandpa. Young enough to not remember his short time with his mother, but the feeling of abandonment was there all the same. It still hurt.  Otabek heard the slight break in Yuri's voice, and wanted nothing more than to go in, and gather Yuri up in his arms.  

Yuri wiped his eye with his arm, "I know, ahh fuck, so freaking pathetic." he laughed nervously.

Victor could tell Yuri was embarrassed. As much as he wanted to talk more on the subject, he knew it would ruin Yuri's night. "Back to baking then, you've got a few more minutes until the timer goes off on that cake. Need help making the glaze for these?" he said gesturing to the cookies.

"I already mixed it up, but you can give it a stir." Yuri handed him a clean spoon.

Yuri pulled the cake out of the oven, and set it on the counter to cool. He quickly pressed a slender finger to the top of the cake, watching it spring back.

"Perfect." he said, pleased with his work.

"That smells amazing Yuri." Victor practically drooled at the sight of it.

"Thanks, it was my grandma's recipe. It was grandpa's favorite."

"I can't wait to try it. Mind if I make some tea?"

"Knock yourself out, you know where everything is."

Yuri laid two sheets of cookies in the oven, and set the timer. The two of them sat quietly, waiting for the kettle to boil,  before Yuri piped up.

"Oh shit, we've still got laundry going. Beka's gotta go grab it out of the dryer. I'll be right back."
Yuri turned the corner and was met with Otabek standing in the hall. They locked eyes. Otabek gave him a weak smile, and embraced him tightly. Yuri stiffened at first, unsure as to why he was being engulfed.

"I'm sorry about your mom Yuri. If I could change it I would. You shouldn't have gone through that. You deserve better." he said softly in Yuri's ear.

Yuri softened, and nestled into the embrace, "I know Beka, but what's done is done. I'm not wasting anymore breath on her. And I did okay in the end, didn't I?"

Otabek pulled back and smiled, "You definitely did. I love you Yura."

Yuri gave him a quick kiss, "I love you too. But I'd love you even more if you went, and got the laundry."

The mood lightened, after that. Otabek gave Yuri a quick pinch on the ass, "on it, Yura."

Yuri went back to the kitchen just in time for the timer to go off. He pulled the trays out, inspecting them.  They must have passed whatever silent test Yuri had given, he slid them onto the wire rack on the counter.  

Victor stood loosening up the glaze with a few stirs, and the two started to coat each one, laying them on a wire rack to dry. Yuri then flipped the cake out of the pan, relieved that it all came out in one piece, and left it to cool. Victor handed him a mug of tea.

"I can't believe you made all this in one night.  I think you missed your calling Yuri. You're wasted on the ice."

Yuri pouted, but the beginnings of a grin pulled at the corners of his mouth. "The hell I am! I'm winning gold this year if it kills me." Yuri started to laugh, "When I do, I'll make a cake to celebrate ."

Otabek returned, laundry in hand. His eyes drifted to the rack of warm cookies. His stomach had been grumbling all night. With Yuri so busy in the kitchen they had forgone dinner. He gave Yuri a pleading look, too afraid to to just reach out and grab one. Yuri and his wooden spoon were merciless, he'd been wrapped on the knuckles more than once for stealing bites of food.

"Go ahead, have one, they might be a bit sticky though."

Otabek bit into the moist, spicy cookie, eyes closing in pleasure.

"Good?" Yuri asked.

"So, good." he mumbled, mouth still full. Yuri handed him a mug of tea.

"Think your mom will like them?"

Otabek swallowed and washed it down with his tea. "If she doesn't, I'll be glad to eat the rest. But I don't think you'll have to worry about her not liking them."

Yuri beamed. He always liked hearing people praising his food. Knowing that the cookies wouldn't last long was a badge of pride to him.  

Victor set his cup in the sink, and dusted a few flecks of powdered sugar off his pants, "I guess I should get going. I only meant to come up for a few minutes, Yuuri's probably wondering where I am. He's had to feed and bath Yana all by himself, he's not going to be happy. "

"Hold on a sec." Yuri grabbed a paper plate and laid a half dozen cookies on it.

"I thought Yana might like some, use them as a peace offering." he said, handing the plate to Victor.

"If I don't eat them on the way back first." Victor balanced the plate in one hand as he shut the door behind him.

Otabek helped Yuri clean up. "You okay Yura?"

Yuri nodded, "I am now." he scrubbed at the sticky dough left in the bowl.

He felt Otabek's lips press against his hair, and his broad hands wrap around his waist.  "Good. You ready to see Anam tomorrow?"

"I think so. I can't think of anything else that needs doing."

"I can think of something that needs doing." Otabek nipped at Yuri's neck.

Goosebumps broke out on Yuri's arms. He promptly left the bowl to soak, and let Otabek lead him into the bedroom. He made quick work of removing Yuri's flour encrusted clothing.

Yuri kissed him, running his tongue along Otabek's bottom lip, "mmm, you taste like gingerbread." he said licking his lips.

"I wonder why?"  Otabek crooned, as he let his jeans pool to the floor.

"You better make this good Altin. No sex while Anam's here."

Otabek pushed Yuri back onto the bed, and crawled on top of him. He let his naked hips brush against Yuri's, and was rewarded with a soft moan.

"Oh, I planned on it." Otabek was already uncapping the lube, and spreading Yuri's knees apart.

 

***

 

Yuri laid in a heap on the bed, showered and clad in his favorite pajamas, lazily flicking through his phone.  Otabek laid next to him, one leg slung over Yuri's knee, already starting to doze off.

Yuri found a few new posts on his feed. One was a picture of Yana, dressed in the tiger print pajamas Yuri had bought for her. Her face covered in glaze and crumbs.

Gingerbread from Uncle Yuri! She's had two, I think it's a hit!  #Yuriisthebestuncleever #toosweetforherowngood

Yuri quickly reshared the post.

The next was a picture of a set of luggage, sitting next to a neatly made bed.

All packed up to see my two favorite boys! I can't wait to see you both! Love, Anam

Yuri felt a lump in his throat, and laughed quietly.

"Beka, check it out."

Otabek cracked one eye, and looked at the photo.

"I guess Dinara finally showed Anam how to use Instagram. I don't know if that's a good thing, or a bad thing."

"I think it's great. She'll probably end up with more followers than you, Beka."

"I don't doubt it." Otabek mumbled, half asleep.

 Yuri snuggled under the blankets, and sent a comment to Otabek's mom.

"Can't wait to see you. Love you too Anam!"

 

Chapter Text


They both stood waiting near the gate, each one searching the crowd for Sagida's familiar face. Otabek paced, and looked at the time on his phone.

"Stop pacing you're making me nervous." Yuri said, the heel of his own foot tapping out a beat.

"Sorry, I've just missed her is all."  

Yuri stood up on his chair, scanning the crowd. He spotted a short woman, with dark hair, wearing a sky blue dress, and a heavy brown wool coat.

"Anam!" Yuri called out happily.

Otabek pricked up at the word, and turned around. His mom hurried along, pulling her suitcase behind her.

"Otabek! Yuri!" she called out waving her free hand wildly, like the funny little mad woman that she was.

Otabek pushed past Yuri and met his mother halfway, engulfing her short frame in a big, burly hug. He hadn't seen her for over a year. The previous year had been rough on him, the accident, therapy, and competition season had left little time for travel. He noticed how small she looked, and the dusting of gray at her temples, he playfully picked her up off the ground, as she protested wildly.

"Otabek! Put me down!" she laughed.

Otabek and his mother were close, maybe it was him being the middle child, and her only son. She was a middle child too, and they both shared that same empathetic nature, and need for independence that most middles have.

Otabek had gotten his rebellious streak from her, his strange sneaky humor, his warm laugh. He inherited his sober personality, and boundless patience from his father. His looks were a near perfect blend of both parents. Otabek's slightly stocky build, determined gait, and thick unruly black hair, was his mother through and through. Facially, he was a younger version of his father, dark piercing eyes, square jaw, and thin lips that smiled only when necessary.  

Otabek set his mother down, smiling and chattering with her in rapid, boisterous Kazakh.

Yuri stood awkwardly to the side, not sure if he should jump in and say hello yet. He wanted them to have their moment, but felt a bit left out as the two greeted each other fondly. Suddenly, Sagida gave her son a smack on the arm, Otabek flinched, and Yuri looked worried.

"Yuri, come here!" she said arms opening to him, "Otabek, why did you leave him there standing all alone?"
Otabek shrugged sheepishly, "Sorry Anam."

Yuri had to stoop down a little to embrace her. She smelled like Chanel No. 5, and cloves, and her hug was as warm, and tight as Yuri had remembered.

"Yuri you get taller each time I see you. Have you grown?"

Yuri laughed, and shook his head, "don't think so."

"Maybe I'm just getting shorter." she teased.

"You can't get much shorter Anam, or we might lose you." Otabek laughed, taking her suitcase. The two men towered over her, Otabek being the tallest out of the three. Years ago, Yuri was certain he'd be taller than Otabek, but in the end he was happy he wasn't. It would be hard to be the little spoon in bed if he were taller.

"I'm here five minutes Otabek, and already you're giving me trouble." she giggled.  

She took Yuri's arm, and started to fire off a plethora of questions. How was his skating going? How is the new house? Had he been eating, he looked so thin? Was Otabek taking good care of him?

Yuri answered freely, his mouth going a mile a minute. As they walked he showed her photos of their trip to Barcelona, and funny pictures of Malysh doing cat things on his phone.

Yuri drove, while Otabek talked back, and forth his mother. They both tried to speak English as much as possible, but each time the conversation picked up in speed, they unconsciously slid into Kazakh. He heard his name uttered a few times, along with  the names of Otabek's sisters, but other that he was clueless.

"I swear I'll get the hang of this language someday." Yuri said, as he fought through traffic.

"You're getting there," Otabek said, "you know most of the curse words anyway."  

"You know Otabek, Yuri taught me a few Russian ones, the last time he was visiting. I have to say the Russians have cursing down to an art. "

"Yuri, you didn't?" Otabek scolded.

Yuri shrugged, "I can't help it Beka, she asked. We'd both had a few glasses of wine, and I can't say no to her! And thank you Anam, I've always been pretty proud of our cussing prowess as a nation."

With that, Yuri started to grill her on her Russian curses, wanting to see if she remembered them all.

Otabek leaned his head back against the headrest, and let out a groan. The two of them reminded him of when Yuri, and Mila got together. Yuri had this way of enchanting certain women, especially the older ones. Maybe they liked him because he looked so innocent and pure, with his lithe little figure, and mischievous green eyes. Or maybe it was just oddly endearing to see someone as pretty as Yuri, curse like a sailor. Otabek could never figure it out. The only answer he could come up with was that when you were as beautiful as Yuri, you could get away with murder. The older lady that ran the desk at the rink loved him too, and laughed fondly when she heard him rant and rave. Otabek would never understand it. He could never get away with half the things Yuri did.

Yuri pulled in to the garage, and went to drop the keys off at Victor's apartment. Victor was ready go with Yuri, and introduce himself, but Yuuri held him back.

"She only just go here Vitya, I know you're excited, but let her get settled. We'll come by tomorrow."

Otabek had pulled out the sofa bed, and had already placed clean sheets and blankets on it when Yuri walked in.

"We haven't slept on this, so if it's uncomfortable, let us know and you can have our bed. You can set your bags in either room in the hall. The one on the left is Beka's, the one on the right his mine." Yuri said, filling the kettle, and setting it to boil.

"Pshh, I've slept on worse. I'll be fine, I won't kick you two out of your own bedroom."

Yuri fed Malysh and cracked the balcony door, she liked to sit outside after her nightly meal, and watch the cars zip by. He heard the kettle start to whistle, and finished making tea.

"Tea's ready" he said, setting out the pyraniki on the table.

The three sat at the table talking, and laughing back and forth.

"Otabek, Dinara has met someone." Sagida said.

"She has? She never told me."

"He's new, but he seems like a good match for her. I'm not sure but I think he might be spending most of his nights at her apartment. I think this one might be it for her."

"What's he like?"

"He's a teacher, and a pretty good one, from what she says. His name is Osip, and he's Russian. My children seem to gravitate to the Russians." she smirked, taking a cookie from the plate.

Yuri dunked his own in his tea, letting it soak for a few seconds.

"That's funny, I was telling my friend Mila to find herself a nice Kazakh boy. I actually think her, and Alan would hit it off."

"I love Alan dearly," Sagida chuckled, "but truth be told he's an Идиот (idiot), but I know lots of eligible men your age. I could find her few. While she be at the wedding?"

"Yeah, she's actually going to be my Bitc...I mean Maid of Honor, or something like it. She's my best friend, after Beka of course."

"I'll see what I can arrange, it's been awhile since I've done any matchmaking."

"How's Gigi?" Otabek said referring to his younger sister Guldariga. She had been named after their paternal grandmother. As much as she loved her grandmother, she hated the name, and it had been difficult for her to pronounce as a child. So the family had nicknamed her Gigi when she was little, and it stuck. She almost never answered to her full name.

"Gigi is good, she'll be starting high school soon. The boys are buzzing around her, and all the girls want to be her friend. She gets annoyed by most of the girls though. She says the only reason they want to hang out with her is so they can meet you, and Yuri. They all think you're both adorable."

Otabek made a face, "We're a bit old for them aren't we?"

"They don't care, they're fourteen. All they see are two cute boys. They don't think about much more than that."

"How's Akem?" Otabek said a bit more seriously.

"Akem is good, he sends his love. He still works more than he should. He wishes he could have joined me, but someone had to stay home with Gigi."

They talked for little while longer. Yuri made sure to show her pictures of Yana.

"She's great," he said, "but you should see Beka with her. He's absolutely whipped. The first few weeks she was here, Beka was the only who could keep her quiet. He talks to her in Kazakh, although I doubt he will now that you're here, which is a shame cause it's funny as hell."

"You? The one who avoids all your little cousins? Be careful, Otabek, someone might be led to believe you actually like children." she teased.

"I like Yana, and I'd like my own if we end up having any. Other than that I'm still not partial to them."

Yuri nearly dropped his mug. Children? Them? Have? It was discussion they had never had. Chidren were still a long way off, but it was nice to know Otabek was mulling it over.

"Otabek, I think you frightened Yuri." Sagida laughed, looking at the pink flush that spread over his pale cheeks.

"No, I'm not frightened. It's just the first I've heard of it. I like kids. If Beka wants to have them someday, then I'm all for it. I just hope it's not anytime soon."

Their eyes met, as a silent conversation went on between them.

No, not anytime soon, don't worry we have our whole lives ahead of us.  

It was getting late, and Sagida had endured a long trip, so they left her to get settled into bed.

"Did you really mean that? About kids I mean." Yuri said, as he left the bathroom, a damp towel around his waist. Otabek was in bed, reading.

"I did.  It's not something I think about a lot, but I think we would make good parents. Someday."

"I think so too. It's nice to know it's not completely off the table."

The next morning they did a few touristy things. They toured the Winter Palace, and ate lunch on the waterfront, and did a little shopping, but Yuri was itching to get home. He had to make dinner for five (six if Yana decided to cooperate and eat) that night. Things were defrosting on the counter at home, and if he left it too long Malysh would assume it was an all you can eat buffet.

He had ruminated for weeks about what to make for dinner. Finally deciding on Zharkoye, a simple stew with beef. It was a simple dish, and easy to make in a large quantity.

They had just finished lunch, when Yuri checked the time on his phone. "I'm gonna head home you two. I've got dinner to make."

"Yuri, let me help you." Sagida offered.

"No, stay, hang out with Beka. I've got it covered. Dinners at seven. You might want to prepare yourself Anam, Victor has been dying to meet you."

"Are you sure?" she said, already prepared to rush home with him.

"I'm sure. It's no problem." The bus he needed to catch was pulling to a stop across the road. He gave Otabek a quick kiss, and tore off towards it.

"I wish he would let me help him." Sagida said, watching his blond hair fly behind him as he ran.

"He's fine Anam, he's been looking forward to this for days. He's not one to ask for help, especially when it comes to cooking. I learned that the hard way."

"He's a good man Otabek. I'm glad you two found one another."

"Me too."

Yuri's dinner went off without a hitch. Bread baked, stew simmering away, apple sharlotka tucked away for dessert, and the table set. He had gotten home just in time to see Malysh sniffing the tightly wrapped beef, and shooed her away.

Sagida and Otabek arrived home early that evening.

"Yuri, dinner smells great! Are you sure you don't need any help?" Sagida asked, hanging her coat up.

"Nope, everything is done. Just waiting on Victor and Yuuri."

Almost on cue the couple walked through the door.

"Hey guys, make yourself comfortable." Yuri shouted from the kitchen.

Otabek took their coats, "Victor, Yuuri, this is my anam Sagida"

Sagida stood smiling warmly and held out her hand for them to shake.

"Sagida, it's nice to finally meet you." Victor said taking her hand a little to eagerly, "Yuri's told us so much about you."

"I was just about to say the same thing about you two. It's nice to meet you!"

Yuuri said his hellos while trying to wrangle Yana, who had started to bounce in his arms the moment she caught sight of Otabek.

"Who is this?" Sagida asked.

Otabek came up next to Yuuri, and Yana lunged out to him. Otabek caught her before she tumbled out of Yuuri's arms.

"This is Yana." he said, as he planted a few soft kisses on her head..

"She's Beka's shadow." Yuri commented finally leaving the kitchen.

Sagida took her little hand, and started to baby talk her in Kazakh, Yana's ears pricked up at the familiar speech. She quirked her head, confused that someone other than her Uncle Beka was speaking to her in that familiar tongue. Yana reached out for Sagida, Otabek gave her up to his mother halfheartedly.

"I guess that's it for me then." Otabek laughed, only slightly hurt that Yana had ditched him for his mother.

"Now you know how I feel when you walk in the room, Beka. I'm secondhand goods once she sees you." Yuri gave him a playful nudge.

"She's beautiful, what a sweet little girl."

Victor laughed, "You wouldn't have said that a few months ago, she screamed like a banshee for weeks."

"How old is she?" Sagida asked as Yana sucked on her large beaded necklace.

"Almost seven months." Yuuri said proudly, "she's crawling all over the place now."

"Before you know it she'll be walking and talking. Enjoy it, it goes by so fast. I remember when Otabek was little, it took him forever to start walking. He was so stubborn, I guess he figured he'd be carried around his entire life. I thought he'd never start walking, once he did though he never stopped." Sagida gave her blushing son a sly smile

The group sat and talked for awhile, waiting for Yuri to put the finishing touches on the meal. Victor brought the Spanish Cava they had gifted him from Barcelona, and a bottle of red wine. He poured Sagida a drink, and brought it to her.

"So, what do you think of these two getting married?"

Sagida sipped her drink, "Oh I knew from the start what the outcome would be. I knew the minute I saw Otabek look at his Yuri that it was just a matter of time. Once my son has an idea in his head, that's that."

Otabek wasn't prepared for this kind of conversation, he cleared his throat and quickly left to 'help Yuri', knowing full well there was nothing in the kitchen for him to do.  

"Oh, I've embarrassed him." Sagida giggled.

Victor already adored this woman.

Yuri gave Otabek a knowing smirk when he came through the kitchen.

"What?" he asked, brows firmly knit together.

"From the start huh?" Yuri snickered.

Otabek rolled his eyes, "shut up Yura."

Dinner was lively, and the laughter never ceased. Unfortunately most of the humor was at Otabek and Yuri's expense.

"Tell me Victor," Saigda said, refilling her drink, "what was Yuri like as a child? I'm curious."

Victor sucked his teeth, "he was...a handful, and that's putting it nicely." He laughed, "I met him when he was about ten when Yakov started to coach him. He was an angry little thing, he never listened, and always had something smart to say. The other kids were terrified of him. He thought he could do jumps and spins that were way beyond his years, and couldn't understand why he wasn't allowed to do them. He was a terror. He'd shout, and throw fits with the best of them, but if Nikolai was nearby, he turned into the sweetest little boy you've ever seen."

Yuri let out a low 'tch' sound and tore at his bread.  Otabek gave his thigh a squeeze under the table. Victor palmed his back pocket and pulled out a worn photograph, handing it to Sagida.

"Where did you get that?" Yuri asked.

Victor gave him a wink, "You got most of your grandpa's photo albums, but he left me a few as well. This is a favorite of mine, it sums up you as a child pretty well."

The photo was of Yuri as a child, surrounded by young smiling skaters. They all looked so elated, and brimming with energy. In the middle was Yuri scowling, with his arms crossed over his chest.  

"Oh Yuri! What in the world did you have to frown about?" Sagida laughed. Otabek took the picture from her, it was rare to see pictures of him as a child.

"No, that seems about right for Yuri." he remarked, elbowing his partner in the side in jest.

Yuri tried to frown, but it didn't last, he cracked a smile instead, "Yeah, I was a pretty pissed off kid. I definitely had an attitude problem."

"Had?" Yuuri teased.

"Okay, I still do, but I only use it when it matters now." Yuri admitted.

Saigda left the table, and rifled through her purse and brought out a small album. The moment Otabek caught sight of it he groaned.

"Анам жоқ (No mom not that!)" he begged.

"Oh, don't be a baby. Here," she shoved an empty plate into his hands, "quite whining and go get us more bread."

Otabek gave her a weak frown, but dutifully went and did as he was told.

"I thought this might happen at some point this week, so I came prepared."

The album contained childhood photos of Otabek. Most were in his skating costumes (his taste for complex costumes had definitely started at a young age). Some were candid photos of him with family and friends. None of them involved much smiling on his part. There was one particularly nice photo of him around the age of ten with windswept hair and ruddy cheeks, riding a horse bareback.

"I didn't know you could ride?" Yuri said, fawning over the album.

"It's been years since I've done it. I prefer bikes to horses nowadays." Otabek said flatly.

After everyone had, had their fill of baby photos the conversation went on to more important things.

"So, have you two decided on a date for the wedding?" Victor asked.

Yuri nodded, "the end of September, before the season really starts to pick up. I wanted to do it November, but it's too close to Grand Prix time, and I'm not cheating myself out of a honeymoon."

Otabek and Yuri shared a look. Otabek cleared his throat.

"Speaking of which there was something I- we wanted to ask you Anam. How would you like it, if we got married back home, in Almaty?"

They had kept their decision to wed in Almaty a secret until her visit. Otabek knew his mother would be pleased, and he was not disappointed by her reaction. She leapt out of her chair, with a joyous shriek, and enveloped both men in a tight hug.

"That's wonderful news! I can't tell you how happy that makes me! I have to admit, I was hoping you would, but I didn't push the subject, I didn't want you to feel obligated."

"Well, I have so few family members, they won't mind flying in for a few days." Yuri said after Sagida released him.

 

***

 

Later that night, after dinner had been cleared away, and their guests had gone home. Yuri and Otabek laid in bed talking quietly.

"Anam sure sounded happy to hear the news." Otabek said.

"I knew she would be." Yuri answered, shuffling around to get comfortable.

They could hear her in the living room, chattering away on the phone excitedly in Kazakh.

"What's she saying?" Yuri asked.

Otabek listened for a bit, "wedding stuff, food mostly. Sounds like she's talking to Тетя Banu (Aunt Banu). Once Aunt Banu is in on this it'll basically get planned for us, she's a party planner."

"That sounds great, we should use that to our advantage. It gonna be hard to plan a wedding from here. Maybe Anam will give me her email address, I could send her a few ideas about what we want."

"What do we want? We haven't really talked about it."

"I think I want something low key, and fun. Victor and Yuuri's wedding was nice, but it was so stuffy looking. I want something that's 'us', you know. I wouldn't mind getting married near the mountains, they're so pretty there."

"I'd like that too. Anam will know of a few places, she knows what we like, and don't like. She and Aunt Banu will be more than happy to take photos, and videos of different venues to send to us."

Yuri felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. The thought of planning a wedding in Almaty had been distressing him for the last few weeks. He had put all wedding planning on hold, until Sagida's arrival. Now that he had help, it all seemed less scary.

"God I love your mother Beka."

 

Chapter Text


The next morning Yuri and Otabek awoke to coffee brewing and the smell of breakfast cooking.

"I know I said this last night, but god I love your mother."

Otabek laughed sleepily, while trying to tame his bedhead.

They both stumbled into the kitchen, yawning while their noses zeroed in on scent of freshly brewed  coffee.

"Good morning boys! Hungry?" Sagida had commandeered Yuri's leopard print apron and was busy at the stove frying bits of dough, alongside a pan of scrambled eggs, and sizzling bacon.

Otabek couldn't help giving Yuri a little trouble. "See Yuri?" he nudged him with his elbow, "that's how you make baursauk."

Yuri slurped his coffee, resisting the urge to flip him off from across the table. Otabek would bring that up right now. Sagida looked confused.

"Yuri tried to make some the other day," Otabek admitted, "he wanted to surprise you. It umm....didn't go well."

"I almost burned the house down." Yuri interjected.

Sagida laughed heartily. "There's definitely a trick to it. I'll show you how sometime, Yuri. I have to say, that cake you made was delicious."

"I'm glad you liked it. It was my grandmothers recipe. I was worried it wouldn't turn out. I hadn't made one since I lived with grandpa, and that was with his help."

Sagida set two plates overflowing with food in front of both of them.  Neither was used to such a big breakfast in the middle of the week. Yuri's mouth watered at the sight.

"Eat, both of you. I swear Yuri, I don't know how you keep going as thin as you are."

Yuri would have answered, but he was too busy inhaling his food to reply. This beat his usual breakfast that consisted of a mushy protein bar, and the rinks bad coffee.

"He eats plenty Anam. I've watched him make, and then eat an entire pan of brownies in one sitting, and he didn't even offer me one. I don't know where he puts it all." Otabek said in between small bites of food. Yuri figured Otabek was used to his mother serving him breakfast. Otabek didn't know how good he had it growing up. Yuri didn't get a hot breakfast when he was younger, except for Sundays which were the only days Grandpa had the time to do it.

"In my defense," Yuri bit into at a generous chunk of bacon, "you don't even like brownies, Beka."

Otabek nodded, and sipped his coffee. While he was training in the US, someone in the dorms had made brownies. Everyone thought they were delicious, and had lamented them when they were all gone. Except Otabek. He didn't like the chewy texture, or the sickeningly sweet canned frosting that had been slathered on top. He'd had tried one, and then spent the rest of the night in bed, nursing a bottle of Pepto Bismol. After that he had stayed away from all American baked goods. He preferred the delicate sweetness of his mothers baursauk, and the spicy goodness of Yuri's gingerbread to those heavy chocolate bricks the Americans called brownies.  

Sagida sat with them, with a smaller helping of food, and sipped her tea.

"What's planned for today?" She asked, resting her cup on the table.

"Yuri has practice this afternoon, Lilia wants to get started on his routines for this year. I'm not practicing while you're here, but I do have a DJ gig tonight. So it's just going to be you and me until this evening."

Yuri grumbled silently to himself. It wasn't fair that the two of them got to run around town and have fun, while he was stuck at Lilia's studio all day.

"There are a few good museums I've been wanting to check out. Yuri isn't the museum type."

Otabek was a sucker for a good museum, he liked to read every information placard out loud to himself, and then marvel at every dusty artifact he could find. Yuri had gone with him a few times when they had first moved in together, but they were beyond boring. He did enjoy the museum gift shops, but even they weren't worth the hours he'd spent pretending to be interested. The only museum he truly enjoyed was the Faberge Museum. Faberge eggs fascinated him. He loved their jewel encrusted shells, rich designs, and bright colors. He especially liked the ones that had little secrets inside, like portraits of the czar and his family, tiny carriages, working clocks, and little golden animals. They were all strange, and whimsical, and served no purpose other than being exquisite little curiosities. If Otabek and Sagida were planning to go there he would have to consider calling in "sick" to practice.

"What museums did you have in mind?" Sagida asked, she enjoyed a museum as much as her son did.

"I was thinking of checking out the Kunstkamera, and maybe the Russian Museum."

Yuri wanted to yawn just listening to him. He had no interest in looking at hundreds of ancient portraits and statues. He finished off the last of his breakfast and got up from the table.

"Well, you two have fun. I gotta change and head out." He was happy to skip out on what sounded like a perfectly boring ass day.

 

***

 

Otabek and his mother sat down to lunch, both glad to sooth their aching feet.

"I haven't walked that much in years." Sagida said, inching her feet out of her flats a little, to relieve the pressure on her sore toes.

"It was worth it though wasn't it? I know you enjoyed it." Otabek teased.

"I did, I've been to all the museums in Almaty so many times it was starting to get boring. It was good to see something new for a change."

They started in on their food, both ravenous from hours of walking.

"Otabek?" Sagida says between sips of lemon water.

"Hm?"

"Is Yuri really okay with getting married in Almaty? This is your home now. I don't want either of you doing this just to make me happy."

Otabek shook his head. "Actually, it was all his idea. I wanted to bring it up as an option, but he beat me to it. He loves it there as much as I do. He likes the idea. And you know Yuri, if he doesn't want to do something, no power on Earth is going to make him. The fact that it was his idea speaks volumes."

Sagida seemed to relax at this, and continued with her lunch.

"Where would you like to have the ceremony?" She asked after taking a few bites of her salad.

"We talked about up in the mountains somewhere. I'm not all that concerned about it."

"Otabek, you should be, this is your wedding as much as it is Yuri's." Saigda gave him a soft 'don't bullshit me' type look that he couldn't ignore. "What do you want Otabek?"

Otabek stared at his plate, only his mother would be able to put him on the spot in such a direct way. If it had been Yuri or anyone else he would have been able to weasel his way out of with a stoic glance, and a few cryptic words, but his mother knew all of his quirky tricks. He gave a quiet sigh, and thought carefully. To him it really didn't matter where they got married. His previous comment to Yuuri about getting married in their kitchen had been true. They could get married anywhere, whether it be in their kitchen, or in a fancy venue in the mountains, the end result was what he wanted, the rest didn't matter.

"I want Yura to be happy." he said simply.

He wanted Yuri to have a day that could rival winning gold at the GPF, a day that would make him smile fondly whenever he thought about in the decades to come.  He wanted to give him a perfect day, that ended with them being married. If he could give him that, then his day would be equally perfect.

"Good answer." His mother replied, "but don't give him full reign. Choose something to take charge of, even if it's something small. A wedding is nothing to sniff at, and leaving it all up to him will stress him out, even with me and Aunt Banu's helping. Trust me, it sounds romantic to let the Yuri do everything his way, but you putting in your two cents will show that you want this just as much as he does. He'll want your opinion. If I know Yuri, he'll want you to have a perfect day as well."

Otabek nodded in agreement. He had been willing to leave it all to Yuri and let him go hog wild, picking and choosing whatever struck his fancy. He never thought that his lack of opinion might be taken as a sign that he was having cold feet about it. He didn't want Yuri to think for a second that he didn't want this as much as he did.

"I never really thought of it that way. I don't want him to think I don't care.  Maybe I can take over the music side or something." He had walked in on a conversation a few days before between Yuri and Victor. Yuri had said that he just planned on plugging his phone into some speakers for the reception. While he didn't say anything at the time, the thought of it did make him cringe.

Sagida patted her son's hand, "I think he would like that."

***

That night Yuri came home cranky, with the beginnings of a tension headache. Lilia had him doing hours of floor work, and ran him through the first few parts of his new program, disapproving of every move he'd make. The enormous breakfast he had so thoroughly enjoyed ended up feeling like a lead sinker in his belly as she made him practice jump, after jump. All he wanted to do was shower, and fall onto the couch.

Yuri dumped his stuff by the door and hung up his coat.

"Yuri," Sagida left the kitchen to greet him. Her motherly eye noticed his slumped shoulders, and tired eyes. "poor thing, you look like you've been put through the wringer." She brushed her soft hand over his face. He would have slapped anyone else's hand away, as grumpy as he was, but he found himself leaning into her soft touch.

"Hi Anam," he sighed, "I had a crappy day. Beka home?" He'd been craving a hug from Otabek since he left the rink. One of his tight embraces was usually all he needed to feel lighter.

"No dear, he left for the club a few minutes ago. I'm sorry you missed him. Hungry?"

Yuri nodded, "I've got a headache, and didn't eat lunch today."

Sagida clicked her tongue, "I've set your pajamas in the bathroom, dinner will be ready when you come out."

This woman was a god damn saint. He could see where Otabek got his caring nature from. Although Otabek never went so far as to have his cozy pajamas waiting for him on the bathroom counter. Yuri wrapped his arms around Sagida's small frame, and stooped to rest his head on her shoulder. She held him tightly, if Otabek wasn't there, he'd could settle for the next best thing.

"Аз қардың баласы" (my little son of snow) she crooned, stroking his aching forehead, "I'm sorry you had such a hard day."

Is this what is feels like to have a mother everyday?  He could get used to this. He closed his eyes, breathing in the light scent of Chanels No. 5.

"Better go get my shower." Yuri said, eventually forcing himself down the hall to the bathroom.

A few minutes later he trudged out in his pajamas. His head still ached, but he could feel it starting to ebb away. Sagida had a bowl of soup, and a sandwich sitting on the table for him.  Yuri sat down, and started eating.

"How was the museums?" he asked.

"They were good, the Kunstkamera was very interesting. The Russian museum was alright. I think Otabek enjoyed it more than I did."

"Beka probably enjoyed it more than anyone there." Yuri teased.

"How was practice?" Sagida asked while she walked down the hall to her bags.

"Terrible. Lilia was on the war path today. Nothing I did was good enough."

"I'm sorry to hear that. Lilia is a hard working woman isn't she?" Sagida came back carrying a black case, and set it down on the table.

"You don't know the half of it. She's got a killer program planned for this year. I'm not joking, it's literally going to kill me." Yuri went back to his soup and watched as Sagida sat down with the case in front of her and opened it. Inside was a flocked tray, and dozens of tiny cases full of small little seed beads. She pulled out a small rope of beads that formed a pretty floral pattern of whites, pinks, and greens. Hanging from the end of the rope was a a loose string of tiny beads.  Yuri watched as she retrieved a tiny hook from the case, and started to slide a bead up from the string and lock it into place on the rope with the hook. She did a few rounds, before looking back up at him, continuing to work without even looking at what her hands were doing.

"I suppose Lilia knows what you can, and can't handle."

"I guess so, I mean, she can't kill her star pupil." Yuri watched in rapt fascination as she worked the beads one by one, "can I ask what you're doing? It looks awesome."

"Beaded crochet," she says flicking her wrist as another bead was locked in place. "I'm making a necklace for Gigi, for her birthday. She found the pattern, and begged me to make it."

Yuri reached out to touch the long rope of beads. It felt silky smooth and almost scale like. The beads were cool to the touch, and had a luxurious weight to it. Upon closer inspection it wasn't so much a rope as it was a long tube shape. Yuri imagined how nice the smooth beads would feel laying against his neck.

"It's beautiful." he said quietly.

"Would you like me to teach you?" she asked.

Yuri shook his head, "I'm not sure I have the talent for it. Looks a little complicated."

"Then I'll show you another way to make it. It's much easier, and you'll get the same effect in the end."

Yuri was willing to give it a shot. He wasn't sure how far he'd get before his got frustrated and threw it across the room, but he wasn't one to back away from trying new things. If he could eat a live octopus, he could give handicrafts a whirl.

"Sure."

Sagida threaded a long needle for him, and let him pick out a few colors of beads. Yuri chose, a matte black, gold, and a pretty metallic purple that glittered in the light.

Sagida quickly got him started, and showed him the steps. It wasn't the same technique that Sagida was doing. She called it a brick stitch, each little seed bead was nestled next to the other like a wall of bricks. After it was done it would be sewn together to make a tube shape. Yuri watched her pick up a bead, slide the needle through the thread and then up through the bead again, locking it in place. She repeated it until she was at the end, and then showed him how to start a new row. Then she handed him the needle.

"You try now."

Yuri mimicked her movements, until he had the motion down. The thread had knotted up a few times, and he yelped when he stuck his own finger with the needle, but he persevered. Eventually, he got into a zone,  he liked watching each tiny bead slide into place. It was a just a simple stripe pattern, he alternated the colors every few rows. It was slow going, especially compared to Sagida's deft movements, but he kept at it. Over, and over he worked each row quietly, while Sagida clicked her hook against the beads.

Yuri had never had a hobby before. Skating took up all of his time. Otabek rotated through so many different ones that it was hard to keep track of what he was working on from week to week. He would be fixing his bike one day, mixing music, or pouring over a series of books the next. Otabek had often told him he should look into a hobby, it was relaxing to do something just for the sheer enjoyment of it.  Yuri really didn't get the concept, until now. He felt his breathing slow, as all the days troubles fell away. He was too busy concentrating to worry about the fresh bruise on his shin, or the sour way Lilia had compared him to a fish flopping around on a boat after he had flubbed a jump. His headache had even started to fade away as he slowly completed each row. He could maybe even teach Mila how to do this, she was crafty. She had taught him how to knit a few years ago, but he couldn't get the hang of it. He could see the two of them working away at their own little project, and gossiping. It would be a definite improvement to getting drunk and thrown out of clubs (they were running out of clubs that actually welcomed the them anyway).

The two of them worked in silence for awhile. Until Sagida rested her hand for a few minutes.

"Aunt Banu is going to be sending you some links to venues in Almaty soon." she said, sliding another bead into place.

"Otabek said you were talking to her last night. If there are any up in the mountains would she let me know?"

"There are a few. I'm so glad you two are getting married in Almaty."

"Me too, I love it there so much. We haven't been back in so long, last year wasn't the best year luck wise, well...until the end that is."

Sagida pursed her lip, "I know, it wasn't good for any of us. I noticed the scars on Otabek's hands today from the accident."

Yuri's gut twisted. Otabek's knuckles, and knees still had mottled, pale pink scars that would never fully disappear. Yuri could feel them whenever they held hands. They were better than the large gashes that were there before, but he still wished he could wipe them away, along with every other part of that dreadful night.

"I'm glad you weren't here to see it all first hand. He was such a mess." Yuri shuddered, remember the dark bruises that coated Otabek's beautiful body.

"I'm glad you were there with him. He couldn't have been in better hands."

"I think your hands might've been better than mine. I don't even remember much from that night. It's all hazy, and I rather it stay that way."

Sagida laughed quietly, "Well, it all turned out okay in the end. I think Otabek is a little wiser because of it. The ride to the museum was a lot more sedate than previous rides. I think he realizes he's not indestructible."

Yuri dropped his work in his lap, "you rode Beka's bike the to museums?"

Sagida giggled, "I've ridden with him on occasion."

He wasn't completely surprised. Sagida had a wild streak, it had mellowed with age, but the thought of her on the back of Otabek's bike didn't shock him in the slightest.

"It's fun isn't it?" Yuri laughed.

"It really is."

***

Otabek came home that night as quiet as a mouse, not wanting to wake anyone. He toed his shoes off, and was starting to tiptoe to his room when he heard two loud cackles coming from the bedroom.

Otabek found Sagida and Yuri sitting on the bed watching a movie. Sagida was brushing Yuri's blond hair, and working it into two soft golden plait down his back. He caught Yuri quickly stuffing gingerbread into his mouth, hoping Otabek wouldn't catch him eating in bed. Otabek glared at him, but said nothing, his own mother had crumbs on her shirt, it was obvious the two had thrown caution to the wind.

"Otabek, how was the club?" his mother said, tying Yuri's braid off.

"Long, and loud." he sighed rubbing his temples.

"You have a headache too? You two boys need to relax more, you're too young to be this tense." Otabek just shrugged, and went into the bathroom to shower and change into his pajamas. He came back in, and laid down next his mother. Sagida placed a hand into Otabek's hair, gently rubbing his temples. Yuri laid on the other side of her, lazily watching the movie.

 Otabek relaxed into the soft familiar touch, it was so nice to the two people he loved most under one roof. It didn't take long for his eyes to start drooping. Yuri turned his head when he heard him snore softly.

"That didn't take long." Yuri said, watching the soft rise and fall of his chest.

"It never does with him." Sagida eased herself off the bed, "it's late, I should let you two get some sleep. Good night Yuri." she bent over and placed a soft kiss on his forehead.

"Good night Anam."

She leaned over her son, and whispered a few Kazakh words in his ear, "Жақсы тәтті ұлы. (good night sweet son)."

Otabek huffed out a mumbled "Қайырлы түн (good night)" before drifting back to sleep.

 

***

It was Sagida's last day in St. Petersbourg, she had wanted to stay longer, but didn't want to leave Otabek's father for too long. Gigi was a high energy kid, and it took two pairs of hands to keep her in check. Sagida knew that her flamboyant daughter could, and would run rings around her father if she wanted to.

Victor and Yuuri took them all out to dinner that night, and gifted her a lovely bottle of wine from their own collection.

After dinner they got comfortable at Yuri and Otabek's apartment. Yuri busied himself playing host, while Otabek crawled around on the floor with Yana. She was just starting to pull up on things, and she had made several attempts to do so at the coffee table. Otabek was quick to catch her before she tumbled.

"Don't they make padding for tables?" he asked. He was wondering if he should fit every hard edge in the apartment with foam until she could walk steadily on her little feet."

Victor chuckled as Yana crawled over to him, using his leg to push herself onto her feet. "They do, we ordered some, but they haven't arrived yet. I think it would be easier to just fit her for a helmet."

A helmet! Why hadn't he thought of that?  "Well, that would be easier I guess. Do they make them in her size?"

"Beka, it was a joke." Yuri laughed, "only you would think fitting a baby with a helmet was a good idea."

Otabek glared at him, slightly embarrassed. "I still think it's a good idea, regardless."

"Otabek, do you know how many times you bashed your head into things when you wear learning to walk? You had a bruise on your forehead for a solid six months. She'll be fine, babies are resilient."

The rest of the night of the night went on like this, everyone laughing and chatting like old friends. Yuri found he enjoyed playing host in his own little home. It was nice to make his guests comfortable and happy.

 

***

 

Sagida's flight was early that morning, and they all rushed around trying to gather up all of her things. They made it to the airport with only a half hour to spare before her flight.

She hugged Otabek, "Remember what I said about the wedding, don't let him do all the work." she said in his ear.

"I won't Anam. Have a safe flight, give dad and the girls my love."

"I will."

She turned and hugged Yuri tightly, "I had a wonderful time Yuri. Make sure Otabek takes good care of you."

"I will Anam." he said, savoring her warm embrace.

"I love you both, and I'll see you in a few months!" she said, giving them each a quick kiss, before scurrying into the airport in search of her gate.

 

***

It was far to quiet at home now. In the short time she was here, they had gotten used to her. They already missed her singing happily in the kitchen, and her free and easy laugh. Tomorrow, they wouldn't wake up to fresh coffee, and the smell of bacon, it would be back to cold cereal, or lumpy power bars.  They would both miss her dearly tomorrow when they came home to a dark, empty apartment.

Yuri and Otabek sat on the couch, the silence was almost deafening.

"Yuri. I want to be in charge of the music for the wedding. Is that okay?" Otabek blurted out.

Yuri knit his brows, "where's this coming from?"

"I just, want to be a little more hands on about things. Is that okay? I won't if you already have something planned, but I thought I'd offer."

Yuri cupped his face with both hands and kissed him. "Is that okay? It's fucking great! I was hoping you would. I don't want anyone but you to plan the music. You're the only one who would make it perfect."  


Here is a photo to give you an idea of Sagida's beaded crochet