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Thread Chasers

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Yuuri Katsuki left Hasetsu hoping to come back with a good relationship, a fantastic adventure, and a happy ending with his soulmate.

Instead he came back with a night he can’t remember, a snapped thread, and a broken heart.

“Hey.” Mari leaned against the doorway, taking a long puff from her cigarette. “Are you going to stick around and help now that your adventure’s over?”

Yuuri honestly didn’t know. He was expecting to come home with a happy ending. Instead, he seemed to have gotten the bad ending. The kind that the movie villains get when the heroes save the day. “I guess. It’s not like I have anything better to do.”

Mari pressed her lips into a thin line. “Alright. Well, dinner’ll be ready soon if you feel like coming down.”

He hummed in response, already trudging to his computer as Mari shut the door. He had the Thread Chaser’s channel bookmarked and he opened it, feeling his mood lift immediately once seeing Viktor Nikiforov’s face in the multiple video thumbnails and in the channel’s icon and banner. He clicked on the newest video, sliding his headphones onto his head.

Viktor’s face popped on the screen, his bedroom behind him. It was his usual set-up when he was back at St. Petersburg. Yuuri froze, pausing the video as the realisation sunk in. Viktor was back in Russia? Had he found his soulmate already? Had the end of the Thread Chaser channel come already?

“Hello!” Viktor said with a friendly wave. “As you might be able to see, I’m back at home in St. Petersburg—” Before Viktor could finish his sentence, Makkachin jumped on top of him, barking happily. Viktor laughed. “Hello, Makkachin. Daddy’s trying to film a video right now.”

Yuuri smiled as he leaned forward. He always appreciated that Viktor kept those little moments in. He rarely edited his videos down so much that there was barely anything in it. Most of his videos reached around an hour long, sometimes stretching even longer than that. Yuuri noted that this one was only thirty minutes long.

“Anyway,” Viktor said, turning back to the camera. “As I was saying, I’m back home in St. Petersburg, and for good reason!” He lifted his right hand with a deep sigh, but there wasn’t anything there. Cameras couldn’t pick up the threads that connected soulmates, but from the way that Viktor was looking at his hand, Yuuri wasn’t sure that there was a thread there at all. “While I was off in Detroit during my fifty day challenge—” He winked, pointing to the corner of the screen. “—go watch that by the way. But while I was in Detroit a few weeks ago, my thread snapped.” He paused, giving Yuuri a moment to stare at the screen in shock.

Viktor found his soulmate. He’ll probably be introducing them to his viewers.

Viktor held his hands up defensively. “For those of you who are hoping for a grand introduction to my soulmate, I’m afraid there isn’t much I can provide for you because I don’t know who it is.”

Yuuri’s mind was racing. Viktor didn’t know who his soulmate was, but his thread was snapped. What did that mean? Was it a joke? Yuuri had heard the stories of people not realising they had met their soulmate, usually brushing knuckles on the street, until they returned home to find their thread snapped, but for it to happen to Viktor? Impossible. He paid more attention to his thread than he did to himself.

“But do not fear!” Makkachin barked. Viktor laughed, petting her fur as he continued, “The journey of Thread Chaser doesn’t end here. Maybe I don’t have a red string to follow anymore, but I promise you that I’ll find my soulmate.” He smiled. Yuuri really loved Viktor’s smile. “Who knows? Maybe they’re watching this right now. If so, hello there! I hope we’ll meet again one day!”

Yuuri knew that Viktor wasn’t talking to him, even if the irrational part of his heart fluttered. It was impossible. He, Yuuri Katsuki, couldn’t possibly be world-famous thread chaser, the first thread chaser, Viktor Nikiforov’s soulmate. Even if he wanted desperately to be. It couldn’t happen, not even in his wildest dreams.

“So guess what we’re doing today!” Viktor stood up, grabbing the camera and turning it to reveal his packed bags. “We’re heading back out today, and I’m going to jump right back into the adventure!” Makkachin ran up to Viktor, rubbing her head against his leg. “Sorry, Makka. You’ll have to stay with Yuri again.”

Yuuri’s heart betrayed him again, soaring to the sky. But Viktor wasn’t talking about him. He was talking about Yuri Plisetsky, his old rinkmate from when Viktor used to skate. Yuuri used to skate, competitively too, until he started on his adventure to become a thread chaser. Then he dropped everything to find his soulmate.

“So, let’s go!”

The next shots were probably the only edited thing in the video, switching to a filter that Yuuri could not name as music played over it. The first shot was him locking the door to his apartment, then him walking down the street, Makkachin at his heels. The final shot in the sequence was him knocking on a door. The video faded back to normal as Yuri Plisetsky opened the door, looking annoyed.

“Yuri!” Viktor wrapped an arm around Yuri and the younger man stiffened, not returning the hug. “Look Makka! It’s Yuri. You love him, right?” Makkachin barked. Yuri scowled.

“Alright, old man. I agreed to take care of your dog, now get your camera out of my face.” Yuri opened the door a little wider, still blocking any hope of an inside shot of his apartment, to let Makkachin in. Viktor laughed, such a beautiful sound, as Yuri shut the door in his face.

“Say hi to Yakov and Mila for me!” Viktor called to the closed door as he turned away. “Back to the pretty shots,” he whispered.

The scene cuts back to the filtered shots, the music fading back in. The first was Viktor walking down the street again, then him getting into a taxi. The next is him swinging the camera up to show off the entrance to the airport, then the back of the taxi slamming shut. Next it’s him dragging his luggage, then a sped-up scene of him getting through airport security and everything else.

“Hello!” Viktor said as he settled into a seat to wait. “I’m live on Instagram right now, say hi everyone!” He turned the camera to his phone, revealing a flood of hellos and heys. “Let’s quickly answer some questions while I wait from my flight.” Yuuri recognised those words. He had stayed up to watch the live, had even gotten a question answered by Viktor himself.

“Here’s one! From tc.katsuki: Hi Viktor! I’ve been a fan since your figure skating days—oh, thank you!—and I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. From skating to thread chasing, how did you keep going when everything else tried to get you down? Lots of love from a big fan.”

Viktor paused for a second, a look that Yuuri had never seen on his face before crossing his eyes. As quickly as it was there, it was gone, and it was like it had never happened. Yuuri thought he had imagined it, but when he rewound the video, he saw the exact same thing.

“Well, Katsuki, sometimes you just have to keep going. Remember the things that made you start out in the first place and hold onto them. There’s so much out there for you to see, and if you give up now, you’ll never get to see all of it.” Viktor shrugged, as if he hadn’t just given the best advice that Yuuri had ever received. “But what do I know? Best of luck to you and your adventures!”

Yuuri tuned out the other questions, his thoughts drifting to his previous adventures, chasing his thread. The strange gap in his memory, the snapped thread he woke up to, and the broken heart he had brought home. All a result of his adventure to find his soulmate. He sounded pathetic when he thought about it again.

The video was almost over when Yuuri finally returned his attention to the screen. It was fading to black from the last shot—Viktor staring out of his window in the airplane—the words ‘see you next level’ fading into view before the video ended.

Yuuri leaned against his chair with a heavy sigh. “I never got to see it, Viktor. I’m sorry.”

“Yuuri! Do you want dinner?”

Yuuri pulled his headphones off, trotting out the door. “Coming, Mari!”

He left his computer on, the words ‘see you next level’ still smack dab in the middle in a bold white font.

Viktor was off to his next level.

So when would Yuuri start his?