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Yuuri stares at himself in the mirror, and tries to remember how to breathe.

 

He watches as his chest rises and falls underneath his dressing gown, little jerks that are far too shallow and far too rapid. The bright lights surrounding the mirror taunt him, highlighting each and every one of his flaws in stark and precise detail. His hair is too slicked, his concealer too thick. Even his dark hazel eyes - usually his favourite feature - look sharp and agitated as the insecurities that he usually keeps such a tight lid on threaten to bubble up and consume him.

 

He closes his eyes and wills his body to calm. Counts his breaths as they echo overly-loud inside his skull.

 

In. Out. In. Out. He can do this.

 

“Yuuri, you’re on in five.” Phichit’s bright voice breaks him out of his bubble, and he spins towards the door where his best friend is now standing.

 

Phichit takes one look at Yuuri’s panicked expression and his face softens. He crosses the small dressing room in three short steps and turns Yuuri’s chair so that his back is to the mirror that has been taunting him so relentlessly.

 

“What’s this?” Phichit says gently as he crouches down in front of Yuuri, hand squeezing reassuringly at the thick muscle of Yuuri’s thigh. “I haven’t seen you this nervous for a shoot since your first day here.”

 

Yuuri tries to smile, his muscles stretching awkwardly as the gesture turns into more of a grimace. He still remembers that day like it was yesterday, even though he’ll have been at Gods of Desire production house for four years next week.

 

He had been an absolute wreck, pacing and sweating and very nearly talking himself out of the whole thing. Phichit had been there for him then as well, helping him with the unfamiliar stage makeup and promising him that nobody would judge him if he backed out; he wouldn’t be the first and he certainly wouldn’t be the last. Porn isn’t for everyone, after all.

 

Yuuri doesn’t remember much of that first shoot, just gritting his teeth and storming to the set - he’s never been a quitter after all - and then flashes of skin and hands and lips and teeth until the director yelled cut and Yuuri found himself panting and exhausted in the middle of the biggest bed he’d ever been in, covered in sweat and come and the entire crew clapping and cheering for his first successful shoot. The exhilaration that had flooded through him had been like nothing he’d ever experienced, and from that moment he’d been hooked.

 

He still gets nervous before shoots, of course. He’s a perfectionist with anxiety issues, so that’s probably never going to change. Usually though, the anticipation of the shoot far outweighs any nerves he might be feeling.

 

Usually, but not not today.

 

“I don’t know Phi,” Yuuri says, hating how small his voice sounds as he stares determinedly down at his lap. “What if I’m not good? What if I let everyone down?”

 

Phichit huffs a laugh that is half amused, half exasperated. He’s talked Yuuri down so many times at this point, Yuuri often thinks it’s a wonder that he’s still as patient as he is. “Oh please, when has that ever happened? They’re going to love you, just like they always do.” He squeezes Yuuri’s thigh again. “What’s brought this on, hmm?”

 

“What if I’m not good with him ,” Yuuri clarifies, flicking his eyes up briefly to meet Phichit’s. “He’s like...he’s the king of porn, and I’m just a dime-a-dozen switch.”

 

“Katsuki Yuuri.” Phichit sounds aggrieved. “I refuse to listen to you say such awful things about my best friend.” He gives Yuuri an exaggerated scowl, brow furrowed and eyes scrunched in a way that makes Yuuri smile despite everything. “You’re not a dime-a-dozen anything. Everybody loves you. Everybody .” He huffs out another exasperated breath. “Honestly, it’s like you don’t even look at twitter.”

 

“You banned me from twitter after the last time I spent four days obsessing over that negative comment,” Yuuri reminds him. “A negative comment that kind of disproves your claim that everybody loves me, I might add.”

 

“Oh shush,” Phichit replies, waving a hand to dismiss what Yuuri thinks is an incredibly valid argument. “My point is that you, my dear Yuuri, are a star that shines just as bright as any so called king of porn . And besides,” Phichit lets out a small grimace, “I’ve shot a couple of films with him before, he’s definitely got some...quirks of his own.”

 

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better,” Yuuri grouses, crossing his arms petulantly in front of him. “You can’t deny that having a good shoot with him would do wonders for my career.”

 

“Well, yes, but that doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me. Do you even know what point you’re trying to make here?” Phichit asks fondly as he stands up and holds out a hand to Yuuri.

 

“Well, if a good shoot will make my career...then that means a bad shoot will ruin it!” Yuuri’s voice hitches as he finally makes the connection that has been nudging at his subconscious for the past hour, eyes going wide as he ignores Phichit’s outstretched hand in favour of running his own through his styled hair in agitation.

 

Yuuuuri ,” Phichit exclaims, diving in to wrench Yuuri’s hands away from his hair before he can disrupt it too much. “You know that’s not how this works. One bad shoot does not a failure make.” He slaps a hand over Yuuri’s mouth as he starts to protest. “And before you say anything no , that doesn’t mean that I think you’re going to have a bad shoot. I’m just saying it’s not the end of the world if you do.”

 

Yuuri scowls underneath the hand still clamped over his mouth, but Phichit’s words seem to hit their mark at last. His friend is right; he’s catastrophizing. Time to rein it in.

 

He makes himself focus on his breathing again, timing his inhales and exhales with Phichit’s. Phichit - wonderful friend that he is - quickly catches on to what Yuuri is doing and intentionally slows his own breathing. For a few long minutes there’s silence in the dressing room as the two of them slowly breathe in unison, and Yuuri finally feels his panic start to dissipate.

 

“Alright?” Phichit eventually says, voice quiet and calm as he removes his hand from Yuuri’s mouth.

 

Yuuri takes another deep breath then smiles up at Phichit, his expression far more genuine than the last time he tried. “Alright,” he says, standing up and smoothing the hem of his dressing gown determinedly, “Let’s do this.”

 

 


 

Phichit accompanies Yuuri to the set, arm looped reassuringly through his as they walk the familiar route from dressing rooms to shooting lot. Yuuri smiles and greets a few members of the cast and crew along the way - little Minami almost walks into a wall as he waves back eagerly - and by the time they reach their designated lot the nerves in his chest have almost completely given way to the usual excited anticipation he gets before a shoot.

 

The director hurries over to them as soon as they enter the closed set, throwing a relieved look at Phichit as he unlinks his arm from Yuuri’s and moves to start setting up the static camera he usually operates.

 

“Ah, Yuuri, you’re here. Good,” Celestino says in that clipped tone of his that always makes him sound slightly harried. “Let me introduce you to your co-star.” He starts walking back across the set, waving for Yuuri to follow him.

 

Celestino had been a star himself back in the day - the name Ciao Ciao is still one that holds weight in the porn community - and once he retired from in front of the camera he moved behind it, going on to direct some of the most successful adult films of the last few years. Yuuri will be forever grateful that Celestino took him under his wing when he first started in the industry. He honestly doesn’t know if he’d be where he is today without his expert guidance.

 

Yuuri silently follows Celestino across the room, keeping his gaze firmly fixed on the director’s back rather than the taller man they’re fast approaching. He might not be drowning under the weight of his own inadequacies any more, but that doesn’t mean he’s completely ready to meet the closest thing to celebrity the porn industry has.

 

All too soon though, they’ve reached the cluster of people on the other side of the room, and Yuuri is forced to peel his eyes away from the director’s back to greet his co-star-to-be.

 

“Here we are,” Celestino says, “Yuuri, let me introduce you to-”

 

“Jean-Jacques, but all my friends call me JJ,” a taller man flashes Yuuri a blinding grin, sticking his hand out in front of him.

 

Yuuri swallows nervously, and reaches out to shake the proffered hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he says, voice raspy.

 

Jean-Jacques Leroy - Gods of Desire ’s number one star. Yuuri hadn’t been exaggerating when he’d referred to him as porn royalty. The Leroy name has been a permanent fixture of adult films for decades, and as the latest offering from such an established pedigree it came as no surprise to anyone when in just three short years JJ rose from fresh-faced newbie to one of the most prolific adult film stars in America. There isn’t an award that JJ hasn’t won, a porn site that hasn’t raved about him. He even has his own theme song.

 

Yuuri swallows loudly, feeling more than a little starstruck. He can’t quite believe that in just a few minutes he’s going to be sharing a stage with JJ Leroy . How on earth is this his life?

 

JJ flashes him another dazzling smile and slips and arm around Yuuri’s waist to lead him over to the set. “What do you say Yuuri, shall we get this show on the road?”

 


 

Sex with JJ is...well it’s actually kind of a let down, really.

 

It’s not that it’s bad , necessarily. If Yuuri had taken JJ home for a drunken one night stand he probably would have classified the other man’s performance as perfectly fine. But when Yuuri gets fucked by a two-time AVN award winner in front of a half-dozen cameras, he thinks it’s fair to expect a little more than just ‘fine’.  

 

Yuuri stares up at the ceiling and concentrates on making all the right noises as JJ bends his knees up to his chest and starts pounding into him, his thrusts erratic and absolutely nowhere near his prostate.

 

“Oooh, fuck yeah, you like that? You like taking my big cock?” JJ croons as he bows his head and starts to pick up his pace. Yuuri inwardly cringes at the ad-libbed dialog - somehow it had never seemed this bad when watching JJ’s previous movies - but his voice is the perfect level of aroused as he gasp and arches up into JJ’s thrusts.

 

“Oh yes, I want it so bad. Fuck me, harder, please,” he begs, making sure to turn his head towards the nearest camera so that it can get a good shot of his utterly fake blissed-out expression.

 

“That’s right, you’ve wanted this for so long haven’t you? Wanted a taste of this maple dick.”

 

Maple Dick?! Y uuri thinks slightly hysterically,   “Mmmm yeah, gimme a taste,” he says breathlessly instead.

 

It’s the signal for them to change up their positions, and Celestino yells cut at the exact moment JJ pulls out. As soon as the cameras stop rolling there’s a flurry of activity from the crew. JJ helps Yuuri to sit up and they both accept robes and bottles of water from a runner. Yuuri drains his water in a single swig, wiping the sweat from his brow just before makeup come in to make touch ups.

 

“How you doing there?” JJ says, all smiles as he wipes down his crotch with the warm towel another runner brings over.

 

“Um….” Yuuri stammers. They’ve been filming for just over three hours at this point and even his stamina - widely accepted as one of the most impressive at the production house - is starting to flag. It’s easier when he’s actually enjoying himself, he can’t help thinking, then the hours don’t seems so long.

 

JJ simply laughs and claps him on the back. “I know, it’s tiring when the sex is this good, right?”

 

“Something like that,” Yuuri replies vaguely, but luckily JJ seems completely oblivious to Yuuri’s less than enthusiastic response.

 

“Just one more scene to film. I bet you’ll be sad when this one is over, huh?”  JJ nudges him with his elbow and waggles his eyebrows suggestively.

 

“Something like that,” Yuuri says again, his brain too drained from having to keep up the facade of pleasure for so long to put any effort into a more convincing lie.

 

JJ’s blinding smile slips a fraction, but Yuuri is saved from any follow-up by Celestino calling places. The pair of them hand off their robes to the waiting crew members, and move into position for their final scene of the day.

 

Yuuri settles on his knees, rolling his neck a few times to work out some of the kinks. JJ takes up his position standing in front of him, stroking his dick a few times to bring it back to full hardness after their break. Yuuri isn’t hard anymore but that’s okay, it’s not going to be in frame for this final shot anyway.

 

Yuuri looks down at his hands, folded in his lap, and waits for the clack of the clapper board, for the sound of Celestino shouting action. As soon as the cameras start to roll he flicks his eyes up to meet JJ’s, doing his best to channel his inner temptress as he gazes seductively up at his co-star.

 

Based on the flare of desire that sparks behind JJ’s eyes, Yuuri thinks he’s hit his mark.

 

JJ stares down at him for a few seconds, mouth slightly agape, before blinking rapidly as if suddenly remembering where he is and what he’s supposed to be doing. He shuffles forwards and taps Yuuri’s lips with the end of his cock. “Open wide,” he says huskily.

 

Yuuri licks his lips before opening his mouth just a sliver, allowing JJ’s cock to stretch them wider as he pushes in.

 

“Mmmm,” he moans around JJ’s length, making JJ curse as he threads his hands through Yuuri’s hair.

 

“Oh fuck, baby, you feel so good,” JJ groans, and Yuuri has to force himself not to scowl. He really hates that pet name. Instead he simply moans louder, and starts to bob his head lightly along the tip of JJ’s cock.

 

The script calls for throat-fucking, so once Yuuri is ready he taps JJ’s thigh - the sign that he can start to go deeper. JJ doesn’t need telling twice and immediately thrusts forward, burying himself all the way down Yuuri’s throat. Yuuri, seasoned professional that he is, doesn’t even need to think about it as he relaxes his throat muscles to accept the intrusion, breathing steadily through his nose as JJ starts to thrust in and out of his mouth.

 

Besides, it’s not like JJ is even close the to biggest Yuuri has ever taken. That honour has to go to Leo. It’s almost intimidating what that boy keeps locked in his pants. Almost.

 

“Ah, yeah, yeah . Look at you taking my big dick like a pro. Are you gonna choke on it? Choke on my monster cock?” JJ croons, his lines somehow getting even worse as he barrels towards his climax. Yuuri barely restrains an exasperated eye roll as he moans loud enough for the microphones to pick up, kneading JJ’s ass with his hands as he bobs his head faster.

 

“Fuck, oh fuck,” JJ gasps, his entire body tensing as he pulls out of Yuuri’s mouth and starts fisting his cock rapidly. “That’s...JJ...style…” he cries out as his release hits, semen splattering across Yuuri’s cheeks and lips in three sharp spurts.

 

That’s JJ style?! Seriously?!

 

Yuuri’s ears are still ringing with that atrocious final line as they hold their final position, allowing the cameras to zoom in and capture the result of JJ’s orgasm displayed proudly across Yuuri’s features. Yuuri belatedly realizes that the script calls for him to lick JJ’s ejaculate off his lips, and he hastily flicks his tongue out, coupling it with a half-hearted moan of pleasure.

 

“Cut,” Celestino finally cries, and immediately the crew moves in again. Yuuri is handed a washcloth to clean himself off properly, and JJ extends a hand to help him stand up.

 

“So...what do you think of my new catchphrase?” JJ asks as he shrugs into his dressing gown. When Yuuri just looks at him blankly he grins and crosses his wrists, making two J’s with his fingers and thumbs. “That’s JJ style,” he says again, sounding thoroughly pleased with himself.

 

“Oh...um...it’s very good,” Yuuri stammers. Honestly he thinks he’ll die happy if he never has to hear that godawful line again.

 

JJ grins again, “I think so too. I think I’m going to close out all my scenes like that from now on. What do you think?”

 

Please god no. “Sounds interesting,” Yuuri says, wondering what Ciao Ciao will think of JJ’s new plan.

 

“Yeah, it’s going to be a hit, I can just tell,” JJ replies, clapping Yuuri on the shoulder once more. “Anyway, good shooting with you Yuuri. If this is received well - and let’s face it, my shoots are always received well - I imagine the bigwigs will probably want us to do another shoot together soon.”

 

Never again. “I look forward to it,”  Yuuri replies, hoping the horror he’s feeling isn’t reflected in his voice. JJ simply grins and gives him a quick salute before heading back to the dressing rooms, and Yuuri lets out a small breath of relief as he finally allows the pretense to drop.

 

Giving a small sigh he wraps his dressing gown tighter around himself before heading over to Phichit’s camera station. Maybe he can convince his roommate to get takeout on their way home tonight. He thinks he deserves it after that performance, after all.

 

He’s stopped in his tracks when he sees Phichit and two other members of the camera crew huddled around a viewfinder, muttering lowly to themselves as Phichit scrolls the footage backwards and forwards repeatedly. They don’t look happy.

 

“Phichit?” Yuuri asks as he steps takes a hesitant step forward, brain already anticipating the worst as three heads whip up to look at him, three faces wearing equally guilty expressions. “Phichit, what’s wrong?”

 

“Hmm? Oh it’s nothing, nothing at all.” Phichit’s voice is overly bright as he slams the viewfinder closed, gesturing for the other camera operators to scatter. “Why? What makes you think something’s wrong Yuuri?”

 

“Phichit,” Yuuri says, taking another step forward. “You’re a terrible liar.”

 

“Seriously Yuu, it’s nothing, I swear.” Phichit moves to start packing up his camera but Yuuri stops him with a hand on his wrist.

 

“Phichit. Show me,” he says, in a tone that brokers no argument.

 

Phichit looks for a moment like he might continue to plead innocence, but he must realize that Yuuri isn’t about to back down from this. He huffs a heavy sigh, and flicks open the camera’s viewfinder again. “Just...don’t freak out, okay?”

 

“When has saying ‘Don’t freak out’ ever done anything other than make people freak out more?” Yuri says bitterly as he shuffles closer so that he can see the footage that Phichit starts to play.

 

Yuuri watches as JJ fucks into his mouth, his cock burying itself all the way down his throat so that there’s a visible bulge just underneath his jaw. There’s still something strange about watching himself on camera, even after all these years. It’s almost abstract, like the man on camera isn’t him at all.

 

He watches as JJ pulls out of his mouth, the camera zooming in for a close up on his face as JJ starts to stroke himself to completion. He watches as JJ’s cock jerks in his hand and then … oh … oh fuck.

 

The volume is turned down but he knows the moment that JJ starts to speak that awful catchphrase of his, knows because his expression on camera morphs from aroused delight to absolute horror. His eyes are wide in shock, his mouth twisted in distaste as the first spurt of white liquid hits his cheek.

 

He remembers how surprised he’d been at the time, but he hadn’t thought for a moment that he had actually let it show .

 

He slams the pause button on the remote dangling down from the viewfinder, and the footage freezes on his awful, completely unprofessional expression that nobody would ever, ever find sexy.

 

“Fuck, fuck!” he exclaims, hand coming up to cover his mouth in horror. He’s ruined it, ruined the entire shoot.

 

“Hey, Yuuri, look at me.” Cool hands bracket his face, and Yuuri slowly manages to focus on Phichit standing in front of him. “It’s okay, I promise you it’s okay,” Phichit says, looking determined.

 

“I knew it...I knew I was going to mess everything up,” Yuuri practically whispers, his heart thundering a thousand beats a minute. What sort of amateur ruins the final shot like that?

 

“You have not messed up anything, you hear me?” Phichit’s voice is firm, and Yuuri wants to believe it, wants to believe his friend so badly, and yet…

 

“It’s ruined. It’s completely unusable. What sort of porn film doesn’t have a comeshot oh my god !” Yuuri’s hands come up to clasp Phichit’s wrists, his breath coming in short, sharp pants as the full weight of the situation comes bearing down on him.

 

“Hey, stop it. It’s not ruined.” Yuuri laughs hysterically at Phichit’s claim, but Phichit simply stares him down. “You remember how I said JJ had quirks? You’re not the first person he’s sprung something like this on without warning and you certainly won’t be the last. I can fix this, you hear me? I. Can. Fix. This.”

 

“How?” Yuuri whimpers. “How on earth can you…”

 

“I have connections in the editing room, you’d be surprised at what those guys are capable of.” Phichit squishes Yuuri’s cheeks so that his lips are pursed like a fish, ignoring Yuuri’s squeal of protest. “I promise you, by the time they’re done with this, it’s going to look like you were having the time of your life getting covered in JJ’s salty surprise.”

 

“Phiiichit,” Yuuri whines, cringing at the vulgar language as he backs out of his friend’s grip.

 

Phichit just laugh determinedly and starts to push Yuuri towards the door. “Go home, have a long bath. Watch some trashy TV. By tomorrow it will be like this never happened, I promise.”

 


 

Yuuri means to take Phichit’s advice and go home, he really does. Somehow he ends up at a bar just down the road from the studio instead.

 

It’s quiet in here - not that many people pathetic enough to be drinking alone at 2 pm on a Friday, he thinks bitterly - and Yuuri is the only one currently seated at the bar, feet kicking aimlessly at the legs of the high stool he’s perched on.

 

He swills his beer around in its fancy glass, watching in fascination as the bubbles rise to the surface and pop, one after another. He feels like those bubbles, desperately clawing their way to the surface, only to combust when they finally reach it.

 

Somehow there’s only a few inches of beer left, so he knocks the rest back in one long gulp, then raises his glass at the bartender at the other end of the bar.

 

The bartender puts down the glass he’s been drying and makes his way over with a smile. It’s a testimony to how deep Yuuri is in his pit of self-loathing that it’s only when the bartender starts to pour his second drink that he notices just how attractive the man is.

 

Tall and slender, with hair so pale it’s practically silver. The man’s arm muscles ripple as he pumps the beer tap, and Yuuri feels his jaw drop open a fraction. Fuck, how had he missed this first time around?

 

The bartender places the new drink in front of him with another smile, and Yuuri realizes he’s still staring with his mouth literally hanging open. Good going Yuuri, really good going. He hurriedly slams his mouth shut, mumbling his thanks to the man, who simply smiles that infuriatingly beautiful smile of his and returns to the other end of the counter to continue polishing glasses.

 

Yuuri drinks his second beer while trying not to be too obvious in his staring. He finds himself taking big gulps simply so he has an excuse to talk to the bartender again sooner. He’s feeling slightly lightheaded by the time he’s finished his second drink - Phichit always did say he was a lightweight - but at least he’s not feeling quite so morose any more.

 

He sets his empty glass down with a click that sounds far too loud in the quiet bar, and signals to the bartender again. The man throws his cloth over his shoulder and heads over to Yuuri’s end of the bar.

 

“Bad day?” the man says and oh , his voice is even more beautiful than his face. Rich and melodious and a hint of an accent that Yuuri can’t quite place.

 

“Huh?” Yuuri replies eloquently, far too distracted by that voice to put much thought into what he’s saying.

 

The man chuckles, collecting the glass in front of Yuuri and moving to pour another drink. “Most people who are in here drinking alone at this time of day are trying to drown some sort of sorrow,” he explains lightly. “Bad day at the office?”

 

If by that you mean enduring the most disappointing sex of my career with a co-star I’ve looked up to for years, followed by me ruining the literal money shot of the film we’d been shooting for the past four hours because I apparently can’t keep my damn emotions in check  then yeah, I’m having a bad day, Yuuri thinks to himself.

 

“You could say that,” he says instead.

 

The bartender surveys him for a moment, then pulls up a stool on the other side of the bar. “Want to talk about it?” he asks, propping his elbow on the counter and resting his chin in his hand.

 

“Huh?” Yuuri says again, because apparently words are not his strong suit when confronted with someone of such supernatural beauty as this man.

 

The bartender waves at the quiet room. “We’re not exactly busy, and I’ve been told I’m a good listener. Comes with the territory I suppose.” He waggles his eyebrows in a way that has Yuuri snorting in laughter despite himself.

 

“Where do I start?” Yuuri says. He wants to talk, he really does, but for some reason something in him balks at admitting to this gorgeous man that his work involves having sex with people for money.  

 

“How about at the beginning?” the man teases, eyes glittering. Yuuri scowls at him, but huffs and starts to talk anyway.

 

“So today I had this big...presentation,” he begins, surprising himself with the metaphor his brain has apparently decided to run with. “I was supposed to be … co-presenting with a colleague, who I’ve looked up to for a while. He’s kind of a big deal at the company, I guess.” He pauses, but the bartender just hums encouragingly. “I guess I was pretty nervous, because it would have meant a lot for my career if this presentation went well.”

 

“Makes sense,” the bartender says.

 

Yuuri nods, his voice gaining momentum, “But the thing is, this colleague of mine, he wasn’t what I expected. Wasn’t as … impressive as I thought he was going to be. And worse, he kept ad-libbing parts of the presentation I wasn’t expecting. It kind of threw me off, I guess.”

 

The bartender winces, “Ah, that’s unfortunate. It makes you wonder how he became such a big deal in the first place.”

 

“Exactly!” Yuuri exclaims, his hands moving animatedly. “And because of all of that I … well I really messed up my part of the presentation.” Yuuri’s voice catches as he remembers, remembers the exact reason he’s here, in this bar, in the first place. When he continues it’s much quieter, much more sedate.

 

“My friend, another colleague, says it wasn’t that bad but I … I really think I ruined the whole thing. Not just for myself, but also for everyone else who was working behind the scenes. I ruined it for all of them too.” Yuuri drops his gaze to the counter, fingers tracing idly through the condensation his glass has left behind. “I really messed this one up.”

 

For a long moment there’s silence, and Yuuri wonders if he’s revealed too much. Maybe the bartender was just trying to be polite and Yuuri has completely embarrassed himself by displaying his dirty laundry for all to see. He squeezes his eyes shut, willing the tears he can feel forming to disappear. After everything that’s happened today, crying in front of a beautiful bartender really would be the icing on the cake.

 

He hears the clink of glass on glass, and looks up to see the bartender place two shot glasses down in front of Yuuri. When Yuuri cocks his head questioningly the man grins, reaching up to pluck a frosted bottle from the top shelf. He uncorks the bottle and pours a healthy glug of clear liquid into each shot glass. “The day you’ve had, you need something harder than beer,” he explains, nudging one of the glasses over towards Yuuri.

 

Yuuri picks up the glass hesitantly, taking a sniff of the potent liquid. He recoils a bit at the harsh tang, raising an eyebrow at the bartender who grins widely at him.

 

“Vodka, the good stuff,” the bartender clarifies, raising his glass in toast.

 

Yuuri eyes the top shelf warily, wondering how much an ounce of this is going to set him back, then decides he doesn’t really care. He raises his glass and they both knock the shots back at the same time.

 

Yuuri splutters as the harsh liquid burns his throat on the way down. He’s had his fair share of vodka at college, of course, but somehow he had thought that this…

 

“This is the good stuff?!” he coughs, wiping at his mouth as the bartender cackles.

 

“It tastes terrible doesn’t it,” the man says delightedly, pouring them both another shot. “Perfect for drowning sorrows - you’re too busy focusing on the taste to worry about anything else that’s going on.”

 

Yuuri can’t help laughing at that logic, picking up his refilled glass. “Should you be drinking on the clock?” he asks without thinking, blushing when he realizes how judgemental that probably sounds.

 

The man, to his credit, simply raises his own glass again. “I won’t tell if you don't,” he says conspiratorially, downing his second shot in one go.

 


 

By the end of the evening Yuuri is completely wasted. He and the bartender have made their way through most of the bottle of vodka, swapping work horror stories from over the years. Yuuri describes the time he was a lowly intern tasked with receiving a shipment of ‘printer toner’ - actually the studio’s weekly order of lube - which he managed to accidentally upturn, breaking a dozen of the ‘cartridges’ and turning the hallway into a slip-and-slide for the afternoon.

 

The other man laughs so hard at Yuuri’s story he almost falls off his stool, and promptly counters with the time he almost set his hair on fire the first time he made a flaming zombie cocktail for a patron.

 

“Believe it or not, I used to have hair down to here,” he gestures to his waist as he speaks. “After that I decided it was far too hazardous in my line of work, and got it all chopped off.”

 

“Noooo,” Yuuri cries, completely aggrieved at this revelation. “I bet your long hair was so pretty.”

 

Drunk Yuuri has no shame. And apparently no filter.

 

The bar fills with more patrons later on in the afternoon, but the bartender seems perfectly happy to let other members of staff handle new customers. When Yuuri comments on this he just laughs and says he knows the owner. Yuuri is far too drunk to wonder what that even means.

 

Eventually last orders are called, and Yuuri gingerly slides off his stool, bringing out his phone to call for a cab. “Thank you for tonight,” he says, his smile wide and unguarded as the alcohol wipes away most of his usual insecurities. “This evening was...far more fun than it had any right to be.”

 

The bartender grins, sliding his arms across the bar towards Yuuri as he slumps forward, obviously more than a little worse for wear himself. “Me too.” His eyes shine brightly as he tilts his head to the side, and Yuuri has to swallow down the squeal that threatens to bubble out of him at such an adorable gesture. “And for what it’s worth, I don’t think today went as badly as you think it did. I think your friend is right; you’ll see.”

 

Yuuri frowns. He hasn’t thought about his disastrous shoot for what feels like hours, had almost forgotten it had even happened. He feels a tendril of anxiety start to unfurl in his chest at the reminder, but he viciously stomps it down. He doesn’t want to worry about work any more, he wants to enjoy his time here and now, sharing stories with…

 

“I don’t know your name!” the realization dawns on him sharply, suddenly. “We’ve been talking for hours , I should really know your name by now.”

 

The bartender’s brow furrows in confusion, as if it’s taking a long time for Yuuri’s words to reach his brain. Then his smile stretches lazily across his face, brightening the room with it’s warmth. “It’s Victor, Victor Nikiforov,” he says, holding out a hand.

 

Yuuri clasps the outstretched hand, marvelling at how soft the skin is underneath his palm. “I’m Yuuri. Katsuki.”

 

“Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Yuuri ,” Victor says, dragging out the first syllable in a way that sends a shiver down Yuuri’s spine. “I do hope we meet again soon.”

Chapter Text

Yuuri wakes up the next day with a massive hangover and a vague impending sense of doom.

 

Cursing his past self for his obviously poor decision making skills, he slinks gingerly into the kitchen to make himself a cup of tea to try and help soothe his stomach. Even the sound of the kettle boiling sets his head ringing painfully, and he ends up curled on the couch underneath a pile of blankets feeling very sorry for himself indeed.

 

It’s only once he’s nearly finished his tea, and the marching band between his ears has subsided, that the vague impending sense of doom materializes into something far more painfully concrete.

 

Yuuri lets out a whine of despair and flops sideways on the couch, burying his face in the nearest pillow as he remembers his awful shoot with JJ. How? How had he managed to fuck it up so badly?

 

“Phiiiiichiiiiittttt,” he whines, voice muffled by the pillow he’s half-heartedly trying to smother himself with. “Phichit why must everything be so hard ?”

 

Part of him - the part that isn’t currently banging its head against a metaphorical brick wall - is surprised that Phichit isn’t already up and laughing at Yuuri’s hungover state. His roommate is the kind of morning person Yuuri can only dream of being. He checks the time on his phone - ten thirty, pretty good for him really - then flicks a glance towards Phichit’s door. There’s no sound coming from behind it, which is equally unusual.

 

“Phichit?” he tries again, slightly louder. When there’s still no response he debates getting up to check Phichit’s room, but quickly decides that it’s far too far away and walking is far too hard right now.

 

Instead he types out a text one handed, face still mostly buried in the pillow underneath him.

 

>> Where are you?

 

He gets a response in seconds.

 

<< At work, what’s up?

 

Yuuri huffs, and fires off another text.

 

>> I’m hungover and dying. Help.

 

<< Awww.

<< Send pics?

 

>> You’re no help at all.

 

Yuuri stares at his phone and frowns, suddenly noticing the date that’s displayed next to the time.

 

>> Wait a minute, it’s Saturday. Why are you at work??

 

There’s a longer pause after that, which immediately makes Yuuri suspicious. Phichit taking more than five minutes to reply to a text is a legitimate cause for concern. He eventually gets a reply, but it’s less than reassuring.

 

<< Just catching up on some paperwork.

 

Yuuri frowns again, upgrading to two hands to type as he gives his phone his full attention.

 

>>Phichit. Why are you at work?

 

<< I’m just helping the guys in editing, it’s nbd.

 

Yuuri groans, scrambling off the couch and immediately wincing as the marching band starts up again in full force. He sends off another text on the way to his room - You shouldn’t be cleaning up my mess on the weekend! I’m coming in - then throws his phone on the bed as he starts to fish out clothes from his wardrobe.

 

It takes him longer to change than normal; he has to sit down twice and take deep breaths until he’s sure he’s not about to throw up, but twenty minutes later he’s grabbing his phone and heading for the door. He’s gotten a flurry of texts from Phichit in the past quarter hour - insisting that everything is fine and he really doesn’t need to come into work - but Yuuri ignores them all. There’s no way he’s letting his best friend waste his weekend fixing his mistake without at least being there to help.

 

He has to stop a few times on his walk to work - the fresh air doing absolutely nothing to help his hangover - but he eventually makes it to Gods of Desire . The building is mostly closed up for the weekend, but Yuuri can see lights on in the editing suite down the hall. When he pokes his head in Phichit is deep in conversation with two men he doesn’t know. More people who’ve been dragged into his fuckup. Just great.

 

He knocks awkwardly on the open door, cringing backwards when three pairs of heads whip towards him. “Umm...hi,” he says, giving an aborted wave.

 

Yuuri ,” Phichit sounds a mix of exasperated and fond. “I told you you didn’t need to come in.”

 

“I know,” Yuuri says, shuffling into the room. “But it’s my shoot, I should at least be here to help.”

 

One of the editors - a slim man with unruly hair and a close-cropped beard - laughs into his hand. “Oh please, JJ has been springing this shit on us for years and I don’t think he even knows this room exists.” He holds out a hand to Yuuri, who shakes it hesitantly. “I’m Emil, this is Seung-Gil,” he nods to the other editor sitting at the desk. “We’re both big fans.”

 

“Of...JJ?” Yuuri asks hesitantly. That makes sense, he supposes. It at least explains why they’re giving up their weekend like this; they don’t want to see their favorite actors film flop because of an amateur like him.

 

The other man - Seung-Gil - gives a derisive snort, but doesn’t seem inclined to take his eyes off the screen in front of him for long enough to elaborate.

 

“Of you, Yuuri,” Emil clarifies, his eyes twinkling.

 

“Oh…” Yuuri stammers, adjusting his glasses just to give himself something to do. He’s never been much good at accepting compliments, especially ones that don’t make any sense. “Oh, well, thanks…I’m really sorry I let you down this time.”

 

Emil waves his hand as he spins back to the bank of computers. “Not a problem, friend, not a problem.”

 

Yuuri raises an eyebrow at Phichit, who’s been grinning broadly at the entire encounter. Phichit simply gives a small shrug and pulls up another chair for Yuuri. Yuuri sits down and shuffles closer to the desk, as Emil claps his hands and grabs the mouse in front of him.

 

“Okay, let’s make magic people.”

 


 

It takes most of the day, but Yuuri has to admit that the end result is pretty impressive. Underneath his taciturn demeanour Seung-Gil really is a technological mastermind, and through a combination of artistic camera cuts and impressive grading he and Emil manage to completely transform the final scene. Awkward and uncomfortable is replaced with teasing and seductive; just the right side of coy as the shot frames Yuuri’s features tightly, flitting between his cheeks to his lashes and back to his lips, the white of JJs come stark against his features.

 

The result is that the viewer never sees Yuuri’s full expression, but the power of suggestion, combined with the noises of appreciation that they layer on top, fool even Yuuri into believing that he's having the time of his life in front of the camera.

 

“Never let it be said that porn can’t be tasteful,” Emil says smugly as he kicks off a final render.

 

“Believe me, there is nothing tasteful about a faceful of JJ’s spunk,” Yuuri says without thinking, immediately clapping a hand over his mouth in horror when he realizes that he actually said that aloud. He might not have had the best time filming with JJ, but he’s still a professional, after all.

 

There’s a beat of silence where Emil and Phichit both look slightly shocked at Yuuri’s outburst, and Yuuri fervently hopes the ground will swallow him whole. Then Seung-Gil, eyes still fixed on his computer screen, lets out a bark of laughter. Slowly he twists to face Yuuri, his expression glittering. “Oh, I like you,” he says with more enthusiasm than Yuuri’s heard from him all day.

 

It’s Emil’s turn to laugh at that, then Phichit joins in, and slowly Yuuri feels the panic in his chest subside. He gives a small, rueful grin of his own, waving off his comment bashfully.

 

“Right, this should be ready to show Ciao-Ciao by tomorrow,” Emil says, standing up and twisting so that his back cracks. “Anybody feel like grabbing a drink to celebrate a day’s work well done?”

 

“Sure,” Seung-Gil says, shutting down his computer and moving to grab his coat. Phichit also murmurs his assent, before raising a questioning eyebrow at Yuuri.

 

For a moment Yuuri’s stomach does flips at the idea of seeing yesterday’s cute bartender - Victor - again. The he realizes that his stomach is doing a completely different kind of flip at the idea of drinking on top of his lingering hangover. Definitely not a good idea.

 

“I think I’ll have to pass I’m afraid,” Yuuri says ruefully, pointedly ignoring Phichit’s knowing snicker. “But thank you so much for today, I can’t tell you how grateful I am.”

 

Seung-Gil simply gives a nod of acknowledgement, but Emil throws an arm around Yuuri’s shoulder. “Just remember us when you’re a huge star, okay?”

 

Yuuri thinks that’s rather unlikely, but he nods along anyway.

 


 

Yuuri crawls into bed as soon as he gets home and sleeps for a full twelve hours - twelve hours is not ridiculous, thank you very much Phichit - until his alarm rudely awakens him at nine am.

 

He groans as he blearily stumbles to the shower, keeping the water cold in an attempt to wake himself up. He skipped his morning run yesterday in favor of being a hungover mess on the couch, which means he really has no excuse today. He’s just tying his laces when Phichit stumbles in wearing the same clothes as yesterday.

 

“Good night?” Yuuri asks innocently, grinning when Phichit gestures crudely at him in response.

 

“I really need to start leaving clothes at Chris’ place,” Phichit grumbles as he head over to the kitchen to pour himself a glass of water. “Walks of shame just don’t match my aesthetic.”

 

“I can’t imagine he’d say no, half of your closet is his stuff at the moment.” Yuuri points out as he stands up and starts stretching. “Want to join me?”

 

Phichit snorts into his glass. “There are many reasons I picked a job behind the camera rather than in front of it, but not having to run 10k on my day off is pretty high up that list.”

 

Yuuri shrugs - he’s never seen exercise as the hellscape that Phichit does - and gives his roommate a small wave before leaving.

 

The cool winter air hits his face, and Yuuri takes a moment to simply breathe it in. He can feel it rushing into his lungs, sharp and clean and purifying. He zips his jacket up to his neck, pops his earbuds in, and sets off at a steady pace down the road.

 

Phichit wasn’t lying when he said that Yuuri’s lifestyle is strongly influenced by his career; Yuuri knows he gains weight easily, and having a good figure is pretty much a requirement in his line of work. The healthy eating part is hard - he misses Katsudon like nothing else - but Yuuri thinks he would probably still have a similar exercise regime even if his job didn’t require it. There’s something undeniably soothing about running, just him and his feet slapping against the pavement, his playlist just loud enough to drown out the sound of his own breathing. When he’s running his brain agrees to shut off, content to focus on the road in front of him rather than whatever his anxiety has dredged up from the hours before.

 

Except today his brain has decided not to be quiet, continually bringing up images of a certain silver-haired bartender. Yuuri can’t help smiling to himself as he replays his evening with Victor on loop. He had entered that bar completely inconsolable, unable to accept any sort of reassurance that his career wasn’t well and truly in the gutter. It would have been so easy for Victor to try and give him false promises or insincere platitudes. Hell, he had been a complete stranger, Victor had no obligation to even acknowledge him in the first place.

 

But instead Victor had listened, really listened to Yuuri, and then he had distracted him. Shared his own misadventures and made Yuuri forget, just for a little bit, about everything that had gone wrong that day.

 

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s so attractive it makes Yuuri want to cry.

 

Yuuri wants to see him again. He wants to hear Victor’s laugh and see the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles. He wants to know more about the man who buys an entire bottle of top-shelf vodka to share with a man he’s known for less than an hour. (Yuuri had offered to pay, he really had, but Victor had brushed it off with a wave and another assertion that he knew the owner.) He wants to lick his jawline and find out if it’s as sharp as it looks.

 

Yuuri groans and pauses his running just long enough to smack his forehead with his palm. He’s really got it bad.

 

He looks up, panting for air, to find that he’s at a familiar intersection. If he turns left here it will take him home, back to his apartment and another reassuringly familiar lazy Sunday with Phichit. If he turns right it will take him the route he usually runs to work, to the bar and to Victor.

 

He hovers at the intersection for a long minute, weighing up his options. It’s tempting, so very tempting to turn right. Then he realizes that he’s dripping in sweat, his hair sticking to his face in a way that couldn’t be less attractive. His exercise tracker starts to beep angrily at him, reminding him that he’s been stationary for too long and oh, right, it’s midday on a Sunday. Victor’s bar probably isn’t even open yet.

 

Yuuri laughs ruefully at himself as he turns left, picking up his pace for the final stretch home.

 


 

 

Yuuri can feel the nerves tightening around his ribs as he heads into work on Monday morning. He knows that Celestino will have seen the final edit by now, and he dreads to think what the director’s reaction will be to the four of them taking such creative liberties with the final scene. He vaguely wonders if he’ll be able to avoid him for the entire day; he’s only in for a script read this morning, for a film that’s being shot by a different director, so there’s a chance that he can keep out of the Celestino’s way completely if he’s careful.

 

“Yuuri.” Celestino’s voice rings down the corridor and Yuuri cringes internally. So much for that idea then. He forces a smile on his face as he turns towards the director, giving a small wave as the other man approaches.

 

“Hi Ciao-Ciao,” he says, wondering just how badly this conversation is going to go.

 

“I’ve just received the latest edit of Friday’s shoot,” Celestino says neutrally, one eyebrow perfectly raised.

 

“Oh?” Yuuri replies just as blandly, desperately trying to work out which side of the fence Celestino is about to come down on.

 

“I hear you had something to do with how that final shot was cut,” the other man continues. It’s not a question.

 

“Um...well...you see…” Yuuri stammers, desperately trying to work out how he can get out of this without throwing anyone - even JJ - under the bus.

 

Celestino cuts off Yuuri with a wave of his hand. “Relax, Yuuri. I’m impressed, that’s all.”

 

“I...you...you are?”

 

“Yes, I think it was very well done, and the higher ups agree; they’ve greenlit the edit for release.” Celestino claps a hand on Yuuri’s shoulder. “Why didn’t you tell me you had an interest in post-production?”

 

“Oh, well it was mostly Phichit and the guys in editing, I just kind of watched,” Yuuri clarifies, hoping that Emil and Seung-Gil will end up getting the recognition they deserve if management are that impressed with the final result.

 

Celestino laughs and claps Yuuri on the shoulder again. “Always so modest. You should take more pride in your accomplishments, Yuuri.”

 

“I...thank you,” Yuuri stammers again, trying to extricate himself from Celestino’s grasp without appearing rude. “I’m sorry, I have a script reading in five minutes so…” he gestures vaguely down the hallway with his head, and Celestino laughs.

 

“Ah yes, busy busy. I remember what it was like when I was your age.” He smiles fondly down at Yuuri. “I look forward to our next shoot. I know I can expect great things of you.”

 

Yuuri mutters an affirmative and hurries down the hallway, not letting out the breath of air he’s holding until he’s around the corner and out of sight of the other man. He slumps against the nearest wall and lets out his breath in a big exhale, his heart hammering a mile a minute as he replays the conversation he just had.

 

Celestino…Celestino liked their shoot. He actually said he was impressed; Celestino never says he’s impressed, with anything, ever. Yuuri claps a hand over his mouth as a smile starts to spread across his features, wide and uncontained. For the first time in days he feels the weight in his chest start to dissipate.

 

Celestino liked the shoot. It’s going to be okay.

 


 

Yuuri’s next shoot is with Christophe Giacometti; a colleague he’s shot a number of films with in the past, and Phichit’s current beau. They get on well together, and Yuuri always enjoys his days working with the other actor.

 

Chris tends to specialize in kink, so it’s no surprise to Yuuri when he opens the the script for tomorrow’s shoot and finds that they’re scheduled for a bondage scene. Together with Chris and the director, they go through the main blocking of the scene; which positions and toys are to be used where and when. The majority of lines in porn are ad-libbed, so after working through the general flow of the scene, all that’s left to do is confirm each actor’s limits and safewords. Both Yuuri and Chris agree that nothing has changed since their last film together, and the meeting wraps up in just under two hours.

 

Which is how Yuuri finds himself, yet again, hovering outside a certain bar just after lunchtime on a weekday.

 

He stares up at the sign above the door that reads Stammi Vicino , and chews his lip as he debates all his life choices that have brought him to this exact moment in time.

 

It had seemed so simple as he was leaving work - pop into the bar on his way home, say hi to cute bartender and let him know that everything sorted itself out with his drama from the other day - but now that he’s actually here he’s starting to second guess himself.

 

What if Victor was just being polite to a patron when he listened to Yuuri’s ranting the other day? What if he does the same to everyone who walks through these doors, and doesn’t even remember who Yuuri is? Now that Yuuri’s thinks about it, isn’t it pretty conceited to assume that Victor even cares how things turned out?

 

He turns around, about to head home under a cloud of embarrassment and shame, and walks straight into a large wooden crate.

 

Oof ,” the crate says, and Yuuri is momentarily shocked at the idea of a talking object before a silver head pops up from behind it.

 

“Yuuri,” Victor says delightedly and oh god, his voice is just as beautiful as Yuuri remembers. “I was hoping I’d see you again.”

 

“You were?” Yuuri replies dumbly.

 

“Yes! I had such fun the other night.” Victor hefts the crate up on his hip and nods towards the double doors in front of them. “Could you open that door for me there? This box is kind of heavy.”

 

“Huh? Oh, sure, of course,” Yuuri hurries to hold open the door, and barely suppresses a groan when Victor winks at him as he walks past.

 

“Thank you, Yuuri ,” Victor says, Yuuri’s name still sounding oh so delightful on his tongue.

 

Victor puts the crate down on the counter with a huff, dusting off his hands as he turns to face Yuuri again. “Come in, come in,” he says, waving Yuuri over from where he’s still hovering awkwardly by the door. Now that Yuuri actually looks properly, he can see that the bar is currently closed to customers; yet another reason why him coming here at this time was a terrible, terrible idea.

 

Yuuri crosses the room hesitantly, sliding onto the barstool that Victor pulls out for him.

 

“So, did your friend manage to fix your presentation blunder?” Victor asks bluntly as he heads behind the bar and starts unpacking the bottles in the crate.

 

Yuuri opens and closes his mouth a few times in shock, “It wasn’t a blunder ,” he counters, “It was a … an unfortunate series of events.” He doesn’t even know why he’s arguing. It was definitely a blunder of the highest order. He just doesn’t like hearing it out loud, it seems.

 

“Okay, did your friend manage to fix your unfortunate series of events ?” Victor amends, eyes twinkling as he turns to place bottles on the shelves behind him.

 

“Actually, yes,” Yuuri says, surprising even himself at his confidence. “We went in over the weekend to patch things up, and when I talked to my...my manager today, he said he’s very impressed with how it went.”

 

“That’s great, Yuuri!” Victor says, smiling wide as he lifts his arms above his head enthusiastically. “I knew you could do it!”

 

Yuuri waves his hand in front of him, suddenly self conscious. “Well, it was mostly the other guys. They should get the credit really.”

 

“Well, either way, we should celebrate.” Victor says, holding up a bottle of spirits in suggestion.

 

Yuuri feels like he’s infatuated enough with this man that he’d probably agree to go base jumping with him if he asked, but a memory of his still-recent hangover has him hesitating. “Not more vodka?” he asks cautiously.

 

Victor laughs, and grabs a cocktail shaker from the other end of the bar. He spins it around in his palm before placing it in front of Yuuri with a flourish. “I make much tastier cocktails, I promise.”

 

Yuuri is much more careful with his alcohol intake this time, limiting himself to just one of the delicious drinks that Victor makes for him. Watching Victor behind the bar is truly mesmerizing, as he flips bottles and spins shakers with a dexterity that Yuuri can only dream of. The cocktails he makes somehow taste even better than they look, and Yuuri can’t hide his moan of pleasure as he takes the first sip of his boulevardier.

 

“Good?” Victor asks with a smug smile.

 

“So good,” Yuuri agrees fervently.

 

Victor offers to show him some simple mixology tricks, starting with how to flip a bottle of spirits. Yuuri only agrees to try when Victor points out that the floor behind the bar is rubber, so even if he drops the bottle it won’t break. It doesn’t stop Yuuri’s audible gasp when he inevitably does drop it, but sure enough it bounces harmlessly before rolling to stop at Victor’s feet.

 

“Not bad for a first attempt,” Victor says approvingly, picking up the bottle and handing it back over to Yuuri.

 

“It was terrible,” Yuuri argues, his brow furrowing in concentration as he tries again. His next four attempts are equally bad, but he manages to catch the neck of the bottle with the tips of his fingers on the fifth attempt. He lets out a whoop of joy, holding the bottle above his head as Victor claps from the sidelines.

 

At four pm Victor admits that he needs to open the bar to customers, and Yuuri blushes as he realizes that he’d completely forgotten where they were. They both tidy up the mess they’ve made of the bar, and then Yuuri camps out on a barstool with a second cocktail as patrons start to flood in and Victor has to split his attention between Yuuri and them. Yuuri watches with interest how Victor interacts with the men and women who order drinks at the bar; his expression light and friendly, but just a shade more artificial than the smile he throws in Yuuri’s direction when he catches him watching. He holds himself with confidence, his easy demeanor just professional enough not to cross the line into flirtatious. It doesn’t stop the tips from pouring in though, and Yuuri almost chokes on his cocktail as an older gentleman slides over a fifty along with a note that looks suspiciously like a phone number.

 

Victor always comes back to Yuuri’s end of the bar once he’s finished serving other customers, and the conversation flows easily between them. Victor’s eyes light up when Yuuri mentions his family dog, and he promptly whips out his phone to start showing Yuuri pictures of his own dog, Makkachin. Yuuri melts at the poodle who seems to be a carbon copy of Vicchan, just a few sizes larger, and the conversation gets well and truly derailed by puppy pictures for the next half hour until Victor has to reluctantly peel himself away to serve another customer.

 

It comes as a shock to Yuuri when last orders are called; it doesn’t seem possible that so many hours have passed in what feels like such a short space of time. He settles up his bill, sober enough to object this time when Victor tries to wave it off, and dawdles while putting on his coat. He’s had such fun tonight, he doesn’t want it to be over.

 

“So I’ll see you again soon?” Victor asks as he wipes a cloth over the bar’s surface, his eyes hopeful as he smiles as Yuuri. His expression is so warm, so genuine, that Yuuri thinks his insides might actually have turned into liquid.

 

“Yes, definitely,” Yuuri says, for once in his life not bothering to second guess himself.

Chapter Text

True to his word, Yuuri finds himself coming back to Stammi Vicino more and more often. Initially he limits himself to once a week, for the sake of his liver and his bank balance, but then he finds out about the bar’s non-alcoholic cocktail list, and the fact that it also has a top-of-the-range industrial coffee machine, and that’s pretty much the end of his self restraint. He well and truly becomes a regular at the bar, visiting practically every other day.

 

Victor always greets Yuuri with a wave and a smile, and always finds time to chat no matter how busy the place is. Over the course of the next few weeks Victor tells Yuuri all about his childhood growing up in Russia, and his endeavours to knock some sense into the teenage son of a family friend he’s currently taken under his wing (also named Yuri, which Victor finds strangely hilarious).

 

Yuuri, for his part, finds himself telling Victor all about his family still back in Hasetsu, and his time in college as a dance major. Apparently though, for reasons Yuuri isn’t quite ready to address yet, the one thing that he doesn’t talk to Victor about is his job.

 

He does talk about his workday, of course. It’s near-impossible for two adults in this day and age to avoid work-related conversation completely, but he always finds himself wrapping his stories in metaphors, and analogies. Rather than being the test subject for the company’s new Saint Andrews cross, he’s helping facilities trial a new brand of desk chair. Instead of an amazing shoot with Chris that finally gets him on the radar of the company owners, he’s acknowledged by upper management for his skillful handling of a recent pitch.

 

He doesn’t know why he’s so reluctant to tell Victor about his career; it’s not like he’s ever been particularly reticent to share with other people in the past. It had taken him about six months to work up the courage to tell his family about his new profession after his first shoot. Mari had laughed delightedly and said she didn’t realize her baby brother had it in him, and his parents had smiled that accepting smile of theirs and said as long as Yuuri was happy they were happy (Yuuri isn’t quite sure they’ve fully made the distinction between adult film star and regular film star, but that’s not a hill he’s willing to die on just yet), and once he knew that his family understood and accepted his life choices, he didn’t really see the need to hide it from his friends.

 

So really, there’s no reason for Yuuri to keep up the charade, especially since Victor has never given any indication of being anything other than wholly accepting.

 

Except...except Victor is cute, and funny, and Yuuri can’t help but imagine what it would be like to have those delicious thighs of his wrapped around his head. He’s crushing hard, no doubt about it, and though he knows that nothing will ever come of it, he can’t bring himself to shatter the fantasy of the two of them becoming more than friends just yet.

 

From experience, Yuuri has found that people tend to react in one of three ways when faced with the prospect of dating a porn star.

 

The first, and most common, is that they run a mile as soon as Yuuri brings it up. This one stings, but Yuuri can’t really blame them. Monogamy is still the order of the day when it comes to most relationships, and the idea of dating someone who sleeps with other people on practically a daily basis is just too much for a lot of people to handle. Yuuri can appreciate them for being upfront about it, at least.

 

Then there’s a certain subset of the population who find the idea of dating a porn star a turn-on in itself. When Yuuri mentions his profession their eyes light up, and Yuuri can see the exact moment they stop seeing him as a person and start seeing him as a toy, or a commodity. Yuuri has stumbled his way into one or two of these relationships, and promptly stumbled his way out again when his partner brings out a list of hardcore kinks they want to try, not understanding when Yuuri explains he’s actually really quite vanilla in bed.

 

And then there’s the third option. The accidental long con. These people convince themselves that they’re okay with dating a porn star, that they like Yuuri for who he is, not what he does. They can make it work, they promise, and for a while they do. They make it work for just long enough that Yuuri starts to believe that maybe this time, things will be different. He ignores the fact that they change the subject every time he tries to talk about his day, chooses not to hear when they make comments about him socializing with his colleagues after work. And then the questions start . You can’t be in this line of work forever. Why don’t you start thinking about your career? I have a friend who’s looking for an intern at his company, maybe he can get you an interview? They say they can make it work, but what they really mean is they can make it work for now. Because of course this is only temporary, of course Yuuri is desperate to move into a more respectable profession, if only the opportunity would present itself. They are white knights in shining armour, here to save Yuuri from his life of hardship and depravity, and they just can’t understand when Yuuri explains that he’s perfectly happy exactly where he is.

 

These are the relationships that hurt the most when they end, the relationships that leave Yuuri curled up in a ball in bed with Phichit desperately trying to convince him that he deserves better. Yuuri’s heart has taken one too many hits over the years, and he’s not about to put it back out there just to get stomped on again.

 

So to tell Victor about his job is to admit to himself that they will never be anything more than just friends, and that’s just not something Yuuri is quite ready to let go of just yet. He supposes he could see if Victor would be up for something casual. He has nothing against one night stands in principle, or indeed in practice the few times he’s indulged himself. The problem is that he likes being around Victor. He likes talking to him, likes their casual flirting that Yuuri is sure he’s not imagining. He likes the time they spend together, and he doesn’t want to ruin that by sleeping with him and then having to never see him again.

 

So he keeps his crush to himself, and enjoys what they have for what it is. He doesn’t need anything else from their interactions, he tells himself, and after a while he even starts to believe it.

 

He still doesn’t tell Victor about his career.

 


 

A few weeks later Chris bounds into Yuuri’s dressing room and announces they’re going out to celebrate.

 

“What’s the occasion?” Yuuri asks as he scrubs at his face with a wet cloth, trying to remove the last stubborn bits of stage makeup.

 

“Yuuri, sweet Yuuri,” Chris spins Yuuri’s chair around and plucks the cloth out of his hand. He squirts a large dollop of cleanser onto its surface and takes over the job of cleaning Yuuri’s face - much more gently than Yuuri had been doing, which is a relief. “Didn’t you hear? Our film made the AVN long list.”

 

“Seriously? That’s amazing!” Yuuri’s heart leaps in his chest and he springs up to hug Chris, who laughs and hugs him back tightly.

 

“I am forever in awe of your skills, mon ami ,” Chris says fondly, drawing back so that he can kiss Yuuri on each cheek. Yuuri blushes and bats Chris away, feeling too choked up to say anything in response.

 

Chris laughs and sits Yuuri back down so that he can start removing his makeup again. “I’ve booked us an area at a local bar, I know the owner so he won’t mind when you get drunk and start dancing on tables.” He wiggles his eyebrows suggestively at Yuuri, who groans and hides his face in his hands.

 

“It was one time Chris, are you ever going to let me live that down?” he mumbles sullenly.

 

“Never,” is Chris’ delighted response.

 


 

Half an hour later Chris has corralled everyone who was working that day - Phichit, Emil and Seung-Gil included - out of the door and down the street. It’s a testimony to how distracted Yuuri still is by news of their nomination that he doesn’t even think about which bar Chris might be taking them to until the group stops directly outside Stammi Vicino .

 

“Chris?” Yuuri calls out as Chris heads for the front door. Chris pauses and turns to Yuuri, expression questioning.

 

“We’re not...we’re not actually going here are we?” Yuuri asks, voice barely above a whisper as his brain hurriedly puts all the pieces together. He’s here, with with his work friends. Celebrating a very unambiguous work achievement. Chris will almost certainly make a speech at some point, Yuuri’s name will be mentioned. There will be absolutely no denying what sort of profession they’re a part of, and it will all be done in the bar where Victor works, with Victor able to hear every word.

 

There’s no way Yuuri gets out of this without Victor finding out what he really does for a living.

 

Yuuri opens his mouth to protest, to beg that they go somewhere else, anywhere else, but Chris just laughs and slings an arm around Yuuri’s shoulder.

 

“Relax Yuuri, I know it looks like a fancy establishment, but I know the owner remember? It’s going to be great.”

 

“Does everybody in the world know the owner of this place?” Yuuri mutters to himself, but reluctantly allows himself to be guided firmly through the door by Chris.

 

Yuuri holds his breath as he pushes open the door, eyes immediately darting to the now-familiar bar. He knows that Victor works irregular shifts - he’ll admit that on the few occasion when he’s walked in to find Victor not on duty that day he’s turned around and walked straight back out again - so there’s a chance that…

 

Yuuri exhales a relieved sigh as he sees an unfamiliar duo working the bar, both with dark brown hair. Not a hint of silver in sight. Yuuri thanks any gods that might be listening for this immense stroke of luck, and gives Chris a genuine smile as he points out their reserved area.

 

“Tequila?” Chris asks, eyes glittering.

 

“Tequila,” Yuuri immediately agrees. He already knows it’s going to be one of those nights.

 


 

Yuuri wakes up the next day face buried in his pillow, feeling like something died in his mouth. He groans as he rolls over, hand coming up to cup his head gingerly as his old friend the marching band starts up between his ears.

 

He should have anticipated this really, there’s no way to spend a night drinking with Chris and make it out unscathed. As he grabs for the bottle of aspirin he usually keeps within arms reach for these exact situations, he rummages around his brain for memories of the previous night. Tequila...dancing...more tequila...Chris standing on a table to give a surprisingly eloquent speech...more dancing...more tequila...was that Seung-Gil singing karaoke?!

 

Yuuri dry swallows two pills and slumps back into bed. Not some of his finest moments for sure, but certainly nothing truly catastrophic. Add that to the fact that Victor wasn’t there to witness any of his drunken mishaps and really, he thinks as lets his eyes flutter shut again, things could have gone a lot, lot worse.

 


 

Next door, Phichit stares fondly down at Chris, who’s currently sprawled diagonally across Phichit’s double bed.

 

“Chris, honey, you need to wake up,” Phichit says, voice teasing as he gently pokes Chris’ cheek.

 

“Hmmrph,” is Chris’ disgruntled response as he sleepily bats Phichit’s hand away.

 

“Come on darling,” Phichit says more insistently this time, starting to pat Chris’ face with his palm. “Masumi is going to be picking you up in half an hour and you know how much he hates it when I hand you over in a state.”

 

“Don’t wanna move,” Chris grumbled, voice muffled by the pillow underneath him.

 

“If you don’t move, how will you see all the photos I took last night?” Phichit says, wiggling his phone in temptingly in front of Chris’ nose.

 

Chris cracks open one eye, brow furrowed as he debates the merits of sleep over social media. Social media eventually wins out, and with a put upon sigh he rolls over and shuffles himself so that he’s propped up against the headboard.

 

“Okay, mon cherie , show me what you’ve got,” he says, holding out an arm in invitation. Phichit grins and snuggles up to Chris’ side, flicking to the first photo he took the night before.

 

They go through the photos together, making the occasional comment about particularly entertaining shots. They’re about halfway through when Chris suddenly grabs Phichit’s wrist, stopping him from moving on to the next photo.

 

“Wait a minute,” he says, studying the photo carefully. On the screen in front of them are two figures dancing the tango together. One of them is unmistakably Yuuri, even with his hair in disarray and his glasses mysteriously missing. The other one though…

 

“Is that...is that Victor?” Chris says, grabbing the phone out of Phichit’s hand so that he can zoom in on the photo.

 

“Who?” Phichit asks, trying to take his phone back and harrumphing when Chris holds it out of reach.

 

“Victor, my friend. He owns Stammi Vicino. He’s been talking for weeks about a cute Japanese man who’s become something of a regular. I wonder if…” Chris trails off as he swipes to the next photo; Yuuri dipping Victor, huge smiles plastered over both of their faces.

 

“You know,” Phichit says, voice devious. “Yuuri has been out an awful lot these past few weeks, and he’s definitely crushing on someone , even if he won’t tell me who it is.” He leans over to swipe his finger over his phone screen, bringing up a third photo with Yuuri pretending to be a bull to Victor’s matador. He twists his head so that he can look up at Chris, eyes glittering with excitement.

 

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

Chapter Text

Yuuri checks his makeup one last time in the mirror before grabbing his robe and hurrying to set. He usually likes to arrive a little early for shoots, so that he can get settled before the cameras start rolling, but this morning seemed to get away from him at every turn and now he’s going to be pushing it to even arrive on time.

 

He needn’t have worried though, as he still manages to make it there before both of his co-stars, Celestino giving a disgruntled huff as Yuuri skids through the door on his own.

 

“Minami, Phichit, go fetch Leo and Chris will you?” Celestino pauses as Minami steps up to mutter something in his ear, then curses as he quickly scans the room to confirm what he’s just been told. “Those two are going to be the death of me,” he growls under his breath, exhaling loudly before continuing. “Okay. Minami, you go find Leo and you- ” he rounds on an unsuspecting intern hovering nearby. “Go fetch Chris and Phichit. And tell them to keep their hands to themselves while they’re on my time, okay?”

 

The intern blushes bright red and dashes out the door, almost knocking Leo over as he arrives. Yuuri feels bad for the kid; he has a feeling that whatever is going on in Chris’ dressing room right now is probably not PG-13.

 

Sure enough, when Phichit and Chris arrive ten minutes later looking decidedly out of breath, Phichit’s hair is sticking up at odd angles and Chris’ robe is falling off one shoulder. Celestino glares at both of them, but doesn’t say anything as he starts to move everyone into their opening positions.

 

Yuuri nods in greeting to Leo and Chris as they move in front of the cameras, setting himself up just out of shot to wait for his cue. The storyline for today is that Leo and Chris are an exhibitionist couple, who invite Yuuri to join in when they see him watching, so for the first half hour it’s just Leo and Chris on camera, working through a variety of positions that may or may not make the final cut. Their final position has Chris bent at the waist, palms flat against the wall in front of him while Leo fucks him from behind. Celestino flicks his hand at Yuuri, and that’s his cue to join in.

 

“Don’t mind me, you two look so good together,” he says, stepping into shot.

 

Leo pauses, and Chris twists his spine so that he can look at him over his shoulder. He raises an eyebrow, the gesture over-exaggerated so that the camera will pick it up. Leo nods back as he looks up and down Yuuri’s body appreciatively.

 

Chris turns to face Yuuri again, and his voice is deep and sultry as he asks, “Want to join us?”

 

Yuuri is topless but wearing jeans - the reason for his lack of shirt isn’t apparent, but then again it rarely is in porn - and Yuuri makes a big show of sliding down the zipper and drawing his cock out as he moves to stand in front of Chris. “Open wide,” he says, nudging Chris’s lips with the tip of his dick, and Chris obediently lets his mouth drop open, hands moving to grip Yuuri’s hips.

 

Yuuri slides into Chris’s mouth in one smooth stroke, groaning as he feels the hot wet heat engulf him. Chris really is a blowjob master, and Yuuri doesn’t have to fake his moans of pleasure as the other man starts to work him over. Leo starts up his movements again, and the steady rhythm pushes Chris farther down onto Yuuri’s cock with every stroke.

 

“Look at him taking it from both of us,” Leo says, and Yuuri meets Leo’s grinning gaze over the arch of Chris’s back. “It was like he was made for this.”

 

Chris hums happily at the words, the vibrations tingling down Yuuri’s cock, and Yuuri grabs a fistful of his hair to try and slow him down. The script calls for this position for at least another ten minutes, and Yuuri doesn’t want to have to call for a break because he can’t keep his dick under control.

 

“Good boy,” Yuuri growls, jerking Chris off his dick by his hair so he can smear precome across his cheeks. “Do you want more of this?”

 

“Yes, yes, I want it,” Chris begs, his voice the perfect cadence of breathless and aroused. He opens his mouth wide, his eyes big and pleading as the shadow of Leo fucking him from behind casts pretty patterns across his skin, and Yuuri knows that this is going to be the shot that sells the film.

 

“Fuck, you’re so good,” he says, meaning every word as he slides his dick back down Chris’s throat.

 

They cycle through a few more positions after that, finishing up with Chris on his back with Yuuri finding his release between his legs, while Chris’s come joins Leo’s in painting stripes across his chest. Celestino calls cut, and Yuuri feels his body slump in satisfied exhaustion. He slides out of Chris’s ass gingerly, trying not to aggravate his body more than the last few hours already have, and hands Chris and Leo bottles of water when the runner holding them comes up to him first.

 

Leo helps Chris to sit up, and they all spend a few silent moment rehydrating before grinning at one another.

 

“That was great,” Yuuri says, feeling the contentment of a good shoot spreading through his body in a warm rush.

 

“It certainly was,” Chris agrees, wincing slightly as he stands up. “Although I’m definitely going to be feeling this one for a while.”

 

“Blame Leo for that,” Yuuri counters teasingly, “He’s the one who’s hung like a horse.”

 

“You’re not so bad yourself there Katsuki,” Leo says, his voice light as he bends over to start stretching out the kinks in his back.

 

“Yes, yes, you were all shining stars in an otherwise dark sky,” Celestino says as he approaches. “Now next time why don’t you all see if you can actually make it to set on time, hmmm?”

 


 

“Knock, knock,” Chris says, not bothering to actually knock as he sweeps into Yuuri’s dressing room and sprawls languidly across the couch set up against the far wall.

 

“Hey Chris,” Yuuri says, chewing on his lower lip as he tries to fix a wayward strand of hair in the mirror. No matter how thoroughly he showers after a shoot the hair gel always seems to stick around for a good few hours afterwards. “Anything I can help you with?”

 

“I just thought I’d swing by and pick you up on my way out. You’re done for the rest of the day as well right?” Chris says, tapping out a lazy rhythm on the armrest as he watches Yuuri fuss with his appearance. It only takes him a minute to get bored of waiting, and he springs up to clap his hands on the back of Yuuri’s chair. “You look fabulous darling, now come on, it’s home time.”

 

Yuuri gives a soft huff as he finally admits defeat with his hair. “Okay, okay, I’m coming,” he says and stands up with a groan. Chris grins brightly and immediately loops his arm through Yuuri’s, practically dragging him out of the door and down the hallway.

 

Chris sets a surprisingly brisk pace as they make their way through the building, enough that Yuuri has to jog to keep up. They exit into an empty parking lot, and Yuuri is just about to comment on Chris’s obvious relief when the sharp squeal of tires on tarmac cuts through the air, the sudden noise making him jump.

 

“Ah, there’s my ride,” Chris says happily, waving as a bright pink convertible comes screaming into the lot.

 

“That’s...quite a ride,” Yuuri says, mouth slightly ajar as the car pulls up directly in front of them. Chris simply gives him a devious grin that Yuuri can’t quite decipher, moving to throw his bag into the back of the car before clapping the man in the driver’s seat on the shoulder.

 

The man in the driver’s seat who has distinctive silver hair and a smile that Yuuri has started seeing all too regularly in his dreams.

 

His brain feels as if it’s wading through treacle as it slowly processes the fact that Victor is currently outside Yuuri’s work. Outside his work where he works as a porn star. Where he most certainly doesn’t work as a consultant for a reputable consultancy firm. Which is what he has led Victor to believe on numerous occasions before now. Victor, who is sitting there looking like some sort of greek god with his arms and his hair and his sunglasses that probably cost more than Yuuri’s next paycheck.

 

Oh. Fuck .

 

“I believe you two have already met?” Chris says in a tone that is far too innocent to be believable, and Yuuri is still too surprised to do more than blink dumbly in Victor’s direction.

 

Victor pushes his shades onto his head and turns to smile at Yuuri, and Yuuri can see the exact moment realization dawns. Victors features go from pleasant to stunned in an instant, his mouth shaping a perfect ‘O’ as he recognizes Yuuri.

 

For a long moment the two of them simply stare at each other in stunned silence. Then Yuuri watches as, almost in slow motion, Victor’s brow furrows in confusion and he opens his mouth to say...something. Something that Yuuri almost certainly doesn’t want to hear. Self preservation finally kicks his brain back into gear, and he lets out a high pitched squeak and bolts, literally running out of the parking lot in his haste to get away from Victor and his surefire judgement.

 

He doesn’t stop running until he reaches his apartment, flinging himself into bed fully clothed and burying himself underneath the comforter in a desperate attempt to block out the events of the past half hour. Phichit finds him in the exact same position when he returns home later that evening, and no amount of pleading or cajoling can convince him to surface.

 


 

Back at Gods of Desire, Chris’s innocent smile morphs into one of stunned confusion. “Well, that didn’t go exactly as we planned,” he admits as Victor turns an accusing stare on him.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me you knew Yuuri?” Victor cries, hands coming up to frame his face in perfect shock. “Weeks! For weeks I’ve been telling you about beautiful Yuuri from the bar, and you knew him this whole time ?”

 

Chris holds up his hands as he moves to sit in the passenger seat. “In my defence, Phichit and I only worked it out the other day.”

 

“Your Phichit knows beautiful Yuuri as well?!” Victor’s eyes are as big as saucers as he leans into to Chris’ personal space, as if being physically closer will help him extract the information he desires.


“Phichit is his roommate,” Chris explains, unable to contain his grin at Victor’s literal gasp of surprise.

 

“Your Phichit lives with beautiful Yuuri?!” Victor starts to tug on Chris’ sleeve like a small child. “Does this mean you have beautiful Yuuri’s number? Can I have beautiful Yuuri’s number?”

 

Chris sighs and pats Victor fondly on the cheek. “You’re getting ahead of yourself mon ami . Would you want me to give your number to someone without asking you first?”

 

“I would if it was beautiful Yuuri asking,” Victor tries to argue, huffing when Chris simply raises an eyebrow at him. “Okay, no, you’re right,” he grudgingly admits, crossing his arms and pouting sadly down at his feet in defeat.  

 

Chris watches his friend sulk for a few minutes, then gives a loud, exaggerated sigh. “Tell you what, I’ll message Yuuri and ask if he wants your number. How does that sound?” he asks, jumping when Victor bodily throws himself at him in response.

 

“You’re the best friend ever!” Victor says, hugging Chris tightly around the neck.

 

Chris laughs and rubs Victor’s back fondly in return, “I know I am.”

 


 

>> Hey Yuuri, I’m really sorry about earlier. Would you believe me if I said I thought it would be a good surprise?

 

<< It’s okay Chris.

 

>> That doesn’t sound like it’s okay.

 

<< Just a shock to the system seeing Victor at work, that’s all.

<< How do you know him?

 

>> We go way back, our parents were friends. I told you I knew the owner of Stammi Vicino?

 

<< Victor is the owner of SV???

 

>> Oh...erm...I guess I should have let him tell you that.

>> Speaking of, he’d really like me to give you his number.

 

<< CHRIS.

<< No, absolutely not.

 

>> Oh.

>> So you don’t like him? Sorry, I guess I just assumed.

 

<< Of course I like him.

<< You’d have to be an idiot not to like someone like Victor.

 

>> You like him...but you don’t want to talk to him?

 

<< Victor thinks I work for a consultancy firm.

 

>> I hate to break it to you, but Victor knows where I work and what I do for a living. Pretty sure he doesn’t think that about you anymore.

 

<< Which is exactly why I can never speak to him ever again.

 

>> If you really think Victor would judge you for where you work, then you’re selling both of you short.

>> Look, it’s not marriage and 2.5 kids. Just...talk to the guy. What’s the worst that can happen?

 

<< Argh

<< Okay

<< Give me the number.

 


 

Yuuri paces around his room, his thumb caressing the screen of his phone as he stares down at the ten digit phone number Chris has just sent him - with accompanying heart eyed emoji.

 

He feels like there are two celestial Yuuri’s sitting on his shoulder. One Yuuri is screaming at him to text Victor, to take this bold leap to see if their casual acquaintance can progress into something more . The other Yuuri is telling him to delete the number, to treasure the memory of what he and Victor have had up until now and not let it be sullied by things inevitably going badly between them.

 

The problem is that he has no idea which voice is the angel and which is the devil in this scenario. Maybe they’re both equally bad decision makers, just like their real-life counterpart.

 

He stares down at his text chat with Chris, rereading it for what feels like the hundredth time.

 

What’s the worst that can happen? Yuuri’s brain can think of a great many things that could happen, starting with him horribly embarrassing himself in front of somebody he’s been crushing on for the better part of a month, and ending with him heartbroken beyond repair.

 

On the other hand Chris, for all his quirks, is a true friend. He wouldn’t set Yuuri up to fail, so if he thinks that there’s something to be gained from Yuuri texting Victor, then surely that has to count for something?

 

And despite all of the warning sirens going off in Yuuri’s head, he still wants to talk to Victor. He wants this more than he thinks he’s wanted anything in a very long time and maybe, just maybe, this is one of those precious few times where Yuuri’s wants outweigh his his fears and insecurities.

 

Maybe he can actually do this.

 

“Well,” he says as he types out a quick message and hits send before he can change his mind, “Here goes nothing.”

 

<< Hey Victor, this is Yuuri. From the bar. Chris said I should message you so...hi?

Chapter Text

“Phichit?!” Yuuri’s anxious voice fills their small apartment as he throws another shirt on his bed in exasperation. “Phichit help!”

 

Phichit pokes his head around Yuuri’s door, takes one look at situation - the entire contents of Yuuri’s wardrobe strewn across his bed, Yuuri himself wearing just a pair of jeans and an expression of sheer panic - and promptly takes control.

 

“Okay, sit, breathe,” he orders, directing Yuuri to sit on his desk chair while he starts to sort through the pile of clothes on the bed. “What time is Victor picking you up?”

 

“Seven o’clock.” Yuuri checks the time and whimpers. “He’s going to be here in ten minutes. Phichit, I’m not ready!”

 

“Well it’s a good thing you’ve got me then isn’t it?” Phichit says determinedly, picking out a dark navy shirt and thrusting it at Yuuri. “Wear this. And stop running your fingers through your hair, you’re making a mess of it.”

 

“Phiiiichhiiiiitttt,” Yuuri whines, shrugging into the shirt with shaking hands. Phichit watches him struggle with the buttons for a minute before huffing a sigh and batting Yuuri’s hands away so he can take over.

 

“What’s all this about, hmm? This seems like an excessive amount of first date nerves, even for you.”

 

“I’m going on a date with Victor,” Yuuri says in a hushed voice, still not entirely sure he hasn’t imagined the whole thing.

 

“I know,” Phichit replies fondly as he moves to do up the cuffs around Yuuri’s wrists. “It’s all you’ve been able to talk about all week.”

 

Victor ,” Yuuri repeats, resorts to chewing on his lip to relieve his excess tension since Phichit is still commandeering his hands.

 

“Yes Yuuri, Victor.” Phichit finishes buttoning Yuuri’s shirt and moves to start digging through his wardrobe. “Tie or no tie? Where are you going?”

 

“I don’t know, he said he wanted it to be a surprise. I hate surprises!” Yuuri jumps up and starts pacing his room. “What if he’s the sort of person who loves surprises? I don’t think I can date someone who loves surprises.”

 

“Yuuri.” Phichit twists to frown at him over his shoulder as he continues to rummage in the wardrobe. “Sit. Breathe .”

 

“I just...what if we’re completely incompatible?” Yuuri asks as he sits down again with a huff.

 

“Isn’t that exactly the point of a first date, to find this sort of stuff out?” Phichit argues as he returns with a sleek black tie. “Nothing wrong with being a bit overdressed for a first date, plus you look cute in this tie,” he explains as he pops Yuuri’s collar and loops the material around his neck.

 

“Why does he even want to go on a date with me?” Yuuri’s eyes are big and pleading as he stares up at his friend. “Chris said he knows what Gods of Desire is, that means he knows what I am.”

 

“By that I assume you mean a super awesome, super talented young man who’s about to blow his date away with just how good he looks.” Phichit raises a stern eyebrow at Yuuri. “You know this is a no shame household Yuuri.”

 

“But Phiiiichiiiiit,”

 

“Yuuuuriiiii.”

 

“Okay, so what if he’s too okay with everything? I can’t handle another Lewis scenario, it took me weeks to get the wax out of my bedsheets.”

 

“It’s a first date, I doubt there will be any wax that isn’t attached to a candle in the middle of the table at a fancy restaurant.” Phichit says as he drags Yuuri to his feet and pushes him firmly out of his bedroom and into the living room.

 

“I really like him Phi,” Yuuri admits in a small voice as he sits gingerly on the couch to avoid creasing his clothes. “What if he doesn’t like me back?”

 

“Come on Yuuri, you showed me his texts.” Phichit’s voice is soft as he comes to sit next to Yuuri on the sofa, rubbing soothing circles along Yuuri’s back. “The boy is besotted.”

 

Yuuri huffs, and stares down at the phone he’s holding just to give his hands something to do. He and Victor have been conversing over text pretty much constantly ever since Yuuri’s first hesitant message earlier that week. Victor had replied almost instantaneously, with a message containing far too many emojis for Yuuri to even process, and it had all gone from there.

 

It turns out that Victor is just as easy to talk to over text as he is behind the bar, and when he had suggested the idea of them actually going on a proper date, Yuuri had said yes before his brain had a chance to provide him with an extensive list of all the ways that it could go horribly wrong. An extensive list he’s been obsessing over ever since.

 

“Besotted with the idea of me maybe,” Yuuri finally says, “What if he decides he doesn’t like the reality?”

 

“Then he’s an idiot, and not worth your time,” Phichit replies firmly, nudging at Yuuri’s shoulder with his own. “Come on Yuuri, you’re smart, you’re kind, and you literally make a living from how gorgeous you are. Everybody loves you, and Victor won’t be any different."

 

“Phichit!” Yuuri exclaims, eyes wide as he straightens eagerly. “You’re right! I just need to be more like how I am at work!”

 

“You know I’m always...wait what?” Phichit frowns, hand stilling on Yuuri’s back as he processes what Yuuri is saying. “That’s not what I... I meant you should just be yourself.”

 

“Yes exactly,” Yuuri agrees, completely missing the point as he jumps to his feet and claps his hands together excitedly. “Everybody loves who I am in front of the camera, so I’ll just be that version of myself. It’s perfect!”

 

Phichit’s frown deepens and he opens his mouth like he wants to argue, but is interrupted by the doorbell ringing. “Yuuri, no,” he sighs, shaking his head seriously before heading to open the door.

 

Yuuri huffs at Phichit’s back, taking off his glasses and placing them on the coffee table with a definitive click. “Yuuri, yes ,” he mutters to himself, blinking a few times to adjust to his new limited eyesight. He never shoots scenes with glasses on, and the slight blurring of his vision is almost a comfort at this point. It gives him the confidence to let go, to embrace his inner sexuality that he usually finds himself second guessing at every turn.

 

“Wow, you look amazing.” The deep timbre of Victor’s voice makes Yuuri jump, and he spins towards the door where the blurry outlines of Victor and Phichit are standing.

 

“I...thank you,” he stammers, already completely forgetting all his plans to channel his inner sex god. “I mean…” He shakes his head roughly, and starts to slink toward the door, making sure to roll his hips the way he knows from experience sets jaws dropping. He stops inches away from Victor and smiles up at the taller man. “You look pretty good yourself,” he practically purrs, eyes hungrily taking in all the little details he wasn’t able to see from far away without his glasses. Victor is wearing a dark purple shirt that makes the cool blue of his eyes pop, his hair the familiar artful tousle that Yuuri can only dream of achieving. Yuuri wants to lick the long curve of his neck, see if he tastes as good as he smells, and he hums happily in appreciation as he gazes coyly up at Victor from beneath his long lashes.

 

He hears Victor’s breath hitch, and grins in satisfaction at the flush of color that stains the other man’s cheeks.

 

Yuuri ,” Victor practically sighs, looking for all the world like he wants to devour Yuuri right there in the hallways. Yuuri thinks he’d very much like to let him.

 

A loud cough makes Yuuri jump, and he quickly tears his gaze away from Victor to see Phichit smiling wickedly at the pair of them. “Okay you crazy kids, how about we keep it PG-13 until after the first date, hmmm?”

 

Yuuri blushes and quickly drops his gaze, but Victor simply laughs and turns so that he can loop his arm through Yuuri’s. “I’ll have him home before midnight,” he promises, guiding them out of the apartment before Yuuri can even think to protest.

 

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” Phichit shouts gleefully at their receding backs, “And definitely don’t do anything I would!”

 


 

The place Victor has booked is apparently local, and it’s a nice evening, so they agree to walk rather than getting a cab or public transport. Victor keeps his arm looped through Yuuri’s, and chatters a mile a minute while Yuuri tries to remember how to breathe now that he’s in such close proximity to the man he’s been crushing on for the better part of a month.

 

“...and then the vet says that I have to start monitoring what Makkachin eats, like she’s not perfect exactly how she is. Can you believe that!” Victor turns towards Yuuri, his eyebrows raised in perfect shock.

 

“She is a very good dog,” Yuuri hurriedly agrees, trying not to get too distracted by Victor’s heart-shaped smile. And then, because he sometimes he just can’t help himself. “Maybe not quite as perfect as Vicchan, but I guess that’s an unreasonable bar to set.”

 

Victor gasps loudly, clutching his chest dramatically. “Yuuri how could you!” he cries, “My poor Makka is going to be distraught when I tell her!”

 

“Oh no! I take it back!” Yuuri says, eyes crinkling with laughter as he grabs for Victor’s free hand to wrench it away from his chest. “They’re equally perfect, the two most perfect dogs in the whole world.”

 

“There’s more of Makka to be perfect though, so surely she wins.”

 

“Vicchan’s perfect is just more concentrated.”

 

“Hmmm, excellent point. We’ll need to undertake a more thorough analysis.”

 

It’s almost instinct at this point to fall into the easy back-and-forth that their conversations usually take, and it seems like no time at all before they reach their destination. Yuuri realizes with a start that he’s completely forgotten about not only his nerves, but also his plan of being alluring and sexy. He frowns to himself as Victor reluctantly untangles their arms so that he can hold open the door for Yuuri. He’ll need to up his game while they eat.  

 

The place Victor has picked is an upscale French restaurant, all low lighting and starched white table cloths. Yuuri has walked past it a few times and never given it much thought past it being something vastly outside of his sphere of existence, but Victor greets the woman working front of house like an old friend. After a quick conversation in French that goes straight over Yuuri’s head, they’re led to a table near the window.

 

Yuuri waits for Victor to choose a chair before sliding into the other one, and for a long moment they simply stare awkwardly at one another. Yuuri knows that after letting Victor carry the conversation on the way over it’s only fair for him to pick up the slack now, but somehow his brain has completely forgotten what words are. Strike two for the plan.

 

Yuuri’s fluttering hands find the heavy, leather-bound menu on the table in front of him, and he flicks it open just to give himself something to do. He scans the page of looping, cursive font, and frowns when he realizes that the light from outside is casting dark shadows on his side of the table.

 

Maybe leaving his glasses at home wasn’t the best idea he’s ever had.  

 

“This is one of my favorite restaurants in Detroit,” Victor says, his voice overly bright as if trying to counteract Yuuri’s obvious awkwardness. “Chris and I used to come here all the time when I first moved here. He argues that it doesn’t hold a candle to proper Swiss-French cuisine, but honestly I think here is better.” He waggles his eyebrows conspiratorially. “But don’t tell him I said that will you.”

 

Yuuri tries to laugh, but his voice sounds stilted even to his own ears. Thinking of Victor’s friendship with Chris only serves to remind him of their meeting the other day outside Gods of Desire , and how it’s only a matter of time before Victor brings up Yuuri’s profession.

 

“Is Chris the reason you know French?” he asks, trying to keep Victor away from that dangerous topic of conversation and remembering the few times he’s heard Chris chatting over Skype with his family back home.

 

“Hmm? Oh, no, I spent a bit of time in France with my family when I was a child. I’ve lived all over Europe really.”

 

“That sounds incredible,” Yuuri says honestly, his mind conjuring up all manner of exciting experiences that he could have only dreamed of growing up in a small town such as Hasetsu.

 

“Oh yes, I certainly had a unique childhood.” Victor says it casually, but there’s an edge to his voice that Yuuri can’t quite place. “But enough about me.” Victor reaches out to lightly cover Yuuri’s hand where it’s resting in front of him on the table, his other hand caressing Yuuri’s chin with the very tips of his fingers. His eyes are dark and intense, a smile just catching at the edge of his mouth. “I want to know everything about you, Yuuri.”

 

Yuuri suddenly finds it very hard to breathe. He feels like he could get lost in Victor’s gaze, drown in his touch. It’s completely unlike anything he’s ever experienced before, and he wants more. So much more.

 

“Let’s get to know each other.”

 

Yuuri feels like the earth has stopped spinning on its axis, like the whole world has suddenly frozen in time and nothing exists except him and Victor and the two points where they’re connected. Victor’s touch burns bright against his skin, and before he can think about what he’s doing he’s jerking backwards, spine slamming into the backrest of his chair as he tries to break the connection that he fears might swallow him whole if he lets it go on for too long.

 

He sees a flicker of hurt flash across Victor’s face, gone so quickly he thinks he might have imagined it, but before Yuuri gets the chance to say something, anything , to try and explain his reaction, their waiter materializes next to their table.

 

“Have you decided on your order?” the waiter asks, all smiles like he hasn’t just interrupted Yuuri showcasing just how much of a human trainwreck he truly his.

 

Yuuri gulps and hurriedly scans the menu, squinting against the low light in a desperate attempt to make out the name of something he recognizes. Between his reduced vision and his racing heart it’s a lost cause though, and he watches in horror as the words on the page blur into an illegible mass as his anxiety threatens to bubble up and overwhelm him.

 

“The duck confit is my favourite thing on the menu, but the pasta is also delicious if you’re in the mood for something lighter.” Victor’s voice is light and breezy, like he’s just making casual conversation rather than throwing Yuuri an obvious lifeline. “Chris says the mussels are divine, but I’ll admit I don’t have much of a taste for seafood.”

 

“I’ll get the duck, please,” Yuuri quickly says, handing his menu back to the waiter in relief.

 

“And I’ll have the same,” Victor says happily, snapping his menu closed with a flourish. “Do you like wine?” he asks, switching his attention back to Yuuri.

 

“Oh...um...yes?” Yuuri stammers.

 

“And a bottle of the 2010 Merlot as well, please,” Victor adds with a smile, also handing his menu back to the waiter.

 

The waiter finishes writing down their order, and tops up their water glasses before leaving, and then it’s just Victor and Yuuri again.

 

“Thank you,” Yuuri says, hoping Victor knows he means for more than just ordering the wine.

 

“Of course,” Victor replies simply, his warm smile gracing his features once more. There’s another pause that threatens to tip over into awkward. “I think this is the first time I’ve seen you without glasses.”

 

Yuuri feels his face flush, and he instinctively reaches up to adjust his non-existent glasses. “Oh...well...yes I guess so…” he mutters, wondering if Victor dislikes the change and he’s actually made a horrible mistake.

 

Victor must see the insecurities on Yuuri’s face, as he quickly waves his hand in front of them. “Not that I mind, of course, I think you look amazing either way.” His voice rings low and honest in a way that has Yuuri’s toes curling. “I’m mostly impressed. I’ve tried to wear colored contacts a few times and could never get used to jabbing my finger so close to my eye.”

 

“It’s...certainly a challenge.” Yuuri says, choosing not to admit that he’s also never gotten used to contacts, and has effectively chosen to be blind for the evening in an attempt to channel his apparently non-existent inner sex-god.

 

The waiter chooses that moment to return with the wine, saving Yuuri from digging himself into even more of a hole over his somewhat suspect wardrobe decisions. “Who would like to taste?” he asks, uncorking the bottle with ease.

 

Victor gestures at Yuuri with an easy smile, “Would you like to do the honors?”

 

“Oh, no, please go ahead,” Yuuri replies hurriedly, a mild flush of panic sweeping through him at the idea of being put on the spot like that.

 

Victor smiles and nods at the waiter, who pours a small amount of wine into the glass in front of him. He picks up the glass and swirls the liquid with practiced ease before taking a small sip, and Yuuri can’t seem to draw his eyes away.

 

“Delicious!” Victor declares brightly. The waiter fills up both of their glasses before leaving, and Victor holds up his glass in offering. “Cheers.”

 

“Cheers,” Yuuri replies, clinking their glasses together before taking a healthy sip. It’s a very nice wine, he has to admit, and he tells Victor as much.

 

“If I’m honest, I’m more of a Tempranillo fan myself,” Victor replies, ducking his head and lowering his voice conspiratorially. “But I figured asking for a Spanish wine in a place like this probably wouldn’t go down very well.”

 

“I don’t know much about wine,” Yuuri admits. That’s probably an understatement; the last time he and Phichit drank wine it had come out of a bag.

 

“Ah yes, you’re more of an expensive Vodka drinker, I remember now,” Victor teases, causing Yuuri to flush.

 

“That was one time! And all your idea I might add,” Yuuri huffs, completely unable to keep his tone as serious as he wants.

 

“That is true, will you ever forgive me for leading you so astray?” Victor swoons dramatically, and Yuuri has to hide his giggle behind his hand.

 

“I suppose I’ll consider it,” he eventually replies, nodding his head sagely.

 

“Thank you, kind Yuuri. I will forever be in your debt,” Victor exclaims, and reaches across the table as if planning to take Yuuri’s hand again. He lets his hand come to rest halfway across the table this time though, allowing Yuuri to be the instigator of contact, if he chooses.

 

Yuuri feels his breath catch in his throat at the gesture, and slowly, tentatively, reaches out to cover Victor’s hand with his own.

 

The smile that Victor gives him in response is blinding.

 

After a long moment Victor gives a rough cough and shakes his head, as if forcibly bringing himself back into the room. “I’ve done a few wine tasting courses here and there,” he says, and Yuuri has to blink a couple of times as he tries to remember what they’d been talking about before. “Perks of my profession, I guess. I could show you a few things if you’d like?”

 

“Sure,” Yuuri says, vaguely wondering if Victor talks when he’s nervous as much as Yuuri clams up. They’d make a pretty good pair, if that were actually the case.

 

“Great! So first thing you do is pick up your wine glass by the stem.” Yuuri feels a tug on his hand as Victor tries to move his right hand, the one still covered by Yuuri’s left. Victor frowns down at their joined hands for a moment, as if internally debating the merits of taking his dominant hand back, before shrugging and reaching over to pick up his wine glass with his left hand.

 

“Advanced mode!” he says brightly, moving just as dexterously with his non-dominant hand. “So first you swirl the wine. You need to do it enough that it goes up the side of the glass.”

 

Yuuri frowns and picks up his own wine glass, hesitantly rotating the glass between his fingers. The liquid flickers but still stays mostly flat.

 

“Bigger gestures, see?” Victor starts swirling his glass more vigorously, so that the liquid almost hits the rim. Yuuri winces, convinced the dark liquid is about to start spraying everywhere, but somehow Victor manages to keep it contained. “Don’t worry, it’s not going to come out of the glass unless you tilt it. Isn’t physics great!”

 

“Sure…” Yuuri replies dubiously, but puts a bit more momentum behind his movements, sending small waves through his wine.

 

“Good! Good!” Victor praises, “And now we watch the droplets slide back down again. Can you see them?”

 

Yuuri has to get very close to see the drops of liquid start to slide back down the inside of the glass, his nose practically touching the outside as he squints.

 

“Those are called the legs of the wine, don’t ask me why. The slower they drip the more full-bodied the wine is.”

 

“Full bodied?” Yuuri asks, gaze still transfixed on the drops slowly creeping south.

 

“How rich the wine is, how much depth of flavor it has,” Victor clarifies, grinning when Yuuri can’t help but snort at the language. “I know, it’s all very pretentious. Basically the slower the legs, the more it’s going to kick your taste buds in the teeth.”

 

“Got it. So this one is … pretty full-bodied?”

 

“Exactly! Next we look at the colour of the wine,” Victor explains, putting his glass down so that he can dig in his pocket for his phone.

 

“Umm... It’s very red.” Yuuri tries, wondering if Victor is mocking his inexperience.

 

“Hah! That’s exactly what I said the first time too,” Victor says happily, flicking through his phone settings to turn on the flashlight. “Ah...I’m going to need my hand back for this bit.”

 

“Oh, of course!” Yuuri lets go of Victor’s hand as if it’s red hot. Victor pouts a little at the loss of contact, but turns his attention back to his glass.

 

“You need a white surface for this, and then you want to shine a light through the wine, see?” Victor tilts his glass at a forty-five degree angle, shining his phone light through the wine down onto the table, and Yuuri gasps as the white tablecloth beneath erupts into a myriad of colors.

 

That’s the color of the wine,” Victor says softly as Yuuri’s fingers hesitantly start to trace through the pinks, purples, and even some yellows that pattern the table. “The more colors, the more complex the wine.”

 

“It’s beautiful,” Yuuri says reverently, gaze still transfixed on the tablecloth.

 

“Yes,” Victor breathes, and Yuuri gets the feeling that maybe he’s talking about more than just the wine. There’s another pause, another rough cough. “And now...all that’s left to do is taste.” Victor flicks off his phone light and puts it back in his pocket. “Some people say you should spit out the wine after tasting, but personally I think that’s a waste. The important thing is that you need to aerate the wine as you’re tasting it.”

 

“Aerate?” Yuuri asks, turning his attention back to Victor.

 

Victor grins, and take a small sip of wine. He holds it in his mouth for an instant before pursing his lips and breathing in deeply, the wine gurgling through his mouth as he does so. It’s bizarre, but oddly attractive. Yuuri vaguely wonders if there’s anything Victor could do at this point that he wouldn’t find ridiculously sexy as he watches Victor slurp and swallow with a satisfied gulp.

 

“Your turn,” Victor says with a sly nod, and Yuuri hesitantly brings his glass to his lips, trying to channel his features into something enticing as he does so. It’s time for him focus on the plan again. Sexy and alluring, sexy and alluring. He can do this. He takes a sip and then tries to purse his lips and breathe like Victor had.

 

The result is neither sexy nor alluring.

 

The wine hits the back of his throat and he chokes in surprise, swallowing the wine in a hurried gulp before he accidentally spits it back out again. The liquid burns on the way down and Yuuri ends up coughing violently into his napkin.

 

“Sorry, I should have warned you that it’s a bit of an acquired skill,” Victor says, reaching across the table to pat Yuuri fondly on the shoulder. Yuuri pauses his coughing fit just long enough to glare at Victor, while Victor grins at him like this is the best thing to happen to him all week.

 

“That was mean,” Yuuri grouses once he’s finally got his coughing under control.

 

“I know, I’m a terrible person,” Victor replies, sounding thoroughly delighted with the whole situation. “Try again, you just need to breathe a bit more gently, see?” Victor takes another sip to demonstrate, exaggerating his movements this time.

 

“You look like a fish,” Yuuri says without thinking, clapping his hand over his mouth in horror when he realizes what he’s said.

 

“Exactly!” Victor says, seemingly not taking any offense at all to being compared to a slimy limbless vertebrate. “Be more fishlike Yuuri,” he slurps his wine again, pursing his lips and widening his eyes for effect.

 

Yuuri sighs and takes another sip of wine, trying to copy the expression still fixed on Victor’s face. It feels ridiculous, and he knows he must look ridiculous, and he can’t help his snort of laughter as he tries to swallow.

 

Victor grins and gurgles harder, and that’s it, Yuuri’s completely gone. He covers his face in his hands as peals of laughter burst out of him. He can hear Victor’s laughter joining his own, and that only serves to make him laugh harder.

 

They’re both still a mess when the waiter returns with their food, and Yuuri only just manages to compose himself for long enough to thank the man before the giggles take control again.   

 

Eventually they both manage to get themselves under control, but Yuuri finds himself still grinning broadly as he takes his first bite.

 

“Oh my god,” he moans, “this is incredible.”

 

“I’m glad you agree,” Victor says, taking a bite himself. “I would have been so embarrassed if you hated it.”

 

“This is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.” Yuuri says, eating far faster than is probably polite given the circumstances.

 

“Better than your mom’s katsudon?” Victor asks teasingly, eyes glittering.

 

“Nothing is better than my mom’s katsudon,” Yuuri snorts. “But this is definitely up there.”

 

“You know it’s strange,” Victor says, voice considering as he slices into his food. “I feel like I know you too well for normal first date conversation. I mean, I already know your favorite food, and your favorite color. I know all about your love of dogs, and how close you are to your family. I know what you do for a living...”

 

“Ah, about that,” Yuuri tries to cut in, face flushing red at the sudden reminder. Victor simply waves him away with his hand, seemingly uninterested in Yuuri explaining why he felt the need to lie about such an important piece of personal trivia.

 

“My point,” Victor continues, “Is that I already feel like I know so much about you, Yuuri, but it’s not enough. I want to know more, I want to know everything.” Victor’s gaze bores into Yuuri with an intensity that has Yuuri forgetting how to breathe.

 

“Will you let me know you, Yuuri?”

 

“I...I’m not always good at that.” The confession spills from Yuuri’s lips before he has a chance to filter his words. He winces at his own bluntness, but forges on nonetheless. “But...I would like to, a lot.”

 

It feels like an eternity before Victor replies, an eternity for Yuuri to internally curse himself for choosing now of all times to showcase his brutal honesty. Finally, after what seems like forever, Victor’s face breaks into that dazzling smile of his, the one that would have Yuuri walking to the ends of the earth and back just to see one more time.

 

“I would like that too.”

 


 

The rest of the meal passes in a blur of easy conversation and heated gazes, and before Yuuri knows it the plates have been cleared and Victor is settling up the bill.

 

“Honestly, I’m happy to split it,” Yuuri argues for what feels like the hundredth time as Victor hands over his shiny Amex card to the waiter with a smile.

 

“Nonsense, I picked the location so I pay, that’s basic first date etiquette,” Victor says with a wave of his hand.

 

“You’re the one who said this wasn’t really a first date,” Yuuri argues, huffing as Victor signs his name on the receipt in his loopy cursive. “You realize this means I’m paying next time right?” He immediately chokes on the assumption he’s accidentally made. “I mean...that is...if you wanted…”

 

“Aha, you’ve fallen into my cunning trap of agreeing to a second date,” Victor says, tapping his fingers together in classic evil genius style, and Yuuri can’t help laughing at the ridiculous gesture.

 

“Okay, but next time I get to be the one to surprise you,” Yuuri says, shocking himself with his own boldness.

 

“I’m already looking forward to it,” Victor says as he stands up, extending an arm to Yuuri. “Walk you home?”

 

All in all, Yuuri can’t help thinking as they stroll leisurely back to his apartment arm in arm, it’s been a pretty incredible first date. Even his ever-present insecurities can’t seem to latch onto anything catastrophic as Victor hums a quiet tune close to Yuuri’s ear, the warmth of his breath ghosting over Yuuri’s skin and sending soft tendrils of pleasure down his spine.

 

They reach Yuuri’s apartment complex and Victor turns so that he’s facing Yuuri. The light from the streetlamps casts a soft glow over his features, and he smiles softly as he reaches to fix a wayward strand of Yuuri’s hair. “I had a really good time tonight,” he says quietly, voice so fond that it makes Yuuri’s heart ache with longing.

 

Yuuri knows his plans to be sexy and alluring this evening have been a complete wash, but as he stares up into Victor’s bright blue eyes, so filled with an emotion that he can’t place but he knows he feels just as hard, he doesn’t want to let the evening end without trying at least once more to seduce Victor like he seduces strangers every night of the week.

 

Their lips come together softly, tentatively, Yuuri lifting onto his toes to close the gap between them. He hears Victor exhale softly in surprise, and then a warm arm comes around his waist to steady him, draw him closer. Yuuri’s hands settle against Victor’s chest, and his eyes flutter closed as he opens his mouth in offering and loses himself in Victor’s heated response.

 

They break apart after what feels like forever and no time at all. Yuuri can feel his chest rising and falling rapidly as he smiles up at Victor, who’s gazing down at him with lust-blown eyes. “Would you like to come inside?” he asks, his words coming out throaty and rough in a way that he usually has to fake for the camera.

 

Victor groans and drops his head so that their foreheads are touching, and Yuuri has to fight the urge to tilt his head up into another kiss. “ Yuuri ,” Victor whispers, and it sounds like a prayer on his lips.

 

“Is that a yes?” Yuuri teases, heart racing in exhilaration at the promise of what’s to come.

 

“I...I can’t.”

 

Victor’s words are like a bucket of cold water to the head, and Yuuri feels his entire body tense up.

 

“Oh…” His voice sounds small, pathetic, even to his own ears. “Do you...did I do something wrong?”

 

Of course. Of course somebody like Victor wouldn’t want to take somebody like Yuuri to bed. Somebody who sleeps with other people for money, then lies about sleeping with other people for money. What had he been thinking?

 

“No! Not at all.” Victor’s arms tighten around Yuuri’s waist, and despite everything, despite the obvious rejection, Yuuri can’t help but melt into the embrace. “You don’t know how much I want to say yes.”

 

“Then say yes,” Yuuri tries again, drawing on every ounce of flirtatious seduction he’s ever learned as he turns his big doe eyes on Victor again.

 

“Believe me, it’s a challenge to walk away but…” Victor’s fingers brush Yuuri’s jawline, so achingly tender and Yuuri doesn’t know what to think anymore when Victor’s actions are in such contract to his words. “I have a history of….rushing into things. I don’t want to do that with you.”

 

“I don’t mind.” Yuuri can tell he’s pouting, but the sting of rejection hurts, even when cushioned with such softness.

 

“But I do. I want...I want to do this right, Yuuri.” Victor presses one more soft kiss to Yuuri’s lips, and Yuuri almost melts into the touch. “Let me do it right this time, please?”

 

“Okay,” Yuuri doesn’t quite know what he’s agreeing to, but knows that if it’s what Victor wants, then what other answer is there?

 

Victor smiles that blinding smile of his, “I’ll see you again soon, okay?”

 

“Okay,” Yuuri says again, feeling like he’s on autopilot as he watches Victor turn and walk back down the street, away from him and his offer. The feeling of numbness stays with him as he makes his way up to his apartment, fumbling with the key before finally managing to unlock the door.

 

“There he is!” Phichit’s bright voice cuts through the murkiness of Yuuri’s brain like a knife as he bounds towards him. “Alright, sit that cute ass of yours down, I want to know-” Phichit pauses as he finally takes in Yuuri’s stunned appearance. “Yuuri,” he breathes, much more sedate this time. “What happened?”

 

“I- I have no idea.”

Chapter Text

By the time Yuuri wakes up the next morning, his subconscious has decided that his date with Victor had been an unmitigated disaster. He must have imagined every good interaction, mistaken Victor’s polite smiles for the real thing. Really there’s no other explanation for Victor’s rejection at the end of the night - the other man must have hated their time together.

 

Yuuri groans and rolls over to bury his face in his pillow. How had he been so stupid to think for a moment that him going on a date with Victor would be a good idea? He knows better than to put himself out there like this this; knows from experience after experience that dating just isn’t in the cards for him. It doesn’t matter that Victor is smart, and funny, and when he smiles it makes something beautifully painful crack in Yuuri’s chest. There was only ever one outcome from last night, and he had been a fool to think otherwise.

 

His phone buzzes next to his head, and Yuuri reaches out to silence his alarm. The vibrations stop before he can reach it though, and he blearily unlocks the screen to read the text message he’s just received.

 

<< Good morning Yuuri! Did you sleep well?

 

Yuuri blinks once, twice, then grabs his glasses so that he can be sure he’s reading the text correctly. Yes, it’s definitely from Victor. He checks the time at the top of his phone - seven forty-five. Victor is texting him at seven forty-five to ask if he slept well.

 

Why would Victor be texting him after their disaster of a date? It doesn’t make any sense.

 

>> Yeah not bad. You?

 

Yuuri cringes at his robotic response, typed out and sent before his brain has woken up enough to proof read his messages, but his phone vibrates four times in quick succession before he can berate himself too much.

 

<< Would have slept better with you next to me ;)
<< Sorry, too much?
<< Let me try again.
<< I had a great time last night Yuuri, I hope we can do it again soon.

 

Yuuri stares down at his phone in shock, unable to reconcile the words on the screen with his anxiety which is still yelling loudly about how much he must have fucked up last night, and how much Victor clearly hates him now.

 

>> You did?

 

Victor’s response is much slower this time, and Yuuri watches the typing bubbles appear and disappear at least three times before words finally materialize in one a big block, like Victor needs to get everything out in one message.

 

<< Did you not? I guess I just assumed because I enjoyed myself so much that you did too …. I sometimes get ahead of myself like that. I’m so sorry, Yuuri, would you be willing to let me try again? I’m sure I can do better.

 

Yuuri’s breath catches in his throat as he stares down at the words on the screen in front of him, his eyes reading but his brain not processing. It’s like his consciousness has thrown a mental block, completely unwilling to acknowledge the obvious truth that’s staring him right in the face.

 

Victor - he of the amazing eyes and breathtaking smile - Victor actually likes him.

 

He doesn’t know how long he sits there blinking like an idiot, but it’s enough time for another message to pop up underneath the original.

 

<< I understand. I promise I won’t bother you again.

 

For a long moment Yuuri’s brain is silent, and then sirens start going off between his ears. Fuck, fuck . This was not at all what he meant to happen.

 

“Phichit!” Yuuri’s voice sounds hysterical to his own ears as he leaps out of bed and hurries out of his room wearing only his underwear, cradling his phone in his hands like it’s a bomb about to go off.

 

“Phichit, help!” He bursts into Phichit’s bedroom and dives across the bed. “I fucked up, I fucked up so bad.”

 

“Mmmfrph,” Phichit responds groggily, pushing himself up to sitting as he blearily processes the fact that his bed is suddenly filled with an incredibly panicked Yuuri. “What happened?”

 

“Victor thinks I don’t want to see him again,” Yuuri wails, thrusting his phone at Phichit desperately.

 

Phichit fumbles Yuuri’s phone out of his shaking hands and slowly reads through the conversation. “I mean...I can understand why he would think that,” he says slowly, raising an eyebrow at Yuuri. “What exactly were you aiming for here?”

 

“I don’t know!” Yuuri admits, burying his face in his hands. “I was surprised! I was so sure he hated our date...I told you how it ended.”

 

“You told me that he didn’t come home with you because he wanted to take things slowly,” Phichit clarifies, prying Yuuri’s hands away from his face so that he’s forced to look Phichit in the eye. “That doesn’t sound like he hated it to me.”

 

“It doesn’t?” Even as he says it Yuuri can hear how irrational he sounds, how far he’s leapt in his conclusions.

 

Phichit huffs, stroking a stray lock of hair out of Yuuri’s face. “You’re lucky you’re cute, Katsuki,” he says fondly as he gently places Yuuri’s phone back in his hands. “Look, this is easy to fix, just tell him the truth.”

 

“That I’m an anxiety-riddled mess who sees disaster around every corner?”

 

“Ok, not that truth,” Phichit admits, nudging Yuuri’s hands in encouragement. “Tell him you had a good time as well and would love to see him again.”

 

“It’s that simple?”

 

“It’s that simple.”

 

Yuuri huffs and unlocks his phone again, fingers hovering above the keyboard.

 

>> Of course I had a great time. Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you think otherwise.

 

He hits send before he can second guess himself, then shows the message to Phichit, who laughs and pats Yuuri fondly on the shoulder.

 

“Well it’s not exactly Shakespeare, but it does the job.”

 

Yuuri whines and slumps against Phichit’s shoulder. “I shouldn’t be allowed near technology,” he mumbles into his friend’s shoulder.

 

“There, there,” Phichit replies, patting Yuuri’s head fondly.

 

Barely a minute later Yuuri’s phone buzzes, and he narrowly avoids hitting Phichit’s chin with his head as he scrambles to read the message.

 

<< Yuuri! I’m so glad! You had me worried for a second there!

 

Yuuri breathes out a slow breath of relief. “It’s okay, I think it’s okay,” he says, as he shows Phichit the conversation again.

 

“Like I say, you’re lucky you’re cute,” Phichit says teasingly as he starts to nudge Yuuri off his bed. “Now shoo, go sext loverboy in your own room, I need to get ready.”

 

“Thanks Phi, I really owe you one,” Yuuri says as he slides off the bed and heads for the door.

 

Phichit laughs and makes flicking gestures at the door. “You can pay me back by giving me the house next time Chris stays over - hey you can even go on another date with Victor!”

 

Yuuri grins and heads back to his room, typing out a response with one hand as he rummages in his wardrobe for clothes.

 

>> I know, I’m sorry. Can I blame morning brain?

 

Victor’s reply pings back almost immediately, suggesting that he’s waiting for Yuuri’s messages. Yuuri gives up all pretense of getting ready as he sits on his bed and dedicates his full attention to Victor instead.

 

<< It’s my fault, what was I thinking texting you at eight in the morning??

 

>> 7:45 actually
>> But who’s counting

 

<< Clearly I’m a monster, will you ever forgive me?

 

>> I suppose I can. Just this once.

 

<< Yuuri thank you! I promise i’ll never text before 9 again

 

>> I wouldn’t mind if you did, waking up to you is much nicer than my alarm.

 

Yuuri bites his lip, a blush spreading on his cheeks as he re-reads his last message. He doesn’t know what it is about Victor that brings out his playful side like this, but apparently it leads to him being a lot more forward than is usual for him.

 

As if on cue his phone starts buzzing with his actual alarm, and Yuuri groans as he silences it. Reluctantly he abandons his phone in favor of getting ready for work.

 

On shoot days he usually doesn’t worry too much about his appearance as he’ll only be going straight into hair and makeup when he arrives, which means he’s ready and waiting by the front door well before Phichit. He grabs a banana from the kitchen and starts munching absently on it as he returns to his phone, and to Victor.

 

<< Yuuri! You’re making me blush!
<< Shall I be your alarm from now on? What time do you get up?
<< I’ll need to start planning. Do you prefer cute puppy videos or funny puppy videos?
<< The puppy bit isn’t up for debate I’m afraid.

 

Yuuri smiles to himself as he reads through the texts. He can practically feel Victor’s excited energy exuding from behind the glass, can see Victor with that ridiculously adorable heart shaped smile in his mind’s eye.

 

>> Why don’t you surprise me?

 

“Okay, okay I’m ready,” Phichit exclaims as he emerges from his room in a whirlwind of clothing and aftershave. He barrels through the kitchen, grabbing a thermos and a breakfast bar before spinning past Yuuri and out of the door. “Come on Yuuri, enough texting loverboy, we have a day to seize!”

 

Yuuri laughs at Phichit’s enthusiasm, and fires off one last message to Victor before pocketing his phone and following his friend out the door.

 

They arrive at Gods of Desire just before nine, Phichit disappearing off to the equipment room with a wave while Yuuri heads to the dressing rooms to get ready for the day’s shoot. He drops his messenger bag on the floor and fishes his phone out of his pocket to check the time - just over fifteen minutes until he’s expected in makeup - and can’t help smiling when he sees multiple notifications all from Victor.

 

He sits down in his chair before unlocking his phone, wondering vaguely if Victor is always this enthusiastic or if he’s trying extra hard with Yuuri.  

 

>> Sorry, have to go. Talk to you later though?

 

<< Of course! Have a good day!
<< Are you working today? I’ve just realized I don’t know your schedule!

 

Yuuri hums, typing out a reply as he shrugs out of his jacket.

 

>> Yup, Monday to Friday most weeks.

 

<< Much more civilized than my hours :P
<< Are you filming today?

 

Victor’s next set of messages gives Yuuri pause, and he stops undressing so that he can give his phone his full attention. This is the first overt reference either of them have made to Yuuri’s profession, and Yuuri chews his lip thoughtfully as he debates his response.

 

He could lie, tell Victor that he’s just in for paperwork or something equally innocent. Admitting that he’s about to go fuck another man feels like a one way door that Yuuri isn’t entirely sure he’s ready to walk through yet - what if seeing it in writing wakes Victor up to exactly the sort of relationship he’s getting himself into?

 

Now that Yuuri thinks about it, they haven’t actually discussed his career yet at all. What if Victor is trying to work out whether he’s really an actor, or if he’s something more innocuous like a director or editor? What if the question is a test to help Victor decide whether this relationship is one he wants to pursue or not?

 

Except...it doesn’t sound like a test. It sounds like a genuinely curious question, and Yuuri can’t bring himself to think that Victor would be that intentionally malicious. Victor seems like the sort of person who would ask Yuuri outright, rather than try and trip him up like this. And besides, isn’t it better that Yuuri finds out now if Victor isn’t okay with what he does?

 

Sure it’ll hurt, but not half as much as if he waits.

 

“Here goes nothing,” Yuuri mutters to himself as he types out a response and hits send before he can second guess himself.

 

>> Yes, I go in front of the camera in an hour.

 

Direct, to the point, and no ambiguity about what he’ll be doing. Now all he can do is wait, and hope that he didn’t just take a sledgehammer to this fledgling relationship of theirs.

 

Thanks to Victor’s lightning fast response time, Yuuri doesn’t actually have to wait very long at all. A stream of messages pop up on his screen before Yuuri even gets halfway down his mental list of all the reasons why his text was a huge mistake.

 

<< Oooh, good luck!
<< Wait, is it like in theatre? Am I not supposed to say good luck?
<< Break your legs Yuuri!
<< No wait... that doesn’t sound right...

 

A bubble of laughter erupts out of Yuuri’s chest, the sound high pitched and hysterical in the quiet of his dressing room. He clutches his phone between his hands and drops his head between his thighs, focusing on taking deep breaths to calm himself. The relief that washes over him is almost tangible, he can feel it coating his skin as surely as the water of his parents’ onsen.

 

When he feels less like he’s going to float to the ceiling like an untethered balloon he returns to his phone and replies, his fingers shaky over the keyboard.

 

>> I think the phrase is break a leg, but thank you :)

 

<< Hmmm… that sounds just as weird.
<< English is such a strange language.

 

>> Tell me about it

 

<<Ни пуха, ни пера!

 

>> Ummm….

 

<< It’s Russian for good luck. Well, literally it means have neither fluff nor plume

 

>> Why?

 

<< No idea

 

>> And you say English is strange

 

<< Good point.
<< What is it in Japanese?

 

Yuuri is about to reply when he hears a knock on the door, and a harried voice call from the other side. “Mr Katsuki, we’re waiting for you in makeup.”

 

“Shit!” Yuuri drops his phone on the counter and quickly strips out of the rest of his clothes. “I’ll be right out!” he calls back through the door, grabbing his dressing gown off its hook and throwing it on. He ties the sash hastily around his waist, and is just about to dash out the door when he remembers his conversation with Victor. He only hesitates for a second before darting back to his desk and grabbing his phone.

 

>> Sorry, gotta run...you made me late!
>> To be continued…

 

He throws his phone back on the desk and exits his dressing room, uncomfortably aware of how harried he looks. The runner sent to fetch him raises an eyebrow but thankfully doesn’t comment as they turn and make their way along the corridor to make up, Yuuri’s brain still mostly on the phone he’s left in his room.

 


 

Yuuri’s never done a scene with Guang-Hong before, but the gossip is that he’s quickly becoming one of the studio’s top submissives, so Yuuri is looking forward to the opportunity to work with him. When they met at the script reading the younger man had seemed a bit starstruck by Yuuri - which Yuuri still doesn’t quite understand if he’s honest - but the reading had gone well and Yuuri is optimistic that they’re going to be able to create something great together today.

 

Guang-Hong is on the other side of the studio when Yuuri finally emerges from hair and makeup, but he notices as Yuuri enters the room and gives a small wave. Yuuri smiles and waves back, then heads over to his seat to get set up.

 

“Three minutes people, three minutes,” Celestino bellows from the other side of the room, and Yuuri takes a few deep breaths as he sips from a bottle of water one of the runners has left by his chair. Closing his eyes and rolling his shoulders, he makes sure his brain conjures up images of dark hair and brown eyes, not silver and blue. He sheds his robe, revealing the tight leather outfit underneath, and runs his hands through his hair as he settles into the role he’s about to play.

 

He’s leaving Victor in his dressing room with his phone, it’s time for him to focus on the man in the room with him now.

 

There’s a big bed set up in the middle of the stage for their scene, complete with dark red and black bedding that would be a nightmare to care for in the real world. There’s a coil of rope sitting on one of the pillows, which Yuuri picks up to inspect while Celestino runs through final setup with the camera crew. He knows that Minako will have already done her due diligence as props master, but Yuuri likes to check over everything himself before a bondage scene, especially if he’s playing the role of Dom.

 

“Hi Yuuri,” Guang-Hong’s voice is surprisingly close, and Yuuri can’t help his small jump as he turns to face the other man.

 

“Oh, hi there,” Yuuri replies, re-coiling the rope around his palm and elbow and placing it back on the pillow gently.

 

“Should be a good scene today,” Guang-Hong says, eyes flicking pointedly between the rope and Yuuri. “I’ve always been a big fan of your ropework.”

 

“Th- Thanks,” Yuuri stammers, always so unprepared when it comes to accepting compliments. “I hope I can do you proud.”

 

“Oh, I have no doubt about that,” Guang-Hong replies, eyes glittering eagerly.

 

From across the room Celestino calls for places, and Yuuri adjusts his leather harness as Guang-Hong shrugs out of his own robe. The younger man is completely naked underneath, and Yuuri takes a second to appreciate his form as he hands the garment to the waiting assistant and climbs onto the bed.

 

The first part of the scene is all setup, which Yuuri knows from experience rarely makes it into the final cut. While shibari is always a big crowd pleaser, the majority of their viewing audience doesn’t have the patience to sit through the hours it takes to put together the complex ropework they’re showcasing today. So while the camera still follows Yuuri as he kneels behind Guang-Hong and loops the coarse rope around his forearms, most of the footage will either end up as promotional stills, or behind-the-scenes bonus footage. Yuuri doesn’t mind though; it allows him to be a bit more casual as he works, regularly checking in to make sure the bongage isn’t too loose or too tight as he braids knots along Guang-Hong’s spine.

 

The end result is a variant on the reverse prayer, with Guang-Hong’s arms folded upwards behind him, the rope tracing over his shoulders and around his ribcage. Yuuri ties off the final knot and tests the resistance of the rope. “How does that feel?” he asks, making sure his voice is low and soothing as Guang-Hong already looks a little gone.

 

“Mmm, really good,” Guang-Hong replies, his eyes slightly unfocused, a soft smile tracing his features. Yuuri smiles to himself as he strokes the other man’s cheek lightly; it’s always nice doing scenes like this with someone who’s a natural submissive.

 

“Good boy,” he says, pitching his voice quiet enough that the surrounding crew members can’t hear. Regardless of the very public nature of their job, Yuuri’s a strong believer that some endearments should be for his partner and his partner alone.

 

“Alright people, lets get in position for the first scene,” Celestino calls out, and Yuuri pats Guang-Hong’s cheek gently one more time before shuffling off the bed to stand a few paces away from it. He takes himself in hand and strokes himself lazily to bring his half-hard cock to full arousal, rolling his shoulders as he sinks fully into his on-screen personality.

 

“Action!”

 

Yuuri saunters over to the bed where Guang-Hong is still kneeling, only now with his back to Yuuri. He reaches out to tangle his fingers in Guang-Hong’s hair, tugging back sharply so that the other man has to arch his spine to meet him. “Don’t you look good, waiting here for me,” he croons, other hand reaching around Guang-Hong’s waist to start toying with his balls.

 

Guang-Hong whimpers, his hips jerking into Yuuri’s touch. “Please...please sir,” he moans, the noise travelling straight to Yuuri’s cock and causing the appendage to twitch.

 

“Are you going to be good for me tonight?” Yuuri continues, his fingers traipsing up Guang-Hong’s balls to play with his dick instead.

 

“I’ll be so good for you, so good,” Guang-Hong agrees, spreading his legs wide and arching his back further, his head practically resting on Yuuri’s chest behind him.

 

Yuuri’s other hand slips down from Guang-Hong’s hair to caress the back of his neck, fingers squeezing just hard enough to make his intentions abundantly clear. He leans forward, mouth ghosting across the shell of Guang-Hong’s ear, and he smiles to himself as one of the moving camera rigs immediately zooms in on the gesture.

 

“I know you will,” he says lowly, pitching his voice just loud enough for the nearest microphone to pick up.

 

Yuuri straightens and, with a seductive look at the camera, pushes at Guang-Hong’s neck so that the other man topples forward. With his arms bound behind his back he’s unable to break his fall, and his shoulders hit the soft mattress only moments before his face, presenting his ass to Yuuri oh-so nicely.

 

“So eager for me,” Yuuri says as he climbs onto the bed to join Guang-Hong, pushing the other man’s legs apart so that he can settle between them. “So desperate for me to fuck you, is that it?”

 

“Mmm, yes, please sir,” Guang-Hong’s breathless voice flutters around the room, and Yuuri groans at the spike of arousal it sends down his spine. The boy is good, almost too good. Any better and Yuuri isn’t going to last until the end of the shoot.

 

“That’s it, spread yourself wide for me,” he croons, nudging Guang-Hong’s legs even farther apart with his knees as he starts to palm at the round globes of the other man’s ass. Digging his fingers into the soft flesh, he spreads Guang-Hong’s cheeks apart to display his winking hole to the camera. “Show off that pretty ass for me.”

 

“Please, please sir,” Guang-Hong begs, rocking backwards to rub his ass against Yuuri’s crotch, and Yuuri has to muffle his groan of arousal by swatting Guang-Hong’s ass lightly.

 

“Impatient boy,” he scolds, slapping Guang-Hong’s ass once more for good measure. “I’ll get you there, don’t worry.”

 

He starts to rub the pad of his thumb over Guang-Hong’s entrance, enjoying the small hitches of breath the gesture elicits. He applies the gentlest of pressure, and the very tip of his thumb breaches Guang-Hong’s rim.

 

Guang-Hong groans at the gesture, and eagerly pushes himself back onto Yuuri’s hand, but Yuuri can’t help frowning at the sudden resistance he feels. He knows Guang-Hong will have prepped himself before the scene, but the ropework has clearly taken longer than expected, and the result is that his partner is drier than Yuuri is completely happy with.

 

Slowly he withdraws his thumb, raising his other hand in the air in the established gesture to stop the cameras.

 

“Cut.” Celestino’s voice rings out, and crew members start to scramble. “Yuuri, what is it?”

 

“Can we get some more lube over here?” Yuuri calls back, sitting back on his haunches as he waits for a runner to bring over a bottle.

 

“Yu- Yuuri?” Guang-Hong sounds lost, and Yuuri immediately starts rubbing soothing patterns along his spine to comfort him.

 

“It’s okay, you’re okay,” he says fondly. “I just want to make sure I’m not going to hurt you during our scene.” He pauses, head tilting to the side as he considers Guang-Hong’s awkward position now that the cameras have stopped rolling. “Are you uncomfortable? Do you want to sit back up?”

 

Guang-Hong shakes his head as much as he can with a faceful of pillow. “I’m okay...just...don’t go anywhere?”

 

“Oh sweetheart,” Yuuri’s heart hurts at the plaintive request. “Of course not, I’m right here.”

 

One of the set assistants materializes next to them with a bottle of lubricant. Yuuri accepts it with a small nod of thanks, then turns back to Guang-Hong. “Are you okay for me to prep you some more?” he asks, waiting for Guang-Hong’s nod of consent before popping the lid and squirting a dollop of the viscous liquid onto his fingers.

 

It doesn’t take long for Yuuri to stretch Guang-Hong again, most of the work having already been done beforehand. His free hand continues to trace gentle patterns along the other man’s skin as he works, and by the time he’s satisfied that he’s not going to hurt his partner once they get started, Guang-Hong has practically melted into the mattress underneath them.

 

“We good to go?” Celestino asks as Yuuri withdraws his hand and wipes away the excess lube on the towel offered to him by yet another assistant.

 

“You ready?” Yuuri asks Guang-Hong quietly, smiling when the other man nods eagerly. “We’re ready,” he replies more loudly, moving back into his previous position.

 

“Action.” Celestino’s loud voice rings through the air, and Yuuri starts to trace his thumb around Guang-Hong’s entrance once more.

 

“Do you want me to fuck you?” Yuuri asks, voice taking on a new edge. “Do you want me to fuck you so hard you scream?”

 

“Yes, yes ,” Guang-Hong gasps, rocking back against Yuuri’s hand, and this time Yuuri’s fingers meets no resistance as they slip inside.

 

“You’re so tight,” Yuuri says, making a show of slowly pumping two fingers in and out of Guang-Hong’s hole. “I bet I can change that.”

 

“Oh, please sir, please,” Guang-Hong’s words are breathless and pitchy as he fucks himself on Yuuri’s hand. “Fuck me hard, I can take it.”

 

Yuuri throws a smouldering glance at the camera as he withdraws his hand, sitting up on his knees so that he can line himself up with Guang-Hong’s entrance.

 

“Scream for me,” he says, placing his hands on Guang-Hong’s hips as he thrusts in with one long, fluid movement.

 

Guang-Hong keens at the sudden stretch, hands clenching and unclenching behind his back as Yuuri starts up a brutal pace. His hips slap loudly against the backs of Guang-Hong’s thighs as he thrusts deep inside.

 

“Ah, ah, ah ,” Guang-Hong’s moans flood the room, and Yuuri’s fingers flex against his hip bones, skin blooming white underneath his touch. He can feel the heat coiling in his veins, thrumming through his body like the most delicious wildfire.

 

“Ah, fuck, so good,” he moans, fucking into Guang-Hong so hard the bed starts to shake. One hand leaves Guang-Hong’s hips to press between his shoulder blades, pushing the other man down into the mattress as he arches over him to get better leverage. “So good, taking everything I give you.”

 

Guang-Hong’s response is muffled by the bedsheet beneath him, but it’s enthusiastic enough that Yuuri has no concerns about keeping up the rapid pace he’s set. He knows that a lot of his fans enjoy his performances for his stamina, and he fully aims to deliver with this show.

 

His thighs are burning by the time he sees Celestino gesture for them to change position, and he hides a whimper of relief behind a growl of pleasure as he slip his arm around Guang-Hong’s waist. He sits back on his heels, hauling the other man up with him, so that Guang-Hong is seated in his lap, back pressed flush to Yuuri’s chest.

 

“Fuck yourself on my cock,” Yuuri commands, nipping lightly at Guang-Hong’s earlobe to emphasise his point. Guang-Hong whimpers but obligingly rises off Yuuri’s length, thighs shaking as he struggles to keep his balance with his arms still bound. He holds himself with just Yuuri’s tip seated inside of him, then sinks down again with a grateful sigh.

 

“Come on darling, you can do better than that,” Yuuri scolds, pinching one of Guang-Hong’s nipples and making the other man yelp. “Show me how much you want me.”

 

Guang-Hong’s head lolls back on Yuuri’s shoulder as he starts to find his rhythm, the slap of flesh-on-flesh reverberating around the room. “Uh...uh...fuck,” he gasps desperately as his his cock juts obscenely in front of him, rock hard and leaking at the tip. “So good...feels so good.”

 

“Yes...just like that.” Yuuri starts thrusting his hips up to meet Guang-Hong’s ass, grinning at the strangled yelp he drags from the other man’s throat the first time he fully drives home. “Fuck, you feel so good.”

 

“I’m gonna come.” Guang-Hong moans, but the lack of edge to his voice makes Yuuri think that the words are more for the camera than actual reality.

 

Let’s change that , he thinks to himself as his hand snakes around Guang-Hong’s hips to start fisting at his cock, strokes perfectly timed with his thrusts.

 

“Ah... ah ...” Guang-Hong’s voice lilts upwards, and there , there’s that edge Yuuri was looking for. He smirks to himself as he start to pick up the pace.

 

“Are you gonna come for me?” he asks, nibbling at Guang-Hong’s neck between words. “You gonna paint that pretty stomach white for me?”

 

“Fuck...oh fuck I’m gonna…” Guang-Hong doesn’t manage to finish his sentence before Yuuri feels his cock pulse in his grasp, semen spurting in a high arc and covering his torso in thick white ropes.

 

“Mmm, yes ,” Yuuri moans appreciatively, his hand leaving Guang-Hong’s cock to scoop up some of his release on his fingers. He brings them up to Guang-Hong’s mouth, pressing lightly against his lower lip. “Taste yourself, go on.”

 

Guang-Hong obediently starts to suckle on the proffered digits, little whimpers of pleasure escaping around his pursed lips. One of the mobile cameras zooms in for a close up, and Guang-Hong makes a show of fluttering his eyes closed, a look of absolute bliss painted across his features.

 

“Cut!”

 

Celestino’s shout tears Yuuri away from his appreciation of his co-worker’s form, and he shakes his head roughly to clear the last vestiges of the scene from his brain. He helps Guang-Hong off his cock and into a more comfortable position on the bed as assistants run in with water and washcloths. As usual, Yuuri makes sure to tend to his partner before cleaning himself up.

 

“How you doing?” he asks softly as he wipes a warm cloth over Guang-Hong’s chest.

 

“Hmmm?” Guang-Hong replies lazily, a wide smile stretching across his face as the aftereffects of his orgasm exaggerate his submissive headspace. “Oh. I’m good. Really good.”

 

“I’m glad,” Yuuri says, smiling fondly as he strokes Guang-Hong’s cheek before moving to check his restraints. They still have a few more positions to go through before they’re done, and he wants to make sure circulation is still good. “How are your arms?” he asks, tapping each of Guang-Hong’s fingers in turn.

 

“Little tired, but nothing I can’t handle.” Guang-Hong sounds proud, like he wants to show off just how well he can take Yuuri’s bondage.

 

Yuuri grins, expression positively devious as he replies in a low voice. “Good, because I’m not done with you yet.”

 


 

Three hours later, Yuuri returns to his dressing room filled with the sort of energy that can only come from a successful shoot. He feels alive, invigorated, ready to take on the world.

 

He slumps in his chair with a satisfied huff, and spends a few moments simply smiling at his reflection as he savours the feeling of a job well done. After a minute or two his attention is caught by the light flashing on his phone, informing him he has a notification, and he remembers his half finished conversation with Victor.

 

He grabs his glasses from where he’d left them on the desk, and slides them on as he reaches for his phone, thumbing the screen awake.

 

<< Oh no! Sorry Yuuri’s colleagues!
<< 頑張って!!
<< Is that right? I used google translate

 

Yuuri blushes down at his phone, touched beyond measure that Victor has taken the time to google how to say good luck in Japanese just for him. And that’s not all, apparently, as there’s a stream of messages following it which have been sent throughout the day while he’s been on set. Victor, it seems, is an enthusiastic texter even if there’s nobody around to respond. Yuuri can practically hear Phichit in his head shouting Maximum of two texts without a response, you don’t want to seem too keen!

 

He finds it strangely endearing.

 

<< I’ve been thinking about it and I think I’ve come up with a better good luck phrase for you.
<< Are you ready?
<< Strain a testicle!
<< Do you think it’s good? I think it’s good

 

There’s a break in the timeline here, almost an hour, and then another flurry of messages.

 

<< I told Chris, he says I’m an idiot.
<< You don’t think I’m an idiot do you Yuuri?

 

Yuuri can’t help it; he bursts out laughing, head slumping against the desk as his whole body shakes with peals of laughter. Only Victor could come up with something as weirdly appropriate as strain a testicle as a good luck phrase for the porn industry. Yuuri loves it, he wishes he had the courage to start using it. Maybe he’ll tell Phichit and see if his more outgoing friend can start working it into the company’s vernacular.

 

He’s still chuckling to himself as he re-reads the message, his heart feeling two sizes too big as he processes the fact that Victor clearly isn’t shying away from his job and all that it entails. Even better, he isn’t objectifying him or asking him awkward questions that Yuuri has no idea how to answer. Somehow, despite all of Yuuri’s fears and misgivings, Victor really does sound like he’s okay with … with everything.

 

It might be that, it might be the fact that Yuuri is still riding the high of his shoot. Either way, Yuuri finds that he doesn’t even hesitate as he texts Victor back.

 

>>So...about that second date?

Chapter Text

“Hey, Phichit?” Yuuri calls from where he’s sitting at the kitchen table, pen tapping idly against the blank piece of paper in front of him. “Where did you and Chris last go on a date?”

 

“Private hot air balloon ride,” Phichit shouts back from his bedroom. Yuuri can just about see him playing with his hamsters through the open door.

 

“Hot air balloon ride,” Yuuri mutters to himself as he writes the idea down, brain taking a second to catch up with what he’s writing. “Wait...seriously?”

 

Phichit laughs as he emerges from his room, one hamster cradled in his hands with another perched on his shoulder. “Chris likes his extravagant dates. Last week he flew Masumi to his parents’ chalet in the Alps for their fifty-seven week anniversary.”

 

“Of course he did,” Yuuri replies, a bit dumbstruck. “Remind me again why he works at Desire?” From the sounds of his lavish lifestyle, he certainly doesn’t need to.

 

“I assume it’s because he enjoys the work,” Phichit explains, raising an eyebrow suggestively as he sits down opposite Yuuri. “Last time I asked he said he’d get bored with nothing to do all day.”

 

“Makes sense I suppose,” Yuuri says as he scribbles out his one and only date idea with a sigh.

 

It turns out that asking Victor on a second date was easy. Picking something good for them to do on said date? Not so much. Yuuri’s been staring at his blank list of ideas for what feels like hours now, and is starting to seriously regret his insistence that he organize this time.

 

He knows he could play it safe and book another restaurant, but he doesn’t want to be seen as unimaginative. He wants to show Victor that he can be fun, and maybe a little impulsive. Somebody worth spending time with.

 

“Okay, let’s try this again. What have you and Chris done recently that won’t require me to sell a kidney to finance?” Yuuri makes grabby hands at Phichit and his roomate obediently passes over the hamster in his hands. Yuuri coos at the small animal, choosing to focus on its tiny paws and snuffling nose instead the bubble of anxiety that’s starting to form in his chest.

 

“Hmm,” Phichit ponders as he scoops his other hamster off his shoulder. “Go to the movies?”

 

“I want to be able to actually talk to Victor,” Yuuri replies, “Sitting in silence for two hours seems a bit pointless.”

 

“But you can make out in the back row like teenagers,” Phichit counters, expression devious.

 

“Okay, which movie theater do you and Chris go to and remind me never to go there again,” Yuuri replies with a wince as Phichit starts to laugh.

 

“How about ice skating? We had fun at that winter rink last year remember?”

 

“Ugh...I’d like to not make a fool of myself during this date if at all possible,” Yuuri groans, remembering his disastrous first and only time skating.

 

“Mini golf?”

 

“Hmm,” Yuuri pauses to consider. “That could be fun, actually.”

 

“There’s a course a couple of blocks away from the office,” Phichit says, already googling options on his phone. “Open until nine every day, with a coffee shop by the final hole.”

 

“That...that could actually work,” Yuuri says, shuffling Phichit’s hamster into one hand so that he can pull out his own phone. “What’s the place called?”

 


 

Saturday afternoon finds Yuuri hovering awkwardly outside Golfmania!! , his hands shoved deep in his pockets as he mentally berates himself for not offering to pick Victor up. Sure, it had been completely out of the way - Yuuri would have had to walk practically past his current location to get to Victor’s apartment block - but Victor had picked him up for their last date, was it rude of him not to return the favor?

 

Luckily, he’s saved from going too far down that particular rabbit hole by an exuberant shout of “Yuuri!”, and then Victor is in front of him, arms wide and heart-shaped grin even wider. “Hi,” Victor says, and then his lips are on Yuuri’s; soft and sweet and oh-so-tempting, and Yuuri is kissing back before he can even think to be self-conscious.

 

Victor pulls away all too soon, keeping the kiss far more chaste than Yuuri’s subconscious is altogether happy with. Yuuri just about manages to stifle a whine as Victor smiles that devastating smile of his.

 

“Hi,” Victor says again, this time sounding more fond than excited.


“Hi.” When did Yuuri’s voice get so gravelly?

 

“So...Mini Golf?” Victor’s eyes twinkle as he glances up at the garish neon sign above them, and just like that all of Yuuri’s insecurities - held momentarily at bay by the soft press of Victor’s lips - come rushing back to the forefront.

 

“I’m sorry, it’s a terrible idea,” Yuuri winces, running his hand nervously through his hair as he shrugs in defeat. “I’m awful at organizing dates, I don’t know why I even suggested it.”

 

“Yuuri no!” Victor’s voice sounds almost pained as he loops his arm through Yuuri’s free one. “It’s a great idea! I’ve never played before but it always looks such fun!” He proceeds to drag Yuuri through the main entrance, gasping in surprise as the nearest hole comes into view. “Look Yuuri! It’s a tiny windmill!”

 

“You’re mocking me,” Yuuri pouts, but he’s mostly joking. Indeed, Victor does seem to be genuinely excited by their surroundings, pointing out the various intricate obstacles for each hole as they make their way to the reception area.

 

“Will you go easy on me Yuuri?” Victor asks, turning puppy dog eyes on Yuuri once they’ve collected their clubs and are making their way to the first hole.

 

And even though they’re on a date, even though Yuuri desperately wants to impress Victor, Yuuri finds himself snorting in response. “Not a chance.”

 

Yuuri, it seems, wants to win most of all.

 

Unfortunately, it turns out that Victor is a natural at mini golf; a fact that Yuuri finds less and less endearing as the evening progresses and the gap between their scores gets more and more pronounced.

 

“How? How do you do that?!” Yuuri exclaims as Victor swings his club wildly, his ball careening off every available surface before hitting the lip of the Castle drawbridge perfectly, rolling through the sculpture and plopping neatly into the hole on the other side.

 

“Beginners luck?” Victor suggests innocently, but his expression is devious as he moves out of the way to let Yuuri take his shot.

 

“Beginners luck my ass,” Yuuri mutters as he squints determinedly, lining up his swing to the millimeter. He hits his ball solidly, and holds his breath as it starts to roll with purpose straight towards the drawbridge. It hits the lip - shudders - then slowly starts rolling back towards Yuuri.


“What the fuck!” Yuuri exclaims, only just managing to keep himself from stomping his foot like a petulant toddler.

 

“Yuuri!” Victor tries to sound scandalized, but mostly sounds amused. “There are children around!”

 

Yuuri claps his hand over his mouth, turning bright red as he notices the family playing on the green next to them. He just about manages to squeak out an apology around his fingers, which is enough for Victor to dissolve into peals of laughter.

 

“Oh Yuuri,” Victor teases fondly, pointedly ignoring Yuuri’s glare from behind his hands. “Don’t ever change.”

 

Yuuri manages to claw his way back into the running after that, and the final hole ends with a tense showdown; Yuuri’s ball knocks Victor’s out of the way as it careens into the hole, and leaves him with a total score of 29 to Victor’s current 27.

 

Victor pouts at the awkward angle Yuuri’s accidental sabotage has left him in, but somehow still manages to chip his ball directly into the hole with his next swing, giving him a final score of 28.

 

He crows all the way to the cafeteria about his win.

 

“One point! I can’t believe I lost by one measly point!” Yuuri wails as he slumps in his seat.

 

“I know, I’m sorry,” Victor says, not sounding sorry at all. He does reach out and start to stroke the back of Yuuri’s hand as he speaks though, so Yuuri decides to forgive him just a little.

 

Yuuri sighs dramatically. “You lied to me, you said you were going to be terrible.”

 

“Would you have preferred it if I was?”

 

“I mean… kind of?” Yuuri finds himself admitting. “Is that really bad of me?”

 

Victor laughs, eyes sparkling. “A little, but I promise I won’t hold it against you.” He smiles his thanks at the waiter who arrives with their coffee, then proceeds to pour an ungodly amount of sugar into his mug as he continues talking. “I’ll admit though, I was hoping that you’d take it upon yourself to show me the ropes, give me some - hands on instruction as it were.”

 

Yuuri splutters into his cup of coffee, warm liquid splashing out of the mug and onto his hands and the table underneath.

 

“Menace,” he coughs, hastily grabbing napkins to mop up the mess he’s made.

 

“Yep,” Victor agrees happily, grabbing a few more napkins as he moves to help.

 

They clean up the table together, then lapse into comfortable silence, Yuuri taking small sips of his coffee just in case Victor decides to spring something else on him.

 

“So they don’t have mini golf in Russia then?” he eventually asks.

 

“Hmmm...no I think they do,” Victor replies, tapping his lower lip with his finger as he speaks. “It just wasn’t something my parents would ever have thought to take me to.”

 

“Ah, I’m sorry,” Yuuri replies awkwardly. He’s gathered from previous conversations that Victor possibly doesn’t have the best relationship with his parents, but Victor’s never gone into that much detail and Yuuri hasn’t wanted to pry.

 

Victor waves him off lightly. “Nonsense, I had plenty of things to entertain me. Skating, riding, fencing - I certainly wasn’t wanting for activities when I was a child, that’s for sure.” He smiles as he takes another sip of his coffee, but Yuuri’s been around him long enough by now to know that this is one of his carefully cultivated smiles, not the genuine grin that Yuuri is usually treated to.

 

“Skating, that must have been fun,” Yuuri tries, not quite sure what else to say.

 

“Mmm yes, great photo opportunities for mama at the rink.” There’s definitely an edge to Victor’s voice as he speaks now, his eyes glittering with something that Yuuri can’t quite place.

 

“Victor?” Yuuri says tentatively, extending his hand slowly across the table for Victor to take again if he wants.

 

Victor looks down at Yuuri’s outstretched hand in surprise, blowing out a soft breath of air before entwining his fingers with Yuuri’s.

 

“I’m sorry, that was petty of me,” he says, sounding slightly abashed.

 

“No! No it’s okay, really. Be as petty as you like.” Yuuri hates how fake his words sound when he really does mean them. He squeezes Victor’s hand gently in an attempt to convey his support non-verbally instead.

 

“I don’t want to sound ungrateful, they gave me so much,” Victor replies, his voice hitching at the edges in a way Yuuri is all too familiar with. Yuuri chooses not to say anything, but instead starts to stroke along the back of Victor’s hand with the pad of his thumb in what he hopes is a comforting gesture.

 

Eventually Victor lets out a long sigh, flipping their hands so that Yuuri’s is cradled in his. “I don’t know if ever told you, but my parents are...well I guess they’re the closest thing Russia has to a dynasty nowadays. I assume you’ve heard of the Bolshoi?”

 

“Victor, I was a dance major remember?”

 

“Right, of course.” Victor’s mouth quirks into a smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes. “Anyway, my family has been part of the company for generations. My great-grandmother was one of their principal ballerinas for almost a decade, and my grandfather is still a Master-Repetiteur there. My father, well, he had it all. Looks, talent, a knack for winning over even the prickliest of critics. The day he proposed to my starlet mother the press went wild.”

 

“Wait a minute,” Yuuri can’t help interrupting, eyes wide as he finally puts the pieces together. “You’re one of those Nikiforovs? Seriously?”

 

Yuuri remembers having to research international ballet for an assignment in his first year at college. He remembers being bored out of his brain until he stumbled across the Nikiforov power-couple, and their devastatingly attractive son.

 

He gasps as he suddenly notices the similarities between the young man from his research and the slightly older but no less devastatingly attractive man in front of him; hair now much shorter but with the exact same sparkle in his eyes.

 

He’d spent hours pouring over photos of younger Victor during that first year of college, homesick and desperate for a distraction, so much so that a part of him can’t quite believe he hadn’t recognized Victor straight away when they first met. But then again, he hadn’t exactly been expecting to find his teenage crush working in a Detroit bar almost ten years after the fact.

 

He’s pretty sure he still has some photos saved somewhere in the recesses of his hard-drive, photos that he’s used for less-than-respectable purposes more than once.

 

Oh god, he’s jerked off to twenty-one year old Victor. He thinks he might die of embarrassment.

 

Luckily Victor doesn’t seem to notice the vibrant shade of red Yuuri has turned, or his not-so-subtle attempts to disappear into the void. His expression shutters, his mouth twisting into what would be a grimace on anybody else. “Yuuri please, I’m begging you. Don’t be one of those people.”

 

Yuuri quickly sobers, all traces of personal embarrassment vanishing in the face of Victor’s plaintive request. “Of course, I’m sorry.” He squeezes Victor’s hand once in sympathy. “Do you want to change the subject?”

 

Victor sighs deeply, hands squeezing back a gentle response. “It’s okay. Besides, it’s probably good for you to know what you’re getting yourself into with me.” He pauses, obviously struggling to find the words, and although Yuuri wants to object to the idea of him ‘getting into’ anything, he forces himself to stay quiet as Victor collects himself and finally starts speaking again.

 

“My mama, she took to the fame like a duck to water. The whole world was a photoshoot for her, every outing an opportunity for a catwalk. It didn’t change when she got pregnant, and it certainly didn’t change when I was born. Most of my childhood photos have been cut out of one magazine or another.”

 

“So you’re like … the Paris Hilton of Russia?”

 

Victor barks out a sharp laugh. “Something like that I suppose, including the highly publicized teenage rebellion stage as well I’m afraid.”

 

“I think I might have heard one or two things about that,” Yuuri says softly, dipping his head to catch Victor’s gaze in an attempt to show the other man that he isn’t judging him for whatever is in his past.

 

Victor laughs again, mouth twitching into a wry smile at Yuuri’s admission. “It’s the usual story I suppose, I was a pretty photogenic kid-”

 

“Pretty photogenic adult too,” Yuuri can’t help interrupting, grinning when Victor blushes and waves off the compliment.

 

Anyway , when I was younger the tabloids loved featuring me in all my childish adorableness, but I suppose that story gets boring after a while. Growing up in the public eye is...a challenge.”

 

“I can imagine,” Yuuri replies, wincing as he remembers his own embarrassing teenage years, thankfully confined to just the sleepy town of Hatestu.  

 

“Mmm,” Victor hums in agreement. “Turns out, it’s basically impossible to keep anything from your parents when there are an army of reporters just waiting to rat you out. They even managed to capture the first time I snuck into a club and promptly got kicked out - I was grounded for weeks after that one.”

 

“Owch.”

 

“Yep. Owch.” Victor takes another sip of his coffee, his expression considering as if he’s trying to decide whether to reveal this next fact. “They contacted my first girlfriend after we broke up, convinced her to do a tell-all piece about our relationship.”

 

“Oh, Victor ,” Yuuri’s voice cracks as he squeezes Victor’s hand with both of his. “I’m so sorry.”

 

“It’s okay, it was a long time ago,” Victor says, but the hurt in his voice is obvious. “I don’t blame her, I know I can be…intense…as a boyfriend, and I’m sure they offered her enough money that she would have been a fool to refuse.”

 

Victor .” Yuuri’s at a loss for what else to say.

 

“Anyway, after that I went...a little off the rails as they say,” Victor powers on, seemingly not even hearing Yuuri. “I figured that if the tabloids were going to report on my entire life, I might as well give them something worth reporting. For a few years I wasn’t Victor anymore, I was the ‘Nikiforov wild child’. I went to all the wrong parties, dated all the wrong people- ”

 

“Like porn stars?” Yuuri interrupts, trying to keep his voice light even as his insides shatter.

 

Of course, of course .  Victor doesn’t want plain old Yuuri, awkward and shy and weirdly competitive over mini golf Yuuri. He wants porn star Yuuri, unfit for polite society Yuuri. He wants to scandalize, and what better way to do that than by dating someone who’s makes a living in the most scandalous profession there is?

 

There are only ever three types of people. Who was Yuuri trying to kid thinking Victor would be any different?

 

Victor’s expression crumples as he realizes what Yuuri is implying, and he brings his other hand to clasp Yuuri’s on the table in front of them. “Oh Yuuri. Yuuri no , it’s not like that at all I promise.”

 

“It’s okay, I don’t mind.” Yuuri can hear his voice quavering even as he plasters on a broad grin. “I can help you shock the Russian gossip-mongers. It’ll be fun.”

 

“Yuuri, no ,” Victor repeats firmly, one hand coming up to stroke Yuuri’s cheek. Despite himself, despite everything, Yuuri finds himself leaning into the touch. “I’m not that man anymore I swear. I moved to America to get away from that lifestyle, and I don’t intend to go back. Please believe me when I say I like you for you, not for … any other reason you might be thinking.”

 

Yuuri hums, not trusting his voice to hold steady if he tries to say anything right now. He wants to believe Victor, so much, and he really does sound like he means it…

 

Maybe, for now at least, that can be enough.

 

They fall into silence after that, but it’s the awkward kind, not the nice, comfortable kind they had before. Yuuri desperately racks his brain for something to say to break the tension.

 

“You never felt like following in your family’s footsteps and going into ballet?”

 

Victor smiles at that, and Yuuri is please to see that it looks more genuine than anything he’s plastered on his face in the past half hour. “Now where would be the surprise in that?”

 


 

The conversation moves on to lighter things after that, and Yuuri has just about started to believe that the serious topics of conversation are behind them for the night when Victor straightens in his seat, coughing awkwardly.

 

“So...porn huh?”

 

Well, so much for that idea then. Yuuri supposes he shouldn’t be surprised; his earlier outburst was the first time he’s mentioned his career in person around Victor. It’s only natural that he’d want to talk about it.

 

“Yes?” he says hesitantly, bracing himself for whatever is about to come next.

 

“How did you get into that?” Victor asks, and though Yuuri scans his voice for any trace of judgement, he simply seems curious.

 

“I..ah...well... I told you I studied dance and drama at college right?” Yuuri begins, trying not to sound defensive as he talks. “In our final year they recommended that we branch out, try some of the more non-traditional forms of dancing. A few of us decided to sign up for pole dancing classes, and from the first class I was hooked. That’s actually where I met Chris,” he explains, remembering Victor’s friendship with the other man.

 

“Ah yes, Chris mentioned he’d started taking those a while back,” Victor says with a soft smile, tapping his lip thoughtfully again as he thinks back. “Then if I remember correctly he progressed from lessons to clubs?”

 

“There was a local strip club that hosted an amateur night. Chris and I went there a few times and I guess we caught the manager’s eye. He offered us a weekly slot as ‘guest acts’, I think they called it. It was pretty fun and the tips were incredible .” Yuuri’s voice starts to sound more confident as he gets into his story. “I was able to pay for my final term tuition on those tips alone.”

 

Victor whistles, low and impressed. “Very nice. I wish bartending tips were that good.”

 

Yuuri laughs, “Please, I saw that older gentleman slip you a hundred the other week.” He pauses for a second, wondering if he should continue. “I got a couple of ‘legitimate’ dancing gigs after I graduated - indie music videos and stuff - but I always found myself gravitating back to stripping. I don’t know why, I guess it just held my attention more? Anyway, by then Chris had gotten his job at Gods of Desire , and when he suggested that I audition...it just seemed like a natural progression?”

 

“I should have known that Chris had something to do with it,” Victor says, voice teasing but fond.

 

“Yeah, Chris is great. A complete menace at work, but a really good friend,” Yuuri says, eyes twinkling as he thinks back on all the good times he’s had with the older man in the last few years.

 

“I can imagine he’s not the most professional of employees?” Victor asks with a smile that suggests he already knows the answer to that one.

 

“That man has never been on time to a shoot in his life, I swear,” Yuuri replies with a sigh and a fond eye roll. “He gets away with it because he’s damn good at what he does, but I do feel sorry for the runners that are sent to collect him each time.” Yuuri pauses, wondering just how far to throw Chris under the bus, before deciding that as his friend Victor has probably heard far worse.

 

“The other day I walked in on him and Masumi in the props cupboard together. They must have had something like thirty toys surrounding them.” Yuuri grimaces slightly as he remembers that particular experience. “I like to think I’m pretty well versed in this stuff, and even I don’t know how they managed to get through them all.”

 

“If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from being Chris’s friend, it’s to never underestimate him.” Victor answers with small laugh. There’s a short pause as he sips his coffee. “You sound like you really enjoy your job.”

 

It’s not really a question, but Yuuri knows Victor is expecting a response nonetheless. He tilts his head, considering. “I mean...yeah? I guess I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it.”

 

“That’s good.” Victor sounds relieved. “I know…I know that’s not always the case in your line of work.”  

 

Yuuri frowns, insides coiling uncomfortably at the implication. “If you’re trying to suggest that I only do what I do for lack of other options...”

 

Victor holds his hands up in front of him, eyes wide. “Oh, no, that’s not what I meant.”

 

“What exactly did you mean then?” Yuuri’s voice comes out icy, even as a part of him can’t quite believe he’s choosing to poke the hornet’s nest like this.

 

Yuuri,” Victor’s tone is almost pleading. “I’m not some oblivious outsider here. Chris is my friend and he’s told me what your industry can be like if you don’t have a good support structure around you. I just wanted to make sure you’re happy, that’s all.”

 

All at once the tension inside of Yuuri’s chest dissipates, replaced instead with something that feels horribly like shame. Victor isn’t asking anything untoward; he’s not judging Yuuri or condemning him for his life choices. He’s simply asking if Yuuri is happy...and Yuuri decided to bite his head off for it.

 

“I’m sorry,” Yuuri says with a sigh, rubbing his temples slowly with his fingers. “That was … I was out of line. You’re right. It can be rough in my line of work, and the industry isn’t always kind to its performers. But Gods of Desire is a really good establishment. They take care of us, and we take care of each other.”

 

He pauses for a second, and makes sure to look Victor in the eye as he speaks this last bit. “I do what I do because I want to, not because I have to, and it’s...important to me that you understand that.”

 

“I do.” A soft smile is back on Victor’s face, and he reaches across to pick up Yuuri’s hand again. “And I’m glad that that’s how you feel. I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable by asking.”

 

“It’s okay,” Yuuri says, and finds that he means it. “You can ask me anything you want. I know what I do is... not exactly conventiontional, and I’m sure you have questions,” he blushes and ducks his head bashfully. “I promise I won’t bite your head off next time.”

 

Victor laughs softly at that, and nods his head once in acceptance. There’s another pause as they both decompress; Yuuri desperately trying to work out how they keep steering back to such heavy topics of conversation. He doesn’t think he’s done any permanent damage to this fledgling relationship of theirs, considering the way Victor is still softly stroking the back of his hand, but he can feel the what-if’s start to build in his chest regardless.

 

“Ok, I have a question,” Victor suddenly says, and Yuuri is surprised to hear a teasing edge to his voice, so completely at odds with the seriousness of before.

 

“Oh yes?” he replies, wondering where exactly their conversation is about to go now.

 

“Hypothetically speaking, how would you feel if I told you I had watched some of your movies?”

 

“Hypothetically speaking?” Yuuri’s voice sounds incredibly high-pitched to his own ears.

 

“You know, if my hypothetical Swiss friend had some hypothetical copies of some hypothetical shoots his hypothetically incredibly attractive colleague might have hypothetically starred in?” Victor’s devious expression feels like it’s piercing Yuuri’s chest, and he finds all the air leaving his lungs in one long exhale.

 

“I’m going to kill Chris,” Yuuri says faintly, wondering if this is some sort of karmic retribution for his extra-curricular use of Victor’s image back in college. “They’ll never find his body.”

 

Victor laughs, low and sultry. “Don’t blame Chris, myshónok, I can be incredibly persuasive when I want to be, and you are incredibly good incentive.”

 

Yuuri groans, emotions stuck somewhere between proud and mortified. Objectively, he knows how good he looks on camera - he has an AVN long list nomination to prove that - and the idea of Victor watching him, getting turned on by him, maybe even jerking off to him...It’s doing all sorts of conflicting things to Yuuri’s insides.

 

“Did you like what you saw?” he eventually settles on, wondering if his voice sounds as shaky as he feels.

 

“You’re captivating on screen, you know that.” Victor reaches up to stroke Yuuri’s cheek again, but this time the gesture is tinged with heat, with promise. “Almost as captivating as you are right now.”

 

Yuuri practically whines at the gesture, feeling the blood rush simultaneously to his cheeks and his groin. He shifts awkwardly in his seat as he flicks his gaze to the left and right, suddenly uncomfortably aware of their very public, very family-friendly setting.

 

“Do you want to get out of here?” Victor asks, but it’s not really a question at all.

 

“Fuck, yes,” Yuuri replies emphatically, already scrambling for his coat.

Chapter Text

“So...your place or mine?” Victor asks, mouth quirking into a teasing smile as they exit onto the main road.

 

Yuuri pauses for a second, considering. “My place is closer, but I can’t promise that my roommate won’t be home and he - ah - well he doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to privacy...” he trails off, letting Victor come to his own conclusions.

 

“Got it,” Victor says, smile widening as he hails down a passing cab. “My place it is then.”

 

The journey to Victor’s apartment takes forever and no time at all. Yuuri is hyperaware of the space between Victor’s body and his own as they sit on either side of the back seat of the cab; less than a foot of crackling tension separating them. At one point Victor gives a soft sigh and extends his arm, letting his hand fall upturned on the empty seat between them, and Yuuri’s brain goes into overdrive wondering if it’s an invitation or not.

 

By the time the cab slows to a halt outside an imposing limestone building, Yuuri feels like he’s been holding his breath the entire ride. He tries to subtly exhale while Victor leans forward to pay the driver, hating how shuddery his lungs feel. Victor climbs out of the cab and extends a hand to Yuuri like a gentlemen, and this time Yuuri doesn’t second-guess himself as he reaches out to take Victor’s hand.

 

It’s the most innocent of gestures, but Yuuri feels electricity shooting through his body nonetheless. He holds onto Victor’s hand just a beat longer than necessary, flicking his eyes up to meet Victor’s as he straightens, and he swears he can see desire spark behind those beautiful blue eyes.

 

“Thank you,” he says, voice breathy.

 

“Не за что,” Victor replies quietly, and Yuuri finds himself swooning at the way the words practically drip off his tongue.

 

The elevator ride up to Victor’s penthouse apartment brings with it a whole new cocktail of anticipation and stress. Without the buffer of other humans just a few feet away from them, Yuuri’s arousal-soaked brain can can see even less reason to not ravage Victor against the wall as soon as the heavy metal doors snap closed. It’s only his deep-rooted fear of making a total fool of himself that keeps it even slightly in check.

 

The eager glances that Victor keeps throwing Yuuri - standing so close that their shoulders are separated by barely a hair’s-breadth - definitely doesn’t help matters.

 

Then the elevator doors ding open, and Yuuri is distracted enough by the view to temporarily forget all about the desire coursing through his body.

 

“Holy crap,” Yuuri mumbles to himself as he steps out of the elevator and immediately makes his way across the open plan living area, only stopping when he reaches the floor-to-ceiling windows on the other sides of the apartment.

 

“It’s quite a view isn’t it,” Victor says, coming to stand next to Yuuri.

 

“It’s incredible,” Yuuri says in awe. From their vantage point they have a perfect view of the Detroit skyline, the city lit up and sparkling as the sun starts to set behind the skyscrapers in the distance.

 

“I’ll admit, this view is what sold me on the whole apartment. I was practically signing on the dotted line before having even looked at the other rooms.” Victor lets out a rueful chuckle and nudges a glass against Yuuri’s hand. Yuuri reluctantly tears his gaze away from the beautiful vista to see what it is that Victor’s handed him.

 

“Vodka, the really good stuff,” Victor says, raising his glass in invitation. Yuuri can’t help rolling his eyes fondly as he lifts his glass to clink with Victor’s, taking a small sip of the crystal clear liquid.

 

“Wow...that’s actually not bad,” Yuuri exclaims in surprise, the sharp burn he’s come to associate with vodka noticeably absent as the alcohol warms his throat.

 

“Imported straight from the Altai mountains,” Victor replies, eyes never leaving Yuuri’s as he takes another sip. “Only for my most fond of guests.”

 

Yuuri blushes at the compliment, “I bet you say that to everyone you bring up here,” he deflects, hurriedly turning back to the view to avoid Victor’s piercing stare.

 

There’s silence for a beat, and then Yuuri feels Victor’s arm snake around his waist. He allows himself to be gently turned so that they’re facing one another, so close that Yuuri has to tilt his head to meet Victor’s gaze.

 

“You underestimate yourself, my dear Yuuri,” Victor voice is soft and syrupy, and Yuuri feels heat coil low in his gut. He moves without thinking, lifting his arms to wrap around Victor’s neck and draw them closer together.

 

“You know, as nice as the view is out there,” Yuuri says, lips quirking into a small smile as he tilts his head towards the window, “I think I prefer the view in here.” He barely recognizes this suave, confident version of himself, but something about Victor makes him want to throw caution to the wind, to act without second-guessing himself for once in his life.

 

So he does.

 

He just has time to register Victor’s eyes widening in surprise as he surges up to close the last few inches between them, his lips pressing soft but firm against Victor’s. Victor gasps against his mouth, a soft puff of air that sends tingles down Yuuri’s spine, and then he’s responding eagerly, arms wrapping tighter around Yuuri’s waist as he deepens the kiss.

 

Yuuri hums happily and relaxes his jaw, giving Victor’s tongue permission to slip inside. Victor doesn’t need further prompting, his tongue flicking out to trace along Yuuri’s teeth before delving further, exploring the shape of Yuuri’s mouth.

 

All too soon they have to break apart for air, and Yuuri hesitates for just a moment before allowing his forehead to rest against Victor’s shoulder while he catches his breath. He can see Victor’s chest rising and falling rapidly, and he slips one hand down to lie flat against it, feeling the fluttering vibrations of Victor’s heartbeat almost in time with his own.

 

“That was quite a line,” Victor says, and Yuuri can hear the smile in his voice as he rubs a hand up and down Yuuri’s spine.

 

“I meant every word,” Yuuri replies, smiling to himself at Victor’s breathless chuckle in response. He lift his head to meet Victor’s gaze once more, and finds himself struggling to remember how to breathe all over again when he sees the raw, unfiltered fondness in Victor’s expression.

 

“Would-” Victor’s voice comes out scratchy, and he has to pause and cough before continuing. “Would you like to maybe move into the bedroom, my dear Yuuri?”

 

“Got bored of taking things slow?” It's supposed to be a joke, of course it's a joke when Yuuri’s so obviously hard and wanting, pressed up against Victor's body like he needs the contact to survive.

 

Victor, for whatever reason, doesn't hear the jest in Yuuri’s tone. He instantly freezes, all the softness in his body replaced by a thrumming tension that Yuuri can practically feel.

 

“Ah…I just thought…” Victor's face crumples as he takes a step backward, and Yuuri has to hold in a whimper as the other man steps out of his embrace. “Since today went so well…but of course you're right.”

 

“No I'm not!” Yuuri blurts, cursing himself for a fool. “I'm wrong, I'm very very wrong. Ignore me Victor, I'm an idiot.”

 

Victor's expression twists, and Yuuri can practically see the conflict written across his features. “But I'm rushing, I promised myself I wouldn't rush. Not with you.”

 

“Do you feel like we’re rushing?” Yuuri asks, taking a hesitant step towards Victor again, desperately wishing he could take his words back and return to the sweet simplicity of before.

 

“Well… No…” Victor admits, and Yuuri feels a muscle spasm in his neck at how violently he shakes his agreement.

 

“Me neither.” He takes another step forward, hand coming up to slip cautiously around Victor's neck. “I'm exactly where I want to be, exactly when I want to be here.”

 

It’s almost strange, he thinks absently, how sure he is of that fact. He’s gotten so used to the little voices in his head that make him over-analyze and second-guess everything; it’s almost disconcerting when they fall silent. For once, every part of Yuuri’s consciousness is agreement in how much he wants the beautiful, breathtaking man in front of him, and he doesn’t intend to let this opportunity go.

 

He reaches up to press a soft, delicate kiss to Victor's mouth, capturing the other man's contented sigh with his lips. “If you don't want to go any further tonight then that's completely okay, but please don’t make that decision based on what you think I need, or what you think you should want.” Another soft kiss, and Yuuri is rewarded by Victor's arms snaking around his waist. “Let's go at our pace, and nobody else's.”

 

Yuuri ,” his name sounds like a prayer on Victor's lips. Yuuri tilts his head to kiss him again, this time a touch more insistent. Victor groans, hesitating for only a moment before he responds in kind, drawing him close so that their bodies are pressed together. Yuuri hums happily as he practically melts against the other man, his body hot and over-eager in Victor’s embrace.

 

He finally peels himself away from Victor’s body, the hand on his chest slipping down to take Victor’s nearest hand. He makes sure to meet his gaze as he speaks, makes sure the desire is written plainly across his features.

 

“Take me to your bedroom, Victor.”

 

The smile Victor gives him is practically blinding, all trace of hesitance gone as he entwines their fingers and leads Yuuri across the living area to a small hallway on the right-hand side of the room. He pushes open the first door on the left, holding it open so that Yuuri can enter first.

 

Considering the opulence of his communal areas, Victor’s bedroom is almost quaint by comparison. Sure, the room itself is bigger than both Yuuri and Phichit’s bedrooms combined, but the furnishings are simple and unobtrusive. A queen bed is pushed against the far wall, the headboard a dark mahogany that complements the simple navy bedding. There’s also a small bedside table and a much larger wardrobe that takes up most of one wall, but what immediately catches Yuuri’s attention is the pinboard covered in photographs hanging on the wall closest to them.

 

It looks like something straight out of a college dorm, pictures scattered haphazardly across its surface. When Yuuri looks closer practically every single photograph is of a large poodle, often accompanied by Victor in what looks like awkward selfies. A blond teenager makes an appearance in a few of the photos, scowling at the camera from behind long bangs, and Yuuri thinks he spies Chris in one or two of them as well, but apart from that there are no other people visible in the myriad of photos that cover every square inch of the pinboard.

 

“Isn’t Makka adorable,” Victor says, noticing Yuuri’s focus. Yuuri jumps and blushes, embarrassed to have been caught staring at something so obviously personal.

 

“The most adorable,” Yuuri agrees quickly, smiling to himself when Victor’s face breaks out in the biggest grin at the affirmation.

 

“I’d love for you to meet her at some point,” Victor says, leading Yuuri across the room to the bed. “Chris is looking after her tonight as I wasn’t sure how late I would be back, and she gets awfully lonely on her own.”

 

“Poor puppy,” Yuuri says, genuinely aggrieved at the idea of Makkachin being sad and alone. “You should bring her with you next time.”

 

“Oh Yuuri, that would be wonderful!” Victor replies, rewarding Yuuri with another of those heart-shaped smiles of his. He sits down on the edge of the bed, tugging at Yuuri’s hand to draw him down as well. Yuuri allows himself to be guided down, angling his body towards Victor’s on the bed.

 

Victor’s free hand comes up to cup Yuuri’s cheek, and Yuuri finds himself practically whimpering as he leans into the gesture.

 

“So beautiful,” Victor breathes, voice reverent as he slowly leans forward to kiss Yuuri once more.

 

This time the kiss is languid, almost lazy as Victor drags them both backwards so that they’re lying on top of the sheets. Yuuri can feel the desire thrumming through his body, but it’s tempered by the the sweet sincerity of Victor’s ministrations. He allows himself to indulge in the soft stroke of Victor’s fingers along his sides, loses himself in the feel of Victor’s tongue exploring the inner lining of his mouth. He knows that soon clothes will be discarded, that movements will turn heated and urgent, but for now he floats on the gentle, reverent touches Victor that gifts him, and he himself returns.

 

Victor’s hand slips underneath Yuuri’s shirt, fingers just a touch cooler than Yuuri’s own heated skin. Yuuri shivers at the sensation, fingers clutching against Victor’s clothing as he arches his body in response.

 

“So responsive,” Victor whispers, the words tickling Yuuri’s lips. Yuuri groans and rolls them so that Victor is on top of him, pressing Yuuri down into the soft mattress underneath.

 

Victor huffs a laugh at Yuuri’s movements, and starts to roll his hips, grinding down against Yuuri’s as he eagerly plunders Yuuri’s mouth. Yuuri gasps as he feels Victor’s hard cock rub against his own, blood rushing to his own groin in response. He swells inside his briefs, the pressure starting to get uncomfortable as his erection starts to press insistently against the zipper of his jeans.

 

“Victor,” he gasps against Victor’s lips, thrusting his hips upward to meet Victor’s downward press. Above him Victor shudders, breaking the kiss momentarily to drop his forehead against Yuuri’s shoulder.

 

“Fuck, Yuuri ,” Victor moans, and Yuuri whines at the sudden loss of contact.

 

“Victor, please,” he begs, scrabbling at Victor’s shoulder blades in attempt to make him start kissing again.

 

“Say it again,” Victor says, lifting his head to stare down in awe at Yuuri. “I want to hear my name on those beautiful lips.”

 

“Victor,” Yuuri complies eagerly, “Kiss me Victor, make me forget every name but-” he’s cut off as Victor kisses him again, hard and passionate. Yuuri returns the kiss just as eagerly, hips rocking and hands scrabbling as if he can sink inside Victor’s body just by getting close enough.

 

Their actions start to get more hurried, more urgent. The time for casual exploration has passed and Yuuri knows that Victor is driven by the same insatiable desire as him as clothes are quickly discarded without fuss or ceremony.

 

Yuuri keens happily the first time he feels Victor’s naked body pressed against his own, the heat of his skin burning him in all the right ways. He slips his hand between them to grasp at Victor’s cock, rock hard and leaking between his legs, giving it a few experimental tugs.

 

Victor groans at the sensation, thrusting up into Yuuri’s hand, and Yuuri takes that as permission to start stroking him in earnest. His grip is firm as he starts to jerk Victor off, flicking his wrist every time he reaches the tip in a practiced movement that he knows all too well. Victor’s body starts to shudder above him, his breaths coming in harsh pants against Yuuri lips, and Yuuri grins as he starts to pick up the pace.

 

“Stop, stop,” Victor’s voice sounds almost pained and Yuuri immediately releases him, moving to stroke his hand soothingly along his side instead.

 

“Not good?” he asks, trying hard not to jump to conclusions as is his usual modus operandi.

 

Victor breathes out a harsh laugh, head falling against Yuuri’s shoulder again. “So good,” he replies, words slightly muffled against Yuuri’s skin. “But I’m afraid this will all be over far too quickly if you keep going.”

 

Yuuri lets out a huff of relief, nuzzling Victor’s cheek with his nose. “Is that a suggestion that we progress to the main event?” he says, voice just on the cusp of teasing.

 

Victor huffs out another breathless laugh, and pushes himself up on his hands so that he’s supporting his own weight. “Yes please,” he says, voice rumbling low in a way that has Yuuri’s toes curling.

 

Yuuri moves to pull Victor down into another kiss, pouting a bit when Victor pushes himself up to sitting instead, thighs straddling Yuuri’s hips comfortably. He watches as Victor leans over to start rummaging in a drawer of his bedside table, hands coming up to hold Victor’s thighs steady so that he doesn’t topple completely over. Victor returns a moment later with a bottle of lubricant and a square foil packet, and Yuuri suddenly remembers something very exciting indeed.

 

“We don’t need to use that,” he says, nodding at the condom. “I had my monthly testing yesterday and got the all clear.”

 

Victor pauses for a second, apparently needing a moment to process Yuuri’s words, and then a small crease appears between his brows. He leans down and presses a soft, almost chaste kiss to Yuuri’s lips. “Thank you for telling me, but we still need to use a condom.”

 

Yuuri frowns, hurt spiking irrationally in his chest at Victor’s rejection. Does Victor not trust his word? Or does he just not want to fuck somebody like Yuuri without an extra layer of protection between them?

 

“I have a copy of the results,” he says, hearing the hysteria start to creep into his voice as he pushes himself up on his elbows. “They’re still in my bag, I can get them for you if you need to see-”

 

He’s cut off by another soft press of Victor’s lips against his own, and despite the tension gripping his heart like a metal fist, he finds himself melting into the contact.


“I trust you,” Victor says softly when they break apart again. “You don’t need to show me your results, I trust you.”

 

“Then why-” Yuuri tries again, painfully aware of how hurt he sounds, and again he’s cut off by another of Victor’s wonderful kisses.

 

“We need to use a condom because I haven’t gotten myself checked in...well it’s been a while,” Victor explains with a small smile. “As much as I hate to use this line; it’s not you, it’s me.”

 

“Oh… Oh ,” Yuuri breathes, color rushing to his cheeks as he suddenly realizes just how ridiculous he’s being. He slumps back against the mattress, flinging his arms over his eyes. “Oh my god Victor I’m sorry, that was...that was really dumb of me.”

 

He hears Victor chuckle, then feels a light kiss on the very tip of his nose. He uncovers his eyes to see Victor - beautiful, wonderful, greek-god Victor - smiling down at him, and the embarrassment threatens to overwhelm him all over again. He groans and hastily re-covers his face with his arm.

 

What on earth had he been thinking?

 

“It’s okay sweetheart,” Victor says fondly. “I promise I don’t hold it against you.”

 

Yuuri groans again, but lets his arm to fall back down to his side, chancing a rueful smile up at Victor. Victor grins brightly back and presses one more soft kiss to Yuuri’s nose before straightening up and waving the foil packet suggestively.

 

“So how do you want to do this?”

 

“Oh..um..” Yuuri stammers, not expecting the question. It’s been so long since he took anybody to bed outside of work, he’s become accustomed to just being told what role to take. Being given the choice feels more than a little bizarre.

 

“I don’t mind, you choose,” he says, shuffling up on his elbows to be able to look at Victor properly as he speaks.

 

“You don’t have a preference?” Victor asks, brow furrowing slightly in confusion.

 

Yuuri tips his head to the side, considering. “I mean… I don’t think so?” he chews over his words, trying to find the best way to explain what exactly it is that elevates everyday sex to truly memorable sex. “I think…I think for me it always comes down to who I’m with, not what I’m doing. Does that makes sense?”

 

Victor’s expression melts from confused to fond in an instant. “Yeah, yeah I think it does,” he replies, voice almost heartbreakingly soft. “Well in that case...” he tears into the condom wrapper with his teeth, shuffling down Yuuri’s body until his face is level with Yuuri’s cock. He wraps his long fingers around Yuuri’s length, giving it a couple of quick strokes as his eyes flick upwards teasingly. “Would you mind doing the honours?”

 

Yuuri’s breath escapes in a rush, leaving him unable to do more than nod eagerly as Victor extracts the condom from the packet with a curl of his tongue. He watches in awe as Victor holds the rubber in his mouth and sinks down onto Yuuri’s cock in one smooth movement, unravelling the latex along his length as he descends.

 

Yuuri groans as his dick is suddenly enveloped in the warmth of Victor’s mouth, and he slumps back down on the bed with a thumb. Victor hums happily around his length, the pressure steadily increasing as he hollows his cheeks and sucks. Even through the latex of the condom Victor’s tongue works magic along Yuuri’s length, leaving him writhing and panting on the bed. His fingers tangle in Victor’s hair and he flexes them lightly against his scalp, desperate for increased contact but unwilling to cause Victor any discomfort.

 

Victor pulls off with a satisfied slurp, grinning up at Yuuri from his position nestled between his legs. “Where...ah…where did you learn to do that?” Yuuri asks without really thinking.

 

“Where did I learn to give a blowjob? Or did you mean the condom trick specifically?” Victor asks teasingly. Yuuri huffs and bats at Victor’s shoulder. “I told you I was a bit of a wild child, remember?”

 

“You’re going to have to teach me how to do that,” Yuuri says as he starts to tug Victor back up his body, until he’s straddling his hips again, Yuuri’s cock nestled along the crack of Victor’s ass.

 

“I can’t believe I have an award-nominated porn star asking me for sex tips. Wow! Amazing!” Victor replies with a laugh, grinding back against Yuuri’s cock as he bends down to kiss Yuuri again, lips still wet from his earlier ministrations.

 

“How did you…? Was it Chris?” Yuuri asks, momentarily distracted from the soft, sweet press of Victor’s lips by the unexpected mention of his AVN nomination.

 

“I’m impressed, but not surprised. You’re incredibly talented, Yuuri.” Victor croons, placing kissing along Yuuri’s jawline in between words. “Will you show me some of that talent? Please?”

 

It’s the pleading that flips some sort of switch inside Yuuri’s gut, and he groans as his fingers tighten around Victor’s hips, thrusting up once so that his spit-slick dick slides between Victor’s cheeks. He surges upright, one arm wrapping around Victor’s waist to steady them both as the other reaches for the lube on the bed next to them. He kisses Victor deeply, drawing out a whimper from the other man, as he flicks open the lube and squeezes some of the viscous liquid on the fingers of his free hand.

 

He reaches around Victor’s slender waist to stroke at his hole, rubbing lubricant into the puckered flesh. Victor shudders at the contact, rocking back against Yuuri’s touch. The very tip of Yuuri’s index finger breaches Victor’s rim, and Victor lets out a high pitched whimper.

 

“Shhh, I’ve got you,” Yuuri whispers, pressing kisses to the long column of Victor’s neck as he starts to press inside.

 

Yuuri ,” his name sounds like one long exhale on Victor’s lips, and Yuuri can’t help but swallow the sound with his own, kissing Victor sweetly as his finger slips in to the second knuckle.

 

He pumps his finger a few times experimentally, grinning against Victor’s mouth at the small hitches of breath the movements draw out of the other man. When Victor’s body starts to accept the intrusion without resistance he he withdraws his hand, fumbling behind Victor’s back to reslick his digits before pressing back inside with both his index and middle finger.

 

Victor tenses in Yuuri’s lap, face twisting into a grimace.

 

“Victor?” Yuuri leans back so that he can get a better view of Victor’s face, already starting to withdraw his hand. Quick as a flash Victor reaches behind him, long fingers curling around Yuuri’s wrist and holding him in place buried inside him.

 

“Don’t move,” Victor pants. “I just need...ah...I just need a moment.”

 

“Are you sure?” Yuuri asks, brow furrowing in concern at Victor’s scrunched up face.

 

“Yep...yeah…” Victor nods adamantly, eyes flickering open to meet Yuuri’s again as a wry smile traces the corner of his lips. “It’s just been a while.”

 

“Oh.” Yuuri’s free hand flutters at Victor’s waist like an anxious butterfly. “Do you want to switch? It’s not like it’s been a while for me.” He immediately winces at his thoughtless phrasing - way to sound like a complete slut, Yuuri - and opens his mouth to try and clarify.

 

Victor shushes him with a wave of his spare hand, eyes crinkling in amusement at Yuuri’s flustered response. “Don’t be silly,” he replies, starting to rock gingerly against Yuuri’s fingers again. “Just...ah...go slow?”

 

“Of course,” Yuuri replies, holding his hand deathly still as Victor starts to slowly fuck himself on his fingers. “Whatever you want, Victor.”

 

“Mmmm,” Victor’s eyes flutter closed as he starts to rolls his hips in small circles against Yuuri’s hand. “Say that again.”

 

“I’ll give you whatever you want, Victor.” Yuuri repeats, pitching his voice slightly lower as he leans forward to whisper in Victor’s ear. “Tell me what you want me to do to you.”

 

“I...ah…” Victor’s voice hitches as he sinks all the way down onto Yuuri’s fingers. “I want to feel you inside me”

 

“You want me to fuck you, just like this?” Yuuri asks, flexing his fingers and smiling as Victor keens in response. There’s a pink flush starting to spread across Victor’s chest, and Yuuri doesn’t stop to think as he ducks his head, licking a long stripe with the flat of his tongue across one of Victor’s dusky nipples. Victor practically wails at the gesture, throwing his head back as he starts to bounce vigorously against Yuuri’s hand.

 

“Yes, yes, fuck me Yuuri please,” Victor begs, his voice breathless and pitchy as he exerts himself.

 

“You don’t want another finger first?” Yuuri asks, scissoring his fingers against Victor’s entrance. Victor’s hole is relaxed and pliant under his ministration, the physical act of preparation helped along by the clear arousal flowing through the other man’s veins. Yuuri knows he could fit inside Victor now if Victor wanted him to; knows exactly how that moment of resistance will feel just before Victor’s body yields to him, hot and tight and just the right side of uncomfortable.

 

“No...Now...I want you now.” Victor whines, face scrunching as Yuuri crooks his fingers to tease at his prostate. “Yuuri, please .”

 

“Somebody’s demanding,” Yuuri teases, slowly withdrawing his fingers and placing both hands on Victor’s hips so that he can help guide the other man into place. Victor’s lashes immediately snap open, and Yuuri is surprised to see a hint of concern flash behind those beautiful blue eyes.

 

Yuuri squeezes Victor’s hips reassuringly, and slowly his movements enough to press a soft, comforting kiss to his lips. “I like it,” he reassures, mouth still brushing against Victor’s as he speaks. “Demand anything, demand everything . I want to give it to you.”

 

There’s a moment’s hesitation, and then Victor’s face breaks out another one of those breathtaking smiles, all trace of concern evaporate. “In that case…” he replies lowly, voice practically dripping with promise. “Fuck me. Hard.”

 

Yuuri grins back, expression all teeth. His fingers tighten around Victor’s hips and he guides him up and back, until his cock is just nudging at his entrance.

 

Victor gasps as Yuuri’s slick tip catches on his rim, and then he’s sinking down. Yuuri holds his breath as the inevitable pressure start to build around the head of his dick, a silent sigh as muscle finally gives way and his length is suddenly engulfed in Victor’s tight, wet heat.

 

Both men groan in unison, and Yuuri feels his eyes practically roll into the back of his head as Victor continues to bear down until he’s completely seated in Yuuri’s lap. Victor pauses for a moment, fingers clenching and unclenching where his arms are wrapped around Yuuri’s neck, and Yuuri does his level best not to move while the other man adjusts to the sudden stretch.

 

“Good?” he asks after a moment, stroking a hand soothingly along Victor’s spine.

 

“Mmm, so good,” Victor replies, burying his face in Yuuri’s shoulder with a rough exhale of breath.

 

“Can I…should I move?”

 

Please .”

 

Yuuri starts slow, just a gentle rock of his hips. The slow undulations bounce Victor in his lap, and the other man moans desperately into his shoulder.

 

“Ugh...fuck…” Victor gasps, teeth nipping at Yuuri’s collarbone, and Yuuri takes that as permission start to pick up the pace. He starts pulling out a little farther each gyration, snapping back in with just a little more force than the time before. Victor starts making little breathless gasps every time Yuuri thrusts in and the sounds travel straight to Yuuri’s groin, causing the most amazing feedback loop of desire.

 

Yuuri moans and wraps his arms tighter around Victor’s body, holding him in place as he starts to fuck up into him in earnest. Victor cries out in pleasure, head tipping backwards and hands scrabbling at the back of Yuuri’s neck.

 

The room fills with the slap of skin against skin, with breathy gasps and the occasional fully fledged moan. Yuuri bites down on his bottom lip as he feels his release building deep in his gut, and he can feel his rhythm start to falter as his climax begins to take hold.

 

“Ah...Victor...fuck...I’m getting close,” Yuuri stutters, fingers flexing against Victor’s skin as he tries to keep his orgasm in check. Here, with Victor, there’s no adhering to a script, no making sure he’s positioned so that the camera catches his best angle. The only person he’s performing for tonight is the man in his lap, but fuck does he want to make it a good performance.

 

Victor whines in agreement, one hand uncurling from around Yuuri’s neck to slip between their joined bodies. Yuuri feels him start to jerk himself off with sharp, rough strokes, the tip of his cock nudging at Yuuri’s stomach and smearing precome across his skin.

 

“Yuuri...fuck, Yuuri ...” Yuuri’s name morphs into a silent scream on Victor’s lips, and he feels hot, sticky fluid coat his stomach as Victor comes violently - whole body clenching with the force of his orgasm.

 

Yuuri moans as Victor’s ass tightens like a vise around his dick, and that’s all it takes for him to follow Victor over the edge, hips jerking erratically as he finally erupts.

 

He comes down slowly, panting hard. Victor is boneless in his lap, head resting heavily on his shoulder, and Yuuri winces as he feels the mess between them quickly start to cool and congeal. With a grunt he rolls them over so that Victor is lying flat on the mattress beneath him, then slowly pulls out of Victor’s body.

 

Victor whimpers at the movement, his body obviously now feeling overstimulated and sore, and Yuuri apologises with a soft, chaste kiss to his lips.

 

“Sorry, sorry,” he whispers, pressing another kiss to the tip of Victor’s nose before rolling out of bed and starting to pad in the direction of what he hopes is the bathroom.

 

He’s halfway across the room when he hears rustling behind him.

 

“Yuuri?” Victor’s voice is restrained, almost hesitant, and Yuuri immediately whips back towards the bed. Victor has propped himself up against the headboard, now underneath the sheets with them pulled almost all the way up to his chin.

 

“Are you … are you going?” His words shudder just a little, like he’s forcing them out of his throat, and Yuuri can practically feel his heart cracking at the uncertain tone.

 

“No! Not at all.” Yuuri hurries back to the bed, leaning over and cupping Victor’s face with his hands before peppering his cheeks with kisses. “I’m so sorry if I gave you that impression. I was just going to get some stuff to freshen us up a bit.” His eyes flicks down to his chest, still covered in Victor’s release, before meeting Victor’s gaze again with a wry smile.

 

“Oh… oh ,” Victor sounds relieved, and a touch amused. He nods his head to the left of the bed, the opposite direction from where Yuuri was headed. “Bathroom is that way.”

 

Yuuri frowns in confusion, turning to look at the door he had been aiming for. “What’s that door then?”

 

“It’s my study. But it...um...well it has a balcony that connects to the building’s fire escape.” Victor rubs at the back of his neck sheepishly. “I panicked.”

 

Yuuri pauses for a full minute, brain struggling to process what Victor is implying. “So...you thought I was going to finish fucking you and promptly make a run for it? Without making sure you were okay? Without saying goodbye? Without getting my clothes?!”

 

And Yuuri thought he had issues when it came to commitment.

 

Victor huffs out a self deprecating laugh that doesn’t quite reach his eyes “I know, it was stupid of me.”

 

“Oh Victor, no .” Yuuri leans in to start to press kisses all over his face again; his cheeks, his lips, his eyelids. “I just want to find - and hurt - whoever in your past made you think that was a possible outcome after sex. Especially after really, really good sex”

 

Victor splutters under the force of Yuuri’s vigorous kissing, but this sound at least sounds more genuine. “It was good wasn’t it,” he says, voice hitching on the last word, like he can’t help turning it into a question at the last minute.

 

“The best,” Yuuri reassures adamantly, pressing one more long, sweet kiss to Victor’s lips proper. “Now i’m going to go to the bathroom,” he points at the correct door this time, earning a soft laugh from Victor in response. “And then I’m going to come straight back, okay?”

 

Victor nods his affirmation and Yuuri reluctantly peels himself away from the other man, hurrying across the room on feather-light feet.

 

Once he’s ensconced in Victor’s - ridiculously opulent - private bathroom he quickly peels off and disposes of the condom and scrubs himself down, washing off the sticky residue that has now most definitely congealed on his skin. He grabs a second hand-towel and runs it under warm water to take back out to Victor, then spends a moment half-heartedly trying to fix his hair before deeming it a lost cause and returning to the bedroom.

 

Victor is sitting more comfortably in bed now, with pillows behind his back and the sheets tucked around his waist rather than up to his throat. He’s reading something on his phone, but immediately turns to smile at Yuuri when he emerges, reaching out to beckon him with his spare hand.

 

Yuuri happily crosses the room and slides into bed next to Victor, slipping under his outstretched arm to pillow his head on Victor’s chest.

 

“How do you feel about pizza?” Victor asks, swiping at his phone screen one-handed as his other hand moves up to start to stroke through Yuuri’s hair.

 

“In general?” Yuuri replies, unconsciously arching up into Victor’s touch.

 

“For dinner, tonight.” Victor clarifies, twisting his phone screen so that Yuuri can see it. “I was going to order online so we don’t have to leave this bed.”

 

“Victor, you’re a genius,” Yuuri replies honestly, stretching his neck to kiss Victor’s cheek. “I’ll have the meat feast.”

 

“Yuuri! At least give me some time to recover!” Victor exclaims, exaggerating his shock even as he wiggles his eyebrows salaciously, and Yuuri can’t help the bubble of laughter that erupts out of him in response.

 

“You’re such a dork,” he replies fondly, batting at Victor’s shoulder gently.

 

“I am,” Victor agrees, sounding very pleased with himself indeed.

Chapter Text

Yuuri wakes up the next morning with his face buried in Victor’s armpit.

 

Groaning he pushes himself up to sitting, reaching over to grab his phone and silence his blaring alarm. He wipes his face blearily with his hand - relieved not to find any drool - then turns to admire his bedmate who’s somehow still sleeping peacefully.

 

Victor is sprawled out on his back, body starfished across the entirety of the large bed. Yuuri can’t help smiling to himself as he takes in the other man’s peaceful expression, reaching out to lightly stroke his fingers along Victor’s jawline.

 

Victor snuffles and sleepily reaches up to bat away Yuuri’s hand, and Yuuri can’t contain his giggle at the adorable gesture.

 

“Mmmrph,” Victor groans, one eye flicking open to glare half-heartedly up at Yuuri. “Wha’s going on?”

 

“Sorry for waking you,” Yuuri replies quietly. “But I have to get ready for work.”

 

“Nooo,” Victor whines, rolling over and snaking an arm around Yuuri’s waist. “Stay.”

 

“I wish I could,” Yuri says, surprised to find that he really means it. “But I’m already cutting it pretty close.” With a sigh he wriggles out of Victor’s grasp and rolls out of bed, frowning as he sees his clothes strewn across the floor.

 

“Should have brought a change of clothes,” he mutters to himself as he reaches down to pick up his jeans, freezing when he realizes what he’s just implied. “I mean…not that I was expecting to stay the night or anything…” He turns bashfully back towards the bed, where Victor has rearranged himself so that he’s propped up against the headboard.

 

Victor smiles as he waves away Yuuri’s stuttering explanation. “It’s okay, I know what you meant.” He pauses, considering. “Would you like to borrow some fresh clothes? We’re pretty similar in size so I probably have stuff that will fit you.”

 

Yuuri winces, already imagining the teasing he’ll get from Chris if he turns up to work in clothes that obviously belong to Victor. “As much as I appreciate the offer, I think I’m probably better off sticking with what I have. Besides, I won’t be in them for long anyway. ” He cringes again at his unfortunate phrasing - he really shouldn’t be allowed to speak to people this early in the morning - and hesitantly scan’s Victor’s expression for his reaction.

 

Far from being scandalized at Yuuri’s admission, Victor’s face breaks out into a wide smile. “You’re filming today?” he asks, “Anything exciting?”

 

Yuuri tilts his head to the side as he tries to remember his schedule. “I think today is an outdoor shoot. I’m working with JJ again,” he wrinkles his nose as he recalls their last shoot together. “So that should be…interesting.”

 

“You say interesting, but I hear terrible,” Victor’s voice is just on the cusp of teasing. “Some history between you and this JJ person?”

 

“Ah…” Yuuri pauses in his hunt for his t-shirt as he realizes he probably has some explaining to do. “Do you remember when we first met? And I was telling you about the presentation I had with a coworker that went horribly?”

 

“Yes, I remember,” Victor replies lightly, obviously not making the connection. “He went completely off script and made you ruin your part of the pitch.” Yuuri doesn’t say anything in response, just raises an eyebrow meaningfully, and watches as realization dawns on Victor’s face.

 

“Oh… oh .”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“So...not a presentation then?” Victor sounds halfway between stunned and amused.

 

“Not so much,” Yuuri gives a soft sigh as he moves to sit on the end of the bed. Strictly speaking he doesn’t have time for this conversation, not if he doesn’t want to be late for work, but this is something that's long overdue, and if he doesn’t do it now he worries he never will. “I think I owe you an apology, Victor.”

 

“You do?” Victor’s expression is confused as he shifts himself into more of an upright position, turning to face Yuuri properly.

 

“I lied to you about what I do for a living,” Yuuri clarifies, trying very hard not to give into the urge to hide his face in his hands. “It was wrong of me to lie to you like that, and I’m really sorry.”

 

“Yuuri,” Victor’s voice is soft as he shuffles forward, hand reaching out to take Yuuri’s. “You don’t need to apologize, you didn’t owe me anything.”

 

“Maybe not at the beginning,” Yuuri admits, “But I continued to lie to you. Even after we got...closer.”

 

“I mean, sure, part of me wishes you’d felt comfortable enough to tell me,” Victor says, voice still so unbearably tender, “But I understand why you did it. It can’t be easy, in your line of work; I imagine some people don’t react like you hope they will.”

 

“Not always, no,” Yuuri hates how quiet his voice sounds. This was supposed to be about him apologizing, not an opportunity for him to play the victim. “But that’s not the point. I should have been honest with you. I will be honest with you from now on, I promise.”

 

“I appreciate that,” Victor reaches up to stroke Yuuri’s cheek and Yuuri can’t help the small whimper that escapes him as he leans into the touch. “And I promise to do the same.”

 

Yuuri blows out a disbelieving breath. “You’ve already been doing that, though.”

 

“Not strictly,” Victor replies, eyes glittering. “I didn’t tell you I owned Stammi Vicino.”

 

“That’s hardly the same thing,” Yuuri counters, but his heart feels undeniably lighter in the wake of his confession, like an invisible weight has been removed from his shoulders. He’s suspected for a while now that Victor hasn’t been holding anything against him, but it’s still a relief to hear it spoken so explicitly.

 

It’s tempting, oh so tempting, to lean back just a little and take Victor back to bed, but Yuuri can practically hear Celestino’s scolding if he delays any longer. So, with what he considers a truly superhuman amount of willpower, he slips out of Victor’s hold and stands up again, hand trailing back behind him until the very last moment.

 

There’s silence in the room as Yuuri returns to retrieving his scattered clothes, both men lost in their own heads in the wake of such an unexpectedly serious conversation.

 

“Let me walk you out,” Victor eventually blurts out as Yuuri moves to grab his glasses off the bedside table.  

 

“Oh...um...okay,” Yuuri stammers, blushing as Victor throws off the sheets and - completely naked - joins him by the bedroom door.

 

Yuuri , still so shy?” Victor teases softly, hands coming up to loop around Yuuri’s neck as he leans in for a quick kiss. “Even after everything we did together last night?”

 

“Shush you,” Yuuri bats playfully at Victor’s shoulder, unable to contain the smile that’s spreading across his face. He’s so happy he feels like he might burst; the emotion so pure and raw and almost foreign in its simplicity.

 

True to his word Victor walks him to the front door, kissing him long and sweet in front of the elevator. Yuuri flusters for a moment that somebody might see Victor in all his naked glory, but Victor assures him that he’s the only one with access to this floor - it is the penthouse after all.

 

“I should have gotten out of bed when you did, then I could have walked into work with you,” Victor pouts slightly, fingers tangling with Yuuri’s like he doesn’t want to let him go just yet.

 

“Don’t be silly, I know you don’t usually open the bar until at least midday.” Yuuri counters logically. “You’d just be hanging around if you went in now.”

 

“But I’d get to spend more time with you,” Victor replies, fixing him with the most forlorn look. Yuuri can’t help comparing it to when Vicchan is denied a second puppy treat.

 

“I’ll see you again soon,” Yuuri reassures. “Whenever you want.”

 

“I’m going to hold you to that,” Victor replies with another one of his breaktaking smiles.

 


 

Yuuri checks the time on his phone as he exits Victor’s building, and winces at how late he’s running. He quickly decides to take the financial hit over a verbal one from Celestino, and hails a cab.

 

Thankfully there are a couple of cars in the vicinity, and a few minutes later Yuuri is climbing into the back of a Prius with a nod of thanks to the driver. He settles back in his seat and closes his eyes, fully intending to bask in the memories of last night for just a little bit longer before arriving at work.

 

It hadn’t been the smoothest of first times, what with Yuuri’s misstep over protection and Victor’s post-coital insecurities, but in some ways that was what had made their night together so perfect. Yuuri is so used to sex being choreographed down to the last detail; polished and edited until it’s barely recognizable as the spontaneous act of passion that it’s supposed to be. There’s something undeniably human about making mistakes, something freeing in being able to work things out as they go.

 

Let's go at our pace, and nobody else's. Yuuri smiles to himself at the remembered words, feeling warm satisfaction bloom in his chest at just how right that declaration had felt. When he’s with Victor everything feels so simple, so uncomplicated. Just the other man’s presence is enough to quiet the insecurities that usually plague him when left with his own thoughts for company

 

Insecurities that start creeping back to the forefront the farther Yuuri gets from Victor’s apartment.

 

The car has barely gotten to the end of the road before the first nigglings of doubt start to itch at Yuuri’s brain. Yuuri frowns and scrunches his eyes shut in an attempt to block out the whisperings, trying to focus on the sweet simplicity of the past eighteen hours rather than the implications of what they mean for the future.

 

It’s easier said than done, as his treacherous brain starts to mock him, relentless in its disdain. Is one night of mindblowing sex really enough for him to ignore all the perfectly valid reasons why him dating is a disaster waiting to happen? Is he honestly that naive, that foolish?

 

Worse, is he really that selfish , to want to drag Victor down with him? Victor, who is sweet, and funny, and trying so hard to meet Yuuri where he is. Yuuri had been dreading making that apology ever since first agreeing to go on a date with Victor, and Victor had played it off like it was nothing.

 

He deserves so much more than what Yuuri can offer him.

 

Except...except if Yuuri is going to go down this path, of what Victor deserves, then it’s certainly not this. Victor doesn’t deserve Yuuri freaking out and retreating, and he certainly doesn’t deserve Yuuri making snap decisions about the future of their relationship without even giving him a chance.

 

What Victor deserves, is for Yuuri to be better than his insecurities.

 

With a determined huff Yuuri forces his eyes open again, glaring at his reflection in the car window as he dredges up coping strategies and proceeds to organize his thoughts into what he knows, and what he fears. By the time the cab pulls up outside Gods of Desire, Yuuri has compiled a mental list that reads something as follows:

 

He’s scared that Victor will want him to quit his job, but he knows that Victor so far has been completely accommodating of his career choice.

 

He’s scared that that might change if they start to get more committed to one another, but he knows that Victor hasn’t given Yuuri any reason to think that will happen.

 

He’s scared that if he and Victor try to date then it will go badly, but he knows that he wants to try anyway.

 

He’s scared that he doesn’t know how to make a healthy relationship work, but he knows that Victor is worth fighting for.

 

Which is exactly what he decides he’s going to do.

 

“You alright in the back there?” The cab driver’s voice shakes Yuuri out of his thoughts, and he turns to face the stranger with a smile that is probably a bit too maniacal for casual conversation.

 

“Absolutely,” he says firmly as he reaches forward to pay his fare. “I’ve made a decision. I’m going to go for it.”

 

“Good for you,” the cab driver replies with a warm - if slightly bemused - smile. “I hope it works out for you.”

 

“Me too,” Yuuri replies as he exits the cab, waving to the driver as he drives off. “Me too.”

 


 

By the time Yuuri reaches the front doors of the studio, the sense of purpose he’s feeling over his relationship with Victor has also somehow bled over into his upcoming shoot. His previous hesitancy about filming with JJ has all but disappeared, leaving in its place a determination to prove that he can do better the second time around.

 

He’s going to show them, show everyone , exactly what Katsuki Yuuri is worth.

 

He’s a tornado of energy as he flies through the hallways on his way to set, barely pausing for breath as he drops off his bag in his dressing room and quickly undresses before making his way to hair and makeup. Georgi - the company’s head makeup artist - comments dryly on Yuuri’s newfound vigor, and Yuuri responds with a smile that’s vicious in its determination.

 

Celestino also raises an eyebrow as Yuuri storms into the private courtyard they're using for the day’s shoot, but wisely chooses not to comment as he starts to herd crewmembers into position for the opening scene.

 

“Yuuri,” JJ seems genuinely pleased to see his co-star, giving Yuuri a big smile as he approaches. “I hope you’re looking forward to our shoot as much as I am?”

 

Yuuri doesn’t stop until he’s right in front of JJ, crowding into the other man’s space and tanging his fingers in the front of the other man’s robe. “Give me everything you’ve got,” he says, eyes dark and glittering as he tilts his head back to meet JJ’s gaze. “Don’t hold anything back.”

 

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” JJ breathes, smile quirking at the edge of his lips as he rises to the challenge Yuuri’s set in no uncertain terms.

 

Celestino calls places and they both hand their robes off to the waiting runners, taking up their starting position in the middle of a large picnic blanket set out on the grass. Yuuri sprawls on his back, one hand behind his back to prop himself up while the other comes down to start stroking lazily along his cock. JJ stands above him, his body casting shadows across Yuuri’s pale skin.

 

“Don’t you look good, all spread out and waiting for me,” JJ says, voice gravelly.

 

“Why don’t you come join me?” Yuuri replies coyly, gaze flicking up to JJ’s face then back down to his body.

 

“Maybe I want to watch you,” JJ counters even as he kneels down between Yuuri’s spread legs, hands starting to stroke up and down Yuuri’s thighs.

 

“I think you should taste me instead.” Yuuri’s hand leaves his cock to reach up and tangle in JJ’s hair, guiding the man’s head down to his crotch.

 

JJ pauses just long enough for the camera to catch him licking his lips before dropping down to take Yuuri’s length in one smooth movement. Yuuri groans and lets his head tip back as he feels the warmth of JJ’s mouth engulf him, fingers tightening against JJ’s scalp as his co-star starts working him over in earnest.

 

“Mmmm….yes, just like that,” Yuuri croons as JJ starts to bob along his length, letting his hips thrust gently up into JJ’s face. JJ lets out a couple of appreciative moans around Yuuri’s cock, picking up speed as one of his hands leaves Yuuri’s thigh to slip down between his ass cheeks.

 

“Ah...ah,” Yuuri’s voice hitches as JJ’s finger starts to trace the rim of his hole, wasting no time before pushing in with two fingers. Yuuri keens at the sudden pressure, spreading his legs wider and canting his hips to make it easier for the roaming camera to get a clear shot.  

 

The tip of his cock nudges against the back of JJ’s throat, and he feels the muscles there flutter at the intrusion. JJ splutters softly, pulling back just a fraction, and Yuuri resists the urge to thrust forward in response.

 

He strokes JJ’s hair soothingly. “You feel so good,” he reassures, “So, so good.” He feels JJ smile around his length and sink back down again, the tip of Yuuri’s dick slipping past the resistance and down his throat proper. Yuuri groans at the sudden tightness, hips stuttering as he fucks himself down onto JJ’s fingers and then up into his mouth in a delicious wave of sensation.

 

“Cut!” Celestino’s voice rings throughout the courtyard, and JJ pulls off Yuuri’s length with a soft slurp. He grins up at Yuuri as he draws his fingers out out of his ass, and Yuuri responds in kind as he shuffles up to sitting.

 

“Very nice you two,” Celestino calls over to them. “Let’s get set up for penetration.”

 

“Mmm, that was good,” JJ says as he accepts a bottle of water from an approaching runner, rehydrating in three deep gulps.

 

“Yeah, it was,” Yuuri replies, pleasantly surprised to find that he actually means it. He thinks he’s starting to understand what makes JJ tick, and if he can keep his co-star’s mouth occupied and not spouting any of those inane catchphrases of his, then this shoot might actually be pretty enjoyable.

 

Celestino shouts a two minute warning, and Yuuri makes sure to apply a healthy amount of lube before they get back into position: Yuuri still on his back with JJ shuffled up his body so that their hips are slotted together. Celestino calls action and JJ starts to thrust languidly, his cock slipping between the freshly slicked skin of Yuuri’s ass cheeks.

 

“Fuck yeah, look at you, all spread out and desperate.” JJ croons, and Yuuri makes sure his whines are appropriately eager. “Such an exhibitionist, you love the idea of somebody seeing you like this don’t you?”

 

“Mmm...Stop it,” Yuuri swipes at JJ’s shoulder, arching his back to increase the contact between them.

 

“I’m going to show you off to everyone. Every star needs their trophy, and you’re mi-”  Yuuri can tell the exact moment that JJ starts to go off script and decides to nip it in the bud. He reaches up to clasp the scruff of JJ’s neck, tugging the other man down into a passionate kiss. JJ splutters in surprise, but quickly recovers, returning Yuuri’s kiss eagerly as the tip of his cock continues to tease at Yuuri’s rim.

 

They break apart panting, and Yuuri nips at JJ’s lower lip, drawing the plush flesh between his teeth in a way he knows looks incredible on camera. “Fuck me. Fuck me now,”  he growls, fixing JJ with a stare that brokers no argument.

 

“If you insist,” JJ replies, eyes glittering. One of his hands comes down to clasp at Yuuri’s thigh, guiding his leg up and over JJ’s shoulder. His other hand settles on Yuuri’s opposite hip as he slowly thrusts forward.

 

Both men cry out in unison as JJ sheaths himself inside Yuuri’s body. JJ pauses as he bottoms out, giving the camera time to focus on their joined bodies before pulling all the way out and slamming back in again. The movement jolts Yuuri up the blanket, and he moans and scrabbles at JJ’s back, encouraging him to go deeper.

 

“Fuck...yes… just like that,” Yuuri gasps, rolling his hips to meet JJ’s thrusts and making the other man groan.

 

JJ sets a punishing pace, drawing back and slamming into Yuuri with abandon. Yuuri keens as JJ just catches his prostate on a particularly vigorous thrust and cants his hips so that JJ’s next thrust can properly find its mark.

 

“Fuck… fuck …” Yuuri whines, one hand moving to start fisting his cock as JJ’s hands tighten around his hips, fingers digging into flesh hard enough to bruise as he fucks into Yuuri again, and again, and again.

 

Bright spots of pleasure start to flicker behind Yuuri’s eyelids, his hand whipping along his length as JJ relentlessly targets that sweet spot inside him. His breathing gets harsh and erratic and for just an instant Yuuri feels his focus slip. Suddenly the low grunts of exertion in the room are replaced by the high, breathy moans of last night. Suddenly it’s not JJ thrusting into him but Victor , and Yuuri can’t help crying out as his orgasm threatens to burst out of him, unannounced and far too soon.

 

“Cut!” Celestino’s voice rings through the studio, and Yuuri fiercely grabs the base of his cock to put the brakes his over-eager climax. His face scrunches tight as he takes three long, slow breaths; forcing his body back into submission.

 

“You alright there?” JJ’s voice seems like it’s coming from very far away, and Yuuri slowly opens one eye just in time to see his co-star slipping out of his body and sitting back on his heels.

 

“Yeah...yeah I’m good,” Yuuri groans, taking a few more deep breaths as he shuffles up onto his elbows. Once he’s sure he’s not about to explode he huffs and bows his head in apology. “Sorry. That one nearly got away from me.”

 

“Happens to the best of us, bro,” JJ says with a smile, clapping Yuuri’s shoulder supportively. “I blame myself. Sometimes I forget what I’m capable of.”

 

“Hey now, don’t start going easy on me will you?” Yuuri promptly decides to take back every bad thing he’s ever thought or said about his co-star. He’s the kindest, most thoughtful soul in the world if he’ll distract Yuuri from growing embarrassment at so nearly losing control like a rookie on his first shoot.

 

JJ laughs, deep and booming, and waves at Celestino over Yuuri’s head.

 

“We’re good to go, Ciao-Ciao,” he shouts, and Yuuri can practically hear the director’s eye roll at JJ’s somewhat inappropriate use of his nickname.

 

“By all means,” Celestino replies dryly, “Don’t stop on my account.”

 


 

Later, once they’ve wrapped up their shoot and cleaned themselves off as best they can on set, Yuuri finds himself walking back to his dressing room at the same time as JJ.

 

“Well, this is me,” JJ gestures towards one of the doors that lines the hallway before holding out a hand for Yuuri to shake. “Great shoot as always, Katsuki.”

 

“You too,” Yuuri replies, pleased to find he really means it this time. JJ throws him a quick salute before turning to open the door, halfway into his dressing room before Yuuri suddenly remembers something.

 

“Hey, JJ?” The words are out of his mouth before he even realizes what he’s saying. “You’re dating someone, right?”

 

JJ pauses with his hand on the doorknob, taking a moment to process Yuuri’s unexpected question before his face breaks out into the biggest smile Yuuri has ever seen on the man.

 

“Isabella, light of my life,” he says with a tenderness that Yuuri can practically feel in his heart. He pushes the door open wider and gestures for Yuuri to follow him inside. “We just got back from a vacation in Rome, let me show you some photos.”

 

True to his word, JJ sits Yuuri down on the couch and proceeds to show him no less than a hundred photos from his camera roll.

 

“...And this is us in front of the Trevi fountain,” JJ says fondly, bringing up a photo of him and his fiancee posing in front of the iconic landmark. “You’re supposed to throw a coin into the water and make a wish, so obviously I wished for her happiness…” He pauses, wincing. “Forget I told you that, you’re not supposed to tell anyone your wishes or they won’t come true.”

 

“Umm...sure...” Yuuri replies, feeling slightly overwhelmed at this new side of his co-worker. “So you two...you’re happy together right?”

 

“Of course. Bella is the best thing to ever happen to me.” JJ replies fondly, already flicking to another photo. “And this is us visiting…”

 

“And your work...it doesn’t affect your relationship?” Yuuri feels bad interrupting, but he has a sneaking suspicion JJ will just keep on showing him pictures until he becomes one with the couch unless he intervenes.

 

JJ pauses, turning to give Yuuri his full attention. “No? Why would it?”

 

Yuuri blushes, immediately regretting his decision to start this conversation with someone he barely knows. “Well...you know...the whole sleeping with other people part?”

 

JJ laughs, waving a hand dismissively. “Oh that . No, Bella doesn’t mind at all. She’s proud of how successful I am, and between you and me-” he pauses, smirking as he lowers his voice conspiratorially. “-she quite likes watching my shoots.”

 

“So there’s no...no jealousy or anything?” Yuuri vaguely wonders if he’s being rude pushing the subject, but he figures at this point he’s committed to the embarrassment either way; he might as well get all the information he can.

 

“My Bella isn’t the jealous type.” JJ pauses, as if suddenly realizing something. “It probably helps that I’m straight, of course.”

 

“You’re straight?!”

 

“As an arrow.” JJ accentuates his words with finger guns and a wide smile. “You didn’t know?”

 

“I guess I just assumed…” Yuuri trails off, hastily running through all his past encounters with the other man. “Why didn’t you go into straight porn?”

 

“Have you ever watched that stuff?” JJ asks, nose wrinkling in distaste. “It’s all about the women; the men barely even get a look in.” He huffs dismissively. “I’m a star, not some background player, ya know?”

 

“That...I guess that makes sense.” Yuuri replies, thinking it doesn’t make much sense at all, but he’s not about to question JJ’s life choices.

 

“Don’t get me wrong, you’re a very attractive man, Katsuki,” JJ hastens to assure Yuuri, as if worried that Yuuri might be taking offense to his revelation. “If I were into dudes I would be all over you.”

 

“Thanks, I think,” Yuuri replies slowly, brain still trying to catch up to this strange turn of events.

 

“You’re welcome,” JJ replies with a big smile, immediately bringing his phone back in front of Yuuri’s face again again. “Now this is us at the Colosseum….”

 


 

Yuuri leaves JJ’s dressing room many hours later never wanting to see another picture of Italy again, but no less confused about his situation with Victor.

 

JJ had made it all sound so easy, but then JJ is also - well - JJ. Yuuri has no idea if somebody with normal levels of self-worth (or, he has to grudgingly admit, less-than normal levels of self-worth) would also be able to find such uncomplicated happiness while still working in their industry.

 

“Yuuri! I’m so glad you’re still here!” Yuuri is shaken out of his musings by Chris’s voice, turning towards the other man as he hurries down the corridor. Chris practically skids to a halt in front of Yuuri. “Phichit left this at my place last night, can you give it back to him?” He holds out a fluffy sweater that Yuuri immediately recognizes as his own.

 

“I was wondering where that had gotten to.” Yuuri takes his sweater back from Chris with a fond eye roll. At this rate he’s going to have to start putting tracking chips in his clothing.

 

“Thanks Yuuri, you’re the best,” Chris says with a small smile. He turns to leave and Yuuri spies another research opportunity.

 

“Hey, Chris?” he asks quickly, “How do things work with you and Phichit and Masumi?”

 

Chris turns back to Yuuri, eyebrow quirked. “You and Victor already discussing the poly lifestyle?” he asks curiously.

 

Yuuri waves his hands in front of him furiously, feeling the color rising on his cheeks. “No, no, not like that,” he clarifies. “I meant dating, in general, when we do what we do for a living.”

 

“Ah, this old chestnut.” Chris moves to sling an arm around Yuuri’s shoulder, guiding him down the hallway towards the dressing room he’s using today. He throws open the door with a flourish, “Step into my office, young innocent. Let Dr. Chris help you.”

 

“You’re so strange sometimes,” Yuuri comments fondly as he steps into Chris’ dressing room, sitting down on the couch just like he had back in JJ’s room. He hopes Chris isn’t about to bust out his camera roll too.

 

“So. You and Victor are looking to get committed?” Chris says as he sits down next to Yuuri, pushing a mug of something warm into his hands.

 

“Not committed necessarily,” Yuuri explains, taking a small sip of the drink which turns out to be tea. “I’m just...trying to work out how it would work.” He gives a small sigh, focusing on the mug in his hands rather than the man sitting next to him. “I haven’t exactly had the best track record with dating up until now.”

 

“Understandable,” Chris says, and Yuuri whips his head up in shock. He knows he isn’t the most put-together person in the world, but he hadn’t expected Chris to actually agree . “There are a lot of assholes in this world.”

 

Oh. Right. Yuuri returns to staring at his tea, watching the small ripples in the liquid’s surface as his hands shake infinitesimally.

 

“You’ve always made it look so easy, even with three of you,” he finally admits in a small voice. “How do you do it?”

 

“Practice, and lots of communication.” Chris replies. “Masumi noticed me falling for Phichit before I realized it myself. Back then I was still trying to convince myself that I could do it - the whole monogamous lifestyle thing.” He huffs out a small, self-deprecating laugh. “When Masumi brought it up I don’t know who I was trying to convince more with my denial; him or me. I was so sure that if I admitted to my desires he would leave me, and I wanted him more than I’d wanted anything in my life. Enough to pretend this other side of me didn’t exist.”

 

“What did he say, when you talked?” Yuuri asks, unused to seeing his friend so serious.

 

“He told me that he loved me, all of me, and that he didn’t want me to feel like I had to hide any part of myself from him.” Chris’s tone has taken on a faraway feel, like he’s back in that moment in time. “He told me that as long as he was the one I came home to at the end of each day, he didn’t mind what else I did.”

 

“He’s a better man than I am,” Yuuri has to admit. “I don’t think I could share Victor like that.” He winces, realizing what he’s just admitted. “But that’s exactly what I’m asking him to do, isn’t it? Share me with my work.”

 

“And that’s something the two of you need to discuss,” Chris replies, “I can tell you how my relationships work, or what I think Victor might want from a relationship with you, but it’s all irrelevant unless you talk to him.” Chris removes the mug from Yuuri’s hands, placing it on the side before clasping Yuuri’s hands with his own. “You need to talk to him Yuuri, and work out how this relationship will work, for both of you.”

 

“That’s going to be such an awkward conversation,” Yuuri admits with a whine.

 

“It will, but it’s necessary I’m afraid.” Chris’s voice is both kind and firm as he reaches up to tuck a stray wisp of Yuuri’s hair back into place. “And as both your and Victor’s friend, I know that if anybody can make a relationship like this work, it’s you two.”

 

Yuuri nods, hoping that he looks more determined than he feels, and pushes himself up to standing with a grunt. “Thanks Chris,” he says, “I really needed that pep talk.”

 

“Any time,” Chris replies with a wide smile, standing up and embracing Yuuri fondly. Yuuri starts to hug the other man back, then yelps and springs away as Chris uses their closeness as an opportunity to slap Yuuri on the ass.

 

“Chris!” Yuuri exclaims, frowning and rubbing his asscheek gingerly as his friend cackles with laughter.

 

“Consider it my therapist fee,” Chris replies delightedly as he moves to hold the door open for Yuuri.

Chapter Text

Yuuri checks his phone for what feels like the hundredth time as he steps into the elevator, ignoring the fact that he already has the six digit code Victor sent him yesterday well and truly memorized.

 

He punches the sequence into the panel just inside the doors, then presses the button for penthouse. The button beeps happily and highlights green, and Yuuri lets out the breath he’s been holding practically the whole way over.

 

He’d been worrying the entire journey about not being able to work the elevator to Victor’s apartment, his brain conjuring up horrible scenario after horrible scenario where he’s asked to leave the building by the severe doorman, or he has to call Victor to come down and collect him because he’s too incompetent to work simple technology. He knows that it’s just his brain’s way of distracting itself from the more important - and thus more terrifying - conversation that he and Victor are invariably going to have to have at some point tonight, where they discuss boundaries, and limits, and expectations surrounding their relationship, but that doesn’t make his nerves any more welcome.

 

He just wants to see Victor again, be near him again. Everything seems so much simpler when he’s in the other man’s company; every issue that seems so insurmountable when he’s on his own fading into nothingness as soon as he’s able to lose himself in the warm, welcoming smile that Victor seems to reserve for him and him alone.

 

The elevator chimes its arrival at Victor’s floor, and Yuuri can feel the smile already starting to form on his own face. The doors slide open, and Yuuri feels all self control fly out of the window as he moves to throw himself into Victor’s arms.

 

Except that the man waiting by the elevator is short where Victor is tall, hair blond instead of silver and face scowling rather than smiling. Yuuri stumbles over his own feet as he draws up short, frowning in confusion at the young stranger who’s standing where his Victor is suppose to be.

 

“Umm…” he says slowly, “Hi?”

 

“Who are you?” the stranger replies, nose wrinkling like he finds Yuuri’s very presence distasteful. He has a hint of an accent - similar to Victor’s - and Yuuri wonders if this is the other Yuri that Victor has talked so much about.

 

“I’m Yuuri,” Yuuri automatically starts to bow in greeting before remembering that a handshake is usually more expected in America. He jerks upright and extends his hand awkwardly, “I’m Victor’s...erm…”

 

“Actually, I don’t care,” the other man interrupts, ignoring Yuuri’s outstretched hand as he spins on his heel and marches back over to the large counter that separates Victor’s kitchen from the rest of the open plan living area. Yuuri’s gaze follows him over, and he lets out a sigh of relief as he sees Victor in the kitchen, towel thrown over one shoulder as he rapidly chops vegetables.

 

“Yuuri!” Victor exclaims happily as he looks up to see Yuuri still hovering awkwardly by the elevator doors. He wipes his hands on the towel as he crosses the room, leaning in to press a quick kiss to Yuuri’s cheek in greeting. “I’m sorry about Yura, he has a habit of turning up unannounced at the worst possible times.”

 

“Fuck you, old man,” Yuri shouts from across the room as he swipes a carrot from Victor’s unattended chopping board.

 

Victor rolls his eyes fondly, smiling at Yuuri as he reaches out to take his hand, leading him across the living area before pulling out a stool for him at the counter. “He’ll leave before we start eating, I promise.”

 

“I will not,” Yuri retorts, glaring at Victor as he gnashes on a carrot menacingly.

 

Yura ,” Victor’s voice sound strained, like this is an argument that might have been going on for a while before Yuuri arrived.

 

“You said I was welcome any time.”

 

“Any time when I’m not entertaining.”

 

“You can’t change the rules like that. No take-backs.”

 

“It’s fine,” Yuuri hastily interrupts before things start to really escalate between the two Russians. “He can stay. I don’t mind, honestly.”

 

It’s probably a good thing, Yuuri thinks as Yuri’s face breaks out into a triumphant grin and Victor sighs in defeat. This way he can put off The Conversation for just a little bit longer.

 

He’s such a coward.

 

“I’ve changed my mind, I like you,” Yuri interrupts Yuuri’s silent self-chastisement with a grin that’s all teeth. “And look! You even brought wine!” The younger man leans over the countertop to pluck the bottle of red wine that Yuuri had completely forgotten he’d brought with him right out of his hand.

 

“Umm…” Yuuri says dumbly, watching on in shock as Yuri starts to hunt through the drawers for a corkscrew. “Victor?”

 

Victor looks up from his chopping board and frowns. “No drinking the nice wine Yuuri brought,” he scolds, reaching over to take the bottle back from Yuri. “If you want a drink go get one of my bottles from the rack.”

 

“Oh! No!” Yuuri waves his hands in front of him hastily. “It’s fine...I don’t...the wine is a gift.” And probably not nearly as fancy as anything Victor has in stock either, he thinks with a grimace. “I just meant, well,” he lowers his voice conspiratorially, “is Yuri old enough to be drinking?”

 

There’s a beat of silence, and then both Russian’s burst out laughing.

 

“You’re funny, imposter Yuuri.” Yuri snatches the bottle back off Victor and proceeds to attack it with the corkscrew he’s unearthed. “I turn nineteen next month.”

 

“I...um…” Yuuri is plenty accustomed to the drinking culture in America by now; he was a student here after all. Logically he knows that most teenagers start drinking well before twenty-one, and even back home he’d had sake with his parents more than a few times before he hit the legal drinking age in Japan.

 

It’s just strange coming at this from the adult’s perspective, he supposes.

 

“The drinking age in Russia is sixteen for wine, eighteen for everything else,” Victor explains kindly. “Besides, it would be a bit hypocritical of me to ban Yura from having a drink with food when I was doing a lot worse, a lot younger than him.”

 

“Damn straight,” Yuri says with a nod, setting out three wine glasses and filling each of them. He hands one to Victor and another to Yuuri, before raising his own in toast.

 

“To imposter Yuuri,” Yuri says, eyes glittering wickedly. “And to hoping that Victor doesn’t fuck this one up.”

 

“Cheers,” Victor replies, completely unconcerned by the slight even as he takes a healthy swig of his drink.

 


 

Victor refuses to let Yuuri help with the cooking, but does agree to let him set the table once food is almost ready. Yuuri almost whimpers at the smell of home cooked food as Victor places a large casserole dish in the middle of the table; the cuisine completely different from his mother’s cooking back home but the aromas evoking the same gut-wrenching emotions of home, safe, loved, nonetheless.

 

“This looks amazing,” Yuuri says fervently as Victor starts to dish up the hearty stew into three bowls.

 

Victor blushes and ducks his head bashfully, but Yuri makes a noise of agreement. “Victor’s solyanka is the only reason I keep coming over here.”

 

“Sure it is, Yura,” Victor says with a fond eye roll as he passes him a bowl.

 

Yuri scowls, snatching the offered food from Victor. “It is, ” he replies adamantly, but even Yuuri can hear the lie in the younger man’s voice.

 

The three of them start to eat in comfortable silence, Yuuri trying not to swoon too obviously at the delicious taste of Victor’s cooking. It really has been far too long since he ate proper home-cooked food; neither he nor Phichit have any sort of desire (or in Phichit’s case, aptitude) to dedicate any more time than absolutely necessary to sustaining themselves.

 

He’s about three-quarters of his way through his bowl, and already silently debating how rude it would be to ask for seconds, when Yuri pipes up unexpectedly.

 

“You look really familiar,” he says, pointing his spoon at Yuuri almost accusingly. “Have we met before?”

 

Yuuri almost chokes on his mouthful of food, but Victor responds smoothly, expression far too innocent as he says, “My Yuuri is an actor.”

 

“Oh really?” Yuri’s expression lights up at the admission. “Anything I might have seen you in?”

 

“Ummm….” Yuuri stammers, feeling his cheeks warm as Victor’s shit-eating grin grows impossibly wider on the other side of the table.

 

Yuuri can practically hear the cogs turning in Yuri’s brain, sees the exact moment that recognition dawns. Yuri’s eyes grow wide in shock, his mouth forming an almost comical ‘o’ shape as his synapses finally make the connection.

 

“Oh. My. God . ” Yuri’s face flushes scarlet, and he shoves himself bodily back from the table. “I...um…You know what, I’m kind of tired. I’m going to finish eating in my room.” He stands up abruptly, practically tripping over his feet in his haste to disappear.

 

Victor, absolute menace that he is, waits until Yuri is practically on the other side of the room before calling out “But Yura, you’ve left your dinner here.”

 

Yuri freezes, hesitating for a long minute before whipping stiffly back towards them. Keeping his eyes on anything but Yuuri he hurries back over, snatching his bowl off the table and cradling it to his chest as he attempts his second getaway; disappearing through a door on the right hand side of the room with a decisive slam.

 

There’s a beat of silence as Yuuri sits stunned and Victor tries hard not to laugh, then they hear a disgruntled screech of “Get out , Makka!” Yuri’s door slams open again and a large poodle appears in the doorway, sliding bemusedly on her rear as Yuri huffs and pushes the dog out into the living area.

 

Yuuri didn’t think there would be anything that would make him ignore his embarrassment at being recognized by Victor’s teenage charge for his starring role in porn. Then again, he usually makes an exception for puppies.

 

“Makkachin!” Yuuri exclaims happily, practically falling off his seat as he eagerly crosses the room to introduce himself to Victor’s dog. He just about catches Yuri’s horrified face in his peripheral vision before the bedroom door slams in his face, but he’s too distracted by the poodle in front of him to really care.

 

“Aren’t you adorable,” Yuuri croons, dropping to his knees as Makkachin flops onto her back, tongue lolling happily. Yuuri obediently starts to scratch her belly with both hands. “Yes you are, the most adorable puppy ever.”

 

“An adorable puppy with no manners,” Victor says, coming up behind Yuuri and placing a hand on his shoulder. “Honestly Makka, I taught you better than this.”

 

Yuuri twists to look up at Victor, scandalized. “How dare you? She’s perfect.”

 

Victor laughs brightly, using his free hand to wave a dog treat above Yuuri’s head. The movement catches Makkachin’s attention, and she immediately scrambles off her back and into a sitting position.

 

“Shake paws, Makka,” Victor commands, and the poodle obediently lifts a paw. Yuuri swoons as he reaches out to gently shake her hand.

 

“Hi Makkachin, I’m Yuuri. It’s so nice to meet you.”

 

“Say hi Makka,” Victor commands, and Makka barks twice in response. Yuuri squeals in delight and Victor laughs as he leans forward to give the poodle the treat he’s holding.

 

“Good girl,” he says, stroking Makkachin’s head fondly as the dog scarfs down the treat.

 

“Oh, Victor ,” Yuuri says breathlessly as Makka immediately flops back down onto her back, staring dolefully up at Yuuri as she begs for more attention.

 

“Don’t let those eyes fool you,” Victor says firmly even as he joins Yuuri sitting on the carpet. “She’s an absolute menace when she wants to be.”

 

“With a face like that, I think she’s allowed,” Yuuri comments as he returns to stroking Makkachin’s soft fur. It’s times like this that he really misses Vicchan, living back home with his family in Hasetsu.

 

It takes a while - Makkachin is an incredibly good distraction after all - but eventually Yuuri remembers the interaction that led to him meeting the poodle in the first place. He twists so he can raise a judgemental eyebrow at Victor. “That was mean of you,” he chastises.

 

Victor’s cheeks color, and he leans and presses a soft kiss to Yuuri’s nose. “I’m sorry, Моя любовь. Forgive me?”

 

Yuuri hums and tilts his head so that he can kiss Victor properly, but keeps the gesture chaste and immediately pulls back. “Of course. But Yuri is the one you should really be asking, not me.”

 

Victor smiles and waves his hand dismissively. “Yura gives as good as he gets, don’t worry about him.”

 

“I know you said you were keeping an eye out for him while he’s studying in America,” Yuuri says as he stands back up with a soft groan, reluctantly returning to the table and their half-eaten food. “I didn’t realize he had his own room?”

 

“Ah, well,” Victor joins him back at the table, rubbing his neck awkwardly as he sits down. “I just wanted to make sure Yura knew he had a place over here. He doesn’t exactly have the best relationship with his parents back in Russia, and I wanted him to know he had somewhere to turn if he needed. Besides, it’s not like I don’t have the space, and I figured…”

 

Yuuri interrupts Victor’s rambling by reaching over to cover one of Victor’s hands with his own. “You don’t need to explain yourself,” he says softly. “I think it’s sweet that you care. I bet Yuri appreciates the gesture as well.”

 

Victor chuckles softly. “It would probably kill him to admit it, but I hope so.” He pauses, as if considering how much to reveal to Yuuri. “His parents and mine, well they run in the same circles. I guess I just wanted to make sure Yura has the support I didn’t have growing up, wanted to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes I did.” He huffs a derisive laugh. “I know it’s silly.”  

 

“It’s not,” Yuuri says, squeezing Victor’s hand firmly. “What you’re doing is kind, and sweet and...and good . There’s nothing silly about wanting to help other people.”

 

Victor’s smile is so fond, so tender as he squeezes Yuuri’s hand back that it makes Yuuri’s heart hurt. He has to avert his eyes to stop himself from being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of affection in Victor’s expression.

 

He knows they still need to have The Conversation at some point tonight, and since Yuri has sequestered himself away in his room there’s really no reason for Yuuri not to say anything now. In fact, now is probably the perfect time to bring it up, when talk has already taken a turn for the serious.

 

Later, he tells himself as Victor squeezes his hand once more, smiling as he turns his attention back to his dinner. He’ll bring it up later.

 


 

Later turns out to be after they’ve both finished eating, once Victor has encouraged Yuuri to take seconds when he notices Yuuri eyeing up the leftovers longingly and Yuuri has helped Victor clear the table and load the dishwasher. By some sort of mutual unspoken agreement, they they end up migrating to the sofa on the other side of the room.

 

Makkachin immediately decides to join them, clambering up onto one side of the couch and sprawling across its cushions so that Yuuri and Victor are forced to press close together on the other side.

 

“Is this another trick you’ve taught her?” Yuuri asks as Victor slides an arm around his shoulders and starts flicking through television channels. “Wing-dog extraordinaire?”

 

Victor laughs and draws Yuuri closer to him, turning to press a quick kiss to Yuuri’s forehead. “I admit nothing,” he says, nuzzling at Yuuri’s hairline as Yuuri hums contentedly and makes himself more comfortable against Victor’s side.

 

If he’s going to bring up The Conversation tonight, it needs to be now, Yuuri thinks as he twists so that he’s facing Victor. They’re both fed and content, in comfortable surroundings with Makkachin around to diffuse the tension if it gets too bad. If he’s perfectly honest with himself, he’s not likely to get a better opportunity than this.

 

“Victor, there’s something I need to talk to you about,” Yuuri starts, forcing himself to put a bit of distance between their bodies as he mentally braces himself for the talk they’re about to have.

 

Victor’s brow furrows slightly at Yuuri’s tone, but his body language is open as he nods in acceptance. “Okay,” he says, voice more confused than apprehensive.

 

Yuuri opens his mouth to speak, but before he can say anything the door to Yuri’s room swings open with a bang. Yuuri and Victor both turn in surprise towards the source of the noise, watching in stunned silence as Yuri pointedly ignores their stares as he marches determinedly to the kitchen area.

 

The teenager dumps his bowl in the sink before moving to rummage through Victor’s freezer, emerging with a tub of ice cream which he brings with him over to the sofa area. He slumps into the reclining chair positioned at an angle to the couch, digging his spoon into the surface of the ice cream viciously. “What are we watching?” he asks in a tone that dares them to comment on his presence.

 

Victor frowns, arm tightening around Yuuri’s shoulder. “Actually, Yuuri wanted to-”

 

“It’s fine, it can wait,” Yuuri interrupts, clapping a hand to Victor’s mouth to stop him from speaking. Victor splutters and raises an eyebrow at the sudden movement, but Yuuri just doubles down on his impulsive reaction by bringing his other hand up to also cover Victor’s mouth. “It’s not a big deal at all, I promise.”

 

Victor doesn’t look like he believes him, but he nods and Yuuri slowly brings his hands away from his face. Victor’s mouth twists in concern as soon as it’s revealed, and he looks like he wants to say something further, but Yuuri waves his hands in front of him in a half-hearted attempt to distract the other man. “It’s not important, it can wait, I swear.”

 

“You two are so weird,” Yuri grumbles, shoving another spoonful of ice cream into his mouth.

 

Victor’s still looks unconvinced, but thankfully doesn’t push the matter. With a soft sigh he turns back towards the TV, arm tightening ever so slightly around Yuuri’s shoulder as he resumes his search for a film. “What is everyone in the mood for?”

 

“Explosions,” Yuri says around a mouthful of food.

 

“You always want explosions.”

 

“And you always want ridiculous rom-coms. I suffered through Clueless last time, it’s my turn to choose.”

 

“I think Yuuri should decide, since he’s the guest.” The two Russians round on Yuuri, who flinches at the sudden, hyper-focused attention.

 

“Yuuri, my love,” Victor’s voice is smooth and syrupy, making Yuuri’s core heat even as his brain laughs at how obvious Victor is. “What would you rather watch?”

 

“Ummm…” Yuuri stalls for time, eyes flicking from Victor to Yuri and back again. “How about Stardust? Lots of action, lots of romance, lots of magic...there’s something for everyone?”

 

Victor tilts his head as he considers Yuuri’s proposal, then his face breaks out into a wide smile as he nods his head approvingly. “That sounds great to me. What do you think, Yura?”

 

Yuri huffs, seemingly loathe to admit to defeat. “It better actually be on Netflix, I’m not watching some shitty stream.”

 

Victor laughs and draws Yuuri closer to his side as he loads up the movie. “A simple yes would have sufficed,” he teases, pointedly ignoring Yuri’s hiss of indignation in response.

 

The next two hours pass quickly, with Yuuri happy to snuggle up against Victor and listen as the other man whispers a constant commentary in his ear. On more than a few occasions Yuri snaps at Victor to be quiet, but Yuuri always encourages him to start again; he likes Stardust, but he likes the sound of Victor’s voice more.

 

By the time the end credits roll sleep has almost claimed Yuuri, Victor’s words a soothing lullaby that have left him feeling more relaxed than he has in a while. He yawns and burrows deeper into the cushions behind him, vaguely aware of Yuri grumbling about chatterboxes ruining good films before the younger man disappears back to his bedroom for the night.

 

For a while Yuuri dozes, Victor stroking patterns along his arm and humming softly under his breath. He feels lips press against his forehead, soft and warm, and then Victor’s low rumbling voice drags him back from the cusp of unconsciousness. “Come on, Моя любовь, lets get you to bed.”

 

He feels one of Victor’s arms slip around his waist while the other loops underneath his knees, and then the couch falls away beneath him as Victor lifts him up, carrying him bridal style across the room.

 

“Mmmm, you’re comfy,” Yuuri slurs, nuzzling into the warmth of Victor’s shoulder. He feels the ripples of laughter against his cheek as Victor chuckles in response, pressing another kiss to Yuuri’s forehead as they enter Victor’s room.

 

Victor deposits Yuuri gently on the bed, and encourages him out of his clothes with soft but insistent nudges. He quickly strips off his own clothing and tucks them both underneath the sheets before turning off the light. Yuuri hums happily and immediately plasters himself to Victor’s side, relishing the feeling of Victor’s warm, solid body next to him.

 

“Mmmm, goodnight Victor,” he says through a yawn, head pillowed on Victor’s shoulder and arm thrown around his waist.

 

“Goodnight, my Yuuri,” Victor responds fondly, pressing one last kiss to Yuuri’s cheek as he draws him closer.

 

As Yuuri succumbs to sleep a thought comes to him, clawing desperately against the drowsy haze. There was something he needed to talk to Victor about. What was it?

 

Whatever it was, it can’t have been that important if he can’t remember, is Yuuri’s last thought before unconsciousness finally takes him.

Chapter Text

“Victor?”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“Is everything okay?”

 

Victor smiles wide, propping his chin on one hand while the other reaches for the box of condiments in the middle of the table. “Why wouldn’t everything be okay?”

 

“You mean aside from the fact that you’re about to put salt in your coffee?” Yuuri gestures at the mug on the table in front of Victor, nose wrinkling in disgust at the idea of a salted Vanilla Mocha.

 

Victor slowly looks down at his hands, eyes widening in surprise as he takes in the little sachet that is decidedly not sugar.

 

“Whoops,” he says quietly, more to himself than to Yuuri. The salt packet stays tightly clenched in his fist.

 

“Do you want to talk about it?” Yuuri suggests hesitantly, keeping his voice low so as to not draw attention to themselves in the busy little coffee shop just around the corner from both of their works.

 

Victor smiles again, but it’s an obviously poor attempt even for somebody who hasn’t learned all of Victor’s mannerisms like Yuuri has over the past few months. Yuuri doesn’t say anything and soon Victor drops the pretense with a soft huff.

 

“It’s silly, really,” he says with a self deprecating chuckle. “I was texting Chris on my way over here and I called you my boyfriend. He told me off, said I wasn’t allowed to call someone my boyfriend unless I’ve checked with them first.” He laughs again, pointedly not looking at Yuuri’s newly-stunned expression. “I felt like a five year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar.”

 

Oh. Well then.

 

“I...um…” Yuuri stammers, not-so surreptitiously tugging at the collar of his t-shirt. Is it just him or has it suddenly gotten incredibly hot in here? “Do you...I mean...Is that something you’d want?”

 

“Well, I certainly wouldn’t be against it,” Victor teases gently, but Yuuri can hear the hesitancy behind his words, as if he’s worried that Yuuri might be about to bolt if he comes on too strong.

 

It’s not an unrealistic concern either, Yuuri realizes with dismay. Sirens have started going off between his ears, screaming at him to abort mission; eject seat, deploy parachute, prepare for crash landing.

 

He knew he should have brought up The Conversation sooner. He knows he’s been putting it off for way too long, always finding some excuse or another not to bring it up. He’s been telling himself that he’s waiting for the right moment, but that’s a barefaced lie. He’s had plenty of opportunities in the past few weeks to mention something to Victor, especially since they’ve seen each other practically every other day during that period. It’s been nothing to do with it not being a good time, and everything to do with Yuuri being a coward, who would much rather giggle with Victor over terrible Netflix movies and have fantastic wall-sex-induced orgasms than have to admit that if he’s forced to choose between his job and - whatever it is that the two of them are - then he’s honestly not sure if Victor would win.

 

And now it’s coming back to well and truly bite him in the ass. Forcing him to air all of his dirty laundry in a public coffee shop, of all places. Talk about that for not being the right time.

 

“Victor,” Yuuri practically pleads, vaguely hoping for an earthquake or similar act of god that will get him out of this situation.

 

“Yuuri,” Victor replies, voice just as fragile. His hand sneaks across the table, palm up in invitation, and Yuuri can’t resist grabbing onto it like it’s a lifeline in a storm.

 

Never mind that in this situation he’s the hurricane, coming in and destroying everything they’ve built together with just a few choice words.

 

“Victor,’ Yuuri repeats, stalling for time as his brain whirs and creaks and fails to put together anything meaningful.

 

“I know we haven’t known each other that long, but I really like you.” Victor’s voice is carefully neutral, like he’s forcing himself to keep his tone even. “And we’re good together, right? I think we’re good together at least.” He pauses, then takes a deep breath and squares his shoulders like he’s suddenly decided on something. Slowly, purposefully, he reaches across the table to cover their joined hands with his other one, staring deeply at Yuuri as he speaks. “Yuuri Katsuki...will you be my boyfriend?”

 

Every cell in Yuuri’s body wants to say yes. He wants to throw himself across the table and kiss away the nervous wrinkle that has started to form between Victor’s eyebrows. He wants to tell him that they’ve known each other long enough to know that the like he feels for Victor is probably going to turn into love very, very soon. He wants to tell him that there’s nowhere he’d rather be than at his side.

 

“I can’t.”

 

Victor’s expression crumples, and Yuuri’s heart goes with it. Part of him expects Victor to flinch away at the rejection, but instead his hands tighten almost desperately around Yuuri’s. “I’m sorry, that was obviously too much too soon. I never learn do I?” Victor barks a harsh laugh that sounds more painful than jovial. “Forget I said anything?”  

 

“We should...we should talk about it though.” The words feel like molasses in Yuuri’s throat, and Victor is already shaking his head adamantly before he’s even finished speaking.

 

“It’s fine, I know I can be a bit much sometimes. You’re right to want to wait before tying yourself to all of this.” Victor lets go with one hand to gesture vaguely at himself, the smile plastered on his face so rigid it looks like it might actually crack.

 

“Oh Victor, no that’s not it as all.” Victor’s broken facade is enough to finally snap Yuuri out of his funk, and he reaches out to grab Victor’s hand back again. “There is nothing wrong with you, you’re perfect. This is all my fault.”

 

“It’s okay Yuuri, I’m a big boy you don’t need to coddle me.” Victor’s voice still has an edge of hysteria to it and Yuuri hates that he’s the one who put it there.

 

“It’s true!” Yuuri exclaims adamantly. “You are perfect, and wonderful, and you deserve the most amazing boyfriend in the world and I wish it could be me. I hate that it can’t be me, but it can’t and I’m so, so sorry Victor.”

 

“I...I don’t understand,” Victor says slowly. “If I want to be your boyfriend, and you want to be my boyfriend…”

 

“I have sex with other people for a living!” Yuuri says, far too loud for their surroundings but beyond caring. “I have sex with other people, and I love doing it. I like you Victor, so very much...” Yuuri’s voice cracks around the admission, feels it cut tracks through his heart “...but I love my job.”

 

“I know you do.” Victor sounds almost pained as his brow furrows in confusion. “Yuuri, you’re not making any sense.”

 

“I’ve been here before, I know what it means to be boyfriends.” The words start to come thick and fast, all of the carefully crafted arguments he’d come up with when preparing for The Conversation forgotten as logic completely gives way to emotion. “It means exclusivity, and lying to your parents about what I do for a living, and ads left on the table for that well respected office job just down the road, and…”

 

“Yuuri!” Victor’s voice rings loud and clear, interrupting Yuuri mid-sentence. “Can we back up a bit? Go through that list a bit slower maybe?”

 

Yuuri blushes and ducks his head. Now that he’s stopped talking the embarrassment has caught up with him, and he feels shame start to heat his cheeks. “Sorry,” he mumbles to the table, unable to make eye contact.

 

“It’s okay, that was just a lot to process all at once,” Victor says, thumb starting to stroke soothing circles into the back of Yuuri’s hand. “Let’s start with the easiest one shall we? Lying to my parents, was it?” He pauses, waiting for Yuuri to reluctantly nod before continuing, “Well for starters, I barely speak to my parents anymore so I doubt it will even be an issue, but even if I did I promise you there’s nothing about you that I’d feel the need to hide from them.”

 

“You’re saying you’d really be happy bringing a porn star home for the holidays?”

 

“I’d be more than happy to bring my wonderful, talented boyfriend home for the holidays, who also happens to be a porn star, yes.” Victor’s eyes twinkle as he brings Yuuri’s hands up to his mouth to press a soft kiss to his knuckles. “I swear to you Yuuri, I’d never be embarrassed of any part of you.”

 

“You haven’t seen me after seven tequila shots.” Yuuri grouses even as the fist around his heart loosens ever so slightly.

 

“Actually…” Victor trails off, eyebrows raised at Yuuri suggestively. It takes Yuuri far too long to understand what he’s implying, but when realization dawns he screeches like a dying pterodactyl.

 

“No. You weren’t there. Tell me you weren’t there,” he moans, trying to slide underneath the table to escape his embarrassment.

 

“I was there,” Victor replies far too seriously. “I think I even have some photos on my phone…”

 

“No! Let me live in denial, I’m begging you.”

 

Victor huffs, but his expression is fond as he returns to caressing the backs of Yuuri’s hands.

 

“Fine, but just this once,” he pauses, his tone more serious as he continues. “What else was on your list?”

 

“Ads for other jobs left on tables.” Yuuri mutters, purposefully choosing the easier of the two topics.

 

Victor’s brow furrows in confusion. “I think you might need to explain that one.”

 

Yuuri exhales heavily, wondering how best to explain this. “People always see my job as temporary. As a short-term stop-gap for money problems, or personal issues or I don’t even know what else. People I’ve dated in the past, even if they say they don’t mind what I do, it never lasts. There always comes a point where they expect me to move on, to find a ‘real’ career, whatever that means.” Yuuri pauses, taking a moment to collect himself so that he doesn’t start rambling like before. “Whenever I tell them that this is what I want to do long term, that this is my career…it never goes well.”

 

“Well that’s just dumb,” Victor says, sounding genuinely confused. “There’s loads of career growth in your industry. Chris keeps on telling me how demand for more mature performers is skyrocketing, and even if you don’t want to stay in front of the camera there’s filming, or directing, or editing…”

 

“Thank you!” Yuuri can’t help interrupting in excitement at Victor’s validation, so unexpected but so very welcome. He leans forward excitedly, the words spilling before he even really has a chance to think about what he’s saying. “If I work hard enough, and show enough initiative, I think could even end up on the board. Desire is big enough that creative decisions we take have a ripple effect outwards; I could end up shaping the direction of the entire industry! How cool would that be?”

 

“Very cool,” Victor agrees. “You’d be so amazing at that Yuuri, I can tell.”

 

“Thank you,” Yuuri mumbles, feeling his cheeks flush red in embarrassment. He hasn’t revealed his dreams to anyone before now, not even Phichit.

 

“And the last one was exclusivity right?” Victor’s voice is suddenly soft, like he knows just as well as Yuuri that all of his other concerns are just window dressing; that this is the one that will make or break everything.

 

“Yeah, that thing that’s usually a requirement for relationships,” Yuuri mutters, trying and failing not to sound petty. “And obviously I can’t offer you that so…”

 

“I don’t need it.”

 

Yuuri’s gaze whips up from where he’s been staring determindly at his hands, expression disbelieving as he looks at Victor. He looks genuine, face open and honest as he stares back, but Yuuri isn’t quite sure he buys it.

 

“Are you just saying that,” Yuuri asks suspiciously, “because you know it’s the only way to get me to agree to be your boyfriend?”

 

Victor shakes his head violently, expression crumpling slightly. “No, of course not. I’d never do that to you, I swear.” He pauses, seemingly struggling to find the right words. “For me, sex is such a minor part of being in a relationship with someone. Don’t get me wrong, the sex we have is great -” he pauses to waggle his eyebrows suggestively at Yuuri “-but there’s so much more that defines a relationship for me. I need somebody who I can share my day with, who I can talk to after a particularly bad shift. I need someone who will distract me when I’m feeling crappy, and listen when I need to vent. I need someone who makes me laugh, and who I can make laugh back. I need someone who won’t balk when they find out about my past, but who wants to be with me for me, rather than who I’m related to. I need someone who likes me exactly how I am, who won’t shy away from the bits of me that don’t always live up to expectation.” Victor pauses again, seemingly having surprised even himself with his honestly. He exhales loudly, the breath making his hair flutter around his face. “If I can find someone who I can share all of that with then, well, I don’t really care if they sleep with people who aren’t me.”

 

“Then you’re a better man than I am,” Yuuri admits, “Because I want all of that but I also don’t want to share you.” He huffs in annoyance at himself. “I’m a hypocrite, and I can’t ask that of you Victor.”

 

“You’re not asking, I’m offering.”

 

“And how would that work?” Yuuri presses, voice quavering with barely repressed frustration, “I’m allowed to sleep with other people but you aren’t? That’s such an imbalance I don’t even know where to begin.”

 

“Well, I wouldn’t be opposed to non-work related exclusivity,” Victor suggests slowly. “I know what you do at work isn’t the same as choosing to take someone to bed. I get that it’s a job, and I can make the distinction in my mind. So if we’re both exclusive outside of work then that’s the same for both of us right?”

 

“I haven’t had sex with anyone outside of work,” Yuuri hastens to clarify, “Not since I first met you. I don’t want anyone other than you.”

 

“Me neither,” Victor replies, smile cautious but genuine. “So...we just keep on doing that then?”

 

“I don’t understand,” Yuuri’s voice is dangerously close to a whine. “It sounds like you’re asking for us to stay exactly how we are. So what’s different about being boyfriends if nothing changes?”

 

“Well…I get to call you my boyfriend to Chris. That’s kind of a big one,” Victor says. “And I can use a photo of you as my lock screen on my phone.”

 

“Wait a minute.” Yuuri’s voice sounds very faint to his own ears. “All of this was because you wanted to make me your lock screen?”

 

Victor blushes, “Should I have led with that? Yuuri, can I put a photo of you as my lock screen?”

 

“Yes. Of course you can.”

 

“And…” Victor straightens in his seat, eyes purposeful as he drops his voice so that only Yuuri can hear. “Will you be my boyfriend?”

 

Yuuri exhales loudly, not quite believing what he’s about to say but trusting just how right it feels.

 

“Yes, I’d love to be.”

 


 

Some time later, when they’re walking back to Yuuri’s apartment hand in hand, Yuuri has a revelation.

 

“Why do you think you’re hard to date?” he blurts, completely interrupting Victor’s story about other Yuri getting into a fight with one of the students on his program.

 

Victor pauses, head tilting to the side as he slowly processes Yuuri’s sudden outburst. “Come again?”

 

Yuuri blushes, but forges on determinedly. “Twice now you’ve made a comment about being a lot to handle in a relationship, first at mini golf and then again just now. What do you mean by that?”

 

Victor sighs, running his spare hand through his hair distractedly. “It was nothing, just me being silly and insecure. Don’t worry about it.”

 

“No.” Yuuri stops walking, forcing Victor to swing around so that they’re standing face to face in the middle of the sidewalk. “You dealt with a whole host of silly and insecure Yuuri this afternoon, let me do the same for you. Please?”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

Yuuri nods determinedly, sliding his hand up to link arms with Victor as they resume walking. “This is what boyfriends do, right?”

 

Victor laughs once, smiling at Yuuri. “I love hearing you call us boyfriends.”

 

“And I love being able to say it.” Yuuri eyes Victor meaningfully, waiting for him to start talking.

 

“Well, I guess I’m a bit of a romantic at heart,” Victor begins, smiling ruefully as he draws Yuuri closer in to his side. “Probably something there about wanting something more than the publicity marriage my parents had, but I’ve spent too much on therapy because of those two already to want to dig into that particular can of worms any time soon.”

 

“Understandable,”

 

Victor pauses for a moment, chewing over his words. “I guess the thing you need to know about me is that I’m not very good at half measures. When I like somebody I really like them, you know? And I want to do everything I can to show them just how much I like them.”

 

“Okay…” Yuuri says slowly, wondering where exactly this is going.

 

“I haven’t had a lot of meaningful relationships in my life - most people wanted a night with The Victor Nikiforov and nothing more - but the relationships I have had all ended in the same way. I’m too intense, I’m coming on too strong, I’m suffocating them.” Victor huffs dejectedly. “Every time it happens I tell myself I’ll tone it back next time, be more relaxed you know? But I don’t think I actually know how to do that.” He pauses again, turning to Yuuri with such a heartbroken look on his face that Yuuri wants to hug him and never let him go. “I just want to show people just how much I care about them, and I always end up scaring them away.”

 

“Oh Victor, I’m so sorry.” Yuuri’s words feel like ash in his mouth, useless in the face of Victor’s hurt. He doesn’t know what he can do or say to make this better, and he hates it.

 

Victor plasters on a smile that’s just a hair too bright to be genuine. “I’m going to be better with you though, I promise. I’ll be the most chill Victor the world has ever seen.”

 

“What if I like no-chill Victor?” Yuuri asks

 

Victor laugh disbelievingly. “Trust me, nobody likes no-chill Victor.”

 

“I do,” Yuuri says adamantly. “I like you just the way you are. You don’t need to change anything about yourself for me, I don’t want you to change anything about yourself.”

 

“You say that now,” Victor persists, “But you probably won’t feel the same when I phone you at two am crying because I saw a puppy that reminded me of you.”

 

“You’ve already done that,” Yuuri reminds him gently, “And I thought it was adorable.”

 

Victor frowns, “Okay, but what if I-”

 

“Tell you what,” Yuuri interrupts before Victor has a chance to list everything he dislikes about himself. “I don’t think you’re too intense, or clingy, or whatever else terrible people in your past have made you believe about yourself, but…” he pauses, making sure to look Victor dead in the eye as he speaks. “If it will make you better, I promise that if you ever start coming on too strong I will say something, before it becomes enough of an issue to start affecting our relationship.” He nods once, pointedly. “So if I haven’t said anything you can assume I’m loving all the attention you’re showering on me, okay?”

 

“That...that actually really helps,” Victor says slowly, eyes wide as he processes Yuuri’s suggestion.

 

Yuuri smiles wryly, “You’re talking to the king of overthinking thing here, I know all the techniques to help, even if I don’t always manage to apply them to myself.”

 

“Thank you, Yuuri,” Victor smiles, pressing a soft kiss to the side of Yuuri’s head. “I really appreciate that.”

 

“You don’t need to thank me,” Yuuri replies, voice fond. “This is what boyfriends do, right?”

 


 

Phichit is in the process of putting on his shoes to leave when they arrive back at Yuuri’s apartment.

 

“I thought tonight was Chris and Masumi’s date night?” Yuuri comments as he kicks off his own shoes, noticing his friends styled hair and smart clothing.

 

“Actually,” Phichit says, just a touch too innocently, “I'm going to grab a drink with Minami.”

 

“Phichit!”

 

“What?”

 

“Baby Minami from work?”

 

“He's twenty one, and it's just a drink.” Phichit’s cheeks color as he speaks, giving lie to his words.

 

Yuuri sighs and rubs his temple in despair. “You and I both know it's never just a drink with you, Phi. You're going to break that poor boy.”

 

“I will not!”

 

“Will too-” Yuuri cuts himself off before he fully regresses to arguing like a five year old. “You know what, I'm not even going to get involved.” He exhales heavily, then smiles determinedly at Phichit. “Have a great time tonight.”

 

“Thank you, Yuuri. I will,” Phichit replies smugly, waving at both of them before disappearing out the door before Yuuri can say anything else.

 

Yuuri stares at the closed door for a moment, wondering what exactly just happened. “Well, that's a train wreck just waiting to happen,” he says to noone in particular.

 

“You never know, they might be great for one another,” Victor comments as he sidles up behind Yuuri, wrapping his arms around his waist and kissing his neck softly. “On the plus side, it means we now have the house to ourselves.”

 

And just like that, Yuuri is fully supportive of Phichit’s plans to get in their coworker’s pants.

 

Grinning he turns in Victor’s embrace, arms wrapping around Victor’s neck as he captures Victor’s lips with his own. Victor melts happily against him, his mouth opening eagerly to accept Yuuri’s exploratory tongue.

 

With a satisfied hum Yuuri starts to back Victor across the room towards his bedroom, deepening the kiss as they move together. They get about halfway across the room before Victor knocks into something, a soft breath of air puffing against Yuuri’s lips as he exhales in surprise.

 

Yuuri reluctantly draws away from Victor’s mouth to glare at the offending item blocking their progress, brain kicking into overdrive as he processes the sturdy wooden table behind them. Taking a moment to silently thank Phichit for insisting they get something off Craigslist over a plywood alternative from Ikea, Yuuri raises a suggestive eyebrow at Victor. “This works,” he says slyly, hands slipping down from Victor’s neck to grab his thighs just below his ass.

 

“What-” Victor’s question morphs into a squeak of surprise as Yuuri hoists him onto the table, slotting himself between Victor’s spread legs so that he can resume their kissing with Victor seated on the table.

 

“Mmm, my Yuuri is so strong,” Victor exclaims delightedly when they both eventually surface for air, heart shaped smile firmly in place as he starts to nuzzle at Yuuri’s neck.

 

“I- ah- sorry?” Yuuri stammers, brain somewhat distracted by the feel of Victor’s lips against his heated skin.

 

“I like it,” Victor croons. “Manhandle me some more, Yuuri.”

 

“Well in that case-” Yuuri’s fingers wrap around each of Victor’s wrists, drawing them above his head as clambers up onto the table to straddle Victor’s hips. He bodily pushes Victor backwards until he’s lying across the tabletop, both hands pinned to the cool surface by one of Yuuri’s own. “Now that I have you here, what shall I do with you?”

 

“Whatever you want.” Victor sounds breathless, his expression already a little glassy, and Yuuri moans at the plaintive request.

 

“You can’t just say things like that,” he complains, draping himself across Victor’s body, “Now I want to do everything.”

 

“Yuuri,” Victor pleads, hips stuttering impotently underneath him. “Yuuri please .”

 

“Shhh,” Yuuri reassures, pressing a soft kiss to Victor’s lips to quiet him. “I’ve got you, don’t worry.”

 

His fingers uncurl from around Victor’s wrists. “Keep them there,” he orders, smiling as Victor’s arms immediately go rigid. “Good boy.”

 

Yuuri ,” Victor gasps again, like Yuuri’s name is the only word he remembers, and Yuuri feels something hot and possessive uncurl in his chest.

 

“Are you, Victor?” He asks lowly, fingers starting to slowly unbutton Victor’s shirt. “Are you my good boy?”

 

“Yes, yes Yuuri,” Victor nods his head so violently Yuuri worries he might strain something. “I’ll be good, I’ll be so good.”

 

“But are you mine?” Yuuri presses, pushing aside the fabric so that he can trace his fingers feather-light across Victor’s torso, “Are you mine, Victor?”

 

Victor exhales violently; Yuuri feels the air leave his body in sharp rush underneath his fingertips. He shifts his gaze from examining the pale dusting of hair covering Victor’s chest to his face, and finds himself experiencing the exact same loss of breath.

 

Victor’s pupils are blown, so wide Yuuri can barely see the blue of his eyes. His mouth is slightly slack and he’s staring up at Yuuri with such unfiltered adoration that it makes Yuuri’s heart stutter in his chest.

 

“Yours,” Victor says quietly, voice barely above a whisper like it’s a secret he isn’t sure he should be sharing. “I’m all yours.”

 

“Good,” Yuuri’s voice is shaky but his movements are firm as he drops his head to press a short, claiming kiss to Victor’s lips. “Because I’m all yours too.”

 

“My Yuuri,” Victor gasps around the kiss. “You’re … you’re really mine?”

 

“I’m yours,” Yuuri promises. “For as long as you’ll have me.”

 

Eventually Yuuri breaks the kiss, ignoring Victor’s whine of protest as he slinks down Victor’s body to start undoing his belt buckle. Victor keeps his hands fixed above his head as instructed, but Yuuri can see his fingers curling and flexing as Yuuri dispenses of the belt with a sharp snap of leather.

 

“You look so good, all spread out for me,” Yuuri croons as he gets to work on the buttons of Victor’s jeans, popping them open one by one in time with his words. “My own personal feast.” He curls his fingers into the waistbands of Victor’s jeans and underwear together, rising up on his knees so there’s enough room for him to shove both items down past the curve of Victor’s ass. It takes some work but eventually the clothing slips off Victor’s legs to pool on the floor beneath them. Victor gasps as cool air hits his skin, now completely naked save for his shirt bunched around his shoulders.

 

Вкусно ,” Yuuri says, licking his lips and ignoring the flash of insecurity in his chest at how bad his pronunciation must be.

 

Far from being horrified as Yuuri’s obvious butchering of his native tongue, Victor gasps in delighted surprise. “You know Russian?”

 

“I...ah...Yuri has been teaching me a few things,” Yuuri admits, feeling his cheeks flush red at that admission.

 

“For me?”

 

“Of course.”

 

“Oh, Yuuri ,” Victor says, his tone so painfully fond that Yuuri has to look away. He feels a hand cup his cheek and reluctantly lets himself be guided back to face Victor.

 

“I think that’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me,” Victor says, and though Yuuri searches his face for any hint of teasing, all he can see is sweet sincerity.

 

He coughs roughly, shaking his head to clear it of the blissful fog that has started to sweep in. “What did I say about your hands?”

 

Victor’s eyes widen and his hand immediately snaps back to join the other above his head. “Sorry, my Yuuri,” he says, abashed.

 

“Hmm,” Yuuri says, voice serious even as he raises an eyebrow conspiratorially. “What on earth shall I do with you now?” He rakes his gaze up and down Victor’s body, fingers tracing lightly along his side. He grins to himself as Victor shudders at the gentle contact, enjoying how responsive his boyfriend is.

 

Boyfriend . It sounds so strange to Yuuri’s ears, but somehow also like it’s always been meant to be like this. Maybe it has.

 

“Does my boyfriend like this?” he says, rolling the word around in his mouth, relishing the feel of it as it escapes past his lips.

 

Victor’s whole body tenses, rigid underneath Yuuri’s fingertips. “Say that again,” he begs.

 

“What, boyfriend?” Yuuri asks, eyes glittering as his fingers dance up Victor’s body to start playing with one of his nipples.

 

“Yes, oh god yes,” Victor moans, eyes fluttering closed as Yuuri rolls the dusky brown nub between his thumb and forefinger. Yuuri briefly wonders if its his words or his actions that are causing such a positive response, but quickly decides has no issues continuing both.

 

“I’ll need to get Yuri to teach me how to say it in Russian,” Yuuri comments absently as his fingers trace across Victor’s chest to start paying his other nipple attention.

 

“Or I could just tell you now?” Victor pants, his chest shuddering underneath Yuuri’s touch.

 

“Now where would be the fun in that?” Yuuri teases as he drops his head to press a short, claiming kiss to Victor’s lips, hands still exploring the contours of his chest as he speaks. “I want to surprise you with it, drop it into conversation when you’re least expecting.”

 

“My Yuuri is so mean,” Victor whines body arching up off the table as Yuuri starts to suck claiming marks into the soft skin of his neck. “Such a tease.”

 

“If I were really a tease I would do something like this,” Yuuri counters, hand trailing down Victor’s body to lightly caress the swollen head of his cock with just the tip of his index finger.

 

Victor shudders at the feather-light sensation, hips bucking upwards in a desperate attempt to seek out more contact. Yuuri immediately withdraws his hand, tutting disapprovingly as he raises a mock-stern eyebrow at Victor.

 

“There’s no need to try and force my hand like that,” he scolds, struggling to maintain his serious expression as Victor immediately blushes the most adorable pink. “I’ll give you everything you need, don’t you worry.”

 

“Please Yuuri, please ,” Victor begs, spreading his legs wider invitingly and Yuuri can’t help his groan of appreciation at the sight. He slides off the table and quickly shucks off his own clothes, with far less care and attention than he paid to Victor’s. Once he’s naked he reaches forward to grab Victor’s hips, bodily dragging him across the table’s smooth surface so that his ass is in line with the table’s edge and his legs are dangling towards the floor.

 

He wraps his fingers around one of Victor’s ankles, lifting his right leg so that he can press a soft kiss to the inside of his thigh before bending his leg and placing his foot flat on the table next to his ass. He repeats the gesture with Victor’s left leg, nudging his limbs gently until he’s arranged with his legs spread, ass on proud display.

 

“So gorgeous,” he says softly as he surveys his handiwork, smiling to himself at the full body shudder his words elicit from Victor. He takes himself in hand, stroking his cock a few times as he slots himself between Victor’s spread thighs, his other hand moving to caress Victor’s tight hole, winking just in view.  

 

“So perfect, so good.” The words of praise drip from his lips in a constant litany as he starts to rub the pad of his thumb more insistently against Victor’s entrance. Victor’s whole body starts to shudder at the stimulation, breathy moans escaping from his lips in soft pants. With a soft sigh Yuuri removes his hand, pressing another comforting kiss to the inside of Victor’s knee as he steps away.

 

“I’ll be back in a second,” he promises. “I just need to go grab supplies.”

 

“Jean...pocket,” Victor gasps, as if it’s hard for him to remember how to form sentences.

 

Yuuri raises an eyebrow as he bends down to pick up Victor’s pants from the floor, rummaging in the pockets until he emerges with a condom and packet of lube.

 

“Somebody’s prepared,” he teases as he leans forward to kiss Victor fondly, fingers already tearing open the lube sachet.

 

“I like to be ready for you,” Victor says, voice sounding a little dreamy as he returns Yuuri’s kisses happily.

 

“Aren’t you good,” Yuuri praises as he squeezes some of the gel onto his fingers and rubs it between them to warm it slightly. He returns his hand to Victor’s ass, massaging the tight pucker of skin for a moment before pressing in with one finger.

 

Oh ,” Victor gasps, body fluttering around the intrusion. Yuuri gives him a minute to adjust to the sensation before he starts to move, caressing Victor’s insides with every stroke. He’s gentle, methodical, working Victor open slowly but surely until he has three fingers buried in his ass and Victor is a writing mess on the table underneath him.

 

“Oh, oh Yuuri please ,” Victor babbles, head lolling to the side as his ass pulses around Yuuri’s fingers, “I’m ready, I’m so ready. Want to feel you inside me pleasepleaseplease .”

 

“Shh, I’ve got you,” Yuuri says as he slowly extracts his fingers, grabbing the condom next to them with barely shaking hands and quickly rolling it onto his length. He slicks his dick with the remaining lube from the packet then crowds forward between Victor’s legs, one hand on either thigh as he lines up and slides in in one smooth motion.

 

Both men groan as Yuuri bottoms out, hips pressed flush with Victor’s ass against the edge of the table. Yuuri gives them both a moment to adjust before drawing almost the full way out and sliding back in again, skin slapping against skin as he drives home. His fingers tighten around Victor’s thighs as he starts up a steady pace, his thrusts shifting Victor across the surface of the table bit by bit.

 

“Fuck, fuck,” Victor moans, hips jerking upward to meet each of Yuuri’s thrusts, Yuuri groans and adjusts his angle so that he’s brushing up against that sweet spot inside of Victor with every stroke. Victor practically wails at the increased sensation, his feet slipping off the edge of the table as his body spasms in pleasure. He immediately wraps his legs around Yuuri’s waist, drawing him deeper, deeper inside his body, and Yuuri feels familiar heat start to spike up his spine.

 

“Victor, oh god Victor,” Yuuri moans as his thrusts start to lose their rhythm, one hand moving from Victor’s leg to wrap around his cock. “I’m gonna, fuck, I’m gonna-”

 

“Yes, yes ,” Victor gasps, his whole body shuddering as Yuuri starts to stroke his cock in time with his thrusts. His whole body locks up, his mouth opening in a silent scream as he erupts over Yuuri’s fist, and Yuuri immediately follows him straight over the edge.

 

He comes back to himself just in time for his quivering legs to give out underneath him, and he has to grip the edge of the table firmly to stop himself from collapsing to the floor. He makes sure to be gentle as he draws out of Victor, making noises of apology as Victor whimpers at the sudden emptiness, then nudges the other man over so that he can clamber up onto the table and lie down next to him.

 

“Yuuri?” Victor’s slurred voice sounds like it’s coming from very far away. “What’re you doing up here?”

 

“Tired,” Yuuri mumbles, nudging his head against Victor’s arm until Victor brings it down around his shoulders, drawing him close so that Yuuri can pillow his head on his chest.

 

“Mmmm, you wore me out,” Victor agrees, pressing a soft kiss to Yuuri’s forehead. They lie together peacefully for a few minutes before Victor’s body starts to shift underneath Yuuri’s shoulder. “Hmmm, we should probably get cleaned up.”

 

“Shhh,” Yuuri says, lazily flapping his hand in front of Victor’s face to quiet him. “I just need a minute to recover.”  

 

The next thing Yuuri registers is a loud, high pitched scream.

 

He jolts upright, very nearly falling off the table as he whips his head round for the source of the ungodly sound.

 

“My eyes!” Phichit wails, one hand covering his face while the other grabs the doorway for support. “My poor innocent eyes!”

 

“Phichit!” Yuuri exclaims, flailing off the table and grabbing his shirt off the floor to cover himself. “I thought you were going out for a drink with Minami?”

 

“I did, and now I’m back!” Phichit exclaims, making a show of keeping his eyes covered as he feels his way across the room. “I leave you two alone for two hours and you go and defile our poor table. How could you do such a thing!”

 

Yuuri can’t help snorting at Phichit’s theatrics. “Last week I walked in on you and Chris going at it up against the refrigerator.”

 

“That’s different!”

 

“How?”

 

“I don’t know it just is!”

 

“Okay, how about we move into your room,” Victor interrupts before things start to get out of hand. He slides off the table to join Yuuri, wrapping an arm around his waist and nudging him away from the table and towards his bedroom. “Sorry for the surprise there, Phichit.”



“That’s quite alright, Victor,” Phichit says pettily, throwing an exaggerated glare at Yuuri. “At least one of you has manners.”

 

Yuuri responds by swearing over his shoulder at Phichit, ignoring his roommate’s cackle of laughter as Victor guides them both into Yuuri’s bedroom and shuts the door behind them.

 

There’s a beat of awkward silence between them, before they both start giggling.

 

“Oops,” Victor says with a bashful smile, perching on the edge of Yuuri’s bed.

 

“He’s done worse, trust me,” Yuuri says as he finally pulls off the used condom with a wince. “We probably should have moved sooner though.”

 

“I did say!”

 

“I know. Sleep Yuuri had taken over and unfortunately there’s no arguing with him when he’s in control.” Yuuri admits ruefully, leaning down to kiss Victor on the cheek. “I’m just going to go get cleaned up and then I’ll be back okay?”

 

Victor smiles and nods, already reclining on the bed. “I’ll be waiting.”

 

Yuuri hurries across the living room, ignoring Phichit’s shout of “Put some damn clothes on Katsuki!” as he shuts himself in bathroom. He uses a damp cloth to wash off the dried semen with a wince - definitely should have done that earlier - then quickly steps under the shower to freshen up. Once out and dried he grabs a pair of sweatpants and a sleep top from the basket of clean clothes in the corner, then pads back to his room and to Victor.

 

He finds Victor already under the covers, his face breaking into a sleepy smile as Yuuri crosses the room to join him. He holds the comforter up so that Yuuri can slip into bed next to him, then tucks them both in firmly.

 

Yuuri hums happily as he snuggles down next to Victor, relishing the warmth of the other man’s body heat as he slips into his familiar position of little spoon.

 

He’s already well on his way to dozing when he feels Victor start to wriggle behind him.

 

“Smile, Yuuri!”

 

Yuuri just about has time to move his head before he hears the telltale snap of a phone camera. “What are you doing?” he asks as he twists to raise a questioning eyebrow at Victor.

 

“I’m taking a photo for my lock screen,” Victor explains, showing Yuuri the photo he’s just taken. “Look how good we both look!”

 

Yuuri squints at the photo, the image slightly blurry without his glasses. Victor looks good, of course, but Yuuri is quietly confident that Victor is incapable of taking a bad photo even if he tries.

 

He, on the other hand, looks like a hot mess. His hair is sticking up at odd angles and he has a dopey smile on his face that is practically instinct nowadays whenever he hears Victor’s voice. It’s certainly not his finest photo, but Victor looks so happy as he navigates to the display settings on his phone that Yuuri decides not to say anything.

 

He also doesn’t say anything when the same image appears on Victor’s pinboard a few weeks later, pride of place in the center of the collage.

Chapter Text

The following weekend Yuuri and Victor decide to spend a romantic evening together at Victor’s apartment. Which of course turns out to be easier said than done.

 

Between Victor accidentally burning his hand on a hot pan, Yuuri almost setting a dishcloth on fire when he steps in to help and Makkachin suddenly deciding she also wants to be a sous-chef, running around underfoot and almost causing three separate accidents, Yuuri can’t help thinking that it’s a miracle that they make it to the table in one piece at all.

 

He exhales heavily as he slumps into a chair opposite Victor, somewhat in awe at just how much of a circus the past half hour has been. He’s very much looking forward to enjoying Victor’s delicious cooking - which still looks amazing despite everything - and then relaxing on the sofa with his equally delicious boyfriend for the rest of the evening. It’s been a long week and he’s about due for some quality relaxation.

 

The first mouthful of food has almost touched Yuuri’s lips when the elevator dings its arrival and all of a sudden Victor’s apartment is invaded by Hurricane Yuri. Because when it rains it pours, apparently.

 

“Imposter Yuuri!” Yuri’s voice is frenetic as he storms across the living room, eyes wild in their intensity.

 

“I knew it was about time to change the elevator passcode,” Victor mutters under his breath before pushing himself up to standing, smile artificially wide as he opens his arms in welcome. “Yura! To what do we owe this delightful pleasure?”

 

Yuri completely ignores Victor, not stopping until he’s directly opposite Yuuri.

 

“You!” he exclaims, jabbing Yuuri’s chest with his index finger to emphasise his point. “Who is he?”

 

“I...umm…” Yuuri stammers, eyes flicking between Yuri and Victor in confusion. When Victor only shrugs, expression equally confused, he turns his attention back to the younger Russian. “Who is who?”

 

Yuri huffs angrily, like he genuinely believes Yuuri is being intentionally obtuse. “The new guy in your last shoot! Who is he?”

 

Yuuri blinks slowly, brain struggling to catch up. He quickly thinks back over the last few weeks at work, flicking through his mental catalog of past shoots. New guy...new guy…

 

“Do you mean Otabek?” he finally asks, recalling a shoot from the week before last. Otabek Altin is a new hire at Gods of Desire ; his shoot with Yuuri his first ever foray in front of the camera. He’d come across as pretty distant on first introduction - a less charitable person might have even called him aloof - but beneath the reserved demeanour Yuuri could tell that the newbie was nervous, and had promptly taken him under his wing. He’d made sure to talk him through everything that was going to happen on set before it actually happened, and had called for breaks whenever it looked like his co-star was starting to flag. By the end of the shoot Otabek had really seemed to be getting into things, and had seemed genuinely enthusiastic when the director proposed a sequel.

 

“Otabek,” Yuri repeats, sounding awestruck. Yuuri can’t help but smile at the younger man’s obvious infatuation.

 

“Awww, look at our Yura, all grown up and having his first crush,” Victor sidles up next to Yuri and draws the teenager into a one armed hug, ruffling his hair in exactly the way they all know Yuri hates.

 

“Get off me old man!” Yuri screeches, shoving away from Victor harshly. “It’s not a crush! And even if it were it wouldn’t be my first, I’m nineteen not nine!”

 

“Oooh, who was your first crush Yura? Was it me? Was it Christophe ?!” Victor teases mercilessly, eyes sparkling as Yuri splutters indignantly, his face turning an impressive shade of red.

 

“Victor,” Yuuri scolds halfheartedly. “Don’t tease, it’s not nice.”

 

“Thank you, imposter Yuuri,” Yuri exclaims, crossing his arms across his chest and glaring at Victor.

 

“Besides, I think the more important revelation here is evidence that Yuri does, in fact, watch my movies.”

 

“блять!” Yuri swears, throwing his hands in the air as he rounds on Yuuri. “You two are the worst!”

 

“Is that an admission of guilt?” Victor needles as Yuuri tries to restrain his grin.

 

“I don’t choose to watch his stuff!” Yuri protests adamantly, “He just ...he just happens to be there sometimes!”

 

“Our Yura, all grown up,” Victor repeats, wiping a non-existent tear from his eyes.

 

“You know what? Fuck this. Fuck the two of you. I don’t need this bullshit,” Yuri growls, quickly reaching the end of his short fuse. He spins around and starts to stomp his way back over to the elevator, but Yuuri catches his arm before he can get too far away.

 

“No, no don’t go,” Yuuri says, trying desperately to sound appropriately contrite. “We’re sorry for teasing, aren’t we Victor?” He raises an eyebrow at Victor who nods adamantly, despite the shit-eating grin still plastered across his features.

 

Yuri huffs and glares at Victor some more, but reluctantly allows himself to be guided into a seat at the table. Yuuri gets up to grab another plate from the kitchen, dishing up a healthy serving of food and placing it in front of Yuri before sitting back down again. “So, what did you want to know about Otabek?”

 

His co-star’s name is like the magic word. Immediately all the tension drains from Yuri’s body, and his expression turns almost dreamy as he picks up the fork next to his plate. “Is he single? Is he looking? Do you think he’d like me? How old is he? What’s his favorite color? Does he like cats?”

 

Yuuri covers his grin with his hand, not wanting to scare Yuri off but charmed by the teenager’s unfiltered eagerness. “That’s a lot of questions,” he finally says, “I’m not sure how many of them I can answer.”

 

“Why not?” Yuri asks, lower lip slipping dangerously close to a pout.

 

“Well, my job doesn’t exactly require a lot of talking,” Yuuri says, this time not bothering to hide his smile as Yuri immediately blushes at the reminder of Yuuri’s profession. “But let’s see what I can answer....” He taps his finger against his lower lip as he thinks.

 

“You look like Victor when you do that,” Yuri comments absently, digging into his food and ignoring Yuuri’s wide-eyed surprise.

 

“Anyway…” Yuuri stammers, not quite sure how to process the fact that he’s started picking up his boyfriend’s mannerisms. “He’s at least twenty-one, since that’s the minimum age that Desire will take on performers. I know he’s just finished college, so my money would be that he’s probably not much older than twenty-two.”

 

“Twenty-two...I can work with that.” Yuri nods determinedly. “Is he dating anyone?”

 

“He hasn’t mentioned a partner, but people often choose to keep their private life private at work, so I wouldn’t take that to mean anything for sure.”

 

Yuri nods again, absorbing everything Yuuri tells him like he’s sharing the secrets of the universe. “Is he as serious as he looks on camera?”

 

“He’s a stoic one, that’s for sure,” Yuuri replies with a small laugh, remembering the look of fierce determination on Otabek’s face when the director had called for them to first lose their robes. “But underneath that he seems...I don’t know...genuine?”

 

Yuri wheezes an exhale that sounds almost pained, his fingers tightening around his fork. “Do you...would you be willing to introduce us?” He stares determindly at his food as he speaks, shoulders hunched inwards, and Yuuri is struck by the thought that this is probably the most vulnerable he’s ever seen the younger man. He chews his lip as he ponders Yuri’s request.

 

Generally speaking he tries not to play matchmaker between his friends; it’s just too much pressure and he inevitably ends up feeling disproportionately guilty if things don’t work out. Yuri’s request is especially problematic in that Otabek isn’t even really a friend, he’s a colleague. A colleague who Yuri so far only seems interested in because he’s seen him performing on camera. Yuuri knows how weird he would feel if one of his co-stars came up to him and tried to set him up with someone who liked him for his films; it had been bad enough when Chris contacted him about Victor, and he had already been halfway in love with the man by that point.

 

He should probably tell Yuri that he can’t get involved, that it would be awkward at best and unprofessional at worst. But Yuri is looking at him so hopefully, wearing an innocent expression that is all too rare on the teenager, and he can’t quite bring himself to crush his hopes just yet.

 

“Tell you what,” he says, deciding to compromise. “I’m filming another shoot with Otabek next week. Victor’s been pestering me for an opportunity to come visit me at work, so why don’t you both come along? Then you can introduce yourself to Otabek, and see if you like him in the flesh as much as you do on screen?”

 

“Yuuri! That’s a great idea!” Yuuri turns just in time to see Victor clapping his hands together in excitement, heart-shaped smile firmly in place. “I can’t wait to see you in action!”

 

Yuuri blushes at the double entendre, and quickly turns his attention back to Yuri. The younger man’s brow is furrowed in thought as he processes Yuuri’s offer; not quite what he was hoping for, but better than nothing. Eventually he nods determinedly, looking back at Yuuri with fire in his eyes. “Alright,” he says, sounding more like he’s agreeing to a black-ops mission than an afternoon visiting Yuuri’s place of work. “Let’s do it.”

 


 

True to his word, Tuesday afternoon finds Yuuri giving an excitable Victor and an only-marginally-less excitable Yuri the full tour of God’s of Desire. He’s been working at the production house for long enough that their four dressing rooms, single editing suite and smattering of filming studios seem pretty inconsequential to him, but the two Russians drink it all in like he’s giving them a guided tour of a Hollywood film set.

 

“And over here is where we store all the recording equipment,” Yuuri explains as he gestures to a small room packed to the rafters with technology. “We tend to favor handheld cameras on set, although usually we’ll have one or two static cameras set up for the wide action shots.”

 

“Awww, look at our Yuuri pretending he knows anything about the sacred art of filming.” Phichit’s teasing voice wafts out from between the racks, and Yuuri jumps in surprise as his friend reveals himself, pushing a trolley loaded up with gear in front of him. “Victor, how lovely to see you with your clothes on!”

 

“Victor, you remember Phichit,” Yuuri offers, glaring half-heartedly at the other man who simply grins widely in response. “Yuri, this is my roommate, colleague and sometimes friend, Phichit Chulanont.”

 

“I see Yuuri is giving you both the guided tour,” Phichit says as he waves at the visitors in greeting. “Will you be watching him film later?”

 

“Absolutely not!” Yuuri splutters at the exact moment Victor exclaims “Definitely!”

 

Yuuri rounds on Victor in shock. “Victor! You don’t...I mean…You can’t possibly want to...” he stammers feebly.

 

Yuuri, ” Victor pleads, his tone lilting in the exact way Yuuri is powerless to resist. “Isn’t that why we’re here?”

 

“You’re...you’re here to see where I work,” Yuuri argues, his brain still whirring and stalling as as it fails to process this sudden turn of events.

 

“And isn’t part of that seeing you in action?” Victor counters, eyes huge and pleading and Yuuri curses himself for a weak, weak fool as he feels his resolve slipping in the face of Victor’s plaintive expression.

 

“You can’t possibly want to see me...like that ,” Yuuri practically pleads, voice no more than a whisper.

 

“Oh believe me I do.” Victor’s voice is like syrup, thick and sweet and Yuuri can feel himself drowning under his words.

 

Yuri doesn’t want to see me naked,” Yuuri tries again, desperately grasping at what few straws he has left.

 

“You’re damn right I don’t,” Yuri’s sharp voice cuts through the tension like a knife, but Yuuri doesn’t even have time to breathe a sigh of relief before the younger man continues unhelpfully. “But I certainly wouldn’t mind getting to watch Otabek on screen.”

 

His co-star, of course, how could he have forgotten? Yuuri shakes his head rapidly to clear his brain of the last vestiges of Victor’s syrupy suggestion, fiercely latching onto something tangible that he can at least control. “Well either way, I’ll need to check with Otabek first,” he says adamantly, “I can’t just bring strangers onto set without asking him first.”

 

“I saw him leaving his dressing room less than ten minutes ago,” Phichit supplies far too innocently. “He’s most likely already on his way to set. I bet you can can catch him before Celestino arrives if you leave now.”

 

Yuuri throws another half-hearted scowl at his meddlesome best friend, then sighs a heavy sigh of reluctance. “Alright, then I guess I’m showing you two another one of our studios.”

 

As promised, Otabek is already on set when they all arrive. Yuuri is pretty sure he hears an actual whimper escape Yuri when he spies the man on the other side of the room, but Yuuri forcefully makes them both wait by the door as he heads over alone.

 

“Otabek, hi,” he says cheerfully, wincing at how strained his voice sounds. Otabek slowly turns towards him, corner of his mouth twitching minutely upwards.

 

“Yuuri, good to see you again,” Otabek replies in his usual serious tone, holding out a hand for Yuuri to shake.

 

“You too,” Yuuri briefly clasps Otabek’s hand with his own before nodding his head towards the door where Victor and Yuri are still hovering. “So, um, my boyfriend and his friend are here today to see the place, would you mind if they sat in on us filming? They’ve already signed their NDA’s just to be here, and they’ll keep out of the way.”

 

Otabek appraises Yuuri for a long moment, then turns his inscrutable gaze towards where he’s gesturing. He’s silent for long enough that Yuuri starts to feel awkward, shifting his weight from foot to foot as he waits.

 

“If you’d rather they don’t then that’s completely fine,” Yuuri begins when the silence starts to feel oppressive. “I know this is all still super new and if you’re not comfortable with other people in the room then-”

 

“What’s his name?” Otabek interrupts, eyes not leaving the doorway.

 

“My boyfriend?” Yuuri asks, confused. “That’s Victor.”

 

“The other one,” Otabek clarifies, “The one with eyes like a soldier.”

 

“Oh…” Yuuri stammers, surprised by the the sudden intensity in Otabek’s voice. “That’s Yura. Yuri, I mean. Victor decided it was too confusing having two Yuuri’s so he mostly calls him Yura, or sometimes Yurio. Yuri hates that one but honestly I think that’s part of the reason Victor does it.” He’s well aware that he’s babbling, but he feels like he’s inadvertently stumbled across something he’s not quite ready to dig into just yet.

 

Otabek pauses for another long moment, then nods firmly, turning back towards Yuuri with a heat to his expression that Yuuri has yet to see on screen. “Let’s make sure we give them a good show, then.”

 


 

The script for their shoot today had originally called for amateur boxer Otabek walking in on yoga instructor Yuuri exercising in some form of shared practice space. Yuuri had suggested that he utilize his existing skill sets, and his role was promptly recast as dance instructor. Celestino had even agreed to install a temporary barre on the mirrored side of the room after Yuuri made a very persuasive argument for how they could use it as leverage during filming.

 

Yuuri runs through a couple of quick exercises at the barre, partly to warm up but mostly because he knows that the shots of his palms flat on the floor by his feet, lycra-clad ass sticking proudly in the air, will make for great introductory footage. He spends about fifteen minutes on his own in front of the camera before he sees Celestino nod out of the corner of his eye, and Otabek struts into frame.

 

“What are you doing here?” Otabek’s voice is low and menacing, and Yuuri rights himself just in time to watch his co-star finish binding his fists with long lengths of red fabric.

 

“I have the room booked, for dance practice,” Yuuri makes sure his voice is breathy as he starts another stretch, elongating his body as he arches first to the left and then to the right.

 

“You’re wrong. My buddies and I have the place booked for sparring.” Otabek counters, taking a pointed step towards Yuuri.

 

“Oh no, there must have been a mix up,” Yuuri says, finishing his stretch and slinking over towards Otabek. “I’m sure we can come to some sort of-” he slowly walks his fingertips up Otabek’s chest until they’re resting just underneath his chin “-arrangement.”

 

Otabek growls, a wrapped hand grabbing at Yuuri’s wrist to still his movements. The rough cotton feels wonderful against Yuuri’s heated skin, and he hears himself keen softly at the touch. “My friends will be here any minute,” Otabek warns, fingers wrapping around Yuuri’s other wrist and dragging both hands behind his back in one quick movement.

 

“I guess we’ll just have to be quick then, won’t we?” Yuuri counters, surging forwards against Otabek’s restraint to capture his lips in a bruising kiss.

 

Otabek responds with equal heat, crowding forward and forcing Yuuri to arch his spine. Yuuri feels one of Otabek’s hands curl around both of his wrists behind his back, the other sliding around over his hip and down his thigh.

 

“Show me how flexible you are,” Otabek commands, words mumbled against Yuuri’s split-slick lips. Yuuri obediently lifts his leg to rest on the barre next to them, internally rolling his eyes at how unchallenging the move is. Flexible? They had no idea.

 

Otabek strokes his fingers along Yuuri’s extended limb, from hip to toe and back again before starting to palm at Yuuri’s erection through his leggings. Yuuri gasps and grinds his hips forward into Otabek’s touch. “Ah...yes...just like that,” he lets his eyes flutter closed, tipping his head back as he ruts against his co-star’s palm.

 

“Fuck,” Otabek says succinctly, voice throaty as he moves to attack Yuuri’s neck with his mouth, hand still working him furiously through the thin layer of fabric. Yuuri keens at the pressure, fingers scrabbling where they’re still pinned behind his back.

 

Otabek's fingers relax around Yuuri’s wrists, both hands moving to trail up Yuuri’s sides before grabbing at the collar of his workout shirt. Otabek pauses for a moment, making sure the roaming camera is in position, before giving a sharp tug to quite literally rip Yuuri’s clothes off him.

 

Yuuri’s moan of pleasure morphs into a yelp of surprise as the material constricts around his neck but stays decidedly intact.

 

“Cut!” Celestino’s sharp voice rings through the studio as Otabek frowns and gives the stubborn material another experimental tug. “Why hasn't Katsuki’s shirt been primed?”

 

Immediately there's a flurry of activity as two interns hurry forward with scissors. Otabek steps out of the way to let them work - cutting small rips in strategic places so that the fabric will tear more easily - and nods in apology to Yuuri.

 

“Sorry about that.”

 

“Not your fault,” Yuuri says, giving his co-star a reassuring smile as he rubs his neck gingerly. “These things happen.”

 

Otabek nods again, but his severe expression is firmly back in place. Yuuri knows first-hand just how easy it is to get hung up on small mishaps on set, so he reaches around one of the interns to nudge his co-star’s shoulder gently. “I always suspected boxing muscles were all glamour anyway,” he says, offering up a friendly smile so Otabek knows he’s only teasing.

 

Otabek laughs sharply, a hint of a smile twitching at the very edge of his mouth. “I've never been in a boxing ring in my life. I had to get one of the camera guys to show me how to bind these.” He holds up his wrapped palms for emphasis, and Yuuri can't help grinning in response.

 

“Stay in this profession long enough and you’ll truly become a jack of all trades. Last week one of the other directors asked if I knew how to use a lasso.”  

 

Both interns simultaneously stop what they're doing to stare at Yuuri in horror, and Yuuri almost bursts out laughing at their shocked expressions. “True story,” he confirms sagely.

 

The interns quickly finish up and clear the set, and while the crew moves back into shooting position Yuuri turns his attention to the other side of the room where he’s installed Victor and Yuri with strict instructions not to get in anybody’s way.

 

Yuri looks faintly stunned by the whole proceedings, seemingly unaware of Yuuri’s attention as he watches Otabek with an almost terrifying intensity. Suppressing a smile Yuuri focuses on Victor, who’s trying and failing to hide his laughter behind his hand. When he catches Yuuri’s eye he immediately waves, the grin stretching across his face almost too wide to be contained by mere laws of physics. Yuuri gives a small wave back, finding himself releasing a breath he didn’t even know he’d been holding until that very moment.

 

He hadn’t been worried about Victor’s reaction to him filming, he hadn’t . Except for the fact that he had. A lot. More than he cares to admit, even to himself. Seeing Victor’s proud smile goes a long long way to assuaging the fears that have been niggling at him since before Phichit even made his accursed suggestion, and Yuuri feels a knot unravel in his chest as his subconscious finally accepts what his conscious mind has been trying to explain for a very long time.

 

Victor wants him, all of him. Even this. Especially this.

 

Otabek coughs roughly next to him, and Yuuri realizes that he’s probably got the most ridiculous smile plastered across his features. Definitely not seductive-dance-instructor appropriate. He reluctantly tears his gaze away from Victor and back to Otabek, rolling his neck and shoulders a few times as he gets back into character.

 

Celestino calls action and he practically throws himself at Otabek, their mouths coming together with a fierce intensity as he firmly dedicates himself back to their scene. Otabek’s fingers scrabble at the neck of his shirt again, and this time there’s a loud ripping sound as he easily tears the fabric. Yuuri feels cool air wash across his chest as the remains of his shirt fall to the floor in tatters.

 

“Mmm, so strong,” he coos against Otabek’s lips. “Are you going to manhandle me some more?”

 

“You’d like that?” Otabek asks, hands moving to cup Yuuri’s ass. Without waiting for a response his grip tightens and he hoists Yuuri up so that he’s seated precariously on the barre behind them. Yuuri promptly wraps his legs around Otabek’s waist to steady himself, and gets to work on tugging his co-star’s shirt over his head so that they’re both equally bare-chested.

 

From there it’s a flurry of limbs as they quickly strip each other down - Yuuri utilizing every ounce of his frankly impressive core strength to stay balanced as Otabek voids him of the rest of this clothing while he’s still perched on the thin wooden rail - until eventually they’re both naked and Otabek is wedged between Yuuri’s spread legs, cocks rubbing together as he grinds Yuuri up against the mirrored surface.

 

“Mmmm, yeah,” Yuuri groans as Otabek’s hand moves between their bodies, long fingers curling around both of their lengths as he starts to jerk them off together. Yuuri bucks up into the friction, legs wrapping firmly around Otabek’s waist to keep himself steady as his head falls back against the mirrored wall with a thud. “Oh, yes, just like that.”

 

Otabek gives a few more firm strokes, then pulls away so that he can line himself up with Yuuri’s entrance. Yuuri’s hand paws at his shoulder, subtly reminding the newer actor to wait for the cameras to get some good footage before sliding in. Otabek groans and his hips stutter, causing the very tip of his cock to catch against Yuuri’s slicked hole.

 

Fuck ,” Yuuri moans, curling his spine to position himself at a better angle as Otabek finally slides in to the hilt one smooth movement.

 

“Yes,” Otabek agrees fervently, pulling out slowly before slamming back home. Both men keen at the sudden sensation, Yuuri’s hands scrambling for purchase on Otabek’s shoulders as his co-star immediately sets a punishing pace, shunting Yuuri halfway up the wall with every thrust. Yuuri can just about see their reflection out of the corner of his eye, and he spreads his legs wider so that Otabek can surge even deeper. He looks like a ragdoll that Otabek is ravaging without care, and he lets his jaw relax and his eyes roll back into his head to exaggerate the look.

 

Yuuri’s spine is just starting to protest his precarious seating when Otabek slips an arm around his waist and bodily lifts him off the barre. Yuuri whimpers as gravity forces Otabek’s cock even deeper inside of him, caressing that sweet spot that’s guaranteed to make him see stars. He wraps his legs tightly around Otabek’s waist, tensing his thighs as he bounces himself up and down. “Fuck, yes, just like that,” he moans, rolling his hips on each stroke for added friction.

 

Otabek groans and practically flings Yuuri down onto the padded mats that have been helpfully placed behind them. He lands sprawled on his back but immediately rearranges himself so that he’s on all fours, throwing a coy smile over his shoulder at his still standing co-star.

 

“I’m waiting,” he says, grinning to himself as Otabek practically collapses on top of him with a growl. Otabek’s hands slap the mat on either side of Yuuri’s waist, his whole body covering Yuuri’s as he starts to fuck into him again from behind.

 

Yuuri keens at the new angle, throwing his head back as he practically howls in delight. Otabek’s cock is hitting him in all the right places, and he shifts to balance himself on one arm as his other hand slides down to start to fist his cock. “Yes, yes ,” he moans, starting to stroke himself rapidly. Their shoot today is something of a teaser for their upcoming sequel, and technically doesn’t require Yuuri to climax, but Otabek feels pretty fucking amazing and damn it, Yuuri wants an orgasm.

 

“I’m gonna...fuck I’m gonna come,” he moans, whole body tensing as his release hits in a spectacular wave. He hears Otabek grunt behind him, hips stuttering against Yuuri’s ass as the spasms around his cock promptly send him over the edge as well.

 

“Cut!” Celestino’s voice filters through Yuuri’s post-orgasm haze, his body relaxing on instinct as soon as it processes that the cameras are no longer rolling. He collapses down onto the mattress with a soft huff, wincing slightly as the movement causes Otabek’s cock to slip out of him. The air next to him whooshes as Otabek promptly slumps next to him, and the two of them spend a couple of minutes silently recovering before a runner appears with supplies to clean themselves up.

 

Yuuri sits up with a groan and accepts a washcloth with a nod of thanks, running it over his body in quick, perfunctory movements before shrugging into the robe offered to him. He waits until Otabek has done the same before giving his co-star a smile.

 

“Great shoot,” he says, holding out a hand to shake. It feels a tad formal considering everything they’ve just done together, but Otabek looks relieved as accepts the proffered hand with a nod.

 

“Yeah, it was,” he agrees, rolling his shoulders to work out some of the strain from the shoot. There’s another beat of silence, where Yuuri debates trying to continue the conversation, but surprisingly Otabek beats him to it.

 

“So, are you going to introduce me to your friend?”

 

“Oh,” Yuuri replies, not missing his co-star’s conspicuous use of the singular in his suggestion. “I mean...would you like me to?”

 

Otabek nods once, not choosing to elaborate further as he stands up with a groan and offer a hand to Yuuri to help him up. Yuuri lets the other man haul him up to standing, and then leads the way over to the other side of the room.

 

Yuri’s eyes are wide as saucers as they approach, his whole body buzzing with excited energy. “That was so freaking cool!” he exclaims as Yuuri and Otabek approach, for once not even trying to feign disinterest.

 

Yuuri tries hard to contain his grin, not wanting to make the traditionally cagey teen self-conscious. “Yuri, i’d like to introduce you to Otabek Altin. Otabek, this is Yuri Plisetsky.”

 

“Hi,” Yuri says breathily, sounding more than a little starstruck. “You were amazing.”

 

“I’m glad you enjoy my work,” Otabek replies seriously, but there’s a softness in his expression that Yuuri doesn’t think he’s seen on his co-star before. He turns to raise a suggestive eyebrow at Victor, wanting to share this hilariously adorable moment with his boyfriend, and promptly feels the bottom drop out of his stomach.

 

Victor is nowhere to be seen.

Chapter Text

“Yuri,” Yuuri asks, interrupting the surprisingly animated conversation that has already struck up between the two other men, “where did Victor go?”

 

“Hmm?” Yuri replies noncommittally, attention still mostly on Otabek.

 

“Victor,” Yuuri repeats, making an effort to keep his voice calm despite the panic gathering in his chest. “Where is he?”

 

“Fuck knows, I’m not his keeper.” Yuri rolls his eyes and Yuuri feels his nails dig into the soft skin of his palms as he tries not to snap at the teenager.

 

“Yuri,” he bites out, only just managing to keep it together. “Think. Please.”

 

Yuri must finally hear the edge to Yuuri’s tone, as he slowly drags his attention away from Otabek. “I don’t know, he said something about needing to step out. I think he went to your dressing room, maybe?”

 

“Thank you,” Yuuri exhales, turning toward the exit before remembering he’s not allowed to leave Yuri unattended in the building. He spins back around, trying and failing to think clearly above the anxiety he’s only just managing to keep in check. “Yuri, I…” he begins, not sure what he’s even going to say, but Otabek’s soft voice cuts him off.

 

“Are you interested in bikes?” Otabek asks Yuri casually, eyes flicking quickly to Yuuri and back again as he speaks. “Mine is parked out back.”

 

“Yes!” Yuri exclaims delightedly, even though Yuuri is reasonably sure the teen has never showed any kind of interest in motor vehicles before now. Otabek nods and starts to guide Yuri toward one of the side exits, throwing another look at Yuuri over his shoulder as they leave.

 

“Thank you,” Yuuri mouths to his co-star, taking a moment to calm his pounding heart before dashing out the door that will take him to the dressing rooms and to Victor.

 


 

Yuuri tries, he tries so hard not to let his fears overwhelm him as he runs through the hallways of Desire . There are a hundred reasons why Victor might have had to leave early, he tells himself adamantly as he skids around a corner, hands scrabbling at the wall to keep himself on his feet, most of them perfectly innocent. Maybe he needed the bathroom, maybe the studio lights were making him lightheaded and he needed to get a drink of water.

 

Hell, maybe he enjoyed the whole thing just a little bit too much and is already spread out naked, waiting to ravage Yuuri as soon as he finds him.

 

By the time he reaches his dressing room he’s almost convinced himself that everything is okay, that there’s nothing for him to worry about. He takes a deep, steadying breath before pushing open the door, more than ready for the confirmation that he’s simply overreacting, as usual.

 

Victor is sitting hunched on the sofa, head in his hands, and Yuuri feels his heart shatter into a thousand tiny pieces.

 

“Victor,” he whispers as he steps into the room, closing the door behind him with a click that seems entirely too loud. Victor’s head whips up at the noise, tear tracks streaking his cheeks, and Yuuri has to steady himself against the wall behind him to keep himself upright in the face of Victor’s obvious hurt.

 

“Yuuri!” Victor’s voice is harsh and overly bright as he roughly scrubs at his cheeks, as if by removing the evidence he can pretend it never happened. “I’m so sorry I missed the end of your shoot.”

 

“You hated it,” Yuuri says, the words sounding like they’re coming from very far away. He still can’t quite believe what he’s saying. What it means for them. “I knew it. I knew you would.”

 

Of course, of course it was all too good to be true. All the discussions, all the promises, Yuuri had started to let himself actually believe that he and Victor might actually work. That they could actually do this.

 

Idiot. Stupid, naive idiot.

 

“What? No, you were great, honestly.” Victor’s voice is dripping with that fake cheer that Yuuri so despises. It doesn’t sound like Victor, his Victor, at all.

 

“I knew it,” Yuuri repeats dazedly, pacing around the small room as his legs start to move of their own accord. “I knew this would never work.”

 

“What do you mean?” Victor asks hesitantly, but Yuuri barely hears him above the blood that’s started to pound in his ears.

 

“I was so stupid to think that this-” Yuuri pauses to gesture wildly between the two of them, “-could ever work. I knew better, I know better.  But you were so...so you , and I wanted you so badly that I ignored it all. And now look what’s happened.” Yuuri throws his hands above his head derisively, unable to prevent the distraight moan that slips past his lips.

 

“Yuuri please, this isn’t-”

 

“I’ve hurt you, and I never wanted to hurt you. I should never have let you talk me into this, I should have insisted-”

 

“Yuuri, stop!” Victor’s shout slices through Yuuri’s angry tirade, enough for him to pause and actually look at his boyfriend, still hunched so small on the couch.

 

“Not everything is about your job, you know?” Victor says quietly, mouth twitching up into a smile that holds absolutely no mirth. “Did it occur to you that I might be upset because of something that has absolutely nothing to do with you?”

 

“I…” Yuuri stutters, blinking rapidly as he tries to understand what Victor is saying. “But...but you left. And you’re upset.” He feels like a toddler struggling to put a four piece jigsaw puzzle together. “You left because my shoot upset you.”

 

“I got a phone call from my parents. They wanted to talk .” Victor says talk like other people might say disease, and Yuuri feels like all the air has suddenly been punched out of his lungs.

 

“Oh… oh .” Yuuri almost trips over his feet in his haste to sit down next to Victor on the couch. “Oh Victor, I’m so sorry. I...I just assumed.”

 

“I know. You always do,” Victor says, voice still edging on bitter even as he leans into Yuuri’s side. “You’re so convinced that I’m lying about being okay with everything, or deluded about how things are between us. But I’m telling you I know what I want, and what I want is you.” He huffs a sigh that’s halfway between between resigned and dejected. “You’ve got to stop second-guessing my feelings, Yuuri, or this really is never going to work.”

 

“I know, and I’m so, so sorry,” Yuuri says vehemently, trying not to panic at the finality of Victor’s words. “It’s just...with the shoot, and then I… then how it ended...and then you were gone ...” Yuuri huffs, shaking his head angrily at himself as he realizes just how defensive he sounds. “You know what, it doesn’t even matter. No more jumping to conclusions. This is the last time, I promise.”

 

“You and I both know that’s not a promise you’ll be able to keep,” Victor says, sounding so tired it makes Yuuri’s heart hurt. “Just...promise me you’ll try?”

 

“I will, I really will.” Yuuri nods his head adamantly, hoping Victor can see in his expression just how much he means it.

 

There’s a pause, and then Victor breaks eye contact with a rueful huff, looking down at his lap instead. Yuuri hates that he’s taken what is clearly a horrible situation for Victor and somehow managed to make it worse, so with a deep breath he forces himself to suppress the self-recrimination he’s feeling. He can focus on his shortcomings as a boyfriend later; right now he needs to be there for Victor, in whatever way he can.

 

“Whatever your parent said, they’re wrong,” he say firmly. “Whatever they’ve said to get inside your head like this, it’s not true.”

 

Victor lets out another brittle laugh, and straightens up off Yuuri’s shoulder. With a heavy sigh he scrubs at his face with his hand. “It wasn’t even about me this time. Not really.” When Yuuri just raises an eyebrow questioningly he gives another sigh, and continues in a flat monotone. “They heard from a friend of a friend that Yura is having trouble at school. They’re concerned I’m a being a bad influence on him.”

 

“Seriously?” Yuuri can’t help blurting out. “How on earth did they reach that conclusion?”

 

“Oh you know, the usual. I have no work ethic, no morals. I’m pretty sure the phrase sexual deviant was bandied about once or twice.” Victor smiles mirthlessly at Yuuri who winces at the casual homophobia Victor’s parents seem far too fond of. “Apparently they’ve accepted that I’m a lost cause, but they can’t sit by and watch as I take poor Yurochka down with me.”

 

“And I suppose they chose to ignore that Stammi Vicino is one of the top rated bars in all of Detroit, didn’t they?” Yuuri counters, indignant on Victor’s behalf. “Or that you spend your free time volunteering at the local retirement home with Makkachin? I’m guessing the fact that you’ve set Yuri up with a room at your place specifically to give him the support structure he needs while he’s living in a foreign country didn’t come up either did it?”

 

“Or the fact that I take Yura on guided tours around porn studios at the weekend.”

 

“Exactly...huh?” Yuuri turns to frown at Victor, who’s turned away from Yuuri and is staring determinedly down at his hands.

 

“You have to admit, it’s not exactly the most family-friendly of activities, is it?”

 

“Victor,” Yuuri says softly, reaching out with his hand so that he can guide Victor’s gaze back to him. “You don’t actually believe them, do you?”

 

Victor sighs, the sound so full of despair that Yuuri feels it in his very core. “It’s easier when they just have bad things to say about me,” he admits quietly. “I can ignore them when it’s just my life I’m supposedly ruining. But when they bring up Yura?” Victor huffs another sigh. “What if they’re right? What if I really am a bad influence?”

 

“Don’t be an idiot,” Yuuri says fondly, “You’re kind, and caring, and Yuri is lucky to have you as a role model in his life.”

 

Victor wrinkles his nose, clearly not quite ready to accept Yuuri’s vehement praise. “Where is he now, anyway?”

 

“I...ah...” Yuuri fumbles over his answer, realizing how it will probably sounds to Victor in his current headspace. “I introduced him to Otabek. He’s showing him his bike.”

 

“His motorbike?!” Victor lets out a whine that sounds like a dying cat, and buries his face in his hands. “Oh my god. I am a terrible influence!”

 

“No. No you’re not,” Yuuri counters firmly, hands fluttering along Victor’s back and shoulders in a futile attempt to comfort his boyfriend. “Otabek is a responsible, level-headed young gentleman. The fact that he owns a motorbike is entirely incidental.”

 

“Level-headed young gentleman? Seriously?” Victor sounds like he doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

 

“You know what I mean,” Yuuri replies, refusing to let Victor distract him. “He’s a good kid, Victor. Honestly, Yuri could do a lot worse.” He pauses, unsure whether his next sentence will help or hinder, but knowing it needs to be said either way. “And if things don’t work out between them, then at least he knows you’ve got his back, no matter what. I know that means a lot to him, even if would probably kill him to admit it out loud.”

 

“I would have done anything to know I had somebody in my corner when I was his age,” Victor admits with a small, sad smile.

 

“Me too,” Yuuri agrees. “Not that my family is anything like yours, of course,” he hurries to clarify when Victor raises a questioning eyebrow at him. “They’ve never been anything except totally supportive. But as much as they try, they don’t always get it, you know?”

 

“I know,” Victor says, softly, hand reaching out to grasp Yuuri’s in his lap.

 

“Tell you what,” Yuuri says, slipping into the problem-solving mode he finds so easy when it’s anybody’s issues other than his own. “I’ll drag Otabek aside one afternoon after work and give him the shovel talk, make sure his intentions are nothing but honorable towards our Yuri, and you talk to Yuri about checking in with his parents more often. He’s not exactly the most communicative of teens, but I imagine hearing from him more often will go a long way towards reassuring them that he’s doing okay over here.”

 

“Despite my depraved influence?” Victor asks, but Yuuri is pleased to hear there’s a teasing lilt to his words.

 

“Despite your depraved influence,” he confirms with a sage nod.

 

“Okay. Yeah,” Victor says, sounding more than a little relieved that Yuuri has taken control of the situation. “Lets do ... all of that.” There’s a pause, and then Victor’s head whips up from where he’s been determinedly staring at his hands, shock written all over his features. “Wait a minute. Did we just adopt Yura?”

 

Yuuri rears back, eyes wide. “I certainly hope not!” he exclaims before he can stop himself. “Yuri’s great and all, but I am far too young to have a teenage son.”

 

There’s a beat of silence, and then both of them dissolve into fits of laughter, the surreal suggestion the final nail in the coffin for their mutually weakened self-control. For a while all the the pair can do is laugh helplessly, leaning on each other for support as their hysterical cackles act as a strange sort of catharsis in the wake of not one, but two emotional showdowns.

 

Eventually Yuuri straightens, wiping the tears from the corners of his eyes as his chest heaves almost painfully. “I really needed that,” he says between gulps of air, pleased to see Victor nodding and smiling in agreement.

 

“Me too,” Victor says, mouth twisting into a rueful smile as he suddenly seems to come back to himself. “Sorry about all of that, by the way. I don’t know how my parent always manage to get under my skin like this. I should really know better by now.”

 

“Don’t apologize,” Yuuri shakes his head firmly. “Don’t you ever apologize for feeling too much.”

 

“What did I ever do to deserve you?” Victor asks in wonderment, and Yuuri can’t help laughing derisively.

 

“Oh yeah, you definitely deserve a boyfriend who insists on making everything about him when you’re clearly upset. What a catch I am.” Yuuri huffs and scrubs as his face roughly. “You might not need to apologize, but I definitely do. I was a complete idiot earlier, storming in here with my assumptions and my hangups, and not even giving you a chance to speak.”

 

“It’s okay, Yuuri,” Victor says fondly, tugging Yuuri’s hand away from his face so he’s forced to look him in the eye. “This is new, for both of us. There’s bound to be some hiccups along the way.”

 

“No more,” Yuuri says adamantly. “I can’t promise I won’t ever feel like this again, but I can promise that from now I come to you first, rather than letting my brain run rampant.”

 

“That’s all I want,” Victor replies, “We’re a partnership Yuuri. You and me, together.”

 

“Partnership. I like the sound of that,” Yuuri says, eyes lighting up. He pauses for a second, then decides to take the plunge. “You know what else I liked the sound of? Your depraved influence.”

 

Victor snorts in pleased surprise. “ Yuuri ,” he scolds playfully. “What on earth do you mean?”

 

“I mean there’s a store room just down the hall that holds all manner of depravity,” Yuuri responds with a coy shrug. “I think i’d quite like to see just how far your influence goes.”

 

“Yuuri,” Victor repeats, faux scandalized. “Are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting.”

 

“Come on, Victor,” Yuuri prompts as he stands, extending a hand to help Victor up. “Show me just how much I’m yours.”

 

Victor grins and allows Yuuri to lead him out of the dressing room, but they only manage to get halfway down the hall before their mutual self-restraint expires, and Yuuri finds himself pinned up against the wall with Victor grinding wantonly against him.

 

“Mmm, Yuuri, you feel so good,” Victor croons as he starts to mouth at the column of Yuuri’s neck, his hips grinding lazily against Yuuri as they both ignore their very public setting. “You really were incredible on set today, you know? I loved watching you perform.”

 

“You did?” Yuuri knows he shouldn’t belabour the point, that now is hardly the time for him to be seeking this sort of validation in the wake of their previous conversation, but Victor is rutting up against him in the most delicious way and his brain has apparently lost all filter.

 

“Every minute of it,” Victor says firmly. “Fuck, Yuuri. The way you move in front of the camera? I’ve never seen such Eros.”

 

“Eros?” Yuuri stammers, hips thrusting weakly against Victor’s own.

 

“Eros, the god of desire.” Victor draws away from Yuuri’s neck, ignoring his whimper of protest as he raises a curious eyebrow. “You don’t know Eros? I always assumed that was what the name of this place was referring to.”

 

“You’d have to ask the owners,” Yuuri growls distractedly, dragging Victor back to meet him.

 

“According to greek mythology,” Victor intersperses his words with feather-light kisses along Yuuri’s jaw. “The Erotes were a collective of winged gods, all associated with some form of love or desire.”

 

“And Eros was one of those gods?” Yuuri asks, doing his best to concentrate on Victor’s words despite his thoroughly distracting actions.

 

“The god of desire, and sex.” Victor confirms, lips widening into a smile against Yuuri’s heated skin as Yuuri feels his knees buckle underneath him. “There are others of course.” He brings Yuuri’s hand up to his mouth, kissing each of his fingers in turn as he lists off the other Erotes.

 

Hedylogus, god of flattery-” Kiss “-Himeros, god of unrequited love-” Kiss “-Hymenaeus, god of weddings-” Kiss “-Hermaphroditus, god of androgyny and effeminacy-” Kiss “-Pothos, god of yearning-” Kiss “-and my personal favorite, Anteros, god of requited love.”

 

“How do you know so much about this?” Yuuri can’t help asking, drawing away just enough to raise a questioning eyebrow at Victor.


Victor laughs, the noise bright and beautiful. “One should know as much as they can about love, don’t you think?”

 

Yuuri ponders that statement for a moment, unsure quite what to make of it but finding it so undeniably Victor that he can’t help but be charmed by it . “Well if I’m Eros, then surely that makes you Anteros,” he finally states, surging forward to capture Victor’s mouth in a heated, bruising kiss that leaves them both panting and breathless when they finally surface for air.

 

“Anteros, hmm?” Victor says between gasps, eyes lit up like Yuuri has just offered him the most precious of gifts. “I love it.”

 

“Good, because I love you,” Yuuri replies even as he moves in to kiss Victor again. This time their movements are softer, sweeter, and somewhere in the back of Yuuri’s brain he registers that this is the first time he’s said those three little words to Victor.

 

He knows he should probably be panicking, overthinking and overanalyzing his rashly spoken declaration. Yet somehow it doesn’t feel like a new revelation, just confirmation of something he’s known for a very long time. He doesn’t know if Victor will say it back to him when they break apart - though he thinks it’s probably likely given everything - but strangely he finds he doesn’t need to hear the words spoken out loud, not when he can feel them in every touch, every caress, every kiss.

 

So he lets himself melt into Victor’s embrace, safe in the knowledge that whatever comes next, Victor will be by his side. The Anteros to his Eros.

Chapter Text

10 Years Later

 

“What do you want, Yuuri?”

 

“I...oh...oh god, Victor.”

 

“If you don’t tell me what you want, then how can I give it to you?” Victor’s head pops up from between Yuuri’s spread legs, wetting his lips with long, languous sweeps of his tongue. The gesture has Yuuri keening and arching off the bed, desperate for more, something, anything .

 

“I...I want you,” Yuuri pants, hips twitching with small, half-aborted thrusts as he tries and fails to keep his body under control.

 

“But you already have me,” Victor says innocently, expression anything but as he drops his head to lick yet another teasing stripe along the length of Yuuri’s painfully hard cock.

 

Aaah ,” Yuuri cries out, fingers tangling in the comforter underneath them as Victor’s teasing pushes him closer and closer to an edge he knows he won’t be able to topple over without help. “Fuck, Victor, please .”

 

“Tell me what you want, Yuuri,” Victor repeats teasingly, one hand coming to caress Yuuri’s balls as his mouth suckles his weeping tip ever so gently.

 

“You...I want...to be in you. Now , Victor.” Yuuri thinks he might actually explode if Victor extends their foreplay any longer. And exploding is definitely not something he should be thinking about, not when Victor’s dexterous fingers are still wreaking havoc on his most sensitive area.

 

“Well, why didn’t you say so?” Victor says with a devilish smile, immediately slinking his way up Yuuri’s body. He presses a hot, claiming kiss to Yuuri’s mouth - so fast that Yuuri can barely respond in kind - and then he sits up straight, reaching to hold Yuuri still as he lowers himself oh-so slowly down onto Yuuri’s cock.

 

Both men groan in unison as Victor seats himself fully in Yuuri’s lap, Yuuri’s hands immediately coming to rest on Victor’s hips as he adjusts to the sudden stretch.

 

Fuck ,” Yuuri says eloquently, brain short circuiting over how good Victor feels clenching around him. He’ll never get used to this feeling, never.

 

“Oh, Yuuri ,” Victor moans, leveraging himself up by about an inch and immediately sinking back down again. “Oh my god.”

 

“You feel so good,” Yuuri groans, fingers tightening around Victor’s hip-bones as the other man starts to bounce more vigorously in his lap. “Fuck, how do you feel so good?”

 

“It’s you...it’s all you.” Victor’s fingers scrabble for purchase against Yuuri’s chest, head thrown back as he works Yuuri’s body like a finely tuned instrument.

 

Yuuri moans again, head thumping against the pillow beneath him as he feels his balls start to tighten. “Fuck...I’m gonna...” he warns, one hand moving to rapidly fist at Victor’s erection while the other slips around to knead at the tight globes of his ass.

 

“Oh god...me too, me…” Victor cries out, clenching down around Yuuri as he erupts, streams of white flying through the air before finding their mark across Yuuri’s sweat-drenched chest. It’s more than enough to push Yuuri over the edge, gasping and bucking his hips as he spills inside of Victor.

 

Victor slides off Yuuri with a groan, flopping down onto the mattress next to him, and for a while the only sound in the room is their combined panting. Eventually Victor rolls over to face Yuuri, one hand supporting his head as the other starts to trail idle patterns through the mess on Yuuri’s chest.

 

“So, are you ready for tonight?”

 

Yuuri chuckles, turning his head just enough that he can raise an eyebrow at Victor. “When have you ever known me to answer yes to that question?”

 

“Still nervous?” Victor’s expression is so painfully understanding that Yuuri almost can’t bear it. Almost.

 

“Of course. That’s just how I am,” Yuuri admits with a wry huff. “Unfortunately even mind-blowing sex isn’t going to change that.”

 

“Oh no, you saw through my cunning plan.”



“It wasn’t the most subtle plan you’ve ever had, darling.” Yuuri smiles fondly at Victor, one hand lazily coming up to brush a few stray locks of hair out of his face. “But, you know, feel free to try some more if you think it will help.”

 

“Challenge accepted,” Victor replies with an evil grin, promptly swinging a leg back over Yuuri’s hips as he moves to claim his lips in yet another bruising kiss.




 

 

“I have had the pleasure of working with our next award winner many time times throughout the course of his illustrious career. Those of you who have also had this opportunity will know that no words I say today will be able to accurately capture what a hardworking and talented individual he truly is.

 

“Ever since his debut at twenty three, it has been clear that this man was one to watch. Over the past fifteen years, we have all been lucky enough to watch him grow into one of the industry’s biggest and brightest stars, with over a hundred titles and two dozen awards to his name.

 

“In addition to his work in front of the camera, he has also been an active presence off-screen; champtioning workers’ rights within the industry and working as a public relations coordinator between traditional and adult film spaces. His latest campaign to implement a mentorship program for new actors in the Detroit area has been met with overwhelming approval, and is currently in the process of being rolled out in a number of other cities.

 

“It is therefore my very great honor to introduce the recipient of this year’s AVN Lifetime Achievement Award: Katsuki Yuuri!”

 

Applause swells as Celestino finishes his introduction, stepping to the side of the podium and gesturing out into the crowd towards where Yuuri is still sitting, trying very hard to persuade his muscles to move.

 

“That’s your cue,” Victor stages whispers next to him, nudging him lightly with his elbow as he claps enthusiastically along with everybody else. Yuuri shoots him a half-hearted glare, taking one last deep breath before pushing himself up to standing.

 

It doesn’t matter how many of these awards he wins, whether he’s been notified ahead of time or only finds out when the envelope is opened. The walk up to the stage is always the worst part. Yuuri plasters on a smile as he takes slow, deliberate steps towards Celestino, who’s waiting for him on the raised stage. He’d tripped over his own feet once; he definitely doesn’t want to repeat that mistake.

 

He climbs the steps to the podium without incident - thank goodness - and his smile becomes more genuine as he shakes hands with his mentor.

 

“Congratulations, congratulations,” Celestino says, voice barely audible above the cheers still bouncing around the room. Yuuri nods his thanks, and allows Celestino to guide him towards the microphone.

 

It takes a while for silence to fall, and Yuuri takes the time to gaze through the crowd, feeling warmth blossom in his chest at the sheer number of faces he recognizes fondly. Over the past decade the people in the room have become more than colleagues, more than friends. They’ve become his family.

 

Eventually the room quiets, and Yuuri coughs lightly before starting to speak. “Hi...hello...” He winces internally at his stammering; he’s spent hours practicing his acceptance speech at home with Victor, to the point where he knows his speech inside out and back to front. This should not be this hard.

 

He closes his mouth and takes a deep breath, eyes searching out Victor in the crowd. Victor’s broad smile grows impossibly wider when he notices Yuuri’s attention, and he gives him two thumbs up in encouragement. Yuuri has to bite the inside of his cheek to stop himself from grinning like an idiot, but Victor’s actions have the intended effect. The knot of nerves inside his chest loosens, and he determinedly turns his attention back to the crowd in front of him.

 

“Hello everyone, and thank you Celestino for that wonderful introduction.” His voice rings clear and purposeful throughout the room, every word uttered settling him just a little bit further. “I am beyond honored to have been presented with this award, and I know that my being here today would never have happened without the support and guidance of so many of you here tonight.

 

“I have been very fortunate in my career to be presented with so many opportunities that have allowed me to get to where I am today. For that I have to thank my production house Gods of Desire , for taking a chance on an untried nobody, and giving him the opportunity to grow and, ah, mature.” He runs his fingers through the tufts of white hair starting to appear at his temple - the ones that Victor pointedly refuses to let him dye - and smiles as the crowd laughs along with him.

 

“I know that Desire prides itself in hiring the best, and I consider myself overwhelmingly lucky to have been able to witness that first hand. I have worked with so many talented individuals over the years - I won’t try and name everyone as it will probably take the rest of the night and I know everybody is keen to get to the open bar - but I will say that working with each and every one of you has been a joy and a pleasure.”

 

Yuuri pauses, taking a moment to nod meaningfully at the cluster of tables Desire has reserved for the event. A couple of cheers interrupt the silence - most likely from Phichit - and he smiles fondly before continuing.

 

“I also have to thank my family, without whom I quite literally would not be here today.” Yuuri waits for the light laughter at his innuendo to subside, taking the time to focus his attention on the table where his sister is sitting, tears flowing freely down her cheeks as he holds up an iPad directed towards the screen.

 

Otousan, Okaasan, thank you for everything you’ve done for me, all the support and encouragement, and more than the occasional pep talk. You always had faith in me, even when I didn’t have it in myself.” Yuuri has to take a moment to compose himself as his parents smile and wave through the tablet screen, unable to make the journey to Detroit but wanting to be at their son’s big event nonetheless. “And of course my big sister Mari, who has always been there for me, even if it’s just to share some of that patented elder sibling tough love!”

 

Mari raises her glass in toast, taking a healthy swig in response, and Yuuri gives a little wave to her and his parents, taking a second to savour the moment before turning to the most important man in the room.

 

“And of course, I have to thank my wonderful husband.” He pauses for the rumblings of approval from the crowd that are always inevitable when he reaches this part of his speech. He’s closed out every acceptance speech for every award he’s ever won in the exact same way; it’s become something of an industry tradition.

 

“Victor, you are my everything. My strength, my light, my comfort. I can only hope I can continue to make you as proud as you make me. Thank you.” He smiles softly at Victor, who’s unashamedly wiping tears from his eyes, beaming up with such adoration that it makes Yuuri’s heart ache.

 

He knows that he’s been basking in his husband’s attention for too long when he sees Celestino start to shift out of the corner of his eye. With a cough and a rough head shake he turns his attention back to the crowd at large, ignoring the knowing smiles on more than a few faces.

 

“And although it’s called a Lifetime Achievement Award, I do feel the need to clarify that I’m not quite done yet! I hope I can continue to be deserving of this award in the years to come. Thank you again for this great honor.” He closes out his speech and turns to shake hands with Celestino once more, the applause so loud he can feel the floor underneath him shaking.

 

He collects his award and hurries off the stage, knowing that he’s fast approaching his limits when it comes to public attention. Sinking down into his seat with an exaggerated huff, he twists slightly towards Victor and wrinkles his nose. “How did I do?”

 

“You were magnificent,” Victor beams, leaning over to peck Yuuri lightly on the lips. Yuuri hums happily, leaning into the kiss. The exhausting part of the evening is over; now he can enjoy himself. He can hear rustling around the room as guests start to get up and move, mingling between tables now that the awards section of the night has wrapped up.

 

“Great speech Yuuri.” Phichit deposits himself back into his seat on Yuuri’s left, presenting him with an almost-overflowing glass of champagne.

 

“I knew you were my best friend for a reason,” Yuuri says as he eagerly accepts the proffered drink, taking a deep sip as his nerves finally disappear completely.

 

“Congratulations, Katsudon,” Yuri sidles up behind his chair, reaching around to place another flute of champagne on the table in front of Yuuri. “Your speech wasn’t completely awful.”

 

“What Yura means,” Otabek corrects with a fond sigh, sliding an arm around Yuri’s waist as he also joins the conversation, “is that you did great. We’re really proud of you, Yuuri.”

 

“Yeah, that as well. Obviously.”

 

“Thanks guys, I appreciate it,” Yuuri says with a soft smile, turning to pick up his drink and blinking at the third flute that has somehow materialized next to the other two.

 

“Where did that-” he starts, narrowing his eyes at Chris on the other side of the table. The other man looks just a little bit too innocent for his liking.

 

“Victor!” he exclaims, twisting to pout at his husband. “They’re trying to get me drunk!”

 

“Oh no,” Victor sings, already holding up his phone to start taking photos. “What an absolute tragedy.”

 


 

Despite his friends’ best efforts, Yuuri just about manages to avoid getting drunk under the table, and the rest of the evening passes in a comfortable haze of conversation, laughter and bubbles. Even with Yuuri carefully counting his drinks, though, he’s feeling decidedly relaxed by the time Celestino takes to the stage once more to announce that the night is wrapping up.

 

“So what’s the plan now?” Chris asks, rubbing his hands together delightedly. “What mayhem is set to follow?”

 

“It’s always mayhem with you, Chris,” Yuuri comments absentmindedly, snuggling against Victor’s side. Victor hums contentedly and wraps an arm around Yuuri’s shoulders, drawing him closer.

 

“Come on, Mr Lifetime Achievement,” Phichit says with a laugh. “Don’t tell me you’re done for the night?”

 

“You guys have fun,” Otabek says from across the table. “Yuri and I need to be heading home I’m afraid.”

 

“We’ve just started the kittens on wet food.” Yuri explains as he stands up and shrugs into his jacket. “Every six hours, and boy do they scream if we’re late.”

 

“Sounds like somebody else I know,” Victor says with an eyebrow waggle, earning himself a half-hearted punch to the shoulder.

 

“You know, between your stories of kitten wrangling, and Victor and Yuuri’s trials with their new puppy, I’m starting to think pets are more effort than babies,” Masumi interjects, smile hinting at the corner of his mouth as both couples immediately start to protest.

 

“I’ve never understood why people think children are hard work,” JJ’s booming voice materializes seemingly out of nowhere, and Yuuri can’t help but jump at the man’s surprise entrance. “Our Junior was a little angel, sleeping straight through the night from just two weeks.”

 

“I’m sure he’s a complete delight,” Victor appeases the other man, voice just a tad too genuine, and Yuuri has to mask his snort of laughter with a hasty cough. He’s come to view JJ as a true friend over the years, but his eccentricities will never stop being entertaining.

 

“Enough talk of children, four-legged or otherwise,” Phichit interjects. “Where are we going next?”

 

“I want to go home,” Yuuri slurs, nuzzling his face against Victor’s neck and smiling to himself at the rumbles of laughter that vibrate the skin there.

 

“Sounds like we’re done for the night,” Victor says fondly. “We’re getting too old for this all night partying, I think.”

 

“You own a bar!” Chris exclaims in disbelief. “How can you say that?”

 

“Bars. Plural.” Yuuri snaps, suddenly wide awake. “ Eros was featured in Time Out last week, and Agape has its soft launch next month. And of course Stammi is-”

 

“Okay, okay Yuuri,” Chris interjects, holding up his hands in surrender. “We get it; Victor Nikiforov is amazing and nobody should ever forget it.”

 

“Victor Katsuki,” Victor corrects with a wide smile.

 

“You two are beyond ridiculous,” Phichit says, rolling his eyes. “I see what’s going on here. You’re not really tired are you? You just want to go home and fuck six ways to Sunday.”

 

“Seven.” Yuuri says, giving Phichit a grin that is all teeth.

 

Oh my god .”

 

“Come on Phichit, mon cheri ,” Chris bundles a distraught Phichit up in his arms, kissing him fondly on the forehead. “Let’s leave these two lovebirds to it. I’m sure there will still be plenty of people who want to continue their night elsewhere…” Phichit allows himself to be led away by Chris and Masumi, but not before twisting back around to stick his tongue out at Yuuri.

 

“Take Mari with you!” Yuuri calls after them. “And make sure there’s video evidence when she inevitably out-drinks you all.”

 

“You wouldn’t believe he’s thirty-five this year, would you?” he continues more quietly, waving happily at his best friend’s retreating form before turning his attention back to Victor.

 

“Young at heart, the best way to be,” Victor says, standing up with a soft huff and extending his hand to Yuuri. “Home time? I do believe I was promised something about seven ways to Sunday .

 

Yuuri grins, taking his husband’s hand and allowing himself to be pulled out of his chair. He intentionally loses his balance, tipping forward so that Victor has to catch him against his chest, arms coming protectively around his waist.

 

“Lead the way, Mr Katsuki,” he purrs against Victor’s lips, grinning to himself as Victor’s eyes immediately darken, arms instinctively tightening around him.

 

“With pleasure, my dear Yuuri. With pleasure.”