Falling in love was so easy; it was happened in the span of a single night, between 16 glasses of champagne and dances that revived his zest for life, revived that ember in his heart into a roaring fire. But, the thing about fires is that they need to be fed and nurtured with oxygen and fuel, else they die with nothing but ashes to mark their presence.
Viktor, whose life has always been dedicated to the ice, whose only experience in love and romance before Yuuri was one-night stands and short flings that burned hot and heavy before they ended, fell so quickly and easily in love with Yuuri. Yuuri, who has always loved Viktor. Yuuri, who fell in love with Viktor’s skating when he was but a little boy. Yuuri, who admired Viktor for years, whose admiration developed into hero-worship which then blossomed into a true and enduring love in the past year of close contact.
Viktor loved Yuuri; that was not in doubt. Yuuri changed his life for the better. Yuuri saved him. Yuuri never failed to surprise him. But, that was not enough.
“Yuuri! Have I told you how much I love you yet?” Viktor calls out as he skates to the edge of the rink where Yuuri stood waiting.
“Haha, I love you too, Vitya,” Yuuri smiles at his fiancé, his eyes shining bright and his smile audible in his voice.
Yuri gagged. “You’ve already said that, like, 1000 times today! Be lovey-dovey at home, idiot! Ugh!” Yuri stomps away.
“Well, 1000 times is a 1000 times too few!” Victor calls out. “My love for my Yuuri just fills my heart and overflows!”
“GROSS!” Yuri screams back. Yuuri just sighs and ushers Viktor off the ice with a rueful smile.
“Yuuri, I’m going to stay to practice for a few more hours, okay? You go on home before me.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I need to practice this step sequence a bit more.”
“Alright...I’m sorry for taking up so much time today. If I didn’t have such trouble with the jump combination at the end, you wouldn’t have to stay later.”
A sigh, with just the edge of irritation. “It’s not your fault Yuuri, don’t worry about it. I’ll see you at home in time for dinner.”
“Okay. Good luck!”
“Thanks. Love you, Yuuri!” Viktor blows a kiss to Yuuri with wink.
“I love you too!”
“I’ll see you at home, Vitya,” Yuuri calls out to Viktor as he leaves the rink. Viktor pauses in his conversation with Yakov across the rink and waves at Yuuri. “Bye, love you Vitya!”
“Bye Yuuri, see you at home!”
“Hello, My name is Joseph and I’ll be taking your order today,” the waiter says in Russian, his gaze fixed to Viktor’s face, ignoring Yuuri.
“Ah, hello! We’ll have pirozhki to start off with, a beef stroganoff for him and a mushroom julienne for me, please! And 2 beers!” Viktor replies with a smile and wink at the waiter, handing the menus back to the waiter. Their hands brush together.
“I’ll be right back with you with your orders,” the waiter states with a flirtatious smile as he shuts his notepad. “Please, let me know if there is anything you need,” he adds in English.
“Of course,” Viktor says, his smile bordering on flirtatious. The waiter leaves and Viktor turns back to Yuuri, who has a complicated expression on his face. “What’s up, solnyshko?”
Yuuri pauses, visibly deliberating, before he shrugs. “Ah, nothing. I was just thinking about something, is all.”
“...Viktor, are you happy with me?”
Viktor shoots Yuuri a surprised look. “Of course, I am, darling! I love you! Why would you ask that?”
“It’s just, I know it’s hard on you coaching me and competing at the same time. And I know I’m not an easy person, VIktor.” Yuuri pauses, then continues on to say, “And, I can’t help but think you would be happier with someone less...difficult.”
Viktor reaches out with his left hand, gripping Yuuri’s right hand. “Yuuri. I love you, no matter what. You brighten up my whole life and it’s worth everything to me that you’re in my life.” Yuuri blushes and clutches Viktor’s hand back.
“...I love you too, zvezda moya,” he says, stumbling on the Russian endearment. Viktor visibly melts.
“Good night Vitya, see you at home!”
He receives a distracted wave from Viktor. Yuuri waits for a bit, lingering on the edges of the rink. Yuri skates by and shoots him a questioning look. Yuuri shakes his head and walks away.
“Viktor Nikiforov! May I have a photo with you?” A young woman asks breathlessly, her phone clutched to her chest.
“Of course! I would be honored to have a photo with such a beautiful woman as you,” Viktor says flirtatiously, his public smile firmly in place. Yuuri frowns.
“Vitya, don’t you think you could be a little less….flirtatious with others? You are engaged, after all,” Yuuri asks tentatively that night as they lay in bed.
“Eh? But, it means nothing, Yuuri. It’s part of my public image!”
“Yes...but your public image now includes me. I would appreciate it if my fiancé would refrain from flirting with others right in front of me.”
Viktor heaves a heavy sigh, as if Yuuri was requesting something arduous of him. “If it makes you feel better.”
“Thank you, Vitya.”
“Hey, the others invited us out for drinks tonight! Let’s go out, Yuuri~!” Viktor pleads from his place lying across the couch as Yuuri enters the living room, Makkachin following closely behind him. “It’s been forever since we’ve gone out!”
“Eh, I dunno…”
“Come on, it’ll be fun!”
“I think I’ll stay in and skype Phichit. It’s been a while since I’ve talked to him. You go out without me!”
“Aww, please Yuuri! You can talk to Phichit tomorrow!”
“It’s just, I still don’t know the language very well and I don’t think it will be much fun for me. But, you should go!”
Viktor heaved a sigh, disappointment writ across his face. “Alright. If you’re sure…”
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
“Well, I guess I should go get ready then!” Viktor bounces up as Yuuri gets settled onto the couch with Makkachin and his laptop.
A few minutes later, Viktor emerges in a black skinny jeans and a blue button-up shirt, the top two buttons undone. He made a mouth-watering image and, judging by the smirk on his face, he knew it. "Are you sure you don't want to join me now?"
"Yes, dear, your sexiness is overflowing, but not enough to tempt me away from my comfortable spot on the touch," Yuuri says dryly. "Anyway, have fun Vitya!"
“Don’t wait up for me, lyubov moya! Have a good talk with Phichit, and give him my regards!”
“Hey sexy, fancy a dance?” A beautiful red-haired woman asks, sultry and sensual, as she leans up against a drunk Viktor.
“Why not?” He slurs, grabbing her waist and pulling her against him, grinding against her. The beat of the music drummed through him, his head hazy from the alcohol. “God, you’re so gorgeous ,” he whisper-slurs against her ear. She tilts her head back and smirks at him.
“You haven’t seen anything yet, ” she murmurs back, then brings his head down for a kiss. Viktor loses himself in her soft body. “My place isn’t too far from here. Let’s go.” She leads out an unresisting Viktor.
Viktor walks back into a quiet apartment, Yuuri away at the ice rink and Makkachin snoozing on the couch. He stumbles into the bathroom, cursing to himself, head pounding, reeking of booze and sweat and sex.
He says nothing to Yuuri.
But, he goes out again.
Another night, drunk on alcohol and music and adrenaline. Another night drunk on another stranger’s body, on lust and sex and the unknown.
Another morning entering a silent apartment, guilty and stinking.
“Hello again, gorgeous,” says the red-haired woman, Irina, as she saunters up to Viktor. “Want another dance?”
Viktor hesitates, not so far gone that he can’t recognize a bad idea when he sees one. But, in the end, “Sure ,” he replies, flirtatious and tipsy. “Why not?”
“Viktor,” Yuuri says the next morning, startling a hung-over Viktor as he walks through the front door.
“Yuuri! What are you doing here?” Viktor exclaims. “You’re usually at practice at this time!”
Yuuri looks at Viktor without replying, his face unreadable but his eyes sad and hurt. A tired and worn air seemed to hang around him. Viktor flinches, hyperaware of his sloppy appearance and the smell of the club and sex and Irina on him.
“It’s - It’s not what it looks like, lyubov moya,” Viktor stammers, guilty.
Yuuri remains silent.
“I-,” Viktor starts. “It was just-.” He falls silent.
“If you were so unhappy with me, you should have just said,” Yuuri starts, his voice calm, breaking a bit at the end, betraying his own emotions.
“No! It’s not-” Viktor starts, but Yuuri continues talking.
“I think it’s time we end this,” he says, an unwitting repetition of their conversation in Barcelona. But, this was no misunderstanding and there was no coming back from this. “I’m going back to Japan.”
Viktor hears a roaring in his ears, his heart stopping, cracking, breaking. “Wh-what?” He croaks out.
“I’ve already spoken with Yakov and the others, told them I’m going back to Japan. My things are packed and I’ll be leaving tonight.” Viktor starts, looking around and noticing Yuuri’s packed luggage next to the couch for the first time.
“No, Yuuri, you can’t-”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t make you happy Viktor. I’m sorry I wasn’t enough.”
“No, Yuuri, you’re more than enough! You make me so, so happy!” Viktor bursts out, stumbling forward toward Yuuri. He stops in surprise when Yuuri visibly hardens before his eyes.
“No, I obviously don’t,” he says, his eyes lingering on a hickey on Viktor’s neck, a hickey that had not been placed there by Yuuri. Viktor flushes, ashamed.
“Please, Yuuri, I’ll do better. I don’t - I don’t know what this was, but I love you and only you! Please,” Viktor begs, dropping to his knees before Yuuri.
Yuuri just looks at Viktor for a long moment, then shakes his head. “I’m sorry.” He then picks up his luggage and walks out the door and out of Viktor’s life, leaving Viktor on the living room floor.