Yuuri was a man on a mission.
After about two months in Russia he had begun to understand the language a bit. The first weeks had been actual hell: he didn't know any words apart from privèt (hello), da svidànja (goodbye) and spasìba (thank you). And of course vkusno (delicious): after the millions times Viktor had said it in Japan it was difficult not to remember it. With time, but not as fast as he wanted, he had started to understand when others talked to him really slowly. He had exercised a lot with Viktor: they had seen movies with subtitles on, learnt lyrics of famous songs, went grocery shopping together and read all the etiquettes (he couldn't still figure out why Russians were fixated with pickling anything. Like any single possible thing. It was creepy).
After two months he was basically able to hold a basic conversation. Of course it was easier with Viktor: he was so accustomed to his voice cadence and lexicon, he could understand almost everything. Key word being almost. There were still some words Viktor said that he couldn't discern. The problem was that Viktor would not translate them for him, and he hadn't still been able to write them correctly for an online research.
At first he had tried asking directly to Viktor, but to no avail: his fiancè would always find a way to deflect his questions.
“Dòbrij dèn', solnyshko.” - A sleepy Viktor said entering the kitchen.
“D-dòbrij dèn', Viktor. But what does sol... solyshka (?) mean?”
“Yuuri, what do you say today I'll teach you to land a quad loop?”
“Really?!?! That would be amazing!” - Okay. Maybe that time it had been his fault, but the same story repeated itself everyday, many times a day!
“Today you've been extremely good at practice, dorogoy.”
“Can you pass me the sugar, lyubimiy?”.
“Let's take a walk in the park with Makkachin, sladkiy”.
And Yuuri's questioning to learn the meaning of those words was diverted or utterly ignored. But the worst was when they were entire sentences!
“Yuuri, you are so cute in the mornings when you've just woken up. - Viktor was saying while hugging him and stroking his hair one morning when they were still in bed - Ya ne mogu jit' bez tebya”.
“Mmh? What have you said?”
“It was nothing important. Let's go. Today we've got a lot to do. Four Continents are just around the corner”.
One day he couldn't take it anymore. He had a plan and by the end of the day he would know everything Viktor was saying to him. Their routine was unfolding as usual, but this time Viktor's odd words were not told in vain. Yuuri's phone was recording them all, so that he could ask someone to unravel the mistery for him. In the end he had managed to collect five words and two sentences his lover had refused to translate for him. All was going according to his intentions: Viktor was out at the rink late for a bit of extra practice with Yakov, so he had their home all to himself. With his little treasure he was ready for phase two.
*Drin drin driin*
“Oy Katsudon, it'd better be fucking important or I'll hang up and tomorrow I'll kick your ass”.
“Listen, Yurio, I've...” - Yuuri couldn't however finish his sentence because he was assaulted by a stream of words he was sure (there was no doubt this time) were all swear-words.
“That's not my name! How many fucking, damn times do I have to tell you?!?”
“Ok ok, izvinì Yuri”
“That's better. Tell me what you want and be quick”
“I must ask you a huge favour, Yuri. Viktor always uses Russian expressions that I don't understand, but he doesn't want to explain them to me. I've managed to record some of them on my phone.” - At this point Yuuri had to stop because he was too embarrassed to continue.
“Hey, I don't have all night. Speak or you can solve your problem without my help”.
“So you'll help me?” - Yuuri asked, full of hope.
“Send the recordings to me and I'll translate them for you”.
“Oh thank you, Yuri. I'll make you an extra-large portion of katsudon next time you come visit us for dinner”.
“Yeah, yeah... whatever” - And he abruptly ended the call.
Yuuri hastly sent all the material he had accumulated and waited patiently for his friend's reply.
After less then five minutes his phone started buzzing because of several messages he'd received.
Yurio: Don't you fucking send me something like that ever again! I had to barf in the toilet and scrab my ears with soap! I'm disgusted!!! [20.01]
Now Yuuri was really scared: what had Viktor been telling him for so long? But before his anxiety could overwhelm him, he forced himself to read the other messages too.
Yurio: I'm only doing it because you've promised me katsudon. And after this I'll need AT LEAST three portions of it. Anyway. [20.01]
Yurio : dorogoy =darling [20.02]
Yurio : solnyshko =little sun [20.02]
Yurio : sladkiy =honey [20.03]
Yurio : lyubimiy =dear/love [20.03]
Yurio : bjhkadhngiweanhk... What has the old man got in his fucking narrow and fucking idiotic mind? Kill me. Now. moye zoloto =my gold. Really??????????? Really???????????????? [20.05]
Yurio : ya ne mogu jit' bez tebya =I can't live without you... OMFG He has definitely lost it! You've broken him! Russian skating legend is now this... this... SHIT! [20.08]
Yurio : ty takoi krasiviy =you're really handsome. NO COMMENT! [20.10]
Yurio: Don't contact me ever again. I don't know you or that old idiot. [20.10]
Yurio: Bring me my katsudon to practice. [20.14]
Yuuri was utterly shocked. His mind was blank, his legs felt like jelly, his heart was imprinting a tattoo on his chest, and his eyes were misty. Was it possible to love someone more?
Before immersing himself in that philosophical disputation, he sent a quick message of thanks to Yurio.
Me : SPASIBA SPASIBA SPASIBA ! I'll bring you katsudon for lunch for a week! [20.18]
Me: But I don't think Yakov's going to be happy. [20.18]
Me: It's better if you come for dinner... whenever you want [20.19]
Me: And don't call Viktor an old man. He'll probably die on the spot. [20.20]
Me: Dòbraj nòci. [20.20]
Yurio: Whatever, Katsudon. [20.21]
Yurio: Dòbraj nòci. [20.22]
Well, now that he (finally) knew what Viktor was telling, phase three had to begin. He needed his laptop and the Wifi.
Next morning the day started in their regular way: Yuuri was making breakfast while Viktor fed Makkachin. Last night Viktor had returned home really late and was so tired he only managed to mutter a faint “dòbraj nòci” before falling in a deep slumber. But today Yuuri's plan was coming to an end.
“Dòbrij dèn', moye zoloto” - Viktor said while planting a moist kiss on his fiancè's cheek. But unbeknown to the Russian champion, Yuuri wasn't going to answer with a simple repetition of his "good morning" this time.
“Dòbrij dèn', Viktor. Or better dorogoy, solnyshko, sladkiy, lyubimiy, moye zoloto” - He paused to take a deep breath before the hardest part. In the meantime he appreciated the unusual view of a flustered and totally speechless Viktor Nikiforov.
“Ty takoi krasiviy. U tebya krasivyye glaza. Ya lyublyu tebya vsey dushoy. Ya ne mogu jit' bez tebya. Ty nujen mnye.” - At this point a lump was starting to form in his throat, but looking at Viktor he was reassured seeing he wasn't the only one thoroughly affected by his declaration. For the grand finale he stepped closer to Viktor, put his hands on his cheeks to bring his face towards himself and started whispering.
“You are moya zhizn', moya mechta, moye vse.” - Each term of endearment was punctuated by a peck on his fiancé's unresponsive lips.
However he didn't have to wait long for a reaction. Big, fat tears pooled in Viktor's eyes, while he started kissing Yuuri with fervour.
“Please, repeat it. Repeat it!” - He was demanding between deep, passionate kisses.
If that day they spent it all exchanging words of love, while also demonstrating their feelings with hugs and kisses, it's not my story to tell.