The thing is, he got tricked into ice dancing.
Everyone starts off in singles. No, before that, everyone starts off learning how to move forward and backwards and how to glide on one leg.
Even more before that, everyone learns to stand on their skates.
His older sister skated first, so naturally, his mother had video taped his first moment on ice. From the VHS tapes, he stood with a pair of knees nearby he knew to be his mother's, her arms disappearing out of frame as he makes a face at the camera
Then he took his first step and fell. Okaa-san's laugh can be heard as she scooped him up, adjusted the jaunty little toque around his head and pulled him forward as he waddled.
He doesn't remember the reason why he skated. At first, he's sure it's because his sister skated, so therefore it would only be fair to the younger sibling if his parents enrolled him in lessons as well. As it is, he continued to take lessons when Hiromi lost interest (as all children do sometimes) and took up aikido instead.
Then he liked it. He liked the tightness around his ankles, the way it grounded him because he would feel too light some days, his skin stretched too tightly across his face like he's a bug ready to molt. He also liked the momentary weightlessness as he floats in the air before gravity acts on him and pulls him back down again.
He had a large home rink where they could afford to hog all six rinks for figure skating purposes. It wasn't until he was seven that he realized other smaller rinks exist, watching two twins join his class.
The one wearing a grey winter jacket blinks evenly at him while the other one grinning at him introduces himself too loudly.
Sakusa makes niceties as his mother had told him to when new skaters join them and goes on with his jumps and spins. Childhood is a dreamy haze of sleeping in the backseat as his mother drives them from city to city, doing homework in hotel rooms, snacking on prefecture-specific Kit Kats and not remembering what school was like.
His father had pulled him aside one day, his eyes equally as dark as his. Sakusa looks like his mother down to the curls, the pale skin and bird-like frame but he has his father's large, round eyes.
Otou-san asked if he wanted to try pairs skating. Sakusa had made a face immediately but reluctantly agreed because his father had just bribed him with the new Pokemon game on Gameboy.
"I don't need you to like it, I just want you to try."
Sakusa sullenly agrees. The next day he leaves rink one, shoves his guards on, stomps over to rink two and sees his dad waving him onto the ice.
He remembers this: the scrape of his newly sharpened blades on the ice (not too smooth and not too rough, just scuffed enough from skaters warming up), his hot breath warming his cheeks in the cold air that's trapped under his mask, his father asking him to shake hands with the more feral one of the Miyas and Sakusa holding the shorter boy's hand as they skate side by side.
It's interesting. This may be the most subdued he's seen the feral one. Usually, he's chasing the other girls around and ruining the ice with his toe pick.
"This is dumb," He declares after the first lap, still holding onto Atsumu's hand. Atsumu had told him to call him by his first name because there's two Miyas anyway and it gets annoying pretty fast. He said all of this with a Kansai-ben tilt to his voice. "We're just skating laps."
"Yes, but you're skating in time with him. In perfect sync."
Sakusa knows how ice dancing work. He'd seen older pairs warm up wearing tight compression leggings and tank-tops or very thin long sleeves, always touching, always looking at each other. He stays in singles because he doesn't need to touch anyone, see, and his father is ruining his day.
He tells Otou-san such. Atsumu is quiet next to him, cheeks flushed. Their hands are loose by their sides.
"Your partner doesn't need to hold anyone's hand other than yours," Sakusa's father crouches, "And you can wear gloves."
Sakusa ponders. He hears the other skaters of rink two whiz past as they launch themselves into lifts.
"Alright," He looks up from the ice, not knowing how he'll dedicate the next couple of decades to this sport, this partnership, this boy.
They were eight turning nine that year when they skated up to both parental units when practice ended and agreed (while Sakusa held up their linked hands as proof) that they will be ice dance partners. Their parents cooed and scrambled to take pictures with a disposable camera.
Osamu, the twin Sakusa barely knows, had only laughed and called his brother a loser. Sakusa should be offended, really, but he ignores it and lets Atsumu fight on his behalf.
Atsumu would turn bright red whenever his brother steps into rink two to pick him up with yells that their mother is outside the rink, say bye to yer husband!, hastily ripping his hands away from Sakusa.
At that age, he doesn't see what the fuss of holding hands (with gloves) is about though he only tolerates it when he must hold hands with Atsumu because he's learned what germs are and how physical touch is one of the vectors of disease transmission.
Later, when he's much older and reflecting on this, he'll realize that children, while cruel, are more open to atypical mannerisms than adults.
When his mother has her hands full of students to teach on the weekends, he would go over to the Miyas and stay there until either his mother or father picks him up.
At first, it had been a struggle to find what they all can do that meets their criteria of fun and Sakusa's hatred for dirty things.
"What about soccer?" Osamu asks. Sakusa looks a the dusty ball in his hands and shakes his head.
In the end, he follows the twins outside, holding the bug box as they run off with nets into the tall grass. Other times, he would sit underneath a tree with a book as they kick a ball around and during rainy season when they're not allowed to splash around in puddles, they would go to the tatami room and work on a thousand piece puzzle.
For all the extra time they spend together off ice, he wonders why the Miyas don't go to the same school as him. It would be more convenient for this father to pick them up if they were all at the same place.
"I don't want you to get teased," His father says when he gives Sakusa his umbrella, the shoulders of his jacket wet.
Sakusa learns at a young age to ignore everyone who isn't his immediate family, choreographer and to a certain extent, the ice dancer senpais.
Everyone criticizes him— them— for being too odd, too strange, too much of a personality clash, what were you thinking, Kouhei, putting those two boys with two polar personalities together?
He endures the comments when he encounters other competitors in bathrooms and rink side, clutching Atsumu's hand in his.
Why are you paired up with someone who can't touch you without gloves? How are you suppose to ice dance like that? Are you really going to wear masks in competitions and win?
Sakusa doesn't remember when Atsumu started wearing a mask. One day he just showed up to practice with one and shrugged when Sakusa raised an eyebrow at him.
"S'warm if you have something 'round yer mouth," Was the reply back then.
"And the gloves?" Sakusa, ten, asked as he watches his father clean the scrape on his elbow with hydrogen peroxide and saline. Blood, so red and stark, pales when mixed with the salt solution. Sakusa isn't a stranger to his own blood nor is he squeamish. He always has ten or so bruises on him at all times anyway.
"Don't care," Atsumu snarks, "What I care is yer free leg floppin 'round like a jellyfish."
Sakusa lets the unbidden rage flow through him. Once Otou-san patches up his arm, Atsumu scampers off to the ice, Sakusa hot on his heels.
Atsumu is loud, annoying, gets on his nerves daily, calls him childish names even though they're about to enter junior high in a couple of years, has terrible taste in music and always talks over his father when he's explaining a certain movement they have to fix.
But he knows he's much worse to Atsumu than Atsumu is to him.
Whenever he wants to piss Atsumu off, Sakusa tells him that he wishes it was Osamu who is his partner, not him. Sakusa had gotten pushed many times with this comment, watching an angry flush bloom over Atsumu's cheeks.
He never means it because as much as Osamu is kind and polite, he doesn't have the same love for skating as Atsumu, Sakusa finds out one day when Atsumu tells him during water break, eyes downcast.
"I thought we woulda skated forever."
"That's dumb, nothing lasts forever," Sakusa rolls his eyes, adjusting the gloves on his hands. It's a Christmas present from Atsumu but he's pretty sure it was Miya-san who wrapped it because Atsumu could never make a bow that beautiful. "And you have me anyway. We'll destroy them all."
Atsumu blinks, mulling over that thought, "Huh. Yer kinda smart, Omi-kun."
Sakusa tells him that of course he's smarter. Then he leans back as Atsumu puffs up like a puffer fish, waving his arms around.
They graduate grade school, enter middle school and fall apart.
Sakusa hits his growth spurt first. Suddenly his joints hurt when he wakes up and clothes that used to fit him magically shrink the next day when he puts it on. He's miserable and skates with hot patch stickers stuck to every joint in an attempt to ease the pain.
Then he falls out of bed one morning, face flushed as he dreams of kissing Atsumu— and he knows this is Atsumu and not Osamu because when Atsumu has to dip him for their ending pose, he goes the extra mile and kisses Sakusa's neck before capturing his lips.
"I've seen a fish and a bird with more passion than you," Their choreographer comments dryly as Sakusa and Atsumu stand stiffly on ice with a two feet gap between them.
Sakusa thinks he's going to die during practices now. He feels a buzzing under his skin, constant and thrumming that would spike whenever Atsumu holds his hand. It doesn't go away with showers.
His point of gravity also shifts. Whereas he could twizzle low, leg swinging parallel to the ground in a spin as they travel across ice, he now spins on his bum, smashing into the boards.
At first it had been funny.
Then he didn't improve and Atsumu is frustrated because they didn't place in the Japan Junior Championships. Sakusa doesn't feel like himself, skin oddly stretched in areas, feeling like a bug wanting to molt.
Atsumu comes into practice with dyed hair one day. It's piss yellow and reminds Sakusa of mustard, offensive to his eyes and matching Atsumu's attention-seeking attitude. He asks why he dyed it since Osamu quit skating several months ago and no one will wonder which twin he is.
Atsumu shrugs, clearly grouchy.
Sakusa, plagued with weeks of strange dreams, wet underwear, pain of his bones stretching and the horrifying discovery that he has stretch marks around his knees and hip, snaps.
"Tell me!" He orders.
"I don't wanna look like Samu!"
"You're obviously not Osamu!?" Sakusa yells back.
Atsumu digs his toe pick into the ice, ears red and eyes burning. Sakusa hates the mask around his mouth now, wanting to tug it down and see how far his blush has spread, "Ya don't geddit!"
"So make me understand!"
His father skates up to them and asks what they're yelling about. Sakusa tells him Atsumu is being difficult, shoulders up to his ears as Atsumu avoids eye contact.
His father only hums and pulls Atsumu to the side. Sakusa works on spins by himself for a few minutes, eyeing them from the corner of his eyes.
When they come back, his father has that expression. The pleased, slightly fond crinkle of his eyes when he caught Hiromi on a date several months ago or whenever he tells Sakusa that he'll explain something to him when he's older.
Why on earth he has that expression, Sakusa doesn't know. His father just tells them that they should continue practice spinning, patting Atsumu's shoulders before skating off to speak to the choreographer.
Sakusa turns to Atsumu, wary, "Are you done being a brat?"
Atsumu's ears are still slightly pink, "Shut up."
Sakusa snorts, pulling Atsumu by the hand as they skate around to build speed. Atsumu's ears turns dark as Sakusa pointedly ignore the bird trying to beat out of his ribcage, launching and grabbing Atsumu's arm as he bends his back.
He didn't only skate. Okaa-san needles him to practice the piano when he has a spare moment, stating that their Fazioli misses him even though it's played by many from her students who comes into their house for lessons. He tells her he's not touching it unless it's clean.
If there was one thing he and Atsumu agree on, it is their goal to eventually reach Nationals, then perhaps an even bigger world of the Junior Grand Prix and Olympics.
And to do that he must practice.
"Listen to the harmony!" He snaps to Atsumu one day during an after-school practice, mask around his chin. The seniors all ignore them when they start screaming at each other, too used to it.
"What harmony?" Atsumu growls, pink around the cheeks as he waves his arm up. The arm of his red hoodie rolls down to expose the sun-kissed skin of his wrists that peek out from his black gloves.
"The da-da-daaaa! Da-da-daaa, it repeats itself before it hits the fast part where we do twizzles!" Sakusa punctuates this by clapping the beat as their program plays overhead. "See? Da-da-daaa."
"Yer losin' it."
Some practices end with both of them furious at each other. Otou-san doesn't force them to shake hands, but he does bring them to the corner and ask each of them why they're so angry at one another.
"I hate it when Omi-Omi yells at me! I don't understand what he's talkin' about!"
"Maybe if you'd actually listen—" Sakusa can't help himself, snarling at the shorter one, "—You can hear it instead of mumbling random words under your stupid mouth!"
"Kiyoomi," His father flatly says, looking very tired and very much like he wants another cup of coffee, "You'll have your turn to speak."
Atsumu gives him a smug smile. Sakusa loses his temper. They start yelling again. His father tells them he's going to buy coffee, muttering under his breath that they're to stay off-ice until he comes back.
They've said "I hate you" to each other more than "Good work today". Sakusa yells. He yells and yells and yells because Atsumu doesn't understand the beat of the music unless he clamps his giant Bose headphones (a birthday gift from Okaa-san) around his ears and plays their program music from his hand-me-down phone.
Tap, he taps Atsumu's hand with a gloved finger, tap tap tap along the beat.
Atsumu opens his mouth in wonder at him, mouthing the words as Sakusa hears the beat inside his head too.
They don't practice together all the time. Half of their on-ice sessions were in rink one with the other singles. Sakusa knows there's no chance of him jumping in ice dancing but he still practices jumps because it's different and fun.
And Okaa-san always harps to him about doing something different because it's important to take a breather away from ice dancing, so they also do that in combination of actual ballroom lessons, the youngest and shortest kids in the novice class.
They join local competitions as singles because it's what the rink one coaches want. Sakusa wins one, he loses one. Atsumu wins one, he loses one.
But together, they always win.
When they seize gold in Japan Nationals twice in a row as juniors, they decide that it's time to jump off a cliff.
In Japan, they're well known for being the odd pair who dances with elaborate masquerade masks that would cover their mouths. What they don't score for facial expression makes up in the edge of their skating, the arch of their arms, the pure longing they depict.
(Or Sakusa does anyway. He longs for Atsumu, as much as he tries to keep it hidden.)
Sakusa goes to therapy. He is fourteen and hunched as he leans forward on the cushy couch, not wanting to sink too deeply into the fabric. His therapist is a kind man with greying hair and a youthful face. He tells Sakusa to call him Koji-san and introduces to him the concept of cognitive behaviour therapy.
After one year, Sakusa makes Atsumu tear up the day he holds his hand without their gloves in the way.
"You're ugly when you cry," Sakusa decides to kill the mood just because he can. The seniors laugh. Makoto and Satomi are also tearing up quietly, unlike Atsumu who is blowing his nose into a tissue, "Go clean your hands."
"Yeah yea!" Atsumu growls, voice nasally. He pulls a travel size sanitizer from the pockets of his black sweatpants and vigorously rubs it until the gel dries before looping his mask back on. Sakusa decides they're wasting valuable practice time and orders everyone to scatter and return to their own programs.
"'S'it weird?" Atsumu asks as they skate around the perimeter. It takes Sakusa several minutes of laps and simple hand holding each practice to let his brain stop spiraling as he repeats what Koji-sensei had told him. They swerve out of the way as Reina and Kumiko fall near them. "The skin to skin contact?"
Atsumu's hand, without the glove, is as familiar as Sakusa's own body. This is the hand he's been holding for years and he tells Atsumu such.
"No, I have to get used to it."
The reality is that they're not going to get anywhere if they keep wearing masks and gloves. Facial expression is vital to skating. He doesn't know how they've won competitions like this.
The guilt eats him alive, he confesses to Koji-sensei, of how he knows he's the sole reason holding he and Atsumu back.
But that's why he jumped off the cliff. The therapy, the English tutoring lessons, the agreement to leave the country is so they can aim higher.
JGP AAAAAA! @minato878 3h
does anyone think that miya partnering up with sakusa is SUCH a waste? they're both so tall :/ they should've gone into pairs
knife shoes @cocopuffs 3h
@minato878 truly :( they're the perfect height for hinata. he's partnerless again....
JGP AAAAAA! @minato878 3h
@cocopuffs idk how he puts up with sakusa's...sakusa-ism. i love the boy but idk why he likes gloves so much. maybe he has a phobia for physical touch or smtg?
reylo brainrot @macksar_ 2h
@minato878 @cocopuffs lmao then boy is in the wrong sport. he should try fencing
They attend the same school for the first time, a local international school in the Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood of Montreal. Their new coaches are two former ice dancers turned wife and wife. They live under the same roof in a slightly run down apartment with their home stay mom, Sabrina.
Sabrina is a family doctor who runs her own clinic and therefore sets her own hours. As they're both sixteen, she urges them to get a learner's license and teaches them how to drive a manual. Atsumu loves it. Sakusa is deathly afraid as he grips his seat belt with an iron hold.
For all their preparation for English, it is the French Language that leaves their brains overworked as they translate French to English to Japanese. Even though the neighborhood they live in speaks equal French and English, they still struggle. Sakusa thinks it's this reason that he and Atsumu clung to each other during their first year here, not going out other than to grocery shop together or go to school.
Once they've slept off the jet lag and hung their clothes in their closets and wardrobes, homesickness hangs above their head. Everything is strange on this side of the world. They drive on the opposite side, the food is different, the weather is different and even the water is different.
But the ice? Ice is the same around the world. He and Atsumu gave each other grins the moment they walked into the Gadbois Centre, smelling the familiar scent of sharp, melting ice and the cold that sinks into their skin.
"Home," Atsumu had said, voice deeper. Sakusa follows him deeper into the rink.
In that first year, he thinks the only time they're separated was during the first two blocks of school where they're in different classes.
"I heard you got invited to a party," Sakusa says, pulling his right foot out of his boot and curling the toes that are encased in three layers of thin socks and tape. Atsumu is beside him, wearing an earmuff and t-shirt as he does the same. "You can go you know, you don't need to stay home all the time."
For the past few weeks, they would go home, attempt to make salad as Sabrina takes care of the main course and retire to Atsumu's bedroom to put one of the Detective Conan CDs Atsumu brought along.
He knows how popular Atsumu is, simply drawing people around him with polite smiles. He thinks it's slightly funny how Atsumu keeps his jerk attitude shut when they're at school.
Atsumu scoffs, shaking his head, "I'm too tired to go to parties. And I'd rather do a face mask with you."
"I see, so you're only friends with me because of my face mask."
"Of course, why else? Because we're such good partners on and off ice?" Atsumu yelps when Sakusa swats him with a glove, "OW! This is abuse! I'm tellin' Sakusa-san!"
"You're such a little snitch!" Another whack with his gloves. Atsumu laughs, teeth showing as he grabs Sakusa's wrist and yanks the poor glove out.
If Sabrina finds the fact that they're glued to the hip off, she doesn't say anything. Sakusa explores Montreal with Atsumu at his side, bickering over directions on Atsumu's phone and playing rock paper scissors to see who pulled the short straw to ask locals. Weekends are spent doing off ice condition at the gym near the rink and sprawling their textbooks on the dining table doing homework, taking turns with the English-Japanese dictionary Sakusa brought.
"How d'you do this?"
Sakusa glances at the math question. The thing he likes about math is the fact that once you erase word problems, it's a universal language. Everyone knows numbers. Everyone knows the difference between an equal sign and QED.
Sakusa pushes his glasses up where it's falling off his nose, tapping his pen on the proof, "You forgot the fraction."
"...Ugh," Atsumu says, grabbing for his eraser. Sakusa goes back to trying to understand what his science textbook is saying about atmospheres. "Omi, why're ya always using a pen when yer doin math?"
"Because unlike you, I only need to do it once and can afford not using an eraser."
Atsumu flings his eraser at his forehead, calling him a nerd. He shrieks when Sakusa throws his entire pencil case at his nose.
"I won't peel your eggs for you!"
"I never asked ya to!" Atsumu throws another eraser that Sakusa catches.
"It pisses me off the way you make craters on it! How have you been living and eating eggs with shells?"
Atsumu sticks his tongue out, "More protein!"
If Sabrina comes home and ever wonders why Sakusa has his socked foot pressing Atsumu's head to the rug, she doesn't asks and only beams a bright smile at them, hand full of groceries as she chirps, who wants to help me make shrimp scampi tonight?
Sometimes, he thinks in the pre-dawn morning as he rolls over and automatically bats the alarm on his phone off, he wonders if Atsumu has feelings for him.
He shuffles blindly to the bathroom, hitting the switch and starting his morning skincare. Fifteen minutes would pass and he would hear Sabrina's bird like footsteps hopping as she grabs her keys, work bag and runs out the door.
Ten minutes later, Atsumu's morning voice rumbles through the bathroom door, "Omi, oatmeal?"
"Yeah," Sakusa says, splashing his face with water. He knows Atsumu's morning routine like the way Atsumu would always put on his right boot first as part of his pre-competition routine. They eat the same thing for breakfast because it's easier to do that.
"Mkay," He hears Atsumu shuffle away. Once his skin is clean, moisturized, serum-ized and sunscreened, he slinks out of the bathroom to see a bowl of piping hot oats on the couch as Atsumu enters the bathroom.
While Atsumu cleans his face with only water and slaps on a disgusting bottle that says three-in-one-moisturizer for face, body and hands, Sakusa peels his boiled eggs for him and makes his morning coffee.
He would curl up on the couch, scooping the brown sugar oats or whatever flavor pack Atsumu picked from the instant oats Sabrina buys into his mouth. Atsumu would emerge with his hair tamed and wrap his legs beneath him, knees pressing against Sakusa's pants.
"How're yer shoulders?" He asks, KT tape in his hands.
Sakusa has had several shoulder and rotational cuff problems since Atsumu started putting on muscle two years ago. It wasn't that Atsumu was heavy, it was that Sakusa was too weak to lift his partner up properly over his shoulders.
So he does more strength training on Penny's and Bianca's orders and Atsumu is tasked to work on his core so he's kicking into the lifts instead of letting Sakusa pull him up.
Sakusa takes his shirt off to let Atsumu help him apply the tape around his rotator cuff since he can't do it by himself, lifting his arm up and down wordlessly as he feels Atsumu's warm hand glide along his skin.
And it's time like this where he knows Atsumu is pressing the KT tape on longer than the athletic trainers at Gadbois. Sakusa is used to touches like this but even he feels heat pool around his ears, glad that his hair hides them from view.
"Good?" Atsumu asks roughly.
Sakusa stretches his arm around, pulling his shirt back on, "Yeah. Thanks."
And when he turns to finish his breakfast, seeing the wide blown pupils in Atsumu's eyes, watching his throat click with a swallow, he wishes that he was a little more brave in jumping off this cliff so he can press forward and put his mouth on Atsumu's jaw.
Atsumu shuffles in his twin bed. They're in Turin for the JGP Finals. The long program is in a few hours and Sakusa cannot sleep because his skin feels too stretched around his joints again.
He should be used to pre-competition freak outs but every time he has to go out on ice, he still gets jittery.
"Hmm?" He sounds groggy. Sakusa feels a whisper of regret. He probably woke him up right before he drifted off.
He voices out his insecurity, "Don't you ever think how nice it would be if you were partnered with someone different?"
Over in the corner is their portable steamer, two costumes hanging down, crease-less with jewels studded into the fabric and sheer panels of tulle around the arms. And if they're lucky tomorrow, they'll have the opportunity to wear their exhibition costumes.
The season this year had been rough. The media were vultures, trying to peck into their personal lives— Sakusa's especially, about the absence of masks and gloves.
Atsumu was the better talker and quickly side-tracked the media, long enough that they were shuffled to the next interview due to time constraints and inevitably shoved into a bathroom by Coach Penny so she can send their urine to be tested for the performance enhancing drugs they never swallowed.
He always wondered if Atsumu was just skating with him just because. He hates feeling weak, always in the corner as Atsumu socializes for them, the one who insists on Sakusa being looked at first by their physiotherapist because he can't tell if he pulled his wrist or if it's just the hyper-flexible tendon doing its own thing.
He would understand if it's too much for Atsumu.
A soft snore reaches his ears. Sakusa blinks at the lump that is Atsumu before huffing out a gentle laugh, rolling away and trying to find some hours of sleep before their competition tomorrow.
"Both of you are known for wearing gloves and various masks during your programs. Is there a specific reason for this?"
Atsumu stares. He presses his arm close to Sakusa as he gives a PR-worthy smile at the camera, "It's always been like this for us, we wanted to explore how taking facial expressions out of the equation would be like. So far I think it's working, don't you agree, Sakusa? But we are trying something new in Turin."
"Will you stop trying to flirt with every single thing in this building that's breathing?" Sakusa hisses, knowing that Atsumu is trying to piss him off.
Atsumu stops making eyes at the Italian pair stretching in the green room. They're due to dance with the third and last group so they warm up slowly. First, with stretching and then perhaps a lap around the back of the arena until it's time to slap on some make up and re-lace their skates on.
As it is, Sakusa hates Competition-Atsumu who makes bedroom eyes at everyone. He tells him this as he pushes Atsumu's back, his partner protesting as he reaches for his toes.
"Why're ya so possessive of me?" Atsumu whines. Loudly. In English. Sakusa feels his eye twitch, crouching down and snarling about how they're representing their country right now and Atsumu should have jerked off earlier if he was going to be like this.
Atsumu raises one eyebrow. Sakusa had done their make up beforehand— just eyebrow and hair. BB cream and concealers come later since there's no use sweating it off during warm up. While he has thick eyebrows at the front, Sakusa had to draw the tail in.
"I'll do tha then," Atsumu grins wolfishly, giving Sakusa butterflies, "Thanks fer yer permission, Omi-Omi."
Sakusa's mind clings onto the image of Atsumu in their costume, his dark eyes glimmering, Team Japan jerseys around his shoulders as he bends pliantly. He makes up some excuse about dry skin and needing toner before he finds the furthest bathroom in this arena and sits on the toilet, fighting off a boner.
"Now you routinely posts videos of each other jumping and doing other program elements that's in singles skating on your social media accounts. Some of them are performed at a very high skill level, too. Why is that?"
Atsumu laughs, "Oh, we started as singles but every now and then we drop into a class and have fun. We have no plans on skating individually, we're dedicated to this partnership."
"Omi?" A squeeze of his elbows, "Omi, breathe."
He pulls cold air into his mouth, watching the Russians strike their ending pose. They're next. He feels very light headed, balling up his fists and feeling the way his short fingernails are digging into his palms.
Atsumu's voice grounds him as Penny and Bianca sit in the kiss and cry with the Russians— with his Gadbois rinkmates.
"Mask," Sakusa whispers, hearing Atsumu say he'll be right back, don't move, he's just going to run backstage and grab it from his duffel bag.
He looks down at his black skates, swallowing his disappointment.
By some miracle they win gold, Penny and Bianca hopping up and down at the kiss and cry as Sakusa squints at the screen in disbelief, not even minding the fact that Atsumu destroyed his ear drum when their score was announced and tackles him off the seat, yelling.
It's a comedic reaction so naturally, it's a gif that runs rampant on the figure skating side of twitter for the rest of the day. He's not a stranger to the memes of him in the figure skating world (his favorite is of when Atsumu with his head in his hands as he moans about never trusting Sakusa's color-blind eyes, dressed in a lemon-lime monstrosity that clashes terribly with his hair).
Sakusa says a few words to the interviewers in botched English before Penny and Bianca push them onto the ice for a victory lap, confetti flying down from the ceiling and collecting in Atsumu's brassy mop.
"Photos!" Penny sobs, throwing them a folded up Japanese flag that Sakusa catches with his left hand. He spreads it and naturally leans into Atsumu for the picture, several fans from the floor seating pointing their phones at them. He spots the other medalists of the ice dancing category and they do a group photo shoot.
Someone puts a medal around his neck, shakes his hand, stuffs a bouquet of flowers in his other hand and moves to Atsumu. He stares at the medal.
He would've been happier if he could've skated the long dance without the mask like he'd planned to.
Penny and Bianca treat them for dinner that night, throwing their dietitian approved meal plan out the window. Atsumu likes fatty tuna the best but this is Italy so they settle for some pasta in a hip part of town where they're seated outside with warming fans warding the night chill off.
Sakusa looks off into the street full of adults in groups or pairs chatting, some of them sipping wine in little balconies or on restaurant patios like them.
Atsumu is sitting across of him in a dark green dress shirt with his sleeves rolled up, the first two buttons left open to expose the smooth skin of his throat.
Sakusa looks. He looks at Atsumu's smug grin, pleased expression and the way he twirls the noodles with his fork, reciting after Bianca how to ask waiter for a glass of water in Italian and completely butchering it.
He sips some wine because the drinking age here is sixteen, puckering his lips as Penny and Bianca laugh at the face he pulls and lets the flush of alcohol warm him when Atsumu can't, sitting across of him with his bangs still pushed back.
He thinks about Atsumu's Instagram picture, of the fox mask by his head.
[Two tall teens in black pants and matching wine red shirts with jewels studded into the fabric poses with a flag held up behind them. One has a fox mask spun to one side of his head. They're both smiling, cheeks flushed from exertion as confetti rains down from above.]
Liked by samu.m and others
sumusumu thank you turin!
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samu.m yer not a scrub i guess
"What were you asking me a few nights ago?" Atsumu says as they shuffle back into Sabrina's apartment. She has an overseas conference for a few days so the apartment is all for them.
Sakusa is tired of flights. He's tired of his...problem and dragging Atsumu down with him. His feet ache, his muscles need to be stretched and he could go for an ice cold soak in the tub.
It comes tumbling out of him.
"Don't you ever think about how nice it would be if you were partnered with someone else?" He locks the door behind him and tugs on the zipper of his coat, pressing his frozen fingers to his arm neck.
"What do you mean?" Atsumu is quiet.
Sakusa shrugs his coat off, working on his shoes next. They wear slippers in the apartment. Sabrina has a random paintbrush by the door to scrape the road salt off so they're not tracking them inside, "It's tiring, isn't it?"
It's tiring isn't it, to put on a mask for so many years, to wait patiently at the side as Sakusa breathes on the benches as his brain rattles with the weight of withholding another anxiety attack, to always have hand sanitizer ready for him, to refrain from kissing strangers the night before a competition because Sakusa can't get over the mental block of holding his hand if he knows it's been touched by someone else, to put up with his silent pining and jealousy and terrible attitude?
"Hey, Sakusa," His last name sounds so strange coming from Atsumu's mouth.
Atsumu has called him Sakusa plenty of times in front of the media. It's what he requests them to call him as, written down in their collection of bios for the skaters they have to interview, but alone, without cameras facing them, it's always Omi-omi. Or Omi-kun.
Or just Omi.
Atsumu is still wearing his coat. Sakusa hands him the paint brush so he can clean his shoes, "What?"
Sakusa is turning seventeen in two months. He has currently spent half his life with Atsumu.
It should come with territory that he knows every single one of Atsumu's expression but when Atsumu looks up, eyes curiously devoid of emotions and blank, it seizes his stomach.
"Maybe we should split up after all."
Penny and Bianca are shocked. His parents are shocked. The Miyas are shocked.
They pull out of the Japanese Nationals, Four Continents, 2010 Winter Olympics and World Championships.
Sakusa feels numb as he watches the JSF release a statement on their withdrawal from the Olympics as favorites going into the ice dance.
Speculations on their disappearance include Sakusa's wrist and shoulder acting up or Atsumu's ankle needing surgery.
By the time Worlds arrived, they've processed the papers to move back and are landing back in Narita.
Sakusa is going to take the Skyliner into Tokyo. Atsumu stayed behind on the platform, lying through his teeth about forgetting something when Sakusa knows he wants to take the next train.
Sakusa lets him, boarding and finding one seat. He vigorously wipes it clean, the scent of lemons permeating around him as he stares out of the window, away from the open doors on the other side of the train where Atsumu stands with two large suitcases and his duffel bag around his shoulder.
The train door closes. Sakusa turns his head to see that no one is sitting beside him for the first time in years.
denouncing the JSF @miyasdeliciousabs 4h
WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL? THE JSF JUST CONFIRMED THE END OF SAKUATSU?
[picture of two boys sitting on a panel wearing suits with several coaches and official JSF members beside them]
?!?!?!? @sakumiya_jpn 4h
@miyasdeliciousabs WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK
?!?!?!? @sakumiya_jpn 4h
@miyasdeliciousabs NO. N O. WHAT? SAKUSA AND MIYA SPLIT UP?? THE WORLD'S BEST M/M ICE DANCERS BROKE IT OFF??
spicy cheetos @amko71 4h
what in the HELL? are you serious? no no please tell me you're joking im rooting for them so hard in worlds after tURIN
ribbit @kpose_e 3h
@miyasdeliciousabs @sakumiya_jpn @amko71
good riddance. sakusa's so weird honestly. atsumu has never skated without his mask off since theyve debuted together except for that long program in turin
When he comes home, his mother is in the hallway.
He dully says he's back before she gazes at him with that expression, like she knows how much he's hurting on the inside behind his mask, the same face Sabrina had when she came home from her conference bearing snacks and goodies to Atsumu and Sakusa awkwardly sitting her down at the dining table, their elbows and shoulders not touching.
And it's when he processes her kind voice that he sets the duffel bag down and cries, feeling tissues pressed into his hands as she pulls him into a hug, stroking his curls and muttering nothings in his ear.
When his sister comes home from her nine to five job at an auditing company, she sits next to both of them crammed in their small genkan. Sakusa stares at the blisters on the back of her heel from her tall pumps. They both have ugly feet, he thinks, his was ruined by skating while hers is blistered up from societal norms.
They manage to get him off the genkan and into a hot soak. Sakusa sits in his bathtub, skin rubbed raw and feeling slightly better. He doesn't know what he'll do next season.
Right now, he doesn't want to step into the rink. He just wants to sleep and not think.
[Picture of a freshly made onigiri on a plate, steam wafting up.]
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sumusumu it's good to be back home
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sakumiya_jpn is it true you've ended your partnership with sakusa?
pucktarou tell myaa to make some for me
He accidentally makes two bowls of oatmeal. He stares at the extra one before his sister rushes down, smoothing her hair into a passable bun while she opens the fridge, muttering how late she's going to be and if she can eat an entire husk of uncooked corn on the train without getting weird looks.
He offers her the extra bowl. She stares at it for a few second and inhales it, asking if Sakusa gained ESP in Montreal for knowing that she'll be late. He calls her out on her bullshit.
"Then stop doing everything on autopilot," She harshly says, pinning her hair with several bobby pins she pulls from her skirt pocket, "You've lived okay without him and you don't need him. Go learn how to walk on your feet again."
He and Hiromi were never good with emotions and words, "You're such a shit sister."
A shrug, "Too bad, you're stuck with me until I die. Anyway, thanks for the meal! I'm leaving!"
But when she comes home and Sakusa shuffles into the front door from school, they watch Netflix together on the couch, their arms touching. Sakusa watches but he doesn't process the moving pictures, the dialogue, stuck on the way Atsumu broken things off with him.
Maybe he took him for granted. It's for the best maybe. Now Atsumu doesn't need to skate with a half-mask covering his eyes and nose and be part of the laughing stock of the figure skating circuit.
Sakusa tells himself it's a good thing as the cherry blossoms come and go. He doesn't watch Worlds, he doesn't put on his skates, he spends the first semester of his last year of high school moping in the hallways as Komori keeps him company.
"You don't need to be around me all the time," He tells him by the shoe lockers.
Komori shrugs, "What are cousins for? Hey, if you're not...interested in that anymore, the volleyball club is looking for some new members."
Sakusa knows exactly what that is. That starts with i and ends in ce dancing.
He tells Komori he's not interested in anything right now, but thank you for the recommendation.
His father had carefully omitted any rink related stories to him during their family dinners. When Sakusa tells him he'll go back, his father had looked both relieved and worried.
"No," Sakusa clears his throat, not wanting to destroy another skater with his -isms. "Singles."
His father had only hummed suspiciously, eyes carefully blank as he agrees and tells Sakusa he can come in starting next week under one of his friends who teaches singles.
Sakusa nods. He decides to go out for a five kilometer run around his neighborhood, wanting to at least get a head start in his fitness that has slacked off ever since he came back from Turin.
Akaashi sighs when he enters rink one for early morning practice at five, squirting water into his mouth as he lounges by the boards.
Sakusa gives him a small grin, pulling down his mask. Akaashi had always been amused of all the jumps he and Atsumu would beg them to teach, wondering if they were one day going to go singles and obliterate them in a surprise attack, "I can't stay away from here forever."
"The ice calls, right?" Akaashi looks at his skates, "I tried pulling away too."
Sakusa nods, breathing in the air and looking around at the white walls, the bleachers, the sign board on one end.
He hears the door behind him swing open. Akaashi sighs, looking entirely too sleepy to be on skates as whatever amusement in his face stills.
"Whatdya know..." A familiar voice lilts. Sakusa feels goosebumps erupt over his skin, turning around to see Atsumu smirk warily at him, his skates in one hand and his phone in the other.
"Hello lover," Atsumu teases, using Sakusa's nickname during last season. They danced to Mahler's fifth, receiving a standing ovation in Turin. Sakusa could still remember it, the roar of the crowds, the multicolored flowers thrown onto the ice, the bears that bounced.
no purple shampoo @sumusumu 1h
can't wait for the upcoming season!
🗩 18 🔁 26 ❤️ 236
Because this is his first time skating singles, he can't expect his name to be pooled into the JGP like he used to for ice dancing. He and Atsumu must win the Tokyo Regional competition and Challenger Series because they need to collect world standing points to make it into next season's Grand Prix.
Sakusa spends his summer in the ice rink alongside his ex-partner, Akaashi and several other singles skaters for summer skating camp. It's not as awkward as he thought it would be since he knew most of them when they were still crying over falling on their face but there's a discernible tension in the air whenever he and Atsumu are close by.
No one asks him questions. That, he's glad.
He needs to re-learn how to skate by himself, forget the fact that he doesn't need to watch out for another pair of skates near him, forget the fact that he's not reaching for another pair of hands to grab, a shoulder to hold, a waist to push up.
Sometimes he slips into old habits, waiting for Atsumu at the rink door before he realizes he could leave first, holding the door open with his foot as other confused skaters thank him for his generosity when he's about to enter a stadium.
When the air crisps, it becomes easier.
He takes off quickly, gains enough height to complete a triple-triple combo before touching down, Coach Machiko clapping delightedly from the boards.
To make the rest of Japan nervous, he uploads his first Instagram video taken by a helpful Akaashi. Triple axel, triple loop, triple toe and a squeezed double flip along the length of the rink.
sakusa fan account @sakusak_fanjpn 4h
fuck, our boy isn't joking around. WHO KNEW HE'S THIS GOOD? omg someone's going after oikawa's crown
When it comes time to pick his costume, he falters.
Machiko leaves him on the upper floor of their skating complex, muttering something about the bathroom when Sakusa knows she's only being kind. He's still staring at the color selection on the iPad she handed him as they take over a table with a prime view of rink one and two below.
Costume design was always something Atsumu dealt with. Too many times did he tell him his tastes of clothing are abhorrent and eclectic, especially what happened during the last time Sakusa was trusted with colors.
He decides to ask his father, shutting the tablet off and waiting until Coach Machiko comes back out.
He gets an offer from Waseda. He accepts it, taking online classes come the new school term as he spends summer break in absolute agony while preparing for the senior circuit.
While they both came from ice dancing backgrounds, Atsumu struggled to break out of the shell the media placed him in. Sakusa listens to NBC's commentary of Atsumu's program and fights against the urge of wanting to break something when they bring up old, painful memories of his ex-partner and masks and gloves.
"It was a mutual decision to end our partnership," Atsumu smiles for the camera, his voice tinny from the speakers of his phone, "I think we've done the right thing."
Sakusa has made himself known for the speed and height of his jumps and a frightening jump roster with one of the best flexibility in the Japanese male circuit despite still growing as he clears six feet.
Atsumu, while having a beautiful step sequence and the penchant to be the crowd's favorite, doesn't meet him with his jump roster. He seems to have a late second growth spurt, landing two-footed or under rotated during competitions and not participating in a few competitions due to a fractured ankle.
From a technical standpoint, Sakusa has the better advantage even if he's not as well liked.
He goes to rink four where the seniors practice, glaring at anyone who gets too close to him as he keeps flubbing his jumps over and over again. Atsumu and his girlfriend is still over in the junior's rink, so it's the small mercies that at least kept Atsumu from seeing him disgraced like this.
"You're pretty wrecked over the news huh, Saku-chan?"
Sakusa looks up from his bento to Oikawa with a stranger behind him.
A blink later and Sakusa puts the new stranger to a face and name— Iwaizumi, part of the men's hockey team that uses rink five.
Oikawa drops into the chair without asking. Sakusa shoots him a look.
Oikawa grins at him, all teeth with intent to hurt, "Guess who I caught making out in the service hallways? Not that you want to know but what's up with you flubbing your jumps today? I want a good season, don't let me win the Grand Prix without actually trying."
He ignores the jibe and returns to his bento. Oikawa seems to deflate when he doesn't get the reaction he's looking for, getting socked in the stomach by the hockey player as Iwaizumi mumbles apologies on their behalf, dragging him away. Sakusa sighs, returning to the textbook he downloaded onto his tablet as he tries to juggle lunch and completing an assignment at the same time.
When he hears a soft giggle and a door at the end of the hallway opening, he can't help but look up as Atsumu and his girlfriend peek out, his hair mussed and neck bruised as she runs for the stairs.
Sakusa sees red. He grips his chopsticks tightly as Atsumu does the walk of shame across him, whatever sentence he just read about Italian double consonants forgotten. His girlfriend is of the tiny, bubbly, flirty variety that he supposes compliments Atsumu's flirty self.
They don't talk to each other. Atsumu goes down the stairs by Sakusa's right, calling for his girlfriend not to get too far ahead, Kansai-ben hitting Sakusa somewhere in the chest.
He used to call him with that tone, Sakusa realizes when the red vanishes in his vision.
He doesn't finish his lunch, opting to set a timer so he can nap with his head in his arms.
He gets assigned to Skate Canada and the NKH Trophy. Oikawa gets Cup of France and Rostelecom Cup and they promise to make it to Marseille for the finals. Sakusa appreciates a good rival.
Sakusa declines offers from a pair— Konoha and Shirofuku— to grab something to eat together in Skate Canada, choosing to stay in his hotel room and watch Atsumu's short program.
He can trick his body into thinking he's not an ice dancer anymore, but he can't seem to do anything about the feelings that keeps him up at night as he watches Atsumu, hair pushed back as he wins over the crowd with smiles after smiles.
Akaashi joins him for the NHK Trophy, not good enough to have two assignments handed to him but brushing it off with a good-natured shrug and a smile. Sakusa looks over the photos Machiko and the photographers took after the medal ceremony and realized that he always stands too close to the left, like there's an invisible person next to him.
He places third, skating in Marseille with an injured knee as Oikawa beams to the cameras with a gold to his right. After the podium pictures, Machiko tosses them a Japanese Flag to drape around their shoulders.
Sakusa has a whiplash when Oikawa drapes it around him. He hasn't been touched on the shoulder for over a year.
"Smile, Saku-chan," Oikawa hums into his ear, facing the cameras, "You definitely want to be petty for the guy sitting in the third row, sixteenth seat from the aisle in the second section."
Sakusa does as Oikawa says, cheeks cooling down in the rink air as he steps closer and puts a hand on Oikawa's waist, the feather and jewels of his costume pressing against his palm. As he schools his expression into a neutral and hopefully nice smile, he finds the second section, the third row and the sixteenth seat, spotting a familiar mop of bleached blond hair.
Atsumu is too far away for Sakusa to see what expression he's pulling, but it might be a little smirk. Sakusa moves forward automatically when his ex-partner gets up from his seat and leaves, alone.
"Whoa, whoa," Oikawa says, tugging the only area he tells his teammates and coach they can touch which is his elbow, "Where are you going? We have interviews."
Oikawa is looking at him with gentle eyes for once.
He grits his teeth through his interviews and pretends to not understand English and French well, only blinking and staring at them until the interviewers meekly give up halfway of their questions regarding Sakusa's personal life. Machiko congratulates him for a very smooth interview with an Italian broadcasting channel, offering some tissues as he blows his nose.
He doesn't tell her why he's more fluent in Italian than French even though he'd lived in Montreal.
He has dinner with Machiko, Oikawa and his old coaches, Penny and Bianca. He wants to know if Atsumu came to Marseille with them but he doesn't ask, dressed in a black turtleneck with product weighing his curls and sipping red wine.
The new year goes like this: Sakusa gets bronze for Four Continents and lands a silver for Worlds. He poses with Oikawa in Sapporo as Japan celebrates and cheer around them.
Machiko and the other senior coaches tell them that Atsumu will be joining them in the senior circuit next year. Sakusa already knew, his twitter going off as people again relentless tag him in Atsumu's announcement of moving up.
Before off-season starts, he attends Hiromi's wedding with Komori and they both sit in a corner table by themselves, the dark look on Sakusa's face evidently enough to ward people off from saying hi to them.
Komori tells him about the EJP Raijins, of his teammates Suna and Washio who are also friends with Atsumu and Akaashi respectively, isn't that neat? We live in such a small world.
Atsumu apparently is organizing something called Miya and Friends, a skating show consisting of skaters in Japan. He already has the logistics and stadiums booked, Akaashi tells him when he wonders what the blue envelopes the seniors were holding are about.
Akaashi says all of that with a guilty face, probably knowing that Sakusa didn't receive one.
Sakusa tells him he doesn't give a shit about off-season shows like that, throwing himself into jump practices for the remainder of the day and taking out his frustration on the weights machine as he trains his knees and legs.
When he comes back on on-ice practice, he nearly wants to walk out the door. The senior girls are twittering away about an engagement picture on Instagram from one of their skaters.
Instead, Sakusa shoves in his wireless ear buds and ignores Atsumu the entire time they share the rink, working his quad roster.
He offers to lock up when his father has to leave at three for a yearly check up. He connects with the coaches and finds that he only has to wait until 8pm for the last off-ice session to wrap up in the back.
So while he waits, he rolls out his mat and reaches for his toes, the familiar burn of his knees and quads appearing.
This type of pain, of being uncomfortable, is familiar; it's been his constant friend for more than ten years now.
His heart breaking as he thinks about Atsumu and his girlfriend getting married isn't. He sees tears dropping onto his black sweatpants as he curls up on his mat, alone, in rink four, the fans and building humming in the background.
He wipes his tears and decides to plug his phone into the music system above as Mahler croons out.
He dances with an invisible partner, his eyes closed as the air whips through his hair, the skin of his exposed arms giving rise to goosebumps.
This is their favorite step sequence, this is the part where Atsumu would lose concentration on so it's his duty to mouth the beats, this is where he would lift him, seeing Atsumu stand tall as he puts his skates onto Sakusa's thighs.
A step sequence, both of them keeping their faces close because they have to sell a story of two lovers. Maybe they sold it too well since the media still asks them about each other even to this day.
Sakusa opens his eyes, seeing Atsumu's long program in his head as he mimics it, Mahler fading away. It was an Italian opera solo part that he danced to.
In Marseille, he'd asked Bianca to translate it when he was too drunk to care about keeping appearances in front of Oikawa.
Stammi vicino, non te ne andare, he mouths, bringing his arm close as he turns, a spread eagle, a triple axel. He comes out of the jump poorly and slides across the ice as the opera continues above, his thighs and the entire left side of his body cold.
He listens to the swells, breath coming out in white clouds in front of him as he dusts himself off. He still wants to cry, but by the clock on the wall, it's already fifteen past eight. He massages his knee for a bit before straightening up.
When he turns, he stops.
Atsumu is staring at him, the strap of his duffel bag on one shoulder as his mouth parts slightly. The swinging door behind him is still softly moving, he must have just came inside.
Sakusa skates for his guards, shimmies them on with a shaking hand and sprints, tugging his bag from the floor.
"Sakusa!" Atsumu yells.
He can't run properly in skates and inevitably gets pulled back by his elbow, spun around as Atsumu's wide eyes are staring at him. His hair is pushed up. Sakusa doesn't like that, he misses the Atsumu who had bangs and rounder cheeks, the Atsumu who drooled on Sabrina's couch in her run down apartment in Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, the one who shielded him from interviewers and knew exactly how to rub his muscles so he's not in pain the next morning.
"What was tha?" He demands.
"I was drunk," Sakusa's heart aches at the Kansai-ben, Atsumu's too warm hands holding both of his elbows. Sakusa forced him to suffer in gloves for nearly an entire decade at his expense. Atsumu's always been warmer than him, recklessly wearing tank tops to practice and shrieking when Sakusa twists his nipples when he doesn't stop suggesting the Chainsmokers for their programs.
This Atsumu, sharp, with dark circles, gelled up hair and chapped lips narrows his eyes, "Ya don't smell drunk ta me. Yer lyin!"
"Why would I lie?" Sakusa bats his arms off, ignoring the fact that they're standing in the hallway as he rips his laces and places his socks on the floor, jamming his feet into the Nikes that were part of a brand deal, "I drank too much and decided to relieve some old memories for time's sake. I'm locking up the rink now, get out."
Atsumu was always the shorter one between them, so much that when they tried switching places for lifts back in Montreal, Sakusa ended up going to the ER because Atsumu dropped him and he sliced his forehead open on the ice.
But Sakusa can't deny that he has more muscle on him, pushing Sakusa off balance as he gets slammed into a wall, trapped.
"What the fuck?" Sakusa snarls.
"Yer lyin," His eyes burns gold. Atsumu smells the same even after all these years with the ocean body wash that's sold in the nearby conbini and hair that smells like lychee from Gatsby wax, "Yer lyin for some reason. Yer completely sober, I know what yer like when yer drunk—"
"Pray, Miya, how do you know? Do you keep tabs on me?" Sakusa pushes at his chest to no avail, breathing in the scent of melting ice and Atsumu's hair, "Stop being childish and let me go."
He knows Atsumu. He knows if he stays stubborn he'll back off.
The line of Atsumu's shoulders lower, then he looks down to the side as his arms fall. Sakusa can escape now.
"Why're ya even dancin' to our Mahler again?" Atsumu wonders dully. His pale face is a terrible contrast to his deep gold hair, "The past...ya should've just left it."
"Because," He starts. Atsumu lifts his head up, eyes guarded, "...Because I miss it."
Atsumu gives him a painful grin, "Yer the worst, Omi."
"Get out of here, Miya," He shakes the keys, "I have to lock up. Congratulations by the way," He adds heavily, "On the engagement."
"Wha? Since when am I engaged?"
Sakusa pulls his duffel to his shoulder, turning. Atsumu looks truly confused, like he isn't sure if Sakusa said what he really said. The familiar line between his brows are back.
"You and your girlfriend. Wasn't there an engagement picture floating around Instagram?"
Atsumu gives him a look, "Yer such a boomer I bet ya didn't even check it," Atsumu laughs, his voice ringing, "Tha was Bokuto an' Akaashi!"
That causes him to whip his head around, his tendons screaming, "What?"
"Ya really do have tunnel vision on skating, eh."
Sakusa growls, picking his skates up and switching the guards for soakers. Atsumu tells him that Akaashi and Bokuto, the captain of the hockey team in rink five, had gotten together years ago, he's surprised he doesn't know this, doesn't Akaashi skate with him?
"An' 'sides," Atsumu laughs tightly. It sounds wrong somehow, as he follows Sakusa back into rink four so he can fetch his phone from the sound system, "I broke up with her today. So don't go marryin' me off ta people I don't know, Omi."
Sakusa blinks at the door as he locks up, stuffing the keys inside his bag. The balmy summer night is already making him sweat. He needs to take off his jersey.
Atsumu digs into his bag, "Anywa', the reason I was lookin' 'round the arena for ya is this," He waves a blue envelope towards Sakusa, the ones the senior skaters in the building were carrying all day long.
"'Miya and Friends,'" Sakusa reads Atsumu's handwritten calligraphy on the front. He opens the flap and pulls out a sheet of paper explaining what it was as if he hadn't taken Akaashi's copy from him earlier that day and scanned through it.
"Only if y'want."
Sakusa sees the dates of the ice show, pushing his pointer finger with his thumb until he hears a pop of a knuckle. He wants to do it but he'd be lying to himself if it was for the fans.
"I'll come to the Tokyo and Yokohama ones," He tells Atsumu after a few seconds of internal turmoil.
Atsumu smiles at him, teeth bright in the darkness, "Great! I'll send you the choreo and rehearsal dates. Thanks, Omi!"
SKATING SEASON IS UPON US @SKui1 9h
oh lordy the mens circuit really wants me dead huh. oikawa needs surgery for his ACL and wont be competing AT ALL this season, sakusa was part of Miya and Friends (did anyone catch him sneaking looks at miya when they were doing the group farewell number?!?!?), miya is entering senior circuit and BOKUTO AND AKAASHI ELOPED???? whats gonna happen to the mens hockey omg
sakusa fan account @sakusak_fanjpn 9h
IM YELLING. MIYAS IG UPDATED! WE STAN BACK FLIPPING KING
Sakusa Grand Slam? Sakusa Grand Slam. @amko71 9h
i am manifesting that sakusa's knee this season is ok. pls. no more falls it h ur t s my SOUL
"I want those maple cookies," Hiromi says when she sends him off to the airport, "Bring back ten."
Sakusa scowls at her, completely masked up, but she could probably tell from the pull of his eyebrows.
"And where am I going to put my skates?"
"Obviously leave them in Canada, duh. How you got an offer from Waseda still completely surprises me."
"How you nabbed yourself a husband is a completely surprise to me, too," Sakusa retorts, hopping out of the car and fishing for his carry-on from the back seats. Hiromi cackles when the wheels get caught in one of her tote bags.
She's still a good sister all in all, picking him up from his parents so he doesn't need to take the Skyliner into Narita, "Good luck! I'll be cheering for you!"
He waves at her, hovering outside the ANA gates as he watches her car headlights turn around the passenger drop off area.
He spots a familiar blond head when he enters the air-conditioned building, the sunset beaming behind his back as Atsumu receives a full dose of nature's golden hour, self-checking in at a machine.
"Better not back-flip or you'll be disqualified in your first seniors assignment."
Atsumu turns with a grin, voice smooth like honey, "Ya saw my post?"
"You were always such an attention-seeking dumbass," Sakusa taps the screen as he unlocks his phone to pull up his electronic ticket to scan in, aware that Atsumu is staring at his head. He'd just gotten it cut, the back cropped close to his skull and the curls sleek from a chemical treatment that doesn't make it frizz as easily.
"Tha' I can't deny," Atsumu looks entirely too pleased with himself and Sakusa rolls his eyes, knowing that minutes before he left, he was riding The Tower of Terror with Hinata. Sakusa had nearly fallen out of his bed from a mid-day nap when he groggily tapped on his stories to hear Atsumu and Hinata shrieking like banshees. "But really, Turandot?"
"Really?" He mocks Atsumu's tone, tugging his carry-on with him as they slowly stroll towards the boarding gates, "Nessun Dorma? You're copying my ideas."
"'M not! 'Swas a coincidence an' I'm changin' it!"
Sakusa rolls his eyes, "No need to take it seriously, everyone has a terrible Nessun Dorma program once in their life."
"'M just surprised that you would stoop so low to do Turandot," Atsumu says. Sakusa realizes the looks they'll get when they all troop over to the gates; he hopes there won't be fans at this time of day. "Had ta beg ya to dance along to Swan Lake when we were starting out."
"Because your music taste is trash," Sakusa growls, remembering the hours he spent shooting down Atsumu's ideas, "We wouldn't have placed if we danced to the Chainsmokers."
"We wouldn't've placed if I let ya make costume decisions! Ta this day, I still have nightmares about tha stupid lemon-lime costume! Why're there feathers?"
"It was for samba!"
"How d'ya think samba equals lookin' like a god damn bird of paradise?! Y'know wha? Maybe Turandot does suit ya, it's so dramatic like yer ass."
"You're more dramatic and you know it. Who cried when the judges told us we were more suited to angsty routines?"
"Stop bringin' up childhood receipts, I really hate ya right now," Atsumu says with no trace of venom, "An' that was because you only have three expressions on ice! Death and destruction, cold-hearted lover an' sexual tension!"
"I do not have an expression that screams sexual tension!" Sakusa explodes, turning the corner and immediately regretting opening his mouth because a few fangirls who must have skipped school (Sakusa spies their name tags hidden under cardigans) twitter in excitement, shaking homemade posters and banners at them.
Atsumu soaks up all the attention like a dehydrated sponge. Sakusa dehydrates, watching him flirt with girls five years his junior, nodding and posing for pictures as Sakusa heads for security after signing their notebooks and thanking them for their support like the good athlete he is.
"Omi-omi! Wait for me!"
Sakusa walks faster, using his longer legs as he hears Atsumu's feet slapping the ground and the girls giggling at them.
He supposes they're on good terms again.
He sits all by himself during breakfast on the morning of the long program, sitting in the sun and hoping that it'll trigger whatever part of his brain that controls his Circadian rhythm to stop giving him sleepy signals. Skaters never usually compete at their 100%. Sakusa himself is still trying to get over jet-lag and has KT tape preventing his elbow and knee from shifting too much.
He spoons another mouthful of oatmeal, following that with a sip of water— always water because caffeine gives him headaches— and watching Atsumu sit with the other competitors around a large table pushed together.
Machiko walks in like she hasn't hopped several time zones, her drop earring blinding him as she takes the seat beside him, "You look in a better mood."
"I set a new PR for the short program."
"No," She looks across the room at Atsumu standing up, attempting to learn a Tik Tok dance with one of the halves of the Italian pairs, "Perhaps a renewal of friendship?"
"Machiko-sensei," He warily says, "I don't like people who skirt around me."
Then he blinks, rubbing his eyes as Machiko also turns her head to see what has caught his attention.
The other half of the Italian pair also has noticed it, how the back of Atsumu's jersey has "SAKUSA" written in large, capital letters that's impossible to miss.
Machiko turns to him. Several more people at the large table search around the room for Sakusa as he violently unzips his jersey and throws it in his lap, spooning his oatmeal in his mouth and pretending he's busy eating.
"We must have switched it in the car," They had taken the same Uber back to the hotel yesterday, shrugging out of the jerseys as they peel back the blue KT tape off their shoulders. "I don't know how it happened."
Machiko gives him a look that says she doesn't believe anything he said, "Alright. Do you want my coat?"
"No. Can you just hold onto this and pass it off to Mihara-san?" Mihara is Atsumu's coach, who, from a brief scan around the room, isn't present. "I'm going— going to go."
Machiko nods as he casually slouches out of the room. As one of the tallest skaters (his official height on the JSU website says 180 cm, but he's pretty sure he's past that now), it's hard for him to duck in and out of rooms without people noticing. He sees the Canadians, sitting together with their red jerseys, mumble and gesture to his jersey-less state.
He wears a black headband to keep his bangs out of his eyes and pulls on a short-sleeve hoodie, catching the earlier shuttle bus to the rink. He warily refreshes twitter to see if anyone has said anything on social media, but it's all prove to be for naught when the bus lurches to a stop and someone approaches him.
"Luca," He greets. The rule during international competitions is to default to English but he knows Luca's English is rather weak so he switches to Italian, knowing that they can switch to French if they can't find common words.
Luca was in juniors with he and Atsumu, four years younger than them. He has kept up with the ice dancers and know that the Italians are on par with Canadians for the number one team in the world when he and Atsumu denounced their partnership.
"Atsumu asked if I could be discreet," Luca fishes a plastic bag out of his open duffel. Sakusa can see his bright green guards poking out, "Here. Your jersey."
He takes it and mumbles a quiet thanks. Luca doesn't ask any question though his eyes speak of a different story, waving and sitting back on the bus as the ice dancers' on-ice rehearsal isn't until two hours later.
Sakusa places his jersey and the plastic bag it came with in his duffel and slips on his earbuds, pushing aside all thoughts as he focuses on what's more important to him right now.
[HD] Kiyoomi Sakusa Skate Canada EX | Ugh! by BTS
94,648 views • 1 week ago
kiyoomi's bitch 8.9K subscribers
sakusa kiyoomi snapped during skate canada and really did THAT. i thought this was a fever dream but it wasn't
hira khan 1 week ago
kiyoomi woke up and really thought 'today im going to push my bangs back with my headband, use eyeliner to give myself a smoky eye, tie a red plaid shirt around my waist, stick my tongue out and give the camera person and everyone in the arena boners when i roll my hips'
sdsdsdsdsdsd 1 week ago
i haven't stopped screaming since sunday but 0:59 is the first hip roll i need to know what went on in miya's head while this happened i-
akmu784 1 week ago
considering they played the people's republic of china's national anthem for him during the medal ceremony not once but TWICE last season i would snap too
sakusa nation 1 week ago
hip/body roll: 0:59, 1:12, 2:59
sticking his tongue out: 0:11, 2:59
his insane consecutive triples: 3:14 (WHO THE HELL CAN GO FROM STANDING SOMEWHAT STILL AND POP 4 JUMPS IN A ROW)
Sabrina 1 week ago
-ₐₙ𝓰ₑₗₐ- 1 week ago
0:11 is when miya atsumu probably wants to go back to his old partner
jitaro 6 days ago
kiyoomi sakusa really gave the ISU the proverbial middle finger after spelling his name card wrong and played another country's anthem i love him
Load other comments
They return to Japan. Atsumu drools all over Sakusa on the plane ride back, Sakusa nearly leaves him during their layover like old times. When Sakusa catches the bruises on Atsumu's neck and shoulders, he pulls a face.
It's hard to see Atsumu speak to Akaashi and the other senior skaters about the different dates he goes to inbetween practices and competitions but Sakusa thinks of it as another part of his life he has to accept.
He was always weak when it comes to Atsumu.
"Really?" He walks into the bathrooms to see Atsumu pushing Hinata against the lockers, lip-locked and caressing his waist.
Atsumu pulls back with a cheery smile as Hinata gives Sakusa a horrified look, "Heya there, lover!"
He frowns, still hovering at the door. He'd be lying to himself if he didn't see red for several seconds, clunking his way to the urinals with his guards, "Don't call me that. And try to find privacy, Miya, some of us want to keep our eyesight."
"I-I'll be going now," Hinata scampers off, slightly red around the cheeks but otherwise looking perfectly normal. Atsumu chirps something about meeting him later during their lunch break as Sakusa finishes his business and goes to the sink to wash his hands.
He frowns when his sleeves starts dropping, seeing a pair of hands hold them from falling enter his vision.
"Wash yer hands, Omi," Atsumu says too calmly when he turns. He's still holding his sleeves from becoming wet so Sakusa diligently scrubs his hands and doesn't watch their reflection on the mirror in front of them.
Atsumu doesn't let go of his sleeves until he's pulled several paper towels off the dispenser.
"Hinata," Sakusa hears himself say, pressing the paper between his fingers, around his thumb, wrist, "Another conquest?"
"Jealous?" Atsumu teases. Sakusa wants to kick his knees, feeling a wave of irritation flow through him. He had no right looking that good leaning against the sink. "Yer not bad looking yourself, lover, ya know that."
"Cut it out with the nicknames."
"Ya started it first, dancin' to our old routines," Atsumu's eyelashes flutter down, solemn, "Did ya really mean it?"
It was a weird conversation to have in the locker rooms of the rink. Sakusa knew there were bathrooms but rink four was closer to the men's changing room than it is to the bathrooms at either end of the large hallway so he came here.
Sakusa looks down at Atsumu's white laces. From afar, it looks like he has hockey skates on. He faintly remembers fighting with Atsumu about that when they were little.
"Yes," He admits.
He only knew of the cold and Atsumu growing up. Even when he was miles away from his mother and Hiromi, his father accompanying them to faraway Hachinohe for the back to back Japan's Nationals where they won gold in the junior category, Atsumu had been there.
He was there when they both clung to each other in Montreal, when Sakusa broke Sabrina's laundry machine, an explosion of bubbles erupting from the laundry closet, when they tasted defeat, when they won Nationals back to back.
A year wasn't enough to completely erase his mind free of Atsumu. He still clung to memories, to old habits of carefully reading menus and ingredients lists on the back of granola bars to make sure there won't be strawberries since Atsumu could go into shock if one touches his lips, to making his morning coffee.
It felt like cutting off a limb. To this day, he could still feel where Atsumu permeated into his life, like he left an Atsumu-shaped dent into Sakusa.
"You're so dumb," Hiromi had said to him one day when she slipped him some wine, back from her honeymoon. "You could go to another rink you know."
He didn't want to. He wanted to see Atsumu laugh.
Hiromi had sighed and poured more wine into his empty glass.
It's more than easy to admit that Atsumu is a looker now. Gone were the lingering baby fat when they were in Montreal. Now Sakusa itches to kiss his jawline, stroke his hand over the slope of his shoulders and down his waist and thigh like one of their old tango routines.
Instead he pulls the door of the lockers room open and gestures for Atsumu to go first. They walk in silence back towards rink four, Sakusa's footsteps quiet as Atsumu's guards clunked slightly. He always had louder footsteps than him.
How do you live again when you've spent your entire life next to a boy who you can't be with anymore? How do you forget what food they like, how they take their coffee, what boot size they wear, what their favorite color is? How do you unlearn all of those details?
"I'm fine," Sakusa answers shortly, kicking the swinging door of rink four open and feeling the arctic air cool his overheating eyes and cheeks. He stomps over to the gate, shucks his guards off and angrily works on his step sequence the entire day.
He must have pulled something.
He can't feel his knee when he glides to the boards, clutching the edge with his gloves as he gingerly waddles to the closest bench to collapse.
His short program song still plays above him, his phone hooked up to the music system in the corner. Sakusa had took the keys from his father and told him to go home first.
He pulls off his gloves, presses his bare hands to his neck to warm them up and tackles the laces. When he manages to pull one foot out, he rolls off the three layers of thin socks and peels off the tape, seeing the angry red marks around his ankle from where his boot had been pressing the bone.
Figure skating is suppose to look easy, effortless, fun.
But this is the harsh reality. For every jump he makes look easy, every spin where he loses track of his surroundings, he dies and is reborn anew.
When he peels off the other boot, he sees why he couldn't feel his feet anymore. The right sock is brown with old blood.
He leans over and drags his duffel bag over, opening his first aid kit to pull out hydrogen peroxide, gauze and bandaids. It's not the first toenail he ripped off but considering that he has to go to Barcelona for the GPF tomorrow, it worries him slightly.
He looks up when a second pair of hands grabs the bottle of disinfectant, looking up to see Atsumu's eyebrows pulled down, his hair lying limp from a shower.
He reaches for the bottle when the cap has been twisted off but Atsumu crouches down, one knee planted on the mats to balance himself as he disinfect his hands with a bottle of sanitizer from his pocket. Sakusa stares silently as he pulls on gloves, flinching when the gauze dripping with peroxide hits the open wound.
"Sorry," Atsumu murmurs, pressing on his toe firmly and wiping the caked blood away gently, "I know it hurts."
"You don't need to."
"Don' be dumb, even if we're competitors yer still my teammate."
His short program song shifts into his long program one, a tenor's voice crooning over the speakers.
"Don't you have a date?" He mumbles, overhearing the gossip. Atsumu had updated one very tanned and reluctant Akaashi (with a nice gold band around his hand now) about his dating life today.
Atsumu shrugs, keeping his face tucked as he spreads some topical antibiotic cream with a Q-tip. Sakusa watches as he moves the knee that was planted to the ground up, lowering Atsumu's foot onto his thick thighs as he starts bandaging it.
"Yer more important."
Fuck you, Sakusa thinks, seizing Atsumu's jersey with his stiff fingers and pushing him back slightly.
"I'll wrap this myself," He barks, swatting Atsumu's hand away as he feels heat prickle behind his eyes. He grabs the bandages that's trailing on Atsumu's thighs and finishes tying it, stuffing his feet in his runners too roughly as he feels his eyes mist over not from emotions, but from pain.
"Hey! Yer always so rough with—"
"Stay away from me!" He spits, ripping his guards off and switching it for soakers, stuffing everything of his in the duffel before limping over to the stereo to yank his phone off, "And I'm locking up so get out of here!"
"Omi! I'm tryna help!—"
"Has it crossed your mind that I don't want your help?" The thing about the one locking up is that he can't lock Atsumu in, standing by the swinging doors as he marinades in jealousy and anger. He sees a familiar flash of annoyance from Atsumu.
"What is yer problem?" Atsumu demands, "Can I not help a teammate out?"
Sakusa wishes he could punch Atsumu like when they were little and not be thrown out of the JSF for harming one of his teammates, "My problem is that the way you do things pisses me off!"
"I sanitized my hands an' wore gloves!"
"Not that! You know exactly what you're doing!" Sakusa sees his breath faintly fog up in front of him, feeling his throat close.
He can't do this for much longer if Atsumu tries to get close to him.
Hiromi had been right, he should have switched rinks.
"I'm not talking about this," He mutters, turning around as the air goes from frigid to warm. He quickly walks through the empty hallways before he hears a frustrated sigh and Atsumu pulling him into a small side hallway where the coaches' offices are, backing him up against a wall.
"Sakusa," Atsumu glares up at him, "What the fuck is wrong with ya?"
Sakusa bites on his lips so hard he tastes something metallic and copper, putting most of his weight on his other, non-injured foot. He bats at Atsumu's arms uselessly, blocked in all four directions.
Atsumu, after a while, lowers his arms. It was an admission of defeat, of allowing Sakusa to run away.
He stares at the other wall of the hallway, seeing a poster about drop in skating for the public tomorrow night when all their skaters are to be resting at home or skating in Barcelona.
It's Atsumu's hand pulling out a wipe— lavender, must be the kind you wipe stickiness off of children's faces and hands— and tilting his head up so he can better see his bleeding mouth from the lone light bulb in the hallway. It's his soft eyes avoiding Sakusa's gaze as he first dabs the blood away before wiping the dip of his chin where it had trailed down to.
It's his unconsciousness, Sakusa watches Atsumu's mouth open, of still habitually buying things like hand sanitizer and wipes and placing them in his pocket even though he's not obligated to anymore.
Sakusa doesn't cry a lot. As a newborn, he slept like a rock according to his mother. He could count on one hand the amount of times he actually burst into tears since he started skating and they were mostly from feeling the shock of something so hard and cold under his head even with a helmet protecting him.
So he's surprised when Atsumu turns the wipe in half to wipe his tears off, feeling liquid inside his nose run as he inhales sharply.
It's Atsumu who breaks the silence.
"How did we get t'here, Kiyoomi?"
He takes the wipe and presses it into both eyes, feeling Atsumu's arms wrap around his shoulders.
Go away, his mouth forms.
"I don't know," He presses his forehead into Atsumu's jersey, smelling the same shower gel he used since they were little. His duffel gets pulled off, a similar thud joining it on the ground as Atsumu's arms travel down to pool around his waist.
His heart stutters then pumps harder as he takes deep breathes in and out until his eyes are semi-dry and he's discreetly wiped his nose, scrunching the wipe into a ball and drawing back to see Atsumu's large sad eyes.
"Quanto ti amo tu non lo sai."
He stares at Atsumu, hearing the familiar song his mother used to put on during the rare times Atsumu would stay overnight at his house because they need to leave early the next day to drive to the next prefecture for competitions in his head.
"What?" He croaks, Atsumu blurring in front of him.
"I said," Atsumu leans in quietly, singing like the Italian tenor who had sung it, "How much I love you, you don't know it."
Sakusa tightly grips Atsumu's wrist as they meet in the middle, pressing their lips softly as Sakusa's chest tightens and relaxes, feeling his tears being wiped by the gentlest thumb, a hand pulling him closer until he's pressing against Atsumu and drowning in him.
He doesn't know how long they kiss in that hallway, moving from chaste, closed-mouth ones to Atsumu pressing forward eagerly when Sakusa opens his mouth, digging his hand through the wet hair and tightly gripping it like he'll never let go.
Atsumu rests his head against the column of Sakusa's throat, both of them on the floor as Atsumu burrows deeper into his side, arms loosely around him.
"I didn't know you remember that song."
"'S'all Auntie ever played to put me to sleep," Atsumu mumbles sleepily, "An' I thought we eventually would skate ta it one day when we're older and more mature."
"No," Sakusa feels his head being patted, "I don't wanna argue."
He presses his cheek against Atsumu's head, breathing in his scent, "We have to talk."
"We don't," Atsumu twists to look up at him, "I don't want to go back to the way we were, Omi."
Sakusa gives him a look so familiar Atsumu rips his eyes away, "Fine. After the gala?"
"Sure," He could understand not wanting to have a serious conversation before one of the most important competition this year for them.
Atsumu hums, wrapping his arms around Sakusa tighter as he draws both knees close to his chest, keeping Atsumu close.
The cameras catch him standing rink side as he watches Atsumu's long program with a poker face, Machiko hovering behind him like a body guard.
Sakusa clutches the hems of his Japan jersey closer around his shoulders, watching Atsumu's maroon dress-shirt clad arms go up as he starts his program.
But if you let me, here's what I would do, the speakers croon.
Atsumu jumps. Sakusa claps along with everyone as several curious onlookers in seats twist to give him looks.
He feels his mouth quirking up as Atsumu launches into a beautiful step sequence, kicking his leg in the air and ducking back down the next movement, switching from edges to edges.
Atsumu finds him as he whizzes by, shooting him a quicksilver grin before it's wiped off again as he skates in the front of the judges, dropping into a sit spin.
Sakusa doesn't stay long, turning his back and walking with Machiko to the door and putting his leg up on the boards, making sure he hasn't gone stiff in the five minutes he was watching. He'll be skating next so he shoves the earbuds she hands him, tuning out the cheers and ducking to touch his toes when the scores are announced.
He steps onto the ice as the judges nod, turning around and blowing his nose on the tissues Machiko offers him.
"Who are you?"
"A prince aiming to win the hand of a cold princess."
She smiles at him and pats his elbows as the speakers above welcome him to the ice. He skates backwards with big, large counters, catching Atsumu's blond head at the side, his coach by his shoulder.
Atsumu smiles at him. Sakusa never breaks character, but he gives him a dip of his head before spinning around to face the crowd, the stadium roaring.
"It'll be a dance off," The choreographer for the gala tells them. Sakusa suppresses a sigh as he sourly follows through the easy footwork and arm waving. Some people in the back aren't listening. He wonders if he could slowly disappear towards them when Nikita claps his hands and explains his idea.
They're to do their own special little tricks once the opening finishes. Then they would come back together into the middle and finish off the with second footwork he just taught them.
Sakusa never liked gala numbers, they're stupid and full of skaters trying to dance to whatever is the Top 40 hits these days.
"Dancers!" He hears Nikita greet them, "Can any of you do a lift?"
The ice dancers who made it through the finals— all six pairs of them, seem to be either all newcomers from the junior circuit (which meant that they used to be his rivals) who are still shaking with nervousness at their first GFP or injured. The French and Italian had a nasty crash and one of the pairs sustained a concussion. The Germans and Chinese team are completely new and easily one of the youngest people in the rink right now.
He ignores them, wondering what trick he would do. It was much easier to come up with something when Atsumu was around, they could do a simple lift and call it a day.
After he decides on a quad toe with one arm up in the air, they go through the group number once before breaking for lunch.
He grunts, pressing on his water bottle so a stream of water shoots out into his mouth.
"What does the Grand Prix Gold Medalist want with me?" Sakusa raises a brow, seeing a few heads turn their way.
"Skate with me," Atsumu says, "I'll teach you my Slowly Dancing in the Dark dance. 'S really easy."
Sakusa stares at him, still dress in their practice clothes. Atsumu easily overheats so he's standing around in a thin black tank top and compression tights that shows the curve of his shoulders and arms before pulling to attention to his trim waist and thick thighs.
"No," He shakes his head, "You're the gold medalist, you can dance by yourself."
Atsumu gives him a twisted curl of his lips, "'Mkay. I guess we can talk after dinner wraps up?"
Sakusa forgot how long today will be. After the exhibition gala, they're to troop back to the hotel before having a banquet together and chummy up to sponsors and other skaters and their coaches. It's his personal hell and it's only been getting worse ever since he had to skate solo because there's no Atsumu for buffer.
"I want to leave early."
Atsumu nods, grabbing his water bottle and twisting the top off, squeezing until a spout of water shoots into his mouth, "Sounds good. I'll pull you."
Sakusa grunts, going to the boards and picking his guards up so he can stretch out and find something to eat around the arena.
The gala passes in a blur. He dances the opening number and sits in the green room afterwards, keeping himself warmed up by alternating between stretches and keeping his heart rate high with a jump rope. Atsumu is chatting with several girls and pairs, changed into his exhibition costume.
For Atsumu it was relatively simple— Sakusa has seen it in Canada— black trousers and a button up white shirt tucked into the waistband.
Sakusa looks at his stretching mat instead, willing all thoughts of curling up on Atsumu's thighs away.
He's glad when he gets called to line up, lacing his boots up.
He nearly elbows Atsumu in the face when he sneaks up behind him, the rink too dark as they only use strobe lights from above on the skater performing right now— the silver medalist for women's singles.
"Ya don't need luck right?"
"It's an exhibition skate," Sakusa drones, feeling Atsumu stand next to him, watching the girl jump, "I could care less."
"Exhibitions are good to scope out your rivals," Atsumu breathes into his ear, "That's what you always told me."
"I'm tired today," He pinches his nose, "I just want to go back to the hotel and sleep."
Sakusa never had a good time skating in opposite time zones. While the adrenaline rush on ice keeps him from collapsing in a heap, with darkness all around them, it's tricking his brain to think that it should be bedtime right now.
Atsumu spins him around and presses a hand to his forehead.
"Yer kinda warm."
"Good," He hears himself say, "I'll tell Machiko it's a fever and get out of the banquet. You can come to my hotel room."
Then he steps back and walks forward onto the ice as the announcer introduces him. Sakusa breathes in and tells him that he just has to last two more programs and a final group number before tapping into the forbidden fever medication he's not allowed to take because of his profession.
Machiko hovers in his hotel room, dressed in a beautiful blue-grey pantsuit with a thermometer in her hands and a mask around her face, "It's a fever."
Sakusa didn't bother changing into his suit for the gala dinner. Instead, he's wearing his softest, loosest shirt, Hiromi's Todai sweater and wrapped up in five or so blankets he asked the front desk to hand over.
He tries not to think when the blankets were last washed in hot water. He'll worry about that later.
"You've taken your medication right?" She takes the glass of water, fever reducer and cold patches he'd set out on the bedside table and pushes them an inch closer to the edge. It might not be a bad idea, he can't exactly move without his body hurting everywhere.
"Yes," He mumbles, "I'll try to sweat this out."
She has other skaters in this competition other than him attending the dinner. He tells her to go and promises to call if he feels the need to go to an emergency room, watching her slip out his door.
He closes his eyes and tries to breathing through his nose, failing and rolling onto his back. He sniffs.
He wakes up to his phone flashing and he sees Atsumu's name across the screen. He shuffles forward, hitting the light switch to his room on the way, opening the door.
Atsumu, in an all black suit with the first two buttons of his shirt open, frowns, carrying a plastic bag. His cheeks are flushed from the cold.
"Wasstha," He rasps.
Atsumu pushes him back into his room, closing the door softly behind him, "How's yer fever?"
Atsumu snorts, walking and upturning the contents of his mysterious bag onto a table before pulling a pack of travel wipes and scrubbing the surface of each box clean, "Ya should be sick more often, yer funny. How high is it, though?"
"Not that bad," Sakusa unsticks his mouth together to speak, shuffling to his bedside and gulping some water down. He grabs the thermometer Machiko left and sticks it between his armpit, "37.9."
When he places the thermometer back on the bedside and blinks sleepily at Atsumu, his ex-partner scratches his hair, all slicked back.
"Maybe we should do this when we're back in Japan," Atsumu mumbles, looking at his bed and how there are three more blankets that he must have missed. Did Machiko put them there for him?
"No," Sakusa rasps, kicking Atsumu's shin with his slippers. Atsumu collapses on the edge of his bed and bounces once, "I'm just achy and sick, not on my death bed. What did you bring?"
Atsumu shrugs, "I used Google Translate to ask the people at the counter for fever reducers but you seem to have an entire pharmacy inside your luggage. I got some cough drops though."
He could use something sweet. His mouth taste likes sewer water.
Once he puts the drop in, watching Atsumu also suck on one, he feels his expression fall flat.
"I lost my sense of taste," Sakusa grumbles, climbing onto the bed and shrugging two blankets off so he's wrapped only in one. He couldn't taste the cough drop obviously, but it feels like he's just holding marbles in his mouth, hearing the candy clack along his molars.
"Shame," Atsumu grins, leaning forward. "They were serving the good wines at the banquet, the one you like from Turin."
Sakusa kicks him. He must be weaker than he thought because Atsumu only smiles, shrugs his suit jacket off, and toes his shoes off before grabbing the two blankets Sakusa had abandoned.
Sakusa sucks on the cough drop as he gets bundled into a cocoon, tucked against Atsumu's chest as they lie on the bed. He looks at the column of his throat, smelling a faint whiff of the stupid three-in-one moisturizer he's been trying to toss out a window before he and Atsumu split off.
"'Tsumu," He mumbles, "Do you understand Italian?"
"But you remembered lyrics of an Italian song that my mother played for you ten years ago?"
"Yeah, I looked it up."
"You're so god damn weird," Sakusa looks up, watching Atsumu's mouth curl up, his eyes soft.
He closes his eyes when Atsumu presses a kiss on his forehead, throwing a hip over Sakusa's legs and drawing him closer.
"Skate with me."
He flutters his eyes open, wondering when he said that out loud. When Atsumu looks back at him, eyes smoldering, he understands that it wasn't he who said it.
"Be my partner again, Sakusa," Atsumu, brushing his bangs back. Sakusa stares up at him, breathing from his mouth and wanting to say yes.
"We split for a reason, Miya," He reminds him. He could still smell Sabrina's apartment— bergamot and lime, remembering the smooth handle of the brush she told them to use to wipe road salt off on the bottom of their shoes because she didn't want any tracking inside, the quietness of her apartment. He shuts his eyes, "I don't even know what to do about this when we return to Japan."
"What'dya mean?" Atsumu sounds hurt.
Sakusa rolls onto his back, sucking in a much needed breath, "I'm planning to switch rinks," He tells the ceiling, "It's too...it's too hard to skate with you around me. It's hard to move on when you're going on dates and kissing people in the bathroom—"
He rasps, "Don't make this harder for me," He turns, seeing Atsumu lie on his side, still propping himself up with a strong arm, eyes wide, "Because if you ask me to stay I probably will," He says softly.
Atsumu's expression crumples. Sakusa watches as Atsumu collapses on his back, hiding his face by pulling his arms up, chest stuttering to draw a breath.
"Why—" Sakusa feels a tear running down his face as Atsumu struggles for air, "—Why can't we skate together again?"
Sakusa looks down at his lap.
Somewhere down below in one of the ballrooms of the hotel, everyone in the senior circuit are laughing, eating and probably dancing to whatever playlist the DJ made. Sakusa used to enjoy them when he was younger, Atsumu a constant presence as he fetches him food while Sakusa wards off others with a simple glare from him.
Atsumu should be down there celebrating his first ISU Grand Prix win. Instead, he's in Sakusa's hotel room, crying.
Sakusa hates himself. Why are they always hurting each other? He plucks off several tissues off the nightstand and tugs weakly at Atsumu's arms, pulling it away to reveal his red eyes.
He quietly presses the tissues onto Atsumu's cheeks, chasing tear after tear until the tissue is soggy.
They are in Montreal again. Bergamot and lime is in the air. Sakusa's muscles are tired and he needs a shower because he and Atsumu smells like international travel. This is what he remembers before his life changes.
And afterwards? Nothing much, just his mind playing over Atsumu's confession that maybe they should split off. He'd nodded and agreed, probably, each word coming out of Atsumu's mouth resembling more like static, like the static in his blood, the static in his head, the static clouding everything.
"You should know the answer to that," He mumbles, "You were the one who wanted to split apart."
Atsumu shakes his head, voice tight and warbling, "No I didn' know. We—" A gasp, "We're supposed to go to the 'Lympics that year but we came home and y'just— told," Sakusa winces at the crack, "—Told me y'were tired of me."
He doesn't remember saying that, pulling another tissue from the box nearby and wiping Atsumu's tears, "I never said I was tired of you."
"Y'said 'Don't you ever think about how nice it would be if you were partnered with someone else?'"
Sakusa stares at Atsumu. Even though he feels like he'd been run over by a small shuttle bus several times, his spine goes straight as he tucks his knees under him.
He opens his mouth, croaking, "I asked that in the sense if you were tired of me."
Atsumu's eyes goes from wet, to misty, to clear. He looks at Atsumu like the way they first met each other on ice, like the first time Sakusa had pulled his arm as they swerved out of the way of a falling pair, like the way Sakusa had told him they can take down every single competitor out there, like the time Sakusa pulled his gloves off, tossed it to his father and grabbed and held Atsumu's hand in front of everyone during practice.
He opens his mouth to wet his lips.
"Y'didn't want to get rid of me?"
"Why would I want that?" He thinks of the gloves, the masks, the screaming matches on ice and their fist fights and urgent care visits from Atsumu's skates nicking his cheeks and the way Atsumu mouths lyrics during their performance because he was always too deeply engrossed to the music.
Atsumu's face twists— shock, anger, relief, impatience, something he can't quiet place, a mixture of fondness and—
"Fuck you," Atsumu says, grabbing him and tugging him as they both fall backwards. Sakusa slams his nose against his chin, cursing, as Atsumu raises his voice.
"—Drove Samu insane! Months thinkin' of wha' I did wrong or coulda done wrong to you! I didn't understand why ya went froma hundred ta zero so quickly," Sakusa sucks a breath, Atsumu's arms squeezing him, his voice weak, "I thought y'were tired of me."
"I promised to skate with you when we were eight," He tells Atsumu's chest, feeling the soft shirt pressed against his cheek, "I see things to the end."
"Good," Atsumu cups his head and tilts his head up. Sakusa thinks he's beautiful like this, with dry tear-streaks on his cheeks, red eyes, dark circles and all, "Skate with me again, Sakusa."
He nods, throat too tight to speak. Atsumu grins, bright and full like they've just accomplished a complicated twizzle, like he'd just gotten the nod of approval from Sakusa when their costumes arrive.
Click, Sakusa thinks, committing this memory to his brain.
He jerks back when Atsumu chases his lips, "I'm sick."
"I don't get sick," Comes the over-confident answer.
"Famous last words," Sakusa grumbles, hoping the cough drop tasted something relatively pleasant to Atsumu because he can't taste anything right now, softly opening his mouth as Atsumu twists his torso and presses him into the bed.
Sakusa is the one weakly pushing him back when he gets too dizzy. Atsumu quips something about his kisses being too good and Sakusa kicks his ass in turn from where he's pinned.
"Guess ya should sleep," Atsumu says, checking his watch. Sakusa wonders which girlfriend or boyfriend he got that from, panting on his bed as his face feels hot— from his fever or the kiss, he doesn't know.
"Sleep here if you want."
Atsumu blinks at him, "Are ya sure?" When Sakusa nods, Atsumu disappears with the promise to come back, wanting to shower and bring his clean clothes over.
Sakusa left his door unlocked. He doesn't know when Atsumu slips back into bed but when he wakes up in the middle of the night with his body noticeably less achy, there's a pair of warm arms around him and someone breathing lightly in his hear.
Sakusa drowsily goes back to bed, shuffling over and pulling Atsumu closer.
"Sakusa-kun," Machiko says, looking up from her phone as her concerned eyes blinks up, "How are you feel—"
She and about every other person in the breakfast room, half of them hungover from the wine fest he missed yesterday, are staring at them. He supposes they were somewhat of a big deal in the circuit even if it's been one and a half season where they competed separately.
"I'm better, my fever is gone," He pulls out the thermometer in its travel case from his pocket, handing it to her with a short bow. Atsumu twitches uncomfortably beside him, hands stuffed in the pockets of his own jersey, avoiding eye contact with Mihara, "I'm going to get food."
He strategically keeps his eye on the wall, heading straight for the cooked foods because he doesn't trust raw vegetables and eggs when it's travelling day. He tosses a few pastries on his plate, grabs a green banana that's turning yellow, some oatmeal from a warmer and finds a free table.
"How are you so calm?" Atsumu hisses at him, cheeks purple. Sakusa looks up from making Atsumu's morning coffee, which is just dumping one sugar packet into the liquid, "Everyone is staring at us and no one is speaking!"
"Watch," He tells him.
He turns his head around to glare. They whip back to their respective friends and plates and chatter once more.
He turns back to Atsumu, pushing his coffee over, "Satisfied?"
"Yer ridiculous," Atsumu dryly says. Under the table, they're linking their ankles together.
He and Atsumu pull out of the rest of the season, telling everyone in their home rink of their future plans together. When he finishes, everyone is grinning from ear to ear and clapping.
The JSF releases a statement just after the New Years celebration. Sakusa turned off his phone completely because he knew what happened last time their names started trending, rolling his shoulders back as his ballroom shoes click on the hardwood, Atsumu panting several feet away, tired.
It's too simple to slip back in each other. Practice and focusing on ice dancing has been hard and he's had lectures from Machiko about his wandering mind. But he wouldn't have it any other way.
"Ready?" Atsumu sashays to him. Sakusa tries not to grin but feels his cheeks lift, watching Atsumu's eyes crinkle at the corner.
He kisses the corner of his mouth, tying his curls into a short stub at the back of his head, "Let's tango."
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA @SKui1 3h
IS THIS REAL LIFE OR FANTASY
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA @SKui1 3h
i still can't believe if i m dreamign but the tweet is right there its riht therey theyre coming back im m
SAKUATSU GOAT @amko71 3h
WE'RE BACK IN BUSINESS BITCHES #SakuAtsu #GrandSlamHereWeGo!
SAKUATSU GOAT @amko71 3h
ok, serious hat on: i'm super happy for their return. and in the broadcast they seem happy too. ive never seen sakusa so pleased without a medal around his neck. mans just exuding good vibes, it's showing on his perfect skin
AP tests // sobbing @sakumiya_can 3h
i cried in class today not bc i nearly shaved off my fingertips in woodworking but bc my friend showed me JSF's statement that my all time favs are coming back YES YESSSS
Nothing much changed, a lot changed. Sakusa can't decide.
Sakusa seemed to have picked up several bad habits as a single skater. Never had he and Atsumu crashed against each other more, tripping over each other's skates as he becomes one with the ice. They go through one of their old programs again for practice and he finds himself forgetting how he has to focus on himself and Atsumu.
Will this back counter generate enough force to also tug Atsumu along? How did he place his feet so that he won't trip against himself when he bends back into a spin? Why does Atsumu feel so much heavier? Why can't they do their signature low twizzles properly?
He yells as he loses his balance and spins on his back, heading straight for the boards as Japan's best F/F pair scatter where they were talking to their coach.
"Sakusa," Kiyoko offers a gloved hand, "You alright?"
"Peachy," He mumbles, taking her hand and dusting himself off. He skates over to where Atsumu has laid completely still on the ice, groaning about how he wants to go home now.
The good thing about all of this is that he has his partner back and he can kiss him.
"Fuck, why're ya such a kissing monster," Atsumu moans after Sakusa detaches himself from sucking a bruise on his collarbone, low enough that it could be covered up by a shirt. He's dazed and Sakusa smugly preens when they can just pour their frustrations into mutually making the other one melt.
He awkwardly visits the Miya's house again bearing fruits and a box of dorayaki because Atsumu accidentally spilled the beans when Osamu got suspicious of why he kept grinning into the air as his omelette turned black several mornings in a row.
It always makes him slightly dizzy like coming out of a spin unbalanced to see the twins side by side and blinking at him. Atsumu is shooting Osamu a scowl as Sakusa stiffly stands in the genkan, holding out the box.
"Hm," Osamu hums, "So yer back with yer husband. Cool."
Sakusa gave a quiet sigh of relief as Atsumu attempted to throw his twin at a wall, screaming about dropping the husband part.
"I get weirded out by it too," Suna says when they're on a double date, the twins squabbling over a juicy piece of yakitori and bringing up childhood receipts. It's hot and smoky and Sakusa hates it because he's an athlete and he likes having good lungs but the food is good and he's counting down the minutes until he can step out.
There's one important change among the changes of them trying to pull each other back into their lives.
Every two weeks, he drags Atsumu along to Koji-sensei and they talk. They talk about the weather, about the disgusting monsoon season, about his terrible sportsmanship attitude and about he and Atsumu's lack of communications on and off ice.
"And who are you?" Machiko asks them. This is also new to Atsumu as they taste the palpable thrill in the air, the Gangneung Ice Arena losing their minds as Sakusa sees hundreds of Japanese flags waving.
They had a rough start to their partnership again but something must have gone right when they earned a spot in Pyeongchang.
"I'm a naive young man madly in love with him," Sakusa says, feeling Machiko's manicured nails adjust one strand of his hair. It's been straightened then re-curled and held into place with an entire can of hairspray. It probably won't move the entire time he's spinning.
"And I'm madly in love with him," Atsumu echoes, the skin around his eyes already crinkling. They get on ice as the Canadians get their score for their long dance.
Machiko told them that they should be in character the moment they walked into the stadium.
"Hello lover," He whispers, too softly for the camera pointed at them, still at the edge of the rink.
Atsumu grins, pulling him forward as the arena introduces them onto the ice. Their heads knock together and he doesn't know if it's because of the acting or genuine excitement the crowd has when their noses bump into each other and they spin out to center ice, listening for the first notes of Mahler.
The days are kind.
He is happy.
For all that he lectures Atsumu about taking care of his body, he wants to burst into laughter when his doctor told him it was either surgery or retirement.
Atsumu is terrified the first time he goes under for a simple procedure. His knees, while good and flexible for step sequences and spins, did not do well through repeated stress. That year, just several months after the haze of Olympics and obtrusive questions about their personal life had died down somewhat, they make an upset in the skating world again.
Sakusa was told to not exercise for an entire four months. Atsumu practiced with a broom in his absence on ice, Sakusa jealously looking at him from the second floor where the cafe was.
But he knows he has to be patient. Oikawa shares his experience too and together, they mutually bond over how many times the ISU had played the wrong national anthem for them as Iwaizumi and Atsumu drag them away from wine bottles.
He and Atsumu spend several years receiving the all elusive Grand Slam title. In one year, it was a Japan sweep of the podium.
They receive awards from the country and government and tour around the world putting ice skating shows during the off season. During the on season, they analyze and crush their opponents.
They win another Olympic gold in Beijing. Sakusa under goes surgery again once the season is over.
This time, he relocates to Hakone briefly for physiotherapy. Atsumu had told him to stay at an onsen since the hot springs will be good for his recovery. It was a hard summer for both of them that year.
"I seem ta always injure you," Atsumu says, shirtless and eyes heavy with sleep. Sakusa's room faces a river and he has the sliding doors open, the summer heat muggy and weighing down on them.
Atsumu traces his cheekbone, "Here, when we were younger," His hand trails up to Sakusa's head, "Here, from when I dropped your head on the ice."
He grabs his hand and kisses the palm, where a faint silver line across the skin shines in the moonlight, "Here, during the long program in Beijing."
"I grabbed your skate too early, I sliced my hand open myself."
Atsumu shuffles closer to him, softly sucking on his neck, "No more injuries, Kiyoomi, please."
Pairs dancing was about touch. Depending on the program, there would be more touches if you were trying to get across jealously and want and longing.
How many times have Sakusa touched Atsumu's shoulders? Countless. Touches on shoulders on ice, pats on the shoulder in the kiss and cry, taps on the shoulder during practice, when they line up for food and Atsumu is looking down at his phone and not paying attention to the line.
How many times have Atsumu leaned in and stroked his jaw? In front of cameras: less than a hundred, more than fifty at this point give or take.
Alone? Countless. A quick wipe of his sweat with his towel after Rika-sensei turns the music off and clacks to the stereo system in her ballroom heels, when he puts the sheet mask on Sakusa because he's too tired and jet-lagged to care about skincare other than a quick wash and moisturizer, when the morning sun hits them and Atsumu is stroking the bites on his neck, unaware of the impending doom he'll receive when Sakusa wakes up and has to wear a scarf in thirty-nine degrees Celcius weather and one hundred percent humidity because concealer will melt in the heat.
While they have an apartments at the core of Roppongi Hills, Sakusa loves coming over to Miya-san's house for Sunday lunch, remembering the times he, Osamu and Atsumu would curl up in the tatami room and spend hours on a puzzle.
He buys Atsumu a fine gold chain one year. When they go back to Turin for another annihilation at the Grand Prix Finals, Atsumu strolls around a farmer's market one morning when they extend their tickets home to stay for a few days here before the Japanese Nationals fall upon them.
Sakusa buys a matching gold chain to match, looping the cheap ring from Turin through and winding it multiple times around his socked ankles and securing it with tape before he laces up.
Machiko's hair is entirely grey now as much as she tries to hide it by continuously dying it dark brown. Sakusa looks in the mirror one morning after his shower— really looks in the hotel mirror and sees that the bags under his eyes aren't going away after his usual treatment of jade rolling, green tea serum and cold spoons.
Atsumu finds him staring at his reflection when he shuffles inside half an hour later. Sakusa sees the Olympic ring tattoo Atsumu has inked onto his calf briefly when his husband spins around and surveys the wet bathroom. The cheap ring has been replaced by an actual gold ring, set on the bathroom counter on a jewelry dish Sakusa brought along.
He feels water droplets running down his hair, still staring at his reflection, "I think my eyes are starting to sag."
Atsumu is quiet. Sakusa turns to see his chest go up and down with each breath he pulls.
"That's normal, love."
He hated being called that when they were split apart. It was the press's nickname for him, the Cold-Hearted Lover, given through Sakusa's many portrayal of that character on ice.
Nowadays, he doesn't mind it. He doesn't care about the press too, though he sometimes thinks of them like mosquitos when they repeatedly ask him about his and Atsumu's on and off ice connection, digging.
Atsumu grabs a clean towel from the shelf and drapes it around Sakusa like a blanket, slotting his chin on his shoulder and staring at the mirror as well, "'S'that a bad thing?"
Sakusa then looks down. He looks down at his feet, wonders how many nails have been lost, at the two surgical incisions that has healed and scarred, at his trim waist, at his arms, shoulders, in the mirror to look at the neck that received lots of kisses last night.
The gala exhibition for Milan 2026 is in a few hours. They will shower, find whatever clothing they want to wear for rehearsal, eat a quick lunch, dodge reporters, change into their costumes and skate before calling it a day and retiring to the Japan House.
He puts on his ring and leaves, kissing Atsumu's cheek so he can shower in peace. He pulls out his trusty blowdrier from his luggage and applies a leave in cream so the curls don't get too out of control.
He and Atsumu decide on their signature low twizzles when it comes to showing off for the opening group number, rolling on foam mats and thinking about what they can eat after the gala is over.
"'Tsumu," He whispers, quiet and low. Atsumu replies by snaking his arm around his waist, ignoring the wide eyed volunteer nearby whose responsibility is to fetch skaters from the green room over to rink side.
"What do you think of retirement?"
He wonders what took them to long to dance to Notte Stellata despite the song's significance in their life. They get introduced and raise their hands up to the loudest roar they've ever heard, blades whisper quiet as they take their position.
He tilts his hand up when Atsumu's hand snakes around his jaw, seeing him drawn into the song as well.
"Quante ti amo tu non lo sai," Atsumu sings, hair still blond, like the day he came to practice and fought with Sakusa.
"Quanto ti amo oro lo sai," He softly smiles, knowing the rink so well it wouldn't have mattered if they skated in the darkness anyway.
He runs, Atsumu chases. Atsumu backs away, he reaches forward.
When they end their exhibition skate to thunderous applause and another rain of flowers and stuffed animals, Atsumu pushes his bangs back, eyes clear.
"I can't wait ta retire with ya," He grins boyishly.
Sakusa knows that throughout these years, he is loved.
But perhaps even more, the little boy who had been bribed by a Pokemon game to skate pairs, the teenager who struggled in Montreal, the seventeen year old who felt like his life had ended, the eighteen year old that tried to pick up the pieces back together and the twenty year old who found his way back had been loved too, by this person.
So this is their swan song, how fitting, he says out loud.
"It is," Atsumu pulls him up, taking a hand and pressing it to his cheek.
"We should tell them, right?" Sakusa asks him, spinning his body around to the crowd as he keeps his eyes on Atsumu.
"Only if ya want."
Sakusa thinks of the boy's hand he held when he was eight, how during one slightly drunk night after winning their first senior competition when they got back together, Atsumu confessed the reason why he went into ice skating was so he could talk to him and perhaps hold his hand for a few minutes.
Then they both lean in and press their lips together, grinning.
[Two men skating off ice, each holding onto an edge of the Japanese flag flying behind them. One, blond, carrying two bouquets in one hand, is mid-laugh. The other one with curls has his arms around the blond, lips quirked up in a half smile as they both wear similar looking black costumes with sheer paneling on the arms and sides.]
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sumusumu to the best partner in the world. it's been a good 22 year run between us, hasn't it?
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s_yomi it has
samu.m stop cutting onions