Viktor had never liked hockey
Well, that wasn't exactly true, he had never liked hockey players, he was utterly indifferent to the actual sport, as he was to most "game" sports like baseball and football and whatever else ended with "ball"
But the hockey players....
Viktor had a bone to pick with them that started all the way back in his pre-teen days when Ivan Kuznetsov plowed him over on the ice, broke Viktor's nose, and nocked out his two remaining baby teeth.... that also just so happened to be his front teeth
He went to his senior debut at Nationals with a cast on his nose and two missing front teeth and it was the most embarrassing thing that had ever happened to him
There were photos of him unable to contain his glee and smiling on the podium with his gold medal, a gaping hole in his mouth and plaster over his face
Viktor had made it his sole mission in life to find and destroy every cursed photo or film footage that memorialized that moment and it was only by the grace of God that Yuri had managed to miss that era in his life or Viktor was sure he'd never live it down
Making matters all the worse is that he's still certain that break caused his nose to be permanently just ever so slightly off, making it look bigger than it had been when he was a child and everything was still dainty and cute
His front teeth had grown in slightly crooked and he'd had to spend a summer in braces
That hockey player had ruined months of Viktor's life and left him with emotional scars (well, vanity scars really) that he would never recover from and ever since he had been more than a little put-out by the hockey team everytime they dared to show their faces at the rink during figure skating practice
But that was before
That was before the meatheads met Yuri and Viktor's distaste for them boiled over into outright contempt
The first day it happened was a complete accident, in total fairness
To accommodate Viktor's plans to both compete and coach Yuri, Yakov had to switch Viktor's practice time with Mila's, something Viktor was sure he'd never hear the end of from his red-headed rink-mate, who would never forgive him for "stealing the perfect time to meet hockey players" from her
To be honest, having to slot in an extra skater already pushed the Russian teams into an uncomfortable time crunch, pushing the figure skaters to all come in just a little early and the hockey players to stay a little late, but no one said "no" to Viktor Nikiforov (except his fiance`) so as per usual Viktor got what he wanted
As Yuri didn't need Yakov's coaching, he was the last skater to practice at the rink each day, and as Viktor had to coach Yuri and be coached by Yakov, his practice time was settled right before Yuri's, making the switch between Coach Yakov and Coach Viktor as seamless as possible
But that's where the trouble started, because the last skater of the day would oftentimes end up encountering the hockey team, who came in to practice right after the figure skaters left
Meaning that when the hockey players came barging into the rink right on time, expecting to find Mila lingering around waiting for them, they instead found Yuri, finishing his last run-through of his new short program with Viktor watching from the sidelines
Viktor had stopped being intimidated by the hockey players when he finished puberty and shot from a lithe four-foot-tall pixie to a well-toned, six-foot-tall man, who rivaled both the strength and the beauty of an elf from Lord Of The Rings, so when the hockey team came bustling into the rink like a stampede of wild elephants, he did little more than glance over his shoulder at them and wish some good Samaritan out there would do the humane thing and muzzle them all
Yuri, however, was not nearly so immune to the pack of wild animals who had come sniffing around him all of a sudden, and he happened to look over his shoulder and spot the audience right as he was landing a jump, causing him to falter and hit face-first into the ice
Atleast he was already on his feet at the time so the stumble wasn't too bad but still...
"Yuri!!! Are you alright!?" Viktor shouted, pushing away from the wall and hurrying out to the ice to help him
"I-I'm fine Viktor..." Yuri mumbled back, allowing his fiance` to help him to his feet
"Are you sure?"
Yuri only nodded, his attention immediately on the hockey players, staring at them the way a deer would stare into the headlights of life
"Ah... the Russian hockey team?" he guessed a beat later
"Yes, ignore them Yu-"
"I'm really sorry we overstayed," Yuri interrupted, bowing politely to the team
"It's my first day and we've all run a little late, I'm sorry,"
"No need to apologize, you're hardly late, we've only been here a moment," chuckled one of the meatheads, a dark-haired bear of a man with a beard and enough muscles that he could probably choke someone to death one-handed
"And besides, we're used to the figure skaters staying a little late, you guys sure are dedicated," hummed a blonde with slicked back hair and steel blue eyes
"Yeah, we usually see Mila here, you taking her place?" purred third man, with dreads that went down to his thighs, eyes as dark as night, and a thousand-watt smile
"Yeah, Mila switched with me, since Viktor is my coach I need to practice last so Yakov can be relieved and Viktor will have his practice out of the way,"
"So that means you'll be here every day before us?" the bearded one practically beamed
"That's the plan," Yuri confirmed
Viktor could practically see it, like vultures spotting a carcass, the way those dumb animals looked at Yuri
He was predicting there and then that they would be all over him like a bunch of starving hyenas on a corpse, and he was right about it too!
For the next two months Viktor worked his tail off trying to get Yuri out of the rink before the vultures descended but often to no avail
They just kept inserting themselves into Yuri's life, even worse than what they had done with Mila, and it was driving Viktor crazy
"Yuri!!!" a chorus of shouts came bursting from the doors, before Viktor could even think about packing up
Damn them, they were early!
The brunette skated to the edge of the rink, smiling innocently up at the hockey team as they all came to crowd around the ice- and the adorable bowl of katsudon on said ice
"Still practicing?" Luka, the brunette with the beard, asked
"Yeah, I still have ten minutes left,"
"Oh, my new watch must have been fast," hummed Aleksander, the blonde with the steel gaze, as he leaned over and flashed his stupid expensive watch in Yuri's face
"See? It says we're right on time,"
"Huh.... must be..."
"So what's your theme for this year Yuri? Last year's was 'love' right?" Dmitri, the one with the dreads and the killer smile, chirped
"Mm-hm, this year's theme is 'intimacy'," Yuri confirmed, followed by a chorus of "oooooh"s from the cretins
Viktor wanted to kill them
"That's alot like 'Eros' right?" Dmitri asked
"No not really, Eros is pure sexuality, intimacy is like... eros and agape coming together as one,"
The flood of "aww"s and "ahhh"s that followed made Viktor roll his eyes so far into the back of his head he could swear he saw a past life
"Are you done for the day after this Yuri? Or do you have ballet after?"
"No I'm done, I did that early, the other Yuri is the one who takes ballet after on-ice practice," Yuri corrected
"How could we forget?"
"The dancing Yuris are very different!"
"Well Yura is alot more memorable than I am, so I'm not surprised," Yuri said with a small shrug
"Huh?? No no!! You're FAR more memorable!" Luka insisted
"You're incredible!" Dmitri agreed
"You're talking about Yuri Plisetsky right? He's memorable, but he's as mean as they come, you're so... sweet and.... soft... and... tender," Aleksander purred
What, was he describing a steak?
The blonde would think that about Yura though, the first time the hockey team had met the younger Yuri, he had practically run them through a verbal wood-chipper
They had understandably kept their distance since
"Ah, oops... look at that, my watch fell on the ice..."
Viktor raised an eyebrow as Aleksander glanced over the rink wall at where his watch had "fallen"... surely he wasn't going to--
"Oh I'll get it,"
"Aw thank you Yuri!"
Surely enough, Yuri bent over to get the watch, even raising one leg up in the air to better keep his balance, and giving the hockey team the perfect veiw of his leggings stretched over his-... everything....
"Yuri, let's go," Viktor demanded suddenly, managing to reclaim Yuri's attention
"Huh? But there's still-"
"We'll make up for it tommorrow, we have to run errands on the way home, let's go," he insisted a little more sharply
Yuri tensed a little, but nodded, offering the hockey team a polite goodbye before skating off of the ice, unaware of the eyes that followed him all the way out of the rink, even as Viktor wrapped an arm around him and escorted him to the locker room himself
By the time they got to the store, Viktor had just barely cooled off, and Yuri was still trying to figure out his fiance's strange mood
Locker room sex wasn't exactly uncommon for them, but it was usually alot more playfull and full of honeymoonish adoration of eachother, with Viktor practically bowing at Yuri's feet, full of love and affection, but this time.... this time it had been so possessive and rough, passionate and serious, Viktor had been like a hurricane and Yuri couldn't quite understand why, especially given the fact that Viktor still seemed to be tense...
"Um... Viktor? Did I... do something?"
With a box of pasta in one hand and the grocery list in the other, Viktor jerked his head up, staring at Yuri with an expression of heartbreak on his face
"Oh.... oh Yuri... no, no ofcourse not,"
Setting both in the cart, the older skater turned to give Yuri his full attention, wrapping his future husband in a tight hug and letting his head rest in the crook of Yuri's shoulder
"I'm so sorry my love, I didn't mean to give you that impression, just.... those hockey players... they get on my last nerve like you wouldn't believe... but I didn't mean to make you think it was anything to do with you, ok?"
"Ok," Yuri confirmed, his smile meek and shy, leaning slightly into the light touch of Viktor's hand as he cupped Yuri's face, following it up by giving his lover a kiss
Viktor had intended to apologize a little more thoroughly, knowing what Yuri's anxiety could do to him if Viktor didn't make absolutely sure that the issue was resolved, but the sound of a quiet shreik across the aisle caught their attention, both turning to see a little girl in a tutu, who couldn't possibly have been older than six, and who was standing across the aisle practically jumping for joy
"Yuri Katsuki..." she breathed, eyes sparkling
"I love you!!"
Yuri was usually too stunned to speak coherently around fans, but he was great with small children and that seemed to ward off his shyness a little
"Oh, thank you... that's so sweet,"
"Can I have a picture!? Please!?" she cried, running up to him
"Ofcourse, it'd be my pleasure!"
Viktor didn't know it at the time, but the oncoming picture of the tiny ballerina hugging Yuri was about to go almost as viral as that video from when Buzzfeed had Yuri take the "Answering questions with puppies" challenge
Viktor was at his wit's end
Keeping Yuri safe from rabid fans and drooling dudebros was hard enough without an adorable viral photo going around, but now that it was, the attention on Yuri had nearly doubled, and they were still dealing with the consequences
Or more specifically- Viktor was dealing with the consequences
"I just don't know what to do, Yuri is totally unaware of the fact that these people are practically crawling all over him, if anything he seems to think that he's unattractive!"
Just that morning he had tried on a gorgeous violet and navy dress for a party and quickly deemed it an "at-home only" garment as it made him look "fat and washed out"
Viktor had spent fifteen minutes trying to convince him otherwise, only to end up succeeding and then realize belatedly that Yuri was going to be wearing that beautifully figure-hugging roll of chiffon in front of the hockey team
Viktor had essentially screwed himself on that one, but he'd much rather have to spend all night chasing people off of his fiance` than let Yuri believe he was unattractive
And that was the thing really, Yuri's brain had this innate ability to make up total lies about himself completely out of thin air, and he was an incredibly creative person too, with the things he came up with, it was just a shame that he used that creativity to hurt himself instead of on something more productive like the arts
"We know," Minako said flatly over the video call, seeming entirely unimpressed
"Who do you think kept Yuri safe before he got to you?" Mari added in from beside her
Viktor had met Phichit after all, he knew that beneath the sunshine and pixie dust, there was a raving viper ready to strike down whoever dared to harm Yuri and then devour their corpse
After all, who do you think gave Viktor the shovel talk after he announced their engagement?
"..Before Phichit," Minako corrected, unimpressed
"...You two?" Viktor replied, eyebrows raised
"Yes us two, don't act so surprised!"
"S-Sorry, I didn't mean it like that, I just meant... well, Yuri moved to America when he was 18 right? I didn't think he had this problem before then..."
"Oh we've been dealing with this since middle school," Mari shrugged easily
"Now what you need to get your hands on is one of these,"
Viktor squinted, nose wrinkling a little as he tried to make out what Minako was holding up to the camera
"What is that? A roll of wrapping papper?"
"Don't look at it as a roll of wrapping papper, look at it as the big stick you're going to need to beat people off of Yuri with,"
Somehow, he had a feeling that Yakov wouldn't approve of Viktor smacking the hockey players with a large roll of wrapp-..... with a big stick... but Viktor himself wasn't exactly opposed to it
Hockey sticks existed for a reason, didn't they?
Yuri was supposed to be practicing at the dance studio with Yura, but they weren't in the room they usually used...
You don't own me, I'm not just one of your many toys, you don't own me, don't say I can't go with other boys
Viktor's heart practically jumped into his throat when he stepped into the next room
Don't tell me what to do, and don't tell me what to say
Yuri had found a pole
He had found a pole in the dance studio and was currently winding himself around it like a-... like... oh hell Viktor didn't even have a comparison for the raw sex appeal and beauty that Yuri displayed when he pole-danced
Please, when I go out with you, don't put me on display
For a moment, Viktor just... watched
Let himself indulge in the beauty that was his future-husband as Yuri hugged against the metal pole.... until he spotted a reflection other than his own in the mirror across from him
Someone was lurking in the corner with their phone out filming this
Surely enough, the culprit jerked up and sprinted for the door, nearly bowling Viktor over as he ran out
"HEY!! Get back here!" Viktor shouted, chasing after the unidentified asshole as Yuri- evidently unaware that he was being watched- yelped and collided with the floor
Dammit, of all the times for Viktor to not have a hockey stick lying around...
"So, I saw the video,"
Viktor just put his head in his hands, groaning lowly in defeat
Despite chasing the stranger into the parkinglot, Viktor hadn't managed to actually catch whoever was filming Yuri, or even find out their identity, and an hour later Yuri Katsuki pole-dances to Grace's "You Don't Own Me" appeared on YouTube and started making the social media circuit
The video had easily nudged out the cute photo with the ballerina and had just barely climbed past the "Yuri Katsuki tries to answer questions with puppies" video from a few months back
Now he was on a video call with Phichit as Yuri relaxed in a hot bath, trying to shed the icky sensations he had been feeling due to the video going up
He was fairly embarrassed by it, and although he hadn't been doing anything scandalous or in a state of undress, he still hadn't wanted any observers for it
According to Yuri, he had just decided to get in a little practice wile waiting for Viktor to pick him up, totally innocent, and it definitely wasn't fair that his privacy had been taken from him the way it had been
But even though they were trying to get it removed from YouTube, it had circulated so much now that there were probably duplicates everywhere and getting it entirely removed would be impossible
"How's Yuri taking it? Is he ok?"
"Embarrassed, but more or less alright yes, thank you for asking,"
"Good, and you?"
Viktor was quiet for a moment, face scrunching up in thought before answering
"I suppose I'm alright, though I feel bad for letting someone get the better of Yuri that way, I should have done more to protect him, that's my job not only as his future husband but also as his coach,"
"I know the feeling, I may never have been engaged to Yuri or a coach to him but I took on the role as his protector for a wile there too,"
"Yes, Minako mentioned that, how did you handle it?"
For a moment, Phichit was quiet, before finally answering, his expression warm and nostalgic
"Well... it's a hard line to walk, you shouldn't baby him or isolate him or treat him like he's made out of glass, because he isn't, but... you also have to remember how sensitive he is and how easy it is to hurt him, Yuri's self-esteem is a real monster, he has no ability to fathom that he's special or beautifull, so he has a really hard time noticing when people are coming onto him or trying to claw their ways into his personal business, you probably notice those things alot though right?"
"Oh yes, with certainty," Viktor grumbled back
"Then... maybe it's not the best advice to give but... just do whatever you have to to keep Yuri safe from people who would hurt him or use him, trust your instincts you know? Don't bother so much with what other people will think of you, make Yuri your priority, when you do that, it gets a little easier to scare off the boogeymen,"
"Mm, I suppose that makes sense..."
Viktor imagined Phichit must have had experience with this....
"But it isn't all bad ya' know, Yuri being an oblivious heartbreaker I mean, you get lots of free stuff! There was this coffee shop on campus and everytime we went we got our coffee for free because the barista kept trying to get Yuri's number for a 'loyalty program' but he totally didn't get it, and the girl at the pet store we used to go to was always giving us 'free samples' of stuff for the hamsters and kept asking Yuri for pictures of him and Vicchan... but he always thought she was only interested in Vicchan so he always only sent her the ones of Vicchan by himself,"
That actually made Viktor snort, imagining the look on that poor girl's face as she repeatedly got flooded with poodle pictures when she was probably trying to get pictures of Yuri instead
"And the pizza guy kept giving us free pizzas too!! Until he graduated, then he tried really hard to get Yuri's number but Yuri just gave him a big tip instead,"
Yeah, that sounded like Yuri alright, always a big tipper, even when he was low on cash himself...
"And then there was this girl at the comic book store who read every manga Yuri ever mentioned just so she could have something to talk to him about because he never got into American superheros all that much but he thought she wanted recommendations so he just kept recomending stuff to her, it was HILARIOUS, I think she'd read more manga than he had by the time he moved away, oh! And then there was that professor-"
"Ah, Phichit, how many of these stories do you have...?"
The fact that Phichit actually laughed at that question was honestly kind of terrifying...
Here's the thing, as much as Viktor wanted to smack the hockey players with a big stick or give some sort of terrifying speech about what would happen to them if they did anything to Yuri, he couldn't realistically do that, because unlike some random delivery man or the bar tender off campus who kept getting Yuri way drunker than he ever should have been, these weren't people that he could just brush off his radar as never having to see again
The hockey players couldn't be so easily gotten rid of, as they belonged at the rink just as much as the figure skaters did, and even if Viktor did uproot their entire schedule and push Yuri's practice time to the earliest available slot and put Mila back in the last spot of the day, that wouldn't really gurantee getting rid of them entirely, considering that, like it or not, Viktor was going to have to deal with them attending various parties and sporting events too, where they would inevitably keep trying to get their hands on Yuri- case in point the last party they attended where Mila had brought along a few of the meatheads who kept trying to make Yuri bend over in his dress for one reason or another, luckily Viktor had managed to keep him from actually doing it but....
The point was, the hockey players were going to linger around, like a bad smell or a stomach bug, so if Viktor couldn't get rid of them, then he would just have to deal with them in a different manner, one that Phichit had used on their hockey team back in Detroit
And honestly, Viktor couldn't believe he hadn't thought of it before
Ah yes, the meatheads, right on schedule
Viktor smirked as he listened to the galloping group of grunts stampede into the rink, the music for their exhibition program blasting from his portable speakers as Viktor clung tightly to his future-husband and spun him around the rink
Just as expected, when the hockey players arrived to see Viktor practically smothering Yuri in attention, not even letting the brunette out of his arms for longer than a moment here or there to transition a step or a jump, they were far less pleased than they had been before
When Luka asked about the routine, Viktor was the one to answer
When Dmitri asked Yuri how his own routines were coming, he answered wile Viktor held him and pressed a line of possessive kisses down the back of his neck, causing Yuri to stutter the answer out as Viktor hugged him tighter
And when Aleksander dropped something onto the ice, Viktor was the one to bend down and pick it up, with Yuri blushing behind him
It didn't take many times of the hockey team coming in to that sort of display before they eventually quit showing up early all together
Now he just had to figure out what to do with Mila's upcoming birthday party where half the team would be...
"You've been awfully touchy lately... more so than usual, wich I honestly didn't think was possible..." Yuri mused as he combed his fingers through Viktor's hair
"Mmm, have I?" Viktor purred, smiling up at his fiance` adoringly, receiving a poke on the forehead in return
"You have, is everything ok?"
"Everything is perfect my darling, it's just that I fall in love with you more and more by each day," Viktor purred back, taking Yuri's hand and kissing hs fingers
Yuri wasn't nearly so sure that that was the truth, but he didn't get the opportunity to question it, as the doorbell rang and Viktor rolled off of his lap a second later
"Ah, probably the gift I ordered for Mila," he mused distractedly
Yuri only nodded, sighing a little as his phone buzzed, prompting him to pick it up from the table
How's your little problem going?
Yuri pouted at Phichit's question, hurrying to type back an answer
Not great, I still haven't figured out how to keep people away from Viktor, those snowboarders from last month's party are still showing up at the rink to "visit" during Viktor's practices, and I'm going to have to figure out how to deal with them /soon/, they're going to be at Mila's birthday party... where Yakov probably won't be... where Viktor will practically be open season...
Have you talked to Yura about it? Didn't you say he was the one warding those creeps off of Viktor before you came along?
Yeah but he just used to scream and insult them, I can't do that... and now that they know that Yura is gone by the time Viktor's practice rolls around, they've started skulking around again...
Ya' know, you could always just try to be extra affectionate when they're around, mark your territory?
That was a thought, Yuri supposed...
"Oh it's for me! Yuri look! Nathaniel sent me a present!!"
"Who's that again?" Yuri asked, setting his phone down as he got off of the couch
"One of the snowboarders who's been coming around the rink lately, you know, the redhead?"
"Ah..." Yuri muttered, feeling a surge of frustration and jealousy shoot up his spine as he walked towards Viktor, suddenly grabbing his shirt and yanking him down for a kiss
A long, deep, filthy kiss that kept up as Yuri dragged his husband-to-be into the bedroom
Yuri would have to put Phichit's advice into practice and pray for it to work, after all, Viktor was so sweet and affection-starved, he didn't realize most of the time when people were flirting with him
And it was Yuri's job as his future husband to protect Viktor from people who only wanted to hurt him or use him, wasn't it?