Yuuri felt like he was intruding as he stood next to Viktor, who was talking to his ex-coach, Yakov, and apparently the older man’s ex-wife, too.
He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t a bit star struck right now.
Ever since he started training with Minako, Yuuri knew every single famous ballerina, and Lilia Baranovskaya was the favorite of the both of them. She was technically flawless and despite being stern in her private life, every one of her performances were flooded with emotion.
“Yuri has been training with Lilia since he got back from his little trip to Japan.”
For some reason Yakov was speaking in English, perhaps because he wanted Yuuri to get intimidated by the information.
He really wasn’t. More jealous than anything. Yurio got to train with THE Lilia Baranovskaya.
Yuuri tuned out the squabbles of the former student and ex-coach, engrossed in watching Yurio’s short program.
Yakov was right, though, learning ballet did wonderful things to the program Viktor had choreographed.
He couldn’t stop the smile. The cranky Russian had come so far in a few months, but, while the ballet aspects looked amazing to the untrained eye, Yuuri could pick up every single imperfection.
Lilia Baranovskaya noticed too and clicked her tongue every single time.
When the piece came to an end, all Yuuri could think about was that Yurio traded one technical focus for another. He was no longer focusing on his skating technicalities but instead putting overwhelming emphasis on the ballet components.
This was why beginners shouldn’t incorporate ballet. They couldn’t do the movements instinctively and focused too much on keeping the moves perfect.
“-something only Yuri can do with his young, flexible, small body.”
Yakov was looking right at Yuuri now, even as Yurio made his way to the kiss and cry.
Anybody else might have been intimidated by the older man but Yuuri knew what the man wasn’t saying.
Only someone who started learning ballet recently or late in life needed a naturally nimble body that Yurio’s age provided.
Lilia Baranovskaya knew the same, if the tightening of her jaw could say anything about what she was thinking.
So Yuuri just smiled serenely at the older coach, his inner sass master preening at the slightly taken aback look from Yakov.
It didn’t last long, because the man was stomping his way to the kiss and cry with Lilia Baranovskaya walking behind him.
Yuuri’d have to ask for an autograph for him and Minako after the results.
“As much as I don’t want to admit it, Yakov’s not wrong.”
Yuuri blinked as Viktor started talking. He looked over at his coach and raised an eyebrow, laughing slightly at the flush the expression caused on Viktor’s face.
It was fun to make his idol blush.
“The judges tend to be impressed with ballet aspects on ice. Not many can pull it off…”
Both of Yuuri’s eyebrows rose at that. It seemed that just like everyone else Viktor also forgot something key about Yuuri’s beginnings before figure skating.
Yuuri smiled softly at the man who guarded his heart, standing on his toes to whisper lowly in Viktor’s ear.
“I’m going to tweak Eros a bit…I have something that will surprise everyone…”
Viktor shivered at Yuuri’s voice, eyes closing even when Yuuri couldn’t see him. He knew Viktor well enough to know how he was going to react to something like this.
His voice was breathy and Yuuri couldn’t stop the smirk spreading across his lips.
Yuuri hugged Viktor tightly, planting his good luck kiss on the base of that pale neck, before heading to the entrance to the competition rink, glad that his performance was directly following Yurio’s.
The little brat even had the gall to taunt him a bit.
“Try and do better, damn piggy!”
The smirk he’d been fostering this whole time grew wider and Yuuri just had to respond to the taunt.
“Your performance has definitely improved with the lessons, Yurio, but you’re still a bit behind.”
He was a lot nicer than he was intending but the red faced anger was still the aim, so he succeeded either way.
Yuuri placed himself in the center of the rink, taking the normal starting pose but pointing his toe a bit more, making the line from the left hip to the right hip more diagonal than usual.
As the music started, Yuuri didn’t consciously change anything. He just let the music move him but this time he let the ballet training shine through.
Arms more curved but not bent, toe more pointed than normal, legs straighter, grace much more prevalent, his spins more balanced, and his jumps much tighter than what was considered to be his style.
Yuuri breathed through each move, felt years and years of nonstop training coming to the forefront of his motions.
It felt like it did back when it was just him and Minako, long before he’d met Yu-chan and Takeshi. When his mother asked her upper-classwoman to help her son get a little more out there.
Minako’s studio was an escape from the day-to-day anxiety that came with being bullied by children his own age. Ballet gave Yuuri a certain amount of confidence, enough so that his panic attacks lessened and he could actually live his life.
Ballet had given him so much and he was honestly a bit irked that Yurio thought he could learn it in MONTHS to put it in his performance. Months were not years, and Yuuri was going to show him that.
Honestly the whole performance felt like a whirlwind, one that Yuuri realized was his most natural feeling performance yet.
Maybe he should ask Viktor to include it in his future choreographies.
When Yuuri finished, he did make sure that his arms were properly rounded and that his feet were pointed correctly.
The crowd was clapping, cheers were resounding, and idly Yuuri realized he could hear Minako yelling “show ‘em how it’s really done, Yuuri!”
But the best thing, as always, was the look of utter surprise on Viktor’s face as he bowed and exited the rink.
His coach was waiting and wrapped his arms around Yuuri, face burrowing into his sweaty neck.
A laugh escaped as he and Viktor walked arm in arm to the kiss and cry, Yuuri’s skate guards properly in place.
Yuuri’s score was only slightly higher than Yurio’s, and that made another smirk bloom across his face.
Exiting the kiss and cry, Yurio’s hands wrapped in the collar of Yuuri’s jacket, and pulled the taller down with a sharp yank.
“What the fuck, fatty?!”
With a calm Yuuri hadn’t felt in years, he extracted Yurio’s fingers and smiled lightly while tucking his own hands into the coats’ pockets.
Then Lilia Baranovskaya walked over and grasped his arm, moving it to clasp his hand, and Yuuri almost combusted.
“That was wonderful.”
The blush was now so bright that Viktor pouted and mumbled something along the lines of only he should be able to make Yuuri blush like that. Said skater shushed his coached before responding to the ballerina.
“Th-thank you, madam.”
“Back off, you old hag! What the fuck, fatso?! You copying me now?!”
Yuuri got incredibly angry when Yurio tried to push Lilia Baranovskaya aside to bitch at him. Yurio was rude, but that was way too far.
“Hey! You can’t treat Madam Baranovskaya like that! She’s a prima that everyone admires!”
Yuuri had yelled, and that wasn’t too abnormal for him he thought, but everyone was looking at him strangely. Not Madam Baranovskaya though. She knew exactly what the title he used to refer to her meant.
“Yuuri?” Viktor questioned lightly, his hand resting softly on Yuuri’s lower back.
He couldn’t stop himself from sighing heavily, unsurprised that no one else picked up on it, despite how absolutely obvious he was being.
“Honestly, you people.” Yuuri spared a glance to where Minako was seated before continuing.
“I’ve been taking classes in ballet since I could WALK. My ballet instructor was the one who pushed me to start figure skating in the first place, because she’s such a ridiculous fan of the sport. And despite all of that it’s hard to believe that I’m a fan of Madam Baranovskaya?”
Yuuri couldn’t deny that the looks of surprise on all of their faces made him a bit gleeful.
“Ahh. How could I forget about that, something about my precious Yuuri? I have even met Minako and know what she does…”
Viktor draped over Yuuri’s shoulders, and he smiled. It was fun to surprise his coach, even with something the other technically already knew.
“Minako?” Madam Baranovskaya aksed suddenly, Yuuri was about to smile and explain when the prima spoke again.
“Okukawa Minako? The Japanese Dancer?”
“You know Minako-sensei, Madam?”
“Know her? I helped train her!”
“That explains why she has so many videos of your performances!”
“She still has those?! That child, I swear.”
Yuuri and Lilia both looked at Yurio, whose face was still red and now moving slightly with his huffing breaths.
“Why did you copy me, piggy?!” Yurio was very angry, his voice pitched low in anger but Yuuri smiled anyway.
“I didn’t copy you.”
“Yes, you di-”
“I merely showed you the difference between a few months of training, even under Madam Baranovskaya, and YEARS of training.”
Yuuri smirked again as Yurio steamed and Viktor wrapped his arms around Yuuri’s costume clad waist.
“Practice for another ten years, and maybe, may-be, you can include ballet in your performances as flawlessly as I can.”