I had already boxed up my belongings to be shipped to Japan, my flight was booked, and I had my case with me, when I told Yakov my plans. "Vitya, don't go! Stay here!" He shouted after me. I turned back to look at him, for once he looked deadly serious, no over-the-top yelling this time. "Yakov, you were the best Coach I ever had," I walk back to stand in front of him, " You always will be".
"If you walk away now, you can never come back". Yakov's so emphatic in his body language, he really does believe that, and I know that he has my best interests at heart, but this is something that I want to do... No, this is something that I NEED to do... To take that next step in my life, to grasp that ephemeral something that is currently missing from it, to grab it with both hands, and never let it go.
I drop my case on the floor, and take the last few steps back to Yakov... This is the man who has been more of a father than my own father over the years... I put my arm around his neck, and hug him close, " Good bye," I kiss his cheek, "I'm sorry I can't do as you say this time".
Yakov didn't say anything more to me then, instead, even though he didn't want me to leave, that silly old man took me to the airport himself. He should have gone back inside the rink, where it was warmer, and not snowing, (he's gonna make himself ill, he's not as young as he used to be!!). But as I was going through the Boarding Gate, he yelled like old times."You don't get to say that, when you have never done as I said in the first place!" As I walked across the runway to the boarding steps, the blizzard stung my eyes, and made them water... That's my excuse anyway.
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The first thing I can say about me being Katsuki Yuuri's Coach... is that his home is a traditional Japanese Inn, with hot springs baths!! How convenient is that!! Almost the first thing I did was get naked, and take a dip. It was utter bliss, and that was where Yuuri found me, he came rushing in still wearing his outdoor clothes, his glasses steaming up, and stuttered out my name. "Vi-Victor... Why are you here?" He had such an expression of wide-eyed shock on his face, it was absolutely adora-bubble, I just wanted to pinch those slightly pudgy cheeks of his!! Ah, but I'll have to leave that until later... Gotta tell him why I'm here.
I stand up, and make one of those extravagant hand gestures, you know the sort, Prince Charming to his Cinderella. "Yuuri, starting today, I'm your Coach. I'll make you win the Grand Prix Final." Then I put my hands on my hips, and wink at him. Strangely enough, he freaks out a little, actually quite a lot, he starts shouting, "Ehhh... What?!" Until his Mom yells at him from outside the men's baths. Hmm, you say, maybe that's because you were standing there with ALL your assets on display, the highest quality fan service I say, my assets are top class, especially my ass, ha ha... Oh shut up, I'll put a towel on okay, happy now spoilsport!!
I realize that I have forgotten to bring a clean change of clothes for after my bath, I mean I haven't even unpacked yet. At first Yuuri got me one of the inn's yutaka to wear, but then he changed his mind, and gave me one of the staff's jinbei instead. When I asked why, Yuuri just muttered something about the way I sit, and "no underwear", but I'm not really sure why sitting cross legged is a problem, Japanese tables are really low, but his Mom's food is the best!!
I must have fallen asleep after eating, as I was half woken up by a woman yelling, but I just ignored it, turned over, and hugged Makkachin for warmth, until I sneezed and sat up groggily, still clutching Makkachin in my arms. "I'm starving," I turned to Yuuri, and the shoulder of the top I'm wearing fell down, so I decide to go the whole hog... I give Yuuri 'The Look', and say in that cutesy voice that always makes women give me their secret stash of chocolate, "Hungry".
Yuuri's reaction was so cute, he started flailing his arms around as he asked me what I wanted to eat, I almost said "me", but I WAS actually hungry, and... WHO is that strange woman sitting next to MY Yuuri?! Was she the one who woke me up with her shouting?! What is she to Yuuri?! I must find out!! But first, I really do NEED to eat, jet lag is hitting me hard!! So, let's take the first step to making Yuuri mine... Find out Yuuri's favourite food, I bet it's something really fattening, Yuuri looks the type to comfort eat, or just eat in general... "As your Coach, I'd like to know what your favorite food is, Yuuri". He blushed!! At that!! Yuuri, you are SO sweet, you're gonna give me cavities!!
Turns out that Yuuri's favorite food, looks, smells, and tastes, absolutely amazing!! I'm talking orgasmically delicious here!! Apparently, it's the inn's specialty, an extra-large Katsu-don... Yuuri has exceptional good taste!! "It is truly the food of the God's!!" I'm not embarrassed to say that I stuffed my face. Yuuri got all shy, looking down at his knees, as he twiddled his thumbs in his lap, "I'm glad you like it". Yuuri's Mom was so happy at the complement, she skipped back to the kitchen!!
The skinny woman sat next to Yuuri, (who is apparently Minako-sensei, Yuuri's ballet teacher), turns to him with a sly look, " Yuuri gains weight easily, so he was only allowed to eat it when he won a competition. Right?" Yuuri looks super guilty at that, so I ask all innocent-like, "Oh? So have you eaten this Katsu-don recently?" Yuuri looks really happy as he says, "Yes, yes, I eat it often". With a big grin on my own face I say, " Why? You haven't even won anything."
Yuuri freezes like a deer caught by the headlights of an oncoming truck... Time to go in for the kill!! "With that pig's body of yours, lessons would be meaningless. You need to get back to your weight at last year's Grand Prix Final, at the least... Or, I can never coach you! Until then, no more Katsu-don! Okay, little piglet?" Yuuri gets up, and staggers back clutching his head, muttering "Huh, I feel like I should be offended..." Ah Yuuri, those lush curves might be nice in bed, (Ooh, nice image, I'll have to save that 'til later), but on the rink they could make you break an ankle.
At this point Yuuri's older sister, (I think her name is Mari), pops her head round the door to the hallway, "Hey, this luggage is in the way." Ah, my boxes have arrived, I smile and wave at her, "Can you take it to the room where I'll be staying?" For some reason both Minako-sensei, AND Yuuri look surprised by this, seriously... this is a inn, people stay here!!
Yuuri helps me bring all my boxes up to my new room, he's actually quite strong, even if he did get out of breath at the end from being overweight. I threw my hands in the air in excitement, "Wow! What a classic, tiny room", seriously it has colourful paper lanterns all along the wall above the door!! "Does it have a sofa?" Hmm, seems they don't really do furniture in a traditional Japanese inn, no bed either, just a futon, and bedding folded up on one of the stacks of boxes of my stuff.
Yuuri looks up at me from where he'd collapsed on the floor. "I'm sorry it's so small. We only had an unused banquet room available." God, he looks so edible on his knees in front of me... NO, don't get distracted Victor. "You look anxious." I wink at him, to put him at ease, "You can pay the coaching fee after you achieve success, I'll bill you later." I'm not going to mention that I've already arranged free room and board whilst I'm here with his parents, that's already quite a chunk of cash considering I'm going to be here for about a year. Plus, I'm a medal winning 'rock star' figure skater, I'm not exactly hurting for money!!
I crouch down, "Yuuri, tell me everything about you". I reach forward, and tip Yuuri's chin up with the fingers of my right hand, so he's looking into my eyes. "What kind of rink do you skate at? What's in this city? Is there a girl you like?" I almost asked if there was a boy he liked, but I thought that it might be too soon for that... Instead I ran my left hand down his arm, and took hold of his hand. "Before we start practicing, let's build some trust in our relationship".
Yuuri suddenly flushed bright red like a tomato for some reason, and scurried backwards right out into the corridor outside my room. I was quite shocked, I don't think I did anything to make him act like a frightened mouse. "What? Why are you running away?" Yuuri's voice was quite high pitched when he replied, "Uh, no reason". Then he ran away down the corridor, and I found out later that he'd hidden in his room.
Grabbing my pillow, and with Makkachin following, I set out to storm the stronghold of Yuuri's bedroom, which was at the end of an upstairs corridor in the families private quarters. I knocked on his door, "Yuuri, let's sleep together". I shouted, "As your coach there's so much I need to learn about you". But, no matter how many times I called his name, Yuuri held the door shut, whilst yelling "No!!"
In the end I gave up on the idea of snuggling under the covers with Yuuri, and went back to my own room, but I was now totally awake (damn jet lag), and have nothing to do since Yuuri doesn't want to play. So I've decided I'm going to use the image I saved earlier as the side dish for a little... Mmm, personal relaxation shall we say, then I'm going to curl up with Makkachin in the futon, (I would have much preferred spooning with Yuuri). So, I'll take this opportunity to say, "Good Night, and Sweet Dreams!!"
---------- To Be Continued ----------