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Heart of Frost

Chapter Text

Katsuki Yuuri stepped into the building slowly. He was able to get Ice Castle Hasetsu for himself for the night. He looked outside for anyone suspicious, before closing and locking the door. He placed his bag and glasses down, and then glanced around the rink slowly, ensuring that no one was peeking.

Then he ran onto the ice without putting on his skates.

He felt a surge of energy come from within him, and blades made of ice formed on the sole of his shoes before he landed. As he skated figures, he let snowflakes follow him like little ducklings. He created ramps for him to jump in the air. He spun in circles until he laughed and collapsed on the ice.

Perhaps most people would have said it was freezing, but not an Ice Magus like Yuuri.

Most Water Magi in Japan were regular undines that managed hot springs, with healing properties for Magi. But instead of the usual deep blue whirlpool that covered an undine’s chest, there were frost markings over Yuuri’s heart. Like all Magus markings, they spread over Yuuri’s skin whenever he was either using his magic or being emotional.

Like right now.

Yuuri stared at his hand, watching the frost slowly claim his skin. He wondered how life would be like to be human. It wasn’t bad skating without magic – after all, he had to if he wanted to participate in competitions – but he had to admit that it was more fun with. On the other hand, he wanted to stop hiding who he was and feeling terrified of letting anyone know about who he really was.

Sometimes, it was better to just stay alone on the ice instead.


Yuuri stared at the wide screen in front of him. On it, he could see a teenager, just four years older than he was, skating around the routine.

The silver-haired prince was gliding on the ice with the grace of a swan. His movements were delicate, but purposefully flowing. Every time he stepped, spun, and jumped, it was absolutely perfect. As a budding skater, Yuuri had to respect the hours of practice that the skater had put behind this performance.

He couldn’t hear the conversation that his friends were having because he was too busy focusing on the man in front of him. The only thing that slipped into his mind was that the skater was named Viktor Nikiforov.

He prayed that Viktor Nikiforov was a Magus, like him.


 

Yuuri ended the call with his mother. Still gripping the phone in his hand tightly, he thought back to the finals.

He was skating on the same ice as the best skaters in the world. There was a 99% chance that they were human. He was an ice Magus. Theoretically, he should have the advantage.

But he was a hundred points below his own idol.

It took five seconds before the tears came.


Yuuri was at the banquet after the finals. He couldn’t seem to hear his coach’s voice, and socializing wasn’t his thing. He ended up near the wall, beside the table with the food. He noticed that the kid who yelled at him earlier was staring at him, so he turned away. He stared at the champagne glasses instead.

He just felt nervous and depressed the entire time. He could feel frost markings slowly covering his chest. He was silently thankful that he was wearing a suit.

He needed to do something to calm down before they show on his hands and his face. Anything to distract him.

He continued to stare at the champagne.

Well, it was a formal occasion, so surely he’ll retain enough sense to stay sane throughout the evening. Plus it’s not like one glass hurt anybody, right?

(But sixteen glasses do.)


Yuuri’s mouth was gaping wide open.

He was staring at the naked man in the onsen right in front of him. While most people’s eyes would look downwards, his eyes were switching between his chest and his face.

His chest, because it had no markings on it, confirming sadly that yes he was a human, and his face, because he couldn’t believe that this particular face, which was plastered on sixteen posters in his bedroom, was belonging to a man standing buck naked in his family’s onsen.

“Starting today, I’ll be your new coach!”

Yuuri screamed.


 “Yuuri, would you like to join me in the onsen?” His new coach asked cheerfully.

Yuuri paled. He shook his head. “Ah, sorry. I don’t really like using the onsen.”

“Huh?” His bright blue eyes widened and his mouth formed an ‘o’ shape. “How come? If I were you, I’d be using it every day all my life!”

That’s because I end up making the water cold just by touching it, he thought silently to himself.

“I don’t like taking a bath with others,” he said out loud. 


 

“Yuuri, the both of you are going to be training under the waterfall, alright?” A familiar voice called out to them after practice.

Crap, I can’t show my chest to them! Yuuri stood up and hurried to another room.

He came back to find two confused Russians. “Yuuri, where did you go?”

He showed the white clothes in his hands. “I, ah, went to get bathrobes for us to wear under the waterfall, hehe…”

“Ohhh. That’s a great idea!”

Phew.


 

Yuuri was practicing his free skate. As he sped up for his last jump, he kicked the ice and did a quadruple toe loop, landing smoothly.

“Good job, Yuuri! That was a perfect landing.”

Yuuri blushed. He felt a small surge of magic leave his body. Fortunately, there was a great distance between the two of them, so he wouldn’t be able to see it.

As practice ended and Yuuri skated to the entrance of the rink, the Russian commented, “I always feel cold breezes in here, for some reason. It reminds me of St. Petersburg. Do you feel them too, Yuuri?”

Yuuri froze. “Er… Not really?”

“Huh.” He stroked his chin thoughtfully. “I must be imagining things. Perhaps I miss St. Petersburg more than I thought.”

Yuuri really needed to get his magic under control.


 

As the last few piano notes of his free skate played, Yuuri put his right hand over his heart and extended his left hand towards where his heart belongs.

The first time he did his free skate in a competition, he was nervous, as usual, but he hadn’t done anything that warranted a big reaction, other than maybe hurting himself a little by slamming into the wall.

But this time, he had attempted a quadruple flip as his last jump. Even if he hadn’t landed it perfectly, he had still attempted the world’s most famous skater’s signature move, and this particular skater was also his current coach. He had no idea how the silver-haired man was going to react.

Yuuri watched him. The Russian had put his face in his hands, and then started running towards the kiss and cry. In reaction to that, Yuuri took off in the same direction as well.

Since he couldn’t be there first, Yuuri cried out, “I did great, didn’t I?”

He nodded, a mischievous smile on his lips, and jumped forward.

As the impact hit his lips, Yuuri felt burst of energy leaving his body. He used a bit of his magic to slightly soften the blow.

Blue eyes gazed into Yuuri’s, and his smile seemed to widen indefinitely. “This was the only thing I could think of to surprise you more than you did today.”

Yuuri blushed. He leaned into his touch. “Oh really?”

He just kept grinning, tightening his embrace. He laughed goodheartedly. “Goodness, Yuuri, you’re so cold after the competition! Let’s get out and you all warmed up, okay? I’ll treat you to some katsudon!”

Yuuri smiled. If only you knew. 


 

“I’ll be back as soon as I can, alright?”

Yuuri curled up on the hotel bed. He clutched his blanket tightly. Frost was slowly covering the bed. He didn’t bother to cover the frost markings all over his body.

It’s not like he had to hide them from anyone. 


 

Yuuri was slowly walking in the airport. He was now back in Japan. He was glad that winter was coming soon. That meant he could hide his magic more easily.

As he was walking, he heard some barking to the side. As he turned, a familiar brown poodle was making the noise. As for the owner…

Yuuri started running towards the exit, as well as the other man. As he reached the exit, Yuuri jumped into his arms.

After all these months, Yuuri was slowly getting used to the man, thus his magic was getting more stable as the months went by. However, he was still being surprised, over and over again. He hadn’t expected someone to pick him up from the airport, since no one ever did before. Thus, he expected it when a burst of energy came from him.

But Yuuri didn’t focus on that. Instead, he focused on the man in front of him. He never wanted to let go.

Yuuri looked into his blue eyes and clutched his shoulders. “Please be my coach until the day I retire.”

He gave a gentle smile. “It sounds like a marriage proposal.”

Don’t lose control of your magic don’t lose control of your magic don’t lose control of your magic-

He brought up Yuuri’s knuckles and kissed them just as gently. “In that case, I wish you’d never retire.”

Yuuri’s dropped ten degrees in temperature.

He let go of Yuuri’s body and laughed. “Goodness, Yuuri, you’re rather cold after coming from Russia. Come, let’s go back to Hasetsu so that you can warm up in the personal baths!”


 

While they were shopping in Barcelona, Katsuki Yuuri looked around the area. He was wondering where he could find a store that was selling what he wanted.

Suddenly, he happened to see in the distance a store that appeared to be named after a woman. Yuuri froze, and then ran towards the store. Fifteen minutes later, he was 800 Euros poorer.

Yuuri dragged him until they stopped in front of a church, with a choir singing nearby. Slowly, his hands even shaking, Yuuri slowly put something round and golden on his boyfriend’s ring finger. He was trying his best to control his magic so that frost wouldn’t cover the ring. Yuuri was certain that the frost markings had covered all of his torso and probably half his arms and legs.

“I…” Yuuri breathed in and out slowly. “I wanted to give you something, something that would show how much I appreciate all the time and effort you’ve spent for me. I wanted you to know and feel my love.”

And Katsuki Yuuri looked into the blue eyes of Viktor Nikiforov. Viktor smiled, full of love, and quietly said, “If you want to show your love, then show it as you skate on the ice tomorrow, like you always do.”

And Viktor lifted Yuuri’s freezing hand, and placed the other ring on his fiancé’s hand. He smiled, with all the love unsaid in the silence.


 

As they went back to the room later, Viktor ended up sleeping first. As Yuuri curled up on the bed beside him, his mind swirled with many different thoughts about the earlier event, most of them happy ones.

But one small question came to mind: how was he going to tell Viktor that he was a Magus?

Chapter Text

“Yuuuuuuuuuri!” Viktor slammed the door open with a bang, letting go of the knob quickly and gesturing to the apartment inside. “Welcome to our new home!”

As he stepped inside the apartment, Yuuri was surprised to note that the man was a minimalist in terms of decoration. He could’ve sworn that with how frivolous his personality, Viktor would have decorated the place with a thousand dog plushies.

Instead, there were sleek and modern furniture pieces at key pieces in the apartment. Everything seemed so firm and angular, with the only soft object being the dog bed filled with dog toys in the corner. Yuuri smiled when Makkachin jumped in immediately.

Inside of him, there were two versions of Yuuri that were struggling for control. The first was the inner fanboy, which he wished he had buried a long time ago, that was rejoicing that he was in his longtime idol’s home. The other was an excited fiancé who couldn’t wait to move in.

Viktor had been chatting excitedly the entire way from Hasetsu to the apartment. From while they were in the Fukuoka airport, buying some last-minute souvenirs – “So that you won’t feel too homesick in the first few months!” – to pointing out all of his favorite food places in the taxi – “Oh, Yuuri, you’ll love the borscht served in that restaurant!” – and even complaining to the point he sounded like Yurio – “Are we there already? This plane is taking longer than it did for me to find you after the banquet!” – that Yuuri would’ve thought that it was Viktor who had idolized being married to Yuuri ever since he was a little kid.

Viktor gave Yuuri a little tour of the house, commenting on the little things and talking about cute little incidents involving them – “Oh, that cactus came in when Yurio was first brought to the rink. Mila wasn’t used to his behavior yet, so the day after they had their first argument, she bought everyone a cactus to symbolize Yurio’s thorny nature.”  - and generally trying to describe as much of past life to Yuuri as he possibly could, while being distracted by literally everything.

They came across a room that had a plain yoga mat in the middle, as well as a cabinet at the side. At the side were bookshelves containing books on ice skating, dancing, choreography, and sketchbooks. “This is technically the second bedroom,” Viktor informed Yuuri. “I needed more cabinet space for my costumes, so I got a place with two bedrooms. However, only Makkachin lives with me, so I turned this room into my inspiration room. I go here when I’m trying to choreograph my routines and I’m trying to figure out what to do.”

“Wow,” Yuuri let out a slow breath of surprised wonder. “I never thought I’d get to be in the same room that Viktor Nikiforov uses to choreograph his routines.”

“I occasionally exercise here too, so if you want to see me shirtless, you can exercise here with me too.” His fiancé winked at him.

Yuuri blushed. “V- Viktor…”

“Would you prefer it in the bedroom then? I have a king-sized mattress, so it’s fine.”

Yuuri shook his head furiously. He was certain that he was blushing even further.

Then he inwardly cursed. He realized his magic was slowly slipping out due to his embarrassment.

He was hoping to have gotten used to Viktor so that his emotions wouldn’t go out of control anymore but it looks like that would be impossible but he was still very prone to losing control of his magic in front of Viktor. Hopefully Viktor didn’t notice? He was less likely to notice it nowadays…

“Brrr!” Viktor hugged himself and rubbed himself. “Russia seems colder than I remember.”

Yuuri froze, waiting for the Russian’s next words to finalize his funeral.

“… I guess it’s because it’s winter.” He pouted. “I’d hug you to make myself warmer, but you’re always colder than the weather itself!”

Yuuri silently sighed in relief, anxiously chuckling out loud. “H- hehe, sorry I can’t be your personal heater…”

Viktor’s pout quickly turned into a mischievous grin. He quickly hugged his fiancé, surprising Yuuri in the process. “Well,” he whispered in a low and silky voice, “I don’t need any reason to hug you, do I?”

Needless to say, Yuuri blushed.

However, he could turn the tables back on Viktor.

Yuuri fixed onto Viktor with a determined look “Oh really?” He whispered back in the same tone. “Because I could think of a thousand reasons why we shouldn’t be hugging.”

Viktor let go of Yuuri, staring at him with a confused look on his face. “Huh? Why not?”

“Because there are so many better things we could be doing to each other.”

Viktor chuckled, looking at Yuuri with an impish gleam in his eyes. “Oh, really? What sort of things are you thinking of, my dear?”

“Oh, I don’t know…” Yuuri traced Viktor’s jawline with his finger, never breaking eye contact. “We could kiss,” he said as his finger moves towards Viktor’s lips. “But of course-” he brought his hand down and lightly stroked Viktor’s chest  “-it doesn’t have to be on the lips. Or-” Yuuri pulled onto Viktor’s arms, bringing him close to the other “-we could have the rest of our body do the talking.”

Viktor smirked. “Oh dear. It appears I may have created a demon.”

Yuuri returned the same look. He put his hands on the back of Viktor’s head and tilted it downwards. “Yes, you have. What are you going to do about it?”

“I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it.”

He forgot who initiated it, but all of a sudden, they were now kissing. All Yuuri could think about was how Viktor tasted and how he was actually kissing Viktor Nikiforov in Viktor Nikiforov’s own apartment and how the rest of his life was probably going to be like this every day. It was absolutely wonderful.

Unfortunately for them, it was at that point when Makkachin lost interest in the dog toys that the dog had left behind when he had been taken to Japan. Makkachin decided to jump in between the two of them, barking loudly. The two lovers were startled and broke apart immediately, laughing. Viktor sat down to rub the poodle’s head with a wide smile on his face. Yuuri decided to sit down and join Viktor as well, ignoring the still-unopened suitcases in the hallway. He watched the two play with each other, his heart filling with love for both of them.

He glanced around the room they were in, studying it further. He was staring at a particular ballet choreography book that he could’ve sworn he saw in Minako’s studio, when Viktor asked him a question.

“Huh?” Yuuri turned to face Viktor. “Can you please repeat the question? I wasn’t paying attention, sorry.”

Viktor gave a small smile and waved his hand. “It’s okay. I was… just thinking about something.”

“Thinking about what?”

“Well… I’m not sure if you would appreciate the question, really. It’s a little… invasive.”

“Viktor, I trust you. I trust that you won’t overstep your boundaries if you were told not to. You can ask whatever you were curious about. I’ll just tell you if I feel uncomfortable about it.”

His fiancé smiled. “Well, if you say so.”

Viktor adjusted his position such that Makkachin could calmly sleep on Viktor’s lap, as the owner placed his hand on his dog’s head and rubbed it reassuringly.

“Well… I have been wondering about this since after the Rostelecom Cup actually, but I didn’t really talk to you about it since we were busy preparing for the Grand Prix Finals and we didn’t exactly have a lot of time to prepare for it.”

Yuuri nodded. He was certain he had the worst schedule out of all the skaters for the Grand Prix, performing in the last two competitions and leaving very little rest time in between all three competitions. Viktor had complimented his stamina for actually being able to cope with it.

“Anyway, our first kiss was the Cup of China, remember?”

Yuuri blushed. Of course he remembered. It was broadcasted on international television, his family was watching, and when he came home, his parents gave him the ‘We-know-you’re-in-love-but-this-is-your-first-time-so-make-sure-you-are-careful-especially-since-he’s-not-a-Magus’ talk. Quite frankly, it was very hard to forget.

“So… we’ve definitely kissed a lot since then, and we’ve definitely been talking about doing more, but we never actually do it.” Viktor started making hand gestures at this point. “We just kiss each other’s lips, not even other areas of our bodies, and while our hands may be gripping each other or lightly touching something, it’s more seductive than sexual. You get what I mean?”

Yuuri gulped uneasily. He was hoping that Viktor would not point this out. He was trying not to move the affectionate moves further since if Viktor got too close, and Yuuri accidentally let out a burst of magic…

“Well, I don’t really have a problem with it. Well, my body is slightly sexually frustrated but I don’t care. I’d rather go at whatever pace you’re okay with. I would be totally fine and go the rest of my life never having sex with you if that was what you wanted.”

“However,” Viktor said as he lifted one finger into the air. “That isn’t the case.”

Yuuri froze. “What do you mean by that?”

“What I mean is that what should happen is that when we feel like it, we’re both kissing, we both feel happy, we both feel comfortable, and we level up whenever we feel like it. What actually happens is that someone appears to still be holding back their Eros.”

Oh.

Oh crap.

He noticed it!?

“I’ve noticed that while you’re uncomfortable whenever we try to move things further. You especially hate it when I try to touch you on the chest. And that’s with clothes on. Heck, when we finally started sleeping in bed together, you don’t even allow spooning. But don’t get me wrong; that’s okay actually.”

“However, you always look so frustrated whenever that happens. That’s why I stopped moving things forward. I thought that you were asexual, or that you were one of those saving sex for marriage. You know, something. We didn’t get the chance to really talk about it since we were busy.”

“But then I noticed that you like to stare at me. Like a lot. And you have trouble holding back when you’re kissing. And you like to touch me a lot. Lots of little things really. It made me wonder if the frustration wasn’t because you felt like you couldn’t live up to my expectations.”

“It was as if you wanted to take things further, but you didn’t allow yourself to.”

Viktor struck jackpot.

Yuuri was so dead. He could feel the frost covering his torso slowly. He tried to calm himself and his magic down.

“And just, it made me wonder: why don’t you want things to go further? Are you saving yourself for marriage, but you don’t want to? Are you scared about not satisfying me? Are you worried you won’t be as good as my previous lovers? Are you scared that since you’re a virgin it’ll be awkward?”

Yuuri was incredibly worried about this, yes, but he hadn’t even thought about any of that until Viktor decided to magically add to the list of things that his stupid anxiety will constantly degrade him with even though he knew it was false. At least he was not going to worry about that right now.

Unfortunately, he had worse things to worry about.

Oh crap what the heck am I going to tell Viktor right now I mean I can’t just say I don’t feel like kissing him because he figured out that I want more but obviously I can’t just tell him the truth I mean even if the worst case scenario of him revealing it to the world and saying that I’ve been cheating this whole time doesn’t come true he could still reject me outright and I don’t think I could take that-

He hadn’t realized he was having a panic attack until he felt Viktor’s strong arms wrap around him and slowly rub his back rhythmically. Makkachin barked at Yuuri, nuzzling up to him.

“It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay,” Viktor repeated over and over again. “I’m here for you.”

The two lovers waited until Yuuri’s breathing had slowed down. Viktor slowly released him. He grasped his fiancé’s hand. “Are you alright, my love?”

Slowly, Yuuri nodded. He was definitely feeling better right now.

Viktor smiled. “That’s good.” The smiled disappeared, and he rubbed the back of his head ruefully. “Look, I’m sorry for asking the question. If I had known it would have affected you this badly, I wouldn’t have. You don’t need to answer it, you don’t need to do more than kissing, and you definitely don’t have to worry about it. I trust you.”

Viktor brought up Yuuri’s hand, removed the gloves, and he softly kissed the ring on his fiancé’s finger. He gave a small smile, which made Yuuri smile back in return.

Yuuri hesitated. This was a good moment. Viktor… He could trust Viktor. They had never discussed Magi before, but surely, Viktor wouldn’t have a strong negative opinion. Perhaps, perhaps this would be a good time to confess-

“My goodness, Yuuri!” Viktor let go of his fiancé’s hand and rubbed his own hands together. “You’re so cold! I was wearing gloves and I could still feel how cold you were!”

It was at that point that Yuuri realized that his magic had been slipping out earlier. Whoops.

Viktor stood up and dusted himself. “It seems I’ll have to prepare some coffee for the two of us.”

Yuuri stiffened. “Er, Viktor, it’s okay, please, you don’t have to-”

“Nonsense! I will not allow my beautiful fiancé to freeze to death! I will warm you up with some of the finest beans that the Ivory Coast has to offer!” Viktor walked out of the room and Makkachin followed him.

Yuuri sighed. A benefit of telling Viktor that he was a Magus: he could finally stop drinking all these hot drinks that Viktor kept forcing on him in order to “warm him with all my love!” even though he actually was unknowingly making Yuuri slowly melt into a puddle, quite literally.

He thought about it. Benefit A: He could finally do more than just kissing. Benefit B: No more coffee.

Then he thought about the costs.

He shook his head. Not worth it.

Yuuri decided to head to the kitchen, where his fiancé was preparing poison for his love. Perhaps if he could prove how dedicated he was to Viktor first, maybe he wouldn’t feel like dumping Yuuri when he eventually finds out.

Chapter Text

Viktor and Yuuri were as different as day and night. Viktor was friendly and warm, Yuuri was distant and cold. Viktor was bold and expressive, Yuuri was timid and nervous. Viktor was immature and childish, Yuuri was sensible and responsible. Viktor was rash and careless, Yuuri was rational and levelheaded.

But the most striking of their differences was that Viktor was a morning person, and Yuuri simply wasn’t.

“Yuuri! Rise and shine, my sleeping beauty!” Viktor greeted his fiancé cheerfully.

Viktor heard groans from underneath the covers. His fiancé pulled over the blanket tightly.

Viktor paid no mind to the protests. He snuggled up to his love and kissed him on the lips. “Oh, Yuuri~”

Yuuri was flat-out ignoring him.

Viktor made a tsk sound. He looked around, and spotted Makkachin in his dog bed at the corner of the bedroom, recently moved from the living room. Viktor scooped up Makkachin and placed him on the bed. The affectionate poodle started licking all over Yuuri’s face.

Yuuri squirmed around, but made no attempt to get out of bed.

Viktor was starting to get a little impatient. Hmmm, what would be the best way to wake him up? He thought about it for a little while, and thought of a common way how most people decide to wake others up. He quickly rose and ran to the bathroom. He filled a small cup with water, which was surely cold from the December air. He went back, and poured the freezing water over Yuuri.

It had no effect whatsoever.

Viktor was about to tear his hair out from frustration if it weren’t for the fact he wanted as much hair on his head as possible, thank you very much. Wasn’t there any other way…

An idea popped into his head.

Viktor walked to the kitchen, still holding the cup he had used earlier. This time, he started heating up water for his morning coffee. However, when he was done, instead of pouring it straight into his coffee mug, he poured into the bathroom cup until it was full. He walked back to the bedroom, and poured the boiling hot liquid over his love.

Yuuri was up and about in five seconds, screaming in confusion.

“Yay! It worked!” Viktor hugged his dripping fiancé with a huge heart-shaped grin on his mouth.

“V- Viktor,” Yuuri stuttered, “why in the world did you pour boiling hot liquid all over me?”

“Because you were asleep, Yuuri, and nothing I was doing was waking you up!”

“But you know that pouring boiling water on others is dangerous! You could’ve burned me!”

The grin on Viktor’s face started to fall. “Wait, really?”

Yuuri sighed. “Yes, Viktor. People can get seriously burned by boiling water. It’s 100 degrees Celsius. Normal body temperature is 36 degrees. I understand what you were trying to do, but please, don’t ever do that again, even with other people.”

“Oh.” Viktor shuffled restlessly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. But,” he started in a defensive tone, “you know how important today is! It’s not just your first day in St. Petersburg – not including yesterday because all we did was unpack stuff – we’re going to meet everyone at my old skating rink! I know you’re vaguely acquainted with all of them, but it’s a good way to start the New Year if we have friends before it even begins! Besides, we’ll get to see Yurio!”

Yuuri scratched his head with a patient look on his face. “Okay. I get it; I promise I’ll get up early – or at least be easier to wake up – when it’s an important day. But please, never use boiling water. Okay?"

“Deal! Now hurry up, Yuuri!” 


 

Thankfully, the skating rink was just a ten-minute walk away from the apartment. They had a short breakfast at a nearby bakery, before quickly entering the skating rink.

Not surprisingly since it was relatively early in the morning, very few people were there, but they were all competitive skaters and coaches that Viktor was sure Yuuri could recognize. Majority of his former rinkmates appeared to be there, including Mila and Georgi. Viktor couldn’t see Yurio at the moment, but since Yakov was there, he was certain that Yurio was just nearby. Yakov and Lilia were discussing something with the other coaches, probably about the upcoming competitions after the Grand Prix, as well as the new arrangements with him and Yuuri here.

“Good morning, everyone!” Viktor cheerfully greeted the mostly empty building. “It’s great to be back here with all of you!”

“Well, well, well, welcome back, little Mister Love-struck,” commented Mila. “I knew you were the biggest drama queen out of all of us, but I never thought I’d get to see the day that Georgi’s affairs seemed reasonable.”

“Hey!” Georgi pouted at her. “How dare you insult me like that!”

“Georgi’s right,” a loud and demanding voice called out from behind the two Russians. “The old man might be worse, but Georgi’s never been reasonable.”

“Yurio!” Viktor ran in between his former-turned-current rinkmates and jumped at the fifteen year old. Unfortunately, the blonde stepped to the side and Viktor ended up falling flat on his face.

Yurio made the most disgusted look he could possibly muster, even though Viktor was certain that he would attempt to break that record the very next day. “I was hoping you’d stay back in Hasetsu,” he muttered.

Viktor smiled back at him. “Awww, I missed you too, Yurio.”

“And that’s not my name!”

“Why are you calling him Yurio?”

“Don’t you dare start calling me that, old hag!”

“Well, wouldn’t it be confusing with two Yuris?”

“Huh, that makes sense.”

“Well, let’s all call him Yurio then!”

“Hell no, what the f-”

Viktor laughed as he joined his fellow Russians. While he did enjoy his life in Hasetsu, he would be lying if he didn’t say that he didn’t miss his friends back here in St. Petersburg, in particular, the people who were also under Yakov. It wasn’t a completely dreadful life before Yuuri, after all.

Speaking of Yuuri…

He looked behind him to see Yuuri hiding near the bleachers. Yuuri caught his eye, and realizing that Viktor had noticed him lagging behind, he moved to hide near the bleachers.

Oh, not so fast, my little darling!

Viktor jogged towards Yuuri, and while Yuuri started moving backwards quickly, Viktor sped up so that he could drag Yuuri’s hand and introduce him to everyone.

“Hi, everyone, I know that technically speaking, you’ve met him, but apparently he drank so much that he doesn’t remember anything about the Sochi banquet, so let’s do some introductions again!” Viktor raised up Yuuri’s hand. “This is my fiancé-slash-student Yuuri Katsuki.”

He then nudged Yuuri in the side.

“Uh, oh, um, hi,” he shyly waved at everyone. “I, uh, am sorry I don’t remember meeting most of you and I, uh, would really like to apologize for whatever I’ve done at the Sochi banquet. That was completely uncalled for and, um…”

Viktor noticed that his fiancé’s hand was getting rather cold. Must be the cold temperature from the building. He started rubbing circles onto the hand he was holding, to both warm up Yuuri and ease his anxiety.

“No, it’s totes fine, Yuuri.” Mila extended a hand for him to shake, and winked at him. “Mila Babicheva. It’s nice to finally meet the one who turned Viktor into a Georgi #2, as well as give me another thing I can use to tease Yurio.”

“Shut the hell up.”

Mila gave a huge laugh, before elbowing Georgi and coughing loudly.

“Ah, er, yes.” Georgi inclined his head a little, looking contemplative in thought. “Georgi Popovich. I think we’ve met at the Cup of China.”

There was a moment of silence before he clasped Yuuri’s hands. Everyone, including Yuuri, was shocked, most of them taking a step back.

“Yuuri,” Georgi called in a desperate tone, “would you please listen to my request and help me?”

“Er… sure?”

“Then please, would you kindly teach me how to be a good lover?”

Every single Russian in the group groaned simultaneously.

“Georgi, I know you were able to score a date with that blonde costume designer,” Mila pointed out with a lot of frustration in her voice. “I know that you are fully capable of getting over Anya. I have full confidence in your dating capabilities, so you don’t need to bring your romance problems to the rink.”

Georgi’s eyes went wide. “Wait, Mila, you really believe in me?”

“Of course she doesn’t, you moron,” Yurio hissed at him. “She just wants you to shut up about your damn relationships, like everyone else here.”

Georgi whimpered.

Mila laughed. “Alright, alright. I can’t deny it.” She turned to focus on Yuuri. “But really, aren’t you a lucky little darling! I mean, having a figure skating genius for your coach must great for you, especially since you do a little more than just skating.” She winked at him.

Viktor chuckled as Yuuri blushed. “Th-that’s not-”

“Alright!” Yakov came over along with the other coaches. “Stop wasting time on your mundane chitchat and start doing your stretches.”

The group of skaters dispersed. Yakov caught Viktor’s eye, and scowled.

That’s strange. Normally he would sigh.

No matter.

“Yakov!” Viktor jumped at the aging coach and hugged him fiercely. “Oh, how I missed you.”

“Vitya,” he greeted dryly. “I see that you have returned.”

Viktor jumped off and gestured to his fiancé. “You remember, Yuuri, right? We’re going to be practicing here! Isn’t that wonderful?”

Yakov’s eyes were devoid of emotion. “And you will be coaching him while competing at the same time,” he asked, in a very flat tone.

“Of course! Won’t this be a fun season?”

“Vitya, the world may see you as my most successful student, but frankly, I don’t know if it was worth the effort.”

Viktor pouted. “Come on, Yakov! I promise that we were had a very professional student-coach relationship.”

Yakov grunted. “Then show me the results of this coaching instead of babbling around here.”

Viktor smiled at his old coach. He had a funny way of showing affection, just like Yurio.

He patted Yuuri’s back. “Alright, Yuuri~ You heard what Yakov said! Hurry up, do your stretches, and show Yakov what you’re made of!” 


 

“You know,” Mila commented as the skaters gathered together for lunch, “I take back what I said earlier. I feel so sorry for you, Yuuri.”

“Huh?” Viktor looked at Mila with a very confused look on his face. “How come?”

“Probably because you’re a terrible coach to have,” Yurio grumbled.

Viktor gasped, dramatically placing his right hand over his chest. “What? But did you not notice how well Yuuri was doing earlier?”

“We did. And quite frankly, we all thought that you were thinking the exact opposite.”

“What? I would never think that way of Yuuri! What gave you that impression?”

It was at that moment when Yuuri, panting hard and finally done doing some last minute spins, had settled beside Viktor and added to the conversation, “Maybe they noticed the fact that you are infinitely worse compared to Yakov when it comes to critiquing.”

“Huh? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Oh really now? Wanna ask Yakov?”

“Sure! Hey, Yakov!”

Viktor waved at Yakov, but he noticed that Yakov was busy on the phone. He seemed to be rather agitated.

“Let’s just ask later,” Georgi uncertainly said.

“Alright. But I still think that my critiquing skills are excellent.”

Viktor noticed that both Yuris were glaring at him.

“What?” Yurio stood up and said a few choice words in Russian that Viktor was never teaching Yuuri. “I mean,” he said as he posed dramatically, pretending to act as himself and Viktor. “‘If I need agape to make my performance better, then what the hell is it?’ ‘Oh, it’s a feeling. I could never describe it. But I think a temple would help you find it!’”

“Oh, but Yurio, didn’t the temple help at all?”

“No. Screw the temple.”

The silver-haired Russian gave the saddest look possible, complete with puppy-dog eyes. He scooted over to his fiancé’s side, nuzzling into Yuuri. “Yuuri, you believe that I’m a brilliant coach, right, my love?”

Yuuri just stared at him.

“After the Onsen on Ice competition, you basically completely tore apart each and every movement I made, carelessly criticizing each one, and that was before I had any self-esteem,” Yuuri stated in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. “You do the same thing after every event.”

Before Viktor could interject that Yakov did that too, Yuuri continued, “We wake up at five in the morning to get to Ice Castle Hasetsu at six-thirty, practicing until four to five in the evening. Half of that time was me practicing jumps, aka the quadruple flip, which is the third most difficult jump to master. And most importantly, you don’t allow me to eat katsudon.”

“But, Yuuri, we agreed that katsudon is only for when you win a medal!”

“Then you shouldn’t get any either because you haven’t won any medals for half a season!”

Viktor was taken aback, unable to think of a snappy reply fast enough to retort with.

Unfortunately, this meant that the rest of the skaters, who were watching the debate with keen interest, were rather entertained by the Japanese skater’s sass, and promptly started laughing.

“Oh my gosh, yes!” Mila cheered. “I knew that you were a great person if you could rile up little Yura, but I didn’t know you were a savage to Viktor too. I am so glad Viktor fell for you. I bet you can say anything you want to him and he won’t mind.”

Yuuri squirmed in his seat and Viktor noticed discomfort slowly moving in his expression.

He frowned a little. He remembered the panic attack that Yuuri had yesterday. Viktor couldn’t help but wonder what was it that Yuuri was scared to talk about with him. He wondered if he hadn’t shown that he was fairly open to anything when it came to sex. When he thought Yuuri wanted sex, he introduced himself in Hasetsu buck naked in the onsen. When he realized Yuuri was different from what he remembered, he quickly caught on and stopped pushing.  It seemed simple for Yuuri to tell him what he wanted.

Unless… the problem was bigger than that?

Viktor shook his head. He had to trust Yuuri. He would tell in his own time.

Eventually.

Right?

“Everyone!” Yakov called over. He must be done with the call. “Go to your respective coaches. We have some important news to tell you all.”

Everyone hurried over. Viktor noticed that his coach looked like he was trying to control his anger, akin to the expressions he would wear around Viktor in front of the press when Viktor answers a question in a way that he swears is perfectly okay.

 “Alright. As I said earlier, this is very important news. I personally find it terrible, but perhaps it would make some of you feel better. Quite frankly, I don’t think so.”

“Just get it over with, old man.”

“Yuri Plisetsky, I do not have the time to deal with your damn attitude.”

Woah. The news must have been really bad if Yakov’s addressing Yurio by his full name.

“If everyone’s finally willing to listen to me, I’ll announce it now.”

Well…

How bad could it be?

“The ISU has canceled the rest of the season.”

For five seconds, there was pure silence as everyone slowly processed the information.

 “No way!”

“So all my practice was for nothing?”

“Do we have a seven-month break now?”

“Wait!” Yuuri pushed towards the front of the crowd. “As in just Nationals, or just Four Continents, or…”

“Everything, Katsuki. Up until Worlds.”

“What the fuck?” Yurio roughly barged through the crowd. “What do you mean they canceled the rest of the fucking season? Why the fuck would they do that?”

Yakov pushed away the skaters, who were slowly advancing on him, mumbling Russian curses. “Look, I am not allowed to disclose the reason for the sudden cancellation-”

 “Well, I’m not giving up until I receive explanations! This is stupid!”

“I’m with the old hag here! I don’t want to skate if that moronic organization won’t even acknowledge our damn rights!”

“I’m sorry, Yakov, but I can’t understand why you won’t tell us. I don’t feel like skating if this is the case.”

“Gaaaaaaah!” Yakov pulled on his hair, as if needed to be pulled out even further. “You know what? Fine! You want to know the damn reason why they canceled the rest of the season, then so be it!”

“Then what is it?!”

“The ISU believes that one of the skaters is a Magus in hiding.”

Chapter Text

Yuuri’s world had stopped spinning. Yuuri wondered if he had died in his sleep, because he was certain that he was in hell.

Fuck. After years of careful subterfuge and secrecy and dealing with the correct Magi, he was finally found out. The ISU had finally found out about him and he was going to have to go have a trial even though the odds would be against his favor and he would either be imprisoned or be killed and his family would need to go into hiding and oh shit would Minako be found out as well and Viktor poor Viktor would hate him forever-

It was at this point that Yuuri noticed that a warm presence had hugged him and started rubbing circles on his back. He could make out some voices throughout the white noise in his mind:

“Yuuri!”

“Are you alright?!”

“Oi, katsudon, calm the fuck down!”

But really, the one that mattered to him the most was the warm familiar voice that was murmuring sweet reassurances in his ear.

“My love, my darling, my champion,” his fiancé whispered. “It’s alright. I’m here for you.”

It took a while, but slowly, surely, he stopped shaking and hyperventilating. He pulled back and looked into Viktor’s blue eyes. Viktor smiled as he grasped Yuuri’s hands.

“There we go. Now, do you feel better?”

Yuuri nodded a little. “Hai,” he whispered robotically, replying unknowingly in Japanese.

Viktor’s smile got a little bit bigger. “Alright, that’s good. Are you willing to rejoin the discussion, or would you like to sit down right now?”

Yuuri paused for a moment, before replying, “I can listen.” He needed to continue listening and learn what else the ISU knew before he made his attempt to escape and go into hiding.

Viktor nodded. “Got it.” The Russian turned around to face everyone else and gave a huge heart-shaped smile. “Continue on, Yakov!”

Yuuri realized that he had a panic attack in front of everyone, on the very first day. So much for a good first impression.

Oh wait. The first impression was actually when he was drunk at the banquet.

Did Yuuri mention that he hated cursing? Because fuck.

He realized that his magic had gone haywire at that moment and frost markings were quickly covering the rest of his body. He tried to control his frost markings from covering the areas that weren’t covered by his clothing, such as his hands and his neck. He was so glad that he chose to wear a long-sleeved shirt that day. He was also glad that they were still inside the rink, so they could shrug off the decrease in temperature.

As he looked at Yakov, he noted that the coach merely had a slightly concerned expression on his face.

“Katsuki,” Yakov addressed him in what was probably the softest – and yet, strangely the driest - tone that he had ever heard from him, and he got the feeling that he would never hear again. “There is no need to be afraid. I had a long discussion with them, and the ISU does not know the identity of the Magus. In fact, from the way they discussed it, it appears they are making that assumption on shaky grounds for evidence.”

Yurio made a tsk sound. “Seriously though, why are you so scared? Magi are nothing to be afraid of. They’re just some magic scaredy-cats that are too chicken to reveal themselves.”

“Well,” Mila said as she shrugged her shoulders, “to be fair, a lot of countries still have strict anti-Magus laws, some of them ending in capital punishment. You can’t really blame them for pretending to be humans.

“I don’t know,” Georgi said in an uncertain tone of voice, “I mean, they have magic and we have, what? That seems pretty scary to me.”

“Georgi, you seem to have forgotten the reason why Magi are now significantly rarer than before,” Yakov chastised him. “While their magic is strong, their physical constitution is rather weak compared to a human’s. Also, our technology and weapons had a significant advantage over them in the war. Quite frankly, it does not matter to me whether a Magus is competing with us or not. I was never concerned about the anti-Magus movements. As long as they don’t attack us first, I do not see a reason for our silly war with them.”

As Yuuri listened to the discussion, he felt his heartbeat slowly go back to a regular pattern. He hadn’t been found out yet. If anything, they were just trying to inspect the competition. As long as he stayed silent, kept up the friendly human façade, and did nothing suspicious, he should be fine.

Well, mostly, fine anyway. He still had to deal with the eventual time he had to tell Viktor that he was a Magus, but he didn’t want to remember that for now.

Which reminded him…

Yuuri looked over at his fiancé. There was a blank expression on his face, with a plastic smile that had a hint of curiosity.

Yuuri had known Viktor long enough to know when Viktor was faking his smiles. He was definitely doing it right now, and Yuuri couldn’t understand why. Viktor hadn’t said anything the entire discussion. The Viktor he knew would be giving his opinion, frank and candid, no matter what.

“Viktor?” He asked the silver-haired Russian. “Is something the matter?”

Viktor turned to Yuuri, and the plastic smile faded into something more sheepish. “Yuuri,” he whispered, “what, exactly, is a Magus?”

This was the second time that day that the world seemed to pause, just for a moment, that everything slowed down, that Yuuri’s own mind seemed to stop functioning.

“Um, Yuuri?”

And when the world continued to move forward, Yuuri had no idea what to do.

“You don’t know what Magi are?!”

Viktor flinched, and Yuuri realized a second too late that he had shouted that part. He turned around slowly, finding that the entire Russian team was staring at them with gaping jaws.

This was the third time that day when the world stopped spinning, not too far after the first one.

Yurio was the first to break out of the reverie. “What the fuck?! Do you seriously not know what Magi are? Were you raised under a fucking rock?”

Viktor chuckled, and only Yuuri, who had been with Viktor long enough to recognize it, detected the underlying embarrassment. “I’m sorry, Yurio. I haven’t been able to keep up with news since I’m too busy focusing on figure skating.”

“But still.” Georgi’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “The war between humans and Magi isn’t exactly recent news for anyone.”

Mila chuckled. “Well, anyone except Viktor Nikiforov apparently.”

“Okay, okay.” Viktor held up his hands and gave a very dry laugh. “I get it. I suppose my education wasn’t exactly the best, but would you please tell me about Maguses now so that I understand what you’re talking about.”

“Well, first of all, it’s Magi, if we’re talking about more than one Magus.”

“Huh? How come?”

“Because fuck the grammar police,” Yurio grumbled. Mila and Georgi shrugged, similarly.

Viktor nodded. “Well, there were people who decided it was a good idea to name me Viktor when my last name is Nikiforov. If those people exist, then I can’t blame the Maguses- I mean Magi for thinking similarly.”

Huh. Viktor was reacting pretty well. He didn’t seem to have a strong negative opinion of Magi just yet. If ever… Could Yuuri influence Viktor to think of Magi positively? It would help a lot when the time came for Yuuri to confess…

He decided to listen closely to the discussion and watch Viktor’s reactions. If ever, he needed to intervene and make sure that Viktor wouldn’t have too much of a negative reaction from the first impressions the Russians will give him, at the very least.

“Anyway,” Mila continued, “we actually used to be on okay terms with Magi back then. Long ago, the two of us lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Magi attacked.”

“Stop it with your stupid TV references, old hag.”

“What, I’m just trying to make it a little more fun!”

“Um…” Yuuri tried to speak up against the arguments. “I’m sure that the Magi wouldn’t have attacked without any reason.”

Especially since it was taught to us that it was the humans that attacked first, Yuuri continued silently.

“Yeah!” Viktor chimed in. “It seems weird that a race of people would just attack others for no reason.”

Internally, Yuuri sighed in relief.

Yurio scoffed at that. “Viktor, we’re not just talking about another race of humans. Magi aren’t human to begin with.”

Never mind.

Viktor’s eyebrows creased. “What are you talking about?”

Georgi sighed. “Neither of you two explained what Magi are.”

Mila giggled. “Oh, sorry, Viktor!”

Yurio rolled his eyes. “They look human. They act human. But they aren’t.”

“That still doesn’t explain anything, Yurio.”

“W-well,” Yuuri stuttered as he pulled on Viktor’s sleeve. “They aren’t really that bad. Magi, I mean. They don’t mean any harm and I’m sure that if you all would give them a chance, then they would show you that they’re perfectly harmless- well, maybe not perfectly harmless but-”

“Yuuri,” Viktor interrupted him.

“Y-yes?”

“You’re speaking in Japanese.”

“A-ah, sumimasen- ah, I mean, I’m sorry. What I meant to say was that I’m sure that Magi are just as good as humans. They just… have some quirks.”

“Quirks?”

Yurio rolled his eyes. “Quirks my ass. Their magic isn’t just some quirk. It’s plain out cheating.”

Before Yuuri could reply, Viktor interrupted him. “Wait, magic?!”

“Yes,” both Yuris replied.

The younger Yuri was bitter in his answer. “Wee you not listening to the earlier discussion? They can control a whole bunch of shit.”

“Um, yeah, four elements – earth, fire, air, water.”

Yurio rolled his eyes. “Whatever. It’s unfair, honestly. I want magic. Why can’t I talk to animals? Heck, why can’t humans have magic too?”

“W-well, Magi aren’t really much better off. I mean, due to the high energy that they consume, they need to eat a lot as well, and their physical bodies are weaker than humans. Plus, it needs a specific niche of earth Magi that can communicate with animals, to be honest.”

“Wait.” Yurio’s disposition made a U-turn. “There are actual Magi that can talk to cats?”

“Um, yes. Earth Magi are divided into two categories: gnomes and elves. Gnomes are those that can control what the earth is made of, like rocks and minerals. Elves are Magi that have magic related to the inhabitants on Earth, like plants and animals. They either facilitate plant growth or talk to animals, normally. Elves that do other kingdoms like bacteria, protists and fungi are even rarer.”

“Huh.” Mila smirked at Yuuri. “For a guy who was freaking out over the possibility of a skating Magus, you sure know a lot about them.”

Crap. He said too much.

“Ha, um, yeah, about that.” He gulped nervously and started scratching his head. “I have a degree in Magus Studies, back when I was still studying in Detroit. That’s why I know a lot about them. As for why I freaked out, w-well, I actually think that Magi shouldn’t need to hide and I was feeling a whole lot of pity for the Magus in hiding. I mean, if there is one. I mean, can you imagine getting your life wrecked all because of some trait you were born with, that you didn’t even choose to be born with?”

The words just came out of Yuuri’s mouth and he realized that he didn’t make any sense for half of it. So he just silently prayed that what he said had made sense. And he hadn’t accidentally outed himself.

“But what about the rest of the skaters that they’re competing against?” Yurio barked back at him. “I haven’t been practicing ever since I could stand on two feet just to lose to some cheater.”

Memories of his first Grand Prix Finals had flashed in Yuuri’s mind. “I don’t know, Yurio. You might be surprised at how useless magic can be.”

Yurio sneered at him. “Oh please. You just read about them from a textbook. How many Magi have you met in real life?”

Let me count. There’s my mom and my dad, but they’re inactive Magi, so I guess you wouldn’t count them, would you? Mari’s an active Magus though, and Minako, of course. There’s my childhood doctor, my doctor in Detroit, my pole dancing instructor, all of the heads in the local Magus governments in my past homes… Am I missing anyone? Oh, maybe I forgot to count myself, Yurio.

“No… But they’re in hiding, aren’t they? Maybe there was a perfectly nice person that you’re talking to, and they are actually a Magus.”

“So what, I start wondering if everyone I’m talking to is actually a Magus? Does that mean you’re secretly a Magus?”

Crap keep your magic in control, deep breaths in and out, it’s just Yurio venting his frustration but saying the first thing that comes to mind he doesn’t actually think you’re a Magus don’t run away magic controlbreathdon’tfreakout

“Stop, Yuratchka.”

Everyone turned to face Yakov. It was then that Yuuri realized that Yakov had not spoken the entire time that they were talking about Magi. He had been watching silently until now.

“”Viktor needed to know about Magi before the discussion could progress. However, this is now just pointless debate. Let’s just end this now before this gets any worse. Katsuki, use your degree and finish the lesson back at your house.”

Yurio muttered some Russian curses while Yuuri gulped. He could feel himself start to get colder-

-but he felt a warm hand clutch his, and start rubbing circles into his palm. Yuuri turned to face Viktor, who smiled reassuringly at him.

Yuuri tried to smile back at him, but he felt so fearful. He decided to focus on Yakov’s announcement instead.

“However, the ISU does not wish to completely waste the season,” he continued. “They are planning to replace the competitions with a large-scale event, which is most probably an exhibition. Unfortunately, this means that you must change your routines, songs, and costumes.”

Yuuri wasn’t sure who was grumbling worse, the students or the coach.

“The exhibition will happen around the time that Worlds was supposed to happen. The location is still undecided on whether it should change or stay in Helsinki.  Specific details will be confirmed next week. Now, announcement’s over. Go back to practice.”

While the rest of Yakov’s students crowded around the coach to ask more details, Viktor and Yuuri moved away from the rest of the skaters.

“Wow.” Viktor raised a hand to his chin, looking thoughtful. I can’t believe that there was a magical society of wizards and no one bothered to tell me.” Then he turned to face Yuuri with a set of puppy-dog eyes, sniffling and tearing up. “Yuuri, how could you! I can’t believe you would hide such a thing from me!”

Objectively, Yuuri knew that Viktor was joking in all intents and purposes. He could only laugh nervously as he clutched his chest.

And deep, deep down, he prayed.


 

“The safest option is to get out of there.” Minako’s face was on the screen for the Skype call. She looked as fierce as the time when she was pushing for Yuuri to go to Detroit to pursue his skating career. “Get out of there right now. Come back here, and your family can go into the shelter. This is dangerous territory, Yuuri.”

The moment that Yuuri had arrived home, he asked Viktor if they could have some takeout for dinner. Viktor obliged and left to go buy whatever it was that Yuuri muttered – to be honest, he wasn’t really paying attention at the moment – and Yuuri took advantage of the solitude in order to Skype Minako. He needed advice from a fellow Magus that was not his family – oh fuck they were going to freak out so badly – and had probably been in a similar situation. He was hoping that calling his former ballet instructor, an expert air Magus, would reassure him.

It was not helping him at all.

“What do I tell Viktor, then? I can’t just leave him like this!”

Minako sighed. “I don’t know, Yuuri. This is why I never really settled with anyone.” Her eyebrows furrowed. “I remember you told me that you don’t know his opinion on Magi since the topic never came up between the two of you, and you specifically asked us not to ask him. Have you finally discovered his opinion? No use avoiding it now.”

Yuuri gulped nervously. “Um, yeah, about that…”

“Katsuki Yuuri, what do you mean that he doesn’t know what Magi are?!”

Yuuri winced from the incredibly loud screech that rang through his ears. “Well, he knows now?”

“How in the world did he go twenty eight years of his life not knowing that we exist?!”

“Actually, he’s still twenty seven. His birthday’s still eight days from now.”

Minako leaned back, shaking her head. “You know what, I need a drink. I’ll be back in a moment.”

Yuuri squirmed in his seat as Minako temporarily disappeared. When Minako came back, booze in her hand, he asked her, “What do you think about the fact that Viktor knows nothing about us?”

“Other than the fact he’s an oblivious idiot?” She tapped her glass with a thoughtful expression on her face. “Well, this might actually work in your favor.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“I mean, him not knowing anything means he’s a blank slate. You graduated with a degree on Magus Studies, right? So you could teach him about us, and make him support us. Then you confess that you’re a Magus and there.”

“Actually, the thought crossed my mind earlier when we were discussing it with the other Russians, but I abandoned the idea when Yurio started debating with me really intensely.”

“So? That’s Yurio. We’re talking about Viktor here, and Viktor could be easily convinced by you. If you are determined enough about this, you could seriously affect his view on Magi. And if you manage to get him on our side, then you’ll have at least one incredibly famous and powerful celebrity figure in the ice skating world protecting you. And you don’t have to leave your fiancé.”

“You… you really think so?”

“Of course. After all, you convinced him to take a season off to coach you by pole dancing.”

He blushed. “D- don’t bring that up!”

Minako smirked. “Your fault for drinking so much. Now, have you decided on what you’re going to do?”

Yuuri hesitated, but he nodded resolutely. “I’m going to stay. I… I hope I can convince Viktor to like Magi.”

She grinned. “That sounds good. However.” Her relaxed eyes turned sharp and she pointed her finger at him. “If the situation ever gets dangerous, or Viktor reacts badly, fly back immediately. Your safety is ultimately more important than your relationship.”

He nodded obediently. He didn’t need to be told twice.

“Okay. I need to say goodbye now, sorry. Is there anything else I can help you with, Yuuri?”

He shook his head. “Thank you, Minako-sensei.”

“No problem. However, don’t forget to tell your family about this. They’re going to be really worried about this, especially if you don’t tell them.”

“Don’t worry, I plan to. Just, not tonight, because I’m feeling stressed.”

“Got it. Hope to hear from you soon, Yuuri.”

“You too, Minako-sensei.”

Chapter Text

Everyone knew that Viktor was Yuuri’s coach in skating, but only the people at the rink knew that Yuuri had recently become Viktor’s teacher on Magus Studies. Because, really, if considering how Magi was going to be a popular issue to be discussed regarding the skating world and therefore a popular question done by the reporters, no one could find out that the living legend of skating apparently didn’t know shit about history.

Unfortunately, something about the topic seemed to bother his fiancé-slash-teacher, and Viktor was easily getting on Yuuri’s nerves with his questions.

“No, Viktor, we don’t know why Magi look like humans.” Yuri’s voice was dry and tired. “Can we move on. We literally haven’t moved past what kindergarteners know about Magi.”

“But, Yuuuuuuri, how will I know if a big scary Magi is going to hurt you? Then I won’t be able to protect you!”

“I will know. And then I’ll tell you, okay?”

“But how do you know? I want to learn too!”

Narrowed brown eyes stared directly into Victor’s own eyes. “Viktor, I spent six years for a degree in Magus Studies, working my ass off every night to learn as much as I can about some people who deserve equal rights with us despite the large prejudice against them. I spent all the previous years of my life before Detroit in Japan, which has the leading record for the most number of myths and stories regarding Magi. It is ingrained in our culture to understand and learn as much as we can about these people out of both respect and fear, which you would know if we would continue with lessons. Now, please listen carefully, alright?”

Viktor nodded excitedly. Old memories of his old tutor who was bored and didn’t even bother to teach him well flashed through his mind, and he shook his head. He didn’t want to think about it, so he thought of a firm but kind Japanese man that he was listening to right now.

Yuuri smiled, but it was a strained one. “Alright. Other than that, what else would you like to ask me?”

Viktor placed a thoughtful finger on his chin. “Well, how would you know the difference between a Magus and a human without relying on magic?”

He noticed that Yuuri seemed to freeze up a little. “Uh, well, there is one way.”

Yuuri stopped speaking after that.

Viktor waited a while, before continuing to ask, “What is it, then?”

Yuuri pursed his lips. “Well, the torso of a Magus isn’t bare. They have large markings, like a tattoo, covering the chest. It varies depending on the type of Magus, but every pattern is unique for each Magus.”

“What are the different types of Magi?”

“Well, there are generally four different elements of magic: water, earth, fire, and air. They can have subcategories, but that’s generally it.”

“What about their markings? What do they look like?”

Yuuri beamed, the first true smile the entire time they were having the lesson. He stood up, saying he’d get paper.

Viktor wondered why Yuuri seemed so fearful during the lesson. He sighed inwardly. He’d just have to wait for Yuuri to trust him further. When it came to Yuuri, it was just a point of waiting for him to come to you, like feeding a cat.

Or in this case, a pig. A very cute, lovely, and sexy pig.

Yuuri came back with four sheets of paper and a pencil. He sketched out a rough diagram of a human torso. Surprisingly, it was pretty well done.

“Oh, Yuuri, you didn’t tell me you could draw!”

Yuuri sheepishly scratched his head. “Well, only a little. I didn’t exactly practice drawing much, so I never really developed the talent.”

Viktor smirked at his fiancé. “Are there any more secret talents that you’re hiding from me?”

Yuuri stopped in the middle of sketching. “Err,” he hesitated, “none that I can think of.”

“Oh really? Nothing?”

“Uh, yeah. Nothing.”

Viktor leaned close to Yuuri’s ear. “Are you sure about that? Because for all I know, you might be good at dominating the bedroom-”

“Viktor!” Yuuri jumped out of his seat. “I’m not a dom!” He started pacing. “I couldn’t chain someone to the bed, or blindfold them, or order them around-”

“You like to order me around.”

“Th-that’s different! That’s for skating, something that I do everyday!”

“We can have sex everyday if you want to.” A recent conversation flashed through Viktor’s mind. “Except for during competitions. I heard it hurts to skate afterwards.”

“Are you forgetting the ‘I’m-not-a-dom’ part?! I don’t order you around about sex, I can’t challenge you, I can’t ask you to serve me, I-” Yuuri stopped, in the middle of his rambling, and a moment of thinking passed. “Oh my- fuck. I am a dom. Fuck.”

Viktor smirked. “I told you that you liked those things.”

Yuuri put his face in his hands. “Fuck.”

Viktor scooted closer, hugged Yuuri, and started patting him on the back. “There there. It’s okay. I’m a switch, according to a test I took online. I can be your sub.”

Yuuri’s face was bright red now.  He lifted his head. “Th-that’s not what I’m worried about! I can’t be a dom, I mean, look at me! I may like doing that stuff, but I don’t- I’m not good at it!”

“Speaking as your sub, I will disagree with that statement.”

“Viktor, you’re not helping!”

Viktor laughed as his fiancé grabbed a nearby pillow from the couch and threw it at Viktor. Shielding himself, he said, “Well, I’d stay with you no matter what you are, dom or sub.”

Yuuri’s eyes widened. He started squirming in his seat, a telltale sign when he was nervous.

Huh. Could it be that it was Yuuri’s sexual frustration related to BDSM that was the reason that Yuuri was acting as if he had a secret?

Hm, but no… It couldn’t be. He’s talking about it right now, and it was more of shyness and denial than the strong anxiety that he was seeing in the previous times.

“Yuuri,” he spoke softly, “you know that you can tell me everything, right?”

Yuuri looked away. “Yeah,” he spoke even softer than Viktor did.

There was a moment of silence when no one spoke.

Once again, Viktor sighed. Hopefully, Yuuri would open up soon.

 “Anyway,” Yuuri spoke, finally, “let’s continue with the lessons.”

Yuuri started by first finishing four torsos. He started with the first torso. He had gotten a red crayon (Viktor loved coloring books immensely so Yuuri didn’t have a problem finding coloring materials) and started sketching. He drew radial curves growing upwards, spreading outwards from the root.

“Is this the sign for fire?” Viktor asked.

Yuuri nodded. “They’re usually reddish or red-orange in color. They’re the easiest to notice majority of the time.”

He started on the second torso. “Earth Magi are divided into two - dwarves and elves.” He sketched out dark green angular looking lines that looked jagged and torn. “These represent the dwarves, or the ones that deal with rock and mineral magic. Elves have too many types of markings to show, to represent how they’re closely connected with nature magic.”

He snatched the third sheet and started drawing golden curves spreading outwards, different from the fire markings only due to the fact that the lines were thinner, from Viktor’s perspective. “Air Magi have the palest marks. That’s also why they’re the least caught Magi.”

Lastly, his hands were shaky, but he picked up the fourth sheet. He drew radial waves in blue, elegant and simple. “The final one is water. Which one is your favorite?”

“Hmmm… I’d say the water one? It’s rather beautiful.”

Yuuri blushed. “Really? I’m… actually partial towards that one too.”

Viktor beamed. “Aw, we’re perfect for each other!”

Yuuri let out a hesitant smile.

Victor let a little sigh out. Hopefully, he would be able to keep that smile on his fiancé’s face for a long time.

“Viktor?”

“Yes, my dear?”

“Stay close to me. Always.”

Victor smiled. “Of course. I’ll always be there for you.”

Even if you don’t think so.


Now, they didn’t know what to do in ice skating other than practice previous routines and moves that they were having trouble with. Yuuri found out a lot of things about Viktor’s rinkmates; Mila enjoyed high-end fashion just like Viktor, Georgi had a penchant for old classics, and Yurio was the sole breadwinner of his family apparently.

It was interesting to find out more things about people that he was used to just watching on the screen. It made them feel like actual people and Yuuri would’ve have said that this was probably the best thing about having Viktor as your fiancé, disregarding Viktor himself.

But now, it was a special event: Christmas. So of course, there was no practice, and Viktor invited all of his friends to their apartment for a small party. And Viktor’s definition of small was going all out with high end Russian restaurant delivery and homemade Japanese food (cough guess who cooked it cough).

“Wow, Yuuri, this is rather delicious,” Georgi complimented him. “It’s a good thing you can cook when Viktor can’t.”

“Why do you think I call him katsudon?” Yurio spoke with his mouth full.

“Because you have an innocent teenage crush on him?”  Viktor asked.

Yuuri had a difficult time preventing Yurio from throwing his plate at Viktor.

Oh, and there were party games. Lots and lots of party games.

That’s how Yuuri ended up needing to separate Mila and Yurio from a fight over Monopoly.

“Fuck you, Mila. Fuck you and your stupid hotel on Boardwalk.”

Mila smirked. “Oh, I’m so sorry for your poor metallic kitty.”

“It’s not a ‘kitty,’ it’s a tiger!

“Sure, sure. Keep telling yourself that.”

Yuuri was glad he didn’t bring out his Wii U. The last thing he needed was to replace a broken TV because someone used a blue shell on Yurio in Mario Kart.

Everyone left all happy and not at all concerned about the Magus fest anymore. Yuuri could relax now. No need to worry. He was worrying over nothing haha-

“Yuuri, my dear? Why do you look so worried?”

“Ah, sorry. It’s just my anxiety shaking me up again. I just need a moment.”

“Ah…” Viktor nodded. “Take your time.”

There was some silence as the two shuffled around and cleaned up after everyone. Yuuri liked it, the way they could be together, in both silence and without. It was calming for someone like him.

But Yuuri smirked. There were ways he could pay him back…

“Viktor? I haven’t given you my gift yet.”

“Hm? Oh, you didn’t really need to. What is  it, solnyshko?”

Yuuri took out a large box covered in metallic wrapping paper, with a large blue bow. He silently handed the box over to his fiancé, who gingerly touched it delicately.

“My first birthday gift from my fiancé,” he spoke with a tender smile.

He gently unwrapped the gift, slowly pulling apart the paper and tape from each other. Yuuri watched as Viktor’s smile broadened as he saw the gift.

“Yuuri,” he murmured, “Is this a textbook on Magi?”

Yuuri scratched the back of his neck. “I bought it from the bookstore at the corner. I learned from that book best when I was in college. I thought you might enjoy it.”

Viktor continued to stare at it. When he didn’t reply, Yuuri continued, “Well, I know you love to read and I don’t know about textbooks, but-”

Viktor kissed Yuuri.


After they finished cleaning up, Yuuri asked if he could be alone for a bit.

Viktor was surprised, but he relented. “Tell me when it’s okay for me to be with you. Just know that I’m always there for you.”

They shared a quick hug and then Viktor shared one last look with Yuuri, before heading to their bedroom.

Yuuri sighed. His mind was swirling with all sorts of thoughts. He sat down in one of the dining chairs and fiddled with decorative blue roses. He could feel the ice slowly covering his chest.

He felt his phone vibrate. Curious, he took it out and checked it.

The text read: I know what you are, Yuuri Katsuki.

Chapter Text

Did you receive mysterious messages? It’s a piece of the puzzle…

The letters are the only clues to solve the hidden mysteries… 


 Yuri did not sleep that night.

After reading the text, he tossed his phone into the sofa so that it was clearly hidden from view, took a shower while Viktor was drying himself, and screamed as quietly as he could. All that he could think about was who text him.

Maybe it was Phichit, who wanted to scare him. Maybe in the morning, he’d “wake up” to find out that Phichit sent another text saying, “Peace! That was just a joke, my friend!”

Except Phichit didn’t even know that he was a Magus, and had no reason to even think that a sentence like that would scare Yuuri.

Perhaps it was Yurio who sent it? Yuuri wouldn’t be too surprised if he figured it out from their discussion on his first day in the Russian rink and on the succeeding days afterwards.

But Yurio was more likely to confront Yuuri in a secluded place (probably a bathroom again). He would’ve talked to Yuuri earlier, then.

Mila? Georgi? Heck, any of the other skaters? None of them seemed to fit the bill.

Yuuri didn’t seem to know what to do.


 By the time morning came, Yuuri was as sleep-deprived as he was in his college days. While he was used to sleeping late, sleeping late to enjoy a Christmas Eve date with Viktor and then not sleeping at all had taken a toll on him. Nothing, not even his favorite green tea, could pick him up. The same question kept bothering him: who had texted him last night?

Suddenly, warm arms wrapped around him from behind.

 “Solnyshko,” Victor whispered into his fiancé’s ear, “you’ve swirling your kasha for the past five minutes now. Is there something the matter?”

“A-ah, sorry, Viktor! There’s nothing wrong, I just, ah, didn’t sleep well last night.” In an attempt to appear normal, Yuuri scooped up some of the porridge and attempted to eat it. Unfortunately, he was so distracted that he missed his mouth by just a tiny bit, and spilled some of the kasha on his face.

“… Yuuri, are you sure-”

“Oh, ah, how, uh, clumsy of me! I’m gonna go wash this right off, haha!”

As Yuuri dashed to the bathroom and rinsed his breakfast off, he cursed how awkward he had sounded earlier. He returned to face a serious Viktor.

As Yuuri nervously sat down in his chair, Viktor spoke. “Yuuri, I’ve noticed that you’ve been rather... secretive these days.”

Oh no.

“You also seem more anxious and worried now.”

Oh no.

“I mean, you’ve always been anxious, but it seems to have worsened?”

No no no he was not ready for this discussion yet-

“ And… I was thinking, since we moved to Russia and you had to leave your old psychiatrist, so maybe we just need to find a new one?”

… What.

Viktor placed his fingers on his mouth. “I don’t know. Maybe it was a silly idea-”

“Oh no, no, no!”  Yuuri grasped Viktor’s hands, and pulled Viktor towards him. This was his chance to cover up his anxiety with something else. “You know what? I think you may be right. I… I’ve always had a psychiatrist ever since I was sixteen, even in Detroit. If you think that may be what’s bothering me, then you may be correct. Maybe I miss my parents so much as well; it’s just subconsciously affecting me.”

Viktor’s worried frown broke into a gentle smile. “Oh, Yuuri. I know that you might be nervous about leaving your family again, but it’s just like moving to Detroit, right? Only you have me this time, and I’m here to support you.”

Yuuri returned the smile, and leaned in forward to kiss his husband fiancé.

It was getting harder to think of Viktor as just a fiancé. But soon, hopefully…

“Hey, if the competitions are canceled, do I still need to win a gold medal to marry you?” Yuuri asked in a playful tone.

Viktor smirked. “We’ll see.”

Yuuri grinned back at him. All was well.

But… no… Yuuri couldn’t pretend everything was okay. The question lay at the back of his head: who had sent him that mysterious message?


The happy couple cheerfully made their way to the rink. Surely, everything was okay.

As the practice evidently showed, Yuuri sucked at pretending everything was fine.

After another unsuccessful attempt at the quadruple flip, Yuuri signaled to the others, “Hey, I’m taking a break.”

But before he could exit the rink, a certain someone shouted at Yuuri, “Oi, katsudon! What the hell is wrong with you?!”

Yuuri turned to face Yurio and gave him a side glance. “Wait... what did I do wrong this time?”

Yurio’s mouth dropped. “Are you kidding me? You really can’t tell that you’ve been messing up literally every single quad flip you’ve been doing so far-”

“Okay, Yurio, I know that I’ve been failing miserably, but you don’t need to rub it in-”

“No! You were completely fine last night, weren’t you?” Yurio crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes. “Did something happen between you and the old man?”

But before Yuuri could reply, two voices shouted at Yurio simultaneously.

“Yurio, leave Yuuri alone!”

“Yuratchka, concentrate on yourself!”

Of course, Viktor and Yakov would enter the picture. Of course.

Yuuri felt someone’s familiar warm hands envelop his body. “Yurio, he’s just feeling a little homesick. We talked about it earlier and it’s all going to be resolved.”

Meanwhile, Yakov started yelling at Yurio about being distracted at practice.

Yuuri heard Yurio swear miserably. “Fine, katsudon. But you better be fine tomorrow. I’m beating that free skate record no matter what, and I want you in top shape as I do it.”


 Practice was horrible. Yuuri got better, although he still couldn’t land a quadruple flip. After the end of practice, Yuuri was getting ready to go home, when Yakov called out, “Katsuki, please meet me in my office right now. It might be a long talk, so ask Viktor to go home.”

Viktor pouted. “Do you have to do this?”

Yuuri laughed. “Viktor, it’s just a small talk. Why don’t you hang out with someone while waiting? Or you can scout for psychologists while I’m busy with Yakov.”

Viktor’s frown straightened. “That seems like a good idea.” He kissed Yuuri on the cheek, leading a nearby Yurio to stick his tongue out at the couple and mutter some insults.

Viktor soon joined Yurio and joked around with him. As the two left the building, Yuuri shuffled towards Yakov’s office. He quietly opened and closed the door, looking around in the office. He realized that he had never gone in before.

Yuuri asked quietly, “Is there something wrong, sir?”

The reply was simple: “Katsuki, I know that you were surprised by my text last night, but don't make it obvious.”

Chapter Text

Viktor told Yurio to stay put as Viktor walked inside the building. “I’ll take only a few minutes or so.”

“Hurry up, old man,” Yurio muttered as Viktor walked inside the building.

He was looking for a new psychiatrist for Yuuri. He had searched online on how to find a good psychiatrist; hopefully, it would be enough.

He went to a familiar hospital in St. Petersburg – the Russian Hospital and Medical Center. He had been doing check-ups there ever since he had started living with Yakov. Hopefully, he could find a nice person here.

There was a large list of available doctors decorated on the wall in the lobby. Only one person, a blonde woman, was looking at the wall. Viktor stepped beside her, and scanned the list of available psychiatrists. He brought out a small notebook he carried from practice – normally used for skating techniques, but he could make an exception – and started scribbling down the name of the various psychiatrists.

As he did, the woman spoke, “Hello, Mr. Nikiforov. What a surprise to see you here.”

He looked at the woman, surprised. She didn’t seem familiar, with her hair tied into a bun, innocent blue eyes, and conservative white dress. She didn’t appear to be the type to be a fan of ice skating nor was she the type of person that Viktor associated with. Perhaps a reporter? Oh dear.

Well, he was in public. He was sure to expect it. He decided that the calm and polite approach was the best way to deal with it. “Hello, my dear. I can’t seem to say the same when I don’t have the pleasure of knowing your name.”

She smiled a gentle smile. “Elena Kuznetsova, at your service. I’m rather pleased to meet you. I’m new to the world of ice skating, so please be merciful with me.”

“Ah. Are you a budding skater in the ladies division?” At that point, Viktor had stopped writing down the psychiatrists. He had gotten all of them anyway, and could spare a chat with the lady for a while. He placed the notebook back inside his pocket.

“Ah, no, I’m just a quiet girl that likes to keep up with the news. You’re quite the celebrity, Mr. Nikiforov.”

The news, huh? She did not appear to be a journalist, although Viktor still kept his guard up, not risking any mistakes that could leak to the press. “Please, call me Viktor. ‘Mr. Nikiforov’ is what the reporters call me.”

Elena smiled angelically. “Well, Viktor, is it possible if you could do me a favor?”

He raised his eyebrows. “That depends on the favor.”

“I’d like to meet Yuuri Katsuki. He’s your fiancé, isn’t he? I’m a fan of his. His step sequences are simply enchanting. I’d like to have an autograph, commemorative photo, the works. Just a small meeting will do. Is that alright, Viktor?”

Viktor tapped his chin. “Hmm, I’m not so sure about that. Yuuri’s a little shy about meeting people, especially fans. He might not feel alright if I simply said yes to a meeting like this.”

She sighed. “That’s a bother. It was a dream that I met the Viktor Nikiforov, future husband of my favorite skater, but not the one I wanted. Just my luck...”

Elena sighed again, pouting, with a tear forming in her blue eyes and warmth filled Viktor; that’s when something snapped in Viktor. He couldn’t take the look on her face. He couldn’t leave a beautiful woman like this, hanging.

He didn’t know what had encouraged him to do so – and under different circumstances, might have been indifferent – but he suddenly said, “Well, you could give me your number and I’ll talk to Yuuri about it. If he says yes, I’ll inform you about it. Then we could arrange a meeting at a café or something.”

Her eyes brightened and a wide smile appeared on her lips. Elena gripped Viktor’s hands, shaking them tenderly. Her hands were very warm to the touch. “Oh, thank you, Viktor! I rather appreciate it. Do you have a place where I can write my number?”

He slipped out of her hands and brought out the little notebook that he had been writing in earlier. “Here you go,” he replied as he handed the notebook to her.

As he waited for her to write down her name and number, a furious voice called out, “Old man, are you socializing in there?! Where are you?”

Whoops.

As soon as Elena was done writing, Viktor snatched the notebook away from her and gave her one of his award-winning smiles. “Sorry, it appears that my companion is looking for me. I must go.”

She gave a warm smile right back. “It’s alright. Just message me whether he says yes or no, please. It would mean a lot to me.”

Viktor nodded, before hurrying up to catch up with a leaving Yurio.

Chapter Text

Yuuri took a step back, colliding with the door. He gaped at Yakov, not believing what he just heard.

“Sir, if I heard it right, you said-”

“Did you check if anyone was left behind?”

“Huh?” Yuuri, confused, opened the door and looked around. Everyone had left. He quietly closed the door. “Um, everyone’s gone.”

“Good. You need to learn to keep a secret. I find it hard to believe that you’ve gone on this long without blowing your cover.”

Yuuri let the words settle on his brain. Slowly, he replied. “Sir, so that means-”

“Yes, I did send that message last night. I had to use my other number, but it was a necessary decision. You need to learn to control your actions, you understand me?”

Yuuri just left his mouth hanging in silence. He didn’t understand anything that was going on.

“Yakov,” he barely spoke with the teeniest voice ever, “are you…”

Yakov raised his hand. The temperature in the room dropped a few degrees.

Yuuri gasped. He pointed at Yakov, his hand shaking in fear. “You’re… just like me…”

“Yes, Yuuri. Ice undines and salamanders are relatively common in Russia, to deal with the constant winter.

Undine, meaning Water Magus. Salamander, meaning Fire Magus. He knew of the special names connected to the various Magi. Only those that either studied Magi, or were Magi themselves, preferred the special names.

Unfortunately, Yuuri’s brain was short-circuiting right now, so he ended up blurting out, “And you didn’t think that the text would freak me out?!”

Darn it. He was trying to be calm and polite about this. So much for that.

Yakov sighed, a common habit of his. “I suppose that my actions could’ve improved. But I wanted to see if you were truly a Magus. If you weren’t, you’d be surprised by the text, yes, but you would be more confused than anything. I could easily replace the number and move on.”

“But it shook you and rattled you to the bone. If I weren’t a friend, you’d have clearly given away who you are. Do you understand how delicate of a position you are in?”

“Sir, I think so-”

“Really, because you gave away your secret when I told everyone that there was a Magus in hiding amongst the skaters.”

Yuuri shut up. He had a point.

“Really, if everyone wasn’t blind as a bat to magic, they could’ve easily noticed that you were a Magus. I could feel the temperature drop, Katsuki. If one of them was an ice undine or salamander, you revealed your status to them. Fortunately, all of them are human.”

“How did you know?”

“I’ve been in this rink for as long as you were born. Perhaps longer. Not to mention, the beach party.”

“Beach party?”

“Yes, Katsuki. My skaters and I had a vacation after the last Olympics to celebrate Vitya’s win. Due to that, I know that all of the guys are Magi for sure. Due to an unfortunate Truth or Dare I am sorry to say that I witnessed – I knew I should’ve taken Mila’s request to leave them alone and have fun for the night instead of supervising them - I am also certain that the females are human. Only Yurio did not reveal his chest during the entire trip, and that is due to the fact that he does not like taking off his binder, especially given his age.”

Yuuri nodded. He understood that Yurio was sensitive about his body.

“So… how about the other students, aside from yours?”

“All of the males, excluding those with binders, do not have marks on their chests. The females and binding males, do not act like they are Magi. Of course, they could be excellent actors and actresses, but I do not think so.”

“The other coaches? Sorry for all the questions.”

“It is alright, Katsuki. It is necessary to know the fellow Magi in your vicinity in order to survive. None of them are Magi. Did you know other Magi other than your family?”

Yuuri nodded. “My doctors are usually Magi. Only my psychiatrists weren’t.”

“Good. Do you know the code for doctors?”

“Of course!” The doctors had specialized advertising to broadcast secretly to other Magi that they were a Magus. Yuuri usually got recommendations from other Magi though.

“Good. At least you learned something. What kind of Magi are your parents?”

“Inactive. My sister’s active though.” Inactive meant that they had no magic. Inactive Magi had much fainter marks than most Magi. They had the ability to sense magic though, and pass on the magic blood to their descendants. They were less known compared to active Magi, and most ‘friendly’ laws allowed inactive Magi to be registered and live.

In reality, more Magi were born inactive than active. Yuuri assumed that the gene for being inactive had won the evolution game, considering that active Magi were more likely to be hunted.

“Ah. That explains the hot springs. I assume you’re from a family of inactive Magi?”

Yuuri nodded. He and Mari were the first active ones in their family for years.

“Good, that means your parents can be spared if you’re found. What are Japan’s laws on Magi?”

“They’re okay, actually. They used to worship us as deities in the ancient times. It’s acceptable with inactive Magi, in particular. It’s active ones that have stricter laws.”

Yakov nodded. “You were raised in a lucky country. Russia has much stricter laws. Even inactive Magi are hunted. Rumor has it that Magi are being recruited to hunt other Magi, which is terrible. I’m glad that capital punishment has stopped, at the very least.”

Yuuri shuddered. Russia was one of the harsher countries regarding Magi laws. It was the biggest reason why he hadn’t wanted to go to Russia.

“Thank you, Yakov, for the concern.” Yuuri was grateful to know another Magus was with him, even if Yakov wasn’t the friendliest person around. He seemed dependable, and Yuuri trusted his secret with him.

Yakov grunted. “That’s alright, Katsuki, but truthfully, that wasn’t why I called you here today.”

“Huh?” Yuuri scrunched up his eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

“I meant to ask you a question: have you told Vitya?”

 Yuuri’s grim face and the drop in temperature told Yakov everything he needed to know.

Yakov sighed. “Be careful, Yuuri. You don’t know how this will affect your relationship with Vitya.”

Yuuri stared at Yakov, before letting out a bitter laugh. “You think I don’t know that Viktor might react badly to me? You think I don’t want him to act like that, because of who I am? You think I don’t love him?”

Yakov clicked his tongue. “Boy, you don’t understand. I’m trying to save your relationship with Vitya.”

“How?”

Yakov was silent. Then, softer than ever, he spoke, “Katsuki, do you know why my relationship with Lilia failed?”

Yuuri was taken aback. “Um… no?”

Yakov let out a soft sigh. “No, I don’t suppose so. Neither Lilia nor I like to speak about it. But it was because I was a Magus.”

“Huh? Is Miss Baranovskaya anti-Magus?”

Yakov shook his head. “No. She was relatively neutral on the issue of Magi.”

“Then why did you two… divorce?”

“Because she was tired of my secrets.”

Yuuri gasped. “You never told her that you were a Magus?

 Once again, Yakov shook his head. “I had sworn never to tell anyone that I was a Magus. This included my own wife. Our relationship deteriorated as she questioned how suspicious I was of others and even of her.”

“But, she was your wife.”

“Yes, but I couldn’t, not after my parents died in the war.”

Silence.

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir.”

Yakov held up a hand. “It’s alright, Katsuki. Not many people know that. I made my decision not to tell her, and I suffered for it.”

“Yakov…”

“Don’t pity me, Katsuki. I have learned from my mistakes. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here talking to you about this.”

Yuuri nodded slowly. “Does she…”

“No. And you will not tell her. Understand?”

Yuuri nodded. Some things can’t be mended.

A question came to mind. “Does Viktor know that you’re…”

“Ah, Vitya, that young blabbermouth. Heavens, no. I think he may be able to keep a secret, but I’m not risking it.”

Ah. Another reason to worry over telling Viktor. That’s great.

“Which brings me back to topic. Katsuki, I have noticed that your relationship with Vitya is rather special. You bring out the best in each other. I respect that. However, please learn from my mistakes. You either tell Vitya the truth, or learn to hide it better. As in, much better than how you’re doing right now. Otherwise, you may end up the same way as me and Lilia.”

Yuuri looked down on his feet. He really didn’t want to destroy his relationship with Viktor. Especially if it was going to be his entire fault.

“I understand, Yakov.”

“Good. Now that’s settled, time to go home, Katsuki. It’s been a long day, and you need to think about the future.

“Yes,’ he muttered glumly.

As they both exited the skating rink, Yuuri couldn’t stop worrying. What if Viktor hated him for keeping a secret? If even Yakov hadn’t revealed his Magus status to Viktor, then what does it mean for Yuuri? How would he know how Viktor was going to react?

Too many questions, too little time.

Chapter Text

The day after Viktor visited the hospital, they decided to look  through the psychiatrists and choose one.

They were in the apartment. Lying across the sofa, Viktor’s legs were intertwined with Yuuri’s. Makkachin was sleeping on the floor next to the blue couch. The couple was looking at the list of psychiatrists.

“Viktor, thanks for writing the names and the room numbers. That makes it easier for me to know which is which.”

“Of course, Yuuri, I’d always do the best for you.”

“Well, if it was really the best, you’d get the numbers of each psychiatrist, so I can call and find out their schedules.”

“Well, I have the number of the hospital. Would that be alright?”

“Oh, that’s great, actually. Nice thinking.”

Yuuri ended up calling the hospital and asking regarding their schedules.

As Yuuri was talking on the phone, thoughts wandered through Viktor’s mind. He couldn’t help but wish that he could help Yuuri instead of paying some stranger to do it. He loved Yuuri – his heart was filled with complete and utter adoration for the adorable katsudon– but sometimes he just didn’t know what to do. He just wanted to cuddle him and make all the problems go away.

But he couldn’t.

Yuuri put down the phone and scribbled something into a small notebook. “Okay, so I’m thinking of choosing Ivan Tchaikovsky. He works on Sundays, which is our free day, and he specializes in anxiety, so he seemed like the best choice.” He looked up at Viktor, and a small frown formed on his face. “Viktor? Are you okay?”

“Hm?” Viktor raised an eyebrow. “Why? Is something the matter, solnyshko?”

“You look… upset.”

Oh dear. His mood must’ve been showing.

Viktor tried to smile, shaking his head. “Yuuri, don’t worry about me. I’m perfectly fine. We’re focusing on you, aren’t we?”

Yuuri did not smile back. “Viktor, I know you, and I know that face. It’s the one you use to pretend that everything is alright. Please tell me what’s going on.”

“No.”

Yuuri untangled his legs from Viktor’s and sat down properly. “Why not?”

“I don’t want you to worry, Yuuri.”

“But it’s too late: I’m already worrying!”

Viktor stared at Yuuri. On one hand, he was glad that Yuuri was worried, but on the other hand, he was acting exactly how Viktor was trying not to act like. “Oh, so it’s fine for you to worry about me and force me to tell you everything, but not me?”

“Huh?” Yuuri’s eyebrows creased in the confusion. “Wait, what? What do you mean?”

Viktor rolled his eyes. “As if you don’t know what I mean. You get to know everything about me, but I can’t know anything about you? How much longer do I have to wait? Do you know how much it hurts me to see you like this?

“Wait, Viktor, I didn’t mean to hurt you!”

Viktor sighed. “ Solnyshko , I know. You never mean to hurt people. But it’s starting to bother me that you refuse to tell me anything sometimes.”

“Viktor, I will tell you. Just not right now.”

Viktor slammed his hands down on the table. “Then when?”

“I… I will, Viktor. Please trust me on that. I really do want to tell you, but… Not yet.”

“Then why won’t you talk to me, Yuuri? Are you embarrassed? Scared? Am I doing something wrong?”

Yuuri’s eyes widened, and he shook his head wildly. “No! No, you’re not doing anything wrong!”

“Then why won’t you tell me what’s going on?”

“Because…” How could Yuuri explain? There was nothing he could say. He didn’t know what to say. “I don’t know how to tell you, okay? Just… please wait for me to tell you.”

Viktor’s face crumpled into a look of disappointment. He looked away from Yuuri, trying to hold back the tears forming in his eyes.

“Viktor…” Yuuri reached out to touch his fiance, but he pulled away.

Yuuri’s face crumpled. Tears were slowly making their way down his cheeks. Viktor could feel the chill in the room. Makkachin had woken up and started howling.

He winced. “Yuuri, wait. I didn’t mean to hurt you either.” He bent down and started petting Makkachin, as if trying to console the little dog too. “I… just don’t know what to do, okay?”

Yuuri sniffed, but he nodded. “I know. I’m so sorry for bothering you.”

“But you aren’t a bother, solnyshko . You’re practically family to me. In fact, you are my family now, ever since my parents abandoned me in that boring orphanage. You know who took me in after that? Your parents. They’ve treated me like a son ever since I stepped into your inn. They’re more of my parents than my birth parents ever will be.” Viktor paused. “Well, there’s Yakov, but it’s hard to feel his love, you know? He must have a heart of ice.”

Yuuri giggled. “That’s true.”

“And well, you might be frosty, but really, that’s all you are. Your heart is as warm as the gentle sunlight that shines throughout the day. Why do you think I call you ‘my sunshine’?”

“So that’s what solnyshko means.”

“Huh? You never knew?”

“Well, I only know the basics of Russian. By basic, I mean stuff like ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ And you never really explained it to me. You just started calling me solnyshko one day. I just assumed  that it’s like the Russian ‘Yuuri-chan.’”

Viktor let out a small laugh. “Oh, Yuuri, that’s so you.”

Yuuri smiled. “So… fight over?”

Viktor smiled back. “Fight over.”

Both of the fiancés leaned back into the sofa. Makkachin barked and wagged his tail. Now, it was Yuuri’s turn to pat the poodle.

As they did, a cool breeze blew through the apartment and pushed the pages of the Viktor’s notebook. The pages flew and settled onto a familiar page that Viktor had totally forgotten.

“Whoooooooops! Nearly forgot about that.” He snatched the notebook and showed the page to Yuuri. “Yuuri, you have a fan!”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“While looking through at the list of psychiatrists at the hospital, I met a woman. I think her name was Yelena? No, Elena! Elena Kuznetsova. She’s a fan who wants to meet you. Is that alright or...?”

“Hmmm, I don’t know about that…”

Viktor must’ve been charmed by the woman because he then said, “Well, it’s just a small meeting. If you want, I’ll be there with you, so that you won’t feel anxious. Also, we can set it at a public place in case she’s a stalker or something. What about that?”

Yuuri laughed and grinned. “Gosh, you sound like Phichit. But are you sure this is a good idea?”

“Of course! I only want the best for you, my solnyshko .”

“… Fine, I’ll give it a try.”

“Hurray! You’re breaking out of your shell!” Viktor pulled Yuuri into a bear hug, clutching onto him like a koala.

“Viktor!”

Viktor grinned. But he couldn’t help but pray that the argument he they had earlier would be the last.

But then again, how much longer could he wait for Yuuri to tell his secret?


What am I going to tell you?

You're better off not knowing the trouble I'm in,

I don't want you to worry about what I've just seen,

About where I've just been

You don't have to be a part of this

I don't think I want you to be

You don't need this

You don't need me

Chapter Text

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Yuuri Katsuki: Hello, this is Yuuri Katsuki. Is this Elena Kuznetsova?

Elena Kuznetsova: Hello, Mr. Katsuki. Yes, this is Elena.

YK: That’s great! Well, Viktor and I talked about it and it would be okay to meet you.

EK: That would be wonderful. Where will we meet? You may decide the place and time.

YK: Okay, Viktor says that there’s a café near the Russian Hospital and Medical Center. Would 4:30 pm on Thursday be alright?

EK: Lovely. It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Katsuki.


 

Yuuri was squirming. He fiddled around with the cuff of his shirt. He had finished his iced coffee earlier, having squeezed the plastic into a crumpled heap. Frost markings were covering his body.

“Yuuri, are you anxious about meeting the fan?” Viktor asked his fiancé.

Yuuri glared at Viktor. “Of course I’m nervous. I’ve never done this before.

“Well, does it make you feel better that you’re with me?”

Yuuri smiled. “Of course it does. You always make me feel better.”

“Yes. Well, except for the Cup of China incident.”

Yuuri rolled his eyes. “Viktor, my anxiety was acting up and then you told me that you would quit if I lost. I wonder why .”

Viktor winced. “I know, I know, I’m sorry .”

Yuuri cheekily grinned. “Don’t worry, I know.”

Yuuri looked around for Elena. The latest text she sent, just earlier that morning, stated that she’d be wearing a light blue dress. From Viktor’s description of her – blonde hair, blue eyes, with a polite personality to match – she seemed like a nice lady.

Suddenly, he noticed a blonde woman off to the side. She was watching them from a distance.

He stood up and acknowledged the woman. “Hello,” he greeted in accented English. “Are you Elena Kuznetsova?”

She nodded and clapped her hands. “Oh, yes! I was not sure if I could approach you. Hello, Viktor,” she addressed the other skater as she approached. Viktor was standing from his chair and waving at Elena.

“Hello, Elena. Come, come, and sit down!” He gestured at the empty chair at their table.

“Oh, thank you.” She quietly made her way to the seat they had reserved for her. She placed a small white handbag on the table then held out her hand. Yuuri shook it; it was warmer than expected.

Elena spoke. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Katsuki. Or should I call you Katsuki-san?”

Yuuri blushed. “Um, you can call me Yuuri. I’ve gotten used to hearing my first name from strangers in Detroit.”

“Ah, but I wouldn’t want to offend you.”

Yuuri held up his hands for a second. “No, no, it’s alright. Just call me Yuuri; everyone does anyway.”

She chuckled. “If you insist.”

Yuuri noticed something about her voice. “Your English doesn’t have much of an accent.”

“I needed to develop my English for the kind of work I handle.”

“Oh, okay.” Not able to think of a topic fast enough, Yuuri asked her, “”What kind of job do you have?”

“Ah, I work for the International Skating Union.”

“But I thought you were new to figure skating?” Viktor pointed out.

“Ah, that’s true. It’s my first year working for the ISU. I was previously assigned to the International Hockey Federation, but I recently transferred to figure skating after finding out how beautiful the sport is. Hockey’s too… violent for my taste.”

Yuuri couldn’t help but agree. “I feel the same.”

“That’s a surprise to know. I thought the ice was your love?”

Yuuri remembered his time dealing with the hockey team in Detroit. He attempted it once due to a lost bet with Phichit, nearly got into an accident, and swore never to attempt it again. “Not with pucks on the ice. Besides, hockey is completely different from skating.”

Elena hummed. “That’s true.They’re right, you’re rather polite.”

“Hehe, thank you,” Yuuri replied. He glanced at his fiancé, wondering if Viktor was going to join in on the conversation. Probably not, from the looks of it. Viktor winked.

Yuuri took a deep breath. He got this.

“So… Viktor says you’re a fan?”

She nodded vigorously. “I’ve only been watching ice skating for a year and I already admire you. Your step sequences are simply marvelous. That short program of yours, Eros? Divine. It’s everyone’s favorite short program, competing with only Plisetsky’s, and quite frankly, I can’t imagine how he broke Nikiforov’s record with only two quads. No offense, Viktor.”

“None taken, Elena. I’m planning to change that fact come next year.” Viktor smirked.

She laughed. “Oh, good luck competing against your future husband, Viktor!”

“Aw, Yuuri’s blushing,” Viktor commented.

Of course he was blushing. Only Phichit and Chris– well, there were the triplets and their mother but they shipped anything – called Yuuri and Viktor fiancés. Everyone else called Viktor ‘his boyfriend’ or something like that.

Not knowing what else to say, he asked her, “Well, why did you want to talk to me?”

“Oh, I just wanted to meet you. Fulfill an old woman’s dream, you know?”

Yuuri frowned. “You don’t look old. You don’t seem to be a day above twenty five.”

She laughed. “Oh, you’re too kind. I’m actually twenty nine years old.”

Yuuri gasped. “You’re older than Viktor!”

“Why do you break my heart so,” Viktor cried out, clutching at his chest with flair.

“Oh come on, when Yurio calls you an old man, it’s fine, but when I point out your age, you pretend to die of embarrassment.”

“That’s because Yurio does it out of tender, heartwarming love .”

“Viktor, something’s weird if you call swearing tender and heartwarming.”

Elena’s eyes creased. “Who’s Yurio?”

“It’s what we call Little Yuri at the rink!” Viktor cheerfully answers.

“Ah. I assume you’re talking about Plisetsky. Well, he’s a decent skater, but I stick to my stance that he needs more quads to win.”

“But Yurio is a talented skater,” Yuuri defended the kitten’s honor. “He deserved that gold at the last Grand Prix Finals and he'd win it again to prove a point to you.”

“I must agree with Yuuri,” Viktor concurred. “He has impeccable technique, and while he is brash and hardheaded, his penchant for skating keeps him a hardworking child.”

Elena raised her eyebrows. “I didn’t know you three were close.”

“Of course! He’s practically our son,” Viktor chirped.

“Hmmm… that’s interesting to note. Is he the closest out of all the skaters at your local rink?”

Yuuri nodded. “I’ve never really met any of the other skaters before. Yurio was the only time I’ve spent time with before. He’s a nice guy when you get underneath the...shoutiness.”

“Fascinating.”

They continued to chat over different topics, mostly involving skating. She acted similarly to a reporter, but Yuuri couldn’t help but think that if she was one, she would be much more professional than the usual riff-raff.

The sun began to set. As it did, Elena spoke, “Well, I suppose it’s time for me to leave. Thank you for your kind consideration, Yuuri. It was nice to meet you.”

Yuuri smiled. “You’re welcome, Elena. Is there anything else that you’d like?”

“Well, now that you’ve mentioned it, I’d like a photo, as well as your autograph. Would that be alright?”

Yuuri flushed, before accepting the offer. A selfie and a signed paper later, they waved goodbye to her.

“See? That wasn’t so bad,” Viktor whispered as they waved at a disappearing Elena.

“True.”

“Maybe you should do this more often.”

Yuuri shook his head, chuckling to himself. “Maybe.”

“I hope we see her again. She seemed like a nice person.”


 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

EK: Hello, Yuuri. Would you like to keep in touch? I promise I won’t bother you too much.

YK: No, that’s okay. You aren’t bothering me.

EK: That’s good to know. I hope to see you again soon.