Yuuri stepped over the threshold into Victor’s flat, startling when the door shut behind him.
“What do you think?” To anyone else Victor would sound confident, almost boastful, but Yuuri knew him better than that.
“It’s nice,” he said. “Big. Open, I mean.”
A smile spread across Victor’s face, making his eyes crinkle at the edges.
“Yes, there’s plenty of room for you, since I know you need your space sometimes. There’s no onsen obviously, but I do have a great shower. Good water pressure. Can I take your suitcase? Are you hungry? I made sure the kitchen was fully stocked. Did you get any sleep on the flight?”
Victor was rambling, and judging by his wince, he knew it. It was nice for Yuuri to not be the nervous one in their relationship for a change.
“I’m fine. Just show me where I can put my things.”
Victor’s mouth snapped shut with a click. A high blush painted his cheeks and ears, and Yuuri wondered if he was flushed from the cold, or something else.
After they removed their coats and shoes, Victor led Yuuri through the living room, past the kitchen and through an open door.
The bedroom they entered was sparsely decorated, save a few framed pictures of Makkachin and a withered cactus by a broad window. The bed was enormous and swathed in fluffy, neutral-colored damask. It was perfectly made, which told Yuuri that Victor either had a maid, or he’d cleaned in preparation for Yuuri’s arrival.
Yuuri took it in, freezing when realization struck.
“Is this your bedroom?” He already knew the answer.
“So…you want me to put my stuff in your bedroom?”
Victor looked down at the floor, his hair tumbling across his eyes. He linked his hands behind his back, which pulled his shirt tight across his toned chest. It was distracting.
“We’ve shared a bed before.”
“And there’s a walk-in closet, so your clothes will fit.”
“That’s not what I’m—“
“And I prefer sleeping with you,” Victor said.
His words hung in the air, making Yuuri’s ears burn.
“But there’s a spare bedroom if you want it,” Victor added, his shoulders drooping.
Yuuri didn’t speak long enough that Victor glanced up at him. He was frowning. The look mirrored his expression in a Barcelona hotel room a few weeks past, when Yuuri had made him cry. Yuuri wondered how long it had been since Victor cried before that night. Was it years? Decades?
“Okay.” He heard his voice as though it had come from someone else’s mouth. “I’ll stay in here.”
In an instant, the frown was gone, replaced with a brilliant grin.
“Great! I’ll make you a sandwich,” Victor said, prancing from the room.
That evening found Yuuri on Victor’s couch after they’d finished dinner. Victor plopped down beside him and splayed his legs over Yuuri’s lap. Yuuri’s breath caught in his throat, his hands clenching into fists.
“What’s wrong?” Victor asked.
Yuuri wasn’t sure. He’d been more intimate with Victor than anyone in the past year, but somehow it felt more intense now, risky. They were on Victor’s home turf, where everything was familiar to him and foreign to Yuuri. And while they’d spoken every day since their parting, it was overwhelming to be together again.
What if he messed up? What if he made Victor not want him anymore?
What if moving to Russia was a mistake?
“Yuuri?” A warm hand closed over his shoulder, and he jumped.
“Sorry! I was just…I’m just jet-lagged.”
“Do you want to go to bed?”
Bed. Meaning Victor’s bed. The word made anxiety and anticipation blossom in his gut.
Yuuri followed Victor to the bathroom where they brushed their teeth, side by side at the dual sinks. It was obvious at every turn how much more money Victor had than Yuuri, how much more successful he was. How he was out of Yuuri’s league.
“Let’s take this off,” Victor said once they were standing in his bedroom. Yuuri had no idea how long he’d been staring blankly ahead, frozen, but reality came back to him in a rush when Victor started tugging his shirt up.
“I can do it,” Yuuri stammered, covering Victor’s hands with his own to stop him. Victor looked into his eyes, a slight furrow in his brow. The scrutiny made the back of Yuuri’s neck prickle.
Victor turned and walked towards the side of the bed, stripping fluidly as he went until he was down to tight black briefs. He flipped back the covers, got in, and called for Makkachin, who rushed in and jumped up onto the mattress. He curled into a ball at Victor’s feet.
Yuuri was unable to move. He looked down at his hands, still gripping the hem of his shirt.
“Get in, Yuuri. It’s cold.”
With a deep breath, Yuuri battled back his anxiety, and lifted his shirt over his head. He didn’t look at Victor as he unbuttoned his pants and let them fall to the floor.
When he slid between the sheets, which were the softest he’d ever felt, he folded his hands on his lap, and sat rigidly against the pillows.
Slowly, as though not to spook him, Victor rested his palm over Yuuri’s knuckles. The gold band on his finger glinted.
“I’m happy you’re here,” he said. “I missed you. Very much.”
“I missed you too.” He paused. “Sorry I’m acting weird.”
“You’re not acting weird. I’m sure this is a lot to take in.”
“It wasn’t like this for you when you moved to Hasetsu. And you didn’t even know me then.”
Victor chuckled, a slight breath of air.
“I was desperate for a change.”
Yuuri filed that statement away for later. So much of Victor was still an enigma. It was frightening how little he knew of Victor’s past, of his motivations.
Perhaps he should have waited a little longer before putting a ring on his finger.
“Come on,” Victor said, taking hold of his shoulder and easing him down, until Yuuri was lying on his back. Victor sidled up close to him. He hooked a leg over his and tucked his face into the side of Yuuri’s neck, his arm resting across his belly.
Yuuri was completely stiff. He stared up at the ceiling with wide eyes.
Victor seemed to be waiting for him to relax, and when that didn’t happen, he pushed up on his elbow. With a finger on his chin, he made Yuuri look him in the eye.
“If you want to sleep in the other room, I understand.”
“No! No, I’m fine.” He flinched at how loud he’d spoken, but Yuuri knew if he left the room now, it was the beginning of the end. Victor was not a patient person. There’s no way he’d stick around if Yuuri couldn’t even sleep next to him, let alone with him.
And, in truth, he didn’t want to leave Victor’s side. Every day they’d been apart had felt empty and long and cold.
Victor gazed at him, scrutinizing. Yuuri swallowed.
“Turn over,” Victor said. His tone matched the one he used when coaching, and Yuuri complied.
It was hard to put his back to Victor, and he clenched his fists on the sheets, anticipation making his stomach churn. What was Victor going to do?
His thoughts returned, as they often did, to the night after the Exhibition skate. They’d been so keyed up, so attuned to each other, taking the next step was inevitable. Dancing together on the ice as a pair was unlike anything he’d experienced before. It felt like making love, so when Victor put his hand down Yuuri’s pants in their hotel room after, it was easier to ignore his anxiety.
The two glasses of champagne he’d consumed at the banquet didn’t hurt either.
But now was different. This wasn’t some adrenaline-charged hand job in a hotel room. They were living together. He was in Victor’s bed, in nothing but their underwear, totally sober. What if he was bad at this? Would Victor lose interest?
He flinched at the first stroke of Victor’s hand on his back, so worked up that he was practically panting.
But the touch was light, gentle.
Victor’s long, skilled fingers traced across the skin of his back. The contact sent tingles through Yuuri like starbursts, relaxing his muscles with precision and ease. Victor alternated between scratching deliciously down his spine, to making his caress feather-light, nothing but a sweet graze of nerves.
It wasn’t long before Yuuri was boneless. He hadn’t been lying about the jetlag, and it was evident that Victor had no intention of keeping him awake for a night of hardcore sex.
He barely noticed when Victor removed his glasses and placed them on the bedside table, or when a strong arm draped over his waist and tugged him close against a firm body.
A kiss was pressed into the nape of his neck.
“Goodnight,” he mumbled.
He let the warmth of Victor’s body pull him into sleep.
Yuuri came back into consciousness in gradual steps. At first, he had no idea where he was, but he was comfortable, and warm, and cradled.
He twitched and someone grumbled behind him, squeezing him closer.
Yuuri was wide awake in an instant, the reality of his position washing over him in sudden, acute detail.
Victor’s hand was spread low on his belly, the tips of fingers tucked under the band of Yuuri’s briefs. His mouth was pressed to the back of Yuuri’s neck, his body a plane of muscle, slotted against him.
And then there was something he almost couldn’t bear to acknowledge: the insistent hardness against his rear. Yuuri was both appalled and deeply, inexplicably aroused. With horror, he realized he was also swelling between his legs, as if his body couldn’t help but respond.
He had to get away. Fast.
“Mmm, Yuuri,” Victor groaned, snuffling his hair and grinding against him in one slow thrust.
Yuuri just about leapt from the bed. He was on his feet so quickly that Victor didn’t wake up, merely turned onto his back and sprawled out, an unhappy pucker in his brow. Makkachin shot Yuuri a scathing dog-glare before going back to sleep.
Dressing as clandestinely as he could, Yuuri fled the room. Once he was in the living room, however, he wasn’t sure what to do with himself.
He decided that fresh air was the best thing for him, or at least preferable to sitting on the couch and staring at the wall until Victor woke up. It wasn’t so early that a few coffee shops wouldn’t be open, and Victor always seemed to enjoy coffee. Maybe he could bring him some in bed.
With his coat on and scarf wrapped about his neck, Yuuri grabbed Victor’s key off the counter and made his way to the street.
There were some people on the sidewalks, but not so many that Yuuri felt overwhelmed as he sometimes did in big cities. The early morning light was pleasant, and he meandered until the cold bit at his ears and nose. He ducked into a coffee shop and ordered tea for himself and coffee for Victor in English, but he probably could have managed in Russian.
Though he got to-go cups, he found a chair by the window and sipped his tea to warm up. He decided he liked St. Petersburg. For a while he let himself get lost in fantasies of cafe dates with Victor, of going to see ballets or visit art galleries when they weren’t practicing.
By the time he went back out into the cold he was smiling, flushed with the prospects of his future. Maybe he was letting his anxiety get the better of him when it came to Victor. After all, his coach had never pushed him into something he couldn’t handle.
It took him a while to find his way back to Victor’s flat since he'd taken a few wrong turns. Victor’s coffee had gone cold, and the wind had kicked up. Yuuri was glad he’d gotten a proper winter coat in Detroit.
He sprinted up the stairs to Victor’s door, and fiddled with the key in the lock. He was about to grab the nob when the door swung open, Victor standing before him.
His hair was rumpled, his eyes wide and nose flushed. Makkachin woofed from behind him, whole body wiggling with the wag of his tail.
“Yuuri,” Victor breathed.
Yuuri frowned at him.
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
“I didn’t know where you went.”
“Oh. Sorry, I went for a walk. I got you some coffee,” he said, handing the cup to Victor. “It’s gone cold by now, though, so you probably want to heat it—“
Victor threw his arms around Yuuri, knocking the wind out him and almost sending the coffee to the floor. Yuuri blinked, stunned. By the time he realized he should reciprocate the hug, Victor was pulling away.
“I’ll put it in the microwave,” Victor said tightly, taking the cup from Yuuri and striding to the kitchen.
Yuuri shook his head, unsure of what had just happened, and took off his coat, scarf, and shoes. When he made his way to the kitchen, Victor was just pulling his coffee out of the microwave, now in a ceramic mug with poodles printed on it.
“Victor,” Yuuri said, walking up to the counter. “You didn’t think I’d left, did you? Like, permanently?”
Victor paused in bringing the mug to his lips.
“No, I knew all your things were still here. I just had a dream, and I didn’t know if I’d really…it doesn’t matter.”
Yuuri frowned. He wanted to pursue the subject, but could recognize a deflection when he saw it. He was, after all, the master of them.
“I really like the city so far,” he said. Victor’s face lit up.
“I’m happy to hear it. I’ll take you around later, if you want. I was thinking, maybe we could go to the ballet sometime, before practices get too intense.”
“Yes, I would like that.”
“Do you want some breakfast? I can make you eggs if you want.”
Yuuri looked down at his hands.
“Why are you being so nice to me?” he asked. A pause.
“Am I not usually nice to you?”
“No, you are. It just feels different now.”
Yuuri heard the clink of Victor’s mug on the counter before Victor’s bare feet came into his eye-line. Victor hooked his fingers under Yuuri’s chin and tilted his head up.
“It is,” he said.
His eyes were piercing, striking as they always were to Yuuri. He swallowed, heat rising to his cheeks.
Victor’s other hand found his waist. He stepped closer. Yuuri could smell mint and coffee on his breath.
“Do you not know?”
“I-I’m not sure.”
Victor’s hand moved from his side to his arm, sliding down his wrist until he found the band on Yuuri’s finger. He spun it once, purposeful, and wove his fingers through Yuuri’s.
“I don’t know what I'm supposed to do,” Yuuri said. He winced at how pathetic he sounded.
“Neither do I.”
It was strange, but hearing Victor admit he wasn’t as confident and all-knowing as he seemed to be helped. It helped a lot.
“How about this,” Victor said. “I would like to kiss you, and then I want to make you breakfast, and sit on the couch with you and Makkachin, and watch some TV. Is that okay with you?”
“Yes,” Yuuri said, breathless.
Victor didn’t hesitate. He locked their lips together, gentle and soft. He was warm where Yuuri was cold from the wind. Their mouths were closed for one kiss, two, then Yuuri opened for him, unable to help himself. Victor didn’t use his tongue. He didn’t need to. Warmth burst in Yuuri’s chest and down his spine, and he felt a twitch in his pants, a sudden pressure.
His hands found Victor’s chest, and he gripped his shirt to tether himself. A soft whine escaped his throat, and it was him who slid his tongue into Victor’s mouth. Victor made a startled noise and his hands flew to the sides of Yuuri’s neck. He angled his head, deepening the kiss and pressing his tongue back against Yuuri’s.
Dizziness spread through Yuuri’s head like a fever. He stepped closer, pushing his body, his hips, against Victor, who jerked at the contact.
He felt like he was barreling down a hill, catching momentum so quickly he didn’t have time to think. The pressure in his pants swelled, and he felt Victor’s response against his hip through his thin, designer pajama pants. The idea that he’d done that to Victor wasn’t as scary as it had been that morning. Quite the opposite. It ignited something in Yuuri, as a spark in kindling.
To his great surprise, it was Victor who pulled away.
With two hands on Yuuri’s shoulders, Victor held him at arm’s length, as though he couldn’t stand to have him any closer.
“Yuuri,” he panted, lips swollen and pink. His hair had fallen across his eye, his pale skin rosy. “You have no idea what you’re doing, do you?”
His words were a douse of cold water. They cut through his arousal, his found confidence, right to the core of his fear. He didn’t have any idea what he was doing. He was bad at this, inexperienced, embarrassing.
He staggered back, making Victor’s hands fall from his shoulders.
“I need to take a shower,” he announced, voice high-pitched, manic. He hated the sound of it. He fled from the room, leaving Victor behind and not hearing whatever it was his coach said.
Rushing into the bedroom, Victor’s bedroom, not his own, he grabbed his toiletries and a change of clothes from his suitcase, and locked himself in the adjacent bathroom.
He turned on the shower for the noise, but didn’t step into the spray. Instead, he leaned back against the door, and sunk to the ground. Burying his face in his hands, he tried to calm down.
The cold ring on his finger seemed more present than ever. It taunted him.
He didn’t know if he could do this.
^This is the reference I used for Victor's swanky apartment.