Romance was not something which really came as a high priority for Yuuri. For a while, he thought he might have been attracted to his friend Yuuko who he had met through skating at the Ice Castle Rink. Through her, he had learned he had a passion for skating, by the time he was twelve he had his first kiss. It was after practice, he and Yuuko were flush from being out on the ice. While sitting on the bench waiting for his sister Mari to come pick him up, Yuuko pressed her lips against his. Yuuri stiffened unsure of what to do, it wasn’t as though he did not like Yuuko. He just didn’t like her in that way.
Pulling back Yuuko made a face, “Huh. Was like kissing family.”
Yuuri flushed bright red, “Yeah.”
Yuuri felt more confused.
Yuuri felt conflicted when he first watched Viktor dance on the ice. This androgynous god of the ice, hair the colour of hammered silver which cascaded down his back. It was when he watched this teen perform that Yuuri decided to dedicate himself to his craft, he wanted to meet Viktor on the ice, compete against him. He was in love, but he was not sure if it was the man or the way he captured the music in his movement.
At eighteen, Yuuri kissed his first boy, while he was in Detroit. While he could admit to himself that he enjoyed it better than he did with Yuuko, he wasn't feeling the butterflies that others spoke about with first loves. But he knew he enjoyed it more. Skating though still held more attraction and eventually Yuuri stopped dating. Finding it all too tiring, and too frustrating trying to find that supposed match that was supposed to be out there for everyone. He was feeling himself panic, was there something wrong with him? He didn’t want to be with anyone, but still craved some kind of companionship. Perhaps he was the problem, maybe he was just wrong.
In a panic, he called the only person he could think of, the one who made him feel like home. Skype opened showing a sleepy Yuuko, shit, Yuuri hadn’t even thought of the time difference.
“Yuu-chan, I am sorry I didn’t realize the time,” Yuuri spoke quickly, his voice sounding shaky.
Yuuko sat straighter, “Yuuri, you wouldn’t call if it were nothing. What happened? Is everything okay over there? Are your rink mates being nice to you?”
Yuuri smiled at his friend, “I am feeling better seeing your face Yuu-chan. I guess I was feeling a little homesick.”
“Something did happen though.” Yuuri watched as Yuuko’s screen started to move.
“One sec,” Yuuko whispered, “I am going to head into the living room so not to bother Takeshi.”
“Oh Yuu-chan, I shouldn’t have called, especially with the babies.”
Yuuko chuckled, “They are up every few hours regardless, it is alright Yuuri. Besides I have the feeling that you are about to tell me something more exciting than the current price of diapers or the best way to cure a fever.”
Yuuri chuckled, “Yeah it isn’t as exciting as all of that.”
“Okay.” Yuuko was sitting in her living room, the warm light from a side lamp illuminating her better. “Tell me everything and start at the juicy stuff. Married life is far less glorious than we were led to believe.”
Yuuri grinned, “Is Takeshi-kun being a pain? Do I need to talk with him? Or better yet send Mari over?”
Yuuko giggled, “No, Take is wonderful. And stop changing the subject, tell me about you. What is happening there?”
Yuuri sighed, “I kissed a boy.”
Yuuko’s eyes went wide, “Oh! How was he? Do I need to beat him up?”
Yuuri smiled, “No, he was very nice. I think- I think I liked it more than--”
Yuuri looked into the camera with meaning making Yuuko smiled softly. “Better than the kiss with me all those years back?”
“Yeah. I’m sorry Yuuko.” Yuuri flushed.
“Why are you sorry Yuuri? Yuu-kun I am happy for you, but I feel like that there is something more.”
“Well, I liked it, but--” Yuuri sighed.
“It still wasn’t right?”
“You ever think that maybe you might be on a different spectrum?”
Yuuko tapped her lip, a habit of hers whenever she was trying to remember something. “What was it? I read this thing on sexualities once, I think it was asexuality which might relate to you.”
Yuuri sighed, “I don’t even know what that means.”
A link popped up in the chat box which Yuuri clicked leading him to a page in black, purple, grey and white. Going over the descriptions, some of it did apply to him, but he did like kissing, sort of. It wasn’t as though he only thought about sex. He did though feel like he was broken, that he did not enjoy things the way he was supposed to, the way he was expected to. Some of what this said was making sense to him and how he felt.
Yuuri looked up he had forgotten that Yuuko was still on Skype with him. He smiled softly at his friend, “I might be Ace, it is good to know I am not broken.”
“Aww Yuuri, you were never broken.” Yuuko looked sad. There was a cry that sounded in the background of Yuuko’s house, the triplets were awake, likely wanting another feeding or a change. “I need to go, I am sorry I can’t chat longer Yuuri but know that you are not broken at all.”
“Thanks, Yuu-chan, kiss the girls for me.”
Yuuko smiled nodding, “And good luck with your skating! We miss you and never fail to watch you on the ice!”
Yuuri flushed, “Oh no, please don’t- I am nothing special.”
“That is where you are wrong.” The cries started to become more insistent. “I have to go otherwise I would argue you on this one. Love you Yuu-kun.”
“Love you too Yuu-chan.”
Yuuri hung up, not feeling as alone anymore, there were others like him out there, and there was a name for him. He was ace, which was ironic given his moniker of Japan’s rising Ace. For now, he was going to focus on his skating, perfecting his programs and footwork instead of worrying about finding love.
At twenty-three, Yuri failed himself and his country in his standings at the final skate, flubbing his program. It did not help the fact that he also had the call from home that his beloved dog Vic-chan had passed. Yuri felt like a failure, a total let down to his family and friends. Returning home he was greeted warmly by his ballet coach and friend Minako. Perhaps he was too old now and should consider quitting while he was not ahead.
At twenty-three, Yuuri was back to living at his family home when a handsome foreigner and his standard poodle came to stay at Yu-topia. It was at twenty-three that Yuuri was greeted by a very naked Viktor Nikiforov. It was at twenty-three where Yuuri felt his first real stirrings of attraction.
After their kiss on the ice, Yuuri took to the phone once more calling the only person he could think of. He knew this time that it was late, but he also knew that she would be up.
“You realize that was all on live broadcast right?” Yuuko’s voice came through the phone, there was screaming in the background of Takeshi arguing with the triplets on the time and that it was time for sleep.
“How do you feel about all of it?” The background noise had become muffled, likely Yuuko had moved to another room to avoid being overheard.
“I, am happy I think.” Yuuri blushed remembering the feel of Viktor’s soft lips against his, the heat of his body contrasting against the chill from the arena ice.
Yuuri smiled at the sound of Yuuko’s snort.
“You have been in love with the man since we were kids.”
“What?” Yuuri sputtered, “No! I just admired him and his moves.”
Yuuko was laughing now, “Your room was basically a shrine to Viktor!”
Yuuri was silent, he didn’t know how to react to that. “You know,” he spoke slowly, “It isn’t like I jumped him the moment that he arrived at the onsen.”
“I know Yuuri,” Yuuko’s voice was soft, “you are not the type to jump into anything. Even with your idol, you needed time. And I am very happy for you!”
“You know I would have thought coming out like this would have been more difficult.”
Yuuri could hear Yuuko chuckling on the other end, “Yuuri, you have never been in a closet, I hate to tell you that. We all have known for a long time just how you are. And we all still love you.”
“Of course! You are not the anomaly that you seem to think that you are. Again you kissed him on live television, we all saw.”
Yuuri chuckled feeling embarrassed, “Yeah I suppose you are right about that Yuu-chan. Thanks for being there for me, in everything.”
“You never have to thank me for that.” Yuuko’s voice was soft, and playful, “Although I will be jealous of you with the fact that you bagged perhaps one of the most sought after bachelors in the professional skating circuit.”
“Oh my god Yuuko, honestly.”
They bantered back and forth for a while longer before hanging up. Yuuri feeling that he now had the piece that fit for him and his life, he had the love of his family and the new love of someone who also accepted him in all of his flaws the way he was.