"So how are you and Victor?"
Yuuri tried to fight the involuntary flinch at his friend's innocent question, and decided to take a rather long sip of his water rather than answer right away. He might have known his and his husband's mutual friends would ask him that, especially Phichit. And why not? They were catching up right before Worlds, and there was so much going on in Yuuri's married-slash-mated life that he ideally wanted to talk about, but at the same time he wanted to avoid the anxiety the subject brought about.
Swallowing and biting his lip, Yuuri acknowledged the tight feeling in his stomach going all the way up his throat. Phichit was his friend, and he'd always been willing to listen to Yuuri's problems whenever he decided to actually come out and say what was wrong. "...Things are good," he said, and they truly were. They were coaching and choreographing and raising their son with all the love and dedication they could summon up.
Phichit eyed him carefully, letting out a thoughtful hum as he allowed them to walk in silence for a few moments. It was the middle of the afternoon, and they were on their way to get a quick lunch before setting out on their exploration of the host city. For all of Phichit's enthusiasm, it was nice to step aside and let Victor corral their students on his own so Yuuri could keep his anxious mind in one piece. "Just good?" his friend asked casually.
Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Yuuri turned and gave Phichit a hard look. "I need you to keep this a secret, okay?"
Phichit's eyes went round momentarily before he nodded, his expression looking both serious and worried. "Yeah, of course. What's the matter? This morning you guys looked like your usual newlywed selves! Did you have a fight? Is it Alyosha?"
"...We're trying to have a baby."
He said it so quietly that it looked like it took Phichit several moments to really process what Yuuri had said, and then he was gasping so sharply Yuuri was afraid he was about to choke on air. "Oh my GOD!" Phichit covered his mouth with his hands, eyes suddenly tearing up like he was the one who'd just discovered he was expecting. "Oh my god, Yuuri! That's incredible!"
His hands clutched at Yuuri's shoulders, and rather than the omega's usually contagious joy, the alpha could only feel the persistent helplessness of the past months. It must have shown on his face because Phichit's smile quickly disappeared and his grip on Yuuri's shoulders turned soothing rather than ecstatic. "...Yuuri..." A concerned frown wrinkling his brow, Phichit asked softly, "Yuuri...do you want to have a baby? Because you look like you're about to throw up."
"Of course I do!" Yuuri exclaimed, the vehemence of his answer briefly catching him off-guard before he let out a harsh breath and kept on walking, forcing Phichit to keep up with him. "We were both so excited when we talked things over and decided to try. Alyosha's old enough for a sibling, and I'm not competing anymore, so we just...decided to try after the Final!"
"That's...great, Yuuri, but..." Phichit, bless him, was keeping up as best he could, still looking worried while Yuuri ranted. "If you're having second thoughts about more kids, you have to talk to Victor and let him know. It's not fair to you if you don't feel ready to take care of a baby-"
"That's not it," Yuuri groaned, coming to a sudden stop that had Phichit almost tripping over himself. He quickly grabbed Yuuri's shoulder to steady himself while the alpha twisted his ring around on his finger. He pulled them aside so people could walk past them, and leaned against the wall as he rubbed at his temples. "We both want this so much. It's all we could talk about during the Grand Prix series when we weren't talking about skating or Yuri and Mila, or Alyosha..." He remembered having to swear both students to total secrecy (and even his husband) when they got wind of what else was preoccupying their coaches. "God, Alyosha's been keeping this a secret too. We had to talk to him about it as far back as July to make sure he was okay with the idea. We don't want him to feel neglected or anything."
Phichit stood beside him, nodding attentively. "Okay, so you're definitely all for this. So...what's the issue?"
Yuuri groaned and pressed the back of his head to the wall. "Like I said, we've been trying since the Final. Three months. Three heats and ruts. Victor took a test yesterday and it came up negative." He rubbed at his eyes beneath his glasses, his throat becoming unbearably tight. He didn't want to cry, not when people could see him. "You should've seen the look on his face. He looked so sad and disappointed. And you know what he did?" Without giving Phichit the chance to answer, Yuuri immediately said, "He threw the test in the trash and hugged me, and said we'd keep trying! Can you believe that?!"
Phichit stared at him and sighed after a moment, placing a calming hand on Yuuri's shoulder. "If he saw you wearing this look on your face, then of course he's gonna hug you. He probably thinks you're disappointed too."
"It just...Sometimes it feels like it won't happen," Yuuri confessed, his cheeks turning pink. "And if it doesn't, it's like...I'll feel responsible."
"Why would you feel responsible? Yuuri, I can smell him all over you. It's not as if you guys aren't each doing your part. " Phichit said, smiling at the blush on Yuuri's face. "It's not about blame, okay? Don't start putting yourself in that mindset, it's not healthy. You know that Victor would never blame you."
Yuuri nodded, trying to tell himself that Phichit was right and that Victor was just trying to help him in that moment because maybe it was true that Yuuri's disappointment was written all over his face. "...Can you just..." He sighed, avoiding his friend's gaze. "Can you tell me it'll happen?"
"It'll happen," Phichit said with certainty. "By this time next year you and Victor will have a baby that looks just like you, and you'll name it after me."
An involuntary chuckle burst out of Yuuri's mouth, his brain a fog of simultaneous relief and shakiness. "Get in line. Victor wants to name it after me. Or my mom."
"Awwww," Phichit cooed, placing a hand on his chest. "I've got baby fever now. Tell Yuri he can have his gold medal. I'm gonna go have a dozen babies with Seung-gil now."
"That'll just piss Yuri off," Yuuri warned, still smirking at the ground.
"Hi, Tou-san!" Yuuri heard as his son sped past him and into the apartment.
Yuuri smiled as he watched him get rid of his backpack and rapidly unzip it to bring out whatever game Yurio had bought him during their outing. He turned to give his student a dry look, to which Yurio replied with a smirk, "I'm being a good older brother."
"Oh, yeah?" Yuuri asked, moving aside to invite Yurio in. "Does that involve helping us paint the baby's room in a few weeks?"
"I wouldn't go that far," Yurio muttered, giving the air a sniff as he stepped inside. "It almost smells back to normal in here."
Yuuri winced at the reminder, and was grateful the young man had enough tact to speak in English when Alyosha was within earshot. Victor's morning sickness was merciless, leaving the omega exhausted most days and barely able to keep anything down. Yuuri had been beside himself with worry, contributing to the distressed air in their home that had Alyosha feeling on edge.
That morning Victor gave in to the frequent urge to nest, and Yurio arrived in time to steal Alyosha away for the day so Yuuri could share the nest with his sick and distressed mate. There was a clear difference between Victor wanting to be pampered and Victor truly feeling weak and helpless. "He's feeling better," he assured the younger omega and himself, both of them sitting on the couch to watch Alyosha turn the console on. He'd scented Victor for hours before getting up to get them both something to eat, and he relaxed a bit as Victor fell asleep curled up in their nest, their hands linked together over the slight swell of his belly.
"Good," Yurio muttered, ruffling Alyosha's hair when the boy sat down between them and handed Yuuri the controller so he could help with the set up. "This one was worried too," the omega added in Russian with a grin.
Alyosha blushed and elbowed Yurio's side. "So were you, you big mouth!"
"Hey, no fighting, kids," Yuuri admonished with a smile, watching his son reach up to teasingly tug Yurio's hood over his eyes while the older omega grinned and cackled.