" Things are heating up on the ice! The latest gossip around the rink is that 22 year old Russian skater, who just place second in this years Grand Prix, has been seen with season figure skater Nora Moine" Came a chipper voice from the television in the public room of Yu-topia
Yuuri sat in front of the flicker screen, dinner growing cold as his eyes remained glued to the picture the report showed. It was a grainy image, taken by someone's phone in a dark club, but a head of silver leaning down was unmistakable.
The Japanese man felt his chest clench in pain as the imagine switch to a candid interview with the blue eyes man.
After all, while it was just a silly little crush, developed from a bit of hero worship, it never felt good to see someone you like kissing someone else.
" Mr. Nikiforov! How do you respond to rumors that you and Nora were spotted near a famous Parisian jewelers, looking at rings?" Ask the same peppy voice.
The Russian man laughed, the sound thick and heavy, making Yuuri's heart speed up and a blush to form. He was slightly upset that at 18 years old, he was still blushing at the mere image of his celebrity crush.
" What a funny idea!" he responded, winking at the interviewer, who squealed in response.
" So it is true that you are thinking of marrying her?"
Please say no; please say no repeated a thought in the dark haired man's head, leaning closer over the wooden table in front of him.
" Oh sure! She is adorable, I could see us being very happy together, skating on the ice long into our golden years"
Yuuri's heart bottomed out and he almost whimpered at the thought.
As if the matter was settled, Victor began to turn to the next interviewer, but the American reporter was determined.
" But you have only been together a few days" she shouted over the noise.
Silver hair whirled to face her, still walking away.
" Then we divorce and part ways! There are many adventure in life, darling, then tying yourself down to one person" he chuckled before moving out of the frame.
Suddenly, the channel was changed to men's soccer, and Yuuri leaned back in shock, before noticing that a customer had snatched the remote from his table and was now yelling at the TV.
A shout from his mother to come help clean dishes made the young man rise, following the path to the kitchen, all the while distracted.
To say he was disappointed was . . . inaccurate.
After all, it is not like he had proposed and found his partner had just said no.
It was only finding out a crush didn't take marriage seriously. It makes sense, the more he thought on it. Victor was a well-known playboy and still young and handsome enough to have anyone he wanted.
Why would he want to settle down, just to grow bored?
Yuuri, however, was not of the same mind.
He absentmindedly scrubbed dried soy sauce off a bowl, sneaking a glance over at his parents.
His father was accounting for the day’s expenses, while his mother was moving to and from, cooking and cleaning and taking care of the guests.
Every once in a while, she would stop by her husband, giving him a subtle squeeze on the shoulder, refilling his tea or just lingering by his side. Yuuri smiled, before returning to his task.
That is what he wanted. A partnership where they could lean on each other, support and love the other and just be near the other to be happy. It was something he wanted from a young age, his mother labeling him a helpless romantic.
There was a time he daydreamed of marrying Yuko, but when she started dating Takeshi, he found himself oddly not upset about it all.
Not like he was right now, while Victor's laughter still echoing in his head.
However, he shook himself out of his funk briefly, finishing the dishes before yelling to his family that he was going to head to the ice castle for some practice.
Losing himself to the sway of the music in his mind and the ice under his blades, it would be years before he would think that particular interview with Victor Nikiforov again.
. . .
Yuuri could feel his eyes on him long before he opened his own. With a groan, he turned his face into the pillow, blocking it from view. This displeased the man beside him if his dramatic huff was any indication.
" Yuuri! Moya Lyubov! I was not done admiring you!" he gasped into his ear, wrapping him tight into his arm and peppering his bare neck with kisses.
Yuuri smiled, staying buried for a little while longer before finally giving in and turning himself, meeting eager lips with his own, moaning when a tongue licked at his mouth.
As the moment became more heated, his silver haired boyfriend mumbled something against his lips.
Yuuri pulled away, breath heavy and eyes glazed.
" What was that? Your hands were distracting me," he smirked, pulling the man's fingers from his boxers, leaving small kisses against each knuckle.
Victor pulled his hands back, framing his lovers face.
" I said, we should get married."
Stunned silence took over, both men holding their breath.
" W-what?" Yuuri finally choked out, moving away and sitting up, looking down at the man who could not possibly look more calm and why did he look so calm?!
The Russian gave a deep chuckle, before sitting up and moving in close to leave a kiss on the pale Asian man's jaw.
" Let's get married. Today, if you want. Or tomorrow or whenever is good for you." he repeated, finally looking at his boyfriends face.
" You are serious." Yuuri deadpanned, still not believing him.
Victor jumped up from bed.
" Da! Of course. We can go to the local court house, and pick up our rings from that shop next to your favorite coffee place" he said eagerly, his accent getting thicker with his excitement.
" What about my parents? Or Yuko or Yuurio? Don't you want them there?" Yuuri asked softly, unable to get up. His feet had gone numb underneath him.
Victor, however, was preoccupied with finding clothes, tossing on his black jeans from yesterday and a sweater that Yuuri was one hundred percent certain needed to be wash.
" We can fly out to Japan for our honeymoon. It will be a surprise! I'll text Yuurio and tell him to come to your house for some bonding time, since the season is winding down anyway. " He replied calmly, already reaching for his phone on his bed.
The younger man was faster, however, snatching the phone up and out of his reach.
" Victor." he said sternly, finding catching his attention.
" Yes, милая?" he said with his hundred watt smile.
" I have not said yes, so maybe stop running around and be still for a moment?" Yuuri said, finally finding the strength to get off the bed.
At his words, Victor's smile dropped and the manic glee that was once in his eyes dimmed.
" You . . . don't want to marry me? Don't you love me?"
He looked truly heartbroken, and Yuuri desperately wanted to rush over, to comfort him, to kiss him and assure him that he loved Victor more than life itself, that of course he wanted to get married and spend their lives together.
But something was holding him back.
It was Victor's own voice, echoing in his head, talking about how if it doesn't work, there is always divorce, and being with just one person did not work.
" Victor. You know I love you. I just . . . never thought you were the marrying type." He began hesitantly, unclear how to have this conversation.
Apparently, that was not the right way, as Victor's eyes turned to ice and his face hardened.
" So, you thought we were just having a good time? You think I act this way with everyone, and one day we would just part ways?" he asked, his tone stiff.
The Japanese man was quick to shake his head, backtracking .
" No, no! I want to be with you, just you. I know you flirt a lot but that at the end of the day, you only see me." He reassured. It had been a sore spot for both of them early in their relationship, but he was much more confident than two years ago.
" Then what?" Victor asked, cross his arms and glaring down at the shorter man.
Yuuri shuffled uncomfortably, before taking a deep breath.
" Victor, let me ask you something. Before me, did you ever see yourself settling down?"
Victor huffed, cocking his head.
" Well. No, but-"
" You once said that life was about more than just tying yourself to a single person." Yuuri interrupted, moving around the man and gathering a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. He did not need to be having this argument in his underwear.
" When did I say that? I have never said that to you." Victor bit out.
Dark hair bobbed as the man nodded, turning back at him.
" No, you never did to me. You did, though, say it before. Remember Nora Moine?" He clarified, looking around for his skating bag.
" Nora? When I was a kid? We were never going to get married, that was just gossip."
" But you were serious in your answer. You think, or at least thought, that if the marriage didn't work you could move on. And that is not how I am," Yuuri finally approached his boyfriend, looking defeated when he brush aside his silver hair, still messy from bed.
" I’m in this until the end. You've got me for life already, Vitya. And while I would love to marry you, I’m not entirely sure you know what that means. So think about it." Yuuri kissed his cheek and moved towards the door.
" You know where to find me."
The door closed with a gentle click and Victor was left alone in the room, looking at the phone that was slid to him.
. . .
It was quiet for the rest of the day. Yuuri had gotten coffee, defiantly not looking at the window filled with golden and silver bands as he passed, before heading to the rink and beginning to work on next season's choreography. It was dark out by the time he was too tired to continue, and a quick check of his phone showed he had missed both lunch and dinner, alone with no missed calls or texts.
He had just finished touring the season, taking home the gold at the Grand Prix Final for the second year in a row and gold and silver at various other competitions. He and Victor stopped in Japan for a quick visit before deciding to spend the rest of their off season in their new flat in America, down the street from a privately owned rink.
Stepping out into the cool, early spring air, Yuuri's finger glided across his phone before dialing a number and sliding the phone up to his ear.
" Hi Hi" A friendly voice answered, bringing a smile to the skater's face.
" Phichit. How are you?" He responded, comforted by the familiar voice.
" Mmm good. What's wrong?"
It shouldn't have surprised Yuuri that after so many years of friendship, the Thai boy was able to pick up on his moods so quickly, but it did.
" Am I a hopeless romantic?" He asked quickly, settling down on a wooden bench overlooking the busy night streets.
" Of course. Why?"
And so began a long discussion, of his previous relationships, of his expectations of love, all the way down to this morning's events.
" So? Am I cruel?" Yuuri probed.
Phichit hummed in his ear before sighing.
" Well. No, but listen. You have built up this ideal of love and marriage. You have thought about it your whole life, but remember Victor, whose life has been all about skating since he was, what, 10 years old? He has never settled down before, if the websites are to be believed. He never had to think about what marriage meant to him because he probably never believed it would happen to him. So imagine his reaction when he finds someone he loves unconditionally and wants to hold onto."
Yuuri did not respond, leaning back and taking in the night sky as he listened.
" Yuuri. Victor rushes headfirst into everything he does. Remember him flying across the continent just to coach you? Or him being so overwhelmed at the China cup that he kissed you on international TV? The man has no impulse control, but I also think he considers his moves before he makes them. I mean, does he seem like a man with a lot of regrets?" Phichit finished, letting both of them lapse into silence.
The Japanese man sighed.
" Okay Phichit. Thanks for listening."
" Anytime Yuuri. And I’m your best man, right?"
"Bye, Phichit" Yuuri smiled, before hanging up.
He took his time to consider his friend's words, finding that he made a lot of sense.
Victor told him many times that he never loved anyone like he loved Yuuri, so why did Yuuri expect him to know what to do when it came to long term ideas?
He had to go home, the dark hair skater decided, jumping to his feet. He had to go home and apologize and tell him yes, he wants to get married if they still could. They could go tonight, if they were still open, or maybe tomorrow, first thing?
All those plans were stopped when he ran face first into a solid mass.
He could feel himself tumble back, but was caught quickly.
" Ah, good to see I can still knock you off your feet." Came a weak voice from above.
Yuuri turned his gaze to look at the face of his boyfriend. He gasped, taking in the tired, bloodshot eyes, the still messy hair and the clothes from this morning.
" Victor. . . . " he sighed, running his hands through the tangled, gray hair.
" I am sorry, Yuuri. So sorry" The man said, leaning down to bury his face into his lover's neck. Yuuri moved his hand to cup his neck, patting reassuringly.
" No, it's me, I’m sorry. I expected so much and it wasn't fair. I don't care what happens, when we go or where we land. If I’m with you, I’m happy." he quickly shot off, sure that he was hard to understand with how he was beginning to sob, hot tears running down his cheeks.
The older skater pulled back, also crying, but gave a watery smile.
" Shhh we both are stupid. As always, I wanted to rush and barrel our way through and you wanted so much without telling me. When you saw that old interview, you had to know I was just a selfish kid. I didn't ever think I could love someone or even like them enough to be together for a long time. But you, " he kissed his nose," You always did surprise me. So please, let's pretend this morning never happened."
At Yuuri's objection, he was quieted with a finger to his lips, before Victor's other hand slid into his, pressing something small and cold into his palm.
Upon inspection in the warm light of the streetlamp, Yuuri watched a delicate golden ring glisten between his fingers. Curved snowflakes were carved inside the band, along with the words " Stay Close to Me".
He looked up with teary eyes, to find him holding a silver version with a wide smile.
" You did always look best wearing gold" he said as an explanation.
Yuuri just laughed before lunging forth, kissing his fiancé senseless.
. . . . .
They wore the rings for another year before finally getting around to signing their marriage license, complete with a small, intimate ceremony, Phichit present as one best man, Yurio as the other ( they even got him to smile for the pictures) . It was more for legal reasons than any need to be married, as Yuuri discovered everything he was hoping to have in a spouse one day was what he always had with his Russian champion all along. They laughed and argued and embarrassed the hell out of those around them, but at the end of the day, there was no one else he could imagine being with.
As for Victor, he renounce all previous claims of marriage disdain, relishing in the chance to call his adorable husband " Mr. Nikiforov" whenever he could.