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Grass tickles the back of Yuri's sweaty neck. "I'm never getting up again," he says to the sky, a deep expanse of blue disgustingly festooned with perfect, puffy clouds. "What the fuck."

Otabek leans over Yuri, the top half of his face swinging into view. "We have to go back down later."

Yuri groans and rolls away from Otabek's forehead. He gets a mouthful of grass for his trouble. The sweat on his forehead is starting to cool and his whole body feels clammy. He's starving. "Where's the food?"

The food, as it turns out, is spread out on a picnic blanket like they're doing some kind of Sound of Music roleplay in the Ile Alatau: cheese, crackers, fruit, water in clear plastic cups instead of just the Camelbaks they hiked up here with. The mountain range stretches out behind Otabek. It's fucking beautiful. Ugh.

Otabek is serenely spreading goat cheese on a flatbread. "Happy birthday, Yura."

"My birthday was three months ago. You just made me climb a mountain."

"It's three kilometers from the road."

"Whatever," Yuri says. "Thanks."

They end up lying on the blanket after a while, eyes half-closed, sunscreen melting off their faces. Yuri wraps blades of grass around his finger and tugs them free of the ground. His head feels pleasantly empty and his stomach just as comfortably full, so he's not paying any attention in particular to what his mouth is doing.

"What are you going to do this year?" Yuri says. "Or does it get all the same now?"

"You mean until you die?" Sometimes it's hard to tell when Otabek is joking.

"No. I don't know." Yuri rubs a blade of grass between his fingers until it splits into fiber and juice smearing over his thumb. "I'm going to get a driver's license."

Otabek says, "I might get a regular license myself."

"So you can pick me up from the airport without strapping everything I own to the back of your bike?"

There's a long pause before Otabek says, "Sure."

"I'm going to have sex, too," Yuri says.

"In a car?"

"No," Yuri says, although now he's thinking about it. "I mean, with anybody."

"Ah," says Otabek.

They don't usually talk about sex stuff, which is strange considering how much time they spend talking about other things—hours on Skype and Snapchat. Yuri can talk about almost anything with Otabek, although he's not surprised that Otabek didn't want to hear about the week in juniors that Yuri tried using orange juice for lube when he jerked off. "Have you ever?" he says, trying to sound disinterested. "With anybody?"

Otabek is quiet for a moment. "Sort of. It didn't work."

"How does it not work," Yuri says. "It's—you just—" He drops his arms to his sides. "You just have to get off with another person."

The white peaks of the Ile Alatau crowd the edges of Yuri's vision. It's easier to say this stuff if he's not looking at Otabek, if Otabek's not looking at him; almost like they're just on the phone, some lazy weekend when Yuri's getting ready to go on a run in Saint Petersburg and Otabek's doing his cooldown stretches in Almaty. On the other side of this mountain, the city spills down from the hills into the valley, small one-story houses rising up into the high-rises of the glittering city center. The sky looks bluer up here.

"I've gone down on a lot of girls," Otabek says.

"What," Yuri says.

"But not other stuff," Otabek says. "With guys, just hands."

Yuri rolls over on his side and stares at Otabek. He's blushing, a sharp pulse of pink curving up his cheeks. "Why didn't you tell me about any of this?"

"I don't talk about you behind your back," Otabek says.

"Oh," Yuri says.

Otabek doesn't talk to Yuri about the other people in his life, either. He has two sisters. His mother's birthday is the same week as Yuri's. He refers to the group of guys he goes out to clubs with as "the boys." Yuri has met exactly one of the boys, Temir, who turned out to be both an Olympic champion in welterweight boxing and Otabek's third cousin.

Yuri tucks his face into his outflung arm. "I haven't done anything with anyone." Since it's Otabek, he doesn't have to explain. He can just look at the way the grass bends under his arm, trace his eyes down the blades into the shadow of his body. "You didn't tell me how it doesn't work. I want to know."

Otabek sighs. "It doesn't fit."

Yuri lifts his head.

Otabek leads the way back to the bike, so Yuri can only stare at his ass and try to divine the answers to his questions. He's seen Otabek's dick—they've shared a locker room plenty of times—and it's always looked normal. At rest.

"Have you thought—" Yuri hesitates. "Maybe we could help each other out."

The path is getting narrower. Otabek's fingers scrabble for purchase on the rock at his side. "No."

"Why not?" Yuri's eyes are on his feet. His hip is only bothering him a little.

"I'm not having this conversation here," Otabek says.

They climb down with less care than they went up the path, Otabek's hiking boots and Yuri's sneakers crunching down mulch and skittering across rocky outcroppings. Otabek waits at the end of the trail, where the path is at its steepest, and holds his hand out to help Yuri down. His fingers are dusty with grit and dirt. Yuri wants to put them in his mouth again.

"Why not?" Yuri says. "Give me a reason."

Otabek drops Yuri's hand. "You're my friend."


"That's more important." Otabek shrugs off his hiking pack. "Here, give me yours."

Yuri unclips the strap over his chest. "Usually that's what you say before you go along with my plans. That we're friends."

Otabek shoves his pack into a saddlebag, then crooks his fingers at Yuri. "I want to get home before it gets hot out."

"I trust you," Yuri says, holding out his pack.

The drive back to Almaty takes more than hour, fighting against the clogged, narrow streets and people who've probably bribed officials for a license. Otabek's apartment is in the Golden Square, where they have to cruise around for another fifteen minutes to find parking. By the time they get inside, Yuri has sweated through his t-shirt, sweltering beneath his borrowed motorcycle jacket. His braid has come half-undone and the loose wisps of hair are stuck to the back of his neck.

Otabek hangs their jackets up in the alcove by the door and kicks off his shoes with less care. The place is already a tip, dirty laundry and clean spilling over the floor in indeterminate heaps, half the dishes crusted in the sink, everything smelling vaguely of gym bag and the neighbors' cigarettes. After two years at Lilia's, it's novel enough to fill Yuri with an illicit thrill.

Yuri fills a glass from the tap in the kitchenette and watches Otabek splash water on his neck over the bathroom sink. He meets Yuri's eyes in the mirror and turns, dripping water down the front of his shirt. "Do you want to go out tonight?"

"Not really," Yuri says. "We could stay in."

Otabek looks at Yuri for a long moment before he steps out of the bathroom and walks right up to him. Yuri's mouth goes dry. He's still holding the glass of water. Otabek puts his hand on the back of Yuri's sweaty neck, sliding his fingers into the mess of Yuri's braid. Their mouths line up perfectly.

"We could," Otabek says when he pulls away.

Yuri catches him around the waist. "Order delivery or something."

"Okay," Otabek says. "Okay."

They don't order delivery. Otabek's phone is under the couch somewhere, Yuri's is on the coffee table, and Otabek's mouth is on Yuri's dick. No one has touched Yuri's dick before, ever. No one's put their dick in Otabek's mouth before, though, so they're even. Yuri comes into Otabek's mouth, Otabek swallows thoughtfully, and then they're kissing again. It's even nicer kissing after he's orgasmed. Yuri is floating. He can feel Otabek's dick pressed against his thigh. He slides his hand down Otabek's chest and thumbs open Otabek's fly.

Otabek pants against Yuri's mouth. "You don't have to."

"Shut up," Yuri says.

Then he gets a handful of it.

A handful of him. Of Otabek. Of Otabek's dick. It's not that it's so long, exactly—though Yuri only has his own to judge by—but it's so thick that Yuri's thumb and forefinger can't meet on the other size. He draws his fingers up toward the head; Otabek shudders so hard that Yuri's grip involuntarily tightens. The back of his hand grazes body-warm zipper teeth and Otabek makes a sound like he's choking. Yuri strokes him slowly. It's not like touching himself, when feeling is an afterthought, supplanted by sensation. Otabek's skin is like velveteen, stretched painfully tight over his shaft.

There's no ripple of foreskin beneath the crown, but Yuri drags his thumb over the same place that makes him shudder. Otabek convulses in his arms, twisting against him, then curls back to press his face into Yuri's shoulder. His nose is mashed into the side of Yuri's neck. Yuri drags his fingers up over Otabek's dick again, back to the same spot, and Otabek groans open-mouthed against Yuri's shoulder. Something about that draws Yuri back from the dreamlike trance where he's been hanging, back into into his body. Otabek is shaking above him. Yuri draws up his thigh, the one pinned between Otabek's legs, and grinds against Otabek's balls; Otabek bites into Yuri's neck and comes.

Yuri prods at the bite while Otabek is in the shower. The only mirror is in the bathroom, so steam is rapidly arising to obscure Yuri's view. Yuri is used to being covered in bruises, but just now, this is the only one.

Otabek has a long strip of yellow-green skin along his side from a fall, another fading mark on his bicep. Yuri watches him while he towels off, drying his hair before his body. His soft dick looks how Yuri remembered. Yuri is used to seeing athletic bodies, battered and sculpted by the demands of their work, but he's not used to looking.

"Your turn," Otabek says. He's smiling, or what passes on him for a smile.

"Yeah," Yuri says. "Okay."

He has to scrub to get the dried come off his belly. His hair keeps falling in his face and it's sweaty, grimy after just a day, so he has to wash it again, too, parting it over and over at the roots so he can get to his scalp. It takes forever to condition. Yuri had to buy shampoo and conditioner at the corner magazin on his first day here; Otabek just washes his hair with soap. The bruise on Yuri's neck stings when he tilts his head to the side to rinse.

His hair is heavy when he turns off the spigot. Yuri wrings out some of the water in the shower before he flips his head over and wraps his hair in a towel. He uses Otabek's damp one to finish drying off.

In the kitchenette, Otabek is cracking eggs into a pan. When Otabek fries eggs, he uses so much butter in the pan that the whites stay perfectly glossy and cooks them long enough that the yolks are dry and nearly inedible. The lid on the rice cooker rattles. Yuri peers over Otabek's shoulder, his bare chest brushing the back of Otabek's t-shirt. He spent most of last night and this morning wandering around the apartment in boxers, but it feels different now. "Can you take mine out now?" His jaw bumps against Otabek's shoulder. "I want the yolk runny."

Otabek hmms, a low rumble that Yuri feels through his whole body. "Sure," he says. He slides two of the eggs out of the pan onto a plate.

Yuri eats his eggs leaning against the sink, watching Otabek supervise his own. The rice is still steaming away. Yuri hasn't figured out how to suggest that he cook for them. As far as he can tell, Otabek lives off eggs, rice, green juice, and yogurt. The small refrigerator beneath the counter has a random collection of condiments in the door— fish sauce, sriracha, mayonnaise—but Otabek doesn't appear to use them.

Otabek turns his eggs in the pan, careful not to splash the butter. His face looks serious, but his face always looks that way. Something about that makes Yuri's cheeks go hot.

"You're quiet," Otabek says.

Yuri puts his plate down on the counter. "Yeah, so what."

Otabek doesn't say anything, but his mouth goes tight at the corners. He turns off the heat on the burner before he scoops out the eggs, just as the red light on the rice cooker winks out and the level pops back into the warming position. Every movement he makes is deliberate. For a horrible moment, his words from earlier hang between them—You're my friend, that's more important—and Yuri watches Otabek ladle rice into a bowl, spellbound.

"Um," Yuri says. "I want to do it again."

"Okay," Otabek says. He's very focused on his eggs. His lips are glossy with butter. "After dinner."

Everything happened so fast the first time, Yuri couldn't even think about it. Now he can't stop thinking about it—about the easy way Otabek sunk to his knees in front of Yuri, the way his mouth stretched to take Yuri in. Time shrank and expanded. Yuri's mouth waters. Otabek hands him a bowl of rice.

"I'm not hungry anymore," Yuri says.

He puts his hands on Otabek's hips and Otabek fumbles the bowl onto the countertop as Yuri draws him in. Their noses brush together as they align. Otabek's lips part for Yuri, his toughness melting away under Yuri's touch. His skin feels so warm. Yuri slides one hand up Otabek's back, fingertips skipping up the notches of his spine to rest just above Otabek's waist. Yuri's never touched anybody there, never even thought about it. His thumb rests against one of Otabek's ribs. He can feel Otabek exhale as he slides his fingers beneath the waistband of Yuri's boxers to grab Yuri's ass.

Something starts to smell like burning after a while. Otabek pulls away eventually to unplug the rice cooker. His eggs are on the counter beside Yuri's, half-eaten and long-cooled. "I'm going to suck your dick," Yuri says before Otabek can get in any second thoughts.

Otabek turns back to Yuri, the power cord dropping from his fingers. His lips are a deep, bitten red, and he does not look like he is having second thoughts.

Yuri can barely get the head of Otabek's dick into his mouth. His dick smells like the soap in the shower and beneath that, the faintest hint of musk. Yuri licks up the bottom and circles his tongue beneath the tip, which makes Otabek close his eyes and cling to the edge of the counter. After that, Yuri uses his hand mostly. His wet hair keeps swinging into his face. "Hold it up," he says, letting Otabek's dick slip from between his lips for a moment. "My hair, I just washed it."

"What?" Otabek says, dazed, but he sinks his hands in Yuri's hair and gathers it up messily between his palms. His thighs are shaking.

Yuri pulls off and bites him there, sucking a bruise into the nearly hairless skin so close to Otabek's groin. He can feel the muscle beneath his teeth tense. Then Yuri has to grab Otabek's hips to hold him up as he shoots over Yuri's cheek. Otabek comes in pulses, long spurts and then a last dribble. His iron grip on Yuri's hair tugs at Yuri's scalp. Yuri gets most of the mess off with his hand and blinks stickily up at Otabek, watching his chest ripple with every breath.

Otabek grabs a paper towel with one hand and wets it from the dripping faucet before he crouches down to wipe Yuri's face. His shorts are around his ankles, dick swinging soft and flushed between his legs, and Yuri's hair is still balled in one fist. Yuri doesn't know where to look. He closes his eyes and lets Otabek clean him up.

"Sorry," Otabek says, wiping at the outside corner of Yuri's eye. "I didn't mean to make a mess."

Yuri shakes his head. "It's fine." He's dizzy with how fine it is.

The whole room smells like burned rice and sex. When Otabek lets go of Yuri's hair, it falls around in his face in a crumpled mess. Otabek pushes it out of Yuri's eyes and kisses him—sloppy, uncoordinated, still buttery around the edges. "I want—"

"Yeah, yeah, okay," Yuri says. He's not really listening. "Okay."

His wet hair gets spread out all over the carpet when Otabek pushes him down and pins him to the floor with one hand on his belly. Yuri's discarded towel is half under him. Otabek drags Yuri's boxers over his hips. He touches Yuri's balls first, cupping them gently, before he takes Yuri's dick into his mouth. Otabek licks more than he sucks, wrapping his tongue clumsily around Yuri inside his mouth. He keeps swallowing, throat fluttering around the head of Yuri's dick. Yuri drags his fingers up the nape of Otabek's neck to the top of his head where Otabek's hair is long enough to grab. The noises they're making, wet slips and slurps, heavy breathing—and Otabek's fingers are still splayed out over Yuri's stomach, pressing into him. Yuri can't stop pulling at Otabek's hair. He stares at the ceiling imagining Otabek's serious face until he comes into Otabek's waiting mouth.

While Otabek finishes his cold eggs and tries to scrape the hardened mess out of the rice cooker, Yuri brushes the tangles out of his hair: it takes him ten minutes before he can braid it loosely for bed. He's been sleeping on his usual side of the bed, which is ten centimeters narrower than the bedroom itself. The room's other notable features are peeling Soviet wallpaper and a window on one side of the bed with a box fan jammed beneath the sash and a cracked transom. Otabek keeps the door open during the summer.

Yuri lies down on his side of the bed beneath the window. The fan is on the lowest setting. If Yuri listens carefully, he can hear the sink running and the clink of silverware. His body thrums like the whirring of the fan. The peaceful slopes of the Ile Alatau seem years away; the bite on his neck stings.

Otabek comes in a few minutes later with an ice pack. "For your hip."

"Oh," Yuri says. "Yeah. Thanks." He tucks it under the waistband of his boxers so it'll stay in place, then adjusts himself so he doesn't get ice straight to the dick. The pack is already sticking to his skin.

"Does it hurt?" Otabek sits down next to him. "I should have checked earlier."

Yuri shrugs. "It's fine."

Otabek's wearing a shirt again. He lies close enough to Yuri that Yuri can feel the heat of his body through the fabric. When Yuri turns his head, Otabek's eyes are shut, long lashes curling against dusky cheeks.

They always sleep in the same bed when they stay with each other; sometimes they stay up late at competitions and fall asleep next to each other in the middle of a conversation. Is that supposed to be different now that they're having—now that they've had sex? Yuri stares at Otabek's neck like his eyes can bruise it.

After a while, Otabek yawns. He catches Yuri's gaze when his eyes flutter open and Yuri closes his, caught and shamed. He startles when Otabek's fingers brush his side and tug at his waistband, but it's only to pull the ice pack free. "Twenty on, twenty—off, right?" Otabek yawns again; his voice is rough, sleepy. Yuri wants to kiss him. He holds himself rigid instead. "Yura?"

"Yeah," Yuri says.

Otabek's palm presses against the cool spot the ice pack left behind and Yuri can't think, can barely breathe. He stays still while Otabek's hand slides up to rest over his ribs, arm slung across Yuri's belly, and then his whole body presses against Yuri's side, his head on Yuri's shoulder. "Go to sleep," Otabek says.

Yuri doesn't fall asleep for a long time.

Otabek is an early riser. He's gone for a morning run and back before Yuri wakes up to him ducking his head in the door, saying, "Breakfast?"

Breakfast is yogurt, peanut butter, and muesli stirred together in the same bowl. Mila claims that yogurt and peanut butter tastes like cheesecake. It does not. Yuri manages to eat most of his portion only because he's hungry and it's there. "You want?" He holds out the bowl out to Otabek. "I'm done."

"Sure," Otabek says around a bite of his own.

It's easy to look at Otabek like this—clothed, at rest, engrossed in what he's doing (licking peanut butter off his spoon). His running shorts are so short that Yuri can see the mark he left last night. Yuri wants to put his mouth there again.

"You have ice time today, right?" Yuri says like he doesn't know Otabek's schedule for the next two weeks by heart. "I'm going to wander around downtown."

The apartment is within walking distance of Almaty's best shopping, so a string of international shops Yuri could have gone to at home. He wanders aimlessly through TsUM for a while, snapping a selfie with a gold-plated leopard statuette and picking through the souvenir selection. He's a tourist here as much as he is anywhere.

In Zara, Yuri picks an embroidered bomber jacket off the sale rack—white velvet, red roses, a black panther crouched on one shoulder—that's completely inappropriate for the weather. He buys it immediately. The red high-tops a shop over match perfectly. Maybe he'll wear them both out to dinner later and surrender to sweating through his t-shirt within ten minutes.

"Hi—" someone says softly behind Yuri as he's checking his phone in the atrium. "Um, are you Yuri Plisetsky?"

The Angel is a head shorter than Yuri, her glossy black hair cut into a blunt bob. A few years earlier, Yuri would have sneered at her the way he did all of them, and he doesn't have much more patience now. He shoves his phone in his pocket. "Yes. Do you want a photo or something?"

"Y-yes," she says, practically vibrating. "Also, I just want to tell you, you're my favorite skater. Like, ever."

Yuri never knows what he's supposed to say to that. "Thanks." He takes the photo for her so he can get them at a good angle, pausing to adjust the fall of his braid so it covers the mark on his neck. He wasn't thinking about that before—how something so private between them could be so easily exposed. "Does that look good to you? Do you want me to take another one."

"Yeah, that's great," she says, glancing at him quizzically.

He can't say, don't say anything if you saw it. "What's your name?"

The Angel stares at him. "Ji-yun."

"Have a good day, Ji-yun," Yuri says, twisting the handle of his shopping back in his fingers. "Nice to meet you." He nods at her before stepping away into the crowd.

Being a professional figure skater isn't like being a real celebrity, not unless you're Victor; not even if you win an Olympic medal. There's no paparazzi outside Lilia's house or Otabek's apartment, no one who would follow Yuri in a mall but the eager fans who live on message boards and Twitter. He's still conscious of every movement he makes, the precarious drape of his braid. He doesn't want to explain. He just wants to have this.

On the way back, Yuri stops at the mini market for some beef, a sack of potatoes, and a few packets of spices. If he has to eat buttery eggs and rice for the next thirteen days, he might die. There's just enough room for his purchases in the refrigerator. He takes an ice pack out of the freezer compartment before he closes the door.

Yuri isn't allowed to do jumps or spins until after the surgery. He's probably not supposed to be hiking or walking all over Almaty, but nothing really hurts if he's not pushing his hip to the limit. He'll never be able to do a Biellmann again, but he's getting older: he can barely hold one now. Otabek has won plenty of international gold without them.

Icing his hip always hurts at first. Yuri rolls onto his stomach, ice pack pinned between cushion and him, and tries to figure out what to Google. "Sex hip injury giant dick"? Even with ice right next to his dick, he gets half-hard thinking about Otabek's fingers opening him up. They're going to need so much lube.

"I got more eggs," Otabek announces when he opens the door half an hour later.

"Do you have condoms?" Yuri says.

Otabek frowns like maybe he was trying to forget the mindblowing sex they had last night or something. "No?" He sets the eggs down on the counter carefully.

"We should get those," Yuri says. "If we're going to, you know."

"Oh," says Otabek.

For a moment, Yuri feels as exposed as he did earlier, all bravado falling away to reveal his desire. Then Otabek walks over to the couch and climbs on top of Yuri with the same measured grace as he set down the eggs. He touches Yuri's cheek and then they're kissing, breathless, sloppy, grinding into each other. Yuri drags his nails down Otabek's sweaty back and ruts against him until he comes, spilling into his pants, and Otabek follows him. They keep kissing, filthy and lazy, until Otabek says, "Okay."

"What," Yuri says, half into Otabek's mouth.

Otabek says, "We'll have to go to a pharmacy."

The apteka two blocks over is one of the newer ones, sleek and white: the Sunday afternoon line is nearly out the door. "Who's last in line?" Otabek asks, which leads to a squabble between the two older men directly in front of them. Yuri has to plaster himself to Otabek's back to make room for a woman in a niqab. The pharmacist in the window looks tired.

At home, there are full bowls of condoms in each of the locker rooms at the rink that seem to replenish themselves. Yuri didn't bring any with him. Three days ago, everything in his life seemed very certain. "Do you need anything else?" he says to Otabek.

Otabek blinks at him slowly.

Yuri pulls his phone out of his pocket. He texts, aside from condoms and lube u have to get both of those.

A toddler toward the front of the line starts wailing. Otabek glances at his phone, then studiously looks toward the counter. The men in front of them are still bickering in Kazakh; the woman ahead of them is knitting, a fat skein of wool tucked beneath her arm. Yuri scrolls through his Instagram feed while the line inches glacially forward. Everyone's lives are out of order, Phichit's hamsters appearing dozens of photos before his flight, Georgi's latest ex smiling at someone out of frame. Otabek's elbow bumps Yuri's gently. He's still too cool for Instagram.

Then they're at the counter and the pharmacist is saying, "What do you need?"

"Um," Otabek says. "Condoms and lubricant."

The pharmacist nods. "What kind?"

Otabek pauses, flummoxed. Yuri says, "Large. He needs the large kind."

"No, regular is fine," Otabek says.

Yuri glares at Otabek. He can't even look at the pharmacist. Just because you could turn the condoms in the Olympic Village into water balloons doesn't mean Otabek should try to fit his dick into a normal-sized one. "No, it's not. You have to get large."

"Get both!" someone's grandmother yells from behind them in creaky-voiced Russian.

"Okay, both, that's okay," Otabek says hastily, slapping his debit card on the counter. "And lubricant."

No one looks twice at them on the street. They're just two men with a plastic bag swinging between them, gripped tightly in Otabek's hand. Yuri's face is hot, but all of him is hot: it's summer in Almaty.

"I didn't think about it before," he says once they're inside Otabek's apartment again. "That, um."

Otabek's mouth quirks. He bends over to unlace his boots.

"Everyone we know is—" Well, not everyone. "Victor and Yuuri are married. I don't think they even had to tell anyone."

"That they were married?"

Yuri slumps against the wall. "That they liked men."

"Well, Victor definitely didn't have to."

"What does that mean?"

Otabek stands up and rolls his shoulders. His back ripples beneath his tank top and there are freckles across the bridge of his nose: Yuri could look at him forever. "You don't have to figure everything out at once, Yuri. You have plenty of time."

"Are you sure?" Yuri says.

Otabek reaches out to brush Yuri's bangs away from his eyes. "Yes," he says, leaning in, kissing the corner of Yuri's mouth. His socked foot brushes Yuri's. Yuri opens his mouth, running the tip of his tongue along Otabek's lower lip. Otabek makes a noise Yuri has never heard before and would like to hear again very soon.

"Come on," Yuri says. "Let's do it."

Something feels different about having sex in Otabek's bedroom. Maybe because it's premeditated, or maybe because it's on a bed. Yuri feels shy taking off his pants. Otabek is engrossed in reading the back of the condom box. "You've used those before, right?" Yuri says.

"Yes," Otabek says. "They were uncomfortable."

"Because you have a huge dick, idiot," Yuri says.

Otabek shrugs.

The lube in the bag is the kind that comes in a tube, thick and deeply unsexy. Yuri isn't sure if he's supposed to work it into himself or Otabek is. He's still wearing his underwear. Otabek looks up from the box and sits it next to them on the bed. "Have you ever done this before?"

Yuri rolls his eyes. "I've never done anything before."

"No, I mean…" Otabek drops his eyes. "With yourself? Do you like it?"

"Once or twice." Yuri couldn't reach very well. "It was fine."

"Ah," Otabek says.

"Wait, have you?"

Otabek is still staring at his lap. "Yeah."

"Oh," Yuri says. "You like it."

"Why do you think I want to do it with you?" Otabek says, sounding affronted.

The box fan in the window is a low background thrum. Yuri shoves Otabek's shoulder and Otabek sprawls over the bed, mouth open in surprise; Yuri crawls over him. "Put it in me," he says, suddenly brave. "Show me what it's like."

Otabek is already half-hard. Yuri jacks him for a minute before rolling on a condom, one of the ones from the big dick box. "I'm not going to go right in, Yuri."

"Whatever," Yuri says, rolling onto his belly. Otabek tugs him back until they're spooned up against each other, Otabek circling Yuri's hole with a slick finger, which feels nice enough that Yuri can relax and let him in. It doesn't feel good, exactly—cautious pressure, tentative exploration—but it doesn't feel bad. Otabek kisses his neck, scrapes his teeth over the bruise. Yuri shivers and wraps his hand around his own dick, which is still mostly soft, confused. Yuri can't tell if he likes it or not. "I think you can do it now," Yuri says after a while. "I want you to."

"Are you sure?" Otabek pulls his fingers out slowly. His dick presses against Yuri's ass, sliding between the cheeks, already slick with lube and smoothed by the condom.

Yuri hisses. "Fucking get in me, okay."

It doesn't fit.

They try on Yuri's back, then with him on all fours like a dog. Otabek can't even get the head in. "I don't want to hurt you," Otabek says finally. He flops back on the bed and covers his face with his hands. "I'm sorry." His dick is flagging beneath the condom, which drapes around it in translucent folds.

Yuri lies down next to him and rubs his cheek against Otabek's shoulder. "I'm fine. It's okay."

"I told you it wouldn't—I'm too big."

"Not for me," Yuri says, despite demonstrably being unable to fit Otabek's dick inside any part of his body. He lifts one of Otabek's hands from his face, then the other. "Hey. What if I do you instead?"

"You don't have to," Otabek says.

"But you like it," Yuri says.

Otabek looks up at Yuri for a long moment before Yuri dips his head and kisses him. It's as good as the first time, as every time, Otabek sliding his tongue into Yuri's mouth and kissing back, hard. Yuri runs his hand up the inside of Otabek's thigh and then dips back toward the soft skin behind his balls. Otabek stiffens, back arching, and makes that noise again, half-stifled against Yuri's lips.

"I want it," Yuri says. "I want you."

He drags the last box out of the bag, the regular condoms, fishes one out and puts it on. The latex feels cool at first, quickly warming to his skin. The lube warms more slowly. He touches Otabek the way Otabek had touched him, gentle circles over the puckered skin before he pushes inside. Otabek is wild-eyed, fingers splayed on the bed. "Crook your fingers up, and—" He bites his lip. Yuri does it again and watches Otabek's dick twitch.

Yuri pulls the old condom off Otabek and tosses it over his shoulder, hopefully onto the floor. He wants to watch Otabek's dick fill, grow heavy and stiff with blood; he wants to make Otabek hard. It turns out to be shockingly easy.

"Please, Yuri." Otabek grinds down on Yuri's hand. "Please—"

"Yes, I'm gonna—it's okay." Yuri nudges Otabek's thighs apart. He's a little nervous, after what just happened, but he slips in smoothly after he draws his fingers away. Otabek is breathing hard, wrapping his legs around Yuri's waist, pulling him further in. And Otabek is hot inside, hot and tight and perfect, and Yuri is going to lose it immediately if he's not careful. "Oh," he says, rocking gently inside Otabek. "Oh."

Otabek's fingers scrabble on the sheets. Yuri kisses him sloppily as their hips stutter against each other, Otabek's dick sliding against the groove of Yuri's hip. He braces himself against the mattress with his clean hand so he can reach down with the other, wrapping his fingers around Otabek's dick. Yuri's concentrating so hard that he doesn't see it coming, the orgasm that shakes him straight through and leaves him spent and softening inside Otabek as Otabek pulses between them.

Yuri wakes up in the middle of the night, starving. He doesn't want to wake Otabek, so of course he immediately steps on a used condom and squeals. "Yura?" Otabek mumbles from the bed.

"It's fine," Yuri says, trying to sound calm and not like someone who has his own cold jizz all over his foot. He cleans up as best he can with a stray sock and stuffs it all into the plastic bag from the pharmacy. There's already dried come all over his stomach and lube in his ass, so this doesn't really make much difference.

Being awake when Otabek is asleep makes Yuri feel a little outside time. The eggs Otabek bought are still on the counter. Yuri leaves them where they are and eats yogurt straight out of the tub until his stomach feels less empty. He drinks two glasses of water in a row and leaves the cup of the side of the sink.

Yuri tucks his braid into a loose crown while he showers. He can feel Otabek's touch on his body like a ghost. When he steps out of the shower, his whole body is loose, stomach slightly sloshy; there's only a dull ache in his hip.

Otabek is curled on his side in bed, turned away from the door. Yuri climbs up from the foot of the bed and wriggles in between Otabek and the window. He can't see Otabek's face in the dark, but he doesn't need to see Otabek's face to know what it looks like. Yuri lets his knees knock against Otabek's and settles in again, drifting pleasantly.

Then fingers touch Yuri's shoulder, run across his collarbones, come up his neck to cup his jaw. Yuri leans into Otabek's hand and the kiss that follows it. "I didn't even know I wanted you before," he says after a long moment. "But I do."

"I noticed," Otabek says.

Yuri snorts and turns his body until his head is against Otabek's shoulder. He falls asleep between one breath and the next.

"Breakfast?" Otabek says from the doorway.

"Not if it's yogurt and peanut butter," Yuri says. "Or eggs."

So they have protein shakes for breakfast. Yuri sits on the couch and watches Otabek scoop chocolate powder out of the huge jar that lives on top of the fridge, then drag a blender out from under the counter. Otabek's hair is curling against his forehead, not yet styled for the day. Yuri does not want to share him with a single person, even the servers at the cafe around the corner.

Otabek serves their shakes in travel mugs, the last clean cups left in the apartment. Someone should probably do dishes. "What are you doing today?" He drops down on the couch next to Yuri.

"You, probably," Yuri says.

"Is that what we're doing now?"

Yuri takes a long drink of his shake. "I'm having surgery in two weeks. I'll be out until Nationals at least."

Otabek says, "Yeah, okay." Like he gets it, which he doesn't.

Yuri has an Olympic silver medal. He has two gold medals each from the GPF and Euros, and another from Worlds. Most skaters spend their entire career scraping up less before they retire to coach or choreograph or commentate. Or live a normal life, whatever that means. Yuri doesn't want to live a normal life. He just wants to have this one, with all its flaws, and Otabek.

"Yakov wanted to schedule it last week," Yuri says. "But I told him I was coming to see you first."

Otabek sits his travel mug on the coffee table. "You can come see me any time."

"Even if I'm—" Yuri can't say it.

"Yuri." Otabek is quiet for a moment. "Do you think I only like you because of your skating?" He sounds a little hurt.

Yuri shakes his head. "No, but you have a whole other life and I—don't."

"That's not true."

"I mean, what else do I have to offer, right?" Yuri says. "I can cook okay and do my own laundry. One time I beat Katsuki at Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker."

"I can do laundry," Otabek says.

"Great," Yuri says. "Good for you."

Otabek plucks Yuri's mug from his hand, sits it on the table, then drags Yuri into his lap. It makes Yuri a head taller; he has to look down to meet Otabek's gaze. "You're my best friend."

"You have other friends."

"I don't cook for them," Otabek says. "I don't sleep in the same bed as them. I don't take them on birthday picnics."

"Oh," Yuri says faintly. "I think there's a different kind of friend for that."

"Yes," Otabek says. "About that."

A few years ago, Yuri snuck into a Barcelona club to find Otabek and make him help choreograph an exhibition skate. This is sort of like that, except they both have a vested interest in getting Otabek's dick in Yuri's ass.

"It can't be that complicated," Yuri says as he settles onto the bed, on hands and knees again. "People do this all the time." His hair is half out of his braid, spilling over his shoulder and getting into his mouth.

Otabek is behind Yuri, staring at his asshole or something. Yuri can hear him shifting around on the bed. The lube and both boxes of condoms are jammed into the narrow space on the sill between the window frame and the box fan. Otabek is supposed to be at the rink now, but he's here instead, parting the cheeks of Yuri's ass, dragging a dry finger over where Yuri is clenched tight. "You showered earlier, right?"

"Yeah, why?" Yuri says, then— "Oh my god." Because Otabek's mouth is on him, licking him there. Where Yuri would never have asked anyone to put their mouth before this very moment, but it feels so good, so much better than anything they did to his ass last night. It's so gross, and thinking about how gross it is somehow turns him on even more. Yuri comes way too fast without even touching his dick.

He's lying there on the bed, trying to catch his breath, while Otabek squeezes out some lube onto his palm. "You liked that."

"No shit," Yuri says.

He almost doesn't notice Otabek sliding the first finger into him, he's so relaxed. Otabek takes his time, adds a finger, starts stroking Yuri somewhere that feels strange and too-sensitive. When Yuri shakes his head, Otabek moves away from there, just works his fingers in and out. After a while he says, "Can I try?"

"Yeah," Yuri says. "Yeah, do it."

Otabek pulls Yuri's hips up off the bed, lines them up, and—by some alchemy of angle, lube, and orgasm—pushes in. That first push seems to go on forever, until Otabek is deep enough that the head of his dick feels like it's buried in Yuri's throat. Otabek groans against Yuri's shoulder, breath hot against the skin there. "How is it?"

"It's good," Yuri says, instead of, your dick is really big, which is what it actually feels like. He is taking deep breaths, trying not to tense up. Otabek kisses his cheek, then the side of his mouth. His hips rock against Yuri's. "Um. You?"

"It's great." Otabek nuzzles Yuri's throat. "I like you inside me better, though."

"Oh," Yuri says. "Wait, really?"

Otabek pulls out carefully. Yuri's already rolling over to drag him down and kiss his nasty mouth.