He does confess he feels himself distracted,
But from what cause he will by no means speak.
Hamlet: Act III, Scene I
If you were seated in the stands, he liked to imagine the cheers were deafening.
At center ice, Viktor could only hear the beat of his own heart.
He waited for the exhilaration that followed a masterful performance, held the final pose for a beat longer than necessary. Waited for a rush that never came.
For the first time ever he felt the chill of the glassy surface that had long been his home, seeping through his costume, sinking into his bones. It wasn’t until he left the ice that he realized he hadn’t bowed to the spectators, so disoriented by the foreignness of the cold and the vacuity of the moment, that he had simply forgotten.
It was unforgiveable, as Yakov reminded him in a harsh hiss against his ear.
The scores, the medal, the podium, the interviews—it was all rote. It came and went and Viktor was present in body only, his mind far away, thinking of home and wondering where, exactly, that even was.