“So y’all…are figure skaters?”
Yurio rolls his eyes at the dark passing scenery in the middle of nowhere Georgia. “Yes.”
“Okay,” the idiot of an uber driver turns up the shitty country music he insists on playing. Something about paisley and pick up trucks? Yurio’s not really following it. “Where’re y’all from again?”
“Россия.” Yurio replies, just to be difficult. He really, really doesn’t feel like fielding this guy’s inane questions. All he wants to do is get the two drunken idiots making out in the backseat back to their hotel room and out of his hair. He’s had more than enough exposure to their antics after watching them spend the day playing footsie under the table while guest commentating, then getting progressively more handsy that evening as they moved on from dinner to the first, upscale bar. Then finally, when that bar had closed, to the notably louder and seedier one.
“‘S that in Europe or somethin’?”
Yurio is saved from having to answer by Yuuri kicking the back of his seat. “Yurio, I’m hungry,” he whines, draping his arms around the chair and over Yurio’s shoulders.
“Tough shit. You and your geezer of a husband decided to stay out until three in the fucking morning. Nothing’s open.”
The driver—who clearly hasn’t been raised in the art of minding his own fucking business — coughs a little. “Well, actually—” he gestures up a hill to a glowing beacon of light.
“Waffle House?” Yurio reads, lip curling in disgust.
“A real Southern institution, that place. Open 24/7, even on Christmas.”
“What, do you work for them or something?” Yurio asks just as Viktor gasps and drapes himself across Yuuri’s lap to peer out the window at the restaurant.
“We’re going!” He declares, eyes shining with the golden square fluorescents.
Yurio turns around in his seat. “We’re not going,” he shouts, even as the driver starts moving up the hill to the diner.
“Gotta mind yer Papa, kid,” the man says with a shrug.
Yurio scrunches up his nose—his eyes wide. “HE’S NOT MY—” He doesn’t get the chance to finish the statement, taxed with trailing after the supposed adults when they fling the passenger door open and stumble over each other to the restaurant.
Yurio conjures curses in his head, stomping across the cracked asphalt to the entrance. He’s pretty sure he sees a bullet hole in the nearest window and what looks like vomit seeping out from a pathetic patch of shrubbery. He tries not to question it.
Yuuri and Viktor are already settled into a booth when he enters the—surprisingly not empty—diner. Yurio slides into the booth seat across from them just as a woman comes up to take their order.
“We’re getting married!” Viktor beams at the waitress—a stout, middle aged woman with frizzy black hair and orange concealer streaking her jawline.
“That’s great, honey,” the woman drawls, leaning against the bar and tapping her pen on the countertop. “What y’all drinkin’?”
“They’ve been married for three fucking years.” Yurio grabs a menu and slaps it on the table. “They’ll have water—” he jerks a thumb at his drunk companions—“and coffee for me.”
“But I’ve already got this tall drink of water,” Yuuri slurs, wrapping his arms around Viktor’s neck and planting a sloppy wet kiss on his cheek.
“Actually, just bring over the mop bucket and I’ll put them both out of their misery.”
“Uh-huh, sure darlin’,” the waitress turns to pour a cup of coffee.
“He’s our son,” Viktor tells her.
Yurio slams a fist on the table, rattling the cutlery and nearly upending a glass ketchup bottle. “STOP TELLING PEOPLE I’M YOUR SON.”
“Our angry son.” Yuuri adds, patting Yurio on the hand. “We’re so proud of him.”
Yurio yanks his hand away and rubs the back vigorously against his jeans, turning his face away to hide his reddening cheeks.
“Look, solnyshko, little Yurio has a crush,” Viktor coos.
“I DON’T HAVE A—” Yurio shouts back, the words catching in his throat. “Just...pick out your damn food so we can eat and get the hell out of here.” He peels up his sticky, laminated menu and tosses it in Viktor’s face, pulling his phone from his pocket when it buzzes with a text.
(3:16) do not have a crush on your dad you are too young and it is literally incest
(3:17) good bye
Yurio stares at the screen—fingers twitching—and dives across the table for Viktor’s phone.
“Yuuri, protect me!” Viktor wails, laughing as he weakly bats off Yurio’s hands.
Yuuri dutifully drapes his body across Viktor’s like a human shield, wiggling his way into his lap and wrapping his arms around his shoulder. “Don’t kill your dad, Yurio, please he has great abs.”
“It’s fine, Yuuri, it’s okay,” Viktor placates. “I’m already dead, remember?”
“What?” Yuuri gasps, pulling back from Viktor’s chest and clasping Viktor’s cheeks between his hands. “You died?!” His face hovers so close to Viktor’s their noses touch. “And I wasn’t invited to the funeral????”
“I died in Barcelona.” Vikfor confirms with a smile.
“That was years ago!”
Viktor nods, his hair sticking to his sweat-soaked forehead. “Yurio declared me dead.”
Yuuri gasps and turns to Yurio. “Un-declare him, Yurio, please!”
Viktor smiles dopily up to the waitress when she sets down their drinks. “It’s okay”—he pats Yuuri’s cheek—“I’m a ghost now.”
“But I don’t want a ghost, I want a husband.” Yuuri wails, eyes welling up with tears.
“I’m a ghost husband,” Viktor explains. “And I can’t do the dishes cause my hands are transparent.” Viktor picks up his water glass with his very non-transparent hand, tries to take a sip, and sputters into a coughing fit when he dumps half the glass down his very non-transparent face.
Yuuri looks down at the glass to his husband’s damp, gasping mouth. “Do the dishes for him, Yurio, his hands don’t work.”
“Yeah,” Viktor wheezes, waggling his hands around on limp wrists. “My hands don’t work, Yurio, why did you kill me?”
“I’m about to kill both of you if you don’t shut up.”
“No murders till yer at least a mile down the road, I’m sick of the police trampin’ mud all over our clean floors,” the waitress—Tammie, Yurio spots her name on the gaudy yellow name tag—jerks a thumb to the red and blue lights flashing in the dirty window and pulls a pad of paper from her apron pocket. “Y’all ‘bout ready to order?”
“I want a ghost omelette,” Viktor chirps.
“Fresh out,” Tammie tells him, sounding bored.
“I’ll have a bacon chicken melt, get those two All-Star specials, both with bacon.”
“Mmhmm. And how’d’ya like yer eggs?”
Viktor waggles his eyebrows and runs a hand down Yuuri’s thigh. “I like my eggs like I like my husband’s dic—”
“DON’T you fucking dare finish that statement.” Yurio grips his fork and points it menacingly at Viktor. “Over medium is fine.”
“Hashbrowns or grits?” Tammie asks, scribbling down orders with blank eyes.
Yurio knits his eyebrows—unsure how to answer. He studies the menu for answers, but the only differentiation he can make between the two items is that one looks like someone chewed up a potato and spat it out, while the other looks like the potato was fully digested before being regurgitated. “Uh…”
“One of each,” Tammie answers for him, ripping off the ticket and turning to pin up the order. “Just holler if y’all need somethin’.”
Yurio nods to Tammie’s back and turns around to his drunken companions. Somehow, in the span of less than a minute, Viktor has pulled his shirt halfway off—one sleeve completely removed and the collar stretched over the top of his head—and Yuuri is cupping his chest in wide-eyed wonderment, thumbing circles over his nipples.
“Would you please stop touching his nipples.” Yurio hisses, covering his face with his hands to save himself from the sight.
“But I like his nipples.” Yuuri marvels, unblinking.
“Yeah, he likes my nipples he can touch my nipples if he wants to,” Viktor quickly agrees.
“Look—” Yurio points a finger at the door—“‘no shoes, no shirt, no service.’ Put your goddamn shirt on or you’re waiting outside on the curb.”
Viktor’s shoulders slump with a pout. “But it’s cold on the curb.”
“I’ll keep you warm, Vitya.” Yuuri blows hot breath into his hands and slaps them on his husband’s chest.
“You know what else can keep you warm?” Yurio reaches across the table to yank Yuuri back by the elbow. “Your fucking shirt!”
Viktor lets his head flop back on the booth. “You’re crushing my spirit, Yakov.”
“I’m not Yakov.”
“I’ll skate to ‘Lucky’ if I want to.”
“I’m. Not. Yakov.”
“Britney Spears is my muse. She’s my everything.”
“I thought I was your everything.” Yuuri pouts, squishing his cheek against Viktor’s chest.
“Of course you are, solnyshko, you’re ghost Viktor’s one and only boo.”
Yurio is groaning loudly when a salmon shorts wearing, drunk-looking frat boy stumbles up to their table.
“Hey, man, sorry to interrupt but are you...Yuuri Katsuki?”
“You know him?” Yurio deadpans.
“You know me?” Yuuri echoes.
“Dude, is it seriously you, bro? The Yuuri Katsuki that took down the whole Bulldogs team at beer pong in ‘14. You’re a legend, dude! That impeccable form...that beautiful arch...Brad still gets tears in his eyes when he talks about it. I swear to god, man, he owns like...five shirts with your face on them.”
Yuuri blinks dazedly and Viktor wraps an arm around his shoulders. “His name is Yuuri Katsuki- Nikiforov and I own at least twenty shirts with his face on them.”
Yurio looks from Viktor—who still has his shirt collar stretched around the top of his head—to the popped collar, Sperry sporting frat boy. “Yeah, as fascinating as this conversation is—”
“And Yurio owns at least ten,” Viktor adds with a huff.
“Okay, that’s definitely not—”
“I gotta get your autograph, man,” the guy interrupts. “Hold on one sec.” He stumbles up to the bar and leans himself across the counter. “Tammie, girl, it’s Dylan! I need a pen, It’s an emergency!”
“Yura, you play beer pong?” Viktor tilts his head at his husband.
Yuuri shrugs and shakes his head.
Yurio bites his lip and fights the impulse to say, ‘ duh, of course Yuuri plays beer pong, have these idiots not seen the YouTube videos? ’
Yuuri wiggles and nuzzles his face into Viktor’s shoulder. “Mm, Vitya, I hafta pee.”
“Aw solnyshko,” Viktor combs his husband’s hair back from his forehead. “You want me to go with you?”
Yuuri bobs his head up and down twice and Viktor wraps his arms around him and starts scooting them down the bench. He hoists Yuuri into a bridal carry and starts to whisk him off to the bathroom, but Yurio grabs him by the shirttail when he tries to walk by. “Nuhuh. One at a time.”
“But Yurio-o,” Viktor pouts.
“No fucking way. Sit. He’s an adult, he can make it on his own.”
Yurio knows it to be true, because while the average human would find themselves in a puddle of loose limbs on the floor at this level of inebriation, Yurio has born witness to the inhuman level of precision Yuuri possesses while drunk off his ass. The man has break danced, tailored one of Yurio’s ill-fitting costumes, and perfectly poached an egg, all after consuming seemingly lethal amounts of alcohol. A simple walk to the bathroom is nothing in comparison.
Yuuri frowns but trudges off on his own without a fight.
Viktor slumps back into his seat and lays his head on the table, whining about missing his husband already.
“I’m never fucking doing this again.” Yurio grumbles into his coffee, just as the pink-cheeked frat boy—Dylan, apparently—stumbles back to their table.
“Aw man, where’d he go?” His face falls.
Yurio starts to open his mouth and tell the guy to fuck off, but Viktor answers for him. “He’s doing the dishes,” he slurs.
Dylan knits his eyebrows together and peers over the counter at the sink. “But—”
“The ghost dishes,” Viktor clarifies. “He’s such a sweet boy.”
“Aw man,” the guy wilts with genuine disappointment and slumps back to his booth, “now no one will believe me.”
An uncomfortable amount of time goes by without a reappearance from Yuuri. Viktor builds castles out of the little tubs of creamer while Yurio drums his fingers on the table, gritting his teeth as the time ticks over from four minutes to five without Yuuri’s return. Yurio doesn’t want to be the guy to knock down the door if Yuuri just taking a shit or something, but he also doesn’t want to be responsible for his death via toilet bowl drowning or something equally as stupid.
Yurio’s just determined himself to go check on Yuuri’s status when music starts streaming from the other side of the diner. Yurio has a sinking feeling in his stomach even before he hears Yuuri’s singing drifting in loud and lilting from behind him.
“Makkachin, can you handle this?”
“Oh god,” Yurio groans, shaking his head at the ceiling.
Viktor gasps across from him and brings both hands to his mouth. “I love this song!”
Yuuri flattens a hand on the jukebox and points at Yurio with a cocked hip. “Yurio, can you handle this?”
“Katsudon, I swear to god.” Yurio exits their booth and stomps across the yellowing tiled floor to retrieve him.
Yuuri buzzes by Yurio and grabs a fork off their table. He holds it to his mouth like a microphone and grabs Viktor by the chin, pulling their faces close. “Vitya, can you handle this?”
Viktor’s eyes widen with delight. “You tell me, moya lyubov.”
Yuuri winks at him and climbs over the back of the booth seat onto the bar. “I don’t think they can handle this!”
What follows is an admittedly impressive display of hip rolling and twerking. Yurio stares with his mouth hanging open, eyebrows knit in disgust. He’s too stunned to move, even when Viktor pulls out his wallet and stuffs a twenty into his husband’s pants when he drops it low over their booth.
Yurio is only broken out of his repulsed stupor when Dylan scrambles up next to him, phone in hand. “Don’t even fucking think about it.” Yurio snaps, grabbing him by the wrist.
“Press record and I will shove that phone so far up your ass your parents will have to pay long distance fees to reach you.” Yurio growls, eyes dark with anger.
Dylan squeaks and mutters out an apology just as Yuuri rips open his jacket and starts squeezing packets of grape jelly down his chest.
“I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly,” Yuuri sings, glistening purple jam dripping around his feet as he works his chest and hips into a full body roll.
And yeah. Yurio definitely isn’t ready.
He glances nervously at the police lights still glowing ominously in the foggy windows. He really doesn’t want to have to spend an evening at the prison just because Viktor can’t keep a tighter leash on his pig.
No one seems to be raising a fuss, though. Even when Yuuri starts doing the worm down the length of the bar.
Actually, he’s surprised at how little people seem to care about Yuuri’s impromptu performance. Out of the ten or so patrons, one or two wolf whistle in drunken appreciation, a few occasionally look up with dopey smiles, and the rest just eat their meals, looking almost as disinterested as the clearly jaded cooks and waitstaff.
No one forces Yuuri to come down from the bar, despite the clear violation in health code regulations. Tammie does trade out his fork for a spatula during his third encore—the accompanying music long faded. “Here, darling, I don’t wanna be responsible for another person pokin’ their eye out. The spatula has better acoustics, anyway.”
At some point, Yurio starts to question his sanity. Maybe this is all normal? Maybe the dark, rural roads transported them to an alternate dimension where drunkenly popping and locking it in the middle of a restaurant with a bare, jam-covered chest and twenty dollars sticking out of your boxer briefs is acceptable, even mundane behavior.
He doesn’t have to think about it long. Tammie sets steaming portions of eggs and sizzling bacon on their table, the brown ribbon-curled plates landing with a hollow plastic clack. Yuuri pauses mid-dougie and turns to their booth. He works his way down off the bar on wobbling legs, mindlessly pursuing the siren song of excessive grease and fat.
Yuuri follows suit, sliding back into his seat to stare down his chicken melt. He picks it up with both hands and stuffs half the sandwich in his mouth, eager for the blissful food coma his diet approved meals could never provide. His heart flutters at his first bite of warm bubbling cheese and perfectly crispy bacon. His sour memories of the night slowly dissipate, melting away in the dumpster of his memory with each mouthful of his steaming, heavily-buttered food.
He’s pulled from his trance when Tammie comes back and places the largest waffle Yurio has ever seen on their table. “On the house, honey. Sweet of you to DD so yer Dads can have a fun night on the town.”
For once, Yurio doesn’t correct her. He is sweet, godammit. And it’s about time those two drunken fools recognize it. “Спасибо.” He tells the waitress, smiling wider than he has all night when Viktor tries to pull the waffle towards him, only to recoil with a pout when Yurio slaps his hand away.
Yurio drizzles puddles of golden syrup over the dish, humming with exaggerated enthusiasm when he stuffs an overly large piece into his mouth.
The looks of jealousy on Yuuri and Viktor’s faces are sweeter than the sugary syrup sliding down his throat.
Maybe this place isn’t so bad, after all.