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Katsuki's Animal Shelter

Chapter Text

Yuuri wiped the sweat from his forehead, it was the beginning of autumn and yet the summer heat had yet to cool down. 

 

“Yuuri! Are you done with the kennels yet? The dogs are getting overheated!” Mari called from outside. 

 

“Just finished putting the bedding’s in, I just have to put fresh food and in each pen!” He called back to her, “Mind sending someone in to help so it can get done faster?”

 

“Sure, give me a minute,” Yuuri went to a nearby storage closet where they kept all the dog kibble in a rolling bucket and started making his way down the row of dog pens, stopping at each one to put a scoop of food and a dog treat. 

 

“Why do I have to help you, Piggy? I thought we agreed I work strictly with the cats only!” Yuuri’s favorite volunteer called from the kennel entrance, making his way to Yuuri.

 

“Technically, Yura, you aren’t working with the dogs, you’re just helping me fill their bowls,” Yuuri teased, Yuri just scoffed at him.

 

“Can we make this fast? My stupid parent’s told me not to be late for dinner tonight.” He said, as he followed Yuuri’s lead in scooping dog food into bowls.

 

“Aren’t you always late for dinner anyways? What’s so special about tonight? You can always eat with my family.” 

 

“I wish, but my stupid brother just moved back home, and they want to celebrate.” Yuri groaned.

 

Yuuri almost dropped the dog bowl in his hands, Yuri only has one brother and that brother just happened to be the one person Yuuri had looked up to since moving to America almost 12 years prior. Victor Nikiforov. 

 

“Wh-what’s he doing back? I thought he moved to the city to go to veterinary school.” 

 

“Yeah, well he graduated and now he’s back. He said something about how this town needed a proper vet since Yakov plans to retire soon.” Yuri answered as he moved onto the next pen. “You have something against him? Why does it matter?”

 

“No, nothing like that, he just seemed like the kind of person who wouldn’t want to get stuck in a small town like this,” Yuuri corrected. He had never had the chance to get to know Victor very well growing up since he was a few years older than him, but from what Yuuri observed, Victor always seemed so outgoing and passionate. He could go anywhere in the world and yet, he returned to the small town his family lived in.

 

“Yeah, I know what you mean, he’s too loyal,” Yuri scoffed, “I’ll tell you what though, as soon as I turn eighteen I’m leaving this dump,” Yuuri smiled at that, he had no doubt that Yuri would do just that. The teen’s ambition surpassed anyone Yuuri’s ever met. 

 

“What do you want to do when the time comes? Go to school?” Yuuri asked, trying to change the subject while he can.

 

“I dunno yet, I’d like to make better gaming content, so if I did go to school, that would be my main focus,” Yuri answered, “I’d also get a cat,”

 

Yuuri couldn’t help himself, he laughed at that. “Can’t you do that now?”

 

“No, my stupid dad is allergic, but that’s a load of crap. I’ve seen him around cats before and I know it’s just because he doesn’t like them.” 

 

“Yuuuuuraaaa!” A voice called from the entrance of the kennel. Both boys poked their heads out of their respective pens and Yuuri froze. Victor Nikiforov had only gotten more attractive since the last time Yuuri saw him. He cut his long gorgeous hair, but his sharp blue eyes still did things to Yuuri’s heart. 

 

“What the hell are you doing here, old man?” Yuri yelled as Yuuri quickly ducked his head back into the dog pen. 

 

“I came to pick you up, of course! Mama said you’d be late for dinner otherwise.” Victor answered in a cheerful voice, Yuri didn’t look amused in the slightest.

 

“Who cares if I’m late? I don’t see any of you spending your free time doing charity work!” 

 

“Give me some time, I only got back last night!” Victor chuckled, “You know we all love that you’re doing this, don’t you?”  

 

“Yeah right, Mama’s just wants me out of the way,”

 

“You know that’s not true, Yura,” Yuuri feels like he shouldn’t be listening to this, but he can’t just ignore it and keep filling the dog bowls. Victor might notice his existence and Yuuri spent way too long trying to keep that from happening. It turns out that Yuuri didn’t even need to hide, because Victor poked his head around the corner of the pen. “Hello, by the way, you’re Yuuri, right?”

 

Yuuri nearly jumped out of his skin as he turned to face Victor, “Y-Yes! Hi Victor, it’s nice to see you’re home and doing well!” Yuuri could have slapped himself, Victor didn’t even know he existed up until this moment, so why would Yuuri welcome him home when he shouldn’t know anything about Victor either?

 

Victor simply smiled at him, “Thank you, it’s great to be back, Yura has told me a lot about you,” 

 

“Shut the hell up, old man! I have not!” Yuri yelled, Yuuri could see from the corner of his eye that the teen was blushing. He smiled at that,

 

“Yura, I didn’t know you were so fond of me,” Yuuri teased. Because teasing Yuri was normal. He teased Yuri daily, so why would the presence of his brother change that?

 

“Katsudon, you are so full of shit! The only reason I would talk about you would be to complain about all this dog work you make me do!” Yuri shouted as he turned away from them and continued filling up dog bowls. 

 

“Yeah, sure, you love me and you know it,” Yuuri chuckled as he continued as well, with his back to Victor he shouldn’t get flustered.

 

“How much more work do you have, Yura? Mama will be really upset if we’re both late,” Victor asked as he leaned against one of the kennels.

 

“I gotta help Katsudon finish this, then I have to change the litter boxes in the cattery.” Yuri answered, “So probably another half hour,”

 

“I can finish here and clean the litter boxes for you, Yura. I don’t want you getting scolded again.” Yuuri offered and Yuri groaned,

 

“Can’t I just skip dinner?” He asked,

 

“You already know the answer to that,” Victor replied, “Mama has been working really hard on this and you will be polite and eat every bite,” 

 

“Whatever,” Yuri grumbled, as he put down his last dog bowl, “Guess I’ll see you tomorrow then, Katsudon,” 

 

“See you,” Yuuri waved, but Yuri didn’t see it as he was already heading towards the door. 

 

“Thank you for letting him go early, Yuuri. It means a lot to get to spend some time with him,” Yuuri was not prepared to be hit with a full on Victor Nikiforov smile, but there it was. He felt his face heat up as he replied,

 

“Anytime,” though, his brain was having a meltdown, so he was only about 75 percent sure that he actually said it in English. Victor seemed to understand either way, and turned to follow out where his brother had left. Yuuri wasn’t sure he’d survive another smile like that.

 


 

“You’re home late, long day at the office, Sweet Heart?” Phichit called from the living room as Yuuri entered the apartment they shared.

 

“Shut up, I just stayed a little longer to help Mari lock up.” Yuuri answered back as he locked the door and took his shoes off.

 

“What a kind little brother, I made curry, it’s on the stove.” 

 

“Well aren’t you a good little housewife,” Yuuri teased as he walked into the kitchen, he was famished and nothing beats a good home cooked meal from his roommate.

 

“I’m the best little housewife, thank you very much!” Phichit called as Yuuri took out a scoop of rice from the rice cooker and ladled some curry on top of it. He made his way into the living room where his best friend was playing some android game he has been obsessing over for the past week.

 

“Didn’t this game come out a year ago?” Yuuri asked, remembering Yura playing it on one of his streams. Yuuri made sure never to miss a stream, even if he was just listening to it for background noise.

 

“Yeah, but I didn’t get the chance to play it until now. Gotta say, the story is really good,” Phichit admired as his character started marching very slowly with an entire army behind him. Yuuri watched Phichit play for awhile, wondering if he should bring up the fact that Victor was back, or if he should just drop it. Phichit knew about Yuuri’s admiration with Victor, but that was years ago, there is no reason for Yuuri to be making such a big deal over this.

 

“So, Victor’s back in town,” Phichit said casually as he played, Yuuri groaned into his bowl.

 

“I know, he came to the shelter earlier,”

 

“Did he come to confess his undying love for you and say that he’s missed you every second that he was gone?” Phichit teased, making Yuuri elbow him.

 

“Don’t be stupid, he came to pick up Yura,” Phichit laughed,

 

“That sounds about right, so what are you gonna do?” 

 

“What do you mean?” Yuuri asked, unsure of where Phichit was going with this,

 

“Yuuri, you’ve had a crush on Victor for years!” 

 

“No I haven-” Yuuri started, but Phichit kept talking,

 

“This is your chance, you’re not freshman and senior anymore! You are both adults with careers and tax returns! Ask him out on a date!” 

 

“Okay, one, I never had a crush on Victor, I just admired his confidence. Two, I don’t even know if he’s gay. And three, even if he were gay, he could do so much better than a blob of anxiety like myself... This isn’t some fairytale.” Yuuri’s voice faded off  at the end, he stared down at his curry. Phichit paused the game and turned to him.

 

“Yuuri, I love you, but you’re selling yourself short here. Anyone would be lucky to date an amazing person like you. You are more than your anxiety, you know that, right?” Yuuri just scoffed,

 

“It sure doesn’t feel like it,”

 

“You just don’t see yourself the way others do. You are loved around the entire town Yuuri, you spend all day getting animals out of tough situations and afterwards you go and help out at your family’s shelter, what can be better than that?” Phichit wrapped an arm around him, 

 

“That’s not special, Phichit, dog’s just make more sense, they don’t try to pressure me into anything and they only hurt me when they feel threatened, no ulterior motives,” Yuuri put his bowl down on the coffee table and leaned into his friend’s embrace. “Human’s hurt people for their own gain and I hate that,”

 

“Is this about Cason? Yuuri, he was an asshole,” Phichit pulled Yuuri in closer.

 

“We were together for four years, Phichit, all I was to him was a rebellious phase against his parents,”

 

“I know, but that was just one guy, why are you letting that ruin everyone else out there for you?” Phichit asked, running his free hand through Yuuri’s hair as his friend rested his head on his shoulder. 

 

“What if it happens again? How am I possibly supposed to trust someone without thinking that they have some other reason for being with me?” Yuuri asked, tensing up, “it’s not like I have much to give in a relationship anyways, I have a busy schedule,”

 

“Okay, maybe you aren’t ready for another relationship just yet, but Yuuri, you don’t have to be so hard on yourself. You are such a kind person, Cason just took that and used it to his advantage, none of that was your fault.” 

 

“I just feel like I could have done more, maybe if I tried harder I could have made it work,” Yuuri could feel the tears started to prickle in his eyes, he blinked them back though. He already spent too much time crying over this.

 

“All relationships are a two way street, don’t be mad at yourself when he was the one who used you,” Phichit pulled Yuuri back and rested his forehead against his own, smiling reassuringly at him. “You are so wonderful, Yuuri, and I’ll remind you of that everyday until you actually believe it.”

 

Yuuri returned the smile shakily, he had no idea what he had done to deserve such a good friend like Phichit. 

 

“Thanks, Peach,”

 

“Anytime,” Phichit replied, as he pulled away to return to his game. Yuuri leaned his head against Phichit’s shoulder as he continued to watch.

 


 

 

“Alright everyone, first off welcome to the first day of school! Now, there are a lot of you here today, so as we go around the room, please state your name and where you are from!” The teacher said slowly and with way too much enthusiasm. 

 

Yuuri sat near the back behind his sister. At 12 years old he found American schools extremely odd. His family had just immigrated here from Japan, and he wasn’t totally comfortable with the language and customs yet. Their school had a program for foreigners though, so they had a before school session to help them become more comfortable. 

 

“I’m JJ from Canada!” A raven haired boy stood up and yelled from the front of the class, making the other students laugh at his eagerness. Yuuri, on the other hand shrank down in his seat, not having the guts to be as eager as that kid.

 

“That’s wonderful! Welcome!” The teacher praised, as the other kids went around introducing themselves, Yuuri tried his best to pay attention, but he was more focused on his own introduction then anything.

 

‘I’m Katsuki Yuuri from Japan, no, this is America, first name first, I’m Yuuri Katsuki from Japan… hi, I’m Yuuri Katsuki... from Japan…. Konichiwa I’m Katsuki Yuuri… Stupid, stupid, stupid!’ Yuuri was shaking at this point, he didn’t want to draw any attention to himself. 

 

“You okay?” A Russian accented voice asked next to him and Yuuri turned to see a pair of beautiful blue eyes staring at him. The boy next to him looked around Mari’s age, he had long silver hair and perfectly unblemished skin. He looked more like a model than a student to Yuuri,

 

“Um…” was the best Yuuri could get out,

 

“Nervous?” The boy asked with a small smile. Yuuri would have thought he was teasing him if not for the fact that his eyes looked so kind. All he could do was nod in response, “Me too, America sure is different, huh?” 

 

“Yeah,” Yuuri whispered, Mari had peaked behind her to see who Yuuri was talking to, but didn’t interrupt. 

 

“Tell you what, if we can get through introductions, I’ll share some of the piroshki’s my dedushka made for me, how about that?” The boy smiled encouragingly at Yuuri who returned the smile immediately and nodded. 

 

When Yuuri’s turn came up, he quickly stood up, “I’m Yuuri Katsuki from Japan, it’s nice to be here!” He bowed and took his seat just as fast. A chuckle came from the boy beside him who gave him the thumbs up, Yuuri sighed in relief. Yuuri watched as the boy stood up, eager to know his name.

 

“My name is Victor Nikiforov, pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

Chapter Text

Victor woke up at 6 AM sharp, he hopped out of bed and ran straight into the bathroom to start his shower. As the water heated up he looked at himself in the mirror, a huge smile on his face. 

 

“Alright, it’s your first day at the clinic, you’re a great vet who’s gonna help hundreds of animals, you got this!” He hyped himself up, then started to undress for his shower.

 

Afterwords, he made his way downstairs where his stepfather was already awake making coffee,

 

“Dobraye ootro, Petya,” Victor greeted, the older man just grunted at him. Victor opened the cabinets and started to make himself a bowl of cereal. “I’m super excited about today, it’s my first day with Yakov at the clinic and I can’t wait to start helping the animals! I’ll tell you all about it when I get home!” 

 

“Vitya, you’re too much right now, not before my coffee,” Petya grumbled, pouring himself a cup. Victor just frowned and nodded as he sat at the table to eat. “Just try not to get in Yakov’s way, okay?” His stepfather said as he made his way upstairs to his study. Victor just sighed,

 

“Home sweet home…”

 


 

Victor walked into the clinic and was greeted by a familiar face.

 

“Chris!” 

 

“Victor! I heard your beautiful ass was back in town!” Chris called from the reception desk. He made his way to Victor and pulled him into a hug, “how are you, Chéri?” 

 

“A thousand times better now that you're here!" Victor said, squeezing his best friend before pulling away. "You didn't tell me that you were working with Yakov!"

 

"Only on the weekends, he hasn't had much help around here lately so I thought I'd lend a hand,"

 

“How sweet of you,” Victor teased, earning him a shove,

 

“If you two are done, we have real work to do,” a voice snapped from an office behind the counter. 

 

“Yakov!” Victor yelled, jumping over the counter and all but tackling the older man who sat at his desk,

 

“Vitya! Get off of me!” The older man yelled, trying to get out of Victor’s death grip.

 

“I missed you too, Yakov! Vet clinics just aren’t the same without you!” 

 

“You little-”

 

“Yuuri!” Chris called as the front door dinged, indicating someone had entered the clinic. 

 

“He’s here early as always,” Yakov murmured, standing up and making his way out of the office. Victor followed suit and saw Chris talking to Yuuri Katsuki.

 

“Good morning, Chris, I got a couple dogs in the van that need to be checked out,” 

 

“Of course, Chéri, you know the deal, just fill out the paperwork for them and I’ll go bring them to the back.” Chris said, reclaiming his seat behind the desk. “How many did you bring by today?”

 

“Five,” Yuuri answered, Chris hummed and printed out five copies of the paperwork, put them on a clipboard, and handed them to him.

 

“Chris, you and Vitya go get the dogs and bring them inside,” Yakov ordered, it was then that Yuuri looked up, made brief eye contact with Victor, before turning to Yakov.

 

“Good morning Yakov, Victor,” He greeted, face a touch redder than normal. Victor smiled, he didn’t know too much about the younger man, but he had always seemed quieter than most.

 

“Good morning Yuuri, glad to see you’re doing well today,” he greeted. Yuuri simply nodded, looking down at the clipboard and making his way to the waiting area. Victor followed Chris outside to an animal control car. They could hear the barking already.

 

“Now, some of these dogs can be a bit nervous, so keep that in mind,” Chris said, opening the back to show four crates separating the dogs.

 

“I thought he said there were five?” Victor asked, peeking through the thick bars, he got his answer a few seconds later when he spotted two grey pitbull puppies sharing a crate, huddled close together towards the back. “These pups look too young to be away from their mother,” Victor noted.

 

“Well, Yuuri wouldn’t have taken them if he didn’t have a good reason,” Chris said, opening a different crate and leashing up a collie. “Come on now, you know Yakov isn’t very patient,” Victor followed his lead, opening the crate with the puppies in it and scooping both of them up in his arms. 

 


 “So, from what I can tell, these two are about 7 weeks old, normally a puppy is weaned from its mother at 6 weeks, but still stays with the litter until it is 9 weeks.” Yakov explained as Victor did a basic checkup on the pups.

 

“That’s right, but these two were found early this morning by a woman jogging in the park. She found them in a box near the dumpster and called animal control right away, there were three of them, but one of them was a runt and had already passed away by the time I got there.” Yuuri informed from the entrance to the room. He still refused to look directly at Victor, but he didn’t mind, there were more important matters to attend to.

 

One of the puppies started gnawing at Victor’s hand when it got close, making him chuckle, “Aren’t you a feisty one?” He cooed, wiggling his finger around the pup’s mouth. “Well from what I can tell, they seem to be doing okay, but they could grow to have behavioral problems from being taken away from their mother too early.” 

 

“I already have people looking around to find the mother, either she was living on the streets with only three puppies or someone dumped them out. If it’s the former, then the mother should be returning to the spot the puppies were left in, if it’s the latter, then we have security cameras all over the park, and can find the culprit easily.” Yuuri explained, glaring at the floor. Victor figured he was thinking the same thing he was; humans can be so cruel. 

 

Yuuri’s cell phone went off, he quickly answered and walked out of the back room. Yakov took a syringe from they tray beside the table and handed it to Victor, “Take their blood so we can test them for parvo.” He instructed, Victor nodded and took the syringe.

 


 Victor sighed, he was exhausted. He skipped lunch to keep an eye on the puppies, and stayed an extra 2 hours to make sure the night shift knew all the details in taking care of dogs so young. 

 

"You look like you could use a drink," Chris offered, 

 

"And dinner," Victor added, "you didn't have to stay and wait for me,"

 

"I know I didn't have to, but I wanted to catch up," Victor smiled at that. Chris has been his best friend for years, he missed him the most.

 

"Alright then, where are we going?" 

 

"Celestino's," Chris answered, "Masumi is bartending there and I haven't seen him in awhile,"

 

"You two aren't living together anymore?" Victor asked as they made their way to the parking lot and got into Chris' car.

 

"No, it was putting too much stress on our relationship, so he is staying with his little sister right now and I'm couch surfing." Chris answered sheepishly, be pulled out of the parking lot and made his way to the only Italian restaurant in town. "Our relationship is fine now, we just weren't ready to move in together so early,"

 

"Chris! You're couch surfing! With who?" Victor asked, flabbergasted. 

 

"A couple people, Mila, Sara and Mikki, Yuuri and Phichit, I even slept on JJ's couch a couple times," Victor couldn't believe what he was hearing, his best friend was practically homeless and he didn't even know. 

 

It wasn't even like Chris could just move back in with his parents either. They had moved back to Switzerland after he graduated, but Chris wanted to stay in America to be with his boyfriend.

 

"Chris, this is crazy, you are going to stay with me until you find a place to live." Victor demanded, pulling out his phone and sending a group text to his parents.

 

"Your parents hate me," Chris laughed, 

 

"They don't hate you, they just thought you were a bad influence," Victor smiled, thinking back on all the trouble he and Chris got into growing up. 

 

"Oh Chéri, I'm still a bad influence," Chris laughed as he pulled up to the restaurant and parked the car. 

 

They made their way inside and sat at the bar where Masumi was working. 

 

"Chris! What are you doing here?" Masumi asked, more surprised than happy to see them. Chris wrapped his arm around Victor's shoulder.

 

"Victor's home! I wanted to get dinner with him and see your gorgeous face," Chris explained, Masumi seemed to calm down a bit at that,

 

"Right, hi Victor, it's nice to see you again,"

 

"Likewise," Victor said, finding the man’s behavior odd.

 

"Masumi, I think I'll pay out now," an older looking man said at the other end of the bar,

 

"Yes, of course!" Masumi said, printing up the man's bill and handing it to him. "What can I get you two to drink?" Masumi asked, handing Victor and Chris menus.

 

They placed their order with Masumi, and waited. To Victor, it seemed like the Masumi was avoiding them, he was never super close with the burnette, so he’s not sure if this was normal behavior for him. 

 

The bar stool next to Victor pulled out and was taken by a familiar face. 

 

“Chris told me you were back in town!” Phichit greeted, the shirt of his server uniform unbuttoned and his apron placed on the bar.

 

“Phichit, nice to see you again,” Victor greeted, “You work here?” 

 

“Yep! Just got off, hey Masumi! Can I get that cider Yuuri ordered last time?” Phichit asked,

 

“Sure,” Masumi said, pouring him some and putting it in front of him before going back to talking to the guests.

 

“Ah, Yuuri, what a fine specimen,” Chris sighed into his beer,

 

“You can say that again,” Phichit laughed, “Literally anyone who meets him, loves him, but lately he seems to be more focused on the negative,”

 

“Why is that?” Victor asked, he couldn’t get a good read on Yuuri at the animal shelter or clinic aside from the fact that he is very introverted, but he didn’t seem to be the type to be so pessimistic. 

 

“He has his reasons, just something he needs to get passed,” Phichit sighed, Victor nodded in understanding. He had been in that kind of situation before. 

 


 

Victor’s biological father, Volya Nikiforov, was apart of the Russian army. He and Victor’s mother, Nadia, were high school sweethearts. They got married and had Victor within a year of graduating. Nadia was so in love with Volya, she told Victor everything he wanted to know about the man. They received so many letters from him, and they were sure to return every one. 

 

His father would always make his return a surprise for Victor, showing up at his school, the park, the shopping center, there was even one time he casually came into the dining room and sat down to eat dinner as if he was expected. Victor loved his father so much, and they were happy for awhile.

 

Until the Second Chechen War. Russia had won that war, but Victor had lost his father a year into it. After that, he and his mother had to move in with his grandfather while Nadia found a better paying job. Victor shut down, only leaving his room when needed, not talking. He half expected it to be another surprise from his father, like one day he would just pop up at his school again and things would be back to normal. But he was at the funeral, he saw all those crying faces, he knew things were never going to be the same.

 

His mother married his stepfather 2 years later when Victor was 10, giving the excuse that he can support both of them and they can live comfortably again. Victor knew she didn’t love him like she loved his father, but he couldn’t help but feel so betrayed. Here he was, wanting to preserve the memories of the one they both loved, while she was off trying to find an easier life. He went along with it, but he didn’t make it any secret that he was upset about the situation. 

 

Yuri came into the world a year later, Victor wanted nothing to do with this new family his mother seemed to be making for herself. He finally broke one night, when Yuri was up crying in their shared bedroom and his mother was trying her hardest to make him go to sleep.

 

“Just throw him out the window and be done with it!” Victor yelled from his bed,

 

“Victor!” Nadia yelled in horror, her long silver hair twirling around her as she turned to her older son and glaring at him. “Fix your attitude before I make you, we are both tired, I’ll get him quieted down here soon,” 

 

“I’m not just tired, Mama! I’m sick of all of this! First you replace dad and now you’re replacing me! Are you gonna get rid of me too? Toss me aside and forget that I ever existed?” Victor yelled, he could see the hurt in his mother’s eyes but he didn’t care anymore. He had been silent long enough.

 

“Victor, no one is being replaced,” she tried,

 

“Except Papa,” Victor scoffed, curling up into a ball in the corner.

 

“Not even Papa,” Nadia said quietly, she sat on Victor’s bed with Yuri still in her arms, crying. “Victor, I loved your Papa with all of my heart, how could I not? He blessed me with the best boy a mother could ask for. But we couldn’t keep depending on dedushka f or everything, I needed to marry Petya so that I could get out of that house and support you.” She explained, but Victor already knew all this. He glared at the baby.

 

“Why did you have to have another baby?” He asked, his mother smiled down at Yuri who was finally starting to settle down. 

 

“Because I knew you would make a wonderful big brother, Vitya,” She cooed, scooting up the bed so that she was sitting next to him. “He’s gonna need you, Vitya, he seems to have inherited my stubborn temper, and Petya doesn’t seem to appreciate that,” She laughed and Victor uncurled from his ball and leaned against his mother’s shoulder, looking down at the baby.

 

“...He’s got your eyes,” Victor realized for the first time, offering his finger to the baby who seized it and squeezed.

 

“He does,” his mother agreed, “I think his hair is blond though, it’s a lot darker than yours or mine was,” 

 

“I like it,” Victor smiled, as the baby started mouthing on his finger. His mother balanced the baby on her thighs so that she could wrap one arm around her older son.

 

“Everything is gonna be alright, Vitya, I promise. I will never forget those years I got to spend with your father, just like you won’t. But we couldn’t keep living half lives because he is no longer with us, does that make sense?” She asked quietly, Victor nodded and snuggled closer, until his head was resting on his mother’s lap as well. 

 

His mother ran her hand through his hair and started humming to her boys, an old Russian lullaby that Victor hadn’t heard since his father passed. He fell asleep to the melody. 

 


 

“Victor, are you with us still?” Phichit asked, snapping in front of his face. Victor jumped, and looked at him.

 

“Sorry! I guess I zoned out!” He explained, laughing. He was reminded about why his thoughts trailed off as his friend’s went back to talking to each other.


'Hopefully whatever you need to get passed isn’t as serious as mine was,’ Victor thought, ‘Maybe you just need a friend.’ He smiled to himself as their food arrived.

Chapter Text

Yuuri pulled up to the familiar clinic with a smile on his face. He had successfully found the mother pitbull wandering around the park, and was now about to reunite her with her puppies. 

 

He opened the back of his van and the mother looked very frightened, “Easy girl, I’m gonna take you to your babies,” he soothed, offering his hand out for her to sniff. The dog nuzzled into his hand a moment later and seemed to calm down a bit.

 

“That’s a good girl,” Yuuri smiled and itched behind her ear. He used his free hand to clip a leash on her collar and got her out of the van. He walked into the clinic where Christophe was already opening the front door for him.

 

“I see our hero has found Mama,” Chris praised, a big smile on his face,

 

“Please, I’m not a hero, I’m just doing my job,” Yuuri quickly brushed off,

 

“On the contrary, I find reuniting a mom to her missing babies quite heroic,” Victor commented as he came out of the back room, wearing his famous Victor Nikiforov smile. Yuuri quickly turned his gaze to the dog. Oh god, was he not ready to be faced with Victor right now, but he had to do his job.

 

“Th-thanks, where are the pups?” Yuuri asked,

 

“In the back, I’d like to get an examination on Mama first before we show them to her, make sure she isn’t carrying anything that could potentially hurt her babies,” Victor said, offering his hand to take the leash. 

 

“You think she could have something?” Yuuri asked, looking up at him and handing him the leash. 

 

“There’s always a possibility, and since there are only two left rather than the usual six puppies, I’d rather be safe than sorry,” 

 

“Makes sense, I guess I’ll fill out the paperwork and get going,” Yuuri said, already backing up towards the door. 

 

“Wait, Yuuri, are you busy tonight?” Victor asked, his words rushing out.

 

“Um, what?” Yuuri asked, unsure if he heard Victor right. Surely he was just tired from all the hours he’s been putting in at the shelter.

 

“Chris and I were going to go out for drinks after work, and I was wondering if you and Phichit would like to join us?” Victor asked, a welcoming smile on his face.

 

“Um…” Was as much as Yuuri could get out. Why was this one man so intimidating? Yuuri can’t even form a sentence when those piercing blue eyes were looking directly at him. 

 

“Phichit said he’d go,” Chris interjected, “I’m bringing Masumi, and Mila said she’d join if she can get out of work in time,” 

 

“I would really like to go, but I have to help at the shelter after work,” Yuuri said, looking at Chris now that he had an excuse.

 

“You can’t take one day off? Surely your family has enough volunteers for one night.” Chris pouted, Yuuri smiled apologetically.

 

“That would mean Yuri would have to help with the evening dog walks, and you know how he reacts every time I even suggest he leave the cattery.” 

 

“That can be arranged!” Victor said, “I can call him later and convince him,”

 

“I don’t think that’s a good-” Yuuri started, but Victor was already smiling and making his way towards the back with the mama pitbull. 

 

“I’ll see you tonight, Yuuri! I’ll text Phichit the details!” Victor sang, closing the employee’s only door. 

 

“Chris, help,” Yuuri pleaded, turning to the smirking blond,

 

“Relax Chéri, it’ll be fun, when’s the last time you enjoyed yourself a little bit?” Chris asked, hooking their arms as he walked Yuuri to his car.

 

“I’ll have you know that I enjoy myself every day, my job is very rewarding,” Yuuri huffed,

 

“Okay, let me rephrase, when’s the last time you went out with actual human beings?” Chris asked, opening the van door for Yuuri. 

 

“I’m more comfortable with smaller groups,” Yuuri said, getting into the van,

 

“Just stay for one drink, you can leave after that,” The blond reassured,

 

“One drink, and no one will give me any grief?” Yuuri asked, needing to make sure,

 

“I promise,” 

 


 Chris is a filthy liar, that Yuuri will never trust with promises again. 

 

“Yuuri! Please stay! Just one more drink!” Mila begged as Yuuri announced his departure, she was only halfway done with her first beer, but had taken a couple shots as well. Her face was red and words slurring together. 

 

“Mila, I have to go check on the shelter,” Yuuri said, but as he stood up, Mila wrapped her arms around his waist, “Come on, Mila,” 

 

“Yuuuuurrriii, I haven’t seen you in five-ever! Please just one more drink? I wanna catch up!” She begged, Yuuri looked over to Chris who seemed too caught up in talking to Phichit to notice. Yuuri growled under his breath.

 

“Mila, let Yuuri go, if he wants to leave, let him,” Victor pipped up from next to Chris. Yuuri made eye contact with him, and gave him a grateful smile. Mila, seeing she was outnumbered, pouted and released Yuuri.. 

 

“Fine, but we need to catch up soon! Okay Yuuri?” She snapped, jabbing her finger in his side making Yuuri laugh,

 

“Okay, okay,” Yuuri promised,

 

“Can I walk you to your car?” Victor asked, Yuuri turned back to Victor and took a deep breath.

 

'Calm the hell down, Yuuri, he is just a guy and you are being so stupid in freaking out every time he talks to you,’

 

“I actually carpooled with Phichit, but the shelter is only a few blocks from here, so I can walk,” Yuuri said, proud that he was able to make eye contact with Victor while giving his excuse.

 

“Then why don’t we take my car? I need to go pick Yuri up anyways, I’m sure you’re tired from work,” Victor smiled,

 

“You don’t have to,” Yuuri said,

 

“I know I don’t have to, but I want to,” Victor insisted, pulling out his wallet and handed Chris a couple dollar bills. “Pay for my drink, would you?”

 

“Of course, Chéri, be safe,” he flirted, Victor rolled his eyes and stood up. 

 

Yuuri had no choice but to follow the Russian outside. Victor led him to a bright pink cadillac and held the passenger door open for Yuuri.

 

“Nice ride,” Yuuri smiled as he sat down and buckled himself in,

 

“Thanks, I thought it suited me,” Victor shut the door and made his way to his own seat. Buckling up and driving out of the parking lot. “Sorry for dragging you out when you clearly didn’t want to come,” Victor apologized moments later, “I could tell you were uncomfortable with Mila all over you like that,”

 

Yuuri sighed, he was being rude. “It’s not that I didn’t want to go, it was just really crowded. And Mila was fine, I know she’s a touchy person,” 

 

“You don’t like crowds,” Victor noted, more to himself than to Yuuri, “I’ll keep that in mind next time,” 

 

“Next time?” Yuuri asked, surely Victor didn’t want to spend even more time with him after tonight?

 

“Yeah, maybe we can do something quieter, like movie night at one of our places?” Victor offered, Yuuri was flabbergasted. Why on earth would Victor want to spend more time with Yuuri? Didn’t he realize how boring Yuuri was?

 

“Why do you want to spend so much time with me?” Yuuri asked, Victor thought for a minute as he pulled up to the shelter and parked the car. He turned to Yuuri with a warm smile.

 

“Because I want to get to know you better, you’ve made such an impact on Yuri’s life. He use to be so quiet and wouldn’t open up about anything, but ever since he started volunteering he’s become more vocal and passionate,” Victor explained,

 

“I’ve hardly done anything,” Yuuri dismissed, trying to think about how Yuri was before coming to the shelter.

 

“I disagree, you did something, and it’s changed him for the better." Victor's smile grew, "I'd like to be friends, Yuuri,"

 

'Victor Nikiforov wants to be my friend' Yuuri thought he was gonna faint. He was in Victor's car, with Victor telling him he wanted to be friends. And now Yuuri was gaping at him like an idiot. 

 

But Yuuri couldn't speak up, he was having flashbacks of the last time a cute guy was showering him with compliments in a car. 

 

'Victor isn't Cason though, he's so much kinder' Yuuri took a deep breath,

 

"O-okay," he said, Victor's smile only grew, almost heart-shaped.

 

"Perfect!" Victor exclaimed, turning the car off and hopping out. Yuuri followed suit.

 

"Katsudon!" A voice yelled from behind them, and there was Yuri, leash in hand with a fluffy brown and white dog, "why am I walking dogs when you were just gonna show up anyways?" He snapped, glaring daggers at him.

 

"Sorry Yura, I came to help you out!" Yuuri said, smiling and taking the leash from the teen.

 

"And what are you doing here, old man?" Yuri asked, turning his glare on his brother.

 

"I came to take you home, but if you still have work to do here, go ahead, I don't mind waiting."

 

"Whatever, Katsudon, that one is ready to go back inside, Yuuko and I are halfway done no thanks to you," Yuri spat, making his way back into the kennels, the two older men followed suit. 

 

"Thanks for all your help, Yura, I can take over from here if you want to go back to the cattery," the teen took his chance while he could and ditched them.

 

"Can I help?" Victor asked as Yuuri put the dog he had back in its kennel,

 

"Sure, normally walking dogs is a two person job, one of us takes the right side and the other takes the left to avoid confusion." Yuuri exited the dog pen and marked the current time on the dog's information sheet, indicating he already had his nightly walk. 

 

Yuuri then opened the next pen and leashed up the next dog, a big brown poodle. He pet the dog as he talked "make sure the door is secured when you enter and leave a dog pen, or else the dog could escape."

 

Yuuri then exited the pen with the dog and handed the leash to Victor.

 

"Makkachin," Victor read on the front of her cage, the dog barked in response and jumped on Victor who was quick to brace himself. Laughing Victor pet her, “You sure are excited,”

 

“She loves people,” Yuuri said as he leashed up his own dog to walk, “She’s been here for about a month now, her previous guardian forfeited her,” 

 

They started to walk, keeping their distance from each other so that the leashes didn’t get tangled up. Victor seemed to really like Makkachin, he looked very comfortable with the poodle.

 

“So, how are the puppies doing?” Yuuri asked, trying to make small talk.   

 

“Good, the check up with Mama went great and she was able to reunite with them before I left the clinic,” Victor explained, Yuuri smiled at that, glad to know the family was in good hands.

 

“I’m glad, I hate dealing with puppy separation cases, though I guess they are a lot more manageable than the abuse cases,” Yuuri said, looking down at the dogs walking together.

 

“Do you have many of those?” Victor asked, Yuuri was quick to shake his head,

 

“No, normally it’s just that the animal’s guardian doesn’t know how to properly take care of them properly, so when animal control is called I help them understand what they are doing wrong and how they can fix it. Stuff like underfeeding or keeping them outside all day in the heat are the main problems. There is the occasional abuse case though, where the guardian is knowingly hurting the animal, and that’s when I’m forced to remove the pet.” 

 

“You say guardian rather than owner?” Victor noted, Yuuri nodded looking up at him.

 

“I like it better, saying owner makes the animal seem like some sort of inanimate object, but guardian makes the pet seem like part of the family,” The smile Victor gave him was too much, Yuuri’s heart skipped a beat and he quickly looked back at the dogs. They had stopped so Yuuri’s dog could do his business, and Makkachin moved closer to Yuuri, sniffing him. 

 

Yuuri couldn’t help himself, he squatted down and pet the poodle.

 

“How old is Makkachin?” Victor asked,

 

“Two or three I think? I’d have to check her chart. I remember her guardian was a young man who was juggling college and work, living in a one bedroom apartment and couldn’t handle a big dog. The poor kid seemed so upset about the decision, but I talked him into adopting a cat instead, with the promise that I’d find a good home for Makka. Cats are so much easier for college students just starting off.” 

 

“Not many kids can accept when they take on too much, that was very mature of him,” Victor commented. Yuuri stood back up when his dog started pulling on the leash again. 

 

They finished walking the two dogs and locked them back up in the kennels. Yuuri had found it miraculously easier to talk to Victor as they made their way, walking all the dogs. They ran into Yuuko a couple times, who was grateful for the extra help.

 

“So do you have any pets? I’m sure working around all these animals has it’s temptations,” Victor asked as they leashed up the last two dogs. Yuuri paused,

 

“I did, a toy poodle, but he passed away a few years back,” his voice grew smaller at the memory of Vicchan. Yuuri lost his beloved friend a week after Cason broke up with him. Perhaps that is why the break up affected Yuuri so much, he had never felt lower in his life then he did at that point.

 

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to bring up a touchy subject,” Victor’s voice was sad and full of pity. Yuuri couldn’t have that though, he braved a smile and met Victor’s eyes.

 

“Don’t be, Vicchan had a great life, he was one of the first dogs my family took in and we made sure to give him all the love and attention a pup could ask for,” Victor didn’t seem convinced though. 

 

“That doesn’t mean it hurts any less, I can still remember the first time I had to euthanize an animal, I was a mess for days and I didn’t even know the cat,” Yuuri sighed, 

 

“Yeah, I miss him a lot, but I haven’t thought of getting another dog. It just seems wrong, like I’d be replacing him,”

 

“That’s okay, you do enough just by helping these animals.” Victor reassured, giving Yuuri an encouraging smile. Yuuri smiled back, and Victor was quick to change the subject as they started on their walk.

 


 Yuuri walked down the kennel with his dad behind him, he could see his breath due to the cold November air. Yuuri was officially 13 as of 9 hours ago, and after begging his parents for weeks, they finally agreed to let Yuuri adopt one of the dogs from the shelter.

 

“So, I can pick any of these?” Yuuri asked, 

 

“As long as it’s something you can walk and not be pulled around on the leash,” his dad said, laughing at the thought.

 

“Where are all the puppies?” 

 

“We don’t have any at the moment, puppies are always quick to get adopted,” Yuuri frowned. When he thought about his imaginary dog he always imagined it being a puppy so that they could spend many years together.

 

He kept looking through all the dogs until he came across one, a small brown poodle who was barking at him in excitement. 

 

“Dad, can I see this one?” Yuuri asked, turning to his father. Toshiya nodded and went into the pen. He leashed the dog and took it out so Yuuri could meet him. Yuuri sat down on the concrete floor and the dog jumped into his lap and started licking his face. Yuuri squealed and started petting the dog, trying to calm it down.

 

There was a flash and Yuuri looked up to see his father holding up the camera he wore around his neck with a smile on his face. 

 

“I think you’ve found your friend, Yuuchan,” Toshiya said and Yuuri nodded in agreement. His father looked at the chart and frowned slightly, keeping in mind how sensitive his son could be. “Yuuri, you should know that this dog is about 9 years old, that gives him about 3-5 years with you,” 

 

Yuuri looked down at his new friend who seemed so full of life. Would he still be this way in a few short years? He looked up at his father with a smile on his face,

 

“Then I’ll make them the best years of his life!” The boy said, making his father smile down at him,

 

“That’s my boy, come on, let's go out front so we can take a proper picture of the two of you,” Yuuri followed Toshiya outside and squatted down to his dog’s height as his father took a bunch of pictures of the two.

 

“Do you have a name for him yet, Yuuchan?” Toshiya asked, as they went inside to where his mother and sister were at the front desk.

 

Yuuri thought about it for a minute and smiled, “Vicchan!” he said, his sister rolled her eyes at him, but he didn’t care. He had a new best friend.

Chapter Text

Victor and Chris sat on Victor’s bed, laptop sitting on their laps as they looked at nearby places to live. The two had agreed on moving in together, and were now looking at possible houses to rent.

 

“I think I want to adopt a dog,” Victor said, “I didn’t get the chance to while I was in school, but now that I have the funds, I would really like one,”

 

“We’d have to rent something with a yard and doggy door, I’d hate for the poor thing to be locked up inside all day,” Chris said, leaning his head on his friend’s shoulder, “How about that one?” he pointed at a two story house, three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms.

 

“What would we use the third bedroom for?” Victor asked,

 

“Sex dungon,” His friend said, probably more seriously than Victor hoped.

 

“And how would I explain that one to Yuri?” Victor laughed,

 

“That’s when you give him the birds and the bees talk,”

 

“He’s already had that talk! You should have seen his face, the entire time he was blushing up a storm while me and Petya explained everything,” Victor thought about the memory, he came home in the middle of the semester when his Mama had called him up, asking if he’d be present for it. Of course he dropped everything to be there, knowing his stepfather he’d only explain things from a straight man’s perspective and Victor would be damned if his brother didn’t get all the details. 

 

Victor was a firm believer in that no one is truly born gay or straight, but it is developed as they grow and learn about their likes and dislikes. Yuri hasn’t ever dated anyone before, and he’s never told Victor about his preferences, but the young teen did seem grateful when Victor explained that attraction to men is something normal, and not disgusting. He was surprised when Petya seemed to agree with his statements.

 

“Well, it’s a less fun idea, but we could always use it as a guest bedroom, or with a house that big we could even foster some animals and give the Katsuki’s a break.” Chris suggested, Victor smiled at that. 

 

Over the past week, Yuuri had looked more and more exhausted. He explained that he makes sure to walk and feed every dog at the shelter every evening, and lately they have been getting more coming in than going out. So, if Victor could lighten his load, it would make Yuuri’s job even easier. That’s what friends are for.

 

“I’d like that,” Victor said, leaning his head against his friends.

 


 They were moving into their new home within the next month. There wasn’t that much furniture between the two of them; they each had their own queen sized beds and side tables, Victor had a dresser for his room, Chris had a couple couches for the living room. Victor bought a small TV stand for his TV, and a couple foldable tables for when they ate. They had small clutter to personalize the house, family pictures scattered the walls along with motivational posters the two thought looked nice. There were boxes scattered all over the house, waiting to be unpacked. Victor made note that he needed to buy a bookshelf along with a couple other things.

 

“This is the last box,” Nadia announced, placing it on top of the other’s in the corner of the living room.

 

Thank you so much for helping us, Mama ,” Victor said in Russian, hugging the older woman,

 

Of course, Vitenka ,” she said, kissing his cheek. “ This place is so big though, you’ll need to fill it up ,”

 

I was just thinking the same thing ,” Chris came down the stairs, followed by an annoyed looking Yuri.

 

“Can I go yet? I told Otabek I’d hang out with him today,” the teen complained. 

 

“Soon Yura, be patient,” his mother said, “I was going to take you boys out to lunch,” 

 

Yuri groaned, “Can I atleast invite Otabek?”

 

“Yura, stop being a brat,” Victor scolded,

 

“He can come if you behave yourself,” Nadia said, Yuri didn’t smile, but he looked slightly less annoyed as he pulled out his phone and plopping down on the couch. Victor figured that was the best he was gonna get out of his brother.

 

"Masumi still out with his sister, Chris? You should invite them too," Victor suggested, Chris sighed,

 

"I'd love to, but they left town to go shopping," Chris said,

 

"And they couldn't have rescheduled to help you boys move?" Nadia asked, she had never been Chris' biggest fan, but over the past month of living together they had bonded over their favorite subject, teasing Victor.

 

"Masumi said they have been planning this day for weeks, so it was important to him," Chris shrugged, "it doesn't matter, let him have his fun,"

 

"Well he's the one missing out, Phichit said he'd buy our first round at Celestino's if we sit in his section," Victor said, trying to lighten the mood.

 

"Otabek said he'd meet us there," Yuri pipped up, 

 

"Let's go then, into the car boys," Nadia said, hooking her arm with Victor's and leading him out the front door.

 


 "I've called you here to tell you something important," Phichit said, hovering over Yuuri's table. Yuuri wasn't sure why his roommate called him to his work in the middle of the day instead of waiting for him to get home that night, but it was making him feel really nervous. 

 

"Is everything okay?" Yuuri asked, his anxiety was really acting up today. It was Sunday, so he didn't have to work. He had spent the entire morning hiding in the shelter, cuddling the dogs.

 

"No, you're spending your day off working, and you need to stop it," Phichit scolded, Yuuri groaned and banged his head against the table. Of course, this was Phichit, when he said it was important it really wasn't. 

 

"Phichit, you scared me! I thought something happened!" Yuuri yelled, making a few heads turn.

 

"Something did happen! You aren't taking care of yourself!" 

 

"You know what I meant!" Yuuri stood up from his table, annoyed, "and for your information, I was taking care of myself, did it ever occur to you that being around animals helps me when I’m on the verge of an anxiety attack?” he started making his way towards the exit, but Phichit put a hand on his shoulder,

 

“Wait, Yuuri, I’m sorry, I didn’t know,” he apologized. Yuuri turned his way, giving him an unimpressed look. “You should have told me your anxiety was acting up, I would have called in to help you,”

 

“You shouldn’t need to skip work just because my brain is being unreasonable,” Yuuri said,

 

“We take care of each other, Yuuri, that’s what we do. If I came down with a fever, we both know you would be there nursing me back to health. Why would your mental illness be treated any differently?” Phichit said in a small voice so that any eavesdroppers didn’t listen in on their conversation. 

 

Yuuri shrugged, “I guess,”

 

“Please sit back down and let me treat you to lunch? It will make me feel better knowing I’m doing something to take care of my best friend,” Phichit said, already guiding Yuuri back to his booth. Yuuri sighed, letting himself be led to his seat. “Here,” Phichit pulled out a pair of headphones from his apron and handed them to Yuuri, “you listen to some music and block everything out, I’ll go order you some food. Anything in particular you want?”

 

“Just something simple… I don’t feel like making any decisions right now…” Yuuri admitted, plugging the headphones into his phone and putting on some piano music. Phichit ruffled his hair and disappeared around the corner. Yuuri closed his eyes and lost himself in the music.

 


 “Table for five, in Phichit’s section please,” Victor told the hostess as they walked into Celestino’s. 

 

“Of course! Right this way!” The hostess said, leading them to their table.

 

Victor stopped when he spotted a familiar head of messy black hair. Yuuri was sitting all by himself in a corner booth, eyes closed and looking peaceful. Victor debated on asking him to join them, but he looked so at ease, it felt like a crime to interrupt. 

 

The group sat at their table and it wasn’t long before they were greeted by the Thai server. 

 

“Hey guys, how was the move?” Phichit asked, 

 

“Long,” Yuri grumbled, looking down at his phone.

 

“We got all the boxes moved in, now all we have to do is unpack,” Chris informed, 

 

“What’s Yuuri doing over there by himself?” Victor asked, looking back at the Japanese man. Phichit followed his gaze and frowned slightly,

 

“Relaxing, it’s his day off and he needs time to himself,” 

 

“Shouldn’t he be home then? I know he doesn’t like crowds,” Victor asked, Phichit looked a little sheepish at that,

 

“That is kind of my fault, I dragged him here without thinking. He will be fine though, my shift is almost over and I’ll take him home,”

 

“Yuuri is lucky to have a friend that looks out for him the way that you do,” Chris admired, making Phichit blush slightly and waved him off,

 

“Of course I look out for him, Yuuri and I are besties! Now, what can I get you guys to drink?” he asked, taking their orders.

 

As they waited, they made small talk with each other. Yuri’s friend, Otabek joined them not long after and Nadia’s eyes instantly squared in on the helmet the teen carried. Victor knew that look anywhere, it was the same look she gave Chris every time he came over growing up.

 

“Otabek, was it? I couldn’t help but notice your helmet, do you ride a motorcycle?” She asked, voice a bit higher and full of false sweetness.

 

“I do, ma’am,” he said, Victor made eye contact with his brother and could tell Yuri knew where she was going with this as well.

 

“And your parents are okay with that?”

 

“Yes ma’am, they are the ones who signed the wavers, my dad has been riding motorcycles for years and taught me everything about them,”

 

“Mama, stop, Otabek knows how to be safe,” Yuri interjected,

 

“I’m not saying he doesn’t, I just think it’s a little dangerous to allow such young kids to be driving around on motorcycles,” She commented, Victor could tell by Yuri’s glare that this conversation was gonna get ugly really fast. He was searching his brain for safer topics to talk about.

 

“Hey Yuri! Maybe next weekend we could have a slumber party! I’ll make us dinner, and we can stay up all night watching all of our favorite movies!” Nadia looked over at her older son, seeing through his attempt and looking unimpressed. Yuri however, scoffed and looked away,

 

“Whatever, old man,” he said, slouching down in his seat and crossing his arms.

 

“Mama, would you like to go furniture shopping on our next day off together? Chris and I have been saving up a lot, and I’d like to fill the house up more,” Victor asked, glad that the fight was being put off until a more private location.

 

His mother sighed, “okay, we’ll have to bring Petya as well, he is better at carrying heavy objects.” That made Victor deflate a little bit. It’s not that he hates his stepfather, he just doesn’t seem to care much for Victor. 

 

Victor felt like he was being watched, so he turned around in his seat and was met by a pair of chocolate brown eyes staring at him. Victor gave Yuuri a welcoming smile and waved. Yuuri’s smile back was shaky and he averted his eyes down to a plate of food in front of him, not eating.

 

“I’ll be right back,” Victor said, getting up from the table and going over to Yuuri’s. He could feel eyes on his back, watching him. “Hi,” he said quietly, afraid to startle Yuuri,

 

“Hi Victor,” Yuuri replied, Victor could see the slight tremor in Yuuri’s hand as he held his fork,

 

“May I sit with you?” he asked, knowing he was probably going to get turned down, but he wanted to at least help Yuuri relax a little bit.

 

“You don’t have to, you looked like you were having fun over there.” Victor laughed,

 

“Trying to avoid my family from making a scene in public isn’t really what I would consider fun,” Victor said, Yuuri looked up from his food and gave him another shaky smile. “If you’d like to be alone, I understand. I thought you’d might like some company while you ate.”

 

Over the past month Yuuri had been opening up to Victor more and more. Victor would often go and help Yuuri with his evening walks and they would talk about anything and everything.

 

“If you’re sure, then okay,” Yuuri said, Victor slid into the other side of the booth and smiled at Yuuri. The younger man looked down at his food again, “that salad looks delicious,” he commented, knowing the best way to get Yuuri to open up is through small talk,

 

“It’s a lot,” Yuuri muttered, looking intimidated by the food in front of him. Victor cocked his head to the side, confused.

 

“You could always take some home if you don’t finish it,” he said, Yuuri nodded,

 

“You’re right, it’s just… nevermind,” he said, blushing slightly.

 

“What?” Victor asked, curious now,

 

“Nothing, it’s stupid,” Yuuri dismissed quickly,

 

“It’s not stupid if it’s bothering you,” Victor pushed, the Japanese man was so hard to read at times.

 

Yuuri sighed deeply, “It really is stupid, but it’s such a big salad, it’s almost... overwhelming,”

 

Victor started to understand the situation. Yuuri had never told him directly that he had anxiety, but he could pick it up on the way the man acted and held himself. Victor stood up,

 

“I’ll be right back,” he said, he walked back to his table and grabbed one of the small plates Phichit had brought them,

 

“What are you doing?” Yuri asked, 

 

“Just helping Yuuri out with something,” Victor said, and went back to Yuuri’s table. “Mind if I see your food for a second?” he asked, Yuuri just nodded and pushed the bowl towards Victor. Victor put a third of the salad onto the small plate along with the dressing, and then slid it towards Yuuri. “How's that? I thought maybe seeing a smaller portion would help. You can either get more or take the rest home with you when you’re done with that.”

 

Yuuri looked up at him, a small grateful smile on his face, “thank you,” he said in a small voice. Victor smiled back at him.

 

‘You have such a nice smile, Yuuri. I’d like to see it more,’

 

“Of course, that’s what friends are for,” he replied. Yuuri drizzled half of the dressing onto his salad and started to eat, “and like I said before, if something bothers you, it’s not stupid. I know what it’s like to be so stuck in your head it’s hard to do even basic things. When I was in school, there would be days I couldn’t even get myself to get out of bed.” Yuuri looked up at him, curious but hesitant to say anything. 

 

Victor knew he should tell Yuuri about the how the last five years; how he had to suffer through depression, all the therapy trips and pills he had to take. He would tell Yuuri more about it someday, but maybe unloading all of that while the man was trying to enjoy his lunch was a bad time. 

 

“What I’m saying is, I know what it’s like. So if you’re having a bad day, just let someone know. You have a lot of people you can fall back on,” 

 

“Th-thanks Victor, that really means a lot,” Yuuri said, giving him a more assuring smile than before. Victor returned it fully.

 

‘There you go Yuuri, please keep smiling,’

 


 Victor didn’t know how much longer he could keep going like this. All the schoolwork, his internship at the clinic, trying and failing to maintain a social life. It was too much, all he wanted to do was lay in bed all day and forget the world even existed.

 

‘I miss Mama,’ he thought to himself as he stared up at the ceiling of his studio apartment.

 

His alarm went off moments later, another night with little sleep. He should have used it to his advantage, study for next week's final or at least go out and have some fun.

 

 He’s been away from home for four years and he refuses to go back. Going back would make him want to drop out of college and stay in his bubble of a small town forever. Victor would be damned if he didn’t finish what he started. He rolled out of bed and got ready to go to the clinic.

 

The clinic was the same as always, he mostly sat in with his mentor and observed appointments. It was towards the end of the day when his mentor called him into the back room.

 

“Mrs. Gamez’s cat, Truty, is very old and very sick, keeping her alive would require a lot of medication which will only ease the pain sh0e is in. ” the woman started to explain, “Mrs. Gamez has agreed that we humanely euthanize her. She finished filling out the paperwork and is taking a moment to say her goodbyes.” Victor’s frown only grew, the poor woman was going to lose her friend. “I want you to be the one to euthanize the cat, Victor, this is the hardest part about the job, so take a moment to gather your thoughts. You are free to go home after.”

 

His mentor left him alone and Victor was panicking. Of course he knew this was a part of the job, but being faced with it now and running off of no sleep, he felt like he was going to faint. Victor had to end a cat’s life, he had to go in there, be calm and collected while a woman was crying over her pet, and give it a shot. And if he didn’t do it, he will be shunned by the entire clinic and told he doesn’t have what it takes to be a vet.

 

Victor felt something in him break at that moment. Like a little piece of him died, his innocence maybe? His youth? Sounds cliche when he tries to put it into words. He took a deep breath to steady himself, he felt so empty. 

 

Numbly, Victor left the back room, and towards the room Mrs. Gamez and Truty were.

Chapter Text

Yuuri laughed as he was tackled by Makkachin the moment he walked into the shelter, the large poodle gave him kisses and slobbered all over his face. 

 

“What are you doing at the front desk, girl?” Yuuri asked. The dog ignored him, continuing her assault on his face. He started scratching her chest, knowing that was her weak spot. She instantly sat down on his thighs and started kicking her leg. Yuuri laughed and started kissing the side of her snout.

 

"Are you two done making out?" His sister teased from behind the desk. Yuuri looked up to see she was watching him along with Victor and Chris, all were smiling down at the pair. Yuuri felt his face heat up.

 

"S-sorry!" Yuuri stammered, trying to get the dog off of him, but she wouldn't budge.

 

"Let us help you, mon chou," Chris said, grabbing the dog's leash and pulling her off gently.

 

Victor offered his hand to Yuuri who took it gratefully. 

 

"What are you two doing here?" Yuuri asked, 

 

"Well, I wanted to adopt Makkachin, and talk to your family about possibly fostering a few other dogs," Victor explained, the big smile on his face infectious, 

 

"Really? That's great! You do know fostering requires a lot of work though, right?" He asked,

 

"I know, I've already talked about this with Yakov, he said I can take a break every day to go check on the dogs, and Chris is normally home most mornings anyways, so the only time they would be really alone would be in the evenings when I'm helping you walk dogs, but they should be fine,"

 

"Alright, but if it becomes too much, don't be afraid to ask for help. Have you done the home inspection yet?" Yuuri asked,

 

"Not yet," Mari said, “I was actually going to ask if you could make room in your schedule to do it,"

 

"Sure, I don't mind, when would be a good time for you?" He asked the guys,

 

"Sunday probably, we are both off," Chris answered,

 

"If you don't mind, I know it's your day off as well," Victor added, Yuuri shrugged,

 

"I don't mind," 

 

"Yuuchan!" His mother greeted, coming out of the back room. She kissed Yuuri's cheek who blushed slightly,

 

"Hi Mom," he greeted,

 

"Yuuchan, will you take a picture of Makkachin and her new papa's for the website?" She asked, handing Yuuri the camera that was wrapped around her neck.

 

"Of course," he said, turning to Victor and Chris, "let's go out front, the lighting is better,"

 

They made their way outside, it felt so surreal to Yuuri as he watched Chris and Victor squat on each side of Makkachin trying to get her to look at the camera. He was reminded of the picture of Vicchan and him that sat on his bedside table. They were in this exact spot almost 11 years ago.

 

He took the picture as soon as Makka looked towards him.

 


 Phichit brought food from the restaurant home that night. Yuuri was grateful that he didn't have to cook.

 

"Welcome home," Yuuri greeted as he took the bag from his best friend.

 

"Thanks, it's been a long day," Phichit sighed, plopping down on their couch. "How was yours?"

 

"Fine, Victor and Chris were at the shelter today," Yuuri said, sitting next to his friend and started to take out their dinner from the bag.

 

"Why?" Phichit asked,

 

"They were adopting a dog, this really sweet poodle that's been with us for awhile,"

 

"How adorable, I always saw Chris as more of a cat person though," Phichit commented, grabbing his food and starting to eat it.

 

"Doesn't he technically have a cat?" Yuuri asked,

 

"I mean, technically, but it lives with Masumi,"

 

"How was Masumi been? I haven't seen much of him lately,"

 

"He's been fine, he seems to be avoiding everyone though,"

 

"Why do you think that is?" Phichit shrugged,

 

"Who knows? He's a weird guy,"

 

They talked more about their day, and after dinner they put a movie on,

 

"So I noticed you and Victor have been becoming more comfortable with each other lately," Phichit commented, leaning against his friend's shoulder.

 

"He’s such a nice guy, makes me feel stupid for being so intimidated by him for so long," Yuuri said, snuggling closer to his friend. 

 

"Do you see your relationship going anywhere?" Phichit asked,

 

"Phichit!" Yuuri yelled, scandalized that his friend would even suggest a thing. Phichit use to tease Yuuri all the time about Victor, but that was before the two became friends. Now it felt weird.

 

"What? I'm just saying, you two see each other every day. It wouldn't be a surprise if your relationship escalated to lovers,"

 

"You're being ridiculous," Yuuri brushed off, "wouldn't it be weird if we got together and broke up? You said it yourself, I have to see him every day,"

 

"Why are you focusing on the negative? What if you two got together and it turned out great? You could get married and have a bunch of puppy babies together!" Yuuri couldn't lie, the idea did sound tempting, but unrealistic.

 

"I think we are better off just staying friends, Peach, less heartbreak," Yuuri dismissed, Phichit shrugged, 

 

"If you're sure, I'll support you either way. But I see the way he looks at you, I can tell he'd go out with you if you'd only ask,"

 

"You're crazy," Yuuri said, he leaned in closer to Phichit until his head was in his lap. Phichit played with his hair as they continued to watch the movie.

 

“You know, anyone would be lucky to have a guy like you, Yuuri,” Phichit said after a while,  almost wistfully. When Yuuri didn’t respond, Phichit looked down to see his friend had dozed off in his lap. Phichit smiled at the Japanese man and continued playing with his hair until he dozed off as well.

 


 Yuuri sneezed for the millionth time that day as he walked up to Chris and Victor’s house. He had yet to be inside, but from what he could tell it was very nice looking.

 

Yuuri walked up to the front door and knocked. Normally he would have texted one of his friends and tell them that he is there, but he wasn’t there as their friend today, he was in work mode. 

 

“Yuuri! Welcome in!” Chris greeted, allowing Yuuri to walk in, “Victor took Makkachin out for a walk, but he should be back any moment now,”

 

“That’s okay, how is Makka doing?” Yuuri asked, allowing Chris to help him out of his coat.

 

“She is doing very well, she sleeps in Victor’s room for the most part, but she’s wormed her way into my bed a couple times.” 

 

“I’m glad she’s liking it, she’s a really good girl.” Yuuri said, looking around the house. 

 

“May I offer you some tea, Yuuri?” Chris asked, making his way to the kitchen, Yuuri sat down on one of the couches,

 

“Tea sounds wonderful,” he said, looking around the living room. Victor had told him they were taking longer than expected to unpack, but from what Yuuri could tell the house looked very put together. “The house is very clean, I was worried there would be a lot of boxes everywhere.”

 

“We moved all of the boxes to the garage and we’re slowly making our way through them. Of course that is a ‘No Dogs Allowed’ area,” Chris explained, Yuuri smiled and nodded,

 

“Someone’s been doing their research,” He teased as Chris came back into the living room. Three cups of tea sitting on a tray along with sugar, honey, and jam. “Jam?” Yuuri asked, Chris rolled his eyes.

 

“It’s Victor’s favorite, says it reminds him of Russia,” Yuuri nodded, he wondered if Victor missed Russia as much as he missed Japan sometimes. He made a note to ask his friend about it later. 

 

They made small talk with each other until Victor joined them. Makkachin jumped up on the couch and greet Yuuri, who was quick to put his tea down before he burned either himself or the dog. 

 

“Help!” Yuuri called through laughter as the dog pinned him to the couch and attacked his face with kisses for the second time that week. 

 

“Makka, Makka, Makka!” Victor called from the front door as he took his coat off, the dog perked up and ran to her guardian. Yuuri took a minute to breath before sitting up. “Sorry about that, Yuuri, I noticed she only does that for people she really likes if that helps,”

 

“I don’t mind, we use to have this great pyrenees who would do the exact same thing. It was cute until Mari hit her head wrong on the concrete and got a concussion, we had to teach him not to jump on people before he could get adopted.” Yuuri remembered that day, it was just him and Mari in the kennels and when she opened the pen door the dog got very excited and tackled her. Yuuri heard the thud and ran up to see Mari unconscious while the dog licked her face. He never ran so fast to his parents in his life.

 

“Mari was okay though?” Chris asked, Yuuri nodded,

 

“She was fine, she didn’t blame the dog either. He didn’t understand how big and heavy he was.” Yuuri took a sip of his tea while Victor took a seat next to Chris. “So here is how the inspection is going to work, we will all go around the house together and I will point out if I see anything that could be considered hazardous to an animal. If it’s something small, you can fix it immediately and I won’t dock points. Questions?” When the two shook their heads, Yuuri nodded and stood up.

 

They went into the kitchen first, Yuuri was happy to see all the lower cupboards had child proof latches on them. 

 

“Where do you keep all of your chemicals and medication?” He asked,

 

“Chemicals are in here,” Victor said, opening a higher shelf, and then pulled open a drawer “and medication is here.” Yuuri nodded approvingly.

 

As they made their way around the house, Yuuri pointed out several mistakes the two corrected immediately, but overall the house was very organized and ready to start fostering. They went back into the living room and sat down again. Yuuri pulled out a packet of papers and handed it to them.

 

“So, you two are aware that someone from the shelter can come at any time to check on how things are going, correct?”

 

“We do,” Victor said, signing where Yuuri was pointing,

 

“And that these are foster animals, not your animals, so dogs and cats will be going in and out of your home frequently?”

 

“Yes,” Chris said, talking the pen from Victor and signing as well.

 

“And that if there are any problems, contact the shelter and we will come immediately. If it is an emergency, insure the animal’s safety first, like bringing them to an animal hospital or calling poison control, before contacting us.” Yuuri continued on, making them sign each paper and giving them a list of contact information in case someone could not be reached. 

 

When they were all finished, Yuuri put the signed packet back in his bag and smiled at the two.

 

“Congratulations you two, you are both officially foster dads,” He shook both of their hands, “thank you so much for the extra help, you really are taking a load off the shelter. Someone will drop by tomorrow with two dogs to start off. They will both be a smaller breed, so there won’t be too much to handle. It will probably be best to keep them out of your bedroom Victor, so that can stay Makkachin’s space.”

 

“I’ll do that, thank you for all your help, Yuuri. Your visit was very informative.” Victor said, leading him to the door and grabbing his coat for him. Yuuri blushed slightly as Victor held it open so he could push his arms through. It’s true that the two have become closer friends over the past few weeks, but Victor can still be intimidating at times.

 

“Thank you,” Yuuri squeaked as he put his jacket on. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow morning at the clinic?” He asked,

 

“I’ll be there bright and early,” Victor assured, opening the front door for Yuuri. Waving him goodbye as he pulled away.

 


 Yuuri sighed as he plopped down in his bed that night. His head was killing him, but he couldn’t sleep yet. It was only 9:30, and he had to stay up to watch Yuri’s stream.

 

He pulled up twitch on his laptop and logged on, smiling as he saw the teen playing some shooter game and cursing up a storm at his ‘idiot teammates’.

 

KatsukiY: Hey Yura!

 

“Finally decided to show up, Katsudon?” the teen asked. Yuuri always found it impressive that Yuri could keep up with all the comments flowing on his screen while playing video games. He knew Yuri had several mods watching the chat, but that was only to make sure everyone was behaving.

 

KatsukiY: Sorry I’m late, had to stay late to lock up

 

“It’s fine, better late than nev- Motherfucker!” He yelled as someone started shooting at him. His character quickly ran around the corner and started shooting back.

Yuuri turned his bedside lamp off and the brightness of his laptop down all the way. His head was really starting to hurt, and the light was only making it worse. Yura wouldn’t care too much if he didn’t say anything during the stream, he was too distracted by the game.

 

He laid down and closed his eyes, surely resting his eyes for a minute wouldn’t hurt. 

 


 "You have a twitch? Aren’t you a little young for that?” Yuuri asked, as he filled cat bowls with their newest volunteer.

 

“You can stream when you’re thirteen as long as your parents agree,” Yuri explained, scratching behind a cat's ear who came up to get dinner.

 

“Something tells me your parents aren’t the type to let their son play video games in front of a bunch of strangers,” Yuuri said, remembering meeting both of them when the teen first signed up at the shelter. 

 

“Okay, maybe I got my brother to act as my guardian, but he basically counts as one of my guardians, even if he is away at college!” Yuri corrected, “He watches every stream and kicks out any creeps out there, so I’m being safe,”

 

“I think you should still tell your parents,” Yuuri advised, he’d hate for anything to happen to the thirteen year old. 

 

“You better not rat on me Katsudon, my channel is still small but I’m meeting new people and having fun. I only told you about it because I thought you might like to watch!” Yuri snapped, Yuuri just sighed, knowing Yuri would do whatever he wanted anyways.

 

“Alright, but at least let me be one of your moderators to make sure your being safe.” Yuuri said, hoping Yuri would accept the compromise. 

 

“Deal,” Yuri agreed, “you and the old man sure are persistent.”

 

“Just be grateful you have people looking out for you,” Yuuri sighed, pulling out his phone and downloading the app.

 

It was from then on that Yuuri watched every one of Yuri’s streams. Monitoring the comments and watching every game of fortnite and the occasional story based game. Yuuri was amazed by how quickly Yuri’s channel grew and became more and more popular. 

 

Yuri seemed happier as well, more at ease than he was out in public. Soon, Yuuri felt less guilty about keeping the channel a secret from the teen’s parents. 

 

Yuuri started to believe that this was something the teen could make into a career if he really wanted to.

Chapter Text

Victor made his way into the clinic bright and early Wednesday morning. He was in a good mood, his two foster dogs (a yorkie named Scout and a beagle named Frankie) had slept through the night for the first time, and they were getting along with Makkachin very well.

 

Yuuri was planning on bringing Victor a cat that morning to spayed, so he was getting ready for that when he saw the animal control van pull up.

 

Victor was surprised to see a woman walk in with a cat carrier, she looked young with long brown hair. “Hi, I have an appointment at 7:30 for Daisy to be spayed,” she said,

 

“Yes, the room is all prepared for her, I can take her,” The woman gave Victor the cat carrier. “I am Dr. Nikiforov, the vet that will undergo her surgery.”

 

“Minako, head of animal control in town,” 

 

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, my receptionist here will give you the paperwork to fill out while I get Daisy comfortable in the back,” Victor took Daisy back and put her in a kennel. She was a pretty Russian blue, a little on the skinny side but very vocal. 

 

"Here's all of Daisy's information," the receptionist said moments later, handing Victor a clipboard. Victor looked it over, nodding to himself. 

 

"Alright, will you tell Yakov that everything is ready back here? Do you know if Minako is staying?"

 

"She said she has a lot of work to do, but she'll be by to pick Daisy up afterwards." The receptionist answered, making her way to Yakov's office when Victor nodded.

 

The surgery went over smoothly. Even Yakov seemed impressed by how Victor handled himself.

 

"Not bad, Vitya," the older man said, clapping his protege on the back before disappearing back into his office.

 

Victor smiled to himself, more than happy by today's accomplishments. He couldn't wait to tell Yuuri about it after work!

 


 "Yuuri's sick?" Victor asked Yuuri's dad, who was in the middle of walking the dogs.

 

"Yeah, poor thing called us this morning, apologizing that he couldn't help out tonight. I told him not to worry and just get some rest." Toshiya explained,

 

"Let me help you with them," Victor offered,

 

"I have Mari and Yuuko helping with the evening walks, but if you'd really like to help, do you think you could go check on Yuuri? His mama gets really worried about him,"

 

"Of course!" Victor said instantly, "Can I get his address?" 

 

Victor pulled up to the apartment building 15 minutes later, it was a small single building, there were kids outside playing on a playset. Victor parked his car and walked up the staircase, knocking on the door with a big black '4' on the front. 

 

Phichit answered, "Victor, what's up?" 

 

"Yuuri's dad sent me, he wanted to check up on Yuuri," Phichit nodded in understanding, letting Victor in. 

 

“He’s sleeping right now, his fever is still pretty high. I took the day off work to keep an eye on him.” 

 

“That was very nice of you,” Victor said, taking his coat off and hanging it up on the coat rack.

 

“Of course, he certainly doesn’t do a very good job at taking care of himself, stubborn bastard will work himself to death before admitting he’s sick,” Phichit said, going into the kitchen. Victor looked around, every inch of the walls were covered in pictures, of Yuuri, Phichit, their friends, family, from when they were kids, in middle and high school, at the shelter, together at Celestino’s, there were even a few from their home countries.

 

“You sure love taking pictures, huh?” Victor asked,

 

“That’s an understatement,” Phichit laughed, “I want to be a photographer, I’m currently taking online classes. I also get a lot of practice by helping the Katsuki’s by taking pictures of their ‘ready to be adopted’ dogs and posting them online.” Phichit explained, coming in with a tray of two steaming cups, “Tea?” he asked. Victor was surprised when he spotted a jar of jam on the tray.

 

“Thank you, do you like jam in your tea too?” His mother is the only person aside from him that like their tea that way. Phichit shook his head,

 

“No, but I think Yuuri said you do,” he placed the tray on the coffee table and sat next to them. Victor didn’t know how Yuuri knew about his interests, but it melted his heart anyways.

 

They made smalltalk over tea. Victor soon started questioning about the real topic he was curious about. Asking about Yuuri’s condition, how he got so sick in the first place, and if Phichit thinks he should go to a doctor. A bell rang from a room down the hall, and Phichit got up immediately, 

 

“Someone’s awake,” Victor followed the thai man down the hall, and stood by the door frame as Phichit walked into the dark room, “Morning sleepy head,”

 

“Can I get some tea please?” Yuuri croaked from under a mountain of covers.

 

“Of course, are you feeling any better after your nap?” Phichit asked, running a hand over his friend’s forehead.

 

“A little,” 

 

“Good, because someone came to check on you,” Phichit informed,

 

“Who?” Yuuri asked, Phichit nodded towards the door and Yuuri’s gaze followed his.

 

“V-Victor, what are you doing here?” Yuuri asked,

 

“You weren’t at the shelter, so your dad asked if I could come check on you,” Victor explained, not moving from the doorway. Yuuri seemed to be the type of person to not like his space invaded, especially when he’s sick.

 

“Oh, th-thank you, but you didn’t have to, I’ll be fine after some sleep and tea,” Yuuri said,

 

“I know I didn’t have to, but I was worried about you too, the clinic gets lonely without my favorite animal control officer,” it was hard to see from the dark, but it looked like Yuuri’s face turned redder as he slid deeper under the covers.

 

“I’m going to go get your tea, Victor, will you keep him company. He keeps trying to get up and move around,” Phichit said, Victor chuckled, 

 

“Alright,”

 

“What if I have to pee?” Yuuri asked, pouting,

 

“Do you?” Phichit inquired,

 

“No,” Yuuri sighed,

 

“Good, now shut up and stay down,” Phichit said, ruffling his friend’s hair and leaving the room. Victor walked into Yuuri’s room and sat in a chair by the desk.

 

“Your whole apartment is cozy,” Victor started, looking around the room. There was a big bookshelf in the corner, a dresser with even more pictures, textbooks, and small nick nacks covering it. The desk Victor sat at was small, but it had Yuuri’s laptop plugged in, a family picture that looked like it was taken in Japan, a cup filled with pens and pencils, and a bunch of sticky notes that covered the desk with reminders such as ‘Appt: Daisy Spayed 11/4’ ‘Appt: Ricky Heartworm check 11/5’ ‘Mom’s birthday Friday’ ‘Appt: Lucy rabies shot 11/5’.

 

“If by cozy you mean small, then yeah,” Yuuri said, “I know it’s not much, but it’s how Phichit can afford 50%. I told him I didn’t mind paying more, but he insisted I save my money.”

 

“Well I like it, my house is so big and empty right now. It’s a relief to have the dogs there, otherwise I’d probably go on a crazy shopping spree just to fill it,” Victor laughed,

 

“Yeah, I guess you're right. Don’t get me wrong, I love living with Phichit and I’m grateful for everything I have, I’m just not a fan of the apartment itself.”

 

“How come?” Victor asked,

 

“The neighbors, they’re really rude. You can’t tell now, because I guess their kids are outside, but they are some serious brats. They are always banging on the walls, blasting their shows on TV, screaming at the top of their lungs. Phichit and I have gone over there dozens of times, but their parents just yell at us to ‘mind our own business and don’t tell them how to parent,’”

 

“That sounds horrible, have you considered telling your landlord?” Victor asked, horrified, but he could relate. Living in the dorms during veterinary school was the worse. 

 

“We have multiple times, they’ll only keep it quiet for a week and start all over again.” Yuuri groaned, “At least with this fever I’m able to sleep through it.”

 

“How are you feeling by the way?” Victor asked, trying to examine Yuuri under the blankets before stopping himself. He couldn’t go into doctor mode, Yuuri wasn’t his patient nor was he an animal. 

 

“I’ll be fine, the dizziness is thankfully gone, and so is the migraine. My throat is hurting and I just feel weak in general,” Yuuri said,

 

“If your throat hurts, you should stop talking, I’m sorry,” the words rushed out, Victor was horrified for making Yuuri work more. Yuuri shook his head,

 

“It’s fine, if I’m going to lose my voice I better make use of it while I can.” Yuuri smiled at Victor.

 

It was silly, but between the small smile and the growing blush on Yuuri’s cheeks, Victor’s heart skipped a beat. When did Victor start becoming attracted to messy bedheads?

Phichit came back into the room at that moment, “Here,” he said, helping Yuuri sit up. The thai man gave his friend the steaming mug. “It’s full of honey and lemon, so drink all of it,”

 

“Thank you, Phichit,” Yuuri said gratefully. Phichit just shrugged and sat on the bed beside Yuuri.

 

“So Victor, if you’d like to stay for dinner, I’m making Okayu,” 

 

“What is that?” Victor asked,

 

“Rice porridge, my mom used to make it for me all the time for me when I was sick or having a bad day. Well, that, and Katsudon, but I only get that on special occasions,” Yuuri explained, leaning against Phichit’s shoulder as he sipped the tea.

 

“Yura calls you Katsudon, doesn’t he?” Victor asked making Yuuri smile.

 

“He does, back when he first started volunteering, I told him that the dish was my favorite so he demanded to try it. He loved it of course, and has been calling me Katsudon ever since.” Victor laughed,

 

“That’s Yura for you, I would love to stay for dinner by the way,” Phichit left soon after to go start cooking.

 

“How was Daisy’s surgery?” Yuuri asked,

 

“It went wonderfully, she did so well, you would have been proud!” Victor announced, making the smile on Yuuri’s face grow.

 

“That’s amazing, I wish I would have been there to see it,” 

 

“None of that, you need to take care of yourself first. What matters most is that you start feeling better.” Victor scolded, wagging his finger in Yuuri’s direction. Yuuri looked down at his cup of tea,

 

“I know it’s stupid, but I just feel restless. I hate being sick,”

 

“Yuuuuri,” Victor said, dragging out the man’s name, “I’ve told you this before, if something bothers you, it’s not stupid. It’s okay to feel restless. You work so hard all the time, so when you are suddenly forced to stop and relax, you don’t know what to do with yourself.”

 

“I guess it makes sense when you put it that way…” Yuuri says, leaning back further against the pillows.

 

“Everything is fine, Yuuri, please don’t beat yourself up because you need a few days off. Everyone understands and just wants you to feel better.” Victor needed to make sure Yuuri understood this. He’d feel really bad if Yuuri was sitting here, beating himself over something that couldn’t be avoided. 

 

“Your right, I just want to be better already,” Yuuri complained,

 

“And you will be, for now just enjoy the time off,” Victor said, smiling when his friend seemed more at ease.

 

They talked for a while longer, until they heard a knock on Yuuri’s door. They looked up to see Yuri standing there.

 

“Yura? What are you doing here? Don’t you have to stream soon?” Yuuri asked,

 

“I tweeted that I wouldn’t be streaming tonight because my pathetic mod was sick.” Yuri commented, walking in and sitting on the bed. Yuuri was one of Yuri’s mods? Victor knew the teen had several, so it shouldn’t be as much of a surprise to find out.

 

“Yura, be nice,” Victor scolded, but his brother just rolled his eyes. 

 

“It’s okay, I’m honored that you would cancel your stream just to check on me,” Yuuri said, smiling at the blond.

 

“Don’t get use to it, I have a schedule to keep.” Yuri huffed, scooting back until his back hit the wall. “You feeling better?”

 

“Much, I’ll be as good as new in a few days,” 

 

“Good, because Mari is making me do all your work. When are you guys going to hire a new volunteer?” Yuri asked, 

 

“No one is applying or else we would. Do you know anyone interested at school?” Yuuri asked, Yuri thought for a minute,

 

“Maybe, I could ask around. Most of my classmates would rather be paid,” Yuri said,

 

“I’m afraid the shelter can’t afford any more employees. At that point it’s just money that could be going towards the animals.” Yuuri explained,

 

“I get that, I’m just saying most of my greedy classmates won’t volunteer unless there’s something in it for them.” 

 

“What about Otabek?” Victor asked, swirling around in the chair.

 

“He works at his Uncle’s automotive shop, he doesn’t have time,” Yuri said, “Maybe I’ll ask Kenjirou, he likes animals… or maybe he just likes Katsudon, either way he might do it,”

 

“Boys! Dinner’s ready!” Phichit called, 

 

“Come on, Yuuri, let’s get some okayu in you!” Victor offered his hand to help Yuuri up.

 

“Thanks,” he said gratefully. He leaned against Victor the entire way to the living room. Victor’s heart definitely did not skip a beat for the third time that day as he helped Yuuri to the couch.

 

“Yuuuura, can you grab a small blanket from that closet?” Yuuri asked,

 

“I’m not your servant!” The teen snapped, but did what he asked anyways. Victor rolled his eyes as he sat next to Yuuri. His brother was so dramatic with everything.

 

Phichit came in with 4 bowls of porridge balanced on his arms.

 

“What the hell, you’re gonna drop those!” Yuri yelled, grabbing two bowls carefully from the thai man.

 

“Don’t be silly Baby Yuri, I’m a waiter, it’s my job to carry multiple plates at a time,” Phichit teased, handing a bowl to Yuuri as Yuri handed his to Victor.

 


 Victor looked down at his brother. Yura was a feisty tiger most days, but when he was sick, he reduced into a pathetic kitten. He was pretty adorable really, with his tiger hoodie pulled up and the covers pulled up to his chin, the peak of comfort.

 

“You need anything?” Victor asked, he had stayed home from school to watch his brother. His parents had to work and Yuri was too young to be left alone, especially when he was sick.

 

“Nothing from you,” he snapped. Victor just rolled his eyes.

 

“You aren’t going to get better by being stubborn, what can I get you?” He asked, Yuri pouted and thought.

 

“Ginger ale,” Yuri finally admitted, “and something to do, I’m bored as hell,”

 

Victor knew the rules, his parents were strict on no electronics when the boys took a sick day from school. That way neither of them would want to play hookie. But Victor was in charge right now, so he didn’t see the harm in Yuri having a little bit of entertainment.

 

“Okay, how about you go play my XBox in my room for awhile? Just be sure to be back in your bed by the time Mama or Petya get home,” Victor said, smiling. “I’ll run to the gas station and get your ginger ale,” 

 

Yuri looked up at his brother gratefully. Victor knew he’d never admit it allowed, but he knew the blond secretly loved his big brother. 

 

The sick boy scrambled from the bed, holding his stuffed tiger and running off to Victor’s room.

 

Victor locked up on his way out, feeling like brother of the year.

Chapter Text

It took three days before Phichit allowed Yuuri to go back to work. His best friend was such a mother hen sometimes. It was his mom’s birthday, so he went by the shelter before work with a bouquet of pink carnations, her favorite.

 

“Yuuchan! These are beautiful!” His mother squealed, hugging her youngest and kissing all over his face. Yuuri laughed and tried to wiggle free,

 

“Moooom, let me go!” He yelled, but she just pulled him closer and snuggled him.

 

“Thank you baby boy, I feel like the luckiest mother in the world!” Yuuri returned the hug, 

 

I love you Mom ,” he spoke in his native tongue, knowing his mom found it more comfortable.

 

I love you too, Yuuchan! ” She said, letting him go after one more kiss on the cheek. “ You’re feeling better ?” she asked, looking her son over.

 

I’m all better! ” he announced proudly. It was only half a lie, his throat was still sore, but at least he had his voice back.

 

I’m glad!” she cheered, pating Yuuri’s cheek. Yuuri smile grew, he loved his mother so much. He didn’t know what he would do without her.

 

“Is there anything I can do here before I go to work?” Yuuri asked,

 

Actually yes, would you mind cleaning up Trigger’s cage?” Yuuri frowned, Trigger was a doberman pinscher Yuuri had picked up the month prior. He was being used for dog fighting by his owner, and when Yuuri caught wind of it he instantly took the dog away. Since then, Yuuri has bonded with the dog, but it gets aggressive anytime someone else goes near him. Yuuri has dealt with, and trained out aggressive behavior before, but it takes a lot of time and effort.

 

Yuuri is sure to use a plastic basket muzzle when handling Trigger, but he is the only one the dog allows close to him, so Yuuri has been the only one to interact with the dog.

 

How have you been feeding and taking him out?” Yuuri asked,

 

"Your Papa of course! He has a real talent in dealing with aggressive dogs,” His mother explained. Yuuri smiled, he should have known, his dad was the one to teach him everything he knew about animals.

 

Of course, okay Mama, I’ll go check on Trigger right now, and I’ll muzzle him up so he’s ready for his morning walk too,”

 

“Thank you, Baby Boy,” 

 

Yuuri made his way into the kennels, he went straight to Trigger’s cage who was already on guard.

 

“Hey boy, it’s just me,” Yuuri said calmly, offering his hand forward for the dog to sniff, careful not to put his hand through the bars of the kennel. The dog seemed to recognize him and calmed down, going over and laying on his pet bed. Yuuri grabbed the muzzle and leash that sat on the top of the kennel and entered, he approached the dog slowly, pet his head and strapped the dog in. He removed the dog from the kennel and took him out into the gated play yard. 

 

Mari was already out walking the dogs, so Yuuri quickly tracked her down and told her not to put any other dogs in the play yard until he was done cleaning Trigger’s cage. 

 

"I'll be back after work to work on his obedience training," he told Mari afterwords,

 

"Sure, he'll be here, should probably get Dad to sit in with you, get him more comfortable around other people," she suggested,

 

"Good idea," 

 

"Will Victor be with you?" Mari asked,

 

"Probably, depends if he gets out of work on time,"

 

"You should invite him to Mom's birthday dinner, she really likes him," 

 

"That's a good idea, I'll ask if he's interested. Now while I'm here are there any dogs that need to go to the vet?" 

 

The two loaded Yuuri's van with two dogs, a terrier mix and a cattle dog, along with an orange tabby cat. The siblings said their goodbyes and parted ways.

 


“Of course I’ll come! I love your family, Yuuri!” Victor said excitedly as he took the car carrier from Yuuri. 

 

“They love you too, of course Yura is invited as well, but he stays for dinner so often that him attending is a no brainer.” Yuuri laughed.

 

“I look forward to it, what time will it be?” Victor asked,

 

“Around 6:30, I’m getting off work early today so that I can help Mari at the shelter,” Yuuri said, Victor nodded approvingly.

 

“That’s unlike you, you’re forced to take several sick days and now you’re taking off early?” Victor asked,

 

“Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m picking up two extra shifts next week, but my boss has been a family friend for years and insisted I go help at the shelter,”

 

“Minako, right?” 

 

“Yeah, you know her?”

 

“She’s taken your place the last few days in bringing me the animals. She’s a very charming woman,” Yuuri laughed at that,

 

“You should see her off the clock, especially when she’s been drinking.” Victor chuckled along with Yuuri,

 

“Will she be there tonight?” Victor asked,

 

“Most likely, she’s my mom’s best friend after all,”

 

“She seems so young,” Yuuri knew that was coming. Yuuri leaned in closer to Victor, 

 

“She’s actually over 50 years old,” He whispered, Victor’s mouth dropped open,

 

“No way!” He said, Yuuri had to hold back laughter as he nodded, “How?”

 

“I have my suspicion that she either made a deal with the devil or sings to a golden flower every night,” Yuuri jokes,

 

“Well if any princesses go missing, we’ll have our answer,” Victor laughs. 

 

“So, I’ll see you tonight?” 

 

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Victor said, smiling that beautiful heart shaped smile that makes Yuuri’s heart skip a beat every time.

 

“I-I’ll see you then,” He stammers, leaving the clinic quickly. He could hear Victor’s laugh as he rushed through the doors.

 


He’s making excellent progress, Yuuchan! You really have a talent for this! ” Toshiya complimented as he watched his son handle Trigger. Although they still had a long way to go, it was like seeing a totally different dog then the one from a month ago.

 

Thanks, Dad, it’s really nothing though, Trigger is the one doing all the hard work. I’m just encouraging him to do his best.” Toshiya smiled at his son, he really was modest. 

 

I’m going to start making dinner, will you be okay by yourself?” 

 

I’ll be fine, Mari said she’d stay in earshot if we need anything, ” Yuuri said, 

 

Alright, just call if you need anything, ” His father left the gated area and walked towards the house that was situated behind the shelter.

 

Yuuri worked with Trigger on basic commands, sit, stay, lay down, roll over, and more. He heard someone walking up to the gate and figured it was Mari checking up on them.

 

“That’s a cool dog,” a husky male voice said,

 

‘Oh, a potential adopter,’ he thought to himself, “He is really cool, unfortunately he’s not ready for adoption quite yet. But if you’re really interested you can leave your contact information inside and we will let you know when he is ready,” Yuuri said, not looking away from the dog. Maintaining eye contact is an important part of training. 

 

“Oh, I’m not looking to adopt, I’m here to see you actually,” The man said, that made Yuuri lose his concentration altogether as he looked away from the dog. Trigger seemed confused but just walked away from Yuuri so that he can go sniffing around. Yuuri would have been impressed that the dog didn’t instantly go on guard with a stranger nearby if said stranger was anyone aside from his ex boyfriend. 

 

“Cason,” Yuuri said, instantly on guard himself, “what are you doing here?” 

 

“Like I said, I came here to see you, Yuyu,” he smiled. The five years they have been apart has done nothing to decrease his charms. His blond hair was a bit longer, pulled back into a ponytail to keep out of his face, those dark brown eyes Yuuri would spend hours getting lost in were still dark and beautiful. His body, even covered by a jacket, Yuuri could tell he still makes a point to work out regularly. 

 

“Why?” Yuuri asked, trying to focus on his face. ‘Maintain eye contact, don’t let him know he intimidates you,’ He thought to himself. 

 

“I’ve missed you, Yuuri, I was so stupid to let you go, is there anyway you could forgive me?” Cason asked, leaning against the gate that separated them. 

 

Yuuri could feel it, his eighteen year old self was leaping with joy. He remembers waiting all of those months for Cason to change his mind, to realize that Yuuri was more than just some gay boy he could mess around with. 

 

But Yuuri wasn’t a lovesick eighteen year old anymore, he’s moved on from the crying, locking himself away for days on end, the rants he may or may not have posted online. He was an adult now, and he’s moved on.

 

“What about Olivia?” He asked, Yuuri was heartbroken when he found out that two years after their break up, Cason had married the valedictorian of their senior class. Yuuri liked Olivia, she was a sweet girl and deserved to have a nice guy, just not Yuuri’s nice guy. He could tell by the look on Cason’s face, he had been caught.

 

“Yeah, about Olive… She’s a good girl, a little stuck up though. I really only like her as a friend honestly. The only reason I married her in the first place was because she was pregnant. You should see my daughter, Yuuri. She’s only two, but she is as headstrong as her daddy! You love kids, don’t you? Maybe you could think of our little break as a good thing? Like I was just getting ready to start a family with you! How else were we supposed to have kids that didn’t cost us thousand of dollars?” His explanation was weak, but Yuuri could tell his stupid eighteen year old self would have fallen for it.

 

“So you’re getting a divorce?” Yuuri asked, Cason gulped at that,

 

“Well, not exactly… You see, Riley really needs me, and I know Olive would just take full custody if a divorce were to happen,”

 

“So, marry the girl, play with the man?” Yuuri asked, insulted. 

 

“Yuyu, it’s not like that!” Cason tried to explain,

 

“No, it’s exactly like that! You want to use me now just like you used me all throughout high school! Did my feelings even matter to you? Did you even care that I spent months hating myself because I don’t know what I did to make you not love me anymore? Do you even care now that I can’t go on a regular date because I’m scared of being used like that again?” 

 

“Of course I care!” Cason started, but Yuuri just held up his hand to stop him.

 

“If you do, then you’ll leave and never bother me again,” Yuuri said, straightening up.

 

“Yuuri, just listen to me,” Cason started to open the gate, but Trigger didn’t seem to like that very much and he instantly went on guard.

 

“Don’t come in here, Cason, this dog is very territorial and won’t hesitate to attack,” Yuuri warned, rushing over to Trigger and grabbing his harness.

 

“So what, now you’re gonna sick your dog on me?” 

 

“No, I’m warning you for your safety. His previous guardian was very abusive and now he has aggressive issues. This is your one warning, so if you get hurt it won’t be on me.” Yuuri said, allowing Trigger to sniff his hands as he muzzled the dog.

 

Once the dog was safely muzzled, Yuuri walked up to his ex.

 

“Leave before I call the police, or worse, Olivia.” Yuuri warned, “Go home and be a good husband and father, and don’t you dare come back here.”

 

“What happened to the quiet and sweet boy I fell for?” Cason asked, 

 

“He grew up and earned some self respect,” Yuuri looked him dead in the eyes. Just like training a dog, he had to show him who was in charge.

 

“You say that, but we both know you’re just the same little slut that just wants a pretty boy’s cock.” Cason spat, grabbing Yuuri roughly by the upper arms. Yuuri tried to struggle free but Cason’s grip was too strong.

 

“Let me go! Mari! Help!” Yuuri yelled, hoping his sister was still in hearing distance and not changing dogs. Trigger jumped, trying to get Cason off of Yuuri, but he couldn’t do much with the muzzle and gate in between them. Yuuri was starting to panic, what was Cason going to do to him? His breathing was getting faster, world starting to spin

 

Suddenly Cason was gone, thrown on the ground. Victor was standing over him. Yuuri tried to be relieved, but he was too shaken. Without Cason’s hands keeping him upright, he instantly fell to the ground. He curled up into a ball and started rocking back and forth.

 

He was sweating, which was insane considering it was about 45 degrees outside. He couldn’t breath, and he was shaking like crazy. There was yelling, from Victor and then from Cason, but he couldn’t put the words together. He was so dizzy.

 

Suddenly, he lurched forward and vomited out his lunch. He heard the gate start to open, and Trigger started growling as he hovered around Yuuri.

 

“Yuuri, I need you to come to me.” Victor’s soft voice came from the other side of the gate. “Can you come here, Dorogaya? I promise he’s gone, you’re safe,”

 

Safe. Yuuri wanted to feel safe. He looked up towards Victor, he looked immensely concerned. It didn’t suit him. Victor should be smiling, Yuuri loved his smile. He wanted Victor to smile at him just like he did earlier. Maybe if he listened to Victor, then he would.

 

With shaky hands, Yuuri got up off the grass. Once he was safely back on his own two feet, he bolted, passed the gate (careful enough not to let Trigger out) and into Victor’s arms.

 

The Russian hushed him, holding onto Yuuri tightly. He ran a soothing hand through the Japanese man’s hair and whispered so quietly that Yuuri couldn’t understand what he was saying. He didn’t care either way.

 

“Yuuri, you’re hyperventilating. I need you to breath with me, okay?” Victor said, louder. Pulling back enough to look at Yuuri's face. When Yuuri nodded he started to count, “In...2...3…4… Out...2...3...4, that’s it, Solnyshko. In...2...3...4...” They repeated that until Yuuri seemed calm enough to breath on his own.

 

Yuuri leaned his head forward until it was resting on Victor’s shoulder, “I’m sorry you had to get involved in that…” he whispered, Victor continued running his hand through Yuuri’s hair.

 

“There is no need to apologize. Your dad asked me to come check on you, then I saw you talking to that guy and thought I shouldn’t interrupt. But then he laid his hands on you and I had to do something. Are you okay? You’re still shaking.” Victor asked.

 

“Tired, I’m always tired after an anxiety attack,” Yuuri explained, hiding his face more in his friend’s neck.

 

“Let's get you inside, I’m sure someone else can bring the dog back to his kennel,” Victor said, though he held Yuuri closer, being able to tell that the younger man needed it.

 

“M-My dad… he’s the only one Trigger likes,” Yuuri explained,

 

“Then I’m sure he’d love to put him away, he was such a good boy today,” 

 

“Very,”

 

Victor pulled away, but kept one arm around Yuuri.

 

“Lets go,” he said, leading Yuuri to the house.

 


“You’re so beautiful, Yuyu,” Cason whispered in Yuuri’s ear. Yuuri couldn’t hold back a shiver. They were on Yuuri’s bed, mid makeout session. 

 

“I love you, Case,” Yuuri whispered back, he really did. He loved the blond with all his heart, “I want to marry you someday,”

 

Cason smiled down at him, “Let's do it, we’ll run away together and get married,” he promised, he even slipped off his class ring and placed it on the other teen's ring finger. Yuuri’s heart skipped a beat, he has never been this happy in his life.

 

“Forever,” he whispered,

 

“Forever,” Cason repeated, and leaned down and kissed Yuuri so sweetly.

Chapter Text

Victor helped Yuuri to his childhood bedroom. The first thing Victor noticed was the hundreds of pictures on the walls, all of them were dogs, he assumed they were ones that came through the shelter over the years.

 

Other than the pictures, the room was empty, there was a small twin sized bed, but that was it. Victor assumed Yuuri took the majority of his furniture when he moved in with Phichit.

 

Victor helped Yuuri on the bed and sat next to him, the younger man laid his head against Victor's shoulder. 

 

"Do you want to talk about it?" Victor asked, his arm was still around Yuuri, running up and down.

 

"Cason...my ex, he left me when I was eighteen," Yuuri started, leaning more against Victor. "He wanted to get back together… but he didn't want to leave his wife either,"

 

"What a scum," Victor commented, Yuuri hummed in agreement. "So you said no, and he got physical?" He asked, trying to understand. 

 

"Pretty much…" Yuuri looked down at his hands in his lap.

 

"Hey," Victor said softly, taking his hand in his, "Are you okay?"

 

"I'm fine… it's just seeing him brought up some painful memories…" Yuuri said softly, leaning his head on Victor's shoulder. Victor just wanted Yuuri to smile again, but he wanted him to be honest with his feelings as well. 

 

"I’m sure it did, do you want to lay down and rest a bit?” Victor asked, he could tell the younger man was tired.

 

“Maybe a bit?” Yuuri pulled his phone out and opened Youtube, placing his phone on the bed when relaxing jazz started to play. “What are you gonna do?”

 

“Go help Mari probably,” Victor said, “You just rest and I’ll make sure you’re awake in time for dinner. Oh, before I forget, here are your glasses, they fell off before I pulled that guy off of you.” Victor handed him the blue framed glasses, Yuuri looked up at him gratefully.

 

“Thank you, Victor, for everything.” Yuuri said,

 

“Of course, Yuuri, I’d do it again if I needed to,” Victor said, he grabbed his friend’s hands and squeezed them, “get some sleep, Solnyshko, I’ll wake you up in a little bit,”

 

“Okay,” Yuuri said, laying down,

 

“Sleep well, Yuuri.” Victor whispered, making his way out of the room.

 


The first thing Victor did was call Phichit and told him what happened, he of course freaked out and said that he was on his way over now. 

 

He then went to help Mari until he saw the thai man pull up. Phichit got out of the car and raced over to Victor who was walking a Yorkie.

 

“How is he?” Phichit asked,

 

“Sleeping, he was really shaken up by the whole thing,” Victor said, 

 

“I am going to ruin, Cason,” Phichit spat, pulling out his phone and starting to text someone.

 

“What are you doing?” 

 

“Contacting his wife, Olive. She deserves to know what happened. She was a really good friend of mine growing up,” Phichit explained,

 

“Good idea, no one deserves to be lied to like that.” 

 

Phichit walked with Victor, engrossed in his phone. After a few minutes he put the phone away.

 

“She’s going to be heartbroken, but it’s for the best.” Phichit sighed, “Yuuri was okay, aside from the anxiety attack?” 

 

“Yes, he wasn’t hurt or anything,”

 

“Good,” Phichit fell silent, as if he were debating on telling Victor something. Victor waited, “Can I ask you a question?” The Thai man finally asked,

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Do you like Yuuri?” Victor was not ready for that. “You don’t have to answer, but I was just curious.” Victor sighed, it was a pretty obvious crush,

 

“I do,” he admitted, Phichit nodded,

 

“Cason really did a number on him, you should ask Yuuri for the details, but after they broke up Yuuri lost his dog. He was a mess for months, I almost suggested that he go see a therapist but I knew he was going to be stubborn about it. Then one day, he told me that he was getting a job with animal control along with working at the shelter. He threw himself into work and hasn’t stopped since.” Phichit explained,

 

“Why are you telling me all this?” Victor asked,

 

“Because I don’t know what another heart break will do to him. He likes you too, but he doesn’t see himself as good enough. If you were to ask him out, I know he will say yes, but you have to keep in mind how caught up he can get with his emotions.” Victor had never seen Phichit so serious before. 

 

“Of course I’ll keep that in mind, Cason was an idiot for hurting Yuuri so much, I promise to never do that to him,” Victor swore, knowing it’s something Phichit needed to hear. He nodded and smiled,

 

“Good, because if I find out Yuuri is going back to that dark place, I will ruin you, Nikiforov. I run all the social groups in this town,” Phichit threatened, Victor laughed,

 

“I’ll keep in mind not to cross you,” 

 


Phichit went to the house after that to go wish Hiriko happy birthday. Victor helped Mari out for the next hour, thinking about Yuuri.

 

‘Cason really hurt you, Solnyshko, I promise to always put your feelings first,’

 

By the time all the dogs were taken care of, dinner was finishing up.  Minako was in the kitchen helping out Yuuri’s parents. 

 

To Victor’s surprise, his brother was there setting the table. 

 

“You don’t even set the table at home,” Victor teased, 

 

“Shut up, Old Man, this is a special occasion,” the teen snapped, giving Victor the bird as the older man laughed at his brother’s antics.

 

“Very well, I’m going to go wake up Yuuri.” He said, going upstairs to the room he left the younger man in.

 

He knocked a couple times, but Yuuri didn’t answer. Victor peeked in and saw what he expected. Yuuri deep in sleep, hair a mess from tossing around, curled up in a ball around one of the pillows. The blanket covered about half his face, he looked so comfy. The jazz music was still playing in the background, giving a calming feel for the room. Victor hated to disturb him, but he knew that Yuuri would be upset if he missed dinner.

 

Victor sat on the side of the bed and shook Yuuri’s shoulder softly, “Yuuri, it’s time to wake up, dinner is almost ready,” Yuuri mumbled something unintelligible and burrowed further into the covers. Victor chuckled in delight. He was so adorable.

 

“Yuuri, get up now, zvezda moya,” He shook his shoulder a little harder, because clearly Yuuri was a deep sleeper.

 

“Ssssnnnooooppp,” Yuuri whined, Victor held back laughter because he couldn’t tell if Yuuri was saying ‘stop’ or ‘no’. Victor was falling more for this man every minute.

 

“Yuuuuuri, you’re gonna miss dinner if you don’t wake up, do I have to carry you?”

 

“Mmmmmm,” Yuuri turned towards Victor and curled around him instead. Victor’s heart melted, he started playing with Yuuri’s hair on instinct. He could only pray for a future like this. Where he wakes up with a sleepy Yuuri in his bed, gets to share breakfast with him every morning, caring for all sorts of animals together. He could hardly contain himself.

 

Victor realized he was doing the opposite of getting Yuuri to wake up when he saw the Japanese man relax under his touch. He decided drastic times call for drastic measures. He stood up and yanked the covers off of Yuuri.

 

Yuuri whined and subconsciously started looking for the covers to no avail. Victor then turned the light on in the dark room.

 

“Rise and shine, Yuuuuri, it’s time to eat!”

 

“Five more minutes!” Yuuri whined, grabbing a pillow and covering his head with it.

 

“Five minutes always turns into more, and dinner is ready now. You don’t want to keep your Mama waiting on her birthday, do you?” That seemed to get Yuuri’s attention, he sat up after that.

 

“No,” he sighed.

 

“Good, now let's get downstairs.” Victor handed Yuuri his glasses and he took them grudgingly.

 

“What time is it?” he asked, yawning,

 

“6:45, Phichit’s here by the way,” Yuuri stiffened,

 

“Did you tell him?” He asked, Victor nodded,

 

“I knew he’d want to know,” Victor said honestly, Yuuri sighed.

 

“He’s always so worried about me, I hate adding to that,” he confessed,

 

“He only worries because he loves you, Yuuri,” Victor said, “I do the same for Chris. He’s always getting into trouble.” 

 

“He shouldn’t need to fuss so much over me though, I’m an adult after all,”  He pouted, very adultlike.

 

“You are, but that’s what friends do, they worry, just like how you’re worrying about Phichit worrying,” Yuuri laughed,

 

“Worry-ception?” he asked, Victor laughed along with him,

 

“Exactly!” They went downstairs and Phichit made a beeline to Yuuri,

 

“You’re okay?” he asked,

 

“Yes Mom,” he teased, hugging his friend. “I’m fine, I promise, we’ll talk later, okay?” Phichit sighed,

 

“Fine,”

 

Dinner was full of life, the dining table was full of traditional Japanese dishes. 

 

"This is katsudon, my favorite," Yuuri told Victor, one bite and he could tell exactly why it was the younger man's favorite. 

 

"Vkusno!" Victor exclaimed, digging in. Next to him, Yuuri started laughing.

 

Afterwords, they had cake, Toshiya cut it and passed it around. Victor was happy to see that Yuuri seemed so much more relaxed and happier than earlier. Perhaps it was the nap or being around his family? It didn’t matter as long as Yuuri wasn’t in that dark place again. 

 

“What’s up?” Yuuri asked when he caught Victor staring at him. Victor jumped out of his trance.

 

“Sorry, was just zoning out,” he said,

 

“You must be tired from work, I’m sorry for dragging you here,” 

 

“Nonsense, I’m having a blast.” Victor assured,

 

‘Besides, if I wasn’t here earlier then who would have been able to get that jerk off of you?’ He thought to himself.

 

After cake was done, they all retired to the living room to hang out. Hiriko looked so thankful to all of the important people in her life. Victor sat next to Yuuri under the kotatsu.

 

“It’s so warm!” Victor said in amazement, Yuuri laughed,

 

“Yeah, there’s a heater under it so you stay nice and toasty,” Yuuri said, leaning back on his hands.

 

They sat and talked for awhile, mostly about an upcoming trip to Japan the Katsuki’s were taking after the new year. 

 

“Who will be in charge of the shelter while you’re gone?” Victor asked,

 

“Yuuko and her husband, Minako said she’d help in her spare time, and we plan on paying a few of our volunteers to help out more,” Hiriko explained, “Yura, you’re of course going to be paid,” the teen half smiled at that, Victor knew his brother really wanted to get a job instead of asking their parents for money all the time, but the Katsuki’s couldn’t afford to hire more staff and Yuri would be damned if he got a job flipping hamburgers.

 

Minako came in from the kitchen with two big bottles of sake.

 

“Alright ladies and gentleman, it’s time to drink!” She announced, 

 

“And it’s time for the minors to go away,” Victor said, aiming at his brother, Yuri flipped him off.

 

“Come on, Victor, let baby Yuri drink a little,” Phichit said, earning him an elbow to the gut,

 

“Quit calling me that!” He snapped,

 

“Ow!” Phichit whined, glaring at his attacker, “I’m trying to get you a drink and you hurt me? Rude.”

 

“If I bring Yura home and Mama finds out he’s been drinking, both of our heads will roll,” Victor said,

 

“Aren’t you Russian? Don’t you guys have a high tolerance?” Phichit snickered,

 

“Yes, but Mama is pretty strict about drinking outside of home. She used to work in law enforcement back in Russia and has seen the results of alcohol in teenagers.” Victor informed, he remembers when Nadia sat him down as a preteen and scared him so bad about alcohol, he didn’t touch it until he was eighteen. 

 

“Well if Mama Nikiforov is that strict about it, guess you’re out of luck Baby Yuri,” Phichit teased, rolling out of the kotatsu to avoid another elbow to the ribs.

 

“I wasn’t going to drink anyway, I tried that sake shit before and it is nasty!” Yuri stood, “I’m going to check on the cats,” he announced, leaving without a word. Yuuri laughed,

 

“I remember that,” he said, taking a ochoko from Minako. “I let him try some of mine once, and he spit it out right away, complaining that it taste like perfume,” 

 

“I’ve never actually had the chance to try sake,” Victor realized, thanking Minako when it was handed to him.

 

“Oh are you in for a treat,” Phichit said, picking up his own ochoko. “To Mama Katsuki! Happy birthday,”

 

“Happy birthday!” Everyone cheered, taking a sip.

 

It almost tasted like a sweeter white wine, very fruity. It wasn’t bad, Victor was just more of a whiskey drinker. He took another sip.

 

“You like it?” Yuuri asked, downing his a lot faster than Victor.

 

“I do, it’s very sweet,” he said,

 

Yuuri reached for the two bottles and read the labels, “yeah, these two are on the sweeter side. They’re my mom’s favorite.”

 

“I can see why! Yuuri, you need to keep this stocked in the apartment!” Phichit yelled, taking another swig of the stuff.

 

“Phichit, aren’t you also a little young to be drinking that?” Yuuri teased,

 

“I’ll be 21 in a few months, it’s okay, besides, in Thailand the drinking age is 20,” Phichit huffed, sticking out his tongue.

 

“We aren’t in Thailand though,”

 

“And I know for a fact that you’ve been drinking since you were 16, so stop harassing me,” Phichit whined, Yuuri just laughed,

 

“Fine, Fine,”

 


By the time both bottles were finished, both Yuuri and Phichit were way too drunk. Hiriko and Toshiya had excused themselves to retire to bed early, leaving Victor to get to know Mari and Minako better.

 

“So after I tell Yuuri that this ‘nice guy’ wasn’t my boyfriend, he just wouldn’t leave me alone, he looks this guy dead in the eyes and says ‘the only way you’ll ever get laid is if you crawl up a chicken’s ass and wait. Leave my sister alone.’ and then he took my hand and ran off while the idiot was still processing what he said! I was dying laughing the entire way home!” Mari said, laughing along with the other two. 

 

Yuuri said that to someone? Our sweet little boy?” Minako asked, 

 

“He sure did! I didn’t think he had it in him!” Mari stated proudly.

 

“He is very protective,” Victor chuckled,

 

“Oh, you have no idea, that’s what makes him such a good animal control officer. He cares so much that if there are any signs of neglect or abuse, he’ll find it,” Minako said,

 

Viiiiictor, ” A slurred voice said, and suddenly Victor had an armful of Yuuri,

 

“Hi Yuuri,” Victor chuckled, it was painfully obvious that the younger man had drank way too much, he and Phichit had been cut off thirty minutes prior.

 

I’m in love you, Victor, ” Yuuri slurred in Japanese, Victor had no idea what he said but the amused looks on Mari and Minako’s faces only meant trouble.

 

“Yuuri, I can’t understand you,” Victor chuckled. Yuuri sure was cute when he was drunk, all red faced and hair messed up. It didn’t take long for Victor to realize that he was a cuddly drunk, him and Phichit had been laying on the floor giggling to each other and snuggling prior to this.

 

English is beyond me right now, ” Yuuri mumbled into Victor’s shoulder, “ you’re so warm,

 

“Translation?” Victor asked, looking at the two laughing ladies,

 

“He’s just calling you warm,” Mari supplied, pulling out her phone, “Say cheese,” she said, snapping a picture,

 

“He’s going to hate you,” Victor said, running his hand up and down Yuuri’s back as the younger man squirmed his way into Victor’s lap.

 

“Worth it,” Mari said.

 


Victor dropped Yuri off at home before taking Phichit and Yuuri back to their apartment. He helped the two inside and the first thing he noticed was the blasting of a TV through the walls. Victor looked at his phone when he set the two down on the couch. 

 

“I see what you mean about your neighbor’s Yuuri, 12:45 and they’re still at it?” Victor noted,

 

“Those little shits need to be taught a lesson!” Phichit yelled, standing up only for Victor to gently push him back down.

 

“No drunk lesson teaching,” Victor scolded, he almost wished he brought the two back to his house, at least he could trust them not to make trouble there. Victor figured he’d just have to stick around until they passed out. “Okay you two, it’s time to get ready for bed,” he announced, offering his hand to Phichit first because it looked like Yuuri was already passing out. He helped Phichit to his room and handed him some pajamas, Victor told him to carefully get dressed while he helped Yuuri.

 

Back in the living room, Yuuri had taken up the entire couch. Victor stopped for a moment, thinking he could leave him there, but the jeans he was wearing were sure to hurt his legs in the morning.

 

“Come on, Yuuri, let's get you ready for bed,” he said softly, shaking his shoulder.

 

“Mmmmm, don’t wanna,” Yuuri whined, finally earning back some of his english. Victor chuckled,

 

“If you don’t get up, I’ll just have to carry you,” he teased. By his surprise, Yuuri actually lifted his arms ready to be picked up. Victor laughed and scooped up the Japanese man in his arms. “You sure are a princess,” he teased,

 

“You’re princess,” Yuuri mumbled into Victor’s shirt, making the Russian blush slightly,

 

‘If only you knew,’

 

He placed Yuuri on the bed,

 

“Where are your pajamas?”

 

“I sleep in boxers,” Yuuri said as he started slipping his jeans off. Victor turned away quickly, he really hoped Yuuri didn’t remember this in the morning. He didn’t want the younger man to die of embarrassment.

 

Victor only turned around when Yuuri told him he was covered. Yuuri looked so comfortable snuggled under a bunch of blankets and pillows. Victor’s heart melted at the sight.

 

“Stay?” Yuuri asked,

 

“For a little while,” Victor said, sitting on the edge of his bed,

 

“How long?”

 

“Until you fall asleep,”

 

“Mmmmm,” Yuuri curled his body around a pillow and snuggled in, closing his eyes, “Night Victor, I love you,” he mumbled, and Victor knew it was just the alcohol talking, but that didn’t stop his heart from beating double time.

 

How long has he waited for something like this? For someone to say those words to him? Victor remembers being in that dark place and thinking he would never be able to find someone who could make him feel so safe so loved, but now it all feels in reach.

 

“I love you too, Yuuri,” Victor whispered, running his hand through Yuuri’s hair, “Get some sleep now, I’m going to go check on Phichit.” he got up and left the room, Yuuri was already snoring. 

 


Victor was sitting in a coffee shop, the textbooks taking up his entire table was overwhelming at the moment, so he decided to people watch instead.

 

The shop was as busy as always, people in suits and pencil skirts came in and out. What drew Victor’s eye though, was the small family near the windows. There was a young blonde woman, giving a baby a bottle while the man Victor assumed was her husband was feeding their toddler daughter bites of a muffin. 

 

The man and woman shared a look and smiled at each other, so in love. They looked around Victor’s age if not younger. How were they able to look so happy? So stress free? How were they able to find each other at such a young age, juggle children and work, and still look at each other with so much love it made Victor’s heart hurt?

 

Victor looked back down at the textbooks, at least those made sense. Love seemed so far out of Victor’s reach, he had to focus on school, focus on his degree, or else he wasn’t going to get anywhere in life. If love were to come to Victor at all, it will come later.

Chapter Text

Yuuri woke up with a killer headache, trust Minako to bring way too much alcohol. He grabbed for his glasses on the bedside table and his hands hit a bottle of pills instead. Yuuri cracked his eyes opened and saw a glass of water as well. Yuuri smiled and took the pills, thanking whoever the angel was that left them there.

 

He got up after that, pulling on a pair of sweatpants and leaving his room. He was set on making a greasy breakfast for him and Phichit. When Yuuri got to the living room however, he saw a sleeping Victor on his couch. He had to double take, making sure the Russian was actually there and not a part of Yuuri’s hungover imagination. 

 

“Victor?” Yuuri asked stupidly, as if Victor would hear him.

 

To his surprise, he did, Victor cracked an eye open and smiled,

 

“How are you feeling?” He asked, and holy shit Yuuri had never heard anything more attractive than the sound of a sleepy Victor’s voice. 

 

“Shitty, what are you doing on my couch?” he asked,

 

“I brought you and Phichit home last night,” he yawned, “I was only going to stay until you two fell asleep, but I ended up dozing off myself,”

 

“Why don’t you go sleep in my room, I’m going to make breakfast,” Yuuri said,

 

“Oh, I don’t mind sleeping on the couch some more,” Victor started to protest,

 

“Don’t be ridiculous, you helped me a lot yesterday, the least I can do is let you sleep for a few hours in my room.”

 

“Well, if you're sure, don’t hesitate to wake me up if you want me out though,”

 

Who in their right mind would kick you out of their bed? ’ Yuuri thought to himself as Victor got up and disappeared into his room.

 

It was then that Yuuri realized that he was still shirtless, he blushed a little at Victor seeing him like this, but he didn’t want to go and disturb the sleepy Russian. He went into Phichit’s room and snatched a spare shirt; a brown one with a hamster wearing a backwards hat, under it were the words ‘Gangsta Hamsta’. Phichit’s hamsters, Chestnut, Pistachio, and Hazel judged him thoroughly from their cages. Phichit continued to snore from his bed, he always snored when he spent the night drinking.

 

Now fully dressed, Yuuri went into the kitchen and started the coffee. He didn’t even wait for it to be completely full, pouring himself a cup as soon as there was enough. He made it exactly how he liked it, three teaspoons of sugar and a dash of pumpkin spice creamer. 

 

Yuuri’s original plan was to make breakfast right away, but after seeing how tired his friend’s were, he decided to wait. He walked onto the patio with his coffee, and enjoyed the early autumn morning. Thankfully it wasn’t too cold yet, the coffee was enough to keep him warm. Yuuri climbed onto his patio railing, leaning against one of the pillars. He closed his eyes and relaxed, his headache gracefully fading away.

 

“Jeremy! You get back inside right now!” And their goes Yuuri’s peace. He opened his eyes and saw his neighbor yelling at one of her brats who was running outside, barefoot and no jacket.

 

“No! I want pancakes!” The young boy screamed,

 

“You’ll eat what I make you!” Karen screamed back. Yuuri didn’t actually know her name, but she had that haircut, and the same ‘let me talk to your manager’ attitude, the name just stuck.

 

“Hey!” Yuuri yelled, getting their attention and then quieting his voice, “there are people still sleeping in here,” 

 

“Oh, shut up, Wang!” Karen yelled up at him,

 

“Wang?” Yuuri asked,

 

“Just go back to China, why don’t you?” Karen then grabbed her son by the ear, “Now you are going to eat your fucking breakfast or else!” She dragged the kid kicking and screaming inside. 

 

Yuuri realized that she just made up a name for him, just like he did for her. Only thing was that hers was way more racist and he never actually called her Karen to her face. Yuuri just sighed and continued sipping his coffee.

 


Phichit woke up not long after that, the screaming and crying next door being enough to wake anyone up. 

 

“Nice shirt,” he complimented, making a beeline to the coffee maker,

 

“I want us to move, Peach,” Yuuri said, Phichit sighed,

 

“I get it, but our lease isn’t up until February,”

 

“I know, but this is getting out of control, she yelled at me and told me to go back to China!” Phichit stiffened,

 

“She said that to you?” He asked, his glare directed at the wall.

 

“It’s not that big of a deal, I get mistaken for other types of Asian all the time,” Yuuri said, knowing he shouldn’t have mentioned that.

 

“Not in such a toxic manner, Yuuri!” Phichit said, sweetening up his coffee. “Maybe it’s worth it to break our lease early? The landlord sure as hell isn’t doing anything about her and her demon children,” 

 

“No, no, we can’t actually leave early, it’ll look bad on our credit.” Yuuri said, rubbing his temples. “We can survive three more months of this, it’s okay,”

 

“Jeremy you little shit!” Karen yelled from the other side of the wall. There was a crash and more crying.

 

“I’m so sorry you two have to live with that,” Victor said, coming out of Yuuri’s room, hair a mess and shirtless. Phichit’s eyes widened as he looked from Victor to Yuuri,

 

“I...have so many questions!” he exclaimed. Yuuri squealed as Victor smirked, both realizing what Phichit was thinking.

 

“He was sleeping on the couch so I told him to go sleep in my room after I woke up this morning!” Yuuri rushed, he could feel his face burning.

 

“Uh-huh,” Phichit said, not convinced, “for your own sake, Nikiforov, that better be the truth,” 

 

“Please Phichit, I’m much more classier than that,” Victor scoffed, grabbing his own cup of coffee and not sweetening it up in the least. Phichit and Yuuri looked at him horrified as they watched him take a sip of it.

 

“What do you think you’re doing?” Phichit asked, watching Victor with a flabbergasted look on his face, “we have sweetener you know!”

 

“I like my coffee black,” Victor said, smiling slightly. He’s probably had to explain himself plenty of times.

 

“You’re a monster!” Phichit yelled, pulling Yuuri away from Victor, “you stay away from me and my son!”

 

“I’m older than you!” Yuuri laughed,

 

“Shut up, Cinnamon Roll!” Phichit yelled, pulling Yuuri closer,

 

“It’s not that weird!” Victor laughed, taking another sip of coffee,

 

“Yeah, it really is,” Yuuri corrected, Victor put his hand over his heart,

 

“Yuuri, you hurt me dearly!” he exclaimed dramatically, “I don’t think I’ll ever recover!” 

 

“I think you’ll survive, Weirdo,” Yuuri laughed as Victor pretended to be struck again by his comment.

 

“I think I need my fainting couch!” 

 

“Who knew Victor Nikiforov was such a drama queen?” Phichit snickered, grabbing his perfectly sweetened coffee.

 

“Literally everyone,” Victor laughed, going and taking a seat at the kitchen bar.

 

“You guys okay with bacon and eggs for breakfast? I need something greasy after last night,” Yuuri asked, already digging through the fridge.

 

“That sounds perfect!” Phichit said, pulling out his phone and putting on some music to play while they cooked.

 

They were about halfway through eating breakfast when they heard a loud banging at the door.

 

“Here we go again,” Yuuri sighed, already making his way to the front door.

 

“Hold on, Yuuri, let me answer it. I need to teach her a lesson.” 

 

“What’s going on?” Victor asked, obviously confused,

 

“Just our racist neighbor back at it again,” Phichit huffed, starting towards the door but Yuuri stopped him,

 

“Peach, you’re only going to make it worse, I don’t need you to fight every battle for me,” Yuuri protested. He and Phichit had a staring contest for a good minute while the pounding on the door got louder and louder. Phichit finally sighed, giving in and going back to drinking his coffee. Yuuri smiled, “thank you,” he said, as he opened the front door.

 

“Finally, jeez, I thought you Chinese were more considerate, I’ve been waiting here forever!” Karen snapped,

 

“I’m Japanese actually, how can I help you Ms…” he trailed off, he still has no idea what her real name was,

 

“I don’t appreciate the way you were talking to me and my son earlier, do you have any idea what it’s like to have to explain to my kids why there are two chinese men living together? Let alone why one of them is actually talking to us!” She snapped. Yuuri’s eyes widened, he knew that this lady was crazy, but he had no idea she was homophobic as well.

 

“Excuse me?” Was all he could get out,

 

“What if they start getting ideas?” she snapped,

 

“Then good for them!” Yuuri yelled, it was then that he felt a pair of arms wrap around his shoulders and a head snuggling into his neck.

 

“Who’s at the door, Sugar?” Phichit asked in a sultry voice. Yuuri was about to snap at him to let him handle this, but then he understood where his friend was going with this. He leaned against his best friend and pulled his head back until his and Phichit's noses were touching.

 

"Oh, no one important, Baby, why don't you go back to bed and I'll join you in a minute?" Yuuri suggested, 

 

"Don't keep me waiting, Butter Bear," Phichit whispered, and it took everything Yuuri had not to burst out laughing in his friends face. He watched Phichit walk away, swaying his hips. Yuuri turned back to a disgusted looking Karen with a smirk.

 

"If there's nothing else you needed, I have business to attend to. You and your kids keep quiet and I'll consider not having crazy loud sex with my lover tonight." Yuuri warned, slamming the door in her face before she could say anything else.

 

Laughter erupted from the kitchen immediately, Yuuri joined in as he walked back to Victor and Phichit.

 

"Butter Bear?" He asked, clutching his stomach,

 

"It was the first thing that came to mind!" Phichit weased, 

 

"Hopefully she'll learn a lesson from this," Victor laughed, "good job you two,”

 

“Thanks, but now I have to get ready for work or else Celestino will have my head for being late again,” Phichit said, leaving the kitchen.

 

Phichit left for work not long after, and it seems he took all the good humor with him. Yuuri and Victor continued to eat in silence. Victor’s attitude seems to have made a complete 180, Yuuri noticed that he was lost in thought so he kept quiet.

 

“You okay?” Yuuri asked, as he finished eating,

 

“Yeah it’s just… do you work today?” Victor derailed, seeming to want to put off whatever he was going to say.

 

“Yeah, I should be getting ready pretty soon actually,” Yuuri answered, backing off to let Victor have his space.

 

“Wh-what time do you get off?” he stuttered, 

 

“Five or six,” he was starting to get a little nervous by the way Victor was starting to fidget, “Is everything okay, Victor?” He asked again, he didn’t want to push but he could tell there was something his friend had to get off his chest.

 

“Yeah, I’m just a little out of practice is all,” Victor finally admitted, and Yuuri noticed his face flush up a little,

 

“Practice?”

 

“Yeah. Um. So there’s this nice restaurant in town, but you probably already know about it, seeing as you live here and all… but I haven’t been since I’ve been back, and Chris keeps going on and on about how he and Masumi go there every other Friday because the food is so good.. And I’ve been wanting to go try it, but going alone seems pretty well..lonely...and lame...so maybe... possibly...if you wouldn’t mind...but you probably do! What am I saying? I’m sor-”

 

“Victor!” Yuuri stopped him, because Victor looked close to having his own anxiety attack. Yuuri reached over and took his hand, “are you trying to ask me out?” He asked, unsure of what he should be expecting here,

 

“I-I mean, maybe? If you wanted?” He asked, biting his lip. 

 

Yuuri had always thought that Victor was beautiful, but seeing him like this. So nervous and unsure, all Yuuri couldn’t think was,

 

You’re so adorable, ’ 

 

“As a date? Or as friends? You gotta be straightforward with me or else I won’t know,” Yuuri told him. If he was being honest with himself, he already knew the answer. He was in a slight state of shock though, the fact that someone actually wanted him. HIM. And not just someone, Victor Nikiforov.

 

But Yuuri didn’t really think of him as the popular Victor Nikiforov who seemed so far out of his reach anymore. He thought of him as Victor Nikiforov, the man who loves animals so much he’s made it his career to help save them, and to go the extra step to even foster. He’s the Victor that loves his little brother so much he lets him do just about anything as long as he is being watched over. He’s the Victor that’s kind and funny and puts other’s well being before his own. He’s the Victor that pulled Cason off of Yuuri and talked him down from an anxiety attack. He’s the Victor that Yuuri had fallen so head over heels for, so quickly, that he’s made Yuuri forget all of his fears about jumping back into the dating scene.

 

Victor straightened up, “You’re right, I just need to come out and say it,” he took both of Yuuri’s hands in his own and looked him straight in the eyes, Yuuri could get lost for hours in those bright blue eyes. “Yuuri, will you go on a date with me tonight?” he asked, although he looked confident, Yuuri could feel his hands shaking. Yuuri smiled up at him,

 

“Yes,” he said firmly. The smile that broke out on Victor’s face was the most beautiful thing Yuuri has ever seen. Just seeing it, he’s never been this sure of anything in his life. He wanted this.

 

‘But can you keep it?’ A small voice in Yuuri’s head asked, but Yuuri shook it off.

 

‘Just watch me, I’ll fight for this.’ 

 


Phichit walked out of the restaurant later that night. They were slow for a Saturday night, so Celestino let two servers and one of the bartenders leave early. Phichit was glad, because that means he gets to help Yuuri get ready for his date tonight.

 

As Phichit pulled out his phone to call his best friend, he couldn’t help but notice a nice looking car in the employee parking lot. Way too fancy for anyone who works in this small town. 

 

‘I gotta take a picture of this, Yuuri won’t believe me if I tell him someone is actually spending money on a lambo,’ Phichit thought as he walked up to the car. 

 

He then noticed that there were people inside it, he was about to ask if he could take a picture (or wait until they get out and take a picture anyways), but then he noticed that he actually knew the people inside it. 

 

Of course he knew them, he knew just about everyone in this town. The driver wasn’t a total stranger, one of their bar regulars who Phichit never learned the name of. The person he was locking lips with however…

 

The two pulled away from each other and they locked eyes with Phichit for a split, terrifying, second as horror flooded the other man’s face, Masumi’s face. He started to get out of the car but Phichit was in a dead sprint towards his own.

 

“Phichit! Wait!” Masumi called, but Phichit didn’t stop. There were tears in his eyes, tears of anger.

 

‘How could he?!’ was all Phichit could think as he peeled out of the parking lot. ‘How dare he?!’ 

 

Phichit pulled over once he was far enough away from the restaurant. He dialed a familiar number,

 

“Hello beautiful,” A flirtatious voice purred,

 

“Ch-Chris, are you home? I need to talk to you,” Phichit said, as the tears escaped his eyes.

 

“Are you okay?” The Swiss asked, suddenly serious, “Where are you? I’ll come get you,”

 

“I’m fine, it’s just… I need to tell you something, please, are you home?” 

 

“I’m at work, but I can be there in 15 minutes,” Phichit could hear other people in the background then, “Hold on, Chéri,” he heard Chris talking to someone on the other end, something about a family emergency and that he had to leave.

 

Phichit took a deep breath to calm himself, but that only made the tears even more uncontrollable. His anger had faded somehow, and now all he felt was grief for his good friend. He received a text message.

 

Masumi 6:15 PM:

Are you really going to hurt him like this? You don’t even know the whole story. Just come back and I’ll explain everything to you.

 

Phichit wiped his tears away, and replied.

 

Me 6:17 PM:

I’m not the one betraying him. You are.

 

Me 6:18 PM:

I’m going to do what’s right, because unlike you, I love Chris.

 

Masumi 6:20 PM:

You don’t think I wouldn’t do anything for that man?

 

Masumi 6:21 PM:

You don’t know what I’ve been going through, you wouldn’t understand!

 

Me 6:23 PM:

I have nothing more to say to you, Masumi. Leave Chris alone or else.

 

Masumi 6:24 PM: 

I’m going over to Chris’ now.

 

Me 6:24 PM:

The hell you are!

 

Phichit put his car in drive then and started racing towards the house. 

 

“Okay, I’m on my way home now, please talk to me though, Peach, are you hurt or something?” Chris asked,

 

“No, but will you do me a favor and ignore any texts or phone calls until I talk to you? I’ll explain everything when I get there,”

 

“Okay,” Chris promised, worry in his voice.

 

They hung up and Phichit ended up beating Chris there. He paced back and forwarth by their front door until Chris pulled up. Chris ran out of the car, not even stopping to close the door and rushed over to Phichit.

 

“What happened?” He asked, and Phichit couldn’t help it. He threw himself at Chris, wrapping his arms around his friend and started to cry for him again. Chris pulled him close and shushed him, running his hand through the younger man’s hair.

 

“I-I need to t-tell you something, a-and it’s gonna hurt you b-but you need to know!” He wailed, Chris pulled back and wiped Phichit’s eyes. 

 

“Let’s talk inside, Chéri,” he said, unlocking the door and ushering Phichit in. 

 

He sat Phichit down on the couch. The dogs were whining from their crates, but Chris just ignored them for the time being. Phichit didn’t want to do this, didn’t want to ruin his friend’s relationship. But what kind of friend would he be if he just let Masumi get away with playing with Chris’ feelings?

 

Chris took both of Phichit’s hands in his.

 

“Talk to me, Peach, I promise whatever it is, I can take it.” He swore, Phichit sniffled a few times and looked into Chris’ emerald green eyes.

 

“I-I saw Masumi with another man, a-an older one. Ch-Chris, he’s cheating on you.”

Chapter Text

Victor looked himself up and down in his full length mirror. His dull magenta button down and black dress pants didn't have a wrinkle in sight. His skin moisturized and clear. Hair conditioned and shining. Add a dash of cinnamon scented cologne and he was the perfect date for the perfect man.

 

"What do you three think? Will Yuuri like it?" He asks the dogs who sat on his bed. Makka was wrestling with Frankie the beagle while Scout the Yorkie was chewing on a squeaky pig on Victor's pillow. 

 

"Oh Victor! You look so dashing!" Victor said in a high voice, 

 

"Why thank you Scout!" He said back in his normal voice, the Yorkie looked up at the sound of his name. 

 

"Yuuri is such a lucky guy to have such a handsome man like you, Papa! " He said in the same high voice.

 

"Oh Makka, you're making me blush!" Makka totally ignored him, too caught up in pinning Frankie down.

 

Victor was glad Chris had left for work hours ago, he'd never hear the end of it if his best friend heard him talking like this. Victor checked him phone, 6:20, a little early but Victor supposes he could leave. Maybe he can stop and get Yuuri some flowers? 

 

Victor checks to make sure Makka's water was still full, and he lets out a whistle. Instantly 3 pairs of eyes look at him.

 

"Let's go downstairs!" He calls excitedly, he had a hard time getting Makka to stay in the room as the other two ran passed him, but eventually he locked his poodle away, put the other two in their crates, and was off. 

 


As Victor got closer to Yuuri’s apartment, he started getting more and more nervous. What if Yuuri thought dinner was a boring first date idea? Seriously, what was Victor thinking? Bringing someone as charming and perfect as Yuuri out to dinner?

 

Maybe he should make a change of plans? No, he already told Yuuri they were going to a restaurant, so he was probably hungry. Maybe he could plan something else afterwards? Maybe they could go play miniature golf? Problem was, Victor is terrible at golf and will probably only make a fool out of himself.

 

He was so nervous that by the time he picked up a bouquet of flowers and pulled up to the apartment, he still had no clue on how to make this a memorable date. But then, there Yuuri was, waiting on a bench just outside the building and looking like he just walked out of a photo shoot. His hair was slicked back, he wore a navy button up matching Victor’s own, and oh god, his glasses were gone, replaced by a pair of contacts and the corner of his eyes had a dab of glitter on them. 

 

You are so perfect, ’ Victor thought, for about the 600th time that day. He scrambled out of the car and opened the passenger door for Yuuri.

 

“H-Hi,” he stuttered,

 

Damnit Victor, quit stuttering! You’re going to make this awkward!

 

“Hey, you look gorgeous,” Yuuri commented, and when the hell had he become so confident and up front? Not that it was a bad thing, oh no, it was just way too attractive for Victor’s poor heart.

 

“You too,” Victor said lamely, taking Yuuri’s hand and helping him in the car. Victor shut the car door and rushed (not so gracefully) back to his side. 

 

You have got to calm down, Vic! What happened to the smooth playboy you used to be?’ He asked himself, he would slam his head against the steering wheel if he hadn’t known he’d look like a psychopath. He took a deep calming breath and pulled the car out of the driveway.

 

The car ride was silent, Victor was scrambling to think of topics to talk about. Asking Yuuri about how his day was would be stupid, they had only been apart for about 8 hours and had been texted back and forth the entire time. 

 

He thought about bringing up how the dogs were getting along so well together, but Yuuri’s whole life revolves around dogs, so he might want to spend an evening not talking about them.

 

Maybe if Victor brought up how well Yuri was doing in school? His mother had told him that his grades have been improving surprisingly well, and he had even made honor roll this semester! 

 

“You know Yu-”

 

“Can I turn on some music?” Yuuri asked at the same time Victor started. He then realized that Victor was trying to say something as well and blushed scarlett. “Sorry! What were you saying?” he asked,

 

“Oh, nothing really! Yeah, go ahead with the music, I have an aux cord right there if you want to plug your phone in.” Victor started to chew on his lip as Yuuri searched for music on his phone. This wasn’t turning out like he had planned, and they weren’t even at the damn restaurant yet!

 

Yuuri started to play some soft jazz music with a smile.

 

“You really like jazz, huh?” Victor asked,

 

“It relaxes me when I’m keyed up,” Yuuri explained,

 

“Are you?” Victor asked, panicking. What had he done in the last five minutes to make Yuuri so nervous? This was bad, totally bad, Yuuri shouldn’t be anxious during their first date, he should be happy, excited, and most importantly, relaxed.

 

“No, but you seem to be,” Yuuri said, he placed his hands on one of Victor’s on the steering wheel. It was then that he realized that his hands were shaking.

 

“Oh,” was all he could say.

 

“What’s the matter, Victor?” Yuuri asked with a smile, “I’m not going to just run away if that’s what you’re worried about.”

 

“No, it’s just...I want this to be perfect,” Victor admitted, and he felt so pathetic, having to be comforted by his date.

 

“I’m sure it will be,” Yuuri reassured, “you don’t have to try so hard though, because then you won’t have a good time,”

 

Victor let out a deep breath as he pulled up to the restaurant. “You’re right,” he breaths, “I just really don’t want to fuck this up,”

 

Because I don’t know what another heart break will do to him.’ Phichit’s voice played back in his mind. Victor didn’t want to see that, Yuuri was so perfect he couldn’t even imagine being the reason he goes back into that dark place. The dark place that Victor had been in for years before he met Yuuri.

 

“Then don’t fuck it up,” Yuuri said, as if it were the simplest thing in the world. “I don’t know if you know this, but my standards aren’t that high.” he joked,

 

“Oh yeah?” Victor asked, a smile starting to form on his face.

 

“Yeah, pretty much if you treat me nicely at all, I’m all yours,” he laughs, and Victor can’t help himself, he joins in.

 

“You deserve to be treated like royalty, Yuuri!” He protests,

 

“Then you have nothing to worry about,” Yuuri said with a smile, he prys Victor’s death grip from the steering wheel and presses a kiss to his knuckles. “Honestly, Victor, it’s just me. I’m not going anywhere,” he spoke softly, Victor’s hand still pressed to his lips. Victor could have died a happy man right then and there. 

 

“Y-You’re right, I don’t know why I was so scared,” he says. Victor stops at a red light and they share a loving smile with each other. With the sun setting on Yuuri’s face, the same thing keeps repeating itself in Victor’s head.

 

I could kiss you,

 

“Come on, I haven’t eaten since breakfast,” Yuuri said, and just like that, the moment has passed. He pulls away from Victor and gets out of the car. Victor follows him into the restaurant, and his heart skips a beat when Yuuri takes his hand again. They enter the building and it is packed.

 

“I have a reservation under Nikiforov,” Victor tells the host, who then leads them to their table.

 

“Reservation?” Yuuri asks, an eyebrow raised.

 

“Yeah, I wanted to make sure we didn’t have to wait, good thing too,” 

 

“Nice thinking ahead,” Yuuri praises, and Victor could sing he was so happy. The only problem was that Yuuri let go of his hand when they sat down, and Victor couldn’t find a way to bring it up without making things awkward again.

 

The server came and took their drink orders, scotch for Victor and a sweet white wine for Yuuri. Victor took note that Yuuri had a sweet tooth. 

 

“What do you want to eat? Feel free to get anything on the menu, my treat,” Victor said, and as predicted, Yuuri fought back.

 

“Oh no, I’m going to help pay,” the younger man argued,

 

“You’re funny, I’m the one who asked you out, so I get to pay for the meal,” Victor countered, a smirk on his face.

 

“That isn’t how this works,” Yuuri pouted,

 

“If you want to pay so badly, then you ask me out next time,” Victor teased, and then he realized a split second too late what he said. 

 

“Already talking about a second date, huh? We’ve barely started the first,” Yuuri mocked, Victor’s face flushed a little making the Japanese man laugh.

 

“Well, I know my charms will woo you enough to score a second date Mr. ‘Just be nice to me!’” Victor’s laughter joined in with Yuuri’s, and they were receiving several stares, but Victor didn’t care. He was finally relaxing.

 

You still need to think of something else to do with him. Something fun! ’ The voice in his head scolded.

 

“Fine, you can pay for dinner, but I know what we’re doing next!” Yuuri said, taking his phone out. “You don’t have any other plans after dinner, do you?” he asked, suddenly unsure.

 

Bless Yuuri’s heart, because Victor was about to start panicking again.

 

“I had a few things I was debating on, but by all means, we can do whatever you want!” Victor played off, Yuuri smiled sweetly at him and sent a text to someone before putting his phone away.

 

“It’ll be fun,” Yuuri says, suddenly excited about their after dinner plans.

 

“What is it?” Victor asked, but the younger man just shook his head.

 

“You’ll see,” he smirked, and Victor pouted. Normally he was the one to surprise people, not the other way around.

 

Dinner wasn’t as bad as Victor feared it would be. They talked mostly about dogs. Makka, Scout and Frankie, Trigger, the pregnant dalmation that Yuuri took in today, even the mama pitbull and her two puppies Yuuri brought to him the first time Victor met Yuuri at the clinic.

 

“So all three got adopted?” Victor asked,

 

“Yep, the puppies, of course, got adopted the first week they were there. Puppies always go fast. Mama was in foster care for about three weeks. Mari told me that this family with a little girl came in, saw a picture of Mama on the board we keep for all our fosters, and begged her parents to meet her. They were a bit hesitant at first because of the whole pitbull stereotype, but Mari assured them that she was super gentle. So they met her, and fell in love. She was adopted the next day.” Yuuri explained, a huge smile on his face.

 

“That’s amazing, you really do change these animal’s lives Yuuri,” Victor praised,

 

“It’s honestly nothing, I hardly work at the shelter anymore aside from walking dogs and cleaning kennels, I’m more of a chauffeur for them.” Yuuri brushed off, because of course he did.

 

“What about Trigger? Are we just going to gloss over the fact that he’d probably be dead from all those dog fights if not for you?” Victor pressed, because it was important for Yuuri to see all the good he does.

 

“Well, no, but I was just doing my job and getting him out of a dangerous situation,” 

 

“I remember the day you brought Trigger in, I thought I was going to be asked to put him down for his aggressive behavior, most shelters would have made me. But you just wanted a simple check up to make sure he wasn’t permanently hurt or sick,” Victor continued. 

 

“We’re strictly a no kill shelter, we only euthanize if the animals are too sick or if they show no signs of getting their aggressive behavior under control. That’s more of my parents rule though,”

 

“But you agree with them?” 

 

“Of course,”

 

“Than my point still stands,” 

 

Yuuri smiles at him, and he takes a sip of his wine.

 

“What about you? I would never be able to make such an impact if I didn’t have you to take care of the animals I bring in.” Yuuri pressed,

 

“True, we make a pretty great team,” Victor said, sliding his hand across the table where it met Yuuri’s. Yuuri instantly flipped his hand over and ran his thumb across Victor’s knuckles.

 

“That we do.”

 


After dinner, Victor led Yuuri back to his car. He held the door open for him again and got in on the driver’s side.

 

“Are you going to tell me where we’re going yet?”

 

“Nope,” Yuuri said, popping the P, “I’ll tell you where to go though. Head as if you’re going to Mila’s place.”

 

“You are so evil,” Victor pouted, but did as he was told. 

 

“Are those flowers?” Yuuri asked, eyeing the bouquet in the backseat. Victor’s heart stopped, he was so nervous earlier that he forgot to give Yuuri his flowers! 

 

“How could I forget? Those were for you!” Victor said, feeling like a total idiot. Yuuri laughed and grabbed them.

 

“They’re beautiful, thank you!” Yuuri smiled and sniffed at them.

 

“I’m sorry, I should have given them to you when you got in the car!” 

 

“It’s okay, Victor, I love them,” he leaned over and rested his head on Victor’s shoulder, still smiling brilliantly at the flowers. Victor’s anger towards himself melted away immediately, he leaned his head against Yuuri’s as he kept driving. He loved this man, but he knew it was way too soon in their relationship to tell him. He’ll just have to wait until the time is right so that he doesn’t scare Yuuri off.

 

It didn’t take long for them to get to where they were going. Once they pulled onto the road, Victor knew exactly where they were. Of course he did, he used to beg his parents every weekend to go here instead of the boring park Yuri always wanted to go to.

 

“Ice skating?” Victor asked, and he could have slapped himself. Why couldn’t he think of ice skating as a date idea? It was perfect! “But it’s closed,”

 

“It’s okay, Nishigori’s parents own the rink. I sent him a text asking if we could come and use it, and he told me yes, but Yuuko is here with the girls. Is that okay?”

 

“Sure, I like kids and I like Yuuko.” Victor smiled and got out of the car. He followed Yuuri inside (after sneakily grabbing his hand again) and was lead behind the front desk to grab their skates. They then made their way to the double doors where the ice rink was.

 

“Uncle Yuuri!” Three high pitched voices screamed the moment they walked in. Victor saw three girls skating over to them, and Yuuri running to meet them at the edge of the rink to stop them from ruining their skates on the hard floor. Their mother skated to a halt behind them.

 

“Victor, this is Axel, Lutz, and Loop. Yuuko’s daughters. Girls this is Victor,” Yuuri introduced.

 

“Is he your boyfriend, Uncle Yuuri?”

 

“How’d you get someone so handsome?”


“You have time to date?”

 

“Hey!” Yuuko screamed, grabbing her girls as Yuuri blushed and Victor laughed,

 

“Your daughters are charming, Yukko,” Victor complimented,

 

“More like Brats, sorry about them!” Yuuko corrected, kissing one of them on the cheek as they wiggled to get free. “You three leave them alone now and go play on the other side of the rink,”

 

“But Moooooom,” they whined,

 

“Either go play or we can go home,” she threatened, that seemed to get their attention as they scrambled off.

 

“Don’t worry about them, we’ll only be here another half hour or so. I’ll leave you the key so you can lock up when you’re done. But the security system automatically starts up at midnight, so make sure you’re out by then,” Yuuko informed,

 

“Thank you so much for letting us skate this late, will you thank Nishigori for me too?” Yuuri asked,

 

“Of course!” Yuuko said, smiling as she skated off to where her girls were. Yuuri sat on one of the benches and Victor followed his lead.

 

“Have you ever skated before?” Yuuri asked as he laced up his skates. 

 

“I use to skate all the time when I was younger, I haven’t had the chance to in years though.” Victor admitted, following his date’s lead. 

 

They held hands once again when they got on the ice. Not doing anything fancy, just skating around the rink.

 

“Have you ever tried any jumps?” Victor asked,

 

“A few, I can do a double toe loop but that’s the best I got. I prefer spins,” Yuuri says,

 

“Can I see one?” 

 

“Sure,” Yuuri said, “let me warm up a little,” he skated away from Victor and started with a basic two foot spin, next a one foot spin once he got that down. He did some stretches to loosen up a bit (the best he could do while on the ice). After warming up, he took a steady breath and started spinning in a crouching position, then he grabbed his left ankle and lifted it over his head, doing a shaky Y-spin. After about 3 rotations he dropped it and skated back over to where Victor was watching.

 

“Yuuri, that was amazing!” Victor cheered, grabbing both of his hands. Yuuri smiled with pride.

 

“Thanks, it would have been better if I had more time to stretch, but I practiced that one a lot. I can do a few more that one is just one of my favorites,”

 

“Can I see more?” Victor asked, excitedly. He has never seen anyone so graceful on the ice before. Sure, Victor can do a couple jumps, but the way Yuuri moves his body when he skates is hypnotizing.

 

“You don’t have to humor me you know,” Yuuri smiled, blushing slightly.

 

“I promise I’m not! Can I please just see one more?” Victor begged,

 

“Okay, just one more.” Yuuri said, he skated off again. Yuuri dropped his body forward, his hands facing outward, and pulled his right leg out so that it was parallel to the ice. A beautiful camel spin. After a few rotations he dropped his free leg and span out of it, then made his way back to Victor.

 

Victor couldn’t hold back anymore, he instantly wrapped his arms around Yuuri and pulled him close kissing his cheek.

 

“You’re so beautiful, Yuuri,” he whispered for the first time out loud. Yuuri’s face was on fire, he quickly buried it into Victor’s shoulder to hide.

 

“I-I’m not that special, Victor,” he protested, but Victor could feel his smile. He was happy.

 

“You’re perfect,” Victor corrected, cuddling his date. He was so happy he could sing. He wasn’t worried about tonight going horribly wrong anymore, because how could it? He had this wonderful man in his arms, standing together in the middle of an ice rink. Sure, they were way too overdressed for ice skating, it was freezing, and they had an audience, but what did it matter when Yuuri Katsuki was snuggling up to him?

 

Speaking of having an audience, Victor looked up and saw three smartphones pointing at them. He smiled at the cameras and kissed the side of Yuuri’s head.

 

“Don’t look now, but our moment is being recorded,” he whispered and Yuuri stiffened. The younger man had totally forgotten about the girls.

 

“Yuuko! Control your monsters!” Yuuri yelled, as he pulled away from Victor and skated towards the girls who instantly screamed and ran away from their Uncle Yuuri. Yuuko, who was watching them with the biggest smile on her face, realized what Yuuri said and scrambled after them to help him catch her uncontrollable daughters. Victor just laughed as he watched the scene unfold. 

 

Tonight really is the best night of his life.

 


Correction, tonight was the best night of Victor’s life. They had agreed to stop by Victor’s house before he took Yuuri home, because Yuuri really wanted to see Makka and check on how the other two were doing. But, when they pulled up, they weren’t expecting to see Phichit’s car in the driveway, along with Masumi’s and Chris’ cars. Masumi stood at the front door, banging on it.

 

“What’s going on?” Yuuri asked,

 

“I’m not sure, Chris should still be at work,” Victor frowned, he had a bad feeling about this. “Let’s go check it out.” They got out of Victor’s car.

 

“Victor! Please, you have to let me in to talk to Chris. That asshole Phichit won’t let me near him!” Masumi yelled, running up to meet them at the car. Yuuri stiffened at Victor’s side.

 

“Excuse you, don’t talk about Phichit like that!” He snapped at the brunette.

 

“Sorry Yuuri, I’m just desperate, I need to get to Chris!” Masumi begged.

 

“What happened?” Victor asked, trying to stay on topic. Masumi hesitated and bit his lip.

 

“I-I fucked up, okay?” Tears started forming in his eyes, and Victor felt sorry for him. He always liked Masumi, he somehow manages to keep Chris out of trouble and has this calming aura around him.

 

“Just talk to me, Masumi, I’m sure we can work something o-”

 

“Victor!” A voice above them yelled, and Victor looked up to see a very pissed off looking Phichit. He was in Chris’ room, sitting on his bed that leaned against the window. “If you let that dick in here, I swear I will end both of you!”

 

Victor was so confused, what was going on? But then he heard it, a small broken sob coming from the room above them. Chris never cried. He didn’t cry when they were teenagers climbing trees, and he fell and broke his arm. He was hurt when his parents moved back to Switzerland, but he didn’t waste time on tears. He didn’t even cry when Victor told him that he was leaving to become a vet, unsure of when they’d see each other again.

 

It was that broken sob that made Victor see red. This man in front of him had managed to do the impossible. He grabbed Masumi by the collar of his shirt and screamed,

 

“What did you do to him?!” 

 

“Victor!” Yuuri protested behind him, but Victor ignored it.

 

“Talk Masumi! What did you do to my best friend?!” 

 

“I-I-I,” Masumi stammered, Victor has never lost his cool on anyone like this before. Cason had ran off pretty quickly after Victor threw him to the ground, there wasn’t much time for him to feel Victor’s wrath. What could Masumi have done to break such a strong person like Chris?

 

What if he got physical with him? ’ Popped into his head, and that got Victor even more angry.

 

“Did you hit him?!” Victor asked, shaking the terrified man, “I swear, if there is a single hair out of place, I will beat the living shit out of you!” He was losing control, he had to get himself together before he actually did something he regretted.

 

Then there was a pair of arms pulling Victor back, he let Masumi go who instantly fell to his knees. Victor turned his head and there was Yuuri. He was looking at him, just as terrified as Masumi was. Victor felt he was shaking and scared and holy shit, how could Victor have lost his cool like that in front of Yuuri?

 

“V-Victor, stop, p-please,” He begged, and Victor felt even worse at the tremor in his voice. He turned around and pulled Yuuri close.

 

“I’m so sorry, Yuuri. I don’t know what came over me, I didn’t mean to scare you like that,” he apologized, kissing the side of his head and pleading that his precious Yuuri will stop trembling. “I won’t do anything, I promise,”

 

“Thank you,” Yuuri whispered, hugging him back. 

 

“Y-Yuuri, you’ve got to believe me. I love Chris, I didn’t want to hurt him.” Masumi begged, still kneeling on the ground. Yuuri pulled away from Victor and looked at the pathetic man.

 

“Go home, Masumi, let us go talk to Chris and Phichit and figure out what’s going on.” Yuuri said, all the strength coming back into his voice.

 

“Phichit will only twist it to make me look horrible,” Masumi argued,

 

“Perhaps, but I promise I’ll call you in the morning and get your side. Just give Chris some space for now. Okay?” Yuuri asked, he and Masumi stared at each other for a minute before the brunette hung his head in shame.

 

“Okay,” he said, defeated and got up. He went to his car, but before he got in he looked up to where the window to Chris’ room was still opened, Phichit still glaring at him. “Chris, I know I hurt you, but I just want you to know I still love you!” he called.

 

“Go away, Masumi!” Chris sobbed out, he was still out of sight but his voice broke the hearts of all three men outside. 

 

Masumi just hung his head again, got in his car, and drove off. Victor and Yuuri watched him go.

 

“Come on, Victor, let’s go check on them,” Yuuri said in a soft voice after a moment. Victor nodded and unlocked the door. Once inside however, he stopped.

 

“Yuuri, I really am sorry,” Victor apologized again, “I’ve never lost my temper like that before, it was scary.”

 

Yuuri turned towards Victor, and he must have seen something in his face because he pulled Victor into another hug. 

 

“It’s okay, Victor. You’re okay,” he soothed, rubbing his back. Victor felt like he was going to be the next to burst into tears. He hugged Yuuri tighter and buried his face in his neck.

 

“I don’t know what I would have done to him if you weren’t there,” he admitted, he felt himself shaking now. “God, Yuuri, I was really going to hurt him!” And that fact is what made Victor break, the tears started to fall and Yuuri comforted him.

 

“You’re so good, Victor,” Yuuri whispered as he cried, “you love your friends and want to protect them, that’s not a bad thing. Just something you have to control,” 

 

Victor wasn’t sure how long they stood there at the bottom of the staircase, but eventually he calmed down enough to stop crying and just let himself be held. Yuuri pulled away after a few minutes and kissed the tears away. 

 

“You’re okay now?” he asked, cupping Victor’s cheeks and resting his forehead against his.

 

“I-I think so,” Victor said, closing his eyes.

 

“Good, because I need you to know I’m not scared of you, Victor. I was scared for you. If you kept going you could have gotten arrested for assault, lose your job and everything you worked so hard for. I’ll be damned if I ever let that happen,” Yuuri explained. Victor smiled sadly at him, Yuuri really was perfect.

 

“Th-thank you for stopping me,” he whispered, and for the second time that night he thought to himself,

 

I could kiss you ’ but he knew now was the worse time for that.

 

“Anytime, but now we really have to go check on our friends.” Yuuri said, pulling away, but taking Victor’s hand. Victor let himself be led up the stairs to Chris’ room.

 

Phichit was sitting up at the head of the bed, hand running through Chris’ hair as he laid next to him surrounded by the dogs. Chris had his face half buried in the pillows half hidden in Scout’s fur, his arms wrapped around the little dog. Frankie laying down on Chris’ other side. Makka was snoozing in Phichit’s lap, but she woke up and started wagging her tail when Victor entered.

 

“Oh Chris!” Victor said when he saw his friend in such a state. He sat on the edge of the bed and held his arms up, “Come here, Honey,” he called, Chris looked up at him for a minute with tear stricken eyes and then he got up and fell into Victor’s arms, sobbing. Yuuri sat next to Phichit and pet Makka so she wouldn’t bother the pair.

 

“T-Ten years!” Chris wailed, “W-We almost made it to eleven!” Victor held him tighter. He felt tears in his eyes once more, hurting with his friend.

 

“I got you, Chris, I promise everything will be okay,” Victor soothed, kissing his friend’s hair and burying his face in it. 

 

“So what happened?” He heard Yuuri whisper to Phichit. Victor listened as Phichit filled them in, rubbing his friend’s back the entire time. Yuuri looked angry, but he didn’t interrupt. Victor understood what Masumi was saying when he said they would only believe Phichit. What good reason would someone have to cheat? Unless the other man forced himself onto Masumi, but the brunette had already admitted that he messed up. Meaning it was 100 percent consensual. 

 

“Oh Chris,” Victor breathed, kissing the top of his friend’s head multiple times.

 

“M-Make it go away,” his friend whispered brokenly, “I d-don’t want to feel anything, I-I-I wanna be numb,”

 

“I know, Honey, but you have to let it out. Suppressing it will only be worse,” Victor said, and his friend just sobbed harder.

 

Yuuri stood up, “I’m going to go make some tea, he’s going to need it after this,” 

 

“I’ll come help, maybe we can all watch a movie downstairs?” Phichit suggested,

 

“What do you think, Chris?” Victor asked softly. His friend just nodded.

 

Yuuri and Phichit left, calling the dogs after them leaving Chris and Victor alone. 

 

“I thought he loved me! What did I do?!” Chris sobbed, “Wh-what did I do?” he repeated, this time a broken whisper.

 

“Oh Chris!” Victor said, dropping down so that they were both lying on the pillows. “Nothing, Baby, you did nothing wrong! You are so wonderful and Masumi was a fool!”

 

“H-How long was he playing me? All those times he was going out with his sister was he really out with him? Does he even live with his sister?!”

 

“I couldn’t tell you how long, but he won’t play you anymore, Chris, I promise you. I won’t let him hurt you anymore.” A sob broke through Victor’s mouth and the two just laid their, holding on to each other and crying. “You’ll be okay, Chris, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure of it!” 

 


Chris and Victor shared one class together in high school, that was pre-calculus. Even though he was two years behind Victor, Chris was smart when it came to math. Victor was okay in the subject as long as he had a pencil and paper, but he was no match against the freshman. 

 

“So, I need to tell you something,” Chris announced one day as Victor quickly copied his friend’s homework before class. 

 

“What’s up?” Victor asked, only half paying attention to what he was writing down. 

 

“You know Masumi? Brown hair? Tall?” 

 

“Yeah,”

 

“Well, he came over after you left last night.” Chris said, Victor looked over at his friend, homework completely forgotten. Chris’ parents had taken a week to go to Switzerland to visit his sick grandmother, leaving the teen alone. Victor was at his house everyday, but his mother wouldn’t let him stay the night. Nadia had said the two would just get into more trouble if she allowed it.

 

“I didn’t even know you two knew each other,” Victor admitted, Masumi was in his grade. He was quiet and kept to himself most of the time.

 

“We’re neighbors, his sister is in my grade and I hang out with them a lot,” Chris admitted,

 

“So, why are you telling me about this?” 

 

“You can’t tell anyone, Masumi doesn’t want people to know yet, but I’m telling you because I know you can keep a secret,” Chris said, more serious than Victor’s ever seen him before.

 

“Okay,” Victor promised.

 

“Well, we kind of, you know,” Chris’ voice dropped to a whisper, “slept together,” Victor’s mouth dropped open. He knew his friend was adventurous, but he was also only fifteen! 

 

“How?” Victor asked, flabbergasted, but Chris just shrugged,

 

“It just sort of happened,” he said,

 

“Are you two going out now?” 

 

“We’re going to see where it goes, but I think so?”

 

“Wait,” Victor paused, because here his freshman friend was, sitting next to Victor’s virgin ass. “Did it hurt?” he whispered,

 

“Ohhh yeah it did,” Chris laughed, relieved that Victor was being so understanding. “He was slow and patient, but neither of us knew what we were doing. It hurt like hell at first, but then it felt good and everything was just so...right,” 

 

Victor smiled, Chris always made a lot of inappropriate jokes, but he knew deep down that his friend was a big softy. 

 

“I’m happy for you, but please promise you’ll be safe. Use protection and all that,”

 

“We will,” Chris promised and the two shared a smile. It was the first time Victor ever saw Chris like this. He wasn’t the little kid who catcalled attractive strangers anymore. He was grown up, and making these adult decisions.

 

Victor just hoped his friend won’t grow up too fast and wind up hurt.

Chapter Text

Phichit followed Yuuri to the kitchen. It took a bit of searching but eventually they found everything for the tea. Yuuri set the kettle on the stove and waited. 

 

“I can’t believe Masumi would do that,” he said after a minute. Phichit was sitting on the counter, glaring at the floor.

 

“I know what you mean, I didn’t want to believe it at first either. I wouldn’t have if I didn’t see it with my own eyes,” Phichit said, crossing his arms.

 

“Tell me about this bar regular you found him with,” Yuuri said, trying to understand what must have been going through Masumi’s head. He promised he’d call the brunette in the morning, but he wanted to have some sort of idea what was happening.

 

“He comes in almost every day at five, he sits at the bar and stays for a few hours. I’m not a bartender, so I don’t know him very well, but I think his name was Elmer? Maybe Edwin?  Something with an E, he’s much older than us. Maybe your dad’s age?” 

 

“Do you think there’s a reason for his age?” Phichit shrugged,

 

“I mean, not to shit on Chris or anything, but he isn’t the most mature person in the world, maybe he wanted someone more grown up?” Phichit’s frown tightened. “This is so stupid! Chris is so wonderful, why would anyone want to do that to him? Even if I’m right, that’s so fucked up! If he wasn’t what Masumi wanted, he should have ended their relationship years ago!” 

 

“I know you’re upset, but what if Masumi has his reasons?” Yuuri suggested, and Phichit turned his glare on him,

 

“Are you actually defending him, Yuuri?” Phichit asked in disbelief.

 

“No, absolutely not! What he did was totally wrong! I’m just trying to understand him!” Yuuri explained, getting defensive.

 

“Why bother? He cheated on Chris, end of story. There’s no point in trying to understand Masumi’s side!” Yuuri dropped his eyes to the tea kettle.

 

“I told Masumi I’d hear him out,” he murmured, hoping his friend wouldn’t hear. 

 

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Yuuri, why? I thought of all people, you’d be on Chris’ side given your past!” Phichit snapped, making Yuuri flinch. 

 

It was true, he was on Chris’ side. Part of him wanted nothing more to do with Masumi. He wanted to throw him out of Chris’ life, just like he had with Cason the other day. 

 

“I just want to know what was going through his head when he decided to do it.” Yuuri said, “maybe then I can figure out why men seem to do nothing but hurt the people they say they love…” Phichit sighed, dropping down from the counter and going over to Yuuri. He wrapped his arms around his best friend who was still facing the stove.

 

“I shouldn’t have said that, I’m sorry,” Phichit apologized, “I’m just a little keyed up now with everything going on.”

 

“I know you didn’t mean it to hurt me,” Yuuri closed his eyes and leaned back into his friend’s embrace. He was reminded of all those years ago in high school. Cason holding him so tenderly like this wherever they went, just like how Victor held him tonight. 

 

What if Victor hurts you too? ’ His anxiety asked, making his shiver. No, Victor is different. He would never be that cruel. 

 

You thought the same thing about Masumi. You liked Masumi. He was kind, quiet, and in love, ’ 

 

“God, Peach, what am I doing?” Yuuri asked, a shiver going through his body. “I shouldn’t be trying to date yet!” Phichit tightened his hold.

 

“I shouldn’t have brought Cason up, I’m sorry Yuuri. Tonight was suppose to be all about you and Victor.” 

 

“What if I’m just getting myself ready for another heartbreak?” He asks, he knows it’s an extremely inappropriate time to be talking about this, but he’s really starting to worry.

 

“Then I’ll be here to help put you back together, just like how we are doing with Chris. I promise Yuuri, if there is one this you don’t have to worry about, it’s being alone.” Phichit vowed, “Take a deep breath for me, okay? You’re winding yourself up and it’s not good,”

 

Yuuri did as he was told, Phichit smiled as he rested his chin on his shoulder.

 

“Thanks, sorry, I didn’t mean to make that all about me,” Yuuri said,

 

“Anytime, I’ll always be here for you, bud,” Phichit snuggled him. “But for now, I have a pillow fort to start. Help me find extra pillows and blankets while we wait for the tea.”

 

They located the extra comforters easily enough, they were located in a closet in the living room. They had to build and rebuild the fort several times because the dogs kept knocking it over, but eventually they got it to stay standing.

 

It was a pretty simple fort, they took four dining room chairs and placed them facing outward, a big white sheet was hanging over the chairs and held down by a few books the two found, securing a roof. After that they stuffed as many pillows and blankets in the fort to make it as comfortable as possible.

 

“Do you really think four grown men are going to fit in this thing?” Yuuri asked, trying to size it up.

 

“Sure, as long as you sit in Victor’s lap.” Phichit teased, making Yuuri blush scarlett. He couldn’t help but picture it, the four of them all cuddled together in the fort. Victor’s arms wrapped protectively around him and Chris. Phichit on Chris’ other side, snuggled close. Phichit laughed at the expression on Yuuri’s face.

 

“You suck!” Yuuri cried, throwing an extra pillow at his so-called best friend before disappearing into the kitchen where the teapot was now screaming. Phichit continued to laugh from the living room. “Go get them already!”

 

“Of course! Let's get this cuddle party started!” Phichit cheered, and Yuuri heard him go up the stairs. 

 

Yuuri’s vision wasn’t that far off, all three of them laid on their stomachs facing the TV which was playing the first Harry Potter movie. Victor was practically on top of Yuuri, snuggling up to him with one of his hands rubbing circles in Chris’ back. Phichit and Yuuri both had an arm around Chris as well, hoping physical contact will help ease the pain, even a little bit. 

 

Yuuri dozed off somewhere between the second and third movie. He was awaken by soft kisses being pressed against his face.

 

“Mmmmmpfff,” he moaned out, snuggling closer to the warm body pressed against him.

 

“Time to wake up, Yuuri,” Victor’s voice whispered in his ear. “Go up to my room, I’ll sleep on the couch tonight,”

 

“I’m not stealing your bed,” he protested sleepily. Victor chuckled,

 

“You don’t seem to be putting up much of a fight,” he teased. He was right, even with all the blankets and pillows surrounding them, they were still on the floor which was still uncomfortable. Yuuri wanted to be in bed right now.

 

“Mmmmm, you come too,” he said, snuggling even closer to Victor.

 

“I don’t think that would be such a good idea, Yuuri,” Victor said, running a hand through his hair.

 

“I just want to cuddle, nothing else,” Yuuri said, looking up into Victor’s beautiful blue eyes. They looked at each other for a moment before Victor gave in.

 

“I can’t deny you of anything,” he admitted, pulling away and crawling out of the pillow fort. “Come along then,” Victor smiled, helping Yuuri out and leading the way up to his room.

 

The only time Yuuri had ever been in here was during the inspection. He wanted to look around some more, because it seemed as if Victor had added more furniture since then, but he was too tired. He fell face first onto Victor’s soft bed. 

 

The Russian chuckled behind him. “Let’s get you into something more comfortable, da?” he suggested, Yuuri heard a few drawers opening and closing and Victor placing something soft against his shoulder. “Can you change into these? I’ll go change in the bathroom.” 

 

“Kay,” Yuuri said, sitting up and waiting for Victor to leave before he changed into the soft pajamas he had been given. Victor was taller than him, so the shirt fell across one shoulder and he had to tie the sweatpants so they didn’t slip over his butt, but Yuuri felt so snug in his boyfriend’s clothes. 

 

He laid down under the covers without even turning the light off. He then realized what he thought to himself.

 

Boyfriend… Victor Nikiforov is my boyfriend, ’ he smiled as he dozed. He was only half aware of the arms wrapping themselves around him from behind and pulling him close.

 

“Good night, lyubov moya,” Victor whispered in his ear, making Yuuri shiver and sigh in content. Never in his life had he had such a great night's sleep.

 


Yuuri awoke to a buzzing sound. He peeled his eyes opened and the first thing he noticed was that he wasn’t in his room. The second was that he wasn’t alone. Victor still had his arms securely wrapped around Yuuri as he slept on. Yuuri reached behind himself and kissed the messy silver head of hair.

 

The third thing he realized was by far the most embarrassing. That being pressed against his attractive Russian boyfriend all night had its… consequences. Yuuri peaked under the covers and sure enough, his morning wood was standing in attention. He gulped, and tried to slide out of Victor’s hold, but he just held on tighter.

 

“Good morning,” Victor murmured sleepily, his eyes still closed. 

 

“M-Morning,” Yuuri stammered out, still trying to wiggle free. “I need to go to the bathroom,” he lied. Well, half lied. 

 

“But you’re so waaaarm,” Victor whined, not letting go.

 

“I’ll be back,” Yuuri said, getting a little desperate because Victor subconsciously dropped one of his arms lower so he was only inches away from Yuuri’s hard on. Yuuri’s face was on fire, “please Victor, I gotta go.”

 

Victor whined again, but released the struggling man. “Hurry back,” he yawned as Yuuri scrambled from the room. Yuuri could have sworn he heard a deep chuckle as he shut the bathroom door.

 

Once Yuuri’s… problem was dealt with, he returned to the bed where Victor pulled him against his chest.

 

“You took forever,” he complained, kissing Yuuri’s forehead.

 

“You survived,” Yuuri teased, snuggling up against his boyfriend’s neck.

 

“You’re phone has been going off,” Victor told him, running a hand through his hair. “If you want my opinion, I don’t think you should bother.” Yuuri knew exactly who was blowing up his phone and the idea to ignore it all day was tempting, but he knew he couldn’t.

 

“I just want to know why he did it,” Yuuri explained once again, still snuggling against Victor, “I’m not saying I want him and Chris to get back together, a cheater will always be a cheater. But maybe if Chris has some sort of reason, it’ll help him move on? When Cason… dumped me… all he told me was that he didn’t love me anymore. I didn’t understand what I did wrong, or how I could fix myself, all I knew was that it was somehow my fault. That was why it took me years to try again. I don’t want Chris to hurt that long.”

 

“It wasn’t your fault, Yuuri,” Victor protested, holding him closer and playing with his hair.

 

“I get that now, but at the time it was all I could think about. Does that make sense?” Victor let out a sigh,

 

“It does,” Victor admits, “you are so good, Yuuri.” 

 

“This is nothing, I’d do anything for my friends.”

 

“That’s what makes you so good though, you’re like a guardian angel or something. To animals, to humans, makes me feel a little unworthy.” Victor said, sweetly.

 

Yuuri sat up looking down at Victor, he was practically on top of the older man at this point. Victor looked back up at him with so much love it made Yuuri want to cry. Cason had never looked at Yuuri that way, he sort of felt like an idiot for comparing the two last night.

 

No, Victor wasn’t anything like Cason. Even though Victor and Yuuri hadn’t shared their feelings aloud yet, they didn’t have to. They both knew that they were in love. Yuuri closed the distance between them. 

 

They both had morning breath and Yuuri’s lips were chapped, but it was the best kiss Yuuri had ever experienced. Victor was so gentle, one of his hands came up to caress the back of Yuuri’s head, the other rubbed circles in his lower back. Yuuri’s hands stayed where they were on Victor’s shoulders.

 

Victor took the lead then, flipping them over softly so that Yuuri’s head rested on the pillows. They didn’t break the kiss, in fact, Yuuri opened his mouth to deepen it. Between the soft pillows, the blanket, and Victor’s arms surrounding him, he felt so safe. Victor’s tongue pressed against Yuuri’s and he couldn’t help himself. Yuuri opened up more, his hands found their way into Victor’s hair and pulled him closer. His legs spread so they were on either side of Victor, trapping him in. They grinded against each other making both of them moan.

 

“Yuuri,” Victor moaned against his mouth. It sent shivers up Yuuri’s spine. Victor kissed him gently one more time before pulling away. “We should stop before we get ahead of ourselves,” he suggested, a bit breathless. Yuuri could feel his face flush.

 

“Y-You’re right,” he admitted, he didn’t mean for it to go that far. He really just wanted to show Victor how much he meant to him. Victor leaned down and kissed him gently once more. 

 

Yuuri’s phone began to buzz again on the bedside table and he whined. Damn Masumi.

 

“You should just answer him so he’ll leave you alone,” Victor suggested, rolling off Yuuri and sitting up. “I’ll let you borrow some clothes and a spare toothbrush,”

 

“I think you’re the angel between us,” Yuuri teased, grabbing his glasses and phone. 18 missed calls and 27 text messages all from Masumi. Yuuri sighed, not bothering to read any of the texts he dialed Masumi back.

 

“Yuuri! I was getting worried!” Masumi yelled after the first ring.

 

“It’s nine thirty in the morning, Masumi,” Yuuri complained, “I just woke up,”

 

“I’m sorry, I’ve just been up all night. I couldn’t sleep,” 

 

He sounds so genuine, why would he be so upset over this? There has to be more going on here, ’ Yuuri thought to himself.

 

“Give me time to get ready, I’ll meet you at the Crispino’s coffee shop in forty-five minutes?”

 

“O-Okay, can I ask how Chris is doing?” he asked, and Yuuri just sighed.

 

“No you can’t, I’ll see you in forty-five minutes,” he said before hanging up. He felt cruel for doing it, but Chris meant more to him than Masumi did at that moment. Victor handed him a maroon sweater and a black pair of pants with a belt, Yuuri took the clothes gratefully.

 

“I have a fresh pack of toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet, and my toothpaste is in the left drawer. Come down for some coffee before you leave.” Victor said, leaning down to kiss his cheek.

 

Yuuri got ready and went downstairs. He could see Victor out back with the dogs, Phichit sat at the dining table drinking coffee, and Chris had three dog bowls on the counter, measuring out the right amount of food for each dog.

 

“Where did you sleep?” Yuuri asked Phichit, going over to the coffee maker and making himself a cup.

 

“Chris’ room, you were passed out and I didn’t feel like sleeping on a couch,” 

 

I didn’t want Chris to be alone, ’ Is what he really means, and Yuuri nods understandingly. Yuuri looks over at the blond, he had red puffy eyes and his usual flirtatious smile was nowhere to be seen, but overall he looks okay.

 

“What about you?” Phichit teases as Yuuri sits across from him, “Have fun last night?”

 

“If by fun you mean I went upstairs and passed out, then yes.” Yuuri says matter-of-factly, Phichit rolls his eyes.

 

“You gotta give me something better than that, Yuuri,” 

 

“Later,” Yuuri says, eyeing Chris again who was staring at the dog bowls and looking as if he was about to burst into another round of tears. Phichit realized how insensitive he was being and nodded quickly.

 

Victor walked in at that moment with the dogs and patted Chris on the back.

 

“Thank you for doing that for me,” he said, grabbing two of the lesser filled dog food and putting it in front of Frankie and Scout. Chris didn’t say anything, he just put Makka’s down in front of her as she gracelessly dug in.

 

“Might want to consider getting a slow eater for Makka, she’s going to throw up her breakfast if she keeps scarfing it down like that.” Phichit commented as Chris took the seat next to him. Victor poured himself some coffee and took his place next to Yuuri.

 

“I ordered one the other day actually, it should be coming in the mail anytime now,” Victor told him, taking a sip and wrapping his free arm around Yuuri. “What I need to do is schedule a haircut for her and Scout, and maybe a nail trim for all three of them. Grooming has never been my specialty,” 

 

“Don’t waste your money, I’m great at grooming,” Phichit announced,

 

“It’s true, I’ve brought loads of dogs home for a night just so that Peach can shave shave them,” Yuuri backed up.

 

“Really? That would be really nice if you could do that for me, Phichit,” Victor says gratefully.

 

“No problem, I can bring my grooming supplies here after work if you two don’t mind me staying the night again,” Phichit offers, Yuuri knows what his best friend is doing. He’s doing his mother hen thing on Chris, just like he always does on Yuuri. The only difference is that this time he’s not sure if it is a good thing for Chris’ mental health. Yuuri gives his friend a look and Victor notices.

 

“Of course, you and Yuuri are more than welcome to come over again!” Victor says quickly, obviously taking Yuuri’s glare the wrong way. Yuuri just smiles at Victor and kisses his cheek.

 

“We’ll be over tonight then,” Yuuri promises, he downs the rest of his coffee and stands up. “Peach, can I borrow your car? I need to go somewhere now,” 

 

“Sure, I’ll call Mila or someone to pick me up,” Phichit said already knowing where Yuuri is going, he grabbed his keys out of his pocket and handed them to his friend.

 

“Thanks,” he said, kissing Victor on the cheek one more time, giving Chris a big hug and making his way to the front door. 

 


Yuuri was five minutes late, and boy was he aware of it when he walked into the coffee shop and saw the scene in front of him. The Crispino twins were both standing behind the counter, Sara looking annoyed, Michele yelling at a frazzled looking Masumi. 

 

“Mikki! Will you stop?!” His sister yelled at him, “you’re making a big deal out of nothing!”

 

“This punk was giving you the crazy eyes, Sara! I won’t allow it!” Mikki snapped, giving his own signature crazy eyes back at Masumi.

 

“You need backup, Mikki? I can take him!” Emil called from his place at the other end of the bar, making foam latte art very intimidatingly. 

 

“You are both idiots! He was just asking me a question!” Sara groaned, “you’re gonna scare away the customers and Mama will be pissed!”

 

Yuuri sighed, he debated if he should just leave before anyone noticed, but decided it would do more harm than good. He went over to the counter where the twins were still yelling at each other.

 

“I have half a mind to- Oh Yuuri! Good morning!” Sara said cheerfully. Yuuri really liked Sara, she was a year younger than him, and one of their favorite games growing up was “Escape From Mikki”. 

 

“Morning Sara, Michelle,”

 

“Yuuri, thank god, I didn’t think you were coming, I came over here to ask Sara if she’s seen you, but...you know...” Masumi said, Yuuri rolled his eyes. 

 

“Go find us somewhere to sit, Masumi,” he said, making the brunette walk off.

 

“What’s going on?” Sara asked, already ringing up his usual order, a caramel cappuccino with a dash of nutmeg. Michelle sent a glare at Yuuri but Yuuri ignored it, not really in the mood for the man’s crazy today.

 

“Something I can’t really talk about, lets just say that Masumi is a shithead and leave it at that.” Yuuri said, Sara nodded understandingly. 

 

“Mikki, get back to work!” She snapped, pushing her brother away. “Are you off today?”

 

“Sort of, I’m working the next six days, but I need to go give Mari some time off today, she covered for me last night,”

 

“Can I come help you? A lot has happened these past few weeks and I have a lot to tell you!” Sara said, smiling with an adorable blush on her cheeks. Yuuri always found her cute, but in more of a little sister way.

 

“Sure, if you don’t mind helping me clean the kennels. It’s not the most fun job in the world,”

 

“Only if we get to play with some of the dogs afterword,” she compromised, Yuuri smiled at her.

 

“Deal, I’ll have the squeaky toys and dog treats ready.”

 

“I can’t wait!” She said happily as Emil handed her Yuuri’s order. Yuuri started to pull out his wallet but she waved him off.

 

“I got this one, don’t worry about it,” Yuuri thanked her and went begrudgingly to Masumi’s table.

 

“Yuuri, I need to know if Chris is okay,” was the first thing he said when Yuuri’s butt hit the seat.

 

“No, he isn’t, but he’s got me, Phichit, and Victor looking after him.” Masumi’s face was full of guilt. “Why’d you do it, Masumi?” Yuuri asked, he was going to wait and ask at the right time, but the curiosity was killing him. Masumi looked down, ashamed.

 

Good. ’ was the only thing Yuuri thought.

 

“It...was for the money,” he finally admitted and that threw Yuuri off.

 

“Excuse me?” he asked, unsure if he heard correctly.

 

“Emmett… the guy I was with… he’s very rich, the CEO of a cigar company. He lives in town, but works in the city. Everyday for years he’d come to Celestino’s after work and admire the bartenders. When I first moved up to bartender, he’d ask me all sorts of personal questions. How old I was, my favorite color, favorite gems, about my friends, if I had a boyfriend , I was young and stupid. Every now and then he’d bring in gifts; necklaces, watches, bath salts, expensive chocolates, all sorts of things. 

 

“Then one day when we were still living together, Chris and I got into this huge fight and I ended up going to work angry. Of course Emmett noticed and ask if I wanted to talk about it. I was so angry, I just told him everything. I even admitted that we moved in together way too soon, and it was putting too much stress on our relationship. That’s where it really started, he offered to buy me an apartment to live in, a nice one with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. He even said he’d furnish it for me. I asked him what the catch was, and he assured me nothing major. I’d just have to attend a few parties with him as his date, make it seem convincing.”

 

“What do you mean convincing?” Yuuri asked, he was silent through the entire explanation up until this point, but he had to know. Masumi sighed,

 

“I had to kiss him, and he was allowed to kiss me. I drew the line on the lips though, I love Chris and his lips were the only ones I wanted to touch.” 

 

“So you went along with it?” Yuuri asked,

 

“Reluctantly at first, I told my sister everything and asked if she’d move in with me as a cover. Chris would never have believed I’d be able to afford and furnish such a nice apartment on my own. She did and we moved in together. I kept going on dates with Emmett, because we agreed in order for him to keep paying my rent I’d have to drop whatever plans I had in order to go out with him. He took me to parties, brunches, cruises, a company trip to Italy, all of that. I hated myself more and more with every trip. I knew I was betraying Chris, but I was in too deep at this point.”

 

“Phichit said he saw you two making out, when did the kissing rule change?” Yuuri asked, getting angrier by the minute.

 

“A few months ago… This is where I really messed up…” Masumi paused for a minute, Yuuri took a sip of his forgotten cappuccino, giving him a chance to form his words. “We had just come back from one of his company parties, we were both a little more than buzzed and I had this drunk epiphany that I was having such a good time. More than I’d had with Chris in a long time. Sure, Emmett’s as old as my father, but he had this mature feel to him. I kissed him on the lips, and...and… I asked him to stay the night,”

 

“You slept with him!” Yuuri snapped, slamming his drink down. A few heads turn but he didn’t care. 

 

“Yes,” Masumi admitted, hanging his head, “only once… but yes,”

 

“Once is one too many!” Yuuri yelled, “If you love Chris the way you keep saying, then you should have stuck by him! Not run away the first opportunity you get!” 

 

“I know… I know… I was youn-”

 

“It doesn’t matter! Relationships are hard! You’ll argue! You’ll fight! But at the end of the day, you go back to each other and make up!” Angry tears were forming in Yuuri’s eyes and he started to shake. “You never loved him!”

 

“That’s a lie!”

 

“No, you didn’t! You are a coward! If you really loved him, you would have never done it! Or you would have let him go the moment you decided to act! You can’t have both, Masumi! Now the choice is being made for you!” Yuuri could see from the corner of his eye that Sara was trying to walk over to them, but Michelle was stopping her. Yuuri stood up, he was done here.

 

“I knew you’d take Phichit’s side,” Masumi spat as Yuuri walked away, “why did I even bother?” Yuuri stopped and turned his head.

 

“I’m not taking Phichit’s side, I’m taking Chris’. Something you should have done the moment Emmett offered you that apartment.” He said venomously. Yuuri walked out of the coffee shop, he’d apologize to Sara later for making such a scene.

 


Yuuri sat and waited under the old oak tree in the park. Their tree. It was a peaceful day, the weather was perfect, kids were outside playing, parents getting picnics ready.

 

'I should have thought to pack a lunch for us ’ Yuuri thinks, he had just graduated and he was excited when he got a text from Cason asking if they could meet up. He of course said yes, and after feeding a very sluggish moving Vacchan, Yuuri ran over to their spot.

 

Yuuri didn’t have to wait long, he saw Cason walking towards him and he got up and ran to his boyfriend’s arms, kissing him long and hard on the lips.

 

“Hey Baby,” Yuuri whispered against his mouth.

 

“Yuyu,” Cason greeted, wrapping his hand around his waist and ushering him back towards their tree. “I need to talk to you,” he said, taking both of Yuuri’s hands in his.

 

“What’s up?”

 

“Well, now that we’re officially out of school, I think it’s time that we made some changes,” Cason said, firmly. Yuuri’s heart dropped, anxiety spiked. 

 

Calm down, Yuuri, you’re being overdramatic, ’ he tried to reassure himself.

 

“What kind of changes?” He asked,

 

“I think we should break up,” Cason said clearly, so that there was no way Yuuri could have misheard him. Yuuri’s smile dropped,

 

“Wh-Wha-”

 

“It was fun, Yuyu, really it was. But we’re eighteen now, and it’s time we went our separate ways.”

 

“B-But I thought, what we had… you said you’d marry me!” Yuuri accused, showing him the class ring he was still wearing. Cason’s ring. 

 

Cason didn’t even flinch, he simply took Yuuri’s wrist and slid the ring off, pocketing it.

 

“Give me some explanation!” Yuuri demanded, he wasn’t crying yet. He wouldn’t give Cason the pleasure of seeing his tears.

 

“You really want me to just go out and say it? Fine.” He said, “I don’t love you anymore, Yuuri. I did, but that’s changed. I realized that I’m not gay.” Cason said coldly, Yuuri stared at him, stunned. He looked down at his feet, feeling like he was going to be sick.

 

“I get it… Well if that’s how it is, I’m sorry I couldn’t be enough for you,” he whispered, trying his hardest to smile because he knew otherwise he’d burst into tears.

 

“Jeez Yuuri, it’s fine, nothing to get so worked up over,” Cason tried, touching his shoulder, but Yuuri just shrugged it off.

 

“You’re right… I’ll just be going then,” Yuuri said, turning and walking away from Cason. As soon as he was out of Cason’s sight, he couldn’t hold it in any longer. He fell onto a nearby bench and burst into tears. Pulling out his phone he dialed the first number he could think of. “M-Mari, c-can you come get me? I’m at the park,”

 

“I’ll be there in ten minutes,” his older sister promised. Yuuri hung up the phone and buried his face in his hands, sobbing even louder.

Chapter Text

After Yuuri and Phichit left, Victor wasn’t sure what would be best for Chris. Should he try to talk to his friend about Masumi, or should he leave him alone? He decided until he found out what was going on, he would just drop the subject entirely.

 

“I’m going to go visit my parents, would you like to come with me?” Victor offered, already knowing the answer.

 

“No, I think I’ll just hang around here with the dogs today,” Chris muttered, standing up from the table and picking up Scout. He really was the best cuddle buddy. Scout rested his head on Chris’ shoulder as he started going towards the stairs.

 

“At least get ready, don’t stay in your pajamas all day,” Victor called after him, grabbing his car keys and wallet that were on the kitchen counter.

 

“Kay,” was all the response he got from his friend. Victor let out a deep breath, he wanted Chris to be happy again, he wanted to wring Masumi’s neck, he wanted Yuuri back in his arms and not talking to that sleazy cheater, but most of all, he wanted his mom. 

 

He drove the short distance to his parent’s house. Even though he had been gone for 10 years and had moved out almost a month ago, he still considered this place home. He was surprised to see Otabek’s motorcycle sitting out front and the said teen sitting on the front porch swing.

 

“Otabek? What’s up?” Victor asked when he walked up.

 

“I wouldn’t go in there if I were you,” he warned, “they’ve been yelling for about half an hour now,” Victor sighed, this was just what he needed on top of everything else. 

 

“About the motorcycle again?” he asked,

 

“Yep,” 

 

“I got this,” Victor assured, opening the front door and walking straight to the living room where his parents were towering over his little brother. Yuri was standing his ground though, not looking intimidated by them in the least. “I’m home!” Victor announced, stopping his stepdad mid sentence to kiss his and his mother’s cheeks.

 

“Vitya, you didn’t tell me you were coming over,” Nadia said, surprised.

 

“I didn’t realize I needed an invitation,” he teased, messing with Yuri’s hair who instantly slapped his hand away.

 

“I’m out of here,” Yuri said, trying to leave only to be grabbed by the back of the collar by his father.

 

“Oh no you aren’t, you aren’t going anywhere with that punk,” Petya snapped at the teen.

 

“He’s not a punk! You just don’t like him because of the motorcycle! He’s been nothing but nice to you two!”

 

“Yura, we only want you to be safe! If that means not allowing you to see him then so be it!” Nadia exclaimed.

 

“If I may-” Victor started,

 

“No you may not!” Petya interrupted.

 

“Petya, let Vitya talk,” Nadia sighed, 

 

“No, he’s only going to convince you to let Yura go with that kid, you always change your mind once Vitya gets involved,”

 

“Only when he has a good point, he helps me see things in a different perspective!” Nadia snapped, looking offended. Victor smiled at her. His mother was just as stubborn as he was, and he loved how she never let Petya push her around. Petya sighed.

 

“Fine, what were you going to say?” Petya asked Victor begrudgingly,

 

“I was only going to say that you two didn’t like Chris when I was Yuri’s age, and now he’s pretty much a part of the family,” 

 

“Chris didn’t ride around town on a motorcycle!” Petya snapped,

 

“Yura, were you intending to get on the motorcycle?” Victor turned his attention to his brother. He trusted Yuri to make his own decisions for the most part, but it was obvious that his parents didn’t. 

 

“No!” Yuri yelled, “we were going to walk to the park!”

 

“Then I don’t see a problem here,” Victor defended,

 

“It’s only a walk to the park this time, but what about if you two want to go somewhere farther? Like the movies or something?” Nadia asked,

 

“He has a regular licence too, Mama! His family has an extra car, but he just prefers his motorcycle because it saves him money on gas, and he’s normally driving around by himself,” Yuri explained.

 

“I still don’t like the idea of you hanging around eighteen year olds, Yuri, you’re only a freshman, why don’t you make friends with any of those girls who stop by here?” Petya asked,

 

“Because they’re all annoying! They go around school calling themselves ‘ my angels ’ and treat me like I’m some sort of god rather than a normal person!” Yuri huffed, “Otabek is cool, and I’m going to hang out with him whether you like it or not!” He turned on his heels and started walking away.

 

“Yuri Plisetsky! You get back here right now!” Petya yelled, but the teen just ignored him, slamming the front door on his way out.

 

“I’m getting too old to deal with hormonal teenagers,” Nadia sighed, falling onto the couch and rubbing her temples. 

 

“46 is hardly old, Mama,” Victor assured, sitting down next to her. “You two should really go easier on him though, he has a hard enough time making friends.”

 

“I just want him to be safe, he’s my baby,” his mother groaned.

 

“He’s growing up, Mama, maybe a little too quickly for either of our liking, but he’s very mature for a fifteen year old.”

 

“Way more mature than you were at least,” Petya huffed, sitting down in an armchair. Victor chuckled,

 

“Exactly, can you imagine having to raise another me? What a nightmare!” Victor took Nadia’s hand. “Let him have this, Mama. He needs a little freedom to grow and make mistakes, just like I did.” Nadia sighed again,

 

“Okay, Vitya, but I don’t want to hear any phone calls about him being in the hospital because he got on that stupid bike.” 

 

“Me either,” Victor said, smiling, “also, you should let him get a cat.” he added quickly,

 

“No.” His parents said in unison, shutting that down immediately, Victor shrugged laughing. 

 

“It was worth a shot,” he said. Petya stood up,

 

“If you two will excuse me, I have to go fill out some documents before work tomorrow,” Petya disappeared up the stairs.

 

Nice to see you too, ’ Victor thought to himself bitterly.

 

“So, why the sudden visit?” Nadia asked, leaning her head against her son’s shoulder. Victor smiled, excited to share the news.

 

“I went on a date last night,” he announced, Nadia’s head shot up. 

 

“What? With who?” she asked, excitement in her voice.

 

“Yuuri Katsuki, from the animal shelter,”

 

“Really? Oh, he is such a nice boy! All the Katsuki’s are! How did it go?” 

 

“Wonderful Mama, we went out to dinner and then he took me ice skating, and I know it’s only been one day, but I can already tell that this is leading somewhere special.” Victor smiled brightly, taking both of his mother’s hands. The woman smiled just as brilliantly back at him and kissed his cheek.

 

“You deserve to be happy, Vitya, but please be careful. The last thing I want is for your heart to be broken,” she advised, and Victor heard the warning behind her voice. She was his age now when his father died, and she didn’t want her son to go through what she had to. This was different though, Yuuri’s job wasn’t as life threatening as Volya Nikiforov’s was. Still, he understood his mother’s concern.

 

“I will,” he promised,

 

“Good, now you need to invite him over for dinner!” She demanded, Victor laughed,

 

“Yes Mama, I’ll talk to him tonight, maybe Friday or Saturday?” he suggested,

 

“That sounds perfect,” Naida said, kissing Victor’s cheek.

 

Victor’s text tone went off, he pulled his phone out and checked it.

 

♡♡♡Yuuri♡♡♡ 11:46 AM:

Forget anything nice I’ve ever said about Masumi, he’s nothing but scum

 

Me 11:46 AM:

That bad?

 

♡♡♡Yuuri♡♡♡ 11:47 AM:

Worse than what I was expecting

 

Me 11:48 AM:

Tell me tonight?

 

Me 11:48 AM:

Or do you want to talk now? I’m with my mom, but I can step out to call you

 

♡♡♡Yuuri♡♡♡ 11:49 AM:

No, tonight’s fine. I didn’t mean to interrupt, have fun with your mom

 

Me 11:50 AM:

If you’re sure…

 

Me 11:50 AM:

BTW, she wants to meet you

 

Me 11:51 AM:

I mean, she already knows you thanks to Yura, but she wants to meet you as

 

Victor paused, does Yuuri consider them boyfriends? Does one date mean they are official? Why is he worrying about this as if he were some horny teenager rather than a 27 year old man? 

 

He thought back to this morning, Yuuri hovering over him as he gently initiated their first kiss, how things got heavy very quickly. Victor felt as if he could get lost in Yuuri at that moment, which is crazy because only 24 hours ago he was stuttering over his words trying to ask the younger man out.

 

To hell with it, ’ Victor thought.

 

Me 11:51 AM:

My boyfriend?

 

♡♡♡Yuuri♡♡♡ 11:52 AM:

I’d love that (=^ェ^=)

 

♡♡♡Yuuri♡♡♡  11:52 AM:

When?

 

Me 11:53 AM:

Friday night? Mama wants to make dinner

 

♡♡♡Yuuri♡♡♡  11:54 AM:

That sounds perfect!

 

♡♡♡Yuuri♡♡♡  11:55 AM:

G2G, gonna work with Trigger

 

Me 11:55 AM:

Have fun! Give Trigger lots of kisses for me! ♡♡♡

 

♡♡♡Yuuri♡♡♡ 11:56 AM:

Will do! ♡♡♡ 

 

Victor’s heart melted, Yuuri was so amazing. His mother hummed beside him as he blushed, completely forgetting he was having a conversation with her.

 

“Sorry Mama, Yuuri-”

 

“It’s alright, Vitya, I get it.” She smiled at him and in a low tone whispered, “I was just thinking, you looked so much like your father, just now.” Victor blushed at the compliment. It wasn’t the first time Nadia had compared him to his father, but this time felt different.

 

“How so?” He asked,

 

“It was your eyes. How lovingly you looked at that phone, that was your Yuuri, wasn’t it?” She asked, her smile getting a little sadder. Victor wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

 

“It was,” he confessed, Nadia leaned against her son.

 

“Volya would have been so proud of you, Vitya, he loved you so much.” she said,

 

“Tell me a story about him?” Victor asked, Nadia always told him stories about her and his dad growing up. It was one of the ways they preserved his memory. At first, Victor just wanted to know more about the man who he only partly knew from his childhood, but soon it became clear that these stories helped Nadia just as much. Now Victor always asks his mother for a story whenever it seemed she is getting lonely. 

 

“Well, have I ever told you the story about our first date together?” She had.

 

“Nope,” Victor lied because she seemed to be cheering up now.

 

“We were both 15, neither of us had a licence yet. It was the beginning of winter, so naturally there was about 3 inches of snow on the ground. We kept it simple, just dinner and a movie. My papa dropped me off at the restaurant 15 minutes earlier than we planned, but my Volya was already there with a bouquet of flowers-” Victor’s heart stopped, he just remembered that there was still the bouquet of forgotten flowers on the floor of his car. Yuuri was planning to go home last night, so he left them in there in his seat. Victor made a mental note to put them in a vase.

 

“My two best friends were there of course, Yula and Samara. They sat a few tables away from ours to make sure Volya was treating me right.” Nadia laughed at the memory. “We talked for hours, he was the first guy I ever felt comfortable opening up with. I kept getting lost in those bright blue eyes of his… I remember at one point I openly said, ‘I’m going to marry you,’ on our first date! Do you know what he said, Vitya?” He did.

 

“No, what?” Victor asked,

 

“He said, ‘I’ll be waiting at the altar,’ as if that’s a normal thing for a 15 year old girl to say!” She laughed and wrapped her arms around her son. “We ended up missing the movie that night, but I didn’t care. I was so happy at that moment, nothing could have brought my spirits down. When my papa came to pick me up, Volya even told him that he was going to marry me. Your Dedushka simply said, ‘you better earn the right to my daughter’s hand then,’ and boy, did that encourage Volya. From that day forward, he did everything in his power to earn my father’s respect.”

 

“Didn’t Dedushka make him climb a pear tree once for you?” Victor laughed, recalling that story. Nadia laughed along with him.

 

“Yes he did, he didn’t complain about it once, even when he kept falling. I got my pear eventually though, and it’s become my favorite fruit ever since.” she tightened her hold around Victor. “However, you were the best gift Volya has ever given me,” she whispered, as she does after every story.

 

“Are you happy, Mama?” Victor found himself asking before he could stop himself. Every time he hears about his father he can’t help but feel sorry for Nadia. She was so in love, but that love was torn away from her at such a young age, and she’s had to live with that heartbreak for the last 20 years.

 

“Of course I am,” Nadia replied, “I have two wonderful sons, even if they drive me crazy at times, a caring husband, and a wonderful home. What more could a woman ask for?”

 

“The love of her life back,” Victor muttered, hoping his mother didn’t catch it. She did, obviously, nothing gets passed her.

 

“Victor… I don’t deny that I miss your father every day, but I will always cherish the time I got to spend with him. I don’t regret meeting and falling in love with Volya, because even though it broke my heart to lose him, I can always look back on those memories and be happy about the time I was young and carefree.” 

 

“Does Petya make you feel that way?” he asked, lifting his head up to meet his mother’s emerald green eyes. She smiled at him.

 

“Petya is different, but not in a bad way. He has a very mature way of thinking, and I need that sometimes. I definitely needed it after Volya passed away. Even before we started dating, he took care of us, made sure we had plenty to eat and a roof over our heads. He listened to me when things got hard, and slowly but surely, we fell in love and had Yura. Sure, Petya isn’t as carefree as Volya was, but he’s a good man. He provides for his family, and he takes care of things. He loves you as much as Yura, you know?” Victor scoffed at that.

 

“I highly doubt that,”

 

“He does, he just has a hard time showing it,” she insisted, a smile on her face because she knew he’d react that way.

 

“A very hard time apparently,” 

 

“Just think of it like this, if he really hated you, he’d want absolutely nothing to do with you. But he still fought you all those years about befriending Chris, he still went out with us every weekend to have family time, even taking you out a few times without me or Yura, he attended every parent teacher meeting at school, helped you with homework and even got you a summer job at his law firm one time... Do you remember the time you almost got expelled?” 

 

He nodded, he and Chris had pulled a stupid prank at school by breaking into the principle’s office one night, wrapped his entire desk and everything on top in tin foil, and filled the office with balloons. They were called in the next morning, a police officer there. They were told that they got caught on camera breaking and entering. Their parents were called and they almost got expelled and arrested, but for some reason they only got a week’s suspension and 50 hours of community service. Victor always figured it was his mother’s fury that got them a lesser punishment.

 

“You didn’t get into more trouble that day because Petya defended you two. He pulled some of his lawyer tricks, calmed the principle down enough to see reason, and he dropped the charges.” 

 

“I didn’t know that,” Victor admitted, Nadia laughed,

 

“Of course you didn’t, Petya made me swear not to tell you. He wouldn’t be able to live it down if you knew,” 

 

“But you did tell me!” Victor argued, smiling at his mother. Nadia just raised a finger to her lips.

 

“That’s between the two of us,” She whispered, Victor nodded in agreement. “So you see, to Petya you are as much of his son as Yura is. He really does love you, he just has his own way of showing it,” 

 

Victor was starting to feel bad, he only ever thought of Petya as some guy that his mother married to get by after his father’s death. He never saw him as a man just trying to provide for his family. 

 

“Do you think he’ll like Yuuri?” Victor frowned, suddenly nervous about Friday night. Nadia’s smile softened,

 

“As long as he takes care of our Vitya, he’ll love him,” she swore, taking her sons hands in hers and squeezing him reassuringly. Victor’s smile spread across his face,

 

“He’s so wonderful, Mama! Just you wait!” 

 


Victor stayed at his mother’s all day, they cooked lunch together and Nadia insisted that he bring some home for leftovers. Around six, he hugged his mother goodbye, yelling his farewells to Petya who was still hiding away in his office. He remembered last minute to ask his mother for a vase to put Yuuri’s forgotten flowers in, which she happily gave him.

 

He pulled up to his house, only to find his brother, pouting on the front steps.

 

“Yura? What are you doing here?” Victor asked as he got out of his car, flowers and leftovers in hand.

 

“I’m staying the night, I’m sick of fighting with them,” Yuri muttered, glaring at the ground.

 

“They aren’t mad anymore, just stay off the bike and you’ll be fine,” Victor assured, then a thought struck him. “Yuri, how did you get here?” he asked. Yuri just looked the other direction, not answering. “Yuri Plisetsky, you did not ride here on Otabek’s bike!” he snapped.

 

“So what? Otabek knows how to drive it!” Yuri yelled back,

 

“It doesn’t matter, I’m personally okay with you riding it with the proper safety gear on-”

 

“I wore a helmet and Otabek’s riding jacket!” He interrupted,

 

“But Mama and Petya don’t want you near that bike! You will listen to them, Yuri!” Victor went on as if Yuri didn’t say anything.

 

“You let me get away with so much worse, Victor! Why is this an issue now?” Yuri asked, finally looking up at his brother.

 

“Your twitch is being safely monitored, I’m your ride there and back as well as your cover when you want to go to house parties, all those times you snuck out to go to the city, I was there. I can’t watch over you when you’re on a motorcycle!” Victor snapped, “I’m all for giving you your freedom, Yuri, but this time I’m putting my foot down.” 

 

The brother’s had a stare down, before Yuri just sighed and looked away once more.

 

“Fine, whatever, I won’t get on the stupid bike again,” he pouted, “can we please stop talking about it now?” 

 

“Yes we can, but you’re calling Mama and telling her your staying here tonight, I don’t want her worrying.” Victor said, going to the front door and unlocking it.

 

“Can’t you call her?” Yuri asked, standing up to go inside.

 

“Nope,” Victor said, walking into his kitchen and putting the leftovers in the fridge and the flowers on the table. “Yuuri and Phichit are coming over tonight, by the way, so you behave yourself,”

 

“What are they coming over for?” Yuri asked, sitting on the counter and pulling out his phone.

 

“Slumber party!” Victor announced, then he realized just how behind Yuri was on everything happening. “By the way, Chris is going through some things right now, so don’t push him too far or else I’m bringing you home,” he warned.

 

“What things?” Yuri asked, curiously, sending a text to no doubt his mother.

 

“Just things, don’t worry about it.” Victor said, not knowing if Chris was in hearing distance. “Don’t you have a stream tonight?” he asked, wanting to change the subject.

 

“Cancelled it, people weren’t happy about it, so I put up a poll to see what they wanted me to play tomorrow. Fans like it when I give them a choice.” Yuri explained.

 

“That’s a nice change,” Victor complimented, he was glad his brother took his gaming serious. He knew it was something he wanted to do for a living, and with how the internet is, he is sure going to be able to make a career out of it.

 

Chris came downstairs then, to Victor's dismay, still in his pajamas. The dogs followed him in as he opened the back door for them.

 

"Chris, I told you to get ready," Victor scolded,

 

"What's the point? I'm not impressing anyone today," Chris mopped, "hi Yuri,"

 

"Hey," Yuri replied, clearly unsure of how to greet the man.

 

"You don't need to impress anyone, it's better for your mental state to get ready for the day," Victor pushed. He knew he should be going easier on his friend, but Chris was never the type to want to be babied. Chris looked at him, clearly lost. Victor straightened, knowing he needed some guidance. "Now, go take a shower and put something comfortable but decent on. I'll start dinner, Yuuri and Phichit will be here soon."

 

"Okay…" Chris said, going back upstairs.

 

"Whoa, what was all that?" Yuri asked, Victor sighed knowing his brother needed some explanation if he was going to be staying the night.

 

"Okay, just don't go telling everybody. Chris and Masumi broke up,"

 

"What happened?"

 

"Doesn't matter, Masumi is a scum and out of Chris' life now. It just happened last night, so Chris is still worked up about it."

 

"That wasn't worked up, that was completely broken," the teen commented, a little bit a fear in his voice. Chris was like another older brother to Yuri, so seeing the usual carefree Swiss man like this must be scary for the teen. Victor was beginning to think having Yuri stay the night wasn't the best idea.

 

"Do you want me to drive you home, Yura? I understand if this wasn't what you were expecting," he offered, Yuri shook himself out of it.

 

"Nay, here is still better than home," he said quickly, Victor rolled his eyes. He remembered all the times he ran away to Chris' thinking the exact same thing.

 

"Alright, but you still have school tomorrow, and I have work so we aren't staying up all night,"

 

"Not that I want to stay up all night with you losers,” Yuri scoffed, “what’s for dinner?” 

 

“What are you in the mood for?” Victor asked, opening the fridge and scanning what they have.

 

“Can we make piroshkis?” Victor shook his head.

 

“The dough will take too long to make, something simple.” 

 

“Do you have the stuff for borscht?” Victor scanned the fridge,

 

“Check the cupboard for potatoes, we should have everything though.” Victor said, taking out the beets, carrots, and chicken broth. Yuri grabbed the potatoes and helped Victor prep everything. “Do you even have all of your school supplies?” Victor asked,

 

“No,” Yuri said matter of factly, as if there wasn’t a problem with that. Victor sighed,

 

“Do I have to drive you home to get that?” Victor asked,

 

“Probably, unless you want to leave early tomorrow,”

 

“You are such a brat, you know that?” Victor groaned, his mother’s house wasn’t that far but he didn’t like making extra trips.

 

“I could ask Otabek to give me a ride home?” Yuri offered with a smirk that earned him a shove from his brother.

 

“Not a chance,” Victor said, “we’ll finish this prep then go, but you better make it quick. I want to be back before Yuuri and Phichit get here.”

 


Victor knew that he had gone too far this time. The prank was his idea, Chris had wanted to bring a can of silly string to school and spray students with it, but Victor thought that was too tame. Now they are both in trouble, facing expulsion and possible jail time. 

 

He thought about all his future plans that are going down the drain now. He won’t be able to graduate with his friends. He won’t be able to go to veterinary school. He won’t be able to meet the love of his life at school. He won’t be able to adopt all the dogs and children with that love. He’ll just grow old in prison and die alone. 

 

Maybe him and Chris will be cell mates? Maybe they can marry each other and live the rest of their imprisoned lives (because obviously they are getting a life sentence) together? Chris would make a good prison husband, he knows how to make plastic spoons into weapons. 

 

“Chris, I am so sorry,” Victor whispered for the hundredth time that day. The guilt was eating him alive. 

 

“It’s fine, Chéri, I’m just as much at fault as you are,” Chris assured, “partners in crime, remember?” he chuckled,

 

“No talking!” The receptionist snapped at them, making them both shut their mouths. They have been sitting outside the principal's office for over an hour now. The two of them being shooed off once their parents showed up. 

 

Victor was left alone with his thoughts again, back to thinking about all the things he will never get to do thanks to his stupid idea of a prank. His felt himself start to shake when he felt Chris take his hand, running his thumb over it, obviously trying to calm Victor down. 

 

It somehow worked for about ten minutes, but as soon as the door opened to the office, Victor’s breathing picked back up. 

 

“You two get back in here,” the principle called, they quickly got up from their seats and went in the office. Victor couldn’t meet the eyes of his parents, he didn’t want to see the disappointment that was obviously shown on their features. He and Chris sat down in the two seats left for them.

 

“A-Are we going to jail?” Victor asked, the principle stared him down for a full minute.

 

“No, but you two are suspended for a week and will be required to do 50 hours of community service. But if I ever catch you two stepping out of line again, I won’t hesitate to expel you, am I clear?” he asked sharply. Victor and Chris were both shocked, that was their punishment? 50 hours was nothing compared to a life sentence in jail!

 

“Y-Yes sir!” Victor stuttered,

 

“Okay!” Chris said after, clearly happy from the outcome. 

 

“You two may go home with your parents now, I expect you back as model students on Monday,” he dismissed, the two teens stood up and left with their parents. However, the happy mood deflated once Victor got in the car with his parents.

 

“Don’t expect us to get you out of trouble next time, Victor,” Petya said. “If you ever do something that illegal again, we won’t bother trying to bail you out. Is that clear?” 

 

Victor frowned, looking out the window and hiding behind his hair. He was surprised the man even bothered to help the first time. Probably his mother’s insistence.

 

“Is that clear, Victor?!” The older man snapped,

 

“Yes sir,” he muttered, that seemed to please Petya, he turned the car on and pulled out of the parking lot. Victor was sure Petya was going to make his week of suspension absolute hell.

Chapter Text

Yuuri was working with Trigger in the gated play area. He was doing so much better around strangers. Over the past few hours, Yuuri had managed to let Mari, his mother, Yukko, and Nishigori in Trigger’s area (one at a time of course) without a single bite.

 

He was starting to feel better after this morning’s drama. Being alone with dogs helps Yuuri center himself. It was just as he told Phichit a few months ago, dogs were simple, dogs don’t have ulterior motives, they only hurt people when they felt threatened. 

 

“Yuuri Katsuki, if you ever make a scene in my coffee shop again, I can promise you that Mama will have your head,” a voice behind him said. Yuuri turned to see Sara, leaning against the gate. She changed out of her work uniform into a pair of ripped jeans that did nothing to protect her from the cold and a navy long sleeved shirt.

 

“Sorry Sara, I know I lost my cool back there,”  he apologized, going over to his friend.

 

“Are you going to tell me what happened?” She asked, 

 

“It’s not really my place to tell,” Yuuri replied, 

 

“I mean, it’s not that hard to guess.” She said, honestly, “Masumi cheated on Chris?” 

 

“Yeah,” he sighed, “Poor Chris is a mess, Phichit and I are going over tonight to try and cheer him up, but this is something that’s going to take time.” 

 

“Send him my love,” Sara said softly,

 

“Of course,” Yuuri smiled, she gasped suddenly.

 

“Who’s that cutie?” Sara cooed as Trigger came over to see who was interrupting his Yuuri-time. 

 

“This is Trigger,” Yuuri introduced, “he was mistreated by his previous owner, so we’re working on him trusting people,” 

 

“May I?” Sara asked, offering her hand. Yuuri nodded and she reached down, allowing Trigger to move closer to sniff it. Trigger took extra time to sniff, but he eventually laid his head in her hand and licked her wrist. 

 

“Good boy!” Yuuri cheered, scratching Trigger’s chest and giving him a treat.

 

“Yuuri, I’m in love!” Sara stated, leaning her other hand in order to scratch the top of Trigger’s head. 

 

“He’s been doing so much better today, if this continues he’ll be able to go up for adoption soon,”

 

“He reminds me of my family’s old doberman, Ferro. He passed away when I got to high school, but he was the sweetest dog I’ve ever met. Maybe Mikki would be interested if I adopted Trigger,” Sara smiled, making kissing noises at Trigger who started nosing at the gate.

 

“Well, if you’re interested in adoption, I can let you know once he’s ready,” Yuuri offered, he saw her eyes light up.

 

“I’d love that!” She exclaimed,

 

“I know you’ll be a wonderful guardian to Trigger.” Yuuri assured,

 

“Can I come in? I’d like to bond with him while I can,” Sara asked. Yuuri scanned Trigger’s body language, he looked totally relaxed and not guarding his territory at all. 

 

“Sure, just take it slow, and if he shows any sort of aggression, get out,” he warned. She did as he told her to do, and Trigger showed absolutely no signs that he didn’t want Sara in his space. They worked on basic commands together, Sara and Trigger seemed to really connect in a way that assured Yuuri that they were a great match.

 

“Oh! Yuuri, I totally forgot, I came here to tell you something!” Sara yelled excitedly, sprawled on the grass snuggling with the dog. Yuuri sat next to them cross legged.

 

“What’s up?” 

 

“Mila asked me out!” She squeaked, “we had our first date about two weeks ago, and holy shit, Yuuri, I think I’m going to die of happiness!” Yuuri smiled widely at the news. He knew Mila had a (not so subtle) crush on Sara for a long time, but he didn’t know if she’d be able to act on it. 

 

“That’s wonderful news, Sara! I’m so happy for you two!” Yuuri cheered.

 

“Yep, now all we have to do is find you a nice man, and everything will be perfect!”

 

“About that…” Yuuri said, trying to suppress his smile now. Sara gasped,

 

“Yuuri! Are you dating someone?” She asked, excitement not hidden in her voice.

 

“I am, we had our first date last night,” he confessed, his cheeks start to redden.

 

“Oh my god, Yuuri! Who?” She asked, practically jumping up and down.

 

“Victor Nikiforov,” he murmured, ducking his head to hide his blush. Trigger leaned up and started sniffing his face, unaware of what was happening.

 

“Yuuri!” Sara squealed, “ The Victor Nikiforov! This is so exciting!” 

 

“Really, Sara, it’s not that big of a deal!” He insisted, 

 

“I know it’s not, I just wanted expecting- gah! Yuuri! I’m so happy for you!” Sara threw her arms around Yuuri who fell back onto the grass. Trigger stood up and pinned both of them down. Yuuri glasses slipped off his face as the dog started giving him kisses all over. 

 

“You’re both ridiculous,” he laughed, hugging the girl back and scratching the dog’s neck. 

 

Once Yuuri was freed, they worked a little longer with Trigger. Around four Yuuri told Sara he had to start taking care of the other dogs, and just as she promised she helped him. She walked the dogs while Yuuri got to work cleaning their kennels out.

 

Phichit joined them not long after being dropped off by a coworker, and joined Sara. Between the three of them they were able to finish in record time. 

 

"You two are going to Chris' now?" Sara asked, kissing Trigger goodbye before Yuuri locked up for the evening.

 

"After we run by the apartment first, we're in the middle of a Harry Potter marathon we have to finish," Phichit answered, leaning against one of the kennels and texting someone.

 

"Well you two have fun! Emil’s dragging Mikki and me to the city for some clubbing, I’m trying to get Mila to come, but she has to work in the morning,”

 

“Just tell her to call in,” Phichit said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Sara laughed, kissing Trigger one more time before leaving the kennel for Yuuri to lock it up.

 

“She’s not you, Phichit, Mila isn’t going to call out just to go clubbing with her girlfriend,” Yuuri teased.

 

“I’ve almost convinced her, I think she just needs a little more encouragement,” Sara said, determined as they walked out. Yuuri locked the double doors and sent a text to his parents telling them the dogs are safely put away.

 

“Send her a picture of your outfit, she won’t be able to resist!” Phichit proposed, Sara whipped around to look at him,

 

“Phichit you evil genius!” she complimented as they got to their cars.

 

“Well whoever you're with, just be safe tonight. I know you’ll be with your crazy brother, but don’t be afraid to call if you need anything.” Yuuri said, remembering that Sara was known for giving her brother the slip once she gets a few drinks in him.

 

“I will, don’t worry so much, Yuuri,” She reassured, pulling him in for a hug then Phichit. They parted ways after that and as soon as Yuuri and Phichit shut the doors to the car, Yuuri saw his roommate pulled out his phone. 

 

“Texting Mila?” Yuuri asked,

 

“Yep.”

 

“Making sure she goes and watches over Sara?”

 

“Of course,”

 

Yuuri nodded, not that he didn’t trust Sara. She was just a bit careless at times and that attitude could jeopardize her safety. He thought back to the twin’s 21st birthday and how close she gotten to getting seriously hurt if he wasn’t there.

 


After a quick trip to the apartment, they locked up and made their way over to Victor’s. They took Yuuri’s van this time since Yuuri planned on going straight to work in the morning. Yuuri was going to talk to Phichit about his mama hen attitude with Chris, but Phichit seemed to have a different subject in mind.

 

“So, I didn’t get to ask you about your date last night, give me all the details?” Phichit asked, eyeing his best friend from the passenger seat. Yuuri smiled to himself, with all that has been going on he hadn't gotten to gossip with his best friend in the last 24 hours! Totally unexceptable.

 

“Phichit, you should have seen it, he was so nervous! Like, this is Victor Nikiforov we’re talking about, and he was scared of screwing up a date with me of all people.” 

 

“Well good, you’re worth being nervous over,” Phichit assured, but Yuuri figured that was only because his best friend was bias. 

 

“It felt so surreal, it was like we traded places, this is going to sound so cheesy, but as soon as I saw him I suddenly got this boost of confidence I’ve never felt before. I mean, the first thing I said to him was that he looked gorgeous! When have I ever started a conversation that way?” Yuuri asked excitedly, it was hard to explain where the morale boost had come from last night, but Yuuri just knew as soon as he stepped into the car that he was going to make the most of the time he had with Victor’s eyes on him

 

Phichit leaned his head against Yuuri’s shoulder, looking ahead at the road and smiling.

 

“He really makes you feel that special, huh?” Phichit asked, suddenly getting quieter.

 

“He does,” Yuuri assured, “I don’t know how long this relationship is going to last, but I plan on enjoying it while I can,”

 

“That’s a pretty depressing way of looking at it, what if things go well and he’s the one you grow old with?” 

 

“Then I’ll cherish him forever,” Yuuri said simply, but he couldn’t hold back the smile at the thought. Victor and him, well into their 80’s, rocking on a front porch swing, surrounded by dogs and grandchildren, a full and happy life together. Yuuri didn’t need wealth or fame, just a simple life with the guy he loved. 

 

“You’re blushing,” his friend teased, poking at Yuuri’s cheek, “what are you thinking about?”

 

“We’re getting ahead of ourselves!” he said quickly, swatting Phichit’s hand away. “It was only one date, I’m not thinking about something as heavy as marriage right now.”

 

“You so were!” Phichit laughed, “so tell me more about last night,”

 

Yuuri did, he gave full details because he knew his friend wouldn’t have a story told to him any other way. When they pulled up to the house, they noticed Victor’s car wasn’t in the driveway. The two shared a look and got out of the car. They rang the doorbell and Chris answered after a few minutes, hair wet and wearing black sweats, a magenta colored sweater, and slippers. It was the most Yuuri’s ever seen him wear.

 

“Victor went out, come on in though,” Chris mumbled, opening the door wider to let them in.

 

“That’s fine, I can get started on trimming the dogs while we wait! Do you want to help hold them, Honey?” Phichit asked, scooping up Scout who came to meet them at the door.

 

“Sure,” Chris said, following Phichit out back with the other two dogs following. Yuuri dropped off their stuff in the rooms they’d be staying in (because he already knew Phichit would bunk with Chris again) and went out back as well. Phichit had it set up so that the electric razor could reach the picnic table the dogs would be standing on. He started with Makka since she’d take the longest.

 

“So did you do anything today?” Phichit asked, making conversation as he worked. Yuuri sat on the ground and started playing with Frankie who wandered up to him.

 

“Not really,” Chris admitted, scratching Makka’s head to assure her that she was okay. “I think I needed a day to just… think about things,”

 

“That’s okay, you take as long as you need,” Phichit cooed, Yuuri sighed, regretting not telling his friend to lay off the babying when he had the chance. 

 

“I just wish I knew why, that’s what’s killing me most,” Phichit and Yuuri shared a look with each other which Chris seemed to catch. “Do you two know?” he asked, an eyebrow raised curiously. It was the most emotion Yuuri had seen out of his friend in days.

 

“Kind of,” Phichit murmured, “well, I don’t, but Yuuri…” he trailed off, Yuuri could have slapped him for throwing him under the bus like that. He had wanted to talk to Victor about all of this first, but now it seemed he didn’t have any choice. Chris had been lied to long enough.

 

“I talked to Ma- to him this morning,” Yuuri admitted with a deep sigh, he didn’t know if it was too soon to say his name around Chris.

 

“Why?” Chris asked looking straight at Yuuri who averted his eyes.

 

“To get the full story… I don’t know if telling you will be good for you yet though,” he said quickly, pulling Frankie into his lap.

 

“Yuuri, if you know something, you have to tell me. Don’t just leave me in the dark here!” Chris snapped,

 

“It’s not like that, Chris, I just… I wanted to talk to Victor first,”

 

“Why? Why do I have to be the last to know everything? I’m heartbroken, not fragile!” 

 

“I’m not saying you are!” Yuuri defended, looking at Phichit for help. The thai man put the clippers down, seeing things were getting out of hand.

 

“Chris, Yuuri was just being considerate, he didn’t want to hurt you more than you already were,”

 

“Well it didn’t work, I’ve never so lost in my life! I’ve just been up in my room all day wondering what I did wrong. There was a point that I was convinced I could get him back if I just accepted that I’m not the only one he loves. How fucked up is that? To just allow this guy who supposedly loves me to go sleep around no matter how much it hurts me?” Chris was furious, which was understandable. Yuuri just wished his anger wasn’t being directed towards him.

 

“This is all normal,” Phichit tried to assure, placing a hand on Chris’ shoulder only for it to be shrugged off. “Chris, this is just a part of the grief. It’s okay to mourn for a relationship you held special,”

 

“Oh, stop trying to be a psychiatrist, will you?  It’s not helping me at all!” Chris snapped at him.

 

“Chris, I love you, but we aren’t the ones your angry at. It’s Masumi.” Yuuri interrupted, standing up because he’s had enough.

 

“No, I’m angry at you too, Yuuri. It’s bad enough that Masumi cheated on me, but now you’re going behind my back to talk to him, telling absolutely everybody about it except me. I thought you were supposed to be on my side?” Chris’ glare was too much for Yuuri, but he stood his ground and didn’t look away again.

 

“I am! I promise you that I am!”

 

“Well, you sure aren’t acting like it!” Chris yelled, towering over Yuuri who just kept staring back at him. He wasn’t mad at Chris for lashing out, but he wasn’t going to back down just because his friend was hurting.

 

Suddenly Chris was being pulled back. The three looked over to see Victor had yanked Chris away from Yuuri, Yuri standing behind him with a backpack slung over his shoulder.

 

“You need to calm down, Chris, you aren’t thinking straight,” Victor said, firmly. 

 

“You going to protect your precious boyfriend, Victor? Cause I’ll have you know relationships don’t last and he’ll be gone soon enough!” Chris snapped, Yuuri flinched at the harsh words. He thought Chris supported their relationship, why would he say something like that? Even if he was hurting, he thought Chris would have some faith in them. Victor on the other hand didn’t seemed fazed at all.

 

“I thought you were the one who told me to go for it?” Victor asked, the smallest of a teasing smile on his lips.

 

“That was before I found out that love is worthless,” The swiss man spat. Victor responded by pulling him in for a hug that he tried to wrestle out of.

 

“You say that now because you’re hurting, we all want what is best for you, Chris. Now, are you going to tell me why you were towering over my Yuuri so intimidatingly? Or do I just have to kick your ass right now?” Victor asked jokingly, running his hand through blond hair.

 

“He went to Masumi,” Chris snapped,

 

“Yes, and?” Victor prompted,

 

“And he won’t tell me what he knows,”

 

“And that upsets you, because…”

“Because I’m not a baby!” Chris yells, pulling away from his friend, “I want answers, not to be protected!”

 

“How does this sound, we all finish taking care of the dogs, then we go inside and Yuuri will tell us everything he knows while we eat dinner. After that, you apologize and we have an enjoyable evening together as friends, da?” Victor asked, looking into his friend’s eyes. 

 

“I have nothing to apologize for!” Chris argued,

 

“Oh yes you do, but I’ll let you figure that part out,” Victor said, “does that sound like a plan?” Chris sighed,

 

“Fine,” He grumbled, pulling away from Victor and going back to holding Makkachin down while Phichit got back to work. Victor walked over to Yuuri who couldn’t meet his eyes. Yuuri felt so ashamed that he had to rely on Victor to get him out of that mess.

 

“You okay, lyubov moya?” Victor asked in a soft voice, taking one of his hands. Yuuri nodded, still not meeting Victor’s eyes. “Help me get the dog’s dinner ready?” Yuuri just nodded again and let Victor lead him inside. Yuri followed close behind.

 

“What the fuck even was that?” Yuri asked, “You should have kicked his ass, old man,”

 

“Yura, he’s hurting, would you blame a cat for scratching you if it was wounded?” Yuuri asked, trying to get the teen to understand. He grabbed the three dog bowls and washed them out in the sink while Victor grabbed the dog food from the pantry.

 

“No, but Chris isn’t a fucking animal!” Yuri shouted,

 

“That doesn’t matter, he’s going through a hard time right now. It’s only natural he’s going to lash out.” Yuuri defended, because even though what Chris said hurt, he knew he meant well. 

 

“It’s still fucked up,” the teen spat. Yuuri smiled at him, he could feel it was fake, but he wanted to lighten the mood a bit.

 

“I didn’t think you cared so much about my feelings, Yura, I’m honored,” he teased, making Yuri blush.

 

“Oh fuck off, Katsudon! Chris was acting like a dick out there and we both know it.”

 

“Yura, why don’t you go put your stuff away in the guest room? I want to talk to Yuuri,” Victor asked, shooing his brother away. Yuri just rolled his eyes,

 

“Whatever,” he murmured, disappearing into the living room and up the stairs. As soon as he was gone, Victor rounded on Yuuri and pulled him into an embrace. 

 

“Victor!” Yuuri protested, trying to struggle out of his boyfriend’s arms. The last thing he wanted was for Chris to come in, see them, and get upset again.

 

“How are you really?” Victor asked, not letting Yuuri go and pressing a kiss to the side of his head.

 

Yuuri relaxed slightly, he could have lied and said he was fine. That what Chris said didn’t hurt as much as he meant it to, but Yuuri was tired of all the lying and sneaking around. He wrapped his arms around Victor’s middle and admitted,

 

“That really hurt… what he said about me being gone soon enough…” 

 

“Are you planning on leaving me already?” Victor asked,

 

“No… I’m more worried about you coming to your senses and telling me to leave,” he confessed, Victor’s arms tightened around him.

 

“I’m afraid it’s just the opposite, lyubov moya, I’d be crazy to throw you out of my life.”

 

“How do you know that? We’ve only been friends for a few months, we’ve only been dating a day. You hardly know anything about me, Victor,” Yuuri protested, he needed some sort of assurance that he could throw his whole being into this relationship. He couldn’t handle another relationship where he recklessly trusted the first nice person who showed interest in him.

 

“You’re right, we did jump into this pretty quickly.” Victor confessed running a hand through Yuuri’s hair making him looked up, “but that doesn’t make my feelings any less real. I’m willing to take things slow, get to know you more. There’s no need to rush anything. The only way this will work, though, is if we are a hundred percent honest with each other. Right?”

 

“Yeah,” Yuuri agreed, resting his head against Victor’s shoulder.

 

“How about we start with something simple?” Victor suggested, “do you have any nicknames you like to be called?” 

 

Yuyu ’ was the first thing that came to Yuuri’s head. A stupid nickname really, not creative at all. He shuddered at the memories of Cason, calling him that any chance he got. Yuuri shook his head, wanting to shake that thought out of his head.

 

“I like what you’ve been calling me. Are those Russian endearments?” Yuuri asked,

 

“They are, just some of my favorites, my love, my star, my gold, things like that.”

 

“I like when you speak Russian,” Yuuri confessed, with Victor’s face pressed against the top of his head he could feel his smile. 

 

“I could teach you some if you’d like. Maybe you could teach my some japanese?” He asked, it was Yuuri’s turn to smile.

 

“You’d win my mom’s heart over instantly if you learned japanese. She prefers that over english.”

 

“All the more reason to!” Victor chuckled, 

 

“What about you?” Yuuri asked, pulling away and going back to making the dog food. “In Japan I’d normally call you Vicchan, but is there anything else you’d prefer?” he thought back to his dog, Vicchan, and thought it would be a little weird calling his boyfriend his dog's name.

 

“I like Vicchan, or you can call me Vitya like my entire family does,” Victor offered and Yuuri felt his cheeks redden up again because Victor was already considering him family. 

 

"Vitya?" he tried it out, with the way Victor lit up he must have said it right. "Vitya," he repeated more confidently. 

 

"Perfect!" Victor cheered, leaning over to kiss Yuuri's cheek.

 

Yuri joined them after a few minutes, sitting down on the kitchen counter. 

 

“How’s school coming along, Yura? Did you finish all your homework?” Yuuri asked, he didn’t get to tease the blond much at his mother’s birthday dinner, so he had some catching up to do.

 

“Fuck off, Katsudon, you know I’m not a dumbass who falls behind,”

 

“Yura made honor roll,” Victor sang as he checked on their dinner. Yuuri gasped,

 

“Really? That’s amazing!” he said genuinely, Yuri just rolled his eyes at the two.

 

“It’s nothing special, I just don’t fuck around like most of the idiots in my class.” he grumbled, looking away but Yuuri could see the beginings of a smile forming on his lips. He had a feeling Yuri was just being modest. He really was a hard working kid, it must have been more difficult than he was saying to earn his grades.

 

“You’re taking all advanced classes this year, right? How do you even find time to volunteer and stream?” Yuuri asked, it seemed like there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to get everything done.

 

“I don’t take extra curriculars, obviously.” Yuri scoffed, “I have two free periods where I get my homework and studying done, along with extra credit projects. Stuff like english homework is the really easy class because the books I need to read I can just listen to while I’m at the shelter. By the time I get home at night, all of my work is caught up, so I can spend the rest of the evening gaming.” 

 

“Notice how he doesn’t have much time for a social life,” Victor pointed out making Yuuri frown slightly.

 

“Shut up, old man, at least I’m not like you were when you were in high school. Like hell I’d pull all those stupid stunts you did and get called into the office every other week!” Yuri defended, Yuuri could tell the teen hit a sore spot.

 

“Yura, you shouldn’t have to work this hard,” Yuuri interrupted while feeling like a huge hypocrite. “You should be enjoying your high school days while you can,” 

 

“Yeah, okay Mom,” Yuri rolled his eyes. “I’m fine with what I’m doing. Like hell I’d actually want to spend time with the dumbasses in my class,”

 

“What about Otabek?” Victor questioned,

 

“He’s the only cool one in the entire school and he’s graduating this year. I see him enough in the library before school and during our free periods, so who cares?” Yuri shrugged, “can we stop talking about this, you losers should be worrying about yourselves,” 

 

“And why is that?” Yuuri asked,

 

“Because I’m going to kick both of your asses for not telling me you two were dating!” The teen snapped and Yuuri could tell he’s been holding it in since they were outside. 

 

“Oh, right,” Yuuri laughed, “it’s only been a day, Yura, chill,” 

 

“I will not chill! You two better not get all kissy kissy around me or I will barf!” 

 

“Glad to know we have your approval, that is very important to me,” Victor joked. Yuri threw the closest thing on his reach at him, which happened to be a dish towel. “Very mature,” his brother commented,

 

“You’re one to talk! You haven’t been mature a day in your life,” Yuri scoffed. Yuuri watched the brother's bicker back and forth, a huge smile on his face. It all felt so domestic.

 

Family, ’ came to his mind. He hoped Chris was wrong, even though it’s been such a short time, Yuuri already knew he didn’t want to lose this. He wanted to stay by Victor’s side, and be apart of his life and love. 

 


Yuuri looked at his phone, it was 1:21 in the morning. An hour and 22 minutes ago it was the Crispino twin’s birthday, he and a couple of their old classmates had gone down to the city to go clubbing. A few had left already, so all that remained were Yuuri, Phichit, the twins, and Emil. Yuuri hadn’t meant to stay so late, but he wanted to keep an eye on Phichit who was using a fake ID. 

 

“Yuuri!” his drunk best friend tackled him from behind. “Let’s go dance again!”

 

“Phichit, you’ve been dancing the last half hour! I think you need to sit down for a minute!” Yuuri scolded, leading his friend to the booth they had claimed. Yuuri hadn’t had anything to drink aside from the initial shot they all took to cheers the twins. Someone in their group had to make sure everyone got home safely. 

 

As he steered his pouting friend to the table, he spotted Michelle puking into a trashcan in the corner, Emil by his side, rubbing his back and holding back laughter. Sara sneaking off from the pair while they were distracted. He watched her like a hawk as he sat Phichit down and handed him a spare glass of water that was sitting on the table. She made her way to the bar, took a shot of a clear white liquid that was probably tequila, and then another one.

 

“You stay here, Peach, I’ll be right back.” Yuuri ordered, only leaving his friend’s side when he nodded.

 

Yuuri started walking towards the bar, but that involved going through the crowd of dancing people which was extremely nerve racking. He almost wished someone else was the sober one, so that he could drink and get his anxious mind off all the people surrounding him. When he finally got to the bar however, Sara had disappeared. He asked the bartender where she disappeared to, and she pointed towards the girl’s room.

 

He started to walk over there, planning on waiting outside the door for her and bringing her back to the booth with Phichit to drink some water after those shots. However, he noticed a tall dark haired guy walk into the girls bathroom. Yuuri narrowed his eyes, true, it could have been an honest mistake, but his nerves said otherwise. He went over to the door, looked around to make sure no one was looking, and peeked in the bathroom. 

 

Yuuri had never been more thankful for his anxiety filled brain in his life, because if he would have just brushed it off, he wouldn’t have seen his drunk friend being cornered to the wall. The tall guy having one arm resting on the wall, the other cupping her cheek. Sara looked confused at the guy, obviously wondering what he was doing, but unsure of how to ask.

 

“Hey!” Yuuri yelled, making Sara and the stranger jump. They looked over at him, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

 

“Me and my girlfriend just came here to get away from the crowd!” The guy tried, making Yuuri grit his teeth.

 

“Sara, come here,” Yuuri ordered, and the guy realized he was caught as he took a few steps away from her. Sara stumbled over to Yuuri quickly and grabbed his arm.

 

“Thanks,” she mumbled, leaning against him because she was too drunk to stand straight. The door opened behind them again, and Yuuri turned to see the bartender walk in. 

 

“Can I ask why there are guys in the ladies room?” She questioned.

 

“This creep tried to come on to my drunk friend,” Yuuri told her at once. She raised an eyebrow, immediately she stuck her head out the door and got one of the bouncer’s attention who escorted the creep out of the club. 

 

Yuuri thanked the bartender and lead a frazzled Sara back to the now empty table. After a quick scan he realized Phichit had not listened to him and had found his way back to the dance floor, glass of water only half drunk. Yuuri sighed and decided to deal with him in a minute. 

 

“Are you okay?” He asked Sara, passing her the rest of Phichit’s water. She drank it gratefully.

 

“I’m okay,”

 

“Did he touch you in any way?” Yuuri pressed, needing to make sure.

 

“No, he only pushed me against the wall, and then you came in,” she said, looking around. “Please don’t tell Mikki, he’d never let me go out again,” Yuuri frowned, debating the pros and cons. With a sigh he conceded.

 

“Fine, but we’re going back to your apartment now, okay? I don’t want anything happening while you and Peach are this trashed. Plus Michelle is already puking, he’s definitely cut off.” Sara smiled and hugged him.

 

“If neither of us were gay, I’d totally kiss you right now!” She yelled making Yuuri laugh and hug her back, he had never been so glad to have a girl hugging him before. He shuddered at the thought of what would have happened to his friend if he hadn’t been there.

Chapter Text

Once the animals were all groomed, Victor helped Phichit get them into the tub upstairs to help spray and loose hairs that might have stuck to Makka and Scout. He was a little hesitant about leaving Yuuri and Chris alone together, but Yuri was there so nothing too bad could happen.

 

When the dogs were blow dried, they were set free to go run amuk. Victor was about to follow Phichit back downstairs but the two were stopped by Yuri who sat at the top of the staircase. He placed a finger to his lips and it was then that Victor realized that Yuuri and Chris were talking in the living room.

 

“I’m just... I know I fucked up. I should have told you what I was doing, but I saw the way you looked this morning, so lost, I thought it would only hurt you more. I know now that you’re stronger than that though, so again, I’m really sorry.” Yuuri apologized, stumbling over his words.

 

“Thank you, Yuuri,” Chris accepted, “You’re intentions were good. I know you just want what’s best for me, but you’re right. I am stronger than everyone is treating me.” 

 

“I think we’re all seeing that now. We all love you, Chris, and we’re hurting with you. This morning, the way Masumi was stumbling over every excuse was pathetic. I yelled at him in front of the entire coffee shop. He really doesn’t deserve such a wonderful guy like you,” Yuuri told him. “Do you want me to tell you what happened now? I haven’t told the others yet, so I understand if you just want to hear it from me and not let them know.”

 

There was a sigh as Chris answered, “No, it’s okay. They are already as much a part of this as we are, they deserve the whole story too. But now it’s my turn to apologize.”

 

“That’s not necessary Chris-” Yuuri started,

 

“No, it is. I went too far out there. I had no right to say those things about your relationship with Vitya. I didn’t realize until afterwards how hard you would have taken it. So, I’m sorry Yuuri,” 

 

Victor smiled, proud of his friend for realizing what he’d done. Proud of Yuuri for stepping up and apologizing as well. 

 

“Thanks Chris, that really means a lot to me,” Yuuri said, he heard shuffling and assumed that they were hugging. 

 

“I guess I was sort of jealous as well. I mean, here you and Victor are with this new and loving relationship and I can’t even keep the man I thought I knew better than anyone.” Chris grumbled, “It was still wrong, but out there I was just lashing out at anything positive.”

 

“That’s understandable, we’ll try to tone it down in front of you.”

 

“No, you shouldn’t have to sneak around. I’ll get over it soon and things will go back to normal.” Chris protested, Yuuri was quiet for a minute.

 

“Okay, but if we make you uncomfortable, you’ll tell us. Right?” he asked,

 

“I will,” Chris replied,

 

“Thank you,” 

 

Victor was starting to feel guilty for eavesdropping, so he figured it was time to make their presence known. He walked down the stairs followed by the other two.  

 

Yuuri and Chris turned and looked at them from the couch. Chris actually had the makings of a smile on his face, something Victor wasn't expecting.

 

"Ready for dinner you two?" He asked,

 

"Yeah, I'm starving," Yuuri answered, standing up and following Victor into the kitchen.

 

They had dinner out back, the picnic table being cleared of any dog hair or nails. It was a chilly evening, but Chris brought a bunch of blankets out  The soup did a good job at keeping them warm as well.

 

Yuuri finally explained to everyone what Masumi had told him this morning. He didn't look at anyone while he talked, just glared at his brioche. 

 

Victor watched Chris carefully throughout the whole explanation, gaging how his friend would react to the story. He kept a blank face, all traces of the earlier smile gone.

 

"Chris, are you okay?" Yuuri asked after he finished, finally looking up at his friend.

 

"No," Chris said simply, Victor reached across the table and took his hand.

 

"I don't know how I can make this better," Victor confessed, Chris just squeezed his hand and attempted an encouraging smile.

 

"There's nothing you can do, Vitya. It's just something I'm going to have to live with." Chris murmured. Victor bowed his head.

 

"I’m sorry,” was the best response he could think of. It was pathetic that he couldn’t even help his best friend. 

 

Chris lifted the joint hands and kissed Victor’s knuckles, making the russian look up and meet the sad smile looking back at him.

 

“You don’t need to apologize, Chéri, you’ve been nothing but kind and understanding this entire time. I wouldn’t be able to get through this without you.” Victor gave his own sad smile in return. He truly did hurt with his best friend, he just wanted Chris to go back to being the happy flirt he was a day ago. “Now, let's get back to our evening, shall we? We still have a few movies to watch.” Chris continued, obviously wanting to change the subject.

 

The evening went by without any more issues. The pillow fort was skipped tonight, but Victor got the honor of snuggling Yuuri the entire time. They only ended up watching the fourth movie seeing as it was two and a half hours long. Chris and Phichit were talking quietly to each other on the other couch, giggling every so often. Victor raised an eyebrow at them, but said nothing. Chris actually looked like he was enjoying himself, and Victor won’t complain about that.

 

Yuri was on the floor, laying on a throw pillow and clearly ignoring them. He was texting on his phone the entire time, more than likely it was Otabek.

 

“So, Yura, what’s your Hogwarts house?” Victor asked as they watched,

 

“Slytherin,” he answered without looking up from his phone.

 

“That doesn’t sound like you. You totally value hard work over power.” Yuuri teased.

 

“Yeah, but there’s no way I’m a stupid hufflepuff. That’s the lamest house!” 

 

“Hey! Rude! I’m a hufflepuff!” Phichit protested, making Yuri roll his eyes.

 

“My point still stands,” he grumbled.

 

“What about ravenclaw Mr. Honors roll?” Victor asked.

 

“Their common room is stupid, I’d hate to answer a riddle everytime I want to go take a fucking nap. Besides, slytherins are more than power hungry, dumbass, they’re known for being ambitious and clever.” Yuri answered, “and don’t you dare ask about gryffindor, just a bunch of stupid jocks.” 

 

“I’m a gryffindor,” Victor protested,

 

“Of course you are,” Yuuri giggled beside him. Victor ran a hand up his spine making the younger man shiver.  He laid them down to get more comfortable and started rubbing small circles in Yuuri’s back. 

 

“What about you, lyubov moya?” 

 

“Hufflepuff,” he answered proudly, snuggling into Victor’s neck. “Got sorted there by pottermore and everything. Chris?” 

 

“Ravenclaw according to pottermore,” Chris answered, 

 

“What seriously? Thought you’d be in Gryffindor like the old man,” Yuri commented, 

 

“There’s more to Ravenclaw than being smart, look at Luna for instance. Her intelligence basically comes from her beliefs,” Victor explained, 

 

“If you say so.” Yuri rolled his eyes, Victor chuckled.

 

“You’re so young, Yura, you’ll understand one day,” Victor commented, still rubbing circles up and down Yuuri’s back. Yuuri placed a kiss on his neck in gratitude, making Victor shiver. 

 

They continued to watch the movie for awhile, but by the time the second trial came around Yuri spoke up again.

 

“This whole Harry having to compete is the stupidest idea ever. I know the whole thing was that he was being set up, but they could have explained it better. Like, they never really say what happens if a champion refuses.”

 

“I agree, even with the magical contract, why didn’t they just make Harry sit off to the side?” Phichit questioned further.

 

“Or at least let the other two schools pick a second champion? Do they really need to go through to Goblet of Fire to participate? It’s hardly fair that Hogwarts gets two champions,” Yuuri commented. Victor laughed at them, but stayed quiet and continued to watch the movie.

 

By the time Harry and Cedric were in the graveyard Yuri was asleep on the floor. Victor thought about waking him up and telling him to go to bed, but the movie was almost over so he decided to wait. Yuuri was pouting against Victor’s neck.

 

“Rest in peace my fellow housemate, you beautiful bastard,” he mumbled, Victor ran a comforting hand through his hair.

 

The movie finally finished, and Yuuri stood to let Victor sit up. Looking over he noticed that Phichit and Chris had fallen asleep snuggled together as well. Victor reached over and flipped on the lights, making the three groan.

 

“Okay you guys, bed time.” Victor announced, throwing a pillow at his brother who chunked it back at him even harder. “Get up and go to bed, Brat,” 

 

Once Victor had successfully gotten the three safely in bed, the doors locked, and dogs put in their crates, he met Yuuri in his room where he was snuggling Makka.

 

“Where was she last night?” Yuuri asked as the poodle pinned him down to the bed. 

 

“Chris’ room, he has a dog bed in there for whenever she wants to stay with him.” Victor said, “do you want to take a shower?” 

 

“I took one earlier,” Yuuri said, scratching behind the poodle’s ears. Victor watched them for a moment before he lost his self control and pulled out his phone, snapping a picture of the two. Taking several hundred more when Makka assaulted his face in kisses. Yuuri laughed, trying to free himself.

 

“Vitya, help!” He whined, Victor felt the warmth spread through him at the use of his nickname. It sounded to attractive coming from his boyfriend. He sat on the bed and pulled the poodle into his lap, earning a couple kisses himself. Yuuri caught his breath and sat back up.

 

“I think she loves you more than she loves me,” Victor pouted as the dog tried to free herself to get back to Yuuri.

 

“Well I am the one who took her in and introduced her to her dad.” Yuuri said proudly, scooting closer to Victor and giving Makka a kiss on the snoot. Yuuri rested his head on Victor’s shoulder and scratching Makka’s chest.


“I think she just has a really good judge of character, she really is the best girl,” Victor cooed, kissing the tops of both their heads. He let Makka go and stood up. “I’m going to take a quick shower, feel free to go to sleep if you want.”

 

“I’ll wait, I gotta make sure Makka has enough cuddles,” Yuuri said, and the smile on his face melted Victor’s heart.

 

“I’ll be quick then,” He said, and disappeared through the bathroom doors.

 

He was so quick, in fact, that he forgot to grab a pair of pajamas. Standing in the middle of his fogged up bathroom, a towel wrapped around his waist, he was unsure of what to do. Should he just stride in and casually go to his closet? He didn’t really want to put his daytime clothes back on, seeing as they were already in the dirty hamper. Sighing, he figured he’d just do the logical thing.

 

Cracking the door open, he saw Yuuri sitting on the bed on his phone, Makka’s head resting in his lap. 

 

“Hey, Zvezda, would you mind grabbing me some pajamas from my dresser?” Victor asked, blushing. He was not uncomfortable with his body at all, he knew he looked good, but something about Yuuri going through his drawers made him slightly embarrassed. 

 

Yuuri blushed too, “Sure,” he answered, standing up and going to the dresser. Something caught his eye however, “Hey Vitya, how come I never see you wearing jewelry? You have an entire box for it?” He asked, grabbing a pair of boxers and sweatpants, then walking over to the bathroom door and handing them to Victor.

 

Victor froze, that was more than just a jewelry box. 

 

“That was actually a gift from my mother when she married Petya,” Victor confessed, slipping on the clothes and exiting the bathroom. He walked over and grabbed the jewelry box from its place on the dresser.

 

Red oak, sycamore, vine maple and purple heart wood on the outside, with jade green silk on the inside. Yuuri sat with him on the bed as Victor stared at the box longingly. Was this too heavy of a subject to talk about so early in their relationship? Possibly, but Victor knew it would come up eventually. 

 

“Has Yura ever talked about my father?” He asked, 

 

“Not really, all I know is that you two are half brothers on your mother’s side.” Yuuri answered, leaning closer to inspect the box. Victor took a deep breath, he always found it hard to talk about his father to people who didn’t already know the story.

 

“My father was a soldier, he passed away when I was eight.” Victor confessed, he got the reaction he was expecting. Yuuri’s eyes softened, full of pity. “It’s alright, it was a long time ago. I barely knew him to be honest,” he stopped there, remember his words from earlier about honesty. “Actually, that’s a lie. I really am alright, but I knew him very well. This jewelry box was a gift my father gave to my mother on their one year anniversary.” 

 

He opened the top of the jewelry box and instantly saw two golden rings on display. His parents wedding bands. Carefully, he removed the top tray and revealed a stack of letters all addressed to him. He picked them up and sorted through them. 

 

“He used to write to me and mom in the same letters until I was about five, then he started to write to us separately. These are all of the letters he sent me.” 

 

“I don’t know what to say,” Yuuri whispered beside him, “would it be insensitive to ask how he died?” Victor shook his head.

 

“A sniper got him while he was patrolling base. They said he died instantly, no pain at all.” Victor paused, if he kept talking about his father he was going to start getting emotional. He decided to change the subject some. “My mother was a wreck afterwords, but she didn’t waste any time. We moved in with my grandfather and he watched me while she got a job in law enforcement. That is where she met Petya, he was a lawyer and was at the station constantly.” The workings of a smile formed on Victor’s face. “She hated him at first, I’d overhear her talking to my grandfather all the time about how he kept defending all of the criminals she brought in. Until one day, a family friend of ours got in trouble with the law. I won’t go into many details, but Yakov was facing years in jail if he didn’t have a good lawyer. That is when Mama broke and went and begged for Petya to defend him. He did without hesitation, got Yakov released and cleared his name. After that, Yakov came to America to open his clinic. 

 

“Mama was in Petya’s debt, they became friends and soon enough married and had Yura. Petya and I were never close, I’m still not 100 percent sure he likes me very much, but he makes my Mama happy and he’s there for Yura, so that’s all I care about.”

 

“Why did you move to America?” Yuuri asked, looking down at the stack of letters still in Victor’s hands.

 

“I didn’t find this out for years, but Mama and Petya thought we’d have a better future here. As I grew older it was becoming extremely obvious about my… lifestyle which is very frowned upon in Russia. Between me being so open about myself and Yuri being so femanine they thought it would be better if we could grow in a more accepting environment.” Yuuri started to fiddle with his fingers.

 

“We moved here for kind of the same reason. Japan is more accepting than Russia, but the hate is still there. I got picked on a lot as a kid, Mari would always be getting into trouble for defending me, though her methods were more violent than mine. 

 

“It got to the point where she got expelled from school. With her gone, there was no one to stop the bullying. My things would get thrown into the ocean, my desk was tagged with demeaning words, I got cornered on my way to school. The teachers all turned a blind eye to it, and I didn’t want to worry my family so I never said anything. Until one day, these boys were chasing me around with sticks, I climbed a tree to get away from them, but I lost my grip about half way up and fell. I got a concussion and a fractured arm. That was when I broke down and told my parents about the bullying right there in the hospital. 

 

“At first, they thought about moving somewhere else in Japan, but they were worried that the same problem would arise. We decided somewhere that spoke English because we already knew the language for the most part, and it wasn’t long before we decided America. It took awhile to sell the hot springs my parents ran, but once we did we moved here and opened the animal shelter.” 

 

Now Victor was the one unsure of what to say. He was never very good with these heavier topics.

 

“It got better once you moved to America though?” He asked, hoping Yuuri wouldn’t take it as him brushing his past off. The younger man smiled,

 

“That’s an understatement, not only did I get to meet all of my best friend’s here, I learned that I have a real talent for taking care of animals. I love working at the shelter and helping to find homes for them.” Yuuri leaned his head against Victor’s shoulder and ran a hand across the letters Victor was still holding. “We’re getting off topic though,” 

 

Victor sighed, “I miss him a lot, he was a great father even though he couldn’t be there for everything. I’d get a letter once a month and it would be the highlight of my week. He’d tell me how much he loves me, and give me life advice as if he knew he wouldn’t be around forever. He was probably just being realistic,” 

 

“I wish I got to meet him,” Yuuri said quietly, “he sounded like a great man,”

 

“Oh, he would have loved you, zolotse,” Victor smiled, “he had a weak spot for dogs, I can imagine you two talking for hours about them,” Yuuri laughed beside him.

 

“I would have loved every minute of that.” he said, kissing Victor on the cheek. Victor put the letters back in the box, placed the top part that held the rings back on, and gently closed it. 

 

“Are you ready for bed?” He asked, Yuuri nodded and laid down next to Makka while Victor put the jewelry box back. He climbed under the covers and pulled Yuuri close. Yuuri rested his head on Victor’s shoulder, his hair tickling his nose. Makka laid on Yuuri’s back, trapping him. Victor kissed the top of his head. This was all Victor ever wanted, to fall asleep with the one he loves wrapped securely in his arms. Running his hand up and down Yuuri’s spine he whispered, “Good night, lyubov moya,”

 

“Good night, Vitya,” Yuuri whispered back, leaning up just enough to kiss Victor’s jaw. Victor fell asleep with a smile on his face.

 


Victor was very bored. He wanted to go play outside in the snow, but his mother was being mean and said that he had to finish cleaning his room before she would take him out. He could always sneak out, but he knew she’d get mad at him if he tried. 

 

He looked around the mess his room was in, toys scattered everywhere, dirty clothes tossed carelessly across the room, books piled on every flat surface, it was just too much for a five year old to do. The only clean part of his room was his bed, which his mother had helped him earlier to make. Victor decided he wasn’t motivated enough to clean just yet, so he went back to looking out his window longingly. 

 

“Vitya!” His mother called from down the hall after awhile, and Victor jumped down from the windowsill and started picking up any toys he could grab and throwing them into the plastic tub they belonged in. His mother entered the room and raised an eyebrow at how little had been done. 

 

“Can’t I finish cleaning later, Mama? The snow is gonna melt if we wait any longer!” Victor whined,

 

“It’s way below freezing, Vitya, I promise it won’t melt,” his mother reassured, “You aren’t going outside until this room is spotless, but come take a break for a minute, I have a surprise for you.” Victor dropped the toys he was pretending to put away and followed his mother to the kitchen where he spotted a stack of mail on the kitchen table. 

 

“Did Papa write?” Victor asked excitedly, sitting on one of the chairs and jumping up and down.

 

“He did,” his mother confirmed, “he wrote you your own letter for your birthday!” 

 

Victor was disappointed at first that his dad had missed his birthday again, but this just made it better! He never got his own letter before!

 

“Can you read it?” he asked, Nadia nodded and pulled her chair up next to him. 

 

“Why don’t you open and hold it and I’ll read,” she suggested, handing the boy his letter. He did as instructed, and his mother had to hold his hands steady because he was wiggling around too much.

 

My dearest Vitya,

 

Happy Birthday, l'venok! 

 

You are growing up so much, and I wish I could make it to your birthday party. Sadly, Papa has a lot of work to do here, so he cannot make it. I will be thinking about you every minute though. You and Mama are the center of my world, and I am so proud to have you as my family. 

 

Please don’t be sad that I am not there, I’ll be home before you know it and we will celebrate your birthday then. It will be like having two birthdays in one year! How exciting is that? I love you very much my son. 

 

Listen to your mother and don’t give her too much trouble. Give her lots of hugs and kisses from me, because she deserves them all. Be a good boy. I’ll write again soon, so just you wait.

 

Again, I love you with all my heart, Vitya. Happy birthday!

 

Love, Papa

 

Victor leaned against his mother and hugged her. She set the letter down and hugged him back, kissing the top of his head.

“I miss Papa,” he whimpered,

 

“I know, myshka, I do too,” she soothed, running a soothing hand up and down his back. “He will be home before you know it. Just be patient, he’s helping make Russia safe for us.”

 

“Will he stay next time?” Victor asked, he wanted his Papa to be at home as long as his Mama does. His mother sighed and kissed the top of his head again.

 

“Not next time, myshka, one day, but not next time.” 

 

Victor held onto that one day his Papa will come home and stay home. They’d be a family, just the three of them, and they’d stay together forever. Victor smiled and pulled out of his mother’s embrace.

 

“Where are you going?” She asked,

 

“To clean my room!” He called, running back down the hall and picking up his toys. His papa said to not give mama any trouble, so that’s what he’ll do. He wanted to make his papa proud afterall!

Chapter Text

Over the next week Yuuri worked more hours than normal. He would wake up in the morning to go straight to work, see Victor briefly when he’d drop off and pick up any animals at the clinic, and head straight to the shelter after his animal control duties were done. The shelter was starting to get overcrowded, and with the weather getting colder he had to do more to keep them warm. Longer walks to get their blood flowing, extra blankets and bedding, even going out and buying a couple space heaters. During their free time, Yuuri and Phichit would crochet blankets for the calmer dogs who wouldn’t tear them up, that way the stronger blankets can go to the more destructive dogs. 

 

Yuuri’s only saving grace was the new volunteer, Kenjirou Minami. He had come in with Yuri on Monday, and was ready to start volunteering. He was a bit too enthusiastic, but Yuuri could appreciate that. He took a lot of the simpler work off of Yuuri’s plate, like cleaning the dog pins, socializing puppies, and taking over some of the walks, but that was only so Yuuri could get more done before winter really sunk in. 

 

Victor was busy at work as well, Yakov was giving him more and more responsibilities at the clinic, taking away Victor’s time to be spending at the shelter. He wasn’t able to visit Yuuri at all Wednesday and Thursday, which Yuuri understood. Victor had more than enough on his plate, he didn’t have to be worrying about upsetting his boyfriend. 

 

Victor did remember to send good morning and good night texts to Yuuri everyday, which made the younger man feel warm and overjoyed every time he received one.

 

It wasn’t until Friday afternoon, however, that he remembered their plans to have dinner with Victor’s family. 

 

Vitya (◠ ◠✿) 4:13 PM:

What time do you think you’ll be ready? I’m about to go home, I can come pick you up if you want

 

Yuuri’s heart stopped as he looked down at his phone. How could he have been so stupid? Only a week into their relationship and he was already forgetting dates! What kind of boyfriend was he?

 

He checked himself over, he was still in his dirty animal control uniform, totally not what you wear when meeting your boyfriend’s family for the first time. He had to hurry and get home. He ran inside to the front desk his sister was manning. 

 

“Mari, my beloved sister-” He started,

 

“No,” she interrupted, but the smirk on her face told Yuuri she was only teasing,

 

“Mari, I forgot I had a date with Victor tonight and I have to go or else he’s gonna dump me so fast!” He had already told Mari about him dating Victor, but not his parents yet. He wanted to see how things go tonight before he told them anything. 

 

“Fine, but you owe me.” She said, “I want Sunday off,”

 

“Deal, thank you so much!” He leaned over the counter and kissed her cheek before running off.

 

Me 4:21 PM

On my way home now, I need to shower and get ready, maybe an hour if that’s okay?

 

Vitya (◠♡◠✿) 4:22 PM:

An hour is perfect, I’ll see you then!

 

Me 4:22 PM:

♡♡♡

 

Yuuri rushed home and instantly hopped into the shower, being as quick and thorough as possible. He rushed around the room for something decent to wear, wishing Phichit wasn’t working so that he could get a second opinion. In the end, he decided that all of his clothes were unworthy and raided his friend’s closet instead. He settled on dark jeans, a white button up shirt, and a casual navy blue vest. Yuuri debated with himself whether he should gel back his hair and wear contacts like he did for their first date, but decided against it. He wanted to impress Victor’s parents, but he felt more comfortable behind glasses and bangs. 

 

Spraying on some cologne he checked his phone for the time, Victor would arrive in about 15 minutes to pick him up, so he took a selfie and sent it to Phichit.

 

Me 5:16 PM:

Image Sent

 

Me 5:16 PM:

Am I meet-the-parents material?

 

Peach\(^o^)/ 5:17 PM:

You’re every man’s wet dream 

 

Me 5:17 PM:

Phichit!

 

Peach\(^o^)/ 5:18 PM:

Lmao, you look great! Vic’s parent’s will love you!

 

Me 5:19 PM:

I forgot about our date, what kind of boyfriend am I?

 

Peach\(^o^)/ 5:21 PM:

A busy one with two jobs that takes up all your time

 

Peach\(^o^)/ 5:21 PM:

Don’t worry about it, Yuuri, this sort of thing just happens

 

Me: 5:21 PM:

I guess you’re right…

 

Peach\(^o^)/ 5:24 PM: 

You know I’m right

 

Peach\(^o^)/ 5:24 PM:

G2G, just got a table, you’ll do fine, just stay calm and be your usual perfect self, love you ♡♡♡

 

Me 5:24 PM:

Love you ♡♡♡

 

Yuuri sighed and set his phone down. Nadia was nice, Petya was intimidating but a good guy, Yuri would be there and so would Victor, everything was going to be fine.

 

There was a knock on the front door and with one more deep breath, Yuuri left his room and opened the door. Victor looked as perfect as always, he wore black dress pants, a dark blue trench coat, and a long sleeved grey v-neck. As soon as Yuuri opened the door, his signature heart shaped smile spread across his face and Yuuri’s heart skipped a beat as it does every time.

 

“Hi,” Yuuri greeted,

 

“Hello, you look beautiful,” Yuuri could feel the blush already forming. Victor offered his hand, “Ready?”

 

“Let me grab my coat,” Yuuri said, rushing to grab it from his room. In his hurry back to Victor he ended up tripping over the door step and right into the Russian's arms. Victor couldn’t hold back a laugh, 

 

"Nervous?" He asked,

 

"No!" Yuuri said a little too quickly, jumping from his arms. 

 

"It's okay, solnyshko, they'll love you," Victor reassured. He took Yuuri's hand and lead him outside, only releasing it so that Yuuri could lock the door. 

 

"What if they don't?" Yuuri asked as he followed Victor down the stairs to his car. 

 

"Then they don't have a very good judge of character, but don't think about the 'what ifs' it'll be fine," Victor held the passenger door open and let Yuuri settle into the car before getting into the driver's side and pulling out of the parking lot.

 

Yuuri looked out the window and did what he always did when his anxiety tried to get the better of him. He let it have it's fun, started thinking about all the worse case scenarios. Victor's parents yelling at him how he'll never be good enough for their son. Them telling him they wouldn't allow Yuri to volunteer at the shelter anymore. Them convincing Victor he clearly made a mistake in asking Yuuri out, and he'll be left stranded alone in the cold. He stopped when he felt his hands start to shake. 

 

He moved onto the next part of the exercise, thinking about the best case scenarios. Victor's parents falling in love with him. Going out of their way to invite him out to brunch, tea, holidays. Proposing that he marry Victor as soon as possible after only one dinner. Yuuri had to hold back a laugh at the ridiculous thought.

 

The final part of the exercise, what was probably going to happen now that his brain has had it's fun. He and Victor were going to pull up to the house, he was going to meet his parents as Victor's boyfriend, and they'll have a pleasant evening.

 

Yuuri felt a hand cover his, and he tore his gaze away from the window and meet Victor's eyes. He then realized that they were parked and sitting outside a nice two story house. It looked very homey, a stone path leading to the front door from the driveway. A bench sat before a small vegetable garden full of in season vegetables on the side of the house. 

 

"Are you sure you still want to do this? If you're too nervous I can tell them you got sick on the way here?" He suggested, but Yuuri could see the reluctance on Victor’s face. This was clearly important to him.

 

Yuuri gave him a reassuring smile and leaned over and pecked his lips. His Vitya was so amazing.

 

"I promise I'm fine, Vitya. Thank you for worrying about me, but I’m excited. Now let’s go, I’m starving!” Victor studied Yuuri’s eyes for a long moment before he decided that Yuuri was telling the truth. He nodded and shut the car off before getting out. 

 

Yuuri followed him inside, Victor held the front door open for him and called out, “I’m home!” as they made their way to the kitchen. Nadia was there working on their dinner. 

 

“Welcome home Vitya,” she greeted, going over and kissing his cheek which Victor quickly returned. “It’s nice to see you again, Yuuri. My boys can’t ever stop talking about you, so I’m happy you could make it.” 

 

Yuuri felt his face heating up at her words, Nadia had a thicker accent than her sons which reminded him of his own mother. Those were where the similarities stopped though, she had long silver hair which was tied into a braid down her back. She held herself with the confidence Yuuri could only dream of having. She wore green eyeshadow that made her emerald eyes pop out along with winged eyeliner. The jeans and blouse she wore complimented her curvy frame so well, it was hard to believe she was in her mid 40’s.

 

“It’s a pleasure to see you as well, Mrs. Plisetskaya,” he greeted, showing her a soft smile. 

 

“Oh please, just call me Nadia. There is no need to be so formal.” She brushed off. 

 

“Where’s Petya?” Victor asked, looking around with a frown.

 

“He got held up at work, don’t worry, he will join us shortly.” His mother reassured, turning back to the food cooking on the stove. “In the meantime, Vitya, why don’t you set the table?”

 

“Yes Mama,” Victor said, obidently. “Yuuri, Yura’s room is upstairs, first door to the left. Do you want to go tell him we’re here?”

 

“Sure,” Yuuri nodded, glad to have an excuse to leave before he could embarrass himself. He started towards the stairs, but he got distracted by all of the family pictures scattered all over the walls in the living room. He couldn’t help but smile at how cute little Victor and Yuri were. He wished Victor would grow his hair out again, it really suited him. 

 

There was one picture in particular that stood out. It was Victor when he was about 3 or 4 years old, being held by a man with the same blue eyes his son had. Although his hair was brown, it was styled almost the same as Victor’s was now. He was more muscular too, but his face was soft and full of joy as he and his son smiled at the camera. There was no doubt that this was Victor’s biological father. Something ached in Yuuri’s chest, he didn’t even know the man but just looking at this one picture he could tell that he really loved his son. 

 

Little Victor looked just as thrilled, his hair was already passed his shoulders. It looked tangled and messy as if he had just rolled out of bed, by the looks of his pajama he probably did. 

 

“I remember that day,” Victor’s voice called behind him. Yuuri turned his head and noticed he was in view of the dining room where Victor was watching him with a soft smile that didn’t reach his eyes.

 

“What day?” Nadia asked, sticking her head out of the kitchen and seeing what Yuuri was looking at. Yuuri’s face heated up again, caught.

 

“I don’t mean to pry,” he said instantly, not wanting to bring up any sad memories on what was suppose to be a happy evening.

 

“Oh, don’t worry about it. We have a rule in this house, we don’t hide the fact that Volya was a part of this family.” she stated, walking towards him and smiling at the picture. “He always loved surprising Vitya on his trips home. This time in particular, he got home super early in the morning, I made him a cup of coffee and we waited for Vitya to walk up and see him at the breakfast table.”

 

Yuuri looked back at the picture, Victor looked so much like his father apart from the hair color. He wished he had gotten the chance to meet him. Victor walked up to them and wrapped an arm around Yuuri’s waist, pulling him closer and gently squeezing his side.

 

“Papa was always doing stuff like that, it’s where I learned how to love surprises.” Yuuri smiled at the thought,

 

“I can tell just by the picture he must have been an amazing person,” he said, leaning into his boyfriend. 

 

It was then that the front door opened and the three turned to welcome Petya home. Yuuri noted the difference between Petya and Volya. Petya was slimmer than Volya, but not in an unhealthy way, he fit into his suit perfectly. His blond hair was short and slicked back for work, and his sharp grey eyes missed nothing, just like his son. 

 

“Welcome home, Lyubimiy, Vitya and Yuuri just showed up,” Nadia said, going to her husband and pecking him on the lips. Petya nodded in their direction.

 

“How are you doing, Yuuri?” he asked, walking over and shaking his hand.

 

“Good, thank you for having me,” Yuuri greeted, his anxiety coming back at full force in the presents of Victor’s step father. He wanted to make a good impression on both of his parents. 

 

“It’s our pleasure,” Petya said, then looked around. “Where’s Yura?” 

 

“In his room studying, Yuuri was about to go get him,” Nadia said, 

 

"Right, I'll go do that now," Yuuri quickly excused himself.

 

He followed Victor's instructions and found Yuri's room quickly enough. He knocked twice on the door.

 

"Hold on!" Yuri called, and opened the door a few minutes later, headset dangling around his neck. "You're here already?" 

 

"Yeah, are you streaming?" Yuuri asked, looking into the teen's room to see that he was in fact live. It was unusual for Yuri to stream this early, but on the rare times he does he normally tells Yuuri.

 

"Yeah, figured you and the old man would be here awhile and Mama wouldn't let me ditch out early, and I didn't want to cancel the stream tonight," he explained, letting Yuuri in his room and closing and locking the door. 

 

Yuri's room was a decent size, a queen sized bed sat in the corner of the room with tiger striped bedding, a dresser on the opposite wall next to the door. What impressed Yuuri most of all was the massive black L-shaped desk in the corner that held all of Yuri's electronics. A gaming computer front and center, games lined up neatly on the drawers. A year old black and red gaming chair settled in front of the desk that Yuuri knew for a fact cost $399 thanks to the twitch commenters quoting some gaming youtuber.

 

On the monitor it showed a first person shooter, Yuri quickly sat back at his desk and pulled the headset back on. 

 

"Make yourself comfortable, I'm just going to finish this match," he said. Yuuri sat on the bed and watched the teen play and read the comments flashing on the screen. "That's my brother's boyfriend," he said, obviously answering one of the many questions that popped up. 

 

Yuuri suddenly read a lot of questions all about him, his face reddened at the sudden curiosity of Yuri's viewers.

 

"Jeez, I can't answer everyone's questions and win this match, Katsudon, do you want to answer some of these since you're suddenly a guest appearance?" Yuri asked, Yuuri laughed.

 

"Sure," he answered, leaning closer so he could read the screen better.

 

BlareBear16: OMG, he's so cute!

 

DreamGirl403: D'awww! How long have you two been dating?!

 

FreakyFridayFanatic: How old are you? I thought IceTiger had an older brother?

 

DanteStone148: ewww, sorry to say, but IT's bro could do better

 

GloriaXox92: shut up, he's totally adorable!

 

Yuuri did his best to ignore the rude comments, he knew they came with every stream.

 

"Thanks for all the love, I'm almost 24 actually, yes Ice Tiger's brother is older. We just started dating, I'm here to officially meet his family even though I've known IT for awhile," Yuuri explained, earning a couple dozen more questions he had a hard time reading due to the viewers sudden excitement.

 

They continued like this for the rest of the match, Yuri ended up winning since he didn't have to read comments and play at the same time.

 

"Alright, that's going to be it tonight, don't forget to be back tomorrow. Since it turned out so well last time, I’ll be putting up a poll for what you want me to play," Yuri ended the stream and shut off the camera, then turned to Yuuri.

 

"Ready for dinner?" Yuuri asked, smile on his face.

 

"Ignore them," Yuri said instead, "There will always be assholes,"

 

"You noticed that?" Yuuri asked sheepishly,

 

“I noticed you cringing next to me, so I figured one of those dicks said something fucked up,” Yuri explained, taking off his headset and placed it gently on the desk and turning off his computer.

 

"It wasn't even that bad, I'm just not used to being judged by total strangers. Even the nice ones, it was more weird then distressing." Yuuri explained as Yuri unlocked the bedroom door and they made their way downstairs to where Victor was helping his mother finish cooking and Petya was sitting in the living room, phone against his ear and laptop on the armrest of the chair.

 

Yuri waved at his dad before sitting down at the table. Yuuri followed suit. 

 

"Oh no, Yura, go wash your hands, who knows what kind of filth you’ve gotten into,” Nadia protested, waving a wooden spoon at him.

 

“Pens and game controllers,” Yuri said, but that earned him another wave of Nadia’s spoon so he got up and went to the bathroom. Victor chuckled from beside his mother and walked over to Yuuri with two plates of what looked like potato salad. As he set them on the table, he kissed Yuuri’s cheek making the younger man blush. It was one thing to show such affection when they were alone or around friends, but it was entirely different doing it in front of his family. Victor only chuckled and rubbed his nose against Yuuri’s cheek.

 

“Why don’t you go wash up too? You can use the sink in the kitchen,” Victor suggested. Yuuri nodded and stood up and did as he was told, being extra thorough because he could see Nadia watching him from her place at the stove. 

 

“What would you like to drink, lapochka?” Victor asked, going through the fridge and listing off several options. Yuuri choose a sweet white wine so Victor poured two glasses of it and handed them to him. “Pick wherever you want us to sit.” he said warmly.

 

Yuuri sat the drinks down at the table, across from where Yuri now returned from the bathroom and sat down. The salads Victor had brought looked interesting to say the least, it consisted of diced potatoes, carrots, boiled eggs, pickles, peas, and ham all mixed together in mayonnaise.

 

"Olivier salad," Yuri answered Yuuri’s unspoken question.

 

"I hope you don't mind, Yuuri, I typically cook meals I grew up with," Nadia explained as she and Victor sat at the table as well. Petya did not join them.

 

"Not at all, this looks delicious," Yuuri complimented. 

 

"Don't get too full, this is only the first course," Victor advised, picking up a fork.

 

"What about Petya?" Yuuri asked, not wanting to be rude.

 

"He'll join us when he’s finished, he has a tough case right now." Nadia explained, taking a bite out of her own salad.

 

Yuuri followed the other's example and started to eat as well. It was not what he was expecting, there was a lot of flavor behind the mixture of food.

 

"This is delicious, Nadia, is that pasley?" He asked, the older woman smiled at him.

 

"Dill actually, thank you," she said, taking a sip of wine.

 

"So how was school today, Yura?" Victor asked, watching Yuri poke at his own salad. 

 

"Boring, went to class, finished assignments, and came home," the teen murmured, taking a bite.

 

"You didn't have to work at the shelter tonight?" He asked, eyeing Yuuri as well.

 

"Mari and Yuuko are there tonight, along with Manami, more than enough people," Yuuri explained.

 

"Besides, Mama wouldn't let me volunteer today," Yuri pointed out.

 

"Only because you would have been late," Nadia stated, rolling her eyes at her son. Petya joined them then, sitting at the table.

 

“Sorry about that, this client is being exceptionally difficult,” He excused, picking up his fork and starting to eat his salad. 

 

“Can you tell us anything about the case?” Yuri asked,

 

“You know I can’t,” Petya sighed, not an impatient one, but a tired one. Yuuri wasn’t sure how to talk to the man just yet, so he decided to stay quiet. However, that only worked until Victor set the main course in front of him.

 

The dish consists of three rolls with an orangish red glaze and a side of mashed potatoes, Yuuri looked over at Victor for an explanation. 

 

“Halupki, a cabbage roll topped with tomato soup, try it,” Victor encouraged, taking a bite of one himself. Yuuri followed his lead and found that not only were the rolls filled with cabbage, but flavorful beef, sausage, rice, and egg as well. 

 

“How do you like it, Yuuri?” Nadia asked, looking eager for his answer. 

 

“This is delicious!” He said to her, earning a larger smile from the woman. 

 

“Really? I’m glad you like it!” Yuuri didn’t think the woman could make anything he didn’t like at this point. He could tell she worked hard on the meal. They ate in silence for a few minutes before Petya spoke up.

 

“So, Yura tells us you also work as an animal control officer?” Petya asked, Yuuri nodded, nerves spiking. He had not expected Petya to actually talk to him but now that he thought about it, it was silly to assume otherwise.

 

“Yes, it’s a hard job, but a very rewarding one,” he answered, forcing a smile. Under the table he felt a reassuring hand rest on his leg. Victor started to rub his thumb against him in a calming manner.

 

“I know what you mean, although I’m not as big of an animal lover as the boys, I can appreciate that they have someone in their corner looking out for them. I see a lot of cases from animal abusers and I always do my best to get them the largest sentence I can, but I wouldn’t be able to do that if not for animal control doing their job thoroughly, and I have to say, they really have improved over the last few years.”

 

It was better than Yuuri had expected, he wasn’t so sure he was accepted as Victor’s boyfriend (after all, he had hardly spoken to Victor) but there was a different sort of pride knowing that he was accepted for his career path. Maybe it was a process with Petya? Like he needs to be accepted for smaller things before he can be accepted for something as important as Victor’s boyfriend? Yuuri hoped so, he didn’t want to think that the man cared more about his work than his own stepson.

 

“Thank you, but it really is thanks to lawyers like you who keep animal abusers from doing it again. We don’t get too many cases with people who actually mean to do animals harm, but on the rare occasion it actually does happen, I’m glad to know there are people who take the crime seriously.” Yuuri said, earning an approving nod from Petya.

 

The rest of dinner went by smoothly, they talked more about Yuri doing well in school and the successful surgery Victor had to do on a corgi who got into their guardian’s chocolate stash. They even brought up the animal shelter, where Yuuri was happy to announce to Victor that Trigger had officially gone home with Sara earlier that day. Victor was just as excited as Yuuri had known he’d be. 

 

After dinner, Yuuri offered to help Yuri load the dishwasher, earning extra brownie points with Nadia. They migrated into the living room where they sat and talked some more over a plate of chocolate covered prunes. It didn’t take long for Yuuri to get tired, he had been up since five in the morning after all. Victor seemed to notice his covered yawns.

 

“I think it’s about time I drove Yuuri home,” he announced, standing up and Yuuri followed his lead. 

 

“Alright,” Nadia said, standing up as well and instantly pulling Yuuri into a hug first. “It was a pleasure having you two over, you boys come back soon, okay?” 

 

“Of course,” Yuuri said, face heating up. He wasn’t used to being so accepted by his boyfriend’s family. Cason’s parents were the type of biblebelt Christians that thought any sort of sin was disgraceful, and had nearly kicked Cason out when they found out about Yuuri. This was totally new, and it warmed Yuuri’s heart to know that he was immediately welcomed by Victor’s family.

 

Nadia pulled away, patted his cheek before turning to her son and hugging him as well. Yuuri shook Petya’s hand, and messed up Yuri’s hair while Nadia whispered something to Victor that made him laugh.

 

Victor walked Yuuri to the car and held the door open for him.

 

“What did she tell you?” Yuuri asked once they were driving down the street.

 

“That she expects grandchildren within the next few years,” Victor confirmed, chuckling again. He took Yuuri’s hand and pulled it to his lips to kiss his fingertips. “They love you, you know?”

 

“I’m nothing special,” Yuuri protested, but he smiled anyways, hoping that Victor was right.

 

"Lypochka, you did so well! Tonight was absolutely perfect, thank you for this. I love that you all got along so well," Victor praised, and Yuuri was glad he was focusing on driving so he didn't have to hide his blush. 

 

If sacrificing a few nervous hours to hang out with his boyfriend's family was all it took to make Victor so happy, then Yuuri would spend everyday with Victor's family.

 

Too soon, Victor pulled up to Yuuri's apartment. He could see from his seat that Phichit was home, as well as his lovely neighbors, great. 

 

Victor got out of the car and walked Yuuri to the door. Yuuri faced him, not wanting to go in quite yet.

 

"Well, goodnight," Yuuri murmured, looking down at their feet nervously. Victor placed a hand on each of Yuuri's cheeks and lead him to meet his eyes.

 

"Good night, lyubov moya," he replied, leaning forward to capture Yuuri's lips in a gentle kiss. Victor ran his thumb across Yuuri's cheek, encouraging the younger man to open up. Yuuri let Victor explore the inside of his mouth, unsure of what to do with his hands but needing to touch the Russian, he placed them on Victor's shoulders.

 

Victor's hands slid down Yuuri's face and wrapped securely around his waist, pulling him closer. Yuuri felt so secure, so loved in that moment. He moaned against Victor's tongue, he wanted more, wanted to invite Victor inside and be ravished by that mouth. 

 

Common sense kicked in however, and he knew he wasn't ready to take that step quite yet. He pulled away, resting their foreheads together, a sliver of saliva connecting them. 

 

"Get home safely, Vitya," Yuuri whispered, afraid that if he spoke too loudly that the magic of the moment would be ruined.

 

"Sweet dreams, zvezda moya," Victor whispered back, leaning forward for one more sweet kiss before pulling away entirely. Yuuri unlocked the door and went inside, feeling like he was floating. 

 

Once inside, he made eye contact with Phichit who was scrolling through his phone on the couch. There was a moment of silence before Yuuri squealed and launched himself at his best friend, hugging him tightly. He can't remember the last time he's been this happy.

 


It was one of the rare times Yuuri worked the counter at the shelter rather than working with the dogs. Normally he would hate doing boring desk work, but he had gotten up extremely early that morning so he was grateful to be able to sit down for a couple of hours. 

 

It was a slow Wednesday afternoon, so he used the time to update and organise the files of all the dogs he has been working with, along with studying the ones he hasn’t gotten much chance to know. After an hour of doing this, the front door opened and Yuuri put on his fake customer-ready smile. In came a woman with long silvery hair, followed by a blond man and a teenage boy around the age of twelve or thirteen. The woman walked straight up to Yuuri, her family close behind her.

 

“Good afternoon, how can I help you today?” Yuuri asked in the politest voice he could muster.

 

“Hi, I was wondering what the age requirements were for volunteers? My son, Yuri, here would like to volunteer,” The woman introduced, putting an arm around her son and pushing him forward enough so that Yuuri could get a better look at him. Yuuri’s first thought was that the boy was very skinny, his second was that the outfit he wore made him look like a delinquent. He wore two jackets, a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled up under a denim jacket, along with the tightest skinny jeans Yuuri has ever seen and black vans. He also had this nasty scowl on his face that made Yuuri think that he was about to get punched. God, did he hate teenagers.

 

“You want to volunteer? That’s wonderful, we allow teenagers as young as thirteen to volunteer as long as they have their legal guardian’s permission. Any teens fifteen and older don’t need permission.” Yuuri explained, opening the desk drawer and pulling out all the necessary paperwork. 

 

“That’s perfect, my son just turned thirteen and this was all he could talk about for months,” The woman said cheerfully, squeezing the boy’s shoulder. Yuri looked down,

 

“Mama,” he groaned quietly, obviously the woman wasn’t helping with his tough guy act. It almost made Yuuri want to laugh, but he kept quiet as he handed over the paperwork. 

 

“Just fill these forms out, and I’ll have my mother, the one in charge of the volunteers, look at it tonight. My name is Yuuri too by the way, let me know if you have any questions or concerns about any of the requirements. Yuri, would you like a tour of the place while your parents work?” Yuuri asked, turning his attention to the boy. 

 

“Sure,” He murmured, going back to looking tough. Yuuri could already tell the kid was going to be a handful. Some of the worst volunteers he had witnessed over the years were teeangers whose parents forced them to volunteer. Not only were the kids rude and ungrateful to his family or potential adopters, but they could also risk the safety of the animals. In those cases, Yuuri often banished them to cleaning pins and changing litter boxes, instead of working directly with the animals themselves. Yuuri could tell that this would be one of those cases, even though his mother had said he wanted to volunteer, she might have been making that up to impress Yuuri. 

 

He took the boy to the dog kennels first, knowing that most people wanted to see the puppies. The kennels were loud, Mari had only just started her evening walks, so all the dogs were ancey to get out. Yuuri saw the boy cringe beside him. He quickly explained that this was, obviously, where they kept their bigger adult dogs, and that the puppies and smaller dogs were kept more in the back. Yuri seemed to show no interest whatsoever in the dogs or puppies. Yuuri then lead him back towards the main office, but before he entered where they had come from, he walked towards the side of the building and opened the cattery. There were two doors to go through so that any cats that might slip through one door couldn’t escape outside. 

 

It was as if a switch had been flipped, instantly the boy’s eyes shone at all the cat’s wandering around playing with one another. 

 

“The shelter allows the non aggressive cats to roam free during the day so that they can be socialized with one another. The ones that are either more prone to fighting or are sick or injured are kept in crates beyond that door. The sick ones are not contagious, or else they would be staying with our local vet.” Yuuri explained, pointing towards the only other door in the room. 

 

Yuri crouched down to pet a tabby who had come up to meet them. The kid’s tough guy act all but gone by the sight of over a dozen cats. 

 

“Do you kill the ones who can’t get adopted?” Yuri asked, not looking at Yuuri. 

 

“No, we are a nonkill shelter, we euthanize animals as a last resort, if they are either too sick, or are an actual danger to people and show no signs of improving. It’s very rare that we can’t train aggressive behavior out of an animal but there are those rare cases.” Yuuri said, Yuri finally looked up to meet his eyes. “I’m guessing you prefer working with cats instead of dogs?” 

 

“Duh, cats are far superior!” Yuri stated as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Yuuri chuckled, glad to see that the teen is showing some interest. 

 

“Do you have experience with caring for cats?” He asked, and that made Yuri huff.

 

“Not much, my parents won’t let me have one, but my grandpa has one. When I go see him, he always lets me take care of her,”

 

“Well we can teach you the basics, cats are usually more independent than dogs so they are a good start to train. Don’t worry, you won’t have to deal with the ones in the back room. They are taken care of by our staff and local vet.”

 

“Yakov,” Yuri said instantly, and Yuuri nodded.

 

“The one and only,”

 

They made their way back to Yuri’s parents after that. A week later Yuri had become an official member of their volunteer staff and had quickly wormed his way into Yuuri’s heart as his favorite volunteer, and maybe even a little brother figure in his life.

Chapter Text

Victor felt as if he was on the top of the world when he was with Yuuri. He was beyond thrilled that dinner with his family had gone well, all his mother could talk about was how precious or how sweet Yuuri was. 

 

It was now Sunday, and with it being his first day off in a week, he called Yuuri.

 

“Good morning,” Yuuri answered quickly, sounding as if he’d been up for awhile which is surprising considering Yuuri was not a morning person by any means.

 

“Good morning, lapochka, have any plans today?” Victor asked, putting the phone on speaker and digging through his closet for something to wear. 

 

“I picked up Mari’s shift this morning, so I’ll be at the shelter all day,” he answered apologetically. 

 

“Oh, well that’s okay. Do you mind if I come see you? I can help out of course,” Victor offered, looking for something to wear that he didn’t mind getting dirty.

 

“I wouldn’t want to steal your day off away from you,” Yuuri protested.

 

“Nonsense, it’s not a waste as long as I’m with you,” Victor reassured, deciding on a pair of jeans and a plane maroon tee shirt, he pulled on a heavy coat and scavenged around for some socks and boots.

 

“Well, if you’re sure. Yuuko and my dad are working with the dogs today, so I’m stuck on desk duty. It’ll be really boring.” Yuuri said, Victor could almost hear the adorable blush in his voice.

 

“Sounds like you just need company,” Victor said cheerfully, successfully finding the rest of his outfit.

 

“Maybe,” Yuuri admitted,

 

“I’m on my way now, don’t you worry,” Victor cheered, “See you,”

 

“See you,” Yuuri repeated. Victor hung up the phone and left his bedroom. He crossed the hall and knocked on Chris’ door.

 

“Chris? I’m going to the shelter, would you like to come with me?” He offered, over the last week Chris has made some improvements, but he still comes straight home after work and doesn’t leave the house for anything more than taking the dogs out or going to buy groceries.

 

Chris opened the door and Victor was proud to see that his friend had indeed dressed for the day, even if he had no plans of going anywhere.

 

“No, I’ll stay here with the dogs,” he told Victor. Victor had to hold back a sigh, taking care of the dogs had been his favorite excuse and Victor wasn’t going to let him get away with it for much longer. 

 

“Alright, but we’re going out to dinner tonight, wherever you want, okay?” he asked,

 

“Okay,” Chris confirmed, and with that closed the door.

 


Victor made it to the shelter in record time, excited to see Yuuri again. He practically ran into the building. Yuuri sat at the reception desk, crocheting what looked like a dark green blanket, Victor could have died of happiness from the scene before him.

 

“Hello gorgeous, come here often?” Yuuri purred, looking up from his work. It was moments like these that surprised Victor the most, how Yuuri could go from a sweet cinnamon roll to a sexy vixen in a split second. 

 

“Yes actually, they have the cutest boys here," Victor replied, leaning against the counter as Yuuri moved to greet him with a kiss.

 

"Well, you're in luck," Yuuri said, before swooping under the desk and scooping up a black, white, and brown long haired chihuahua. "Katsu here is the cutest boy of them all," Victor squealed and took the dog from Yuuri. Katsu instantly started to give Victor kisses all over his face.

 

"Oh my God, Yuuri, I love him! Why is he in here?" Victor asked, Yuuri opened the swing door that separated the front of the office to behind the desk for him. 

 

"I like to have a companion up here when I'm stuck doing desk work. They help the time go by faster, plus I get to show them off to all the potential adopters who come by." Yuuri explained, pulling an extra chair up for Victor to sit in. He sat back on his own chair and continued his crocheting. 

 

"What's that for?" Victor asked, settling Katsu down enough for him to lay in his lap. 

 

"With the weather getting colder we need more blankets, and making them is a lot cheaper than actually buying them or waiting for more to be donated." Yuuri explained, "Phichit and I do this every autumn and winter. I'm a little behind though, so I figured I'd use the extra time I have to work on one."

 

"Wow, you're so cool, Yuuri!" Victor praised, "do you think you could teach me?" Yuuri smiled at his boyfriend's interest. He pointed to the basket on the table.

 

"Of course, there's an extra pair of crochet hooks. What color do you want the blanket to be?" He asked,

 

Victor looked over all the different colored yarns, he decides on the navy blue, for no other reason than it was the color he liked best on Yuuri.

 

Yuuri spent the next half hour teaching Victor how to crochet a basic blanket. Victor loved every minute of it, especially when Yuuri stood behind his chair and guided Victor's hands to do it properly. 

 

Katsu had abandoned Victor's lap to play with his chew toys in a dog bed that sat against the far wall. When Victor asked why the bed was so far away, Yuuri explained it was there so any potential adopters could get a good look at him. 

 

Over the next few hours they sat and talked about small unimportant things, just comfortable to be in the other's presents. That was, until Victor found out an important detail he wasn't aware of.

 

"Wait, your birthday is at the end of this month?!" He exclaimed, how could he have not known? Yuuri smiled sheepishly,

 

"Umm, yes?  On the 29th, don't worry about getting me anything though, I never really make that big of a deal over it," 

 

"Yuuri! I have to get you something!" Victor said, racking his brain for the perfect gift. "What do you want? Price doesn't matter, just tell me!"

 

"Really Victor, I don't want anything. Save your money," Yuuri insisted, but that answer wasn't good enough for Victor. He looked around the office, before his eye caught on the bulletin board against the far wall. There was a picture and small description of every dog and cat in the shelter and foster system. It was much fuller now, the shelter had more animals now that the weather was getting colder. An idea flashed in Victor's head.

 

"I got it! How about an adoption event held on your birthday? We can put flyers up all over town to advertise!" A smile spread across Yuuri's face, 

 

"That sounds perfect! We've done events before, but we haven't been able to lately, so the timing is perfect!" Yuuri turned to the computer and started to organize everything, he sent a quick text to his family about the idea.

 

And that is how Victor found himself organizing and advertising the event all over town for the next week and a half. He posted flyers all over the clinic, he had Celestino post a few in his restaurant, the Crispino’s put them up in their coffee shop, along with a few other businesses.

 

The week before Yuuri’s birthday, he got a text from his boyfriend.

 

♡♡♡Zvezda Moya♡♡♡ 3:57 PM:

Do you have plans this thursday?

 

Me 3:59 PM:

No, the clinic is closed for Thanksgiving, but my family doesn't celebrate the holiday

 

♡♡♡Zvezda Moya♡♡♡ 4:00PM:

Well if you're interested, my parents are having this huge friends and family dinner, your family is welcome to come.

 

Me 4:02 PM:

That sounds wonderful! I know Yura will want to come! I'll talk to my parents!

 

♡♡♡Zvezda Moya♡♡♡ 4:03 PM:

Great! Just let me know so I can get a head count. We already got the turkeys, but your family is more than welcome to bring food. My parents love tasting everyone's cooking.

 

Victor called his mother instantly, he would love for her to get to know Yuuri's family better. Nadia was excited as expected, she was already making plans to bring some desserts. After making a quick call to Yuuri he also invited his grandfather. 

 

Nikolai was actually Petya's father, but ever since Nadia remarried he had treated Victor like his own grandson. Even going as far as to move with them to America, though he got a job and a house in the city so they didn't get to see him very often. Yuri was very close to their grandfather, making sure to call him every other day and go with Petya to visit him every few weeks, it would be a nice Thanksgiving surprise for the teen to see him.

 

The day before Thanksgiving, Yuuri invited Victor to stay the night at his parents house. Victor agreed, of course, and brought Makka along after making sure Chris would be okay with the other two. Phichit had volunteered to stay with Chris, wanting to make sure he wasn't alone on the holiday even though they'd be at the shelter later in the day. Victor had a few suspicions that that wasn't the only reason Phichit volunteered, even if the Thai man wasn't completely aware of it himself.

 

When he got to the Katsuki's house with Makka in tow, Yuuri was the one to answer the door. He looked completely adorable in his green sweater with the sleeves just a tad too long. The smells coming from inside the house was heavenly, pumpkin spice and caramel overpowering everything.

 

"You're just in time for dinner, come in!" Yuuri greeted, pulling Victor inside and taking his overnight bag from him. Victor unleashed Makka who instantly started to sniff around, inspecting their new location.

 

Victor took a moment himself to look around. He saw how the fall decor had made its way around the house. Everywhere he looked there were decorative pumpkins, fake red and orange leaves, candles, and gordes. Victor’s family had never celebrated holidays like most families do, but it seemed like the Katsuki’s took it to a whole nother level. 

 

Yuuri lead Victor up the stairs and to the bedroom he knew belonged to his boyfriend. The only difference now was a futon that sat on the floor by the bed. 

 

"When I told my parents you were staying over, they got a futon ready. I figured you wouldn’t want to try to squeeze together on such a small bed. I’ll take the futon though,” Yuuri explained, setting Victor’s bag on the bed.

 

“Don’t worry about it, lapochka, I don’t want to steal your bed,” Victor insisted. Yuuri shook his head,

 

“I’m going to be getting up early in the morning every half hour to base the turkeys. I don’t want to disturb you.” Victor cupped Yuuri’s cheeks and leaned closer. Happy when the younger man didn't pull away.

 

“A beauty like you could never disturb me,” he teased, leaning closer so they could feel each other's breath against the others lips. Yuuri closed the distance eagerly, wrapping his arms around Victor’s shoulders and pulling him back so that they were on the bed. 

 

Victor laid on top of Yuuri. He had his arms resting on either side of Yuuri’s head balancing so that he didn’t crush the smaller man, but that wasn’t good enough as Yuuri’s hands ran down his back until they reached Victor’s waist and pulled him down. With all of Victor’s weight on him now, Yuuri moaned into his mouth, giving Victor the opportunity to slip his tongue in.

 

Their hands continued to roam each other, getting to know the other’s body. Victor’s hands stayed close to Yuuri’s face; his cheeks, his ears, his hair. Yuuri’s on the other hand were more adventurous, rubbing circles in Victor’s waist, catching the edge of his pants. Victor wanted nothing more than for him to continue but figured maybe having their first time in Yuuri’s childhood bedroom while his entire family was downstairs might not be the best place. 

 

Instead, he flipped them over without breaking the kiss and slid his hands down so they wrapped securely around Yuuri’s waist. This was more than enough for Victor, just feeling his boyfriend’s body pressed against his was heavenly. 

 

Yuuri started to nibble on Victor’s lips which sent a shiver down his spine. How could someone be so adorable and sexy at the same time? Yuuri pulled away and sat up so that he was straddling Victor. His face was flushed and hair a mess, but he smirked down at Victor and those eyes looked like he was debating on eating his boyfriend alive. God, how Victor wanted to continue being ravished, but there was a knock on the door. 

 

The knock seemed the surprise Yuuri, he instantly lost all sense of calm and fell off of Victor onto the floor.

 

“Yuuri, dinner’s ready!” Mari called, either not hearing or ignoring the large thump that was her brother. Victor sat up and had to hold back a laugh as the adorable japanese man covered his face in embarrassment. 

 

“We’ll be down in a second!” He called back, voice muffled. Victor slid to the ground beside him and tried to remove the hands from his face, but Yuuri didn’t budge.

 

“Yuuuuurriii,” Victor called, releasing a chuckle. He leaned down and kissed the fingertips. Yuuri didn’t move, so Victor resorted to plan B. Reaching down, he lifted Yuuri’s shirt enough to have full access to his sides, then he started tickling. 

 

Yuuri’s hands instantly dropped to grab at Victor’s, but his boyfriend didn’t stop. He kept tickling until Yuuri was laughing hysterically, begging for mercy. Victor gave in and leaned down to kiss away the tears that managed to escape from Yuuri’s eyes.

 

“There’s that beautiful face,” Victor cooed as Yuuri caught his breath.

 

“You suck,” Yuuri whined, letting his boyfriend help him up. They made their way downstairs where Hiriko was finishing setting the table. Makkachin was already at her feet, begging. 

 

“Makka, no!” Victor scolded, Makka simply looked at him for a second then back at Hiriko. The older woman laughed and shooed the dog out of the dining room. 

 

“We’re so glad to have you here with us, Vicchan.” Hiriko greeted, ushering him to his seat.

 

“Thank you for having me,” Victor said as the rest of the family sat down for dinner. Makka was back, but she laid under Victor’s chair when she realized no one would give her any food. Yuuri had not told his family about Victor yet. It wasn’t as if he was embarrassed or ashamed of the relationship though, Yuuri wanted to tell his family at the perfect time. He and Victor had decided that the Thanksgiving dinner was that time.

 

Dinner was peaceful, their conversation focused mainly on the upcoming adoption event. His family thought it was a great idea to celebrate Yuuri’s birthday. Toshiya going as far as to get an advertisement in the local paper. Hiriko had put the event up on their website and had told pretty much everyone who came in. Mari had already gotten all of the kennels out of storage to deep clean, so that they could line up outside and let people get a good look at the dogs. The cats were to stay in the cattery so that they could still run around, but everyone was more than welcome to go visit and adopt them. They had already designated Yuri in charge of the cattery since he knew it best, and the rest of the family would have their hands full with all the dogs. Yuuko would be in and out making sure he was okay.

 

“Do you hear that?” Mari asked, making everyone stop talking. Victor did, there was a soft scratching noise coming from the front door. Toshiya chuckled,

 

“Yuuchan, I think you have another guest,” his father teased. Yuuri groaned,

 

“Again?” He asked, standing up and going to the front door to open it. Victor was confused, but Makka looked excited. She abandoned Victor’s side to go greet their guest. Yuuri came back moments later with his arms full of a very accomplished looking Katsu. 

 

“How did he get here?” Victor asked, Yuuri rolled his eyes.

 

“Katsu’s a master escape artist, when I first picked him up he escaped four times in the first week knowing I’d catch him. However, the fifth time I wasn’t so lucky and he was gone for three days. He showed back up, but after that he stopped playing tag and decided he liked hide and seek better. So now he just shows up wherever I am on the property.” Yuuri explained, setting the dog down to go wash his hands in the sink. 

 

“Cute,” Victor cooed, watching Makka sniff at the tiny dog. 

 

“Yeah, it’s adorable until I’m walking dogs, little guy almost got his head bitten off the other day by a territorial red heeler.” Yuuri groaned, coming back to sit next to Victor. Katsu ran over and tried to jump in Yuuri’s lap, but after a command the dog just happily sat under the table looking up at Yuuri, tail wagging. 

 

“He loves you, Yuuchan,” Hiriko cooed at the pup. Yuuri smiled down at the dog, but went back to eating. Victor could see the feeling was mutual. 

 

After dinner Victor helped Mari out with the dishes while Yuuri helped his father do one more walk through of the shelter. They decided to leave Katsu in the house, since they didn’t want to risk him escaping again. Hiriko fed Makkachin for Victor while shooing away Katsu who already had his dinner. Everyone decided to head to bed early since it would be a long and busy day tomorrow. 

 

Victor took both dogs to Yuuri’s room and settled them in and dressed quickly into his pajamas. Yuuri joined him not long after that, already dressed in his own pajamas, and dove on the futon before Victor could claim it. 

 

“Yuuuurrrriiii,”

 

“Oh no, you sleep on the bed. No arguing,” Yuuri dismissed, Katsu climbed into Yuuri’s lap and made himself comfortable. Victor sighed, knowing his boyfriend would be stubborn about this.

 

“Fine, but I want a good night kiss,” he whined, Yuuri chuckled and moved the dog out of his lap to stand up and meet Victor’s awaiting lips. 

 

“Good night, Vitya,” he whispered, pulling away.

 

“Good night, malysh,” Victor whispered back.

 

~~~~~

 

Victor heard movement in the darkness, he cracked an eye open to see Yuuri quietly exiting the room, Katsu eagerly behind him. After a quick check on his phone he saw it was 5:30 am. An idea popped into Victor’s head as he stared down at the empty futon. It was slightly bigger than the bed, maybe a full size? Clearly big enough for them both to fit on if they snuggled, and Victor had no problem snuggling with the adorable japanese man.

 

He slipped out of bed, jostling Makka who watched him for a moment before spreading out on the mattress she now had to herself. Victor closed his eyes and waited for his lover to return.

 

Yuuri came back to the room moments later and Victor felt a wet nose sniffing at his cheek. His sleeping act was ruined by a little tongue licking his cheek, he couldn’t hold back a laugh as he scooped the puppy up and let him lay on his chest.

 

“What do you think you’re doing?” Yuuri asked, sitting criss crossed on the futon. He poked Victor’s cheek who looked up at him innocently. 

 

“Waiting for you to come cuddle me,” Victor said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

 

“I think Katsu stole that job from me,” Yuuri answered, scratching the top of the chihuahua’s head.

 

“There’s enough cuddles to go around,” Victor insisted, using his right arm to hold the dog in place while wrapped his left around Yuuri’s waist.

 

Yuuri seemed to give in as he laid down next to Victor and got comfortable. Victor pulled him closer so that Yuuri’s head was resting on his shoulder.

 

“I’m going to be up in about half an hour, it’s going to disturb you,” Yuuri warned.

 

“Nothing you do could possibly disturb me,” Victor assured for the second time that night, kissing the top of Yuuri’s head closing his eyes. Yuuri hummed back seeming to already be drifting off. Katsu settled in as well, resting against Victor’s chest. 

 

It felt like only moments later that Yuuri’s alarm went off again. It was a calming melody, and Victor understood how he could have slept through it the first time. Yuuri on the other hand seemed to have no problem waking up to it. He sprang up and quickly turned it off, slipping from Victor’s grip and leaving his side, only to return in a matter of minutes.

 

This continued until the sun had risen enough that it seemed appropriate to get up. Around 8:30 Victor rolled out of bed with Yuuri and found coffee already made in the kitchen. 

 

“Dad’s been up for awhile, he makes coffee for everyone first thing in the morning,” Yuuri explained, pouring them both a mug.

 

“Vkusno!” Victor complimented after taking a sip of the dark roast. Yuuri took his time sweetening his own cup and took a sip, sighing in contentment.

 

“Good morning, boys! Happy Thanksgiving!” Hiriko greeted, coming through the back door, clothes already messy from no doubt taking care of the animals early in the morning.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Mama! ” Yuuri said in Japanese, going over to kiss her cheek.

 

“Would one of you help Mari bring some of the patio heaters out back? They are too heavy for her to carry by herself,” Hiriko asked. 

 

"I'll go help," Victor volunteered, Yuuri took his coffee from him and transferred it to a thermos he could use outside and pointed him towards the shed Mari was more than likely at.

 

The heaters were about a foot taller than Victor and bottom heavy. With Mari's help it wasn't difficult at all to carry them to the area the dinner would be served. There were already three long patio tables placed in a U-shape. 

 

They placed the heaters around the tables and Mari thanked him for his help. Hiriko came out with a box full of tablecloths and centerpieces to decorate the tables which Victor helped out. The rest of the day was focused on Victor cleaning the house with Yuuri while the rest of the family went to care for the animals. Makka and Katsu followed them around wherever they went, and Victor couldn’t help but take mandatory snuggle breaks with them in between tasks.

 

The first guests to show up were Phichit and Chris, who Victor was happy to see cleaned up very nicely. Along with them, Scout and Frankie ran straight to Makka and Katsu to play. 

 

"Happy Thanksgiving you two!" Phichit greeted as Yuuri took the two trays his friends were holding.

 

"Happy Thanksgiving! What did you guys bring?" Yuuri asked,

 

"Mango sticky rice," Phichit answered proudly,

 

"Risotto,” Chris said, smile on his face. Victor was happy to see that it was only half fake. It hasn’t even been two weeks since they found out about Masumi, but already his friend was looking stronger. 

 

Chris and Phichit helped with the rest of the cleaning while the other guests arrived. Sara and Michelle showed up with their parents, Mila tagging along on Sara’s arm. Emil joined right after them. JJ and his fiancee Isabella came next, then Yuuri and Phichit’s friends Leo and Guang Hong. Phichit’s mother showed up with his younger brother and sister, apologizing that his father couldn’t show up. With every new person came food, they weren’t all traditional Thanksgiving meals. Most of them were dishes from the person’s country of origin. 

 

Victor’s family showed up with his mother’s favorite Napoleon cake after that, Yuuri took it happily. After exchanging a few words, Victor’s parents joined the others in the warm living room while Yuri stayed with Victor and Yuuri. That was, until Otabek showed up with his dad, Uncle, and two little boys Victor was informed were Otabek’s little brother and cousin. 

 

Yuuri’s family was in and out of the house all day taking care of the animals. Yuuko sent the triplets over to go play with the kids, and soon enough she joined them along with Takashi. Minako following them in carrying more than a couple bottles of sake for all the adults to share.

 

After that, the person Victor was most excited for arrived. It had been months since he last seen Nikolia, but the man didn’t look any different. Still scruffy with his salt and pepper hair, the flat beret he always wore covered his head. He had a warm and gentle aura that made everyone feel comfortable around him. 

 

When he locked eyes with Yuri across the now crowded living room, Yuri instantly jumped up from where he and Otabek were sitting in the corner and ran. Seeming not to care about the other people watching, he jumped into the older man’s arms smiling like Victor had never seen him smile in public before. 

 

“Grandpa! What are you doing here? ” Yuri asked, excitedly in Russian.

 

I came to see my Yurochka of course!” the older man answered, putting the boy down and patting him on the head as if he were five and not fifteen. 

 

“Yuri almost didn’t come today because he was worried grandpa would be alone, even if we don’t normally celebrate Thanksgiving,” Victor explained to Yuuri who seemed overjoyed at the teen’s excitement. Victor couldn’t help himself as he wrapped his arm around Yuuri’s shoulder and kissed his cheek. 

 

When Yuuri’s family came back inside to wash up and greet their friends, Victor was quick to release Yuuri. He wanted to make the announcement of their relationship properly.

 

Mari and Yuuko fill the tables with all the food outside, the area now warm thanks to the heaters. Everyone joined them as Victor and Yuuri scrambled to get everyone’s drinks. Victor never worked in a restaurant before, but he felt like a mess of a server for trying and failing to remember what everyone wanted. Yuuri on the other hand spent his teen years helping out Celestino when needed at the restaurant, so he was perfectly comfortable memorizing everything. 

 

When everyone was finally seated, Toshiya stood up at the head of the table with his glass in the air.

 

“Happy Thanksgiving everyone, it makes me so happy that everyone could make it today! I am excited to see all of the food you have brought. I’m sure you have all worked hard to prepare it, and thank you especially to my son, Yuuri, who got up early this morning to cook the two turkeys." Everyone clapped for Yuuri who ducked his head blushing. "Now let's enjoy this feast and everyone's company!" With that everyone cheered and drank. 

 

Victor chatted with Yuuri's parents along with his for most of the dinner, slipping his left hand under the table to rub Yuuri's knee. Yuuri seemed to be radiating nervous energy at the thought of what was to come. Victor had offered to make the announcement but Yuuri insisted that he had to do it. So all Victor could do was comfort his boyfriend to the best of his abilities.

 

Around the time everyone was about to dig into dessert, Yuuri stood up with his own glass of champagne. 

 

"Umm, hi everyone," he said awkwardly, squirming at all the eyes on him. He was beyond charming. "Thanks for coming again, it makes me and my family happy to see all our friends together in one setting. It really shows the true meaning of the holiday. With all this love at one table, I have a very special announcement." He looked down at Victor and took his hand, taking a deep breath he met the eyes of his parents. "Victor and I are in a relationship," 

 

The smile that broke out on Hiriko's face was blinding. Victor could see where Yuuri got it from. She stood up from her place at the table, pulled Victor to his feet and took her boys in her arms. 

 

"Oh boys! I'm so happy for you two!" She exclaimed,

 

"Mama!" Yuuri whined, laughing, "it's not like I just announced our engagement!" Victor's heart skipped a beat at the thought of their very possible future. Victor laughed and wrapped his arms around the smaller woman and her son. 

 

Victor felt a pat on his back and looked over to see Toshiya smiling at him. 

 

"Welcome to the family, Vicchan!" He said, Victor smiled brightly at him, happy to be instantly accepted by the kind couple.

 

"Thank you, I'm happy to be a part of it!" He exclaimed. Victor looked over and met Nadia's eyes, she was smiling so proudly at her son. One look around and he could see smiles all down the tables. Everyone was happy for the new couple, a warmth spread across Victor he never felt before. He was starting to understand why everyone loved this holiday so much.

 

Yuuri's parents pulled away but Victor didn't let Yuuri go. He kissed the top of Yuuri's head, and he could feel the younger man's face heat up as he hid in his boyfriend's neck. How Victor got so lucky to be blessed with such an accepting family and a beautiful boyfriend, he was unsure, but he was going to cherish every moment. 

 


Victor was laying in his bed staring at the ceiling. To say he was bored was an understatement. The only benefit to having a Thanksgiving break was that he could catch up on his studies. He refused to use the time to go home because he knew deep down that coming back would be impossible. But knowing that didn't take away from the fact that he was lonely.

 

It didn't mean he couldn't have any contact with his family though. Rolling over, he grabbed his phone and dialed his mother's number.

 

"Hi Vitya," his mother greeted and Victor could have cried at just the sound of her voice. 

 

"Hi Mama," Victor answered, 

 

"What's wrong?" Nadia asked, her mother instincts always on point. 

 

"Nothing, really." Victor insisted, "I just… missed you," he admitted. 

 

"Alright myshka, that’s all you needed to say," she said, 

 

"What?" Victor asked,

 

"Get dressed, I'll be there in 2 hours," she answered, Victor could hear her moving.

 

"Mama, I just wanted to talk!" Victor insisted, but he knew it was useless. Once his mother set her mind to something there was no going back.

 

"Be ready, look up some movie times. Whatever you want. Then we can go shopping and get ready for Christmas, I think Yura said something about wanting a new keyboard, or was it a mouse?"

 

"Mamaaaaa!" Victor groaned, but a smile spread across his face. His mother was beyond ridiculous but she always knew how to make him feel better. 

 

It was the best Thanksgiving Victor had yet. Nadia had kept her word and they saw a romantic comedy together, then afterwards the shops were opening up for black friday, so they went shopping until the early hours of the morning. Once they got back to Victor's dorm, she fell asleep on his futon while Victor passed out on his bed. She didn't leave either, spending the remainder of the weekend, helping Victor with the rest of his homework, laughing and gossiping about all the things happening at home. 

 

When Sunday evening approached, Victor walked her to her car. Nadia pulled her son into her arms tightly and kissed his cheek.

 

"You can come home whenever you want, myshka," she said, "I promise we won't be disappointed in you," 

 

Oh how the offer was tempting, but Victor had goals. Goals he wasn't ready to give up. If he went home now, all that he had worked for would be for nothing. So with a deep breath, he pulled away and met his mother's emerald green eyes.

 

"I'll be okay, Mama. I'll graduate and be home before you know it," he promised, giving her a smile that he knew was fake, and hoped his mother wouldn't see through it.

 

If she did, she didn't let it show. Nadia simply leaned forward and kissed Victor on the forehead.

 

"I'm so proud of you, Vitya. Please take care of yourself," she said.

 

"I will Mama," he swore, she seemed to be happy with that. They finished their goodbyes and soon enough, Victor was back in his dorm room, staring back at the ceiling, missing his mother more than he did originally. He sighed, closed his eyes, and prayed for sleep to overtake him soon so that he'd be one day closer to going home.

Chapter Text

Yuuri woke up the morning of his birthday with a weight pressing against his back. Cracking his eyes open he looks over to see his best friend sitting on him. 

 

“Peeeaach, get off!” Yuuri whined, burying his face back into his pillow.

 

“No way! It’s your birthday! Get up!” Phichit said excitedly. 

 

“It’s my birthday, so I should be able to do what I want!” Yuuri argued, knowing it was futile. His best friend really was a pain in the ass.

 

“You know that’s not how this works. Come on, Yuuri! I made you breakfast!” Phichit got up and threw the covers off of Yuuri, not fazed at all by the sight of his best friend only wearing boxers.

 

Yuuri sat up and grumbled, even if Phichit left him alone he was officially awake enough to not be able to go back to sleep. Checking his phone he groaned at the time, he didn’t have to be at the shelter for another two hours. 

 

Slipping out of bed, Yuuri put on a shirt and went to the bathroom to relieve himself. He cursed Phichit the entire time, leave it to his best friend to wake him up early on a day he should be able to sleep in. 

 

Yuuri went into the living room and face planted on the couch. The smell of cinnamon wafting from the kitchen made Yuuri’s mouth water. Phichit placed a tray full of french toast, powdered sugar, syrup, strawberries, and two glasses of milk on the coffee table. Yuuri’s bad mood disappeared at the sight of such a delicious, diet breaking, breakfast. 

 

“Itadakimasu,” Phichit cheered, grabbing his portion of food and digging in.

 

“Itadakimasu,” Yuuri repeated following his best friend’s lead.

 

“Hurry up and eat, we still have to pick up Victor and Chris before we go to the shelter,” Phichit informed, taking a swig of milk.

 

“We’re carpooling? Aren’t they bringing the dogs though?” Yuuri asked, his parents had asked all the foster families to bring their dogs to the event so that they could be displayed to the potential adopters.

 

"It's fine, you can squeeze in Victor's lap or something," Phichit brushes off, Yuuri rolled his eyes,

 

"Or maybe the dogs could," Yuuri suggested,

 

"Where's the fun in that?" Phichit asked, Yuuri just rolled his eyes and continued to eat.

 

After breakfast the two got changed into warm clothes, it was predicted to snow sometime that weekend, but Yuuri was hoping it wouldn’t start during the event. They got into Phichit's car and drove to Victor's house

 

Unfortunately for everyone involved, Yuuri only got to sit next to Victor in the backseat rather than in his lap. But Yuuri did get to hold a very cuddly Frankie, so it was more than okay.

 

"Happy birthday, Yuuri," Victor purred when Phichit started driving down the street. He leaned over and kissed his boyfriend's cheek.

 

"Thank you," Yuuri breathed, leaning his head against Victor's shoulder and pulled Frankie closer. 

 

The sky was a lot lighter by the time they got to the shelter. Although cloudy, Yuuri was thankful for the light. He found Mari quickly enough, who was busy taking the dogs out for their morning walk before the event. He and Phichit helped her out, while Victor and Chris worked with Yuuri’s parents with setting everything up. 

 

They used the area they had their thanksgiving dinner to set up all the crates, putting the smaller ones on top of the picnic tables so that people could get a good look at the tinier dogs.

 

After an hour and a half, Yuri showed up and disappeared quickly to the cattery after wishing Yuuri a happy birthday. 

 

“Yuuri, where do you want her?” Phichit called as he towed an energetic dalmation to the event area. Yuuri looked over and laughed when he noticed his best friend having a hard time calming the dog down. He spared Phichit by pulling a treat out of his pocket and instantly getting the dalmation’s attention.

 

“Winnie! Sit!” He commanded, putting the treat in front of her face. She instantly obeyed, tail wagging and staring up at Yuuri. “Good girl!” He praised, and gave her the treat.

 

“Mama! Mama! A Dalmation! She’s just like Perdita!” A high pitched voice yelled. The group turned to see a little girl around the age of two or three running up to them. Luckily, Yuuri knew that Winnie was well behaved around kids or else he would have been more alarmed. Instead, he just let the toddler reach around and hug the dog. Her mother appeared only a moment later.

 

“Riley, don’t run off! And don’t just grab random dogs! They could be dangerous!” She lectured, scooping the little girl in her arms.

 

“Olive, hey!" Phichit spoke up, smiling at his old friend. 

 

Olivia hadn’t changed much from when they were in high school. Her long dark hair curled down her back, and her make up blended so well with her tawny skin that Yuuri could tell she must have worked on it for a good amount of time. The only difference to her now was the little girl who looked so much like her hanging off her arm.

 

“Hi Phichit, hi Yuuri,” she smiled at them, though Yuuri tell it was forced. Yuuri focused his gaze on the ground, Olivia was married to Cason and that little girl was their daughter.

 

“If you’re looking to adopt, you’re early, the event doesn’t start for another hour,” Phichit informed. Olivia looked surprised,

 

“Oh, is that so? I’m sorry, we’ll come back later if you aren’t ready,” she apologized.

 

“Nonsense, you two can look around, some of the dogs are still in their pins, so if you want to look inside, feel free,” Yuuri spoke up. He might have found his former classmate intimidating, especially after what her husband tried to do to him only a few weeks prior, but he was not going to miss the opportunity to give an animal a home. 

 

Olivia looked relieved as the little girl wiggling in her arms. She put Riley down, “Thank you, Yuuri. Okay Riley, remember, no putting your fingers in the cages, not all doggies want to be pet, and don’t go anywhere I can’t see you,”

 

“Yes Mommy!” Riley said, before running to the first set of cages.

 

“Thank you so much for letting us look around early. Riley hates large crowds so I was wanting to get here before a lot of people started showing up,” Olivia thanked again.

 

“It’s not a problem, Olive, our goal is to get these guys adopted, we can start a little early,” Phichit said. Now that Yuuri had successfully scored an adopter, he found no reason to stick around. He quickly made his escape to the dog kennels with Victor in tow.

 

“Is something wrong, lapochka?” he asked,

 

“It’s just… awkward,” Yuuri admitted,

 

“How do you know her?” Victor inquired,

 

Right, Victor was four years older than him. Meaning that he wouldn’t know Olivia. Yuuri couldn’t meet his boyfriend’s eyes as he elaborated. 

 

“I don’t know her very well, but she was valedictorian in my class. She was really nice to everyone but closer to Phichit than to me,” Yuuri started, “She’s also Cason’s wife,” he admitted and guilt started to course through him. He wondered if she knew what her husband did. A part of Yuuri wanted to call her the moment Cason laid a hand on him, but another part of him was scared she would blame him for her husband's actions and he wasn’t in the right mental place at the time to deal with that. 

 

But here was his opportunity to fix that. He knew she would be heartbroken and that he’d be breaking up such a young family, but wasn’t it better to find out now and not years into the future? And if he could so easily get physical with Yuuri, who’s to say he wouldn’t get violent with Olivia? Or even their daughter? The thought sent a shiver down Yuuri’s spine at the very thought. Yuuri took a deep breath to steady himself and it was then that he realized that Victor had wrapped his arms around his waist and pulled him close, letting him sort out his thoughts. 

 

“I need to tell her what happened," he whispered against Victor’s shoulder, closing his eyes and trying to push away the oncoming panic.

 

“She already knows,” Victor admitted, kissing the side of his head repeatedly. Yuuri pulled away and met his eyes.

 

“What?”

 

“That day when I told Phichit, the first thing he did was contact Olivia. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier, I was more focused on making sure you were okay.” Victor elaborated.

 

“It’s fine, but why would she act so casual then? I’d figure she’d be mad at me?” Yuuri asked, trying to make sense of the situation.

 

“Why would she be mad at you for what her husband did?” Victor asked, eyebrows creasing.

 

“Because I didn’t tell her what happened, she had to find out through Phichit.”

 

“She probably figured you had gone through enough, but you could always go ask her, see if she’s okay,” Victor suggested, pulling Yuuri in again and running a hand through his hair. “None of this is your fault, lyubov moya, I promise no one is mad at you,”

 

Yuuri closed his eyes and let himself be held by his precious boyfriend. He wondered how Victor always knew how to say just the right thing to settle him. Cherishing the moment for a little longer he skimmed up and started to kiss Victor’s neck as a thank you. It was Victor’s turn to shiver as he let out a chuckle.

 

“We better get back to work before they come looking for us,” Victor suggested and Yuuri hummed in agreement, pulling away.

 

After leashing up a few dogs, they went back out to the event area and put them in their kennels. A few more people were starting to show up and Phichit was making his rounds assisting others. Yuuri could hear he had his ‘customer service’ voice on and his trademark smile as he interacted with the potential adopters.

 

Olivia was looking at the smaller dogs with Riley. The little girl cooing at the selection infront of her. Yuuri met Olivia’s eyes and the young mom smiled invitingly, and gestured for him to join them. Yuuri looked over at Victor who seemed to notice and pushed Yuuri forward. 

 

“Go on, it’ll be okay, I’m right here if you need me,” he encouraged. After taking one more deep breath, Yuuri made his way over to Olivia.

 

“Do you have any questions? I personally train all the dogs here so I can help with any concerns you might have,” he offered, scanning all the dogs who instantly got more excited by the sight of their trainer. 

 

“That would be helpful, we are looking for a small dog that will be okay living in a two bedroom apartment, and that is obviously good with toddlers.” Olivia explained, scanning the row of dogs. Katsu was the first dog to pop in Yuuri’s head, but he was still in his kennel.

 

“We’re moving! Mama said I can get a puppy if I’m super good!” Riley peeped up, seeming very excited to share the news with anyone, but Olivia flinched and looked uncomfortable. “I’ve been very good! I eat all of my veggies and pick up my toys!”

 

“That’s amazing! I’m sure we’ll find you the perfect dog!” Yuuri exclaimed enthusiastically, and watched as the little girl wandered down the row of dogs to keep looking.

 

“Yeah… Riley and I… I’m leaving Cason… I haven't told her, but I hoped a dog would make the transition easier,” Olivia admitted in a voice low enough that Riley couldn’t hear, “Phichit told me what happened between you two and… I guess I always suspected, but after I got pregnant with Riley I thought that would be enough to keep him around.” Yuuri felt a knot twist in his stomach.

 

“I’m so sorry, Olivia, I should have told you, not Phichit.” Yuuri apologized, she only smiled sadly at him.

 

“I promise I’m not mad at you, Yuuri. It must have been hard to go through. I’m just happy someone told me what was going on. The moment Phichit texted me, I instantly packed mine and Riley’s bags and went to my dad’s house.” Olivia said, watching her daughter carefully so that she wouldn’t have to meet Yuuri’s eyes.

 

“You trust Phichit’s words that much?” Yuuri asked, flabbergasted. It was true that he’d believe anything Phichit told him, but that was because they were best friends. He didn’t think Phichit was that close to Olivia.

 

“Like I said, I’ve had my suspicions for years now. I knew you two had a relationship in the past, but everytime I brought you up, Cason would just shrug it off and say that it didn’t matter.” Yuuri flinched, his breakup had affected him for years, of course he didn’t suspect that to be the case for Cason but it hurt to hear it. Olivia went on, “I never wanted to snoop, but he would often be secretive about who he was texting or talking to on the phone. He would stay late at work and his check stubs wouldn’t add up to the amount of hours he claimed he was working. I finally broke one day and checked his call list to find they had been cleared as well as all of his text messages. I even went through his contacts and only found the numbers of his close friends and family. I knew he was hiding something, I just didn’t know what.”

 

“Did you ever ask him?” Yuuri asked, Olivia shrugged,

 

“I tried, of course he’d always be vague about it, telling me not to worry about who he’s talking to. I do all of our finances, and when I asked him about the hours, he’d make me believe I just did the math wrong.” Olivia laughed pitifully at that, “I’m an accountant, math was my best subject in school, and yet he’d actually make me think I was running our numbers wrong.” Yuuri could tell she was on the verge of tears, but she still didn’t meet his eyes. Yuuri looked back at the little girl who was standing on her tiptoes to meet the eyes of a great dane that was way too big for Olivia’s requirements. 

 

“Cason often did that sort of gaslighting behavior with me as well,” he admitted, “he’d often make me believe things that I knew were wrong. This one time we had a date for our 3 month anniversary. I knew it was the 13th because we got together on friday the 13th. Well, he stood me up and when I confronted him about it the next day, he said our anniversary was the 14th and that I was being silly for making a fuss when I was obviously wrong. He just kept insisting it was the 14th until I eventually believed it.” 

 

“I guess bad luck really does exist, huh?” Olivia half heartedly jokes, and Yuuri couldn’t help but laugh along with her.

 

“I’d say so,” he agreed, they shared a weak smile with each other, and Yuuri felt so sorry for the girl. She was only 23 and she was already getting a divorce and becoming a single mom. He would never have expected the quiet smart girl from his class would end up in such a state. “Listen, Olivia, if you ever need help, a babysitter or a friend, you can always call me. I, at least, can relate,” Yuuri offered, giving her an encouraging smile when she finally looked at him.

 

“Oh Yuuri, I could never ask you for any of that,” she protested,

 

“You weren’t asking,” he pointed out. She studied him for a long moment before seeming to give in.

 

“Alright, thank you, I really appreciate it,” she accepted,

 

“Mama! Mama! This one!" Riley cried, pointing to a grey and white sheephound. "Ariel’s dog!!" 

 

"That one is too big Riley, remember I said a small dog," Olivia refused. Riley pouted and looked at the dog longingly. 

 

"She really likes Disney, huh?" Yuuri observed, looking over all the kennels. They were a lot fuller now thanks to Phichit and Victor filling them while he talked to Olivia.

 

"Oh, she loves them. They're all she ever wants to watch," Olivia sighed, well that threw Yuuri's plan of introducing them to Katsu out the window. Yuuri's eyes stopped on a Cavalier King.

 

"Hey Riley, why don't you look at this one?" Yuuri suggested. The little girl ran up to him and when she saw the dog she gasped.

 

“Lady!” She squealed, although the dog was black rather than brown, it was easy to tell they were the same type of dog.

 

“Her name is actually Roxy. She is a very sweet girl so you have to be gentle with her, promise?” Yuuri asked, fishing a key out of his back pocket.

 

“I promise!” Riley swore, Yuuri looked up at Olivia for approval and when he received and encouraging nod he unlocked the kennel and quickly hooked the dog up to a leash and let her sniff at Riley.

 

It was an instant match, Yuuri knew Roxy came from a home with lots of children so she was used to being around smaller humans.

 

“Do you like Roxy, Riley?” Olivia asked with a huge smile on her face.

 

“I love her!” Riley yelled, sitting down and hugging the dog. 

 

“Then we’ll take Roxy,” Olivia conformed,

 

“Of course, let me show you to the office and we will go through the paperwork.”

 

After all that was done, Yuuri happily escorted the family to their car and made his way back to the main area where more people were now showing up. 

 

The event overall was a successful turnout. Victor was a big help with any medical questions people had, and Mari and Hiriko made sure to add the vet’s business card to all the paperwork they gave to the adopters.

 

Around noon, Yuuri went to the cattery to give Yuri a break, only to find that the teen wasn’t alone. Petya was there looking slightly annoyed. Yuuri wasn’t sure if he should interrupt their conversation. Yuuri did take note that Petya was standing in the middle of a room full of cats, and seemed totally fine even though he was supposably allergic. 

 

“Please, Papa, I promise I’ll take care of her! You and Mama won’t have to do any work,” Yuri begged, holding a black and white siberian cat. Yuuri knew she was one of Yuri’s favorites, the teen naming her Puma Tiger Scorpion, or Potya for short.

 

“I said no Yura, that cat will only tear the house apart.” Petya stated firmly. 

 

“She is very well behaved! She’s also really smart, I even taught her some tricks!” Yuri pleaded, 

 

“I had to deal with Vitya’s pleading all those years, there is no way you can change my mind.” Petya said, as if his decision were final. Yuuri flinched at the words ‘deal with’ as if Victor’s love for animals was a burden that didn’t morph him into the caring and amazing vet he was today.

 

“I’m not like him though! I don’t cause as much trouble as he did, I take school seriously, and all of my free time goes to volunteering at a shelter. Don’t you think I’m responsible enough to handle one cat?” Yuri argued, Potya jumped from the teens arms, sensing the tension. The father and son had a stare down until Petya gave in with a sigh.

 

“If you can get your mother’s permission, then you can have the cat. But you are responsible for it, and you will pay me back for all the things it needs through extra chores. And I swear Yuri, if your grades start slipping I will personally bring this cat back to the shelter myself, do you understand?” Petya stated, Yuri’s smile broke out into the most genuine one Yuuri had ever seen. 

 

“Yes sir! Thank you, Papa!” The boy said, launching himself to hug the older man. Yuuri had to walk away then, he was happy that Yuri was able to finally have the cat he’s always wanted, but he really didn’t like how they were talking about Victor.

 

“Everything okay?” Victor’s voice called. Yuuri looked around at his surroundings, he had somehow walked to the kennels where Victor was taking the time to clean them since all the dogs were outside being watched over by Chris, Phichit, and Toshiya. 

 

“Yeah, everything’s great,” Yuuri lied, faking a smile at his boyfriend. “This event was a great idea, Vitya. This really is the best birthday gift you could have given me,”

 

Victor smiled at that. He walked over and took his boyfriend in his arms.

 

“I’m glad you liked it, but there’s one more thing I wanted to give you,” Yuuri pulled back to look at Victor properly. 

 

“I told you not to get me anything!” He argued, but Victor just chuckled.

 

“Relax, zolotse, I promise it’s nothing big.” Victor swore, “now, may I see your phone?”

 

“What for?” 

 

“For your gift, Silly,” Victor chided playfully. Yuuri gave up his phone and Victor instantly took off the phone case, replacing it with one from his pocket. He handed the phone back to Yuuri and examined the light blue case with a bunch of mini-poodles on the cover. Yuuri wanted to squeal at the adorableness of it all. Instead, he lunged at his boyfriend and pinned him to the pens and kissing him thoroughly. 

 

“I love it,” Yuuri said against Victor’s mouth, but he didn’t give Victor a chance to reply. He pocketed the phone and started to run his hands through his hair. Victor opened his mouth up and invited Yuuri’s tongue in. 

 

In all honesty, the simple phone case shouldn’t have been that big of a deal for Yuuri. It was cute, yes, but probably something Victor had found on a trip to the store and thought Yuuri might like it. However, it was the thought that this beautiful man had seen a gift, and thought of Yuuri that made him feel special. Like he was actually worthy of being loved by Victor.

 

“Come over tonight,” Victor breathed when Yuuri pulled away enough to let him catch his breath. “We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, I just want to be able to hold you tonight… please?” 

 

Yuuri answered by pulling him back into a long kiss. Checking in with himself, he came to the conclusion that he was ready to take that next step with Victor. He wanted to give himself over to his boyfriend entirely. He wanted to put his doubts and anxiety aside for one night and trust Victor to take care of him. To make him feel beautiful and loved. 

 

Pulling away just slightly, Yuuri rested his forehead against Victor’s.

 

“Take me home tonight, Vitya, and make me forget every negative thought and only be able to think of you.” He begged pathetically. Victor didn’t seem to mind though. He leaned forward and kissed Yuuri’s nose.

 

“Your wish is my command.” 


The two lovers stumbled into Victor’s bedroom, and all Yuuri could think was ‘ Finally ’ as they made it to the bed. However, they did forget one small detail. 

 

Makka pounced on them as soon as they hit the bed, giving Yuuri kisses all over his face. Yuuri laughed, scratching behind her ears. Victor whined above him.

 

“Makka! He’s mine!” Between giggles, Yuuri leaned up and pecked his lips.

 

“Yours and only yours,” Yuuri teased, Victor got up and shooed Makka quickly out of the room. 

 

“I-I have to take her outside, but I’ll be right back! Don’t go anywhere,” Victor stammered. The room was dark, but Yuuri could tell that he was blushing. A new wave of confidence coursed through Yuuri as he sat up.

 

“Don’t make me wait too long,” Yuuri purred, stripping off his t-shirt in a way he normally saw in movies. However, when the shirt got over his head, it got stuck on his arms so that he was unable to move. “Ummm,” Yuuri said, wiggling around until he had the bright idea to bring his arms back and free himself. 

 

It was Victor’s turn to laugh, all the nerves from the situation disappearing. 

 

“Very sexy,” he complimented, leaving to let Makka out. Yuuri facepalmed himself out of embarrassment.

 

“Smooth, Katsuki,” he commented. Refusing to let his clumsiness ruin the best night of his life, he quickly stripped off his socks and jeans, leaving only his boxers for Victor to remove on his own. Adjusting the pillows so that he could lounge on them, Yuuri took a quick whiff of himself to make sure he didn’t stink from a long day’s work. Luckily, he still smelt of his body wash and deodorant. Not that he could have done much in the two minutes Victor was gone, but it was good to know he didn’t smell like a wet dog. 

 

Victor returned quickly, eyeing Yuuri up in down by the limited light in the room. It was then that Yuuri’s heart started to speed up as the situation finally hit him. It had been nearly five years since the last time he’s done anything like this. What if he messed up? Victor was so different than Cason. What if he wasn’t any good? Or what if Victor didn’t enjoy himself? Yuuri would die of shame.

 

“Hey,” Victor spoke up, and it was then that Yuuri noticed that he had moved from the doorway to the bed, looming over Yuuri. Victor gently caressed his cheek. “Shhhh, malysh, I promise we won’t do anything you’re uncomfortable doing. If you want to just cuddle, I am more than happy to oblige,” he reassured in a soothing voice. It was then that Yuuri realized what Victor was seeing. His boyfriend, laid out across his bed half naked, breath picking up, eyes unfocused. Anyone would have thought Yuuri was trying to force himself to have sex rather than struggling with simple nerves.

 

“I’m okay,” Yuuri was quick to reassure, “it’s just… been awhile,” he commented lamely. Relief flooded Victor’s face as he leaned over and captured Yuuri’s lips in a soft kiss. As he pulled away, Victor rested his forehead against Yuuri’s own. Yuuri loved when he did that.

 

“Still, your consent means everything to me, lapochka, we won’t do anything you’re not ready for.” Yuuri smiled at that. Yes, Victor was very different from Cason. Cason had by no means forced himself onto Yuuri, but there had been a few times where Yuuri felt pressured to give more than he was comfortable with.

 

“Thank you, Vitya,” he said. Wanting to prove how much he meant it, he leaned forward again and put all his love into the kiss. Moaning against Victor’s mouth, he ran his hands through short silver hair and pulled his boyfriend even closer. Victor was now fully on top of Yuuri and kissing him back with just as much eagerness. 

 

They stayed like that for a few minutes, happy to simply feel the other’s body against their own. Not taking more than the other was willing to give. It was when Yuuri felt a hardness on his thigh that he remembered what he wanted. His breath hitched as he brought his knee up to gently rub Victor through his jeans.

 

“Ignore it,” Victor said against Yuuri’s mouth. “We don’t have to do anything, I promise,” 

 

“I want to,” Yuuri protested, kneeing the same spot to make his point. Victor pulled away and looked into Yuuri’s eyes for a long moment. Their eyes have adjusted to the dark by now, and Yuuri could tell Victor was trying to detect a lie in his words. “I want to,” Yuuri repeated, he trusted Victor, he knew the russian would never do anything to purposely hurt him.

 

“Okay, Yuuri, but if you want to stop or slow down, just say the word. Please don’t force yourself to do anything, because that will only make me feel terrible.” Victor begged.

 

“I promise, Vitya,” Yuuri swore, leaning forward to seal that promise with a kiss. 

 

Their kisses were much heavier now, all opened mouth, their tongues exploring the others. Yuuri played with Victor’s sides, before his hands reached under his shirt and ventured upward until they found Victor’s nipples.

 

Yuuri could tell in an instant that he did something right, because with one pinch Victor moaned loudly into his mouth. Victor sat up on his knees and removed his shirt, more successfully than Yuuri had with his own. Yuuri admired his boyfriend’s rock hard abs for only a moment before sitting up and capturing his right nipples with his mouth.

 

“Y-Yuuri,” Victor moaned out, running his hand through the other’s hair. Yuuri licked and sucked on the nub, and continued to play with the other. Above him, Victor was losing his mind, leaning against Yuuri and continuing to call out his name. Yuuri had never been so turned on in his life. His doubts about Victor not enjoying himself disappeared with every breathy moan that left the Russian’s lips. Confidents surged through him. Everything about this situation felt so real, so right.

 

“Unbutton your pants,” Yuuri breathed against his chest, not stopping his movements even as he spoke. Victor quickly did as requested, and Yuuri helped him free his cock with his free hand. A few pumps gave Yuuri a good idea of how large his boyfriend was. Mouth watering, he slowly kissed down Victor’s chest until he got to the bundle of silver hair that rested right above Victor’s manhood.

 

“Yuuri, you don’t have t-” Victor started, but he quickly shut up by Yuuri darting his tongue out and licking at the slit. 

 

“Shhhhh,” Yuuri purred, and repeated the action. Victor was still on his knees, so Yuuri had to put all his weight on his hands and knees to get in a more comfortable position. Leaning forward, he captured the head of Victor’s sex in his mouth and played with the slit some more. Victor seemed to enjoy it as he let out a breathy moan. Slowly, Yuuri took more in until he felt the head hit the back of his throat. His gag reflexes hit, and he shuddered around the cock, but didn’t move.

 

Victor stayed still as well, only running in fingers gently through Yuuri’s hair as he gave his boyfriend time to adjust. 

 

“You’re so beautiful, Yuuri,” he commented, scratching the top of his head. The feeling of nails making Yuuri shiver down his spine. Slowly, he started to bob his head back and forth, making Victor groan above him. Yuuri couldn’t fit Victor’s entire dick in his mouth, so he took one hand and held what he couldn’t fit tenderly, pumping it with his motions.

 

It didn’t take long for Victor’s orgasim to approch. Yuuri could taste precum on his lips as Victor started rocking slightly, trying to stop himself from fucking into Yuuri’s mouth. Yuuri teased him with his teeth, making Victor groan louder than before.

 

“I-I’m close, solnyshko,” He moaned, pulling Yuuri off of him slowly and grabbing at the base of his cock. Yuuri whined,

 

“Why’d you make me stop?” He asked, only to be pulled up and pushed back down onto the pillows. Victor had a hungry look in his eyes as he scanned his boyfriend’s body, stopping at the clearly visible tent in Yuuri’s boxers.

 

“Because it’s your birthday, you’re the one who should be writhing in pleasure,” he purred, leaning forward and bracketing Yuuri in between his arms. Victor caught Yuuri’s lips in a passionate kiss before pulling away and standing up, discarding the rest of his clothing onto the floor before returning to Yuuri. Victor’s hands tugged on the waistline of Yuuri’s boxers, but didn’t pull them off yet. He met his boyfriend’s eyes to make sure that this was okay.

 

Yuuri responded by lifting his hips off the bed, allowing Victor easier access to get the unwanted garments out of the way. Once freed, Victor stopped once again to admire Yuuri, now as naked as the day he was born. 

 

Yuuri was no stranger to being uncomfortable with his body, he had his good and bad days. Thankfully, lately, the good outweighed the bad. But with the way Victor was gaping at him, as if he were the embodiment of Eros himself, he felt as if he would never have a bad day again. 

 

“So beautiful,” Victor mumbled for the second time that night, running his hands down Yuuri’s chest. In response, Yuuri spread his legs so that they were on either side of Victor.

 

“Do you have condoms? I want to feel you inside me,” Yuuri asked, flushed, because he hasn’t needed to carry a condom in five years.

 

Victor answered by opening the side drawer on his bedside table, revealing not only a condom, but a bottle of lube as well. 

 

“Your wish is my command,” Victor teased, repeating his words from earlier. “I guess now would be a good time to say this, I’ve never done something like this before,” he added casually.

 

“What? Top someone?” Yuuri asked,

 

“Have sex with someone,” Victor corrected.

 

To say Yuuri was flabbergasted was an understatement. How could someone as gorgeous as Victor not have had sex before? 

 

“I’m taking your virginity?!” Yuuri almost shrieked, Victor laughed.

 

“You sure are, solnyshko, you should be honored,” 

 

Yuuri was honored, but it also meant that he had to make sure this was as good for Victor as it was for himself. An idea popped into his head as he wrapped his legs around Victor’s waist and flipped them so that it was now Victor beneath Yuuri.

 

“What are you doing?” Victor asked, surprised at his boyfriend’s antics. 

 

“Making your first time special,” Yuuri answered, more smoothly than he felt. He took the bottle of lube from Victor’s hand and coated his own fingers instead. However, the look of surprise Victor was giving him made him worry again. “If you are okay with it, that is,” he added lamely.

 

“But tonight is supposed to be about you,” Victor protested, Yuuri quirked an eyebrow at him.

 

“What makes you think I won’t feel good being inside you?” He teased, rubbing his slicked fingers together so that they wouldn’t be cold. Placing his fingers at Victor’s entrance, he looked him in the eyes, “is this okay? I’ll understand if you don’t want to,” Victor shook his head, as if shaking himself out of his thoughts.

 

“Go ahead, Yuuri, I trust you completely,” he assured, wrapping his legs around Yuuri’s waist and pulling him closer. Yuuri pushed one finger inside of him slowly, wanting to make Victor as comfortable as possible.

 

“Let me know if I need to slow down, be vocal, communication is everything,” Yuuri instructed, rubbing against Victor’s tight walls.

 

If Yuuri were being honest with himself, he’d admit that his anxiety was coming back. He had never topped anyone before, Cason always insisted on being inside Yuuri because ‘it felt too good,’ so all Yuuri had to go by was what he knew felt good for him. Victor had his eyes closed, and seemed to be concentrating on his breathing. Yuuri smiled at him, proud of his boyfriend for trusting him so much.

 

“How are you feeling?” Yuuri checked in, curling his finger and teasing his entrance with a second.

 

“It feels weird, I’ve fingered myself before, but it’s different when someone else does it,” Victor admitted, cracking one eye open. Yuuri continued to smile down at him.

 

“Can I add another?” Yuuri asked,

 

“Yes,” Victor answered, lifting his hips so Yuuri could have better access to his hole. His ass was now resting on Yuuri’s lap as the japanese man rubbed small circles against his hip using his free hand. Yuuri carefully slipped in the second finger, gently scissoring him open. Victor gasped as Yuuri hit his prostate. Yuuri’s smile morphed into a smirk.

 

“Feel good?” He asked, hitting it again. Victor’s head fell back as he moaned louder,

 

“Yes, Yuuri, holy shit,” Yuuri moved his free hand and lifted one of Victor’s legs so that it rested on Yuuri’s shoulder. He continued to scissor Victor open, making sure to hit his prostate every now and then to keep him on edge. Soon enough Yuuri added a third finger, and when he deemed his boyfriend properly stretched, he removed them entirely.

 

“Are you ready, Vitya?” Yuuri asked, ripping the condom open with his teeth and rolling it on his ignored cock.

 

“P-Please, Yuuri,” Victor breathed, 

 

“Please what?” Yuuri teased, “talk to me, Vitya, remember, communication is everything,” 

 

“M-Make love to me, please,” Victor begged, and who was Yuuri to deny him? 

 

Yuuri scooted Victor off of his lap so that he could line himself up. He still had one of Victor’s legs draped over his shoulder, but his boyfriend seemed comfortable, so he decided to keep it there. Yuuri pushed the tip in and stopped, wanting to make sure Victor was in no pain. Victor only responded by pushing Yuuri forward with his foot. However, the younger man was about halfway in when Victor groaned in pain. Yuuri froze.

 

“Take your time to adjust, I know it can be a lot,” he soothed, leaning forward and kissing Victor’s cheek sweetly. God, Victor felt amazing. Yuuri never knew having someone so tightly wrapped around his length would feel so good. He wanted nothing more than for Victor to feel just as pleasured as he was feeling.

 

“More,” Victor breathed after a moment, and Yuuri continued to enter him. He bottomed out and stopped, kissing all over Victor’s face. 

 

“You’re so beautiful, so perfect, Vitya,” Yuuri cooed,

 

“V-Viten’ka,” He mumbled, Yuuri hummed against his cheek.

 

“You feel so good, Viten’ka, wrapped around me like this, it feels like coming home.” Yuuri had no idea where he picked up dirty talk. He had never said things like this to Cason, but by the way Victor shuddered underneath him, it seemed like the russian was really enjoying it. 

 

“Y-Yuuri, move, please,” he begged, wrapping his arms around Yuuri’s shoulders and pulling him down for a kiss, almost bending himself in half by the way his leg stayed propped on Yuuri’s shoulder. Yuuri eagerly returned the kiss as he started to move slowly. Victor’s moans were captured by Yuuri’s lips. With every thrust, came a satisfying clenching around Yuuri’s length. 

 

“V-Vitya, Viten’ka, god, you’re so amazing,” Yuuri praised, pulling away to sit up and grab Victor’s other leg. He hitched it over his other shoulder and kissed his knee, then started to pick up speed in his movements. Victor cried out, grabbing at the pillows under him and bit his lip to keep his voice under control. Yuuri couldn’t have that. “Let me hear you, Viten’ka, your voice is so lovely,” 

 

That was all it took for Victor to let go completely. With every one of Yuuri’s movements came the sweet sound of Victor’s cries. Every one of his hitched breaths and pleasured moans was pulling Yuuri closer and closer to his release. However, he wasn’t ready for this to end yet, he hasn’t had his fill of the precious man underneath him. 

 

Slowing his pace down, he leaned forward to capture Victor’s lips in a wet and messy kiss. With Victor’s legs still on his shoulders, the russian was now bent in half. 

 

“Y-Yuuri?” Victor asked, cracking his eyes open to figure out why the younger man had stopped.

 

“Just taking my time, I don’t want this to end too quickly,” Yuuri explained, going back to kissing him while he kept up his painfully slow pace. Yuuri ran his hands up and down Victor’s thighs, his skin was so soft and clean shaven, Yuuri couldn’t get enough of it. 

 

After a few agonizing minutes, Yuuri pulled away and dropped Victor’s legs. He took the time to admire his boyfriend’s body again. Victor looked as if he came out of a porno, laid out bare, split open on Yuuri’s length. Leaning forward, he bit down on the side of Victor’s neck to leave a nice hickey. After examining his work he reached down and took Victor’s neglected erection in hand and started to play with it. 

 

“How did I ever get so lucky? I have such a beautiful man with a gorgeous heart all to myself,” Yuuri cooed, feeling Victor’s cock twitch in his hand. Yuuri smirked at his boyfriend’s not so subtle praise kink. His original plan was to flip Victor over and finish him off on his hands and knees, but the thought of watching his boyfriend release while being taken apart by his words was far more arousing. 

 

“Yuuurriii,” Victor breathed out when Yuuri started to pick up his pace again, his hand jerking with every movement.

 

“That’s it, Viten’ka, just like that. Let me hear you, you’re doing so great,” Yuuri purred. Victor was writhing under him, unsure of how to control himself between the praise and pleasure Yuuri was surrounding him with. “That feels good, doesn’t it, sweet thing? You are so perfect, Viten’ka, just let go,” 

 

It didn’t take long for Victor to find his release. Strings of come painted Victor’s abs, which Yuuri would have gladly licked clean. Yuuri milked Victor through his orgasm, and between the sight of his sexy, satisfied boyfriend underneath him, and the clenching around his length, fell over the edge himself. Releasing into the condom, he promptly laid on top of his boyfriend, not caring about the sticky mess between them as he came down from the best high of his life. 

 

When Yuuri felt hot tears on his bare shoulder, he came back to himself. Pulling away enough to look at Victor’s face, he confirmed that his precious boyfriend was indeed crying,

 

“Victor? What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?” Yuuri asked, panicking at the sight of his distressed lover.

 

“N-No, it’s not that, I’m just so happy,” Victor sobbed, pulling Yuuri back down and wrapping his arms and legs around him so that he couldn’t get back up. “I’m sorry, I-I just love you so much, Yuuri. I’ve never felt so-so cherished in my entire life!” 

 

It was the first time Victor had said ‘I love you’ aloud. They haven’t even been together for a month yet, and already Victor was taking this huge step, trusting Yuuri with his body and his heart. Yuuri melted under Victor’s hold, allowing the man to simply cry and take comfort in Yuuri’s presence. 

 

“I love you too, Vitya, go ahead and let it out. I’m right here, and I’m not going anywhere,” Yuuri promised. 

 

Somehow, he managed to roll them over, so that Victor was now on top of him, and Yuuri could thoroughly wrap his arms around his overwhelmed boyfriend. They stayed that way for some time, Yuuri ran his hands everywhere he could reach, Victor’s hair, his neck, his back, his ass, he couldn’t get enough of the sobbing man. Soon enough Yuuri’s cock softened enough to slip out of Victor.

 

Yuuri kissed the side of his head repeatedly and whispered soothing words in japanese that he knew Victor couldn’t understand. Like this, he let his feelings out in ways he couldn’t in english. How much he loved him. How he never felt like he was enough for anyone before Victor. How precious he was going to make Victor feel from now until forever. 

 

Eventually, Victor’s tears stopped, but neither made any attempt to move. Content to just hold each other. Yuuri knew he had to get up before they fell asleep, he didn’t want Victor to wake up sticky, and he wasn’t too fond of the idea either. Rolling them back over so Victor was back to laying on the pillows, he sat up. He chuckled when Victor whined at Yuuri separating them. Taking the condom off, he tied it and promptly tossed it in the trash can that sat next to the bed. 

 

“I’ll go get us a wet towel, don’t move,” Yuuri said, getting out of bed and hurrying to the bathroom. He made quick work of cleaning himself off before returning to Victor, who looked as if he were minutes away from falling asleep. “I guess you don’t want to take a shower?” Yuuri asked, taking the time to do a more thorough job at cleaning Victor.

 

“Mmmm, tired,” Victor mumbled, cracking his eyes open to watch Yuuri. Once he was done cleaning, he set the soiled towel in the laundry basket and returned to Victor. Pulling the covers up, Yuuri wrapped his arms securely around Victor who tucked his head under Yuuri’s chin. 

 

Yawning against Yuuri’s neck, Victor whispered, “I love you,” one more time. Yuuri smiled and kissing the top of Victor’s head.

 

“I love you too, my Vitya,”


Yuuri wasn’t the type of person to be comfortable in his own skin, but he has never been so self conscious than the morning after he lost his virginity. No matter how many times Cason reassured him that he was doing it right or how good it felt, it didn’t change Yuuri’s perspective.

 

He didn’t regret sleeping with Cason, he loved him after all, but he did feel strange. Looking in the mirror of his bathroom, he took a moment to really scan his features. Nothing looked different on the outside, he still had that innocent roundness in his cheeks, the same wide brown eyes, the same full lips. In fact, the only real physical difference he noticed was the line of hickeys down his collar. He made a note to cover those up before he went downstairs for breakfast.

 

Scanning down at his shirtless body, he glared daggers at his stomach. Cason had made a joke afterwards that he liked having something to hold onto, which in return made Yuuri feel a hundred times worse. He has never exposed himself like that to anyone, and he was not prepared to be called out on his growing stomach. 

 

Closing his eyes, he tried to think about the rest of the experience. It was nothing like Yuuri was expecting it to be. They had spent the evening out with a couple of Cason’s friends, and they had ended up leaving early to go to Cason’s house. Everything started out normal, they made out on Cason’s bed, but when Cason cupped Yuuri’s cock the japanese teen had frozen. 

 

Yuuri wasn’t 100% sure he was ready, but he didn’t want to seem weak in front of his boyfriend so he kept quiet. Even after Cason had whispered in his ear and asked him ‘is this okay?’ Yuuri only answered by kissing him deeper. 

 

There was a lot of pain at first, to the point where Yuuri had to bite down hard on a pillow to keep from waking up Cason’s parents, with every thrust Yuuri thought something inside of him must have ripped. It took him a bit longer to realize he had to relax, and only after he calmed down did he start to enjoy himself. What felt like an eternity was probably only a couple of minutes, but Yuuri found his orgasim fast. So fast, in fact, that Cason had chuckled and commented,

 

“Don’t worry, Yuyu, we’ll work on your stamina,” which made Yuuri even more self conscious. If his boyfriend would shut up sometimes, he’d be perfect. 

 

Everything was a blur after that. Yuuri had to quickly clean up and leave to get home on time. There was a pain in his ass that didn’t go away as he showered and got ready for bed. It had thankfully turned into a dull ache by the time he woke up that morning, but Yuuri still felt so uncomfortable in his own skin that he decided to take an extra shower before school. 

 

With an annoyed sigh, Yuuri figured he was just going to be uncomfortable at school all day. Going to his room, he dressed in sweatpants, a long turtleneck, and a baggy hoodie. Maybe Cason would get the hint if he didn’t put any effort into his looks? 

 

Yuuri was only half surprised that Cason didn’t even notice.