Stream or download MP3 | Size: 24.1 MB | Duration: 00:28:06
It’s only a small fence.
Yuuri stares up, eyes squinting from the gleam of street light that bounces off of one of the fence’s chain-links. Around them, the city of Barcelona talks, with gravel crunching underneath loud feet as people laugh down the street, with music wafting down from the windows and the doors, with the clink of drinks and the rush of cars. The city is so alive tonight, almost full to bursting.
And yet, Yuuri can only drunkenly focus on what’s in front of them.
‘Alright,’ they think, gearing themself up to jump. ‘On the count of three. One-’
-They crouch down-
-They take a deep breath-
Five Hours Earlier…
“Victor? Have you seen my tie?”
“Check the front pocket of your suitcase, darling!”
Yuuri furrows their brows. ‘Front pocket?’ they mouth, rummaging around in the front pocket of their suitcase until their hands clasp around something silky and smooth and not at all like their tie. Frowning, they drag it out, shoulders slumping with laughter when it’s finally in their field of vision.
“Victor,” they call out, a hint of amusement in their voice, “This isn’t the tie I was talking about, sweetheart.”
“No?” Victor’s voice comes, bright and musical. He peeks out of the bathroom, hair falling over his eye as he grins. “But it is your tie, Yuuri. We bought it before the short program, remember?”
“Victor,” Yuuri says, exasperated, but fond. “What am I going to do with you?”
Victor hums and steps forward, eyes already melting into those puppy-dog look that’s going to get Yuuri to cave no matter what. “You could indulge me by wearing that tie? It goes wonderfully with your eyes, darling.”
“Well,” Yuuri says, trying very hard to keep their voice solemn, “If it makes my eyes look better.”
“Oh, I didn’t say that.” Victor steps forward again until he’s standing in front of Yuuri, hand coming up to brush away Yuuri’s bangs. Yuuri can’t help but sigh at the feeling of Victor’s fingers in his hair, can’t help but smile as Victor’s other hand comes up to stroke their cheek. “Your eyes could never look better; you can’t improve perfection, after all.”
“Vic- tor.” God, Yuuri’s so gone on this man. They cough, still unused to some of Victor’s more effusive compliments. “We should uh, we should leave soon.”
“Hm, we should.” Victor sighs and leans forward to kiss Yuuri’s forehead. “I’m going to be honest, Yuuri; if we didn’t need to go to the banquet tonight to secure more sponsors, I would have suggested we skip it. I’d much rather be here with you.”
“Well then,” Yuuri says, turning their head to kiss Victor’s cheek, eyes closing as they relish the soft skin under their lips, “we could always come back after the sponsors leave.”
Victor smiles. “Yeah,” he says softly, hands coming up to rest on Yuuri’s waist. He pulls his head back to rest their foreheads together, making Yuuri hum in contentment. “That’s our plan then. We leave when the sponsors leave. No after-parties.”
Yuuri brushes their noses together in agreement. “No after-parties.”
All deals of love should be sealed with a kiss. This one is no different.
They’re so close to freedom, so close to getting beyond the doors to the ballroom and up the elevator when Phichit latches on to Yuuri’s side and begs them to come to Chris’ after-party with him.
“Please Yuuri,” Phichit pleads, puppy-dog eyes coming to the front. “This is my first Grand Prix Final; you know everyone better than I do.”
Somehow, Yuuri doubts that. They’ve never been the most social, and even if they did make the acquaintance of just about everyone last year because of the erm, champagne, it didn’t mean they remembered any of it. Plus, Phichit probably had everyone’s social media information already.
Still, Yuuri remembers how lonely they’d been last year with no one to talk to, feeling awkward because it was their first Grand Prix final. They can’t imagine Phichit, absolute ray of sunshine that he is, ever feeling that way, but they’re not going to take the risk of assuming that.
So they turn to Victor. “You don’t have to come if you don’t want to,” Yuuri says, knowing that even though Victor is social, sometimes he needs to recharge more than anything. They’re far from their own limits yet, but Yuuri knows how hard this day has been on Victor.
Victor smiles gratefully. “I’ll come up to Chris’ room in an hour or so,” he promises, kissing the corner of Yuuri’s mouth before pulling away. “Have fun, love! You too, Phichit. Congratulations again!”
“Thank you!” Phichit says, beaming. The two stand until Victor disappears into the elevator before Phichit turns on his heel. “Come on Yuuri!” he says, “Chris is waiting for us by the other elevators.”
Yuuri shakes off the lingering longing from not going with their fiance and follows, smile already creeping across their face at Phichit’s enthusiasm. “Alright Phichit-kun,” they chuckle, “I’m coming.”
The party is sure to be alcohol-soaked, knowing Chris. Yuuri makes a mental note to not drink too much.
‘But one can’t hurt,’ they think as they take a cup and chug it down, relaxing as the drink seeps into their bones. ‘Just one.’
Victor huffs as he runs up the two flights of stairs to Chris’ room, hair flapping and heart racing as he bursts through the door to the hallway. Even though he’d said he’d come up to the party over an hour ago, he’d fallen asleep. The last thing he remembered was sitting down on his awfully comfortable bed and wondering why his legs had seemed so heavy.
And then, two hours later, he’d woken up to a phone full of messages from Yuuri, getting increasingly more and more drunk until they finally stopped around thirty minutes back. There were a couple messages from Chris as well, but he’d ignored those to text Yuuri, growing more worried as Yuuri didn’t return his messages, didn’t even pick up their phone to leave him on read. Normally, this wouldn’t phase him, but Yuuri had been drunk, and was probably getting even more drunk even as Victor had sat there, frantically texting them.
Fast forward to a couple of minutes later, and here Victor is, knocking at Chris’ door. He takes the seconds before the door opens to at least attempt to look presentable, combing back his errant hair and smoothing out his cheeks. Then the door opens, and there stands Chris, drunk, but not drunk enough that he’s too far gone.
“Victor, you showed up!” he cheers, dragging Victor inside. “Hey everyone, Victor’s here!”
A drunk cheer rings up from around the room, and Victor smiles tightly before turning to Chris. “Is Yuuri here? I’ve been trying to text them for the past five minutes.”
Chris blinks. “No,” he says, brows furrowing in confusion. “They left a while back, said they wanted to get back to you.”
A sinking feeling claws at the bottom of Victor’s stomach. “How long ago was this?” he demands, mind racing. Maybe Yuuri took the elevator- maybe that’s why Victor didn’t see them on the way up to Chris’ room-
“About half an hour ago.”
“Chris,” Victor says, swallowing the lump of panic in his throat. “Chris, they never came back.”
“Shit,” Chris says.
They stand there, bass still blasting around them as people laugh and cheer. Finally, Chris shakes his head and attempts a comforting smile. “I’m sure they didn’t go too far,” he says, patting Victor’s shoulder. “We could go find them. Let me- let me just get Phichit.”
Victor nods, still dazed. He watches as Chris walks over to Phichit, whose smile is quickly wiped away and replaced with worry. He watches as Phichit nods and follows Chris to the front of the room. “Excuse me,” Phichit says, clapping his hands, “Can Chris and I have your attention please?”
A grumble rises through the room, but they turn to meet Chris and Phichit. Someone in the back turns down the music and Chris shoots them a grateful smile.
“Everyone, we need your help.” The tone of the room changes, sharpening from alcohol-soaked bliss to acrid concern. “Yuuri has gone a bit missing, and we’d appreciate your help in finding them.”
“Please,” Phichit adds, eyes wide and earnest. “They can’t have gone too far, so it shouldn’t take too long if we all work together!”
One by one, people break off into teams of two or three. Victor stands at the back, heart somehow warming even through the force of his worry. Yuuri inspires so much love, he thinks fondly when he sees Michele grudgingly team up with Sara and Emil.
“Well, we’re ready to go.” Victor turns around to see Phichit standing behind him, phone in hand. “You can join me and Chris.”
Victor tips his head gratefully. “Thank you.”
“No problem,” Phichit says, before turning to the room. “Alright guys, move out!”
With a cheer, the skaters leave the room, ready to find their missing friend.
Yuuri can’t have gone far, Victor thinks, trying to reassure himself. We’ll find them soon.
Yuuri lands with a grunt, the chainlinks behind them rattling loudly. They turn to it and glare.
“Shhhhhhhh,” they say until the sound finally stops. Smiling dopily, they pat the fence gently, frowning when the chainlinks rattle again.
“You- you have to be quiet,” they say, slurring a bit. “Can’t- hic!- can’t make any noise.”
Finally, the rattling stops for good. Yuuri nods in approval, then nods again, giggling at the way it makes their head spin.
A low growl sounds from behind Yuuri. Slowly, Yuuri turns around, heartbeat racing…
It’s after half an hour of unfruitful searching when Phichit says, “Hey, why don’t we try calling Yuuri again? Maybe they’ve sobered down by now!”
“Yuuri might have sobered down,” Chris says, looking through the increasingly drunk texts on the ‘Search for Yuuri!’ groupchat and scrunching his nose in disgust, “But these people haven’t.”
“So?” Phichit says. “We’re sober. Or, less drunk than when we started out.”
“I’ll call him,” Victor offers, already taking out his phone. “It’s worth a shot.”
‘Hello, you’ve reached the voicemail of Katsuki Yuuri. I’m sorry for missing your call! Please leave a message and I’ll call you back.’
“Yuuri, my dear heart, where are you? Chris told me you were coming up to our room an hour ago… I’m so sorry for falling asleep dorogoy, but please pick up.”
With a sigh, Victor ends the call. “They’re not answering,” he says, feeling strangely lonely.
“Hang on,” Phichit says, tapping away at his phone, “I texted the group chat about calling Yuuri; I think some of them are trying to call them.”
Victor’s heart lifts. “You think maybe…”
Chris nods. “Perhaps Yuuri is answering one of their phone calls when they came through first.”
“We’ll know for sure when people answer through the chat.” With that, Phichit pockets his phone away. “Until then, we should keep looking.”
Victor sighs again, watching his breath curl up in front of him. “Right, let’s go.”
Elsewhere at the Same Moment…
“Mickeyl!” Sara scolds, wrenching the bottle away from Mickey’s hands. “You need to stop drinking! This is serious!”
“M’being serious,” Mickey complains, making a half-hearted swipe to take the bottle, whining when Sara pulls it out of reach. “Saraaaaa, I need that!”
Sara shakes her head. “What even for?!”
“To deal with looking for the Japanese pervert,” Mickey grumbles and rubs his arms up and down. “It’s so cold.”
Sara growls and smacks him over the head. “Mickey!” she says, incensed. “You have to stop calling them that! It’s- Emil why are you laughing?”
To that, Emil just laughs harder, tears streaming down his face. Sara looks down to the bottle clutched in his hands and sighs, suddenly feeling very tired. It’s one thing when Mickey drinks, but if Emil is drinking too…
‘I hope we find Yuuri soon,’ she thinks, growing increasingly irritated at Emil’s hysterical laughter and Mickey’s equally hysterical grumbles. ‘Or I might kill these idiots soon.’
Just then, a notification pops up on her phone. She quickly reads it, eyes widening in shock. “Guys!” she says, motioning them over to her. “Phichit says that we should call Yuuri; maybe they’ll pick up now if they’ve sobered down a bit.”
“Psh,” Mickey says, jostling her shoulder. “I doubt that.”
“S’worth a try,” Emil pipes up at her other shoulder, not noticing her wince at his volume. “We should call them!”
“You’re right,” Sara says, gasping in relief when she manages to wrench free of them. “I’m going to call them.”
‘Hello, you’ve reached the voicemail of Katsuki Yuuri. I’m sorry for missing your call! Please leave a message and I’ll call you back.’
“Yuuri! This is Sara; where are you?! We’ve been looking for you for ages!”
“Yeah, you moody pervert-”
“-What? That’s what they are!”
“Eh, don’t be so rude Mickey! Yuuri’s a good person! Hiiiii Yuuri! This is Emil by the way!”
“This isn’t working… alright Yuuri, we’re going to hang up now, but you better call back! Or better yet, call Victor; the poor man is worried sick!”
Sara ends the call. “Well,” she says, “we’ve done all we can do for now. Let’s keep searching.”
“And don’t think you two will be getting any more drunk on my account!” With that, Sara takes the two bottles and throws them into an alley, smirking at the crashing sound of glass. “There!”
And Still Elsewhere…
Yuuri clicks their tongue as their phone keeps buzzing, disrupting the whining pile of dog in their arms.
“Sorry pupper,” they say, clumsily patting the dog’s head in apology. “Sorry, sorry.”
The doggo, miraculously, settles back in their arms, utterly content to fall asleep.
‘What a good idea,’ Yuuri thinks, shutting their eyes, suddenly tired. ‘Sleep is good…’
Yuuri groans and glares at the phone. Growling, they tap the screen, fumbling before finally accepting the call.
“Yuuri!” It’s Victor’s voice. Yuuri scrunches their nose; isn’t Victor supposed to be back in their room? Asleep? “Yuuri, oh thank God! Sweetheart, where are you? We’ve been looking for you for so long-”
“Victoruuuu,” Yuuri says, giggling at the way Victor’s name falls off their tongue. “Victoru, why aren’t you sleepin’?”
“Yuuri, I am so, so sorry sweetheart.” For some reason, Victor sounds close to tears. Yuuri frowns; that won’t do.
“Are you cryin’?” they ask. “You sh-shouldn’t cry! Victoru should never cry.”
“I’m, I’m ok sweetheart,” Victor says, laughing wetly. “I’m not crying.”
“Good,” Yuuri says, nodding sagely even though Victor can’t see it from the other end. “If you cry again, jus’ tell me. An-an I’ll fight them!”
“The people who hurt you!” Yuuri says, finally startling the dog off their lap as they leap to their feet. “I’ll fight them for you, Victoru!”
“Oh, Yuuri,” Victor says, laughing again, though now he sounds happier. Good, that means Yuuri’s done their job. “Thank you love, but I really need you to tell me where you are right now.”
“Oh.” Yuuri looks around, blinking and squinting even as they steady their glasses. “I’m behind the fence.”
“Mhmmmm.” Yuuri yawns suddenly. “M’tired.”
Yuuri thinks they hear a faint curse in the background; it sounds a lot like Phichit-kun’s voice. “Phichitto-kun!” Yuuri cheers. “S’that you?”
“Yuuri!” There’s some shuffling sounds, and then suddenly Phichit-kun’s on the phone. “Yuuri, stay with us, ok? I think I know where you are!”
“‘Course you know where I am,” Yuuri says indignantly. “I jus’ told you: I’m behind the fence!”
“Right, buddy. You’re behind the fence.” There’s some tapping sounds from the other end before Phichit lets out a triumphant sound. “Right! I got it!”
“Good job, Phichit.” Yuuri furrows their brows. That sounds a lot like…
“Yuuri.” The shuffling comes back and then Chris is speaking. “We’ve just about found you. How are you feeling?”
“M’good,” Yuuri says, still confused. “Didn’t you have a party?”
“Oh Yuuri,” Chris says, sounding amused. “We ended it a while back when we started looking for you.”
“Didn’t have to do that,” Yuuri grumbles, trying to get the dog to come back to them once again. “Was a good party.”
Yuuri leans in to the phone and whispers, “Don’t tell Victor, but you throw the best parties.”
There’s a muffled snort in the background. “Of course I won’t, Yuuri,” Chris says.
“Good,” Yuuri says, leaning back in relief. “That’d make Victor sad. Victor should never be sad.”
There’s a soft coo from the other end, but Yuuri pays no attention when the dog finally comes back to them with a soft ‘boof’. “Yay, pupper!”
There’s sudden silence on the other end. “Yuuri,” Chris says, voice filled with incredulousness. “Yuuri, is that a dog? With you?”
“His name is Ruffington,” Yuuri proudly proclaims. “I saw him outside the window: he looked so cold, Chris!”
There’s another silence. Then…
“Only you, Yuuri,” Victor’s exasperated voice says, somehow echoing in real life too, accompanied by the sound of running footfalls. “Only you, sweetheart.”
“Victoru!” Yuuri cheers, happy to hear Victor’s voice again.
An answering cry rings out from down the alley. “Yuuri!” the voice cries, getting closer with each iteration of Yuuri’s name. “Yuuri! Yuuri!”
“Victor!” Yuuri jumps to their feet. “Victor, look! I kept Ruffington warm!”
Finally, Victor stops in front of Yuuri, chest heaving and face flushed. “Yuuri,” he breathes out, barely audible over Phichit and Chris’ shouts. “Oh God, Yuuri.”
“Victor,” Yuuri says, stepping closer to bring up a hand to the fence. “Victor, did I do good?”
Victor sighs and bites his lip. Then he nods, once, like he did back at the Cup of China, and jumps over the fence. He clears it entirely and lands right beside Yuuri before slamming their mouths together in a kiss.
It’s rough and ragged, tinged with relief and worry as Victor clutches Yuuri to him, mouth devouring theirs like he just can’t get enough of Yuuri. Yuuri brings their tired arms up to Victor’s neck, holding him steady as Victor surges forward, again and again and again and again-
“Uh, hey guys?”
With a gasp, Victor tears away from Yuuri, leaving them panting and wide-eyed. “Yes, Phichit?” he says, voice surprisingly quite calm for a man who just desperately kissed Yuuri to within an inch of their life.
“Well, I already informed the others that we found Yuuri, which, by the way buddy, I’m so glad you’re safe. Don’t you dare do that again though!”
Still dazed, Yuuri nods dumbly, mind too blank to come up with words.
“You were saying?”
“Right! We’re all heading back to the hotel now.”
“Got it,” Victor says, slipping an arm around Yuuri’s waist. “We’ll come with.”
Phichit snorts. “I’ll leave you in charge of them.”
The arm around Yuuri’s waist tightens comfortingly. “I got them.”
With a last smile, Phichit walks away. Suddenly, Yuuri is hit with a wave of exhaustion that makes them yawn so hard their jaw aches.
“Mhm,” Yuuri hums, resting their head on Victor’s shoulder.
Victor chuckles. “Alright, let’s go home.”
“Oh God, I did that?”
An agonized groan echoes through the room. Then…
“I’m never drinking again!”