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Finding Love in an Elevator

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Chapter 1 - Going Down


It had been a good morning, Yuuri thought as he made his way down the snowy sidewalk from the arena to the hotel for the athletes.  He was in fourth after the Short program. His practice had gone well, although he still only landed that quad salchow cleanly one in three times.  He'd had a good night's sleep and so far his anxiety was under control.

And he was skating on the same ice as Victor Nikiforov.

The Legend had been rehearsing when Yuuri had arrived at the rink earlier and Yuuri had been spellbound, watching the effortless way he executed his jumps.  Fortunately for Yuuri's nerves (and state of mind), Victor had left shortly after that, bound for the press rounds.  Otherwise Yuuri would have probably embarrassed himself by falling all over the ice during his practice.

He had showered at the arena and changed into his Team Japan track gear, then did his own press rounds before Celestino sent him back to the hotel for a light lunch and a nap.  Not that Yuuri thought he'd get the latter - he'd always found it hard to sleep before a performance.  But he was looking forward to a little peace and quiet, lying on his bed with his earphones in.  He needed to charge his phone, too - he'd forgotten to do that last night and just had time to grab it before practice.

As he entered the hotel lobby his ringtone went off and he saw his sister's image pop up on the screen. "Moshi moshi," he said cheerfully as he answered.  "Ohayo, Mari-neesan."

He paused and glanced over at the stairwell, and for a moment he thought about taking the stairs up the three flights to his room.  But his legs were already tired from his workout and he needed to save his energy for that night, so he ducked into the elevator just as the doors were closing.

"Yuuri - " her voice said, sounding troubled, and then her voice cut out as the doors closed.

Yuuri sighed as he disconnected.  He'd have to call her back once he got to his room.  One of the several inconveniences at Sochi was the unreliable cell phone reception, particularly inside the buildings. At least he hadn't gotten stuck in his own bathroom, like that guy at the Olympics.  Or in the elevator -

As if he'd summoned bad luck with that thought, the elevator suddenly stopped with a loud noise and shuddered ominously.

"Oh no no no," he said, pushing the button for his floor again.  Nothing happened.  He pushed the emergency call button but there was nothing, no ear-piercing sound from speakers, no noise at all.  He opened the emergency phone box but it was empty, wires just dangling in the hole.  Frantically he scanned the panel but there was nothing else, no call button or other way to summon help.

Yuuri slammed his hand against the doors, cursing in Japanese, and spun around in place.  That's when he realized that he wasn't alone in the elevator.

Victor Nikiforov was standing in the back of the elevator, his skating bag by his feet. Victor, the man he'd idolized since he was twelve.

It's possible that Yuuri screamed. It's possible that Yuuri fainted.

It's certain that he did both.