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priceless - [yuri on ice]

Chapter Text

"Viktor, are you really sure that she's going to be any different than--"  I say, as the Russian man interrupts me by putting one of his working fingers over my lips, pursing his own and making a shh sound between them. He held it there for a moment, and only removing it to resume tying the tie around my collar.

"I've already told you, Yuri, she's plenty better than the other ones. Just relax, everything will be fine. I don't understand why you want to make sure with me that every woman will be different from the last. It's worthless if you want me to tell you, that's why I'm sending you out to meet them. So you can make that judgement for yourself."

I sigh, as he lifts his hands from my collar, giving me the sign that he had finished what he was doing. "Is that what you think? The only judgement I've made from these girls is that they're only interested because of my looks and fame, but once they learn how I act, they want to be out of the picture. And that's just stupid! They expect me to swoon over them, when I've only known them for a few minutes, and then get offended when I don't. They don't see me as a lover, they see me as a prize. Why are you making such a fuss to play matchmaker, if all the women are lining up just to see my face?!" I yell, stomping my foot on the ground and crossing my arms over my chest. I was trying to give the impression that if he continued his shenanigans, that I would throw a hissy fit. But, as per usual, my actions didn't do anything to him.

"That's because I want to help you find somebody who can think of you as both."

"Excuse me?"

"Yuri, I've stepped in because you're not doing anything to find a significant other. And no matter how many times you say you don't want one, I know, deep down, you're just searching for the right one. And I'm only doing this because I care. Someday, you'll find somebody who will not only think of you as a lover, but will appreciate you as their prize. However, it won't be as you said. They won't think of you as an object prize, they'll think that they've been blessed with a person so amazing, that they won't know what to do. I'm aware that your issue is that you're too impatient to find her, but I promise, you will. Okay?" He assures me, adjusting my tie one last time as his phone vibrates.

"Ah, Yuri, your Uber is out front. They should already know where you're going, so you shouldn't need to tell them. Proshchay, Yuri! Good luck!" He said, waving as I turned to walk towards the door. "And remember, I'll be waiting here when you're done! Come back to the skating rink!"

"Yeah, yeah. Uvidimsya, Viktor," I reply, making my final steps out of the building and meeting the car that was out front.

"Right, so you're the boy that Viktor is sending, I'll take it," a middle-aged woman said, turning to face me in the backseat. I didn't care to meet her eyes, and just continued glancing down at my folded hands in my lap.

"Yes, I am. Now, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to get this over with. I was made aware that you know my location?"

"That's correct. You probably want to be going there as little as I do," she said, turning around and placing her foot on the gas petal, the car's wheels turning slightly as the vehicle we were in inched forward.

"Tch. Surely," I reply, glancing outside of the frosted window. It was near the beginning of December, meaning snow has been coming and going all over the country recently. Right now, on a lonesome winters night, there were just flurries. Nothing to the extreme, no iced over roads, no salt needed on the sidewalks, just the occasional fall of the small white specks of uniqueness. I could see my breath building on the windows, as the temperature difference in the car was drastic compared to the outside. Through the fog I was creating, I continued to admire the small snowflakes, clearly visible against the pitch black night sky. They, inanimate objects that only last a few minutes before facing their last few moments on the ground, had something that even I lacked. Something as small and worthless as a snow flurry had even more purity than I. They were beautiful to look at, just watch, no matter how little they lasted. I, on the other hand, might be pretty to watch, but I was not in the slightest what you would describe as pure. Or, so I've been told.

I saw bright lights flash outside the window. As the car stepped on its breaks, the woman turned around once more and made me aware that I had arrived at my so-called destination. I nod, not caring to thank the woman that had just drove me a distance I clearly could have walked, and simply just walked into the restaurant that Viktor decided on. The inside was warm, at least, warmer than the exterior of the building I was standing in. A waiter directed me to a table when I told him my name, where my "date" was waiting. She offered me a warm smile, but in return I offered her a scowl and a slouch before taking my seat. Yet, she just kept smiling. It was silent for just a few moments, before she eventually extended her hand across the table for me to shake, her face still stuck in that smiling position. "The name's Kirstyn. Nice to finally meet you in person, Yuri! I'm a huge fan."

There it was. That's why she was here. A huge fan is all she is to me, and it's all she ever will be. That's all I need to know if she was prior to making my acquaintance.

"Tch. Likewise, Kirstyn. I'm Yuri Plisetsky, as you already seem to know," I say, lacking the enthusiasm she had in her voice. In fact, I lacked almost any emotion in my voice, except for the small amount of disgust I was emitting towards her. I could tell she was finally taken aback, but that only lasted for a split second before she plastered that fake smile back on her face and pretended like nothing was wrong. She kept trying to make small talk, but I avoided most of the questions, simply praying for our server to finally show up and take our order. However, I knew that wouldn't be so quick, and you really couldn't blame them. The restaurant was absolutely packed tonight, people had waits for over an hour, and every last seat was filled. There weren't enough waiters and waitresses per person, which is why they were taking forever.

At last, my saviour, the waitress arrived at our table. She was wearing a simple uniform, just a black dress with a white apron tied over it. She took out a notepad from one of the pockets and a pen from behind her ear. Before she could say a word, I studied her face, knowing I recognised her from somewhere.

"(y/n)? Is that you?" I ask, staring into those (e/c) eyes I once remembered.

"Excuse me, but do you know this girl?" Kirstyn asked, clearly annoyed. She obviously wanted me to only appreciate her, and any thought of anybody else would ruin her fake happy attitude. Nevertheless, I ignored her, and kept my eyes locked at the waitress staring at me.

Her eyes were squinted for a few moments, studying me up and down, trying to place her finger on where I was in her life. I could see the realisation in her face as soon as it hit her; her eyes widening as she dropped her pen and notepad on the table. "Y-Yuri?" she stuttered, jaw ever so slightly ajar. "W-what a coincidence seeing you here!"

 

Unlike Kirstyn, (y/n) wasn't good at pretending to be happy. I could tell she was clearly nervous, and rightfully so. The memories she was currently reminiscing probably weren't good ones.

She inhaled deeply, dusting off her apron and grabbing the two things she had dropped on the table. "I'm sorry. May I take your order?" she asked. Kirstyn nodded, ordering her drink and meal, then proceeding to nod in my direction, giving me the hint that she thought it was my turn. I did as she wanted me to, (y/n) scurrying away with our orders jotted down on the notepad she clenched in her shaking hands.

The rest of the night was an blur. An abyss, almost. Kirstyn didn't drop her innocent act, trying to get me to speak up, yet I almost always just nodded and continued to eat my food. It wasn't until Kirstyn got up to go to the bathroom that I finally snapped out of my daze.

(y/n) came back with the bill while she was gone. She placed it on the table without a word, her hands still trembling, and immediately tried turning back into the kitchen. I grabbed part of her uniform, causing her to stop dead in her tracks and finally turn to meet my eyes for the first time since the beginning of night. "What? Do you need a refill?"

"No, that's not it. I have a question for you."

She brushed my hand off of her clothing, sighing as she leaned her elbows against the table, resting her face in her hands. "Ask away."

"Why are you back? I thought you went back to your family in France! How could you even bring yourself to come back to Russia?"

"Calm down, Yuri. Yes, I did, but after I completed my long, and not to mention, strenuous recovery, I decided I'd come back. I don't care what they said, I want to skate again. I'm going to try, at the very least."

"(y/n), that's just going to worsen what happened. You can't possibly be thinking that returning to the ice is a good idea, I mean, do you even understand the possible consequences if you--"

"Shh. I'll be fine. Just, can you do me a favour, and let me know the rink that you train at? I haven't exactly found anywhere suitable yet."

"Um, sure. It's, a, private rink. You'll need a pass to get in, but I'm headed there after this so-called dinner date. But, if you want, I could just pay the entirety of the bill and leave before Kirstyn comes back. That is, if you can run it and change in that time."

"Sure. My shift is almost over anyways. But I kinda need some form of currency for me to clear it."

"Oh, right," I say, opening my wallet and placing my debit card on the table. "Hurry up, will ya?"

She nodded, some hair falling out of her messy bun as she left with the check. She came back just after five minutes, wearing nothing but a faded black and white flannel with some ripped skinny jeans. "Shall we?" she asked.

All I did in response was nod, standing up from the chair, my hands in my pockets and my back slouched as we made our way through this maze of a crowded restaurant and out the door.

During the walk there, she eventually put in her earbuds, listening to music as we continued our walk in silence. I was close enough to her ear that I could faintly hear what she was listening to. I could make out the sound of the piano through her simple Apple earbuds. It almost sounded like some kind of rendition of The River Flows in You. Nothing but the peaceful sound of somebody's fingers against the keys, making a precious noise.

Suddenly, I heard the bass drop. The same song was still playing in the background, but now, there was a beat. A rhythm. Something beautiful, yet modernised, in a completely perfect way. It still had all its beauty and grace, but it was diverse in its own way. Something that I should aspire to be, and something I could tell she already was.

I pushed open the doors of the rink, Katsuki skating to some kind of program, Viktor watching intently behind. He turned to look at us as he heard the bells ring as the doors opened, signaling that somebody had arrived. He smiled when he saw (y/n), probably assuming that she was my date for the night and that I had finally had a successful one.

"Yuri! Back so soon?" he yelled, running towards me, arms wide. He captured me in a hug, but I didn't return it. I squirmed and struggled to get out of his tight grasp, causing (y/n) to giggle behind me. I turned around, shooting her a glare.

"Don't you say anything, you little pig," I say, Viktor finally letting go of my and grabbing my shoulders.

"I don't think that's any way to refer to your date, Yuri."

"Um, actually, I'm not his date. I was his waitress. Although, you might know me from somewhere," (y/n)'s voice sounding from behind us. "My name is (y/n) (l/n). Nice to finally see you again, Viktor."

He let go of me, furrowing his eyebrows and walking over to the girl standing behind me. "(y/n)? (y/n) (l/n)? You mean Yakov's protégé who had that accident five years ago?"

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If you want to give the song mentioned a listen, it's on youtube titled "HD Chillstep | Yiruma - River Flows In You (Skullee Remix)" and it's been uploaded by "PieHunterMusic". It should be the second or third match when you search "River Flows In You Remix"

Chapter Text

"Triple toe loop, double toe loop combination," the announcer's voice said, as (y/n) made her first jumps of the second half of her program, the anticipation in his voice clearly visible.

"It's a shame that she can't preform any quadruple jumps still in the junior division, we all know that this girl has made a name that she's clearly capable. She has 5 years left until she reaches that standard officially."

"Hear that, Yuri?" Yakov's voice said from beside me. "This girl is the same age as you, and yet look at her. She's practically already a member of the senior division! This is somebody you need to learn from, somebody who could actually be valuable to you. I want you to be able to skate like this someday, and the sooner, the better."

"Tch. Whatever," I reply, rolling my eyes. I wasn't a stranger to figure skating, I was already a successor in the men's division, and yet Yakov was comparing me to another one of his students again, telling me that's how he wants me to skate. But, today, there was something different. It was hard to admit, but Yakov was in the right mind to compare me to her. I could finally see something in her skating that I lacked. She was graceful and composed, yet so powerful and explicit at the same time. Confined, yet exposed. Every last move better than the last, until the finishing touch to the story she was telling.

"Triple Lutz, nailed it," the speaker's sounded once more. "I think we might see some new records made here tonight."

Another voice boomed through the sound system above my head. "It's very possible, however she has yet to complete the hardest part of her program. She'll be completing a Salchow combination following immediately by three different spins. This is a level of difficulty that not everybody in the junior division can pull off."

Yakov laughed. "Please. She's got it. I've seen her do it in practice all the time."

I watched her body sway and bend to the music, her step sequence, jumps, and spins all in the most beautiful manner I had ever seen. Now, even I, somebody who never cared for anybody but himself, was engulfed in her program. I was apprehensive about what may happen, if she'll succeed or fail, and if history will be made.

As she neared the first jump in her final combination, I saw her foot stumble, but it was so discreet that I was sure I was the only one to notice. Even if I weren't, there wasn't much I could to help her faults in her program now, let alone anybody in the audience. She continued from the mistake freely, until the same foot lifted off the ground during her grand finale. Right before my eyes, I saw the blade slip off her skate, flying through the air and puncturing her other leg. I had to sit in silence as I watched her land on the ice again, but instead of proceeding to her next jump, she just lay there lifelessly, in a resting state until she was awoken from her unconscious fall.

This girl had made history tonight, surely, but not in the way we wanted her to. Not in the way she was ever supposed to.

Chapter Text

"(y/n)," Viktor said, as I tied up my black, beat up rental skates. It was about the 7th time he'd said my name, yet I didn't respond. I didn't want to. I knew exactly what he was going to say, so I just kept my big mouth sealed for the time being. I was very happy lacing up the old shoes on my feet, knowing I could finally get back onto the ice for the first time in years. "(y/n), please, consider what you're doing. As much as it is amazing to see somebody go through what you've been and go right back to it, it's just as equally dangerous. Your legs are never going to be what they used to, are you sure you want to have to go through it all again?"

It was then I finally looked up at Viktor, as it was the first time he'd said anything besides my name. When my eyes met his, I was honestly shocked. That was the first time I'd ever seen him filled with such worry. This wasn't the type of man to get so worked up over situations like this; normally he'd just let it go and stop putting forth his efforts and let the person be on their merry way. I'd never seen him make such an effort to stop somebody from doing something.

"Look, Viktor, I've been over all the dangers with everybody I possibly can. My mother, my father, my siblings, my relatives, hell, I even took it up with my old physical therapist when I first arrived here. They all told me the same thing: 'You can't skate like you used to, you're going to have to relearn everything, you'll never be able to compete again, if your leg gets any more damaged you won't be able to walk,'" I say, air quoting the advice I've been given countless times. "I've heard it all, okay? What you're saying is no different from what I've already heard. I've already made my decision; even if I can never skate publically again, I do plan on devoting just as much to it now as I did 5 years ago."

The look didn't leave his face, but I could see in his eyes that he accepted it, knowing he wasn't getting anywhere. By the look of dread in his eyes, I could tell he obviously didn't want me to, but I proceeded to get up and head towards the rink despite it. He walked slowly behind me, his arms unsteady, ready to catch me if the blades on my skates threw off my walk. Every time I leaned to the side, I could see him flinch. It happened four or five times when I finally turned around to face him.

His facial expression did not change. His ocean eyes were still filled with anxiousness, his pale skin somehow even whiter, his mouth slightly ajar, his chest heaving with heavy breaths. If I wasn't aware of the current situation, I'd say he almost looked ill. It looked as though all the cheerfulness he usually had was suddenly drained, and this is what you were left with. I let out a sigh. "Do you really think I don't know how to walk? My balance shifts a little due to my limp, okay? I know how to handle it, I've lived with it since I was 10. You don't need to be that careful, Viktor."

I didn't give him a chance to respond. I knew he would lecture me about my injury again, and I simply didn't have time to listen to him. I only had three hours until my hotel would cut off my stay and give the room to somebody else, and at this rate, he would've spent all of them running his mouth. I just turned and continued towards the rink.

When I finally saw it fade into my line of sight, it was as if I had reached Nirvana. I'd almost forgotten how beautiful it looked. With the intense lighting on the roof and glass panes along the perimeter, the rink always sparkled. It never looked dull, scratched, or stained to me. It always had that same sparkle to it, the glisten I always saw when I glided across it.

Yuri was already on the rink practicing jumps to the looks of it, but it obviously wasn't any sort of program. He glanced at me after landing a Quadruple Lutz, but continued to do other various jumps and spins. After a few each, I found myself dazed. I was appalled at his improvement. He seemed like a completely different person! In just 5 short years, he's skating better than I ever dreamed I would. Me, a living junior legend...

I wasn't awoken from my daydream until Viktor gave me a light push from behind towards the entrance. I took a deep breath inward and opened the small gate, allowing me onto the ice.

Find my balance wasn't too difficult. My position changed a bit due to my balance shift, but I knew how to handle situations like these.

On the other hand, when I stared moving.

It was like a living hell. I tried using the techniques that I already knew, which continuously failed me, due to my now weakened lower-body strength. I could only move a few feet at a time without leaning forward or back too much, then flailing my arms and struggling to get back up. I couldn't do any turns, jumps, not even a simple step sequence from an old program. I looked less than graceful to say the least.

It felt as if I were thrown onto the ice for the first time. I had no idea what to do, I was completely blank, and not a single person here could teach me. Alas, I had to be different. Nobody here had any experience with an issue like this, nor would they ever.

It wasn't until I finally tripped that Yuri seemed to notice I was even skating. At first, he just laughed from afar, as I struggled to get my balance. Getting up from falls like this were anything but simple for me, as I essentially only had one leg to work with. I pushed my arms frantically against the ice, scrambling to get up, and failing. I laid there helpless, until I heard blades scraping towards me.

"Need a little help there, (y/n)?"

I looked up towards the voice, only to see Yuri standing there, his hand outstretched for me to take.

Chapter Text

"Need a little help there, (y/n)?"

When I looked at him, I could see the smug grin on his face. I could see the way his lips grew into that slight, not quite there smile. The way his ears were perked, the way his ocean eyes were ever so squinted, the way his eyebrows were lifted. I could tell, just by simply examining his face. It may not have been much to go off of, but it was something: Yuri thought it was funny.

It took me lifting up my arm and falling face first again before the obvious could come out. Yuri started to laugh uncontrollably. The arm he offered me swung back and clutched his stomach to prevent him from throwing his balance by a laugh. I could hear him beginning to wheeze as he started to run out of air. He grabbed his head with both hands and simply stated, "(y/n), what am I going to do with you?"

I scoffed, and reached out my hand again. His pale arms stayed locked in their new position on his hips. I sighed.

"Ahem!"

"Oh, sorry, did I offend you?" He retorted, his voiced decorated with his own fruity touch.

"Whatever you say, dork. Just help me up already. We've already established that I can't do that on my own," I reply, obviously annoyed. However, Yuri seemed too oblivious to notice. He kept his grin plastered onto his face, whether or not I liked it.

He raised his shoulders and did as he was told, finally offering me his hand again. I was quick to accept it.

 

Yuri tugged on my arm, signaling me to get up. I did my best against the slippery, wet surface, using only one arm and essentially one leg. it was hard, but I could manage. I wasn't going to let Yuri's confident attitude shatter mine this time. Not like how he did at the restaurant. He won't do it now, nor will he ever again.

 

As soon as I was standing, I could feel it again. Like something, some force, was pushing me forward. Desperate, I flung my empty hand through the air and into his other. Of course, it wasn't what I wanted, but I'd rather have him gripping both my hands than for me to have plunged into his chest. At least, now, I was capable of standing.

I stood there for a bit, hunched over, clutching Yuri's arms for dear life, slowly spinning across the ice with him. I was at a loss for words; I wasn't wooed or in awe, but I didn't know what else to say. It was his idea that he helped me, but how? Was he simply helping me up? No, he would've let go by now. Or was he trying to get me off the ice so he could finish practicing? No, he would be taking me closer to the gate, not further from it.

"So do you want to learn how to skate or not?"

My eyes shot up. "Huh?"

"Well, you're here, aren't you? You're not doing so hot, (y/n). Do you want to take the help? Or are you just gonna continue to flop around like a fish out of water?"

"Hey!" I yelled, as if it would prove him wrong. I didn't want to think he was right, but I knew deep down, he was. I didn't think my journey would be hard. I didn't know I'd have to re-learn how to skate, that the minute that blade hit my leg, all the progress I'd built up was unraveled into nothingness.

He chuckled. "Don't act like it isn't the truth."

"How do you suppose you can teach me anything? You have no idea what I'm physically challenged to do."

"That I do."

"Pardon?"

"It was a little after you went back to France. Maybe by about a year or so, I think. I had gotten a leg injury, but nothing too severe. I had broken a few bones and I simply needed a cast and after that about half a year off of skating. But, me being the stubborn kid I was, as soon as I got my cast off I started skating again, and believe you me, it wasn't easy. And it won't be easy for you either."

"What makes you say that?"

"I'm not an idiot," he sneered. "I'm sure the basic anatomy of a leg is similar to everyone, is it not?"

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You opened your mouth to protest, but then realised that he was, in fact, correct, and that trying to prove him wrong would just make you sound stupid. What was the point in arguing anyhow? There was just something about him that twisted your gut--but it wasn't anger or disgust. You wanted to prove him wrong, you wanted to seem more dominant, but it wasn't linked to the feeling of hatred. You couldn't tell what it was linked to.

You sighed in defeat. "Fine, whatever, you win. Just teach me if it means that much to you."

Yuri widened his eyes, as if he expected you to say no. He looked down for a second before looking back up at you and mumbling, "Um... right. Where do I start?"

He cleared his throat, his pale fist reaching up to his mouth. "Well, it's all about weight distribution. As of right now, you're putting more weight on your left leg to remove pain from your right. And that's okay. The only problem is, is that's gonna throw off your balance on the ice. You have to find your center of balance and distribute your weight evenly between both legs. It's going to hurt, and I can't guarantee that your leg won't be more damaged if you do, but you're going to have to push through the pain if you want to skate again. That's just going to be a component you have to beat."

He stopped for a moment and looked at you, waiting for a response. You nod slightly as your reply.

"Right, so, aside from that, you're also going to have to do something different with your arms. If you try..."

You could hear his voice growing softer in your head. His lips were clearly still moving, and he was probably going on about something you should be listening to, but you couldn't hear him anymore. You were too dazed by his eyes to focus. You had never noticed before, but Yuri's eyes were absolutely stunning. The eye-catching colours blinded you from all reality when you allowed yourself to enjoy them. The way the shades matched so perfect with his skin, his hair, even the ice. Standing on the rink allowed a bright, silvery light to be flashed across them. And my, were they beautiful. Why did guys get such jaw-dropping eyes they didn't deserve? You didn't know, nor did you care now. If anyone gave you the chance to lose yourself in them, you didn't care who it was, even if it was some conceited male.

"(y/n)? Are you listening to me?"

With a snap of his fingers, you tossed out of your daze. You stopped focusing on his eyes, and instead tried focusing on his face as a whole. You were greeted with an unpleasant expression, to say the least, as it was leaning more on the 'what-are-you-doing-a-guy-like-me-is-trying-to-help-you-and-you-are-not-paying-one-ounce-of-attention-and-now-I'm-angry' kind of look.

 

"Oh, uh, yeah, of course," you mumble, as you try your best to hide your guilt.

"Then what'd I just tell you?"

"Er, you told me that, I would have to... try something different with my arms?" You tried your best to recall what he was saying, but you were so lost, that all that would come to mind was his initial statement about your appendages.

"Mhm, and that was?"

"I, um..."

What am I supposed to say?

"That, I... should... I'm sorry, I can't remember exactly what you said. Would you mind repeating it?" You reply quietly, your voice growing softer and softer as you were shaming yourself throughout the question.

He sighed and put his hand up to his face, causing your balance to be thrown a bit. "I said try keeping them down for a while. Before you focus on moving your arms again, try a program where they're just by your side. Find some balance."

"Right. So, any ideas as to how I'm going to do that?"

"Like I said, put some weight on your foot."

You did as you were told, shifting your uneven balance to be as equal as you could make it while still holding onto Yuri's arm.

You winced, trying your best not to screech in pain in the rink, as echoes were frequent here.

"It's a lot worse than it sounds, I know. But, I promise you'll get used to it in about a month or so." Yuri said, not sounding as comforting as he was trying to.

"A month?! I can't live with this every day for a month!"

"(y/n), you'll be living with it every day throughout your skating career. You'll just pay less mind to it as time progresses."

You groan, trying to stay locked in that position. As hard as it was, it was one of the many obstacles you knew would be in your path. You just never imagined that it would be this bad.

"Good, you have balance. Now, let go of my arms and try moving a little bit, just skate in circles around the rink."

"Wait! Don't--" You yell, but it was already too late. Yuri was already skating away, leaving you standing. "Let go yet," you mumbled to yourself.

Taking his word for it, you began to slowly skate across the rink. An inch moved forward and that's when you had it.

"Ow!" You howled in pain, wincing and tensing up your back.

You could see him just look at you in response, but he didn't say anything. He just sat there, staring at you intently, waiting for you to make your next move.

You slowly began to skate again, making small progress around the rink. There were times when you stumbled and times when you just wanted to quit instead of dealing with the burning pain in your foot, but you carried on. There wasn't any way you were going to fall again and have to sit through another lecture from Yuri. You'd rather suck up the agony.

Bit by bit, you were able to move a little faster. Of course, you weren't nearly as speedy as you'd have to be to compete, but you were getting somewhere. It just didn't feel right. You hadn't relied on your leg this much in years, and it almost felt as though you were abusing it. It was doing so much more than your physical therapist had ever taught it to do, and now, a 15-year-old boy was trying to do what took her years in a matter of weeks.

So lost in your thoughts, you stumbled and fell again, after almost a whole ten minutes of going without it. You didn't bother getting up again. This was enough for today.

Yuri slowly applauded across the rink. "You did well today. But, before you go, I want to see you go as fast as you can without falling. That way I have a basis to work on some spins tomorrow."

 

"Tomorrow? Give me a break! Don't make me come back tomorrow!" You yell, pounding your fist of the ice, still in your laying position.

"Well, let's see, do you want to compete in next year's Grand Prix Final?" He said, raising an eyebrow.

"Well, I'd like to, I just don't know if--"

"Exactly. If you want to compete, you have to learn how to skate in a little less than two months. That's already a challenge as it is, but when you add on your disability, it's nearly impossible. Even if Yakov coaches you again, he can't teach you what you need to know. Therefore, you're going to show me what you've got so you can come back tomorrow."

"Tch. Chienne." You mutter, pushing yourself off the freezing cold matter beneath you and returning to a stand once again. With a roll of your eyes and probably some sort of Russian swear word from Yuri, you did as he said (asked? demanded?) and began skating as fast as your body would allow it, despite all the suffering your lower-half was experiencing. Somehow, in someway, you would block it out. You would learn to ignore it, and you wouldn't accept any less from yourself.

The movement bubbled up a nostalgic feeling inside. As weird as your legs felt, being tossed on the ice again, and being able to move the same way you once did, it felt so real. It felt so amazing to be able to pursue what you once loved for a second time. It felt as though all the gruesome activities your body was forced to do were all worth it, just so you could soak up the sweet sensation of ice skating even more, and appreciate for more than you ever thought you could.

The satisfying sound of your blades scraping against the ice brought back so much that you had forgotten about, so much that it seemed real. You were there, skating that groundbreaking program again, gliding gracefully across the rink. The memories were just that vivid, so vivid that you could almost hear Yuri calling your name.

"(y/n)..." it was muffled.

"(y/n)," It was starting to become louder, clearer.

"(y/n)! Snap out of it!" You heard him yell, whipping your head over to look at him. Except, it was the real him. The old, rude, bossy him.

"You can stop now. Go home, it's late. Or, back to your hotel, assuming that's where you're staying. I can talk to Yakov for you, and then I'll get back to you tomorrow on what he says you need to pay. Oh, and, um, I'll tell the front desk lady that you're gonna be a regular here. But for now, get some rest."

Well now you tell me.

You nod. "Right. Are you leaving now too?"

He shook his head. "Not yet. I'll have to talk to Viktor and Katsuki before I leave. But I'm definitely done skating. My date wore me out, y'know?" He chuckled, then slightly shook his head again. "Kakaya zadnitsa,"

"Then I guess I'll just be going now."

It was his turn to nod his head, following you as you both headed towards the exit of the rink, making your way into the locker room to untie your skates and call for a ride home, when something crossed your mind.

"Hey, Yuri, who's the 'Katsuki' you mentioned earlier?"

"Oh, him? That's Viktor's boyfriend-fiancé person. His first name is Yuuri, which is why I refer to him as Katsuki. Because I refuse to call myself Yurio like everyone else does."

"Yurio, huh?" You ask. "That's kinda funny."

He tensed up. "You... don't... don't call me that. I shouldn't have told you."

You laughed a little. "Fine."

Once your skates were off your feet and you had been directed by Viktor where to put them, you began to set up a meeting time with Yuri tomorrow as you walked towards the exit.

You stopped at the front doors, trying to wrap up your plans. "Let's see, I get off of work at 5:00. Are you free then?"

"I should be. What time can you stay until?"

"I need to be back by 11:00 so they don't give away my room at the hotel. I doubt it'll take six hours, but it leaves some open space. Does that work for you?"

"Works fine for me. Are you looking for a place to stay? There are a lot of vacant lots in my apartment building that you could look into."

"Thanks for the offer, but right now I make minimum wage and don't have the requirements anywhere else since I'm only a little bit conversational in Russian. I'd assume that it's a really big and swanky place that I can't afford right now. I might look into it later, but at this time I just don't think it'll work out. Maybe some other time?"

"Oh, yeah, of course. Don't worry though. I'm sure you'll be making more money soon when your career takes off again."

"I hope, if it ever does."

"What do you mean? You did great today!"

"I did great standing up and skating in circles. We haven't even begun the hard part yet. All that aside, I'm not a pessimistic person, I'm just a bit pragmatic. Although I'm a hopeful, starry-eyed girl who wants the world, I've gotta weigh things out. Considering how difficult today was, I have to think about how well I'll do when faced with the more challenging components of the sport. But I promise I'll try my best."

"Right. Best of luck, (y/n). See you tomorrow!" He waved, turning around and heading in the other direction. However, you didn't go just yet. Watching him walk away made it seem as though all of tonight was just a dream. That you were really just laying in your cheap motel bed, lacking a trainer, a rink, or any sort of acquaintance in this foreign town you once knew. You didn't want it to end. In the past three hours you've felt more at home than you ever had, and for your life to be toying with you and make it all inside your head would just be cruel. All you could do is hope that when you woke up tomorrow morning that everything you went through today would still be there.

You finally began to walk out the rink doors and into the front desk area when you stopped dead in your tracks. You realised you never thanked him.

You turned around, running back towards the direction from which you came while you called his name. "Yuri! Yuri!"

"(y/n)!" He yelled, running towards you. "Is something wrong? Are you okay?"

You didn't answer, but just threw your arms around him and embraced him. As he did to Viktor, he didn't return the hug, but the expression on his face was different. To you, he just looked down at you, confused, blinking rapidly.

"...(y/n)? What is this for?"

"It's just to thank you for all you've done."

He still seemed moderately confused, but understood the action. At the time, he didn't realise it, but you knew he'd become familiar with it later on. You were just that kind of girl.

Chapter Text

It was 3:06 AM, and Yuri's phone was ringing.

He groaned as he arose from under the covers, brushing his bed-head out of his eye, blinking them in an attempt to adjust them to the low light in the room.

He looked over at his phone, which had just stopped ringing, to see 19 missed calls, 4 voicemails, and 16 messages from the same person. When he grabbed it, it started buzzing and ringing obnoxiously loud once more.

"For Christ's sake, what is so urgent, Viktor?" Yuri whisper-yelled, trying his best not to disturb his neighbours. "It's 3 in the morning! Whatever this is, you had better have a good explanation for it."

"I do, I swear I do!" He actually yelled back. "It's (y/n)! Somebody leaked information that she might be coming back! I don't know who, and I don't know how! But whoever it was, this sort of thing can't be out on the internet. Not yet, anyways."

"Woah, woah. Slow down, Viktor. How do you know it's a real thing, and it's not just something that a crackhead wrote on Reddit?"

"It's more than that. It's all over the biggest news channels. Check your phone, just google her name, and you'll see about eight different links about her 'big return to the ice!'"

He did as he was told, which led him to be scrolling through a plethora of headlines that included her name (it was a lot more than eight). As different as they were written, they all had one thing in common. They all had the words "big" and "return" somewhere in the heading. But, to him, it didn't seem like a huge deal.

"Look, you need to calm down," he said monotonously, "(y/n) is the kind of person that believes all publicity is good publicity, even if it's, well, bad publicity. She'll appreciate the boost of popularity to her name, that way it'll help get her career started."

"You don't understand, Yuri. She's also the kind of person that gets stressed very easily, even though she might not like to show it. With this out, she'll think she'll be forced to do well, and that'll just make it harder for her. For the first time in her skating career, she'll be under the pressure, and I don't know if she'll be able to handle it," he was talking so fast he was beginning to wheeze. He couldn't stop rambling on and on about this leak, hell, he couldn't even stop searching to see if it existed. Now that it had, his fear all along had been confirmed. Having to watch her fall yet again, break down on the same ice she did oh so long ago.

"Viktor, whether or not I understand doesn't matter, The damage has been done, and neither you nor I have the power to change it. Just go back to bed, we'll talk about it in the morning. I've got more lessons with her tomorrow, so I need sleep."

"Fine. Just promise me one thing before I hang up."

Yuri sighed, but if it guaranteed him some more shut eye, he was willing. "I'm listening."

"Promise me you won't be hard on (y/n). I don't want to risk anything. Even though you're not formally her coach, she is more or less your protégé. Just be a little nicer than usual. Is that so hard to ask?"

He scowled. "It is if you don't let me sleep. Trakhat'sya. I don't need anymore lecturing for tonight."

"Fine, fine, I'm really leaving this time. Bye, Yurio. And watch your language!"

With that, three beeps sounded from Yuri's phone, as his head hit the pillow once more.

(y/n), if this really does affect you, I hope for the best, and I wish you the best of luck throughout the rest of your journey. I hope you get on your feet soon.

Yuri finally closed his eyes, sending him off to sleep again.

Chapter Text

I remember Viktor explaining it to me.

“Life, love,” he said. “Of all the important ‘L words’ used to describe me, those are the two I’ve been neglecting. It wasn’t until I met Yuuri that I discovered that I was even neglecting those words at all. Now that I’ve found him, life and love have changed me.”

Maybe that’s why he’s so persistent on finding me somebody. Maybe because he sees me going down the same way he was and wanted to stop it before it turned into something else. Maybe he wanted me to discover those L words; life, love. But maybe I insist on leaving them. Maybe, there are too many other L words that describe me that conflict with them.

Viktor has always described me as lustful. Lanky. Loathing. One might even say lonely. I guess, he wanted me to stop falling down the same hole that he was. That a girl might be able to bring those words, those L words, to the life I’m living. And as much as I try and deny it, that I already have them, and that I don’t need somebody to bring them to me.

But maybe he’s right. Maybe I do just need some life and love.

———

“Yurio, can I ask you a question?” Viktor asked. We were in the rink, (y/n) expected to arrive in half an hour. I was sitting on one of the benches that looked into the rink, tying my skates and preparing for warm-ups. Viktor leaned against the glass, messaging Yuuri a safe trip to Detroit to see Phichit, wishing he could have seen him off this morning. He had shut off his phone and looked at me.

“You already did,” I replied, shooting him a quick glance.

He sighed and rolled his eyes. “You know what I mean.”

“Obviously not.”

“Whatever. I was just wondering…” he sat down next to me. “Look, you don’t have to answer this, or say anything, and whatnot, but why are you so determined to help (y/n)? You just seem really passionate about it. And, well, it’s something I’ve never really seen in you before. Why now? Why this girl?”

I stood up, on my way into the rink, planning on not answering the question and just going, but I stopped in my tracks when I heard the finishing statement. Why this girl? I scoffed. Of course, Viktor was at it again, lacking his ability to mind his own business and trying his best to get into my personal life. But, for once, maybe, I thought he deserved an answer.

“You know, Viktor, your curiosity is going to be the death of you someday,” he looked shocked. He opened his mouth to say something, but I cut him off, sighing. “But, to answer your question, I’m not super sure. Maybe because I see a lot of myself in her. I see the fire in her eyes, her spark of determination, and I want to help it. Maybe it’s because she’s in pain, and I pity her trying to figure it all out herself. Maybe it’s because she’s so talented, despite her weakness, and I don’t want that talent to go to waste. I’m not sure, Viktor, I’m really not sure.”

———

(y/n) arrived shortly after. She came in with a warm smile, as usual, and Viktor greeted her with a warm hug. Why the two warmest people I know chose the sport with the coldest atmosphere, I don’t know. But, there’s certainly a reason I did. I skated to the gate and waited for her as she tied her skates and made her way to where I was. She took quite a fall on the way there, making Viktor scared half to death, but she waved him away and laughed it off, proceeding to head to the rink.

“Hey, Yurio,” she greeted.

“What did I say about calling me that?”

“There’s no stopping it, kid. You shouldn’t’ve told me.”

“(y/n), I- you know what, never mind. Just, do whatever.”

She flashed a passive-aggressive smile at me, nudging me out of the way and skating out in the middle of the rink. Unlike yesterday, she managed to stand there with ease. Her eyes gazed up, staring at the bright lights that decorated the ceiling. She then shut them, leaving her head up and her arms back. She looked very hard in focus for a moment, but the next, completely at peace. She slowly moved her feet, picking up speed around the rink, eyes still shut. She looked so so calm, so content, I’m honestly unsure what she could’ve been thinking about that made her so relaxed in this situation. Before I could even think about what was happening, her feet lifted off the ground as she winced in pain, performing the sloppiest triple toe loop I’ve ever seen her do, and taking an even more tremendous fall than she did earlier.

(y/n) managed to push herself up into a sitting position (surprisingly). She stayed in one place and began rubbing her head as she sucked her teeth. I skated over, giving her the same slow clap I did yesterday. “That was some fall you just took there, (y/n).”

“Oh, god, please don’t bring it up. I had no clue was I was thinking,” she winced again, touching a certain part of her forehead. “Jesus, that hurts.”

“And it will proceed to, and most likely leave a bump. But, hey, jumping is what we’re here for, isn’t it? At least you’re able to get off the ground. I was afraid you wouldn’t be,” I extended my hand for her to take. “Now, can you get up on your own, or will I have to help you like I did yesterday?”

She reached out, but proceeded to shove my hand away and lift herself off the ground. “I can take care of myself, thank you,” she managed as confidently as she could, dusting the icy flakes off of her shoulders and legs. “Now, if you wouldn’t mind, could you show me what the hell I’m supposed to be doing?”

That was new. I had never really seen her angry before. She had always been really composed to me, kind of peaceful. I don’t even think I saw any negative emotions in her the night she was hospitalised.

Just thinking of the word brings me back. Hospitalised. I don’t really think I’ve ever truly thought about it, until I saw just how much skating means to her. I mean, it must have been absolutely harrowing. To lose the thing that meant to most to her, not because she enjoyed it, not because she was good at it, but because she was living in a world so foreign to her, only being surrounded by unfamiliar people from unfamiliar places, it was all she had. She doesn’t really know her family, since she moved to Russia from a very young age to train. She really did sacrifice a lot for the sport, until the day came she had to sacrifice that for her health. But even now, she’s willing to throw it all out the window just to keep doing what she loves. No matter how much it hurts, no matter how much shock she’s in, she just keeps going.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s why she’s so great at it.

“Hello?” She was waving her hand in front of my face. “Earth to Plisetsky? I’d like an answer, and not just serene silence.”

I snapped out of it. I forgot she was still here.

“Oh, sorry,” I blurt, trying to make up an excuse as to why I was dazing. “It’s just, I’ve never really heard you swear before.”

“That, my dear boy, is because you don’t speak French. Now, can we get to the reason that I’m here, connard?” She looked at me with eyebrows raised.

“Was that a swear?”

She shrugged. “I guess we’ll never know.”

“Bitch.”

“Asshole.”

———

We worked for about three solid hours. Viktor came and want, blabbing about his fiancé, whom (y/n) had still not met. She got along really well with Viktor, because their personalities are so similar, besides (y/n)’s fear of being put on the spot. (y/n) worked tirelessly throughout the entire session. I gave her help when she needed it, but aside from that, I watched her from the side. She seemed happier working with Viktor, and I was more or less just making sure she was doing okay. From my eyes, she was doing pretty good. She took some falls every now and again; none as bad as her initial one, though. By the end of the three, she managed to do a pretty OK salchow. I could see in her eyes she thought she could to better, but considering this is her first day attempting any jumps in years, I thought she was moving pretty quickly.

“Pirozhki!” Viktor busted through the doors, yelling. “I have a dozen! Come and get them!”

(y/n), obviously wiped from her intense workout, skated right to the gate where he was standing, grabbing one from his bag. “Oh, bless you, Viktor, you couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m starving,” she examined the roll, still steaming hot. “What’s the filling?”

“It’s actually a dessert,” he replied. “It has an apple pie filling inside. I think you’ll enjoy it. Yurio! Would you like any?”

I followed the path of (y/n) and stood next to her, leaning against the gate. “Don’t mind if I do. In fact, (y/n), why don’t you take a break? You’ve been working really hard all night. Take 20 minutes before you attempt any triples.”

For the first time the entire night, she looked at me dead in the eyes, and flashed a real smile at me. “That sounds lovely, Yuri.”

She wobbled outside the rink and sat on a bench just outside of it. She had brought her own skates today, considering she knew about the meeting. She not-so-gracefully took them off and swung them to the side of her, chowing down on her snack. I took a seat next to her, slowly eating my pirozhki as well. By the time I had taken my third bite, she was already approaching Viktor for a second. He laughed as she hugged him, thanking him once more for covering her dinner. We both finished at the same time. After that, there were a few moments of silence before she reached into her purse beside her and began to start up her phone. I didn’t realise anything at first, until Viktor gave me the most panicked look I’ve ever seen. “Stop her!” He mouthed.

I didn’t understand what he meant. As she looked down, he kept trying to give me signals. Waving his hands, flailing his arms, shaking his head. “What?” I mouthed back.

“The headlines!”

I still had no clue what he was getting at. I put my hand up to dismiss him, but he kept going. His movements were so big and worrisome, I didn’t see a way possible that (y/n) hadn’t noticed. He let out a great sigh and rolled his eyes at me.

“About her!”

Oh. I got what he meant. He didn’t want her to see all the articles about her skating. Especially not while she was calm. I need to get her off her phone! How? Small talk! Small talk?

Small talk.

“So… uh, was your family supportive of your decision to move back to Russia?” I wince as I finish the sentence. Does everything have to be about her injury?

“Not really, but I already graduated, so they couldn’t really stop me. All of them didn’t want me to go, except my grandma, so she sent me off with her blessing, and $200 in my pocket. Luckily, I got a job, so now I’m keeping a pretty steady 200. My life is pretty off the grid right now, but I’m confident that’ll change soon.”

“Ah, I see.”

She was rubbing her legs up and down the entire time, like she was nervous. She didn’t look up from her phone once. At least, it only looked as though she was playing some random game, and not looking at the news.

Her motion led me to her feet, now empty of her skates and completely bare. Both of them were completely busted and as red as beets. I understood that skating does tear up your feet, but I had never seen anything this bad. I couldn’t comprehend how she was dealing with it.

“Oh, man. Doesn’t that hurt? You don’t seem bothered by it at all.”

“Hmm?” She glanced up and traced to where my eyes were looking. “Oh, you mean that? Well, not technically. I don’t have feeling in my feet. My nerves were completely destroyed in my right one, and my left, well, we had to take parts of that in order to save this one. So they look pretty hurt, but I’m not actually aware of the pain.”

“That must suck.”

“Not really. Actually, it’s better off this way. If I did have feeling in my feet, the pain would be excruciating whenever I walk. It just makes it a bit harder to jump, if you catch my drift,” she smiled. I chuckled lightly in response.

It was silent for a few moments. She had put her phone down, sure, but it was still weird that neither of us knew what to say. At least, now, she was eating again, and talking wasn’t her top priority.

In total she had three pirozhkis. She wanted to eat her last one, but we both recommended she maybe not do that if she was going to skate, and she could just take the last one home. She whined a little, but obliged, and got on the ice again for another hour before she decided it was time to go.

———

“Bye, Yurio! Bye, Viktor! Say hello to Yuuri for me, okay? Have fun! I will see you guys Friday!” She called from the door, waving. Viktor waved back relentlessly, smiling the same bright smile she was. I didn’t smile, but I did do a very slight wave, sending her off to walk to her hotel. Viktor offered to drive her, but she declined, insisting she would rather walk.

The bells on the door chimed, and with that, I wouldn’t be seeing (y/n) for another three days. Viktor turned around, and I guess I didn’t realise it, but the faintest curl was in my upper lip. I only knew because he wouldn’t stop screaming about it.

As I began to put my skates in my bag and prepare to leave, Viktor ran over and threw his arms around me.

“Jesus, Viktor, what is this?”

“You smiled! And you were nice! I haven’t seen you do that in years!”

“Okay! That’s nice. What’s the big deal, though?”

“The fact that you’re being a little nice to people! Don’t you know that matters?”

“If I did, I would do it more often,” I pushed him off of me, brushing my shoulders of from where his ice-ridden body had touched me. “Geez, what’s gotten into you? Like, I know you’re high-strung and all, but this is a little much. Seriously, why is it such a big deal?”

“Well, as you know (y/n) is going through a hard time right now. But you’re not making fun of her, you’re standing beside her, and you don’t know how much that can mean to her. I’m just, I don’t know, really proud of your change of heart.”

“That’s wonderful, Viktor. I’m truly in awe. Absolutely speechless. However you want me to feel. But I don’t have time for this. I have to get home, my grandfather is-”

“Shh,” he put his finger over my lips for the second time this week. “Would it kill you to listen to me for just once?”

I shut up. I didn’t feel like arguing this late at night. I’d cut him off if he starts taking too long. “Whatever,” I spit out.

“Sit down,” he says, motioning to the same bench I sat on with (y/n). I do as he says and reluctantly take a seat. “You really don’t know how much being kind to a person through a hard time can be. Even if you’re not helping them through it, which you should be, but still, just being nice to them can make their journey so much easier. And for the first time since you were like, 10, I think I can maybe see you thinking of the well-being of someone else.”

I stand up and sigh. “Viktor, I see your point, I really do. But mine is that unless their issue is directly related to mine, why should I help? It’s not my problem. Sure, maybe I’ll be nicer, but I don’t think it’s my responsibility to take care of their problems for them. Now, goodnight, I’ll see you at practice tomorrow,” I swing my bag over my shoulder and try to walk out, but he grabs my shoulder to stop me.

“First of all, you’re not. All you’re doing is offering support and advice. Second of all, you’re right, it isn’t your responsibility. That’s the point of just being kind. Being selfless. Showing the person that you care. It isn’t your responsibility, and that’s why most of the time she probably won’t ask for help, but just offer it. And you’ve been really good at that. And that makes me really happy, too. I’m seeing a different Yuri. A happy Yuri.”

“Yeah, that’s nice, but why does any of this matter to me?”

“Because, Yuri, I think you’ve finally found your Life and Love.”

Chapter Text

You’ll never be as good as you were.

Quiet phrases, but constant. They were coming from an unidentifiable source. The inky blackness of the void in front of you just kept growing darker as the words kept on coming.

Just face it. The world doesn’t have time to slow down for a cripple like you.

They were becoming louder. The voice— it was so familiar, but from who? And where is it coming from?

You won’t make it out there. You’ll be stuck here failing forever. In a broken home speaking broken Russian with a broken career and a broken body. That’s all you are now, and that’s all you’ll ever be. Broken.

Broken.

Stop, stop. You wanted it to stop. You wanted the voice to stop coming, the darkness to stop growing. You were smart enough to realise it was all in your head, but the voice, you knew those words were real. And maybe they were right. It’s a cruel world out there, and it won’t be willing to stop spinning so a weak child can get back on her feet.

All you wanted was for it to go away, but it just kept coming. The words intensified, every insult louder, stronger, and more painful. They were ruthless. Your head was spinning with all the sentences. How they were all so terrible, yet all seemed so true. No matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t get away from them. You were stuck in a nightmare you couldn’t wake up from.

They kept going for seemingly hours, but was realistically only a few minutes. They were still harsh, but the volume was diminishing, until eventually, the were gone.

You shot up from your bed, breathing heavily. According to your phone, it was 2:16 AM. Even though you weren’t dreaming anymore, the words were still playing in your head. You couldn’t bear to be alone right now. You had to talk to someone. But who wouldn’t be asleep?

You turned on your phone again, the tears from your eyes dripping onto the screen. You contracted the only person you knew, praying that he would pick up the phone.

It rang twice.

You swallowed hard on the lump in your throat, and sniffling heavy from the nightmare. Taking a deep breath, you finally asked, “Yuri… Can I talk to you?”

———

It had been six days since the occurrence. You hadn’t spoken to him since.

You couldn't even bring yourself to see him for practise on Friday; you flaked out by pretending you were sick.

It was such an awkward interaction, and it must have scared him half to death. I mean, what happens when the cripple calls you sobbing at 2 AM?

Why did you even call?

Nevertheless, it still happened, and he had then seen a side of you you weren’t ready to show him. The side you weren’t ready to anyone. The side of you that was afraid.

On his end, he hadn’t tried to contact you either.

He was feeling just as strange about it. Why would she call him, of all people? Didn’t she have anybody else to call?

Of course, you didn’t know the answer to that either.

So neither of you spoke. You just kept on going with your own lives.

That is, until, Yuuri started to notice Yurio acting a bit stranger.

———

The two Yuris never really spoke with one another, as Yurio would always have a distaste towards Yuuri, as he was the reason he had that stupid nickname. But this was something Yuuri would have to address.

Yurio was over at his and Viktor’s apartment, for Viktor’s early birthday-celebration. Viktor, was of course, off getting wasted with all of the other party-people over. The Yuris, the only sobers at the event, had locked themselves in the master bedroom, trying to get some solace from all the noise.

They were sat next to each other in silence, aside from the soft volume of the late goth talk show coming from the TV, and the booms of the loud music coming from outside the door. The demeanor in the room was relatively calm.

Yuuri figured this would be a good time to bring it up.

“So… why haven’t we see (y/n) around recently?”

Yurio shrugged. “Dunno. I know just as much as you do.”

“Have you talked to each other recently?”

“Not particularly.”

“And why is that?”

Yurio put his phone down and looked at him, annoyed. “I’m sorry, why are you asking this instead of your boyfriend?”

“Well, let’s be honest. He means well, but he’s not exactly the brightest bulb in the box, is he?”

“What does that have to do with this?”

“Oh, not much. Other than the fact that I’m smart enough to notice something happened between the two of you,” he looked at Yurio, smiling curiously. “So what happened?”

Yurio seemed very flustered. “Well, she- I, um…”

“Wait! Are you saying…?”

His suggestive comment snapped Yurio out of his embarrassed state. “Oh, god no! We didn’t sleep together! I’ve barely known her for a week!”

Yuuri sighed of relief. “Phew! That’s good to hear. You had me scared for a second there, Well, anyways, what really happened, then?”

“Nothing did. She just got sick.”

“Right, and your nervous comment totally didn’t debunk that theory.”

Yurio crossed his arms and looked back at the TV. “Look, it was nothing, really. She called me really early one morning after she had just woken up from a bad dream. Said she was too scared to go back to sleep. Wanted somebody to talk to. I obliged.”

“Was she crying?”

“Jesus, Yuuri, you’re worse than VIktor,” he looked down at his hands, now folded together in his lap. “But, from what I could tell, yes, yes she was.”

When there was no reply, Yurio looked at him again, to see his eyes wide and jaw dropped.

“Like I said, it wasn’t really big deal—“

“Yurio, are you kidding? That is a big deal! That is a super huge deal! You consoled her?”

“Well, kinda. She was afraid that her career was going to fall through. So I told her that she was very talented and that I believed in her and wouldn’t let that happen. That was all.”

“That was all? Are you serious? You didn’t just console her, you complimented her? And I mean, you, of all people?”

“The hell’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means, Yurio, that I have a question for you. Do you, well, have feelings for this girl?”

Chapter Text

“Yuri… Can I talk to you?”

 

The pain in her voice was shocking me. I had never, in all the years I had known her, heard her upset. Even in the worst of times, she was still smiling, pushing herself through. Sure, maybe I had seen underlying pain; when she’d pretend she was fine even if she really wasn't. It was always in good hopes that she wouldn’t carry it over to somebody else. It was unhealthy, but in some ways, selfless and kind. I had never heard her be so explicit about it.

 

Whatever this was, it was bad.

 

“Um, sure,” I yawned. “What’s up?” I tried to sound as neutral as possible. I didn’t want her to think I was babying her, but at the same time, I didn’t want her to think I was stone cold and didn’t care. She was so hard to read, it didn’t help the fact that I hadn’t seen her in ages. I had no idea what she wanted, but I wanted to please her. Make her feel okay. I just wanted her to feel safe, and here I was, not having any clue how to do it.

 

God, why did I care so much?

 

“Did… did I wake you?”

 

“What? Oh, no! No, no, definitely not,” It was a total lie, but knowing her, she’d hang up if she found out she did. “You know me, uh, I’m the biggest night owl there is!” I chuckled, hoping she wouldn’t pick up on my awkwardness. Even if she did, I don’t think she’d care.

 

“Oh, alright.”

 

She didn’t respond. For about 30 seconds, I was sitting there, waiting for her to tell me anything, but she kept her mouth shut. All that was audible on the other line were her soft sniffles, but at the very least, they seemed to be lessening.

 

“Did something happen?” I asked, trying my best to coax more out of her.

 

“No. Yes. Well, I mean, kind of.”

 

“I’m… not following.”

 

“Well, you see…” She inhaled. “It’s really not that big of a deal. It just freaked me out a bit. I’m just still not familiar with this place, is all. I just couldn’t be alone.”

 

“I understand.”

 

And the conversation was silent yet again. I really wasn’t sure if it was because of my part or hers; I was never sociable, but yet again, she was never scared. It was a weird plot twist that I don’t think any of us expected to happen. She was just always so confident, never deterred, that it never once crossed my mind the hell she was going through.

 

God, I’m so stupid. I should’ve listened to Viktor when I had the chance.

 

“(y/n), what’s going on?”

 

“It was just a bad dream. It just--scared me a bit. It was my career, I don’t know what was talking to me, who was talking to me, but whoever it was was so persistent on telling me that I’d fail. It hurts, I’m just trying so hard. I don’t want it to be over so quickly,” she paused for a moment, and I could hear her trying to steady her breathing. “Do you think I’ll fail, Yuri?”

 

“What?” The question shocked me more than anything that had happened that night. How was I supposed to answer? Do I sugar-coat it? Do I be honest? What on earth is going to make the situation better? “No! No, of course not. Just, listen to me.

 

“I can’t sit here and tell you it's going to be easy. It’s going to be ungodly hard, to get back up on your feet, especially in the time frame you want. But I can sit here and tell you that if anybody in the world is capable of it, it’s you. Five years ago, you were the most amazing skater I had ever seen, and I had to watch that talent drain from you right in front of my very own eyes. But I’ve always had a striking suspicion that one day, you’d bring it back, and you’d leave the world in awe once again. So I’m more than honoured to watch you build that wonder up again.”

Chapter Text

“Tell me Yuri, do you have feelings for this girl?”

Yurio looked at him puzzled for a few moments, before realising what he had actually said. “Huh?!” was all he managed as a reply.

“Well, think about it logically. There's no point in denying, you’re a pretty standoffish guy. And don’t get me wrong, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But lately, I’ve been noticing some changes in that line of behaviour. Especially around (y/n). You've met your fair share of girls in your life, so it certainly can't be just that. Why now? Why this girl? There's an explanation for it, I'm sure.”

Why now? Why this girl? That's right, Viktor had said something similar to that quite a while ago. But when Yuuri said it, it was rhetorical, it seemed. Viktor asked him because he was concerned, but Yuuri seemed to have it all figured out. 

But was the answer really what Yurio wanted it to be?

Yurio flung himself backwards on the bed, arms outstretched, staring aimlessly at the roof of the four-poster. “ Iisus Khristos, you're almost as bad as Viktor is. What makes you think that you need to be caught up in this situation, huh? You'd never even met the girl before this. It's not your problem.”

Yuuri leaned backwards to meet him. Yurio was right, it wasn't his business. But, to be fair, he wasn't exactly handling it correctly. Yuuri only wanted to help him. Of course, Yurio would be giving him a problem about it, he simply always has. But this was bigger than that. He could tell Yurio was attracted to her, that was easy. What he was learning was that Yurio himself didn't even realise it. And of course, the matters of love aren't simply ones you just let go.

“You're right, it's not my business. But I want to help you,” Yuuri paused before going on any further, waiting to see if Yurio would object. When he was greeted with silence, he was shocked, to say the least. “She obviously cares about you. You'd have to be blind to not see it. It seems as though she might have developed feelings for you long ago, and might not have realised it yet. Now, I think you might be on that same page with her.”

Yuri raised an eyebrow at him, perplexed. “And how would you know?”

“Because, Yurio, I might have gone through something similar with Viktor.”

Yurio froze. He never stopped to consider that. Yuuri was right, their stories almost aligned. But that couldn't mean anything, right? It was purely coincidental. 

But what if it wasn't?

Yuri stopped to think about it all. He had been a little kinder about helping (y/n) than he usually is. Not to mention, he really cared for her when she was injured, and deeply missed her during those five years that she was gone. When she called him that night, he really, really did want to help her. And it's true, he wanted nothing more than to see her finally grow and achieve her goals. In a normal guy, it could be considered normal behaviour. Just something a good friend was doing. Now, as he thought about it, it wasn't normal for him. All of those feelings of care reminded him of the day he couldn't give Viktor a straight answer, either. He didn't give it a second thought back then. Now that he was, everything made sense.

Only one thought ran through his mind.

Am I… falling for her?

Absolutely not. He refused to accept it. Love wasn't that easy, and he had been brought up well enough to know that. Love didn't work out in his world. Throughout his entire life, he only watched the people whom he loved get hurt in the end. He learned at a very young age that he would be better off without it. 

For both his matter, and the poor girl who would go through it.

“It's not that easy, Katsuki. I don't have time for something like that. She doesn't have the capacity for something like that. It would inevitably never work out in the end. It wouldn't be fair to either of us. And I--” Yuri stumbled on his own words. If Katsuki could read him correctly, he was getting choked up. If he was, then Katsuki was right. Nobody brings out vulnerability in Yuri Plisetsky unless they're special. “I can't risk hurting her. Seeing her in pain like that again… I don't know if I would be able to handle it. Especially to know that it would be my fault, I wouldn't be able to live with myself. She doesn't deserve that. She deserves so much more than,” he slightly gestures to himself. “Whatever the hell this is.”

He puts his hands over his face and groans. He speaks without lifting him. “Shit, Yuuri. I hate it when you're right.”

Yuuri slightly smirked at him. Whenever he was able to beat Yurio in his game of pride, well, it was always a fulfilling accomplishment. That, however, was besides the point right now. The point was that Yuri Plisetsky, for Christ’s sake, just admitted his feelings for a girl and seems like he couldn't care less.

“Seriously? A kid like you just told me something so huge and you're planning on doing nothing about it?”

“Dear God, what's it matter to you? You're happy. I shouldn't be your problem.”

“You're not my problem . I'm helping you because I want to, whether you like it or not. You really care for you, and at this point, you're practically my kid. And nobody close to me is gone get hurt if I can help it.”

“Katsuki, please… I can't do this. I can't hurt her.”

Yuuri sits up, motioning for Yurio to do the same. “Nobody ever said you were going to.”

“But there's still the chance that I will.”

Katsuki sighed. He really was stubborn, wasn't he? “Yurio, listen to me. Viktor once told me something as to why he was playing matchmaker with you. Did he ever tell you?”

“Not… exactly.”

“Then I will. I've never forgotten it because it made everything make sense. He explained it to me in an analogy. He said that we live in a world where love is costly. The more beautiful a person was, the harder it was to assign a price to them. You, Yurio, with your eyes, skin, and talent, are what we would call priceless. Physically, you're too amazing to anybody to even begin to try to assign a number to their worth. However, mentally, something is different. It's the only part of you that's ugly. The way you act isn't something that anybody desires. It's marked with a price too high, something that people either can't afford or aren't willing to pay that much. So for years, there you were, sitting on the shelf, just waiting for somebody to pick you. You might think you're hopeless, but you're not. Because of one coincidence, Yurio, you've found somebody who's willing to pay that high price, in exchange for all the priceless things she'd be getting.

“And you're telling me that you're just going to throw it all away?”

Yuri did not answer the question. He didn't want to. In the end, he knew Katsuki was right, but now wasn't the time to deal with it. Instead, he simply said, “Damn, Viktor said all of this?”

Yuuri went along with the subject change. Or, so Yurio thought. “Surprisingly, yes. And it's surprisingly accurate. You can't just sit here and let your opportunity go to waste. You've got a real chance here, with an absolutely amazing girl. Letting it go to waste would just be foolish. And trust me, I don't plan on affiliating with a fool.

“So do me this: go after her. Just try it. The outcome might shock you.”

“Katsuki. I'm not going to do anything to her right now. It isn't right.”

“Please, Yurio. For once in your goddamn life, just listen to me.

Katsuki didn't swear. Yuri knew that by heart. So the fact that he was meant that he must be serious. But did that really change anything in Yuri’s eyes? Was he really willing to go that great of lengths for one girl?