“Yuuri,” Hiroko said, “I’ve got something for you.”
Yuuri turned around on his bed to face her; there was a bunch of posters of a beautiful young man on the wall, but all Hiroko could see was her son. So handsome and talented, yet oblivious of his own worth. She could see his hard work in his sore feet, the proof of how much he was pushing himself to be better.
“What is it?” he answered, a little surprised and curious.
Hiroko couldn’t help but smile when she came into the room to sit at the edge of his bed. Yuuri sat up straight, fixing his glasses over his face. He was kinda growing out of those, so a new pair was in his near future.
“I know that your birthday was five months ago, but your father and I didn’t get you anything last year,” she started.
“I told you it’s okay, mom. I don’t need anything.”
“And I get that, but we still got you something you might like,” Hiroko searched in her pockets to finally extend a paper envelope to Yuuri. He stared at it for a moment, looking somewhat uncertain to open it. “Come on, Yuuri, open it!”
Now smiling a little, Yuuri opened the envelope with as much care as he could, worrying that being brute could mess with whatever was inside. He was expecting money or something like an old family picture, but instead there was a plane ticket inside… to St. Petersburg of all places. Yuuri was so confused that he searched for his mother’s eyes to try and understand.
Why was she giving him a plane ticket to Russia?
“This young man that you like…,” Hiroko looked at the posters around them, “he lives in St. Petersburg, right? Your father and I heard about this event he’s hosting and we thought…”
Yuuri’s eyes opened wide. He knew what his mother was talking about. Viktor Nikiforov, his figure skating idol, was hosting some kind of fan meet and greet at the ice rink where he practiced in a couple of days as a thank you to his fans for all the support he was receiving. He never even dared to dream about being there because, well, it was an impossible dream.
There were only fifteen spots for the lucky fans who were to buy the tickets first; they will spend an afternoon skating with Viktor, with the opportunity to talk to him and get pictures.
Those tickets were gone already. He learned that much online.
“But mom… the tickets…,” always pessimistic, Yuuri thought that his parents wasted their money on a plane ticket to nowhere.
“Minako-senpai got one for you. She knows just how much you wish to meet this young man,” Hiroko said, giving Yuuri one of the purest smiles he’d ever seen. “You leave tomorrow, if you want to go. Minako-senpai will go with you.”
He needed a moment to process it. He was going to Russia to meet Viktor, THE Viktor Nikiforov. Before he could help himself, little Yuuri was crying his eyes out and hugging his mother as close as he could; a hug was nothing compared to the dream she and his father just helped to come true.
He was going to meet Viktor.
Minako was probably as excited as he was; through her connections on the ballet world, she was able to snitch a ticket for Yuuri and a pass to the rink as the one responsible for him. She wanted to meet all the Russian celebrities as she could but more than that, she was truly happy and thrilled for Yuuri. She was his ballet teacher, and she knew almost better than anyone just how much he wished to meet Viktor.
It was spring in Russia, and yet a rather cold breeze brushed their skins when they crossed the street towards the ice rink. There was a small crowd of reporters and fans waiting outside, and Yuuri could feel himself feeling more and more nervous every second that passed.
What was he going to do? His english wasn’t that good and his russian was just even worst; what if he embarrassed himself by saying something stupid in front of Viktor and the other kids? He would die out of embarrassment.
What if he slipped and fell on his face? What was he going to do? Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to come at all. If he made the stupid in front of Viktor… Gosh, what was he going to do?
After finally passing through the crowd, they approached the entrance where someone from the staff received them. It was a really nice lady that smiled to Yuuri in such a warm way that helped him relax a little. Everything was going to be okay.
Inside it was full of people and skaters; apparently they were last to arrive. Viktor was in the middle of it all, casually jumping and dancing on the ice, his silver long hair almost moving with the flow of a song that wasn’t playing. Every second he stopped, he was approached by the fans that practically attacked him with questions and conversations. Yuuri couldn’t possibly do that.
“So? Go on and put some skates on!” Minako cheered him, patting him gently on the shoulder. “I’ll be over there talking with everyone around. Have fun.”
Before he could protest, Minako was nowhere to be found, so Yuuri found himself getting some skates borrowed and walking to the ice. He knew perfectly how to skate, but suddenly his knees were shaking and his sight was blurred; it didn’t matter how much he practiced or how long he waited for this moment, he couldn’t do it.
Him? Meeting Viktor Nikiforov? It was a stupid idea from the beginning. Yuuri felt really bad just thinking about Minako and his parents, and how much effort and money they put to bring him here… but he just couldn’t.
“Hi, sweetie,” a voice with a strong accent said. Yuuri looked up to find Viktor leaning towards him. He was so much more incredibly beautiful up close that Yuuri felt the air in his lungs disappear. “How are you? It’s everything okay?”
At the question, Yuuri noticed that his eye were full of tears. As quickly as he could, Yuuri dried his face with his sleeves; Viktor didn’t deserve to see him crying like a baby for such a childish reason.
“I-I’m… I’m your biggest fan,” Yuuri muttered instead of answering Viktor’s questions; he could feel himself going red, “can we… can we take a photo?”
Viktor stared at him for long seconds in awe; who was this cute kid and where did he come from? He finally smiled.
“Of course, dear. Whatever you want.”
Neither Yuuri or Viktor knew at the moment, but he meant it when he said whatever. And they also didn’t know about the things the future were keeping from them for when their paths were to cross again.