The sea sparkles in the late afternoon sunshine, dyed pink and red and gold as the sun starts to touch the ends of the horizon. The tranquil waves slosh against the sand, murmuring. The warm heat of the setting sun sinks into Javi’s skin, melting into his bones. The water dances in an array of light. The sand tickles under his toes, sticking to the soles of his feet.
Two pairs of footprints are stamped behind him.
The wind blows in his hair, cascading his familiar brown curls across his face, his cheeks. Next to him, silky black hair billows in the salty breeze.
The pale hand holding his own is dyed orange from the sun, almost the color of shimmering bronze. No, more like glimmering gold. Perhaps moonlight silver.
Each curve of each finger, each line carved upon that palm is familiar under the gentle touch of Javi’s hand. He knows the hand of this man better than his own.
The warmth of him, pressed close against his body feels so new and yet… yet so usual, so ordinary. The sparks in his chest flicker brighter and the world melts away until it is only him, him, him.
Only Yuzuru, Yuzuru, Yuzuru.
Those enchanting midnight eyes of his are fixed upon the sun, sinking into the sea, turning the waves crimson like his lips, turning the waves rosemary like his cheeks, the glimmer in his eyes. His face is drawn with the careful hands of a painter painting the most beautiful muse in the world, a mixture of sharp, enticing lines and deep, gentle curves of magical ink.
He is everything this world has to offer combined into one; a man with the light strokes of fall leaves against the sky, the harsh strokes of a blizzard of snow, the unprecedented beauty of a hundred symphonies of pure enchantment. A man with a thousand scars, intricately painted into his eyes, and yet a thousand different stories of irreversibly, irrevocably, getting up again, carved into his smile. A man with a laugh made from sunshine and a grin created from stardust. He is all the strength the bravest of all men can offer; the courage from tales of the greatest legends. He is all the kindness the strongest mother can contain; soft, sure hands and a quiet, caring voice. His voice is a hundred melodies at once, hard, determined, soft, sincere, quiet, sorrowful, breaking, rageful. His mind holds the galaxy in its depths, his thoughts unravel into explosions of supernovas. His lips hold a million words, not enough to contain all he has to say.
He is the world.
At least, to Javier, that is.
His hand holds Javi’s loosely, wrapped gently but firmly around his own, skin brushing against each other with every step. It feels soft, intimate in a way known to none but them, in a secret known to them and them alone.
Yuzuru finally notices his gaze and looks up, a sweep of the blackest ink. His eyes sparkle with stars, his blooming pink lips quirk into a smile. The sun hits his back in just the right way and he is illuminated in a sliver of golden light, his hair turning to dazzling silver, his eyes glimmering like Andromeda, hanging up in the stars. His skin turns to fire and his cheeks turn to honey.
Despite all those days he has spent with this man, Yuzuru Hanyu only becomes more otherworldly as time goes on.
He only turns further into an angel.
The thought takes his breath away.
“What you thinking about, Havi?” He says, his voice accented but perfect in its own right, slipping through the air like music notes. His hand tightens around Javi’s, brushing the smooth skin of his thumb against Javi’s rough knuckles. Yuzuru’s grin widens as he comes to a stop, stepping into the cool water, eyes fixed on Javi’s chocolate brown eyes. He giggles, the sound of joy floating in the air, transfixing.
“You.” Javi answers, sincere. “Always you.” Yuzuru’s eyes widen, a rosemary blush slipping onto his face, blossoming like a field of red roses, spreading their petals up to the sky. Roses of love, love.
“Me too.” He replies, bashfully staring down at their hands, intertwined, each fold, each finger melded to be one, dancing under the orange light reflecting off of the water, melting against each color. He seems to gather courage at the sight of their fingers, brushing against each other, and he looks up, eyes softening. Javi is mesmerized by the crinkles that spread out along his eyes, the way his mouth curls up.
“Me too.” He repeats, his voice brimming with so much emotion that Javi feels as if he may cry right then and there, thinking that he could have missed all of this, that he could have lost his chance to hold this hand here, alone under the light of the sun and the stars that start to sparkle to life far above their heads.
I love you, he thinks, and he knows that he means it, so, so much. Love you, love you, love you. His heart beats with every declaration, the flames burning in his chest only blazing hotter and hotter with every time he says it.
He looks down at their hands, and truly, they feel as if they were created for each other, each line drawn on that palm fitting in perfectly with his own.
They’d been through so much, so many days when he’d gone to bed feeling the rage bubbling in his stomach, feeling the regret from a harsh statement stewing in his mind. So many days when Yuzuru was miles away, untouchable on the ice, days when he brushed that beautiful giggle off of his shoulder with a simple, strained smile. Weeks after weeks after weeks of ugly green jealousy, blooming in his stomach, blooming in Yuzuru’s stomach. Years of chasing after each other’s backs.
And yet, despite all of that, life had lead them back together. The intoxicating feeling of touching him, making him laugh. They had always been drawn to each other.
And Javi knew. He knew that there were going to be days in the future when all he wanted to do was rip that smile off of that pale face, when all he wanted to do was yell and scream and let all of that roaring black anger come rushing out. He knew that there were going to be weeks and months and years of screaming matches and hoarse voices and staining tears. He knew there were going to be countless disagreements and countless nights when things were just not going well.
But, but, but.
If that meant that he could keep holding Yuzuru Hanyu’s hand, keep kissing those rose lips and keep spending these days, side by side, heart by heart, then he knew.
He knew that it would be worth it.
Knew that it would be more than worth it.
“I want to hold your hand forever.” He says into the warm sea breeze, says into the private expanse of the beach, the heated sand. He looks up, staring into those eyes, letting himself get lost in midnight black, lost in pale hands, lost in Yuzuru Hanyu. He swallows, unable to look away, unwilling to look away.
“Will you hold mine?” He asks, and its a declaration of weakness. It’s him, letting Yuzuru trace the scars that snake up his own skin, invisible to anybody else. It’s him, giving himself up to this man that has held his heart in his hands since the beginning of time. And Yuzuru, Yuzuru stares, and his lips part slowly. His eyes widen and for a moment, Javi thinks he can see a hint of wet tears pooling in their depths.
Instead, he reaches out and takes Javier’s other hand within his own, squeezing tight, melding them together.
“Itsumo.” He whispers, and his voice shakes with the stars, the moon, the sun. His smile is a small, shivering thing, and yet it is the most beautiful thing Javi has ever seen.
“Eien ni.” He says, staring into Javi’s eyes, a thousand universes reflected in that gaze, and Javier feels the heavy truth within that statement. His eyes well up with tears.
“Siempre,” Javi mutters back, muffling his tears into their hands. His hands and his hands. “Siempre.”