“Urg, it’s the flashy gays,” Yurio scoffed in disgust. Yuuri was about to berate him for putting his feet on the table again when Yurio caught his eye and sighed dramatically. But at least he took his feet off the table and crossed them against his lap instead, the old couch groaning under his weight. Yurio sighed again, louder this time to make sure Yuuri could hear, when he realized he couldn’t reach the tangerines on the table because of his sitting position.
Yuuri felt no sympathy for him. “Flashy gays?” He eyed Yurio’s leopard print pants and gaudy tiger shirt with studs along the shoulders that sparkled under the sunlight and thought Yurio had no right to judge. He spared one moment to consider holding back on that thought before voicing it aloud anyway.
As expected, Yurio looked appropriately offended. He then jabbed a finger in the general direction of their window, where two shirtless men were sunbathing on the side of the pool with their backs to them. “Just look at them!”
It never failed to amaze Yuuri how Yurio could tell whether someone was gay by looking at them. Although, perhaps Yurio wasn’t the best judge because of what had happened with his ex-boyfriend…
“They don’t look that flashy to me,” Yuuri said. Naturally, as soon as the words left his mouth…”Is that speedo…” Yuuri squinted even though he had his glasses on. “…sequined?”
It was kind of amazing really. Yuuri didn’t know speedos that sparkly existed. It was also very snug against that man’s ass. Yuuri usually enjoyed the beautiful curve of a good buttock, but this one wasn’t doing much for him. “They don’t look that gaudy” was Yuuri’s diplomatic answer.
Yurio snorted. “Clearly you need to update your glasses prescription,” he said, which Yuuri had to agree with. After much acrobatic maneuvering, Yurio managed to grab a tangerine from the table at last. Yuuri waited until Yurio finished peeling before asking, “Can you give me one?”
Yurio glared at him but tossed him an unpeeled tangerine anyway. “Lazy ass,” Yurio mumbled loud enough for Yuuri to catch.
Yuuri chewed on a slice, wondering why these butts on display looked very familiar. He stepped closer to the window and moved the blinds over to get a better view. The butt in the sequined speedo was too much for him, but that other one in the black speedo—well—clearly the gods wanted humanity to have at least one good thing in life when they sculpted that butt. It’s beautifully round, pulling tightly against the black fabric of the speedo and—
“It’s Victor Nikiforov. I recognize that butt,” Yuuri said, prompting Yurio to nearly choke on the piece of tangerine he was trying to swallow.
‘I’ve been secretly eyeing that ass my entire life’ was Yuuri’s thought, and because he had become wiser with age, he did not voice that thought aloud. “From…competitions,” Yuuri coughed. He patted his hand against his chest several times, to make sure he didn’t choke from embarrassment.
Yurio’s eyes grew even wider.
Yurio narrowed his eyes.
Yuuri hastily slid the blinds closed. “Okay, that’s enough of that.” Good bye, Victor’s butt.
On some level, Yuuri knew that Yurio wouldn’t let this opportunity pass. The ability to learn things quickly had always been a strength of his, and in the few minutes Yuuri was fumbling with the storm of emotions from the sight of Victor, Yurio had immediately gotten to his feet and pushed Yuuri aside. He yanked the blinds open.
But Yuuri’s protest was drowned out as Yurio pulled the window open and shouted, “VICTOR! VICTORRR NIKIFOROV! VICTORRR!”
No no no no no NO NO NO NO NO!!!
“Yurio NO!” Yuuri tried to push Yurio aside, but Yurio pushed him back, and was encouraged to be even more obnoxiously loud in his efforts. “VICTORRR! OVER HERE!”
To Yuuri’s horror, Victor turned to lie on his back, his head tilted in their direction, and it was too late because Victor then slid his sunglasses down his nose, his beautiful blue eyes meeting Yuuri’s, and Yuuri tried very hard not to seem too flustered under the attention.
“Ah! Yuri!” Victor called out and waved. Yuuri’s heart jerked before his excitement ebbed into disappointment when he realized Victor was referring to Yurio. Of course. They hadn’t even met properly yet.
The guy sitting next to Victor turned around to look at them as well, and Yuuri immediately recognized him as Chris Giacometti. That explained why the other butt was too much for him. “It’s Yuuri and Yuri!” He called out excitedly. “Come! Come! Join us!”
Victor was looking at them and it was too much and Yuuri hated Yurio a little for putting them under the spotlight like this but at the same time he was glad because Victor. Victor. Victor.
“If I can’t convince you, then maybe Victor can,” Yurio said before he climbed out the window to hop onto the patio. He scoffed. “Maybe Victor’s ass will save figure skating. Again.”
Yuuri spluttered. Before he could retort, Yurio was already heading over to Victor and Chris. His heart clenched at how easily Yurio went over and talked to them.
Maybe if he wasn’t so weak, maybe if he was a better skater…he could walk up there and greet Victor, and Victor would call his name, would recognize him, would be glad to talk to him because he was actually a worthy rival. Maybe if he wasn’t so awful—if he could just hear Victor call his name—
“Yuuri? Are you alright?”
Yuuri jerked in surprise, and then a sharp pain bloomed over his forehead as he accidentally smacked his head against something—no, someone else’s head—hard. He saw stars flashing behind his eyelids for a moment before he reoriented himself, blinking against the harsh afternoon light to the sight of Victor clutching his bloody nose.
“I’m sorry!” Yuuri’s voice was dangerously close to screaming. “I’m so so so sorry!”
Tissue! Tissue! Where are the tissues? Yuuri rushed to the restroom to grab the toilet roll, nearly tripping on his feet on the way back in his haste. “Here!” He handed it to Victor. “Are you okay? I’m so sorry!”
First time meeting Victor and he had already screwed it up so badly. Great. Now he would be forever remembered by Victor as toilet roll dude or that-one-guy-who-gave-me-a-bloody-nose.
“Wow, you’re very strong,” Victor laughed as he took the offered toilet paper and wiped at his nose. “I guess I should have known because you always seem to have a lot of stamina.”
How Victor had come to the conclusion that Yuuri was strong from that accident and why Victor had decided to say something so awkward that Yuuri’s heart wanted it so badly to be a pick-up line, Yuuri would never know. But what he did know was that Victor clearly wasn’t used to someone giving him a bloody nose because he kept uselessly wiping at his nose even though the blood did not seem like it would be stopping anytime soon.
Victor blinked rapidly. “Sure.”
Yuuri pulled a handful of tissue from the roll and pressed his thumb and forefinger against both sides of Victor’s nose. “You should tilt your head forward.”
Victor did as he was told, and Yuuri placed his free palm under Victor’s chin and applied more pressure with his other hand. Up close, Victor’s eyes were even more striking under the sunlight.
Victor’s nose stopped bleeding after about three awkward minutes of them just staring at each other. As Yuuri helped him wipe the blood off his face, Victor smiled. “This is not how I imagined our first meeting would go.”
Yuuri gulped. Did he—did he hear that correctly?
Over Victor’s shoulder, Yuuri could see Yurio rolling his eyes and Chris making kissy faces. The heat crawled up his face before he could attempt to keep a hold on his embarrassment. Back off, back off, back off now. Walk away before it can get any worse.
But Victor had walked over here to greet him. Victor had thought about meeting him. Victor knew his name. Victor had called his name.
“How did you imagine our first meeting?” Yuuri said instead of withdrawing like he was planning to.
Victor beamed, and Yuuri felt his heart clench at the sight.
‘I want to make him smile again,’ Yuuri thought. ‘I know I can make him smile again.” He felt, as Victor leaned in and whispered, “A lot more romantic than this,” like perhaps the brightness that he had always seen in everyone else might be within him too, waiting until this moment when he no longer wanted to retreat to burst out of its shell.