Yuuri sneezes and sends two top ranked, gold medal winning Russian figure skaters into a minor meltdown.
Objectively, Victor knows that St Petersburg is colder than Hasetsu – he'd looked it up online one evening, laptop balanced precariously on his knees while Makkachin attempted to sprawl himself across two thirds of Victor's lap, and Yuuri had dozed against his shoulder. It's more like the temperatures in Hokkaido, much further North at this time of year. Or so the internet had helpfully told him just before his laptop had crashed to the ground, rudely awakening both dog and fiancé at the same time.
Still, Victor panics when Yuuri starts sneezing and rubbing his hands together at the side of the rink. He handles it better than Yurio, who shows his concern with all the grace of a teenager with their emotional dial set to “angry” by shouting a lot and trying to pour coffee down Yuuri's throat.
“Yuri,” Yakov says, the weight of the world in his tone alone. “Leave Katsuki alone and get back to work.”
“Three weeks,” Yurio snaps, pointing at Yuuri, “Three weeks before the start of the season! He can't get a cold THREE WEEKS before the start of the season!! I have to beat him and it has to be fair and fucking square!!”
“Didn't you already beat him in the Grand Prix?” Mila asks, leaning on the side of the rink. Her phone is in her hands, and she snaps a picture just as Victor sneaks off the ice and behind Yuuri. He drapes his Russian team jacket over Yuuri's shoulders and stares at the way the white and red fabric swamps Yuuri's shoulders. Three inches doesn't sound like a large height difference on paper, but Victor is aware that Yuuri is narrower and more petite where he is broader. Especially in the shoulders. He can feel a possessive, hot clench in his chest at the sight of Yuuri wearing his clothes.
“0.12 POINTS IS NOT A VICTORY!!!” Yuri screeches, earning him a pointed glare from Lilia that zips his mouth shut. Mila leans over to show Victor her phone – the picture of him and Yuuri now uploaded to her Instagram. It already has one hundred likes. Lilia's gaze moves from Yurio, now skimming across the ice like a petite blond thundercloud spilling curse words instead of rain, and focuses on Yuuri.
“Katsuki, are you have trouble adjusting to the temperature in Russia?” she asks, clipped but not disinterested. Yuuri looks like all the sudden attention is overwhelming him a little, and he ducks down into the collar of Victor's jacket but answers politely.
“Ah... a bit. I thought I was doing all right, but maybe I underestimated it.” Lilia nods, thoughtful. Then she claps her hands, sharp and sudden. Yuuri jumps, nearly dislodging the jacket in the process. Victor automatically moves to tug the fabric back up over those narrow, distracting shoulders.
“Come, come. Your ballet teacher was most insistent that you continue your practice here in Russia. If you are done with your training, we shall see if you are worth my time,” she says. “That will warm you up more than standing around at the side of this rink will.” She doesn't bother looking at Yakov for confirmation, which was probably a good thing. Yakov's expression looked a little like he'd just swallowed several lemons.
Yuuri fumbles with the collar of Victor's jacket, glancing between him and Lilia cautiously. Victor takes pity on him, and moves to zip the jacket up. “It's fine. I have my coat,” he says; bright and with a practised wink. Yuuri's eyes go soft and fond all at once over the high collar, and Victor feels that same old clench in his chest as he smoothes his thumbs against Yuuri's jawbone. He's a fool for this man.
Behind them, Yakov clears his throat pointedly. They blink at him.
“Victor, we will focus on your free skate this afternoon. While you're not distracted,” he adds, with a pointed eyebrow raise at the jacket Yuuri is now wearing. Victor squeezes Yuuri's shoulders, and turns to Yakov with a million ruble smile.
“Yes, yes,” he says lightly, patting Yakov on the shoulder when his coach grits his teeth and turns a peculiar shade of red at his tone. He watches Lilia lead Yuuri away; swamped in red and white. “Come now, we don't have all day. Try not to get yourself too worked up, Yakov, it can't be good for your blood pressure.”
He skates onto the ice just in time to avoid an explosive round of yelling from his coach, and takes his starting position on the ice.
Yuuri groans loudly into the sofa cushions, as Victor digs his thumbs into the muscles of his calf. On the floor in front of them Makkachin lets out a sympathetic whine.
“Busy afternoon?” Victor asks, massaging rhythmic circles into the muscle. Yuuri whimpers in a way that does funny things to the pit of Victor's stomach, and turns his head on the sofa cushions.
“Busy afternoon,” he echoes. Victor's hands wander up to the backs of Yuuri's thighs and continue their work there. Yuuri's muscles relax all at once and he melts into the sofa with a near purr. “Ms. Baranovskaya is a tough teacher.”
“She's tough if she sees potential in you,” Victor amends. A bubble of pride worms through his stomach and pops somewhere in his throat. “Congratulations, solnyshko. You've managed to win over both an ex-Bolshoi ballerina, and a Benois de la Danse winning teacher in your 24 years.”
Yuuri scoffs, and rolls over. Victor sits back, and lets his hands run along the circumference of his thigh, coming to a comfortable stop at the upper junction just under his groin. They sit together in comfortable silence, until Yuuri breaks it.
“How different is winning a gold medal to winning a silver?” he asks, after a pause. Victor tilts his head at him inquisitively: “Ms. Baranovskaya kept saying something about refining me into gold medal winner. I came close before, but if she sees something lacking in me...”
Victor leans forward and taps his index finger against Yuuri's lips. “Are you insulting my abilities as a coach, darling?” he asks, deceptively sweet. Yuuri's panicked flailing warms his heart, and completely ruins his attempt at disapproval when he ends up smiling instead. Yuuri frowns and nips at his finger lightly. “You aren't lacking any more than Yurio is. It sounds more like she sees untapped potential in you.”
Victor leans his elbows gently on Yuuri's thighs, and runs a hand teasingly under the fabric of his t-shirt. “Untapped. I'm not a ballerina as you are. There are aspects she can add to your routines that I might not think of.” He pats Yuuri's stomach, and rests his palm flat against warm skin. “I would recommend staying on her good side.”
“I don't plan on intentionally annoying her. But she's kind of intimidating...” Yuuri admits haltingly, entangling his fingers into Victor's shirt. “... By the way, I still have your jacket. It's in the bedroom.”
Victor hums, content. “Did it keep you warm?”
“Yes. Thank you,” Yuuri tugs once, and Victor leans down obligingly for a kiss. It's soft, warm and welcoming, and he can't help stealing one, two, three more and nuzzles his nose against Yuuri's until he's batted away. “You should keep it, until you are used to all this cold weather. I'm more used to it than you are.”
Yuuri props himself up on his elbows and squints thoughtfully. Victor kisses him between the eyes, and laughs delightedly when he goes a little cross eyed and flops backwards.
“It's fine, Yuuri,” he repeats. It's not an entirely charitable suggestion. The thought of Yuuri showing up to practice with his white-and-red jacket hanging off his shoulders and draped over his hands satisfies something deeply possessive in Victor. Or it does, until Yuuri shakes his head firmly. “No, I should give it back. I can't keep stealing your jacket whenever I'm cold,” he says, ignoring the way Victor pouts, “Besides, I'm not part of the Russian team. You are.”
“But you look good in my clothes,” Victor insists, whining and clinging like a limpet. Yuuri wiggles and laughs. “You should wear them more often. I have more jackets you could wear. Until we can go and buy you more of your own.”
He must sound pathetically desperate, as Yuuri gives in and agrees in what feels like record time. Victor peppers his face with grateful kisses, until Yuuri is laughing softly and rolling his shoulders to ease out the last of the aches there. Victor takes pity on him. He hooks his arms under Yuuri's body and lifts him with the practised ease of someone who has trained athletically for over half his life. The ache of his own muscles is a reminder of just how busy his own day has been as well.
“Come on. Time for a bath; it'll ease those sore muscles of yours. It's no hot springs, but I'm sure we'll make do.” Yuuri makes a squeaky sort of sound and throws his arms around Victor's neck to steady himself. Victor grins.
“We could bathe together!”
“I thought this was supposed to be to help my muscles, not your duel bathing fantasies.”
“I can help with that too!”
No one comments when Yuuri shows up to practice draped in a zip-up hoodie tailored for someone much broader than he is. Which is a surprise, really.
Mila waggles her eyebrows at Victor significantly with an obvious thumbs up. Victor offers her one in kind but doesn't take his eyes off the way Yuuri skates slow circles around the rink to warm up; the length of his sleeves hanging over the tips of his fingers in a way that makes Victor feel a little giddy.
Yurio shadows him on the ice. He gives Victor a disbelieving look on his first circle, and one that silently proclaims he is embarrassed and insulted to know both of them on his second. Victor ignores him.
Yakov doesn't say anything. He just sighs, claps his hands pointedly and attempts to wrangle some sort of organisation out of the morning training session.
Letting Yuuri study with Lilia to improve his form and choreography unfortunately means that he doesn't really see Yuuri very often. Not in a non-coach format, at least. Once he's done coaching Yuuri through the technical aspects of his routines, Lilia is already hovering over his shoulder ready to swoop Yuuri out of the rink and into her ballet studio until she deemed him done for the day.
Victor hates coming back to an empty apartment. Even though it isn't technically empty - Makkachin is more than happy to make up for the Yuuri shaped gap in his evenings with affectionate cheek licks and nuzzles. He's been spoiled, coming home with Yuuri every day, or coming back to an apartment full of life rather than dark and cold. Even when Yuuri gets home before Victor he's usually curled up on the sofa napping after a long day.
It's lonely. Victor had forgotten what that felt like. It makes him clingy, and possessive when he can grab some of Yuuri's time. Yuuri doesn't seem to mind; just as willing to curl around Victor on their days off and bury his face in the crook of Victor's neck. He lets Victor press kisses to his collarbone and bite fresh bruises over fading ones as they lay there, lazy and sleepy. They kiss and Yuuri sighs into Victor's mouth, soft and warm. Victor knows they both miss their shared moments, and the way they share their space in the evenings and on rest days.
Victor has a list – a mental one that he adds and forgets things from it everyday. All the things he wants to do when they next have a proper break, of weeks rather than days. He wants to take Yuuri around St Petersburg and show him all the things worth knowing about his new home. To go out for dinner at his favourite restaurants and show Yuuri the best things about Russian cuisine in the same the way Yuuri had showed him what made Japanese food so good. To skate around the rink at night, when no one else is there and no one to shout at them for wasting time when he grabs Yuuri around the waist and spins them wildly until they fall into a tangle of laughter and limbs.
Victor sighs. He wraps his arms around Yuuri and presses his lips to Yuuri's forehead. It'll be worth it, to see all the ways Yuuri has improved outside of what Victor can teach him. When they're both skating on the ice as both rivals and a team. He can't wait.
But, really, he just wants Yuuri. All of him, whenever he wants. Not when they're not too tired, or when they're both free for an hour here and there. He can wait a few more months though.
The apartment is dark when Victor gets home. There's a message on his phone from mid-afternoon, telling him that Yuuri would be late home that evening. Victor had chosen to stay at the rink after everyone had gone home for the evening, skating lazy, thoughtful circles on the ice. When the cold had seeped into his bones and tiredness was pulling at the corners of his eyes Victor had packed up his things and headed home. The beat of his new free skate routine had carried his feet in arcs and loops of instrumental music, all the way to his front door.
The scrabble of claws on floor greets him. Victor happily lets Makkachin headbutt his knees for a few moments, reaching down to ruffle the fur between his ears.
“This is reminiscent of the old days, hmm?” he muses. He freezes when he hear scuffling from the bedroom, and relaxes all at once when Yuuri's voice follows it.
“I'm home, solnyshko!” Victor calls, smile widening when Yuuri's face peeks out from around their bedroom door. He holds out his arms for a hug. His smile morphs into a pout when Yuuri hesitates.
“I...” he frowns, glancing back into the bedroom. When he looks back, his eyes are determined. “Give me half a minute? I won't be long, I promise.”
“Yes, yes,” Victor waves a hand. He's been Yuuri-less since early morning, an extra 30 seconds won't hurt. “But I will expect plenty of compensation kisses!” His smile grows wide and heart-shaped at Yuuri's relieved expression. Yuuri disappears from sight, only to clatter into view again seconds later. His collar is notably bare from what Victor can see around the door. “You have to close your eyes!” he demands, staring hard at Victor until he places a hand over his heart and raises the other in acquiescence.
Yuuri's smile almost lights up the room, and he vanishes from sight again. Victor switches on a couple of lights around the living room, and flops onto the sofa with a heavy, relaxed sigh; eyes closed as promised. He's just beginning to feel the stresses of the day seep out of his bones, when he finds himself with a lap full of Yuuri and a warm hand pressed over his eyes.
“I still can't look?” Victor pouts, grasping Yuuri's wrist. Yuuri laughs, a little breathless and nervous. “No. Just... give me a minute, okay?” He shifts his weight, and Victor feels something thud softly against his chest. When he touches it, it feels cool.
“Okay.” Yuuri's hand pulls away from Victor's eyes. “You can look now.”
“Good! I was starting to worry what all the secrecy was abou--”
Victor trails off, words vanishing like a puff of smoke along with his higher functions. Yuuri perches on his lap, one of Victor's dark shirts swamping his torso (and it would, Victor thinks a little hazily through the hot static of his preoccupied mind, that shirt had been tailored for one of his suits and little things like this like to remind him sharply and hotly just how narrow Yuuri's shoulders are compared to his) and clinging black underwear that leaves exactly nothing to Victor's whirring imagination. One of his hard won silver medals hangs around his neck. Yuuri's skin is flushed pink from his cheekbones to his collarbones, his hair slicked back like he's about to skate onto the ice and perform. Everything about him entrances Victor like a man possessed.
His hands raise and rest against the jut of Yuuri's hipbones and his thumbs smooth and dig into the soft skin there.
“So, we may have a rest day tomorrow. Surprise?” Yuuri says, with a sheepish shrug. Victor just stares at him. “I had a word with Mr Feltman and Ms Baranovskaya, and they agreed to give us a day off from training.” He babbles, biting at his lower lip nervously. “... And it would be really great if you could say something right now, I already feel a bit stupid like this.”
He trails off when Victor inhales and exhales a stream of desperate Russian – most of it filth, but Yuuri doesn't know enough of the language to understand what he's saying thank god. He pulls Yuuri towards him by his hips, and wraps his arms around Yuuri's waist.
“I am a spoiled man,” he says. Yuuri laughs - it turns into a surprised moan when Victor bites his collarbone and trails nipping kisses across his shoulder. “What did I do to deserve this treat?” Victor asks when he can bring himself to remove his mouth from Yuuri's skin.
“Well, I...” the blush has spread down Yuuri's chest, and his arms wrap around Victor's shoulders like an anchor. “I missed you,” he says honestly, and Victor swears he can feel his heart swell three sizes and give a heavy thump in his chest. “A lot. It's stupid, it's not like we're on opposite sides of the world or anything. But I really missed you.” He shrugs a little helplessly, and Victor knows.
“Me too.” Victor runs his hands through Yuuri's hair and tugs. It's not a hard tug, but Yuuri lets out a deliciously shaky moan anyway, and it pools in Victor's stomach all the way to his toes. He smiles like a besotted fool at Yuuri's flushed, lidded stare – which is fitting, because he shamelessly is. “I've missed you, my lovely Yuuri.”
Yuuri looks a little besotted too. He leans down to press warm kisses to Victor's lips, like he could swallow his words and get drunk on them. They kiss and trail bruising bites across delicate skin until Victor can feel the flush in his own cheeks. His arms tighten around Yuuri's waist, and he grinds their hips together. The sound that escapes Yuuri zips through him like lightning, straight to his cock.
“Yuuri,” Victor breathes, heavy against Yuuri's lips. He tugs on the medal around Yuuri's neck, pulling him closer like he's leashed to a collar. “I want you, just like this.” Breathless and beautiful; wrapped in Victor's clothes, and leaving that deeply possessive part of him feeling satiated and smug like an overly contented cat at the sight of him. “Can I have you?” he pushes his hand through Yuuri's hair, damp with sweat, “Please, Yuuri.”
Yuuri's eyes go hot, his pupils blown wide. Victor thinks this might rank as one of the most attractive things he's ever experienced in his life, as Yuuri digs his nails into Victor's back. Even through the fabric of his training clothes, Victor can feel the bite of them. Yuuri winds a hand through his hair, and tugs just enough to tilt Victor's head back. “Shirt off,” he near purrs, voice low and just a little shaky, “And we'll go from there.”
Somehow, in the scramble of hands and Yuuri's attempts to speed the process along, Victor loses his jacket. And his shirt. And gains a trail of love bites from the centre of his chest down to his navel, as well as a healthy appreciation for the different ways Yuuri can bend his body. He tucks him close and rolls so that he's pressing Yuuri into the sofa cushions, covering him with his body and warmth.
Victor leans down to kiss Yuuri's smile again, but finds himself bumping his nose into smooth silver instead. Yuuri's eyes are narrowed, but happy.
“I was thinking,” he begins, as Victor shifts so he's supporting his weight on his forearms either side of Yuuri's head. The confidence in Yuuri's eyes and body are still new and exciting, and Victor is more than happy to bask in any open exposure to it he can get. “With the new season coming up, I might be upgrading this-” his finger rubs the end of his Grand Prix medal “-for something a little more golden. And I hoped I could get you to change about kissing anything less than a gold medal before then.”
“And if I don't want to change my mind?” Victor asks.
Yuuri presses his medal over his mouth; blocking any attempts to steal kisses around it. His eyes are bright with humour, and Victor is so in love with this man. He presses their foreheads together. “Are you trying to bribe me to kiss your medal, solnyshko?” he asks, covering Yuuri's hand with his own and pulling the medal away from Yuuri's lips. For a moment, Yuuri looks like he wants to argue, but he falls silent when Victor presses a kiss to the skin-warmed silver instead. He curls his a hand into the pooling fabric of his shirt and slides the other around the back of Yuuri's head to pull him up off the sofa.
“If you win gold--” he murmurs inbetween a string of kisses “-- that would mean you would be standing above me on the podium.” Yuuri's hands cling to his shoulders to keep him upright, and Victor's arms slide around Yuuri's back. Victor likes the idea of that – standing next to Yuuri on the podium, silver in his hands instead of gold. It would be new; it would be different.
“If I win gold,” Yuuri exhales, squeezing his hands against Victor's shoulders. Victor can feel the press of his engagement ring against his skin. “Then you'll have to fulfil that promise to marry me, you know.” And Victor shivers a little at the thought. Looking at his ring is still exciting; calling Yuuri his fiancé even more so. Marrying him, properly and officially, twists his heart in wonderful ways. He slides an arm lower down Yuuri's waist and lifts their hips, rolling them together until Yuuri is flushed and gasping.
“Nyet,” Victor lowers them both back to the sofa, frames Yuuri's head with his arms again and rocks them together slow and strong; swallowing the sounds from the back of Yuuri's throat inbetween kisses and words. “If you win gold; if I win gold. If neither of us win gold.” Yuuri's breath catches in the back of his throat at the emphasis in his words, and his hands fumble blindly with the front of Victor's trousers. He manages to hook his thumbs under the band of both Victor's trousers and underwear and tugs both down desperately. He stills just long enough for Victor get a hand inbetween their bodies and pull Yuuri's boxers over his hips and down his thighs, sighing in relief when Victor lowers his weight against him.
Victor slides a hand down Yuuri's thigh and tugs it around his waist; his other arm tight around Yuuri's body and hand grasping into the dark, damp fabric across his back.
“Shh,” Victor breathes, raising his head to watch the way Yuuri's chest rises and falls. He's beautiful – flushed and dazed beneath him. Victor's shirt is damp against Yuuri's skin, clinging to the crooks of his elbows and everything that Victor wants is right here in this room, on this sofa. He wants to give Yuuri everything.
“--I, Victor I want--” Victor presses his palm against Yuuri's cock, and Yuuri cuts himself off and his back arches beautifully againt the sofa cushions. His arms cling to Victor's back, and Victor shifts just enough to curl and stroke in a slow, steady rhythm until Yuuri shivers and shakes himself apart with a sound like music to Victor's ears.
Mila raises her phone, and tilts it from side to side. Her camera shutter clicks loudly when she takes a picture. She tilts the phone, allowing Victor to lean forward and examine it.
He can feel the ache of the bruise on his neck even without seeing it. But seeing it certainly is something. It peeks just over the collar of his t-shirt, unashamedly large and purple. Victor runs his fingers over it as he appraises the picture, and remembers clinging arms, trembling muscles and teeth sinking into his skin. The sound of breathy sighs in his ear and damp cloth and warm skin under his hands.
“What did you two do? Maul each other for 36 hours?” Mila asks with a raised eyebrow, shaking her phone to snap Victor out of his daydreams. He hums, low and content. “Something like that.”
Mila whistles at him, and twists the phone back to examine the picture herself.
Victor turns back to the skaters on the rink; wagging his fingers cheerily at Yurio when he skids to a halt in front of him, all apoplectic teenage anger and disbelief. In the background, Yuuri skates figure-of-eights as if on autopilot. His jacket is too big for him, and the collar hangs low on his neck. A sharp row of dark and possessive kiss marks lines his collarbones like a necklace; one that Victor takes almost as much pride in as his and Yuuri's cabinet of medals.
“Hmm?” Victor tunes back into Yurio's ranting just as he sighs explosively. The finger thrusted into Victor's face makes him go a little cross-eyed. It's disorientating.
“I swear to god, Victor,” Yurio hisses; puffed and angry like a spitting cat. “Colds, flu, ridiculous sex marathons-” Mila gasps, covering her mouth in fake shock and earns a sharp sneer for her troubles, “If anything happens and he can't compete, I'M BLAMING YOU.”
Victor folds his arms on the rink side and smiles dangerously, “I can promise he'll avoid two out of three.” Yurio's face twists from shock, to surprise, to default Plisetsky anger and he kicks off from barrier and shoots across the ice like Victor has some of disease and he's afraid to catch it. He whirls past Yuuri in a blur of blond hair, ice chips and incoherent savage muttering.
Yuuri stares after him. He turns back to look back at Victor, and smiles. When he waves, Victor's sleeves slip down over his hand to reveal a flash of gold. Victor smiles and waves back, like a besotted fool in love.
“This is so going on Instagram,” Mila grins, stepping back to catch the two of them, silly and stupid, in her camera field.