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as schoolboys from their books

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Christophe had assured Yuuri that his drink was completely safe, just a regular, un-spiked soda that wouldn't result in a potential disaster or grounding when he got home. Or Mari getting some amazing blackmail material.

 

And yet Yuuri still felt like he wasn't as in control of his faculties as he could have been. Was contact-drunkenness a thing? Because he definitely felt something close to buzzed as he kept on staring at the guy standing quite a few feet away from him.

 

Maybe it was the music, blasting through the entirety of the basement/media room, muddled by the amount of bodies standing in such close proximity, the spread of heat assisted by the illicit consumption of alcohol by people his age, and a little bit older, drawing out unrestrained laughs despite several warnings to keep it down or else a neighbor might grow suspicious.

 

More than likely Yuuri was feeling this way because of Victor Nikiforov, tossing his head back as he laughed at something his friend Mila said, showing off perfectly straight teeth (definitely, definitely had braces) and surely making more than one heart go wild with the sound of his laughter.

 

Yuuri took another swallow of his flat soda, thinking of how his fingers itched to run through the pretty, long strands of Victor's silver hair, done up in a ponytail that swung around as he turned his head. 

 

He watched Victor reach up to tuck a strand of hair behind his ear, spotting fingernails painted a shiny black. They looked pretty. Yuuri should have, in theory, been able to just walk over to him and say, "I like your nails."

 

Or, "I like your hair. Your eyes. Your smile."

 

In theory. 

 

In some far-off reality when where Yuuri was a more confident version of himself whose stomach didn't cramp up when he thought about approaching someone he liked, especially at a party with schoolmates, way out of his comfort zone. 

 

That didn't deter his excitement when Phichit told him to come with him this time, even if his nerves started eating him alive as soon as he spotted Victor Nikiforov among the partygoers. Dumb of him to think Victor wouldn't come. He'd made fast friends with Christophe as soon as he transferred. 

 

Yuuri drained his cup, nearly choking when Victor looked his way. A quick glance? Something longer? Yuuri didn't know and couldn't risk finding out, keeping his eyes on the bottom of his cup and probably looking like an idiot if Victor was looking at him--

 

"Having fun?"

 

Yuuri almost kissed Phichit at that point for showing up and giving him something to actually focus on other than his empty cup. "Yeah. Yeah, definitely," Yuuri replied, not really knowing what to do with his red cup now. It felt rude to just toss it aside for Christophe to pick up in the aftermath of the party. "Thanks for inviting me along, Phichit," he said earnestly, even as his throat tightened with the sugary sweetness of the soda as his thoughts drifted back towards Victor.

 

"Come on, we're friends. You're invited to everything," Phichit said to him as he tossed an arm over his shoulders, eyeing the direction Yuuri had been looking towards. "You looking for someone?"

 

"N-no!" Yuuri replied lamely, cheeks turning red as he avoided looking in Victor's direction. He failed, of course, eyes finding him again as he elbowed Yuri Plisetsky and leaned down to whisper something in his ear. Yuri's expression turned flat before he rolled his eyes at whatever Victor was giggling about.

 

Phichit noticed it all and Yuuri watched in horror as a smirk slowly spread across his face. "Aha. There he is. The absolutely gorgeous Victor Nikiforov. Of course."

 

"Of course what?" Yuuri asked with a bit of dread, heat filling his face as he determinedly looked around in every direction other than the one that led to boys with long, silver hair.

 

Giving him a quick squeeze, Phichit leaned in to whisper, "Yuuri, come on. You've been drooling over him ever since he transferred. I'm kind of glad you only see him in English class, or else you'd probably die of dehydration."

 

Yuuri gave a soft grunt of denial. "I never drooled, I just..." Drooling was going a bit far, but Victor was...distracting. Mr. Cialdini required that everyone in his class participate in readings, and he wasn't exactly hard-pressed to find volunteers in the Honors class. It was fun, but Yuuri wasn't sure what he'd do once he had to be Laertes to Victor's Hamlet. 

 

It'd be good practice just in case they ended up on stage together for the school play (if Yuuri managed not to completely screw up his audition).

 

"Go talk to him!" Phichit whispered, giving Yuuri an encouraging shake and a not-too-subtle push towards Victor. "I'm pretty sure he'd love to make more friends. Or more."

 

Setting his feet firmly on the ground, Yuuri gave Phichit an incredulous look, his blush stamped on his face. "Come on. Me? He's never even...noticed me."

 

"He asked you for a pencil once, remember?"

 

"Yeah. He asked, said please, and I just looked at him and didn't say anything when I handed it to him. Then he thanked me and just...started writing notes." Yuuri had never really taken a look at Victor's notes, but he was sure the boy had pretty handwriting.

 

"You never did get that pencil back, did you?"

 

"I didn't care about the pencil!" It was probably lying forgotten in the bottom of Victor's book bag, and Yuuri could only hope it was happy in its new home. "It's just...he finally spoke to me and I just...choked. I doubt I've made any other big impression after that."

 

"Well, it's only been two months since that happened. Give it more time. And bring more pencils to class," Phichit said as he took his arm away and proceeded to give Yuuri's shoulder several pats. That thoughtful glow never left his yes, and Yuuri knew several things were happening at once in that head of his. "You know...If you want Victor to notice you, you could always try out for Romeo."

 

Yuuri couldn't hold back a laugh, picturing the many different directions Phichit's mind was undoubtedly taking. "Victor is Romeo. I wouldn't be surprised if he actually got it." He didn't doubt it for a moment, imagining Romeo's lines effortlessly coming out of Victor's mouth. "God, he's just...so cool, and...he always looks great," he murmured, realizing he was thinking out loud at that point. At least the music was blocking out his voice to everyone except his best friend.

 

Phichit's thoughtful silence was a little bit unexpected, prompting Yuuri to turn and look at him. His friend was gazing in Victor's direction again, but it seemed like he was looking through him, oblivious to the inaudible conversation he was having with the blond Yuri (who thankfully didn't have any classes with Yuuri). Then an idea seemed to swirl in his eyes, and a wide grin spread across his face right before he turned that familiar determined gaze on Yuuri and asked, "Yuuri, do you trust me?"

 

"...Yes?"

 

"That doesn't sound very confident, but I'll let it pass," Phichit said, still looking like he'd come up with something both dangerous and brilliant. "What if I figured out a way to get you and Victor some one-on-one time?"

 

"W-what?!" Yuuri asked, gaping at him and throwing an apprehensive look in Victor's direction. That would've been a nice idea if Yuuri had any clue as to what he'd even say to the other boy. "How would that...I can't even walk over to him! What would I say?"

 

"Whatever you want!" Phichit answered brightly, stroking his chin as he looked around, like he was looking for someone among all the kids in the basement. "Um...do you have issues with small spaces?"

 

"...I don't think so?"

 

Looking triumphant, Phichit exclaimed, "Excellent! Wait right there!" Then he left Yuuri's side and sped towards Christophe, 

 

"But...what did I agree to!?" Yuuri called after him, thoroughly confused and slightly panicked as he watched him reach Christophe, yanking him by the shoulders to rapidly whisper something in his ear. Clutching his empty cup nervously, Yuuri watched Christophe listen to Phichit with interest, and then an excited look burst to life on his face. 

 

Uh-oh.

 

Christophe sped off and up the staris while Phichit threw Yuuri a wide smile and two thumbs up.

 

He didn't return to Yuuri's side, probably knowing he'd demand to know just what those two were up to.

 

A few agonizing minutes later the volume of the music went down considerably, making several people groan and look around in both fear and confusion, because it might have meant a parent was home or the cops were at the door. Phichit raised his hands as if to restore calm, and his voice carried through the sudden quiet as he announced. "Who's up for a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven?!"

 

Yuuri dropped the cup. What have you done.

 

Phichit, the traitor, was looking right at him when he said this, and Christophe appeared in time for everyone to start ooooh-ing and wolf-whistling in that thoroughly obnoxious way that had Yuuri wanting to grit his teeth. Christophe held up a red cup, shaking it so they could hear the little clunk of what sounded like plastic. "Now, the way this works is that you'll all reach into this cup for a bottle cap. They all have a number written on them, and when I call out a random number, two of you will have that same number and you'll have to step into the closet for seven minutes. No more, no less!"

 

He pointed towards the closet, which was apparently the cramped home of a pile of board games.

 

A couple dozen people immediately approach Christophe, and hardly any of them came with a romantic partner. Yuuri's legs felt like lead as he observed them scrambling for a bottle cap, looking around curiously while Christophe reminded them not to cheat and try and find their closet-partner.

 

Not sure what he was supposed to do once Christophe's cup looked empty, Yuuri just stayed frozen in place until Phichit started heading his way again, smiling broadly as he neared Yuuri and held up a--God help me--white bottle cap with the number 8 scrawled on top of it in black marker. 

 

"So? Are you in or out? Chris just slipped Victor the same number."

 

Somewhere in the suddenly-hot basement, Victor Nikiforov was holding a bottle cap with an 8 on it. And when Christophe called out the number, he'd be alone with Victor...who would probably expect a kiss, who had probably already kissed other people and maybe even done more and, holy crap Yuuri didn't need to think about that right now. His blush was probably vivid as he gaped at Phichit, hissing, "Are you insane?!"

 

"You don't have to kiss! You can just talk to him, or stare at him..." He spoke like he was trying to paint a vivid picture, while Yuuri just kept staring at him and trying to figure out what he'd done to deserve this. But then Phichit seemed to take pity on him, shrugging nonchalantly and saying, "But if you'd rather back out, I won't hold it against you. We can just give Victor another number..."

 

"Give me that," Yuuri snapped as he yanked the cap out of Phichit's hand, face red and heart racing as he thought of what he was getting himself into. Chances like these just...didn't come along all that often, less so since Yuuri couldn't even approach Victor in school without his stomach knotting up and his throat closing up. This way he'd have no choice but to say at least a few words...Then again he would have no choice but to say a few words. He clutched the bottle cap in his fist, mentally asking himself what he thought he was doing, and ground out between his teeth, "If I humiliate myself I will never invite you over for dinner again."

 

"I'll take that risk," Phichit said with rare gravity before beaming at him again and giving him a little shove forward. "Go get him, tiger."

 

Yuuri sighed raggedly and licked his lips, immediately regretting it when he realized how dry they were. He ran his tongue over them a few times, trying to think of what he could possibly say to Victor. 

 

Speaking of Victor...

 

Looking in his direction again, Yuuri found him staring at the bottle cap in his hand, and then he looked around the basement in mild bewilderment. Yuuri looked away in time, before he could catch Victor's gaze, and immediately felt woefully inadequate. He hadn't kissed anyone in all of his sixteen-going-on-seventeen years, despite all the crushes he'd nursed, and he'd probably be bad at it and Victor would probably laugh at him...

 

It'd probably be a good idea to back out, to avoid potential humiliation and nurse yet another unfulfilled crush. 

 

But he held on to the bottle cap, the part of him that was eager to just tear out of his comfort zone taking over, howling for the chance to talk to the good-looking boy with long hair, black nail polish, and blue eyes.

 

"Let's see...We'll start with number...8!"

 

Yuuri choked down a scream, the pathetic-sounding noise muffled by those same obnoxious oohs and wolf-whistles as Victor actually stepped forward, looking around with a curious smile.

 

Not having any idea just what Victor was expecting, Yuuri swallowed thickly through all the dread in his belly and took a shaky step forward, trying to keep his eyes on Victor and not on his feet. 

 

The noises around them were deafening, and Yuuri stopped breathing as those blue eyes finally spotted him. They widened as they took in the sight of Yuuri, who almost shrank under that gaze even as he moved towards him on heavy legs. This is crazy, he thought, lungs frozen as he thought of how ridiculous he must have looked standing in front of Victor, clutching that damn bottle cap and feeling everyone's eyes on him.

 

Victor's smile was lovely. All of his smiles were lovely, even this completely indiscernible one that made Yuuri's legs want to stop working. Was it friendly? Disappointed? Suddenly Christophe was at Victor's back, and Yuuri felt a familiar pair of hands at his, and they were being shoved towards the closet, and Yuuri was trying not to trip on his own feet on the way. Once they were both inside, Yuuri's knees crashed against the board games, and he had to steady himself against the wall. He looked over his shoulder and saw Chris and Phichit grinning at them as Chris flicked the light on, the bulb glowing faintly above Victor's head. "Have fun, you two," he said brightly before shutting the door.

 

Yuuri finally breathed, standing up right and trying very hard not to shake as he turned towards Victor again. He'd assumed there'd be a hair's breadth of space between them, but there was enough space for maybe a third person between them. But no. No, it was just the two of them, and Yuuri had no idea what to say to the smiling boy except..."H-hi."

 

Stupid. So very stupid.

 

"Hello, Yuuri," he heard Victor reply, his voice warm.

 

The sound of it made a jolt go through Yuuri, and he couldn't stop himself from looking at Victor in utter surprise, pretty sure his heartbeat was embarrassingly audible. "...I-"

 

"Seven minutes starting now!" Phichit shouted on the other side of the door, immediately followed by more whistles and hoots.

 

Yuuri tried to block them out, trying to will the door into becoming sound-proof so he could actually have a decent conversation with Victor, who looked a little bemused by the whole situation. "...I'm in your English class," he finally managed to say lamely, a little afraid that Victor couldn't hear him, and he'd have to go through the embarrassing process of repeating himself.

 

He nearly died at the soft little chuckle Victor answered with. "I know that. You've been reading for Laertes since Mr. Cialdini had us start Hamlet." 

 

Right. And Victor was Hamlet. In a few more class sessions they'd have to pretend to be at each other's throats over Ophelia's grave. Yuuri might have said that, but instead his brain provided him with, "...You borrowed a pencil from me once."

 

Idiot. Idiot idiot.

 

Victor blinked at him, bewildered. "I did?"

 

Yuuri scrambled for a way to fix it, to somehow take the words back because wow, was that really the second thing he was going to say to Victor? "I mean...I-it was a long time ago, and it was just a pencil-"

 

But then realization dawned in those eyes, and Victor looked chagrined as he exclaimed, "Oh no! Did I forget to give it back? I'm sorry, Yuuri, I'll make it up to you."

 

"No, it's okay!" Yuuri told him as he thought, Victor's apologizing to *me*, just what was in my drink?  He nervously clutched the front of his shirt, trying to just breathe and and ignore the way his brain kept telling him that death was imminent. He thought of the soft monotone of Mari's voice, talking about life and people as she examined the ruined ends of her hair. Not that he wanted her in the closet, of course, but thinking of it helped. A little. His voice felt a bit steadier as he said, "I mean...It's fine. Don't worry about it."

 

Victor smiled at him sheepishly, and Yuuri was astonished by the flush he spotted high on those cheeks. "Thank you for letting me borrow it, even though I've probably sharpened it down to nothing." He laughed as he said it, and Yuuri could only manage an awkward huff of laughter from his chest, not too sure about his own smile. Then Victor suddenly asked with such open curiosity, "So tell me! Have you ever played Seven Minutes before?"

 

Yuuri paled. "Uhh...I..."

 

"No? I have! There's something about the mystery and surprise about who you might end up with...It's fun, but I can see how it might make people nervous. I'm not making you nervous, am I?"

 

He said it all so quickly Yuuri felt like he was having trouble keeping up. "I-I'm okay," he murmured, the bulb above Victor's head casting a painfully appropriate light over him, making him look brighter despite the gray tones he wore. 

 

"Because we don't have to kiss if you don't want to," Victor said, his gaze entirely focused on Yuuri, smiling gently. "We can just talk and let everyone outside think whatever they want. It'll be our little secret, if you like." Then he winked and Yuuri felt like his face had just turned an embarrassingly intense red.

 

"What would we talk about?" he asked, blinking at the other boy and feeling stupid for asking him the same question he'd asked Phichit earlier.

 

Victor shrugged and crossed his arms loosely across his chest, leaning back against the wall and glancing at the door when something thumped against it and the music started playing a bit louder. Then he asked with that same, encouraging smile, "Is Hamlet your favorite Shakespeare play?"

 

Okay. This was an...easy topic, and it helped dispel some of the tightness in his belly. "It's one of my favorites. I think my top favorite is..." He stopped, biting his lip with apprehension. "You'll laugh."

 

"No I won't. Come on, tell me," Victor insisted, beaming at him.

 

"...Romeo and Juliet," Yuuri replied, staring at Victor's shoes and chewing the inside of his cheek to ribbons. Shrugging, he stopped twisting the front of his shirt and added as another flush crept up his neck, "I know it's not the coolest play to like..."

 

"Of course it is!" Victor exclaimed, eyes alight with an interest Yuuri wasn't expecting. "What do you like about it? Tell me!"

 

He was standing in a closet with Victor Nikiforov, both of them roped into a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven, and Victor was asking him about his favorite play. Maybe that should have felt like the biggest letdown on earth, because weren't they supposed to be sharing fumbling kisses, thumping around the small space of the closet and making everyone outside try to listen in and guess just what was going on inside? They definitely weren't giving any eavesdroppers anything close to interesting material. Just stuff they might hear during class.

 

Deciding that replying was probably better than complete silence for the next five minutes, Yuuri gave him a not-too-confident shrug as he said, "I just think it's so tragic. I mean...th-that's kind of the point, but...There's more to it than just...'teenagers being idiots,' you know?" He wasn't meeting Victor's eyes as he talked, but it was easier than just letting Victor look into them and pick him apart. "Like...Juliet's smarter than everyone thinks, Romeo's a reckless romantic, and they're both caught up in this mess that their parents created..." He trailed off once he felt his voice go shaky, hand finding the front of his shirt again and just twisting. 

 

"I love how you said that," he heard Victor say softly.

 

Heat danced up the back of Yuuri's neck, and he finally managed to meet Victor's eyes for a few moments. "It probably sounded stupid," he said with a little shake of his head.

 

But then Victor vehemently shook his head, stepping away from the wall and towards Yuuri. "No way! You sounded so passionate about it! Are you auditioning for a part in the play?"

 

Right, because they were actually performing it in the spring. Nodding, Yuuri replied, "Y-yeah...I don't really know which one, though. What about you?" It was definitely a foolish question. Victor was absolutely Romeo, and he'd probably get it while Yuuri shuffled home after undoubtedly not finding his name on a cast list.

 

"Definitely! I love being in plays!" Victor replied with near-infectious enthusiasm. "I played Scrooge's nephew in my old school's Christmas Play. The year after that I was the Scarecrow when we did The Wizard of Oz," he added, listing them off on his fingers.

 

Definitely used to being on stage. Yuuri definitely envied his confidence. "...Do you think you'll try out for Romeo?" he dared to ask.

 

Victor replied with another shrug, answering vaguely, "Maybe. Do you think I should be Romeo?"

 

He leaned in towards Yuuri as he asked, and Yuuri couldn't avoid biting his lip thoughtfully. "You could be. You're...you're great as Hamlet in class, and you're...really good-looking." He flinched right as he said it, as though he'd just laid all of his feelings bare for Victor to peruse and laugh at before rejecting him.

 

None of that happened (at least not yet), and Victor's smile widened as his eyes warmed. "Well, thank you. That's very nice of you to say." Then he was leaning in again, and Yuuri could see the sheen of lip gloss on his lips as he added, "I think you'd make a good Romeo too."

 

Yuuri huffed out another laugh, butterflies filling his stomach as he thought of trying out for Romeo. "No way. I mean...I'm not anything like Romeo. I'd be...nowhere near as good as you."

 

"Really?" Victor asked, putting two fingers to his chin and tapping it thoughtfully, "Because you're probably good at performing, from what I've seen. And you have nice eyes, a nice smile..."

 

Yuuri jumped when Christophe called out, "Three minute mark! Try to let him breathe, Victor!" Then there were more hoots, whistles, and laughs.

 

His stomach and throat grew tight again, and Yuuri took his eyes away from Victor's face, remembering that he definitely wasn't a Romeo. "You don't have to flatter me," he murmured, misery flooding his chest as he thought of their time together coming to an end. Hell, he hadn't even touched Victor, and they'd probably retreat to their usual places as classmates, entirely separate and only engaging in minimal interactions.

 

But Victor was stubbornly shaking his head, his ponytail swinging back and forth with the motion. "I'm not. It's all true!" he said, reaching out to take Yuuri's clammy hands in his. As Yuuri died and came back to life several times, Victor added excitedly, "Sometimes I don't even read along on the page. I just watch you and listen. I think you're incredibly talented."

 

His hands were so clammy and limp in Victor's grip, and Yuuri probably looked like a fish as he gaped at the slightly taller boy who'd entranced him ever since he transferred in a year ago. "...I think you are too," Yuuri said quietly, trying to get his hands to move, to take Victor's hands without anxiously crushing them. 

 

He kept looking at Victor, trying to relax every tense inch of his body, starting with his jaw in an attempt to save himself from a headache later on. Victor was looking at him too, his entire face softening for some reason as his thumbs ran across Yuuri's knuckles.

 

Oh, wow, Yuuri thought, locking gazes with the other boy and feeling even more heat fill his face.

 

Yes, Victor was looking right at him, those soft hands of his giving Yuuri's a gentle squeeze. "Your eyes are so pretty," Victor breathed, sending a warm tingle through the length of Yuuri's spine.

 

Blinking rapidly and glancing away, Yuuri murmured, "They're just brown..."

 

"I think brown eyes are pretty," Victor said, tipping Yuuri's chin up with a hand like he really wanted to get a better look at his eyes. Yuuri stood absolutely still, unsure of how exactly to proceed because his body was a traitor that just completely fell apart on him during the most important moment of his life so far. And then Victor asked softly, "Can I kiss you?"

 

Yuuri's jaw dropped. "...Me?!"

 

"You," Victor said with a soft laugh, those blue eyes turning warmer still as soft fingers traced Yuuri's jaw.

 

The action made Yuuri's knees go weak, and he was tempted to grab on to Victor's shoulder for support while his heart just stopped doing that warm, fluttery thing. He had to say something, his brain knew he had to respond with a "yes" if he wanted to take what Victor was offering, but his mouth wasn't cooperating. It only let out something Yuuri knew he was going to beat himself up for later, because come on. "...Okay."

 

It sounded like Yuuri didn't care whether or not Victor Nikiforov kissed him, and he did care. He cared a lot. So much, his brain was sounding out several alarms at once, almost muddling Yuuri's thought process as his first kiss came ever closer.

 

It wasn't until Victor's lips touched his that Yuuri remembered he had absolutely no idea what to do. He just stood there, thoroughly immobilized with his arms hanging uselessly at his sides as Victor Nikiforov kissed him.

 

He didn't breathe, his mind focusing solely on the sensation of soft lips melding against his and soft hands framing his face. He couldn't think about anything other than the fact that he was being kissed by a gorgeous boy with beautiful long hair and stunning blue eyes, and he was just standing there like an idiot

 

Yuuri's fingers twitched, suddenly itching to bury themselves in Victor's hair and undo the ponytail so he could run his fingers through it and see if it was as soft as it looked.

 

And then the closet flooded with light when someone pulled the door open, and Yuuri felt Victor jolt in surprise before tearing his lips away, and that was when Yuuri's hands decided to work, flying up to clutch Victor's wrists when they simultaneously turned to look at everyone staring into the closet.

 

Christophe and Phichit were blinking at them, wide-eyed with surprise and absolute delight, the blond declaring, "Holy crap, it worked."

 

"Uhh...time's up," Phichit said, eyes widening even more when they zeroed in on Yuuri, who was still holding on to Victor's wrists. 

 

The sight of all the other faces behind them, curious and shocked, brought Yuuri crashing back to reality, familiar panic rising in his throat yet again.

 

Victor's wrists slid out of his slack grip, but then he was tugging Yuuri out of the closet, past Chris and Phichit and all their ooh-ing classmates. "Come on," Yuuri heard him say as he managed to keep up with him, avoiding tripping up the stairs and over Christophe's cat.

 

The cold November air hit Yuuri's face like a splash of cold water, and he sighed in ragged relief as he let go of Victor's hand. His heart was racing so hard it was probably going to kill him, and his face felt so hot with both excitement and embarrassment. "...I'm sorry," he gasped, falling backward onto the steps leading to the door and burying his face in his hands. "That was so bad, that was the worst kiss ever..." And it had been his first. What a joke.

 

"Yuuri, it was fine," he heard Victor say, feeling a hand on his back. He looked up, blinking away the tears pooling in the corners of his eyes, and saw Victor sitting next to him, wearing a soft smile. "We just didn't have enough time for more. Do you want to do it again?"

 

And once again Yuuri was stunned into silence. Not only had his crush kissed him, but he was asking him to do it again? Maybe Christophe had been wrong, and Yuuri's drink did have something in it...Still, he asked him incredulously, "...Really?"

 

Victor looked mildly surprised by Yuuri's disbelief, and his hand found Yuuri's cheek again, tracing it with his thumb. "Really."

 

This was not Yuuri's life. No one went around asking him if they could kiss him. Especially not boys like Victor. Even if this was just a really vivid dream, Yuuri didn't want to say no. He nodded twice before he leaned in, blushing like mad when Victor did the same and then their lips were touching again.

 

Yuuri still didn't know what to do with his own lips, just feeling the way Victor's mouth settled over his in a gentle press. 

 

Their parting was less spectacular this time around, Yuuri taking in the bloom of color on Victor's cheeks when he drew away, and then the other boy asked, "In the closet...Was that your first kiss?"

 

"...Yeah," Yuuri admitted, shifting on the step as he looked away.

 

Victor gave a thoughtful hum at that. "So this was your second. And this is your third," he said before tipping Yuuri's face toward his again and pressing their lips back together, Yuuri inhaling sharply at a gentle suck of his bottom lip, followed by a quick swipe of Victor's tongue.

 

Yuuri's entire body was vibrating when Victor drew away with a satisfied look, thumb tracing over Yuuri's bottom lip as he just gazed at the blue-eyed boy with an open mouth. "You're so cute, Yuuri," Victor said as his eyes seemed to take in everything about Yuuri's face.

 

Feeling warmer than ever beneath those eyes, Yuuri didn't know what to say. Then Victor gasped like he just had a moment of brilliant inspiration, digging into his pocket and pulling his phone out. "Let me have your number!"

 

"W-what?!" Yuuri sputtered out, rendered speechless with shock as Victor dug through his jacket for his phone so he could dial in their numbers into both of them.

 

He handed Yuuri his phone back, beaming happily as he declared, "There you go! Text me whenever you want!"

 

Sure enough, Victor's name and number were safely in Yuuri's contacts. This was unexplored territory for sure, and Yuuri was still somewhat convinced this was just a really intense fantasy. Still, he asked in a small voice, "...But not during class, right?"

 

"Aw, but I'm good at hiding my phone!" Victor pouted.

 

"We'll get in trouble."

 

"Fine, fine. Not in class, then," Victor replied, still pouting even as he threw an arm over Yuuri's shoulder drawing him closer. "I'm glad Christophe slipped me that bottle cap. I guess your friend Phichit slipped you one too."

 

Frozen yet again once Victor had his arm around him, Yuuri couldn't answer. All he could do was keep blushing and hold on tight to his phone.

 

"Very very crafty," Victor said when Yuuri stayed quiet.

 

"I didn't ask them to do it, I promise!" Yuuri blurted out, clutching his phone in both hands.

 

"It's okay. I'm very happy about it," Victor laughed, nuzzling Yuuri's temple. "I got to kiss a cute boy, and...maybe he'll let me kiss him even more?"

 

Yuuri felt himself sag into the half-embrace, his mind whirling with the realization that...maybe this was real. He'd liked Victor ever since he laid eyes on him a year ago, and now...

 

Seven minutes.

 

They sat there a bit longer, and Yuuri zipped up his jacket before Victor asked in a shaking voice, "Do you want to go back inside?"

 

Yuuri turned to look at him, and realized with a pang that Victor wasn't wearing a jacket. The tip of his nose was red and he was shivering. Biting his lip guiltily, Yuuri nodded. "Y-yeah..."

 

They went back inside, Victor letting out a shudder and rubbing his arms. Yuuri just looked at him, clutching the sleeve of his jacket with an apology on the tip of his tongue. Then they made their way back upstairs, and Yuuri braced himself for the laughter people were going to aim at him.

 

But it seemed that everyone was preoccupied with the giggles coming from the closet, and the feminine voice sounded very familiar. This time Mila Babicheva and Georgi Popovich were guarding the door, and Christophe and Phichit were waiting near the stairs. Standing beside Chris, Victor asked him, "Who's in there now?"

 

Chris gave him a surprised look before giving them both a smug look. "Yuuko and Takeshi. Lots of giggling so far. By the way, you're welcome."

 

Victor rolled his eyes, nudging Chris's shoulder with his. "Thank you, Christophe."

 

Yuuri's heart started to race again, and he forgot that it was his two oldest friends in the closet, probably doing the opposite of discussing plays and such. He turned towards Phichit, trying to figure out what to say. "Phichit..."

 

His friend just beamed at him, looking very satisfied at the developments. "I'll take your thanks in the form of your chem notes."

 

"I would've given them to you anyway."

 

"Aww."