It was a sunny May afternoon as Viktor walked down the unfamiliar streets of Los Angeles. Having only lived in the city for less than a week, he was very slowly becoming comfortable walking around by himself. St. Petersburg had been home to Viktor for all of his life, but he was getting close to the end of his twenties and decided that he ultimately needed a change of scenery, so it was only fitting that his friends demanded that he move with them to the United States on a whim.
Viktor’s best friend Christophe had been making it big in LA for years now as a producer, and had been begging Viktor to come visit, so he was elated when Viktor told him he was moving there indefinitely. Just a few weeks after discussing it with Yuri and Georgi, Viktor had packed his bags and gotten on a number of one-way flights to California.
Now, Viktor was walking Makkachin down a reasonably quiet street, when he passed by a cute little coffee shop with a Tiffany blue exterior and white lettering on the sign. It caught his eye because even though it was out of the way, it was filled with people. He checked for a “dogs welcome” sign and when he didn’t see one, he quickly tied Makkachin to the light post, kissed him gently on the head and made his way inside.
The inside of the cafe made Viktor feel warm almost immediately. There were mismatched armchairs and small love seats decorating the room, and lots of different sized tables and desks for people to do their work on. The room smelled like cinnamon and campfire and gave off the most heavenly feeling. Viktor smiled at the atmosphere and made his way to the counter to order a coffee.
“Good afternoon, sir, what can I make for you today?” the barista asked cheerfully, giving Viktor a bright smile.
“I will have a black coffee, please. A small.” Viktor smiled weakly back at her, worried that his accent would be difficult to understand.
“Absolutely, I’ll have that right up for you, can I have your name?”
“Viktor,” Viktor smiled again, the feeling infectious.
“Perfect.” She clicked the pen cap shut and smiled up at Viktor again. “Where are you traveling from?” she asked as she slid the empty cup across the counter to her coworker who poured the coffee into it and slid it back.
“I just moved here from Russia, actually. St. Petersburg.”
“Wow! That’s awesome. How long have you been in town?” she asked as she squeezed the lid onto the top of the cup.
“Just a few days.”
“That’s not long at all!” she laughed. “Well, if you like music and you’d like to meet some awesome new people, on Wednesday’s we host an open mic night. It’s a lot of fun and the people that perform are super talented. We usually get the same few people but just a couple of weeks ago this new guy started performing and he is…” she paused and her eyes got wide. “Amazing.”
“It’s tonight?” Viktor asks, intrigued.
“Yes sir! Starts at seven.”
“It sounds lovely, I’d love to come.”
“Okay! I’ll keep an eye out for you! You really don’t wanna miss it.”
“Thank you, I’m sorry. I didn’t catch your name?”
“Well thank you again Mila, hopefully I can make it.” Viktor told her and smiled again before leaving the cafe.
He untied Makkachin from the light post and quickly shot a text to Yuri, inviting him along for the night. Viktor had always liked hearing live music even if it was just acoustic covers of popular American songs.
Viktor Nikiforov - 2:53 pm:
Yuri, a local coffee shop has
an open mic tonight and I want to go.
Yuri Plisetsky - 3:02 pm:
Why are you telling me this?
Viktor Nikiforov - 3:04 pm:
Because you’re coming with me.
I can’t go alone I’ll look like a loser.
Yuri Plisetsky - 3:07 pm:
You’ll look like a loser either way, old man.
Viktor rolled his eyes at Yuri’s message and looked up, realizing that he had already made it back to his apartment building. Makkachin has clearly already learned the route and committed it to memory. They both enter through the large glass door and walk across the marble floors to the elevator and Viktor taps the button. He types back to Yuri while he waits.
Viktor Nikiforov - 3:10 pm:
Whatever. The barista said it
would be fun, will you come or not?
The elevator dings and Viktor follows Makkachin inside.
Yuri Plisetsky - 3:12 pm:
Fine, but you have to buy me food.
Viktor Nikiforov - 3:13 pm:
Deal. Meet at my place at 6:30.
Viktor finally reached the 25th floor and stepped out of the elevator into his vast and breathtaking penthouse. Deciding upon his initial arrival that it had been much too big for just him, he didn’t even use the top floor but instead moved all of his belongings into the downstairs bedroom and bathroom, leaving the remaining space upstairs unused and empty.
Viktor slumped down onto his large white sofa after taking off Makkachin’s leash and filling his water bowl and started typing out a text to Georgi, inviting him to go with them as well.
Viktor Nikiforov - 3:30 pm:
Georgi do you want to come
with me and Yuri to an open mic
tonight at this coffee shop I discovered
on my walk today?
Georgi Popovich - 3:32 pm:
Yes, absolutely. Hopefully I’ll meet a
Women like live music and coffee, right?
Viktor Nikiforov - 3:33 pm:
No idea, my friend. I’m going to
assume that most people do.
Georgi Popovich - 3:40 pm:
Probably a safe assumption.
Viktor Nikiforov - 3:42 pm:
Meet at my place at 6:30 and we’ll
Georgi Popovich - 3: 44 pm:
Sounds like a plan.
Later that evening, Georgi and Yuri showed up in the lobby right on time. The three men walked together down the street to the coffee shop since it was so close. Viktor relayed what the barista had said about the talent, and about the new addition that was “amazing”.
“She told you he was ‘amazing’?” Yuri asked scowling.
“She said he was new, so who’s to really tell? I’m sure everyone will be good either way. It takes a lot of confidence to get up on a stage, no matter how small.” Viktor explained.
“I want to see someone who can sing, and dance, and write love songs about me.” Georgi chimed, practically dancing into the street.
“Wow, slow down there Casanova. Remember what we said about making a gentle first impression? Not scaring the poor girl off right away?” Viktor laughed and placed his hand on Georgi’s shoulder to keep him on the sidewalk.
“Yeah, man. You gotta be smooth.” Yuri gestured waves with his hands.
“Oh, and what would you know, Yura? Mr. Heartbreaker at 18?” Georgi retorted, receiving a nasty glare from the smaller boy.
“Alright you two, we’re here.” Viktor interrupted and held the door open for the others. Georgi made an ‘awe’ noise as he entered, and Yuri snorted, seemingly unimpressed. Viktor noticed Mila from across the room and gave a little wave, and when she spotted him she came walking towards them quickly.
“Viktor! I’m so glad you could make it! I saved you a table over by the window.” Mila smiled, tucking her short red hair behind her ear and pointing to the round table by the window bench.
“Thank you so much. These are my friends, Yuri and Georgi. Guys, this is Mila, the barista I was telling you about from earlier.” Viktor introduced them all, excited again by how busy the place seemed to be.
“Nice to meet you! Make yourselves comfortable. Can I get you anything to drink? We’re gonna start here in about five minutes.”
“It’s busy, they must put on quite the show.” Viktor smiled and Mila nodded enthusiastically. “I’ll just have a black coffee, thank you.”
“I’ll do the same, thank you.” Georgi responded, and Viktor caught him staring at the girl.
“Georgi, contain yourself.” Viktor whispered into his ear and dragged him towards the table. “Yuri, are you going to order?”
“Yeah uh, I’ll have just a chai tea. Thanks.” Yuri shrugged and followed the older men towards their table.
“She’s lovely.” Georgi said, referring to Mila and letting his head rest in his hand.
“I’m going to automatically say she’s off limits.” Viktor told him, scolding.
“Because if we really enjoy this place and want to keep coming back, you’re not allowed to make the staff uncomfortable.” Viktor said and Yuri had to stifle a laugh.
“He’s right dude. If you’re gonna find a lady tonight, make it the clientele not the staff.” Yuri barked.
“Yura.” Viktor scolded. “Behave please.” Yuri scowled and waved his hand in the air.
“I’m just restating what you already said, Viktor.” Yuri smirked and all three men turned as Mila came to drop off their drinks.
“Please enjoy, boys! I’m gonna go start this thing.” She smiled and touched Viktor’s shoulder politely before stepping up onto the small stage in the front of the room.
“Good evening everyone, thank you so much for coming. Tonight we have the usual line up, so let’s get started right away! Please welcome to the stage, Mary!” Mila started clapping gently and stepped off the stage to make room for the small, dark haired girl that took the stage. She sat behind a keyboard piano and started playing a song that sounded familiar but Viktor couldn’t quite place. She sounded lovely but wasn’t exactly captivating. Viktor turned back to his friends and let her song be background noise while they chatted.
After a few moments it seemed like everyone else had a similar idea and a small wave of voices could be heard over the music.
“I’m interested in this new kid you told us about, Viktor. I sure hope he’s more interesting than this girl.” Georgi said, sounding bored.
“Mila said that all of these people were coming for him. He must be something else if this place is as busy as it is on a Wednesday.” Viktor explained. “Plus, this girl isn’t terrible.”
“But she’s not going to make it in this town, either.” Georgi said. Georgi works with Chris at his recording studio, so he was required to know a thing or two about good music and good vocals. “You have to have spark, you know. Something to set yourself apart from the rest of these wannabes.”
“Well, of course. But I don’t think these people are here performing tonight expecting to get signed, Georgi.”
“It’s just for fun, dude. Lighten up.” Yuri chimed in.
“You should play something next week, Yura.” Viktor laughed.
“Couldn’t pay me to get up on that stage, old man. These folks couldn’t handle what I bring to the table.”
“Screaming at the top of your lungs into a microphone isn’t what people typically consider music, Yuri.” Georgi deadpanned.
“It’s not screaming, it’s art.” Yuri told him and Viktor had to hold back his laugh.
“Ooooooh-kay. Whatever you say little one.”
Mary had finished playing and stood up from the piano. Everyone clapped politely for her as she stepped off the stage and another girl followed up.
“My name is Sara, I hope you enjoy my cover of Lorde’s ‘Liability’.”
Sara started playing and quickly grabbed the attention of the room. She was beautiful, with dark skin and long black hair and dark blue eyes that almost looked purple. Her voice was angelic and Viktor found it lovely.
“She’s an angel.” Georgi said in a whisper.
“Yeah, that girl is definitely dating the barista.” Yuri said, straight faced.
“What?” Viktor and Georgi said in unison.
“Yeah she’s been making eyes at Mila since she got up on stage. Either they’re dating or they’d both like to be dating.”
“Yuri…that’s incredibly observant and a little weird.” Georgi said.
“Weird that they’re dating? That’s judgmental Georgi.” Yuri asked defensively.
“No, no. Jesus, Yuri, Viktor’s gay for crying out loud, why would I be judgmental? It’s weird that you picked up on that so quickly. That’s a great skill.”
“O…kay.” Yuri rolled his eyes and directed his attention back to the stage.
Viktor spotted a young Japanese man with dark hair and glasses that looked like he was gearing to go up on stage. Viktor couldn’t see him well but thought he might be the next up.
“Georgi, I think that might be Mila’s new fan favorite.” Viktor nudged and pointed to the Japanese man.
“He’s the first guy, and she said it was a he.”
“Alright Viktor. You’re have to control yourself now.”
“I’ve never been in to Asian men, Georgi, relax.” Viktor laughed as Sara finished and the young man took the stage. Everyone suddenly started shouting out little hoots and hollers as he sat down by the mic with his acoustic guitar. When Viktor’s eyes first saw him, he was standing in the dark. Now that he was sitting under a spot light and Viktor could see his beautiful brown eyes and skin that looked soft to the touch, his jaw might as well have been sitting on the table.
“Hey, Viktor. Close your mouth.” Yuri scolded.
“My god, he’s beautiful.” Viktor whispered.
“I thought you just said you weren’t into Asian men, Viktor.”
“I take it back. I am very much into this man.” Viktor told Georgi, not tearing his gaze from the one sitting on stage. When he spoke, Viktor almost gasped.
“Thank you, I appreciate your support. I’m excited to be back again this week. I’ll be covering the song ‘Like Real People Do', by Hozier. I hope you enjoy.” He said with a slight Japanese accent and started strumming. Viktor grabbed Georgi’s arm with force.
“He didn’t say his name.”
“I don’t know his name. How am I going to get his phone number and marry him if I don’t even know his name?”
“Jesus, Viktor. Take it down a notch, just ask Mila when he’s done.” Yuri said as the man on stage started to sing. The room was silent and the low notes were almost visible in the air as he sang the words. Viktor stared, unblinking, convinced that this man was an angel.
“Why were you digging? What did you bury?
Before those hands pulled me from the earth?…”
Viktor felt as if his breath was stolen, as he sat silent and staring at this incredible being. He could feel his mouth drying but couldn’t stop it, until brown eyes flickered over to blue and Viktor clapped his mouth shut with shock.
“Oh my god.” Viktor whispered.
“What is it?” Georgi asked, also enraptured.
“He made eye contact.”
“He was just looking around.” Yuri dismissed. Georgi nodded in agreement and shrugged, putting his attention back on stage.
“Honey just put your sweet lips on my lips
We should just kiss like real people do…”
He continued to sing and Viktor continued to gawk. Brown eyes looked over to Viktor’s once again but this time, he smiled and held Viktor’s gaze.
“Yeah, he’s making eye contact.” Georgi whispered from behind.
“Viktor’s going to expire.” Yuri laughed.
The young man finished off the song and the room began to clap and cheer once again.
“Mila was not kidding.” Viktor said. “He was incredible.”
“His voice was very good, yes. I was surprised. Do you think that’s who she was talking about?” Georgi asked.
As the room cheered Viktor watched as the other man talked animatedly with Mila before returning to the coffee bar. He sat down and pulled out his phone, quickly distracted from the noise of the room in his favor.
“I’m going to talk to him.”
“Wait, Viktor,” Georgi tried to grab Viktor’s arm but he was already out of his seat. The next person had taken the stage and had started to play. Viktor slowly approached the bar, as not to startle the other man.
“Hi,” Viktor said, attempting to sound as clear as possible. He sat down a seat away as to not seem to direct. (He failed)
“Oh, h-hello.” the other man stuttered out, taken off guard.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. I just wanted to come over and say hi. I’m new to town and Mila told me about this, and you.” Viktor explained and waved his hand over the room.
Oh, she did?” He asked, redness creeping up his soft cheeks.
“Yes, she said you were amazing and she wasn’t kidding. You’re…mesmerizing.” Viktor smiled at the other man.
“Uh-thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that.” He smiled weakly at Viktor, all the confidence from the stage had been lost.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t introduce myself. I’m Viktor, Viktor Nikiforov.”
“Oh, um, I’m Yuuri. Yuuri Katsuki.” Yuuri smiled and took Viktor’s outstretched hand to shake. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“I don’t mean to be too forward and you’re free to say no, but, I find you extremely captivating and would love to know more about you. Can I take you to dinner?”
“Me?” Yuuri asked, eyes blown wide and face reddening by the second.
“Yes, you. Who else?”
“Well no one’s ever asked me to dinner before. I was just checking.” Yuuri explained and shrugged, laughing.
“That’s very hard to believe. It would be an honor to take a man such as yourself to dinner. Will you let me?”
“Sure, yes.” He nodded. “Yes definitely.” Yuuri smiled brightly at Viktor, some of the embarrassment and shyness leaving his features.
“Does tomorrow evening work for you?” Viktor asked, pulling out his cell phone.
“Yes.” Yuuri replied instantaneously.
“Excellent. I’m looking forward to it, very much. May I have your phone number?” Viktor asked as an afterthought.
“Sure, here.” Yuuri said and passed Viktor his phone. Viktor took it in exchange for his own and typed his number into it.
“Perfect. Thank you.” Viktor said and smiled at Yuuri. Yuuri handed him back his phone, taking his own in return. “What time works best for you?”
“Well I get off work at five-thirty so maybe…6:30?” Yuuri said.
“That works for me. Text me your address tomorrow and I’ll pick you up then?”
“Okay.” Yuuri blushed again.
“Hmm.” Viktor hummed in appreciation. “I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
“See you tomorrow.” Yuuri responded and smiled again. Viktor was very quickly becoming fond of that sweet smile and those brown eyes. He stood up and walked back to the table with Yuri and Georgi.
“Oh my fucking god old man, I can’t believe you did that.” Yuri screeched and covered his mouth with his hands.
“Well, how did it go?” Georgi asked, eyes switching back and forth between Viktor and this new Yuuri.
“See for yourself.” Viktor smirked and slid his phone across the table, displaying Yuuri’s contact card.
“Oh my god.” Yuri and Georgi said in unison.
“We’re going to dinner tomorrow night.”
“Viktor please spare some of your charm to the rest of us.” Georgi whimpered.
“How are you so fucking good?” Yuri asked, shocked.
“It’s a talent, really.” Viktor laughed at them and finished off the rest of his coffee. The last performer had gotten off stage and people were getting up to leave. Mila came bouncing over to their table shortly thereafter.
“So, what did you guys think? Coming back next week? Maybe to perform?” She asked, nudging Yuri with her foot.
“Viktor asked your golden boy out on a date.” Yuri blurted.
“Oh? Oh! Good for him! Go get ‘em, Viktor.” She laughed and slapped him playfully on the arm. “My girlfriend Sara played just before him actually!”
“I told you.” Yuri said to Georgi.
“What?” Mila asked, confused.
“Oh, nothing.” Yuri laughed and leaned back in his seat. Georgi visibly shrunk.
“Everyone was fantastic Mila, thank you for telling me about it.”
“Of course! Will you be in for coffee tomorrow morning?”
“Yes, definitely. You’ll be seeing quite a lot of me, I think.”
“Oh good! Well, I’m gonna close up for the night so you boys finish up your drinks and I’ll come by to take your mugs.”
“Sure thing, thanks again,” Viktor said and Mila bounced away. “Ready to go, boys?” Viktor laughed.
“Yeah, you gotta get your beauty sleep, pops.”
“Do not call me that, someone might actually think you’re my child.”
“You don’t look that old, Viktor.” Georgi says, frowning.
“But Yuri looks that young.” Viktor smirks, holding the door open for them again before waving goodnight to Mila and noticing that Yuuri had already left.
“Fuck you, old man.” Yuri barks.
“We’re headed this direction Viktor,” Georgi points the opposite way. “Text us and let us know how tomorrow goes, yes?”
“I will, thanks for coming out guys. I really had fun.”
“You sure did, dude. You sure did.” Yuri says and waves him off.
Viktor walks the rest of the way home, making the mental note to look up this, ‘Hozier’.