Nagoya, December 2023
Yuzu and Shoma were tussling -- again -- over the middle spot.
Javi sighed, reminding himself they were still under thirty. Things changed when you reached your thirties. You missed home with a longing that felt as great and deep as the sea herself. The sweet smell of Spanish Jasmine from the terraces of the old city, the ochre and cream and orange spires in the morning light, the glint of steel and glass in the newer parts of Madrid. And for some reason he especially missed his mother’s salmorejo with ham and egg. Thick and hearty, it always left him full and content and a little drowsy, which is exactly the kind of feeling one wanted at the end of a siesta.
Now he had soba noodles, which he liked, and mochi, which he also liked. He had Shoma, still competing but slowing down a tad (though he would never admit it), and Yuzu, who had retired. They had their apartment with Itsuki near the ice rink and Javi had students, and Yuzu was in the process of acquiring them, eventually. Things were good. But Javi still missed home. He wondered how Yuzu had even convinced him to come and live in Nagoya, at least until Shoma retired.
But watching them both wrestle in the gray winter night, Javi knew. His heart was like a mussel cracking open and there, inside -- the soft meat; that tenderness he had for them, even when they were insufferable.
“Yuzu,” Javi nudged Yuzu, who was currently in the middle, though Shoma was set to straddle him.
“Yuzu, just let him take the middle,” Javi said in Japanese.
“Why, because he’s cute ?” Yuzu fumed.
“No, it’s because he always gets his way,” Javi said tiredly.
He wanted to go to sleep. He had students in the morning. Responsibilities. He couldn’t be up just because Yuzu and Shoma were fighting over middle spoon.
Shoma smiled. That little shit. He climbed right over Yuzu and leaned down to kiss Javi. Yuzu made a noise of outrage.
“I think we should let Javi be the middle,” Shoma said, when he broke off the kiss.
“You just crawl over --- what?” Yuzu blinked.
Shoma leaned down and kissed him too.
“Yes, what?” Javi said while they were kissing. He was drowsy, yes, but Shoma’s words had shaken him awake a little.
Yuzu and Shoma broke off their kiss and Shoma, all smiles, said: “You should be in the middle Javi.”
Yuzu seemed to think about it. “He’s right. You should be in the middle. You deserve all the cuddles.”
Javi had never considered it. He was usually some variety of “big spoon”. It felt natural, comfortable.
He was still tired, and not certain at all what had transpired, but he allowed his two lovers to roll him between them, Yuzu against his back, and Shoma snuggled against his chest.
“Now I will be big spoon,” Yuzu said, putting his arm around Javi’s trim waist. “I will protect you.”
Javi murmured at Yuzu, reaching back to cup his cheek with his hand.
Some people would think that Yuzuru Hanyu, was, in fact, too slight, too fragile -- like gossamer strings -- to offer protection. But those people did not know how ferocious Yuzu was, especially when it came to protecting those he loved. He was absolutely feral and Javi shivered feeling his delicate strength and power wrap around him. It was like being wrapped in very fine, very strong silk.
And Shoma, little Shoma, his face in Javi’s chest. His breath ploomed against Javi’s heart and Javi felt warmth there again, like being in Madrid. Javi cradled the back of Shoma’s head and Shoma looked up at him.
They kissed and Yuzu complained about being left out, but the kiss was quick. They all settled around one another, under the warm kakebuton, cold rain splashing against their bedroom windows.
Javi liked this. Javi liked being between them. It made him feel safe. He felt like he was home again. He fell asleep, the smell of his mother’s salmorejo with ham and egg wafting through his dreams.