The Sochi Grand Prix brings about no shortage of expectations for those attending the event. From team drama to plot twists that bring about new champions; anything and everything is held in anticipation. Everything, it seemed, except for utter chaos.
Because that's what is happening, and no one knows how to react.
The audience is in pandemonium as the fixtures overhead all burst out in a single wave of glass. There's something in the air; it's hard to describe – it's invisible and heavy and weighs down everyone's shoulders with a pressure that prickles down the spine. Around them, speakers crackle and electricity spark, shrilling like devices ready to explode without a moment's notice.
The skylight above them shatters with a deafening clang.
Perhaps there's an earthquake too, or perhaps it's from the stampede as members of the audience scatter from their seats, shoving their way to the exit, in fear for their lives. They spare no backward glances, too worried to allow for distractions.
– So worried, in fact, that no one notices how the trembling Asian figure in the center of the rink continues with his Free Skate, through the commotion and terror and raining glass shards that swirl around his pale body like a shower of fresh snow.
Viktor should get to safety too – he knows he should – except his body rebels, unable to wrench his eyes away from the skater before him. It's not the most perfect routine, full of flubbed jumps and shaky landings. But he can read sorrow and heartbreak in this story he's weaving on ice, so emotional that Viktor's heart cries in response, and he wants to grab hold of the man and embrace his pain away.
His fingers curl on the barrier, while the world falls apart around him.
Viktor's heart beats rapidly in his chest, and adrenaline has nothing to do with it. He's mesmerised by this man. Yuuri, his brain eventually supplies. Yuuri Katsuki, the Japanese representative.
It's just so– He's just so–
Why didn't anyone tell him about Yuuri until now?
Suddenly, there's a hand on his shoulders – probably Yuri or Yakov, to drag him away from the danger.
Viktor turns towards them, unwilling, because he needs this man in his life. "I'm not going-" he starts stubbornly, but instead of familiar friends, he sees a swish of a long red robe, a glint of a golden badge on the lapel, and a stick pointed in his face. "Who-"
All memory of this enchanting performance fades from Viktor's mind, and with it the name and face he'd tied so tightly with the piece.
Viktor is talking to Yuri about his sequence steps when he feels a gaze settle on his back. The Russian legend turns to see the longing stare of young man he doesn't quite recognise.
He pulls a public smile into place. "Hmm? Do you want commemorative photo?" he asks, beckoning him over. "Sure."
The man, however, only turns wordlessly away. At the sight of his retreating back, Viktor's heart aches in loss but he doesn't understand why.