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Dear Mama

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Dear Mama,

I hope you don’t hear it from the news first, but knowing how fast the rumour mill works, I’m not keeping my hopes up. Anyway, I thought I should let you know that I’m going to Japan. In fact, I’m probably already there when you read this. Don’t listen to what Yakov tells you; I’m not retiring just yet. I’ve just found something much more interesting there, and I think you’ll appreciate the fact that I’m actually doing something productive this time even when I’m uninspired. I know you hated having to deal with me complaining about it the last time it happened.

I don’t know what I’ll find in Japan—well, I have a fairly good idea that there’ll be ninjas and a skater in serious need of my coaching expertise, but nothing much apart from that—but I’m optimistic that I’ll manage to stage a return for at least one more season after my time there.

Knowing how much more you care about Makkachin than me, I feel obliged to tell you that she’s coming with me, so you don’t need to worry about her starving to death (not that I’d ever let that happen) while I go gallivanting across the globe. I’ve foisted all my plants onto my neighbour as well, so you don’t need to worry about those either.

Love,
Victor

P.S. Do you think Katsuki would respond positively if I tried to seduce him? It's that Katsuki from last year's GPF banquet dance off, the one who beat Yura despite being completely smashed. Even if it turns out that I can’t do anything about his skating or be inspired by him, I’ll at least get some fun out of it so it wouldn’t be a complete waste of time.

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Dear Vitya,

I don’t mean to be rude, but aren’t you getting on a bit too much in years to continue professional figure skating for much longer? Don’t give me that look. I know you’re as stubborn as your father and his father before him—speaking of which, your grandfather says hello and to actually bring somebody who’s not a one-night stand back for the New Year this time—but I’m worried about your health. I’ve seen your feet. Despite my genes, they’re not pretty. I love that you love your job (we’re waiting for you to send your latest trophy to add to the trophy room) but as your mother your health is more important to me. Don’t exert yourself in Japan, eat three square meals a day, and remember that Makkachin will hate you forever if you forget to take her out for walks.

Japan is very far away and very different from Russia. You don’t even speak a word of Japanese. How are you going to survive there? I’ve gathered from your letter (which is frankly appallingly sparse on any information I care about) and news reports (which seem to understand what I want to know about you better than you do) that you’re headed there to coach a Japanese figure skater called Yuuri Katsuki, whom you mentioned by name only in a postscript. Personally, I feel that this would be fantastic for your body, but I’m concerned that you might be too invested in seducing this Japanese man (who, if memory serves me right, wasn't particularly receptive to you when sober and had to down 16 glasses of champagne before tangoing with you) to do any actual coaching.

In other words, NO, Vitya, I don’t think you should seduce Katsuki, not that you actually asked for my opinion. For what it’s worth, I don’t think that he would respond positively either. People generally do not appreciate being reminded of their drunken shenanigans unless their name is Christophe Giacometti. Please don’t make a mess of this and turn an otherwise functional human being into a whirlpool of fury whose rage is concentrated on you. I love you too much to lose you in such an unimpressive manner.

Love,
Mama

P.S. While I am offended that you think I love Makkachin more than I love my own son, I regret to inform you that this is actually true. I’m sorry, Vitya, but Makkachin will always come first. Your plants are a close second. But take comfort in the knowledge that you rank third, above your brother, whom I think was swapped at birth.