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Life after Death

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“Wow,” Victor muses somewhere up in the air behind Yuri as he runs across the bridge. “I think I’m getting a hang of this ghost thing.” 

Yuri turns his head back, pushing sweat-slicked hair off his forehead, just in time to catch Victor doing lazy spins in the air. Even dead and incorporeal, Victor’s form is perfect. +3 GOE, Yuri thinks, unable to stop the reflexive awe from rising up in his chest. The morning sunlight filters through the blurry edges of Victor’s body, setting his translucent skin aglow. 

“Victor,” Yuri says, awkwardly, as his heart decides to beat in double-time. “Um, your. Your clothes disappeared again.” 

“Hmm?” Victor tilts his head, silvery hair falling over his clear green eyes. “Oh!” Victor lifts an arm critically, examining his naked flesh. “So they did.” His brow furrows as a look of concentration falls over his face. Streams of color swirl around Victor’s outstretched limbs for one glittering moment before settling into a skin-tight rendition of Victor’s costume for his free skate, sparkling pink coattails fluttering in a non-existent wind. 

“Ta da,” Victor bows expertly. Faint after images of flower bouquets and plushy poodles rain down in the background before fading away once they hit the pavement. “At any rate, does it really matter if I’m wearing clothes or not? I’m a ghost, human norms don’t apply to me and it seems like you’re the only one who can see me as I am anyway.” 

“NO! NO!” Yuri shouts. “Keep your clothes on!!!” 

The old man fishing off the bridge raises a creaky eyebrow. “Come again, boy?” 

Yuri blushes from toe to root-tip, bows in apology, and flees for safer waters, Victor laughing coyly in his ear all the way.

 



“Are you alright, Yuri?” 

Yuri just barely manages to avoid jumping in the air as Yuuko sidles up next to him by the boards, her hands wrapped around a thermos full of tea. 

“You’ve just been standing there for ages, not skating.” Her brown eyes are wide with concern, heavy with dark shadows. Yuri feels a pang of regret in his chest, knowing that every late night he spends on the ice is a late night Yuuko spends watching him by the boards. 

“Er, yeah,” Yuri mutters, ducking his head back towards the ice, where Victor is jumping quad after quad after quad, the transitions beautifully, almost eerily immaculate. Victor looks nearly alive on the rink; if it weren’t for the absence of any noise, Yuri would have sworn that Victor had risen from the dead to come skate at Ice Castle Hasetsu. Yuri stifles a hysterical giggle. Dead or alive, any scenario where any incarnation of Victor Nikiforov becomes Yuri’s figure skating coach dances on the edge of impossibility. 

“Really?” Yuuko asks him smartly, hands at her hips. “Because it looks like you’re about two nervous breakdowns away from completely losing it, Yuri.” 

Victor throws his head back, smiling ethereally as he traces figures in the ice with his golden blades. 

“I’m completely fine,” Yuri says blankly. “Except for the parts where I think I’m hallucinating Victor Nikiforov’s ghost.” 

 


 

Standing in the center of the ice, Victor seems the realest he’s ever been since Yuri woke up this morning to find a dead man sitting on his bed. He’s dressed in warm grey sweats and a black shirt, leather gloves concealing long fingers. 

Yuri skates around him in a steady, slow circle. His blades leave the only marks on the ice. 

“Well,” Victor says, in a soft voice, holding his hands out. “What do you think?” 

“I don’t know what to think,” Yuri admits. “You look like him, you sound like him, you even act like him, a little.” From what Yuri knows of TV interviews anyway. 

Victor is silent for a long moment, his green eyes like cut glass, pupils tracking Yuri’s careful movements around him. “I don’t think you have a problem with me being a ghost, exactly.” 

Yuri stops hard, flecks of ice flying in the air. His cheeks grow warm and he can hear the pounding of his heartbeat grow louder and louder in his head, drowning out everything but the heavy rasp of his own breath and Victor’s clear voice. 

“Is it really such a surprise that I-- or at least some form of me is here because of you?” Victor asks. “For you?” 

Yuri flinches, skidding backwards. “You don’t even know me.” 

“Ah,” Victor breathes. “Do you know what really brought me here?” For a brief moment, the outline of Victor’s body flickers, like a TV with bad reception, and is overlaid with a faint afterimage of Yuri himself, dressed in his usual warmup blues and blacks. 

The ghostly Yuri bows and begins to skate in smooth, serpentine passes, tears dripping steadily down his pale cheeks. 

“You did,” Victor says and he waves a hand gracefully, letting the vision fade away into mist. “Your skating pulled my spirit from the liminal space between life and death and brought me here, to you.” He raises that same hand and points one long, gloved finger at Yuri’s chest. 

Victor smiles, slow and honey-warm. “How could I resist?” 

 


 

The worst part is that Yuuko doesn’t even call him crazy. She presses a hand against Yuri’s forehead, her dark eyes deep and glittering with unshed tears.

“I know you really, really cared for him,” Yuuko begins gently. “And what happened to him, in the end...It was just awful. But you really need to take care of yourself too.” 

“Your girlfriend?” Victor asks, interested, resting his chin on Yuri’s shoulder. There’s the slightest, nearly-imperceptible pressure as Victor leans against him. 

Yuri stiffens. “No!” 

“Oh, do you have a boyfriend then?” Victor noses the tender skin of Yuri’s throat. 

“No! No comment!” Yuri yelps. 

“Excuse me?” Yuuko gapes at him. 

“Oh, good,” Victor murmurs. “I wasn’t very good at sharing even when I was alive.” 

“I mean,” Yuri flounders. “Uh, Yuuko, not-- I wasn’t trying--” 

“Why don’t we just show her,” Victor says, breathing out a puff of air that ruffles his fringe of hair and just barely grazes Yuri’s skin. “Do you trust me, Yuri?” 

Yuri swallows, just catching the edge of Victor’s blurry figure from the corner of his eye. So far today, Victor Nikiforov (or, at least, the ghost of) has been cheerfully naked and clothed, rude and strangely ignorant of personal space, but never cruel. Not to Yuri. 

“Yes,” Yuri whispers, and strangely, the word feels like the truth. 

“Alright,” Victor smiles as he wraps a ghostly arm around Yuri’s chest in a back hug. “This’ll be fun.” 

 


 

Skating with Victor’s laughter ringing in his head feels, oddly enough, like freedom. Yuri’s not sure where Victor ends and he begins; Yuri’s not sure whether he really cares any longer. 

Let’s try something new, Victor smiles, sleek and assured. How about this? I was working on something interesting for next year...


 

Yuri Plisetsky @yuri-plisetsky・3m
@mbabicheva or else 

Yuri Plisetsky @yuri-plisetsky・4m
@mbabicheva and don’t tell yakov 


Yuri Plisetsky @yuri-plisetsky・4m
@mbabicheva book me a ticket to japan or whatever you hag 


Yuri Plisetsky @yuri-plisetsky・7m
Fuck I hate this stupid dog he just threw up all over Yulia’s bed 


Yuri Plisetsky @yuri-plisetsky・9m
plus a loser like that doesn’t even know how to land a quad flip 


Yuri Plisetsky @yuri-plisetsky・24m
HIS NEW PROGRAM 


Yuri Plisetsky @yuri-plisetsky・25m
what the fuck what the FUCK there’s no fucking way he knows how to skate that program, that was HIS 


Yuri Plisetsky retweeted・25m
Golden Skate @goldenskate・April 15
Wow! #YuriKatsuki lands perfect quad flip, quad toe + triple toe in practice video. Preview for what’s coming up this season? bit.ly/35AOLH9