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Rivals - Past, Present and Future

Chapter Text


It didn’t take long for St Petersburg to start to feel like home.

Everything had fallen into place so easily, from the minute Yuuri had first arrived. The city might be very different to Detroit, but moving in with Viktor felt so natural that Yuuri hardly noticed. There was already nearly a suitcase worth of his things stored at Viktor's apartment, leftovers from the many trips he had taken to Russia while they had been living apart and finally moving the remainder of his possessions into their shared apartment didn’t feel strange in the slightest. Instead, it gave him a little thrill every time he saw his clothes hanging in the wardrobe next to Viktor’s and his pictures on the walls, marking out the apartment as home.

Living together also came relatively easily to them both. After a year of visiting each other during every moment they could spare, he and Viktor fell into a natural, easy rhythm almost instantly. There was nothing Yuuri loved more than waking up every morning to the sight of Viktor’s face smiling softly down at him or going to sleep tangled up in each other, warm and content. Taking the dogs out on walks together or skating together or collapsing on the couch after a hard day of training together and burying his face into Viktor neck, content simply to lie there and enjoy the feeling.

Aside from Viktor, the rest of their lives fell into place together with very little effort too, much to both of their delight. Initially, the thought of uprooting his entire life to move across the world had been daunting to Yuuri, no matter how much he knew Viktor would be worth it, but it turned out the pieces of his and Viktor’s lives fit together better than either of them ever could have hoped. Vicchan and Makkachin became friendly almost instantly, something that had caused both Viktor and Yuuri to let out a sigh of relief. The fear of their dogs not getting along had been very present in both of their minds when Yuuri had first arrived but Makkachin had taken one look at Vicchan and befriended the smaller dog on the spot, successfully erasing that worry immediately.

The transition to skating at the St Petersburg rink happened relatively easily too, the rink feeling comfortable and familiar to Yuuri after just a few weeks, although he still missed the old skating club and Phichit with all his heart. Finding the balance between Viktor’s duties as his new coach and his position as a still competing skater had taken a bit of getting used to, for both of them, but they had learned to make it work.

Their routine for training days was a simple one. Due to Viktor’s divided commitments, for the first half of the day he trained with Yakov while Yuuri stayed well out of the way, still wary around Viktor’s coach even after hearing his apologies. Yakov had made it clear that Yuuri was welcome to join Viktor’s training session whenever he wanted but Yuuri had turned him down, feeling more comfortable on his own.

While Viktor trained with Yakov, Yuuri often worked on his fitness or danced in the studio, occasionally going to the ice to practice drills. When the morning finally ended, Viktor would take over his training to work on Yuuri’s routines together and the real challenge would begin. Viktor was a fair coach but a tough one, especially as the Grand Prix series grew rapidly nearer, and Yuuri often ended each day exhausted but content, Viktor not far behind him.

When they both finally left the ice late in the evening they would make their way home together, often collapsing on the couch on top of one another as soon as they walked through the door, too tired to be bothered to do much more. Eventually they would eat and finally climb into bed together, both worn out by a long day training. Sometimes Viktor would begin to press soft kisses into Yuuri’s neck or Yuuri would trail his fingers lightly across Viktor’s skin and it would be several more hours before either of them were finally ready to go to sleep. But sometimes they would be too tired to do much more than simply lie in each other’s arms as they drifted off.

Viktor often fell asleep first, his preference for rising early contrasting with Yuuri’s night owl tendencies.  It was on those nights, when Viktor’s breathing was deep and easy and Yuuri was sure that he was fast asleep, that Yuuri would slip quietly out of bed, pad silently over to the wardrobe and pull out the small box hidden beneath a neat stack of clothes on the top shelf to look at the rings.

There were two of them, engraved gold bands sat on black velvet, hidden away where only Yuuri knew where to find them. Viktor had no idea that the rings were there of course, had no idea that Yuuri had even purchased them. Yuuri only ever took them out when he was sure Viktor was fast asleep and always replaced everything exactly the way it was by morning so as not to arouse suspicion. But he couldn’t help but take the rings out regularly to stare at them in the dark of the night when sleep eluded him, watching the way the gold glinted in the moonlight.

He had bought the rings on impulse a few days after he had arrived in Russia, the pair inexplicably catching his eye from the shop window and the purchase made before he had even really thought about it. There had been a vague notion in his mind about lucky charms, the Grand Prix series was approaching after all and he had wanted to give Viktor some kind of good luck gift before it started. It was only after he had left the shop with the ring box in his pocket and his bank account considerably emptier than it had previously been that the full implication of buying the two rings had actually hit him.

Yuuri had never really thought much about marriage before. When he had been young there had always been a vague notion in his mind that someday it might happen but it had never gone much further than that. Over the initial years he had spent with Viktor, he had never allowed the thought to cross his mind, the idea far too far out of his grasp to even entertain the notion.

But finally they were together and the concept suddenly felt real and possible in a way it never had before.

When they had first started their relationship they had agreed to go slowly, to start from the beginning and take it step by step, making sure they did it right this time. But by the time the ring box was sitting in his hand, solid and real, they had been together for nearly a year, he was living with Viktor in Russia and fully intended to stay there and he wanted to be by Viktor’s side forever. Yuuri knew he was ready to take the next step and he was pretty confident that Viktor would be too.

Still standing on the street outside the shop where they had been purchased, Yuuri had opened the box and stared at the rings for several minutes, one finger lightly tracing the bands and imagining the way it would look like glinting around Viktor’s finger. The way the lights of the stadium would reflect off it and the whole world would see and know. The way it would glow softly in the moonlight when they were lying in bed together, in moments reserved just for each other. The way he would see it on Viktor’s finger every day as he skated or walked Makkachin or cooked the dinner and be able to look at its pair on his own hand, a physical representation of their commitment to each other.

Yuuri’s mind was set before he even made it back home that evening, slipping past Viktor and into the bedroom with a quick hello and stashing the small box at the top of the wardrobe beneath a pile of his old clothes where he was sure Viktor would never look. Much as he wanted to simply ask Viktor straight away he restrained himself, knowing that it wasn’t the time. Not yet at least.

If it had been solely up to him, Yuuri knew he would have voiced the question the minute he had walked through the door, with Viktor sprawled out on the floor where he had been when Yuuri entered the apartment, trying to teach Vicchan to respond to commands in Russian. The setting hardly mattered to him, only the question and the answer that he was hoping Viktor would give and he had never been good at controlling his impulses once he had set his mind to something.

But it wasn’t just about him, it was about Viktor too and he knew how much Viktor loved the classic ideas of romance. Taking Yuuri out to fancy dinners or dancing together at parties or sweeping Yuuri off his feet to carry him through the threshold of the apartment the first day he had moved in, even as Yuuri had laughed and insisted Viktor put him down again. Yuuri knew that Viktor would love the picture-perfect proposal, something special and memorable. More than love it, Viktor deserved it and Yuuri wanted to give him it. There were a lot of milestones in their relationship that had been far from perfect and Yuuri was determined to make sure that this wasn’t one of them.

Which was how Yuuri regularly found himself sitting in the dark of the night, staring at the rings glinting prettily in the box while Viktor slept peacefully beside him.

It had become almost a habit for him, to take them out and look at them and imagine what it would feel like when he finally showed them to Viktor and asked the question he had been keeping locked inside himself since he had first bought them. The Grand Prix series was starting soon and he had already decided that during the final would be the time. It felt right, to ask Viktor to marry him at the final where, a year ago, they had both shown their love to the world and chosen each other for good. Until then, he made himself content with staring at the glinting gold in its velvet box when he was sure Viktor was fast asleep, a small smile playing across his lips as he imagined the future that they would have together.

The nightly routine would end as it always did, with Yuuri tucking the box safely away at the top of the wardrobe again and slipping back into bed, Viktor still fast asleep next to him. Most nights, Viktor would unconsciously reach out, pulling Yuuri’s body to his and burying his face into Yuuri neck, sighing happily as he slept on. Yuuri would always smile at that, pressing a soft kiss to Viktor’s forehead and curling himself up around Viktor, burrowing into the warmth.

Every night he would lie there with Viktor and gradually drift off into dreams, thoughts still on the rings hidden away in the wardrobe across the room. And when he dreamt, it was about flashes of gold around a pale finger and the love in his heart for the person sleeping peacefully next to him.






Inevitably, nothing went according to plan.

Everything had started out fine that morning, or so Yuuri had thought. It was the day before he and Viktor were due to leave for the Grand Prix Final and everything was supposedly ready. Their costumes were stored away, their flights were booked and all that was left to do was some last-minute packing before they could both spend the rest of the day relaxing in preparation for the competition ahead.

The low grade nerves that were always present before a competition had been buzzing at the back of Yuuri’s mind since he had woken up, along with the much more serious nerves about the proposal he was planning immediately after the competition was done, but he had been successful at staying relatively calm throughout the entirety of the morning. Until he opened the wardrobe door however, to see an empty shelf staring back at him.

Throughout their preparations for the final, Yuuri had kept the rings hidden away, too worried that Viktor might discover the little box in his suitcase if he took it from its supposedly safe hiding place in the wardrobe. The pile of clothes he had hidden the rings in were all his own, there was no reason for Viktor to look on that particular shelf and so his hiding place had been secure. Or so Yuuri had thought.

The sight of the top shelf completely empty, neither clothes or rings anywhere to be found, put an end to that particular brand of optimism. Yuuri felt his heart lurch unpleasantly at the sight, eyes scanning frantically over the wardrobe in search of the missing clothes and, by extension, the missing rings.  

When his search turned up nothing he spun around, looking over his shoulder to where Viktor was bent over his own suitcase innocently, folding his shirts and looking nothing like someone who might have accidentally discovered the pair of rings his boyfriend had hidden in the wardrobe. At the sight, Yuuri forced himself to calm down, trying to think things through rationally.

“Viktor,” he asked, making sure his voice remained steady with no hint of the worry that was building inside him slipping through the cracks. “What happened to my clothes? The ones I keep on the top shelf?”

When Viktor looked around innocently, Yuuri made a jerky motion to the now empty shelf, forcing himself to keep his face entirely neutral. He didn’t want to give the game away and ruin the surprise if it turned out Viktor was still entirely unaware of just what exactly had been hidden in that pile of clothes. The perfect romantic proposal he had been planning for weeks wouldn’t exactly work if he blurted out to Viktor that he was panicking over a case of potentially lost engagement rings.

At Yuuri’s gesture, Viktor’s expression morphed into one of understanding and he made a vague motion to point towards Yuuri’s own half-full suitcase on the opposite side of the room.

“They’re over there,” he explained with a warm smile, returning to his own suitcase. “I recognised some of the clothes there as ones you like to take to competitions so I put them on your suitcase last night to remind you to pack them this morning.”

When Yuuri glanced over to the other side of the room, the pile of his clothes where he had hidden the rings was indeed sitting neatly on top of his suitcase. It was a thoughtful gesture from Viktor that made his heart flutter a little in his chest but it did nothing to quell the worry rising within him. From the way that Viktor was acting, he didn’t seem like someone who had discovered a ring box while rooting through his boyfriend’s clothes but that still didn’t explain where the rings has gone. They had definitely been in that pile of clothes, Yuuri was sure of it. He had taken them out enough times at night to know.

After another quick glance into the wardrobe to make sure the rings definitely weren’t there, Yuuri hurried over to his suitcase and rummaged through the pile of his clothes that Viktor had left on top as surreptitiously as possible, praying that Viktor wouldn’t notice and ask any awkward questions. The rings had been sandwiched between his Detroit skating club hoodie and the vibrantly pink one reading ‘Katsudamn’ that Phichit had bought him for a joke when he had last seen them but when Yuuri pulled the pile apart, the box was still nowhere to be found.

Worry mounting, Yuuri glanced at the floor around the suitcase, wondering if perhaps the box had fallen somewhere. No matter how hard he looked however, the little black box was nowhere to be seen.

Keeping his posture deliberately relaxed, Yuuri wandered over to the wardrobe again, frantically scanning the floor of the room out of the corner of his eye and still seeing no sign of the ring box. A thorough search of the wardrobe turned up no results and Yuuri suppressed the urge to hide his face in his hands and groan in frustration. He couldn’t believe it, after waiting weeks to create the perfect proposal he had already ruined it by losing the rings. He and Viktor flew out to the final the next day, if he couldn’t find them by then he would miss his chance.

 “Yuuri, are you alright?” Viktor asked, flipping the lid of his suitcase shut and looking at Yuuri with a hint of concern creeping into his expression. Clearly, Yuuri hadn’t been concealing his mounting panic as well as he had hoped.

“I’m fine,” Yuuri replied, waving the question away and keeping his face turned away just in case his expression gave him away. There was no need to alert Viktor to anything being wrong just yet.

He would find the rings, he had to. They couldn’t have gone far after all, the box had most likely fallen from the pile of clothes and rolled under the bed or something else simple and easily resolvable. All he had to do was wait until Viktor was out of the room and then he could search properly, find the rings and pack them away before his dreams of giving Viktor the perfect proposal he deserved crumbled around him.

The next few minutes were unbearable, Yuuri feeling fidgety and on edge the entire time as he tried to pack under a façade of calm, glancing at Viktor every few seconds and willing him to leave so that Yuuri could search unobserved. Finally, after what felt like an age, Viktor left the room, wandering through into the kitchen and Yuuri seized the opportunity immediately. As soon as the door swung shut he threw himself onto the floor, peering under the bed and feeling a sinking feeling of disappointment when there was nothing to be found there. Scrambling over to the wardrobe, he searched underneath it as well but again came away empty handed. The rings has vanished.

Sitting back on his heels, Yuuri gazed despairingly at the rest of the room, the irrational hope that the ring box would simply reappear the only thing keeping him from simply burying his head in his hands and groaning in frustration. The room was minimalistic in design, if Viktor had unknowingly dislodged the box from his pile of clothes there was an extremely limited number of places it could have fallen and Yuuri had checked all of them. Unless Viktor had hidden the rings deliberately, which seemed highly unlikely, Yuuri had no idea where else to look.

Unexpectedly, there was a soft nudge at his arm and Yuuri turned to see Vicchan sitting next to him, bumping his wet nose into the sleeve of Yuuri’s shirt before rubbing his head along Yuuri’s side comfortingly. Yuuri smiled and reached out, scratching Vicchan behind the ears affectionately and feeling himself relax franctionally. Vicchan had always had a knack for knowing exactly when Yuuri was upset and needed something to cheer him up.

Losing the rings wasn’t that bad, Yuuri reasoned to himself, although he could still feel the frustration at himself burning within him. There would surely be jewellers around the stadium where the Grand Prix Final was being held, he could just buy another pair of rings there, although his bank account wouldn’t thank him for it. Or he could simply wait until they came home and search again in the hope that the rings would turn up somewhere. He wanted to propose to Viktor at the Grand Prix Final because he knew how much it would mean to the other man but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he couldn’t. Viktor loved him, Yuuri knew that. He’d probably be happy even if Yuuri proposed to him with a plastic ring in the alley behind their apartment.

Vicchan left out a soft bark and cuddled up closer, pushing his nose into the crook of Yuuri’s arm. From across the other side of the room, Makkachin made a huffing noise from where he had been curled up in the corner and padded over to join them, tail wagging enthusiastically, clearly looking to join in on the cuddles.

Yuuri reached out for him and Makkachin let out another huffing noise, the sound strangely distorted and unfamiliar. For a second, Yuuri couldn’t work out what had caused the change but as Makkachin approached he noticed the flash of black between the dog’s teeth. A very familiar flash of black.

“Makkachin!” Yuuri exclaimed feeling mixture of annoyance and heart-stopping relief flood through him at the sight and the realisation of just what Makkachin was holding. Makkachin simply wagged his tail, huffing again around the ring box that was still clamped in his teeth. When Yuuri reached out to try and take it, he dropped his upper body to the ground and wiggled, looking at Yuuri excitedly, the way he did when he wanted to play.

“Drop it,” Yuuri ordered as sternly as he could, refusing to be swayed by the adorable puppy dog eyes that Makkachin was giving him. In any other situation he wouldn’t be able to resist but this was one game that he refused to play. Makkachin had clearly meant no harm, he had probably picked the box up from the floor where it had been dropped but Yuuri had to get it out of his mouth and back into hiding before…

Makkachin,” Viktor called out from the kitchen, voice drifting into the bedroom through the half open door and Makkachin and Yuuri’s heads snapped around at exactly the same time. Makkachin’s ears pricked up at the sound of his owner’s call and Yuuri saw what he was about to do a second before it happened.

“Makkachin no!” he hissed, reaching out to grab a hold of the dog, a fraction of a second too slowly. The soft fur around Makkachin’s collar slipped through his fingers as Makkachin bounded away from him, following the sound of Viktor’s voice. Yuuri lunged for him again, trying to grab Makkachin’s collar but his hands met nothing but air as Makkachin slipped past him and out of the door.

Swearing quietly to himself, Yuuri sprinted for the door, yanking it open and running after Makkachin, Vicchan padding along sedately behind him. When he entered the living area, it was to the sight of Makkachin sitting beside Viktor, panting happily at the little black box he had proudly deposited at his owner’s feet. There was a look of confusion on Viktor’s face as he bent down to pick it up and Yuuri felt his heart screech to a halt in his chest.

It was supposed to be a surprise, a special moment, but there was barely time for him to blurt out a frantic ‘Viktor wait’ before Viktor had flicked the lid of the box open and looked down at the contents within.  

Viktor froze. Yuuri froze. Makkachin looked very pleased with himself, butting his head up against Viktor’s unmoving leg as Viktor stood stock still, staring at the rings.

There was a long moment of silence, broken only by the panting of the two dogs in the room, before finally Viktor spoke.

“Yuuri,” he asked, eyes finally moving from the open box in his hand to where Yuuri was still standing frozen. “What are…what are these?”

Yuuri could see the way Viktor swallowed as he spoke, the line of his throat working while he kept his voice perfectly steady, even as Yuuri could see the shock in his eyes.

“Um,” Yuuri replied eloquently, before mentally smacking himself. All he wanted to do in that moment was sink through the floor and disappear, hopefully never to be seen again. This was not how it was supposed to go, with him standing frozen in the doorway and Viktor holding a ring box lightly coated in dog drool. He had planned everything to be the perfect romantic proposal and somehow he had still managed to mess everything up, along with the help of Makkachin, the traitor.

Viktor was still staring at him, eyes wide as he waited for an answer and Yuuri swallowed heavily before speaking, words tumbling out in a rush as he tried to explain.

“The final is coming up,” he blurted out, looking down at his hands and allowing his fingers twist together as he spoke. Everything had seemed easier when he had been planning it in his head but now the moment was here and all his plans were thrown out of the window and suddenly he couldn’t think of the right thing to say. “I saw them in a shop and I wanted us to have a lucky charm so that we’d both skate our best. And I wanted to give you a thank you gift for all your help and so I…”

He trailed off, wincing at the words and how nothing was coming out the way he wanted it to.  Bracing himself he glanced up, taking in Viktor’s face which was still blank with shock and the way his hand held the ring box in a white knuckled grip.

“Yuuri, is this…are these…” Viktor started before pausing, eyes looking suspiciously bright in the glare of the kitchen light. “Are these engagement rings?”

“Uh, yes,” Yuuri confirmed, nails digging into the palms of his hands and still mentally cursing himself for just how badly he had screwed everything up. He’d wanted to give Viktor the perfect proposal, not have him accidentally find the rings and then have Yuuri babble incoherently at him out of nerves rather than just asking the question.

Viktor didn’t say anything for a few seconds, simply staring down at the rings with wide eyes and an expression of awe on his face. Then, before Yuuri had time to think, Viktor was crossing the space between them in a few short strides and pulling him into a messy kiss. The angle was all wrong and their noses bumped together awkwardly but Yuuri didn’t care because Viktor’s arms were around him and holding him tightly and he could taste Viktor’s smile on his lips and see the brightness in his eyes. Yuuri felt all the tension drain from his body at the feeling and he kissed back, pressing everything he hadn’t managed to say into Viktor’s lips as he held on. Nothing might have gone the way that Yuuri intended it but in that moment, he didn’t care at all.

“You’re asking me to marry you?” Viktor beamed when they finally broke apart and Yuuri nodded, feeling the way Viktor’s pulse raced beneath his skin and seeing the beaming smile that broke out across Viktor’s face at his confirmation.

“Yes,” he agreed, and Viktor pulled him in again, burying his face into the crook of Yuuri’s neck as he held them together.  

Yuuri allowed his eyes to flutter shut, basking in the feeling of the hug but after a few seconds he forced himself to pull away again, putting some space between them. Nothing might have been gone to plan but there was still time to salvage some of it at least. Viktor deserved more than a ring box dropped at his feet, no matter how cute the messenger was, and a fumbled explanation. If Yuuri really was going to propose here and now, he wanted to try and get at least one thing right.

Viktor was still holding the ring box but he released it easily when Yuuri took it from him, pulling one of the gold bands from inside and sliding it onto Viktor’s waiting finger, hearing the way Viktor’s breathing hitched a little as he did so.

“Viktor,” he said, trying to keep his voice steady but still hearing a slight waver in the words. He had dreamed about this moment for weeks now and it was absolutely nothing like he had imagined and yet somehow it hardly seemed to matter now that Viktor was staring at him with reverence in his eyes and Yuuri could feel the warmth build in his chest, a love that too much to be contained on his own. “Will you marry me?”

“Of course,” Viktor choked out, smiling even as Yuuri could see the beads of moisture gathering in his eyes. “Of course I will.”

Even though he had already been pretty confident he’d known what Viktor’s answer was going to be, Yuuri couldn’t help but feel the relief and joy flood through him at the words. He opened his mouth to speak again but was cut off when Viktor pulled him into another kiss, just as passionate as the last but slower this time, and sweeter. Yuuri kissed back, sliding his arms around Viktor’s waist and pulling them together, savouring the familiar feeling of Viktor’s lips on his. It was something he had had a thousand times before and would have a thousand times again but it would never stop making his heart soar in his chest, regardless of time.

It took much longer this time for them to break apart, both of them lingering in the moment until finally, Yuuri pulled away again.

“That wasn’t exactly how I was planning the proposal to go,” he admitted to Viktor as they regained their breath, glancing away and feeling his cheeks flush a little from embarrassment. The ring box still had traces of Makkachin’s teeth imprinted in it, the setting of their kitchen was far from the most romantic and he couldn’t help but mourn for the picture perfect proposal in his head that they had now lost. It was hardly the romance that he knew Viktor would have loved.

Soft hands cupped his face, tilting his head up and Yuuri glanced up to see Viktor smiling at him, his hands warm and comforting against Yuuri’s cheek.

“It doesn’t matter, it was perfect,” he smiled and Yuuri could read the honesty in his eyes and the happiness in his voice as he spoke. “It was perfect because it was you.”

There was a pause as they simply gazed at each other and then suddenly Viktor looked away, shoulders beginning to shake slightly under Yuuri’s hands. For a second Yuuri panicked, wondering wildly if Viktor had started to cry but a second later he recognised the laughter that was shaking his fiancé’s frame.

“Viktor, what is it?” he asked, hearing the confusion in his own voice and searching for an explanation.

“This wasn’t exactly how I planned the proposal to go either,” Viktor explained, although the words did little to clear up Yuuri’s confusion.  Before he could speak again however, Viktor hands had left him and he had dashed through the door to the bedroom, disappearing temporarily. Yuuri waited in confusion for a handful of seconds before Viktor reappeared, two pieces of paper clutched in his hand.

As soon as he was close enough, he offered them to Yuuri, who took them hesitantly, not quite sure what he was expecting. Whatever it was, it wasn’t what he saw when he glanced down at the paper.

“Plane tickets?” he asked in confusion, scanning the papers and trying to understand just what Viktor was trying to say. “To…Barcelona?”

Yuuri’s could feel his eyes widen as he spoke, the full implication of the destination hitting him as soon as the words had left his mouth. Barcelona, the place where, a year ago, everything had changed for them both in the best way.

“You weren’t the only one planning to propose.” Viktor smiled, voice full of affection. “You just beat me to it.”

“Viktor,” Yuuri began, feeling a tightness begin to grow in his throat as he glanced back down at the tickets again. The dates listed for the flights were a few days after the final, Viktor had clearly been planning to take him back to Barcelona as soon as the competition was over. If Yuuri’s proposal had gone to plan, he still would have proposed to Viktor first but the knowledge that Viktor had been planning to ask Yuuri just as Yuuri was planning to do the same made another great swell of emotion rise within him.

“It’s my turn now,” Viktor added, taking the ring box gently out of Yuuri’s hand and pulling out the second ring, taking Yuuri’s hand in his own and rubbing his fingers softly over the knuckle. The softness in his face almost forced Yuuri to look away, feeling the familiar sting in his own eyes as he watched. They had been through so much together and somehow they had still ended up here, with Viktor looking at him like he was the most precious thing in the world. Yuuri didn’t think he’d ever stop being amazed at that.

With great care, Viktor slid the ring onto Yuuri’s finger, a perfect match to Viktor’s own. When the ring was securely on, Viktor lifted Yuuri’s hand and placed a gentle kiss onto the knuckle, warm lips brushing over cool metal as he did so. Yuuri could feel his breath catch in his chest and Viktor smiled at the sight, placing another kiss to Yuuri’s ring before moving to mouth his way up Yuuri’s fingers. When he reached the tip of the ring finger he gently flipped Yuuri’s hand over and placed another kiss to his palm, then his wrist.

Slipping one hand under Viktor’s chin, Yuuri pulled Viktor’s head up and pressed a soft kiss to Viktor’s lips before wrapping his arms around the other man and pulling him in for a hug, burying his face into Viktor’s shoulder. Distantly, he heard Viktor sigh in contentment against his skin as he pulled Yuuri closer. The moment seemed to stretch out forever, perfect and unbroken, surrounded by nothing but each other.

“We should get married in Hasetsu,” Viktor mumbled into his shoulder, sounding content as he held Yuuri close. Yuuri hummed in agreement, feeling a little thrill at the mental image those words conjured up. Hasetsu had been where their story had truly begun for him, all those years ago, when he had watched Viktor skating for the first time on a fuzzy old tv screen and started down the path that would one day lead him here. With Viktor in his arms and the promise of forever.

“We could do it in the summer,” Viktor mused as they pulled apart slightly but still remaining close. “Or in the winter. I’ve always loved the idea of a winter wedding.”

Both sounded perfect to Yuuri, anything sounded perfect because marrying Viktor was perfect enough in itself and however it happened, he would be happy.

We’ll have to wait until the season ends though.” Viktor added with a teasing grin. “And I’ve won gold.”

“I think you mean, when I’ve won gold.” Yuuri shot back light-heartedly, allowing his voice to fall into the same teasing tone. Just because Viktor was his coach, fiancé and the love of his life didn’t mean he was planning on going easy on him during competitions. They were both still competitive and Yuuri loved the challenge Viktor brought, knowing that Viktor felt exactly the same. It was a friendly sort of competitiveness and in the end they both knew it didn’t really matter who won, but teasing each other over medals had become almost a tradition. “This is the only gold you’ll be getting this year.”

As he spoke he reached out to twine his hand with Viktor’s own, running his finger lightly over the gold band of Viktor’s ring as Viktor laughed, pulling him closer.

“I can live with that,” Viktor replied with a smile and Yuuri could hear the happiness radiating from his words, matching the joy that was warming his own heart.

There was silence for a few more minutes before Viktor spoke again, voice suddenly quiet and contemplative in the silence of the room.

“I’m so happy that I met you Yuuri,” he said at last, eyes flickering down to their hands where the rings glinted softly in the light and back up to Yuuri’s face again. The words were unexpected but Yuuri could hear all the unspoken meaning behind them and read the emotion that was clear in Viktor’s eyes. “I’m so happy I get the spend the rest of my life with you.”

Yuuri stepped closer, reaching up to cup Viktor’s face in his hand, watching as Viktor closed his eyes and pressed his cheek into Yuuri’s palm with a sigh of contentment. Yuuri stroked his thumb across Viktor’s cheek, enjoying the feeling of the warmth under his skin, solid and real. Viktor was here and Viktor was his, just like he was Viktor’s. They had shared so much in the past, there was nothing he wanted more than to share the rest of their lives together now, wherever the future might take them. As long as they were together, he would be happy.

“So am I,” he replied with a smile.

Chapter Text

The first time that Celestino Cialdini and Yakov Feltsman met, Viktor Nikiforov had just broken a world record in the Junior Grand Prix Final.

It had been expected that Viktor would win but even so, Celestino had privately been cheering the young skater on as he watched the competition. None of his own skaters had made it into the final that year but he had gone along to watch it anyway, determined to gain knowledge from the more experienced coaches that would be present and to scope out the up and coming junior talent. During the competition he had watched Viktor Nikiforov perform, not able to outwardly show too much enthusiastic support for a skater who had beaten some of his own students that year but still feeling a thrill of satisfaction when the young skater’s scores were announced all the same.

Viktor was young, talented and the next big thing in skating, if rumours were to be believed. Some described him as flighty and arrogant but Celestino had seen the steely flint of determination in his eyes as he performed, the utter commitment to the sport and to perfection. He was fascinating to watch and Celestino felt no guilt at being pleased at seeing a victory well deserved. Viktor was the kind of skater that every coach dreamed of having, although he had already been snapped up by Russia’s prestigious Yakov Feltsman long ago.

After the competition was over, Celestino decided to approach the older coach, wanting to congratulate him on his skater’s victory. Yakov Feltsman was as famous in the coaching circles as his skaters were in the public eye, often even more so. He had been producing gold medallist since before Celestino himself had even finished his skating career and any young aspiring coach could do well to be on his good side.

“Congratulations on Nikiforov’s win,” Celestino told the older man when there was finally a lull in the hustle and bustle around them, watching as Yakov turned to him with a neutral expression on his face.

“Thank you,” he replied, voice gruff but polite all the same.

“He truly deserved to win gold, his routines this year were very impressive,” Celestino added. “You clearly coached him well.”

“He rarely listens to anything I say but I’ve managed to drill some sense into him at least,” Yakov replied and even though Celestino could hear the exasperation in his voice, he could see the glint of fondness in the older coach’s eye as he spoke.

“Where is he anyway, I’d have thought after a win like that he’d be caught up with reporters for hours,” Celestino added out of curiosity, looking around for the young, silver-haired skater who was conspicuously absent from the rapidly emptying arena.

“He’s outside with his fans,” Yakov responded, sounding less than pleased at the statement. “He went out there as soon as he could and he’ll be out signing posters and taking photographs for hours if I let him.”

“Interacting with his fans isn’t so bad, there are much worse things that he could be doing” Celestino pointed out and Yakov made a reluctant noise of agreement. Celestino wasn’t sure why the older coach seemed so displeased with his skater spending time with his fans. It was unlikely that anything bad would happen to a young skater when out signing autographs, apart from perhaps acquiring an over-inflated ego that some athletes were prone to. Celestino didn’t see that there was much to worry about.

“Will I be seeing any of your skaters at Worlds this year, Coach Cialdini?” Yakov asked and Celestino startled a little at the rapid change of subject. He and Yakov had been at competitions before of course but Celestino was still a relatively new coach compared to the other man and they had never interacted personally before now. He had no idea Yakov had taken any interest in the skaters he was coaching or their prospects at future events. Although it made sense for a man like Yakov Feltsman to keep a close eye on all of the competition.

“I hope so,” he replied, instead of voicing any of his thoughts out loud. “And I look forward to seeing Nikiforov there too. Word is that he’s moving into the senior division after this season and I’m sure it’ll be interesting to see where he future career takes him. A skater like him has the potential to be something truly special.”

Yakov was silent for a moment and Celestino watched as his eyes flickered away briefly, over to the ice where his student had just performed. There was something in his eyes, a softness that was unexpected in a face like his and for a second his looked almost lost in thought, or in a memory. Then he turned back to Celestino again and this time his face was far less guarded than Celestino had ever seen it before.

“He already is,” Yakov told him with the hint of a smile.






The second time that Celestino Cialdini met Yakov Feltsman, it was several years later and Yuuri Katsuki and Viktor Nikiforov were standing together on the podium for the first time.

Celestino had been Yuuri’s coach for a little under a year and he was immensely proud as he watched his student smile for the cameras with a bronze medal draped around his neck. He knew that Yuuri had been bitterly disappointed when he didn’t make it to the podium during his senior debut at the Grand Prix Final earlier that season but Yuuri had always been far too hard on himself for a skater so young and with so much potential. It was a relief to see him wearing a medal and smiling now.

Beside Celestino, Yakov Feltsman stood, looking up at the podium along with Celestino although his own eyes were focused on the figure wearing gold. Viktor Nikiforov was a force to be reckoned with and he was already notorious for being near impossible to unseat from his position in at the top.

“I had heard you decided to coach the previous junior gold medallist this season,” Yakov said unexpectedly as they stood together and watched their respective skaters soak up the praise. “It was a good choice. His routine at the Junior World Championships last year showed a lot of potential.”

“He’s an excellent skater,” Celestino agreed with a proud smile. In the year that he had known him, Yuuri had shown himself to be hard-working, dedicated and ambitious, all traits highly prized in an up and coming skater. More than that, in the short time that they had known each other, Yuuri had already worked his way into Celestino’s heart and he had a great fondness for the teenager and was proud of what he had achieved.

Over on the podium, Yuuri turned away from the cameras and the crowd, glancing up at the skater standing on the podium above him. As he did so, Celestino watched as his face fell, eyes narrowing as he glared up at where Viktor Nikiforov stood with a gold medal around his neck.

“He doesn’t look particularly happy for a newly senior skater on the podium for the first time,” Yakov remarked dryly, eyebrow raised at where Yuuri was still staring at Viktor, the older skater now turned to look back at him with an appraising expression on his face.

“He wants to be the best,” Celestino shrugged. While Yuuri staunchly refused to make any mention of the current top skater, Celestino had his suspicions. Yuuri had a tendency to tense whenever Viktor Nikiforov’s name was mentioned around the rink and his desire to win gold was common knowledge. Viktor was well known as the person to beat for any skater wanting to make their way to the top and it made sense that Yuuri viewed him as his biggest competition. “Can you really begrudge him that?”

“Katsuki has potential,” Yakov admitted. “But it’s a lofty dream to believe that he’ll ever be able to beat Viktor. He’s not even reached his full potential yet and he’s already leagues ahead of the rest of the competition. No-one will beat him.”

Celestino let out a non-committal hum, turning back to the podium where the two skaters had turned away from each other again and were back to waving out at the crowds. Viktor might seem unbeatable but Celestino had the suspicion that that might change in the future if his own student had anything to say about it. If nothing else, Yuuri would work his way to gold out of sheer stubbornness, never able to back away from a challenge.

“We’ll see,” he murmured, looking at the two of them standing together, silver and black hair glinting in the lights from the stadium and their medals held up side by side. “We’ll see.”






The third time that Celestino Cialdini met Yakov Feltsman, they were in a bar.

Celestino often ended up in bars the night after competitions ended, glad to finally have the chance to relax after a hectic few days. Most of the skaters under his care took the opportunity to relax too, going out and celebrating with other skaters after another World Championships over and done with or simply falling face first onto their beds and sleeping the exhaustion of the competition away. Phichit was definitely the former, already out with a crowd of other skaters to socialise and celebrate their win, and Yuuri was definitely the latter.

After finishing up his official duties as a coach that day and grabbing a quick bite to eat, Celestino just had one more errand to run before he could settle down at the bar with a well-deserved drink. His room was one floor away from Yuuri and Phichit’s so it wasn’t much of an effort to descend the single flight of stairs and knock loudly on the plain wooden door. He needed to discuss some quick points about the next day’s schedule with his two skaters and while Phichit wouldn’t be in their shared room, Yuuri had already confessed his plans to remain at the hotel and have a quiet night in and could pass the information on to his friend when he returned.

However, there was no reply to his knocking and after waiting several long seconds, Celestino tried again. Again, there was no response and after a few more tries of knocking futilely and calling Yuuri’s name through the door, he was forced to give up.

It was unusual, for Yuuri not to answer. Celestino knew that he wasn’t out with Phichit, Yuuri had made his desire to stay in the hotel very clear that day and from the stream of pictures Phichit was currently posting, none of which featured Yuuri, he clearly hadn’t changed his mind. He was probably still in the hotel somewhere, either stepping out of his room for walk or simply not able to hear Celestino’s calls and knocking through his headphones or the noise of the shower or something similar.

Or he was with his lover.

Celestino tried to stay out of his skater’s personal lives as much as possible, not wanting to seem overbearing as he knew some coaches could be. But he had suspected Yuuri might have found himself a lover at competitions for a while now, ever since Yuuri had snuck into their shared room the morning after the World Championships two years ago with a bad excuse and a poorly concealed assortment of bruises and bite-marks on his neck.

Celestino had let it go without question. Many skaters enjoyed relieving the stress of competitions with casual hook-ups or semi-permeant arrangements with other skaters during the competitive seasons and Celestino was not one to judge. He trusted Yuuri implicitly and unless it looked like any of Yuuri’s personal life was going to affect his skating, it wasn’t his place to question or interfere. If Yuuri felt the need to tell him, he would.

After that first night two years ago, there hadn’t been any other incidents that Celestino could remember but he left his skater’s to their own devices as much as he could and it was perfectly possible that the same thing could have happened again without his knowledge. Yuuri’s absence from his room that night after pleading off socialising with Phichit did seem to indicate that he might currently be involved in a much more intimate engagement.

Celestino shrugged the thoughts off as he walked down to the bar. Yuuri had worked himself brutally hard that year, winning a gold in both the Grand Prix Final and now the World Championships. If anyone deserved a bit of stress relief now, it was him.

When he arrived at the hotel bar there was already a rowdy group of skaters there, led by the notorious Christophe Giacometti as they laughed and drank together. Heading to the opposite side of the bar from the group, Celestino sat at the counter as the barman came over, ordering his drink and proceeding to finally allow himself to relax.

It was only after he had already sat down that he noticed the man in the seat nearest to him, hunched over his own glass and with a dark look on his face.

Celestino hadn’t spoken properly with Yakov Feltsman in years, although they had seen each other in passing plenty of times. With their two top skaters involved in a notorious rivalry, it was only natural they had bumped into each other at the various competitions they attended over the years, although polite nods and brief snippets of conversation were about the extent of their interaction.

“Congratulations to yourself and Viktor today,” Celestino offered out of politeness, wanting to at least acknowledge the other coach sitting there before they both returned to drinking in silence. Yakov gave a sharp nod of acknowledgement at the words, although he didn’t look overly pleased by them. It made sense, after years of coaching the world’s top skater, seeing Viktor be knocked off the podium multiple times in a single season must have stung.

“Congratulations on your own skater winning gold,” Yakov added, but there was a definite air of forced politeness about the words.

There was another raucous cheer from the other end of the bar, the group of skaters there laughing and talking loudly to each other as they finished what appeared to be another round. The antics of the group made Celestino smile slightly, remembering his own skating days with fondness.

“I would have thought Viktor would be there celebrating with the rest of them,” he mentioned casually, nodding over to where Christophe was leaning draped across the bar, ordering another drink from the flustered bartender with a flirtatious bat of his eyelashes. Chris and Viktor were known to be close and usually when Celestino saw one of them at competitions, the other was close by.

“It seems he must have had a previous engagement,” Yakov said with a hint of bitterness in his tone, taking a long swig of the drink that he was holding.

They finished the rest of their drinks in a mutual silence, neither feeling the need to add anymore to the conversation. There were many coaches that Celestino considered himself friends with but Yakov had never been one of them. They were mutual acquaintances and nothing more, too different in years of experience and teaching style to ever have much need to speak to each other in any more than passing and politeness. And there was also the matter of their skater’s feelings about each other to be considered. Celestino couldn’t imagine Yuuri would be too thrilled if his coach was on close personal terms with the coach of Viktor Nikiforov.

Although along that train of thought, Yuuri’s feelings about that particular skater had always been something of a mystery to Celestino, no matter how many years he had known him. Initially, he had seen Yuuri’s seemingly negative feelings about Viktor to be a reflection of his desire to win gold, striving to beat the other skater purely because of his position at the top. But as the years had gone by, it had become increasingly more obvious that there was far more going on under the surface than Celestino had initially imagined.

He had never asked, knowing that Yuuri wouldn’t answer even if he did. Yuuri was a notoriously private person, even to his coach. But gradually it had become clear to him that the issue of Yuuri’s complicated feelings for Viktor Nikiforov were far more personal than simply an aspiring skater hoping to beat the best. Far, far more personal.

Celestino continued to muse over the thoughts as he drank, ordering another drink when he had emptied his first glass. Eventually however, he felt the beginnings of tiredness begin to creep up on him and decided to finally call it a night. After paying his tab with the bartender, Celestino left, giving a small nod of acknowledgement to where Yakov was still sitting as he did so and watching as it was returned.

On the way back to his room, he mentally ran through the plan for the next day and all the different duties the skaters in his charge had scheduled. Hopefully Phichit wouldn’t be too tired after spending the night celebrating, or Yuuri after doing whatever he had been doing. Or whoever.

Although he might be wrong about that particular assumption, Celestino thought, he had never seen Yuuri show much personal interest in anyone at competitions or the banquets that came after. Yuuri was usually far too focused on winning and on Viktor, the man he most needed to beat to get there. In fact, Yuuri’s eyes had rarely left Viktor during the entire competition now that Celestino thought about it.

The sudden idea that hit him as soon as the thought crossed his mind had Celestino stopping short, considering. It seemed bizarre and completely based on assumption and coincidence but once the seed was planted and all the pieces began to slot into place, he couldn’t help but wonder.

 Yuuri and Viktor. Now there was an interesting idea.





The fourth time that Celestino Cialdini met Yakov Feltsman, it was over the phone.

“How dare you,” Celestino had spat the minute he picked up the call from the other coach. “How dare you.”

So much had happened since the last time they had spoken and Celestino was brimming full of rage directed at the man on the other end of the call. He had been angry ever since the news that Yuuri had been accused of doping was brought to his ears. He had been furious ever since the knowledge that that information had been broken to the world had been brought to him by an apologetic ISU employee. He had been livid ever since he had taken one look at Yuuri’s neck and chest during his medical examination and seen the impressive collection of lovebites scattered across it, damning evidence that only made the whole situation so much worse.

Celestino had known that his student was involved with Viktor Nikiforov for a long time, although the extent of it he had never been sure of. Ever since Yuuri had appeared during the Rostelecom Cup wearing Viktor’s clothes, not long after Celestino's brief conversation with Viktor's coach about Yuuri's lack of a place to stay, Celestino's initial suspicions had been confirmed, not that he had ever mentioned it to his student. If Yuuri wanted him to know, he would tell him. If not, it was none of Celestino’s business who Yuuri chose to spend his personal time with.

Until however, Yuuri had been accused of cheating by the same man who’s marks he clearly bore from their time spend together the night before. That had made Celestino’s blood boil, the idea that someone had used Yuuri and discarded him in such a cruel and malicious way. He had been ready to support Yuuri as best he could through the rest of the competition and then find Viktor Nikiforov and make him wish that he had never been born.

That had all changed during Viktor’s free skate, when the devastation on the other man’s face and written across every line of his body was made clear to the world. When he had run for Yuuri, when the plea for forgiveness was so clear in his eyes. When it became clear that whatever had happened between them, it had caused Viktor far more pain and regret than it seemed he could bear.

Later, once the whole story had become to be made clear including exactly who had made the accusations that had caused Yuuri to flee from the world of skating, possibly permanently, Celestino found his anger redirected, focused almost purely on Viktor’s coach and the bastard of an ISU employee who had leaked Yuuri’s details to the world. One he dealt with through legal routes, pushing to make sure the man who had used Yuuri’s information for his own gain would live to regret it every day of his life. But the other he could do nothing about but sit and stew in his own anger.

Yakov Feltsman had done nothing wrong technically and legally, but that didn’t do much to lessen any of Celestino’s fury. He had heard the other man’s public apology, had exchanged a few very tense and strongly worded emails while they both tried to professionally deal with the ensuing fallout for both their skaters but it did nothing to calm the rage inside him that only giving the other coach a piece of his mind would.

When finally the inevitable phone call came, Celestino refused to hold anything back. Regardless of if reporting suspected doping had been professionally acceptable, after having to hear the story from a visibly shaken Yuuri with tear tracks streaking his face, the method by which it had been done by the other coach definitely was not. 

Celestino made sure to say as much, in between a variety of creative insults that he hadn’t felt would be appropriate to have a record of over professional emails. As he spoke, he could hear how his voice grew in volume until he was fully shouting down the phone but he couldn’t bring himself to care. Yuuri was something like a son to him, he cared about Yuuri deeply and seeing him in pain had hurt Celestino to the core and made him see red.  

It took several long minutes before his rant was finally over, Yakov saying nothing the whole time, instead simply listening and taking the anger until Celestino finally wore himself out.

“You are right and I deeply apologise,” were the first words out of his mouth when silence finally fell and Celestino was surprised to hear the true sincerity behind them. “To you and to Mr Katsuki and all the pain and trouble that I have caused him.”

“Why don’t you tell him that yourself,” Celestino snapped back, the anger at the other man still burning brightly in his mind.

“I did not think he’d appreciate any attempts at contact from me,” Yakov explained and Celestino was forced to admit that there was some merit to the statement. The last person on earth that Yuuri would want to talk to right now was Yakov.

“I was hoping that you would pass on my sincere apologies and regrets if he wants to hear them,” Yakov added. “I grievously misjudged him and that blame lies on me. Now both he and Viktor are suffering for it. I’ll continue to do everything in my power to make sure the truth and his innocence is made clear and indisputable and I’m not asking for his forgiveness. I only hope that he knows I will make absolutely sure this will not affect his career in the future.”

“His career?” Celestino said sharply, shaking his head at the words even though Yakov was unable to see it. “You have no idea what this has done to him do you? After what has happened, he might choose never to skate again.”

There was a slight pause and then Yakov spoke again, voice full of remorse.

“I sincerely hope that that is not the case,” he said softly, sounding surprisingly sad to Celestino’s ears. “Whatever misconceptions I may have held about him in the past, I understand now how wrong I was and how unfair those judgements were. He is a very talented skater, he doesn’t deserve to have his career ended because of someone else’s mistakes.”

“Yuuri didn’t deserve a lot of things that have happened to him,” Celestino replied bitterly.

“No, he did not,” Yakov agreed and every word was laced with regret.

There were a few long moments of silence and Celestino considered simply hanging up the phone. He had vented everything he could at the other coach, told him exactly what he thought of him and his treatment of Yuuri and every little thing that still made him furious to think about. There was nothing more for him to say, all he could do now was continue to make sure that Yuuri would still have a place to return to if he did ever emerge from his self-imposed isolation in Japan and need Celestino’s help again.

Before he hung up however, Celestino paused, one more question still nagging in his mind.

“How is Nikiforov?” he asked and heard Yakov’s sharp intake of breath on the other end of the line.

 Without any contact from Yuuri, Celestino still had no idea exactly how involved his own skater and Viktor Nikiforov had been. Nor what Viktor’s part to play in the scandal was, other than hurried and hysterical explanation from Yuuri when Celestino had first found him that Viktor had been present when the initial accusations were made and the later revelation that it was not Viktor himself that had accused Yuuri formally to the ISU. From what had happened in his free skate however, Celestino had been able to clearly see just how much Viktor seemed to care, and just how much it had destroyed him.

Yuuri was his skater, Yuuri was the one where the majority of his sympathy and concern were directed. But Celestino couldn’t help but feel a pang of worry for the man they had left devastated in the arena when Yuuri had walked away. Whatever Viktor Nikiforov had done, he clearly hadn’t wanted what had happened to occur any more than Yuuri had.

“It ruined him,” Yakov said simply, voice as low and solemn as the tolling of a funeral bell. “What happened ruined him. What I did ruined him. He never wanted me to make those accusations, he tried to stop me and I wish with all my heart that I had listened to him. Now he is paying for my mistakes and I have no idea how to help him.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Celestino replied and he meant it. There was little he could do for Viktor and he had no inclination to focus on anyone other than Yuuri but he still felt pity for the other skater. From Yakov’s words and the tone of his voice, Viktor was clearly hurting deeply and in a way no amount of sympathy would fix.

“I won’t take up any more of your time,” Yakov said finally after a few more seconds of silence, the sadness still lingering in his voice. “But please, if Mr Katsuki is willing to hear my message, please tell him I deeply apologise. And that I look forward to seeing him at the next Grand Prix Final.”

“The next Grand Prix Final?” Celestino asked, confused. “He’s made no announcement that he’s even intending to return to skating again, let alone compete in the next Grand Prix Series.”

“I am aware,” Yakov replied bluntly but Celestino could hear something else hidden under his words, some kind of subtle desperation. “But I hope.”






The fifth time that Celestino Cialdini met Yakov Feltsman, they were at a wedding.

Hasetsu was beautiful in the evening, the sky a warm glow and Yuuri’s family onsen lit up with hundreds of lights as the guests milled around after the ceremony was over. The main couple stood in the centre of it all, fingers intertwined and beaming at each other and the people around them as they accepted the congratulations of the various guests.

Celestino had already been over to talk to them both, feeling a private thrill of happiness at the joy so clearly written across Yuuri’s face as he stood by his husband’s side. Celestino had initially been slightly wary of Viktor after everything that had happened but it had taken no time at all for him to see just how much Viktor adored Yuuri and just how good they were for each other. Seeing Yuuri’s happiness was the best reward as a coach that he ever could have asked for and Viktor Nikiforov was part of that.

After he had congratulated the two of them, he had retreated to a safe distance, allowing them to be swamped by the rest of the happy crowd, everyone eager to speak to the newly married couple. Celestino was content to sip on his drink from the side-lines and watch, laughing a little to himself as Phichit jumped on his best friend and insisted on a photo with he and Viktor both. Phichit had a natural talent for photography and Celestino was sure the pictures he would take of the wedding would be something truly special.

There was a slight shift in the air beside him and Celestino turned to see that another figure had come to stand next to him, the lines of Yakov Feltsman’s face looking far less weathered when bathed in the glow of the lights. There was a strange glimmer in his eyes as he looked at the couple and he seemed far more relaxed that Celestino had ever seen him before.

They stood together in comfortable silence for a while, both content to simply sip their drinks and observe the skaters that they had both watched grow up.

It seemed like a lifetime ago that Celestino had first met Yuuri, still shy and unsure but fiercely determined all the same. Endlessly dedicated and kind at heart, but always with a kind of strange tension to him, never seeming quite fully content with his place in the world.

Now, Yuuri was more relaxed and happy than Celestino had ever seen him, smiling and laughing and looking at his husband with adoration in his eyes, so strong that it brought joy to all those around him. It was Yuuri fully grown and completely content, the way Celestino had always hoped one day to see him. So different from the boy that he had once been.

Yuuri said something and Viktor laughed, the sound carrying over the general chatter of the crowds even though the words did not. Yuuri’s face split into a grin at the sound and Viktor’s eyes sparkled as he looked at his husband with laughter still on his lips. Celestino hoped that Phichit had been taking pictures at that moment. It was a simple scene but one that deserved to be preserved forever.

“They look happy, don’t they,” Yakov commented quietly from beside him, his eyes also fixed on the couple.

“They do,” Celestino agreed, noting the quiet happiness in the other coach’s tone as he did so.

“Good,” Yakov replied, and smiled.

Chapter Text

Walking through the Christmas markets of Barcelona with Yuuri felt like a dream.

Their fingers were laced together, Yuuri’s hand warm in his own, grounding him in the moment and the knowledge that this was real. Yuuri was here, they were here together and nothing could have been more perfect.

In the days since the Grand Prix Final had ended, he and Yuuri had barely left each other’s side. Their respective Nationals were both looming but both of them had refused to leave with their coaches after the competition had finally ended. They had spent far too long apart, neither of them were willing to let go again just yet.

So in Barcelona they had remained, revelling in nothing but each other. It was everything Viktor had ever dreamed about, talking and laughing with Yuuri, spending time with him and learning him all over again. They fell so easily into a rhythm together, just like they had during the time they had spent together in Moscow. Two halves of the same whole, two sides of the same coin, with nothing now to stand between them.

As they walked together, Viktor turned to look at Yuuri, noticing the way his eyes sparkled under the Christmas lights, they way they were always prone to do when he was thinking. They had spent the whole day together, first sightseeing in Barcelona and then going out to dinner, talking all the while. Viktor could never get enough of hearing Yuuri speak, every occasion revealing something new that only made Viktor love him more. Now they were walking together in comfortable silence, simply enjoying the feeling of walking side by side.

“Viktor, your birthday is Christmas Day, right?” Yuuri asked unexpectedly, raising his voice slightly over the sounds of laughter and bustling shoppers all around them.

“Yes,” Viktor replied, turning to Yuuri with a soft smile. “Although we don’t celebrate Christmas then in Russia. We don’t really celebrate birthdays before the actual day either.”

“Oh, I see” Yuuri replied, then was silent for a moment, Viktor watching him curiously all the while.

“I just wish that I could be there with you,” Yuuri added after a few seconds, eyes flickering down and shoulders hunching a little. “I’ve missed so much with you in the past. I don’t want to miss this too, not now we’re finally together.”

“Just having you here with me now is enough,” Viktor reassured, reaching out with his free hand to cup Yuuri’s face in his palm as they came to a halt at the side of the market. Both the Russian and the Japanese Nationals were approaching, both of them overlapping each other and extending over Viktor’s birthday. He had never minded before, he had never really had much to celebrate. Just another year older and another medal won. Now, he finally had someone he wanted to celebrate with. But Yuuri’s skating came first, no matter how much Viktor wished that Yuuri could always stay by his side. After all, they would still have plenty of time to see each other once both the competitions were over.

“And you can come and see me as soon as you’ve won gold at the Japanese Nationals,” he added with a smile, watching as Yuuri returned it, squeezing his fingers tightly. “Show the world your love on the ice and then come back to me. I might not be able to make it to watch you skate in person but I wont take my eyes off you, I promise.”

“I’d love that,” Yuuri replied softly, voice filled with a quiet happiness that made Viktor’s heart soar.

“Makkachin misses you,” Viktor added, knowing how excited the dog would be to have Yuuri back home with them again. “I’m sure he’ll be very excited to see you back in Russia again."

The thought of parting soon was hard, but the knowledge that Yuuri would be coming to see him as soon as their schedules allowed it soothed the sting. He couldn’t wait to have Yuuri in his apartment again, curled up together as the snow fell outside. As a real couple this time, just like Viktor had always dreamed of.

A sudden shout from their left jolted them both of out the moment, both of them turning at the same time to see a group of people chattering and pointing at them excitedly from a few meters away. Viktor had to suppress a groan.

“Time to go,” he said quickly and Yuuri nodded, looking at the group with an equally exasperated expression before grabbing Viktor’s hand and dragging him away.

After their internationally televised kiss a few days ago, in public, the fans and the paparazzi had trailed their every move. After years of skating they were both perfectly capable of dealing with media attention, and were just as good at evading it, but somehow people always seemed to catch up with them in the end. It didn’t help that everyone seemed to know that Nikiforov and Katsuki were still in Barcelona together, long after all the other skaters had left.

Viktor loved his fans, loved being in the public eye, but there were times when he would much rather be left alone. And trying to go out on dates with his boyfriend was definitely one of them. Yuuri had confessed to him a few days ago how much what the media and fans had to say about them had negatively affected him in the past and Viktor didn’t want their time together tainted by press looking for another scoop.

He and Yuuri ducked through the crowds, Yuuri’s hand still tight in his. Yuuri didn’t seem too bothered by having their moment interrupted, instead he was grinning as he pulled Viktor behind a stall as they weaved their way through the crowds, clearly finding some amusement in the chase.

Eventually, the sounds of excited fans faded behind them and Yuuri pulled Viktor down a side street, ducking into an alley where they both finally came to a halt, gasping for breath. For a few seconds they just looked at each other, dishevelled and panting, then Yuuri snorted out a laugh and Viktor joined in, unable to hold back his grin. They both looked a little ridiculous and, irritated as he was about having their date interrupted, the situation was objectively kind of hilarious.

“Well, a back alley wasn’t exactly where I hoped we’d end up this evening,” he joked, then shivered a little as something cold hit his nose. Looking up, he saw the beginnings of white flakes drifting from the sky, dissolving on everything they touched.

“I don’t care where I am, as long as I’m with you,” Yuuri replied, taking a step closer as Viktor’s eyes snapped back to him again. The first few flakes of snow were clinging to his hair and eyelashes as he reached up to pull Viktor closer, soft lips pressing against Viktor’s own.

Viktor melted into the kiss, winding his arms around Yuuri’s body and tugging him even closer. They had kissed hundreds of times over the past few days and yet each time still felt like the first, heat and joy rushing through him in equal measure. Yuuri’s fingers tangled themselves in his hair, unrestricted now that they were finally alone, and Viktor could feel Yuuri’s smile against his lips.

After a few seconds they broke apart, snow still clinging to Yuuri’s hair as it began to fall more thickly around them. Viktor was still holding Yuuri close and he could feel the slight shiver that ran through Yuuri’s body, the temperature creeping steadily lower as the night set in.

“We should go back to the hotel,” he murmured, reaching up to brush the flakes of snow out of Yuuri’s hair as Yuuri nodded in agreement.

Together, they made their way back through the busy streets, both of them keeping their hats pulled low and their faces ducked away, trying to avoid drawing any more attention to themselves. Viktor knew that there would come a time, very soon if he had anything to say about it, when he would make sure every eye was on them, would show Yuuri off with pride and let the whole world make no mistake of just how much Viktor adored him. But for now, this was just for them.

When they finally reached the hotel they both automatically headed towards Viktor's room, shaking off the chill and the cold as soon as they stepped inside. Ever since the fateful day of the free skate, Yuuri had practically moved into his hotel room. Technically there was still a room rented in Yuuri’s name but it lay abandoned, Yuuri’s clothes hanging in Viktor’s wardrobe, his toothbrush standing next to Viktor’s on the bathroom counter and their medals lying together on the desk, ribbons intertwined.

Every time Viktor saw them, it sent another shiver of happiness running through him. Sometimes he jolted awake in the middle of the night, convinced that it had all been a dream and he would wake up in his apartment in St Petersburg with nothing but Yuuri’s ghost by his side, the echo of what could have been. But every night when his eyes opened, heart racing as he reached blindly by his side, he would see the glint of their medals lying together and his fingers would meet warm skin lying next to him. Yuuri, curled up by his side, real and tangible and undeniably there.

Just the thought had him reaching out for Yuuri again, resting his hand lightly on Yuuri’s shoulder as they stood together. Now that he had permission to touch, he couldn’t bring himself to stop, addicted to the feeling of Yuuri’s warmth under his hand.

Yuuri turned to look at him, his eyes soft in the golden glow of the room, but before he could speak, they were both interrupted by a chime from his phone. Annoyance flashed briefly in Yuuri’s expression but he reached down to pull the phone out of his pocket anyway, eyebrows furrowing a little as he read the message on the screen.

“It’s Celestino,” he said, by way of an explanation. “He’s asking when I’m planning on coming home to start practicing for Nationals.”

Viktor hummed in sympathy, following Yuuri as he padded across the room and sunk down to sit on the bed dominating the centre. He had received a similar text from Yakov the day before. His coach was happy for him and had given in easily to Viktor’s desire to stay with Yuuri in Barcelona after the final had ended but the closer Nationals drew, the more he hinted that Viktor needed to return to St Petersburg soon to prepare, least he want to lose his Nationals title to Yuri.

“I don’t want to go,” Yuuri sighed, shoulders slumping a little as he leaned into Viktor’s side. “I don’t want you to go either. It feels like we’ve only just got the chance to spend time together and we already have to leave.”

“It’s not forever,” Viktor pointed out, although the thought of parting with Yuuri still sent a sharp shard of ice slice straight to his heart. Yuuri brightened up his whole world and everything would seem darker when he was no longer there. “And anyway, you have a gold medal at Nationals to win. You know how much I like kissing gold after all.”

“And a gold medal to win at Worlds as well I think you mean,” Yuuri replied, matching Viktor’s playful tone with his own and raising one eyebrow, eyes full of light-hearted challenge.

“You might have a world record Yuuri Katsuki,” Viktor replied with a grin, loving the competitive affection in Yuuri’s eyes. “But so do I. That gold this year is mine.”

After so long of being pitted against each other, finally being rivals as they were now was everything he had ever wanted. He would never want to tame Yuuri’s competitive spirit, nor lose his own, and they pushed each other to do better, to be better. But in the end, no matter who won, Viktor was happy.

“We’ll see,” Yuuri grinned.

There were sitting side by side, bodies pressed together and it took almost nothing at all for Yuuri to turn his head, leaning in to steal a kiss. Viktor kissed back, tasting the laughter on Yuuri’s lips and hearing the echo of his own. They had come so far from where they had begun and he never wanted it to end.

“So what are you going to tell Celestino?” he asked after a few minutes, finally breaking away from the kiss to catch his breath.

“I don’t know,” Yuuri sighed, still keeping himself pressed close. “I’ll have to go home soon. Celestino will kill me if I don’t and I’m not going to let you win by constantly distracting me from practice.”

The last part was said with a laugh in his voice which Viktor matched with a grin.

“But for now, let’s not think about the future,” Yuuri added, the light-heartedness in his tone still present but something else much deeper now laced through it. “Let’s just focus on tonight.”

Yuuri’s voice was low and his eyes were dark and it sent a stab of heat straight to Viktor’s core. Yuuri was eros at its finest, slipping into it as easy as breathing and it never failed to take Viktor’s breath away and send desire rushing straight to his gut.

Leaning in, he slid his fingers around the back of Yuuri’s neck and drew him in for another kiss, the feeling of Yuuri’s lips against his a dream that he never wanted to wake up from. The kiss started off slow and easy, almost chaste, but it quickly began to grow more heated. Yuuri’s fingers reached up to twine themselves in Viktor’s hair and he deepened the kiss, kissing harder and faster in a way that sent the heat in Viktor’s chest spiking. Viktor matched Yuuri in every move, allowing himself to let go and sink into the bliss.

It wasn’t anything new for them, far from it. But ever since they had reunited again, they had taken things slowly. After hearing Yuuri recount his tale, so drastically different from the story Viktor had lived, he had never wanted to rush again. Never wanted to make Yuuri feel like he was anything less than cherished and beloved. Jumping into bed together too soon and with too little communication had been a mistake on both their parts and Viktor had been content to take everything slowly the second time around.

But now Yuuri was here and kissing him and everything felt right. They had spent their days learning each other all over again and their nights curled up in bed, content just to be together. Now they would soon be forced to part and there was no reason to hold back anymore. Not when Yuuri knew just how much Viktor loved him. Not when Viktor knew that Yuuri felt the same.

Yuuri caught Viktor’s lower lip between his teeth, tugging gently before pulling back slightly so that their foreheads were pressed together, staring deep into Viktor’s eyes. In one fluid movement, he swung himself up from his seat on the bed to straddle Viktor’s lap, hands reaching to slide up Viktor’s shoulders to cup his face as he did so. Leaning back in, Yuuri stole another kiss, Viktor’s name reverent on his lips.

Yuuri,’ Viktor murmured back, only pulling away enough to allow the word to escape before capturing Yuuri’s lips with his own again.

Gradually he moved away from Yuuri’s lips, worshiping the line of his jaw and the smooth column of his throat instead, tasting the skin there and feeling as Yuuri sighed happily above him. When his kisses finally reached Yuuri’s collarbone he felt Yuuri shift, one hand sliding under Viktor’s chin to tilt his head up and back. Yuuri pressed another kiss to his lips before pulling away and reaching for his own shirt, tugging it off in one graceful movement.

“I want you,” Yuuri murmured, fingers reaching for the hem of Viktor’s own shirt but stopping there, hovering but not quite touching. Waiting. “Do you want to…?”

His words trailed off, the question clear without the need to be spoken out loud. Yuuri’s hands were still hovering just a hairsbreadth away, waiting for permission and Viktor needed them on him again. Yuuri’s touch sent sparks of fire racing through his chest and his heart hurt with just how much Viktor loved him. They had been taking things slowly and if Yuuri had never wanted to do more than kiss again, Viktor still would have been happy. But now Yuuri’s body was pressed against his own and the desire was sparking through him and he wanted Yuuri in any way that Yuuri wanted to give.

“As if I could ever resist you,” Viktor replied, words hushed as he smiled up at Yuuri with his heart fit to burst. “Of course I do.”

When their lips met again, there was a new fire to Yuuri that sent Viktor’s heart into overdrive, thumping against his ribs as he kissed back and let himself be consumed. Yuuri had always been intoxicating and now he was even more so, shifting Viktor’s whole world until it had narrowed down to nothing but each other. Yuuri’s hands slid under the hem of Viktor’s shirt and he allowed Yuuri to pull it off him in one swift movement.

After it was gone, they returned to kissing, Yuuri’s running his hands freely across the exposed skin of Viktor’s chest as Viktor pulled him closer, shifting so that there was no space between them. Gradually, Yuuri’s hands slid to his shoulders and he pushed Viktor back onto the bed, the light pressure guiding him down until Viktor was lying fully on his back with Yuuri gazing down at him, adoration clear in his eyes.

They had been sitting on the edge of the bed so it took a few seconds of awkward shuffling for them both to slide up to rest fully on the mattress, both of them laughing softly as they did so. At the same time, Viktor tried to divest himself of the last of his clothes, tangling himself in the fabric in his haste and watching as Yuuri did the same, the mood lightening as they both struggled for a few seconds. It was easy and comfortable and as soon as they were both finally free, Yuuri returned to him, sliding himself to hover over Viktor again and dipping down for another kiss. There was no rush between them, nor expectation. Just each other.

Viktor reached up to slide his hands around Yuuri’s shoulders, feeling the muscles shift beneath his touch as Yuuri moved. Pressing one last lingering kiss to Viktor’s mouth, Yuuri shifted downwards, mouthing his way down Viktor’s neck and chest, leaving a trail of heat behind him. Viktor shivered at the sensation, staring down at Yuuri and feeling his breath hitch with every kiss. Yuuri’s eyes flickered up to meet his again as Yuuri reached the centre of his chest and stopped, eyes dark and pupils blown wide.

“You’re so beautiful,” Yuuri breathed, eyes fixed on Viktor’s face as he raised himself onto his arms again, looking down at Viktor with an expression of wonder. Viktor could feel the way his heart jolted in his chest at the words and he suddenly found that he couldn’t speak, words caught in his throat under the intensity of Yuuri’s gaze.

“I always thought it but I never told you,” Yuuri continued, reaching out with one hand to rest his palm gently on Viktor’s cheek, thumb stroking across Viktor’s cheekbone in a way that sent Viktor’s emotions soaring. “I should have. Now I never want to stop.”

Yuuri,” Viktor tried to speak but the lump in his throat cut him off, emotions choking him with their intensity. They had spoken so much over the past few days and loved each other fiercely for so long and now it felt like every emotion was spilling out of him all at once, cleansing everything it touched.

“You changed my life in so many ways,” Yuuri added, expression still soft and voice reverent. “And now you’re mine. And I’m yours. And I…”

His voice cut off for a second and Yuuri paused, still gazing down at him as Viktor looked back, feeling cracked open and raw with his emotions spilling out for the world to see. But there was only Yuuri here and that was all that he wanted.

“I’m so happy,” Yuuri finished, smiling at him softly. Then, a worried frown appeared on his face and his fingers brushed Viktor’s cheek, drawing back so that Viktor could see the moisture glimmering there.

“Viktor, why are you crying?” Yuuri asked, concern filling his voice, overlaid with surprise.

Viktor had barely noticed the tears in his own eyes that had spilled over onto his cheeks but he smiled up at Yuuri all the same, feeling his heart soaring. He knew how Yuuri felt now that there were finally no more misunderstandings or secrets between them. But hearing Yuuri say it now had brought everything back to the surface again, spilling out of him like the tears still glistening on his face.

“I’m crying because I’m happy,” he told Yuuri, hearing the love his own voice and watching the joy spread across Yuuri’s face.

Reaching up, he sat up again and took Yuuri’s face in his hands, drawing them together again.

“You changed my life too,” Viktor added, wanting Yuuri to know just how much the sentiment was returned. They had promised to speak clearly to each other from now on and there was nothing holding him back anymore. “No matter what, I’ll never stop being grateful that I met you.”

Things might not have gone perfectly for them in the past, far from it. But they had made it in the end. And no matter what challenges were yet to come, Viktor knew that they would face them together.

Leaning in, he pulled Yuuri into another gentle kiss, savouring the taste and feel of him and the sensation of holding Yuuri in the warm bracket of his arms. They kissed slowly, lazily, allowing the heat between them to build gradually until they were both almost overflowing with it. Viktor let his fingers trace the lines of Yuuri’s face, down his neck and over his chest as he mapped out the skin there. Familiar and yet new all at the same time. They had been together like this before but not since they had confessed their love, and somehow, Yuuri felt like a whole new world and coming home all at once.

Yuuri’s hands were on him as well, touches dancing across his skin like flames and gradually Yuuri’s hands moved lower, tracing over his stomach and hips before finally reaching his cock. Viktor almost bit through his lip as Yuuri’s finger wrapped around him, feeling his eyelids flutter as he let out a sigh of pleasure as the sensation washed through him.

Yuuri’s hand moved, stroking his length and it took everything in Viktor not to come there and then. They had already been building up to this for so long and Yuuri was unfairly erotic, eyes wide and dark and full of desire, fixed on no-one but Viktor as he moved.

Reaching out, he took Yuuri’s own cock in his hand and watched in satisfaction as Yuuri shuddered in pleasure under his touch. When Yuuri’s eyes focused on him again there a playful determination there as he guided Viktor to lie back on the bed, drawing a bitten off moan out of him as he continued to work his hand.

“Do you want more?” Yuuri asked quietly after a few more seconds of pleasure, no demand in his voice, only curiosity.

“Only if you do,” Viktor replied, then continued. “But if you do, I’d like to try something different tonight.”

At Yuuri’s questioning look he sat up a little again, reaching over to the bedside drawer to pull out the supplies he had stored there. The bottle of lube he kept in his own hand but the condom he pressed into Yuuri’s, Yuuri’s fingers curling around it instinctively.

“I want you,” Viktor added, knowing from Yuuri’s expression that he understood exactly what Viktor meant. “In every way that I can have you.”

This time when Yuuri kissed him, there was nothing slow about it. There was a purpose to his movements and a desire burning within him that perfectly matched Viktor’s own as they slid back to lie on the bed together, the contents of the drawer tossed to the side. Yuuri’s hands tangled in Viktor’s hair almost immediately, braced on either side of his head as Yuuri hovered over him. Viktor let his own hands slide to Yuuri’s shoulders again, digging his fingers in as they continued to kiss, pulling him closer.

Yuuri’s hand reached for his cock again and Viktor whined a little under the onslaught of sensation as Yuuri teased him, his other hand reaching for the bottle of lube that he had so casually discarded. Yuuri fumbled a little as he flipped the cap open but when he squeezed some of the liquid out onto his fingers, his hands were steady.

His other hand was still stroking Viktor’s cock, sending waves of pleasure rolling though him, and one of his fingers dipped down to tease at Viktor’s entrance, Viktor pressing back onto the finger instinctively.

“Are you ready?” Yuuri asked, watching Viktor intently and Viktor nodded, gazing up and feeling the anticipation rushing through him. Yuuri was hovering above him, silhouette lit from behind by the soft light of the room like a work of art. Beautiful and ethereal and entirely Viktor’s.

Viktor’s fingernails dug into Yuuri’s back as Yuuri pushed his first finger inside, leaving tiny crescent-shaped indents in the skin as he gasped. Yuuri remained still for a few seconds, allowing him to get used to the sensation, then he began to move, rocking slowly as Viktor shifted his hips to match the pace.

Yuuri was everywhere, above him, surrounding him, inside him and Viktor could do nothing but gaze up at him in awe, back arching slightly up off the bed as Yuuri eventually pushed a second finger in. He was taking things agonisingly slowly but it only made the anticipation grow inside Viktor’s chest, the heat and desire within him swelling with every second that passed.

Yuuri lent down again, pressing another kiss to Viktor’s mouth and drawing more needy noises from Viktor as he moved. Viktor dug his fingers harder into the muscles of Yuuri’s shoulder and brought his legs up to wrap around the small of Yuuri’s back, drawing him closer and urging him deeper. In response, Yuuri added another finger and Viktor could hear his own pleased sigh, riding high on the feeling of Yuuri. It was intoxicating, overwhelming, and he never wanted it to end.

Yuuri was still moving so agonisingly slowly, careful and deliberate and pushing Viktor closer and closer to the edge with nothing but his touch. And yet, Viktor still wanted more.

“Please Yuuri, I’m ready,” he all but begged as Yuuri finally added a fourth finger, pulling back from Viktor’s mouth fractionally but still keeping them pressed close. Yuuri smiled down at him, almost playful as he curled his fingers and sent Viktor gasping again, pleasure burning hot though his gut.

Yuuri,” Viktor begged again and Yuuri finally obliged. Viktor whined at the loss as Yuuri pulled away, the sudden emptiness feeling strangely foreign, but it was barely a few seconds before he heard the sound of a tearing condom wrapper, Yuuri’s hands back on him in an instant. One of Yuuri’s hands hooked under Viktor’s knee, spreading his legs further apart as Yuuri settled between them. Viktor arched up towards him eagerly and Yuuri dipped his head, pressing another messy kiss to Viktor’s mouth as he finally pushed inside.

Viktor’s head hit the bed as the gasped, arching up towards Yuuri as the feeling of heat and pressure and sensation hit him, overwhelming and yet perfect at the same time. Needing more, he brought his legs up again, wrapping them around Yuuri’s waist and urging him on. Above him, Yuuri’s eyes were wide and his breath heaving in his chest but he remained almost perfectly still, waiting for Viktor to adjust to the sensation.

Yuuri,” Viktor gasped out, rocking himself down onto Yuuri’s cock, pulling Yuuri closer so that their foreheads were resting together again.

When Yuuri finally did move, it was slow, gently rocking movements that did nothing to quell Viktor’s desire, only fuel the flame. Viktor could see the concentration in Yuuri’s eyes, the way his gazed was fixed on Viktor’s face and he could almost see the cogs turning in Yuuri’s mind.

“You won’t break me,” Viktor reassured, leaning up with a smile to steal another quick kiss. “Please, let me feel you Yuuri.”

“Whatever you want,” Yuuri replied, his own breath hitched as he spoke. “I’m yours.”

As he spoke, he moved, sliding half out of Viktor before pushing back again, sending another spark of pleasure shivering though them both. Yuuri clearly saw Viktor’s reaction because he did it again, starting up a steady rocking pace, Viktor rolling his hips back to meet Yuuri with every thrust, allowing the sensation to wash over them both.

Gradually Yuuri picked up the pace, driving into him harder and Viktor didn’t even try to hold back his noises of pleasure. Everything in him felt like it was burning, set alight by Yuuri’s touch and it was the best kind of heat. Moving together, bodies intertwined and foreheads touching, never looking away from each other’s eyes.

Sliding one hand under Viktor’s leg again, Yuuri changed his angle slightly and sent Viktor gasping, another wave of sensation crashing through him as his hands dropped from Yuuri’s shoulder to tighten in the sheets by his head.

The feeling continued to build within him, pleasure coiling in his gut as Yuuri moved to mouth at his neck, sucking bruises into the skin there and marking Viktor as his own, never ceasing his pace all the while. At the same time, his hand reached for Viktor’s cock again, stroking him as they rocked together.

Viktor,” Yuuri breathed, the word sounding like a prayer and that was enough to finally push Viktor over the edge. Every muscle tightened and then grew lax as he allowed his release to wash over him, slumping back bonelessly onto the bed as the pleasure rocked through him, shaking him to his very core.

Yuuri’s movements faltered as he watched as Viktor relaxed beneath him. At the sight, Viktor dug his heels into Yuuri’s back, urging him to keep going even as the continued stimulation threatened to overwhelm him.

“Don’t you dare stop,” he choked out, watching as Yuuri’s pupils widened with desire at his words. He might have already come but Yuuri was still hard inside him and Viktor wouldn’t be satisfied until Yuuri was lying spent beside him.

Yuuri drove into him again, reaching down to capture Viktor’s lips in another burning kiss. It wasn’t long before he was coming too, gasping his pleasure into Viktor’s mouth and shuddering above him.

When Yuuri’s eyes fluttered open again he finally relaxed, allowing his arms to give way beneath him and flopping down to lie by Viktor’s side, both of them still tangled together. Viktor’s breath was heaving in his chest, his heart beating a frantic rhythm against his ribcage and he could feel Yuuri’s doing the same beside him.

When he looked into Yuuri’s eyes, the expression there took his breath away.

“How are you real?” Yuuri mumbled, sounding a little in awe, reaching out to draw Viktor into another kiss, this one slow and unhurried. Both of them catching their breath as they came down from the high. “Sometimes I still feel like all this is a dream.”

“So do I,” Viktor confessed, reaching out to stroke his fingers gently along the line of Yuuri’s jaw, mind still partly lost in the haze. “But it’s real.”

They lay together for a few more minutes, tangled with each other and with no desire to move. Eventually though, the stickiness cooling on Viktor’s stomach and the sweat on their skin forced them both out of the bed.

Yuuri’s fingers twined with his as he pulled them both into the bathroom, guiding Viktor into the shower and turning away to dispose of the condom before joining him inside. The hot water felt wonderful against Viktor’s skin and Yuuri’s touch moreso, hands running over Viktor’s body as they both washed themselves clean. Once they were finished they dried quickly, both climbing back into bed as soon as they were done, wrapping themselves in each other again.

Viktor pressed his head against Yuuri’s chest as they lay, feeling warmth and contentment rush through him as Yuuri combed his fingers lightly though his hair in the way he knew that Viktor loved. The lazy intimacy between them was the part that Viktor loved the most, simply being with Yuuri in the quiet moments where they could just be together.

The night had been perfect, everything that he had ever dreamed of. He knew that Yuuri would have to leave soon, that at some point he would have to return to Detroit just as Viktor would go back to St Petersburg, thousands of miles apart. But he also knew that Yuuri would return. They were together now, and they had survived everything that the world had thrown at them. Nothing would break them apart now.

“I know you’ll have to leave soon,” he mumbled, looking up at Yuuri and seeing the softness in his own eyes reflected back at him. “But for tonight, stay close to me.”

“Of course,” Yuuri replied and there was nothing but raw honesty in his tone. Honesty and love. “I always will.”

Chapter Text


Viktor’s head whipped around at the call of his name but he barely had a moment to register who had spoken before a body was colliding with his own and arms were being pulled tight around him, drawing him into a crushing hug.

“Yuuri,” he breathed, pressing his face into the soft hair beneath him and bringing up his arms to return the tight embrace. For a few long moments they stayed like that before Yuuri finally pulled back, stepping away so that Viktor could see his face again.

“I thought we agreed you wouldn’t be able to make it in time?” Viktor blurted out in surprise, although he was feeling absolutely no displeasure at Yuuri’s arrival.

The Japanese and the Russian Nationals had overlapped and drawn the two of them away from each other after their time in Barcelona ended and it had been several weeks since Viktor had last seen Yuuri on anything other than skype and heard his voice through calls. They had agreed that Yuuri would come to visit after his competition ended but Viktor had never expected Yuuri to arrive before Viktor had finished his own. To get there in time he must have taken a plane straight from Japan direct to Russia as soon as he had collected his gold.

The thought of Yuuri flying out as soon as he could to be able to see Viktor skate made Viktor’s heart leap in his chest. The short programs were already over but the free skate was still to come and now the person he was skating it for was here to watch him.

“I know,” Yuuri agreed, a light flush on his face from the exertion of running to greet Viktor. There were bags under his eyes and his skin had the washed out look of someone who had spent too many hours on a plane but he was beaming at Viktor and Viktor couldn’t help but think he still looked like the most beautiful person in the world.

“But I wanted to come and watch you,” Yuuri continued with a smile. “I flew out as soon as I could. I thought I was going to miss it but your rink-mates said that you hadn’t skated yet.”

“Not yet, I’m due on the ice soon,” Viktor replied, looking around curiously at the mention of his rink-mates. Most of them were scattered out of sight around the rest of the stadium preparing for their own programs but standing a few meters away was Mila and a gaggle of some of the other female skaters who were there to show their support.

As Viktor looked Mila sauntered over, eyes bright with curiosity and Yuuri gave her a shy smile.

“Mila found me and showed me where you were,” he explained, turning back to Viktor. Behind him Mila flashed him a thumbs up while the rest of the skaters giggled behind her.

“I like him,” Mila declared, motioning to Yuuri. “We’re keeping him.”

Yuuri had been notorious around the St Petersburg rink for a long time and for a variety of different reasons but over the course of the disastrous last year and all the revelations it had brought, opinions of him had begun to change. During the last Grand Prix Final, when the majority of the rumours were thoroughly debunked for good, Viktor had received a multitude of messages from people at the rink congratulating him and wishing he and Yuuri the best of luck.

After he had returned to Russia, he had been bombarded with demands to bring Yuuri to St Petersburg. His rink-mates were eager to meet the real Yuuri and while Viktor didn’t want to overwhelm Yuuri by the rather boisterous attitudes of the entire Russian team all at once, he wanted to bring Yuuri to meet them too. No-one could spend more than five minutes in Yuuri’s presence and not come to love him and Viktor wanted to show him off, to show the world what Yuuri was really like and to prove to everyone that they were together for good.

It seemed that Mila had already taken to Yuuri and although Yuuri looked incredibly embarrassed at the statement he was also looking quietly happy. Privately, he had expressed his worry that Viktor’s friends wouldn’t like him despite Viktor’s assurances that it would be quite the opposite once they finally got to know him. Viktor was glad that Yuuri was already being proved wrong. He wanted everyone to know and appreciate what a wonderful person Yuuri was.

“Vitya, you’re needed by the rink now,” came a voice from behind him and Viktor turn to see Yakov standing there, having just walked into the room.

“Ah, I see that Mr Katsuki has arrived,” he added and Viktor’s eyes widened in surprise, looking between Yuuri and Yakov and back again. Yuuri had tensed up at the sight of Viktor’s coach but under Viktor’s eye he seemed to force himself to relax again, rearranging his expression into one of blank neutrality.

“You knew that Yuuri was coming?” Viktor asked, confused.

“I arranged his transportation from the airport,” Yakov replied. “His coach made me aware that he was attempting to travel to watch you skate and so I thought it best to make sure he arrived in time.”

“Thank you Mr Feltsman,” Yuuri replied, still keeping his face carefully blank but moving fractionally closer to Viktor as he spoke. “I appreciate it.”

There was still an awkward tension hanging heavy in the air around the two of them as they looked at each other. After what had happened last year, Yuuri had been incredibly skittish around Viktor’s coach and for good reason. He had avoided meeting Yakov again until it was absolutely necessary and when he did he had pulled on a mask of impenetrable politeness, refusing to show any weakness. Viktor knew how uncomfortable being around Yakov still made Yuuri and he had tried to keep them apart as much as possible.

On the other hand, Yakov had been almost nervous to meet Yuuri again, in his own way. He had already apologised to Viktor and Yuuri both but he had easily picked up on Yuuri’s discomfort whenever he was around, falling back onto polite formalities and keeping his distance when Yuuri was near. Viktor knew that that, combined with his efforts to help Yuuri and bring them together again, it was his own way of trying to make amends and show his approval of their relationship.  

Viktor hoped that one day Yuuri would be comfortable around Yakov again but even seeing their small interaction made him need to hide his smile. They were both trying and even if it wasn’t perfect, it was progress all the same.

“Are you coming?” he asked Yuuri and Yuuri nodded falling into step beside Viktor as he walked, their shoulders occasionally bumping together. Every little touch made a thrill run through Viktor, the feeling of closeness and the thought that everyone could see them together and would know.

He would never stop being thankful for how lucky he had gotten, to have Yuuri here with him now. To have Yuuri loving him, being with him, everything that Viktor had dreamed of for so long and everything he’d thought that he could never have.

Finally they stepped out into the main arena, a wall of noise suddenly assaulting their ears as the roars of the crowd magnified tenfold. Yuuri blinked a little under the sudden harsh lights and camera flashes and Viktor slipped his hand into Yuuri’s own, lacing their fingers together. A silent assurance and a silent claim.

Yuuri gripped his hand tightly for a second and then relaxed, walking with Viktor over to the barrier of the rink where Viktor was soon due to skate. Overhead the announcer called for Viktor to proceed to the ice and he turned around to face Yuuri fully, seeing Yuuri smiling back at him.

“Good luck,” Yuuri told him, stepping away to allow Viktor to pull off his skate guards. After he’d done so, Viktor straightened up, looking at Yuuri again.

He wanted to kiss Yuuri, to hold him close, call him his good luck charm and a thousand other affectionate things before he was forced to leave and perform. But after Yuuri’s performance in Barcelona and the kiss that was still racking up millions of views on Youtube, they had kept themselves private. Reveling in having each other and not caring about the rest of the world. They had never discussed how they would act at competitions now that they were together and Viktor didn’t want to go too far too soon.

“Go on Viktor,” Mila prompted, glancing over to where the judges were sitting watching him and waiting. She and the rest of the skaters along with Yakov had followed them up and were standing by the side of the rink to watch. “We’ll take care of him for you. There’s some apologies on behalf of the team we’ve got to make and some very important questions we need to ask him.”

“Maybe I should be the one wishing you luck instead,” Viktor joked at Yuuri’s slightly terrified expression at the declaration. Objectively, Viktor could see how intimidating the situation might seem but he knew that all his rink-mates now only had the best intentions at heart. It was their way of welcoming Yuuri into the family.

“I told you they’d love you,” he added, reaching out a hand to squeeze Yuuri’s own. “Trust me.”

“I do,” Yuuri replied and smiled again, a private soft smile that was just for Viktor. Then the announcer called for Viktor again and the moment was broken, forcing Viktor to finally take to the rink.

Stepping out onto the ice he skated a few steps and then turned around, leaning over the barrier that was now between the two of them to look at Yuuri one last time. He was reluctant to leave so soon after they had been reunited but there was no time. Yuuri looked just as reluctant to leave, leaning over the barrier to clasp his hand again.

The noise of the stadium was still deafening around them, the crowd screaming and cheering and chanting Viktor’s name. This was his home territory, his home crowd and everyone here loved him.

But as Yuuri took his hand again he heard another sound, something that made anger curl hot and vicious in his gut. A hissing almost drowned out by the noise of the cheers but audible all the same, coming from a group of fans staring at Yuuri with expressions of hatred written across their faces. Yuuri seemed to have heard it too because he turned around, hand tightening on Viktor’s own as he took it in.

Viktor wasn’t naïve enough to think that everyone was pleased about the new development in his and Yuuri’s relationship. The majority of the skating world had celebrated with him it was true, but not all. The rivalry had spun far beyond both of their control years ago, breeding hatred and resentment in fans, and there were a select few that were furious at their idol’s choice in partner.

Viktor had done interviews, made statements, posted on social media. Had declared that any fan that spoke badly of Yuuri was no fan of his. Had periodically taken people apart online for their comments about Yuuri’s supposed motivations and methods for ensnaring him into a relationship. But still a few persisted and now they were here too, glaring daggers at Yuuri so soon after they had finally been reunited, ruining what should be a perfect moment.

It made Viktor furious and he almost opened his mouth to speak, to prove to them how wrong they were but Yuuri beat him to it. Raising his eyebrow at the fans, he shot them a pointed look before reaching forward to grab the front of Viktor’s skating costume and drag him down into a kiss.

Viktor made a startled sound at the action but it was soon cut off by Yuuri’s lips on his and he kissed back eagerly. Yuuri’s fingers were twisted in the front of his costume, pinning him in place and Yuuri kissed him fiercely, claiming his lips and refusing to let go for several long seconds. When they finally broke apart Viktor was almost panting, out of breath and with a definite flush to his face.

“I want to show my love to everyone,” Yuuri told him, looking determined. “To the whole of Russia. To the whole world. I want everyone to know.”

There had been a definite lull in the noise of the crowd as they had kissed but now it returned full force, cheering and screaming interspersed by a few loud wolf-whistles as the fans showed their approval. At the whistling, Yuuri cheeks turned pink and he looked embarrassed but he didn’t break away, still holding Viktor close.

“Will skater Nikiforov please take to the ice,” the announcer called, sounding a little exasperated.

Deciding it was best not to push his luck too much more, Viktor finally skated away, moving out into the centre of the rink and watching as Yuuri kept his eyes fixed on him. Adrenaline was still coursing through his body at the kiss, mingling with the pleasure of Yuuri’s staking his claim so obviously in front of so many thousands of people. After so long keeping themselves hidden from the world the rush of being able to show his love and be shown love in return was intoxicating.

He carried that feeling into his skating, allowing it to bleed into every movement. Barely weeks ago his routine had been a call, a plea. A hope that Yuuri would return to him, would allow for Viktor to make amends, would stay close to him.

Now it was a celebration. A celebration of everything that he had, of everything that they had together. No longer mournful but happy. Joyous. Filled with love and hope and every other wonderful emotion that he was feeling all at once.

Yuuri was his now and he was Yuuri’s. Their relationship was only just beginning it was true, still figuring out how to be together after so much history and so many misunderstandings between the two of them. But they were working on it, learning each other better and building from the ground up to create something that would last.

When the routine finally came to a close he was barely out of breath, still riding on the high of his emotions. As soon as he struck his ending pose the crowd burst into applause, raining down praise and tokens of appreciation. Smiling out to them Viktor waved, collecting a few in his arms before skating to the side of the rink where Yuuri was waiting.

Yuuri had been surrounded by Viktor’s rink-mates as he watched the performance but as soon as Viktor stepped off the ice he ran over to Viktor again.

“You were amazing,” he said, completely sincerely, and Viktor couldn’t help the blush that spread across his features at the words. He still wasn’t used to hearing praise and admiration coming from Yuuri’s mouth, he wasn’t sure that he ever would be. The feeling made him almost dizzy with excitement and he pulled Yuuri into another kiss, shorter this time but just as deep and true.

When they broke apart Yakov was waiting for him, standing a little to the side to escort Viktor into the kiss and cry. Yuuri waited for him at the sidelines as he sat and Viktor paid far more attention to him than the scoreboard, the way Yuuri’s face lit up in delight at Viktor’s scores making him far happier than the numbers themselves, placing him at the top of the podium again.

“Congratulations,” Yuuri told him, beaming at Viktor when he finally exited the kiss and cry. Reaching out he twined their fingers together, stepping close so that they were standing nearly chest to chest again.

“Although you’re still not going to beat me at Worlds,” he added, a cheeky smile appearing on his face as he looked up at Viktor. His voice was laced with teasing and Viktor laughed, feeling so happy that he thought his chest might burst with it.

“Oh, we’ll see about that.”



It was a few more hours before they were finally able to make it back to the hotel. There was the medal ceremony to wait through, Yuuri cheering along with the crowds as the gold medal was draped around Viktor’s neck. Then there were numerous interviews with the press, everyone clamouring for his or Yuuri’s attention. Yuuri stuck close to him all the while, pressed into Viktor’s side and refusing to leave.

When they finally extracted themselves from that, they were accosted by more of Viktor’s rink-mates, all wanting to meet Yuuri properly for the first time. Viktor managed to distract them with the promise that Yuuri would be here for a few days and there was plenty of time for proper introductions later and finally they were able to escape.

“You are staying for a few days right?” he asked Yuuri worriedly as soon as they were in a taxi heading back to the hotel, hoping he hadn’t misinterpreted.

“Of course I am,” Yuuri reassured him. “I know you said you didn’t celebrate your birthdays before the actual day in Russia but I wanted to be here for that as well as the competition. Then for a few more days if you’ll have me before I have to go back to Detroit.”

“Why not just stay here forever?” Viktor said lightly but it was only partly a joke. Living so far apart was far from ideal and while it was far too soon in their relationship to think about moving in together, he still missed Yuuri desperately when they were apart all the same.

“Celestino and Phichit would drag me back to Detroit,” Yuuri shot back with a laugh. “I still have medals to win after all.”

“Then we’ll just have to make the most of the time we have,” Viktor replied, sliding his hands around Yuuri’s waist to pull him in closer. He raised his eyebrows suggestively and Yuuri lent in, pressing a soft kiss to his lips. It was different to the ones they had shared in the stadium before. Private and tender and it made Viktor’s heart race as he kissed back.

But before it could go any further Yuuri pulled away, glancing out of the window as the taxi came to a stop in front of the hotel that Viktor had been staying in.

“But first,” Yuuri told him, sliding away and laughing a little at how Viktor pouted at the loss of contact. “I’m hungry. And I really need a shower.”

While Viktor wanted nothing more than to take Yuuri in his arms again he had to agree that Yuuri made a fair point. After a long day of skating Viktor was starving and sweaty and after an even longer time travelling Yuuri surely was the same. Together they exited the taxi, Viktor hoisting his skating bag over his shoulder and Yuuri dragging his suitcase behind him as they made their way into the hotel and up to Viktor’s room.

When they arrived Viktor insisted that Yuuri take the shower first, calling up room service to order the food as Yuuri washed. Eventually they switched, Viktor taking the shower once Yuuri had finished and strolled out into the room with a towel around his waist.

Viktor scrubbed down as quickly as he could and then dried himself, pulling on one of the hotel robes before walking back out of the bathroom. There wasn’t much point getting redressed, it was late and they would be going to bed soon anyway.

It seemed that Yuuri had the same idea as him because when Viktor stepped back out into the main room Yuuri was still wearing nothing but his boxers, lounging on the bed and flicking through his phone. He glanced up at the sound of Viktor’s return and smiled but before they could speak there was a chime from the door and they both looked around at the noise.

Yuuri grabbed the nearest clothing item close to him, zipping up the jacket to cover his bare chest as Viktor went to answer the door. The smell of freshly cooked food wafted into the room as their dinner was brought in and Viktor thanked and tipped the server before closing the door again and turning back to Yuuri.

His mouth went a little dry at the sight, pulse speeding up as he watched Yuuri walk casually over towards him. The jacket that Yuuri had grabbed to hide himself had been Viktor’s own, discarded on the bed not long after they had entered the room. It didn’t quite fit, slightly too long in the arms and hanging past Yuuri’s hips to cover the top part of his thighs. The red and white complimented the colour of his skin and the shine of his hair and Viktor swallowed heavily as Yuuri came to sit down opposite him at the low table that their food was on.

Yuuri seemed completely oblivious to Viktor’s sudden crisis and he tucked into the food heartily, moaning a little as the taste hit his tongue. It didn’t help out Viktor’s predicament in the slightest.

Over the meal they talked lightly, Yuuri filling Viktor in on everything that had happened since they had last parted and Viktor returning the favour. They spoke to each other almost every day and texted when calling wasn’t an option but it just wasn’t the same as hearing the words from Yuuri’s mouth. Every time Yuuri smiled or laughed or looked at Viktor with eyes that were so open and full of affection, Viktor’s heart skipped another beat in his chest and he felt warm down to his very core, perfectly content and happy.

Finally they finished their food and stacked the dishes away, Yuuri stretching his arms over his head with a yawn. It was only then that Viktor realised that Yuuri was probably extremely jetlagged and exhausted. Flying directly from a competition halfway around the world was no mean feat after all.

“Are you tired solnyshko?” he asked, standing up and walking around the table to where Yuuri was sitting. Yuuri stood up to meet him, running a hand through his hair and shaking his head a little to clear it again.

“Yes,” Yuuri admitted but he didn’t move away, instead taking a step closer to Viktor so that there was barely an inch of space between them. Viktor swallowed.

“Do you want to go to sleep?” he asked, trying to keep his voice even and Yuuri shook his head, a tiny smile creeping onto his face as he looked up at Viktor from under his eyelashes.

“No,” he replied, then stretched up to cover the last of the space between them and pull Viktor down into a kiss.

The kiss started off gentle but it soon grew more heated, Viktor parting his lips willingly and allowing Yuuri entrance. In response Yuuri kissed harder, sliding his hands into Viktor’s damp hair and dragging them closer together.

“I missed you,” Yuuri breathed into his mouth and when they pulled apart his eyes looked strangely vulnerable.

“I missed you too,” Viktor replied and he could hear the raw honesty in his own words. It had hurt, to have to part so soon after they had finally come together again and no amount of texting or calling could lessen that feeling. Only having Yuuri in his arms could cure that particular ache.

Yuuri lent in again, reinitiating the kiss before letting his hands fall from Viktor’s hair, dropping down to grasp at the zip on the jacket he was wearing and pull it down. The two halves of the jacket fell apart, revealing Yuuri’s smooth skin beneath and Viktor reached out eagerly, sliding his hands around Yuuri’s waist to the small of his back, revelling in the feeling.

When Yuuri tried to pull the jacket off completely however Viktor reached up to lock his hands around Yuuri’s wrists, keeping him immobile.

“Keep it on,” he murmured and then at Yuuri’s raised eyebrow he added a little pleadingly, “For me?”

Yuuri huffed out a little laugh at that but he dropped his hands, making no attempt to remove the jacket again and instead returning to kissing. The sight made an animal part of Viktor croon in pleasure. Yuuri with his eyes dark and his lips red, wearing Viktor’s jacket as they kissed. It was just like the claim that Yuuri had staked on him by the ice rink that day, showing the world that Viktor was his. His clothes were like a brand and one that Yuuri wore by choice, marking himself as Viktor’s and no-one else’s.

As they kissed Viktor slid his hands downwards, past the heated skin of Yuuri’s waist and to rest on the thin fabric of his boxers. In return, Yuuri brought his hands up to the tie of Viktor’s bathrobe, fumbling for a few seconds before tugging it open. Viktor hadn’t bothered to put on any clothing underneath and when the material fell away Yuuri stepped back a little, admiring the view.

“Like what you see?” Viktor said with a smirk and Yuuri laughed, blushing a little but holding the gaze.

“You know I do,” he replied and Viktor preened a little under the praise before dipping his head back for another kiss, sliding his hands under the fabric of Yuuri’s boxers and watching as Yuuri gasped beneath his touch. In revenge Yuuri nipped lightly at Viktor’s lip in a way that he knew Viktor loved, dragging him towards the bed and pulling Viktor down on top of him.

As they slid together to lie fully on the mattress, Viktor discarded the robe completely and Yuuri shimmied out of his boxers, tossing them aside but still keeping the jacket on. The fabric pooled around him and it made the desire building in Viktor’s chest burn all the brighter. It had been weeks since he had last had the opportunity to touch Yuuri and he was determined to make the most of it now.

Reaching down he lightly brushed his fingers over the skin of Yuuri’s stomach, dipping lower and lower but never quite touching where he knew that Yuuri was desperate for him to reach.

“Viktor,” Yuuri gasped out in response, digging his fingers into Viktor’s skin as he looked up at Viktor reproachfully, pupils still blown wide with desire. ‘Touch me.’

Smiling Viktor finally reached down, grasping Yuuri’s cock in his hand and hearing as Yuuri let out a sigh of pleasure, bucking into the touch. As he did so Yuuri propped himself up on his elbows, reaching up to pull Viktor into another kiss. Sliding his hands down Viktor’s body, Yuuri reached down to grasp at Viktor’s own cock, matching Viktor’s speed until they were gasping and panting together.

“Do you want more,” Viktor asked between kisses, feeling as Yuuri shivered beneath him. If Yuuri was staying for at least a few days they had plenty of time and he knew that Yuuri was tired. They could end it like this and curl up together perfectly content and sated with no trouble at all.

“I want you to fuck me,” Yuuri replied without hesitation. “Make me feel it. Make me remember that this is real.”

Viktor froze for a second, feeling the sudden rush of heat that the words brought on and then he kissed Yuuri harder, pinning him back onto the bed as Yuuri’s kisses became more demanding in return.

Finally Viktor pulled away, leaving Yuuri with one final kiss to crawl up the bed and pull open the bedside drawer. When he opened it however he paused, staring at the empty space and swearing internally. He hadn’t expected Yuuri for at least a few more days and so he hadn’t put anything in there to be easily on hand. Turning back to Yuuri guiltily he opened his mouth to speak but Yuuri beat him to it.

“I’ve got it if you don’t,” he said as casually as he could while still looking very visibly aroused, sitting up and straightening the jacket that he was still wearing which did nothing to conceal the flush across the skin of his chest from their earlier activities. “Wait there.”

Still cursing himself for being so underprepared and the unfortunate break in their activities that it had caused, Viktor slid back down the bed, watching as Yuuri padded lightly over to his suitcase and rummaged around in the depths. As he bent over the jacket rode up, exposing the skin beneath and Viktor let out a low whistle of appreciation at the view. Yuuri shot him a mock irritated look over his shoulder and then straightened up, a bottle of lube and a condom packet clutched in his hand.

Walking back, he crawled onto the bed again, tossing the two to the side and hovering over Viktor, a sly smirk playing across his face.

“Now where were we?” he murmured, bending down to press a kiss lightly to Viktor’s lips and then pulling away again quickly, waiting for a response.

“Something about you wanting me to fuck you?” Viktor teased, putting on a light tone and watching as Yuuri’s lips quirked up into a smile.

“That sounds familiar,” he shot back, running his hands down Viktor’s chest and seating himself on Viktor’s legs, expression playful. “What are you going to do about it?”

“As always solnyshko, your wish is my command,” Viktor replied, reaching up to draw Yuuri down into another kiss. As soon as Yuuri was distracted he gripped him tight and flipped them both over, a now familiar move that had Yuuri laughing as his back hit the mattress.

As soon as their positions were reversed Yuuri gazed up at Viktor again, bringing one hand up to cup Viktor’s cheek softly. Viktor could feel himself melt into the gentle touch, pressing his cheek deeper into Yuuri’s hand before turning his face to place a soft kiss to the palm.

“I love you,” he said, looking down at Yuuri and feeling his voice choke on the emotion behind it. He said it every day, finally allowed to speak the words that he had been denied for so long but it was so much more when Yuuri was here with him, staring up at him with eyes that were filled with so much love in return.

“And I love you,” Yuuri said, fingers sliding from Viktor’s cheek to brush lightly across his lower lip. Then his face took on a more playful expression and he smiled, voice light and teasing. “Now fuck me.”

Viktor laughed, leaning down to kiss Yuuri deeply and hitching one of his legs up with one hand while reaching for the bottle of lube with the other. It was times like this when he sometimes could barely believe it, that he could understand Yuuri asking him to remind him that this was all real. It seemed too perfect, like something out of one of his fantasies. He and Yuuri together, with nothing and no-one to stand in their way anymore, not even themselves.

With his free hand he flipped open the cap on the bottle of lube, squeezing some onto his fingers and then reaching up to tease his fingers across Yuuri’s upper thigh and circle his entrance.

Viktor,” Yuuri gasped and Viktor complied, pushing the first of his fingers into the heat of Yuuri’s body and feeling Yuuri sigh in satisfaction under him. Hitching Yuuri’s leg a little higher and thanking whatever deity might exist for Yuuri’s natural flexibility, Viktor reached down to press light kisses across Yuuri’s collarbone, working his finger as he did so. Yuuri let out little choked off noises at the feeling and reached down to thread his fingers in Viktor’s hair again, pulling him up into a proper kiss.

In return Viktor added another finger and listened in satisfaction and Yuuri gasped into his mouth, hips bucking up a little as he sought out more friction. Sensing Yuuri’s need, Viktor let Yuuri’s leg drop and instead used his hand to grasp Yuuri’s cock again, watching as Yuuri’s spine arched and his toes curled as he did so. Feeling the need build within himself as well he added a third finger and finally a fourth, adding more lube to his fingers as he worked Yuuri’s cock until Yuuri finally broke.

Hooking his legs around Viktor’s waist he dragged Viktor in, reaching out at the same time to grasp at Viktor own cock, jerking it with a few sure strokes before digging his heels into the small of Viktor’s back and urging him on.

“Are you ready?” Viktor asked, trying and failing to keep his voice level as he looked down at Yuuri beneath him, beautifully flushed and already falling apart.

“Yes,” Yuuri replied instantly and Viktor didn’t hesitate, tearing open the condom packet and rolling it on before grabbing Yuuri’s hips to lift him slightly, finally pushing into Yuuri’s body and nearly biting through his lip to stifle his moan as he did so.

“You feel so good,” Yuuri sighed, his grip on Viktor tightening as he pulled him close, keeping them locked together. Viktor leaned down to press a light kiss to his lips and then pulled back, sliding half out of Yuuri before pushing into him again, both of them voicing their pleasure as he did so.

With one hand Viktor reached up, gripping the headboard of the bed with tight fingers to steady himself. With the other he reached down, sliding it to cup Yuuri’s face as he moved again, sending another wave of pleasure washing through them both. Yuuri rolled his hips back to meet Viktor’s thrust and they moved together, neither of them taking their eyes off the other.

Finally Viktor could begin to feel himself come undone and he reached down, grasping Yuuri’s cock again and setting a pace to match their rocking movements until he could feel Yuuri tensing beneath him. Yuuri’s face was flushed and his expression open, eyes wide and full of emotion as he gazed up at Viktor.

“You’re so beautiful,” Viktor gasped and Yuuri finally came undone, arching up into his touch and coming, shuddering his release before falling bonelessly back onto the bed. It didn’t take much longer for Viktor to finished too and as he did so Yuuri pulled him down into a final kiss.

Afterwards they lay there for a while, still tangled up together and gradually feeling their breathing return to normal. Finally Viktor moved, pressing another light kiss to Yuuri’s lips before sliding out of him and standing up, walking over to the other side of the room to tie off the condom and throw it away. As he did so he saw Yuuri leave the bed too out of the corner of his eye, darting into the bathroom to clean himself up before returning to the room.

He was still wearing Viktor’s jacket, looking completely debauched with the fabric rumpled and his hair a mess, lips still kissed raw and face still flushed in the light of the room. As he made his way back over towards the bed Viktor flipped the light switch, plunging the room into darkness.

Yuuri was already lying there when he returned and Viktor crawled over to him, Yuuri pulling him close as soon as he was within reach so that they could lie together again. In the quiet of the room Viktor could swear he was able to hear the beat of Yuuri’s heart and he turned to the other man, wanting to speak again.

Yuuri,” he breathed and Yuuri smiled back at him, expression happy and content. “I’m so glad that you’re here.”

“Nothing could have kept me away,” Yuuri replied, pressing a light kiss to Viktor’s forehead as he spoke.

“Next time it’s my turn,” Viktor promised. “I’ll come and visit you in Detroit as soon as I can.”

“I’d like that.” Yuuri replied, then laughed. “And so would Phichit. He’s been pestering me to let him meet you properly for ages now and I think Celestino wants to speak to you too. Plus a lot of my rink-mates are dying to meet you.”

“I would be honoured to meet them all,” Viktor said, completely sincere. It was still a new and exciting feeling, Yuuri inviting Viktor into his life and settling himself so seamlessly into Viktor’s own at the same time. They might both have agreed to take it slow, to remain in their home countries for now and work their relationship around their skating but Viktor was blissfully happy all the same.

Being long distance was hard on them both at times but they still fit together so easily and gradually they were learning each other all over again. While he was here, Yuuri would finally meet all of Viktor’s rink-mates officially and soon he would do the same for Yuuri. And then after the season ended Yuuri had promised to take him to Japan to meet his family, something that excited and terrified Viktor in equal measure. Little by little they were integrating into each other’s lives, just like Viktor used to wish they could all those years ago.

One day he hoped that they could take the next big step, to move on so that there were no longer countries between them and distance keeping them apart. But there was no need to rush. Now was the time to love each other and fall in love all over again, to learn how to be with each other and to make sure that past mistakes would never be repeated. To build their love on rock not sand so that nothing could ever drive them apart again.

Now, they had all the time in the world. And as Viktor lay in the bracket of Yuuri’s arms, listening to his breathing in the quiet of the room, he couldn’t think of anything more perfect.