Victor’s accepted that banquet-Yuuri was a result of alcohol, but sober-Yuuri is equally great so he’s okay with slowly learning new and exciting things about Yuuri. Of course, banquet-Yuuri was only a small piece of Yuuri, and Victor thoroughly enjoyed spending time with him. After seeing sober-Yuuri though he appreciates the many facets of Yuuri. He catches glimpses of banquet-Yuuri when he’s on the ice. His determination is admirable. The fire in his eyes proves everything. Yuuri’s fleeting touches off the ice contradict but resonate with the same fire Victor saw earlier. He’s both at once and Victor loves that.
When they arrive back at the onsen after practice, Hiroko is quick to tell them the air conditioning units broke down while they were out, but there’s plenty of fans for everyone. Yuuri nods, thanks his mother, and then wanders off to his room. Victor on the other hand is already hot from biking back from Ice Castle and was quite looking forward to the air conditioning. He’s not used to the heat of Japanese summers, being more accustomed to temperate summers in Saint Petersburg. Even then, sometimes it’s too hot for him.
He sits down in front of a fan and waits for Yuuri to re-emerge from his room. The moving air feels nice, but Victor can still feel the heat on his back and radiating throughout the room. He’s debating switching into a looser shirt when Yuuri appears in the doorway.
“Yuuri!” he sings. “Let’s go back to the rink. It’s cold there!”
Yuuri shakes his head and walks over to sit by him. Victor notices he sits slightly closer than usual. He can feel Yuuri’s heat alongside the outside heat.
“And do what? Practice is over,” Yuuri says.
Victor flops to his side and looks up at Yuuri. He musters his best puppy dog eyes and tries again. “But I’m hot and delicate. My body can’t handle this. Please, Yuuri. Have mercy.”
“You’re ridiculous,” he scoffs and their hands briefly brush as he shifts to move the fan. He tilts it so it’s blowing directly on Victor again. Once he settles back again, there’s barely any wind for him and their hands aren’t touching anymore. He’s not looking at Victor either.
Victor pulls his shirt from his chest and then releases it. He’s too sweaty for this. Why won’t Yuuri look at him again?
“Yuuri,” he tries and Yuuri hums in reply, but doesn’t turn to him. He sighs and then rolls closer. Not quite touching, but close enough to feel each other’s heat. “Yuuuri,” he says again and bingo. Yuuri looks down at him.
“You’ll get hot leaning against me,” he says.
“I don’t care,” Victor replies. He doesn’t. He’s okay being hot if it means he can be closer to Yuuri. He won’t say that aloud though.
“I thought you were delicate and couldn’t handle the heat?” Yuuri counters.
“This may be true, but if you haven’t noticed yet, I’m an incredibly tactile person which the heat can’t stop,” he says. He wants to tell Yuuri how weak he is for the man. He wants to tell him he doesn’t mind being hot while next to him.
Yuuri simply rolls his eyes, but doesn’t move away. Victor wonders how much he can push this new discovery. Can he roll even closer? He scoots just a bit closer so now he’s actually touching Yuuri’s legs, and after a few seconds, Yuuri’s up and rambling about water. Sigh. Victor supposes he shouldn’t be surprised. He tested the boundaries and got his answer.
Yuuri returns with two bottles of water and bucket hats. “Let’s go back to Ice Castle because even though you’re ridiculous, I don’t want you to die either.”
“Oh Yuuri! You care that much about me?” Victor asks, standing up and taking a water and hat from Yuuri. Their fingers brush again. Perhaps…
Once they’ve made it back to Ice Castle and Yuuri’s explained to Yuuko what happened, they end up sitting in a training room. Technically Yuuri’s skating is done for the day so it’s a rest period for him.
Victor’s bored so he plays on his phone a bit. He’s happy to be out of the heat but now he doesn’t know what to do. He mostly just wants to hold Yuuri’s hand. Or cuddle Yuuri.
“I’m going to the convenience store. Do you want anything?” Yuuri says suddenly.
Victor lifts his head and looks towards Yuuri. “What? In this heat?”
Yuuri nods. “Yeah. Do you want anything?”
“Uh, no? Or maybe...water?” Victor says. Why is Yuuri suddenly going to the store? He squints at Yuuri to try to figure out what he’s thinking.
Yuuri fidgets, his hands twisting together quickly, and then he stands. “Alright! I’m going then,” he says and then disappears out of the room. What just happened?
Twenty minutes later, he returns with two shopping bags and his hair plastered to his forehead. He grins at Victor and gestures back out to the rink. “I have a surprise,” he says.
“Oh?” Victor says and slowly follows Yuuri back to the rink.
A few feet in from the side of the rink there’s a huge blanket laid out and a few dishes set on top of it. Yuuri walks over to the blanket, sits down, and begins pulling various food dishes out of the bags. “Sit,” he says when he notices Victor gawking from the sidelines.
Slowly, Victor walks over and joins Yuuri on the blanket. He curiously watches Yuuri place plates of rice balls and sandwiches down on the blanket. Are they having a picnic on the ice rink?
Yuuri glances up at him and smiles. “What? You said you were hot, and I figured maybe you were hungry too. Yuuko said it’s not a problem. No one’s going to come here anyway with this heat,” he says.
Victor shakes his head, trying to figure out exactly how they got here. “I -- um, this is amazing?” he finally manages to say.
Yuuri’s smile grows into a full smile; Victor’s favorite smile. “I’m glad. Eat up.”
It doesn’t take long for the cold from the ice to begin permeating through the blanket and for Victor to begin shifting uneasily trying to find a warmer spot again. Yuuri also begins squirming and then finally sighs. “I should’ve picked a thicker blanket,” he says.
Yuuri looks so sad at the realization and it makes Victor uncomfortable. He likes it when Yuuri’s laughing or smiling or shoving him off when Victor gets too clingy.
“It’s not that bad,” Victor says while resisting the urge to squirm again. He looks around them until his eyes land back on Yuuri. Oh. Of course.
He shifts so they’re sitting side-by-side, their thighs touching and he can finally feel Yuuri’s warmth.
“There,” he says, a huge grin on his face. Yuuri startles and tries to shift away, but Victor places a hand on his thigh, their eyes meeting. “It’s warmer like this, right?”
A pale pink blush appears on Yuuri’s cheeks and Victor finds him breathtaking.
“Umm,” Yuuri mumbles, the blush on his face turning red.
“It’s okay, we can move back off the rink,” Victor says, and begins moving away from Yuuri. Yuuri’s hand darts out and grabs his though.
“No!” he exclaims. Then, softer, “No, please stay. It’s warmer like this.”
Victor settles beside Yuuri again and they finish their meal like that. Their hands stay entwined the entire time, sharing warmth, even if it makes things a little more difficult after that. Victor doesn’t mind though, and he’s sure Yuuri doesn’t either since he never lets go. Once they’ve finished eating, they clean up and then exit the rink, Yuuri holding the bag of trash and Victor holding the blanket.
Yuuko spots them as they’re throwing away their trash and smiles. “Did you have fun?” she asks when Victor turns to her.
He nods. “Yes! I had a lot of fun. Yuuri always surprises me,” he replies. There’s a warmth in his chest as he remembers Yuuri grabbing his hand. Maybe he isn’t a bother to Yuuri after all.
“Vitya, let’s go home,” Yuuri says, standing near the exit. His gaze is soft and Victor feels his heart skip. Yuuri will definitely be the death of him.
He turns back to Yuuko. “I guess we’re going now. Thank you for letting us stay!” he says and then walks over to Yuuri.
He lets his hand brush against Yuuri’s as they begin walking out the door and he’s happy to discover Yuuri grabbing it and entwining their fingers.
“Won’t our hands get hot?” Victor asks. He can’t help it. He needs to know if Yuuri wants to hold his hand. He’s a grown man, but feels like a teenager first discovering love when he’s around Yuuri.
Yuuri takes his hand back and Victor’s heart drops. “I guess they will,” he says, watching Victor’s face. Victor tries very hard not to look as disappointed as he feels. Another moment later, Yuuri has his hand again. “But I don’t mind,” he whispers.
Victor squeezes his hand. “Good, cause I don’t mind either.”