Mid-day, Wednesday, the train is quiet. Yuuri is staring out of the window, chin on his hand. Victor tries to catch his eye in the reflection in the glass. But Yuuri is switched off, gone somewhere else, like he does when they break from practice.
Victor used to touch Yuuri's shoulder and try to bring him back from wherever he goes. Now he lets Yuuri move away and keeps his hands to himself.
Except – here they are.
"We'll have some bonding time," Victor told Yuuri. "You need a break."
"No," Yuuri said, so bluntly he pulled it back to hedge with it's fine – I'm okay – I need to train.
Victor listened until Yuuri ran down. "You work too hard. It's just one night so listen to your coach." He turned his back before Yuuri could turn his.
"About that combination spin," Yuuri says. They're outside the Miyazaki station, Yuuri holding their bags and squinting because he won't wear the sunglasses Victor bought him.
"No skating until we get back." Victor raises his sunshade, pushing it open against the heavy air. He's already sweating. "Vacation, vacation! What do you want to see first?"
"Your bag is too heavy," Yuuri says and flags down a taxi.
After Heiwadai Tower, they sit down for coffee. The café has aircon but not enough to feel cool. There's never enough aircon in Japan, that's Victor's opinion, and he gets them each a bottle of mineral water too.
Yuuri looks out the window again. Victor looks at Yuuri, his fringe sticking to his forehead, his hands clasped together.
"What was your university life like?" Victor asks.
"What?" Yuuri turns his head, staring, just for a moment, like he doesn't know who Victor is or why he's there. "It was all right. I didn't get very good marks." He looks down at his coffee, looks up at Victor.
"Social life too busy?" Victor smiles, just a little, because he wants Yuuri to smile too.
"No," Yuuri says. He wraps one hand around his bottle of water and the condensation drips onto his fingers. His eyes drift to the window again.
There's nothing out there, only sunshine and people and a stray cat washing itself on the curb. Victor reaches out to touch Yuuri's wrist.
But he stops. Yuuri's lips are moving, a silent conversation. His forehead creases and Victor catches a few mumbled words.
Yuuri's talking through his spin.
Victor drinks his coffee and watches the cat until it leaves.
They go to Aoshima to see the Ogre's Washboard. Victor is a little cooler in the sea air but he still dabs sweat from his forehead. "Hold this," he says and hands the sunshade to Yuuri. He rubs more sunblock into his face. Yuuri's cheeks are reddening and Victor can't tell if it's the heat or the sun. "You're not a fisherman," he says. "Here."
Yuuri smears on sunblock, leaving a streak beside his nose that Victor itches to thumb away. Victor is itching everywhere, prickling with the heat and with the need to take Yuuri in his arms, press their sweating bodies together until they're both fainting with heatstroke.
It's too tempting and Victor steps closer, just to wipe the sunblock, it's fine.
Yuuri swipes his hand over his face and the streak is gone.
Supper is silent. Victor wonders if he should have made a list of things to talk about, like some awkward first date advice on a third-rate lifestyle blog. But every topic he sails out founders on the rocks.
It's like Yuuri is a book that Victor can't read because he can't even open the cover. A book that bumps Victor's knee under the table and nearly tips his water glass and catches Victor's glance for half a second before he looks past him across the room.
"I'll pay for the meal," Yuuri says, when they're finished.
"No, no," Victor says. "It's my treat!"
"No," Yuuri says and this time he doesn't cover up with softer words. "Victor, I'll pay." He's almost glaring. But he's meeting Victor's eyes.
"Whatever you like," Victor says.
Yuuri stops on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. "I'm going for a walk."
Where are we going? Victor wants to say. He wants to take Yuuri's hand, palms together, swing their arms as they stroll. "I'll see you at the hotel," he says instead and watches Yuuri walk away into the summer evening crowd, into that place inside his head.
He goes to a bar and has a drink and another drink, uploads the day's photos from his phone, tagging and captioning until someone recognizes him and he has pose with them.
He wishes Makkachin were there, leaning against his thigh, head under Victor's hand. Maybe he should get Makkachin one of those camera collars so Victor can watch him livetweet the doggy business of each day.
And he wishes Yuuri were there too, leaning against his shoulder, reaching across him to pull Makkachin's fur, face so close his hair tickles Victor's nose.
Victor drinks up and heads back to the hotel.
Yuuri is lying on his stomach on one of the futons, tapping at his phone. His hair is tousled and damp and he's only wearing briefs. Victor has been making him work his trapezius and it's starting to show.
He's put Victor's futon next to his. "Turn out the light," Yuuri says.
"In a few minutes." Victor brushes his teeth. He sluices away the day's sweat in the shower. He stares into the mirror, looks for lines forming around his eyes, but he can't see any yet.
Then he goes out and lies down next to Yuuri in the dark.
The futon was a mistake. He booked a traditional room because he thought it would be fun. But his legs ache at night even in a bed and when he turns over, the pressure makes his hips complain. It's too warm for any cover and he misses the pressure of at least a sheet against his skin.
Light seeps in around the edges of the window and after a while Victor can see Yuuri in the dim, propped up on an elbow, watching Victor with his closed-book eyes.
"Thank you," Yuuri says.
"Go to sleep." Victor rolls up onto his side.
Yuuri reaches out and touches Victor's face. He strokes Victor's cheek, then his lips. Victor opens his mouth and Yuuri pushes one finger inside, just far enough to brush the tip of Victor's tongue.
Victor goes still, all but the blood inside of him, beating at every pulse point. It's not until Yuuri's hand is on his neck that he can speak. "That's not why we're here," he says. It would have been a lie this morning but now he means it. He pulls Yuuri's hand away. But he doesn't let go and their fingers slide together. "That's not why."
"Shut up," Yuuri says and pushes him down, hands on Victor's shoulders, mouth on Victor's mouth.
Victor surges up to meet him, hands on Yuuri's back, lips open for Yuuri's short, gasping kisses, heart open for Yuuri's knife. They roll together, Victor's mouth on Yuuri's neck and Yuuri's hands all over Victor. Victor pushes his thigh between Yuuri's legs and their skin sticks in the clammy heat.
Yuuri presses against Victor, his cock hard against Victor's hip, and Victor's mouth waters. He's already sliding down to take it in when Yuuri's fingers twist in his hair.
"No," Yuuri says. "Just..." And he wraps his fingers around Victor's dick.
Victor's whole skin burns and he jerks his hips without meaning to. Sweat runs into his eyes and he blinks. "Here," he says. He shifts, moves back to make some space, except for his ankle still hooked over Yuuri's calf. He slides his thumbs inside the band of Yuuri's briefs. Yuuri lifts his hips and lets them go.
Then Victor takes Yuuri's cock in his hand and watches Yuuri's face change when he squeezes, when he runs his thumb up over the head, smearing fluid down over the shaft. Yuuri does the same to him and Victor doesn't try to stop the groan in the back of his throat. "Together," he whispers and Yuuri nods.
There's lubricant in his dopp kit but Victor doesn't want to admit how prepared he is for this. So he lets go long enough to lick his palm. Yuuri holds his hand out and Victor licks it too, tongue lingering along the creases before Yuuri pulls it away.
Then they lie next to each other, faces close enough to breathe each other's breath, and jack each other. Victor lets Yuuri set the rhythm, just follows along, his other arm stretched over his head and clutching the edge of the futon. He wonders how much of a mess they're going to make but that's the least important thing in the world right now.
Yuuri's eyes are closed and Victor watches his face: the set of his jaw and the dent on his forehead. Victor feels it building, the strain all through his body, but he holds back, moves his hand on Yuuri. "Victor," Yuuri whispers, his back arches, and he comes all over Victor's hand.
His hand stops moving but Victor doesn't care. He kisses Yuuri, gets his hand over Yuuri's so they're moving together, and it's not long before he's shouting into Yuuri's mouth, shaking with his orgasm.
It's too hot to cling together but Victor holds Yuuri anyhow, foreheads pressed together and arm around Yuuri's waist. Yuuri's breathing slows and he rolls away, then stands, back to Victor, a faint silhouette just out of Victor's reach.
He brings a cloth from the bathroom, handing it to Victor without looking at him, and lies down on his stomach, head on his arms and turned away.
Victor watches him until he drifts off.
Victor wakes up aching. It's still night, or probably early morning, but he's going to have to medicate if he wants to sleep any more. He gropes for his phone but the room is already lighter than before.
He blinks awake and sees Yuuri standing by the window, curtains half drawn, looking out at the city lights.
Victor wants to go to him, step up behind Yuuri and draw him into his arms. Press his cheek against Yuuri's ruffled hair. Instead, he just watches, lying still even though he's in pain. When Yuuri lets the curtain drop, Victor closes his eyes.
He feels Yuuri settle onto the futon. Then a touch on his face, Yuuri's fingers brushing his hair back from his forehead. Victor keeps his breathing light but his chest aches with it and he's afraid he's begun to smile.
He listens for a long time, until Yuuri is lying down, breathing slowly, half a snore catching at his throat. Then Victor gets up and takes his painkillers, drinking two glasses of water and putting on an extra round of night cream.
Then he sleeps.
When he opens his eyes again, Yuuri is already packing, already dressed, back to Victor. "About that combination spin," Yuuri says.
Victor sits up and rubs his eyes. His legs are stiff and he stretches them out while he watches Yuuri, the movements of his shoulders, the way his hair sticks up in back.
Yuuri looks over his shoulder and smiles.
Victor blinks and yawns and smiles back. "We'll talk it over on the train," he says and gets up to shower.