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Photo albums and raspberry kisses

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“Yura, I really think this is a bad idea.”

“Beka, shut your face hole and lift me up or I’ll just go grab a chair and be done with it.”

“But you’re gonna hurt yourself if–”

Yuri moved to the dining room area to do exactly what he’d threatened to do if Otabek didn’t help him. Otabek knew he would have to agree or he would never hear the end of it.

“Fine, fine, come ‘ere,” Otabek relented and stood with his back to the bookshelves in Viktor Nikiforov’s living room.

The situation was beyond ridiculous, to say the least.

Yuri had been given the task of house-sitting Viktor’s apartment and taking care of Makkachin while Yuuri and him were away on their honeymoon. And Otabek, being the good friend that he was, had decided to fly to Russia and join Yuri so that he wouldn’t do anything crazy… such as stealing some of Viktor and Yuuri’s baby pictures to use as blackmail material in the future, should he ever need them, like he was currently trying to do.

It was bad enough that he would now be considered an accomplice of this blatant violation of privacy on their part, but he was also scared that Yuri might actually hurt himself in the process by climbing up the very tall bookshelves that occupied the entire back wall to get to the album he was after.

“Yes! Thank you!” Yuri said and put the chair he had grabbed back in its place at the table. “Dinner is on me tonight!” He had a big smile on his face as he tied up his hair and made a show of stretching his arms high above his head.

Otabek widened his stance and focused his eyes on Makkachin, lying on the couch, to distract himself from Yuri’s now exposed neck.

The fact that he harboured an incredibly huge crush on one of his best friend was most definitely not part of the reason why he had decided to fly to Russia in the middle of summer instead of working on a new quad back in Almaty for the new season. Otabek needed holidays, too, and he got to spend some valuable time with Yuri in person, without having to rely on social media to keep the friendship alive during the months they were apart.

Otabek sighed. These past few days had been actual hell. Because, yes, he had seen Yuri in just a t-shirt and briefs before, but that had been pixelated and via a webcam. He had felt safe, with all those miles in between them and knowing he could stare without being noticed whenever Yuri turned around to talk to his cat or was distracted by his phone.

But there was no screen here to shield him from the bombardment of feelings he got on a daily basis.

Seeing Yuri in such a domestic environment every day and almost every hour had him wishing for things he had never thought he would care about. It wasn’t just about wanting to be near Yuri anymore — to hold hands or to hug and kiss him whenever he wished to — which was more of a constant. These new urges hit him randomly throughout the day.

Like when he got up and Yuri would be brushing his teeth in the bathroom and would try to smile at him only to choke on his own spit (this happened at least twice already, even if Yuri made him swear he wouldn’t tell a soul about it), and Otabek realised he wanted to see this kind of thing every single day — sans the choking and flailing on Yuri’s part.

Or when they cooked side by side, both of them crying nonstop because of the onions. Otabek felt stupid as he dissolved into a fit of giggles while Yuri let out his usual stream of insults at the vegetables he was trying — and failing — to cut due to the still-unshed tears in his eyes.

Otabek, of course, absolutely adored being one of the few that got to see the clumsier, dorkier, freer side of Yuri. But those were nowhere near his favourite; one he had had the privilege to witness plenty of times during the past two weeks of his staying in Russia.

The first place in his ever-growing list of “favourite things Yuri did today” had to be, hands down, when they curled up on the pristine couch in Viktor’s living room, Makkachin snoring on the floor below, while they watched whatever movie caught their eye.

Back in Almaty, he either wasted hours upon hours on the internet or lost himself in his music, something he loved to do. Here, however, he got to see Yuri laughing or screaming at the screen, completely immersed in the plot of the film they had chosen that night. He especially loved it when Yuri got really sleepy after dinner because it typically meant that he would fall asleep on Otabek’s shoulder.

And Otabek got the chance to discover new, little details as he watched Yuri’s features, trusting and vulnerable in the soft glow of the tv; Yuri’s body, warm and solid pressed against his side.

Otabek was so distracted by his own thoughts, he didn’t hear Yuri calling out to him before he started running towards him. By the time Otabek understood what was happening, Yuri had already leaped into the air, and he had a split second to react. He managed to hold onto the other boy, one arm underneath Yuri’s bum and the other around his back, while Yuri wrapped his long legs around Otabek’s chest.

It was… a weird position to be in, quite honestly, since Otabek’s face was at eye level with Yuri’s abs, which he could clearly feel underneath Yuri’s t-shirt as he stretched his arm to reach the album on the top shelf and pressed his lower body closer to Otabek.

In hindsight, it would’ve been a lot easier to have Yuri sitting on Otabek’s shoulders, but Yuri wasn’t the type to stop to think about these things. He was a pretty insightful person when it came to his career, family and friends, but once he got an idea like this, his impulsive nature took over — hence Otabek’s present predicament and one of the original reasons why he’d decided to come to Russia.

After some muffled curses and some help from Otabek to push him higher still, Yuri put his hand on the spine of the album.

“Finally!” Otabek heard Yuri say from above. “Oh. Beka, could you push me up just a bit more? It’s thicker than I thought and I can’t grab it with only one hand.”

Shaking his head to rid himself of the thoughts which inevitably invaded his mind, Otabek focused his attention on the task at hand.

“Sur–” Otabek was in the middle of replying, his voice a little strained due to the effort of lifting and holding Yuri in his arms for so long, when he noticed just how much Yuri’s shirt had ridden up.

Otabek’s eyes were now perfectly aligned with Yuri’s toned stomach... oh so white and perfect and smooth and– He had to forcefully keep his eyes from going any lower and stop that train of thought. He tried shaking his head again but that only made his nose come into direct contact with Yuri’s skin, Otabek’s breath making Yuri laugh because of how ticklish he was.

“Beka! No!” Yuri yelled as he forgot all about the album and put one hand on the shelf in front of him to keep from completely losing his balance, the other falling on top of Otabek’s hair. “What do you think you’re doing? You know how sensitive I am.”

An idea suddenly popped into Otabek’s mind and, before he could talk himself out of it, he blew a succession of raspberries on Yuri’s stomach, causing a bout of hysterical laughter to erupt from him. Otabek continued until Yuri was panting and moving so much he had to hold onto Otabek’s shoulder so as not to fall down.

“No, please, stop!” he managed to get out before losing it again. “I swear! I won’t! Try anything! Like this! Ever again!” His loud guffaws echoing off the high walls of the apartment.

“You promise?” Otabek asked, looking up at Yuri’s flushed face and raising an eyebrow at him. He could see the fond expression on Yuri’s face trying to hide behind his usual scowl.

“I do,” he said, as his hand returned to Otabek’s hair only to smooth it down with his fingers. “Now, please, put me down?”

“As long as you don’t try to steal those pictures again.”

“Ugh, fine.”

Otabek said nothing as Yuri made good on his word, but not before giving the album one last, longing look, and stood still to allow Yuri to literally climb down his body.

What Otabek didn’t know was that Yuri wasn’t planning on just jumping down when he got close enough to the ground. Instead, Yuri kept his legs wrapped safely around Otabek’s waist, arms wound safely around his neck and head resting against his chest.

“Um, Yura? I thought you wanted to get down?” Otabek asked hesitantly. He could feel the neck of his shirt getting stretched as Yuri pushed it down his body when he wrapped his legs just a little bit more tightly around him.

“Nah, I’m fine here,” he said, seemingly content with listening to Otabek’s now pounding heart. “Now you have to carry me around all day.”

Was this Yuri’s revenge?

“What?”

“Yeap. This is only fair, since you ruined my chances of getting incredibly rare blackmail material and all that,” he said with a dismissive hand gesture.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Otabek mumbled, his eyes finding the ceiling before closing completely in frustration. This was both a dream come true and a nightmare for him.

“Nope! Come on, Dark Horse of Kazakhstan! To the couch!”

Yuri even patted him on the cheek to get him to move and, as Otabek fought against the long sigh threatening to escape him, he swore he felt Yuri’s lips against his collarbone. He froze, breath caught in his throat while Yuri took his time to nuzzle said area before moving, his nose travelling up Otabek’s neck — oh-so-slowly — until he reached Otabek’s ear.

“Beka, couch?” he asked, voice low.

Otabek swallowed thickly, unsure whether Yuri was aware of the effect his hot breath next to his ear had had on him, and tried to suppress a full-body shudder. He had to clear his throat to find his voice again.

“Your wish is my command, Your Highness.”

Heart still beating rapidly, Otabek tread with caution, knowing they were about to enter dangerous territory.

But honestly? He simply couldn’t wait to explore it alongside Yuri.