Actions

Work Header

Less is More

Work Text:

"This is not the weight a figure skater should have!" Minako yelled with venom, pointing accusingly at Yuuri, causing him to feel embarrassment and guilt at how he had allowed his body to become this way.

His father tried to brush it off, reassuring him that he "gained weight easily" and quickly changed the topic, asking him how many pork cutlet bowls he could like to eat tonight.

"Actually, would you mind if..." he trailed off, feeling a lump in the back of his throat and not wanting to say it.

"Oh, right. Of course, go and say hi to Vicchan." his mother said with a soft smile, giving him a look of pity mixed with understanding.

With a small nod, Yuuri bowed his head and left the room, heading to his shrine of Vicchan, his late best friend and dog. While speaking to the photograph in front of him, he began to tear up, realising just how much he missed Vicchan and how much his life had changed so quickly. "Sorry I couldn't see you one last time Vicchan." he bit his lip as he held the delicate photo in his hands, trying not to cry as hundreds of happy memories flashed through his mind and he realised that he would never be able to make any more with his dog. "I don't know what to do Vicchan, I messed up so badly and I don't know if ice skating is for me after all. But what else is there?"

Feeling overwhelmed with all different kinds of emotions, he kissed the photograph before gently placing it back where it originally stood and ran up the stairs as quickly as he could. With a soft sob, Yuuri placed his back against the wooden door of his bedroom and allowed his legs to collapse beneath him, falling on the ground with a thud, but he didn’t even notice as he tucked his head between his knees and let the warm tears fall down his face. "What am I going to do with my life?" he questioned, not knowing where to go from here; he had just returned home to Japan after losing the Grand Prix Final and the Japanese Nationals and his future seemed bleak as he considered retiring from the ice completely. With shaking shoulders, he removed his glasses from his face and wiped his tears with his sleeve, staring at the many posters of Viktor Nikiforov that he had collected over the years. He looked so graceful and happy in all of them, he had always inspired Yuuri, ever since the first time he saw him performing on the ice and from that day, he decided that he would try and catch up to the Russian world champion; however, at the moment his dream seemed incredibly unlikely - if not impossible.

"Yuuri! Come and eat your dinner!" his mother yelled from downstairs, breaking him from his thoughts. The thought of eating a pork cutlet made his mouth water and he headed to the kitchen; however when he saw Minako's judging eyes on him as he took a bite, he suddenly didn't feel so hungry anymore and pushed the bowl away.

"I'm going to go and practise for a little while." He announced standing up and giving his parents a warm smile.

"But you've hardly eaten anything Yuuri." his mother looked at him with suspicion, after all this was his favourite meal.

"I know, I know, but I'm not very hungry at the moment I'll just eat it when I get home." Not giving her time to object, he hastily left the room and laced up his shoes, heading to his second home: the ice rink.

-

Yuuri's visit to the ice was incredibly pleasant; he reunited with his childhood friend, Yuko and even showed her that he had been working on copying Viktor's performance - something that the two of them used to do together. To say that she was impressed was an understatement, she almost cried at how beautiful Yuuri looked when he skated, completely content with himself. However, one thing that was not particularly pleasant, was when her children pointed out the fact that Yuuri had gained weight and he pulled at the hem of his jumper self-consciously, wanting to disappear as his anxiety began creeping back up again. Feeling embarrassed and ashamed, he decided it was time to return home and said his goodbyes, before exiting the ice rink.

-

On returning home, his family had all gone to bed and he looked at the pork cutlet that had been left out for him with a note, hesitantly walking over to it, he picked up the small piece of paper in his hands and read it.

Don't worry about anything Yuuri, I'm sure you will figure it out, but for now enjoy this tasty pork cutlet and get some rest. We love you.

Although the words brought a small smile to his face, a larger feeling of shame dominated him and he ignored the rumbling of his stomach, discreetly discarding his meal into the bin in small pieces, as not to be noticed when someone went to empty it. Rather than eating, he grabbed a glass and poured a large glass of water, deciding that this was a fair substitute and knowing that he needed to keep his body hydrated. He loved the sensation that came as he felt the icy liquid travel down his throat and sit in his empty stomach, it made him feel, warm, almost. Feeling satisfied, he retreated to his room and fell asleep with a smile on his face, he was starting to become in control of his body again.

-

This was not happening. Surely this was just some dream that Yuuri was having. Pinching himself, Yuuri felt his heart pounding at the realization that he was fully conscious and Viktor Nikiforov was actually standing in front of him, announcing that he was going to become his coach. A video of him copying Viktor’s routine had gone viral and it had only just occurred to him that Viktor had obviously seen it. Shit.

"Yuuri?" His blue eyes locked onto his own and he looked expectant, but Yuuri had been so taken aback that he hadn't registered a single thing the older man had said.

"Huh?"

"I asked if you were ready to win the Grand Prix Final?"

Yuuri couldn’t understand what was happening, the man he had idolized for years was at his home, ready to coach him all the way to a gold medal, and it was completely surreal.

"I'll take that look on your face as a yes." he smirked, and Yuuri noticed that he was grinning, however the happiness was short lived as he took in Viktor's appearance; every single inch of him was perfectly defined and strong, reminding Yuuri of just how badly out of shape he was.

"I-I gotta go." he said hastily and rushed from the hot springs, he couldn’t let Viktor see him like this, although he was pretty sure that he had already noticed the gut that he had, after all Minako saw it straight away, so why wouldn't he?

-

After months of training with Viktor and actually eating the right food, Yuuri had recovered from his weight gain and had returned to his weight of before the Grand Prix Final, and God did it feel good. He no longer felt as embarrassed around Viktor as he previously had, he still felt nervous and as though he wasn't good enough, however the voices telling him that were not as loud as they had been.

As Viktor practised with him more, Yuuri's confidence slightly improved. Slightly. He still doubted himself and made mistakes, but they were less frequent as they had been before and he was becoming more consistent in his performance which helped to ease him. Succeeding in his performance at the Cup of China caused Yuuri to feel both pride and anxiety as the pressure was beginning to build on him as he advanced to the Grand Prix Final once again, however the fear of losing again had made him panic on several occasions.

Luckily, Viktor and Yuuri's friendship had grown since they met and it had blossomed into a beautiful relationship, as a result, Yuuri felt more comfortable around him and started to doubt his self-worth less, at least that’s what he told himself.

Although he knew Viktor loved him completely, Yuuri couldn't help but freak out every time he got too close or they were about to take their clothes off, afraid that his body was still not good enough for the incredibly perfect Viktor Nikiforov. Not wanting him to doubt his love for him, Yuuri would always have plenty of excuses as to why he did not want to get too close to Viktor or show him his body. However, there are only so many times that he can use the same excuses; Viktor would never dream of forcing Yuuri to do something he wasn't ready for or if he didn't feel comfortable doing, but his unwillingness to show affection to his boyfriend was starting to gnaw away at Viktor's thoughts and there were small doubts as to whether or not his love was requited. Seeing the hurt in Viktor's eyes, made Yuuri feel guilty and angry at himself that he was not good enough yet; so he decided that he would make his body perfect, no matter what it took.

-

"Yuuuuuuri, where are you going?" Viktor sleepily whined, feeling the bed rise slightly as Yuuri quietly tried to climb out without disturbing him. "I’m just going to go for a run, I can't get back to sleep, besides it'll help me in practice later if I feel fresh and energized." he said smoothly, placing a gentle kiss on Viktor's forehead. "I'll meet you at the rink in a couple of hours; I want to practise some small things before the routine anyway."

"Mhmm." Viktor acknowledged what he said, half-asleep, "Love you."

"I love you too," Yuuri replied with a grin, "now get some more sleep."

Feeling his stomach rumble, Yuuri quickly exited the bedroom and hastily drank a glass of water to try and ease off the uncomfortable feeling of his hunger. Once his laces were tied, he quickly stretched before running to the ice rink with determination to change. Knowing that there was no food in his stomach, despite him exercising and burning calories gave him a sick sense of satisfaction and he knew it was wrong, but it felt so good and he couldn't stop himself from smiling at the thought of how strong he was to reject food.

He had been doing almost every day this for the last few weeks; denying himself of food and exercising more regularly. No one had called him up on it yet, which meant there were two possible conclusions: no one had noticed exactly what he was doing, or no one cared. He hoped it was the first.

Arriving at the ice rink completely out of breath, Yuuri leaned against the wall for a moment to compose himself before entering and getting onto the ice. He didn't know exactly what moves to practise, so he just skated around for a while, occasionally doing a few toe loops and salchows. Despite Yurio showing intense hatred towards Yuuri, he was incredibly grateful when he helped him to land him salchows after messing up so badly and he smiled at the small warmth that he had been shown by the angry teen. The small and happy memory was quickly drowned out by Yurio's voice calling him a "pig" and telling him to "retire already"; covering his ears, Yuuri tried to silence the voice but it wouldn't leave him alone and he pulled at his hair, skating with more determination. He would prove him wrong, he would prove everyone wrong.

"Yuuri!" Viktor called, waving at him happily from across the rink with a bag in his hand. How long had he been skating for? He couldn't remember, but he just shrugged and headed over to Viktor.

"I brought you some breakfast since you had an early start and I wasn't sure whether or not you had gotten the chance to eat before you left." He stated happily, hoping that Yuuri would enjoy his thoughtfulness. However, Yuuri felt panicked, he thought he had gotten away with skipping breakfast and yet here Viktor was, trying to make him eat.

Swallowing his nerves, he lied smoothly, "Aw thank you Viktor, but I had something before I left, you can eat it instead." After quickly pecking Viktor's cheek, he quickly returned to skating before he was forced to eat and thought that if he showed that he was full of energy, he wouldn't be questioned.

"I've just eaten, besides you left like three hours ago, its fine if you want to eat it." he yelled across the rink, but Yuuri just shook his head and insisted that he was fine. With an apprehensive sigh, Viktor accepted Yuuri's decline to eat and brushed it off.

"Alright Yuuri, let’s do the routine then." he smiled warmly and turned the music on, noticing Yuuri relax slightly which he took as a good sign. Something seemed different with him lately, he seemed almost more determined than usual, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but he began to wonder what had brought this on. He landed almost every jump perfectly and his step sequence was immaculate, Viktor couldn't help but smile; maybe Yuuri was right, maybe going for a morning run was good for him.

"Well done!" he clapped loudly as Yuuri finished the routine, breathing heavily; he didn't smile however, instead he sighed and restarted the music. "Yuuri, don't you think you should have a little rest first? It's a pretty tiring routine." Viktor asked, confused as to why he was going straight back into it without even a small break.

"It's not perfect enough yet!" He replied and then whispered quietly to himself, "I'm not perfect yet." He didn't think his decision through because he was only a quarter of the way through the routine when he became incredibly out of breath and had to stop, clutching the side to steady himself as he began to grow dizzy.

"Okay, I think that's enough now Yuuri, you should come off the ice." It was supposed to be a suggestion, however the two of them understood that was an order and Yuuri slowly made his way off.

"Are you okay Yuuri? You seem a bit...off?" Viktor stared into the brunette's eyes, searching for an answer, but all that he found was hostility.

"Yes. Now leave me alone." He barked, reacting as if he was an animal being backed into a corner. Embarrassed at his reaction to such a simple question, he wanted to get away from Viktor; he couldn't deal with being interrogated right now, not when he was getting closer to being perfect enough for him. "I'm going to the bathroom." he said quietly, and Viktor simply nodded with wide eyes, taken aback by how Yuuri was behaving, after receiving a kiss just moments ago.

When he reached the bathroom, Yuuri dug his hands onto the corner of the basin and glared at himself in the mirror. He had to admit, he looked tired and he was become noticeably paler than he usually was which just frustrated him more; he didn't want to look weak, he wanted to look strong and beautiful. Splashing cold water on his face, he tried to calm himself down as he could feel emotions building up; emotions that needed to stay hidden. With a long sigh, he left the bathroom and went to apologize to Viktor, deciding that he could eradicate any suspicions that he may have.

"V-Viktor?" he asked timidly, feeling anxious about his situation and knowing that if he made one slip up, he might begin to piece things together and force him to eat, and that was the last thing he wanted. "I'm sorry I was so rude, it's just that I wanted to get it right, I thought that I could nail it but I messed up, I’m sorry."

Viktor's hard gaze softened and he pulled Yuuri in for a hug, stroking his back tenderly, "We all mess up, but you've pretty much nailed all of it so don't beat yourself up about it." Viktor's eyebrows furrowed when he noticed that Yuuri's shoulder blades were more prominent than they had previously been the last time they hugged and he began to worry, but he tried not to let it show because Yuuri could turn very hostile very quickly if confronted about it.

"I know what'll cheer you up, we can have pork cutlets tonight!" he said enthusiastically, hoping to see excitement in Yuuri's eyes, but instead he saw panic and he quickly pushed himself away from Viktor's embrace.

"B-But I haven't won anything." Yuuri smiled, hoping to avoid having to eat something with so many calories but Viktor was growing suspicious and insisted that they ate them. He needed to see Yuuri eat it, if he didn't then it would confirm his fears of Yuuri beginning to starve himself, and he prayed that it was just a suspicion and Yuuri was actually fine.

"Oh, erm okay, if you really want to." Yuuri smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes, and it was clear that he was still afraid, which made Viktor's heart drop and begin to pound.

-

"Two pork cutlets coming up!" Viktor smiled, placing the bowl in front of Yuuri, trying not to let him know that he was testing him, or he would turn very angry. Yuuri mumbled a "thanks" and began to take small bites, clearly struggling with the task in front of him and it broke Viktor's heart when he compared it to the Yuuri who eagerly dug into this meal a few months ago. Realizing that Viktor was beginning to notice, Yuuri put on a facade and began to eat it large bites, licking his lips every so often and closing his eyes with a smile at the taste.

"Thank you Viktor, these are so good." Yuuri's smile was contagious and he felt himself grinning as he looked at the happy eyes behind those glasses and was convinced that Yuuri was fine after all and he was probably jumping to conclusions. It felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from his chest and he sighed happily as he watched Yuuri finish his last bite. "I'm gonna hop in the shower, I feel sweaty after practice, don't wait up." Yuuri stood up and kissed Viktor's head before practically sprinting up the stairs.

Someone’s eager, Viktor thought with a small chuckle.

Yuuri had never done this before and he felt quite scared, but he was more scared of gaining weight and looking fat in front of viktor so he turned the shower on full blast to drown out any noise and knelt beside the toilet bowl. Taking a deep breath, he began to doubt whether or not to do this, but then a voice inside his head was reminding him that the longer he waited, the more calories would be absorbed, and the more weight he would gain. Feeling nauseous at that thought alone, he stuck two fingers down his throat and began to tense his stomach, hoping to trigger his reflex, but nothing happened. He wanted to scream, he had eaten all those calories with the intention of getting rid of them straight after, but now they were just sitting there, being absorbed and he couldn’t stop them. Panic began to wash over him and he tried again, pushing his fingers deeper and hitting his stomach with his fist; sure enough, it did the job and his throat burned as the acid bit into it, but he didn't care, all he cared about was having a perfect body. In under a minute, he had an empty stomach once again and he smiled at himself in the mirror, he was stronger than he thought.

To get rid of any evidence of his purging, he flushed the toilet, opened the window and sprayed some air freshener before actually having the shower that he needed. The hot jets scorched his back and he let out a yell, before quickly adjusting the temperature and letting the water pour over him, massaging his hair with some fancy shampoo that Viktor had bought. In that moment, he felt calm, he was warm and safe and nothing could interrupt it. Or so he thought; he began to rinse the product out of his hair when a chunk of hair came out into his hand. No, no, no, no, no. He quickly turned the shower off and wiped his hand on the steamy mirror, trying to see if it was noticeable, he sighed with relief when he decided that it wasn't. People's hair falls out all of the time, it didn't mean that there was anything wrong with him, he was fine.

-

Some time passed until finally Viktor and Yuuri held hands as they stepped into the city of Barcelona, the home of the Grand Prix Final this year, Yuuri was looking around, infatuated with the sights around him, Viktor had been here before however it was Yuuri's first time and it was adorable how happy he looked. They had been practising earlier today, however when Yuuri had insisted that the two of them went sightseeing, how could Viktor refuse? Besides, it would probably take his mind off the competition tomorrow and help him to relax and keep his nerves steady.

They had been walking through a Christmas market when Yuuri had a glint in his eye and dragged Viktor towards a jewellery store; his heart began to thump as hundreds of possibilities rushed through his head as to what Yuuri wanted to buy. Walking confidently, Yuuri made his way to the front of the store where they displayed rings and Viktor almost forgot how to breathe, was Yuuri really doing what he thought he was? He watched as he asked to see the pair at the front, despite the large price displayed beside them and his mind was whirring out of control as he saw him sliding his card over to pay. Yuuri left the shop with the rings and didn't say anything to Viktor as he continued to walk ahead, leaving him confused, but he followed anyway.

Eventually Yuuri looked at where he had been leading the two of them and placed his hand in Viktor's, pulling him towards a large cathedral where hymns were being sung beautifully. He was clearly nervous, pushing his glasses up to the bridge of his nose and shifting on his feet awkwardly, taking a deep breath, he finally looked into Viktor's eyes, holding the ring between his fingers. He tenderly took his hand in his own and removed Viktor's glove, trembling as he slid the golden ring onto his finger, Viktor staring at him carefully the entire time.

"Thank you for everything up to now, I...I couldn't think of something better," he began, his voice shaking with anxiety as he tried to get across what he so desperately wanted to say, "But, um, I'll try my best from tomorrow on, so...tell me something for good luck." Yuuri looked at the ground and Viktor had a warm smile on his face, as he took Yuuri's hand in his, sliding the matching gold ring onto his finger

"Sure, I'll say something you won't even have to think about. Tomorrow, show me the skating that you can honestly say you liked the best, that's the only short cut to a gold medal that I know." Yuuri finally looked up to meet Viktor's eyes again and his grin almost made him melt, his face looked so soft and the lighting emphasized how breath-takingly perfect he was and he felt as though he might cry because of how happy he was.

Yuuri had said that these were good luck charms, however the two of them seemed to have a mutual understanding that they were actually engagement rings but he was just too afraid to call them what they were. With a content sigh, he wrapped himself into Viktor's chest and felt safe; knowing that this man loved him enough to be willing to get married sparked an incredibly intense feeling of love that he never thought he would experience.

After Viktor announced that he was hungry, the two of them began to search for a place to eat, luckily bumping into Minako and Mari who had spotted Yurio with his new friend Otabek. The four of them joined the two friends, later being joined by Phichit and Chris also. Yuuri was just beginning to enjoy himself when his new friends decided to begin to embarrass him with photos of him being drunk at the banquet, none of which he could remember.

"Hey, what's with the rings you two?" Chris asked with a knowing smile, happy for the two of them, however Yuuri's anxiety kicked in when everyone turned to face him and he began to second guess himself and the voices began to creep back in when he saw people's confused faces.

Why would Viktor marry you?

You're such a pig!

Is this some kind of joke?

Viktor is way out of your league!

He's just doing it because he feels sorry for you.

You're not good enough for him!

You're just a little piggy!

"Stop!" Yuuri yelled, covering his ears, but the voices wouldn't leave him alone and he started to sob, "Please! Just stop!"

Everyone looked at him in confusion, Phichit had been congratulating the two of them when Yuuri began to beg him to stop and was now crying. Had Viktor been wrong after all? Was it just a lucky charm? God, he felt so stupid, actually believing that Yuuri wanted to marry him, he began to feel angry but it quickly vanished when he saw how distressed Yuuri was, he was still covering his ears and sobbing lightly, refusing to look up from the ground.

Viktor put out a hand to help him and he finally looked up, however he flinched away, tears brimming in his eyes. He looked so vulnerable and hurt and it broke Viktor's heart, something was definitely wrong and he needed to know what it was. Gently placing his hand on Yuuri’s, he peeled it away from his ear, whispering soothingly that it was ok, but he just continued to shake his head. Wrapping an arm around him, he pulled Yuuri to his feet and walked him out of the restaurant so that they could talk where it was quiet.

"Yuuri," Viktor held his hands in his own and placed them close to his chest, "what is going on?" Yuuri's lip trembled as if he was searching for what to say but didn't know how to say it and he looked frantically at Viktor as he noticed that his expression was mixed with sadness and slight anger. He could feel his piercing blue eyes staring into his own, searching for an answer that he couldn't give him; he couldn't tell Viktor about his demons because then he would leave him, after all why would he want to be with someone who hates them self this much? The longer they stayed silent, the more worked up Yuuri got and he could begin to feel himself hyperventilating; he needed to get away from all of it.

"I- I have to g-go." His breathing was becoming short and frantic and he didn't want Viktor to see him in a state even worse than the one he was in now so he pulled his hands away and quickly turned on his heel, "I- I'm sorry, I'll s-see you at the h-hotel."

"Yuuri!" Viktor yelled, but he didn't turn around, he was so embarrassed, he just needed to have a nice cold shower to calm him down and get some rest for the competition tomorrow, he was fine.

-

(This is quite triggering for self-harm so beware)

On arriving at the hotel, Yuuri rushed to his room and peeled off his clothes as quickly as he could and stepped into the bathroom, although he hadn’t eaten today, he still felt the need to purge. This had become his new routine: purge and then shower. It was like a drug, he couldn’t get enough of it and if he skipped a day then the guilt would be the only thought he had for hours, forcing him to cave and do it once more. He wasn’t stupid; he knew that it was damaging is body, that much was clear from the fact that his throat was constantly sore from the acid burning it frequently; not to mention the headaches and stomach aches that he got every day, in accompaniment with dizziness and fatigue. He knew that if he continued this behavior he was going to end up hospitalized - or even die – but he didn’t care; all he cared about was being perfect enough for Viktor to love, and if this is what it took, he was more than willing to pay the price.

He looked in the mirror at his pale frame, feeling disgusted and knelt beside the toilet, doing the deed he knew he had to do. Once he was done, he flushed he toilet, but realized that there wasn’t any air freshener or a window to help remove the stench and began to freak out, Viktor is going to find out, he’ll be able to smell it as soon as he comes in the room, he’ll hate you for this, you’re so fucked up, he’s going to leave you.

Filled with complete and utter panic at the thought of Viktor leaving, he needed to find something that would distance him from his emotions, which is when he saw it. The razor. Viktor carried an electrical razor whereas Yuuri brought a disposable one, meaning that he could take a blade out and he would never know. It’s just one more secret to keep from Viktor.

Carefully pulling apart the cheap plastic, Yuuri took one of the blades and spun it round in his fingers, debating whether or not to do it. He wasn’t scared of the pain, he needed the pain to help him concentrate, no, he was more worried about the repercussions if anyone found out. He shook his head, deciding that he will cross that bridge if he comes to it. Inhaling deeply, he gently dragged it across his thigh, - wrists are too obvious, and this was a secret after all. He smiled at the red line that surfaced on his skin and began to create more, not deeply, just something that would give him a distraction and let him feel something other than panic. The blood began to drip down his leg and he welcomed it, enjoying that he was in control and the sensation that the small pain gave him. Feeling content, he threw the razor into the toilet and flushed it, there was no way he could put it back into the plastic and if he binned it Viktor might see, so this seemed to be the safest option. He sat on the bathroom floor for a while, just thinking, when suddenly he heard the click of a door, signaling that Viktor was back.

Yuuri looked around at the blood around him and noticed that the smell of vomit was still lingering, he almost cried with relief when he noticed a ventilation fan and turned it on, however he cursed himself for not seeing it sooner.

-

When Viktor returned to the Hotel that night, Yuuri wasn’t in the bed which worried him considerably, however, his worries slightly ebbed when he noticed the bathroom door was locked and he knew he was in there.

“Yuuri?” he gently knocked on the door, wanting to know if he was okay and wanting to talk to him now that they were in a calmer environment, “Are you okay? Can we talk?”

“I’m fine; I was just about to go in the shower.” He replied, sounding slightly panicked which caused Viktor to worry, but her tried not to think too much of it.

“Haven’t you been in yet? You got back ages ago!”

“Erm, I –I was…distracted.” He could tell that Yuuri was panicking now and wasn’t telling him the truth and became quite frightened.

“Distracted by what?” He cut Viktor off by turning the shower on to full blast to drown out his voice, but Viktor wasn’t going to let this go, Yuuri was going to tell him everything.

When he emerged from the bathroom twenty minutes later, Viktor remained suspicious and tried to look for evidence of what was going on with Yuuri by looking at him, however he turned away and walked to the beds that they had pushed together. He was still wearing his normal clothes rather than his pajamas, which was rather odd and Yuuri seemed to pick up on this because he mentioned that he forgot to take his pajamas into the bathroom with him.

Sighing, Viktor headed to the bathroom to use the shower, the warmth of the water helped to soothe him and fill the hole that was in his heart regarding Yuuri and his strange behaviour. As he was stepping out and drying himself, he noticed a drop of blood on the towel and knitted his eyebrows in confusion, he didn’t remember cutting himself and began to check if there were any cuts but there weren’t any- Yuuri.

His face fell as he realised that this must be Yuuri’s blood, is that what has been wrong with him lately? He quickly wrapped a dressing gown around himself and stormed out of the bathroom, towel in hand, ready to confront Yuuri.

“Show me your wrists. Now.” Viktor demanded, almost on the verge of tears at the thought of him hurting himself in this way. Yuuri turned with a frightened look but then changed it into an innocent one and looked confused.

“What? Why?” he scrunched his eyebrows together and acted as though he had no idea what Viktor was implying.

“You know why. Now show me!” He began to sob and Yuuri pulled up the long sleeves of his t-shirt to reveal perfectly untouched skin and Viktor collapsed onto the bed with relief.

“Thank God.” He whispered, pulling Yuuri into his embrace, “But where did the blood come from?”

“Oh, I cut my face when I was shaving.” He lied smoothly, once again. It actually scared Yuuri how easily he could deceive Viktor, he didn’t want to, he wanted to be completely open with him and tell him his darkest secrets, but he decided that these were too dark and he couldn’t bring himself to say anything, so he just smiled reassuringly at his fiancé.

“I’m fine honestly, I just got panicked earlier, and you knew I had anxiety though right?” Viktor did know that Yuuri had anxiety, but he thought that it included him being shy or nervous, not covering his ears and shaking.

“Yeah, of course. Sorry.” He apologized, shaking his head slightly at his suspicions that there was something wrong with Yuuri, because Yuuri would tell him, wouldn’t he? He looked into the soft brown eyes that he loved so much and smiled, deciding that yes, Yuuri would tell him if he needed to.

“Let’s get some rest; you have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.” Viktor suggested, kissing Yuuri’s forehead before leaning over to turn off the lights and get under the covers, “I love you so much Yuuri.”

“I love you too Viktor.” Yuuri replied, sounding almost relieved that Viktor still loved him, but he didn’t know what Yuuri had done – had been doing this whole time and he shuddered at the thought of him finding out.

-

The morning flew by quickly and before he knew it, Yuuri was being handed his costume to go and get changed into, ready for his performance in less than an hour.

He had been successful in avoiding breakfast this morning, telling Viktor that if he ate it would hurt his nerves and he might throw up – God knows he was used to that, but Viktor seemed to be easily swayed, not wanting to make Yuuri and more nervous than he already was. With an empty stomach that made him feel slim, Yuuri gratefully took his costume and went to go and get changed in one of the rooms. He peeled his clothes off and stepped into the pants part of the outfit, but he stopped before doing his torso, prodding at the prominent bones in the mirror, feeling proud of how far he had come compared to when he was chubby and found himself smiling at himself for the first time in a while, he was proving everyone wrong.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door and Yuuri saw Viktor’s head popping through the door, in a panic he tried to get his outfit on, but he wasn’t fast enough and he saw the colour drain from Viktor’s face.

“Y-Yuuri…” Viktor choked, “I knew you weren’t okay, damn it, I knew it.” He made his way over to Yuuri, who now had his outfit on, but he gently peeled away the top to reveal his concaved stomach and fragile rib cage. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked, tears brimming in his eyes, Yuuri had never seen someone look so hurt in his life, and he actually began to feel selfish for making Viktor feel this way.

“Tell you what?” Yuuri said with a shaky voice, but a fake smile plastered on his face nevertheless, “I’m fine.” He took Viktor’s hands in his and kissed them, but Viktor pulled away, hurt.

“No you’re not! You’re the opposite of fine! You’re, you’re dying. Can’t you see?”

“You’re being dramatic.” Yuuri rolled his eyes, refusing to be rational, despite knowing that Viktor was right, he was slowly killing himself.

“Why, Yuuri, why? At least tell me why you’re doing this to yourself.”

“I wanted to be like you, I wanted to be perfect, I wanted to be good enough for you.” Yuri choked quietly, looking at the floor, refusing to meet Viktor’s watery eyes. Viktor pulled him to the mirror and ripped his own top off so that they were standing side by side.

“Look!” He begged, pleading with Yuuri to see reason, he couldn’t lose him; he had never loved anyone as much as he loved Yuuri. He began picking out his own flaws and pinching his fat, “I’m not perfect, I have scars and stretch marks and fat, everyone does. There is no such thing as perfect, I don’t think that anyone is ever fully satisfied with their bodies, but Yuuri, you are perfect to me, I couldn’t care less about your body - which has always been beautiful by the way - but I didn’t fall in love with your body, I fell in love with you. Don’t you dare think for one second that you’re not good enough; you are the most amazing, kind and beautiful person that I have ever met and I love you so much. Nothing can or will change that, but please, please, just let me help you.”

“Okay.” Yuuri sobbed, wrapping his arms around Viktor, he knew that he couldn’t just get better at the click of a finger, after all this had been corrupting his mind for months, it doesn’t just go away, but he was willing to try, for Viktor’s sake, he hated to see him this upset. “V- Viktor, I need to go and warm up.”

“Yuuri, I don’t know if this is such a good idea, you’re so fragile and weak, you might go into cardiac arrest, especially with something as strenuous as ice skating, who knows what might happen, I can’t bear the thought of losing you.”

“I’ll be fine, I promise.” Yuuri kissed Viktor softly before fastening his costume completely and heading to the ice for the warm up session, “I’ll see how I feel after the warm up, if I don’t think I can do it, I’ll pull out from the competition, okay?” Viktor nodded, happy that Yuuri seemed to be understanding the seriousness of his condition and prioritizing his health over a medal. Yuuri however, already knew that he was going to compete no matter what and had just said that Viktor’s sake, he was not going to get this far, only to fail at the last hurdle.

Yuuri carefully placed his skates on the ice and began to skate quickly, feeling the adrenaline pumping already as he smiled with the satisfaction of actually making it here. Don’t get too cocky, he reminded himself, if he messes up a jump now, it will make him even more anxious for his performance and that’s the last thing he needs. The announcement played through the rink that their warm up time was up and the skaters exited the ice, all clearly excited and nervous to do their performance.

Yuuri watched the other skaters in awe, they were incredible, and if his performance was as half as good as theirs, he would be ecstatic. His name was called by the tannoy and he took deep breaths, fixing his eyes with those of a very anxious looking Viktor, he nodded, reassuring him that he was fine and he could do it but Viktor still watched Yuuri as if he was a piece of glass, ready to break at any second. Rolling his eyes, Yuuri wanted to prove him wrong and decided he would put in even more effort to this performance than he knew he was capable of.

Skating into his position, he waited for the music to begin and tried to clear his head, he knew that he could do this; he was stronger than people thought. Soon enough the soft piano melody kicked in and he was skating, just watching him perform made Viktor’s heart melt, he was completely in love with this boy and couldn’t stop the smile that tugged at his lips as he watched Yuuri land his jumps.

“Perfect Yuuri!”

He had made it through the performance without any mistakes so far and landed everything perfectly, when suddenly Yuuri began to see black spots. No, no, no. he squeezed his eyes and blinked rapidly while still trying to complete the programme, he was so close. Despite his vision beginning to blur and darken, he was determined to finish.

Okay, last move, a quadruple flip, and then it’s over. Yuuri was aware of how dangerous this was, but he didn’t care, he promised Viktor a gold medal and he was going to get one. He got into position for his final jump and launched himself into the air, and that’s when everything went black.

Viktor could tell something was wrong by the way Yuuri was squinting and the panic that was written on his face, but it wasn’t until he started his jump and then his body went limp, that he knew something was wrong. The loud thud of Yuuri’s unconscious body onto the hard ice echoed through the rink and Viktor sprinted towards him.

“Get the medical team!” He screamed, tears beginning to form in his eyes, “Yuuri? Can you hear me? Please Yuuri, it’s Viktor, please hold on for me.” No response came from his fiancé, he reached out to grab Yuuri’s wrist and choked when there wasn’t a pulse, knowing he had gone into cardiac arrest.

“No, Yuuri, NO. You are NOT dying on me!” Viktor sobbed, beginning to perform CPR while he waited for access to a defibrillator, his wet tears fell onto Yuuri’s lifeless face as he begged him to come back, refusing to give up, he pushed into Yuuri’s ribs, desperate to restart his heart. Within a minute, the medics were by Viktor’s side, asking him to let go of Yuuri so that they could get him onto the stretcher and to a local hospital, he refused to let go, promising that he wouldn’t be in the way, showing their rings seemed to help his cause and they finally agreed. Yuuri was rushed to the ambulance at an incredible pace where people were frantically giving each other instructions and attaching charges to Yuuri’s fragile chest.

“Clear!” One of the paramedics shouted, before causing Yuuri’s body to jump upwards from the electricity, “No response, increase the voltage!”

“Clear!” Once again, Yuuri’s body jolted upwards but he still didn’t show any kind of response.

Viktor was about to scream in frustration when he heard sudden labored breathing and his head whipped around to see Yuuri’s eyes opening and him struggling for breath, relief washed over him and he wanted to wrap his arms around him and never let go, but he knew that Yuuri was fragile and so instead took his hand in his and held tightly to it while the paramedics began to attach things to Yuuri’s body and place a breathing mask over his mouth.

“Please don’t leave me Yuuri.” Viktor begged with tear-stained cheeks, “Please.”

Although Yuuri wasn’t fully aware of what was happening, he gazed into Viktor’s heartbroken eyes and nodded languidly, squeezing his hand. The ride to the hospital was short and Yuuri was rushed straight into one of the wards and given immediate medical attention due to his unstable state; one look at his malnourished body and the doctors knew the reason for him going into cardiac arrest and they knew that they would need to carry out lots of different health tests on him.

Because Yuuri was in a fragile state and not able to answer the questions they needed him to, Viktor was allowed to go in with him and answer the things that he could not. There were the basic questions such as his name, address and next of Kin, which Viktor answered easily, but then there were more difficult ones that he had to think about.

“When was the last time that he ate?”

Viktor wanted to say that it was this morning, but then he remembered that Yuuri had made some excuse up about it making him feel sick, so he thought back to the previous day. Yuuri didn’t eat dinner either, as far as he was aware because he left the restaurant before they had ordered anything. Lunch, then? He didn’t recall Yuuri eating anything for lunch, or breakfast come to think of it. He genuinely couldn’t remember the last time he saw Yuuri eat and he realized just how serious his eating disorder had been. How could he have been so oblivious? He felt guilty for not noticing and giving him help before it got to this stage and placed his hands in his head.

“I – I don’t know, I’m sorry.” The doctor’s eyes widened, but he wrote it down and moved onto the next question,

“Are you aware of him purging?”

“What? Purging? No, Yuuri would never-“ Viktor cut himself off as he allowed the possibility to enter his mind, and suddenly things started making sense. Yuuri going to the bathroom after the pork cutlet bowl to purge; the bruises on his stomach and knuckles from purging, finding him panicked in the bathroom last night with the ventilator on, because he had purged . Actually, Yuuri had taken long showers every night, although he never understood why he was in the bathroom for so long, but now it makes sense.

“It’s likely.” He said sadly, he felt embarrassed answering these questions, embarrassed that he hadn’t noticed and that this was partly his fault because he couldn’t help Yuuri. He looked over at his fiancé, who was out of it and was still being assisted by a breathing machine because he was so weak and Viktor wanted to cry all over again. The doctor asked a few more questions and then asked Viktor to leave the room so that they could do some physical assessments on Yuuri’s health and he agreed, leaving to sit in the waiting room down the hall.

The silence drove him crazy; he needed a distraction so he looked through his camera roll, grinning as he saw the photos that had been taken of the two of them at the banquet when he had first fallen in love. He couldn’t believe that Yuuri had forgotten but still went along with Viktor’s advances, it made him laugh at how strange he must have seemed to Yuuri but the fact that they still ended up together made him feel as though they were made for each other. He also looked at some of the more recent photos, mainly ones that he had sneakily taken while Yuuri was skating because he was so mesmerized by his beauty and wanted to capture the moment forever. Swiping through them, he noticed that Yuuri did become paler and thinner as the photos became more and more recent; he still couldn’t believe that he didn’t notice until now. Knowing that it was unhealthy to dwell about the past with regrets, Viktor hoped that Yuuri would be okay and looked at some of their selfies together, Yuuri always looked so happy in them and it brought tears to Viktor’s eyes when he remembered how scared he looked today when they were attaching things to him and he wanted to make sure that he would never feel that way again.

“Mr Nikiforov?” A doctor called out expectantly into the room full of people, and Viktor smiled as he stood up and walked over to him but it faded when he saw his serious expression and the clipboard with a long list on it.

“Is he going to be okay?” Viktor’s voice wavered, all of his optimism slowly fading as he looked at the worried doctor.

“I won’t lie to you,” he cleared his throat and showed him the clipboard, “it is more serious than we first believed, but we expect he will make a slow recovery.”

“What do you mean, ‘it’s more serious’?” Viktor asked hesitantly, fearful of what to expect.

“We believe that his mental health is not as it should be, in addition to the anxiety that he already had, he has developed a serious eating disorder, and we have reason to believe that he has been self-harming.”

The eating disorder was obvious to Viktor, but the self-harm? That was out of the question, Yuuri would never damage himself in that way, at least not the Yuuri he knew.

“Self-harm?” he questioned, not understanding why they would draw this conclusion. There was a sheet on the clipboard that had a generic diagram of a body, and the doctor had marked any places of injury they had found on Yuuri’s body; his blood ran cold as he noticed the red lines drawn in pen on his thighs, he was at a loss for words. Did he even know Yuuri? Because he would never have dreamed that the giggly, brown-eyed boy would ever take a blade to his skin, yet here he was, being told that he had.

“What can we do to help?” Viktor asked, wanting to get Yuuri back to his old self as quickly as he could, because he didn’t even recognize this person that was being described to him, and he hated it.

-

After discussing treatment plans with the doctor, Viktor was allowed to go and visit Yuuri and was lead to the room in which he was staying. As he opened the door, he noticed just how white and clean it was, he didn’t like it, it felt so wrong seeing such a full-of-life person reduced to nothing.

“Yuuri?” he whispered quietly, unsure whether he was awake or not, when he didn’t respond, he assumed that he was sleeping and sat in the chair beside the bed, taking his hand in his own and gripping it tightly. Yuuri in fact was awake, but he was too embarrassed to face Viktor yet, so kept his eyes closed and just listened.

“As you probably guessed, you’re sick, really sick, in fact. The doctor told me that he thinks you will make a recovery, but we both know that he’s not the one who decides that, you are. So please, Yuuri, for me; get better. I’m so sorry that I didn’t notice how ill you were, I wish that I could go back and get you help before this happened, but I can’t, and I’m so sorry.” Viktor began to weep and Yuuri wanted to tell him it was ok and that it wasn’t his fault, but he needed to hear what Viktor was going to say and if he was awake, he may not say it.

“I know I’ve told you this before Yuuri, but I have never felt this way about anyone, you’re all I think about, I can’t get enough of you, so I promise you, if you get better I will never let you doubt your self-worth ever again, you hear me? Ever. You are incredible Yuuri and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, but we can’t do that if you’re in hospital, so please, just do what the doctor says, get the therapy you need, I’ll be there for you every step of the way, I promise.”

He placed a kiss on Yuuri’s hand, remembering that he is probably anxious about him finding out about his self-harming and Viktor should reassure him that he will be there, “Oh, and I know about your self-harming, I’m so confused Yuuri, why would someone so perfect as yourself ever feel the need to slice their skin? Whatever reason you had, just let me know and we can fight this together, you and me. Okay?”

He knew Yuuri was asleep and didn’t expect a response, but when he heard sniffling and saw Yuuri’s body begin to shake, he understood that he was crying and he patted his shoulder, signaling for him to face him.

“You’ve been awake this whole time haven’t you?” Viktor asked, although he already knew the answer, his expectations were fulfilled when Yuuri nodded timidly, his watery eyes meeting Viktor’s.

“I’m so sorry Viktor, I didn’t expect it to get this bad, it just started off as doing more exercise and skipping a few meals but then it got out of control and I didn’t want to ask for help; I kept trying to convince myself that I was fine, but I really wasn’t, please don’t be mad.”

“Yuuri I could never be mad at you.” He said softly, kissing the ring on his fiancés hand, “I just wish you would have told me so we could work through this together; you need to understand that I’ll always be there for you.”

“Thank you Viktor.” Yurri sobbed, smiling at him through his watery eyes, “Thank you for saving my life, the paramedics told me you did the CPR, they said if you hadn’t I would have died.”

“Do you really think that I would ever let you die Yuuri Katsuki?” He laughed through his tears, not even wanting to think about losing his soulmate. Yuuri just smiled sadly, feeling overwhelmed at how much this man loved him, even after discovering all of his secrets; he felt like a weight had been lifted off his chest now that he was completely open with Viktor again and their relationship could grow even further.

“Promise me you’ll get better?” Viktor pleaded, tears streaming down his face as he looked into Yuuri’s tired eyes.

“I promise.”

-

2 years later

It had taken a while for Yuuri to recover both mentally and physically, but with the support of his friends, family and Viktor, he was finally back on the ice after two long years, training for the new Grand Prix Final with his husband, and this time he would win the gold.

Yuuri and Viktor had finally decided to finish their engagement and got married in the spring, with close family and friends, even Yurio turned up and was civil with Yuuri, which Viktor still says was the highlight of the day, other than the cake, of course.

With Viktor by his side during the entirety of his recovery, Yuuri now rarely doubts himself and has grown to love his body and all of its imperfections, because they’re what makes Yuuri, well…Yuuri. He loves eating pork cutlets again, almost as much as Viktor loves watching him eat them, his little smile each time he takes a bite will never not be adorable to him.

Yuuri now sticks to electric razors and has not touched another blade since that night and if he ever needs something to distract him or help with his anxiety, he has Viktor there instead and he has been there for him every time. The two of them could not be happier and the days of Yuuri being afraid are in the past, because now he has his husband to hold his hand and help him through every obstacle life may throw at him.