Javi can’t look away.
Yuzuru dances across the ice, light as a feather, heavy as the loud beat of Javi’s heart, echoing through his mind. Yuzuru deft fingers carve music notes into the air, his lips whisper through a thousand different worlds, a thousand different emotions. His feet float through the darkness.
He is an angel here, illuminated in the shadows of the rink, the inky blackness of the night so early in the morning.
The light of the moon makes him shimmer, turns his face into perfectly placed brushes of silver and black, a gentle blaze of magic.
Shadows dance upon the walls like great, roaring crowds, but only silence reigns upon the rink. The moonlight seems to follow Yuzuru and only Yuzuru, like so many other people, but there is something so much more vulnerable in this moment, at the Cricket Club at a time when every sane person ought to be asleep, watching Yuzuru breathe his soul out onto the ice.
Yuzuru’s toepick hits the ice and the sound of the ice breaking, the sight of the ice spraying up like a million stars roars in Javi’s mind. And then, in a split second, Yuzu is up in the air. He hangs there for a moment, for what seems like forever, a part of the stars, the moon, a silver shadow, flying high, high, above him. Spinning around, around, as if he is but a figment of Javi’s imagination, as if he is the incarnation of the moon itself.
And Javi can see him, can see that little kid, all those years ago, giggling and struggling through words as he looks up at him: “Habi good jump!”
Can see him, crashing down upon the ice, get up again, brushing bruises off of his shoulder, blowing scrapes off of his elbows, always, always, get up again and leap. Again, again, again. Up, up, up. Crash, crash, crash.
Can see him, crying against his shoulder all those times, the heat of the tears soaking through his jacket, warm against the cold of the rink, against the screams of the crowds, the icy touch and heavy weight of gold.
Can see him, Yuzuru Hanyu, who was always just a little better, just a little faster, just a little more.
Yuzuru lands on the ice again, foot swinging back smoothly, and oddly, Javi feels tears prickling his eyes. His lungs refuse to work and even as he tries to swallow the wetness pooling in his chest, his throat, his eyelids, they slip out, trickling down his cheeks. They feel strangely like ice against his skin, like poison. Yet, even through the blurriness in his eyes, he cannot look away.
Yuzuru’s fingers draw strings of light in the air, his shadow turns the ice to gray. Upon this glittering surface of silver, silver, silver, Yuzuru is black and white, gold and bronze, real and fake. He springs into the air and flies, spreads his wings like he is ethereal, like he is not of this world.
Because he isn't of this world.
He was always like this. Always something more. Someone more.
And for some reason, Javi can’t stop the terrible feeling that claws up his throat and rips his chest hollow. He can’t stop the drowning sorrow that fills his body and overflows, dripping like a river down his face. He can’t stop his heart, squeezing painfully in his chest.
There was always something about Yuzuru Hanyu and drew Javier Fernandez in. Always some invisible, magical thing. Always something that Javi had only given thought to for a mere second as he curled his fingers around that small waist, smiled at those midnight eyes, as he brushed his fingers against that pale skin. Always something that Javi had tried his best to ignore.
But now, as he stares at him, weaving something magical into the air, the ice, the moon, the stars, Javi feels as if he is missing something. As if Yuzuru can give him something.
As if Yuzuru could give him the world.
As if he could give Yuzuru the world.
And for a moment, he can see it. That thing that he still cannot quite figure out, that thing that seems so magical, that thing that he knows he needs, knows he could have.
He can feel it, so close that he could bring his hand out to touch it, bring it closer, closer, and make it a part of him.
He can almost say it, those words.
Those words that would make everything.
Those words that he still just can’t quite realize.
And then, he is jolted back to the present as Yuzuru crashes down onto the ice, suddenly what seems like a thousand miles away.
For a moment, Javi can picture it.
He can see himself reaching out, breaking the silence.
He can see himself giving him a hand, helping him up.
He can see himself whispering those magical words.
He can see them finally becoming something more.
But as he watches Yuzuru pick himself off of the ice, rooted to place, he plummets from that world, from Yuzu’s world.
And instead, he turns,
When he gets home again, his girlfriend welcomes him with open arms, with an open heart, with an open smile. She grins at him tiredly and gently brings him to bed.
But as he lies there, wrapped in his sheets, staring up at the moon, his girlfriend’s body warm against his skin, all he can see is Yuzuru, dancing, floating upon the ice, hanging in the heavens with the stars, the moon.
All he can think of is Yuzuru Hanyu.
And for just another moment, he lets himself imagine that the warm back against his is not that of his girlfriend, not that of a woman, but of a man, a skater, an Olympic Champion.
He lets himself wish for one last second,