phichit+chu have you seen this?
phichit+chu sent katsuki_yu a link
phichit+chu my life is complete yuuri this is all i ever wanted
phichit+chu i might as well quit
phichit+chu nothing i do now will ever top this moment
katsuki_yu you woke me up
katsuki_yu at 3:41 am
katsuki_yu to tell me that the internet thinks you are cute????
katsuki_yu phichit I have a flight in less than five hours what the hell
phichit+chu they dont just think i am cute
phichit+chu they think i am the cutest. the superlative is very important there.
katsuki_yu phichit this is not news.
katsuki_yu I have always known you were the hot friend.
phichit+chu u think im hot?
katsuki_yu not personally, no, but empirical evidence suggests this may be the case.
katsuki_yu phichit there are three separate blogs dedicated to your ass. four if you count the one that also has other skaters on it.
phichit+chu 1) if ur talking about r8rthosesk8rbois on tumblr no it does nt count. they gave chris a 7.5
phichit+chu a SEVVEN POINT FIVE
phichit+chu what is left of the man, if they take away his biggest asset?
katsuki_yu probably something more family-friendly, lbr.
phichit+chu 2) that wasn’t what the wow was for anyway
phichit+chu it was a ‘wow yuuri sucks at letting people down gently’ and a tiny bit of a ‘wow this is why my amazing best friend is still single’
phichit+chu i didnt say anything
katsuki_yu you didn’t have to
katsuki_yu ever since we met you’ve gotten like this at exactly the same time each year
katsuki_yu straight after worlds
katsuki_yu I stg you must have a reminder set on your phone or something
katsuki_yu “competition season is over! time to get yuuri a date!”
phichit+chu actually it says ‘competition season is over! time to help yuuri shed his stubborn virginity!’
katsuki_yu you are a terrible friend.
phichit+chu i am the best friend
katsuki_yu the two are not mutually exclusive.
phichit+chu all im saying is that u r a hot prospect rn yuuri
phichit+chu there are loads of girls out there who would date u for the gold in ur medals if nothing else
katsuki_yu you say the nicest things, phichit.
phichit+chu jokes aside yuuri u are like the most eligible bachelor i kno rn.
phichit+chu atheletic, not awful looking, kind, funny, an ass thats a solid 8.3
katsuki_yu I have landed jumps that scored higher than my ass according to you.
phichit+chu bc ur a ridiculous crazy person who packs the second half of his programs with quads
phichit+chu oooh thats another positive: u have amazing stamina
phichit+chu what? i speak but the truth
phichit+chu i mean srsly yuuri ur only problem is that ur a total fs nerd but like that can b cute too
katsuki_yu about that, pichit
katsuki_yu I probably won’t be participating in the next season of figure skating.
phichit+chu yuuri what
phichit+chu yuuri ur not answering ur phone im getting worried
phichit+chu yuuri i stg if u dont answer im gonna call celestino
phichit+chu when you see this, call me.
One of the very first interviews Yuuri ever did was for the university’s – well, magazine would probably be a bit of a stretch. The Tab can only aspire to the heights reached by tabloid journalism.
He was interviewed as he ate a rushed meal at the end of skating practice, Phichit making faces behind the evermore flustered journalism major. Yuuri doesn’t really remember much of what he said, but there is one question that has stuck with him.
What would you say is your greatest asset when competing?
The done thing, Yuuri had been aware, was to credit his coach. Celestino deserved as much praise as Yuuri could give for putting up with him, really, and he stuttered out something to that tune.
But for a few long seconds after he was asked that question, the truth was all Yuuri could think of.
My prescription for anti-anxiety medication.
He didn’t say that, though. He couldn’t. Even now, there are only five people in the world who know about his meds. His coach, his doctor, his parents, and Phichit. Not even Mari-nee has been let in on the secret of Katsuki Yuuri’s skating success.
“Celestino,” Yuuri starts to say, but cuts himself off when his coach turns to face him. “I’m—sorry.”
Celestino sighs. “We’ll talk about this back in Detroit, Yuuri.”
Yuuri clenches his fists and looks at his lap. Not for the first time, he wishes he could be more like Phichit – bubbly and fun and wholly, completely in control of his thoughts.
“I’m not angry, Yuuri,” Celestino says, a touch softer, “but we can’t talk about it here.”
The hardest thing to realise about skating competitively – skating at the top of the world, all eyes on you – is that your performance and your choices do not just reflect on you. They’re attributed to your coach, to your equipment, to your friends and family, to your country. “Japan is counting on you!” an interviewer once told him, before the Olympics, and the phrase ricocheted around in his head until he forced himself to sleep.
It may have been Yuuri’s choices that led to his year out from skating, but there’s a whole world of people looking to Celestino for the reason.
Yuuri feels sick.
Phichit missed out on qualifying for the worlds by a narrow margin, and a coursework deadline kept him in Detroit as opposed to flying out to be the most obnoxious cheerleader, ever. Yuuri scrolls through their conversation from earlier this morning, and tries to ignore how Phichit’s growing concern feels like twisting the knife.
He closes his eyes.
It will all be okay. It will all be okay. It will all—
Oh, who the fuck is he kidding?
Yuuri opens his eyes and the woman in front of him automatically rears backwards.
“Oh, God, I’m so sorry,” she says. “I didn’t realise you were asleep.”
“I wasn’t,” Yuuri says.
“In that case,” she pulls out a notepad. “If it’s not too much trouble… Could I get your autograph?”
Yuuri forces a smile to his face. “Sure,” he says. “Would you like it in English or Japanese?”
Your World Champion, ladies and gentlemen #katsukiyuuri #skaterbros5eva #WorldFigureSkatingChampionship2015
@phikachulanont Do you just have like… a folder full of embarrassing photos of Yuuri to post when he wins?
His mother doesn’t get it. Neither does his father.
Yuuri loves his parents dearly, loves them all the more when he thinks of how much they sacrificed to get him where he is now, but it’s been a long time since he’s felt like they understood him. Their acceptance is a distant thing, as it always has been. The first time Yuuri won a regional competition in Japan, his mother said, “That’s great, dear,” the same way she would if he had aced a test, or gotten a girlfriend.
There’s nothing Yuuri can do that won’t be met by pride by his parents; they’re just as proud of him, the world-class skater, as they are of Mari, waitress at their inn.
Shouldn’t that be reassuring? Even if he screws up in the most complete way possible – finishes last, loses his certification, fails his degree – they’ll still be proud of him.
It just feels cheap.
His parents love him, but they aren’t invested in him. They don’t expect anything from him; of course they’re never disappointed.
He stands next to Celestino in baggage arrival, waiting for his suitcase, with his phone pressed to his ear.
“Minako was telling us about an article she saw earlier,” his mother is saying. “Yuuri, is it true?”
He can’t read her tone. “It’s true,” he says.
“I don’t understand,” says his mother. “Why didn’t you call me?”
Yuuri spots his bag on the carousel, but Celestino pushes him back before he can reach for it.
“I…” He stops. “Sorry.”
“Are you coming back home for the summer?”
“No,” Yuuri says, though he winces when he remembers the same question being asked to him the past two years, always with the same answer. “I have… things to do. And Celestino wants to keep me nearby, in case…”
His mother misreads him. “In case you change your mind?” She sounds warm. “I might come down and visit you, then. I’m sure your father and I could spare the funds for a plane ticket—”
“During tourist season?” Yuuri asks. “Don’t be silly.”
There’s a pause. “Yuuri, are you sure…” she trails off. “You don’t sound completely okay.”
“I’m fine, Mum,” Yuuri says. “Celestino’s beckoning me over, though. I’ve got to go.”
Yuuri hangs up before he can hear any more.
She won’t call back. She’s never liked coming across as pushy.
When Yuuri first came to America, the constant barrage of English was disorienting. He used to write his lecture notes in Japanese, unable to listen, process, and write in a foreign language all at the same time. It exhausted him, having to constantly play translator in his head, and he’d call home every other day just to hear the familiar syllables of Japanese from across the ocean.
Understanding Celestino, for that matter, was a nightmare. American English was hard enough without a thick Italian accent layered over it. It took him and Phichit and embarrassingly long time to figure out that ciao ciao wasn’t just an obscure English word that their coach had mangled.
Yuuri can’t help but feel slightly foolish looking back on those days. English comes as easy as breathing to him no, accent or no, and as he wraps himself up in the familiar surroundings of the roman alphabet, he feels himself relax somewhat.
“Good talk with your mom?” Celestino asks.
“It was fine,” Yuuri says.
Celestino passes him his bag, looking him up and down. “We’ll talk about everything tomorrow,” he eventually says. “You look exhausted.”
Celestino pauses in front of him, looking for a moment like he wants to say something else, but then he shakes his head. “Rest up, Yuuri.”
Here’s the thing: Celestino is easy to please. He puts a higher value on effort than he does results, which is probably what persuaded him to take on Yuuri even when he was a lacklustre skater from Hasetsu. Yuuri has grown accustomed to having his coach’s approval and to have that shaken is—hard.
He presses his lips together and fiddles with his glasses. His fingers twitch around his bag handle and he feels an urge within him build to go and do—something. It’s probably his avoidance impulse, screaming at him that it’s his last option to get out of talking to Phichit.
There is a reason why Celestino makes them stay in separate rooms when competing. Yuuri’s not going to be getting much sleep tonight.
Well. At least that would have been true regardless of Phichit’s influence.
Phichit is waiting for him when he gets back to the dorms, holding two mugs of something that is quickly revealed to be hot chocolate. “Celestino told me what happened,” he says, handing one of the mugs over to Yuuri.
Yuuri takes the mug. It smells sweet – just how Phichit likes all of his drinks – and the thought of drinking it makes his stomach turn. “Yeah,” Yuuri says, looking down at his shifting reflection in the steaming liquid. “He asked if he could.”
Phichit sighs, frustration bleeding through into it. “Why didn’t you say anything earlier?”
“The first time I got through to Celestino, all he would tell me was that I needed to find your meds and lock them somewhere before you got back,” Phichit explains. “Do you know how terrifying that was to hear? I thought you had—”
Yuuri shrugs again. He can’t stand the look of his face in the hot chocolate, so he puts the mug down on Phichit’s desk.
Phichit bangs his own mug down. “Never do anything like that ever again.”
Phichit sighs again. “You really scared me, Yuuri.”
Yuuri doesn’t say anything, bowing his head. He flinches when he feels warm arms encircle him, then relaxes when he realises Phichit’s giving him a hug.
“I hope you realise,” Phichit says into Yuuri’s shoulder, “that I’m going to make you go on two dates instead of just one, now.”
Yuuri swallows past the guilt building in his throat and forces a smile to his face. “Okay,” he says.
He takes a deep breath and reminds himself that he is home.
Top Figure Skater Yuuri Katsuki to Take Season Out
by Anna Jones, first posted March 31, 2015
Earlier today, world-ranked figure skater, Yuuri Katsuki announced plans to take a season off from competing, citing a need to focus on his studies. The announcement was made in a small press conference and comes sharply on the heels of his World Championship win.
There have been mixed reactions to the news, both from sports media, and from the general public. Many fans and fellow skaters have expressed dismay, and a few outright disapproval.
Christophe Giacometti, who placed Fourth at this year’s World Championship, commented that he was “surprised, but supportive” of Katsuki’s decision. He elaborated, saying, “The lifespan of a professional skating career is very short. All of us have to think about what we’re going to do afterwards and how we’re going to make sure we’re able to do it. Yuuri’s not unwise for being proactive about his future.”
He did, however, add, “I’m not sure if it’ll stick, though. Guys like Yuuri can’t stay away from the ice long. It’s in their blood.”
Katsuki is well-known in the figure skating world for his talent for artistry backed by challenging programs. In 2011, he turned heads when he took silver at the Figure Skating Grand Prix, in spite of having been relatively unknown throughout his junior career. Recent seasons have been yet more successful: in 2014, Katsuki achieved what he and his coaches called a “perfect season”, taking gold in the Grand Prix, gold in the World Championship, and gold in the Olympics. He followed it with a similar sweep this season, taking gold in both the Grand Prix Final and in the World Championship.
The first time Victor lands a jump, he is thirteen years old. It’s two and a half weeks after he took up the sport, urged into it by summer ennui and the sight of his mother’s old skates sitting at the bottom of his closet.
He lands perfectly, backwards and on one foot, his mother’s skates gliding smoothly out of the movement, and he almost mistakes the racing of his heart for fear.
It’s like something has come dislodged in his brain. Oh, he thinks. He jumps again. Oh, so this is how it happens.
From then on, he is insatiable. Bigger jumps, better jumps, jumps that set every muscle in his body on fire. When he tires of throwing himself into the air – he never truly tires of it – he moves onto steps sequences. Showmanship. Tricky footwork that he drills into his memory and spins that make him dizzy. It barely takes him a year to outstrip everything that the coaches at his local rink can teach him. And still, he wants more. Craves it.
Victor has always been the kind of overachiever that makes results look effortless, but figure skating puts a stop to that. He works his feet bloody, covers himself in bruises from falls, and skates and skates and skates.
“You could win this competition in your sleep,” someone tells him once, and Victor thinks, Maybe, but only because I dream of this every night.
He’s freshly sixteen when Yakov finds him, sixteen and sweeping regional competitions without breaking a sweat.
Victor is tugging on the zip of his equipment bag when he hears someone approach him. He looks up and casts a dismissive eye over the man in front of him. Old and stubby – a grouch, no doubt. Victor isn’t interested at all in what he has to say.
“Who taught you your triple axel?” Yakov asks.
“My coach,” Victor says. “Who else?”
Yakov snorts, like he doesn’t believe that. “It’s sloppy,” he says. “Your body tension is awful, the spins are too slow, and you were inches away from over-rotating. It looked amateurish.”
Yeah, but I landed it, Victor thinks.
Victor shrugs. “Won me first place,” he says. He turns away, thinking that that is that.
But Yakov surprises him. “Do you want to win first,” Yakov says, “or do you want to be the best?”
Victor pauses. “Sorry,” he says. “Who did you say you were again?”
The first thing Yakov does is make Victor get new skates. His new student capitulates easily enough and, really, that should have been his first warning.
“You bought yourself women’s skates,” he says flatly.
Victor smiles widely and tosses his hair over his shoulder. It makes him look unspeakably vapid.
Yakov drops his head into his forehead. He doesn’t know why he expected anything different.
21 Sports Friendships That We Can’t Get Enough Of
from Buzzfeed, March 30 2015
19. Victor Nikiforov, Mila Babicheva, and Yuri Plisetsky
Did someone say OT3? Meet Victor Nikiforov, 18-year-old professional figure skater and his two mentors in the sport – Mila Babicheva and Yuri Plisetsky. You’ll probably know the latter two from either their highly publicised sporting successes, or their inability to stay off social media for more than two days in a row. (Seriously, we timed it.)
Feast your eyes upon this trio of athletes. Who is the hot friend, you ask? They’re all the hot friend.
6. Yuuri Katsuki and Phichit Chulanont
For a sport that’s as niche as figure skating, it seems strange that there are not one, but two entries on this list. To the nay-sayers, we offer up our justification: World Champion Yuuri Katsuki and his rink-mate Phichit Chulanont.
What is it that’s so great about these two, you ask? We’re glad you did. Maybe it’s their cute traditions, like posting embarrassing photos of Katsuki following each of his wins. Or maybe it’s moments like these, where Katsuki and Chulanont can be seen embracing following Katsuki’s 2014 win at the Olympics. Or maybe it’s any of the many adorable pictures Chulanont has posted in his #sleepingkatsukiyuuri tag on Twitter.
Whatever it is, we want more.
Skating with Yakov is different. There’s the content aspect, first and foremost, and the joy of having a coach that knows more than a YouTube tutorial, but there is also the community. Russia’s top skaters train with Yakov, train on the same ice as Victor, and it’s—surreal, really.
He falls into step with Mila Babicheva very early on. She delights in his long hair and his white skates, and delights once more when she sees how quickly Victor is able to wind Yakov up.
Following Mila comes her reluctant friend, Yuri.
In a word, Yuri Plisetsky is bitter. He scowls at Victor’s jumps and he sneers at his step sequences. Mila keeps telling Victor that Yuri will eventually soften up, but it doesn’t seem to be happening at any notable rate.
The year that Victor turns seventeen, things change.
Katsuki Yuuri, Japanese skating machine and Yuri’s arch-rival, sweeps all the events in his categories, and sets a couple of world records along the way. Victor watches it all happen from the audience, watches Katsuki Yuuri pile quads upon quads in a way that looks far more effortless than it could possibly be, and he thinks, Yuri’s not going to win.
He’d googled Yuri within seconds of meeting him – and sometimes he has to stop and marvel at the fact that he doesn’t have to put effort into internet-stalking his friends, because someone has already done it for him – and read all about the brilliant career that wasn’t quite brilliant enough. Katsuki Yuuri was mentioned again and again in those articles, but words on a screen don’t do him nearly enough justice.
I want to skate like that, Victor thinks. I’m going to skate like that.
Two weeks later, he’s perfected his quad sal. Yakov stares at him from the side of the rink, but he doesn’t say anything, which is as close to approval as he gets.
Winter melts into Spring and Spring melts into Summer, and Victor has become something of a permanent fixture at the rink. Mila jokes that she keeps expecting to find him sleeping there, and Victor very deliberately does not tell her that Yakov already has. Twice.
Taylor Swift is on the radio near constantly, now, and it’s to a cheerful voice telling him to shake it off, that Victor Nikiforov discovers sex.
The first person he sleeps with leaves deep red scratches all down his back. It’s fun in the moment, the picture of the passion he was expecting, but he regrets it deeply when he fucks up a jump at practice and sends a lick of pain up his back when he thuds onto the ice.
The second person he sleeps with smears chocolate over his face and licks it off. Victor doesn’t really get it, but he pretends to be into it, and wakes up suitably sticky. He doesn’t sleep with her again.
The third person he sleeps with is a male hockey player – destined for the NHL, if you believe his bluster – and that, really, is Victor’s mistake.
The sex is rough. Victor almost forgets what tenderness feels like, lost in a heady rush of lust as he is tugged about by his hair and called names. He’s into it, almost embarrassingly into it, and Taylor Swift warbles on in the background—
“Turn that shit off.”
Victor turns it off.
It’s not really a relationship. It’s just a lot of sex and a lot of “if you tell anyone about this, I’ll kill you” – Victor takes neither the threats or nor the secrecy as seriously as he perhaps should.
He doesn’t remember at which point he discovers that his fuck buddy is Mila’s boyfriend. He just remembers falling in practice, again and again, and feeling sick when Taylor Swift comes on the radio. He remembers not being able to look Mila in the eye for a month.
He remembers feeling like he hates himself.
And he remembers deciding to run away.
Showering in @WayneStateU’s dorms is like the final sudden death round of Shampoo or Semen
@phikachulanont I mean there are only two rules to showering in the dorms and whoever came before me has broken both of them.
@phikachulanont First: if you’re going to jerk one off, wash your spunk away afterwards. Second: don’t jerk off. It clogs the drains.
@phikachulanont “came before me” I see what you did there
katsuki_yu sent phichit+chu a link
katsuki_yu tweets like this are why your sponsors weep every time they get a notification that you’ve posted something
phichit+chu ill have u kno that i have the most followers of any competitive figure skater
phichit+chu the masses have spoken yuuri
phichit+chu i am a fucking gift
katsuki_yu I particularly like the part where you tag our uni’s official twitter
katsuki_yu I feel like that’s going to earn you a lot of friends
phichit+chu i. am. a. fucking. gift.
katsuki_yu haha you’re something that’s for sure
phichit+chu anyway why are you lecturing me chris is the one who favourited and retweeted all of that convo
katsuki_yu yeah but it’s chris
Yuuri stares at the ceiling of his dorm room, squinting through the darkness at the fuzzy shapes on his ceiling. Back in his freshman year, Phichit painstakingly stuck constellations of glow in the dark stars to their ceiling, and has since redone the display in each room they’ve moved to. It’s wasted on Yuuri, who can only make out a blur of not-quite-black.
Across the room from him, Phichit is sleeping, hand still cradled around his phone. He’ll probably have to charge it during practice tomorrow.
Tomorrow would have been Yuuri’s first practice since worlds, taking into account the three day break that Celestino likes to give him after competition season ends. He still hasn’t decided whether or not he’s going to turn up.
Just thinking of getting back on the ice, of facing Celestino for their long-awaited “talk” makes shame and fear coil in Yuuri’s stomach. He squeezes his eyes, refusing to cry about this yet again, because in amongst all the support he has received, Yuuri is the only one that can be counted on not to indulge his ridiculous emotional weakness.
Yuuri looks sideways to Phichit. He briefly considers waking his roommate up, but cringes when he remembers the smouldering anger in Phichit’s eyes: never do anything like that again.
Right. He’s on his own. That’s okay.
Just him and…
Yuuri is one of only three students on campus who have copies of keys to the rink. The other two are the captains of the hockey teams – the women’s and the men’s respectively. He puts the key in the lock and twists, then frowns.
It’s already unlocked.
He racks his brains, but he can’t remember any sort of social being planned by the hockey teams tonight. He learned to check early on in freshman year, when Yuuri’s midnight practice was interrupted by a group of half-naked almost-men running in for their team initiation. They’d all stopped dead when they saw him, and—suffice to say, just the memory of it is enough to make Yuuri blush deep red.
Shrugging, Yuuri makes his way into the building.
Then he stops.
Someone’s already here. That much is clear from the music blaring, but—
Yuuri feels the blood drain from his face. That’s his music. He skated to it less than a week ago, at worlds, for his short program.
Who’s skating to his music? Why would they do that? Are they doing it better than him?
Yuuri bursts through the doors to the rink.
A tiny figure traverses the ice, movements crisp, and—it’s his program. Yuuri knows that step sequence better than anybody, because he choreographed it specifically to play to his exact strengths. He knows that lead up into that triple, because he practised it again and again and again until it felt natural with the music. He knows that little flick of the wrists, because it added to the artistry and Celestino thought it gave his narrative a little more interest.
This is his program, the program that won him gold, and yet…
Is this what I look like when I skate? Yuuri wonders.
It looks dead.
Pathetic, almost, a half-hearted attempt at real choreography.
How on earth did I win with this?
Yuuri doesn’t realise the music has stopped until the skater turns around to look at him. Silver hair shines under the artificial light of the rink as blue eyes widen into the picture of surprise.
There’s a scramble of skates across the ice. “Sorry,” the figure – boy? Freshman? – says, the word coming out slightly morphed due to an accent Yuuri can’t place. “I didn’t know the rink was booked. Let me just get out of here.”
Then, the figure stops short, squinting at Yuuri. “Wait, are you—”
Yuuri stares at the empty rink, then at the slim teenager in front of him. He sees the thinly veiled excitement, the admiration, and it makes him sick.
Yuuri turns around and walks away.