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Heaven in Hiding

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“Yuuri, I love you, but you are completely delusional,” Phichit said while shaking his head, nonchalantly painting his nails a baby blue. “I mean I know it’s a fancy school you’re going to, but they aren’t going to send a member of the royal family there, no less the prince.” Yuuri furrowed his brows, he was so sure he’d seen the prince of this region.

“But I swear, I saw him, Phichit!” Yuuri whined, trying to convince himself that he did actually see the guy and wasn’t imagining things because he was too stubborn to back down from this argument now.

“You’ve been going to that school for two weeks now, I’m sure if a member of the Nikiforov clan was enrolled there, you’d know, don’t you think?” The Thai man replied, cocking one of his eyebrows.

“Maybe I’m just really out of the loop,” Yuuri retorted, falling back onto his bed, his head hitting his blue pillows. He stared at the ceiling, trying to remember the days events as hard as he could. He’d been finishing up in class, packing away his things while the rest of the students filed out of the room, (Yuuri was always the last to leave, too paranoid that he’d leave something important in class to pack up quickly and not double check his desk to make sure he didn’t leave anything,) when a guy with butt-length silver hair had strolled in to talk to the teacher. Yuuri didn’t think much of it at the time and slung his bag over his shoulder, ready to leave and go to his next class, starting in five minutes. That’s when he saw him– Viktor Nikiforov, icy-cold blue eyes and perfect posture with hair that fell over one shoulder and dribbled over the teacher's desk. Yuuri, in his clumsy fashion, had knocked a desk with his bag, causing a noise loud enough to interrupt the teacher-student conversation. The teacher and mystery student had turned around, and then Yuuri had made eye-contact with the Viktor Nikiforov, or at least that’s what he had thought at the time, Phichit’s reasoning was starting to convince him that it could not have been the silver haired prince.

“Dinner’s ready, boys!” Yuuri’s mum called, putting an end to Yuuri’s train of thought.

“Fooood!” Phichit squealed, getting off Yuuri’s desk chair running down the stairs, Yuuri following behind, both of them excited to get some food into their mouths.

Ten minutes later, they were shovelling food into their mouths, their previous conversation long forgotten.

“So, Yuuri, your seventeenth birthday is soon,” Hiroko started as she watched her son and his friend eat, an amused smile on her face. “Have any ideas on what you’d like to do, or any presents you’d like to receive?”

Yuuri shrugged his shoulders in response, not wanting to tell his mother what he wanted to get/do for his birthday since he knew they were tight on money and didn’t want to cause stress for his mother, knowing she was worried enough about paying the rest of his school fees that his athlete scholarship didn’t cover. “I don’t really want anything, being able to go to Emerson Secondary is a better present than any,” Yuuri replied smiling, before digging back into his dinner.

“Alright then,” Hiroko responded with a sad smile.

A couple minutes later, when Phichit had finished eating and Mari, Yuuri’s sister, had come to join them, he decided to bring up Yuuri’s run in with the so called prince again. “You know, Yuuri thinks he saw Viktor Nikiforov at school today.”

“Excuse me? Viktor Nikiforov? As in the prince of Esterlake?” Mari scoffed, staring at the pair.

“I swear I did!” Yuuri exclaimed.

“Are you sure it wasn’t his cousin or sibling or something? His cousin does run that school, you know,” Mari asked, her brows furrowing. “Actually, It wouldn’t be that surprising if he did go there since his family is apart of it– I just would’ve thought he’s homeschooled or something.”

“See, Phichit! I told you it was him,” the black haired boy teased, his faith in his memory returning. He had run into Viktor Nikiforov.

“Fine, fine. You’re probably right,” Phichit replied, admitting defeat. “I can’t believe you go to the same school as Viktor, I mean how many fancy schools are there in this region? At least a hundred that are Nikoforov-worthy, and he goes to the same school as you, Yuuri!”

“Yes, and I humiliated myself in front of him.”

“Bumping into a table is not humiliating yourself, Yuuri.”

“I bet Viktor doesn’t bump into tables,” Mari chimed.

-

Viktor learned how to skate when he was seven years old– his mum had taken him, just before her wedding night. Viktor had been terrible at first, but had been completely inspiring watching his mum skate. She’d always skate when she was overjoyed or devastated, and Viktor hadn’t seen her skate in a while so he guessed she was feeling fine, and he supposed he was too. He didn’t skate much, at least not anymore. Now, though, now was different. It was different because here Viktor was, entering his local skate rink at eleven at night for the first time in ten months. He couldn’t decide if he was here was he was overjoyed or devastated– maybe it was a mix both.

That morning, Viktor had made a discovery. A discovery that brought him so much happiness, but also made him completely and overwhelmingly sad. That morning, Viktor found a soulmate identifying mark. It was a small circle on the back of his thigh, filled with a sunset orange to blue gradient, like the sunrise over a beach. It was simple, but it was nice. Viktor was more excited over the thought that he had a soulmate rather than the cool design– but seconds after the thought that he had a soulmate occurred to him, he was washed over with an indescribable sadness. Because, oh god, Viktor had a soulmate– oh god, Viktor would never meet his soulmate.

Viktor was a prince, he would never have time to go search for his soulmate, and he knew that he was destined for an arranged marriage. There was no way he was marrying his soulmate– he’d probably marry some rich omega that he had no interest in. Viktor welcomed and said goodbye to the thought of a soulmate within the span of a minute.

Viktor had ignored at first, he pushed it to the back of his mind and carried on getting ready for school, then another thought had hit him. Soulmate marks either appear at birth or when soulmates come into contact with each other later in life. Viktor had met his soulmate? Viktor tried to remember everyone he had talked in the past twenty four hours, then he realised he probably hadn’t seen the back of his thigh in most likely months, and he’d spoken to hundreds and hundreds of people in the span of months. He’d made eye contact with so many people, it could be anyone. Viktor cursed himself for being so famous, then he wouldn’t have to talk to so many people and his soulmate pool of people would be much more smaller. There was no way in hell he was finding soulmate before his family set him up for marriage. Viktor was doomed. After realising that he had met his soulmate, the gates to emotion had opened, and he had let himself be sad about it, contradicting his former plans of suppressing his emotions.

And so, Viktor blew off school and came to the rink and decided to skate all of the emotions out of him so that he could return to school the next day and be his cheery, friendly self, and pretend he never experienced emotions because most people forgot that he did anyway

Viktor skated for hours, doing stuff he already knew,(which wasn't much but it calmed him anyway.) He left the rink at about three, feeling he got all of the sadness out of him and once he stepped off the ice, all the sadness stayed behind.

As he was walking home, he received a call from his father, and he reluctantly answered.

“Hey, Dad.”

“Hey, Viktor, I just wanted to let you know I’m returning from my trip to Prague tonight and I’d like
to have a talk with you tonight about school– nothing bad, just want to run some things past you,” Ivan, Viktor’s father, told him in a hurried voice.

“Yeah, that’s okay. I’ll be in my room when you get back,” Viktor replied coldly.

“Okay, I’ll see you tonight then,” The older russian said back, hanging up shortly after.

-

“So, I’ve done some digging around, and it’s confirmed, Viktor Nikiforov does go to your school, apparently he doesn’t like to talk about it much and wants to be treated like a normal student. He’s an alpha, he’s turning eighteen this December, he’s never had a lover before but he sleeps around a lot and he doesn’t have any siblings,” Phichit informed Yuuri as they were getting ready for a dip into the onsen.

“How in the world did you find all of that out? You don’t even go to my school!” Yuuri asked, dumbfounded.

“I have connections,” Phichit said slyly, not telling Yuuri anything else. The pair stripped and headed to the showers.

“I can’t believe he’s never had a lover before, you’d think with how attractive he is he’d be seeing multiple people at once,” Yuuri said, thinking out loud. “Maybe he has had lovers but he just doesn’t tell anyone because he’s like royal and stuff.”

“Someone’s interested in Viktor’s love life….Does my Yuuri have a crush on the prince?” Phichit teased laughing as Yuuri stepped out from under the shower to allow Phichit to wash himself off.

“Okay well, first of all, I literally have never spoken to him in my life, second, he’s probably like a giant player and a jock so, no,” Yuuri defended. Phichit stepped out from under the water and followed behind Yuuri as they went to the hot springs. Yuuri stepped in before Phichit, giving him a nice display of his ass, not that Phichit cared, they’d seen each other naked plenty of times, but this time, this time was different. Just as Yuuri sunk into the water, Phichit noticed a little mark on the back of his thigh.

“Uhh, Yuuri? What’s on the back of your thigh? There’s a little marking there,” Phichit noted, stepping into the water himself.

“Oh, really?” Yuuri asked, lifting his leg straight up into the air, trying to get a look at what Phichit was talking about. He thanked the skating gods for giving him the flexibility he had, because otherwise he would’ve never noticed. “There is too! It’s a circle with orange and blue inside!”

“It reminds me of the sun setting over a beach,” Phichit noted, taking a closer look at it. “Oh my god, Yuuri, you know what this means?!” Phichit squealed, jumping up and down in the water, sending splashes everywhere.
“You have a soulmate!”

Yuuri’s jaw dropped. He couldn’t actually have a soulmate could he?! “No fucking way…”

-

 

“Hello, Viktor,” Ivan greeted as Viktor entered his study, shutting the thick and sturdy, brown, wooden door behind him.

“You wanted to talk?” Viktor said in a small voice, hesitantly taking a seat opposite his father, only a desk between them. Viktor let out a shaky breath, and hoped he wasn’t about to get grilled for skipping school that day.

“Viktor, since it’s your last year in high school and you don’t have the largest group of friends, I think it would be a good idea for you to participate in some extracurriculars, don’t you? It would be good to start broadening your social circle, it’s never too early to start making connections,” Ivan stated sternly, his posture wide, his shoulders slack and his back straight– legs wide, asserting dominance and reeking of alpha pheromones.

Viktor was surprised to see his father not scolding him for once, and asking him to do something without bringing up how much of a disappointment he was. “Of course, I can totally do that,” Viktor smiled, looking up at his dad with a beaming smile, hiding how scared he was of his father. “What about a sports team? I can ice skate, maybe I could join the ice hockey team or something?”

“That sounds promising,” Ivan smiled. “I’ll hope to see you at a game very soon. Anyway, you can be on your way now.”

The next day, Viktor arrived early and slipped into the sports coordinator’s office, wanting to see what he could do about joining.

“Hey, Mr. Danes, are you busy?” Viktor asked as he closed the door behind him, flashing the teacher his commercial like smile.

“No, not at all, Viktor. What did you want to chat about?” Mr. Danes replied, putting down his pen and looking up from the work he was doing.

“I was wondering if I could join the ice hockey team? You see, I’ve been doing figure ice skating stuff ever since I was little and I think I would really enjoy ice hockey,” Viktor prompted.

“Ice skating? That sounds interesting! I think I have a student on an athlete type scholarship who figure skates, actually. You don’t meet a lot of figure skaters! Anyway, that would be great, we’d love to have you join the team,” Mr. Danes cheerily replied, sending a flashy smile Viktor’s way. “There’s team practice this Thursday at four down at the rink on Elizabeth Avenue. We’re so happy to have you join the team!” Viktor smiled and thanked the teacher, not really thoroughly paying attention, as mind was elsewhere, thinking about the student who skated– he’d never met any other person who skated in his life, (apart from his mother.) Viktor began to think about what the person would be like, would they be emotional like Viktor, and use the ice to express their emotions? He bet there were a total sap, probably really expressive. Also probably really jacked and hot if there were on an athlete scholarship.

-

two weeks later

Yuuri entered the cold building, the sounds of skates on the ice filling his ears. “So, why didn’t aren’t you, like, in spain or something? Why aren’t you competing?” A girl asked Yuuri, who was seated opposite him, eating a ham and cheese sandwich. “You have an athlete scholarship, right?”

“Well, I think things just kept coming up, and we kept putting it off and we were never able to find a good coach,” Yuuri lied, not wanting to tell his family’s financial troubles to a girl he’d met two days ago. He didn’t even know her name, but she did seem friendly and interested in Yuuri, so he had let her sit with him at lunch times. “But now I’m here and training a lot more because of the scholarship, I’m hoping I’ll be able to compete at least nationally soon.”

“Huh, interesting. Do you think you’ll join the ice hockey team? They ice skate,” Yuuri’s new friend, Sara suggested.

“I’m not really into team sports, the only reason I’m watching the game is because Mr. Danes wants to convince me to join, but I know I won’t be, it looks too rough and tumble for me,” Yuuri stated as they took their seats to watch the game. “Why did you want to come with me, anyway?”

“Ice hockey equals cute boys,” Sara whispered as she eyed the players. “Oh, look! There’s Viktor!”

“You know Viktor?” Yuuri asked, his interest in Sara suddenly peaked.

“Not personally, but I know a girl who has PE with him,” she answered, not taking her eyes off of the rink, eagerly watching the game.

“Oh,” Yuuri said disappointedly.

“Yuuri! I’m so glad you came!” Mr. Danes shouted, bouncing up the stairs to Yuuri’s row of seats. “Have you chnaged your mind yet? I think you’ll really like the sport.”

“Sorry, no. I just really hate team sports, I’m so bad at them too,” Yuuri replied, looking down at his lap.

“Ah, well, maybe one day?”

“Maybe.” Yuuri watched Mr. Danes leave before sighing, he really hated disappointing people. A few minutes of silence passed as Yuuri and Sara watched the game, before Sara’s brother came yelling at Sara to not be fratinising with other boys and that she better not be thinking about the ice hockey players’ butts. After that, Yuuri was left alone and he decided to pull out a book and zone out, staying in the stadium since he had nowhere else to be.

An hour later, Yuuri felt a tap on his shoulder and for the first time in a long time, Yuuri took his nose out of his book and saw the completely empty rink and stands. Yuuri, slightly embarrassed, looked up at the person who had tapped him.

“Do you like hanging out in empty ice rinks?” Yuuri’s jaw dropped to the floor. Standing above him, was Viktor Nikiforov. Viktor freaking Nikiforov. A few seconds of awkward silence passed between them before Viktor lifted his hand and put two fingers underneath Yuuri’s chin and pushed it up so his mouth closed. Viktor then sat down next to Yuuri. “Also, why are you reading at an ice hockey game? Did you think there would be a lot of down time?”

“I– uh, well, I was just– I don’t like hockey,” Yuuri stammered. “I came because Mr. Danes wanted me too but then he left so I...” Yuuri finished, pointing at his book.

“Right…” Viktor started, feeling a little in awe at how awkward this person was. “I’m Viktor.” Viktor held out his hand for Yuuri to shake. Yuuri slowly shook his hand, still staring intensly at the older man.

“I know sweaty,” Yuuri blurted before his eyes widening and he covered his mouth. “My hand was sweaty so I wanted to apologise but I also know you’re Viktor and it just came out all at once,” Yuuri said, trying to fix the situation as quickly as possible. “I’m Yuuri…”

“Haha, okay Yuuri, I think I’ll be off now, and I’ll leave you to your book and sweaty hands,” Viktor giggled. “Oh, also, you wouldn’t happen to know anyone with an athelete scholarship would you?”

“Nope,” Yuuri replied, shaking his head. Viktor smiled and nodded, thanking him before walking away, slipping out of the stadium. It was the sound of the door to the sadiim slamming shut that broke Yuuri out of his trance, and that’s when he realised that he had an athlete scholarship.

-

“Yuuri! You hate team sports, you cannot join the ice hockey team, you don’t even know how to play ice hockey.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“Yuuri! You hate team sports, you cannot join the ice hockey team, you don’t even know how to play ice hockey.”

 

“I’ll learn! Plus I’m already good at ice skating, I just need to learn the rules, everything will be fine, Phichit!” Yuuri explained, trying to reason with his friend.

 

“But you shouldn’t join a sport just for a crush, just talk to him,” Phichit argued. “You’ll regret joining the team, you know.”

 

“I won’t! And one) I don’t have a crush on Viktor and two) you can’t just go and talk to a prince! You have to a have a decent reason,” Yuuri whines, his brows knitting. He’d never in a million years be able to talk to Viktor Nikiforov, not that he wanted to anyway.

 

“‘Hey, I want to be your boyfriend,’ is a pretty good one! Or you could just tell him you have an athlete scholarship, since he was looking for the person who does,” Phichit said, spinning around on Yuuri’s desk chair like he did every day when he’d come over to Yuuri’s house.

 

“I can’t tell him now! It’s too late, he’ll probably think I’m lying,” Yuuri replied. “I wouldn’t want to tell him anyway.”

 

“No? Why not? Why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to talk to a prince charming?”

 

“He’s probably an entitled jerk. The guy’s probably never heard the word ‘no’ in his entire life! I wouldn’t wanna engage with someone like that,” Yuuri said, only partly lying. He did have a massive crush on Viktor, but he was a rich snob, and probably not the nicest person on earth.

 

“Why are you joining the hockey team, then?” Phichit questioned, wiggling his eyebrow and putting his hands on hips.

 

Yuuri shrugged in response. “I like ice hockey!”

 

-

 

A week later, Yuuri turned up to practice, clad in his disgustingly big gear and a pained face. He so did not want to be there, especially after Viktor acted like he didn’t exist the entire time. But, Yuuri was stubborn as hell and sure wasn’t going to just give up the team sport. As the weeks passed by Yuuri’s need to talk to Viktor dissipated, and practice became about surviving the gruelling training rather than the king-to-be. As it turns out, Yuuri wasn’t that bad at skating, not that he was amazing, but he didn’t embarrass himself and Mr Danes was exceptionally happy with him, so it wasn’t all that bad.

 

Before Yuuri knew it, he was competing in the semi-final of that season. Viktor barely crossed his mind at that point, and Yuuri was glad. He didn’t want to ever think about that jerk face– who by the way totally was. Viktor barely showed up to practice, and when he did he only offered a grumble of an apology. And turns out he was a total ball hog or rather puck hog. Half of the team also thought Viktor was a dickhead and was the only reason Yuuri got along with them. If it weren’t for Viktor, he wouldn’t’ve said a word to any of them.

 

“Think Viktor will show up this time?” One of the guys chuckled, Yuuri was about 90% sure his name was Jeremy.

 

“I don’t know, the semi-final of the season doesn’t sound that important,” Yuuri chimed in a sarcastic tone, raising one eyebrow and smiling after his team laughed at his joke.

 

“What an entitled prick, right?” Xander replied, pulling on his skates. The guys nodded and chuckled.

 

“I wonder if he’s here for girls or because his daddy wants him to be,” Pierce joked.

 

“Probably one of Daddy’s Trust Fund Requirements– that and marrying some bimbo,” a guy Yuuri hadn’t caught the name of laughed.

 

“Probably why he keeps all his hookups on the DL, making sure his Daddy doesn’t find about all the girls sucking his dick in the maintenance cupboards.”

 

“Or maybe it’s just because Viktor Nikiforov has a tiny dick,” Yuuri said, smiling at himself because he just actually had the courage to insult The Viktor Nikiforov.

Just as Yuuri had finished laughing, he turned around to see Viktor standing in the doorway, looking unimpressed. Once he made eye contact with Yuuri he crossed the locker room to get his skates and uniform and proceeded to change. The act in itself was an insult, showing off his jacked body, stripping down to his tight blue underwear, showing everyone that he certainly did not have a tiny dick. By the end of it, the whole team was red in the face and incredibly embarrassed, their early confidence in that Viktor was nothing but a jerk was completely gone.

 

“So, let go smash these guys, huh? Let’s get to the finals.”

 

Half an hour later, Emerson Secondary’s ice hockey team was taking their positions on the ice, preparing to take down their team. Viktor was the last to take to the ice, skating to the front of the team– not the most valuable position but it certainly asserted dominance.

 

And then it started. Half the team practically did nothing because Viktor was doing all the work, and not because Viktor was being a puck hog, because Viktor was trying to prove himself. Because he wanted to show up the team, he wanted to show the team that he wasn’t just looks. He was Viktor Nikiforov, and he knew what it was like to struggle, to work hard, to lose something. He knew what it was like to want something, what it was like to chase things, to grieve. He wasn’t just a prince, or a trust fund baby. He was Viktor Nikiforov, and goddammit he was a human, and he was sick of people treating him like he wasn’t. He was angry and determined, and no one had seen Viktor like that before.

 

The majority of the team was in awe for the first two quarters of the game. When there was time off, Viktor didn’t talk to anyone, he didn’t join the other teammates, he stayed off to the side, the same determined look on his face.

 

When the third quarter began, Viktor started to tire, and everyone knew how frustrated he was becoming. He shot glares at everyone who took the puck off of him, he grunted and wrestled with his stick.

 

By the fourth quarter, they were in the lead by a long shot, but Viktor was puffing and completely red. He tried his hardest to do his best, but it wasn’t working. Towards the end of the game, Yuuri ended up taking the puck from Viktor and using his stamina to finish of the game, scoring as many goals as he could, not really paying attention to the other players or what was going on. Not really paying attention to the fact that Viktor had left the ice.

 

When the horn signalling the end of the game rang out, Yuuri was incredibly proud of himself for scoring the last couple of goals. All of the pride inside of himself shattered when he saw Viktor on the sidelines, looking exhausted, holding an ice pack to his nose with both of his hands in bandages. He looked completely defeated. Yuuri skated off to the side as quickly as he could and rushed to Viktor.

 

“Are you okay?” Yuuri asked in a rushed voice, urgently wanting to know if Viktor was okay.

 

“You don’t have to pretend to care, okay? I’m just an entitled prick with a tiny cock, right? Just leave me alone.” Yuuri was stunned at his words but didn’t press the issue, instead just walking off to join his coach and teammates in celebrating their victory.

 

That evening, Yuuri decided to call Phichit, which he hadn’t done in a while.

 

“Wow, you actually called me first this time,” Phichit greeted in a sarcastic tone.

 

“I’m sorry I haven’t been around much, Phichit. I’ve just been really–”

 

“Busy. Yes, I heard. You have your studies and your ice skating and ice hockey, but you somehow find time in your hectic schedule to call me to complain about Viktor once again!” Phichit replied, clearly angry and annoyed that his supposed best friend hadn’t been very present in his life.

 

“You’re right, Phichit. I’ve been a shitty friend, but I want to be better. Plus, I only have one more game and then the season ends and I promise after that we can hang out every day for the rest of my life, okay?” Yuuri pleaded, genuinely feeling awful for not being a better friend.

 

“Mmm. Okay. Anyway, why did you call me?” Phichit asked, his tone quickly changing to something a lot more friendly and cheery.

 

“Just to apologise and tell you that I want to be a better friend,” Yuuri said sheepishly, he did want to say that, but he also totally wanted to talk about Viktor and what happened that day.

 

“Really? Not to talk about a certain someone who yelled at you for whatever reason after the game today?”

 

“He did not yell at me! He just told me to get lost in a stern voice.

 

“Right, and uh, why exactly did he tell you to get lost?” Phichit asked, smiling smugly.

 

“Well, before the game, the team and I were making fun of Viktor, and just before I said that Viktor had a tiny dick, he walked into the room. And then after the game I went and asked if he was okay, to which he replied, ‘You don’t have to pretend to care, okay? I’m just an entitled prick with a tiny cock, right? Just leave me alone,’” Yuuri told Phichit, silently giggling.

 

“Holy shit, he hates you! I can’t believe you managed to get the future king of this fair region, Esterlake, to hate you. I can’t believe you told a future king he had a tiny penis!”

 

-

 

Yuuri returned to school the next morning, and suddenly, he found that he had friends. The guys from the ice hockey team greeted him on his way into school and followed him and talked with him on his way to his locker. Yuuri was so surprised, he’d never had friends like this. He’d had Phichit, and that was all. That were people he’d known during school, but he’d never had friends before, emphasis on the plural. When he had classes with the guys from the team, they’d chat with him and they’d pass notes and Yuuri loved it. Yuuri barely believed he had friends– and all because he made fun of Nikiforov?

 

During lunch, Jeremy flagged Yuuri down and told him to sit with his friends, which consisted of most of the team and some other sporty people. Jeremy introduced his friends to Yuuri and they all mildly acknowledged him. Yuuri didn’t pipe in the conversation much for the first half of lunch, mostly paying attention to his food, but when they started talking about ruts and heats Yuuri seemed a little more interested, since he didn’t hear people talk about it much.

 

“I had my first rut back in March,” Jeremy replied to someone.

 

“Late much?” Jess said, raising his eyebrows. “I had my first one three years ago when I was fourteen.”

 

“Yeah, Jeremy that's kinda late, the average age for heats/ruts is fourteen to fifteen,” Yuuri piped in.

 

“When did you have your first rut? Or are you a beta?” Kyle asked, a guy Yuuri hadn’t met before today, but Yuuri seemed to like him out of everyone the most. “I’m a beta.”

 

“I’m actually an omega, and I had my first heat when I was fifteen, so around this time last year,” Yuuri answered, hoping the guys wouldn’t judge him for being an omega.

 

“Wait, I thought you were seventeen this year? Aren’t you a year eleven?” Jeremy said.

 

“I am, I turn seventeen in a few weeks,” Yuuri said back, happily answering everyone's questions. “I just have my birthday late in the year.”

 

“You’re an omega? I’ve never seen an omega do ice hockey before!” A guy Yuuri had forgotten the name of exclaimed.

 

“I’m actually here on an athletic scholarship, I’m training to be a figure ice skater.”

 

“Oh, that’s super cool,” Jeremy replied. “So, when do you have heats?”

 

“I have them about every three months, I usually suppress them though, but my next one in November I won’t because I have to have one heat per year.”

 

“Oh, same for ruts then,” Takanari, a guy from the team that Yuuri rarely spoke to, said, before the bell signalling the end of lunch.

 

The rest of the day went well, Yuuri very glad to have made some friends.

 

-

 

Two weeks later, Yuuri had the final game of the season, and he was nervous as ever. Nervous about three things; one) the game (obviously,) two) seeing Viktor again, and three) the party he had been invited to that night to celebrate the end of the season.

Chapter Text

Two weeks later, Yuuri had the final game of the season, and he was nervous as ever. Nervous about three things; one) the game (obviously,) two) seeing Viktor again, and three) the party he had been invited to that night to celebrate the end of the season. Yuuri reminded him that the game was the priority and everything else was just distraction. When Yuuri signed himself up for hockey six months ago, he never planned to quit, no matter how things went with Viktor. Things with Viktor had gone pretty badly, but they could’ve gone worse. Sure, Viktor hated him, which was the opposite of what Yuuri was going for, but at least they hadn’t dated and then broken up. If they had, Yuuri was sure he’d be feeling a lot worse in this current moment. Yuuri pushed all thoughts of Viktor and the party from his mind and left his room to get to the stadium for some morning practice before his last game of the season. Yuuri knew some time on the ice would distract him from everything going on and how weird his first year at Emerson had gone. With one month left of school before summer, Yuuri couldn’t wish for it to be over sooner. He wanted to be done with that crowd. Yuuri could already imagine the relief he’d feel after school ended. And then after that he’d only have to deal with one more year of high school before going off to college, which surely would be better than high school. Yuuri couldn’t wait– but first, he’d have persevere through this final hockey game.

The hockey team’s coach called the players to the entrance near the ice for a short pep talk before the game began. For the moment, Yuuri couldn’t see Viktor anywhere, for which he was thankful for. Yuuri barely listened to the coach, instead focusing on the other team. He didn’t really need to listen anyway, he’d done this a million times– and after today, he’d never have to do it again. The coach finished his pep talk and before Yuuri knew it, he was being told to get into position on the ice. A few minutes passed as Yuuri waited for the game to finally start and for the coaches to stop speaking about how much of a great season they’d had. Yuuri looked at the other team and felt absolutely terrified– they were all huge. Tall and decked out in expensive gear to shield the body-builder like muscles. There was no way Yuuri would be able to beat them.Yuuri was so focused on the other team and how large they were that he didn’t even get to notice that Viktor never showed up.

-

So they didn’t win the game, which Yuuri predicted when he saw the other team, but if he was honest, he didn’t care at all. In fact, he was really happy. This meant there wasn’t extra pressure to join the team next year or go to any special events or compete regionally. He was off the hook– no more games, no more practice, no more of his stinky team mates, and in a week, no more school. All he had to do now was the survive the party tonight and the next week and pray that nobody pressures him into going to the school formal, because he’d rather die than attend that.

After Yuuri returned home, he was thankful that there was barely any people at his family's inn and that Mari and his dad had gone out for that evening. That meant that he wouldn’t have to talk to anyone until the party unless he bumped into his mum, but that was unlikely with how busy she was. Yuuri almost felt guilty for not helping her out constantly, but he was dead tired and prestigious school’s like Emerson really frown upon students not properly socialising. Not that standing awkwardly in a room with half-drunk, sweaty, horny teenagers was really proper socialising, but it was something. If Yuuri wanted to get into a good college, he’d need to please the administration there, and they’d bad mouth Yuuri when they were writing recommendation letters, which was something hazardous and unwanted. Yuuri needed to get into a good college so he could get a high paying job so he could look after his family. That was his number one goal in life, and if going to these stupid parties would get him that, he would go to the stupid parties.

Yuuri instantly ran to his room as soon as stepped into the halls on his family’s onsen, wanting as much time as possible to get ready and prepare himself for a night of socialization. Yuuri spend about an hour looking for appropriate clothes before he called Phichit for help. They ended up deciding on a dark green, woolen sweater hung close to his slightly wider hips because ‘you’re a cute omega and you better show it!’ as Phichit put it. Under the sweater he wore a plain loose black shirt with black skinny jeans to go with it.

Yuuri left a little earlier than he needed, or a lot, considering he arrived at the giant mansion where the party was being held about half an hour before everyone else. Usually Yuuri would’ve walked around the block a couple times before going in, as to make sure he wasn’t early and therefore noticed, but this time Yuuri went in despite his anxiety. Yuuri assured himself that he would be fine, and he was facing his fears and that was a good thing. When he finally stepped inside, he was greeted with the biggest entrance to a house he’d ever seen, decked out with millions of dollars worth of marble and giant columns with gold accents. A couple guys greeted Yuuri before going off into different groups, leaving Yuuri by himself, and with that, he decided to explore.

The house was huge and never ending, so within twenty minutes he found himself completely lost, and then it took him about another thirty minutes to get back down to where he was, and where everyone else was. When he got back, an odd fifty minutes later, the crowd he had left had sextupled. Well, he didn’t know if it had sextupled, Yuuri just wanted to use the word sextupled. But, it had grown by a lot. A fuck ton, actually. Yuuri could barely get anywhere, and he didn’t know where any of the people he actually knew were.

Eventually his ‘friends’ found him, all of them drunk and shoving alcohol into Yuuri’s hands. After exchanging a few words with his friends, they all got bored and went off to makeout with someone, telling Yuuri to get drunk and also find someone to make out with as a good bye. So Yuuri left the scene downstairs and headed up to someone’s bedroom, hoping for some peace and quiet, and hoping no one would notice he was gone because he had actual friends down there– people who thought he fitted in and thought he was worth talking to, and he wasn’t going to let them know he was socially anxious.

Yuuri stepped into the first room he could find, closing the door behind him. When Yuuri looked up, he saw Viktor sitting on the bed, leaning on the headboard, looking up at the ceiling, eyes red and teary. Yuuri stood for a moment to take the sight in. He’d never seen Viktor looking so vulnerable before. He looked sad and sorrowful. He looked regretful. Yuuri knew he should’ve left, or he at least felt like he should’ve because what he was seeing looked like something so unknown and strange he felt like he was looking at something he wasn’t supposed to.

Viktor eventually turned his head to find Yuuri staring at him, looking red and flustered.

“Sorry, did you want this room?” Viktor asked, breaking Yuuri out of his thoughts. His voice sounded so different to how he looked. His voice sounded like his normal self, but when you saw the man behind the voice, you’d see someone so weak and broken-looking. You could tell the voice was a facade he had to put on frequently Yuuri stared at him, almost forgetting to speak as he looked into Viktor’s eyes that held something so desperate behind them.

“Uh, no. I’ll just– Um, are you okay?” Yuuri managed to stutter out of his mouth, cringing at how he could not put together a sentence to save his life.

“You asked that before, a while ago, and then I was rude to you,” Viktor started, sitting up properly and turning to face Yuuri. “But you just asked it again, you asked me if I was okay even though the response you got last time was less than pleasant,” Viktor finished, looking deep in thought as the redness in his eyes faded, and the walls around Viktor built up again as he slowly regained the energy to pretend he was okay.

“You don’t look okay,” Yuuri replied, hoping it was enough of an answer to whatever Viktor was saying.

Viktor nodded and silence swallowed the air around them once again, but only for a moment before Viktor was speaking again. “Sorry for being rude to you– you were asking if I was okay, I shouldn’t have been rude.” Yuuri stared at Viktor in disbelief, he would’ve never expected an apology from Viktor, especially about something he didn’t have to apologise for. Viktor was rude, but Yuuri deserved it. He had been mean towards Viktor. Yuuri didn’t say anything in response, to focused on his thoughts to remember to say something. What do you even say to a prince who’s apologising to you anyway? Yuuri’s train of thought was stunted as he heard Viktor walk across the room towards Yuuri and the door. Yuuri stepped to the side to let Viktor go to the door, expecting him to leave, but instead of turning the door handle when he reached it, he locked it.

Yuuri couldn’t breathe. What was Viktor going to do? Was he going to murder him? Was he going to drag him to his castle and put him in a dungeon? Why had he locked that goddamn door? What was Viktor planning? Yuuri panicked, he had to get out of there. He was in a room with an almost complete stranger. Not to mention, his heat was less than two weeks away. A heat he wasn’t suppressing. But, Yuuri was sure no one could smell a heat scent on him just yet. He still had a few days before he went into pre-heat. Unless being around so many alphas had made him go into pre-heat now and Viktor could smell it on him, but Yuuri couldn’t even smell it himself.

“You did well during the game today,” Viktor said out of the blue as he clearly watched Yuuri intensely.

“You noticed how I did during the game?” Yuuri asked suspiciously. He would’ve never have thought Viktor would thinking about anyone but himself during the game.

“Well, actually, no,” Viktor admitted, smiling cheerily to make up for his lie. “I was just trying to be polite, like you have been to me– well for at least these past few minutes.

“Oh,” Yuuri said back, finding he didn’t know what else to say. Viktor was now admitting he lied too? Was this even Viktor Nikiforov or was this his clone? Yuuri smiled to himself, before realising that he didn’t actually know what Viktor was like, since he only listened to rumors about him and had never actually bothered to listen to him. Yuuri looked to the locked door which was still very much locked, even though there seemed no cause for it to be locked. At least at this moment, Viktor could pull out a knife and stab at him at any moment. But, to postpone that reality coming true, he asked a question. “You never– you didn’t answer me, you didn’t say if you were okay.”

Viktor only smiled in response, before walking backwards to the bed and sitting on it cross legged. Yuuri was relieved to have Viktor out of stabbing distance. “So, Yuuri,” Viktor started again, drawing out Yuuri’s name, practically purring it. “Who are you? What are you doing in my bedroom?”

“I didn’t know this was your bedroom,” Yuuri answered, swallowing thickly.

“Mm, did you think I lived in some sort of large castle? Well, I do, half of the time– this is my aunt's mansion, I stay here often because it’s closer to school, I sleep in here most school nights, so it’s more my room than the one at the palace is,” Viktor replied, looking around the large en suite bedroom. Yuuri paid a lot more attention to his surroundings now that he knew it was Viktor’s bedroom. The first thing he noticed was the multiple poodle plushies scattered around the room. He also noted the colour of his bedsheets– baby blue. He looked over at the silver haired boy’s bookshelves. He took note of how they messy they were and how most of the books were in Russian. He looked over at his black and white desk and saw the giant iMac, along with an iPad Pro and a stack of school books. The only other items in the room were different sets of sports gear– ice hockey, tennis, baseball, and lots of pairs of ice skates. Apart from that, the room was mostly bare and spotless, the largeness of the room sticking out the most. The size of the room almost made it feel isolating.

“It’s big– the room. It’s big,” Yuuri commented. Viktor chuckled, before he shuffled over in the bed and patted the spot next to him.

“So, are you just going to keep standing there or are you going to come sit down?” Yuuri moved quickly over to the bed and sat on it, also crossing his legs and facing Viktor. “And are you ever going to tell me who you are?” Viktor asked once Yuuri settled in.

With the thought of the locked door in mind and Viktor’s close proximity, Yuuri spoke again. “Are you ever going to tell me if you’re feeling okay?”

“Fine, okay. I’ll tell you how I’m feeling and you tell me who you are, Yuuri,” Viktor challenged. Yuuri gulped, but nodded.

“You first,” Yuuri said, putting his hands behind him and leaving back on them.

“Alright. I’m feeling… Mmm, I guess I’m feeling a bit sad– a bit lonely,” Viktor admitted, looking down at his lap, where he was fidgeting with the hem if his shirt. It was a funny picture honestly, a social recluse sitting across from a future king, looking relaxed and open, putting out his chest and looking at the other with a smug and questioning look, while the future alpha king was hunched over and nervously fidgeting.

“Why?” Yuuri asked, curious as to why an attractive, rich, alpha prince would feel lonely or sad. What did he have to be sad about?

Viktor smirked and shook his head. “No more questions, it’s your turn.”

“Well, I’m Yuuri Katsuki, I’m a scholarship student and I’m in year eleven,” Yuuri told Viktor.

“Scholarship student? You must be smart then,” Viktor commented, with an undertone of something Yuuri couldn’t really figure out.

“Maybe,” Yuuri replied, blushing at Viktor’s almost-compliment. “Why did you lock the door?” Yuuri asked, after a few seconds of silence, deciding to test the waters– trying to dive away from the small talk.

“Didn’t want anyone barging in,” Viktor said shrugging. Yuuri only nodded in response, mulling over Viktor’s reply. Why didn’t he want anyone coming in? They were just talking...well at least they were currently.

Yuuri heard Viktor sigh before he saw him get off of the bed and head towards his desk where he cleared some books, revealing a secret collection of empty bottles and packet wrappers. Guess even princes can’t be bothered to put rubbish in the bin. Viktor picked up an empty glass bottle that looked like it had once held expensive mineral water.

“Let’s play spin the bottle,” Viktor said, smirked, getting back onto the bed and placing the bottle in between them. Before Yuuri could protest or even ask why Viktor wanted to play spin the bottle with one person, Viktor had spun it and it landed pointing to him and Viktor. Yuuri found he couldn’t catch up with his thoughts, all of them racing around his mind while he stayed completely still, unable to move. What the hell was Viktor doing? “Oh, guess I’ll have to kiss you now.” Viktor leaned in, kissing Yuuri, and when he did, Yuuri’s racing thoughts instantly stopped. Everything froze. He froze. Everything was still. Except for Viktor, who was continuously crawling closer to Yuuri. Even though, Yuuri was not kissing back or moving closer, or doing anything at all, Viktor persisted and kept kissing the younger one, but after a few seconds of getting nothing in response from Yuuri, he eventually stopped and leaned back on his knees. They awkwardly stared at each other for a while, Yuuri looking at how hot Viktor looked in that moment– a pink blush spreading across his cheeks and over his noses while he panted. Viktor looked at Yuuri, expecting him to do something other than cutely stare at him in shock. Yuuri didn’t really know what he was doing in that moment, but the fact the Viktor had kissed him had somewhere in his mind registered, so he did the first thing that came to mind: kiss him back.

Yuuri slyly grabbed Viktor chin and kissed him, in a very un-Yuuri like fashion. Viktor instantly melted into the kiss, shifting his legs so Yuuri could settle in between them. Yuuri’s mind was screaming with joy as Viktor kissed him, each second the kiss becoming deeper and more heated. When Viktor decided to swipe his tongue across Yuuri’s bottom lip, Yuuri’s awareness of the world finally sunk in and everything caught up with him. Yuuri wanted to keep kissing, but his body pulled back, breaking the breath-taking kiss. Yuuri searched Viktor’s eyes for a second, not really knowing what he was looking for. Viktor looked tired, he looked relieved– he even looked a little lustful. The blush on Viktor had spread to his torso and was now peeking out of his plain, but surely expensive, boat neckline, grey shirt. It had also spread to the tips of ears which looked painfully adorable. He looked adorable. But he also looked like a complete god, maybe a sex god. But Yuuri knew without looking in a mirror that he looked completely ugly next to Viktor. He was a sack of potatoes with some dumb, ugly glasses next to Viktor. Not only that, but, being the seventeen year old he was, he was also half hard. Yuuri didn’t have to look to know that Viktor wasn’t hard. He was so much more experienced than him, there was no way a badly attempted kiss could’ve turned him on, especially when he was looking at someone like Yuuri.
It was embarrassing how awkward the whole thing was, and so Yuuri did the only thing he could think of to do: run. Yuuri quickly scramble off the bed, unlocked the door and left, completely mortified. And all of the way home, he still couldn’t believe he had the ego to kiss Viktor Nikiforov, never mind that Viktor had been the one to initiate the kissing.

Chapter Text

-One Year Later-

 

“Pretty please? I promise you’ll have a good time!” Sara whined. “And I’ll even find you a date.”

“You can say that because you already have a date and you know you’ll have a good time,” Yuuri reasoned, gesturing to Mila, a red-headed girl sitting next to Sara, her hand linked with hers.

“Yuuri, it’s your last year in high school, which means it’s your last chance to go to a proper formal, you’ll regret not going,” Sara replied back, ignoring Yuuri’s last comment about her and Mila’s relationship. “Who do you want to go with? You’re such a cutie Yuuri, take your pick!”

“Take my pick? I can’t just choose any guy I want, not that I really want any of them,” Yuuri argued, rolling his eyes at the absurdity that was the thought of Yuuri being able to ‘take his pick.’

“He wants Viktorr,” Mila purred, giggling, referencing an inside joke that had started when Yuuri had admitted he and Viktor had kissed at the beginning of this year. It had started before last years formal when Yuuri was with Sara as she got ready for the formal. Yuuri drove Sara to the formal, not going himself, but when they arrived, he’d seen Viktor and got very flustered. Yuuri, despite Sara’s consistent interrogating, never spilt. He stayed silent throughout summer, that was until school started back up again and he bumped into Viktor, who was there, guiding a tour for students interested in enrolling for next year. Viktor had pretended like they barely knew each other and that they hadn’t kissed. Yuuri didn’t know what to think, and so after that, he confessed to Sara and Mila, who had joined their little friendship group over the summer. While they comforted Yuuri at first when Yuuri felt better it had turned into a big joke that had stuck with them for all of their senior year. They had even ventured to Viktor’s college to spy on him– unsuccessfully.

“I do not! I do not want to go either, end of story.”

-

“Viktor was there! He gave a speech and everything, and you missed out,” Mila teased when she arrived the Monday following the formal on Friday, which Yuuri was stubborn about and didn’t attend. “And, he was talking about like how people make lifelong connections in high school and how they’re so meaningful and how soon we’ll all find love and god it was so beautiful. He’s so beautiful. While you were at home opening college acceptance letters, Viktor was talking about love.” Yuuri chuckled at how infatuated Mila was with Viktor, despite being in a serious relationship with Sara. “And then he actually told the entire school that he was currently looking for his soulmate, can you believe it? Whoever is Viktor’s soulmate is the luckiest person on earth!” A cough came from the doorway to Mila’s bedroom and there was Sara, looking unimpressed at Mila’s recent exclamation. “I mean second luckiest person because I’m the luckiest because I get to be with you, darling,” Mila finished, swirling around in her desk chair to meet Sara in a kiss. Mila swivelled back around in her chair to meet Yuuri again, holding onto Sara’s hand while doing so.

“So, do you regret going now?” Sara asked, pulling up a cushiony, backless chair and sitting next to Mila. “You could’ve seen him again.”

“Why would I want to see Viktor again? And it’s not like he was doing a meet and greet out the back, he was probably busy the whole time,” Yuuri questioned, raising his eyebrow. “So, no. I don’t regret it, and if I so desperately want to see him I know which college he goes to.”

“So do it, go accidentally bump into him! Go get him,” Mila squealed.

“What? Why would I do that?”

“Because you like him, silly,” Mila replied, in a tone that implied it was completely obvious that Yuuri had it hard for Viktor.

“No, I don’t,” Yuuri answered, a confused look painting his face.

“Oh, C'mon, Yuuri, enough with the denying. You like him, I mean didn’t you join the hockey team to get close to him? And then you kissed him and wouldn’t tell us about it, and then you drunkenly went and spied on him at his campus, that sounds like crushing to me,” Sara chimed, a smug, knowing look on his face.

“Okay, yeah, I did go and spy on him but it was only because it was funny– we did it as a joke! And I didn’t tell you because it was embarrassing and weird and just...weird. And yeah maybe I did join the hockey team last year because Viktor was on it but that was a long time ago, and how do you even know about that?”

“A little Phichit-shaped fairy told me,” Sara giggled.

“God, why can’t that guy keep his mouth shut?” Yuuri groaned.

A few days later, as Yuuri was walking home from the library, passing the school (his school which he had now graduated from!) he saw a rather strange sight. Three guys, completely naked. One of which, was Viktor. They were running, perhaps it was one of those things where you have to run a block completely naked? Yuuri didn’t quite know, but what he did know was that Viktor had a huge dick and was running towards him at an impeccable speed. Yuuri backed up a bit to let the three men pass him and followed them with his eyes as they ran past him. Yuuri stared at Viktor’s ass for quite some time before he realised there was a mark on his mid-thigh. A mark that looked exactly like his.

Thoughts swirled around his brain, why was Viktor running around naked? I mean, he’d been hanging around the school a lot the past year but he’d never seen anyone run around naked. And who were those other guys? They didn’t look important or royal or anything, why were they running too? And why the hell did Viktor have a matching soulmark on the back of his thigh? Was Yuuri seeing things?

 

-

-Three years later-

“So, you’ll do it? You will take Viktor’s hand in marriage?”

“Yes, for the agreed amount. Yes, I will partake in the arranged marriage– as soon as the money is deposited into my parents account.”

Chapter Text

-Three years later-

 

“So, you’ll do it? You will take Viktor’s hand in marriage?”

 

“Yes, for the agreed amount. Yes, I will partake in the arranged marriage– as soon as the money is deposited into my account,” Yuuri said firmly, trying to fight back the tears that were behind his eyes. He had to do this, it was the right thing. Yuuri didn’t think about all of the things wrong with this arrangement, he thought about all the things that were right. His parents would get money, they would stay afloat and he wouldn’t have to worry anymore. Yuuri wouldn’t have to worry about his own money, or even school or getting a job. Yeah, he’d have to be around a tight-ass prince and pretend he liked the other, but at least his family would be safe. That was the number one priority, and this would get him there. He didn’t think about the mark on his leg or his soulmate that was out there somewhere. He didn’t think about how he’d have to say goodbye to them even before he met them. He didn’t think about how awful it would be to live with Viktor and pretend that he was happy in a place where he couldn’t be himself. He didn’t think about how much he’d miss his family or how much he’d miss his home. He didn’t think about all that because it hurt, it all hurt. He thought about his family, and how he was putting them out of their troubles. He thought about how much he loved them all, and how happy they made him.

 

“Very well, the marriage date has already been set for five weeks time. That should be December 9th. My secretary is transferring the first payment as we speak, it should arrive within the next couple of days,” The voice on the other end of the phone line spoke, her voice crisp and tight. “I will call you in a week or two to arrange a meeting to go over some wedding plans– guest lists and invitations and such– until then, keep healthy and enjoy your upcoming birthday. Goodbye, Yuuri Katsuki.”

 

“Goodbye, Ms. Baranovskaya,” Yuuri farewelled, hitting the end call button and resting his phone on his desk that was in his old room from when he was a kid, before he went off the university and everything went wrong, before he had messed everything up– but this was his chance to make everything right. He was going to make everything okay again, he messed up his old plan, but this one was going to work out. It was a little weird and a little taboo and a little unconventional, but it was going to work.

 

Yuuri stood up off of his old blue desk chair and exited his room at his family’s inn and walked to their private dining/living area, where his mother was busy making dinner and his father and sister were watching TV. He looked at the people and was grateful he hadn’t been spotted yet. He felt so ashamed to be around them after what had happened this year. His family had told him it was okay and they didn’t hate him for it, but Yuuri couldn’t see how they couldn’t be mad at him, their entire futures were relying on Yuuri and he had failed them. He didn’t want them to look or acknowledge him until he had made everything right, but here he was, living under their roof and using up their limited resources despite everything. He didn’t belong there.

 

“Oh, Yuuri! I was just finishing up dinner and I was about to send Mari to come get you!” Hiroko said cheerily, spooning dinner into bowls for everyone.

 

“I actually have some news for everyone,” Yuuri announced, picking up the bowls and setting them down on the short dining table and bringing up pillows around the table for everyone to sit on. He waited for everyone to get settled around the table and start eating before speaking again. “I’m not resisting my exams these holidays, and I’m not going back to uni at all,” Yuuri started, looking over at everyone, who all looked a mix of confused and shocked. “I know the past two years and for the start of this one I was doing perfectly, but I’ve really failed everyone now, and I’ve failed my exams, which means my only options are to retake the exams or stop going to university altogether because my scholarship won’t cover my honours or masters if I failed. I know the plan was for me to finish my masters and get a high paying job so I can support everyone, but I’ve gotten an offer, a job of sorts.

 

“And I’ve already made my decision so before I tell you what it is, I want to let you know that I have already agreed to it and I’m not backing down.” Yuuri paused to take a deep breath before continuing. “I am getting married, it’s an arranged marriage. A paid one.” Once Yuuri had said it, silence fell across the room, everyone stopped eating. Everyone looked down at their food, not saying a word. Except for Mari, who piped up.

 

“Who? Who are you marrying? Who will be paying you?”

 

“Viktor Nikiforov,” Yuuri whispered, finding it hard to speak above a whisper. “Look I know this isn’t what you expected but it’s a lot of money–”

 

“Why are you doing this? You’ll hate being in an arranged marriage, especially one with a future king. Yuuri, a marriage is forever. It’s just one set of exams before you’re back on track again, you don’t have to do this,” Hiroko interrupted.

 

“I know, but it’s more money than I’ll earn in a job, and this money is now, it would take years for me to get a job, I want you all to be safe now. I want to support you as soon as possible and this will allow me to do it. Plus, it’s not all that bad. I mean I haven’t ironed out the details but it’s not like I’m going to be with the royal family all the time and I can visit you guys. And I mean I can focus on my ice skating which is what I really want to do. And they get a king and get to pretend that Viktor isn’t so much of an ass that he can’t even get the best gold diggers to marry him,” Yuuri giggled, the rest of his family also giggling. “It will all be okay mum, I promise.”

 

“Okay,” Hiroko sighed. “What about children? They probably expect you to have children, don’t they?”

 

“Uh, well. Yes, probably, but I think I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, okay?” Yuuri answered, blushing slightly.

 

“And uh, doesn’t Viktor have a soulmate? I remember a couple of years ago Viktor said he did, didn’t he? And then after that, he didn’t mention it again,” Mari chimed.

 

“Uh, yeah, they haven’t really mentioned that. I think it was just Viktor asking for attention, it was most likely fake,” Yuuri replied, thinking of his own soul mark with an ache in his heart. He never told his family about the mark, hoping to one day find his soulmate and surprise them, but he guessed he could kiss that dream goodbye.

 

“Oh, okay,” Mari said, slumping back after finishing her meal. “When is the wedding? Will there be a wedding?”

 

“Rehearsal dinner is on the 8th of December, wedding is on the 9th.”

 

“Mm, okay. Well, Yuuri, we will always support you, including now, but we do think this is a little risky but only because we want you to be happy and we think this may not be the best way for you to be happy, you know?” Hiroko said, her voice loving but concerned.

 

Yuuri nodded. “I’ll be okay, mum.”

 

-

 

Yuuri was standing outside a ramen place, clad in a nice shirt and nice jeans and the most expensive sweater he had when he saw Phichit for the first time in quite a few years. After high school and Yuuri moved away for college, they quickly lost touch due to the business of it all, but a few weeks ago when Yuuri was about to take his final exams, he called Phichit impulsively because of how panicked he was, finding that he was reverting back to his old ways of dealing with panic and being scared, but this time when Yuuri called Phichit it was a lot less appropriate considering they were barely friends now– but thankfully Phichit had accepted Yuuri’s tears and made a date for coffee.

 

When Yuuri saw Phichit, he couldn’t help but run to him, enveloping him in a tight hug.

 

“Oh, Yuuri! I have missed you so much,” Phichit squealed, jumping up and down while still hugging Yuuri.

 

“I missed you too,” Yuuri mumbled into Phichit’s shoulder.

 

Once they were done hugging, they walked into the restaurant and sat inside a cramped small booth. “So, what have you been doing? What’s happening? You just finished your bachelor degree right?” Phichit asked, grabbing a menu and grazing over it.

 

“Well, no, I didn’t graduate. I failed my exams, and they said I could retake them during the summer and then graduate and then apply for my honours but I said no, I’m not enrolled in a university at the moment,” Yuuri admitted, finding the words unfamiliar coming out of his mouth– never in a million years did Yuuri think he would quit education, Yuuri was always a top student but he ended up here. When Yuuri looked up from his fingers playing with the hem of his shirt, he found Phichit staring at him, his mouth wide with shock.

 

“You– you failed your exams? Yuuri Katsuki failed his exams? What happened?” Phichit gasped, dropping his menu on the table, making a loud thud noise.

 

“I was doing well, really well, that is until I met a guy. Earlier this year, I started dating someone and, well, I’d never really had a boyfriend before and he threw me and academically, I became a little shaky. And then– I know this sounds cliche, but he started to change. He was different and even though I knew he wasn’t my soulmate I still really loved him. He started to get pushy and mean and he’d treat me differently around his friends, but I still stayed with him. He’d always say that I liked studying more than him and so I just stopped studying and I started skipping classes and just drifted. The day after my exams I knew I had failed and I knew it was because of him, so I just ended things with this guy– his name was Adam, by the way, I don’t know if that matters but yeah,” Yuuri finished, finding it relieving to have said the whole story aloud.

 

“And this was only a few weeks ago? You look a lot better than I thought you would after your first ever serious breakup, I gotta admit,” Phichit told him.

 

“Yeah, I think I knew the whole time I was with him that he wasn’t treating me well and so when I broke up with him it didn’t feel so sudden– I mean I wasn’t even sad, I did miss him for a bit but honestly I could care less about him now,” Yuuri chuckled.

 

“Haha, yeah I have ex's I feel the same way about,” Phichit giggled, smiling at his friend, hoping to get his mind away from his failed exams that were clearly still bothering him. “So, why aren’t you resitting your exams? I thought you had this whole plan to finish university with a master’s degree and everything, what happened to that?”

 

“Well, the whole reason I wanted to do higher education was that I wanted to get a high paying job so I could support my family, right? Well, I kind of found another way to do that, a quicker way. My family has been doing awfully lately, they’re barely afloat so I’ve quit university and I’m… partaking in an arranged marriage. A paid one, my family gets paid a large amount of money, I get married, and then every single month I’m married, they get paid again and again,” Yuuri told Phichit, holding his breath in anticipation to his friend's reaction.

 

Again, Phichit was shocked, but a lot more than before. It took him several minutes to regain his ability to speak, at first just stuttering out ‘uh’s and ‘well’s.

 

“Married. You are getting married. You, at age twenty one, are getting married? To who?”

 

“Do you remember Viktor Nikiforov, who I went to school with? Him, I’m marrying into the royal family and becoming his spouse, which will technically make me king but I don’t think about that aspect of it,” Yuuri replied a little nonchalantly.

 

“Viktor Nikiforov? Wait, you had a crush on him in high school, didn’t you?” Phichit almost shouted. Yuuri only nodded sheepishly in response. “You know that’s kind of romantic.”

 

“Phichit, it’s an arranged marriage, there is nothing romantic about that,” Yuuri deadpanned.

 

“Okay, yeah, sure. But speaking of romance, you have a freaking soulmate, and I know that family must be paying you a hell of a lot of money, but like? What about your soulmate?!” Phichit whined, disappointed that Yuuri wouldn’t get to meet his soulmate. “Also, isn’t Viktor supposed to have a soulmate too? And also, why are you of all people marrying Viktor Nikiforov, like doesn’t he want some petite, shy, omega or something? No offence, but you actually have a personality, I would think Viktor would want some a little dumber than you are– wait, what about children? Are you going to have children? And why doesn’t Viktor marry someone he actually likes? He’s still young, he’s twenty-two, he has heaps of time to find a spouse, why now?” Phichit, rambled, bombarding Yuuri with questions now that he’d finally processed what was happening to Yuuri.

 

“Wow, okay. Well, first of all, family is more important than my soulmate and heaps of people never meet their soulmate anyway, so yeah I’m kinda sad about it but it’s just a too good of an opportunity to pass up, you know? And as for Viktor’s soulmate, I have no idea what’s going on there. Most people think he did it for the attention, and as for why he picked me, I don’t know. I did go to the same high school as him so that was probably a factor but other than that I have no idea. I mean we did kiss that one time in high school but I’ve seen him multiple times since then and honestly, I think he forgot or something. I don’t really know,” Yuuri answered, taking a breath before continuing to answer Yuuri’s questions. “And I have no idea why they’re forcing Viktor to marry now, I’m actually starting to think that Viktor is just lonely as hell and just went through his old yearbook or something and picked out a random person and said he wanted to marry them instead of waiting to let actual romance develop, I’m not sure. And as for children, yes I will have to have his children, but that is years and years away and I’ve kind of always wanted to have children anyway.”

 

“Wow. That’s crazy.”

 

-

 

Yuuri stood before the palace’s grand doors as he watched his chauffeur march up the steps in front of him and open the doors, on his way to show Yuuri to Ms Baranovkaya’s office, where he would meet Lilia to go over his wedding plans with Prince Viktor Nikiforov.

Chapter Text

Yuuri stood before the palace’s grand doors as he watched his chauffeur march up the steps in front of him and open the grand doors, on his way to show Yuuri to Ms. Baranovkaya’s office, where he would meet Lilia to go over his wedding plans with Prince Viktor Nikiforov.

 

Yuuri stepped inside the palace, his eyes meeting large expanses of gold and marble and diamond. His eyes ghosted over the large staircases and big white, marble columns. The room was pure marble, probably thousands and thousands of dollars worth of it. He looked up the staircases and saw even more marble and pristine red carpets leading down halls. He saw several large doors almost as big as the front door around the room, leading to god knows where.

 

“Lilia wanted to meet you in the atrium which is up the stairs and straight ahead,” the chauffeur who’s name was Dylan told Yuuri. “I’m Mr. Nikiforov’s driver and seeing as he is busy at the moment if you need a drive anywhere afterwards I’ll be right outside,” Dylan finished before leaving Yuuri and stepping outside. Yuuri didn’t bother with looking around or at the big paintings that covered the wall and instead headed straight upstairs, bouncing up the stairs quickly, not wanting to be slow with how nervous he was. When he reached the second landing, he wasn’t surprised to see even more marble. The landing was fairly bare, only sporting a few velvet seats and a few pot plants, along with a couple more paintings. It was nice, but Yuuri didn’t really care for it, preferring his family’s inn and it’s cosy, wooden feel. What did spark Yuuri’s interest was the atrium straight ahead. The ‘u’ shaped room and the end of the building was decked out in curved, lightly frosted glass. Yuuri reached for the gold handle on the large wooden door and opened. Inside was the greenest trees and plants Yuuri had ever seen. Most were ferns and there was moss everywhere. There was the occasional bright flower which stood out and made the atrium even more beautiful. Yuuri could see now why the walls of the palace were so tall– so the trees could fit in there and tower above you. When Yuuri entered the atrium, he felt like he had entered another world.

 

“Beautiful, isn't it?” Lilia spoke, coming out from behind a group of tall shrubs.

 

“It’s magnificent, Lilia,” Yuuri replied in awe.

 

“Yes, I thought you’d like to see this first so I could start this off on a good note before we get into all the details of the arrangement,” she replied, looking up at the towering trees, just as Yuuri was. “You know, some of these trees reach the third floor, and directly above is a master bedroom, with the north side covered in clear glass so you can see the trees.”

 

“That sounds amazing,” Yuuri remarked.

 

“It is amazing,” Lilia said, smirking. “So, shall we start with a tour of the palace or are you still looking at all the plants?”

 

“No, let’s go,” Yuuri answered, reaching for the door and opening it to let Lilia through.

 

“So, the second floor has the atrium, and to your left there is a conference room and to your right there is a ballroom. Straight ahead and left is the upper dining room, most likely where you will be having most of your meals since it is much more informal. To the right of that is the upper parlour, which again is much more informal– especially since Viktor put in an eighty inch tv complete with every game console known to man,” Lilia giggled. “Now through here is a bathroom and staircase leading to the ground floor. On the opposite side is another bathroom and ensuite guest bedroom. Now, do you want to see the third floor or the main level first?”

“Uh, third floor sounds good.”

 

Lilia lead Yuuri upstairs where he was shown an office, billiard room, theatre, tasting room, gym, another bedroom, a few bars and several other bedrooms. After that, they went down stairs and saw a ‘morning room’ which just looked like another smaller parlour, a family room, a kitchen, a formal dining room and parlour, a library, a bar and finally the master bedroom.

 

“So, here it is, this is where you’ll be sleeping,” Lilia said, smirking as she opened the doors to the master bedroom. “Goddammit, I told him to tidy up in here!” Lilia groaned, frowning at the bedroom which had clothes strung all over it, and was generally a mess. But beneath the mess was the biggest bed Yuuri had ever seen which had a canopy with baby blue curtains. The bed also had baby blue bedding, which reminded him of the night he and Viktor had kissed, many moons ago. Also in the bedroom was a desk and a huge walk in wardrobe, along with a mini lounging area with a giant grey couch and huge tv. As Yuuri looked around the room he noticed all of Viktor’s things strewn across the room. It then dawned on Yuuri that this was Viktor’s room . He was in a prince’s room. The room he’d share with the prince. Did that mean they would be sleeping here? It did occur to Yuuri that he and Viktor might share a bedroom but he knew that the marriage was being posed as a real one to the public and it was generally fake. Why did they have to share a bed if they knew that they weren’t supposed to really love each other?

 

“So, I guess you have a lot of questions.”

 

-

 

After Yuuri had marvelled at the bathroom and the gigantic bath in there, Lilia and Yuuri made their way to Lilia’s office, where Yuuri expected he would meet Viktor again, but when Lilia and Yuuri stepped inside, Viktor wasn’t in there.

 

“I know I said that Viktor would be here for this meeting, but unfortunately he left the country and has flown to the other side of Russia, outside of Esterlake for a few weeks, but he did send me this poster to put up on the wall for the duration of this meeting,” Lilia informed Yuuri before stepping over to a wall with a picture with a curtain over it. Lilia unveiled the poster and there was Viktor, standing on a beach in nothing but speedos. To make it even worse, the camera angle was from behind Viktor, with the man himself turning his head around to smile and wink at the person taking the photograph. Lilia sighed as she looked it over, before taking a seat at the large desk with Yuuri following suit. “I was originally going to leave the part where you ask heaps of questions at the end, but after showing you the tour, I think now is a good time to ask questions.” Yuuri didn’t respond, instead his eyes were trained on the poster, particularly on a spot on Viktor’s thigh, where Yuuri thought he had seen Viktor’s soulmark years ago, but there was nothing. No mark. Yuuri thought back to the questionable day in which he’d supposedly seen his matching soulmark on Viktor. Ever since then Yuuri had always thought he’d must of been seeing things or Viktor did have a soulmark there but it wasn’t exactly like his– just similar. But now, looking at the poster, Yuuri became even more confused. Maybe Viktor did have a soulmark and they’d photo shopped it off, but then again why would they cover up Viktor having a soulmark? Or maybe Viktor found out that Yuuri had the same mark as him and ordered for an arranged marriage to take place? Did Viktor even know it was Yuuri he was marrying? Did Viktor even have the tiniest say on the marriage? Yuuri was beyond confused, if only Viktor hadn’t gone to fucking Russia, then he could’ve been here to talk about it– and it wasn’t like he could just ask Lilia, she didn’t know the ins and outs of Viktor’s mind, only Viktor himself did, and he was the only source that Yuuri could get his answers from.

 

“Yuuri, I understand that Viktor is an attractive man but we have things to talk about here,” Lilia pointed out, snapping Yuuri out of his thoughts.

 

“Uh, sorry, Lilia,” Yuuri apologised, tearing his eyes away from the poster.

 

“So, questions?”

 

“Right, well first of all, I know you said that I would purely be a figurehead in terms of responsibility and work that has to do with the family’s responsibilities, but could you elaborate on that? More specifically, what do you need me here for?” Yuuri asked, diving straight into the big questions.  

 

“Viktor’s father is dead and his mother is sick, while Viktor is not yet the king since his mother, and yes, she is sick but she’s still the queen, but since Ivan’s death Viktor has been of more interest to the public lately. Viktor needs a spouse, he needs to look more mature and like he has more control than he actually does, especially after all of the things he’s done recently. You’re smart, you’ve been to university and the same high school as Viktor. You were on the hockey team together, you’re just what he needs! And when Viktor does become king, you won’t have to do anything, just smile pretty in public and your job is done. This whole thing is to help Viktor’s image,” Lilia explained.

 

“Well, okay. If this whole thing is for the public, why are we sharing a bed?”

 

“When I say public, I mean every single person apart from you, me, Viktor and his dead father know that this is fake. Not even his own mother knows, no one knows, and no one can ever know,” Lilia responded. “This is an arranged marriage, Yuuri. It’s quite taboo, I mean no one gets paid for marrying people– at least not anymore or for the last hundred years.”

 

“I guess that makes sense,” Yuuri replied, mulling over what Lilia had told him. “Okay, third question– what about children? I mean, you must want an heir, right?”

 

“In an ideal world, yes, children would eventually make their way into the picture. But they don’t have to, if you want children, you can have children. If you hate the idea, Viktor probably has a cousin somewhere to take the throne. I think when it comes to children, we will cross that bridge when we get to it,” the brunette answered.

 

“Alright. And what about that thing a couple years ago when Viktor told everyone he had a soulmate? Does he have a soulmate?”

 

Lilia looked down and pursed her lips. “No, Viktor does not have a soulmate,” Lilia answered, deciding to not elaborate on that topic.

 

Yuuri asked a couple more questions before he felt satisfied, the thought of Viktor’s bare thigh still at the back of his mind. Yuuri had always told himself that he was seeing things that night and Viktor wasn’t really his soulmate, but at the back of his mind he’d always like to fantasize about it. But this confirmed that he wasn’t Yuuri’s soulmate. After going over some financial stuff, they finally got to actual wedding plans.

 

“Now for the fun bit,” Lilia cheered as she pulled out a big binder full of stuff. “So, first things first: a venue.” Lilia opened the binder and flipped through the first couple pages before landing on a page covered in churches. “Would you prefer an indoor wedding,” Lilia asked, pointing to the page with halls and churches, “Or an outdoor wedding?” Lilia finished, turning the page and showing Yuuri pictures of beaches and botanic gardens.

 

“Shouldn’t Viktor be here to decide?”

 

“Viktor is here,” Lilia chuckled, pointing to the poster of Viktor on the beach.

 

“Well, Viktor is on the beach on that poster, so I think he would like an outdoor wedding,” Yuuri giggled.

 

“Alright, would you like a garden-y wedding? Or a beach wedding? I don’t know many beah spots but I know heaps of botanical gardens that are just beautiful,” Lilia said, opening her laptop and typing something.

 

“I think the botanical gardens sound nice.”

 

“Gardens it is! My favourite spot is this huge park in Sapporo, it’s wonderful. Me and my husband, Yakov, got married there,” Lilia explained, showing Yuuri pictures of the park.

 

“That looks perfect.”

 

For the rest of the afternoon Yuuri and Lilia went over wedding plans for what felt like weeks, ironing out each detail. They knew that the flowers would be frangipanis and bluebirds. The colours for the wedding were blue, gold and white. They had picked out invitations and gone over a guest list and arranged a seating chart. They had organized a menu which included practically every meal known to man. They had made appointments for Yuuri to go to tux shops to get fitted and pick out an outfit. Lilia had called a person to say the ‘Do you...etc.’ and organized for Viktor’s dog, Makkachin, to be the ring bearer. Yuuri had picked out rings– a matching pair of white gold bands with tiny diamonds embedded into it all the way around and along the top and bottom– it was a little much but it was the least in-your-face and the least expensive at 852,700 russian roubles. They had gone over practically everything in barely four hours. By the end of it, Yuuri was giddy, he’d enjoyed planning a wedding a lot more than he thought, he actually felt a little excited for the wedding, that was until it was time to leave and the thoughts of his soulmate returned.

 

“I can’t believe we managed to go over that much in such a short time,” Lilia said as she guided Yuuri to the front door. “That was definitely the most fun I’ve had planning a wedding, even more than my own!” she laughed.

 

“I’ll admit that was fun, I’m looking forward to my tux shopping next thursday,” Yuuri replied sheepishly.

 

“And I’m looking forward to dinner this weekend, so you can meet the family– even if Viktor won’t be there.”

 

Yuuri nodded as he stepped outside, greeted by the cold wintery air. It then it dawned on him that an outdoor wedding in winter would be a little weird, but it would be okay. Everything would be okay.

 

-

 

“Outdoor wedding in December? Are you crazy?” Minako asked as she poured herself a glass of sake and came to sit down with the Yuuri and the rest of his family in the living area.

 

“Maybe,” Yuuri replied, shrugging. “I don’t know, but I just had such a good time planning it! I have no idea why, since it is a goddamn arranged marriage, but it just felt very right. It’s kinda stupid, but I’m just kinda excited about the whole thing,” Yuuri admitted.

 

“Really?” Mari asked, taking a sip of her tea. Yuuri nodded in response.

 

“So, you’re joining the Nikiforov’s this Sunday for dinner, huh?” Toshiya piped in.

 

“Yeah, although I’m not looking forward to it– they’re all so rich and proper, I just don’t know how to act around them,” Yuuri answered, looking down and thinking about the upcoming dinner. He didn’t want to go, but he’d have to be around these people for the rest of his life so he knew it’s be a good idea to get to know them before the actual marriage. He just hoped he could see Viktor again before then, he seemed to be planning to stay in Russia for quite a while.

 

“I’m sure you will do great Yuuri,” Hiroko reassured Yuuri.

 

“Plus, we’re rich too you know,” Toshiya chuckled. “Who’s last name will you be taking, Yuuri?”

 

“Oh, we didn’t really discuss that, but I’m pretty sure we’re keeping our last names,” Yuuri answered. “Well, anyway, I should be heading to bed. I’m planning to hang out with Phichit tomorrow, I’m sure he’ll have lots to say about my winter beach wedding. And I can’t wait to show him the rings.” Yuuri stood up off of his cushion and walked away, leaving his family and heading to bed.

 

“I can’t believe he’s doing–” Mari started.

 

“Let sleeping dogs lie, Mari,” Hiroko interrupted sternly, her voice taking on her tone of that implied that Mari shouldn’t say anything more, but Mari went against it, as usual.

 

“But how can we let him do this? He has so much potential and he’s throwing it away!” Mari exclaimed, banging her fist on the table.

 

“Mari, please, Yuuri has made this decision, and he did it for us. While I agree that retaking his exams would’ve been a better option, I will always support him and you should too.”

 

“I agree with Hiroko, she’s right. The only reason you guys still own this inn is because of Yuuri’s bravery and love for you all, don’t betray him by not believing in his own decision making skills. Yuuri is not dumb, he knows what he is doing,” Minako said, taking another sip of her sake.

 

“But he just failed his exams, Yuuri hasn’t even gotten an A minus before, that’s gotta be hard for him– he’s probably devastated with the results. And he recently broke up with his first ever boyfriend, are you really going to let Yuuri make such life changing decisions while he is so emotional? He’s been going through so much change and he’s so young, his head is probably all over the place. He shouldn’t be doing this when he’s feeling like this, he’ll regret it when he gets over all of it,” Mari reasoned.

 

“Mari, did you just then notice who excited and happy Yuuri looked just then? Did you?”

 

“Well, yes, but he won’t feel like that after he–”

 

“I can’t remember the last time Yuuri looked that excited about anything. If this is making him happy and relieved, I don’t care if you think it is a bad idea. Yuuri deserves our support and he deserves to be happy . End of discussion.”

 

-

 

“Yuuri, those rings are so sparkly– I can’t even,” Phichit exclaimed, pretending to faint onto the table after Yuuri had showed him pictures of the rings. “They are so goddamn fancy, I kinda wish I was getting married now.”

 

“I don’t know, Phichit, we’ve only been dating a couple months,” a low voice said, sliding into the seat next to Phichit and wrapping an arm around his waist.

 

“Chris! How did you know I was here?” Phichit asked, grinning at his boyfriend before kissing him.

 

“Hello, Chris, it’s nice to finally meet you,” Yuuri said, offering his hand to shake. Chris shook it firmly and responded with a similar greeting.

 

“So, I hear you have a very sparkly ring?”

 

“I do , I’m getting married,” Yuuri replied in a flaunty voice. “One month to go.”

 

“And by the way the invitations go out today so you should receive one in a couple days and I put a plus one on yours so you take your very handsome boyfriend with you,” Yuuri explained, taking a sip out of his coffee cup.

 

“A month away? And the invitations go out tomorrow? Don’t invitations usually go out like months before the actual wedding?” Chris asked, opening up a menu to order from.

 

“Usually, but we only got engaged a few weeks ago and we just wanted to get married as soon as possible, we even considered eloping at first. But we found some great wedding planners.”

 

“Did you now?” Phichit asked, raising an eyebrow to let Yuuri know that Phichit knew he was lying through his teeth about the whole eloping thing.

 

Yuuri shot him a glare before speaking again.“So, you guys must be dying to like touch butts or something, so I’m going to head home. It was nice to meet you again, Chris. I hope to see you at my wedding.”

 

-

 

Yuuri stepped up to the same grand doors that he had been to a mere few days ago, but this time he was far more nervous. This time he was meeting his new family for the first time.

 

Yuuri pressed the doorbell to the palace and awaited for whoever it was that would be answering the door. When Lilia opened the large doors to greet Yuuri, the twenty one year old was washed with relief.

 

“Yuuri! It’s so nice to see you again,” Lilia greeted in a genuinely cheery voice– something Yuuri had no idea she could pull off.

 

“It’s nice to be here, Lilia,” Yuuri replied, shrugging off his new coat (that he’d bought after the Nikiforov’s money had come in,) once he stepped inside the heated room.

 

“So, we usually always have Sunday night dinner’s together and we start it with drinks which is held in the parlour which is just through here as you may remember,” Lilia told Yuuri as she walked them to the right and opened the door to the very large parlour where there two other people sitting, and as soon as Yuuri walked in he could tell that there was another omega in the room, and he felt very glad to know that. “Yakov, Anna, Akari, this is Yuuri, your future son in law,” Lilia said, introducing Yuuri to everyone. The two people turned around from where they were in the fancy couch they were sitting in.

 

“Hello, Yuuri, my name is Anna, I’m Viktor’s mother,” Anna said, waving. “This is Akari, my carer who helps me around since I have parkinson's.”

 

“Oh, I’m so sorry, that sounds awful,” Yuuri replied, taking a seat next to her and Akari. “Do you still live here?”

 

“Unfortunately no, I live in a nursing home a half hour drive from here, but enough about me, this is Yakov, he’s a figure skating coach and Viktor’s uncle,” Anna exclaimed, pointing to a gray haired man in his late fifties.

 

“A figure skating coach?” Yuuri asked, his curiosity peaked. “I love figure skating.”

 

“Ah, yes. Well, I don’t coach anymore, I’m retired,” Yakov explained. “But I used to coach Anna, back in the day, and I’m also Lilia’s husband.”

 

“Yes, as much as I hate to admit it,” Lilia chuckled, grabbing Yakov’s hand and squeezing while looking lovingly into her partner’s eyes. “Anyway, drinks anybody? We’ve got everything.” Lilia got up off of the couch and walked to the drinks cart, pulling out a bottle of wine and pouring two glasses for herself and Yakov.

 

“I’ll have a vodka martini, please,” Anna giggled.

 

“She’ll have something non-alcoholic actually,” Akari corrected, giggling as well. Lilia poured Anna a glass of carbonated water instead.

 

“And for you, Yuuri?” Lilia asked, setting the drinks she had already prepared down on the coffee table.

 

“I’ll just have some soda, please,” Yuuri answered, politely. Once Lilia had made Yuuri’s drink and sat down herself, the four of them began talking, some asking about Viktor and Yuuri’s relationship, which of course Yuuri had to lie about. They progressed to question about Yuuri’s school life, and he then had to break the news that he hadn’t completed his bachelor degree, which was followed by an awkward silence. After that they talked about their day’s and how Anna’s treatment was going and then they lightly touched on the subject that Yuuri’s birthday was coming up and he prayed they wouldn’t get him gifts. It was long before the drinks portion of the evening was coming to a close. Not before long, Yuuri was being escorted to the formal dining room, which of course was as beautiful as the rest of the house.

 

“So, I hope you like duck, because that is what I’ve asked to be served tonight,” Lilia told them as they all took their seat at the dining table. “I’ve organized a very special dinner for Yuuri tonight.”

 

“Oh, you didn’t have to do that just for me! Being here is special enough,” Yuuri responded before a maid walked in holding four salads.

 

“Mm, thank you, Deidra. And Yuuri is really no problem, after all, you are technically a future king.”

 

-

 

Over the next few days, Yuuri didn’t really know what to do with himself, all he could think about was the wedding and the living arrangements and the next sector of his life. Even though every time he saw or was reminded of his soulmate he felt like he’d been stabbed in the heart, he was very happy about the whole thing. He was excited to have money again, and the family he met with that Sunday had been very welcoming and they all seemed lovely. It was a change, and he was technically grieving the loss of his soulmate, but he was excited. The day before the scheduled fitting appointment, Yuuri had actually gone down to the skating rink for the first time in a long time. The last time he’d been was during a school break back in July, and even back then he wasn’t as great as it as he used to be.

 

When he arrived at the rink, he was pleased to see an old face working there. “Yuuko?”

 

“Takeshi?” Yuuko asked, sticking her head out of a storage space.

 

“It’s Yuuri,” Yuuri greeted, awkwardly waving at his old friend, glad to see her again.

 

“Oh my god!! Yuuri!!” Yuuko squealed and ran over to the twenty one year and enveloped him in a giant, circulation-cutting hug. “I’ve missed you so much!” Yuuri smiled at his friend’s enthusiasm before he noticed something hard and round pressing at his stomach.

 

“Wait,” Yuuri said, pushing away from Yuuko to take a look at her. “You’re pregnant !! You’re huge, oh my god !”

 

“Yes! With triplets!” Yuuko told him. “Three baby girls!”

 

“Aww, Yuuko that is amazing, you’re still with Takeshi, right?” Yuuri asked, feeling so excited about his friend that he could do a dozen triple flips in ten minutes.

 

“Yes, I’m still with Takeshi and he is amazing, as always. How are you, though? It’s been so long since I’ve seen you.”

 

“Well, I kinda have some big news too… I’m getting married,” the raven told Yuuko, excited to share his news, half of the reason he came here was to tell someone else that he was getting married to a prince but he’d never admit that. “To Viktor Nikiforov.”

 

“YOU ARE FREAKING GETTING MARRIED TO VIKTOR NIKIFOROV?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?”

 

And so Yuuri told Yuuko about the whole story, about the guy he dated and how he failed his last year at university, and then he started lying and said that he’d met Viktor Nikiforov recently and they’d hit it off and were getting married in four weeks. Yuuri just wanted to tell someone that it wasn’t arranged and that he and Viktor Nikiforov were really in love. He really wished it were love that was making this marriage because it would make the experience all the more enjoyable.

 

-

 

Yuuri woke up the next morning with the same smile he’d been wearing since his meeting with Lilia, he went through his morning routine with that same smile, he got dressed and he ate breakfast and he felt happy, that was until he checked his calendar and saw he had a heat coming up in four days.

 

Chapter Text

Yuuri woke up the next morning with the same smile he’d been wearing since his meeting with Lilia, he went through his morning routine with that same smile, he got dressed and he ate breakfast and he felt happy, that was until he checked his calendar and saw he had a heat coming up in four days.

Yuuri immediately froze with panic, he’d have to go through with a heat in the middle of planning his wedding? He’d have to go through a heat two weeks before getting married? And how could Yuuri forget about his heat– he’d never done that before. Every single year since he was fifteen he’d had a heat once a year in November, a week before his birthday. Yuuri was so caught up in all of the wedding plans that he’d completely forgotten about it. Now he’d have to rush around tomorrow gathering stuff for his heat, and he’d have to tell his family and Lilia. A gorgeous member of the royal family that he actually liked would have to know that Yuuri forgot that he had a heat coming up. It would be beyond embarrassing, but at least it wasn’t after he had married Viktor, that would be another whole kind of awkward. He knew that eventually he and Viktor would have to make an arrangement to deal with Yuuri’s heat, and it wasn’t like Viktor could just not know about his heat or just do the things he normally did since they did have to pretend they loved each other. Yuuri wondered if Viktor and Yuuri would mark each other and bond. He knew that bonding bites were reserved for people who were had already been married a few years since bonding was such a permanent thing, but he supposed it would have to come up eventually, especially since they’d gotten married so quickly.

“Hi, darling,” Hiroko spoke gently as she poked her head around the doorway to Yuuri’s room. “Just wondering if you had time to have lunch with us today?”

“Ah, sorry, mum, I’ve got to get going. I’m meeting Lilia today to pick out a tux and the place is over an hour away,” Yuuri apologised, moving to his dresser to pull out some socks and shoes to wear, not paying much attention to his mother.

“Oh, alright. Well, have fun, dear,” Hiroko replied. Yuuri lifted his head from looking at his sock drawer just in time to see his mother’s face looking disappointed as she slipped out of his room.

-

Yuuri turned up to the tux shop a few minutes before their scheduled meeting so Yuuri had time to look around the shop without Lilia hovering over him– not that Lilia was a hoverer, but Yuuri always liked to sniff around before he did something, and he’d always take the opportunity to be alone. He entered the shop and was instantly met with large expanses of different suit types, of all colours and fabrics. Even though Yuuri knew he would be getting a white suit, Yuuri drifted over to the vibrant suits coming in purples and blues and oranges. Yuuri then walked over to a rack of suits that were suits that were custom made and were ready to be picked up. Yuuri’s eyes widened when he looked at a particular suit where the jacket was a gradient from orange to blue, almost the exact same colours as his own soulmark. A tiny bit of hope sparked within Yuuri and he wished that this was his own soulmate’s suit jacket since it was grouped together with the suits that had been left out for people to pick up. Yuuri felt another little pang of grief as he looked at the suit, remembering that he was giving away his chance to lead a life married to his soulmate. Yuuri closed his eyes and took a deep breath, pushing those thoughts away.

The front door chimed, signalling that another person had walked in. Yuuri lifted his head and saw Lilia walking in with her head tilted up as usual like a confident alpha. Lilia smiled at Yuuri, waving at him.

“Ah, Hello, Yuuri, I was just in here designing Viktor’s suit! I just popped out to move my car so I just missed you,” Lilia explained.

“Viktor’s suit?” Yuuri asked with curiosity. Shouldn’t Viktor be here to choose his own suit? Viktor sure didn’t have a lot of say in things around here.

“Yes, yes. Unfortunately, Viktor is currently still in Russia, so I get to choose his suit! So far I’ve only chosen linings and fabrics and I’ve reviewed and picked up some of his new suits that we ordered a few weeks ago,” Lilia answered. “There’s still a couple more for me to pick up over there, actually they were the ones you were just looking at.” Lilia strode over to the suits and picked up two black formal suits along with the gradient one that matched his soulmark. “I have no idea why he wanted one with these colours! I mean, I picked up most of these suits for the copious amount of meetings he’s going to have to attend now that his father is gone and unable to attend to his duties as king but I don’t think an orange and blue suit is going to be suitable for any of them.”

“I think it’s kinda nice,” Yuuri commented, taking in the information that Viktor had wanted a suit that matched his soulmark, not only that, but it was a suit that he wasn’t planning on wearing anywhere important– so why did he want a suit coloured like that? Yuuri felt as if the universe was taunting him with hints that Viktor was his soulmate– the mark on his thigh that Yuuri had seen, Viktor out of the blue wanting to kiss a nobody like Yuuri, and now this! The universe was torturing him– giving Yuuri every idea that Viktor was his soulmate, but never actually making Viktor his soulmate. Maybe Viktor just liked the colours orange and blue.

“Well, yes. Anyway, I’ve already picked out fabric types and linings for your suit, I’ve just got some questions about the design and then we can take your measurements and be done!”

“That seems quick,” Yuuri commented, thinking about the long drive he made to get here just for a twenty-minute thing.

“Well, I wanted to get this over and done with as soon as possible so we could get back home– I’ve got some things to show you,” Lilia told Yuuri, bringing him over to a part of the shop that had a selection of fabrics. “Anyway, here are the colour options, which one would you like?” In front of Yuuri were about 20 different shades of blacks, greys, beiges and whites all made up of the same material. Yuuri settled with a white shade called ‘Esteban Chalk White’ for the trousers and vest and outside of the jacket.

“Would you like coloured lapels?” Lilia asked, again showing him a range of colours.

“Would Viktor go for different coloured lapels?” Yuuri asked, thinking of Viktor who was back in Russia and having no say in the decisions being made.

“Oh, yes, of course! Viktor can’t stand a plain suit– mainly why I got him so many black and white ones.”

Yuuri nodded as he looked at the colours. He settled for a royal blue colour, thinking of Viktor’s blue eyes, although they were much prettier. He also settled on a royal blue tie, along with how many buttons and vents he’d like to have, and when asked he settled on brass buttons on his suit, matching the wedding’s theme colours of white, blue and gold.

After he’d chosen everything, Lilia lead him to another section of the fabrics area where there were pieces of lace lying everywhere.

“Now, since you are an omega and therefore the bride, I thought it would be nice to have a lace overlay on your lapels, vest and tie since it is common for bride’s dresses to incorporate lace into them. I thought white lace would look the best, but if you want you could have black but I personally would advise against it. Here are all the lace patterns– take your pick,” Lilia said, showing Yuuri all the different types of laces– all of different thicknesses and materials and patterns. Yuuri chose a floral-y type one, that had leaves running across the pattern with the occasional rose.

Once Yuuri had chosen the lace and then gone over to pick out some shoes, (they were shiny white ones that were from a French brand the Yuuri had forgotten the name of,) Lilia lead him over to the measuring area where he finally saw an actual employee to take his measurements. After the awkward five minutes of some guy standing in Yuuri’s personal space running a tape and his hands along Yuuri’s body, they were officially done. Lilia then told the employee about the suit she wanted for Yuuri and then asked for a similar suit in black, minus the lace in Viktor’s size for the same pickup date. Once they left the shop, Lilia had insisted that Yuuri ride with her chauffeur instead of driving to the palace himself in his brand new car that Yuuri had bought himself with the money his parents had received. So, they got into Lilia’s car, Viktor’s suits hanging by the door.

“So, once we get to the palace we’re having a late lunch/afternoon tea with Anna, and then I’ll bring you up to your bedroom to show you a surprise, and then you’re coming with me to choose out new bedsheets and furniture for your new room,” Lilia explained, springing a whole day of activities on Yuuri, and enforcing the idea that Lilia was buying new furniture just for Yuuri. When Yuuri had agreed to this wedding, he never expected this level of care, he thought he’d spend the rest of his days away from anyone who truly cared about him or thought of him as family, but now Yuuri himself loved the small royal family almost as much as his own, and he’d only known them for five days. “And if we spend enough time at the store picking out furniture, you’ll just have to have dinner with us, and then of course since we are having such a special person with us tonight, we’ll have to drag dinner out for a number of hours so it will be simply too late for you to drive home and you’ll just have to spend the night,” Lilia suggested, smiling at Yuuri. It was clear that she really did want to spend as much time as possible with Yuuri, and in that moment Yuuri felt very wanted. The very thought that Lilia and the rest of the family wanted him to stay overnight made his heart swell. Yuuri wanted to agree, but then the thoughts of his upcoming heat made their way into Yuuri’s thoughts. Tomorrow was the only day he could spend preparing for his heat, and as much as he loved being with Lilia and staying at the palace and eating their amazing food, he didn’t want his stay at the palace in the morning and then drive home, since that would take up half of his day.

“I would love to stay overnight, Lilia, but I have something coming up in the next couple days which I need to prepare for– actually I’ve been meaning to talk to you about it,” Yuuri answered, scratching the back of his neck awkwardly. “I kinda have a heat coming up, and I know it’s kind of inappropriate with the wedding just over three weeks away but I suppress my heats and if I suppress any further I could damage my body so…”

“Ah, yes! You have your heats in November, I remember now,” Lilia answered.

“You remember? How do you know when I have heats?” Yuuri questioned.

“Oh, when we were selecting you for the marriage we had your school send over your file, and your heat was put on there,” Lilia replied. “Actually, as soon as I found out you were an omega and had agreed to the marriage, we immediately stocked up with heat supplies and installed scent blockers and such in your room, so you could spend your heat at the palace if you wanted. We do have everything you’ll need and want at the palace for your heat– and the bed in your room is divine, plus the walls in the palace are very thick, and our chef can prepare special heat meals with all the right nutrients! Plus, it would give you time to get used to staying and living with us– we all would love it if you spent your heat in our home, it would be an honour.”

Yuuri sighed and mulled it over in his mind– he definitely did want to, especially since Lilia had used the word divine to describe his new bed, but then his thoughts turned to Viktor. “What if Viktor comes home while I’m in heat? I’ll be in his room and he won’t be able to use it.”

“It’s your room too you know! If Viktor is there then he can stay in a guest room, or if he gets in tonight you could maybe convince him to spend it with you,” Lilia explained, raising her eyebrow.

“Gets in? Is Viktor coming home tonight?” Yuuri asked, his anxiety spiking at the idea of seeing Viktor again and then having to talk about his heat with him.

“He says he is, actually one of the reasons I invited you for dinner tonight is because Anna wanted to surprise you with Viktor since she knows you haven’t seen him since he flew off to Russia. But he may not come back, you never really know with Viktor– he’s still young and flighty and not very prompt or responsible,” Lilia explained.

“Oh,” Yuuri responded. Even though Yuuri felt incredibly anxious about seeing Viktor, he felt a little disappointed at the thought of not seeing him.


“So you may see him tonight, or you may not. But that doesn’t matter, what matters is you, because you’re responsible and you turn up to things and that's why we’d be happy to have you spend your heat here.”

“Okay, I’ll spend my heat at the palace then,” Yuuri agreed, smiling.

“Is there anything you will need from home?” Yuuri instantly thought of his box of toys back at home, but certainly didn’t want to ask to go all the way home and back for some sex toys so Yuuri shook his head at the question and decided he would just go out tomorrow to buy some.

“Is it alright if I go run some errands tomorrow? Just need to pick up some personal stuff,” Yuuri asked, not wanting to mention that he needed to buy sex toys.

“Oh, we have everything you’ll need for your heat, trust me. We have all the protein bars and lube in the country stored there,” Lilia chuckled.

“I’m sure you do I just wanna buy some other–”

“And sex toys, Viktor’s collection is extensive,” Lilia told Yuuri.

Viktor’s collection?” Yuuri gasped. He could not use Viktor’s collection, how would Viktor think of that? He shouldn’t even know that Viktor has an ‘extensive’ collection.

“He won’t mind! We all go through ruts and heats, Yuuri. And I assure you they are very clean and he only uses only a select few, obviously you won’t be using one's Viktor regularly. Most of them are stored away somewhere. Viktor even has knotting dildos–”

“Okay! I’ll use Viktor’s stuff,” Yuuri said, cutting Lilia off, wanting the conversation the end promptly, agreeing without using Viktor’s collection in mind, but rather his need for a middle-aged woman to stop talking to him about knotting dildos.

“Well, good. And you know Yuuri, you could stop taking your suppressants now that you’re not in school or working anymore, I stopped taking suppressants when I married Yakov and it was heavenly. Not the actual ruts themselves but rather I just felt a lot better and natural off my suppressants– Viktor is off his suppressants and he likes it quite a lot.”

“Gee, we love talking about Viktor’s sex life, don’t we?” Yuuri replied, blushing.

-

“Yuuri! I’m so glad Lilia convinced you to come see me!” Anna exclaimed as Yuuri entered the upper parlour where afternoon tea was being served. Before inspecting the room Yuuri greeted Akari and then Anna by kissing her cheek and sitting next to her. When Yuuri sat down, he saw mountains upon mountains of cakes and tarts sitting on tiered trays, along with a few different teapots with different teas in them. Next to that was milk, sugar and mugs.

“Wow, this is quite the spread,” Yuuri commented as he stared at the cakes and tarts in awe.

“Well, we wanted the best for you, Yuuri,” Anna grinned.

“If you keep this up you’ll use up all the cakes in the world and there won’t be any left for anyone else,” Yuuri giggled as Anna poured three cups of black tea.

“Well, you better not take having all the cakes in the world for granted! Eat up,” Anna encouraged, taking a lemon meringue tart for herself.

They spent the rest of the hour talking about how their day went and he and Lilia told Anna about the suits, then they awkwardly approached the subject of Yuuri’s heat coming up, which Anna didn’t make a big fuss about, thankfully. They then talked about all sorts of other stuff, and Yuuri learnt that Lilia was originally Viktor’s father’s secretary before she married Yakov, and she is now Viktor’s aunt as well as his secretary until Viktor became king and he would need a full time one that was not his aunt. All throughout the time, in the back of Yuuri’s mind was still the thoughts of Viktor’s suit, his upcoming heat and how nervous he was at the thought of Viktor maybe coming back from Russia that evening.

After they’d finished their two cups of tea and eaten too much cake, Akari drove Anna back to her nursing home and Lilia and Yuuri made their way to the first furniture store since apparently, Yuuri’s ‘surprise wasn’t ready yet.’ and ‘they’d just have to see it when they got back.’ On the way there, Lilia told Yuuri that the goal was to pick out a couple new sets of bedding, another desk for Yuuri to work at if Viktor was using the one currently situated there, various storage items for Yuuri’s new walk in closet, possibly a new, larger cabinet for under the tv to store DVDs and video games and anything else that Yuuri particularly wanted. They first went to a Japanese furniture store called Megamax, but they had no such luck there. Lilia then took Yuuri to various other stores that would usually be way out of his price range that had nice stuff, but Yuuri was far too uncomfortable there to actually pick out anything. So, after that, they went to good, old Ikea.

“So, here we are, Ikea,” Lilia said, dread in her voice.

“Oh, C'mon, Lilia, it’s not that bad,” Yuuri chuckled, dragging Lilia inside.

“Oh my, is that a cafeteria?” the former ballerina scoffed. Yuuri just kept dragging her to the displays section. For the rest of the productive trip, Yuuri and Lilia conversed lightly and exchanged stories from their past– Lilia telling Yuuri about her days as a former ballerina, and Yuuri telling Lilia about how he once competed in Junior Nationals as a figure skater, his proudest accomplishment. They picked out two new bedside tables, since Viktor only had one and they certainly could not have mismatched bedside tables. The ones they chose out had two drawers and were wooden and black and only 200 US Dollars, which Lilia had laughed at. Yuuri picked out a beige, swivel, desk chair that matched Viktor’s perfectly, (Lilia was shocked to find out that Viktor had bought furniture from Ikea,) a desk that was pleasantly simple and blended in with Viktor’s bedroom and matched their previously picked out bedside tables, some black wooden shelves, different storage facilities to be placed on the shelves and Yuuri’s new desk like magazine files, mini plastic drawers and letter trays, a new bookcase, a desk lamp, hanging compartments for the walk in wardrobe, a dresser, hangers, more storage cases, shoe racks, more storage boxes for the bathroom and then some new bath mats and towels. All picked out in less than 90 minutes, and they hadn’t even moved on to the decorative section where Yuuri usually had the most fun. Once they got there, Yuuri picked out heaps of candles and candle holders, a new rug for the room, a full length standing mirror and some new blue curtains, (Yuuri bought those with Viktor in mind, his mind now automatically now associating blue with Viktor.) Yuuri chose a few bedspreads in a few blue hues, a few whites/greys and a purple one just for the hell of it and then they finally left, having spent thousands and thousands of dollars.

Just before Yuuri was getting ready to go home after Lilia had ordered for Yuuri’s new furniture to be installed in Yuuri’s room, Lilia took him to Muji, a furniture and stationery store, and Yuuri knew from years in the academic system that new stationery was everything. Yuuri spent far too long there, in utter awe at the selection they had there.

-

When they got back it was almost six o’clock, and Yuuri was out of his skin because of how nervous he was– he might enter the palace doors to Viktor Nikiforov, his fiancé. He may have to sit through dinner with him, tell him about his heat and then proceed to share a bed with him. Or Viktor may not show up, and Yuuri’s worries that Viktor won’t even make it back for the actual wedding will grow less and less irrational. Lilia didn’t seem phased at all, just excited to show Yuuri his surprise.

And so, Lilia opened the palace doors and they stepped through to a completely quiet house.

“I wonder if Viktor actually came back,” Lilia scoffed. “Well, since it’s not too late I’m going to head down to my room and just finish up some work and I’ll meet you in the upper parlour in about twenty minutes?”

“Uh, sure,” Yuuri replied, nodding his head as Lilia walked downstairs to her office and bedroom, leaving Yuuri completely alone. Yuuri’s first thought was to go to his new bedroom, but instead, he wandering around the palace, getting to know the layout since he was to anxious when Lilia gave him the tour to actually remember where anything was. He started upstairs and explored all the rooms, pausing to look at family portraits– he got a peek at Viktor back when he had long hair in high school, and he got to see what Viktor’s dad, Ivan looked like again– it’d been awhile since he’d seen him in the news or on television since he was dead. Yuuri drifted through the rooms on the main level and basement, thinking about his future, about Viktor and why he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Why did he even fly to Russia in the first place? Yuuri ended his own personal tour back at his bedroom. The bedroom looked much different to what it did when he first saw it now that all of his new furniture had been installed– Yuuri was actually very surprised at how quickly the people had put together everything, Lilia had only asked them to do about an hour and a half ago. It looked a look newer, and cleaner. Yuuri explored the bathroom and found various products that were meant especially for omegas, he even saw brands that he personally liked– how did Lilia even obtain that information? Yuuri then drifted to his own walk-in wardrobe which was half the size of Viktor and surprisingly already had a few clothes in there. How the hell did they figure out Yuuri’s size? There were only some very plain white and black t-shirts and generic underwear and socks– Lilia had probably had someone buy some stuff for him when she was planning for Yuuri to stay over. Yuuri smiled at that, he’d never had someone think about what he’d need so much. Yuuri opened some drawers and explored a few sets of pyjamas for all different kinds of weather. When he’d seen everything in there, he moved to the main part of the bedroom and took out the new stationery from the shopping bags that Deidra, their maid, had dropped off in his room. He set up his desk with his new things, and then spotted Viktor’s new suits and hung them away, exploring Viktor’s own wardrobe in the process– which was a little creepy, Yuuri would admit, as he waded through Viktor’s clothes and underwear and dozens and dozens of shoes. After Yuuri had tucked away Viktor’s suits and snooped in his wardrobe which was ominously clean and tidy, Yuuri realised that this was Viktor’s room too, and he most certainly had his own things and bathroom products and books around the place. It had registered within Yuuri that Viktor had his stuff, he had two bookshelves full of books and trinkets, not to mention a trophy case full of medals from his school sports endeavours which of course he was always good at. Yuuri went straight to the bathroom and waded through the cabinet. He found three different face washes and four different moisturisers, lip balms and about five bottles of conditioner and shampoo, along with different hair products and gels. Viktor’s hygiene routine seemed very lengthy. He then inspected the towels and found they were all huge and very fluffy. Yuuri stopped after looking through the bathroom cabinets and shelves to check the time and saw that he needed to get to the upper parlour and wouldn’t have any time to go through the things in Viktor’s desk. So, Yuuri sulkily made his way out of the bathroom, hoping he wouldn’t be too tired to go through Viktor’s desk after dinner. But, as he was leaving the bedroom, he spotted something on the bed that Yuuri hadn’t seen before. Yuuri picked up the small white box with a card attached and inspected the card.

For My Fiancé

Happy Birthday

From Viktor,’

Yuuri dropped the box upon reading those words. Those words and this present it seemed would be the only contact Yuuri would have with Viktor since high school. Yuuri didn’t bother opening the present and just left it where it was and went to see Lilia.

Yuuri opened the parlour’s doors and saw Lilia sitting there, smiling, with a table with an array of presents on the table.

“Happy birthday, Yuuri,” Lilia said lovingly, patting the spot next to her on the couch.

“What? My birthday isn’t for two weeks,” Yuuri questioned, his eyes shining at the pile presents on the table. Everyone had cared enough about him to do all this? “This is amazing, Lilia, thank you.”

“Well, they aren’t all from me– some are from Anna and Yakov, some from me, some from Viktor,” Lilia replied, dread on her tongue at the mention of Viktor. “Here, open my gifts first!” Yuuri’s mouth was gaping as Lilia grab four presents and handed one to Yuuri. The first one was in a huge white striped gift bag, and inside Yuuri pulled out the most beautiful leather laptop bag he’d ever seen. The bag was a little tastefully worn and a light brown with the softest of linings.

“Oh my god, this is beautiful, Lilia,” Yuuri gaped, running his hands across the leather.

“It goes with this, sort of,” Lilia explained, handing Yuuri another gift that was wrapped in the same pattern of white and off-white stripes. Yuuri tore open the gift and was greeted with a huge stack of psychology, philosophy and English literature non-fiction books, along with some popular novels. “I know you stopped going to university, and this isn’t me pressuring you to go back or anything, but I figured you’ll now have a lot of spare time on your hands and I’d thought you’d enjoy studying or reading these, since you were taking a psychology at university,” Lilia explained.

“Aw, Lilia this is so wonderful,” Yuuri exclaimed, trying to stop his eyes from tearing up.

“It’s far from over, Yuuri,” Lilia told Yuuri, pulling another a card from her arms and handing it to Yuuri. The card was tiny and was in an envelope that was the same pattern as every other gift– white stripes. Yuuri opened the envelope and card and several gift cards fell out.

“I know gift cards are generic, but these are all for clothing stores, and I know you must be dying to fill that large walk-in wardrobe of yours,” Lilia giggled. “I know I would.”

“You read my mind!” Yuuri beamed, grinning at Lilia before being handed the last of her gifts. This one was also quite small, a tiny box. Yuuri opened the wrapping and box that was much like a jewellery box. Inside was a simple keyring with a sunset orange leather strap. “A key ring?”

“Yes, for your new set of keys to the house,” Lilia told him taking out a huge set of keys from her pocket. “They’re all labelled and go to each door of the house, except for my room and office. It also includes the key to Viktor’s holiday house near Tokyo and his apartment there, along with the key to Anna’s suite at the nursing home– she insisted I put it on there.”

“Aw, please thank her for me, this is too sweet,” Yuuri swooned, looking at all the keys and interestingly they were all shade of blue. They really liked the colour blue in this house, and with the orange from the strap on the keyring, it almost matched his soulmark. Gee, did they know he had a mark with blue and orange on it? Those colours seemed to be popping up everywhere.

“Okay, that’s it for me, but there’s still quite a lot more to get through.” Yuuri looked at the table and saw at least another ten presents on there.

“So, do you want open Anna’s, then Yakov’s and then Viktor’s?” Lilia asked, grabbing a few more presents. Yuuri nodded and started going through Anna’s extensive pile of presents. She had gifted him a whole new set of the newest and best workout clothes– she must have caught wind of the fact that he had an athletic scholarship in high school. He also received a Fitbit, some really cool earrings, (how did she know he had his ears pierced!?) a new fucking iPhone X, a new leather wallet, a set of beautiful watches and a new orange and white gym bag. It made Yuuri want to work even more than he did, which Yuuri would admit, a lot less than he used to since he started his last year of uni. But now, he could focus on skating and training, all with a Fitbit, new training bag and new cool training clothes. Then they moved onto Yakov’s one present and Lilia told Yuuri that Yakov told her to tell Yuuri that he was away on business that night but he actually had an irrational anxiety about giving people presents– Yuuri giggled at that, he stopped laughing when he saw a large group of different coloured skate guards as Yakov’s gift. They then moved onto the last present– the one from Viktor.

“This is from Viktor, and as much as I hate to admit it, this present is probably the one you’re going to use the most,” Lilia chuckled, handing Yuuri the heavy, rectangular shaped box. Yuuri tore off the wrapping paper and was greeted by two wide shoe boxes, in which held two new pairs of skates– a white set that’d you’d usually see in movies with golden blades, and a black pair with silver blades– they were beautiful. “Viktor was originally going to get you the one pair, but when he found out you actually liked to skate, he bought you a second special pair, he told me the reason he chose white and gold is because you’d be wearing white at the wedding and he wanted to take you skating after the wedding, since obviously you two won’t be going on a honeymoon or anything like that. It’s quite a sweet gift, for Viktor’s taste,” Lilia chuckled as Yuuri stared at the pairs in awe.

“These are amazing, truly beautiful. I can’t believe he wants to take me skating after the wedding,” Yuuri gasped for the fiftieth time that night. “It’s just all so thoughtful– you’re so thoughtful. I can’t believe everyone did all this for me, someone they’ve only known for a week.”

“You are family now, Yuuri.”

-

Yuuri ran downstairs from dinner as soon as he could get away, desperately wanting to open the second gift Viktor had left for him. Yuuri got into the room as quickly as he could, turning on the lights and heading over to the bed where the gift was, just where he’d left it. Everything was the same– the same tiny card on the tiny box, with the same writing. Yuuri got on the bed and sat cross-legged, taking a deep breath before opening the box.

Yuuri was very stunned by what he saw– a pair of diamond studs. They were tiny, but also looking fucking gorgeous and of course, the diamonds were blue and the stud they had been put into was white gold. The silence that Yuuri’s mind fell into after seeing the earrings was soon interrupted by the thought of ‘how the fuck does Viktor know my ears are pierced?’ and ‘why the hell did Viktor buy me these? Why didn’t he just clump them in with the other presents? Is Viktor trying to impress me or something?’

Nevertheless, Yuuri pushed them into his ears and went to the nearest mirror to admire how he looked in them, before getting ready to continue rummaging through Viktor’s things.

Chapter Text

Yuuri ran downstairs from dinner as soon as he could get away, desperately wanting to open the second gift Viktor had left for him. Yuuri got into the room as quickly as he could, turning on the lights and heading over to the bed where the gift was, just where he’d left it. Everything was the same– the same tiny card on the tiny box, with the same writing. Yuuri got on the bed and sat cross-legged, taking a deep breath before opening the box.

 

Yuuri was very stunned by what he saw– a pair of diamond studs. They were tiny, but also looking fucking gorgeous and of course, the diamonds were blue and the stud they had been put into was white gold. The silence that Yuuri’s mind fell into after seeing the earrings was soon interrupted by the thought of ‘ how the fuck does Viktor know my ears are pierced? ’ and ‘ why the hell did Viktor buy me these? Why didn’t he just clump them in with the other presents? Is Viktor trying to impress me or something?

 

Nevertheless, Yuuri pushed them into his ears and went to the nearest mirror to admire how he looked in them, before getting ready to continue rummaging through Viktor’s things.

 

Yuuri first fled to Viktor’s desk and opened the first draw on the left, and found school supplies like sticky notes and pens and highlighters– the second draw was old business textbooks and notebooks filled with notes from recent semesters, the third draw was boring old letters from school and the bank and that sort of boring stuff. The fourth, which Yuuri had put his hopes in to be full of information about Viktor’s life– perhaps a diary of sorts? But when he opened it, there was nothing but extension cords and random charges and spare sets of earphones. Yuuri moved to the other side of the desk, where another set of drawers were. Half them were empty, one had spare boxes of tissues, mini bottles of hand sanitizer, lip balms and other random stuff of the sort– the last drawer though had stacks and stacks of photos, ranging from when Viktor was a small child to when he had long luscious hair to ones from that looked very recent. Yuuri knew he wouldn’t have time to go through all of them before he went to bed so he took a random stack that appeared to be from Viktor’s childhood. Yuuri giggled at the first photo– Viktor, who looked around age three or four, and his father, standing in the snow posing for a picture. Ivan looked so different to what he did before he died– he looked younger and happier and way more attractive– he even looked like he had an ounce of love for Viktor. The second photo was of Viktor, again the same age, on a train staring out the window in awe. Yuuri continued to look through the photos, some of which were the cutest photo’s Yuuri had ever seen. Some of them made him laugh, and the certain ones with Ana or Ivan just made him sad– In these photo’s Ivan looked like he loved Viktor, he looked like he loved his family , and then Ana, despite being in her late thirties/early forties around the time of the photo’s, looked gorgeous , just absolutely stunning. Now, Ivan was dead, and probably died with a distaste for Viktor on his tongue, and Ana was rolling around in a wheelchair and had to live in a nursing home, even though she was barely sixty-two. Viktor also looked a lot different, but maybe Yuuri just hadn’t gotten to know Viktor’s bubbly, cheery side that was depicted in the photos. Yuuri hoped he would get to see that side of Viktor, which Yuuri was sure Viktor had. Yuuri smiled and yawned as he set the photo’s back in the draw, making a mental note to look at the other stacks at a later date. With that, he pulled on his new pyjamas, revelling in their softness, before sliding into the huge blue bed which of course was silky and soft. Yuuri noted that he felt quite alone in the bed, it’s size making it clear that this was a bed made for two. Yuuri wondered if Viktor had felt the same.

 

-

 

“Good morning, Yuuri,” Lilia greeted as Yuuri entered the upper dining room after having a luxurious shower and put on his day-old jeans and a new, plain shirt. Yuuri marvelled at the breakfast spread; there were all different kinds of toasts and differently made eggs and cereals and muffins and pastries– they had everything, and it smelled amazing .  

 

“Good morning, Lilia,” Yuuri copied, taking a seat at the dining table where a place had been set for him.

 

“You just missed Yakov, he just headed off to work,” Lilia told him as she took a bite out of her chocolate piroshki. Yuuri grabbed some freshly buttered toast and spooned two poached eggs onto it, along with some bacon and hash browns.

 

“Oh, what does he do? I know he used to be a coach, but I didn’t know he continued to have a day job,” Yuuri asked, digging into his meal.

 

“He’s Japan’s official representative for trades and investments between Japan and other parts of Esterlake– most frequently Russia. He occasionally gets involved in trades between other nations, I think he coordinated some between Esterlake and Aracien Islands, and a few with Parvus– so that's Europe and Asia and Oceania,” Lilia explained. “He also occasionally fills in for Viktor’s mother’s roles and engagements– attending award ceremonies and parties and writing speeches and that sort of thing.”

 

“Oh, sounds hectic,” Yuuri commented, continuing to waffle down his breakfast.

 

“I can already tell your heat’s soon– sleeping late and eating like you’ve been starved all your life,” Lilia chuckled, taking a sip of her morning coffee and glancing at her watch that read nine fifteen.

 

“Mm, sorry about that,” Yuuri awkwardly replied, swallowing another big bite.

 

“No, no, it’s fine! Just funny is all. I’ve never really been around many omega’s in my life, so this is all quite new and funny to me,” Lilia giggled.

 

“You’ve never been around omega’s before?”

 

“No, my family growing up was made completely out of alpha’s, except for of course my mother, and even she was a beta,” Lilia explained. “The only omega I’ve ever been close to was Anna, but even she stopped having heats long ago, although I did do some research before you came to meet me, so I am no longer uninformed if that worries you.” Yuuri only smiled and nodded in response, continuing to eat, at a slower pace this time.

 

“So, do you have any plans for today? Any pre pre-heat rituals?” Lilia asked after Yuuri had finished his breakfast.

 

“Actually, I think I’m going to go shopping– use those gift cards you bought me,” Yuuri replied, nodding and thinking about what clothes to buy, (and what clothes would go nicely with his new earrings.)

 

“Ah, wonderful! Any specific things that you are looking for?”

 

“Mm, not really. Just anything that catches my eye, although I really should get some more layers since winter is next month,” Yuuri explained. Yuuri wondered if Viktor needed some more clothes– did Viktor ever need more clothes? He was a member of the royal family and probably had someone shop for him or something. But, Yuuri embarrassingly indulged in the thought of buying clothes for Viktor, or even just running errands for him. His heart swelled at the idea of being so domestic with Viktor, but he never let it show.

 

“Does Viktor like shopping?” Yuuri asked, an idea popping into his head.

 

“Mm, yes, very much. He honestly should probably do it less!” Lilia laughed.

 

“Do you think he would like it if we went shopping together? I’ve been trying to think of things for us to do that aren’t incredibly awkward,” Yuuri explained.

 

“I think that sounds very nice, I’m sure he’d love to do that with you,” Lilia answered honestly. “I can’t wait for you guys to finally meet again– it feels rather strange planning a wedding with only one person.”

 

“I couldn’t agree more.”

 

Yuuri spent the day shopping around, buying simply whatever he wanted, having the time of his life. Yuuri had never known shopping could be so fun, he used to hate shopping, but that was probably because he never had enough money to buy anything. By the time he got back to the palace at six, he had about nine bags filled with different outfits and clothes. Then he had dinner with Lilia and Yakov finally made an appearance and they discuss going down to the rink together in the next few weeks– Lilia’s idea’s of course, she wanted Yuuri to have a special bond with each person in their small family. Yakov said he had some old programs lying around and said he would be happy to teach them to Yuuri so he could keep skating, even if not competitively, (but maybe one day he could try out for some minor, local competitions.) Yuuri thanked Yakov for his present and offer to teach him some programs before heading to bed. He quietly discussed his upcoming heat with Lilia– she told him that over the next five days she would have someone send meals up to him at the appropriate times and if he needed anything to just call. When Yuuri entered the room, it smelled entirely different. It smelled like almost nothing, but if you stood in certain area’s of the room, you could smell tiny whiffs of what was undeniably Viktor’s scent. Viktor’s scent was almost fluffy, it seemed light and sort of reminded Yuuri of really beaten egg whites. It was a little weird, but most people’s scents were a ‘little weird’. According to Yuuri’s mother, if you had to describe his smell, it was like sweat and white chocolate. Sort of like if someone sweated white chocolate. Yuuri was a little insecure about that fact, but he knew it wasn’t a bad smell, it was just a Yuuri smell. Just like Viktor’s egg-whites smell was just Viktor’s smell. Yuuri decided he really liked Viktor’s smell and was glad that he got to spend his heat in this room, smelling a lovely alpha but not really wanting him, it made for a perfect heat.

 

Yuuri showered and put on his nice fluffy pyjamas and then began to put away his new clothes, before hopping into bed, and for once in his life he didn’t feel anxious about his heat, he was kind of glad he would get to experience five days of isolation while he got to eat delicious meals and fuck himself for as long as he liked.

 

-

 

Yuuri woke up the next morning feeling groggy and puffy-eyed, and definitely in preheat. Yuuri’s body felt sweaty and he could tell he’d already produced so much of his scent that it had become overly thick in the air. Yuuri didn’t feel aroused, he didn’t usually during this pre-heat, but his heart was definitely filled with want . Not want for sex or to be filled, he wanted a partner, a mate . He wanted someone there with him, taking care of him– he always did during his preheat. But this time, he felt this want for love all over, clutching his heart and sending butterflies to his stomach. He felt it all the way down to his toes, he ached for it. And the faint smell of Viktor was still lingering, and while he thought it would be nice, it made his chest ache– smelling someone who wasn’t there. Viktor had gone off to Russia, abandoning him– he clearly didn’t care at all for him.

 

Yuuri knew that was his heat talking, and Viktor hadn’t abandoned him– they barely knew each other, but that didn’t stop the tears welling up in his eyes. Yuuri took a deep breath and hopped out of bed, determined to not let his preheat get him down.

 

Yuuri has had a handful of good heats in his life, a couple of inconvenient ones and maybe one or two bad ones, but none of them felt like this . Yuuri really thought that this heat would be an okay one, maybe even a good one, but of course it didn’t look like it was going to be. Yuuri should’ve seen the signs, anytime he developed even the slightest hint of romantic attraction towards anyone ended him up in a terrible heat period. He’d shuffled through Viktor’s weirdly extensive collection of photo’s, (he would’ve looked through them all but he decided against it since it was kind of creepy,) rummaging through Viktor’s possessions and closet, loving how the bed and certain parts smelled like Viktor. Yuuri should’ve realised that he was clearly developing feelings for Viktor, or old ones that he suppressed were bubbling back up again. And now, he’d have to spend the next five days locked up in Viktor’s bedroom, all while Viktor was hours and hours away. This was torture . And what was he going to about his feelings for Viktor anyway? It wasn’t like they had any sort of chance with each other– Viktor probably loathed him, maybe that’s why he was still in Russia, not bothering to even ask to speak to Yuuri. Yuuri wondered if he’d actually even come back for the wedding at all.

 

After taking another few deep breaths, Yuuri picked out some of his new clothes– comfy lounge clothes and hopped into the shower. Once Yuuri had gotten out and gotten dressed, he searched through the bathroom cabinet once more and found some scent blockers– not because he was leaving his room, just because he didn’t want his scent so thick in the air. If Viktor did happen to come back within the next day, he didn’t want Viktor coming home to a room full of Yuuri’s scent. Plus, Yuuri didn’t really like his own scent hanging around that much, he liked to be generally odourless, unless he was feeling sad or extremely anxious, at those times he found his scent rather comforting. After Yuuri exited the large bathroom attached to the room– noting the giant bath in there on his way out, (he’d definitely use that while he was staying there,) he spotted a tray carefully placed on Yuuri’s bedside table– breakfast!

 

Yuuri ate breakfast and watched tv on Viktor’s giant tv, he then went on his computer for a bit and called Phichit to chat. He then had lunch and took an hour-long bath, soaking in the jetted tub, before slipping into some comfy pj’s and did some more online shopping– has Yuuri mentioned how much he loved being rich? After that, he played some video games and then had dinner over a Japanese soap opera. After that, with the last of his energy, he got off and fell asleep, putting an end to the first day of his preheat– a day of distracting himself from the ache in his heart, a distraction from the part in himself that longed for Viktor.

 

-

 

Day two of preheat, and Yuuri wasn’t feeling any better. Maybe a little bit more horny and hungry, but the thought of Viktor was still very much present in his mind, so Yuuri did what first came to mind– looked through his sex toy collection. Lilia had hinted that it was somewhere in in large walk-in robe, but not exactly where, so Yuuri set out to explore. He’d already had a pretty good look around there, and he already knew where a couple of ominous boxes were laying around. He entered and immediately headed straight for a black, tallish cabinet where he knew Viktor had 5-6 boxes in there– Yuuri just thought they were full of old clothes that he didn’t like or grew out of, but know Yuuri knew that in one of them was a sex toy collection. Yuuri opened the cabinet and saw six boxes. All were the same size, two were covered in blue faux fur, two were plain black ones with silver along the edges, one was covered in a soft blue material, and atop that was black lace and the last one had those colours but reversed– blue lace, white fabric. Yuuri pulled out the one covered in white lace first, figuring that one probably held the stuff he needed. Yuuri thought back to his conversation with Lilia and how she mentioned that most of what he had was unused– but how would he be able to tell? Yuuri unclipped the clasp holding the lid and opened it up, and was immediately met with the smell of aroused alpha– aroused Viktor . The scent wafted around him and Yuuri took a few deep breaths, trying to make sure he didn’t accidentally go into heat early. It was then, that Yuuri looked at the box. What he was met with was little velvet lined compartments, each holding different items. There was a pull-string in the middle of it all, and when Yuuri used it, the top layer came right off and below was tons of lube. Most of it was plain, some were designed to imitate omega’s slick, and some were flavoured. Yuuri also took note that most of them were half-full. Yuuri put the top layer back on top and went through the toys, which to Yuuri didn’t look that ‘extensive,’ it only looked a little bigger than his own. He found two fleshlights, a ribbed dildo, a glass dildo, a few normal silicone ones, a purple vibrating dildo, a vibrator, a prostate massager and two cock rings. Jesus, what did Viktor get up to in his spare time? Yuuri noted that there in fact wasn’t any knotting dildo’s as Liliasuggestedd. Was there more than one box? Yuuri closed that one and pulled out another– one of the furry ones that was bright pink. Yuuri opened it but immediately shut it again when he saw it was filled with items used in bondage, he only realised that it didn’t smell like Viktor at all like the last box did. Yuuri pulled out the second purple furry box and opened it up and found more lube. So. Much. Lube. Every single fucking kind of lube. Yuuri pulled a bottle of plain lube for himself, figuring it would be good to have it in his bedside table rather all the way in here. Yuuri closed that one and pulled out another– the blue lace one. But when he opened it he found nothing, same interior design as the white lace one but nothing inside other than a note .

 

This box is empty– find whatever toys & lube you like and store it in here, preferably in your own closet though

 

Lilia

 

Well, Lilia didn’t get more thoughtful than that. It was then he realised that all six boxes had sex toys in them, apart from Yuuri’s personal one which was currently empty. Yuuri pulled out the last two black ones, which had every kind of toy you could think of. The first black box was exclusively for dildo’s nothing else. The second box had all sorts of things like vibrators and cock rings and spreading bars. Yuuri picked out a glass dildo, a inflatable knotting dildo, a rather large plain baby blue one, a prostage massager, a bullet vibe, and a fleshlight. He put the lube and the rest of his toys in his box and stacked the rest away. But, as he was doing so he stopped at Viktor’s. He reopened it and took a deep breath, inhaling his alpha’s– No– Viktor’s aroused smell. He knew what he was about to do crossed a line and was utterly creepy and gross and probably included a lot of heat hormones, but he impulsive took a dildo from Viktor’s box and put it in his own, he would put it back later.

 

Just as Yuuri was doing so, he heard a knock on the door to the bedroom and practically jumped out of his skin. Was Viktor here? Did he actually come back? Did he somehow know that Yuuri was stealing his dildo ? Yuuri pushed everything to the side and ran to the door, still clad in his pyjamas. When he opened the door, he was flooded with relief at the sight of one their maids, holding a tray of food.

 

“Breakfast, Yuuri?” the maid said with a bright smile. Yuuri found it hard to answer in his adrenaline rush, but nodded his head, welcoming in the maid. The maid placed the food on the nearest bedside table before tuning to speak to Yuuri again. “Lilia has requested for me to drop your meals off in the library attached to this room that also connects to the main foyer from now on as to not disturb you, would that be okay with you? If you would like I could send one of our beta’s to drop it off during allocated times?”

 

“No, no, library is fine,” Yuuri answered.

 

“Very well, I’ll be bring breakfast at eight thirty, lunch at twelve thirty, along with extra food if you get hungry between lunch and dinner and I’ll bring your last meal at seven, so be sure to stay out of the library during those times.” Yuuri nodded and the maid left. Even though breakfast smelled heavenly and was waiting for him, he scurried back to Viktor’s closet and began to pack up the toys and placed them away, before digging into his breakfast.

 

-

 

Four days, thirty orgasms and whole bucket of tears later, Yuuri was officially finished with his heat. It was an awful, awful heat but it was done. Yuuri pushed the thoughts of the past few days from his mind and decided to pretend he’d never been through that heat, and that he definetly did not have the realisation during these days that he still low-key had the hots for Viktor and was high-key very freaked out about it– I mean, what was he going to do? Just ignore Viktor until he died? File for a divorce in thirty years and go back to being broke? Wait and hope they went away? Or worse, actually confront Viktor about it? Yuuri didn’t know what he was gonna do, but he did know that he was starving and he was itching to get out of his room, (which was covered in his heat scent and was making his mind fuzzy and his vision blurry– he hoped after breakfast he would come back to the room the scent will have magically vanished.)

 

Yuuri got out of bed, trying to focus on finding some decent clothes, but the room and his mind were screaming about Viktor. Yuuri couldn’t look at a single aspect of the room without shuddering in panic– he had to get out of there ASAP, before he started having a meltdown. For the minutes that passed as Yuuri got dressed and showered, he felt overwhelmed and extremely on edge, and even though Yuuri knew it was just because he’d spent the past three days in heat, in Viktor’s room– a guy Yuuri had feelings for and a history with, all which made him incredibly anxious– he couldn’t shake the feeling of need and want and despair coming from within him.

 

He just wanted to see Viktor. And it didn’t have to be romantic, or even in a friendly way, he just wanted to know how he was feeling and what he was doing. He wanted to see him, and not knowing how Viktor felt about this made the nagging feeling in his gut, the nagging feeling of the unknown, was crushing him. Yuuri was happy to get out of the room, and he did so with haste.

 

-

 

Yuuri met Lilia in the upper dining room. The table was covered in food as usual, but this time it was all local Japanese food– a traditional Japanese breakfast.

 

“I thought you were probably missing the food from home, so I decided to ask our chef to make a traditional Japanese breakfast, I hope it makes you feel a bit better after your heat,” Lilia said as Yuuri took a seat at the table. “I also brought it out because I feel a little guilty.”

 

“Guilty?” Yuuri questioned, his brow furrowing as his took a bowlful of rice and some miso.

 

“Yes, I– uh– well,” Lilia fumbled, trying to find the right words. Yuuri had never seen Lilia look flustered or at a loss for words before, but here she was, fidgeting with nervousness– had she done something wrong?

 

“I’m afraid we are going to have to cancel,” Lilia finally replied, looking down in shame, an emotion that did not suit her at all.

Chapter Text

Yuuri met Lilia in the upper dining room. The table was covered in food as usual, but this time it was all local Japanese food– a traditional Japanese breakfast.

 

“I thought you were probably missing the food from home, so I decided to ask our chef to make a traditional Japanese breakfast, I hope it makes you feel a bit better after your heat,” Lilia said as Yuuri took a seat at the table. “I also brought it out because I feel a little guilty.”

 

“Guilty?” Yuuri questioned, his brow furrowing as he took a bowlful of rice and some miso.

 

“Yes, I– uh– well,” Lilia fumbled, trying to find the right words. Yuuri had never seen Lilia look flustered or at a loss for words before, but here she was, fidgeting with nervousness– had she done something wrong?

 

“I’m afraid we are going to have to cancel,” Lilia finally replied, looking down in shame, an emotion that did not suit her at all.

 

Yuuri’s heart stopped . Cancel ? Cancel the wedding ?

 

“Viktor called and he won’t be back in time for the rehearsal dinner, so, we’re going to have to cancel it,” Lilia spoke again. “Sorry, I probably should’ve started with that.”

 

-

 

Six Months Earlier

 

“No one must know, Lilia, do you hear me? No one, not a single person other than me, you, Viktor and whichever whore he marries must know, okay?” Ivan repeated, almost growling with desperation and anger. He glared at Lilia as she shakily nodded, not daring to move off her spot next to Ivan’s blue hospital bed.

 

“Yes, Sir,” Lilia responded, weakly. She didn’t know why she was so scared around Ivan, she was the strongest alpha she knew, far braver and stronger than Ivan who’s only talent was guilt tripping people until he got what he wanted. Ivan then waved her off, demanding time to watch TV that was on a small bench at the foot of his bed. Lilia turned to leave, her thin legs taking her a couple timid steps before turning back around to look at the disgrace that was lying in bed. He was not worth more than her. He didn’t deserve anything, or for Lilia to obey his commands.

 

“Viktor has a soulmate,” Lilia said after a second or two of pondering about what she would say. It came out much quieter than she would’ve liked, but she was satisfied with the sour look painting King Ivan’s face.

 

Ivan scowled at Lilia before speaking again. “He lies.”

 

“Viktor did not lie, Ivan. I’ve seen the mark myself,” Lilia said proudly, defending Viktor. Viktor was immature, he didn’t deal well with conflict and he ran away from his problems but he was no liar.

 

“Viktor is a liar .” Ivan’s his temper grew short. “After everything I’ve done for him,” Ivan muttered. “He doesn’t deserve a soulmate, no one would want him anyway– Viktor is a damn pig! You and him are nothing but fools, to think you’d talk to me in such a way after I ordered you around for decades as my secretary. Just because you married Yakov does not make you are part of this family, and it doesn’t mean you can talk to me like that.”

 

Lilia pursed her lips and stormed out of the room– how dare someone talk about Viktor that way, someone who is nothing but sweet and kind and bubbly, if a little childish and stupid. Lilia took some deep breaths as she stormed out of the hospital and out into the car which was waiting for her outside with Viktor in it. Lilia told her personal driver to take them both back to the palace before slinking back in her seat and looking down at her lap.

 

“I don’t think he has long left, Viktor… I’m sorry,” Lilia finally spoke, lifting her head to see Viktor staring out the window. Viktor only shrugged in response.

 

“What did he say?” Viktor asked, even though he knew full well what they had talked about, thinking back to the conversation he overheard Ivan and Lilia having.

 

“He said he loves you,” Lilia responded, a fake smile plastered to her face. Lies .

 

...Viktor is a damn pig!

 

Maybe he should’ve stayed in the car after all.

 

Viktor is a liar!

 

“And the marriage?”

 

“We’re working on it, dear. Ivan just wants to protect the throne,” Lilia lied– again . Viktor shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

 

Viktor doesn’t deserve a soulmate

 

“How does Borscht sound for dinner tonight?” Lilia offered, hoping one of the younger’s favourite dishes would cheer the twenty-one year-old up.

 

N o one would want him anyway

 

“Actually, I don’t think I’ll be home in time for dinner,” Viktor replied, continuing to look out the window.

 

-

 

Viktor shrugged off his light sweater as he stepped inside the shop with black painted walls and a sign out the shop that said ‘ tattoo parlour ,’ and in fine print at the bottom also said that they did soulmark removing here. Around Viktor was posters of tattoos– mostly floral stuff but the occasional pretentious drawing too. Viktor knew this was the best tattoo parlour around, (actually, it was one of the only tattoo parlours around,) and had decided to come here after the words of his father repeated around his head, hours after he’d spoken them. Although, he did know he would end up here the second he heard them. Besides, his father was right, Viktor didn’t deserve a soulmate. No one would want him– and so he was here, removing the last of the evidence that Viktor ever had a chance at being decently happy in his life. Because he didn’t, and he’d probably end up unhappy and bitter, just like his father.

 

Viktor walked up to the counter and register, where a twenty-something girl was standing there, on the phone to someone, talking in Japanese about tattoo prices or something. As Viktor waited for the girl’s conversation to finish, he looked around the room at the people. Half of them looked miserable, half of them looked drunk. Some of them looked drunk and miserable. Viktor wished he was drunk at this moment– he knew what he was about to do was going to be painful and he knew he wasn’t going to like it but , nevertheless, it was something he had to do. There was no avoiding it. Some of them were even silently, or not so silently, crying. What a morbid place to be.

 

“Can I help you?” the girl finally spoke, putting the phone down and meeting Viktor’s eyes, to which she became surprised– no one would’ve guessed Viktor Nikiforov would end up in a soulmark removalist place. “Your Highness,” the girl added, fumbling around with her fingers and blushing. Viktor should’ve worn sunglasses or a hat or something.

 

“Um, yes. I’d like to get a soulmark removed, please. And, uh, everything here is confidential, right? I don’t want anyone to know I’m here,” Viktor replied, almost whispering.

 

“Yes, of course, Mr Nikiforov. I can have you in with our best removalist in no more than five minutes,” the girl replied. “Here is a leaflet about how it is going to work and how to care for the wound afterwards, but Kubo-sensei will fill you in once she’s ready for you, and my name is Mari if you would need any help.”

 

Viktor nodded and sat down in one of their velvety chairs and took a seat. Viktor checked the time– 10:02 pm. Lilia was going to hate him for being so late home, but it wasn’t like he was out this late frequently. He checked the time in Switzerland, where is one and only true friend lived. His name was Christophe and he was the son of Parvus’s king. Once Viktor googled the time, he found out it was about 2 pm where Chris was, and it was a perfect time to call. He quickly dialled his Swiss friend.

 

“Viktor?” the man answered, his voice thick with sleep.

 

“Have you been sleeping, Chris? It’s two o’clock!” Viktor chuckled, finding himself already feeling a tad more cheery.

 

“I had a late night,” Chris groaned. “Why are you calling anyway? We haven’t talked in what– two weeks?” Viktor thought back to the past two weeks, he’d been running around dealing with his Dad’s business along with Lilia so he knew he had no reason to feel bad about not keeping contact with Chris, but he still felt a little guilty, especially since he was calling to complain.

 

“I’m sorry I haven’t been responding much, I– uh– well, there’s just been lots of stuff going on with my Dad. I went to see him at the hospital today,” Viktor told the nineteen-year-old.

 

“He’s still there?”

 

“Uh, yeah. I actually didn’t see him, I just was with Lilia and waited in the car while she went to see him. And then I followed her in and heard my dad and her talking,” Viktor explained heart, feeling the telltale lump raising in his throat. No . He wasn’t going to cry; he wasn’t going to get upset. “He said things, Chris… awful things.”

 

The platinum-haired adult heard Chris sigh. “Whatever he said, Viktor, it isn’t true,” Chris reassured him, knowing what could’ve gone on and knowing the kind of things Ivan could’ve said. Viktor pursed his lips and balled his fists, squeezing his eyes shut and furrowing his eyebrows to prevent any tears from spilling. He took some deep breaths and Chris waited, the awkward but also comforting silence lingering around them.

 

“I don’t want to do this, Chris,” Viktor finally let out in a rush, his voice breaking and high pitched. He let out a silent, muffled sob.

 

“Do what, Viktor?” Chris asked gently. A moment of silence passed between them, apart from the occasional sob and hiccup.

 

“Viktor?” Viktor heard Chris repeat.

 

“I can’t,” Viktor sobbed, louder this time, tears streaming down his face. “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,” Viktor continued to cry, repeating it like a mantra. “Please, I can’t do this.”

 

“What do you want me to do, Viktor? What should I do?” Chris asked, his heart clenching at his friend’s sorrows. Viktor was startled by his friend's voice, forgetting he was even there. Viktor was then reminded that the environment around him was real, and such loud crying was bound to embarrass him. So, he regained his control and quieted down, taking deep breaths and vigorously rubbing his eyes, trying to stop the streams of tears cascading down his cheeks.

 

“Nothing. I shouldn’t have even called you,” Viktor finally said, after a few minutes of composing himself.

 

“Yes, you should’ve, Viktor,” Chris correctly firmly. “What is going on? What are you doing?”

 

“I-I’m getting my soulmark removed,” Viktor admitted, not only to Chris but to himself.

 

“No. No, don’t do that . You can’t do that! Your soulmark is so special,” the Swiss man replied frantically. “Why on earth would you do that!?”

 

“I’m getting married , Chris,” Viktor reminded the younger one.

 

“I thought Lilia told you they were finding a way around that?”

 

“She lied. I’m getting married to some omega that I don’t even know. I’ll never have a chance with my soulmate,” Viktor told him, resting his head on his hands.

 

“You don’t know that,” Chris argued, finding within him a passion for Viktor finding his soulmate– no one should throw away that opportunity.

 

“So, what? I find them and say ‘hey, by the way, I’m married and I’m not getting a divorce?’ I can’t do that to someone– I should just take myself out of the picture.”

 

“Viktor Nikiforov?” a short woman called– it was time for Viktor’s appointment. Viktor looked at the Japanese woman and took a deep breath. This was the right thing to do.

 

“I have to go, Chris,” Viktor said and hung up, not waiting for the other man’s response.

 

Viktor wiped his eyes again and stood up, following the woman into a hall.

 

-

 

Two months later

 

“Viktor, you are getting married in four months, you can’t just zip off to Russia now,” Yakov told Viktor sternly, crossing his arms and glaring at the boy. “Lilia has spent copious amounts of time choosing a partner for you– don’t you want to meet them? Spend some time with them before getting married? Are you really that selfish that you’ll disregard Lilia’s hard work and the feelings and thoughts of the person who you are going to spend the rest of your life with?”

 

“Yakov,” Lilia whispered, not wanting anyone calling Viktor selfish, she’d know it would only make things worse. “I know you do not want to do this, but going to Russia now is going to make everything harder for you. I know your father dying has been hard on you, and especially now that your mother is becoming even sicker, and this seems like rather bad timing, you still have to go through with it. I’m trying to make this as easy as possible for you.”

 

“I don’t want to meet them– I don’t want to stay here, I can’t stay here,” Viktor repeated himself, ignoring Lilia’s and Yakov’s pleas for him to stay. “I’ve already booked a flight and packed, so your arguments are pointless, you are just wasting your breath.”

 

“Booked flights have never stopped you from missing them before– you’ll get on when it suits you ,” Yakov growled. Viktor furrowed his eyebrows in anger– why couldn’t they see he needed this? Viktor stood up off the couch and stormed out, grabbing his suitcases and a carry on bag. He didn’t want to be here any longer. Just as Viktor was getting into the car as his valet loaded his suitcases into the car.

 

“So, when will you be back?” Lilia asked, startling Viktor. He’d thought she had stayed behind.

 

“Soon,” Viktor said, fakely smiled. “I’m sorry I upset Yakov,” Viktor continued in a much more continued genuine tone.

 

“He’ll be fine,” Lilia replied, sighing. There was a moment of silence, in which the driver closed the boot and hoped in the driver’s seat, starting the car. Viktor cleared his throat and reached to close the door to the car.

 

“Viktor?” Viktor raised his eyebrows and stopped in his actions in response. “He likes ice skating. He’s nice, I think you’ll like him,” Lilia offered, telling him about his future husband in attempt to reassure him. Viktor only offered a weak smile in return and closed the car door.

 

-

 

Present time, St. Petersburg

( Russian is in italics )

 

Viktor? Are you alright? Nervous? ” A deep, worn out voice asked through the thick wooden door to the room Viktor was staying at.

 

Viktor opened the door to the man and smirked. “ Maybe a little ,” the twenty-one-year-old replied coyly.

 

Well, you are getting married, and seeing your fiancé for the first time in five months tomorrow, it’s perfectly normal to feel like that ,” the man replied, pushing back his short hair– it was as silver as Viktor’s. Viktor walked back to his wooden bed and sat down on it, the man following. Viktor pulled his lips into a straight line and nodded– ‘ first time in four months .’ If only. “ And you’re heading back to the palace, that’s gonna be hard. That place must be littered with memories of Ivan .”

 

Yeah ,” Viktor replied sighing. “ I feel bad that I had to cancel the rehearsal .”

 

I’m sure the wedding will be just as good ,” the older answered. Viktor looked around the room– a suitcase was out and full of half-folded clothes and trinkets he’d picked up from around here. The room was dimly lit, only yellow-tinged lights nailed to the wall lighting the room. The walls and ceiling and floor were all covered in the same dark oak wood, and the bed was much the same, only a plaid red quilt covering the white sheets and mattress. Viktor had grown so comfortable here, in these past five months. But now he was leaving it all to go back to a fiancé he’d never met. The spot on Viktor’s thigh which previously held a soulmark tingled at the thought of the wedding tomorrow.

 

I don’t want to leave here, I don’t want to leave you, or even Yuri and Yulia . You have been so welcoming and kind .”

 

Yurio will miss you, but he is only ten, you still have the rest of his life to see him again. As for Yulia, now I don’t think she’d want you to leave either. But you have a family to return to, Viktor . Don’t you want to see your Yuuri again? ” Viktor reluctantly nodded. He had to see Yuuri and Lilia and Yakov. And Anna , his mother; he couldn’t bare to not see her for any longer, that much was true.

 

My family is here ,” Viktor replied, looking down at his lap. He’d never told Alexander before but he felt so much more connected to him and this part of his family than his one back in Japan.

 

Some of your family is here, but everything else is back in Japan. Remember, we’ll always welcome you to visit, okay? In fact, we demand you come see us again.”

 

“But, when will I ever have time again? I’m not even supposed to visit St. Petersburg without at least letting everyone know– it’s outside of Esterlake. If anyone outside of the royal family finds out I’m here the press will go crazy. An Esterlake prince in Parvus, undocumented, no passport? I’m already putting everyone at risk as it is,” Viktor reminded the other man.

 

We’ll figure something out, okay? Now, come join us for an early dinner and then you better rest up before your flight? You do not want to be getting married on two hours sleep ,” the man chuckled. Viktor smiled warmly, glad to be in the presence of the other man. Two seconds ago he couldn’t bear the thought of being anywhere near another person, but now he never wanted Alexander to leave, and he couldn’t wait to have dinner with Yuri and Yulia. He seemed to be so hot-cold these days. Viktor hoped his fiancé would put up his moodiness. Viktor wondered what his Yuuri did think of him– he’d sent him gifts and asked Lilia to hang a poster of him half-naked in replacement of the real him, (Viktor giggled at the memory,) but still had not returned to Japan, and wasn’t even cancelling their rehearsal dinner! Viktor found himself hoping Yuuri would like him, but sometimes wished he never existed– he frequently cursed Yuuri, as if all of this was his doing, but Viktor had to remind himself that Ivan had done this, not Yuuri. Yuuri deserved Viktor’s kindness and care, not his anger. Viktor didn’t want to skate with his husband on their wedding night, irrationally mad at the other.

 

What’s for dinner? ” Viktor asked after a moment of pondering over his feelings, quickly standing up off the bed and reaching for the door.

 

Yulia made your favourite, since it is your last dinner with us– Stroganoff! ” Viktor grinned and whispered ‘ yesss ’ before skipping down the hall to the small, cosy dining room where Yurio was setting the table and Yulia was in the conjoining kitchen, serving the food.

 

Smells amazing, Yulia ,” Viktor purred, wrapping his arms around the fifty-year-old woman from behind in a loving gesture. Yulia giggled and handed Viktor a bowl.

 

Set this on the table, please ,” Yulia instructed, throwing a warm look to Viktor as he left the kitchen. When Viktor re-entered the dining room, Yuri had finished setting the table and was taking a seat. Viktor placed the bowl in front of the ten-year-old who was currently brushing back his short, blonde locks.

 

I’m going to miss you, Yurio, ” Viktor chuckled as the child exposed his forehead. “ Your forehead is almost as big as mine, ” Viktor teased, poking the expanse of skin.

 

Shut up, you old hag ,” Yuri replied before taking a big mouthful of his dinner.

 

Manners, Yuri! Wait until everyone is seated, ” Alexander groaned from the other side of the table, taking a seat as Yulia placed his dinner in front of him. Soon Viktor and Yulia joined the table as well, and they all ate in relative silence, enjoying their meal too much to talk.

 

Viktor headed off to bed after some sweet piroshki, sad to be leaving, but hopeful for the future– Ivan was dead, and he was marrying someone who appeared to be sweet and intelligent and loved skating just as much as he did. Of course, just before slipping away into the depths of sleep, his eyes wandered over the pages of Yuuri’s profile that Lilia had sent him while he was here. Viktor ran his eyes across the bit that said he’d played ice hockey on Viktor’s team; Viktor couldn’t remember playing with him one bit, but it sparked excitement inside of him– maybe they’d spoken before. If they had, Viktor hoped he’d left a good impression.

 

Viktor awoke again at 9 pm to his alarm, alerting him and the rest of the family that it was time Viktor made his way to the airport.

 

-

 

Remember to eat on the plane, but only a little because I know how much you’ll need your sleep and eating too much before bed can throw you off ,” Yulia explained, her firm arm planted on Viktor’s shoulder in a caring gesture.

 

I promise to do so, Yulia ,” Viktor chuckled. Yulia smiled in return, her big green eyes sparkling.

 

It has been a pleasure to have you stay with us, Viktor, truly. I hope to see you and your fiancé soon .” Viktor nodded and thanked Yulia for the pleasant stay, before moving onto Alexander.

 

I’m sorry I crashed at yours for so long, Alexander, ” Viktor apologised as he lingered at the boarding gate with his newfound family, beginning his goodbyes.

 

Nonsense! We loved having you, you are family. It is me who should be apologising, I feel so guilty for never contacting you. I thought about you every single day, but I couldn’t bring myself to contact you. I just became so intimidated by Ivan, and I didn’t want to upset Anna by seeing her again after we separated, ” Alexander explained– the millionth time he had done so since Viktor had arrived, many months ago.

 

It is all forgiven– And I am so happy you found Yulia and had Yuri, I already love both of them very much ,” Viktor replied, smiling. He was so happy to have found this pocket of love all the way in St. Petersburg, in the middle of it all. “ As much as I love her, Anna should have at least told me about you. I didn’t even know Ivan wasn’t my real father until I was eighteen. ”  

 

I’m sure she was just trying to protect you, besides, you were so young when we separated, it made sense that I left the picture– Ivan made that very clear ,” Alexander said. “ I hope you return to Japan happy.

 

Being with you has made me the happiest I’ve ever been in months ,” Viktor admitted, before enveloping him in a big hug. “ Goodbye, I hope to see you again soon, Dad. ” Viktor then finally wrapped Yuri up in a huge hug, spinning him around before dropping him back down again. Yuri pouted, grumpy at the late hour.

 

Goodbye, Viktor, ” the blonde mumbled. Viktor giggled at the low tone and bid him goodbye. Viktor hugged Yulia, Alexander and Yuri one last time before waving and stepping onto the plane.

 

-

 

“Welcome home, Viktor,” Lilia said in a sly, cold tone, opening the door to Viktor’s car and ducking down to see his face. “It’s been a while, no?”

Chapter Text

“Welcome home, Viktor,” Lilia said in a sly, cold tone, opening the door to Viktor’s car and ducking done to see his face. “It’s been a while, no?”  

 

“Good morning, Lilia,”A burst of cold wind rushed into the warmth of Viktor’s car and reminded him where he was. He was no longer in Russia with his dad, he was back in Japan, where his responsibilities lay. Viktor shivered and ignored Lilia’s attempts at intimidation, getting out of the car. “Did you have a nice flight?” Lilia asked in the same cold tone– Viktor knew she was trying to get the point across that she was angry with him. Viktor didn’t say anything, Viktor already knew she was angry and annoyed. Viktor didn’t regret going to Russia, and he was going to let Lilia know that. He wasn’t going to be intimidated by her anger. Besides, today was his wedding day and he didn’t have to feel guilty about anything. Not today.

 

Viktor’s valet pulled out his suitcases and made his way up to the palace doors, doing as instructed, bringing them to Viktor’s bedroom. Viktor and Lilia followed closely behind, not saying anything to each other.

 

Once they reached Viktor’s room, Lilia finally dared to speak again. “So, the schedule for today is breakfast with the Katsuki’s, not Yuuri though since you can’t see him until the ceremony. He’ll be having breakfast with a friend and then heading here to get ready. After our breakfast, you’ll start getting ready as well, Yuuri will be getting ready on the second floor, and you’ll be getting ready on the first. Then, at eleven…” Viktor tuned Lilia out after a few seconds as a scent clouded his nose as he moved closer to the bed. Viktor recognized a scent like that anywhere. Heat scent. Was it Yuuri’s heat scent? Had he had a heat here ? In Viktor’s bedroom ? Viktor furrowed his brows and looked around the room. It was only then that he realised that the room looked a little different. The bedside tables were different. There was a second desk in the room. The bedsheets were different! How on earth did Viktor not notice that?

 

“Yuuri had a heat here?” Viktor exclaimed, interrupting Lilia’s long schedule for the day. Lilia looked a little stunned– it was the first thing Viktor had said since he’d arrived.

 

“Uh, yes. He stayed here a few times, and we got some new furniture. I wanted to make this place comfortable for him,” Lilia explained. “I thought we’d gotten the scent out– I can ask for someone to come in and clear it out again?”

 

“No, it’s fine. It’d be pointless considering he’ll be sleeping here tonight… He will be sleeping here, right?” Viktor asked.

 

“Yes, he lives here now.” Viktor took a deep breath. He was starting to feel a little bad that he wasn’t here for all of this.

 

“And where are his things?”

 

“They’re here– Here’s just a very tidy person, I guess. His closet has all his clothes, and his desk holds most of his things. And he has his own shelves and of course he was things in his bedside table,” Lilia answered, watching Viktor go over to where Yuuri had his own shelves. The shelves held mostly books, some anime figures and other nerdy stuff like that– and one shelf, a shelf that made Viktor himself feel intimidated– a shelf filled with trophies. Ice skating trophies. Viktor didn’t dare pick them up but he read them, and most of them were small skating events, nothing too major– Viktor had competed in small events like that himself. But what really caught Viktor’s eye were the medals hanging below the shelf. Half of them were gold, some bronze, some silver. Some of them were major events too– one of the silver medals read ‘ Junior World Championships .’ A good chunk of the gold medals were from different Esterlake Junior Competitions, and the rest were all Japan local. One thing Viktor noticed was that they were all from the Junior category.

 

“He was a world champion?” Viktor asked, want to clarify.

 

“Yes, he only competed twice though, when he was fourteen and fifteen. His last season he did badly and he retired– I don’t know if you’d call it retiring though considering he was sixteen. He was a very good skater, he started competing nationally when he was eleven. It’s a shame he didn’t keep going,” Lilia replied. “He still skates religiously though, almost every day, and he even keeps up his old exercise regimen. He’s very dedicated.”

 

“How am I supposed to skate with a world champion tonight? He’s going to think I’m terrible,” Viktor whined, as remembered his promise to take him skating. Viktor suddenly felt very insecure– now not only did Yuuri probably think it was a stupid idea, he was gonna be so much better at it than he was.

 

“I severely doubt that, Yuuri would never say that about anyone. In fact, he’s probably thinking the same thing!” Lilia chuckled.

 

“He isn’t a world champion, why would he think that?” Viktor said, his mouth agape. The guy was amazing, there was no way he could feel insecure about his skating.

 

“You’re a future king, Viktor, and he used to be a broke, failing university student,” the older reasoned.  Viktor nodded in understanding. He hoped once they’d met Yuuri wouldn’t feel so intimidated. “So, I’m going to check on breakfast and then greet and escort the Katsuki’s to the formal dining room. I expect to see you there in fifteen, alright?”

 

“Alright,” Viktor replied, happy that over the course of their conversation Lilia’s cold tone had gone away. He understood why she was angry, but the ice had been broken now, and they could happily move on and focus on the day’s events.

 

-

 

“So, Viktor, I hear you went to university?” Hiroko asked, taking a bite out of her scrambled eggs.

 

Viktor nodded in response, trying not to sound bored out of his mind– an hour of polite conversation, all while the thoughts of seeing Yuuri for the first time filled his mind. He was beyond anxious, and the breakfast conversation was driving him insane. “I completed a bachelor degree in Economics, I just graduated last year,” Viktor answered, taking a bite of his own breakfast.

 

“Oh, that sounds wonderful– do you think you’ll go back to university?” Toshiya said in response, stopping Hiroko before she spoke again.

 

“Toshiya, I’m sure Viktor is very busy with his responsibilities,” Hiroko commented rather quickly, elbowing her husband secretly.

 

“Ah, I might. I have actually had a lot of free time this past year, I actually made a trip to Russia for a few months, but my schedule will probably will become a lot more crowded after Yuuri settles in– my mother can’t keep up with her busy life as much as she used to and Yakov, Lilia’s husband, can’t fill in for everything ,” Viktor explained. “But if I’m ever so inclined I might go back to university.”

 

“Russia, huh?” Mari asked, piping up– she hadn’t said a word since she arrived.

 

“Mm, yes. I went to visit… some family ,” Viktor replied, smiling and glaring at Lilia– they hadn’t really had a chance to talk about the whole, ‘Ivan isn’t really my dad and yet I have to go through all this shit’ thing, so, for now, Viktor would glare at her in anger and she would shoot knowing stares, and kick his chair whenever he threatened to spill the secret. Viktor would never actually say anything, considering that he’d have to say where in Russia his father lived, and that would suggest that Viktor actually went to St. Petersburg, and Lilia would blow his head off for that.

 

“I didn’t know you had more family,” Mari commented, in a grilling tone.

 

“Um, yes. My uncle and his wife and son live in Russia– they decided to stay in Russia though,” Viktor lied, smiling and looking at everyone to see if they’d seen through his lies. “I hadn’t seen them in a while and after my father died I just had to get away. Although I do deeply regret not being there with Yuuri in the lead-up to the wedding, I feel awful about it,” Viktor explained, more to Lilia than any of the Katsuki’s. From the corner of his eye, Viktor saw Lilia smiling to herself.

 

“Well, I’m sure this past year has been hard on you, Viktor,” Hiroko replied, her face looking concerned.

 

“Well, maybe a little. But Yuuri seems lovely and I’m sure we’ll get along and life will be a little less boring with him around,” Viktor chuckled.

 

“I’m glad you think so– I know Yuuri thinks the same,” Toshiya chimed.

 

“Oh, good.” Viktor smiled to himself– any piece of information regarding Yuuri almost made him giddy. He didn’t know why, but he was really looking forward to meeting and getting to know Katsuki Yuuri– the thought of daily life with the other man made him almost feel giddy.

 

-

 

“I can’t believe you’re getting married,” Phichit sighed, taking a piece of his muffin and eating it.

 

“Me neither– And I’m only twenty-one, like I could spend the majority of my life married. If I live ‘til like eighty, I’ll be married sixty years,” Yuuri reminded Phichit.

 

“I can’t believe you’re actually doing this,” Phichit said, shaking his head.

 

“At least I get to be rich for the rest of my life,” Yuuri offered, knowing that even though it’d been a month since he told Phichit about the engagement, Phichit still hadn’t stopped trying to convince him it was a bad idea– the least he could do was offer Phichit the silver lining. “I mean if I really wanted, I could spend all my nights in a hotel, I certainly have the funds.”

 

“Well, you should really be sleeping in your home,” Phichit retorted, trying to keep his opinions to himself, but failing. Yuuri was stubborn and Phichit knew this, there was nothing he do to stop Yuuri now.

 

“The palace is my home,” Yuuri told Phichit. Phichit raised his eyebrows in question. “I’ve spent quite a lot of time there recently. And I really love Lilia and Ana– even Yakov, even though he tends to avoid me and he’s a bit of a grump.”

 

“Well, I’m sure they’re nice,” Phichit said pulling a flat smile and deciding to not push the topic. Today was Yuuri’s wedding day. “So, how is everything going to run today?”

 

“Well, we’re having breakfast here, then you’re coming with me to get ready for the ceremony at the palace, and then we’re going to the venue and getting married. After that, we have the reception for six hours at the palace– close friends and family only, and no cameras, from one-thirty to seven thirty, and then everyone leaves and me and Viktor are going ice skating,” Yuuri told Phichit for the hundredth time. He’d been over it so many times the actually marrying thing seemed so much less nerve-racking. He didn’t know why, but the fact that it was an arranged marriage made it all the less anxiety-inducing. Of course, he was still nervous about seeing Viktor again for the first time in years, and obviously going skating with him sweaty with anxiousness, and maybe the fact that his wedding was going to be broadcast on TV was slightly unnerving. He still didn’t feel as anxious as he thought he would, though. But it was only ten am, he still had an entire day to become anxious.

 

“Are you excited about skating with Viktor?” Phichit asked, taking a sip of his milkshake. Well, of course he was excited, but at the same time he felt like he shouldn’t be excited– he should be nervous because it was Viktor Nikiforov he was skating with and even though Yuuri had been an excellent skater before he family got broke and he decided to take a different career path, Yuuri could never be as good as Viktor, even if he had the medals to back it up. If Yuuri wasn’t worried about skating with Viktor before, he sure was now. Not to mention that skating was such an important thing to him, and sharing that with Viktor– a guy he barely knew– was a little sickening.

 

“Yeah, a little,” Yuuri answered truthfully after a moment of thought. “I wonder how good he is.”

 

Ten minutes later, Yuuri was paying for his and Yuuri’s Phichit, relishing in the fact that he now could. They left the cafe and took a cab to the palace, texting Lilia that they were arriving. Once they’d stepped out, Phichit’s draw dropped in awe.

 

“I’m just now realising that I’m friends with a member of the royal family…” Phichit gaped, loosely following Yuuri to the palace doors. Yuuri rolled his eyes Phichit gawked at the architecture, dragging him in.

 

“Apparently we’re meeting Lilia in her room downstairs– to the right of the stairs and through the hallway, door on the end,” Yuuri explained, still dragging Phichit to the set of stairs that would take them to Lilia’s room, reading off of his phone.

 

“There’s so much marble, Yuuri,” Phichit breathed, staring at the walls and ceilings and columns.

 

“Yes, I know , now let’s go, I have to get married,” Yuuri scowled dragging Phichit downstairs, and all through the downstairs lounge, though the hallway and into Lilia’s room where she was currently talking to Hiroko.

 

“Mum!” Yuuri yelled, letting go of Phichit and running into her embrace so fast she almost toppled them over. “You’re here!”

 

“Of course I’m here, darling, I was having breakfast with Viktor and Lilia, remember?” Hiroko laughed, hugging her son. It had been awhile since she’d hugged him like this. Yuuri nodded, remembering the plans. Hiroko kissed his forehead and pushed Yuuri out of her embrace. “Now, let’s get you all dolled up for your wedding, huh?” Yuuri blushed and nodded, letting himself be escorted to the bathroom with a lit mirror and a leather chair. Yuuri sat on the chair and Phichit hopped onto the white, marble counter introducing himself to Lilia.

 

“So how is this whole thing going to work? Like how are you going to hide the fact that this is arranged from everyone?” Phichit asked Lilia who was opening various draws and pulling out beauty products.

 

“Well, honestly, there isn’t many to keep it from. Almost all of Vitya’s family knows, I think Anna has a few siblings that don’t know and I think one of them has a few children, but we only see them about once year. Then of course Anna and Yakov don’t know about it. So, really, Yuuri and Viktor could sleep in separate rooms almost half the week, with Anna not living here anymore and Yakov not getting home ‘till late. Of course sometimes they will make public appearances and they will have to pretend to be a couple around everyone they know, but that’s about it.”

 

“What about bonding marks?” Yuuri asked as Hiroko began guarding her hands through his hair. Lilia and Hiroko seemed a bit stunned at Yuuri’s forward-ness– usually, Yuuri would never directly ask about something like that .  

 

“Well, it is expected for you two bond eventually, I’d say give it maximum two years before people start asking questions and getting suspicious, but it is ultimately up to you and Viktor, but if you don’t bond you’re going to have to come up with something convincing to tell the public. Maybe has Viktor has a diseased scent gland or something, I don’t know,” Lilia explained, passing Hiroko a spray bottle filled with water. Hiroko began spraying, lightly dampening the hair so she could do what she liked with it.

 

“And what does Viktor do during the day?” Hiroko asked, pushing all of Yuuri’s hair back.

 

“Well, he goes to the gym six times a week and keeps up with a gruelling training schedule, he also skates a few times a week, and of course he visits Anna almost every single day– 10 am on the dot. Sometimes he attends social dinners and a few times a month he goes to schools or recreation centres or even some big universities to give speeches or hand out awards or even just to sit there and make the event more valued and important,” Lilia replied, chuckling.

 

“He trains every day?” Phichit gasped, holding his hand against his chest. Yuuri rolled his eyes– yes, Viktor was that hot. Lilia smirked and nodded in response.

 

They finished Yuuri’s hair, then put a little makeup on him– mostly just concealer– before Yuuri put his suit on. It fit him perfectly and it was quite beautiful– he looked quite beautiful. Yuuri was stunning– at least to everyone but him. They did some extra touch-ups and Lilia yelled at a maid for not polishing Yuuri’s dress shoes the correct way. Yuuri felt really sorry for Deidra.

 

Finally, Yuuri was escorted out of the palace and into a horse-drawn carriage . There were two of them, one black and one white. The black one was hooded, sort of like a room or a roofless car with a moving roof that was half up. It had seemingly taken off a few seconds ago. Was Viktor inside that one?

 

Lilia helped Yuuri onto the non-hooded on and sat opposite him, where Phichit joined her and Hiroko sat next to Yuuri.

 

“So, I’ll get off first and help Phichit and Hiroko off, your best man and only bridesmaid, and they’ll walk down the aisle and next off to the left, opposite to the groom’s wedding party. You know he actually has multiple groomsmen. Well, he has three. Anyway, then I’ll help Yuuri off, everybody stands and you walk down the aisle alone. The carriage gets taken away and the ceremony starts. The celebrant will then marry you and then everyone walks over to the reception where a few people will give speeches, then we will have drinks and then a five-course meal. After that, there is dancing and general mingling and then the night ends at seven thirty. Transportation will be provided for the guests and family back to their homes,” Lilia recited like she had done it a million times. She probably had. Yuuri took a deep breath. This was really happening.

 

“Nervous?” Phichit asked, as Lilia pulled out a bouquet of flowers from nowhere– mostly frangipanes and bluebirds like they’d agreed– and handed it to Yuuri.

 

“A little,” Yuuri said quietly, his mind lost in thoughts of ‘holy shit I’m about to be on TV walking down the aisle with about a sixty people watching.’ Surprisingly, the actual wedding attendance was low– over half of the people were businessmen and their wives who were invited out of politeness and societal courtesy. The rest were Viktor’s and Yuuri’s family, though Yuuri only had a guest list of five, including Hiroko and Phichit. Yuuri didn’t have any friends, and so to make up for his lack in the guest list department, Hiroko had invited her close friend Narumi. Lilia still wasn’t impressed by Yuuri’s guest list. Luckily Victor had three uncles and four cousins to make up for it, making his guest list twelve– but still not much better than Yuuri. So, technically, he didn’t know two-thirds of his wedding guests. Oops.

 

“Five minutes til we arrive, everyone!” Lilia ordered, sitting up a little straighter for the cameras that would soon see them. A deep pit of anxiety coiled in Yuuri stomach, he was a lot more than ‘a little’ nervous. Yuuri took some deep breaths, and then they entered the park. The park was huge, so Yuuri still had about a minute to get ready. Phichit jumped in his seat, stretching his neck to look at the ceremonial area. Several rows of white, velvet seats had been set up, and then there was a celebrant dressed in black, standing behind a wedding arch covered in frangipanis and bluebirds, and other assorted flowers of similar or neutral colours. Yuuri was thankful it all seemed so low-key. The carriage stopped right behind the aisle and Yuuri could finally, finally see Viktor. Relief overwhelmed him, and his anxiety seeped away. He could see heads turning to look at Yuuri, he could see the camera’s pointed at him and he could see Viktor’s groomsmen looking unimpressed with the whole ordeal. But most of all, he could see Viktor. Only the back of his head, but still. Yuuri had the fight the sudden urge to run to him– he didn’t know he wanted to, it wasn’t like he actually was in love with the man, but Yuuri guessed it was because he was the only person in the room that was feeling the same way that he did. He guessed it was because Viktor made feel less alone. Yuuri registered Phichit and Hiroko getting out of the carriage and the guests standing for them, but his eyes were still trained on Viktor. Viktor, who he wanted to touch and hug and talk to. He wanted to talk to him so badly– he’d been hiding all his feelings from everyone because no one would’ve understood what it was like to be in an arranged marriage, but here Viktor was, someone who could understand it all, and would hopefully listen. Maybe he could even confide in Viktor about his lost soulmate. Yuuri wanted Viktor to know it all, and for Yuuri to know everything about Viktor.

 

Yuuri barely noticed when a minute later he was being helped down the carriage steps and onto the neatly trimmed grass. Yuuri again, saw just how many people were here, but this time, it didn’t matter. They didn’t get it, Viktor got it. It felt like they were the only two people in the world.

 

Yuuri made his way down the aisle, smiling at Mari, who was looking unimpressed, and Toshiya who was glaring at the back of Viktor’s head. Yuuri wasn’t bothered by it, and kept on walking, until he came to a halt beside Viktor. Yuuri grinned and looked straight ahead, too excited and nervous to look Viktor in the eye. The celebrant began speaking, although Yuuri didn’t pay much attention to her, instead focusing on not looking over and staring at Viktor.

 

Eventually, Yuuri looked at Viktor and found him looking similarly to Yuuri– looking straight ahead and grinning. It made Yuuri’s stomach fall out of his body– was Viktor feeling the same way? Did he feel excited too? Yuuri stomach jumped back into his body when he realised the look could be fake. They were being filmed. It was such an odd time to reunite with Viktor, a time where they had to act unlike themselves; when they had to pretend they were in love.

 

“Katsuki Yuuri, repeat after me,” the celebrant said, snapping Yuuri out of his thoughts at the mention of his name. This was the bit where he’d actually have to face Viktor. “ I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Katsuki Yuuri, take thee, Viktor Nikiforov, to be my lawful wedded husband.”

 

Yuuri took a deep breath and faced Viktor, and Viktor did the same. Their eyes met and they searched each other's faces, wanting to know what the other was feeling. It was evident that Viktor was nervous, so Yuuri smiled gently and took Viktor’s warm hands in his before speaking. “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Katsuki Yuuri, take thee, Viktor Nikiforov, to be my lawful wedded husband.” Yuuri smile grew bigger, as did Viktor’s, as he spoke those words.

 

“Viktor Nikiforov, repeat after me: I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Viktor Nikiforov, take thee, Katsuki Yuuri, to be my lawful wedded husband.”

 

“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Viktor Nikiforov, take thee, Katsuki Yuuri, to be my lawful wedded husband,” Viktor repeated, his voice deep and thick. It sounded a lot more Russian than it did in high school. It also sounded deeper. It sounded nice. Viktor let out a breath once he was finished, still smiling and staring at Yuuri.

 

“You may kiss the husband,” the celebrant finished, closing a book that she was holding that Yuuri didn’t think she’d read out of at all. Yuuri’s brows furrowed. They were going kiss? Lilia hadn’t mentioned that. Yuuri didn’t have time to curse himself before Viktor leaned over and kissed him. The kiss was stale and Yuuri wasn’t really responding– again. Luckily, Viktor let go of one of Yuuri’s hands and placed it over Yuuri’s cheek and jaw– blocking the camera’s view of their mouths. Yuuri relaxed and kissed back for half a second before Viktor pulled back. A second later, Yuuri, not happy with their previous kiss, leaned in again and pecked Viktor’s lips a second time, causing the crowd to cheer. When Yuuri pulled back, he blushed and looked down, dropping Viktor’s hand. When Yuuri finally met Viktor’s eyes again, he saw Viktor was also blushing and smiling.

 

Next thing Yuuri knew, all of the guests were getting up and walking away, along a path in the middle of the park. Viktor, without saying anything, tugged Yuuri with him and they followed the crowd, leaving the crowd behind.

 

-

 

Yuuri was just taking a seat at his table when Viktor finally spoke to him for the first time in years.

 

“Did you choose the menu?”

Chapter Text

Yuuri was just taking a seat at his table when Victor finally spoke to him for the first time in years.

 

“Did you choose the menu?”

 

Seriously ? He doesn’t speak to the guy for four years and he wants to talk about who decided we’re eating roast beef for dinner? Yuuri had gone through a cyclone of emotions for him and his first words are ‘did you choose the menu?’ Yuuri honestly wanted to laugh.

 

“Uh, no. If you’re wondering who’s to blame when it comes to why we’re eating greek salad this evening it’s probably you,” Yuuri told him, not looking the man in the eye. His words were a little devilish, he just needed Victor to know that he didn’t approve of Victor being in Russia for the duration of the wedding plans. But there was a playful lilt to the words– yes, Yuuri would have preferred that Victor stayed in Japan for the past month, but he still liked Victor and wanted to get to know him.

 

“Me?” Viktor asked, his voice filled with shock.

 

“Yeah, maybe if you were actually in Japan you could’ve had a say in the menu,” Yuuri responded, finally looking up at Victor who still had not had taken a seat. Yuuri chuckled at Victor’s distraught face, looking away and taking a sip of his water. Yuuri looked out at the arrangement of tables– twenty five tables scattered across the grass, waiters going around with flutes of champagne, a bar to the left and a long line of tables that carried covered food. Yuuri’s table was a rectangle, Yuuri and Victor sitting in the middle, with a line of people sitting next to each of them. On Victor’s side were Yakov and three men– one who had curly brown hair, one who had curly blonde hair with a brown undercut (he looked strangely familiar,) and one man with ginger hair. On Yuuri’s side were Hiroko, Phichit, Lilia and Yakov. Phichit was sitting directly from Yuuri but when Yuuri had tried to talk to him he was just staring at his phone, texting someone.

 

“You know, it’s actually rude to text at the table,” Yuuri said sarcastically, causing Phichit to look up.

 

“Sorry, I’m just texting Chris. Look,” Phichit said, holding up his phone to Yuuri and showing Yuuri a picture of Chris– a shirtless mirror selfie. Yuuri had to admit– Chris was really attractive. His dark brown hair was a nice contrast with his blue eyes. Not as nice at the contrast as Victor’s grey hair and blue eyes, though.

 

“Did somebody say Chris?” Chris asked from the left of Victor, leaning over the table to look at Yuuri and his friend.

 

“Yeah, I’m texting my boyfriend, his name is Chris,” Phichit explained, waving his phone around. Yuuri shrunk back a little, intimidated by Victor’s friend who he’d never met before.

 

“Well, I’m very flattered but you haven’t even asked me out,” Chris replied, holding out his hand for Phichit. “I’m Chris.”

 

“Phichit,” Phichit nodded, chuckling at Chris’s jokes, before receding back in his seat. “Victor has cute friends,” Phichit whispered to Yuuri. Yuuri blushed and peeked at the men beside Victor. They were decent looking enough. All better looking than him, anyway. Yuuri then looked to Victor, who was just staring ahead, looking at all the people. Yuuri decided to try talking to Victor again, hoping his previous statement hadn’t offended him too much.

 

“So, do you know any of these people? Because I do not,” Yuuri laughed, nudging Victor out of his trance awkwardly.

 

“Uh, yeah, some,” Victor answered seriously. “That’s Mari and your Dad, right?” Victor pointed to Mari who was gulping down a yellow cocktail and Toshiya who was begging Mari to stop drinking so much.

 

“Um, yes. That’s them– you met them this morning, didn’t you?” Yuuri asked, hoping Mari really would stop drinking because it was getting embarrassing.

 

“I did but they seem to have been glaring at me for a while,” Victor answered, leaning in to whisper in Yuuri’s ear so no one else heard them. Yuuri’s ear tickled at the feeling, and his stomach felt a little lighter at the scent of Victor.

 

“Oh, well, I don’t they really like this whole situation, or you– no offence– but I’m sure they’ll get used to it eventually,” Yuuri reassured Victor. At that moment, Lilia stood, raising her flute of champagne and speaking.

 

“Welcome all, to the reception of Yuuri and Victor Nikiforov’s reception!” The crowd of wedding guests cheered. “As you may have noticed, Yuuri and Victor still have to sign their certificate of marriage and exchange rings, so please join me in watching this historic event,” Lilia finished, sitting down and taking a big gulp of champagne.  A second later a man appeared behind Yuuri and Victor, holding a leather board with a marriage certificate on it. Victor stood up immediately, and Yuuri watched as he did. Seeing the man towering above him made him feel so intimidated– they’d been talking so casually two seconds ago and now Yuuri wanted to run away. The fade of emotion from Victor’s face scared Yuuri even more. How could he look to stoic when two seconds ago they were chatting casually? Victor glared at Yuuri and nudged the other man’s leg with his foot, gesturing for him to stand up. Yuuri quickly did so, the glare he’d just received shaking him up a little. Victor then pulled to black, velvet boxes from his pocket and placed them on the table in front of them. The man with the certificate laid it on the table next to the boxes and handed Victor a pen. Victor bent and signed casually, a smile returning to his face. Yuuri couldn’t tell if it was fake or not. He then handed the pen to Yuuri, who also signed. The guest clapped as he did so and the certificate was taken away. Yuuri heard Victor take a deep breath as he picked up the box closest him. He opened and exposed the glamorous and overdone ring, and picked it out of the box. Victor held his hand out, silently asking for Yuuri to put his hand in his. Yuuri complied, putting his left hand in, and watched as Victor carefully slid on the ring, the cool metal sliding around his finger. Yuuri gave a small smile before picking up his own box, picking up the same ring and repeating it as Victor did. Victor’s hand was warm, a nice change to the cool temperatures that that December brought on. Yuuri was surprised it wasn’t snowing already. Yuuri slid the ring on and dropped Victor’s hand, finally looking up to see Victor again, grinning at him, with a blush painting his cheeks. As much as they were both smiling, in the back of their heads, they both knew this was all fake. And even though they had butterflies in their stomachs and couldn’t stop blushing, it all seemed just a tad stale.

 

“Now, appetisers will be served for the next hour, and then the feasting will begin,” Lilia said, standing again. “Unlike most weddings, we’ve decided to go five course menu style. So no buffet, but I promise everything is made to best quality and I hope all of you will enjoy it thoroughly.” Everyone clapped and Lilia walked over to Victor and Yuuri, a hand on each of their shoulders. “You two better get to know each other quickly because all these businessmen are going to be making the rounds soon and it’ll seem suspicious if you two don’t know how your romance came to be or what each other’s favourite colours are, got it?”

 

“Yes, Lilia, we will provide a fake romance story,” Victor agreed, taking a sip of his champagne that had just been handed to him. Lilia straightened her back, nodded and made her way back to her table with Anna and Yakov.

 

“So, did we meet in Japan?” Victor asked, turning to face Yuuri.

 

“Yeah, sure,” the raven answered, his chin planted in his hand with an elbow on the table.

 

“Yuuri, you need to look more interested and excited, this is your wedding day,” Victor groaned, removing Yuuri’s elbow from the table, causing to Yuuri to sit up straight. “Smile,” Victor urged, and Yuuri pulled his best ‘I’m sitting next to the love of my life’ face. “Better.”

 

“So, we were on the ice hockey team and then we met again later in college?” Yuuri offered.

 

“We didn’t go to the same college but sure– how about we met at a college party during last year’s summer?”

 

“That sounds good,” Yuuri said, nodding and thinking about it.

 

“And I knew that I loved you and you were the one for me when you helped me get through my father’s death,” Victor said. Yuuri made a face. Why was that necessary for people to know? “What? It’ll be more believable if tragedy is involved. It’ll be so romantic, I’m grieving my father’s death, and there you are, my light, my love. I’ve fallen apart due to the epic tragedy, and there you are to make me feel better again,” Victor explained. It seemed believable. “Plus, it’ll make people think I actually cared about my father.” Yuuri didn’t say anything to that, he just nodded– what do you say when people bring up their recently deceased parents anyway?

 

“That means we’ve been together for just nearly seventeen months if we met mid July?” Yuuri asked after a moment had passed.

 

“Yeah, sure. Wait, what should be our anniversary date?”

 

“Uhh, July 17th?” Yuuri asked, randomly picking a number.

 

“July 17th it is,” Victor nodded. “So, what is your favourite colour?”

 

Yuuri giggled. “Blue,” he answered swiftly, looking at Victor’s eyes.

 

“Mm, what kind of blue?” Victor asked in a suggestive tone, even though the question was about favourite colours.

 

“Light blue,” Yuuri replied, still looking deeply into Victor’s eyes, and for once Yuuri didn’t care that he was staring because Victor was doing it too. “Like this kind of blue.” Yuuri pointed to the earrings he was wearing that Victor got him.

 

“Oh, you’re wearing them,” Victor said, still smiling.

 

“Of course,” Yuuri said gently, tilting his head. They were gorgeous, why wouldn’t he be wearing them? “What’s your favourite colour?”

 

Victor ‘hmmed’ and brought a hand to face, pressing a finger to his lips and thinking. “Well, I really like my silver hair, so I really like silver,” Victor began, “but I also really love warm colours. Like peachy colours and yellows and oranges– I know everyone probably says this but I love sunset colours.”

 

“I don’t think everyone says that. I think sunsets are beautiful too.”

 

-

 

“God, how long is this damn thing going to last?” Chris groaned, laying his head down on the table. Over the course of the day, crumbs and stains littered the white table cloth and most of Victor’s groomsmen had left, along with a third of the guests. The eating portion of the evening had finished about an hour ago, so either people were half asleep on their tables, trying to hook up with other drunken strangers or wishing this damn thing would end. Hiroko and Toshiya were tipsy and full of food, and just talking amongst themselves, probably about why the hell Mari had left about two hours ago. Lilia and Yakov were cuddling at their table– a thing neither Victor nor Yuuri could think Lilia and Yakov could do. Chris, Phichit, Yuuri and Victor were all sitting together at one of the abandoned circle tables. Phichit was still texting his Chris, Chris was half-drunk and shirtless, and Yuuri and Victor were just silently sitting next to each other, nervously fidgeting. The time where they’d have to skate together was fast approaching.

 

“Half an hour left,” Phichit mumbled, his eyes not leaving the screen.

 

“You two look nervous,” Chris laughed, looking at the pair who were sitting as far away from each other as possible.

 

“Well, I did just get married to someone I’ve never met before, Chris,” Victor told him, a hint of harshness in his voice. He and Yuuri were just meeting, did he really have to push them? Victor finally dared to turn to look at Yuuri, whose brows were furrowed and a confused look was painting his face. He turned to Phichit and saw the same expression.

 

“What do you mean you’ve never met before? You guys were on the same hockey team, remember?” Phichit asked, finally looking from his screen.

 

“Well, yeah, but I don’t think we actually spoke, right?” Victor said, his anxieties growing– had he and Yuuri been friends?

 

“Yeah, we did a few times,” Yuuri breathed, still avoiding Victor’s gaze. Phichit shot Yuuri a confused look before sending Yuuri a confused look.

 

Didn’t you kiss him ?” Phichit asked in Japanese, not wanting Chris or Victor to hear him. Yuuri blushed at the reminder, but thankful Phichit had used Japanese. Yuuri was very glad that Phichit had taken Japanese in high school after he’d moved to Esterlake.

 

He kissed me ,” Yuuri corrected, his voice hushed. Even though they were talking in Japanese, Yuuri still felt awkward talking about it.

 

I kissed you ?” Victor asked in disbelief, actually daring to touch Yuuri, planting a broad hand on Yuuri’s upper arm, making their eyes connect. Yuuri’s eyes widened when he realised that Victor could speak Japanese . Yuuri turned away, shifting his body so he was curled on in himself. Yuuri didn’t reply to Victor’s question, just blushed and refused to even open his mouth.

 

“I’m feeling quite left out here,” Chris joked, as he looked at the three Japanese speakers. No one said anything for a while, until Phichit decided to rescue everyone.

 

“Back in high school, Victor kissed Yuuri but I don’t think Victor remembers it,” Phichit explained, smiling awkwardly at Chris, who’s face widened when he heard what had gone on. Chris looked over at Yuuri, who looked like he was about to faint.

 

“Uh, Yuuri, why don’t you come with me to get another drink, huh?” Chris asked, standing up from his chair and pulling on Yuuri’s arm. Even though they’d only known each other a few hours, Yuuri was obviously very anxious and embarrassed and Chris had to instinctually rescue Yuuri, figuring a break from being in Victor’s presence would do him good. Plus, he could get to know the guy who’d been dragged into Victor’s pain and grief. Phichit mouthed a thank you at Chris as the pair left the table.

 

Yuuri silently walked with Chris, his head down and his mouth closed, still anxious but feeling a little anxious about his previous mistake. He should’ve really known that the prince of Esterlake who lived in Japan would know the language.

 

“Hey, don’t sweat it, okay? I’m sure you guys kissed– Victor has the worst memory,” Chris reassured Yuuri, stopping at the drinks table and pouring a glass of white wine for the both of them. Yuuri smiled and accepted the drink.

 

“I know this seems a bit odd but also a little cliché,” Chris started after a moment of silence. “But Victor really has been through a lot and I think it would mean a lot to him if you nice to him. I mean I’m not saying you’re evil or out to get Victor, but just in case you were thinking of being a stick in the mud, please don’t. Victor didn’t choose for this happen and I’d really appreciate it if you made it worth the while anyway– not that you forced him to marry you but, well, you know what I mean,” Chris finished. Yuuri looked up at Chris and smiled.

 

“Of course.”

 

-

 

“So, Victor Nikiforov,” Phichit chuckled as he watched Chris and Yuuri walk off. “What are you like?” Victor’s brows furrowed at the question. Was Phichit interrogating him.

 

“What are you like, Phichit Chulanont?” Victor retorted, not feeling up to telling his life story at that current moment. Phichit chuckled and leant back in his seat.

 

“I’m Yuuri’s best friend,” the Thai man replied. “Your turn.”

 

“Well, I’m Yuuri’s husband. Your turn,” Victor said coyly, spotting Chris and Yuuri in the background. Victor hoped Chris was getting info on Yuuri too.

 

“I’m from Thailand, and Yuuri and I met at the World Championships of Figure Skating,” Phichit informed, now waiting for a piece of information from Victor.

 

“So, Yuuri is good then– at figure skating?” Victor asked, leaning forward, putting his elbows on the table.

 

“You have to tell me something about yourself before I give anything away, Victor ,” Phichit reminded him, dragging out Victor’s name.

 

“Fine. While I’ve never competed even nationally, my mother was a world champion five times running,” Victor shared.

 

“Anna Plisetsky, or now Anna Nikiforov, I know. And, yes, Yuuri is very good at figure skating. He was a world champion– I don’t know how you’ll keep up with up him tonight.”

 

“I’m sure Victor is just as good as me, Phichit,” Yuuri groaned, taking a seat again, this time next to Phichit, his anxiety at bay but still too embarrassed to be near or make eye contact with Victor again.

 

“You’re a world champion, Yuuri,” Victor argued, raising his hand in a questioning gesture. Yuuri only laughed in response and kept his head down, to Victor’s disappointment. “Speaking of skating, we should wrap this up and get to it.”

 

-

 

Yuuri had ignored Victor the whole ride home and the for the duration of changing into more casual clothes and even to the rink, even though Yuuri had told Chris he’d be nice to his new husband. Victor didn’t seem to mind though, and Yuuri guessed they were feeling similarly to each other– a fact Yuuri revelled in; at least he wasn’t alone in this. He had Victor. Yuuri stepped out of the Sudan that Victor had driven to the rink and grabbed his skating bag before closing the door. He kept his head down as he entered the rink, but stopped as the door to the stadium was locked. Victor caught up to him, rink keys in hand.

 

“It’s just us tonight,” Victor told him, unlocking the doors and letting Yuuri in. Yuuri’s anxiety spiked at the words– was it really just going to be the two of them, no staff at all?

 

Yuuri strut past the rink and into the locker room, Victor following him. Yuuri put his bag down on the bench, his actions mundane and repetitive– he acted like this was just another day at the rink. If he treated it like his new husband and the prince of Esterlake was right behind him doing the same thing, his calm facade would surely crumble. And just as usual, the universe decided to remind him that this was not a normal day at the rink as the skates Victor had bought for him tumbled out of the bag once Yuuri had unzipped it. The sound made both Victor and the raven jump, it being the only sound in within a hundred metre radius. Victor cleared his throat and paused in his own preparations, walking over to Yuuri and picking up the skates for him. Yuuri looked into Victor’s eyes, searching for a reason for Victor kind gesture. Yuuri accepted them and sat down to begin putting them on, not saying anything to Victor, even though he knew at this point that Victor was open to conversation. Yuuri supposed he could do the same.

 

“Thank you for the skates,” Yuuri said, he voice coming out a lot weaker and quieter than he had planned. He hoped Victor had heard it and he wouldn’t have to embarrassingly repeat himself.

 

“You’re welcome, Yuuri,” Victor replied, Victor purring out Yuuri’s name like honey on his tongue. They watched each other pull on their skates– Victor wearing a black pair with gold blades and Yuuri’s white matching ones. Yuuri considered slipping into some proper skating clothes– his current skinny-but-stretchy jeans would do him much justice when doing complicated moves or jumps, but Yuuri guessed they wouldn’t be doing much of that anyway. Yuuri decided against it since Victor was wearing something similar, except of course looking a lot better than Yuuri.

 

In a burst of confidence coming from Yuuri’s oddly calm spirit, after he’d finished getting ready, he walked over to Victor, hips swaying, (sometimes Yuuri liked to use his wide, omega hips to his advantage,) and offered his hand out, expecting for Victor to take. Victor placed his hand in Yuuri’s own and stood up, to Yuuri’s delightment. Victor became even taller and the skates shaped his legs perfectly. Yuuri bit his lip– was he really admiring how attractive Victor was now ? Victor smiled sweetly and laced their fingers together, squeezing Yuuri’s hand gently. Yuuri smiled sheepishly and lead them to the cold rink and only let go of Victor to step onto the rink. Victor watched Yuuri stake out to the middle of the rink and Victor soon joined, taking Yuuri’s hand again. He wasn’t done holding onto Yuuri just yet.

 

Yuuri accepted the hand holding and began to slide along the ice, leading Victor with him. Yuuri breathed– this seemed to be turning out a lot more calmly than he’d once thought. Maybe it was time for Yuuri to actually to get to know Victor? Maybe Yuuri could actually start talking to Victor now.

 

Victor beat Yuuri to it, though. “So, how do you want to do this?” Yuuri was a little confused at the question. Yuuri had guessed they’d just skate around for a while– did there need to be a formula? Couldn’t they just see where the feeling took them?

 

“I usually start off with figure eights,” Yuuri told Victor. “It’s calming.” Victor chuckled at Yuuri’s answer– had Yuuri said something wrong? Were figure eights bad?

 

“No, I mean, how do you want to handle this whole thing between us– the fake relationship thing,” Victor reiterated. Victor decided to start leading them in figure eights.

 

“Oh,” Yuuri replied, taking a moment to think before speaking again. How did he want to do this? Even though he had been over it a thousand times with Lilia, he still didn’t know what he was here for. “I’ll do whatever is needed.”

 

Victor took a deep breath. “What about you, Yuuri? What do you need?” Victor asked. The way Victor said his name sent shivers down Yuuri’s spine. Yuuri rolled the question over in his head. What did he need? Well, ultimately, he needed the money. Didn’t Victor know that?  

 

Yuuri just shrugged in response. “Okay, well, what side of the bed do you sleep on? Do you even want to share a bed? I know some nights we will have to, when Yakov and Anna are around, but would you prefer another bed or room?”

 

“I don’t mind sharing, and I’ll take any side of the bed. You can decide,” Yuuri replied, looking at the white ice beneath him that was passing by him as the pair gathered speed.

 

“I like the side closest to the window, with my back facing it– so that’s the right side of the bed. Is the left side okay for you?” Victor asked, slowing down, bring the both of them to a stop and taking Yuuri’s other hand so that they were facing each other.

 

“Yeah, that’s okay,” Yuuri replied, his lips curving into a smile once again.

 

“Good. And what about monogamy? Can we date other people? Not because I’m interested in anyone or anything– I just feel like it’s a hard topic and I wanted to get it out of the way,” Victor rushed, breaking the sense of calm around with the hard question, bringing reality back to him.

 

“Uh, I don’t know. I mean, we’re not really properly married, so you can do as you please, although I don’t know who would want to enter a long-term relationship with a married prince,” Yuuri chuckled, brushing off the question. And even though Yuuri was laughing, they both knew he was right. They weren’t really married, and they didn’t owe each other anything. They could act how they wanted and not think about the other. They didn’t even have to be here, skating together. So Yuuri wanted a new subject to talk about– he didn’t want to talk about Victor possibly dating and sleeping with others, although it was a bit hypocritical, considering Yuuri would have definitely gone searching for his soulmate if Victor permitted it. Although the thought of searching for his soulmate brought anxiety and anguish to Yuuri, so he pressed those thoughts and feelings down and away.

 

“Well, okay. And what about routine things? Like do we do things together? Share things with each other? Do you want to share your daily life with me, Yuuri, or are you purely here because it’s a job for you to do? Because I’d like to know now rather than later.”

 

“I want to share my life with you, Victor,” Yuuri said a bit too quickly for his liking. Did he sound too eager? And why did he want to share his life with Victor anyway? “I know you are a person with feelings, and I wouldn’t discard them so quickly just because I’m getting paid to be around you.” Victor grinned almost giddily.

 

“Good. I think I feel the same,” the platinum-haired alpha said back, holding his head high as he began to move he and Yuuri along the ice again. But, Yuuri let go of Victor’s hands, refusing to follow the other.

 

“You think?” Yuuri questioned, raising his voice so Victor could hear him from the metres away he was. Victor brows furrowed and he slowed to a stop, but he made no effort to come close to Yuuri. “You think you won’t discard my feelings?” Yuuri repeated after a few beats of silence on Victor’s end.

 

“That’s not what I meant, Yuuri,” Victor finally answered, a look of desperation on his face. “I mean I just– Well, I don’t know how I feel. But I do respect your feelings and I don’t want you getting hurt or to feel uncomfortable. I didn’t mean it like that.” Yuuri didn’t quite believe him. Why would a rich alpha care about his fake mate’s feelings anyway?

 

“Okay.” After a second of looking at each other, Yuuri quickly skated to Victor, dismissing his previous thoughts, words and feelings. He didn’t want to think about how Victor could make him feel awful if he wanted to, he didn’t think about how Victor didn’t really owe him any attention or care, and he didn’t think about his soulmate or the possibility of seeing his soulmate, which came closer to reality after their last conversation. Yuuri just skated to Victor and took his hand. They skated around again, twirling and swirling on the ice, not speaking. Yuuri didn’t know why he continued skating with Victor, especially with as much care as he was showing, and he really didn’t know why he couldn’t let go of Victor’s hand.

 

-

 

After changing into some thick, woolly, winter pyjamas, Victor made his way into his now shared bathroom where he saw Yuuri who was standing, dressed in similar attire, brushing his teeth. Victor smiled at the picture in front of him. Even though everything between them was so unclear, and even Victor’s own feelings were unclear, he still could look forward to this part of the day. The part where no matter what had gone on that day, Yuuri would share a bathroom with him and he’d have his own products littered around, and after, they’d crawl under the covers together.

 

Victor walked over and stood next to Yuuri, opening their shared, mirrored cabinet and pulling out a lip scrub and balm, a face and hand moisturizer, a face wash and his toothpaste. He plucked out his own toothbrush from the cup on the sink counter and began brushing his teeth, using the sink next to Yuuri’s. Yuuri looked down and didn’t acknowledge Victor standing next to him, but Victor couldn’t miss the slight smile as he looked at the raven.

 

Yuuri finished up his night routine and sat in bed, on his phone, waiting for Victor. He checked that he was on the right side of the bed and pulled the covers over his legs. As he scrolled through Instagram, he listened to the sounds of Victor pottering around in the bathroom and the sounds of the sink turning off on and again. Eventually, Victor appeared and turned of the bedroom and wardrobe lights and strode over the bed, looking expectantly at Yuuri. What he was expecting, Yuuri didn’t know. Yuuri patted the spot next to him comfortingly, letting know that even though they still had so much to find out about each other, he still hadn’t changed his mind about sharing a bed. Victor slipped under the covers and laid down, facing Yuuri. Yuuri did the same, his head at the same level as Victor’s. They both sighed as their bodies relaxed and slowed down and sleep started to envelope them. Their eyes stood trained on each other, until Victor’s slipped closed, leaving Yuuri in darkness. Yuuri was soon to follow, spending a minute or two thinking about his feelings for Victor. He’d had a crush on Victor during high school, and maybe for a year or two after Victor had left. And yeah, maybe in his pre-heat haze he’d thought of Victor romantically, but wasn’t that just because of his heat? Did it mean anything then? Does it mean anything now ? It shouldn’t really, because Yuuri was biologically destined for someone else, but it didn’t stop Yuuri from wanting to inch over a little and fall into Victor’s embrace and warmth.

Chapter Text

Yuuri woke up the next day with his muscles aching but in a warm large bed. Yuuri’s eyes blinked open to see a large, white carved ceiling that he’d seen only a handful of times before, but in all different kinds of states. Yuuri continued looking up, refusing to look at the inevitable sleeping body beside him. He didn’t want to look at Victor because he knew all of the anxieties and thoughts about him would come flooding back, and it was just too early for that. Yuuri didn’t really know why he was so anxious, after all, it wasn’t like Victor hated him or they’d had any big conflicts. Yes, some of the things they’d both said last night had been a little awkward and maybe yes, Yuuri might have a little crush on Victor, but overall it wasn’t that bad. Yuuri guessed the one thing that terrified him the most was not knowing what Victor was like, or who he was, or what he had been through. He didn’t know was his life was like, or even what his day to day life was like. It was all so unknown, and it made Yuuri’s gut twist. He just reassured himself that one day he’d know everything he wanted to know now, and everything would be okay. If he was going to be sticking with Victor for the rest of his life, he was going to know Victor like the back of his hand. Everything would turn out okay, even if it was a hard path.

 

Yuuri, after a moment of sitting with the thought that everything would be okay , finally turned his head around to look at Victor, who was staring at him curiously.

 

“Do you always spend so long looking at the ceiling?” Victor asked, his voice taking on a conflicting tone– it sounded almost childish, like a four year old asking you a question, but it was also laced with grumpiness and annoyance.

 

“Do you always sound annoyed in the mornings?” Yuuri retorted, not moving his eyes from their place, locked on Victor’s own eyes.

 

“No, I’m usually a morning person,” Victor admitted, finally swinging his legs over the bed and standing up. Victor stretched and sighed, before turning around to look at Yuuri, who was still cocooned up in blankets. Yuuri thought what Victor meant by that admission, was Yuuri making him annoyed?

 

“Are you grumpy because of me?” Yuuri asked innocently, sitting up. Yuuri’s eyebrows arched in concern and his eyes grew– it made Victor’s heart melt. Victor had a feeling that Yuuri could never make him feel angry.

 

“I’m just tired after yesterday, it was a little bit nerve-racking,” Victor answers, managing a small, reassuring smile.

 

Yuuri’s posture softened and the concern was wiped from his face to Victor’s relief. “Me too. All my muscles ache from running on nervous energy the past few days,” Yuuri told him, stretching his back and arm muscles.

 

“I have some cream for muscle aches,” Victor offered, running off to the bathroom. “I’m used to having them– as I’m sure you are– so I keep a stash of heat cream/muscle relaxes in the bathroom,” Victor said as he returned and placed a white tube in Yuuri’s lap.

 

“How’d you figure I get muscle aches often?” Yuuri asked, picking up the cream and inspecting the label.

 

“You’re an ice skater, aren’t you?” Victor asked, gesturing to the shelf with the medals and trophies. “A world-class one at that.” Yuuri blushed as he remembered the exchange from the day before and the fact that all his winnings were on display.

 

“I used to be,” Yuuri corrected Victor, before hopping out of bed and heading to the bathroom. Just when Yuuri thought he was alone, Victor popped his head around the corner.

 

“Would you like help putting that on?” Victor asked, letting himself into the bathroom and gesturing to the heat cream Yuuri was holding. Yuuri didn’t really want Victor to see him shirtless just yet and he didn’t really like the idea of Victor rubbing his hands all over his back, but he nodded and accepted anyway.

 

Yuuri passed the cream and began unbuttoning his woollen pyjama shirt before shrugging it off and letting it fall to the floor. Yuuri watched Victor from the mirror as he popped the cap and squirted some onto his fingers before pushing them against Yuuri’s back. Yuuri sighed as the cool substance made contact with his warm skin. Yuuri felt Victor run his hands along his back with the utmost care before gently massaging his shoulders. It was almost embarrassing how careful Victor was with him, he almost wanted to run out of the room. Instead, he decided with some awkward small talk.

 

“So, what do you have planned for today?”

 

“Well, I’m going to see Mum in two hours, then I’ll probably work out or head to the rink and get some exercise in before lunch with Lilia. She usually fills me in with anything I have to get done that day or attend to, as does Anna sometimes. If not I usually just hang around for the day. I’m actually working with the Naked Heart Foundation at the moment– fundraising and organizing events and things like that, so I spend quite a lot of my afternoons working on it,” Victor informed Yuuri. “Although Lilia told me that I should take this week off so we could do things together. Do you have anything in mind?”

 

“I heard you really liked shopping so maybe we could do that? And of course, I think we should skate together more. Not like last night, but I’ve always wanted a rink buddy,” Yuuri replied as Victor finished off his massage and put the tube away.

 

“Didn’t you have rink mates when you competed?” Victor asked, wanting to know everything about Yuuri’s past. Victor knew that it would take a while, but he did want to know Yuuri like a real family member– they were in this together, and he wanted for him and Yuuri to end this thing like brothers, rather than strangers forced to sleep in the same bed. It was half the reason he offered to apply Yuuri’s heat cream– he figured a nice gesture would kick things off well and bring them just a little closer. Plus, he kind of wanted to see Yuuri shirtless.

 

“I had Phichit with me when I was sixteen for about six months, but apart from that, no. Maybe when I was very little I had friends I would skate with like Yuuko and Takeshi– they’re my childhood best friends, but they couldn’t make it to the wedding. But no, it was just me and my coach Narumi Sato,” Yuuri explained, thinking back to when he skated professionally. He missed those days when he was so young and the world seemed so bright.

 

“Well, I’d love to be your rink mate, although I don’t know how I’d compare, you’re a way better skater than I am, Yuuri,” Victor chuckled as he opened a cupboard and got out a fresh, orange towel. “Anyway, I’m going to shower and then head down for breakfast with Lilia and Yakov and then I’m off to see Anna. She really wants to see you again, so I suggest you join me.”

 

“I’ll be sure to do that,” Yuuri replied smiling and leaving the bathroom, forgetting why he went there in the first place. Victor shut the door behind him and he heard the faint sounds of their luxurious shower turning on. Yuuri skipped down to his smaller wardrobe to pick out what he’d wear for the day while he waited for his turn in the shower. He ended up picking a fluffy, oversized dark green sweater that hung off his body perfectly, and a pair of super tight and super stretchy black skinny jeans. He paired them with some wine red socks and a pair of black, slightly wedged sneakers. He hoped he’d look good enough in them to see Anna again– he did know he surely looked better than he did the first time he met her– his wardrobe had gotten a much needed update since then. Yuuri took the folded items from the wardrobe and set them down on his desk and set out to make the bed. It was only halfway through that he realised that someone else probably did that. He finished anyway.

 

Ten minutes later, Victor emerged from the bathroom in nothing but a towel draped loosely around his waist. Yuuri blushed as he saw the other and quickly darted into the bathroom, not forgetting to take his clothes with him.

 

Twenty minutes later, both Yuuri and Victor made their way upstairs into the upper dining room where Lilia and Yakov sat, both on their iPads, reading the latest news. Yuuri, even though he’d seen a few times before, was still amazed at the breakfast spread.

 

“Good morning you two,” Lilia greeted as the pair took their respective seats next to each other.

 

Victor was then reminded where he was and who he was, and the warmth of a morning Yuuri faded away. He was a prince, and Yuuri was only there because he was being paid too, even if he was being kind to him, that fact would never change.

 

“Good morning, Lilia,” Yuuri responded cheerily and politely as he watched Victor take a large number of pastries from the table. Yuuri followed by taking two raspberry ones and a stack of three choc-chip pikelets. “How are you this morning, Yakov?” Yuuri asked politely, causing Yakov to look up from the article he was currently reading. Victor was astonished at how polite Yuuri was. The last time Victor asked how Yakov was feeling was a long time ago. Yakov knew he cared about him though, right? Maybe Victor should be nice to Yakov once in a while…

 

“Yes, how are you, Yakov?” Victor prompted, trying to sound as nice as possible, but he was scared he sound a little sarcastic.

 

“I’m good, Yuuri, busy day ahead though,” Yakov replied, ignoring Victor. “What are your plans for the day?”

 

“I’m just hanging out with Victor today,” Yuuri said, smiling, before digging into his breakfast. Victor sighed. Did Yakov really have to ignore him like that? Victor figured that the one time he actually tried to be nice to Yakov he’d respond to him without glaring at him. “He’s taking me to visit Anna, right Victor?”

 

“Yeah,” Victor grumbled, breaking his second last piece of pastry into pieces, not bothering to eat. Yuuri thought that Victor must’ve for some reason been in a mood, and when he saw Lilia roll her eyes at Victor, it was confirmed. Wasn’t Victor in a good mood two seconds ago? Had he done something to cause Victor to become upset, or was Victor always this moody?

 

“Mr Kuznetsov called this morning, he said he had some things to go over with you,” Lilia informed Victor, who barely nodded in response.

 

“Who’s Mr Kuznetsov?” Yuuri asked innocently, looking to Victor and trying to read his expression.

 

Victor turned his head to look at Yuuri, who looked as he always did, but now, when they were in this dining room, with Lilia and Yakov and Victor being in a mood at the cause of his family, Yuuri looked different. Yuuri last night had been Yuuri Katsuki, a man who was doing what was needed of him, and a man who was nice to Victor, even though he didn’t need to be. Now, Yuuri was a reminder of Ivan’s punishment. Ivan gave Victor the arranged marriage as a form as punishment, as much as he and Lilia denied it. And here Yuuri was, looking innocent but reminding him of how evil his father had become. It dawned on Victor, his sentence had been served to him in the form of a sweet, kind, innocent boy. It was perfect. “He’s the person who I usually speak to with Naked Heart matters. At the moment I’m hosting their biggest annual fundraiser, the Love Ball so I’ve got a lot to plan,” Victor explained just for the sake of not pissing Lilia off. He didn’t want to deal with a lecture on politeness, especially not one that focused on Yuuri.

 

“Oh,” Yuuri replied as he finished off his pikelets and moved to his pastries.

 

“So, Yuuri, have you decided on what you’re going to do around here? I know it can get quite boring so it would be good for you to have something to do regularly like Victor works with the Naked Heart Foundation. You could work with a charity if you so pleased, or you could go back to university, or I’m sure you could get back to skating competitions,” Lilia suggested, picking up a piroshki and taking a bite. The thought of competing again made his heart clench. No, he was definitely done with that.  

 

“I’m not sure, I think going back to university and studying something I actually find interest in would be my first choice, but I think I’d like to take a break from studying first and focus on settling in here,” Yuuri explained, watching Victor from the corner of his eye as he pulled out his own phone. Yuuri thought that seemed a bit rude to do, but Victor was probably a lot more comfortable with Lilia and Yakov than he was.

 

“That sounds like a good plan– any thoughts on what you’d like to study?”

 

“I have a few ideas– probably something in the arts, English Lit or maybe Philosophy, something like that,” Yuuri trailed off, looking at Victor who was now silently chuckling at his phone. Yuuri didn’t want to seem intruding so he decided not to ask what it was.

 

“So, Victor, do you celebrate your birthday?” Yuuri asked after a few minutes of silence, spare the occasional noise from Victor or cough from Yakov.

 

Victor looked from his screen for a moment, pausing to think. “No,” Victor said, and didn’t follow up with anything. Yuuri guessed the time on his phone hadn’t improved his grumpiness much.

 

“We usually have a nice dinner with Anna– Victor’s choice, and then sometimes we’ll all go ice skating or take a day trip somewhere. Last year we went to Daisetsuzan National Park,” Lilia informed him. “Victor usually won’t say where he wants to go until last minute, so don’t expect anything,” she finished with a chuckle.

 

-

 

Speaking with Anna had been nice, although a little mystifying. Speaking with Victor and Anna brought up questions about Ivan, all of which they were both very adamant in answering. When Yuuri had asked why Anna lived in a nursing home and not at the palace, (she had the funds to,) things became beyond awkward when neither could answer, or come up with a feasible lie. Nevertheless, it uplifted Victor’s spirits, leaving him feeling a lot lighter than when he had arrived, but still reserved when it came to Yuuri. Yuuri, of course, had tried to be nice and polite and fun– he tried to talk to Victor about his home life and some odd things about himself, but all he got in return was a forced smile and maybe a small, stiff laugh. Yuuri didn’t know why Victor was acting so different to that morning or even the night before, but Yuuri did know he didn’t like this side of Victor. Yuuri hoped greatly that Victor wasn’t always like that, and how he had behaved previously towards Yuuri wasn’t all just an act.

 

Yuuri’s wishes were granted that afternoon when after lunch, Victor and himself decided to go to the mall to pick out new clothes. Just when Yuuri had feared that Victor’s mood was dropping again, (thanks to prodding antics at lunch,) it seemed that the relief that going to mall straight after leaving Lilia brought him made his feelings boost. Yuuri was happy to see the real Victor again as he told Yuuri how ugly all of the clothes he’d picked out were. Yuuri just rolled his eyes and secretly purchased the items anyway. Yuuri learnt a lot about Victor that day– that his childishness wasn’t a one-off from the day of the wedding– Victor really was childish, and with the way his eyes gleamed when he saw something he really wanted, or when he let out the biggest, heart-shaped smile that he had, Victor almost looked like a child too.

 

Yuuri really liked Victor’s heart-shaped smile. Every time he saw it that day, he knew he was letting a ‘happy omega’ scent, and he also knew that Victor wasn’t saying anything about the mass production of the omega’s scent because he really did like it.

 

-

 

“Victor, are you okay?” Yuuri asked tenderly as he was walking out of the bathroom after brushing his teeth. He turned around and watched Victor from the doorway as Victor applied a moisturizing, watermelon and cherry lip balm. Victor looked at the sweet omega in the doorway, clad in comfy pj’s and brown doey eyes, sparkling and searching for his answer on Victor’s own.

 

“I’m fine, luckik ,” Victor purred, temporarily pausing his night routine to turn to face Yuuri. “Just tired is all.”

 

“What does luckik mean?” Yuuri asked, his eyebrows furrowing.

 

“It means sunbeam.”

Chapter Text

It had been two weeks since Yuuri Katsuki had married Victor Nikiforov and a weird two weeks at that. Living with Victor felt like living with two different people– it was sometimes confusing and strange and Victor was surprisingly unpredictable, but Yuuri didn’t mind it. He mostly ignored Victor when he got into a mood– which was a few times a week and confused Yuuri beyond belief– what did he have to be sour about? Yuuri hadn’t done anything wrong, and Lilia seemed to be acting normal. The first few days Yuuri had asked if he’d done anything wrong or if he’d upset him and Victor had either waved him off with a vague answer or had oddly gone into an in-depth speech about how Yuuri was lovely and was the best fake husband he could wish for. The speeches seemed a bit dramatic considering he hadn’t known Victor for very long but he appreciated them nonetheless. Yuuri sincerely hoped he’d get another adoring speech this time because this was the first time that Yuuri had to actually make conversation with Victor and tell him he was going to see his parents for a night while he was in the mood.

 

Yuuri had returned from the rink earlier that day, showered and dressed and was now staring at Victor who had his nose in a Russian book on the bed, with Makkachin at his feet, even though Lilia hated having the dog inside any of the bedrooms. Yuuri could see the look on Victor’s face– tight eyebrows, his lips pursed and his eyes looking a little glassy. He had seen it on Victor many times before. It was his ‘I really want to tell everyone how awful I feel but instead, I’m going to ignore everyone.’ Yuuri sighed. Even though he didn’t know why Victor felt like that or had such big mood swings– he did honestly feel bad for him, but Yuuri knew he couldn’t do anything to help Victor unless he talked to him. Yuuri hoped that would happen soon.

 

“Victor?” Yuuri asked, his voice soft and gentle. Victor closed his eyes at the voice, reopening after taking a deep breath. Victor dog-eared his book and set it on his bedside table and then sat up, looking at Yuuri expectantly. Yuuri looked around the room, it seemed a little bigger than usual. “How are you feeling?”

 

“Fine,” Victor answered, sighing and looking around the room, avoiding Yuuri’s gaze. This was usually the part where Yuuri would walk away and do something else but this was different– if Victor wasn’t going to come to him, he would go to Victor.

 

“Really?” Yuuri tried, which caught Victor off-guard. It was funny how quickly the pair had fallen into a routine and formed habits and gotten to know each other’s mannerisms and ways of speaking. Victor scowled.

 

“Yes,” Victor replied in a challenging tone. Yuuri frowned– why wouldn’t he be honest?

 

“It doesn’t seem like you are,” Yuuri told him, concern painting his face. Yuuri tentatively stepped forward and sat on the opposite side of the bed. Yuuri tried to find Victor’s eyes, but Victor kept his face downcast. “Victor?”

 

“It’s nothing, just a weird day,” Victor lied again. Yuuri sighed in frustration– why wasn’t he telling him what was wrong?

 

“Well, I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to stay with my parents tonight, so if you want to tell me what’s wrong, this is your last chance,” Yuuri teased, raising his eyebrows and smirking.

 

“Yuuri, I’ll see you again tomorrow,” Victor replied, rolling his eyes.

 

“Oh, but what if I get in some sort of accident, Victor?” Yuuri said dramatically, flopping down on the bed. Victor laughed, which brought joy to Victor's heart– was he actually improving Victor’s mood?

 

“You’ll be fine, luckik,” Victor chuckled, before picking up his book again and opening to where was up to. “Now, I need to get back my romance novel, I’ll see you soon, Yuuri.” Yuuri smiled and got up off the bed and went to fetch his overnight bag before heading to the door of the bedroom.

 

“Goodbye, Victor,” Yuuri said then left the room.

 

-

 

Yuuri arrived at his parent's house two hours later and was immediately met with a big hug from Hiroko.

 

“My Yuuri! You’re back!” Hiroko wailed, squeezing her son. Yuuri rolled his eyes.

 

“Mum, I was only gone for two weeks, you do realise I was gone for months at a time earlier this year, right?” Yuuri laughed, amused as his mother who missed him so very much.

 

“I know,” Hiroko said, not laughing at one of Yuuri’s sarcastic comments like she usually would. Hiroko withdrew her hug. Yuuri waited for Hiroko to say something else, but she didn’t. She didn’t say anything. She just looked away. Why wasn’t she looking at Yuuri? Had he done something wrong? Had she done something wrong? Yuuri looked around the entrance to the hot springs, spare a few guests no one was around. Not even Mari or Toshiya. They knew he was coming, right? Surely they did…

 

“Where’s Mari?” Yuuri asked, his brows furrowing. Hiroko and he were the only ones around– where was everybody? “And dad? And Vicchan?”

 

“Uh, well, it’s a bit quiet around here so they’re just resting,” Hiroko informed him, her voice shaking.

 

“Mum, are you okay?” Yuuri asked with concern– obviously, something had happened here. Mari wasn’t around like she usually was, teasing him or being a general grump, and Toshiya wasn’t constantly doing something around the inn like the workaholic he was.

 

“I’m fine, dear, but it’s just…” Hiroko trailed off. Something had gone wrong. Something had happened– was everyone okay? Then there was silence, as Hiroko lead Yuuri away from the lobby and into their private lounge and dining area. Yuuri guessed it was because she didn’t want any of the other guests to hear what she was about to say.  

 

“I’m so sorry, Yuuri,” Hiroko whispered into the room. What did she have to apologise for? Maybe she really had done something wrong. Yuuri’s head immediately began supplying ideas to what had gone wrong, but all of them were extreme and often gruesome and terrifying. Yuuri pushed them away and focused on his mother, who was clearly upset. Yuuri needed to know what was making her upset.

 

“What do you mean? Hiroko, please, tell me what is wrong,” Yuuri pleaded, wrapping his arms around his mother’s waist and looked down at her, trying to provide as much comfort as he could.

 

“It’s Vicchan,” Hiroko started, her voice barely audible. Yuuri’s heart caught in his throat. “It started in a few days ago, we thought he was just sick. He wouldn’t eat and and he wouldn’t drink and he wouldn’t even leave his bed. We took him to the vet as soon as we could. The vet told us he had pancreatitis, which affects the pancreas, kidney and liver. Apparently, it had been going on for a long time and Vicchans organs had begun to fail once we’d brought him in so we decided to put him down. I decided to put him down,” Hiroko finished, not meeting Yuuri’s gaze but still holding onto her son. Hiroko breathed quietly, not wanting to make a single sound. She watched as Yuuri looked at his shoes, his eyes glazed over. Hiroko threaded her hands through Yuuri’s hair, wiping it out of his vision, not that Yuuri really wanted to see clearly.

 

Shoes . Yuuri was wearing shoes. And his coat. He was wearing his shoes and his coat– how long had it been since he’d gotten here? Not more than ten minutes, surely. Yuuri looked at his mother, but she seemed far away. Everything seemed far away. He seemed far away from himself. How was he far away from himself? Yuuri concentrated and looked at his mother’s eyes, trying to pull himself forward and closer to them. He felt so far away, his mother’s eyes were so far away. Why were they so far away?

 

“I need to go,” Yuuri told Hiroko, but it didn’t sound like his voice. Hiroko nodded.

 

“Where are you going, sweetheart?” Hiroko said gently, tilting her head and smiling up at Yuuri. Yuuri knew she had spoken, that she had something, but he didn’t catch it. Her voice sounded too quiet and too far away– couldn’t she speak up? But there was no time for people to repeat themselves, Yuuri needed to go. And so Yuuri began walking. He walked into the lobby and out of the inn. Yuuri walked– or maybe he floated? Yuuri wasn’t sure, but he found his driver and his car, sitting patiently for him. Yuuri hopped in, in the distance hearing Hiroko’s voice. She really needed to tell her to speak up, he couldn’t hear a thing. Yuuri noticed the closer car door next to him, well, that was probably why he couldn’t hear her. When did he close the door anyway? Yuuri didn’t remember that…

 

Yuuri put on his seatbelt and looked out the window to see greenery and snow passing before him. Had they left Hasetsu already? Yuuri didn’t remember leaving Hasetsu, maybe he’d never arrived.

 

And then he was there, at the doors. The big doors, the palace doors. Yuuri remembered the first time he’d visited those doors– it felt so long ago. Then Yuuri remembered– he remembered the drive. He’d driven here, hadn’t he? Or his driver had, at least. Then Yuuri remembered leaving Hasetsu. And then he remembered leaving Hiroko. And then he remembered Vicchan .

 

The thought sent Yuuri barreling inside, desperate to get to where he needed to go. Yuuri glanced at the clock– 6:30. They’d be dining now, right? Yuuri sprinted up the stairs, a little too fastly. He tripped over a step and landed on his knees. And that’s when it caught up with him. Vicchan was gone. Yuuri shook his head as tears came to his eyes. No, not yet. Not yet. He couldn’t fall apart now. Just a few more steps, just one more minute. He had held it together for two hours, he could push it down for just another minute. Just one more. Yuuri shakily picked himself up off the floor and took it one step at a time. He boosted himself up onto the next step, and then the next. He kept walking until he was there. Finally there, where he needed to be. Where he needed to go. Yuuri pushed the door to the dining room open, and three sets of eyes landing on him, but only one of them mattered. They also looked concerned and shocked. Yuuri swallowed. How could he say it? How could he ask for what he so desperately needed in front of these looking eyes? Yuuri looked at the blue eyes. The sparkly, blue eyes. Yuuri searched them, tried to convey what he couldn’t with his own. Then Victor stood and pushed in his chair. Yuuri held his breath– knowing that if he kept breathing he would start wailing. Blubbering and crying, which is what he did once Victor stepped out and closed the door behind him. Yuuri didn’t even move– he kept his arms to his sides and looked at the floor and cried. He wailed– he was so bloody loud, Yuuri was sure there was no point in Victor closing the door for their privacy. Yuuri kept hiccuping and blubbering, and he honestly didn’t care that he probably looked like a complete mess in that moment– snot running from his nose, his cheeks wet and his face blotchy.

 

“Victor,” Yuuri wailed, his throat constricting and lump forming. He felt like a child . “Please.” What was he asking for? But Victor understood– he knew. Of course he did. Victor wrapped his arms around the omega, pressed his face his hair and cradled Yuuri’s head, pushing it into his chest, trying to get as close to Yuuri as possible. Yuuri’s hands found Victor’s button down and held on, scrunching the fabric. “Victor,” Yuuri wailed again, which made Victor squeeze Yuuri harder. It was all Yuuri could think about– Victor, Victor, Victor, a mantra in his head. He needed Victor. Closer. Away from everyone.

 

“Do you want to go to bed, Yuuri?” Victor asked, whispering into Yuuri’s hair. Yuuri merely nodded but made no attempt to move. He couldn’t move away from Victor. So, Victor picked Yuuri up and Yuuri wrapped his legs around his husband, not letting go. Victor was glad for his upper body strength, and also for his sense of direction because right new half of his view had been taken by Yuuri’s shoulder. Yuuri’s shoulder, that smelled so sad, so lovely. So sweet. So close . Yuuri’s own face was buried in Victor’s shoulder, and his wailing and seemed to subside at the calming pheromones Victor was producing. This close, the smell felt like a tranquillizer. Yuuri closed his eyes, tears still streaming down his face as he let Victor carry him down the stairs. Yuuri breathed quietly, his thoughts clouded with Victor’s scent and the sadness of his dog passing. Yuuri felt himself get all choked up all over again at the thought. Yuuri’s grip on Victor tightened. Yuuri sniffled against Victor’s shoulder. Victor . Victor was here.  

 

Finally, Yuuri heard a door open and he felt himself being put down on a bed, and Victor releasing him and peeling himself off of Yuuri.

 

“No,” Yuuri grunted, pulling Victor towards him and burying his face in Victor’s chest. “Stay.” Victor didn’t move, not knowing how to go about getting ready for bed without Yuuri clinging to him like an octopus. But after a few seconds, Yuuri pulled away from Victor himself. Yuuri brokenly looked up at Victor. His eyes were puffy, his face was red and tear stained and snot was covering the lower half of his face, along with a few patches on Victor’s shirt. Victor’s heart broke at the sight. Yuuri unclenched his hands from Victor’s shirt, looking at his red hands and the wrinkled parts of Victor’s shirt.

 

“Yuuri, I’m just going to get pyjamas, okay?” Victor whispered, brushing Yuuri’s hair from his face. Yuuri nodded and scooted further onto the bed. Then the mantra started back up again– Victor, Victor Victor, he needed his Victor . Yuuri began crying again, a lot quieter than his previous spell but crying all the same. He needed Victor. He needed Vicchan . Victor noticed the scene and changed with haste in his wardrobe, not bothering with his usual night routine and instead picking some of Yuuri’s pyjamas out and bringing them to the bed. Victor knelt on the bed with one knee and ignored Yuuri’s crying and set out to remove his shirt. Victor pulled at the hem of Yuuri’s shirt and the other lifted their arms up, allowing Victor to peel the shirt off of his husband. Victor pulled up the blue, cotton pyjama shirt and guided Yuuri’s arms into it before setting out to button it up. Yuuri looked up as he did so. He still looked so broken and sad as his bottom lip trembled– but somewhere in the sadness in his eyes, he saw gratefulness. Victor smiled comfortingly as he did up the last button. Victor then grabbed Yuuri’s hand and pulled him up so he could slide off his jeans. After he did so, he didn’t bother with pyjama pants, Yuuri clearly needed to be close to him, and he had waited long enough. So, Victor pulled back the covers and slid in, still sitting up and held his arms out for Yuuri to join. Yuuri did so immediately. The pair laid down, still in each other’s arms, Yuuri still crying. Victor pulled the covers up and turned off the lamp next to their bed. Victor felt Yuuri wept into his embrace and Victor started sending out a calming scent for Yuuri (trying to not get upset at the omega’s own distressed one,) as well as raking his fingers through Yuuri’s hair, trying to calm his husband.

 

-

 

Victor sighed once he saw Yuuri close the door behind him. Why did they always run away? Why did Victor kiss Yuuri in the first place? It wasn’t like he liked him… The guy had insulted and lied to him, and had now just run away after they’d shared a kiss– or two kisses really. Yet, Victor was sitting on his bed, his body digesting the feeling of wanting more . Yes, Victor was interested in Yuuri at one point, once he’d found him in an empty ice rink, and found him even more so when he found he was an ice skater, but it puzzled him that Yuuri had bothered to lie. Did he not like Victor? Did he prince status repulse him to the point of wanting to escape Victor knowing anything about him? Or did Yuuri secretly want him, but was afraid of his prince status… at least that would explain the second kiss. Maybe Yuuri was just nervous, after all, Victor was a prince. So, Victor took a deep breath and stood from his bed and wandered downstairs and out into the night, deciding to take a cab to the palace. He didn’t want to be at this party anymore.

 

But even as the night progressed, and Victor was lectured by his father and his mother cleared out her sewing projects from his rarely used room, he found himself still thinking about Yuuri. It was constant– what did Yuuri think of him? Would he see Yuuri again? Then it progressed to fantasies about bumping into Yuuri and Yuuri asking him to hang out, or Yuuri ending up going to the same college as him and he and the raven became best friends. Even though through the walls of the palace he could hear Ivan yelling at Anna from the floor below him his thoughts didn’t tether from Yuuri. Even though Lilia had invited herself into Victor’s room and they’d settled down to watch Ballroom Dancing competitions, he still couldn’t stop reliving the feeling of Yuuri’s lips on his own.

 

But Lilia soon startled him out of his daze, as she paused the video and began staring at him while he traced his own lips.

 

“I haven’t seen you in a while,” Lilia started, sitting upright and shifting so she was sitting across from Victor who was leant back against the headboard. Victor dropped his hand.

 

“It’s only been a few weeks,” Victor replied, shifting nervously in his place. “I’m sure you catch up with Mary often though, she probably tells you all about me.” Victor thought back to his aunt– 65, not married, no kids, not an essential part of the royal family and a general disappointment, Victor thought they had quite a lot in common. That’s mostly why he was staying there in the first place. It was an easier route to school and he actually liked Mary. That and the fact that Anna and Ivan could hide their fights and distaste for each other a lot easier when Victor wasn’t around, not that he didn’t know about that already.

 

“Yes, she does, but it’s not the same. She told me you were hosting a party tonight while she was out of town, huh?” Lilia asked in a soft gentle voice, knowing how sensitive Victor could be at these times. ‘These times,’ referring to when Victor just had a tad too much going on, when Victor’s emotions were running high and he tended to shut people out when people started asking questions.

 

“Yeah, it was supposed to be just for the hockey team but lots of people ended up coming so I decided to crash here. I didn’t think anyone would be leaving there for a while,” Victor told Lilia.

 

“I understand that I just hope Anna didn’t leave any loose pieces of string around here. She’s been working in here for ages– I think she’s making something to cover the entire palace,” Lilia chuckled, thinking back to Anna, who stuffed herself in here most days. Despite her tone, Lilia did not think back on the memories of Anna hiding away in Victor’s room with fondness. She knew that Anna was in here purely to be away from Ivan, and close to Victor. She knew that despite sending Victor away to protect him from a broken marriage, she missed him dearly.

 

“I would love to see that,” Victor commented, smiling at the thought of his own beloved mother sewing a giant sheet together to cover the palace.

 

Victor did shake Yuuri from his head. The next morning was consumed with fake smiles and the news that Anna had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, so Yuuri was long forgotten after that, but the way his heart hung heavy after Yuuri had left him that night had never left his grieving body.

 

-

 

It was one in the morning when Victor woke to the sound of muffled cries and shuffling feet on the floor of his bedroom. Victor shot up and reached for the lamp, turning it on to look at Yuuri who was about to leave the room. Pantless, sweaty and crying, he looked like a mess. Yuuri held a hand out, reaching for the doorknob, but paused once he was spotted.

 

Victor was out of bed in an instant and by Yuuri’s side. Victor took hold of Yuuri’s hand and guided it away from the door, just as he did with Yuuri’s with Yuuri’s mind. Just with a touch, Yuuri was reminded that he did not need to run away or to leave anything behind. Yuuri wasn’t alone, and it was captured in the gentleness of Victor holding Yuuri’s hand.

 

“Yuuri,” Victor whispered, his eyes lidded. He wrapped Yuuri in a slow embrace. Yuuri’s head fell onto Victor’s shoulder and his crying subsided.

 

“I just needed some fresh air,” Yuuri whispered, trying to explain why he’d been walking out. It wasn’t necessarily a lie, but the how quickly Yuuri has said had made it seem like one, how guilty he felt proceeding the statement made it seem like one. Yuuri just didn’t want to think he was walking out from Victor, or rejecting him. He had to make him understand that Yuuri wanted Victor– a thought that stuck out clearly through all the grief.

 

“I know,” Victor whispered back, trying to make Yuuri understand that he didn’t feel rejected by Yuuri’s actions and that anything Yuuri needed to do during this time was perfectly okay . Victor heard Yuuri’s breathing slow.

 

A minute passed between them, where they melted into each other’s embrace and the comforting silence wrapped them up, along with the comforting room which circled them. As Yuuri looked around the room, he was calmed by the fact that this was their room; their safe space. There was their bed, and there was their bathroom, where every night they’d brush their teeth together.

 

“Victor?” Yuuri said, pulling away from Victor a little, but still letting himself be wrapped up in Victor’s arms as the held onto his waist. Victor’s heart fell to his stomach as he was reunited by the sight of Yuuri’s tear stained face. His hurt was so clear, he just wanted to rid Yuuri from all of it. He wanted to take him back to bed and stay there until he felt better. He didn’t want to leave Yuuri’s side.

 

“Yes, Yuuri?” Victor responded, looking down at his husband with concern.

 

“I’m hungry,” Yuuri said, chuckling a little after. It was nice to hear Yuuri laugh. Victor even laughed himself. Victor smiled, told Yuuri’s he’d back in a bit and disappeared from the room, wanting to take Yuuri with him but not wanting Yuuri to notice what lay outside. Victor exited the hallway that their bedroom door was situated and made he way across the grand entrance/landing to get to the other side, where the kitchen was. Victor entered and went to the fridge, scanning for items. He ended up pulling out ice cream and leftover potato bake and roast beef, which he heated in the microwave as he scooped the salted caramel ice cream into bowls.

 

Just as Victor was entering the hallway to his bedroom he heard pawing at the glass doors that lead out to the back veranda. A thought struck Victor– was it too soon though? Victor continued to think about it as he entered the room again and was met with a Yuuri who was curled on his side and staring blankly at the wall. Victor frowned at the sight. He pushed through and fought the urge to drop all of the food and cuddle up with Yuuri again and pulled up a small tray for in bed eating and set it up on the bed before dropping the plate of dinner leftovers onto it and the two bowls of ice cream. Victor patted Yuuri’s shoulder and coaxed him into a sitting position and told him about the food he had served Yuuri.

 

“Thank you, Victor,” Yuuri said, his voice croaky. Victor smiled weakly in response, eating his own ice cream as he watched Yuuri eat his dinner. It was nice, taking care of Yuuri. Victor hoped that after the past events, they’d become closer and he would get to take care of Yuuri more often.

 

After they’d finished their meals Victor popped their empty dishes and tray on his bedside table and had cuddled up with Yuuri, the same way they had previously. Victor’s embrace was so warm and delicate, Yuuri never wanted to leave.

 

-

 

Lilia poked her head through the door and found Victor and Yuuri tangled together and fast asleep. She sighed and closed the door and thought to ask the maid to save Victor’s desert since he wasn’t going to be eating it anytime soon. Lilia was glad she had closed the door almost as soon as she had opened it because Yuuri’s and Victor’s mixed distressed scents were already pouring out, clouding Lilia’s nose. Lilia quickly walked off, her black heels clicking on the marble floor. She then made her way over to her office to check Victor’s schedule for the next day, she guessed he wouldn’t be up to doing any work so she had to clear anything that was coming up. Just as she was making her way downstairs to her personal office, she heard footsteps coming from behind her. She immediately looked up to see who was behind her and deal with whatever they wanted. When she looked she was met with the gaze of four people– one of their guards, Ken Sato, along with Hiroko, Toshiya and Mari. Lilia was stunned to see the family there, looking pleadingly at her. Lilia cleared her throat and nodded to Ken, signalling that he could go back to whatever she was doing and could leave Lilia to deal with the three people.

 

“Good evening, you three,” Lilia said and made her way up to the top of the staircase to greet the worried looking family. “What are you here for?” Lilia asked as she leant in to hug Hiroko who accepted and kissed her cheek. Lilia then moved to shake Toshiya’s and Mari’s hand.

 

“Good Evening, Lilia. We just came to see Yuuri, assuming he is here?” Hiroko asked, desperation in her tone.

 

“We gave him some devastating news but he just took off and I think he came here,” Toshiya explained, showing the same concern on his face– as did Mari, but her expression was mingled with something else… Something unreadable.

 

“Yes, he did come here– he arrived only 45 minutes ago– you must have been right behind him! But he did seem very upset, Victor took him to bed just 25 minutes ago,” Lilia told them, remembering how she heard Yuuri’s loud cries and chants of Victor’s name just a little while ago. “I just checked on them and they’re both fast asleep.”

 

Victor took him to bed?” Mari scoffed, her jaw hanging. Hiroko nudged her, silently asking for her to be more polite.

 

“They do share a bed, Mari,” Hiroko replied, her tone firm.

 

“I’m sure Yuuri can get into bed by himself, and it’s not like he doesn’t have his own bed at home, or family ,” Mari argued, rolling her eyes. Then that unreadable expression became clear to Lilia– it was anger . Lilia felt challenged by Mari’s anger– did she not like Victor? Did she think Victor was unfit for Yuuri? Lilia straightened she posture and tilted her head up to intimidate the other alpha.

 

“Well, I think Yuuri and Victor have really bonded recently,” Lilia explained, glaring at Mari. “I’m sure Yuuri was just seeking out a comforting alpha is all.” Mari’s gaze snapped to Lilia at the threat– did Lilia really think Victor was a better alpha for Yuuri than Mari was?

 

“We’ve found Yuuri now, and that’s all that matters,” Toshiya stated, trying to interfere with the silent competition between Mari and Lilia. “I’m terribly sorry to ask, but do you think we could stay here, or somewhere around here for the night? We know Yuuri is very shaken up and we want to stay close.”

 

“Of course, I’ll ask Deidra to set up our two guest bedrooms on the second floor. Although for future reference Yuuri does seem very comforted by Victor, if that is ever a worry,” Lilia told them in the nicest way possible, while still seeming a little passive aggressive. Mari dropped her head, knowing she could never beat Lilia.

 

“I’m sure he was, it’s just that his dog, Vicchan, died and we’re the only ones who knew Vicchan as well as he did, and we just wanted to offer sympathy– plus, this is the first time something like this has happened while being away from his home,” Toshiya explained, snaking an arm around his wife. “We’re just looking out for Yuuri.”

 

Lilia smiled, “Of course. Now, I’m guessing you three haven’t had dinner?”

 

“No, we haven’t but if there’s nothing around I’m sure we could drive into town and get something,” Hiroko supplied, not wanting to intrude but also wanting to dine in the palace very much.

 

“Nonsense! We always have something around– just follow me into our upper dining room and I’ll have our chef whip something up for you,” Lilia told them, walking to the next set of stairs, but pausing when she heard footsteps coming for the right hallway. She prayed it wasn’t Victor.

 

It was. “Oh, hello, Lilia” Victor croaked, walking out from the hall in his pyjamas. “Good evening Mr and Ms Katsuki, good evening Mari,” Victor greeted, ignoring Mari’s harsh glaring but glad to see that Toshiya wasn’t, as he usually was. “I was just getting some water.”

 

“Good evening Victor,” Lilia sighed. “The Katsukis wanted to make sure Yuuri was alright because he left Hasetsu as soon as he got there.”

 

“Yes, we wanted to make sure he was okay,” the short woman said.

 

“Well, he’s asleep and he’s in good hands with me, Hiroko.”

Chapter Text

It wasn’t the first time he’d seen the mussed sheets, scented the air with his pheromones– trying to dominate the other. Victor had seen this all before– the open blinds, the half-closed door that he’d walk through, and he’d seen the one who he’d left in the mess of off-white sheets.

But, he’d never been the one who watched the other leave. He’d never been the one sitting in the bed.

Victor awoke the next day tangled in sheets and pillows of all different shapes and sizes, but they all smelled the same. They smelled like Yuuri and Victor’s scents all tangled just like their sheets, which were everywhere. How many sheets, duvets and pillows had Yuuri added to this thing? And in amongst the mussed sheets, Yuuri was not there. The door was half open and presumably, Victor had been left. Logically, Victor knew that Yuuri had probably just gotten embarrassed over his display of vulnerability and left, but Victor couldn’t help but feel disappointed as his supposed omega wasn’t curled up next to him. Victor had enjoyed looking after Yuuri very much, so much he had wanted to do it all the time. He wanted to take care of his everything and make sure he was never left without something he needed ever again. Victor wanted to completely offer himself to Yuuri. For once, he didn’t want to run away from the palace, he wanted to stay right here. Yuuri was so new and bright for him, Victor had felt over the past couple weeks everything inside the palace had changed for the better.

Just as Victor was about to get out of bed and follow the open doors, Yuuri emerged from the bathroom, still clad in pyjamas, sporting bedhead and a toothbrush in mouth. Victor grinned. Yuuri hadn’t left him. His adorable cute Yuuri had not left him.

“Good morning,” Victor said, sitting up and stretching his arms above his head and smiling at Yuuri.

“Goob morfning,” Yuuri said, the toothbrush and toothpaste hindering his ability to speak clearly.

“How long have you been up? You should’ve woken me,” Victor asked, pushing the bedding off of his form and standing up. Victor stood and arched his back, causing his spine to pop and his pyjama shirt to ride halfway up his stomach.

“An hour,” Yuuri told him, shrugging, then walking back to their bathroom and rinsing out his mouth.

Once Yuuri returns, toothbrush free and breath smelling fresh, Victor wraps himself around Yuuri from behind and Yuuri rests his own arms on top of Victor’s. An hour. An hour where Yuuri could’ve left, but Victor knows he didn’t. Where he could’ve gone and eaten or found his parents, but he didn’t. He stayed right here, with Victor, waiting.

“You didn’t have to wait for me,” Victor says, knowing that’s exactly what Yuuri did. Yuuri blushes like he’s been caught doing something embarrassing, but just like he sought out Victor’s comfort, he wanted to be caught. Of course, Yuuri expected Victor to know, because after last night, he wanted to Victor to know everything, and he would happily tell and hint to everything under the sun to Victor.

“I wanted to,” Yuuri whispered, turning himself around in Victor’s embrace and leant his head on Victor’s shoulder, taking a deep breath. Victor rubbed Yuuri’s back, surprised but very happy and the show of affection.

“I’m sorry about last night, Victor,” Yuuri breathed, his voice muffled by Victor’s shoulder. Victor’s eyes welled up– he had nothing to be sorry about. How could he? Yuuri coming to Victor for comfort had been an honour, not a burden.

“You have nothing to be sorry about, you can come to me with anything at any time, okay? In fact, I encourage it,” Victor told him, raising his arms along Yuuri’s back and giving him a tight squeeze.

“Well, I’m at least sorry for getting snot on your shirt,” Yuuri chuckled, his head still buried in the crook between Victor’s neck and shoulder. Victor giggled and reassured Victor that their maids did a very good job at washing his clothes.

After a few more minutes, Yuuri finally pulled away and walked over to the bed and sat down, knowing what he had to do next. He owed this to Victor…

“My– uh, dog died,” Yuuri said, looking up at Victor. “My mum told me as soon as I got to Hasetsu, and I was just so upset so I came here,” Yuuri explained. “I think that felt a bit underwhelming.” Victor and Yuuri chuckled at his remark. Victor climbed onto the bed and sat next to Yuuri, and as they both stared out the big window that looked out onto the surrounding woodlands.

“I already don’t Makkachin as much as I would like to with how Lilia refuses to let him inside I don’t know what I would do if Makkachin died,” Victor admitted, trying to sympathise with Yuuri. Yuuri rested his head on Victor’s shoulder again. “I’d probably go to my husband as well.”

-

“Ready?” Victor called from the main part of the bedroom as Yuuri stepped out of his closet, clad in clothes for the day. “You look good.”

“Thank you,” Yuuri replies, blushing and hiding his hands underneath his slightly too long sweater sleeves. “So, breakfast then skating?” Victor nods, confirming their plans for the day. Victor wrapped Yuuri up in one final hug. Yuuri breathed and readied himself to see his parents again. Victor had warned him about them being there, and at first Yuuri had practically refused to confront but after talking with Victor and taking a warm shower, he felt calmer and was ready to do so. He’d know he’d have to explain to his family why he decided to go to Victor instead of them– something he not only felt guilty about but something he didn’t really have the answer to. He didn’t want to explain why he chose Victor over his family even to himself.

Chapter Text

Yuuri ,” Hiroko gasped with a sigh of relief at seeing her son, who wasn’t crying or seriously harmed. Not that he would be harmed, of course, but he was supposed to be with his family. They were supposed to eat Katsudon for breakfast and dinner they were going to take Yuuri to the ice rink when he was ready to leave the house, (Hiroko knew she and Yuuri hadn’t been to the rink together since he was little so she figured it would be comforting.) Mari was supposed to stop being grumpy and annoying all the time and actually talk to Yuuri, and they would connect like siblings should. Toshiya and Yuuri would clean the onsen together and do various chores to make Yuuri feel like he was needed. They would all grieve the loss of Vicchan together, and lastly but not least– they would all take Yuuri back to the palace when he was completely ready and willing. Hiroko didn’t expect for Yuuri to come all the way back again, not even minutes after being there. She didn’t expect for her son to seek comfort in Lilia or his fake husband. That was definitely not how it should’ve been, but that’s how it happened, and Hiroko just wanted to know why . Why did her son choose Victor over her?

 

Hiroko watched as Yuuri emerged from behind Victor and padded over to where she was in the upstairs landing and hugged her. Hiroko immediately responded and ducked her head into Yuuri’s shoulder and squeezed him as tightly as she could.

 

Seconds later, Yuuri pulled away, (much too quickly, she thought,) and was looking expectantly at her. His eyes were ducking between the floor and her face, and the occasional glance at the surrounding company.

 

We found you ,” Hiroko said in Japanese, smiling warmly at her son, trying to get across the message of ‘no hard feelings.’

 

I’m sorry I left ,” Yuuri whispered, his eyes wandering back to the floor and staying there. The air was stale and Yuuri felt the palace grow ten times bigger– as if it wasn’t already huge enough. Yuuri wanted to go back to his bedroom, where Victor would be and they could go back to sleep. Victor would wrap him up and make him feel safe again.  

 

It’s okay .” Yuuri breathed a sigh of relief at the words– and Hiroko was pretty sure she heard one from Victor too. Yuuri stepped back even further to look at the rest of his family. Mari scowled as she made eye contact with Yuuri.

 

Yes, it’s totally okay that you chose to go to an alpha you’ve known for two weeks rather than your own family ,” Mari bit, her eyes which were filled with disgust flicking between Yuuri and Victor. “ Are you guys fucking or something? ” Mari knew her words were mean, and her bit about Yuuri having sex with Victor was completely outrageous, but the look of horror on Victor’s face was completely worth it.

 

Mari ,” Hiroko said harshly. “Lilia, why don’t you three go have breakfast, but I’m going to go talk with Mari for a minute somewhere.” Hiroko had noticed that Mari had been unusually angry lately, and she certainly wasn’t going to let her take out whatever she was dealing with on Yuuri– and if it was Yuuri that was bothering her, she needed to tell Hiroko.

 

“Of course, take your time– there is a roofed balcony just there,” Lilia pointed out in her usual polite fashion, showing Hiroko the semi-glass double doors behind them. Mari folded her arms in irritation and followed her mother outside, watching as Lilia, Yuuri and Victor filed into the dining room, paying special attention to what Victor was saying to Yuuri as he snuck a hand onto Yuuri’s lower back, guiding him into the room. Lilia then closed the doors behind them. Mari then turned to Hiroko, who looked cross. Mari stepped out onto the balcony that looked out to the front of the palace and waited for her lecture.

 

I can’t believe you would say such things Mari! Yuuri is in so much pain, and if Victor comforts him, then we cannot judge that ,” Hiroko quietly yelled, her brows furrowing with anger.

 

But doesn’t it bother you? They’ve known each other for barely two weeks and Yuuri chooses him over you, over us. Victor is a dickhead– he’s just an entitled snob and I bet that he’s faking whatever closeness he and Yuuri have anyway! How else would they be that close– it’s just not natural,” Mari yammered, raising her voice.

 

Mari, you do not know a thing about Victor. You don’t know what he’s like or what he’s been through and if Yuuri finds comfort in Victor then I trust him not to be gullible enough to fall for something like that. We’ve all discussed our doubts about this situation but what’s done is done and now is not the time to be calling names or being petty when it’s going to get you nowhere. Yuuri has his own reasons for being with Victor at a time like this and they are not as sinister as you think they are. Yuuri is hurting and I am begging you to leave him and Victor alone. If you are not going to offer support than I don’t even know why you’re here ,” Hiroko spat before opening the doors and walking back inside, leaving Mari. Hiroko shook her head and tried not to think about Mari before walking into the dining room.

 

-

 

Victor followed Yuuri into the dining room, making sure to place a hand on the small of his back so Yuuri would feel comforted by his presence. He knew Yuuri wasn’t completely okay with seeing his family again, especially when he was feeling so emotional and the wounds of losing his dog were so fresh. The pair took a seat and were delighted to see Makkachin, Victor’s dog which Yuuri rarely got to see because of Lilia’s distaste of him, in the corner on a brand new black and white dog bed, chewing on a dog treat.

 

“Victor asked me to let Makkachin inside so I did but this is a one time thing and it is to never happen again,” Lilia told them, eyeing the dog suspiciously. Victor watched as Yuuri smiled at the dog in the corner. It might have helped Yuuri feel that much better, but Yuuri thought the gesture itself meant worlds to Yuuri– he was so happy to know Victor cared about him enough to do this. Yuuri leaned into Victor’s side, as their chairs were very close.

 

“Thank you, Victor,” Yuuri whispered, before also thanking Lilia. Victor then began to load his plate with breakfast goodies, with Lilia and Yuuri soon doing the same.

 

A few minutes later, Lilia spoke up, breaking the comfortable silence they were sitting as they all enjoyed their breakfast, and the time they had with out Hiroko, Mari and Toshiya (who was currently waiting outside for his family, claiming that he wanted to make sure no one got killed.) “So, I did have some things for you to do today but I can postpone them for a few days if you wish to spend the day… doing other things,” Lilia told Victor.

 

“I’ll have to do anything that requires me being outside of the palace tomorrow but if there’s anything I can do here I’ll be available,” Victor informed Lilia, hoping Mari would come in at this exact moment to see how Victor was postponing important work to look after Yuuri.

 

“Well, Mr. Popovich was talking to Petrov and Takanari since they’re looking start a fundraiser for the military later this month and they wanted to talk to you about MCing their first event. I believe it’s a ball celebrating all the heads of the military. Anyway, they said they’d love to have you call them later today to confer,” Lilia said, cutting up her poached eggs while doing so. Yuuri was used to these briefings early in the morning, so by now he’d learnt that Alexei and Takanari were his uncles that had a son, Vlad and they lived in Sapporo. He also knew that Mr. Popovich was the royal family’s ‘ business person ?’– actually Yuuri didn’t really know what he did, he just knew he often helped Victor with business that included other family members.

 

“Well, I’ll call them later this afternoon then. Although, why do they need  fundraisers and charities that work towards giving money to the military? Doesn’t like half the government’s budget go to that?” Victor laughed, lifting his hand to take a bite out of his piroshki.

 

Very funny , Vitya,” Yakov grumbled as he entered the dining room. “Are there people on the balcony?” Yuuri’s face heated at the mention of his family– had Yakov heard them? Had Yakov heard them yelling at each other? Were they yelling?

 

“Uh, that’s Yuuri’s family, they stopped by for breakfast,” Victor told Yakov as he took two piroshki and a cup of coffee, but made no effort to sit down. Victor and Yuuri almost wanted to laugh at how Yakov had missed out on so much drama– he was completely oblivious to the whole thing.

 

“Well, I’d love to stay and chat but I’ve got work to get to, so I’ll be in my office if anyone needs me,” Yakov said, then stomped off. A few seconds later, Mari, Hiroko and Toshiya made their way inside. Yuuri tried to analyse their expressions and body language, trying to figure out what had happened, but as usual, Hiroko and Toshiya had put on their best smiles and were chatting up Lilia casually. Mari however, was scowling. She reminded Victor of Yurio, back with his father and step-mother.

 

The six of them finished their breakfast with not a word for a Mari, but some lite chit chat amongst the rest of them, with occasional curious glances from Yuuri’s mother. Once it was all over, Hiroko took Yuuri aside to talk to him– ask him if he was okay and if he wanted to come back home again. Yuuri awkwardly declined and said he was fine with Victor, and when Hiroko had expected him to explain why Yuuri was so persistent about sticking with Victor, Yuuri said nothing. Hiroko figured he’d come to her with it eventually, like he usually did. Hiroko just hoped he’d also talk to Mari. She hoped he would talk to her about Victor– not necessarily something deep, but just to tell her that Victor was nice and why he trusted him so much. Hiroko was sick of Mari’s anger and pettiness.

 

-

 

“You’re wearing those skates again,” Victor remarked, walking over to Yuuri who had just finished tying his gorgeous white skates that Victor had gifted to him. Yuuri smiled and walked to meet Victor, snaking arms around his waist– a thing he would relish in being able to do until it no longer became acceptable to need hugs because you’re sad about your dog that passes away an alarming time ago.

 

“Special occasion,” Yuuri grinned, looking up to meet Victor’s eyes.

 

“C’mon, let’s skate,” Victor said, pulling Yuuri away from the locker rooms and onto the rink, where they skated to the middle, still obnoxiously close to each other. The pair twirled around the rink, their hands never leaving the other. It was a perfect way to unwind and relax.

 

“So, your birthday is coming up soon,” Yuuri mentioned after a few minutes. “Only two days to go.” Victor raised his eyebrows in acknowledgement. “What do you want to do?”

 

“Be with you and my family,” Victor whispered, slowing them to a halt. “Not my family here– my family in Russia.”

 

“We’ll go see them, then,” Yuuri confirmed, smiling softly at Victor. Victor was so grateful Yuuri was understanding about that whole thing– about how Ivan wasn’t his real father and that Alexander was his dad, he had a half-brother and a lovely step mum.

 

“Thank you, Yuuri,” Victor said gently, placing a hand on Yuuri’s cheek to show his genuine gratefulness for Yuuri.

 

Then, just as Victor was expecting them to take off and start skating together again, Yuuri leaned in a little closer. Victor leaned closer too. Then, like a building crescendo had broken, their lips met, at last. Yuuri was the first to pull away.

 

“Happy birthday, Victor.”

 

-

 

“Huh?” Victor grunted as he covered his eyes with arm, guarding his eyes from the harsh morning light.

 

“I said , happy birthday, Victor,” Yuuri giggled, pulling Victor’s arms away from his face. “It’s nearly ten am, you need to get up or you’re going to miss breakfast!”

 

“There is literally a chef who works here, Yuuri, I’m sure I’ll figure it out,” Victor groaned. He also hoped he’d figure out what the hell that dream meant. God, it was nice though– if Yuuri hadn’t have woken him up he would have happily dreamt that dream for quite a while. But then again, being woken up by Yuuri was nice in itself.

 

“But I made breakfast this morning,” Yuuri told him rather proudly. Victor became a lot more awake instantly.

 

“You what ? You made breakfast? Why?” Victor asked a bit harshly as he sat up in bed.

 

“Because it’s your birthday and I wanted to do something special and personal– I mean I doubt I make blini better than your professional chef but once you said you’d love to try my cooking which was probably just you being polite but I did it anyway,” Yuuri rambled, smiling at his husband innocently. “C’mon, Victor! I spent like two hours making oladyi, piroshki and tamagoyaki.”

 

“Mm, okay. But what’s tamagoyaki?” Victor asked, getting out of bed and stretching. (Victor groaned as he stretched– Yuuri really liked hearing that.)

 

“It’s like a japanese omelette but without anything in it. Like scrambled eggs but in a roll– trust me, you’ll like it,” Yuuri explained, opening the double doors to their bedroom and walking out into the short hall that lead to the ground landing of palace. “Are you coming?”

 

Now ? Lilia will kill me if I have breakfast in my pyjamas,” Victor said in disbelief, waving his hands around in the air.

 

“It’s nearly ten, sillly. Lilia and Yakov finished breakfast ages ago, it’s just us!” Yuuri replied, beaming. It’d been a few days since he’d seen Yuuri happy again. His dog had died just three days ago, and even with his family visiting and frequent trips to the rink together, he’d never managed to cheer Yuuri up or see him smiling. Until now.

 

“Okay, fine. Let’s go,” Victor said, grabbing his ugg boots and stepping outside. A rush of adrenaline ran through him– he’d never worn his pyjamas at breakfast before.

 

Ten minutes later, Victor was moaning at the taste of the food in his mouth. “Yuuuri! How did you manage to get an omlette to taste so good!?” Victor exclaimed, waving his chopsticks in the air, before taking another bite.

 

“I think it’s because I added soy sauce, sugar and mirin– I used to put that mixture on everything. I used to fry bacon in it,” Yuuri giggled. “I can’t believe I didn’t die eating bacon with sugar and soy sauce on it.”

 

“That does sound intense. I kind of want to try it though,” Victor chuckled, finishing up his tamagoyaki and moving onto his cherry filled piroshki and brown sugar topped oladyi. “I cant believe you actually made piroshki, even I can’t do it.” Victor broke open his piroshki to see all the cherries inside.

 

“Well I did buy the pastry for it– all I did was put cherries and sugar in it,” Yuuri said, shrugging as he ate his own. “How’s your birthday so far?”

 

“Amazing, all thanks to you,” Victor answered, tilting his head and smiling.

 

“Well, after you’ve showered I’ll give you your presents,” Yuuri grinned, his eyes gleaming with excitement.

“Who said I had to shower first? Maybe I should stay in my pyjamas all day– I might even go to the rink like this,” Victor joked.

 

“Well, Lilia and Yakov are going to be there, so…” Victor dropped his head to the table and groaned.

 

-

 

Victor stared at the presents before him. There were just three left, and they were all from Yuuri. Yakov had gotten him some ‘alpha designed’ cologne, (it actually didn’t smell that bad,) Lilia got him some new designer coats and suits– they were all in total worth about a million yen. Then left Yuuri’s three presents– the ones that made Victor the most excited. Victor immediately picked up the smallest– a silver envelope.

 

“No! That’s for last, open this one first!” Yuuri exclaimed, picking up the largest present instead. It was a large box covered in baby blue, glossy wrapping paper. Once Victor had torn open the wrapping, three smaller white wrapped boxes fell out. Yuuri watched intently as Victor tore open his first present. Victor was immediately greeted by a familiar ‘La Mer’ logo with a cosmo backdrop. On the front it read ‘ limited edition cosmo inspired design – hand cream – creme de la mer .’ Victor was absolutely thrilled! Victor grinned and jumped in his seat.

 

“Ah, Yuuri! I’ve been wanting this!” Victor cheered. Yuuri was happy to see Victor in joy over his gift, although he didn’t understand La Mer’s reasoning for putting a different print on the box of the product and charging a hundred dollars more for it, but sure. The next two gifts in the set were two other products from La Mer– an ‘intensive revitalising’ mask and a ‘brilliance brightening’ mask. Victor reached for the next gift which was also wrapping in baby blue. Victor tore it open and was greeted by a velvety box– jewellry! Victor then found a pair of blue diamond cufflinks. They matched the earrings Victor had gotten Yuuri. (Which Yuuri was wearing right now, by the way.) Victor gasped and looked between Yuuri’s own blue diamond earrings and his own cufflinks. “Oh, Yuuri . I love them so much.”

 

“I’m glad you like them,” Yuuri chuckled, picking up the last gift– the silver envelope. “Now, this is more of an experience, rather than a object and you chose who does this with you.” Victor didn’t know what was inside the envelope, but he already knew Yuuri was participating in this ‘experience.’ “I also had to reason with Lilia for this for a while so you better like it.” Victor tore open in the envelope and took out the card. The card had a screen of white lace over the front of the gold card. Victor opened it and out fell two other pieces of card. Victor examined them.

 

Japanese Airlines

 

St. Petersburg 18:32 28.12.12

 

First Class. Seats A & B, Row 4

 

Victor’s mouth fell open. Yuuri was taking him to St. Petersburg, where his dad was? How in the world did Lilia let him do this? Did she tell him that his father actually lived there and not his uncle? Tears welled in Victor’s eyes. He was going to see his family again, with Yuuri . How was Yuuri so kind?

 

“Um, I know you really like St. Petersburg, at least that’s what Lilia told me when you were there for three months, and I know you have close family there so…” Yuuri said, trailing off and scratching the back of his neck. Victor leant over and pulled him into a hug. Yuuri smiled at the response.

 

“Thank you, Yuuri,” Victor whispers. “Thank you so much.” Victor squeezed his eyes shut so he wouldn’t begin properly crying. God, he didn’t think he’d been seeing that part of his family for a long time… But now, thanks to Yuuri he would see them again in just three days. That hug didn’t end for a while.

 

-

 

Victor was just making his way down from lunch when his phone started ringing. He and Yuuri had enjoyed another one of Yuuri’s meals– this time he’d cooked beef stroganoff. It had been delicious, but now he had work to do, and apparently whoever was ringing Victor really needed to speak to him because he’d been ignoring it for a solid minute at this point. Victor sighed and pulled out his phone to see Lilia’s face and name flashing on the screen. God, of all the people in the world, why her?

 

“Hello, Lilia, what can I help you with?” Victor gritted through his teeth. Why did she call anyway, her office was just downstairs.

 

“I need you to come see me, I have something to talk to you about,” Lilia said sternly from the other end.

 

“I’ll be there in a minute,” Victor signed, ending the call and walking in the other direction.

 

Not more than a minute later, Victor was seated in one of Lilia’s office chairs. “So, what did you want?” Lilia took a deep breath.

 

“I wasn’t going to ever tell you this, since Ivan ordered me not too and it would probably piss you off greatly, but he’s dead and it’s your birthday, so what the hell! You don’t have to be king if you don’t want to. You’re not Ivan’s biological child so technically the throne should go to one of your cousins. Either Jemima or Vlad probably. But even if you decided to make a public announcement and take yourself out of line for the throne, you’d still have to make a lot of public appearances. You and Yuuri would have to. There’s not a huge difference but I think the work load is lighter and the spotlight would probably be on you less and you wouldn’t have to live here. I could have movers come in while you’re away and I’ll buy an affordable home for you, and maybe one for Yuuri as well and then I could our–”

 

“No.”

 

“What?” Lilia scoffed– was Victor seriously turning down the chance to not be king?


“I said no, I don’t want to take this offer,” Victor repeated. The offer of course was wonderful– it was a freaking dream. He wouldn’t have to live in this craphole and he could pursue a career of his own. But Yuuri was worth the craphole and the workload. Leaving this place would mean that he and Yuuri would stop living together– maybe even stop seeing each other. Victor wasn’t going to let this happen. He had to stay with Yuuri. That was first priority– his first thought when Lilia broke it to him. Behind that was anger at Ivan and Lilia for not telling him sooner, but first came Yuuri. Victor was not leaving Yuuri.

Chapter Text

Yuuri stood at the end of the bed and watched Victor heft his rather large suitcase onto the bed, unzip it and dump every single one of his toiletries into it. Of course, they were all in their own rather large, blue velvet bag with blue silky drawstrings. That was at least five lip balms, several shampoos and conditioners, not to mention all of his hair gels and wax. Then there was his toothpaste tube and tabs and powder, and then his electric magenta toothbrush with a charge station. Along with that were shower jellies, moisturizers for each part of his body, bb cream, three different types of hair combs, nail strengtheners and top coats and filing sticks, (Victor had really perfect nails,) and then last but not least, a chocolate flavoured lip scrub. Yuuri’s toiletry bag felt a bit measly next to Victor’s, he only carried what was necessary and none of it was flavoured. Yuuri had, of course, realised that he could have as many unnecessary bathroom products as he liked now, that he was wealthy, but he had no idea where to start.

 

“Victor?” Yuuri asked, staring at his own half-full suitcase at the bottom of the bed, which was at least half the size of Victor’s.

 

“Mm?” Victor responded, opening his bathroom bag again to add his jojoba cuticle oil.

 

“How do have so many bathroom products? I mean, you must have ten times the amount of products that I do,” Yuuri said, staring contemplatively at his clear, plastic toiletries bag, and then at Victor. Over the last couple weeks, Yuuri found that he was able to talk to Victor more easily– ask him questions about his work or toiletries, or Makkachin or even ask him questions about his family. After Vicchan had died and they’d become a lot closer, Yuuri told Victor almost everything, ( almost ,) but Victor hadn’t really returned the gesture. Which was okay of course, as long as he didn’t mind Yuuri’s tendencies to speak his mind, (something he rarely did around anyone.) Yuuri had also learnt that the reason that Victor didn’t get bored only doing minuscule amounts of work a few hours day a couple times a week was because he spent like half the day in the bathroom, at the spa or in their home gym. It was almost like Victor’s life was the upkeep required to perfect his body and looks. While Yuuri was trying to earn money for his family and keeping his mind busy focusing on that, Victor was focusing on how he could look best in front of the whole world. It was crazy sometimes how different their lives used to be– now, they were almost completely the same.

 

Victor shrugged. “It started small– a few lip balms here and there, scented body wash, maybe some hair gel or a nail file. I’ve always had a collection of hygiene and beauty products, I guess it’s just been growing ever since my mother introduced me to nail and hair care,” Victor told him. “I could help you pick out some more luxurious bathroom products if you like? We could have a spa day and everything! I could even paint your nails, or style your hair!?” Yuuri laughed at Victor’s enthusiasm, of course he’d have this kind of reaction when talking about bathroom hygiene of all things.

 

“I think that would be nice,” Yuuri agreed, walking away to his closet to fetch more clothes. “In St. Petersburg?”

 

“Yes, definitely.”

 

-

 

Yuuri and Victor boarded their private plan quickly, bidding their dramatic goodbyes to their family, even though they probably would be back in less than a month. Once inside, Yuuri admired the plane– it was just an eight-seater so it was spacious, especially with just him and Victor sharing it. The interior was mostly a warm beige, and the seats were leather, with brown trays that slid out in front of it. Out the back they had three attendees– once that prepared the food, one that helped Victor and Yuuri get familiarized with the emergency protocol and handed out said food, and the third one was there because she was married to the chef. Victor hadn't minded a third lot of them tagging along, so he happily let them. (Once, he’d even let their old chef bring their two teenage kids along– that had been very fun.)

 

Yuuri tucked away his and Victor’s overhead baggage and sat down on a seat, with Victor facing him. Yuuri examined all the buttons on the side of the chairs, having fun with the ‘recline’ button.

 

“I’ve never been on a plane this amazing before, it’s amazing !” Yuuri gushed, hunching his shoulders in excitement. Victor giggled and sat down in his own seat, picking up the temperature control remote up and turned up the heat. Yuuri had never been this excited for a fifteen-hour flight before.

 

“I’m glad you’re amazed, then.” Victor giggled. “We’re having a braised pork salad for dinner, a fruit salad for breakfast and then we’ll have a second breakfast when we get to St. Petersburg since we’ll be arriving at six am. I don’t think the jet lag will be too bad either because if we’re arriving early, we can just go about our day normally and we’ll only be heading to bed a few hours before everyone else is,” he rambled. “Also, we have wifi.”

 

“Holy shit, seriously!?” Yuuri gasped, whipping out his phone. “Oh my god, you do .” Victor grinned and leant back in his chair relaxing.

 

“So, what are we going to do in St. Petersburg? Is there anything you particularly want to do? I know we have our spa day in a few days, and obviously, I’m taking you to the local ice rink there– oh, and the Cathedral!” Victor rambled, brainstorming and waving his hands about. Yuuri took a while to answer.

 

“We can do whatever you want, Victor, this is for you,” Yuuri replied endearingly, meeting Victor’s eyes, which were slowly starting to glaze over. And just for a second, Victor seemed so genuinely sad– but a relieved sad, a ‘that was in the past but it still hurts’ sad, a remembering sad. Before, when Victor would get grumpy, he would be painstakingly obvious about it, and he would grumble and not say much, but this , this was different. Victor looked so vulnerable.

 

“Thank you, Yuuri,” Victor whispered back as if he were almost too scared to raise his voice. And just like Victor, a few short words had affected him. His own eyes looked a little glossy. No one had ever thanked him like that before– it might’ve just been how Victor had reacted to his own words, but the genuineness of the words struck Yuuri’s core. When Yuuri thought about it, it was probably also the fact that Vicchan was dead that was making him so emotional– he’d cry so easily these days.

 

“Yuuri? Are you okay?” Victor asked, coming back to himself and focusing on Yuuri. Yuuri meekly nodded and hung his head low. God, why did he have to get choked up about Vicchan again? Why did Victor’s words set him off so much? Yuuri felt a touch on his arm, and he looked up to see that Victor had moved to the seat next to him. Victor smiled at him.

 

“I think I just miss Vicchan,” Yuuri whispered.

 

“Are you sure it’s not anything else?” Victor asked in the same low whisper. Victor’s hand on his arm dragged down to his hand and he began to cradle it.

 

“I’m just emotional, and small things… they make overreact– I’m just overreacting,” Yuuri replied, not wanting to look at Victor again and turning away from him, but letting Victor trace patterns on his hands.

 

Yuuri … It’s okay to overreact sometimes, god knows I’m the biggest drama queen out there,” Victor chuckled. “What was the small thing? The thing that made you sad?” Yuuri shrugged, not wanting to say anything.

 

But, after a few minutes, he caved and Victor perked up, wanting to listen to whatever Yuuri had to say.

 

“I feel like no one has said thank you to me like that before,” Yuuri said, trying to sound clearer and louder, of course, it wasn’t as clear as he would’ve liked because his voice cracked and he sounded gravelly. “I always try to do my best for people and no one has said thank you like that before. Of course, it’s probably because I don’t do enough, but it’s nice to be acknowledged sometimes…”

 

“I think you always do enough– you’re so kind, Yuuri, you deserve all the most heartfelt ‘thank you’s,” Victor told him, snaking his fingers between Yuuri’s and squeezing his hand comfortingly. Yuuri sighed in relief. “Was there anyone who you wished had thanked you?” Yuuri’s mind instantly to went Adam, his old boyfriend. He’d done way more for then he had wanted to for that guy and he’d never been thanked for putting up with that guy's bullshit.

 

“Well, I guess this guy– Adam. He was my old boyfriend,” Yuuri told him, hoping he wouldn’t offend Victor by talking about an old boyfriend. “He wasn’t very nice. And then there are my parents– I love them and all, but there’s always been a slight rift there.” Yuuri sighed. “You know, you’re good at this.”

 

“At what?” Victor laughed, sitting up his seat to look at Yuuri properly.

 

“I don’t know, talking to people. Getting people to talk to you about their problems, comforting people, supporting them,” Yuuri answered.

 

“I guess I learned that from Lilia and how much she comforted Anna,” Victor commented, shrugging.

 

“You know, it’s only fair if I do the same for you…” Yuuri suggested, raising his eyebrows hopefully.

 

“No,” Victor said, shaking his head.

 

“Oh, please, Victor! I told you about my miseries, I even spend an entire night crying with you!” Yuuri reasoned, hoping Victor crumble and tell him all of his secrets.

 

“Mm, fine. I think I owe that much to you, but not now. I’ll tell you… I’ll tell you by the time we get back home, okay?” Yuuri’s eyes brightening and he wiggled in his seat in excitement. Victor would finally talk to him!

 

-

 

Victor knocked loudly on the large wooden door, barely able to contain his excitement. A few seconds later, a burly, older looking man with silvery hair answered the door, looking ultimately confused.

 

“Papa! Eto moy muzh, Yuuri!” Victor squealed before hugging the man, which Yuuri assumed to be Victor’s uncle.

 

“S vozvrashcheniyem, Vitya! Dobroye utro, Yuuri. Priyatno nakonets vstretit'sya s toboy!” The man said, his voice as happy and cheerful as Victor’s.

 

“On yaponskiy, poetomu on ne govorit po-russki,” Victor explained, slinging an arm around Yuuri’s shoulders, trying to include him in their all Russian conversation. “He says it’s nice to finally meet you.”

 

“Oh! It’s a pleasure meeting Mr. Plisetsky too,” Yuuri replied shyly, blushing at the attention.

 

“Call me Alexander, please! Come inside, Yuuri, I’ll introduce you to Yulia and my son Yuri!” Alexander exclaimed, this time in English, before ushering the pair into their warm and cosy house. The house was essentially a sea of browns– the whole interior was made from wood– brown wooden slats on the walls, glossy wooden flooring. Then of course, their stairs that were seen immediately from the entrance wooden and brown. But, even through the repetitive nature of the brown house, it was cosy, cute and warm. The property itself was secluded, quite a while away from St. Petersburg actual city. Alexander lead them inside, took a left at the staircase and showed them to their small living room, decorated with purple, old looking couches and over four accent tables among the room. In the living room, Yulia was standing there, a bright smile on her face and her arms stretched out, ready for a hug. Victor took the opportunity at hand and ran into Yulia’s embrace.

 

“It is so nice to see you again,” Yulia whispered into Victor’s hair, (she was actually quite a few inches taller than Victor,) in accented English. “I’m so glad you brought Yuuri with you!” she said as she stepped out of the hug, and returned the gesture to Yuuri, bending down and hugging him. Yuuri thought she smelled like pine trees and wet grass– but in a good way. Yulia pulled away, and Yuuri finally took in her looks– and well, she looked like a model. Her long blonde cascaded down her shoulders, a quarter way down her back. She was tall and slim, and ultimately just beautiful. Yuuri wondered what their son looked like with their couple’s combined gorgeous looks.

 

Yulia sat them down in the dining room, where an early, special occasion breakfast was served. Also, in the dining room was a ten-year-old Yuri, sitting and playing on a nintendo switch. He was slouched over and didn’t bother to even look up when the four of them entered the room. Yulia kicked his chair leg which got him to acknowledge Yuuri and Victor.

 

“Oh, hey, Victor,” Yuri grumbled out before returning to his game. Yuuri almost wanted to laugh.

 

“Good morning, Yuri! I’d like you to meet my husband Yuuri! Isn’t is cool that you guys have the same name?” Victor asked cheerily as he crouched next to Yuri’s chair. “You know… it might get a little confusing, having two Yuri’s around– how about Yurio for you and Yuuri for Yuuri?”

 

“Ew, no,” Yuri grunted, not tearing his eyes away from his screen again.

 

-

 

It had been a few days since Yuuri had arrived in Russia, and he’d learnt a lot about the Plisetsky household.

 

He’d learnt that Yurio was a giant ten-year-old asshole who loved his nintendo switch and ice skating. Yuuri, of course, had tried to talk to Yurio about ice skating, but barely coaxed anything out of the younger boy. Victor seemed to worship the ground that Yurio walked on though– always asking how he was feeling and if he’d like to hang out with he and Yuuri that day, or if he’d like someone to take him to the rink and help him practice. (Yuuri didn’t really see the point of that, seeing as Victor knew probably as much about skating as Yurio himself did.) Yuuri had then found out that Yulia despised ice skating, and had always wanted Yurio to be a ballet dancer. When Yulia had enrolled Yuri in for ballet classes and private lessons, his interest ventured into ice skating when he found that Alexander’s ex-wife had been a good figure skater. That had made Yulia’s disgust for the sport grow even further. Yurio still attended his private lessons, and his teacher even helped him choreograph things for the ice, which soothed Yulia enough to let it continue. The conversation in which Yuuri had found all of this out was quite awkward. Alexander had told most of it, holding Yulia’s hand through it so she didn’t burst from resentment. Yuuri figured there had been a lot of conflict when it came to Alexander’s ex-wife. Victor had told him a little about it, and from then on learnt to not bring it up again.

 

He’d also learnt that Victor really, really loved being here. He seemed so relaxed and carefree, and very touchy. He’d pull Yuuri in for multiple hugs a day, and ask him how he was doing and if he needed a break, or a shoulder to cry on. He’d ask him if he missed Vicchan, and if they should’ve brought Maccachin to comfort Yuuri. Victor hadn’t gotten the grumps once since they’d left the palace, and the usual emptiness in eyes at certain times in the day was replaced with a warm loving smile instead. Victor always seemed as ease and always cared for everyone– that was until on day six of their trip, in the middle of cooking everyone dinner, Victor received a notification.

 

One Week Reminder - Winter Rut, 10th January

 

Yuuri watched as Victor stared down at the notification, pausing in his actions. Yuuri heard the sizzle of the beef on the frying pan slow and quiet, but the boiling water began to overflow onto the electric stove. The sound of the phone buzzing again with the same reminder broke Victor out of his trance and he returned to his cooking, a concentrated but pained look on his face. Yuuri was just going to talk to him when Victor choked out some Russian to Yulia, who was sitting on the kitchen barstool next to him, on her phone. Yulia nodded and Victor left the kitchen, taking his phone with him. Yulia then took over in the kitchen.

 

Victor sauntered out of the kitchen area and into his and Yuuri’s guest bedroom, which was conveniently the only bedroom downstairs and was generally away from everything else. Victor sighed as he closed the door behind him and looked down at his phone again.

 

A rut . Victor had always enjoyed ruts– he’d gone off of suppressants at the earliest possible time. The release from suppressants had almost been a high-school graduation gift. But now, looking down at the small print and coloured tag next to the words on his personal marked calendar, it all seemed too daunting.

 

You see, Victor had been having these dreams lately. Dreams he couldn’t ignore– feelings he couldn’t ignore. You see, Victor was started to develop a little crush on his fake husband, Yuuri, and he certainly couldn’t bare a rut alone with those kinds of feelings. Not when Yuuri would be sleeping just upstairs. Not when all Victor had wanted to do these past couple days is to curl up in his arms and tell him everything about his life, and vice versa.

 

But now, he was looking at a medical subscription for suppressants, and in the past, a joyful experience, flush away, along with a forkful of money he’d have to give out, for the stupid suppressants. Victor pursed his lips and googled where the nearest pharmacy was– he’d need to get them into his system as soon as possible.

 

That was when Yuuri’s soft voice called from outside, and Victor’s entire attention was turned to his husband, waiting for him outside the door. He hadn’t actually heard what it was that Yuuri had said, but he was sure it was important.

 

“Huh?” Victor asked, getting up off of the wooden framed bed and opening the door.

 

“I just wanted to see if you were okay,” Yuuri whispered, his eyes searching Victor’s. He didn’t look sad, at least. “You left quite quickly.”

 

“Oh, Yuuri. I’m okay, I’m perfect, actually,” Victor told Yuuri, stepping into his personal space and hugging him. Victor couldn’t believe Yuuri had actually come up to check on him– how could someone not fall in love with him? “Just had some work thing to attend to, but now it’s all good. But, I do need to go run an errand.”

 

“Now? It’s nearly seven,” Yuuri asked, confused. “You’re acting a little mysterious, you know,” Yuuri teased poking at Victor’s stomach.

 

When Victor had finally finished giggling, he spoke again. “I- uh, actually need to pick some suppressants.” Yuuri furrowed his brow– didn’t Victor have multiple ruts? That’s what Lilia had told him, right?

 

“Rut suppressants?” Yuuri asked, confused. Did this mean Victor was suppressing his rut for him? Or was it because he was with his family and didn’t want to take time away?

 

“Well, yes, I am an alpha, after all,” Victor told him. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

 

“Lilia told me you didn’t suppress your ruts,” Yuuri admitted, dropping his head. Was it a weird time to bring that up? Should he have brought it up at all? Would it have made Victor uncomfortable to know that Yuuri knew his rut preferences?

 

“Oh, well, I just thought that I should start,” Victor told him, stiffening in Yuuri’s arms. “Anyway, I should go.” Victor then peeled himself away from Yuuri and left, walking down the short hall, calling out something in Russian before leaving the house and driving away in Yulia & Alexander’s car. Yuuri just stood there, a little shocked. Was Victor really suppressing for him? Did he not want Yuuri to know that? Or did he just feel uncomfortable talking about the subject?

 

Yuuri walked into the room from the doorway and sat down on the bed. Did Victor really care about him enough to do something like that? Yuuri knew how personal ruts and heats were, and how enjoyable they could be, even alone. Would Victor really give up something like that just for Yuuri? Yuuri almost wanted to stop Victor from doing that– go out and tell him that he shouldn’t give something like that up for him, but another part of Yuuri… well, Yuuri loved the thought and care that went into a decision like that. Yuuri wouldn’t deny that he wouldn’t revel in the fact that Victor chose to suspend his ruts for Yuuri.

 

-

 

On the eighth day, Yuuri and Victor have their spa day and it’s lovely. On the twelfth day, Yulia takes the whole family sightseeing in the city, and Victor doesn’t take his hands off of Yuuri. On the fifteenth day, Victor buys Yuuri a new pair of earrings to match the new maroon coat Yuuri bought. On the seventeenth day, Yurio and Yuuri drag Victor to go ice skating, and Victor is dumbfounded by Yuuri’s ability to teach Yurio– he’s mesmerized by the care and thought Yuuri puts into helping Yurio nail his first ever double jump. (Yurio can’t even perfectly land all of the single jumps, but Yurio and Yuuri’s excitement for the sport push him further.)

 

But on the twenty-first day, Yuuri and Victor visit the rink together, alone. And Victor asks Yuuri to teach him triple jumps.



“Do you think I’m too old to learn jumps? I can only do doubles,” Victor noted as he landed a perfect double axel.

 

“Victor, you’re only a year older than me and I still haven’t perfected all my triple jumps– I’m sure you could,” Yuuri laughed, skating over to Victor’s half of the ice and to where he was leaning on the boards. “Do you want to?”

 

“Mm, yeah. I was even thinking about copying some programs– maybe Johnny Weir’s or something. I mean, I know I’ll never be a professional figure skater but I really love to do it and working on something that would be so cool,” Victor told him, grabbing his neon pink water bottle and taking a sip.

 

“Yeah, I get that, I think you should do it,” Yuuri told him, turning to push of the boards and head back to his own sector to work on a step sequence he’d been creating recently.

 

Yuuri ,” Victor drawled, grabbing Yuuri’s wrist, making him stop. “Will you teach me how to do triple jumps?” Yuuri’s face contorted into one of surprise before he became excited– the same look he had on his face when he’d been helping Yurio.  

 

“I’d love to teach you, Victor– we could even create your very own programs together!” Yuuri cheered, hugging Victor. Victor was very glad Yuuri felt comfortable enough now to initiate hugs between them.

 

“That sounds great, coach!”

 

Chapter Text

Yuuri watched Victor fiddle with his ring from across the rink. He’d been noticing him doing that often lately– whenever there was a spare moment, his fingers would flutter to the band of diamonds and twist and pull at it. Of course, this never meant anything to Yuuri, nor did it bother him, but they were currently assessing Victor’s current figure skating abilities, and just because Yuuri left to go to the bathroom did not mean that Victor could just stand on the ice and do nothing while letting his muscles get cold. Yuuri rolled his eyes and slipped off his skate guards to join Victor on the ice.

 

“So, you’ve got doubles and singles nailed, your step sequences are… alright , and your spins need some work,” Yuuri told him, startling Victor out of his trance. Yuuri smiled at the stunned look Victor had on his face.

 

“I thought my spins were pretty good,” Victor said, pouting.

 

“They’re junior level at best,” Yuuri snorted. “So, I’ve made a schedule based on your abilities for when we get back home– Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays are your off days, then Tuesdays and Fridays are days we work on your jumps, Wednesday is your spins day and Saturdays are for step sequences,” Yuuri told him, circling around him in swift motions.

 

“Mm, okay. But what about routines? You said we could work on some routines! And how am I going to practice step sequences if I don’t have any sequences?” Victor asked, putting his hands on his hips in defiance, knowing Yuuri would tell him that he wasn’t ready to put together a routine yet.

 

“We can start having fun with routines once you nail some triples because with your body and previous experience it won’t be that hard, and as for step sequences, I was personally known for my step sequences so you’ll be following mine,” Yuuri informed him, putting a hand on his chest and raising his brows. “Once you land your first triple axle we can start creating your own.”

 

“As you wish, Coach Katsuki.” Yuuri rolled his eyes at the formal title Victor had picked up whenever they were at the rink– it had only been a week since they’d agreed Yuuri would ‘coach’ Victor, and they’d only been to the rink once before, but most of the time was spent giggling about Yurio’s latest antics about calling himself a ‘bad boy’ and that it ‘just who he was as a person.’ Yuuri and Victor could definitely not get their head in the game that day. It had actually been five whole weeks since they’d arrived in St. Petersburg and Yuuri had become very close to Victor’s family. He almost couldn’t believe how accommodating they were– I mean, they were just Victor’s uncle and aunt, even Yuuri’s one aunt that had died about ten years ago hadn’t been this nice, and they had actually been related. Now, with Alexander and Yulia, he felt as if they were almost his family too. Especially Yurio– Yuuri definitely had a soft spot for Yurio. Victor said he didn’t understand it– ‘how could anyone like that demon’ he’d said, but Yuuri knew he loved Yurio too. Yes, he was pushy and had a potty mouth, but sometimes he’d do or say something that showed he really cared for you. The couple would be leaving in two days, and they’d definitely miss the boy, but luckily Victor had gifted him an iPad for New Years so they could text each other often. Yuuri couldn’t wait to be able to have one on one conversations with him about skating. Yuuri had always tried to talk to Yurio when Victor or his parents weren’t there, so he could get to know him better, but Yurio always went quiet or walked away. Same with his parents– and they always looked like they wanted to say something, but always remained silent. It had been a good five weeks, weird, but good. At the very least, it was nice to see Victor so happy.

 

“So, what shall we do for the rest of the day?” Victor asked, skating over to the boards and scraping the ice shards off of his skates. “It’s only eleven thirty, we’ve still got hours on the ice.” Yuuri rolled his eyes to the side and tilted his head, thinking.

 

“Well, maybe we should take a break for lunch, and since it’s Friday, maybe you should get working on those step sequences…” Yuuri giggled, excited to show Victor his previous work. He knew Victor had seen his mother skate a lot better than he had and he was a damn prince, but for some unknown reason, Yuuri felt alright showing his routines to Victor. Maybe it was because he had real solid proof that he was better than Victor at something , but he would’ve never taught anyone else his own routines.

 

“Alright, Yuuri. Should we head to that small cafe? We could jog there?” Yuuri offered, stepping off the ice and slipping on the skate guards Yakov had gotten him– he’d chosen the blue & magenta ones for today.

 

“Do we have to run everywhere?” Victor groaned as he copied Yuuri’s motions. Victor had blue skate guards.

 

“Says the guy who’s like the buffest person in the world, I mean, you go to the gym six times a week! Wait, no, you don’t even go to a gym because you own a home gym ,” Yuuri mocked, heading to the locker rooms.

 

The pair changed and headed to lunch, before coming back and Victor watched one of Yuuri’s routines, minus the jumps– just spins and step sequences

 

Victor jumped in his sport and cheered. “I had no idea you could do that, Yuuri!” Yuuri smiled and panted. Except, Victor did know he could do that, he’s seen Yuuri’s routines a dozen times before. He’d even memorized parts. He’d watched them the day Yuuri had left for his parents but came back crying. He’d spent hours on them, even though Yuuri only had eight routines. Four short and four free programs. Four years. Victor knew this program Yuuri had just shown him was his 2005 short program from when he was fourteen. It won him silver in the Junior Grand Prix Final and Bronze at Junior Worlds, and Gold in the Junior Esterlake Championships.

 

“Well, do you think you can do that? I think I’d like you to work on the opening sequence,” Yuuri told, gesturing for him to join him on the ice.

 

-

 

“It was so nice to meet you again, you are all such wonderful people and I’m glad Victor brought me here,” Yuuri said after hugging Yulia and Alexander. “The food was amazing, as was your house. I’m going to really miss being here.”

 

“As am I,” Victor commented, his voice an octave lower than usual. “I’m going to miss you so much .” Victor then group hugged the older couple, shoving his teary eyes into their shoulders. “ Ya tak tebya lyublyu, Papa,” ( I love you, Papa ) Victor quickly whispered, hoping Yuuri wouldn’t hear him.

 

“Ya tozhe tebya lyublyu, Vitya,” ( I love you too, Vitya ) Alexander whispered back, his gruff voice tickling Victor’s ear. “Vy skazhete yemu, da?” ( You will tell him, right? )

 

“Ya budu– ne dolgo, teper.” ( I will– not long now. ) Victor sighed and pulled away. “Send Yurio my love.”

 

“Mine too,” Yuuri interjected, grabbing his and Victor’s suitcases– he could tell the goodbyes were wrapping up soon. He knew Victor didn’t like to drag out goodbyes, they were too emotional. ‘Just cut it short,’ he’d said on one late night when they were drunk and alone on the patio together. That had been a nice memory. His and Victor’s first long, late-night talk. Technically they’d be having another one in fifteen hours since they’d be arriving in Fukukawa at three am.

 

“Yes, we’re so sorry he could come out to say goodbye– he’s not good with mornings,” Yulia laughed.

 

“I didn’t really want to get up at five thirty in the morning to go to an airport either,” Yuuri chuckled. “Well, we should go.”

 

“Alright, have a safe flight,” Yulia and Alexander said in unison, before walking away.

 

“Are you ready to go, Vitya?” Yuuri asked, surprised at the words that had just come out of his mouth. Victor stared at him, shocked– wasn’t he only supposed to use that name in front of family and people who didn’t know that their marriage was fake? That’s what Victor had told him to do. But using ‘Vitya’ when they were alone… that was different. “I– um! Victor! I meant Victor, sorry, I just got used to calling you that and it slipped, I’m really sorry!” Yuuri blurted.

 

“No, Vitya is fine. Call me Vitya– we are married, after all,” Victor giggled, smiling at Yuuri. Yes, Yuuri wasn’t really supposed to use ‘Vitya,’ since they’d known each other for only two months and weren’t even considered close friends. But, Victor liked it. Sometimes, he’d forget that he and Yuuri still didn’t know everything about each other and that they didn’t share everything, but then something like this would come up and it would remind them, how far they really were from each other– how little they knew about each other. There was a wall between them and most of the time neither of them could see it until they ran face first into it. But, Victor had said Yuuri could use ‘Vitya’ when referring to him and later Victor would tell him everything. Everything. He’d break the wall– he still wanted Yuuri to know everything about him and vice versa. He wanted to be everything to Yuuri because Yuuri was everything to him. It scared him a little how much he wanted Yuuri– how much he wanted Yuuri’s lips on his in such a short amount of time. But, Yuuri deserved to know who Victor was– he’d give it to him because Yuuri came first. Always.

 

Yuuri, of course, felt the same, and even though he thought out loud a lot of the time, he still had his own secrets to hide from Victor. Like the circle on his thigh, for instance. He didn’t know if he’d ever be able to tell Victor now. They’d grown so perfectly close together, he didn’t want to push him away now.

 

“Oh, okay, Vitya ,” Yuuri replied, a small smile playing on his lips.

 

-

 

Victor hadn’t been able to sleep the whole flight. He knew he should get a few hours towards the end, so he could finish off and get his usual eight when he arrived home, but they were landing in two hours and every fibre in Victor’s being was telling him to stay awake. Which wasn’t surprising considering what he was going to do, or what he should’ve done a few hours ago. He needed to tell Yuuri, he needed to pour his heart out to Yuuri– that’s what he had promised him. He wanted to tell Yuuri, but he was fast asleep in the chair opposite him. He knew Yuuri hadn’t brought it up and tried to be polite, but he said he’d give Yuuri this and he had to do it. He’d decided he’d wake Yuuri up soon– use the excuse of ‘ we’re landing soon ’ but then trail into ‘ hey I also wanted to talk to you about something .’

 

But of course, soon turned into now . Victor gripped Yuuri’s shoulder and gave him a gentle shake. “Yuuri,” Victor called, moving from his seat to the one right next to Yuuri. Maybe being so vulnerable to Yuuri would be easier if he wasn’t looking directly at him.

 

Vitya ,” Yuuri slurred, his eyes fluttering open. Victor grinned at the cute sight.

 

“We’re landing in two hours,” Victor told him.

 

“Can’t sleep?” Yuuri asked, stretching his arms in his seat. “Did you want to ruin my sleep schedule too?”

 

“Sorry, I just, uh… Well, I wanted to talk to you about something,” Victor admitted. Yuuri immediately felt more awake. A few seconds of silence passed.



“Oh. Oh ,” Yuuri replied, his thoughts clicking into place and telling him what was about to happen. “You can talk to me about anything.” Yuuri looked up at Victor who was staring straight ahead, face blank, but hands gripping the aeroplane seat dividers tightly. His hair was a little mussed, but still very much perfect. Even his clothes, which should be wrinkled by now, looked perfect. They looked like the best pair of black joggers and thick white sweater Yuuri had ever seen. But the pained look on Victor’s face made all of that not matter.

 

“It’s hard,” Victor choked out, the jittery nerves from earlier finally growing into panic.

 

“Take your time, Vitya. It’ll be okay,” Yuuri said softly, not taking his eyes off of Victor’s unmoving face. Victor’s breaths came quickly– how was he going to start? Should he just jump in? Should he start slow? Victor thought ripping the band-aid off would be good, considering the tension in the air was thick enough.

 

“He’s not my real dad,” Victor blurted. “I mean, Ivan– he’s not.” Yuuri’s eyes widened. Ivan wasn’t Victor’s father? What did that mean for Victor? For the throne? Was Victor really Ivan’s niece or something. “I’m his step-son,” Victor clarified, seeming to almost read Yuuri’s mind. Yuuri felt that he should have the ability to do that in this position, but of course, Victor’s people reading skills would never change.

 

“Um, okay,” Yuuri whispered, scared to raise his voice.

 

“Alexander is my– uh… real dad,” Victor said, his voice choked and cracked. Yuuri could see the tears pooling in Victor’s eyes, even though he remained looking straight ahead. “And Yurio is my little brother. My mum was engaged to Alexander when she had me, but for some stupid reason she broke up with him and married Ivan and they changed my last name from Plisetsky to Nikiforov because Ivan actually was infertile. The world’s most aggressive and masculine alpha couldn’t produce sperm.” A tear rolled down Victor cheek along with a chuckle, but it barely ran an inch before Victor brought a hand up to wipe it away and clear his throat. He was not going to cry.

 

“Victor Plisetsky?” Yuuri said, trying the name out on his tongue.

 

“Um, yeah,” Victor told him, looking down at his lap.

 

“Was he mean to you? Ivan, I mean?” Yuuri asked, his hand reaching for Victor’s but settling it right next to his that was planted on the armrest, so their pinkies were just touching.

 

“Not when I was younger… He was nice and sweet– a perfect father. But then I started to grow up and think and speak for myself and I don’t think he liked that,” Victor paused to take a deep breath and ground himself. “I eventually had the realisation that the only reason Ivan was a perfect father was because it protected him, made him seem sweeter than he was. He only married Anna for me, and he only wanted me because I extended the throne. I was a lot of things to him but I wasn’t his son, and he didn’t like that I knew that, so he just… He stopped caring, he stopped talking to me often. It didn’t seem like a big dramatic thing, but we just weren’t close anymore. It pissed me off sometimes, being the teenager that I was, but it definitely made mum unhappy. She grew distant too because she didn’t want to show that she was sad. It just wasn’t pleasant, but then when I turned eighteen, I found out that Alexander was my real father and I met him and well… yeah,” Victor rambled, the tears in his eyes clearing and his voice becoming clear. It was nice to see Victor rambling like that– not hesitating when sharing personal information like he usually did. “Knowing that I had been lied to my whole life did make me act out a little– I told the public things I shouldn’t have, and I ran around naked and did stupid things, but I’m very happy to have Alexander and Yulia and Yurio in my life now.”

 

He told the public things he shouldn’t have? Was he talking about the time he said he had a soulmate? Did Victor actually have a soulmate? Yuuri slightly panicked.

 

“It was actually Yakov who told me– Lilia and he had been having a fight because all Yakov wanted to give me for my birthday was money and then he said– ‘fine! You know what I’ll give him? The truth! Ivan isn’t your real father.’ It was kinda funny,” Victor laughed, recalling the memory.  “And if you want the whole family timeline because this shit gets confusing– Anna was a figure skater under Yakov as her coach, then she got engaged and gave birth to me, separated from Alexander and married Ivan, my name was changed to Nikiforov when I was a year old. A few years after that would’ve been when Alexander married Yulia, and Yakov married his first wife, Valery Feltsman. Then Ivan took over the throne because my Grandpa died and Ivan hired Lilia to be his PA. Then Yakov divorced Valery and married Lilia, making her apart of the family. I guess that’s it,” Victor finished taking a deep breath. Yuuri did too, thankful that Victor didn’t mention soulmates. Silence washed over them, and Yuuri didn’t dare to even breathe– what was he supposed to do now? He was supposed to do something, right?

 

Yuuri tried, opening his mouth a few times with nothing but the quiet coming out. Yuuri didn’t know really what to do– he had no idea what to do, and looking at Victor, who hadn’t made eye contact with him since he’d started talking, wasn’t a pretty sight. He looked a lot more tired than he usually did and he was shaking a little. Yuuri just followed the urge that blossomed inside of him when he saw how broken Victor looked. Yuuri picked up Victor’s hand and threaded his fingers with his own. He held Victor’s words in his hand and squeezed, the cold diamond ring digging into his flesh.

 

“It’s gonna be okay,” Yuuri whispered, pulling Victor’s hand into his lap and cradling it. Victor finally turned his head, his eyes falling from the spot on the wall at the end of their small-ish private jet. Victor turned and looked at Yuuri, who was wearing a fluffy purple sweater and looked adorable. His big eyes shined with the hope that he was comforting enough. Yuuri was always enough. Yuuri was always right there– so close. Victor’s hand was in his lap, he was basically holding his heart. Victor’s eyes drifted to Yuuri’s lips.

 

They did that a lot. Yuuri’s lips were so lookable (Victor knew that wasn't even a proper word,) and, of course, right there . Not that far away, well Yuuri was never that far away, but he felt so much closer. Would it be so bad if they came even closer? Victor’s lids flitter half shut and he leaned in. One kiss wouldn’t hurt, right?

 

Victor’s lips met Yuuri’s lips quicker than he expected– had Yuuri leaned in too? But it was over quicker than he wanted– had Yuuri not wanted it? Victor pulled back from their feather-light kiss to look at the other man. But as if he hadn’t tried at all, Yuuri’s lips were back on his, the second time. But this kiss was a lot more than barely there.

 

It was very there, and it was full and heavy. Could kisses even be heavy? This one was. It was heavy and passionate and needy. Victor kissed back and brought his free hand to cup Yuuri’s jaw, making sure this heavy kiss wasn’t going anywhere.

 

And then it was over.

 

“I’m not going anywhere, Victor,” Yuuri panted as he pulled away. Yuuri took the hand on his jaw and held it instead, linking the two, showing that he was right here. And Yuuri did it– he’d almost read Victor’s mind. The two’s foreheads fell against each other and they stared into each other's eyes. Then Victor’s phone lit up and Lilia’s ID flashed across the screen.

 

Victor mouthed an apology at Yuuri before getting up and walking away with his phone.

 

Yuuri had said he wouldn’t go anywhere– would Victor do the same? Yuuri’s body filled with nausea at the thought, and doubt began to fill him. Did Victor really want to kiss him? Did he kiss him because he’d just revealed the truth to him? Did it mean anything? And just like that, Yuuri’s mood and thoughts did a 180º.

 

“Turns out Lilia was just letting me know that she was heading to bed and our new guard slash escort will let us in when we get back,” Victor informed him, smiling.

 

“Okay,” Yuuri answered, refusing to look at Victor. What if the kiss had meant nothing? He couldn’t look at Victor now and show him all his worry and love for him if it meant nothing, that would be pathetic. So, Yuuri just looked away. If the eyes were the windows to the soul, Victor wasn’t getting a peek.

 

Victor just sat down, back in his seat across Yuuri, uncomfortably aware of Yuuri’s sourness. Maybe he hadn’t leant in after all.

 

-

 

The rest of the trip back was silent. Uncomfortably so. Silence with Yuuri wasn’t uncommon, and before, it was nice. It was comfortable, at the very least. But now, it was horrible. Their chat was supposed to clear the air between them but Victor had just made it worse. The wall was supposed to have smashed, but it wasn’t even glass-thin anymore. It was a big metal, soundproof wall, and Victor hated it.

 

But as their journey home reached a middle point, Yuuri was starting to act a little more normal. A little more up to talking and to the hot chocolate Victor had offered him.

 

So, when the pair arrived home, full of marshmallows and hot chocolate, their usual night routine of sharing a bathroom to brush their teeth wasn’t that bad. Yuuri got changed and slipped into bed, on his side, but he only took up a sixth of bed because of how pressed against the edge he was. Victor slipped in beside him– normally . Yuuri turned off his lamp on his side as soon as he felt the weight of Victor on the bed. Victor sighed at Yuuri’s closed off-ness.

 

Victor made himself comfortable– on his side facing Yuuri, like usual and waited for sleep to take him. But as his body moved, their mixed scents breached the air and Victor’s nose. He was sure Yuuri could smell it too– the scent of them together before Victor had kissed Yuuri and effectively made him avoid Victor. But he had to wait to fix it, he had to wait for sleep to come.

 

But it didn’t, and twenty minutes passed, and Victor became frustrated. He tapped on Yuuri’s shoulder.

 

“Yuuri,” Victor grunted, wishing the other boy would turn over.

 

“Yes, Victor?” Yuuri answered, his voice small. Yuuri rolled over to look at Victor, finally .

 

“Did I ruin everything?” Victor asked, playing with the fabric on his pillowcase. Did he ruin everything? No, of course he didn’t. Victor did everything perfectly. Yuuri shuffled over a little, to his usual position in their bed.

 

“It’s gonna be okay, Vitya.” Yuuri smiled and his gaze drifted to the open curtains. Snow had begun drift outside. It was almost as beautiful as the tired man beside him.

 

It was gonna be okay.

Chapter Text

Yuuri woke early that next morning– by choice. His core was still rattled from the day before. The kiss, the panic– what did it all mean? Now, Victor was soundly sleeping next to him in their bed like nothing had happened at all. Maybe that’s what Victor wanted– to pretend that nothing had happened? That would seem ideal, right? Everything could continue like normal. Except the dull ache in Yuuri’s chest told him that no, this was not normal. The ache was small, but it was there. It only stayed tucked away in his chest and it didn’t go anywhere. It almost felt like when he needed to nest, right before his heat, or when something had upset him. It felt like he needed something he was missing. Maybe building a nest would help? Maybe that feeling had nothing to do with Victor and his lips and his kissing, maybe he’d just not been in one place for such a long time and maybe he just needed to ground himself. He’d gone off to university and then he’d come back home and then he’d come to the palace and then he’d gone off to St. Petersburg to stay with Victor’s real father, (that still didn’t sound right,) and now he was back here again. He’d been a lot of different places that past few months, but he’d barely nested at all. That must’ve been it! It wasn’t that he needed Victor’s lips back on his, because he and Victor weren’t like that , it was that he needed a nest, and he needed it right now, right here.

 

Surely Victor with his wealth had large amounts of pillows and blankets around here somewhere? But then, even if he found them, how was he going to get Victor out of the nest? Could he just build around him? Or maybe he should just ask Victor first– that seemed better. Yuuri was getting ahead of himself. But, Victor was asleep… Oh, fuck it. Victor had woken him plenty of times.

 

“Victor,” Yuuri said abrasively, shaking his shoulder. “Victor, wake up.” Yuuri continuing his shaking until Victor’s eyes finally focused in on the world and realised that Yuuri wanted something from him.

 

“Mm, Yuuri,” Victor whispered, sitting up and facing Yuuri, peering to see Yuuri’s clock on his bedside table– 10:21am. That was about seven hours sleep– pretty good considering he didn’t sleep on the plane. “What is it, moya lyubov?”

 

“I want to make a nest,” Yuuri told him. Normally, he would be afraid to tell Victor such things but this was urgent and Yuuri didn’t want to sit with the achy feeling in his chest any longer. Even if it wasn’t an urge to nest that gave him this feeling, it would comfort him nonetheless. Especially if the real reason behind the ache was wanting Victor– soon, he’d be building a nest for Victor to sleep in. It was an all around win. He really should’ve nested sooner.

 

“Nest? You’re nesting? Are you close to a heat? Should I do something?” Victor asked frantically, running a hand through his sleep tousled hair.

 

“I’m not close to a heat, but sometimes nesting for omegas is a nice thing to do,” Yuuri explained. “Please?” Yuuri added the please to make sure Victor would let him, Victor was technically his alpha, after all.

 

“Yes, of course, Yuuri. Should I sleep in one of the guest bedrooms?” Victor asked, quietly.

 

“No, you can sleep here, please,” Yuuri said, hating the thought of Victor not sharing his nest with him. He logically knew that nest-sharing was generally reserved to people who were romantically involved or family, or at the very least very close friends. But Victor and he were married.

 

“Okay, there are pillows and blankets in the cupboards next to the bathroom and you can take any of my clothes from my hamper or wardrobe. I’m gonna take a nice long shower,” Victor said, stretching and sighing, before sauntering off to the bathroom. Yuuri didn’t understand how he woke up so quickly, Yuuri usually needed at least half an hour of lying in bed on his phone before getting out of bed and doing things.

 

With Victor gone, Yuuri set out to pillow & blanket cupboard, pulling out an extra two white duvets, five soft, blue blankets, six normal sized pillows, and eight smaller ones. He was so grateful Victor had such an enormous bed. Then he went to Victor’s closet and it reminded him of the time he’d stolen one of Victor’s sex toys. Everything had been so different then. Yuuri pulled Victor’s activewear leggings that he often wore under his gym shorts when he skated when it was cold, (sometimes he wore them without the gym shorts.) They were definitely Yuuri’s favourite clothing item of Victor’s, except for the maroon, knitted jumper he’d wear when he planned on just lounging around and reading for the day. (Yuuri never expected Victor to be a person who read so much, but he did. Something about that made his heart seize up, everytime he saw Victor invested in a book, he’d get butterflies.) Yuuri took that sweater too. He then pulled out a few items from his dirty clothes hamper, as well as some from his own. He then set to work, and by the time Victor stepped out of the shower, a towel around his waist, it was finished. Victor beamed when he saw it and Yuuri felt the ache in his blossom into happiness.

 

Despite everything that went on yesterday, Yuuri knew for a fact that everything would be okay. They did have the rest of their lives to figure everything out. And he’d always stick with Victor through it.

 

Yuuri stared at the snow outside and closed his eyes, breathing in their combined scents– Yuuri’s calm, omega one and Victor’s pleased, alpha one. It would be okay.

 

-six months later-

 

It was hot and Victor and Yuuri couldn’t sleep. The pair were tossing and turning but not saying anything to each other. It wasn’t the first time either of them had noticed the other couldn’t sleep. Like when Victor had to escort Anna into a room full of thousands of people for an award ceremony, (he hated when the public saw her in her wheelchair, he could always feel them pitying her.) Or, when Yuuri had to go see his parents for the first time after returning from St. Petersburg. Victor had held his hands that night and told him that it wasn’t a big deal. Yuuri couldn’t do much for Victor when he couldn’t sleep, but Yuuri stayed up at night with him anyway.

 

But tonight was different. They’d had a power out in the area and the generators Lilia had bought weren’t being delivered until the next day so they were stuck in the heat without any cooling aids and god did it fucking suck.

 

The two were laying in bed facing the ceiling, their blanket tossed aside. They were both panting from their innescant wriggling and they were covered in a sheen of sweat. It almost looked like they’d just finished doing it, but of course they both had their underwear on. It was the least amount of clothes they’d seen each other in, but they were both too hot and bothered to care.

 

It was currently two am and all the windows were open. Victor had even considered opening their own doors to their not-balcony. (Their bedroom was on the ground level so it technically was a deck but it was hoisted off the ground slightly, which made Yuuri think it was a balcony, but Victor said it was much too large to be a balcony. They’d settled on not-balcony.) Yuuri heard Victor groan and kick his legs.

 

“I’m a goddamn prince, I shouldn’t have to live like this!” Victor whined, sitting up and putting his head in his heads. “This room is a fucking oven.” Yuuri watched silently with the same irritation as Victor picked himself of the bed and to their not-balcony where he opened the doors and stepped outside. “Fuck.” Yuuri decided to join Victor after hearing him whisper that.

 

And when Yuuri did step outside, he also felt like whispering ‘fuck.’ Because fuck, it was so nice and cool out here. There was a cool breeze and he could hear the trees rustling around them. It was very nice.

 

“I’m never going back in there,” Yuuri said, sitting on their wicker outdoor sofa and breathing in the cool air.

 

“You can say that again,” Victor laughed, plopping himself down the seat next to Yuuri. Yuuri smiled and waited for the cool air to drop his body temperature. “Although, I think it’ll be hard to build a nest out here,” Victor noted. Yuuri peered inside to look at the mostly destroyed nest in their bed. He thought back to months ago when Yuuri had made his first nest in their bed. They’d just returned from St. Petersburg and Victor and he had just kissed and he was desperately overwhelmed, but then he’d made the nest and Victor had liked it. Every night since, they’d slept in the nest together, every few weeks Yuuri making a new one.

 

“Nests don’t matter if I’ve died from heat stroke,” Yuuri mumbled, closing his eyes and leaning on Victor’s shoulder. Victor smiled at the looked at the green forest surrounding the palace. His eyes swept over their deck and he saw Maccachin peacefully sleeping in his large kennel. It seemed like the whole world was asleep except for he and Yuuri.

 

“Do you like your nest?” Victor asked out of the blue. They hadn’t really talked about it since Yuuri had made the first one, six months ago. “Do you like sharing it with me?”

 

Yuuri blinked. Of course he did– he wouldn’t have put the nest on their bed if he didn’t. “Yes, I do. Is that weird?” Yuuri asked, insecurity creeping up on him.

 

“Maybe a little out of the ordinary, but our situation is out of the ordinary– I don’t find it weird at all,” Victor replied, leaning his own head against Yuuri’s, breathing in his smell.

 

Yuuri wanted to reply with a ‘ why did you ask, then? ’ but he kept silent. He just wanted to enjoy the cool breeze against his skin and Victor’s faint scent, wafting around his nose.

 

“Have you ever shared a nest before?” Victor asked after a while of thought. Yuuri wanted to roll his eyes, but he found himself to tired to do so. But not sleepy tired– more like I’ve Been Lying in the Heat for a Long Time and I’d Just Like to Sit For a While tired.

 

“No,” Yuuri answered honestly, he couldn’t be bothered to lie to Victor now. It was too hot for that. Yuuri heard Victor take a thoughtful breath. Yuuri didn’t know breaths could be thoughtful, but they were. Yuuri practically read Victor like a book through that one breath, so he anticipated the next question.

 

“Have you ever been with someone else before?”

 

Yuuri had avoided talking about past relationships with Victor, as had Victor himself. Especially that time when Lilia brought up an ex almost-boyfriend. But here they were, in the cool air at two am. It was probably time for Victor to know something about his past anyway. As much as Yuuri liked to share his day-to-day life with Victor, something that he oddly didn’t regret, sharing things from his past felt too personal. Their marriage and shared feelings for their current situation made talking to each other easy, but talking about things from a time when they didn’t know each other felt like talking to a stranger. Even though six months back, Victor had told him about his family troubles. It felt like he’d been talking to a stranger then, too. But that was to be expected, of course he’d never seen a Victor who had a father.

 

“Yes. But if we’re going to do this you have to tell me things too,” Yuuri answered, sitting up a little straighter and looking into Victor’s eyes.

 

“Doing what?” Victor asked, already knowing the answer. Yuuri didn’t bother replying, and began to talk about his ex, Adam.

 

“His name was Adam and we dated for a few months. He’s the only person I’ve ever been with,” Yuuri told him. “He wasn’t very nice and he pulled me off track academically, maybe if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t even be here right now.” Victor silently thanked Adam, but was wary of the ‘not nice’ part.

 

“I’ve never had a proper boyfriend before,” Victor told him. “I’ve always wanted a boyfriend, though.” ‘I’ve always wanted to meet my soulmate ,’ was what Victor wished he could have said. But he couldn’t tell Yuuri something like that from his past. That would be like telling a stranger.

 

“I slept with people in high school,” Victor said, breaking the silence that had fallen over them after Victor’s confession. “You probably knew that, though.”

 

“You were a real fuck boy then, huh?” Yuuri chuckled, thinking back to his high school days and all the rumors about Victor sleeping with eight different people at once.

 

“I just wanted to feel connected to somebody,” Victor said, ignoring the fuckboy comment. ‘ I just wanted to pretend I had my soulmate in my arms ,’ is what Victor wanted to say. But he couldn’t. He didn’t want to tell Yuuri about his lost soulmate, he probably already pitied him enough. Victor wanted to go back to bed, at that moment. He knew he’d picked up this conversation, but he’d been ignoring those memories for so long, he didn’t want to open the gates now. Not here, not in front of Yuuri. Not for a long, long time.

 

“I’m tired,” Yuuri yawned, sensing Victor’s deflation.

 

“I’ll bring out the blankets and we can sleep on them out here,” Victor suggested, getting up and going to the bedroom.

 

And so Victor brought back a mountain of pillows and blankets, and Yuuri made a nest outside.

 

-

 

“I think I have to see them again,” Yuuri sighed as he sat on the bed with his head in his hands and his fingers squelching in his damp hair.

 

“See who?” Victor asked as he emerged from his walk in wardrobe, shrugging a dark red t-shirt over his body. Yuuri stopped to look at the way Victor’s taught muscles shifted.

 

“My family. It’s been nearly two months and the last time I saw them I was only there for lunch and then I left because it got too awkward,” Yuuri explained, dread filling his stomach at the thought of seeing his family. “We used to be really close, but now… I don’t know. I mean, there’s always been a little bit of distance between me and everyone else, but that because I’m an omega and I have anxiety that makes me push them away. And me travelling for weeks at a time for skating competitions when I was younger didn’t help, but now it’s even worse,” Yuuri admitted to Victor, flopping back on the bed. “Seeing them is getting harder and harder.” Yuuri had never expected a rift to come between he and his family when he decided to accept Lilia’s offer– the whole reason he’d done this was for them, but it hadn’t brought them any closer. He didn’t see them often and when he talked to his mother she’d become awkward and always thank him for the sacrifice he’d made for them, even though Yuuri knew she wished he hadn’t, no matter how much she liked Victor.

 

“Maybe we could visit them, then. Together, I mean,” Victor offered. “Maybe being with them for a solid week or two will help?” Victor took a seat next to Yuuri and looked down at him.

 

“Don’t you have things to do?” Yuuri asked, secretly hoping Victor didn’t because he loved the idea of Victor coming with him to see his family.

 

“Not really. My plans with the Naked Heart Foundation have come to a screeching halt because their other main fundraising event got shifted a few months earlier, so mine has been abandoned for the time being, meaning I have a lot of free time. I’d be happy to come to see your family with you– I’ve always wanted to see where you grew up anyway,” Victor told him, smiling.

 

“Okay, I’ll call my mum then,” Yuuri said, pressing his lips into a flat line. Yes, he’d love to have Victor come with him, but he didn’t know how enthusiastic his family would be about it.

 

Victor grinned and got off the bed, saying goodbye to Yuuri and heading out to take Maccachin for a walk around the gardens. Yuuri sighed once the door closed behind him and reached for his phone which was sitting on his bedside table. He dialed his sister’s number.

 

“Hello, Yuuri,” Mari answered a few seconds later in a blunt voice. “What do you want?”

 

“I wanted to come see you guys… with Victor. It’s been awhile since I saw you last and I thought me and Victor could come up there and stay for a few days or something,” Yuuri told her, looking down his lap and playing with his blue jumper.

 

“Oh. Well, you and Victor basically pay us money so we can keep the inn from falling down so you can come whenever you like,” Mari replied in that same tone of voice, not indication whether she actually wanted him to be there or not.

 

“Would it be okay with Mum and Dad?” Yuuri asked after a beat of thought.

 

“Of course, you know they’d want you here all the time anyway.”

 

“Okay, well, me and Victor will probably arrive tomorrow,” Yuuri informed her, taking on the same tone of voice as she had. If Mari wanted to be cold, then so be it. Yuuri supposed it was better than her usual anger.

 

“Fine. See you then,” Mari said, her voice a little more irritated than it had previously been due to Yuuri’s coldness. Hypocrite . Yuuri ended the call and flicked to his emails to see if there were any emails from his professors.

 

He’d started university a few weeks ago and thus far he was thoroughly enjoying it. He was majoring in English Lit, and doing a Philosophy 101 course on the side. The workload was perfect and when he buried himself in his school work, he could forget everything. It was similar feeling to being on the ice.

 

At the thought of his studies, Yuuri went to his desk and opened his new, Macbook Pro, and set his white, glossy iPad Mini next to it. He pulled up notes on his ipad and pressed play on a recording of a lecture he had to run through again.

 

-

 

“God, Yuuri! This place is so lovely and quaint!” Victor exclaimed as he surveyed the foyer, silver, rolling suitcase in tow. “I can’t believe you grew up in an inn.”

 

“Yuuri! Victor!” Hiroko exclaimed, throwing her arms up in the air and running towards them. She was surprisingly spritely for a forty-nine year old. Hiroko stopped before them and bowed, panting. “I was so happy when Mari told me you two were visiting! Good thing there’s a lull right now because I can make you some lunch!” Hiroko spouted, a wide grin adorning her face. It made Yuuri smile.

 

“I’m glad to be here, mum. I’m going to show Victor around, okay?” Yuuri cleared with her, Hiroko nodded enthusiastically before bouncing off to the kitchen to make some lunch. Yuuri desperately hoped it was Katsudon, even though he knew he hadn’t been skating today and probably didn’t need the calories.

 

“So, this is the foyer, and through there is a dining room, connected to the kitchen. Through that hall there is four rooms for guests, and there is another ten up down that hall. It’s a very long hall. The family’s quarters are mostly all upstairs as well as a few banquet rooms and storage facilities. Though our personal dining room is on the other side of our big kitchen, and it’s connected to our lounge room. At the end of each ground level hallway in an entrance to the outdoor hot springs, but our small personal one can only be accessed through our lounge room,” Yuuri rambled as he took Victor through the ground floor. “Now, we go upstairs.”

 

The two yanked their suitcases up onto a landing and Yuuri lead them into yet another small hallway. “Okay, so this may be a little problematic, but your room is directly across from Mari’s. I know, I know,” Yuuri said as Victor’s face contorted into one of horror. “It’s the only guest room we have! Also, there’s a bathroom right there.” Yuuri pointed to a door at the end of this very small hall.

 

They exited and Yuuri showed Victor a bigger, more communal bathroom, as well as were his parents slept. Victor left his suitcase on the landing as they then walked down the longest hall yet. The narrow hall had big windows across the left side, and on the right was about twenty different cupboards. At the end, the was a door.

 

“Is this your room, Yuuri? Why is it so far away from everyone elses?” Victor questioned, looking down the long hallway.

 

“Um, it is mine, and it’s far away from everyone else’s because I’m an omega. It’s actually technically a heat room because of the scent blocks down this hall and the insulation and things like that. I mean, I know that’s nothing new to you since everywhere in the palace has air conditioning design to purify the air and things like that. It has an attached bathroom, too,” Yuuri said, before opening his bedroom. He decided to be silent, then. Yuuri felt like he hadn’t talked that much in a very long time. Something about showing Victor around his childhood home made him quite excited. He hoped Victor liked it.

 

“Oh, it’s so cozy in here. I love the big window over your bed. It’s so nice in here,” Victor mumbled faintly, almost as if his awe of the place had taken away his speaking abilities.

 

“It is,” Yuuri agreed, setting his suitcase down and unzipping it to be unpacked later. Yuuri loved this room, but it wasn’t as nice to him now that he knew Victor wouldn’t be in it. It was a no brainer that Victor and Yuuri slept in separate beds. Really, they should be jumping at the chance. “Um, I guess we should be heading back down to eat?”

 

“Mm, yes! I can’t wait to try your mother’s cooking– you’ve raved about it enough,” Victor chuckled, heading back out of the room.

 

“We can stop in your room on the way so you can put your suitcase away, if you’d like.” Victor beamed at him.

 

-

 

“Thank you so much for the Katsudon, Hiroko, it’s amazing! I think this is what gods eat,” Victor moaned as he ate his katsudon beside Yuuri. Victor had noticed that Yuuri was a lot quieter around his family.

 

“Thank you, Vicchan! The pleasure is all mine! I’m actually very glad to be able to make it, Mari has actually become sick of it because of how we used to have it when Yuuri was younger; I’m actually surprised she’s eating it now,” Hiroko laughed and looked over at Mari who was slowly eating her meal. Mari had been quiet so far. She hadn’t talked much and she’d never made eye contact with anyone– apart from Hiroko or Toshiya in passing. And occasional contact with Yuuri’s eyes, but the glares she gave Yuuri were much more than eye contact. They were more like death threats with how angry and intense they were. Mari looked like she wanted to kill him. And Victor, too.

 

Mari didn’t respond to Hiroko’s comment. “So, what are you boys up to today?” Toshiya asked from his seat next to Hiroko.

 

“Uh, I was going to show Victor the ice rink and practice a little bit,” Yuuri answered, scratching the back of his neck, where his black hair faded out.

 

“Are you guys still practicing together?” Hiroko asked with genuine interest.

 

“Yes, we are. Victor’s almost at my level now, although he wasn’t that far behind when we started,” Yuuri informed her, embarrassed by what he’d said– he couldn’t believe he’d just insinuated that he was better than Victor. So rude.

 

“Are you guys going to compete in any local competitions or anything like that?” Toshiya asked, eating the last bits of his rice.

 

“I wish Victor could compete, but he’d got a lot of responsibilities and things to take care of,” Yuuri said, answering for Victor who was almost finished his bowl, never a moment where his mouth wasn’t full of food.

 

“What about you, Yuuri? Couldn’t you compete?” Victor asked, swallowing a large mouthful that Yuuri was pretty sure he didn’t chew properly. If Yuuri took a moment to properly think about it– yes, he could compete. He didn’t have as much status as Victor did and with his previous endeavors in skating it wouldn’t be that hard to do. But he couldn’t, he was supposed to be coaching Victor . Victor was supposed to be the one out on the ice wooing people with his growing skating abilities. It would be to painful for Yuuri to go back on the ice anyway– he’d left skating so quickly and he’d never properly said goodbye to it. Even thinking about competing again made his heart hurt.

 

“Well, I have my studies… and of course, I have to look after you,” Yuuri giggled, burying his previous thoughts. “I can’t be the one competing when you’re calling me coach.”

 

Victor laughed. “Alright, coach.” Yuuri smiled and took another mouthful of katsudon as Victor finished his.

 

“Are you not hungry, Mari? Or do you really hate katsudon that much?” Hiroko whined flopping her head down on the table and glancing up at Mari who hadn’t eaten very much, and had stopped about five minutes ago.

 

“Not hungry,” Mari grumbled, before standing up and grabbing Victor’s and Toshiya’s empty bowls.

 

“Thank you, Mari,” Victor said as his bowl was removed from in front of him. They were the first words he’d spoken to Mari since he’d gotten, well, actually probably the first words he’d ever spoken to her. They were met with a look of confusion, and then a glare. Victor looked away from her and cleared his throat.

 

“Maybe I should talk to her,” Yuuri whispered, looking down at her lap. “Is she mad at me?”

 

“I’m not sure, honey. It might just be something to do with her friends or something… but maybe you could talk to her?” Hiroko asked, her eyes sparkling with want. Yuuri knew Mari had been like for months, and neither Hiroko or Toshiya was very fond of it.

 

“Will do. Here, Victor, you can finish this,” Yuuri slid his bowl over to Victor who looked at it with wide eyes. Yuuri stood up to leave, and as he walked away he heard “So, Victor…” being purred out by Hiroko.

 

-

 

“Mari?” Yuuri asked timidly as he entered the kitchen and saw Mari stacking the dishwasher. Mari didn’t answer, but looked up at him. “Um… We haven’t talked in a while,” Yuuri started, speaking in Japanese, something he hadn’t done in a while. Sometimes, when Yuuri and Victor were joking around they’d speak in Japanese to each other. A particular memory of he and Victor sitting at the dinner table speaking in Japanese so that Yakov and Lilia wouldn’t understand them came to mind. But it was nice to be able to speak his first language anyway. “And I think we should.”

 

Mari still didn’t reply. Yuuri sighed– why couldn’t she just tell him why she was being so cold and grumpy? It had been over six months, surely she would’ve gotten through whatever it was by now, right? Yuuri had gotten over the fact he would never meet his soulmate for christs sake, surely Mari would get over her grudge on Victor? Yuuri decided to keep talking, despite Mari’s silence. “I don’t think you like Victor very much,” Yuuri said, fiddling with the diamond ring on his hand. “And I get it, but do you really have to be so cold towards him? Or me? I’m not Victor, I’m your little brother. I mean, you won’t even talk to me. If you don’t like that I’m not around as much, I’ll come home every weekend, if you don’t like that I’m paying for everything here, I’ll stop, so please, just tell me what it is you want me to do to get you to stop being so cold. I miss my big sister.”

 

“I wish you hadn’t married him,” Mari said, popping a detergent pod in their dishwasher and closing it. She set the temperature to 70ºC and pressed start. “He’s not a good person.” Even though Yuuri knew that Mari didn’t like Victor, he was a little shocked to hear that Mari though he wasn’t a good person . She didn’t even know him.

 

“You don’t know him, he’s a perfectly good person,” Yuuri argued. He really did not like Mari insulting Victor like that. Victor didn’t deserve to be insulted like that. “I can’t believe you would say that about him,” Yuuri said, his voice raising and his anger bubbling. After all she’d put him through, she was going to talk about Victor like that.

 

“God, you talk about him like he’d your alpha,” Mari replied, rolling her eyes. She leant against the kitchen counters, arms folded across her chest.

 

“He may as well be,” Yuuri blurted before he could stop himself. He couldn’t believe he’d just said that– Victor was not Yuuri’s alpha. Yuuri tried to starve off the blush crawling from his chest. “And it doesn’t matter how I talk about him, you were the one who said he wasn’t a good person,” Yuuri continued, trying to steer the conversation in a different direction.

 

“Well, he isn’t,” Mari whispered angrily, like someone could be listening in on their conversation. Yuuri honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Hiroko had her ear to the kitchen door right now. Yuuri didn’t no if the reply he’d received was directed at the ‘he may as well be’ part or the other. Probably both. If Victor ever actually became Yuuri’s alpha, Mari would lose her shit.

 

“You don’t know him! He’s amazing and lovely. He’s a good person and he words hard and you have no reasons to hate him, or call him a bad person,” Yuuri whisper-yelled, just like Mari. Mari sighed and turned around to get out the wok to cook the guests lunch, looking defeated.

 

But, the “yes, I do,” that came tumbling out of her lips told Yuuri otherwise.

 

“What is it then?!” Yuuri almost yelled. What could she probably have to say about Victor now ? Mari didn’t answer. “God, you act like such a bitch sometimes! I can’t believe you’re going to call Victor a bad person, then say you’ve got dirt on him when you have nothing to say about him. Why are you taking all of this out on me anyway, why don’t you just try talking to him. Then you’ll learn that he’s a good person ,” Yuuri growled.

 

“I think you should leave, Yuuri. I want to be alone,” Mari said, her voice as calm as it could be. Yuuri was glad for that– he didn’t want to see Mari yell at him. It would properly scare the shit out of him.

 

Yuuri decided to leave, he wasn’t getting much out of Mari anyway. And when he opened the door to the kitchen, Hiroko came tumbling through, just like Yuuri expected her to. He stepped aside, rolled his eyes, and walked away. He stumbled outside, onto a small family patio. It was quiet, and no one else was there. Yuuri decided to take a seat on their outdoor wooden set of chair and take a deep breath. He closed his eyes.

 

-

 

Yuuri stayed like that for another twenty minutes, calming himself down, before he felt someone sitting next to him. He cracked open an eye and was relieved to see it was Victor. Yuuri instantly slumped against him, breathing in his scent.

 

“Are you okay?” Victor asked softly, placing one of his broad hands on his thigh.

 

“Mari’s infuriating. She won’t talk to me,” Yuuri groaned, sagging into Victor even more. “And when she’s not not talking to me, she’s being a bitch and ignoring everyone. I don’t know what to do.”

 

“Should I talk to her?” Victor offered, his fingers tracing patterns on Yuuri’s thigh. Yuuri opened his eyes and found Victor’s lips. He kissed them. Again. For the sixth time. Yes , for the sixth time.

 

The first time it had happened they were in high school. The second, was six months ago at four am.

 

Yuuri’s hands found Victor’s waist and he leant into the now reprociated kiss.

 

The third was four months ago, when Victor had taken Yuuri out to a proper ball. They went to those occasionally, they were royalty. Victor was half drunk and Yuuri completely sober. Victor had been whispering into Yuuri’s ears about something, when Chris came up them oohing and begging to see them kiss– Chris was a lot more than half drunk at the time. But Victor obliged away and kissed Yuuri, which left them both blushing. They, like the first and second, never talked about it after. The fourth was two months ago. Yuuri and Victor were skating on the ice together– they’d finished practicing long ago, and they were just skating together, like they’d done the night they’d gotten married. (Getting married to Victor felt like a lifetime ago.) The moment was smooth and like honey and it was right. And they’d come together and kissed. They’d smiled at each other. Then they went home.

 

Yuuri heard Victor giggle and Yuuri threw a leg around Victor’s lap and pulled himself onto it. A hand found Victor’s jaw and Yuuri pushed their mouths together even more, making their teeth clink.

 

The fifth was only a month ago. It was the twenty-sixth of May and Yuuri had woken up with Victor staring at him from across the bed. Yuuri had instantly scooched forward and was wrapped by Victor’s arms and his kiss.

 

Yuuri was the one to pull away for a breather, panting, his head heady with Victor’s scent. “Let’s go home, Victor,” Yuuri whispered, leaning his forehead against Victor’s.


Yuuri thought back to his and Mari’s fight then, when she said he talked about Victor like he was his alpha. He might as well be .

-

Chapter Text

The ride back was silent. Eerily so, but Yuuri felt completely relaxed the whole time, even boneless. It was like he was finally sated, finally calm. Like Yuuri didn’t need anything else, like this was it. This was as good as it gets, and that was fine. Perfect, even . Of course, Yuuri had felt this before. He’d felt it every time he’d kissed Victor, and each time the feeling grew. From a little pocket in his chest to pathways all around his body, coursing with the stuff. Yuuri didn’t really know why he’d done it, why he’d kissed Victor. He was upset and desperately trying to feel okay again, and Victor was right next to him, offering all he could do. It wasn’t like Victor had kissed him before. They’d kissed each other. Many times. And it was good , it was wonderful to Yuuri. And even though he still had that mark on the back of his leg, that didn’t matter. He had Victor now, and that mattered. He would be spending the rest of his life with Victor, in one form or another. Soulmates didn’t matter when something like what he and Victor had was on the table. In that moment, Yuuri really did believe he might love Victor. They were married and kissing, what more was there?

 

The ride back was quick, despite it being two hours long. They’d packed their unpacked suitcases into Victor’s car– Victor had actually driven them there– and left. Yuuri hadn’t even spoken to his mum, the gap between them had grown so much. The closer he got to Victor, the further away he got from his mother. Maybe if Yuuri just told her everything, about Victor, about his soulmark. None of Yuuri’s family knew he had a soulmate out there– Yuuri had been too scared to tell his family when he’d first found it, and was glad he didn’t. It came in handy when he married Victor, but now, Yuuri was it would make Hiroko mad. But maybe the shock that Yuuri loved Victor more than the idea of possibly finding his soulmate would break away from that anger. But Yuuri couldn’t really think about Hiroko now, he’d kissed Victor. And this time, he actually felt like they would talk about it. The tension was in the air; they were both excited. Yuuri could see it in Victor’s eyes and his smile and in the way he had trouble shifting gears because of his trembling arms. Yuuri knew he would call his mother soon, but now he just enjoyed being in the car with Victor. Sitting on the beige, leather seats with the aircon blasting and both of them holding smiles that were meant for each other. Realistically, Victor and Yuuri could talk. Just like Yuuri could talk to Hiroko. But he didn’t. He was enjoying the moment , something he’d never known how to do up until now.

 

Ninety minutes in, Yuuri decided he would have to call his mum. She would be wondering where they were, and Mari would be making snarky comments and Toshiya would be looking for Yuuri, trying to get him to do some chores. Or maybe invite he and Victor into the hot springs. Maybe. He had to call them, he had to call his family. Without telling Victor, Yuuri reached into his jacket which was slumped against the car floor in the passenger seat and pulled out his phone. Without trying to stop himself, he dialled Hiroko’s number. After a few rings, she picked up. Victor looked over then, the smile that surely would have been hurting his cheeks by now dropping.

 

Yuuri? Where are you? ” Hiroko asked in Japanese, and Yuuri knew she hoped Victor wasn’t listening. He was sure to get an earful, but little did she know, Victor could speak perfect Japanese, (it was in his job description,) and his phone was on full volume.

 

“I’m in the car. Victor and I are going home,” Yuuri replied in Japanese back, to give her mother piece of mind. “I’m sorry.”

 

What? Why? You just got here, Yuuri. I haven’t seen you in so long… I wanted to talk to you .”

 

“I know. I’m sorry, I just… Mari was being unfair. I had to leave.” He heard Hiroko sigh.

 

After a moment, she spoke again. “ I don’t think she was being unfair ,” Hiroko replied tenderly.

 

“You didn’t even hear what she was saying, mum. Is she there right now? Don’t listen to her.”

 

I’ve listened to what she had to say, and while it could seem unfair to you, she was in a very tricky situation and she was doing the best she could .”

 

Tricky situation ? What are you talking about? Nothing she said was excusable. I can’t believe you’re taking her side,” Yuuri shot out in hurried Japanese like he was nine and he was fighting with Mari; he knew he sounded immature, but Mari was being unfair. Yuuri hoped with his fast pace of voice Victor wouldn’t hear him being this immature.

 

Yuuri, I have to go. I have things to do, but I’m going to call you tonight, okay? I’m going to talk to you about everything, and Mari is going to come clean… We’ll explain everything ,” Hiroko said, her voice calming down. Yuuri didn’t say goodbye before hitting the end call button. He’d talk to her later. Yuuri threw his phone into the backseat, he didn’t want to look at it anymore.

 

He sighed. He looked at Victor. Victor was squinting, looking at the road despite the glaring sun. The road turned and the sun started glaring into Yuuri’s window. He pulled the cover over the window. Yuuri sagged in his seat and closed his eyes, wishing for his previous excitement and happiness to return. He wanted to smile like that again. Yuuri felt the car come to a slow and Yuuri opened his eyes to check if there was a car ahead of them. But when he looked, there was no other car in front of them, they weren’t even on the road– they were parked in a bit of dirt next to it. Yuuri improved his posture greatly, and looked out the front window, trying to see why they’d pulled over. Yuuri couldn’t see anything, and when he looked Victor, Victor didn’t look worried or confused– he was just looking at Yuuri. He wore a hard expression on his face, his eyebrows creased in thought. Yuuri was about to ask what he was doing, but then Victor was leaning towards him and kissing him. As in, full-frontal, his-lips-on-mine, kissing. Again. Two times in a day, kissing . Yuuri arched up to meet his lips and tried to kiss back, but it was a little hard with how much his mouth was trying to smile. Victor pressed his lips down hard on Yuuri, his mouth open and wanting. But it didn’t last long– Victor pulled away quickly and turned back onto the road. Yuuri fell back against the seat with a thud and sagged. He was smiling again. He was smiling like that again.

 

“You seemed tense on the phone and I just…” Victor said under his breath, forcing out the words.

 

Yuuri turned to him and whispered, “ I know .”

 

They arrived half an hour later, both smiling. Giddy. Mari, if she weren’t so angry at him, would’ve joked that they looked they both just got laid. With each other. Yuuri made his way inside, with Victor holding the door open for him. They travelled from the grand entrance to the hallway that lead to the library and an alternate staircase and a set of storage cupboards and a bathroom and their bedroom . The tension was tight, tighter than what is was in the car. Yuuri felt like they could snap . But Yuuri didn’t want to snap , he didn’t want his and Victor’s coming together to be a snap . He wanted it to be a pull , like a magnet they were playing with.

 

So, Yuuri hoped Victor didn’t feel disappointed when he told him he’d be taking a shower. He wanted to rinse off Mari and Hiroko and car smell. He wanted to change into nice clothes and go to Victor. He wanted to go and kiss him in nice clothes. After all, it was only three thirty and Yuuri and Victor could do all the kissing they wanted. He had time for a shower.

 

Though, Yuuri found himself to be regretting his decision to take a shower. He wanted to be out in the bedroom kissing Victor, he wanted to be in the other man’s arms– he wanted to be in the alpha’s arms. He wanted to smell Victor, wanted to scent him and wash their combined scents all over their freshly laundered sheets. He wanted Victor everywhere.

 

On his scent glands.

On his clothes.

In his hair.

In their bed.

Inside of him.

 

Yuuri didn’t even get past washing his arms before he stepped out of the shower and towelled down quickly. He tucked the towel around his waist and made for his closet, closing the door behind him. Yuuri grabbed a dark green, fluffy, sparkly jumper that hung down to his mid-thigh and shrugged it on. He then pulled on a pair of tight, black underwear with extra thick lining, just in case Victor’s kisses… did something to him. He pulled on leggings over the top of that, relishing in the comfort leggings provided him. He didn’t wear them often, but sometimes if it was a particularly cold day he would wear them under some black gym shorts at the rink, or sometimes he would wear them when he was stretching before working out. He would even sometimes wear them when he had a particularly big assignment at uni, and needed to get comfortable and knuckle down. As he stepped out of his closet, he hoped Victor would like how he looked. Like the way his ass and legs looked in the leggings .

 

He found Victor sitting on the bed against the headboard with his nose in a book. Victor looked up at him curiously when Yuuri entered the room.

 

“Victor,” Yuuri whined, and it’s all Victor needed before attaching himself to Yuuri, kissing him deeply. Again. For the third time.

 

“Mm, Yuuri ,” Victor groaned out, deep and guttural, making Yuuri’s insides twist. “I like this sweater on you.” They both giggled at Victor’s obvious flirting.

 

“I like it on me, too,” Yuuri replied back, leaning his forehead against the Victor’s and slinging his arms over Victor’s shoulders. “I like you on me better, though.” Victor laughed. They were laughing. And kissing. Always kissing. Yuuri smiled into the kisses. The endless kisses– Yuuri admittedly didn’t know what to do next. He wanted something to happen, something that followed kissing. He wanted Victor. So, he did what he saw other omega’s do in this situation– started unbuttoning Victor’s blue, linen button down. Yuuri popped open the first button… then the second. Yuuri’s fingers brushed against Victor’s now exposed collarbones. Yuuri felt Victor’s hands rubbing at his dipped waist, urging him on. Victor hummed happily as the third button came undone. Victor swiped his tongue against Yuuri’s bottom lip, edging his mouth open even further. Fourth button. Victor moved one hand to the back of Yuuri’s neck, toying with the baby hairs there. Yuuri giggled at the sensation, taking a breather from Victor’s lips. Yuuri peered up at Victor’s eyes, his eyes big and doe-y, as he popped the fifth button. Victor smiled up at him, and even though it was Yuuri who was undressing Victor, Yuuri didn’t feel in control at all. Victor was everywhere, guiding him. Yuuri felt the linen moving under his fingers as he drifted to the last button. Yuuri could the feel the leather of Victor’s belt on his pinky fingers. Yuuri wanted to drop to his knees right then and there– Victor wore belts, Victor was a man. He smelled like a man (Yuuri could smell it now, this close,) and like an alpha. Somehow, it was all the connected– the belts and the manliness Victor possessed. Yuuri wanted to drop to his knees and run his teeth all over the dark, expensive leather, (he’d leave marks all over Victor’s ¥25,000 belt.) Were belt kinks a thing? Because Yuuri had a belt kink.

 

Yuuri didn’t drop to his knees, but he popped the open the last button. Snap . Yuuri planted his hands on Victor’s pecs. Big pecs. Manly pecs . Yuuri dug his nails lightly into them, and moved them, leaving raised skin in its wake. Yuuri felt Victor’s breath catch and he pulled away to look at Victor.

 

“Bed?” Victor whispered in question, his eyebrows arched. Yuuri wondered if they would arch like that when Victor came as his lower regions pulsed with new slick. Yuuri nodded slowly, almost as if he was lusting so hard he couldn’t even move his limbs properly. Victor smiled and took Yuuri’s hands and lead him back to the bed. Victor let go of him to move his splayed book and shuffled to sit against the headboard. “Like this?” Yuuri nodded again and climbed into his lap. Perfect .  

 

Yuuri knew that like this, Victor wouldn’t see his soulmark, and Yuuri also knew that by thinking that, it meant that they were in a lustful haze, where kissing lead to everything else and there was no time for thinking. Yuuri was thinking, thinking about the right way to do this, because he was doing this . Yuuri decided to push the thoughts of his soulmark out of his mind and learnt back to kiss Victor, making up for the brief, rare kisses they’d exchanged over the past six months.

 

Yuuri pushed Victor’s shirt off of his shoulders and Victor tossed it away. Victor’s hands came and pushed up Yuuri’s sweater, deciding to keep it on. Yuuri giggled at Victor’s mouth which had latched itself on Yuuri’s torso and was kissing up from Yuuri’s slightly pudgy stomach. (He was still working off the last little bits of fat from before he married Victor, and he didn’t have much time for skating.) Victor kissed up Yuuri’s own, much smaller pecs, and up his throat, where he started sucking and grazing his teeth over the thinner skin. Victor’s hands went to Yuuri’s nipples and he ran his fingers over them lightly. It made Yuuri gasp and his pussy pulse with want– Yuuri was sure he was completely wet now, his slick might’ve even started pooling in his underwear. Yuuri breathed deeply and pushed Victor’s jaw away from his chest, his cold ring pressing into Victor’s cheek. Yuuri kissed him again and moved his own hands from Victor’s chest to his belt . God, that fucking belt . It was thick and smooth against his fingers. The buckle unclasped with a click and Yuuri felt his heartbeat quicken.

 

“Victor, Victor,” Yuuri panted, pulling away to fully unbuckle his belt. Victor kept kissing Yuuri– his cheek and his jawline and his ears.

 

“I’ve wanted to do this for so long,” Victor whispered as his fingers left Yuuri’s nipples and his sweater fell back into place. Yuuri rolled his eyes to the back of his head at the sound of Victor’s voice tickling his ear. Yuuri then moved to undo Victor’s pant button, and unzip his jeans. Victor was straining against his dark green briefs now, and Yuuri could clearly see that, now that half of his length was no longer restrained. Yuuri ran his fingers over the bottom of Victor’s shaft, almost petting it. He took note of the silver pubes the poked out of his underwear with the drag of the fabric underneath his fingers.

 

Yuuri had never had sex before– he did things with Adam. He’d been eaten out and he’d given a blowjob, and of course, he’d never forget the feeling of a cock sliding between his wet folds, but he’d never been fucked before. Yuuri didn’t really know what he was doing, but he definitely wanted to get fucked . So, he did what he’d seen in porn and hoped Victor would like it.

 

“I want you to fuck me,” Yuuri mumbled, trying to muster up as much courage as possible. It was quiet, but Yuuri knew Victor had heard by the way his cock jumped in his jeans and Victor’s hands squeezed his thighs. “Wanna ride you.”

 

“As much as I love you in those leggings, they need to come off, sweetheart ,” Victor said, easing Yuuri out of his lap. Yuuri scooted off quickly and got off the bed, shimmying his leggings and underwear off, careful to not show his mark. He wasn’t wearing boxers this time– god, he wasn’t wearing anything. (He probably should’ve shaved. Or trimmed. Something.) Victor gaped at Yuuri’s bare cunt, black curls hiding most of it, but the sight of the slippery wet slick between his thighs and under his cocklet was unmistakable. Yuuri didn’t look down at himself, he didn’t want to look at his pubes which were probably matted with slick, and he didn’t want to see his small, three-inch cocklet. Especially not when he was about to see Victor’s bigger cock. Yuuri blushed at the exposure and climbed back on top of Victor, sliding slick on Victor’s light gray jeans, probably staining them. Yuuri’s breathing quickened; this was actually happening. Yuuri felt a tight knot in his belly and tightened his pelvic muscles, sighing and smiling at the pleasure it gave him. Yuuri giddily pulled down Victor’s jeans and Victor shuffled, helping him. Yuuri then pushed away his underwear and pulled out Victor’s fat, nine-inch cock. Yuuri tightened his pelvic floor again and breathed. Yuuri looked up and Victor and found his flustered, panting face. His eyebrows were arched and eyes looked glassy and needy. Needy for Yuuri .

 

Yuuri scooted up and pressed Victor’s dick to his wet, warm folds, rocking against the hard length. Victor tipped his head back and closed his eyes. Yuuri felt like he could cry through the intensity of it all. Yuuri grabbed a fistful of Victor’s silver hair and yanked his head back to its original position.

 

“Don’t take your eyes off of me– I need you. Never done this before,” Yuuri choked out, before rising and grabbing hold of Victor’s now lubricated cock and positioning it against him. Yuuri sunk down, feeling every inch of Victor inside. He felt his insides stretch to accommodate him and he felt Victor’s tip at his cervix. “Fuck, Victor.” Yuuri’s head fell forward and tears pooled at his eyes.

 

It was a lot. It felt breathtakingly wonderful, but it was a lot. Yuuri breathed through the first few seconds, then felt Victor’s hands (those hands ,) at his jaw, lifting his head up.

 

“I’ve got you,” Victor whispered as he swiped a tear that dared to fall. “I’m here.” Yuuri nodded and put his hands on Victor’s shoulders and began to move. He ground in Victor’s lap at first, feeling him move inside of him. Feeling him brush against his g-spot. Yuuri inhaled Victor’s aroused scent and lifted himself up, and then sank back down again. He whimpered at the drag of Victor inside him. His eyes filled again and his picked a slow rhythm. As promised, Victor didn’t take his eyes off of him. Victor stared him down, his mouth open and his cheeks flushed and he was making these little grunts and it drove Yuuri insane to see Victor like that. (Like he was the only thing in the world.) Yuuri lost himself in Victor’s expression and his movements and the thing inside of him, but he never broke eye contact. He could faintly feel Victor’s fingers digging into his thighs as he held himself together. Yuuri wondered what it would look like if Victor lost himself altogether.

 

On a particularly high rise, Yuuri found Victor’s lap closer than it was before, and he noticed Victor meeting him with thrusts. He felt Victor’s hands on his hips and before long Yuuri was suspended with his hips a few inches away from Victor’s cock, just staying still as Victor thrust up into him. Yuuri moved his backwards hips slightly so that Victor was pressing into his g-spot every time. Yuuri moaned then, openly moaned. Deep and guttural, as Victor pounded inside of him. Yuuri’s eyes lost Victor’s as his head fell backwards and his eyes rolled to the back of his head.

 

“Fuck, fuck, Victor ,” Yuuri moaned, gripping on Victor’s shins behind him to keep himself in place. Yuuri felt the knot in his stomach tightening as came closer to climax, each thrust sending him into oblivion. He never thought in a million years sex could feel this good. (But it was Victor, after all.)

 

“I’m gonna come, Victor. Victor, shit .” Yuuri snaked a hand around to his cocklet and he started stroking it to the time of Victor’s thrust. Yuuri’s thighs tightened and he stilled and his breathing stop. “I’m coming, I’m coming ,” Yuuri whined as his legs trembled. Yuuri pushed himself into Victor’s arms mid orgasm and held onto his biceps, gripping them tightly, his nails digging into to the muscle there. The sparks flying, pulsing through Yuuri swam all the way to his fingertips as he kept on coming. The high-pitched pleasure washed over him for seconds and Victor fucked him through it.

 

Victor ,” Yuuri almost sobbed, his head dropping onto Victor’s shoulder as he regained his breath and his cunt tingled. Yuuri smiled at the feeling, but it quickly turned into another moan as Victor kept fucking him, chasing his own release. He soon felt himself being pushed onto his back and panic filled his mind. His mark . Yuuri opened his eyes to see a beaming Victor above him, pounding into him. Victor gripped his thighs as he moaned and Yuuri hoped Victor’s hand was covering the mark. Yuuri watched as Victor inside of him; hot come filling him. Yuuri’s breath hitched at the feeling but didn’t stop watching Victor’s face. Victor’s eyebrows did arch like that , and he smiled through it like the happiest the man on earth. Victor slumped against him as soon as he finished, and Yuuri could feel Victor’s neverending smile on his chest.

 

Yuuri scooted out from underneath from Victor. Moving quickly from one thing to the next, Yuuri ran to his walk-in wardrobe and grabbed a pair of his black boxers, then moved to the bathroom then grabbed a wet linen rag for the clean-up. Before leaving, Yuuri put on the boxers and turned around to look at their floor to ceiling mirror. Yuuri couldn’t see his soulmark from under his underwear and sweater– Yuuri couldn’t really believe he’d kept it on through the whole ordeal. It felt scratchy on his sweaty skin now, so he pulled it off and tossed it onto the bathroom floor. Yuuri took a deep breath and walked back out into their space, repeating the idea that Victor hadn’t seen his mark in his head. He found Victor on their bed, jeans off and his dick tucked back into his forest green underwear. He smiled at the vulnerable looking Victor and walked over to him, wiping his slick off of his chest and thighs and Victor’s come off of the creases where his thighs met his privates. Yuuri was just about to walk away to put the rag away but Victor stopped him and pulled him into bed. Victor, grinning, pulled the damp rag out of Victor’s hands and threw it in the general direction of the bathroom. Yuuri rolled his eyes at Victor’s dirtiness but let himself be guided into Victor’s arms anyway.  

 

Yuuri sighed and relaxed against Victor’s chest. Victor laid them down against the pillows and pulled the covers over them. Yuuri noticed Victor linen shirt laying at the top of the bed. They’d dismantled the nest before leaving, but Victor’s shirt was a perfect addition to this new one. Yuuri would also make sure to add Victor’s belt.

 

“Yuuri?” Victor whispered, startling Yuuri out of his thoughts. Yuuri looked up at him from his place on his chest.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Was it good? For your first time?”

 

Yuuri smiled at Victor’s genuine concern. “It was perfect, Victor.” Yuuri placed his head back on Victor’s chest. “Was it good for you, too?”

 

“Just perfect,” Victor whispered, squeezing Yuuri close to him. “I’m sorry it wasn’t more prepared… I feel like someone’s first time should be more special. Planned.”

 

“Don’t worry about it, Victor. I told you, it was perfect,” Yuuri assured him. Silence came between them and filled the space around him. They laid there for a while.

 

“Can I ask you something a bit weird?” Victor asked, after a few minutes of soaking in Yuuri’s smell and embrace. Victor felt Yuuri nodding against his chest.

 

“Why did you become an athlete?” Victor asked, to Yuuri’s surprise. It was a bit out of blue.

 

“Why? Is this what you think about after sex?” Yuuri laughed, moving a hand up to Victor’s pec. He traced circles on it, his fingernails leaving goosebumps.

 

Victor laughed, too. “Just feeling thoughtful… I’ve always wondered what it would be like to choose my own career. Being what I am, my job is handed to me, and I’ve never thought about choosing a career. So, why did you want to become an athlete?”

 

“Uh… Well, obviously I love skating. But, being an athlete… It’s weird. Everyone expects you to be practicing constantly, six am to eleven at night, you know? Nobody asked me much outside of skating. I was always unavailable and I could always leave a situation and be excused because I had to go skate. It was a good escape when I was younger. But then money became the number one priority and I just wasn’t doing enough,” Yuuri told Victor. “I also felt that I had an excuse to not care about things, which I realise was a mistake now. I think it’s why I’m kind of distant from my parents. When I was younger and something went wrong, I didn’t need to care about it. I just cared about skating, and that was excusable. But now that I’ve grown up a little I don’t shy away from caring about things. I… I care about you, that’s for sure,” Yuuri added sheepishly.

Chapter Text

“Yuuri left. You made he and Victor leave– I can’t find them anywhere!” Hiroko whispered as she stepped out onto the veranda, where Mari was smoking.

 

“You better have a good explanation,” Toshiya scolded as he followed Hiroko. The pair sat down at their outdoor dining area, and gestured for Mari to sit opposite them. Mari smushed her cigarette and dropped it in her ashtray. Memories of when her parents had first found about her smoking habit came to mind. Mari stumbled over to the wooden table and took a seat, leaning back, crossing her arms over her chest and looking at her concerned parents.

 

“I… I don’t know if I should be telling you this, really,” Mari started, trying to delay the inevitable. She didn’t really know why she did, though. Surely after hearing that Victor has a soulmate of his own and was fraternising with Yuuri, they would take her side, right?

 

“Just tell us, Mari. You’ve caused enough trouble with your secrets,” Hiroko chided.

 

Fine. You know how a few months ago I did some extra work at that tattoo parlour so I could save up for tickets to see that band I like?” Mari started. Her parents nodded. “Well… One night, when I was working, Victor walked in. He… He requested a soulmark removal. Victor has a soulmate. He’s being all flirty with Yuuri, he married Yuuri, knowing he had a soulmate!” Hiroko creased her eyebrows and leant back.

 

“Are you sure it was Victor?” Toshiya asked, his expression mirroring Hiroko’s.

 

Yes. It was him– he has a soulmate!”

 

“Well… Mari, we don’t know the whole story. He could’ve been forced into the arranged marriage. Maybe his soulmate died when he was younger. Maybe Yuuri knows about Victor’s soulmate– and we don’t know he was flirting with Yuuri. We’ve barely seen Victor, and just because they seem close doesn’t mean their flirting with each other. Why are you so angry with Yuuri, anyway? It wasn’t his fault.”

 

“Because… Because Yuuri is letting Victor walk all over him!” Mari stuttered out. She should’ve probably rehearsed something in her head before talking to them about this.

 

“If Victor was walking all over Yuuri, I would be angry at Victor, not Yuuri… Wouldn’t you, honey?” Hiroko replied, leaning forward again and nudging Toshiya.

 

“Mm, yes. There is no reason for you to be angry at Yuuri, Mari.”

 

“I think you’re angry at Yuuri because he’s giving us the money to keep our business afloat. I think you’re just feeling insecure, Mari. And it doesn’t help that Yuuri now has his own strong alpha to take of him that isn’t you,” Hiroko said, hitting the nail on the head. Mari recoiled– she wasn’t wrong. “Is someone missing her little brother?” Hiroko teased.

 

“Shut up. It’s not fair that Victor gets Yuuri to himself! He never comes here or talks to us anymore, and yet he’s still paying for everything. What if Victor does hurt him– we won’t know.”

 

“Mari, you don’t need to worry about Yuuri paying for everything. You do so much around here, you don’t ever need to feel insecure about that. And… I’ll call Yuuri. We’ll call Yuuri, okay?”

 

Mari nodded.

 

-

 

“You’re smiling,” Yuuri said as he woke from his nap, still in his and Victor’s bed, clad in nothing but boxers. Victor’s smile was the first thing he saw upon waking, it seemed that Victor had woken before him, or not slept at all. Judging by the time on his alarm clock, he’d only slept for an hour and a bit. Dinner was still forty minutes away.

 

“I’m happy,” Victor told him, craning his neck to kiss Yuuri’s temple. “I’ve wanted this for so long.” Victor knew that Yuuri would think he was talking about the sex, and while yes, he had wanted that for a long time, he’d wanted something else more. Something that could’ve had nothing to do with Yuuri, but it had everything to do with him, now. Victor had wanted one thing for the past five-ish years, and that was a soulmate. And now, here he was in his arms. He had his soulmate and he didn’t even realise it until he was deep inside of him. Victor pushes away doubtful thoughts about why Yuuri didn’t tell him he had a soulmate because he would’ve done the same– it would’ve been hypocritical. He just focused on the image of Yuuri on his back and he pounded into him, his soulmark on display.

 

“Really? With me?” Yuuri asked, looking at Victor through his thick black lashes. He smiled and his nose scrunched like it did when he came.

 

“Of course with you,” Victor replies with a giggled that ends as soon as it starts. Yuuri settles down and sighs. He feels good– content. His mind drifts to their previous activities and he gets hard as quickly as he’d woken up. He sighs at his own libido but he can’t really blame himself– he’d just lost his virginity. With Victor Nikiforov. And more sex with Victor was on the table, so of course he was hard. Yuuri wouldn’t be surprised if he was constantly hard when there was the opportunity to have sex with Victor Nikiforov at every available time.

 

“Yuuri… can I eat you out?” Victor asks, smelling the arousal permeating the air. “We have time– dinner’s still ages away.” Yuuri blushes but nods not making eye contact with Victor. “You can sit on my face, if you want.” Yuuri almost wanted to run out of the room at the suggestion, and of the causality of it.

 

“Do you want me to? Sit on your face?” Yuuri asked, finally meeting Victor’s eyes. Yuuri really wanted Victor to enjoy himself, too. Yuuri didn’t want to sit on Victor’s face while he was uncomfortable. But, then again, Yuuri didn’t know if they could have sex again since Yuuri might not be able to get away with riding Victor again… He’d probably have to tell Victor about his mark before Victor got a big shock during sex, but then if Yuuri told him, this whole thing would be over before it had even really started.

 

“I want to give you everything. Yes, I want you to sit on my face,” Victor replied with genuine sincerity.

 

“But what about you? Are you hard?” Yuuri asked, trying not to get flustered at his own forward-ness. “I want you to feel good.” Victor buried himself in the pillow next to his head, humming and smiling.

 

“I feel amazing, Yuuri,” Victor assured the raven after resurfacing. “Now, can you sit on my face?” Yuuri smiled nervously and watched Victor slip for underneath him and get comfortable. Yuuri sat up and swung a leg over Victor’s torso, exposing himself from under the blankets. Again, he didn’t dare look down at his probably weird looking and gross pussy. He really should’ve shaved. But, judging by the hungry look on Victor’s face, he didn’t mind. Victor wasn’t even looking at his face, just staring at his hard cockles and wet cunt. Yuuri took a deep breath and shuffled up, leaving a embarrassing trail of slick behind him. God, Yuuri was gross. Yuuri shuffled up until he was hovering over Victor’s face. He felt Victor’s hands slide up his thighs and settle his hips. Their eyes met and Yuuri felt like fainting– Victor did look gorgeous from down there. Victor stuck his tongue out and wiggled it, making Yuuri laugh and forget about his gross pussy. Victor guided Yuuri down, onto his face, so his nose was nestled just under his cocklet and his mouth was pressed against his folds. Yuuri let out a shuddering sigh and look down again. Yuuri’s cocklet was just resting on Victor’s cheek and Victor was still staring up him with big, curious eyes. They asked him, ‘is this okay?’ And they told him ‘I want you.’

 

Yuuri nodded at Victor and he felt the other’s tongue swipe up, parting his lips. Yuuri’s breath hitched and settled down further, grabbing onto the headboard. Yuuri felt Victor’s tongue poke at his entrance and slide inside.

 

“Fuck,” Yuuri whispered as he suck down, sucking up Victor’s tongue. Yuuri began rocking on it, relishing in the barely-there pleasure. Yuuri almost thought he was getting more pleasure from the sight before him than what Victor was actually doing. They stayed like that for a while, eyes connected and Yuuri rocking on Victor’s tongue. They stayed like that until it wasn’t enough, and simultaneously too much. Yuuri craved something to press up against his g-spot, or some sort of friction against his cock, and Victor’s tongue that was barely inside him was driving him insane. Yuuri grunted and pulled off with irritation. He wanted to come.

 

“Um, can you suck me off instead, now?” Yuuri mumbled, grabbing his small cock and pressing the tip to Victor’s slick covered lips. Victor silently nodded and opened his mouth. Yuuri smiled and pressed in, gasping at the contrast in pleasure. He was far closer then he was before. Yuuri moaned at the sucking Victor was doing around his cockles and started rocking again. He was so close. Yuuri’s breathing quickened and he moaned again he felt Victor’s fingers move from his hip to behind him and press against his hole. Yuuri opened his eyes– when had he closed them?– and nodded frantically at Victor. Victor pressed inside, his long fingers doing a lot more than what he tongue had done. Victor curled his fingers and Yuuri threw his head back and rolled his eyes, moaning. Victor repeated the motion and Yuuri seized up, clenching his thick thighs around Victor’s head and rocking quickly.

 

“Victor, Victor, I’m coming,” Yuuri whispered, his voice high. Yuuri clenched and gushed around Victor’s fingers and onto his chin. Yuuri pulled away as soon as he could, panting. He gripped the sheets and fell off of Victor and onto the bed, his head hanging off the side. “Fuck.” Yuuri smiled. He was glad he agreed to that.

 

After coming down from his high, and after his breathing and heart rate had returned back to normal, he sat up and saw Victor staring intently at him, pumping his dick quickly. Yuuri pounced over to him and situated himself against Victor’s chest, making Victor bring his head down to his neck and inhale his scent. Yuuri grinned gidily at Victor’s need for his scent as he masturbated. Yuuri would’ve helped but judging by the way Victor was groaning into his neck, his scent was doing enough. Victor came not long after, his seed coating Yuuri’s torso. Victor moaned and panted, before letting go of his quickly softening cock and wrapped his arms around Yuuri. Yuuri chuckled– was Victor really this happy at having sex with Yuuri? If you thought about it objectively, them having sex wasn’t the best idea. What if things got complicated? He’d still have to see Victor everyday and talk to him. Yuuri honestly didn’t know why he wasn’t more anxious about it.

 

“You have first shower, um, Hiroko should be calling me soon,” Yuuri whispered, breaking the silence and taking his hand away from where he was tracing patterns on Victor’s pec again. Yuuri sat up and got out of bed, careful to hide his mark as he backed into the bathroom to wipe off his stomach. He grabbed Victor’s large, black, silky robe and tied it around himself and emerged again. He hoped Victor would mind Yuuri borrowing it. When Yuuri entered the room, Victor smiled at him and kissed his temple, trading places with him in the bathroom.

 

-

 

“Yuuri?”

 

“Hey, Mum,” Yuuri greeted in Japanese as he watched the trees behind the palace blow in the wind. “I know you said you’d call me, but dinner’s soon and I’ll probably be heading straight to bed after that.” That wasn’t a total lie– he probably would be heading to bed not long after dinner, but he did have after-dinner specific plans. During their shower time trade, Victor had said they’d talk about things after dinner. Victor was in their bedroom, looking at his phone, smiling. (Though, Yuuri thought he wasn’t smiling solely because of his phone.) Yuuri was out on their ‘non-balcony,’ now dressed in black joggers and a shirt.

 

“That’s okay, Yuuri. Mari was going to clean the hot springs after dinner anyway, so now she’ll be here to talk to you,” Hiroko replied, not offering to hand over the phone. Yuuri didn’t really know what to say– Hiroko had said that they’d be the ones to ‘come clean.’

 

“So? Are you going to tell me?” Yuuri said, after a while of awkward silence.

 

“Well… Yuuri, first we wanted to ask you to come see us more. It’s understandable that you didn’t visit as often recently, but we miss you so much. We’re worried about you, Mari especially,” Hiroko admitted, to Mari’s annoyance.

 

“Of course! I’ll come down whenever. Maybe we set up a schedule– every fortnight or something… And I could call you twice a week. I’ll do whatever– I’ve missed you guys, too. Especially Mari,” Yuuri answered, giggling at the thought of Mari fuming at the other end of the line.

 

“Well, okay. Mari, do you want to tell him?– No?– Okay, I guess it’s just me then. So. While you went to university, Mari worked at a tattoo parlour for a while so she could save up some money to see a band that was going on tour through Kyushu, right?”

 

“Right.”

 

“And Mari might’ve been working on a night where Victor came in… He spoke to her, and requested a soulmark removal appointment. Meaning Victor has a soulmate, out there. And we know you might already know that– Victor might’ve told you that already, but it really freaked Mari when you married him. She was worried you two would get close, and then you would get hurt, Yuuri,” Hiroko said, her volume low like she was telling a big secret. Well, she was.

 

“A s-soulmate? Victor has a soulmate?” Yuuri whispered in shock. Victor fucked him even though he had a soulmate? Victor wanted Yuuri, even though he had a soulmate? Victor had his soulmark removed, even though he was a prince, and could probably have a search party look for them? Why didn’t Victor tell him? Should Yuuri still tell Victor about his own soulmark? Could it possibly make the whole ordeal easier? But Yuuri didn’t know if he could continue fucking Victor if he knew that somewhere out there, Victor had a soulmate. Victor deserved his soulmate. “That doesn’t really sound like a reason to be angry with me.”

 

“Well, it isn’t. It was an excuse to be angry at you, at someone. Mari just misses you, and she’s jealous of Victor. She wants to be the alpha taking care of you, she doesn’t want Victor replacing her.”

 

“Victor isn’t replacing Mari– Victor’s not my sister. And I think the guards around the palace do more protecting than Victor does. I still love you, Mari, okay? More than Victor, you’re my big sister, and I’ll always go to for advice and protection, trust me,” Yuuri promised, knowing Mari was standing right next to Hiroko and listening.

 

“I love you too, Yuuri,” Mari replied. “I’m sorry I was an asshole. Are you okay with the whole Victor Has a Soulmate thing?”

 

“I…” Yuuri started, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. Yuuri looked behind him and into their bedroom. “I’ll talk to him about it, I’m sure it’ll be okay,” Yuuri answered as a pit of dread settled in his stomach. “So, I’ve got to go, but I’m coming down to stay this weekend, okay?”

 

“Alright, Yuuri. I hope everything with Victor goes okay. We’ll see you in a couple days. Love you.” Yuuri hung up and walked inside, and then left the bedroom again to go to the dining room. He didn’t say anything to Victor– he figured that if he started to talk, he would talk about it, and then they would never stop. They had to go see Lilia and have dinner. 

 

“I texted Lilia as soon as we left, so she’s set us a place at the table, if you’re worried about that,” Victor assured Yuuri, trying to get rid of the concerned expression on his face. It didn’t work.

 

“Thanks,” Yuuri said, walking into the dining room. It looked like it usually did, Yuuri didn’t know why he thought the palace would drastically change if they planned to go away. Lilia and Yakov were inside, waiting for them.

 

“It’s seven ten,” Lilia grumbled as the pair walked in.

 

“At least we RSVP’d,” Victor replied, which made Yuuri chuckle. Lilia rolled her eyes and Yakov smirked.

 

“Where have you two been all afternoon, anyway? Did you get back like two and a half hours ago?” Lilia questioned as the maid came through from the kitchen, bring a dish of crumbed chicken and steamed vegetables.

 

“Chicken Kiev, really? I thought you’d plan something a bit messier while the boys were away,” Yakov commented as he eyed his dinner being loaded onto his plate by the maid. “Thank you, Deidra.”

 

“Chicken and vegetables are good for you, I actually planned to serve this while the boys were supposed to be away because we need to get something actually healthy into our bodies,” Lilia laughed as Deidra loaded her plate with veggies. Victor side-eyed Yuuri with amusement. “You two are vegetable-averse.”

 

“We eat healthily!” Victor argued, faking distress.

 

“Just because you work out at our gym six times a week and go ice skating six times a week does not mean you eat healthily, it just means you can afford to eat like you do without gaining weight and maintaining your muscle mass. You still need to eat fruits and vegetables, Victor,” Lilia scolded. Yuuri would’ve laughed then, but found he couldn’t. It was like everything around him was completely normal, but Yuuri was so different. Yuuri had changed. He was a different man know– a man on the verge of change. And a man who was no longer a virgin. He felt like everyone knew, or should be acting differently. He felt like everyone had seem them, he and Victor, fucking. Or at the very least heard them– but Yuuri’s logical mind told him that they did not know, and they would probably never know. Nothing had changed except for Yuuri, and even then, it wasn’t a big change. He just wasn’t a virgin anymore, it wasn’t a big deal. “So, you never answered my question. Where were you two this afternoon? You came in and hid in your bedroom.”

 

“Studies. I had studies,” Yuuri said, lying and gripping his knife and fork tightly. “I have an assessment coming up.” Now, that wasn’t a lie.

 

“You always have an assessment coming up, Yuuri,” Yakov grunted out through a mouthful of garlic-y chicken. “Maybe you should take a break.”

 

“You’d never say that to me, Yakov,” Victor whined, cutting up his chicken.

 

“Because you don’t need a break, Victor Nikiforov,” Yakov said, rolling his eyes. “You take enough already.”

 

Victor sighed heavily. “Well, since you all wanted to know,” Victor took a breath before continuing, making Yuuri’s own breathing stop, “I was playing with Maccachin. I feel I often don’t spend enough time with Maccachin.”

 

“Yes, because you’re too busy playing with Yuuri,” Lilia commented, smirking. Yuuri almost choked on his chicken.

 

-

 

“That was a long dinner,” Yuuri said awkwardly as he and Victor walked back to their room. Once they stepped inside and their scents greeted them, they both relaxed.

 

“Maybe they knew, and were trying to fuck us over,” Victor groaned, flopping down face-first on the unmade bed, which may have contained some of he and Yuuri’s… substances. And, their bed reeked of sex, but Victor couldn’t find it in himself to care. He even kind of liked it.

 

“I think you’re the one trying to fuck me over,” Yuuri joked, sitting on the bed next to Victor’s tired body. Victor rolled over to face him once he felt the bed dip.

 

“So,” Victor started, looking away from Yuuri. “We should probably talk about how we had sex.”

 

“Yeah,” Yuuri said while smiling down at Victor comfortingly. “I’m personally all for it.”

 

“Me too.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

Yuuri then shuffled to lay down next to Victor, almost gagging at the thick smell. Except it wasn’t a gag, he liked the smell. He wanted to smell it– it was like the opposite of a gag. A forceful inhalation, maybe. “Do you want to do it again?” Yuuri asked, deciding to start off small.

 

“Yeah. Yes. Definitely.”

 

“I do, too.” Yuuri yelped when Victor rolled over and covered his body with his. “Not now, Victor!” Yuuri laughed, and Victor felt the vibrations in his chest. Victor imagined it was kind of like purring. “So, we want to have sex. So, we should have sex.”

 

“We should have sex.”

 

“Well, then I guess I need to tell you something,” Yuuri started, his heartbeat beating faster than it normally did. Victor felt it, and began tracing patterns on Yuuri’s arm.

 

“I’m, uh, not sure why I didn’t tell you earlier, I probably should have,” Yuuri started. “You might already know– you might have already seen it. But, well, I have a soulmate. But I don’t want to find them.” Victor head poked up in confusion– he didn’t want to find them? Should he not tell Yuuri about his discovery? Victor put his head back on Yuuri’s chest again, not wanting to alarm the other man. “I mean, I do. Well, no. I just mean, I wouldn’t mind if I met them, or something. I’m not actively trying to find them, or anything. Really, I’d just prefer to keep having sex with you, and just not think about the whole soulmate thing. Is… is that okay?”

 

“Of course, Yuuri,” Victor said without hesitation. He had planned to break the news to him that he did know they were soulmates, but decided against it. He would do it later– maybe go out for dinner and make love to him first or something. “I don’t mind. It’s okay.”

 

Yuuri nodded, wondering if Victor would tell him about his own soulmate. But, Yuuri guessed that if he’d gotten rid of his mark, he didn’t want to bring it up, and just forget about it.

 

“Can we actually have sex now?” Victor asked. 

 

Yuuri went to kiss Victor, but stopped when he heard a knock on the door. Yuuri was thankful for the double brick walls.

 

“Yuuri? Is Yuuri in there? I need to talk to him,” Lilia called, waiting for a response. Yuuri’s eyes widened. Had he done something wrong? Did Lilia actually know that they fucked? Was that really bad? Or had he done something even worse. “It won’t take a moment– we could even just talk out in the hall. I would come in but you two are sweaty, horny boys and it probably stinks and looks like a trashcan in there.” Yuuri took a deep breath and moved to the door, Victor giving him a peck on his jaw as he did. Yuuri opened the door and saw Lilia standing there, waiting for him. She had her iPad tucked under her arm and seemingly new cream coloured heels on. Her hair was down– a rare occasion– and she didn’t look wildly angry. Her nails were manicured with a deep red colour, and she’d put fake lashes on. She looked like she always did, minus her bun. She most likely wasn’t mad at him, but then again, Lilia could be unpredictable. “Good evening, Yuuri. Do you think you could pop down to my office for just a minute?” Her voice was cool and collected. Her voice was always cool and collected. (He’d never heard her say ‘pop down’ though. Was she trying to be friendly, or something? Did she think Yuuri was the kind of person to ‘pop’ somewhere? Because he wasn’t.)

 

“Yeah, sure,” Yuuri agreed, following Lilia down their short hall and down stairs, into the billiard room, past Yakov and Lilia’s bedroom, eyed the wide, glass gym door, and followed Lilia into her double doored office. Lilia shut the door behind him with a low thud, and her heard the handle return to it’s original position. Lilia gestured to the green, leather chair that sat in front of her desk. She set her iPad down next to her computer which was to her right. Yuuri took a seat, and awaited news.

 

“So, I know you’ve been studying at university for the past few months and I also know that end of semester is coming up in less than a month. I also know that you have been doing very well,” Lilia paused to open her laptop to her left and type something into the address bar. “I was contacted by Kyushu University this morning, and they let me know that because of your status and how well you’re doing, they’d love to have you around for a mired of events during the next six months. There was talk of you even being around for graduation in March. Apparently they don’t often have freshman around to give speeches, but they’d love to have you make some. They asked me to ask you, if you’d like to meet up with the Dean and his team to talk about things.”

 

“They want me to give a speech at graduation?” Yuuri asked, dumbfounded.

 

“Yes, among other things,” Lilia confirmed.

 

“I’m not sure… I’m not good in front of crowds.”

 

“Well, if not give speeches then I’m sure there are a heap of other things they’d like you to do. Of course, you don’t have to do this, but you are in the public eye now, and Victor works with heaps of charities, it’s a little expected of you to participate in these sorts of things. You’re probably hating Victor right about now, I know, but it really would do you some good to do this,” Lilia informed him, turning her laptop around. “Look at your grades– how can you not want to show off how good you are?”

 

“Wait, what? Why would I be hating Victor?” Yuuri asked, his nails raking along his hands in his lap. Yuuri ignored the comment about his boast-worthy grades. (Yuuri would admit, they were good. There was a reason he thought he could save his parents inn alone.)

 

“Well, because he declined me offering him freedom– on his birthday, when I said he didn’t have to be king because of the whole father situation, didn’t you know about that? I assumed he told you when he told you about Ivan and Alexander,” Lilia explained, her brows furrowing and her bottom lip sticking out.

 

“No, he didn’t… Why did he decline? I thought he hated being here– no offence,” Yuuri asked.

 

“He didn’t say, but I assume it was because of you. He probably didn’t want to kick you out after you being settled for only a week or two, or maybe just simply because he liked you– I’m not sure. You’d have to ask him yourself. Can’t really believe he declined it just for you. So, will you do it?”

 

“Yeah. I’ll do it,” Yuuri answered, feeling sure of himself. It was the least he could do for Victor, after he’d evaded his dream just to get to know him.

Chapter Text

Maybe he should just get it removed or maybe he shouldn’t have told Victor at all, Yuuri thought. Victor was in the gym, doing sit-ups, and Yuuri was in the adjoining bathroom. He was naked– Victor had asked him to be. But Yuuri didn’t like being naked, especially in a room with three meters of wall-to-floor mirrors. Yuuri had been working out– they’d both just come back from the rink. Yuuri worked out, sweated the room with his pheromones as Victor dealt with a business phone call. Half an hour later, Victor walks in, gets horny, Yuuri got horny, and they worked out together. Yuuri went to shower, and Victor asked Yuuri to wait for him. So, he was waiting for him. And he definitely wasn’t horny. He probably would be after Victor walked in, all sweaty and aroused. But for now, Yuuri was staring at his soulmark. He really should get it removed. Should he talk about it with Victor first? Should he ask for the other man’s opinion? Victor would notice, and then ask questions, so maybe it was better if Yuuri warned Victor first. Yuuri’s finger traced over the mark a few inches below his bum. Yuuri shook his head and turned around, trying to get the mark out of his head. He’d get it removed. But, then, turning around came with Yuuri seeing his body. He’d filled out his muscles since he’d gotten to the palace but his old, now white, stretch marks were still there, littering his hips and butt and thighs. He’d shaved since the first time he and Victor had slept together. It meant that a few days after said shaving, Yuuri, sitting on Victor’s face, had gotten a burn. A beard burn, sort of. A pure burn. It had been embarrassing, but Victor still found him sexy, apparently. Having sex was all they’d done the past week– it was almost constant. And, Yuuri loved it. He’d wake up to a horny Victor, and go to bed with a horny Victor.  Yuuri didn’t know how Victor had contained it for the past six months. Victor always wanted to be inside of Yuuri– and Yuuri always wanted Victor inside of him. Which was why he was nervous about the coming weekend, when Yuuri would go stay at his parents house. Victor had wanted to come, but Yuuri had told him not to since things were still cooling down in that area. He’d take Victor back when things were really okay again, and Mari was no longer suspicious of his intentions.

 

The bathroom door opened and Yuuri jumped back, his cock swelling at the sight of Victor, without a shirt, and sweat glistening down his torso. Yuuri smirked and jumped into the spacious shower, waiting for him.

 

-

 

“Is this weird?” Victor asked when they hopped into a grey limo. Yuuri had already taken his seat and was sitting stiffly, staring at the leather interior.

 

“No, I’ve just never been in a limo before,” Yuuri said, looking at Victor who was seated next to him and was closing the door.

 

“No, I mean, is this whole thing weird. Me taking you out to dinner– we’ve never done this before,” Victor asked. It was weird, even if Yuuri didn’t think so. They’d spoken about this– they said they were going to have sex. They said they both wanted sex, but they never said anything about wanting anything more. But dinner, going out to dinner in a limo in expensive suits, that did sound like more. The kisses they shared when Yakov or Lilia wasn’t looking were more, (which was ironic since they had to pretend to be together in front of everyone else, but pretend to not be together in front of their families.) Which was why Victor was going to tell him– tonight, he’d tell him that they were soulmates. Victor really should’ve told him sooner– probably when he’d first seen the mark.

 

“Oh, no. It’s just dinner.” Just dinner. Did Yuuri not want things to be more? Did he not want Victor as his soulmate? Or, because he was Victor’s soulmate, did he already love him? Did he hide it? Did he want to tell the other man how much he loved him at every opportunity, too? Maybe that’s how Victor should start it– start the conversation about them being soulmates. ‘Yuuri, before I tell you this, I want you to know that I love you. I know we only starting sleeping together last week, but I love you.’ Eh, no. He shouldn’t say that, it sounded like he was setting the conversation up for bad news. ‘Yuuri, I have something exciting to share with you. I love you, and we’re soulmates.’ No, not that either. Victor didn’t know what he would say– he’d been thinking about it all day. When he was fucking Yuuri on the shower wall, he was thinking about it. His eyes were always trained on the mark, it was hard not to think about it.

 

Victor looked over at Yuuri– he looked really good in his suit. He’d bought a new one just for this occasion, of course, Victor had as well, but it felt more important that Yuuri had bought something new than it did with Victor. Victor was always buying new things. Yuuri’s suit was a dark blue. His blazer was a metallic dark blue, shining and shimmering. He’d forgone the tie, and settled with his white, pleated dress shirt. Victor looked down at Yuuri’s wrists, where his very own cufflinks sat. The baby blue ones that Yuuri had given him. Earlier in the night, Victor had fastened them on for him with a smile, and a promise to take them off later in the evening.

 

“Uh, the place we’re going to is really nice,” Victor started. “It’s fancy, but I booked us a really private, secluded area, so you won’t have to interact with other fancy people. And we’ll only be in the public eye for a few minutes– enough for them to snap some pictures but not so much that they trample us and shove their twenty-pound cameras in our face.”

 

“That’s good to know,” Yuuri replied, smiling. Yuuri grabbed Victor’s hand and intertwined it with his own. Yuuri dropped his head onto the headrests and breathed in the pleasant smell of fresh leather and Victor’s own happy, pheromones. Yuuri giggled when at the smell, they always boosted his own mood.

 

“Your suit is so pretty,” Yuuri said, after a while. Victor watched Yuuri stare at him, openly stare and drink him in. Victor looked down at his suit– yeah, it was kind of pretty. He was wearing a dark green, blackwatch check suit that was also almost metallic. His vest was also dark green and checked, and unlike Yuuri, his blazer was unbuttoned, and he’d gone for the tie. He’d picked a dark blue metallic one, just to match Yuuri. To show the whole world that, yes, we’re together– he’s mine.

 

“Thank you, Yuuri, but I don’t think it’s as pretty as yours, or you in general,” Victor told Yuuri, making the omega blush.

 

“You’re far more pretty than I am,” Yuuri giggled, moving his head from the headrest to Victor’s shoulder. Their joined hands rested on Yuuri’s lap.

 

“Yuuri, can I ask you something?”

 

“Of course,” Yuuri replied. Yuuri looked up at him and smiled.

 

“What do you think the future will be like?” Yuuri looked confused. “I mean, I feel like we’re going somewhere– we’re training all the time and you said yourself you’d like to start making programs. And, me, I’m almost finished my work with Naked Heart Foundation. And you have that thing with your university. We’re riding a limo and going out for dinner,” Victor said, trying to convey what he was feeling without directly saying it. It was hard; Victor couldn’t fully open himself up if he tried.

 

“Didn’t you just say what we’re doing?”

 

“I mean… I feel different, I feel like we’re doing something different. I’m not sure where it’s going or what it’s called,” Victor said. He didn’t really know what he was saying or what he was trying to achieve– maybe just some insight into Yuuri’s mind.

 

“Are you talking about the skating or the sex?”

 

“I don’t know. Never mind, it’s stupid. I just feel weird.”

 

“It’s not stupid. I think… I feel it too,” Yuuri admitted. “Sometimes I worry about the future, about the sex. The sex and the future,” Yuuri chuckled. “But, I know it’ll be okay, because you have my back, and I’ve got yours. Right?”

 

Victor’s body relaxed. “Right.” Victor wanted to ask, what Yuuri was so worried about, it wasn’t like he was about to change their lives forever.

 

“Are you worried about the sex, and the future?” Yuuri asked, squeezing Victor’s hand in comfort. Victor knew he shouldn’t be worried about the future, he was about the seal the deal with Yuuri and show him his mark. He shouldn’t be scared of something like that. But, something inside him curled about and made him feel queasy. What if Yuuri didn’t except it? What if he lost Yuuri?

 

Victor didn’t say anything for a while. He thought it made Yuuri worry, too. “I’m scared you’re going to leave me,” Victor whispered.

 

“I’m not going to leave you, I literally can’t,” Yuuri said with confidence.

 

“That’s what I’m worried about,” Victor blurted, his frustration rising. He wanted to tell Yuuri everything, that he was about to say something big and huge and he was probably going to do it the wrong way, or Yuuri would hate what he said no matter how he said it, and he’d leave. (But Victor didn’t get like this, he never got this insecure. He kept his head held high, and he trusted the people around him.)

 

“What do you mean?” Victor wanted to say, ‘I’m scared you’ll leave me, not physically, but emotionally, and we’ll still have to sleep in the same bed and it’ll make everything worse.’

 

The car came to a stop, and the driver knocked on the partition to let them know they had arrived. Victor pressed his lips together into a thin line and opened the door, stepping out. Yuuri followed him out and eyed the restaurant. Victor did too, and he no longer looked forward to their private seating. Would he have to tell Yuuri right now? Would Yuuri push it out of him? Victor took steps towards the restaurant and paused at the short, brick stairs that lead to the door. He felt Yuuri behind him, and his breath at his ear.

 

“You can come to me in your own time, you know. You don’t have to rush,” Yuuri assured him, but the lowness in his voice, and how his hot breath felt against his ear, it almost sounded seductive. Katsuki Yuuri, seducing Victor Nikiforov with comforting words.

 

Victor let himself smile, and let it Yuuri see it. He mouthed ‘thank you’ to Yuuri as he walked up the steps to the tinted glass door. The inside of the place was glowing, literally glowing. It was like a nightclub, except it was actually just a super fancy restaurant. When Yuuri thought of fancy restaurants, he thought of dark, polished wood and leather and a menu that didn’t have prices and old men in suits. Not a pink, glowing bar with at least one shirtless bartender. The tables looked relatively sane, they didn’t glow, but the table-coverings were layered with silk and transparent fabric and what looked like cellophane. The chairs were draped with white silk, and they kind of looked like little ghosts. They did look comfy, though. The whole place looked like a restaurant, a flashy gay bar and the bored kids of old, ridiculously rich men came together and made this. Yuuri kind of hated but, but the music that they played was kinda cool. Kinda.

 

There was a pink, glowing stand in the corner, and a girl in activewear stood behind it. Victor dragged Yuuri to her and said “Nikiforov,” but the girl waved off him like she didn’t need a name. Well, she didn’t, he was Victor Nikiforov. The girl in the activewear eyed him and smiled at him playfully like they had some inside joke. Her eyes fluttered to Victor and back to Yuuri and smiled again. Yuuri’s eyes drifted to Victor and found him leaning close to her, one elbow on the glowing stand and his sparkling eyes staring at her.

 

“Such a nice place, don’t you think?” Yuuri heard Victor say in a sultry voice. Not the voice he used when he was trying to be sultry to Yuuri, which reassured Yuuri. But why he was being almost sultry to this girl in activewear baffled Yuuri– he was an attractive prince, he didn’t need to convince her to do anything for him. Then it clicked– why the girl was smiling playfully at him, almost laughing. Yuuri smiled back as if to say ‘yeah, he is a stupid alpha who can’t help himself.’ The girl giggled, and Yuuri giggled back.

 

“What? Do I have something on my face? In my hair?” Victor questioned instantly, looking into the tinted window and checking his hair and face, which only made Yuuri and the girl laugh even more.

 

“Your table is just through there,” the girl said, pointing to a pair of panelled, sliding doors.

 

“C’mon, Victor,” Yuuri said, chuckling and slinging an arm around Victor’s shoulders and guiding him away from the girl. Victor still didn’t understand what had just happened, but went with it anyway, giggling. Yuuri pushed open the door and let himself and Victor in, closing the door behind him. Yuuri saw a flash of a camera as he slid the door back to it’s original position. The room was a little dimmer than it was out there, but it was still glowing, and Victor’s face looked a little pink from the light. The room was quite spacious for how little they needed to put in it. There was a clear, plastic coat hanger, and Victor shrugged off his blazer, leaving him in just his vest and shirt. Yuuri opted to leave his on. The was a white, leather, cushioned bench against the wall, and in the middle was a clear, glass table with a transparent fabric over it. The chairs were clear too, and Yuuri imagined what it would look like if he sat in them naked. God, Yuuri didn’t want that image in his mind.

 

“Wow,” Victor said, taking in the room as he sat down. Yuuri sat down too and admired Victor’s face in the unique, pink light. It made his eyes look cool.

 

“This is nice, thank you for taking me here,” Yuuri said, his voice quit, as if he was going to disturb the classy atmosphere in the room.

 

“This is at much for me as it is for you,” Victor chuckled, reaching for Yuuri’s hand across the table, but snaking around the standing, laminated menus and salt and pepper shakers. “I get to have a meal  with you without Lilia or Yakov sitting across from me.” Yuuri laughed at that– Victor liked Yuuri’s laugh and the way his nose scrunched up. Victor hoped he would get to hear that laugh for the rest of his life, but in the back of his mind, he knew there was a chance we wouldn’t, so he tried to memorise it as much as he could.

 

“I thought you liked eating with Lilia and Yakov.”

 

“What in the world are you talking about? I would like to be seated next to Ms Lecture and Mr Head in a Newspaper as little as possible!” Victor exclaimed, waving his hands around in the air.

 

“Really? Then why do you insist we make it back for lunch after skating? And why do you always insist on taking first shower so you don’t miss breakfast? It’s not like you can’t ask the chef to make you whatever you would like,” Yuuri accused.

 

“I’m just being polite,” Victor said, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms across his torso.

 

“To me, or to Lilia?”

 

“To you both– you get to see me walk out of the shower without a shirt on, and Lilia gets to talk to me about our distant cousins, it all works out,” Victor joked, grabbing a wine menu.

 

“Admit Victor, you love having Lilia and Yakov around,” Yuuri teased. “And, you definitely would make you walk out of the shower topless, with clouds of steam billowing out behind you if I showered first. You know, sometimes I think you purposely don’t turn on the fan just for the effect.”

 

“It opens up my pores,” Victor whispered. “But, fine, I guess I do like have family around…” Victor admitted, leaning forward again. The teasing made Victor realise that if Yuuri did reject him and spend the rest of their time together pretending he didn’t exist or doing something similar, he still had Lilia and Yakov. He always had Yakov Lilia. (Until they died, Victor wouldn’t know what to do with himself if that happened.)

 

A silence followed but was interrupted by a knock at the door and a waiter stepping him. “Would you two like to order drinks? Wine, perhaps?” The waiter looked so nervous he looked constipated. Poor guy.

 

“Ah, yes. We’d like this pinot noir, please.” Victor held out the menu and pointed to a wine. “Would you like to order something in particular, darling?” Victor said, and it was clear it was for show. Victor should really not tease the boy who looked like he’d shit himself.

 

“Mm, no thank you, Vitya,” Yuuri purred, watching the boy turn purple, like hearing the prince’s diminutive was a crime. The waiter nodded and quickly stepped out, and Yuuri and Victor heard the boy sigh loudly once he’d closed the door behind him. Yuuri looked down and covered his face, suppressing a laugh.

 

“Are people always that scared of you?” Yuuri asked, his voice high and strained.

 

Victor laughed, “sometimes.”

 

“God, you’re horrible,” Yuuri laughed. Yuuri uncovered his face and smiled, the corners of his eyes crinkling. Victor’s eyes crinkled back.

 

A minute later, a different waiter returned with the bottle of wine and two glasses, gave a brief, concise description and left quickly. At least he wasn’t as bad as the last one. Victor opened the bottle himself and poured some for each of them. Victor swirled his wine and smelled it before taking a sip.

 

“Oh my god, Victor, you’re twenty-two, not forty. Do not tell me you’re a wine snob,” Yuuri groaned, taking a sip of his own. Yuuri didn’t note much about the wine– it just tasted like wine.

 

“I may be a little bit of a wine snob, but my mother used to be really into wines– she used to drag me to tastings all the time. It was hard not to become a snob,” the Russian argued. “Plus, wine is really good. I wish Lilia would serve it more with dinner. I know Yakov would agree with that.”

 

“Of course you’re from a family of wine snobs,” Yuuri heckled. “What’s your favourite wine?” Yuuri asked anyway.

 

“Any mulled wine is magnificent, seriously.”

 

“I’ve never had mulled wine before,” Yuuri admitted. Victor stared back in horror.

 

“What!?” Victor slammed his hands on the table in disbelief.

 

“I’m not a huge drinker of wine or alcohol in general,” Yuuri told him, swirling his pinot noir.

 

“One day, I’m going to take you to some place in Europe, and I’m going to give you some mulled wine, and you will thank me forever,” Victor said, placing a hand on his chest. Yuuri nodded, thinking about a trip to Europe with Victor. They’d been everywhere, lately. They’d been to St. Petersburg, and they were constantly going back and forth between the palace and Yuuri’s house. It did seem like Victor wanted to be anywhere but there.

 

Later, another waiter came in to read out specials, and Yuuri ordered prime ribs to go with the wine upon Victor’s recommendation, and Victor ordered salmon. They enjoyed their meals so much, that during the eating period, they barely said anything to each other at all. They just watched each other eat, and Victor savoured it all– the way Yuuri covered his mouth if a bite had been a little messy, the way he groaned at his first bite, the way Victor sometimes caught Yuuri staring at him.

 

Once they finish their meals, almost as if on cue, another waiter comes in and clears their plates, listing the dessert menu. Yuuri looks at Victor as if to say ‘please.’ His eyes are widened and doe-y and he’s begging. Victor nods, knowing they don’t have much of a diet anyway, and orders a plate of baklava to share. Yuuri grins and bounces in his seat.

 

“Thank you,” Yuuri says, playing with his unused napkin. “And thank you for taking me out like this, I really am enjoying it.”

 

“Me too,” Victor replied, eyes turning to the sliding door as it opened, and a waiter walked in, carrying the baklava. “Have you ever had baklava before, Yuuri?”

 

“Mm. no. What is it?” Yuuri asked, looking at the syrup soaked pastry layered dessert.

 

“It’s pastry layered with this kind of nutty paste, and the like, soaked, in syrup. That makes it sound less appealing, but it’s really good. This is the only place in Japan that has it– when I’m in Russia or Europe I eat it constantly,” Victor explained. Yuuri nodded his head and looked at the small squares. He loved Victor, but this didn’t sound… that appetising. Plus, it looked messy to eat– Yuuri presumed they’d be fucking after, and how would Victor stay hard if he had the image of Yuuri with syrupy hands and a syrupy chin, wiping his mess everywhere, out of his mind? The prime ribs had been bad enough. Yuuri took a deep breath and picked a small square, all while Victor watched intently. The dessert had already gotten Yuuri’s fingered. Luckily, the square was small enough to completely fit in his mouth, Yuuri just hoped he wouldn’t look like a slob while doing it. Yuuri opened wide, and eat ate the thing. Yuuri’s eyes widened– okay, that was good. The nuttiness balanced out with the syrup and the pastry was amazing. Yuuri still probably looked like a slob, though.

 

“Mmmmm, this is very good,” Yuuri moaned, bouncing in the seat. The first time Yuuri had bounced in his seat, Victor had just been glad Yuuri was exited, but now, as the evening wore on, the movement now reminded Victor of Yuuri riding him, and thoughts of what was to come after their date(?) entered Victor’s mind. He shovelled in a piece of baklava to steer his mind away. It tasted good, but there wasn’t as much syrup as Victor would’ve liked.

 

“I’ll also have to take you to some place in Europe to give you some more of this,” Victor commented, licking his fingers.

 

(Of course, Victor eating something messy would be sexy– why didn’t Yuuri think of that?)

 

-

 

The limo ride back felt a lot longer than it did the way there, unfortunately. The conversation they’d had in the limo previously lingered in Yuuri’s mind, reminding him of all the vague things Victor had said, and all of the stupidly open things Yuuri had said. Yuuri almost thought of bringing it up again, or just simply talking about things when they got back. Yuuri knew they’d talked about what they were doing after the first time they’d had sex, but Yuuri felt like they’d both been holding back, and they hadn’t really said anything that the other didn’t know. Yuuri thought that was mostly because Yuuri just hadn’t known what to say, he didn’t even know what he’d want to get out of having sex with Victor. He found him attractive obviously, and if Yuuri had his way, he’d want to be constantly riding him. But, Yuuri didn’t know if he wanted anything else from Victor, and he didn’t know what he wanted their future to be like. He’d flittered between being having crushes on Victor like he had in high school, but he didn’t know if that could turn into something more. He knew he always wanted Victor around, whether it was for sex purposes or not. He wanted to keep skating with Victor and keep trying new food with him. But, they already did that– did that mean Yuuri didn’t want anything to change? That he was fine with how things were? No, of course not– well, he did like their arrangement, but it was nothing long term, and knowing that they could fuck up their arrangement at any point scared Yuuri, he hated not knowing what the future would be like. But there was something else, something not right, and Yuuri couldn’t put his finger on it. He sensed Victor knew something wasn’t quite right either, but maybe he had a better grasp on it. Maybe Victor would evade the whole sex thing and properly talk to him.

 

Victor looked over at him, and his pupils were blown and he smelled like want. Yuuri didn’t think they’d be talking anytime soon. The car eventually pulled up outside the palace, and Victor pulled Yuuri out of the limo, kissing him and running his fingers down his lapels. Yuuri smiled and pulled away, closing the door to the limo and pushing Victor up the stairs to the grand entrance. Yuuri waved at the guards there and pushed the door open, letting Victor and himself in. Their leather dress shoes clacked against the marble floor, and the two looked at the newly polished floors. Lilia must have done a big spring clean, or something. (Or not Lilia, rather the maids did.) The two walked past the stairs and the entrances to the dining room and parlour. Victor pulled open the double doors to their section, and lead him down the short hallway, past the spare bathroom, past the library, and past the small bar that never got used. (Victor promised himself that one day he and Yuuri would get shitfaced there. Victor had always wanted to get off-his-face drunk in the palace, but he’d never managed to. And, he didn’t have anyone to get drunk with.)

 

Yuuri giggled as he opened their white double doors into their bedroom. The bed was made, and Yuuri swore he needed to rebuild his nest their soon. He eyed Victor’s desk, a step down, in the southern part of the room, where the couch and game consoles lived, and where Yuuri’s very own desk was. Yuuri grinned and took Victor hand and led them away from the bed, instead taking them to Victors old, dark, wooden desk.

 

“I want you to fuck me on this,” Yuuri whispered, pushing Victor’s suit jacket off of him and leaning against the wood. Yuuri turned to move Victor’s files to the right, making sure to stick his ass out a little bit as he did. He then met Victor’s eyes– he looked a little dazed– and hopped onto the desk. Yuuri bit his lip. “Don’t you want me here, on this? Where you sit, every day?”

 

“Yes,” Victor whispered.

 

“I can’t hear you,” Yuuri replied, knowing he very well could. Yuuri let his fingers brush Victor’s jaw. “What do you want?”

 

“I want to fuck you, right here,” Victor almost growled out, pushing his and Yuuri’s foreheads together. Victor quickly pecked Yuuri’s lips, unable to help himself, before taking a few steps back and beginning to unbutton his vest. Yuuri watched, swinging his legs underneath him and waiting as Victor shrugged off his vest and began unbuttoning his dress shirt. Yuuri got tired from watching Victor fumbled with his buttons eventually, and pushed away his own blazer, and getting rid of his pleated dress shirt. They were both shirtless soon, and Yuuri looked at Victor’s muscled chest. He looked at Victor’s large pecs, and remembered the way and traced patterns into them with his fingernails when they were coming down.

 

Yuuri smiled and pulled Victor towards him by his belt and began unbuckling it. “I love your belts, do they use real leather? They feel so good against my fingers,” Yuuri told him, pulling the belt from the loops. “I like looking at the dark leather and finding your erection, trapped, just below them.”

 

“Real leather, glad you like them,” Victor said, as if saying anything more would be too overwhelming, or would take his focus away from Yuuri for too long. Yuuri laughed, and Victor looked up at him, happiness filling him at the sound. Yuuri threw the belt onto the couch behind them and popped the button on Victor’s slacks. He loved that blunt, quiet, ‘thup’ noise that came with it. And, the ‘zzz’ of the zipper below that, being pulled down. Yuuri felt Victor’s hard dick underneath his fingers as he did so. Yuuri moved his hands away then, happy with his work. He moved to pull Victor down for a kiss, something that he’d want to do, something that had been clawing inside of him since they’d gotten home. It was an open-mouthed kiss, with tongue and clacking teeth. Yuuri kicked off his shoes and ran his socked feet up and down Victor’s slacks. His toes approached the top of them. Yuuri began to shimmy them down, proud of himself that he could actually do so. Victor giggled into the kiss and took Yuuri’s head into his hands, his large hands resting on his jaw. Victor smiled and pulled him even closer. Yuuri pushed the slacks down to Victor’s claves, in which he couldn’t reach any further. Victor kicked them off, along with his shoes, and set to work on Yuuri’s own, shiny, dark blue slacks. Yuuri awkwardly shimmied them off. Looking concerned as Victor pulled them off and flung them across the room, to land on the floor where Maccachin would surely trample all over them. RIP Metallic Blue Slacks.

 

“Mm, Victor,” Yuuri gasped as soon as his slacks were gone, exposing his blue underwear, that now carried slick and was sporting a large, wet patch. “Wet for you,” Yuuri whispered, taking Victor’s fingers and pressed them against his sex.

 

“Fuck, Yuuri,” Victor purred, rubbing Yuuri’s pussy through his underwear. Yuuri smiled and used his own hands to reach for Victor’s cock, bulging against his black thong.

 

“Aren’t these uncomfortable?” Yuuri asked, tugging at the waistband. Victor just shook his head, pulling the underwear off. Victor almost always wore a black thong, and it puzzled Yuuri to no end. If Yuuri had a normally sized penis, he would not be wearing thongs– wasn’t he the one who was supposed to wear thongs and lacy underwear?

 

“I just like dressing up for you, half of the reason I still go the gym on top of our ice skating practice is for you,” Victor whispered directly into Yuuri’s ear. Yuuri shivered and his eyes rolled backwards, the thought almost sending him into a frenzy. He wrapped his bare legs around Victor’s hips and pulled him closer, slotting Victor’s perfect cock against his covered cunt. Suddenly, or not so suddenly, considering the circumstances, an idea popped into Yuuri’s head.

 

“Mm, Victor, can I ask you something?” Yuuri asked, his voice high pitched and pleading as he grabbed Victor’s erection and started stroking it. Victor’s breath hitched and he let out a groan. Victor nodded frantically, while Yuuri found the base of Victor’s cock, where a knot would inflate.

 

“Can you knot outside of a rut?” Yuuri asked, breathily, knowing full well what the answer would be.

 

“Yeah, of course. I usually just hold it back, but d-do you want me to? To knot you?” Victor asked, his voice small and hopeful, but still charged full of lust.

 

“God, yes. I want your knot, Victor, please,” Yuuri whined, like an omega in heat. Victor tipped his head back, groaning and blushing, the thought of his knot filling Yuuri, tying them together.

 

Victor barely grunted out a “yes,” before pushing Yuuri’s underwear to the side and exposing his dark pussy. Victor swiped his thumb against the slick, before pushing in two fingers to Yuuri’s delight, just to pick up some slick. “God, Yuuri,” Victor moaned, taking away his fingers and scissoring them to show the strands of slick that stretched between his two fingers. Yuuri blushed at the crude display. Victor grunted and grabbed his cock, pushing all the way into Yuuri without warning.

 

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Yuuri chanted, grabbing onto the edge of the desk and lifting his legs higher on Victor’s torso, opening himself up. Victor relaxed when he was fully seated inside Yuuri, his breathing slowing. Victor gripped Yuuri’s thigh, his thumb pressed just under Yuuri’s soulmark, and moved out and pushed back in once, before he noticed the mark.

 

Yuuri didn’t miss the way Victor’s eyes drifted to the orange and blue mark. He felt Victor’s thumb brush over it.

 

“I’m going to get it removed,” Yuuri blurted. Victor looked to him, his face a little shocked. He almost looked scared or horrified. Yuuri pressed his lips together, deciding not to dwell on it. Maybe Victor regretted removing his, or something. “Can you move, now? I need you to move.” Victor nodded, moving his hand to cover the mark, and began thrusting, the desk underneath them creaking just a little. Victor moved swiftly in out of Yuuri, and he watched his length disappear and reappear, each time, coated in just a little bit more slick each time. Yuuri sagged back against the wall, his torso curving in a way that didn’t look comfortable, creating a million tiny little belly rolls. Victor smiled at him and increased his thrusts, trying to get as quick as possible. Yuuri was openly moaning now, and it was different from their first time together, where they barely made a sound. Now, the desk was creaking, Victor was breathing very hard and Yuuri was looking up at the ceiling in a lustful daze, letting out moans and little breathy whimpers, and the occasional curse. The sight was thrilling, having a moaning, pleasured omega underneath him. Victor leant forward, trying to get more of the smell that was clouding around them. Victor nosed Yuuri’s oiled scent glands, ‘ahhh’ing at the scent, and the feel of them against his tongue as he lapped at them.

 

“Fuck, Victor, you feel so good,” Yuuri began, squeezing his walls against Victor. “I wish I could feel like this always. I’ve wanted this for a long time too, when I was in heat– can you imagine that, Victor?– I always thought of you. Even before we got married, I’ve wanted you so badly,” he rambled, his voice breathless. Victor had never heard Yuuri talk like that during sex, but he loved it so much. He always wanted to feel like this too, he wanted Yuuri to be clenching around him, talking about how much he needed him and smelling like a dream. Victor could already feel his knot catching inside of Yuuri. “Oh, shit, Victor, I can feel it. Your knot, I c-can feel it, feels so good.” Victor came quickly with a grunt, his knot filling them and tying them together. Victor was now starting to rethink his wish of Yuuri talking him during sex– it drove him to the edge far too quickly.

 

Yuuri milked Victor, squeezing him. Victor squeezed his eyes shut at the sensation, and his head fell against Yuuri’s chest. “Couch, couch, please,” Yuuri said, tapping Victor’s shoulder. Victor, without complaint or hesitation, lifted Yuuri off of his desk, eyeing the pool of slick where they’d connected and walked over to the couch. They fell onto the blue couch, Yuuri resting on top of Victor, almost like their positions had been switched, with Victor now sporting the tiny belly rolls.

 

“Sit up a little bit?” Yuuri asked, still feeling the knot in his stomach, tight, wanting to be released. Victor complied and inhaled quickly when he felt Yuuri moving slightly, grinding down on him, and moving Victor’s cock inside him. Yuuri hummed and closed his eyes, feeling the pull inside him. He choked on a moan when Victor grabbed his cocklet and started stroking it. He came a moment after that, the feeling of Victor being everywhere pushing him over. His muscles tensed and shocks ran through him, capturing him in pleasure, before releasing him. Yuuri smiled, pleased, and kissed Victor, collapsing in his arms. “How long does this thing last?” Yuuri mumbled into Victor's neck, giving it a peck as he did so. Victor giggled at the sensation.

 

“Fifteen minutes out of rut, half an hour in,” Victor informed.

 

“For future reference?” Yuuri asked, his fingers drifting to Victor’s big pec. (Yuuri sort of wanted to marry those pecs.) Victor just laughed in response, kissing Yuuri’s head.

 

“So…” Yuuri whispered, and they both laughed. “What are your plans for tomorrow?” They both laughed even more at the casualty of it. “I’m serious!”

 

“Well, tomorrow you’ll be at your parents’, so I’m going to be attempting all those hard jumps that you never let me do. And then, I’m going to finalise some things for the summer fundraisers at Naked Heart and pick a date to go sign a big check for all the money I personally fundraised, and then give it to them. They’ll be heaps of photos and I’ll be interviewed and stuff like that. What are you going to do at your parents’?”

 

“I don’t know– probably missing you,” Yuuri sighed. “Skate with Yuuko, visit Minako and eat lots of katsudon.”

 

“That doesn’t sound so bad.”

 

“It would be better with you.”

 

-

 

Okay. Now was the time. It was go time. Yuuri had come out of the shower boxer clad and was looking at the covered photos in his hand. Victor hadn’t even looked at them when he’d pulled them out– he was scared of what they’d do to him. Would they destroy him? Open up all these memories and destroy him? Would he cry? Would Yuuri take one look at them, decide it was too much and utterly destroy Victor? Would Yuuri leave tomorrow and decide he didn’t want to come back? Or, would he come back, and they’d live the rest of their lives in denial and silence?

 

Victor shook his head, no, that wouldn’t happen. Everyone wanted to find their soulmate, and Victor knew Yuuri did already find him sexually attractive. Even if Yuuri didn’t want things to turn out the way things usually did with soulmates, they’d probably talk it out. They wouldn’t live the rest of their lives hating each other, or on non-speaking terms.

 

“Whats that?” Yuuri asked, his voice breathless, but not in the way it was during sex– breathless in an anxious way, as if he already knew something was big was happening. Victor’s jaw clenched and he looked down at the back of the photos that sat against his boxers that matched the pattern of his suit. (He’d almost worn them with the suit, if he didn’t want to impress Yuuri so bad.)

 

“I want to show you something, Yuuri,” Victor said as carefully as he could, his voice quiet and gentle. “Come, sit down.” Yuuri tentatively made his way over to the bed, where Victor was sitting on the edge of. Despite being on edge and a little panicked, he made himself comfortable and sat to Victor’s left, his legs crossed, and his hands calmly placed in his lap. “I, uh…” Victor started. He quickly turned over the photos, taken four years ago, before he had a chance to change his mind. “I think I’m your soulmate.” Yuuri picked up a photo, disbelief covering his face, before he smiled nervously and looked to Victor. Yuuri’s gut was twisting violently at what he’d just seen. He almost he wished he hadn’t.

 

A moment passed between them, and Victor waited for Yuuri to say something, but nothing came. It did nothing to soothe Victor’s nerves. “Um, last year, a few months before we got married, just before my dad died, my fake one, I got my mark removed. He’d sentenced me to an arranged marriage, and I knew I could never find my soulmate with that. He always dismissed me or thought I was when I told him I had a soulmate, but I think deep down, he knew I was telling the truth, and so he punished me with a forced marriage for being lucky enough to have another half. I regret it now, of course. I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of it, but I hope you can understand why I did.” Yuuri swallowed and stood. He reached for his phone.

 

“Victor, can you take a photo of my mark for me?” Victor looked stunned, but took a photo anyway, lifting the boy’s purple boxers, feeling his perfect ass underneath. “Victor…” Yuuri breathed, putting the photo next to the photo on his phone.

 

Oh.

Chapter Text

Oh. Why didn’t Victor say anything more? What would he have said if their marks matched?

 

Yuuri’s hands tightened on the steering wheel to stop his arms from trembling. Yuuri tried to breathe slowly, but his breaths were trembling, too. Why didn’t Victor have more of a reaction? Why could Victor sleep last night, but he couldn’t? Why did he leave before breakfast and steal Victor’s car instead of just using the chauffeur? Why wasn’t the scent that was embedded the walls, the seats, the ceiling, the fluffy headrests, comforting him? Of course, he had never thought he and Victor would ever be soulmates, but after having the possibility presented to him and then so horribly and quickly taken away, he felt further away from than Victor than he had before. But he loved him, he realised. He realised last night, the cruel fate twisting and turning in his head.

 

He almost hated himself for it, for letting something so cruel reveal how he felt about Victor. For not figuring it out himself. And it was cruel– horribly so. How did something like that happen? How could two marks be so similar, but ultimately different? How could something so cruel fall upon them– how could something so cruel be laid in Victor’s path.

 

Victor. He didn’t deserve this, he didn’t deserve this– of all things. After everything, he had already been through. Of all things he would have to go through, in the future. Yuuri knew Victor had wanted this, he’d wanted this a whole lot more than Yuuri had. To Yuuri, losing the whole soulmate thing hadn’t been that bad. The thought of coming home to someone he loved every day had been nice, but the thought of his family succeeding was much more important. He couldn’t imagine how much Victor had wanted this. God, Yuuri felt like crying just from imagining how important this was to Victor. He’d seen the blue and orange at every turn, he should’ve known, or asked, or something. He thought of that blue and orange suit he’d seen before he and Victor had even gotten married and he thought of just how much Victor wanted this, how much he deserved it. He’d lost his father– both of them. His mum may as well be gone, and Yakov was constantly gone, and Yuuri knew Maccachin was getting on. He’d never had anyone to talk to, and for Victor to discover that the one he’d married wasn’t his other half, even if he’d known that from the beginning, it must have been heartbreaking. He was an hour into his drive, and Yuuri was starting to think he should turn around. How was Victor holding up? Yuuri didn’t know how Victor reacted to these kinds of heartbreaking things, he didn’t even know if Victor wanted him there at all.

 

Yuuri thought of the dinner– of the limo and the private room and the knotting and the thong, and he thought, Victor knew. He’d known for a week, at least. A lot could happen in a week, someone could depend on something for their life, in a week. Victor had sat on that for a week, he’d prepared Yuuri for the news, he’d done everything right for him. To Yuuri, the news slipped from under his nose in just a second, a second that told him he loved Victor. But, to Victor, he’d been soaking that in for a week. He’d been depending on Yuuri to love him back and for them to spend their lives like a proper married couple for a whole week. But it had been taken away, so selfishly pointed out by Yuuri himself. Yuuri wanted to close his eyes... but kept his eyes on the road, he couldn't die now. How he so badly wanted to turn around. To go back to the palace and kiss Victor and tell him that it didn’t matter, it didn’t matter. That they could move on, or even simply pretend. He could be Victor’s soulmate, and it didn’t have to matter. He wanted to tell Victor that he loved him no matter what, and they could keep going on dates and go to Europe and drink mulled wine and eat baklava and he’d let Victor knot him as much as he’d like. Hell, he’d bond with Victor. He wanted to, soulmate or not. He wanted Victor, and anyone else didn’t matter. It didn’t matter.

 

Yuuri let the tears spill, and he quietly cried in Victor’s grey Maserati. He frantically wiped at his tears but gave up after a moment because there was no one there so it didn’t matter. He could cry about their cruel twist, but mostly he was crying for Victor. Yuuri was still shaking, and he didn’t know what he’d do when he got home. Except the onset wasn’t home, not really. The palace wasn’t home either because it wasn’t Victor’s home. Because Victor was Yuuri’s home, as cliched as it was. Yuuri didn’t know if he could even last being at his parents. He didn’t know what they’d say, but he supposed he probably wouldn’t even be able to tell them. It would feel like spilling Victor’s secret. Like saying ‘look how stupid Victor was, look how desperate he was that he mixed up mine and his own, removed mark.’ His family probably knew enough of Victor’s secrets as it was. But he had to talk to Victor before he saw his family. He had to say something to him.

 

So he dialled Victor’s number. And it began to ring.

 

And ring.

 

And ring.

 

And ring.

 

But, soon Victor’s voicemail was ringing through the car, on loudspeaker.

 

“This is Victor Nikiforov, I’m afraid I’m busy at the moment, but please leave a message and I’ll get back to you.” It was Victor’s Business Voice and it irked Yuuri just in the slightest that he couldn’t hear Victor’s normal, sincere voice, but it was okay. A voicemail would be good. Yuuri heard the beep.

 

“Victor… I wanted to call you before I got to Hasetsu,” Yuuri started, not really sure where it was he was going to start. “I’m sorry I didn’t say anything sooner…”

 

-

 

I’m sorry I didn’t say anything sooner, and I’m sorry I stole your Maserati. But most of all, I’m sorry I’m not your soulmate. I wish I was, truly. I’m sorry I can’t fill that space for you, and I’m sorry that I love you so much because that probably makes everything harder, and I’m sorry that I’m so selfish and want you all to myself.

 

I’m sorry, and I’m sorry I left. I wish I hadn’t– I should’ve stayed with you, I should’ve thought about how you were feeling. Not about how awful the whole thing was, or why you brought me out to dinner, or why I didn’t care about either of our soulmates– because I don’t– I should’ve thought of you.

 

I don’t know what you want, or if you want to find your real soulmate, but I don’t. I want you, and I want you to step down as prince, because I know you can do that, and I know you refused to do that before for me. I know I’m getting ahead of myself and I might be disturbing your visions of what you want, but I think you love me too.

 

I’m getting ahead of myself, but that is what I want. I want you, and our marks don’t matter. The only marks that matter are the ones we leave on each other, not ones left by the universe.

 

Victor was crying, and he was still staring out their bedroom window, onto the road that Yuuri had taken his car. He listened to the message again, and then a second time, because if he had actually picked up, they’d be talking a lot longer than this voicemail, and maybe if he replayed it enough times it would seem like he really was talking to him.

 

Victor listened to the voicemail until he was sure Yuuri would be back home, and then he left to go skate, and, true to his word, he practised all those jumps that Yuuri said he could hurt himself on. He ate a salad for lunch because enjoying one of the ramen dishes at the place down the road would’ve been unfair when Yuuri wasn’t there to enjoy it with him. He took the valet home because he didn’t have his car, and when he got home he made the bed himself. He told the maid not to touch the bed because when Yuuri got home, he didn’t want to have to smell anything else but the two of them. Even though if you tried really hard, you could smell Yuuri’s anxious scent that he’d left the night before. He told the maid not to do any washing because he wanted to Yuuri to have the option to make a nest. He told the maid to tell the chef to make something healthy for dinner because he didn’t want to eat something delicious because he didn’t want to eat it without Yuuri moaning about how good it was next to him.

 

Victor called the NHF and asked them to the whole check-signing event tomorrow because he had nothing better to do the next day. Victor went the gym and just did some stretches and yoga poses, trying to not get too sweaty, because he didn’t want to get hot and sweaty without Yuuri there to witness it. He ate dinner without making fun of Lilia or Yakov because Yuuri wasn’t there to try and stop him.

 

He went to his and Yuuri’s bedroom and he listened to the voicemail again. He hadn’t responded, he’d only listened, and he knew it probably worried Yuuri. Despite being the needy one, the clingy one, in any relationship he’d had, he waited. Instead, he left the curtains drawn and stared out the window, just to see if Yuuri had come back early. He turned off the lights let the light from the moon into the room. He picked up the picture, the photo of his mark and looked at the mark. He was nearly nineteen at the time, and he took so much pride in his mark. He’d run around campus naked, just for the sake of showing it off. He remembered the first it had shown up, and he had tried to think of who could’ve caused it, but he never managed to think of anyone who he’d remotely want to be soulmates with. He remembered when his father ordered him to wear board shorts that one time they’d all gone to the beach. Victor swore to never visit a beach with Ivan again. He looked at the picture and saw the orange to blue. Like a sun setting over a beach, or a lake. He thought of Yuuri’s mark, and he remembered the black circle that outlined it. He remembered that it had been blue to orange, like the blue sky over sand. He breathed deeply. He breathed in his belly, letting his stomach expand instead of his chest. A weird, overcharging therapist had taught it to him when Lilia had sent Victor to him after Anna had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s just a little too late and just as Ivan was getting sick. Victor had watched her– he trembles, and how she wrote really small. How she had dropped a stack of plates and cut open her feet, even though she was wearing thick socks. He remembered how her walking became unstable and wobbly, and they always had to eat in the proper, huge dining room, not the informal upper one, because Anna couldn’t walk the stairs properly. He remembered how she had looked, in this very room, when her parents had owned it. He remembered days where she hadn’t gotten out of bed.

 

He remembered the first day of waking up in this room, both of his parents gone. He remembered the first day where he’d woken up with Yuuri in it, and it had been so awkward, but he had kind of looked like a dream. He remembered the night before his wedding where he’d found that Lilia had ordered Yuuri to look through Victor’s sex boxes. That’s what he had called them when he’d first started having ruts. He’d never told Yuuri about that one. He wondered if he could go off his rut suppressants now that Yuuri might be a willing partner, or at least soon would be. He wondered if Yuuri would go off of them too, or if he would stick with them, and instead help Victor through his ruts out of a haze three times a year. He might freak Yuuri out if Yuuri was in his right mind and Victor was not.

 

He wondered what their future would be like. He wondered if they’d ever have children. He thought of where they would live when they left the palace. He wondered if Yuuri would mind going to Russia, maybe even staying in Russia, or if they would find a place in Yuuri’s hometown or something. That probably would be more convenient since they could visit Lilia and Yakov and Anna more often. As much as he loved his St. Petersburg, he didn’t want to be too far away from his mum.

 

Victor took the duvet from the bed and brought it to the couch. He was feeling tired, but he wouldn’t be sleeping in their bed without Yuuri there, next to him. He settled himself on the couch and turned on the television. He rarely watched any television, but sometimes he saw Yuuri watch it. It was rare, but sometimes it would happen. He usually watched something Japanese– sometimes he watched anime. Sometimes he watched figure skating. Victor used their apple tv to youtube some skates. He found Yuuri’s instantly, and he watched them on repeat for hours. He found it hard to sleep not knowing whether his Yuuri was sleeping too.

 

So, he pulled up his laptop and looked at real estate properties. He looked in Russia, just for the pipe dream. Maybe they’d live there when they were old. They could live in St. Petersburg with their children down the street, and Yurio would be there too. He could imagine Yurio being seventy– he’d be a proper grumpy old man. He looked in Hasetsu, and was pleased with what he saw. He saw a few ones on hills that looked out into the bay. He’d love to have a big house there.

 

He looked at flight tickets next, just to think about their one-day trip to Europe. The mulled wine and baklava one. He looked at spots in Barcelona, and they did look nice. Perfect, even. Then they could travel from Barcelona to Switzerland and visit Chris– he hadn’t spoken to him in such a long time. Then they could go to Italy, and then Paris, the city of romance, and then maybe the could visit Greece, where they could try some OG baklava.

 

Victor fell asleep with his laptop open and the tv playing Yuuri’s routines.

 

-

 

“Yes. I want what you want, I want to leave to. I don’t care either,” Victor practiced in the mirror the next night. He watched Yuuri pull up into the driveway, in his Maserati. “I love you.”

 

“I love you,” Victor said again as he left the bedroom and walked down the hall. He was wearing a suit– a greyish brown one with a purple vest. He’d just come back from his interviews and official check signing, but he liked to pretend he was dressed up for Yuuri. He was wearing a lace thong under everything, so technically he was.

 

“I love you,” Victor said as he came out of the hall and into the grand landing. He looked out the window and saw Yuuri chatting to the guards– buying time, probably. Was he nervous? That was cute. It was raining outside, but not cold rain. More like humid, warm rain. Yuuri looked a little bit wet from his walk from the car to the door. Victor almost waited for Yuuri to come in himself, but he didn’t have enough self control for that. And he didn’t think he could stomach these nerves for much longer. He felt ready to burst, he was jittery. But it melted away when he swung the door open  and saw Yuuri there, staring at him. He looked fine. He was wearing jeans, and Victor could see his hips for under the long jumper.

 

Their eyes met, and Yuuri raised an eyebrow in question. Victor nodded frantically, not really knowing what it was he was agreeing to, but it was Yuuri, and when it was Yuuri, he would say yes a thousand times.

 

Victor stepped away from the door frame to let Yuuri in. Yuuri tentatively walked in, and Victor could see all of the spots of rain on him when he came close and stood before him. Victor let the door go and it closed with a thud. It was silent, silent like it was two nights ago, when everything had blown up. Victor knew it shouldn’t be silent.

 

“It was in reverse. Blue to orange, orange to blue,” Yuuri said, slowly. “It’s kind of funny, because the order we’re doing this in is in reverse. Marriage, sex, dates.”

 

“I think you mean date. I’ve yet to take you on more dates, Yuuri,” Victor replied, almost wanting to laugh.

 

“Maybe next time we can go on a coffee date, because that’s a real first date. The fancy dates are definitely reserved for older married couples,” Yuuri laughed. Victor let himself laugh, too.

 

“Very well. A coffee date,” Victor replied, taking Yuuri’s hand. “Um, I’m sorry–”

 

“No, don’t. We’ve had enough apologies, I get it,” Yuuri said, smiling up at Victor.

 

“I had to think first. I wanted to give myself a chance to miss you, before I responded. I wanted to remind myself of how much I wanted this.”

 

“And did you? Did you miss me?” Victor nodded, and after a beat of silence, he leaned down and kissed Yuuri, uncaring that someone could see them.

 

- three months later -

 

Yuuri looked down at the new gold ring on his finger. The one that replaced the big, chunky, diamond one. This one was simple, and a little less expensive than Victor was used to. But he said he’d loved them, so Yuuri had bought them for each other. Yuuri was standing in the bathroom– their new bathroom, the one in Hasetsu that lived on a hill in a house that looked out onto the bay. This bathroom had floor to ceiling mirrors, too, and Yuuri could see the absence of his soulmark in them. In the mirrors above the counter and the sink, the one that rested above all of his and Victor’s countless products, in that one, he could see a fresh bond mark. It was still red and bleeding. Also, in this mirror, he could see Victor looking at him from the giant bath behind the mirror. Their eyes met, and Victor smirked.

 

“Admiring something?” Victor asked, and Yuuri saw Victor’s own fingers on the raised skin around the bite, mirroring Yuuri’s own actions.

 

“Of course,” Yuuri whispered, his voice still hoarse from crying. “I love you. And you need to get out of the bath, it’s probably getting cold. And your come is literally floating around in there. Get out.”

 

Victor pouted but lifted himself out anyway, thanking Yuuri when he met him with a towel to wrap around him. It had come off the heating rack, so it was nice and warm. Victor hugged Yuuri and melted into him. He never wanted Yuuri to leave ever again. He never wanted to be any other temperature than the one he was now ever again. He never wanted to enjoy moments like these without Yuuri. He never wanted to be without Yuuri ever again, because Yuuri really was his other half.

 

Victor spotted his mark– his bond mark– in the mirror, and thought of Yuuri’s words from the voicemail still saved on his phone.

 

The only marks that matter are the ones we leave on each other, not ones left by the universe.