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They take their stances, no more chatting, and the match begins.

They circle one another, Victor still keeping his distance. That’s fine. This isn’t like the last time. Victor was right, Yuuri hadn’t been well rested. This round is different.

Yuuri makes the first move, stepping out and attacking in a flash of metal and whisper of wind.

Victor’s eyes widen just a fraction before parrying. He opens his mouth to say something, but Yuuri moves again, their blades screeching together as Victor barely deflects the hit.

He doesn’t try to talk after that.

Yuuri keeps up the attack, pushing Victor around the courtyard without any damn opening. He knew it was a lot to hope that he could beat Victor while he’s not literally having the life sucked out of him and isn’t consumed by emotion, but he has to try.

Victor tries to get in an attack or two, but Yuuri turns it against him, arm moving so fast he barely even thinks before he does. Sweat beads on Victor’s brow, their breaths clouding the air, the only noises being their shuffling steps, rustling fabric, and the metal of the swords amidst the deathly cold and quiet of winter. His moves are getting sloppier as the seconds tick by, Yuuri clinging to his need to win, letting it sear underneath his skin.

Victor parries and lunges forward, aiming for Yuuri’s gut. Yuuri smacks his blade away, sliding the edge of his own sword underneath Victor’s chin.

“Looks like I win,” Yuuri pants.

Victor just nods, huffing out a large breath as he raises his arms. So out of breath he can’t even talk? Yuuri eyes him for a moment, then almost lowers his blade—but pauses. He won’t ever admit it aloud, but the power that traces softly through his veins at seeing Victor like this—surrendered, at Yuuri’s mercy, not even glaring—well… Yuuri might enjoy it a little.

“I imagine you want something this time?” Victor finally manages to get out, arms lowering a little as he seems to focus on breathing.

“Well…” Yuuri did come here wanting something. He still wants it, really. On some level Yuuri knows that’s what he should focus on but his mind just won’t give in. He adjusts the blade in his palm, keeping it steady while he himself takes a step toward Victor.

Victor could easily back away, demand that Yuuri ask for what he wants and be on his way.

But he doesn’t.

“Enjoying the view?” Victor cocks half a grin, but… but he swallows and Yuuri doesn’t miss the tremble that passes through him. Yuuri doesn’t miss how his eyes flit around, never settling on anything for too long.

Yuuri doesn’t miss that Victor’s nervous.

And Yuuri… well, he definitely enjoys this.

“And what if I do?” Yuuri edges the blade to the side, making Victor tilt his head.

Victor’s breath stutters, his eyes fluttering shut for just a moment. When he opens them, he doesn’t take his eyes off of Yuuri, his pupils swelling slightly. “Why then, feel free to look, dear husband.”

Yuuri’s grip tightens, the blade jarring enough to brush Victor’s skin. Husband. The word has become a brand against his skin—but this time it burns for another reason. Victor’s soft tone holds no venom, no bitterness. Like he doesn’t hate being married to Yuuri. Like he wants…

“But what if looking’s not enough?” Yuuri lowers his tone, letting himself search Victor’s face. “What if I want to touch?”

Victor’s breath stutters, and it’s another moment before he replies. “But you already are touching. Your blade’s against my skin.”

Yuuri leans in closer, even as a small part of him screams about what a mistake this is, about how he needs to stop this before it’s far too late. But he’s tired, and he wants. It aches in his bones like an actual physical need, and he’s done ignoring and denying himself the things that he craves. “What if I want more?”

Victor whimpers, just a soft noise that Yuuri only catches because he’s so very close. This… Yuuri’s doing this to Victor. There’s no denying the reaction that Yuuri has on Victor. On his husband.

“You won this match.” Victor swallows again, as if parched. “I-I’m yours.”

“Are you really?” Yuuri leans in nearer, enough so that he can feel Victor’s breath hot and quick against his own lips. He looks up at Victor through hooded eyes. “You can say no, you know. Just like you offered me.”

The quiet grows and boils with something taut. The need to close the distance between them itches beneath Yuuri’s skin, but Victor doesn’t meet his eyes. Victor doesn’t move—if it weren’t for his panting breaths, Yuuri would be wondering if he were even alive. But, no. There’s a pink flush dusting Victor’s cheeks, not the pale lifelessness that Yuuri knows it could be.

Gods, Yuuri shouldn’t be pushing Victor like this. He should back away and demand what he was going to ask before.

Which was… what, again?

“I don’t want to say no,” Victor finally manages to whisper. “I want…” Victor’s eyes finally meet Yuuri’s blue is slowly devoured by black as his flush deepens.

Yuuri doesn’t have to wait for him to finish that sentence.

It’s clear what Victor wants.

The sword slips from Yuuri’s grip as he reaches out, fingers searching along Victor’s cheeks before pulling him down and meeting his lips. For a moment Victor stays still, but Yuuri doesn’t have time to second-guess anything before Victor’s hands are firm on his hips, pulling them even impossibly closer, and—oh, Victor really does want this.

Yuuri tilts his head, licking and nipping along Victor’s lips until he’s let in. He thrusts his tongue into Victor’s mouth and devours the whimper he gets in return. Victor may have held all the power in their relationship up until this point, but now it’s Yuuri’s turn to have this. It’s Yuuri’s turn to take and to take and to take—

Victor draws back, the winter air especially chill against Yuuri’s burning skin. He opens his mouth, but before he can get in a word there’s a noise.

A bark.

Something slams into Yuuri’s side in time with the regret that settles heavy and churning into his stomach. Somewhere on the edge of Yuuri’s consciousness, he registers Victor’s voice. It doesn’t seem angry, not low and dangerous, or high and upset. But he can’t focus on it any more than he can focus on Makka shifting all over him, probably slobbering up his face. Gods, it’s good he didn’t wear glasses while fencing today, between Makka’s saliva, and Victor—

Yuuri… He’d just kissed Victor.

He started it. After all this time of trying to put distance between them, he just…

Without a word Yuuri gets to his feet and begins to walk out of the courtyard. He’s sure Victor says something—or maybe he doesn’t, who knows, Yuuri is his mortal enemy after all—but it isn’t like Yuuri will stop and listen to it. In fact, he listens to no one and nothing as he picks up his pace through the mansion, his ears ringing in a cacophony of panic before he enters his room, and slams the door behind it.

For a moment, he just pants and gasps and stares at the dark wood before leaning forward and resting his forehead against the cool surface, even as his face burns at the memory that he’ll never be able to wipe from his mind. Would he even get rid of it if he could?

Yuuri squeezes his eyes shut, clenching his hands into fists, and banging his head lightly against his own door.

Gods, maybe he really should send Victor away from the mansion.

Or… send for Victor to come to his room.