Somehow the universe fucked up and Victor Nikiforov is his coach and also allegedly wants to to marry him. Yuri is a little worried. He keeps expecting to wake up and discover it was a really vivid dream, but he just banged his hand against the gate as he went out onto the ice and it hurts. So it must be real. He's here with Victor, in one of the most famous rinks in the world, and they're going to train here together, with Olympians and future Olympians all around them. Yuri barely made the Olympics. Yuri was eighth at the Olympics and cried all night instead of partying like everybody told him happened there.
Except he's not quite with Victor right now, because Victor's being screamed at by Coach Feltsman for everything Victor had done in the past year. Or failed to do, apparently. Yuri could barely stand to listen to a minute of it before he had to go to the opposite corner of the rink and do figures instead of watching Victor getting yelled at. Yuri can't stand it. He'd cry real, snotty tears if Coach Feltsman was that angry at him. He'd probably crawl home to Japan and die.
Victor just looks like he wants to check Instagram.
Yuri manages to almost tune the yelling out after a while, concentrating on his foot changes. The rest of the world fades away for a indeterminate amount of time, like it always does. But then a shadow falls over his feet and he looks up. It's Mila, the redheaded one that Yurio is always complaining about. She looks nice, Yuri thinks, like she laughs a lot.
"Are you doing figures?" says Mila.
Yuri stops immediately. He tries not to sigh. "Yes," he says.
"Coach Yakov says when figures stopped being a part of skating scores, he thanked God on his knees," says Mila.
Celestino had said nearly the same thing. "I like them," says Yuri. "I'm good at them."
Mila hmms to herself and then stands back far enough to make it clear that Yuri can go back to his figures if he likes. Coach Feltsman is still yelling at Victor in Russian, which Yuri can only pick out if people speak clearly and slowly. Coach Feltsman sounds like Yurio when he's in a worse mood than usual, which Victor says is the Moscow dialect. It sounds really mean and aggressive even from across the rink. Yuri risks a look over. Victor has his elbow on the barrier, propping his head on his hand. He looks like he's about to fall asleep.
"You look cold," says Mila, finally. "Victor says your rink is smaller than this. I'll get you a jacket."
"Oh no, that isn't --" begins Yuri, but Mila is already flying across the rink toward Yuri and Victor's bags. She'll probably take the chance to snoop, but Yuri's bag is kept in impeccable condition and Victor literally has no shame, so Yuri decides not to worry about it. He's a little cold, actually. It's kind of Mila. Yuri knows he should appreciate it.
She comes back not with his Team Japan jacket, but Victor's Team Russia jacket. Yuri hesitates for a second as Mila holds it out. He's never worn it before, although he's had extremely vivid fantasies of Victor draping it around his shoulders tenderly. At the Olympics maybe. He'd win silver and Victor would take gold, of course, and Yuri would shiver and Victor would say something like "oh you must be chilly", and offer him his jacket to wear until Yuri got his from his coach. Then he'd say something nice about Yuri's skating, and maybe touch Yuri's shoulder.
Yuri had explicit, detailed daydreams of what Victor's jacket must smell like. Once Yuri had bought a cologne Victor had done an ad for and put it on a sweater and tried to imagine it was Victor's, but he'd felt stupid and stopped.
Then when Victor was in Hasetsu it turned out that Victor only wore Royal English Leather, which he had never done an ad for because the company was apparently above celebrity endorsements. So Yuri's fantasies had been all wrong anyway. Yuri is secretly a little miffed, but he loves the way that Victor smells.
He should probably ask Victor if it's all right if he wears the jacket, but Coach Feltsman is pointing his finger in Victor's face and roaring like an angry lion. Victor probably won't mind. Yuri takes it from Mila and slips it on.
Mila puts her head to one side and studies the effect. "It suits you," she says. "Very --"
Yuri never finds out what Mila thinks Victor's jacket makes him look like, because Yurio screams, "Mila, you hag, what the fuck are you doing to the piggy--" and skates over. Yuri looks over at Victor, like he's going to stop the yelling somehow. Victor turns around at Yurio's screech, pushing himself forward, and then somehow gets tangled up in his skates? his toe pick? and falls on his ass like he's never skated before in his life.
"Victor!" says Yuri, abandoning Mila and flying across the rink.
Victor's pupils are dilated as he stares up at Yuri, like he hit his head on something. Had he? It looked like he'd caught himself on his hands and hadn't hit the ice with his head, but Yuri couldn't be sure. Yuri has a sickening flash of a vision of Victor concussed, unable to compete, growing to resent --
"Vitya, what the hell!" says Coach Feltsman. Mila and Yurio cut to a stop behind Yuri.
"Victor, are you all right?" says Yuri.
"I'm really gay," says Victor. He sounds dazed. "Where did you get my jacket?"
"I got it for him," says Mila. Yuri kneels down beside Victor and tries to check him for injury, but Victor keeps pushing him gently away and staring at his chest.
"Sorry," says Yuri, his heart beating fast. "I should have told her to ask you, I should have refused until I asked you, here, let me --" He reaches for the lapels of the jacket, but Victor's hand shoots out and pushes his hands away.
"I'm so gay," says Victor. He isn't making sense. Yuri should look up concussion protocols again. "No, keep it on."
There's a suspicious silence and then for some reason Mila starts to laugh so hard she sits down on the ice, too, almost crying, and Yurio screams, "YOU'RE SO GROSS, VICTOR!"
Yuri looks helplessly at Coach Feltsman.
Coach Feltsman pinches his nose and looks tired. "Mila, stop laughing at Vitya and practice your step sequence. Yura, stop yelling, and do your line drills. Vitya, get up and work on your choreography. Katsuki --" He squints at Yuri for a moment, like he's trying to decide what punishment Yuri deserves. "Katsuki, rest for ten minutes and then jump drills," he decides.
"What," says Yuri.
"Why does he get a break!" says Yurio, swelling up like an angry cat.
Mila wipes her eyes and gets to her feet, still chortling.
Victor scrambles to his feet and pulls Yuri into his arms like he's a toy Victor doesn't want anybody else to play with. "Why are you telling my Yuri what to do!" He squeezes Yuri, who goes limp like Makkachin does when Victor holds him like a teddy bear. Makkachin is a saint and a martyr. "He's my student!"
"Victor," says Yuri.
Mila says, "I can't believe you tripped over yourself because you saw him in your jacket!"
"He's so beautiful in it!" says Victor. He rubs his cheek against Yuri's temple. "Ah, I should have been the one to put it on him!"
"What," says Yuri. Victor sounds two-thirds serious and one third like he's bullshitting, but Yuri can't figure out what he'd be bullshitting about.
"I changed my mind," says Coach Feltsman. "Katsuki, weight training. Everybody else, line drills. Go!"
Yuri wakes up to his phone buzzing, but it takes him a second to get to it, even though he's got it under his pillow. There's a heavy weight on his butt and Makkachin is tucked up under his chin. He fishes it out and squints at it. Phichit's trying to FaceTime him.
He hits accept.
"Yuri! Hi!" says Phichit. "Uh....you look like death. Were you asleep?"
"Yeah," says Yuri, groggy. "I can't move. Hang on." He tries to move Makkachin aside to figure out what the weight on his butt is, and twists his head enough to see what on earth it is. "Oh. Huh. Victor's asleep. Let me get. Earbuds."
"What?" says Phichit.
Yuri lifts up his phone enough to show Phichit Victor's head on his butt, his arms wrapped around Yuri's thighs. He looks very peaceful, with his face all snuggled up on Yuri, and also very tired. "Hang on."
Yuri somehow manages to reach the side table and his earbuds on the charger without disturbing Victor or Makkachin, and puts them in. He connects to his phone and whispers, "Okay."
"Yuri," says Phichit. "Please, I beg you, please please please, let me get a screenshot. Oh my God. Please. I'll delete any one of your pictures you want me to."
Yuri wakes up a little. "Even from the frat party?"
"Even from the pubcrawl," says Phichit.
Yuri thinks it over for a minute and says, "You realize he isn't going to care if you post it?"
"Of course he isn't," says Phichit. "I want to put it on your Instagram."
Phichit basically runs Yuri's Instagram, which is sort of nice because all Phichit needs is a couple of pictures a week and then Yuri's sponsors don't ask him reproachfully why he isn't furthering their brand. It's also kind of terrible because Phichit is unapologetically kind of terrible.
Phichit says that Yuri's fans deserve to see their favorite soft boy being soft. Yuri says he doesn't care as long as Phichit never posts another picture of Yuri in a #teamtrashpanda shirt ever again. Phichit says ask him not promises and he'll give Yuri no lies.
"Mizuno isn't going to want a picture of my butt," says Yuri.
"Wanna bet?" says Phichit.
Yuri does not want to bet. Phichit is right almost as often as Yuri's mother.
Yuri sighs and follows Phichit's directions about where to aim his phone -- "left, more left, no, no, the other left, okay down, wait" -- and then obligingly turns off FaceTime while Phichit does his magic on the screenshot.
"How was your first day at the rink?" says Phichit.
"Weird," says Yuri. "Good. But weird. I'm not used to people being there when I practice any more. But they're okay."
Phichit hums to himself, and stays quiet in case Yuri wants to add something. Yuri thinks about the day, and says, "It was nice. Victor skated a lot."
"That's good," says Phichit. "There, all done."
Yuri's phone buzzes with the notification, and too late Yuri realizes Victor must have been tagged in the photo -- or else he gets the notice when 'Yuri' posts, because Victor's phone buzzes in his pocket. Victor stirs, smushing his face further into Yuri's butt. He makes a sound like Makkachin being woken up against his will, and then sits up. "Yuri?" he says. He sounds childish and sleepy.
Never, in Yuri's wildest fantasies, did he ever imagine Victor Nikiforov sitting up slowly, blinking at him with heavy lashes, and smiling a little, like waking up and finding Yuri was the best thing that could ever happen to him. He turns over and reaches out to smooth Victor's hair down.
"I didn't mean to wake you." He pushes himself back against the headboard, and Victor takes it as an invitation to crawl into his lap and stick his head under Yuri's shirt. "Victor, that's very weird."
Victor mumbles something in Russian and shoves his nose into Yuri's belly button. His arms go around Yuri's waist and cling tight. Makkachin stirs, and then flips over so he's piled with Victor on Yuri's feet.
"What's he doing?" says Phichit. FaceTime pings again, and Yuri opens it up.
"Don't post this," says Yuri, and then points the camera toward the pile of dog and fiancé squishing him onto the bed.
"Yuri," says Phichit, very seriously, "that's the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life."
Yuri strokes the lump of Victor's head. "How's your training going?"
He'll have to wake up Victor for real soon, so they can eat and take Makkachin out before they really go to bed. But for right now it's nice to have Victor cuddled up to him in the dimly lit room, to feel his breath against the skin of his stomach.
katsudon-yuri posted a picture: @v-nikiforov approved? #mizuno #sp
v-nikiforov replied: they're so soft! ☆*: .｡. o(≧♡≦)o .｡.:*☆
That night he has a dream that the Abominable Snowman from the Bugs Bunny cartoon is watching him, but instead of clutching him and happily saying he'll love him forever and hug him and kiss him and squeeze him like Yuri wants, he just watches Yuri with a sad look on his face, like he thinks Yuri is going to run away across the icy fields and roads of Siberia and leave him forever.
Yuri reaches out and pats his head. The Abominable Snowman has very soft hair. It feels like Victor's, almost. It's a dream, so Yuri doesn't question it. "You can call me George," he says.
"What?" says the Abominable Snowman, and for a second Yuri is confused because it sounds like Victor instead of the voice from the Bugs Bunny cartoon. Phichit and Yuri had watched a lot of them while they were learning English. Then he gives him a hug (the Abominable Snowman is very warm, Yuri is pleased to discover. It must be the fur) and sinks deeper into sleep.
He only vaguely remembers the dream in the morning, and by the time he's staggered out of the bedroom to faceplant demandingly between Victor's shoulder blades and make terrible whining noises before Victor turns enough to gather him up in his arms and kiss him, he's forgotten it entirely.
Yuri puts his arms around Victor and refuses to move away from him. Victor kisses the side of his head and lets Yuri shuffle around with him as he puts breakfast on the table and makes tea.
"Bunny, we have to sit down to eat," says Victor. Yuri makes a grumpy sound, but lets go of Victor. Victor sits down and Yuri crawls into his lap. He buries his head in Victor's shoulder. "That's not what I mean."
Yuri doesn't care. Yuri is up at five am to skate and he deserves to be cuddled on Victor's lap and given tea. He should be fed his breakfast from Victor's plate. It's his right. He tilts his head and looks up at Victor from under his eyelashes, in the way that always gets him what he wants.
"Unbelievable," says Victor.