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what flattery gets you

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Christophe Giacometti was on his way to meet a friend for lunch when he saw a vaguely familiar-looking figure standing in the hotel lobby.  He paused.  He was forever seeing vaguely familiar-looking figures standing in the lobbies of foreign hotels, and each time he had to rack his brain for the answer to that eternal question: lover, competitor, or both? 

This was a particularly tricky example.  His face was familiar, but his body wasn’t—Chris was certain he’d remember getting his hands on that one-two punch of slender waist and muscular thighs.  So, not a lover—a competitor, then?  Chris couldn’t conjure up a memory of that body in a costume, either.

Then the figure noticed Chris’s intent stare.  “Oh!” he said, his English faintly accented.  “Chris, hello.  I was wondering if I’d see you before practice tomorrow.”

Chris’s memory finally snagged on something: his eyes.  They were a vivid cherry-wood brown, and he remembered them staring out of a boy much shorter and softer than the slim young man in front of him.  “Yuuri!” he exclaimed, not bothering to hide his surprise.  “You’re so tall!

Yuuri flushed, and Chris remembered that, too.  Yuuri Katsuki had always been reserved.  The first time Chris met him, he’d leaned in to sweep an air kiss near his cheek, and Yuuri had done a neat little leap backward and then apologized profusely for doing it.  Chris had thought with amusement that if he kept leaning in, he could probably get Yuuri to leapfrog his way across the room, apologizing all the while. 

The memory prompted Chris to approach Yuuri now with his hand outstretched.  Yuuri shook it.  “I wouldn’t call myself tall standing next to you,” Yuuri said. 

Chris ducked his head in wry acknowledgment.  Chris had the dubious honor of being the tallest skater competing in the Grand Prix series that season.  “So, I finally get to compete against you!” Chris said.  “I’ve been worried about this day for years.”

“No,” Yuuri said dryly.  That was another thing about him: he shut down compliments cold when he thought he didn’t deserve them.  “I’ll be lucky if I make it through my senior debut without embarrassing myself.”

Chris was a natural flirt and a skilled flatterer, but even he had a hard time successfully landing a compliment on Yuuri Katsuki.  They had never competed against one another during their brief overlap in Juniors, but Chris had been to plenty of events where Yuuri skated.  If he tried to compliment his skating, Yuuri would just list out the mistakes he made; if he tried to compliment his appearance, Yuuri would just compare himself unfavorably to the skaters with showier looks.  Maybe it was true that Yuuri had been more cute than handsome when he was younger, but sometime in the last year or two, that switch had definitely flipped.

“Well, I was just headed out to meet a friend for lunch,” Chris said.  “But I’ll see you at tomorrow morning’s practice?”


“Until then,” Chris said.  As he walked away, he threw over his shoulder: “I know you’re going to do wonderfully, Yuuri!”

Yuuri sighed. 



Yuuri did, in fact, do wonderfully. 

After the short program, Chris was in first place by a very comfortable margin.  The Skate America lineup that year skewed younger and more inexperienced, and he had expected the real challenge to come from Cao Bin, who had gotten bronze in the Grand Prix Final last season.  But Cao made several uncharacteristic mistakes, and when all was said and done, Yuuri outscored him by two points to take second place. 

Chris sought Yuuri out afterward, feeling smug.  “I was right, wasn’t I?” Chris asked.  “You did marvelously.”  Then, before Yuuri could offer a rebuttal: “And you can’t tell me you didn’t.  The proof is in the scoring.  It’s an objective fact.”

Yuuri looked at the ground.  “Thanks.”

Chris felt both pleased and irritated.  He’d finally gotten Yuuri to accept a compliment, but somehow Yuuri still looked like he wanted the earth to swallow him whole.  “I suppose you won’t be pleased until you’ve given me the same thrashing you just gave Cao Bin?”

Yuuri looked up, startled.  “What?  No, that’s not—I didn’t thrash him.”

“Then why do you look so unhappy?”

Yuuri said reluctantly, “I get nervous when I do well.”

Chris contemplated that.  “Do you also get nervous when you do badly?”


“What if you place third or fourth?”

“Then I’m just mediocre,” Yuuri said.  “And that’s depressing.”

Chris took a step forward and put his hands on Yuuri’s shoulders.  Yuuri looked startled, but at least he didn’t leap backwards.  “Yuuri, you’re a mess,” Chris pronounced. 

Yuuri’s lips twitched.  Of course he’d cringe at a compliment and smile at an insult.  “I know,” he said.

“Well, in my experience,” Chris said, “anxiety can be dealt with very effectively by getting drunk.  Let me buy you a drink?”

“We’re in America,” Yuuri said, “the bars won’t serve either of us.”  He looked wistful.  “If this were the Rostelecom Cup, I’d be drunk already.”

“Sometimes I forget how tedious America is,” Chris said.  “Well, we could always do what I did when I was seventeen and wanted to get drunk at Skate America.”


“Steal my coach’s flask and drink it as fast as humanly possible.”

Yuuri visibly perked up at the idea.  The sight of him looking even a little happy was so novel that Chris was instantly determined to see more of it.  “Won’t you get in trouble?” Yuuri asked. 

Chris waved a hand dismissively.  “Josef knows there are worse things I could be getting up to.  Drinking quietly at the hotel with a fellow skater?  I’d be doing him a favor.”

So Chris got Yuuri’s phone number and told him they’d rendezvous back at the hotel.  He made it sound like he was going to pull off some kind of heist; in reality, once he and Josef were in the cab back to the hotel, he merely pointed to Josef’s coat lapel and said “May I?  We’re in America.”

Josef took the flask out of his inner pocket.  “I can trust you to know your limits?” he asked.  “You skate again tomorrow.”

“Of course.”

Josef handed it over.  “Not that it should matter much, with the weaker lineup we’ve got this year,” he said.  “But you saw the way Cao Bin stumbled.  It should be a lesson to you.”

“I promise to be on my very best behavior this evening,” Chris said.  “I just want a nice, quiet night of socializing with my fellow skaters.”

“Mm-hmm,” Josef said.

At the hotel, Chris stowed his gear away and texted Yuuri to meet him in the lobby.  Yuuri came down looking adorably conspiratorial.  “Are you sharing a room?” Chris asked him. 


“Me too,” Chris said.  “We’ll just have to be discreet.” 

They found a pair of seats in the lobby partially concealed by an ostentatious silk flower arrangement. Chris handed Yuuri the flask.  “What is it?” Yuuri asked. 

“No idea,” Chris said.  “But whatever it is will be mid-shelf, at least.  No cheap spirits for Josef.”

Yuuri took a sip.  “I think it’s whiskey.”

“How prosaic,” Chris said, and held his hand out for it. 

The two of them passed the flask back and forth, listening to the sound of people streaming in and out of the hotel.  Chris heard several voices he recognized as more skaters trickled back in, but one voice in particular made him duck his head under a cluster of silk peonies to look.  “Ah,” Chris sighed, tipsy and sentimental.  “That’s Luca.  Look at him, Yuuri.”

Yuuri ducked his head down too and Chris pointed.  “Handsome, isn’t he?” Chris said. 

Chris was pretty sure Yuuri wouldn’t answer the question if he were sober, but Yuuri was soft around the edges at that point.  “Yes,” Yuuri said, staring.  “Who is he?”

“An utter asshole,” Chris said.  “Never date an Italian ice dancer, Yuuri.”

Yuuri snorted.  Chris was pretty sure Yuuri wouldn’t snort if he were sober, either.  “What did he do?”

“He abandoned me in a Parisian nightclub and then came to my hotel room the next day looking for sex.”  Chris took another drink.  “Fortunately when he arrived, I was on top of a Lithuanian ice dancer, so he got the message.”

Yuuri’s shoulders shook with silent laughter.  Chris handed the flask back and Yuuri tilted it to listen to the slosh.  “Already low?” Chris said. 

“It’s fine,” Yuuri said.  “It wasn’t full to start with.”

“How are your nerves feeling?”


“Hmm,” Chris said.  “I was hoping there’d be enough to drown them.  There’s probably someone else in the hotel that I could pester into giving us more.  Although. . .” He raised an eyebrow at Yuuri.  “I suppose there are other ways to relax than drinking.”

Yuuri’s face turned a little pink as he tipped the flask back.  “Yeah, I guess you could set me up with a Lithuanian ice dancer.”

“The one I’m thinking of has retired, alas,” Chris said.  “Whatever happened to that cute little Finnish skater that was all over you at Junior Worlds?”

Yuuri’s face transitioned from pink to red alarmingly fast.  “Let’s please not talk about that.”

“Why not?” Chris asked.  “He seemed very sweet.”

“He didn’t help me relax,” Yuuri said.  “He just made me more nervous.  He kept trying to kiss me on-camera.”

“Well, I’d say it was gauche of him,” Chris said, “but of course I’ve kissed my fair share of people on-camera, too.”

“I had just met him,” Yuuri said.  “And my parents were watching.”

Chris thought about shy little Yuuri leaping away from an air kiss and smiled.  “He clearly didn’t know you very well.”

Yuuri nodded and held out the flask.  “You can finish it,” Chris said.  “My nerves are nice and inert at the moment.”

Yuuri drained it in short order.  He frowned and sat up straight, like he was trying to assess just how drunk he was.  “How do you do it?” he asked abruptly.  

“Do what?”

“How do you just find a Lithuanian ice dancer and sleep with him?”

Chris let out a hiccup of a laugh.  “Well, first you wait for Lithuania to field an internationally competitive team—”

“No,” Yuuri said.  “I mean, did you already know him before you slept with him?”


“So how did you. . .?”

Chris couldn’t suppress the smile blossoming on his face.  “Yuuri,” he purred, “are you asking me how to pick up men?”

“Don’t say it like that, Yuuri said, annoyed. “Just. . .answer the question.”

“Well, there are lots of ways to do it,” Chris said.  “What have you tried before?  How did you get your little Finnish skater?”

“I didn’t,” Yuuri said.  “He came to me.”  He shifted in his seat uncomfortably.  “That’s the problem.  All I ever do is wait.

The word wait was laced with such grim impatience that Chris was taken aback.  For a second there, shy, blushing, kiss-dodging Yuuri Katsuki sounded hungry.  That was interesting.

“Well,” Chris said, clearing his throat. “It really isn’t that hard.  I get good results just by striking up a conversation with someone and then giving them a certain look.”  Chris demonstrated it: casually suggestive, alluring. 

“I can’t do that,” Yuuri said immediately.

“Of course you can!” Chris said.  “You’re drunk, you can do anything.  Try it on me.”

Yuuri screwed up his face in hesitation, then tried to flatten his expression into something neutral.  “Okay, good start,” Chris said.  “A lot of it’s in the eyebrows.”  Yuuri raised his eyebrows; he looked less alluring and more alarmed.  “Maybe just raise one eyebrow,” Chris amended.  “It’s questioning.  ‘Are you interested?  Can you tell I’m interested?’”

It turned out Yuuri was too drunk to operate one eyebrow independently of the other.  Chris watched his forehead twitch for a few seconds and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.  “All right, chéri, you’ll get there,” Chris said.  “In this instance, I think you’re probably best suited to just asking for what you want.”

“That doesn’t sound like me,” Yuuri said dubiously.

“Let’s try it,” Chris said.  “I’m your target.  I’m chatting with a friend in the lobby, and they walk away for a minute to attend to something.  I’m all alone.  You walk up to me, bursting with confidence, and you say. . .?”

Yuuri just stared at him.  “Okay, I’ll do your lines too,” Chris said.  “Repeat what I say.  ‘Hi Chris!’

Yuuri looked painfully self-conscious, but he repeated: “Hi Chris.” 

‘How are you doing this evening?’

“How are you doing this evening?”

“‘Would you like to blow me in one of those single-occupancy restrooms over by the hotel restaurant?

Yuuri tilted his head back and put his hands over his eyes.  “Chris,he complained. 

“You’re right, it’s too wordy,” Chris said.  “Try this instead: ‘Would you like to blow me in that restroom over there?’  Then just point toward the one you mean.”

“You’re making fun of me,” Yuuri groaned.  “I can’t say things like that.”

“Why not?” Chris asked.  “I’d say yes.”

“You’d say yes,” Yuuri said.  “That’s the kind of line that only works on you.”

“Who cares about anyone else?” Chris said, a twinkle in his eye.  “I’m the one you’re asking, aren’t I?”

“Not really, though.”

Chris raised a single eyebrow and waited. 

Yuuri was just on the cusp of being too drunk to process innuendo.  He squinted at Chris for a long time.  “Wait,” he said finally.  “What?”

Chris laughed.  “I was hoping the specificity of the scenario might catch your attention,” he said.  He leaned in.  Yuuri drew back a little, but only a little.  “I only managed to get you half-drunk, Yuuri,” Chris said.  “I feel as though I’ve let you down.”  He put a little wheedling note in his voice.  “Let me make it up to you.”

Yuuri’s eyebrows had shot up to his hairline.  “You want to make it up to me by—”  Yuuri checked under the silk peonies to make sure no one was nearby “—blowing me in a hotel bathroom?”

Chris burst into surprised laughter.  “And you told me you couldn’t say things like that!  Maybe you’re closer to three-fourths drunk.”

“But I’m. . .”  Yuuri gestured vaguely at himself.

“You’re what?”

“Not an ice dancer.”

Chris had to strongly resist the urge to pinch his cheek.  “I think I may have given you an overly narrow conception of what my tastes are,” he said.  “Figure skaters, speed skaters, I’ll sample them all.”

Yuuri’s expression was beginning to settle into something more contemplative, and Chris made himself wait, wondering which way he’d land.  “Is this just because you feel sorry for me?” Yuuri asked suddenly. 

“No,” Chris said, easily and truthfully.  “It’s because I think you’re cute and I want to know what your dick looks like.”

Yuuri snorted, then covered his mouth, faintly embarrassed.  “Um,” he said.  He scrubbed at his eyes with the back of his hand.  When he finally looked at Chris again, there was a set to his mouth that Chris felt very optimistic about.  “Okay?”

So much for the quiet night he’d promised Josef. 




Even though Chris could see how much older Yuuri was compared to the first time they’d met, in his head Yuuri was still the kid who jumped away from the merest suggestion of Chris’s lips near his cheek.  When Chris locked the bathroom door behind him, he expected to turn around and find Yuuri uncertain, hesitant, in need of direction. 

He did not expect Yuuri to crowd him up against the door and kiss him, open-mouthed and hot.  He did not expect to feel Yuuri’s arm sling low around his waist, pulling him in pelvis-first until Chris’s cock was wedged hard against his hipbone.  The shock of it made Chris’s head swim.  He said, idiotically, “Oh.”

“What?” Yuuri asked breathlessly. 

“You’ve done this before.”

“Well,” Yuuri said, tilting his head a little, “yeah.”

Then his whiskey-sweet tongue was back in Chris’s mouth, and Chris was trying to remember the last time he’d been so soundly knocked out of his senses.  Yuuri’s lower lip was chapped, the faint accordion edges of dry skin rough against Chris’s face, and Chris got his mouth around it, wetting it with his tongue, making it soft and pliable.  Yuuri made a beautiful low sound in his throat, and Chris almost chased it down to its source, nipped at it from the outside.  He thought about Yuuri’s flushed throat under his teeth, the long elegant column dotted with purple-blue.  God, no, the free skate was tomorrow—Yuuri would never forgive him.  He had to somehow remember there were two Yuuris, now: this one, uninhibited behind the safety of a door lock, and the one from the lobby, pink-cheeked and prim, worried about what his parents might think if they saw a gawky Finnish sixteen-year-old peck their son on the lips. 

What Chris wouldn’t give for the chance to time-hop two days forward.  If he had his way there’d be a gold medal around his neck and a naked Yuuri on his hotel bedspread, those thighs of his wrapped around Chris’s head while Chris gagged himself on his cock.  The mental image was so distracting that Chris didn’t notice until too late that Yuuri’s hands were moving, slipping around his hips to grip at his ass.  Now that was just embarrassing.  How had Yuuri Katsuki gotten in an ass-grab before Chris could?  Chris broke away from Yuuri’s mouth for a second.  “Exactly how many times has someone gotten you into a bathroom like this?” he panted. 

“It’s never been a bathroom before,” Yuuri said, and pulled him back in. 

He had to get his wits together.  He had a reputation to maintain.  His hands found the waistband of Yuuri’s pants and he said “Can I?”, more a formality than anything else, because he was already pulling them down and sinking to his knees on the hard tile floor.  He rotated them both so Yuuri’s back was braced against the door, and when he looked up, he saw Yuuri’s arresting cherry-wood eyes fixed on him, bright and intent.  His black hair was mussed—had Chris done that?—and the flush on his face had spread down to mottle the crescent of skin showing above his collar. 

Chris looked down.  He was mouth-level with Yuuri’s dick, its shape crystal-clear, its thickness delectable as it strained against the black fabric of his underwear.  He closed his hand over it and Yuuri drew in a gratifyingly ragged breath. 

They were surely beyond grace or subtlety at this point.  Chris pulled Yuuri’s underwear down and took the warm heft of his cock in one hand.  Yuuri’s hips twitched, a ghost of a thrust, and Chris wondered if he would be the type to grab Chris by the ears and batter away at his throat.  He didn’t know.  That was the craziest thing—ten minutes ago the logical answer would’ve been no, and now he just didn’t know

Chris found himself admiring the sight of Yuuri’s cock through his splayed fingers.  “Yuuri,” Chris complained, “I’ve known you for ages.  How long were you planning on keeping this gorgeous cock a secret from me?”

“Sorry,” Yuuri breathed, a hint of humor in his voice.  “I told you, all I know how to do is wait.

“I should’ve asked sooner,” Chris said.  He spit into his hand and started pumping him, a little faster and harder than Yuuri might’ve expected.  Yuuri squeezed his eyes shut and Chris heard what he’d been hoping to hear: the breathiness of Yuuri’s voice firming into sound, shapeless but insistent.  He watched Yuuri’s face closely, waiting for the moment when Yuuri recovered himself a little and opened his eyes, and when he did Chris leaned in on the downstroke and gave Yuuri’s cock a hard, showy suck. 

“Nngh,” Yuuri moaned, with the volume of someone who had forgotten his back was pressed against the door of a hotel bathroom.  Chris was starting to regain a little confidence.  With some hookups, Chris didn’t see the need for theatrics: there was no point in going overboard if the moment called for something quick and sloppy.  But right now Chris needed to feel like he had some kind of mastery over the situation.  He gripped the hard muscle of Yuuri’s thighs with both hands and let his head sink halfway down Yuuri’s cock. 

He heard his favorite words in the world: “Oh, Chris, Yuuri whispered, and his fingers found Chris’s hair, still crunchy with gel from his short program.  He didn’t exert any pressure on Chris’s head, but Chris went ahead and slid down further, showing off, lips caressing the root of Yuuri’s cock for a long teasing moment before he pulled back off.  He stroked him hard, dipped his head down to mouth at his balls, licked his way back up to the sensitive underside of the head.  He took the head into his mouth and gave it the faintest showboating scrape with his teeth, and Yuuri made a sound so loud Chris was pretty sure the people at the front desk heard it.  Yuuri clapped his hand over his mouth.  “Oh, fuck,” he said, his voice muffled. 

Chris couldn’t help himself—he started laughing.  The vibration made him gag around Yuuri's cock and he pulled off, grinning.  “I’ve never heard you curse before,” Chris said. 

“It’s not polite in public,” Yuuri said, a touch of primness returning to his voice. 

“As far as the hotel staff is concerned, this is still pretty public,” Chris said.  “If you keep shouting like that, they’re going to get very curious about what’s going on in here.”

With great deliberation Yuuri fastened his teeth over his lower lip.  Chris instantly and perversely thought of it as a challenge, and he took Yuuri’s cock back into his mouth, gave it that same tiny scrape with his teeth.  The sound Yuuri made was strangled and quiet, but he got a look in his eye that was pure fire.  His fingers returned to Chris’s hair, nails scraping heedlessly against Chris’s scalp, and there it was, the unhesitating strength of Yuuri’s hands pulling Chris’s head down on his dick.  Chris let himself go limp, let his throat become a relaxed conduit around Yuuri, and Yuuri obliged his sudden passivity by moving, hips thrusting and hands pulling.  He fucked Chris’s face while Chris hung off him like a rag doll, his cock painfully hard inside the confines of his jeans, and with fumbling hands Chris pulled down his zipper and yanked the elastic of his underwear down.  He wrapped a fist around his cock and groaned with relief around Yuuri. 

For a minute Chris jerked himself to the rhythm of Yuuri’s cock in his mouth, Yuuri’s breathing growing louder and increasingly staccato, and then Yuuri’s fingers were releasing his hair and moving forward to cup the sides of Chris’s face.  “I’m—” he said.

Chris took it as his last opportunity to show off.  He braced his hands against the backs of Yuuri’s thighs and took him all in, held his mouth flush against Yuuri’s body as Yuuri’s voice traveled up a plaintive crescendo.  He came down the back of Chris’s throat, his body shuddering, his back sliding down the door before he remembered to brace himself up again. 

Chris pulled off and managed to swallow without coughing, although it was a near thing.  It was all worth it for the dazed look on Yuuri’s face as he panted, raking his hands backwards through his hair.  “You’re really good,” Yuuri said. 

The earnestness in his voice made Chris laugh.  “I’m flattered,” he said.  “And maybe a little sad?  Someone as lovely as you should be having mind-blowing sex whenever he wants it.”

The dazed look dissipated a little, and Chris saw a familiar expression return to Yuuri’s face: skepticism.  “You don’t have to flatter me,” Yuuri said dryly.

Chris clambered to his feet.  “I’m going to let you in on a little secret,” Chris said, moving in close to Yuuri.  “You can always tell when I’m trying to flatter someone.  I lean on the French accent, hard.”

Chris’s cock was still hanging out of his pants, and Yuuri reached out and took it in his hand, almost casually.  He ran his thumb over the pre-come collecting in the slit, looking thoughtful.  “You used the accent when I was trying to figure out the meaningful look you’re supposed to give people.”

Chris thought back. “You’re right,” he said.  “That was flattery.  You probably shouldn’t deploy that look until you’ve practiced it in front of a mirror first.”

Yuuri’s lips curved a little.  He still accepted criticism much better than praise.  He licked his palm and started stroking Chris, without any ceremony, with an odd sense of normalcy, like the two of them did this all the time.  “You know, you don’t have to,” Chris said, even though he was enjoying it.  The pleasure was more comfortable than intense.  “When I, ah, made this suggestion, it was only intended to go in one direction.”

“That wouldn’t be polite,” Yuuri said, and to punctuate the thought he put one hand on Chris’s shoulder, turning him around so he was the one pressed up against the bathroom door.  He lowered himself to his knees carefully.  When he glanced up at Chris, Chris’s cock physically twitched at the sight of those vivid eyes looking at him from under the shade of his eyelashes. 

Yuuri paused with his lips just millimeters away from the head of his cock.  “Don’t expect a lot,” he warned.  “I’m not as good as you.”

“Who is, really?” Chris mused, and Yuuri snorted as he took Chris into his mouth.

Yuuri sucked him off shallowly, his gag reflex too strong to allow Chris down very far.  His hands made up for the lack, pumping his shaft, cupping his balls.  Chris gazed down at his bobbing black head with a strange, almost painful feeling of sentimentality.  “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured absently. 

Yuuri angled his eyes up, and Chris almost laughed, because despite the round O of his mouth he could see that skeptical look shaping Yuuri’s features, drawing his eyebrows down.  “Did you hear any French in there?” Chris teased.  “No.  That means it’s true.”

Yuuri made a noise of resigned disbelief around Chris’s cock.  It occurred to Chris that Yuuri would have a much harder time rejecting his compliments with a dick in his mouth.  He said, “Was it two years ago that you skated that sonata at Junior Worlds?  I think it was, wasn’t it?  Josef and I were in the audience.”

The upper half of Yuuri’s face regarded him with extreme suspicion.  “Josef told me specifically to keep an eye on you when you made the jump from Juniors to Seniors,” Chris said.  “He said it was usually the Russians you had to worry about when it came to ballet influence, but you put their whole program to shame.”

Yuuri pulled off his cock so only his hands were working him.  “Chris—” he began. 

“Yuuri, please, it was feeling so good,” Chris said, and with only a tiny bit of guilt he pressed his hand against the back of Yuuri’s head.  Yuuri stared at him like he knew exactly what Chris was doing, but he allowed Chris to guide the tip of his cock back into Yuuri’s mouth.  He waited until Yuuri started to suck again before he said, “And that’s what Josef was saying before you got taller.  You’ve always been graceful, but now you’re so willowy.  It’s devastating.”

Yuuri pulled off again, and this time he stood up, looking at Chris with a mixture of fondness and exasperation.  “What exactly are you doing?” he asked, his hands tugging at Chris more roughly than before. 

“Trying to teach you the difference between flattery and a compliment,” Chris said.  “You always seem to think they’re the same thing.  I—”

He paused.  Yuuri had stepped out of his underwear at some point, leaving his spent cock dangling free between his legs, only now it wasn’t looking so spent anymore.  “Yuuri,” Chris said admiringly, “that was fast.”  Then, with a sense of realization: “I think you like it when I say nice things about you.”

Yuuri rolled his eyes, but thankfully he didn’t stop jerking Chris off.  Chris was starting to feel that familiar warmth percolating through him.  “Is that why you’ll never accept my compliments in public?” he asked, his breathing going irregular.  “If you hear too many of them, you’re afraid it’ll make your dick hard?”

“I don’t accept them,” Yuuri said, “because it doesn’t do me any good to think I’m better than I actually am.” 

“No,” Chris panted, “I’m pretty sure my reason’s the right one.”  He huffed.  “Yuuri, I’m—”

Yuuri’s hands pulled him over the edge hard and fast, Chris’s come spilling over his fist and dripping onto the floor.  Chris leaned back heavily, aching and pleased, and temporarily lost the energy to tease Yuuri any further.  Yuuri gingerly pressed the lever for the paper towel dispenser, and the sound seemed so banal and incongruous with what they’d just done that they both laughed a little. 

When Yuuri had finished cleaning up, Chris beckoned him over.  “Yuuri,” he said, “will you let me try something?”

Yuuri gave him a look that was probably meant to express annoyance, but his eyes were so heavy-lidded and his posture so languorous that he just looked alluring.  God, if only he could figure out how to look like that on command—“Does something involve saying more embarrassing things about me?” Yuuri asked. 


Yuuri tilted his head back and groaned.  “Come on,” Chris wheedled.  “We’ve already determined that I’m very good at this.”

Yuuri chewed on the edge of a smile.  “Fine,” he said at last, dragging his feet like he was about to stick his neck under a guillotine. 

Chris rotated Yuuri so his back was pressed against Chris’s front.  He hooked his chin over Yuuri’s shoulder and wrapped an arm around his waist, keeping him in place while Chris’s other hand drifted to his cock.  Yuuri sighed, swaying lightly in Chris’s hold.  “Out with it,” he said as Chris’s hand started moving on his cock. 

Chris leaned in, brushing his lips against Yuuri’s ear.  He said, his voice pitched low:

“You’re going to medal tomorrow.”

Yuuri tensed in his arms, just as Chris expected, and he kept stroking him smoothly, steadily.  “Not gold,” he continued, faintly teasing, “because I’m keeping that for myself.  And I can’t promise you silver, because we both know what Cao’s capable of when he’s at his best.  He might bounce back, he might not.”

He started increasing the rhythm of his hand, and he felt Yuuri lean back a little, trusting more of his weight to Chris.  “But bronze?  Who else is going to beat you for it?  Isak’s nine points behind you.”

“Eight,” Yuuri corrected weakly.

“And that Italian skater’s four points behind him,” Chris said.  He started giving his wrist a little flick on the upstroke, and Yuuri made a pained sound, tilting his head back.  It exposed the line of his neck to Chris’s mouth, and Chris allowed himself one very light, non-bruising kiss against his pale throat.

“None of them match you in artistry,” Chris said.  “And certainly none of them have your conditioning.  They have all those front-loaded jumps.”  His self-control wilted; he pressed another kiss to Yuuri’s neck.  “But you’re good at waiting, aren’t you?”  Yuuri gave a shuddering inhale.  “You’ll hold out, even if you’re exhausted, just to get that second-half multiplier—”   

The best thing about Yuuri coming all over Chris’s hand in that moment was that it proved Chris’s complimenting theory right. 

The worst thing was that Chris wasn’t going to be able to tell anyone that he’d just made Yuuri Katsuki come by whispering the phrase second-half multiplier into his ear. 



The photographers pressed closer as the three medalists stepped down off the podium.  Chris hooked one arm around Yuuri’s neck and the other around Cao’s shoulder and smiled for the cameras.  He felt exhausted and exhilarated and susceptible to making bad decisions: he really, really wanted to lean in and nibble Yuuri’s earlobe in front of viewers worldwide.  He restrained himself to letting his lips just barely graze Yuuri’s skin as he whispered: “I told you that you’d do marvelously.” 

Yuuri’s grin made him look more like the boy he’d been when Chris first met him.  It seemed wrong somehow; Chris had seen Yuuri smile more in the last 48 hours than he had in the last five years.  The shine of the lights overhead kept catching on his bronze medal, and Yuuri kept glancing down at it, a little disbelieving every time. 

When the photographers were finally satisfied, the three medalists headed off the ice.  Yuuri lingered back a little, letting Cao get a few paces ahead, and Chris glanced over to see why. 

There was a very interesting look on Yuuri’s face.  Firm, determined, the kind of expression he made right before a difficult jump.  “Chris,” Yuuri said, lifting his chin.  “Would you want to celebrate this victory with me?”

Chris’s eyebrows raised of their own volition.  He opened his mouth to speak.  “Tomorrow,” Yuuri interjected quickly.  “After the exhibition skate.  Because. . .”

He glanced over his shoulder for a moment, and he seemed to realize all at once where they were standing: in an echoing ice rink, with a mass of reporters standing not that far away.  He looked at Chris and didn’t finish the sentence. 

Chris leaned in.  “Because some activities don’t go well with having to skate the next day?” he asked. 

Yuuri’s face was burning red.  “Yes.”

Chris tipped his head to one side, pretending to think about it.  “Hmm,” he said.  “Only if you promise to wear your medal while we celebrate.””

Yuuri rolled his eyes so hard Chris was surprised it didn’t throw his skates off-balance.  Then his tongue snaked out to wet his lips. The gesture didn't quite conceal the smile that was forming there. 

“Fine,” he said.