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Kami no Onsen

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Chapter 1: Returning Home


Yuuri leans on the window, watching the countryscape roll before his eyes. It’s been awhile since he’s been in Japan and the familiar landscape still takes his breath away. Grassy hills and green vegetation dance in his vision. The steady chug of the train’s engine soothed him, welcomed him home. For all the years he spent studying abroad, he never missed his country once. He missed his family, the food, the comfort of his childhood home, or how easy it was to converse with people. But never the country in itself. Now, looking at the landscape through the window, and seeing the way his friend Phichit was looking at it, he felt proud.

“Are you enjoying the view, Phichit?” he asked his friend.

“Are you joking, Yuuri, this place is gorgeous! If I had grown up here I would never have left!” screamed Phichit. “It looks like a wonderland, exactly like in the movies. I half expect a little girl with a bright dress running on top of the hill!”

Yuuri laughed. He was glad he brought Phichit with him. He has been anxious of returning home, he had left for years and never had the time to come back. He still talked with his family often, but he always felt guilty for not being present. Having a friend with him helped him release the tension.

He turned back to the window. Phichit was right, it was quite picturesque. Rolling hills, and farms. After a time a crystal clear river began snaking its way through the countryside. They were getting close. Yuuri took a deep breath, trying to calm his racing pulse. He was nervous, despite it just being his family. He had been gone too long. Everything would be great, after all this was his family. They would simply be happy to see him. But that didn’t stop nervous gilt from surfacing.

He was very glad to have Phichit with him.

They clung to the rails as the train pulled into the station. Gathering their bags they exited the train and Yuuri stopped short….this was not right.... He turned in a quick circle. The station was not how he remembered it. The building looked old, and yet his memory was saying it shouldn’t be. The station he knew was modern, with escalators and turnstiles. This building looked like someone had pulled it from a history book of feudal Japan.

It was lovely, but very very wrong.

And yet a large sign that proudly proclaimed ‘Hasetsu Station’ argued against him. He was just about to turn back and get on the train, ask someone if they knew what was going on. But the train bolted before he had even moved, a gust of wind from its departure nearly knocking him over.

“Is something wrong?” Phichit was watching him, hand slowly lowering from what was more than likely a selfie in front of the giant lying sign.

“This isn’t,” Yuuri looked around the station, at the sign, at the lush landscape around them. “I don’t remember the station looking like this.”

Phichit glanced around. Without a frame of reference he couldn’t know how eerie the quaint station really was. “Maybe they remodeled and your family just forgot to tell you.” He said brightly, smiling face reassuring….until his eyes caught on a bit of moss growing on the side of the building.

Yuuri shook his head, more to clear his thoughts and in disagreement. He pulled out his phone, ready to call Mari for some answers. But the reception bars blinked between zero and one a few times before landing on zero and staying put. He shoved the phone back into his pocket with a frustrated sigh. This vacation was starting off rockier than he wanted.

“This station has recently come under…new managment.”

Yuuri jumped at the voice behind him. Back in the US, he was used to people randomly striking a conversation with him, but it was more unusual in the city where he was born. Especially since the stranger was apparently clearly listening to what he and Phichit were saying. Yuuri turned around swiftly, anxious at who this man was, his brows furrowed.

When his eyes fell on the stranger, his wariness spiked. The man was clearly not from the area. He was tall, long limbed and toned. His eyes were a piercing blue, almost shockingly bright in the sunny afternoon. And if his delicate alabaster features weren’t enough to make him appear other worldly, his hair was. Flowing down his back like a silver waterfall. His first thought that this man couldn’t possible be human was ridiculous, utterly preposterous….his second thought wasn’t much better.

That he was so beautiful Yuuri ran the risk of getting pregnant just by being near him!

Realising he was looking at the man up and down, not saying a word as he raked his eyes over this stranger….that he was acting rude, Yuuri decided to fix his stare on the man’s face and to answer to him.

“Oh, hum, hello,” Yuuri managed to let out. “What do you mean other management? Was it bought? I thought the state...”

The man was eyeing Yuuri with big eyes, so he decided to stop talking. Was he being rude? Maybe he should have introduced himself!

“Yes, anyway, the hour is late, I’m sure you and your friend are tired and will want to get going! You wouldn’t want to be travelling after dark. Have a nice evening.” The stranger blurted out fast and looking severe. He then turned on his heels and strode away.

Yuuri looked at him leaving, mouth hanging open. Evening? But he and Phichit traveled in the afternoon. They had planned to arrive at his parent’s home for tea, to have time to relax before dinner. Yuuri stared at where the man had left until Phichit collided into his side, whispering fervently into Yuuri’s ears.

“Yuuri! Hot hoot hooot! Who the hell was that! Are all men like that in your country? If I knew we would have come at every holiday! What did he tell you?”

“Oh… nothing, just to get home before dark I guess?” answered Yuuri. “I think I made him flee.”

Phichit looked dubious. “Yuuri Kastuki, making grown men flee. Sounds right.”

“I didn’t introduce myself!” argued Yuuri. “It was rude.”

“The rudest,” laughed Phichit. “So! Where to? Man, have you seen how the sky is darkening? I swear if there is a storm coming and we get soaked because you lost time talking to hot babes, I’m gonna kill you Yuuri. My babies can’t handle the damp and you know it!” Phichit waved the plastic box he was carrying in front of Yuuri’s head. Inside, tiny hamsters woke up, squeaking softly, wondering what this ruckus was about.

Yuuri sighed, took his bags and led them to the station’s exit. The train station was changed, looking older, but the main structure was still there. Outside, he knew he had to walk up the street, then turn right, and walk ten minutes until the roundabout. Then, take the second street and home was near.

As soon as they were out, it seemed Phichit’s prediction was becoming true. The few people going out of the station next to them quickly fled the street, walking so fast in the gloom it as though their feet didn’t touch the ground. The sky was dark, but the street lamps weren’t lit yet. The houses they passed didn’t look peaceful and bright, as he remembered them, but stark and menacing in the dying light. He urged Phichit to walk faster up the street, hoping they really would get home before the sky broke and drench them. He thought about calling his parents or his sister, to ask them to bring a car. But now that they were out, a feeling in his gut told him he dreaded to go back to the station.

They arrived at the roundabout, but Yuuri couldn’t find the street he was looking for. His parent’s onsen should be just around the corner! Maybe the town changed the roundabout too? It wasn’t unheard of. Add some flowers, remove a dangerous intersection. He looked around, feeling guilt and irritation rise in him. Has he been away for so long? He couldn’t even remember the way to his childhood house!

“Yuuri?” Phichit called. “Why did we stop? Are you lost?”

“Hum, yeah. It seems the town has changed a bit,” Yuuri replied, trying not to snap at Phichit. “Let me call my parents!”

Yuuri fished his phone out of his pocket and unlocked it. No signal. Sure. In the middle of a town? Maybe his international network was messing up?

“Hey Phichit, does your phone work?”

Phichit didn’t even look at his phone before answering. “Nope. I used it too much on the train, it died after I took that selfie at the station. I thought I could charge it once we arrive.”

Yuuri raised his eyebrows at Phichit. The man hardly spent five minutes away from his phone. They both must have been really tired by the journey.

“Okay Phichit, well I have no signal.” Phichit gasped, and Yuuri waved him to shut up and kept talking. “We’ll just take the road I think I remember. It should be right around the corner, so if nothing works i’ll just ask a neighbour okay?”

“You think you remember?” fake-shrieked Phichit. “We’re gonna die! Hot stranger will come and kidnap, torture, and murder us!”

Yuuri shook his head and took the street closest to them. The house didn’t seem familiar, but neither did the rest of the town, so he simply soldiered on. They could just push their luck and hope they could get home before the storm would eventually hit.

After five minutes of walking, Yuuri stopped again. The sky was now so dark it felt like it was midnight, when it should have been five o’clock at most. He couldn’t read the street signs, and he was getting frustrated and a bit panicky to be honest. Nothing looked right. It was too early for the streets to be so dead and yet no one but themselves were out. To top it all off there were no streetlights...nothing that could serve as illumination...It was time to face facts.

“Phichit, we’re lost” he deadpanned. Phichit dropped his luggage and sat on it with a sigh. “I’ll just go to this house and ask. Maybe they’ll let me use the phone.”

“Don’t leave me alone here, Yuuri!” pleaded Phichit. “I’ll come with you! I don’t want the evil hot stranger to take me to his sex dungeon.”

Yuuri laughed while Phichit grabbed his arm and begged him to stop the blond-haired villain from hypnotizing them both with his magic blue eyes.

“You two! What are you doing here?” called a voice with a foreign accent.

Yuuri turned to see said blond-haired man from the train station striding toward them in the street, looking deeply annoyed by them. Phichit nearly broke Yuuri’s arm by crushing it and literally screamed with his most high-pitched voice.

The foreigner, who was now standing next to them, jumped at that and clutched his heart. “Sorry for frightening you both,” he said sounding earnest. “But frightened you should be, I told you to go home before dark.” His voice rose sounding annoyed now. “And now it is full dark, and what are you gonna do? Do you even know WHERE you’re going?”

With his last scream, the street lights turned on, which made Phichit scream again, and even Yuuri jumped, clutching Phichit closer. The strange man stopped talking, sighed, and ran his hand through his hair. The dim light coming from the street lamp made his silver hair shine and Yuuri gulped when the man looked at him, blue eyes flashing.

“Hello sir, I am Yuuri Katsuki, and this is my friend Phichit.” Yuuri said the first thing that came to his mind, not knowing what on earth was the foreigner talking about.

It seemed to work because the man’s expression changed instantly, he made the most perfect smile, one that made his eyes almost close and turned his mouth into a heart-shape. “Hello Yuuri, you can call me Viktor.” He took Yuuri’s hand from his side and shook it. Yuuri felt his cheeks heat up, surprised from the sudden touch. “Katsuki you said? Your parents mentioned their son was coming! You took the wrong turn! Your house is right this way, Yuuri Katsuki!” He then turned and walked away, urging the two young men to follow him.

Phichit grabbed his bag, looking at Yuuri like he had turned into an alien. “What the fuck” he mouthed. Yuuri, hoping his red cheeks couldn’t be seen in the dark, shrugged and followed the so-called Viktor.

It took only a few hundred meters walk to find the onsen. Yuuri’s heart was beating hard against his ribs, all uneasiness felt in the dark streets or around the weird stranger forgotten. It was his home. He was home. With his family. Had the building everything else? The main structure of it was the same, but it felt bigger, older. He didn’t remember some things. But it was only natural, after so many years. Phichit pushed him forward a little, smiling. Yuuri inhaled, exhaled, and walked toward the door. Bright yellow light was flowing from the windows. It bled on the streets, when Viktor opened the front door wide, a curiously sad smile on his lips.

“Welcome home, Yuuri Katsuki,” he said, gesturing like a butler for the two friends to come in.

Yuuri and Phichit entered. They dropped their bags in the entrance and began removing their shoes, eager to be able to roam the onsen as they wanted to. Someone pushed open the door of the hall and apparently asked something to them, but Yuuri didn’t understood what he said. Maybe the sounds coming from the patrons in other rooms was too loud?

He got closer to them. He was a foreigner, like Viktor, but didn’t look like him. He was tall and broad-shouldered, with short dark hair and an undercut, that made his big grey eyes appear brighter. He held his head high, and his chest forward, moving with ease in his tailored black suit, decorated with a shiny silver necktie. He stopped next to them and, maybe only now noticing Viktor, raised a single eyebrow at him.

“This is Yuuri Katsuki,” explained Viktor, taking a step forward and shielding them from the well-dressed man. “His parents have been waiting for him.”

“And who is the other?” Yuuri heard the man say, clearly this time, disdain clear in his voice.

“He’s my friend Phichit!” piped in Yuuri. “We’ve been living together at the Uni.”

The man looked at Phichit up and down. An unexpected smile brightened his face and he bowed before them. Phichit and Yuuri stared at each other, then looked somewhere else quickly, trying to hold the burst of laughter that threatened to escape them.

“Welcome to Kami no Onsen, Yuuri and Phichit,” declaimed the tall man. “I am Jean-Jacques, the concierge of the inn, you can call me JJ.”

He snapped his fingers and two young people rushed in, employees, Yuuri guessed because they had the same clothes as JJ, sleek black with a silver lining. They bowed as they approached before looking up at JJ. Eyes oddly was probably Yuuri’s imagination. His eyes playing tricks on him since the night was so dark. “Take their luggage to the Katsuki family’s rooms,” Jean-Jacques ordered, then turned to the two friends. “Would you like to sleep in a double bed with your partner, or does one of you snore?”

Yuuri and Phichit shared one look too much and fell giggling into each other, unable to answer.

JJ pursed his lips and turned his back on them, ordering the employees again. “I guess it means they snore, put them in separate rooms please. And warn the family that they will have dinner in the big room tonight, we need to welcome our new guests. Oh, and she will need to be warned too.”

Viktor, who has remained in a corner, almost forgotten since they entered the inn, put a hand on JJ’s shoulder and talked quietly. “I will take care of that, if it pleases you, King JJ.” Jean-Jacques smiled at him, nodded, and Viktor slipped swiftly through one of the hall’s room.

“Allez, allez!” Jean-Jacques called, clapping his hand and showing the door to the employees, who rushed out quickly, carrying the luggage and saying “Sorry King JJ”. Yuuri put his hand over Phichit’s mouth so he wouldn’t burst into laughter again.

“If you two messieurs would like to follow me.” Jean-Jacques opened a room and gestured for it. “Oh dieu du ciel! No one took your coats!” He suddenly exclaimed, apparently very upset at this idea. “I try very hard with this new staff, I swear, but they never listen. How am I gonna make this place a onsen of standing...” he ranted for the five minutes it took him to ceremoniously take their coat and hang them in a large closet near the door.

Now undressed and given comfortable slippers, the two friends followed the weird butler. He led them through a few doors. The first ones lead into a rather large lobby. Yuuri was shocked to see so many people milling around. Checking in with a woman behind the counter who Yuuri didn’t get a good look at before JJ lead them through another door. After crossing a few small rooms, Jean-Jacques brought them to what seemed to be the dining room. Traditional tables lined the walls and low hanging lanterns dangled on chains just above them. Casting the room in a warm glow.

A big stage had been erected along one wall of the dining room. Yuuri had no memory of this place….especially the stage. His parents must have remade it, but a voice inside him was whispering that they would have told him if they had made some work in the onsen. Would they? Maybe he just couldn’t remember.

But he definitely would have remembered if his parents had told him that in the middle of this stage was erected three metallic poles, apparently made for pole dancing since a scantily clad young man was at this very moment wrapped around one.

He was twirling slowly and peacefully, his whole body relaxed. The only sign of tension was when his muscles clenched and could be seen rolling under his skin. Yuuri guessed he was European. He had dyed blond hair that faded to a brown undercut. And the longest eyelashes Yuuri has ever seen. The man hooked one of his leg around the pole, the other raised toward the roof. He casually leaned back and kept turning while looking at the crowd in reverse, his back artfully arched.

Yuuri jumped a little when Phichit elbowed him. “Look Yuuri! He’s so talented! Do you think he will be here after? I’d like to see the whole show!”

Yuuri turned red. Why wasn’t Phichit more phased by the fact that an almost naked foreign man was pole dancing in the middle of his childhood home? Maybe Yuuri was being immature or worse, perverted. The man was clearly a master in his field. It was rather disrespectful to think of him as someone doing only sexy dance moves.

Jean-Jacques who has been waiting next to a door, called them and gestured them to join him, eyebrows furrowed. Phichit waved at the dancer. The man saw him, and looked surprised. He eyed both him and Yuuri, then his face lit up and he blew them a kiss. Phichit whispered “He aimed the kiss at you, Yuuri! He likes you!” Yuuri felt his face heat up again, so he fled to join Jean-Jacques.

Jean-Jacques led them through halls that seemed to be the rooms of the onsen. They came across multiple patrons either dressed for dinner or in comfy warm bathrobes. They all seemed unfamiliar to Yuuri, either too big or too small, with shiny eyes. He saw one with an unfamiliar number of limbs, but after he blinked, the illusion shattered and the tiny grandma walked passed him walking on regular two legs. Yuuri noticed that Phichit was leaving a safe distance between himself and the patrons, clutching his hamster box against his chest.

After a few corridors, they crossed a door with a “forbidden” sign on it. Behind it, Yuuri knew was the private living space of his family, his room, their private garden. Walking through them made him feel safe, even if he didn’t recognized everything. His younger face was on the pictures displayed on the walls, and Phichit crooned a bit seeing them. Yuuri felt his chest tighten, he was about to see his family again. Would they be different? Would they think he had gotten a foreign accent? Was he bigger in size than his older sister now? What would they talk about?

Yuuri heard running steps clicking on the ground and by a habit his mind had long since forgotten, but his body remembered, he dropped on his knees. Seconds later, a ball of brown warm fur jumped into his arms, tail wiggling.

“Vicchan!” Yuuri buried his face in soft fur. “Oh, good boy! At least you’re still the same.”

There was a huff of laughter, then a long drawn out breath. Yuuri’s heart skipped as he looked up. Standing in the doorway, framed by blue, sweet smelling smoke, was Mari. She wore the maroon yukata of an employee. Her short hair tied back so that the blond tips stood out around her head. She smiled at him before taking another drag of her cigarette. “Some things never change.”

Yuuri smiled. “It’s good to see you neesan.”

“You too kid.” She glanced up, taking in Phichit for the first time. “Who’s your friend?”


“This is Phichit. He’s my roommate in Uni...I’ve told you about him.” Yuuri, jestering for Phichit to follow him further into his family’s quarters.

“Oh right. Hi, i’m Mari.” They shook hand, Phichit gushing about how cute rooms were, and begging to know where the nearest outlet was. Yuuri followed behind them and JJ. The halls looked the same. The same wooden floors, the same paper walls and doors. He branched away from them when his own door came into view. And sighed.

His room was the same.

Same bed, same desk. Same array of posters. Showing everything from world famous skaters, to sharply vibrant photographs of rivers and oceans, all a crystalline blue. Perhaps it was growing up so close to a river, but the sight had always calmed him. Make him feel at home.

Rapping at his door drew his attention, Mari was back, leaning on the frame. “Come help with the dinner rush, we’re swamped.”

“I thought we were going to eat...The new concierge said something about ‘the big’ room…”

Mari laughed. “Yeah, we’ll eat. But after the guests are taken care of.” She cocked her head to the side as she pushed off the door. “You know how it goes.”

Yuuri blushed furiously. How could he have forgotten? Had he really been gone so long that all his manners and training had gone out the window?

The guests always came first.

“You should have some work clothes in you closet. I’ll go down and tell everyone you’ll be ready soon.”

“Okay!” Yuuri sprung into action as she left. Tossing off his travel clothes and throwing on his own maroon yukata in whirlwind. Soon he was rushing down the hall and out of his family’s quarters. Following the din of the dinner rush back into the large dining room.

The man on the pole was still there. Though he was no longer twirling in the air. He now stretched across the stage, engaging a few customers personally.

“Quit gawking at Chris and get that tables orders!” The barked command, strangely enough, came from Phichit. Decked in maroon, holding a small notebook….how had he gotten dressed and downstairs so quickly?

“Sorry, Peach.” He ran to the small window that divided the kitchen from the dining hall, took a notebook off the counter and started running orders.

Even in his earliest memories Yuuri couldn’t recall the inn being so full. Every table was packed, and some patrons were even sitting in the corners or standing pressed to the back walls. Yuuri did his best, weaving through the crowd along with Phichit and Mari, to fill every order he could. As the night wore on, and Yuuri’s fatigue grew, he had several other moments like before, in the hall. He could have sworn one patron had a tentacled arm when he reached for his drink….but no. On second glance it was perfectly fine.

A black whispy creature scooted across the floor, several patrons jumped out its way as it moved….but it turned out to just be a young man dressed in black. He worked a large black bristled broom across the floor...of course everyone was jumping out of his way.

There were several other occurrences. But in all honesty Yuuri was just too busy to really care. As the night grew the crowd didn’t let up. If anything more and more people flowed into the inn, to drink, to eat, to watch Chris dance.

By the time Mari told him they could take a break Yuuri was covered in sweat and ready to drop. And Phichit didn’t look much better. They both collapsed, leaning against one another, as they sat at the table in the back reserved for his family. From the kitchens his mother and father came out. And the fatigue was gone, at least for the moment. Yuuri perked up. “Mom, dad! It’s so good to see you!”

“Oh, Yuuri! It’s so good you made it home!” Despite clear bags under eyes from long day’s work, she beamed. Her round cheeks rosey. Hiroko and Toshiya took their places at the table next to Mari.

Yuuri’s brow furrowed slightly. All three of them looked dead on their feet. Dark bruises under their eyes. Skin slightly sallow and waxlike. “The inn seems to be doing well.” Yuuri scooped some rice onto his plate. The dinner before them wasn’t anything special. Steamed rice and veggies and a fish. But after the night he’s had it might as well be katsudon. “I don’t think I’ve seen it this busy, actually.”

“Oh yes,” Toshiya began making his own plate. “We owe it all to her.”

“Her?” Yuuri paused, chopsticks halfway to his mouth.

His parent’s exchanged a quick look before his father continued. “We didn’t want to worry you, but…” he sighed, low, resigned. “The onsen was failing, about a year ago. We were going to have to sell, or take out another loan. We were at the end of our rope. But then one night this woman showed up, she said she could fix everything. And we could even keep the onsen in our family, all we had to do was make her the proprietor.”

“So...she owns the onsen now...we just what? Live here and work?”

“It’s better than being on the streets.” Mari looked at him darkly from across the table. And all Yuuri could do was nod and hang his head. She was right. It was rude of him to question what his parents chose to do. They hadn’t had very many choices.

“I’m sorry. I know you did what you could.”

The doors flew open then, and old woman burst in. She was short and round, with a hook nose and many wrinkles. Her thick white hair was gathered in a bun on top of her head, and she wore fine robes of blue, and far too many rings on her bony fingers.

“Yubaba sama!” The three katsuki’s bowed and spoke in unison. Yuuri and Phichit exchanged questioning looks before bowing along with the others.

“Yubaba sama, this is our son Yuuri and his friend from school Phichit.” Hiroko motioned across the table as she spoke.

“Yes, yes. Viktor said.” Yubaba turned beady eyes to them then. A large grin slip her face. “Hello there dears. My look at two. So young, so ripe! You’ll both do perfectly!” She clapped her hands and as if by magic a sheet of paper was now in her hands. She smacked it down the table between Yuuri and Phichit.

“I can’t just have you two living here for free, now can I? Hmm, so you’ll need to sign these contracts. Keep everything legal while you work here.”

Yuuri expected Phichit to freak out. Yuuri was freaking out! They...they weren’t going to work here. They were only here over the summer. Of course they would help out while here. But signing a contract….Yuuri turned to Phichit, ready to suggest they go find a hotel to hold up in, but.

Phichit had reached for the pen that somehow was simply next to the paper. With a single fluid motion he had signed the paper, before turning black eyes to Yuuri. Bright and hazy in his exhaustion. “What’s the harm, Yuuri? Besides, I understand.”

His calm acceptance shamed Yuuri. It really wasn’t a difficult request. With hands that shook slightly, Yuuri took the pen and signed his own name. It was a trick of the light, his tired eyes….the ink didn’t glow after the name was finished. The shiver down his spine was simply due to his weariness.

“Perfect!” Yubaba snatched up the paper. Rolling it up and sticking in her sleeve. “Now, rest. Rest my sweet ones. For you have a lot of work to do tomorrow.” And she was gone...Yuuri caught an odd powdery scent as she left, it tickled his nose.

Rubbing his nose, trying not to sneeze, the night finally caught up to him. “I think i’ll go bed.”

Phichit yawned deeply beside him. “Me too. My phone should be charged. I’m gonna try to upload some pictures then I’m out!”

Saying goodnight to his parents and sister, Yuuri and Phichit left the kitchens to retrace their steps back up to their rooms. At the doorway to his room Yuuri stopped. “Hey, Peach...thanks for being so understanding about all this.”

Phichit glanced over his shoulder, arching an eyebrow at Yuuri. “Of course. It’s just business as usual, Yuuri.” He took a few more steps before pausing again. “Oh and, try not to be so late tomorrow. You know how back up we get, besides.” He winked brightly at Yuuri before turning and heading down the hall, calling back loudly. “You’re working with Chris tomorrow.”

Yuuri’s heart skipped a beat. WHAT‽ Since when was he working with Chris? Wasn’t Chris the guy on the pole‽ Yuuri was about to yell after Phichit, get him to come back tell him what was going on.

The room shuddered around him. His hand slipped on the doorframe, he gasped for air...but couldn’t seem to catch his breath.

Then it was over.

Why was he on the floor...halfway into the hall?

Yuuri stood up, feeling oddly shakey. He went into his room and changed for bed. He had better get some rest. He was working the dance floor with Chris tomorrow. It was always so exhausting. They would be at it all day.

Oh tipped better than waiting the tables any day, so in the end it was worth it.

Before climbing into his bed, Yuuri peaked out the window.

Hasestu was alite. Blazing and bustling. Patrons coming and going. Singing and laughing. Yuuri smiled. The city had really come into it’s own over the last few years. A feeling of peace and accomplishment washed over him. It was because of them. By signing over the onsen to Yubaba they been able to help their little city so much.

Yuuri was about to turn in when a dazzling light caught his eyes. Some blue and flashing, for just a moment, lit the river. But it was gone when tried to get a better look.

...too bad…

Yuuri clawed into bed and pulled the sheets to his chin. The exhaustion of a hard day’s work pulling him to sleep instantly.

Just like every night before.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2 : Just Another Day


Yuuri woke up in his childhood bed, hearing the muffled sounds of people working in the inn. He breathed in and out. The familiar scent of his sheets, smelling like his parent’s laundry, comforted him. He had forgotten how great it was to wake up after a long night’s sleep. When you knew your family and other people were already working in the inn. Yuuri felt a bit guilty at that thought, but he was on holiday and sleeping in was doing wonders on his mood.


He jerked up on his bed and grabbed for his glasses in alarm. Sleeping in? Holidays? What kind of dream was he having before he woke up! He had to find Chris for morning practices, he had no time to luxuriate in this perfectly comfortable bed! Not when Chris already was going to be so angry that he had overslept!


Yuuri pushed the covers off the bed and got up. He tried to dress as fast as he could, but his body felt slow, his mind fuzzy. He couldn’t exactly remember what he was supposed to wear today. And where were his exercise clothes? He had sports leggings, and a crop top shirt, but he wasn’t comfortable wearing those. He had a little tummy and even if he knew this would make his Mama happy that he was well fed, he wasn’t ready to show it to Chris, the sexy Swiss man with cute eyes and long eyelashes.


He was looking at himself in the mirror when Phichit, dressed in a serving boy outfit, barged into his room.


“Good morning Yuuri! How are you not ready yet?” Phichit sent him a annoyed look. “I have been waiting for you to get breakfast with me for fifteen minutes, but here you are, late, like every morning.”


“I’m so sorry, Phichit,” Yuuri turned to Phichit, wringing his hands. Slightly frantic. “I don’t know what happened, I can’t find my usual clothes. It’s almost as if someone came into my room to move things around!”


Phichit looked around him, one eyebrow raised. “This room is sure a hell of a mess. Maybe you put them in the laundry and forgot. Have you checked there?” he offered, with a small shrug.


Yuuri thought for a while then replied. “Hum… I’m not sure. We can stop by on our way to the kitchen?”


“No time for that now, Yuuri!” exclaimed Phichit. He grabbed Yuuri’s wrist and dragged him out of the room. “We still have ten minutes to eat before it is my turn to serve the patrons breakfast, and I intend to enjoy it.”


“Phichit! I’m still wearing my pyjamas!” screeched Yuuri.


“Who cares. It’s your family home, I think you are allowed to enjoy a breakfast wearing your pyjamas,” replied Phichit, still dragging Yuuri through the halls. “Besides, Chris is always late for the morning trainings, so you will have time to change before going. Unlike me, who has no time at all.”


Yuuri grumbled but followed Phichit, fervently hopping he wouldn’t see any patrons on his way.

They arrived in the staff dining room, which was bigger than the room where Yuuri and his family ate dinner, but more ‘homey’ than the client’s area. It consisted of one long wooden table, big enough for dozens of people. Against one wall, another table carried different trays of food, some salty, some sweets, and some definitely gooey. Yuuri helped himself with some cake, as well as a cup of tea from a huge teapot and turned to the dining table.


It was almost full, all the employees of the inn were enjoying their last moments of rest before the beginning of the work day. Yuuri couldn’t see anyone from his family, but he assumed they were having breakfast in their own apartments.


“Oh no,” whispered Phichit, carrying a bowl of soup. “Looks like the only seats available are next to No-Face.”


At least one quarter of the table was empty, but mainly because a ghostly figure was already sitting there. It hadn’t always been there, but Yuuri couldn’t remember when exactly No-Face had arrived to the inn. It was a big black hooded figure, that never spoke, and wore a white mask with holes for the mouth and the eyes. Thus the employees called it No-Face. No one really knew what it’s job was. It was just always there. Sometimes it would be haunting the halls, leaving a trail of goo and mud in its path. Most people hated it and went out of their way to avoid it….Which was why the only free seats were right next to it.


Yuuri sighed. “You were the one insisting I come for breakfast and you didn’t even save us seats.”


“I’m sorry, Yuuri,” apologized Phichit, his voice dropped low with disgust. “Let’s go back in my room to eat, ok? I don’t mind the mess, and I had planned to give some of these to my hamsters anyway.” He pointed to a minuscule bowl of grains in his plate next to the big bowl of soup.


“We can’t do that,” Yuuri shook his head, frowning at the Phichit. “It clearly saw us coming and looking at the table, it is so not polite to leave now.”


Phichit sighed and dragged his feet very dramatically to a corner of the table where they were close to No-Face but still one seat away. “You’re sitting on his side!” Phichit whispered angrily before sitting and crossing his legs under the table. Next to him sat a man slightly younger and smaller than Phichit, with short brown hair.


Yuuri rolled his eyes before sitting himself. “Hi Guang!” he said, waving at the boy sitting next to Phichit, the both of them already engaged in a lively conversation.


Yuuri started nibbling at his food, leaving the tea to cool off a bit before drinking it. Lost in his thoughts, he didn’t hear that someone had walked behind him, before Phichit gave him a sharp blow to his ribs with his elbow. Yuuri was about to scream at Phichit, when he realised that Viktor Nikiforov was standing beside him, talking to him.


“Good morning, Yuuri, Phichit!” said the tall, blond, handsome man. “Are you settling in ok?”


It took a moment, of Yuuri simply blinking at him in confused wonder, before he remembered to answer. “Good morning,” he stuttered. “Settling in where?” He asked, because he couldn’t figure out what on earth was Viktor talking about. Did his parents order some work done in the inn without him knowing? He would know if there had been some major construction going on, right?


Viktor frowned and his eyes searched Yuuri’s face for a moment, then he turned to Phichit, hoping to find more recognition there. Phichit was staring at him with both eyebrows raised, clearly not understanding what was happening as well.


“Hha.. haa...” Unexpectedly helpful for once, No-Face broke the silence by making the throaty moan that was the only sound he apparently knew how to make. Yuuri could not help but retreat a little when No-Face extended an immaterial hand in front of Viktor.


“Yes, yes, there you go,” said Viktor to the ghost. He pushed toward it a plate filled to the brim with a golden sort of mud. It glistened sickly in the morning light. “Have a good day, guys,” Viktor addressed to the group of boys. Then he turned his back on them and started a conversation with No-Face, that was only interrupted by one or two rattling moans of, “Hhha… Haa”.


Yuuri, thoroughly stunned, turned to Phichit, his eyes and mouth wide open. Phichit, who still had his eyebrows raised, in shock as well, turned to Guang, who just shrugged and continued eating. Phichit dismissed Guang and gestured wildly at Yuuri, pointing at Viktor and making the universal sign of ‘is this person crazy’ with his right hand. Yuuri raised both of his hands to his shoulders, palms up, to show that he had no idea of what was going on. Phichit raised both his hands in the air in front of him in a sign of defeat and they both started eating again. There very obvious silent conversation being ignored by the table as a whole.


It was unusual enough that Viktor Nikiforov sat at the same table as the other employees for meals. He was the employee with the highest rank, even higher than Yuuri and his family, or King JJ. Yubaba sama considered him as her right hand and most trusted employee. He had never really interacted with the Katsukis, apart from work-related issues. Viktor didn’t have reputation of being a cruel manager, or being a bossy one like JJ. He was just distant and cold. He cared about the inn, and that it ran well. And that was it. Chris, the other pole-dancer, was known for being one of his friends, as well as some older employees. But other than that Viktor kept to himself.


Thinking about this while sipping his tea, Yuuri realised that Viktor hadn’t sat down next to him to talk with him. He had sat down because he was taking care of No-Face. A task he usually did, as well as cleaning after it in the halls. No one knew why Viktor did it, but he seemed to like the ghostly thing. Yuuri’s throat closed a little at the thought that Viktor had talked to him only to be polite. And if what he asked him was any indication, Viktor didn’t even knew who Yuuri was. He thought Yuuri was settling in. But Yuuri was the son of the Katsuki family. The family that actually owned the inn. And still, Viktor Nikiforov sat next to him not even recognizing him.


“Yuuri, is everything okay?” asked Phichit, trying to catch Yuuri’s eye as he began to gather his things. “I have to get going now.” Indeed, many of the employees around the table were standing up, taking with them their used dishes and cutlery.


“I’m fine,” Yuuri shrugged. “I’ll see you at lunch. Save me something good, and I will show you what I’m working on this afternoon.”


Phichit stood and ruffled Yuuri’s hair. “Sure thing! Guang, you’re coming?”

They both bolted out of the room, leaving Yuuri alone. He was very aware of Viktor whispering to No-Face, and it made him uncomfortable, it felt like spying on them. So he finished his food quickly, got a cake to go from the table and retreated to his rooms. There, he quickly washed his teeth, put some order into his hair and rummaged around to find an outfit. He usually wore very short shorts to his practices, but he couldn’t find any in his closets. He found multiple sport leggings, some way too small, but that was it. Reluctantly, he put on the crop top shirt he had found earlier, as well as leggings. They would have to do. It just meant no climbing with his thighs, but he could live with that for one morning he guessed.


Wearing slippers, he went to the practice room. As expected, Chris was late. It was for the best. Yuuri plugged his phone into the sound system and played a chill song. He unrolled a mat and sat down on it to stretch. He also did several exercises to warm up. He was a bit stiff which was unusual. But he’d had such a weird and fuzzy morning that he shouldn’t have been surprised.


Rolling up his leggings so his ankles were naked, he took a piece of fabric and put an alcoholic solution on it. Then he started to clean the three poles that were standing in the room, starting from the bottom, then climbing the poles by crossing his ankles on them to clean the top.


A whistle called from the ground below him.


“What a magnificent view! The moon hanging in the sky is magnificent tonight!”


Yuuri looked down at the praise to find Chris, staring at his butt. Christophe Giacometti, Yuuri felt himself blush a little, the man was absolutely gorgeous. Green eyes with long eyelashes, one head taller than Yuuri at least and a body to kill for.


“Thank you for cleaning the space while I was eating, chouchou!” called Chris. “I won’t be long, just stretching and getting ready.”


The smaller man got down and put away the cleaning fabric. He did some basic moves on the pole. The ones he liked best but that weren’t too hard on his muscles, some attitudes, some chair spins and reverse grabs that made his heart race because he always felt like flying.  


“Hey, want some help with that?” asked Yuuri. He had noticed Christophe was stretching using the wall to straighten his back.


The blond man gave him a sweet smile. “That would be very nice Yuuri. Actually, if you don’t mind, we could make this morning a stretching session, and then only review a couple of times our routines for tonight? I’m feeling rusty today.”


“No problem Chris, I have been feeling a bit sore myself this morning,” replied Yuuri. “We can take some time next week to plan a new routine.”


Christophe wiggled his eyebrows. “Feeling sore, you little slut? What have you been up to last night?”


Yuuri answered by grabbing one of Chris’s ankles and pulling it toward him sharply, eliciting a grunt from Chris. “You know I’m not dating.”


“Oh, I know you’re not dating, chouchou, and that’s a shame, I would have loved to…” said Christophe, slightly breathless from the stretch.


“Quit joking around and get on your back,” snapped Yuuri.


“Kinky,” laughed Christophe. He still compiled and went on his back, raising both of his legs. “Spread me, daddy.”


Rolling his eyes, Yuuri took hold of Christophe's legs and spread them out, one to either side, squatting above the other man so his own thighs would prevent Christophe’s legs to close, being careful not to put any pressure on them.


Then it was Yuuri’s turn.


After two hours of working, they grabbed a quick but nutritious lunch. Then they put up the music for their routines, and worked on them in turn. Despite Christophe’s ability to turn everything as a joke, they were training with efficiency. They both loved what they were doing and exploring the other’s ability.


Christophe was taller and slightly bigger than Yuuri, but Yuuri had the strongest build. Often during tricks, it was Yuuri that got hold of the pole with Christophe was just dangling out there holding only one of Yuuri’s feet.


Christophe was also the one choreographing most of the routines. Yuuri liked the dancing as much as him, but he was a bit shy about formulating out loud all the sexy moves, like Christophe seemed to do with ease. Yuuri was more than perfectly fine about executing them though, especially with Christophe always cheering on him and complimenting him.


When the evening got close, they both went to their rooms to rest a bit and relax before the night’s show. They got together in their dressing room right after the patrons started dinner.


“We’re up in a bit Yuuri, I planned this, is it okay,” asked Christophe while showing to Yuuri the music he had set up on the dining room sound’s system.


Yuuri read it, thinking, then nodded.


“Perfect, chouchou,” exclaimed Christopher. “Let’s show them!” And they entered the stage.

The press of the crowd was suffocating. Even the cool silk of his robe was nearly too much on his sweaty skin. But it was worth it. He always felt so lovely, so accomplished after his sets. No one was allowed to hand him coins once he was off the stage, but that didn’t stop some of them from trying.


Yuuri just smiled, waving them off. Newcomers always did this. It was cute really. How flustered they would get. As though Yuuri were some sort of god they were afraid to approach.


Yuuri wove his way through the patrons. Trying to make it to the next room where he could get a cold drink of water and some fresh air. Maybe he’d take a quick walk outside before he was needed on stage again.


He was just about to leave the main room when he bumped into someone. Literally. He was nearly pitched back by the force, like running into a brick wall….only this wall was actually a very muscled chest, with bright blue eyes and silvery hair.


“V-Viktor?” Yuuri sputtered weakly as he looked up into concerned eyes.


“Yuuri, are you listening? I said, are you alright?” Viktor’s voice finally registered and Yuuri realized that Viktor had not only been speaking to him, he was holding Yuuri rather closely. He must have grabbed him so that Yuuri didn’t fall to the floor.


“I’m….fine. Thank you.” He pulled himself from Viktor’s firm grasp, straightening his robe.


Viktor was giving him another strange look. Yuuri tried to peek past him into the worker’s lounge. He really wanted that water. But Viktor wasn’t budging. He rubbed the back on his neck….Yuuri would have said he was nervous, but that wouldn’t make sense.


“I caught your set.” Viktor said quickly, voice slightly hoarse. “It was great. Amazing, actually! Where did you learn to do that?”


Yuuri stiffened. Where had he learned it? What sort of question was that?


But even as indignation reared it’s head. Anger that Viktor could act as though he didn’t know perfectly well that Chris and he had been dancing together for years. Years!....Another memory, distant and blurry, came to mind.


Phichit holding him by the hand, laughing loudly as he drags Yuuri across a busy campus. The sun is setting over the old brick buildings. There are scores of students running down the sidewalks and through the well groomed grasses. Laughter and birdsong fill the air.


Phichit brings him to a room filled with poles and people, much like themselves, dressed in shorts and halters. A woman goes around the room helping them get into position and running them through moves.


No one is more surprised than Yuuri is when he learns he’s a natural.


But the memory is vague, slippery at the edges. The harder Yuuri tried to hold onto it the more it began to slide away. Until finally… popped!


Yuuri shook his head vigorously. In fact, he was shaking all over. When had he gotten so cold? It took a moment for the dizziness to pass, for his vision to clear. Viktor was still looking at him. The concern still there, stronger now.


It ticked off something in Yuuri. Viktor had asked him where he learned to dance. Just this morning he had asked if Yuuri was settling in. Was he for real? Anger rolled through him. Striking quickly. How could Viktor not know him? Not know he had lived here, and worked here his whole life!


Yuuri straightened up to his full height...not ready to let this imposing man get the better of him. “I ‘learned how to do that’, as you put it, when I was a kid. Chris and I have been doing this routine for years now. It’s nice of you to finally take notice. Now, I’m on break. So if you’ll excuse me!” He pushed Viktor aside as roughly as he could. Storming into the worker’s lounge he slammed the door solidly behind him.


What nerve!


Well his mood was officially shot. Viktor….Stupid Viktor! Yuuri stomped to the sideboard and poured himself a glass of water before storming outside. The lanterns had been lit a while ago, showering the crowds with wavering multicolored  light.


Out here there was laughter, and revelry. Crowds jostled back and forth to get into the onsen for a drink and to catch the show. Yuuri sipped his water, standing off to the side, on the back porch, he could just make out the crowd….And beyond that, glowing softly in the moonlight. Was the lake.


For some reason the shimmy waters brought to mind Viktor’s waterfall of silvery hair. The blue was the blue of his eyes. Electric. Cold. And far too lovely.


Yuuri’s heart clenched. Why did it hurt so much? Viktor was cold to everyone...except oddly enough, No Face. Yuuri shouldn’t take it to heart. It did him no good to dwell on it.


He finished his water and went back in. Making his way back through the crowd quickly, avoiding the patrons who tried to stir up conversation with him.


Chris was already backstage, setting up the music for the next set. He glanced at Yuuri as he strode to the costume closet and began to change. Chris rose a dark eyebrow when he saw Yuuri’s choice of wardrobe. A tight black corset with glittering jewels, a black and crimson garter with lacy black panties, small enough to entice but comfortable in the right places . Rounded out with lacy thigh highs and jewel studded black heels.


“Something wrong, mon cher?”


“I just...need to lose myself right now.” Yuuri slipped on a silky red dress over the ensemble. He went to the small vanity to check on his makeup. Applying some red lipstick quickly.


“I understand. I think I have just what you need.” He pushed a few final buttons on the sound system before letting his own robe drop to the floor. “Just give me a moment to change too, then we’ll go on.”


Yuuri nodded, watching distractedly as Chris dressed to compliment him. He knew by the outfit what routine Cris had in mind. Undergarments much like his own, but without the jewels. Covered only by what looked like a full suit, but Yuuri knew it could be taken off in seconds. Chris had picked perfectly. A routine that Yuuri could lose himself in. Become one with the dance, with Chris.


They were about to tango!


Chris positioned himself before Yuuri, still backstage hidden from the crowd. Yuuri saw Viktor, kneeling on the dark stage, a tool in hand, adjusting the poles. Christopher must have had told him what routine was planned. Viktor was unlocking the poles so they could spin at full speed.


Some pole dancers preferred the spinning, but Yuuri and Christopher only rarely used it. They both loved the flying sensation that came from turning around a still pole. Spinning tricks were cool but they made them dizzy. A part of Yuuri, one he wouldn’t dare to admit, loathed spinning poles because it was easier to impress the audience with it. Yuuri didn’t need any spinning pole to impress someone. His body, his grace and his agility was enough.


Viktor finished his work on the poles, and joined the dancers backstage. Passing in front of them, he wolf-whistled at Chris. “Always dashing, Monsieur,” and kissed him on the lips. They both laughed.


Yuuri, open-mouthed and shocked, looked on as the Russian man leaving. Before disappearing fully from sight, Viktor turned and winked at Yuuri.


“Stop drooling and focus, mon chou,” whispered Chris. “Viktor will put the music on any second now.”


“Sorry Chris,” muttered Yuuri. He shook his legs and arms out, trying to relax.


Then the music began. The lights turned on the stage, blinding. Christophe took a step, graceful as a feline. He raised one hand to salute the audience, then turned and offered a hand to Yuuri. Yuuri took Christophe’s hand and stepped on the stage. As usual, as soon as he started moving, his mind became lost in the routine.


He was the most desirable person in the room tonight, and they all know it. He smirked, tossing a smoldering look to the crowd. He would show them what it felt like to want someone so much. Someone they would never be able to touch.


Christophe put a hand on Yuuri’s back, while Yuuri put his on Chris’ shoulder, all the while casting a languorous look to the audience. They started turning slowly until the tango music stepped up. Chris didn’t wait to make Yuuri spin and jump in his arms. Yuuri held his head high, shoulders relaxed and down, letting Christophe lead, only occasionally throwing up a leg in the air.


The music accelerated, and Christophe stopped Yuuri mid-turn and grabbed him closer to him. Yuuri’s arms were crossed in front of him, his back pressed against Giacometti. In a lascivious gesture, he arched his back against Christophe, rolling his head back so it laid on Christophe’s muscular shoulder, their cheeks touching. They stood there for one or two tempo, sharing each other’s breaths.


They spun rapidly again, this time stopping while Yuuri was facing Christophe. The music turned dramatic. Sparing no time, Yuuri grabbed the fabric of Chris’ suit and ripped it away, coming down to his knees in front of the man. There were gasps from the audience as Yuuri was kneeling in front of Christophe, looking up to him wearing only a black choker and a black thong.


Christophe held Yuuri’s chin with two fingers for a beat, then grabbed him from under his shoulders and lifted him. Yuuri took a pause as if he was the Swan Princess. That is, until Chris threw him in the air to a pole bar. At the last moment, Chris grabbed the hem of Yuuri’s dress, so that when he could seize the pole, latching on with both legs and one hand, all he wore was his glittering undergarments. He used Chris’s throwing force to start a very fast rotation. The audience clapped with great enthusiasm. Whistling and shouting praise.


Yuuri barely registered them.


Oh, how much they wanted him. How badly their hands twitched for just a touch. Just to a change to skim his smooth skin, to be close enough to smell his perfume. They would die for him, they would kill for him!


Christophe bowed to the crowd in front of them, then grabbed the other pole bar and climbed on it, holding himself with one thigh and one hand, and started spinning more slowly, following the music’s rhythm that had somewhat slowed pace. Yuuri adjusted his spinning speed and his posture so he was matching Christophe’s. For a few minutes, they rotated at a rather medium speed, changing pose every few seconds so the audience was still dazzled.


Then, they were holding the bar with both thighs, their body horizontal to the floor and hands raised as if flying like Superman. The next second, they had their hands down, holding by their ankles and backs arched in a tantalizing gesture.


The music sped up again, becoming more and more powerful. The two dancers stood on the pole, on leg rolled across the pole, stretched toward the floor, the other going up behind their backs, holding the long heel with their both hands. Yuuri arched his back and threw his head back toward his feet, knowing he looked filthy, delicious. He and Chris sped up the pace of the spinning until their features could no longer be seen. The music speeding up with them, until they both were so stretched that the heel of the feet they were holding was touching the top of their heads.


Then, with a few last tantalizing beats, the music stopped suddenly. Yuuri and Christophe in tandem, let go of everything and dropped to the floor in a last pose, making the audience gasp once again. They stayed still on the stage for some time, Christophe kneeling with his hips buckled in front of him, arched back and feet touching his heels. Yuuri kneeling as well, one hand above his heart and the other reaching for the audience.


All lights went out. The two dancers quickly retreated to the backstage while the audience was going wild, screaming and cheering for them to come back.


“Mon dieu, chouchou, tu es l’homme le plus appétissant avec qui j’aie jamais dansé ! Je pourrais t’avaler tout cru, ici et maintenant !” screamed Chris while holding Yuuri tight. “We were amazing back there! Thank you Yuuri, you truly are gifted.”


Yuuri blushed and patted Christophe’s back awkwardly. He felt the rush of the dance slowly retreating and he was dead tired. Still, Chris’s compliments were really nice and he had truly enjoyed dancing the number with the man tonight. “Thank you, Chris, you’ve done great tonight,” he told the other man.


Chris kissed the top of Yuuri’s head, squeezed him one last time and let him go. “Alright now, sexy ass, I have to go check on Nikiforov, see if the man has had any heart attack. See you!” And he dashed away.


Puzzled, Yuuri frowned and went to shower and change. Working with Christophe really was nice because the man was always in a good mood, joking and teasing. Complementing Yuuri. It was really good to lift Yuuri’s spirits, which was often low during work. Yuuri loved pole dancing, and he was good at it, but sometimes, the idea of putting himself half naked on a pole in front of dozens of people scared him to death. He could feel them judging, hoping for him to fail.


And sometimes, just sometimes. He wondered if there was something more he should be doing….


After his shower, the young man retreated to his family’s quarters, taking a way he knew would be empty so he wouldn’t run into any patrons. His parents were already asleep, he could hear some music coming from his sister’s room, but that usually meant she was busy.


He was looking for someone to accompany him for a late dinner, so he knocked on Phichit’s door. His friend was still dressed up, reading a magazine and cooing at his hamsters.


“Hey Yuuri! Good job tonight, it was one of the best routines you ever did,” said Phichit when he saw Yuuri coming into his room.


“Thanks, I’m really tired now,” replied Yuuri. “Wanna accompany me for dinner? Everyone is already asleep.”


“And I am your last choice,” joked Phichit. “That’s cold, Yuuri.”


The teasing continued until they were seated at the family table, not the employees table like that morning, Yuuri wanted some quiet time. He had grabbed some rice and miso soup from the kitchen and was slowly enjoying it, letting the warmth of the bowl and the table rock him to a drowsy state.


“Say, Phichit, is Viktor Nikiforov sick?” asked Yuuri.


“Sick?” wondered Phichit. “No, man, I don’t think he is, why do you ask?”


“Giacometti said something about his risking a heart attack, after the show,” replied Yuuri.


Phichit scratched his chin, thinking for a minute. “No, Yuuri,” he said, “I don’t think I heard anything of the like. Maybe Christophe was just making a joke because Viktor is old, you know.”


Yuuri raised his eyebrows, surprised. “Is he?” The Russian man was definitely older than them, but he hadn’t thought he was that old.


“No, don’t look at me like that, Yuuri, it’s okay, he’s not that old,” laughed Phichit. “Under thirty, at least. Maybe twenty-eight?” But he still sounded unsure.


Yuuri’s fatigue caught up with him before he even left the table. Phichit shook him gently, he hadn’t even remembered shutting his eyes.


They placed their bowls in the kitchen and headed back down the hall. Phichit with his arm wrapped around Yuuri for support. He kept sending worried looks to Yuuri, but he brushed them off. If the dark circles under Phichit’s eyes were any indication, he had also had a very rough and tiring day. They both just needed a good night’s rest.


Yuuri said good night to Phichit at his door. Changing quickly he climbed into bed and cocooned himself in blankets. It wasn’t long before a pleasant, drowsy fog fell over him. The aches and pains of the day ebbed away as sleep drew near.


The last thing Yuuri heard before he fell into a peaceful, dreamless sleep, was the distant wails of a crying child.

Chapter Text

Viktor heard a knock on his bedroom door. He was laying in his bed, staring at the ceiling and he startled a bit. Coming back into himself, he got up and opened the door. Wearing a bathrobe, Christophe Giacometti was standing in the hall, twirling a black fabric with one hand, eyes bright and sporting a full-mouthed smiled.

“Viktor, Viktor, mon chéri, how are you doing,” asked Christophe mischievously.

Viktor frowned at him, trying not to wonder if Chris was wearing something under his bathrobe or not, and definitely trying not to wonder what was in Christophe’s hand.

“I’m doing great. I was about to go to sleep,” replied Viktor. “Do you want to come in?” he asked.

Christophe brushed past him to get into the room and flopped unceremoniously on one of the chairs there.

“This Katsuki guy killed me tonight. Way too vivacious for me,” he complained. “Please give me a foot massage Viktor.”

Viktor closed the door and went back to laying on his bed. “Not happening. I thought you looked good. I love your new routine.”

By means of response, Chris made a long slow forced chuckle.

Viktor threw a pillow at him, not really sure why Chris was laughing. But he decided that it must mean that Christophe was making fun of him for something, therefore it needed retaliation.

“Calm down, mon chéri,” said Chris. “I’m not staying, I’m so tired I will go to bed.”

“Why are you here, then,” asked Viktor.

He raised his eyes, as Chris got up from his chair and loomed over him, still on the bed. “Because,” whispered Chris. “I had to make sure you had survived my very sexy routine. Also,” he made a dramatic pause. “To give you this.” He threw the black fabric at Viktor’s face.

Viktor took it off his face and shrieked. “Panites?! Chris! Suka! Why!
Why the hell are you giving me your underwear?”

Christophe ran to the door and exclaimed “Oh, my dear, it’s not mine,” before running in the hall cackling like he made the joke of the year.

Viktor’s heart missed a beat. Oh, that was bad. He reluctantly took the panties between two fingers and raised it in front of his face. Yes. No mistaking, it’s shape covered way more flesh than Christophe usually liked. Chris enjoyed showing all of what he’s got. It also had glittery patterns on it. Definitely Katsuki’s underwear. Oh, that was really bad.

If Yuuri found out Viktor had his underwear in his room, he would, he would... Viktor couldn’t even begin to imagine what would happen. The young man was snappy enough with him as it was. Viktor didn’t want to add reasons to dislike him.

What could he do? Hide it in the general laundry? Too risky. This inn had too many eyes and ears. Hiding it in Christophe’s room in revenge? That could lead to worse retaliation. Slipping in their dressing room and just dropping it there? Probably the best idea. He’d do it tomorrow during breakfast.

He hid it in one of his drawers for now, and laid back on his bed, groaning. What was Chris thinking? Closing his eyes, he brought back the memory of their show. Christophe, almost naked and gorgeous, as usual. And Yuuri. Agile and at ease on the pole as if he had been born doing this. Dressed in diamonds. None of them sparkling enough to outshine the young man, though.

Sighing, Viktor gave in to the voice in his head that had been screaming all night. He took off his pyjama pants and went under the covers of his bed to stay warm, taking a bottle of lube as he went. Time to get comfy.

He put a drop or two of lube in the palm of his hand and took his already half-hard penis in his hand, rubbing the liquid along it. Closing his eyes, he recalled how Yuuri Katsuki’s muscles were moving holding the pole, while gently thumbing the head of his sex.
What has stunned Viktor most was how strong the young man was. He has been moving with confidence, and drive. Though his outfits had hidden the muscles of his belly, but they still complimented his frame well. The black corset he had wore last night was unnecessary for a man, and it had hid most of his body. But it had made the muscles on his chest stand out, his pectorals peeking out on the side of the corset every time Yuuri had lifted his arms.

Viktor started to move his hand up and down, shots of pleasure and warmth spreading through it after each stroke. He remembered how the corset had been tight on the back, pushing onto view some of Yuuri’s back muscles, his shoulder blades rolling everytime he had grabbed on the pole and held there with only one of his hands.

Viktor whined and increased the rhythm of his hand, his heartbeat speeding up, letting himself finally enjoy what he had been thinking about for hours. The thought of Yuuri’s skin shining this evening with sweat while he was dancing was driving him insane. He was dreaming about licking it off him, putting his mouth on Yuuri’s neck and licking the tender skin there.

Stroking his penis with frenetic gestures, Viktor thought about how he would love to taste Yuuri. Put his mouth on his, put his tongue in his mouth. Or maybe, maybe, sucking Yuuri. Having Yuuri’s dick in his mouth, hearing Yuuri moan while Viktor was swallowing him fully.

That’s what tipped him over the edge, and made Viktor lose his rhythm and bucking his hips in his hand was the image of Yuuri kneeling in front of him, as he had kneeled in front of Chris. His brown eyes looking up, a playful smirk on his lips. Yuuri had looked so filthy on stage. Viktor could picture him tearing his clothes, then looking at him with the same, passionate, lustful eyes.
Viktor finally let his orgasm explode, coming in his hand trying to not stain the sheets. He bucked and kicked as waves of pleasures were rolling through his body.

After he was done, he cleaned himself with a tissue he kept in a box next to his bed. He close his eyes and tried to fall asleep, wistfully thinking, if that’s what the first day of Yuuri’s working here looks like, could he survive another week of Yuuri’s show on this stage?