A/N: Hello, people!
I don't own Yuri on Ice.
I have no beta.
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Yuuri's favorite song was playing. Yuuri loved the song with everything in him. And of course Victor would get incredibly sappy and play it in the middle of a rain shower. It had been the song they danced to at their wedding after all.
The summer evening was warm and the rain merely served to cool everything down. Victor was tugging him out onto their balcony as the music called to them from their bedroom. Something they had made a habit of doing over the years.
Yuuri was twirled around and carefully dipped in time with the music. He laughed as the warm rain hit his face.
He and Victor had quickly became soaked, yet neither had decided to save themselves from the downpour. Not when they had so few moments to really enjoy their time together.
If anything, Yuuri could console himself with the fact that his husband remembered him most of the time and that he still cared about Yuuri in his own way, when he did. That he would even go so far as to do things like this in an attempt to keep Yuuri close like always.
"I love you, Yuuri," Victor said, voice full of that love and recognition that Yuuri so missed. What he wished he could feel every day and not just at random moments.
"I love you too, Vitya."
They danced for several moments more, even when they became cold, and even as the sky grew darker and darker.
"Oi! Victor, Katsudon, why are you out in the damn rain? It's cold! You could get fucking sick! We can't afford that shit right now!"
Yuuri turned and smiled at Yurio. He was a lot older now and more mature. Married and looking to adopt even. But just as brash and mouthy as ever. He hadn't changed, for which Yuuri was grateful. He needed some normalcy in his life. Victor had accidentally taken the 'never ending surprises' thing too literally, and Yuuri couldn't help but plead for something common anymore.
Yuuri tugged on Victor's hand gently and said in what he hoped was a soft but coaxing tone, "Let's go get warmed up, Vitya."
In that second, Yuuri knew that something had gone horribly wrong. The light of happiness in Victor's eyes drained away, and was replaced with something else. Fear. Something Yuuri was getting used to seeing on his husband's face.
Victor dropped Yuuri's hand as if he'd been burned and stepped away, pressing both of his hands to his chest as his eyes grew wide with panic. "Who are you?"
Yuuri could feel his heart fracture. His glass heart taking another beating and barely managing to stay intact.
A look at Yurio showed equal sadness and resignation.
Yurio had to take Victor inside, because Victor remembered him… but not his own husband. They didn't want Victor to fall into a panic attack again. Not after he hurt himself during the last one. That wasn't something that Yuuri would wish on anyone.
The rain did a perfect job of masking Yuuri's tears.
Yuuri slept alone that night.
When Yuuri awoke the next morning, he found himself staring at a white ceiling instead of the brown one he'd fallen asleep staring at. With a frown on his face, he sat up, and was stunned to not feel any pain in any part of his body as he did so. It had been years since he'd been able to sit up in bed without back pain.
This was not his room.
Rather, it wasn't his current room. He hadn't been in this particular room in over thirty years. Not since he was still in university and was rooming with Phichit.
His old dorm. The one he'd shared with Phichit back in Detroit. Back in a place he hadn't been to in a really long time.
Yuuri decided that he must be in a dream. No pain and old memories that seemed so new like they'd happened yesterday. How could it not be a dream? There was no pain in dreams, and everything always seemed so realistic.
"Hey, Yuuri! Seems you finally woke up, huh?"
Yuuri turned and found Phichit smiling at him from his own bed. The other's trio of hamsters were wiggling in their pen not afar off as their owner fiddled around on his laptop. Phichit looked young and spritely. Healthy and whole once again.
It had been a long time since he'd seen Phichit looking so good. He almost forgot what perfect health looked like.
"You slept all day. We couldn't get you to budge an inch, so Ciao Ciao just told us to let you rest. He said you would need it. He gave the rest of us the day off as well, so thanks for that!"
Yuuri winced as he stood. He was having a pretty thorough dream if Celestino and Phichit and his old dorm from Detroit were making an appearance. What kind of subconscious desires did this reveal, wondered Yuuri. Was he longing for the good old days?
"Are you okay?" Phichit asked, face a complete show of concern for his friend.
"I'm fine," Yuuri murmured. And truly, he was fine. Physically at least. He even stretched to his toes just to prove it. Not an ounce of pain involved as he laid his hands flat against the hardwood floor. A position he hadn't been able to take in years.
"Well, just know that tomorrow your work continues. As you got into the Grand Prix Final, Ciao Ciao wants you to practice hard for the upcoming competition."
The Finals in Sochi. In Russia. Where Victor was from. Where Victor would be. Where Yuuri had failed. Yuuri barely withheld a groan at the reminder of such a dark time in his life.
He hated to think about Sochi and what had happened back then. Why was he putting himself through this in his own damn dream?
"You'll be going up against your idol and I want you to crush him, Yuuri! Prove that you don't need super cool Quads to win!"
Yuuri spared his friend a smile. Phichit was such an excitable thing. Yuuri found himself enjoying the other's spunk. He'd missed it so much.
"I'll do my best," promised Yuuri, deciding to play along with the dream for now. "Though in the Senior division, Quads are basically the only way to get extra points, so I'll have to try at least. I'll get the base points if I get the rotations in, and that's what matters."
"Meh! If you say so."
Yes, Yuuri would play along with it. Sort of.
And why shouldn't he? It was his dream. Yuuri got to control his actions and reactions, or so he assumed. That was how dreams went after all.
Yuuri's theme for his season had been Saṃsāra. Considering his current predicament and how unsure he was of just what was going on and how long this dream was going to last, Yuuri would say that it seemed to fit the current him more than it did thirty years ago.
A twenty-two year old skating to the theme of rebirth was probably not right.
And endless cycle of life and rebirth. That's what he was feeling in any case. At the moment. He'd never felt it when he was actually competing under the theme though. Right now it was as if he was a new person, and in a way he was. New body, but with old experiences ingrained in the mind.
And when he stepped on the ice that day, he felt different. Not like he had in his life during the present time.
Skating had lost its appeal the more Victor lost himself to Dementia, and Yuuri found himself no longer having fun without his husband. Also, his old body just didn't agree with him like it used too. Yuuri had quit much to Victor's ire. He hadn't touched ice in half a decade.
This time, his body was young and he wasn't in pain. So when he stepped on the ice, he felt free. Free from everything. From the stress of his body. From the fear of failing with his body. From the pain of losing his husband. From the gossip of everyone around him.
Without paying his old rinkmates any mind, Yuuri had glided into a warm up easily, throwing himself into old memories and just letting himself be overtaken. A time for him and the ice to hash out their differences, and for Yuuri to take back what he loved.
He did laps. He did figures. He simply glided for the old feeling of freedom.
Without even realizing it, he'd gone for and nailed a Quad Salchow without even a blink. Not a care in the world. The relief in his body as he stuck the landing. The pure elation over being able to move properly again after so long. He wouldn't trade it for the world. If only his Victor could see him now.
Could see the rejuvenation of his love of skating. He'd really missed it.
Sliding to a halt, the brunet looked over to Phichit, who was standing beside Celestino. Both were gaping at him, shocked by what they had seen. He realized his error then. Twenty-two year old Yuuri shouldn't have been able to land a Quad Salchow with his arms raised. Not at this point in time. This Yuuri had been very… weak in many areas. Lackluster basically.
Oh well. It was only a dream, so who cared?
"I didn't know you could do that!" Phichit gushed, eyes almost sparkling. In his hand was a camera, and Yuuri groaned when he realized that he'd been recorded. Phichit and social media should never have been introduced. "Dude, that had to be the sickest thing you have ever done on this ice!"
"I too am surprised with how easily you moved, Yuuri," Celestino said, eyes narrowed in contemplation. "How long have you been working on that in secret?" the man asked, voice full of knowledge. The type Yuuri had personally gotten acquainted with when looking after Yurio for so many years.
Yuuri flushed and mumbled a lie about the past few weeks. Celestino was still capable of making him feel guilty! Why was that allowed in his dream?! It was his dream after all! Why was he putting himself through this kind of thing in a place where he subconsciously had the control?
Honestly, he was getting the feeling that he had been longing for a reunion of sorts. Nothing else could explain this!
"And what other jumps have you been practicing without my knowledge? Without the safety of an experienced coach beside you? Without any care for your own safety?"
Celestino was good. While he hadn't been the right coach for Yuuri from the beginning, he was still an observant man. He didn't manage to coach Phichit into top form for nothing. He was obviously good at his job. Just sometimes, certain teaching methods did not coincide with certain skaters. That had been Yuuri's problem.
Had been why he couldn't bloom under the man's tutelage.
Deciding to go for it, Yuuri gave the man his answer. "The Quad Lutz, Toe Loop, Salchow, and I sometimes land a Quad Flip." There was no harm in downplaying it a little. He could 'learn' to land a Quad Loop later.
Phichit's jaw dropped. "'S-sometimes land a Quad Flip'!"
Yuuri rubbed the back of his head, feeling nervous all of a sudden. "Yeah? I figured if Victor could do it, then I should learn how to as well, you know? I don't fall as often as I used to."
"Man, your crush is too much for words," Phichit murmured, eyes focused on the footage he'd managed to capture.
"It's not a crush!" Yuuri protested. It was love. He loved his Victor with everything he had. 'Crush' simply didn't do his feelings any justice.
"So it seems that my best skater has gone ahead without supervision and tried to better himself on his own. Am I not needed anymore? Should I simply stop being a coach if my skaters can't even rely on me to help them?"
Yuuri rushed to placate Celestino, trying to tell the man that he appreciated his support and failing terribly to will away his blush. He hated it when he was made to feel guilt.
It was a damn dream! He'd been taught all this shit already by Victor. Why was he putting himself through all of this?!
"Then I suppose you'll just have to show me all of your mastered jumps to make it up to me. Repeatedly, to gauge whether or not you've actually mastered them."
Ciao Ciao was evil underneath all those charming smiles.
Yuuri didn't remember him being this evil.
The repetitions were hell. Yuuri had asked for it though. He should have been more subtle. And as the dream decided it was going to fuck him over anyway, he'd really need to pay attention from then on.
"Coach, I was thinking of changing my program," said Yuuri the afternoon before his birthday, hoping that Celestino would be considerate toward the birthday boy. Yuuri was not above manipulation in order to get what he wanted. Though why he couldn't just make it happen - as it was a dream - was beyond him.
"Which one?" the man asked, looking slightly skeptical.
Jaws dropped all around, and Yuuri flushed under all the attention. His request wasn't exactly unique, but the timing of it certainly was. The Grand Prix Final was in less than two weeks and he had suddenly come out of nowhere with such a request. It was madness to everyone else.
"You have to be in Sochi in two weeks, and you want to rework two new programs?" Phichit asked from his place at the lunch table. His spoon was stuck in his rice pudding and he looked ready to faint. As if Yuuri's decision had such a big impact on him. Though with how closely Phichit involved himself in Yuuri's life, he couldn't really deny such a thought.
"I've been putting some things together on my own," Yuuri lied easily. Technically, he and Victor had put them together during his third season with Victor as his coach. He won gold at the GPF, Nationals, and Worlds with these performances. And judging by how this dream was going, and the fact that it was his damn dream, he could use them because they probably wouldn't be created in the future of the dream. So what was wrong with using them now?
"I found the music I want to use and I was hoping I could show you," Yuuri said, facing Celestino head on. The best way to ever get anything done was to be as forthright as possible. Celestino was the kind of man who appreciated bluntness. Yuuri could give him that at the very least.
Ciao Ciao stared Yuuri down for what felt like hours, his eyes trailing over every inch of Yuuri's figure. Searching. Wondering. Probably internally questioning Yuuri's capability to choreograph a routine for himself. Yuuri remembered being docile when Celestino suggested music and choreography for him all those years ago. So he knew what was going through the man's mind.
He didn't care if he seemed different. It was a fucking dream!
"You don't seem to be joking," the man finally murmured a moment later. "Let's see what you have, then. Do you have the music with you?"
Yuuri beamed. "Yes I do!"
A homage to his Victor and the days in which everything had been happy and joyful. He missed the good old days.
Perhaps he really had been languishing.
Phichit had the camera set up like always, and he was standing beside Celestino as Yuuri went to take his position out in the center of the rink. Phichit also held the control of the laptop, and looked eager to press play.
After a moment, the soft feel of the violin and cello filled the rink, a longing sound that begged for accompaniment. And Yuuri gave it, raising his hand as if calling out for someone. That 'someone' being Victor of course.
As a Short Program, Yuuri had limited time to accomplish all that he wanted. Two minutes and thirty-nine seconds in total. When choreographing it, Victor had drawn inspiration from many sources. Paso Doble and Ballet being only two of the many types of dances that inspired the steps and choreography.
Victor had literally gone and outdone himself with the technical difficulty. After On Love: Eros, he refused to settle for anything easier and would always set the bar higher. All the jumps were once again placed in the latter half of the performance, and all began with Quads. That had become Yuuri's style, compliments of Victor.
Victor was known for Quad Flips. Yuuri was known for saving jumps for the latter half because of his 'demonic stamina'.
The upbeat tune continued on with Yuuri until he came to that final flying sit spin and ended with the music, right hand on his chest and left hand resting on his lower back. He head was turned to the left, eyes looking as far as they could go as if he was peeking behind himself to see if anyone was watching him.
Victor had called it 'sexy but innocent'. Coy even.
The silence was interrupted by the very loud and demanding clapping of Phichit, who couldn't seem to decide which he wanted to do. Whistle or clap obscenely. He settled for doing both.
Their rinkmates were also clapping, obviously shocked at his performance. It wasn't something Yuuri usually allowed himself to do. Especially while not in front of people, so their shock was understandable.
Celestino was the most shocked as he knew Yuuri better than the others did and he knew what Yuuri had been capable of.
"If you perform like that, there is no doubt in my mind that you'll win," the man eventually said, voice almost breathless. "I can't believe how intricate that was. I never would have expected you to bring something of such difficulty to the ice. Your jumps were perfect."
Yuuri beamed at the praise. He'd always been a sucker for praise. It was nice to get some after so long. And as he couldn't have Victor's praise, than any other would do for now. "May I show you my Free Program now, coach?"
Celestino waved a hand toward the ice and said, "If you can manage it now, then go ahead."
He did so. If Victor could see the shock and awe he'd inspired, he would have been proud. There was something inherently fulfilling about being able to surprise a crowd. Even a tiny one.
Yuuri had to go and get his costumes for the competition altered, and dyed. As he wasn't going for cool blue this time, he simply had the blue dyed black professionally, and then had some sparkles and rhinestones added for an overall effect.
He wanted to be dark and sort of mysterious.
Though honestly, he wished this dream was more like a dream. Why did he have to pay so much money in a dream?
At least he wasn't wasting real money.
The second costume was also dyed black, but he'd had his sleeves completely redone so they billowed less. He wasn't exactly a fan of ruffles. That had been Celestino's design, not Yuuri's.
The trousers were flared out a bit more though, which he preferred. They made his legs look even longer, and while he wasn't short per se, he wasn't tall either. In between. Therefore, he liked it when his legs looked longer. They also appeared thinner.
Two weeks had been enough to time to get everything finished, and by the time his clothing was ready, Yuuri had perfected his old routines, and was ready for Sochi.
It was time to take down the enemy in his own territory.
He just hoped that Victor wouldn't be angry over losing, because Yuuri was going to win.
Victor had never wanted him to go easy on his opponents, and he wasn't about to do so now. Even if his opponents weren't ready.
The hotel in Sochi was a lot nicer than Yuuri remembered. But that could be because he actually knew the language this time and he didn't have to stay in his room because he didn't know what to do or where to go.
The last time had been a rather lonely experience, with Yuuri remaining introverted and refusing to connect with anyone because he was uncomfortable around them. He didn't know anyone at the time, and comfort came from years of experience and continual relations.
Unlike with Victor, Yuuri never shared a room with Celestino. That wasn't the usual thing to do anyway. Then again, it wasn't like he or Vitor were very 'usual' to begin with. Victor knew next to nothing about personal space, so Yuuri couldn't really be surprised when he thought about it.
Celestino placed Yuuri's bag down beside the young skater's bed, and sent him a smile. "My room is right down the hall, okay? Room 407. If you need anything, don't be afraid to come over or message me."
Yuuri nodded, though he knew very well that he wouldn't need Celestino's help at all. Not this time. And Celestino would not have to come banging on his door at random hours in order to see if he was still living. Nor would he have to come and force Yuuri to socialize with people.
Not this time.
Yuuri remained in his room for several moments, simply thinking over what exactly he wanted to do in his free time. There was actually a variety of options, but he wasn't feeling too moved to do anything daring yet.
He ended up looking for a good spot for lunch.
Yuuri spent the afternoon before the beginning of the Grand Prix Final, snacking on pirozhki and thinking of the past. And thankfully, his Russian was still good, allowing him to meander without fear of getting lost in a foreign country.
It was also fun to see people's jaws drop when an obviously Asian man spoke Russian. Racial stereotypes were stupid, yet provided him entertainment when he broke them all the time.
Yuuri rolled up the remained of his pirozhki and slipped the bundle into his coat pocket.
He was going to shower and turn in early.
Wandering around the building hadn't been on his mind the first time he'd competed at Sochi. Yuuri wondered how he managed to conjure up such details in rooms he'd never ever been in. Then again, his imagination was pretty amazing.
"Hello, Yuuri!" a familiar voice called out, almost sultry in a way.
Yuuri turned, finding himself confronted with Christophe Giacometti. A man whose sex appeal was uncharted and uncontrollable most of the time. He hadn't seen Chris in years. Not since the man had moved to America and gotten himself a home and family of his own.
He couldn't help but beam in return, smiling at the man who had been a great help in Yuuri and Victor's life. And yes, Yuuri knew that this Chris wasn't his and Victor's Chris, but that didn't matter. He was still fond of the other man.
Chris had a personality that just made him likable. Even when he got a little too personal for his own good. Even when his hands strayed a little too close for comfort most of the time.
"Hi, Chris," Yuuri greeted softly, unable to keep the fondness from his tone.
The man's two-toned head tilted a bit, green eyes considering him more closely. "You've changed. Since Skate America, you've changed a lot." He was also incredibly intelligent and his observation was spot on. Yuuri had changed immensely from what Chris had known.
Yuuri shrugged. "It's like I woke up a new man one day. Ever since then it's been a journey in a whole new world." And he wasn't exactly lying either, which made it easier to say. He essentially was a new Yuuri compared to the last one that Chris had spoken to.
Chris' eyes trailed over his much shorter form, obviously appreciative of what he was seeing. He was still ridiculously good at eliciting embarrassed flushes from Yuuri. The prick.
"Well I'm not complaining. You seem more confident now. Like you can take the world on."
Only because Yuuri had done this all before. If it was a new program with new music to get used to, he probably wouldn't have been so level-headed. But familiarity bred complacency, and Yuuri felt no worries actually. He'd done this already.
He'd already called his sister and arranged for her to take Vic-chan to the animal spa in town. Vic-chan was currently in the care of a good facility that would pamper him for the whole weekend. Far away from streets and cars. Far away from any danger. Far away from the outside world. Safe.
Yuuri at least had the power to help Vic-chan in his dreams. And he would be damned if his dog got hit by a car when he knew he could prevent it!
So without the anxiety acting up, Vic-chan safe and sound, and no unhealthy food sitting heavily in his stomach, Yuuri was in the best form he could possibly be in. He was young and fit, and ready to kick some ass. Dream or not, a competition was still a competition and Yuuri had always been the competitive type.
"I feel more confident, though it's mostly just in my performances. My skating has gradually improved over the past few months and I accidentally slipped up in front of my coach. Celestino has instructed me to give my all and I'm not allowed to pretend or downgrade my routines."
"Good. I wouldn't want you going easy on us. And we aren't going to go easy on you," the older man purred, wrapping an arm around Yuuri's slim shoulders and pulling him closer than what was considered polite. "Just because you're the baby this year doesn't mean we'll go easy on you. You're Japan's Top Skater after all and that makes you a threat."
Chris smelled of cologne. Good cologne actually. Musky and hypnotizing n a way. Yuuri took a discreet sniff, enjoying it while he could.
"Are you going to join the other skaters for dinner this evening? Or do you plan to sit alone in your hotel room like you did in America?"
With a flush, Yuuri murmured something about seeing how he felt and who would be going. While he had a better handle over himself, he still wasn't that great with crowds. Especially crowds of people he didn't know. Yuuri wasn't the greatest at reaching out to strangers.
He knew of his fellow competitors, but he really only knew Chris, Victor, and JJ personally. And at this point in time, he'd really only known Chris. So it wasn't like he'd been jumping at the chance to speak with anybody else.
Chris leveled him with a pout that he struggled to ignore. "I guess that's all I can get for now. I'll talk to you again later to see if I can get you to change your mind," Chris promised, before waving good-naturedly and slinking off toward his own coach, his hips swaying from side to side with an exaggerated motion.
Yuuri rolled his eyes at the other's antics. Chris would always be a one of a kind gem.
His attention was brought back to Celestino though, who was coming over, looking more determined than usual. Certainly more determined than Yuuri remembered ever seeing aimed in his direction.
"If you skate like you did in practice, then I have high hopes that you'll come in first today. There is no way that your improvement won't be noticeable to the judges and your fellow skaters. So give them a show worth fearing."
Yuuri grinned, appreciating the confidence.
"I also submitted a more downgraded program, so perform like you usually do, but let them think you're just shaking things up."
Celestino was naughty. He also wanted Yuuri to win. Yuuri liked it. Some thought the man liked to follow the rules too closely, but if only they knew what Yuuri and Phichit knew.
"Will do, coach."
"For the warm up, don't do any jumps. Save them for later. I just want you to go out there and make me proud."
They shook hands to cement the deal.
Victor Nikiforov was swaying from side to side, listening as the announcers and the spectators conversed and speculated over what was to come. There was talking everywhere, people conversing over one thing or another in varying languages all around the room. Together it made unintelligible noise, and he was barely able to pinpoint voices in particular.
Victor had always loved this part. The building up of the emotions and the excitement of the crowd. The tension from the other skaters because while there was a base friendliness between them, they were still trying to outdo each other. Victor thrived on that type of behavior.
Getting ready for warm ups and throwing in a Quad for the sake of the audience had always made him laugh. If he was looking forward to one thing, it was this. At least he could impress with this.
Victor was a crowd pleaser after all.
"You seem excited," Chris said, stepping up beside him. "Any reason or is it the same old thing?"
"You know me so well," Victor smiled, eyes glinting mischievously.
"You do it every time. It's predictable by now," were the horrifying words he was faced with.
With an offended gasp, Victor placed a hand on his chest and backed away from his friend of many years. "For shame! I am in no way predictable! You don't know which Quad I'm planning on doing anyhow."
"A Quad Loop."
Damn. He had been planning it because a Korean skater had been the first to manage it back in Canada. While he hadn't made it to the Finals, he'd still earned a reputation, which left Victor to go back to St. Petersburg and practice until he was blue in the face. He'd perfected the jump about a week previous.
"No, it was a Lutz!" he lied, trying to keep the element of surprise together.
"Sure." Chris didn't sound convinced. He knew Victor far too well.
Victor's heated response was cut off by the announcer. A five minute warm up was up, and Victor removed his guards, handing them to Yakov who looked on with a blank expression.
Victor was the first out of the gate, followed by Chris, JJ, and the other three skaters. Victor didn't know them much. One he'd seen two times previous, but he had never made it to the podium alongside him. The other two were new.
First timers. Babies practically. They were both cute in their own ways, though that shortest one, the Japanese skater, was on a whole other level.
He'd been wearing glasses before taking to the ice, and now his glasses were missing and his hair was pushed back, revealing a figure more attractive that Victor would have assumed upon first glance. His hazel eyes were lovely.
Said skater did not do any jumps. He merely went for a few spins and some complicated footwork around the rink. He was the only one to avoid jumps. Moments later, Victor found out from Chris on why he did so.
"Yuuri has had problems in the past with his jumps," the younger man had said. "By avoiding them completely, he'd avoided possibly embarrassing himself beforehand and managed to leave his pride intact. Though he seems different this year, so I don't know why he hasn't bothered. Unless his coach forbade him to. Cialdini is certainly a strange one, so who knows?"
Yuuri. Another Yuuri. Interesting. He wondered what Yuri - his rinkmate - would say if he knew there was already a Yuuri competing in the Senior Division?
"You know him well?" asked Victor, eyes refusing to leave the smaller skater who stood several yards off.
OUt of the corner of his eyes, he could see Chris smiling. "We were in many competitions together during my Junior days. He had joined the Juniors in my second to last year and ended up proving to be big competition. We traded gold and silver a lot."
"His step sequences are divine," Victor admitted, unable to hold himself back. Katsuki Yuuri was almost spell-binding in a sense. Victor had never seen him before today, but he was enchanted from a simple warm up. What could Yuuri bring to the table?
"They're his strong point along with his spins and spirals. He's fast and has stamina like you've never seen, so he can fit a lot in a limited amount of time. I think we're going to be surprised by him today. I talked to him several moments ago and his entire demeanor has changed. He used to be this shy little thing but would get easily riled up when challenged."
Chris' smile was fond. "I hope he shows us what he's made of. I've been waiting for him to get here, and I think he'll prove to be the competition we need."
"Then I look forward to seeing your friend skate as well," Victor decided, wanting terribly to see for himself.
Yuuri was unfortunate, or fortunate enough - it depended on who made the decision - to have to perform after Victor.
Seeing Victor again had been… different. He was young and spry. No wrinkles and no receding hairline yet. Full of energy and a joy that he'd been lacking in his later years. After the Dementia hit, Victor had become a completely different person where he would have days of recollection and days of forgetfulness.
It was so frustrating, and Yuuri might have teared up a little at seeing him. If only to be reminded of what it was like when they were younger and had their whole lives ahead of them.
This wasn't his Victor. This was some kind of figment of his imagination. Something he wished he could see every day, but wasn't real.
It wasn't fair.
Whether it was selfish or not, Yuuri never wanted to wake up from this dream.
"You're up right after Nikiforov. I want you to pay attention and keep your head clear, okay?" Celestino said quietly.
Yuuri nodded to his coach to show that he was listening.
Asking him to pay attention to Victor was not a task in any manner.
Yuuri gladly watched, eyes fond and full of good memories and regrets.
Victor's score was a 117.21. A little more than a point below his world record. The Russian was smiling and waving to the spectators as he sat in the Kiss & Cry beside Yakov, who looked a little less stern than usual.
Yuuri was proud. He was always proud of Victor. Even when they hadn't known each other personally, he'd been proud of the man's accomplishments in his life.
Yuuri handed his guards to Celestino and shook the man's hand. They shared a firm nod before Yuuri was off, moving to take his position.
Going after Victor was always a problem. The crowd was still high after the man's performance, their expectations set to the maximum. It made it slightly terrifying to consider. As if trying to beat Victor wasn't impossible enough as it was, but now the crowd was expectant and their opinions set. Victor was their national hero after all and he was the best figure skater in history.
Yuuri wouldn't let them get comfortable though. After all, his program was specifically made by Victor himself. Yuuri had to do it justice. To do his Victor justice. That was the way to victory after all.
Morooka was announcing Yuuri's ambitious decision to change his program completely.
The music began, and Yuuri simply let himself flow with it. A soulful cello and mournful violin duet to start off with.
"He's hasn't done any jumps yet," Victor remarked. "He's saving them for the latter half. Interesting."
Chris hummed in agreement. As both had taken their turns on the ice, they got to sit back and watch the remaining competitors. Katsuki Yuuri was their main focus simply because both had taken notice of him over the others.
The music started out with a lonely violin and cello. Then came a simple beat that began accelerating until it became a continuously fast beat. It was a strings lover's paradise and set the mood quite nicely. Katsuki's skate had encompassed several maneuvers from the varying types of dance out there.
He executed a perfect fan spiral out of nowhere, and he didn't even have to lean too far forward to keep himself balanced. A history of dance showed in his movements, and his body demanded that everyone pay close attention to him.
The music got a little slow in the middle until there was only a violin to be heard, and Katsuki cut straight through the center of the rink, his right hand moving in a wave like motion down the length of his body as the music spiraled downward.
His left hand raised in a smooth arc away from his body as he glided, eyes following the movement, seeking something outside of everyone's comprehension.
The skater crouched down for only a second before leaping into a perfect Russian Split, arms spread out wide just as the music stopped and a chorus of "HEY!" filled the rink. The music continued when he landed and moved onto a Quad Salchow, landing it perfectly. It should be noted that both of his arms had been up.
Chris whistled. "I've never seen him land it in competition. That was the jump he used to struggle the most with."
Katsuki moved on to some footwork, before he lead himself into a Triple Axel from a spread eagle.
He landed that with arms up perfectly as well. From there, he had a single handed cross-grab Biellmann spiral across half of the rink and then a combination spin. Slipping from that position, Yuuri then hastened to round the rink once more to gain speed while moving through the middle, where he repeated his actions from before, but instead of preparing for a split jump, his entire body was turning counterclockwise.
He landed a Quad Flip with his arms raised, and both Chris and Victor gaped at the younger man in surprise. The announcers were going wild. Katsuki had completely changed all but one of his jumps to add more difficulty to his routine.
Yuuri finished his Short Program with a flying sit spin, and stopped with his right hand placed against his heart and his left hand behind his back, pressed against the lower part of his spine. His head was tilted to the side, neck bared under the white lights as his half-lidded gaze focused on something in the distance.
"I think his score is going to be higher than yours," Chris said as he watched his friend pick up a large stuffed poodle off the rink, and clutch it close.
Victor had to agree. No one else was insane enough to do a Quad Flip at the end of their program. Nor had Victor ever raised his arms for any of his jumps.
They waited quietly, with baited breath for the score.
Yuuri and his coach were sitting in the Kiss & Cry, staring at each other. Their mouths weren't moving, but both looked extremely pleased with the results.
"The Short Program score for Yuuri Katsuki is 119.45."
"Well I'll be damned. He beat your World Record."
Yuuri had forgotten the high he got after a successful routine in front of an audience.
In his last figure skating years, in which Victor managed to remain in Singles for two more years when he made his comeback, Yuuri, Victor, and Yurio had taken turns on the podium. Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Until Victor had to bow out gracefully, leaving Yuuri and Yurio to switch between Gold and Silver for two more years.
By the time Yuuri was was twenty-nine, the new World Record for the Short Program was 126.12, set by Yurio. The World Record for the Free Skate was 229.01, set by Yuuri.
He'd forgotten how good it felt to beat someone's World Record. And honestly, he, Victor, and Yurio had a streak of record breaking throughout those seasons. Victor set a new record, Yurio beat it in the next competition, and Yuuri would then beat that in the next competition.
And there were always those little smirks and dares to do better next time.
He sighed. He missed those times.
Yuuri was currently in first, with Victor not too far behind him and capable of catching up easily.
But Yuuri knew his Free Skate was packed with more technical difficulty than Victor's. Victor had done it deliberately when he had choreographed it after all. Always setting new records and breaking old limitations.
Never giving up.
Yuuri smiled for the camera, allowing himself to enjoy the dream for as long as he could.
He'd return to his life of woes when he awoke, but for now, things were going well and that was all he could ask for.
"Mr. Katsuki, do you have anything to say about your sudden deviations?"
He still hated crowds and the press though.
"So, are you coming with us? I know a lot of people want to talk to you."
Yuuri hadn't expected to find Chris standing outside his hotel room door. But there the other was, looking expectant and a little too sexy for a night out to simple dinner.
"Please? Everyone wants to meet the man who beat Victor Nikiforov."
Yuuri scoffed. "I haven't beaten him yet. I merely set a new record." He would beat him later on though, but that was later.
"Same difference," Chris murmured with a shrug. "You should come along. Victor seems interested in meeting you."
At that, Yuuri flushed for the first time in the past few hours. This Victor wanted to meet him? Even after thirty years together, the man - real or a vision - seemed to still be able to make him faint. Unfair.
"Ah, I see your crush hasn't gone away!"
"It's not a damn crush! I simply admire him!"
I love him, Yuuri wanted to say. So, so much.
Drawing himself up, Yuuri narrowed his eyes and made his decision. "I'll go. But you do not get to grab my ass once!"
Chris groaned in response, but agreed. It was the only way to get Yuuri to come along, and the fake blond had been trying to do that for years now. The least Yuuri could do was subject himself to the company of strangers for one night.
Yuuri left his hair slicked back, with those minor pieces falling in his eyes, and slid his glasses on. Victor once told him that he looked even sexier like that, and if he was going somewhere, he'd at least like to look good.
Chris gave a whistle and cocked an appreciative brow. "Sexy Katsuki is ready to go."
He rolled his eyes. Why was he friends with Chris again?
"Let's go own the night!"
Because Chris was fun. That was why.
Victor smiled brightly when Katsuki Yuuri was placed directly beside him at the table the skaters had claimed. All but one of the Senior Singles skaters had come, leaving them all packed into the party room of the local restaurant that wasn't too far form the hotel.
Chris sat on Yuuri's other side, and was sending Victor looks over the rim of his wine glass.
Victor ignored him in favor of Katsuki. "You skated beautifully today," he told the younger man, and was amazed to see him blush in return. He had the other's interest!
"Thank you. I thought your performance was breathtaking. You really portray the message the scorned lover was trying to get across."
Victor's face flushed immediately. Katsuki Yuuri knew what the song lyrics meant.
Not many had bothered to check out the lyrics themselves. They simply thought it was a nice song and that Victor was skating about heartbreak and pain.
"Did I do the music justice?" he asked, voice almost too low for even him to hear.
"Of course. If I felt any different, I would have told you to your face."
Katsuki was something else.
"You're always an inspiration, Victor."
And he was flustered again! Seeing those hazel eyes looking at him with obvious admiration was almost too much. Because there was something different in the way Yuuri was watching him, compared to how others watched him.
As if Yuuri already knew deep down how inspiring Victor was.
"Do I inspire you?"
Yuuri smiled and nodded. "You're the reason I started to skate competitively."
Victor was the reason that Katsuki Yuuri was sitting beside him at that very moment. His breath had been stolen from his lungs.
"Ever since I found you, it's been a never-ending chain of surprises."
Yuuri sighed happily and took a sip of his water. He'd refused liquor unlike everyone else. Something about it 'hitting him hard'.
The very thing that Victor dedicated his career to, had been managed in a way that he finally felt was important.
Victor's stomach tingled with unknown emotions and feelings. He'd never been through this before. He'd never felt like this before. He didn't know exactly what it was, but it made his heart pound, his face turn pink in color, and his breath quicken.
And it was because of Katsuki Yuuri. The surprisingly gentle and sexy figure skater who came literally out of nowhere to beguile the skating world.
It was almost as if he was in a dream.
"So Victor, are you enamored by our dear Yuuri yet?" Chris asked, leaning over Yuuri's lap.
Yuuri's cheeks darkened in color, and Victor couldn't help but smile, charmed by him. "I believe I am," the Russian admitted happily, a sappy smile on his face.
There was an adorable 'eep' from the younger skater, and both Chris and Victor shared a smirk over his ducked head.
Katsuki Yuuri was an angel with horns. Enough said.
@Phi-chu: Bruh, you slayed tonight!
@Phi-chu: I'm honestly owning all of Instagram and Twitter with your photos.
@Phi-chu: And you went out to eat with Victor Nikiforov and Chris Giacometti!
@Phi-chu: I am so getting into the GPF next year! I can't miss this!
@Phi-chu: You must guide me, senpai!
@Katsu: I will. I promise. ^-^
A/N: The first is done!
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