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the stars are fire

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i.

One thing Yuuri notices in the first few weeks of Viktor coaching him is that Viktor likes to touch him. A lot.


It’s kind of unnerving.


Yuuri is used to his coaches making corrections, but Viktor is just so – tactile about it. He presses his palms flat against Yuuri’s chest and shoulders when he’s not satisfied with Yuuri’s posture. He taps the inside of Yuuri’s thigh when he thinks Yuuri needs to open his hips up more on his camel spins.


And it’s not just on the ice – it’s all the time.


He grabs Yuuri’s hands when he gets excited about something, touches his waist with fleeting fingers when they leave the rink. He rubs Yuuri’s sore feet and calves after long practices. He brushes Yuuri’s hair out of his face for him when it gets in the way, especially when he doesn’t have his glasses on.


(There’s that time in the onsen when he physically drags Yuuri out of the water and manipulates his limbs and that, well. Yuuri has to lie down for a while after that one.)


The worst though – the worst by far – is when he falls after another attempt at a quad salchow and doesn’t get up right away. He isn’t hurt per se, mostly just his pride, but he doesn’t want to get up quite yet and face yet another failure. But Viktor takes safety seriously above all else, and before Yuuri knows what’s happening he’s being lifted up off the ice and half into Viktor’s arms.


It’s not a princess carry, thank god, because Yurio would never let him live that down, but Viktor supports his entire weight until they’re off the ice. He sets Yuuri down on a bench and then pulls him forward by the hips until his ankle is resting in Viktor’s lap, and that is. just. something. It’s something.


It’s mortifying that Viktor can just gather him up like that, mortifying that he can move Yuuri’s body around like he weighs nothing, but at the same time it’s also kind of – hot. Is what it is. It’s hot, and Yuuri’s face is redder than a tomato probably. He thinks he can hear Yurio snickering through the rush of static in his ears, but he can’t be sure.


(His ankle is just fine.)



 



ii.

Yuuri knows what it’s like to miss home so much that there’s an ache inside you that won’t dissipate. Viktor says he doesn’t, says he’s fine, but sometimes in the early mornings Yuuri sees the distant look in his eyes when he looks out at the sun rising over the ocean and he knows that Viktor is just trying to put on a brave face. He left behind his coach, his rinkmates, the familiarity of his own mother tongue, just to be here with Yuuri, so the least Yuuri can do is try to give some of that back.


So on one of their rare days off he packs up a couple of bentos and a collapsible water dish for Makkachin and drags them all to the beach.


This is where it starts.


(This is where Yuuri ends.)


Viktor convinces him to go out into the water by telling him it’s warm, which it’s not, Yuuri knows it’s not – but Viktor looks incredible with droplets of water sliding down his skin and his hair reflecting the shine of the sun. He wades in knee deep, and then deeper still until the water laps at his chest and shoulders, and he was right, it is freezing, but Viktor’s laughter warms him up, and it’s nice being there with him like that. Nice to laugh with him, nice to throw handfuls of saltwater at him and watch it drip down his fake-surprised face.


He’s so busy having fun that he doesn’t notice Viktor sneaking up behind him with intent until suddenly there’s a wall of heat at his back and the feeling of water-slick skin against his.


“What –”


“Got you!” Viktor says triumphantly, and a pair of strong arms wrap around Yuuri’s waist. He chokes on his own spit when he’s lifted up out of the water.


Oh my god, he thinks. This is it, this is how I die.


Viktor just sort of holds him there for a moment, and all Yuuri can think about is how his ass is pressed up against Viktor’s stomach, how he can feel Viktor breathing against him, how warm his skin is, how hot his breath is against the wing of his right shoulder blade. Viktor is a wall of too-much, too-hot, too-close.


“Hmm, what shall I do with you,” Viktor laugh-breathes against his spine. The visceral, full-body response to that has Yuuri gasping, his face heating up from embarrassment and – something else. God.


“You – I –”


Yuuri squirms because Viktor is still holding him, and like this he can do whatever he wants to Yuuri and Yuuri would – well. Yuuri would probably have an aneurism, is what he’d do.


(His face is on fire and he’s so thankful that Viktor can’t see, that Viktor can’t see anything of the front of him because – )


And then, with nothing more than a twist of his body and a small grunt that Yuuri will probably have dreams about for the next ten years, Yuuri is flying. The sky and the sea tumble in his field of vision and he laughs a little hysterically because Viktor just threw him like it was nothing and the idea of that just sort of sets fire to his veins a little, and –


Oh.


Oh, no.






iii.

Yuuri scrapes into the Final by the skin of his teeth, and it’s simultaneously an embarrassment and a relief – a relief because the qualifying is over, because he gets to go back to Makkachin and Viktor who he didn’t even know he could miss as much as he does; an embarrassment because he knows he can do better, if Viktor’s taught him anything about self-confidence in these last few months it’s that Yuuri is worth more than a technicality.


So maybe he overdoes it a bit with the extra practicing. Maybe.


It’s just that he wants so badly to prove that he deserves to be there at the Final, wants so badly to prove that Viktor hasn’t wasted his time on him. He wants to show the world that the kiss at the Cup of China and his moping at Rostelecom aren’t out of pity.


(He knows the last point is stupid, he knows, but his anxiety tells him otherwise. His anxiety is like a void of insecurities and doubts that he can’t quite escape the grasp of, and it’s frustrating that after all this time he still thinks that way because he knows Viktor better than anyone and he knows he would be devastated at the very idea that Yuuri is struggling with this.)


But most of all he wants to give Viktor the gift of the perfect quad flip, because that’s kind of their thing at this point, a silent declaration of love and meaning, like – like a ring. Or something.


So he extends his practice hours as much as he can get away with, and he spends his days working himself to the bone and then soaking the soreness away in the onsen.


He doesn’t realize how worried everyone is until one day Viktor suggests he take a break and he refuses.


“Yuuri, you’re going to hurt yourself,” Viktor tells him, eyes pleading.


“I want to get this down – I know I can get this down. Just a few more run-throughs.”


“I will come out there and make you stop,” Viktor warns, but Yuuri just turns his back, stubborn. He doesn’t hear Viktor come up behind him until it’s too late, and then he’s being pulled off the ice by a hand around his bicep. Yuuri’s stomach tightens at the display of strength.


“Hey – ”


As soon as they’re off the ice Viktor sits him down and takes his skates off for him, fingers gentle on his bruised and battered skin despite the frustration clear on his face. Once that’s done he grabs Yuuri’s arm above the elbow and –


“V-viktor!”


— and hauls him up clean off his feet and over Viktor’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes.


Oh my god, Yuuri’s brain helpfully supplies as all the blood rushes to his head and, well, south. Viktor’s arm is like a band of steel around his legs, probably because he would kill himself if he dropped or hurt Yuuri, but Yuuri’s mind is not on safety.


“I’m sorry, lyubov moya,” Viktor says, and at least he does sound sincerely apologetic for all that’s worth. “I’ll make it up to you. How does katsudon sound?”


It sounds amazing, and there’s probably some innuendo there about Yuuri being a pork cutlet bowl fatale, but right now all Yuuri really wants is for Viktor to fireman carry him straight to a bedroom or a flat surface.


“G-great,” he gets out.


“At least we both have amazing views!”


All Yuuri can see is Viktor’s ass.


(It’s definitely an amazing view.)



 



iv.

It (It™, as Yuuri thinks of it) happens again when they’re practicing for their exhibition skate between Rostelecom and the Final.


The thing is, it’s not even a surprise. He and Viktor had been discussing the idea of doing lifts before they’d even set foot on the ice to practice. Neither of them have ever skated pairs, but they both know what can happen when there isn’t enough trust between pairs partners, and the results aren’t pretty. But Yuuri trusts him, trusts him with his entire self.


Trusts him so much his blood sings with it sometimes.


(And he’s starting to realize that maybe, maybe, the feeling is mutual.)



When Viktor puts his hands on Yuuri’s waist, it’s not a surprise. They’ve done this before.



What is a surprise, though, is the sudden rush of heat and dizziness he feels when those hands tighten around his hips and press against his hip bones; what is a surprise is the pounding of his heart and the singing of his blood when he feels Viktor’s preparatory exhalation damp against the side of his neck; what is a surprise is the sudden short-circuit of all of his systems when he feels the muscles of Viktor’s arms and shoulders tense up beneath his bracing hands like a solid wall of strength and stability.


His coach uses his grip on Yuuri’s hips to twist him just so, gracefully manhandling him into the correct position – and Yuuri shivers, and it’s not the fingers on his skin or the heat in Viktor’s gaze that has him worked up – and then he’s in the air, blades almost a meter off the surface of the ice like it’s nothing. Like there’s no mass to Yuuri at all. Like Viktor could do this all day and not get tired of holding Yuuri up.


(There’s something there – something about Viktor holding him up always, Viktor making him better than he is alone, Viktor being the crutch Yuuri needs to stay upright beneath the crushing weight of his anxiety and his doubts – but Yuuri’s too far gone on the sight of Viktor’s blue eyes darkening and the white of his teeth sinking into his bottom lip to really think about much of anything right now.)


And then it’s over. And then Viktor is slowly, slowly lowering him back down – and Yuuri can feel him all the way down his body, can feel the shake in his arms and the press of his thighs as he goes, and his head is so full of Viktor he feels fit to burst – and – he –


Yuuko walks in and shrieks at the sight of them pressed so intimately against each other, and before Yuuri knows it they’re meters apart and he can’t meet Viktor’s eyes for hours afterward.






v. 

So much happens at the Grand Prix Final that Yuuri’s head spins.



They get engaged. They fight. Yuuri skates his way to a silver medal and a new world record. Viktor tells him he’s planning to come back to skating and that he wants to continue to be Yuuri’s coach.


(That feels better than a GPF silver, better than the rush of pride he gets from looking at the audience from the podium. He could’ve been given an Olympic gold medal and it still wouldn’t have compared to Viktor coming back to skating.)


The whole event is a flurry of activity, not a moment to spare between the press and the podium, not a moment to themselves in the midst of it all except when they collapse in exhaustion on their pushed-together hotel room beds.


It all feels right, though, is the thing. Falling asleep to Viktor’s peaceful smile and soft eyes, waking up to him singing in the shower, walking to the rink hand-in-hand. They laugh their way through the exhibition practice because they can’t take each other seriously, especially now that Viktor knows. And the skate itself is –


It’s magnificent. It’s everything.


The look on Viktor’s face is so soft, so sweet, and the gentle way he touches Yuuri’s face makes Yuuri’s heart break into a million pieces and then fit itself back together again in a single breath. And then Viktor lifts him up with his hands steady around Yuuri’s waist and his shoulders firm under Yuuri’s hands, and all Yuuri can do is give him a heated look full of promise.


When they get back to their room Viktor backs Yuuri into the door, puts his hands on the backs of his thighs, and lifts him up. Yuuri doesn’t even bother to cage in the moan of pure heated want at the way Viktor’s biceps turn steel-hard under his roaming hands. He wraps his legs around Viktor’s waist and kisses him with all the heat and verve he can muster.


Viktor sighs his name against the base of his throat, leaving delicious open-mouthed kisses along his collarbones, and Yuuri goes utterly weak. His hips move of their own volition, pressing into the cradle of Viktor’s to get a taste of the friction he craves there, and his nails scratch down the collar of Viktor’s shirt. Viktor feels so good against him, around him, he almost can’t stand it.


His lover sighs and presses their mouths together. Yuuri is nothing but jelly.


“Vitya,” Yuuri moans. His voice is raspy, and the way Viktor shivers at the sound of it sends arrows of heat down his spine. Yuuri’s name falls from Viktor’s lips in response, just like a call to prayer, and he’s close enough for Yuuri to feel the shape of them against his own mouth and god –


His pants are making some kind of noise.


“Wha –”


It takes him a moment to figure out that the noise is an alarm he set on his phone so that he wouldn’t be late getting ready for the banquet, and when he does he mumbles something not fit for polite company in Japanese.


“The – the banquet. Noooo.”


Viktor’s head drops into the crook of his neck and he starts to laugh.


(If Yuuri’s a little wobbly at the banquet no one comments on it. They probably assume he’s just tired from the exhibition.)


(He’s pretty sure Christophe knows, though, and that’s embarrassing enough.)



 



+1

 

“Eros was always meant to be a story about two people, you know,” Viktor says over dinner one evening.

 

The sky over St. Petersburg has long since grown dark, something Yuuri will never be able to get used to no matter how long he lives there. Give him Southern Japan’s long, warm days and vivid ocean sunsets any day.

 

“Oh?” he replies, trying not to look too terribly interested. Viktor had only told him the story behind the Eros routine once or twice, and the second time had seemed embarrassing for him somehow, so yeah, Yuuri’s a little curious.

 

They’re in the planning period for next season but Viktor has been strangely secretive about his ideas for their exhibitions. Or exhibition. Yuuri doesn’t really know if they’re going to pull off another pair skate, or if they even can. They’d both surprised the Japanese and Russian skating federations with that stunt at the GPF, and skating with another person of the same gender isn’t necessarily disallowed, but they had been rather…intimate. And their relationship by now is well-known among the skating community.

 

And if Viktor is implying what Yuuri thinks he might be, then –

 

“Mmm. I know at the beginning you thought of yourself as the woman in the story – the one being seduced and left behind. But in my eyes, you were always the man,” Viktor says softly. “You were so beautiful at the banquet, Yuuri, so full of life. The way you danced and smiled so freely really affected me.”

 

“I know that now ,” Yuuri says, thinking back to the big reveal in Barcelona. That he’d managed the great Viktor Nikiforov without even trying or remembering it had been a surprise indeed. Sometimes he still has moments where he will pad into the kitchen in the morning and sees Viktor there cooking and wonders what kind of alternate universe he somehow landed in.

 

(But then Viktor reminds him of his dork status by crying over a google image search of cute dogs and Yuuri feels centered again, cemented in this universe with this beautiful, sweet, sexy, dorky Viktor by his side.)

 

“What I didn’t tell you, lyubov moya, is that I choreographed Eros after the banquet, after you didn’t call and didn’t call. You were always meant to be the man in the story.”

 

Yuuri’s face is flaming red, because he’d sort of gathered that but having it confirmed was just – something. Viktor smiles softly at him like he gets it, and he probably does because he’s become nearly fluent in Katsuki Yuuri nonverbal communication.

 

He takes Yuuri’s hand in his, his long fingers folding gently over Yuuri’s, and says, “What would you say to paying an homage to your Eros routine for our exhibition?”

 

“I, um – “

 

Yuuri is properly flustered now, if Viktor’s slow smirk and the heat in his cheeks are any indication. Viktor’s fingers have gone from still to gentle, soft caresses, sweeping over the backs of his hands and down to the sensitive insides of his wrists.

 

“It was such a good routine, lyubov. Sexy. Aren’t you curious what it could be like if we skated it together?”

 

Yes , Yuuri thinks. He remembers watching Viktor show him the basic choreography just over a year ago, how beautiful he’d looked. He’d looked beautiful as a teenager with his long, flowing hair and soft features, but, well. Yuuri’s had daydreams of what an older, more mature Viktor would look like in that half-skirt, with his hair cut short and his sharp jawline and even sharper grin.

 

He can’t speak, so he just kind of looks helplessly at his fiancé.

 

“Come, Yuuri, I have something to show you.”

 

Viktor pulls him up, puts a hand low on his back – very low, the tips of his fingers have moved into ass territory – and guides him down the hallway and into the peaceful darkness of their bedroom. On the bed lie two clothing bags; Viktor reaches around him, his chest solid and warm against Yuuri’s back, and presses one of them into Yuuri’s hands.

 

“Try it on, love.”

 

Yuuri, still speechless, does. He takes it into the bathroom because he’s already flustered and doesn’t need Viktor looking at him with that laser focus he uses for performing and sex. It’s the same Eros costume he wore the previous year for his short program, and it feels just as soft in his hands as it did then.

 

He slips his legs into the pants part of the bodysuit, and then pulls it up over his hips, chest, and finally his shoulders, but he has a hard time getting it zipped; Viktor had always done that part.

 

“Viktor? Can you help me zip this up?”

 

“Absolutely, zvezda moya.”

 

When Viktor enters the bathroom Yuuri is utterly entranced from the get-go. Viktor’s evidently put his costume on as well, and it’s gorgeous. It looks like Yuuri’s version, except — more . The skirt is full and flowing and beaded with tiny crystals that look like a sea of nebulous galaxies against the black of the fabric, and the ensemble stretches so beautifully over Viktor’s frame, elongating his already lovely legs and softening the masculine lines of his hips and shoulders. Yuuri meets Viktor’s eyes in the mirror and just – wow. Wow .

 

Viktor puts his hands on Yuuri’s lower back but doesn’t zip him up – instead his fingers just sit there, hot through the mesh and the lycra, just barely brushing against the bare skin of Yuuri’s lower back. His spine tightens up when those fingers slip into the open zip and underneath the the fabric and slide up, a slow and soft caress.

 

Gorgeous ,” Viktor breathes. “Absolutely beautiful.”

 

Yuuri bites his lip. “You – you, too.”


He barely has the words.


Viktor looks beautiful, true, but they look stunning together, dressed in black and adorned in pretty crystals that catch the light and make them shine.


Viktor presses himself against Yuuri’s back and slides his arms around his hips, fingers catching on Yuuri’s delicate hip bones. His mouth finds the junction of Yuuri’s neck and jaw, just beneath his ear, and Yuuri moans at the gentle suction and the swipe of hot, wet tongue on his skin. He tilts his head to the side and watches with half-lidded eyes as mirror-Viktor nips and sucks his way down the pale column of his neck, beneath the pushed-aside open collar of his costume. The want sinks into his stomach like hot chocolate, and, like a reflex, Yuuri tilts his hips back and presses his ass against the hardening line of Viktor’s cock.


(There is never a moment when Yuuri doesn’t want Viktor. Viktor is sweet, and kind, and he touches Yuuri with a reverence and a gentleness that makes Yuuri think this must be what dying feels like.)


(It’s still a new sort of feeling to realize that Viktor wants him just as much.)


Now it’s Viktor’s turn to moan, Yuuri’s name falling from his lips like the sweetest honey. He grasps Yuuri’s hips and physically turns him around and what had been a pleasant bit of heat simmering in his gut explodes into something white hot and urgent. Yuuri claws at Viktor’s clothed back and cants his hips up for more, desperate contact and rubbing himself against Viktor’s muscled thigh.


“God, Viktor — “


“Yuuri, you — you like this don’t you? When I manhandle you.”


Ahh .


Yuuri doesn’t want to admit it because it’s embarrassing, but he thinks about all the times Viktor had touched him before, when he’d thrown him and picked him up and manipulated his body however he pleased, and he thinks about all the times he’d been so flustered but didn’t do anything about it, and thinks, yes, yes, yes. He likes it, he wants it, please .


Viktor makes this noise like he’s torn between laughing and moaning and it shouldn’t sound as sexy as it is, and — oh hell, Yuuri probably said some of that out loud. In the end he can’t be that embarrassed about it because Viktor’s fingers have slipped from his hips to his ass and further down, and he’s lifting Yuuri up by the backs of his thighs.


Yuuri’s back his the bathroom door hard enough to rattle it, but he doesn’t spare a wisp of a thought to the state of the screws and hinges with Viktor’s body a hard line from chest to groin. Viktor peels his costume down as much as he can without letting go, with his teeth — which, holy shit — and then he busies his mouth with doing wicked things to Yuuri’s collarbones.


Yuuri gasps and lets his head fall back, rolling his hips as Viktor presses his hard cock into him through the layers of clothes. It’s so fucking hot like this, him in Viktor’s old costume and Viktor in a physical declaration of how much Yuuri affected him, with his entire body held up by nothing but Viktor’s strength and the unforgiving line of the door at his back. He lets Viktor suck pretty purple marks into the pale skin of his throat and chest because he wants nothing more than to be owned and used by Viktor Nikiforov.


Yeah, Yuuri definitely has a thing for this.


Viktor noses up the line of Yuuri’s jaw, captures his lips in a searing kiss that makes Yuuri’s toes curl where they rest above Viktor’s ass. He threads his fingers through Viktor’s pretty platinum hair and tugs, angling their mouths for better access as their tongues meet. It’s hot and messy and everything Yuuri always thought he’d hate in kissing, but loves doing with Viktor.


It takes a while but they find a rhythm like this, their hips shifting in sharp, staccato thrusts. The close quarters and limited movement make it harder but they’v both always loved a challenge, and Yuuri likes being held down like this, being pinned, hampered. Yuuri is a man of control and precision so there must be something about giving all of that up, pushing it into Viktor’s gentle, caring hands. Or something. Yuuri doesn’t know, doesn’t really know anything anymore except the flex of his hips and thighs and the damp heat of him panting into Yuuri’s mouth.


“Nng, Viktor —”


He wants more.


“God, your’e so hot for this,” Viktor moans and he’s right, Yuuri is on fire , pinned down and dying and trying to breathe through the heat and the smoke, and he shakes and shakes because he’s never wanted something as much as he wants this with Viktor —


Viktor’s hand slips down the open back of Yuuri’s costume, and there’s no lube but just the press and squeeze of Viktor’s fingers on his ass like a promise is enough, the smell of sweat and the feeling of teeth against his skin and the way Viktor’s movements have gone all desperate and syncopated are enough. Yuuri’s head falls back against the door and he lets out a long, broken moan as he comes, shot through with pleasure and heat so intense he feels like he’s floating from it.


His lover follows him over with a helpless whine from the back of his throat.


“Fuck,” Viktor pants into the column of Yuuri’s throat. “ Fuck , Yuuri.”


“Fuck,” he agrees.


They move slowly, gingerly. Yuuri tests his shaking legs before letting them take his full weight again, and Viktor presses his face into Yuuri’s neck, overwhelmed. Yuuri scratches his nails through Viktor’s hair in solidarity and comfort, because he’s still reeling from what just happened.


They should’ve done this a long time ago.


(Shit.


They ruined their costumes.)