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Winter Song

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When Yuuri’s eyelashes fluttered and opened, he felt somehow younger than he did when he’d fallen asleep. Long lines of sunlight and shadow stretched across the ceiling overhead, and there were fingers in his hair, doing the most wonderful things to his scalp. Yuuri wet his lips and turned his attention toward the window, where the brightness of the sun behind the shade revealed the hour to be well into the afternoon. He and Victor had slept the morning away.

“Hi,’ Yuuri said to the man lying in bed next to him, a little shy as fingertips grazed down the side of his face.

Victor’s back was to the window, and the vivid blue of his eyes was muted by shadow. “Are you okay?” he asked, his Russian accent thick, as it often was when he’d just woken up. His expression revealed he was calm but worried.

The question puzzled Yuuri at first. (Did he not look okay? He felt fine.) But then he remembered the conversation they’d had before falling asleep earlier that morning. Not only had he cried, but he’d told Victor things never before shared with anyone else. No wonder Victor looked concerned, though there wasn’t any real reason to be. Talking about everything that had happened last year had been a necessary release of pressure. All of it was in the past, and Yuuri was already in a much better place mentally than he was a year ago, even before he’d shared anything with Victor. But there was still that closely-guarded hurt in his heart. Yuuri had carried that with him for a long time.

While talking about it hadn’t completely healed the hurt, what it had done was put it into perspective. Yuuri had verbally identified a major roadblock in his mind, and in doing so, he could now look at it objectively. He wasn’t retiring because last year defeated him. It was because it hadn’t. He was going to bow out of competitive skating with pride instead of shame, and that realization made it so much easier to breathe. He had accomplished something huge this year by making it to the top six at the Grand Prix Finals.

No . . . actually his current standing was fourth. In the world. And by tomorrow night, he was going to make sure that number climbed even higher.

Yuuri’s heart felt much lighter since he’d opened up and cried. His mind, less burdened. There was an unfamiliar clarity to his thoughts, as if for once in his life, he might be capable of calm, rational thought instead of having to fight against the persuasion of his anxiety and emotions.

“I’m a little embarrassed, I guess,” Yuuri admitted. “But yeah—I’m okay. Better than I was, actually. I think talking about it helped.”

Victor’s fingers again moved down Yuuri’s face, gentle as rainfall and very warm. “Come here, love.”

Yuuri snuggled closer at once, one hand low on Victor’s hip, thumb pressing into the hollow place beside the bone. When they’d fallen asleep, there had still been a small amount of tension between them, but it was gone now. Yuuri left a kiss on Victor’s collarbone, buried his face in the crook of his neck, and let his body completely relax.

It was a wonderful place to nap. Victor smelled amazing—like soap and his own natural masculine scent, and the mix of the two made Yuuri feel lazy and drunk. They were naked beneath the covers with their bare legs intertwined. Yuuri might have fallen asleep again if not for Victor’s fingers coming to trace the downward slope of his spine, leaving little tingles of electricity behind.

Yuuri’s breath shivered out. That felt nice. . .

He again touched his lips to Victor’s skin and inhaled. “You smell good,” he whispered before dragging his mouth up Victor’s neck, nudging his chin a little higher in the process.

Victor allowed his head to fall back to give Yuuri room to do what he wanted. He kissed him there on the vulnerable expanse of his throat, opening his mouth, letting his tongue come out to taste him. Victor tensed slightly and let out a gasp, and the sound of it did something primal to Yuuri’s head. He swallowed, his pulse beginning to pick up speed.

Gently, he pushed on Victor’s shoulder and guided him until he was lying face up on the bed. Yuuri moved partially over him and pressed one of his thighs between Victor’s. Though Yuuri was still half-asleep, his body was very interested in getting as close as possible to the man beneath him. Victor’s skin was scorching hot.

Yuuri kissed and nipped at his throat, mouthing a leisurely trail to Victor’s ear. There, he flicked his tongue inside.

Victor’s heels dug into the mattress. “Yuuri. . .” His hands put pressure on Yuuri’s waist, encouraging him to rest more of his weight on top of him.

Taking his time, Yuuri dropped little kisses here and there on Victor’s face. One on his hairline near his ear. Another on his cheekbone. There wasn’t any need to rush things. Nowhere they had to be. Today, they could rest and enjoy their day off any way they pleased. While it wasn’t necessarily sex that Yuuri was after to fill the time, he sensed Victor needed to be loved on.

For some reason that Yuuri couldn’t seem to wrap his mind around, Victor was more upset about Yuuri’s impending retirement than he was. And for all he knew, Victor might also be struggling with his own plans for the future. Whatever the case was, he obviously needed comfort, and Yuuri was more than happy to provide it.

Victor was so good at taking care of Yuuri, but this wasn’t a one-sided relationship. He was here to take care of Victor, too.

Propping himself up on one elbow, Yuuri cupped his fiancé’s face in his hand and kissed him on the lips. Sweet and undemanding. Victor submitted to him beautifully, the set of his mouth relaxed and open to receiving whatever Yuuri wanted to give. The wet heat of that mouth lit a fire within Yuuri. He moved his body fully over Victor’s and slid one hand up his strong, muscular thigh to encourage it to hook around him. Victor’s other thigh rose up between Yuuri’s legs and nudged against his ass. Yuuri hummed deep in his chest as he rubbed himself back against it.

They kissed for a long time, both of them finding a great deal of enjoyment in that simple pleasure. It reminded Yuuri of those first few weeks after the Cup of China, when being kissed by Victor was still so new. They would sneak off whenever they could, find a quiet corner, and make out for what felt like hours until their lips were left red and full. Yuuri remembered wondering if everyone he encountered knew what he’d been up to, just by looking at the state of his mouth.

Kissing excited him still. He ran his hand down Victor’s body, from the beautiful taper of his chin to the strong neck and prominent collarbone. His heart beat a steady tempo beneath the press of Yuuri’s palm and quickened when he moved to roll a light pink nipple between two fingers. Victor broke away from the kiss with a gasp, and Yuuri pinched a little harder, all the while watching Victor’s reaction carefully to make sure no pain mixed in with the pleasure. After a bit of sweet torment, Yuuri dipped his head down to soothe Victor’s nipple with his mouth and was welcomed by the feel of ten fingers sliding into his hair.

Yuuri licked and suckled Victor’s nipple until it rose to a hard point, then drew back to admire it—all wet and glistening with his saliva, the soft pink now bruised to the color of a rose. Yuuri pressed a tender kiss against the firm muscle of Victor’s breast and glanced up to meet his gaze. “Can I?”

Victor smiled, languid and flirtatious, and shifted beneath Yuuri just for the sake of increasing the friction. “Can you what?”

Yuuri blushed. It was easier to talk dirty at night when the bedroom was dark. Here in the afternoon sunshine, there was nowhere to hide.

“Whatever it is, the answer is yes,” Victor said. He dragged his foot down Yuuri’s calf muscle. “You don’t have to ask for permission.”

“You always ask for mine, even though you don’t have to.”

“Well, that’s just because I like hearing you say yes.” Victor’s hands slid down Yuuri’s back until they came to rest on his ass. “It’s sexy as hell.”

It was Yuuri’s turn to gasp. Victor had fucked him in the shower earlier that morning, and though he was always careful never to hurt Yuuri, that didn’t mean he couldn’t still feel the memory of that encounter.  Just thinking about how hard he’d come with the long curve of Victor’s cock inside him made his own start to lengthen and thicken. The warm thigh rubbing between his legs only got him hotter. Victor’s leg hair was baby-soft as it tickled Yuuri’s perineum and sac.

“Maybe I like hearing you say yes, too,” Yuuri said.

“I’m yours, then. Anything you want is yours to take.”

Victor was right. Hearing someone offer their consent like that was incredibly sexy. “Well,” Yuuri said. “I was thinking more about ‘giving’ rather than ‘taking.’ I hope that’s okay, too.”

Victor’s answering smile was so pure and sweet that love fluttered high in Yuuri’s heart, driving an ache into his throat. He was so enamored that he couldn’t help but go in for another kiss, just to taste the perfection of that smile. It was such a relief to see Victor happy again. As they exchanged lazy, indulgent kisses, Yuuri lowered more of his weight down and was welcomed by the parting of Victor’s thighs. Yuuri rocked his hips gently to make it apparent that he was aroused. Both of them were, the dry heat of their cocks sliding between their bellies.

There was only so much of that Yuuri could take before his mouth started watering. With little warning, he moved himself down Victor’s body, dragging his lips along the way, hot breath spilling out over the muscles of his stomach. The sheets and blanket fell away, forgotten as Yuuri wrapped his fingers around Victor’s cock and put his tongue to the join of the head to the shaft.

Victor was so excited by this that his ass lifted off the bed. Yuuri closed his lips around the head, gave it a nice little suck, followed by a swirl of tongue. Both of them moaned at the same time. Yuuri wasn’t even touching himself, but going down on Victor just did something to him. It turned on some switch inside Yuuri’s mind that made him want to lick and suck. He could taste a little precum and happily swallowed it down, then tongued at the slit to encourage more to seep out.

Victor’s fingers twisted in his hair, his stomach working hard for every breath. Yuuri relaxed his throat, pushed down, and hummed with pleasure when his nose came to rest against Victor’s smoothly shaven skin. His scent was especially strong there. He smelled like a man. Like heat and sex.

The humming must have felt good because Victor was having trouble keeping it together. One of his hands had left Yuuri’s hair to grasp at the bed’s headboard for support. “Fuck . . . fuck . . .”

Yuuri lifted off Victor’s cock, lapping his tongue up the underside and wrapping his fingers around the hot, wet shaft as it left his mouth. He bobbed his head, giving the tip an intense suck before he pulled back entirely to give Victor a second to catch his breath. A glistening strand of saliva connected the tip of Victor’s cock to Yuuri’s lower lip. Pumping his hand up and down the shaft a few times, he looked up at Victor and smiled. Yuuri was having fun.

He treated Victor to a very thorough blowjob—and treated himself in the process. Yuuri could only convince himself to stop when it became clear from the trembling of Victor’s thighs that he was teetering on the edge of an orgasm. Yuuri wanted this to last, so he released Victor’s cock and let it fall, slick and heavy, onto his stomach.

When Victor tried to touch himself to finish the job, Yuuri gently guided his hand away and pinned it to the mattress. “Not yet,” he said, his mouth now peppering kisses on Victor’s quivering inner thigh. “I’m not done.”

“I’ve created a monster,” Victor lamented.

God, it was sexy to see him undone like that—unable to control his breathing, all the layers of his cool confidence peeled back. Yuuri’s mouth had stripped him bare.

He wanted to take Victor even further but knew he shouldn’t touch his cock. If Yuuri did so much as place his tongue on the tip, it was all going to come spilling out. As tempting as it would be to swallow everything down, Yuuri instead licked at Victor’s sac, chasing his balls around with his lips before sucking one into his mouth. Victor’s body immediately tensed up, but he seemed to like what Yuuri was doing. The fingers in his hair held him in place.

Needing more room to work, Yuuri put both hands on the backs of Victor’s thighs and folded them up against his stomach. Victor was now bent in half beneath him, his thighs pinned to his belly, feet aloft and lower back lifted off the bed. Yuuri got up on his knees and stared down at his own erection, which was pointing in the direction of Victor’s ass.

Lost in the moment, Yuuri didn’t give it much thought when he went in to lick Victor a bit lower than before. Yuuri paused just before he did it though. There was a small moment of uncertainty. Rimming was not at the top of his list of desirable sex acts, but he remembered what it had felt like when Victor had done it to him the other night.

It was odd at first. The idea that Victor would want to do such a thing to Yuuri at all had astonished him. But once he’d allowed himself to relax, the feeling of a tongue lathering wetness over all those nerve-endings was actually quite nice. Yuuri remembered the way it had made every muscle in his body turn to mush and how tranquil he’d been during the sex that had followed. Victor’s cock had never had an easier time working into him. It had been such a comfortable experience that Yuuri had felt like he’d been pampered with a massage.

It would be nice if he could make Victor feel that way in return. . .

Willing to try it once, Yuuri closed his eyes and lapped the flat of his tongue over Victor’s entrance.

The reaction was instantaneous. Victor tensed up for a second, but then it was suddenly like he was falling from a great height. “Oh,” he breathed softly as gravity took him. Every ounce of tension drained out of the pale thighs pinned beneath Yuuri’s hands.

Wow, Yuuri thought. Victor was always so focused on Yuuri’s pleasure during sex. Only a few times had Victor allowed himself to lose his mind over his own pleasure, and this was one of them. And all Yuuri had done was give him a little lick. . .

It wasn’t an unpleasant experience at all. Like so many other things, his mind had made a bigger deal of the concept than it probably should have. Victor’s skin was clean, and the tight pucker of his entrance was just as gorgeous as every other part of his body. Shaven clean. The skin, pink and perfect. Yuuri found he enjoyed licking and kissing him there, knowing he was making his lover feel good and helping him find some relief from all the stress of the last day.

Victor melted. His arms fell boneless to the pillow, and his face went smooth. He looked like an angel, lying there so serenely with his hair shining silver-gold in the afternoon sunlight. “Yuuri,” he whispered as he drifted. “Yuuri, what are you doing?”

“Enjoying my day off.” Yuuri turned his eyes up, lips wet. “How about you?”

“Oh, my God. . .”

It went on and on like that—slow, wet licks everywhere—until Yuuri was satisfied that Victor was both relaxed and worked up at the same time. Yuuri sat back on his heels and wiped his mouth, pleased with what he saw before him. Victor’s eyes were half-lidded, and though he didn’t seem capable of lifting his arms up, he was flushed and panting with exertion. The thickness of his arousal was rather impressive, and while it would have felt very nice to sink down on top of it, Yuuri instead took his own cock in hand and rubbed the head against all the slick he’d left between Victor’s legs.

“Yes,” Victor said, the word practically a sigh of relief. His thighs fell open. “I want it.”

Yuuri smiled and leaned over to grab the lube off the foot of the other bed where he’d left it earlier that morning before their shower. He slicked himself up first, using a generous amount so that Victor wouldn’t feel even a hint of discomfort. Yuuri would gladly sacrifice a bit of friction to make sure Victor stayed exactly as relaxed and blissed out as he was now.

He used the excess lube on Victor, again pressing one of his thighs to his stomach to help him open up. Yuuri rubbed at the sweet little pucker for a while before introducing a finger. Victor bit down on his lower lip. He still had one foot resting on the mattress, and it shifted restlessly.

“Too much?” Yuuri asked, the words a bit staggered. The heat of Victor’s body had taken his breath away. God, he was tight. Yuuri had been neglecting his own arousal while he tended to his partner’s, but the throbbing ache between his legs was now impossible to ignore.

“Not enough,” Victor said. “I want your cock in me.”

Hearing such sinful talk from someone who looked like an angel made it difficult to think. Yuuri had to squeeze his eyes shut for a second to clear his head from the fog of lust that came over him. He withdrew just long enough to get a bit more lube before going in again, this time with two fingers. The cool slick warmed quickly as he worked it into Victor’s body. He was almost ready.

But suddenly Yuuri was gasping, his lower back arching inward—because Victor had reached down to wrap his long fingers around Yuuri’s cock.

“Stop teasing me, please,” Victor said in a voice like silk. “Or else I’ll start teasing you back.”

Was that supposed to be a threat? If so, Yuuri wished Victor would threaten him more often . . . because that was hot.

Two could play that game. “You want me to fuck you?” Yuuri’s tone was mischievous, coy. He was asking for trouble and was happier than he probably should have been when it found him.

“Yuuri,” Victor purred, eyes glinting dangerously as his fingers worked up and down his lover. Everything about his body language indicated this was Yuuri’s final warning.

A thrill of excitement shot through him. He gripped Victor’s hips and pulled his entire body closer. It was satisfying to see the way his blue eyes went wide as his head left the pillow and his back went sliding down the sheets. Yuuri leaned up to grab the pillow. Then he pinned one of Victor’s legs to his stomach again and stuffed the pillow beneath him so that he was angled higher. Easier for Yuuri to fuck.

After that, he didn’t waste any more time. He lined himself up and led with his hips as he pushed in.

It was effortless, like sinking down into warm honey. Victor had never been this wet before, and Yuuri let out a sound of amazement when he bottomed out.

“Oh, that’s good. . .” Victor said. “Don’t be too gentle. I want to feel it.”

Thanks to the pillow, Victor’s ass was angled high enough that Yuuri could release his leg. Instead, he put both hands on Victor’s waist and rocked into him—a slower pace at first until Yuuri realized how much Victor truly seemed to want a good pounding. By the time the little pinch of tension between Victor’s eyebrows smoothed into relief, Yuuri was fucking him hard enough that their bodies clapped together with each decisive stroke.

Victor was not anywhere close to quiet. He let out a near constant stream of little pouts and gasps that were only silenced for a few brief seconds whenever Yuuri quickened the pace. Then, once Victor wrapped his mind around how good it felt, the sounds just kept getting louder. “Baby . . . oh, fuck. You feel so good. Yuuri.” Victor reached out to run his palm down Yuuri’s chest and stomach, eyes hazy, like he approved of everything he saw.

Yuuri was having a bit of trouble holding it together himself. Not only was Victor saying his name in the most unthinkable tone, but the way he was spread out beneath him was obscene—with his sultry eyes and hair all a mess. One of his nipples was hard and wet, the other untouched, and his cock was leaking all over his stomach.

It was impossible to resist. Yuuri slowed down, bent at the waist, and took Victor’s cock in hand. Angled upward, it was long enough that Yuuri was able to get his mouth around the very tip and give it a suck, all the while still rocking gently into Victor. Shallow thrusts were all he could manage in that position. It was difficult to maintain. His neck ached and stomach muscles burned, but it was worth it.

Victor’s back arched off the mattress. “Who taught you these things?”

His cock slipped out of Yuuri’s mouth and fell back onto his stomach. Licking his lips, Yuuri shrugged. “I just wanted to see if it was possible. Think you can thrust into me?”

Victor gaped at him like he couldn’t even begin to make sense of the question. Wearing an amused smirk, Yuuri dipped his head down again and licked the tip of Victor’s cock. Victor put his hands over his eyes and started speaking Russian, which Yuuri took as encouragement. It hurt a little and made it almost impossible to breathe, but he stretched himself down as far as possible until the head of Victor’s cock was back in his mouth.

Encouraged by Yuuri’s hands, Victor’s hips began to rock. He fucked himself forward into Yuuri’s mouth and simultaneously onto his cock, and about ten seconds of that was all either one of them could handle. Out of oxygen, Yuuri sat up with a gasp and was so pleased by their accomplishment that he started laughing.

Victor wasn’t laughing at all. He looked like someone had just shown him a glimpse of heaven.

Who knew it was possible to fuck and blow someone at the same time? The only way it could get any better was if there was a second Victor fucking Yuuri from behind. That was his idea of heaven. Two Victors at once.

Yuuri whimpered, getting over-stimulated by his own imagination. He had to pull out and sit back on his heels to catch his breath. “Sorry. I think I liked that a little too much.”

“Oh, you are going to get it,” Victor vowed. “Just you wait. Revenge is going to be sweet.”

“Sounds fun.” Yuuri grinned and dropped a kiss on Victor’s knee. “But that’ll have to wait until later. I’m not done with you yet.”

Leaning forward, he put his palms on the mattress and lowered himself down to kiss Victor on the mouth. The moment their tongues met, Yuuri moaned and forgot what he was planning to do. How could he have gone so long without kissing him? There was just too much of Victor to enjoy. Yuuri wanted all of him at once.

It was at Victor’s insistence that things heated up again. Slipping a hand between their bodies, he found Yuuri’s cock, and together they guided it back into place. Still kissing, Yuuri worked his tongue into Victor at the same time that he filled him up somewhere else. Victor’s legs wrapped around him, and his arms completed the trap. Not that he wanted to, but Yuuri couldn’t have gotten up if he tried. They were completely tangled up with each other.

When one of Victor’s hands came to squeeze his ass, Yuuri’s eyes opened, his interest kindled. “Can you put your fingers in me like you did the other night? I like feeling full when I come.”

Victor’s stomach shook with laughter. “Mmm, we need to get you some toys, then. A nice Victor-sized plug to keep you happy while you fuck me.”

Yuuri stopped moving, and his face turned bright red. “T-toys?” The very idea was so dirty, he couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. But he was also a little turned on. . .

“I wouldn’t mind a Yuuri-sized one myself.” Victor leaned up far enough to give Yuuri’s ass a playful slap—just hard enough to make it jiggle and leave him with a pleasant sting.

Yuuri’s eyes went wide. Oh. Oh, he liked that. It hadn’t hurt at all.

“Do that again,” he said

Victor laughed. “So demanding. Which is it, my little katsudon? Do you want another slap or my fingers inside you?”

“You have two hands,” Yuuri reminded him. “I thought you were supposed to be some kind of hotshot choreographer. Do I have to think of everything myself?”

More laughter from Victor—and it was so good to hear. They were having fun, their fight long forgotten. Victor presented Yuuri with his two longest fingers—the index and middle—and they were obediently accepted into his mouth. Yuuri ran his tongue all over them, eyes locked with Victor’s, but he honestly didn’t try to get them very wet. He wanted to feel a little burn.

Victor smiled breathlessly up at him, as if he found what he was witnessing amazing. “God, you’re gorgeous.” He slapped Yuuri’s ass again, which elicited a gasp of surprise, and then his palm was rubbing circles over the same place, soothing the skin he’d just punished. “Do you like that, sweetheart? Tell me if it’s too hard. Would never want to hurt you.”

“Do it again,” Yuuri begged, his thighs beginning to shake. His hips were moving again, his cock working in and out of Victor, but it was almost too much stimulation. He wasn’t going to last much longer. Not with the way Victor’s ass was squeezing him, so hot and tight.

Victor hadn’t forgotten Yuuri’s other demand. He brought his slicked-up fingers between Yuuri’s cheeks and rubbed at his entrance. It was a bit of a stretch to get them in but well worth the effort. Yuuri let out a broken cry when he was penetrated. While fingers weren’t nearly as good as Victor’s cock, they gave him something to clench around. Yuuri fucked into Victor and whispered, “I’m close  . . . oh, God. . .”

“Come inside me, baby.” Victor squeezed Yuuri’s ass with his free hand and then gave the round cheek another slap. “Get me all wet.”

That was far more stimulation than Yuuri could handle. He cried out again, an unintelligible mixture of Japanese and English with Victor’s name lost somewhere in the middle. Yuuri’s knees slid apart on the sheets, barely able to support his weight as he spilled everything he had into Victor. It was the kind of orgasm that pulled from somewhere deeper than expected. Yuuri could feel his hole clenching around Victor’s fingers, desperate to latch onto something thick and hard.

After he descended, Yuuri was left boneless and spent with his cheek resting against Victor’s chest. Yuuri panted, ears ringing, only vaguely aware that Victor was rubbing his back and talking to him in soft, melodic Russian. Yuuri sighed and snuggled closer to the sound. He could listen to that voice for hours. . .

“We definitely need to get you a plug,” Victor said in English. “My arms hurt.”

As his pulse slowed, Yuuri found himself wondering what a toy would feel like. Surely not as good as Victor. . .

He could feel Victor’s cock now, trapped between their stomachs, and realized how selfish he was being. “Do you want to come inside me, too?” Yuuri murmured, almost too wrung out to speak. “Whatever you want, I’ll do it.”

He meant it. Yuuri trusted Victor completely. Whatever he asked for next, Yuuri knew it would be pleasurable for him as well. There was nowhere he’d ever be safer.

Victor nuzzled the side of Yuuri’s face and said, “Will you finish me off with your mouth? I like the sounds you make when you go down on me.”


Without hesitation, Yuuri got up on his hands and knees. He moved downward and kissed the valley between Victor’s stomach muscles. Yuuri really was drunk now—with pleasure, with his lover’s scent, with the desire to suck and swallow. He lapped at the wetness Victor’s cock had left smeared across his abdomen, then chased the head around with his mouth until he was able to latch on.

Yuuri didn’t use his hands. He just closed his eyes, hollowed out his cheeks, and started to move.

“Mmm. That’s it, love.” Victor’s hands were warm and gentle on Yuuri’s face. “You like doing that, don’t you?”

Yuuri could only moan in affirmation because he wasn’t willing to release Victor long enough to speak. He bobbed his head, increasing the pace.

“Fuck.” Victor’s head fell back onto the mattress. It wasn’t long before his stomach muscles started to tighten, but no matter how worked up he got, the fingers that slid into Yuuri’s hair never pulled or caused him any pain. “Can I come in your mouth?”


Yuuri moaned again and sucked harder, letting the rub of his tongue on the underside of Victor’s cock serve as his reply. Oh, it tasted good. . .

Victor’s breathing soon went ragged, evidence that he was fast losing control. “Look at me, Yuuri. I want to see you.”

Yuuri opened his eyes obediently, and that was what finally pushed Victor over the edge. His heels dug into the mattress when he came, but he never shut his eyes. They stared each other down while Yuuri swallowed everything Victor gave him.

All in all, not a bad way to wake up after a fight.

Afterward, they were quiet. They snuggled together, side by side, and drifted on the edge of sleep once more. Yuuri marveled at the feel of Victor’s fingers skating patterns along his back and realized he could have this every day for the rest of his life. How in the world had he gotten so lucky? What had he done to find himself so blessed? He felt he scarcely deserved it.

“I love you,” Yuuri said.

Victor’s arms gathered him closer in response, and they licked kisses into each other’s mouths until Yuuri was left without a shadow of a doubt that he was loved and desired in return. Only then did Victor pull back, meet Yuuri’s eyes, and drag a thumb across his wet lower lip. “I love you, too,” he said.

Never again did Yuuri feel insecure about Victor’s love for him. The final whisper of doubt had disintegrated into nothing, and when he closed his eyes, his mind was perfectly at peace.

They slept.

(The next day)

Victor couldn’t get his damn necktie knotted properly.

With a sigh, he undid his last failed effort and tried again, frowning at his reflection in the bathroom mirror all the while. He was dressed in a pair of black slacks, a leather belt, and a crisp white shirt for tonight’s event, but his tie could not be convinced to behave. He didn’t have time for this. They were due to check in at the arena within the hour.

“Here,” Yuuri said. “Let me help.”

Four simple words, softly spoken.

Victor’s hands fell away from his tie, and he pressed his lips into a neutral line while he allowed Yuuri to take over. He was also dressed for tonight’s performance, but his hair wasn’t fixed yet. His bangs fell soft and clean onto his forehead as he came to stand in front of Victor. Dark brown eyes with just a hint of mahogany flickered up at him before he set to work on fixing the necktie.

It had been like that between them since the public practice at the arena that morning. They weren’t fighting, but things weren’t exactly simple either. The closer they got to Yuuri’s last time on the ice, the more Victor struggled to maintain his composure.

Yesterday had been much easier.

After they’d made love and taken a lazy nap in the afternoon sunshine, they’d woken up and realized they were starving. They had food delivered to the room and ate together in bed with love-bites still red and smarting all over their bodies. Neither one of them had felt much like talking, so they’d turned on the television so that they wouldn’t have to. Yuuri had napped again with his head on Victor’s lap, enjoying the feel of fingers that ran endlessly through his hair.

After a marathon of reality television reruns, Yuuri had stirred and turned his face to press an open-mouth kiss to Victor’s leg. Not long after that, they’d gone at it again—with the television on in the background, the hum of the hotel’s heater overhead, and Yuuri grinding himself backwards against Victor’s lap.

Not only was the sex mind-blowing, but it provided a much-needed release for them both. They switched so often that it felt like neither one of them was ever on top or bottom. It all blurred together, like they were making love to each other at the same time. Victor noticed a shift in Yuuri that day. He was more present in the moment. Less distracted and closed in on himself. He met Victor’s eyes often and smiled so beautifully in between kisses that his heart couldn’t help but swell up with love. Yuuri was turning out to be quite a passionate lover. There were still moments of adorable bashfulness here and there, but he wasn’t afraid anymore to voice what he wanted.

They’d spent the whole day like that—napping, room service, and sex.

They cuddled and loved on each other to help soothe any remaining hurt between them, and at the end of it all, both of them were happy and at peace, if a little wrung out. The room smelled of sex. Victor’s body felt well-loved, and Yuuri looked centered and rested, which was exactly what he needed to be before his performance.

But then the next day had dawned, and their time of solace came to an end. Victor had held it together well enough on their day off, but by Saturday morning, he was starting to struggle again. At his insistence, Yuuri had gone to practice that morning at the arena, and he’d been unusually calm during his warmups. Victor wasn’t sure what to make of it. Either Yuuri had given up hope that he was going to win, or he was so confident that he almost looked disinterested.

They had both stayed far away from the topic of Yuuri’s retirement during their day off, but Victor made the mistake of bringing it up again after practice. That’s when things got awkward again. Yuuri had listened quietly to everything Victor said but hadn’t offered any reply—and that was beyond frustrating. Victor had found a few errands to keep himself away from the hotel room that day, while Yuuri took the time to rest before his evening performance.

Victor had only returned in time to put on his suit, and even though he loved the man who was fiddling with his necktie more than anything else in the world, he found he could barely look at him. Yuuri was making a huge mistake, and Victor couldn’t do anything to stop him.

“Will you watch me closely tonight?” Yuuri asked as he pulled the silk of Victor’s necktie through the knot. “This performance is meant for you and no one else.”

Victor finally allowed his eyes to lower and focus on his fiancé, who had a noticeable hickey adorning his throat. There was another beneath his right ear. He would have to cover those up with makeup before they left, or the press would have a field day. “Have I ever taken my eyes off you when you’re on the ice?”

Giving the necktie one final adjustment, Yuuri’s palm smoothed its length down Victor’s chest. “You’re barely looking at me now.”

Victor’s gaze slid away again, this time to his own reflection in the mirror. He loosened his tie just a hair but was begrudgingly pleased with the way it looked. It would seem Yuuri was better at tying other people’s neckties than he was his own. “Turn around. I’ll fix your hair.”

He didn’t say it unkindly, but it was a dismissal of Yuuri’s attempt to connect with him. After all, he hadn’t heard anything Victor had been saying to him for two days. Why should he acknowledge what Yuuri was saying now?

Yuuri did as instructed and turned toward the bathroom mirror. Neither of them said anything while Victor picked up a comb from the counter and brought it to Yuuri’s hair. This had been their tradition for months, ever since his final fitting for his Free Skate costume back in Japan, when Victor had fixed Yuuri’s hair to help him picture how he would look on the ice. Ever since then, the only time Victor hadn’t done Yuuri’s hair for a performance was when they were in different countries during the Rostelecom Cup.

He loved doing this—feeling Yuuri’s body so close to his and the freshly-washed hair slipping cool and clean through his fingers. Even before they were in a confirmed relationship, these moments had always felt incredibly intimate. Tonight was no different, and Victor soon found himself struggling worse than before.

This was the last time he was going to get to do this. He would never again put on a suit as Yuuri’s coach nor help him get ready for a competition. He hated this—but only because he loved it so much.

Victor took his time and did it right, using a bit of gel to slick Yuuri’s hair perfectly back into place. A few strands refused to stay put, but all that did was make him look more endearing. After he was done, Victor made Yuuri face him and guided his chin up. All that was left to do was dab a little concealer on the marks Victor had left on Yuuri’s neck. Those were for his eyes only and no one else’s business.

“Vicchan, when do you want to get married?” Yuuri asked.

Victor shut the container of concealer and set it aside, aware that Yuuri was trying to cheer him up with the promise of happier things to come. “I already told you. After you win a gold medal.”

One side of Yuuri’s mouth pulled upward into an incredulous smile. He sensed that Victor was joking with him. “Guess I better make tonight count, then.”

“Guess you better. Unless you want to fly back to Japan by yourself, that is.” Victor dusted a little translucent powder onto Yuuri’s neck to set the concealer in place and leaned back to inspect his work. Yuuri looked stunning. Lean and soft at the same time. Fearsome and lovely, with his ink black hair and eyes that could evaporate a heart of ice into steam.

Yuuri was still fighting a smile and seemed destined to lose the battle. He stepped a bit closer—close enough that he couldn’t be ignored—and placed a hand on Victor’s chest. “Are you going to resign as my coach if I miss the podium, like you said you would in China?”

“Oh, yes. And I’ll step down as your fiancé, too. Didn’t you know I’m only sticking around as long as you make me look good?”

Yuuri’s smile didn’t falter, but it did acquire a tinge of regret. “It sounds so ridiculous when you say it like that.”

“That’s because it is ridiculous. But just so we’re clear. . .” Victor touched Yuuri’s chin to encourage him to meet his eyes and kept his hand there while he spoke. “We’ll get married when we’re ready. I was only joking about the gold medal. Don’t you know half the things I say are only to get a reaction out of you?” His hand moved to cradle the side of Yuuri’s face, his engagement ring glinting in the light. “I love you, my little katsudon.”

“I know you do,” Yuuri said, “but that doesn’t mean you’re not disappointed in me.”

Victor shook his head. “No. That’s your fear putting words in my mouth again, trying to make me into someone I’m not. I couldn’t be prouder. You know that, just like you knew in your heart I didn’t want to quit all those weeks ago in China. If I’m sad tonight, it’s because I love this. Being your coach. Traveling the world with you. Watching you perform. If you see that I’m frustrated, it’s because I feel like you’re not hearing me. Yuuri, you’ve chosen a path for yourself that made sense a year ago, but things are different now. All I want is for you to step back, look at where you are in your life now, and reconsider the choices in front of you. Can you do that for me?”

Yuuri still looked confused, but he nodded without hesitation. Victor might have felt more comforted if he thought Yuuri understood him. While he recognized that Yuuri wasn’t trying to hurt his feelings on purpose . . . it still hurt.

“Ignore me tonight,” Victor said. “Let me work through this on my own. You have a job to do, and when it’s done, you and I are going to walk out of that arena hand in hand. No matter what, okay?”

Another nod. “Okay,” Yuuri said.

“We should leave soon so you have plenty of time to warm up. You look beautiful, Yuuri. I know you can win tonight.” Victor gave him a warm kiss on the forehead but pulled back before he got too emotional.

Squeezing Yuuri’s shoulder, Victor moved past him into the bedroom to gather together the rest of the things they would need for the competition. Tissue box, room key, their badges, his black vest, matching suit jacket, and beige trench coat. No gloves tonight. He wanted their engagement rings on display, just like last time.

“Do you have everything you need?” Victor asked. He looked up and found Yuuri watching him, his bag with his skates already in hand.

“I don’t know yet,” Yuuri said softly. “Maybe. I need to think about it.”

He shouldered his bag and turned, leaving the hotel room without explaining what he meant.

To be continued