Viktor could feel the program idea within him. It was there. He just had to get it out of there and onto the ice, and that was proving to be difficult. After beating his head against the wall one time too many, he gave up for the day and headed for the side of the rink to watch Yuuri.
It wasn’t long before Yuuri joined him at the side of the rink. “Something wrong?”
“Just getting frustrated. I’ll be fine with just a bit of a rest! Don’t worry about me.” Viktor grabbed his water bottle and took a long drink. “Do you have any idea what you’re going to do for your program?”
“I know it’s something a lot of skaters do at some point, but there’s a reason for it. I’m skating to music from Phantom of the Opera for the free skate. My short program’s going to be to ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky.’ Phichit’s idea.” Yuuri grinned. “Yakov approved it this morning. Exhibition skate I’m still deciding on. Ghostbusters, maybe?”
“That would be fun! I like it. What about vacation? Any ideas there?”
Yuuri shook his head. “After the way this semester started, I was thinking about just going to Hasetsu and burying myself on the beach there and not moving for two weeks, but I’ve recovered a bit now that it’s off-season, and there’s also the fact that we have this year and next year free and then we’ll have to make vacation plans around having a kid. If there are things we want to do that we don’t want to take a young kid on, we either do them now or wait probably at least eight to ten years.”
“True! Anything specific you want to do?”
“Phichit says we should do a world-wide ninja hunt.”
“Phichit has the best ideas, but that’s not going to be very relaxing. Maybe save that one for next year.” Viktor winked. “I was thinking do a cruise… we still get to have fun, but it’s also a nice relaxing time.”
Yuuri set down his water bottle. “And you know exactly where you want to go, don’t you.”
“Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean if you come up with an idea I wouldn’t be happy to switch,” Viktor said. “Greece. Lots of history, lots of warmth, good food…”
“Sounds good to me.”
“What do you think about this new Challenger Series the ISU is putting together? Are you going to participate?” Viktor was pretty sure he knew what Yuuri’s answer would be, but Yuuri might decide that it was worth it to go for the prize money.
“Not this year. We already miss so much school for the Grand Prix and Nationals, and our professors have been mostly good about working with us there, so I don’t want to miss even more. If it goes well and they do it again next fall, we’ll see.” That’s what Viktor had figured Yuuri would say. “Besides, and this is going to sound so arrogant and awful, but if we don’t participate, that’s a chance for other people to win medals they normally wouldn’t. Which is the point of this, right? Give people more chances to meet goals?”
“No one likes having it handed to them. I agree with you about the university thing, though. I just thought you might want the prize money.”
Yuuri shook his head with a smile. “I do, but… I don’t need it, nobody in Hasetsu needs it, so I’m willing to sit it out. Yuri would probably kick me, but his situation is different.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I know you used to worry a lot about your family’s financial security.”
“Yeah, well, that was when Hasetsu was a dying town. Now it’s growing, and the problem isn’t finding enough customers to make enough money to get by, it’s keeping up with demand. Are you gonna do any of the Challenger Series?”
“No, like you said, this year we need to focus on school. The Grand Prix is one thing, the Challenger Series is quite another. I think Yakov’s expecting to hear that, too. He’s already talked to Mila and Georgi about making sure they checked dates and didn’t go to events scheduled against Grand Prix events one of us is in, but he hasn’t said anything to me. Has he talked to you?”
“No. Less frustrated yet?”
“Maybe. I’ll try to get something out, anyway.” Viktor put down his water bottle and skated back out.
Yuri and Yakov were fighting over Yuri’s program. Yuri wanted to do something cool, that he enjoyed, like superheroes or rock stars; Yakov wanted him to do something a bit more serious. “This is so dumb. Yakov’s let you guys do video games and ninjas and pirates, why can’t I do superheroes?” Yuri said after complaining during dinner with Viktor and Yuuri.
“Junior debut. Just think how bad he’s going to be for your senior debut,” Viktor said. “And then the year after is an Olympics year, so that’s three high pressure years out of the next four. After that, he’ll let you go nuts and do silly stuff, or next year, but this year, doing a serious program helps you get taken seriously by the judges. You probably don’t need it, but it can’t hurt.”
“Ragnarok is cool, right?” Yuuri said.
“Hell yeah. Why?”
“Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Yakov is not going to object to a masterpiece of opera, and you get to do something cool. I bet Lilia will have some ideas for which songs would make good skates. If you still want to do a superhero thing, you could look up songs from the Thor movies and do that for your exhibition skate.”
Viktor clapped. “You should choreograph it, Yuuri! You know how, you know what Yuri’s capable of and how to push him, Yakov won’t mind.”
Yuri thought that over. “That would be cool. It’s a good idea, and if you’re willing to choreograph it, that would be pretty neat. Viktor did my novice debut.”
Yuuri glared at Viktor, but Viktor’s enthusiasm didn’t dim a bit. “Yuuuuri, you can choreograph and you know it, and choreographing for Yuri would be a nice low-pressure first program for someone else.”
“I’m more worried about time. Yakov’s going to want us to be seriously working by June, so I can’t wait until school’s out…”
“You’ll be fine, Yuuri, I promise. It’s not like Yuri doesn’t have plenty to work on while he’s waiting,” Viktor said.
Yuuri looked between Viktor and Yuri. “Fine. If Yakov says I can, I’ll choreograph your program, Yuri.”