Lilia recognized her, of course. She still moved with the grace of the dancer she'd once been, the one who took the world by storm with her vitality. The one who'd so effortlessly shaken Lilia's own world, what felt like a lifetime ago.
Lilia blinked slowly down at her drink and looked back up across the bar. Yes, that was definitely Minako Okukawa, sitting in a bar in Barcelona with Victor, Katsuki, and another woman. Katsuki still had his medal around his neck, Victor's hands slapping his away every time he tried to remove it. During the third attempt, Minako simply turned her head and looked at him, and his hands fell away before Victor could even lift his.
Ah. Katsuki was Minako's student. It explained much about the way he moved on the ice. Lilia squinted her eyes at him and watched as he shoved Victor away, his body suddenly glaring in the way it moved. He had been her student for most of his life. It was obvious, now that she was looking for it. He was not a dancer, no, but he could've been.
"I will have to speak to Yura about withholding information."
"Huh?" Yakov lifted his head from the table. "What?"
Lilia ignored him and downed the last swallow in her glass. She set it on the table and stood, walking over to their table.
"Lilia!" Victor beamed, obviously well on his way to drunk. She grimaced, hoping he'd manage to keep his clothes on in public this time. "Are you here to congratulate my Yuuri?"
Lilia nodded her head at Katsuki. "It was well earned. You're a credit to your teacher."
Katsuki flushed. "Thank you, madame."
Victor smiled even brighter and opened his mouth to speak. Lilia cut him off. "But you really must tell me why the only thing you've been doing for the past twenty years is teaching one skater, Minako."
Victor's mouth clacked shut and the other woman at the table laughed. Katsuki looked like he was desperately trying not to.
Minako's eyes glittered in the way Lilia remembered so clearly. "Oh, I also taught small children."
"And bought a bar," the other woman interjected.
"Yes, thank you, Mari. And I bought a bar." Minako looked up at her serenely, her mouth twitching.
Lilia almost smiled. "A better bar than this one, I hope."
"Sadly, no." Minako sighed dramatically. "It doesn't have nearly enough dark corners."
Lilia was struck by a sudden memory of Paris, and being dragged by a barely twenty year-old dancer into hot, smoke filled rooms. The shock of western decadence. The press of a body against a wall.
Minako's mouth curled and her eyes darkened, like she was remembering the same thing.
Lilia narrowed her eyes. "Come, Minako. We will find a better bar."
Minako's eyes searched hers, and she seemed to find what she was looking for. She stood and grabbed her bag, moving to stand beside her. Her hand brushed against Lilia's arm, and she felt it like a shock.
Victor's mouth dropped open, eyes flickering between them. Katsuki smiled into his drink, but looked unsurprised. Yes, he was her true student.
"Have fun," the woman, Mari, said.
Lilia inclined her head and walked towards the door as Minako said her goodbyes. She stepped outside and breathed in the night air, shaking herself in her brief moment of privacy. She had not done anything this impulsive in a long time. Minako always had brought that out in her.
The door clicked open behind her and Minako stepped out. You could always tell the footsteps of a dancer, Lilia mused fancifully. They moved in ways no one else did.
They began walking, not in search of another bar, but back to the hotel, by mutual unspoken agreement.
Lilia broke the silence. "Katsuki really is a testament to your teaching."
Minako shook her head. "He's a testament to his own dedication and obsession."
"Everyone who makes it to his level is. But I can see your touch in the way he carries himself so effortlessly on the ice, and off it, when he so chooses." If only Yura would internalize her teaching so well.
Minako smiled softly. "I got him early. He was barely four when I had to retire and decided to move back home, and his mother is a childhood friend of mine. She asked me to teach her children English and dance, so I did. Mari was a bit too old to truly internalize either, but Yuuri embraced both. He spent every free hour he could in my studio, even as a child. I'd been about to start broaching the idea with his parents of sending him to an academy when he suddenly imprinted on Victor Nikiforov and shifted focus."
Lilia breathed out a small laugh. "That seems to have worked out well for him."
They walked on in silence, close enough for their hands to brush each other. Lilia could feel the heat of Minako next to her, and it made her feel like a much younger woman.
"I never did thank you for Paris," Minako said as they walked into the hotel lobby.
Lilia raised an eyebrow. "I didn't realize I required thanks."
Minako snorted indelicately. "You treated a young, unknown dancer who was invited to a special performance essentially to fill a country quota just like every other dancer. Better than some." She pressed the up arrow by the elevator bank. "And you were the great Lilia Baranovskaya. It… helped."
Lilia was quiet as she waited for the elevator to open, aware of the eyes and ears around them. As they stepped into an empty car and the doors shut behind them, she spoke, her voice harsh. "You were beautiful. You were beautiful and determined and you danced like nothing in the world could stop you. You moved like you were a queen. I could tell, then, that you would become what you did. That no one would be able to stop you but yourself. You were a star on the rise and I was less than a year from retirement, and those who didn't recognize what I saw in you were fools. You were young, fierce, and beautiful."
She fought the urge to close her eyes; she would not show weakness. The elevator doors opened, and they moved into the hall. The air felt heavy with anticipation. She walked down towards her room, Minako's presence warm and urgent behind her. Lilia unlocked her door and opened it, stepping inside. She took off her coat and hung it up.
Minako shut the door behind them, and hung her coat up beside it. The room was lit only by the open drapes and the the lights of the city. "I was never as beautiful as you. If I was a queen, you were a goddess. I only ever visited the stage. It belonged to you." Her eyes were dark and shining as she pressed in close. "It still belongs to you."
Her lips were firm and tasted of whiskey, nostalgia, and the wax of expertly applied lipstick. Lilia let herself fall into them, clutching at her shoulders. She pressed Minako into the wall, her leg pushed between Minako's. Yes, this is what she'd wanted from the moment she saw her in the bar. It was what she'd wanted from the moment she'd watched her walk through a gate at Charles de Gaulle thirty years ago.
Minako came up for a breath and pushed her forward. "We're neither of us young women anymore. Bed, not wall."
Lilia smiled and let herself be pushed down, kicking off her shoes and pulling Minako down on top of her. "I rather feel like a young woman right now."
Minako kissed her again, nibbling on her bottom lip. Her hand slipped under Lilia's shirt, and Lilia shuddered from the heat of it. Lilia ran her hand through Minako's hair, clutching at the back of her neck.
Minako sat back and pulled her shirt off, throwing it on the floor. She reached back to undo her bra and threw that too. Her breasts were still lovely, even not quite as firm as they once were, and Lilia couldn't resist, picking herself up and pushing Minako down so that she could take a nipple into her mouth.
Minako gasped quietly, her hands grasping at Lilia's shoulders. Lilia swirled her tongue around, the nipple stiffening. She grazed the nipple lightly with her teeth, remembering that Minako used to like that, and Minako groaned. She moved her mouth down Minako's torso, kissing the soft skin and appreciating the still hard muscle underneath it. She reached the buckle of her pants and undid it.
Minako ran her hand through Lilia's hair and pushed her up. "I'll do it. This pair has awkward buttons, and you are still wearing far too many clothes."
Lilia got up and pulled off her own shirt and skirt, neatly folding them. She pulled down her underwear and undid her bra, placing them on the pile. She turned around to see Minako lying naked on the bad, stretching, her legs spread.
Lilia felt heat rush through her. She felt like she was 34 again, running through Paris with a beautiful woman by her side. She felt like she was 52 again, divorcing Yakov and finally free of the state's expectations. She felt alive.
She crawled onto the bed and leaned in to kiss Minako again, their bodies pressed together. Her mouth was warm and soft, and Lilia didn't want to stop. She ran her hands down Minako's body, feeling the firm muscle and the hidden strength all dancers required. Minako had obviously never let her training lapse, not even after she was long retired.
Lilia moved her fingers down and brushed them lightly over her pubic mound, teasing the neatly trimmed hair. She dipped her fingers lower and Minako pulled back and gasped into her shoulder.
"Too soon?" Lilia asked, pulling her hand back.
Minako almost seemed to growl and pushed Lilia's hand back where it had been. "No."
Lilia laughed quietly and kissed her again, her fingers slipping into the silk of the vulva. She circled her fingers lightly around the clitoris, carefully not directly touching it, though she remembered that Minako had always liked that. She broke the kiss and lowered her mouth back to Minako's breasts, licking and kissing around her right areola.
Lilia sucked Minako's nipple into her mouth as she moved her fingers to more directly contact the clitoris, and Minako clutched at her shoulders and moaned. Lilia kept sucking as she moved her fingers quickly over and around the clitoris.
Minako's hands were scrambling over Lilia's back and she was rambling in Japanese, her voice breathy and gasping. Lilia quickened her fingers and let go of her nipple, pinching it lightly with her free hand and switching to suck on the other.
As it tightened, she bit down lightly and Minako threw her head back and keened. Her body shook and Lilia kept working at her clitoris, holding onto her as the waves moved through her.
Minako fell back with a gasp and pushed Lilia's hand away. Lilia let go of her nipple and smiled, leaning up to kiss her again.
Minako grinned into it and then sat back, flipping around and pushing Lilia down. "Your turn."
Minako sucked on her shoulder, tickling her hands up and down Lilia's ribs. She brushed over Lilia's nipples but never stopped to focus on them, letting her hands wander where they wanted to. Her fingers abruptly pinched the right nipple and Lilia let out a gasp.
Minako's mouth wandered down, kissing and sucking everywhere except her nipples. She flicked her tongue over the left and sucked it into her mouth for a moment, and Lilia shivered. Her mouth moved further down, kissing the stomach and lightly biting the hip bone. Lilia tightly grasped the sheets.
Minako looked up at her through half-lidded eyes and smiled wickedly. She lightly kissed the pubic mound, and then kissed it again, slowly moving her way down. Lilia braced herself and whimpered loudly at the first touch of her tongue around the clitoris, licking lightly and gently around.
She sucked Lilia's clitoris into her mouth and Lilia grasped at her head, wrapping her legs around Minako's back. That only caused her to suck harder, running her fingers around the edges of the vagina but not pressing in.
"No penetration," Lilia said, her voice both breathier and shakier than she would have liked. "I don't. I don't get-" Minako sucked harder and Lilia cut herself off with a moan.
Minako pulled back and smiled up at her, her face flushed. She ran her fingers lightly on Lilia's inner thighs, almost tickling. "Anything you want." She kissed the inside of the thigh and then dove back in. Lilia tightened her legs, trying to pull her into closer, and felt Minako's mouth move in a silent laugh.
Minako ran her fingers around the inner walls of the vulva, circling around as she sucked the clitoris back into her mouth. She did something complicated with her tongue and Lilia jerked, feeling the flush of heat and the precipice of the fall.
Minako worked her fingers in at the base underneath her mouth and Lilia let go and fell, her legs tightening even further. Minako didn't stop; she only sucked harder, her tongue never ceasing. Lilia shuddered and threw back her head in a silent gasp, her hands pulling on Minako's hair, desperate for purchase. Waves of pleasure flowed through her body and her heart pounded. Minako's tongue twisted once more and Lilia fell back, spent.
She let go with her legs and patted at her head, and Minako crawled back up the bed and kissed her. Lilia relished in the taste, but didn't take the kiss further.
"Did you want to go again?" Minako asked, her voice tired.
"Mmm, perhaps in the morning."
Minako nodded into her shoulder and yawned.
Lilia yawned as well, feeling as if she was forgetting something. "In the morning, you will give me your phone number and e-mail address. I would not lose touch with you again."
She felt Minako smile. "Of course."
Lilia drifted off to sleep, content.
("Jesus fuck, my eyes!"
Lilia jerked awake and squinted into the morning sun, feeling Minako's heavy weight beside her.
Ah. She'd forgotten she'd given Yura her spare key.)