Ballet classes were not Otabek’s favorite pastime in any way, shape or form. They would come in handy with his skating in the long run though, or at least that what his coach he told him over and over again. It wasn’t that he minded the practice, but he much rather be on the ice than in front of the barre with all the other kids. Ballet just wasn’t his passion, skating was wholeheartedly his world.
There was nothing like the feeling of finally getting on the ice after a long day, it always calmed his mind and could usually help him processes things when he was having a hard time on his own. The ice had always been there for him, through the good and the bad. The chill of the rink paired with the hissing sound of his skates as he came to a halt, the excitement of landing a move he had been practicing for weeks, even the sting in his chest when he failed. That was his normal ambiance and also the place he called home. He yearned to be there now instead of in these clinging tights, but alas it seemed he needed this extra practice.
Skating was a love of his for sure, but he learned quickly that he would need more than love for the sport to make it through. If he wasn’t able to keep pace with the others in his age range, he would quickly be left in the dust. Ballet was his way to learn how to move his body with grace and by doing so, create a story in his exhibitions. Sure music added to the ambiance but there had to be some form of emotion conveyed with his body as well. He thought his routines had been great on their own but was told early on he needed more. He was bound and determined to do his very best, even if the was doing something like ballet.
He wanted to be great not only for himself and his family, but also for Kazakhstan. He would do his country proud one day, that he was sure of. Knowing his intentions to be true, his coach had recommended a course run by the infamous Yakov Felstman. His russian skaters had never been anything less than stunning at their craft. Hence the reason so many flocked to the opportunity of enrolling in a camp put together and run by the man himself.
It was obvious there were some stand out kids in the class, but none of them stood a chance against one student in particular. Standing miles above them all in poise and elegant grace was a small russian boy by the name of Yuri Plisetsky. No one was even close to his skill range. The kid seemed to be completely and utterly focused on being the best and he expecting nothing less out of himself. Not that he ever seemed to mess up. It was kind of fascinating to see a kid act so completely involved and serious about something at all times. The other kids seemed to be quite annoyed with how well Yuri seemed to always do as well, yet Yuri didn’t seem to pay them any mind.
Otabek couldn’t help but be a bit jealous himself of the ease at which the younger of the two performed. He was flexible beyond belief, and it seemed as though he oozed the essence of a true performer. Beyond all of that was a hard front accompanied by a poison tongue and the unforgettable eyes of a soldier. How could he ever forget those blue eyes, never before had he encountered someone with such a powerful gaze like Yuri. What all went into that stare was beyond him at the time, he himself was only a kid and had a long way to go.
Maybe he should think it was weird that he became very interested in the Russian youth. He found himself feeling a bit ashamed at how much he looked forward to seeing what the blonde would accomplish in class every day, even when most of the time he himself was struggling. Sweat would pool on his upper lip at all the choreography they would be running, his body would be sore and aching after the grueling lessons, but Yuri was always there seeming totally unphased.
He desperately wanted to catch up, to be in the same caliber but at the same time he would feel such an awe watching him be this “perfect” being. His presence was fierce and he yearned to possess those qualities for himself. Outside of the studio he didn’t know much about the younger kid, all he did know was his grandfather was the one who would always pick him up, and that he seemed to have a love for cats. It was pretty easy to pick that last bit up though considering his duffle bag was customized with plenty of cats pins on the front.
The camp only had a few days left when Otabek finally worked up the nerve to actually try to approach Yuri. The class had been let out a bit ago, the other kids headed to change, soon to be picked up by their parents. Yuri had stayed behind though, it seemed he wanted to keep going. He had been going hard in class that day, it was kind of shocking he would want to keep at it after the extent his body had been through that day.
Otabek quietly made his way back into the studio, careful not to make too much noise. He came in just as the blonde crumbled to the floor. There Yuri was bent over in pain from a move he just pulled, panic spread throughout his chest as he quickly ran out of the studio to grab Yakov and the other instructors. It seemed Yuri had merely exhausted himself and just needed a bit of rest, it didn’t take away the worry that settled itself in Otabek’s chest. That encounter really opened his eyes to the very human part of Yuri.
Time went by a bit faster than he would have liked and the opportunities to befriend the boy dwindled. Everytime he worked up the courage, the blonde would be long gone. Finally the last day of the camp rolled around. Everyone was packing up, hugs were exchanged and friends said their farewells. He watched as Yuri’s grandfather picked him up for the last time. His eyes followed them as they walked away, he had lost his opportunity to talk with him once again….
He mourned the fact the hadn’t been able to even speak a word to the blonde as he got on a plane and left the camp. Once he was home and he cleared his head he found solace knowing he could come face to face with him soon enough. He quit doing ballet soon after that as well, realizing that he needed to find his own way to perform and command the attention of the audience.
Five years had quickly passed since the training camp. Otabek had worked his butt off continuing to skate and make a name for himself. Yuri had done the same. The younger of the two had gone on to become a two-time consecutive Junior World Champion and two-time consecutive Junior Grand Prix Final Champion. In short he was doing incredibly well, just as Otabek knew he would.
Otabek had found himself following the younger man on his social media accounts, enjoying his frequent posts of fashion, skating and his very cute cat, Potya. He had to admit he was quite endeared by the fact Yuri had been looking up to legend that was Victor Nikiforov. It wasn’t hard to see that Yuri had the skill and motivation to be a legend himself. He personally believed he could make it to Victor’s level one day and hoped he could be there with him at the top.
Yuri continued to rise above everyone and soon the two were competing in the same grand prix. He felt the sheer thrill of it all come alive inside him, heart thumping at the prospect of competing alongside the man he had been admiring for so long. Getting to watch his performance and know he would most likely be watched as well made his adrenaline sky rocket.
It all went by in a flash, there were so many familiar faces. It was always a bit of a blur with everything going on around them. What was the most vivid in his mind was having Yuri speak towards him for staring, well more like call him out on it… not the smoothest moment. All in all he was happy to have been able to perform and be proud of his hard work and dedication. He was also stunned to see Yuri captivate his heart once again in his own routine. It had been quite the event.
He doesn’t know what spurred him on to come to the rescue in that alley, or how he gained the courage to ask to become friends. It must of been the fact that he had missed his opportunity all those years ago and he finally found himself in the position to be in his presence once more . That moment they shared looking out over Barcelona would be one he would never forget, a captivating view with the one person who had been captivating him for years. It was thrilling to be able to sit down and enjoy one another's company in that cafe and then go on to be invited to dinner with all the other skaters. He even witnessed a marriage announcement of the living legend Victor Nikiforov and Katsuki Yuuri and of course Yuri’s disgust at the whole thing. All in all it was a wild ride.
He would never regret it, not when he got to witness Yuri win the gold, had to scold him for sneaking into the club while he was still underage and even got to help him with his jaw dropping performance of Welcome to the Madness.
And he definitely didn’t regret it now, all these years later as they lay on their bed in their shared flat in Saint Petersburg, Potya old and grumpy at the bottom of the bed while their bodies tangled together under the soft sheets. They had just been discussing the skating videos currently playing away on Yuri's phone before Otabek’s mind had drifted to the past.
“Beka are you listening ?” Yuri quipped, pulling him out of his thoughts completely.
“Ahh sorry Yura, I got a bit caught up reminiscing” He chuckled, reaching over to brush a few shining strands from his lovers forehead. How had he gotten so lucky to call this man his.
The blonde got a frustrated look on his face, his lips forming a very pretty pout. He couldn’t take him too serious as a blush slowly appeared right alongside it.
“Bekaaaa, that’s embarrassing. What were you even thinking about” he whined, burying his face into the crook of the Kazakh’s shoulder.
He felt the heat from his breath seep into his skin. They both relaxed into the new found position, melting against one another like they had done a thousand times before. He curled his arm around him, snuggling him closer. He smiled then, spurred on by the small hum the blonde let out of appreciation .
“I was thinking of our ballet classes, and you of course” He chuckled, causing Yuri to join in as well.
“Weirdo” Yuri teased, tilting his head up to meet the other man's eyes. The same harsh blue stared back at him from all those years ago, but now he could see the softness in the corners reserved just for him.
“Your weirdo” He retorted, earning him a flick to the forehead, out of love of course.
They lay there together for the rest of the evening basking in their love and enjoying one another as they always did. Otabek felt very thankful for all the memories they had made so far and excited for all the ones they still had to make. Wherever life would take them, he was sure to enjoy it with Yuri by his side.