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Yuri on Ice OneShots

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Introduction

Here's a collection of one shots involving the characters of Yuri!!! on Ice. I'm also open to requests involving really any of the characters in any kind of scenario. You can give me a situation, character(s), song, holiday, or even just a word to base a story off of. I plan to focus on fluffy cute stories in here, as I haven't written any lemons, but if you want me to give one a whack I'd be more than happy to try something different, just posted in a different work. 

Chapter Text

Secret Santa

“Yuri, it’s your turn!” I heard Phitchit call to me, myself just barely being able to hear him over my own thoughts whirling around in my head, these whimsies carrying themselves with the volume of words spoken through a bullhorn.

 

“Oh, my turn already?” I questioned as I took hold of the plastic bucket, one colored red with snowflakes and Christmas trees for the festive season, and set it on my lap. “Everybody else went by pretty quickly then.”

 

“Well, we’re not reading anything off or awaiting a response so that’s probably why,” Phitchit replied to my observation.

 

“Time also seems to go faster for you when you’re lost in thought,” Viktor chimed in, attaching a small smile to the end of his own observation. Considering Viktor had been my coach for almost two years now, it didn’t surprise me that he’s picked up that little tid bit of information.

 

“Well then,” I muttered under my breath as I removed a slip of paper from the basket, leaving two pieces down at the bottom to be selected. I unfolded the strip and read the name in my head.

 

Viktor Nikiforov

 

That was definitely a surprise. What were the odds that I would pick his name out of the bucket? Well, to be exact, they were one out of eight, there having been eight names at the start. I thought for sure I would have gotten someone else’s. Well, at least it makes the gift buying easier, seems how I know more about him than any other skater here participating.

 

The Grand Prix had come around again and it was in Marseilles, France. I had also managed to qualify for it, having gotten gold at the Cup of China and silver at Rostelecom. I was honestly grateful for having qualified, considering the abilities of my competition in addition to the new talented skaters starting to make a name for themselves.

 

Even though it wasn’t exactly Christmas time, Phitchit, who had also qualified, had the idea to hold a Secret Santa event with the other skaters. Not every skater that had either qualified or was visiting to cheer on friends had agreed to participate but we got a good number, certainly enough to make the event worthwhile holding.

 

“Alright, who spiked the eggnog?” Yurio’s voice angrily erupted throughout the hotel’s conference room that we had reserved for this event. It didn’t take much persuading to get access to the room, and Phitchit and I were even able to get into the room early to get all the decorating done for the party.

 

“I thought you Russians liked your vodka,” Chris commented rather cheekily. Well, that’s Chris for you. If I’ve learned anything about him whilst competing against him is that cheeky is a pretty accurate one word description of his personality.

 

“You’ve got me confused with Viktor again, Chris!” Yurio replied, him growing more irritated by the situation.

 

“Well, you got it half right Chris, I do love my vodka,” Viktor chimed in with a giggle, taking a sip out of his half empty glass of the newly discovered spiked holiday drink.

 

“Wh.. When did you spike it, Chris?” I asked, hoping that the numerous glasses I had consumed myself were taken from the bowl before the alcohol was mixed in with it.

 

“About half an hour ago, I’m just surprised nobody had noticed until just now,” Chris continued on. “How were you able to tell, Yuri P?”

 

“I took a small slurp of it and it was disgustingly overpowering,” Yurio answered the Swiss man’s question. “Looks like I’ll be having water instead.”

 

Wait, if Chris spiked it half an hour ago, then three of the glasses I’ve had were spiked. I’m not feeling much different at the moment, which I suppose is a good thing, but I certainly can’t have any more as we all know what happens when I get a little tipsy. I just want to have an enjoyable time at the party and be able to remember what happened the next day.

 

“Typically people would draw the names and have a week to get the gift but we don’t have that gift of time so half of you can go and get a gift now and be back in an hour and then the others will go. In the meantime, we’ll play some different games and such,” Phitchit announced, gaining a chorus of ‘okays’ from everyone else.

 

“In that case, Chris, Leo, Michele, and I will go first and then when we get back Yuri, Viktor, JJ, and Sala will go. After they get back, we’ll do the gift exchange,” Phitchit continued on. It didn’t take very long for the four of them to gather their few things and head out the door to begin their gift hunting.

 

Phitchit had, stupidly, put me in charge of holding down the fort here, in addition to coming up with activities and games to keep those left behind and the people who opted out of Secret Santa. Considering he’s also very aware of how I get at parties, it was a very stupid idea on his part. I was extremely tempted to just pass on leadership to Viktor, JJ, or really anyone else. Anyone else here would be much better at playing host than I would be. There’s a reason why whenever Viktor and I host a party he does most of the hosting while I do most of, well, everything else.

 

“So, what will we be doing now, Yuri?” Viktor asked me, drawing out the u in my name longer than usual. He tilted his head to the side during the inquiry, his gray silver hair falling to cover up his eye. That move, in addition to winking, typically wooed every female in the area. Sometimes I fear that him staying with me is a mere publicity stunt but I remind myself that this has been going on for just about a year now and that that would be a long time to keep up a stunt. He also wouldn’t have proposed marriage in the way he had back in Barcelona if he didn’t mean it. There weren’t any press in that restaurant and I’ve come to find that the other skaters respect privacy, the only thing about it that ended up online coming from Phitchit, which we all expected considering he always has his phone out.

 

“Uhm,” I stuttered somewhat, unsure of how to respond. Everyone seemed to be having fun and enjoying themselves just by socializing with the other skaters. “Just going to stick with the socializing for awhile since everyone seems to enjoying themselves.”

 

“Well then, if that’s the case, why don’t you go and mingle some?” Viktor continued throwing questions my way, closing his eyes and smiling.

 

“I don't really know any of the other skaters,” I replied, not entirely lying. Phitchit was a very good friend of mine, having shared a room and a rink with him in Detroit, and I knew Viktor, I'd certainly hope that I knew some things about him. I knew a little bit about Yurio but he’s not exactly the kindest person when talking to me and I'm not exactly sure why. Perhaps it has something to do with Viktor?

 

“Well then, don't you think now would be a good opportunity to learn more about them? Sala Crispino is a nice person and she doesn't appear to be talking with anyone. Maybe start up a conversation with her? And since Michele is off shopping you won't have to worry about him butting in,” he conjured up an idea, rather off the seat of his pants but wasn't unrealistic. Well, not unrealistic if I'm not the person executing the idea.

 

I thought about It, thought about how I would start a conversation with her and all the ways it could possibly go wrong or right. The hardest part about conversation for me was never carrying one on, but rather starting one up. If you start one up by saying something wrong or making a fool of yourself, it starts rough and continues on that way.

 

I found solace in the fact that I'm known to be awkward in social situations while getting up from my comfy seat and made my way over to where Sala was standing, near a doorframe to some kind of closet and the table with the refreshments and foodstuffs.

 

“Hey Sala,” I greeted, my left hand rubbing across the back side of my thigh. “Congratulations on qualifying in the women’s division, you've done really great this season. Your programs are well choreographed and you perform them excellently,” I continued, knowing that everyone loves receiving compliments. I also genuinly meant what I was saying, not a single word being a lie. Whenever I get the opportunity to watch her skate, I do.

 

“Aw, thanks Yuri,” she smiled in response. “You've also been doing great this season as well. Winning gold at the Cup of China and getting silver at Rostelecom, missing gold by two points,” she returned the compliment. Solely in the tone of her voice, I could tell she also spoke sincerely. I would be lying if I said it didn't make me feel good. It's not often you receive compliments on your performance from other skaters. Their word just seems to be worth more compared to what comes from fans as they tend to cheer you on no matter how well or poorly you actually do. Other skaters just seem to be more honest when reviewing your performance so what they say affects me more, for better or for worse.

 

I looked over to Viktor for a short moment to see him flashing.a smile in my direction in addition to a thumbs up with both hands. He seemed to be overly proud of me engaging in social interaction with other people.

 

“So, oh, how have you been?” I attempted to continue the conversation but felt a bit awkward in doing so.

 

“I've been doing well, thanks for asking,” she answered. “To be honest I'm happy as it is now that Mickey’s left. Thank you Phitchit for not sending us both out in the same group.”

 

“Yeah, he can be a bit of a lurker,” I added on, remembering the time I had given Sala a hug after I had finished my free skate at Rostelecom. There was most likely some kind of reasoning behind his actions, but he appears to go overboard sometimes.

 

“I do love him, he is my brother after all, but sometimes he acts a bit more like an overprotective boyfriend as opposed to a sibling who just cares about you and wants you to be treated with respect,” Sala continued. “I don't believe I ever got the chance to congratulate you on your engagement. It was a year ago but better late than never I suppose.”

 

“Yeah, thanks,” I smiled a bit, holding up my half empty glass of vodka spiked eggnog in attempts to hide the part in my lips. Just the thought of the engagement made me smile. Yeah, it was in a bit of a non-traditional way but that only gives the story more character and telling value.

 

“So, how are you?” Sala reprised my question, she too trying to keep the conversation alive. At least that confirmed that it wasn't a one sided conversation and she actually wanted to continue it, as opposed to responding to questions solely because she felt like she needed to.

 

“I'm doing well. A bit nervous as one would probably expect but I'm managing to keep my anxiety in check, thanks to the new prescription from my doctor,” I replied, lowering the volume of my voice when I got to the part about my new prescription. I won't deny that it has helped me, it just felt a bit weird saying that I had to pop a pill to keep my nerves from overreacting.

 

“I don't blame you for being nervous, we all are but you've got more on the line than the rest of us,” Sala said, her statement taking me a bit by surprise. “The rest of us just risk not getting a title and a medal, you've got a wedding that's contingent on you winning gold.” Well, she was right about that. That wasn't what I was afraid of losing though because I knew that Viktor would stay with me no matter how I placed, I just feared that my first Grand Prix would repeat itself and that I'd have a breakdown on the ice or something.

 

“I’m not sure if I’m allowed to ask you this, but who did you draw?” She changed the topic of conversation.

 

“I actually drew Viktor’s name,” I answered. “That’ll make it easy to get a gift. It’ll also be a bit hard though because I expect him to be right next to me as we parade the streets.”

 

“You have fun with that,” she chuckled some. “I drew JJ’s name and I have no idea what to get him.”

 

“Get him a gold mirror,” I suggested, being half serious and half joking. “Either that or something with a maple leaf, if you’re able to find that.”

 

“Thanks for the suggestions,” Sala smiled. “Well, it was nice talking with you, Yuri. Good luck tomorrow with your free skate. I’ll be watching.”

 

As soon as she had slipped away to converse with other skaters, I made my way back over to Viktor, switching from the former seat I was in to the one placed closer to Viktor.

 

“Congratulations, you were able to carry on a conversation with someone for more than two minutes and didn’t have your social anxiety wash over you like a tsunami,” Viktor commented in a congratulatory manner.

 

“Sala’s actually pretty nice when her brother isn’t standing over her shoulder,” I said, something that nearly everybody that has talked to Sala around her brother and not around him agreed on.

 

“So, I can’t help but wonder what happens tomorrow…” I trailed off, unsure of how to word my thoughts.

 

“What happens tomorrow in the case that you score higher than me?” Viktor questioned, quickly catching onto what I was saying. I swear sometimes he can read my mind. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if he was gifted with such ability. “Simple. You performed better than me and deserved your score. Then things go back to exactly how they were beforehand, no hard feelings.”

 

“That’s good to hear,” I muttered under my breath, having feared for the worst to happen. I don’t know why I thought that though, taking into consideration the fact that Viktor wasn’t hurt by the fact that Yurio beat his short program record and I beat his free skate record.

 

“Now that I’m drunk enough for this, how about a Christmas time sing-along?” Viktor announced quite loudly, standing up from his seat and waving his arms out.

 

JJ had found an easy way to connect his phone up to the speaker system in the conference room and a sing along commenced, everybody, with the exception of Yurio and Otabek, joining in on the festivity. It, by no means, was the prettiest thing to hit the ears, but everyone, including myself, were enjoying themselves and that’s what mattered.

 

“How dare you do a sing along without me!” Phitchit’s voice broke through the upbeat music, himself, in addition to three other skaters, rejoined the party, small bags of presents hanging from their arms.

 

“Phitchit!” I was sure to greet him, breaking out from the crowd and approached him. “Should the rest of us be going now?” I asked, rather stupidly, considering I already knew what the answer would be.

 

“Of course!” I was able to predict the words that would come out from his mouth. “JJ, Yuri, Viktor, Sala, you can go out and do your shopping. Be sure to be back within an hour but return earlier if you’re able.”

 

The four of us had left the room and hit the streets in the amount of time it took the rest. When I had said Viktor would be at my side the whole time, that ended up being an understatement. He wasn’t only following me, he was almost joined to me at the hip. Not that I particularly had a problem with it, it just made selecting a gift a lot harder.

 

“So Yuri, whose name did you draw?” Viktor asked, pressing me for an answer.

 

“I’m not supposed to tell, if I did then what would happen to the secret in secret santa?” I responded to him with another question, a technique that I’ve found to be rather helpful as well as effective. That certainly shut him up.

 

Viktor’s been talking about wanting either a new wallet or new jacket, more so burning my ear off about it. I had been debating which one to get for him but ultimately decided that getting him a jacket would give it away and that a wallet would leave who I was buying for more ambiguous.

 

It didn’t take very long to find a shop that sold leather goods, which I was thankful for. Less time taken looking for the shop meant more time to look elsewhere, and the earlier I could get back. It was beautiful out but also pretty cold and despite having a heavy jacket on, the cold was still getting to me. Yes, someone who spends most of their lives on the ice complaining about being cold.

 

I stepped into the leatherwork shop to find that it was heated, something my ice cold skin welcomed with open arms. It didn’t take me too long to locate where the wallets were on display, there being a fair sized sign above the shelf they were stacked on. Things were off to a good start, something I was, once again, very thankful for.

 

“Ah, this one looks neat,” I said under my breath while picking up a dark colored wallet that had three pockets. I’m sure Viktor will like it.

 

Having a feeling that Viktor would be coming into the store soon, I took the wallet and cupped it inside my hands to hide it as much as I could. It may be a bit of an ambiguous gift that could be for anyone but, seems how it was his, I wanted him to be somewhat surprised by what it was.

 

“Can you gift wrap this?” I asked the cashier as I put the wallet down on the counter, pulling out my own soon thereafter.

 

“I can put it in a paper bag but that’s about all I can do for you,” the cashier, a fairly older man, replied to my inquiry while ringing the purchase up. I nodded my head in response, hanging him my debit card in the process.

 

“Yuri!” I heard Viktor call out to me. He probably got cold waiting for me outside and decided to come in to warm himself up a bit before we continued trekking the streets. He might have also seen something through the windows that caught his eye. Just because he was out shopping for someone else didn't mean he couldn't pick up a in get or two for himself along the way.

 

“Viktor!” I returned with the same amount of enthusiasm. “I'm done in here now,” I informed him while grabbing the paper bag and stepping over towards him.

 

“You seemed to have quickly found what you were looking for,” Viktor observed, the two of us having found our way out and back hiking up the streets of Marseilles, France. “There was some pretty nice leatherwork in there. I’ll have to stop in again sometime tomorrow, if time allows, to take a closer look.”

 

“I’ll probably be joining you. There are a lot of little shops around here we won’t get to look around in the next, well, thirty minutes now,” I added. “Do you have any idea of what you’re looking for?”

 

“Vaguely,” he replied, keenly looking through the window displays of the stores we passed. “And I think I see something,” Viktor stated moments before darting off into a store. I didn’t know the most French, hardly any at all to be honest, but it looked like a candy shop.

 

“Viktor, wait for me!” I hollered as I picked up speed in attempts to catch up to him.

 

The sheer amount of assorted candies and chocolates was enough to give you cavities by looking at it alone. There was colorful packaging lining the walls, but it was quite well organized. Chocolates in one section and hard candies in another, signage indicating such. Despite what my cravings were telling my brain, I went with my better judgement and decided against getting any treats. Perhaps tomorrow if I’m fortunate enough to podium I’ll come by when we come out again and reward myself.

 

“The one thing I’ve learned about gift buying is that you can never go wrong with buying assorted candies,” Viktor informed as he picked a fairly large box of assorted hard candies and chocolate from a shelf. “Get a good variety and the person receiving is guaranteed to like at least three of the candies. And whatever they don’t like gets shared so nothing is wasted.”

 

“Can’t argue with that logic, I suppose,” I muttered under my breath. It didn’t take Viktor very long to check out and prep his gift for giving. I took a quick look at the clock on my phone again to see that we had twenty minutes to get back to the party.

 

“Have we got time to visit any other stores?” My company asked as we left the store, his cold hand grasped tightly around my own.

 

“I’d rather not push for time, we’ve got twenty minutes now and it took us fifteen to get this far,” I answered, being sure to be honest. “We should be able to find time tomorrow after the press conference and before the banquet.” I, at the very least, hoped that we’d be able to anyways.

 

The rest of the walk back to the party involved talks about public practice plans and me going on about how I hope I don’t drink any champagne at the banquet. I don’t want a repeat of what happened at Sochi, no matter how entertaining it may end up being for everyone else attending if I did end up in such state again. If Chris spikes the punch tomorrow though, like he spiked the eggnog tonight, it may though. I certainly hope he doesn’t.

 

“It’s about time you returned! You were the only ones missing!” Phitchit shouted in our direction as soon as we stepped into the repurposed conference room.

 

“But it hasn’t been an hour yet…” I trailed off, quickly realizing how pointless the interjection would have been.

 

Viktor quickly disappeared from my side, most likely going off to track down the person whose name he had drawn a good two hours ago.

 

“Yuri,” I heard my name spoken, the volume getting louder as the person got closer to me. I turned my head around to see Chris, stretching a small bag towards my hands. I looked over at it and quickly grabbed it, sticking my hand into the bag and pulling a package out.

 

“If there’s anything I’ve learned from Viktor it’s that you can never go wrong with candy,” Chris commented on his choice of gift. Looks like I won’t have to visit that candy store tomorrow. “Who’s your gift for?”

 

“Oh, it’s for Viktor,” I answered, knowing that it was okay to share now, seems how we were now giving them out.

 

“That must have made gift buying easy, no guesswork necessary.”

 

“You’re not the only person who said that,” I smiled a bit, finding it funny that everyone I’ve told so far made the same comment.

 

Soon realizing that Viktor wouldn’t returning over to me, and was rather engaging in conversation with the other skaters, I had concluded that I would have to go to him to give him the gift.

 

“Viktor!” I called out, speed walking over to him. “This is for you,” I said while holding the paper bag out to him.

 

“You drew my name, didn’t you?” He asked. I nodded my head slightly, despite having the feeling that it was a rhetorical question. He undid the fold on the bag and looked into it to see the dark leather wallet sitting at the bottom. A smile quickly spread across his face. “You knew I wanted a new one, didn’t you?”

 

“You’ve only been burning my ear off about it,” I answered, his smile being contagious. I quickly found myself wrapped in his embrace, he having initiated the action of affection.

 

“We have to clear out of the room soon but I’d like to get a group photo before we have to go!” Phitchit got back on his soap box and announced over the crowd. We were all given directions on where to stand and how to pose and such, even though we ended up standing and smiling like one would for a normal picture, or rather a selfie in his case.

 

This was definitely a secret santa party to remember.










Chapter Text

Surprise For A Fan

“Vitya! Are you busy?” I heard the familiar voice that belonged to Lilia Baranovskaya call out to me from two rooms away. I was in the locker room of the rink I trained in unlacing my skates, just having finished four hours of practice. Yesterday I had just finished choreographing a short program for the upcoming skating season so now I was skating it on a loop to promote muscle memory.

 

“Not really, just untying my skates,” I answered, turning my attention away from my shoes and over to the doorway when I heard footsteps getting louder and louder. “What’s up?”

 

“I got an email sometime last night,” she started on, removing her phone from her pocket and continued scrolling down the screen. “And I felt like it had to be shared.”

 

I had kind of forgotten that Lilia had started an email account for me, not a personal one as I already had one of those, but one that was more business-like. One where sponsor propositions were sent and such.

 

“Is it another sponsorship?” I questioned, even though it was doubtful. If it was another sponsorship offer she most likely wouldn’t be telling me about it, she’d be going right off Yakov. It had to be something else.

 

“No, I’d be going to Yakov if that were the case,” she replied, confirming my theory.

 

“Does someone want me to make an appearance?” I followed up, that being the only other logical choice. If someone just emailed to say ‘hi’ or something of the sort it would have been culled from the inbox.

 

“Well, kind of,” Lilia said, her tone changing slightly. “It was an email from someone associated with the Make a Wish Foundation,” she began to explain. “It seems that there’s this terminally ill girl at a nearby hospital that really would love to meet you. When she was asked about her dying wish, and that’s her dying wish. This person emailed to see if such arrangement would be possible. So?”

 

“Well of course,” I replied. “What kind of person would I be if I said no?”

 

“Good to hear,” Lilia smiled while bouncing up on her tip toes. “Now we’ll just have to arrange something. Since she isn’t very far away it shouldn’t be too hard.”

 

“Tell this representative that I’ll not only see this girl but I’ll do her one better. Invite her to come down here and see my new routine, if it’s safe for her to do so,” I added, being dead set on wanting to grant this girl’s wish.

 

“I’ll send them an email right now,” she said, quickly starting to tap rapidly on her phone. “It’s really nice of you to do this, Viktor.

 

“Lilia, please don’t make a big thing out of it. I’m merely being a decent human being, “I replied, being brutally honest. It wasn’t a big deal to me so I didn’t feel like it should be treated like one. I also make a point in being nice to my fans. While my career may not be dependent on them, having people cheering for me and appreciating what I do definitely made everything worthwhile.

 

“Well it didn’t take too long to get a response,” I heard Lilia mutter. “According to the representative, with an oxygen tank, it would be okay for her to come down for an hour or two.”

“Good to hear,” my preexisting smile growing wider.

 

“I’ll begin writing a more formal email including details,” she continued to mutter to herself.

 

“Do we really have to stick with the formalities?” I questioned, having an idea of my own. “Could you just record a video of me and send it to her to show to this girl?”

 

“Well, I’d still have to work out the formalities but I can film a video to have it shown to her when the details are worked out,” Lilia gave in, flipping her phone from vertical to horizontal and tapped on the screen a few times.

 

“What’s this girl’s name?” I inquired, wanting to be able to address her by name.

 

“Arina Petrov,” I was quickly given an answer. “And recording… Now!”

 

“Hello Arina Petrov! I’m Viktor Nikiforov and I was told that you’re quite the fan and you’ve dreamed of meeting me. Well, dream no more! Soon enough you’ll not only get to meet me but you’ll also get a sneak peak of my short program for the upcoming skating season,” I spoke directly into the camera, smiling like a fool. Doing things like this just warmed my heart, in addition to making me wish I could do things like this more often. “Can’t wait to see you,” I finished my message with a wave of the hand and a wide smile.

 

Four days later

 

It surprised me exactly how quickly everyone was able to cobble together this meetup for this terminally ill girl, it really showed how determined everyone was to grant this girl’s wish and it really did warm my heart. I don’t often see people working together and this quickly to get something finished for someone else, something they wouldn’t benefit from monetarily. I even asked Lilia to not make a big deal about this to the press and she respected my wishes, which I was grateful for. If press were informed and, if some were allowed to come, it would make it look like a publicity stunt and less of an act of kindness, which it actually was.

 

“Viktor?” I heard a young female’s voice question, me assuming it belonged to Arina.

 

“Hello, Arina,” I greeted her with a smile before quickly making my way over from the bench where I was sitting to lace up my skates and over to her, being sure to attach the hard guards to the blades so I wouldn’t damage the floor. “Nice to meet you,” I continued while stretching my arm out in her direction for a handshake.

 

“N. Nice to meet you too,” she stuttered. She didn’t seem to be too much younger than me, maybe only a year or two difference, pushing three. She wore a knit blue beanie, a black bubble coat, and what appeared to be fleece pants.

 

“I was just putting on my skates to show you my new short program routine, if it’s okay for us to do that first,” I informed her, scratching my head a bit.

 

“Oh absolutely!” Arina said very enthusiastically. “I’m just happy to be here. It’s not every day where you get to meet your idol.”

 

“Oh really?” I questioned, attempting to start a conversation as I backtracked some to the entrance of the ice rink.

 

“Yeah,” she reaffirmed. “You’re the first figure skater I’ve rooted for setting aside nationality. There’s just something about watching your skating that really makes you stand out from everybody else.”

 

“Well, that’s good to hear,” I commented while stepping onto the ice. “So, for how long have you been interested in figure skating?” I asked a follow up question while leaning on the walls of the rink.

 

“Well, since I was really little, I’d say four or five, so about ten years now,” she responded. “I loved it so much I even took it up, even had a coach of my own in hopes to get good enough to compete. But then I ended up like this and that wasn’t really possible. I can still enjoy it from the sidelines though, which I’m grateful for.”

 

If she was still able to I would love to see her skate, but reality wouldn’t exactly favor me. She most likely stepped foot on the ice for years so she’d be extremely out of practice. It was quite sad that this fate had become of her but at least I was able to play a part in her wish fulfillment.

 

“Lilia, can you start the music?” I requested while stripping my upper half of my jacket then throwing it off to the side over the barriers. As soon as the music had started up, I was gliding across the thick frozen surface.

 

“So, how was that?” I asked roughly three minutes later, getting an onslaught of applause as a response.

 

“Wow, I definitely didn’t expect to see you skate a program like that!” Arina exclaimed in a wide-eyed fashion.

 

“Nice to know that I can still surprise the audience,” I said, this being something I always tried to achieve when choreographing a program. With every season that goes by, I always fear that I’m not able to surprise anyone anymore when it comes time for me to choreograph new routines.

 

“To be honest, I highly doubt there will be a time you won’t be able to,” she commented, grinning ear to ear.

 

“I certainly hope you’re right about that,” I whispered slightly under my breath.

 

“Something I’ve always wondered is how are you able to pull off quads while having your hair in a simple ponytail?” She changed topics. “Wouldn’t it get in your face?”

 

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you?” I returned another question. “When I start practicing a new routine, I have it up but after muscle memory kicks in, hair getting in my face doesn’t really affect my ability to land jumps. And considering the number of programs I’ve performed it doesn’t take very long for me to promote muscle memory.”

 

“That makes sense,” she conceded. “This is going to sound really weird but I just adore your hair. I wish I could grow hair like that. Even before I got sick I was never able to for some reason.”

 

“Oddly, you’re not the only person who’s said something like that,” I smiled a bit, finding the confession to be something that was kind of funny.

 

“I’ve been trying to get a wig for a while now but it’s not exactly easy to get a long haired one,” Arina informed. “But at least I get to wear hats wherever I want,” she smiled, finding a positive in all the negativity.

 

“You’ve got quite the spirit, you know that?” I half observed and half asked, running the fingers on my left hand through my hair.

 

“Yeah, I suppose,” she replied. “But in a situation like this you don’t have much else.”

 

“It’s a shame you haven’t been able to get the kind of wig you wanted but I’m sure it’ll cross your path eventually. Sometimes you just have to be patient, as good things come to those who wait,” I continued, finding this girl standing a few feet away from me truly inspiring. Being able to smile despite her current circumstance.

 

“I guess you’re right,” Arina smiled. “I may not live long enough to see that day come but I can certainly hold out hope.”

 

“Sorry to cut this meeting short but results from some tests that were run yesterday came in and there’s some new medicine Arina needs so we kind of have to go now,” the representative from that foundation whose name I’ve learned is Aleksandria informed, as well as apologized. Arina’s smile fell into a tiny frown, disappointment written all over her face.

 

“Okay,” Arina responded to the news with a faint voice. She sounded just as disappointed as she looked, but she also seemed like she was used to this, often having to prematurely end planned events because of her terminal illness causing her problems and getting in her way.

 

“Do you have a phone or a camera on you?” I asked while sliding the ice guards back onto the blades of my shoes, forgetting that I was still standing on the ice. She nodded her head as her left hand slid into her jacket pocket. I carefully stepped over to her and stood at her side, posing for a photo. As I had expected, Aleksandria also took out her own phone to snap a picture.

 

“Is the photo good?” I asked Arima after I noticed her finger hit the area on the screen I had associated with where the picture button would be. She looked at her phone for a few more moments before giving me a wide smile and a nod of her head.

 

“Can I see your phone for a minute?” I followed up, half changing the subject while half segueing to another. “I won’t do anything bad to it, I promise,” I added, not knowing if she may have found my request of access somewhat suspicious. Surprisingly, she wasn’t at all and quickly handed it to me. I tapped on the screen a few times and brought up the ‘contacts’ section, making quick work of entering in my own number.

 

“There, you have my number now. Now, be sure to text me those pictures, alright?” I partly proposed and agreement and partly requested. She nodded quite quickly, finding her end of the deal easy to fulfill. “I’m busy a lot now, considering the new skating season coming up, but text or call me at any time and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”

 

“A… Are you serious?” She stuttered, not believing the words that were coming out of my mouth. Not that I blame her though, if I were in her shoes I wouldn’t either. I nodded my head in response, much like she had before.

 

“Hope to talk to you sometime soon,” I stated before she left.

 

It didn’t take me very long to decide to cut my long hair. I had been thinking about it for at least a year now but was never too sure of it, fearing that if I did I would quickly find myself regretting such choice. It would certainly surprise the audience, and pretty much everybody, to see me with short hair, considering I’ve been dawning long hair pretty much since I debuted in professional figure skating competitions.

 

When I had made my decision to do this, I did my research to see if there was anywhere nearby that would be able to make the wig, even if it was a bit pricey. My sponsorships were looking nice and I was pretty good at saving money, so spending around a grand to get a wig for someone made wouldn’t be a major punch to the gut, more like an uncomfortable papercut. It, surprisingly, wasn’t too hard to get everything arranged. Considering much of the preparation had already been done, all that had to be done from here was cut my hair and have it attached to the already made wig foundation.

 

One Week Later

 

I was stood just outside Arina’s hospital room, today being the day she was going to be given her new wig. I didn’t want to be the one to give it to her, but I certainly wanted to be here to see her reaction. I knew that me giving it to her would be surprising, but I was more about surprising the audience while I was on the rink. I just feared that if I was seen doing these things it would be perceived as a publicity stunt and not genuine kindness.

 

The curtain on the window facing the hall was pulled just enough for me to be able to see her, and she was surrounded by enough things going on that she wasn’t very likely to look in my direction. I at least hoped that this prediction would prove to be true.

 

There was a tiny bit of chatter between Aleksandra, someone who seemed to have stayed with Arina despite her job being done, and the wigmaker that was holding a fair sized pale blue box. Arina quickly figured out what had happened and it was easy to pinpoint the exact second she connected the dots, her face lighting up brighter than a starry night sky.

 

She flipped the folds on the box open as soon as it was placed in her lap, completely overjoyed by the fact that she finally had a wig to her liking. She carefully removed the wig from its box and inspected it, shocked by the color of it.

 

“I… Is this real hair?” Arina asked both Aleksandra and the wig maker, the question more directed towards the wig maker. The wig maker nodded.

 

“It surprised me that he had such long hair in the first place, and he’s still got some on his head,” he further commented.

 

“It looks a lot like Viktor’s hair,” she continued on with observations. I took this as my queue to get her attention. I raised my knuckle to the window and tapped lightly on the glass, it emitting a little sound. Her head quickly turned attention from her new wig towards the window where I had tapped.

 

“Hi Arina,” I said somewhat faintly while waving to her, a wide smile on my face. I then tapped my fright index finger against my closed lips and mouthed the words ‘our little secret’.

 

“Our little secret.”

Chapter Text

Meet The Parents

I'm not the most sure of how I ended up here, but I've been here for awhile now. I know where I am, St. Petersburg, Russia, and when I am, 2017. The odd part about it is definitely when I am, considering the fact that this was just about two years before I was born.

I've been here for almost a week now and considering I'm already familiar with the area, navigating has been fairly easy. My frame of reference for locations was fifteen years ahead of what's currently here so it took some time to adjust but I've gotten used to it. I will admit though that I was pretty dazed and confused when I first started traversing the streets.

I was thankful that it was the summertime, since the warm weather meant campgrounds were open. I didn't have any connections or anything so I had to stay here, thankfully they were free to stay on because I don't have much money. Even if they weren't though I don't think it would have mattered since I'm pretty much invisible to everyone else. Not invisible in the sense that I can't been seen, more like unnoticed. I've even tested to what degree people couldn't notice me, even going as far as being obnoxiously loud, but nothing happened, I illicit no reactions with my behaviors.

Before I figured out that I wasn't noticed, I would pay for everything with what little money I had, but since when I went to cashiers at little stores my things were never rung up so I stopped bothering with it. It makes me feel terrible, essentially stealing from this little mom and pop shops, but I'm running low on funds and I don't know when this whole fiasco will end. I don't know when I'll be able to return home, to return to my parents. To return to my own time period.

"Well, looks like the rink is open now, might as well go," I muttered under my breath as I caught sight of the community rink, an 'open' flag waving in the wind by the door. I picked up my pace from a slow walk to a quick jog and found myself inside the building within five minutes, my drawstring bag of few things leaping into the air and coming down to hit my back as I stepped on the paved sidewalk.

I sat down in one of the metal chairs lined up in the room leading to where the ice was located, swinging my bag off of my back moments before doing so. I had a jacket, a hat, a pair of thin gloves, my skates, and a set of skate guards in it, all the things I'd typically bring to the rink with me. Considering the last thing I remember doing before I ended up here was skating on the ice, it was fitting.

While taking my sneakers off, part of the sock on my left foot came down, exposing portions of my very bruised feet. Ice skating looks beautiful on the ice but once you step off and look at what it's done to the body, it definitely changes your perspective on the sport. It's not all the fault of the sport though, I practice a lot harder and more often than I should, but it's only because I feel I have to. When you've got two of the best pro male figure skaters as your dads then you definitely feel the pressure.

"Here I won't get to practice jumps as much as I'd like to because of the number of people but at least I'll get to practice spins," I continued to mutter to myself as I strung up the laces of my skates, the color being a bright neon blue against a white skate. I would never be able to use these skates in competition, unless I had a costume it matched with which is unlikely, but I absolutely insisted having the colored laces. I could also change them out when needed so when it came down to it, my dads didn't make too much of a fuss against it. They just forced me to keep the laces that originally came with them.

I made a point in sticking to the middle area of the rink, taking into consideration that most people here who skate stick around the edges and skate around in a circle in a predetermined direction. I may not be noticed by really anybody but I don't want to risk hurting anybody, since a cut from a skate blade can really do some damage, speaking from personal experience of course.

About half an hour later, most of the crowd was gone, and that's an understatement. In actuality, there was only me and three people here, and one of them wasn't even skating, he seemed to be more so coaching.

"Wait, I think I know that guy," I said, the looks of the man who appeared to be taking on a coaching role jogging a few memories. Oh, that must be Yakov! Dad Viktor told me stories about him, mostly about how he rebelled against his wishes, and he showed me a few pictures of him after he'd won competitions with Yakov standing next to him, Yakov frowning most of the time. People like him are where the angry Russian stereotype comes from.

Two more people entered the rink, two people I didn't even have to look at twice to know who they were. Viktor Nikiforov and Yuri Katsuki, my adoptive parents. They looked a lot younger, but I wasn't surprised by that considering I've gone back in time, somehow.

"Hey Yakov, I thought you said we had to rink to ourselves now," Viktor turned to the older coach and commented. Wait, can he see me?

"It's only you, your boyfriend, Georgi, and I here now," he got as a response.

"But there's a young girl on the ice like right now," he insisted. "And she's pretty good too, she just pulled off a flying sit spin and she doesn't look any older than 12!" He went from insisting to enthusing about my abilities.

"I'm 13, thank you very much," I muttered under my breath, actually being conscious of my tongue now since Viktor can probably hear me, since he can see me.

"Yuri, do you see her too or am I just going crazy?" Viktor turned to his lover. "And Yuri's my fiancé, Yakov, and we're getting married in a month."

"Enough with the details," Yakov grumbled. "There is no girl there, perhaps you need to see if that hit you took the other day has affected your head."

"You know I visited a doctor to get checked out and the results came back fine," Viktor retorted, starting to become quite defensive. Probably just wants to prove he's right, something that doesn't surprise me considering how well I know him.

"Viktor, she just did a 5 rotation upright spin," Yuri commented.

"Did she really or are you pulling my leg?" Viktor questioned, not sure if Yuri was telling the truth.

"I'm surprised I got around 5, I typically only get 4 completed before I lose speed," I informed while raising my arms up for a quick stretch.

"Georgi, we should probably be going now," Yakov stated, the skater Georgi, I think his last name was Popovich, being quick to follow the order.

"How are you that good at such a young age?" Viktor questioned, very surprised by my abilities. "Even when I was your age I struggled with sit spins," he then commented, but I ignored it. No one else was on the ice at the moment so I could attempt a jump and not worry about hurting anyone else.

I skated around the rink some, picking up speed so I could launch into a jump. I pushed off and was in the air for a few moments, my fairly long black hair flowing behind me. I went to put my dominant foot down to land the jump but the blade touched the ice at an off angle and I fell to the ice.

"Crud," I said at a normal speaking voice, feeling like screaming in response to the pain but not wanting to make myself look weak in front of my parents.

"Are you okay?" Viktor and Yuri said in unison, stepping foot onto the ice themselves and rushing over to me.

"I don't know," I replied, every part of me feeling fine with the exception of my right foot. My right foot hurt, a lot. I can't even fathom the words to properly describe the immense amount of pain I'm feeling at the moment.

Viktor made quick work of taking the skate off of my affected foot, Yuri taking that action as a queue to head to get the first aid kit.

"There's a bit of blood but there's no broken bone, which is quite surprising and makes you quite lucky," he commented shortly after inspecting my wound. "Stay there Yuri, I'll bring her over," he addressed Yuri, seeing that he had retrieved the first aid kit. It didn't surprise me when I felt his hands scoop underneath my back to pick me up. If I was older and bigger he'd most likely try to manipulate me up onto my feet, keeping my good foot on the ice and I'd drag along the ice while he skated off the rink. I was small though so such action wasn't necessary, him carrying me off being the simplest solution.

"It looks like the blood you're seeing came from a cut further up her leg, but not by much," Yuri said, myself having been laid down on a wooden bench, a plump bag placed under my head.

"Looks like you managed to cut yourself with your skate blade," Viktor added on to what Yuri had said, now digging through the first aid kit. "Now where's the hydrogen peroxide?" He muttered under his breath as he tore through the box, setting everything he had taken out onto the floor.

"It looks like you fell hard but the worst of your injuries is just the cut, and it probably feels as bad as it does because you got cut by a skate blade, anything that was on the blade also getting into the wound," Yuri informed while unraveling some kind of paper product, or maybe it was a mix of athletic tape and gauze as a regular band aid wouldn't work too well to cover this up.

"Here it is," Viktor continued to mutter to himself, now holding up a decently sized dark brown colored bottle with a label that read 'hydrogen peroxide'. "It'll sting a bit but it'll help to clean the wound," he said right before dumping some of the chemical solution onto the cut, bubbles soon rising from the slit. I tensed a bit, the stinging sensation growing stronger but it quickly faded away as the bubbles started to disappear.

It didn't take Yuri a very long to take a few pieces of gauze to place on the wound. Viktor held down the gauze while Yuri put on some sports tape around the space just above my ankle. He used a bright blue color, which made me smile a tiny bit.

“Why did you try to pull off an axel jump?” Viktor asked me, prompting my body to sit upright and he sat next to me. “You must know that’s the hardest jump you could try and you’re still young. You’re lucky you didn’t get hurt worse than this,” he repeated, it feeling like he was beginning to lecture me. “Your feet also don’t look too good, they’re bruised and blistered beyond belief. A lot more than mine were when I was your age and I was on the ice practicing every chance I got.”

“I practice a lot, especially during the summer when I don’t have school, and I don’t do traditional school either so I can practice more,” I answered, somewhat evading the question. My feet definitely were bruised and it did hurt to practice skating sometimes but I endured the pain.

“Why do you practice so much? To damage your feet to this degree you practically have to live on the ice,” Yuri came into the conversation. “I used to skate and practice a lot, since I got nervous a lot, and my feet didn’t even get half that bad.”

“Are you being forced to practice and push yourself this hard?” Viktor asked, his tone becoming very serious, turning his head to make eye contact with me. This was actually quite the problem in Russia, many parents pushing their children to practice a sport and the child often got seriously injured because of it.

“No,” I responded in a low voice. “My dads would never do that to me, I just…” I trailed off, starting to feel sad. Despite my dads being here right now, they didn’t know who I was because I was in the past. I just wanted to go back home.

“You just what?” Viktor followed up in response, his tone growing soft and comforting, pulling me into a light hug.

“Oh nothing…” I trailed off, being conscious of exactly what I said.

“Well regardless they must not be the best parents,” Viktor started on what seemed to be some kind of rant. “What kind of parent wouldn’t notice this?”

“I don’t think they’re bad at parenting, I think it’s just that they don’t realize how I feel and how hard it is for me,” I commented, my head dipping down to the ground. “I don’t think they realize how much I need them.”

“Well, if that’s the case then why would they have you?” Viktor continued on. “It wasn’t like it was an accident like heterosexual couples experience, they actively chose to adopt you. They should have known how much you’ll depend on them.”

“Well, one of my dad’s had a friend who had an accidental pregnancy. She couldn’t afford to take care of the child but didn’t want to give it up for adoption to someone she didn’t know so my dad’s agreed to adopt her when she was born and that child was me,” I explained, stumbling through the story. “They were amazing when I was a little child but the older I got, the more it seemed like they didn’t really know what they were doing.”

“That’s a real shame. You seem like a really great kid,” Yuri spoke up. “We can’t do this to our child when we adopt one.”

“Mmhm,” Viktor muttered in agreement. “Make sure you get proper care for your foot if it gets worse than it already is and remember to take a break when you need one. Don’t overwork yourself.”

“Thanks,” I said, finding the words to be very helpful. This may be them at a younger age, but it still meant a lot considering they were my dads, even though they couldn’t know that. If I did tell them they probably wouldn’t believe me, plus I had no idea what kind of effects it would have on my future. Simply meeting them now could already be damaging enough. I’ve seen enough episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ to know that.

I felt warm arms wrap around me again, lifting my head to see that they belonged to Viktor. I buried my head in space where his arm connected to his torso. Yuri then stepped over and joined the hug.

(*)(*)(*)

“Wh… What happened?” I asked, coming out of a foggy haze. My vision was a bit blurry but I was able to roughly make out my surroundings. I was in a hospital room it looked.

“You tried a high difficulty jump and you fell hard,” Viktor said while cupping one of my hands in both of his own, concern dripping from his eyes.

“You hit your head and were incapacitated,” Yuri jumped in. “Luckily there was no blood on the ice, for multiple reasons.”

“We’re just glad you’re doing fine,” Viktor stated, a tiny smile beginning to break his lips. “You should take a few days break from skating, considering the fall you took.”

“We also saw your feet and they looked really bad, those need to heal up some before you step back on again,” Yuri commented, piggybacking upon Viktor’s segue.

“Why didn’t you tell us about this? About your feet?” Viktor questioned, his tone getting quite somber.

“Be… Because I’m afraid that if I’m not as good as you I won’t be valid as a skater,” I answered, feeling like I was about to begin crying. “I feel like because you’re my dads I’ll be held to a higher standard than everyone else and if I can’t reach it then I’ll just be dismissed as a skater.”

“Don’t say that, Dinara,” Viktor replied, removing one of his hands from my own to caress my face, wiping away a tear that began to drip down from my eye with his thumb. “We’re here to help you, not to hurt you.”

“If anyone tries to compare you to either of us, they’ll get told off by Viktor or I,” Yuri seemed to be making a promise. “Just remember to take a break, don’t push yourself too hard.”

“You’re not us,” Viktor said. “Don’t let anybody forget that.”

Chapter Text

Sick Day

“Dammit, I’m sick,” I said under my breath moments after arising from a decent night’s slumber. Mucus was dripping down from my nose in a fashion similar to water pouring out of a kitchen tap and it was disgusting.

 

“What could have made me sick?” I asked myself, thinking over what I had done yesterday. I spent about 5 hours practicing on the ice and no one there was sick, we had private ice time. My grandfather picked me up and then we went to a grocery store to pick up some ingredients to use for piroshki. Oh, that’s right. We were stood behind a sickly woman while we were waiting in line to check out.

 

“Derr’mo,” I cursed, reverting to my native tongue. “Where are tissues?” I questioned as I threw the blankets off of my frame, my eyes soon taking to scanning the room for a jacket of some kind as it was colder than I originally thought it would be. My trusty, and favorite, coat was hung on the door, the one I wore at competitions.

 

“Grandpa, where are the tissues?” I asked, my tone fairly irate, even more so than usual. I’m only sick because that ‘suka at the store couldn’t be bothered to wear some kind of face mask. I didn’t exactly enjoy my time in Japan but at least on the public transport everyone wore a face mask so getting the cold from someone else was never really a concern. Now if only that mentality would come to exist here in Russia. If it did, so fewer people would fall ill to something as pitiful as the cold.

 

“There should be a box in the bathroom, Yuratchka,” my grandfather responded, he sitting in the living room half reading the newspaper and half watching whatever was playing on the small television set. It looked to be some kind of game show, but I couldn’t really identify it. I didn’t watch much TV growing up, nothing outside of figure skating and a children’s program or two. “What’s happened to you?” he inquired, most likely able to tell that I wasn’t exactly my usual self.

 

“We were behind a sick woman in line at the grocery store,” I replied while quickly popping in and out of the bathroom to retrieve the already opened box of tissues. I also grabbed an unopened one for good measure. You never know exactly how runny your nose can get, or will get in my case.

 

“If you need anything, Yuratchka, just let me know,” he said passively, seemingly too engrossed in what’s on the television to bother to make eye contact with me. Not that I minded though, I probably look like a piece of shit. He often says that if I need anything that he’ll do it for me, but that often doesn’t come to fruition. I don’t have much of a problem with that though because I can at least do something for myself, seems how there’s not much you can do when you’re sick.

 

I rushed back into my bedroom, seeking the warm refuge of my blankets. Despite not having been out for a long while and putting a rather warm coat on, I was still getting fairly cold. Damn you sick grocery woman.

 

“Hey Yavok, I won’t be able to make it to…” I was interrupted by a fit of coughing. “Practice today, I’m sicker than a dog,” I finished my thought. If you blew off practice and didn’t tell Yavok why then you’d definitely be in for, at the very least, a lecture the next time you showed up at the rink. In the past when I’ve been sick I went to practice anyway, but I felt like I wouldn’t even be able to stay upright on the ice. If I did go, I’d be bloody useless, and the cold temperatures of the rink wouldn’t do my illness any favors.

 

The rest of my day would most likely pan out with me nursing my throat with the collection of vitamins and cough drops I had stowed under my bed and wasting away time with boredom. I didn’t really have any hobbies outside of figure skating, considering it ate up a majority of my time.

 

I was able to wrangle up a couple books from around my room that I remembered I had gotten but hadn’t had the time, nor will, to read them. Seems how I have nothing better to do really, I might as well.

 

“Both of these books are shit,” I sniffled as I threw the second book at the other end of the room. When it landed, it knocked down a couple stuffed cats that were placed on a shelf. The majority of the things on display in my room were gifts from fans, thrown in my direction moments after I’d finished a program. It was nice a thoughtful but how many stuffed cats do you think someone needs?

 

‘Any recommendations for things to do on a sick day?’ I sent on my twitter, quickly following it with another message but the same thing in Russian. Since I had well over one million followers, I got plenty of responses fairly quickly. I was certainly no Phichit Chulanont, who had managed to garner 8 million figure skating, and non figure skating, fans alike. That kid is also on his phone 24/7 and takes selfies with just about anything so I’m not surprised.

 

‘Watch a movie!’ A large number of them read, some suggesting a film or two and others not. ‘Read a book!’ Another read.

 

‘Tried that already :/’ I replied to them.

 

“Looks like I’ve just made someone’s day. Well, there’s my good deed,” I spoke. I was alone in my room and my grandfather was partially deaf so he most likely couldn’t hear me anyway so there was no point in making an effort to keep my voice down.

 

‘Chat with friends’ a few others suggested. Maybe looking to my fans on Twitter for advice wasn’t the best idea.

 

“Pfft. What friends?” I questioned out loud, putting my phone to sleep and sliding it under my pillow.

 

“Well, nice to know exactly how important I am to you,” I heard a new voice say, the words carrying a sad, almost depressed, tone.

 

“Oh, Otabek,” I said, the tone of my words dropping to match his. “I didn’t expect you to show up,” I changed topics. “If you’re not at practice, Yakov will burn your ear off about responsibility while kicking you with skates on.”

 

“I’d gotten done what I needed to and was allowed to leave early,” he informed, seeming to understand my concern about him being at practice. “I also kinda fell and did something to my ankle. Nothing too major, it just hurts quite a bit.”

 

“What’s in the bag?” I asked, being my typically nosy self. Well, I wasn’t nosy when it came to what people I didn’t really like or know were doing or had, but when it was someone I knew, curiosity killed the cat.

 

“I overheard that you were sick so I got some soup,” he answered, now becoming somewhat monotonous.

 

“Thanks,” I replied somewhat gratefully while grabbing the bag. I was slightly surprised when he shuffled his feet and took a seat next to me. “You probably shouldn’t stay. If you do, you’ll get sick,” I attempted to persuade him to leave. I appreciated the gesture and all, and while I often find his presence rather pleasant, I don’t want to be the cause of him getting sick.

 

“I can’t skate for a few days anyway, and I’d be alone at my house if I wasn’t here so getting sick isn’t a big trade off for me being with a friend,” Otabek explained himself, his gaze resting firmly to meet my own. “Isn’t that also what friends do for each other?”

 

“I guess it is,” I kind of answered, not really sure myself. “I’ve never really had a friend before so I wouldn’t really know.”

 

“So, what do you usually do on sick days,” he changed topics. “What have you done today?”

 

“I haven’t really had a sick day before so I’m figuring that out,” I gave an answer to his first question. “I tried reading earlier but if you look over there you can see that didn’t pan out very well,” I continued, gesturing to the other end of the room where multiple plush cats were now on the floor.

 

“They must not have been good then,” he inferred, looking over to where I had pointed. “Did fans give you those?” I nodded my head.

 

“How many stuffed cats do they think I need?” I circled around back to that point I had made earlier when I was here alone.

 

“Do you have any multiplayer games on your phone?” Otabek asked while removing his own phone from his jacket pocket, most likely to check the ones he had downloaded.

 

“I have this multiplayer racing game and stick golf game,” I answered, unlocking my phone then showing him the app faces on my home screen. He nodded then showed me that he had the same two, in addition to at least five other multiplayer games I was vaguely familiar with but hadn’t actually played before. “Racing or golf, you choose,” I gave him the option, considering that I didn’t mind either way. I enjoyed playing both of these games, for different reasons though. I tended to have a preference to the racing game when I was in more of a competitive mood, which is most of the time, and more towards the golfing game when it was later at night and I was in more of a relaxed mood, which wasn’t very often but frequent enough to warrant keeping the game downloaded.

 

“Let’s do the racing game then, I seem to be better at that,” he replied, tapping the icon on his phone screen to launch the app.

 

“Oh I’m going to kick your ass,” I went right in with the taunting. I’ve always been one to do this while playing games but this is the first time my opponent has actually heard them, considering this is the first time they’ve been in the same room with me.

 

“You wish you would,” Otabek retaliated while beginning to set up our game. “Is that you?” He questioned, gesturing to a username displayed on his screen. I nodded in response.

 

“You can eat my dust,” I continued with the taunts once the first race between us had started, myself being quick on the throttle. Going fast came with the risk of control being harder to attain, but I’d played this game so

 

“And you can kiss my ass,” he threw back at me, just starting to pass me.

 

“Oh no you don’t,” I muttered under my breath, starting to grit my teeth. “You’re not going to beat me that easily,” I added, trailing right behind him with the finish line in sight.

 

“Yes!” I cheer, throwing my hands up in the air, being careful not to accidentally toss or drop my phone. It’s gone through so much that I’m afraid one drop could end its life.

 

“How often do you play this game?” Otabek questioned, surprised by my ability to come back out on top after falling behind.

 

“At least two hours a day,” I answered with a soft tone, almost somewhat disappointed with exactly how much time I sunk into this game.

 

“Yuri, you need to get yourself some more friends and be more social,” he said, slightly shaking his head in response.

 

We played a few more games of racing, I winning the next two and Otabek winning the last one, by a small margin might I add. We then moved on to the stick golf, which I didn’t do too well at, Otabek winning the five games we played by a landslide.

 

“I should probably eat that soup now,” I said, now remembering that the Kaszach had brought some. It’s probably cold by now but I’ve become too hungry to care and too lazy to bother with getting up to reheat it. I picked the plastic bag up from the floor and took out the container, which was surprisingly still kind of warm, along with a plastic spoon that was shoved in alongside it.

 

“This is actually really good, where’d you get it?” I questioned after I had had a few spoonfuls. It was more like a stew than a soup, soup typically more broth while this was primarily vegetables with some kind of tomato-like broth. I wasn’t even the most sure of what it was but it tasted really good. It wasn’t exactly piping hot but still warm enough for it to be tolerable.

 

“I made a pot of it a couple days ago,” he answered, his stoic nature shining back through.

 

“You’ll have to give me the recipe,” I half asked and half demanded, a good portion of the container now emptied.

 

“Will do,” he agreed. “Well, I should be going now but I’m glad you liked the soup,” he switched gears while collecting his few things and getting back up on his feet after an hour or so of sitting on my old mattress. “We should do this more often. And you need to get out and socialize more.”

 

“I’ll keep that in mind,” I commented, him not being wrong about my tendency towards being antisocial and unwilling to put myself out there and meet new people. This also was pretty fun.

Chapter Text

A/N I decided to look through my folder of writings and discovered some pieces that I wrote this past January, and haven't revisited or edited since so pardon any mistakes, and decided to post them because 'what the hell'. I hope you like it!

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“Viktor, have you ever been to an amusement park before?” I asked him while I stirred a sugar cube around in my coffee. I didn’t have coffee very often but whenever we went out, I allowed myself to indulge in it. It also seemed that whenever I tried to brew coffee on my own I always found a way to butcher it.

“No,” he answered in a soft voice, looking down intently on his fresh made pastry. “Or at least I don’t think I have. I’ve been to a waterpark though. Does that count?”

“No, not really,” I replied before taking a little sip of my coffee. “Have you heard of Disneyland before?” I followed up, my hands finding their way under the table and the pads of my fingertips tapping against each other.

“Yeah, but I’ve never been to one before. There isn’t one in Russia so I’ve never had the chance,” he said, removing his gaze from the pastry and tilted his head up to look at me.

“Do we have any plans for today?” I changed topics, well changed topics somewhat. More of a segway to be honest.

“Asking the forgetful one if we have any plans for today,” he chuckled, his laugh becoming contagious and I starting to giggle a tiny bit myself. “I don’t think we do.”

I pulled out my phone and searched for a few different websites, tapping on the screen a couple times until I got to the page I wanted. I was thankful that the source I used to make purchases online didn’t demand me to copy my card information in for the twentieth time this week, considering it is a bit hard to do on a mobile phone with a keyboard that’s a tad bit laggy. I just had to input a secondary code that was texted to me within ten minutes of it being sent that was only 6 digits long. A lot easier, if I do say so myself.

“Well, we have plans now,” I said with a smile, putting my phone back into my pocket. I then gulped down the remaining drops of coffee in my cup, almost choking a bit as there was more left there than I had originally expected.

“Ooh, what is it then?” Viktor asked, straightening up in his chair and beginning to grin. It was like he was a little kid going into a candy shop for the first time, utterly dumbfounded by his surroundings.

“We’re going to Tokyo Disney,” I informed, his smile turning contagious and starting to spread across my own lips. “It’s the biggest park in Japan and it happens to only be a twenty minute bus ride away from here. I hope you don’t mind rollercoasters.”

(*)(*)(*)

“You don’t think it’ll be weird for us to be going to Disney?” Viktor asked for what would now be the fifth time during this short bus ride alone.

“People our age go there all the time, there’s nothing to be worried about,” I answered, really just wishing he would quit going on about it.

“Yeah but they have kids,” he retorted, starting to rub his arm out of what I would assume to be nervousness. He had a point there. I thought about the current situation and the only reaction I could illicit was a chuckle.

“What’s so funny?” He questioned, sounding to be somewhat offended by my action.

“I’m sorry, it’s just funny seeing Viktor Nikiforov, a god when it comes to figure skating, who never gets nervous before skating a routine to an audience of millions be so afraid of going to an amusement park,” I attempted to explain, my words split up by the continuous laughing. “And then you have someone like me who can only be described as a bundle of nerves not having a problem.”

“Go ahead and laugh it up all you like, I only get nervous with a reason,” he followed up with defending his nervousness. He can be nervous all he likes, he never laughs at me for being so, but he’ll soon learn that it’s not really that fun and that this is hardly the circumstance for it. “I don’t like getting ugly glares and I’m sure tons of those are waiting for us past the gates.”

“The only looks you’re going to get are ones from adoring fans,” I replied, starting to collect the few things that had made their way out of my small bag during the bus ride. “A bit of a warning though, you’re most likely going to be asked for autographs and pictures so here’s a pen,” I elaborated, handing him a plain pen with purple ink in the barrel. “I have a pen with blue and one with green ink if you have a color preference.”

“Purple’s fine,” he answered, the bus now coming to a halt. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised that there was no fan interaction. I didn’t expect any while boarding the bus but I certainly expected some while unloading, someone waiting for the end of the line and tailing us when everyone was off or pushing their way to the front and sliding in beside us. Perhaps it’s just been too long since I’ve gone on this kind of vacation in Japan.

“Have you gotten a good look at the map?” I inquired about five minutes after we entered the gate, having grabbed a map flier as soon as I saw a stand providing them. “Any attraction that looks particularly interesting?” I followed up. “If we hadn’t just been in the bus for about half an hour I’d suggest the omnibus but my legs are already half asleep so more sitting isn’t exactly a good idea.”

“The Swiss Family Treehouse looks cool,” Viktor commented, pointing to the number on the map that represented that attraction.

“Yuuko went there when her family came here for a vacation and she said it looked really cool,” I added, spinning around on my heels to figure out a route for us to go on.

“Well Yuuko was right, this is cool!” he agreed after we had explored the treehouse for a bit. “It must have been difficult for her to keep the triplets in line though. I can’t even imagine how many times she may have lost track of them.”

We’d both agreed to go on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride next, but we didn’t rush our way over there. That plan went out the window when we passed another ride on the way there, the Western River Railroad. It was kinda fun but not exactly a ride drafted up with our ages in mind, this was definitely something I expected to happen though so I’m not holding any kind of grudge or anything. Viktor seemed to enjoy it though and that’s really what mattered, since this was his first visit to any kind of amusement park.

There was then a cruise that went around and showed different kinds of wildlife, which I will admit was nice. I had to act as translator for Viktor though since the guide was speaking Japanese and Viktor isn’t exactly fluent in it. He seemed to be too fascinated with the variety of exotic animals here to see. He’s such a child sometimes, not that I can blame him though. If this was the first time I’d been to an amusement park I’d be bouncing off the walls as well, regardless of my age.

“This is a rollercoaster?” He questioned, the two of us standing side by side outside the entrance of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. “I thought rollercoasters were, well, kinda bigger than that. I can’t even see it.”

“This is a rollercoaster, I assure you,” I replied. “It’s just all inside. Don’t let it fool you though, sometimes enclosed rollercoasters are better than the ones you can see.”

“Well, it looks like I’ll just have to take your word for it,” he smiled at me before taking off to join the surprisingly short line.

“Hey, wait up for me!” I called out, speeding up my pace to catch up to him. I did get a couple weird glares from individuals nearby but I didn’t care about what they thought to alter my current behaviors. It seems that we had picked an appropriate time to join the line, the current load of people taken on the loop now unloading from the ride and the newcomers being directed to a seat.Viktor and I were brought to a cart that was closer to the middle of the string, a place where I've found to be the best on a rollercoaster. You're not up towards the front where you can get extremely wet and not at the back where I’ve noticed the ride does get a bit more rickety across the tracks.

“Am I going to get wet?” Viktor asked, turning to make eye contact with me. He wasn’t exactly wearing proper attire for a water ride, but yet again neither was I. This was a spur of the moment idea that had very little actual preparation. I was just wearing a t shirt, track jacket, and track pants, so it wouldn’t be too bad for me. Viktor, on the other hand, was wearing light washed jeans and a white shirt.

“Maybe your arms will get sprayed a tiny bit on the dives but you won’t get drenched so you don’t have anything to worry about,” I replied, chuckling a tiny bit at the thought of him getting soaking wet in his current garb. Wouldn’t be the most comfortable for him but it would certainly be the sight to see.

“Okay, that’s not too bad then,” he sighed out of relief moments before the ride kicked to a start. “Wow, this ride is a lot darker than I thought it would be. Are all enclosed coasters like this?”

“For the most part, yeah,” I answered, half looking at him and half looking ahead to admire the setting design and props. “And how did you not expect it to be dark? It’s a Pirates of the Caribbean ride, it’s supposed to be ominous. You should know this, you’ve only seen the movies a dozen times each.”

It took a couple minutes of twisting and turning through scenery until we got to the first proper dive after a slow climb. I then felt something start to squeeze my hand quite tightly. It was Viktor’s.

Chapter Text

A/N Same deal as the last chapter, old work I found and decided to post without revisiting and possibly editing it. Hope you enjoy it!

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The room was filled with people, most of which I knew but there were a handful of unfamiliar faces. Due to recent events in the skating community, particularly during competitions, ISO informational meetings are being called all throughout the week in areas all around the world. Skaters lately, particular younger ones making their debut in the junior and senior divisions, have been attempting to execute illegal moves on the ice. New skaters have assumed they wouldn’t be able to get attention in their debut seasons in the different division so they’ve resorted to nasty tactics, both the singles and duo skaters, but mostly the former. In conjunction with these riskier moves, more skaters are being injured. A couple weeks ago a male skater died trying to backflip on the ice. They took a hard fall on the head and died before he got to the hospital. He bled out before he could get proper medical attention, and he was only 17. Not being given credit for such moves score-wise hasn’t been enough of a repellant so harsher punishments are being put into place. This meeting is about clarifying those new penalties.

Since there were a large number of Russian skaters that trained in St. Petersberg, a meeting was arranged to take place in a conference room at a nearby hotel. I didn’t really mind travel, sometimes it can actually be quite fun, but it would seem kind of unnecessary to haul upwards of the 50 skaters, if not more, to another area to meet up with other small congregations. Not needing to travel more than ten minutes in a car also meant that I could sleep in, well myself and Yuri. Poor Yuri, he didn’t seem to get a lick of sleep last night and it’s definitely showing on his face. If this meeting didn’t demand mandatory attendance I would have told him to stay home and nap and I’d fill him in when I got back. Is this meeting wasn’t also as important as it is, I would have made the excuse of him being sick so he could catch up on sleep. Granted with a fatigued mind he won’t be able to focus and absorb the information, he would show up for the sake of showing up and remembering what he can and I’ll fill in the gaps for him later.

There was still about ten minutes until the check in session came to an end and the conference room was mostly filled. The crowd was so thick that I, someone who’s fairly tall for being a figure skater in addition to the older skater here, had to perch up on my tiptoes to see past some heads. I was trying to find an area near the middle of the crowd of seats where two empty ones were available. If we could get a seat between the crowd then if Yuri were to doze off he wouldn’t get scolded, and in the case that he was spotted, if I was next to him I’d be able to defend such action.

“Yuri, I found a seat over here,” I gestured towards an empty spot after tapping on his shoulder to get his attention.

“Okay,” he muttered in response, following my lead over to the available seats. I had a feeling he wasn’t going to be very chatty today, not that he really ever was active in conversation in crowds in the first place.

Seconds after we had settled into our seats, Yuri had dozed off to sleep. There was still a bit of time left before the meeting actually started so I decided to let him rest for now and wake him up when the representatives from ISO made their way to the front of the room. I expected this meeting up end up being at least four hours, it being nine o’clock. Lunches were typically served at these events around twelve thirty and the pamphlets about the meeting said lunch would be provided. If lunch was merely pinned on near the end of the event with nothing of importance scheduled afterwards, putting the money in to provide lunch would be pointless when a majority of the people here live, at the farthest, thirty minutes away.

“Yuri, you should probably wake up now,” I half suggested and half ordered while lightly shaking his shoulder. “The meeting’s about to begin.”

“Wait, what happened?” Yuri asked, the quiet tone from before carrying over. Man he really is sleep deprived.

“We’re at an emergency, and mandatory, meeting called by the ISO about new policies being implemented next season. You fell asleep in your chair and the meeting’s about to begin,” I recapped as quickly as possible. It may be a fairly young looking woman in charge of heading the meeting while I’m a man close to my thirties but I’ve learned that you don’t want to get on the bad side of an ISO representative.

“Thanks,” he smiled slightly then straightening up in his seat. He was most likely going to feign giving full attention but take small breaks of rest throughout, even if just for a minute or so at one time. Just like me when I was younger.

“As you all probably know, this emergency meeting was called to address the increasing prevalence of illegal skating elements appearing in programs,” the woman spoke to start the meeting. “The current measures that have been put into place don’t appear to serve well enough as a deterrent so new policy has been drafted and will be implemented next season,” she added, continuing on with what would be a lecture. She would most likely elaborate with listing off all of the elements that are not allowed in a figure skating program and show footage of those skaters who have committed those to get us here in the first place. Most times when these types of issues arise, the people who are typically the case are often not mentioned but figure skating can get cutthroat sometimes, and seems how it was during a broadcast competition, there’s no denying that you’re the perpetrator. If you do it on the ice, there’s at least three videos of it online.

My prediction was correct. Actually, it was more than correct, it was spot on. The fact that the session where videos of such ‘no-no’ moves were being shown extended for more than an hour was very surprising. I’ve been to meetings like this multiple times in the past and there’d typically only be a maximum of 5 or 6 videos, which took twenty minutes at the absolute most. Looks like this meeting being mandatory was a lot more important than I thought it would be.

I periodically looked over to Yuri, mostly to confirm my suspicions, which were. He’d taken the opportunity to take a nap during the sessions that weren’t information dense. There was still some information being given, bust mostly a mini lecture associated with each illegal element explaining why they’re disallowed from competition, information any senior level skater should know.

“Yuri, time to wake up again, it’s lunch,” I shook his shoulder lightly again. He managed to sleep soundly throughout the whole video presentation and he didn’t make a single sound which was most likely for the best. The whole purpose of this was to say what the new penalties for various moves used in competitions would be but Yuri knows what moves are considered ‘no-nos’ and they’re too risky for someone of his age to try out. He’s been skating with moves that are allowed and succeeding and getting his name known so I wasn’t worried about him. I also choreograph his routines and I know better than to include these illegal components.

“Food, nice,” He commented, his voice quite groggy. “I’m hungry,” he added, adding a little stomach tap motion.

We stuck near the end of the crowd in leaving the presentation room and moving to a restaurant area. There was a fair sized variety of food set up buffet style, the best set-up for this kind of event, or really any kind of event. I even include weddings in that clump of events. Buffets at a wedding can actually be very nice if set up properly.

“How are you feeling now, sleeping beauty,” I asked him, the lunch line moving fairly quickly. “Did that almost two hour long nap do you any good?” I followed up, lowering the volume of my voice since I didn’t want anyone else to hear. If someone else heard that he had been napping during the lecture Yuri could possibly get in trouble and I didn’t want that to happen.

“Better,” he replied, his voice still quite faint and groggy like before.

“That’s good,” I commented, happy to hear that he was feeling better than he was when he first woke up.

“I’m not going to lie though, I still am quite tired,” Yuri continued to explain how he was feeling. “I’m probably going to crash at our house though.”

“I could probably use a nap as well,” I said while picking up a tray and a couple plates, scanning the buffet line to see what foods were out for grabs.

It surprised me when Yuri didn’t pick up a lot of food, given that he said he was hungry. Yuri at a buffet in a hungry state often lead to multiple plates of food filled to absolute capacity and consumed in their entirety, the possibility of more plates being picked up also on the table. When he quickly shoveled down the food he had gotten though, I may have spoken too soon with respect to the fact that he could easily get more.

“I’m gonna take another nap if that’s okay,” he half questioned and half stated, repositioning himself to lean against my side. I then felt arms wrap around my abdomen and a slight pull. A head then rested on my shoulder, nuzzling my neck a bit. I wrapped my left arm around him in response and pulled him a tad bit closer to me, if such a thing was possible.

“Have a nice nap,” I whispered to him before placing a butterfly kiss on his head. You definitely need it.

Chapter Text

A/N Once again, written a long time ago and hasn't been revisited or edited so take it as it is and I hope you enjoy it! Also this 30 day series will not be continued through the rest of the days. I only picked the prompts I had ideas for.

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"Hey Viktor, look at what I got!" I beamed while holding up a box, something that I had just bought. It was a Nintendo Wii U packed with the newest Smash Brothers game. I was out town shopping around for a new phone case, as the one I have is quite damaged, and I saw the game system out on display at a discounted price. It was a shot of nostalgia for me and it became an impulse buy. When I was at the register, there was a tiny part of my brain nagging me and telling me it was a bad idea, telling me that the money would be better spent of the quickly approaching wedding, but the rest of my head served as constant reminder that we weren't having a traditional wedding. It wasn't traditional in any sense of the word.

When I pitched the idea Viktor and I had for our wedding to my parents, they were surprised but not disappointed or saddened by my choice, which shocked me. When I was younger my mother had always talked about the traditional Japanese wedding she and my father had had. I had been dreading telling her about our plans for our own because I thought she'd be disappointed. I'm just happy that she's accepting of our decision.

A somewhat surprising upside to having a wedding at an ice rink is that fact that it's a lot cheaper, especially when considering the rental isn't going to cost us anything since we're having it as Ice Castle Hasetsu. The idea of renting an ice rink elsewhere, either one in Tokyo or somewhere in Russia, either Moscow or the one we train at in St. Petersburg, came up but when we compared the price of rental and transportation, Ice Castle Hasetsu was the cheapest and most convenient. Considering that it was also a rink in my hometown and that Viktor had pretty much named Hasetsu his second home, it made the coming event feel even closer to us, if such a thing was even possible.

"Is that a Nintendo system?" Viktor questioned, his tone indicating that he was confident with his answer but not the most sure of if it was correct.

"Yeah, it's the newest Nintendo Wii, the Wii U," I informed him, confirming his answer. "Man, I practically grew up with this," I added, nostalgia beginning to rush through me again. When I was younger I did spent much of my free time on the ice, aspiring to become just like Viktor Nikiforov, but whenever I couldn't skate because the weather didn't lend itself to me walking to the rink or I was injured or sick, I would spend hours playing Mario Party or Smash Brothers with my older sister and with Yuuko, when she came over to offer companionship when I was injured.

“I’m not surprised,” he smiled in response, seeing me absolutely elated bringing him joy as well. Your standard ‘I’ll be happy if you’re happy’.

“Have you ever played any of the Smash Brother games before?” I asked him, wondering if he had. “The first one came out in 1999 so maybe you would have had some childhood before skating took over your life,” I giggled slightly, trying to crack a joke but not sure how well it landed.

“I’ve heard of it and I’ve seen gameplay so I know how it works, I just haven’t had the chance to play it before,” he answered, the reply surprising me. I’d expected him to say that he, at the very most, had heard of the name.

“Then today’s your lucky day then,” I stated, my grin growing even larger. I repositioned the box in my hand and jogged over to the television to begin hooking the new gaming console up so we could play. “I’ve done this so many times this shouldn’t take me too long,” I muttered while untangling wires and hooking them into their respective places on the back of the flat screen.

“And huzzah, it’s all hooked up!” I cheered as I turned the system on, the booting screen flashing on the television. I grabbed two of the now hooked up controllers and carried them over with me to the couch where I plopped down and positioned myself comfortably. In my years of playing this, I’ve learned that how you’re sitting can make all the difference.

“My fiance` is a tech genius!” Viktor exclaimed in response to what I had just done.

“Hooking up a Nintendo system for me is easier than you landing a quad flip,” I tried yet another joke, personally feeling better about this one than the one prior.

“It must be pretty easy then,” he commented before moving to join me on the couch. “Considering I can land a quad flip in my sleep,” he continued on, sitting on the couch beside me. “There’s a reason why it’s regarded as my signature move.”

“Do you roughly know how to play this?” I continued to ask him questions as I hit various buttons on the controller to get to start the game.

“Not really but I can figure it out as I go along,” he said with a smile, probably just happy to get to do something with me. Something not heavily strenuous on the body and somewhat relaxing, well relaxing so long as you don’t take it too seriously which is something I can’t promise I’ll do.

“So here’s the character selection screen,” I informed while reaching my arms out so my controller gestured to the television screen. “There’s a lot of characters to choose from but I personally recommend Samus, Zero Suit Samus, or Wii Fit Trainer,” I recommended, personally finding select characters to be good choices for newbies.

I wasn’t surprised to see that he had picked the Wii Fit Trainer. Considering the relationship we have with each other, and the experience I have with the game, he’s inclined to take my word in mind.

“I'll go easy on you for a few matches so you can get a feel for the gameplay,” I smiled a bit while scrolling through the arena options, determining which one would be the easiest for a noob. “I won't baby you forever though because where would the fun in that be?”

“It wouldn't be very fun for you I’m sure,” Viktor agreed, seeming to be fine with that confession of mine. “I can't imagine that it would be very fun if you just creamed my ass every time though,” he added. He also had a point there.

“Hence why I'll gradually become tougher on you the more you get acquainted with the game,” I reminded him, my smile continuing to part my lips. “Ready to start?” I asked him, wanting to make sure he was ready. If there's one thing I've learned over the years of playing with friends is that starting the match without knowing if the others participating are ready is a really dick move. He nodded in response, me hitting a button on the controller to trigger the start of the match.

“Sounds like a plan,” Viktor returned my smiled while repositioning the controller in his hands.

“I'll even give you a minute to play around with the controller, see what does what before I come for you,” I proposed an idea. “Or to even one up that, tell me once you've got the controls figured out then I'll let you take a free hit at me,” I one-upped my previous offer, starting to become somewhat overconfident in my Smash Bros abilities.

The sound of fingers pressing hard against buttons filled the air for a good three minutes or so until I was given the command to approach his character. I was definitely in for a treat, I've never had an opponent I knew I could easily beat. There was the slim chance that I knew I could end up losing, but the chances of Viktor quickly picking up a strategy and being able to do such thing was exactly that, slim.

“I’m actually pretty good at this!” Viktor cheered after he managed to get a couple good hits on me after we had officially started, meaning I was fighting back now and not letting him get free punches on me.

“Not too bad…” I trailed off, focusing on getting myself from one end of the map to the other. “For a beginner.”

“Fair enough since I am a beginner,” Viktor didn't even bother trying to give some sly reply to my almost-taught. “But the student will soon surpass the master,” he insisted while charging across the map in my direction. A big part of my strategy typically involves sprinting from one end of the map to the other then taking the time before my opponent gets to me to charge up an attack. I hit them once they get fairly close to me and it knocks them back a bit, then I repeat the process. Viktor’s never seen me play Smash Brothers before so he's unaware of my game plan.

I wasn't the most familiar with this game in the series since I'd only played it a handful of times, and that was in technology and game stores that had it out for demos, but I'd played pretty much every other game in the line and the mechanics tended to stay relatively similar. I knew enough about it to be able to play well but pick up tricks along the way to really thrive. I'd never be as good as any of the pro gamers but that goes without saying, they treat gaming like a job while I get to play videos two or maybe three times a week? Besides, I'd be better at figure skating than any pro gamer.

“How the hell?” I asked under my breath while looking at a screen that displayed Viktor as the winner.

“Has the student become the master?” Viktor half asked and half taunted me, a sly smile plastered on his lips.

“No, I only lost this time because I was going easy on you,” I insisted, not entirely lying.

“Don't get too cocky, Yuri. That'll be your downfall,” he said before setting up the next game.

And then Viktor won the next match, and the next one, and the next one.

“Viktor, I dare you to win a fight against me without button mashing,” I somewhat snapped. “This whole time I've been using actual strategy, you've just been banging keys on the controller.”

“And what do I get if I win?” Viktor questioned, trying to mooch some kind of reward out of me. I don't blame him for trying to though, if I were in his shoes I'd be doing the very same thing.

“If you win I'll cook dinner,” I answered. “But if I win, you cook dinner.”

“Sounds like a deal to me,” he agreed. “You better have recipes going through your head now because you're going to need them on hand later.”

“Don't get too cocky, Viktor,” I returned his own words from earlier right back to him.

To make things interesting, I set our next, and final, match to the final destination map with only one life to each of us each and no power ups. Just a flat piece of land for the map. I typically go for large maps with lots of platforms to hide out in and charge up attacks, but Viktor has well learned my strategy and has found ways to quickly dismantle it, making it ineffective. He's also started doing the same thing at times, so this is a disadvantage to both of us. Two people with the same disadvantage cancels it out, right?

“What was it that you said earlier about me only winning because you were being easy on me?” He questioned, seeming overjoyed by the fact that he had beat me at something, especially something that I considered myself to be pretty good at.

“Looks like you picked up on this faster than I expected,” I commented.

“Well, Yakov did always say I was a fast learner,” he replied. “So, what's for dinner?”