Victor is of course very glad Yuuri has a new dance troupe here is Russia. It means he can still get contracts and choreograph, can still do his dream job. All of which Victor is a fan of.
Victor is not such a fan of Maxim. Or “Maks” as Yuuri calls him.
Now, Victor knows Yuuri wouldn’t stray. Hell, he’s seen Yuuri skip out on enough post-tour celebrations because he’s been away from Victor for too long to know he could never look at another man or woman. But Maxim is such a little shit.
Yuuri’s channel has far more livestreams and insight into his life as a dancer since he started showing his face. Which is how Victor sees the way Maxim looks at Yuuri while they’re in the studio together, on tour together, staying in a hotel with all the other dancers together.
There’s also how often he texts Yuuri, offers of extra practice together, to meet him on his morning run, to be gym buddies.
Yuuri, oblivious, sweet Yuuri, doesn’t see this at all.
“Maks does not fancy me, Vitya,” Yuuri is saying, rolling his eyes as he reaches for his phone, which has just buzzed with another text from said douche cadet. “He just wants to practice together so we can get the choreography right.”
Maxim uses far too many winky emojis for it to be “just” anything. Victor has retaliated by upping the number of dog emojis that litter his texts to Yuuri. Because that’s what Yuuri likes. Not innuendo laden little fuck faces.
“Muffin, you literally told me earlier how awkward it is every time you have to turn down his offers to help you stretch.”
“We’re dancers! Of course he’s going to offer to help me stretch.”
“If you say so.”
Yuuri shoots Victor a glare for his disbelieving tone, then returns to his text.
Victor is of course not jealous. He is not. Being jealous would imply that he has reason to believe Yuuri would even look at someone else.
But Victor Nikiforov is nothing if not petty. Which is why he grabs Yuuri while getting out his phone and recording it when he tickles him.
The clip of Yuuri shrieking and laughing as Victor mercilessly pins him and attacks his midriff, pausing only to blow a raspberry onto that lovely stretch of skin where his shirt’s ridden up, gets added to Victor’s Insta story. He knows Maxim follows him and can’t help the evil little grin at the thought of him watching it.
Their fans are grateful either way. There’s lots of sobbing emojis.
Yuuri wonders how often Victor got the opportunity to be the absolute goofball he is at heart before they got together. Because for all his slick celebrity persona, Victor really is a dork.
Like now for instance, as Yuuri’s in the midst of dusting the bookshelves, and Victor is supposed to be cleaning the windows. A burst of music makes Yuuri turn, see Victor spin around from where he’s just turned on the speakers, phone still in hand as he arches a sensually suggestive brow at Yuuri as a drumline starts.
“What?” Yuuri asks, instantly on guard.
Victor just grins and starts moving his hips to the beat. It’s synthy and retro and sounds a little like Prince. Victor flicks his fringe out of his face before winking at Yuuri, miming plucking out the slow, smooth rhythm of the bass guitar. Then he’s mouthing along with the lyrics.
“Searching for your touch, I've been feeling lonely, I know that it's my fault, Honey I'm sorry.”
Yuuri can’t help the laugh that issues from him even as he starts to back away.
“I’m filming this ridiculousness, don’t think I won’t post it,” he says, getting out his phone as Victor advances, still miming.
“Nothing can compare, To the way you used to love me, To the way you used to love me.”
Victor’s shifting his hips with each step, pointing at Yuuri and then to himself, drawing his finger down his chest. Yuuri laughs and turns to flee, filming forgotten, but Victor quickly catches him. Yuuri’s phone and the dusting cloth clatter to the floor.
“I've been dreaming, For somebody to hold me,” Victor sings aloud now, his voice terrible and loud as he spins a shrieking Yuuri round. “Not just anybody, It's you that I'm holding.”
Victor sets him back down on his feet but squeezes Yuuri close as though to prove the point, and sways them around in a mad circle. Yuuri’s really laughing now, caught up in it, his hands on Victor’s chest, helplessly trapped as Makkachin barks and prances around them.
Victor dances them around the lounge until the end of the song, their legs getting battered by Makkachin as she jumps up at them repeatedly, trying to join in. Eventually they collapse on the couch, breathless and giggling. Makkachin pounces on Victor’s back where he’s lying on Yuuri, making them both wheeze.
“I miss George Michael,” Victor says once they’ve caught their breath, his head on Yuuri’s chest.
“This isn’t him, is it?” Yuuri says, frowning as he brushes a hand through Victor’s hair.
He’s pretty sure he’s heard every George Michael song there is thanks to Victor, and this isn’t one of them.
“No, I just think this guy’s voice sounds like him.”
“Hm, yeah a bit.”
Victor nuzzles his nose into Yuuri’s chest and hums.
They get back to cleaning eventually, but not before they have a brief tussle over Yuuri posting the video on his Insta. Yuuri wins because Victor gets distracted by the bit of skin that’s revealed by Yuuri’s shirt as he stretches his hands over his head, phone held aloft.
It’s a good way to do any menial task like cleaning, and their followers seem to agree.
Victor goes with Yuuri to the studio the day after the cleaning fiasco. Mostly because it’s one of his more frequent days off now he’s retired and he just wants to be around Yuuri. But also a little bit because he’s pondering the pros and cons of smacking Maxim across the face with his fine Italian leather glove.
Yuuri’s fellow dancers are always happy to welcome Victor. They’re successful enough as it is, but Victor’s Instagram posts of them are very good free advertising. Maxim however gives him a somewhat cold smile and carries on stretching. Victor hates to admit he’s annoyingly good looking. About the same height as Victor, Maxim’s got dark curls and pouty lips. During his dances he’s playful and sassy, louder than Yuuri but, in Victor’s opinion, lacking his grace. Also Victor’s shoulders and butt are better, so there’s that.
Yuuri himself stretches and chats to the guy who’s going to film the dance Yuuri’s choreographed and taught to the others. Victor’s watched these videos before, the dancers going in groups and cheering each other on as they all watch. The troupe as a whole were of course happy to have Yuuri choreograph for them very quickly what with how well established he is, but Victor loves watching him taking others’ choreography too, each of his movements sharp and fluid in a way only some of the group achieve.
Yuuri trots over to Victor once he’s stretched and kisses him, settling in beside him to watch the first group go. Maxim’s in this group and for a little bit the cameraman follows Yuuri reminding them of the parts of the song that need to pop, the bits he’s noticed aren’t quite cohesive for this group. Maxim takes the criticism with grace and admiration and to be fair Victor can’t really find anything wrong with it. Everyone kind of looks at Yuuri like that.
Yuuri continues to shyly and politely review each group, only touching one girl who’s getting her leg all wrong as she turns, words not enough as Yuuri’s brow goes into a little mew at being misunderstood. The girl melts as Yuuri almost praises her in his criticism, so uncomfortable with giving it. But then she blinks as Yuuri gently tips her chin up where it’s fallen to watch Yuuri move her leg. Victor chuckles and wonders if that little touch in particular knocked all of Yuuri’s teachings right back out of her head.
The song is lovely and very Yuuri, and when all the groups have gone and he performs it on his own it’s clear no one holds a candle.
Kimberley August’s Wallflower flows out of the speakers as Yuuri falls into position, the tune slow and soft, not as overtly sexy as the lyrics are. Yuuri meets the camera’s gaze as he moves but every now and then he flutters his eyes in Victor’s direction as the words he wants to say come through.
I hear you're quite the little odd ball
A little strange I hope it's true
I'm just an itty bitty wallflower
But I could be real good for you
Victor grins, lost to anything but the way Yuuri turns his hips and and extends one of those devastating legs of his, as though stepping unsure into new territory while also inviting the onlookers to lay themselves beneath his heel.
Well maybe I could call you daddy
and you could teach me all the rules
Yuuri outright winks at Victor on the word Daddy and his classmates howl and whistle. Victor has to dig his fingers into his knees.
Yes I'm a good girl it's true
but I want to be real bad with you.
At this Yuuri sinks down into a kneeling position, and it’s like he’s sat himself on a lotus flower, a goddess settling herself on the rippling surface of her lake, unaware she’s being watched. Victor’s smile and sigh are very goofy. One of the dancers captures his expression on their phone and the clip gets edited into the end of the cameraman’s official video.
See you could have me on the front porch
or take me up into your room
Yuuri extends a hand forward, gentle, supplicating, then turns it and lays it flat on the floor to crawl forward. Victor can’t help but bite his lip at the way Yuuri’s shoulders roll, his perfect backside encased in clinging leggings. Yuuri lays himself flat, rolls over onto his back and curls his shoulders in sharply, like his body’s reacting to someone hovering over him, running their hand down his stomach.
Victor joins the many commenters on the video in promptly praising every deity that made and pales in comparison to Yuuri Katsuki-Nikiforov.
By the end of the song the rest of the troupe are almost screaming, clapping hard as Yuuri sways a little at the end, still caught, and then blushes and laughs as he hurries over to the onlookers. He kisses Victor first before playing around with his fellow dancers, allowing a redhead woman Victor thinks is Vanya to sling an arm around his neck and poke him gleefully in the stomach.
Victor turns, and finds Maxim watching him. He can’t help the shark-like smile he gives the other man, his Yuuri’s so bright, so brilliant, and Victor understands Maxim’s want, but it’s Victor Yuuri hurries back over to after all.
Regardless of this moment, Victor sits quietly for the rest of the time, happy to watch Yuuri move and teach and learn with the others. At the end he happily holds out Yuuri’s lightweight jacket and water bottle to him, all smiles as Yuuri swoops in for a thank you kiss and they leave together. He’s very happy to be Yuuri’s trophy husband after all. It also helps that he feels Maxim’s eyes on them as he loops an arm low on Yuuri’s waist as they leave.
Yuuri performs a more X-rated version of the routine for Victor when they get home, and it’s Victor’s name he’s screaming when they fuck on the kitchen table.
Victor’s taken up yoga since his retirement. Something Yuuri appreciates.
He appreciates it as he comes out of their bedroom to find Victor’s long arms stretching up to do the sun salutation, then nearly trips as Victor bends right over. He’s still appreciating it as he’s slicing up fruit for his smoothie, consequently catching his finger with the knife rather than the strawberry.
Hissing, Yuuri drops the knife and sucks on the cut as the strawberry rolls away unscathed. It’s not a deep cut but it caught him by surprise.
Victor’s straightened up and is gazing at him with a worried expression, not yet having moved away from his matt where it’s stretched out in the open space next to the bookcase in the lounge.
“Mm’okay,” Yuuri says around his finger, hurrying over to the sink. “Nicked myself.”
Victor overreacts entirely of course. He sweeps in and fusses over Yuuri, even though he goes faint at the sight of blood. He hurries to grab Yuuri kitchen roll and a plaster, his hands shaking as he passes them over.
“Are you okay?” Yuuri’s asking him now, as Victor’s gone very white. “Do you need to sit down?”
Yuuri’s vividly reminded of that time Mila cut her hand open at the rink. Victor can handle bruised feet, blisters and rubs bleeding from boots not quite tied right. But he’s honestly terrible with sharp objects despite dancing on them every day, and he checked the fuck out at the rink and came home with his own bloody nose from where he’d smacked his unconscious face on the floor.
“No I — I want to check your finger’s okay,” Victor says, but he’s managing to not look at the finger at all even though he’s sort of flapping his hands around it. He’s honestly very sweet and Yuuri melts a little.
“My finger’s fine, sit down, I’ll come too.”
Yuuri tags the last bit on as Victor looks like he’s going to protest again.
They sit down at the kitchen table as Makkachin whines and weaves between their legs, obviously picking up on Victor’s distress. Yuuri peels the plaster free of it’s little paper tabs and slaps it over the cut, efficient and disinterested as when he used to do it with bright blue plasters in the kitchen of his parents’ inn. Back then he’d have returned to slicing or stirring or helping in whatever way his mother needed him to no problem, but now he abandons his smoothie to place his hands reassuringly over his husbands’.
“There,” Yuuri hums, glad to see Victor looking steadier in the face of Yuuri’s brusque patching up. “All better.”
“Sorry,” Victor mumbles, and plucks Yuuri’s injured hand up to lovingly place the softest kiss on the plaster.
“What’re you sorry for? You just kissed it all better. I’m healed. Makka, your father is the messiah.”
The worried little wrinkle between Victor’s brows vanish at Yuuri’s teasing, but Yuuri knows even as Victor giggles he’ll be stressing that he should be better in some way. Victor gets those sort of ideas sometimes. As though he isn’t a dream carved into life, and one that actually keeps on delivering to Yuuri, over and over, mistakes and all.
“Let’s take a photo of your heroism,” Yuuri says to distract him, leaning over to grab his phone from where it still sits on the counter.
He takes a photo of his plastered hand where it lays over Victor’s and captions it “Already healing thanks to #TrueLovesKiss”.
It’s cheesy enough to do the trick and distracts Victor entirely, yoga and smoothie and injury forgotten as Victor bundles Yuuri up onto the table and kisses him. It’s innocent and full of laughter at first, but then Yuuri curls up towards Victor and nips him on the throat in that way that affects Victor so. Then Yuuri’s being tossed over Victor’s shoulder, laughing, and carried off to the bedroom.
Yuuri’s not sure how they all ended up in his hotel room, seeing as he wasn’t even that keen on going out in the first place, but here they are.
It’s actually been a good night. He and his troupe had a charity concert earlier in the evening, and when the lights had gone down they’d all poured out into a nearby club, still in their costumes — much to wardrobe’s distress — and imbibed rather a lot of alcohol. It had been fun dancing with all the new friends he’s made through the troupe, close enough with all of them after hours of training and touring together that he can lose himself a little.
People have dropped off, so now it’s just Vanya, Maxim and Tash spread out over Yuuri’s double bed, or, in Vanya’s case, singing along to the music channel she just found on the TV. Vanya’s easily the most drunk, back from having a baby and free from responsibility for the two days they’re away. Yuuri’s pleasantly tipsy, glad that’s he’s not tipped over into messy drunk but still giving him fuzzy feel good vibes.
“Wow-kay,” Tash laughs as Vanya stumbles and Tash catches her, reflexes surprisingly good seeing as she’d downed five tequila shots.
Tash stands properly, Vanya hanging off her neck as she giggles.
“I think I’ll get this one to bed,” Tash says, rolling her eyes but looking amused as Vanya crows that Tash should carry her.
Tash does indeed carry her, Vanya cackling in delight as they navigate their way out into the corridor. Maxim and Yuuri laugh, though it fades when the door closes on the ruckus the other pair are making in the hallway. Yuuri smiles at Maxim.
“I may follow their example,” he says, standing to go over to his suitcase and root around for his pajamas.
Maxim doesn’t respond, but when Yuuri straightens and turns, he’s risen and come closer. Yuuri automatically takes a step back, surprised.
“How about another drink?” Maxim asks, his smile lazy as he ruffles a hand through his curls.
“Ah I dunno,” Yuuri says, chucking his pajamas on the bed.
He goes to remove the clinging, long sleeved black top he’s still in, but then pauses. They’ve all changed in front of each other plenty, but it feels different with just the two of them in a hotel room than in a crowded dressing room.
“Um,” Yuuri says, but then Maxim’s stepping closer again. “What?”
“Come on, Yuuri,” Maxim says, and Yuuri’s a little confused by his smile, but is starting to have a creeping suspicion. “It’s okay for it to just be an out of town thing.”
“It’s okay for what to be just an out of town thing?” Yuuri says, and his voice has gone up an octave.
He doesn’t want Victor to be right. Goddamnit he likes Maxim. Trusts him and enjoys his company. It all feels like it’s slipping away from him as he watches Maxim take another step forward, very close now, looming over him.
“Sorry I don’t mean to offend,” Maxim murmurs, and Yuuri thinks he’s about to back off with that apology, but instead he reaches up and places a hand on Yuuri’s hip. “I mean obviously I’d like it to continue at home, but that’s harder.”
Yuuri pushes him back. He’s staring, wide eyed at his friend, his hand still on his chest where he’s frozen.
“Maks, you can’t be serious.”
“I thought…” he says. “You both seem to travel a fair bit. You hear all that stuff about the Olympics and Victor does some modelling, doesn’t he? I thought —”
“You thought wrong.”
Yuuri’s breathing is coming quick now. He’s seeing himself unable to face the studio, too mortified by this misunderstanding, that he somehow gave off this vibe. He wonders if it’s the sexy dances he sometimes does, how visible Victor and he are, if it looks like it’s all for publicity, if he’s actually flirted without meaning to.
No. No this is not Yuuri’s fault.
“You need to leave,” he says, slow and sure of himself, meeting Maxim’s gaze steadily. “I’d say you should be worried about Victor skinning you, but honestly Maxim I’m pretty much angry enough to do it myself at the moment. I mean seriously, what the fuck?”
Maxim steps away, expression torn between distress and annoyance.
“But the dancing,” he starts to say and Yuuri smacks him.
The blow rings out sharply in the room and Maxim’s head snaps to the side. He blinks and then looks back at Yuuri with wide eyes.
“I will not apologise for doing something I love,” Yuuri says, voice coldly furious and face set. “Just because I dance sexily does not mean I’m inviting every man to fuck me. Jesus Christ, Maxim, you’re a dancer, you should know this.”
But Yuuri knows what happens on tour for many dancers, knows that this is the norm.
He raises his chin and looks at Maxim with disgust.
Maxim goes, looking thoroughly chastised, and as soon as the door clicks shut all the fight drains from Yuuri. He sags onto the floor, chest tight, the beginnings of a panic attack evident. He’s just functioning enough to FaceTime Victor before he crashes.
There’s a couple of rings, and in those few seconds Yuuri’s panic ramps up to a thousand, his breaths sounding sharply painful now.
“Hello, Muffin, I was just — Yuuri?” Victor’s expression changes abruptly as he notices how Yuuri looks, how he sounds. And then he snaps into action. “Okay, Yuuri, my love, I need you to stay with me now okay? I want you to put your feet flat on the floor, can you do that for me, beautiful?”
Yuuri does as he’s told, his knees tucked up to his chest and his hands gripping his shins very hard but his feet flat. He’s trying to focus on Victor’s face, his soothing presence even through a phone, the sound of his voice.
“Good, you’re doing so well, sweetheart,” Victor says, smiling encouragingly at him. But he looks so tender and so full of love that Yuuri can only choke out a sob, missing him so much it feels almost violent. Victor looks alarmed, and then focused again.
“Okay, Yuuri, I need you to concentrate on your feet okay? You’re going to feel how solidly they are on the floor. You’ve got earth beneath you, and you are a tree, rooted in solid ground. Are you doing that for me, love?”
Yuuri nods, unable to speak, and as he imagines himself firmly rooted, he notices that some of the body shaking panic starts to ebb just a little.
“Okay now let’s focus on your hands, beautiful,” Victor goes on. “I want you to focus all your attention on them. Relax your grip, and feel how they almost tingle as you become aware of them.”
Yuuri’s manages to unclench his grip on his legs, and then does as Victor asks. A bit more of the panic ebbs away.
“You’re doing so well, Muffin,” Victor says, and the familiar nickname along with all the other terms of endearment that Victor has used are like a balm to his frayed nerves. This is the state that Victor needed to get him to before moving onto the next part.
“Now we’re going to breathe together,” he says. “Big breathe in for one, two, three, four, and hold for a moment. Now out one, two, three, four, five, six.”
They repeat the cycle for as many times as it takes for Yuuri’s breathing to return to normal, hard at first, and then gradually getting easier, until Yuuri finds that his breaths are coming easily. He feels lightheaded and drained.
“There you are, gorgeous,” Victor says, and the smile he gives Yuuri is so full of love that Yuuri aches with it. “When you’re ready I want you to get up, and go and get a glass of water. Then you’re going to splash some cold water on your face. Whenever you’re ready, love.”
Yuuri takes a few minutes of just sitting and breathing normally, Victor talking to him the whole time to keep him distracted, silly things like what Makkachin’s been up to and the new face cream he bought that makes his skin glow. Eventually Yuuri feels okay enough to get up and follow Victor’s directions to get a drink. The splash of cold water on his face after that feels lovely, and he blows his nose before giving his teeth a very quick brush and turning the bathroom light off. He climbs into bed still cradling his phone. He sets it up leant against the pillow next to him so it’s like Victor’s in bed with him. Then he burrows down into the blanket, becoming what Phichit used to call “the Yuuritto”.
Victor’s stopped talking, letting Yuuri get comfy and settle, and is just smiling at him now. He’s in bed too, sitting up while he helped Yuuri but lying down now. He looks gorgeous with the soft light of their side table and slightly mused hair.
“How are we doing?” Victor asks carefully, and Yuuri nods, exhausted. “Good. Let’s just lie here for a while. It’s okay if you fall asleep, I’ll stay for a little while. Is your phone plugged in and alarm set?”
Yuuri nods and Victor smiles at him again.
After a little while, Victor asks the inevitable question.
“Do you want to talk about what happened?”
Yuuri hesitates. It’s not that he feels any loyalty to Maxim after what he just pulled, but he doesn’t particularly want Victor to murder him. He knows that he’ll feel bad if he’s not straight with Victor though.
“It was Maxim,” he sighs. “You were right.”
Victor’s face turns murderous, exactly like Yuuri knew it would.
“I am going to pull his spine out through his throat,” he growls.
“Please don’t,” Yuuri says. “I don’t want the only time I see you to be in prison visiting hours.”
Victor’s face softens a little, looking amused and pleased that Yuuri’s okay enough to be making jokes.
“Can I hit him?” he asks instead.
“Well I already have, so I think the point’s been made.”
Victor looks delighted. Yuuri laughs, and oh it’s good to do so after the chest clenching panic.
Victor’s watching him, looking impossibly fond and in love. Yuuri smiles and basks in it, lets it soothe him, and knows he’s probably wearing a similar expression.
“How long until you’re home?” Victor asks as though he hasn’t been counting down the seconds until Yuuri’s arrival.
“Just one more day,” Yuuri says, and Victor sighs.
They lie there for a little while, just keeping each other company. Then Yuuri yawns.
“Sleep, my love,” Victor says. “I’ll be here until you do.”
Yuuri nods, and lets himself slowly drift off.
Their reunion is very enthusiastic, both at the airport then at home, when Yuuri gets so loud in bed — or up against the wall as the case may be — that they end up getting a noise complaint from the neighbours. The next three times Yuuri has to be gagged, something he’s not averse to.
They lay panting after round four, finally sated, at least for now.
“What are you going to do about Maxim?” Victor asks.
Maxim had avoided him the day after he made his move, but Yuuri doesn’t know how he’s going to do that when they share a studio.
“I don’t know,” he says.
Turns out he needn’t have worried. Maxim apologies the next time he sees Yuuri in the studio. He promises to never try anything like it again and asks if they can move past it. Yuuri smiles in relief and accepts the apology.
Yuuri doesn’t know that Victor confronts Maxim after a practice session Victor came along to, when Yuuri’s ducked away to use the bathroom. Victor tells Maxim that if he ever so much as looks the wrong way at Yuuri again, Victor will know and they will never find his body. Maxim seems suitably terrified and promises to never do anything like it again before fleeing.
A month later Maxim starts dating a florist he met through a friend, and that makes things easier too. They’ll never be as good friends as they were, but they’re okay now.
Victor’s pleased that Maxim’s learnt his lesson, but makes Yuuri promise to tell him if anyone else ever tries to pull the same shit he did, even if Yuuri doesn’t believe they fancy him. Yuuri agrees.
A month later, when one of the new Russian skaters makes a move on Victor when he’s on tour as Yuri’s choreographer and unofficial coach along with Yakov, Yuuri tells him that if he doesn’t back off he’s going to snap him in half so hard they’ll name a new yoga pose after him. It’s very effective. Victor is thrilled.