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This never happened before

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That's all you wanted
Something special, someone sacred
In your life

- George Michael "Father Figure"

 


 

thse 2 r so fckin unprofesinal

they r ruinin my concntrtion

 

I would have thought you were used to them by now

It’s been over 3 years

 

UGH

NO

WHO WOULD GET USED TO THESE ASSHOLES

???????

thats it

im takin a break

ugh

i wish u were here Beka

 

Oh?  

How would that help?

 

u wuld suffer wth me

 

And that would make you happy?

 

ecstatic.

 

:)

 

Yuri smiled down at his phone. He wasn’t lying about being annoyed by Viktor and the Katsudon, but he may have exaggerated for Otabek’s benefit. He could imagine Otabek’s smile at the end there, and while he had said it as a joke, it wasn’t a lie. Yuri would be ecstatic if Otabek would visit him, more so if they could train together, then he would have someone other then the disgusting couple, the old hag, the old man and Georgi to talk to. And more to the point, he just plain missed his best friend.

 

They had seen each other a couple of times since Yuri had won the GPF. They saw each other sometimes in other competitions, though there usually wasn’t much down time. However, Otabek had come to visit him for his sixteenth birthday, and while Yuri hadn’t been able to visit Otabek for his twentieth birthday, he had made it his priority to go for his twenty-first. It had been so much fun to spend real quality time with his friend, not having to worry about competitions, or juggle his responsibilities, just him and his friend sightseeing and enjoying each other’s company.

 

He had taken Otabek around St. Petersburg, showed him his favourite places to eat, taken him to a park where he had found a stray cat that was slowly beginning to trust and take food from him. Yuri had been conflicted about taking Otabek to his home rink, on the one hand, his friend had asked to see it, but on the other hand there was a good chance one of his rink mates would be there and he just plain didn’t want to share his friend with anyone.

 

Sometimes he caught himself feeling this way and would seriously consider the emotion. Was it normal to feel that way about a friend? Was it wrong for Yuri to want to spend as much time as possible with Otabek, just the two of them? And, was he the only one that felt that way? If Otabek saw his peers, would he want to hang out all of them, and then what would Yuri do? He felt his natural reaction would be to throw a fit and flat out refuse, but he didn’t want Otabek to think he was inconsiderate or childish. He would have to handle it like a mature adult…which would mean hanging out with everyone. Most of all he wanted Otabek to have a good time, and he would control his temper (mostly) and go with what he wanted to make sure his friend didn’t regret spending his time with Yuri.

 

As it was, they had run into Mila and Georgi leaving the building and Yuri had to exercise all his self control to not yell in Mila’s face to back off, the hag. She was such a shameless flirt. Thankfully though, Otabek had politely excused them saying they were just going to take a quick look as he wanted to video call his family to show them the rink and it was a time sensitive call. Once they had parted ways and Yuri had asked Otabek why he hadn’t mentioned the video call to him, the older boy had turned to him and said very seriously, “I made that up.”

 

Since they rarely had time to visit each other in person, they texted, video chatted, and snapchatted. Well, Yuri sent Otabek snapchats and Otabek would reply with texts. Yuri didn’t mind though, he knew it wasn’t really Otabek’s style, but that he enjoyed getting Yuri’s messages. At first Yuri was more tentative with his messages, careful not to spam his friend, but on one of their visits Yuri had brought it up and Otabek’s reply made him realize there was no need to hold back.

 

“I really enjoy getting your messages, Yura. Especially the picture ones, it makes me feel like I’m there with you. And, why wouldn’t I want you to message me? I like that you want to share your day and thoughts with me.”

 

Yuri had felt his heart ache in the most pleasant way.

 

“Oi, Yurio~ Are you messaging Otabek again? You should be practicing, that’s rather unprofessional of you, don’t you think? Don’t get lazy just because you’ve won a few competitions.” Viktor’s voice cut through Yuri’s reverie and immediately turned his smile into a scowl.

 

“Shut up, old man! Who are you to talk to me about being unprofessional? You got engaged and married to your student!” Yuri shoved his phone into his pocket entering the rink and glaring at Viktor who stood with Yuuri on the ice, his arm draped over Yuuri’s shoulders.

 

“Ah, but this is true love Yurio, and thus cannot be denied,” said Viktor, with an air of someone about to wax poetic. “When you grow up and fall in love – “

 

“SHUT UP! I’m not interested in your ramblings, old man! And, you! You have something you want to say, Katsudon?!”

 

This last was directed at Yuuri who had opened his mouth as if to speak but now offered Yuri a placating smile that had no effect on him. Surprisingly though, instead of trying to calm Yuri down or apologize to him, Yuuri turned to his husband.

 

“Oh! I just remembered, Viktor, my mom sent us the edited version of our wedding video. Come take a little break with me, we can thank her and watch the first bit, yeah? I need to drink some water and to sit for a minute anyway.” Yuuri finished, smiling warmly up at his husband and tugging his hand. Viktor gave Yuuri a knowing smile but allowed himself to be led off the ice.

 

Yuri huffed, “Katsudon,” he grumbled, “don’t think I’m going to say thank you.” But, both men were well out of earshot at this point and so they didn’t reply. Yuri glanced back at them, making sure they weren’t looking his way before turning around and quickly taking out his phone.

 

srsly Beka

 

i want to see u

 

i miss u

 


 

 

A few days later…

 

Yuri sighed and surveyed his room with satisfaction. He had recently moved into a little apartment by himself and just finished unpacking his room. While he was a little sad to live apart from his grandfather, he was also pleased to have his own space. He watched his cat jump onto his bed and curl herself into a ball on top of his favourite sweater.

 

“Sofiya,” Yuri reprimanded, but his cat ignored him and continued to sleep peacefully knowing Yuri was all bark and no bite.

 

He smiled slightly at his cat and stroked her briefly before turning to his mirror. His hair had gotten longer in the last two years and he took to wearing it in a ponytail now, but it was starting to hurt his head, so he tugged on the elastic to let it down.

 

After all the movies and shows he had seen with women sleeping with their hair tied up he hadn’t thought it would. He remembered watching something with Otabek where they showed a woman going to sleep with her hair pulled back into a tight, high ponytail and he complained loudly to Otabek that it was such a misrepresentation and that he was sure no woman ever did that; it hurt.

 

Otabek had smiled at him and said, “Oh? I didn’t know. Your hair is getting long isn’t it? I think it looks good.”

 

Yuri smiled at the memory and looked away from the mirror, stretched a little and said aloud, “Now, what do we have for dinner, Sofiya? I suppose I could go out and get something to eat, there isn’t much here to cook anyway, I kind of forgot about that…”

 

Suddenly Yuri’s phone buzzed from where it sat on his bed, he practically leapt at it.

 

It was Otabek.

 

How is moving, are you unpacked yet?

 

yes!! Sofiya and i r just restin rn

 

He took a quick photo of himself with his cat, still sleeping peacefully, and sent it to his friend.

 

You two are very cute

So, you’re home?

 

Yuri frowned at his phone, suddenly getting a crazy thought. He firmly told himself not to get carried away.

 

of course

y do u ask Beka?

 

Because I would very much like you to let me in

I’m here

 

Yuri felt his heart pick up speed and he fumbled his phone standing up so quickly he almost unbalanced. He ran to his door, stuffed his feet into shoes, grabbed his keys, threw open his door and rushed down the stairs to the main doors of his building.

 

He broke into a huge grin as he opened the door and caught sight of a familiar muscular frame and rushed out half jumping on, half hugging his best friend.

 

“Omph,” Otabek, said, slightly surprised but managing to maintain his balance.

 

Yuri felt Otabek’s strong arms come around him and hug him back hard. He felt ridiculous for the sudden tears that threatened to spill down his cheeks and mentally berated himself. He buried his face in the crook of Otabek’s neck, they were now about the same height, and so this was a lot easier for Yuri than before.

 

“I’ve missed you so much, Beka.”



“ I missed you too, Yura.”

 

Yuri let out a laugh that was a little too breathy, hinting at his sudden tears. He broke away from his friend and tried to hide his face behind his hair while he quickly wiped at his eyes.

 

“Yuri, is something wrong?”



“ Of course not!” Yuri said adamantly, stepping back toward his friend and looking him directly in the eyes.

 

“Then why are were you hiding your face and your eyes…? If I’ve inconvenienced you – “

 

“No!” Yuri said quickly, grabbing at Otabek’s hands, “No, don’t be stupid, Beka! You’re always welcome, that’s not it, and it’s just – “ he faltered, embarrassment halting his explanation.

 

Otabek turned his hands in Yuri’s grasp so he could give them a gentle squeeze.

 

“Just?” He prompted, his expression and demeanor telling Yuri that he was concerned and completely focused on him.

 

“I just-,” Yuri looked away scowling, “I’m just really happy you’re here, okay? I don’t know why I suddenly got like this,” he detached one of his hands from Otabek to gesture to his face. “It’s not like I’m crying or anything, asshole.”

 

Yuri was still looking away, trying not to pout. He heard the deep rumble of Otabek’s laugh and felt him take hold of his hand again.

 

“That you felt so happy to see me makes me really happy too, Yurochka. And, I apologize for dropping in so suddenly – “ Yuri opened his mouth to angrily protest his apology, but another squeeze on his hands forestalled him. “ But, I didn’t want to miss your birthday again.”

 

Yuri looked at his friend, and smiled unabashedly. His birthday was in three days; he had mentioned it a few times, but only flittingly. Since Otabek had mentioned he was really busy Yuri didn’t want him to feel obligated or pressured into visiting him if he didn’t have the time or money. He didn’t want Otabek to come just because he felt bad or guilty for not seeing him on his birthday.

 

“And, it’s okay for you to be here right now? I thought you were really busy right now.” Yuri asked, enjoying the feeling of Otabek slowly rubbing his thumbs over the back of Yuri’s hands and trying not to show it.

 

“Hmm, I have been busy yes, but,” he paused and smiled, “Yura, do you mind if we go inside? Your hands are getting really cold.”

 

Yuri blinked in surprise, he had hardly noticed, but now that Otabek mentioned it, he was fucking freezing.

 

“Shit! Yes, let’s go inside!” And, he turned back to his apartment releasing one of Otabek’s hands so he could pick up his bag, and opened the door for them. Yuri wondered how long he could reasonably stay holding Otabek’s hand.

 

It turns out it was just until they got into Yuri’s apartment as Otabek needed both hands to take off his coat and shoes. Yuri stood by the door for a moment to take in the sight of his friend there in his apartment with him. It gave him a pleasant warm feeling to think Otabek had planned a surprise visit for his birthday.

 

He turned away and walked into the kitchen, “Would you like tea?” he asked already pouring water into the kettle.

 

“Yes, please.”

 

Yuri nodded and set the kettle on the stove. He took two mugs out from his cupboard, both of them had cats on them. He decided Otabek’s should obviously be the mug with the panther, which suited him so well. Dark, powerful, majestic and alluring, and Yuri kept the mug featuring a cat with Sofiya’s likeness on it.

 

“I was also going to order some food, are you hungry?”

He turned to look at his friend and saw Otabek nod as he walked toward him, “You’re such a good host, Yura, so thoughtful.”

 

Yuri scowled at him, “Whatever, you have to earn that food. Tell me what you were going to say.”

 

Otabek leaned against the kitchen counter facing Yuri, and folded his arms.

 

“I arranged to train here for a while.”

 

Yuri felt his mouth drop open. His friend never minced words; it was always straight to the point.

 

“Are you serious? Beka!” Yuri launched himself at Otabek once more and laughed, his arms around Otabek’s neck, his friend’s arms around his waist, warmth rushing through him.

 

He could hear the smile in Otabek’s voice as he said, “I’m serious, Yura, why would I lie about something like that?”

 

Yuri laughed again and pulled away from Otabek, lightly punching him on the arm as he stepped away.

 

“Asshole, you could have said something.”

 

“I wasn’t sure, I didn’t want to make a big deal in case it didn’t work out. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high either.” Otabek said all this with the same expression he always wore, but Yuri could feel his excitement, and that made him excited in turn. He grinned at his friend and hit him again.

 

Otabek raised an eyebrow but didn’t protest the abuse.

 

“Stupid,” Yuri said, still grinning. “Do you know what times you’ll be practicing? We should figure out when we have free time. Beka, there are so many more places I wanted to show you! Oh, there’s this one place…”

 

And Yuri chatted happily to Otabek, the older man occasionally commenting, nodding or making noises to encourage Yuri to go on, all the while watching him with an affectionate smile.

 

Yuri ordered the food and they drank tea while they waited for it to arrive. Yuri complaining about his rink mates, talking about his family, and expressing his sadness in leaving his grandfather, but also his joy in independence. He talked about his new skating routine, the new ideas he had for it and the type of music he was considering. At this Otabek gave him his thoughts and shared his new skating routine asking for Yuri’s opinion.

 

Yuri complained about the restrictions that were placed on him by Yakov and Lilia, and through it all Otabek listened intently, and not once did it seem like he was losing interest or that he was waiting for his turn to speak. Yuri loved that about him, there were no falsehoods with Otabek, he was the way he was. Otabek was always honest and generous with himself when it came to Yuri.

 

“Ah! I didn’t ask, Beka, do you have somewhere to stay? If not you could always stay here.” Yuri said suddenly, he had just noticed the time and realized he hadn’t asked his friend if he even had a place to sleep.

 

Otabek smiled at him, “I’m staying at a hotel for a couple of days and then moving into a little apartment, both places aren’t too far from here, but thank you.”

 

Yuri nodded, feeling a faint twinge of disappointment that he quickly pushed aside.

 

Otabek looked down at his own phone, “It’s getting a bit late, we both have practice in the morning, I should go now.”

 

They both stood and Yuri toyed with the idea of offering to walk Otabek to his place, should he?

 

While he grappled with this idea Otabek finished putting on his coat and shoes and stood for a moment watching Yuri stare off into space.

 

“Yura?” he asked.

 

Yuri’s attention quickly snapped back to Otabek and he could feel a blush begin to burn his cheeks.

 

“Ah, sorry, I was just – “ Yuri suddenly noticed there was something on Otabek’s eyebrow, a bit of fluff. “Beka, you have something – here, I’ll just – “

 

Taking a step forward, Yuri reached out and ran his thumb over the arch of Otabek’s eyebrow, catching the bit of fluff between his thumb and forefinger.

 

“There,” Yuri said smiling a little as he flicked the bit of fluff away and looked back at his friend.

 

He suddenly realized how close they were and that Otabek had gone oddly still, and his expression had changed slightly. There was an almost imperceptible shift in the atmosphere that somehow made the air feel charged. Yuri felt as if he should do or say something, but he didn’t know why or what. He suddenly felt stupid for wanting to offer to walk Otabek to his hotel. He felt his face burn again and cursed himself, why was he feeling so weird?

 

But then Otabek took a step back and smiled, “Thank you, Yura.” He said softly. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” and he turned to the door letting himself out.

 

“See you tomorrow,” Yuri said, moving forward and holding the door open for his friend. He took a moment to stand in his doorway and watch as Otabek made his way down the hall and to the stairwell, never once looking back.

 

Yuri slowly closed his door, and then turned to rest his back on it, he sighed. What was that strange feeling? Yuri closed his eyes and tried to recall the moment, he saw Otabek’s face clearly, and that expression he had never seen before. It made him feel…something, a strange fluttering sensation in his stomach that was not wholly unpleasant. It made him want to hold Otabek tight, but he was suddenly afraid that if he had tried to do so his friend would have rejected him.

 

He shook his head saying aloud, “I’m an idiot.”

 

Otabek had helped him clean up after dinner so all he had to do now was get ready for bed. He settled down to sleep with Sofiya curled up beside him and gently stroked her for a moment trying to clear his head.

 

“Don’t do anything stupid, Yuri,” he whispered, “this is what you wanted, and it will be great. Beka will be there tomorrow.” He smiled, content with the thought that the person he had longed for the most was finally at his side. And, with that pleasant thought he fell asleep.

Chapter Text

 

 

I've been holding back
This secret from you
Probably shouldn't tell it but if I let you know

-Aaliyah "Are you that somebody"


 

gmorin Beka!

did u sleep well?

rdy 2 sk8?

 

Good morning, Yura

I did sleep well, and you?

I’m getting ready to leave right now

 

me too!

want 2 wlk 2gether?

 

Sure

I’ll be there in ten minutes

 

K!!!!!

 

Yuri grinned down at his phone and quickly shoved the rest of his toast in his mouth, swallowed hard and ran to brush his teeth. He double-checked that Sofiya had enough water, and that he had everything he needed in his bag. He threw his hair up into a messy bun, hastily put his coat and shoes on, and flew out the door.

 

Just as he got to the main doors his phone buzzed.

 

Here, are you ready?

 

Yuri threw the door open and practically tackled his friend in a hug.

 

“Yura,” Otabek said, sounding partly winded, partly amused.

 

“Beka!” Yuri said, unable to stop himself from quickly pecking Otabek on the cheek. He stepped back and grinned at his friend, tugged on his sleeve and said happily, “Let’s go!”

 

They began to walk, Yuri turned to say something to his friend but frowned instead.

 

“Beka, are you okay? Are you sick? You look kind of red,” he stopped in front of Otabek and lifted both hands, placing one over his friend’s forehead and the other on his neck. “Hmmm, I can’t tell it’s too cold, how do you feel – “

 

“I’m fine, Yurochka, but I appreciate your worry,” he said, smiling a little and gently pulling Yuri’s hands away. He brought their hands down and held them for a moment between them, once again rubbing his thumbs over the back of Yuri’s hands. Yuri smiled; he really liked how that felt. He looked at Otabek, who still looked a little flushed, he was obviously struggling with something he wanted to say. In an uncharacteristic display of patience, Yuri silently waited for his friend to speak. He gave Otabek’s hands a brief squeeze in encouragement.

 

Otabek looked up and finally said, “You should get gloves, Yura, your hands are so cold.” He carefully pulled away and as he moved to begin walking said, “We’re going to be late if we don’t hurry.”

 

Yuri frowned again. What was that?

 

As he walked with Otabek he thought about whether or not to ask what had happened. What he said was obviously not what he had wanted to say. What was going on that Otabek had decided not to share it with Yuri?

 

When he glanced at his friend, still thinking about whether or not to bring it up, Otabek looked back and smiled. It was such a calm and affectionate smile that Yuri allowed it to dispel his worries for now. Instead he let his earlier energy and happiness overtake him once more. He was practically bouncing now as he walked side by side with the best friend he had ever had.

 

 ***

 

“I can’t believe Yakov didn’t say anything to me,” Yuri grumbled as he laced up his skates. This wasn’t the first time he had complained about that very thing.

 

When Otabek had told him yesterday that they would be practicing together he had made it sound as if he had gotten permission to join them for a while, which was true, but he had also managed to get Yakov to agree to help him find a coach here so he could move here permanently. Right now he was allowed to practice with them, but soon he would have to change his schedule and wouldn’t be on the ice with them. Yuri tried not to be disappointed about that. This was still big news and a really great thing for his friend.

 

Yuri finished tying his skates and stood lifting his arms up and stretching a little. He pulled the elastic out of his hair and shook it out, swinging it around and over his shoulder as he turned back toward Otabek, his hand on his hip.

 

His friend was looking at him strangely.

 

“W-what?” He mentally cursed the sudden catch in his throat, he didn’t know why, but the way Otabek was looking at him suddenly made him a little…nervous. He fought the urge to play with a lock of his hair, or hide behind it; instead he tossed his head and folded his arms over his chest. “What?” he demanded, back to his usual self.

 

Otabek shook his head and he stood too. As he moved toward Yuri lifting a hand, Yuri was positive for a moment that he was going to touch him.

 

Instead he ran a hand through his own hair and said, “Let’s do our best,” and walked past him into the rink.

 

Yuri stood for a moment frozen in confusion. His heart was beating hard and he felt vaguely disappointed Otabek hadn’t said or done anything else.

 

“Oh~! Otabek, I didn’t know you would be joining us,” came Viktor’s voice.

 

Yuri turned to look fully expecting to see Viktor and the Katsudon accosting Otabek but what he saw was the couple waving at Otabek as they skated away leaving him with Mila.

 

Whatever she said to him was too quiet for Yuri to hear, but at Otabek’s reply she laughed and playfully smacked his arm, allowing her hand to run over his bicep.

 

Yuri was practically seeing red.

 

He stormed over to the rink and angrily propelled himself forward fully prepared to rip the old hag apart but then he saw Otabek smile faintly and he suddenly felt himself turn cold.

 

He jerkily changed direction and skated off to practice his moves, stuffing his ear buds into his ears with slightly shaking hands. Before he could begin however Yakov called him and so he had to skate over to him and go over his coach’s notes from his last practice. As he went by he couldn’t help but glance back in the direction where Otabek and Mila had been. He was relieved to see they weren’t together anymore and he found that Otabek was looking at him too. Yuri quickly looked away and immediately wished he hadn’t. Why had he done that?

 

Yuri threw himself into his practice and was pleased to find that he could turn off his thoughts quite easily and concentrate on his movements. After he won his first Grand Prix he had realized that one of his greatest weaknesses has his inability to stop dwelling on whatever was upsetting him at the time. He had worked hard in the following two years to train his mind to let go of those thoughts and think only of skating. He hadn’t mastered the art yet, but he thought he did well and was proud of the progress he had made.

 

He did so well in fact he hadn’t even noticed that basically everyone had left the ice except for him and Yuuri.

 

Yuri blinked and pulled his earbuds out.

 

“Oi, Katsudon! What time is it?” Yuuri was at the edge of the rink talking to Viktor who was clearly firmly in coaching mode.

 

Both of them looked over at Yuri and then back at each other. It was Viktor who answered looking down at his watch.

 

“It’s almost two pm. We were wondering when you would get tired, you’ve worked really hard today, Yurio. I think Otabek is a good influence on you.”

 

Viktor looked up toward the bleachers behind Yuri who followed his gaze turning to find Otabek sitting there watching them. He lifted a hand; his usual stoic expression firmly in place and Yuri couldn’t keep the smile off his face.

 

“Ah,” Yuri said. He started to leave but turned back when Viktor spoke.

 

“Yurio, can you come here for a moment?” He made a very Japanese hand gesture, beckoning him, like he was doing the doggy paddle one handed.

 

“Tch, what is old man?” Yuri demanded, skating over toward the couple.

 

Yuuri smiled at him warmly, “You did great today, Yurio,” and reached up to gently ruffle his hair.

 

“Oi, Katsudon, hands off!” Yuri growled, but he didn’t move away. At this point they both knew Yuri’s aggression was mostly just pretense, but neither of them openly acknowledged it.

 

Yuuri laughed and with a last look at his husband, skated off and left the rink.

 

“Well, geezer, what do you want?” Yuri asked again, accepting the water Viktor passed him. “If this is about trying to adopt with Katsudon, I already said – “

 

“No, no, Yurio,” Viktor said, waving his assumption away. “I wanted to ask if you wanted to do something with all of us for your birthday. I was thinking of surprising you, but Yuuri thought you might not like that, especially now that Otabek is here. What do you think?”

 

Yuri stared for a moment nonplussed. Whatever he had expected Viktor to ask it wasn’t that, he struggled to keep a pleased expression off his face. He huffed and crossed his arms.

 

“Who says I want to spend my birthday with a bunch of old has-beens?”

 

“Oh Yurio, don’t play coy with me, just tell me what you decide as soon as you can, okay? Of course, it’s your decision but it’ll break your mama and papa’s heart if you don’t let us do something for your birthday – “

 

“OH MY FUCKING GOD! YOU TWO ARE NOT MY FUCKING PARENTS!”

 

“Now, now, language young man, we didn’t raise you – “

 

“I SWEAR TO GOD, NIKIFOROV – “

 

Viktor laughed as he expertly dodged the now empty water bottle Yuri threw at him.

 

“Oh my, I thought you had learned to control that temper. Well, don’t forget to let us know! Oh, here comes Otabae – I mean Otabek – “

 

Yuri yelled, swearing colourfully and expressively, clutching the edge of the rink like he was seriously considering jumping over it to get to Viktor.

 

Instead he seethed as the older man walked quickly toward his husband, Yuuri shook his head at Viktor, expression half amused half exasperated.

 

“I swear, one day, Viktor Nikiforov…” Yuri said through gritted teeth.

 

“What do you swear, Yura?”

 

Yuri had been so caught up in his anger with the retired skater he had completely forgotten that he had said Otabek was coming.

 

Otabae

 

Yuri fumed, Viktor, that son of a bitch. “Otabae” was one of Otabek’s most popular tags on social media. He had thought it was funny at first, but somehow he didn’t feel like that anymore.

 

“I’m going to give that shithead what’s coming to him. Sometimes he really just – ugh!” Yuri glared at the door Viktor and Yuuri had disappeared through.

 

Yuri’s attention suddenly, very firmly focused on Otabek as his friend gently pushed a lock of Yuri’s hair behind his ear.

 

“Sometimes, family are the ones to push ours buttons the most, since they know us so well,” Otabek said, his hand lingering for a fraction of a second longer than it should have before he withdrew it.

 

“Beka,” Yuri warned, feeling his face burn from something other than anger, “don’t you fucking start too.”

 

Otabek smiled, “Let’s go, Yurochka, today is the day we have the most free time. I thought there were still places you wanted to take me.”

 

Yuri grumbled and leaned against the barrier, his back to Otabek, holding onto the edge with both hands, careful not to slip or accidentally propel himself forward, “Well, I don’t know, if you’re going to be a pain in the ass, saying those shitty things…”

 

“I’m sorry, Yura, don’t be mad at me,” Otabek said, putting a hand on his shoulder, his voice suddenly dangerously close to Yuri’s ear, Yuri shivered but not from the cold.

 

“Alright, fine, whatever,” Yuri said flustered, he pushed away from the wall and skated to the gate. “Let’s go.”

 

***

 

Yuri and Otabek burst into Yuri’s apartment laughing.

 

“That guy had no idea what hit him, did you see his stupid face? That dumbass, he thought he could fucking win? Ptfff – “ Yuri broke into another peal of laughter as he closed his door.

 

Otabek laughed too as he took off his coat.

 

“To be fair, he had no idea who we were.”

 

“I know! That’s what makes it so funny! Who the fuck challenges you to a dance off? He was practically shitting his pants half way through your turn,” Yuri sniggered.

 

Otabek watched Yuri, amused, as he laughed again. Both young men were slightly buzzed, having had slightly more wine at dinner than either had originally intended.

 

“Oh, man, I wish Katsudon had seen you. Beka, you would fucking wreck him,” he beamed at Otabek, obviously proud of his friend.

 

Otabek chuckled and shook his head.

 

“I don’t know, we both learned to break dance in America, I think it might be a close match.”

 

“You know, on second thought, maybe it’s better he wasn’t there. I definitely don’t want anything similar to that horrendous banquet to happen again. That motherfucker got so wasted.”

 

Otabek snorted, “Surely that’s Viktor?”

 

“What?” Yuri said hanging up his coat and flopping down on his couch.

 

“I mean, that would technically be Viktor, he’s your papa and Katsuki your mama, right?”

 

It took Yuri a moment to understand what Otabek was saying, but when he did he swore and threw a pillow at him. Otabek caught it and laughed.

 

Yuri shuddered dramatically, “Ugh, gross, why would you even joke like that? You want to pay for my therapy?”

 

Otabek’s eyes twinkled as he sat beside Yuri.

 

“I could make another joke about your parents – “ Yuri punched his arm, “ah, but, I won’t.”

 

“You asshole,” Yuri said, turning on his laptop and setting up the show he wanted Otabek to watch. Once he had it played he sat back and after a moment leaned on Otabek, Yuri’s head on Otabek’s shoulder.

 

“Ah, Yuri? I don’t think – “ Yuri jerked away from Otabek, blushing hard.

 

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t think you’d mind, but I can move,” Yuri turned away hiding his face behind his hair feeling like an idiot.

 

“No, Yuri, that’s not what I meant,” Otabek pushed Yuri’s hair behind his shoulder and tugged at his sleeve until Yuri turned to look at him. “What I was trying to say was, isn’t that uncomfortable for you?” Otabek tapped his own shoulder, “Not, exactly soft, here,” he said and reclined again lifting his arm so it rested on the back of the couch. He looked at Yuri expectantly, “Okay, come here.”

 

Yuri wondered if this was the affect of the alcohol, but he felt like his stomach suddenly did a little flip. He felt unexpectedly shy.

 

Still, he moved toward Otabek trying to make his movements and expression neutral. This wasn’t the first time he and Otabek had sat snuggling watching or playing something. The thing was, the last time they had had time to do something like that had been before Yuri’s growth spurt, and definitely before he had started having these confusing reactions to his friend.

 

Yuri made himself comfortable and gradually relaxed. He sat with his head on Otabek’s chest, who was nestled in the corner of the couch. The length of Yuri’s right leg was pressed right against the length of Otabek’s left. After the first episode Yuri shifted, bringing his legs up and over Otabek’s lap, and draping an arm over his middle, unable to help nuzzling his chest as he did so. Yuri felt Otabek’s hand begin to gently stroke his hair. Yuri allowed his eyes to fall shut. Otabek playing with or touching his hair was one of the best things he had ever felt. It made his whole body tingle to feel his hands gently massaging his scalp and then carefully move through his heavy blonde hair.

 

He didn’t even realize he had made a small noise of contentment, nor did he notice or imagine the effect it had on Otabek. His friend made no outward sign that anything had changed however, and Yuri lost himself in sensation. He breathed slow and deep, his body tingling all over from Otabek’s ministrations, his head full of the older man’s scent. Damn, he smelled good. Yuri wished with all his heart he could live in this moment forever. He was being pleasantly lulled to sleep.

 

“Yura,” Otabek said softly, his hand stilling in Yuri’s hair “Yura, are you awake?”

 

Yuri wanted to reply, but his eyes were so heavy and his body didn’t seem to want to obey his commands.

 

“Yura,” Otabek whispered again, he paused. “Sleep well,” he said and softly kissed the top of Yuri’s head.

Chapter Text

He said, ‘I really don't care if you cut your hair

 And I really wouldn't mind if we don't go anywhere

 Cause I've got you, yeah, I've got you now,

 I've got you’ 

-Halsey “Garden”


“Well?” Yuri demanded, “What did you think?” He bit his lip in anticipation.

 

Otabek smiled warmly, “It was good.” 

 

Yuri rolled his eyes, they sat on his couch, Yuri a little hunched and Otabek straight-backed. “Beka, you always say that! Seriously, didn’t you think it was incredible?” Yuri thought he was being a little too animated, but he couldn’t help it. “The main character is so cool, the whole concept of their world, the powers they have, isn’t that amazing? Man, I wish I were like her, she’s so badass and strong, and she becomes, just, really fucking mature, you know?”

 

Otabek raised an eyebrow and Yuri smiled sheepishly, “Yeah, I know, it’s weird of me to say that, but I just admire that about her. She started off so hot headed and became so sure of herself, so calm cool and collected, she reminds me…” Yuri glanced up at Otabek through his eyelashes and then down to his lap. “Well, she reminds me a lot of you, actually.”

 

“Me?”

 

“Well, yeah, I mean, more so at the end, but still,” he said earnestly, looking back up at Otabek. And, there it was again, the same expression on his face Yuri had seen when they were at the ice rink, the one that gave him a nervous fluttering in his stomach.

 

Otabek reached out and gently slid a lock of Yuri’s hair behind his ear, his hand trailing down to caress his cheek.

 

“Really?” Otabek said, his voice deeper, richer. “That’s funny, I thought she was more like you. All those things you said, that’s what I think about you, Yuri. You are strong and brave like her and,” he smiled, “just as beautiful as her girlfriend.”

 

Yuri’s breath caught in his throat. His heart was beating a crazy rhythm in his chest, and his skin burned in the most exquisite way where Otabek touched him.

 

“Beka, I – “

 

But Otabek’s hand moved to Yuri’s chin and carefully tilted his face up, his beautiful brown eyes so wholly focused on him that the words died on his tongue.

 

“Yuri,” he breathed and kissed him.

 

Yuri’s eyes flew open, heart pounding in his chest, blood rushing in his ears and burning at his cheeks. He was lying in his bed, Sofiya circling on his chest before she made herself comfortable and laid down. Yuri swore softly, she must have jumped onto of him again and woken him up. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, taking his hand out from under the blanket to run through his hair; instead he froze as he realized he wasn’t alone. On the bed beside him, sleeping soundly, and facing him, was Otabek.

 

His face only got hotter as he looked at the man he had literally been dreaming about. Otabek lay beside him, on top of the covers using his jacket as a blanket. Yuri carefully shifted his weight, moving Sofiya to lie on the edge of the bed so her movement wouldn’t wake Otabek, and he turned on his side to look at the best friend he had ever had.

 

Biting his lip and trying to slow down his heart rate, Yuri studied his face. He needed to know if his dream was the product of stupid teenage hormones or…Yuri carefully stretched out a slightly shaking hand toward Otabek and softly touched his hair. It was a little stiff with product, but he had known it would be. He wondered, if he touched Otabek’s hair the way he touched Yuri’s if Otabek would feel the way he did. If Otabek’s whole body would tingle, if he would feel, maybe a little too good at times. Yuri withdrew his hand and admired the arch of Otabek’s eyebrows, the slope of his nose and finally the curve of his mouth. He licked his suddenly dry lips. He couldn’t quite remember what it had felt like when Otabek kissed him in his dream. What would it be like if he did in real life?

 

Holy shit, he thought, I want to find out. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck

 

Yuri closed his eyes tightly and tried to calm down.

 

“All those things you said, that’s what I think about you, Yuri. You are strong and brave like her…Yuri…”

 

Dream Otabek’s words rang in his ears, he could still see that expression on his face, and the fact that he could smell Otabek’s damn good scent wasn’t helping him. Son of a bitch, had Otabek always smelled this good? Was he always so – so hot?

 

Fuckingshitshitshitshit

 

No, he thought. Don’t be a dumbass, Yuri, he told himself firmly. You are friends; you’re probably just projecting. It’s no secret you like guys, and Otabek just happens to be a fucking gorgeous guy you’re close to and that you really lo –

 

 

Yuri opened his light green eyes and was met with Otabek’s soft brown ones. He froze.

 

MotherfuckingsonofwhoreSHIT

 

“Yuri?” Otabek whispered hoarsely, he rubbed at his eyes sleepily.

 

“B – beka,” Yuri choked out.

 

Otabek blinked at him, “Sorry,” he said softly.

 

Yuri stared, “What? About what?”

 

“About this,” Otabek said gesturing vaguely. For one heart stopping moment looking into Otabek’s eyes he was afraid his friend would be able to read his thoughts. “You fell asleep on me and I moved you here. But, when I tried to leave you wouldn’t let go of me. I only meant to stay until you fell asleep, but I guess I fell asleep too. I can move to the couch if you would prefer.”

 

“No!” Yuri said, reaching out, he felt himself blush again and was thankful it was dark in the room. “Don’t be an idiot, Beka. Why the hell didn’t you come under the covers though? You must be freezing.” He tugged at the blankets Otabek laid down on until he moved so Yuri could pull them out from under him and pull them over them both.

 

Otabek smiled, “Thank you, Yura. I’ll leave first thing in the morning.”

 

“You don’t have to – “ Yuri started angrily, but Otabek interrupted him with a finger to his mouth.

 

Yuri’s lips tingled.

 

“I have to get a change of clothes from my room, I know you don’t mind me staying here. I just, it’s difficult for me to take without asking, even knowing that.”

 

Yuri carefully moved Otabek’s hand away from his mouth, he held it between both of his, cradling it in one hand while he softly traced the lines of Otabek’s palm with the other.

 

“You’re right, you don’t have to ask, Beka. You have my permission,” he looked into warm brown eyes. “Beka, I – I think – “ Yuri swallowed the sudden lump in his throat, his eyes starting to sting.

 

“What is it, Yura?” Otabek asked, sounding concerned. He moved closer and caught Yuri’s other hand, stilling it. “What’s wrong?”

 

“Nothing,” Yuri said, his chest tight, he swallowed hard, “I’m just really glad that you’re here, it’s my birthday today.” He offered Otabek the most convincing smile he could manage.

 

Otabek looked at him for a moment, and then said, “Of course, you’re very important to me. Happy birthday, Yuri.”

 

Yuri closed his eyes. He felt his throat burn and his ears ring with the effort it took not to cry. He wanted to tell Otabek what he had just realized, oh God he wanted to, but at the last moment he couldn’t. What if he fucked everything up? What if he ruined this? What if Otabek didn’t look at him the way he had in his dream? What if he lost him?

 

He felt Otabek gently tug his hands out of Yuri’s and it felt like a punch to the stomach, his heart ached.

 

But, a moment later he felt Otabek’s arms slowly pull him into a hug. Yuri opened his eyes, tears falling down his face and onto his pillow.

 

“You don’t have to tell me what’s bothering you if you don’t want to. I wish you would, but if it’s not for me to know, then I understand. Just know that I’m here, I’ll always be here.”

 

Yuri shut his eyes again, but the tears still fell. He raised his hands and clutched the front of Otabek’s shirt.

 

“Thank you,” was all Yuri could say.

 

Otabek didn’t reply, just hugged him harder.

 

Yuri took deep breaths, Otabek’s wonderful smell helping him calm down. Otabek began rubbing his back and humming. It was a song from an AMV Yuri had shown him. The AMV had been about one of Yuri’s favourite shows, the one from his dream. Yuri pushed that thought from his mind. He tried to concentrate on the warmth of Otabek’s arms, the thrum of his heartbeat and the rumbling of his chest as Otabek hummed. After a while he fell into a deep dreamless sleep.

 

***

 

Yuri got ready that morning on autopilot.

 

He didn’t notice when Otabek left, but when he woke up to his phone’s alarm, he was gone. Yuri turned off his alarm and sighed deeply. He turned over and lay on his back for a moment looking at his ceiling. His dream, his talk with Otabek and his slight breakdown came back to him in a flood. He felt again the tightness in his throat, his chest, and his stomach. He closed his eyes and wondered for a moment if he should just stay home. He had no idea what to do with his feelings, and he just felt really overwhelmed.

 

He thought he might feel better if he talked to someone, but whom? Yuri groaned and threw his blankets off as he got up. He had a sinking feeling he knew who he would end up talking to and he wasn’t exactly thrilled by the prospect. He sighed again and started getting ready to leave.

 

He got ready quickly, forcing himself to eat something before he left. He expertly braided his hair and made his way to the rink. He had gotten a text from Otabek, so he knew he would be making his way over by himself today.

 

I’m running a little late this morning

I’ll see you at the rink

  

k

cya

  

Yuri’s message was uncharacteristically short for him but he couldn’t muster up the energy to send anything else.

 

Once he got to his home rink he made his way to the dressing room storing his things in his locker and quickly changing. He looked around after a moment and realized it was strangely quiet. Usually he could hear the sound of voices, skates on the ice, even music at times coming from the rink, but now it was just the drone of machines. He frowned, starting to get vaguely suspicious. He grabbed his things and cautiously made his way to the rink.

 

He entered the rink and found it…empty. There was no one on the sides or on the ice, what was going on? He walked slowly forward.

 

“SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YURI!”

 

Several different voices shouted from above him. Yuri whipped around and looked up. Standing in the bleachers were all his rink mates and his coach. Viktor and Yuuri held a banner that said, “Happy birthday, Yurio!” Mila waved sparklers, one in each hand, and Otabek held a cupcake with a candle in it.

 

“Well, Yuri!” Mila called, “Get up here!”

 

Yuri tried and failed to keep the smile off his face. He would never admit it to them, but he was touched. He felt suddenly so grateful for all of them.

 

He tried not to run up the steps as he climbed them. As he approached, Yakov took out a lighter and lit the candle.

 

“Make a wish, Yuri,” he said.

 

“Wait, wait!” Viktor protested, waving the banner. “We have to sing happy birthday first, isn’t that right, Yuuri?”

 

Un! We definitely have to, ready everyone?” asked Yuuri, grinning.

 

They all sang in English. Yuri winced dramatically, they weren’t that bad, but he wasn’t going to tell them that.

 

“Okay, now you can make a wish. Pick a good one, Yurio!”

 

“Tch, like it matters,” Yuri grumbled, but he paused for a moment thinking. He blew out the candle and they all cheered. Mila hugged him, her weight making him stagger a little. “Watch it! You want me to fall and break something, hag?”

 

“Oh, hush!” she kissed his cheek, “I hope your wish comes true, otouto.”

 

“Gross,” Yuri said wiping at his cheek, “what did you call me?”

 

“Little brother! Japanese Yuuri taught me,” Mila said and she kissed him again. Before he could say anything else though Viktor interrupted pulling Otabek with him.

 

“Yurio, what about the cupcake, will you have it now?”

 

Yuri looked at it, and then at Otabek.

 

“I’ll have it later,” he looked away, and said softly, “thank you.”

 

“What?” asked Viktor delighted, “I didn’t hear, could you say that again?”

 

“Maybe you need a hearing aid, old man!” Yuri shouted, bristling.

 

“Alright, that’s enough! Everyone back to the rink. There will be time to celebrate later, but now I want you all to work hard, come on, move!” Yakov said, putting a hand on Yuri’s shoulder.

 

Viktor pouted as he folded the banner, “Slave driver,” he said. “I would never do that to my student.”

 

“And I,” Yakov said drily, “would never marry mine.”

 

Yuri and Yuuri burst out laughing. Viktor’s smile slipped.

 

“Come on, Vitya,” said Yuuri still chuckling; he took Viktor’s hand. “I’m going to need your help if I’m going to beat Yurio again this year.”

 

“Ptff, as if,” Yuri said, clearly gearing up to throw more insults at the couple.

 

“ENOUGH,” Yakov boomed. “PRACTICE. NOW.”

 

“Yes, coach,” they all chorused meekly, and made their way down to the rink.

 

Once they were at the rink Yuuri handed him the banner they made for him as well as a little box with the cupcake in it. Yuri tried to protest but Yuuri firmly pressed them into his hands and walked away. Yuri sighed like he was being horribly inconvenienced.

 

“Here, I’ve got these, Yurochka, “said Yakov as he took the things from Yuri’s hands. “Now, let’s go over some points for today.”

 

Yuri listened as he watched the others on the ice. His eyes caught a flash of red as Mila made her way over to Otabek. She skated around him before stopping at his side. She said something to him and laughed. Otabek didn’t seem to respond, and she leaned into him, saying something into his ear. Otabek’s expression became a little surprised and he blushed. Yuri watched in disbelief as Mila laughed again, said something else and skated away. Otabek was left standing there flushed, then he looked over at Yuri.

 

Yuri stared at him wide-eyed, a strange and unpleasant mix of emotions running through him. He felt hot and cold at the same time. Otabek looked away, and Yuri felt like he might be sick.

 

“Yuri, are you listening?” Yakov asked, frowning at him.

 

“Yes,” Yuri said, glancing at Yakov, then back to Otabek, and then at his feet.

 

“Yuri, if this is about that boy…” Yakov started.

 

Yuri practically jumped out of his skin. The last thing he wanted was to talk about it right now, to Yakov.

 

“You’re delirious,” he said flatly, “now is that everything? Can I practice now or what?”

 

Yakov pursed his lips together, but he nodded. Yuri made his way to the ice in relief. What he wanted to do right now was move, work hard, and concentrate on something he could control.

 

He took short breaks, always making sure Otabek had taken his break already before he allowed himself to take any so they wouldn’t be off the ice at the same time. He avoided Mila too, for good measure, though truthfully he wasn’t upset at either of them, he was mad at himself.

 

If he stopped to think about it…No, he could not think about it right now. It was definitely not the time or place to think about it. He would push it all aside, and wait until he was alone. He knew Viktor would ask to take him out with everyone tonight, but he was going straight home after practice. He would change into his pajamas, curl up on his couch with Sofiya and either think about things calmly, or sob so hard he’d scare his cat. Maybe both. But, for now, he was focused on his skating; he wasn’t going to lose to Katsudon, or anyone else for that matter.

 

Hours later, when Yakov finally called him off, and Yuri decided to listen; he made his way to the edge of the rink. A few feet away were Yuuri and Viktor. Again they were leaning into each other as Viktor gestured animatedly and Yuuri listened with a serious expression on his face.

 

“Tch,” Yuri looked away from them and took the bottle of water Yakov handed him in exchange for the towel he had just wiped his face with.

 

As he drank his water he saw his other rink mates emerge from the change room. Mila and Georgi laughed together, Otabek walking beside them. Yuri felt his heart throb.

 

Suddenly music played loudly from Yuuri and Viktor’s direction. It was the Eros music Yuuri had skated to years ago when Viktor had first become his coach. Everyone turned to look as Viktor took a phone out of his pocket and looked at Yuuri in surprise. Yuuri had just yelped at the sound and straightened up so fast he nearly unbalanced. Yuri watched in confusion.

 

“Viktor!” Yuuri said loudly and urgently, “Pass me the phone, hurry, hurry!”

 

Viktor handed Yuuri the phone, his expression becoming just as urgent.

 

“Hey, what’s – “ Mila began, but stopped when Viktor and Yuuri both shushed her furiously.

 

Yuuri answered the phone, “Aa, moshi-moshi?”

 

While no one but Viktor could understand much of anything Yuuri was saying, they all silently listened to the one-sided conversation. Yuuri was shaking slightly holding Viktor’s hand tightly; Yuri could hear the tremor in his voice as he spoke.

 

What was going on?

 

Yuri hesitated, then made his way over to the gate, and took off his skates with Mila’s help. Otabek had looked like he was about to offer, but stopped when Mila rushed forward. Yuri looked away and nodded to her in thanks.

 

With a quick glance at each other, they all made their way over, as one to the couple, who still held on to each like they were lifelines.

 

Hai, hai. Hai. Arigatou gozaimashita! Honto ni arigatou! Hai, ashita, arigatou.” Yuuri hung up, hands trembling. He looked at Viktor who looked back at him. They gazed at each other in wonder for a moment, both looked teary.

 

Yuri couldn’t help it; he exchanged a look with Otabek.

 

“Oi!” he yelled, turning back to the couple. “Will one of you tell us what the hell is going on?” He thought it was obvious he was concerned, but he asked like he was exasperated with them.

 

“W-well,” Yuuri began, a catch in his throat. He handed the phone back to Viktor who pocketed it and took his other hand. Yuuri took a deep breath and looked at the Russians plus Otabek. “That was the adoption agency in Japan, our application has been approved, and we are officially candidates for adoption.” Tears slipped down Yuuri’s cheeks as he spoke, he looked back at Viktor who had not looked away from him.

 

“We’re going to have a baby,” Viktor said, presumably to them, but he kept looking at Yuuri.

 

“Yes,” Yuuri breathed.

 

Mila and Georgi cheered and instantly Viktor and Yuuri were in each other’s arms. They both laughed, tears streaming down both their faces. Mila and Georgi jumped up and down together, and simultaneously grabbed Yakov and hugged him hard. Yakov protested, but made no move to pull away.

 

Yuri watched as Viktor and Yuuri clutched each other at the edge of the rink and shook his head turning away to hide his smile. He looked up and found Otabek watching him. Yuri’s stomach did a little flip.

 

“Yuri,” Otabek began, but was interrupted by Viktor’s sudden shout.

 

“All right, everyone!” he called, his cheeks flushed and eyes bright, he beamed at them all. “We have to celebrate! Today Yurio turns nineteen, and Yuuri and I become expectant parents.”

 

Yuuri gently withdrew his hands from Viktor’s and skated closer to Yuri.

 

“Is that okay with you, Yuri? We don’t mean to take attention away from your birthday, we can focus solely on you today,” Yuuri said, smiling radiantly.

 

Yuri felt his ears burn, and he shrugged looking away, “Yeah, whatever, I guess.”

 

Viktor cheered. Yuuri reached out, and under cover of the noise said quietly to Yuri, “Thank you, and happy birthday.”

 

Yuri glanced back at him, “Congratulations,” he said softly.

 

Yuuri beamed at him and squeezed his shoulder briefly before letting go and skating to the gate. Viktor rushed forward and helped Yuuri off the ice.

 

“Be careful, my love,” Viktor said, a little dramatically, voice low.

 

Yuuri blushed, “Viktor, what are you doing?”

 

“Well, I have to take care of you now that we’re expecting,” said Viktor reasonably.

 

No one said anything for a moment and then Yuri swore loudly.

 

“Are you fucking kidding me, Nikiforov?” demanded Yuri and everyone laughed.

 

Mila suddenly rushed over to Yuri and urged him to get changed so they could all leave. Yuri grumbled but did as he was told and when he and Yuuri were done they all set off to celebrate.

Chapter Text

Cause everything inside me looks like

Everything I hate

You are the hope I have for change

You are the only chance I'll take

- Switchfoot “On fire”


“Everyone, everyone!” Viktor yelled, fighting to be heard over the music in the bar and the sound of many other voices speaking. “I’d just like to say,” he stood as he cleared his throat dramatically. “That I’m very proud and grateful to know this young man here,” he swept his arm in Yuri’s direction, and the young man in question sank a little in his seat, embarrassed. “He’s a talented skater, a hardworking person and truly an important member of my family, happy birthday, Yurio.” Viktor raised his glass, drank, and then cheered with everyone.

 

“Wait, wait!” Viktor shouted, the beginnings of a slur in his voice, “I’m not done!” He turned to Yuuri, “I also want to say that I’m grateful for and proud of my husband. Not only is he handsome, talented and really just adorable, I mean look at him!” Yuuri blushed and tried to gesture for Viktor to sit down, at this point he had the attention of several surrounding tables.

 

“But,” Viktor continued, “he’s also kind and considerate. He’s thoughtful, and loving and I’m so happy to be starting a family with him. Yuuri, I love you, to my beautiful husband!” Viktor drank again and there was louder cheering now. Yuuri and Yuri exchanged a look.

 

They were at a bar in the tourist area of St. Petersburg. Yakov had left after twenty minutes with gruff goodbyes and pats on the back. Mila, Georgi, Otabek, Yuri, Viktor and Yuuri were all at a table close to the bar. They were a few rounds in and obviously Viktor was not counting. Yuuri finally managed to get him to sit down and when he stood to get some water people from nearby tables congratulated him.

 

“Yurio, Yurio,” Viktor said grandly, sliding into Yuuri’s now empty seat. “I never thought things would be like this. I can’t believe I’m so happy, you know?” Viktor blinked and then peered at him intently. “Do you know? Hey, if you ever want to talk, I’m here for you.” Viktor patted his shoulder with a little too much force.

 

“You reek, old man,” Yuri said shrugging him off, “I’m going to get something to drink.”

 

Viktor perked up, “Great idea! Get me something too, son!”

 

Yuri resisted the urge to tell him off and walked over to the bar. He saw Yuuri there looking flustered as he spoke to three young women, who, if Yuri was right, were probably from Latin America.

 

“Ah, thank you very much,” Yuuri said in English, somewhat sheepishly.

 

“Oh, you’re so welcome!” said one of the women; she was tall and had dark brown curly hair.

 

“You two make such a beautiful couple!” said another; she was short, with dark straight hair and deeply bronzed skin.

 

“All the best to you and your family!” said the third, who bore a strong resemblance to the second woman, only taller and obviously older.

 

“Thank you very much!” said Yuuri with a small bow as the women walked away waving.

 

Yuuri sighed a little in relief as they left and caught sight of Yuri.

 

“Ah, Yurio, are you getting something to drink?”

 

“Yeah, water.”

 

“Oh? No more vodka, or whatever it was Viktor was drinking.”

 

“Ugh, no. Like I want to end up like him,” he said with a glance back in Viktor’s direction. The retired skater had moved to the other side of the table and squeezed himself in between Mila and Otabek, his arm around the latter, chattering happily.

 

Yuuri shook his head but he smiled fondly as he did so.

 

“He’s so happy,” Yuuri said, his eyes shining.

 

“Yeah, that’s what he said,” Yuri replied, leaning with his back against the bar watching his fellow skaters.

 

Yuuri glanced at him sidelong and took a sip of water.

 

“Yes, well, that’s what happens when you’re in love. It can really transform you, and you’re so happy you can’t physically contain it sometimes. It’s not always like that, obviously, but it can be, when it’s right and works out.”

 

Yuri had a feeling this was Katsudon’s not so subtle way of starting a conversation with him and frankly he was…a little relieved. He had been debating the best way to broach the subject without completely compromising his dignity. This was definitely helpful. He took a deep breath and steeled himself for the rest of this conversation.

 

“What did you do when you realized you loved him?” he asked bluntly. Oh well, screw tact, he needed answers.

 

Now Yuuri turned to look at him a little surprised. He drank more water to try and hide his reaction while also considering the question.

 

“Hmm, well,” Yuuri said, smiling. “I suppose I went out and bought a bunch of posters and then binge watched his skating programs with Yuuko.”

 

“Ha fucking ha.”

 

Yuuri laughed.

 

“Sorry,” he said and then paused. He put his glass down and gazed at Viktor. “I guess - I guess I didn’t really do anything right away. Viktor is such a flirt sometimes, I wasn’t sure at first if he was sincere and I really thought I would be completely happy with a platonic relationship. But,” Yuuri looked down for a moment, obviously remembering something. “After we were separated when Viktor left to take care of Makkachin, I realized I couldn’t do that. I wouldn’t be satisfied with only the occasional touches or looks, I realized I had to be with him always.”

 

“So, what did you do?” Yuri asked, trying to sound impatient when he really wasn’t.

 

“I asked him to stay with me until I retired,” he said smiling fondly at the memory. “And, then we got engaged.” Yuuri said turning to look at the younger man. He laughed at Yuri’s expression.

 

“I don’t recommend everyone make that progression so quickly, but at that point we were just torturing each other. We were both just so sure we couldn’t possibly be so lucky as to have our feelings returned. We both knew, we were just scared we would change things, that we would lose what we had and each other.”

 

Yuri looked away. He glanced down at the glass of water he held and took a long slow drink. This was more relatable than he had expected it to be.

 

“Okay,” Yuri said, “but how did you know?” he asked, turning to look at Yuuri, all pretense gone.

 

“You just…know,” he said and Yuri made a noise of frustration. “Sorry, sorry,” said Yuuri placating. “It’s hard to describe, it’s just a feeling. I mean, you’re not sure, but you sort of just know. That feeling isn’t always right, people can be wrong, but in the end, you’ll never know if you don’t take that chance. You have to talk to that person, only they can tell you for sure.”

 

Yuri looked away. He felt Yuuri’s hand on his shoulder.

 

“Yuri,” he said seriously, “talk to him. Otabek really cares about you, he won’t treat you unkindly and either way you need to talk in order to move forward.”

 

He was right and Yuri was not surprised Katsudon had hit the nail on the head. Yuri looked back at the older man and nodded. Before he could do or say anything, Yuuri grabbed him and hugged him hard.

 

“Everything will be okay, and you can always talk to me if you need anything.”

 

If anyone mentioned it later he would deny it with every fiber of his being, but in that moment, he hugged Yuuri back. Briefly. And, then he was pushing him away and grumbling.

 

“Okay!” Yuuri said brightly, “I have to try and get my husband to drink some water and we’ll probably head out soon. We’ll see you later, happy birthday again, Yurio!”

 

Yuri made a noise of acknowledgment and watched as Yuuri firmly pried Viktor off Otabek and sat him down in his original seat. He watched as Yuuri, a stern expression on his face, passed Viktor the water. He looked away as movement caught his eye. Standing up and then walking toward him was Otabek.

 

Yuri became suddenly very self-conscious. He was very aware of his posture and the way he held his arms. He tried to ignore that feeling and the fluttering of nerves in his stomach. He also wished he had a mirror so he could see what kind of expression he was making. Yuri tried to casually run a hand through his hair pulling it forward so it obscured more of his face.

 

“Yuri,” Otabek said by way of greeting when he finally reached him.

 

“Those two are crazy,” Yuri replied as if they had been in the middle of a conversation, turning so his back was to his rink mates. “They are going to make such weird parents. You know they asked if I’d be a godparent? Neither of them are actually really religious, or Catholic, or whatever, but they like the concept.” Yuri shook his head.

 

“What did you tell them?”

“I said I would,” Yuri replied as nonchalantly as he could, “someone has to be a sane voice of a reason for that kid.”

 

Otabek chuckled.

 

“That sounds like you, Yura.”

 

Yuri felt his face warm.

 

“A-anyway,” he said, not sure what else to say, just trying to fill the silence.

 

“Yura, I was wondering if I could walk you home.”

 

Yuri finally turned to look at Otabek. His friend was looking at him intently, his expression open and honest, the way it always was with Yuri.

 

“Yeah,” Yuri said, not looking away from him, “okay, let’s go.”

 

Otabek looked a little taken aback.

 

“I didn’t mean right now, we can leave when you’re ready…”

 

“I’m ready now. Katsudon and the geezer are leaving soon anyway.” He glanced over at their table and sure enough, Yuuri was coaxing a slightly swaying Viktor into his coat.

 

Otabek frowned at them.

 

“How are they getting home?”

 

“Georgi said he’d drive them, but without Yakov’s car not all of us can get a ride. So, I guess it’s a good thing we’re walking.”

 

Otabek smiled at him and they both made their way back to the table. They grabbed their coats and scarfs and Otabek helped Yuuri steer Viktor out of the bar. He was, not surprisingly, popular with the other guests. People cheered and called out to them as they left, congratulating them and wishing them luck.

 

“How the fuck did this old man have time to charm all those people?” Yuri demanded in disbelief as they walked toward Georgi’s car.

 

Mila laughed.

 

“Oh, please Yuri,” she said, “as if Viktor isn’t one of the most recognizable Russian athletes in this generation. Plus, the rest of us aren’t exactly unknown either. It’s just what happens when beautiful, fit, athletic stars head out.” She winked at him.

 

Yuri scowled at her.

 

They got to Gerogi’s car and Viktor suddenly became extremely clingy with Yuuri, which made it somewhat easier for them to get him to go into the car. Once everyone was in they drove off, but not before Yuuri sternly reminded them to text him when they got home. Once they drove off Yuri sighed in relief and the two of them started walking.

 

“Geez, they’re such a pain.”

 

“I don’t think they’re that bad. They’re excited, and in love. They’re proud of you and of the life they’ve built together, I think it’s nice.”

 

Otabek’s expression didn’t change as he spoke, and he looked straight ahead as he did. Yuri watched him as he tried to decide what to do. When Otabek looked back at him Yuri looked away, unable to stop himself.

 

“…Yeah, I guess…” was all he could say.

 

They walked in mostly companionable silence for a few minutes. They were not too far from Yuri’s apartment at this point, but usually he could fill in the silence effortlessly. It wasn’t exactly awkward, but it was different.

 

Without any prior indication he would, Otabek took Yuri’s hand as they walked.

 

This wasn’t the first time they held hands. Still, Yuri’s heart started beating an almost painful rhythm.

 

Say something, he thought furiously.

 

“Did you have a good birthday, Yura?” Otabek asked him, smiling as they walked.

 

“Uh, yeah, I – Yes.” What the fuck was that?

 

Otabek looked at him, “Are you alright?”

 

“Mmm,” he replied. Oh, for the love of – just start talking, IDIOT.

 

Otabek raised an eyebrow at him, obviously not convinced.

 

Just. Say. It.

 

“Beka, actually I – I wanted to tell you something…” Yuri trailed off, unsure how to continue. He suddenly felt like this whole thing was a mistake. Like he was the dumbest person in the world. Like everything was obviously just in his head, and his body was playing a stupid prank on him and his heart had decided to join in, just to spite him. He couldn’t, he couldn’t do this.

 

TellhimtellhimtellhimTELLHIM

 

As if sensing his struggle Otabek stopped walking and stood in front of him, still holding his hand. At this point they were a few buildings away from Yuri’s apartment.

 

Otabek didn’t say anything; he just stood and waited patiently for him to speak. His expression was calm and as always, the way Otabek looked at him made Yuri feel like he really saw him.

 

Yuri took a deep breath. He normally loved the way Otabek looked at him, but now he worried his friend would see too much.

 

He suddenly remembered Mila.

 

“Wait,” Yuri said, “I wanted to ask you something.”

 

“Ask me,” Otabek replied.

 

“It’s about Mila…” Yuri almost couldn’t believe he was saying this. He couldn’t help it. He was jealous he realized, and he needed to know what that scene earlier was about before he said anything. “This morning you were talking, and she said something – “

 

Otabek looked at him and he blushed again. Yuri looked at him with the same expression of disbelief.

 

“There!” he exclaimed pointing at his face. “You made the same expression! What the hell did she say?”

 

Otabek used his free hand to scratch the back of his head before he answered.

 

“She asked if I liked her hair. I didn’t really say anything, but then she asked if I liked your hair.” He paused. “She said I didn’t have to reply because it was obvious I did. And, she’s right, I do.”

 

Yuri fought to calm himself down.

 

“And, yesterday?” he saked.

 

“Yesterday?” Otabek repeated, “Oh, she said she was glad to see me again and that she was happy you were happy with me here.”

 

Say it now

 

“Oh, um, okay.” Yuri replied.

 

“Was that what you wanted to talk about?”

 

SAY IT NOW

 

“No,” he looked away and cleared his throat, unable to help stalling a little. His face burned and his stomach knotted as he spoke. “It’s sort of about last night. I – “ he looked at Otabek, who gazed back at him and squeezed his hand gently.

 

“Look,” Yuri said, clearly getting frustrated. “This – this doesn’t have to change things, okay? I’m an idiot and I think I’ve felt like this for a while now, but I just - I didn’t know!” He said, voice raised, tone defensive. Yuri looked at Otabek’s slightly confused but still calm expression and lost a little of his steam. “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had,” Yuri said in a rush, “and I like you, okay? I like you…”

 

Yuri couldn’t bring himself to look at Otabek now. He could feel the lump in his throat grow, and he felt worse than he did the first time he ever competed, wrecked with nerves.

 

“Okay, I like you too, Yura,” said Otabek.

 

Yuri made a noise of frustration and pulled at Otabek’s hand, a little harder then he meant to. The older man was forced to take a step forward, much closer to Yuri now, and he had to tilt his head up slightly to look him in the eye.

 

Yuri could feel the blush on his cheeks, down his neck and probably his chest, but he forced himself to look at Otabek.

 

“No,” he said fiercely, “I mean I like you! Really like - ! Like, like – “ Yuri glanced around trying to think of a good comparison, something to explicitly let Otabek know how he felt. He looked back at Otabek, he thought of his dream, and he kissed him.

 

It was hardly even a kiss. Yuri chickened out almost as soon as his lips touched Otabek’s, he couldn’t stand the idea he might be forcing himself on his friend and he quickly pulled away. He was pretty sure he couldn’t get any redder and the pounding in his ears was the loudest he had heard yet.

 

He covered his mouth with the back of his hand not looking at his friend, absolutely mortified. He tried to pull his hand out of the other man’s grasp, but Otabek’s hold only tightened. Yuri stilled and his chest inflated painfully with hope. He looked at Otabek.

 

There it was again. That look that had come back to him in his dreams. The one that had made his stomach flutter at the ice rink, at his apartment, and right now was making Yuri a little crazy.

 

“Yurochka,” Otabek said, he sounded a little hoarse, and he swallowed hard. Yuri watched him in wonder.

 

“I understand what you mean, I know exactly how you feel.”

 

Looking into Otabek’s intense gaze, Yuri thought he would be the death of him. He really didn’t mind if Otabek was the death of him.

 

Worth it, he thought.

 

Otabek lifted his free hand to Yuri’s face, slowly and gently tucking his hair behind his ear and letting his hand slide down across his cheek in a caress. Just like in his dream.

 

They looked at each for a moment. Yuri bright red and Otabek lightly flushed. They briefly let each other’s hands go so they could hold them again, this time lacing their fingers through each other’s. At almost the same moment they both moved forward. Yuri leaned down slightly and Otabek rested his forehead on Yuri’s. Their breaths mingled, both of them breathing more quickly.

 

“I love you, Yura.”

 

Yuri closed his eyes. He wanted those words tattooed across his heart; he wanted that to be the last thing he ever heard. His heart felt like it would expand out of his chest.

 

“Beka,” Yuri whispered, right before Otabek kissed him.

 

This was a real kiss. Otabek held the side of Yuri’s face, tilting his head to better angle the kiss and Yuri grabbed at the front of Otabek’s coat. Yuri wasn’t completely sure what he was doing, but he followed Otabek’s lead, kissing him slowly, reveling in the sensation.

 

All too soon Otabek pulled away. He didn’t move too far, and they still gripped each other’s hand tightly.

 

“Was that okay?” Otabek asked, his eyes darker than usual, but his expression just as honest as it always was.

 

“Are you asking for a rating? A scale of one to ten?” Yuri said before he could stop himself.

 

Otabek laughed in surprise and Yuri couldn’t help but smile.

 

“No,” he replied wryly, still smiling, “that’s not what I meant. I mean, I didn’t ask.”

 

Yuri frowned at him in confusion.

 

“What?”

 

“I told you, Yura. It’s difficult for me to take without permission.”

 

Yuri looked at him in surprise for a moment and then in mild irritation.

 

“You know, I’m going to get pretty annoyed if you stop to ask me every time we kiss. I’ve already told you, you don’t need to ask, when it comes to me, you can have everything.”

 

Otabek looked at him in surprise. Yuri felt his cheeks warm. That was way more than he had meant to say.

 

“Idiot,” he grumbled, looking away, “with your stupid question, you made me say something weird.”

 

Otabek tugged at Yuri’s hand until he finally looked back at him. Otabek was gazing at him so fondly Yuri felt the look down to his toes.

 

“I’ll try to keep that in mind,” he said, tone slightly playful.

 

Yuri hit him softly on the shoulder. Otabek grabbed that hand too and ran his thumbs over the backs of Yuri’s hands.

 

“You really should wear gloves, Yura, your hands are ice.”

 

Yuri smiled a little impishly.

 

“If I did you wouldn’t be constantly touching them.”

 

Otabek smiled too, “Let’s get you home, it’s been a long day.”

 

“Yeah,” Yuri replied, releasing one of Otabek’s hands so they could walk the rest of the way to his apartment.

 

They walked in silence again, but this time the silence didn’t feel weird or awkward, it felt natural. In that moment, they didn’t need words.

Chapter Text

I've tried to hide it so that no one knows

But I guess it shows

When you look into my eyes

What you did and where you're comin’ from

I don't care, as long as you love me

-The Backstreet Boys “As long as you love me”


 

  Yuri turned in bed so he went from lying on his side to lying on his back. He sighed deeply and opened his eyes, he was wide awake. He wanted to go the rink and skate; he wanted to feel the cool air on his face, and to find an outlet for all this restless energy. He closed his eyes and as had been happening for hours now, he saw Otabek in his minds eye.

 

Soft brown eyes, warm gentle hands, sweet burning kisses…

 

Pull yourself together! He thought furiously, but grinned in spite of himself. He didn’t know it was possible to lose sleep because you were so happy. He felt like adrenaline still ran through his veins. He was a mess of excited and nervous energy, he usually only felt something like this before competitions, but even then it was easier to handle the emotions because he had so many eyes on him, he couldn’t let his feelings surface.

 

Now however, there was no one to see as he covered his face with his hands, trying desperately to suppress the almost omnipresent smile he wore since Otabek had kissed him. Fucking hell, he thought, is this why Viktor and Katsudon are always so gross? Maybe I’m too hard on them…

 

“Ptff, yeah, right,” he said aloud, causing Sofiya to sleepily blink at him. He softly pet her head until she lowered it and went back to sleep.

 

He sighed again and reached for his phone. Once he had gotten home he had texted Katsudon, not because he had been asked, but because he knew he and Viktor were liable to start calling and possibly come over to check on him if he didn’t. He had then put his phone in his room to charge. So he hadn’t actually looked at it since he had first tried to sleep about two hours ago. He frowned as he saw he had several texts.

 

He looked at his conversations; one of the messages was from Otabek.

 

12:05am           Goodnight, Yura, see you tomorrow <3

 

Yuri smiled feeling content and happy. He looked at his other conversations and realized all the other messages were from Katsudon

 

12:00am             Ok, thanks for letting me know!

12:00 am               Tell Otabek to message me too when he gets home!

12:01am                  Sleep well, Yurio!

12:01 am               Oh, and think about what we talked about, ok?

12:02am                 :)

12:03am                tel otabae 2 be gntle wt ma yrio~!!!!

12:03am                !!!!

12:04am                I no whre e libes!

12:04am                he loves***

12:04am                LOLLL

12:05am               (☞゚∀゚)☞

12:05am               ayyyyyyyyy

12:07am               Oh my gosh! Yurio I’m so sorry!

12:07am               Viktor stole my phone and wouldn’t give it back!

12:07am               I’m so sorry to have bothered you!

12:08am               I swear I didn’t tell him anything!

12:08am               I’m sorry!!!! Please don’t be mad!!!

 

Yuri started at his screen in disbelief. He swore, this time making Sofiya meow indignantly as she jumped off his bed and wandered out of his room to somewhere less noisy.

 

“That shithead,” he said through gritted teeth, feeling himself blush. “That poor excuse for a coach, that son of a – “

 

Yuri stopped in mid sentence as he saw that he had just received a message from Otabek.

 

2:15am                 Yura are you awake?

 

Yuri felt his heart skip a beat. He typed hastily.

 

2:15am                      Beka! yes! im surprsed ur awke

 

2:15am                      Me too, but I couldn’t sleep

2:16am                      I miss you

 

Yuri felt a rush of warmth making his heart pound, his hands tremble slightly, and making him smile so wide it almost hurt.

 

2:16am                      idiot

2:16am                      u jst saw me

 

2:17am                      I know, sorry

 

2:17am                      tf r u apolgzin 4???

 

Yuri hesitated and then typed.

 

2:18am                      i thnk its cute

2:18am                      i miss u 2

 

2:19am                      Do you have some time tomorrow after practice?

 

2:19am                      yeh, y???

 

2:20am                      Come over, I’ll make dinner

2:20am                      Please

 

Yuri rolled his eyes still smiling. Typical Otabek, he had to ask like it was possible Yuri would say no to something like that.

 

2:21am                      IDIOT

2:21am                      OF COURSE

 

2:21am                      :)

2:22am                      We should sleep

 

            Yuri quickly pushed down a faint twinge of disappointment. He wanted to keep talking.

 

2:22am                      r u tellin me 2 stfu???

2:22am                      jk

2:22am                      yeh, k, gnite

 

2:23am                      You know I’m not

2:23am                      Good night Yura

2:23am                      I love you

 

Yuri bit his lip, heart pounding. His fingers hovered over his screen; he started to type “i lo” but erased it and quickly closed the conversation. He squeezed his eyes shut.

 

Shit, he thought, what the hell is wrong with me?

 

He got up, went to use the washroom, coaxed Sofiya into letting him pick her up, and went back to bed. He stroked his cat and took deep breaths. It would be okay, Otabek would understand, but he would need to talk to him about this. He sighed, for what felt like the hundredth time that night, and closed his eyes. Suddenly he felt exhausted and he was almost instantly asleep.

 

***

 

“Yuuuuri,” Viktor called, pouting, “let’s go home! I’m sleepy!”

 

Yuuri gave him a rather unimpressed look. He turned away in a bit of a huff.

 

“And, whose fault is that?” Yuuri called over his shoulder.

 

“Yuuri,” Viktor pleaded, “my love, my light, my life, my – “

 

“SHUT UP!” Yuri roared ripping off his headphones. “I’m gonna go deaf trying to drown you two out with music! Just get the fuck out of here both of you!”

 

Viktor turned puppy dog eyes to Yuri.

 

“I’m sorry Yurio! If this is about the texts – “

 

“DON’T TALK TO ME ABOUT THOSE FUCKING TEXTS, OLD MAN!” Yuri shouted, turning to face Viktor completely, gearing up for a fight.

 

Yuuri skated over to his husband.

 

“Not another word, you don’t need to dig yourself any deeper than you already have,” he said to Viktor, still looking miffed.

 

Viktor subsided looking chastened. As Yuuri walked off the rink to the change room Viktor lingered watching as Yuri sighed and made his way over to the gate too.

 

Yuri shot him a glare.

 

“What is it, old man?”

 

Viktor looked at him seriously for a moment before he spoke.

 

“You know I really am sorry. I never meant to belittle your feelings or make light of your situation. I apologize if I made you feel like I didn’t care about your emotions and what you’re going through.”

 

Yuri scoffed.

 

“Okay, whatever.”

 

“Yurio, I’m serious.”

 

“Fine, okay. Apology fucking accepted, happy?” Yuri replied, stepping off the ice and stomping over to the bench where he left his water bottle. 

 

Viktor sighed, trailing after him.

 

“About this? Not particularly. Yurio, I’m really sorry – “

 

“Okay!” Yuri snapped, “I get it, that’s not the problem anyway, so just shut up about it already!”

 

Viktor frowned at him.

 

“What’s the problem then,” he asked tilting his head slightly trying to see Yuri’s face.

 

Yuri tugged the elastic out of his hair, freeing it from his messy bun, and allowing it to hide most of his face.

 

“Nothing, why the hell are you always so annoying?” He took a big gulp of water trying to calm down.

 

“I care about you. I worry. Your trust means a lot to me and I want to help you if I can.”

 

Yuri clutched the bottle and bit the inside of his cheek.

 

“Otabek said he loves me,” he blurted. Shit, why the hell did he always end up talking to the has-been and Katsudon? He needed more friends. Not that they were his friends, obviously.

 

Otabek’s words came back to him.

 

“Sometimes, family are the ones to push ours buttons the most, since they know us so well.”

 

“He did?” Viktor asked, interrupting Yuri’s thoughts, “Then what’s wrong? I’m sure he means it. Or is it that you don’t feel the same way?”

 

“No!” Yuri said, whipping his head up so fast he almost gave himself whiplash.

 

“Then? What’s wrong?”

 

Yuri hesitated.

 

“It’s just - ” he sighed frustrated with his situation, his feelings and the fact that he had to talk about them. “I just – I can’t…I just can’t really, you know, say it…” Yuri looked away face burning.

 

Viktor looked at him in some surprise and then his expression softened.

 

“Yuri, listen to me,” he said, voice low and serious. “That’s not uncommon. Sometimes, for whatever reason, even though we feel a million things for someone, we can’t say them. It could be a question of time, or it could be something you need to work out about yourself or the other person, but it happens. What’s important is that you talk to the person. Let them know what’s happening, that it’s not that you don’t feel anything, but that you can’t put it into words. Maybe you can write it down? If it’s Otabek, he’ll understand. I’m sure.” Viktor reached out and squeezed his shoulder briefly in reassurance. He withdrew his hand as Yuuri walked in.

 

“Ready to go?” Yuuri asked Viktor, but was looking at Yuri.

 

Viktor too looked at Yuri. The young man straightened up and tossed his waist length hair over his shoulder.

 

“He’s ready to leave, thank God. Get out of here already, has-been.”

 

Viktor smiled at him, a little too knowingly. Yuri turned away but both older men still caught his faint smile.

 

“Okay, okay,” Viktor said, placating, “we’re going. See you tomorrow, Yurio!”

 

“Take care!” Yuuri called and they walked off hand in hand.

 

Yuri went to the change room and fished his phone out of his bag. He took a deep breath and messaged Otabek.

 

done practce

omw

 

***

 

“So,” Yuri said shrugging off his coat, “this is where you’re staying.”

 

“For now,” Otabek agreed. “I have to move in two days.”

 

Otabek took Yuri’s coat and scarf hanging them up neatly. Yuri sniffed the air appreciatively.

 

“It smells good,” he said smiling, suddenly a little shy and not quite able to look Otabek in the eye.

 

“Thank you, I’m glad you think so. I’m almost done, please have a seat,” he said politely gesturing to the little table by the kitchen with two chairs. Otabek was in a sort of boarding house, but he had a kitchenette, the bathroom was shared and there was no living room, just space to the side for a bed.

 

“Do you know what your new place will be like?” Yuri asked, sitting down.

 

“It will be a little bigger than this, and I won’t have to share a washroom,” Otabek said over his shoulder as he stirred something on a little burner.

 

“I wish my place were bigger, then you could stay with me,” Yuri replied without thinking.

 

As soon as the words were out of his mouth Yuri wished he could shove them back in. Otabek didn’t reply for a moment, just kept stirring. Yuri thought frantically, trying to find a way to cover his slip.

 

“I appreciate that Yura,” Otabek said finally, setting down a wooden cooking spoon on the counter and turning to smile gently at Yuri. “Maybe, one day.”

 

Yuri felt his insides melt. How is he real, he thought. Otabek had a way of saying exactly the right thing when Yuri made a verbal blunder, and this time was no different.

 

Yuri cleared his throat and looked away, his cheeks faintly pink.

 

“Yeah…”

 

“Would you like some tea?”

 

“Yes!” Yuri said, a little too quickly.

 

Tea would give him something to do with his hands, and be something else to concentrate on rather than how attractive Otabek looked just then. He had taken a shower before Yuri arrived, so his hair was still a little damp, he wore faded dark blue jeans, and a black long sleeved shirt with the sleeves pushed up past his elbows. Yuri didn’t know why, but the sight of him looking so domestic was very appealing.

 

He watched as Otabek poured water into a kettle and set it to boil, then took out two mugs. Yuri leaned his elbow on the table, resting his chin on his hand and watched Otabek move around his kitchen. He breathed deeply. It really did smell good, it smelled warm (if that was possible), faintly spicy, and like…Otabek. Yuri half closed his eyes and smiled, relaxing.

 

Yuri began to chat idly about his day. Otabek finished brewing the tea and poured some for them both. While Yuri talked seated at the little table, Otabek was either tending the food or leaning against the counter looking at him, but either way the atmosphere was light, peaceful and Yuri let it melt away his worries, for now.

 

“So, then Mila said she could still lift me and she probably would have tried, but Yakov yelled at her,” Yuri sniggered. “Serves her right, that old hag.”

 

Otabek brought him a plate of food and set one down for himself sitting opposite Yuri. He smiled, and Yuri’s insides squirmed.

 

“Ah, thank you,” Yuri said, hastily taking a bite. “It’s good!”

 

Otabek chuckled.

 

“You sound surprised.”

 

Yuri flushed.

 

“What, no!” he said hastily, and looked over at the older man to see the teasing expression on his face. “You bastard, you know that’s not what I meant.”

 

Otabek smiled and started to eat too.

 

“Oh, you know, Mila said something interesting today.” Yuri said suddenly, putting his spoon down thoughtfully.

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yeah…” Yuri considered. “I can’t remember exactly what she said, but something about the way she talked about a friend of hers sort of made it sound like…” Yuri shrugged expressively, “kind of like maybe something is happening there? I dunno.” Yuri took another bite and chewed thoughtfully.

 

Otabek raised an eyebrow at him.

 

“It’s rare of you to comment on the romantic relationships of others,” he said evenly.

 

“Yeah well,” Yuri said around a mouthful, “I kind of thought, you know, she was flirting with you…before.”

 

Otabek’s eyebrows traveled even higher up this time.

 

“You did, why?”

 

“Just – I dunno, it kind of seemed like it. Plus you blushed!” he accused. “I still don’t get why you blushed when she said you like my hair. You tell me that too, what’s the big deal?”

 

Otabek took his time chewing and Yuri thought maybe he wouldn’t answer him. He took a sip of his tea and was about to change the subject when Otabek spoke.

 

“It wasn’t exactly what she said, so much as how she said it,” he said carefully.

 

Yuri frowned at him.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Well,” Otabek said slowly, he sighed a little and gave Yuri a level look that let him know he was about to speak very bluntly. “She said it in a really teasing way, like she already knew how I felt about you. She said, ‘I can tell from the way you look at him.’ That’s why.”

 

Yuri felt his own cheeks warm. It boggled his mind that something so simple could fluster Otabek.

 

“Well, Mila’s an idiot,” Yuri said and shoveled more food in his mouth.

 

Otabek made a noncommittal noise and continued eating as well. They finished eating in silence and now Yuri’s insides began to squirm again, but in panic. He needed to talk to Otabek and although he knew, logically, that he would not take what Yuri had to say the wrong way, he couldn’t seem to convince his stomach or his nerves of that.

 

“Want to watch something?” Otabek offered after he finished washing the dishes.

 

“Sure,” Yuri replied finishing his tea.

 

“I normally watch stuff on my bed,” Otabek said like he was thinking out loud, “but we can watch stuff here,” and he gestured at the small table.

 

Yuri made a face and walked over to Otabek’s bed.

 

“Hell no, that’s uncomfortable,” he sat down at the edge of the bed a little defiantly.

 

Otabek smiled and brought his laptop. It was rather small, about nine inches, but Otabek never complained about its size.

 

Yuri arranged Otabek’s pillows so that they could both lean against them and sit with their legs out stretched. Otabek sat on the other side of the bed, set up the show they were currently watching together and leaned back. They sat side by side and although there was nothing really wrong about that Yuri felt a little weird about it. Normally he treated Otabek like a human pillow, arranging his arms and legs in a way that suited Yuri in the moment, always confirming that Otabek was okay first, before he settled leaning, lying or reclining on the older man.

 

Looking over at Otabek Yuri desperately wanted to touch him, but he worried about where it would lead. It wasn’t that Yuri was worried about physical intimacy, he had no doubt Otabek would respect his boundaries, and he would certainly respect Otabek’s, he was worried that the moment had finally come to have a conversation. For Yuri this was infinitely more disconcerting.

 

Perhaps it was the power of Yuri’s gaze, but Otabek suddenly turned to look at him.

 

“What’s wrong? Are you uncomfortable, Yura? Do you want to lean on me?” He opened his arms to Yuri.

 

Yuri felt his heart squeeze painfully. The words were there on his tongue, but he swallowed and shifted closer to Otabek. He snuggled into his side, resting his head on Otabek’s chest. He felt at once relieved and a little guilty. It was stupid, but he felt like he was hiding something from Otabek, he didn’t want to be, but at the same time he couldn’t bring himself to just start talking about it out of nowhere.

 

They watched in silence, occasionally laughing, and Yuri soon relaxed enough to start commenting on parts of the show. Otabek stroked his hair, sometimes combing his fingers gently through long blonde locks, sometimes twirling pieces around his finger, and sometimes absentmindedly scratching at Yuri’s scalp. Yuri was in heaven. He was pretty sure he must have been a cat in his past life; he practically wanted to purr in pleasure.

 

“Thank you for coming over, today, Yura,” Otabek said softly after some time.

 

“Mmm, of course. Thank you for inviting me, Beka,” Yuri said, starting to feel quite drowsy.

 

Otabek kissed the top of his head.

 

“I love you, Yuri.”

 

Yuri felt himself run hot then cold. He was instantly awake and in that moment he felt like he might cry. He closed his eyes tightly and fisted his hand into Otabek’s shirt. He started to tremble with the effort it took to stay composed.

 

Otabek’s hand stilled in Yuri’s hair and he shifted slightly, trying to see Yuri’s face.

 

“Yura? Yura, is something wrong?” He voice was soft, low, and so obviously concerned.

 

Yuri shook his head and took a deep shuddering breath.

 

“Please, Yura, let me help you…” Otabek pleaded, trying to gently lift Yuri’s face up.

 

Yuri gave in and allowed Otabek to tilt his chin up. He looked at Otabek with such a pained expression that the older man’s eyes widened in surprised, and gently pulled him up so Yuri was sitting up again, hunched over as usual.

 

“Beka, I – “ Yuri felt tears run down his cheeks. Almost immediately he also felt Otabek’s warm fingers brush them away. He said nothing, only waited for Yuri to speak, patient as ever.

 

Yuri tried again.

 

“Beka, I can’t – I can’t – “ Otabek withdrew his hands and leaned back.

 

“Yuri, if you’ve changed your mind about us – “ he began.

 

“No!” Yuri said urgently, grabbing at Otabek’s sleeve. “No! Why the hell would you say that?”

 

Yuri’s angry tone must have helped convince Otabek of his words because he relaxed and leaned forward again.

 

“It’s just that…” Yuri looked down at the hand that clutched Otabek’s sleeve. He let it trail down and took his hand. “You know what you just said to me?”

 

Otabek said nothing for a moment; Yuri glanced up at him through wet lashes. He could see him thinking.

 

“I don’t understand.”

 

“You said you – you said you…love me…” he mumbled, just barely managing to say the words.

 

Otabek’s free hand came up to cup the side of Yuri’s face lifting it so he could look at Otabek’s calm expression.

 

“Yuri, what are you trying to tell me? Is it that you don’t feel the same? You can tell me if that’s it.”

 

“No, no!” Yuri said angrily, more tears slipping down his cheeks. “I just – I can’t say it, okay? You’ve said it a few times now and I feel like I should say something back, but I can’t say anything and I don’t want to make you feel bad, and it’s not that I don’t feel anything, I just can’t fucking say it!”

 

Otabek gently wiped away Yuri’s tears once more before slowly leaning in and kissing his forehead.

 

“Is that what you were worried about?” he asked, intense brown eyes fixed on Yuri’s face.

 

“Well yeah – “ Yuri began, feeling his cheeks warm.

 

“You don’t have to say anything.” Otabek said, placing a finger to Yuri’s mouth. “Yuri, I’m not expecting that you say anything. I told you I love you, because I do and because I’ve waited a long time to tell you. I didn’t say it because I want something or expect anything from you. I would never do that, Yura. If it makes you feel like I’m pressuring you than I won’t say it anymore. Please don’t feel like you can’t talk to me about these things. I don’t want you to be unhappy because of me.”

 

Yuri’s heart swelled with the love he couldn’t put into words. Maybe Otabek was too good for him, but he wasn’t going to ever let him go. He would work so that Otabek never felt that way with him.

 

He covered his face with both hands for a moment before letting them fall and launching himself at Otabek. He hugged him hard, arms around Otabek’s neck, face buried in his shoulder. Otabek’s strong arms came around him and held him tightly.

 

Yuri lifted his head and said softly in Otabek’s ear, “You don’t have to stop saying it, if you don’t want to. I just – “

 

“Okay,” Otabek breathed, cutting him off, also speaking into Yuri’s ear.

 

Yuri shivered. He pulled back slightly and regarded the set of Otabek’s strong jaw. He hesitated and then kissed the curve of his jaw, just below his ear. He felt Otabek’s arms tightened around him. Yuri squirmed for room and Otabek’s grip loosened. Yuri then proceeded to kiss his way down Otabek’s jaw to his chin. He pulled away and looked into the dark eyes he loved so much.

 

“Beka,” he whispered. Yuri felt Otabek shiver slightly and watched as he closed his eyes. Yuri leaned forward and gently pressed his lips against Otabek’s mouth. Yuri cupped his face as he titled his head opening his mouth to deepen the kiss. His actions were instinctive, he had never really kissed anyone before, a couple of pecks from crushes when he was a kid, but nothing prolonged, definitely nothing like this.

 

Otabek let Yuri set the pace, kissing him back slowly, allowing them both to find their rhythm. He traced the line of Yuri’s spine, under his long blonde hair, with one hand and gripped at his waist with the other. Yuri lost himself in the sensations, the warm mouth, the sweet taste, the burning feeling in his stomach, and Otabek’s wonderfully heady smell. If he had known kissing him would feel this good he would have done it ages ago.

 

Yuri pushed Otabek backed, so he was sitting with his back against the pillows once more. He kept kissing him through their movements and moved so he sat in Otabek’s lap, straddling him. Yuri kissed him again and again, each time more pleasurable than the last and his kisses became more urgent. He shifted to press himself closer to Otabek, sliding his hips up to press them against Otabek’s. They both groaned at the contact, breaking the kiss.

 

They sat for a moment, both of them breathing hard. Otabek’s hands moved down Yuri’s sides and settled on his hips.

 

“Let’s move slowly, okay?” he asked, looking up at Yuri.

 

Yuri moved his hands, which had been around Otabek’s neck, so that he cupped his face. He traced the lines of Otabek’s sharp cheekbones with his thumbs.

 

“Okay,” he said softly, and smiled.

 

Otabek smiled too and Yuri couldn’t help but lean down and kiss him again. The kiss was lingering, both of them reluctant to part, but finally Otabek did. Yuri licked his lips and sighed a little.

 

“Impatient?” Otabek asked, eyebrow raised.

 

“Whatever, asshole,” Yuri huffed, but there was no real bite to his words.

 

“Beka,” he said suddenly. Otabek waited for him for continue. “You said you’ve waited a long time to, you know, tell me…that,” Yuri said in a bit of a rush looking away. “How long exactly?”

 

Otabek looked away too for a moment before he said, a faint blush on his cheeks, “Almost two years.”

 

Yuri gaped at him.

 

“What! Really? Why the hell didn’t you say something?” he demanded.

 

Otabek smiled, “You were too young, and I could tell you weren’t ready to hear it.”

 

“Oh, fuck off, that is such a bullshit reason.” Yuri sat further back on Otabek’s lap and crossed his arms.

 

“Yurachka,” Otabek replied coaxingly, tugging on a lock of Yuri's hair, Yuri could hear amusement in his voice, and he scowled. “Yura, if you hadn’t said something the other day, I would have. It probably would have taken a bit longer, but we would have got there, trust me.”

 

Yuri was only slightly surprised that Otabek had managed to bypass his anger and get to the heart of his annoyance.

 

“I do trust you,” Yuri said, trying to maintain his anger, “you’re my boyfriend after all, idiot.”

 

Otabek smiled so warmly Yuri let the scowl fall and reached out to him again, placing his hands on Otabek’s shoulders.

 

“Yeah,” Otabek said, still smiling, “I am.”

 

Yuri smiled too; he gave into the urge and gave his boyfriend a swift kiss.

 

“Okay,” Yuri said in a business-like tone. “We have interrupted my favourite show for the last time,” he gestured at Otabek’s laptop that sat still playing. He crawled off him and played the episode again from the beginning. “Now we watch,” he demanded. Otabek nodded and allowed Yuri to sit between his legs, his head on Otabek’s chest. Otabek wrapped his arms around him.

 

Yuri sat wrapped in contentment as much as he was wrapped in Otabek’s arms. He hugged Otabek’s arms to him and leaned into his boyfriend.

 

Boyfriend, he thought. It felt right. He couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. He didn’t think he would ever find anyone else that he would want in the same ways. Emotionally or physically, the very idea repulsed him. He was lucky; he knew that he fell in love with his best friend. Even luckier that his best friend loved him back. He smiled contentedly and focused on the show.

 

This is enough, he thought, for now.

Chapter Text

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting

Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear

But, here comes the sun, here comes the sun

And I say it's all right

-The Beatles “Here comes the sun”

 


 Epilogue

 

“Okay,” Yuri said firmly, “let’s try again, ready?”

 

Hai!”

 

He cleared his throat for the little girls benefit and not because he needed to.

 

“One.”

 

“One!”

 

“Two.”

 

“Two!”

 

“Three.”

 

“Tree!”

 

Yuri paused. He sat cross-legged on the living room floor of Viktor and Yuuri’s apartment. In his lap clumsily braiding the hair of a doll sat his goddaughter, Yumiko. While she braided her doll’s hair, Yuri braided hers, and kneeling behind Yuri was Otabek, braiding Yuri’s hair. Yumiko had insisted they braid hair while Yuri tried to teach her numbers in English.

 

“Hmm, not quite,” he said, expertly weaving soft black hair. “Try again, thr-ee.”

 

Thr-ee!”

 

Yuri could feel Otabek laugh behind him. He held the braid he was working on with one hand and elbowed Otabek in the ribs with his free arm.

 

“Oof,” he grunted.

 

“Serves you right,” Yuri shot over his shoulder.

 

Ishka!” Yumiko demanded.

 

“Ready to keep going?” he asked, twisting an elastic to the end of a beautiful French braid.

 

Hai!

 

“Four.”

 

“Fu-oar!”

 

Four.”

 

Fu-oar!”

 

Yuri frowned then shrugged, working on another French braid on the other side of the small girls head. Meanwhile she tugged out the braid she had made for her doll and started again.

 

“Five.”

 

“Fu-ifu!”

 

Yuri smiled. He would never admit it, but he thought her accent was very cute.

 

At just over three and a half years old Yumiko knew a mix of Japanese, English and Russian. She spoke Japanese or English most of the time using Russian mainly for food. She had been living with her new parents for over a year now. Yuri remembered when they had first brought her home; she had been incredibly shy, refusing to be separated from her new parents. She hardly ever spoke, simply observing everyone around her while clutching at either Yuuri or Viktor. Once Yumiko started living with them Yuuri and Viktor insisted Yuri come over for dinner at least twice a week, regularly. He had wanted to protest, but they argued that she needed to get used to him, needed to know that she could rely on him, and that things would be calm and predictable again.

 

Yuri brought Otabek with him when he could, as well as his cat. With the help of Sofiya he had managed to coax Yumiko into first approaching him. Gaining Yumiko’s trust was somewhat similar to befriending that stray cat he had found in the park years ago. He always let her come to him first and was careful not to overwhelm her with physical contact in the beginning. He sometimes opened his arms to her, or offered his hand for her in a high-five. It was months before she suddenly accepted one of his high-fives, quickly slapping his hand and then running back to Viktor, gripping his leg and peering at Yuri from the curtain of her dark hair.

 

“Done,” Yuri said proudly, tying off the other flawless French braid. He bounced the little girl on his legs much to her delight. “Are you done, sestrichka?” he asked peering over her shoulder at the doll.

 

Hai!” Yumiko replied proudly, getting up and proffering the doll to Yuri.

 

He looked at it seriously, making a show of scrutinizing her work. He hummed low and rubbed his chin before he said soberly, “Very good.”

 

Yumiko gave him a thumbs up and rushed at him, leaning her chin on his shoulder and peering up at Otabek.

 

“Beka?” she asked.

 

“Yes, malyshka?”

 

“Done?”

 

“I am almost done, yes.”

 

“Good,” she replied, “I’m hungry,” she added.

 

Sestrichka,” Yuri reprimanded, poking her gently in the side, she giggled. “How do we ask for things?”

 

She nuzzled Yuri’s shoulder briefly, and stepped back, looking first at one young man then the other and cleared her throat dramatically.

 

“May I have food, please,” she said soberly.

 

Both men smiled at the same time.

 

Otabek answered first.

 

“Of course you may. First, wash your hands, malyshka.”

 

Hai!” she called already running to the bathroom. They listened to the scrape of the little step she used to reach the sink and then the sound of water.

 

Are you done, Beka?” Yuri asked, just barely tilting his head back trying to peer at his boyfriend.

 

He felt Otabek wind the elastic around his braid and he tilted his head back further.

 

“Done,” Otabek said, and then leaned down giving Yuri a swift kiss.

 

“Muah!” Yumiko cried as she ran back into the room waving her damp hands in Yuri’s face for his approval. Yuri blushed faintly. He gave Otabek a look of annoyance but his boyfriend looked back obviously unrepentant.

 

“Muah, Ishka!” Yuri leaned down slightly to the little girl and allowed her to plant a clumsy kiss on his cheek.

 

Yuri looked at little girl who was currently wearing the pink leopard print dress he had bought her.

 

“What about Beka?” he asked her.

 

Yumiko dried her hands on her dress and then twisted the skirt around her fingers. She looked up at Otabek shyly. She shook her head quickly.

 

“Oh?” said Yuri, giving Otabek a smug look, as if he had won something. “Why not?”

 

“Not Yumiko,” she said, letting go of her skirt and pointing at Yuri, “Ishka!”

 

“I don’t understand,” Yuri replied clearly, tilting his head, “what do you mean?”

 

“Not Yumiko,” she insisted, “Ishka can – “ she pecked the air, “Beka.” She looked at Yuri expectantly.

 

This kid, Yuri thought, partly amused, partly impressed, and a little embarrassed. That’s stupid, why are you embarrassed? She’s just a little girl.

 

Unable to help himself Yuri twisted to look at Otabek who was now standing. The older man raised an eyebrow. Then folded his legs under him in a fluid motion and offered Yuri his cheek. Yuri felt his face burn, but Yumiko was clapping and he really didn’t need to make a big deal about this. He turned to his boyfriend and softly pressed his lips to Otabek’s cheek.

 

Just then they heard voices coming from the direction of the door, the sound of keys and, then the door was opened.

 

Tadaima!” Yuuri and Viktor chorused. Yuri made a face. Otabek was standing again and offered Yuri his hand. He accepted it and allowed his boyfriend to pull him to his feet.

 

’tou-san! Papa!” Yumiko cried and ran to her parents. Both men were carrying bags of groceries. Otabek and Yuri took the bags from the older men and deposited them on the kitchen counter, then watched as Viktor scooped up his daughter. He kissed her face and she laughed.

 

“Papa, no more!” she cried, but her tone was joyful and her eyes sparkled.

 

“No more,” Viktor agreed, “for now.”

 

Yuuri came over, having taken off his coat and shoes and extended his arms to his daughter. She reached for him and Yuuri kissed the top of her head.

 

“Did you have fun with your bratishka?” Yuuri asked, balancing his daughter on his hip with one arm and adjusting his glasses with his free hand.

 

Hai! Ishka and Beka are fun,” she informed him.

 

Viktor gazed at his family adoringly. Yuri and Otabek were both leaning against the kitchen counter. Otabek with his hands in his pockets and Yuri with his arms crossed. Otabek turned to smile at his boyfriend.

 

“We’re both fun,” he repeated.

 

Yuri gave him a smile that was more just a flash of teeth.

 

“Maybe,” he said smugly, “but she likes me better.”

 

“Of course,” Otabek agreed easily, “you’re her brother.”

 

Yuri hip bumped him but the corner of his mouth twitched.

 

Yuuri walked over to the two young men.

 

“Thanks for watching her,” he said warmly.

 

Yuri shrugged. Viktor came over and draped an arm over Yuri’s shoulder.

 

“It’s so nice to have the whole family together. It’s too bad you have to leave,” he said wistfully.

 

“No!” Yumiko cried from Yuuri’s arms. “Ishka, why do you leave?” She asked turning big brown eyes at him.

 

Sestrichka,” he said, laying a hand on her head.

 

“Stay? Onegaishimasu!” Yumiko clutched at his hand.

 

Yuri sighed a little and then nodded.

 

“Okay, Sestrichka, but only for a bit. Beka and I have to leave soon, okay?” Yuri asked leaning down so he could look her in the eye.

 

She gazed back at him and nodded. He extended his hand and offered her his pinky. She wrapped one significantly smaller pinky finger around Yuri’s.

 

“Okay,” she agreed.

 

“Good,” Yuuri said. “Yumiko, I brought a snack for you, let’s go eat it, hmm?”

 

As Yuuri walked off with his daughter, Yuri punched Viktor on the arm and glared at him.

 

“You did that on purpose you bastard!” he accused, voice low.

 

Viktor rubbed his arm and looked at Yuri with baleful eyes.

 

“But, Ishka – “

 

“Shut the fuck up,” Yuri hissed, fists balling at his sides.

 

“I can’t help it, you two are so cute!” Viktor said, sighing, placing a hand on his cheek.

 

“Papa!”

 

“Coming, solniska!” Viktor called and jogged over to his husband and daughter.

 

“Tch,” Yuri crossed his arms over his chest. “That was playing dirty and he knows it.”

 

“It was,” Otabek agreed, “but he was right.”

 

“What?”

 

“You two are very cute.”

 

Yuri slapped his boyfriend’s arm and then leaned into him. Otabek put an arm around Yuri’s waist and squeezed briefly.

 

“We can leave when she takes her nap,” he said. Yuri made a noise of acknowledgement. “You’re having dinner here tomorrow anyway, she knows you’re coming back.” Otabek said soothingly.

 

“Yeah,” Yuri agreed. He had never had to put it into words with Otabek, but his boyfriend understood that Yuri really did regard Yumiko as a sister. He had a conflicting urge to give the new family their space, get on with his life, and to be with the little girl constantly. It was hardly fair.

 

Ishka!” Viktor called, and Yuri was instantly scowling. “Yumiko would like you to teach Yuuri the fishtail braid, please.”

 

“Alright,” he replied moving to go, but Otabek squeezed his side stopping him. “What – “ he began, but broke off as he felt Otabek softly kiss his cheek.

 

“Muah,” Otabek said evenly, releasing him and leaning back.

 

“Muah! Muah! Muah!” The Katsuki-Nikiforov family chorused from the breakfast table.

 

Yuri’s cheeks flamed and he turned a blazing look at his boyfriend.

 

“Just wait, I’ll get you back, you bastard,” he said voice low and threatening.

 

Otabek raised his eyebrows.

 

“I look forward to it,” he replied.

 

Yuri turned swiftly before Otabek could see his smile. The two walked over to the table chattering happy, enjoying their family time.

Fin