Everybody said it, and everybody knew it; Yuri Plisetsky was at the top of his game. By now, he had won more medals in competitive figure skating than anybody of his age had ever achieved, and had already surpassed many of those older than him at 2 Grand Prix Finals - he was going for his third win.
Despite his age, very little about his body had changed. He was still lithe and feminine, able to give the impression of innocence to a near fault. Though, of course, anybody who knew him off of the ice would know that this wasn't the case for his personality. Despite this, he was still the darling of figure skating - The Russian Fairy. He was almost on a level with Viktor. Almost.
Ah, Viktor. It had been hard for Yuri to watch his fellow Russian competitor leave to train with that pig, Yuuri Katsuki, but evidently there was nothing he could do to stop him going. In truth, Yurio admired Viktor, very much. Not only as an inspiration to his skating career, but perhaps... something else.
He hadn't figured out in his head what exactly it was that made him want to impress the older male so desperately, but it didn't matter to him as much as winning did. It didn't matter as much as beating Yuuri, and maybe even surpassing Viktor one day. He was a winner, and nobody would stand in his way.
Though, he had to admit that when Viktor finally agreed to continue training with him, he was thrilled to have him back, even if he still had to share him with Yuuri. He had already been at the rink for a couple of hours already, practicing his jumps as he always did before his coach showed up.
His dedication was unmissable, and it wasn't like he needed to practice anyway, landing each of them perfectly and not even caring if anybody else walked though and watched him. He always ignored their stares, especially today. He hadn't seen Viktor in ages, and it was what his mind kept coming back to. He still performed the program Viktor had written. It reminded Yurio of him.
Grinning as he lazily walked through the large double doors into the public area's of the rink, Viktor waved over his head in the general direction of Yuri.
"Yurio!" he called out in Russian, talking natively with Yuri instead of his butchered Japanese with his Yuuri and most of the time, English to help each other understand properly. There was also the fact he called him 'Yurio' the nickname brought from their past with Yuri.
"I was waiting to have breakfast with you, then I realised you were not Yuuri and did not know where to meet me" He laughed softly, a stupid mistake.
"I sometimes forget your not Yuuri, but your Yurio!" he walked up to the ice and put down his boots, taking off the thick long coat and leaning over the railing. "I brought you a snack" He explained, holding out a plastic packaging with a full pretzel and a half eaten Pretzel.
"You had two, but I got hungry on the way over" he explained, kneeling down and tying on his boots. Gliding out onto the ice, Viktor could move like he was born on it. Simply moving with the ice and letting it take him.
Yurio had just started to go into a triple axle jump, preparing himself before he suddenly heard Victor's soft voice travelling through the air. By now, it was too late. His left foot was already off the ground, but his gaze had now fallen on Viktor. He didn't have time to turn back to the jump, and Yurio slipped on the ice and fell on his back.
It was the first time he'd fallen on the ice in a long time, and he was fuming. Various other people in the rink had noticed and were whispering among themselves, and Yurio's face had turned a brilliant scarlet red. Picking his slender body up off the ground, he slowly skated to the side of the rink towards Viktor.
"Are you kidding me with this?" He spat, his eyes narrowed as he brushed his hair away from his face.
"You leave for months and when you finally return, I end up missing an easy jump because of you? Tsch... Don't startle me like that." His face softened slightly as he realised he could never really stay mad at Viktor, he had even brought him pretzels; even if he had already eaten half of one - it was still an adorable trait of his.
"Thanks, but I've eaten." He said in a dry tone, taking the packaging and putting it next to his coat and shoes. He'd eat it later. Of course, he ignored the mention of Yuuri. He didn't care a bit about Yuuri.
"Alright, you look like you've been here for some time" Viktor noted, today Viktor had gone with a skin-tight black shirt and trousers, letting his grey-silver hair and paler skin contrast with his black outfit; although he'd gained some tan in his travels with Yuuri.
"What would you like to begin with?" Viktor asked softly as he glided out onto the ice, Yurio let out a slight sigh as he watched with a small smile. He was always beautiful on the ice, even more so than normal if it were possible. When Viktor caught his eye however, his angry, defencive glare seemed to return to his face.
"Well, seeing as I was working on my jumps before I was rudely interrupted." His voice was a little harsh, but then again, it always was. He wasn't also known as 'The Russian Punk' for nothing.
Staring at the Russian Punk. Victor's smile did not leave his lips as he watched him get all defencive, angry and glaring.
"You should watch where you are going, perhaps if you did not listen to the crowd and concentrated on your jump, then you would not have fallen" he instructed and smiled teasingly.
"YOU called out to get my attention!" Yurio snapped back, interrupting Viktor before he could even finish his sentence. "It's a bit different." His voice seemed to always have an element of venom in it - no matter how much it was, it was still always there. Yurio's harsh glare met the soft smile of the other skater, and his expression softened just a little, but still his lips seems to turn down in an unapologetic frown.
"Alright, show me what you got" he instructed, ignoring the outburst and interruption before skating over to the side to watch.
When Yurio was on the ice, however, he was... very different. Not harsh, nor loud or aggressive. He was... incredibly gentle, almost angelic. Like a fairy. There were very few women who could even match his beauty. He had learnt the routine Viktor had written for him off by heart, and so it was performed perfectly, almost to a near fault. It was hard not to notice a small smirk developing on Yurio's lips as he heard the other's praise. He was a sucker for praise.
When he was done with his routine, Viktor was tapping his chin. "Very good, you have much improved since I made a routine for you. I am very impressed" he told Yurio honestly. He didn't hate the kid, nor did he think anything ill of him. In fact he wanted him to succeed. He was 28 after all, edging to the very end of his career, perhaps he'd already even passed the end of his career and moved onto coaching?
"I have an idea, how about we do a duet, you ever done that?" he asked. "Yuuri and I were going to do it before he had to go back home to Japan. There is a small event going around in a city nearby for a paired dance routine." he explained.
Yurio's smile quickly faded however when Viktor said the word 'duet', his face forming another harsh glare as he glided to the edge of the ice, standing beside the other now.
"Tsch... You can't be serious." He sneered. Of course he'd asked Yuuri first. No matter how beautifully he skated, no matter now nice he was to Viktor, he'd always come second.
"I work alone, Viktor. You of all people should know that." He slowly pushed away from the side of the rink, travelling to the other side before skating in circles, practising his turns, almost ignoring the fact that Viktor was still there.
"If you don't want to then, okay. I was going to as Chris if he wanted to if you did not want to but he is away back home in Switzerland" " he explained softly, turning to watch him work his skills on the ice from the side.
'Yurio seems angry for some reason' He thought silently, finger and thumb on his chin as he stared at Yurio on the ice; he had asked Yuuri first because he was Yuuri's coach and they had travelled and practised together longer than he and Yurio. Yuri wasn't second choice behind Yuuri, he was just second choice out of the order of people Viktor saw.
When he'd seen enough of his work, Viktor came over and explained a few things he wanted him to try to do. A couple of hard moves which even an expert could get wrong very easily; but Viktor wanted to show Yurio he knew he could handle them.
As Viktor explained the moves he wanted Yurio to try, the only response the older skater received was an affirmative nod and a slight smirk before the other began to skate, executing each move with 'textbook perfection', though his timing was a little off for one of the moves. It was hardly noticeable, but the boy still internally beat himself up over it.
"Your moves were very impressive, a little mistake here and there but you were very good; I've seen experts fail more" Viktor congratulated him.
As Viktor called him up on his "little mistakes" he grunted a little to himself.
'Even Viktor noticed...' His face was pulled into a harsh glare, but it was more directed at himself.
'Stupid stupid stupid... You can do better...' He thought to himself. Scowling a little to himself as he skated back to Viktor, sighing deeply as he shook the frown from his face.
Yurio was very good, brilliant in Viktor's eyes and he wanted to see the young boy flourish in his career; Viktor's was coming to a close and he liked to think he could pass on the torch. Yuri was thinking of quitting so he needed someone else he knew closely.
"For dinner, there is a lovely restaurants I know not far from here. When I was training I'd always go to it. Want to go?" he asked as he skated nearby, watching him do the moves he'd asked.
For a moment, the Russian Fairy fell silent, one hand on his hip as he looked down at his skates, thinking to himself. He could easily say no, but a very small part of him didn't want to. This small part of him had yet to flourish, but perhaps it would by spending more time with Viktor. They barely spoke about anything other than skating, but of course that was Yurio's preference. Looking back up to the other, he shrugged a little and nodded his head just once.
"Sure." He said softly, for once. "I don't have any plans."
Yurio wasn't too familiar with Christophe, and that was probably a good thing. His personality was the exact opposite of Yurio's - too passionate.
The only passion that the young Russian had was for the art of skating. He didn't have an interest in 'love'. At least that was what he thought. As he watched Viktor come closer, he slowly began to slow down and stood opposite him, his arms folded and one eyebrow raised.
"Why do you want to compete in pairs skating anyway? You're still the Russian darling. It's not as if you need the publicity." He spoke a little bit softer now, genuinely curious about why Viktor had suddenly become so interested in the idea.
"Why?" he smiled softly. "I'm one of the oldest skaters in the championship, well, I'm not a skater anymore am I? I'm a coach. My last tournament was over two years ago now" he explained softly.
"I want one last run before I retire" he explained, "You can feel how it is Yurio. To have the crowd cheer you on... even if it's not a grand final or a tournament, it's a simple duet match of four pairs. Something to just end my career on before I go coaching full-time" Viktor opened himself up a little there, only Yuuri knew that Viktor was going to retire soon, many were thinking that he might but no one knew for sure.
"You're no one's second Choice Yurio. If I had been your coach, you'd be my first choice. I asked Yuuri first because he and I have skated together for a year and half." he explained to him.
Yurio raised a single eyebrow at the mention of retirement. He knew that Viktor was 28 now, and this was usually the time that skaters called it a day, some even retiring even earlier. Still, it was... strange. He knew that, with Viktor out-of-the-way, he could surely overtake his previously set record, but at the same time, there was something about watching Viktor skate which was... captivating. He didn't really want to say it, but he didn't want the other to retire. Not really.
"So, it's true." Yurio said quietly. He sounded a lot different compared to his earlier outburst, a lot calmer, but still cold and somewhat emotionless in his responses.
"You are going to retire." For a moment, there was silence, as the boy stared at the silver-haired male, frowning slightly. "Perhaps I'll consider it. Though, I'm making you no promises, Viktor. Don't get over-excited."
Once again, Yurio frowned and let out a small sneer as he heard Viktor tell him that he wasn't second choice, and he turned to aimlessly skate once more. Even without a routine, he seemed so beautiful.
"Is that so." He said in a dry tone, contrasting with the elegance of his skating. "Is that why you chose to work with him instead of me? Surely you remember that." He didn't seem quite so angry now, more cold and distant as he perfectly landed another jump.
"It's complicated" Viktor explained about the reason why he chose Yuuri and not Yurio. "It was...complicated" he sighed and smiled softly.
Turning suddenly and quickly changing into his shoes by the side of the rink, Viktor grabbed his coat and then took Yurio's arm around his own and pointed forward. "Onward! to Dinner!" he spoke loudly and guided him to a nearby restaurants.
'There isn't room for little mistakes... My routine needs to be perfect...' His deep train of thought, however, was quickly de-railed by Viktor's over-enthusiasm at suddenly leaving.
"Now?" He questioned, a slightly harsh tone in his voice. "We just got here." Realizing that it was Viktor, and nobody was going to change his mind, the young skater rolled his eyes and exited the rink, pulling off his skates and slowly lacing up his shoes, a disapproving look in his eye.