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Making history

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When Yuri was 6 he met Victor at the first time. Grandpa first took him to the skating rink and Yuri didn't like it at all. His feet were slipping, his hands were cold and other then Yuri there were no kids his age. Everybody around him skated and laughed and nobody seemed to care about little boy. Yuri hated that feeling, hated to be worst in something. Just when he decided never to skate again he saw a man. This was the most beautiful sight little Yuri ever saw. He moved with such grace as if skating was his whole life. With his long braided hair trembled on the wind, eyes down, hands clutched behind, this man looked like he was dreaming, peaceful and relaxed. People around Yuri started to whisper “Is that? No, it can't be. Nikiforov's here? Is it THAT guy who won gold in Euros this year? Skating here, in public rink?”, but Yuri didn't hear them. His eyes sparkled, his gaze followed the man and unintentionally Yuri lets go of grandpa's hand and makes few steps forward. Of course, he falls, not able to keep balance on slippery ice. Blushing, Yuri looks up at the man – did he saw? Their eyes met and tall man comes closer to help. He reaches out to Yuri and gives him the shiniest smile.

“Будь осторожнее. Если ты поранишься, то не сможешь кататься. Ты же этого не хочешь?” man helps Yuri to get on his feet and sprints forward. Yuri stand still. He does not understand how someone can move freely on such unstable surface, but now he wants to understand. His luck of skills, which couple minutes ago made him want to curl in a ball and cry, now serves as a motivation.

“Деда, я тоже буду так кататься” he says with a sparkling eyes. Nikolai Plisetsky doesn't answer. He smiles and hugs his grandson, happy to see his change of mood.

-----

When Yuri was 10 he started training under Yakov. He worked hard, struggled to be noticed, and then finally the season came where he won every local competition in his age group. Yakov didn't usually train kids, leaving this job to other coaches and assistants. But there was something in this kid, his strength and devotion to figure skating attracted people to him. So the arrangements were made and Yuri was transferred to Yakov's group. His first day training wasn't very impressive. Yakov seemed to him like a regular coach, his training routine was practically same as before. Still, Yuri was glad. He will skate like Victor whatever the cost. Nothing can stop him. Yuri caught the glimpse of silver hear with the corner of his eye and immediately turned in that direction. He heard familiar voice even before he saw Victor at the entrance

“Morning, coach Yakov!”

“Vitya? What are you doing here?”

“Huh? I'm.. training, I guess? Oh, Yakov, I know that look. Did I forget something again?”

“Of course, you forget. I changed the training schedule this week. I have a new guy here, so your training will start in an hour. I e-mailed you. And sent a message. And left a voice mail”

Victor rubbed back of his neck and smiled “Sorry, sorry! Don't mind me, then. I'll just wait for a bit. Also, nice to meet a new face here. My name is Victor, and what is yours?”

Yuri blinked in disbelieve. He was sure he'll meet his idol some day, but didn't expect it to happen in his first day. Still in a shock he didn't realized what was the question and instead cried out “You hair! Why did you cut it?”

Victor run his hand through his hair. It was indeed short, the longest strand didn't even cover his ear. “Well, I wear long hear since I was 14. People got used to it and they weren't surprised by it anymore so I needed to change. If you can't surprise people, you're as good as dead. Remember it, …?”

“Yuri”

“Remember it, Yuri. It was nice to meet you. Go now, you sure don't want to make Yakov wait”

----

When Yuri was 12 he landed his first quad in a competition. He knew, that even in senior division there are skaters who can't land quad Salchow and that made him confident. Time will come, Yuri thought, and he will surprise every one in the world with his senior debut. Just like Victor tought him. Listening to Yakov's scolding Yuri couldn't stop wondering. Why doesn't Yakov want me on my best? Victor always did everything possible to win. Yakov just doesn't understand.

“But you can win, even without quads.” Yuri's thoughts were interrupted. He looked up to see Victor's smiling face. “I'd bet money on it”. Bet, huh? A rebel idea came to Yuri's mind. Yakov is clearly playing safe with him. He can't impress people doing everything that his competitors can do. He needs more, he needs to surprise every single sole in the world. Only Victor understands it.

“Okay, if I win without quad jumps, them choreograph a program just for me”. Victor smiled. Yuri knew, he can't stand a bet like this.

“Sure. When you win the Junior World Championship, come see me.” Yuri have never been more confident. He'll make history with his senior debut, wining every possible gold medal with best choreographer by his side.

----

When Yuri was 14 he met Yuuri for the first time. This was going to be his last season in junior division. He was better than any of his competitors even three years ago. He's already earned his place in GPF, now he just needed a gold medal to prove it and to win a bet. Training became boring, Yuri no longer could motivate himself. He was looking forward to next season, but this year's skating was more duty than pleasure. He was trying to watch every competition in this year GPF series, not only ones with Victor as he did before. It was important to know his future competitors well. He did deeper research on this years favorites, sometimes he searched Internet for record of past competitions of his potential rivals. Yuuri Katsuki was not one of them. Early on season this Japanese guy barely made it to the podium with a bronze on Skate Canada. Yuri didn't payed him much attention, his eyes were on Victor, who clearly was best on ice and win his gold easily. He saw his free skate in practice, sure. But Victor always looked different in competition. He usually trained hard, concentrated on victory. He could spend hours to practice one step sequence ignoring everything around to make it perfect. But in competition everything changes. His skate remains flawless, but his body radiates pure happiness. Looking how emotional he skates no one could say how hard he trained. Victor makes himself look like a genius who gives all his affords to performance and doesn't care about his technical elements. Nobody there understands what he do every day to come this far. No one knows how he really wants that gold medal, his fifth Grand Prix gold. But Yuri understands. They grew closer in a past years. Victor usually gave him tips on his techniques and encouraged him to always try something new. “If you can't surprise people, you're as good as dead”. Yuri knew, he can't surprise anybody in junior division, but with Victor's choreography he was going to blow everyone's mind wining next year his first senior competition. Yuri smiled, looking at three men on the podium. “Only Victor can be my true competitor. And I'll do everything to surprise him”

Next couple of month was intense. Victor secured a place in GPF by wining Cup of China and that strange Japanese guy was second to join him, somehow wining Trophee de France. This surprised Yuri. He remembered that second Yuuri from Skate Canada. His program was easy and his jumps clumsy. But he still got himself highest performance score and climbed to the third place. Yuri scrolled some photos from event. This Japanese idiot looked on Victor like a puppy, Yuri half expected him to drool on his jacket from excitement. Uh, gross. His performance in France though… Yuri watched it closely. Something changed in this guy. His jumps still needed a lot of practice, but his steps and spins were amazing. And his performance… It was just like Victor's. His expression showed pure joy, he skated with a pleasure – a rare sight in competitive skating. Yuri caught himself enjoying the view. That's stupid, he cut himself. Even if he'll make it to the finale next year, I'll crush him like anyone else.

Still, there was something inside of him… He couldn't quite catch the feeling, but he was looking forward to see Yuuri compete with Victor again.

Chapter Text

“Welcome to Sochi Grand Prix Final. Today is a last day of a competition and we're only left to see mans free program. After first day Victor Nikiforov confidently set on a first place with Christophe Giacometti and Cao Bin on second and third places. After his wonderful short program nobody doubts that he will take his fifth Gran Prix Gold, but we will know for sure only after performance.”

Commentator's voice pours from four TVs settled in a waiting area. Yuri leaves the room to find a nice sit somewhere at the top of the arena. Juniors have already finished their skates and Yuri have nothing to do before the award ceremony. He watches skaters performing their free program one by one, nothing really catches his attention. Victor's FS was masterful as always, the annoying Canadian also showed flawless performance. Looks like he'll make it to the podium after all. Yuri yawns. This year's GPF looks kinda predictable. Though he didn't expect that nervous Japanese guy to take the 4th place after his short program, but he seemed to perform well. Yuri looks down searching for Katsuki. Five of the six skaters already performed, so it must have been his turn. Yuri watches him skating to the center of the rink and can't stop thinking about his performance in France. That time he actually looked beautiful. Yuri wants to see that again, a performance that actually made him to empathize skater's feelings.

Song starts and after first sounds Yuri understands – this does not happening this time. Katsuki's eyes seems empty, his movements senseless, his hands visually shake and as if this was not enough he starts to fail his jumps. First it's touch down on quad toe loop, but than it grows and finally he just falls, again and again, breaking combinations and ending up with none of his jumps landed properly. Yuri watches in disbelief. Was this real Yuuri Katsuki? His steps are still good, though. Yuri doesn't quite understand what he wants more – to never see his guy again or to see and compete with him at his best. He ends up yelling some stuff about “two Yuri” at him in a restroom because it the end he still haven't decided what he feels.

----

When Yakov tells everybody that Victor went to Japan Yuri can't believe him. He never saw this coming. They worked together wining medal after medal – first GPF, than Euros and Worlds. At the end Yuri even started to put some effort into his training again. He had won, both Worlds gold medal and his bet. He needed to be in his best form for his new perfect routine. And than week after Worlds that stupid video was literally everywhere. Yuri remembers when he first saw it. The video was stupid, that fatso wasn't good enough to skate Victor's routine. He eased jumps and changed combinations because he could not jump high enough with his pig body. Yuri grumbles at himself. It was terrible, but somehow he can't forget it. Watching that video felt pretty much like watching Victor skating at public rinks. He used to go there when he was younger. “To skate free” he used to say. Victor always looked relaxed there, never trying to impress anybody with complex steps or jumps, but somehow looking at him made you feel the music, flowing through his body. And now he's gone, went to another country to train that stupid Japanese pig. Yuri was frustrated and angry and first time since he was six, he felt like ice was too slippery for him. Victor didn't even care to say goodbye to him, didn't explain why he left him, why he forget about their bet. Yuri clenched his hands into fists. “Русские не сдаются. I'll find him and I'll make him explain. And I'll get my best senior debut to show Victor and his pet pig all the strength of Ice Tiger”.

----

Competing in senior division was tough as hell, though Yuri worked harder then ever to make sure he'll succeed. Nothing was same as a year ago and thinking about his naive dreams back then made Yuri angry. A lot of things changed since his defeat in Hasetsu. Seeing Victor to be so fond of Yuuri gave him new purpose to skate. The way Victor looked at Katsudon painfully reminded Yuri how he used to look at Victor in a similar way, with warmth and admiration. He didn't understand it back then. Their demonstration of feelings at Cup of China angered him so much he literally started to break things around him. But now sitting in grandpa's car and eating his amazing katsudon pirozhki he starts to understand. He wanted Victor always be near him, to support and inspire him like before. But looks like now Victor's attention comes with extra Katsudon. He remembered how stupid it felt yesterday, when they cheered him up. Like he needed someone's cheering to win, pfff. But it never was about what he needed, more like what he wanted. He thinks about grandpa who always watched him skate even when he could only see it on TV, about Yuuko who supported him though he was her best friend's rival, about Yakov and Lilia who believed in him enough to give him chance to win with this amazing free program. Finally he thinks about Victor. He still wants his support, still wants him to believe in Yuri's victory. If it means that he need to accept his little pet than he'll try.

“Do well in today's free skate, Yuratchka” grandpa doesn't say that he'll watch free skate or that he believes in Yuri, they both know it without saying. Yuri feels like his heart grows in his chest. He smiles back in a way he haven't smile for a long time, with sparkles and warms in his eyes. He can win. He won't accept silver this time, not when he realized how many people are on his side. He needs to be better for all of them and for himself, he needs to push himself to the limit and even further. Decision to change jump composition comes suddenly. Yakov's so not going to like it. But it is the only way he can win gold.

Standing at the center of the rink, surrounded by cheers from an audience Yuri knows, he'll win his first senior gold here. He doesn't know right now is he fighting for himself or for the people he loves, but he knows for sure he'll give everything he has for his gold medal. He fills all eyes following him. He can't afford to make a mistake now. Not when HE is watching.

Look at me, Katsudon, see me landing all my jumps flawless. See how beautiful I am with a Biellmann spin. I bet you can't do it yourself, so watch me closely. This is tough, but I can make it. Last combination, I just need a one more push and …

When music stops Yuri can't stand anymore. This was beyond limits, but he did it anyway. He doesn't see any barriers, he sees only his goal. To win Gran Prix, to become new Russian star. He sits at kiss-and-cry not quite ready to stay and watches Yuuri taking his starting position.

I know you saw me. How does it feel, Katsudon? What can you show me in return?

Yuuri looks lost in the center of the rink. When he starts to move Yuri feels his heart tighten. No, not now, not like a year ago. Yuri's already saw that empty look on his face. He's deep in his thoughts, clearly not feeling music. He starting to fail his jumps again. What's that stupid Katsudon doing? Doesn't he understand how much is expected from him, how many people are looking at him with hope? Stupid, stupid Katsudon! “Yuuri! Hang in...” Yuri tries to do something, make Yuuri understand, but of course JJ ruins everything. This Canadian ass just doesn't know when to shut up. Yuri's leaving kiss-and-cry when Yuuri enters second part of his program. He looks back just one time, enough to notice that Katsudon relaxed and went back to his usual self, riveting the eyes of all the spectators to his performance.

Even after that embarrassing awarding procedure (That! Canadian! Ass! Makes! Me! So! Angry!) Yuri can't stop wondering what the hell happened with Katsudon. Is it Victor's absence? Or is he just homesick? How can such mature skater be so unstable in his performance? Idea strucks Yuri and immediately he grubs bag with grandpa's pirozhki and runs to the street. Now, where would I go if I were stupid insecure creature with list of mental problems longer then the queue to the Mausoleum? Yuri walks to the roadway and spots the lone figure muttering something to himself. He feels how anger grows in him again. Why is he so upset? It was his own fault anyway. It's not like he practically lost his lungs trying to skate impossible program just to loose to the arrogant fool again. Yuri trows his bag to him. Yuuri looks confused at first, but his face lights up after the first bite. At this moment, looking at his happy face, Yuri understands Victor. This guy is emotional rollercoaster in person, but the way he gives himself to the feelings, it's like he doesn't care if someone will judge him. Yuri finds himself smiling again. Maybe, just maybe he won't need to tolerate Katsudon. Maybe he can accept his support from now on.

----

Or maybe he doesn't. Victor's words still echoes in his mind. “He is going to leave me. To retire and to live like nothing happened. Yuri.. You're the only one who can stop him”. Oh, Yuri will stop him. He feels need to resolve the case with his fists like he used to do before. Jut to punch that stupid Japanese face and make him listen. But he also knows, that the best way to reach Yuuri's heart was through skating.

Music starts and Yuri picks up the rhythm. He thinks about all the people who supported him. How can he think that he was alone all this time? He thought he'd lost Victor, but looks like he's found much more instead. Katsuki Yuuri, watch me closely. I won't give up, now that I finally know love and friendship. He lands his first Salchow, satisfied with himself. He never felt so much passion and joy while skating before this GPF. He remembers last year's finale. He was curious about Yuuri, he wanted to understand what he feels skating with such delight. What now, why does he want to retire so sudden? He didn't lose his delight, it's obvious from his free skate today. Yuri tries to understand.

Was I wrong about you, Yuuri Katsuki? You don't need to skate now that you've beaten Victor's record? That's bull. Don't disappoint me, Yuuri Katsuki.

Angry and distracted Yuri falls at his quad toe loop. He recovers right away, proceeding into his signature spin.

Crap! I can't loose, I won't loose. Not to you, Yuuri. Look at me now. If you retire you'll regret it for the rest of your life. I'll make sure of it. I'm not giving up on you yet and I won't allow you to give up ether.

When music stops Yuri can't stand long in his position. He feels tears in his eyes and makes no effort to stop them. He's drawn physically and emotionally and all he can think about is please, please let it be enough. I know I failed here but please see me, understand me, don't leave me alone. Yuri does not feel happy standing in the middle of the podium. He still doesn't know if what he did was enough. But after all hymns and photosessions pass, after he exits the rink, after he hears Victor's happy cry “Great!”... he finally feels it. He is whole, he is happy and he is looking forward to surprise even more people in the future.

Chapter Text

Yuri enters the building completely frozen from the weather outside. Saint Petersburg is usually warmer in spring but this March there is still snow on the ground. He jumps and rubs his hands against each other to warm up a little. When his fingers finally are able to tie the shoelaces he takes his skates and moves towards the rink. He can already hear sounds of blades cutting the ice. It's a little early for the actual training, so Yuri hopes to catch Victor alone. Turns out, Yuuri is also here and from the look on his face Yuri can tell – Victor's skating something new. He comes closer to Yuuri, skates lies near the bench, completely forgotten.

“What's this all about?” he asks. Yuuri answers without taking eyes from man on the rink

“I'm not entirely sure, he never showed me this piece. He is beautiful, though”

Beautiful… It seems not enough to call him beautiful. He is mesmerizing, breathtaking, impossible. Yuri watches Victor starting the piece over. His hand's up, casually playing with hair, his eyes down and face expression's deep. His steps accurate and tender, and his spins look almost … desperate?

“Vitya” Yuri can't stop himself from using diminutive form of his name. Yuuri must have been surprised by it. He turns to Yuri

“Yura? Is everything alright?” Yuri reacts to his Russian styled name. Yuuri usually uses it only when he is worried.

“No, I'm OK. Just cold, that's all. How long has he been there?”

“About half an hour. Yura, there is something we need...” Yuuri doesn't look like he is happy about what he's going to say, but he is interrupted by silver lightning, sprinting towards them.

“Haaaaaay Yurio! You're early”

“It's not my name”, Yuri answers to their usual quarrel, “And anyway, what was that? Your routine for the next season?”

“Oh, do you like it? I was putting some pieces together here and there. I was actually hoping you'll take this routine.”

“Me?” Yuri raises an eyebrow “I don't think so. This program smells like Victor Nikiforov. People will just decide that I stole it from you. Although it would look better with your short hair” Yuri mimics that move from the start of the program. “See, long hair just doesn't dance when you put your hand like this. You need sharper movements and it doesn't fit well with whole program.”

“We can always think of something. Or you can just cut your hair, you know? I really like this program, it would be shame to waste it.”

“I'll never cut my hair! And what's all the fuss is about anyway? Why don't you just skate it? It's perfect for you” Yuri sees the couple share a concerned look and his heart tightens in presentiment.

“Well, I can't skate it next year because I'll not be skating next year. I'm retiring after the Worlds”

Yuri feels like someone punched him in the gut. He struggled to suck in air but no matter how deep he breathed he couldn't calm himself.

“Yura! Yuratchka! Look at me” he looked at Yuuri, who immediately was near, supporting his waist. Yuri turned to Victor

“Retiring? Again? Not funny, Victor.”

“I'm not laughing. I'm going to be 31 this year, look at me. I took silver on this Euros. Silver! I haven't had silver since I was 22” Victor smiles like he enjoys his joke.

Yuri can't believe it. It's like he is 15 again. He thought he has grown up for the past 3 years. He grew a long hair, stopped yelling at people in public and made his peace with Katsuki-Nikiforov couple. That first GPF has taught him a lot about friendship and rivalry. He found strengths inside him to accept Otabek's friendship, fought to the last moment for Yuuri to stay in competitive skating and even accepted Victors reason for the break. Three years after that he was considering himself happy until now. He felt like he's loosing his ground. Victor's retiring, victor's retiring, victorisretiring. That pain in his heart from his final skate at GPF is here again. Back then he thought, that he lost Yuuri forever and he didn't understand why it hurt so much. Now he knows for sure, that he is loosing Victor and it hurts just the same. He felt tears in the eyes and clenched hands into the fists. The aggression that he already forget inside of him climbed it's way back on the surface.

“Why are you so cool about it?”, he shouted at Yuuri. “Well.. I'm not sure it is the best time to say it. But I'm OK with it because I've applied for the coaching license myself. You will go for the Olympic season without us. I'll stay competitive for the end of this season, but when all papers are ready… I want to be a coach, Yura. I was never a genius skater like you or Victor. There is nothing for me in competitive any more”

Wow, that hurts. A lot. Yuri's mind became blank. He says nothing more when he finally putting his skates on and steps into the rink.

“Yura, please” Yuuri's voice trembles. “We never wanted to hurt you. And it's not like we are going anywhere. Victor is planing to stay as choreographer here and I actually was hoping to find some students here too”

Yuri stops for a moment, considering what he just heard. “You are not going back to Japan?”

“No, I'm not. I've already spent more time of my life abroad than in Hasetsu. And my home is here now. My family is here.”

Of course, it's about Victor. That was stupid of him to think otherwise. Victor keeps him here, nothing more. Yuri can't quite understand, what he wants to hear. That he matters to them both? That they will never leave him? When did he start to care about two of them so much? Well, it's not surprise, that Victor was his idol all along, but he only now realized that it's not about Victor anymore. He doesn't want to keep Yuuri because he makes Victor happy. Yuri wants him to himself. Yuuri is an amazing person. He is open with his emotions, always smiles or cries like the first time in his life and has a talent to share his feelings with others. There is no way someone could spent some time with Yuuri and did not feel warms towards the guy. Yuri spent way to much time with him. “Whatever” Yuri turns around and skates to the opposite side of the rink. He catches a whisper behind him “give him some time”. Yuri wants to yell again. He doesn’t need time, he needs a friend who won't leave him. He tries to clear his mind and focus on his routine. World Championship is only two weeks away and he needs to perform as best as he could. He gives up a couple hours later, when Yakov is already red from a nonstop scolding. There is no way he can practice more today, especially with this two on the same rink.

On his way home Yuri dials a familiar number. He doesn't want to feel alone, he thinks, doesn't want to draw himself in sorrow. Thankfully, Otabek picks up right away.

“Yeah, Yuri, what's up?”

“Nothing in particular. Just wanted to check on you”

“Huh? I'm fine, nothing to check on. How is your training?” Yuri stops for a second. Does he really want to bother Otabek with it? “Yuri?”

“Ah, not really in a mood for training today” Yuri can practically see Beka's black eyes staring at him, looking for a catch.

“Not in a mood? Doesn't really sound like you”

“Yeah, I know. It's because of Victor. He's retiring. And Katsuki too. I'm a mess, Beka. I don't know what to do”

“I see” Otabek answers after a pause. “You knew it would happen sooner or later, right?”

“Right. But it doesn't mean I'm OK with it. They just told me this morning, easy and casual. Like it's not a big deal.”

“But it is, I understand. Look, we'll met in Helsinki in a week. Let's talk in person there. For now you should just keep up a good work. Don't worry about their retirement before it actually happened.”

“Guess you're right. We all have a job to do before Worlds.”

The next week is terrible. Yuri hasn't felt so many different emotions since puberty. Sometimes it is easy to focus on work. He puts on his headphones and skates ignoring everything around until he just couldn't stand anymore. Other days he just can't stand seeing this two, smiling to one another or trying to cheer Yuri with kind words or homemade pirozhki. He feels like he needs to fight for something, but can't find a motivation for it.

Helsinki meets Russian team with a long waited good weather. While everyone is busy with check-ins and unpacking Yuri moves to the cabstand.

“Hey, Yurio! We are going to check out the rink, wanna join?” Victor gives him his warmest smile and Yuuri reaches out to stroke his hand. Yuri recoils from them.

“It' not my name. And I have an appointment”. He notices a glimpse of tears in Yuuri's eyes and feels a pang of guilt. He wants to comfort him, to explain himself, but cheerful voice interrupts his thoughts.

“Well, say hello to Otabek then. Yuuuuuri, don't stay still, I want to see where I'm going to train the next week” There he is, Victor the Ignoring in his best. Yuri sighs, not even angry anymore. He sits in a cab and feels so tired of everything. Thought of retiring himself crosses his mind. Yeah, that would definitely surprise everyone. “Russian fairy, legend of the figure skating and the youngest GPF winner retires at the age of 18” He never wanted to end his career like this. But what is he going to do next season? Maybe retiring and joining them in coaching was not such a bad idea? He could train kids..

“Yura!” Shaking his head, Yuri waving his hand to Otabek and coming closer. What a stupid thoughts! I'm not going to retire at 18. I still have a lot of things to achieve.

“Beka! It's been forever since we saw each other.”

They end up in some cafeteria nearby with nothing to drink except coffee. The exchange of news passes quickly, both of them look distracted – Yuri continues to argue with himself and Otabek looks concern about him

“So, about our talk. How are you holding up?”

“I'm still a mess, but I'll manage. I don't know what am I going to do next season without them." Yuri notices how his friend's eyes darkens. "What does this look means, Beka? You have something on your mind”

“Yes, I do. Do you..” he pauses “Do you love him?”

“WHAT? Love who?”

“Victor. I know that he was your idol from he childhood and that he means a world to you now. I just needed to ask”

Yuri never ever thought about romantic love in his life. He understood love for his friends, for his family. But actual romance was harder. He never had time for girls before. He never had any experience which could show him what love is.

“I honestly don't know, Beka. How do you know when you love someone?”

Otabek chuckles “Well, I'm not the one to ask, I'm still single. Ask your happily married friend”

Happily married… When Victor knew he was in love he threw his entire career away just to help Yuuri. And when Yuuri knew he was in love he was ready to step aside on the peak of his form to ensure Victor will return to competitive skating. They both couldn't stand a thought about being apart and both were ready to give up everything for each other. Just like he thought about retirement before. That sounded inconceivable even in his head. Yuri remembered how bad he felt when they told him about retirement. And he also remembered, that it hurt a hundred time more this morning when he saw Yuuri's tears.

“I think, I… yes, I love them”

“Them? Like both of them?”

Crap, Yuri thought. He asked only about Victor. Now he'll think I'm some kind of creep who can't see love from friendship. Not that it was entirely wrong, though.

“That's OK, Yura. You can't just decide who to love. If it is what you feel, its alright.”

“It's not up to me, you know. I'm not going to ruin this happily married couple”

“You can't know for sure, until you try. You don't know if they will accept you or not, because you never looked at them with this thought. Also if I understand right, they both won't leave your home rink even after retirement? You'll have enough time to figure you feelings out”

They both won't leave my rink… “Beka! I think I know what I want to do. I have to go, thanks for the advice” Yuri storms from his sits towards the taxi. Otabek just giggles. He hopes that he was able to help, though. Yuri's impatient. He hopes they still at rink and that they are alone. He pays his bill and runs inside the building, thanking mentally to Yakov for taking care about passes for the whole team. Yuri hears some muttering “he can't skate in this state of mind”, “I feel like I should...”, “...maybe after?” but he doesn't stop to eavesdrop because he has more important things to do. Running into the rink he spots both Victor and Yuuri near the entrance. “Heeeeey”, he shouts. They turn to him, clearly surprised to see him here. “Yuri..” Victor starts, but whatever he wanted to say is interrupted. “Victor. I will skate your new program. But only on one condition. From next season on you and Yuuri will be my coaches.” He breathes heavily, partly from this stupid run, partly from excitement. He sees Victor's confident smile, like he knew Yuri would say that, and Yuuri's relieved expression.

He looks at them with a most confidant face “Let's win the Olympics together!”

Chapter Text

“No, you're forgetting about your free leg again. You need to look relaxed, not actually be relaxed. Lets try again together” two Yuris have been practicing this step sequence for about an hour while Victor was sitting nearby putting some final changes to the programs. “What's on your mind, Yuri? You look distracted”

Of course, he was distracted. Why did he think it was a good idea at all? It seemed logical six month ago. Asking Yuuri to coach him was a good way to ensure he'll stay in Russia and it gave Yuri time to figure out his feelings. He was pretty sure he needs both of them nearby. And turns out they make a great coaching team. While Victor was genius choreographer and helped him greatly with his jump technique, Yuuri was incredible in actual coaching. He was crazy about planing and order, he made a well balanced training schedule and never allowed Yuri to overwork himself. Yuuri also was good at motivating people. Yuri hated to admit, but in his hardest times just a single “I know you can pull it off” made him try again and again and again until Yuuri was satisfied. Just like this time.

“Nevermind, lets try together.” He starts the piece synchronously with Yuuri. Skating on his left foot he raises right foot almost parallel to the floor and turns abruptly. This time his right leg stays in position and he proceeds with his steps. Yuuri claps his hand “Well done this time”

“I don't think so” Victor says, stepping onto the ice. Both Yuris look at him, puzzled. “If you're done with the steps, I'd like to see the whole program again. Your performance can suffer if you'll focus on technical side only”

“It never suffers when you skate” Yuri argues. “You're the one who could spend all day practicing one element”

“True, but I'm used to showing my emotions on ice”

That was true. Unlike Victor Yuri rarely felt the need to open this heart on ice. He could perform strong feelings, but it was always hard for him, so usually Yuri tried to made his program as difficult as possible to compensate for low presentation score. Not gonna work this time, though. Sure, Victor's choreography is always difficult (or at least will be later in the season) but there is no way he'll allow to skate it without right feelings.

“Alright. What do you want to see?”

Victor tilts his head “Have you heard the lyrics? I want you to feel this. Self-sacrifice, desperation, a little hope.. Just feel the story behind the song and act on it”

Both coaches skates to the edge of the rink and Yuri starts moving, sometimes accompanied by Victor's comments

“No, a bit softer in the beginning. Your steps should be tender in this part. Again”

“You're not giving yourself completely! Again”

“What with this spin? You need to throw yourself to the air and you look like you're jumping over a puddle”

Yuri finally can't take it anymore. He's fucking trying, OK? His last jump must be a combination, but he freaks out and turns it into a half-loop followed by an aggressive split jump and than he slips on the spiral steps and falls.

“What's wrong with you, Yuri? What the hack was that? Do you want me to give this program to Georgi? At least he is capable of emotions.” Victor looks really angry and that is a rare sight.

“To hell with you and your emotions” Yuri stands up and skates towards the bench outside the rink. Sitting there, covering his face with palms he can't see the person, who sits next to him in a moment, but he knows only Yuuri can hug him so tender. Yuri moves away not ready to deal with people right now.

“Прости, Юра” Yuuri whispers

“Huh?” That's not the words he was expecting. But then Yuuri never does what is expected.

“Victor is pushy, you know that better than me. I'm sorry for it. But really, if there is something you wish to tell me, I'll listen. You're not your usual self today.”

What could he possibly tell? Hello, I'm Yuri Plisetsky and I'm in love with you. And also with your stupid husband. I can't concentrate enough because you're both so close. And somehow I still can't perform good “desperation” because I'm fucking happy that you're both so close. He closes his eyes and sighs.

“Look, I'm just angry, that's all. Can we call it a day?”

“Sure. Whatever you need to feel better. I'm always here for you. We both are”

That's the problem

----

Yuri's season started in October at Skate America. Three of them altered his programs a little, made them more difficult in order to maintain good scores because Yuri sill couldn't act adequately. He made a flawless performance and win a gold which pretty much secured his place in this year's Gran Prix. He continued to work hard and earned gold in his second competition becoming a first skater who advanced to Finale this season. They arrived to Nagoya three days before the Finale and spent all their free time on the rink.

The day before Yuri was going to perform his short program Victor came to his room alone.

“Yuri, we need to talk” he starts. “You are a really good skater, you know it too good. But you can't always rely on your techniques. It is what everyone is expecting from you and your opponents are ready for it. Don't be fooled by the preliminaries. This is an Olympic season so most of skater saves their strength for it. You've won so easy, because you gave your everything for it. But here it will be different. Skaters who already advanced to Finale won't go easy on you. And you also can't hope to win in Pyeongchang with performance like that. Tomorrow you need to do more then before, more the ever to win. And same goes for the Olympics. Please, do this for me and for Yuuri. We know you can pull that off”

Yuri can't say a word, he just listens and tries not to cry. That was the most emotional speech Victor ever gave him. His heart skips a bit. He really cares. Not only for his stupid program. He cares for me.

“I'll do everything for you and Yuuri” words slips before he could stop them.

Victor gently strokes his cheek “I'm looking forward to see it tomorrow”

When the next day arrives Yuri knows, he can't fail. He isn't even scared to go first, in fact he is eager to show his performance. He thought about it a lot last night. He stands in a center of a rink and then a music starts Yuri slips his hand through his hair. They braided it, leaving many short strands hang freely so now when he tilts his head to the side they flutter around Yuri like a golden halo.

Sorry. Victor, Yuuri.. . I can't skate the story you wanted. I can't feel it right now. But I have my own desperation. I can give myself to you completely but will you accept me?

He clutches his hands in front of him and spins, head thrown back.

I'm falling apart without you. I can do everything to make you happy, just tell me what is enough. I'll rip my heart and show it to the whole world if needed.

He jumps one of his jumps, quad Lutz preceded by steps he struggled so much to master.

I can feel how proud you both are. I feel like I'm bare naked in front of the crowd, but it's OK if it's the only way to show you how I feel.

He breathes heavily, not from fatigue but from emotions. He was never going to say that thoghts out loud, but maybe its alright to show his feelings now. The song almost ends, Yuri raises his arms into the air, spins and finally falls to his knees, arms spread and his final pose looks like he's sacrificed his life for love, but Yuri feels that there is more to it. Like he opened his heart and now they have full access to it. They can take his love or trow it away and he allows it. He stands up, smiles to the audience and looks for his coaches.

They stand in their usual place, Victor's arms ready to hug him. They smile both so happily and Yuri has no time to think about when he storms to Victor and crushes their lips together. Kissing them.. at least one of them feels so amazing but just a second later Yuri's brain starts to analyze the situation and he freezes. He hears sounds of at least dozen cameras and a confused murmur of the crowd, he sees Victors widen eyes and he don't even need to look at Yuuri to know that he looks the same.

What have I done

They stay for a second looking at each other before Yuri looks away. Three of them goes to kiss-and-cry, each lost in his thoughts.

What have I done

His score is high. Not enough to beat his own record but still high enough to hope for gold. Yuri doesn't even look at it. He goes to the locker room alone and wishes he'll never leave it. It's not how it was supposed to happen, if he was ever to confess he needed to do it right. To tell both of them. Now he just ruined everything. Yuuri will hate him. Victor will hate him. Well at least he won't ruin their marriage because instead he has ruined their friendship. He changes his clothes and exits the arena, not caring about other skaters.

What the hell have I done

Chapter Text

Yuuri was walking in a circles around Yuri's room not sure what was the original plan. He came here about twenty minutes ago and since then he made seven attempts to knock the door, but every time he tried to raise his hand for it he just started panicking. What was he going to say? Everything alright? Lies. Nothing will change? Lies. I don't like you kissing my husband? Lies!

Actually no, there was some truth in this one. Though Yuuri was not ready to admit it out loud, the most persistent thought in his head was “Why did he kiss Victor and … not me?” Yuuri wasn't sure what to made of this thought. Was he so attracted to young man? He noticed that their relationships improved a lot in a past few years, but to think about actual kissing… Must be because Yuri already planted the idea into his mind. Yuuri started his eight circle when door to Yuri's room suddenly opened. Yuuri froze, thoughts started running in his head like little bugs, but thankfully it wasn't Yuri who was exiting the room.

“Ota-bek? What are you doing here?”

“Same to you” Otabek closed the door probably to ensure Yuri won't hear the conversation

“I'm not sure. I feel like I need to tell him something, I just don't know what”

Otabek stood silent, never taking his black eyes from man's face. Yuuri started to panic again “I just know he is vulnerable now, probably thinks it was a mistake and I..”

“Was it?” Otabek interrupted

“No! I'm the first person who will say that loving Victor is not a mistake. I know that no one can control his feelings. I just want to help him figure everything out”

“You think it's just about Victor?”

“What do you mean?” Yuuri tried to muffle happy hum that started to grow in his chest

“It's not about Victor. If it was he would have never acted on this feelings. His biggest fear was to ruin your marriage. It is about you both.

“Both of us? He likes both of us?”

“True, tho I think he needed to tell you this himself. But I'm not sure he will ever speak to any of you in his current state of mind. So I suggest you talk to Victor first. And come here when you really have something to tell him. Before that just leave him. You can make everything even worse”

That was the longest speech Otabek ever gave as far as Yuuri knows. He nods, finally he have some plan and maybe they can sort everything out. Yuuri heads to his own room, where Victor was waiting for the news.

First thing Victor tells him is “So, how did it go?” Yuuri can't stop but feeling love to this person, so careful and protective.

“Well, I didn't manage to talk to him, but I met Otabek and there is actually something we need to discuss”

All of a sudden Yuuri feels his panic back. Is he really going to tell his most beloved husband that there is another person who loves them? And that Yuuri is actually not only okay with this but even happy?

So what is it?”

Otabek has talked to him and apparently it's more than a crush on you”

Poor kitten” Victor tilts his head

No, it's not what you think. Otabek thinks that Yuri is in love. With both of us”

There is silence in a room for a while. Yuuri is waiting for some kind of answer so he would know how to react accordingly but Victor stays silent. Finally Yuuri can't stand it any longer and comes closer to his husband.

Victor. I don't want you to hate me for what I'm going to say. I love you with all my heart so I trust you to understand me correctly. I grew fond of Yuri. He was my rival, then my friend and then somehow it developed in something bigger. I never thought that there is still place in my heart after I met you. But turns out it is. I don't ever want to lose you and my love for you didn't change for a bit. But I don't want to lose him too. The thing I felt when he kissed you was not jealousy, it was envy. I feel love to him too. Not the same as to you. A unique kind of love which I only can feel to Yuri”

Yuuri stops talking and finally looks at Victor's face. He was avoiding it while he talked, afraid of the expression he could see. And now, looking at Victor, his heart drops. He was crying, tears drop freely on floor. Yuuri opened his mouth to apologize, to comfort him, to do at least something when Victor finally answers

Thanks God, Yuuri. I was so afraid to talk to you about it. I felt like if I talk to you I'll inevitably lose one of you. And you both are so dear to me, I couldn't stand the thought”

Victor! I can't believe it. So are we really going for it?”

Yeah, I hope we are”

They hug, tears mixed with smile and Yuuri actually can't remember when was the last time he was so happy.

Should we tell Yuri now? I think he may want to know as soon as possible”

Victor glances at the clock. “It's 2 AM already. He needs to sleep and this won't happen if we tell him now. We'll talk to him tomorrow in the morning, as soon as we can”

 

When they both wake up next morning Yuri is nowhere to found. They search the whole hotel, look in the rink and in the nearest restaurants. They even find on e with Russian cuisine but Yuri has just disappeared.

Do you think he could just leave us?”

I don't know. It doesn't sound like Yuri but again, is doesn't sound like him to kiss his coach in front of the thousands of people”

I don't think we can do much more right now. Lets hope he'll show up”

They head back to the rink with almost no hope to see him there. Gladly, they are mistaken.

Yura! Where have you been”
“I went jogging in the morning. Needed to clear my head from distractions”

Don't disappear again, we were worried. Yura, we need to talk”

Not now, Yuuri. I have a program to skate. Please, I don't need any more distractions.”

Yuuri glances at Victor, asking mentally is it really good idea to let him skate thinking he made a biggest mistake in his life? But Victor already nods “You're probably right. We'll talk later”

Yuri goes to warm up and Yuuri practically hisses at Victor. “Why haven't we told him? It's impossible to skate in this state of mind, do you want to see katsuki-styled fail again?”

You worry to much. I know that look. He has something for us and he means it as a surprise. Don't think he is weak. Russians never give up”

Yuuri doesn't agree with his husband 's decision, but that is not the time to argue. They all wait for Yuri's turn and when he steps into the ice he turns to them with only one thing to say: “Don't ever take your eyes from me”

Both Yuuri and Victor could not look at anything else even if they tried. Yuri looks amazing in his completely black costume with occasional inserts of gold fabric. His hair is tied in a ponytail just like Victor used to do it in his junior years. They planned more complicated hairstyle for this program, but Yuri changed it, due to lack of time or some of his own reasons.

Music starts and Yuri follows it with first step sequence. He looks so beautiful and harmonious moving with confidence, but not aggressively like he used to do on practice.

He is perfect” Victor sighs and Yuuri agrees. His moves are soft and even his jumps looks tender.

This routine is very interactive. Victor have putted a lot of moves, where Yuri should look at the audience . They worked a lot trying to teach him how to make each glance matter, how to do it so everybody would think he looks at them and only them. Now every time he does that, he looks at his coaches . When he reaches out his hands it is also in their direction. Yuuri feels how important this is for them all. Yuri rare talks through his skate and each time he does he says something lifechanging.

His free program proceeds to it's second half, where they put two combinations and t wo jumps . Music changes a little here, becoming more confidant and so do his moves. So long he nails everything and still maintains great impression. He does his choreographic sequence and spins with an amazing grace. He spreads his hands as the song tells about lovers understanding freedom of their love. There is only triple flip and spin left in his program and Yuuri notices his palms sweating. He nervously wipes them of his jeans when Yuri jumps

And it's not triple

It ' s a perfect quadruple flip.

Victor! Have you taught him how to do a quad flip in secret?”

No.. You know it, when he decided to learn a third quad he chose Lutz. Said he didn't want people to think he is copying us.”

I remember. But then when did he...”

I don't know when, but I know why”

Meanwhile Yuri skates his last combination spin and the program is finished . Yuri's final pose was standing with his head thrown back and arms supporting his neck. Protective pose of a person who gave himself to the love and now hopes for better. But Yuri suddenly falls at his knees and ends up in a same pose from his short program – hands behind head , half-laying on the ice with his chest open.

Yuuri covers his mouth with hands. He sees Victor crying and not even trying to hide it. Yuri really surprised them. He brought everything he couldn't said them in person and showed it on ice. That was a gift for Yuuri and Victor, one of the most precious in their lives.

When Yuri skates to them accompanied by applause and cheers Victor is obviously not ready to greet him. He is a sobbing mess capable only of strange sounds of excitement. So Yuuri takes his place, ready to hug his student. With Yuri in his hands after this performance Yuuri can't think of a better way to thank him so he leans and kisses the man in his arms. This is not a deep or a passionate kiss, it's merely a touching of lips, but when they part Yuri's eyes are wide open.

You kissed me... I thought you understood it all wrong yesterday”

Well, that was yesterday. We understand it now. And we want to try it with you. So would you be our partner, Yuri?”

Yuri smiles with that most beautiful smile Yuuri loves and practically t h rows himself on his coach. He feels like Victor's warm body presses to him from behind and they stand still for a moment enjoining the hug until finally Victor remembers where they are. He chuckles “I guess there is no way we can hide it from press now”

Yuuri smiles back at him “ I never intended to hide it anyway

Chapter Text

“It's like everywhere! How long do you think this will last?” Yuri scrolled up his news feed trying to find anything NOT about their very public confession. “C'mon, people, it's been weeks already, get over it”

Yuuri chuckles “You know, when triplets posted that video of me skating Victor's routine, I blocked all social media for month. It didn't help, of course, because Phichit called me and read his favorite comments outloud.”

“But I don't want to block it. Actually, I still hope to receive any congratulations on my gold medal. Why no one pays attention to my masterful performance?”

Yuuri laughs on last phrase. They both sit at the couch in Victor's flat enjoying their lazy Sunday, Yuuri's head rests on Yuri's shoulder. Russian skater looks like he's trying to chat with someone on phone using only one hand as the other gently plays in brown hair. Victor left them early in the morning, blubbering something about important meeting and “tell you later”.

“Victor would have started a huge lecture about your performance at GPF right now. Thankfully, you have me” Yuuri takes the hand with phone and puts the device to the side. He rubs now free hand over his cheek and kisses each finger one by one, accompanying each kiss with a compliment “Your performance was great. And you were most beautiful person on ice that day. Maybe not just on ice. Maybe not just that day.”

Yuri feels the heat of blush on his face and hopes it' not very obvious. “Well at least somebody noticed my talent” he tries to sound sarcastic, really tries. From Yuuri's giggle he can tell how miserably he fails. They sit like this for a while, talking about some nonsense. Yuuri keeps gently stroking his hand and lands an occasional kisses within his reach. That's how Victor finds them when he comes home.

Yuri looks at him, something is clearly wrong. Victor drops his shoes, mumbles some greetings and dramatically collapses on couch, landing his body on their laps.

“ Victor, that's not a very comfortable position” Yuuri tries to argue.

“I don't care” Victor groans. “I need love and cuddles, right now”

Yuri does not want to worry knowing how overreacting Victor is, but still asks “What's wrong? Was that meeting? Who did you meet with?”

“Yes, that meeting. I forget to tell you before and there was no time to talk about it in the morning. I was meeting with Yakov, we discussed some things about Olympics. Apparently they want you and Mila participate in the gala and Yakov wants me to choreograph both programs”

“Well.. I don't know why you are so surprised. You ARE a choreographer, aren't you?”

“But I'm not a machine! It's less than in a month. How can I create two different programs in this short time? And I still have Yuri who need to be prepared to Olympics. He presented good at GPF, but that was not because he suddenly became a good actor”

Yuuri giggles at this last statement, looking at Yuri with 'I-told-you' glance. “Don't worry, I'll take care of Yuri for you. I'm his coach after all. You just focus on your creativity”

“What do you mean? Aren't you going to help me plan the programs?” Victor looks truly offended

“What help do you want from me?” Yuuri shakes his head. “It's exhibition performance, Victor. You don't need to put four quads in it, you just need it to look awesome. For all I know, Yuri can stand still for half a minute to play an air guitar and the audience will be happy”

“You can't understand the true beauty of well-made program with the exact level of difficulty perfectly suited to specific figure skater” Victor rolls his eyes and leans the back of his hand to his forehead

“Yeah, you right. That was too complicated sentence for me to understand” Yuuri laughs. “There-there, don't be so dramatic. I'll help you if you need it.”

“Me too” Yuri adds. “You don't need to ask for our help”

“Perfect!” Victor immediately stands from their laps and claps his hands. “I already have a wonderful idea!”

“Why do I have bad feeling about it” Yuri sighs.

----

Standing on the rink a week later Yuri can praise himself for shrewdness.

“You want to do whaaaaaat?” Yuuri's eyes widens

“A trio!” happily repeats Victor

“The three of us. Skating. As a trio. At gala” Yuuri looks, like he need to say this outloud to actually believe it.

“It will be perfect, don't you agree?”

“If I remember right, you were the one complaining about a lack of time. Now you want not only create, but to practice and perform it?”

“Yep. I found that my loved ones give me a lot of inspiration this days” he winks.

“Alright, I'll buy it. Yuri, what do you think?"

Yuri looks at this bickering and feels like he is at home. The only place he felt this way before was his grandpa's apartment. But now it looks like he don't need a special place, he can carry this 'home' feeling wherever he goes. As long, as this two silly men were with him.

“I'm in. Sounds like fun”

“Oh, I love you, Yuri! Thank you!”

Yuri freezes for a second “You realize, that's the first time you're actually telling me this?”

Victor's eyes shine with adoration “No, I didn't. I've told it in my mind countless times. I love you”

Before Yuuri starts crying, before Yuri's amazement passes, Victor's face changes back to its happy expression “I even found ourselves a perfect music. Check it out”

They listen to music, which indeed if perfect, look at Victor's choreography and then spend the rest of the day practicing it. At the end Yuri suddenly laughs as he remembers his teenage dreams. Victor and Yuuri look at him, questioning. He smiles.

“I guess, we're really going to make history”