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You always need Epsom salt

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“See you this evening, dorogoy. Don't overexert yourself. And you know you can always call me if you have any kind of problem or just want to talk, right?” - Viktor didn't seem eager at all to leave their little apartment, but when you're a top figure skater you have tasks to complete outside of pure practice too. In this case going to an appointment for fitting next season costumes. He had won the Europeans, beating a very grumpy Yurio and Chris, who had also announced his retirement. Yuuri hadn't been so lucky in the Four Continents, bringing home another silver and standing on the podium with JJ in first place and Otabek in the third one. Since he had a bit of time before the Worlds he had decided to prepare the designs of his outfits: it was something that he genuinely liked and helped him relax. Perfect at the moment. Yuuri, however, had opted to wait until after the Worlds, so he was going alone to Moscow. And he didn't like it by any means.

“Viktor, you'll be gone seven hours at most, if you count the car trip and the lunch break. Don't worry. I'll be fine on my own: I'll go running with Makkachin and then at the rink for some training. I'll probably still be there by the time you're back. Now go or Yakov will come to take you and you know he gets scary when you're late”

“But Yuuri...”

“No buts, Vityenka.”

“Ah. That's not fair! You know what it does to me when you call me that!” - Viktor was whining while also trying to keep hugging his fiancé, who was having none of it.

“No. You have to go. Now. I promise I'll call you later and you can tell me everything, but now you don't have time” - Yuuri attempted to shove Viktor out of their home for the umpteenth time, but to no avail: the big dork was resisting his actions and pouting, his blue eyes looking even bigger than usual. How was he supposed to deny him anything with that face?

“If I give you one last kiss, will you go to Yakov?” - Viktor was a master in always obtaining what he wanted, but three months of engagement made Yuuri a fine expert in the art of handling Viktor Nikiforov's moods.

Viktor gave the impression of weighing his options, a little frown appearing between his eyebrows. But after just five seconds he had taken a decision: “Ok, but I want two kisses!” - He exclaimed suddenly throwing himself at Yuuri, not waiting for his consent.

“Ok, you spoiled child” - He even gave him an extra kiss, because he was just too cute, but then Yakov's horn could be heard inside their kitchen. “Now you really need to go. Bye, Vityenka, see you later”.

“Remember what I told you: don't tire yourself out. I'll bring dinner home!” - With one last peck on Yuuri's cheek, Viktor was gone in a flurry of scarf and coat.

Yuuri waved at Yakov through their window and then turned around to look at Makkachin: “It seems we're alone. Let's go take a stroll, shall we?” - The bark he received in reply sounded like assent to his ears.

 

 

Viktor was exhausted. Not only he had to keep a pleasant facade up for several hours, but the people he had to interact with had been rude to him the whole time he had to stay there. He was really glad that meeting had ended one hour earlier than predicted, because he wasn't sure he would have been able to bear another minute in that posh atelier. And to make things even worse he could feel a migraine coming. Just perfect! The only thing that kept him going was the thought he would be able to surprise Yuuri. Knowing his fiancé he was sure he would find him still at the rink probably practicing his routines or some jumps. It had been just two weeks ago when Yuuri had managed to land a quad loop for the fist time. Since that day the younger skater had devoted a lot of his training time to perfect that jump and was making loads of progress. Nevertheless Viktor would certainly prefer his special student had not been doing it that day: it was always better to practice jumps only if supervised, but Yuuri could be very stubborn if he wanted. Well, only one way to find out...

He entered the rink facility with two bags of food in his hands (Yuuri's favourite borscht and pastries). He could hear a familiar music being played by the stereo. He knew what to expect. Or better he thought he knew.

Apparently Yuuri had managed to achieve a whole new level of quality for his short program. Without making his presence known, he observed the flawless skating he was having the privilege to behold. Yuuri's spins and step sequence were amazing as usual, but his jumps were no less superb. And then at the very end of the program there was a quad loop and it was worthy of top marks too.

The music stopped and Viktor couldn't contain himself anymore: he began to applaud loudly, startling the skater. Yuuri raised his head from his final position and made a confused expression. But when he saw who was interrupting him a big smile materialized on his face. Shouting “Viktor!” he hurriedly skated towards said person, throwing his arms around him in a tight hug. It goes without saying Viktor reciprocated it.

“What are you doing here so early? I thought you'd been gone for at least another hour!”

“Well, we finished sooner than expected. So I brought dinner and came here to surprise you.”

“You sure did that. - Yuuri said while nuzzling Viktor's face with his cold nose. - So, what do you think of the routine? I think it's beginning to come out just fine. I know I have still a lot of work to do: my free leg is still sloppy, and my quad loop is not exactly excellent. But it's a start, right?”

Sladkiy, that's only one word for it: flawless. What I've just watched was one of the finest pieces of figure skating I've ever seen. Don't be too harsh on yourself when there's no need”.

Yuuri was becoming teary eyed, so he hid his face in the older man's neck and murmured a faint “Thank you, Viktor. Aishiteru yo”.

Viktor wasn't better and just managed to squeeze more his lover, while replying to his declaration in his own native language: “Ya toje tiebia liubliu”.

 

They stayed entwined like that for what seemed like hours (but in reality was more like ten minutes). Then the silence was broken by a growl.

“Yuuri, was that your stomach?”

“OMG, that's so embarrassing!” - Viktor couldn't hold back his giggles anymore and in no time was bent in two, with his hands on his knees, trying to breathe regularly again.

Yuuri put his arms around himself and scowled at the other man: “It's not funny, Viktor! It's not like I can control it!” - While saying that he took some steps backwards and immediately winced in pain. Viktor instantly stopped laughing, gasped in worry and walked up to him in a rush.

“You have exhausted yourself, haven't you? Have I not told you this morning not to overexert yourself, Yuuri? - An unpleasant thought made its way inside Viktor's mind. - Have you had lunch, right? Tell me I'm wrong assuming you've skipped your meal”.

“You're wrong... in a way. - Since his coach's grimace was not disappearing, Yuuri had to explain himself better. - I had a... very quick... lunch break, but there is a very slight possibility I've overdone it today.”

“A slight possibility?” - Viktor remarked in his steel tone, only used when he was deadly serious.

“Ok, definitely a big possibility. But I wanted to perfect the program to surprise you” - Yuuri was now shaking anxiously, waiting for a reaction from the other man who had in the meantime put a hand on his face and hunched his shoulders. Only a minute passed before Viktor exhaled a deep sigh: “I can't stand mad at you, when I know you're in pain. Come to the bench, I want to check your feet. Do you have your cream with you?”.

Yuuri released a breath he didn't know he had been withholding and promptly put himself on the spot indicated by Viktor, where he retrieved the item in question from his bag.

“Good, at least you had it here. - While talking Viktor had began to remove the skates from Yuuri's feet with careful movements, because he didn't want to worsen the discomfort. - As soon as we're home I'll prepare you a warm bath with Epsom salt for your feet. I believe I've still got some. Oh... Yuuri...” - He had took off the socks too and he could finally see the damage: Yuuri's feet were scattered with blisters and bruises, they were swollen and, he was sure, hurt a lot.

The owner of said feet was flustered under his fiancé's scrutiny: “I-I'm sorry. I'll try to do better next time... It's just... you know...”

“Hush. Pass me the cream and the gauze. I know you have some”.

Yuuri was completely ashamed and tried to protest: “Viktor, it's not a problem. I can do it myself. You don't have to...”.

“No. I'll do it.” - Viktor's words sounded final, so there was no point in arguing more. He passed him what he had requested and stood still. They didn't uttered a single word during the whole time Viktor spent patching Yuuri's up. He applied the ointment almost in a reverent way, then he wrapped everything with the gauze. He admired his finished work, then closed his eyes and bent to kiss each foot, shocking the younger skater.

“V-Viktor, what are you doing? I'm filthy, don't!” - But every single one of his attempt to distance Viktor was useless. In return the silver haired man raised his head and whispered with a voice full of fondness: “Please, take better care of yourself. You mean too much to me. I can't stand seeing you in pain”.

Yuuri hastily nodded in assent. And if they both had glassy eyes when the exited the building, neither of them mentioned it.