Viktor Nikiforov is too nosy for his own good.
“Hey,” he says, propping himself up on one elbow, “Yuuri,” and when Yuuri glances at him, Viktor’s eyes sparkle ice-blue and sharply curious.
“Hmm?” Yuuri asks, sleepy, not wanting to wake up. Viktor runs the pad of his thumb over Yuuri’s lower lip, and Yuuri kisses it, closes his eyes again. “Go back to sleep, Viktor.”
“But Yuuri,” Viktor sighs, Yuuri’s name all singing rhythm in his voice, and Yuuri sighs right back.
“If you never had a partner,” Viktor murmurs, soft and teasing and sweet, “how come you’re so good at kissing, huh?”
Yuuri cracks open one eye. Scowls at Viktor. “None of your business,” he says, and, “if you you think I’m so good at kissing why don’t you come back here?”
“I will,” Viktor tells him, “in a minute. When you tell me where you learned to kiss like that, sweetheart.”
“I told you,” Yuuri says, “it’s none of your business, Nikiforov.”
“Hmm,” Viktor says thoughtfully. Skates his fingertips light down Yuuri’s cheek, his collarbone and chest. Reaches Yuuri’s bare ribs and drifts his fingers slow and intent over Yuuri’s skin, the promise of something to come. “Let me guess. Yuko.”
“No,” Yuuri says, trying to sound firm. Viktor’s fingers flutter a little lighter, and Yuuri squirms.
“No, oh my god,” Yuuri yelps, and arches his spine as if he’ll be able to get away from Viktor’s tickling. “Stop, stop! I told you, it’s none of your damn business! Stop being so nosy, Viktor.”
“Oh,” Viktor says, and his eyes light up. Hands pausing on Yuuri’s sides. “I know who it is.”
“Really,” Yuuri says, sulky. “Go on, then.”
“Phichit,” Viktor says airily, smiling down at him, and Yuuri’s ready to deny it when he feels his cheeks flame traitorously crimson.
Of course it’s Phichit. They were roommates and rinkmates, spent years living in each other’s pockets, navigating the foreignness of Detroit. It’s only natural that they would have-
Well. They’re a little drunk, is how it starts. Not really drunk enough to make any difference, when it comes down to it. A dorm party Phichit had dragged Yuuri along to, and three beers in Yuuri’s discovered he’s not having such a terrible time as he might have thought. He’s still uncomfortable trying to speak English to all these Americans, is hanging in the corner watching Phichit take selfies with what might be the entire college volleyball team. It's not so bad. Even kind of fun, although the beer tastes awful.
“Hi,” an American girl says to him. Smiles sweet and a little shy. She has green eyes and she is very pretty and Yuuri thinks, maybe, she might be in his statistics class.
“Uh,” he says. “Hi.” Clutches his red plastic cup like it’s a lifeline, and she’s talking to him, oh god, this is very awkward and very difficult and Yuuri feels like he suddenly has about five thousand more limbs and does not know where to put any of them.
“You’re a skater, right?” she asks. “I mean, a figure skater? Not skateboarding.”
“Yes,” he says. “Yes. I’m, uh. A figure skater. Detroit is my home rink.”
“So, you must be pretty good at dancing,” she says, moving in a little closer. Yuuri isn’t sure what to say.
“No,” he says honestly, “last week I tripped over my own feet in practice. I still have bruises here.” Touches his hip, and she laughs. Tilts her head, twirls a strand of hair around her finger.
“Oh, come on, I’m sure you’re great.”
“I don’t really…” You’re very pretty, Yuuri means, but I’m not… I… He struggles for words. Goes to sip his drink to cover his flustered confusion, except suddenly it’s finished, and his throat is dry, his cheeks burning red. And then, thank everything, Phichit is bouncing back to him, eyes bright.
“We better go, huh, Yuuri,” he says, “early training tomorrow.”
“Yeah,” Yuuri agrees, horribly relieved. “Yeah, we better… I’ll see you in class?”
“Okay,” she agrees. Looks a little disappointed, maybe, and Yuuri can’t help but think it’s for the best. He doesn’t have time. If he wants to make it to the Grand Prix Finals before he’s too old, he doesn’t have time for any of this.
It just. It might have been nice. Perhaps not with her - perhaps not with girls at all, Yuuri admits to himself, staring up into the darkness of their dorm room - but he’s almost twenty-one and he’s never even kissed anyone. Maybe it would be nice.
“Can’t sleep?” Phichit asks, like he can hear all Yuuri’s busy thoughts whirling in his head, and Yuuri sighs, turns on his side. Ignores the pain of his bruises where he did, in fact, fall, and badly.
“No,” he admits, “I…”
“Sorry if I interrupted you back there,” Phichit says, sounding a little concerned. Regretful, maybe. Yuuri shakes his head.
“No!” he says, “not at all, I- I was glad you did.”
“Still,” Phichit says. Reaches out and switches on a lamp, and Yuuri squints at the sudden light before Phichit is suddenly landing mostly on top of him, clutching his pillow. “Shove over, it’s cold.” Yuuri moves over obediently to make space, and Phichit wiggles down under the covers, starts doing a leg stretch absent-mindedly. Rests his head on Yuuri’s shoulder as he scrolls through Instagram. They’ve been friends for long enough now that Phichit understands Yuuri’s anxieties, knows physical contact helps to calm his thought process into something manageable. It’s. Nice, Yuuri thinks, and shifts his arm so Phichit can curl in a little closer. He can smell the alcohol still on Phichit’s breath under the fresh mint of his toothpaste, although he doesn’t seem drunk. Early training tomorrow, they’re both responsible about it. Probably just a couple of beers, same as Yuuri, even though technically neither of them are old enough to drink here regardless of the rules in their home countries. The American college experience, Yuuri thinks, and it’s not like they’re going to get in trouble. Probably.
“I think she’s on social media, if you want to make friends with her,” Phichit offers. Switches legs to stretch the other one, bending his knee back towards his shoulder like it’s effortless. “You want me to give you her account details?”
“No,” Yuuri says, and struggles to articulate what it is that he’s thinking. It’s complicated by not being entirely sure what he’s thinking, like, is it too much to admit he’s maybe not into girls, or… “I- I’m not sure I- I don’t want to lead her on?”
“Kissing’s not leading on,” Phichit shrugs, and Yuuri bites his lip.
“I’ve never actually…”
“Oh!” Phichit says, surprised. Puts his phone down on Yuuri’s chest and just looks at Yuuri for a second or two, eyes wide. Leans in and kisses the tip of Yuuri’s nose. His lips are dry, a little chapped, like maybe he’s been out in the Detroit winter too often without lip balm. “There you go,” he says easily, and Yuuri blinks. “Now you’ve been kissed.”
“That doesn’t really count,” Yuuri says, feeling contrary. “I mean, what if I finally find someone and I’m terrible? I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
“Well,” Phichit says seriously. “What you need is some practice. It’s just like skating, you can’t expect to be good at it the first time you get out on the ice.”
“Right,” Yuuri agrees morosely, “okay.” With all the time I don’t have, he thinks, all the time I should be practising for something else, and Phichit pokes him in the ribs.
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself,” he tells Yuuri, “it’s hardly like I have a lot of experience. Hey, you know what.”
“What,” Yuuri says through a yawn. Feeling a little embarrassed, a little sleepy. It’s late. They have early training tomorrow. Phichit pokes him in the ribs again, hard, and Yuuri yelps. “What, what, I’m paying attention.”
“We should,” Phichit says, like it’s a great idea.
“What,” Yuuri says again, flatly. Phichit shrugs.
“We’re friends, right? We’re practice buddies on the ice, it just makes sense. Are you saying you don’t wanna kiss me, Yuuri Katsuki? Just pretend I’m Viktor, right? Oh, Yuuri, I’m the beautiful silver prince of skating, I’ve been dreaming of you for so long.” He flings the back of his hand over his forehead, swoons dramatically back against the pillow and strikes a languid pose, and Yuuri grabs his own pillow, smacks Phichit with it.
“Shut up,” he laughs, “shut up, oh my god, I don’t dream of Viktor.”
“You do,” Phichit says, “don’t lie. It’s okay. I don’t mind all the posters. But seriously, you don’t want to?”
“I…” Yuuri starts. Swallows hard, suddenly struggling to look anywhere except Phichit’s mouth. Watches as Phichit licks his lips. He’s not wearing his glasses; Phichit is a little blurry in the soft light, sweet and pretty and Yuuri’s best friend, fuck. “I don’t- where would we start?”
“Like this,” Phichit shrugs, and sits up, cups Yuuri’s cheek briefly with his palm. “Tilt your face sideways a little. Yeah, like that. Now lean in and close your eyes.” Yuuri follows the instructions obediently. Blood rushing in his ears, and he leans in, feels Phichit’s lips brush against his. It’s okay, Yuuri thinks. It’s nothing to write home about. He leans a little closer, parts his lips, and his teeth scrape against Phichit’s mouth.
“Sorry,” he says, mortified. Pulls away. “Fuck, sorry.”
“It’s fine,” Phichit laughs. “Try again.”
This time, Yuuri keeps his eyes open. Touches his fingertips to Phichit’s jaw, very carefully, and seals his mouth over Phichit’s, kisses him the way Yuuri thinks he would like to be kissed. Soft and slow, like they have all the time in the world, and he gets a little braver, opens his mouth, licks a little along Phichit’s lower lip. Phichit’s lips fall open, his tongue sliding against Yuuri’s, and oh, right, Yuuri sees now what all the fuss is about. Phichit makes a sweet little noise in the back of his throat, or maybe it’s Yuuri, moaning quietly into the kiss, and when they break apart they’re both breathing a little hard.
“See,” Phichit whispers, “like that.”
Yuuri is still touching Phichit’s chin. “I don’t think I quite got it,” he says, feeling daring, “come here,” and this time he lets himself slide his fingers along Phichit’s jaw, just the edge of stubble where Phichit might need to shave soon, and wraps his hand around the nape of Phichit’s neck to pull him in.
They kiss until their lips are swollen. Drunk on it, giddy and laughing, and all of the nerves in Yuuri’s body feel like they’re sparking. Like he’s just skated a flawless routine, breathing heavy, and then Phichit gets him flat on his back, kisses his way down Yuuri’s throat and leaves a livid bite mark on the tender skin below his ear.
“I don’t think we should…” Yuuri gets out, and Phichit shakes his head.
“Just kissing,” he agrees seriously, “but it’s fun, right?”
It’s so much fun. So much fun, Yuuri understands what he’s been missing. Apparently love bites count as ‘just kissing’, based on what Phichit’s doing to his collarbone, and Yuuri wants to feel nothing but this feeling forever.
“So,” Phichit murmurs once they’re winding down, curled around each other in Yuuri’s narrow twin bed. It’s kind of a conscious effort not to rub up against each other, if Yuuri’s being honest; he likes Phichit a lot, and this much kissing, well, it’s just. It’s had an effect.
“You think the great and beautiful Viktor Nikiforov would kiss you like that?”
“No,” Yuuri says, rolling his eyes. “And I wasn’t thinking about him, actually.”
“He’d probably be a pillow princess,” Phichit agrees lightly, and then they have to look up the unfamiliar term so Yuuri can learn some new English.
“He would not,” he squawks once they’ve figured it out. “But I wasn’t thinking about him, I swear.”
“Yeah, yeah. We should, um. We could do this again, sometime?”
“Yes, please,” Yuuri says, exhausted and happy and honest, feeling too good to overthink this. Yawns widely, and presses his face into Phichit’s shoulder. “Maybe not at three am before early training, next time?”
“Coach Celestino is going to kill us both,” Phichit says mournfully, and that turns out to be one hundred percent accurate.
They stay makeout buddies for years, whenever they’re bored or a bit drunk or just interested in spending a lazy free afternoon kissing sticky-sweet in the golden warmth of summer. They even fool around a little, and it’s fun in the way that hanging out with Phichit is always fun, not because Phichit is sweet and carefree – although he is, of course he is – but because they’ve got the kind of friendship where they can go from bemoaning the impossibility of landing a triple Lutz to figuring out exactly how Phichit likes it when Yuuri bites at his earlobe to navigating all the weirdnesses of American cultural traditions neither of them understand.
And that’s why Yuuri’s reticent about sharing the details with Viktor; it’s not like he and Phichit were in love, or in a relationship like Yuuri and Viktor somehow seem to be, but that doesn’t make it any less important, and Yuuri holds it in his heart very fondly.
“I don’t kiss and tell,” he says with dignity, stoically and categorically ignoring Viktor’s huge stupid puppydog eyes.
“Nooo,” Viktor complains dramatically. Collapses down onto the pillow next to him. “Just a little detail, Yuuri. Tell me about your first kiss. Was it at a party? Like in the American movies? Did you have those awful cups? Were you both terribly drunk and sweet and youthful?”
“What is this, the Viktor Nikiforov teenage wet dream? I don’t go interrogating you about Christophe, do I?” Yuuri points out. Viktor makes a noise that’s supposed to sound dismissive and comes out vaguely choked.
“What about me and Christophe?”
“Oh, come on, you can’t tell me you’ve never…” Yuuri says, and catches how Viktor goes faintly pink. “Yeah, there you go. Come on, stop pestering me for details and take advantage of what you’ve got, would you?”
He waits until Viktor is spread out beneath him, breathless, before he leans in. Considers Viktor very thoughtfully.
“You know,” he murmurs hotly into Viktor’s ear, “Phichit did always say you’d be a pillow princess,” and the sound Viktor makes is so extremely ungraceful that Yuuri might die laughing. It’s only what Viktor deserves, being so nosy.