“So, you’re telling me that all this panic is just because you can’t decide what to get Viktor for his birthday?” Phichit asked disbelievingly.
Yuuri groaned, resting his head in his free hand as he clutched his phone with the other. It was stupid, he knew. Calling Phichit in a panic after almost a full week of constant worrying and doubt over something that Viktor probably wouldn’t even care much about but he couldn’t help himself.
“I’ve been living with him for a year Phichit. We’ve been together for even longer. Last year he told me he didn’t really celebrate much but this year it’s different. We’ve been together too long for me to not give him something, I just don’t know what.”
Yuuri could hear Phichit let out a small hum of acknowledgement from the other end of the phone and could feel the relief that at least his friend was taking him seriously. When Yuuri had called in a state of complete panic a few minutes before, Phichit had been convinced that there was something seriously wrong and Yuuri could hear the disbelief in his voice when he found out the real reason behind Yuuri’s panic. At least he was trying to think of a solution, rather than teasing Yuuri over his crisis about birthday presents.
“It can’t be that hard to pick a present Yuuri.” Phichit told him after a few seconds of thought, his voice placating. “Just think about what Viktor likes.”
“But there’s nothing I can give him that he can’t already get for himself!” Yuuri exclaimed. Viktor’s status as living legend certainly made both of their lives a lot easier in the financial department but it also meant that Viktor had more money than he really knew what to do with. While he wasn’t too extravagant - most of the time at least - it did mean that anything he wanted, he could easily buy. Any gift that Yuuri could think of seemed stupid when he considered that, if Viktor really wanted it, he’d have just bought it for himself long before.
“There’s got to be something.” Phichit replied, sounding a little exasperated. “He likes Makkachin doesn’t he? Get him…I don’t know, another puppy or something?”
Yuuri sighed a little wistfully at the thought but quickly discarded the idea. He adored Makkachin but the dog was old now and much more sedate, requiring much less time and energy than an excitable new puppy still in need of training would. Much as he would love to have another dog around, at the point they were both at in their careers it just wouldn’t be practical. Yuuri spent half his life training at the rink in St Petersburg and Viktor, as a coach as well as a competitor, spent even longer.
“I can’t, at least not right now.” he told Phichit in what he could tell was a slightly mournful tone. “There’s got to be something else instead.”
“You’re his fiancé Yuuri, not me.” Phichit answered, voice light and a little teasing. “You know Viktor better than anyone. And whatever you get him, I’m sure he’ll love it.”
The words were not comforting in the slightest.
“Ah Yuuri, I’m glad you’ve finally decided to take me up on my offer of advice.” Chris said and Yuuri could hear the sly smile in his voice even down the phone. “I’ve known Viktor for a very long time, I can tell you exactly what he likes and I’m always ready to help out a couple in need.”
Yuuri could feel a flush start to creep into his face and he cleared his throat, willing the colour to die down even though Chris couldn’t see it. The other man’s tone was very suggestive and Yuuri was pretty sure the advice Chris was preparing to give wouldn’t be particularly helpful to his current predicament.
“It’s Viktor’s birthday soon.” He explained, trying to keep his voice as level as possible. “And I don’t know what to give him. I was hoping you would have some ideas?”
“Of course.” The suggestive tone was still very present in Chris’ voice and Yuuri was beginning to regret calling him at all.
“You still have Viktor’s old costume don’t you?” Chris asked and Yuuri made a small noise of confirmation. “Well, you’ll have to make a few adjustments of course if you want this to work but I’m sure Viktor would appreciate it if he came home to…”
Yuuri’s attempts to banish his blush proved entirely futile and he could feel his face getting hotter and hotter with embarrassment at Chris’ suggestions. They weren’t necessarily bad per say, but definitely not something he wanted to try on a day that had to be perfect, in case it all went horribly wrong.
Eventually Chris stopped talking and Yuuri thanked him politely before hanging up the phone and burying his face in his hands. Viktor’s birthday was drawing ever nearer and he still had no idea what he was going to do.
Time for Plan C.
“Why are you asking me for relationship advice Katsudon.” Yuri glared at him, although there was much less bite to the words than there could have been. “Don’t you two already have like, the perfect relationship or something?”
“It’s Viktor’s birthday soon.” Yuuri explained tiredly and Yuri raised an eyebrow as if to say ‘well obviously’. “And I, uh, don’t know what to buy him as a present.” he finished, the sentence trailing off as he looked at the floor, feeling embarrassed. The fact that he couldn’t think up a good present for his fiancé of all people wasn’t a pleasant feeling and he couldn’t help the worry that was building in his chest with each passing day. He wanted Viktor’s birthday to be special and he couldn’t do that if he couldn’t even think of a good present to give.
“And why are you asking me for advice?” Yuri answered, looking vaguely irritated as he lounged back against the wall of the rink. “Just ask him what he wants.”
“I can’t do that!” Yuuri protested. That would be admitting that he couldn’t think of anything good enough and he didn’t want to admit that to Viktor under any circumstances. “Can’t you think of anything that he might like?”
“Just buy him some new fancy gold skates or something equally as pointless.” Yuri suggested, looking at Yuuri like he was an idiot. “It’s from you so it’s not like he’s going to care what you actually get him anyway.”
From across the rink, Yakov called to Yuri to get back to practicing and he skated away, tossing one last glance over his shoulder to where Yuuri was still standing.
“Stop overthinking it.” Yuri called back as he moved swiftly away. “You’ve been doing it all week now and everyone’s noticed. Even Viktor, while is a miracle because he never notices anything.”
Yuuri hoped that he hadn’t been quite that obvious but he knew that he had been reserved in the past few days, his worry over Viktor’s rapidly approaching birthday making him withdraw back into his own head. Viktor was still as affectionate as ever but Yuuri had found himself pulling away the last couple of times, shying from the touch. He still wanted Viktor’s affection, he was sure that he would never stop wanting it, but it made him feel like a fraud. What kind of fiancé was he, that he couldn’t even think of a good birthday present?
He would have to think of something and think of it fast or Viktor’s whole birthday would turn out to be a disaster.
After a hard day of training, Yuuri was about to leave the rink when he caught sight of Yakov standing by the exit from the ice, looking at him. The older man had a frown on his face which only deepened when Yuuri approached, although there was no anger or annoyance in his eyes.
“There’s something wrong.” he said bluntly and without preamble and Yuuri almost skated straight into the barrier at the words. He might have been training in the same rink as Yakov for a year now but he was still slightly intimidated by Viktor’s old coach.
“Vitya’s skating was off today and yours was too.” Yakov commented and Yuuri shrank a little under the gaze. During the practice session he had fallen on far more of his jumps than someone with his level of experience ever should have and it seemed like his plea for the mistakes to go unnoticed had gone unheard.
“I don’t know what’s going on between you two but you’d both better fix it soon.” Yakov finished, the words not harsh but with a definite air of finality around them. “Otherwise you can both kiss your chances at medals goodbye.”
Yakov might be gruff but there was a slight undercurrent of worry in his voice and Yuuri knew that real concern was there, hidden just beneath the surface. Viktor and Yakov might have been estranged for the year when he was doing nothing but coaching Yuuri but Yuuri knew that Viktor and Yakov had been through a lot together and if there was anyone that could read Viktor well, it was Yakov.
“Talk to Viktor.” Yakov added before turning away, leaving the rink-side to go and talk to a group of other skaters and leaving Yuuri to make his way out of the rink alone.
When Viktor returned home that night, a few hours after Yuuri, Yuuri was waiting for him. Sitting on the couch with Makkachin by his feet and trying to think of what to say. Logically he knew that Viktor probably wouldn’t even care about the thing that had been preying on Yuuri so much over the past few days, he hadn’t cared the year before about presents and it was unlikely he would now, but Yuuri still couldn’t help but worry.
After spotting Yuuri on the couch as he walked through the door, Viktor came and sat down next to him, close but not quite touching. Instead of keeping his distance like he had been doing recently, Yuuri learned into Viktor’s presence, resting his head on his fiancé’s shoulder in the casually affectionate way that he had become so used to in the time that they had spent together. Viktor relaxed a little at the touch and ran his fingers gently through Yuuri’s hair, shifting so that they were pressed closer together.
“You’ve been distant in the last few days” he murmured, wrapping an arm around Yuuri’s shoulder and Yuuri relaxed in the peace of the room and the familiarity of the gesture. “Will you tell me what’s wrong?”
Yuuri sighed, knowing that it wasn’t a question that he could avoid. Over the past few days he had been so caught up in stressing over trying to make Viktor’s birthday perfect that he had been drawing away into himself. Of course Viktor had noticed. It wasn’t like he even needed to try and keep Viktor’s gift as a surprise anymore considering he couldn’t even think of something to give.
“It’s stupid.” he mumbled and Viktor looked at him questioningly. “Your birthday is coming up. And I couldn’t think of anything to give you. I know you said you don’t really celebrate much but I wanted to make your birthday perfect anyway.”
To his surprise, Viktor laughed, the sound bright in the quiet of the room.
“Why would you worry about that Yuuri?“ he said, sounding a little relieved. Yuuri wasn’t quite sure what Viktor had been expecting his increasing distance over the past week to be about but it certainly hadn’t been that.
“I don’t know.” Yuuri felt a little indignant as he said it. Despite knowing that he had been worrying far too much, it still wasn’t exactly a completely insignificant issue. “I guess I just wanted to give you something special.”
“Oh Yuuri.” There was a smile in Viktor’s voice as he said the words and he shifted closer so that they were sitting as close as they could without Yuuri fully climbing into Viktor’s lap. “I’ve got you. That’s the best present I could ever ask for. Why would I need anything else?”
“That’s all you want?” Yuuri asked, surprised at the ease of the answer. Viktor had him every day, Yuuri being with him on his birthday was hardly something special.
“Well I wouldn’t say no to some home cooked katsudon.” Viktor joked and Yuuri let out a breath of relief because that was definitely something that he could do. “But having you with me, that’s all I really need.”
The words were sappy but Viktor often was and Yuuri loved him for it. It made him feel special and wanted in a way that no-one else did or could and even though he was supposed to be the one making Viktor feel special, Viktor had managed to turn the tables with ease.
Yuuri began to stand, running through a quick list of ingredients in his head that he would need to buy to make Viktor the best birthday meal that he had ever had, but he was stopped by a hand on his arm, unbalancing him so that he fell back straight into Viktor’s lap. Viktor grinned at him, a smug smile on his face at Yuuri’s surprised expression from the unexpected change in position. Viktor’s hands slid out to twine around Yuuri’s waist, keeping him pinned where he was and Yuuri relaxed back into the feeling, shifting a little to get more comfortable where he was sitting in Viktor’s lap.
“Going so soon?” Viktor teased. “ You wound me Yuuri. I just told you that you were all I needed for my birthday. Are you really going to deprive me of my favourite present.”
“I thought last year you told me you didn’t celebrate until the actual day.” Yuuri shot back, letting a small smile cross his face as Viktor pouted at his words. “Shouldn’t you be keeping your hands off until the twenty-fifth.”
“I think, for this, I can definitely make an exception.” Viktor replied and while his voice was light and playful there was a hint of promise in his tone and in his eyes when Yuuri turned to look at him, turning around in Viktor’s lap so that he was straddling his legs completely. Leaning down he pressed his lips lightly to Viktor’s own, a brief point of contact before he pulled away and smiled down at where Viktor was sitting under him, hands wrapped around his hips to keep him steady.
He might have spent the last few days panicking about finding Viktor the perfect present but from the look on Viktor’s face, he could finally let that worry go. If all Viktor wanted was to be with him, then he would make sure that he was the best present ever.
“Happy Birthday Vitya.” he grinned, before reaching down to claim Viktor’s mouth with his own again.