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Nagoya

December 2017

 

It's time to Skype Yuzu. 

The seconds proceeding the video chat pinch and stretch, slowing and souring. 

Until they remembered, Shoma and Javi were teasing, laughing, brushing against one another as they did dishes. Enjoying each other's uncomplicated company.

But Yuzu pricks them like a silver barb. Of love, but still sharp.

Shoma sets up his laptop and he feels furious with Yuzu, even if he is the one with the injured ankle. He sits in Javi's lap and checks the time before dialing.

Nothing. 

"He's doing it on purpose," Javi mutters. 

Shoma tries again and Yuzu blinks sullenly through the screen.

"Yuzu!" Javi waves.

Yuzu sneers but otherwise doesn't answer.

What follows is a halting, painful conversation. They try to talk about Japanese Nationals. They try to talk about Yuzu's ankle. They try to talk about the Olympics. But each attempt is stymied by Yuzu being either angrily silent, or his tart replies. 

"Enough," Shoma says. 

Both Javi and Yuzu look shocked. 

"Enough," Shoma says more gently.

"Easy for you to say, stealing Javi from me," Yuzu snaps. 

"I am not stealing him! You were fine having both Javi and I to yourself, is it really such a surprise Javi and I like each other too?"

"It's not fair, I'm the one with the injured ankle and he still goes to you. To support you at Nationals."

Javi sighs.

"That's because you're impossible Yuzu," he says. "Being with you all the time while you're injured is impossible."

"You just don't want me anymore."

"Of course I want you, mi amor."

"I love you too," Shoma says.

"Then why did you form a relationship together without me!?"

Shoma and Javi regard one another, wondering what to say.

"You're abandoning me," Yuzu whispers. 

Shoma and Javi are silent. 

"Yuzu," Shoma says at length.

"What?"

"I have always looked up to you. I love being in your shadow. It makes me a better skater. I hate that you're injured. I sometimes wish it was me. It's not right, and not fair. But I do love you. Don't you dare say I would abandon you."

"You know I love you too, Yuzu. Always," Javi adds. 

Yuzu is silent now. 

He seems mollified in part, and they can actually talk about things, including his physical therapy and how excited Javi is to watch Japanese Nationals. They even laugh, ribbing Shoma over his nervousness.  

"I think you will be fine," Yuzu says, which makes Shoma relieved, not because of Yuzu's faith in him, but because Yuzu seems more himself -- not cranky or wrought with jealousy. 

The video chat concludes peacefully enough and both Shoma and Javi sigh when it's done. 

Nothing is really decided, Shoma knows, but he believes. He believes that they can make this work.