The whole thing was getting ever more surreal. It had been pretty surreal when the vid of Yuuri skating Stay Close to Me appeared online. Not that it was particularly weird for Yuuri to learn the routine, because having lived with him for three years Phichit knew all about Yuuri's thing for Victor, but he would never have been Phichit's top pick for 'skater most likely to go viral'. The strange thing was that despite the difficulty of the routine - even with triples instead of quads - skating it Yuuri looked more relaxed than Phichit had ever seen him.
It got a lot more surreal when Victor turned up in Hasetsu to coach Yuuri, cranked up again when Yuuri appeared skating to On Eros in a costume that Phichit recognised from a particularly large poster that had hung over Yuuri's bed, and crossed some kind of event horizon when Yuuri appeared utterly transformed and yelling about the power of love at his press conference.
It was at that point that Phichit really started to wonder about Yuuri's relationship with Victor. He'd known about the idolisation, the obsession with the smallest update to one of his routines, even, thanks to the inadequate walls of their shared apartment, the sexual fantasies. It had been only natural that when Victor took him on as coach, Yuuri's confidence, always his weak spot as a skater, should get an injection powerful enough to be banned by WADA. The costume was explicable as a needs must. Phichit knew that Yuuri had got rid of a lot of his old stuff when he'd left Detroit, and he'd have had to wear whatever Victor had around that fit him. To keep wearing it for luck wasn't that weird, or at least Phichit could tell himself that if he worked quite hard at it. Even the hugs, everyone knew that Victor was handsy when he got enthusiastic. Of course, Yuuri wasn't, but clearly he was making an exception for his idol, and it wasn't that any of the photos were really over the line. The press conference was definitely over the line. Phichit really, really wanted to know what had brought that on, but unfortunately though Yuuri had finally broken his several months silence, which was great, and had somehow acquired enough confidence to talk about being in love with Victor on national TV, Phichit doubted very much that he'd changed enough to talk about it with his friend. He would just have to be patient and wait until they were both at the Cup of China and he could see for himself. He was going to show Yuuri his quad, too.
Beijing did not make things less weird. The sight of Victor, drunk and naked - and shit but the man was buff beyond even Yuuri's wildest imaginings - hanging his arms around Yuuri's neck and giggling as his thong sailed over the table to land on Guang-Hong's head, was not something he was going to forget in a hurry. Even more memorable, though, was Yuuri's reaction. That was to say, Yuuri's non-reaction. Because Phichit knew Yuuri, and he knew how Yuuri usually reacted to embarrassing situation and people getting drunk and stripping at parties. They'd been at college together, you learned that kind of thing, and what Phichit had learned was that the Yuuri he'd known in Detroit would have fled the room as soon as Victor moved to loosen his tie. He would not have sat there laughing and occasionally protesting futilely but without much spirit to it as Victor drank Celestino into the ground and started a strip-tease routine, let alone when Victor started to get physical. Phichit shook his head. If he tried to make sense of it he'd only feel as if his head was going to explode, or burst into hysterical laughter. It felt kind of as if he'd wondered into some parallel universe, and then he thought that if it was that weird for him, what the hell was it like for Yuuri? Six months ago he'd been on the verge of ending his career and had run away from Victor's offer of a selfie. Now he was being coached by his idol, living with him, performing the most amazing routines for him, being all but felt up in public by him, and if he wasn't actually being fucked by Victor yet it was definitely going to happen if they kept on like this. Yuuri was living the dream, and Phichit was definitely going to keep taking pictures. It was the only way he could believe it was real.