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Storm Signs

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Yuri runs into the tea shop and careens around the counter, ignoring the few customers. His grandfather and Yakov aren't in their customary place so he's happily spared that. Once around the counter he spots the familiar shape through the window and sinks to the floor next to Viktor's long legs.

"Don't tell him I'm here!" he hisses and clutches at Viktor's calf as the door opens again and the bell rings.

"I- Oh, Otabek," Viktor says. "What brings you here?"

"Did Yura come in?" Otabek says. Yuri can tell he's trying to not sound winded, which he is. They'd both ran.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Viktor says. At least once in his life Yuri is glad Viktor's a decent liar. He lessens his grasp on Viktor's leg.

"I saw him come in here," Otabek says, but doesn't move, as if expecting Viktor to own up to it. "Did he leave?"

"Why are you so keen on finding him this beautiful day?" Viktor leans on the counter, stalling, which means Yuri can't leave his hiding place because Otabek would see him do it.

Otabek shifts on his feet. The floor creaks as do his boots. "He wrote me a rude note." His voice is so grave that Yuri has to press his hand over his mouth to stop himself from laughing.

Viktor laughs, too, then coughs. "Ah, a rude note. I see. That's our Yuri."

"He's here, isn't he?" Otabek's voice is lower, unamused.

"Yes," Viktor says, delighted.

"Traitor!" Yuri springs up. Otabek's eyes go wide and he twitches as he's going to launch himself over the counter the way Yuri does.

"Yura," he says.

Yuri punches Viktor in the arm and springs away, through the back door. He hears Otabek take off after him again, his boots making a thunder on the wood and then scraping for purchase on the gravel outside. The village is a blur as Yuri sprints through it, lungs and legs on fire to keep ahead. He takes a sharp left into the fields, crosses a ditch in a leap and rolls over his feet, landing in a heap.

He springs up when Otabek lands on the same side of the ditch, but it's too late and Otabek bears him down again. They land in the immature stalks of rye, Yuri with his face down and Otabek's weight pushing the remaining air out of his lungs. Yuri wheezes a protest, but Otabek holds his head down with a hand squarely on the back of it.

"Your note said I smell," Otabek says very close to Yuri's ear. He sounds disappointed.

"You do- OW!" Yuri squirms and Otabek slips on top of him, making pointy, broken stalks bite into him through his t-shirt.

"What?" Otabek's lips nearly touch the shell of Yuri's ear.

"It's your fault," Yuri coughs, dirt in his mouth and hair, eyes squeezed shut. There's still laughter in his belly, and fight in his limbs as he scrabbles against the earth.

"Beg your fucking pardon?" Otabek says. His knee is on the small of Yuri's back, the point which effectively holds him down. "I washed."

Yuri struggles a little, then snorts, laughing and dying at the same time. "I meant to write you smell nice but you came out too soon."

Otabek's weight disappears off Yuri and he rolls onto his back, gasping for breath. He opens the eye that's not crusted with dirt and seeks out Otabek who's sitting by him in the corner of the rye field they've ruined.

"Yura," Otabek sighs. He sounds so stern, but when he looks at Yuri there's a crack of amusement in his face. "You could've just said that and not made me chase you around."

"Yeah," Yuri admits. He uses a clean-ish part of his t-shirt to wipe his face, then laughs again, skin alive with waning pain and the sunlight and the exhilaration of having Otabek there. His legs ache, his knees are skint, his heart is rapid. "But that wouldn't have been as fun."

It makes Otabek laugh, too. "You could just say chase me." He lays his pleased, beautiful eyes on Yuri, with all the heat and fondness of the sun. His gaze is so heavy it's like a touch and causes Yuri to go newly out of breath.

"Fuck, Beka," Yuri stutters and sits up. He looks at Otabek, the sideswept hair, the narrowed eyes, the lines of his legs under his pants, and scrambles up to his feet. "Chase me," he says, breathless, then sets off again.

-

"Don't you think the courtship's gone on long enough by now?"

Yuri ignores Mila and keeps picking at the scabs on his knees and shins.

"You like him, he likes you," Mila continues and turns away from the counter to see what he's doing. "Oh, you're disgusting. You can't do that in a place where people eat!"

Yuri looks around the empty shop. "What people?" he huffs and ignores the other things Mila's said.

"Stop it." Mila smacks his hands away and then grasps them in her own. "How'd this happen? God, why are you such a little shit? How'd you get all these cuts? You were fine yesterday."

"I fell," Yuri says. "Over and over again."

The shop's bell dings and Mila lets go of him, shaking her head. There aren't many faces in the village which are unfamiliar coming through the door and this one isn't either. The customer owns the only clothing store around so Mila is extra nice to her because in turn she is then nice to Mila when she shops for clothes.

Yuri takes the opportunity to slip into the kitchen where it's both hotter and more humid because of the ovens and the kettles, which he's supposed to be manning for the glorified early evening shift. The village is far too small to sustain any sort of late evening business. It's perfect because it's Yuri's summer holiday, too, and he likes having his evenings free. Especially when Otabek's around.

Yuri kicks the back door open and braces it so with a block of wood to get some air circulating. He needs it as much as the kitchen does. Sure, it stings all over his body from the three times Otabek had tackled him into the ground earlier, but God, if it didn't feel good, too, both then and now.

He runs his hands over his arms and chest and thighs and shudders. Otabek, even just the thought of him, fills Yuri with such restless energy, the same that forces him to either run at Otabek or away from him every time. Or at least want to. It wasn't so bad when they were younger, but this summer it's on a whole new level.

"I always thought you came back here for your grandfather," Mila says from the doorway to the shop. "Oh, I know you used to, and all the rest was just... a bonus." She waves her hand, encompassing the shop, the village. "But it's not that anymore, right?"

Yuri stretches and puts on a fresh kettle, ignoring her.

"It's him. I know it is," Mila says. "You're just here to flirt or whatever the fuck that is." He points at Yuri's knees. "Just fuck him and be done with it. That's what I do."

Yuri keeps up with his busywork. His ears burn and he's glad his hair's down, even though he shouldn't have it like that in the shop.

"If it's bad, you can keep being friends. If it's good, then... You'll have some really fun summers."

"Pfft," Yuri says because he can't formulate a proper reply. Mila's kind of hit the issue head on. They're both there only in the summer. Otabek comes to visit his Russian grandmother and Yuri comes to stay with his grandfather. And Yuri doesn't really want to take the risk of losing Otabek for the summers, too. They already have to conduct most of their friendship over the internet.

"You know I'm right," Mila says with the conviction of someone who only sees their side of the issue.

-

Gravel rattles against Yuri's window when the sun has already set. It's not dark yet and there's a glow around the horizon, over the forest, but the sun is gone. He goes to open his window and another handful of gravel makes it in, bouncing off him. Otabek is below.

Yuri grabs his shoes and throws them out the window first, to a thud and a gasp, then climbs onto the sill to roll up the legs of his Adidas track pants.

"Why'd you throw your shoes at me?" Otabek demands quietly, holding the pair of fire-red trainers in his hand. "Almost hit me in the face."

"You hit me in the face with rocks!" Yuri whispers back. "You could've come to the door like normal people."

"Nikolai hates me," Otabek says. "Ever since I crashed my bike into his barn."

Yuri laughs, then muffles it with his hand. He shifts on the sill and assesses the distance to the ground.

"What are you-" Otabek starts, watching him. "No! Yura, don't you fucking dare!" Otabek's voice goes into a growl and he drops the shoes, holding out his hands anyway. "Why don't you use the door like normal people!"

"This is more fun!" Yuri insists, peering down. His window's not that high. Just the first floor after the ground floor.

"No!" Otabek hisses.

"Catch me," Yuri says and pushes himself off the window. Otabek curses and Yuri lands safely, if uncomfortably, against him.

Yuri laughs again as Otabek plants Yuri on the ground with thunder on his face. Yuri tingles with adrenaline and success and Otabek. "Did you bring your bike?"

Otabek looks at him, so severe, so heavy, then runs his hand through his hair. "Yeah. I left it on the road." He looks at Yuri, eyes briefly red with the light of the setting sun reflected off the clouds. "Are you okay to ride?"

Yuri has pulled his shoes on. He reaches over to shove at Otabek, then takes off down the driveway of the old farmhouse. Blood has rushed to all of his scrapes and they throb as he runs, but it just spurs him on. He hears Otabek behind him, even though the run is just a short one to the road where he's parked. He vaults over the bike and turns just as Otabek comes to a stop on the other side.

"Yura," Otabek says, not out of breath but voice catching.

"I want to ride the bike. Anywhere. Just around," Yuri says. Otabek doesn't even have his helmet with him, much less one for Yuri. He waits for Otabek to climb on the bike before getting on behind him.

This was so much less problematic a few years ago. Yuri has been riding behind Otabek on his various bikes since he was five. He's been running around the fields and forests around the village with Otabek since he could walk. And Otabek's always been his best friend, although one he gets to see only very briefly every year.

Now hugging close to Otabek on the bike brings more than just joy. He smells nice. Yuri buries his nose in the back of Otabek's neck, just above the collar of his long-sleeved t-shirt. He feels nice. Yuri wraps his arms around Otabek's chest and stomach. The cloth of his shirt does nothing to hide the lean muscles. Maybe Yuri doesn't need to get as close as he does, to press his chest and groin and thighs right against Otabek.

"Ready?" Otabek asks. He sounds nice. He looks nice in Yuri's head when he closes his eyes. He probably tastes nice.

Yuri groans into Otabek's skin, mouth filling with saliva. He didn't have these problems a few years ago. None of this burn and thrum that matches the engine of the bike as it comes to life. The desire to just let his hands slip down and rest in the space between Otabek's thighs.

The air is cold on his bare arms and legs as it rushes past them. He opens his eyes and watches the road move, illuminated by the bike's headlight. He splays his hands on Otabek, touching skin under the hem of his shirt. He's hard, vibrating against Otabek's back.

It's a good place to be every summer.

But it's just the summer.

Sweat gathers between them and Yuri lets go slowly, spreading his arms and clinging on to the bike with his thighs. Otabek calls his name, but he ignores it until the bike slows down and they come to a halt. He jumps off even before it's fully stopped, dashing restlessly to the side.

"Yura," Otabek says, not dismounting. He's gorgeous on the bike. "You were ha-"

"I know," Yuri says, dancing on the spot, turning around. It's darker now, and colder. They're almost at the forest, which is a dark shadow against the sky.

"Because of me?"

"Yes," Yuri hisses, running his hands up and down his sides to calm himself down. He's still hard. He's burning. It’s unfair to take it out on Otabek so he tries to calm down.

"Yura," Otabek says. He swings his leg over the bike, but doesn't leave it, just leans on it. The waning light is blue and silver highlights on the chrome parts of the bike and darkens the black Otabek wears. "We could be together right fucking now."

"No!" Yuri runs towards the forest, forging into the field that lies fallow and is covered in long grass and flowers. God, he wants it so bad. Wants to say yes, wants to jump Otabek, push him off the bike and into the grass. Or the other way around.

“Are you sure?” Otabek calls out.

"Oh, fuck you!" Yuri yells, facing away, stomping in the field.

"You know Nikolai will kill me if something happens to you. If you break a leg jumping out of a fucking window! If you break a leg running around in a field at night!"

It's a beautiful field, even at night. It smells like perfume and the stars are finally appearing. The moon is on the wane. And all Yuri can think about is pushing his face between Otabek's thighs.

"So stop me!" he challenges.

He doesn't turn. He hears Otabek move, expects it, and is then slammed into the ground. The pain helps. Sort of. It's thrilling, too. And the weight of Otabek holding him down makes him throb and yearn.

"Okay, gotcha," Otabek says, close and hot. Then, more reserved, "We really gotta stop this. I'm happy to come see you every summer, but it could-"

Yuri kicks his feet. He could slip away if he wanted to, but he doesn't want to. "It could what?"

"It could be every day."

Yuri snorts, digging his fingers into the ground. "Not gonna happen." Not because he doesn’t want it but because it’s impossible. The summers are all they have.

"Nikolai will kill me if I break your legs by tackling you to the ground over and over again." Otabek's voice is flat, but he doesn't move away. He's hard, too.

"If you do I'll tell him it was my idea," Yuri says. He turns, slowly, until he can look at Otabek who hovers above him, puzzled and frustrated. "Did you have to go to school all the way in the fucking US?"

"What difference does it make?" Otabek brushes the back of his hand against Yuri's cheek, then sits up. "If it's Almaty or New York? It's not here."

"Or Moscow or St. Petersburg," Yuri continues the list. His shoulder aches and he leans into that feeling. He goes to school in St. Petersburg now. School. The Vaganova Ballet Academy. "It's never going to be every day, Beka."

"It could be every summer, then."

"I don't want it."

Otabek's gaze drags across Yuri, stopping at his lips, his chest, his groin. Yuri sits up quickly and glares at him. "Could've fucking fooled me," Otabek mutters. Maybe he isn’t so good with the rejection.

"Wow." Yuri scowls. "Remember when you actually liked me and didn't just wanna fuck me?"

It's dark. Maybe that's why Yuri can feel how much it hurts Otabek to hear those words. There isn't enough light to see clearly what Otabek's expression is when he gets up and dusts off his jeans, but his movement is clipped and harsh.

"Get on the fucking bike. I'm taking you home," Otabek says and walks to it. He doesn't say anything else, not even when Yuri tells him goodnight at the end of the drive. Yuri knows he deserves it, and hopes it’s the right thing to do.

-

Yuri turns up at the coffee shop the next morning. He's not scheduled or anything, he just needs to be doing something so he goes with his grandfather. Viktor's usually on in the mornings. This morning, too. While Nikolai and Yakov settle by the window and set up their chess board, Yuri goes into the kitchen to join Makkachin in watching Viktor struggle with chebureki.

Viktor is beautiful, in a way. In a lot of ways. Which is probably how he's found success as an actor. He's tall and pale and Yuri feels absolutely nothing when he looks at him. Maybe mild annoyance.

Not beautiful like Otabek who makes Yuri practically gag with visceral desire.

"Why are you here? Aren't you famous now or something?" Yuri says from his perch on a stool, sharp and frustrated. Viktor had reappeared at the start of the summer, asked for his old job back. He’d been gone for years, since Yuri was twelve.

"That's exactly why I'm here," Viktor replies. He smiles. "Do you have something against it?"

"I just don't get it. You could go anywhere."

"Yes, and I chose to come here." Viktor's smile goes wider and his eyes crinkle at the corners. "I missed it."

"This? This village? This shop?" Yuri rolls his eyes. "That’s bullshit." Yuri comes back every summer, but it’s for his grandfather. For Otabek. Viktor has nothing like that in the village anymore.

"It's a good place to rest. And to hide," Viktor says, tapping a finger to his cheek. "Nobody cares about what happened. They don’t know and they don't care. It's refreshing."

It makes Yuri shiver unpleasantly. He doesn't know the details because no one does, but he'd heard from his grandfather, who'd heard from Yakov, who'd heard from Viktor himself, about the reasons for his return. Being successful in Japan hadn't agreed with him. Someone in Japan hadn't agreed with him.

"You're right," Yuri says and hops off the stool. "Nobody cares about your sob story, but you're royally fucking up that chebureki and people will care about that."

"Oh no," Viktor says softly and looks down at what he's supposed to be doing. "I guess I'm better suited for the stage, after all."

"Just serve the fucking coffee with your pretty face." Yuri pushes him away and goes to fix his mistakes. He's got his grandfather's legacy to uphold. Everybody knows the bakery part of the shop is Plisetsky business.

He feels sorry for Viktor, he does. Sort of. To be successful at everything but love, it seems. But everyone fails at that. His own parents. Mila fucking her way through the supply of farmboys and girls. Viktor's mystery love in Japan. Yakov's marriage. It's not so far-fetched to think he'd fail with Otabek, looking at the picture in front of him.

It takes some concentration to get back to making the perfect pastries after Otabek crosses his mind again. It's like his heart grows wings and his skin tightens over his bones. His nipples get hard and his groin aches, and he's not dumb. He knows what it means. He knows what he wants. But it'll pass if he can hold on long enough. Maybe by this time next summer he'll be fine. Maybe Otabek will stop visiting his grandmother in the village. Maybe his grandmother will die. Sorry, Galina Anatolyevna.

Maybe Otabek will get over it, too, and they can be just friends. Safe.

"It's hot here, isn't it?" Viktor says apropos of nothing. "It's making you red. Or is that sunburn? Tsk. You're too young to get skin cancer. You know, you have a pretty face, too. I could get you some auditions if you wanted."

Yuri lets him prattle on. The chebureki need to be filled. Properly. Not like Viktor was doing it, either over or underfilling. Yuri needs to be filled, too. Properly. But it's not going to be Otabek. He's not risking Otabek on the altar of that. Love dies. Viktor's back. Yakov's divorced. Mila's a serial monogamist. His parents broke up so explosively they don't even want to see him.

Romantic love dies. Lust dies. Friendship lasts. And Yuri wants Otabek to last. Even if he has to suffer through this bullshit for a few more summers. It'll die and he'll have his friend back. Provided he manages to keep his mouth—and legs—shut.

-

"I try to protect him and this is what happens," Nikolai grouses, gesturing at Yuri's bruised, scabbed over knees. "Look, even his elbows. No care whatsoever. What if he broke his leg? Are you listening to me, Yasha?"

Yakov doesn't look up from the chessboard. "I hear you, Kolya. No respect for his elders."

"How is that a respect issue?" Yuri sighs. He's pulled up a chair to sit by them and watch the game. He plays with his grandfather, and sometimes with Yakov, too.

"If you respected me, you'd listen to my advice," Nikolai grumbles. "To not run around and fall over at every root, rock or ditch. He makes his living on his legs."

"I don't make a living yet," Yuri mutters. "I'm just in school." He'd told his grandfather he'd fallen over. It's what he always said. Even the time when Otabek crashed the bike into the barn. Yuri had been on the bike at the time, with Otabek, but neither of them had let Nikolai know that. Yuri's going to take that secret to the grave.

"But you will," Nikolai says as Yakov moves a knight. "You have to stop being reckless. You'll ruin your chance. You're a smart boy and I don't understand this."

Yuri pulls a leg up on the chair, picking idly at the scabs. He hasn't told his grandfather he should probably stay in St. Petersburg the summers, too, attend summer training programmes. He doesn't want to do that. He'd rather come to this shithole village in the middle of nowhere south of Moscow and tend to the shithole coffee shop and see his asshole friend from Kazakhstan.

"I am doing the smart thing," Yuri says, petulant. "Even if you don't believe it."

"I'll believe it when I see it," Nikolai declares.

Then Yakov raises his head and sniffs the air. "Vitya! What's burning?"

Viktor is startled out of his ennui by the counter and drops the napkins. "Oh no," he murmurs and rushes into the kitchen.

"He wasn't great at following instructions before and now he's even worse," Yakov sighs. "Compared to him your grandson is the smart one, Kolya."

Nikolai grunts and flaps his hand, concentrating on the board.

"I always intended to give the shop to Vitya when it was time," Yakov continues. "But I think Yurochka would fit it better. He's got your touch with the baking, even if he hasn't got the touch with the customers. But he can hire servers."

"Hello?" Yuri says, "I'm right here." He kicks his foot back on the floor, making the table shift. A queen falls over and Nikolai fixes it with a frown. "I've never heard of this plan."

Yakov looks him over and it's not the first time Yuri feels like he has two grandfathers. "Because I've never mentioned it before," he says.

"It's an interesting idea, Yasha," Nikolai says. "But you know Yurochka has his future planned out in ballet. He can't do that here."

"Hello?" Yuri repeats. He wants to grab the table and shake it until their game is completely gone. "Can I have a say in where my future is going?" He notices he's stood up only when he sees both his grandfather and Yakov looking up at him, Nikolai with disappointed that he's acting out and, frankly, Yakov with exactly the same.

"Do you want to be a coffee shop owner?" Nikolai asks, and Yakov speaks at the same time, "Do you want to be a ballet dancer?"

Yuri stares at them both, then shoves the table so the chess pieces go flying, and runs out. It's mid-afternoon. It's hot. He runs all the way to Otabek's grandmother's house. The old farmhouses are outside the village. This one's a good five kilometres out, but the distance barely registers.

Maybe they're not on the best of terms right now, but Otabek's still his best friend.

He's soaked through his tank top by the time he gets there, and his hair's sticking to his neck. He stops in the driveway to catch his breath, then hurries into the old cowshed where he knows Otabek will be. There's a ramp up to it so it's great for his bike, used to be great for the cows.

The wide double doors at the top of the ramp are open and Otabek is there with his bike, sitting by it covered in grease and oil and polishing a piece with a cloth. He looks up when Yuri's shadow falls across his lap.

"Beka."

"You look wretched."

Yuri drops to the concrete. "I ran."

Otabek's eyes go up and down Yuri for a moment, then he licks his lips and Yuri starts sweating again. Maybe he has to run back, too. "Why?"

"The old men are plotting my doom. Grandpa wants me to become some ballet star and Yakov wants me to take on the shop after him."

Otabek snorts, wiping his hands on the cloth. "What's wrong with them looking after you?"

"Fuck, Beka," Yuri groans and flops back onto the concrete. It's filthy, years of grime from the cows, more from Otabek's bike and whatever else that's being stored there. It bites into the bare skin of his shoulders and the back of his legs. "Maybe I don't want either of those things."

"Okay." Otabek eyes him with the slightest hint of surliness. "You're pretty clear on things you don't want." 

"Who's gonna know better than me what I want?" Yuri mutters, ignoring Otabek’s jab. "They both call me Yurochka like I'm some child."

"Yura," Otabek says. "Why don't you go complain to Viktor?"

"I'm gonna complain to him later." Yuri scowls. "You don't want me here?"

"You put me in a really fucking shitty position."

"Is that why you took the bike apart? So you don't have to take me for another ride?"

Otabek looks at him, his face sullen and eyes hooded. So Yuri was right. He's still angry. His emotions have weight, like static in the air that Yuri's skin picks up. His hair stands on end.

"My mom and sisters are coming tonight," Otabek says. He picks up another piece of the bike and starts cleaning it with the cloth. "I'll probably have to spend some time with them."

"Why?" Yuri huffs. "You spend time with them all year."

"Not anymore," Otabek counters. "I'm in New York most of the time. And then I decided to come here instead of staying in Almaty with them."

"Beka," Yuri groans and kicks his heels against the concrete floor. He sends up puffs of dust. "Can you get your head out of your ass for one fucking second?"

Otabek drops his hands into his lap and takes a breath. He rubs his forehead, leaving a smear of dirt, but at least the frown is gone when he next looks at Yuri. "You're a lot of work, Yuri Plisetsky."

Yuri sits up, crossing his legs. "Yeah, well." He shrugs. The grime of sweat and dust itches on his skin, and his previously grey shirt is stained and splotched. "You're my best friend, you should be used to it."

Otabek says nothing, but at least his face is clear of the dourness. His eyes flit up and down, sticking to various points on Yuri, looking for something. Uncertainty winds about Yuri's stomach. Maybe Otabek is never going to look at him the same way again. Or treat him like a friend. It's all Yuri thinks he wants.

And still his body echoes with everything his brain tries to suppress. His throat is dry, the reservoirs of desire under his ribs fill with heat and the space between his thighs aches. It comes on like a storm.

"I'm going back," Yuri says and stumbles up.

"By foot? I can take y-"

"With what? Your grandma's tractor?" Yuri gives him a wave, not really looking back. It'd probably kill him. "Bye, Beka."

He jogs back. Doesn't run. He's too hot and terrified for that.

-

"How's the not-boyfriend?" Mila asks. They're cleaning the kitchen after closing. Yuri, once again, just needs to be doing something with himself. He doesn't bother with a reply and keeps scrubbing the coffee pots.

"Summer's gonna end, then where are you?" Mila continues. She's not cleaning, just fanning herself with a dish towel by the back door. "He's gonna go back to wherever, and you're gonna go back to St. Petersburg."

"Yeah," Yuri grunts. He blows at his hair which is pinned to the side and tied up in the back. "That's the plan."

"What do you do all year? Do you just call him? Stalk him on Facebook or something?"

"He doesn't use Facebook. Nobody uses Facebook."

"Look at the selfies you take with him and jerk off?" Mila grins at him. "Where do you stay in Piter? With the school, right?"

Yuri doesn't say anything, just sets the coffee pots upside down on the rack to dry, grinding his teeth. Mila's more than capable of holding up the conversation by herself.

"I got in the State University in St. Petersburg. We could be roommates."

Yuri yanks the stopper out of the sink and watches the water swirling down the drain, just like his friendship with Otabek. "Good for you."

"Hey, how about you stop being a little bitch?" Mila suggests, annoyed. "What're you so afraid of?"

"The same thing that makes dogs bark when you pass by. Your face," Yuri spits and tosses the plug back into the sink. He pushes past her to get outside, leaving a wet and dirty handprint on her shirt.

"Go fuck yourself!" Mila calls after him. "I'm gonna study business!"

-

Yuri likes spending time with his ornery grandfather. At least he knows which side of the family his temper comes from. They have dinner. They play chess.

"So what's this smart thing you're doing?" Nikolai speaks over the chess board.

"What?" Yuri says, distracted by attempting to keep up with his grandfather. Maybe he's better at chess than the average 16-year-old, but he can't outplay the old men.

"You said before you're doing the smart thing."

"You don't trust me?" Yuri leaps to the conclusion immediately and makes a hasty move with a pawn. A mistake. Fuck whatever gambit his grandfather's playing.

Nikolai grunts and makes his own move without needing much time to think. "Speak," he commands.

"Grandpa," Yuri reproaches. He doesn't want to share his "smart" way of handling the situation he's in. He scratches at the abrasions on his leg, which he's pulled up on the chair, tingling with the memory of Otabek. Another mistake. He forgets what he was supposed to do next. Move the knight?

"Do not disrespect Yasha's offer just because you wish a different future," Nikolai says, tapping a finger on the table.

"I'm not disrespecting anyone," Yuri mutters. "I know it's a big deal. It's not that."

"Is it about Galina Anatolyevna's grandson?"

Yuri kicks his leg down off the chair and leans forwards, elbows on the table, pretending to think about his move. Well, he is thinking about a move, it's just not a chess move.

"Sort of," he finally says. Lying to his grandfather needs to involve a whole lot of truth. "Just trying to make sure he won't interrupt my career." His career is important, especially to his grandfather.

Nikolai looks up and meets Yuri's eyes. "Good," he says. "Your turn."

"I know," Yuri sighs. He moves the knight, hopes it's the right one.

"He's a student? The grandson," Nikolai continues. He appreciates education. Of any kind. He was a carpenter by trade.

"Yeah. Music nerd," Yuri huffs, everything else shunted aside by affection for a brief moment. "I mean, he got into that really good art university in New York. Full scholarship."

"Music nerd," Nikolai repeats as though he's never heard of such a thing. The board is starting to get stacked in his favour. "So he plays an instrument?"

"Yeah, I think he could play anything he wanted to," Yuri says, more dreamily than he means. Then he coughs and makes an ill-advised advance with a bishop. "He makes music, too. Composes pieces." He leaves out the club DJ part.

Nikolai grunts again. Maybe in acceptance, but it's the end of the conversation anyway. Yuri's glad he doesn't have to talk about Otabek more.

After Yuri loses the chess match Nikolai plays the piano in the sitting room. He's not good, but he's been practising ever since his wife died, who was the actual artist in the house. Yuri knows part of the reason why Nikolai plays is him. Because his grandmother used to play to accompany Yuri's impromptu ballet performances when he was younger.

But Yuri gets tired of the simple off-key renditions eventually and heads upstairs to take a bath. He can still hear his grandfather idly picking at the keys of the piano in the bathroom, but in a way that says his attention's turning elsewhere. Maybe the news.

Yuri knows there's no way Otabek's coming tonight, but he's going to get clean anyway. Just in case. And the bath is the most private place he has in the house—an old farmhouse like Otabek's grandmother's. The village had been a lot farther away from Moscow in their grandparents' youth, and an actual farming community.

Potya sits on the edge of the tub like she always does when Yuri takes a bath. Like she's worried he might drown. He doesn't have the heart to leave her outside, knowing she'd paw at the door and yell until she was let back in.

"Close your eyes, Potya," Yuri instructs the cat, sinking into the steaming water which stings in his cuts and scrapes. He doesn't bother with bubbles in his bath. "Don't judge me. I need this."

He needs the hand around his cock. He needs a hand that isn't his own, but this'll do. Needs the rough and fast rhythm and the release that leaves him only marginally better off. He soaks in his own filth for a little longer, then drains the tub and has a shower to actually wash. While the conditioner is in he presses his cheek against the cool tiles of the wall and gets off again, remembering Otabek's weight on him, wishing it was on him now, forcing him to be still.

He'd needed this every night since he's been back. Now he just needs for it to be enough.

Chapter Text

Viktor seldom leaves his dog home when he comes to work. And Yuri comes by when Viktor is opening up the place, Makkachin patiently sitting by and watching Viktor measure and grind coffee beans. "You're up early," Viktor says when Yuri bangs in and hops up on the counter to sit.

"I'll sleep when I'm as old as you," Yuri mutters. He hasn't seen Otabek for days.

"Devastating," Viktor says. The dark rings under his eyes have been deepening all summer. And he's been making shit coffee. He's a terrible employee, but at least he shows up. Most of the time, when he doesn't forget.

"I can't believe Yakov thought you might wanna stick around and run this place after he's done." Yuri means it as an insult, he's just not sure who he's insulting.

"I'm not much of a businessman," Viktor says. He passes by Makkachin and pets his ears. "But neither are you."

"You don't know that," Yuri blusters.

"We're artists," Viktor states. Yuri kicks his heels against the counter, annoyed but unable to deny. "Coffee and pastry artists at the moment, but still."

It's definitely not what Yuri wants. The coffee and pastry part. It's part of being home, but that's all. He jumps off the counter and goes to straighten up chairs and set out napkins and fill the sugar shakers, anything to tame some of the nervous energy. Viktor on the other hand moves like he's frozen.

"What was it like being in Japan?" Yuri asks.

"Wonderful," Viktor says automatically.

"Did you love him?"

"Yes," Viktor replies. "What do you want, kitten?"

"So it was a he." Yuri comes back to the counter that separates the coffee shop floor from the kitchen and leans on it, watching Viktor stutter and come to a halt like a bad puppet. "And you loved him."

"I still do. Yuuri was-"

Yuri's stomach twists in surprise. "He's got the same name as me?"

Viktor looks at him, a tray of cups in his hands and eyes wide as if it's surprised him, too. "No. No, no. Not the same." He reconsiders, starts setting up the cups. "Almost the same. You know, I never thought of that."

"You know," Yuri repeats and makes a face. "I believe you."

Viktor reaches over and shoves gently at Yuri's forehead. "He was the one dubbing me into Japanese in the commercials I did."

"So how'd you fuck it up?" Yuri rocks on his feet, elbows on the counter. It's important. If he does take Mila's advice, if he does decide to risk it with Otabek, he wants to how to avoid at least whatever it is Viktor did.

Viktor leans on the counter as well, bringing his face way too close to Yuri's, but Yuri just scowls and refuses to back down. "When'd you grow up, kitten? It's only been a few years," Viktor says softly. "When I left you and Otabek were still zipping around on that little scooter of his, spraying people with water guns."

Yuri growls and pushes his face into Viktor's. "It was a small motorbike. He's got a bigger one now. And we still do that every summer."

"Except this one," Viktor says with hurtful calm. "So how'd you fuck it up?"

Yuri headbutts Viktor. It's not full force because their heads are practically touching already, but enough to hurt them both. Enough for there to be a dull clunk as their skulls connect. Makkachin woofs quietly and the bell rings.

"Vitya, Yurochka, are you opening the shop or having personal time?"

Viktor rocks back on his feet, looking dazed, and raises a hand to his forehead. His mouth trembles and his eyes go overshiny, and for a moment Yuri is fooled, until he remembers that practically everything from Viktor is an affectation. Yuri turns to face Yakov's perpetual frown.

"I'm just teaching the staff," Yuri says. "This place is as good as mine, right?"

"I'll ignore that for Kolya's sake." Yakov heads past the counter and into the kitchen. The dismissal is obvious. Once again Yuri is the child. When is he going to be allowed to make his own decisions?

Viktor's wounded face hardens as he looks at Yuri, but for once he keeps his bullshit to himself and follows Yakov instead of opening his mouth. Yuri stomps out.

-

Since there's nothing else he can do, Yuri heads towards the old water mill. He might as well go and drown himself now. If he doesn't he might call Otabek instead and scream at him some more. As if he hasn't already done enough to ruin that.

He craves being tackled into the ground just because it's the closest he's had to any type of release or vaguely acceptable contact with Otabek that plays into his thirst while not really crossing the line. The line which he's created in water and wet sand. At least that's what he tells himself, absently rubbing his chest through his shirt.

Then Makkachin is there, running past him and Yuri looks up, already scowling at Viktor. But instead there's a black-haired young man who's knelt to rub Makkachin's ears with familiarity.

"Hey!" Yuri says. Viktor's a fuck but his dog's dumb adorable and doesn't deserve to be abducted by some foreigner. He dashes over but the dog is wiggling happily.

"Hello," the guy says in English with a thick accent. Yuri stops because English doesn't often come up in this backasswards shithole. "Is this your dog?"

"No. Yes. He belongs to a friend of mine." Yuri holds out his hand for Makkachin but he ignores it and keeps pressing against the man.

"This is Makkachin?" the man says weirdly hopefully.

"Yeah?" Yuri admits, frowning. "Who the fuck are you?"

The man blinks as though he doesn't understand the profanity then smiles. "Katsuki Yuuri. Who-"

"Yuuri?" Yuri repeats. "From Japan?" Okay, it's a stupid question but he has to make sure. No one comes here for a holiday. It really doesn't sound too similar to his name the way he pronounces it.

"Yes?" The man stands up, hand still on Makkachin's head. He’s perplexed and soft. “Do you know Viktor?” The way he says the name renders it almost unintelligible to Yuri, but it’s got the same air of desperate hope.

"Holy shit," Yuri says in Russian, then grabs Yuuri's hand. "Come with me."

He drags Yuuri and Makkachin back to the shop, through the front door. There are some customers there, but Yakov is serving them. Great, an audience. "Viktor!" Yuri yells. "Viktor, get the fuck out here!"

Viktor appears in the doorway of the kitchen. His eyes are the same colour as the building clouds outside and just as cold. There's a red bruise on his forehead and Yuri knows he has a matching one. "Yu-" he starts, then inhales sharply. "Yuuri," he says instead.

Yuuri, with a small smile, says something softly in Japanese. Nothing happens for a second and Yuri is about to declare his disappointment, but then Viktor inhales again, wetly, and starts to cry. Yuri's never seen anything like it. From the faces around him he figures no one else has either. Yuuri speaks again and circles the counter to go hug him, which Viktor accepts, muffling his melodramatic sobs into Yuuri's shoulder.

Yuri, opportunistically, films all of it to show Otabek later.

-

Yuri shares the video as he steps out of the shop. Honestly, the sound and sight of Viktor crying could amuse him only so long. Although it did make him wonder even more what had gone on in Japan since he hadn't been able to find out. Maybe he could somehow corner the other Yuuri.

It's his fault, really. He stands in the middle of the road which terminates at the village square. There isn't usually much other than foot traffic there so the engine noise takes him by surprise. His brain registers the motorbike, Otabek on it, and then the two brightly coloured water guns strapped on either side of the seat like they were actual guns.

And Yuri wants to sink through the ground with first-hand adoration and second-hand embarrassment. Then Otabek cocks his head, planting his feet on the ground on either side of the bike. His boots are dusty, the Metallica t-shirt is sleeveless and ancient, and his jeans are ripped at the knees.

"You coming?" Otabek says.

A sound not unlike laughter is ripped from Yuri and he sprints at Otabek, in his flip flops and unevenly rolled up sweats and hair that's tied up with a neon green elastic on top of his head. He vaults onto the bike without hesitation.

"Are they loaded?" he asks as he settles his legs so the water guns aren't disturbed.

"Of course," Otabek says, turning just enough to give Yuri a good look at his chiselled profile and the sun in his lashes and on his lips. He glows and it burns away Yuri's clever plan of avoiding him. "Ready?"

Yuri grabs the gun on his right side, resting it in the crook of his right arm, and winds his left arm around Otabek's waist, clenching at his shirt. "Ready," he says.

They prey on the people out and about, laughing and speeding away after Yuri sprays them. When they were younger they wore masks and pretended to be bandits, but everyone knew them anyway. They don’t bother to hide anymore. They’ll get scolded anyway.

The bike is a little bulky on the tinier side streets but Yuri makes Otabek pass by the back of the tea shop a few times, and by luck they’re there when Viktor and Yuuri step out. Yuri tugs on Otabek's shirt with their agreed-upon signal to stop.

"Hey, Yuuri!" Yuri calls out in English. He waves to make sure he has their attention before pulling out the water gun. He sees Viktor react, but it’s too late and Yuri manages to splash them both with tepid water. "Welcome to Russia!" Yuri continues with a cackle and drops behind Otabek again, tapping his thigh with the signal to go.

They speed away. Yuri clinging one-handed to Otabek, cheek pressed against his back and hair whipping about. They should wear helmets but they never have. It's a wonder they aren't dead yet. Yuri has never told his grandfather how many times they've crashed into hedges, fields, ditches, the river, and two different barns. Admittedly most of the crashes had happened on Otabek's actual bicycle or his first tiny motorbike which had really been more of a scooter. They'd been going a lot slower back then.

Now, with the tanks of the water guns depleted, Otabek takes them out of the village and away from its irate inhabitants. It's late morning and the wind has picked up, bringing the clouds from the horizon closer. The bike gets parked on a spit of old logging road, far out of the way under the sparse canopy of the forest edge where the trees talk softly in the wind. Yuri slides off the bike and pulls the useless elastic from his hair.

"So," Otabek says. "Explain Yuuri."

Yuri had already forgotten Otabek had no idea. He shows him the video and explains what had happened. It's natural until Yuri lifts his head and watches Otabek instead of the moving pictures. And until Otabek meets his eyes with a look that's like molten gold on Yuri's insides, casting him out of sheer craving.

He shifts and Otabek shifts in response, which creates a cold chasm of separation between them. “I can’t believe someone would come all the way here for Viktor,” Yuri says, feeling wan.

“I come all the way over here for you,” Otabek points out.

“You have family here, too,” Yuri protests. He almost drops his phone, which already has a cracked screen and damaged back.

“But I come here for you,” Otabek insists. "I brought everyone by the shop yesterday but you weren't there," he continues because Yuri is about to hyperventilate. "Mila made the sign of the evil eye every time I tried to ask."

"I was helping Grandpa empty out the barn," Yuri explains. He puts the phone down on the seat of the bike and shows the blisters on his hands from all the pulling and carrying.

"So you weren't avoiding me?"

"Nah, I was definitely avoiding you."

Otabek scratches the back of his neck, ducking his head. It makes Yuri think of how he just spent a good while with his nose right there and how good Otabek smelled. He hadn't had the time to consider it then, but now the memory goes straight to his groin.

"You smell," he says and Otabek's head snaps up in a way that makes Yuri twitch, muscles tensing in readiness to run. "Nice," Yuri finishes and takes a step back, then whirls around on his heel and makes two steps into the undergrowth before he's knocked flat on the ground by Otabek's weight.

"Yura," Otabek's voice is guttural. "Talk."

"I have the world's biggest crush on you and I can't stand it," Yuri admits through his teeth. Otabek is actually sitting on his this time, using his legs to pin Yuri's down and leaning onto Yuri's shoulders.

"A fucking crush?" Otabek is incredulous. Yuri kicks out but only manages to lose a flip flop.

"Nng," Yuri agrees. He's just as incredulous that he can even talk about it like this. He wants to take a fucking swandive into Otabek's crotch, wants to be face down in the hayloft, getting fucked like a proper farm boy. Neither of them has even touched a cow, but it's a goddamn fantasy.

Otabek leans down and blows hot air against Yuri's ear.

Or here. Here's good, too. He's already face down.

Yuri can't even fathom the noise that rises from his throat. A shudder works its way through him, but Otabek seems to take it as a sign to let him go. The lack of his weight makes Yuri feel uncomfortable.

Otabek sits crosslegged, elbows on his knees and face in his hands. His jeans look tight around the groin. Yuri rolls onto his back, not even trying to hide the massive hard-on he has.

"Please," Otabek mutters. "Please stop making me chase you."

Yuri looks up at the sky through the branches. The wind is hurrying the clouds along and the sun is dimmed. The spaces between his ribs and under them are full of sound and fury. He's about to fly off the face of the Earth like a hot air balloon.

"Okay," he says. "Okay."

Later he'll have to thank Katsuki Yuuri for two things: for reducing Viktor to such spectacular tears and for coming all the way to Russia.

And even later he may have to curse Katsuki Yuuri for giving him hope.

“Okay what?” Otabek says, a little defeated.

Yuri coils up like a spring and launches himself at Otabek, crashing across his lap. “Beka,” he says loudly. Otabek cages the flailing elbows and knees with his arms, immobilising Yuri into a slightly uncomfortable ball in the triangle of his crossed legs. “Okay, you can stop,” Yuri’s says loudly, trying to get his legs around Otabek’s middle. “So let’s fucking go.”

“Yura,” Otabek says like a crack of static shock. It leaves Yuri tingling and a little bit raw, but he stops squirming. He isn’t cold at all, but the wind is chilly now and the sun is hidden behind a thick drape drawn across the sky. He’s filled with liquid thunder clouds, barely held together by the arms around him.

“Bite me,” he snaps, voice breaking. One of his feet is pointing up, caught against Otabek’s shoulder.

“Don’t you want to find a hayloft?”

Yuri jerks in Otabek’s grasp, itching and aching and somehow perfectly on top of Otabek’s hard cock. If he wasn’t able to see Otabek’s face, he’d think the words are out of spite, but Otabek’s expression is curious, concentrated, eyebrows bunched over his eyes in a frown. The molten gold is gone, replaced with blue fire.

Yuri nods because he’s sure his voice would come out in a whine if he tried to speak. And that would not be cool.

“Seriously,” Otabek continues, jostling Yuri around a bit to put his nose into his neck. “It’s gonna rain soon.”

“Then let’s go,” Yuri repeats after swallowing about twenty times to lubricate his mouth for the words. He shouldn’t have bothered because Otabek rubs his face against him and Yuri gets a noseful of his hair and his smell and Otabek probably smells that sweet and tangy— like fucking gooseberries—all over and saliva almost drips from his mouth at that. “Beka! Fuck!”

He buzzes and struggles and kicks all the while Otabek tries to hold him closer and closer, stubbornly plastering his face into Yuri’s sweaty neck. The first of the rain is a clingy, damp mist that blows in with the wind and leaves both their bare arms slippery. Yuri would care, he would, if Otabek hadn’t chosen that exact moment to bite into his shoulder, and Yuri can only blame himself because he’d literally asked for it.

He goes reflexively still, not because it hurts, which it does, in an interesting way, but because no matter how many times they’d rolled around various patches of dirt around the village, there’d been the line. Unspoken, sure, but understood.

Yuri heaves, finally managing enough leverage with his legs to break away from Otabek. His neck throbs, his cock throbs, the first actual drops of rain fall on his heated skin and he’s surprised they don’t sizzle away. He crawls towards the bike on all fours, with Otabek leaning after him to try and grasp his ankles, and Yuri kicking him away, losing the last of his footwear in the process.

“Beka!” he says breathlessly.

Yura,” Otabek replies, scuttling after him.

“Rain,” Yuri manages from between clenched teeth, using the bike to get himself upright. He doesn’t get to turn around before Otabek’s on him, bending him over the bike and holding him there with his wider body. He’s impressively stacked. For a nerd.

“I don’t mind,” Otabek says against Yuri’s ear. Everything of him is against everything of Yuri. Chest to back. Crotch to ass. Thighs to thighs.

“We are not,” Yuri pants, eyes almost crossing from how good it feels, trying to hold on to the saddle, “fucking on your bike in the rain!” Otabek’s hands are around his waist, warm on his damp skin, achingly close to his cock. Yuri rocks back despite his words, crowding his ass against Otabek’s hardon, legs inching apart.

“No?” Otabek murmurs and bites at the back of Yuri’s neck this time and sends Yuri pitching forwards, ribcage painfully flattening against the bike’s seat as he gasps and makes a guttural noise in the back of his throat.

No,” Yuri chokes. It’d be so easy. He’s in sweatpants, for God’s sake, just slip them down. But it’s also raining now, not hard, but actual water drops are popping into the leaves and against the metal of the bike, and a motorbike is not a comfortable or safe thing to ride in the rain—and without fucking helmets, too.

Otabek gnaws on Yuri until Yuri is an even sweatier mess who can’t believe he’s not just come into his pants. By then the rain is more insistent. Actually getting on the bike to ride it takes groans from them both, and even then Otabek just starts the bike, but doesn’t drive.

“Where’s the nearest-” He stops, the muscles in his thighs jumping. At least Yuri isn’t the only one who’s fucking dying.

“Old Koskov’s,” Yuri croaks. “Up the road, you know, from the-”

“Yeah,” Otabek confirms and nudges the kickstand up. Yuri catches the collar of Otabek’s shirt between his teeth, just to tide over.

The rain comes in sheets when they get to the main road and Otabek slows the bike down to a crawl. Yuri can barely see anything from the water and he’s got Otabek in front of him to shield him from the worst. They should walk. But Yuri is so pent up with adrenaline and arousal that he doesn’t remember to be afraid. He just wants to get into what’s left of Old Koskov’s barn.

The farmhouse and the outbuildings were torn down years ago when the lands were divided up and sold, the materials reused where possible. The barn had been left to work as a service station during planting and harvesting. Yuri dismounts the bike when they’re close and sprints the rest of the way to yank the big door open for Otabek to roll in.

The rain uses the sheet metal roof of the barn as a drum, drowning out Yuri’s massive gulps of air and the rapidfire thudding of his heart. He shivers and pushes water off his arms with his hands, and uses the dryer hem of his shirt to wipe his face. Otabek is much in the same condition, hair plastered against his skull and his entire front completely soaked.

When Otabek peels off his shirt and uses it to towel his hair, Yuri swings around and pokes deeper into the barn. He hasn’t been there for years. At least his phone’s not drowned so he uses it for a light. There’s an old tractor and trailer under a tarp, a couple of chairs, various spades, shovels and other tools as well as hay bales so old they’re basically dust held together with a string. Water drips down from several rusted-through spots on the ceiling.

“Yura.”

The two bites on Yuri’s neck twinge at the sound of Otabek saying his name. He turns on his heel on the rough concrete floor and the pain from the friction reminds him he doesn’t have shoes. His wet hair almost comes around to smack him in the face with the force of his turn as well.

Otabek has wadded up his shirt in his hands and is giving Yuri an approximation of a rueful grin. Grimace. “Shit,” he says. “Nikolai’s gonna fucking kill me.”

Yuri heaves a sigh which turns into a snort of laughter. “Yep,” he agrees and walks over, more aware of his bare feet now. This time he makes sure he doesn’t step on anything by shining the phone’s torch dutifully on the floor. He does aim to make his living on his feet, no point in gutting them.

Otabek sinks on the bike, head drooping. Yuri’s never understood Otabek’s abject terror of his grandfather. The man’s pretty rough and tough, but not unreasonable. Okay, except maybe when it comes to his one and only grandson. Otabek’s probably fucked.

“You should get him to come pick you up.” Otabek gestures at Yuri’s phone. Yuri turns off the torch and hops on the back of the bike. The kickstand is sturdy enough to take his weight, too, without the bike toppling over.

“I think I’d like to minimise the amount of lecturing I’ll have to hear, thanks.” Yuri leans in against Otabek’s shoulder instead—he’s still warm—and lifts up his phone to take a picture of them. The bite on the side of his neck is very visible in the picture.

“You cold?” Otabek slings his arm around Yuri and pulls him in without waiting for Yuri’s answer.

“Nah,” Yuri shrugs and tries not to shiver. The rain’s not cold this time of the year, at least not to begin with, although the bike ride had chilled him, especially his toes and fingers. He turns his nose into Otabek’s shoulder and drinks in his scent. “So, uhh,” he says, summoning all of his eloquence.

Otabek’s hand settles on Yuri’s hip. “Not really a hayloft, is it?”

Yuri stiffens. In both senses of the word. Even the water trickling down his back from his hair and soaking into the waist of his sweatpants is no deterrent. “We’re not,” he starts, but Otabek isn’t on the same page. He tilts Yuri’s face up with his other hand and kisses him.

He doesn’t taste like gooseberries, at least, just kind of metallic. Yuri doesn’t bother to pretend any longer that this isn’t exactly what he wants. He slants his open mouth into place against Otabek’s and they trade places tonguing each other inside out for a while. The insistent tapping of the rain masks their gasps, but being so close, Yuri can feel the noises Otabek makes.

Then Otabek bites into Yuri’s lip and drops his hand straight onto Yuri’s straining cock, which makes Yuri pinch Otabek’s pec. They stop to assess the situation. Yuri is surprised steam isn’t coming off him.

“I wanna blow you,” Otabek says with conviction. Yuri’s always appreciated his candour, and this time isn’t any different. His dick agrees by almost jumping out of his pants on its own, starved for attention. Otabek’s eyes are bottomless pools of black in the dark of the old barn and the storm.

Yuri spreads his legs and allows Otabek between them. He pushes his chest out, nipples hard and tingling against the soggy cloth of his shirt. Otabek’s eyes drag across them, which is almost as good as touch, and Yuri sucks his lower lip into his mouth in expectation, already canting his hips forwards.

“Okay,” he says, thinking that maybe Otabek needs the verbal confirmation.

Otabek leans down so fast he almost propels Yuri off the bike with his weight. He sinks his teeth in the skin under Yuri’s ear, pulling Yuri’s shirt up to get his hands in there. He thumbs Yuri’s nipples, making Yuri grit his teeth against the flood of embarrassing noise in his throat. Otabek kisses the side of Yuri’s jaw, then goes to his knees, trailing his tongue down Yuri’s stomach.

At the waist of Yuri’s sweatpants Otabek stops and pulls Yuri’s feet onto his thighs, letting Yuri use him as a footstool while he lifts his hips and Otabek pulls his pants down. Otabek stops there, looking up at Yuri in realisation.

“No underwear,” he murmurs, eyebrows bunched together. Yuri shrugs, breath hitching. Even in the low light his cock is much darker than the rest of him, angry and desperate. Yuri understands it absolutely. He’s been the same all summer.

Otabek pushes Yuri’s knees open again and scrapes his teeth along Yuri’s inner thigh to his groin. One of his hands stays hooked around the back of Yuri’s knee and the other comes up against his stomach. Yuri’s cock twitches and suddenly oozes at the tip, and Yuri tries very hard not to whimper when Otabek just presses his face right against it, breathing him in. It’s literally the same thing he’s fantasised about doing to Otabek so he can’t fault him for it.

Just the friction from Otabek’s face and breath are almost enough for Yuri to come. Almost. He shudders and swears and lifts his hips, dragging his own nails across his stomach and chest, pushing his shirt up until he can twist his own nipple. Otabek’s eyes are tilted up and he times a lick with the twist, making Yuri cry out and almost fall off the bike.

“F-fuck!” Yuri stammers and Otabek’s tongue catches the pre-cum bubbling out. Yuri shifts and shivers so violently his teeth chatter together. “Beka!

Otabek’s response is an unintelligible murmur that’s just vibrations and heat as he trails spit-shiny lips over the head of Yuri’s cock and pops it into his mouth. Yuri muffles a scream because it’s the exact same way Otabek eats ice lollies. So all his fucking life, every summer, he’s watched Otabek practise giving head. It’s enough for him to lose it and come furiously.

Yuri’s breath is loud in his ears. It near echoes in the silence of the rain ceasing, which makes the protracted slurp of Otabek pulling back very obvious. “Beka, fuck,” he complains.

“I like how,” Otabek says, his words pushing his hot breath across the now chilled expanse of Yuri’s thighs and sensitive areas, “when you get really upset with me, you only have two words. It’s my favourite combination of words.”

“Fu-” Yuri starts, then kicks Otabek in the stomach. Not hard, and not very well, because Otabek catches his ankle and runs his hands up his legs. Yuri pinches his mouth shut because he can’t think of any other words, and goes to pull up his pants.

Otabek stands up and stops Yuri with a kiss. “I want mine, too,” he says. He tastes different now, which is Yuri’s fault.

“Well, I’m not-” Yuri huffs and stops because he’s not sure what he’s not going to do. It’s disorienting how much clearer and closer Otabek sounds without the rain. And the words, the wanting, brings a new flush of sweat across him. “Okay.”

He latches onto Otabek’s mouth with his own, because it’s right there, and uses his considerably shaky fingers to unzip Otabek’s jeans. Pushing them down turns to yanking them down because they’re wet and clingy.

“You could’ve made this easy,” Yuri snarls.

“I didn’t know it was going to be fucking today,” Otabek groans.

Yuri stops and glares at Otabek. “It? This?”

Otabek pulls Yuri off the bike and kisses him while Yuri’s sweatpants slide the rest of the way down to pool on the floor, and Yuri can feel the heat and readiness of Otabek’s cock. It’s practically nuzzling into his stomach.

“Yeah, this,” Otabek says then. “I hoped you’d change your mind before the summer was over.”

“Don’t talk to me,” Yuri growls. He’s hot everywhere Otabek touches him, chilly otherwise. “You can’t have known I’d change my mind.”

“Okay, well,” Otabek says anyway. His face is sharp and desirous, with a tilt to his mouth. “Can I bend you over the bike now?”

“Fuck you, Beka,” Yuri says to mask the fact that not only will he bend over, he’s eager to do it, already halfway back to being hard. He uses his sweatpants to cushion his feet against the floor as he turns around and lean down on the bike. The cold damp of Otabek’s jeans and the bite of the zipper against the back of his thighs are forgotten in the second his cock slides against him, hot and smooth and a little sticky. Yuri drops his head between his arms when Otabek’s mouth presses into the back of his neck again, licking around the earlier bite.

Yuri starts to breathe hard again when Otabek pushes one hand under his shirt to play with a nipple. The thunder of his heart briefly masks the thunder outside, until there’s a massive boom and they both jump a little. Otabek huffs into Yuri’s sodden hair and his fingers dig into Yuri’s hips, pulling his ass up until he’s on his toes. His cock slips between Yuri’s thighs and Yuri squeezes them together, causing a satisfying rumble in Otabek’s throat.

The sensations have Yuri hard again in no time. This time he uses his own hand in the same rhythm as Otabek moves between his legs. He’s already wet from Otabek’s mouth and soon the insides of his thighs and his balls are sticky from Otabek’s pre-cum, too. And then Otabek spills against him, teeth on the nape of his neck. Yuri follows soon after, overtaken and overstimulated.

-

“Just go home,” Yuri says as he gets stiffly off the bike. He’d asked Otabek to stop before turning onto the driveway of his grandfather’s property. “No reason for you to come in and get yelled at.”

Otabek nods, fingers slipping on the handles of the bike as he stalls. “You’ll be okay?”

“He’s not gonna kill me,” Yuri says, although he isn’t so sure. He’s absolutely ruined this time. Wet, cold from the ride, no shoes, muddy and filthy all over, and Otabek’s cum drying on his thighs.

Otabek nods again, but still doesn’t leave.

“Fuck, Beka!” Yuri snaps and points. “Go!”

At that Otabek gives him a glum look, mouth tilting down, but revs the bike and drives off. Yuri watches him until a violent shiver overtakes him and he lopes off towards the house. His toes are freezing. His body’s heavy and weird, reflecting the state of his mind.

He tries to enter the house quietly, maybe he’ll get lucky and get to the bathroom before his grandfather catches him. But the thunderous “Yurochka!” from the kitchen stops him.

“Yeah?” he calls out, heart sinking as his grandfather comes into the hall.

Nikolai takes in Yuri’s dirty clothes with a glance. “You fell?” he says.

“Really hard.” Yuri swallows, tries to wipe off some of the dirt.

“Go clean up.” Nikolai turns to go back. “Then come to the kitchen.”

At least Potya has no judgement as she joins Yuri in the bathroom. He undresses while the tub fills, giddiness and arousal spiking through when he sees himself in the mirror. The bites are red on his skin. It only lasts until he realises his grandfather must’ve seen them, too.

He floats in the water as long as he dares, sitting curled up and holding his toes to make sure they warm up before actually soaping up and washing off the dirt under the shower. While he’s dressing in his room his stomach seizes painfully from hunger. He’d had breakfast early, long ago. Then he pads into the kitchen, wearing thick socks. 

Nikolai is sitting at the table with a cup of tea. There’s a second steaming cup along with a plate of soup set out for Yuri. He sits down and starts to eat without looking at his grandfather.

“Was it Otabek?” Nikolai asks after Yuri is done eating. 

“Was it Otabek what?” Yuri mumbles into the cup of tea. His grandfather doesn’t often refer to Otabek by his actual name.

“The reason for why you came back in that state.”

“It was my fault, too,” Yuri says without bothering to deny anything. “You can’t just blame him.”

Nikolai’s fist slamming against the table makes Yuri’s empty soup plate clatter. “I can blame whoever I damn well want when my only grandson comes home looking like that!”

Yuri slams his hand down, too. “Then just blame me!”

They glare at each other.

“I want you to check in every hour for the rest of the time you’re here.”

“Grandpa!” Yuri protests.

“Because I do blame you for making me worry.”

“Grandpa,” Yuri repeats weakly, then sighs. “Fine.”

“Don’t ‘fine’ me, young man, you don’t have a choice in the matter,” Nikolai says gruffly, but now Yuri can see the worry behind the anger and he has no will to argue. This is all the family the two of them have.

“Yes, Grandpa.”

“And you are still going back to school when the summer is over?” This time it’s Nikolai who doesn’t look at Yuri.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I?” Yuri says.

“Indeed,” Nikolai murmurs. “Why wouldn’t you?” He gets up to take their dishes to the sink and sets about washing them immediately.

Yuri sits and tries to swallow away the strange taste of realising his grandfather suspects much more about his relationship with Otabek than he’d thought. It’s not like that, he wants to say, but it kind of is like that now. But it still doesn’t mean Yuri would give up ballet.

Maybe some things will change, but he doesn’t yet know what.

-

The bell doesn’t ring as much as it clangs when Yuri shoulders the door to the shop open and slams into the counter, which causes Otabek to slam into him and push him face first into the countertop. Every time he runs, Otabek runs after him. 

“Don’t run in the shop!” Yakov raises his voice from the corner where the chess table is set. He’s playing against Yuuri.

Yuri is only a little surprised to see Viktor come out of the kitchen with a tray of perfect potato cakes—not that it takes much to perfect what looks like a potato. “Food,” he gasps and pushes back at Otabek to try and dislodge him, but Otabek traps him between the counter and his body by grasping the edge of the countertop on either side of him.

Viktor purses his mouth. “What do you need?” He doesn’t look like he’s forgiven them—particularly Yuri—quite yet.

“Piroshki! Vareniki! Tea to go!” Yuri barks and elbows Otabek. 

“Won’t you stay in to eat?” Viktor asks, but is already packing a little paper carrier bag for them. Yuri finds the offer disingenuous, but Viktor reveals the reason for his invite by continuing. “Yuuri would like to meet you properly.”

“No!” Yuri yells and Otabek says, “No, thanks. Some other time.”

“I see,” Viktor says while filling two cups with steaming liquid. “Something better to do, then?”

“A picnic,” Otabek says, while Yuri ducks out from under his arm and runs back out of the shop. He sees Yuuri wave at him through the window, smiling. Yakov also raises his hand, but it’s not such a nice gesture. He’ll get another lecture from either his grandfather or Yakov on how to behave, he’s sure.

They’re headed out to the old water mill. For a date, Yuri supposes. This time Otabek’s worn the sweatpants, and Yuri has some very short shorts for minimum leg coverage. Yuri also supposes they have a different view of what’s acceptable date wear. Even if part of the date will involve getting undressed.

He hops on the bike and holds out his hand for the paper bag when Otabek comes out. Yuri waits for him to get on and start the bike, then leans in.

“Ready?” Otabek says and turns a little to place his hand briefly on Yuri’s bare thigh.

“Ready,” Yuri says and squeezes him.