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Victor the Commentator

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“Aaaand look at that beautiful landing on the triple Axel! It reminds me of Yuuri’s own beautiful triple Axel from a spread-eagle!” Victor exclaimed into his microphone.

“Victor!” Yuuri mock-whispered. “You are not supposed to talk about ourselves during the commentary!”

Victor pouted next to him. “But I get reminiscent about seeing you skate competitively whenever I see a skater perform like you did back then!”

“Victorrrr,” Yuuri chided. They had gone through the reasons before - they were not supposed to talk about themselves because it was impolite to the skater performing at that time. They were also supposed to appear impartial.

“Okay, okay, Yuuri,” Victor ceded the point, probably more because he didn't want to make a fuss and less because he agreed.

The skater continued into a flying sit spin. Yuuri said as much for the commentary. Victor helpfully added, “We can see a really good spin here - great centering and speed! Beautiful position as well!”

Yuuri followed up with some trivia about the skater. “Yes, this skater is known for his great spins - oh, and we even see him doing a change-of-foot to rotating in the other direction!”

Victor gushed, “There is equally great speed in both directions of spinning. Sugoi!”

They spent the next one minute in silence (except the sounds broadcasted from the arena itself), appreciating the beauty of the intricate step sequence on their screen.

Yuuri was scheduled to commentate on the Rostelecom Cup this weekend while it was broadcasted live to the whole of Japan. However, his scheduled partner, Miko-san who was another professional figure skater, suddenly came down with a terrible flu and could not make it. The TV broadcasters suggested Victor to fill in temporarily - so that was how Yuuri ended up giving a live Japanese commentary with his speaks-Japanese-well-enough-with-a-Russian-accent-but-misuses-words-sometimes husband.

At the end of the step sequence, Victor commented, “That step sequence was wonderful! Normally we see step sequences that are awkwardly choreographed to get a level 4, but this one definitely hits the level 4 requirements and looks so beautiful! Who is the choreographer again?”

Yuuri mentally sighed at Victor’s forgetfulness. It was already shown on the screen before the free skate started. “Victor, how can you forget that the screen showed Phichit-kun’s name?”

“Oh!” Victor’s tone sounded regretful, at least. “Phichit, if you ever hear this, I am sorry! But I would definitely want to get you to choreograph for some of my students!”

“...and if you are just tuning in now, Phichit Chulanont is based in Thailand and has been choreographing for most of his students and some other skaters as well. The skater George Diaz here is probably the best known of them who has a good chance of getting into the Grand Prix Final,” Yuuri said, as he tried to balance out Victor’s horribly personal commentary.

George launched into a gorgeous quadruple Salchow, double toe-loop combination, with arms aloft in the toe-loop. “Quadruple Salchow, double toe-loop!” Victor exclaimed excitedly. “That is definitely getting positive GOE, as we can tell from the points on-screen!”

Yuuri supplemented this by saying, “The landing was beautiful. For performing such a difficult combination in the later half of the program, he gets a 1.1x multiplier too.”

Victor added further, “Such great stamina! Quite like you, Yuuri!”

Yuuri cringed at the horrible job that Victor was doing as an “impartial commentator”. Despite the ease and comfort of working alongside his own husband, he did not dare hope that Victor was getting invited to commentate ever again.

Chapter Text

As the men’s event ended, Yuuri concluded the men’s free. “Rostelecom Cup is the 5th event in the Grand Prix series this season. Since Rostelecom Cup is the 5th event, we can tell from the points that some skaters have definitely made it to the final. Here we can see the winner of the men’s event in Moscow, bowing to the audience - Eric Yang of Canada, who placed second previously in Skate America, has accumulated 28 points in his GP events and will definitely be going to the Final. And appearing on the ice now, we can see the 2nd place skater - George Diaz of the Philippines, who placed first in Trophee de France, also accumulated 28 points and will definitely be going to the Final as well. The third place skater - Mikhail Vasiliev of Russia, who unexpectedly placed fourth in the Cup of China, accumulated 20 points and will most likely not be able to proceed to the final.”

Yuuri took a deep breath silently. That was a lot of explanation and while he definitely did not stumble over his words, he hoped he said everything correctly.

Victor added cheerfully, “We will be back at 12.05am for the pairs’ free! Stay tuned!”

The men’s free skate was only their first event of the day (well, the free dance was even earlier but the TV station did not broadcast it); they still had to do the commentary for the pairs’ free and the ladies’ free. They had half an hour before the next event begins.

The sound technician signalled to them from the neighbouring room that their mics were off. Yuuri turned to Victor immediately, wanting to talk about the inappropriateness of some of Victor’s comments.

Victor beat him to it, though. Kind of.

His ridiculous husband tackled him with a big hug and a loud kiss on his right cheek. “Yuuri, I just made my debut as a sports commentator! Didn’t I do great?”

Yuuri did not really have the heart to say otherwise so he went with it for now. “ Hai , my husband did a great job his first time commentating!” He hugged Victor back.

After a few seconds, Yuuri followed that up with, “...but maybe tone down the comments about me? After all, we should pay attention to the skaters instead of ourselves.”

“Okay, Yuuri!” Victor let go of him and started using his phone, possibly to scroll through social media. Yuuri opened up his twitter app as well to congratulate those who would be going to the Final.

Then Victor said, “Yuuri! Look here!” Yuuri looked up and before he realised it Victor snapped a selfie with him to upload on instagram.

Yuuri went back to his tweeting:

Well done men at #GPFigure! Congratulations to @eeeericyang, @georgyboyzzz and @MikeVasiliev for the podium finish!

Please check out the wonderful choreo work of @phichit-chu! (Sorry Phichit, @v-nikiforov forgot about you during our commentary.)

Less than a minute later:

@phichit-chu @yk1129 Yeah sorry Phichit!!!! (*'﹏'*) Please visit us (again) sometime and choreograph for my students!!!

@v-nikiforov @yk1129 Apology accepted! Victor’s commentating with you now??? Yeah I’ll visit & take many pictures of your cute daughter!!!

Said daughter was probably sleeping soundly in Mari-neechan’s room. Yuuri opened up his messages to look at the picture of her sleeping on her tummy (sent by his sister a few hours ago).

“Ahhhh, I miss our daughter!” Victor sighed while looking at his phone. Yuuri looked over Victor’s shoulder to see him scrolling through his thousands of photos of her. They then spent the remaining of their break time looking at those pictures and drinking coffee to stay awake for the pairs’ free.

Chapter Text

A few hours of commentary later, Victor was falling asleep, unaccustomed to watching figure skating long after bedtime. The screen was replaying the jumps from the final female skater of Rostelecom Cup.

"Triple flip, triple toe-loop - she hung on bravely there! The next jump, her triple Lutz in slow motion - I think there is an edge issue with the Lutz here. What do you think, Victor?”

“...hmmm???” Yuuri turned to look at his husband, who just sat up straighter and looked confused. It seemed he had just awoken from a short doze.

Ignoring Victor, Yuuri continued with his analysis. “We’ll see if the judges will call the edge. Double Axel, double toe-loop, double loop - she executed the combination nicely! A combination spin, ending elegantly with the Biellmann!" Yuuri squinted at the screen from behind his glasses.

“...what a cute dog plushie!!!” Victor suddenly said, when the camera cut to the kiss-and-cry to show the skater and her coach. “Where can I get that?”

Before Yuuri could say anything the scores came out. “Oh, a total of 201.20 points! A season’s best! That brings her to first place! It seemed there wasn’t an edge call after all.”

“DAVAI!” Victor exclaimed. He then yawned, and muttered into the microphone, “Does she own a dog? Let me check instagram…”

Sensing that his husband was more or less acting on autopilot at that point, Yuuri nudged Victor to remind him about his job and quickly signed off with a brief discussion of the contenders for the Grand Prix Final. In the end, they exited the recording room shortly before 4am, bidding the sound technician a hasty goodbye. Yuuri dragged Victor all the way to the car and drove them back home.

 

As expected, their daughter woke them up the next morning by sneaking into their bed.

Victor opened one eye to look at her. She grinned back and silently mouthed ‘good morning’ while clutching her poodle plushie. Victor darted a look at his husband, who was still sleeping blissfully, before mouthing ‘good morning’ back and kissing her on the forehead.

Victor then tried to go back to sleep by closing his eyes.

It was in vain though, as Yuumi-chan started tickling him. Victor succumbed to it almost immediately. He quickly got out of bed and picked her up, hoping that Yuuri was not disturbed by the rocky movements caused by the albeit silent tickle war.

Victor closed the bedroom's door silently. “Papa, Mari-bachan said Papa worked very-very-very-very-very late with Otouchan,” Yuumi-chan said, counting off the number of the word on one hand.

“Yes, Papa worked very-very-very-very-very-very late with Otouchan,” Victor replied.

“That’s one more ‘very’! Wow!” Yuumi-chan counted off and exclaimed. She turned her head to face her father to ask with a concerned tone, “Did Papa fall asleep?”

Victor chuckled, “Papa fell asleep while working! Otouchan scolded Papa on our way back!”

Yuumi-chan giggled in response. “Bad Papa!”

“Did Yuumi-chan sleep well with Mari-bachan?”

“Yuumi-chan slept well! Mari-bachan said Yuumi-chan was a good girl and slept like an angel!” Yuumi-chan giggled again. “Then Mari-bachan said Yuumi-chan accidentally kicked her at night!”

“Oh no! Did Yuumi-chan say sorry?” Victor asked.

“Yuumi-chan said sorry!” Yuumi-chan continued giggling unapologetically.

 

They washed up and headed downstairs. The first person they saw on their way to breakfast was Minako, who was sitting in front of the TV in the dining room.

Victor greeted her cheerily. “Minako, good morning!”

Yuumi-chan copied Victor’s English greeting. “Minako, good morning!”

Minako narrowed her eyes at Yuumi-chan.

Victor tried to correct his daughter. “You should say, ‘Miss Minako, good morning!’”

Yuumi-chan did so. “Miss Minako, good morning!”

“Good morning, Victor and Yuumi,” Minako replied. She turned her eyes back to the TV. “Victor, did you ever listen to Yuuri’s commentary before?”

“What commentary?” Victor replied absentmindedly before going into the kitchen.

Minako responded after Victor greeted everyone in the kitchen (‘Ohayo-gozaimasu minna-san’, echoed by Yuumi-chan) - which was really only his mother-in-law - and collected the breakfast portions for himself and Yuumi-chan.

“Figure skating commentary.”

“Hmm… Did I?” Victor tried to recall, but all he could remember was watching cartoons with Yuumi-chan in front of the TV. “Erm, I don’t remember.”

A few minutes passed as Minako did not respond, glued to the TV, and Victor went back to eating with his daughter at the table.

“Well, the two of you sure were extra chatty compared to the usual commentary with Yuuri and Miko,” Minako remarked.

“Wait, are you watching Rostelecom Cup?” Victor looked up and saw the men’s free skate airing on TV.

“I can see you are not completely awake,” she said as she turned to look at Victor. “I’m watching the re-air because I was out drinking with old friends last night.”

“Did I do well?” Victor cracked an onsen egg over Yuumi-chan’s small bowl of rice at her request.

“You were talking a lot about Yuuri and embarrassing him in many ways.”

Just then, Victor's voice on the TV said, "Such great stamina! Quite like you, Yuuri!"

“Oh, yes I did! He scolded me on the way back home!” Victor replied cheerfully. "I will do a better job next time!"

At that point, his mother-in-law joined in the conversation. “Ahh, the whole of Japan is going to hear Vicchan’s gushing about Yuuri.”

“...while looking at skaters who are neither of them,” Minako added.

“Yuuri hardly skates full programs anymore except for ice shows. I miss Yuuri’s skating so much!” Victor pouted.

His mother-in-law chuckled while Minako just sighed.

“I’m getting the premonition that this is going to trend on twitter. Hashtag Victor Commentator-san,” Minako read aloud from an imaginary Japanese tweet, “Victor Nikiforov debuts as a Japanese figure skating commentator. He loves his husband and forgets things."

"Your Internet fans are going to go wild with the memes.”