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Otabek knew right away when he got his soulmark. It happened two years ago, when he was 16. He had just come home from a grueling day of practice and all he wanted to do was take a hot shower and sleep. He showered quickly and then sank into bed, eyes already closed. Just as he was drifting off he felt a strange tingling on his thigh. Otabek’s eyes flew open, and no longer tired, he scrambled out of bed and over to the mirror to read what it would say.

Otabek had always wondered what his soulmark would say. What would his soulmate say first to him? Something about his eyes? His skating? Otabek hoped it would be about his skating and now he was finally going to find out. He turned on the light and took a deep breath before looking down.

What’s with you asshole

Otabek sat stunned before looking at it again. That couldn’t be right. His soulmate wasn’t going to say that the first time they met.

Otabek looked once again. What’s with you asshole was neatly printed on his left thigh. He couldn’t believe it. For years he had been thinking of what his soulmate was going to say to him and he never thought this was going to be his answer. There were always stories about soulmarks that said ridiculous things like ‘that’s a lot of nutcrackers’ or just simply ‘potatoes’ but Otabek never thought he would get one like that.

He traced his finger over the writing and a small smile broke through. What’s with you asshole. How would that even come up in conversation? What would Otabek do to make someone curse him out the first time they meet? A small laugh escaped Otabek’s lips as he re-read the mark. Despite his initial shock, he was thrilled that he finally knew what his soul mate would say to him.

-=-=-=-

“Any guy who wears sunglasses on his head is scum!”

Otabek heard the screaming as he got off the elevator before he saw who was yelling. Naturally, it was Yuri Plisestky and Jean-Jacques Leroy making a scene in the middle of the hotel lobby. Otabek tried to get to the door without being noticed but JJ spotted him before he could leave.

“Otabek! Where are you going?”

“Out to eat.”

Eating alone?” JJ asked with a smile. He motioned to himself and his fiancé and said, “Want to join us for dinner?”

“Thanks, but I’ll pass.” Otabek answered. He was not going to suffer through an entire lunch hearing JJ talk about himself.

Otabek’s eyes drifted over to Yuri, who was staring mesmerized at him. Suddenly, as if being shaken from a trance, Yuri’s expression changed and he barked,

“What’s with you, asshole!”

A chill shivered down Otabek’s spine. Before he could do anything stupid, Otabek turned around and walked out the door, his heart pounding. Yuri’s voice was ringing in his ears as he walked towards his motorcycle.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Yuri Plisestky? There was no way. Ever since his soulmark came in, Otabek pictured his soulmate as an intimidating looking figure, who Otabek accidentally bumps into in a crowded room. Then they fall instantly in love after realizing they were soulmates. Years later, they would reminisce about the good old days and how Otabek had been yelled at before they even knew one another.

He definitely wasn't picturing the Russian Fairy who had a gaggle of screaming fans who followed him wherever he went.

Otabek’s mind would not stop reeling as he started his bike and began driving. Lots of people say asshole, Otabek thought. Yuri probably says it twenty times a day. Probably uses that exact phrasing too. He must have said that to JJ and then when he saw Otabek he used the same insult. That had to be what happened.

But Yuri still said it, didn't he?

Otabek pulled in front of a small café and unbuckled his helmet. He ran a shaky hand through his hair and silently walked into the shop. He ordered the first thing on the menu, feeling numb, and took a seat. His mind was still spinning and he tried calming himself down by counting the people walking by. Otabek didn’t know how long it took for his food to be brought over, could have been five or ten minutes, but he was grateful for the distraction.

After eating he felt more level headed. It seemed laughable now that he reacted so harshly. Yuri probably didn’t even have his soulmark yet, there was no way they were soulmates. Not to mention Yuri was still so young. Otabek wasn’t quite sure, but Yuri was most likely still 15. That didn’t change the fact that Yuri had said what he did. But how could they be soulmates? Sure, Otabek was inspired by Yuri and he found himself looking for Yuri’s name in headlines but that didn't mean anything. Otabek was just impressed by his skill. His flexibility was something to be envied, and his total confidence in his abilities, which could be deemed narcissistic to some, was justifiable to Otabek. He skated with a grace Otabek could never achieve, that's why Otabek was so interested in him.

When Otabek had trained with Yakov and first meet Yuri he was entranced by his skill. The younger boy seemed so sure of himself that Otabek found it hard to not stare at him. His features were so soft and elegant but his eyes glowed with intense determination and strength. His eyes seeped into the soul of whoever he looked at and Otabek felt a chill whenever they reached him. Otabek was reminded of that haunting gaze whenever he saw Yuri skate.

Otabek walked up to the counter to pay but had to wait for a cashier. He let his eyes wander but after a moment, he wished he hadn't. There was a striking painting of a white tiger hanging on the wall. Otabek inwardly sighed as he glared at the art. Everyone knew Yuri was obsessed with cats so it’s not like Otabek was trying to think of him again. Still, maybe this was a sign. Was Yuri his soulmate? If he was, Otabek wouldn’t be mad. In fact, thinking about it now, Otabek-no, no. Otabek was not even going to go there. Yuri was not Otabek’s soulmate.

Right?

Even if Yuri wasn’t Otabek’s soulmate, Otabek should make sure his first words to Yuri were special. And make sure he remembered them. Not because he had any hope of Yuri being his soulmate, but because first impressions were important. Nothing more.

-=-=-=-

Leaving the café feeling much calmer made Otabek want to do a little sightseeing. He had been to Barcelona before but had never taken the time to really enjoy it. He had been to some of the hotspots, like the Arc de Triomf and the Casa Batllo, but he wanted to enjoy the landscape. He kicked off his bike and turned down a small road. Apartments sailed by as he began to pick up speed.

“Where’s Yurotchka!”

“We’re about to have a fan meeting!”

Otabek heard the girls calls and slowed down. He knew Yuri didn’t generally like his fans flocking at him, regardless of what they thought. He kept going straight though, as the girls began sniffing around the floor.

“I can smell him!” Otabek heard one girl say. Now that was disturbing. Without realizing it, Otabek made the next left in search of Yuri. Then he made another left. And then another. Cowering in a doorway stood Yuri. He looked panicked, so again without thinking, Otabek stopped in front of him.

“Yuri, get on.” Yuri’s jaw dropped and he stood there without moving.

“You’re-”

“There’s Yurotchka!” Two of Yuri’s Angels screamed. “And Otabek Altin!”

Otabek threw his spare helmet at Yuri, who almost dropped it in shock.

“Are you coming or not?” Otabek asked. Yuri didn’t answer him, he just buckled the helmet and climbed onto the back of Otabek’s bike.

Otabek instantly started to drive. Only when they turned the first corner did Otabek realize what had just happened. He had just picked up Yuri Plisestky from the side of the road. He had also just spoken to him for the first time, meaning if they were soulmates-which they weren’t- whatever Otabek just said to him was branded on his skin. What had he said again? Yuri get on? No way. Otabek mentally slapped himself. Had he seriously said that to his potential but probably not soulmate?

What had Yuri done when he first spoke? What was his reaction? Otabek thought back but the reaction Yuri gave could have meant anything. He was probably just surprised Otabek had shown up, given they had never spoken before. Regardless of what Yuri’s reaction meant, Otabek was going to try to get a glimpse of Yuri’s soulmark. For…reasons other than them being soulmates. Which they weren’t.

Otabek and Yuri rode in silence that was only broken when a bumpy road caused Yuri to hastily wrap his arms around Otabek’s waist.

“Sorry.” Yuri quickly mumbled but he didn’t move his arms. Otabek didn’t answer nor did he care. The ride was bumpy and Yuri needed something to hold onto. Nothing more. But then he realized Yuri’s hands were resting on his left thigh. Right above his soulmark. Otabek didn’t say anything or make any physical reaction towards it, but his face began to turn pink as he drove. It was only pink because of the wind though, that much Otabek was sure.

Finally the pair arrived at Otabek’s destination. The Park Güell municipal garden was something Otabek had heard about but never went. Since Yuri didn’t protest when they first arrived, Otabek didn’t ask if he wanted to leave. Neither of them said a word as they walked around and looked at all the mosaics. Once they reached the top pillars, Otabek started to talk.

“Yakov held a summer training camp five years ago that I attended. Do you remember? I was already in my junior division but I couldn’t keep up with the Russian skaters. I was put in the novice class. That’s where I met you.” Otabek didn’t turn to look at Yuri. He wasn’t sure what made him want to tell Yuri this but he felt he should.

“You had the unforgettable eyes of a soldier.” Otabek said and he could feel his heart beating rapidly.

“A soldier? Me?” Yuri asked, interrupting Otabek for the first time since he started talking.

Otabek took a calming breath before nodding. He continued his story all while he and Yuri stared off at the view in front of them.

“Otabek, why did you talk to me?” Yuri asked once Otabek finished. “We’re rivals aren’t we?”

“I always thought we were alike. That’s all.” He wasn't sure if he said that last part for Yuri or for himself.

Figuring he ought to lighten the mood, Otabek stood up straight and extended his hand to Yuri and asked, “Are you going to become friends with me or not?”

Yuri shook Otabek’s hand and Otabek subtly scanned the exposed flesh for any sign of a soulmark. Nothing but milky white skin glared back at him. Yuri withdrew his hand and rubbed the back of his neck before saying, “I’m starving. Let’s go get some dinner.”

-=-=-=-

Otabek and Yuri got back on the motorcycle and Otabek started driving towards the city center. Yuri wrapped his arms around Otabek right away this time, which was obviously fine with Otabek. They were friends now. Nothing more.

Speaking of friends, friends asked each other about their soulmarks all the time. So it wouldn’t be weird if Otabek asked Yuri about his. Yuri’s hands tightened around Otabek’s waist and he decided that he was definitely going to ask.

They reached the square and went into one of the first restaurants they found.

"Just the two of you?" Asked the attendant. Otabek nodded and then scanned the restaurant for empty seating. He turned to ask Yuri if he wanted an outdoor or indoor table but forgot the question when he saw Yuri's face had turned pink. Must have been the wind Otabek said to himself. Yuri rubbed the back of his neck again as they were brought to a table near the window.

Otabek pulled Yuri’s chair out for him before sitting down at the opposite end of the table. They examined their menus silently before Yuri spoke.

“How are you feeling about tomorrow? You seemed confident at practice, although your final quad could have been cleaner.”

Otabek snorted in response. He knew that of course, and Anton had already spoken to him about it.

“I'm not saying the program was bad! It was only a small mistake anyway.”

“Of course Yurio, I just feel bad now.” Otabek murmured.

Now Yuri was visibly nervous. “Otabek, I didn't mean anything by it.” Since when had Yuri been one to apologize?

“Not about that.” Otabek said with a glimmer of a smile. “I feel bad because I'll have to see you’re your face when I take the gold from you.”

Yuri kicked him under the table. “In your dreams. The only way you're winning gold is if I die of food poisoning tonight.” Yuri’s eyes narrowed as he looked at Otabek. “Is that why you invited me here? To poison me?”

“You're the one who suggested we get food. If anything, you're trying to poison me.” Otabek retorted. Both boys were smiling now, and they both had a pink tint to their cheeks.

Now’s your chance Otabek. Ask him about his soulmark. Otabek straightened up in his chair. He needed to look as collected as possible, no matter what answer Yuri gave.

“So Yuri, have you gotten-”

“Oh Yuuurioo!” a voice called from the front of the restaurant. Yuri immediately ducked down, but it was no use.

“What's that old man doing here! And he brought his little pig.” Yuri slumped down in his seat with his arms crossed.

“Otabek! Mind if we join you?” Viktor asked despite the fact that he had already pulled up a chair. Yuuri and two women Otabek didn't know did the same.

“Do you mind if I invite Phichit? We've barely seen each other all competition.” Yuuri asked. Otabek shrugged but he could see Yurio start to simmer with rage. Before he could burst however, Viktor answered.

“Of course Phichit can come! Chris is already on his way.”

Before Otabek knew what was happening, everyone was moved to a different table and the last of their ‘group’ had arrived. There's no way I can ask him about his soulmate now. The only plus side to the now dinner party was that he and Yurio were seated next to one another.  Yuri would whisper all his rude comments about what the others were saying to Otabek while Otabek responded with sympathetic answers on the other person's behalf.

After JJ arrived, everyone quickly paid their share of the bill and left in a hurry.

“Come on little kitten, Yuuri and I will bring you back to the hotel.” Viktor called over his shoulder as he and Yuuri walked toward the waiting cab.

Yuri balled his fists together at the nickname and yelled back, “I’d rather kill myself than spend another minute with you and Katsudon!”

Viktor still didn't turn around as he called back, “Have fun walking back Neko-Chan.”

“I'm not walking you shithead, Otabek is taking me back! After we finish what you so rudely interrupted!” Yuri yelled back despite the fact Viktor was already in the cab.

Otabek had hoped as much, and he was relieved that Yuri had wanted to stay.

“You will drive me back, right?” Yuri asked sheepishly.

“Of course kitten.” Otabek answered. Yuri in turn pushed him into a nearby garbage can. Otabek laughed loudly as he crashed into the trash can and fell onto the pavement. He couldn't believe how easily he and Yuri connected and how comfortable they were together. Otabek never found it easy to open up to people but Yuri was different. It had barely been a day but Otabek already felt like he and Yuri had known each other forever. He didn't want the night to end. Unfortunately it had to, but that didn't mean Otabek wasn't going to make the most of it.

“We shouldn't stay out too much later. I don't think either of our coaches will be happy if we do.” Otabek said as he brushed off his coat.

“Who cares? Yakov will get over it as soon as I'm on the ice anyway.” Yuri said as they began walking through the city center.

Christmas lights dawned all the nearby trees, and the soft music from the practicing choir hummed through the square. It was all so romantic that if Otabek had enough nerve, he would have put his arm around Yuri. However, he still didn't know if they were soulmates. His plan of subtly looking for Yuri’s soulmark was not going well. Yuri was currently bundled up with a scarf and gloves so the only way Otabek was going to figure out if he had his soulmark was by asking.

Otabek stole a glance at Yuri as they walked. His eyes were shining and his usual angry scowl was replaced with a permanent smile that had returned right after everyone else had left. It made Otabek smile and his stomach flip knowing that smile was being caused by him.

Seeing Yuri like this made Otabek rethink asking about his soulmark. What if he was right and Yuri didn’t even have his soulmark yet? Was he really going to ruin their newfound friendship by asking if he was Yuri’s soulmate? Imagine how embarrassing it would be if he was wrong. Not to mention how uncomfortable Yuri would probably be, thinking his new friend only talked to him to find out if they were soulmates.

Yuri tugging on Otabek’s arm pulled him out of his thoughts.

“Why’d you stop walking? We’re almost at the bike.” Yuri asked with a puzzled expression.

“I guess I just didn’t want the night to end.” Otabek said. He wasn’t trying to be coy, he genuinely hadn’t wanted to leave yet.

“Shut up.” Yuri mumbled although his face had turned bright red. Otabek felt his heart flip again and he jogged the few steps to reach Yuri, who had begun walking again.

They walked side by side in silence, but there was an electricity buzzing around them. They reached the bike quickly and Yuri grabbed the helmet he had worn previously and put it on. Otabek got on the bike first followed by Yuri who wrapped his arms around him once again.

The bike hummed to life as Otabek kicked off, and the pair started the drive back to the hotel. As Otabek drove, Yuri let his head rest on Otabek’s back. They reached the hotel far too quickly in Otabek’s opinion and they both slowly unbuckled their helmets and stood up.

Yuri silently handed his helmet back to Otabek. They walked back to the elevator without a word. The silence between them wasn’t really awkward, but Otabek felt he needed to fill it.

Otabek pressed the button for floor 8 after Yuri pressed his for level 6. Just before they reached the sixth floor, Otabek spoke.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, right?” Otabek asked quietly. He hoped he didn’t sound as nervous as he felt.

A scoff left the boy beside him as he said, “Of course you will. I need to show you just how badly you’re going to lose to me.” Yuri let a devilish grin envelope his face and he walked out of the elevator, leaving Otabek clutching the safety bar for the next two floors.

He got to his hotel room and leaned against the door as it closed. He knew he had to face the reality of his situation. But wasn’t friends enough? Otabek could probably survive without asking Yuri about his soulmark for now. Yuri might even ask him, so he could just wait for him to ask. Then again, maybe this wasn’t even a question on Yuri’s mind.

Otabek walked over to his bed but didn’t sit. He ran a hand through his hair. What if he was making something out of nothing, and Yuri wasn’t his soulmate. Otabek realized he was now in his bathroom, changed to his pajamas, and was holding his tooth brush. He needed to get a hold on himself. Even if they weren’t soulmates though, Otabek couldn’t deny that he might be developing feelings for Yuri. After a day? That seemed ridiculous but Otabek knew he was trying to fool himself. There was a reason he had been seeking out Yuri all these years. There was a reason he looked for his name in the papers and online. But Otabek didn’t want to face that truth, so instead he would just pretend it was because of a crush.

-=-=-=-

Normally on competition days Otabek would wake up early and get to the rink right away. There were less people there and it allowed Otabek privacy to concentrate before the other skaters arrived. This time though, he had a bigger problem on his hands and needed to talk to someone. He pulled out his laptop and clicked on Skype. Back home in Almaty it was almost noon, so he called his sister.

“Beka!” Farida squealed into the camera. “Mom, Beka is calling!” Otabek’s sister called to the other room. Farida was only 10 years old but her and Otabek had a very close bond. Otabek’s mother walked onto the screen with a smile and waved.

“How are you? They broadcasted everyone’s practice sessions yesterday. You’ve really improved since the summer.”

Otabek smiled and nodded at his mother's sentiment. He and his mother were just as close as him and his sister, but their relationship was different. She could always tell how he was feeling without him having to say it out loud, which Otabek was always grateful for.

The pair kept questioning Otabek on his time in Barcelona while Otabek patiently answered despite itching to ask his own.

His mother must have sensed his urgency because after a few minutes she said, “Farida, have you finished all of your homework already?”

Farida scrunched her nose in disdain. “No but Otabek-”

“Go finish and then you can talk to Beka. He'll still be here.” Farida got up begrudgingly and left the room.

The two sat in a comfortable silence as Otabek tried to figure out how to ask his question.

“You know Beka, whenever I have something on my mind I find it helps to just face it head on.”

Otabek nodded but didn't say anything.

“It does you no good to keep everything inside. You know that. There's nothing holding you back except yourself.”

“What if-” Otabek started but cut himself off. He hated feeling so vulnerable. He knew his mother wasn't going judge him but that didn't shake the feeling of foolishness he felt when discussing personal problems.

His mother waited patiently, knowing what would be going on in her sons mind.

Otabek took a few calming breaths before saying, “What if you think you already know the answer to your problem, but don't know how someone might react?”

A small laugh escaped his mother's lips and Otabek felt his face heat up.

“If you truly know the answer, you will know their reaction Otabek. Whatever problem you're facing, I'm sure they are facing it too.”

Otabek nodded again. Of course Yuri would be having the same problem. Otabek knew, had really always known, since their first encounter, that Yuri was his soulmate. He had tried telling himself differently because he was scared of the possibilities that came along with him finding his soulmate.  He had never been good at discussing or figuring out his feelings. But there really was no denying that Yuri was his soulmate, so it was time for him to actually do something about it.

They stayed online for another hour before Otabek said goodbye. His mother had given him the extra push he needed to finally confront his feelings. Now he just had to make sure Yuri felt the same way.

-=-=-=-

Otabek made his way onto the rink. So far today he had yet to see Yuri. He had watched Yuri’s short program on one of the monitors backstage while he finished warming up. He had done amazingly, managing to gain a new personal best and beat out the current world record held by Viktor. Otabek smiled to himself at that. Yuri wasn’t going to shut up about that for days.

As they announced his name Otabek took a final sip of water. He was just about to turn around when he heard a voice from the stands.

“Davai!”

Otabek looked up at Yuri, who was staring intently at him. Otabek had no idea how to respond so he just raised his hand in a thumbs up and skated to the center. His music started, and he immediately got wrapped up in the song. His first jump was flawless. And so was his second. He thought back to when he first met Yuri. He had been so jealous of his skill but now Otabek knew better. The ice was a battlefield. And it was his time to conquer it.

“A stellar performance from Otabek Altin of Kazakhstan! We’ll wait as the judges tally his score as he heads to the kiss and cry.”

Otabek skated off the ice feeling incredible. His jumps were perfect, he had great height on all of them, and his step sequence was beautiful. He took a seat next to Anton and clutched a new bear that had been thrown to him. Anton placed a comforting hand on his shoulder as they waited.

“And the score for Otabek Altin is…112.38! He beat his personal best again and is now in second place!”

Otabek’s eyes widened and he threw a fist into the air. Anton pulled him into a hug and the two stood up from the kiss and cry and over to the waiting reporter.

After talking to the reporter and going over tomorrow’s plan yet another time with Anton, Otabek tried to find Yuri. He spotted him just as he was making his way out the door with Yakov. He had a scowl on his face and his hood pulled over his eyes as they walked so Otabek  ran up to catch them.

He grabbed Yuri’s arm and the boy turned around so harshly Otabek was afraid he was going to get punched. After Yuri saw who it was however his face split into a smile. Otabek was taken aback at how suddenly Yuri’s demeanor had changed, and all because of him.

“Great job today Yuri.” Otabek whispered. He hadn’t intended for it to come out so softly but it was too late now.

Yuri grinned up at Otabek and said, “I told you I was going to beat you.” Before Otabek could answer Yakov started yelling.

“Yuri! You don’t have any time to waste! You already told me you didn’t want to socialize so you can’t change your mind now that you found the someone you want to talk to!”

Yuri cursed at Yakov under his breath but his cheeks had turned pink. “I’ll see you tomorrow. When you congratulate me on my win.” He turned around quickly and ran after Yakov, leaving Otabek once again with a flutter in his chest.

Yuri hadn’t even said anything that should have made Otabek’s heart race. Otabek shook his head and looked down at the ground so no one could see the smile daring to break out.

-=-=-=-

The day of the free skate Otabek woke up feeling good. He was confident, but not overly confident, after yesterday’s skate and he was ready to get back out there. He rummaged through his suitcase before pulling on a pair of pants and a workout shirt. He grabbed his skates and headed down to the rink after texting his coach he’d be there.

He got down there a few minutes later and walked past the reporters and some spectators who already grabbed their seats. A few fans stopped him for an autograph but he was mostly unbothered. Backstage he looked for an empty locker to store his belongings when he heard someone else already inside. That’s weird. No one else is usually around yet. Otabek thought to himself. He didn’t actually mind, it was just strange for someone else to be as early as he was.

Otabek rounded the corner of one of the rows of lockers only to see someone with their head down and a Russian training jacket sitting on the bench lacing up his skates.

“Yuri?” Otabek asked puzzled. Yuri’s head flipped around in shock.

“Oh, it’s just you. You almost made me shit myself Beka.” Yuri said, tightening his ponytail.

“What are you doing down here so early?” Otabek asked as he sat down to lace his own skates. He almost missed the bench somehow and he internally scolded himself for getting so flustered over a simple nickname.

Yuri shrugged. “I couldn’t sleep. Didn’t think anyone else would be here and I could practice in peace.”

Otabek only nodded in response. Yuri stood in front of him with his arms crossed as Otabek finished tying his skates and then the two of them left the locker room together. A few fans started giggling when they walked by but Otabek figured it was only for Yuri so he didn’t turn. They both picked different ends of the ice to start skating.

Neither of them did any jumps, just skated around lazily until they met in the middle.

“Have you figured out how you’re going to congratulate me when I win?” Yuri teased as he skated a circle around Otabek.

“I was about to ask you the same thing.” Otabek answered as he skated away.

Not one to be left behind, Yuri quickly skated back up to Otabek. Otabek flew passed Yuri once again as he tried to stop in front of him. Soon they were racing around the rink as fast as they could. Otabek couldn’t see where Yuri was, but at the moment Otabek was in the lead. Suddenly Yuri flew past Otabek but he lost his balance and went sliding across the ice on his side. Otabek gasped and skated up the younger boy who was laying still on the ice.

“Zhanym!” Otabek yelled as he got closer. Yuri’s ponytail was splayed dramatically across his face and he was lying there shaking with laughter.

“Holy shit…I almost broke my neck.” Yuri said between laughs. Otabek stared down at him silent before breaking out in laughter himself. He took Yuri’s hand and lifted him up as Yuri shrugged of his jacket, which had gotten covered in ice shards. Otabek watched while Yuri skated over to the wall to put down his jacket. That’s when he noticed something. From far away, it seemed like someone had drawn a black line across the back of Yuri’s neck.

Is that…? Otabek started skating towards Yuri without realizing it. “What is that?”

Yuri turned around confused. “My runner jacket?” Yuri asked as he picked it back up in bemusement.

“No, on your neck.” Otabek said and he reached out only to have his hand smacked away. Otabek’s eyes widened as Yuri glared at him. “Sorry. I didn’t realize...” Otabek trailed off.

Yuri’s face softened but he didn’t apologize. Instead he said, “That’s my soulmark.” Otabek’s throat tightened and the noise of people filling the rink disappeared.

“What does-what does it say?” Otabek stuttered. He was sure his face was burning red but he couldn’t help it. Yuri actually had his soulmark.

“You can read it for yourself, if you can catch me.” Yuri said and sped off before Otabek even understood what he meant. Otabek stared at him with his mouth open as Yuri took his hair down and it cascaded over his neck, effectively blocking his soulmark from Otabek’s view.

That’s when Otabek burst into action and he sped after Yuri with all the strength he had. He was closing in, fast. Too fast. Yuri had stopped skating and was staring at the side of the rink but Otabek couldn’t turn to see who was there. He tried to slow his pace but instead he flew right into Yuri, effectively knocking both of them onto the ice. As they fell, he had turned them just enough that he wouldn’t land on top of Yuri and instead Yuri was lying next to him.

“What the fuck just happened?” Yuri asked as he sat up wincing.

“”I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize you had stopped I was going-” Otabek tried to explain but was cut off.

“Yuri! Stop fooling around and get off the ice!” Yakov called from the side. Yuri grumbled next to Otabek as he stood up and brushed himself off. He pulled Otabek to his feet and then skated towards the exit. Otabek grabbed his wrist before he could get away.

“Wait,” Otabek took a deep breath, “ I caught you didn’t I? What does it say?” Otabek asked softly, breathing heavily.

Yuri smirked at him and then leaned up to whisper in his ear. “I’ll tell you after I win gold.” He skated away swiftly and Otabek stood in the middle of the rink grinning in disbelief.

-=-=-=-

“Otabek Altin missed Jean-Jacques Leroy by a sliver and is currently in third!” Otabek waved to the camera but knew in his heart he wasn’t going to make the podium this year. Yuri still hadn’t skated and he was definitely going to place.

Otabek’s coach placed a hand on his shoulder. He knew as well then. That was fine, Otabek would make it next year. He was sure of it. He was pulled out of his thoughts just as Yuri’s name was announced.

“Yuri! Davai!” Otabek called to him, and Yuri turned to the kiss and cry and gave him a thumbs up. He stood up and made his way over to the side of the rink. Yuri’s performance was breathtaking. Otabek watched with a smile as Yuri landed each jump. There was no fault in his program. His quads were flawless, and Otabek might have been upset if any other skater was the reason he missed out on the podium.

Yuri dropped to his knees in tears once he finished and Otabek almost ran onto the ice before stopping himself. He had unknowingly already taken a few steps, earning him a puzzled look from Anton but he ignored it. Yuri stood up and wiped his eyes before making his way off the ice. He was immediately wrapped into a hug by Yakov. Otabek focused on the screen, eagerly waiting for Yuri’s results.

“Yuri Plisetsky’s free skate score is 200.97! His score narrowly beats Katsuki’s score by 0.12 points to win the gold!”

Otabek cheered as loud as he could. Yuri looked so incredibly happy, Otabek had forgotten his own defeat. He wanted to go straight over to Yuri and congratulate him but reporters and fans are already there. Otabek instead went to the stands and watched the medal ceremony with the other skaters. Mila was jumping in her seat and screaming for Yuri, Phichit was taking a video of her reaction before panning out to the medalists, and Otabek watched on with a smile.

-=-=-=-

Otabek still hadn’t been able to see Yuri due to the reporters and press conferences he had to go to, but the Banquet was in a few hours and he knew he would see Yuri there. When he had returned to his hotel room he had taken a shower. It was in the shower that he allowed himself to feel disappointed in his loss. He had been so close, but had missed it by seven points. Otabek was proud of how he skated but he couldn’t help thinking of the what if’s. What if he had added another quad? What if he had gotten more points for his short program? What if he had gotten more sleep? Anton always told him not to focus on what if’s, but Otabek couldn’t help himself.

He got out of the shower feeling worse than before. He walked past the mirror and had to do a double take. His hair, which he usually kept brushed back, was now parted down the middle. He looked exactly like JJ. He quickly ran to grab his phone and opened Snapchat before snapping a quick selfie to send to Yuri. He captioned it JJ Style! before clicking send. Almost immediately, he received a notification saying Yuri had screenshotted the photo. Otabek blushed but quickly opened the photo Yuri sent in response. It was a photo of Yuri flipping the camera off, with JJ in the background doing the JJ style hand motions, unknowingly photographed.

Otabek laughed out loud in his hotel room, screenshotted the photo as well, and then went to get ready. He pressed off his suit and hung it up before going into the bathroom to brush his teeth. Then he repressed his suit before finally getting dressed and styling his hair. He checked the time, it was only 5:00 and the Banquet didn’t start until 7. It was ten at night back home, but he was sure his family was still up. He grabbed his laptop and loaded up Skype. His mother answered right away and her, Farida, and Otabek’s step father cheered as the screen loaded.

“Beka! We’re so proud of you!” his mother cried over Farida’s cheers. “Uncle Erasyl and Aunt Bibi called to congratulate you.” His mother looked at his suit before saying, “You look very handsome tonight. Are you excited for the Banquet?”

“Thank you. I am, it will be nice to see the others when they aren’t in competition mode.” Otabek answered. His sister had begun dancing in the background, still cheering. She tried to imitate Otabek’s jumps from his free skate and Otabek beamed at the camera.

“Next year, we know you can get the gold. It should have been yours.” His step father said with a smile.

“Yuri was very deserving of the win. I don’t mind that he got the gold.” Otabek said with a small trace of a smile that he hoped no one spotted.

Otabek’s mother did, but she said nothing except smiling in return. “He was very good as well. Maybe he’ll be put in a cup close to home so we can see him skate in person.”

Otabek nodded to his mother and could tell what she really meant behind her words. He could never sneak anything past her, no matter how hard he tried.

“Yes, hopefully.” Otabek said in response. They stayed online until 6:55 when Anton came to retrieve Otabek for the Banquet. Otabek did a final mirror check before following Anton out the door and to the elevators. Viktor and Yuuri were already in the elevator when it arrived, and Otabek gave them a quick nod before stepping inside. The elevator stopped once more to let it Mila and Yakov but Yuri, much to Otabek’s disappointment, was not with them.

Downstairs, Anton led Otabek to their table. He was sitting with Chris, the Crispino twins, and their coaches. No one stayed at their assigned table after dinner, but Otabek looked around to see where Yuri would be sitting. He spotted him on the other side of the room. He had to stifle a laugh however, because Yuri was currently sitting at a table sandwiched between JJ and Yuuri. He could see the anger on Yuri’s face as JJ spoke endlessly next to him.

Dinner was served and Otabek had a pleasant conversation with Chris and the twins while he ate. Small talk was never something Otabek was a fan of, but he was polite and knew he had to contribute to the conversation. Chris ended the conversation by saying he was going to try and get Yuuri to repeat what happened last year and then stood up with a wink. Sara got up to go find Mila while Michele excused himself to go to the bathroom.

Otabek took that as a sign to go find Yuri who had also vacated his table. Otabek looked around the room and found him talking to Yuuri in a corner. Otabek walked over but was stopped by an already drunk Viktor.

“Otabek! Have you seen Yuri? My Yuri, not your Yuri. Your Yuri…that sounds funny. Your Yuri.” Viktor laughed at his joke and then said, “Well, he’s not your Yuri yet. But we can only do so much.” Viktor turned around and saw both Yuri’s and yelled, “You found them!” before running off and throwing himself onto Yuuri. Otabek stood where he was in bewilderment.  

Yuri looked at him, then motioned towards the balcony. Otabek nodded and they both started walking towards it. They met at the door where Otabek opened it and let Yuri outside first. Before the door was fully shut, Yuri started complaining.

“That shithead JJ didn’t deserve a medal. That should have been you up there, everyone knows it.” Yuri grumbled. Otabek shrugged in response but his stomach flipped knowing that Yuri wanted him up there too.

“Next year, you’re going to be up there with me. Winning silver obviously since I’ll have gold, but you’ll be there.”

Otabek scoffed, “Now wait a second, just because I missed it this year, doesn’t mean I’m not winning gold next year.”

“Is that a challenge, Altin?” Yuri asked turning towards him with a smirk.

Otabek shook his head. “Not at all. It’s the truth.”

Yuri raised his eyebrows. “Don’t get smart with me now Beka.”

Otabek just smirked and raised his hands in a what can you do motion. A silence fell between them as they both thought of something to say. Otabek knew what he wanted to say, but he didn’t know if it would be too sudden. While he was thinking about acting too quickly, he didn’t notice Yuri staring at him with an exasperated expression.

“Are you going to ask me or not?” Yuri finally asked.

“What?” Otabek asked in return, his eyebrows furrowed together. Yuri rolled his eyes and just stared at Otabek. Does he mean what I think he does? Does he really want me to ask him?

“About my soulmark you ass! You won, remember? Now ask me.” Yuri finally said while trying to bite down a smile so he would seem annoyed.

“Oh ok. Yuri…what does your soulmark say?” Otabek asked, heart beating even though he was sure he knew the answer.

“See for yourself.” Yuri said as he turned around. He slowly lifted his hair off his neck and Otabek reached out to move the ones he missed. Otabek let out a shaky breath as he read.

Yuri get on

Clear as day, written on the back of his neck in Otabek’s handwriting, was Yuri get on.

Yuri turned around slowly. His face was bright red but he was smiling. He looked nervous but calm and happy and scared, all at the same time.

“What does-can I see yours?” Yuri whispered. Otabek nodded quickly but then froze.

“Yuri…I-” Otabek started but Yuri cut him off. He looked terrified.

“Don’t. Fuck, don't say that. I was so sure, Viktor and Yuri both said-goddammit! Beka, I don't-”

Otabek threw a hand over Yuri’s mouth, effectively shutting him up. “If you'd let me finish Yura, I can't show you because I’d have to take my pants off.”

Yuri’s face, which had already been red, turned a shade darker. Otabek moved his hand from Yuri’s mouth and said, “But I can assure you, it says what you think it does.”

Yuri groaned and said, “I can't believe I called you an asshole.” Then, as if realizing something for the very first time, Yuri broke out into laughter. “I can't believe it. You have the word asshole permanently written on you! You have the words “What's with you asshole” forever on your skin!” Yuri was doubled over in laughter and Otabek felt his face heat up. He wasn't even sure why, Yuri was pretty much just insulting himself for saying something so ridiculous.

“At least I don't have the words “Yuri get on” on me forever.” Otabek retorted. Yuri shrugged at that.

“I thinks it's nice.” After a beat of silence Yuri asked, “How come you didn't say anything to me when you found out? I spent the past two days trying to figure out how to be sure. You must have known right away!” Yuri asked with a groan.

“Well first I was just so shocked it was you. But then I started thinking that couldn't be right. You're only 15, I didn't think you had gotten your soulmark yet. And then I thought I would ruin our friendship by asking you if had yours.” Otabek answered.

Yuri rolled his eyes. “Why does everyone keep saying that! I'm going to be 16 in less than three months.” He pouted and crossed his arms against his chest. “Not to mention I'm the gold medalist of the Grand Prix Final the first time I compete in it.” Otabek smirked at him.

“Yes you are.” Yuri stared up at him and he looked so beautiful, Otabek didn’t know what to do with himself. He wanted to kiss him, but he wasn’t sure if Yuri wanted him too. What if Yuri thought that would be too sudden?

“You think too much.” Yuri whispered as if reading his mind and he reached up and threw his arms around Otabek’s neck. He pulled him down and suddenly their lips were connected and Yuri was actually kissing him and Otabek felt like he was floating. They broke apart but Otabek left his hands on Yuri’s hips and Yuri left his hands on Otabek’s neck. Otabek quickly kissed him again, only to hear the distant sound of cheering. They both turned their eyes to the glass doors where Viktor, Yuuri, Mila, Phichit and Chris were all standing and screaming at them.

Yuri’s face turned bright red and he started screaming at them through the door. Otabek also turned red but instead of screaming at the others he just pulled Yuri closer to him. Yuri stopped screaming immediately and let himself snuggle into Otabek’s chest. Otabek couldn’t stop the smile from breaking and he pressed a kiss onto Yuri’s hair and sighed in content.

He had found his soulmate. And the universe couldn't have chosen a more perfect person.

Chapter Text

Yuri hadn't realized when he got his soulmark. He had gotten home from practice sweaty and tired and all he wanted to do was shower and sleep. He got into the shower and with the almost scalding hot water running down his hair and back, Yuri didn't feel the mark start to appear on the back of his neck. Yuri rinsed off and towel dried his hair just enough so he could lay down without wetting his pillow.

The next day at practice he stood at the side of the rink with Mila, scowling as Viktor did his perfect routine for Yakov. He brought his hands to his head and started gathering his hair to tie it back. Just as he lifted it off his neck Mila screeched next to him

"Yura! You got your soulmark!"

Yuri gasped and dropped his hair, quickly scanning his arms and running a hand over his face trying to find the mark.

"No Yuri, it's on your neck." Mila whispered in shock.

She grabbed his hair and lifted it out of the way.

"Yuri get on?" Mila read aloud as Yuri scrambled to push her away.

"I never said you could read it baba! I haven't even read it yet! Now shut up and read it to me again." Yuri shouted.

Mila rolled her eyes but smiled as she read again, "Yuri get on. The first thing your soulmate is going to say is to you is get on his dick!" Mila laughed. Yuri pushed her again.

"Shut up you stupid hag! He isn't going to tell me to get on his fucking dick! He probably has a horse with him or something. It'll be romantic as shit."

From across the ice Yakov shouted, "What are you two blabbering about! Viktor is already off the ice and one of you should be on!"

Neither of them reacted at first. Mila looked at Yuri's neck again before saying, "I can't believe you got your soulmark. You're still so young."

"I'm not a baby, of course I got my soulmark."

"I know. But you're only 14. I didn’t get mine until I turned 17."

"That's because the universe wasn't sure anyone could put up with you long enough to be your soulmate."

-=-=-=-

Yuri was seething with rage. JJ had the audacity to insult Yuri’s Angles right in front of him, and expect nothing in return? Yuri couldn’t believe that shithead really thought nothing was going to happen to him.

“Anyone who wears sunglasses on their head is scum!” Yuri yelled at JJ. Then he turned to his girlfriend and said, “Find someone better you ugly ass bitch!”

She just laughed and muttered “Scary.” while JJ said, “Hey, we’re all friends here!”

Just as Yuri was about to continue, JJ turned toward the door and said, “Otabek! Where are you going?”

Yuri turned around to Otabek who answered JJ quickly, as if he were trying to end the conversation there.

“Out to eat.”

“Eating alone?” JJ asked with a smile. “Want to join us for dinner?”

 Yuri rolled his eyes. The bastard was trying to rope more people into hanging out with him.

“Thanks, but I’ll pass.” Otabek answered. Yuri felt a surge of delight knowing that not even the loner wanted to hang out with JJ. Yuri then realized that Otabek was staring at him.

“What’s with you, asshole!”

Otabek said nothing in return and he walked out of the hotel. Yuri was left standing next to a laughing JJ and feeling extremely taken aback. Had someone just completely ignored him? Yuri felt his chest tighten and he didn’t understand why. Yakov and Viktor ignored him all the time when he got angry, why did this guy, who he’d never even met before, matter to Yuri anyway? Yuri shook his head. It must have been because they had never met that Yuri felt so offended.

-=-=-=-

Yuri ran down another street, hoping to lose the fans that were running after him. Despite the fact that he had just been defending his fans less than an hour ago, he didn't want to actually see them. He appreciated them but they were crazy. He ducked behind a doorway and rested his hands on his knees as he took a deep breath. It was only a matter of time before he was spotted and he needed to figure out a way to leave unnoticed.

The sound of an oncoming car startled him. He looked up only to see Otabek Altin. What the fuck is he doing here?

“Yuri, get on.”

What the fuck?

“You're-”

“There’s Yurotchka!” Yuri’s head whipped around and he saw ten fans start running towards him.

“And Otabek Altin!”

Otabek threw him a helmet which Yuri almost dropped in shock..

“Are you coming or not?” Otabek asked.

Yuri jumped on the back of the bike without thinking and Otabek sped off. All Yuri could think was what the fuck just happened. Had Otabek just said what he thought he did? Yuri stared at the back of his neck in shock. Had he really found his soulmate just now? Otabek must know already. How many people call someone an asshole when they first meet?

Yuri was ripped from his thoughts when he almost fell off the bike. The road they turned down wasn’t paved at all and it was extremely bumpy. Yuri quickly wrapped his hands around Otabek’s waist before he could think better of it. He mumbled a quick apology and prayed that his face wouldn’t be red when they got off the bike.

They arrived a few minutes later at a park. Otabek didn’t say anything but he waited for Yuri so they could walk through the park together. Yuri made them stop a few times to take selfies with some of the statues, but he didn’t think Otabek minded. If he did, he didn’t say anything. They walked like this for a while, a comfortable silence surrounding them. Usually Yuri would talk on and on but right now it didn’t seem like he should. And he found that he was strangely ok with walking around in silence with someone he barely knew.

The pair reached the top pillars and looked out at the landscape. They were the only ones up there, and the sun was beginning to set. Yuri wondered how long they had been walking for. They stared out into the sunset and Yuri knew exactly what Otabek was about to say.

This is it. We’re soulmates. Yuri felt himself blush. Otabek had waited all day just to take him to see the sunset before telling him.

“I was in Yakov's training camp five years ago. Do you remember? I was already in my junior division but I couldn’t keep up with the Russian skaters so I was put in the novice class. That’s where I met you.” Yuri stared at him in confusion. He remembered the training camp and he remembered how badly he had wanted to prove himself and advance his skill but he didn’t remember Otabek.

“You had the unforgettable eyes of a soldier.” Otabek said and Yuri’s eyes widened in disbelief.

“A soldier? Me?” Yuri whispered. Yuri had been called countless things by all different people, but never a soldier.

Otabek nodded and continued his story. Yuri listened to the rest of it in awe. But he still didn’t understand why Otabek didn’t mention their more obvious, glaring connection.

“Otabek, why did you talk to me?” Yuri asked. “We’re rivals aren’t we?”

“I always thought we were alike. That’s all.” Otabek said in response.

That’s all? We’re soulmates! Yuri was about to say just that but he was interrupted by Otabek.

“Are you going to become friends with me or not?” Yuri shook his hand quickly. He rubbed his soulmark and stared at Otabek. Had he been wrong this whole time?

“I’m starving. Let’s go get some dinner.” Yuri said. He’ll say something then.

-=-=-=-

They climbed back on the motorcycle and Otabek started driving towards the city square. Yuri wrapped his arms around Otabek’s waist right away, not wanting a repeat of last time.

If he doesn’t bring it up during dinner, then I will Yuri said to himself. They had to be soulmates or else that meant two people would tell him to ‘get on’ when they first meet. And that would be too weird. But surely Otabek already knew, so why hadn’t he said anything? Was he nervous? Or was Yuri reading this all wrong?

They went into the first restaurant they saw when they arrived.

“Just the two of you?” the attendant asked. Yuri immediately blushed at that. It was childish he knew, but the woman had basically just asked if they were on a date. He traced a hand over his soulmark as they were brought over to their table. Otabek pulled his chair out for him and since when had Yuri ever blushed this much? It was getting ridiculous.

He needed a safe talking point so he could assess the situation. Either they were soulmates or they weren’t, but Yuri needed to figure that out before actually asking him.

Ice skating, that was a safe topic. They both did it so they could both talk about it.

“How are you feeling about tomorrow? You seemed confident at practice, although your final quad could have been cleaner.”

Otabek scoffed in response and Yuri mentally slapped himself. Why did he say that? Now Otabek probably thinks he is judging his talent.

“I'm not saying the program was bad! It was only a small mistake anyway.” Shut the fuck up you idiot! That did not help!

“Of course Yurio, I just feel bad now.” Otabek murmured.

Shit. “Otabek, I didn’t mean anything by it.” Yuri said quickly trying to smooth over what he had just ruined. It hadn’t even been ten minutes and he already offended his new friend.

“Not about that.” Otabek said with a glimmer of a smile. “I feel bad because I'll have to see your face when I take the gold from you.”

Yuri kicked him under the table. “In your dreams. The only way you're winning gold is if I die of food poisoning tonight.” Yuri’s eyes narrowed as he looked at Otabek. “Is that why you invited me here? To poison me?”

“You're the one who suggested we get food. If anything, you're trying to poison me.” Otabek retorted. Both boys were smiling now, and they both had a pink tint to their cheeks. Otabek sat up in his chair and Yuri felt a rush of adrenaline.

“So Yuri, have you gotten-”

“Oh Yuuurioo!” a voice called from the front of the restaurant. Yuri immediately ducked down, but it was no use.

“What's that old man doing here! And he brought his little pig.” Yuri slumped down in his seat with his arms crossed.

Yuri glared as Viktor, Yuuri, Minako, and Mari walked over. Mari was staring at him like he was otherworldly and Yuuri seemed nervous to be intruding. He should be that asshole is ruining my date.

“Otabek! Mind if we join you?” Viktor asked despite the fact that he had already pulled up a chair.

“Do you mind if I invite Phichit? We've barely seen each other all competition.” Yuuri asked. Otabek shrugged and Yurio start to simmer with rage.  Before he could burst however, Viktor answered.

“Of course Phichit can come! Chris is already on his way.”

What the hell! More people are coming?

Viktor politely asked a waitress if they could be moved to a bigger table since the restaurant was mostly empty. She nodded and everyone stood up and walked over to a new table.

Yuri sat down next to Otabek and frowned. Otabek was definitely about to ask him, why did Viktor have to show up and ruin it?

Chris and Phichit showed up not long after and soon they were talking about last year’s Banquet. Yuri didn’t care so instead of participating in the conversation he just whispered insults about everyone to Otabek.

JJ and his fiancé showed up an hour later and everyone quickly dispersed, much to Yuri’s amusement.

Viktor and Yuuri’s cab arrived and as they walked away Viktor said, “Come on little kitten, Yuuri and I will bring you back to the hotel.”

Yuri balled his fists together at the nickname and yelled back, “If I have to spend another minute with you and Katsudon I'll kill myself!”

Viktor still didn't turn around as he called back, “Have fun walking back then Neko-Chan.”

Yuri turned red in anger and yelled back, “I'm not walking you shithead, Otabek is taking me back! After we finish what you so rudely interrupted!”  He realized he was essentially yelling at the air since Viktor had already got into the cab, but he felt better anyway.

 “You will drive me back, right?” Yuri asked sheepishly.

“Of course kitten.” Otabek answered. Yuri in turn pushed him into a nearby garbage can. Yuri smiled at Otabek’s laugh as he fell onto the pavement. Otabek stood up and his eyes were shining.

“We shouldn't stay out too much later. I don't think either of our coaches will be happy if we do.” Otabek said as he brushed off his coat.

“Who cares? Yakov will get over it as soon as I'm on the ice anyway.” Yuri said as they began walking through the city center.

Christmas lights dawned all the nearby trees, and the soft music from the practicing choir hummed through the square. It was beautiful and Yuri wanted to take a photo of them together underneath one of the trees but when he turned around to ask, he realized Otabek had stopped walking. He walked back over to Otabek and pulled on his sleeve.

 “Why’d you stop walking? We’re almost at the bike.” Yuri asked with a puzzled expression.

“I guess I just didn’t want the night to end.” Otabek said.

“Shut up.” Yuri mumbled although his face had turned bright red. He turned around swiftly and started walking without Otabek. The other boy quickly caught up to him and they walked side by side silently, with electricity buzzing around them.

They reached the bike and got on, Yuri wrapping his arms around Otabek once again.

The bike hummed to life as Otabek kicked off, and the pair started the drive back to the hotel. As Otabek drove, Yuri let his head rest on Otabek’s back. He wanted to stay like that forever, but the hotel was just around the corner.

Otabek parked his bike and Yuri passed him the helmet he had been wearing. They walked inside in silence. Yuri didn’t know what Otabek was thinking, but he hoped he was going to say something about his soulmark. He desperately wanted to be right about them being soulmates but asking for himself was extremely daunting.

Otabek pressed the button for level 8 after Yuri pressed his for level 6. Just before they reached the sixth floor, Otabek spoke.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, right?” Otabek asked quietly.

A scoff left Yuri as he said, “Of course you will. I need to show you just how badly you’re going to lose to me.” Yuri let a devilish grin envelope his face and he walked out of the elevator, and he hoped Otabek’s heart was pounding as loudly as his was.

 

-=-=-=-

The next day Yuri woke up at seven and got dressed quickly. He grabbed his skates and headed down to the rink in search of help.

Yuri didn’t want to ask for help about this but for all he knew he could be imagining everything. He went to the only people he knew who had found their soulmates. Viktor Nikiforov and Yuuri Katsuki.

He didn’t want to make it obvious that he thought he had found his soulmate however, because if he was wrong it would be humiliating.

He spotted Viktor first, talking to some random lady Yuri didn’t care about so he didn’t feel bad when he interrupted them.

"Do you know right away when you meet your soulmate?" Oh god. That was incredibly obvious you idiot. It was too late to back track though, so Yuri just held his ground.

Viktor turned around puzzled. He heard Yurio’s voice but no rude comment to precede his actual statement.

"You're in a good mood today Yurio." Viktor said instead of answering. The woman he had been talking to said goodbye as a child who Yuri hadn’t even noticed dragged her away.

"Shut up and just answer me old man."

"We'll it's complicated Yurotchka. If you have a common soulmark like "nice hair" you hear that often. But if you have something like ‘Yuri get on’, you'll probably know right away."

Yuri rolled his eyes to try and hide the blush on his cheeks. Viktor narrowed his eyes but didn't press for once. "Then again, you can be 100 percent sure once you see your soulmates soulmark."

"Well that worked out great for you and Katsudon didn't it." Yuri said sarcastically.

"Our situation was...different but we're together now aren't we? Why do you want to know so bad anyway Yurio, do you have think you found your soulmate?" Viktor asked, a hint of teasing in his voice but an excited glow in his eyes.

"Of course not you perv! I'm asking for Mila because she's too much of a baby to ask for herself." Yuri stomped away without a goodbye or a thank you. Not like Viktor deserved one after making fun of him anyway. He still needed to talk to Yuuri though, so he walked around the rink trying to find him.

Yuri did find him, but he was talking to Viktor already. Either Yuri could wait until Viktor left and suffer through the possibility seeing Otabek or he could go over there now and pretend Viktor hadn’t already guessed he found his soulmate. Or might have found. With a sigh, Yuri walked up to the pair.

Again with no introduction or comment, Yuri said, “Since you both love talking about yourselves, how did you realize you were soulmates?”

Yuuri raised his eyebrow in question but Viktor squealed and began talking.

"It was after the dance off you and Yuuri had at the Banquet last year. Yuuri ran up to me and said ‘Viktor after this season ends my family runs a hot spring resort so please come’." Viktor pulled the right leg of his pants up to his calf where that was written across it in Yuuri’s handwriting.  Viktor turned his neck so he could read it and he smiled. "If only my soulmark was on my wrist like Yuuri’s. Then I could see his writing anytime I wanted."

"Get back to the point." Yuri pleaded.

"Right. I pulled Yuuri aside and said "I'm your soulmate." Then he gasped and rolled up his sleeve where what I had just said was written on his wrist in my handwriting.”

For extra emphasis, Yuuri rolled up his jacket and proudly displayed his soulmark.

“Yuuri grabbed my arm and we danced, which I'm sure you remember. Unfortunately once we finished Yuuri ran to the bathroom and puked. After that Phichit brought him back to his room and I didn't see him again until the next day, where he couldn't even look at me. I thought it was because he threw up but apparently he hadn't remembered any of that! I've spent the past eight weeks acting like we both knew we were soulmate while Yuuri had no idea. How ironic." Viktor finished.

“I can’t believe you never brought it up to me! We were together every day and never once you thought to say ‘oh remember how we’re soulmates?” Yuuri responded. Viktor smiled and pulled Yuuri into a kiss, which left Yurio covering his eyes and yelling obscenities.

“So basically what you’re saying is ask each other what your soulmark says?” Yuri asked with a frown.

“Is this about Otabek?” Yuuri asked as gently as possible.

Otabek! OF course not you stupid pig! That doesn’t make any sense why would it be about OTABEK? We don’t-he doesn’t-not Otabek!” Yuri exclaimed. His heart was pounding and he knew his reaction gave it away.

Unfortunately now that Yuuri felt he was friends with Yurio, he wasn’t fazed when Yurio screamed at him.

“Well who else would it be Yurio? He’s the only person you’ve hung out with that you haven’t met before. It’s pretty obvious.” Yuuri said.

“Yuuri! That was so observant of you.” Viktor said as he started to pepper little kisses on Yuuri’s face.

“Will you two just get a room?” Yuri scowled as he put his head in his hands.

“What does your soulmark even say?” Yuuri asked since he had never seen it. Whenever Yuri’s costumes call for his hair to be up, he makes sure they have a high neck line so camera’s don’t pick up on it. When Viktor’s soulmark was seen through one of his costumes, although faintly, fans and reporters went crazy trying to decipher what it said. Viktor never revealed it, but people always asked. Yuri didn’t want that to happen to him so he always kept his hidden.

“Um well it says Yuri get on.”

“And did Otabek say that to you when you first met?”

“Well yes but-”

“Yurio, he's your soulmate!”

“Oh Yurotchka! Otabek is your soulmate how perfect! Now there’s two famous ice skating couples!” Viktor said and he grabbed Yurio’s shoulders and started to shake him in glee.

“Get off me asshole! I’m not even sure he is my soulmate. He never said anything and he would have found out first.” Yuri said with a sigh. Both Yuuri and Viktor cooed at him.

“He's probably just nervous! He must have found out before you and so he doesn’t know how to tell you. That’s so precious! You have to make the first move now Yurio.” Yuuri told him with a smile. Viktor nodded beside him and they were staring at him with the same lovesick smile they always had. Yuri rolled his eyes but then nodded back. He was going to have to tell Otabek.

-=-=-=-

Yuri was in disbelief. He had just finished skating his free program but he hadn’t even registered he had been skating. He had heard the announcer and had done his first jump but everything after that was a blur.

Yuri skated off and could tell Yakov and Lilia were both proud of him. They went to the kiss and cry and Yuri sat down in anticipation.

“What score will we see here?” the announcer said in excitement. Yuri ignored the camera pointed at him as he stared up at the screen waiting for his score.

“Yuri Plisetsky’s score is 118.56! He surpassed the world record set by Viktor Nikiforov!”

Yuri’s eyes doubled in size and Yakov picked him up in celebration.

“That’s my Yurotchka!” Yakov yelled as Yuri cheered. He had done it, he had beaten Viktor on his first try. Now all he needed to do was get the gold.

Yuri talked to the reporters happily for once. Chris skated his routine and then Otabek was up next.  Yuri found a seat in the stands behind Yuuri and Mila as Otabek walked onto the rink.

“Davai!” Yuri screamed. Otabek looked up at him immediately and gave a thumbs up.

Yuri watched with rapt attention as Otabek skated. He did flawless jump after jump, his step sequence was impeccable. Yuri found himself smiling as Otabek skated, and he was grateful he had chosen to sit behind everyone else.

Otabek finished his skate and Yuri scoffed. “Another score higher than the pig’s.” he said and he could see Yuuri tense up. He didn’t care. Otabek had done amazing, he was obviously placing above Katsudon.

“And the score for Otabek Altin is…112.38! He beat his personal best again and is now in second place!” Yuri clapped loudly and watched Otabek through the monitor. He looks shocked. Yuri tried to follow him with his eyes, but he was swept away in a sea of reporters and other skaters. He’d have to congratulate him later.

Yakov found Yuri in the stands a few minutes later to ask if he wanted to stay or if he wanted to go practice.

“I have no interest in hanging out with these morons, Yakov. Let’s go.”
 Yuri scowled as Mila blew him a kiss and Viktor and Yuuri waved him goodbye. He pulled his hood up and they meet Lilia at the bottom of the stands and started walking. Yakov was saying something, but Yuri just tuned him out. That’s when a hand grabbed him by the arm. Yuri turned around quickly, ready to yell at whoever had just grabbed him. He smiled right away though, when he realized it was Otabek.

“Great job today Yuri.” Otabek whispered.

Yuri grinned up at him and said, “I told you I was going to beat you.”

“Yuri! You don’t have any time to waste! You already told me you didn’t want to socialize so you can’t change your mind now that you found the someone you want to talk to!”

Yuri cursed at Yakov under his breath but his cheeks had turned pink. “I’ll see you tomorrow. When you congratulate me on my win.” He turned around quickly and ran after Yakov all while turning more red.

“What’s your sudden interest in that boy? People have been tweeting you about him all day.” Yakov said gruffly.

Yuri shrugged. “We’re friends.”

At that, Lilia stared at him. Yuri looked away quickly, for once not being able to meet her stare. Thankfully, she didn’t press and they started talking about tomorrow’s inevitable win.

-=-=-=-

Yuri woke up the next day at 5:30 and sighed. He had been trying for the past hour to go back to sleep, but realizing it wasn’t going to happen, he sat up and went to the bathroom. He checked his Instagram and twitter while he brushed his teeth and then sent a quick text to Yakov. All it said was ‘rink’, but that was good enough.

Yuri grabbed his skates and training jacket and left the hotel room and walked over to the rink.

People are already here? he thought as he walked backstage. He was stopped by a group of fans who squealed and cried as they approached him.

“Can we please have a picture?” asked one girl with tears in her eyes. Lilia had told him to be nicer to his fans, so he obliged and the girls started to scream again. After the pictures one girl asked, “Did you come here early because Otabek likes to train early too?”

Yuri had no idea Otabek came to the rink early so he had no idea what to say to the girl. Instead he just gave her a thumbs up and she smiled so wide her mouth looked like it would break. He walked away, cursing at himself for giving a thumbs up. That could be taken the wrong way-or in Yuri’s case, the right way-by the fans and they could post about it long before Yuri and Otabek even talk about the whole soulmate thing.

Yuri walked into the locker room and laid out his skates. He tied his hair back so it wouldn’t be in his face and then he started lacing up his skates. He laced one and was halfway through the other when someone called his name. He turned around in shock, only to be met with a familiar and welcomed face.

“Oh, it’s just you. You almost made me shit myself Beka.” Yuri said, tightening his ponytail. He hoped Otabek didn’t mind the nickname that slipped out. Otabek almost fell off the bench he was sitting down on, so that must have been a good sign.

“What are you doing down here so early?” Otabek asked after he got situated.

Yuri shrugged. “I couldn’t sleep. Didn’t think anyone else would be here and I could practice in peace.”

Yuri waited next to Otabek as he tied his skates and then they both walked out together. They passed by the fans Yuri had spoken to earlier and they started giggling. The girl Yuri had given a thumbs up to gave him one now as they walked by and he nodded to her.

They reached the ice and the two of them picked opposite sides to skate at. Yuri did figure eights to get comfortable before meeting Otabek in the center.

“Have you figured out how you’re going to congratulate me when I win?” Yuri teased as he skated a circle around Otabek.

“I was about to ask you the same thing.” Otabek answered as he skated away. Yuri raised his eyebrows and smiled. He skated back up to Otabek, who then skated faster. Yuri skated faster too, and then passed Otabek. His smaller frame was able to glide quicker on the ice and soon he was ahead of Otabek. That didn’t last long and soon he was tripping over himself and sliding across the ice on his side. He laid there for a moment in confusion. Had he really just fallen when he wasn’t even doing a jump or anything actually difficult?

Fuck me. Yuri thought to himself as he began to laugh.

Otabek skated up to him quickly and crouched down.

“Holy shit…I almost broke my neck.” Yuri said between laughs. Otabek laughed too and then helped Yuri back to his feet. Yuri took off his jacket which had gotten covered in ice and skated away to place it on the wall.

“What is that?” Otabek asked him, suddenly right behind Yuri.

“My runner jacket?” Yuri asked as he picked it back up in bemusement.

“No, on your neck.” Otabek said and he reached out only to have his hand smacked away. Otabek’s eyes widened as Yuri glared at him. “Sorry. I didn’t realize...” Otabek trailed off.

Yuri’s face softened but he didn’t apologize. Instead he said, “That’s my soulmark.”

“What does-what does it say?” Otabek stuttered. His face had turned red and Yuri couldn’t help but feel happy.

“You can read it if you can catch me.” Yuri said and sped off. His heart was racing and he was sure they were soulmates. Why else would Otabek have that reaction? Yuri took his hair out and let it cascade over his face. Now Otabek wouldn’t be able to cheat.

“Yuri!” someone called from off the rink. Yuri slowed down and turned to look.

“We need to talk!” Yakov called again. Suddenly, a huge force knocked into Yuri and he was thrown off balance. He felt his body being pushed to the right and he fell in a heap, next to Otabek who was lying next to him.

“What the fuck just happened?” Yuri asked as he sat up wincing.

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize you had stopped I was going-” Otabek tried to explain but was cut off.

“Yuri! Stop fooling around and get off the ice!” Yakov called from the side. Yuri grumbled next to Otabek as he stood up and brushed himself off. He pulled Otabek to his feet and then skated towards the exit. Otabek grabbed his wrist before he could get away.

“Wait, I caught you. What does it say.” Otabek asked softly, breathing heavily.

Yuri smirked at him and then leaned up to whisper in his ear. “I’ll tell you after I win.”

-=-=-=-

“Otabek Altin missed Jean-Jacques Leroy by a sliver and is currently in third!” Yuri scowled at the news. How had JJ beaten Otabek? That shithead had done horribly yesterday, this is how he gets treated? Yuri couldn’t dwell on it long however, because it was time for him to take the ice.

“Yuri! Davai!” Otabek called to him, and Yuri turned to the kiss and cry and gave him a thumbs up.

Yuri made his way to the center and waited for his music. It began and Yuri let the music flow into his body. He executed his first jump perfectly. He flowed into the next, knowing all eyes were on him. He thought of all the people who had helped him get to this point and felt an overwhelming urge to prove himself even more.

Yuri finished his skate and collapsed on the ice in tears. He won, he could feel it. Everything was rushing to him so quickly he couldn’t process it.

“Yuri Plisetsky’s free skate score is 200.97! His score narrowly beats Katsuki’s score by 0.12 points to win the gold!”

Yuri cheered into the camera and Yakov pulled him into a hug. The cheers around the rink were thunderous and Yuri was so delighted he didn’t know what to do with himself. He did know to go up to the podium.

He gave a smile to Yuuri, who reciprocated it, but he glared at JJ, who didn’t seem to notice. Yuri smiled for some of the photos but having JJ next to him was extremely bothersome.

Yuri wanted to go see Otabek but he and the other two medalists were whisked away to the press conference. Yuri answered his questions civilly, knowing he had to make a good impression even if he wanted to yell at JJ every time he opened his stupid mouth.

Finally, the interviews were over and Yuri could check his phone. He had a snapchat from Otabek, which he opened right away. It was a photo of Otabek but his hair was plastered onto his head and parted down the middle. The caption read JJ Style! and Yuri laughed out loud. He screenshotted the picture and then sent one of himself. JJ happened to be behind him doing the JJ style pose, which worked out great. Yuri flipped off the camera and sent it.

Yakov ushered Yuri to his hotel room, where his suit was hanging and ready to wear. Yuri dressed slowly, the Banquet wasn’t for another hour anyway. Mila came to his hotel room, asking for Yakov, but Yuri didn’t know where their coach was so Mila stayed in his room.

She went on and on about God knows what. Yuri generally tuned her out so it wasn’t difficult to do so. That was until she mentioned Otabek.

“What did you say?” Yuri asked.

Mila rolled her eyes. “I said, why haven’t you told Otabek yet?”

Yuri’s eyes widened and then narrowed into a glare. “Tell him what?”

Mila again rolled her eyes. “I’m not dumb Yura. And besides, Viktor already told me you two were soulmates.”

That bastard.

“Get out of my room baba, go bother someone else for a change!” Yuri yelled at her.

Mila just shrugged in response and left the room.

Lilia came to retrieve Yuri not long after that and the two made their way down to the Banquet. Lilia picked up their name cards and had to physically hold Yuri back so he wouldn’t flip the table after realizing who else would be sitting with them. Yuri honestly didn’t have a problem with Viktor and Yuuri, even though he’d never tell them that, but JJ? He couldn’t sit at that table for dinner. There was no way.

Yuri had to sit there anyway. Thankfully, the food was brought out quickly after they ordered. He tried his best to ignore JJ but some of his comments left him scowling and biting his tongue.

After dinner Yuuri had taken Yuri to the side to talk.

“Have you told him yet?”

“That’s none of your business pig.” Yuri scowled.

“I’ll take that as a no. You have to tell him. I saw his face when you skated, you need to tell him.” Yuuri said.

Yuri rolled his eyes. “If you must know, I’m planning on telling him once this conversation is over. We both know we’re soulmates now anyway.”

Yuuri’s eyes widened and he raised his eyebrows. “Really? That was-” Viktor tackled him into a bear hug that left Yuuri staggering for balance.

Yuri caught Otabek’s eye and motioned to the balcony where they started walking.

Otabek opened the door for Yuri, who immediately started to complain.

“That shithead JJ didn’t deserve a medal. That should have been you up there, everyone knows it.” Yuri grumbled. Otabek shrugged in response .

“Next year, you’re going to be up there with me. Winning silver obviously since I’ll have gold, but you’ll be there.”

Otabek scoffed, “Now wait a second, just because I missed it this year, doesn’t mean I’m not winning gold next year.”

“Is that a challenge, Altin?” Yuri asked turning towards him with a smirk.

Otabek shook his head. “Not at all. It’s the truth.”

Yuri raised his eyebrows. “Don’t get smart with me now Beka.”

Otabek just smirked and raised his hands in a what can you do motion. A silence fell between them as they both thought of something to say. Yuri stood there waiting for Otabek to ask. H could see Otabek was thinking of something, but he wouldn’t voice it out loud.

Realizing Otabek wouldn’t take the bait Yuri said, “Are you going to ask me or not?”

“What?” Otabek asked in return, his eyebrows furrowed together. Yuri rolled his eyes and just stared at Otabek. Is this fucker serious? He’s gonna make me do it?

“About my soulmark you ass! You won, remember? Now ask me.” Yuri finally said. He felt a smile coming up but he clenched his jaw to avoid looking so happy right away.

“Oh ok. Yuri…what does your soulmark say?” Otabek asked quickly. Yuri’s heart was going a mile a minute as he answered.

“See for yourself.” He slowly lifted his hair off his neck and Otabek reached out to move the ones he missed. Otabek let out a shaky breath as he read.

Yuri get on

Clear as day, written on the back of his neck in Otabek’s handwriting, was Yuri get on.

Yuri turned around slowly. His face was bright red but he was smiling. He looked nervous but calm, happy and scared, all at the same time.

“What does-can I see yours?” Yuri whispered. Otabek nodded quickly but then froze.

“Yuri…I-” Otabek started but Yuri cut him off. He looked terrified.

“Don’t. Fuck, don't say that. I was so sure, Viktor and Yuri both said-goddamnit! Beka I don't-”

Otabek threw a hand over Yuri’s mouth, effectively shutting him up. “If you'd let me finish Yura, I can't show you because I’d have to take my pants off.”

Yuri’s face, which had already been red, turned a shade darker. Otabek moved his hand from Yuri’s mouth and said, “But I can assure you, it says what you think it does.”

Yuri groaned and said, “I can't believe I called you an asshole.” Then, as if realizing something for the very first time, Yuri broke out into laughter. “I can't believe it. You have the word asshole permanently written on you! You have the words “What's with you asshole” forever on your skin!” Yuri was doubled over in laughter . That was the most ridiculous thing he could have said to Otabek, and he did.

“At least I don't have the words “Yuri get on” on me forever.” Otabek retorted. Yuri shrugged at that.

“I thinks it's nice.”

After a beat of silence Yuri asked, “How come you didn't say anything to me when you found out? I spent the past two days trying to figure out how to be sure.”

“Well first I was just so shocked it was you. But then I started thinking that couldn't be right. You're only 15, I didn't think you had gotten your soulmark yet. And then I thought I would ruin our friendship by asking you if had yours.” Otabek answered.

Yuri rolled his eyes. “Why does everyone keep saying that! I'm going to be 16 in less than three months.” He pouted and crossed his arms against his chest. “Not to mention I'm the gold medalist of the 2016 Grand Prix Final the first time I'm eligible to be in it.” Otabek smirked at him.

“Yes you are.” Otabek said with a radiant smile. Yuri stared up at him, silently trying to send signals of what should happen next. Otabek just stared down at him but Yuri could see him thinking about what he wanted.

“You think too much.” Yuri as he threw his arms around Otabek’s neck. He pulled him down and suddenly their lips were connected. Yuri never understood in movies when they portrayed a first kiss with fireworks and an angel choir, but he swears that is what happened.They broke apart but Otabek left his hands on Yuri’s hips and Yuri left his hands on Otabek’s neck. Otabek quickly kissed him again, only to hear the distant sound of cheering. They both turned their eyes to the glass doors where Viktor, Yuuri, Mila, Phichit and Chris were all standing and screaming at them.

Yuri’s face turned bright red and he started screaming at them through the door. Otabek also turned red but instead of screaming at the others he just pulled Yuri closer to him. Yuri stopped screaming immediately and let himself snuggle into Otabek’s chest. Yuri smiled to himself as he felt Otabek press a kiss into his hair.

Yuri couldn’t have wished for a better end of his day. He had everything he wanted, a world record, a gold medal at the Grand Prix Final, but most importantly, he had Otabek.