EXT. RED CARPET - NIGHT
Camera lights flash across the screen as actors and producers make their way down the red carpet. Reporters reach out to ask questions that we can’t hear, as the sound of the crowd is muffled. Victor stands amongst the chaos by himself as a reporter reaches out his mic.
Victor Nikiforov, will Yuuri Katsuki be joining you tonight?
Victor doesn’t even look up at him as he shakes his head, gazing forward with a blank expression.
No, he won’t.
One Year Later…
It's a sunny day as Victor and Makkachin make their way down the beach. The sun has barely risen and the sound of seagulls fill his ears. He leans back against the railing and thinks back to where he was this time last year, who he was with, and lets out a sigh. The scraping of ice against sharpened blades, the sound of laughter coming from a small town bar, and big brown eyes staring up at him with warmth and love. These memories wash over him as Victor stands there by himself watching the waves roll back and forth.
A wistful expression plays on his face before his phone goes off, and letting out a sigh he reads the caller ID.
“Hey Chris,” Victor says, “what’s up?”
“Just wanted to check in on you.” Chris tells him. “We haven’t talked in over a month. I was starting to worry, most people don’t celebrate a nomination by isolating themselves.”
“I’ve never been one to celebrate the normal way.” He says. “And that’s three nominations by the way. Screenwriting, Directing, and Best Picture are nothing to sneeze at.”
“No they are not.” He can hear Chris laughing. “Rumor has it that you’re not planning on attending the award show. Any truth to that?”
Victor doesn’t answer at first, his eyes staring forward at the rolling waves. He thinks about the last beach he spent his mornings walking up and down with Makkachin on, and who he would plan to see afterwards. An empty feeling wells up inside his chest as these memories come crashing forward.
“I’m not in the mood for award shows.” Victor tells him. “I’ve got a good headshot ready for them to put up on the screen instead, they don’t need me to sit there while they hand the award to someone else.”
“Oh is that so?” Chris asks him. “If that’s the case then you should give your invite to someone else, it’s wasted on a sentimental guy like you.”
Victor laughs at this.
“Why are you calling me Chris?” He asks. “It can’t be to just sit there and make fun of me.”
“I wanted to grab lunch,” Chris says, “thought it would be nice to sit down and catch up. I also wanted to sit here and make fun of you, but that was just a bonus.”
Victor shakes his head.
“Lunch sounds good.” He says. “Same place as last week?”
“Yeah,” Chris tells him, “I’ll see you there in twenty.”
Victor agrees and they hang up, he looks down at Makkachin staring patiently up at him and pets her head.
“Looks like we gotta cut this walk short.” He tells her.
She tilts her head, confused, but doesn’t protest when he tugs on the leash redirecting their path back towards the apartment.
It doesn’t take long for them to walk back home, and as he takes Makkachin’s leash off he walks over to feed her breakfast and glances up at the untouched Oscar invite sitting on the kitchen counter.
He hasn’t opened it yet.
After filling up Makkachin’s food bowl and grabbing his car keys he makes his way out to go see Chris.
By the time he makes it to the restaurant Chris is already seated and waving for him at a table near the back, away from the windows. This place is relatively good about giving them their privacy, but they’ve both learned the hard way that one can never really be too careful when it comes to these types of things. There have been plenty of restaurants that felt safe to visit in the past only to end up flooded with fans asking for pictures and autographs while they were trying to eat.
“I already ordered for us.” Chris tells him. “I hope you don’t mind, I just got you what you got last week.”
Victor waves him off.
“I don’t mind,” He says, “it’s the same order every week anyways. So, how have you been?”
They fall into the same rhythm that they’ve held for the past year, with Chris complaining about his current director not knowing what they’re doing and Victor filling him in on his latest golfing adventure with his dad. Chris keeps teasing him about how Victor is going to become one of those fanatics that never leave the golf course and spends all their money on clubs while Victor just laughs it off. In all actuality, he only really plays in order to spend more time with his father, he’s not actually that good at it despite a year of practice.
It’s nice, being able to have a normal relationship with his parents again. He doesn’t know when the shift from constantly shouting over each other to spending every weekend hanging out happened, but he’s glad it did.
“I’m surprised your parents haven’t said anything about you not going to the award show this year.” Chris tells him. “I’d think your dad might’ve had something to say about that, or at least Barry considering how much he went through to get your film greenlit.”
Victor grimaces at this.
It took a lot of effort to finally get his script into production, if he hadn't walked into every meeting with Barry on his side he’s not sure it would’ve ever gotten made. Not a lot of people were willing to work with him a year ago, in fact not a lot of people want to work with him right now, but his reputation has gotten a lot better over time. It’s amazing how quickly people forgot his drunken outburst as soon as he put out another thought provoking drama.
Audiences loved History Maker , more than he ever could’ve imagined. The reviews for the film were beyond flattering. If Victor didn’t know any better he would’ve thought that Barry paid off the critics. But after the world premiere audiences flocked to his latest film detailing the story of Yuuri’s comeback to the ice skating world. By the end of the first month of it’s release everyone in the world had taken time out of their day to watch his film.
“It’s not their decision to make.” Victor tells him. “Besides, everyone else is gonna be there in my stead. Who really cares about a director who’s not even going to win deciding to play hooky for one night?”
Chris looks up at him.
“Is that the reason why?” He asks. “You’re not sure you’ll win, so you’ve decided to not show up at all?”
It’s not the whole truth, and Victor knows this.
Most critics and audience reviews have actually speculated that if Victor was ever going to win an Oscar it would be with this film. People are already calling it his best work yet, but despite this he still has his doubts. Afterall, how many people speculated an Oscar win after his last two films came out? He’s been trying his best to shut out any predictions online about whether or not people think that this is the film that should win him that golden trophy, but it’s getting harder as the days roll by bringing them closer to the awards ceremony.
However, that’s not the only reason he’s hesitant to go.
“I guess I’m just a shallow man.” Victor says. “I don’t like to show up if I don’t like the odds.”
Chris rolls his eyes.
“Of course,” He says, “because that explains the last six years of you showing up anyways. I highly doubt that you’ve grown an ounce of dignity since your trip to Japan.”
Victor automatically winces and Chris takes notice.
“Sorry.” Chris tells him. “I didn’t mean to bring him up.”
Victor shakes his head.
“No need,” he says, “I need to get used to talking about him. Most interviews I get called in for end up asking about him anyways.”
Chris nods his head.
“I still can’t believe he didn’t show up to the premiere.” Chris sighs. “After everything you two have been through together, I’m still a little mad at him for that.”
Victor shrugs his shoulders and looks away.
He remembers that night, how lonely he felt being forced to walk down the red carpet by himself while cameras were flashing in his face asking him about his failed relationship.
Afterall, at that point it had only been a week since he and Yuuri broke up.
It wasn’t anyone’s fault if he’s being honest, just the same thing that happens every time one of his relationships fail. As they both got busy with work, they both started drifting away from each other, and over time it just ended up tearing them apart. No amount of phone calls and video dates were ever enough, despite them trying their best to make it so. Victor had never had the pleasure of being dumped until that week before the premiere, but he couldn’t blame Yuuri. Neither of them were happy with the situation, and yet neither of them really knew how to fix it either.
A part of him wonders what would’ve happened if he had stayed in St. Petersburg, if he had made the choice to hide his script away forever and stay with Yuuri for early mornings at the rink and lazy evenings watching television.
He wonders, if he had chosen to stay, would they still be together right now?
“Don’t be mad at him for that.” Victor tells Chris. “We had just broken up at the time, it would’ve been awkward if he decided to show up.”
“It was awkward when he didn’t.” Chris says. “The whole show was about him, the fact that he didn’t even bother to make an appearance only put you in a bad light.”
Victor rolls his eyes.
“I’m always being put in a bad light.” He says. “That’s not Yuuri’s fault.”
The waitress arrives with their food and the conversation comes to a halt as they wait for her to leave. Once she does Chris looks up at Victor and shakes his head.
“Don’t tell me you want him to be your plus one?”
Victor doesn’t respond, instead he turns his steely gaze towards their food on the table and tries to ignore Chris sighing in the background.
“Victor,” Chris says, “it’s been a little over a year. You two haven’t spoken to each other since you broke up. So why are you still holding onto the hope that he might make an appearance this time?”
“That’s just the thing though.” Victor tells him. “I don’t really have any hope for it right now, so I don’t want to go. I’ve been to these things by myself in the past, I never really cared back then, but I think if I go on my own again it would be too much.”
“What about your parents?” Chris asks him. “Neither of them wanted to go?”
“My mom can’t stay up that late anymore,” Victor says, “and my dad said that he’s been to enough award shows to last him a lifetime. Besides, I think they could tell that I didn’t really want to go with them when I extended the invite.”
Chris nods his head.
“Your parents are a trip.” He says. “But I guess I should’ve seen this coming, afterall, you and Yuuri have been one hell of a love story to watch since the beginning. I still remember when you two first met, how crazy that night was.”
Victor looks up at him, his eyes wide as he tilts his head in confusion.
“What do you mean you remember the night we met?” Victor asks him. “You didn’t go with me to Japan.”
Chris looks at him confused.
“The night at the bar?” Chris asks. “Don’t you remember? We went out for drinks after watching Masu skate at that competition and you got super drunk.”
Well Victor certainly remembers that part, but he can’t for the life of him figure out where Yuuri factors into the situation.
Chris can see the confusion on his face and shakes his head.
“I guess you really were too drunk to remember.” Chris tells him. “Really Victor, how much did you have to drink that night?”
“I don’t remember.” Victor says. “I wasn’t in a good headspace at the time.”
Chris rolls his eyes.
“I can see that.” He says. “What’s the last thing you remember about that night?”
Victor thinks back to the day that Chris took him to see Masu perform at Skate America. He remembers not really wanting to be there, and spending most of the day browsing on his phone while they waited for Masu and his partner to perform and then going out for drinks afterwards with some of his ice skating buddies.
“We went to the competition.” Victor tells Chris. “I wasn’t really paying too much attention to the skaters, and after Masu performed we went out for drinks.”
“Do you remember anything that happened at the bar?” Chris asks him.
Victor tries to think back to what went on once they made it to the bar with Masu’s friends, but draws a blank as his memory of the night refuses to resurface. Chris can see Victor struggling to recollect what happened that night and lets out a sigh.
“You started ordering so many drinks I thought you were going to be sick.” Chris tells him. “After about two hours in Masu and I were concerned you were going to drink yourself into a coma so we decided to put a stop to the orders. By then you were pretty belligerent, so we tried to keep an eye on you as best as we could.”
“What was I doing?” Victor asks him.
“Nothing out of the usual.” Chris says. “You were mainly just ranting about the academy and how you were tired of getting snubbed. Masu’s friends were trying to cheer you up, but by then you were pretty gone.”
Victor nods his head, a flush rising to his cheeks at the thought of him making such a scene in front of Chris’s husband and his friends.
“Soon enough they had to go back to the hotel.” Chris continues. “We wanted to go too, but you were being stubborn about leaving. I decided to deal with it after going to the bathroom, but by the time I got back I found Masu looking around frantically for you since you decided to sneak off without him. I started to panic, rightfully so, and we asked around the bar to see if anyone had seen where you went. The bartender told us he saw you make your way outside with a young gentleman and we both bolted out of there to try and catch you.
“By the time we made it outside, though, we saw you draped over Yuuri who was holding a vomit covered jacket in one hand while the other hand was rubbing circles into your back. He looked very confused about what was going on, but had the common sense to pull you into a more secluded area to make sure no one could take any pictures of you in your inebriated state. I guess it didn’t matter though, since you did the same thing two weeks later and everyone saw the results of that night.
“We apologized to him profusely about the whole situation and he just sort of laughed it off. Apparently he was looking for Phichit, who he was supposed to meet for drinks, when you crashed into him inside the bar begging to get some fresh air. He didn’t explain what happened to his jacket, but we could pretty much tell that that particular mess was probably your fault. He was really nice about the whole thing though, it didn't seem to bother him that you were crying into his shoulder drunk out of your mind.”
Victor looks up at his friend utterly horrified.
How in the world did he not know about this until now? He remembers waking up the next day with the hangover of the century, but considering he was in his hotel room that morning and nothing seemed to be out of place or missing he had just assumed nothing big really happened.
“Why didn’t you tell me this!” Victor exclaims. “How come I’m only finding this out two years later!”
“Don’t yell at me.” Chris says. “I didn’t know you couldn’t remember that night, especially after you told me that you had asked him out.”
Victor thinks back to when they crashed into one another at the hot springs, the way Yuuri looked at him like he recognized him from somewhere. He chalked that up to Victor being famous at the time but now that he knows they had already met he wonders why Yuuri never mentioned this. There had been so many moments between the two of them where Yuuri could've brought this up or asked if he remembered, and yet he never did.
“He never told me.” Victor tells Chris. “We spent months together and he never told me. Why didn’t he say anything about this?”
Chris shakes his head.
“Maybe he thought that you remembered but didn’t want to talk about it.” Chris says. “I certainly thought that, it isn’t too far off to think that Yuuri would too. Or maybe he thought that you had forgotten the whole thing and decided not to bring it up in case it embarrassed you. Not to be rude or anything Victor, but it really wasn’t a flattering first impression.”
He can imagine.
The thought of him draping himself over Yuuri in a drunken stupor while he rants about how unfair the academy is to him doesn’t sound like an ideal way to meet the love of your life. Not to mention how Chris’s description of how he found them that night leads him to believe that he must’ve gotten sick on Yuuri’s jacket too.
How in the world had he managed to convince Yuuri to go out to lunch with him that day if this is the first impression he gave? Thinking back to that confrontation at the hot springs, it really feels like a miracle that Yuuri even gave him a chance considering how they first met.
“Now that I think about it,” Chris says, “it was kind of weird when we saw you two together. Yuuri never goes out to drink with the other skaters during these events, but sometimes he hangs out with Phichit after they skate. However, everytime he does he always has this look in his eye like he would rather be anywhere else. But when we saw him with you he seemed so patient and sweet, like you were some kind of delicate puke baby that he was trying to protect.”
Victor lets out a groan at this, he does not like being described as a delicate puke baby.
“Well that’s both sweet and horrifying.” Victor tells him. “Anything else I’ve done around the man of my dreams that was wildly inappropriate? Did I start stripping as well and sit him down to give a lap dance?”
“No, but I think you wanted to.” Chris smiles. “Yuuri was really gentlemanly towards you though, he told you not to do something like that in the middle of the street.”
Victor shakes his head while Chris laughs at him.
“But seriously nothing weird happened.” Chris reassures him. “I am surprised Yuuri never mentioned it though, but he probably didn’t know how to without making it embarrassing for you.”
Victor thinks back to their first date in Hasetsu, how one afternoon led to another, and eventually neither of them wanted to let go. He thinks about how easily Yuuri could’ve embarrassed him by bringing up his drunken state during that lunch and yet he didn’t. He could’ve asked about it on the beach when they would share secrets with one another and he never even tried.
Victor messes absentmindedly with the gold ring sitting on his finger, the same one Yuuri gave him the night before he left St. Petersburg.
“I miss him.” Victor says. “I want to see him, I want to ask him why he never brought this up. I wish I could just call him like I used to and act like nothing’s changed, but I don’t even know where to start.”
Chris lets out a sigh.
“Can I give you some advice Victor?” He asks.
Victor looks up at his friend and nods.
“Don’t take this the wrong way,” Chris says, “but you are way too quick to let go of the people around you when they come into conflict with your work. And that’s bad, like isolating yourself in a hellscape of work kind of bad. I never really knew how to say anything about it, considering most of your romantic relationships were never that serious and your relationship with your parents was complicated, but with Yuuri it’s different. I’ve never seen you go out of your way to be with someone like you did for him, and even when you came back you were still doing your best to call him and make it work.
“But then you did the same thing you always do, you let yourself get sucked back into your rhythm of isolating yourself for the sake of work and refusing to let anyone help. It doesn’t surprise me that Yuuri might’ve taken that as a sign that you weren’t invested in the relationship anymore, most people would.
“If you really want this to work, though, you’ve got to show it. And I don’t mean by moping around by yourself in your room or writing a heartwarming script for him to hear a year later. You have to call him, you have to reach out yourself and try to make things right. If you don’t, if you just sit here with me for lunch and complain about how much you miss him then you only have yourself to blame. Relationships take work on both ends, you have to be willing to show that you care enough to make it work.”
Victor looks at his friend, shocked. He never thought that his own behavior regarding work could be so isolating, not even when he was doing his best to reconcile with his parents. But now that he’s thinking back on it he realizes just how often he pushes those around him away. How many times did he shut people out because he was too focused on writing the perfect script or putting together the perfect film? How many times did he shut out Chris without even knowing it? He thinks about his own behavior towards his friends and family over the years and feels ashamed.
“But what about Yuuri?” Victor asks. “What if I’ve already blown it and he never wants to talk to me again?”
“Then you blew it.” Chris says. “But you won’t know until you try, and you have to give Yuuri the chance to make that decision for himself. Don’t just assume what somebody else may want. Let him know that you’re willing to meet him in the middle if he is.”
Victor nods his head at this.
“You’re really good at this whole relationship thing.”
“It’s why I’m married and you’re not.”
“Ouch!” Victor exclaims. “That actually hurt my feelings. I hope you know that.”
Chris just laughs at him.
“Good!” He says. “I’m tired of watching you mope around town with no one else to talk to! If you really feel so bad about the whole thing go fix it yourself and call me when you’re feeling better!”
Victor shakes his head at this and smiles.
They finish lunch together while playfully poking fun at one another before Chris gets called away by his producer who wants him on set. They say their goodbyes and Victor makes his way back to his apartment with plenty of things to think about.
Walking through the door Victor can see Makkachin waiting patiently for him in the living room and he sits down next to her to scratch her head. She looks up at him with concerned eyes and he lets out a sigh.
He glances over at the kitchen area and sees the Oscar invite still sitting there untouched and reaches out his hand to play with the gold ring on his finger.
“What do you think I should do Makka?” Victor asks her. “Should I call Yuuri? Would that be weird?”
Makkachin clearly perks up at the mention of Yuuri’s name and Victor leans back on his sofa, exhausted and confused about what to do next.
He has so many questions he wants to ask Yuuri, so many things he wants to say to him, but after a year it feels like it would be too late. There was no way that Yuuri didn’t take their time apart to grow closer to someone else or move on with his life. He feels like if he just waltzed himself back into Yuuri’s life it would come across as awkward and unwelcome.
He doesn’t remember pulling out his phone to look up Yuuri, only watching as his hands went through the motions of typing up his name into google. A list of articles surrounding Yuuri’s success at the World Championships pop up as the top search results.
There’s a link to his exhibition performance at said competition that he clicks on, and as the announcer introduces him Victor watches the close up on Yuuri’s face right before he takes the ice. His hand reaches up to push back his hair and as it does Victor’s heart stops in his chest as he notices the gold ring still sitting on his finger. He looks down at the date of the video posted and sees that it’s only one week old.
He’s still wearing it.
After all this time Yuuri is still wearing that gold ring that he bought them back in St. Petersburg the night before he left. Victor thought he was the only one still holding onto that promise they made last year to be there for each other, but here Yuuri was proving him wrong. He doesn’t have time to ponder what this could mean as the music starts playing and Victor recognizes the song immediately.
Stammi Vicino .
Memories of that day back at the rink when he first saw Yuuri skate come rushing back as Yuuri takes to the ice and weaves a story of love and loss. It’s different from the first time Victor saw him perform this routine, it carries with it a weight of sadness that it didn’t before. It no longer feels like Yuuri interpreting Victor’s story through ice skating, but instead acts like a declaration of heartbreak and yearning. Almost as if Victor can hear the message reaching through the screen and shouting at him.
Maybe there is hope.
He watches as Yuuri glides across the ice, pouring his entire soul into this performance. Victor’s seen this routine more times than he can count, he remembers walking in on Yuuri practicing it when he thought no one was looking. He always had this determined look in his eye to get it just right, the memory of his fall haunting him at every turn as he did his best to correct that mistake the next time he hit the ice.
There’s none of that fury in his eyes right now though, he doesn’t need it anymore. As Victor watches him perform he can tell that whatever barrier was holding Yuuri back is now gone. He moves through the ice as if he was made to be there, working in tandem with the music effortlessly.
Victor waits with bated breath as Yuuri sets up for the final jump. He sees Yuuri get into position and lift himself into the air while Victor counts four rotations and…
He lands it.
Yuuri transitions into his last spin sequence and the crowd around him goes wild. He finishes in his final pose and the camera cuts to a close up where Victor can see tears streaming down his face. His hand with the gold ring is pointed upwards towards the sky and he allows the audience to cheer for him for a few more moments before stepping off the ice and looking out into the crowd.
As if he’s trying to find someone.
The video comes to a close and Victor doesn’t bother reading any of the hundreds of comments left underneath it. Instead he pulls up his contacts list and stares down at Yuuri’s number still sitting comfortably in his phone.
What is he going to say? What should he say after all this time? Is he reading into things too much? Surely it can’t be this easy, he certainly isn’t so egotistical to believe that Yuuri would even want to listen to him since they broke up. And he doesn’t even know where to begin when it comes to his own feelings or the fact that he wants to apologize for shutting Yuuri out.
“Relationships take work on both ends, you have to be willing to show that you care enough to make it work.”
Chris’s words from this afternoon echo in his head as he walks over to the kitchen counter and picks up the Oscar invite. He breaks the seal on the envelope and looks over the congratulatory message. His eyes land on the part that mentions him bringing a plus one and lets out a sigh.
“What do you think Makka?” He asks his dog. “Am I overthinking things?”
Makkachin doesn’t respond, only looks up at him confused.
Victor smiles at his dog and shakes his head.
“I guess I am.”
His finger hovers over the call button before finally pressing it and watching as Yuuri’s icon pops up and the phone starts ringing.
Each second that passes by makes Victor’s heart beat wildly in his chest, threatening to break out at any moment. An eternity passes before the ringing finally stops and Victor holds his breath, waiting to see how Yuuri might answer.
“...You have reached the voicemail of-”
Of course he wouldn’t pick up. Why should he? Afterall, they broke up over a year ago and it’s not like they promised each other anything. It makes sense that Yuuri wouldn’t answer his call after over a year, he doesn’t know what he was thinking when he decided to do this.
But now he has to leave a message right? It would be weird if he didn’t, but wouldn’t it also be weird if he did? Victor’s never tried to get into contact with any of his exes in the past so he doesn’t really know what would be appropriate or not to say. Especially since the only reason he decided to call Yuuri in the first place is because he saw him performing his exhibition piece that was posted a week ago.
What is he supposed to say?
Should he even say anything?
Is he making this weird?
“At the tone, please record your message.”
There’s a loud beep and Victor comes to the terrifying realization that he is alone and being recorded with no idea of what to say or how to talk to Yuuri after all these years. In many ways it’s worse than it would’ve been if he had answered the phone.
Victor takes a deep breath.
“You have to be willing to show that you care enough to make it work.”
He can do this.
“...Hey Yuuri,” he says, “it’s been a while. I don’t even really know if this is still your phone number, but, I’m taking a shot in the dark and just assuming it is.
“I saw your performance at the World Championships, your exhibition skate came out really great. I’m glad to see that you finally polished up that old routine. I can tell you put a lot of work into it, you made it really stand out amongst the other skaters.
“Chris told me something crazy, apparently we met before Japan in a bar at Michigan after Skate America. You never told me, I thought that was strange. I was kinda hoping we could talk about it but I guess you’re busy at the moment.”
He winces at the awkwardness of the whole situation and glances back down at his invitation.
“I don’t know if anyone told you this yet,” he says, “but I got nominated again this year for the film I was making. The invite says that I can bring a plus one and I was hoping-”
No, that isn’t right. He can’t just throw the invitation in his face like that, it sounds too nonchalant. What is he doing wrong? He feels like pounding his fists against his head, unsure of how to speak or what to say.
How is he supposed to tell Yuuri how much he misses him? How is he supposed to express how much he regrets pushing the other man away? This isn’t some script that he can write and re-edit, he doesn’t want to make Yuuri feel pressured to forgive him but he also doesn’t want to come off as too cocky or impolite.
“Let him know that you’re willing to meet him in the middle if he is.”
“...I’m sorry.” He says. “I pushed you away once things with work started getting more complicated, and I shouldn’t have done that. I never really noticed how often I would isolate myself from others until I isolated myself from you, and Yuuri you didn’t deserve that.
“I don’t know if you want to hear this from me or not, but I miss you. I miss you more than I’ve ever missed anybody in my life, and that’s not me trying to exaggerate things, it's just I don’t know how else to describe it. I’ve spent so long trying to find my footing in this line of work, and now that I have I just keep coming back to how much I wish you were here to share it with me, and how much I wish I could share your life with you. I keep thinking back to those days in St. Petersburg when we’d meet each other everyday and just exist in the same space, how something so simple still feels so precious to me even now.
“I don’t want to ask too much from you, and I don’t want you to feel like you’re obligated to respond in any way, but I’ve been staring at this stupid invite for over a month now, just refusing to open it because I don’t want to go there with anyone but you. You’re the one that inspired me to make that script, to make that movie, and to bring anyone else would feel ridiculous.
“Ironically, I’m not the best with words when it comes to these sorts of things. I can’t tell you how long my hands were shaking while I gathered up the courage to dial up your number again. But, even if you don’t get this message or don’t want to talk to me again I just want you to know that for me it hasn’t changed. I still wear that ring you gave me the night before I left, and I have no intention of taking it off. Because Yuuri, no matter how long we’ve been apart, I still lo-”
The voicemail stops recording and Victor looks down at his phone in shock after being cut off.
His face feels hot as he realizes what a long voicemail he just left, and he starts to wonder just how bad that went. The minimal amount of time he just wasted when all he had to do was ask Yuuri to call him back makes him throw himself on the couch face first while letting out a groan.
“Why am I like this!” He exclaims. “How hard is it to just ask him to call me back like a normal person!”
Makkachin nudges her head underneath his hand and tries to comfort him the best that she can. He looks down at her and scratches the top of her head before letting out a sigh and placing his phone down on the coffee table.
“I guess we’ll wait and see.” He tells Makkachin.
In the end he decides to go to the Oscars anyway. Afterall, he’s the one that spearheaded the project and if he decides to act as a no go then Barry will surely chew him out. He asks his father for help commissioning a suit and they go shopping together that weekend.
Yuuri still hasn’t called by that time, and Victor’s father can tell that something is weighing on his mind.
“Something wrong Victor?” His father asks.
Victor shakes his head.
“It’s nothing.” He says. “I’m just waiting on a call from someone at the moment, but I’m not sure whether or not they’ll reach out to me.”
“Have you tried calling them?”
Victor winces as he remembers his disaster of a voicemail.
“Yeah, I left a message.”
Victor’s father nods his head.
“Then you have nothing to worry about.” He tells Victor. “I’m sure whoever you’re waiting on will get back to you soon enough.”
“And if they don’t?” Victor asks.
“If they don’t then call them again.” His father says. “Or am I missing something here? Who are you trying to get into contact with?”
Victor shakes his head, he doesn’t know what he was expecting from his blunt father. It’s not his fault though, he doesn’t know what’s going on in Victor’s love life.
“Hey dad,” Victor says, “if you and mom ever hit a rough patch where neither of you were speaking to each other, what would you do?”
His father goes silent for a moment, looking down at Victor with concern in his eyes.
“Well after you left we weren’t exactly on speaking terms with one another.” He tells Victor. “It took a long time before we were able to even be in the same room together. But I learned pretty quickly that I didn’t want to lose her over something as trivial as my own pride. I told her I was sorry, and that I would do whatever it took to make things right again. After that, the ball was in her court, and I had to wait and see whether or not she’d forgive me.”
“What if she didn’t?” Victor asks. “What would you have done then?”
His father shakes his head.
“I’m not sure.” He says. “But I like to think I would’ve respected her decision either way. Thankfully, she forgave me, and soon after we were able to reconcile you came home.”
He looks at Victor with a smile on his face and places a hand on Victor’s shoulder.
“Just be patient.” He tells him. “You have to let others figure out these things for themselves.”
They decide on a dark violet suit with a gold trim and black shoes. As the Oscars grow closer and closer Victor starts getting pulled into several interviews while trying to promote his film and Barry does his best to appeal to the panel of judges.
For the most part every interview pretty much goes the same. The person interviewing him will ask him for a quick summary of what the film is about, they’ll banter back and forth about the process they went through during production, and he’ll try and skirt around the awkwardness that comes with people asking about his relationship with Yuuri. It’s hard to avoid questions like that, even when his agent notifies the people beforehand that he doesn’t want to discuss it, since so much of the script is based on his relationship with Yuuri and how they met.
But as the weeks roll by, Victor keeps his eye on his phone, jumping out of his seat everytime a spam call pops up in the hopes that it might be Yuuri instead. His heart breaks everytime he realizes that it isn’t him, but he tries to keep his father’s words in mind and waits patiently for Yuuri to call him back.
He continues having lunch with Chris every week, but his friend can clearly see that something is weighing on his mind. Whether or not Chris has become a bit more understanding or sensitive towards the topic is up for deliberation as he has yet to bring it up just yet, though Victor isn’t complaining. He’d rather not spend his lunch break away from prying eyes pining after a missing phone call.
The night of the Oscars arrives sooner than expected, and he sits there getting ready to make his way towards the theater when he hears his phone ringing from the other room.
Victor rushes over to grab it when he sees the caller ID pop up.
Letting out a sigh he answers the call.
“Victor!” Barry exclaims. “You were supposed to be here ten minutes ago! Where are you? The rest of the crew has been waiting for you to arrive!”
“I’ll be there in five, don't worry.” He tells him. “I was just making some last minute adjustments to my outfit before heading out. You don’t want me to look unkempt in front of all you producer buddies, do you?”
He can hear Barry on the other line letting out a sigh.
“Just get here Victor.” He tells him. “And get here fast, the other reporters are starting to get antsy about your absence.”
“I will, I will.” Victor says before hanging up the phone and looking himself over in the mirror one last time.
His hair is pushed back just slightly and a light layer of makeup is applied to his face. His stylist did a good job getting him ready for tonight, but they left out one crucial detail from his outfit.
Victor pulls out the gold ring that Yuuri gave him from his pocket and slips it onto his finger. He knows that his agent suggested he shouldn’t wear it anymore considering they don’t want people to spread any rumors about him being married, but he refuses to take it off.
It wouldn’t feel right to go without it.
He gets into the car that Barry called for him and stares out the window as the buildings pass by and they get closer and closer to the theater. He hears the crowd before he sees it and sure enough there they are.
Camera lights flash across his face as actors and producers make their way down the red carpet. Reporters reach out to ask questions that Victor can’t hear, the roar of the crowd drowning out their voices as they try to get their statements in for the night. Victor stands amongst the chaos alone as a reporter reaches out his mic.
“Victor Nikiforov how are you feeling about tonight?”
“Are you feeling confident that you’ll take home your first oscar for History Maker ?”
“Why did you wait until the last minute to confirm your attendance for this evening?”
The questions start pouring in from all sides and he struggles to make his way towards Barry before he feels a hand grasp onto his arm and he turns back to see Chris.
“Chris!” He exclaims, turning around to pull his friend into a tight embrace. “Glad to see a friendly face around here!”
The two of them immediately start playing off their friendship for the cameras. For whatever reason, their fans love to see him and Chris play off one another whenever they’re at events like these and Victor isn’t about to complain about getting to see more of his best friend for the sake of publicity.
“You must be drunk already if you’re giving me a hug.” Chris laughs at him.
The rest of the reporters ease off as Chris drags him away from their onslaught and towards Barry.
“There you are Victor.” Barry says, walking up to them. “We’re about to head in, make sure to let them ask a couple of questions before taking your seat. But don’t take too long, the show is about to start in the next twenty minutes.”
Victor nods his head.
“I’ll see you there Barry.” He tells his producer and watches as the old man makes his way inside the building.
Victor looks over at Chris who seems distracted, constantly glancing back at the line of cars making their way towards the entrance.
“Are you waiting for someone?” Victor asks him.
Chris waves his hand at him.
“Yeah they should be here any moment.” He tells Victor. “I sent the car for them this morning but- oh wait there they are!”
Victor looks up to see a large black limousine make its way to the front of the line. As it comes to a halt the attendee gets out to open the door for whoever is inside and Victor’s heart suddenly stops.
He knows those brown eyes.
Yuuri steps out of the car with his hair slicked back in a freshly pressed suit and a dazed look in his eyes. He glances around the space, trying to avoid the onslaught of reporters crashing into him, before finally settling his gaze on Victor.
He smiles, and Victor feels his heart leap out of his chest.
“Consider this an early birthday gift or whatever.” Chris tells him. “I flew him in this morning, but you two are the most stubborn people in the world. Go talk to him like a normal person, I think he’s been waiting to hear your voice.”
Victor feels time slow down to a halt as he makes his way across the red carpet. They meet each other halfway, and Victor holds out his hand to reach for Yuuri before stopping short a few centimeters.
“You came.” He says, absolutely breathless.
“I did.” Yuuri smiles.
He can hear the crowd of people surrounding them from all sides trying to grab their attention, but Victor doesn’t pay them any mind. His eyes remain focused on the sight of Yuuri standing here, right in front of him, like a dream come true.
“I’m sorry.” Yuuri tells him. “I didn’t know how to tell you we met at the bar that night, or that you permanently stained one of my favorite jackets.”
“It’s alright.” He says. “I’m just happy that you’re here.”
“I am too.” Yuuri says. “Victor, I’ve never done this sort of thing before. I’ve never missed someone so completely in my life like I’ve missed you this past year, and I don’t want to go back to that ever again. I’ve stared at your phone number every single day, unable to muster up the courage to call you and see how you’re doing. I poured everything I felt into my ice skating just so I could feel like I was saying something, even though a part of me thought you would never hear it.
“But I want to be here with you tonight, and every night afterwards if you let me. I want to make this work, if you want that too. I meant what I said when I gave you that ring in St. Petersburg. I’m always gonna be right here, looking forward to our next meeting, confident that we’ll have as much time as we need to spend with each other. I never took off my ring, because I never stopped loving you.”
Yuuri looks up at him with hopeful eyes and Victor finds himself unable to respond with words, instead opting to grab the other man by the waist and pull him into a passionate kiss.
He knows the world is watching them, he knows the cameras are flashing all around doing their best to get the best angle, but he can’t seem to care. Because right here, right now, Yuuri is in his arms saying that he loves him and that’s enough. It’s more than anything he could’ve hoped for.
“I never stopped loving you either.” Victor says, pulling away, a smile on his face. “I still do, and always will.”
He hears a cry from Christophe in the distance and Victor glances down at his watch to see they’ve only got ten minutes before the workers close the doors to the theater.
“Come on.” Victor says. “We don’t want to be late for the show.”
Yuuri smiles before allowing himself to be dragged along the red carpet and answer questions by Victor’s side. They give the reporters waiting patiently by the entrance a quick statement about tonight and then hurry inside to meet with Barry and the crew. Victor side eyes Barry as he sees an extra seat next to Victor’s spot and shakes his head, aware that the old man may have been in on Chris’s surprise.
They take their seats and watch patiently as the host takes the stage and begins the award show. After a quick round of jokes from the host about the show that Victor and Yuuri just made outside and a short introduction explaining who the nominees are for the night the show kicks off without a hitch.
Victor watches as his leading actor takes home the Oscar for best performance in a drama, along with his costume designer and cinematographer. Him and Yuuri let out a roar of applause for every member of his crew that takes home a trophy with them tonight, as well as a polite congratulations towards everyone else that is awarded for their work from differing projects.
He’s never had this much fun at any of these award shows in the past, but he can’t help but smile and laugh as Yuuri sits by his side taking in the whole spectacle for the first time. As the announcers take the stage towards the end of the night they announce the nominees for best screenwriting in a drama and Victor can see Yuuri tense up next to him.
They list Victor amongst a number of other talented screenwriters and open the envelope.
He doesn’t win.
He watches as one of his former colleagues takes to the stage and gives his congratulatory speech, which Victor happily applauds. He remembers watching their film this year, and can honestly admit he doesn’t feel bad losing to them.
Next up is Best Director. The hosts make their way towards the stage and announce the nominees, Victor’s name included, and he watches as they announce someone else as the winner once again.
He can feel Yuuri’s grip on his hand tightening and he turns to give him a quick peck on the cheek to reassure him that Victor is fine.
Finally the nominees for Best Picture get read out loud, and he feels Barry pat him on the shoulder as their film is announced amongst the other pictures. He can see his production crew watching him with bated breath as the two announcers open their envelope and pause for dramatic effect.
“And the Oscar goes to…”
...He doesn’t win.
They watch as another film crew takes to the stage, and Victor can see Barry slump down in his seat looking over at Victor with an apologetic look in his eyes. He turns to see Yuuri glancing up at him concerned, and Victor squeezes his hand with a smile.
He’s not sad.
He feels bad for his crew, who spent so long working on this film and poured their heart and soul into this production, but he can’t find it in himself to be angry or upset. Not when he has Yuuri’s hand resting in his own and the love and support of his crew sitting by him all night long.
As the show comes to a close and everyone gets ushered away towards the after party, Victor decides to stay back and stare out at the now empty theater. He feels Yuuri’s arms reach around his waist and he smiles.
“Are you going to be alright?” Yuuri asks him.
Victor turns around to face him and nods.
“I think I am.” He says. “I don’t need it anymore, and I don’t really want it either.”
Yuuri smiles up at him and leans into their embrace.
“And what do you want now?” He asks Victor. “Not what the world wants, not what your agent or producer wants, not even what I want. What do you want Victor?”
He pulls Yuuri into a soft kiss and smiles before pulling away.
“I want to go home.”
“Then let's go home.”
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
FIVE YEARS LATER...
A glass trophy case displays a large assortment of figure skating medals and trophies along with three Emmy’s and a single Oscar sitting in the back. Sitting on top of the case are a series of pictures including one from Yuuri and Victor’s wedding and another from Yurio’s birthday party.
The door opens off screen and we can hear the happy couple make their way inside the apartment. Makkachin barks in the distance as the reflection of her owners is reflected in the glass. Yuuri turns back to kiss Victor on the lips very briefly as they shed their jackets and settle their groceries on the table.
The couple’s reflections walk out of frame as we hear the television turn on, and they settle in for the night, together at last.