(Hasetsu – Ice Castle)
With practiced movements that required little thought, Yuuri tightened the laces of his skates and tied them into double knots. Before he stepped onto the ice, he lifted both arms into the air for a stretch—deep breaths in and out—until he felt the burn in his core. Perfect.
At first, his body resisted the earliness of the hour but slowly began to awaken and respond to his movements. Outside the sun was only just rising, and for once, he had gotten out of bed at a decent hour. Tomorrow they would be on a plane bound for Russia, and Yuuri was determined to return home with another medal.
If he didn’t, he might lose more than just a place at the Grand Prix Final.
He shut his eyes. But rather than letting the idea of losing Victor fill him with fear, Yuuri instead chose to focus on it. He allowed it to fuel his determination, and when he opened his eyes, he discovered a smug smile had formed on his face.
Russia was going to despise him. He couldn’t wait.
He dropped his arms and removed his sweatshirt. Today, he wanted to feel the wind on his skin.
There was nothing like the refreshing chill of the rink in the morning, when the ice had just been resurfaced. It was unflawed, perfect. The cold kissed the tip of Yuuri’s nose with a hint of redness.
His body felt good. His head, clear. There was no one there but him, and he could let his mind fall into perfect focus. He took to the ice and did a few laps to warm up his muscles. He knew this rink well. Knew its shape and the thickness of the ice beneath his feet. Once he felt the familiar burn in his thighs, he pumped his legs and crouched down until the ache began to feel good.
The room started to spin around him. Excitement grew, and he found his smile stretching into a grin.
He loved this. Loved it.
Sometimes he forgot how much.
He didn’t notice Victor watching from the sidelines, one gloved hand buried in the pocket of his jacket, the other holding a cup of hot tea close to his lips. The smell of jasmine surrounded him with its subtle perfume, but that wasn’t what he had stopped to savor.
Yuuri was dancing.
The rink was silent except for the sound of his skates, but music could be heard in his movements. Drums beat in the pace of his feet on the ice. A soaring melody echoed in the stretch of his arms. Cymbals crashed with the whip of his hair. There was such joy to it. This was exactly why Victor was here as his coach.
When Yuuri spotted Victor, he brightened and skated over. Once upon a time, he might have tripped and slammed face-first into the wall.
“Someone’s up early,” Victor called when he was close.
Yuuri was breathless and pink-cheeked when he reached the barrier of the rink. “Last day of practice. I want to make it count.”
“You look good out there. Confident. What were you thinking about?”
“Do I really have to say it?” Yuuri reached across the barrier, caught hold of Victor’s scarf, and pulled until his insistence was rewarded with a warm good morning kiss. It tasted like jasmine.
Afterward, Victor was a little flushed himself. “Ready to skate for me?”
Yuuri pushed away from the barrier with a smile.
He was so in love, he felt like he was flying.
The last few weeks had been a blur of grueling hours on the ice. Victor had worked Yuuri harder than he ever had before. His muscles ached. His feet would probably never forgive him. But at the end of each day, there was a reward.
He and Victor had gone on a date every night since returning from China.
They dined out together and talked long after their plates had been cleared away and the waiters began giving them dirty looks. They saw almost every movie at the local theater, and when they weren’t making out in the dark, Yuuri whispered dialogue translations into Victor’s ear.
Sometimes if they still weren’t ready to end the night, they’d brave the cold for a wintertime walk along the coastline. The beach had become a special place to them. It was where they’d made their first real connection.
The entire town of Hasetsu knew the two of them were smitten with each other. So did a good part of the world. There were fansites on the internet dedicated to their relationship—as well as many upset Victor Nikiforov fans.
At night, Yuuri pretended like he was going to sleep in his own room, hoping to evade his family’s attention, but he later tiptoed into Victor’s instead. (As if his family didn’t know where he actually spent the night.) They slept together in Victor’s bed, which made more sense since it was the largest.
Yuuri had quickly mastered the art of kissing, which was no surprise because they’d certainly done enough of it since China.
The only thing that stopped them each night was when Yuuri eventually passed out from exhaustion from the demanding hours of practice on the ice. His entire body hurt, and Victor would kiss him all over, whispering apologies as he went. Afterward, he would rub Yuuri’s aching muscles until he was drooling into the pillow.
Though their make-out sessions had become increasingly steamy, their hands had not yet ventured below the waist. But oh, it was all Yuuri could think about. He wanted to take things further, yet they never seemed to get there. Victor had been incredibly sweet for taking things so slow with him . . . but Yuuri was starting to wonder why he always had to push.
That night after practice, Victor took Yuuri out for dinner and told him to make sure he ate enough. “You get hungry before competitions for a reason. We need to feed that stamina for Russia.” His eyes sparkled in the soft lighting. “And for later tonight.”
Yuuri was so pleased, he had to hide his face behind the menu.
Makkachin greeted them at home, and Victor spent a full ten minutes doting over him after a long day apart. He rolled around on the ground with his beloved dog—squishing his cheeks, molding his fur into funny shapes, and talking utter gibberish to him through puckered lips.
Yuuri was so relieved not to be the most embarrassing person in the room for once.
As he put away their coats, he noticed the place was unusually quiet. He remembered then that his parents and sister had mentioned they were having dinner with some family friends. (Part of him was convinced his mother had arranged it that way on purpose. To give the two of them some privacy.)
“That’s right. I forgot no one would be here tonight.”
Victor blinked up at him. He was still on his back with Makkachin doing an excited puppy dance all around him. “You mean, we’re all alone in your house for the first time in two weeks? Not that I’m counting.”
“For a few hours, at least.” Yuuri blushed. “Want to come to my room? I haven’t packed yet.”
He led the way with his arm stretched out behind him, fingers entangled with Victor’s. This was something different. He had been inside Yuuri’s room before, but those occasions were as rare as they were brief. Few were granted the opportunity to cross the threshold into Yuuri’s sanctuary. This was indeed an act of trust.
While Yuuri hauled his suitcase out of the closet, Victor threw himself onto the bed and buried his nose in the pillow. Makkachin draped himself across his master’s legs with all the floppy grace of someone who thought they weighed only a single pound, though in reality weighed much, much more.
“Let’s sleep here tonight,” Victor said.
Yuuri pushed his glasses up higher on his nose. “You don’t mind the smaller bed?”
“Why would I mind? It smells like you.” Victor rolled onto his back and looked around, acquainting himself with the unfamiliar space. “Though why are your walls so bare? You need some pictures or decorations or something to liven it up.”
After dumping an armful of clothing into his suitcase, Yuuri calmly bent down, reached beneath his bed, and emerged with a poster of Victor. By the time Yuuri found a thumbtack in his desk drawer and pinned the poster to the wall, Victor had burst into laughter.
“Much improved! Did you have that on the wall before I came to Japan? No wonder you wouldn’t let me in here.”
“I told you I looked up to you.”
“I didn’t think you meant literally. Now I need one of you for my bedroom. I’m going to order it right now.” Victor fished his phone out of his back pocket and started typing away.
“Do you need to pack, too?”
“Unlike my procrastinating student, I did most of that last night. I can finish up in the morning before we leave.”
They quieted while Yuuri went about his room, gathering the personal items he wanted to bring to Russia. After a quick visit to the bathroom, he had his toiletries together, and then there was nothing left to do but zip up the suitcase.
It was time for bed.
He straightened and stared at Victor for a long moment before he spoke. “Can I ask you something?”
“Give me one more second, and then you will have my undivided attention. Because we all know how much you like that.” Victor tapped his phone screen a few more times. “There. My Yuuri poster arrives in the mail in a week.” He shut off the screen and set the phone aside. “What is it, my little katsudon? You know you can ask me anything.”
Yuuri wasn’t certain he had the courage to immediately start with the question. He needed to work up to it first. “It’s just . . . ever since China, you haven’t been completely yourself with me when we’re alone.”
The statement inspired Victor’s eyebrows to pull together in the middle. He propped himself up on one elbow and said, “What do you mean? I thought we’ve been having a great time.”
“We have. You’ve been wonderful. Honestly, I’ve never had so much fun in my life. What I mean is that when I get in bed with you, you change. It’s like you leave part of yourself behind or you’re holding back from me. I just want to understand why.”
Victor sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. The long silence told Yuuri his suspicions were right.
“Is it something I’m doing wro—”
“No, Yuuri,” Victor said. “You’re perfect. It’s just that you said something once that stuck with me.” He sat up as he spoke, and Makkachin leapt to the ground and trotted out of the room, likely in search of food. “It was that story about the girl who hugged you, and how you pushed her away because you felt like she was overstepping your boundaries. After you told me that, I tried to be more cautious and let you initiate things. Though let’s be honest. I wasn’t always successful. Sometimes I couldn’t help myself.” He winked—but then his voice became softer. “I just don’t want to scare you off, Yuuri. It took me a long time to get here with you. I’m trying to do this right.”
The explanation helped to unravel the knot of insecurity inside Yuuri’s heart. “You’re not going to scare me off. If I don’t like something, I promise I’ll ask you to stop. Will you trust me to do that? I trust you.”
Victor blinked and pressed his lips together. A silent understanding passed between the two of them.
“You don’t need to hold yourself back with me anymore,” Yuuri said. “I know what I want.”
With a soft chuckle, Victor hung his head for a brief moment and allowed his hair to fall into his face. Then he smiled and said, “Okay.”
He pushed back his bangs when he looked up, fixed Yuuri in place with a penetrating stare, and everything changed. When he got up from the bed, Yuuri’s room suddenly felt much smaller. Victor’s entire demeanor had shifted. His head was tilted slightly forward, and his winter blue eyes could have melted rock into magma.
“Take off your shirt,” he said quietly.
Yuuri’s jaw almost hit the floor, followed by the rest of his body. What had he done?
The slightest of smiles touched Victor’s calm. He was amused by whatever he saw in Yuuri’s expression. “Please,” he added.
Though Yuuri was aware that he had greatly underestimated the power of the full Victor bedroom experience, he also knew he had asked for this. More than that, he wanted it. No way was he going to back down now.
Though he was starting to tremble, Yuuri’s movements were steady as he stripped his t-shirt off and let it fall to the ground. The look he leveled back at Victor had an insolent dare written all over it.
How in the world had he gotten here anyway? Standing shirtless in his bedroom in front of his idol . . . .
Victor eyed him up and down as he approached. “Yuuri.”
The silk of his voice made the name sound somehow explicit. Yuuri succumbed to a full body shiver just from the textured sound of it. God. Victor hadn’t even touched him yet.
He drew close enough that Yuuri could feel the heat from his body on the bare skin of his chest. Victor leaned in, stared down at him through the silvery fall of his hair, and said, “Do you have any idea how you make me feel when you skate? Do you know what it’s like to watch from the sidelines while you seduce me through your dance? With your pink tongue flicking out and your half-lidded eyes. Little minx.”
The last word in and of itself was almost enough to evaporate Yuuri into steam. He was surprised his glasses didn’t fog up. Somehow he stood his ground. “Yes,” he said, looking Victor straight in the eyes. “I know exactly what that’s like.”
Did you think I was joking when I said I wanted this?
You’re not afraid to finish what you started months ago, are you?
Victor’s eyes widened. A grin played fleetingly at his lips. His playful side was emerging. “Oh, Yuuri. I adore you.”
His hands went to Yuuri’s face but cupped his cheeks for only a second, just until their lips came together. Then fingertips skated down the length of Yuuri’s arms until Victor’s hands came to rest at his waist. He pulled their bodies flush, and immediately, Yuuri felt the difference in him. Victor was hungry tonight.
And all Yuuri could think was: Finally.
Because Victor wasn’t holding back anymore. There was no waiting for guidance or permission. This was how he had probably wanted to kiss him all along, and it was wonderful.
It also had a devastating effect on Yuuri’s motor functions. By the time Victor’s tongue got involved, Yuuri wasn’t even sure he still had legs anymore because they certainly weren’t holding him up. Victor had an ironclad grasp around Yuuri’s middle. He picked him up an inch off the ground and carried him a few steps. Yuuri’s toes grazed the floor before he was deposited into a sitting position on the desk.
His belongings scattered. His butt pressed keys on his laptop, and he could care less. Victor guided Yuuri’s thighs apart and moved his body between them, eyes glittering with a smile. Yuuri tugged at Victor’s t-shirt until he finally took the hint and pulled it over his head.
As they kissed, Yuuri touched him. Ran his hands over the strong, masculine shoulders. Down his muscled chest. Thumbs grazing hardening nipples. Victor’s stomach felt like fire beneath Yuuri’s palms.
“Yuuri,” Victor whispered, clearly enjoying the feel of hands on his body.
If there was one thing Yuuri had figured out in the last two weeks, it was that Victor loved being touched. All it took was the sweep of a hand anywhere on his body—the small of his back, over his knee, even a simple caress of his face—and he would melt into boneless adoration.
He liked what Yuuri was doing to him so much that it wasn’t long before the laptop began to beep and whine in protest from the movement of their bodies on its keys. They both snickered against each other’s mouths and silently agreed to continue on the bed.
Yuuri set his glasses safely aside. Normally he slept in pajamas or sweats if it was cold enough, but tonight he got into bed shirtless, wearing only his jeans. Victor did the same. As Yuuri’s head hit the pillow, he felt only a slight twinge of nervousness as his boyfriend crawled on top of him wearing his trademark Victor Nikiforov smile. The same one that could be seen on the poster just over his head.
They were both breathless and smiling. Even laughing as Victor playfully dipped his head down for a kiss. All of it was so much better than Yuuri had imagined it could be.
But then the kisses began to lengthen and deepen, and Victor’s hips moved down into place between Yuuri’s thighs. As they settled into that position, Yuuri found himself growing tense, even though the light touch of Victor’s fingers on his face weren’t asking for anything he wasn’t willing to give.
But in this position, he could feel Victor’s arousal between them—and Yuuri would be lying if he said it didn’t intimidate him a little.
It wasn’t that he felt uncomfortable. The last thing he wanted was for Victor to stop, but Yuuri also didn’t want to give him the wrong impression. They’d never talked about sex before. Not directly.
Victor sensed the slight stiffness in the body beneath him and pulled away from the kiss. Though he didn’t say anything, his eyes sent the message clearly enough. Are you okay? He rubbed the tip of his nose against Yuuri’s.
“I don’t want to have sex tonight,” Yuuri said. “But . . . we can do other things.”
“Okay,” Victor said. As simple as that.
Armed with that promise, Yuuri relaxed completely. His fingers tangled into Victor’s hair and brought him in for another kiss. Yuuri’s thighs fell further apart, allowing Victor closer access than ever before. The rub of their jeans together sent a shock of pleasure through him.
Yuuri was getting hard as well. How could he not with Victor trailing lazy, wet kisses across his jawline and down to his ear? By the time Victor began exploring the wonders of his neck, Yuuri felt like he was coming apart. He could never think straight when Victor kissed him there.
Yuuri thrust his hips upward, needing more friction, unconsciously seeking it out. His hands touched Victor’s back and put pressure on his waist to encourage him to come closer, but when that didn’t accomplish what Yuuri was after, he cupped Victor’s ass instead. He squeezed and released methodically until Victor caught on and began to move at the rhythm Yuuri established.
Encouraged by the sounds coming from beneath him, Victor soon set his own pace. His erection rubbed against Yuuri, and it felt good. The movements were unmistakable. They were making love to each other through their clothing.
Victor was still kissing his neck, humming with pleasure between every thrust. Yuuri blinked up at the ceiling and wondered how different this was from actual sex.
Of course, there was no penetration happening, but sex was supposed to be more than that. It was a connection between two people. Trust given with their minds and bodies. The release of pressure and an exchange of pleasure. Wasn’t that what was happening? Of course, if sex was defined as a joining of two individuals into one, then they had already been making love to each other for months.
Could it really feel better than this?
When Victor tightened his arms around Yuuri and moaned his name into his neck, he knew Victor was in the midst of a climax. Though Yuuri hadn’t yet attained his own release, a deep satisfaction washed over him at the realization that his body had been able to do that to another person.
Yuuri had made him lose control like that. It was his name Victor had spoken. It made him want to do it all over again.
Victor was breathing hard, his body slightly trembling. The small of his back was damp with just a hint of sweat. When he gathered his wits, he pressed a kiss to Yuuri’s neck and then did the same to his mouth. When they parted, he cradled Yuuri’s face and moved his thumb across his lower lip.
“I needed that,” Victor whispered. He rolled off Yuuri and onto his side on the bed. Their legs were still tangled together.
Almost reverently, Yuuri reached up to stroke Victor’s face. His pale eyelashes fanned his flushed cheeks. He’d never seen anything more beautiful. “I did, too.”
Which was perhaps a silly thing to say, but it made perfect sense to Yuuri. He hadn’t understood before then that sex wasn’t just about his own release. Seeing and hearing the other person overcome by pure sensation was amazing.
Victor nipped at Yuuri’s fingers without opening his eyes. “But you didn’t come, did you? I still need to see to you.”
The last sentence made Yuuri’s breathing falter.
It wasn’t nervousness exactly. More the realization that this was actually going to happen. Like he was being carried up a mountain of a rollercoaster and was nearing the first drop. He had no idea what to expect when he fell.
Yuuri turned his body onto its side so that he was facing Victor on the bed. “Have you ever . . . ? With a man, I mean.”
It was difficult to get the question out. Yuuri was new at this, but he was also curious. Sex wasn’t something he’d ever felt comfortable asking another person about, and Googling could only do so much before his computer started accumulating viruses and spyware.
“Sure, I have.” Victor opened his eyes and gazed back at him, looking more relaxed than he’d ever been.
“What does it feel like?”
“Well, that depends on if you’re on bottom or top. Both feel good. Different. When you’re the one being penetrated, you have to have a lot of trust. If you can relax, there’s nothing quite like it. It feels amazing. When you’re on top, you have to be more patient because it’s not about you. It’s easier to climax, but you can’t just take what you want. You could hurt your partner that way.”
Yuuri toyed with a loose string on the blanket beneath them. “I figured it always hurt.”
“No, that’s not true at all. It can if your lover isn’t paying attention. That’s why trust and communication are important.” Victor smiled. “It’s good we’re talking about this.”
“What do you like better?”
Victor ran his hand back through his hair as he thought about it. “I like both quite a bit, but if I had to choose just one, I’d say I prefer being on top. I like being the one to guide the other, though sometimes I need that role reversed. What do you think you would prefer? What feels more natural to you?”
Yuuri could feel his heartbeat in his cock, which was still enclosed within his jeans. He was so aroused from the mental images, it was difficult to concentrate on anything else. The idea that Victor could fill him up from behind, then later offer to let Yuuri do the same to him was such a turn on, he couldn’t help but drop a hand to his jeans and palm himself.
“Both,” Yuuri whispered, never more sure of anything in his life.
“Mmm.” Victor’s eyes slid from Yuuri’s face down to where he was touching himself through his jeans. “I like that answer.” His fingertips brushed the top of Yuuri’s hand. “Will you let me touch you?”
Yuuri didn’t know how to respond to that.
Inexperience was still holding him back, but he knew he wanted something. Even though he hadn’t answered the question, Victor didn’t push him or ask it again. He only moved a bit closer and leaned in for a kiss, all the while caressing the back of Yuuri’s hand.
Just the simple knowledge that Victor’s hand was also down there had Yuuri fumbling with his zipper. He was tense as he reached inside.
“Do you want me to turn out the lights?” Victor asked.
“No. I want you to kiss me.”
This response pleased Victor greatly, and as Yuuri took himself in hand and began to work his fist in strokes, he tried to relax as his boyfriend licked kisses into his mouth. Victor’s hand was still folded over Yuuri’s—not touching anything vital but still sharing in the moment with him.
“That’s it, baby.” Victor whispered the words against the corner of Yuuri’s mouth. “Touch yourself for me. You are so sexy. . . .”
As their joined hands worked between them, Victor praised every stroke and gasp. He whispered little endearments in Russian or accented Japanese, and Yuuri mentally rode the rise and fall of Victor’s voice.
It took Yuuri longer than expected to come. This was new territory for him, and even though Victor was doing everything right, it still was a while before Yuuri could fully relax and let an orgasm build while another person was watching him.
When it finally happened, he bit down on his lower lip and kept silent, afraid of what he might say if he truly let go. Warmth spilled over their joined hands, and Victor was so delighted, he could barely stop smiling against Yuuri’s lips long enough to kiss him properly.
“There’s that legendary Katsuki stamina,” Victor said, making Yuuri blush all over again. “Feel better?”
Yuuri licked his lips and nodded. He was going to sleep well tonight.
Eventually they settled into quiet kisses and nuzzles, with Victor’s fingers tracing little circles in the wetness on Yuuri’s stomach. He was a sticky mess, but he felt incredible. Warm and relaxed down to his toes.
“I love you,” Victor said, so soft the words felt like another kiss.
Yuuri’s ink black lashes fluttered apart to gaze at him. Reaching out with his clean hand, he touched the velvet of Victor’s mouth—because it had just said something beautiful. “I know. You’ve been telling me that for a while now. In ways other than words.”
Victor chuckled and kissed the pad of Yuuri’s thumb. “I suppose I have. And I guess that means you love me, too.”
Yuuri’s expression melted into pure devotion.
To be continued