Yuuri had been sitting in the bar with his best friend Phichit, having a conversation about soulmates.
“No, I don’t think it’s necessary to find your soulmate,” Yuuri kept arguing.
“Come on, I mean like seriously, who would not want to meet the person they’re literally destined to be with?” Phichit said back. He had always been a hardcore romantic.
Yuuri scrunched his nose and played with the rim of his glass, as if he was thinking about it. He shook his head and said, “I don’t know. Of course it is a nice fantasy, but honestly, how many people actually meets their soulmates? It would be a waste of time to be waiting for someone instead of letting yourself just freely fall in love.”
Phichit wiggled his eyebrows. “And who’s the one who sounds like a Hallmark commercial now. And be honest with me, I know you haven’t dated in ages. Aren’t you just waiting for a certain someone?” He sipped his purple drink.
Yuuri snorted. “Me not dating has nothing to do with that. I’m just not into dating, and you know it.” He brushed his hair back, feeling a little embarrassed, though he was telling the truth. He never felt too comfortable in relationships altogether. “I’m just saying, it’s weird to have our whole romantic view to be focused on a silly mark which really doesn't mean a thing.”
“But Yuuri, it’s destiny. Think about the excitement of meeting new people. ‘Is this person the one? No? Yes?’ The nervous glances, hesitant touches,” Phichit said quietly with an intense voice, “and then,” he paused, “the REVELATION!” he slammed the table with his hand, making Yuuri shriek and splatter his drink.
He sighed and used the paper towel to clean the mess. “I don’t think meeting a soulmate would actually even be that climactic.”
“Killjoy,” Phichit exclaimed.
“Realist,” Yuuri grinned.
“But why would there be a soulmate system if it wasn't supposed to work?”
“Just because something exists it does not mean that it needs to be used,” Yuuri commented.
“That’s exactly what I’ve been telling to my friends,” someone said at the next table, and it took a little while for Yuuri to notice that the person was commenting on their topic.
It seemed, that they had been loud enough for the people at the next table to join the discussion.
“Listen,” Yuuri waved his hand to the direction of the other table, “I’m not alone with this.”
“Bah,” Phichit had his tongue stuck out, “It’s just you miserable people”
“We miserable people just aren't convinced that we should be twisting our whole life around some tattoo we never remember getting,” said the voice again behind Yuuri.
“Thank you,” Yuuri said. “You see, there are other sensible people like me, right…?” he said and turned to look at the person who had just spoken. The night had proceeded far enough for him to feel unusually courageous and drag a stranger into their conversation.
A platinum haired man was turned on his seat to their direction. “Viktor,” he offered his name.
“Viktor here agrees with me,” Yuuri said proudly, feeling glad not to have to go against Phichit on his own, again.
Viktor’s table company seemed to disagree, tough.
“I don’t understand why some have to fight against something so natural as a soul mark. What’s so bad about it? When I’ll meet my soulmate you’re not invited to our wedding,” the blonde claimed.
“Yuri, whoever you’re going to marry, was it a soulmate or not, trust me I’m going to be there. I give the best table speeches,” the taller man said. “Still, it always manages to surprise me how absolute you are every time you talk about this topic. I used to think you were such a pessimist. What a shock!”
“Fight me, Viktor. My grandparents were soulmates and I’m going to have that.”
“That's the right attitude,” Phichit clapped his hands, looking moved.
Yuuri narrowed his eyes, looking thoughtful.
“It is a nice idea, sure, but I don’t want to waste my whole life away waiting for a one person. I have other things I want to accomplish,” Viktor said.
Yuuri nodded furiously, “I agree.”
“Haven't you ever dreamed of what you could have by having a soulmate?” Phichit had moved his attention to Viktor now, as Yuuri had heard those words coming out of his mouth plenty. “They say that the connection is incredible. The rating of soulmates staying together is 98%. It’s practically true love.”
Viktor did not look too impressed, and Yuuri felt exactly same.
“True love sounds fancy and all, but how good could it really be? Love is love, was it destined or not.”
“Exactly,” Yuuri said while Viktor and his friend moved to their table.
Viktor slid next to him while Yuri sat next to Phichit. It was like a disputation, a slightly drunken one.
“How I see it, whether there ever was a point in the soulmate system, is that the society has ruined the whole thing anyway with emphasizing the capitalistic value of it. Have you seen the new Youtube commercial with Kanye West that’s practically everywhere? It’s like the world is trying to tell us that there doesn’t need to be even a one proper conversation between two people before it’s confirmed that it’s true love just because of the stupid mark,” Yuuri complained and took a swig out of his beer just to notice it was already empty.
“You want mine?” Viktor asked as he was drinking the same brand apparently.
“You don’t mind?” Yuuri asked and took it hesitantly.
“Nope, I was thinking of slowing down anyway,” the man assured, and then he was back to the conversation. “It is ridiculous, you guys have no idea how many times someone has come to me their eyes shining, ready to make their destiny come true,” Viktor sounded tired. “Weren’t soulmates supposed to be something that just happened, not something one should look for? The society ruined soulmates.”
For Yuuri, too, it sounded off-putting. “And have you heard about those celebrity scandals!” he leaned on the table.
Next to him Viktor leaned too and nodded his head like they were having a secret discussion. “I have,” he said with a low voice. “Apparently someone tried to copy Taylor Swift’s soul mark. It’s so stupid, huh?”
Yuuri’s eyes met Viktor, “So stupid. People are going crazy. And what is even more stupid is that some people actually believe it when they are being fooled!”
“I know, right,” Viktor laughed. “Why would someone put that much trust in their mark?”
“And the other ‘hiding your mark’ thing that's going on,” Yuuri’s grin was sardonic.
“Oh, those are strangest weirdos. They're giving so much power to the thing again. Would it really matter how many people saw it? As you said, who would actually just straight marry someone if there wasn't true chemistry there. I don’t know if I could truly trust a relationship if it would start by either one knowing that they were soulmates,” Viktor said with a thin smile.
“Yeah, it would make you doubt about the honesty. What if the other was just in love of the idea of a soulmate?” Yuuri sighed. Then he realized that Phichit had not said anything for a while. Yuuri turned to his friend, finding Phichit and Viktor’s friend Yuri just sitting next to each other, staring at him and Viktor.
“What?” Yuuri asked and drank the beer.
“You two have really made your minds, huh?” Phichit finally said, somehow amused.
“Well, yeah, I guess,” Yuuri said.
“I don’t know what else I can say. Maybe I just give up on you.” Phichit muttered. “If this was what made you make friends in bars, I should have started arguing about the soulmate business in public ages ago,” he sniggered.
“You two are just sad, sad people,” Yuri said next to Phichit.
“Realistic,” Viktor and Yuuri said at the same time.
“So - incredibly sad,” Yuri said turned to Phichit.
The thai shook his head at the blonde and said, “It’s hopeless. They’re too far gone.”
“Maybe I should have one more after all,” Viktor said suddenly. “Anyone want something?”
“One of those you and Yuuri were drinking, if you don’t mind,” Phichit said.
Yuri shrugged, “Just bring me something.”
Viktor looked at Yuuri, “Anything?”
“I think I’m going to the toilet actually,” Yuuri muttered and stood up too.
When he was back, he noticed that Viktor was still waiting for the drinks in front of the bar. Yuuri slipped next to him. “Hi,” he said.
A smile grew on Viktor’s face. “Hi,” he said back and offered Yuuri a new beer bottle.
“Oh,” Yuuri said surprised but took it automatically, “Thanks. You didn't have to.”
“Thought you might want one,” Viktor shrugged, keeping his eyes on the bartender who was making a complicated looking cocktail, probably the one Viktor had ordered for Yuri.
“I did,” Yuuri said quietly and took a sip, his eyes focused at the counter.
“Sorry we invaded your table,” Viktor said.
Yuuri’s eyes met the blue ones. “I don’t mind.”
“Do you usually come to bars on Tuesday nights?” Viktor asked.
Yuuri laughed, “No. Actually it has been kind of a long time since I’ve gone out. Phichit dragged me out. I usually have a pretty tight schedule and I need to stay focused for my pupils. I’ve been travelling a lot these days.”
Viktor shifted closer to listen. “What do you do?”
“Me?” Yuuri asked surprised, “Well, I’m coaching figure skaters.”
“Really?” Viktor asked his eyebrows lifted high.
“Yeah. I know it doesn't suit me,” Yuuri scratched his head, embarrassed.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that. Actually, I’m a choreographer, a figure skating choreographer.”
“No, you aren’t,” Yuuri narrowed his eyes with a smile.
Viktor laughed at Yuuri reaction, “Yes, I am.”
Yuuri tilted his head. He could not stop grinning when he finally said, “What a small world.”
“It really seems so,” Viktor mused.
“Wait,” Yuuri furrowed his eyebrows, “you’re not Viktor Nikiforov?”
Viktor paused, “Um, actually yes. How did you..?”
“Christophe Giacometti’s last year’s Grand Prix free choreography.”
“Yeah, that’s mine.”
Yuuri groaned, “You’re a life ruiner.”
“What?” Viktor laughed, “Was it that bad?”
“Bad?” Yuuri echoed perplexed, “Bad? It was perfect. You hear me, per-fect.”
“You’re flattering me,” Viktor leaned to the counter, and made no effort to walk back to the table where the other two must have already been waiting for them.
“I would have never figured to use such an upbeat piece in such a sensual way.”
“No one had, so that’s why I did it,” Viktor winked.
Yuuri was just about to answer, when his phone vibrated in his pocket. “Just a sec,” he said and picked his phone.
It was a text from Phichit. ‘Not that I mind, Yuri’s pretty chill guy, but r you going to return to the table anytime soon. Where’s my beer???’
Yuuri showed Viktor the text, but his eyes were already glued to the phone.
“Cute covers,” a corner of his mouth twitched.
They were the ones with blue poodles that reminded him of his dog in Japan. They were pretty childish. Yuuri felt his cheeks heating up. “Um, they look like my dog Vicchan,” he felt like he needed to defend his choices.
Viktor looked excited for some reason. He was going through his own phone, swiping fast. Then he turned the screen to Yuuri. “This is my Makkachin!”
Yuuri took the phone to his own hands. “Cute,” he said, eyes intense. The dog looked a lot like Vicchan, just a lot bigger. When Yuuri started to sniffle, he fully recognized his drunken behavior, but it was already too late. “He’s so cute,” he felt his eyes starting to sting. He missed his dog so much. He had not seen Vicchan in five years.
“Oh my god, Yuuri,” Viktor said in panic.
“I’m fine, it’s the beer,” he sobbed. “I miss my dog.”
He felt himself being pulled into a hug, and he let it happen. It felt nice and comforting in Viktor’s arms. When they pulled away from each other, Viktor picked up a paper towel, lifted it to Yuuri’s nose and told him, “Blow.” He was still a little surprise of his emotional burst so he did what the other asked.
“There,” Viktor said gently, and threw the paper away. “Now, shall we go back to Yuri and your friend. Phichit, was it, seems to be missing this.” He picked the bottle from the counter.
Yuri’s eyes grew wide when he saw the weird looking drink Viktor had ordered him. He kept suspiciously staring at it.
“Yuuri, your eyes are red,” Phichit said accusing. His eyes shifted to Viktor.
“We were talking about Vicchan,” Yuuri muttered.
“Ah,” Phichit said, understanding. “Maybe you should finally go to visit your family. Make time. You know vacation is not going to appear on its own if you don’t make it happen.”
Yuuri nodded resigned, “I know.”
“Where are you from?” Viktor inquired.
“Hmm, I’ve never been in Japan,” Viktor said.
“You should. I think you would like it,” Yuuri smiled. “My family owns an inn in Hasetsu. There’s hot springs and nearby is the Hasetsu Ninja Castel.”
“Ninja?” Yuri’s eyes were suddenly sharp.
“Wow! Sounds wonderful!” Viktor said his cheeks flushing from excitement.
“You should visit for sure,” Yuuri smiled at the reaction he got. “My mom makes the best Katsudon. It’s delicious.”
“Katsudon,” Yuri muttered on the other side of the table. He looked intrigued.
Phichit pouted, “Even I haven’t visited Hasetsu yet and here you’re asking these Russians. My feelings.” He brought his right hand over his heart.
“You know you would be welcomed anytime. You’re my best friend,” Yuuri assured.
“You hear Viktor,” Phichit announced, “Bff position’s already taken.”
Viktor just laughed brightly.
“What have you been talking about when we were away anyway,” Yuuri finally asked.
Phichit wiggled his eyebrows. “Not that you two cynics would be interested, but about where our soul marks are placed.”
“Ah,” Viktor said thoughtfully. “Well mine is…”
Yuuri started to pull his sleeve up to show his too, “here,” he said at the same time Viktor finished his own sentence.
Yuuri was staring at his own bared inner arm where his soul mark was dark against his skin. He only lifted his eyes from it when Yuri dropped his glass and it hit the floor.
No one else was looking at the glass though. Phichit’s mouth was gaping unattractively and Yuri looked like he had just swallowed a wasp, Viktor looked confused.
Then Yuuri finally noticed that Viktor was showing his right arm too. When Yuuri’s eyes found the mark, it – huh. Kind of looked like Yuuri’s. Like, a lot.
Yuuri and Viktor, wordlessly brought their arms next to other. They tilted their heads and just stared at them.
“Oh my god,” Phichit shrieked.
“Romance is dead,” Yuri announced.
“Oh my god,” Phichit sounded like a broken record.
“Dead,” Yuri repeated.
And honestly, Yuuri had nothing better in his vocabulary at that moment.
“Oh well,” Viktor said sounding somehow resigned.
“Oh well??” Yuri said. “You just found your fricking soulmate and that’s what you’re deciding to say?”
Yuuri had no idea how to react. He pocked Viktor’s mark.
“Yuuri!” Phichit exclaimed.
Yuuri startled, “What?”
“The worst day of my life,” Yuri complained.
“Aren't either of you going to acknowledge the issue of some serious romantic soulmate shit happening right here?” Phichit was half sitting half standing.
Yuuri turned to look at Viktor properly. The man was already looking at Yuuri curiously. Then he realized how close they were sitting next to each other. It felt nice, so he tested leaning a little closer. He felt Viktor’s hand sneaking around his waist.
“He does fit there rather nicely,” Viktor said.
Yuuri hummed. So what if the universe seemed to think Viktor was a perfect man, Yuuri had kind of already noticed that half through the evening. What a useless mark.
“Wanna date?” Viktor asked.
“You want to date?” Yuri looked like he wanted to hit his head against the nearest wall. “You just had an argument about why you were so against the idea of soulmates,”
“Yeah, but I like this one,” Viktor said while scrunching his eyebrows.
Yuuri felt his cheeks flushing.
“Don’t worry, Yuuri. I don’t mind even if you are my soulmate,” Viktor swiped his fingers along Yuuri’s jaw line.
Yuuri felt his eyes getting damp. “Really?” he asked his eyes shining.
“That’s not how it’s supposed to go!” Yuri shouted on the other side of the table, looking offended. “Don’t look so fucking moved, Katsuki! This isn’t a tragedy!”
“Sure,” Yuuri finally said, still staring at Viktor.
Viktor smiled warmly, and neither of them noticed before it was too late that Phichit shoot up from his chair and announce to the whole bar, “My best friend just got engaged!”
The whole bar cheered loudly, expect Yuri who looked like he was ready to leave.
“We didn’t,” Yuuri argued, but did not move away from Viktor.
“Stop the bullshit, Yuuri. You already made plans of him meeting your parents,” Phichit said as he sat back down.
Yuuri was about to argue but instead he thought about it and… “Huh.”
“I’m going to tell this story at your wedding,” Phichit grinned behind his beer bottle
“Who said you’re going to be invited?” Viktor asked. He still had not removed his hands from Yuuri.
“Are you kidding? I’m the best man.”
“It’s all ruined,” Yuri complained and downed Viktor's beer that had been left forgotten.