The silver medal around his neck was supposed to be a dream that Yuuri was afraid to wake up from as he went along his coach to the press conference room.
It wasn't a dream.
It was fucking real: he was a silver medalist at Sochi Grand Prix, and he was about to give a quick interview about his thoughts and plans for the next season. When he finally entered the room, flash's almost blind him, making him feel uncomfortable.
Then he sat at one of the chairs: Viktor was between himself and Chris, and the interview began.
Nothing abnormal (yet) about the questions: they asked the bronze medalist firstly, the usual questions like "again you took the podium", "how do you feel", "your program was...", "what your next season will be like?", and the Swiss skater was all happy at answering them for several minutes.
Now it was Yuuri's time.
"Katsuki, that was your first Grand Prix, right?"
One woman asked him behind the big desk almost trying to shove the mic at his face, but he gave her the trained smile before saying a short "yes".
He was nervous: international press tended to be a little too much demanding. The one interviews he liked were the Japanese ones (and not because he's Japan's Ace, but for the slowly pace the questions were made).
"You certainly did well at your performances in the two days of competition. Is there anything you want to say about it?"
He breathed in, "It was my best. Most of the times my jumps aren't a big thing, so I kind of tried to trust more my step sequences and other moves but did the jumps too".
"That's funny, actually", one man gave him a suspicious look.
And the Japanese lifted an eyebrow, "And why is that?".
But before he could know, someone asked him about his exhibition program, and not about his feelings towards the medal or about his next season. And he felt a lump in his throat because, really, it was just an exhibition skate, and people shouldn't be concerned about that.
"It was an Exhibition Skate, wasn't it supposed to be less technical?", he meant the part about don't have to care about points, just the fun.
"But it was different from all your other programs, why?"
Now he knew every eye in the room was on him, soon feeling embarrassed. "It was a promise to my friend back at Detroit"
The reporters looked even more eager to know all about it, saying that there was too much sexuality to a friend's promise. And a pair of laughs beside him was exactly the reason he didn't want to do that program; people were laughing at him.
And the Katsuki started to feel bad for being there but couldn't just simply walk away from the press conference room – it would just make it worse than already was.
A look to his coach and he knew he had to go along, even if that made him miserable afterwards.
"It was a promise that my friend and I made about choreographing a program for me in case I got to Grand Prix final. I was supposed to skate it if I could get a medal... Well, it happened".
The looks he received was like he hasn't give them the best answer.
He heard Chris say "Yuuri, dear, I think what they wanna know is if your exhibition program was made for someone in a special way", and that made him blush furiously.
The flashes of the cameras were more intense this time.
"O-Oh, no. It wasn't like that at all!", he was making a fool of himself in front of the whole world. Awesome, Yuuri.
"Are you serious? To me it looked like you were flirting with everyone out there", then Viktor said with a playful smile, looking at him with malice.
He had to breathe deeply.
"It really was not my intention" he assured trying to look serious. Of course, he failed. "I got angry one night for having another bad date, and Phichit said I had to know this song. The next day I just skated it freely, wanting to cool my heart".
Apparently, his answer was just fuel to the fire, as the flashes grew and his idol were obviously curious about his romantic life,
"Oh, so you date"
Yuuri wanted to make a hole in the floor and stick his head there for the rest of the night.
"The program was a joke! And I wasn't even expecting to really win a medal in my first Grand Prix, it just happened".
Again, his idol gave him a laugh before fucking touching his left shoulder so playfully.
Viktor smiled at the press, "Okay, guys, I think it's time to stop teasing our silver medalist; although it's so fun".
And, thank God, they laughed before nodding and starting asking the Russian the questions they wanted.
Happily, that press conference was over not much time later, and he could leave the room almost running before anyone else could think of corner him; Celestino did not looked so happy about it, though.
Once he was again at his hotel room, Yuuri could finally land himself at the bed so tired for even take off his clothes. Ciao Ciao texted him to get some actual sleep until the banquet, and he couldn't agree more to his coach. The Japanese fell asleep almost immediately on the comfortable and big hotel bed, hoping that his embarrassment would pass at night and that he could look decent in front of all the other skaters of the competition.
Hours later, he found himself being wake up by the noisy ringer of his phone, grunting and covering his head with one of the pillows; it didn’t stop, because whoever was calling him, was a damned stubborn person.
A little bit annoyed he took his device and answered the call without even looking who it was, “I was fucking sleeping”.
“Yuuri, although I like your Japanese voice very much, I don’t understand a little bit of it”, his best friend voice echoed in his right ear.
“Seriously, Phichit? I finally could get some sleep and you call me to complain about me talking in my native language?”
Yes, people. The Japan’s Ace is a very grumpy guy when he wakes up: and he really, really hate someone interrupting his beloved sleep.
“Hey, I’m doing you a favor, you know? If I hadn’t woke up the Sleeping Beauty, you would lose your banquet”
Yuuri groaned under the sheets. “I don’t wanna go”
“Ooooh, yes, you are going. Even if it means contacting all of the skaters there to knock at you door”
Finally the Katsuki opened a lonely eye, his eyebrow twitching. “You wouldn’t”
Fuck, Phichit definitely would do that.
“Okay, I'm gonna wake up”, he mumbled while looking with sad eyes to the bed when his body started leaving the mattress.
“Great. Now, go to your suitcase and pick that beautiful suit you have, and that equally beautiful tie I bought you as a present”
With his cellphone between his left cheek and his left shoulder, the skater lift an eyebrow as he walked. “When did you buy me a new tie?'
“The day before you travelled to Sochi”
“Thanks, but it wasn’t necessary. I already had ties with me”, he started taking his suit of the luggage.
Yuuri heard Phichit snort.
“Dear, your ties are ridiculous”.
Then the Japan’s Ace exclaimed, offended. “My ties are perfectly fine!”
“You mean perfectly disgusting, right? Yuuri, you can’t show up at such a celebration without looking your best! Trust me, I know what I'm talking about”
Yuuri rolled his eyes, “Peach, you’re exaggerating”.
“I’m not. Do exactly as I say and I doubt you’re going to return to your hotel room alone tonight”
The Katsuki felt the warmth in his face “Phichit!”
The younger laughed through the phone. “Now, let start your preparations”
Oh man, this was going to be disastrous.
* * *
The Grand Prix banquet was kind of boring, even Yuuri could agree that there was absolutely nothing to do besides talking to sponsors and shit like that. Really, why did he need to go?
The Japanese would be much better staying in his room for the rest of night, eating real food, watching a movie or even sleeping.
Phichit's parties are better, even if I wake up with a headache the next day .
Sipping his champagne (the fourth of the night, and, yes, he was counting), he sighed against a wall so tired for having to talk to people he didn’t knew.
“There you are”
He could’ve jumped some hours before at the thought of his idol appearing from nowhere in his sight, but that wasn’t the case anymore because had some champagne.
The legendary skater smiled at him: one kind of smile that didn’t made Yuuri happy.
“You can stop it, I know it isn't real", he freely said, not missing the way the Russian expression furrowed.
“What do you mean?”
“Viktor”, the name that he adored left his lips almost in a sour laugh, “Your smile is fake, always fake to the media. I can understand it, but I really don’t like people talking to me with a plastic smile”.
That was one of the many things the Japan skater wanted to say to the Russian, although not exactly like that. But hey, better said than not, right?
From his peripheral vision, he could say that Viktor was a little taken back for being… unmasked. Maybe things gotten uncomfortable, now.
His glass of champagne were empty now, a feeling of wanting more were there but he knew he should stop before he couldn’t control himself in front of sponsors, skaters, coach’s and JSF officials.
He almost asked what okay meant but then Viktor took a deep breath, this time a smile more real in his lips.
Yuuri liked that smile more.
“You know, it was a good thing that you were at this competition”
“Really?”, Yuuri mumbled trying to not make eye contact.
The Nikiforov touched his shoulder, again, and he could feel the gentle burning in the area.
Control yourself , Yuuri.
“Yes. Before this Grand Prix results, I thought of retiring”
And Yuuri definitely had a knot in his throat with that revelation.
“But after seeing you, well, I think I'm going to stay a little more”
The Japanese felt his stomach play in a rollercoaster, swallowing hard he finally looked at the man besides him.
Viktor's eyes were funny: a shine rarely seen in the blue iris and his lips curved slight showing his teeth. It was different from every poster and interviews Yuuri had ever seen. "Your skating is beautiful, it produces music".
"Right", he scoffed, rolling his eyes.
The Nikiforov looked outrageous at him:
“I want you to beat me, take the gold from me”
The Katsuki almost jumped this time, his eyes wide open.
“Viktor, are you drunk?”
“Uh? I'm Russian, remember?” the older lift an eyebrow. “I'm serious, though. I always thought that your skating was beautiful, but seeing it in person? It was fascinating! I couldn’t take my eyes off you, Yuuri”.
I couldn’t take my eyes off you echoed the Japanese’s mind. Now he was feeling a little shaky, wanting to run away from there and never look back. But the way Viktor stared at him was something he could not ignore: it gave him shivers all the way to his spine.
So, he gulped and his hands were immediately to his forearms in a tight and anxious manner.
Please, don’t have a anxiety attack right now. Please, please, please , plea- -
Suddenly he came back to the real world with the feeling of someone groping his ass: which made him blush till his neck and turn to see the man.
“Chris, please, don’t do this”, the silver medalist was feeling embarrassed.
The Swiss just laughed, waving a hand.
Yuuri noticed the change in Viktor’s eyes. “Oh, I'm right to say you are very good friends, then”
The Giacometti snorted.
“Yeah, Yuuri here has been close to take my Coupe du Printemps gold medal for two seasons”
“It’s not like that..” the younger voiced.
“Please, give yourself some credit” the Switzerland skater rolled his eyes. “Has your eyesight gone so bad that you couldn’t read the scores of this Grand Prix? Yuuri! You kicked all our asses, and made to the second place, under Viktor’s score for so little difference on your very first Grand Prix!”
He wanted to argue, to say that Chris was overestimating him because they often saw each other in competitions. He wanted to scream that everything was probably a fluke. But he didn't.
“I agree” Viktor said, a deeper voice now. “You are amazing”
Yuuri could faint. Oh gods, something must be wrong with the world, ‘cause how in the universe was his idol praising him?
Visible embarrassed, he touched his glasses.
“So, don’t your eyes get dry when you’re using contact lenses at the ice?”, the Nikiforov changed the subject.
“Yuuri doesn’t use contacts”, Chris being the old and large mouth Chris.
Sighing, he explained “My eyes are sensitive”
“Oh, and how bad is your eyesight without your glasses?”
It was strange.
His long time crush was interested in his – boring – life.
How the hell could he explain that? Most people didn’t have a clue in what a Myopia 2D meant.
Then he took off his glasses and gave it to Chris beside him. “I can see you from where you are standing. But if you take like four steps away, then I’m going to see you a little blurry”
The confused look on Viktor’s face meant that wasn’t good enough. Then de Japanese looked around (not really, because he fucking needed his glasses to do it) trying to identify something or someone to be used as the next example.
Until he could see (not really) it.
“Oh. For example, now I can see someone blond marching this way” then he tried to focus some more, “… and they look kind of… pissed, I think?”
“Shit” he could hear Viktor’s curse.
And then the “Someone Blond” slapped the Russian skater in his left arm (or so Yuuri thought) before starting an angry discussion with him in… Russian?
Yuuri could understand just a few things because the both of them talked so fast and nonstop and everything was so confusing.
And shit happened.
Because, really, how could it not to?
The blond guy snapped at Viktor, or something like that, and his Idol stumbled back at a champagne's tray and the waiter lost his balance: the glasses bending over him before he could even think about it.
Yuuri just knew that now his suit was wet and smelling like alcohol and that there were pieces of thin glass everywhere.
“Glasses, I need my glasses”, he tried to reach out for Chris.
“I am so sorry, sir!”
The Katsuki opened his mouth and nothing came out at first. He breathed, trying to not shake when he knew that probably everyone in the room where looking at his direction now.
“It’s fine” he tried to smile to the person in front of him.
“Oh, Yuuri! Shit, sorry” he could hear Viktor’s and Chris’ voices.
The Swiss finally gave him his glasses back, the Japanese putting them on immediately. Then he was certain: everyone at the fucking banquet was fucking looking at him.
He could recognize faintly the blond figure next to him, a boy in his fifteens looking really shocked. If the Japan's Ace wasn’t wrong, the boy won the Junior Grand Prix and his name…
“See, Yuri! If you weren't slapping me none of this would've happened!”
“What!? It was all your fault for being such an old man that cannot keep your own feet in place!” the boy screamed, angry.
Yuuri thought their discussion was just like the ones between him and his older sister – Mari – a few years ago. And he would’ve laughed at them if it wasn’t for the suddenly homesickness and the sticky coat, so he just sighed really tired before taking off the black piece of clothing.
“I'm going to the toilet” he mumbled and left without looking to anyone’s face. He just wanted to leave that place full of curious people as soon as possible.
Once in the toilet, he let himself close his eyes.
It was nothing. Nothing. It could’ve happened to anyone. It was just some random bad luck. Everything is fine. You are not going to freak out. Everything is fine!
He repeated it in his head like a mantra while trying to clean the bad stains on the suit coat with the help of water. Maybe, with some good luck, he wouldn’t have to throw it away.
Do you really think you have something like good luck ?
His subconscious had to make things worse.
Viktor would never care about you. He just said that for merely courtesy, or do you really think he doesn’t say that to everyone?
The Katsuki's hands were shaking.
Stop it, stop it, stop it. You are fucking fine: you are a fucking silver medalist at Sochi Grand Prix and this is supposed to be your night of fun, and some shit anxiety attack will NOT ruin this.
Finally, the shaking stopped and he could breathe fine again, and maybe it was time to go back to the banquet to avoid any sneaky comments about him (if it doesn't already have). Taking a deep breath he decided to step out the toilet, and to his surprise Viktor, Yuri and Chris were waiting for him in an almost anxious way.
"You were inside for fifteen minutes or so", his idol explained.
"Are you okay, Yuuri?
The Swiss skater asked with a worried look; Chris knew about his anxiety problems since when they started their friendship, so obviously he noticed that the Katsuki probably were having one.
When the Junior Champion was about to say something, Yuuri's cellphone started to ring, and the Katsuki lift an eyebrow as the name Mike Adams could be read, rolling his eyes and without any second guess, he just refused the call.
Then he was about to tell the other three beside him that he would probably go back to his room, when, again, the ring tone of his cell could be heard. Mike Adams.
"Is he drunk or something?" Yuuri grunted to himself, again refusing it.
And it rang two more times, which made him snap out and accept the call. "What do you want?"
It was obvious that people could easily see how stressed he was, and being frank, the Japanese skater wasn't intending to act otherwise as his ex was suddenly calling.
"Mike, you know what you did. Mike. No. Stop it. It was your fault, not mine! The one who decided that he would get laid with other people was you!"
Soon he found himself arguing with his not-so-dear ex-boyfriend over the phone, ignoring the curious looks he was receiving.
"I don't care. Yeah, exactly like that. Go fuck someone who wants you, because I don't".
Mike was one of the reasons why Yuuri were miserable for days, back in Detroit. Both of them met at a coffee near the college and turned out to befriend each other; and the skater was easily finding the hockey player someone fun to be with; after some time, they started dating romantically, when Yuuri found out not much time later (less than two weeks) that the Adams cheating him with a lot of girls and boys. Actually, it was not his first heartbreak, neither the third.
It was because guys like Mike that Yuuri and Phichit choreographed the Exhibition Program he skated the day before. So, Yuuri did not like that his ex was calling him after months of their break-up.
"No, it isn't because I'm dating someone else. Mike, I have the rights to don't want to date you even if I am single right now. So, don't call me anymore or I will have to speak to your coach", the Japanese rolled his eyes before clicking his tongue with irritation, "See, you just don't get it. Goodbye, Mike", he said before ending the call and turning off his phone for good.
Again, Chris asked him if he was okay.
"Just my ex being an asshole"
"Oh! The hockey player?"
Yuuri nodded positively and let out a sigh. "He still think that cheating on me was not reason enough to end things between us".
"Ew. That guy is an idiot".
"And I am too for dating him in the past", he tried to laugh it off, but he could feel Viktor's and Yuri's eyes on him.
"Oh, mon amour, do you know what? I think you need to pole dance it off!"
Before he even had the time to ask what that meant, Chris already had grabbed his wrist and was now taking him to the opposite corner of the salon; and Yuuri widened his eyes at the sight of a pole dance bar.
"Chris, are you nuts?"
"Nope. I just talked to Phichit while you were at the toilet and he said that you still take pole dance lessons".
Mental note: kick Phichit's butt as soon as possible.
"Whaaat? Yuuri, you can pole dance?! That's awesome!"
Yuuri wished that Viktor's voice wasn't so loud, because apparently every skater in the room were looking at him.
"Yuuri is the best student from his pole dance classes, or so Phichit told me. Aaaand, I want to see if you are at my level already, so, how about we do a little dance competition?”
“Hey, I don't know this pole dance shit, but if it’s a dance floor competition I'm in!” the Plisetsky was strangely interested about that topic.
Now Yuuri found himself considering the pros and cons: yes, he still took pole dance classes, yes, he was kinda good at it, and, yes, it was great to relief stress.
“Is there something to play music?”
It was all he asked and Chris’ excited smile was enough to answer it. As a waiter passed by, he took one of the champagne glasses and drank it in one shot, lifting his shirt sleeves till his elbows, taking off the tie and seeing that the Swiss was doing pretty much the same (including taking off his pants and, oh gods, was that even an underwear?!), Yuuri felt relieved for a moment that he was wearing his shorts under the pants. Really, it already was embarrassing enough to perform his aero dance in front of his classmates…
Phichit had things planned all along .
He thought as he went towards the pole, happy that the he took another champagne (it was his sixth or seventh?) to master courage enough.
Since he already was at the circus, why don’t be one of the clowns?
* * *
Truth be said: when the Five World Champion, Viktor Nikiforov, a legend star at Ice Skate qualified to Sochi Grand Prix, he was thinking of retiring: skating wasn't that much fun anymore, now it was a job and not a hobby; and the Russian didn't like that something he loved was becoming something he could actually hate at some point in his life.
But then he saw a Japanese Skater in the competitors list, Yuuri Katsuki, and thought something like "Well, Chris is always bragging about a cute Asian boy in his competitions, so I'm gonna see what he got in his social medias" only to find no absolute shit anywhere he looked.
"What the fuck?"
How in the 21s century a guy in his twenties did not updated his Instagram in four whole months?!
Oh man. That was kind of disappointing.
At least until he asked Chris about it via twitter, and the Swiss told him about another skater (who hadn't made his senior debut yet) who was the Japanese rink mate and would always update his Instagram. And when Viktor's saw the profile, well, it was obvious that Yuuri Katsuki was in many of the pictures: stretching, watching movies, cooking and the best thing: it had little videos of his trainings.
"Oh, my GOD!"
He was immediately drowned into the younger man: beautiful step sequences and spins that Viktor got envy of, jumps that surely needed be worked on but... Everything about the Japanese Skater was purely beautiful: his moves, his expressions, he himself.
It caused Viktor an addiction: search all the YouTube for his programs at competitions; and the Russian certainly was dying of happiness when he read in some internet forum that Yuuri had a brown toy poodle.
Then the Grand Prix finally started, and sadly he couldn't talk to Yuuri because both of their federations had different times for training, and the Japanese were always in a hush to get out of the places he was in when other people approached him.
"Yuuri has this anxiety problem", Chris said after realizing why he was so upset in the ice, "It makes him overreact about things, and how this is his very first Grand Prix, you can't blame him for being scared of ruining it all"
"But he is great!" Viktor hissed, after hearing a scold from Yakov across the rink.
The Swiss rolled his eyes, stretching himself "Oui, Vitya. It's just that his anxiety about competitions is hell different from ours"
Really, he couldn't understand, but Chris was making such a face like he was Dumb or Dumber.
"He has Anxiety Disorder, it's not like an easy thing to deal with, especially under pression", and then he felt a little awkward for not knowing what that was about. "His mind play tricks with him, and not the fun ones. I shouldn't be telling you this, but: being in this rink where the whole world is watching is freaking him the hell out of his mind"
"So, give him some time to cool his head: you can always talk to him at the banquet after the competition"
And that's what he was going to do. Until the Katsuki took the silver medal and scored so close to him, the gold medalist: it got Viktor enchanted, like he was some under (love) spell.
And then the Gala Program? Oh God!
Who in the world would have imagined that Yuuri Katsuki could perform such a hot ice skate? Viktor almost had a boner just from watching it!
He wanted to go after the Japanese in the same instant: the young flushed face, black hair beautifully messy and brown eyes that shine like the stars, but he had his own gala program to perform; and when he finally finished under thousands of applauses, he couldn't be happier when he saw that he had caught the attention (little did he know the other skater was a fanboy of his) of Yuuri, who was seeming as enchanted as him minutes before.
Then the media conference started, and the press had questions all focused on the gala program and Viktor was thinking it was so much funny to tease the Katsuki and make him flustered. Of course, when he heard that Yuuri's exhibition program was a way to cool his heart from his ex... Well, Viktor was kinda worried – jealous, jealous, jealous.
"Wait, is he even gay? Bi? Or is he straight?"
And fucking Chris wouldn't answer his questions at all! Just looking at Viktor's face like he was seeing some kind of anomaly way too abnormal.
When the conference ended, Yuuri was so fast to left the room that it both amazed and saddened him: he really wanted to know the Japanese young man. But deciding that he still had time to do it later in the night, he walked towards his room where he stayed until the party.
Well, it's not like it can be a real party.
And suddenly it was!
Just when he thought he could have a proper conversation with his possible crush, BAM, Yuri made one of the waiters slip champagne on Yuuri (oh man, both of them were Yuri) and for almost twenty minutes he was thinking he had messed it up. But then the japanese Yuuri got out of the toilet and he didn't looked pissed, but tired.
The one good thing about his ex calling him was that Viktor finally got the answer he wanted: Yuuri dated guys!
Ok, maybe the guy was a real jerk (how dare he cheat on such a cute guy?) and probably Yuuri were tired from relationships, but still he could give it a try, right? Because, really, he couldn't hold on anymore the passion flame burning inside of him; especially when the Japan's Ace were so fucking good at pole dance and so beautiful.
Yuuri Katsuki was the most beautiful person Viktor has ever seen.
And when he finally had a moment alone with the younger, he wanted to hug him, kiss him, fuck him. Those brown eyes were an abysm that the Russian wanted to explore just so much.
"You know, this tie really suits you" his words left his lips for their own.
The Asian laughed, and what a beautiful laugh, before looking at him strangely. Viktor could swear that there was desire in his eyes. "Yeah, thanks. Yours suit you too"
"But it could get better, you know?"
Yep, there was no turning back.
"How?" Yuuri lifted an eyebrow, confused as his fingertips were running through his black hair.
Then the Nikiforov licked his own lips before reaching his left hand to grab the navy-blue fabric, drawing the Katsuki closer to him.
Their eyes met at such a little distance.
"Maybe I could show it to you in my room?"
Yeeeeeep, things could go really bad from here.
He surely wasn't counting that Yuuri would stare his lips the way he did, and the provocative smile he gave to him; the Japanese right hand grabbed his left.
"Would you do it?"
"Please, break my heart" was left unsaid before both of them headed out to Viktor's room.