It starts with the Rolex.
Yuuri knows that his boyfriend’s family does well for themselves. Like, one day, Viktor will probably inherit multiple expansive properties in both Michigan and Russia, as well as several ponies, and at least one piece of jewelry descended from one of the great tsars. But Viktor isn’t really one to flaunt his family’s wealth.
Yuuri almost didn’t notice the watch.
It’s nearing three in the morning on a day hanging off the precipice into finals hell. There are organic chemistry flashcards strewn on the bed around them, and Viktor has a hand beneath Yuuri’s shirt.
“Miss you,” Viktor murmurs against Yuuri’s mouth.
“I’m right here,” Yuuri says gently. He feels himself sinking like a stone in Viktor’s arms and lap, blissfully submerged in his warmth. Viktor, heinously overdressed, is sitting with his back against the headboard, and Yuuri’s thighs locked around his.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve had you like this, though,” Viktor says.
“Mm, that’s true,” Yuuri murmurs. “Although I can’t remember that time very well. Refresh my memory, Vitya?”
Viktor’s eyes glint in a way that makes Yuuri ache. His boyfriend’s lovely fingers dip low beneath the line of his pants, dragging possessively over the curve of Yuuri’s ass, before gripping two thick handfuls. Yuuri groans.
When was the last time they did something like this?
To put it into perspective, the last time Yuuri and Viktor had really good ass-pounding, thank God I am the RA of this floor so nobody can get me in trouble , headboard-breaking sex, was way back before the second round of midterms started.
Yuuri can’t fault either of them for not making time for sex. They’ve both had shit to do, and for the time being, that to-do list does not include each other.
Of course, they still go to bed together. Sometimes. Viktor in particular, has been spending more and more time in the library, falling asleep in his favourite booth on the fifth floor among the political science stacks. At least there’s been time for sleepy handjobs, between Yuuri’s weekly biology labs, his thesis work, and work work, and Viktor’s engineering labs, and soccer practice, and not to mention all of their lectures .
“Love you, Vitya,” Yuuri whispers against his mouth. There’s a frustration to this—Yuuri almost feels like they’re been transported back to the earlier years of pining silently after each other. The both of them filled with wanting, and stupidly, not doing anything about it.
“I know, baby,” Viktor says. He presses a kiss to his forehead. “I love you too.”
Pleased, Yuuri hums, and captures Viktor’s mouth again.
He wants to crush himself against his lover’s skin. He wants Viktor on top of him, fucking him until he forgets his own name, and all the stupid organic chemistry terms he's had to memorize . With classes ending, and exam season right around the corner, who knows the next time he’ll be able to get some of his boyfriend’s dick?
Something cold and hard presses flush against Yuuri’s ass cheek. Yuuri jumps, startling Viktor into freezing beneath him.
“What is it?” Viktor asks.
“Is that you?” Yuuri reaches behind him. Gives Viktor’s crotch an experimental palming. Those hips stutter upwards.
As suspected, Viktor’s dick is still in his pants. Unfortunately.
“What the hell,” Yuuri mutters, pressing an apologetic kiss to Viktor’s nose. He extracts his boyfriend’s hands from his pants, holding both of his wrists out in the small gap between their chests.
Yuuri glances down at the offending piece of metal.
“What kind is it?” Yuuri says, touching Viktor’s wrist, inspecting the fancy watch.
It’s made of some kind of sleek, dark steel. Pristine condition. Yuuri has never seen Viktor wear it before.
“It’s a Submariner model,” Viktor says, allowing Yuuri to rotate his wrist delicately to get a better look.
Yuuri has no idea what that means.
“Do you like it?” Viktor asks.
“Sure,” Yuuri shrugs. “It’s really cold, though? The metal, I mean. I think it would be better if we just...”
Instead of trying for verbal communication, Yuuri undoes the watch, and places it gently on Viktor’s night stand. He then returns Viktor’s hands to their rightful place on his own ass, beneath the fabric, and encourages him to squeeze.
“See,” Yuuri smiles. “No cold metal in my pants. Much better. Ten out of ten.”
Viktor laughs, kissing Yuuri soundly. One hand strokes up Yuuri’s spine. When Viktor finally pushes him onto his back, hovering on top of him, a chorus of angels sings from the heavens.
“Rolex should definitely hire you to write their reviews,” Viktor muses.
“Yeah?” Yuuri gasps. “Well, Rolex should hire you to model.”
“It would really only be my hands modelling, though, sweetheart,” Viktor says, peeling off Yuuri’s shirt.
“I love these hands,” Yuuri whispers, as said features run down his bare sides, curving over his hips. “They’re the best hands in the world. My favourite body part.”
Viktor raises an eyebrow. “Really? Your favourite?”
“Ah,” Yuuri considers this. “On second thought, there may be some other contenders for that title.”
“Is that so.” Viktor is kissing down his chest. Lower, lower. Yuuri’s breath quickens. “Elaborate, darling?”
“Your shoulders,” Yuuri manages. “I love your shoulders. Also your—Viktor—your mouth. Your tongue. Your teeth. I love it when you mark me. Wait, do those that count as your mouth?” Viktor is resting his cheek against Yuuri’s inner thigh, staring up at him in amusement. “Whatever. Your arms, too. God, and your ass.”
A pout is playing up on his lovely mouth.
“But Yuuuuuri —"
“Also your cock,” Yuuri adds. He touches Viktor’s cheek. “I love your cock.”
Viktor laughs. “I was beginning to worry you’d forgotten about that one.”
Yuuri reaches down, taking a handful of his boyfriend’s hair, and tugging.
“Well, it has been awhile,” Yuuri says.
“Yeah?” Viktor lifts his chin challengingly.
“You should demonstrate,” Yuuri tells him. “So I can finally decide which part of you is my favourite. I can’t bear the indecision.”
“My poor darling,” Viktor says, his mouth exactly where Yuuri wants it. “That must be so hard for you.”
“So hard,” Yuuri agrees. “Very, very hard.”
And then Viktor is there , and everywhere at once, and Yuuri’s got both hands in his hair, and morning comes slow.
On the day that Yuuri should’ve realized something was up, he wakes up in the morning to a generous view of Viktor’s bare shoulders. Viktor’s hair is damp from the shower, dripping down his neck. On his hips, black pants ride tantalizingly low.
Viktor pulls on a baby blue long-sleeved button-down, perfectly fitted to his frame, and then a soft-looking navy blue sweater over top. That Submariner watch is strapped to his wrist. A pair of sleek brown boots.
“Viktor?” Yuuri says. Viktor turns from the mirror, where he’s just finished filling in his brows.
“Morning, lovely,” Viktor swoops down to kiss Yuuri. It’s slow, wet. Forearms resting against the pillow on either side of his head. Yuuri clings to his neck. His boyfriend smells particularly expensive today.
“Where are you going?” Yuuri wonders, a few minutes later. He’s adjusting Viktor’s collar, which he’d earlier wrinkled. “You look gorgeous.”
“I’m gonna fit in some studying before my noon lecture.”
Yuuri raises a brow, “At the library?”
“In... this ?”
Viktor looks down at himself. “Does it not work? It’s Tom Ford.”
“No, no,” Yuuri shakes his head. He runs a hand down Viktor’s chest. “It works...very much. I’m just surprised. You look like a professor. Or a sugar daddy.”
“Or both,” Viktor giggles, kissing Yuuri’s head.
“I might have to start fending people off, if you keep dressing this nicely on a daily basis,” Yuuri smiles.
Viktor’s returning smile doesn’t reach his eyes.
“You don’t mind, do you?”
Yuuri pauses in concern. Reaches out to touch his cheek.
“Viktor,” he says. “Of course not. I love you in whatever you love yourself in.”
“Oh.” Viktor looks relieved.
Yuuri frowns. “Vitya, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Viktor says. He nudges into Yuuri’s hand. “I’m just tired, is all.”
“One more month of this,” Yuuri reassures him. “And then we can rest, and sleep all day, and have lots of sex, and I’ll feed you katsudon in bed.”
“Mmm,” Viktor purrs. “That sounds amazing.”
“You deserve it,” Yuuri says, pecking his nose. “You work so hard.”
Viktor nods. His shoulders slump for half a second before he straightens them.
“I should get going,” he says. “If you keep kissing me, I’m going to stay here all day.”
“We can’t have that,” Yuuri sighs. “I’ll see you later?”
“Yes,” Viktor agrees. “Have a good day, baby.”
“You too,” Yuuri says. Viktor heads for the door. “Vitya?”
“You—you can always talk to me, you know.”
“I know, miliy ,” Viktor opens the door. “That's one of the reasons why I love you.”
It starts off nondescript enough.
First the Rolexes, then the Tom Ford, and then the Armani satchel.
Viktor and Yuuri’s dorm room has always been a treasure trove for brand name items. His boyfriend’s wealth, evident in his impressively manufactured soccer gear, high quality briefs, and just once , a very expensive espresso maker that now sits on Viktor’s desk. But Viktor has never been one to really flaunt.
For instance, in the three years that Yuuri has known him, he’d never seen Viktor with a pocket square. He hadn’t even known what a pocket square was before Viktor started asking him what colours he preferred.
He’s going to the library .
“Is that comfortable?” Yuuri asks.
Viktor is wearing a pink blazer (Burberry), and a white dress shirt (Chanel). His pants (Banana Republic) hug his ass in all the right places, and honestly, Yuuri would not be the least bit concerned were it not for the anxious expression on his boyfriend’s face.
“It’s fine,” Viktor smiles.
“Okay,” Yuuri says, unconvinced. “I just usually don’t see you in clothes like this.”
“Do you like it?”
“I like you in anything,” Yuuri says. “Viktor, the first time I realized I was in love with you, you were dressed in a penguin onesie.”
“That’s true,” Viktor cocks his head curiously. “Hm. I think I’ll go with the grey pocket square.”
Yuuri wonders if he’s missing something huge.
Is this about him ? Is Viktor trying to impress him, proposition him? Are they roleplaying ? Yuuri purses his lips. He doesn’t remember talking to Viktor about any roleplay situation.
Viktor is dragging pomade through his fringe now. Yuuri watches him carefully from his own desk, trying to figure out what he might be trying to roleplay as.
Anxious businessman? Sexy teacher?
Sexy librarian ?
Yuuri considers this very carefully.
One morning, Viktor leaves their apartment style dorm in a pink, faux fur coat.
The next day, it’s a monochrome poncho. It works, strangely, but that does nothing to ease Yuuri’s worry when Viktor announces that he’s going to lab.
“It meets lab dress code,” Viktor waves him off. “I’m a good, lab-rule abiding citizen, Yuuri. Unlike some people.”
Yuuri flushes. “That was one time .”
The day after that, it’s an ensemble with tassels . Yuuri watches as each step that brings his boyfriend closer to haute couture, tugs him one step further from Yuuri.
Yuuri has an exam in approximately thirty-one hours.
He’s managed to study for it, between studying for all of his other courses, his job, dance practice, and pondering Viktor’s intensifying fashion craze.
The last time Yuuri got more than five hours sleep?
Better not to ask.
He’s in the shower now… showering. Obviously.
Yuuri blinks into the steam rising up around him. His head aches.
Viktor’s voice comes from the other side of the shower door.
“Yuuri, are you alright? I heard a loud noise.”
“Oh,” Yuuri groans. No wonder his head hurts. When had he started slouching against the wall?
The shower door opens, and Viktor appears on the other side of it.
“Yuuri!” Viktor reaches for him, clad in only a pair of briefs. His hair is a mess. Viktor lets out a squeak when his water sprays his arm. “This is burning hot! What were you thinking?”
“Nothing too intelligent,” Yuuri admits drowsily. Viktor turns off the water. Yuuri looks down at himself, realizing his skin is slightly reddened. A towel is slung around his shoulders. “I think I fainted.”
Viktor mutters under his breath—quiet, hissing Russian.
“You need to take care of yourself.”
“Mmm,” Yuuri nods. He’s swaying on his feet. Viktor seems to realize this and sighs.
“Hold onto my shoulders,” Viktor says. “I’m going to dry you off.”
“‘Kay,” Yuuri pitches forward, resting his head right against the side of Viktor’s neck. The towel moves in swift, careful strokes. Viktor doesn’t say anything until he tosses the towel away somewhere, and lifts Yuuri up into his arms.
“You’re going to get some sleep,” Viktor murmurs. His voice is tight, his body tense around Yuuri’s.
“You’re angry at me,” Yuuri accuses weakly, when Viktor sets him down on the bed. A shirt—probably not Yuuri’s—is tugged over his head. “Vitya? Are you mad at me?”
“I’m upset, Yuuri,” Viktor says. He sits down next to him, stroking down his cheek with a gentle hand. “You scared the crap out of me.”
“I know,” Viktor nods. “You have to take care of yourself.”
“You too,” Yuuri grumbles.
“You,” Yuuri points a finger. He realizes he’s pointing at the ceiling, and moves it towards Viktor’s general direction. “You can’t tell me to not faint in the shower, when you’re out here, clearly about to have a mental breakdown, and you won’t even let me help you.”
Viktor is slightly blurred in front of him. Yuuri doesn’t have his glasses on him.
“—fine?” Yuuri guesses. “You’ve been saying that all week.”
Viktor stiffens. He leans down to kiss Yuuri’s head.
“Please get some rest,” he says.
“Will you sleep too?” Yuuri murmurs. His eyelids have given up on him, but luckily, he’s still managing to cling to Viktor’s hand. “Please, Vitya?”
“I can’t say no when you ask me like that,” Viktor sighs. “I’m just going to finish reading the last chapter from my textbook.”
“I’ll bring the book to bed,” Viktor says. The warmth disappears for a moment, before returning. The mattress dips, and Yuuri shifts towards Viktor’s side. “Here, see?”
“Not opening my eyes,” Yuuri explains. “The lids are asleep.”
He feels Viktor chuckle, chest rumbling beneath Yuuri’s head. Both arms wind around his boyfriend’s waist, legs tangling. There’s the quiet rustle of pages, somewhere above him. One of Vitya’s arms around his back.
Yuuri falls asleep.
It’s the Swarovski crystals that finally does it.
A week after Yuuri faints in the shower, he finds himself leaning against the bathroom doorway, watching in both awe and concern as Viktor stares at himself in the mirror, placing a choker around his own pale throat. It’s a thick band encrusted completely with crystals, gleaming in the bathroom light.
“Viktor, are you okay?”
There’s a strange trill to his boyfriend’s voice. He flutters past Yuuri to the closet, and pulls on a soft, white cashmere sweater.
“What do you think?” Viktor asks.
There’s a tremble in his lip, a desperation barely hidden in his eyes. Viktor’s mental health looks like its dangling from a single thread.
Yuuri takes two steps forward, taking both of Viktor’s hands in his.
“You look beautiful, Vitya,” Yuuri says. “Baby, why don’t you stay home today?”
“I’m fine,” Viktor assures him. “Just stressed. Exams, you know? I have to go to the library.”
Viktor pulls his hands away from Yuuri’s. He starts pacing around the room, shoving textbooks and pens in his satchel as he goes.
“And, like, people have it worse than me. I’m ready for my exams, but I’m still slightly worried. Also, my mom wants you to come home with me for the break. I really have to go, Yuuri. To the library.”
“I think I need to prioritize studying for my polymer science course. I’m kind of like ahh with it. I’m fine, though. I have an eighty going into the exam, and I calculated the mark I need to achieve to maintain my average, so it’ll be fine. It’s fine .”
Viktor looks at him. His face is glistening. “Yes, Yuuri?”
Viktor reaches up with one hand, fingers brushing at the wetness beneath his eyes. Yuuri reaches out slowly, pushing the hair out of his lover’s face. Viktor flinches back.
Yuuri freezes. More tears erupt from the corners of Viktor’s eyes.
“If you—” he swallows, “If you touch me like that, I’m not going to be able to stop crying. I need to study.”
“Love,” Yuuri whispers. “I want you to sit down.”
“I’m fine ,” Viktor’s voice cracks.
“You don’t have to be,” Yuuri shakes his head. “It’s okay if you’re not.”
“I’m just scared!” Viktor cries. Viktor turns away from him, eyes trained to the floor. Trembling lip, and clenched jaw, tears still falling. “I’m so tired.”
“Vitya,” Yuuri says. “It’s okay. Let me take care of you.”
Slowly, Viktor reaches out a shaking hand. Yuuri takes it tightly in both of his, coming to tuck himself against Viktor’s side. He’s crying openly now, soft sobs tipping past his lips, and into Yuuri’s neck. Hands clutching the back of Yuuri’s shirt. He reaches up, beginning slow strokes through his silvery hair.
Viktor trembles. “It’s like—it’s the whole fake it till you make thing. As long as everyone thinks I’ve got my shit together, I’ll be fine. That’s what I thought. If I can prove to everyone that I’m worthy of the success—”
“—then I’ll probably be able to convince myself.”
Yuuri is shaking his head, kissing every bit of Viktor’s face that he can reach. They find their way back to bed, where they lay with both their heads on one pillow, and Yuuri can kiss the hard to reach spots on top of his head.
“Listen to me,” Yuuri murmurs against Viktor’s temple. “You are so incredibly deserving of success.”
He leans in, presses his lips to the tip of Viktor’s nose. A shiver runs down Viktor’s spine, hands reaching out automatically, tugging at Yuuri’s waist for purchase.
“You are hardworking.”
Between his brows.
Against his eyelids, fluttered shut. Yuuri’s touches trembling fingers to his mouth.
One kiss to his lips. Then another.
“You are worthy, Viktor,” Yuuri whispers. “And if you ever doubt that, you just tell me, and I’ll spend forever if I have to, proving myself right.”
At this proximity, Viktor’s blush is a wild event. Yuuri can pinpoint the exact moment the flush starts, admiring the slow blooming of red across his cheeks, then his ears. Viktor plants featherlight kisses against the pink skin.
“Have I made myself clear?” Yuuri says.
“Yes, Yuuri,” Viktor nods.
“Good,” Yuuri says gently. “Now we sleep.”
Viktor exhales, a small smile spreading across his lips.
“We’re getting a full eight hours,” Yuuri says, pulling the covers up around them. “Sleep, Vitya.”
Three days later, Yuuri wakes up to Viktor rummaging through their closet.
“Viktor?” he says. Yuuri pulls on his glasses. He glances at their clock: 9:35 AM. Viktor’s chemical engineering exam is at ten-thirty.
“Morning, miliy ,” Viktor pulls out a black hoodie, inspects it, and hangs it back up. “Where’s your dance team hoodie?”
Viktor is wearing his joggers, and one of Yuuri’s shirts. Yuuri himself is in one of Viktor’s sweaters, and not much else.
“It’s on my desk chair,” Yuuri says. “Why?”
“Can I wear it?”
Yuuri’s eyes widen when his boyfriend pulls on the black hoodie. White letters printed clearly across the back. Viktor’s sex hair looks so effortlessly good it maybe wouldn’t be considered sex hair.
“Are you sure you want to do that?” Yuuri raises an eyebrow.
“Of course I do,” Viktor crosses the room to give Yuuri a morning kiss. “I’m gonna get going.”
“Eat breakfast,” Yuuri reminds him.
“That’s why I’m leaving early,” Viktor winks. “See you later!”
“Good luck,” Yuuri says.
“I don’t need luck, baby. I’ve got this, and this,” Viktor gestures to his own brain, and then to Yuuri. “It’s everything I need.”
(Everyone stares as Viktor Nikiforov walks past. He's got the face of an angel, and the body of Adonis. Everyone wants him. It's just how it is.)
(When Viktor walks out of the exam room, he’s got a smile on his face. Gazes follow him as he leaves, trailing mournfully after the white letters at the back of his hoodie. At the word KATSUKI written across his shoulders.)
(He passes the exam with flying colours.)