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Behind Your Bruises

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“Please… Don’t!” a figure begs desperately as he pushes himself back against the wall, sliding down to make himself as small as possible. He shakes in terror as he watches the man he calls his “lover” stalk closer with clenched fists, “Demyan, Please!”

“Oh my little slave, you know I can’t do that… Not when you break the rules like this.” Demyan steps closer, ignoring the sobs of fear and the screams of protest as he grabs the smaller figure’s wrist in a vice grip, pulling him up violently and dragging him to their shared bedroom.
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Yuuri lets his tears fall freely as he stares at the bruises in the bathroom mirror. They’re everywhere… Hickies dotting his chest, stripes of spotted purple across his butt and all the way up his back, as if he’d been whipped with a belt…

As many as there are, this wasn’t the first time Yuuri has woken up to bruises across his skin. Ones he doesn’t remember getting. These fresh bruises only added to the mottled rainbow of fading ones already marked across his body.

He doesn’t feel them. He can’t feel any of them no matter how much he wishes he could. They aren’t his wounds to feel. Only to see.

That’s how the world is. Everyone is tied by the invisible string of fate to their other half, their soulmate. This was discovered long ago by noticing one shared trait between matched halves… Soulmates share injuries. What happens to one, painlessly appears on the other.

Yuuri doesn’t get bruises of his own often, the occasional misstep or hard fall on the ice being the only bruises he’d gotten in years. His soulmate, however, isn’t so lucky…

It started slowly… marks appearing that could be written off as clumsy accidents, ones that Yuuri had once thought were adorable as he imagined a less than graceful soulmate. Then it got worse. Two year ago, Yuuri had woken up to one eye nearly swollen shut with bruising. Since then, it has become a pattern… Many bruises showing up all at once, a period of peace long enough for them to yellow with fading, and then it would repeat.

This time it’s worse, and it sends a wave of anger, sorrow, and the desperate instinct to protect through his veins, much stronger than any time before this. Through his tears, he glares at his body in the mirror. Striped around his neck is another bruise, in the clear, distinctive shape of a handprint.

He grips the edge of the bathroom counter so tightly, his knuckles turn white. He is so focused he doesn’t hear the door squeak open as his roommate walks in.

“Hey, Yuuri, we need to get going soon or Celestino is goin-,” Phichit gasps, his hands coming up to cover his mouth as he looks at Yuuri, who turns to him on the verge of tears.

“Phichit… They’re suffering,” He chokes out, “They’re in trouble and there isn’t anything I can do…” he collapses to his knees, fully breaking down into sobs.

Phichit is on the floor in a split second, gathering Yuuri into his arms and holding him tightly as the older skater shakes, screams, and sobs in his arms.

“I don’t know what to do! This can’t keep happening!” Yuuri clutches Phichit’s shirt desperately, his tears soaking the soft fabric, “I’m going to lose them!”

What could he do? Yuuri has never met his soulmate, he doesn’t even know the first thing about them! How do you help someone who could be anyone and anywhere in the world?