Each minute felt like an hour counting down to Yuuri's interview. Viktor had gotten prepared hours ago, connecting his laptop to the tv and setting up the livestream that would soon host Yuuri's gorgeous, gorgeous face. It'd been hours of the same 3 commercials and stuffy older people discussing this past Grand Prix Final. His name had even come up a few times, but he'd conveniently needed to go to the bathroom or get a drink before he heard what they had to say. His performance in the Grand Prix wasn't important, not now. All that mattered were those last few seconds between him and five-time World Championship winner, Katsuki Yuuri.
They started with a clip of his short program. The stage dark save a single spotlight. Yuuri. His hands running slow and sensually down his body. His tongue running over lips Viktor wanted to taste, and god it was doing a million different things to Viktor as if it were his first time, not his hundredth, seeing it. The music picked up and suddenly Yuuri was moving, gliding across the ice with the kind of grace and skill VIktor only dreamed of. He could feel the urge to get up and move about the room as if he were skating pull at him, but he stayed seated for the sake of keeping his eyes on the screen. Slowly, the music faded to applause, and his beautiful Yuuri disappeared, replaced by a man in a bright suit and fake smile. Then,
"Welcome, Katsuki Yuuri!"
"Thank you for having me."
He was there. Yuuri was there, smiling his shy smile, ducking his head, and pushing up his glasses, and existing. Viktor perched at the very edge of the couch, ready to fall over and become an "over-dramatic mess" as Yuri once called (not his Yuuri, of course. It was exhausting having two Yuri's, but no matter how many times Viktor insisted, Yuri Plisetsky refused to change his name. Sigh.)
After usual niceties and discussion of Yuuri's gold-winning performance, the interview turned to what had been on everyone's minds: retirement. It was a stupid rumor, and yet the internet wouldn't let up on it. Viktor knew he wouldn't because... well... he'd only had one chance to skate on the same ice as him. One chance, and he'd ruined it, tripping on his own skates. If Yuuri retired, that'd mean VIktor would never get another chance. He'd never skate on the same ice as him. He'd never stand beside him on the podium. He'd never prove himself as anything other than a semi-talented fanboy. Viktor closed his eyes and took deep steadying breaths, letting Makkachin's worried nuzzle ground him. It didn't matter what wouldn't happen if Yuuri retired, because he wouldn't.
"So, what do you plan to do after this? A lot of people seem to think you'll be retiring this season."
Yuuri laughed nervously, and even through his anxiety, Viktor couldn't help but think it was the cutest sound in the world.
"I, uhm, actually... I'm still talking to my coach about it, but it... yes, it's looking like I will be retiring,"
Viktor did hit the floor then. He couldn't think. He couldn't even breathe. Every breath hurt twice as much as the last one, and his exhales were starting to come out as choked sobs.
It really, really hurt.
He didn't know how long it was before he finally came out of his despair, the sound of Makkachin scratching his water bowl drawing him out of his mind and back into the real world. The interview was over at least, replaced by some news report on... he couldn't be bothered to pay enough attention to find out. He drew himself off the floor on aching limbs and made his way to the kitchen to make sure Makkachin didn't die of thirst (after all, it was his life that was over, not Makkachin's). As he made his way back into the living room to turn off his computer, something made him freeze.
'Coach Yuuri?' the banner at the bottom of the screen read, and Viktor suddenly became very interested in what the newscaster had to say.
"After confirming rumors regarding his retirement, gold medalist, Katsuki Yuuri, announced tentative plans to begin coaching."
"I-I just feel like it's time to step down," the on-screen Yuuri stammered, toying with his tie. "And coaching might be a good way to give back to the skating community after all it's done for me."
"Twitter's already blown up over the announcement, and the responses are mixed. @katsukissu tweeted 'As sad as I am to see him go, I think he'll be gr8 at whatever he does.' @xxsk8trboixx on the other hand tweets: 'who does he think he is? he'd doesnt know a thing about coaching'. What are your thoughts? Tweet us now at hashta-"
Viktor lifted his thumb from his phone, watching the "transaction complete!" pop up confirm his purchase of a one-way ticket to Hasetsu, Japan. This was it. This was his chance.
Of course, it might've been smarter to plan things out before flying to Japan. He'd been too busy packing and failing to calm a very angry Yakov before catching his morning flight, and on the flight over, he been too busy daydreaming about Yuuri... Yuuri's hands on his body correcting his pose... Yuuri's hands on him for no particular reason... Yuuri's hands on him for very urgent reasons... He regretted it maybe a little as he stood in front of Yuuri's family inn with one suitcase and no idea what he was going to say.
Viktor breathed in and blew it out hard before marching resolutely towards the entrance. Impulsiveness has worked in his favor before, why wouldn't it now?
"I'm here to see Yuuri!" he announced, stepping inside. There was a moment of silence as all eyes turned to him, startled by his grand entrance.
"Yuuri...?" A kindly looking older woman murmured, blinking at him in confusion.
For a moment he was scared he had the wrong place. He couldn't have. Of course he knew Yuuri's family owned and lived at Yutopia in Hasetsu, and when he'd mustered up the courage to watch the end of the interview, he learned the "only definite plan" Yuuri had was to return home. There was no way Viktor was wrong, and yet he was suddenly reminded of another time he was so certain... and wrong.
"Hey." Viktor started at the voice of a newcomer, a woman with dyed hair held back by a headband. "I've seen you on TV. You're a skater, aren't you?"
"Oh, one of Yuuri's friends?" the older woman asked, brightening, and Viktor had to smile at that. "He's in the onsen, right down that way!"
Yuuri knew that following his announcement there would be some pretty crazy reactions. He'd turned off his phone flew straight home, hoping to hide until the worst of it was over. Of all the things he expected, however, he did not expect Viktor Nikiforov (a skater he really only knew in name) to come bursting into his family's onsen, point at him and proclaim "Yuuri, starting today, you're my coach! Let's win the Grand Prix Final!". They'd stared at each other for a moment, before Viktor's eyes suddenly widened and he fainted.
If Yuuri had ever doubted his life would get crazier after retiring, he certainly knew it now. Somehow, that almost excited him as much as it freaked him out.