"Will the pair of you give it a rest?" Yuri snapped, wiped the sweat from his brow. Victor and Yuuri were all over each other, all the damn time. They were supposed to be giving him their full attention after agreeing to coach him for the upcoming season. Instead they were gazing into each other's eyes and getting handsy rink side.
How did people have the audacity to call him rude and inappropriate?
Victor simply grinned at him, sliding his arm around his husband. "You asked us to be your coaches. You knew how we were before you asked that question."
Yuri scowled. "Please don't remind me. I must have taken a fall on the ice and been suffering with a concussion."
Katsuki laughed, a slight blush on his cheeks from being called out about the PDA. Unlike the old man, he seemed a little more apologetic. "I don't recall watching you take a fall that day, Yurio."
Yuri didn't even bother to try and get him to call him by his proper name anymore. After three years, he knew he was stuck with the fucking thing. "Whatever." Victor untangled himself from Katsuki and handed him a bottle of water. He took it with thanks and gulped down a quarter of it. "So do you have any ideas for my short programme or have you been too busy staring at each other to come up with anything?"
Victor leant on the barrier. "Yurio, I hate to say this but I think it would be beneficial to all of us if you went out on a date. Hooked up with someone. Had a little fun. You're wound up too tightly for a young man of eighteen."
Yuri spluttered in horror, the water shooting from his mouth unceremoniously. "What? What the fuck, Victor?"
"Victor," his husband sighed, "it's not your place to say that."
"Too fucking right," Yuri agreed. It was humiliating and frustrating! Why would he go on a date with anyone? Everyone he met was awful. Everyone he already knew were in relationships. In his experience, people were too much effort to deal with.
"Think about it," Victor said, unfazed by the rebukes. "I understand that skating is the most important thing in your life. It was the same way for me for a very long time which is why I am in a prime position to give you advice on this."
"I'm not going to start slutting it up like you did when you hit nineteen." Victor's exploits on and off the ice were legendary. Ridiculous, Yuri corrected. He wanted to be known for his skating ability, as a champion, not for who's bed he had been sleeping in. The media ate that shit up and he didn't want to get caught in the trap like everyone else did.
Victor rolled his eyes. "See, you're a prude. Having a few nights of fun doesn't make me a slut."
Katsuki piped up, tone soft. "He is right, Yuri. There is nothing wrong with having a little fun. You work extremely hard - we all admire your work ethic and as your coaches we could ask for nothing more - "
"So what's the problem?" Yuri demanded, feeling slightly betrayed by the couple. They were both aware of exactly how much work it took to win a gold medal so for them to imply that he was...lacking in other areas because of that dedication was a kick in the gut.
"This is the problem," Victor expressed, his eyes serious. "You can't have a conversation without blowing up over something small. That is fine when you're a child, but you're an adult now. We're your friends, we want you to be happy. You don't seem happy to me."
A ball of panic tightened in his stomach. "I'm fine."
Victor raised his brows. "Are you? I know how much pressure I used to put on myself. Yes, my skating was impeccable, but I was miserable much of the time. Lonely. I'm sorry if you think I'm being harsh here, but I want to spare you from those years of inner pain that I endured."
His usual bluster gone, Yuri stood silently. The unexpected conversation had thrown him off guard and he didn't know how to respond. He knew everyone thought he was a brat and to some extent, he knew it to be the truth. That assumption was safe; his prickly exterior kept people at a distance. He didn't have to explain his feelings to anyone, open up, or any of that shit. He could just be and do what he wanted. Ever since Grandpa's death, it had been what he needed.
Well, Otabek no longer had time for him so the one person he would have willing opened up wasn't an option anymore.
"I'm done for the day," Yuri said, throat dry. He needed out of the rink and away from his ‘friends’ before they gave anymore unsolicited advice.
Katsuki tried to grab his hand, but he shrugged it of. "Yurio, we're sorry. If you want to stay here, we'll go."
"No, I'm going." He left them to it without a backward glance. Why couldn't people just leave him alone?
Due to his early departure from practice, he was home with more hours to spare until bed than usual. He played with Potya before making a quick dinner and settling on the sofa to watch some boring TV, all whilst trying to get Victor's words out of his head. To distract himself further, he pulled out his phone and scrolled through Instagram. Boring, boring, boring. Selfies of Vicktor, Katsuki and their dog. More selfies from other skaters he knew.
He snapped an adorable photo of Potya and uploaded it with a heart emoji. It was kind of pathetic, but his cat was the only other creature he could depend on in the world. She truly did have his heart.
Why was Victor so obsessed with telling him what to do with his personal life? It was called that for a reason - it was personal!
Did he and Katsuki really think he hadn't already thought about that stuff? Literally everyone else in his life was paired up or had an active social life. All he did was exercise, practice and then come home to his cat. Of course, he was fucking lonely. Being questioned about it just made him feel like shit. Victor had grown up a lot since meeting his husband, but not enough to know some things were better left alone.
Yuri didn't pry into their lives or their relationship. He'd even taken it in stride when they both announced their retirements last year because he realised that it wasn't his place to make those decisions for anyone else. He had matured.
Notifications started to pop up on his phone, drawing his attention, likes and comments on the photo of Potya. One stood out, kicking his heart into overdrive.
otabek-atlin: Miss you both.
Otabek hardly ever opened his Instragram app, let alone took the time to write comments.
Otabek missed them.
Enraged, Yuri threw his phone to the other side of the sofa, the burst of action scaring poor Potya so much she ran off into the bedroom. He made a conscious effort to calm down, though he could feel the sting of tears at the back of his eyes. If Otabek missed them so much, he had a funny way of showing it. He gets a new girlfriend and he goes off the grid completely. Yuri hadn't heard from him in over a month which had been excruciating considering they used to talk every single day.
Fuck you, Beka. Fuck you.
He was so done with sitting around moping over someone who obviously didn't value their friendship as much as he did. Done with Victor and his interfering assessments. Of Yuuri for going along with every word he said. For Yakov for deciding to retire so he had no choice but to ask the most annoying duo to be his coaches.
He was just done.
If Victor wanted him to get a life, he was going to get a fucking life.
Fuck, this was a bad idea.
He hated people and he hated all the clubs he had been to unless he had been there to watch Beka DJ. He had no idea why he had decided to get dressed up and get a cab to the club. Going home would make the entire trip a failure so that wasn't an option for him.
Taking a sip of his drink, he winced at the strong vodka singed the back of his throat. Shit. He gulped so more down knowing it was the only way he was going to get through the night.
Watching everyone else with their friends or lovers did nothing to abate the loneliness that had lodge itself firmly inside. He had found a spot on a balcony which overlooked the dancefloor. He was too engrossed in the movement of the crowd in front of him to notice someone approach him.
"Hey," a deep voice sounded from his right.
Startled, Yuri lifted his head. A guy, perhaps a couple of years older than him stood there, drink in hand and smile on his face. "What do you want?"
The stranger laughed, unperturbed by Yuri's attitude. "Nothing."
Yuri frowned, giving the guy another once over, a slice of discomfort running through him when he noticed how much the man resembled Otabek, same haircut and everything. Weird.
"I'm Henry, by the way." He offered a hand that Yuri didn't take.
Henry settled in next to him, still unfazed by his rudeness. "Are you here alone?"
Yuri nodded, seeing no point in lying. "You?"
"My friends are around here somewhere. I was looking for them, but I saw you instead. You're hot."
Yuri's cheeks flushed red. He had always known he liked males, but in Russia he knew he had to be careful about how he acted in a public space. A bit of leeway was given to the country's top athletes, but he still had to be careful unless he wanted to court the wrong kind of attention. No one had ever come onto him like this before and he didn't know what to do. With the vodka swimming around in his bloodstream, he was less cautious than he should have been. Victor had told him to have a hook-up, maybe this guy would be up for it?
Henry took it as a joke. Yuri had been serious, the guy was a cheap version of Otabek, but he was never going to have the real Otabek so he might as well be content with the knock off version who was openly coming onto him.
Henry moved to stand behind him, his thicker body emitting a heat that Yuri couldn't help but arch against. Hands moved across his stomach, trailing beneath his oversized tank. Yuri shivered in response, unused to the intimate touch, wishing that it was his Otabek.
Yuri let out a small yelp as he was spun around with surprising strength. Henry gave him no warning, immediately capturing his lips. For a full ten seconds, Yuri remained still. Sure, he had kissed before. That kiss had ruined his life. This one was fine, over enthusiastic on Henry's part.
Finally, Yuri responded, giving into the sensation, allowing the stranger’s tongue into his mouth. A voice in the back of his head told him that he shouldn’t be doing this, that it wouldn’t solve any of the problems he faced tomorrow or the next day.
But right now, it felt good. With Henry’s hands roaming around his body, he could pretend that he meant something to someone. If he kept his eyes closed, maybe he could convince himself that it truly was Otabek wrapping him in the safe cocoon of his arms.
A shockwave went through his body when Henry bit down on his lower lip. Fuck, he liked that, his cock responding to the sensual assault. Maybe Victor had been right after all, maybe he should let off some steam. Fool around like everyone else did.
Determination coursing through him, Yuri grabbed hold of Henry’s leather jacket and pulled him closer, rubbing his body against the large one. Surrounded by the music, people and vibrating atmosphere, he could almost forget the loneliness he’d experienced since Otabek had left him.
For a few precious moments Yuri lost himself in another, uncaring of the show they were putting on for the rest of the patrons. As far as he was concerned, they were alone.
“Yes,” Henry whispered against his against, nibbling at his lobe, “there’s my Ice Tiger.”
Yuri’s eyes snapped open as he pushed the other man away. “You know who I am?”
Henry smirked, the site sending chills down his spine. “Of course I do. I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist me looking like this.” He gestured to his hair, the clothes. He reminded Yuri of Otabek because fashioned himself that way on purpose with the intention of capturing Yuri’s eye.
Meaning he knew exactly where to find Yuri.
“You sick fuck,” Yuri spat, livid with himself for being such an idiot.
Henry’s face fell, his hand grabbing for Yuri’s. “Don’t be like that. Stay with me. We were having fun.”
“Get your hands off me!” Yuri ripped himself away from the deranged fan who stood in front of him. He couldn’t trust anyone not to fuck him over.
Slipping out of the creep’s reach, he sprung into action and ran through the club, cursing his growing height for the first time in his life. With his hair he stuck out like a sore thumb, even in the heavy crowd.
He didn’t look back, eager to get the hell out of the club and back to his cat. Heart pounding, he rushed across the floor, grateful when the exist came into view. A large security guard was standing there on alert.
“Hey,” Yuri shouted, “you know who I am?”
The man nodded.
Yuri explained that a crazy fan was following him and he would appreciate if that fan was prevented from leaving the club for ten minute. Yuri handed him some money and got the assurance he wouldn’t be followed.
Jogging out into the cold night’s air, he became away of how stuffy it had been inside the club. Just in case the guard had lied, he sprinted down the street, heart only beginning to slow when he realised that no one was following him.
He slowed down to a walk, more shaken than he would have admitted to another living soul. The Angels could be intense, but he had never experienced anything like that. Hands trembling, he pulled his phone out of his back pocket.
There was only one person he wanted to call.
Would he even pick up?
He should put his phone away, get home and go to bed. Otabek was most likely asleep or fucking that whiney girlfriend of his.
But he needed to talk to someone after that. His stomach was lined with grease and disgust. Self-loathing for being desperate enough to fall for such a crap move like that. Fuck it, he thought, finding Otabek’s number.
Breathing becoming heavier again, Yuri waited to see if his best friend slash crush would pick up the phone.
“Yura?” Otabek’s sleepy voice filled the line, sending a crack right down Yuri’s heart. “Are you okay?”
Yuri bit his lip. “No,” he said in a small voice.
More alert now, Otabek asked, “What’s going on? Where are you? It’s late. Are you outside?”
Now that he had the opportunity to speak to him, Yuri had no idea what to say. There was no way he could tell him the truth about what happened, he would explode from embarrassment.
“Yuri? You’re worrying me.”
Tears clouded his vision. “I just wanted to talk to you.”
“Please tell me what’s happened? I can call Victor and…”
“No!” Yuri protested, “If I wanted to speak to him, I would have called him. I’m fine. I just…I went to a club.”
“Are you drunk?”
“No. I only had a few drinks.”
Silence. “Tell me the truth. You don’t contact me in weeks and then call me in the middle of the night? You’re not okay. You just told me you weren’t.”
Beginning to panic, Yuri considered just hanging up. “I’m just…”
A loud holler sounded from behind him, drawing his attention. Yuri spun round to find two men a couple of metres behind him. “There he is!”
Fear shot through him. Neither of the men were Henry, but it was obvious they knew who he was and had followed him.
“Yuri, who was that? What’s going on?”
“I don’t know,” he rushed out. “Some men. Shit, I think they’re going to hurt me.” They were calling out obscene words, homophobic slurs. They must have seen him kissing Henry in the club.
“What! No. Yuri, run. Where are you?”
He looked around frantically, trying to work out where he was. “I don’t know. I’m going, I need to go.”
“Yuri! Don’t –“
He hung up and ran.
That was all he remembered. That and a lot of pain.