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all the truth but slant

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1.

 

Sunday

Beka: hey

 

Yesterday

Beka: psst

 

20 min ago

Beka: Yura?? Are you ok?

 

Now

Yura: You ever have a thing where you look back years later and notice that everyone else was a dick?

 

Yura: 2k16#yearofrealisingthings lmao

 

Beka: You know that means you can wait until 2017 #yearofdealingwiththings?

 

Yura: ha. I’m p sure that’s the worst part of looking at the past like oh shit I should probably deal with this

 

Yura: not that it happened because like I already have Emotions but if someone else was actually to blame then that sounds like time to rewire my entire brain to incorporate that fact. Wtf. That’s so much work.

 

Beka: lol – u can go at ur own pace tho

 

Yura: I’m fukin bitter at those MH ads that are like ‘asking for help is the hardest part’ what a lie

 

Beka: do u wanna tell me who’s to blame if not u?

 

Yura: ////////// no.

 

Yura: because I still want them to be a good person and you won’t think of them like that if I tell u.

 

Yura: I mean it’s not like u’ve met them but. If that was all u knew.

 

Beka: I’m allowed to be mad at ppl who hurt u.

 

Yura: [=_=]

 

Yura: sounds fake

 

Beka: listen I’m older I kno the rules.

 

Beka: I will be mad at everyone for u when u have had too much anger.

 

Yura: literally no-one would believe there are ppl I’m not angry at lol

 

Beka: icb the solution to this is to find a way to make u more angry

 

Yura: pffffft. I’mma tell Viktor and Yakov that’s what I’m trying to do.

 

Yura: “beka wants me to work on getting more angry at ppl who hurt me”

 

Yura: I want to see the fear in their eyes.

 

Beka: …..\(O_O)/   ....\(O.O)/

 

Beka: ^^ Viktor & Yakov.

 

Yura: perf.

 

 

 2.

 

Yuri knew they were still labouring under way too much cognitive dissonance. That the way they conceptualised the world was technically just a very fragile house of cards. But that was the main structure of their life so it wasn’t like Yuri had any incentive to work through it.

 

It was enough that right now they could acknowledge bad things had happened.

 

I was neglected.

 

I was rarely praised.

 

I was blamed for too much that wasn’t my fault.

 

But this acceptance only came in passive verbs. The idea that said actions were done by someone. By more than one person. By people Yuri still loved. The actions were done and Yuri had never complained. Yuri had only been yelled at when they pushed too many buttons. Yuri had just accepted what was given and assumed they should be able to deal with it, to thrive, to not need any more.

 

Yuri might have been hurt. But that didn’t mean they thought of their parents as anything other than good, hardworking people. People Yuri no longer lived with or wanted to spend any lengthened period of time with. But good people, who loved Yuri. They don’t think of themselves as bad people. Yuri didn’t think of them as bad people. They weren’t bad.

 

Yuri had been hurt. There was no subject to that verb, only an object.

 

It was enough to open the floodgates of rage whenever they were otherwise hurt. It was easier to be mad at Viktor for forgetting Yuri than anyone else who might have forgotten Yuri (and left them waiting in the snow outside school, the rink, in town, until they could get a message home with a reminder of their existence).

 

Viktor had no excuse.

 

He had explicitly promised choreography, and indirectly suggested coaching at other points.

 

He had promised to help Yuri do something he wanted to do and how dare he forget.

 

It was unfair and cruel and careless and Viktor was meant to be an adult for Christ sakes, someone who could do responsibility, someone who had a responsibility to the skaters who looked up to him and especially to his younger rink-mates.

 

Yuri would have dragged that idiot through the press if they could have made Viktor’s crimes sound more sensational, but ‘Viktor Leaves Russia’ was already bigger and more interesting than the idea of ‘Viktor Leaves Younger Skater and Doesn’t Fulfil Promise Made Years Ago’.

 

And it wasn’t like Viktor would be first choice for someone to do nice things for Yuri, but he was the one who promised, and then forgot.

 

Yuri had travelled half way around the wretched globe to get him to fulfil that promise.

 

And Viktor had laughed at him, fulfilled his obligation to the bare minimum, and returned his attention to the new Yuuri.

 

Yuri hoped Viktor choked and died swapping saliva with the other one.

 

It was just cruel to offer support like that and then not follow through.

 

It was possibly worse because instead of backing out of his obligation Viktor had just forgotten.

 

That was savage. That was just cruel.

 

 

 3.

 

“Yurio!” Viktor’s voice bounced over the ice.

 

Yuri spun around from the position they had finished in. They knew Viktor and Yuuri were coming to spend a couple of weeks in Russia.

 

Yakov had allowed it because Viktor was actually pretty good at inspiring his skaters, and watching Yuuri train might put some fear and fire into the Russians.

 

Yuri hadn’t been asked for their opinion or permission, but then again Yakov had never asked about bringing any other type of consultant in for his charges, so Yuri could tell it was an argument they wouldn’t win.

 

They skated to the edge of the ice to greet Viktor and Yuuri.

 

“Welcome.”

 

“Your routine looks beautiful,” Yuuri said, leaning into Viktor’s side.

 

“But what was with that performance?” Viktor scolded, “Where was the feeling?”

 

Yuri rolled their eyes. “Is this some good coach bad coach routine you’ve developed?” They scowled for good measure.

 

Viktor just laughed.

 

Yuri narrowed their eyes further.

 

“Seriously what was that?” Viktor asked, still jovial.

 

“I’m practicing the technical parts,” Yuri defended, and, turning on Yuuri, attacked back, “are you hitting every jump in practice? No? Then you can shut up!” The last words were turned back to Viktor.

 

The splitting of their attention made Yuri feel they were losing some semblance of control. They rolled their shoulders back, dropping them carefully and raising their chin, like in ballet. It was a position of both forced calm and strength.

 

“I’m too tired to do the emotional performance all day,” Yuri told them, careful, measured.

 

“Have you been sleeping badly?” Yuuri asked.

 

Yuri glared at the Japanese Yuuri. It felt like an unbelievable affront to be asked that, as though it was something highly personal. Yuri clenched their fist and released it.

 

“Maybe.”

 

It wasn’t fair to react as though it actually was a highly personal question. And they might think Yuri had gone slightly mad. Not that Yuri were sure they hadn’t gone slightly mad, but Viktor and Yuuri poking their noses into Yuri’s emotional life did not sound like Yuri’s idea of a good time.

 

They didn’t even know how to conceptualise the emotions that did exist inside them. A void, that sometimes provided the space for anger and sadness to expand until they were unbearable, until Yuri thought they might explode or implode or just dissolve into the atmosphere. Then at some point the emotion would leave, and just the void would remain.

 

“It’s the cat, it sucks your breath out at night,” Victor announced.

 

“It’s not the cat,” Yuri scowled, “You sleep with twenty kilograms of dog lying across your chest. Compressing.”

 

“That’s fine, Yuuri sometimes sleeps with seventy kilograms of me on his chest.”

 

Yuri scrunched up their nose.

 

They considered answering back, riding the irritation that Viktor fed them into stoking the competition. The rebuttal existed fully formed in their mind; “Both your spines will warp and I will destroy any legacy you leave with ease. Christophe will be the only real figure skater other than me.”

 

But there was no fire inside. The irritation was a friction that Yuri could usually use to spark off of, but the effort of that felt too great.

 

Yuri skated away from the edge, and counted from five to eight before launching into another silent run through of their step sequence.

 

 

 

4.

 

Yuri lay on their bed scrolling through instagram. Their hands were mildly shaking, enough so that they’d accidentally double tapped one of Japanese Yuuri’s pictures and had to undo the like.

 

There was probably something else to do. They had two empty hours but any task beyond looking at things and trying to be distracted by them felt too big. Even instagram came with the echo of terror that was surrounding the concept of people doing well, smiling, sharing their lives.

 

Yuri’s face twitched scrolling past JJ’s stupid face and his stupid hand symbol, and they threw the phone to the ground next to the bed.

 

After some time of breathing, spread-eagled, staring at the ceiling, breathing heavily, wondering if this meant they were going to cry, Yurio sat up. They crawled off the bed towards their phone, and dragged the duvet with them, tucking it around their body and over their head.

 

Clicking the phone back to life, Yuri opened twitter. The slightly shaky thumbs had less chance of doing anything publically damaging, but they did accidentally click a few tweets so that they took a moment to load and then took up the whole screen before Yuri could ‘x’ out of them. Each slip Yurio could feel their body tense further, and push back against the bedframe. The phone rested on Yurio’s knees as Yurio curled up, decidedly only looking at their phone and the small space of floor in front of their eyeline.

 

Which is why it wasn’t obvious that Aleksander was prowling around Yurio until he placed a paw on Yurio’s belly and began to start trying to insert his whole body into the space between Yurio’s torso and their thighs.

 

Yurio carefully, consciously, relaxed their legs forward ever so slightly, to give Sasha a little more space, but still keep the space Sasha wanted to nestle in intact.

 

Yurio watched as Sasha settled down, curling his body mostly into a perfect circle. Sasha placed a paw on Yurio’s breastbone. Yurio raised a hand to scratch behind Sasha’s ears in response.

 

Yurio tried to let go of Sasha’s head, and put their hands back to use scrolling through social media feeds, but Sasha put his paw back on Yurio’s chest, and slowly started to extend his claws so that Yurio could feel them through their sweatshirt as they came in contact with their skin. Yurio’s hands returned to their job of petting Sasha. Sasha took his paw away and started purring.

 

Yurio’s focus settled on Sasha, making sure his coat was being stroked in the right way, feeling the cat’s body expanding and contracting against their own chest, listening to the purr. The purr faltered as Yurio removed one hand to reach for their phone, so the phone was abandoned again for two handed petting.

 

“So demanding,” Yurio muttered.

 

Their hands still felt shaky, numb. Like they’d been outside in the freezing weather with no gloves and the nerves weren’t back to working properly, but Sasha didn’t seem to mind.

 

Yurio breathed out and tried to focus on finding patterns to pet Sasha with that would cause his purring to increase. Sasha sounded pleased with himself.

 

Tracing around the back of Sasha’s head and ears, Yuri felt carefully for little tangles in Sasha’s long fur, carefully teasing out each one they found. Sasha seemed content, occasionally shifting and allowing Yuri access to more fluff to card.

 

Yuri couldn’t tell if they would ever be this patient with their cat if they didn’t sometimes experience the numbing cloud that sometimes settled over their mental faculties, allowing them to go for hour long stretches doing nothing but stroking a cat. But this was better than instagram. This at least had someone delighted with his presence, who would touch Yuri if they faded out, and slowly press into their skin until Yuri came back to reality and began petting again. And Yuri received a steady stream of purring praise when they were doing it right.