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Hit and Run

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            Yuuri had only been afraid of dying three times in his life. The first time, he was seven years old and the neighbor’s huge dog bowled him over from behind in an over-enthusiastic attempt to display its affection and not rip his throat out, like he thought. The second time was in middle school, when he had his first panic attack while standing in front of the whole class, preparing to give a speech on a week-long project.

            And right now, giving Phichit driving lessons.

            “Brake! BRAKE!” Yuuri shrieked, bracing himself against the dashboard with one hand and clutching his seat-belt in terror with the other.

            “Whoa!” Phichit stomped hard on the brake. The squeal of tires nearly matched Yuuri’s in pitch and intensity. “Rude. That stop sign came out of nowhere.”

            “You could see it from a block away,” Yuuri said quietly, still frozen in his seat. He loosened the death grip on his seat-belt and forced himself to breathe. “Typically you’re supposed to slow down when you get to one of them, not speed up.”

            “I forgot which one was which,” Phichit admitted, glancing down at the pedals.

            “You forGOT- I think I’m gonna pass out.” Yuuri flopped back in his seat, focusing on breathing evenly in through his nose and out through his mouth like his therapist had taught him. He had a feeling he’d need several more sessions after this.

            “I’m not that bad,” Phichit argued as he slowly took off again, then promptly knocked over a kid’s ‘fresh lemonade’ sign that sat on the corner. The kid started bawling. “…Okay so maybe I need a little work-”

            “You need a LOT of work.” Yuuri stuck his head out the window and mouthed ‘sorry’ to the wailing kid. “Watch your mirrors,” he added as they nearly clipped a mailbox. “And by that I don’t mean use them to look behind you, I mean actually watch the mirrors, I swear to god if you knock them off-”

            “Oh my Christ, Yuuri, calm down,” Phichit snorted. “I’ve got this. Look, ten and two-”

            *Thump!*

            “That better be the curb and not someone’s dog.” Yuuri glared at him. “You obviously haven’t been practicing.”

            “I have been practicing!”

            “No, you’ve been playing GTA. That is not the same.”

            “Video games make it seem so easy, though,” Phichit muttered under his breath as he wandered into the other lane again.

            Long story short, Phichit needed help practicing his driving skills, and Yuuri just happened to have a license. After reluctantly agreeing, Yuuri had insisted they drive on the quieter back streets of Detroit, near the suburbs so they wouldn’t inadvertently kill someone. Hopefully they would get enough practice in before someone called the cops. Hell, if they didn’t, Yuuri would. The lack of witnesses was a plus as well.

            “Go, go, go!” Yuuri cried as a garbage can went down, vomiting its fetid contents all over the sidewalk. They sped off down the street.

            “We’re fugitives now,” Phichit giggled. “We just murdered a trashcan and we’re on the run.” He cut off mid-giggle. “We can’t go to jail, Yuuri. We’re too pretty.”

            “How are you suddenly so SLOW-” Yuuri said, glancing behind for pursuers.

            “My shoes make it hard to press on the pedals. But they make my butt look super cute-”

            “Your butt- you’re sitting DOWN when you drive, Phichit! What would that matter? Here, switch shoes with me-”

            “Um, no. This is my outfit. It took me an hour to put together.”

            “It’ll take me less than five seconds to get out of this car.”

            “Okay, okay!” Phichit hurriedly pulled over and they swapped shoes. It came to no surprise to Yuuri when he peeled out, leaving skid-marks.

            “This is so not worth you doing dishes for a month.” He groaned into his hands, then realized it was a bad idea to leave Phichit as the only spotter.

            “Please, Yuuri!” Phichit begged. “Everyone else flaked out on me. Leo’s letting me use his car on the condition he has nothing to do with lessons, and Guang-hong won’t even get in a car with me anymore! He just starts crying every time I ask! I really want my license. I’m tired of bumming rides off of friends, mainly you. It’s time I get to be the one bummed.” He blinked. “That came out wrong. Anyway. Please, Yuuri-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” He flashed his most pitiful look, all dewy-eyed and innocent, which Yuuri suspected he’d learned from his hamsters. It was just as effective.

            “Okay, fine, I’ll help you learn how to drive.” Yuuri caved in, then decided to raise the stakes – his life was worth more than a petty month’s worth of chores. “But you have to do dishes for two months. And clean the bathroom.”

            “Eww, stinky toilet water- you’re on!” Phichit flashed him a triumphant grin. “I have hamsters. Don’t underestimate my gag reflex.” He paused. “Okay that came out wrong again-”

            “Will you…?” Yuuri turned to glare at his friend when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. “BRAKE!!!” he shrieked instinctively, grabbing Phichit’s arm. Phichit shrieked right back and slammed his foot down.

            *THUD!*

            It wasn’t a moving trashcan, as Yuuri had hoped. This was a much louder, meatier thud. A person thud.

            They’d hit someone.

            “Oh shit!” Phichit gaped in shock, his eyes wide with disbelief. “I just killed someone!” He scrambled for his phone. “I’m live-streaming this for evidence of my innocence-”

            “PHICHIT!” Yuuri swatted it out of his hands and tore the keys out of the car, killing the engine. “Come on!” He kicked his door open and almost fell out in his haste, scrambling around the car to see-

            The hottest man he’d ever seen flung out full-length across the road like a magazine centerfold. Lustrous silver hair partially obscured his features, his body long and lean beneath a tight black shirt and form-fitting jeans.

            “Oh my God I killed an Abercrombie and Fitch model-”

            “Phichit, shh!” Yuuri knelt down beside the man, nearly holding his breath in fear. He reached out and gently patted one perfectly curved cheekbone. “Sir? Sir? Are you alright? SIR? Hello?” He patted slightly harder oh God his skin was so soft it felt like silk Yuuri HAD to ask what kind of moisturizer he used- no, stop! Concentrate!

            He needed to check his breathing. Yuuri leaned in over the man and dear LORD what was that heavenly cologne he was wearing? It smelled like cinnamon and something musky and sexy-

            The man suddenly groaned, his ridiculously long eyelashes fluttering like butterfly wings. The silver curtains rose to reveal ice-blue windows that froze Yuuri in place, his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. The man was likewise frozen, staring up at Yuuri with his mouth agape, like a still-life of a renaissance artwork. Which made sense, because Yuuri wanted to pin him to the wall-

            “Boof!”

            A huge, curly-haired poodle suddenly tackled him to the ground, snuffling in his face and giving him a rather forward swipe of tongue on his gaping mouth.

            “Bleeech!” Yuuri jerked his head back and spat out a mouthful of poodle fur, gagging at the faint taste of Kibble. The poodle, not bothered by the blatant rejection, turned to the silver-haired man and likewise greeted him as well.

            “M-Makkachin?” the man said blearily, blinking around in confusion. His lovely eyes skittered around the street, disoriented. “What? Why am I…?” He noticed he was on the ground, the confusion on his face deepening. “I was… walking him, and then I…”

            “Sorry, man,” Phichit stepped in. “I killed you with the car.”

            “What?”

            “We did NOT,” Yuuri cut in, shooting a glare over his shoulder. “Are you alright, um, mister…?” he trailed off.

            “Victor,” the man said, smiling weakly. “And this is Makkachin.” The poodle woofed in greeting and wagged his tail.

            “Oh, um…I’m Yuuri.” He gestured behind him. “Phichit.”

            “S’up.”

            “Nice outfit,” Victor said. Phichit’s grin was dazzling.

            “ANYWAY,” Yuuri cut in again to steer to conversation back. “Are you alright, Victor? Are you hurt anywhere? Can you stand?”

            “I…I think so…” Victor’s face tensed as he sat up, systematically checking his body for injuries. “What on earth happened?”

            “I’m so sorry,” Yuuri explained, wringing his hands in distress. “I was helping Phichit learn to drive, and, well, you see…” He took a deep breath before plunging onward. “…We hit you.”

            “I…see. Well. No harm done.” Victor said, then suddenly smiled. “Though…I’d much rather you’d hit ON me.” He chuckled, and then his eyes did a weird thing where only one of them blinked shut, the other still open and staring glassily.

            Oh God, he’s having a seizure, Yuuri thought to himself in horror. Phichit must have realized it, too, because he gave a sudden choked sound and started breathing funny.

            “A-Are you sure you’re not hurt?” Yuuri reached out a hand and tentatively touched Victor’s knee. “Because if you are, we’d be more than happy to drive you to the nearest-”

            “YEOWCH!!” Victor suddenly shrieked, clutching his leg and grimacing in pain. Yuuri’s throat constricted and his stomach lurched hard as he snatched his hand away.

            “OhmiGod what?!”

            “My leg!”

            “You…your leg?!”

            “My leg…” Victor bit out. “I think my leg’s…broken!”

            Oh.

            Oh no.

            Oh no no no. Yuuri stifled a whimper of panic. How could this get any-

            “…Well at least it’s not your face-”

            “Phichit!” Yuuri hissed out, jabbing a finger back at the vehicle. “Enough! Go wait in the car!” Phichit threw his hands up and turned to go. “No, wait, that’s a horrible idea, stay out of the car. Go sit on the sidewalk or something.” Phichit threw his hands up again and spun back around on his heel. “No, wait, that’s not much better. Give me your phone.”

            “Yuuri!” Phichit gasped in affront. “This is cruel and unusual-”

            “GIVE IT.”

            Phichit handed it over, tossed his head, and stomped over to the curb, where he sat down to sulk. The distraction out of the way, Yuuri turned back to Victor and concentrated on getting him to his feet.

            “Careful now…keep your weight off that leg…okay, now take my hand- my hand, not my hip…that’s it…” With some gentle coaxing and Yuuri’s help, Victor stood, leaning heavily on Yuuri’s shoulder, groaning as he straightened as best he could. Yuuri tried to hold his breath, the combination of Victor’s spicy cologne and unique scent already making him fell rather light-headed and faint. They worked together to get Victor hobbling to the side of the car.

            “Okay, here you go.” Yuuri reached out and opened the door. “You sit in the back, and I’ll drive you to the nearest hospital-”

            “Oh, OW, my neck!” Victor suddenly winced, grabbing his neck. Yuuri froze again, his eyes whipping back around to Victor. “I just…got this really bad twinge all of a sudden.” He gave Yuuri a pained expression. “I think I need some sort of support, it might be injured-”

            “Shit. Okay. Yeah.” Yuuri ran his free hand through his hair, trying to gather his frazzled nerves. “Lemme…find you a pillow or, um, fold up a jacket or some-”

            “You’ll do.”

            Yuuri stared at him.

            “…Beg pardon?”

            “You’ll do,” Victor repeated.

            Was he seriously speaking English? Yuuri continued to stare, dumbfounded.

            “It needs to be soft enough to not injure me further, but firm enough to fully support my head and neck,” Victor gently explained and gave him a helpless smile. “Your lap will do nicely.”

            “My LAP-”

            “Sounds good!” Phichit chimed in, suddenly beside them, flashing a thumbs-up with a sunny smile. Yuuri rounded on him.

            “Phichit, no, this is ridiculous-”

            “Do you WANT to get sued?” Phichit hissed under his breath. Yuuri paled. He hadn’t thought about that. Victor seemed quite amiable and was taking the injury rather well, but then again, maybe they shouldn’t be taking his attitude for granted and just give him whatever he wanted, no questions asked. Or Yuuri could just earn the rest of his college degree out of a cardboard box.

            “But then who will drive?” he croaked out in one last act of desperation.

            “I have a learner’s permit,” Phichit reminded him. “As long as someone with a license is in the car with me, I’m golden. It’ll be the ultimate test of my skills.”

            Yuuri groaned. There was no getting out of this.

            “Those shoes make your butt looks super cute, by the way.”

            “HA!”

            “Shut UP, Phichit!”

 

---

 

            It was the longest car ride of Yuuri’s entire life. Victor’s head was a firm weight on one thigh, constantly shifting and one time, Yuuri swore, nuzzling against the flesh. When Yuuri squawked, Victor stared up at him innocently and explained he was simply trying to alleviate the pain in his neck.

            Phichit wasn’t helping, either. He seemed to find every single pothole in the road and hit every red light, moving at an agonizing crawl through downtown traffic. Seeing his friend’s white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel was the only thing keeping Yuuri from screaming at him to floor it.

            Makkachin was the only one in the car behaving. Completely ignoring his master’s predicament, he sat quietly in the front seat, head hanging out the window and panting in the breeze, tail wagging.

            To make things worse, Victor insisted he be entertained to ‘distract from the pain’, and demanded the pair tell him funny stories, centering around Yuuri. Phichit was happy to oblige.

            “One time, Yuuri pretended to not know English to get a girl to leave him alone,” he readily supplied. Yuuri groaned.

            “Oh my gosh, really?” Victor giggled.

            “She was so pushy!” Yuuri went on. “She kept touching my hair and face. And then she put her hand on my leg and I decided enough was enough.”

            “And another time, we started a bar fight and Yuuri used his karate moves to kick some dude’s ass.”

            “You’re kidding!”

            “I did not! I saw a bunch of guys bothering Phichit so I went over to check on him and one of them screamed ‘Jackie Chan’ and I had to deck him. That’s it.”

            “Oh, oh! And there was this one time when Yuuri turned twenty-one, got super wasted at a Frat party, and starting stripping. When he woke up the next morning he was completely naked and covered in phone numbers, head to toe.”

            Victor started cackling so hard Yuuri was concerned for his injured neck.

            “I had to shower, like, three times,” he grumbled to himself. “Some of them were written in permanent marker, I swear. It was a pretty lame joke, too.”

            “…Is…is he serious?” Victor asked Phichit, who nodded sagely.

            “Yes. Yes he is.”

            Before Phichit could supply any more embarrassing anecdotes, Yuuri pulled out his phone and began distracting Victor with the many hundreds of photos and videos of his own toy poodle back home in Japan. Victor squealed appreciatively, sitting up in excitement in a way that had Yuuri worrying for the state of his leg.

            Finally, finally, they arrived at the closest hospital. Phichit inched into a parking spot in the ER lot, wary of the other parked cars.

            “Ugh, this asshole is double parked! I’m gonna key his car-”

            “NO you are NOT someone was probably having a heart attack. Hang on.” Ignoring a whimper of pain from Victor and brushing away his grasping hands, Yuuri hopped out of the car and helped direct Phichit safely into the parking space. After a sharp glare at Phichit to make sure he left the other car alone, Yuuri returned to the back door to help Victor to his feet.

            “I’ll go get a wheelchair!” Phichit offered, dashing inside.

            “You really don’t need to and he’s gone.” Victor sighed and tightened his grip on Yuuri’s arm. “I’d much rather lean on you, Yuuri.”

            “Uh, I dunno if I’d make it,” Yuuri replied, eyeing the distance between the car and the ER entrance. “I mean, I have stamina, but I might give out before we finish.” Victor made a funny noise in the back of his throat. Maybe Yuuri had accidently nudged his injured leg? He shifted away just to make sure.

            Makkachin had hopped out of the car as well, wandering around their legs and sniffing curiously at the hedges, Yuuri holding his leash. He smiled as the dog lifted his leg.

            “What a good boy! He’s been so calm and composed. I’d expect most dogs to be freaking out when their owners are injured.”

            “Er, yes, he’s…very well behaved,” Victor said, coughing slightly. “I trained him well.”

            “I got one!” Phichit came dashing back, a wheelchair in front of him. “We gotta hurry, though, I stole it from a little old lady with a broken hip-”

            “Phichit!”

            “I’m kidding, Yuuri. Oh my God. Chill.” Glaring at his friend, Yuuri helped gently lower Victor into the wheelchair and adjusted his leg with the utmost care. There wasn’t much swelling, which had to be a good sign that the injury wasn’t too serious. Satisfied, Yuuri stood and walked along beside Phichit as he began pushing Victor towards the ER entrance.

            “Hold my hand?” Victor begged, his eyes big and blue. Yuuri felt as if he was drowning, staring down into those depths. “I’m scared.”

            “…Okay?” Yuuri hesitantly stuck out his hand, and Victor laced their fingers together, squeezing tightly. He must have been very scared. Yuuri gave him an encouraging squeeze back to reassure him.

            “I’m sure the nurses here have nothing on you, Yuuri,” Victor purred as they rolled through the automatic doors. Yuuri blinked.

            “Um, they have a lot more training, they’ll take much better care of you than I ever could.”

            “That’s not what I-”

            “Can I help you?” a voice asked, and in a whirl of medical jargon and activity, papers were filled out, signed, and Victor was being wheeled away by a nurse, waving forlornly at them over his shoulder. Yuuri waved back, Makkachin’s leash held tightly in his other hand. As Victor disappeared around the corner, he let out a long, shaky breath.

            “I hope he’ll be alright,” he said quietly.

            “What do we do now?” Phichit asked. “Wait for him? Or can we just leave-”

            “No, Phichit! Are you kidding me? We were at the scene of the crime! We were the perpetrators! We have to stay here in case he wants to-”

            Press charges.

            The words died on Yuuri’s lips as the reality of the situation came rushing back to bitch-slap him in the face. They had hit somebody. They had HIT somebody. Granted, that somebody was Victor, who, while amiable about the accident for now, could easily pull a one-eighty and decide that his injuries deserved more than an “I’m sorry”.

            Like a big fat lawsuit. Yuuri’s stomach dropped at the thought. That was the last thing they needed. He and Phichit had a hard enough time paying rent, a lawsuit would demolish any chance for a higher education either of them had. They’d be thrown out of the apartment, kicked out of school, shipped home in shame. Or worse, they could be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Jailed. Locked away in a foreign prison in a foreign country for the rest of their lives, never to see their loved ones again.

            Suddenly there wasn’t enough air in the room. Yuuri took deep, fast breaths, but couldn’t seem to get enough. The world was swimming around him, wobbling like a ship at sea. He thought he heard Phichit calling his name, but it seemed muffled and far away.

            I’m having a panic attack, Yuuri realized. His stomach was churning now, and his legs gave out, depositing him in a nearby chair.

            “Whoa, calm down, Yuuri. Breathe. It’s gonna be okay,” Phichit said softly, wrapping an arm around his shoulders and pulling him close. Makkachin joined in, laying his head on Yuuri’s knee with a gentle whine. Yuuri raised a shaking hand and gave the dog a weak pat on the head. “Just breathe, okay? I’m sure he’ll be perfectly fine.”

 

---

 

            “This man is perfectly fine.”

            Yuuri stared silently at the doctor, face blank and eyes unblinking, for a full ten seconds.

            “…I’m sorry, what?”

            “He has no bodily injuries,” she went on, flipping through the chart. “No broken bones, contusions, cuts, scrapes, nothing. Not even a bruise.” She shrugged. “He’s perfectly fine. I have no idea why he was admitted for a broken leg.”

            As one, Yuuri and Phichit turned to Victor. He lay spread out in the ER bed, dressed in an ugly blue paper robe and somehow still looking amazing. His eyes flicked from one to the other guiltily.

            “I…maaay have been…over-reacting,” he admitted, expression sheepish. Yuuri just stared at him, mouth working.

            “You…you…?”

            “Well, you see, the thing is-” he went on, but Yuuri failed to hear it over the rush of white noise that suddenly filled his head.

            They’d waited hours in the Emergency Room. Hours, while doctors scrambled by, shouting orders and people came staggering in, crying and bleeding, Yuuri had waited, drinking cup after cup of horrible coffee, his stomach cramping with fear and anxiety and mind whirling with every terrifying thought ranging from complications resulting in untimely death to being homeless due to a crippling lawsuit.

            And Victor was perfectly fucking fine.

            He’d never been this furious in his entire life.

            So Yuuri reacted accordingly.

            He burst into tears.

            “You fucking asshole! You’re AWFUL!” He viciously flung the words, as well as Makkachin’s leash, at Victor, whirled around, and stormed away, tears blurring his vision. He faintly heard Phichit adding a few choice insults to the exchange, followed by Victor shouting his name, sounding desperate, but he was too busy trying to locate the exit through his misty eyesight to care. He was done with this whole charade.

            He was done.

 

---

 

            “Hey, sorry it didn’t work out with Victor,” Phichit said gently as he helped Yuuri through another pint of chocolate ice-cream later that night. They were huddled together on the couch, their small, crummy laptop playing some sort of K-drama with lots of crying.

            “God, what a dick.” Yuuri grimaced and took another bite, not even caring that it would all go straight to his thighs. “I can’t believe I thought he was cute.”

            “I should have stolen his shoes,” Phichit tsked under his breath.

 

---

 

            Wonder of wonders, Yuuri was back in the car within a week. Granted, it was for a very good reason (a new video game is out and he simply MUST have it, it’s totally worth eating ramen for a month) but Yuuri couldn’t help the twisting in the guts as he again drove by the ‘scene of the crime’, as Phichit had dubbed it. But he could relax, he reminded himself. Seriously, what were the chances of something crazy like that happening aga-

            There was a blur of motion in the corner of his eye, a flash of silver that seemed painfully familiar, and a startlingly loud THUD.

            “Oh God!” Yuuri hit the brakes, his heart stuttering in his chest. “I’m so sorry, are you-” The words died on his lips as he poked his head out of the window and saw the body crumpled beside his car.

            Victor.

            “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!” He gaped down at him in disbelief. “AGAIN?!”

            “Yuuri!” Victor looked up at him with wild eyes. “Oh God, Yuuri, my leg, I think my leg is-”

            “I’m not falling for the same shit twice. Get your ass up.”

            Victor still lay on the ground, groaning in pain. His face was white and there were actual tears beading in the corner of his eyes. Yuuri had to commend his acting, it was much more convincing than last time.

            “Yuuri-” Victor moaned, then slipped into garbled Russian as he clutched at his leg.

            “How stupid do you think I am?!” Yuuri shouted at him. “You’re not fooling anyone! God, get a life!” This was beyond pathetic. Yuuri almost wished he had a drink so he could dump it on him. Instead, he sat back in the car, carefully drove around him, and hit the gas.

            “Yuuri, wait!” Victor cried out in a strangled voice. Yuuri ignored him and sped off down the street, literally leaving him in the dust.

            Forget him, he thought angrily. That jerk’s not worth it. Just forget you ever met him. But he couldn’t resist one last glance through the rearview mirror.

            …Wait.

            Victor’s leg was definitely not supposed to be at that angle.

            …Oh dear God.

            Yuuri slammed on the brakes, tires squealing piercingly, then revved the engine and peeled out as he threw it into reverse and backed up, returning to Victor’s side. He stuck his head out the window again, carefully studying the crooked leg with wide eyes.

            Yep. Definitely broken.

            “…Victor…I…am SO sorry-”

            “S’fine,” Victor choked out, gritting his teeth. “Don’t blame you, really. I probably deserve this, right?”

            “Here, let me-” Yuuri opened his door and cracked Victor right in the forehead. “OH FUCK I’M SORRY!”

            Victor just rolled on the ground, alternately clutching his head and leg and hissing out swears in Russian.

            It was a struggle to get him in the car, what with Phichit’s absence and Victor’s actual injury, but Yuuri managed to heave him up and drape him over the back seat. He scrambled back into the front and mentally calculated where the closest ER was located. He was right around the spot where he and Phichit had been the previous time, so it seemed his only option was the same hospital as before. He only hoped they wouldn’t turn him away.

            “So…are we going to talk about what happened?” Victor piped up from the back seat a few minutes into the ride. Yuuri scoffed.

            “Oh, what? That you lied to me, tricked me, and led me on just to make fun of me for some sick joke-”

            “A joke? Yuuri, no, I wasn’t teasing you!” Victor argued, pausing to yelp as they hit a pothole Yuuri may or may not have swerved into. “I was…I pretended to be hurt because I liked you and wanted to spend more time with you!”

            “Wait, WHAT?” Yuuri almost hit the brakes in shock, but stopped himself just in time with the reminder that it would probably send Victor out the front window. Which might not be a bad idea if he didn’t start talking sense.

            “Look, when I first met you, I knew I had to do something,” Victor went on. “You would have just driven away if I’d said I was fine, so of course I faked it! I needed an excuse for you to stay with me. Then when I tried to confess to you in the hospital, you started crying and yelling and stormed out. Didn’t you hear any of what I said?”

            “No, I…I sort of blacked out after I heard you faked it-” Yuuri broke off, his mind whirling. “So…so you mean…you did all that…just to flirt with me?”

            “YES!” Victor cried, throwing his arms up.

            “But…WHY?” Yuuri gaped at him from the rearview mirror. “Couldn’t you have just, I don’t know, asked for my number?”

            “Would you have given it to me?”

            Yuuri thought for a long moment. Probably not, no matter how hot he was. He was a stranger, after all, and Yuuri was very, very shy and very, very careful. But it was beyond ridiculous that Victor would go to such lengths just to-

            A sudden thought occurred to him.

            “Victor,” he said as calmly as he could manage, “please tell me you didn’t jump in front of the car on purpose.”

            There was a long, guilty silence from the backseat.

            “…I can neither confirm nor deny-”

            Yuuri hit the brakes.

            “You know what, you can crawl the rest of the way to the hospital-”

            “Yuuri, no!”

            “It’s not that far. You can make it.”

            “YUURIIII!!”

 

---

 

            “Oh God not you again-” the doctor began, rolling her eyes. Yuuri pointed wordlessly at Victor’s crooked leg. She blinked. “…Ah. Okay, then. Let’s get you to X-Ray.”

 

---

 

            “The injury is quite severe-” the doctor began, holding up several X-ray images.

            “Oh God, no!” Victor wailed, his face drained of color but still looking perfect in his hospital robe. “My leg! Please don’t cut off my leg! I need it! You don’t understand! I NEED my leg.”

            Oh no. Yuuri felt his heart jolt in terror and his knees weaken. He had to hold on to Victor’s bedside railing to stay upright. Was his leg really that important? What if… what if Victor was an important athlete or something? With a body like that, he must be. Or maybe he was a dancer, or a worldwide figure-skating champion-

            “I’m a dog walker!!” Victor was crying now, big, glistening tears dribbling down his cheeks like he was in a soap opera and had just been told his dead wife was actually alive and cheating on him with his evil twin brother. “I need my legs or else I can’t walk the sweet little puppies and poodles and get doggie kisses-” He dissolved into pitiful sobs, blubbering into his hands.

            Yuuri just gaped at him, mouth hanging open.

            He should have fucking known.

            “We’re gonna need some sedative for the drama queen,” the doctor grumbled under her breath. Yuuri had to fight back a snicker. She turned to him. “Listen, this might take a while-”

            “I’ll stay,” Yuuri said quietly, cutting her off.

            “What? Are…are you sure?” Victor looked up at him, sniffling and blinking tears out of his eyes. His blue, blue eyes. “You don’t have to, Yuuri-”

            “It’s okay, Victor. I’ll stay.” Yuuri smiled, and Victor’s face softened. “I get your dog, right?”

            “Of course.” Victor broke into watery chuckles. “I know you’ll take good care of my Makkachin.”

            As they wheeled Victor out to surgery, Yuuri went to get a cup of horrible coffee, then settled down to wait.

 

---

 

            “We’re all done,” the doctor said, jerking Yuuri out of his semi-conscious stupor. He sat up, wiped the drool off his chin and stared blearily up at her, blinking.

            “Victor, his…his leg…does he still have-”

            “He got to keep the leg.” The doctor smirked. “The surgery was a success. He can expect a complete recovery, after a few months of recuperation and physical therapy. Won’t even have a limp. We’re keeping him overnight for observation and will discharge him tomorrow morning.” Yuuri nodded, relaxing, then tensed up again as another thought came to him.

            “I…did he say…will he be-”

            “He won’t be pressing charges,” the doctor assured him. “He told everyone that repeatedly as we prepped him for surgery, in between the bouts of crying. He acknowledges that the accident was completely his fault, and won’t be pursuing any sort of legal action…although he did say something about accepting compensation in the form of kisses and/or phone numbers.” Yuuri chuckled to himself, deflating in his chair as relief washed over him like a wave. “He also wouldn’t shut up about how cute he thinks you are and how much he likes your thighs and a million other things until the anesthesia finally knocked him out.”

            “Oh my GOD-” Yuuri sputtered, his face burning in mortification. The doctor sighed and glanced at the clock on the wall.

            “Sorry, but you won’t be able to stay much longer, visiting hours are almost over. Only relatives or spouses can stay after hours or overnight. Hospital policy.”

            “Oh…right. Sure. Okay.” Yuuri stood gingerly, his legs stiff and aching from sitting so long. He probably should be getting back home anyway, Phichit was sure to be frothing at the mouth by now after no word from him in like, five hours. His shitty phone had died before he could explain the situation to his friend, and Yuuri wouldn’t put it past him to call the cops and demand a city-wide search after staying radio silent for so long.

            Still…

            Noting his hesitation, the doctor sighed again. “You can go in and see him, if you like.” Yuuri looked up at her in surprise. “You promised him, didn’t you? It’s fine. He’s still unconscious from the surgery and pain medication, but…” She tipped her head in the direction of the room. “Go on in.”

            Nodding his thanks, Yuuri tiptoed into the room and peeked around the screen of the curtain. Victor was sprawled out unconscious on the bed, somehow managing to still look like a perfectly posed model even after several hours of surgery. The paleness of his skin and the dark bags under his eyes simply highlighted his delicate bone structure and augmented the sweep of his pale lashes. If Yuuri didn’t feel so awful about this whole mess he might have wanted to punch him. Or kiss him. He still didn’t know for sure.

            Or rather, he did.

            Yuuri picked up a sharpie from a nearby desk and sidled up next to Victor, leaning over the fresh new cast. In quick, neat strokes, he wrote down his phone number on the plaster, paused thoughtfully, then added a poodle for flair. Capping the pen, he leaned in again and gently pressed a kiss to the unconscious man’s cool brow.

            He’d be waiting for Victor’s call.

 

-End-