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And what shall I have to dream of

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It's a little more than half a season left until Victor's announced retirement when Yuuri notices a change in him. It's not an internal change, Victor is just as present and teasing as ever when they have company, just as loving and hungry when they are alone. No, the change is external, Yuuri realises when they are huddled up in the sofa underneath thick blankets, in their living room of their flat in St. Petersburg, holding onto massive mugs with liquid and steaming contents.

"Victor," Yuuri says after sipping a little tea over the rim of his mug, feeling the miniscule mouthful almost burn the roof of his mouth as he speaks, "are you going to keep it like that? After retirement, I mean?"

Victor blows a little into his mug, seemingly trying to prepare his coffee for what's to come, before he answers with a chuckle. "Why, you don't like it?"

Yuuri knows that Victor is a tease, a seeker of attention in everything between mundane and extraordinary. But more than anything else, Victor is a keen observer. If Yuuri didn't know better, he'd suggest that Victor knows how he'll react even before he does. It's a little like that in that particular moment, because Yuuri knows that Victor knows that he loves it. The length of Victor's hair. How it's beginning to grow long in the back and how his fringe is just a few centimeters shy of growing past his jawline. How it's almost long enough to tie up with slight effort, just long enough to make a small braid out of, at least in the front.

But also, Victor has shown that he knows on numerous occasions before this. By willingly tilting his head back when Yuuri fists his hands in his hair and pulls back when riding him, hungry to hold on to him, hungry for his mouth. He has shown it by relinquishing control when Yuuri has done that, simply allowed Yuuri to have his way.

Yes, Yuuri knows that Victor knows, and therefore he laughs. "No, no," he says between the hahs, feeling some of that annoying, prickling heat tease his ears, "it suits you. I… I kind of think it could be longer."

Victor swallows a little coffee with a smile and replies, "Listen, you little tricophiliac," which is a word they both had to look up in their respective languages after it unexpectedly entered their shared vocabulary in English, "it will never be that long again, not like when I was eighteen."

Victor leans over a bit and puts his mug on the coffee table in front of the sofa, the small clink acting as a enforcing sound to what he just said. "But I agree, " Victor says after the smallest pause. "A little longer would look nice. I could wear it in a ponytail. Or a bun," Victor continues and gathers what he can of his hair and pulls it up, back from his face. "Like this?"

Yuuri's heart does a double, no, triple, no, quadruple take seeing this, because seeing that, Victor pulling his hair back with a small strand escaping his fisted hands at the back of his head, transports him right back to when he was a young teenager himself. A time in his life when he thought that this, a shared flat, shared things, a shared life, a Victor just for him, was wishful thinking at best, a distant dream in truth. Yuuri remembers so well what it was like seeing Victor in those skating magazines, in those glossy fashion spreads where he'd been dressed up to only add to the image of unattainability and luxury. To really sell his image, enforce that living legend skate god-status.

Yuuri also remembers what it was like even earlier than that, before Victor Nikiforov was a thing. Once, Victor hadn't been associated with flare and grandeur, although that seems like an impossibility to understand today. Yuuri remembers seeing him on TV whilst sitting next to Yuuko at the Ice Castle. Victor with his long, flowing hair, Victor who had just recently started his first step towards world domination. He remembers thinking that even though Victor wasn't a thing back then, he was his world, as unattainable as the moon. And himself, something that didn't know how to fly.

Yuuri remembers that so well, because that emotion of wanting something so intensely and knowing that it would never come to be, hurt. Hurts, even. Even if he has it all, a flat, things, a life, Victor, he sometimes gets caught up in that. Memories of old, of when wanting and trying never felt enough nor got him any closer to where he wanted to be.

His thoughts are taken by the hand, gathered up in a way only to be dispelled, when he feels Victor's arm around his shoulders. When he feels himself being pulled, his mug coaxed away from his grasp, when he feels himself enclosed in Victor's arms and his cheek resting against Victor's chest.

"Stop that," he hears Victor whisper into his hair, Victor's hands tracing patterns along his back, "you don't have to do that anymore."

Yuuri peers up at Victor from underneath, taken by the surprise-but-still-not-quite, because that's how it is. Victor just knows sometimes. About him not really believing it's true that the both of them are a we, an us, an I in a sense.

"I'm sorry," Yuuri replies, for he really is. It's not uncommon for him to get whisked away by himself, and he wants to spare Victor the effort of pulling him back. He feels that it's a continuous task for Victor, one he'd rather not make him go through, time and time again. He only wishes he could learn that for himself, how to find his way back without Victor's help. Without Victor's, albeit kind, interventions. And again, Yuuri's somewhere else, thinking that once Victor has really retired, he'll probably be doing a whole lot of that. Pulling him back, despite Yuuri's best intentions on making it different.

"Don't be," Victor mumbles, looking down at him. And oh, how magical he looks in that dwindling light with his silver hair framing his bent down face, those blue eyes wide open. Like something from a fairy tale, something ethereal and mysterious all the same.

The magic between them, the eye contact as it were, is broken by Victor adjusting himself on the sofa, reaching for his mug of coffee again.

"Once I've retired," he says, looking out into the nothingness of their dimly lit flat, "let's go somewhere. Somewhere where no one knows us. Just for a few days."

"Sure," Yuuri sighs, but it's a sigh made out of comfort. For he has his head on Victor's lap, and soon, Victor's hair is tickling his cheek as their lips meet a second before their tongues do, with Yuuri thinking that six months is an eternity and plans made by Victor have a high probability to change.

 

~**~

 

Victor's last competition was the Euros, held almost a month after the Russian Nationals.

Yuuri's heart swelled after seeing Victor standing in the middle spot on the podium, just like he did at Nationals. For him, his choice had been a given, not competing in Japanese Nationals just to make sure that Victor could wholeheartedly focus on his last few months of his skating career.

Naturally, Victor had fussed and made scenes upon scenes whenever the topic came up during the first six-or-so occasions, for he could indeed coach and be coached at the same time and this time was no different. But, Yuuri knew that Victor knew that he meant well, that his time would come once Victor's came to them both in abundance. Not before long, they settled in their unspoken deal, with Victor being swept away by everything that comes with preparing for the very last time; early mornings, long days and late evenings.

Yuuri couldn't help but feel redundant on a good day and like a bother on a bad one when the both of them were in the middle of it. For no matter how hard he practised, how many hours he put in under the tutelage of his fiancé, competition mode-Victor always did just a little bit more. It wasn't about what Victor did when he was away from all of that was theirs, he knew about all those sacrifices without having to ask about them.

No, it was more about what Victor did when he did come home, when he was all smiles and kisses and hugs with his hair gathered up in a small, messy bun of sorts, smelling of sweat, deodorant, fabric softener. When he cooked dinner, when he had no objections on movie night, when he left notes on the bathroom mirror. Victor gave so much more off the ice than on it, at least in Yuuri's eyes, that he actually felt like the only thing he could possibly to was to go back to Japan until Victor was done for he couldn't stand the energy wasted on him, the energy Victor needed to channel elsewhere.

That feeling, however, is nothing but a memory now. Victor is retired and Yuuri's a skater and a student, not a fellow competitor. It's different now in a way, different from how it was in the beginning for them when Yuuri wanted to do good by Victor but felt held back, for in his mind at the time, Victor shouldn't be coaching him but focus on himself instead. Now, Victor's career is finished as a skater which of course sends jolts of pain through Yuuri's body when he thinks about it, not being able to see the magic created by the person that has enthralled him for close to fifteen years, but he settled in Victor's decision during the months that passed. Having Victor entirely to himself isn't a bad thing.

In fact, it's a wonderful thing now that his own season have ended after Worlds and World Team Trophy, when it's just them. Them, in their own small corner of the world, enjoying the Russian summer in bed. Barely clothed with a fan humming in the corner of the room, blessing them with temporary relief from the heat when it cares to swing their way.

"Yuuri," Victor hums as he strokes Yuuri's thigh with a tickling fingertip, "we're leaving tomorrow. Sorry it took so long."

Yuuri flounders, blinks. Turns his head a little towards Victor and feels the huff of the fan grab his fringe, drop it and grab it anew. He can't say much, and what he eventually does say after a few more drive-bys by the fan is full of unspoken questions, of surprise.

"What?"

The reply is easy just like this version of Victor, retired and without a care in the word, delivered immediately without a second's delay, "We planned this before, don't you remember?"

Yuuri puts his hand on his forehead, as if the gesture will somehow make him remember. As if the hand will keep thoughts in before they escape with a flutter or maybe even the opposite by coaxing them out of hiding, but it doesn't. It doesn't make him remember if he really did agree to something, if he absentmindedly said something in passing or if this proposed agreement is something that comes from Victor's imagination.

For him, the last few months have all been about Victor, not about going anywhere. Not counting the sudden impulse he had of eloping to Japan, of course.

Yuuri sits up somewhat, props himself up on one of his arms and looks down at Victor. Victor smiles, that radiant supernova smile that creates small creases in the corners of his eyes and makes his mouth look particularly appealing. The way he's looking back at him makes Yuuri feel that he actually has forgotten something, that they indeed decided on going somewhere, but he forgets that thought too.

Seeing Victor like that, does that to him.

Yuuri sits up completely, held hostage by what he sees. Victor, sprawled out on his back with his legs wide apart on their white linen bedclothes with nothing but a black, skimpy pair of underwear on. He's mesmerised by how Victor's stomach rises and falls, how a bead of sweat almost ridiculously, tauntingly, rolls down his abs as he exhales. How he's smiling, how he's got one arm behind his head and―

Have mercy!

―how his fingers are all tangled up in his tousled hair, how it just pools over his arm and the pillow underneath.

Yuuri resists the need of adjusting himself, of reducing the chafing feeling between his legs. He finds himself biting his lower lip and looks away. It's because Victor's hair is longer now, it almost reaches his shoulders.

It's difficult for Yuuri not to get caught in that puerile feeling of wanting, of needing, of desiring to sate and soothe. Victor at thirty-one isn't Victor at eighteen, nor is Yuuri at twenty-seven the same as his fourteen year old self but... why does the mere image of Victor like this make him react like he was that awkward, starstruck teenager again, the one who would fit Victor into any conversation, make him seem like the clear-cut answer to any topic, the one who would gaze at his posters, close his eyes and dream that he wasn't the one touching himself in his childhood bed?

After all, Victor at thirty-one is there, in front of him. In their bed, in their bedroom, in their flat. Victor at thirty-one is his and has been for a while already, but for some reason when then and now, together with a hint and a hope of what's to come forcefully collide, it becomes a complicated, entwined mess. One that Yuuri still knows that he's not quite done untangling.

"You forgot," Victor says, but it's without blame in his voice. Without that teasing tone he sometimes puts on. Instead, it's a warm sound that carries those words that escapes his lips and tongue as he sits up, as he brushes a few strands of hair away from Yuuri's forehead.

Yuuri swallows because he figures that he must have forgotten but there's something to that image; seeing Victor come closer with blue eyes veiled by light lashes, lips slightly apart, some of his hair tucked behind one ear, that makes Yuuri remember.

"No," he replies, feeling his eyes close on their own accord, his lips doing the opposite, "I didn't."

Victor tastes of summer.

 

~**~

 

They spend three days in Stockholm, days filled of walking close to the water by the docks, seeing the Royal parade, going past the theatre where Bergman, 'I am death', once worked. Stockholm is nice despite its small city wanting to be bigger-complex, despite how Victor actually stops and thinks before buying clothes and shoes, despite the many unspoken cultural, or are they behavioral, mysteries and clues on how to not be huffed and puffed at in various social situations. Because Swedes, they tend to huff and puff when being forced to deal with something bothersome, like two lovers standing on the wrong side of the metro station's escalator, blocking the way.

They consequently stand to the right after that.

The best thing about Stockholm, though, happens when they blend in and act like the Romans do, or the Swedes in this case. Acting like everyone else makes people not notice them. It's strange walking with Victor, how he passes for a local amongst the tall, fair-haired part of the population. That never happens in Japan, and it certainly doesn't happen in Russia. Figure skating doesn't seem to be a big thing in Sweden, and that's something Yuuri has a hard time understanding since the country supposedly is made out of snow during the winter.

Nor does their hand holding and open mouthed kisses seem to be a big thing, either. They are just two people in love, just like any other couple. It's an open city, Stockholm, one that makes Victor relax in Yuuri's eyes. One that makes him more handsy, more affectionate and, if that's even a possibility, more sure.

Yuuri wants to ask him about that over breakfast on their last day. How it's possible that Victor Nikiforov can lose, or at least disregard, his inhibitions while being perfectly sober. To Yuuri's surprise, it's Victor who takes command when they're rallying around the breakfast tray in bed, picking and reaching for the edible bits and bobs.

It's funny, how Victor works. How he declares in a celebratory manner that they have someplace else to be, pulling his hair back from his face as he sips his coffee. It's like he poses a question where he asks for Yuuri's opinion but, and here's the funny part, he's already decided.

Yuuri lets him have that with a barely noticeable sigh, that moment of almost expected surprise. He knew it was coming, the suggestion-turned-command, for Victor had been busy with his phone the night before, talking about a never setting summer sun, moose and nature. And, if Yuuri's not terribly mistaken, Victor did mention something about the Swedish sin too. Although they have yet to experience it for themselves, their hotel room neighbors seem to have embraced the concept wholeheartedly.

Yes, Yuuri sighs before he puts his bowl of fil away, back on the tray. It wasn't quite what he'd expected with its slightly tart and sour taste. It's something that cannot be hidden by sweet breakfast cereal or juicy raspberries no matter how much or many he puts in, and takes a bite of a luxurious sandwich instead.

"Better," he says quietly to himself.

"Yuuri," Victor almost whines, playing with the empty shell of the egg he just ate, "aren't you going to ask where we're going?"

"Will you tell me if I do?" Yuuri softly retorts, knowing very well what the answer will be.

"Well, no," Victor says, his face exploding into that show stopping smile that just keeps on coming more and more often, more and more often without a reason to. "It's a part of the surprise."

Yuuri tries to hide a smile behind the napkin he's patting against the corners of his mouth and says, as deadpanned as he can, "Okay, so… when do we have to leave?"

 

~**~

 

"If we start now, we'll make it in time," Victor says after opening the boot of the car. "Put your stuff in, love."

Yuuri puts his duffel bag in the boot next to Victor's enormous hardside, it really is too big a luggage for such a short getaway, and glances a little at Victor in secret. Victor's hair is loose today, freshly washed and therefore, still a little damp at the ends. Yuuri doesn't quite understand why Victor doesn't wear it up, tied back, something, because he keeps raking his hair back from his face before it falls back down. The way Victor's hair acts like mercury between his fingers, soft and light with a life of its own, the repetitive motion he does when he pushes it back… god, even glancing at Victor in secret is torture.

Yuuri clears his throat a little as he closes the door to the boot, trying to make his imagination settle with what he hopes sounds inconspicuous, before he turns away to take a deep breath.

"So," he says, pleased about how indifferent he's managing to sound whilst allowing his eyes to sweep over the parking lot of the car rental agency, "why are you in a shirt and tie today?"

"You know I like to look good," Victor coos somewhere behind him, "and―"

Yuuri almost flinches when he feels Victor close to him, Victor's heat seeping into his back, Victor's breath touching his ear, that kiss that threatens to be placed at the side of his neck. The way Victor's hair smells, feels, looks, when it's tickling his cheek makes him forget how to breathe. If he ever knew how to whilst being close to him in the first place. He's not sure.

"―I know you like it too."

With a wink and a finger put to his lips, flashing by in passing, Victor hops into the SUV. Leaving Yuuri with the sound of the driver seat door closing and a pulse pounding in his ears.

When he finally joins Victor, after finding his breath and stilling his internal rhythm a few seconds later, he finds Victor talking on his phone. He speaks in English, and by the look of Victor's glance and boyish smile, Yuuri understands that he just missed out the important part.

"Hey, you," Victor says, putting the phone in the compartment below the gear lever, "ready?"

"Yes," Yuuri answers, fastening his seat belt. Weighing between asking about Victor's phone call and accepting that he already knows the answer. "Nice car," is what he settles with.

"Audis are nice, love," Victor says as he pushes the key into the ignition and puts the lever into drive. "We should get one."

The sound of the GPS that immediately starts barking commands amuses Yuuri, but he holds his tongue until Victor reaches the E4 and turns on the cruise control.

"In Russian, Victor? Really?"

He gets a glance, just a quick one for Victor's eyes wants to stay on the road. Victor doesn't have to say anything, nor does Yuuri have to ask because sometimes, not often, it's the other way around. Victor knowing that Yuuri knows and they both settle in that.

After all, it's a surprise and surprises are meant to be experienced.

 

~**~

 

Their destination is northbound, Yuuri is told, after they've passed fields and fields of rapeseed flowers, not quite an hour after leaving Stockholm. Reaching the countryside, nature, happens quickly in Sweden it seems, and Yuuri can somewhat understand Stockholm's desire to differ from that.

His thoughts come back to his home town, to Hasetsu, where everyone, even the town itself, have accepted that it is what it is. That it won't it be any different. Hasetsu is small, a coastal town as well as Stockholm, but that's where the similarities end. Stockholm is, or tries to, be different. Strange that, in a country where the people seems to conform.

Yuuri's musings are interrupted as Victor lowers the sound on the sound system.

"Hungry?"

"Hm, no," Yuuri replies. "You?"

"No. I just wanted to ask because we won't be there in a while."

Yuuri looks at Victor then. Victor has taken off his sunglasses and has pushed them up on his head. His hair has almost buried them, that avalanche without a care of what could possibly stand in its way, and Yuuri follows a particular strand that has broken free. It coils a little as it finds its way, along Victor's neck, past the collar of his shirt, past the slightly loosened tie, only to settle at the upsidedown triangle of exposed skin that wouldn't show if Victor only had buttoned the two topmost buttons of his shirt.

"I… I love your look today," Yuuri mumbles, his eyes still mesmerised by that lock of hair.

Victor doesn't reply, not with words. He just huffs a small laugh and brings his hand up to Yuuri's face after a fleeting glance, and draws a semicircle with his thumb underneath Yuuri's glasses.

Yuuri closes his eyes, feeling Victor's hand against him. It's warm despite the climate control, it's warm and it's heating up his cheek. He leans into it with a sigh before he turns his head slightly and kisses Victor's palm, feeling his breath circulate around Victor's fingers before it dissipates.

"Oh, Yuuri…"

Feeling Victor's hand disappear from his cheek almost makes Yuuri open his eyes, but that impulse is forgotten when he feels Victor's hand on his thigh, his fingers writing a message into Yuuri's trousers.

Trying to decipher it, feeling the message being written again and again by fingers seeping heat into his skin, branding him with the invisible words, Yuuri feels his eyelids grow heavy. He senses the relaxation, he realises that he's close to falling asleep but… he's not sure if he really does though. The sound of the radio is just as vivid in either state he's in, making it difficult to really ascertain that. He knows he's in that SUV, he knows they're heading north on roads cutting through fields and forests, he knows that they're heading towards something that is supposed to be a secret. But there's still a magical feeling of being unaware and fleeting all around him, one that just won't give.

Take Victor's hand, for example. He thinks it there, still warm against his thigh, with fingers that probably have drawn something close to what can be found in the Sistine Chapel or written something like to War and Peace by nowHe feels it, the touches, the way Victor's fingers are slowly skimming across the fabric of his trousers but those touches morph. It's like he's being touched by something else, something that is neither hot or cold, liquid or solid, ethereal or tangible. It's like that hand is someone else's but still Victor's, a tingling unfamiliarity to all that is safe and recognisable.

He must have fallen asleep for real, since his eyes fling up within a fraction of a second when the bumps in the narrow, gravel road becomes too massive and manages to rock the SUV back and forth. Just like that, the layered, woven sensation from before is gone and he finds himself in that car, the seat belt digging into his neck a little, something soft and muted coming out from the speakers.

Yuuri whines a little as he stretches out his arms and legs, and ends the procedure with a yawn. He glances a little at the digital clock on the mid console of the SUV, correcting his glasses. Blinking in disbelief.

"Hi, honey," Victor says, now with his sunglasses on, "I bought you a bottle of water." Victor nods a little towards a bottle sitting in a cup holder, it's contents sloshing around inside. "Do you need me to stop somewhere?"

"I-uh…" Yuuri begins, feeling somewhat dazed and confused by being brought out of his sleep in the way he has. By time flown by and still, the unfathomable light outside, despite the time of day. That Victor has actually stopped somewhere and he hasn't even noticed. "Did I sleep for four hours?"

"Close to five," Victor hums.

Yuuri can't see if Victor's looking his way from behind the sunglasses. All he can see is how the shadows and specks of light play across the tinted surfaces of the lenses, a miniature carbon copy of their world caught and reflected back.

"Strange, isn't it? How light it is outside. Stockholm was nothing like this." Yuuri hears Victor say after a small pause. Victor flicks his head back a little as he removes his sunglasses, his hair suddenly billowing down on one side of his neck, and flippantly drops them onto his lap.

"Yes. It's… magical, almost." Yuuri pauses, reaches for the bottle of water Victor bought and unscrews the cap.

After a few mouthfuls, he offers the bottle to Victor who accepts it and drinks the remaining water. There's a small string of saliva running from the opening of the bottle that connects with Victor's lips, a glistening intimate spider web strung together by them both before it breaks. The small bead left on Victor's lower lip makes Yuuri promptly look away, out the window to the side. He never sees the way Victor's tongue makes it disappear.

After a bend, passing through some fields and reliving the sight of more trees flanking the gravel road, the GPS breaks the almost quiet with its Russian command.

"Oh," Victor says, upon turning right, "we're here."

They park their car further down by the side of the road, adding to the caravan of cars already left behind. There are people about, a blend of young and old, generations meeting, and Yuuri can't help but feel the excitement in the air. His body reacts to it, takes it in. He almost finds himself nervous as they cross the road, him and Victor hand in hand, because he recognises the tension. It's similar to what it feels inside him when he waits for his name to be called, seconds before entering the ice.

"What's this?" Yuuri dares to ask, as they walk past a small field and into the woods, following people walking down a well-treaded path.

"You'll see," Victor replies with a softness in his voice, giving his hand a small squeeze. "We're a little late, but I think it's okay."

"Late?" Yuuri parrots, turning his head to look at Victor.

Victor is looking straight ahead, a small smile curling his lips. He has loosened his necktie a bit more, it's almost undone. His hair moves a little in the slight breeze, and he runs his hand, the one not holding Yuuri's, through it to cull the strands that wants to take flight.

"Listen," Victor says then, his hand still holding back his hair on the top of his head, "I need to check something out. Let me buy you something to eat before I do. Okay?"

Yuuri feels slightly ashamed that his stomach answers before he gets around to, and together they find a makeshift coffee shop of sorts a little further down the path. Makeshift is indeed best word that pops into Yuuri's mind, for it's made of nothing but a few thermoses placed on a bench with some baked things on paper plates next to it.

The older woman nods a little as Yuuri reaches for his paper cup filled with coffee, and a small chocolatey ball covered in coconut shavings, and puts Victor's change in a small metal box.

"Okay," Victor says, standing incredibly close, brushing away a strand of hair that has gotten stuck in between Yuuri's glasses and forehead, "I'll be right back, love. Follow the people to down there," Victor cocks his head, "and wait for me. I'll find you. Good?"

"Yeah," Yuuri replies, "but what are yo―"

The kiss takes Yuuri off guard, how Victor's lips meets his with a softness unparallelled. How they nibble at his twice, no, three times before Victor moans, asking for permission to open up Yuuri's mouth with his.

And, Yuuri lets him. He's still holding on to that stupid paper cup, his hand cramping up against it when he feels Victor's tongue gently touch the roof of his mouth, the tips of his own tongue, the inside of his lips. Yuuri's knees weaken, close to buckling underneath him, but Victor's arm is around the small of his back, pressing his hips forward. Supporting him as he steals that kiss away.

If Yuuri could stop time, he would right then and there. He would choose to forever linger, having Victor close, inside his mouth, against him like that. Victor's time, finally becoming his. Theirs in abundance.

It is almost like a déjà vu that makes Yuuri lose his mental footing, for just as quickly as Victor was one with him, he's one with the crowd as Yuuri watches the back of his fiancé disappear into the ever increasing sea of people. Making him wonder if he was imagining things, if he even had Victor that close to begin with. If the touch of his hair really sparked that kiss that allowed Victor to make him melt or if it was something make-believe, a state of being asleep at best.

Yuuri decides to follow the crowd walking down that path that leads a little bit further into the woods. He licks his fingers, that chocolate ball managed to do one hell of a vanishing act once Victor came close and it is nowhere to be found, and smiles a little. Funny, how a small and insignificant thing like that could act like the proof needed to convince himself that, yes, Victor really is his and not a part of his boyhood dreams anymore. Nothing in the world makes him lose his prescription like Victor. Or what he's eating.

The further in Yuuri walks on that small path, the quieter the people around him become. Upon raising his head, he sees people sit on foldable chairs. Some people sit on the ground too, jackets and blankets acting as barriers between naked summer legs and a prickly ground.

Yuuri doesn't sit, though. When he finally comes close, close enough to see better, he stands on a bridge that arches over a stream. He's not quite close enough to look over the ledge of it and down into the water, the wall of people prevents him from coming much closer, but when he listens, he hears a guitar and a male voice singing in what he presumes to be Swedish. Not before long, the singing stops, and the crowd breaks out in an enthusiastic round of applause.

Oh... it's some kind of concert, then?

A speaker voice bounces around in that overcrowded clearing and people shift around, making Yuuri find himself a place close to the ledge without receiving any of the disgruntled Swedish huffs and puffs. A mission accomplished, as it were.

The crowd are coaxed into laughing by that speaker voice. Instead of laughing though, Yuuri hides behind that paper cup to the best of his ability, sipping a little coffee to make himself seem inconspicuous. He feels a little stupid, for a couple of quick glances to his left and right tells him that he's probably the only one there that doesn't understand the joke. Him and Vic―

"―tor, hela vägen från Ryssland!"

Yuuri flinches, the way one does when a thought is seemingly heard out loud. He listens, eyes wide, looking around to make sure that he's not imagining things. After all, there's been a lot of that today, of not knowing where the lines are, what makes them blurred and hard to perceive as real.

But the crowd seems to be excited, people turning heads and talking to each other. What was just announced by that speaker voice was something out of the ordinary by their reactions, something that makes Yuuri's thoughts race as thoughts and associations weave a web of possible truths to fit that evening, that to him is already full of preternaturality.

You're stupid, he reprimands himself inside, what makes you think he said Victor? Even if he did, Victor is a common name in this part of the world. Also, why would Victo

Yuuri never manages to finish that thought because further down the stream, maybe twenty paces or so, there's movement. Movement that catches everyone's attention, movement that makes the crowd gasp for air or whoop, he's not sure. There's someone walking out into the stream, slowly and wobbly at first but with gained confidence seconds after.

That's not what makes Yuuri become suspended, make him lose the sense of knowing what's real and not. Nor is it how this someone sits down, head bend down and tucking knees underneath as the water splashes in reaction to being forced to interact, take another route.

No, what makes Yuuri doubt is when the person in the stream runs wet hands through silver hair. When drops of water cascade down the naked, muscular body, now painted with dapples by the golden, never fading sunlight.

He knows who it is. That body, that hair, those movements. He knows because together, they make up what he thinks of as his, a familiarity that creates a longing, a desire, a yearning inside him and yet, there's something indescribable, ethereal, to the apparition that holds court down in the stream. Something new, like he laid eyes on this creature for the first time. And it's calling out to everyone, to him, by its mere presence alone.

He follows the the vision with his eyes as it stands up, walks over to the levee to the right with movements that remind him of hours spent by the barre, flexing and stretching to condition muscles into refinement, creating strength and delicate expression. Every action is an elongated line, an effortlessness hidden behind the power that resides just skin deep, as the presence goes down on one knee. When it stands up, it is dressed in a flower crown made of greens, whites and blues and holds on to a bow and a violin.

It comes closer to the bridge, and perches itself on a rock out in the stream, one foot still in the water and the other bent and placed on the seemingly slippery surface. The violin rests on its shoulder, the bow is close to the strings. From where Yuuri's standing, the view he gets is of the being's back and shoulder, for its face turned away from him, turned to connect with the crowd on the other side of the stream.

A flourish with the bow tells everyone that it's about to begin. The enthrallment, the bewitching of men and women alike. But as the creature takes a deep breath, readying itself to lure and entice, it looks over its shoulder.

Blue eyes, framed by silver hair and flowers just as blue connects with Yuuri's brown. Yuuri lets out a gasp then, for in that small window of acknowledging made of eyes meeting eyes, he finds himself relinquishing the idea that this, the entirety of it, is real. As well as the 'I love you' he thinks he reads on smiling lips before they turn away.

 

~**~

 

They find each other, or rather, it's Victor that finds Yuuri up on that bridge.

Yuuri's been standing there, dumbfounded, ever since the last notes from Victor's performance died out, trying to make sense of what he saw. His mind doesn't linger around the fact that he, and everyone else that's been present for that matter, has seen Victor. His mind doesn't seem to mind the image of Victor's naked body on display, using music as an excuse. What Yuuri seems to come back to, almost gravitate towards, is the fact that no matter what, he would have fallen for Victor anyway.

They have already met, which in itself is a wonder he can't even begin to put into words, but he now knows that if they hadn't and the universe and stars would somehow align in their favour and force them together thanks to a miraculous intervention, there wouldn't be a difference. The outcome would be exactly the same. Him, falling for someone with blue eyes, silver hair and the most captivating presence, no matter what setting, what situation, what lifetime.

But those thoughts are redundant now. Victor is his and he is Victor's and it's with a kiss to Yuuri's neck that Victor finally announces his return, a kiss made by cold lips that makes a shiver race across Yuuri's spine.

"Was… was it cold in the water?" Yuuri asks, covering Victor's hands with his own. Victor's nose and lips are nuzzling into the nape of his neck, and Yuuri knows that his question is a stupid one. He just doesn't know what else to say.

"Mhm," Victor hums behind him. "Freezing."

Instead of asking yet another question, one that would probably be just a simple 'why did you do that', Yuuri puts one of Victor's hands to his lips. He knows the answer already, he realises.

"So… what now?" he asks instead, turning his head a little.

He feels Victor's hands and arms ease up around his waist, and gives in when they touch his shoulders, asking him to turn around. Yuuri doesn't have to be asked twice.

Victor is still wearing that flower crown, and now that he's close, Yuuri can see bluebells and ferns, twigs of birch, a few stalks of keck, all braided together. Together, they create an amazing contrast, but against the canvas that is Victor's skin and hair… Yuuri tries to focus, intent on looking elsewhere, trying to stay right there and not head off inside his mind's many winding roads, but it's tough. Victor is leaning in now, his blue eyes demanding contact, but Yuuri's eyes dart to the side, then back again to Victor's face.

With a laugh, Victor strands up straight and looks to his side, at the people laughing whilst folding chairs, tidying up, making the clearing seem untouched despite what has taken place there.

Furtively, Yuuri takes Victor in. Victor is dressed now, at least somewhat. His necktie is undone, loose around his neck and he hasn't bothered to button his shirt completely. His trousers hang low on his hips, like he just jumped into them, and Yuuri can't help but smile when he sees that his belt is missing.

"What now, you ask," Yuuri hears Victor croon, and within the second, they gaze into each other's eyes again. Yuuri's pulse starts to tick a little harder as Victor takes one step closer, putting his hands on either side of Yuuri by holding on to the handrail behind him.

"Well… we're taking the flight home tomorrow evening and," Victor breathes against Yuuri's cheek, "that means we need to get back to Stockholm."

Yuuri blinks, feeling the ferns and the birch leaves of Victor's flower crown tickle his skin, acting as the last remnants of the magic threatening to be dispelled.

"Are you going to drive all night?" he asks, and as he is preparing himself to propose that they find someplace to stay, Victor silences him with a finger to the lips.

"We need to get going. Come."

As they walk next to each other, Victor's arm around Yuuri's shoulders and Yuuri's arm around Victor's waist, Yuuri feels questions upon questions bubble up inside him. He wants to know what caused this, this stupid idea to drive more than six hours through Sweden, to make it in time to a competition Yuuri still has no idea what it was about, then promptly drive the hours back so that they can hop on a plane to St. Petersburg later the same evening. He wants to know, because he has a hard time understanding Victor at times. He wants to know, for he has never been with anyone, romantically or otherwise, that just… does things like that. Fully, passionately, like tomorrow doesn't exist.

Those questions become forgotten as they reach the car. It's silly really, how Yuuri reacts when he sees Victor remove the flower crown, but it's with a harsh "What are you doing?!" he calls out, one that makes him forget about things like motives, reasons, whims and ideas.

"I'm throwing it away," Victor replies, holding the floral circle in his hand with a puzzled expression, his motion suspended in mid-air.

"I-uh, no…" Yuuri begins, his hands raised up in front of himself. He's not quite sure why he feels so heated, so convinced that he must prevent that flower crown with its near-wilting bluebells from being thrown away, discarded so easily by his lover's hand. "Can't… can't we keep it?"

He sees Victor opens his mouth, most certainly to argue with his motives, reasons, whims and ideas, but instead of continuing on delivering something that can be anything between cheeky and blunt, Victor smiles.

"You want me to wear it?"

Yuuri hopes that the jolt he feels inside is just that, invisible and something only he can perceive. He feels disabled by it, like Victor's words hit something inside him that just rendered him unable to speak.

Yuuri thinks he manages to nod, because there must be a reason for Victor's smile to widen as puts the crown back on his head.

 

~**~

 

They pass through a small village shortly after leaving that gravel road behind.

Yuuri's stomach is close to causing a riot, which makes them stop briefly as a petrol station to not only sate that growling stomach but to top up on petrol. Victor chooses a sausage with mashed potatoes and Yuuri settles for a sandwich.

Victor doesn't see, or maybe he doesn't care, about the amused look he gets from the clerk when he annoyingly brushes away ferns and leaves when he's trying to pay with his card. Yuuri feels his ears heat up a little as he stands next to Victor and waits, unable to understand what it must be like to be him. How oblivious Victor is to thoughts, looks and opinions of others and therefore, can be himself without having to think twice.

Yuuri smiles then, as Victor beams and fires off a 'tack' as the transaction is cleared. Maybe, Victor will rub off on him one day. Maybe not now, when skating still is a part of their lives and he himself is too caught up in being judged professionally to really manage to disregard being judged in private. One day, though, when he's retired and the both of them have a life together that might be similar to th―

"Yuuri! Come here," Victor chirps, standing on the other side of the automatic door, holding his sausage and Yuuri's sandwich in one hand and the car key in the other.

Yuuri gives the clerk a quick bow, and hurries out where he and Victor eat their overpriced meal together whilst leaning against the bonnet of the car.

Then, they head off again with a topped up car and topped up stomachs, driving through the night in a light that seems to fade with every passing mile.

It takes a while for them to reach the E4 southbound and when they do, Yuuri's told that they have approximately four hours left to drive until reaching Stockholm after Victor glances at the GPS. Yuuri worries a little hearing that, naturally, and proposes that they should try to find somewhere to sleep, or at least rest for a little while, but Victor shakes his head and insists that they keep on driving for a little while longer. So instead of nagging, Yuuri holds Victor's hand and this time, it's him writing invisible messages as a way of keeping Victor awake.

Of course, they need to stop eventually, if not only to stretch their legs but to abide to the call of nature. So when they find and exit and a rest stop shortly thereafter, the both of them exit the SUV, head to the side of the road and unzip their trousers.

They stand next to each other in silence, overlooking the small lake in front of them. It's still light outside, a dusky rosy hue painting the sky above them. Except for the sound they make together, that muted trickling sound that hits the vegetation, there's nothing. Nothing but them.

Victor finishes first, the sound of his zipper being the cue for Yuuri to ask Victor to retrieve the hand sanitiser from his bag. Victor hums in response.

He hears Victor open the boot behind him, rummage around a little before the door closes again with a soft click.

"Here," Victor says and stands at the ready with the small bottle, offering Yuuri to go first with a small squirt. They rub their hands in a quiet understanding before they head back to the car.

"Hey, Victor," Yuuri says as he's fastening his seatbelt again, "can I ask you something?"

"Sure," Victor says, putting the key into the ignition.

"It's… I… I just kind of wanted to know why… eeto…"

"Yuuri, come on. We took a piss next to each other and now, you don't know what to say? Damn, I love you. You know that?"

Although Yuuri would never answer that question out loud, especially not sober and most definitely not after having experienced an evening like the one he has, he feels the answer inside himself. He knows. Yes, he knows that Victor loves him and maybe, just maybe, if he dares to look a little further in, he'd agree to that he knows that Victor knows that he knows.

"Why do you ask stuff like that?" he mumbles, caught in between a lifetime of cultural rights and wrongs that sometimes feel unsurmountable. Especially when being forced to deal with them head on. But he's trying, but it still doesn't feel enough.

Victor huffs a small laugh and reaches for the key, readying himself to push it in when Yuuri stops him with a hand on his wrist.

"Victor, wait. I…" He exhales. Inhales. Decides that his hands are things better off looking at than Victor as be readies himself for his question. "What I wanted to ask you is… why… why this? Why do you dare so much more, now?"

It feels like an eternity, seconds multiplying and becoming uncountable before Victor answers. But when he does, it's with fingertips touching Yuuri's jaw, asking him for a moment of undivided attention. So, their eyes meet in that pocket of stillness and Victor delivers his truth, his reasons and motives expressed for no-one else but them to know.

"Because I feel safe with you."

Victor's words reach straight in, Yuuri feels, and he can't stop the small whimper from coming out of him. It's a sound he doesn't recognise for it is full with feelings being harnessed, controlled and hidden. Kept in line for an entire day.

No, that sound really isn't something that just a day's worth of desire has created, it's a sound made by twelve years of waiting, of hoping, of wanting. Of allowing oneself to really, really feel. Finally.

Yuuri melts when he senses Victor's lips on his own, and he's thankful for that. He's thankful for Victor bringing him back, he is thankful for Victor stopping him before he ventures too far. He wants him to know that, he needs him to. For if he makes Victor safe, if he really, really does despite how utterly insane it sounds, Victor deserves to know that he saves him, time and time again.

But Yuuri never gets the chance to say that. Victor is lapping away all the sounds he wants to produce, again and again, stealing them, swallowing them. Making them his own.

"I know," Yuuri hears Victor say, their lips still connected, their teeth gently scraping against the other's, "I know, love. I know."

Yuuri knows that he does and the sigh Yuuri lets in response out isn't something Victor seems to care about safekeeping. It's something he understands, something he reads and allows to be a catalyst, for he adds nothing but a little pressure which in turn is something Yuuri reacts to.

It's like he asks Yuuri to finally go, to lose himself, to venture deep, implorations made by kisses that grow and become something messy, filthy. They're open mouthed all of a sudden as the two of them lean in to reach each other, tongues no longer meeting inside either of them but on the outside, hungry to just feel and taste and lick. To devour what the other has to offer.

Victor moans into Yuuri's mouth, and Yuuri doesn't know what to do with that confidence. He can't internalise that moan, not yet. He wants more for Victor, needs to be able to do more, so his hands stray away from Victor's face. Fumbling, searching for the button to the seatbelt.

When it clicks, it's not Yuuri who springs to action, but Victor. Yuuri gasps for air as Victor straddles him in the passenger seat, forcing him down with his mouth, his tongue begging for gaining access.

"L-let… th… mmph, Vi―" Yuuri tries to say, but Victor is starving for him, eating up every single word between his rough inhales against Yuuri's lips. Yuuri reaches, finally manages to feel the lever with his fingertips and without warning, they come crashing down when the backrest hits the backseat.

They separate, if only for a couple of heartbeats. Breathing scorching huffs of air that threatens to burn them both, leave nothing but the memory of them behind.

Victor sits up, bracing himself with a hand on Yuuri's chest. His stomach is rising and falling, his rib cage expanding with every forced breath. As he runs a hand through his hair, pushing his fringe back, he frowns and reaches over to the backseat.

"Leave it! Leave it!" Yuuri growls when he understands what Victor is indeed reaching for. It's not needed, not now, not when he can fist Victor's hair, pull it, wrap it around his hand. The flower crown turn Victor into something else, something ethereal and fleeting and that's not what Yuuri wants. Yuuri wants Victor to be there, to ground him, to pull him back. He needs him for that. Him and not a version he doubts is real.

"Fair enough," Victor responds and arches his back. Leans back until he's almost touching the dashboard.

It's a perverted view, seeing Victor's head lean back slightly, his hair stuck together by the sweat of them combined as it cascades down his back. His mouth open with bared teeth, and that noise… that noise makes Yuuri afraid to touch him, for that noise brings out something carnal in Yuuri, something that threatens him to come if he as much as breathes in the wrong way.

Yuuri feels the seat glide back. Victor must have reached the lever in the front, for he's pushing the both of them back with his other hand until another click breaks the quiet that makes Victor finally sit upright.

Yuuri notices Victor feel around in his back pocket of his trousers, and flinches when something bounces off his face and lands on his chest.

"Put it on."

Yuuri's eyes shift from the condom on his chest to Victor, who is busy getting one leg free from his trousers. It's a show in its own right, seeing Victor's hips move, his leg he's trying to free extend and contract while he's got one hand against the inside of the car, his fingers digging into any surface made for bracing against.

Yuuri swallows. He can't have Victor moving like that, grinding against him or there will be nothing more than a disappointment that will follow them all the way to Stockholm, stuck to the inside of his underwear.

"Vi-Vic, no, Vitya! Wait, please wait!" Yuuri cries, as he dares to put a hand on Victor's almost bared thigh. "Careful, I'm… if you move like that, I'll…"

His imploration has the intended effect, because Victor stops, shifts, and sits almost in between the seats but not quite, with the foot of leg he wants to free against the door of the passenger's seat.

Yuuri breathes, relieved. He almost worms his way out of his t-shirt with his back pressed against the backrest, then continues with unbuttoning his trousers with some difficulty. It's hard to avoid Victor's leg, it's there right across and above him, touching him on occasion, sending a fizz through him that wants to drown him from the inside.

"How… how about you, do you have…" Yuuri breathes, looking at Victor who now has managed to undress himself in the way he sought.

"Yeah," Victor replies with a smile. He's softer now. His arousal being slightly more levelled, not as acute. With a sigh, he straddles Yuuri again, and presents the small tube to him.

"Give me some," Victor says, flattening his hand with his palm up once the tube exchanges hands.

Yuuri does what he's told, still with a racing heart, because this is new. This Victor is new, this setting is new. He himself feels… not new, but enlightened. Excited even.

When Victor shifts on top of him, reaching around to touch himself with his hand, Yuuri fights the initial response to lean back, to really recline. His heart is beating, almost fighting its way out of his chest and he wants to keep that feeling, that need his heart has to meet Victor's, alive. So he unbuttons Victor's shirt instead, travelling along that fine line of being ignited and put out, and watches Victor's body move underneath the white fabric.

"Work me," Victor whispers, his mouth slightly open, stretching his arm in order to reach, to prepare.

Yuuri puts his hands on Victor's thighs. Victor is burning, being a white flame in front of him, one that Yuuri wants to be close and engulfed in. He allows his hands to travel upwards along the slippery skin, towards Victor's erection, and receives a moan when he accidentally brushes against the light hair surrounding it.

"No, no," Victor says, the words stuttering together with his exhales, his shirt coming off one of his shoulders.

"You don't want me to touch you?"

"Not there. Anywhere but there," Victor replies, his teeth bared as he shifts on top of Yuuri, creating a friction that must be made out of spite.

Digging his fingers into the seat underneath him, Yuuri manages to sit up, at least somewhat. He looks at Victor, his closed eyes and parted lips, how he's the one being lost inside himself now. Making himself reach a point where he wants more, needs more, where he'll ask Yuuri to provide. Yuuri knows he can help him, so he touches Victor's waist with his fingertips, and gets a fraction of a second's worth of eye contact and a smile before Victor disappears again, into a world Yuuri can only try to imagine.

With one hand on the small of Victor's back, he pulls himself up a little and places a kiss on Victor's stomach. And another, and another. The reaction from Victor is nonexistent, almost rude to Yuuri, which makes him add tongue after that. Allows it to create a glistening trail upwards towards Victor's chest.

"D-doing okay?" he whispers as Victor almost hits his head when he moves underneath him, but he gets no response, not until his lips reaches Victor's nipples.

It's a perverted sigh that comes out of Victor then, one that makes Yuuri's insides tremble. One that makes his heart determined to break free from its confinement if it continues. And it does, for it's with a quaking body and stuttering breaths Yuuri allows his tongue to touch the delicate skin and the small, protruding centre, and finally, closes his lips around it.

Victor tastes of sweat, salt and metal, a slight hint of alcohol or perfume, but there's another undertone to his skin as well. One that can't be described with one word. Victor tastes of endless days, of cold mountain springs, of grass and herbs and dirt. Victor tastes of sun, of mellow breezes, of strawberries and vanilla ice cream. Victor tastes of melting pavement, of petrol, of crowded metro stations.

Victor tastes magical. He's a gustatory canvas, something Yuuri never knew he missed in his life until that very moment. So Yuuri digs in, fills himself with this new flavour, this new drug, this new sucker punch to his palate. With every taste, he wants more and Victor gives. Victor gives by arching his back, making his chest press into Yuuri's face, making himself meet with Yuuri's famished mouth. Yuuri feels Victor's nipple skim across his tongue in passing, but he wants it so he bites and pulls, albeit softly, making Victor release a rumbling moan as he folds over.

Yuuri falls against the backrest, with Victor still in his mouth, still pressed against his face. His glasses are digging into the bridge of his nose now, but he doesn't want Victor to ease up on the pressure in fear of creating just enough time apart, time he doesn't want to spend by fanning the flame. He wants to combust, he wants Victor to allow him to take it.

It must look comical to the outside, how he squirms underneath Victor to get his face free. How his glasses are all askew and oily when he finally finds room, a pocket of air somewhere around Victor's shoulder.

"I can, I can do it," he whispers into the side of Victor's neck as he allows one of his hands to grip Victor's ass, "i-if you're not ready, I-I could…"

Victor's stomach is invading his by quickened breaths, a continuous push and pull that makes Yuuri scream internally. It's like they're already doing it, already fucking but without even getting close. Not getting close to each other, close to coming.

"Now, l-let's do it now," Victor pants, "wh-where is it?"

Yuuri feels Victor paw around him, sticking a hand underneath his legs and in between them. The low crackling of his fingers finding the condom packet, stuck somewhere underneath one of Yuuri's thighs is a triumph, close to a divine fanfare.

Victor backs up and places himself on Yuuri's thighs, pulling down his trousers and underwear without anything that resembles finesse. It's an urgency, a yearning that translates into his choppy and determined movements, something that tells Yuuri that Victor is at his breaking point, something that acts like fuel to the flame to his self confidence.

Yuuri feels himself spring free thanks to Victor's rough hands, and he quickly takes the condom packet from Victor. He opens it with his teeth and sloppily rolls it down himself. Of course he has to redo it, he notices, with air being stuck at the top. So he blushes, not only from badly disguised arousal, and dresses himself again, paying more attention this time.

"N-now wh―" Yuuri starts, but becomes interrupted by Victor who is trying to turn around on his lap.

"Raise the back. You'll need the support," Victor says firmly, almost over his shoulder.

And Yuuri does. He reaches for the lever to the back rest and raises it some, whilst looking at the marvel before him. Victor is taking off his shirt, muscle and bone playing underneath his skin as he moves, pulls his arms out of the sleeves and tosses it aside.

There are a couple of tired leaves and wilting petals still stuck in Victor's hair. Yuuri reaches over to pick them out but is stopped by a flash of blue, Victor's eyes, searching for his over his shoulder. Delivering the words that will bring him closer to his demise.

"Come," Victor quavers. "Yeah… come and put it in."

 

~**~

 

Yuuri closes his eyes when it happens, when he feels himself disappear into Victor. The slick tightness that surrounds him, the warmth that he senses around him, makes his breathing stutter. It feels like his body forgot how to sustain itself, like that vital part of his brain that governs over breaths and heartbeats shut itself down once Victor guided him inside.

It's peculiar not being sure if he's in pain or not. Logically, Yuuri knows that he probably should be, being poked and prodded by edges and hard, protruding surfaces, the way the leather seats painfully remind him of friction by the way they grip his skin, but… at the same time, all those things feel faint and indistinct. It's like his brain understands that those things are there at some level, but right then and there, pain doesn't mean anything for just the sensory part of his brain being functional is too immersed, too busy processing what's happening to him.

It becomes worse when Victor starts to move.

When Victor moves, Yuuri's breathing kickstarts, brought back to life by that constricting sensation with every slow, torturous rock of Victor's hips. Even though he's got air in his lungs, Yuuri feels a distress. He's inhaling all of those things his arrested breathing prevented him from doing, the things he needed to keep outside of himself.

It's thick, that smell. That smell of them blended together, of sweat and sex and fucking, an aphrodisiac in its own right that makes Yuuri grab the neckrest with fingers turning into claws. For if he as much as moves, for if he even thinks of moving, or worse, imagines that he should reach out and touch Victor, he will come.

Victor stills then, as if they're connected not just in body but in mind. He sinks down with a sigh, takes all of Yuuri inside, before he asks without as much as turning his head, "Doing okay?"

Yuuri tries to speak, he feels cottonmouthed, and manages to make a faint noise. It's an 'u-un', a sound he knows Victor hates because to him, it can be either a yes or a no. Yuuri can't see why that would make a difference, not in this context, but he corrects himself with a strained 'yes' instead.

Victor puts a hand on Yuuri's knee, a small, almost consoling kind of action, before the torture begins anew.

This time, Victor moves slow. It's just his hips swaying a little, grinding on top of Yuuri, and Yuuri can't really decide if Victor's being kind to himself or if he's considerate of the flustered mess underneath him. But, that doesn't last long.

Yuuri's eyes fling open when Victor suddenly leans forward. It's the tilting sensation that does it, the way Victor moves away from him while still keeping him inside, that makes Yuuri look. He feels Victor spread his legs a little more, one hand suddenly bracing against the dashboard and the other trying to find something to hold on to around the door. It seems like Victor settles for gripping the curved structure by the window, his hands stills there.

Then, Victor really moves.

Yuuri groans when Victor takes control, when he coils and recoils his back in a manner that makes Yuuri pressed back against the backrest. Victor's ass pushes into his front in a way that knocks the air out of him, and it just keeps on happening. Only faster and faster.

Victor's entire body is working, creating lines and motion and moments. His arms and shoulders catching the propulsion his legs create, and Yuuri feels mesmerised watching Victor's back. The way his shoulder blades move, the way his spine flexes, the way his hips gyrate and the way ass digs and digs, deeper onto Yuuri's yearning. He feels faint, lightheaded, but he just can't look away.

Yuuri lets go of the headrest. Being pushed back like that in that irregular rhythm he can't prepare for makes his naked back stick to the leather, makes his neck scrape across the hard edges of the seat vertebrae by vertebrae. It stings. If he only could at least touch Victor, then that fuzzy, muted reality would blend with his own and―

"No!"

Yuuri flinches and retracts his hand. He feels panicked, he needs to hold on to something, ground himself, because the way Victor moves will end him.

"Wh-why can't I-aahh, ah, touch―" he stutters whilst pawing at the side of the driver's seat with one hand and the roof of the car with the other. Every collision made between him and Victor pushes the air out of him, effectively preventing him from speaking.

"Hips th-then," Victor offers, head bent down and muffled, "ju-just, no… let me contr-ohh…"

So, Yuuri brings his hands to skim across Victor's back until they are by his hips, still and doing nothing but following Victor's pace. He finds Victor relentless, insatiable even, for he moves with the same force, the same speed, crashing into Yuuri with a sound that is so perverted that Yuuri needs to focus to not be carried away. But it's difficult, for every push Victor makes, makes Yuuri balance on a tightrope, a frustration building inside. For he isn't allowed to let go.

He tries to move, flex his hips a little to meet Victor's body but he gets asked, no, commanded not to. Victor's particular with what he wants, riding him hard and fast and disregarding Yuuri's tries when he tries to create something in sync, shooting him down with exclamations like 'no' and 'don't. That only makes Yuuri more frustrated, more handsy, more brazen, because this Victor isn't who he is used to. This Victor is selfish, somewhat dismissive, not at all what he wants.

One of his hands decides to leave Victor's hip and travel to his front instead, to his chest. Yuuri moans, finally opening up to what Victor has been denying him, as he caresses him. When he stills his hand, and he does that quite a few times, he can feel Victor's nipple against his fingertips. So he plays with it when it passes by, gently pinches it, feels it between his fingers until Victor mewls.

You're playing with me! Yuuri manages to think in the midst of that corporeal oddity-turned-bliss, Victor, you idiot.

Inside, something explodes. It's like a Big Bang, something that gives birth to endless possibilities. And Yuuri takes a chance on one.

He manages to shift underneath Victor, bring them both a little more towards the edge of the seat despite their combined weight. He doesn't know why he does what he does next but it feels natural, asked for in a way, which makes the decision to grab Victor's hair with one hand while bracing himself with the other. He pulls back and Victor is pliant, following him by leaning his head back towards his shoulder.

Victor's profile is amazing. He's got his eyes closed, his lower lip in between his teeth, his adam's apple is moving in his throat as he produces a sound Yuuri's never heard before.

Then, it's Victor who lets go, allows Yuuri to take control by following his thrusts, his hips. Their mouths almost meet, their tongues kind of do, as Yuuri continues to pull, entwine his fingers in those strands saturated by sweat.

Victor is starting to moan. With every push Yuuri makes to get deeper inside, Victor praises him, salutes him, worships him. Their hands meet in Victor's hair, and Victor pulls, pulls, pulls Yuuri's wrist until he's close to being draped across Yuuri's shoulder.

They kiss. And when they kiss, they share a glance, one that is full of intoxication, devotion and promise in the rear-view mirror. Yuuri's got one hand in Victor's hair still, the other is around Victor's jaw, allowing himself to both fill and be filled, and Victor just has his on top of Yuuri's. Allowing them to stay just where they are, as his 'aahs' become more frequent, more shrill.

"...close… so close, love," Victor whines into Yuuri's mouth before he breaks away, before he leans forward and puts a hand against the dashboard, his hair slipping through Yuuri's fingers.

Victor is touching himself now, Yuuri notices, now holding on to Victor's shoulders for more leverage. It's his cue to press on a little bit more, to be the one that brings Victor over the edge and back. So he does, by kissing Victor's sweaty back, whilst keeping up the pace Victor handed over to him.

It doesn't take long before Victor's breathing becomes quickened, his moans more guttural. He's starting to lose tonus in his body, threatening to pool off the dashboard, his counteractions to Yuuri's actions becoming more sporadic and lax.

"I love you, Vitya," Yuuri breathes against Victor's back, "I love you, I love you, I love you."

When Victor comes, he comes with a sound unparallelled. One that blurs the lines of what's real and a fantasy.

And Yuuri thanks him, by letting go.

 

 

 

-the end-