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the face of heaven (the taste of sin)

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the face of heaven (the taste of sin)

Prologue: He Refuses To Bend, He Refuses To Crawl

“Give a moment or two to the angry young man/ With his foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand/ He's been stabbed in the back, he's been misunderstood/ It's a comfort to know his intentions are good/ And he sits in a room with a lock on the door/ With his maps and his medals laid out on the floor/ And he likes to be known as the angry young man.”

- Prelude/ Angry Young Man by Billy Joel.

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Yuri Plisetsky @y_plisetsky

Skater flubbing a triple loop=fucking useless coach. Embarrassment to rest of skaters. ISU need to look at which skaters they let on ice.

Phichit Chulanont @phichit_chu

You directing that comment towards me, @y_plisetsky?

Yuri Plisetsky @y_plisetsky

(sips tea) No.

Phichit Chulanont @phichit_chu

@y_plisetsky Are you directing that comment towards me and my coach?

Yuri Plisetsky @y_plisetsky

If shoe fucking fits, then by all means, wear it, @phichit_chu.

Phichit Chulanont @phichit_chu

Speaking of things people wear, does your face have another expression thats not a scowl, @y_plisetsky ? No wonder your PCS’s always so low.

Yuri Plisetsky @y_plisetsky

Pity you didn’t medal at Four Continents, @phichit_chu . That way you’d have something other than my hands around your fucking neck.

Phichit Chulanont @phichit_chu

@y_plisetsky, can you even reach my neck?

 


 

Taipei, Taiwan

After Four Continents  

 

When Yuuri first decided to become an international figure skater, he never imagined it would lead to this moment.

He was sitting in the hotel’s café in what had to be the world’s most comfortable chair, breathing in the smell of freshly baked bread, roasted coffee beans, and cinnamon. The café served some of the best pastries Yuuri had ever eaten. It had terrible lighting though, which was why Phichit refused to step a foot into the place, saying that if he couldn’t get a decent picture of his coffee to post on Instagram, then it was not worth paying for an overpriced hot drink.

He stared at his phone as he scrolled down, pushing his glasses back up on his nose as he scanned the words on the screen quickly.

Yuuri literally took a nap for a few hours and Phichit started a twitter war with a fifteen-year-old. Christ.

If the situation hadn’t been so serious, Yuuri would have laughed at the mental image in his head of Phichit and Yuri Plisetsky angrily tapping on the screens of their phones, scowls in place.

Instead, he winced at some of the harsher tweets that one of Plisetsky’s fan had posted and Phichit’s rather scathing response. It was a bit of a shock to see such a gentle-natured being so vicious on social media. Yuuri knew that Phichit possessed a protective streak a mile long but this was just an overreaction. Not to mention damaging to his reputation.

He eased himself out of the chair with some slight regret, patting the red velvet arm as though to thank it, and disposed of his empty coffee cup.

Yuuri made some calls as he walked back to the hotel room he was sharing with Phichit. The first call was to his publicist instructing her to take care of the situation online, and the second was to Celestino to see if he was aware of the situation.

Celestino did not pick up his phone but texted him to tell him that he was currently in a meeting with the ISU officials about Phichit’s conduct.

Yuuri worried his lip between his teeth as he read the text. The ISU's involved?

Yuuri had hoped that the Podium Incident with Cao Bin would have kept the ISU occupied and not focused on this recent Twitter war. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

He reached his hotel room quickly, taking out his key and unlocking the door hastily. The sooner he talked with Phichit, the better.

He called out to Phichit, hoping he hadn't gone out. “Phichit? We need to talk.”

Phichit turned his head from where he was sitting on the end of the bed, watching the TV. His grey t-shirt was slightly stained with something orange, and there were wrappers scattered over the white sheets. The Post-Competition Binge-Fest had begun. Just looking at the wrappers made Yuuri briefly overwhelmed with the urge to go to the nearest fast food restaurant before he remembered his mission. 

Yuuri grabbed the remote, switching it off without any warning.

“Hey!” Phichit said, frowning. “I was watching that.”

“Phichit,” Yuuri said, trying to keep his voice even. “You started a Twitter war with a fifteen-year-old.”

“Plisetsky? Yeah, so?”

Yuuri forced himself to take a deep, steadying breath. “Do you have any idea about what you have done?”

“What do you mean?”

“Celestino is in a meeting with the ISU because of it,” Yuuri said, his voice clipped. “They’re not happy.”

“Well, somebody had to put that kid in his place,” Phichit snorted.

“Can you actually be serious for one moment?!”

Phichit crossed his arms, turning his face away from Yuuri to stare at the beige wallpaper. “He was being a dick!”

“He’s a teenager. They’re all dicks! And now you look like one too,” Yuuri said, exasperated. “Do you realise the consequences of what you have done? This entire rivalry has gotten out of hand!”

“He started it!”

“And now it’s time to end it!” Yuuri snapped back. “You’re almost twenty years old. You should be above this. What does Thailand think of their star skater lowering himself to argue with a child?”

Phichit bowed his head.

He’s only nearly twenty years old, Yuuri thought.

It was easy sometimes to forget how young Phichit was. Yuuri was only a few years older, of course, but he had a bit more experience in life than Phichit did, more time to reflect on his past actions and learn to do better from them. Or, at least, cover his fuck-ups better like all adults learned to do.

Yuuri knew that he and Phichit were athletes representing their countries and that came with certain responsibilities, which they knew about and had agreed to. But when his sister Mari was Phichit’s age, Yuuri remembered that she went out to get drunk with her friends most nights and went street-racing every other weekend.

He and Phichit were still so young in the grand scheme of things, still reckless and prone to making mistakes. They didn’t have all the answers and they still had a lot to learn.

But that was okay. It was okay as long as they learned from them.

And Yuuri could help Phichit learn from this one.

Yuuri pinched the bridge of his nose, exhaling sharply, before sitting on Phichit’s bed beside him. “Look, I’m sorry for yelling. I just don’t want something this stupid to ruin your career.”  

“I’m sorry. It’s just… Ciao-Ciao’s done a lot for us. It’s easy for the Russians; they’ve never left Russia for a coach.” Phichit swallowed thickly. “They never had to leave their homes for years at a time, never seeing their family, and having to adjust to a new culture whilst knowing very little of the language. Ciao-Ciao saved our asses so many times, and when someone insults the man who has helped us get so far, I--”

“I know, I know.” Yuuri wrapped an arm around Phichit. Phichit immediately cuddled in, and Yuuri leaned his head against Phichit’s, the tension leaving his shoulders. Some of the orange dust on Phichit smeared onto the soft blue of Yuuri’s shirt.  “But Celestino wouldn’t want us to sink to their level for him. Not if it costs us our careers. He’d have no one to coach, and God knows Feltsman would give him grief about that.”

“True,” Phichit said slowly. “When’s Ciao-Ciao back from the meeting?”

“He won’t be much longer,” Yuuri said. “Want to watch a bit of The King and The Skater while we wait?”

Phichit immediately brightened. “Yeah! Let me just grab my laptop.”

We’ll be okay, Yuuri thought as he watched Phichit scurry around the hotel room. We’ll be okay.

 


 

www.icejewels.org

ISU SPEAKS OUT AGAINST FRICTION BETWEEN COACHES FELTSMAN AND CIALDINI

Hisashi Morooka

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The International Skating Union has spoken against the long-standing grudge held between coaches Yakov Feltsman and Celestino Cialdini following the recent Twitter war between their students, Thailand’s hero, Phichit Chulanont, and Russia’s rising star, Yuri Plisetsky.

The row over Twitter took place earlier today, and the slew of insults exchanged between the two brought several former and present students of Feltsman and Cialdini to join in the dispute. This, in turn, encouraged skating fans to enter the vicious fight.

The International Skating Union’s council has stated that it “does not condone the conflict between Feltsman and Cialdini” and “in light of the recent posts on Twitter between the skaters of Yakov Feltsman and Celestino Cialdini, the ISU council has decided that, in the event of further disputes, skaters will face penalties, the most severe being banned from competing in the sport altogether.”

President Riccardo Escalus of the International Skating Union has said that he is “disappointed in the recent behaviour of the skaters as the ISU aims to promote sportsmanship and peaceful competition” but hopes that the recent decision will end the strife.

The skating unions of each of the respective skater’s countries had been in contact with the skaters, informing them of their support for the ISU’s decision and advising the skaters to not engage in the quarrel.

Both Feltsman and Cialdini have declined to comment on the ISU’s decision, although one of Cialdini’s students, Japan's Ace Katsuki Yuuri, has recently posted on his Twitter page that “hopefully things will be a little less tense around competitions now.”

The next season will surely tell us all.

 


 

Saint Petersburg, Russia  

 

Viktor leant against the side of the rink, sliding the cap of his water bottle open with his teeth.

He closed his eyes as he took a long drag of his water, closing his eyes in relief.

Yakov was getting tougher on them now that Worlds was coming up and he would be facing off against Cialdini again. It was mostly him and Yuri feeling the strain (Georgi had injured himself at Europeans and had decided to not go to Worlds so that he could compete next season), but Mila was rising up in the ladies’ division now, so Yakov was putting pressure on her as well.

“-- on this Twitter. The ISU refuses to accept--”

Speaking of Cialdini.

Yakov was talking loudly at Yuri whilst Yuri rolled his eyes and yawned. Viktor noticed that Yakov’s voice lacked its usual amount of venom when he told off his students.

Truth be told, Viktor was worried about Yuri. The ISU’s warning had rolled off him like water off a duck’s back. Viktor wanted him to stay out of this rivalry business; it was more trouble than it was worth. Viktor did his best to not be a part of it, though it was very difficult not to be. He kept his head down when he was putting his skates on and make no contact whatsoever with anyone looking to start a fight.

He didn’t want a repeat of The Lion King Debacle.

On the other side of the rink, Viktor could hear Georgi enthusiastically telling Mila about his recent date with his girlfriend, Anya, though he lowered his voice every time he entered Yakov’s earshot. Yakov did not like Anya as he said she took Georgi’s focus away from skating.

At least Georgi had someone outside of skating.

His phone beeped from next to his bottle, and Viktor grabbed it, tapping on the alert. Headlines filled his screen.

 

THE CONTINUANCE OF THE COACHES’ RAGE: FELTSMAN AND CIALDINI’S STUDENTS FIGHT ONLINE


ANCIENT GRUDGE BREAKS TO NEW MUTINY: PLISETSKY AND CHULANONT TWITTER WAR


PLISETSKY VS. CHULANONT: ARE THEY THE NEXT KATSUKI-NIKIFOROV RIVALRY?

 

Shit.

The press was having a field day.

They weren’t as focused on the Four Continents Podium Scandal as Viktor had thought they would have been. This did not bode well for them, especially Yuri.

Viktor glanced through one of the articles quickly, pausing when he got to the part about his rival Katsuki Yuuri tweeting about the warning.

The article had a photo next to an enlarged quote of Katsuki’s tweet, a shot of three skaters with their arms thrown over each other's shoulders. Katsuki was in the middle, holding up his gold medal at Four Continents, and next to him was the silver medalist, a Canadian skater whose name he couldn’t remember, and the infamous Phichit Chulanont, who had come in fourth place.

Katsuki’s smile in the photo was brighter than the medal in his hand.

Viktor turned his phone off again and headed back to practice, firmly pushing his thoughts about the Japanese skater away.

He’ll think about a safer topic instead, like the rink’s pretty receptionist.