The first time he heard it, Yuri Plisetsky thought he was imagining it. He only moved into this apartment a few months ago, and it was his first time living alone in such a large space. Before this, he had always been surrounded by people either at boarding school or training sessions. He hated to say it, but he had gotten used to and missed having the constancy of familiar faces and voices around him all the time. Especially if it meant he was going to start hearing phantom voices calling his name in the middle of the night.
“Yuri…” he thought he heard distantly as he sat playing video games on his couch one night. He stopped for only a second before dismissing it as his mind playing tricks on him combined with the soft, shitty, pixelated sounds coming from his DS messing with his hearing.
“Yuri…” the sound came again, and it was louder this time. Longer. Yuri couldn’t brush it off as his imagination. He muted his game and just sat for a moment, listening. He didn’t have to wait long, because not ten seconds later he heard his name called again. It was muffled and incredibly distant, but it was undeniable in the stark silence of his apartment.
Yuri stood up and began to wander his living room. “The fuck…?” he muttered to himself, more than a bit peeved he had to stop his game just to make sure he wasn’t going batshit crazy due to isolation. He squatted by his television, computer, and all other electronic appliances he had hooked into the wall, just to make sure he hadn’t left any of them on.
No. They were all off. His reflection in their black screens stared back, mocking him for looking like an idiot. He huffed back in response, ready to return to his comfy couch and video game. But then he heard it again. Louder. More urgent. And coming from across the room, back closer to where he had been sitting.
“Okay,” Yuri said through his teeth, “what in the hell is going on?” There was nothing over there that could be making noise, unless…
He turned his gaze slightly to the right and landed on the front door to his flat. He stomped over and yanked it open, ready to give whoever this dickhead was on the other side a piece of his mind. But when it was open, there was no one there. And that just made Yuri even angrier.
“HEY!” he yelled into the empty corridor, “Whoever the hell is trying to pull something out here, it isn’t funny! Shut the hell up!” And then he slammed the door shut again, satisfied that that would put an end to it.
He sat back down on the couch, tucked his cheetah-print blanket over himself, and resumed his game. He got about two minutes of peace and quiet.
That was it again. It was definitely real. And not only was it his name, it was now clearly being moaned in the most sexual of ways. It was shortly followed up with a distinct groan that was far too close for comfort.
It was so loud now that Yuri knew exactly where it was coming from. It was coming from the apartment next to his own, with a mere wall of separation between himself and whatever pervy things were occurring on the other side. He practically flew to the other side of the room once the reality of that sunk in.
Why in the fuck was someone groaning his name so loud he could hear it through the walls? They couldn’t possibly be thinking of him specifically, he had never even seen his neighbor, let alone heard them before. As far as he had been aware before now, there was no one even living there (this complex was too expensive for most people and had quite a number of empty rooms that were reserved for displaying them to possible buyers).
So was the guy jacking it? It was definitely a guy’s voice. Or was there someone else named Yuri that this dude was banging right now? That seemed like such a crazy coincidence it couldn’t possibly be true. Yuri inched ever-so-slightly closer to see if he could hear another person’s voice.
He could hear very heavy breathing, but whether it all belonged to one person or two he couldn’t tell. He was straining to hear over the huffs, groans, and “Yuri”s before a rather sudden pounding started shaking the wall behind his couch. It came so suddenly that Yuri almost jumped out of his skin.
Now Yuri was still very young and he had never had anything a normal person would even call close to a sexual encounter – too much of a distraction from time that could be spent training and practicing. He was inexperienced, yes, but he wasn’t stupid, and he knew what was going on on the other side of that wall.
There was no goddamn way that masturbation would create that much movement, and so this guy had to be giving it to someone hard. Regardless of the fact that Yuri had yet to actually hear the other person who apparently shared his name.
Christ, they hadn’t even managed to make it to the bedroom before they started going at it? All the apartments had the same layout, so Yuri knew these two were just fucking like rabbits in the goddamn living room. It was getting louder and louder by the second, and Yuri didn’t know what to do. He was a confident enough guy, but pounding on the wall and subsequently letting your neighbor know that you were listening to their ravenous love-making was too much for him. He opted to go the passive-aggressive route and pumped rock and EDM from his surround-sound speakers as loud as he could to send a message.
By the end of the night, two of his other neighbors and the landlord came by to tell him to turn it down. Yuri was furious, flabbergasted as to how he was being scolded when it was apparently perfectly okay for his neighbor to bung someone into next week only three feet away from him. His neighbors just rolled their eyes and repeatedly told him to keep it at a reasonable level. Yuri had half a mind to scream into their thick skulls that they couldn’t hear the racket going on next door. His apartment was second to last on the floor, and no one else’s was anywhere close to the uncomfortable noise he was forced to listen to.
Yuri must have paced the equivalent length of a marathon in his apartment, as he kept waiting for the two of them to be done. Surely they had to finish soon. Or at least take it somewhere else?
It stopped after an hour, and it was nearly 1am. Yuri had practice in five hours. He didn’t get to finish his video game that night.
The next day Yuri returned from rehearsal at five. He was so physically and mentally exhausted that as much as he wanted to watch TV or listen to music, he cooked himself a small dinner, washed up, then fell into bed by six.
He awoke at 10pm to the sound of his name being murmured over and over again. He thought, just for a moment, that he was dreaming. But the loud sigh that followed brought him crashing back to reality. His eyes snapped open and he shot straight up in his bed like waking from a nightmare, except the nightmare was probably more desirable than his present reality.
“Are they fucking serious?” Yuri croaked, his voice rough with sleep. Even his neighbor’s bed was directly opposite his on the other side of the wall? He shoved a pillow over his ears, burying himself face-down in the mattress. That doesn’t work like it does in the movies though, and Yuri could still hear another man with his name being praised for his moves in bed clear as day.
“Yes – yes Yuri, just like that…oh God…”
Yuri hated his life right now. He was so tired. So sore. He just wanted rest. He grabbed as many blankets and pillows as he could manage and dragged them into his living room and onto the couch. On the upside, he couldn’t hear his name being called out like a porn star’s anymore, but on the down side, Yuri was not at all used to sleeping on anything other than a bed. He tossed and turned and was so miserable and desperate to sleep that he seriously considered returning to his bed and just putting up with the porno happening next door. But a simple venture within two feet of his bedroom door and a reminder of how intense the noise was immediately put Yuri in his right mind again.
Yuri listened to music, played video games, and he even tried reading an actual book but nothing was getting him to sleep. He managed to barely squeeze in almost two hours of restless sleep before he had to make breakfast and get ready for practice again.
He was miserable in rehearsal that day. He snapped even more than usual, his fuse shorter and his language more profane. Most people had the good sense not to comment on it, but he got an earful from Yakov and Mila – each very different from the other.
“Yuri! Get yourself together! Your attitude and natural skills will only get you so far in a competition, boy. No more lazing around during practice!” It was a lecture Yuri had heard many times before, but it wore him down faster than it ever had.
“Long night?” Mila winked suggestively as she skated up to Yuri during a break.
“Yes,” Yuri replied. He saw Mila’s eyes go wide in shock. He sighed and waved her off. “Not like that. It was a long night for my neighbor, and by default a long night for me as well. Spent most of it on my couch.”
Mila winced in sympathy. “Wow. Up all night but not for the right reasons. Did it at least sound good?”
“What the fuck?” Yuri stared at her like she had two heads.
“I mean, as long as they’re havin’ a good time, I respect it. At least they’re gettin’ some, right?”
“Where did you go wrong, Mila?” Yuri shook his head in disbelief.
“Hey, kid. Just tryna live life. Record some of it for me when you get the chance.” And she skated off with a teasing wink just to be a dick.
Yuri knew she was only teasing, Mila had always liked to see how far she could push people, and Yuri was a good subject because his boundaries were pretty far out there. But the next morning – his DAY OFF mind you – Yuri was tempted to actually record the ruckus happening next door just so he could have someone else hear it and sympathize with his unfortunate situation. To tell him he wasn’t going crazy. Because God, he sure felt like he was. I mean the stamina on these two was just insane.
And at this point Yuri had concluded it was the same two people every time. The voice never changed, and neither did the name of the other. His name. His own. Fucking. Name.
“Yuri! Oh, oh, oh! Ah, Yuri. So good, so good Yuri…”
Still not a peep out of the other one.
These two pricks must have had the sex drives of animals in heat 24/7 because there was hardly ever a day Yuri didn’t either wake up or go to sleep with the sounds of them going at it as his bedtime lullaby. It was so fucked up. He tried complaining to the landlord, but he lost his temper easily and was seen as a bit too young to be taken completely seriously. And no one else on his floor could back him up. He was losing his damn mind over this. Along with his sleep.
Yuri conceded somewhat of a defeat after nearly a month of trying to get himself out of this hellhole. There were no good, available apartments close enough to the skating rink so that he could move (Yakov didn’t want him living further than ten minutes away so that he didn’t have any excuses to be late). And apparently even moving to another room in his complex was out of the question until his lease was up. Yuri resigned to his fate of forever feeling like a weird voyeuristic freak listening to some guy moan his name to another person every night.
One day about a week after Yuri had given up living a quiet and peaceful life in his own apartment, he came home to moving men carrying boxes outside his neighbor’s door. A sensation that felt akin to hope tingled up his spine, and even got close to something like joy. But that all went away when Yuri realized that the boxes the men were moving were going inside the flat, not out. One of the moving guys accidentally dropped a box and men’s underwear came spilling out. He started piecing it together and realized that his neighbor wasn’t leaving, oh no. His boyfriend was moving in. Permanently.
Yuri ran into his flat, locked the door, and grabbed the nearest pillow off the couch and screamed into it. This was fucking insane! They hadn’t even been living together and they were banging that much!? Yuri’s life was going to be a fuck-filled shit-show from here on out. He thought it was horrible before? Ha. Now his new neighbors were going to be around each other day and night. Yuri was going to die like this, he was sure.
After a bit, Yuri tried to calm himself. He was getting good at that through this whole situation – learning how to control his rage. This whole debacle had actually helped Yuri reign in his emotions a lot faster now that he had to deal with them on a regular basis. Maybe this means that they’ll actually bang less now, Yuri thought. Maybe why they were going at it so much was because they couldn’t be around each other often. Maybe now that they aren’t pressed for time, they’ll relax a bit on the fornication.
Boy, was Yuri wrong.
That night Yuri was treated to the longest, loudest, most erotic fuck-session man has ever encountered, and there was nothing he could do to escape it. Usually he could escape to the living room when they were in bed, or vice versa. But no. Tonight he could hear it everywhere.
“OH YES, YURI! Oh God, oh God, there…right there…aah…ooh…”
“You feel so good, Yuri. God, so beautiful. So tight, so good…”
“Just like that, Yuri…Do you like that? Yeah, yeah…shit!...AH!”
He put in headphones and blasted music, but the vibrations in the wall were so powerful he couldn’t pretend even for a second that what was going on wasn’t going on.
Sometime around two in the morning, Yuri came to the horrific realization that he could tell which one of them was on top based on the moans of his neighbor. He was officially done after that. He grabbed his phone, earbuds, and coat and just walked right out his front door.
He called Mila and waited on the curb for her to pick him up.
He spent the next few nights on her couch, now that he was quite accustomed to the feeling. It was still the best night’s sleep he had gotten in over a month. He went back to his apartment during the day to pick up some clothes, training gear, and other necessities, but he wasn’t ready to go back completely as he was unaware what would await him there at night.
Mila was far nicer about it than he had expected, keeping her teasing to a minimum. Competition season was getting closer, and they both had better things to do than annoy each other. That was probably the other reason why she was so accommodating – she knew how stressful this time of year was and how important a good night’s sleep is. She had never seen Yuri get this bothered by anything ever, so she knew it was no laughing matter.
The following Friday after Yuri temporarily (?) left his apartment, Mila woke him up early with her bustling around the kitchen. Yuri knew she couldn’t cook a single thing that didn’t come pre-packaged, so he was groggy and confused.
“The hell are you doing? We don’t have practice for another two hours,” Yuri yawned.
“Well, maybe we should get an earlier start,” she responded quickly, chopping fruits sloppily on her counter. “Y’know, get the body moving and ready to go!”
Yuri gave her a withering stare. “Are you serious? When have you ever woken up a second earlier than you had to for practice?”
Mila sighed dramatically, putting a pause on her fruit slicing and turning to face Yuri on the couch. “Okay, you’re right, but I just got a text from Georgi saying that Victor Nikiforov is going to be there today! So sue me if I want to get there early and look mildly impressive with a hand-made fruit detox water in my hand?”
Yuri just flopped back down into his blankets. “Oh, really? Is that all? That the most popular single men’s skater that everyone wets their panties over is coming to practice? It’s not that surprising, he used to train with Yakov.”
He felt Mila painfully jump on top of his legs to sit down. He yelped, sat up, and glared at her. “Yes,” she said, “but it’s not just him that will be there! You remember how he stopped training with Yakov in order to produce his own protégé? Well he’s having his debut at our rink today.”
“Big whoop,” Yuri replied. “It’s just a publicity stunt. Everyone has eyes on Victor, and whatever unknown he brings out of the shadows will be fawned over by the media no matter what they do.”
Mila just sighed again, and looked at him disappointedly. “You believe that if you want to Mr. Grumpy-Pants. But there are whispers that this unknown of Victor’s could be the real deal. Victor 2.0. I even heard Yakov saying so.”
“Yakov would never admit that.”
“Yes, well, I heard him say it in more-or-less words.”
Yuri groaned, and went back to sleep for another hour.
It was warmer in the rink than usual. He wondered why until he registered that there were maybe twice as many people here than usual. Skaters who weren’t even scheduled to rehearse today were flooding the floor. The ice itself was empty however, with every individual focused on one person in the center of it. Yuri pushed his way to the front as he emerged from the locker room, and just as he reached it some music kicked in over the speakers and the figure on the ice began a rigorous and sexual routine.
Yuri had never paid much attention to the music he skated to, more focused on the movements themselves. It was something Yakov told him he needed to fix about his approach to training. But watching this person skate, Yuri felt like he was starting to see what Yakov meant when he blabbered all that nonsense about feeling the music. This skater’s body was having a conversation with the arrangement, giving as much as he was taking. The atmosphere was palpable, and Yuri knew that this must be Victor Nikiforov’s pet project.
The routine was almost shockingly sensual. When Yuri had first laid eyes on the skater standing still, he never would have expected him to move like that – with such confidence in his own sexuality and physicality. He had seemed so small and timid of stature, but maybe Yuri’s recent over-exposure to sex made him hyper-aware of anything and everything sexual.
Yuri, for the first time in his life felt jealous of another skater. Somewhere in himself he knew the day would come when he would meet a talented skater who could challenge his standards, and he thought he would feel more competitive but instead he just felt immature jealousy and insecurity in himself. He was so tired. He looked away from the routine to give himself some rest.
He heard the music end, and everyone around him exploded into applause that lasted for an irritatingly long time. Yuri kept his head down, taking off his skate guards just to give himself something to do.
The sound of the name hit him like a lightning bolt and he froze where he was.
No, please. It can’t be.
That voice. Saying that name. It was following him now? That couldn’t be. Why couldn’t he just live in peace? Free from that voice saying his name that was burned into his skull.
“Incredible job, Yuri! That’s your best one yet!”
No, wait. It was real. Just like how that first night he heard it, it was real.
Yuri slowly looked up from the ground onto the ice. Victor Nikiforov had run out onto the ice without skates like a moron to meet his protégé who he was now pawing and petting at like a besotted puppy, while the younger dark-haired boy blushed like a fucking virgin.
Which Yuri knew for a fact he was not.
Yakov announced excitedly over the loudspeaker, “Congratulations to Victor Nikiforov and the stunning display done by his very first pupil, Yuri Katsuki!”
The crowd erupted into another round of applause, but Yuri’s eyes were fixed on the couple in the center of the rink. He was seeing red.
“YOU!!!” He roared. The entire rink went silent, and everyone stared at him. Including Victor and the other Yuri. He saw both their eyes widen as he vaulted right over the rink wall and flew towards them both.
Victor started speaking while he skated over, one arm wrapped around his boyfriend who looked like he was about to have a heart attack. “Ah, you must be the other Yuri from Russia! This is Yuri Katsuki, from Japa – “
“YOU two have kept me up at night for a MONTH!” Yuri yelled in both of their faces. He was aware that everyone was watching and could hear him, but he really didn’t care.
“Uh…” Victor said.
“Do you know how hard it is to train day after day on four hours of sleep a night?!”
Victor’s arm slid down lower on other Yuri’s waist, and it stoked Yuri’s fire. “I apologize but I really have no idea what you’re – “
“I’m your neighbor and I can hear you fucking someone who shares my name!”
The looks on both their faces are something that Yuri will cherish for the rest of his life. Victor’s face got stuck in the emotionless dead smile he usually reserves for the press, and other Yuri’s skin turned so pale that Yuri was sure for a moment that he would keel over right there on the ice. He was pretty sure the only thing preventing that was Victor’s hand on his waist.
You could hear a pin drop in the rink. All eyes and ears were waiting with baited breath to find out what the response to that would be.
Victor unfroze after a moment, and that smooth and suave little fucker just said, “Oh? Which apartment are you in?”
The dam broke and Yuri must have let out every expletive he knew in a matter of seconds. “7C! 7C! I’m in 7C and you’re in 7D and Every. Single. Night. I had to hear you two go at it. If you put half the effort and energy you put into boning each other into skating you’d have five gold medals by now! And oh my God, Victor just shut the fuck up when you’re fucking, alright? The whole goddamn world doesn’t need to know how big Yuri’s dick is!”
It was at this point that Yuri heard the saddest, most pathetic whimper escape from other Yuri’s mouth.
“And YOU!” Yuri turned on him like a bull. Other Yuri squeaked in fear. “You bet your pulverized ASS that I’m going to beat you in the Grand Prix Final after all the shit you put me through. I hope you enjoyed the honeymoon boys, because I am officially your worst enemy. And I am right next door.”
And with that, Yuri skated away, and stormed off back into the locker rooms to cool off, leaving a stunned-silent skating rink behind him.
Victor turned to Yuri, hand firmly gripping his hip now that they had nothing to hide. “Well, not exactly how we’d planned to come out, huh Yuri?”
Yuri Plisetsky was convinced by Mila later that day, somehow, to just go back to his apartment. Maybe things would be different now? When he got to his front door, he found a ludicrously overstuffed gift basket that included fruit, pastries, chocolates, a stuffed lion and tiger, cheetah print slippers, lotions, flowers, and at the very bottom – a beautiful pair of noise-cancelling headphones.