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"Where are you going? No, no," Yuuri protests. He grabs for Victor's sweat-slick arms, but his grip slips away as Victor pulls out of him.

Through the haze of his heat, he hears Victor curse and say, "I'm sorry, Yuuri."

"Don't stop, please don't stop, please," Yuuri hears himself begging.

"I can't. I'm sorry." Victor's pulling something off his cock, the condom? Yuuri doesn't care.

"Please finish, please. Please, I'm so close," Yuuri pleads. He just needs Victor. It'll be even better without the condom. He doesn't care.

But Victor's grabbing for his clothes. Yuuri watches through blurry eyes as he puts them on. The cool salt water of tears tracking down his burning cheeks is almost a relief. There are flames in his groin and it hurts, it hurts.

"Yuuri." Victor bends over him. He's dressed now, and less blurry, but Yuuri still can't see his expression clearly. He tries to blink away his tears.

Victor places a burning hand on his cheek.

"I'm so sorry," Victor whispers. He presses a kiss to Yuuri's lips that leaves them scorched. Then suddenly he grimaces and straightens up. "You -- I can't -- I can't be here anymore."

But Yuuri needs.

He grabs for Victor, but he's already across the room. And Yuuri can barely lift himself off the bed. He's so close and needs so much, it consumes all his strength.

"Victor, please," he begs. This is unbearable. He's going to die in this fire.

Victor shakes his head, his hands are fisted at his sides, his whole body is stiff as he turns to the door. But then he suddenly turns back around again.

"Yes, Victor, come back, don't leave. Please don't go," Yuuri says.

But instead of going to him, Victor heads to the cabinet against the wall. He grabs handfuls of things and then drops them on the bed beside Yuuri.

Yuuri can see the outline of his cock, hard in his pants and Yuuri reaches out for him. Victor flinches away.

"Yuuri, I--" Victor starts. And Yuuri thinks he hears him apologize again, but it's hard to hear over the roaring of fire in his ears. His Omega side is so hot, so desperate.

"You'll be okay," Yuuri thinks Victor says. "Just use those. You've done it before. You'll be okay."

He sounds more like he's saying it to himself than to Yuuri. But it's hard to tell, it's hard to pay attention. Yuuri glances down at the dildos, vibrators, anal plugs that Victor had set on the bed beside him.

Yuuri wasn't supposed to need these.

He looks up at Victor, blinking away more tears. But Victor is sneaking out of the heat room just like the way he'd snuck in, hours ago, after the onsen was empty and Yuuri's parents had gone to bed.

Yuuri's too consumed by the fire to call out again for him.

 

 

His heat is longer than ever. Longer than any of the times he's been alone before. It's as if his Omega side is holding out for Victor to come back.

He doesn't come back.

The heat barely lets him up between waves of need, need, need. He rarely remembers to get himself water, and doesn't remember until the heat starts to break that he needs to eat.

Usually it's to relief that it breaks. Relief knowing it will be months before he has to deal with this again. But this time Yuuri's heat breaks to despondency.

He showers mechanically and stumbles back to the inn. His sister tells him he looks terrible and his mother puts a bowl of katsudon in front of him.

He chokes down a few bites, takes a sip of the water, and heads up to his room.

There are no messages, no calls from Victor on his phone.

He opens a new text to him, but doesn't know what to type. His chest tightens. All he can remember is Victor saying 'sorry' over and over again. He can't remember what he'd done wrong to make Victor leave.

 

 

Forget all the times Yuuri has been scented against his will. Forget all the times he's had to depend on others to save him. Forget that he was kicked off the figure skating team, and not even allowed in the rink, as soon as the coach learned that he'd presented.

Forget the way his dreams had crashed down a year ago with the slick and burn of his first heat.

He's never hated being an Omega more than right now.

 

 

Yuuri can't sleep in the bed where Victor used to cuddle with him. Can't sleep in the bed where they'd made out for the first time. Where they'd explored each others' bodies. Given each other their first -- well, there were a lot of firsts in that bed.

He grabs a mat from the Japanese-style banquet room and lies down on the floor.

He doesn't sleep there either.

 

 

"Yes," Victor had agreed immediately and drawn Yuuri up into a tight hug. But then he'd pulled back to look at him, eyebrows knotted as he'd asked, "But you know I won't be able to satisfy you?"

"I don't want to be knotted," Yuuri had said firmly. The words had come out with all the anger he had for Alphas and all the disgust at the thought of letting one inside him. "I will never want to be knotted."

"Well," Victor had said, after he gave him a brief, calming kiss. "That's nothing you have to worry about, then."

 

 

Biology is first period.

Yuuri's in a daze when he slumps down into his usual seat next to Victor, three rows back, four rows in. So it takes him a moment to realize that it's another Beta sitting in Victor's seat, and Victor sitting in the front of the room.

Maybe Yuuri should just be relieved that it's not one of the two Alphas in the class who took his place.

Victor turns and looks at him halfway through class, as Mrs Dworsky draws a three-chambered heart on the board. Yuuri quickly looks down at the notes he's not taking.

 

 

Yuuri gets to third period English first. He takes his usual seat in the second row from the front, third row from the door. There are two seats left when Victor comes in.

He takes the one in the fourth row from the front, second row from the door.

Another Beta takes the empty one next to Yuuri.

Yuuri very, very carefully doesn't turn around.

 

 

In fourth period World History, Yuuri gets a bathroom pass, sits in a stall in the empty Omega bathroom and sobs.

He washes the tears away, dries his face with a paper towel, and gets cornered by an Alpha as soon as he steps outside.

He wishes he could afford the scent-masking soap to cover up the smell of unbonded Omega that tells any Alpha with a nose 'here! find me here!'.

He wishes he'd taken karate as a kid, instead of Minako's ballet classes. But no one would teach an Omega a fighting sport now.

Just as the Alpha corners him against a row of lockers, he manages to duck under one of the his arms and run.

He's panting from his sprint back to class as he hands the bathroom pass back in. Mr Pollock grabs a pen from his desk and adds a neat "-10" next to Yuuri's name in the gradebook for taking too long.

Yuuri accidentally catches Victor's eye on his way back to his seat. Victor's mouth is open like he's about to say something to him, even over Mr Pollock's droning about the Boer War and with an audience of thirty-one other students.

He doesn't. Yuuri doesn't know if he's relieved or not.

 

 

Sixth period used to be the start of the afternoon's skating practice.

Now, Yuuri walks into the Omega Studies classroom.

Phichit looks up at from where he's typing on his phone and jumps out of his seat.

"You look terrible!" he exclaims, grabbing Yuuri's arms.

Phichit's a year below him, so it's the only class they have together. Of course it was better when they shared the ice at the rink, instead.

Before Yuuri can reply, Mrs Winsome takes her place at the front of the classroom and explains to the six Omegas in the school that they're going to learn to darn socks.

"I know this is old fashioned, but it's part of the curriculum," she tells them. She's an Omega who's allowed to work an hour a day to teach this class. She's gushed in the past about how wonderful and generous her Alpha is for permitting it.

Yuuri stares at hole in the black dress sock she hands him. Phichit gets a rainbow-striped one.

This task, Yuuri doesn't tell her, is more of a waste of time for Yuuri than any of the other Omegas here. He will never bond with an Alpha.

Not in this lifetime.

He'll live with his parents, help at the onsen. And, yes, he's been reminded enough times of the opportunities a generous Alpha might give him. The chance at higher education. At a job. Other certain minor feedoms.

Like stepping on the ice again.

But he's never going to live with a bite on his neck. Never be reliant on aggressive Alpha whims.

He'll never have an Alpha who can take the ice away from him, either.

 

He hasn't told anyone besides Victor his plans. He knows full well that he'll be sent for re-education if he get reported for thinking like this.

Yuuri's dreamed forever of having Victor. For years before Victor even knew his name. But they're just dreams, and he knew from their first kiss in the dark night that he would have to give him up.

He just hadn't thought it would be this soon.

 

"You must be careful with the Alpha you choose, you know," Mrs Winsome is saying. "It would be a tragedy to end up with an Alpha who couldn't afford new socks. Though," she muses. "I suppose if your Alpha has a favorite pair, and it gets a hole in it, you should be able to darn it. Or if you wash your Alpha's socks on the wrong setting but fix the holes well enough they won't have to punish you. Perhaps this curriculum is our time, after all."

"Why didn't you answer my texts?" Phichit whispers to him as they pick up their needles.

Yuuri pokes his needle into the sock and pulls it through before he realizes he hadn't put thread in it.

"Did you have your phone off again?" Phichit asks. "Did another Alpha get your number and start calling you? You know, you can just block their number. You don't have to turn your phone off every time it happens."

Yuuri doesn't say anything, just stares down and wonders idly where the pair to his sock is.

"Well, I wanted to know if you'd see The King and the Omega 2 with me when your heat was over," Phichit whispers. He's all but bouncing in his seat. He's been waiting for this movie since it was announced months ago. "We can go tomorrow night."

"Your sister will take us?" His older sister is a bonded Alpha.

"Yeah," Phichit whispers to him with a sly smile. "She'll get us in. But she wants to see Final Force, so we'll sneak into the other theatre."

Yuuri has nothing else to do and can't bring himself to care either way, so he says, "Okay."

"You think Victor wants to come?" Phichit asks.

"I think he's busy," Yuuri says quietly.

"Oh. We could do it another night?"

"I think he's going to be busy another night, too."

Phichit doesn't know that Victor is any more to him than a friend. If Yuuri could, he'd tell everyone, announce on the PA system, pin up flyers, so they'd know that this kind, gorgeous skating star was his.

But at least they're allowed to be friends without recourse. Hardly anyone would suspect an Omega being attracted to a Beta. Or that a Beta would be stupid enough to pursue an Omega when there were Alphas around. Omegas are too valuable to be wasted on a gender who couldn't appreciate their hormones. A Beta who couldn't even knot them in their heat or bite them to properly bond them.

If anyone knew Victor was more to him than a friend, if they knew that Victor was everything to him, they would send Yuuri to re-education. And Victor to worse.

Of course, that won't be a problem anymore.

Yuuri's hands are too clumsy to get thread the needle. Maybe he'll fail the 'sock darning' lesson. Maybe word will get out and no Alpha will want him once they hear about it.

Maybe, after everything, it will be sock darning that sets him free.

He laughs out loud and can hear the hysteria in it.

Phichit stares at him. Mrs Winsome raises an eyebrow from across the classroom.

"Sorry, sorry," Yuuri apologizes and ducks his head. He picks up the needle and thread again.

Mrs Winsome goes back to helping Yuri Plisetsky, who's practically growling at her for her efforts. Yuri is as angry as Yuuri about his secondary gender, just much louder about it. Yuuri has secretly pitied him for presenting so early. He's barely halfway through freshman year now. Yuuri at least had two more years of freedom than that.

 

 

Yuuri wishes he could save himself. Wishes he was stronger, smarter, cleverer.

Not an Omega.

The yearly mating runs had been done away with as primitive and uncultured. Now Alphas court with gifts, and a meeting of the families to negotiate a dowry, and the decision to accept an Alpha is up to the Omega. Or, rather, their parents.

It's a very modern system, as any politician on TV will say.

But what they won't mention is that, as compromise to the Alpha's necessary instinct to take an Omega by force, everyone looks away when Alphas prove their prowess by overpowering and scenting unbonded Omegas.

It's like a mating run, only one that never stops.

The Alpha from Yuuri's Biology class has him pushed up against the school hallway. One hand is tangled in Yuuri's hair, yanking his head to the side to expose his neck. The other has a bruising grip on Yuuri's arm.

Students pass by on their way home at the end of the day.

Yuuri gave up on screaming for help a long time ago.

Instead, he squirms and kicks and tries to fee himself but it has no effect. He feels Alpha's nose sniffing the crook of his neck.

An Alpha is all the more powerful for catching an Omega who resists. Unfortunately, at this school, it's Yuuri who has that reputation, and is known as the most valuable Omega to scent. When Yuuri graduates, he's sure the next in line will be Yuri Plisetsky.

Just two weeks ago now, Yuuri would have been walking the halls of the school with Victor.

And Victor might have been a Beta but even the Alphas wouldn't normally mess with them when they were together. And, on the occasions that they did, other students would come to defend Victor.

No one wanted their star figure skater injured before a competition.

 

 

The Alpha begins rubbing his stubble-rough cheek against Yuuri's neck, and Yuuri gives up. Just closes his eyes tight and waits for it to be over. This is the first time he's actually been caught since Victor left him.

He tells himself he's lucky it took this long.

 

 

But then there's a yell that's more like a growl and the Alpha raises his head from Yuuri's shoulder. He feels more than hears the Alpha get punched.

It's obviously another Alpha challenging him for his prize. He's been in this position before. He knows he really doesn't have a chance to escape now.

Except that the Alpha's shoved away from him, fingers yanked out of Yuuri's hair as he's being knocked back.

And Yuuri is free.

He sprints for the school's front doors, dodging the groups of students in his way. He might not be nearly as strong as an Alpha, or even a Beta, but thankfully the one thing his presentation didn't change was his stamina.

If he gets enough of a head start, he can outrun any Alpha he's met. He glances behind himself and neither of the Alphas are following him, which means that if he runs the four and a half miles to Yu-Topia, he'll be safe inside before the Alphas either give up or lag far enough behind him. And neither the one from Biology or the white-haired one will catch him.

 

He suddenly stops.

The second Alpha hadn't been an Alpha at all. There's only one student in this school with white-blond hair.

Yuuri's heart pounds. The Alpha undoubtedly won their fight -- Victor hasn't been stupid enough to challenge one directly like this in months -- and will still be around and trying to come after Yuuri. But Yuuri can't just leave Victor there. Especially not when he might be hurt and bleeding in the empty hallway.

As Yuuri climbs back up the stairs to the school, he ignores the students who bump into him and the ones who curse at him for getting in their way. He walks cautiously back to the hallway he'd sprinted away from.

The Alpha from his biology class is gone. Instead, Victor's sitting slumped on the dirty tile with his back against the wall.

"Victor?" Yuuri asks quietly. "Are you okay?"

Victor visibly startles and looks up at him. He's not bleeding, at least, and his face appears uninjured.

"I'm so sorry, Yuuri," he says. And the apology brings Yuuri's memory back to his heat, back to Victor apologizing over and over as he left him there.

Yuuri steps closer to him. Victor's sad eyes are steady on his.

"Thank you for saving me," Yuuri tells him.

"I was too late," he says, and then gives a harsh laugh. "Never thank me, Yuuri."

Yuuri bites his lip as he takes another step closer. The stench of Alpha lingers in the hall.

"Why?" Yuuri asks.

"Why shouldn't you thank me?" Victor says, bitterness of his words almost palpable in the air. "I'm sure there's at least a dozen reasons."

"No, why did you--" Yuuri stops himself, looking around them quickly.

"Can we talk somewhere else?" Victor asks.

Yuuri breathes out in relief and nods.

He follows Victor out of the school and Victor keeps a distance from him.

Yuuri remembers when they used to walk so close to each other that they would bump shoulders in the hallway. It felt like the nearest thing to holding hands.

 

 

Victor leads him to a bench under a secluded tree. He brushes the white petals off and sits down. Yuuri sits as far as he can on the opposite end so he doesn't have to watch Victor scoot away from him.

"Was it the slick?" Yuuri asks. He's wondered if Betas find it gross. "Or am I not as, um, attractive as you thought?" He's under no delusions that the Alphas pursue him for his looks. "Or maybe I didn't make it good enough for you?"

Victor's eyes are wide, mouth dropped open. It takes him a long moment to reply, but when he does, he says a firm, "No, Yuuri. Never."

He makes a move like he's going to comfort Yuuri, but stops himself.

"Don't think any of that. Please don't tell me that's what you've been thinking. You were -- god, you were the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Everything about you and how you felt. It was so--" Victor hangs his head, looking strangely defeated. "Apparently it was too much for me."

"What do you mean 'too much'?" Yuuri asks, split between relief and skepticism. Victor did leave him after all.

Victor shakes his head. "I should have told you. Afterwards, at least. I kept thinking there would be a right way to say this but I've been so afraid of losing you. But I already have, haven't I? It's not fair. If this was going to happen, it should have happened years ago."

"Victor, will you just tell me what you're talking about?"

Victor looks away for a long moment. Yuuri is about to insist that he answer the question when Victor finally turns back to him.

With red eyes.

Yuuri inhales sharply as an instinctive frisson of fear runs through him. Victor quickly blinks his eyes them back to their usual light blue.

Yuuri grips the bench underneath himself to keep from running away.

"When?" Yuuri asks nervously. How long had he been an Alpha? Had it been all along? Had Yuuri just been too stupid to smell it on him? He can smell Alpha now, but he'd thought it was from the scent marking he'd been subjected to.

Victor looks down at his lap. "During your heat. We were making love--"

No one but Victor calls fucking an Omega in heat 'making love'. It's as if Victor's intentionally trying to make him cry.

"--and it was so, you were so, so good. Being with you was the most amazing thing I'd ever... And I presented, right there. I didn't know what was happening, I thought--I don't know what I thought it was at first. But I almost knotted you, Yuuri." He rubs at the bridge of his nose. "I know you never want to be knotted and I almost did. You have no idea how close I was."

Yuuri just stares at him.

"And your scent," Victor continues. "I thought you smelled good before, but, after that, it was too overwhelming. I could barely control myself. It took everything I had to leave."

"Victor." Yuuri hears his own voice break on his name.

"I know. I know. I'm so sorry," Victor says, shaking his head. "I'll stay away from you, I promise. Just please trust me. I'll never do anything to you. An I'll keep you safe. I know I messed up today. I was too late. But I can do better."

"You're really an Alpha," Yuuri says, shaking his head dumbly as he stares down at the ground.

"I didn't want it. I'd give it all up for you if I could."

Yuuri just says, "I need to go."

 

 

"What are you so upset about?" Mari asks, taking another drink of her beer.

"Didn't you hear me?" Yuuri demands. "Victor's an Alpha now."

Yuuri's 'crush' on Victor was common knowledge around Yu-Topia. He suspected that Minako and Mari, who were a lot less naive than his parents, knew that their relationship went a bit beyond 'crush'. But in uncharacteristic discretion for both of them, they'd never said anything out loud.

Until now, apparently.

"Exactly," Minako says, and winks at him. "Now you can be with Victor. Don't tell me that isn't what you both always wanted."

"But he's an Alpha," Yuuri repeats. "I don't *want* an Alpha. I don't want to be claimed. I don't want to be..."

"What? Knotted?" Mari says. "Why not? I hear it's supposed to hit your prostate just right and--"

Yuuri buries his face in his hands. "Please don't say any more."

"Okay, let's look at this logically," Minako says as she snaps the top off a new bottle of beer. "You've loved Victor for years. Victor is obviously ridiculous about you. As a Beta, you could hardly be together. As an Alpha, he can claim you--"

"And, by claiming me, take away all my rights," Yuuri points out.

"Like you have so many rights now?" Minako arches a brow.

"You really think I don't know that?" Yuuri asks angrily. He stands up from the table with his hands fisted. "But you know that an Alpha could take away what little I do have."

"Or give you everything," Minako says. She takes a swig of her beer and then looks on him with a somewhat softer expression. "Look, it's a shitty world for Omegas, kid. I'm not going to pretend it's not. You can either make the best of it or--" she waves her hand, beer sloshing in the bottle "--give up on it. That's the one thing you have a choice in."

 

 

The next day, Yuuri can't stop looking over at Victor. Every time Victor looks back, Yuuri looks away.

 

 

That night, Yuuri thinks about an Alpha, in the midst of presenting, literally inside an Omega in heat, pulling out and leaving because he knew the Omega didn't want to be knotted.

A part of his mind tries to tell himself that Victor resisted because Yuuri wasn't all that alluring after all.

Another part of his mind says that he's not giving Victor the credit he deserves.

 

 

The next day, when Victor catches Yuuri looking at him, Yuuri gives him a tentative smile. Victor grins back at him and it's like seeing the sun after a long winter.

 

 

The following day it occurs to Yuuri that Victor's staying so far from him out of respect. Because he wants Yuuri to feel safe.

He smiles at Victor again that day, just because he wants to see his face light up again.

 

 

 

The weekend passes. Yuuri thinks.

 

 

On Monday, Yuuri waits outside of third period English for Victor to come out.

"Want to walk with me to history?" Yuuri asks.

Victor's expression darkens and Yuuri starts to worry until he hears him demand, "Who's the Alpha after you?"

"No, no," Yuuri says. With the hand not holding his textbooks, he fidgets with the straps on his backpack. "I just. We have the next class together. I thought maybe--"

"You just want to walk with me," Victor finishes. He cocks his head, giving Yuuri a thoughtful look.

Yuuri nods. And, to diffuse the tension, hands Victor his stack of English and History textbooks and tells him, "I also want you to carry my books."

Victor raises his eyebrows.

"Since you're all strong now," Yuuri clarifies.

"I was always stronger than you," Victor says, though he takes the books as they start down the hall.

"Then maybe you should have offered sooner," Yuuri replies easily.

Victor gives Yuuri a shake of his head, but his eyes sparkle.

 

 

 

The next day, Victor carries Yuuri's books as if it's something he's always done.

When they get to history, he sets Yuuri's books down on his desk and starts to walk away. But Yuuri grabs for his arm and lookings meaningfully at the desk beside him. The one that used to be Victor's.

Yuuri's getting addicted all over again to Victor's smile.

 

 

The next week, Yuuri passes him a note.

 

 

He waits nervously, sitting on the grassy hill, hugging his knees to his chest.

When Victor arrives, he sits next to him, just far enough away to keep from accidentally touching.

"Victor," Yuuri says. "Tell me what kind of Alpha you'll be."

 

 

 

Victor drops off a gift for Yuuri the next day. Yuuri formally presents it to his parents before they eat dinner.

"It's from Victor Nikiforov," he tells them.

"Oh, it's about time, honey," his mother says. "Didn't he present weeks ago?"

 

 

Three gifts later, Yuuri is down to the last 'Thank You' card in his box, and tells Victor he has to stop bringing presents.

"I'm trying to court you, you know," Victor tells him, eyes sparkling with amusement. "You're not being very romantic."

"I just don't want to have to buy another box." Yuuri is just being practical.

Victor grabs the box from his hands and looks at the lid.

"There were twenty-five cards in this," he says.

"It's my third box since I presented," Yuuri tells him.

Victor shakes his head. "And did you thank all the other Alphas with handdrawn emojis, too?"

"No," Yuuri says. "I thanked them with a 'thank you but no thank you'. And then had to pay postage to send the presents back."

Victor raises an eyebrow.

"It was getting expensive," he says.

"I imagine," Victor agrees.

 

 

"Look, let's just get this over with," Yakov announces after his last bite of katsudon. No one knows where Victor's parents went off to this time, or when they'll be back, so Yakov's the closest Victor has to family to represent him at the mating negotiations.

"Over with?" Yuuri's mother repeats.

"We both know no one's going to object to this," he says. "And those two are holding hands and playing footsie under the table right this moment."

Yuuri feels his face flush as his father bursts into laughter. But he doesn't let Victor's hand go.

"And Victor's already decided on the dowry. Apparently it's non-negotiable," Yakov says with a sigh.

"You did?" Yuuri asks, raising his eyebrows. "And what is this non-negotiable dowry?"

Victor grins at the whole table and proudly announces, "Nothing."

Yakov grumbles something as Yuuri's mother repeats with a smile, "Nothing?"

"Nothing," Victor says, still grinning. He squeezes Yuuri's hand under the table.

 

 

"I'm going to ask you something now, because you might not believe me if I ask you during my heat," Yuuri says. They're cuddled together in his bed, like they used to all the time.

Victor pulls back from where he's pressing lazy kisses down his collarbone to look at him.

"I want you to claim me during this heat," Yuuri tells him. "I'm ready."

"But, Yuuri," Victor says, sounding pained. "I have to knot you to do it."

Yuuri nods.

"And you don't want to be knotted," Victor reminds him.

"I might have changed my mind on that," Yuuri says.

"Are you sure?" Victor asks. "You know I can help you without doing that." He gives Yuuri a chagrined look. "I've learned a little better control since last time."

Yuuri gives him a small smile, "Yes, I'm sure. I want you to knot me. And I want you to claim me."

Victor leans in and kisses him. "All right. But I'll only claim you on one condition."

"And it is?"

"You have to claim me, too," Victor tells him.

Yuuri stares for a moment, then laughs. "I can't claim you, Victor. You know that."

"You can bite me."

"It won't stay," Yuuri reminds him.

"It'll stay a little while. You'll just have to renew it every few days." Victor pouts. "Is that really too much to ask?"

 

 

Yuuri knows he's made the right choice not when Victor's first act as his Alpha is to get him permission to return to the ice rink.

And not even that night when Victor makes him practice his signature over and over so that he can sign his own Omega permission forms.

Or when, after the third time Victor insists that his bite mark is fading and he tries to get Yuuri to renew it and Yuuri tells him he's not really into biting, and Victor decides that he will accept a hickie. But only if it can be seen at a sufficient distance.

No, Yuuri knows he's made the right choice when he catches Victor introducing them, not as the usual, "This is my Omega." But, to general confusion, "This is Yuuri Katsuki. I'm Yuuri's mate."