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Yuri groaned and turned over in his sleep, gathering his blanket tighter around his shoulders. Something was pulling at the edges of his consciousness and he didn’t like it. He tossed and turned for close to an hour, trying to pay no heed to the urge that threatened to drag him from the sweet bliss of his dreams, until it was too powerful to ignore.

All he wanted to do was sleep. Victor had worked him extra hard the past few days, the Russian man exceptionally prickly at any tiny mistake in the programs. It was already August, and the block championships were only a month and a half away.

He moaned as his eyes cracked open, wondering what had forced him awake so early on his free day. The sun had yet to clear the horizon and a deep blue light suffused through the room.

He was as hard as a rock, far more aroused than was normal for a morning erection, and it was highly uncomfortable.

“What the hell?” he grumbled, briefly wondering what kind of dreams he had been having.

Maybe I can get in another couple hours of sleep if I take care of that.

Somehow just even the thought of release made him even harder, something he would have argued wasn't possible just seconds before. But it also felt wrong. He knew he wouldn’t be satisfied with his hand.

Fine, a jog then. Clear my head.

Yuri tossed aside the covers and sat on the edge of his bed, rubbing the heels of his palms over his eyes to clear the sleep.

Yuri stood, stretched and took a deep breath. It hit him in a rush.

What. The. Fuck?

Yuri growled low in his throat, sexual frustration and annoyance at the early hour shifting to anger.

Of all the irresponsible things…

Yuri pulled on some sweatpants and a light t-shirt, careful of his persistent erection. A cloud of thoughts swirled in his head.

That isn’t going away anytime soon.

I’m going to kill him…

What in god’s name made him think this was even a remotely good idea?

Was he really so stupid as to let a fan overwhelm his senses?

God… that smell!

Is he really unable to go without sex for a few months?

Yuri growled again. The scent was overpowering even in his room, and he was glad that he took suppressants. If he were one of the alphas that didn’t he wasn’t sure if he would be able to hold back in his still-groggy state.

He stomped into the hall and the few paces to Victor’s room. The overpowering aroma was even stronger, which further incensed Yuri, who pounded on the screen.

“What the hell Victor? This is a traditional inn! It’s not safe to bring an unbonded omega in heat back for a fuck session! For god’s sake you don’t even have a lock on this door! Couldn’t you do this at their place?”

Instead of a reply Yuri’s demand was only met with desperate grunting and panting.

Yuri could smell the anger coming off himself. Normally he wouldn’t care about something as simple as a booty call. Who was he to judge his coach’s sexual proclivities? But this was really irresponsible. He grit his teeth, he needed to make it clear that the couple needed to relocate as soon as possible. It was never a good idea to move an omega in heat, but it had to be done before any of the alpha guests could get a whiff of that smell.

That enticing, demanding, begging aroma.

“Fuck Victor, you could at least answer m…” Yuri growled as he slid open the screen.

The overwhelming scent hit him full force, but that wasn’t what had stopped him mid-sentence.

The anger emanating from Yuri turned immediately to lust.

Rather than a couple, he’d walked in to see Victor sprawled on the bed, panting with a bright blush on his face. One of his hands was wrapped around his cock, fingers of the other pressed into his ass. The blankets and pillows on the bed had been rearranged in what could only be described as a nest.

Fuck.

Victor’s… an omega?

Yuri wasn’t aware of the low growl in his throat as he took a step into the room. Victor’s eyes met his, and his legs parted further as he submitted to the alpha.

“Yuri…” the platinum-haired man panted.

Yuri took another unconscious step, every one of his instincts on full. There was an omega in heat right in front of him, begging him to be its alpha.

The growl deepened and Victor’s eyes grew hopeful as they flicked from Yuri’s face to his erection and back.

“You’re… an omega?” Yuri asked.

“Yuri…” Victor begged, trying to move in ways he hoped would entice the younger man.

Yuri pulled his shirt over his head without thinking, fully intending to offer it to the prostrate omega as something to line his nest with.

His own pheromones rushed into his nose as the fabric covered his face, and for a brief instant Yuri felt clear-headed.

He could hear Victor’s needy whine, but kept the fabric over his face for a minute, gathering his senses, before pulling it back down.

Victor’s whine intensified as soon as he realized that Yuri wasn’t undressing. He tumbled out of his nest, pausing his self-stimulation in an attempt to approach the alpha in the room.

Yuri took a step back. “No Victor. You can’t consent right now.”

Every fiber of Yuri’s being wanted to give into the lust, to shed his clothes and fuck the man in front of him senseless; to mark him inside and out.

Victor’s whine increased as Yuri took another step back. “Yuri… Alpha...”

Yuri shook his head. He was almost back in the hall, and though the scent was still powerful it was slightly easier to breath with the fresher air coming in.

“I can’t give you what you want Victor,” Yuri said in as forceful, but calm, voice as he could. “You need to take care of yourself.”

Victor’s eyes didn’t leave Yuri’s face as his hand stroked his cock.

Yuri nodded and released some of his pheromones into the air, growling slightly. “That’s right Victor, show me what a good omega you are.”

The older man made a satisfied noise at the praise.

He’s running purely on instinct. He’s submitting to me.

“You’re going to be good for me and take care of yourself today,” Yuri ordered, fighting his own desires as Victor released a burst of needy pheromones. “Can you be good?”

Yuri released more of his own scent, a sign that the omega was under his protection.

Victor moaned as he breathed it in. Even if Yuri didn’t touch him, the younger man had laid claim to him for the heat. He would do whatever his alpha wanted.

“Go back to your nest for me Victor,” Yuri commanded. “Be good and take care of yourself. I’ll protect you.”

A haze of needy submission clouded Victor’s eyes as he crawled back to his bed. He curled up on top of the covers and resumed his self-stimulation as Yuri stepped back into the hall and pulled the screen shut.

Yuri took a shuddering breath, still angry, and sporting an erection he knew wouldn’t be abating any time soon. He closed his eyes and released as much of his scent as he could right outside the door.

Almost on his own instinct he moved to the end of the hall. He sat down in the narrow space, blocking the path of anybody who would try to go toward Victor’s room.

He spotted movement in the form of a shadow moving in an adjoining hall. He growled low in his throat in warning.

“Yuri?” Mari asked, glancing carefully around the corner.

Yuri breathed a sigh of relief. Mari was a beta, she was family, she was safe.

She came fully into sight, carrying a load of laundry from the inn. “Yuri?” she repeated. “Are you ok?”

Yuri shook his head. “I’m going to need your help today.”

Mari sniffed at the air. Her nose scrunched at smelling her brother so strongly, but she quickly detected the other, baser scent that infused the air. Her eyes widened.

“Did he…?”

Yuri shook his head, and her eyes grew even larger.

“Is he…?”

Yuri nodded.

“Shit Yuri! You’re an alpha! You need to get out of here.”

Yuri shook his head. “I can’t. He’s submitting to me right now. I need to stay close enough to keep scenting the air. If I leave it will probably distress him.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“Sit right here and protect him.”

“Can you handle that? All day?”

Yuri glanced back at Victor’s room. “I… I have to. He’s too vulnerable here without the protection of an alpha. Besides, my suppressants are helping more now that I’ve got a bit of space.”

“Did he tell you? That his heat was coming up? That he’s an omega?”

Yuri shook his head. “Not a word, I dunno if he even realized it himself. As to why he never said anything about being an omega, it’s probably the same reason I don’t make it known I’m an alpha. The stereotypes are too much.”

“Shit,” Mari said. “Can we move him somewhere safer?”

Yuri shook his head again. “He’s too far gone, and… he’s nested.”

“Fuck.”

“Yeah.”

There was a moment of silence.

“Ok Yuri. What do you need?”

“Keep everybody away. The only ones to get past the kitchens are you, mom or dad. I’m already fighting, and if I need to physically fend off another alpha I might end up giving in and claiming him. Even the staff has to stay away today, my instincts are too on edge to trust anybody but family.”

Mari nodded.

“I don’t think he prepared. So water bottles, lots of them. He’ll need to keep hydrated, but I don’t want to take a chance on glass breaking. Also food. If possible ask mom to make one of her cold soups so we can get water in him with the food too, and not need to worry about it getting cold.”

Mari nodded again and turned to place the order.

“Oh Mari.”

She turned.

“Towels. As many as you can spare from the inn.”

She nodded and scurried off to warn his parents and the employees about the situation.

Yuri leaned his head back against the wall and moved so that he was physically stretched  across the hallway. He glanced toward Victor’s room and swallowed at the lewd sounds he could hear coming from it.

“It’s going to be a long day.”

Chapter Text

Bright morning light streamed through the windows. Yuri was in a daze, exhausted from not enough sleep, and from fighting his instincts for several hours already. He sat on a makeshift seat of towels, allowing his scent to soak into them. Several more were stacked down the hall, just outside Victor’s room. He’d take the ones he wasn’t using as a chair in with food and water; give them to Victor to help keep his nest clean.

Yuri had lost count of the number of times he’d heard Victor orgasm in the few hours since his discovery. It was slowing though, and he thought the platinum-haired man would probably be exhausted enough to rest soon, hopefully even sleep.

There was a knock from the adjoining hallway. Yuri peered around to see Mari standing there.

“You doing ok?”

Yuri ran a trembling hand through his hair and nodded. “Yeah.”

“Are you sure?”

Yuri gave a weak smile. “It’s harder than I thought, but I’ll manage.”

Mari nodded and looked toward the kitchen area. “Yuri?”

“Yes?”

“I called Yuko, to see if she could recommend anything that you might have forgotten or not known about…”

“And?”

“She insisted on coming over, even hung up on me before I could tell her you wouldn’t let anybody near. I made her wait outside the kitchen, but she’d like to come back and talk to you. Is it ok?”

Yuri glanced back toward Victor’s room. He could still hear panting and grunting, but softer than it had been even a few minutes earlier. There was a tinge of exhaustion in the smell as well. Yuri doubted he’d be too loud.

“She can come back, but only as close as you are now. I know she’s an omega, and shouldn’t set off my instincts, but I don’t want to take any chances.”

Mari nodded. “I have a tray ready with water and that cold soup you wanted mom to make. I’ll send it back with Yuko.”

Yuri returned the nod and watched as Mari’s shadow faded. Another quickly took it’s place.

“Yuri?” Yuko asked carefully as she stepped into view holding a tray laden with water bottles and thermoses of soup. “How are you doing?”

Yuri smiled as best he could. “About as well as can be expected I think.” He stood up and walked to where Yuko was waiting. He relieved her of the tray and carried it to the hall just outside Victor’s door. He set it down next to the stack of towels before returning to his own seat.

“Mari said not to go any farther,” Yuko said cautiously, “but can I take a couple more steps and sit down out of the way?”

Yuri smiled, realizing how careful she was being. He nodded and watched as she moved out of the main hall and into the half-hall that joined them. She slid down the wall and sat on the floor.

“Mari said that Victor’s submitting to you, and that you’re protecting him?”

Yuri nodded.

“That’s very good of you,” Yuko said with a smile. “But how did you even know to do that? I don’t think I recall it being taught in gender and sex education classes, unless they changed it after I took them. They just always emphasized that alphas should leave the area immediately. It’s not something I would have expected you to research either.”

Yuri smiled, closed his eyes, and leaned his head back against the wall. “It was when I moved to Detroit…”

“Hmm?”

Yuri opened his eyes again and looked at her. “The year before I moved to Detroit there had been a number of unplanned pregnancies and unable to consent cases at the university. Of course I didn’t know it at the time, but I heard some upperclassmen grumbling about it later.

“In order to prevent as many future incidences as possible the school instituted a mandatory seminar policy. Every student, regardless of age, primary, or secondary gender, had to attend a lecture about consent and consequences. Of course omega heat was only one aspect of that initial session, they also covered alcohol, drugs and other cases where consent could not be realistically given.”

“That sounds like a good thing,” Yuko replied.

Yuri smiled. “It was. But…”

“But?”

“Alphas had to attend an additional three lectures.”

“Just alphas?”

Yuri nodded. “In the end I think it was just the school trying to be proactive, but there was a lot of grumbling at the time.”

“I can understand why. It furthers the stereotype.”

Yuri nodded. “We had several choices, of course. Most looked to be the same few lectures, how to resist alpha urges, just packaged into different ways of looking at it. But there were three I liked the looks of, so I took them instead. They were all focused on the needs of the omega, rather than the alpha.”

“And you learned to have an omega submit while you protect in one?”

Yuri nodded.

“The first lecture was about helping an omega prepare for heat, recognizing the signs, finding a safe location, getting consent, understanding rejection, and setting firm boundaries so that you know exactly what they want while their head is clear.”

Yuri chuckled. “That was the fullest of the three, and given the number of stereotypical alphas in it I’m sure most hoped there would be tips to garner consent. Boy did they seem disappointed when consent was covered, but as a necessity. The instructor stressed that if an omega seemed uncomfortable they had their reasons for refusal, and not to push.”

Yuri leaned his head back against the wall and stared at the ceiling. “It was the second class that covered what I needed to know today. As an alpha I’d always been taught to get away from an unbonded omega in heat, so as to not be overwhelmed myself.”

“But that leaves the omega at the mercy of the next person who happens along…” Yuko murmured.

“Yeah. I’d never been fond of the idea of abandoning somebody in so vulnerable a state. In fact I took that lecture in particular because on the synopsis it specifically mentioned using alpha pheromones to protect an unbonded omega from other alphas.”

Silence filled the hall for a moment, the only noise the distant sounds of the kitchen and bustling inn.

“It was so hard Yuko,” Yuri finally said, words shaking as they tumbled from his lips. “I… I knew that omega pheromones were powerful during heat because they’re meant to attract an alpha. But even with my suppressants I could barely hold back when he was right there, begging me.”

Yuri turned a tearstained face toward Yuko, who looked like she wanted to hug him but knew better.

“I… I honestly don’t know how I managed. But somehow that lecture came back to me. He was already submitting, just me being in the room was enough, so I used it. I told him to take care of himself, and gave off as much of my own scent as I could.”

Yuri shook, and Yuko dared to reach out and place her hand over his. He smiled softly at the gesture, thankful that she was a bonded omega and not setting off his strained instincts.

“That’s not the Victor I know in there right now,” Yuri breathed. “It looks like him, sounds like him, to an extent even smells like him. But…”

Silence fell between them.

“Takeshi said the same thing after the first time he saw me in heat,” Yuko said after a moment. “We were still young, and my cycles hadn’t evened out yet.”

“I remember you presented so early,” Yuri murmured.

“Sixteen isn’t that bad, a bit early but within the normal range. Takeshi was luckier, he was seventeen before he presented."

Yuko paused and took a breath. “The first time Takeshi saw me in heat was only about six months before I became pregnant with the girls. He’d presented a few months earlier, and had fallen into a steady rut schedule almost immediately. However, my cycles were still irregular, despite me having presented nearly two years prior. I’d go four or five months between, and then have one a month for a few months to compensate. I didn’t have any real warning symptoms either so it was a struggle.

“We were supposed to go on a date to the amusement park, and he came to my house early in the morning to pick me up. Mom and dad were already at the rink for the day. I was home alone.

“He knew he was welcome, and when I didn’t open the door he used the spare key to come in. By that time I was too far gone to warn him away. I remember him coming into my room and just standing there. He was growling, and I couldn’t help myself. He’d never even seen me naked before, and I was begging. I wanted him more than I’d ever wanted anything else in my life.

“I was so hurt and confused when he ran. I felt unwanted as an omega, abandoned by an alpha. It took me several days to forgive him, even though I knew that he did everything right at the time.”

Yuri exhaled shakily.

“I hope Victor’s not mad at me…”

“Of course not Yuri. He has to know, even as he is now, that you’re protecting him.”

“But Yuko, I made him submit to me. Worse than that I effectively claimed him as my omega by scenting the area like this. I know it’s temporary, but… What… what if he didn’t want that?”

Yuko smiled and rubbed his hand again. “Yuri, it might be hard to believe, but chances are he’s incredibly grateful. You wouldn’t know it as an alpha, but I was terrified every time I went into heat before Takeshi bonded me.”

Yuri looked at her, begging with his eyes for her to continue.

“I knew I wanted Takeshi as my alpha, but I had so many fears. What if I went into heat unexpectedly and he wasn’t there? What if another alpha found me first? We’re at the complete whim of our bodies during heat. We need an alpha brave enough to do the right thing under circumstances like these.”

Yuri smiled wanly.

“Can I tell you a secret?”

Yuri nodded.

“Takeshi doesn’t know that I know this. But my parents told me that when they got home that day they found him curled up asleep outside our front door. Just like you’re doing now, he knew enough to protect me. I was so hurt and confused that he ran, but when my parents told me how he had stayed, I couldn’t hold onto that pain. I guess he begged them not to tell me, afraid I would be even angrier that he was so close and not with me. But I’m grateful Yuri. I’m sure Victor is too.”

Yuri smiled. “Thank you Yuko.”

She nodded and leaned back against the wall again.

Yuri listened and heard nothing coming from the room. “I think he’s finally resting a bit. I should take in the water, food and towels before the next wave hits.”

“Do you want me to leave?”

Yuri stood and considered. “Could you wait just a moment? I… I don’t know how powerful the scent will be now. I think that you might have a better chance of pulling me back to myself if it’s overwhelming. Another alpha, or even a beta I’d likely just fight.”

Yuko nodded. “I’ll stay right here until you’re done.”

Yuri returned the gesture and took several cautious steps toward Victor’s room. He slid the door open an inch and peeked in. The smell was almost too much, and he knew he still needed to go inside. He saw Victor curled up in the nest, either too exhausted to move or asleep.

Yuri turned to look at Yuko and indicated that he was going in. He slid the door open the rest of the way, and turned to grab the tray and towels. Balancing them carefully he stepped into the pheromone-filled room.

Victor groaned slightly as soon as he smelled Yuri. His eyes cracked open and Yuri caught him staring as he set the tray within reach of the nest.

Seeing that his coach was awake, Yuri took one of the bottles of water and opened it. He turned to the bed and stood near, careful not to touch the nest.

“Yuri…” Victor croaked, reaching toward him.

Yuri held out one hand and allowed the older man to grasp it. Victor rubbed his cheek against the scent glands in Yuri’s wrist.

“You’re being so good Victor,” Yuri praised softly.

Victor purred at the words.

“Can you drink some water for me?” Yuri asked, holding out the bottle.

Victor moved enough to allow Yuri to tip some water into his mouth. After a few swallows the Russian took the bottle in his own hands and quickly drank the entire thing.

“That’s very good Victor,” Yuri cooed.

Victor whined happily.

“I brought food, and more water. I want you to eat and drink whenever you need to, ok?”

Victor nodded, eyes flicking between Yuri’s face, his hand and his sweatpants.

Yuri held out his hand again and allowed more of his scent into the room. Victor sighed contentedly as he rubbed the smell over his face.

This is for him. I just hope he doesn’t hate me for it tomorrow.

“I have some presents for your nest Victor,” Yuri said after a minute.

Ocean blue eyes met chocolate ones and Yuri held out the towels. “I brought some towels. Use them to keep your nest warm and dry. If they get too wet or soiled toss them on the floor ok? I can get you more. I want you to stay comfortable today.”

The platinum-haired man reached up and accepted the gift. He immediately turned to lining his nest with the fluffy towels, purring softly as he worked.

“It’s such a nice nest Victor,” Yuri complimented. “You should be proud of it.”

Victor looked at him and Yuri could see joy shining in the older man’s eyes. Yuri pat his cheek, and allowed Victor to rub it against his wrist again before releasing a burst of alpha pheromones.

“Keep being good for me Victor,” Yuri commanded. “Take care of yourself today. I’ll make sure you’re left alone, and have food and water. Ok?”

The disappointment on Victor’s face was evident, but he nodded. Yuri was his alpha, and his alpha wanted him to pleasure himself.

Yuri smiled, it felt forced, but it seemed to do for Victor. “Rest now, and, if you can, try to eat the soup in the thermos before your next wave hits, ok?”

Victor nodded and moved to curl up in the middle of his nest.

Yuri watched for a minute then backed out of the room and slid the door shut again. He turned to see Yuko standing and staring at the entrance to the hall, ready to intervene if necessary but respecting his boundaries and not stepping past his chair of towels.

Yuri nodded at her, and she visibly relaxed.

“How’s he doing?” she asked as Yuri sat back down.

Yuri smiled softly. “Exhausted looking, but I think that’s to be expected. I let him scent himself from my wrist, and he seemed to like that a lot.”

“It’s comforting to have an alpha’s scent like that. He knows you’re not leading him on, that he’s worthy of an alpha’s attention.”

“I think he’s going to sleep for a little bit. He seemed pretty tired.”

Yuko stood. “I should let you sleep too then. I figure it’s probably nearly impossible when he’s awake.”

Yuri chuckled and nodded. “I don’t know if my body would even let me, and if it did I’d probably sleepwalk in there and wake up with him purring in my arms.”

Yuko pat his hand again. “Sleep while you can. I’ll let Mari know to check in on you every fifteen minutes or so, she’s got a good nose and can wake you before his scent gets too strong again.”

“I appreciate it Yuko.”

She smiled and turned to leave.

“Yuko?” She paused and looked back at Yuri. “Thanks for coming… I… I needed that perspective. It… grounded me in a way; helped me remember that I’m doing the right thing.”

“That’s why I came. I thought you might need the advice of somebody who’s been where he is now.”

Yuri smiled.

Yuko took a few steps toward the kitchen. “One day you’ll have to tell me about that last required lecture. I’m curious to know what it was.”

Yuri smiled. “Another time.”

“Of course!” With that she strode out of sight.

Yuri stood and walked back to Victor’s room. He slid the door open just a crack and peeked in. Victor was curled in his nest and obviously asleep for the time being.

He closed the door and returned to his place at the end of the hall. He rearranged the towels he was using to form an impromptu bed and laid down to get as much sleep as he could.

Chapter Text

“Yuri.”

Yuri groaned, not wanting to wake up. Somebody was shaking his shoulder.

“Wake up Yuri.”

Yuri opened his eyes to see Mari standing in front of him. It took a few seconds before he recalled what was happening. He pushed up off the floor. “Is everything ok?”

Mari nodded. “I think he’s still asleep, but it smells like he’ll wake up soon.”

Yuri returned the nod and moved to reassemble the towels into a comfortable seat.

“Do you want me to bring one of the cushions from the dining room instead?” Mari asked, eyeing the arrangement.

Yuri shook his head. “No. I’ll need these later. I’m trying to scent them. Since I’m on suppressants I don’t have as much, so being in contact with them all day was the only thing I could think of.”

Mari made a face, but nodded in understanding.

“How long was I asleep?” Yuri asked after a minute.

“Couple hours.”

Yuri blinked. “Really?”

“Yeah. Is that surprising?”

“Just… given how bad it was this morning I expected his naps to be shorter. I guess I should feel lucky to have gotten that long a break.”

Mari smiled. “Do you want me to bring you anything?”

Yuri looked toward Victor’s room. “Give me a minute to see if he needs anything, then I can answer for both of us.”

Yuri stood and made his way into Victor’s room. He saw immediately that at some point the Russian had woken up enough to eat the soup and drink several bottles of water. There were also a couple soiled towels on the floor. Yuri picked up the towels and put the empty water bottles and soup thermos on the tray. He carried them back to where Mari was waiting.

Yuri handed over the tray, then looked at the towels draped over his arm. “Umm, how about a bag for these instead?”

Mari gave him a dubious look and thrust out her arm in a give me manner.

Yuri shook his head. “They’re drenched in slick and... other fluids. There’s no way you wouldn’t smell like an omega in heat if you touched them right now. I’m sure you’d rather not set off any alphas in the inn.”

Mari gaped at Yuri for a moment before laughing and nodding. “You’ve got a point. I’ll go get a garbage bag for now. We’ll wash them as a bunch once this is over, cause they might need more than one cleaning.”

Yuri smiled. “Other than a bag, more bottles of water for Victor, more soup in an hour or so, and maybe a few more towels. I told him to keep his nest dry, so I want to make sure he’s able to do it.”

Mari nodded. “And for you?”

Yuri thought about it a moment. It wasn’t quite noon yet by his estimate, and the August heat was already starting to take over. “Did mom make enough soup for me to have some too?”

Mari smiled. “She thought cold soup was a good idea given the weather anyway, once you mentioned it that is. So it’s a special menu item today, to beat the heat.”

Yuri nodded. “Some soup then, and vegetables.”

“Not katsudon? I thought you would need the energy.”

Yuri shook his head. “Too much protein. I don’t want to confuse my instincts by giving my body too many calories in one go. That sounds like a meal perfect for somebody planning to join him in there. I think it’s safer to eat on the light side today.”

Mari gave Yuri a look before nodding. “Whatever you say. I’ll get some soup and vegetables for you.”

“Thanks Nee-san.”

She returned first with the things for Victor, and Yuri was glad for it. It mean that he could put the water and soup in the room before Victor awoke. It was almost more than he could handle, being in there with the Russian man begging.

Mari returned a few minutes later with food for Yuri, and he ate in the relative silence of the hall, listening to the distant sounds of the guests out in the inn, and paying careful attention to any noise that came from Victor’s room.

Yuri winced at the desperate, needy whine that floated down the hall when the older man awoke. He had to fight himself from joining him. He wanted to. Even without the instinctual pull he wanted to share Victor’s bed, and his heat.

I didn’t even know he was an omega until this morning.

Didn’t I?

Yuri was taken aback at the question from the back of his mind. He tried to think of all their interactions over the past few months. There had been a couple times when he’d noticed a sweet scent from Victor, but in itself it meant nothing. He knew the overall lack of scent meant the older man was on suppressants, but since Yuri was too he thought little of it.

Then he remembered Victor’s irritability over the past several days. The man had seemed especially prickly, and easily tired. He’d also eaten even larger portions than usual at mealtimes for several days before claiming not to be hungry and only taking liquids the afternoon before.  

Those are all signs, but…

Yuri knew that it would trouble him, but he also understood that it was too late to do anything. If he worried about missed signs while Victor was in heat it would surely come out in his scent and distress the other man.

Yuri spent the day alternating between keeping himself as relaxed and distracted as possible, and tending to Victor’s needs.

As the afternoon turned to evening he could smell a change. There were still several hours of Victor’s heat left, but it would be over sometime that night. He let his mind drift to the final of the three lectures he’d attended, something that seemed so unlikely for him to need at the time, but would prove invaluable before the sun rose again: Omega Heat Aftercare.

The lecture had been the least attended of the ones he had selected, with fewer than a hundred in the audience from an estimated two thousand alphas enrolled at the university. However, of all the lectures Yuri had found it the most captivating.

Omega mental health following a heat was a topic that had never been discussed in his gender and sex education classes before, and it wasn’t something he’d heard many alphas give much thought to. But while others were dozing through the requirement, Yuri was rapt with attention. He learned that the presence of the alpha was crucial to a speedy recovery following a heat.

More interesting was that how an omega perceived the heat as they regained their faculties determined how they would go into the next one. An omega that felt safe would be more relaxed the next time, while one that was nervous would expend additional energy to secure their location prior to the subsequent heat.

Yuri chuckled remembering something that was probably missed by the stereotypical alphas who had been asleep. The alpha’s actions during and immediately following the heat of an unbonded omega would determine how that alpha was treated in the future. Those who used the heat to force their will with no consideration of the omega would be rejected almost automatically, while those who showed care and respected the omega would fare better in future relations, no matter whether platonic or romantic.

Yuri sighed. I hope he understands that it isn’t right for me to touch him like this. I hope he doesn't hate me tomorrow.

Yuri stood and readjusted the towels he was sitting on. He knew his back would be sore after sitting on the floor all day, but it was something he had to do. Lewd sounds were drifting from Victor’s room again, but they had the edge of strain, of desperation, a last gasp of an instinct that was quickly losing to exhaustion.

Yuri listened to the diminishing noises drifting in from the inn as onsen and restaurant guests left for home, and travelers retired to their rooms. The soft sounds of dishes being washed in the kitchen filled the hall along with the gentle hum of the washing machines as linens were prepared for use. Hushed voices spoke of supplies that needed ordered and any issues that arose over the day.

Eventually the sounds of workers faded as well. Lights were diminished and the silver-blue illumination of the nearly full moon filtered in through the windows.

Yuri guessed that it was past midnight when soft whimpers filtered into the hall.

Yuri sniffed. The smell of heat had started to become stale, and exhaustion tinged the air. He stood and walked to Victor’s room. He cracked open the door and peered inside. Victor was sprawled on the bed, the nest looking shabby, with a few pillows already knocked to the surrounding floor.

Yuri returned to his seat and gathered all the towels he had sat on all day. He picked out the three that smelled the least like him and lined them in the hallway as a buffer to warn any other alpha that the territory leading to the omega was his. He then draped the remaining five towels over his arm and stepped into Victor’s room.

Victor was awake but clearly spent. He turned to look at Yuri, and somehow found the energy to put himself on display for his alpha.

Yuri smiled and allowed his scent to permeate the room. Victor hummed in response.

“You’ve been very good today Victor,” Yuri praised. “I’m proud of you for taking care of yourself all day like I asked.”

Victor smiled, and it almost broke Yuri’s heart to see how exhausted the man was.

“I have a reward for you, if you want it.”

Victor looked up, hopeful, his legs parting.

Yuri shook his head. “Not that, but if you’d like I’ll join you in your nest tonight. You can fall asleep next to me. Do you want that?”

Victor nodded.

Yuri reached out and allowed Victor to rub his face against his wrist again.

“Can I get in your nest now? Or do you want to do anything to it first?”

Victor looked around and readjusted a few pillows before turning and looking expectantly at Yuri.

Yuri smiled. “It’s such a nice nest Victor. I bet it’s really cozy.”

The platinum-haired man beamed at him, and stared at the armful of towels as Yuri carefully climbed into the arrangement of pillows and blankets.

Yuri moved to settle himself against the headboard. He propped up one knee and rested his arm against it. He set the towels within reach and patted his free leg.

“Come here Victor, and bring your favorite warm blanket with you.”

The naked man searched his nest for a moment, then selected a blanket. He crawled over and curled up on Yuri’s lap, his torso braced on the raised knee and arm. He buried his face in Yuri’s shirt, absorbing the younger man’s scent.

Yuri brushed a few stray strands of hair from Victor’s forehead. “Are you comfortable?”

Victor nodded.

“Good.”

Yuri reached for the scented towels and arranged them as best he could over them omega, giving him a cocoon of alpha pheromones before releasing more and enveloping them both. He then tugged the blanket over them both as best he could.

Yuri stroked Victor’s face, loving the sound of his pleased hum.

“You were so good for me today Victor. I’m very proud of you.”

A happy, calm, scent filled the air. Yuri looked down and saw that Victor had fallen asleep. He smiled and swept the hair from the omega’s forehead before carefully pressing a kiss to the skin there.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t give you what you needed. I wanted to, but I don’t want you to regret anything.”

Yuri continued to stroke Victor’s face with his fingers. The older man looked so at peace in sleep, and even more beautiful than during the day.

I wish I could really be your alpha Victor. I wish I could know that you meant it when you begged me to share your heat.

For now though, I can be your alpha like this. I can share this moment, I can give you this peace and my protection. And as much as I want to give you so much more, this will do, because it’s more than I ever hoped for.

Yuri kissed Victor’s forehead again, and buried his nose in the platinum hair. It was sweet and alluring. He could smell it every day and never tire of it; a combination of sweet oranges and fresh snow with a touch of cinnamon.

Let me be selfish just for tonight, let me hold you and protect you. I’ll probably never have this opportunity again.

Yuri watched Victor sleeping in the light of the moon until exhaustion overtook him and he fell asleep as well.

Chapter Text

Pale yellow light filled the room as Yuri awoke. His back was screaming at him. For a moment he wondered what he’d done to be in such pain before he remembered that he had fallen asleep sitting up, with a Russian man curled in his lap. He sniffed the air. The heat pheromones had faded and become stale, it was really over. He leaned his head back against the headboard and breathed a sigh of relief.

He looked at Victor, and brushed away a few stray hairs that had fallen across his face during the night. His idol, his coach, his mentor, all of that fell by the wayside in the moment. For the time being he was none of those things. He was a vulnerable person who needed Yuri’s protection. He was an omega in need of a considerate alpha. He was Victor, a person who had crashed into Yuri’s life, and one whom Yuri had come to regard as a dear friend, even though he secretly longed for more.  

“I wish I could have this forever,” Yuri murmured in Japanese as he gazed at the person sleeping in his arms. He couldn’t restrain the urge to kiss him again, and pressed his lips to the Russian man’s forehead.

Victor groaned as Yuri sat back up. He shifted, trying to get more comfortable, before finally opening his eyes. Yuri smiled down as the ocean-blue orbs focused on his face, and placed his hand along the Russian’s jawline. He rubbed soft lines along Victor’s cheek with his thumb.

“Yuri?” Victor asked hoarsely, momentarily confused.

“Good morning,” Yuri replied. “Feeling better?”

Victor blinked several times, then a deep blush spread across his cheeks up to the tips of his ears. He buried his face against Yuri’s chest. “Oh my god…”

Yuri smiled and combed his fingers through Victor’s hair, loving the softness of it.

“It wasn’t a nightmare… was it?” Victor murmured, voice further muffled by Yuri’s shirt.

Yuri startled slightly at the phrasing. “Afraid not,” Yuri replied softly. “But it’s over now.”

Victor’s hands snaked up from under the blanket and fisted into the fabric of Yuri’s shirt. The older man trembled at first, but soon started shaking uncontrollably. Yuri felt dry sobs against his chest, and could smell Victor’s distress.

Yuri didn’t know what reaction he had expected, but this wasn’t it. He wrapped his arms as best he could around Victor and held him close.

“I’m sorry Victor,” Yuri said as the older man’s unease settled to shivering. “I know what you wanted yesterday, but I couldn’t. You were in no state to make that decision.”

Victor shook his head, hands clenching even harder in the fabric. Yuri barely understood a muffled, “That’s not it.”

Yuri started, his mind reeling, trying to understand what had made Victor so distressed. “I… I don’t know what I did wrong. Please forgive me.”

Victor lifted his face just enough for Yuri to see red crowding the edges of Victor’s eyes, but he was so dehydrated that it appeared he hadn’t shed any tears.

“Yuri, you didn’t do anything wrong! Please don’t think that.” Somehow the air felt even more distressed as Victor tried to allay Yuri’s fears.

Yuri released a shuddering breath that he hadn’t even realized he was holding. He put his hand on Victor’s face again. “Ok, then… What can I do?”

Victor lowered his face into Yuri’s shirt again. “Let me… let me just stay like this for a while.”

“Of course,” Yuri replied, and ran his fingers through Victor’s hair, trying anything to sooth the Russian.

They sat that way for a several minutes, and Yuri could tell by Victor’s breathing that the older man was savoring his alpha smell. He released more to satiate the remaining needs of the omega, and continued stroking the older man’s hair. He felt the tension slowly release from Victor’s muscles and a short while later Victor was humming softly against the fabric.

“I’m sorry,” Victor finally whispered, and Yuri felt it as much as heard it.

Yuri could smell calm in the air.

Yuri slid his fingers underneath Victor’s chin and gently turned the man’s face up so that he could look him in the eye. “Why didn’t you tell me Victor?”

“That I’m an omega?”

“That… but more about your upcoming heat.”

Yuri rubbed his thumb over Victor’s cheek again, and Victor turned to smell and rub against the inside of Yuri’s wrist. For a moment Yuri wished that the intimate nature of the moment would never end.

“Why didn’t you tell me that you’re an alpha?”

Yuri startled but quickly softened into a gentle smile. “Probably the same reason you hide your omega status. There are too many stereotypes; too many expectations to conform to.”

Victor nodded. “Mm-hmm.”

“But Victor, you had to know that a room without a lock is a bad place to be in heat. Why didn’t you warn me? Surely you realized that I would find out as soon as it started.”

Victor turned his face into Yuri’s chest again. “Ah eh-eh oh,” he mumbled incoherently.

“Victor,” Yuri scolded.

Victor whined and looked up at Yuri. “I… I didn’t know it was coming. I’m on suppressants.”

Yuri scowled. “What do you mean you didn’t know?”

Victor whined again, still susceptible to the shifting moods of the alpha. “I wasn’t expecting it, and the only clue I had was irritability.”

Yuri growled low in his throat, and only realized it when the older man whimpered.

“Sorry Victor. I’m just worried. We’ll go to the doctor this afternoon and make sure everything is ok.”

“I don’t want to,” Victor argued.

“Victor…” Yuri warned.

Victor fidgeted nervously.

Yuri sighed and ran his fingers through Victor’s hair again. “I don’t want to force you with my scent, though we both know you’re still receptive to it. But I do have other ways of getting my way. I’ll just tell mom that you’re not allowed any katsudon until you have a doctor examine you.”

“That’s so mean!” Victor protested.

Yuri smiled. “Yes, but so is making me worry about your health. You’re supposed to be the responsible one, aren’t you? Coach?”

Victor grumbled and buried his face in Yuri’s chest again.

Yuri moved enough to poke at Victor’s hair whorl. “Come on. You know I’ll worry if you don’t. Do you want to be the reason I flub my jumps?”

The grumbling increased before Victor finally relented. “Fine. I’ll go, but only because I can’t have you missing jumps so close to the block championship.”

Yuri laughed. “You sure it wasn’t the katsudon?”

Victor smiled and looked up at him. “It was partially the katsudon.”

“I’m declaring today a free day, if that’s ok with you coach. My back is killing me.”

Victor smiled and nuzzled back into Yuri’s chest. “That’s fine, I’m feeling a little under the weather myself.”

A calm silence filled the room, the only sounds those of the birds outside. Yuri wanted to stay that way, but knew that they had to face the day. “We should probably go shower, maybe soak in the onsen for a bit. It won’t do to go outside smelling as strongly as we do.”

Victor curled up against Yuri. “Can we stay like this for a few more minutes? I’m comfortable right now.”

“Sure.”

Yuri combed his fingers through Victor’s hair absentmindedly until he felt and heard the Russian purring with contentment.

“I’m sorry Victor.”

Victor moved, and Yuri turned to look him in the eye. “What for?”

Yuri grimaced. “I… I made you submit to me. I didn’t know what to do, what you wanted me to do. So I claimed you by scent and made you submit. It was the only way I knew to protect you.”

Victor shook his head. “It’s ok Yuri. I’m glad you were here.”

Yuri smiled, and stretched uncomfortably. “We need to get up though. I might not be able to move if we don’t.”

Victor whined, but shifted out of Yuri’s lap.

Yuri scooted off the bed and stretched, wincing as muscles complained at the weird use over the past day. “I could soak all day.”

“Let’s skip the doctor and do that,” Victor suggested.

Yuri shot him an annoyed glance, but quickly smiled. “Nice try, but I’m taking you to the doctor. Since you weren’t expecting the heat, it’s one thing I’m going to insist on as your alpha.”

“My alpha…” Victor mused.

Yuri blanched. “I… I didn’t mean it like that.” He started fidgeting, his own hormones beginning to return to normal and his quiet self re-emerging. “I just meant that… since I sort of claimed you yesterday… and made you submit…”

Victor smiled and stood, the blankets and towels falling off him.

Yuri blushed and turned his head.

Victor laughed and stepped into Yuri’s space. He ran his fingers along Yuri’s jawline. “Are you really going to blush now Yuri? You’ve seen me nude before... in the onsen… yesterday.”

“That’s different,” Yuri muttered.

“If you say so,” Victor chuckled. “But I do like your idea, let’s just soak in the onsen all day.”

Yuri looked up, chocolate eyes meeting blue. “No. I’m not backing down on this.”

Victor sighed. “Ok, you can drag me to the doctor. Let’s soak before that though. I’m sore in ways I didn’t think was possible. It’s a lot of work to masturbate all day.”

“Victor!” Yuri whined, burying his face in his hands.

Victor laughed and pulled a robe around himself before heading toward the onsen. Yuri quickly followed. They soaked in relative silence for close to an hour, the baths empty during the early time of day.

Yuri could tell that something was bothering Victor, but figured that an unexpected heat could easily cause some inner turmoil. He hoped that a clean bill of health from the doctor would set his mind at ease.

By mid-morning they were walking toward the nearest clinic. However they quickly learned that the doctor wanted to wait on a determination until Victor’s medical history could be sent from Russia. Blood was drawn and initial tests started, and they were asked to return that afternoon.

Yuri noticed that Victor’s unease continued, and was glad when they returned to the clinic several hours later.

“Good afternoon Nikiforov-san,” the doctor said in Japanese as she strolled into the examination room. “I’m Doctor Ito.” She saw Yuri and looked at him questioningly before sniffing the air.

“And what’s your name? The chart is only for one patient.”

“Katsuki Yuri.”

“You’re the alpha?” she asked.

Yuri shook his head. “Temporary only. He wasn’t in a safe place, so I claimed him in order to protect. I remained nearby as a guard. I’m here to make sure he’s ok, and to act as a translator.”

“Can I ask what your relationship is? Given the personal nature of this discussion I want to make sure he’s comfortable with you translating.”

Yuri nodded. “He’s my coach… and my friend. Though if you prefer I’ll wait outside. He’s fluent in Russian, English and French, so translators in any of those languages will work.”

“Yuri?” Victor asked.

“Doctor Ito’s making sure it’s ok if I translate,” the younger man explained. “She doesn’t want you to be uncomfortable with me here, and she wants to be clear that the information I hear will be personal.”

Victor was silent for a moment, then grabbed Yuri’s arm and tugged him close. He draped his arms over Yuri’s shoulders. He pointed to his mouth, mimed speaking, motioned at Yuri, then the doctor and back.

She laughed at the obvious display and nodded her understanding.

“Victor!” Yuri protested as he squirmed out from the embrace of the Russian man.

Doctor Ito smiled, “I guess I have my answer.” She turned back to Victor. “I see that you’ve been on suppressants?” she asked.

Yuri quickly repeated the question in English.

“Yes,” Victor replied. “I’ve been on them for several years. Heats aren’t exactly desirable as an athlete.”

She nodded as Yuri translated and immediately went into her next question. “How long was this latest heat?”

“One day.”

“A bit on the short side,” she said with a slight scowl.

“Any negative side effects of the suppressants? How long have you been on them?”

The conversation continued back and forth for several more questions until the doctor seemed almost satisfied with her notes.

“When was your last heat Nikiforov-san?”

Victor grew quiet as Yuri translated, and shifted uneasily.

“Victor?” Yuri prodded.

Silence.

“Victor,” Yuri growled.

“Two… and a half... years.”

Yuri’s eyes widened. He could feel the eyes of the doctor on him as his voice rose. “Did you just say two and a half years?”

Victor shrunk in on himself. He nodded.  

“For god’s sake Victor! Do you know how dangerous that is? It’s no wonder it happened without you expecting it! Your body had to force it on you, despite the suppressants!”

Yuri felt a hand on his shoulder, and realized that his anger had pervaded the room. He turned and saw a questioning look on the doctor’s face. He quickly told her the answer and saw a similarly annoyed expression at the time that had elapsed.

She grumbled and turned to a computer screen. Yuri could only imagine Victor’s medical history as she studied and scowled over the information before turning to them again.

“There are no immediate signs of problems Nikiforov-san,” she started, allowing Yuri a chance to translate. “However, your body has rejected the suppressants. You will need to switch to a different kind.”

Victor nodded. “What kind?”

Doctor Ito shook her head. “We’ll need to discuss that at a later date. While nothing sticks out as an immediate issue, I am concerned about the length of time you suppressed, and that your body had a reactive heat in order to compensate. I want to put you under observation before prescribing new suppressants, and make sure future heats are normal for a man of your age and health.”

“Do you think there is a problem?” Yuri asked before Victor had a chance to.

The doctor shook her head again. “No, it’s standard practice.”

Yuri noticed that although it seemed that he was ok, the Russian was nervous.

“How long?” Victor asked.

“One year.”

Yuri’s jaw dropped, and Victor visibly paled once it was translated.

“Why so long?” Victor finally asked.

The doctor turned back to the chart displayed on her computer screen. “This isn't the first instance of a reactive heat from oversuppression. I’m just ruling out any underlying causes that would be masked by suppressants. I’d also like to ensure that you return to a normal heat cycle when off them.”

“This wasn’t the first time?” Yuri accused Victor before translating the rest of the statement.

Victor looked away and Yuri sighed, informing him of the doctor’s reasoning.

“Last time it was only three months,” Victor grumbled. “Just one heat.”

Last time! Do you hear yourself Victor?” Yuri growled. “Don’t you know how dangerous it is to over-suppress?”

Victor stared at the floor and Yuri gave the doctor the information.

“I’d like an extended observation period to rule out long term effects. If there are no complications we might be able to revisit after two heats, but I want at least that many.”

Yuri sighed and explained.

Victor flopped back dramatically on the examining bed. “I haven’t had to deal with regular heats since I was a teenager. Once a year, heck once every two is too much. Every three months will be torture!”

“Stop being so dramatic Victor,” Yuri huffed. “You brought this on yourself and you know it.”

Victor sat up. “But Yuuuuuri!”

Yuri crossed his arms. “You’re not getting any sympathy from me Nikiforov. First you don’t say anything. Now I find out that you had a reactive heat from oversuppression? I think given the dangers, you’re getting off easy.”

“What’s he saying?” the doctor asked.

“Nothing much, he’s being whiny about his heats,” Yuri replied before translating their actual conversation.

The doctor chuckled when she realized that Yuri was scolding her patient for her. Victor tried to argue a few more times, but she held firm.

“One year Nikiforov-san. I want to ensure your heats are healthy. After that we can discuss new suppression options.”

Victor grumbled as Yuri translated.

A smile crossed over the doctor’s face as she turned to her computer again. “Also, I’m forwarding my notes and diagnosis back to your primary physician in St. Petersburg. That way if you should move back they have the most up-to-date information.”

Victor paled once Yuri had translated and promptly flopped back on the bed again. “Heats... Every three months... I think I’m gonna die.”

Chapter Text

“Katsuki-san?”

Yuri stopped from where he was leading Victor from the examination room. He turned to face Doctor Ito. “Yes?”

“Can I talk to you a moment?”

Yuri nodded and walked back to where she was standing.

“I know Nikiforov-san was my patient today, but I’d like to ask you a few questions as well.”

Yuri nodded and turned to Victor. “She wants to talk to me a minute.”

“Is it ok if I wait here?”

Yuri nodded and returned his attention to the doctor.

“You mentioned he’s your coach. Are you an athlete as well?”

Yuri blinked, wondering how she had missed the posters of him around town. “Yes. I’m a figure skater.”

“I thought you looked familiar. It must be the glasses.”

Yuri smiled.

“I take it you suppress as well?”

Yuri nodded. “Yes, I have for years. It’s… uncomfortable for me to present in public as an alpha, more so in a competitive sport. I don’t really fit the mold, and my pheromones are strong enough that it puts fellow skaters on edge.”

She nodded. “You’re not the first alpha I’ve heard who doesn’t like to be easily detected in public. But you have a pretty strong presence today. Given your coach’s negligence, I have to ask. When was the last time you went off your suppressants to rut?”

Yuri thought a second. “Four months? It was the end of March. I make a point to do it at the end of the season so it doesn’t impact my training or competition schedule.”

“So once a year?”

Yuri nodded, and the doctor scowled.

“How long have you been on your current dose?”

“Three years. I started suppressants while I was training abroad in Detroit, we got lucky with something that worked right away and my doctor there never changed it.”

Doctor Ito grimaced and made a noise deep in her throat.

“Doctor?” Yuri prodded.

She looked up and smiled. “It might be nothing. You could have an increased presence in response to your friend’s heat. Had you ever been around an omega in such a state before?”

Yuri shook his head. “No.”

“An increase in pheromone activity is common the first time an alpha encounters an unbonded omega in heat. But I think that I’d like to check your suppressant levels in a couple weeks. We might need to either adjust your rut schedule or increase your dose.”

Yuri nodded. “I need to schedule my pre-season physical anyway. I like to do them in September. Is that good, or do you need to see me sooner?”

“That’s fine.” She looked as if she was about to dismiss them, then looked to Victor.

“I don’t know how close the two of you are, but he trusts you. If he asks, I’d suggest going off your suppressants and rutting at the same time he’s in heat.”

Yuri felt the blush start and spread immediately to his ears. “Wh… what?”

She smiled. “It’s not unheard of for friends to help each other through this. And it might be healthy for you to rut more often. Also, your suppressants prevent you from knotting, and if you do share a heat you’ll both find it far more pleasurable if you can do it.”

Yuri felt like he was going to die of embarrassment.

She smiled. “Just think it over. In the meantime, schedule your appointment for next month, and one for him in two months.”

“Not after his heat?”

“I want to make sure everything looks good before then.”

Yuri nodded and led Victor to the front desk, where he scheduled both of their upcoming appointments.

They started back toward the inn, but almost immediately Yuri could see that a dark cloud had settled over Victor’s mood.

“Victor, let’s go to the ocean.”

Victor looked at Yuri and smiled. “I’d like that.”

The beach was busy with summer bathers, but they were able to find a bit of space near the tracks. They sat on the sand and were quiet for several minutes. Victor pulled his knees to his chest in a pose that Yuri was all too familiar with, and the younger man knew that it was his turn to open up and meet the Russian where he was.

Yuri looked out over the ocean and the people frolicking on the sand.

“I never thought I’d be anything but a beta,” Yuri began. He felt Victor’s eyes on him, but couldn't bring himself to meet them with his own. “My parents are both beta… my sister is beta… grandparents on both sides are beta. I have an aunt who is an alpha, and one of my great-grandparents was one. I have a cousin who’s an omega. But really, our family tends to follow the statistics fairly well. Ninety percent beta, with the last ten percent evenly split to alpha and omega.

“I always thought that if I did present as something else, it would be an omega. I’ve always had a slight build, even when I put on weight. I’m not aggressive, and I’m only competitive on the ice. I’ve never really discussed my secondary gender outside of family and close friends. I think most of the figure skating world thinks I’m either beta or omega, and I don’t do anything to dissuade that.”

“Why not?” Victor asked after a minute.

Yuri smiled. “Probably for the same reason as you. You have to know that most assume you’re an alpha, or a very alpha leaning beta.” Yuri sighed. “There are so many stereotypes. Alphas are expected to be strong, powerful, dominant. They’re supposed to carry themselves with a self-assuredness ingrained by biology. But I’m none of those things. I’m a ball of anxiety most days, and question my own decisions so much that the questions have questions. I’d rather melt into the wall than be forceful or dominant. I’m almost exactly the opposite of what people expect from an alpha.”

The sound of gulls and lapping waves filled the air, sprinkled with laughter drifting up from the beach.

“Most of my family is alpha,” Victor said after several minutes. “There hadn’t been an omega on either side in generations, until me. In a way being surrounded by them ingrained the subtle mannerisms in me. I learned so many of the little quirks at such a young age that nobody ever questioned it. Those are things alphas do, so Victor Nikiforov must be an alpha too.”

Victor let out a sarcastic laugh.

“It was my own personal hell though, after I presented as omega. Nobody knew how to handle it. They knew how to deal with a rutting teenager; the aggression, the outbursts and the need to posture for dominance were all second nature. There wasn’t a person in my family who couldn’t defuse a rutting teenager within a matter of minutes.

“Nobody knew how to handle my heats. I was an enigma.”

Victor paused and when he started talking again there was a noticeable shake to his voice. “I have a fairly large extended family, plenty of cousins my own age. But as we all began presenting I was ostracized. It was almost as if I had a disease. In a family of alphas I was an outcast. I couldn’t take it, and I drowned myself in training. I could prove that I was worthy if I just worked hard enough… if I won enough.”

Yuri looked over to see that the Russian man was fighting his emotions.

“Victor, I’m sorry,” Yuri said softly.

Victor shook his head. “It’s funny what you get used to. I pushed my family aside to focus on skating. It was easier. I could control my skating when I couldn’t control my biology. But no matter how much I worked, how hard I trained, I was still at the whim of hormones and cycles that I didn’t understand.

“I… I hated it.”

“So you started suppressing?” Yuri prompted after another pause.

Victor shook his head. “Not immediately. But…” he took a shuddering breath, “I had a bad experience, and it scared me. I was paralyzed with fear, terrified that it would be worse the next time… certain that I was so innately weak that there would be a next time. I was scared of the vulnerability, and though my doctors thought it was too soon I was put on suppressants at sixteen.”

“That’s so young…” Yuri mused.

“It’s almost a point of pride in my family. The alpha gene is supposedly so strong that it presents before the final growth spurt. The joke was that we were so alpha it mattered more than our primary characteristics. In my case it was used against me, I was so omega that I presented early in order to offer myself that much longer.”

Victor hugged his knees. “By the time I started suppressing I had already dealt with heats for several years. I presented at thirteen.”

Yuri stared, shocked.

“It was so much easier on suppressants. I could focus on skating, I only had to go through the horror of a heat once a year, but…”

Victor looked out over the ocean, obviously lost in a painful memory. “Even once a year was too much. I wasn’t any safer, I was just in danger less often. I started pushing the limits of the suppressants. I needed to know exactly how long I could go, how long I could be safe.”

“And you pushed yourself too far…” Yuri concluded.

Victor nodded. “The doctors, teachers, everybody… they all seem to stress that a heat is supposed to be a pleasurable experience for an omega. But I never felt that way.

“The first time I had a reactive heat was four years ago. I’d gone just over two years. Yakov was the one who found me, livid that I’d skipped practice only two weeks before worlds. Just like you, he dragged me to the doctor.

“I don’t blame him, or you. But… it’s a part of myself I don’t really want to face. Going to the doctor about it makes it real.”

Yuri scooted closer and laid his right hand on top of Victor’s raised knee.  

Victor smiled wanly.

“I tried to be good, to get back on an approved schedule. But every time I tried to stop, to let it happen I made excuses. There was always a competition, or an exhibition, perhaps a sponsor meeting. It made more sense to delay it another day, one more week, maybe next month. Eventually the routine of putting it off is as ingrained as taking the daily pills.”

Yuri squeezed Victor’s knee, and the older man gave Yuri a real smile that time.

“Yuri, you might not believe it. But… yesterday was the best heat I’d ever had.”

Yuri blinked. “But… I made you submit to me. I refused your begging.”

“You made me feel safe. It was the first time I’d ever felt safe, protected, during a heat. No lock was ever strong enough, I could never hide my scent well enough. A couple times my lips were cut and bloodied from my biting them to keep from making noise. In my mind, I was always in danger.

“Yuri, you didn’t try to take advantage of me. You showed a strength beyond what you can even comprehend. You reminded me that it’s safe to trust.”

Yuri blinked, and Victor leaned in to kiss his forehead. “Thank you.”

Victor leaned against Yuri and they stared out together, watching happy people play on the sand.

“I can’t do much. I’m only your student,” Yuri felt Victor tense slightly, “and your friend.” Relaxation. “But I’ll do my best while you’re here. I… I’ll keep protecting you… if you want me to.”

Victor rubbed his cheek against Yuri’s shoulder. “Thank you Yuri. But, don’t underestimate yourself. Ok? You’re much stronger than you realize.”

Yuri leaned back against Victor.

“So what did the doctor want to talk to you about?” Victor asked after several minutes.

Yuri sat up and gaped at Victor. “It was... nothing important.”

Victor smiled, and Yuri saw the glint of mischievousness in his eyes. “You were blushing so hard your ears turned red. Tell me Yuuuuri!”

“No!”

“Yuuuuri…”

Yuri sighed and gave the platinum-haired man an exasperated smile. “You’re not going to let it go, are you?”

Victor grinned, and a part of Yuri melted at the fond expression in his eyes.

“Fine, I’ll tell you, but only because I want to see you blush too. Oh, and I have a demand.”

“Oh really?”

Yuri smirked. “I think I won a major battle against myself yesterday, and I’m allowed katsudon when I win. So I demand my prize.”

Victor stared, then burst into laughter. “Deal.”

Yuri figited. “She wants to monitor my suppressants. I might be developing a tolerance to my current dose. She… she suggested I rut twice a year instead of the once I currently do.”

“Oh really? Is that all?”

Yuri felt the color creep across his cheeks. “She… suggested that I might time my next rut… to coincide with your heat… and spend it with you.”

Yuri buried his face in his hands, terrified to look at his coach. After a moment of silence he dared to peek between his fingers up at Victor’s face.

Victor started shaking and doubled over before laughter tumbled from his lips. “I can see why you had that reaction, and it’s adorable!”

“Victor!” Yuri whined.

“I’m sorry Yuri, it’s just you’re so cute when you’re embarrassed.”

Yuri grumbled, and Victor threw his arms around him.

“Don’t worry about it Yuri, that’s a decision for later.”

“Victor!”

“What?” Victor winked. “Who knows what you’ll think of that idea in three months?”

Yuri kicked some sand at his coach, which resulted in laughter and a battle to see who could make the other relent first against the stinging assault.

Victor won, and he draped himself over Yuri in celebration. “Thank you Yuri.”

Chapter Text

Yuri found Victor soaking in a quiet corner of the onsen. The Russian’s eyes were closed, but an unsettled look on his face was more than enough for Yuri to know that he was awake. Yuri moved close. “May I join you?”

Victor cracked one eye open and scooted over in the narrow space between some boulders, leaving just enough room for Yuri to sit.

Yuri eased down into the hot water and sighed. “I needed this.”

Victor looked over and Yuri caught the slightest of smiles before the Russian leaned against the smaller man.

“Victor?”

“Sorry Yuri, I know I must smell bad, but… It’s been a long two days, and I’m still not completely settled. I just want to be close to you for a bit longer.”

Yuri blinked. “You don’t smell bad.”

Victor looked up at Yuri, “Really?”

The younger man could feel the flush spread across his face. “I… I like the way you smell. It’s calming.”

Yuri smiled when embarrassed color tint alabaster cheeks. He reached up and placed his palm against Victor’s jaw.

Victor closed his eyes again and dipped his nose enough to sniff at Yuri’s wrist. He sighed after a moment and moved away.

“You ok?” Yuri asked when Victor’s calm look of a moment prior was replaced by the expression of unease again.

Victor looked at him. “Yes, and no.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Victor started, paused and furrowed his brow, then started again. “I’m sorry. I know it can’t have been easy on you, or your family.” Yuri waited a minute for the older man to continue, but that was all he said.

Yuri sighed, he could tell by the way Victor had wanted to be near a couple minutes earlier that the last of his heat hormones were still in his system. He looked around and ensured that they were out of sight of any stragglers in the bath before tugging on Victor’s arm.

“Yuri?”

“Come here. It’s pretty obvious you still want to be near my scent. Tomorrow we’ll be back to normal, but… let me give you what you need right now.”

Visible relief washed over Victor’s face as he sat in the V between Yuri’s legs. He turned so that both his legs were draped over one of Yuri’s and his shoulder under the younger man’s. He twisted his torso so that his face was pressed against Yuri’s collarbone.

“Better?” Yuri asked as he wrapped his arms around him.

“Mm-hmm,” Victor replied, taking a deep breath against Yuri’s skin.

Yuri buried his nose in Victor’s hair. If he was honest, his reaction to the heat made him need the closeness as well. He savored Victor’s smell, sweet oranges and snow, and noticed that the cinnamon was almost gone. He immediately understood that the spice was a part of the quickly diminishing hormones.

He wanted to talk about it, but the way that Victor had demurred or changed the subject nearly all day had made it pretty clear that it wasn’t a topic that Victor was comfortable with. He realized just how hard the conversation on the beach must have been.

If he’s not comfortable with his heats, then he probably doesn't want to talk about… this… either. It’s ok. I’ll make it clear that I don’t expect any changes between us.

“Will you be ready to get back to practice tomorrow?” Yuri asked, running his hand up and down Victor’s back.

Victor nodded. “Yeah. I miss the feel of the ice under me.”

“I think I’m most looking forward to the ballet studio in the afternoon. I can use the stretch.”

“You always seem more relaxed after studio time. Maybe we should switch out. Ballet in the morning and ice later.”

Yuri shook his head. “Too hard to get private time on the ice in the afternoon. Yuko had to shift some public times around to give us even the one hour we have every day now.”

Victor looked up from where he was nuzzled against Yuri. “Really?”

Yuri nodded. “Yeah. The afternoon is a popular time for classes and for the local hockey teams.”

“Teams?” Victor asked, raising an eyebrow.

Yuri smiled at him. “Technically, though age-brackets might be more appropriate. There’s the children’s, youth, and teen. We don’t have an ameteur team here for adults, I think Fukuoka is the closest for that.”

“I see. I guess we’ll just have to keep the morning ice to ourselves then,” Victor replied as he leaned in again.

“There’s advantages to that though,” Yuri murmured. “Fresh ice every morning. No waiting for the zamboni to finish.”

Victor hummed. “I do love that feeling, being the first one to make a mark.”

“Mm-hmm,” Yuri replied.

Yuri leaned his head back against one of the rocks, closed his eyes and breathed deep. He could hear the soft trickling of water through the spring, quiet conversation from the far side of the pool, and the hum of summer insects.

One more minute, just a bit longer. I don’t want to give this up yet.

Victor’s breathing slowed and became gentle as the man relaxed fully in Yuri’s arms. As the tension melted away the younger man felt it exhaustion take its place.

Yuri leaned forward again and nuzzled Victor’s hair.

One last time.

“Come on Victor,” Yuri said softly against the older man’s head. “We should get you to bed. I need my coach to be well rested.”

There’s that tension again, Yuri thought as the briefest moment of stiffness passed through the man in his arms. But then Victor was nodding against his chest and slowly unwinding.

Yuri fought the desire to reach out and pull the platinum-haired man back into his arms. Instead he stood and followed Victor to the showers. They rinsed in silence and padded through the quiet halls back to their rooms.  

Victor paused just outside his room with the door open. Yuri could smell traces of lingering pheromones, but they had left the windows open all day and it was almost gone.

Victor looked at Yuri, and for just a second Yuri could see that there was something on the older man’s lips, ready to come out.

“Victor?”

Victor startled and blinked, and Yuri saw something sad in his eyes, and a note of longing.

“It’s nothing Yuri. Just tired I guess.”

Yuri knew there was something more, but was reluctant to push. “Get some sleep Victor. We’ll get back to work tomorrow.”

Victor nodded. “Yeah.”

Yuri walked past Victor toward his own room, and was stopped by a hand on his wrist. He turned and saw emotion clouding ocean-blue eyes.

“One… one more time?” Victor asked softly, shaking slightly.

Yuri smiled. “Of course.”

He stepped into the circle of Victor’s arms and tilted his head so that the taller man could bury his face in his neck. He snaked his own arms around Victor’s middle and pulled him close before nuzzling against the same spot on Victor’s neck.

Yuri couldn’t help but hum at the smell, and felt a tremble through Victor.

“I… You… You really like the way I smell?” Victor asked, voice so timid that Yuri knew that there was pain behind the question.

Yuri answered by nosing the spot. “Mm-hmm. It’s a nice smell. I never noticed it before, but it’s calming. It reminds me of quiet moments; peeling new year’s oranges before walking through fresh snow.”

“Really?”

Yuri rubbed Victor’s back. “Yeah.”

Victor shook, and buried his face further into Yuri’s neck. “Thank you.”

Yuri didn’t know what he was being thanked for, but knew not to question it. He moved one of his arms and pet Victor’s head until the Russian stood again.

“Goodnight Yuri,” he said softly.

“Goodnight Victor.”

Yuri watched as Victor stepped into his room and slid the door shut.

Just go in there, let him know now, while you’re both still so open to each other.

Yuri turned and walked to his room. Almost immediately his realized that his cell phone was beeping.  As soon as the screen lit up he was greeted with a low battery warning, and he plugged it in.

He settled on his bed and scrolled through his notifications. There was the normal handful of new followers on social media, and the standard assortment of promotional emails to delete. He sent an apology to a sponsor that had emailed a day prior asking for a meeting, and promised to look at his schedule and give them some times the following day.

Yuri sighed when he saw the number of missed text messages. As expected more than half were from Phichit. He quickly sent off an apology and promised to video call on their next free day. He replied to several more people, but felt shock at one name: Yurio.

 

2:10 pm - OI KATSUDON! Victor’s not answering his phone, probably forgot to charge it again. I need to talk to him.

3:17 pm - I’M NOT TRYING TO STEAL YOUR COACH PIG. I JUST NEED TO ASK HIM A QUESTION.

4:03 pm - DON’T IGNORE ME!

5:32 pm - DO YOU NOT REGULARLY CHECK YOUR MESSAGES?

6:08 pm - I texted Yuko. She said today’s not a good day. What’s going on?

7:26 pm - What’s going on over there Katsudon? Do I need to fly back to Japan to kick your ass?

9:47 pm - I SWEAR TO GOD! IF I HAVE TO FLY BACK TO JAPAN YOU’LL BOTH HAVE SCARS UP AND DOWN YOUR BACKS FROM ME WALKING OVER YOU WITH MY SKATES ON.

12:13 am - WHAT THE HELL KATSUDON?!?! IT’S AFTER MIDNIGHT THERE. LOOK, TEXT ME BACK AS SOON AS YOU SEE THIS. I DON’T CARE WHAT TIME IT IS.

10:57 am - Katsudon! Why didn’t you text me?

12:33 pm - I texted Yuko again. She said you might still need some space? Text me.

6:07 pm - Yakov demanded to know what had me so riled up. He got a funny look when I told him. Did you fucking talk to Yakov and not me?

8:22 pm - Shit. I should have figured it out sooner. Victor went into heat… didn’t he? Text me.

Yuri felt his breath catch in his throat at the last text. He typed a reply with shaking hands.

12:17 am - Hi Yurio. Sorry. I haven’t checked my phone for a couple days. I’ll have Victor call you tomorrow.

He set his phone aside, but it almost immediately lit up with an incoming text.

 

12:18 am - About time pig. Now answer my question. Victor went into heat, didn’t he?

12:18 am - Yes

12:21 am - Look Katsudon, Victor doesn’t know that I know. He never talked about his secondary, not even to his rinkmates. If you say anything they’ll have to drain the rink to get all the pieces of you out of the ice.

12:23 am - I saw something I shouldn’t have about four years ago. We’d all assumed Victor was sick, but Yakov was on edge too. I went into the locker room for something and they were there. Yakov was threatening Victor about reactive heats, and not being allowed to practice quads if he had another one. After Yakov stormed out I peeked around to look at Victor. He was shaking pretty bad and paler than I’d ever seen him, and I’ve seen him white with pain. I’ve never seen him look so scared.

12:26 am - I didn’t know how a reactive heat was different than a normal one, so I looked it up, and learned they’re caused by oversuppression.

12:28 am - Yakov’s look today was the same as it was that day. Victor over suppressed again, didn’t he?”

12:29 am - Yes

12:29 am- Even for an eleven year old it was pretty obvious. This confirms it. Victor’s terrified of his heats Katsudon. I don’t know why, but whatever it is, it’s bad for him.

Yuri felt himself trembling as he read. So it’s not my imagination. He said there was a bad experience, but it felt so much stronger.

 

12:31 am - He didn’t want to talk about it with me. I decided not to push too much.

12:32 am - Good idea. Look. I’ll forgive you for ignoring me this time. But I’m serious. One word of Victor’s secondary to the public and you won’t have the opportunity to face me in Russia.

12:33 am - Don’t worry Yurio. I know when to keep secrets.

12:34 am - That’s not my name katsudon! Have him call or text me tomorrow. I like the quality of the Agape costume. It’s one of the best ones I’ve ever worn. I know he has a personal costumer different than the rest of the Russian team. I’ve not been thrilled with my recent outfits and want to talk to his guy.

12:35 am - I’ll let him know that’s what you want.

12:36 am - Thanks… and… I’m glad you were there for the old man. Maybe it wasn’t so bad for him this time.

12:37 am - Thanks Yurio. Good night.

Yuri dropped his phone on the bed and leaned against the wall. He knew that, with the doctor’s demand to see a healthy heat schedule, they would need to face Victor’s heats sooner than later. But after talking to Yurio he wanted to give the Russian a bit of space before bringing it up again.

Yuri sighed. What do you need from me Victor?

Chapter Text

Everything was the same, and at the same time everything was different. The changes were so subtle that at first neither one noticed, but within only a couple days they recognized that an intimacy had grown between them. Gazes lasted an extra few seconds, touches lingered longer than they had before. A wall that they hadn’t even realized was there had crumbled.

They were far from lovers, but they shared a connection that went beyond mere friendship.

Victor was practicing on the ice while Yuri took a break when Takeshi Nishigori strolled in and sat next to him on the bench.

“You did a good thing Yuri,” Nishigori said.

“Nishigori?” Yuri asked, unsure what the older man was referring to.

“Yuko told me about what happened last week,” the older man explained.

Yuri stiffened slightly.

“Don’t worry Yuri. If he wanted people to know it would have been out a long time ago. We’re not going to question why, just honor that he has his own reasons for keeping it quiet.”

Yuri relaxed.

“It takes a lot of strength to not give in,” Nishigori said. “I’ve been with Yuko for eight years now, I’m used to the hormones and the need. They say that as you become accustomed to the pheromones it has less effect, but if I had to turn her down, I know I couldn’t stay close. I’d have to get far enough away to not smell her. When she said you stayed, and even went into the room. Fuck Yuri, I know I couldn’t have done that.”

Yuri curled over in embarrassment. “Maybe it was because it was my first time being around an omega in heat, or the suppressants.”

Yuri felt the stare and turned to see Nishigori gaping at him. “That… was your first time?”

“Yeah?”

“Are you even human Yuri? The first time I saw Yuko I was on suppressants, stronger than yours if I recall the bottle that fell out of your bag a few months ago, and I barely had the strength to run. The first time is the worst.

“Maybe I’m just that weak an alpha…” Yuri said softly as Victor landed a quad lutz.

Nishigori growled low in his throat. “A weak alpha would have given in. A weak alpha would have been so overwhelmed that they would have been in a heat haze before their clothes hit the floor. Remember, Yuko was there, she told me how powerful his pheromones were. What you did was the opposite of weak Yuri.”

Yuri looked up and smiled softly.

“Yuuuuri!” Victor called. “Are you done resting yet? It’s getting close to the end of our time and I want to work on your quad salchow. It’s still not clean and the block championships are only a month away.”

“Duty calls,” Yuri said with a smile as he stood and walked to the ice.

Nishigori laughed and strolled out to return to his place at the front counter.


 

Yuri slipped into the onsen and moved to a quiet corner to grumble alone. He was in a foul mood and knew that even with the suppressants his irritation would be coming off him in waves. He slid down up to his shoulders in the water and tried to put the events of the day out of his mind.

Unfortunately the solitude only gave him time to dwell and he soon found his anger increasing.

“Yuri?”

Yuri cracked one eye open to see Victor standing nearby, a worried look on his face. He tried to smile, to reassure the Russian, but the older man wasn’t buying it.

Victor scowled, picked a spot across the narrow branch of water and sat down, never taking his eyes off Yuri. “You were fine before you left for your sponsor meeting this morning. What happened?”

“Nothing.”

Victor’s eyes narrowed. “Yuuuri.”

Yuri averted his gaze. “I’d rather not talk about it.”

They sat in silence for several minutes, and Yuri could feel the eyes of the platinum-haired man boring into him.

Victor sighed and stood. He took a few steps toward the showers, then turned back.

Yuri startled when the Russian sat next to him and draped his arms over the shoulders of the smaller man.

“Victor!” Yuri protested. He wanted the contact, but not in public, and not when he was angry.

Victor was stronger and managed to keep Yuri from squirming away. He used his free hand to grab Yuri’s chin and turn it toward him. “Close your eyes Yuri.”

Yuri’s breath caught in his throat. Is he seriously trying to kiss me right now?

Victor’s eyes narrowed as Yuri hesitated. “Close your eyes,” he repeated, voice dropping in pitch.

Confusion mixed with Yuri’s anger, but he was too flustered to argue. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, expecting to feel the lips of the Russian against his own.

Victor pulled Yuri close, and used gentle pressure from his hand to angle Yuri’s head.

Skin against skin as Victor closed the gap and their chests pressed together. Yuri could smell his scent. He breathed it in, his nose scratching along Victor’s stubble.

The anticipation is killing me.

Victor turned, and Yuri felt his nose pressed into Victor’s neck.

“Just breathe Yuri.”

Yuri froze for a second before his brain processed the order. He took a deep breath, the scent of oranges and snow filling him. He immediately felt calmer.

Yuri shuddered as some of the anger released in a rush.

“That’s right Yuri,” Victor said softly. “Just keep breathing.”

Yuri squeezed his eyes and buried his nose against Victor. Suddenly he couldn’t get enough. The anger, the frustration of the day felt wrong. Victor was right; that soothing scent the only thing that mattered.

Yuri turned and wrapped his arms around the taller man, holding him close, not wanting to lose the anchor in the maelstrom of his emotions. He shook, his body confused as the tension of seconds earlier vanished.

“Victor,” Yuri hiccupped.

“Shh Yuri. Just breathe. We’ll talk in a minute.”

Yuri knew the scent of an omega was supposed to have this influence, but he’d never imagined it would be so strong. He nosed at the spot, begging Victor’s body to release more of the soothing aroma.

Victor rubbed circles on Yuri’s back as he held the smaller man close. Eventually Yuri stopped shaking. He took deep breaths against Victor’s skin. It was then that the Russian finally released him.

“Feel better?” Victor asked as he moved to be able to look at Yuri.

Yuri wanted to follow, to stay in the embrace. Instead he blushed and nodded. “Thank you.”

Victor smiled. “I thought it was worth a try.”

“It worked. But how did you know?”

“You told me… remember?”

Yuri thought about it, and recalled saying something about Victor’s scent after his heat. He nodded.

“Want to tell me what happened now?” Victor asked, placing his hand over Yuri’s for a brief moment.

Yuri took a deep breath, feeling the steam of the onsen in his lungs. “The sponsor meeting itself was fine. We reviewed expectations for the season, and renewed the contract through next summer. I’ll likely have some endorsements in January, and maybe an exhibition in the spring.”

“That’s good, isn’t it?” Victor prodded.

Yuri nodded. “It is, but…” Yuri shuddered and pulled his knees close. “There were a few people waiting to go into their own meeting once I was done. I think one was a skier, but I’m not positive. I could hear them talking as I waited for the secretary to finish a call so we could schedule future meetings.

“They said something about a rumor that the sponsor had planned to drop me after last season. It wasn’t all that surprising. I honestly expected it after my poor performance.

“It didn’t even bother me too much when one suggested that I was renewed because you’re my coach. In fact I kinda like hearing that they think you can turn my career around.

“But…”

Yuri grumbled and hugged his knees. Now that he was calmer he realized how foolish his anger had been.

“Yuri?” Victor’s voice pulled him from his thoughts.

“I don’t know who said what. I don’t know if they meant for me to hear it or not. They were pretty quiet, but you know how noise carries in an empty room.

“They… they suggested that the only reason you’re here… is for sex. One even asked if I was really planning to skate this season at all, or if you coaching me was a convenient excuse to explain your presence.”

Yuri heard Victor exhale, and he expected the Russian to be as outraged, but instead he felt fingers at the small of his back.

“Yuri, you have to know those rumors have been swirling for months. Probably even before Yurio arrived.”

Yuri grumbled. “Yes, but I would have thought they’d have died down by now. Was the exhibition just a joke to them? You’re giving me so much, you put your own career on hold for me. I… I’m working so hard to make this a good season. I want to be worthy of your time.”

Tension in the fingers. “Yuri, of course you’re worthy of my time. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

“You wouldn’t be happier on the ice?”

The fingers on his back stilled a moment before rubbing small circles again. “I’m on the ice every day, helping you become the skater I know you can be.”

“You know what I mean.”

“Yuri, I’m exactly where I want to be right now. Trust me on that.”

Yuri nodded, but questions still swirled in his mind.

“There was more…”

“Oh?”

“I normally don’t care about the rumors that I’m an omega. But… I’ve been more on edge lately. They… they said I must be a nice omega catch for an alpha like you. Then they wondered if I had been the pursuer instead, trying to lure the most-eligible alpha with my omega wiles.

“They reduced both of us to outdated ideas about gender roles. You the powerful alpha who claims the prize omega. Me the seductive flower that seeks to rise through sex.”

Victor’s fingers curled into a fist against Yuri’s back before relaxing again.

“It angers me so much Victor, that the stereotypes are still thrown around like that, even as walls crumble in so many other areas of society. I might not advertise that I’m an alpha, but I don’t hate it. The only reason I don’t discuss it is because of the stereotypes. I’m me, that’s all that should matter. I should be judged on what I do, not expectations of my secondary gender.”

“Look at me Yuri.”

Yuri raised his head and his eyes met Victor’s. “I’m here because you entranced me. The way you dance, the way you move across the ice. It’s beautiful. I had no clue you were an alpha until circumstances forced you to reveal it, but I didn’t care either. Your secondary was never a concern. I’m here for you.”

Yuri gave a faint smile, but his feelings weren’t quite in it.

Victor pulled Yuri close again, and as he inhaled the fainter scent that surrounded the larger man he realized how much tension had seeped back in during the discussion.

“People are going to talk Yuri. There’s nothing we can do about that. What we can control is how we react. I agree that it hurts when I read an article or forum post diminishing you as my student. I see your talent every day and I know you’re going to stun the world. But half of those that are watching say similar to what you heard, and others think I’m some kind of miracle worker and are totally disregarding your existing career.”

Yuri looked up and stared.

Victor’s eyes met his and the Russian smiled. “You and I know the truth. Whatever anybody else says, we’re the ones living this every day. That’s all that matters. Ok?”

Yuri smiled, real for the first time in hours. “Yeah.”

Chapter Text

“Yuri!”

Yuri beamed as Phichit Chulanont’s face filled the screen of his laptop. “Phichit-kun! How are you doing?”

“I’m good, working hard so that I can beat your ass in Beijing.”

Yuri laughed. “That gold is mine Chulanont.”

“We’ll see about that. I’m going all out.”

“That might not be enough.”

Both men laughed as the requisite competitive spirit died down. “How’s coach Celestino adapting to life in Thailand?”

Phichit shrugged. “Ciao Ciao? You know him. A few good bars and a relatively safe menu and he’s happy. He doesn’t eat over much, one of the spices mom uses doesn’t sit well with him. But otherwise he seems content enough.”

“Is he still travelling back to Detroit a lot to check in with the associate coaches?”

“Not as much as earlier in the summer. Patrick is the only other one from the rink in the grand prix series, and he always got along better with coach Nancy better anyway so Ciao Ciao is taking a back seat for him.”

“He’s been grooming Nancy for a while. I think he wants to make her a full partner coach. It’s a good time to see what she can do.”

Phichit smiled. “I think you’re right. So how’ve you been?”

“I’m good, a bit more on edge than normal though.”

“Because of the upcoming season?”

“Probably. A part of me still wonders if I can come back.”

“You’ll be fine.”

“And Victor? How’s he doing as your coach?”

“It’s definitely different than it was with Celestino. We’re around each other all the time. He’s learned to push me in different ways because of it.”

“Is that good or bad?”

“You tell me when you’re wearing silver.”

“And you said you were nervous. That sounds like an awfully bold statement to me.” Phichit laughed. “So why’d you miss our call last week?”

Yuri smiled even as he felt his stomach knot. Phichit was incredibly perceptive so he’d have to be careful of his answers.

“Victor was…”

Yuri was interrupted by a knock at his bedroom door. “Hold on a second Phichit.” He turned slightly, “Come in.”

“Yuuuri…” Victor whined as he strode in. “I’m sore from all those quads you made me show you today. Let’s go soak in the onsen.”

Yuri sighed, and Phichit squealed over the video. Victor draped himself over Yuri to look at the screen and the Japanese man could tell that his Thai friend was frantically trying to take as many screen captures as he could.

“Don’t you dare,” Yuri warned his friend.

“But Yuri…”

“No Phichit. The last thing we need right now are crazy rumors thanks to your social media habits.”

“Yuuuri, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?” Victor complained.

Yuri chuckled and Phichit replied before Yuri had the chance to continue. “Hi! Phichit Chulanont, Thai skater and future gold medalist at the Cup of China.”

“Oh really?” Victor replied, a playful tone to his voice. “I think you’re underestimating my Yuri.”

Phichit squealed again and Yuri felt a blush spread across his cheeks. “Did you hear that Yuri, he said ‘my Yuri.’”

Yuri wanted to bury his face in his hands.

“Victor, Phichit… Phichit, Victor,” Yuri finally managed. He took a deep breath and turned to face Victor. “Phichit and I were roommates and rinkmates while I was training in Detroit. He’s also my best friend.”

“Oh?” Victor teased, allowing himself to drape further over the Japanese man’s form.

Yuri could hear the sounds of Phichit’s frantic tapping of the screen capture button. “Victor you being draped all over me is going to be all over social media in a few minutes if you don’t stop. I won’t be able to talk him out of it for long.”

Victor grumbled and leaned on the back of the chair instead.

“Delete those photos now Phichit,” Yuri warned.

“Just one Yuri! Let me post one at least.”

“No. But you can keep one for your personal collection.”

Phichit grumbled, but relented after a minute.

“So what were you two talking about?” Victor asked as Phichit deleted the screen captures.

Yuri turned to Victor and hoped that the look in his eyes made it clear what he was doing. “I was telling him that the reason I missed our call last week was due to your stomach flu.”

Victor blinked, then Yuri saw the most grateful look imaginable shining back at him from the depths of ocean-blue. “I’m so sorry Phichit. I’d have made him leave my side had I known he had a call scheduled.”

“It’s ok. Yuri is overly protective in a sweet way. When I had the stomach flu he took care of me for three days. He treated you to some of his rice porridge right? I was amazed at how much better it made me feel.”

“It was fantastic, so warm and soothing.”

Yuri could tell by the tone in Phichit’s voice that the Thai skater wasn’t buying it, but that he was willing to go along with the ruse for Yuri’s sake. He breathed an internal sigh of relief.

“I’ll leave you to your call Yuri,” Victor said, standing up. “It was nice to meet you Phichit. I guess we’ll see you in Beijing.”

“Wait, before you go…” Phichit protested.

Yuri sighed. “Victor, he wants a screen capture for social media. What do you say?”

Victor leaned in close, draped one arm over Yuri’s shoulder and held out a number one sign with his free hand. Yuri smiled and mirrored the gesture, much to Phichit’s delight. “My followers are going to love this!” Phichit squealed as Victor stood.

“Don’t keep him up too late Phichit,” Victor said jovially. “He’s got an early morning.”

Phichit eagerly assented, but as soon as Yuri’s door slid shut his tone turned serious. “Going to tell me what’s really going on?”

Yuri sighed. “What gave it away?”

“Just a feeling. Spill.”

“Not this time Phichit. That photo is you agreeing to not pry.”

Phichit was silent for a moment before relenting. “Fine. I know when you’re not going to talk, and I know you’d normally tell me unless it was important.”

“Thanks Phichit. So tell me, how’s your quad coming?”

Phichit beamed. “Still a bit shaky, but I’ll have it down by Skate America.”

“I can’t wait to see it. You’re going to wow the crowds.”

“I’m skating for Thailand,” Phichit beamed. “I’m going to show the world what a great country it is, and I’m going to show the Thai people how much fun figure skating is.”

“If anybody can do it, you can.”


 

Yuri was returning from an evening jog with Makkachin when he saw a familiar head of platinum hair walking lethargically from the inn. Yuri slowed, noticing the slump in Victor’s shoulders, but the poodle barked and excitedly ran to her owner.

“Makkachin!” Victor smiled when he saw his canine companion, but it was without the normal enthusiasm.

“Victor?” Yuri asked carefully as he strode close.

Victor widened his smile, but Yuri could immediately tell that it was fake. He scowled and Victor quickly dropped the pretense.

“Wait here,” Yuri demanded. “Come on Makka.”

Yuri quickly walked the dog to the family entrance, let her inside and returned to where Victor was waiting at the gate. “I saw some yatai set up near the park. Let’s go indulge.”

Victor nodded, and smiled softly. Yuri was glad to note that at least the gentle emotion was genuine.

They strode in silence for a minute before Yuri purposefully moved close and bumped Victor’s shoulder with his own. “I bet it’s lonely in your head, I know it is for me. Wanna talk about it?”

Victor looked to the sky, where a blanket of stars shone down. He was silent for a moment before he answered. “Let’s get our food first and find a quiet place to talk.”

“Okay.”

Victor ordered from the taiyaki stand, and Yuri met him a minute later with some kyuri. They walked to the park and found a secluded bench.

Yuri nibbled on his cucumbers while waiting for Victor to break the ice.

“I forgot all those little changes that happen when I’m off suppressants,” Victor said after several minutes. “It’s mostly my mood, but there is the occasional unexplained ache. Like my body has to remind me that it’s in control.”

Yuri nodded. “I know what you mean.”

“Yuri?”

“You think it’s that different? I’m pretty sure Doctor Ito was right. I can feel myself on edge, and I’m quicker to anger. I have the feeling that I’m at the limit of what my suppressants can do. I’m going to ask her to increase the dose, and just hope it’ll get me through the season. Some of the other kinds have side effects I don’t want to deal with in the middle of competitions.”

“You don’t get the aches though.”

“Tell me that when I’m in a rage and slam my fist into a wall. That hurts like hell the next day.”

Victor gaped, then gave a real smile for the first time that evening.

“There it is,” Yuri said softly, leaning over to brush the fringe from in front of Victor’s eyes.

“Yuri?”

“You’re smiling again. It’s a much better expression than the frown you had been wearing.”

“I’ve smiled a lot.”

“Not like this. You tried to give me the same smile you put on for the cameras.”

“That doesn’t work anymore?”

Yuri smiled. “Not on me. A few months ago I might have bought it, but not now.”

“But that one always works.”

Yuri rested his hand on Victor’s cheek, and the older man closed his eyes at the contact. The Russian took a deep breath and Yuri knew that his wrist was close enough for him to smell him.

“Before you came here you were my idol; a glittering figure on the ice, untouchable, beautiful. My dream to meet you at your level seemed so lofty because a part of you was that person on television or beaming from the pages of a magazine, distant and unreal.

“There’s a lot about you I still don’t know. But you’re here now, and very much real. I’ve learned that you’re as human as I am, you hurt the same, and you have your own dreams. The mask doesn’t work on me anymore because now I recognize that it is a mask.”

Victor opened his eyes even as he reached up to slide his hand over Yuri’s, trapping the younger man’s hand against his face.

“We all wear masks Yuri. Some of us have been wearing them so long we forget they’re there.”

Yuri rubbed his thumb over Victor’s cheek. “You may have forgotten you had it on, but you’ve started taking it off around me since I asked you to just be yourself. And every time I see you without it I see something brilliant. I wish you’d never put that mask on again, because it dulls your shine. That person is cold and distant, impulsive because impulsive is expected. It’s you, but so distorted as to be a cheap imitation. The real you is so much more amazing.”

“Yuri…”

Yuri shook his head. “The Victor here, right now, without that mask, is far better than the one I idolized all those years. I may still have a lot to learn about you, but this is the you I want to learn about.”

Yuri could feel Victor trembling under his hand.

“Victor, you accepted me as I am, anxiety and all. What kind of person would I be if I couldn’t do the same for you?”

“Do you accept me Yuri? Even… those parts of me that don’t match expectation?”

Yuri moved close and slid his hand behind Victor’s head. He drew the taller man toward him until their foreheads touched. “Who cares about expectation when the reality is so much better?”

Victor shuddered. “Thank you Yuri.”

Chapter Text

Victor looked at his suitcase, sighed, sat on the bed and stared at it in silence for several minutes.

“What are you doing?” Yuri asked after the quiet became too heavy.

“Just making sure I didn’t forget to pack anything.”

“Victor, you’re going to be gone for four days. It’s not the end of the world if you forget something.”

Victor looked up and smiled. “It’s a Russian thing.”

Yuri laughed and moved to sit on the couch across from him. “I guess I’ll have to take your word on that.”

Victor sighed. “I wish I wasn’t going. It’s not the best time. When I agreed to this exhibition I hadn't even skated in Worlds yet. I thought an early September show was fine as a pre-season activity. But we’ve got two and a half weeks until your regional championship. I should be here working with you.”

Yuri stood and walked over. He placed his hand on Victor’s shoulder. “It can’t be helped. It’s best to stay in the good graces of sponsors, and shirking contractual obligations is sure to leave a sour taste for them.”

Victor looked up at the Japanese man and smiled. He wrapped his arms around Yuri’s waist and brought him close for a hug. Yuri smiled and ran his fingers absentmindedly through Victor’s hair.

“You remember your assignments while I’m away?” Victor asked, pushing back so that he could look up at Yuri. His hands settled on the curve of the younger man’s hips.

“Yes, Victor,” Yuri replied with a smile. “Today I join you on the train until you get off at Fukuoka. From there I proceed to Tokyo. I’ll arrive this evening, and tomorrow is the final alterations on my free skate costume.”

“What else?”

“New skates so that I have them broken in before the Cup of China.”

Victor smiled. “And when you get back from Tokyo?”

“Work on choreography with Minako-sensei.”

Victor nodded. “You have the day I come back free.”

Yuri laughed. “You just want somebody to join you on the train.”

Victor smiled. “I’ll have just gotten off an eighteen hour flight. Need to make sure I get off the train at the right stop.”

A comfortable silence fell between them for several minutes.

“Are you nervous about being back in Russia?”

“Not particularly. It’s a relatively small exhibition so I doubt much will be said outside of those attending.”

“I bet you’re looking forward to eating Russian food again for a few days.”

“Hmmm… I’ve kind of gotten used to Japanese. Your mom’s cooking puts a lot of restaurants to shame.”

Yuri chuckled. “I’ll let her know.”

“I wish you could come with me. I’d show you around St. Petersburg; take you to the rink and introduce you.”

Yuri laughed for real. “I bet that would go over spectacularly, especially with coach Yakov.”

Victor grinned. “He just doesn’t see what I see.”

“He has access to the same internet videos you do. Besides, isn’t he still mad at you?”

“Yakov is all bluster. He cares too much, so he yells to pretend that he doesn’t. Once you get used to it, it’s rather endearing.”

“He’ll be there, won’t he?”

Victor’s lips tightened into a line. “Yes. Mila is skating as well, and since he’s well known to these sponsors he has an open invite to any exhibition with one of his skaters.”

“Are you nervous about seeing him?”

“A little. I might not be worried about being back in Russia, but Yakov has been a huge figure in my life. I know he’s still upset with me.”

Yuri frowned. “You’ll be ok, right?”

Victor smiled. “Yeah. I expect I’ll get the silent treatment. It’s a habit of his when he’s upset and not in a position to yell.”

“I… I’m sorry that I’m the one who came between you and him. It’s obvious how much you respect him.”

Victor shook his head. “Don’t be Yuri. He’ll get over it eventually, and it’ll be your skating that shows him I’m right.”

Yuri smiled.

“In the meanwhile, a box of sweets sure won’t hurt as a peace offering.”

Yuri glanced over at Victor’s suitcase. He’d thought it was a bit large for four days, even accounting for the skates and costume. “How many gifts are you taking back?”

Victor smiled. “Not too many. Sake and sweets for Yakov because he doesn't like unnecessary clutter. I bought Yurio that tiger-print yukata set we saw before the summer festival. I have a hair clip for Mila that I thought would look good on her. There’s a tea set for Lillia, since she trained me in ballet and is around the rink again. A romance Omamori and some stationary for Georgi, who likes to write sappy poems after a breakup…”

Yuri sighed and facepalmed at the extravagant nature of some of the gifts.

Victor rattled off a few more names, then finished off with. “... and more sweets for everyone.”

Yuri smiled as Victor finished detailing his list of gifts. While he thought it was a bit much, he knew the Russian man would be beaming as he presented each item to its chosen recipient.

“We should get going,” Victor said after a moment. “The train will leave soon.”

Yuri nodded and walked into his own room to retrieve his overnight bag.

“That’s all you’re taking?” Victor asked when the younger man met him in the hall.

“I don’t need much: change of clothes, some toiletries, stuff like that. I do have another bag shoved in here to carry back my costume and new skates.”

Victor nodded. “Ok. If you say so.” He stared at his own suitcase again.

“Victor, if you forgot your toothbrush, just buy a new one,” Yuri finally said, waiting by the door.


 

Even though Victor had only been away a few days, the atmosphere on his return was almost like a homecoming celebration for one gone much longer. An impromptu party had developed in the dining room of the inn, with excited banter from all the attendees.

Yuri’s mother fussed over the Russian, making sure that he had eaten properly in St. Petersburg. His father looked on with a fond smile until they both had to return to the kitchen to prepare some food for guests.

Yuko, Nishigori and the triplets asked about the other skaters, and Victor took great care to let them know all about what to look for in the coming season from their programs. He also detailed how Yurio was doing back in St. Petersburg.

Yuri could see the visible relief on Yuko’s face as she realized that the teen indeed seemed to be doing as well as he’d told her via text. She’d acted almost as an adopted mother to him during his time in Hasetsu, and still thought of him as one of her children.

Minako asked how Lillia was doing, and Yuri was a bit startled at learning that she knew the former prima ballerina. Minako laughed and reminded him that she had performed all over the world. Victor briefly discussed how the Russian woman was doing, and even passed on a message from one dancer to another.

After a while the party settled down, until Lutz piped up. “What did you bring us from Russia?”

“Lutz!” Yuko scolded. “It’s very rude to demand like that. Besides, he was there on business.”

“But…”

Yuko folded the girl into her lap. “Omiyage are a Japanese tradition. You can’t expect them from everybody.”

“Nonsense!” Victor proclaimed. “Of course I brought back gifts for my friends. Yuri, will you help me bring them down?”

Yuri stood and followed the older man to his room. He was directed to several bags. “This is everything, right?” Yuri asked, gaping at the size of the bags. “I think you brought back more than you left with.”

“There is one more thing. Did a box arrive while I was away?”

“Yes. I set it over there in the corner,” Yuri replied, pointing with his chin as his hands were full.

Victor smiled, and Yuri was walking back out with the bags when the older man rushed over, and grabbed a small box from one. “This one is for later,” he explained. He tossed the brightly wrapped package back onto the bed, grabbed the delivery box and followed Yuri back to the dining room.

Everybody gathered round as Victor started passing out vibrantly wrapped gifts, each trying to determine what was inside. Some were slightly easier to guess than others, with tall thin boxes screaming of alcohol but others almost indistinguishable.

“Can we open them now?” Axel asked.

“Of course!” Victor proclaimed.

Yuri noticed that he was the only one without a gift, a part of him wondered why, but he leaned against a beaming Victor as they watched packages being opened. “Thank you. You didn’t have to bring back things for everybody.”

Victor turned and smiled softly. “Of course I did. It’s customary, isn’t it? I’ve got one for you too, but it has a bit of explanation so I’ll give it to you later.”

Yuri felt the blush creep across his face as he nodded.

In the end everybody received two gifts. The girls each received a wooden toy. Yuko and Yuri’s mother were gifted sets of Matryoshka dolls. Nishigori and Yuri’s father each got an umbrella with scenes of St.Petersburg. Minako was given a fine shawl, and Mari a lacquer box. In addition all the ladies received sweets, except Minako who was gifted a bottle of fine vodka with the men.

“I have one more gift,” Victor explained once the excitement died down. He pulled the parcel from where he had put it to the side. “This one isn’t for a single person, but is something hopefully everybody can enjoy. It’s for Yu-topia.”

Hiroko and Toshiya knelt beside the box and opened it to reveal an expertly crafted samovar and a selection of fine teas.

“Russians are very serious about their tea,” Victor explained. “And they traditionally use one of these so that each person can prepare it to their own tastes. You’ve been so gracious in accepting me and introducing me to your customs I thought it only proper to repay you in kind.”

The elder Katsukis moved to embrace the Russian, and after a quick rinse Victor was showing them how to use the vessel to prepare tea.

Eventually the party died down and as the staff closed the inn for the night Yuri followed Victor back up to their rooms.

“I have one gift left to give,” Victor said softly, grabbing Yuri’s sleeve as the younger man walked past absentmindedly toward his own room.

Yuri turned and blushed. “You… you didn’t have to…”

“Nonsense,” Victor countered, brushing the backs of his fingers along Yuri’s cheek. “It’s tradition, isn’t it?”

Victor pulled Yuri into the room and picked up the box from the bed before handing it to him. Yuri turned it over in his hands, admiring the shiny blue wrapping paper.

Victor moved behind Yuri and draped himself over the smaller man. “I know an omiyage is supposed to be a representation of where a person went, as well as something that takes into mind the preferences of the recipient. But every time I tried to think of something traditionally ‘Russian’ or screamed of St. Petersburg nothing seemed appropriate for you.”

Yuri turned and tried to look Victor in the eye. The older man realized what he was trying to do and allowed him to turn, but kept his hands on Yuri’s waist.

“I… I finally decided that just something from St. Petersburg or Russia wasn’t personal enough. I wanted to get you something that expressed a part of me as well.”

Yuri looked at the box.

“Go ahead Yuri.”

Yuri slid his thumb under the edge of the paper and unwrapped the box. Inside he found a finely knit piece of soft gray. Victor reached inside and pulled it out, revealing it to be a long scarf.

The Russian looped the scarf around Yuri’s neck, the length allowing for several layers as well as decently long tails. Yuri noticed immediately how soft it was against his skin.

“I only buy scarves from this shop. They’re made using the finest wool, with the yarn spun and dyed on site using a method passed down from one generation to the next. It might not scream of Russia to other people, but it does to me. I knew you would look wonderful in one, and I was right.”

Yuri felt his blush deepen. He gathered the scarf in his hands and buried his face in the warmth, much to Victor’s delight.

Victor… he took the time to pick out something this personal.

“Thank you,” Yuri finally managed.

Victor pulled Yuri’s shoulder and wrapped his arms around the Japanese man. “You’re welcome Yuri. I hope you think of me every time you wear it.”

Yuri looked up, his eyes widening a bit. He nodded and melted inside at Victor’s smile.

Chapter Text

Yuri skated lazy circles around the rink, the bright lights from overhead casting harsh glares on the ice. Outside it was dark and late.

There were eleven days left until the block championship, and Yuri felt that something was missing. He’d changed in the months since the Hot Springs on Ice exhibition, and while the Eros program was still good, he knew it could be better. He just didn’t know how.

He moved to the center of the rink and fumbled for the remote control in his pocket. He started the music. He was the most beautiful woman in town and he knew it. He tossed his hips with a bit more flair and moved in a way that accentuated his every curve. He marked his jumps rather than risk a fall, but otherwise ran the program from top to bottom.

The music ended. It’s still not right.

Yuri was frustrated. He knew the program was missing something, something that had been there for the skate-off against Yurio, but was gone now. Victor hadn’t said anything in practice, but he could see that the Russian man had the same concerns he did.

What changed?

Yuri was getting frustrated. He knew his mood was making things worse, but refused to give up. He started the music again. Was it the katsudon? Is katsudon really my Eros?

Yuri thought of femme fatales and katsudon, but the magic was still missing. He was breathing heavily, having run the program more times than he could count.

“Damnit!” he shouted into the empty rink, his voice echoing in the rafters. “What’s wrong with it?”

He skated to the barrier and gulped down water from his bottle. I’m better than this!

He took a deep breath. Yuri on Ice is good, it’s me, it’s my story and I can feel the connection in my soul. But Eros is eluding me again.

He skated back to the center and assumed his starting position. I’m going to get it right!

Yuri closed his eyes, pressed the play button, ran his hands over his body and opened his eyes to smirk at where Victor would normally be standing.

He promptly fell when he saw the Russian standing there, a steaming cup of what was most likely tea in his gloved hands.

“Vi… Victor!” Yuri called from where his ass was throbbing from the impact. “What are you doing here?”

“I noticed you still hadn’t come home. I came to find out if you needed anything.”

Yuri was quiet. He normally wouldn’t want to have an intrusion at that hour, but he had to admit that he needed the other man’s help.

“It… it’s Eros,” Yuri said timidly, noting that the music still playing gave it away. “It… it’s just not right.”

“Not much you can do about that sitting there.” Victor smiled and set his drink on the barrier. “Are you going to get up, or should I come out there and help you?”

Yuri blushed, stood and brushed ice shavings from his pants. He skated over and noticed a second steaming cup on the cart. Victor picked it up and offered it to the younger man.

“I thought you might like something warm to drink.”

Yuri accepted the cup, took a sip and was grateful that Victor knew exactly which kind of tea he preferred from the late-night cafe down the street. It was even prepared to perfection.

“Thank you,” Yuri said after a moment.

The music stopped, and Victor leaned on the barrier. “I was wondering when you would ask.”

“Victor?”

“I could see that I didn’t need to scold you over Eros, that you were already doing that well enough on your own. You’ve been struggling with it.”

Yuri nodded. “Something’s missing. But I don’t know what. Last time I needed to change how I approached the program. I changed how I viewed myself, even how I moved, but I know it’s strictly emotional this time.”

Victor smiled. “Skate it for me Yuri.”

Yuri nodded. “Full, or should I mark the jumps?”

“Whichever you want.”

“I’ll mark then. I’ve been at it for a while and don’t want to risk a fall from exhaustion.”

Victor nodded and accepted the remote from Yuri before the Japanese man skated back to the center of the rink.

Yuri sighed, closed his eyes and nodded when he felt he was ready. He ran his hands over his body. He was beautiful and he knew it; enticing and the center of attention. Every man wanted him and every woman wanted to be him.

The music ended and he wanted to scream. “It’s still wrong,” he spat.

“Come here,” Victor said softly, his voice like silk.

Yuri skated over to where the Russian was standing at the barrier. He braced himself against it, recovering slightly and seething.

“Look at me Yuri.”

Yuri looked up into Victor’s ocean-blue eyes. The older man was obviously in coach mode, but there was something softer in the gaze as well.

“Stand and close your eyes.”

Yuri took a deep breath and did as instructed. A moment later he felt Victor’s fingers on his cheek and could smell the pheromones from his wrist. He leaned into the touch, nosing at the spot.

“I don’t want to douse your fire,” Victor murmured, “but right now you’re so tense that if you do find the emotion you’re looking for it won’t show in your skating.”

Yuri nodded and breathed deep the soothing aroma. After a moment he felt better, more focused. “Thank you,” he said softly.

Yuri could hear the smile in Victor’s replied, “You’re welcome.”

Something tugged at Yuri’s thoughts, and he looked up to meet Victor’s eyes again. He held the hand to his face and took another deep breath of Victor’s scent before speaking again. “I… I like that you can do this for me, that you have that effect. But…”

Yuri squeezed his eyes shut, he didn’t want the closeness of those moments to end.

“Yuri?”

Yuri opened his eyes again and  let Victor’s hand drop. “It’s just… I know you’ve got issues with… being an omega.” Yuri winced when he saw Victor stiffen slightly. “I… I don’t want you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. So… please. If it bothers you, don’t do that any more.”

Victor eyes filled with a mix of emotions that ranged from sadness to indescribable joy. He slid his hand around Yuri’s neck and drew the younger man toward him into an embrace. “Thank you, Yuri,” he said softly.

For a moment Yuri thought that those touches would stop; that he wouldn’t smell that mix of oranges and snow again.

“It means so much that you are so considerate of my feelings. But…”

Yuri looked up at Victor.

“For the first time I like an aspect of my secondary. I see how it calms you, brings you back to yourself, and… Yuri, I like being able to do that for you. I used to keep my distance whenever I thought my smell was too strong. A part of me thought that nobody would ever want to be near it.

“There are a lot of things I hate about… what I am… but being able to do this for you is not one. So, if you’ll let me, I’d like to keep doing this when you need it.”

Yuri felt tears in his eyes and he quickly blinked them back to nod at Victor. “I like it too. I don’t think you understand how soothing, how relaxing it is for me. It cuts through whatever is going on in my head and helps me focus.”

Victor beamed at him, and cupped Yuri’s face again. Yuri sighed as he once more got a whiff of Victor’s scent.

They stood that way for several minutes. Yuri’s hands on the barrier, one of Victor’s wrapped around his back with the other on his face.

“Victor…” Yuri finally asked. “Is… is there something I can do for you… as an alpha?”

Yuri heard Victor’s breath catch in his throat, and he quickly clarified. “My scent is supposed to have its own use, right? I never thought much of it, but I seem to remember that it’s should act in much the same way with you. I mean I’ll protect you if you ever need it, my pheromones are strong enough most don’t want to fight me. But that’s something unlikely to happen, and I want to do what I can to reciprocate.”

“You… you don’t mind?” Victor asked cautiously.

“Of course not.”

“I’d like that.”

Yuri smiled, and saw gratitude in Victor’s eyes. They leaned into each other and rested their foreheads together, each breathing in the essence of the other. They took the moment for what it was, one of mutual understanding and acknowledgment.

After a moment Victor spoke again. “Why don’t you tell me what you’re thinking about out there when skating eros.”

Yuri closed his eyes and ran through the program in his head. “The thought that sticks most right now is that I’m the most beautiful woman around.”

“Not katsudon?” Victor joked.

Yuri laughed. “Not anymore. Now it just makes me hungry.”

“So what does the most beautiful woman do?”

“She dances and shows off her beauty. Men want her, and women want to be her.”

“Is that all?”

Yuri raised his head and their eyes met. “What do you mean?”

“Is that all you’re thinking of when you skate?”

Yuri blinked. “Yes?”

Victor smiled softly. “Eros is a dance of seduction. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most beautiful person in the world. You don’t want them to just want you, you want them to beg. Don’t just flaunt your beauty on the ice. Make promises with your body. Hint at forbidden pleasures.”

Yuri swallowed. “Victor?”

Victor smiled. “Seduce me Yuri. If you can seduce me you can seduce the whole audience. Can you do it?”

Yuri gaped, but nodded. He moved to the center of the rink.

“No music this time. Let your skates sing instead.”

Yuri stared at Victor. Seduce him? How do I do that?

Yuri took a deep breath and started. The first thing he imagined was what he hoped to accomplish with his seduction. His hands were no longer his own as they traced his curves. He was mapping out how he wanted Victor’s hands to travel over his body. When he smirked at the Russian it was a playful “come and get it.”

He was more than the most beautiful woman around, he was a temptress and a tease. His hips told stories of what could happen between the sheets, his arms sang promises of ecstasy. When he finished he imagined Victor wrapped in his arms, begging for more, caught in the web of his dance.

He immediately knew that the performance was different. He looked to where Victor was standing, and could just make out a blurry smile. He skated back to where the platinum-haired man was waiting.

“How’d that feel?” Victor asked.

“It… felt good. Right.”

“It was beautiful Yuri.”

Yuri smiled and blushed.

“What were you thinking about?”

Yuri’s breath caught in his throat. “I… well you wanted me to seduce you… I mean…”

Victor laughed. “Ready to head home?” he purred. 

Yuri shook his head. “I’d like to run it a few more times.”

Victor frowned slightly, but nodded. “Just don’t stay too late ok.”

“Ok.”

“Your doctor’s appointment is in the morning isn’t it?”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll see you here after?”

“If all goes smoothly.”

“Ok.”

Victor took a step back and walked several paces toward the door. Yuri was sipping his tea when he saw the older man turn.

“Yuri?”

“Yes Victor?”

Victor was silent for a moment before finally shaking his head. “Sorry, it was nothing.”

“Are you sure?”

Victor nodded, but Yuri could see in his stance that he was unsure and possibly a bit sad. “Goodnight Yuri.”

“Goodnight Victor.”

Chapter Text

“Good morning Katsiki-san,” said Dr. Ito as she walked into the room.

Yuri bowed in greeting before sitting in the patient chair.

“How are you doing today?” the doctor asked as she looked over her notes for him.

“I’m good, thank you.”

“You’re in for your yearly physical if I recall, yes?”

Yuri nodded. “Yes. Just making sure that there are no problems before heading into the season.”

The doctor nodded in response and shifted through several pages before addressing him again. “I see no outstanding medical issues that require special consideration, so we’ll do a standard physical examination plus a stress test for athletes. Is there anything else in particular you wanted to discuss today?”

Yuri swallowed. “Umm… about my suppressants…”

The doctor blinked, then a moment of recognition at the subject flitted across her face. “Oh yes. I do remember something about that when you were in with your coach several weeks ago.”

Yuri nodded. “I… I think you were right and that I’m developing a tolerance to them. I’ve been more on edge recently, quicker to anger, along with other typical alpha traits.”

She nodded. “I’ll have a nurse draw some blood while we wait for the treadmill then. It’s a rather quick test so I should have some results for you before the end of your physical.”

“Thank you doctor. But I’m concerned about them in another way as well.”

“Oh?”

“My doctor in Detroit informed me that the suppressants for alphas have more side effects than those for omegas, and that some could cause issues for athletes. I don’t want to deal with new side effects right at the start of competition, so if we do have to adjust I’m hoping you can increase the dose instead of try a different kind. At least until the end of the season.”

Doctor Ito scowled. “If you’re developing a tolerance then increasing the dose will only postpone the inevitable, and they might fail entirely before spring.”

“I know, but I’d prefer to to try it this way instead of switching. If they do fail I’ll go without until summer. It won’t be comfortable, but I’ve only been on them for a few years anyway so it’s nothing I haven’t dealt with before.”

The doctor nodded. “Whatever you want. Since suppressants aren’t a medical or sport required necessity I’ll let you make your own judgement here.”

“Thank you.”

Doctor Ito proceeded through the normal barrage of tests. She checked for standard things like swollen lymph nodes and problems with the ears, nose or throat. She reviewed bloodwork panels for disease and informed Yuri that he was disease free, something he could have told her but figured it was part of her job. Soon they were walking down the hall to the stress machines so that she could evaluate his physical condition when subjected to the higher strain of a competitive athlete.

After what felt like a refreshing, but utterly boring, run she declared that there were no signs of abnormal strain from exertion and declared him fit for competition. They returned immediately to the examination room where she checked the in-room computer and saw that the results of his suppressant test had been posted.

“It’s as you thought Katsuki-san. You have started to develop a tolerance to your suppressants. I can increase the dose, but given what I’m seeing here they’ll likely fail entirely by the new year. You might be able to push it a bit longer if you rut in the next couple months, but even if you do you’ll likely have to go several months without suppressants.”

Yuri nodded. “Increase the dose then, if you would. I’ll deal with my returning alpha traits as they come.”

Doctor Ito was silent for a moment as she entered the new prescription into the computer. She turned to Yuri with a serious look on her face, and was obviously about to say something before changing her mind. “How’s your friend doing?” she asked.

Yuri blinked. “He’s doing ok. But shouldn’t you be asking him that during his appointment next month?”

Doctor Ito smiled softly. “He seems the type to not open up readily about things that make him uncomfortable, and he was radiating discomfort when you two were in here before. I figure it doesn't hurt to ask while he’s not around.”

Yuri sighed. “I understand the position you’re in, but there’s nothing I can tell you. He doesn’t speak to me about it much either.”

Doctor Ito nodded. “It was worth a try. Will you be translating for him again during his follow-up appointment?”

“As far as I know. He hasn’t said otherwise.”

She nodded again. “If that changes please let us know a couple days in advance so we can bring in a translator. You said English, Russian and French, yes?”

“Yes.”

“Good. I’ll make sure that’s noted in his file so that if we do have to bring in somebody we have all the options readily available.” She then returned her attention back to Yuri. “Now, before you leave. Is there anything else that you would like to discuss today”

Yuri was silent as he thought, then shook his head. “As long as I’m healthy for competition I’m satisfied. I’ve felt good in practice, and except for my suppressants nothing seemed out of the ordinary.”

“That’s good, and with that I’ll wish good luck in your upcoming competitions.”

Yuri stood and bowed again. “Thank you Doctor Ito.”


 

Yuri was quiet as he padded through the silent halls of the family residence toward the kitchens. It was well past midnight, but he was thirsty.

He’d just finished a tall glass of water when he noticed a light coming from the family’s private dining room. He approached cautiously and noticed Victor slumped over the table and asleep with a laptop open next to him. Yuri could see the details of their upcoming trip to the Chu-Shikoku-Kyushu Regional championship on the screen.

“Victor?” he asked softly of the room.

Victor shifted slightly and made a noise but didn’t appear to wake up. Yuri stood there for a moment and noticed that the Russian was trembling and whimpering in his sleep.

Yuri took several cautious steps in and knelt next to the Russian. “Victor?”

Victor made another noise but remained firmly asleep, his whimpers turning into a soft whine.

Yuri frowned and placed his hand on the older man’s shoulders. “Come on Victor. Won’t you be more comfortable asleep in your own bed?”

“Nngggnnnh,” was Victor’s reply as his nightmare seemed to settle. His breathing was less ragged and the whine was gone. He hummed softly in his sleep.  

Yuri sighed and brushed away the hair that had fallen over Victor’s face. His hand lingered for a moment; gaze captured by the peaceful expression.

“It’s still like a dream to me,” Yuri murmured in Japanese. “You’re actually here. Every day I get to see you and work with you. It’s more than I ever could have hoped for. But somehow I want more. It’s so hard to keep my distance when I just want to curl into your arms.”

Victor made a noise and ocean-blue eyes looked up at him. “Yuri?” he asked, half-asleep.

“You fell asleep in the dining room,” Yuri explained softly.

Victor smiled and nuzzled into the hand that was still on his face, making Yuri blush. “Smell good,” Victor mumbled before closing his eyes again.

Yuri moved his hand to the older man’s shoulder and shook gently. “Come on Victor. Let’s get you to your bed.”

Yuri managed to get the Russian to his feet, but Victor was barely coherent enough to walk and ended up with his head on Yuri’s shoulder, nose pressed to his neck.

“Yuri smells so good and dances so pretty.”

“That’s nice Victor,” Yuri replied, blushing even though he knew that the platinum-haired man wasn’t awake enough to even know what he was saying.

Victor’s babbling switched to Russian, but Yuri knew he was still talking about dancing by the way his hips were moving

Somehow they managed to make it up the stairs and Yuri wrestled Victor to his bed. However as soon as Yuri tried to convince Victor to lay down the larger man wrapped him tightly in his arms and they both fell onto the padded surface.

“Yuri?” Victor asked, more coherent after pulling the smaller man down on top of him.

Yuri squirmed in Victor’s grip. “Geez, now you wake up?”

Victor blinked. “What are you doing?”

“Trying to get you into your bed you big goof. You fell asleep in the dining room.”

“Again?”

Yuri stopped his futile struggling, realizing that Victor was still too close to sleep to know how tightly he was holding on. “What do you mean, again?”

“Not first time,” Victor mumbled, quickly falling asleep again.

Yuri resumed struggling, which only made the Russian cling tighter.

“Stay.”

Yuri softened slightly and allowed himself to rest on Victor’s chest for a moment. “You don’t know what you’re asking. You’re so asleep you probably don’t even know for sure I’m here.”

Soon Victor’s breathing evened out and Yuri was able to extricate himself. “Goodnight Victor,” he said, standing next to the bed.

Yuri managed several steps toward the door before Victor’s soft and half-asleep voice cut through the quiet of the hour. “You said I could smell you.”

“Victor?” Yuri asked, turning to look back and half expecting to see the older man asleep. Instead he saw deep blue eyes staring at him.

Victor whined low in his throat, and the noise caught on Yuri’s alpha instincts. He turned and walked back to the bed, where Victor was waiting to pull him down.

Yuri had no more than touched the mattress than Victor was burying his nose against him. Yuri sighed and wrapped the older man in his arms, noticing that he was trembling slightly.

“Bad dreams?”

Victor nodded.

“Is that why you were asleep in the dining room?”

Victor shook his head. “Just fell asleep there. Had a feeling. Wanted to work.”

“I see,” Yuri replied and nuzzled the top of Victor’s head, which made the Russian purr with contentment. “I’ll stay until you fall asleep. Ok?”

Victor nodded slowly and Yuri pet his head until his breathing evened out again and he could see the peaceful expression on the older man’s face.

“Oyasumi,” Yuri said softly before pressing a kiss to the sleeping man’s forehead. He eased himself from Victor’s arms and made sure the blankets were secure around his shoulders before returning to his own room.

Chapter Text

Yuri looked at his bag and sighed. “Victor, Fukuoka is only an hour away. It really seems unnecessary to get a hotel room for the competition. We could just come back home and sleep in our own beds.”

“Nonsense Yuri,” Victor countered. “It’s one thing for Minako and Nishigori to commute each day, but what if there was a problem on the train. You could miss practice, or worse, your scheduled competition time.”

“Nothing’s going to happen to the train Victor.”

“Then it’s nothing we need to worry about because we’ll be spending our nights there.”

Yuri sighed, and resigned himself to the fact that he wasn’t going to win the argument. “Are you ready then?”

Victor looked at his own suitcase for a moment, studying it. “I guess I can always just come back if I forgot something.”

“Victor!”

Victor laughed. “Kidding Yuri. I’d have Minako bring anything I forget.”

Yuri buried his face in his hands and tried to control his exasperation.

Strong arms wrapped around him and pulled him close. “Victor!” he protested.

The platinum-haired man smiled down at him, but didn’t let him go. “Just breathe Yuri.”

Yuri’s eyes widened at the order, but Victor didn’t give him a chance to argue.

“There’s no need to be nervous. You’ll be great. Getting worked up over where we sleep the next couple of nights is just a waste of energy. Okay?”

Yuri nodded and leaned into the embrace.


 

Reporters were waiting for them when they arrived for the  morning’s practice session. Yuri had accepted that he was skating first and was starting to feel confident about the evening’s short program, that is until Victor started spouting nonsense about a personal best.

There’s only four of us, Yuri thought as he moved across the ice for practice. This is just a prerequisite, it’s common for all the men from the region to proceed to sectionals. I just have to not screw up.

Yuri could feel eyes on him and shivered. He tried to focus, but ended up leaving the ice early.

“Yuri, are you sure you’re done?” Victor asked as they made their way to the locker room. “There’s still fifteen minutes.”

“I’m sure. I want to go get some lunch and relax before this evening.”

Victor scowled but Yuri ignored it. It was time to focus on the competition. They ended up at a nearby restaurant and ate in near silence as Yuri brooded over what was to come.

Yuri tried to relax in his hotel room, but felt he had barely settled when it was time for him to head to the rink. He exited his room, bag slung over his shoulders and knocked on Victor’s door. “Victor, are you ready? It’s time to go to the rink.”

“I’ll meet you there Yuri. I need just a few more minutes.”

“Ok.”

Yuri hoped that the walk to the rink would let him clear his mind, but it only allowed the clouds of worry to gather faster.

Yuri ignored his fellow competitors as he sat in front of the locker room mirrors, liberally applying gel to his hair and attempting to slick it back. Eventually he got it to mostly behave, but noticed that Victor still hadn’t arrived. Hair aside, he had another issue that he needed his coach’s help with.

Grumbling he pulled on his Team Japan jacket and made his way to the lobby of the rink. There he saw Nishigori and Minako, and a moment later, Victor, dressed to the nines in what had to be a very expensive suit.

After a few minutes of Victor parading in front of fans and the cameras Yuri was finally able to wrestle his coach back to the locker rooms.

“Yuri?” Victor asked, noticing the annoyed look the younger man was giving him.

“When you said you needed a few minutes I thought you had forgotten something and would be right behind me. Don’t get me wrong, you look great, but I needed you here.”

Victor studied him. “You got a bit too much gel in your hair. But otherwise you look okay.”

Yuri growled, on the verge of snapping from nerves, as he pulled off the jacket again to reveal his bare back to his coach.

Victor started laughing. “Sorry Yuri! I forgot how this costume zipped. I could never get it on my own either. But why didn’t you ask another competitor to help?”

“Because they were getting ready for the own performances,” Yuri grumbled as Victor drew the pull up toward his neck. “Besides, this is supposed to be something my coach helps me with, isn’t it?”

Victor turned Yuri around after zipping him up and smiled at him. “I’m sorry Yuri. I’ll make sure to be with you during prep from now on.”

Yuri scowled, but nodded.

Victor looked up at a clock. “There’s still a few minutes. How about I redo your hair? You’ll spend forever getting that gel out otherwise.”

Yuri sighed and allowed Victor to lead him to a stool in front of the mirrors. The older man took a towel and soaked in some warm water. He drew the moistened fabric over his hair until most of the gel was removed. He then proceeded to run a comb through his black strands until they started to lay back on their own.

Yuri closed his eyes as Victor worked, noticing that he could detect the traces of Victor’s smell with the Russian so close. He found it the moment soothing.

“You have such nice hair, Yuri,” Victor murmured. “It’s a shame to clump it with gel.”

“Well it gets the job done,” Yuri retorted.

Victor leaned over and rested his head on Yuri’s shoulder so that the younger man could see their faces side-by-side in the mirror. “How about you let me style it from now on?”

Yuri caught Victor’s eye in the reflection and sighed. “Only as long as you can make it on time.”

Victor smiled and stood, adding just a tiny dab of gel to his hand. He worked it through Yuri’s hair and ran the comb through one last time.

Yuri had to admit that the result was far better looking and feeling than his own attempts had been. He stood and faced his coach. “You ready?”

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?”

Yuri smiled. “Let’s go show them what we can do.”

Victor nodded. “Yeah.”

They made their way to the competitor area of the rink, and Yuri stepped onto the ice for the warm-up. He felt his nerves coming back and quickly tried to stifle them, but memories of the previous year took that moment to flood his thoughts. He remembered the disappointed gasps from the crowd, the pain of knowing he’d failed even before finishing his program.

The warmup was over and he went to take a sip of water before starting. He felt a knot in the pit of his stomach when he noticed that Victor looked annoyed.

“Yuri, turn around.”

“Victor?”

“Turn around, okay.”

Yuri turned. “Like this?” He wondered if his costume needed adjustment.

Strong arms grabbed him from behind, jolting from his thoughts. He heard the cameras from across the rink, but was immediately engulfed in Victor’s soothing scent. It cut through his nerves and allowed him to focus.

“Seduce me with all you have Yuri. If you can seduce me you can enthrall the entire audience.”

Yuri thought back to the practice sessions over the previous week and a half. He’d found the soul of the eros routine again by trying to seduce his coach.

Now he had to seduce the rink. He moved to the center of the ice and the music started.


 

Despite a lackluster response from the audience and putting a hand down on his quad salchow, Yuri ended the night with a new personal best for the short program. He was satisfied, but unsure about reducing the difficulty of his free skate.

He stepped out of the shower and toweled off his hair, remembering that he’d have fought the gel much more had Victor not restyled it for him.

His hands in my hair, fingers working through an absurdly small amount of gel. It felt so good.

Yuri sighed. He had more than a twenty-five point margin after the short program, but the nerves were tugging at the edges of his mind again.

He knew how to help me… I… I wonder…

Yuri finished drying and walked into his empty room. He pulled on a comfortable t-shirt and some sweatpants before sliding his keycard into his pocket and making his way to Victor’s room next door.

“Yes?” came the reply when he knocked.

“Victor? It’s me.”

A moment later the door opened. “What is it Yuri?”

Yuri stood there for a moment, unsure himself of what had driven him to his coach’s room. He was snapped out of his thoughts by a tug on the wrist.

“At least come in out of the hall, ok?”

Somehow Victor had made even a standard hotel room look cozy. Lights were on over the bed and a book lay open and face down on it. His wool jacket was carefully draped over the back of a chair and Yuri could smell the lingering traces of tea.

“What’s wrong Yuri?” Victor asked, moving in front of the younger man.

“Arigato gozaimasu,” Yuri blurted out, bowing.

Victor laughed. “You’re welcome. But for what?”

Yuri blushed. “That hug… at the rink. I didn’t thank you for it properly, and…” The blush deepened. “It… it really helped.”

Yuri peeked up to see a smile on Victor’s face. He stood up straight again.

Victor took a step into Yuri’s space and brushed his fingers across his face. “You looked so stressed. It was the only thing I could think of to snap you out of it.”

“It worked. I felt a lot calmer after that.”

“I’m glad.”

Victor took a step back toward the interior of the room.

No, don’t go.

“Victor?”

“Yes Yuri?”

Yuri suddenly found himself unable to speak; unable to form the words.

Victor stepped into his space again and wrapped his arms around the smaller man. “Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want Yuri.”

Yuri squeezed his eyes shut. What if what I want is more than you’re willing to give?

“Or maybe, what you need?” Victor offered, voice soft.

Need. Yes I can focus on that. I need this.

“Can… can you hug me again tomorrow?”

“Is that what you need?”

“I probably won’t have the courage to ask, but I think it’ll help. So please, even if I don’t ask. Hug me again tomorrow before I skate.”

Victor smiled and held him closer. “Of course.”

Chapter Text

Yuri had never much been interested in celebrating with competitors after a skate. When he won he worried about hard feelings, and when he didn’t do so well he had always chosen to suffer in solitude. But when Victor readily accepted the invitation to join the other skaters and their coaches for dinner the night of the free skate he had no choice but to go along.

“Victor, do we have to?” Yuri demanded from where Victor was watching him change in the locker room.

“No, but it’s the polite thing to do. Besides, don’t you want to relax before heading back home and practice tomorrow.”

“About that. I don’t understand why we couldn’t just join Minako and Nishigori on the train back to Hasetsu tonight.”

Victor stood and walked over to where Yuri was tugging on a comfortable shirt. He placed his hands on Yuri’s shoulders.

“Yuri, sometimes encouraging other skaters comes in the form of wishing them well before a skate. Other times it is something different than competition. Interacting with your competitors off the ice allows you to build bonds. Skating can be a lonely sport, and having a circle of people who you know, who you will cheer for and know they will do the same for you, is important.”

Yuri looked into Victor’s eyes and sighed. The older man was obviously excited about spending a few hours with the competitors and coaches, and who was Yuri to intrude upon that? He nodded.

“Ok, but not too late.”

Victor smiled. “Let’s get your things back to the hotel. You know where they’re going right?”

Yuri nodded. “It’s a popular sushi place nearby. I’ve eaten there a few times.”

“Great!”

They stopped in at the hotel and dropped off Yuri’s skate bag, then walked toward the restaurant. When they arrived the others were already there and seated around a large table.

“Yuri!” Minami called, waving to his idol.

Yuri smiled shyly, and squawked when Victor pushed him next to the younger man. He sat down, but couldn’t seem to settle his nerves. He watched as the two other skaters and their coaches talked back in forth in rapid Japanese, but it was the young man seated next to him that was able to break his silence.

“I’m gunning for you in Aichi, Yuri,” Minami said confidently, speaking in English for the obvious benefit of Victor. “I’m going to make sure I see you again at Nationals, Four Continents and Worlds so that I can compete against you in the Grand Prix series next year.

Yuri looked down and gaped at the teen’s grin. “Think you can catch up in only a month?” he bantered back.

“I’ve got one quad. I bet if I train hard I can add another,” came the enthusiastic response.

Yuri smiled. “It’s not that easy. It took a lot of work for me to even get my quad salchow to where it is now. I had to have Yuri Plisetsky show me how to land it.”

Minami’s eyes went wide at the name. “You mean the junior world champion? I thought you were rivals.”

Yuri nodded. “We are, but because we trained together for the exhibition we were rinkmates too.”

“I didn’t even know he could do quads until he performed them there.”

“He was banned by his coach from performing them in the junior division. Now that he can show them off I’m sure he’ll put them to good use.”

“I’m sure you’ll beat him.”

“We’ll see. He’s a tough competitor and will wow the world this season I’m sure.”

“I can’t believe he showed you had to land a quad salchow.”

Victor draped himself over Yuri’s shoulders, which caused Minami to immediately blush. “Hey Yuri, don’t forget about me. I nearly killed myself showing you all of my quads.”

“It’s totally unfair that Yuri gets to learn advanced jumps from a living legend,” joked one of the other skaters, Omiki Yuuto, if Yuri recalled his name properly.

“Yeah,” chuckled the other, Fujiwara Hikaru. “It’s an unfair advantage.”

Victor laughed in a way that was a sure sign that he had something on his mind. “Well it just won’t do for my Yuri to have an unfair advantage now would it?”

“What are you thinking Victor?” Yuri accused.

“Just going to even the odds a bit for these men. If they and their coaches can agree on one day in the next two weeks to come to Hasetsu, I’ll do a jump workshop for them.”

“Victor!” Yuri protested. “Do we really have time for that? The Cup of China is only six weeks away, and when we add in sectionals we’ve only got five for practice.”

“That’s why I said within the next two weeks. Besides, it’s good to help out other skaters when you can.”

“Do you mean it?” Minami asked excitedly.

“Of course!” Victor replied.

“And what about Yuko and the Ice Castle schedule?” Yuri retorted.

“We’ll make it work,” Victor said with a wink. “But how about I text Yuko now and find out if there is a better day for the rink?”

Yuri sighed as Victor started texting Yuko, and Minami translated their conversation to the coaches. Soon excited chatter was flying back and forth across the table as the coaches recognized the opportunity for what it was. Watching the quads on a screen was one thing, but a live demonstration and assistance from a skater who routinely landed four of the five ratified quads in competition was too good an offer to pass up.

Rapid Japanese flowed between coaches and students, and Yuri could tell that Victor only understood a few words, including toe loop, salchow, lutz and flip.

“Oh Yuri, tell them I can demonstrate a quad loop too. I’ve never felt confident enough to put it in a competition piece, but have done it in exhibition skates.”

Yuri relayed the information, and soon found that he couldn’t help but smile at the energetic air.

“You said you had fun today,” Victor said softly, draping himself over Yuri again. “Won’t it be even more exciting to see what these boys can do in just a month if given a boost?”

Yuri found himself nodding.

Victor’s cell phone buzzed, and he proclaimed that he had a list of days that worked best for Ice Castle.

Before the end of the evening they had plans for a regional jump workshop set in a week and a half. The coaches asked if they could bring other students, and after some discussion they capped the number of participants at three people per coach. Video cameras were encouraged so that they could document how their own students progressed and share the information to a wider audience.


 

“Yuri, we should start planning your exhibition skate,” Victor called from across the rink.

Yuri looked up and a blush immediately crept over his face. “About that…”

“You have something in mind?”

Yuri skated over to lean on the barrier near his coach. “I… I was thinking… if you don’t mind that is…”

“What is it Yuri?”

“I’d like to skate your free program from last season, Stay Close to Me.

“Oh? Any particular reason?”

“Well I already know it, and… it just seems appropriate.”

Victor smiled. “I think that’s a lovely idea.”

“Really?”

The Russian nodded. “It got my attention didn’t it? Besides I bet the world would love to see you skate it. You put more soul into it than I ever could.”

“Oh no Victor, I could never match your beauty in it,” Yuri looked down and blinked away the glare of the ice.

“Give yourself more credit Yuri.”

Yuri looked up at the soft tone in Victor’s voice. “I… I’ll have to downgrade some of the quads I think. I’ll try to get a flip and a lutz learned, but…”

“Don’t push yourself on an exhibition skate. Downgrade the jumps and focus on your competition programs. The audience will love it regardless.”

“You think so?”

“I know so. But what are you planning to do for a costume?”

“I was thinking of having one made similar to yours.”

Victor grinned. “I love it! What color were you thinking?”

“I usually wear shades of blue.”

Victor hummed in satisfaction. “Perfect. I’ll ask my costumer what information he needs in order to get started.”

Yuri waved his hands in protest. “Victor we can go with somebody in Japan.”

“Nonsense Yuri. He designed the pattern and is therefore best suited to making it in a smaller version. It makes more sense to go to him rather than have somebody else try to reconstruct it.”

Silence.

“Right?” Victor prodded.

Yuri had to concede the point that going to the original designer was probably a better idea than having somebody else try to recreate the pattern. “Ok. You win.”

“Great! I’ll call this afternoon, once it’s morning in St. Petersburg, and find out what information he needs.”

Yuri smiled at seeing Victor so excited over such a trivial thing as the costume and program selection for his exhibition skate.

“Victor?”

“Yes Yuri?”

“Could you… would you skate it for me?”

Victor blinked and Yuri felt the need to elaborate. “I’m sure there are nuances that the cameras never caught. I… I just want to make sure that I do it right.”

“I’ve never skated it for a private audience,” Victor teased.

“Well you don’t have to… I mean I thought it would just be nice to see… You can just point out mistakes instead,” Yuri stammered, flustered.

Victor ran his fingers up Yuri’s cheek. “I’d be delighted to. I don’t have the music with me though. Is tomorrow morning ok?”

Yuri looked into ocean-blue eyes and nodded.

“In the meanwhile, how about you skate it for me Yuri. It’s been several months since you last ran it, right?”

Yuri nodded again.

“Let’s see where you’re at, and we can go from there.”

“Yeah.”

Chapter Text

The sun had yet to clear the horizon as Yuri walked into the Ice Castle. He turned and locked the door behind him. The lobby was dark, but he could see dim light filtering through the glass doors that lead to the ice. He walked to the locker room, flipped on the light, changed to his practice clothes and carried his skates to the rink.

Today was special. Victor was going to skate Stay Close to Me , and Yuri was going to be the entire audience.

Victor was skating lazily across the ice in his standard practice clothes. The rink was draped in long shadows as the only light was what was coming through the windows. Smaller shadows moved through the bands of blue from the leaves falling in the autumn weather.

Silence, then the crack of a blade meeting the ice. Another perfectly executed jump.

Yuri took a moment to just appreciate what was before him. Victor, his idol, the person he’d aimed for his entire career was there, real and more human that he’d ever been before.

Yuri moved around to rest on the barrier at mid-rink, content to watch Victor practice. He moved in and out of the shadows, real, illusion, real, illusion. He smiled as he spied Yuri, and stayed in the light as he skated over.

Yuri’s breath caught in his throat as Victor reached for him, the same way he would reach for a non-existent partner in his free skate. For the first time the expression on Victor’s face wasn’t sad and empty, it was fond, and the platinum-haired man smiled softly.

Victor transitioned from lazily skating whatever came to mind, to the remainder of the program. It excited Yuri, the new look on the Russian’s face, the trust that was there. Skating the routine would no longer be an act of copying the idol to regain his love of the sport, it had developed a new meaning. It would now be an homage to the months of work, to the bonds that had grown between them.

Yuri felt a sense of determination. He was going to do Victor’s program justice.

Victor held the finishing pose for a moment, then smiled and skated over. “Good morning Yuuuuri.”

Yuri smiled and leaned across the barrier. Victor acknowledged the silent request for something that had become somewhat of a ritual for them. Their foreheads came together softly and they took a moment to merely relish the presence of the other.

Yuri tried to reason it away, that it was merely a calming thing for the both of them, preparing them for the day ahead. But deep down he wished for it to hold a deeper significance.

“Ready for me to skate for you?” Victor murmured after a moment.

“Mm-hmm.”

They separated, and for the briefest moment Yuri thought he saw a tinge of longing in Victor’s stunning blue eyes before the older man straightened and moved toward the center of the rink.

The sun crested the horizon as the music started, transforming the light in the rink from a solemn blue to a radiant golden.

Somehow it seemed a perfect metaphor for the feelings of excitement blooming in Yuri.


 

Yuri was taking a break from practicing Stay Close to Me while Victor was off getting coffee.

Instead he was practicing Eros again. He thought he’d found the soul of it before the regional championship, but had known by the lukewarm response of the audience, and even how it felt, that he hadn’t skated it properly.

Something was still off. It was there when he skated alone for Victor, but as soon as he had an entire audience it seemed wrong.

I tried to seduce them. What was so wrong about it?

“Eros again?” Victor asked as he came back into the rink bearing steaming mugs of coffee.

Yuri looked up and blushed. “Something’s still wrong with it.”

“Skate it for me,” Victor commanded as he set the hot beverages on the cart.

Victor leaned on the barrier as Yuri took his start position.

Seduce the audience. The audience is Victor. Seduce Victor.

Yuri started the program, and let the sound of his blades tell the story of seduction.

It was right this time. Why wasn’t it right in competition?

“It looks fine Yuri,” Victor called as the younger skater kicked the ice in frustration.

Yuri skated over and accepted a proffered cup of coffee. He took several cautious sips of the warming liquid before speaking.

“It was right before the competition, and it’s right now. But it felt wrong during.”

Victor leaned on the barrier and studied the Japanese man. “So what was different?”

Yuri shook his head. “I don’t know. I was trying to do just like in practice. I was focusing on seducing the audience.”

Victor smiled and chuckled.

“What is it?”

“Were you trying to seduce the whole audience, or just a single person?”

Yuri thought back to the skate. “The whole audience.”

“There’s your problem.”

"Huh?"

“Think back to the Hot Springs on Ice competition. You said that it was right then, didn’t you?”

“Yes.”

“But you weren’t trying to seduce anybody, were you.”

“No, not exactly.”

“What were you skating for then?”

“I… I was skating in order to keep you here.”

“The answer’s right in front of you Yuri.”

“Victor?”

“Come here.”

Yuri skated the couple feet to where his coach was standing and faced the platinum-haired man.

“Closer Yuri,” Victor demanded, his voice dropping in pitch.

Yuri moved so that he was pressed against the barrier and noticed Victor’s eyes darken.

Victor leaned into Yuri’s personal space. He laid one hand on the younger man’s arm and cupped his face with the other, drawing his thumb across his lower lip.

Yuri couldn’t quite suppress a shudder at the intimacy.

“It feels good, doesn’t it?” Victor purred. “Being seduced is a very powerful feeling.”

Yuri nodded, suddenly unable to form words.

“Now imagine that it was more than just us two here right now. Imagine me leaving you and doing this with the next person, then yet another a moment later.”

Yuri hissed slightly, starting to understand.

“It cheapens it, doesn’t it?” Victor prodded.

Yuri grimaced.

“Skate it for me again Yuri, but keep that image in your mind. Imagine that the rink is filled, and try to seduce your entire audience.”

Yuri frowned, but he moved back to the center of the rink. He started the program, and the same sense of wrong that had so pervaded his skate in Fukuoka had returned.

“Was that what was wrong with it?” Victor asked as Yuri once more met him at the barrier.

“Yeah. But… how did you know?”

Victor smiled and leaned in again, face co close that Yuri could smell the coffee on his breath. His voice dropped in pitch by several notes when he spoke again. “Seduction is a dance for two Yuri, and it’s made all the more alluring in the exclusivity. It’s two people caught on a point of shared gravity, orbiting around it and each other, drawing steadily together until the heat consumes them both then being flung to safety again. It’s repeated, each cycle drawing them closer and closer until they eventually crash together. Those outside the pull can only watch the spectacle unfold.”

Yuri swallowed, both hopeful and terrified that Victor would close the difference and kiss him as part of his demonstration. Every nerve was on edge. Gooseflesh rose on his arms as the Russian’s fingers danced along them, and a shiver ran up his spine when they locked eyes and he was unable to look away again.

“Think about it Yuri,” Victor purred. “What’s better, somebody who is focused solely on you, or a flirt who woos the first one to pay attention?”

Yuri’s breath hitched in his throat. “Focused,” he whispered.

Victor smiled, his thumbs driving Yuri mad making circles on his forearms. “That’s right.”

Yuri squeezed his eyes shut, overwhelmed. “But… but how am I supposed to seduce the audience if I focus on just one person?”

“Don’t,” Victor whispered in Yuri’s ear.

The closeness, Victor’s scent, the feel of his breath over sensitive skin was almost too much for Yuri and he had trouble keeping his balance.

“Wha… what do you mean ‘don’t?’”

“Just that,” Victor murmured, still too close for Yuri to feel centered. “Don’t seduce the audience. Seduce one person. That message is for one person and one person alone. Everybody else should feel like they are on the fringes watching.” Victor’s hot breath moved down from Yuri’s ear and he felt it along his neck, tantalizingly close and yet so far away.

Please just kiss me.

“But won’t they feel excluded,” Yuri asked, unable to control the shake in his voice,

“That’s the point. People want what they can’t have. It’s human nature.” One of Victor’s hands moved to the small of Yuri’s back.

Like I want you?

Victor inhaled near the crook of Yuri’s neck, too far to touch but close enough to make Yuri shiver. “When you seduce only a single person you make yourself unavailable. You are the temptation and are uninterested in anything else. No matter how much they try, they can never have you. The closest they can come is being invested in your story. Will your seduction succeed, or will you be cast off?”

Yuri swallowed.

Victor backed away, and Yuri shook slightly with the loss. He wanted to follow but was stopped by the barrier between them.

Victor smiled, still rubbing circles on Yuri’s forearms with his thumbs.

Yuri licked his lips, mouth suddenly dry.

“Do you understand now Yuri?”

Yuri nodded.

Victor stared for a moment and sighed. “I wonder if you really do.”

“Victor?” Yuri rasped, throat feeling as though he hadn't had water in days.

“Nevermind,” the Russian said with a soft voice. “Go skate it for me.”

Yuri nodded. He could focus on skating. It was real, concrete. It gave him something to grab onto when the only thing he wanted was to pull Victor close again and never let him go.

Chapter Text

As soon as Yuri’s family learned of the jump workshop they had insisted that the attendees stay at the inn, and made sure to give them a rate that made it worth their while. That was how Yuri found himself sitting down for dinner with the group of skaters and their coaches.

The air was energetic, the group of mostly teenagers excited to learn jumps from the five-time consecutive world champion. Victor had insisted that Yuri teach as well, pointing out that even coming in sixth, he was a finalist at the previous year’s Grand Prix Final, officially making him one of the best skaters in the world. Eventually it was determined that Victor would teach quads, while Yuri worked with the students to shore up triples and spins. Minako had intruded on the planning at one point, making herself available as well, and the whole thing had ballooned from something expected to last a handful of hours to a full day figure skating intensive.

Introductions were made, but the names flew so fast that Yuri knew he wouldn’t remember them all. Alongside the three men from the regional competition were a handful of upcoming female skaters whom the coaches thought might develop the ability for quads if given proper instruction, as well as one more man in the senior division and one in the junior.

Minami was thrilled, spending as much time gaping at Yuri’s childhood home as participating in the conversation. He ordered katsudon for dinner, over the objections of his coach, because it was Yuri’s favorite, and sheepishly asked for an autograph on his favorite poster.

As Yuri got comfortable with his, self-described, number-one fan, he found himself curious. “When did you first see me skate?”

Minami was excited for the chance to discuss how big a fan he was. “I went to the regional competition the last year you were in juniors to support a friend skating in the novice division. You were incredible. I was able to see you again at sectionals, and watched you on television all the way through your win at Junior Worlds!”

“You’ve been a fan that long?”

Minami nodded. “I had entered the novice division that year, but didn’t qualify for regionals. Seeing you gave me the drive to compete harder.”

Yuri blushed, and the color deepened when Victor turned and leaned against him. “What are you talking about Yuuuri?”

Yuri turned just enough to look at the Russian. “Minami-kun was telling me about the first time he saw me skate.”

“Really?”

Minami nodded.

“Do you want to hear about the first time I saw Yuuri skate?”

Minami nodded so hard it reminded Yuri of the bobblehead dolls that had seemed so popular in America.

Yuri looked at Victor shocked. “Wasn’t it the video the triplets posted?”

Victor laughed, a sound that both made Yuri embarrassed and made him realize how comfortable they were around each other. “Of course not! I would be terribly negligent in the duties of a professional athlete if I didn’t research those I could be skating against.”

“I thought you didn’t know who I was. I mean, didn’t you think I was just a fan in Sochi?”

“Yuri. Give yourself more credit. Now do you want to hear about this or not?”

Yuri felt himself pale, but at the same time he wanted to hear the story himself. He nodded slowly.

Victor smiled. “I think it would have been your Junior Worlds win.”

Yuri’s eyes widened. “That long ago?”

“Of course! You’d announced you were moving into the Senior division in the fall, so it was a decent bet you’d be seeded into the Grand Prix series.”

“But we weren’t in the same events.”

Victor shrugged. “So? Why wait months to see who I’m up against when the off-season is the perfect downtime to research?”

Yuri buried his face in his hands. “I never thought of it like that. I always did my research when I knew my assignments.”

Victor laughed. “And what did you do when you learned who was in the final, scramble instead of practice?”

Yuri groaned. That was exactly what he did, staying up late to watch videos.

Victor’s laughter only increased, and as much as it embarrassed him, Yuri had to admit that he loved the sound.

“I was a bit disappointed when you barely missed the final that year. Your skating has always been beautiful Yuri.”

“I’d just moved to the US, probably not the best time to move halfway around the world, start college and get a new coach.”

Victor smiled. “Probably not, but you had your reasons.”

Yuri leaned against the older man, momentarily forgetting that they weren’t alone. A soft shriek from Minami reminded him and they separated awkwardly.

“A part of me kept hoping we’d get assigned to the same preliminary events every time I was seeded into the Grand Prix Series,” Yuri said softly. “At the same time I didn’t want to skate against you until the finals. So… in a way… I guess I got what I wanted.”

“I…” Victor started, before one of the coaches and Minako got into a boisterous discussion over what would be the best part of the following day.

The men looked at each other, the collection of road-weary skaters and decided that it was time to declare the party over. They would need to be on the ice early the next morning.


 

Yuri slipped into the onsen. Though it was still open, the late hour meant it was nearly empty. Minami and one of the other skaters were talking in hushed but animated tones. Yuri smiled at them but decided he wanted to have a bit of peace.

He moved to the far side and found Victor sitting alone in one of the private recesses.

“May I join you?”

Victor opened his eyes and smiled, nodding.

Yuri moved and sat across from him. They spent several minutes in comfortable silence before Yuri spoke. “You’ve really been watching my skating for that long?”

Victor smiled. “I have. Some years I paid more attention than others, I tend to limit my deep research to those who medal at major competitions, but Sochi was hardly the first time I was prepared to skate against you.”

“Really? But… You’re Victor Nikiforov, five-time consecutive world champion. I’m just me. I don’t even really have the right to be teaching these kids anything tomorrow.”

Yuri stared at ripples in the water. He could feel the self-doubt creeping in, he hated himself for it. He was an alpha, but one without the confidence he was supposed to have.

“Come here Yuri.”

Yuri looked up and saw that Victor’s arms were open for a hug.

“How’d you know?” Yuri whispered as he moved over and buried his face in Victor’s neck.

“It’s the little things, the way you avoid looking at anything, the tiny tremble in your voice, how your muscles tense when you’re trying to hold yourself together.”

“Am I really that obvious?”

“Only to someone who knows you. I look back now and see how hard you fought at the exhibition. I didn’t recognize the signs yet.”

Yuri laughed sarcastically. “I guess do this a lot if you’ve learned them so quickly.”

Victor grumbled and lifted Yuri’s face so that their eyes met. “I told you when I got here that I wanted to learn everything about you. I wasn’t kidding. You hide so much Yuri, I’ve never had to study a competitor as much as I had to study my own student.”

“I’m sorry,” Yuri murmured, turning his eyes away.

“Don’t be,” Victor said softly, allowing Yuri’s head to fall back against his neck. He rubbed soft circles on the younger man’s back. “I like learning about you.”

“Really?” Yuri closed his eyes and nosed at Victor’s scent gland.

“Mm-hmm.”

They were silent for a couple minutes, and Yuri realized they were the only ones left in the bath.

“I… I thought you didn’t know who I was in Sochi. When you offered a photograph I assumed you thought I was just another fan.”

Victor ran his cheek across Yuri’s head. “I didn’t recognize you at first. I’d never seen you with glasses and your hair natural. But I had put it together before even offering the photo. I’m so used to fellow skaters wanting them I just assumed you would too.”

Yuri swallowed. “I did, but…”

“But?”

“I’d just failed in front of you. I came in last place, and messed up all of my jumps. I looked like a joke.”

“Yuri…” Victor sighed. “Everybody gets nervous, and everybody has bad days.”

“Not you.”

“Especially me. It’s hard to be where I am. Everybody’s expectations weigh on me. Russia expects another gold, the audience expects another flawless performance. Every time I step onto the ice I feel it. I love skating, but… some of the magic is lost when you’re skating for everybody’s sake except your own.”

“I never thought of it like that.”

Victor pressed his lips to the top of Yuri’s head, making the younger man blush. It was the first time the Russian had ever done that.

“Yuri, from the first time I saw you skate I wanted to face you. You’re far more talented than you give yourself credit for. I kept waiting for the day we’d be assigned to the same events, or the year you’d finally come up to worlds. I know what to expect from so many of the other skaters. Chris is a powerhouse when it comes to jumps, Cao Bin was a master of transitions and twizzles before he announced his retirement. Michele Crispino skates with a singular devotion that gives each of his programs a raw emotional feel.

“But you, Yuri, you’re more. Your body makes music while it moves to it. You transition between elements so smoothly that it’s as if there’s no transition at all. Your skates sing during your step sequences, and the world revolves around you when you spin. Your pour so much emotion into every movement the audience has no choice but to feel it with you. There’s no one thing that makes your skating stand out, because that limits what you bring to the ice. And I know that, given time and training, you’ll be able to land all five of the ratified quads, you may even become the first to land a quad axel. The power is there. I see it.”

Yuri squeezed Victor close, needing the words far more than he realized. “Thank you,” he whispered.


 

Yuri leaned on the barrier and watched as Victor lifted off from the ice. He made four perfect rotations and landed the quad loop to the applause of the students. The coaches were all holding video cameras, making sure to capture everything. They had even spread out to get different angles and had made arrangements to share their footage.

Yuko came up and leaned on the barrier next to Yuri. “When Victor texted me about a jump workshop I was a bit surprised, but everybody here is so excited.”

Yuri nodded. “I worried they’d be starstruck, but they’re focused. They want to learn.”

“Wouldn’t you have been, if you were in their shoes? An opportunity like this is rare, they know to take advantage of it.”

Yuri smiled. “Yeah. It would have been a dream to learn from Victor. Even one day would have been amazing.”

“And you’ve got him every day.”

Yuri blinked, and smiled. “You’re right.”

“I like seeing how close the two of you have gotten. You’re happier than I think you’ve ever been.”

“Huh?” Yuri turned to look at Yuko. “What do you mean?”

Yuko stared at Yuri, a shocked look on her face. She quickly softened into a smile. “Yuri, I’ve known you for a long time. You’re happy. Victor makes you happy, and when I compare him now to when he arrived, you make him happy too. You both smile a lot more, and there is genuine joy there.”

Yuri looked back to the ice, where the platinum-haired had just landed another perfect jump. He smiled softly. “I guess you’re right.”

Chapter Text

Victor and Yuri stood on the platform, waving goodbye to the skaters and their coaches. They had barely made the early morning train due to Hiroko Katsuki doting on the group and providing an indulgent breakfast.

Yuri was pretty sure that his mother would have adopted Minami if she could have. She couldn’t get over how big a fan of her son he was, and she made sure to extend an invitation for the young man to join the family for any future public viewings; an offer which caused the teen to go wide-eyed with excitement.

Victor draped himself over Yuri in the almost empty station as the train pulled out. “Any objections to me declaring today a half-day?” the Russian asked. “That was a bigger ordeal than I expected.”

Yuri laughed. “Just remember, it was your idea.”

Victor lowered his arms enough to wrap them around Yuri’s waist and rested his head on the younger man’s shoulder. “And it was a good one too.”

“Oh really?” Yuri teased. A part of him wanted to squirm in embarrassment, but the part that wanted to be held like that won and he leaned into the embrace.

“Mm-hmm. It proved to me that you can get out of your head and enjoy skating, even with an audience.”

That made Yuri squirm, and he managed to twist in Victor’s embrace, finally ending up facing him with the taller man’s arms draped casually over his shoulders.

“Hey, I was comfortable,” Victor protested.

Yuri blushed, but managed to ask his question. “What did you mean about me getting out of my head?”

Victor sighed and brushed the backs of his fingers over Yuri’s cheek. “Yuri, I see you skate every day. You’re stunning, beautiful on the ice. But I think back to regionals, and to last year’s Grand Prix Final, and to other competitions, and I see now that you’re like a completely different person when competing.”

“I’m just me,” Yuri replied softly.

Victor shook his head. “You love skating Yuri. Every movement you make in practice proves it. The ice is in your soul, but you lose that magic in competition, and I don’t know why. I wondered if it was the competitors, or if an audience caused it. But yesterday proved that wasn’t the case.”

Yuri cocked his head to the side. “How so?”

Victor smiled and leaned in until their foreheads were touching. Yuri wanted to point out that they were in public but enjoyed the touch too much to protest.

“You’ll be skating against those same boys in just over two weeks. If competitors made you nervous then a room full of those against you next should have done it, even if they’re not at your level. Instead you handled them with grace.

“But they were also your audience. It might not have been a practiced routine, but you were performing for them. You flawlessly executed elements that you missed last December. If you were nervous about landing jumps wouldn’t being expected to demonstrate and teach them have been an even bigger worry than merely performing them? I gave you a higher stakes audience than any arena, and you rose to the challenge.”

Yuri gaped, coming to the realization that Victor’s seemingly impulsive offer had been carefully thought out once it had become a reality.

“You’re so cute like that Yuri.” Victor smiled. “But now I’m even more confused. What makes you so nervous during competition?”

Yuri fidgeted. “I really don’t know.”

Victor frowned. “Can we work on figuring it out?”

Yuri lifted his gaze and met the Russian’s. “We?”

Victor smiled softly. “Yuri, whatever makes you nervous is holding you back. I want the world to see what I do every day. I want every person who watches you to hear the music you make. The only way that will happen is to develop methods to help you manage your nerves before a skate. I want to help you do that.”

“But it’s just a part of who I am,” Yuri replied weakly.

Victor brought his hand up and rubbed his thumb against Yuri’s cheek. “I know that Yuri. But knowing that doesn’t mean we give into it. We’ll try different things, we’ll keep trying until we discover a way to keep you focused before a skate. And if it fails we’ll try again.”

“And what if we never find anything?” Yuri whispered, squeezing his eyes shut in fear.

Victor pulled him close. “Then I’ll hug you before every competition for as long as I’m your coach. I’ll let you scent me as much as you need in order to feel calm.”

Yuri shook as he brought his arms up and wrapped them around the larger man. He pulled himself close and buried his face in the Russian’s chest. “Thank you Victor.”


 

Yuri was glad that Victor had declared a half-day. After the workshop he hadn’t noticed how exhausted he was, and was looking forward to just relaxing in one of the family’s private rooms. He started off on a cushion against the wall, reading an article in a figure skating magazine, before noticing a large plot of sunlight on the floor. He smiled, moved the pillow and laid down in the warmth. He placed the magazine on the floor and continued reading.

Soon the warmth and the exhaustion caught up to him. He pulled his glasses off, rubbed the bridge of his nose and laid his head on his folded arms, intending to relax for just a few minutes.

Yuri blinked in the dim light. The sun had set and the soothing heat had disappeared with it. However, despite the loss, he was warm and comfortable. Just at the periphery of his vision he could see the worn edge of a blanket. He smiled softly at the thoughtfulness.

It was only as he began to recover his senses that he noticed a gentle pressure on his back and the soft sound of steady breathing. He shifted just enough to turn and face the other way, and saw that Victor had fallen asleep beside him.

Yuri sighed, content. Something was just so perfect about the moment, and he quietly studied the sleeping man.

He quickly noticed that, despite wearing the comfortable clothes that he liked to lounge in, Victor was shivering slightly as the October chill seeped into the room.

Yuri knew that there was plenty of blanket for the both of them if he got closer. Still half-asleep, his cautious side wasn’t aware enough to argue against snuggling up to the man he’d slowly started to realize he was in love with. Not the abstract love from the press conference, but true romantic love.

Yuri managed to move Victor’s arm without waking him and scooted close enough to cover them both with the blanket. Victor shifted comfortably with the addition of the warmth and draped his arm over Yuri again.

Yuri stayed that way, watching Victor sleep, for several minutes until the Russian moved slightly and his platinum hair fell across his face, obscuring Yuri’s view.

Somehow the act of brushing the hair away from the older man’s face was enough to wake him. He smiled softly as stunning blue eyes focused on him.

“Privet Yuri.”

“Ohayo,” Yuri replied teasingly.

“I guess I fell asleep,” Victor said as he looked around. “I thought you could use a blanket, but you looked so comfortable I thought I’d lay in the sun too.”

Yuri smiled. “I’m glad you got some rest. You worked hard yesterday.”

Victor pulled Yuri close and nuzzled his hair. Yuri closed his eyes and savored the gentle touch, burying his face against the older man’s chest.  

“You smell good Yuri.”

Yuri looked up and met Victor’s eyes. “So do you.”

Victor blushed in the unguarded moment and Yuri thought it was about the most wonderful thing he’d ever seen.

Yuri leaned back into the embrace, slowly waking up and comfortable with Victor’s presence. It was only as his shy side made an appearance that he started to worry about how close they were.

“We should probably get up and prepare for dinner,” Yuri said, trying to shift away.

Victor’s arm tightened from where it was still draped over his middle. The Russian man had closed his eyes again and was still in a state of half-sleep. “Don’t go.”

“Victor?”

Ocean blue eyes opened, and something in them made Yuri relax back into the embrace.

Victor smiled and closed his eyes again. “I just want to stay like this a few more minutes. Okay?”

Yuri blushed, but he could hardly refuse the request when he was the one who had initiated the cuddle… and when he wanted it too.

Victor shifted to wrap both his arms around the younger man, and even managed to tease one of his legs away and trapped it between his own. “Better,” the Russian declared once he had wrapped himself around Yuri sufficiently.

Yuri smiled and relaxed. He would enjoy these little moments for as long as he could.

I wish this would never end, he thought as he returned the embrace and wrapped his arms around the older man.


 

Several days had passed since the jump workshop, and the men had fallen back into the routine of training when Yuko pushed open the glass doors and strode up to the barrier near the end of one of the morning practice sessions.

“Victor, Yuri, can I talk to the two of you for a few minutes?” she called as the music for Yuri’s free skate came to an end.

Both men looked at her, not having heard her come in, then nodded at each other and skated toward the barrier.

“What’s up Yu-chan?” Yuri asked.

Yuko pursed her lips, obviously trying to decide how to start. She finally sighed. “Look, I wasn’t going to bring it up at first, but…”

Yuri looked to Victor, both wondering what was going on.

“What is it?” Yuri pressed.

Yuko looked at both of them and an embarrassed blush seemed to spread across her cheeks. “Look I know it was initially meant to be a one-time thing, but somehow word got out and…”

Yuri looked to Victor again, who shrugged.

“Are you two planning to hold any more figure skating workshops?” Yuko finally managed to say.

Yuri blinked. He didn’t know what he had expected, but that wasn’t it. He heard laughter and turned to see Victor doubled over.

Yuri turned back to Yuko to see she’d loosened up.

“I don’t think either of us has thought about it,” Yuri said. “We’ve been focused on the competitions.”

Yuko smiled. “Apparently word traveled fast after the workshop ended. I got a call about it the same afternoon everybody left. I told them I didn’t know if you were planning another, and took their information as a courtesy. But the next day two calls, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I thought word had spread far when I got a call from Tokyo yesterday, but I got one from Hokkaido this morning. In the past few days it’s been about the only reason people have called.

“People are asking when or if you’ll hold another intensive workshop, and they’re pretty excited about just the idea of it. I know you probably meant it to be a one-time thing, but there is a lot of interest.”

Victor and Yuri shared a glance.

“I guess we haven’t thought about it,” Yuri said.

Yuko nodded. “I thought as much.”

“The middle of the season isn’t a good time for it either,” Victor said softly.

“I told them that, they said they didn’t care when, to just let them know if it was going to happen.”

Yuri and Victor stared at each other for a moment before both burst into laughter.

“Look what you started!” Yuri accused.

“It was still worth it!” Victor retorted. 

Yuko looked at them both as if they’d gone mad.

“Tell them we’re gauging the interest,” Victor said after a moment. “If there is enough we’ll consider it for the off season.”

Yuko nodded.

“If you don’t mind Yu-chan,” Yuri said. “Can you make note if they have anything in particular they want? I think if we’re going to do this we should do it right. Including paying teachers like Victor and Minako-sensei.”

“Hey, you too Yuri,” Victor interrupted

Yuri rolled his eyes. “If we’re charging then we might be able to bring in more instructors too.”

“Oh!” Victor exclaimed, and Yuri could practically hear him plotting.  

Yuri smiled. “Tell them we’re not committing to anything right now though.”

Yuko grinned. “It’ll do! I just wanted to know your thoughts as these calls keep coming in. If it was completely off the table I decided it was better to let them know now.”

“Thank you both,” she said with a smile as she bowed and made her way back to the front counter.

Yuri heard the soft scrape of blades behind him and turned. Victor wrapped his arms around the younger man and smiled as Yuri returned the embrace.

“I almost expected you to say ‘no,’ Yuri,” Victor said softly. “Since my master plan was revealed and all.”

Yuri smiled up at the Russian. “I enjoyed it, after I got over my initial fear. Watching them get better, even in a single day, felt great. I liked knowing that I was able to help.”

Victor grinned. “It’s a fantastic feeling, isn’t it?”

Yuri nodded.

Victor leaned in and their foreheads touched. “Now you know how I feel every day with you.”

Chapter Text

Yuri was in the middle of his strength training regimen when his music was interrupted by his phone ringing. He sat up and looked at the caller ID to see that it was newscaster Morooka calling. He just managed to answer before it went to voicemail.

“Hai, this is Katsuki.”

“Katsuki-kun,” Morooka said. “Thank you for taking my call. I was wondering if you were available to come to Tokyo for an interview next week.”

Yuri swung one of his legs over the bench so that he was sitting on it rather than straddling it. “Next week? What day?”

“We have a spot open on the nineteenth, and since you’ll be going to the Cup of China only a couple weeks later it was decided that it was a good time to talk to you about the upcoming season.”

“You said the nineteenth?”

“Yes.”

Something was sticking at the back of Yuri’s mind. He couldn’t remember exactly what it was but something told him that he needed to find out before committing.

“I’ll have to talk it over with my coach. There might be a conflicting appointment. Is there another day available if I do have prior obligations?”

“I’m sorry, that’s the only day we have open.”

“Thank you. Give me a couple hours to discuss with Victor and I’ll let you know before the end of the day.”

“Thank you very much. I look forward to your answer.”

“Thank you for considering me.”

Yuri ended the call and opened his calendar app. His stomach immediately dropped when he realized why he’d felt there was an existing commitment.

He really needed to talk to Victor, but the Russian had ended his own workout about fifteen minutes prior and had left to get lunch. He quickly sent a text.

12:45 pm - Need to talk. Where are you?

12:46 pm - Getting lunch at Nagahama Ramen. Everything ok?

12:47 pm - Yes and no. Need to discuss something with you before this afternoon’s time on the ice.

12:48 pm - I just got my food. Do you want to come here or meet nearby?

Yuri thought about it for a moment.

12:50 pm - Put in an order of miso ramen for me. I’ll meet you there and we’ll talk after lunch.

12:51 pm - Miso ramen, got it, but you’re on salad tonight.

12:52 pm - No big surprise there. See you in a few.

Yuri dimmed the screen on his phone, quickly showered and changed before jogging to the ramen stand. He found Victor there with a concerned look on his face, and a steaming bowl of noodles waiting.

Yuri took a seat and dug into the warm food while Victor finished his own meal. However he couldn’t ignore Victor’s uncomfortable expression as he ate.

“I received a call from newscaster Morooka,” Yuri finally said as he neared the bottom of the bowl. “He wants me to come to Tokyo next week for an interview.”

“Is that what you wanted to talk about?” Victor asked. “Couldn’t that have waited?”

“The problem is the date,” Yuri elaborated. “That’s the rush to discuss. I need to give him an answer today.”

Yuri saw confusion flit across Victor’s face for a moment, then the Russian paled slightly.

Yuri nodded and fell silent as he finished his lunch.

Soon they were walking toward a nearby park, enjoying the warmth of the fall day. They found a secluded bench and both sat there in silence for several minutes before Yuri broke the ice.

“I already asked if a different date was available. He said there wasn’t.”

“You need to do the interview Yuri. Any press right now is a good thing.”

“Should I call the clinic and try to change the day of your appointment?”

Victor shook his head, though Yuri noticed that he had a pallor about him. “No. With sectionals and the Cup of China coming up so fast I don’t want to put it off. We need that time to practice. It’s better to only lose the one day and not two.”

Yuri reached out, paused for a moment, then laid his hand over Victor’s. The older man looked at him and smiled, though Yuri could see that he was barely holding himself together. He decided that more was necessary and pulled on the Russian until Victor was leaning against him, head on his shoulder.

“I don’t want to leave you alone for your appointment. I should be there.”

“Yuri, I can handle it. I hate it, but it’s not my first visit to a doctor about it.”

“But you’ll have a stranger translating for you.”

Victor stiffened somewhat.

“I’ll turn down the interview.”

Victor sat up, a hard look on his face. “No Yuri. Go to Tokyo. I’ll be fine.”

Yuri narrowed his eyes, about to argue, before an idea struck him. “What if somebody you know goes with you?”

Victor looked a bit horrified at the idea before softening, realizing that Yuri couldn’t be the only one who knew. “Who do you have in mind?”

Yuri turned slightly on the bench so that he could cup Victor’s face. “I think Yuko would be the most appropriate.”

Victor’s eyebrows came together in confusion. “Yuko?”

Yuri nodded, and ran his free hand through his hair nervously. “She came over… on that day. She wanted to make sure I was doing ok.”

“Why Yuko?” Victor asked carefully.

“Because she’s an omega. She knows what it’s like.”

Yuri saw an emotion cross Victor’s face, but he wasn’t sure exactly what it was until the older man spoke. “I… I never had anybody around me who was an omega before. All my rinkmates were alpha or beta. Yakov is a beta, though as much as he yells you’d swear he was alpha.”

Yuri stared at him. “You never had anybody to talk to about it?”

Victor leaned into the hand still on his face and shook his head. “No.”

Yuri couldn’t hold back, he tugged the Russian into an embrace. “I’m sorry Victor. I can’t even imagine not having somebody to confide in, somebody to reassure you, who knows what it's like.”

Victor nuzzled into Yuri’s chest, even though they were both sitting in a way that made it awkward.

Yuri smoothed Victor’s hair. “I really don’t want to leave you alone. I’ll decline the interview if we can’t find somebody you trust to go with you.”

“Let’s ask Yuko.”

“Are you sure?”

Victor nodded against his chest. “You need to do the interview Yuri. I’ll manage for my appointment.”

“Ok.”


 

Yuri checked his garment bag and made sure everything he needed was in it. The suit jacket and slacks were pressed, the shirt and tie ready. A small toiletries bag tucked in the corner held a few essentials and the contacts that he only wore for press events as they irritated his eyes.

He’d considered wearing the suit on the train and flight to Tokyo, but decided that comfort was more important. He’d have time to change at the studio.

He folded and zipped the bag, then stepped into the hall. It was still early, but he had several hours of travel to get there, plus time just waiting to get through security and transitioning between the train and airlines.

He’d intended to slip past Victor’s room and let the man sleep, but saw the light seeping from the other side of the screen and could hear him tapping on keys.

Yuri knocked softly on the door. “Victor?”

“Come in Yuri.” Victor’s voice was tired.

Yuri slid the door open and saw how haggard Victor looked. He moved into the room and sat on the edge of the bed. “Did you sleep at all?”

Victor smiled softly. “A bit.”

Yuri reached out and touched Victor’s cheek. “Nightmares again?”

The Russian nodded.

“I’m sorry.” Yuri angled his wrist so that Victor could smell his pheromones. “Why didn’t you wake me? You know I would have let you scent me until you could sleep.”

Victor gave Yuri a tired smile. “You needed to sleep. It wouldn’t do for you to have bags under your eyes during an interview.”

“You and I both know makeup crews would cover them up easily.”

“Your sleep was still more important.”

“And what about yours?”

“I’ve had these nightmares for a long time. I’ve learned ways to cope.”

“Ways that apparently include pushing yourself to exhaustion so as too be too tired to dream.”

“It works, at least most of the time.”

Yuri gave an exasperated sigh, and looked at his phone. “Scootch.”

“Yuri?”

“Move your butt over Nikiforov.”

Victor scooted some and Yuri took the laptop away, placing it on the floor nearby. He then sat on the bed and pulled the Russian against him.

Victor’s breath hitched in his throat before he buried his face against Yuri’s chest and fisted his hands in his shirt.

“I won’t be able to stay until you fall asleep, but hopefully it’ll be enough to let you get a few hours of rest before your appointment.”

Victor shook and Yuri smoothed his hair until the Russian started to relax a bit. Victor’s breathing had just started to even out when an alarm on Yuri’s phone began to chime. Yuri quickly swiped it away but Victor had perked back up at the sound.

“That was my five minute warning,” Yuri explained, gently extricating himself from the man’s arms. “I better get headed toward the station.”

“If that was your five minute, why were you headed out so much earlier?”

“I was going to grab a quick breakfast in the kitchen.”

Victor’s eyes widened slightly.

“Don’t worry Victor. I’ll get something at the airport in Fukuoka. You’re more important than the handful of yen some food will cost. Will you try and get some sleep?”

Victor nodded and Yuri reached out to once more touch his face. “Good.”

They stood there like that for a moment before Yuri sighed. He really didn’t want to leave the Russian like that. “Yuko will be here at one to go with you to the clinic. The staff already knows that she’ll be translating for you today. There should be no issues.”

Victor nodded again and Yuri made sure that the older man laid down before he closed the door, picked up his bag and made his way through the silence of the October pre-dawn toward the train station.


 

Yuri was sitting in the Tokyo airport waiting to board his return flight. He counted the omiyage in a smaller bag he took on trips for just that purpose, making sure that nobody was forgotten. Tokyo Bananas in assorted flavors for all the adults, and he’d stopped by a line of gacha machines to get some collectibles of the triplets’ favorite show.

It was only as he noticed the blinking on his phone did he remember that he’d muted it in the television studio and not turned it up again. He unlocked it and listened to a message from Yuko. She said that the doctor’s appointment had gone well, but that Victor had been acting off since the doctor refused his request to go back on suppressants.

Yuri send a quick text to Yuko asking for an update. She replied immediately that as soon as they returned to the inn Victor retreated to his room. A few minutes later she sent a follow-up informing him that Mari said Victor was still there and hadn’t come out since.

Yuri scowled, and looked at the flight time. He’d be boarding soon, but was still several hours away without any delays. He thanked Yuko and sent a text to Victor immediately, informing him that he was on his way back.

The silence was deafening, and the longer he went without a reply the more worried he became. Even after several more texts he’d heard nothing from the Russian, and there was a knot in his stomach as he found his seat on the airplane.

He fidgeted the entire flight, and as soon as he was waiting for the bus that would take him to the train station he pulled out his phone and checked. As he’d expected, there was still no response.  He boarded the bus a couple minutes later and was soon on a train back to Hasetsu.

I should never have gone. I should have refused the interview. He needed me and I wasn’t there.

God, why didn’t I just insist that he change his appointment date if it was so important for me to do this?

I trust Yuko, and I know Victor does too, but he needed me there.

There was pain in Yuri’s hands. He looked down to see he’d clenched his fists so hard that his fingernails had dug into the skin. Blood was dripping from a couple of crescent-shaped cuts. He looked around and saw that most of the passengers in the section had moved away from the obviously agitated alpha.

Yuri forced himself to relax. He was only about an hour away.

He jogged the entire way from the station back to the inn, glad that he was only carrying a wardrobe bag and a smaller one of gifts. Mari noticed him as he came through the family’s private entrance, but said nothing as he kicked off his shoes, dropped his bags haphazardly on the floor and ran up to Victor’s room.

Yuri didn’t even knock. He could smell the distress in the hallway. He slid open the door and stood panting in the opening.

“Victor!”

Victor looked up from where he was curled into as tight a ball as he could manage sitting on his bed. His eyes were red and puffy as if he’d been crying for hours.

“Yuri,” Victor choked out in a tone that struck right on the younger man’s alpha instincts.

His friend needed him, the omega that was so precious to him needed his support. His omega needed him. He was the only alpha that was allowed so close. He was the only one who knew that smell of sweet oranges and snow, and his was the scent that the omega sought out for comfort.

Yuri bolted across the room and crawled onto the bed, desperate to get to the platinum-haired man.

“Victor, I’m so sorry,” Yuri cried as he pulled the Russian into his arms. “I should have never left your side today.”

Victor scrambled to bury his face against Yuri’s chest and clenched his hands in the cotton shirt he wore. With him so close Yuri couldn’t help but smell the terror that had been hiding underneath the distress.

“I tried Yuri,” Victor said between hiccuping sobs. “She… she said that there was no sign of disease or anything else that causes reactive heats. I asked for suppressants, but she said she still had to make sure my normal heats were healthy.”

Yuri pulled the man in his arms tight against his chest and rubbed his cheek across platinum hair. He released as many of his own pheromones as he could, anything to soothe the omega.

“I’m so sorry Victor. I should have been there.”

Victor shook in his embrace. Yuri turned his head and placed a kiss on his fine hair.

“I’m here now Victor. I’ll help you through this in any way I can.”

Victor nodded into his chest, and whispered so softly Yuri barely heard the request. “Just… hold me.”

“Of course.”

Chapter Text

Yuri and Victor were in the terminal at the Fukuoka airport, waiting for their flight to Aichi for the Western Sectional competition.

Yuri was tapping his foot impatiently, looking between the plane sitting on the tarmac and the counter where there were employees waiting to call boarding groups.

“Yuri, relax,” Victor said softly beside him, placing his hand briefly on his knee. “You’ll do fine. Yuko and the triplets are coming in tomorrow to watch, so are Minako and Mari. You have plenty of support. And you know Minami will cheer for you.”

Yuri turned to look at Victor and smiled. “I’m ok.”

Victor narrowed his eyes. “Your jitters say otherwise.”

Yuri sighed and brushed a few strands of hair from in front of the Russian’s eyes. “Don’t worry. I’ll be nervous about my skate tomorrow. I’ve just got pent up energy today.”

Victor studied him for a moment and sighed.

Yuri knew that Victor wasn’t buying the half-lie, but wouldn’t push any farther. It was true that the skate wasn’t what was on his mind, but his nerves were in overdrive.

No, what was bothering him was the lingering scent of fear that surrounded the omega next to him. More than a week had passed since the doctor’s appointment, and it hadn’t completely faded. He’d finally realized that the only reason it hadn’t been there since the unplanned heat was because the older man had held onto the thinnest hope that lack of a disease would be enough to be granted suppressants again.

Yuri wanted to talk to Victor about it. He wanted to help, but he had no idea how, and the Russian’s silence about the issue make it nearly impossible. He’d tried broaching the subject, but each time the older man had deflected immediately.

They’d spent more time cuddling in private, and those seemed to be the moments that Victor seemed almost calm. Yuri liked and even longed for the closeness, but he hated the scent of fear on the omega. He wished he could make it go away entirely, but without knowing more felt his hands were tied.

Yuri reached out for Victor’s hand unconsciously, and laid his on top.

“Yuri?” Victor asked at the unexpected contact.

Yuri started. “Sorry. I don’t know why I did that.”

Victor smiled softly. “It’s ok.”

Yuri was quiet. As soon as he thought about it he knew why he’d reached out to the Russian. His instincts were demanding that he lead the man somewhere safe, where it could just be the two of them and he could take as much time as they needed for him to soothe the fear away. Every fiber of his being insisted that he protect the omega beside him.

Instead he did the next best thing, he distracted Victor; forced him into coach mode. “What are my weaknesses going into tomorrow’s short program?”

Victor looked at Yuri, a moment of shock crossing his face before softening into a smile. He knew what Yuri was doing. “Your quad salchow is your biggest problem. Think you can do it?”

Yuri nodded. “Third time’s the charm, right?”

Victor laughed. “Well it’ll give the announcers in Beijing a better line than ‘never landed it in competition,’ won’t it?”

“What else?”

“Tighten up on your spins, make your audience dizzy with lust.”

Yuri smiled. They both knew it was a diversion tactic, but the only other times Victor seemed to get out of his head was when he was coaching Yuri.

If I can’t cuddle him, I’ll keep him focused. I won’t let those fears overwhelm him.


 

“Yuri!”

Yuri turned to see Minami running up to him, a disappointed look on his face. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s not fair that we’re not in the same skate group,” the teen pouted.

Yuri laughed. “Not much we can do about it. That’s what happens when you draw lots to determine start order.”

Minami grumbled.

“Besides,” Yuri continued, “you skating before me means that you can watch my program doesn’t it?”

Minami seemed to brighten slightly at the thought.

“And I’m late enough in the order that I can watch yours too, since I missed it in Fukuoka.”

That seemed to be what the younger skater needed to hear, and his eyes widened immediately with hope. “You’ll really watch?”

Yuri nodded. “Promise. I won’t take my eyes off you.”

Minami was giddy with excitement. “We’ll be in the same group tomorrow for the free skate for sure now. There’s no way I’ll make a mistake with you watching! I’ll be standing beside you on the podium again.”

Yuri grinned. He had to admit that Minami’s enthusiasm was infectious. He watched as the younger man ran to where his coach was calling, then continued his own search for Victor. He soon found the Russian sitting quietly on a bench away from the cameras.

“You ok?” Yuri asked, sitting next to the platinum-haired man.

Victor looked at him and smiled softly. “Shouldn’t I be asking you that?”

Yuri shrugged. “I could use a hug, but… closer to my skate time. I don’t want it to wear off before then.”

“You can have more than one you know,” Victor joked.

Yuri smiled. The energy of the arena and competition had driven most of the fear from Victor’s scent. Some part of Yuri understood that skating and competing had become a vital coping mechanism for whatever troubled the man, much as the ice allowed him to deal with his own anxiety.

“I saw you talking to Minami,” Victor said after a moment. “He seemed pretty excited about something.”

“I promised to watch his short program. Since he’s in the first group and I pulled the last I figured I could give him a few minutes.”

Victor smiled. “It’s good to see how supportive of him you are.”

Yuri smiled, then stared out at the floor. “All this time I was aiming for you. I was so singularly focused on making it to your level that I forgot that the people coming up behind me might want me to look back once in awhile.

“But you... you never stopped inviting everybody to try and join you. Your skills got better each year, and the world adapted. You pushed yourself, and pulled the rest of us along. You acknowledged those who stood beside you, praising Chris’s performances time and again. When skaters had an off day and reporters ask you about it you were always confident that they’d come back strong.

“I think, that if I’m ever really going to reach your level, it has to be more than the skating. I have to be able to give kids like Minami the encouragement they need, so that when I step aside they’ll be ready to fill my shoes.”

Yuri startled slightly as Victor leaned against him and buried his nose in his neck. He blushed and was glad there was nobody around.

“I’m proud of you Yuri. It’s not easy to break out of that devotion to oneself and recognize another, especially competitors. Just don’t give him too much at once. You’ve still got several years of beautiful skating in you. Don’t want him nipping at your heels too early.”

“Yeah,” Yuri replied noncommittally.

Yuri reached over and squeezed Victor’s knee. “Come on. It’s about to start. Let’s go find a seat for the first group, then we’ll get ready for my skate as soon as Minami is done.”

Victor sat up straight again and smiled. “Okay.”


 

Yuri was comfortably in the lead going into the free skate. He’d managed to beat his own personal best again with a score of 97.11 in the short program. He’d felt the program was better by focusing on seducing just Victor, but something was still just slightly off.

Luckily he’d managed to land his quad salchow, and except for the mood still being off was confident that the program was steadily improving.

Minami had also set a new personal best during the short program, and was in third place as they prepared to take the ice.

“I’m going to nail my quad today!” Minami declared as they left the ice after the warmup.

“Has it been easier since the workshop?” Yuri asked, walking with the young man toward a section of corridor where they could stretch and stay warmed up for their programs.

Minami nodded as he pulled his headphones free of a jacket pocket. “I land it more often than not now.”

“That’s fantastic!”

“I’m aiming to be on the podium at nationals again this year, and go with you to Four Continents and Worlds!”

Yuri smiled. “You can do it Minami-kun.”

The teen grinned then put his headphones in and focused on stretching and keeping loose for his skate.

“You doing ok Yuri?” Victor asked the younger man caught up in the hall.

Yuri nodded, but had to admit that the nerves were starting to eat at him. “I’m not used to being in first after the short program. It’s a bit daunting.”

One of Victor’s eyebrows rose. “How are you not used to it?”

Yuri blushed. “I’m just not. Before last month my previous best in the short was in the mid-eighties. It’s fine here, but once I got up to Four Continents or the Grand Prix series it was barely adequate.”

Victor smiled. “I’m glad I was able to bring out your best then. You’re a beautiful skater, and I want everybody to see your talent.”

Yuri smiled shyly, and noticed the commotion in the hall as competitors stretched and kept themselves ready. He bounced his headphones nervously, wanting to have Victor’s attention, but also needing to focus and get his head in the game.

Victor noticed Yuri’s fidgeting, rested his hand on the younger man’s cheek for a moment so that Yuri could faintly detect his scent, and smiled. “Focus Yuri. I’ll be right here.”

Yuri blushed crimson when the older man snuck a glance around and gently kissed his forehead. “You’ll do great,” he whispered as his face lingered close.

Yuri smiled. “Thank you.”

Yuri’s warmup mix included several piano ballads to keep him calm. He focused on his breathing and in maintaining the looseness in his muscles. Out of the corner of his eye he saw competitors head to the rink for their own skates.

This is my story. I just have to tell it.

He closed his eyes. He remembered fighting alone, and Victor’s inexplicable appearance in the hot springs. He thought of those first timid months, when he was torn between awestruck and terrified. He felt the closeness that had brought them together, especially since circumstances had forced them to reveal parts of themselves that they kept hidden.

He thought of Victor.

This is our story. It’s not just me anymore.

There was a tap on Yuri’s shoulder. He opened his eyes to see Victor looking at him. He pulled the buds from his ears.

“You ready?”

Yuri nodded and Victor escorted him to the ice. The young man who had been in second was stepping off, a scowl on his face. Yuri assumed that he’d fallen.

Yuri waited for the plushies and flowers to be collected, and stepped onto the frozen surface. He moved just to the side of the entrance.

“Just like practice Yuri,” Victor murmured as they leaned with their heads almost touching, breathing in each other while making it appear that they were merely in private conversation. “You know this program. Just don’t run into the barrier this time, ok?”

Yuri looked up at Victor and laughed. “You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?”

Victor grinned. “Never.” He pulled the younger man in for a hug. “Go show them how beautiful you are.”


 

Victor greeted Yuri as he stepped off the ice after the awards ceremony. He had placed first again, and Minami had taken second once more. The teen was giddy with the thought of nationals in just under two months.

“You were beautiful Yuri,” Victor purred as he pulled his student in for a hug as the others made their way toward the locker room. “You’re going to stun the world next week at the Cup of China.”

Yuri smiled up at his coach.

“Yuri! Victor! You’re joining us for dinner again right?” Minami called from just outside the competitor corridor.

“Da,” Victor called back immediately, then turned to Yuri. “That’s ok, right?”

Yuri nodded.

“Can’t wait!” Minami replied. “Hurry back so we can decide where to go.”

“I’m excited to show the world just how incredible you are,” Victor said softly.

Yuri smiled. He was ready.

Chapter Text

Some part of Yuri knew that an omega off suppressants started preparing for a heat long before one who was on them. His ruts were the same. He’d notice little quirks several weeks in advance as his body readied itself for the intensity of instinct.

The difference between being off suppressants versus on was like a rising tide rather than the floodgates opening. He preferred the slow build as it was gentler, but it wasn’t worth the alpha traits in the interim.

Yuri first detected it the night before they were leaving for China. Victor’s nightmares had returned and he was scenting the Russian so that he could sleep when he smelled the tiniest hint of cinnamon. At first he thought it was just his imagination, but when the older man fell asleep against him on the flight it was unmistakable.

Some dormant part of Yuri awakened, and by the time they were getting off the flight he found himself overly protective and possessive of the omega. He wanted to snap and growl at alphas who came too close; to keep them away. He knew part of it was just exhaustion from travel, but also that his own suppressants were on the edge of usefulness.

“Yuri,” Victor turned to face him as they waited at the baggage carousel for their luggage. “You’re tense. Didn’t you sleep?”

Yuri looked up at the man. “I did. Just on edge is all.”

“About the competition?”

Yuri shook his head. “No. It’s nothing to worry about. A good night’s sleep should fix it.”

Victor was unsure, and it showed on his face. Yuri smiled, he knew that sleep would help. His alpha side was always stronger when he was tired. He reached up and slid a hand around Victor’s neck.

Victor leaned subtly into the touch.

“The first practice isn’t until this evening,” Yuri said softly. “And I don’t think either of us slept too well last night. How about a nap when we get to the hotel?”

Victor smiled, and Yuri saw the mask fall for a moment. Despite the scenting the night before, the Russian was exhausted.

They didn’t have time to take them often, but naps had become a special treat for the pair. It was comfortable, free of connotation. There was no pressure, just a moment of quiet. They’d curl up together and simply sleep, wrapped in each other’s arms and scents.

It was just the thing to soothe the raw edges of Yuri’s nerves, and ease Victor’s exhaustion.

Gentle understanding settled into the silence as they waited for their luggage and made their way to the hotel. They checked into their rooms, right next to each other, but Yuri did little more than take off his coat and push his suitcase to a corner. He immediately went to Victor’s room and pulled him into an embrace

“You’re clingy today,” Victor murmured when the younger man protested at letting go so that they could crawl under a blanket.

Yuri couldn’t deny it. He wanted the Russian in his arms. His instincts demanded that his scent be strong enough on him that no other alpha would come close.

Victor stood at the edge of the bed. He placed his hand on Yuri’s jaw and ran his thumb over the younger man’s cheek. Yuri tilted his head immediately to sniff at the scent emanating from the older man’s wrist.

Kiss him! his instincts urged. Bite at his scent. Make it clear you’re his alpha.

“Let’s nap before it gets too late,” Yuri said softly.

Victor smiled and leaned over to set an alarm on the hotel’s clock. A moment later their limbs were entwined beneath a thin blanket.

“Yuri?” Victor asked after a few minutes, eyes closed and breathing even.

“Hmm?” Yuri murmured, not wanting to disturb the peace that had settled over them.

“Let’s get hot pot for dinner after practice.”

“Okay.”


 

Yuri knew as he helped a drunken Victor into bed that the reason the Russian had drank so much was not due to camaraderie, but because he was hoping to stave off his nightmares.

It was one of the reasons that Yuri wished Phichit hadn’t called Celestino. While he had his own guilt over dissolving their professional relationship, his former coach was an alpha who neither masked his scent nor took suppressants. Yuri was on edge, but had no idea how the Italian’s strong scent would affect Victor.

The Russian’s drunken state, something that hadn’t been so bad since they’d started getting closer, was a sign of how he’d coped.

Victor was already asleep when Yuri tugged the blankets over him. As embarrassing as it had been to deal with him naked in the restaurant, it made getting him to bed easier.

Yuri looked at him, and, despite the alcohol, saw a tremble on the Russian’s lips. He sighed and laid on top of the covers, pulling his coach into his arms.

“I wish you’d talk to me about it Victor,” he whispered, not wanting to wake the man. “I don’t know how to help you, except to do this. I want to do more for you.”

Victor turned and buried his face against Yuri. The trembling had stopped.

Yuri ran his fingers through Victor’s hair. He was tired, but determined to ensure that the older man slept soundly.  It was only as his own eyelids started to droop that he unwound himself.

He checked that Victor’s phone was charging on the nightstand, then set a water bottle and a couple of aspirin beside it. He wrote a note to make sure that the Russian got the hint about the medication then finally made his way to his own room.

He’d barely been in his room since dropping off his luggage in it that afternoon, only returning to get his gear for practice. It was cold, empty. Most importantly, it didn’t smell like Victor.

All he wanted was to return to the other man’s room and curl up beside him to sleep.


 

There were too many people paying attention to Victor. Chris and his coach, the female skaters from Russia, even Phichit, Yuri’s best friend, was more than the alpha wanted to deal with.

Yuri could barely detect the Russian’s scent, something he’d noticed as soon as he went to Victor’s room earlier that day. The sterile scent of a masking soap assaulted his senses instead of the gentle caress of sweet oranges and snow. It helped in a way, he was less likely to snap at people, but made him angry as well. He wanted to be the one protecting the platinum-haired man, his scent warning others away.

Yuri knew it was nonsense, masking soaps were common, but his instincts told him to be insulted. His scent wasn’t enough, the omega had to hide himself rather than count on the alpha.

It hurt in a way Yuri hadn’t expected, and it drove him to fight.

He was going to show the world that he had every right to have the highly decorated skater by his side. He was going to show Victor that he wanted to be his protector.

Seduce Victor.

Chris was talking to Victor, Yuri pretended to ignore it and continued warming up.

Seduction isn’t just making yourself unavailable. Yuri finally understood. It’s about sending a message so strong that the world knows the object of your affection is sure to reciprocate.

Victor lead him from the larger holding area to the tunnel that opened to the ice. He waited in a small room and continued to stretch. He was the last person in the first group to skate, both a blessing and a curse.

Phichit was on the monitor, skating to a song that he’d long wanted to. Yuri was proud of his friend.

Victor’s hand was on his shoulder, guiding him toward the ice.

I’m going to show the world I’m worthy of you and your time. I’m going to show you that I’m worthy to be your alpha.

Yuri and Phichit passed in the tunnel. The Thai skater stopped and hugged him; wished him well on his skate. He thanked his friend and congratulated him on his own performance.

Applause rang in his ears, sharp and annoying as Guang Hong finished his skate. 

He was on the ice, braced on the barrier. Victor’s finger was driving him mad, tracing back and forth along the back of his hand. He was going to show the world, Victor was his.

“The time to seduce me by picturing katsudon and women during your skate is over,” the Russian murmured. “You can fight with your own personal charm.”

The hand on his tightened, the maddening finger a point of Yuri’s focus.

“You can envision it just fine, can’t you?”

Yuri couldn’t take it. He wanted the omega’s scent, his attention. He grabbed the teasing hand and clasped it with his own. He pushed into Victor’s personal space, setting his forehead against the Russian’s. There it was, faint, but enough, that delicious scent, hiding under the soap.

“Don’t ever take your eyes off me,” Yuri commanded.

He took his place on the ice.

This is for you and you alone, Victor. The rest of the audience can only watch and wish they were as wanted as much as I want you.

He licked his lips, thought about tasting Victor’s mouth, the skin along his neck.

He looked to where his coach was standing. The man was blurry, but he knew his message would be clear in his eyes. You’re mine.

The ice was perfect under his feet, he step sequence flawless. I’m different now, and it’s because of Victor. I don’t care what anybody else thinks.

Triple axel… quadruple salchow.

I’m the only one who can satisfy Victor. I’m the only one in the whole world who knows Victor’s love.

I’ll prove that now.

Quadruple toe loop, triple toe loop. Final spin. His arms wrapped around himself in the finishing pose.

This space in my arms is for you Victor.

Platinum hair was waiting for him at the kiss and cry. Victor was draped over him.

Did you get my message?

Victor leaned in. “Yuri, did it feel that great?” The tone was one Yuri had never heard before, it made desire curl within him.

“Well, I was hoping everybody else felt great watching me.” I hope you felt great watching me.

The scores were announced. Yuri leaned in to squint at the screen.

“Of course they’d feel great watching a performance like that,” the Russian purred in his ear. “You’re the best student.”

The scent of cinnamon surrounded him, somehow overpowering the distasteful aroma of the soap.

The applause died down, and they stood. The warmup for the second group was about to start.

They made their way to the competitor tunnel.

Kiss him! Kiss him now! Claim him as yours!

“Victor…” Yuri called to the man walking a few paces in front of him, confidence in his voice.

“Yes Yuri?” The Russian stopped and turned, an expectant look on his face.  

Yuri took several steps, closing the distance between them, a low growl in his throat.  

“Skater Katsuki!”

Yuri snapped back to reality with the appearance of newscaster Morooka and several other members of the press. Microphones were shoved in his face and he was bombarded with questions.

Victor slipped away as Yuri dealt with the onslaught of the media.

Yuri managed his escape once it was Georgi’s turn to skate, but couldn’t find his coach anywhere. The confidence that had filled him a moment ago was swiftly waning, the alpha urge to fight for the omega apparently satisfied with the skate.

He wandered into the lounge where Phichit and Guang Hong were watching Leo’s short program, which had just begun.

Yuri’s instinctive urge to claim his coach had dissipated. He wanted to find the older man, to make sure he was safe, but the overwhelming drive of moments prior was gone.

He decided to wait with Phichit and Guang Hong. Staying in one place would make it easier for Victor to find him.

Sure enough, the Russian walked in a moment later, just as Leo’s scores were announced, and wrapped his arms around Yuri.

The smell of the damnable masking soap was gone, along with it the cinnamon. Yuri understood that Victor had gone to the locker room and showered. He leaned into the embrace, savoring the scent of clean skin and the Russian’s unique aroma.

“You smell better,” Yuri whispered during the thunderous applause as Chris took his place on the ice.

Victor replied by tightening his grip on the Japanese man.

Chris skated, and being engulfed in Victor’s smell allowed the courage to pool within Yuri again.

I’ll talk to him tonight. I’ll do it right, not something driven by instinct.

Chris’s program ended.

Yuri was in first.

The warmth of courage was replaced with the icy grip of expectation. He was bombarded by reporters once more.

He was in first, he was a skater reborn, he was expected to deliver a perfect free skate.

Any thought of discussing his feelings with Victor was driven from his mind as memories of failure overwhelmed him.

Chapter Text

Yuri felt like death warmed over, and he looked like it too. Even moving was a struggle; as if there were lead weights attached to his arms and legs.

There was a knock at his door.

“Yuri?” Victor called. “Practice will start soon. Are you ready to go?”

Yuri didn’t want to face his coach looking like he did.

“I overslept,” Yuri lied. In reality he had barely slept at all and had alternated between nervous shuffled pacing and trying to rest for the past several hours. “Go on ahead. I’ll be a few minutes behind you.”

“I can wait.”

“No, no. Go on. I’ll be right there.”

“Ok.” Victor sounded unsure, but Yuri heard fading footsteps as the Russian headed toward the elevators.

Yuri groaned, and shuffled into the bathroom. He’d already showered but it hadn’t taken the edge off his exhaustion. He turned on the faucet and ran cold water into the sink. He splashed it onto his face several times, but just ended up feeling like any warmth had been sucked from him.

He looked in the mirror, dark circles stood out under his eyes. He sighed. There was nothing he could do except push through. He ran a comb through his hair, draped his competitor badge around his neck, checked that his room key was in his wallet, and made his way to the rink.

Yuri spied Victor chatting with Chris as he made his way out of the competitor tunnel. They were smiling and laughing easily.

Yuri didn’t think he’d ever seen Victor like that. There was a comfort he had with the Swiss skater, and it was apparent that though they had been competitors for years they had a fierce friendship off the ice.

“Yuri!”

Yuri turned to see Phichit coming up behind him from the locker rooms. He smiled at his friend and received a frown in return. Phichit stormed up and put a hand on Yuri’s shoulder.

“Yuri? Why didn’t you tell me it was this bad?”

Yuri ran his fingers through his hair nervously. “I didn’t know it was going to be this bad until it was late.”

“So?”

“It’s not like it’s been before Phichit. Besides…” he faltered.

“Besides?” Phichit pushed.

Yuri didn’t want to tell his best friend that the thing he was craving was Victor’s scent; Victor’s words of encouragement.  

“It’s not like it was at Four Continents two years ago,” Yuri finally said. “The stakes were high then, but the pressure is much worse here.”

Phichit scowled. “I’m here too you know.”

Yuri tried to smile at his friend, but the Thai skater didn’t let him. He pulled the Japanese man into a hug, and Yuri melted into the embrace.

“I want you on the podium beside me Yuri,” Phichit whispered. “I’m taking gold, but you better grab silver.”

Phichit stepped back and smiled. “I never saw you skate like that under Ciao Ciao. You’ve grown so much. You always had the skill to win, so make me work for my gold. Ok?”

The men stared at each other, and Yuri knew that Phichit was about to say something else to encourage his friend when Celestino spied them.

“Phichit! Catch up with Yuri later. You’ve only got an hour for practice, so get on the ice,” the coach called.

Phichit nodded and walked toward his coach. “I’ll see you later Yuri!”

Yuri saw Victor perk up out of the corner of his eye, probably at hearing his student’s name. He turned, saw Yuri, and swiftly concluded his conversation with Chris.

Yuri walked over, ready to listen to any of Victor’s practice instructions. Instead the Russian scowled at him. “Yuri, you haven’t slept, have you?”

“I… I did. A little bit anyway.”

Victor’s eyes narrowed. He grabbed Yuri’s jacket and dragged him back toward the locker room.

“Victor!” Yuri protested. “What are you doing? The practice is only an hour.”

“I’m not letting you on the ice like this,” Victor grumbled. “You barely have any balance, you’d just hurt yourself out there.”

“You’re walking too fast, that’s why I’m off balance!”

Victor stopped and stared at the Japanese man. He stepped in and held Yuri’s face in his hands, thumbs stroking along his cheeks.

The touch was so soothing that Yuri couldn't help but close his eyes.

“You’re exhausted Yuri,” Victor murmured. “I’d rather lose this practice than deplete any more of your energy.”

“But my program…” Yuri argued weakly.

Victor sighed. “You’re not going to be able to skate it at all like this.”

Yuri whined.

VIctor leaned in. “I’m not letting you on that ice like this,” he repeated. “So get in that locker room and take off your skates.”

Yuri wanted to argue, but honestly didn’t have the energy. He collapsed onto a bench and pulled his skates off. He stored them in his assigned locker, put on his sneakers and slumped back into the hallway.

Victor looked at him, an intense stare that made Yuri slightly uncomfortable, then grabbed his arm and led him from the arena.

“Victor!” Yuri protested again, but the Russian was undeterred. A few minutes later they were on the shuttle that ran between the arena and hotel.

By the time they reached the lobby Yuri had stopped protesting and allowed himself to be dragged to his room, but he balked again when Victor ordered him to strip.

“Down to the undies,” Victor ordered. “Now.”

Yuri’s alpha side reared its head for a moment, insulted about being bossed around. But it was quickly suppressed by the exhaustion. He was too tired to argue any more.

He pulled off his shirt and sweatpants, then looked at Victor.

The Russian nodded in approval, stepped close and tugged a sleeping mask over Yuri’s eyes. He then slid his arms around Yuri’s waist and picked the smaller man up.

“Victor!”

Yuri was tossed onto his bed and a blanket draped over him. It was immediately anchored by Victor’s weight.

“Nap until this evening’s event starts,” the Russian murmured, releasing as much of his scent as he could. “It’ll be fine. I always slept in until the last minute before competitions, too.”

Victor settled down, half on top of Yuri and pinning the younger man to the bed, his scent engulfing Yuri’s senses.

“Victor! Did you set an alarm?”

The platinum-haired man was silent, only filling the room with his pheromones.

Somehow it stressed Yuri, that he couldn’t move or set an alarm himself, but he soon succumbed to the silence and the soothing scent of the omega.


 

They managed to make it to the arena in time, despite the lack of an alarm.

Unfortunately, taking the edge off the exhaustion did little to ease Yuri’s anxiety. His hands trembled and almost everything made him jittery. Worse, he could smell the concern on Victor and was in no state to reassure the man.

“Yuri, were you unable to take a nap?” Victor was wearing his mask again, hiding his worries and acting like a coach.

Yuri blinked. He’d been there the entire time hadn’t he? “Huh? I did nap! I did!”

Victor stared, then banned him from doing jumps during the warmup.

Yuri had to jump. He’d missed practice and needed to get that feel of the ice under him. If he didn’t then he might not be able to at all during his program. However the feelings of inadequacy only got stronger when he tumbled out of a landing.

He could feel the eyes of the other skaters on him. Chris had been there the year prior during his failure, Phichit had seen him nervous so many times that he knew exactly how Yuri would crack.

They know they just need to skate clean. That’s all it’ll take to knock me off the podium.

Yuri knew it was his anxiety talking, but the voice only got louder as music filled the hall where he was warming up. He turned to watch the monitors as he tried to keep loose, but Guang-hong’s performance only put him more on edge.

I can’t do this. I can’t watch.

Yuri reached out and turned off the monitor. When he heard another a short distance away he went to it and turned it off as well. Finally he sat on a chair in the hall, trembling uncontrollably.

“Yuri, why don’t you keep stretching,” Victor suggested.

Yeah. Keep moving, keep the muscles loose.

Yuri moved from one exercise to another. Nothing felt right. The world was shaking apart at the seams and nobody else seemed to notice.

He heard music and applause as Chris started his program.

It’s Chris. Of course he’ll win. Victor’s not on the ice to hold him back. Why did I think I could do this? I’m just going to humiliate myself again.

Victor was leading him away from the ice, down to the parking garage. The cement muted the sound some.

Applause drifted down, overwhelming despite the barrier of concrete.

Oh god. Who just skated? Was it Chris? Who’s in the lead? What are the scores? How badly will I fail? I have to know.

Yuri asked Victor, but the Russian instead told him to calm down.

How am I supposed to be calm? I’m going to fail again. I’m going to show the world that they were right, that I’m not worthy of you.

I’m going to fail you.

Victor… I’m going to fail, and you’ll leave.

I can’t lose you.

Please don’t go.

Victor handed Yuri his ear buds. “Focus Yuri. Ignore everything else. Just stay loose.” His hands traveled up and down Yuri’s arms, trying to soothe him.

Yuri nodded and slid the buds into his ears as the first notes of Phichit’s piece drifted down.

The piano music helped. It was soothing. He clung to it as he moved, keeping his muscles limber. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the gentle notes and moving to it.

Keep loose. Trust Victor. Focus.

The piece ended and Yuri opened his eyes. Victor was staring at the ceiling, a strange look on his face.

He pulled the earbuds out and was about to ask when he heard the applause. It was thunderous, even in the parking garage.

Yuri froze.

Who was that? Oh god! I can’t. The audience is on their feet. How can I possibly compare?

I’m going to lose Victor. He’ll have thrown away an entire season for a failure. Victor will be seen as a failure because he couldn’t make me into a winner.

No…

Despair curled in Yuri’s stomach, and a part of him felt sick.

Victor’s hands were on his ears, his scent, tainted with worry, filled Yuri’s nose. “Don’t listen!”

The Russian stared straight into his soul, determination across his face.

Silence as the audience waited for a skater’s scores. It was time to go. Yuri said something about getting back, and without waiting for Victor started toward the stairs.

“Yuri,” Victor called after a few paces. Yuri turned to look at the Russian, who was wearing an indecipherable expression. “If you mess up this free skate and miss the podium, I’ll take responsibility by resigning as your coach.”

Thoughts swirled in Yuri’s mind.

What?

No!

Why?

It won’t be your fault!

Please don’t go.

Victor, I need you.

Please… I… I

Victor… I love you!

Tears spilled unbidden from his eyes. “Why would you say something like that, like you’re trying to test me?”

Victor was trying to apologize, but the floodgates had opened. He mumbled about his own failures; said something about how it was worse because of how his performance would reflect on Victor.

Then he said the words that he’d locked inside himself for months, terrified to speak them for fear that they would come true. “I’ve been wondering if you secretly want to quit!”

Were all those months for nothing? I know they weren’t.

“Of course I don’t.”

“I know that!”

Of course not. People who want to quit would let their student scent them. A person who wanted to quit wouldn’t take naps in the sun with their protege. It’s ridiculous to think you’d want to quit now, but my mind doesn’t believe me.

Victor was saying something about crying and not knowing what to do.

Just believe in me.

“Should I just kiss you or something?” Victor asked. Yuri could smell the desperation as the Russian sought an answer.

Not like this!

“No! Just have more faith than I do that I’ll win!” Yuri cried.

Just believe in me. Be my anchor through this!

“You don’t have to say anything. Just stand by me!”

I need you Victor. Please. We may not be mates, we may not be lovers, but you’re the person closest to me. I need the man I love to have faith in me.

Victor stared at him, then took a couple cautious steps towards him before wrapping the younger skater in his arms.

Yuri was engulfed by his scent, the worry was still there, but he could smell trust as well.

“I’m right here Yuri. I’ll always be right here. I’ll believe in you enough for the both of us,” the Russian whispered against his hair.

Victor pushed back and lifted Yuri’s chin so that their eyes met. “I’ve believed in you since the beginning. I wouldn’t have gone to Japan if I didn’t believe in you.”

Yuri’s breath hitched in his throat. Victor’s thumb ran along his cheek.

“I believed in you since your senior debut. Remember? I researched you for years. I’ve always believed that you have the talent to win.”

Yuri collapsed against the taller man, tears falling again. The words helped, but not as much as they should have.

I wish I’d heard that sooner. I needed that before now.

They stood that way for several seconds, tension filling the air.

Victor’s gloved thumb ran over Yuri’s cheek again, wiping away the tears. “I’m sorry Yuri.”

Yuri nodded into his chest, it was the best acceptance he could give right then.

Applause filtered down again, paused and increased as another skater took the ice. They only had a couple minutes to get back and put on his skates.

“We better go,” Yuri whispered, stepping out of the embrace.

For the first time, it hadn’t helped.


 

Victor was flying at Yuri, arms encircled him. One held the back of his head and the other wrapped around his shoulders.

Their faces were so close, and Victor’s eyes were closing as Yuri’s were widening.

Their lips brushed, the faintest touch, but Yuri felt the desire. Then they were gone. Victor’s head was to the side and they came to a jarring stop on the ice. The wind was knocked out of Yuri, but he didn’t think he was injured.

The rink was absolutely silent for a heartbeat.

“That was the only thing I could think of to surprise you more than you’ve surprised me,” Victor said softly as he pushed himself up to gaze down at the younger man, a look in his eyes that Yuri had never seen before.

God I love this man.

“Really?”

The applause was deafening, but it was somehow softer than Yuri’s own heartbeat. Victor leaned in and their foreheads touched.

“I knew you could do it,” Victor whispered.

They laid there for several seconds, until the chill nipped at Yuri’s back. “Ok you big goof,” he said fondly. “I’m going to freeze if you don’t let me up. You’re wearing a coat. I’m wearing a mesh panel.”

Victor smiled, and for a moment Yuri thought the older man would kiss him again. Instead the Russian got to his knees and scrambled from the ice, leaning back from the barrier to offer a hand up.

Yuri couldn’t concentrate on his scores, though Victor seemed excited about them. Yuri had earned a silver medal.

The ghost of Victor’s lips on his own was more important than the medal.

Victor tugged on his jacket. “Come on Yuri. You should freshen up before the medal ceremony.”

Yuri let himself be led through the competitor tunnel. Skaters congratulated him, and he somehow managed to be gracious, despite the fact that he was walking through a haze.

Yuri saw Phichit and Chris as they entered the locker room, both men wiping the sweat from their faces, and adjusting costumes to be pristine again.

Yuri looked at the mirror, then at Victor.

“Victor. Can we talk?” Yuri whispered.

Victor gazed at him for a moment, then nodded.

The door opened behind them and an event official poked their head in. “Ten minutes until the medal ceremony.”

Yuri nodded out of habit, even as Victor lead him away from where the other men were preparing at the mirror. They made their way to the far end of the room, near the lockers.

Yuri’s anxiety was creeping back in. Had the kiss been a mistake? Was it meant to be a hug?

“Yuri?”

Yuri squeeze his eyes shut for a few seconds then looked up at Victor. “Why… why did you kiss me?”

Victor smiled. “Because I wanted to surprise you.”

“Was… that all?” Yuri said, looking at the floor.. Of course it didn’t mean anything else.

Victor stepped into his space, and lifted Yuri’s chin. “Because I wanted to kiss you,” Victor said, voice softening in tone and volume.

Yuri took a shuddering breath as Victor leaned in closer.

“Because I couldn’t hold back any longer.”

Victor’s lips were on his again. Yuri froze. The softness, the warmth, Victor , all overwhelming him.

It ended and Victor moved back a little. “Yuri? Are you ok?”

Yuri was still processing. Victor kissed me!

Yuri smelled the nervousness. “Yuri… I… I’m sorry. I… I didn’t mean to…”

Don’t apologize!

Victor moved to take a step back.

No!

Yuri reached out and grabbed the lapels of Victor’s coat. He roughly pulled the Russian close again.

“Yuri?”

He bunched the fabric in his hands, forcing their chests together. He realized he was growling low in his throat.

“Yuri… I shouldn’t have… not without…”

Yuri rose up as much as his skates would allow and used the grip on the coat to pull Victor down. Their lips crashed together.

Yes!

Victor stiffened for half a second before relaxing into the kiss.

Yuri had no idea what he was doing, he’d never kissed anybody before. His body knew what it wanted though.

He pressed their lips together, chaste and clean. The warmth, the feel of Victor’s mouth on his own was even better than he’d imagined it could be. He savored it before putting some space between them.

“Yuri?” Victor whispered.

“Was that ok?”

Victor smiled. “Better.”

“Good.”

Their lips came together again. Yuri released Victor’s coat and ran his hands up to tangle his fingers in platinum hair. He kept the Russian’s face close.

Victor’s lips were soft, despite spending so much time in the drying environment of the rink. They were warm, quiet embers that spread to Yuri and warmed him throughout.

Victor gasped when Yuri pulled his bottom lip between his and sucked on it lightly.

It tastes like his ridiculously expensive lip balm.

They parted for a heartbeat before starting again. Years of longing and months of sexual tension crashed around them and they couldn’t get enough of each other.

Yuri lost track of time. It could have been a minute or a year. Victor, and the kisses he’d longed for, were all that mattered.

Yuri heard a gasp that wasn’t Victor’s.

Mine! his internal alpha proclaimed. He broke the kiss to see Chris and Phichit standing nearby and staring at them.

Yuri growled low in his throat at the intruders. Phichit backed away immediately, knowing Yuri almost never growled.

Chris’s eyes narrowed and he stepped closer, replying with a growl of his own.  

Yuri saw Phichit’s eyes widen. The Thai skater took another step back, expecting an alpha fight.

Yuri’s hands dropped back to Victor’s coat. He gently pushed the Russian aside so that Yuri was between him and Chris.

Yuri’s growl deepened. Mine!

Chris’s growl grew in intensity as well, and he stepped into Yuri’s space.

Their eyes never left the other.

Chris reached out, and Yuri prepared to fight when the tone of Swiss alpha’s growl changed. It said more than words could. I’m not challenging you for your mate, so get your head out of your ass and pay attention.

Yuri blinked and he fell silent.

Chris fisted the sleeve of Yuri’s costume. “I don’t appreciate being growled at Yuri,” he snarled. “Now I’m very happy for the two of you. It was about time you stopped dancing around each other and figured it out. But now is not the time.”

Yuri blinked in confusion.

“We’ve got to be back on the ice in five minutes. So do what you need, accept your medal, and you two can ravish each other in the hotel tonight.”

Yuri blushed at the suggestion.

Chris released his costume. “After dinner of course. I haven’t seen my best friend and rival since worlds, and I fully intend to go out and catch up with him, and I guess his new boyfriend.” Chris looked over his shoulder. “And probably his boyfriend’s best friend, seeing how close the two of you are.”

Chris stepped back and stomped toward the mirrors again.

Yuri heard the distinct sound of an aerosol spray, then Chris reappeared and tossed the can to Phichit.

“Don’t let either of them out of here without using that. They reek of each other. Yuri’s pheromones will definitely be a problem right now if not masked, and there’s no time for a shower.”

Phichit nodded, glancing at Chris, Yuri, and back again.

Chris stormed out of the locker room.

Victor was rubbing Yuri’s arm where it was still holding him back. “Yuri,” the Russian said softly.

Yuri looked up at the platinum-haired man. “I’m sorry.” His gaze dropped. “I… I had no right to get so aggressive.”

Victor turned Yuri around and pulled him into his arms. He kissed Yuri’s hair, then tilted his chin up to plant a chaste kiss to his lips. “It’s ok.”

Victor smiled, and Yuri blushed in reply.

“Chris is right though,” Victor said after a moment. “We do need to get back to the ice.”

Yuri nodded.

“And I’m starving.”

Yuri stared, then laughed, a sound which Victor matched.

“Chris will forgive you soon enough,” Victor reassured. “He’s really easygoing.”

Yuri smiled.

Victor looked over at Phichit. “I think you were just invited to dinner too. You joining us?”

Phichit beamed. “Of course!”

Victor nodded. “Good. Now hand us that masking spray. Chris is right. Neither Yuri nor I can go out smelling like this.”


 

The dinner party grew to include Leo, Guang-hong and Georgi. They decided on a late-night restaurant nearby, recommended by the Chinese skater, and were soon seated around a large table, trading dishes and sampling the cuisine.

Just as Victor had said, by the time the medal ceremony had concluded Chris had returned to his normal jovial mood and was joking and flirting with his competitors. Yuri could barely believe that the man laughing on the other side of Victor was the same alpha he had almost fought earlier.

Going to dinner as a group had proved to be a wise decision. Though the mainstream media had respected their privacy enough to avoid the question, the fans and tabloids were far more persistent. The other skaters formed a barrier around Victor and Yuri as they left the arena, and Yuri was grateful for it.

Victor was trying to tell Georgi that Anya wasn’t right for him when Yuri felt Phichit’s hand on his arm. He turned to his friend.

“Are you ok Yuri?” Phichit whispered. “I’ve never heard you growl like that, and I thought after five years of sharing an apartment I’d heard almost every alpha growl you had.”

Yuri smiled. “I’m fine. It was a misunderstanding.”

Phichit studied his face for a moment, then nodded. “For a moment I thought you and Chris were going to fight.”

Yuri felt some of the blood drain from his face, remembering how close it had actually been to that. “Yeah, I was a bit out of my head. But he was able to snap me out of it.”

Phichit cocked his head, stared for a moment, then sighed. “I swear, you alphas have a language all your own. All I heard was growling.”

Yuri smiled. “We get our points across.”

Phichit laughed. “I guess I should be glad I’m a beta. I don’t have to deal with all of that.”

Yuri grinned and hugged his friend. “Thanks Phichit. I was a horrible friend today. I’m sorry.”

Phichit hugged back. “Yuri, I knew from the moment I saw you this morning that it wasn’t a good day. I’ve already forgiven you.”

Both men laughed, and Yuri blushed as Victor turned and draped himself over his shoulders. “Hey Yuuuuuri, what are you talking about?”

Victor’s arms snaked around Yuri’s middle and the younger man leaned back into the embrace.

“I was just apologizing to Phichit for being a bad friend.”

Victor smiled and nosed at Yuri’s neck. “Hmmm.”

Yuri shifted so that Victor could get more of his scent. “And I should apologize to you too. I was a horrible student.”

Victor’s grip tightened around his middle. “Mmmm, you’re forgiven.”


 

Phichit had teased Victor away from Yuri’s side on the walk back to the hotel, and Chris quickly slid into the vacant space.

Yuri blushed. He had somebody else to apologize to. “I’m sorry for growling at you Chris.” He looked out of the corner of his eye to see a soft smile on the Swiss man’s face.

“It’s ok Yuri. I think it took me by surprise more than anything.”

“I never knew you were an alpha.”

“I didn’t know you were one either, so we’re even.”

Yuri smiled.

“That said…” Chris began, a serious tone in his voice. “I won’t forgive you if you hurt Victor.”

One of Yuri’s eyebrows rose at the threat.

“I’ve known him a long time Yuri. I’ve consoled him through bad breakups. I thought he’d never get involved with an alpha again after the last time. I don’t want to see him hurt like that anymore. Got it?”

Yuri swallowed and nodded. “How… how well do you know him?”

“I’ve offered to help him during…” Chris waved his hands to indicate that Yuri should just complete the sentence on his own. “I don’t know if that answers your question or not.”

Yuri made an unsure noise and glanced up.

Chris sighed. “I don’t know and I never asked about his past from before we met. There’s too much pain there. I could see it in his eyes when he refused my help. I never offered again, just the suggestion seemed too much.”

Yuri nodded in silent understanding of what Chris was trying to say.

Let him come to you.

They were almost to the hotel when Yuri felt Victor at his back. “What are you two talking about?”

Chris turned his head to look at the Russian and grinned. “I was telling your student that he had better clean up that flip before Barcelona if he wants to challenge me. It was a valiant attempt, but I won’t go easy on him.”

Victor laughed. “Seems that Chris has issued a challenge, eh Yuri? How do you think we should respond?”

“How fast can you teach me a quad lutz?”

Chris’s eyes widened slightly before he grinned, and Victor’s laughter intensified.

“That’s my Yuri!”

The group piled into the elevators, and as they ascended others got off one by one. Finally it was Chris, Victor and Yuri. The two friends spoke easily until they reached Chris’s floor. The Swiss man smiled as he exited, but Yuri couldn’t miss the glance thrown his way.

You’ll get that fight if you hurt him.

Victor nuzzled into Yuri’s neck. “I’m so proud of you Yuri. You really did surprise me tonight.”

Yuri turned in Victor’s embrace and looked up at the man who was now his boyfriend. He couldn’t help but stare. Victor, that beautiful, perfectly imperfect man, whom he had idolized for years was there, holding him in his arms.

He wondered briefly if it was a dream.

“Yuri?” Victor asked softly.

“Kiss me.”

Victor smiled and leaned in, pressing his lips to Yuri’s.

The elevator dinged on their floor, and they separated as the doors slid open.

Their hands found each other’s as they walked down the silent hall, fingers entwining.

“Come in?” Yuri asked as they stared at the side-by-side doors.

Victor smiled and nodded, following Yuri into his room.

The door had no more than closed before their mouths crashed together again. The kisses were chaste at first, but Yuri quickly wanted more. The alpha inside of him wanted to devour the omega. His tongue darted out and licked at Victor’s lips, requesting access, which the Russian promptly granted.

The heat of Victor’s mouth, the taste of his breath was too much. Yuri moaned as he explored the wet cavern, their tongues dancing and flirting. He was dizzy with want; flush with need.

He was also completely and undeniably exhausted.

His body shook with confusion before he slumped into Victor’s arms. The Russian held and kissed him silently for a moment before the passion evened out and the smoldering heat between them was little more than an ember.

“I think it’s time for you to sleep Yuri,” Victor said softly. “Let’s get you into bed, da?”

Yuri smiled and nodded. He allowed his boyfriend to guide him to the bed and sat down. He watched as the Russian moved to rummage through his suitcase, quickly returning with pajamas.

“Do you need help?” Victor asked.

Yuri shook his head, shrugged out of his shirt and pants, and only almost fell over once as he tugged the nightclothes on.

Victor moved to the head of the bed, pulled down the covers and guided Yuri to it. Yuri sat on the edge and the Russian kissed his forehead. Victor turned to leave.

Don’t go!

Yuri reached out and grabbed Victor’s sleeve.

“Yuri?”

“If… if it’s ok...would you… spend the night?”

Yuri blushed, and turned away but after a few seconds of silence looked at Victor who was blinking in confusion.

“Not for… that,” Yuri clarified, waving his hands weakly. “But, we already nap together, and it’s so good. So wouldn’t spending the night like that be even better?” His voice was hopeful.

Victor smiled. “I’d love to Yuri. But…”

Yuri stiffened at the word. Did I go too fast?

“Let’s go to my room instead?”

Yuri blinked and released a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding.

“My bed is bigger,” Victor explained.

Yuri smiled and nodded. A few minutes later they were under the covers in Victor’s room, legs tangled together and Yuri’s head comfortably against Victor’s chest.

“Goodnight Yuri,” Victor murmured as he pressed a kiss to Yuri’s hair.

Yuri could only sigh in contentment as he drifted off in his boyfriend’s arms.

Chapter Text

Yuri was warm and comfortable. Even without opening his eyes he knew that sunlight was streaming into the room. He was happy. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so content in the morning, and briefly wondered why.

As his senses started to wake he noticed the unmistakable scent of Victor. He hummed and curled further into the blanket. His head hit something soft yet firm. Yuri grunted softly at the unexpected barrier and opened his eyes. He was greeted with the sight of soft t-shirt fabric.

Huh?

Yuri moved back again, his eyes tracing up the fabric to skin, then Victor’s soft sleeping face.

Yuri’s breath caught in his throat. Waking beside the Russian after a nap was nothing like waking up next to him in the morning. He was beautiful, peaceful, hair a mess, chest rising and falling softly with even breaths.

Fuzzy memories of the previous day flooded him: exhaustion, anxiety, skating... and kissing the man he loved.

Yuri released a shuddering breath and reached out to caress Victor’s face. He’d touched him so many times over the past few months, but it was different now. He marvelled at the softness of Victor’s skin, pads of his fingers tracing over delicate yet masculine features. The light stubble along his jaw, so fine Yuri couldn’t see it, was a reminder that the moment was real.

Victor squeezed his eyes as he started to rouse, blinked a few times to focus, then smiled gently. “Ohayo Yuri.”

Yuri blushed and returned the smile. “Dobroye utro.”

Victor’s smile widened and he leaned forward to press his lips to Yuri’s. Yuri started, then melted into the soft chaste kisses.

It was better than he’d even thought possible.

Victor’s tongue darted out and licked at the seam of Yuri’s lips.

Yuri pulled back.

“Yuri?” Victor asked, a concerned tone at having the kiss rejected.

“Don’t… don’t you want me to brush my teeth first?” Yuri blushed. “Morning breath and all…”

Victor smiled, cradled the back of Yuri’s head and moved in again. “Brushing your teeth means you getting out of bed. Morning breath is nothing compared to the lack of you beside me right now.”

Yuri felt that his heart was about to burst as Victor closed the distance between them again. When the Russian licked at his lips a second time he parted them and moaned as a warm tongue pushed into his mouth.

Yuri shifted to give Victor better access, and he quickly took advantage, leaning over the younger man and delving into the warm cavern.

Long fingers wound into Yuri’s hair, holding him just where Victor wanted, and Yuri immediately reciprocated, plunging his own hands into platinum locks.

“Mmmm, Yuri,” Victor whispered as they separated. “It’s so good to finally be kissing you.”

Yuri blushed and looked into Victor’s eyes. “You too.”

Victor smiled and leaned in for another round of breathless kisses.

It was all so good: being so close that they were sharing the same air, the tiny gasps and moans Victor made as they tasted each other, the way their bodies pressed together as if any distance was too much. It was a heady feeling, and Yuri loved every second.

Yuri knew he was getting aroused, but gasped as Victor shifted and fabric pulled across his hardening length.

“Yuri?” Victor asked, hovering over him, concern written across his face.

Yuri took a second to catch his breath, the feeling in his cock was too much right then. He blushed as he got himself under control. “I’m fine, but…”

Victor blinked a few times. “But?”

Yuri’s blush deepened. “I think we should slow down some.”

Confusion crossed Victor’s face before it softened into an expression of understanding. He smiled and leaned back in, but the kisses were soft and chaste.

“Better?” Victor asked after a moment.

Yuri nodded. “Sorry. I know it was good.”

Victor smiled. “Never apologize for speaking up for yourself or your needs.” He cupped Yuri’s face and ran his thumb over his cheekbone. “I never want you to be uncomfortable. Ok?”

Yuri smiled and nodded. He pushed up enough to press his lips to Victor’s once more. He was considering pulling Victor back down to continue when his stomach growled.

Both men turned to look at the offending spot on his body, and burst into laughter. They exchanged a few more soft kisses before Victor shifted and got out of bed. “I guess that mean’s it’s time to get up.”

Yuri smiled and watched the Russian stretch, his top riding up to expose a strip of skin along his abdomen. Yuri licked his lips, suddenly wanting to taste it; wanting to bite it and leave a mark.

Victor smiled down at him, knelt on the bed, kissed him again, then stood. “Come on. Let’s get some breakfast before the exhibition practice.”

Yuri nodded and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. He blinked as he looked around, and remembered that his stuff was in the other room.

“I guess I should go shower and get dressed.”

Victor eyed him from where he was still standing on the other side of the bed. “I wouldn’t mind you going down just like that, but it’s probably a good idea.”

Yuri padded toward the door, but was stopped when Victor grabbed his arm and pulled him into an embrace. “One for the road.”

Yuri smiled and allowed his mouth to be claimed once more.


 

Yuri saw exuberant waving as soon as he and Victor stepped into the hotel’s restaurant. Phichit, Chris, Celestino and Coach Karpisek were all seated around a large table. The group turned to see who the Thai skater was waving at, and, without a word, shifted to make room.

“Shall we Yuri?” Victor asked softly.

Yuri nodded. “Yeah.”

They moved to take a seat among their counterparts, Victor snagging an unused chair from a nearby table.

There was a moment of silence, then Celestino broke it. “Congratulations on your silver medal Yuri.” The Italian coach then turned to Victor. “And to you as well Victor. It’s quite an achievement for your first year as a coach. You drew something out of him that I was never able to.”

Yuri squirmed slightly in embarrassment before looking at Victor out of the corner of his eye.

“I should be thanking you,” Victor replied confidently. “He’s an amazing skater and it’s no doubt that your training had a dramatic impact on him.”

Somehow the acknowledgement shattered a wall between them. Yuri wasn’t sure what had caused the iciness between the coaches, but the mutual respect allowed them to see each other as equals.

“Yes Victor!” Coach Karpisek added. “I wasn’t convinced at first either, but you might have a good future as a coach.”

“Thank you.”

Yuri smiled at seeing Victor bow slightly, a habit obviously picked up from his months in Japan.

What went unsaid was the relationship between the two that went beyond coach and student, something that Yuri was thankful to avoid at that point.

Pleasantries exchanged, the two senior coaches resumed a conversation that they had been having before Yuri and Victor arrived, giving the younger men the opportunity to talk amongst themselves.

Phichit immediately wrapped his arms around Yuri. “You look so much better today!”

Yuri smiled. “Yeah. I feel better.”

“You’ll come sightseeing with me between practice and the exhibition won’t you?”

“I don’t know Phichit… I don’t want to get too tired before tonight’s skate.”

“Come on Yuri. Besides, you probably need to buy gifts for everybody. Right? See the sights and get your purchases out of the way at the same time.”

Yuri stalled for a moment before Chris leaned in from his conversation with Victor. “Count me in, where’re we going?”

Phichit immediately turned to the Swiss skater. “I was thinking the Forbidden City.”

Victor grumbled and shook his head.

“No?” Phichit asked.

Both Victor and Chris laughed.

“We tried doing that one several years ago the day before the short program,” Chris explained.

“I thought my legs were going to fall off when we got on the ice for practice,” Victor continued with a laugh.

Phichit raised an eyebrow.

“We may be competitive athletes, but it’s a lot of walking and standing around,” Chris finished. “I think it would be fun to go again, but not on a day I have to skate.”

“Oh…” Phichit replied, sinking in his chair a bit.

“I know!” Chris said. “How about the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube?”

Phichit perked up at the suggestion. “What’s that?”

“Those are two of the venues from the two-thousand eight summer Olympic games,” Chris explained. “They’re supposed to be better at night, but I wouldn't mind a daytime look. After that we can head to one of the market districts.”

The two men bantered back and forth about the site, and where else to go.

Victor slid his hand under the table and rested it on Yuri’s knee before squeezing. Yuri looked up into his ocean-blue eyes.

“Are you ok with sightseeing Yuri?” Victor asked softly. “You seemed hesitant.”

Yuri smiled. “I don’t want to exert myself too much before the exhibition, but a little should be fine. Besides, Phichit’s right, I do need to buy omiyage still.”

Victor returned the smile and kissed Yuri’s forehead, making the younger man blush.

Yuri heard the distinct sound of a camera app, and knew without looking who the culprit was. “No Phichit.”

“Yuuuuuri!” the Thai skater protested. “Come on, my followers will love it.”

“No. But I won’t make you delete it.”

Phichit grumbled, but agreed to the compromise.

“Now Victor,” Coach Karpisek called from across the table. “As the coach in the group we’ll expect you to make sure our students get back to us in good skating condition.”

Victor laughed. “That’s new, usually you just tell me to make sure Chris comes back alive.”

“Added responsibility comes with the job title,” Celestino joked.

Yuri smiled, happy to see that Victor was finally starting to be recognized as a coach.

Food was delivered to the newcomers, but Yuri and Victor had barely taken a few bites when Chris stood. Victor looked up at him with a raised eyebrow.

“I need to prepare for practice,” Chris said with a smile before walking away.

A few minutes later Phichit stood as well. “See you at the arena Yuri.”

“You’re going too?”

Phichit grinned. “It’s not that far, I had already planned to jog there rather than take the shuttle this morning. But it does take an extra few minutes that way.”

Yuri nodded, knowing that his former roommate sometimes just needed to run off extra energy, even if he had a full day ahead of him.

The coaches continued their conversation while Victor and Yuri ate. They had almost finished their meal when Yuri felt fingertips brush lightly across his back. He looked up to see Minako standing there.

“Ohayo Minako-sensei,” Yuri said, bowing slightly.

“Ohayo Yuri,” she replied before switching to English for the benefit of the others at the table. “Is this seat taken?”

“Phichit left a few minutes ago to head to the arena for practice, so it’s open.”

Minako smiled and sat down next to her dance student.

The coaches stopped their conversation and looked at the newcomer. “Yuri, aren’t you going to introduce us?” Celestino asked.

Yuri blinked a couple times, then blushed. “I forgot you’ve never met. Coach Celestino, Coach Karpisek, this is Minako Okukawa. She is my dance instructor, and the one who encouraged me to start figure skating.”

Both men smiled and welcomed the dancer to the table.

“So you’re the one who taught Yuri to dance?” Celestino asked after a moment.

Minako nodded. “Yes. He’s been dancing since he was just a small boy.”

Celestino nodded. “I could see as soon as he came to me that he must have been well trained in dance. He was much more graceful when I took him on than almost any student who’d come before. It’s nice to finally meet the person behind that.”

Yuri couldn’t help but notice the slight blush that crept across Minako’s cheeks. He smiled, knowing that she always liked it when people complimented her students.

Coach Karpisek leaned in and started asking Minako about her background, and soon the three were deep in conversation.

A few minutes later Yuri and Victor had finished their meals and made their exit from the lively conversation that had sprung up between the coaches and the dancer.

“Seems they’re getting along,” Victor said as they made their way toward where the shuttle would pick them up.

Yuri nodded and smiled before leaning against his boyfriend as they walked. Victor quickly got the hint and draped an arm over his shoulders.

“You’re ok with this?” Victor asked as they waited for the shuttle. “You’ve always seemed reserved about any kind of public affection.”

Yuri nodded. “For now. I just want to be close. But… it probably will take time for me to become comfortable with it on a regular basis.”

Victor smiled and pulled him closer. “Take your time Yuri, you’re worth waiting for.”

A moment passed before Yuri had the courage to ask something else. “Do… do you need to scent me?”

Victor turned and blinked. “Yuri?”

“The other night, I noticed you drank more after Celestino arrived. I assume it’s because he has quite a… presence. I just want to make sure you’re ok.”

Victor smiled softly. “Thank you Yuri. I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

Victor nodded. “There was more space between us this time. Besides, I’m still riding the high from sleeping with you in my arms.”

Yuri blushed, and the two exchanged a brief kiss before stepping onto the shuttle.


 

The men left as a group after the short exhibition practice. Phichit was already chattering away about what he wanted to see at the old Olympic venues, obviously having looked them up on his phone after arriving at the arena before everybody else.

On the way out Yuri saw Minako and Coach Celestino heading off together, deep in conversation.

“It’s nice to see them talking like that,” Victor said as he caught the same sight.

“Yeah,” Yuri replied. “He always did praise my dance skills. I bet he’s picking her brain right now on things to help other students improve.”

Victor was quiet a moment as he studied them. “Maybe, but I think they’re flirting.”

Yuri looked over, and his eyes widened slightly. It was subtle, but once Victor had pointed it out the signs were unmistakable.

Phichit snapped a photo with his phone. “She’s a famous dancer, isn’t she Yuri?”

“Yeah?”

Phichit grinned. “Spell her name for me?”

“Phichit…” Yuri argued, but Victor was already leaning over the Thai skater’s shoulder and helping him tag the photo properly.

Yuri took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation.

“Done!” Phichit proclaimed.

“At least tell me you were polite with the caption,” Yuri said.

Phichit grinned.

“It’s fine Yuri,” Victor said. “I read it. It’s just something about… Ciao Ciao… and Minako discussing dance.”

Yuri exhaled heavily. “Well at least he didn’t imply anything.”

“Of course not!” Phichit retorted in mock hurt.

Yuri laughed.

“Come on you three,” Chris said from the bus that had just pulled up. “You’re about to get left behind.”

The others scrambled to get on the bus and were soon on their way.


 

Victor and Yuri stumbled into Victor’s hotel room, burdened with shopping bags. The older man was excited and enthusiastic, having been noticeably recharged by spending the day with friends.

Yuri set the bags down and collapsed on the bed. They only had about an hour before they’d have to head to the arena for the exhibition skate, then there was still the banquet afterwards.

Victor sat next to him. “You doing ok?”

Yuri smiled. “A bit tired, but I should be fine by the time I need to skate.”

“Did you get everything you needed at the market?”

Yuri mentally went over his checklist one more time. He’d bought some tea for his mother, er guo tou for his father, a silk shawl for Mari, a Chinese knot for Yuko, a paper cutting for Nishigori, and small opera masks for the triplets. He’d considered buying something for Minako as well, but since she had joined them on the trip decided it was unnecessary. He nodded.

Victor smiled. “Good. I got almost everything I wanted.”

Yuri groaned. “Victor… we’re almost out of time to shop you know.”

Victor slid his fingers under Yuri’s chin. “Luckily, I don’t have to go far.”

Yuri blinked for a second, then realized he was being flirted with. He chuckled and let Victor claim his lips.

“Much better,” the Russian purred as they separated. “I’ve been craving that for hours.”

Yuri blushed. “Me too.”

Victor grinned and pushed him back onto the bed. “We’ve got a little time before we have to get ready. How about we cuddle and kiss until then?”

Yuri gazed up into blue eyes and smiled. It sounded like the perfect way to relax.


 

The crowd roared when they saw Yuri’s costume, a blue replica of Victor’s from the previous season. Yuri smiled, a bit nervous but also excited about performing the program that had brought him and Victor together.

He skated cleanly, landing the downgraded jumps with ease, and the audience roared again when, instead of reaching for somebody who wasn’t there, it was Victor standing on the other side of the barrier at mid-rink.

Victor wrapped Yuri in his arms as he came off the ice, and they moved nearby to watch Phichit conclude the night. The gold medalist was skating to a sassy piece from The King And the Skater; a retort of all the wonderful things about Thailand after the main character had called the country backwards.

“I should have figured it out before now,” Chris laughed beside them.

“What’s that?” Yuri asked.

“That he’d use another song from those movies.”

Yuri laughed. “They’re his favorites. He always wanted to skate to them, and this was his third favorite song.”

“I see.” Chris smiled. “So anything exciting planned for the banquet tonight?”

Yuri blinked in confusion. “No? It’s a banquet. I figure I’ll mingle, smile for sponsors, and if I’m lucky be able to duck out early enough to sleep tonight. We’ve got an early flight.”

Chris cocked his head to the side, and Yuri couldn’t miss the flash of disappointment in his eyes.

“Why?”

“Oh, no reason,” Chris replied.

Phichit’s song ended, and Yuri stood to hug his friend as he came off the ice. He could hear Victor and Chris talking behind him.

“How’d it feel to be skating as the gold medalist?” Yuri asked.

The Thai man beamed at his friend. “It was great Yuri! And it’s even better with you here.”

Chapter Text

Yuri stared at the calendar and sighed. He was supposed to be gaming online with friends from the US, but had left the group early. He had too much on his mind to focus on entertainment.

He turned back to face his computer and clicked several times. He reviewed the information in a number of open browser tabs, each detailing room rates and amenities.

A part of him wished that he’d held the discussion with Victor before heading to China; before they’d become a couple. Their relationship was too new, and he was about to have to hurt the man he loved.

Yuri sighed and stood. He put his laptop to sleep and padded softly to Victor’s room.

They hadn’t spent a night apart since they kissed. It wasn’t something they announced, but not something they’d necessarily tried to hide from those close to them. They’d only been back in Japan for three days, and both his mother and sister had already learned to go to Victor’s room if they needed him in the morning.

Victor was sitting on his bed, sitting against the headboard, laptop propped on his knees.Yuri just stared for a moment. It was such a normal thing, no ice, no lights, no glittering costume. He was seeing Victor in a way he’d only been able to dream of a year ago, and he was as captivated as any audience waiting for a program to begin.

Victor looked up and smiled softly, breaking the spell. Yuri stepped into the room and climbed onto the bed beside him, curling up against his side without saying a word.

He smells so good. I hope I can still hold him after this.

“I thought you were gaming,” Victor said after a moment.

Yuri looked up and met his eyes. He smiled, “This is a better way to unwind.”

Victor returned the smile, kissed the top of his head and resumed his work on the computer. Yuri watched as cyrillic letters filled the screen, Victor responding to a number of emails.

In a way he was glad that the language barrier existed. He could watch what Victor was doing without being overly nosy, just sharing the moment.

Victor cleared out the last unread message, and Yuri shifted enough to let him put the laptop to the side. When he sat back up he pulled Yuri into his arms and they sat cuddled against each other in silence for several minutes, exchanging soft kisses.

“You’re tense Yuri,” Victor murmured after the kisses had dwindled to just cuddles again. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“In a few minutes,” Yuri responded, nuzzling the older man’s shoulder. “I just want to stay like this for a while.”

Victor turned and kissed his forehead. “Ok.”

I don’t want to do this, but I have to. I can’t put it off any longer. I just hope that he’ll forgive me.

Yuri squeezed his eyes closed and gathered his courage. His arms tightened around Victor.

Don’t hate me.

“Victor?” Yuri began with a shaky voice, releasing the Russian and sitting up slightly. He forced himself to look at Victor’s face.

“Yes Yuri?”

“We need to talk about your heat. It’s coming up soon, isn’t it?”

Victor stiffened noticeably, and backed away as if Yuri was threatening to throw boiling water on him. An unhealthy pallor immediately replaced the normal warmth of his face, and his breathing shallowed.

Yuri’s lip quivered. “I’m sorry. I know it’s hard, but we have to talk about it. Time’s running out and there are preparations that have to be made.”

Victor scooted from the bed and stood, staring at Yuri as if he were a venomous animal about to strike.

Yuri scrambled and managed to grab Victor’s hand. He felt the tug but refused to let go.

“Victor, please. Look… I know you’d probably prefer to have it here where you’re comfortable. But it’s not safe. This is a traditional building. We have to find and reserve a room for you in either a heat house or a hotel.”

Victor was frozen, staring at him. It was an improvement from trying to escape. Yuri took a second to pull on the Russian’s hand and kiss it.

“I’m sorry, Victor,” Yuri murmured against his fingers. “I know you’d rather not think about it, but I want you in a safe place. If you want me nearby to scent you there are hotels that can accommodate that with extra rooms. We’ll work around what you need, but I won’t be comfortable unless I know you’re safe, and that means finding you a better place than here.”

Victor’s shallow breaths continued, and his eyes shook slightly. Yuri held his breath, waiting for a response.

Victor swallowed, breathing starting to return to normal. He swallowed again and licked his lips. “You’re talking about… location?” he whispered, a tone that indicated he didn’t trust his own ears.

Yuri nodded and dared to stand to put his hands on the Russian’s waist. One immediately traveled up to brush against his jaw.

“I want you to be comfortable Victor. I really do. I know home is the best place for comfort, but traditional building in Japan means paper walls and sliding doors. There are no locks, and only the thinnest of barriers. This hallway is probably the safest place in the inn, but there are so many customers daily in the springs, the restaurant and the inn itself. A stray waft of air could carry your scent to the main rooms, and to the noses of who knows how many alphas. I’ll gladly scent you again, if you want, but not here. There are hotels that have rooms for non-participant alphas. Or you could go to a heat house, they’re safe.”

Victor stared at him. “Location…” he whispered as if he was still processing the reality of the situation.

Yuri nodded and pulled Victor into a hug. He rubbed the Russian’s back until Victor relaxed slightly. As soon as he felt the tension leave his muscles he maneuvered the taller man to sit on the bed, then held his face in his hands and caressed alabaster cheeks with his thumbs.

“We need to find a place for you in the next several days,” Yuri continued as ocean-blue eyes met his chocolate ones. “I’ve already talked to Yuko, and she’s going to take you to several nearby heat houses tomorrow afternoon to see if any are acceptable. They fill up first so if you want one you’ll need to reserve your room fast.”

Victor blinked, still obviously confused at the reality not matching whatever his darker thoughts had expected. “What’s a heat house?”

Yuri smiled softly. “A kind of specialty hotel. They’re safe places for omegas to have their heats. Most are in remote locations and feature stronger, more secure construction. They are Japan’s answer to the traditional building problem.”

Victor stared blankly. “Why Yuko and not you?”

Yuri continued to rub lines on Victor’s cheeks, glad to see color returning to them. “I’m not allowed. Alphas are strictly prohibited. Not even betas are allowed within the main buildings, instead used as security and supplemental staff. They are safe places by and for omegas only.”

Yuri saw an emotion almost like longing flit through Victor’s eyes. “Only omegas?”

Yuri nodded. “Only omegas. They have locking doors, staff that know how to ensure your needs are met, and the best ones are in secretive locations that only omegas know about. Safety and comfort are their priorities. No fears about being found, no forcing yourself to be quiet, no restraining your scent. You can have a safe and healthy heat without worry.”

Victor shuddered and pulled Yuri into an embrace, burying his face against the younger man’s stomach. Yuri ran his fingers through platinum hair. He felt the Russian trembling beneath his hands.

“If none of the heat houses are to your liking, then I’ve made a list of nearby hotels with heat accommodations. I can visit those with you. We’ll find you a safe place where you can be comfortable. I want this to be a good heat for you.”

“Yuri…” Victor said, voice so shaky that the younger man couldn’t be sure that he wasn’t crying.  “Thank you.”


 

After calming Victor down enough to have a somewhat awkward discussion about finding a location for his heat they’d prepared for bed, but the bad choice of Yuri’s timing had another consequence. They’d only been asleep a short while when he was woken by broken whimpers.

Victor was trembling in his sleep, his face contorted. Just the sight of him having a nightmare was enough to rouse Yuri’s protective side. He moved closer and pulled the Russian into his arms, scenting the air in an attempt to calm him.

The shaking soon stopped, but whatever memory had caught Victor was reluctant to release him again. He mumbled, the ghost of a long-forgotten conversation roaring to life. Yuri couldn’t understand anything, the words in Russian.

The thing that was undeniable though was the pain and anguish when Victor choked out a strangled name.

“Petrov!”

Yuri’s embrace tightened, his alpha instincts both insulted and ready to protect. He knew it was ridiculous, but the omega in his arms had obviously just called the name of a prior suitor.

Mine, demanded the part of Yuri that would fight for Victor.

Why is he calling out the name of another like that? his anxiety replied.

Wracked with confusion, Yuri did the only thing he could. He held and tried his best to sooth Victor until the nightmares seemed to pass.


 

Yuri stood at the top of the stairs and watched Victor slide into the passenger seat of the Nishigoris’ car. Yuko waved and a moment later they had turned the corner and were on their way to tour the local heat houses.

Yuri followed Taksehi back inside the rink. He’d agreed to teach Yuko’s intermediate class that afternoon in exchange for her going with Victor.

Yuri took a seat behind the counter and watched as Takeshi made his way through the racks of skates, inspecting each pair for damage to the blades, fraying laces or other problems that could lead to injury.

“Are you sure about this Yuri?” he asked while looking at the third pair.

“Sure about what?”

“Letting Victor go alone to a heat house, or a hotel, or whatever else he decides on.”

“What do you mean? You know the inn isn’t a safe place.”

Yuri absentmindedly took a sip from his bottle of water.

“I mean, wouldn’t you rather spend it with him?”

Yuri was so shocked he spat out the water and nearly choked on what trickled down his throat. “Nishigori!”

Takeshi set the skates back on the rack and turned to face the younger man. “I’m serious Yuri. You two were already so obviously close that everybody could see it, and the kiss on international television was only a surprise to the two of you and the audience. Anybody around you on a daily basis knew it was only a matter of time.

“Besides, you’re an official couple now. So what’s the problem?”

Yuri shuffled nervously under Takeshi’s gaze. “He hasn’t asked.”

“So? Why don’t you ask him?”

Yuri looked up and shook his head. “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Did Yuko talk at all about his doctor’s appointment?”

Takeshi thought for a moment. “She said that he asked for suppressants, and didn’t look so good after he was denied them, but that was about it.”

Yuri nodded. “He’s got a bad history with his heats. Just talking about them is hard on him.”

“It can’t be that bad, he’s in a car with Yuko to explore local heat houses.”

Yuri shook his head. “It took a lot of work to get him there.He ran a hand through his hair nervously, unsure how much to say. “Nishigori… he had a panic attack right in front of me last night, just from my bringing up the fact that we needed to talk about a safe location.”

“Shit. Really?”

Yuri nodded. “If alphas were allowed I’d be beside him in a heartbeat today to make sure he was ok.”

“It’s really that bad?”

“Yeah,” Yuri said softly. “If he asks it’s a different story, but… I won’t be the one to bring it up. He’s got to get there on his own.”

“And if he doesn’t get there?”

“Then he doesn’t get there. It’s his choice. I won’t push. He means too much to me and I won’t poke at that pain for my own selfish needs.”

Takeshi stared for a moment, then smiled softly. “You’re a good man Yuri.”

Chapter Text

Yuri sat with his back against the headboard, Victor curled against his chest. He ran his fingers through Victor’s fine hair absentmindedly. He could feel the tension in his boyfriend’s muscles and mood, and wanted nothing more than to soothe him.

“I’m sorry about today,” Yuri finally said.

“Yuri?” Victor asked, turning just enough to look at his face.

Yuri moved his hand to rub small circles on Victor’s upper arm. “I should have talked to you sooner, and not sprung it on you last night. I… I just thought that the less time you had to brood, the better it would be.”

Victor shifted to kiss along Yuri’s jaw. “It’s ok Yuri. You did the right thing. You’re right that the longer I think about it the worse it gets.”

“Did you manage ok with Yuko today?”

Victor shifted again and turned to bury his nose in Yuri’s neck. He released some of his scent to relax the omega.

“Yuko was very patient, and explained everything to me. I wish I’d have had access to places like that in Russia.”

“They don’t have anything like heat houses?”

“No paper walls to worry about.” Yuri could hear the soft smile in Victor’s voice. “But no, at least not that I ever knew of.”

“So… where…?”

“In my apartment, alone.”

Yuri tightened his arms around his boyfriend. “Nobody to make sure you had easy access to food and water?”

Victor shook his head, trembling slightly.

“I’m sorry Victor.” He turned his head to kiss at his jaw, the only part he could reach. “I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for you.”

“When I planned them I would make sure to have stuff like that nearby, but the ones when I was a teen and it hadn’t evened out yet, or the reactive one, those were hard. I was weak for days after.”

Yuri heard a hiccup and rubbed his hands along Victor’s back. He fell silent for several minutes until he thought it was ok to talk again.

Little bits at a time. Don’t overwhelm him.

“Did you like any of the places Yuko took you to?”

Victor made a noncommittal noise.

“That doesn’t sound good.”

“They seemed nice, but I’m not sure.”

“Were they missing something?”

“I’m not sure.”

Yuri felt more than heard the slightest growl in his throat, and Victor shuddered in response. He shifted, and pushed on the Russian so that he could look him in the eye.

“Victor, what do you want out of this heat?”

Blue eyes blinked several times in confusion. “Yuri?”

“What do you want out of this heat? Have you even thought about it?”

“I don’t understand.”

Yuri leaned forward and kissed Victor’s cheek before leaning back again. “You said once that no lock was ever strong enough, that you were always scared. We’re going to make sure you’re safe, and that you don’t feel unsafe. But what do you want once that fear is gone? I know it won’t all go away at once, but maybe… maybe if you’re looking forward to something else, you can push it aside.

“So what do you want? How do you want to feel when it’s over? I’ll do everything I can to help make it happen. If you liked my scent and want it we’ll get you a heat room with an attached alpha suite, there are a handful of hotels that offer those for couples that want that connection, but don’t have sex for religious or other reasons. If you want to be tended to by an omega for safety then a heat house might be the better idea.

“It’s your heat Victor. Tell me what you want… what you need. Let’s make it happen.”

Yuri took a deep breath. Victor’s lip was quivering and he was certain that he’d pushed too far. He pulled the Russian against his chest again and ran his fingers up and down the older man’s back.

“I told you last night that I want you to have a good heat. I’m serious about that. But finding a safe place is only one part of it. You need to know what else you need to make it happen. Ok?”

Victor shuddered in Yuri’s arms, but nodded.


 

Yuri was tossing and turning. He’d woken a short time earlier to find the bed empty beside him. Something told him that Victor just needed time to think, so he was doing his best not to intrude. But his boyfriend’s nightmares of the night before were playing on his anxiety, and he couldn’t get the strangled name out of his mind.

Who’s Petrov? Why did Victor call out his name like that?

He heard the door slide open, closed and a moment later felt the mattress dip beside him. He detected the faint smell of the onsen clinging to Victor. There was a moment of chill as the air snuck under the covers, then the cool of Victor’s skin as he snuggled close.

“Are you ok?” Yuri murmured.

“Did I wake you?”

“No. I was awake.”

“You should be sleeping you know. We’ll be headed to Russia before you know it.”

Yuri turned and kissed Victor softly. “You’re one to talk.”

Victor chuckled and returned the kiss.

Yuri could smell worry on the omega, though it wasn’t strong. “Are you ok Victor? You seem worried.”

He felt Victor’s fingers along his face. Yuri hummed appreciatively.

“I’ll be ok. I just decided to take some time in the onsen to sort through my thoughts,” the Russian responded.

“Anything I can help with?”

Yuri felt the air move as Victor shook his head. “No. Not yet anyway.”

“Hmm?”

“I was just thinking about what you said earlier. I’d always been so concerned with just being safe during my heats that it took over everything. There wasn’t room for any other thoughts between that and the urges that come with it.”

“Victor…” Yuri began, reaching out to touch his boyfriend.

Victor found Yuri’s hand and held to to his face, shaking his head.

“It’s easier to define what I don’t want than what I do, but… I know I’m coming from a place of fear that way.”

“It’s a start.”

“I do know one thing I want.”

“Can you tell me?”

Victor took a deep breath and released it in a shudder. “I want your scent again.”

Yuri closed the distance between them and kissed the trembling Russian. “Then we’ll start with the hotels that offer an alpha suite. That way my scent can be there, and you’ll know I’m nearby.”

Yuri leaned in so their foreheads were touching and felt Victor’s nod.


 

“You ready?” Yuri asked, leaning over to kiss Victor’s forehead as the older man sat up from removing his skates.

Victor made a face. “I’m ready for lunch… but I’m not sure about after. I still haven’t gotten anywhere about thinking of what I might want. It’s… hard.”

Yuri sat down on the bench next to Victor and leaned against him. “Maybe, for now, we need to change your mindset.”

“What do you mean?”

Yuri took a deep breath. “So this is embarrassing, and you can kinda blame Nishigori for this, but it worked when I had to decide on hotels when I was a teenager.”

Victor snorted a laugh. “You had to look for heat rooms when you were a teen? Why?”

Yuri blushed. “Did you ever wonder why my room is off at the end of a hallway when the rest of the family sleeps closer to the main portion of the inn?”

“I always thought it was a bit odd, but just assumed that it was due to space reasons.”

Yuri shook his head. “My room used to be near everybody else’s. That was, before I presented as an alpha.”

Victor blinked in confusion, and Yuri squirmed trying to form the words. “The same reason it’s not safe for you, is the same reason it’s not safe for me. They moved my room while waiting for my ruts to even out. It’s the farthest from the main rooms of the inn, and least likely for smells to reach.

“A rutting alpha loose in an inn is not a good thing. When I presented it took my dad and three employees to wrestle me back. There were too many scents and I was out of my mind trying to sort through them all. It was a storage room then, and not at all a comfortable place to rut, but it was the only place they could put me where things weren’t so… overwhelming.”

“In my family the nearest non-rutting alpha would just grab whomever was raging and smother them in alpha pheromones until they settled.”

Yuri chuckled. “Hard to do in a family of mostly betas.” He paused, took a breath and continued, “It was decided after that to move my room, as a precaution, but when we knew my ruts were coming we always just booked a heat room. The hotels use strong scent blockers in the hallways and the rooms have extra thick walls so no sounds or scents bleed over. They were a much safer option.”

“So where does Takeshi fit into this?”

Yuri blushed. “The first time I was looking for one I was seventeen. I’d only had one rut and just knew that there was this… drive… to mate, to breed… It was overwhelming and a bit scary. I felt that I didn’t know myself.

“When I told Nishigori that I had to look for a hotel he laughed and said he wished his parents would send him to one. I was confused, he had a nice home and room to rut in, why would he need a hotel?

“He said, and this may seem silly, but it worked. ‘Don’t think of it as a rut. Think of it as a two-day vacation where your sole duty is to get off as many times as possible. Now would you rather do that at home, where you masturbate every day, or would you rather spend it in a comfortable room where you can let loose?’”

Victor stared with wide eyes, then burst into laughter, which made Yuri blush.

“After that I looked at the rooms differently. I knew I’d be there the night before my rut started, and probably the night after it ended. So I looked at what else was offered. What were the amenities? Stupid things like: was the television big enough? If things during the rut weren’t important than the things around it had new purpose. Maybe that’s where you should start.”

Victor was still laughing, and Yuri could see tears in the corners of his eyes. It was the happiest he’d seen him since the discussion of his heat had come up and he’d gladly take his own shame to see his boyfriend happy again.

“It really worked?” Victor asked after a moment, still fighting the occasional chuckle.

“It did. I knew the rooms were safe. I would have no reason to prowl since the odors are heavily masked outside in the halls. And in my more lucid moments there would be things I’d enjoy.”

Victor smiled, and Yuri leaned in to kiss him.


 

Yuri was ravenous, and couldn’t get enough of Victor as they kissed in bed. He’d noticed a subtle shift in the omega’s scent as they toured hotels with heat rooms in the afternoon, and it had only gotten stronger as the day turned to evening. He knew that it was just the pre-heat hormones, but it clawed at his alpha senses in a way that drove him crazy.

Luckily Victor seemed more than willing to reciprocate, and returned his kisses with just as much passion.

Hands roamed over clothes, pulling gently. Both wanting to rid the other of the barriers between them, but not wanting to stop long enough to do so.

The kissing hadn’t got so heated as to cause real arousal since the morning in the hotel. It was an unspoken agreement, with them both deciding to back off before that point as they explored their relationship. But they’d passed it a while earlier, too lost in each other to care.

I have to stop. Focus on Victor’s heat for now, we can discuss sex after.

The thought was almost immediately swept away as Victor’s tongue tangled with his own. Their legs twined together, bringing them closer, and the pressure of the Russian’s thigh was delicious against Yuri’s hardened length. Victor moved again, and Yuri felt a hard cock pressing against him.

They separated for a moment, and Yuri got a good look at Victor’s face. The Russian was flushed and his eyes blown dark with lust.

Fuck. Yuri plunged his hand into Victor’s hair and pulled his boyfriend into another deep kiss.

Yuri wrapped his arms around the larger man and flipped him onto his back. His left leg fell between Victor’s, and as they kissed he felt the Russian moving against him.

Yuri’s kisses trailed from Victor’s lips to his jaw. He tasted and nipped at the skin, each moan and gasp from the man beneath him only driving him to want more. He kissed the omega’s neck and sucked lightly on the scent gland before moving down to cover the skin not covered by the t-shirt Victor was wearing.

“Yuri…” Victor moaned, a begging tone to his voice.

Yuri ran out of skin and needed more. He pushed up to look down at the omega writhing under him and his breath caught in his throat.

Victor’s hair was splayed across the pillow, a flush across his face spread to his torso and descended under the offending fabric. His head was unconsciously turned to lengthen his neck, exposing the scent gland. His chest rose and dropped in quick but even intervals as he tried to catch his breath.

It was simultaneously the most beautiful and erotic sight Yuri had ever seen. For a second he imagined Victor’s face contorting in ecstasy, the feel of plunging into the heat of the man below him.

A growl was forming in Yuri’s throat before his rational mind finally cut through. No!

Yuri gasped in shock as his better sense made a return. He was hard as a rock and wanted nothing more than finally be with Victor, but he knew it wasn’t the time. He took a deep breath and a couple seconds to compose himself.

Victor was whining softly beneath him. Yuri reached out and turned his head, then placed a gentle kiss on his lips.

He was careful of his almost painful erection as he moved to lay beside his boyfriend again, and winced slightly at the needy noises coming from the Russian.

Once he was as comfortable as he could be he reached out and urged Victor to turn and face him.

“I’m sorry Victor, but neither one of us is in our right mind. We’ve been around people nearing rut or heat all afternoon, and we’re both being affected.”

Victor took a couple deep breaths, and Yuri saw his eyes return to normal and the flush lighten.

Yuri smiled and reached out to touch Victor’s face. “Believe me, I want to. But right now I want to focus on your heat, and sex would only complicate that.”

Victor swallowed and licked his lips. Yuri immediately wanted to kiss them again.

“Are you ok?” Yuri asked after a few seconds of silence.

Victor nodded. “Yeah…”

Yuri frowned. “I’m sorry. I know how close we were. I… I just don’t want to make things any harder on you than they already are. Let’s focus on what you want for your heat. We’ll have time after to add sex. Ok?”

Victor nodded again. “Yeah.”

Chapter Text

Somehow it felt weird to be on the ice on a Sunday. Normally it was their free day, but with Victor’s heat set to begin on Saturday, and them having to leave for Russia the Wednesday immediately after, they had decided to forego the break in order to have as much practice time as possible.

Yuri was just coming out of a camelback spin when he heard the door to the rink open and Victor call from near the barrier.

“Yuri, Mari is here with the car. She says it’s all ours for the afternoon, and all of the errands for the inn are done.”

Yuri skated to the barrier, grabbed his towel and wiped the sweat from the back of his neck. “Great! That means we can finish our hotel tour since you didn’t find anything you liked yesterday.”

Victor nodded and leaned across the barrier. Yuri smiled and touched their foreheads together before granting a kiss.

“Was there anything else?”

Victor blanched and stuttered. “She… she said the clinic called to remind me of my final pre-heat checkup tomorrow.”

“You had another doctor’s appointment and forgot to tell me?”

Victor looked away. “I’m sorry… it’s just…”

Yuri turned his face back and kissed him gently on the lips. “It’s ok. Yuko told me about it. When I saw how bad you were when I got back from Tokyo I knew you’d have pushed anything like that from your mind. So I asked her for any details I needed to know about.”

Victor’s face softened and he smiled. “You’re too good for me Yuri.”

Yuri returned the smile. “Shouldn’t I be the one saying that? Because you’re definitely too good for me.”

They kissed again and Yuri made his way to the break in the barrier. “Let’s go. There aren’t as many hotels today, but they’re scattered, so driving will eat away a lot of time.”

Victor nodded.


 

Victor watched the trees fly by outside the car’s windows as they drove up the narrow road. Yuri could tell just by the atmosphere in the car that the Russian was in a good mood and enjoying the drive.

“It’s so pretty Yuri, but is there really a hotel all the way out here?”

Yuri smiled. “Yeah, apparently it’s fairly new. Nishigori told me that he and Yuko stayed here for their shared heat and rut last year, and loved it. It’s a bit pricy though.”

“Oh?”

“Apparently the owners bought one of the old onsen inns that closed. The building was in disrepair, but they were able to salvage most of the skeleton. The photos online make it look like they kept a lot of the traditional aesthetic, but have completely modernized the interior. The sliding doors are only for the holding rooms, and the main rooms have regular doors. The walls are all compliant with heat room regulations, and supposedly each room has its own outdoor bath.”

“Really?”

Yuri smiled. He knew how much Victor loved being able to soak in the onsen.

“It’s got all the amenities, plus dedicated room service to bring food and water according to pre-orders. Nishigori said that was one of the best parts. Order everything the night before things get going, and during those moments when you’re not completely in a haze food and water are waiting in the holding area. No ordering and hoping you’ll still be lucid when it arrives from regular room service.”

“Wow.”

“There are other things that Yuko says you would probably appreciate too,” Yuri continued. “They’re selling it as a resort destination for couples looking for a honeymoon style getaway, and apparently it’s starting to do ok. They don’t have many rooms though. When I called this morning they said that there were only two remaining for this next weekend.”

Victor nodded in understanding.

Yuri turned off onto a smaller road, and a few minutes later they were crunching across a gravel parking lot. He had to admit, from the outside it looked like any traditional inn and the feeling continued when they stepped inside. It was only when they reached the open room to tour was the illusion broken.

Behind the sliding shoji screen was a narrow space just large enough to store a cart with any deliveries of food, water or essentials. On the other side was a solid wood door.

Even before stepping into the room Yuri knew that something was different, Victor felt different. He watched his boyfriend as the main room was revealed, and saw a look of delight on his face. He followed where the Russian was looking and saw a specialty nesting bed with the mattress recessed into the frame.

Yuri translated the information from the employee detailing the room and the attached alpha suite, but knew Victor was hardly listening.

They’d found the place for Victor’s heat.


 

Victor was sitting on the edge of the bed, his arms wrapped around Yuri’s middle where the younger man was still standing. Afternoon light streamed through the windows.

“You seem happy,” Yuri murmured as he played with platinum hair.

Victor looked up. “Yuri, it’s so quiet out there. You don’t understand how hard it was alone with the traffic noise outside, wondering if anybody else in the apartment building could hear or smell me. It was so different there. It felt safe as soon as we stepped out of the car.

“Then the bed… I know I like to nest, and to have a bed made to not only accommodate that, but make it easier… Yuri, I’m still scared, terrified actually, but I know you’ll be there to protect me. For the first time I’m letting myself think that I might have a good heat.”

Yuri smiled. “Do you have everything you want?”

Victor nodded. “Yes, but I think there is one more thing I need.”

“What is it?”

“You. I need you Yuri.”

Yuri laughed. “You just said it yourself, I’ll be there to scent you and be near.”

Victor shook his head. “No. I’m asking you to share my heat.”

Yuri felt as if all air had suddenly been sucked from the room. He stared down. He wanted to, more than he was even willing to give voice to, but wasn’t sure.

“Victor… did I hear that right?”

Victor nodded. “Share my heat with me Yuri.”

Yuri placed his hands on either side of his boyfriend’s jaw and guided his face up so that he could stare into ocean-blue eyes. He looked for any sign of pheromone influence, and sniffed at the air. All he could smell was determination.

Yuri swallowed. “Victor, are you asking for me, or for you?”

“I don’t understand.”

Yuri’s thumbs ran over Victor’s cheeks. “If you’re asking out of a sense of obligation, or that you’re worried that I’ll leave if you don’t, then the answer is no. I refuse to be a burden, and I’m not going anywhere if you spend your heat alone. You’re more important to me than that, and I know you’ve got a troubled history. I won’t add to it just because you feel that you have to ask.”

Victor’s eyes widened and shook slightly.

“But if you’re asking for you, because you feel that my presence will add to your heat; that I can make it a more pleasurable experience… then I’ll gladly join you.”

“Yuri!” Victor cried as he pulled him close and buried his face against his stomach.

Yuri ran his fingers through Victor’s hair again. “I’m not going to lie Victor, a part of me wonders if you’re ready, even if you are asking for you. I know you don’t talk about your heats, and I’ve tried to push as little as possible. But I know from what few discussions we have had that something about them is traumatizing to you. I really want this to be a happy and healthy heat.”

Victor shook and held Yuri close.

“There’s time,” Yuri murmured. “I want you to decide why you’re asking. Really think about it for me. Let me know when you’re ready. Be selfish, I’ll be here either way. In the meanwhile you can get birth control at your appointment tomorrow, that way no matter what you decide you’re covered. Ok?”

Victor nodded, then stood and pulled Yuri in for a kiss.


 

They were kissing by the light of a dim bedside lamp. The touches were gentle and had lost the desperate edge of the night before.

Yuri sensed that an air of determination once more surrounded Victor, and he wasn’t overly surprised when the Russian pushed off the bed to stare down at him.

“Yuri. I want you to join me for my heat.”

“You’re asking for you?”

“Yes.”

“You’re sure?”

Victor nodded. “Three days ago I wouldn’t have asked at all. I was too scared and alone was the better option. I was terrified when you wanted to talk about it, panicked that you’d leave if I told you I wanted to be alone. But you started going on about how the inn wasn’t safe and we needed to find somewhere else. Then you said something… you said you wanted me to be safe and happy.”

Yuri reached up and cupped the side of his face. “Victor, of course I do.”

Victor shook his head. “Yuri, ‘want’ is inherently a greedy word. It’s a request for the self. I don’t think you even realized it at the time, but it cut through my fear. You didn’t tell me to find a place for my own sake, but that you had your own desires about my safety. You weren’t focused on fucking me into the mattress, but instead on what I needed emotionally. These past couple of days I’ve seen how important my needs are to you, and how you put them even above your own.

“Once I realized that you weren’t asking to be there, a small voice inside started wanting you there. I’d think about the past three months, seven months, how much you’ve been there for me. I’d remember conversations, little touches, and I knew I’d miss them, even for a day. That voice grew louder, demanding me to wonder what it would feel like, wrapped in your arms and scent when I’m the most vulnerable.

“Even earlier today I still had the tiniest bit out doubt. I’ve never had a heat partner, and, honestly, it scares me. I don’t know how my past will affect things. Then you told me that you would refuse if I was asking for your sake. I thought about it in the onsen, but no matter how I looked at it I knew that I wanted you there.

“Yuri, you’ve been so attentive to my needs I’m sure you’ve pushed some of your own desire aside. But what if they coincide? I want, no, I need you there, with me. So please, join me for my heat. Be my alpha.”

Yuri stared into his eyes, and saw that the omega didn’t waver. He reached up and pulled his boyfriend in for a deep kiss.

“I’ll join you, on one condition.”

Victor tensed. “What is it?”

Yuri smiled. “If you change your mind, for whatever reason, even if you don’t have a reason, you let me know. Even in the middle of your heat. If you don’t want me there, you tell me to go. I’ll still scent the room for you, we’ve reserved a room with an alpha suite so we have that option. Can you do that for me?”

Victor nodded, eyes wide.

Yuri kissed him again, and Victor melted into the embrace.

“Yuri…” Victor said softly.

Yuri smiled, fingers teasing along Victor’s neck.

He took a deep breath. “I… I do have one more concern.”

Victor inhaled sharply and stared, worry in his eyes.

Yuri blushed. It’s ridiculous. I just agreed to spend a day and a half in almost non-stop sex with him. Why am I nervous now?

“You… probably figured this out from talking with me and others. But I’ve never been in a relationship. I… I don’t want my first time clouded by that haze of pheromones.”

Victor blinked. “Yuri?”

Yuri took another deep breath. “I’m asking you to make love to me. Before your heat. I want to know what it feels like to be with you... without being overwhelmed by instinct.”

Victor stared for a moment before leaning in to kiss him. “Of course.”

Immediately the atmosphere in the room changed. Yuri pulled the platinum-haired man close and their kisses deepened. Voicing the desire between them was all it took to dissolve the barrier. One of Victor’s legs slid between Yuri’s and pressed against his rapidly hardening length.

“Victor!” he gasped, breaking a kiss.

“Mmmm, Yuri,” the Russian responded, dropping kisses along his jaw and down to his neck.

Victor was easily as ravenous as Yuri had been the night before, but they both knew they wouldn’t be stopping this time. The younger man closed his eyes and allowed himself to just feel the sensations as Victor dropped open mouth kisses along his exposed skin.

Yuri was hard, his cock already aching for attention. He pushed his hips up to rub against Victor’s thigh and moaned as his boyfriend pushed back against him so that they were rutting against each other.

Victor’s mouth returned to claim his and they kissed, exchanging moans as they moved together.

Fingers traveled down his side and rested on his hips. Yuri broke the kiss to nod silently before their mouths crashed together again.

Yuri shuddered as fingertips brushed over the strained fabric covering his cock, and groaned as Victor pressed the flat of his palm against it. His head fell back in pleasure when the teasing hand wrapped around it and stroked through the fabric.

“Victor,” he moaned breathlessly.

Victor kissed his neck and continued to stroke him. Soon he couldn’t take it any longer. He wanted to inflict the same delicious torture on the Russian. He reached between them and let his fingertips dance over similarly strained fabric.

“Yuri!” Victor gasped, shuddering slightly as nerves alighted.

Yuri used his free hand to pull his boyfriend back into a kiss as they teased one another. But he quickly wanted more.

“Touch me Victor,” he pleaded.

The Russian didn’t need any further prompting and quickly slid his hand beneath the waistband of Yuri’s pajamas and into his boxer-briefs. Long fingers wrapped around his cock and Yuri couldn’t help but buck into them.

Victor broke the kiss to gaze down at him, and for a second Yuri wondered how he looked to the beautiful man above him.

“How do you want me Yuri?”

“Inside me, please,” Yuri moaned.

Victor stopped and stared, prompting Yuri to meet his gaze. He blinked, collecting his thoughts. “Is that a problem?”

Victor shook his head. “No… but are you sure? You’re an alpha.”

Yuri growled and pulled his boyfriend in to kiss him deeply. “When have I ever cared about those stereotypes? We’re partners.”

Victor pulled back just enough to blink down at him again. “But don’t you want to be inside me?”

“We can do that too.”

Victor’s eyes darkened with lust, but Yuri could see that he wasn’t sure.

“I know what I want Victor. It’s ok, unless you don’t like being the one to give. If so we’ll do what you want.”

Victor smiled. “I love both.”

“Then there’s no problem except for the fact that I’ve never done this before have no idea what I’m doing or what to expect,” Yuri laughed.

Victor kissed him. “Then let me take care of you.”

Victor closed the gap between them, and their kisses resumed, filling the space between expressed desire and action. Yuri slid his hand into Victor’s pants and stroked him to the same languid pace he was receiving. As his hand worked he wondered what it would feel like to have the Russian inside him. His fingers splayed around the girth and explored the length, he felt the weight of it on his palm. He shuddered as he imagined it, knowing it would be reality soon.

Victor’s mouth moved from Yuri’s lips to his neck, and he growled softly with lust as the omega sucked lightly on his scent gland. Then Victor’s fingers drifted from his cock and massaged at his entrance.

He tensed for half a second before relaxing into the touch.

“Are you sure Yuri?”

Yes I’m sure! Yuri pushed up on one elbow so that he could kiss the Russian. “Make love to me Victor.”

Victor nodded and scooted off the bed. Yuri was confused as his boyfriend pulled out a box and rummaged through it, but quickly understood when he saw the bottle of lube.

“For toys…” the Russian explained with a slightly embarrassed tone. “I usually don’t make enough slick outside of heat.”

For a second Yuri had the fantasy of watching Victor fuck himself with a toy, and realized he had a slight kink for it. He growled in approval, which made Victor’s blush of arousal deepen.

Victor stretched his arms up to remove his shirt, exposing the same tease of skin that Yuri had been so drawn to in the hotel.

“Wait,” Yuri growled.

“Yuri?” Victor froze, skin on tantalizing display.

“Just like that,” Yuri ordered, voice deepening with lust as he moved to lean off the edge of the bed. “Come here.”

Victor stepped close and Yuri growled again as he buried his face against the skin. His tongue darted out and he tasted it.

Yuri pulled away for a second and met Victor’s eye. “Vknuso,” he growled, before leaning in again and sucking small marks along the Russian’s stomach.

“Fuck,” Victor moaned as he pressed himself against Yuri’s eager mouth. He whined softly with each nibble and suck.

Yuri wanted more. He pushed the t-shirt up, his mouth trailing behind. He moved to kneel and kept working up until he pulled the shirt over Victor’s head and claimed his mouth. His hands roamed the delicious skin, and he loved the way his boyfriend shuddered under his touch.

The lube hit the bed, and Victor’s fingers were tugging at Yuri’s shirt. He moved back just enough to let the Russian pull it over his head before pressing close again. Then hands were inside his pants, grabbing at his ass, stroking his cock, thumb circling and dipping into the slit and he convulsed with a wave of pleasure.

“Let me take care of you Yuri,” Victor purred.

For a second Yuri forgot who was the alpha and who the omega, but it didn’t matter. They were about to be together. Finally.

He nodded, mouth suddenly dry and body expectant with desire.

Victor kissed him as he pushed his pants and underwear down toward his knees. Yuri gasped as the cool air touched his cock, and moaned when it was once more engulfed by the warmth of Victor’s hand.

“Victor…” he moaned.

“Lay back so I can pull your pants off you the rest of the way.”

Yuri nodded and awkwardly managed to lay back on the bed. Victor tugged his pants off, then quickly removed his own. Yuri swallowed hungrily when he saw the pale skin and pink tip of Victor’s cock spring free. Then the Russian was on the bed again, their bodies pressing together as they kissed.

Victor moved down, tracing a reverse path of that which Yuri had tasted on his torso. He gasped when Victor sucked and nibbled on his nipples, and shivered as the Russian nipped at the muscles of his stomach.

Wet fingers pressed against his entrance, massaging gently, and Victor lifted his head to watch Yuri’s reactions.

Yuri pushed up on his elbows and leaned forward as best he could to kiss his boyfriend. Victor smiled and their tongues danced as the older man convinced the ring of muscle to relax enough to allow a finger inside.

Yuri gasped with the new sensation, and fell back onto the bed with a deep moan.

“You ok?” Victor asked softly.

Yuri nodded. “It’s just new.”

Victor stared for a second then started pumping the finger in and out slowly, making Yuri shudder. “Good?”

“Yeah.”

Victor returned to kissing Yuri’s torso, moving lower as his finger worked. Then there was a pause. Yuri looked up just in time to see the head of his cock enveloped by Victor’s mouth at the same time a second finger pushed into him.

“Fuck…” he groaned, the sensation too much to focus on anything else except the pleasure.

Victor’s tongue and mouth worked Yuri’s cock as his fingers spread him open, the free hand holding Yuri’s hip steady. Then there was a third finger, and the slight burn of a stretch. Yuri’s hands fisted in the sheets and he moaned, his cry mingling with Victor’s humming on his cock.

Then the fingers and mouth were gone, and Victor was leaning above him, staring down. Yuri’s eyes drifted down to the Russian’s erection and he swallowed, simultaneously wanting it and wondering if he could take it.

Victor moved to kneel over Yuri and kissed him. He could taste his pre-cum on his boyfriend’s lips, and that somehow made him want him even more.

“You ready?” Victor murmured.

Yuri nodded.

“Tell me if it hurts, or if you want me out.”

Yuri nodded again and watched as Victor moved to line himself up with Yuri’s entrance. Then there was a new pressure, a greater stretch as he was pushed into for the first time. He gasped, pain and pleasure mixing as he opened up.

Yuri’s breath stopped as the burn became too much for a second, then it eased as the head popped through. He took several shallow breaths to ease the pain.

“You ok?” Victor asked, concern painted across his face.

Yuri nodded.

“Do you want me out?”

Yuri shook his head, not trusting himself to use words.

“Can I keep going?”

Yuri took a sharp breath, paused a second, then nodded. He wanted more.

Victor seemed to understand despite, the lack of words. He shifted slightly, an action which caused both pain and pleasure and hovered over Yuri, one of his hands reaching out and tangling with the younger man’s fingers.

“Let me know when you’re ready,” he said, squeezing to indicate that he’d understand the nonverbal communication.

Yuri squeezed his eyes shut and focused on the feeling. Underneath the pain there was pleasure, and as his body became accustomed the balance shifted. He squeezed Victor’s hand, and new sensations filled him as the cock was pushed farther inside him.

There were tears in his eyes, and streaming down his face. It hurt, but felt good. Every push inside ignited a firestorm of pain that dulled to the roaring inferno of pleasure. Then the forward momentum stopped and Victor’s mouth was against his. He realized that his boyfriend was fully sheathed within him.

God it hurts, and feels so good.

Victor was kissing his tears away and murmuring softly in Russian. Yuri didn’t understand the words, but the tone sounded like an apology.

He felt so full, he shifted slightly to ease the sensation and moaned deeply when all of his senses ignited with fresh pleasure.

“Yuri?” Victor asked softly.

Yuri opened his eyes and smiled. He nodded.

Victor pulled out slowly, tentatively, and pushed back in at the same careful pace.

So good!

“Victor…” Yuri moaned breathlessly.

“Good?” Victor asked once fully inside again.

“Better,” Yuri replied, and immediately moaned again as the Russian moved inside of him.

They kissed as Victor set a steady pace.

“You feel so good Yuri,” Victor gasped as he broke the kiss.

“You too,” Yuri growled in reply before pulling the omega down again.

Victor’s thrusts quickly became faster, and Yuri’s hips rose with each one to meet him. Then the Russian started shifting slightly. Yuri didn’t understand why until he saw white as the hard cock pressed against a bundle of nerves inside him.

He cried out in ecstasy, head dropping back. Victor immediately leaned in to suck on his scent gland, hitting the same spot with each thrust and overwhelming Yuri with pleasure.

“I’m going to come soon,” Victor warned near his ear.

Yuri realized that their hands were still tangled together and squeezed. He wanted it.

Permission granted, Victor moved to kneel between Yuri’s legs and held his thighs. He pulled out and thrust in sharply several times, then his head dropped back, eyes closing and mouth opening in an ‘O’ of pleasure.

“Yuri…” he cried into the room even as the man in question felt a warm pulse deep within.

He’s beautiful.

Yuri rocked his hips against his lover, drawing out Victor’s pleasure for as long as possible before Victor collapsed bonelessly on top of him.

They kissed while Victor softened, then there was a sense of loss as the cock was removed from inside him.

It was then that Yuri realized that he’d been so focused on being filled that he’d forgotten his own aching erection. He was quickly reminded as Victor’s fingers wrapped around it once again.

“I want to feel you inside me too,” Victor moaned softly as he searched the mattress with his free hand for the lube.

Yuri’s alpha instincts roared to life at the request and he growled at the thought of filling his boyfriend.

Yuri watched in amazement as Victor found the lube and flicked the top open. He drizzled it over Yuri’s cock, which he was still stroking with the other hand, closed the lid, then dipped his free fingers into the lube that he had just poured and reached back to prep himself.

Yuri enjoyed the sight, but was surprised how fast Victor determined he was ready and moved to straddle Yuri’s cock. He sunk onto it easily, taking him in one smooth motion and groaning in need the entire way.

Yuri’s head fell back again. He couldn’t decide what was better, being inside Victor or being filled himself. He somehow forced his hips to still to allow his boyfriend time to adjust.

Then Victor was moving, rolling his hips and riding his cock and it was just too good. Yuri groaned and thrust up into the heat and tightness of his lover.

Victor leaned back and braced his hands on his thighs, taking him even deeper. Yuri could tell immediately by the change in tone that he was riding that same sensitive bundle of nerves inside.

“Yuri… Yuri…” Victor moaned his name over and over.

Yuri growled and thrust up, wanting to see his omega in even greater pleasure. He was quickly rewarded with desperate whines.

“You feel so good Victor,” he growled, thrusting up hard.

Yuri enjoyed the view and feel of Victor riding him, but quickly realized he wasn’t going to last long.

“I’m close,” he gasped.

He expected Victor to climb off, instead there was a squeeze on his thigh.

Permission.

Yuri thrust up hard, and again. The third time proved too much and he came with a shout, entire body pulsing with pleasure as he came inside of Victor. Everything was white, and he lost track of time as ecstasy overtook him.

When he came back to himself he found that Victor had slowed. He smiled and beckoned his lover in for a kiss, which was promptly granted. They kissed until Victor shifted off him, then pulled each other close again to continue.

“Wow…” Yuri finally said when he was capable of forming words again.

Victor nodded against him.

They curled into each other, enjoying the blissful high too much to speak for several minutes.

“Victor, that…”

Victor shook his head and Yuri stopped, confused.

Victor brushed the backs of his fingers over Yuri’s face.

“Vitya.”

“Huh?”

“When we’re alone, like this… I’d like it if you’d call me Vitya.”

Yuri blushed. “Isn’t… isn’t that a bit personal?”

Victor smiled. “Yuri. I had your cock in my mouth less than an hour ago. Your cum is trickling out of my ass and I’m pretty sure you’re in a similar state. We passed personal some time ago.”

Yuri’s blushed deepened, but he smiled. “Oh… ok… Vitya.”

Victor smiled and leaned in. “Again,” he purred.

“Vitya.”

A kiss on the lips. “One more time.”

“Vitya,” Yuri said breathlessly as the Russian claimed his mouth once more.

Their bodies pressed together as they kissed, tangling, minimizing the space between them. The air heated around them, and Yuri soon realized that he was hard again. The press of a cock against his thigh told him he wasn’t the only one.

“You wanna go again?” Victor asked as their lips separated.

Yuri nodded and was flipped onto his back, the Russian settling easily between his legs.

There was the press of Victor’s cock, and his back arched in pleasure.

“Vitya!” Yuri cried as he was filled for a second time.

Chapter Text

Yuri was glad to get off the ice by the time of Victor’s appointment. He was still riding the post-sex high, but was sore. He knew that they would have to be careful around competitions until he got used to it.

He’d given up on the quad flip for the day and was running drills on his transitions when his alarm beeped. Victor walked over from where he was standing at the barrier to turn it off and Yuri skated to the exit.

“You doing ok?” Victor asked softly as he handed over Yuri’s blade guards. “You looked a bit stiff out there.”

Yuri smiled. “A little sore, but I’ll be fine, if not by this afternoon then by tomorrow.”

“Good,” Victor said with a kiss.

“Are you ready?”

Victor sighed. “Not really, but I think I’ll be ok. You’ll be with me this time.”

Yuri smiled. “Always.”

Victor smiled in a way that Yuri couldn’t quite decipher, but didn’t have the luxury of dwelling on either. They made their way to the locker room, showered and were soon walking toward the clinic. As they walked their hands tangled together, fingers flirting and playing.

“Ohayo Nikiforov-san, Katsuki-san,” chirped Dr. Ito as she walked into the examination room.

Both men bowed and made their greetings before Victor sat on the examination table again.

Dr. Ito moved toward the computer and reviewed her charts. After nodding several times she did the standard things like test Victor’s heart rate and blood pressure, as well as listen to his heart and lungs.

“Any signs of an abnormal pre-heat? Hot flashes, strange food cravings, severe unexplained emotional swings? Any major changes since I last saw you?”

Victor shook his head.

Dr. Ito entered the responses into her computer and turned to the men with a smile. “Since your test results last month looked good, and there are no new symptoms, I think we’re good to go for a self-reported heat. You won’t need a post-heat followup unless there is a problem. Just call a day or so after and let the nurse take some information over the phone for your chart.”

Yuri translated and saw visible relief on Victor’s face.

“Is there anything else before you leave?”

Yuri nodded. “Yes, he’s going to need birth control.”

“Are you the alpha?”

Yuri nodded again. “Yes.”

Dr. Ito grinned. “I thought you two looked lovely together. I’ll call in the shots.”

“Shots?” Yuri asked, confused. “Isn’t it just one?”

Dr. Ito laughed. “It’s new, but when possible it’s recommended to have a two-step shot now. One for the omega and one for the alpha. It’s a gentler, and more effective.”

Yuri nodded and quickly explained to Victor.

While they were waiting for a nurse to come in with the shots Dr. Ito opened up a new form on her computer.

“I would say that having an alpha present would constitute a major change, so if you don’t mind I’d like to ask some questions of the both of you.”

Yuri nodded.

“Have you been intimate physically or will the heat be the first time?”

Yuri quickly discussed with Victor, and the two came to an agreement. “He says if I know the answers to just give them, he doesn’t need me to translate everything unless it’s something I don’t know.

“Yes… we’ve… been intimate.”

“Condoms?”

Yuri blinked a few times and made a face. “No?” he finally squeaked.

Dr. Ito gave him a sideways glance before sighing. “Normally I’d chide you over sexually transmitted diseases, but I know that you know he’s clean since you translated some information for me over the phone. And you know you’re clean so I’ll let it slide for that.”

She studied the information on the screen and continued. “We’re still several days from the heat, so he shouldn’t be fertile yet. But just for ease of conscious… were you on your suppressants?”

“Yes. I only stopped taking them this morning.”

Dr. Ito smiled. “Good. At least one of you was on birth control then.”

“Even if they’re not working as well?”

She waved her hand in an ‘it doesn’t matter’ fashion. “Some alphas take low dose so that they retain most of their other traits but still have the birth control. They’re extremely effective at that at least. The only real downside is it prevents knotting.”

Yuri breathed a sigh of relief. He’d figured it was safe since there were still several days before the heat, but knowing his suppressants were still doing one of their basic functions was good to know.

“However, use a condom for the next few days. We’ll do a cheek swab on Wednesday to make sure both of your birth control shots are at full effect, but we don’t want to take any chances since you said you stopped taking your suppressants.”

Yuri nodded in understanding.

“Good. Now… rutting. Are you planning on doing it? I’m assuming so but need it clearly stated.”

Yuri blushed and nodded again. “Yes, we discussed it and it was decided I’d rut at the same time.”

“Good. Just because we are monitoring this heat, even if self-reported, we need all this information. What are your knotting times, do you know?”

Yuri was silent. “Normal knots… about twenty minutes? I think. It’s been a while. My breeding knots during a rut tend to go for an hour to an hour and a half.”

“If you have any control, try to limit them to an hour,” she replied. “I’d rather not have him on a knot for much longer than that until we know how he reacts to this heat.”

“I think I can do that.”

“Good. Since you’ll be with him I’d like you to monitor his heat duration. Thirty-two to thirty-six hours is normal, since his last was a short reactive it might go long. But report it if it goes for more than forty, it might be a sign of a lingering reaction.”

Yuri nodded in understanding.

There was a knock and a nurse came in with a couple of syringes.

“That’s all the questions I have for now,” Dr. Ito said. “I’ll let the nurse give you your shots now, unless you have any questions for me.”

Yuri turned to Victor, then both shook their heads.

“Good. Come back sometime on Wednesday for a cheek swab. It should only take a couple of minutes. We just want to ensure the birth control is at full effect with time to give a booster dose if necessary.”

“I’ll be able to knot with it?”

Dr. Ito smiled. “Yes, this is specially formulated for ruts, so you’ll knot fine.”

Yuri sighed with relief, a part of him was looking forward to sharing that intimacy with Victor.

The doctor left, and both men were given their shots. A few minutes later they were walking back toward the inn. Yuri translated the conversation with the doctor about birth control and knotting since he hadn’t at the time.

Yuri noticed that Victor was contemplative again. He purposefully bumped into the Russian and smiled up at his boyfriend.

“We left the ice early for the appointment. How about we pick up Makka and take her for a long walk on the beach?”

Victor smiled. “That sounds like a perfect idea.”

A few minutes later they were trailing behind an excited poodle, the dog perking up immediately at the words ‘beach’ and ‘walk.’ They moved to the sand and Victor knelt, letting Makkachin off the leash with a lecture in Russian.

“What did you say to her?” Yuri asked as the dog took off to run along the shore.

“I told her not to get too wet since it’s cold. Not that I expect she’ll listen.”

Yuri laughed and watched as the poodle scared off a couple black-tail gulls. She sniffed around, dug for a moment then took off after something else.

Yuri and Victor walked, hands coming together again as they watched the dog play.

“You doing ok?” Yuri asked as they walked. “You seem quiet.”

Victor looked down and smiled. “It’s still hard. I’ve spent almost a decade and a half fearing my heats. You make me feel safe, but it doesn’t all go away at once.”

Yuri stopped and turned to face his boyfriend. He gazed into ocean-blue eyes for a moment then rose up on his toes to kiss Victor’s chill reddened lips.

“Let me know what you need Vitya. I’m here for you.”

Victor wrapped his arms around the shorter man. “Yuri... “

Yuri could see that there was something else on the Russian’s mind when they were interrupted by an excited bark. He turned to see that Makkachin had picked up a driftwood stick and was wagging her tail expectantly.

He laughed, tugged the stick from her mouth and threw it. The dog barked happily and was off in a blur of brown fur.

“She likes you,” Victor said. Yuri could hear the smile in his voice.

“She likes you too,” Yuri teased.

“Well they do say that dogs have a great sense when it comes to good people,” Victor retorted.

Yuri looked up to see that Victor had put on his trademark smile, and he laughed.

I wonder what Makkachin thought of his other partners...

Did she like that Petrov he calls out for?

Yuri froze as the anxiety-ridden thoughts pushed into his mind. Though Victor,  thankfully, had restful sleep the previous night, he’d called out the name again a couple more times since their discussion days before, each time with the same strained tone.

Yuri stopped walking and looked at his feet. He didn’t want to know. Victor was with him now, that was all that should matter. At the same time his anxiety insisted that there was no way he could compare, and that the name in the middle of the night was proof.

Yuri shook as the anxious thoughts built upon themselves.

“Yuri?” Victor asked as he realized that he had taken several steps without the younger man.

Yuri clenched his hands, trying to control his thoughts, but to little effect.

Makkachin had returned with the stick, and was whining in concern.

“Yuri!”

Warmth. The smell of Victor. Arms wrapped around him. Victor’s here.

“Yuri… Yuri. What’s wrong Yuri?” Victor peppered kisses into his hair.

Yuri buried his face in his boyfriend’s chest and inhaled the omega’s scent. His trembling eased. Victor’s hand rubbed his back, barely felt through the coat he was wearing but soothing all the same.

“Yuri…” Victor cooed. “I’m here. It’s ok. It’s ok.”

Yuri reached up and fisted his hands in his boyfriend’s coat. He wanted, needed, to be close.

Victor.

Victor held him close and soon Yuri realized that he was whispering Russian to him. He didn’t know what was said, but the tone cut through and after a few minutes he relaxed into the embrace.

Yuri was crying. Who is he? Chris said he was hurt. Am I a rebound? Am I enough of an alpha for him? How can I be? I’m a mess.

“Yuri… It’s ok Yuri. I’m here.”

Makkachin was still whining and hand jumped up on him, trying to lick at his face.

I can’t look, but I have to ask.

Yuri’s grip tightened on Victor’s coat. “Vitya… Who’s Petrov?”

Victor tensed immediately. “Who told you that name Yuri?”

Yuri’s breath hitched in his throat. “You… you’ve been calling for him in your sleep,” he sobbed. “Is he why you came here? Am I a rebound?”

Victor’s arms tightened. “Yuri, I’m so sorry. You’re not a rebound. I promise.”

“Who… who is he?”

Yuri felt his boyfriend tense again, and Victor pushed him back slightly. One hand snaked under his chin and his face was guided up so that Victor could look him in the eye.

“He’s a previous boyfriend. Long ago though. I promise I’m here for you. I’m with you now and that’s not going to change.”

“Vitya… why do you keep calling for him in your sleep?” Yuri knew tears were streaming down his face, but he couldn’t stop. His anxiety had him in its clutches and he felt that everything he’d always wanted was slipping through his fingers. “Am I not alpha enough for you?”

Victor eyes widened before he pulled him close again and kissed his hair. “I’ll explain to you Yuri. I promise. But can you give me a little time? It… it’s hard to talk about. Can you give me that time?”

Yuri shook and pressed his face into Victor’s coat. “Vitya…”

“I’m sorry Yuri. You deserve an answer. Let me get my thoughts together. Ok?”

Yuri tensed and clenched the fabric of Victor’s coat. I have to trust him. He had to respect Victor’s request and trust his boyfriend in order to get the answers he needed.

Yuri nodded, still struggling to get his own feelings under control.

“Thank you Yuri. And I’m so sorry. I never want to do anything to make you doubt yourself.”

Victor lifted his face again and Yuri felt soft lips against his own. “You’re the person I want. Never doubt that Yuri.”


 

Despite Victor’s assurances, Yuri was in a vulnerable mood when they arrived back at the inn and he’d retreated to his room to be alone. Mari had brought him dinner, knowing he was unlikely to emerge in such a state.

He felt bad, abandoning Victor after asking an obviously difficult question, but he was in no position to be around people either. He hurt. He didn’t know how much the other person had meant to the man he loved, and his anxiety insisted that he’d never measure up.

There was an email from newscaster Moorooka. He was asking for an interview Friday evening, by phone so that Yuri wouldn’t need to waste a valuable training day in travel.

Friday’s no good. We’ll be in final preparation for Victor’s heat.

Yuri clung to it. He had to trust the man he loved. He’d proceed under the assumption that things would continue as planned.

He had to trust that Victor really wanted him.

Yuri composed a reply, indicating that he was unavailable. He sent a brief statement thanking the Japanese people for their support during the upcoming Rostelecom Cup, and said that if they had any particular questions he would answer via email.

He’d just sent the email when he heard a gentle tap at the door.

“Yuri?” Victor asked softly. “Can I come in?”

Yuri stood and walked to the door. He slid it open and allowed his boyfriend into the room before returning to his computer. He saw that a reply email had already arrived, promising a handful of interview questions the following day.

Yuri turned to see that Victor was sitting on his bed, back against the wall.

“Come here Yuri.” Victor’s arms were open, and suddenly being wrapped in them was the only thing that mattered.

He stood, took a few steps toward the bed then crawled across the mattress until he was pressed against Victor’s chest. The Russian kissed his hair, holding him silently for several minutes.

“I’m sorry Yuri. You should never have to worry about my past.”

Yuri nuzzled into Victor’s chest. “Vitya… am I not enough of an alpha for you? Is that why you’re calling out to him in your sleep?”

Yuri felt and heard Victor’s breath catch in his throat. “No Yuri. That’s not it at all. In fact you’re the best alpha I’ve ever met, best person I’ve ever met, which is why I’m terrified of losing you.”

Yuri lifted his face to look at Victor, and was immediately kissed. As the kiss ended his head was guided back to his boyfriend’s chest and he was nestled into his arms.

“I know Chris must have said something to you…”

Yuri tensed slightly at the mention.

Victor chuckled slightly. “Chris is protective of me Yuri. He’s known me a long time and you’re not the first alpha he’s challenged. You are the first to stand up to him though.

“You see, to Chris, any alpha who backs down isn’t worthy of my time, and usually receives a fist to the face for the effort. Luckily the life of a competitive athlete doesn’t leave much time for romance or there would have probably been a more serious incident.

“Chris is more than a protector though. He’s been a confidante as well. I’ve only had a handful of relationships, and the only two that ever truly hurt me were both with alphas. He was there for the aftermath of both, which is why he’s so aggressive about protecting me now.”

“Petrov…” Yuri whispered.

“Mm-hmm. And another named Anton. I really can’t tell you about one without telling you about the other though. It hurts, I’m not going to lie, but I hope that when I’m done you’ll understand why I was suddenly having those particular nightmares.”

Victor seemed to start, quieted a minute and then spoke. “I met Petrov during the twenty-ten Olympic Games in Vancouver. He was energetic and charismatic, moving through the Russian contingent during the wait for the Parade of Nations at the opening ceremonies. Everything about him screamed dominant alpha.

“I’d just turned twenty-two and had never had a serious relationship. Then this snowboarder comes up to me and… There was this intensity about him that I couldn’t avoid. When he started pursuing me, I was overwhelmed. I don’t think he knew at that point that I’m an omega, but he’d definitely had practice using his alpha pheromones to seduce his intended partners and it was on full blast for me.

“Two weeks is a long time to be the target of a determined alpha trying to seduce a mate, especially when relatively confined like in the Olympic Village. We’d somehow run into each other several times a day, likely not an accident, and with every meeting he drew me in a little more. By the time we returned to St. Petersburg we were dating.

“For a while things were good, really good. I even thought I was in love. I slowly opened up to him.”

Victor took a deep breath. “Do you remember me saying I had bad experiences, and that’s why I went on suppressants as a teen?”

“Mm-hmm,” Yuri nodded against Victor’s chest.

Victor shook slightly, his arms tightening around Yuri. “Bad isn’t actually the best word for it. Traumatic is much more appropriate.”

Yuri looked up.

Victor smiled softly and kissed his forehead. “Not tonight. There’s only so many of my memories I can handle at once.”

Yuri nodded and curled up again, closing his eyes so that he could focus all his attention on Victor’s words.

“At some point I revealed to Petrov that I’m omega. I even told him that heats weren’t good for me because of my past trauma. I didn’t give him details, but I thought he understood.

“Summer came, and we’d been together about six months. It was between seasons for both of us, normally the perfect time for athletes to heat or rut. He started asking when my next heat was. For a while I was able to deflect, but as the summer continued he persisted. It hurt a little bit more every time he brought it up.

“We were in bed when he brought it up the final time. He told me how much he was looking forward to knotting me, and something broke inside. I couldn’t change the subject any more. It was clear that he expected to spend his rut with me, with me in heat. To him the decision had already been made and the only thing left to me was the timing. It terrified me.

“At first I tried to be gentle. I tried to remind him that heats were an uncomfortable thing for me. But he persisted. He insisted that I’d love it. The longer it went on the more my old terrors came back. I did the only thing I could think of to make it stop: I told him, clearly, that I fully intended to spend my heat alone.”

Victor took a shuddering breath.

“He was so angry Yuri. He called me selfish and a cocktease. He told me I was a disappointment as an omega, and that I’d never find a mate since I was obviously disobedient. He claimed that I’d led him on for months.

He dressed while he was yelling, and then he was headed to the door. I was naked, and fell out of bed. I ran after him through my apartment, trying to get him to understand my position. I had almost reached him when I tripped over the edge of a rug trying to stop him.

“I yelled for him, called out, tried to get him to stay. I knew that if he walked out that door he was walking out of my life, he was walking away because I refused to share my heat.”

Victor paused, shaking at the memory.

“He sent his coach… his coach to pick up any of his stuff that had found its way to my apartment. I wasn’t even worthy of being looked at after just trying to protect myself.”

Yuri shifted, he wanted to kiss the hurt away. “Vitya…”

Victor looked down and shook his head. “Not yet Yuri. I won’t be able to finish if I stop now. Even all these years later the memories are raw.”

Yuri nodded and curled up again.

“Petrov was probably partially responsible for my first reactive heat. I was scared that if I went into heat so soon after he left that I’d call him out of desperation, so I pushed it, even though I knew it was dangerous. Before I knew it the season had started again and there was no good time for a heat. It was the following summer before my body forced it on me.”

Victor paused and took a deep breath.

“Anton was the second alpha I dated. He was so different from Petrov, cool, collected and calm. He presented himself as confident and capable, and it was a good look for him. He was in business, and we’d met during a sponsor event about a year and a half after Petrov left.

“Things immediately seemed different, so I thought it would be ok. He wasn’t an aggressive pursuer, and our relationship developed at a much more relaxed pace. It felt calm and natural.

“But I was still hurt, and I didn’t tell him about my omega status at all. I knew he was an alpha, and I didn’t think I could handle it again.

“The season ended, and we’d been together about four months. I was still under doctor observation since my reactive heat, though had been allowed my suppressants again. I knew I had to heat, so I told him that I had an appointment in Moscow and would be out of town for a few days. We made a date for a few days later, and I thought I’d be able to get it over with without causing any problems.

“I should have known better. Anton had a bit of a romantic side, and he’d decided to surprise me by showing up unexpectedly on the day I was supposed to return from my ‘trip.’ My heat had only been over for a handful of hours. I was an absolute mess.

“When I opened the door he said something about how it smelled like somebody was in heat on my floor, then the full force of it hit him. It was still early spring, too chill to leave the windows open for long in St. Petersburg. The smell and one look at me was all it took.

“He was livid. His face turned shades of red I didn’t think was possible, and his normally calm demeanor fell apart. He didn’t say a word. He just turned around and walked away.

“I was too exhausted to do anything but crawl back into my nest and cry.

“He finally replied to my calls several days later with a short email. Simply put, he couldn’t be with somebody who had to hide something as important as secondary gender, no matter what the circumstances. He also indicated that it was doubly insulting as I knew he was an alpha, and was approaching his own rut. I’d rejected him as an alpha in his eyes, so he took it to mean the relationship was over with no room for discussion.”

Victor quieted and held Yuri close.

“When you came to me the other night and said that we needed to talk about my heat, all those memories came flooding back., and I couldn’t lose you… Not you Yuri. You’re so much more to me than either of them ever were. I was terrified you’d demand to spend my heat with me, and that you’d walk away when I had to refuse.

“The thought of losing you was too much. The sight of them leaving replayed over and over in my mind until I finally realized that you weren’t asking to share it, but was instead focused on finding a safe place for me. You don’t know how important that was.”

Victor kissed the top of his head.

Yuri couldn’t hold back any longer. He got to his knees and took Victor’s face between his hands, kissing his boyfriend passionately.

“I’m so sorry Vitya. I… I didn’t know…”

Victor smiled softly. “Of course you didn’t. Why would you?”

Yuri smiled and then leaned their foreheads together. “I’m sorry for another reason too. I’m sorry you had to relive those memories to deal with my anxiety. It… It’s just that… you called out that name during your sleep, and a part of me felt inadequate as a partner… as an alpha. I worried that I couldn’t give you what you needed.”

Victor wrapped his arms around Yuri’s waist and held him close. “You’re the best alpha Yuri.”

“Really?”

Victor nodded. “Really.”

They kissed for several minutes.

“Yuri… I know you’re different… but tonight… I think we’re both in a vulnerable state. I need to feel like an omega, and I want you to feel like an alpha. Can… can we do that?”

Yuri studied Victor’s face for a moment then nodded. “Yeah. We can do that.”

Victor smiled, and Yuri kissed him softly before pushing him down onto the bed.

“Here?” Victor asked, slightly surprised.

“Here,” Yuri said, looking down at how Victor was sprawled across his mattress. “Where it smells like me.” He knelt over the Russian and kissed him deeply. “If you want to be my omega tonight, then I want every bit of that part of you to know who your alpha is, and the best way to do that is to make sure you’re smelling me with every thrust.”

Victor’s eyes widened slightly and Yuri smirked as a faint blush spread across his cheeks. Yuri laid half on top of the Russian, pinning him to the bed and kissed him again. Each time their lips came together it was slow and sweet, deepening the connection between them.

Yuri slid his hand into Victor’s pants and wrapped his fingers around his cock. The Russian gasped and Yuri licked kisses into his mouth.

He wants to be an omega tonight, and me his alpha? I can do that. I’ll make sure the only things he feels are pleasure and like he’s been properly claimed.

Yuri took it slow, kissing and stroking the man beneath him, gently dropping his boyfriend into that place of pure bliss. At some point Victor’s shirt came off, and Yuri licked and sucked tiny marks onto his chest, savoring every gasp and moan. He managed to wrestle the Russian’s pants down just enough to free his cock and sucked on the tip, loving the flavor of his pre-cum.

You’re such a good omega Vitya.

Yuri shifted to pull off his boyfriend’s pants then stood at the side of the bed and stared. Platinum hair splayed across his pillow, and his lips were reddened from kissing. A flush spread across his face down to his shoulders, and his normally alabaster cock was the color of cherry blossoms, hard against his stomach and shiny with spit and pre-cum.

Yuri licked his lips. “You’re beautiful Vitya.”

He knew he didn’t have enough experience to properly take his boyfriend apart, but he was going to expose all the cracks he could.

My omega has been broken with emotional hurt. And just as one would fill the cracks in a bowl with gold, I’m going to fill his with love.

He could see that Victor was already beginning to fall into an omega headspace, plaint under the demands of an alpha. “On your stomach for me Vitya.”

The Russian nodded and got to his knees. Yuri put a hand on the small of his back and pushed.

“Just relax, let me take care of you.”

Victor nodded and laid on his stomach, arms wrapped around Yuri’s pillow.

Yuri’s fingers drifted down the omega’s spine, causing the Russian to arch against him, until he touched the puckered entrance. He found it slightly wet with slick, but wanted his boyfriend to be comfortable. He stood, and walked over where he’d dumped the bag from the pharmacy earlier. He pulled out a new bottle of lube and a condom before returning to the bed. He slicked his fingers before sliding one into Victor, gently opening him up.

Soon he had two fingers inside, and twisted his hand to find his boyfriend’s sweet spot. “I love those noises you’re making Vitya,” he purred as he rubbed the bundle of nerves.

He rolled the condom onto his length with one hand while three fingers of the other worked to open the Russian. Then he was pressing into his lover. He could tell by the desperate whimpers that the omega wanted him to go faster, but he wanted to take his time. He watched as his cock slid inside, growled in pleasure at the feeling of them joining together.

He laid across Victor’s back and pressed kisses to his shoulders. “You feel so good Vitya.” He noticed the tremble that passed through his lover’s shoulders.

He loves praise. Good.

He started rocking slowly into the man beneath him. He was going to take his time, it wasn’t about getting off, it was about bringing them closer together. He shifted until Victor cried out in a way that he knew meant he’d found the sweet spot again. He drove into it with each languid thrust, stripping his lover of any thought, any emotion but ecstasy.

He dropped kisses along Victor’s shoulders, whispered words of praise into his ear as he worked to fill all the cracks in the man’s heart.

He noticed how Victor was clinging to his pillow, breathing in deeply. It made the alpha part of him happy, and he decided to push the tiniest bit.

“Do you like smelling me when I’m with you Vitya?”

Victor nodded and murmured something unintelligible, but he got the point anyway.

A kiss on the shoulder. “Do you want to take that pillow to the hotel to use in your nest?”

Victor’s eyes opened and Yuri could just see the blue staring at him from the corners.  There was joy shining within them. He smiled and nodded.

“I like knowing you want my smell in your nest,” Yuri growled softly. “Do you want more?” He ground into the sweet spot as he asked.

Victor gasped and groaned in need.

“Such a good omega,” Yuri purred, hoping it was what Victor needed. “Wanting to line his nest with things that smell like his alpha. We’ll go through my things in a day or so and I’ll let you pick out several things for your nest. Do you want that?”

A noise of assent, and the alpha part of Yuri was even more satisfied.

His kisses turned to nips, and the praise falling from his lips included more about how good the omega was. He could see that Victor was completely lost to the pleasure, and he started to move faster within him.

“I’m close Vitya.”

Victor’s hips drove back against him, wanting it. He nipped at the Russian’s shoulders again as he thrust several times. He came with a gasp, entire body thrumming with pleasure, before he collapsed on top of his lover.

They stayed that way for several minutes, Yuri softening inside, before he moved. He ordered the Russian to turn over again as he removed the condom, and started kissing alabaster skin when he returned to the bed.

Victor shook, still blissed out, as Yuri kissed up the inside of his thigh. His back arched and he moaned deeply when the tip of his cock was enveloped in the soft heat of Yuri’s mouth.

Yuri intended to suck off his omega, but a tug on his shoulders told him that the Russian had other ideas. He smiled, climbing up to kiss his lover while his hand stroked instead.

He could tell by the tiny tremors through Victor’s body that he wouldn’t last long.

“You’re so beautiful Vitya,” Yuri purred between kisses. “I love seeing you like this.”

Victor’s back arched, and Yuri felt warmth across his hand. He turned to see a ribbon of cum land on the Russian’s stomach.

“That’s right Vitya,” he growl in praise. “Show me how beautiful you are.”

Victor moaned in ecstasy, and Yuri watched more of the Russian’s cum land on his stomach. He saw the flow lessen and he turned to the omega’s ear.

“I bet you have more in there. Let me see it.”

Victor gasped with fresh pleasure, and there were a handful of thick ropes before the orgasm finally ended.

Yuri pushed up slightly from the bed and growled in approval. His omega was breathless and flush with lingering pleasure. Thick strands of cum coated his stomach, and when Yuri shifted he could just see Victor’s hole, twitching slightly from just having been fucked.

Yuri licked his lips. He decided it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen, and it was his. He’d fight to make sure that nobody else ever saw his omega like that. The Grand Prix final wouldn’t be the end, he wouldn’t let it be.

The Grand Prix Final…

Yuri thought as he stood and grabbed a handful of tissues to clean Victor’s stomach.

It brought us together…

That beautiful alabaster skin was clean, and Yuri dropped kisses along it.

I want to do something special for it.

Yuri curled up next to Victor on the narrow bed. It wouldn’t be as comfortable, but it had his alpha scent, and he wanted his omega surrounded by that smell.

Their limbs tangled together and they kissed softly.

An idea came to him.

“Vitya?”

“Hmm… Yes Yuri?”

God his voice is still so blissed out. I love it.

“I was thinking... The Grand Prix Final is why you came, it’s what brought us together. Let’s do something special.”

“Hmm?”

Yuri kissed Victor again. “Let’s turn the Stay Close to Me program into a pair skate for the exhibition.”

“Mmmm, nice idea,” Victor murmured softly. “But I don’t think it’ll work.”

Disappointment filled him. “Why not?”

“I may be strong,” Yuri could hear amusement in Victor’s voice, “but you’re still a man. I don’t think I have the strength to lift or throw you properly, and even if you do, it would just look weird the other way as I’m the taller of us. Besides those both take years of training and we’ve got weeks.”

“You’re right…” Yuri said softly.

“We can turn it into an ice dance though,” Victor suggested. “With a few side-by-side jumps. Is that good?”

Yuri smiled and kissed the side of Victor’s mouth. “Perfect.”

“Good. We don’t have much time, so I’ll start adjusting the choreography tomorrow.”

Yuri nodded and laid his head on Victor’s chest.

They’d show the world the power of their love at the Grand Prix Final.

Chapter Text

Yuri watched as Victor glided across the ice. The Russian had left for the rink by the time he woke up, and when he arrived he saw that changes to the Stay Close to Me program were already well underway. The core of the program was the same, but most of the spins and jumps had been removed and he could see where the platinum-haired man was expecting a partner in the dance.

Yuri leaned on the barrier and sighed happily as he watched his lover. A part of him felt a pang of guilt for taking Victor’s talent from the world. Even after seven months as a coach, his skating was as powerful as ever. Of course he was on the ice with Yuri daily, and kept up with the various training regimens, but it was still an achievement.

As the choreography changed before his eyes, Yuri knew that Victor could easily return to competitive skating at any time once the Grand Prix Final was over.

The Grand Prix Final…

It was everything they had been working toward, and it was so close that Yuri could practically feel the medal. It was also possibly the end. Victor had never officially announced his retirement, and they’d never discussed what came next.  

The realization hit him like a rock. Was he planning to go back to skating afterward?

Yuri looked at his lover in a new way. He still practiced regularly, even if it wasn’t a routine. He loved choreography and frequently was off dancing on the other side of the rink, working through ideas in his head while Yuri warmed up or practiced relatively clean elements.

He never left the sport, not really…

He watched Victor, saw the joy on his face as he ran through the program.

I… I can’t keep him from the ice. He loves it too much. It’s wrong. I’ve got to let him go back after the final.

We’ll still be together though. I’m not going to give up on us, I’ll find a way to both be with him and keep skating.

Victor held a pose, and Yuri knew that the music in his mind had stopped. He could see just in the Russian’s posture where he would fit into his lover’s arms.

Victor stood and turned to start over when he saw Yuri watching. “Yuri!” he called cheerily. “Ohayo! Do you want to see your choreography?”

Yuri smiled. “Hai!”

Victor grinned, eyes sparkling with excitement. He started, and Yuri saw that the program began the same as it always had, but changed partway through as his surprise partner joined him.

He smiled. It was perfect.


They were laying on the ice, laughing. They’d fallen again during a simple lift, Yuri squirming as Victor’s fingers hit a ticklish spot and knocking them both off balance.

Victor shifted and pressed his lips to Yuri’s. “Thank you Yuri. This is fun, much more fun than I’ve had skating in a while. I can’t wait to see what the audience thinks.”

Yuri leaned up and returned the kiss. “Well they’ll be groaning a lot if you can’t keep from tickling me.”

The Russian stared in mock hurt. “Hey, it’s not my fault you are utterly captivating when you laugh.”

Yuri pulled his lover in for another heated kiss and kept him there until he started to feel the chill through his practice clothes.

They tried again, and Yuri managed to get most of the way through the lift before he started laughing. They were able to continue through the choreography, but as they ended he knew it felt off.

“It needs more energy after the lift,” he said as they stood again.

Victor was contemplative. “Agreed. That was originally the final combination jump, but the new placement is off to get back to center ice in time unless we're moving.”

They were silent for a few seconds.

“Twizzles!” Yuri shouted.

Victor looked at him, realization dawning in his eyes.

“They’re perfect, right?” Yuri urged. “They have the energy and will keep us moving. Besides, you said yourself, it’s an ice dance. Twizzles are essential to ice dance!”

Yuri loved the look of excitement that came over Victor’s face at the suggestion. “Let’s do it!”

They discussed, and quickly decided how they wanted the sequence to look, starting with clockwise on the outside edge, then counterclockwise on the inside while holding the free blade, finishing with an outside clockwise again.

When they finished the rough runthrough of the routine again Yuri knew it was the perfect choreography. Now they just had to clean it up and drill it into muscle memory.


 

“Good news Yuri!” Victor called from across the rink during their afternoon practice. “Grigory says that he can make another costume for me in time.”

Yuri skated to the barrier, breathing heavily from working on the quad flip. “I still don’t see why you felt the need to have a new costume made. The one from last year still fits doesn’t it?”

Victor grinned. “Of course it does, but you’ve added color to my heart, so it’s only natural that it reflects on the ice.”

“Oh?”

“The new one will be a lavender color, a blend of the pink one and your blue. I think the audience will get the symbolism.”

Yuri laughed and turned to press a kiss to his boyfriend’s lips. “I still don’t think it’s necessary, but whatever you want.”

Victor smiled. “Ready to show me your flip?”

“My flip, or my fall? They’re kind of the same thing right now.”

“You’re making more progress than you think. I see you in the air for a little bit longer each time, and you’re a little bit steadier on your blades. You’ll be ready. I know it.”

“I’m glad you believe in me, cause I’m doubting myself right now.”

“Don’t do that Yuri. You’re an amazing skater and competitor.”

Yuri smiled. Do you want to compete against me?

“Rehydrate, then show me your progress,” Victor ordered.

Yuri smiled and nodded. He was going to make Victor proud.


 

Yuri had managed to push the thought of what would happen after the Grand Prix Final out of his mind while they practiced, but once they returned home the insecurities flooded back into him.

Victor had been jubilant all day with the thought of performing again, even just for an exhibition, and Yuri knew it was wrong to keep him from the ice after their original goal was met.

However, Yuri didn’t know what to do, and it was a problem. He wanted to skate, and he wanted to be with Victor. He knew Celestino would take him back, but that would mean being separated from the man he loved, and that was unacceptable. Yakov scared him, and after having pulled Victor away for half a season he didn’t dare ask the Russian coach to consider him as a student.

He couldn’t ask Victor to both coach and skate, it was madness.

Yuri retreated to his room under the guise of rummaging and finding things that smelled like him for Victor’s nest.

Sweaters. Sweaters are soft and hold plenty of scent.

He briefly considered one of the other St. Petersburg coaches. As a major city in Russia, and with the country’s strong history of figure skating, he knew Yakov wasn’t the only option. But of them he was the best and likely the only one able to keep Yuri’s competitive career on a forward track.

Yuri tossed several of the sweaters that smelled the most like him onto the bed.

Then there was the fact that Yuri couldn’t imagine being under anybody else’s guidance than Victor’s. But asking Victor to both coach and skate was an impossibility…

Practice clothes. Those always smell like me, even when freshly laundered.

Yuri drove himself in circles until he started to realize that he couldn’t both stay with the man he loved, and continue to skate. He’d have to give up one of them for the sake of the other.

He wanted to hold onto both. He loved skating, and wasn’t ready to give it up. But he knew that, rationally, it made more sense to end his competitive career than leave the man he loved for something he’d only really be able to do for a handful of remaining years anyway.

Anxiety nipped around his edges, and all he wanted was to be with Victor. He stared at the pile of clothes on his bed, and decided that with a blanket it would be a good amount of stuff for the omega to pick from.

I don’t want to stop skating, but I can’t lose Victor now. There must be something I can do, something I haven’t thought of.

His vision started tunneling. He needed Victor. He needed his omega.

Yuri wandered through the inn until he found the Russian sitting and chatting with Minako in the dining room. He knelt behind his lover and draped himself over the other man, burying his face in his neck.

Victor… Victor… He was exhausted, physically and mentally drained from just searching for his mate. He didn’t think he could stand again if he tried.

He heard Minako gasp slightly at the rather uncharacteristic public display of affection, but didn’t care. He needed his omega.

“Yuri?” Victor asked softly.

Yuri responded by merely nuzzling into Victor’s neck more.

I don’t know what to do. Help me Victor.

He squeezed tighter.

“I should let you two have some privacy,” Minako said as she stood. “I was about to leave anyway.”

Victor bowed as much as he could with Yuri clinging to him. “It was nice chatting with you. I’ll text Yurio that message for Lilia.”

“Arigato. Oyasumi.”

“Oyasuminasai.”

Yuri heard Minako’s retreating footsteps, then felt Victor’s fingers brush across his arm. “Are you ok Yuri?”

Yuri shook his head. I don’t know what to do.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Yuri shook his head again. I have to decide this for myself.

“Do you want to stay here, or go up to bed?”

Yuri squeezed tighter. I don’t know.

“Do you want me to hold you until it passes?”

Yes… He nodded.

The Russian managed to turn just enough to pull the smaller man into his lap. Some part of Yuri knew that the customers must have been staring, but he didn’t care. He closed his eyes and focused on Victor, his scent and the small soothing circles that his hands were rubbing on his arms and back.

Victor…

He knew it was an anxiety attack, not the kind that threatened to rip him in two, but the quiet type that shredded around the edges until there was nothing left. He squeezed his eyes tighter, trying to stop the fraying, but instead found himself swallowed faster.

Vitya...

Victor was kissing and murmuring into his hair. He clung to it, his omega’s feel, scent, voice, they were his lifeline in the abyss of his mind.

Maybe… just maybe… it’ll be ok...

Yuri allowed himself to be swept up in the current of his thoughts. He didn’t, couldn’t, voice them, but he didn’t shove them back into the dark recesses. Crying it out had felt good at the Cup of China, and with Victor as an anchor maybe it was ok to let darkness run its course for once.

He was vaguely aware of things going on around him, his mother’s voice, worry filling the few words of English she knew. Victor, beautiful, wonderful, Victor replying that he was ok holding Yuri for as long as it took for the attack to pass. Footsteps of customers leaving the dining room.

When he finally came back to himself the first thing he noticed was the stillness all around. The inn had closed long before, and they were the only ones left in the room.

The second thing he noticed was Victor’s voice.

Victor was singing. His voice was clear and soft, though there was obvious worry threaded in. Yuri didn’t understand the words, but knew it was probably a Russian lullaby from the tone and tempo.

Yuri opened his eyes and looked up. Worry was painted across Victor’s face, the Russian’s eyes closed as he focused on the man in his arms. Yuri shifted and lifted his hand to his lover’s cheek.

Victor’s eyes fluttered open and he gazed down at Yuri. “Are you ok?” he asked gently.

“I’m… better now.” Yuri replied. He knew the cause of the attack was still there. He still didn’t know what he was going to do, but he did feel better.

“Do you want to talk about it?’

Yuri thought for a moment, he really did, but it scared him too much. “Not right now,” he finally replied.

Victor studied him for a moment, then nodded. “Ok. Let me know when you’re ready.”

Yuri smiled softly, glad that his boyfriend knew when not to push. He then nuzzled back into the warm embrace.

“Shall we go to bed?” Victor suggested after a few minutes. “It’s late and we should sleep.”

Yuri nodded. Bed sounded like an excellent idea. He unwound himself from the circle of Victor’s arms, muscles protesting at having been in a strange position for too long.

They moved softly through the quiet halls and were soon wrapped in each other’s embrace under the warm covers.

“Vitya? What was that song you were singing? It sounded like a lullaby.”

Victor kissed Yuri’s forehead. “It is. My mom used to sing it to me when I had panic attacks as a teen, before they had to move to Moscow for work. I thought that maybe it would help you too.”

“So that panic attack the other day wasn’t your first one?”

Victor shook his head against Yuri’s arm in the darkness. “No, far from it, but I rarely get them anymore. They used to be quite bad though.”

“I… I’m sorry.”

Victor nuzzled Yuri’s face. “It’s in the past Yuri. Now… let’s get some sleep. We’ve got a lot of work to do on the revised exhibition skate, and your quad flip is nowhere near where it needs to be. With my heat coming up you better believe I’ll be pushing you hard the next couple of days.”

Yuri smiled. Somehow the words focused his thoughts. “Stop trying to tickle me during the lifts and we might actually be able to practice properly.”

“It’s not my fault you’re so ticklish, or that you’re adorable when you laugh.”

Yuri pulled Victor in for a kiss. He was right, the omega was his anchor.

Chapter Text

Yuri blinked away the light. He turned to see Victor staring at him, concern in his eyes. As soon as the Russian saw that he was awake he reached out and brushed his fingers over Yuri’s face.

“Good morning.” He paused, eyes searching for the first emotions of the morning to register. “How are you feeling today?”

Yuri sighed softly and buried himself in his omega’s chest. He was comfortable, for the moment that was all that mattered.

Victor kissed the top of his head. “I let you sleep in, but we should probably get going soon. We’re already almost an hour behind schedule.”

Yuri grumbled again and nuzzled into Victor’s warmth.

“Five minutes,” Victor warned softly.

Yuri nodded and breathed deep his lover’s scent. He was starting to remember his anxiety attack of the night before, and wanted to center himself before it could gnaw at him again.

Victor rubbed soothing circles on his back, and he was just so comfortable. He was almost asleep again when Victor told him that his five minutes were up and that it was time to get out of bed.

He grumbled but got up and padded to his room to get dressed. However, as soon as he saw the pile of sweaters and practice clothes on his bed he started to feel the anxiety claw at him again.

How can I give up skating after all we’ve worked for? But I can’t lose him either.

Yuri’s breathing was short and shallow. Things were happening too fast and he was running out of time.

Strong hands on his shoulders, turning him around. Victor’s scent.

“Shhh Yuri. Don’t let it get you. You’re ok.”

Yuri looked up, and Victor immediately kissed him. “I’m right here, ok?”

Yuri nodded.

Victor smiled softly, then turned his own eyes towards the bed. “Is my heat what’s causing these?” he asked cautiously, eyeing the pile of clothes.

No! Never think that!

Yuri shook his head, then grabbed Victor’s face so that he could look him in the eye. He had to make it clear that it wasn’t the heat. “No Vitya. Your heat has nothing to do with last night’s anxiety attack. My only concern about your heat is making sure that it’s good for you.”

Victor smiled softly and nodded. “Want to tell me what’s eating at you then?”

Yuri bit his lip. “I… I can’t. Not yet. I have to sort through it more first.”

Victor studied him and sighed before kissing his forehead. “Talk to me if you need to. I’m here.”

Yuri smiled. “I know, and once it all settles I promise you’ll be the first to know. Ok?”

Victor nodded, then turned his eyes to the bed again. They widened in expectation, taking in the large pile. “Is that… is all that for my nest?”

Yuri nodded. “I don’t think we can take all of it, but you can pick through and take as many things as you can fit into a suitcase.”

“Oh Yuri!” Victor kissed him again, passionately before easing off to sweet.

Yuri smiled as the kiss ended. Being with Victor felt too good, like he was drowning in his own dreams, and he didn’t want to be dragged from it.

They held each other for a minute before Victor finally sighed. “We should finish getting ready. I rushed out when I heard your breathing.”

Yuri looked down and laughed. Somehow Victor was only wearing one sock.

Victor chuckled. “Do you want me to stay, or do you think you’re ok now?”

“I’ll be ok.”

“Good, cause the one foot is getting cold.”

Yuri laughed and rose on his toes to kiss Victor again. “Thank you.”

“I’ll always be there when you need me.”

I hope so.

Yuri watched Victor return to his room, then picked through the practice clothes that hadn’t been thrown onto the pile. He pulled on a shirt and sweats and a few minutes later they were jogging side-by-side toward Ice Castle.


 

Yuri took a deep breath and circled the rink, gaining speed. His last attempt had been the best yet, only putting a hand on the ice. He passed Victor, leaning against the barrier, gold blades catching the morning light. The Russian shouted several words of encouragement.

Speed is good…

Yuri glanced and checked his path, crouched, and plunged his toe pick into the ice, simultaneously launching with the other leg.

He counted the rotations, and prepared for landing. His blade touched down on the ice, and he glided out of the jump.

His breath caught in his throat. He’d landed it.

“Yuri!” Victor called, already skating over. “That was perfect!”

Yuri barely had time to brace himself before he was wrapped in Victor’s arms.

“You did it Yuri!” Victor grabbed his face and tilted his head up for a deep kiss. “You’re amazing, you know that?”

Yuri smiled and wrapped his arms around Victor’s waist, pulling the taller man close. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Victor smiled down at him. “Yes you could have. All I did was speed up the process.”

Yuri felt himself melt a little inside as their lips came together.

“Can you show it to me again?” Victor asked softly as they separated.

Yuri nodded.

Another kiss, chaste and soft, then Victor returned to watch from the barrier.

Yuri let the glow suffuse through him as he circled the rink. He launched it again. The landing was a bit shaky, but he managed to keep from putting down his hand.

He turned to look toward Victor, then skated over.

“It was shaky that time,” his coach chided. “But you’ll have it nailed before Moscow. I know it.”

Yuri smiled, grabbed his towel and wiped the sweat from the back of his neck.

“Let’s go out to dinner tonight to celebrate,” Victor suggested.

“It was just a jump,” Yuri replied with a laugh.

Victor skated around and pinned Yuri between himself and the barrier. “It was the jump that’s going to get you gold at the Grand Prix Final. I think that’s something to celebrate.

“Besides, I think I want to go out to dinner with my boyfriend.”

Yuri smiled. “Well, when you put it that way.”

Victor smiled and they kissed again.

“Ok you two,” Takeshi called from the door. “Off the ice with that. I need to start up the zamboni and prep for the afternoon.”

They smiled at each other for a moment, then Victor burst into laughter.

“What’s so funny?” Yuri asked, confused.

“I was just thinking what would happen if we didn’t leave… then the thought of Takeshi chasing us around the ice on the zamboni popped into my mind.”

Yuri laughed, “Even better… It’s chasing you and I’m trying to hold it back, but it’s dragging me along.”

Victor’s eyes widened and he laughed even harder before skating over to where Takeshi was walking toward where the large machine was stored. “Please Takeshi, can we do that? Yuko can take a photo for social media.”

Takeshi stared for a second, then chuckled. “Ok. Let me get Yuko.”

After a few false starts they were finally able to get a couple photos and a short video, thanks to Yuko.

Yuri was laughing almost uncontrollably as he watched Victor fill in a string of hashtags, including: #gonnadie #savemeYuri and #attackofthezomboni.

“You’re too much sometimes. You know that right?”

Victor turned to him and smiled. “You love it.”

Yuri draped himself over the Russian. “Yeah, I do.”


 

Yuri and Victor were shown to a followup room as soon as they entered the clinic. The staff had been told to expect a quick visit and were asked to just fit them in between other patients. The nurse swabbed each of their cheeks, then took the swabs for testing.

They faced each other and leaned in in the quiet room.

“Nervous?” Yuri asked softly.

Victor smiled. “A bit. But I know it’ll be ok with you there.”

Yuri returned the smile and rose up to kiss the omega. “However you need,” he replied.

There was a knock at the door, and Dr. Ito strode in. She pulled up the test results on the in-room computer and smiled.

“The cheek swabs look good boys. Both of your birth control shots are at full effect, no booster doses needed. Are there any questions you have for me while you’re here?”

Both men shook their heads.

She smiled. “Ok then. You’re all set. Have a good heat.”


 

At first Yuri protested about going to dinner at the new French restaurant, as he’d heard it was pricy. But with Victor making puppy eyes at him all afternoon he’d finally relented.

He had to admit that the ambiance was perfect for a date, with white cloths and candles on every table.

They had just ordered dessert when Victor leaned in. “Mmm, that was always one nice thing about competitions in France, the food is just divine.”

Yuri smiled. “I think I was only in France once. I usually ended up in the Americas or Asia for competitions. This will be my first time in Moscow.”

“Really?” Victor blinked, obviously in thought. “I guess I never did see you assigned there.”

Yuri smiled.

“Do you want me to show you around? I know we won’t have Chris or Phichit there, but it’s a beautiful city. Plus, I know all the best places.”

Yuri thought for a minute, then shook his head. “I usually don’t like sightseeing. Somehow Phichit talks me into it, but it’s not my thing.”

Victor looked disappointed for a moment then smiled. “Do you want to meet my family?”

Yuri looked up and blinked. “Your family?” He felt a blush rise across his cheeks and he flailed his hands in front of him. “No, no, it’s far too early for that!”

“Why?” Victor tilted his head and smiled. “They started seriously asking about you after the Cup of China. They live in Moscow, so it’s not as if it’s a special trip or anything.”

Yuri smiled softly and smiled shyly. “Only if you’re comfortable taking me to meet them. I’m honestly a little underwhelming.”

“Nonsense Yuri. You’re perfect.”

“Not until after the free skate though. I don’t want to worry about what they think of me until I’m able to show them the medal you helped me win.”

Victor nodded. “I think we can do that.” He reached across the table and dragged his fingertips across Yuri’s face.

Yuri closed his eyes and hummed softly at the touch.

They were interrupted by the delivery of their clafoutis, and Victor started making noises of joy as soon as he tasted it.

They were playfully feeding each other bites of the decadent dessert when a commotion started on the other side of the room. Both glanced up for a moment, then decided to ignore it.

Unfortunately they quickly found themselves interrupted by a large drunken man who reeked of alpha. “I finally found you…” he growled lustfully in Japanese. “I’ve been unable to get that scent out of my head since I came in.”

Victor and Yuri exchanged a confused glance as the younger man translated for the Russian’s sake. They’d both made sure to use masking soaps after practice so as not to disturb people during dinner with their increased scent as they approached heat and rut. Even across the table Yuri could barely smell the omega.

“I do believe you have the wrong table sir,” Yuri replied politely.

The man’s eyes darkened dangerously. “I’m not talking to you,” he growled, switching to English. “I’m talking to this pretty omega.”

Victor’s eyes narrowed in anger. “It is horribly rude to interrupt another man’s meal. So if you’ll leave, we would appreciate it.”

The man leaned over, trying to assert dominance over their table. “Why would I do that? You’re the best smelling thing in this place. Why don’t you come home with me?”

Yuri could smell even more of the alpha’s sour scent, but he could tell by the look in Victor’s eyes that the Russian wanted him to stay out of it. He knew his coach was right. The last thing they needed was a fight with only a week and a half until the next competition.

“You’re drunk,” Victor replied icily. “Besides, if you hadn’t already noticed, I have an alpha.”

“Could have fooled me,” the drunken man sneered. “I can’t smell him on you. Or is he so weak that he can’t even scent you properly.”

Yuri clenched and unclenched his hands. He was itching to protect his mate, but another glance between him and Victor told him that his coach was trying to keep him out of it.

The man thrust his arm across the table, wrist toward Victor. “Come on, a pretty thing like you surely must want a nice strong scent like this on you during heat.”

Victor recoiled from the sour smell. “Leave. I’m not interested.”

The man’s eyes narrowed. “You and I both know a puny alpha like this one won’t be able to satisfy a beautiful creature such as you. I bet he barely even has a proper knot. I’ll make sure you’re well taken care of.”

“I said leave.”

“Don’t you want an alpha who will stand up for you? Look at him, so terrified of a real alpha that he’s let an omega do all the talking.”

Yuri clenched his teeth, unable to remain quiet any longer. He pushed his chair back from the table and stood.

“Baby alpha gonna run away and cry?” the drunkard laughed.

Yuri growled, low and threatening in his throat. “He asked nicely, several times, for you to leave. Now I’m telling you. Leave us alone.”

The man stood straight and glared down his nose at Yuri. “You’re not alpha enough for a pretty omega like him.”

Yuri’s growl intensified, and his angered scent spread through the air around him. The sounds of chatter and clinking silverware stopped as the standoff continued, people unnerved by the smell of angry alpha.

“Whether or not I’m enough of an alpha is not your decision to make. It’s his. You had your chance, and he refused. Now go back to whatever rock you crawled out from under.”

Yuri scrunched his nose at the putrid odor seeping from the drunken alpha.

The entire room was deathly quiet as the two alphas stared at each other. Yuri felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

The drunken alpha yelped in surprise as hands grabbed him from behind. He kicked and struggled, and Yuri could see that the host had enlisted the aid of the bartender and what appeared to be one of the cooks to subdue the larger man.

He was yelling and fighting as they pulled him away and out of sight of diners

The waitress came over and bowed deeply. “So sorry sirs. It was not our intent to allow another customer to disturb your dinner.”

Yuri took a deep breath, let it out slowly and forced his anger down. He bowed in return. “It wasn’t your fault. Thank you for your assistance in dealing with him.”

The young woman smiled and moved back several paces.

Yuri turned to the room and bowed deeply. “I apologize for interrupting your meals.”

As Yuri turned to sit again he could hear the faint spritzes of a masking spray, and the gentle sounds of diners eating again.

“Are you ok?” Yuri asked Victor, seeing that his omega had paled slightly.

Victor nodded. “Yeah. For a minute I was worried it might come to blows.”

Yuri smiled and reached across the table to touch Victor’s face. The omega instantly sniffed at his wrist and closed his eyes in contentment. “It would have been worth it,” Yuri said. “Guys like him don’t deserve wonderful people like you.”

Victor smiled, then developed a stern expression. “While I agree with the sentiment, as your coach I must remind you that judges do not look favorably on bruises healing from fistfights.”

Yuri laughed. “The JSF doesn’t take kindly to its skaters brawling either. Don’t worry. I kept my head about me.”

Victor smiled again.

Despite the interruption being over, they both quickly decided that the mood had been ruined. They left their dessert half uneaten as they paid and made their way out into the street.

Yuri was still angry over the incident, and had the unshakable need to kiss his mate. He pulled Victor into a nearby park and away from the hustle and bustle of the street. They walked silently, hand in hand, until the noise of the crowds was distant din.

Yuri stopped and tugged at Victor’s hand, silently urging the omega to stop too.

Victor looked at Yuri with an undecipherable expression as the younger man moved to stand in front of him, rose up on the balls of his feet and pulled his boyfriend in for a passionate kiss.

Mine.

Hands wrapped around his middle and the Russian moaned softly into the kiss, which only made Yuri hold it longer. Yuri growled possessively.

They stayed that way for far longer than Yuri would normally be comfortable with outside of the privacy of their room, but he couldn’t get enough. Victor was his and he needed this.

It was only when they heard the squealing of a couple of teenage girls, and the sound of a camera app that they broke apart.

“I needed that,” Yuri said softly as he gazed up into Victor’s eyes.

“So did I,” the Russian murmured in response. Yuri was glad to see that the slight pallor he had worn into the park had left his face.

They kissed again, a gentle touch of the lips, then their arms entwined as they strolled along the path toward the inn. Yuri could hear the girls a short distance behind them, murmuring about which was going to ask for autographs.

Then there was an angry bellow from behind them.

Not this again.

Yuri turned to see the girls running off into some trees, and the same drunken alpha from the restaurant stomping toward them. Yuri instinctively put his arm in front of Victor, moving between the omega and the other alpha.

The vile stench, the obvious challenge, and his own upcoming rut had all combined. Yuri was pissed, every alpha instinct ready to fight for and defend his mate.

“Where were we?” the belligerent man snarled as he pushed into Yuri’s personal space.

We were going home,” Yuri growled. “You were going to crawl back under a rock and leave us alone.”

Victor tugged on Yuri’s sleeve, and Yuri agreed. He’d had enough. He turned, put his arm around Victor’s waist and started walking away.

“Come back here and fight like a man,” the drunkard yelled. “Fight like an alpha.”

Yuri made a point to ignore the man and kept walking. He couldn’t help but notice a tiny tremble in Victor’s muscles and just wanted to get home and soothe his mate.

Victor picked me. I’m the only one who can satisfy him.

Footsteps, then strong hands on his shoulders, turning him. Before Yuri had a chance to react he took a punch to the gut.

The larger alpha sneered. “Think that pretty omega will still be interested when you’re bleeding and begging for me to stop? Better run now baby alpha, before you get hurt. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure this omega screams in pleasure.”

The taunting had given Yuri just enough time to catch his breath and find his balance. He glared up. He hadn’t started the fight, but he was damn well going to end it, and on his terms.

Yuri growled deep and possessive in his throat, a cloud of pheromones forming around him. Victor was his , and there was no way he’d allow anybody as sleazy as the man in front of him to so much as lay a finger on the Russian.

He was angry, and the other man would be the one begging. He wasn’t going to just beat him, he was going to humiliate him.

Almost twenty years of ballet had given Yuri flexibility, and partner dances he had learned while in the states had added the reflexes to read and respond to the movements of another person. Combined with the lumbering movement of alcohol, he could almost see where the drunkard would swing before he started. He ducked and weaved, easily avoiding or blocking the punches, waiting for an opening.

Feint left, real punch is coming from the right. There it is.

Yuri leaned back just before a blow would have landed on his face, allowing the arm to pass him. He reached up, grabbed it and held on as he ducked underneath, twisting it painfully behind the other man’s back. He wrapped his free leg around the front so that the man couldn’t twist back, then pressed up on the man’s elbow until he howled in pain.

The drunkard’s free arm swung erratically, but couldn’t find purchase on the smaller man behind him.

“Knees,” Yuri growled, pressing up just a bit more on the arm to make sure that the man got the point.

The man fell to his knees, and Yuri used an elbow in the middle of his back to force him face down onto the path. He positioned himself over the other alpha, one knee pinning the free arm and the other on the thighs so that the drunk couldn’t move.

The man was howling in pain. “You broke my arm, you broke my arm!”

Yuri pushed up on the elbow again. “Shut up,” he sneered. “I haven’t broken anything. But I could if I wanted to.” Another push. “Who was supposed to beg? What do you think?”

“No!” the man gasped. “Please! I’ll leave you alone. Please! Just let me go. I’m sorry!”

Yuri growled. “Don’t go picking fights.” He then looked up at Victor, a satisfied smirk on his face. “Honey, could you call the police for me please?”

Victor blinked, then nodded mutely. He reached for his phone, but had barely unlocked it when they heard shouting.

Yuri looked up to see two police officers heading toward them, obviously coming in response to the man’s pained howls.

Yuri eased his pressure on the man’s elbow, but kept him pinned until the police had reached them. As soon as they were close enough that the man wouldn’t be able to run he stood and moved to the side. One of the officers knelt by the man on the ground and the other led Yuri several paces away.

Yuri glanced at Victor and saw that the pallor had returned to the Russian’s face. He wanted to kiss him again, to reassure him, but it would have to wait.

Vitya... I’m sorry Vitya. Please don’t be mad. I had to protect you.

Yuri balked slightly at the officer’s demands that he be restrained, but he quickly understood that they needed to sort through the information, and that two alphas in a fight was a dangerous situation. He grudgingly agreed and let the man bind his wrists behind his back.

He could hear the drunkard yelling that his arm had been broken, and Yuri couldn’t contain another smirk of satisfaction when the officer dealing with him pointed out that it looked fine. The belligerent man then demanded that Yuri be arrested.

Yuri felt his heart stop for a second. An arrest so close to competition would be bad. He could be suspended from competing. It could destroy all the work of the past seven months.

An arrest with Victor’s heat only two days away could be worse. He looked up at the Russian, who was pale and obviously worried.

He looked back at the other alpha, who was resisting restraint and insisting that he was the victim. With the entire scene unfolding in Japanese, Yuri knew that it didn’t look good.

“Officer?” he asked.

“Yes?”

“My coach… he doesn’t speak Japanese. Do you speak English well enough to tell him I’m not being arrested?”

“We don’t know that yet,” the officer replied coolly.

“Do you speak English?” Yuri demanded. “Look at him, he’s confused and obviously worried. Just reassure him. Talk to him. Please.”

The officer sighed, but left Yuri alone long enough to take Victor away a few paces and speak to him. He watched as the officer took out a voice recorder, and faintly heard the Russian detailing what happened from his perspective.

Yuri winced, it was far from a reassurance, but at least had distracted the omega for a minute.

Victor didn’t look much better when the officer returned, but Yuri could tell that it had helped. He smiled as best he could at his mate.

As the officer asked about the incident he recounted how they had been interrupted at dinner, then followed into the park. He tried not to let his instincts get the better of him as the faint scent of an agitated Victor was carried to him on the wind.

The officer walked over to join his partner and Yuri watched in annoyance as the other alpha gestured wildly.

Yuri took several deep breaths. He had to keep calm, but the longer the restraints stayed around his wrists the more worried he got. He knew it hadn’t looked good, with him as the victor, and the looks he received from the police only increased in suspicion as the drunken alpha gave his statement.

After several minutes the officer that had restrained him earlier came back from listening to the statements from the drunk.

“Your statements and his don’t match, and until we can talk to somebody from the restaurant to verify that part of the story we’re going to take you both in.”

Yuri grit his teeth. “Didn’t my coach tell you what happened?”

“Yes, but I don’t speak enough English to understand it all. We’re waiting on a translator, but it might not be until tomorrow since this is a non-emergency case.”

Yuri clenched his jaw. He knew that the officer had no choice given the information on hand, but it angered him nonetheless.

“Officer?” a female voice asked timidly from a little ways up the path.

Yuri and the officer both turned to see one of the teenage girls that had been there earlier. She was holding out her cell phone.

“It’s a bit late for you to be out,” the officer chastised. “Head home, we don’t need onlookers.”

She shook her head. “Before… before you arrest him… can you watch this?”

Yuri blinked in confusion, an expression mimicked by the officer before he took several paces and accepted the phone. He touched the screen, and Yuri could hear the sounds of a video playing.

The officer played it until the end, then watched it a second time. He asked for permission to save the video for evidence, and when the girl agreed he shared it to his own email address. He then switched with his partner, and allowed the other officer to view the video before they conferred quietly.

Discussion over, he called into the department and asked a series of questions over his radio.

The officer walked back over to Yuri and cut the tie from his wrists. Yuri rubbed at the skin where the restraints had cut in.

“That girl caught everything I needed to verify at least this part of your story. There was also no call from the restaurant backing up his claims that you assaulted him first there, though we’ll still need to conduct interviews. Right now, based on that video, we’re arresting him for assault caused by rut rage, but depending on what the restaurant manager says you might face charges as well.”

Yuri nodded solemnly. He knew he was innocent, but there was still that tinge of fear in his gut.

“We still need you to come down to the station for a statement though.”

Yuri glanced to Victor and saw that the Russian was highly agitated. He needed to get him home.

“Is it possible for us to come tomorrow afternoon, once you have a translator present?”

The officer narrowed his eyes. “Any particular reason?”

“I’d like to get him home. Also, I need to inform my contact in the Japanese Skating Federation about the incident. They may wish to have somebody present with their own questions, and it will be easier on all involved if we can get everything over with at once.”

The officer studied him for a moment, then nodded. He pulled a business card out of his pocket and wrote down something on the back. “My shift starts at four. Be there by four-fifteen or we’ll send an officer to pick you up.”

Yuri nodded and glanced at the business card. He saw that the email address for the officer was listed on it. “Just in case the JSF doesn’t need to send somebody, is it ok if I provide your email address if they have any questions?”

The officer nodded.

Yuri bowed and thanked the man for his service to the community. He then walked over to Victor, savoring the angry yells of the other alpha as he was restrained and arrested.

“Are you ok?” Yuri asked softly, reaching up to brush the fringe from in front of Victor’s eyes.

Yuri winced when he saw shaking in the ocean-blue depths.

“Yuri…?”

“They’re releasing me. We need to go in tomorrow afternoon to give a statement. There will be a translator present, and they’ll want to talk to you too.”

Victor swallowed and nodded.

Yuri reached up and held the omega’s face in his hands. “Vitya…”

“I’m… I’m ok Yuri. Just shaken. I thought they were going to arrest you.”

“They almost did. Those girls saved us. One of them caught the whole thing on her phone.”

“Yuri I… I’m so sorry. It’s all my fault. If I wasn’t an…”

“Stop right there,” Yuri ordered. “It’s not your fault. I’m sure there were plenty of other alphas around. None of them acted out. The only one at fault is him. Ok?”

Victor nodded slowly.

Yuri wanted to kiss him, to scent him and make him feel better. But he also wanted to get away from the police before they changed their mind about taking statements the next day. More than anything he wanted to get Victor away from the vile stench of the other alpha.

“Vitya… Let’s go home.”

Victor smiled weakly and nodded again.

Chapter Text

Between dinner and its aftermath the night had gotten far later than Yuri realized. It was well past midnight by the time they slipped through the family entrance.

They had been silent on the walk back from the park. Yuri attempted to console his mate, but when words hadn’t worked he fell quiet, instead trying to quench his own rage. However, he’d noticed a tremble in Victor’s hand the entire way, and was loathe to release it so they could remove their shoes and coats.

“Vitya… Are you ok?” Yuri murmured as they stepped up from the genkan. He reached out and brushed the hair from in front of the Russian’s eyes. The pallor was still noticeable, and he wondered how badly the incident had traumatized the man.

Victor looked at him, and even before he spoke Yuri could see that the answer was a lie. “Yeah.”

Yuri cringed. He couldn’t wait to get upstairs and cuddle his omega, to soothe him.

He clenched his hands. “Vitya… I’m sorry.”

Victor froze, a look of panic on his face.

Yuri stared at the floor. “I know I should have turned away. We should have kept walking. You tried to stop me before he punched me. I put everything we’ve worked for at risk. It was wrong to fight, but…”

The words died on his lips. Fight.

His mind flashed back to the kiss after the first encounter in the restaurant, how Victor had said that he’d needed it.

“It’s ok Yuri,” he heard, Victor’s voice strained. “Let’s go to bed.”

How young was he when he presented? Thirteen? Isn’t there the saying that the younger one presents the stronger the instincts?

This close to heat...

Fuck…

I fucked up, big time.

I fought for him, then didn’t claim him.

Victor had taken a couple steps.

Fix it. Now!

“Vitya?”

Victor turned, and Yuri could finally see the emotion for what it was. His omega, his mate, was in mental agony. Every one of his instincts was screaming that he’d been abandoned, even though his rational mind knew better.

I would never abandon you.

Yuri growled possessively, and saw the tiniest widening of Victor’s eyes. He was still wound up from the fight, and if his omega needed him to channel that energy then he was more than willing. He’d make sure that every one of the Russian’s instincts knew that he would never be abandoned.

Yuri stalked toward his mate, like an animal trapping its prey, and Victor was caught between him and the wall, eyes widening with every step.

Yuri could smell the distress, but the closer he got the more the scent changed to hope.

He does need this, and I was an idiot for missing it. I hurt him so badly without knowing.

Yuri’s hands traced up the front of Victor’s sweater, one stopping mid chest to pin the taller man to the wall, the left continuing to grab a fistful of platinum hair.

Victor gasped at the tug on his head, but Yuri couldn’t miss the needy undertone. He rose on his toes and kissed the omega harshly.

Never doubt how much I want you.

Victor tensed, then relaxed, starting to become plaint. Yuri could see color starting to come back into his cheeks.

Yuri pulled Victor’s head to the side, lengthening his neck and exposing his scent gland. He kissed and nipped along the Russian’s jaw and toward the sensitive skin until his mouth covered the spot. He sucked at it, savoring the aroma of cinnamon that burst from it, tasting the flavor of the omega.

Victor shook in need, and Yuri was eager to give him what his instincts desired. He pulled the skin covering the scent gland between his teeth and growled possessively.

“Mine,” Yuri growled, skin still clenched between his teeth.

Victor gasped and wrapped his arms around Yuri, pulling him close, accepting the claim. “Yuri…”

Yuri growled again and bit down a tiny bit harder. I’m not done! His fingers left Victor’s hair and drifted to the bonding nerves on the back of the neck. He massaged the skin, making the omega whimper needily.

One day I’ll claim this too. One day you’ll wear my mark.

Yuri pushed close and pressed his thigh against Victor’s crotch, rubbing and making his mate groan. He could feel the Russian hardening against his leg, pressing back greedily.

“Yuri… please…”

Yuri released his bite on the scent gland and growled at his lover. “Tell me what you want Vitya.”

Victor scrambled to grab Yuri’s hand from his chest and moved it so that the back of the alpha’s fingers grazed against his crotch.

Yuri stared into Victor’s eyes, making sure there was no hesitation before he pulled the Russian’s sweater off.

He mouthed at heated skin, leaving a trail of wet kisses that made Victor shudder in the chill air. He pulled back when the omega released a deep moan, holding a finger to his lips, demanding that his boyfriend not wake the family.

Yuri’s tongue trailed down Victor’s stomach, tracing taut lines of muscle. He nipped lightly at the skin, careful not to mark it.

Not yet.

Yuri knelt in front of the Russian and teased at the waistband of his pants. He leaned forward and nuzzled the bulge, growling at the aroused scent of the omega. He felt his mate shudder at the tease and knew he couldn’t draw it out any longer. He undid the belt and lowered the fly before pulling the pants and underwear down just enough to release Victor’s cock. It bobbed slightly in front of Yuri and he licked his lips hungrily.  

Yuri’s left hand dug into Victor’s thigh while the right wrapped around the Russian’s cock and stroked it slowly.

I want to suck him off, but there is something else I want more. I didn’t ask because I didn’t know how he’d react, but I think it’s exactly the thing he needs right now.

Yuri looked up and his eyes met Victor’s. “Don’t take your eyes off me Vitya,” he demanded.

Victor breathed in a sharp gasp at the order, and released it in a shuddering moan as Yuri licked at the head of his cock, never breaking eye contact. Yuri hummed as he dipped his tongue into the slit, then slid the flat of his tongue along the underside of the Russian’s length as he took the head between his lips and started sucking.

Yuri knew he didn’t have any experience to draw on, so he imagined their places reversed, and did to Victor what he thought would feel good on him. He hollowed his cheeks and bobbed, tongue pressing along the veins, seeking the places that drew an extra gasp or groan. Every few minutes he would pull off with a pop, kissing and licking the length lewdly, watching the Russian’s reactions.

Victor finally broke eye contact with a deep groan as Yuri took first one ball then the other between his lips, sucking and rolling his tongue along them.

Yuri hummed happily as his mouth returned to the Russian’s cock and his head bobbed again. He was watching his mate come apart with pleasure, instincts satisfied as the alpha who fought for him claimed him.

But it wasn’t enough.

He’s mine. But I’m his too. He needs to know that, to the very core of his being. There needs to be no room for even the hint of a question.

Victor’s leg was shaking under Yuri’s hand, the omega close to release. Yuri pulled off the cock with a pop, and scrambled to remove his own sweater. Once the fabric was discarded he rose up on his knees and held the Russian’s length against his chest.

Victor gasped at the loss of intense stimulation and stared down at Yuri, hair a mess, eyes blown dark and mouth hanging open in pleasure

God he’s gorgeous.

Yuri stroked the cock against his chest, growling possessively.

“I’m sorry Vitya,” Yuri purred. “I missed the signs that you needed me to make you mine. But I think even more than that, you need to know that I’m yours.

“I know what your instincts must be saying. I’m the dominant alpha. At one time I could have laid claim to any omegas under the filth that attacked us. I could have used my power to build a harem, I could use my position as victor in a fight to choose only the best. When I failed to claim you immediately, you felt abandoned, like you weren’t worthy.”

Yuri paused, making sure that his words were cutting through the haze of instincts.

“You’re wrong Vitya. I didn’t fail to claim you because you weren’t worthy. I failed because it was never a question, because rather than you being mine, I’m yours. I’ve always been yours. It’s been you for so long that I forget you don’t know that.”

Victor was shaking. Yuri knew that the omega was starting to understand what was happening, he stroked the cock resting on his chest.

I want this, he needs it.

“I don’t need any other omegas, I don’t want any. The only one I need is you. You, Vitya, you are so incredible that there will never be another. For as long as you want me, I’m yours.

“Claim what’s yours Vitya. Scent me. Let the world know that you’re such an incredible omega that this alpha only has eyes for you. When your scent fades, do it again. I’ll never refuse.”

Yuri sped up the stroking, wanting to feel the omega’s release on his chest. “Will you do this for me Vitya?”

Victor shook and whimpered as Yuri’s hand moved over his cock. Their eyes were locked together as he worked, then a gasp and a deep groan ripped through the Russian. Yuri growled in praise as he felt the warmth hit his skin. He continued to stroke until Victor whimpered from sensitivity.

Yuri smiled and licked the tip of the Russian’s cock, collecting the droplets of cum that hadn’t fallen onto his skin.

Yuri stood, still growling low in his throat, letting the omega side of Victor know just how good he felt about the cum on his chest.

“Yuri,” Victor breathed, voice dry but the younger man could hear that the haze of instinct was fading with the release.

Yuri reached up and slid his hand behind Victor’s head, bringing in the Russian for a kiss. He stared deep into ocean-blue eyes as they separated. “Only you can decide Vitya.”

Yuri turned so that his back was to the omega. He tilted his head to the side, exposing his own scent gland, offering it to his mate.

Long fingers tangled into his hair, moving and holding his head exactly where the Russian wanted it. He felt lips first, sucking. then teeth nipping at the back of his neck, right over the bonding nerves. He shook, partially with pleasure, and partially with vulnerability. Despite him wanting to be scented, it left him exposed and his alpha instincts wanted him to assert dominance.

Victor pulled his head to the side, exposing his scent gland again. The omega sucked hard and nipped at it, purposefully bruising the skin, readying it to accept a new smell.

Victor’s free hand pressed against Yuri’s stomach, holding the alpha close as he moaned softly in pleasure. Then the hand left his hair and moved to take the place of the one around his middle.

Trembling fingers of Victor’s left hand traced through the lines of cum on Yuri’s chest, collecting just enough to smear across the bruised skin of the alpha’s neck.

“Yuri…” Victor purred as he massaged the spot, working the thick substance into the bruise.

Yuri moaned. All he could smell was Victor, his mate. Oranges and snow, mixed with the faint pre-heat smell of cinnamon, surrounded him. He was Victor’s, and his omega had laid claim to him at last.

Victor continued to rub at the scent gland as he took the shell of Yuri’s ear between his teeth. “Mine,” he purred.

Yours. Always yours.

Yuri shook as Victor nuzzled the side of his face. His alpha instincts were quickly returning, driving him crazy with the need to pleasure his mate, to ensure that the omega who had just scented him would never want to leave. He grabbed the hand that had worked Victor’s cum into the bruise, and sucked the remaining bits off the fingers before stepping out of the Russian’s arms and turning to kiss him deeply, careful to move in such a way that the ribbons of white on his chest were only disturbed by gravity.

I want his scent strong on me.

His hands slid down into the back of Victor’s pants and grabbed at his ass, kneading the flesh, spreading the cheeks, and one of Yuri’s fingers drifted between them to tease at the Russian’s entrance. He growled lustfully, feeling the hint of pre-heat slick, and pressed the finger just inside.

Victor gasped. “Yuri!”

“Is this ok Vitya?”

Victor nodded. “Yes,” another gasp as Yuri’s finger started pumping. “But…”

Yuri stilled. “Vitya?”

“Scent me Yuri!” he cried softly.

Yuri looked deep into Victor’s eyes. “Are you sure? I don’t want to push you to do anything you’re not ready for.”

Victor ground against the finger still in his ass. “I’ve…” gasp. “I’ve wanted you to since you agreed to share my heat, but I didn’t know how to ask.”

Yuri growled. “Vitya…”

The image flashed in his mind, Victor splayed out beneath him, chest sporting Yuri’s cum. Then he realized he wanted a little more. Yuri pressed in with his thigh, grinding against the Russian again.

“Think you’re almost ready to go again?”

“Yuri?”

“Don’t just scent me,” Yuri purred. “Ruin me for any other omega. Let me ride while I scent you.”

Victor’s eyes grew dark with lust. “Fuck… Yuri…”

“Is that a yes?”

Victor nodded.

Yuri pulled his finger from Victor’s ass. He knelt and collected their sweaters, then followed the omega to their room. The Russian was already stripping off his pants by the time he walked in, and as soon as he was nude he turned to help the alpha from his, mindful to not touch his chest.

They each knew what they wanted, so further discussion was cast off in favor of sloppy kisses. Yuri pushed Victor to the bed, and the Russian moved to the center without being asked as Yuri dug in the nightstand for the lube. He drizzled some on Victor’s fingers, then knelt over his mate to kiss him while he was being opened up.

A few blissful minutes later he was straddling Victor’s hard cock and lowering himself onto it. For a moment he couldn’t decide what was better, the feel of his mate inside him, or the look of bliss spreading across the omega’s face. Then the head of Victor’s cock brushed his sweet spot, and the decision was made as he threw back his head in a throaty moan.

He bottomed out, and gave himself a moment to adjust before he started rocking his hips. The feel of Victor filling him was delicious. He watched Victor’s blissed-out expression for a few minutes, then braced himself against the Russian’s thighs, feeling the head of his lover’s cock against his prostate with each bounce. His head fell back again and he rode, losing himself in the bliss.

A hand on his needy cock, stroking. I’m not ready yet.

He growled down at his mate. “Are you close Vitya?”

Victor nodded.

Yuri smiled. “Think you got more than one in you?”

Victor’s eyes widened slightly, but it only took him a couple seconds to nod again. He was close enough to heat to have almost no refractory period.

“Good,” Yuri purred. “Fill me up Vitya. Mark me on the inside.”

He drove his hips down to emphasize his point, and a few hard thrusts later watched as an orgasm ripped through his omega. He kept riding, lengthening the pleasure, then stilled for a moment, allowing the man beneath him to recover.

Victor’s face was flushed, the pallor of earlier just a distant memory. Yuri smiled. The scene was almost as he had imagined it, the only thing missing was the ribbons of his cum decorating his mate’s chest.

He started riding again. It felt good, but he wanted just a bit more. He reached out for Victor’s hand and guided it toward his cock.

You set the pace Vitya.

His body was confused for a moment, unsure whether to fuck itself on the Russian’s cock, or thrust into his hand. Victor made the decision easy, stroking him and setting a steady rhythm.

“You feel so good Vitya,” he moaned. “I love how you fill me.”

Victor thrust up, meeting Yuri’s downward stroke and driving the head of his cock right into Yuri’s sweet spot.

“Vitya!” he gasped, and was soon lost to the pleasure as the omega seemed as determined to take him apart as he was.

They both knew that neither would last long, and the Russian’s fingers moved faster over his cock, dragging him to the edge of bliss.

Yuri thrust down hard. He wanted to watch his mate come first, wanted to paint him while he was in the throes of ecstasy.

It didn’t take much, he could tell by the tremble in Victor’s fingers that he was close. He growled, a demand to see his mate in pleasure, to which the Russian promptly responded.

“Yuri!” he gasped, back arching as he came again.

Yuri smirked in satisfaction, stroking himself quickly to the scene before him. He could feel the pulse of Victor’s cock inside him as he finally came, cum landing in ribbons of white on the alabaster skin of his lover.

As he came down from the high he stared. It was beautiful and intoxicating to look at. Absolute bliss was painted across Victor’s face, and the cum on his chest made it clear that the sight was for Yuri alone.

Victor came back to himself and smiled softly. Yuri carefully climbed off his mate and leaned over to kiss him again. Once again, no words were needed as the Russian sat up and knelt on the bed, presenting his scent gland to his alpha.

Yuri knelt behind the omega. He wasn’t done yet, and as he bit down on the sensitive skin he pressed a finger back into Victor’s ass, making the Russian gasp and moan in need. He used his knees to guide Victor’s apart, and situated himself so that the older man was effectively in his lap.

He bruised the skin slowly, taking his time, listening to the needy whines as one finger became two and started scissoring. Nips on on the sensitive spot as a third finger was added.

It was as he eased his cock into his mate that he finally collected enough cum on his fingers to massage into the skin. He rocked, searching for the spot that would make Victor fall apart, and found it after only a handful of thrusts.

Yuri could tell by the tone of Victor’s moans that he was lost to pleasure and instinct again. He purred happily, it was just the way he wanted it.

He continued to rub Victor’s scent gland long after he knew that his odor would have been absorbed. It was a sensitive area, and extremely pleasurable to have stimulated. He nipped at alabaster shoulders, and finally Victor’s back arched just the way Yuri wanted. He sucked on the skin over the bonding nerves, and bit down. It wasn’t enough to break the skin and bond the omega, but enough to let the Russian know that he wanted to.

“Mine,” he growled again.

I want you, and only you. Never doubt that.

Victor moaned deeply, shaking under the intense stimulation, and it was just what Yuri needed to come again. He thrust sharply into his lover, spilling inside.

The omega was still blissed out as Yuri slid from inside him, plaint with pleasure and instinct. Yuri laid him down on the bed then snuggled up to him, chests pressing together and scents mingling. They kissed, slowly and passionately, until both were breathless with swollen lips.

By the time Yuri reached over to turn off the light Victor had fallen asleep.

Chapter Text

It was pitch black in their room when Yuri was awakened by the sound of a choked sob and the feel of Victor trembling in his arms. Almost on instinct he bundled his mate closer and kissed the omega’s forehead.

He felt both good, and gross. They had fallen asleep without cleaning up, but he was comfortable in the thought that their scents were still mingling on his skin.

Another soft cry and Yuri remembered what had roused him from sleep. He pulled Victor closer and rubbed circles on his back. He could faintly smell distress coming from the omega.

“Shhh, Vitya,” he murmured, wanting to sooth but not wake his mate.

“Yuri?” Victor hiccupped. Awkward silence. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”

Yuri nuzzled the Russian’s cheek. “I thought you were having another nightmare. Are you ok?”

Victor tensed, and Yuri replied by peppering kisses over his face. He released some of his pheromones, hoping that something would soothe the man in his arms.

“It’s ok,” Yuri cooed. “I’m here. You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to. Just tell me what you need. Ok?”

Victor nodded and buried his face in Yuri’s shoulder. “Just hold me.”

“As if I’d stop now…” Yuri joked as he kissed platinum hair.

There was a hiccup that sounded to be half-sob and half-laugh, and whatever dam had held back Victor’s emotions burst. He shook as he cried into Yuri’s shoulder.

Yuri didn’t know if it was a good or bad thing that it was so dark. He didn’t want to see his mate in obvious pain, but also wanted to be able to gaze into his eyes and reassure him that he was there and would never leave. He did the only thing he could, he held the omega tight.

Victor cried for a long time, long enough that Yuri started to worry. He wondered if there was something else he could do, then remembered how the Russian had sang to him during his anxiety attack.

Yuri started singing; a soft lullaby he remembered from childhood. He knew he was off key and kept screwing up the tempo, but the scent surrounding his mate changed subtly. The crying increased, but somehow he understood that it was helping. He kissed away tears between verses, and didn’t stop even when his throat got dry and his voice hoarse.

Eventually Victor quieted, though he still trembled. Yuri shifted slightly to get a greater range of motion on his free arm, slowly tracing his fingers across his omega’s skin.

Even if you come apart in my arms, I’ll help you find all the pieces so you can be whole again.

The trembling stopped. Yuri could still feel tension in Victor’s muscles, whatever had him in its clutches was reluctant to release him again.

He leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to the Russian’s lips. “Feeling better?” he prodded, hoping for anything to soothe his mate.

“Yes…” Victor lied. “... No.”

“What do you need?”

Silence filled the air, and Victor started shaking, obviously fighting something within himself.

“Listen…” he finally replied, so quietly that Yuri barely heard it, even in the silence of the hour.

“Listen?” Yuri repeated gently, kissing the Russian’s temple.

Victor nodded under Yuri’s lips. “I… I… I’m scared… and I’m happy… and right now my emotions are such a mess I can’t even name most of them. I think this might be the only time I’ll be able to talk about this, but a part of me is terrified that it’ll make you change your mind about me too. I’m so confused that though everything is threatening to spill out, I don’t have a clue where to begin.”

Yuri dragged his lips across the omega’s hairline. “I’ll never change my mind about you. I promise. So start wherever makes the most sense to you.”

Victor was silent, trembling in Yuri’s arms as he collected his thoughts. “Yuri, you don’t know how much it means that you scented me.” Silence, then a shuddering whisper, “You don’t know what it means that you’re wearing my scent now. Part of the reason I was crying was sheer joy. But that happiness also dredged up pain.

“You see, a part of me was convinced that no alpha would ever really want me. I would be used for sex, then discarded when the next omega came along. I would never be claimed, never marked… not really. I was tainted, and what alpha would want a filthy omega like me?”

“Vitya…” Yuri started.

“No Yuri. Just listen. I… I don’t know if I’ll be able to get it all out otherwise.”

Yuri nodded against the omega’s face.

“Do you remember how surprised I was when you told me you liked my scent?”

“Mm-hmm.”

“It was the first time I’d ever heard it… and actually believed it. I… I’d heard it before, usually right before or right after sex, but never outside of the bedroom. Somehow, the context only reinforced the connection it had with a part of myself that felt filthy. Omegas are supposed to smell sweet and alluring to alphas, but I stank. My smell was only acceptable for sex. A part of me really believed that. Then you told me you liked my smell… I saw how it calmed you. For the first time, the lie started to shatter.”

Victor buried his face against Yuri’s shoulder and shook for a moment. Yuri rubbed his back and waited.

“Yakov is the only person outside of my family who knows my shame, and I don’t even know how much he knows. My mother finally told him what happened when it affected my skating to the point where he wondered if he needed to pull me from competition for the season.”

Yuri tightened his arms around his mate, silently reassuring him of his love.

“I told you that I have a large extended family, and that, except for a handful of betas, they’re all alpha… except me. We also present early… too early. Most people present close to adulthood. Sure there are teenage tendencies, but there is at least a couple extra years of maturity. In my family, everybody presents as practically children. If somebody reaches fifteen it’s assumed they’ll be beta. Thirteen, maybe fourteen is average. But children are cruel, especially when they don’t have those couple extra years of life to help give them perspective.

“Like all families, there will always be a few bad apples. In large families like mine sometimes it’s an entire branch, but since it’s still a living part of the tree the rest of the family is loathe to cut it off. In alpha families those bad branches tend to have very recognizable traits. Narcissism is common, and superiority complexes are so prevalent that you don’t even question it. But combine those tendencies with an anomaly, and bad things happen.”

Victor shuddered. Yuri couldn’t even imagine what pain his mate was in, and he’d barely gotten started.

“When I was young we used to go to a huge family reunion on every summer. The family on my mom’s side always had money, one of the side effects of being predominantly alpha, and there was an estate in the country we would all flock to. A couple hundred people was the norm, relatives from all the branches coming together to mingle and catch up. Business deals were made, extravagant trips planned, sometimes even marriages arranged as alphas who had married in set up relatives with alphas in the family.

“It was always a meeting by alphas and for alphas. I don’t even know how much of the Russian economy revolves around people in my extended family, but I am well aware that it’s not a miniscule amount.”

Victor took a deep breath, held it for several seconds then released it in a shaky exhale.

“I presented in September. I was thirteen, and had, thankfully, just completed my first competition of the season. I was terrified, horrified when I realized what I was. But my parents were so supportive. They didn’t care about my secondary. They lovingly made sure that I had what I needed for my heats and never once showed even the slightest hint that they were disappointed. For the first couple heats I actually thought that being an omega wouldn’t be so bad, even if the rest of the family was alpha.

“Then June came, and it was time for the annual family reunion. We thought we were safe to go. My heats weren’t horribly irregular, and we figured that it would be another two weeks after our scheduled return. Most of the closer parts of the family knew I was omega, and it was generally agreed that since there seemed to be plenty of margin that it wouldn’t be an issue. Even still, preparations were made. As the only omega, I was to be given a locking room to myself.

“Anybody in the family who knew, took great pains to make sure that I would be safe. They knew that some of the alpha purists in the family would not take kindly to an omega being blood related to them. They tried their best to give me a safe space to retreat to if I felt it was too much.

“Unfortunately, you can’t have hundreds of alphas in one place and not have several at least either in pre or full rut. Of course there were routines in place. Those not rutting would subdue those who were as needed, and there were always a handful of rooms in the house dedicated to just letting people go and wait it out. It was a system that worked.

“Among those nearing rut were a trio of kids about six months older than me. They came from one of those bad branches: Yefim, Ivan and Mikhail. They weren’t triplets, but you would be forgiven for thinking so. They spent so much time together, and they somehow looked so alike, that most assumed they were fraternal triplets. Even their birthdays were only a few weeks apart.

“They immediately made it their mission to taunt and tease me about being an omega. They hated the thought of even being related by blood to a… ‘breeder,’ as they called me. The more reasonable members of the family would tell them to stop and leave me alone, but they kept seeking me out. They’d been raised with the notion that alphas, especially male alphas were the superior gender… and that male omegas were lower than female omegas.

“To them I was nothing more than living garbage and they were intent on making sure I knew that.”

Victor took a deep breath.

“We thought there was time, but nobody knew that being around so many alphas before my heats had really settled down would cause it to come almost three weeks early. We’d been there a few days out of the planned week. It was only my fourth heat, and I didn’t know the signs well enough beforehand to warn my parents. It started in the middle of the night, and by the next morning it was already too late to move me.

“I know everybody scrambled. Alphas are naturally loathe to rut with omegas in the same family, but nobody knew how far out along the bloodline those instincts spread. With so many around, and the normal assortment close to or rutting, nobody was taking any chances. They cleared out anybody who was even close to rutting from the hallway I was down. They locked the room I was in. They tried their best to protect me.

“Nobody took into account the determination of the trio that had already been tormenting me for days.”

Victor shook, and Yuri felt fresh moisture on his skin as the Russian started crying again.

“Yuri… I don’t know how… but they managed to find a key to the room I was in. They somehow slipped past the family members who were checking to make sure that people stayed away. When they got into my room I was already gone, doing anything I could to pleasure myself… to take the edge off the pain of need.

“They were in pre-rut, and all I could smell was alpha. I wanted them so bad. They’d tormented me for days, but the only thing I could think about was how much I needed them to fuck me. They could smell it on me, and it just fueled their cruelty.

“I was begging before I’d even fallen out of bed. I was in full heat, and had just been given the bounty of three alphas. My instincts were in overdrive and didn’t care how awful they were. It was exactly what they wanted.

“It turns out that the instinct to not rut with blood relatives is a strong one. It’s probably the only thing that saved all of us, but it made them angry too. Their bodies knew I was omega, and in heat. I had to look like the find of the century, and their instincts screamed that I was off-limits.”

Victor hiccupped a sob.  

“The taunting started immediately. They asked me if the ‘baby breeder’ needed the fuck of a good alpha. I was nodding, and my scent was hopeful, I know that. The rational part of my brain knew how horrible they were, but my instincts were in control. The omega part of me didn’t care about anything except for the fact that they were alpha.

“They started small, ordering me to do things just because they knew an unbonded omega in heat will do almost anything to prove that it’s worthy of an alpha. It was humiliating, and sometimes downright painful. Things like making me pleasure myself and then stop before release made them laugh, and when they’d order me to do something not directly related to my instincts I would often get confused and take too long. Every time that happened they joked about my breeder brain and how I was only suitable for fucking.

“They told me, over and over and over, that I was a bad omega. Until, deep down, I started believing it.

“Then the real torture started. Being in the same room with me was affecting them too, and it enraged them. Taunting and making me humiliate myself wasn’t enough.

“When they surrounded me my instincts hoped that I was about to finally get what I needed so badly. When two grabbed my arms and kicked my legs apart the omega part of me actually rejoiced. It thought I was being held open for the final alpha.

“The reason they were holding me was so that I couldn’t touch myself, so that I had no way of finding relief from the intense need.”

Victor cried against Yuri’s shoulder for several minutes.

“It hurt so bad Yuri. I was so hard, and needed to be fucked so badly, but I couldn’t touch myself. I couldn’t even squirm enough to get any friction to where I needed it. Then they started scenting the room, and my need only got worse.

“I was sobbing in pain and need, begging one of them, any of them. I can barely talk when in heat, but I knew the most important words, their names and ‘alpha.’ I called to them, mostly the one not holding me, their names and the word alpha, over and over.

“They would ask me if the ‘baby breeder whore’ needed fucked, if I wanted a knot, and when I’d nod and beg they’d pinch at my scent gland, bruising it and using the glands in their wrist to scent me. They would trade off, making me beg with each of them, asking which one I wanted. When my instincts said that it wanted all of them they would call me a whore.

“As they tortured and taunted me they kept using their wrist glands to scent me. On my neck gland, across my chest, down my arms. Every time they did it they would ask if the omega whore liked smelling like so many alphas. And I did Yuri, I did.

“They kept doing it, adding that cheap omega whores would never find a good alpha. They told me that I would never be wanted, and with their scent all over me I would forever stink. I would only be good as a breeder and not a cherished mate.

Over and over… only whore omegas smell like so many alphas, and since I already smelled like three I would forever stink to any discerning alpha.

“The worst part was... I was still begging. They were torturing me, and all my body wanted was for them to end their torment and just fuck me.”

Yuri tightened his grip on his mate, angry, livid that he’d been so badly treated.

“They were discussing what to do next, and seemed intent on jerking off on me when my mother came to check on me.

“Maternal alpha rage set in as soon as she spied them. She roared, a sound that even now is terrifying to think about. She knew that their presence could only mean bad things. The one not holding me at the time, Mikhail I think, was thrown across the room. I still remember the sickening crunch when he hit the wall. Then she went after the other two.

“Maternal rage in an alpha is a terrifying sight. A regular alpha fight is nothing in comparison. It took my father and two uncles to restrain my mother, and I know that she was close to killing the trio of cousins who had hurt me.

“My mom saved me, but the damage had already been done. I was in so much pain, so hot from needing release and not getting it. I couldn’t move from where I’d collapsed on the floor. She carried me to the bed, and had somebody bring cool towels to bring my body temperature back down. They considered calling a doctor when it took nearly an hour before I had the strength to touch myself again.

“And the worst part was, that scent of alpha nearing rut, that smell I wanted and needed was gone and I wanted it back. I wanted to be fucked by them still. All I could hear were their words, over and over. Omega whore. Bad omega, never wanted… stink.

“The rational part of my mind knew that my mom saved me. The omega part was convinced I’d been refused because I was a filthy omega with a foul smell, who wasn’t worthy of an alpha.”

Yuri’s hands clenched and unclenched with rage. He wanted to kiss his mate, soothe him, but Victor had asked him to listen, so he would.

“We left the next day, as soon as my heat had passed enough to make travel by car safe. My cousins spent the next two weeks in the hospital, one of them in critical condition for days. I remember police coming and going once we returned home, but I was so traumatized that I barely left my room for several days.

“The omega part of me still insisted that I was a bad omega. I had three alphas in front of me, and couldn’t entice any of them. I knew better, but I had no control.

“My body isn’t mine Yuri, it’s the omega’s. I’m trapped, bound to instincts which forced me to submit rather than fight back against the pain. I know that, if it happened again, I would beg just the same, be willing to put up with torture, just for the slimmest chance to be fucked by an alpha while in heat.”

Victor cling to Yuri and sobbed for a long time, wracked with shudders as the pain flowed through him. Yuri released soothing pheromones and held his mate tightly.

“I think, ultimately, the members of the family tree that wanted to charge my mother with assault realized that she would take my cousins down if they pressed with it. I remember hearing a conversation that even the best prosecutor couldn’t take a case against her and win, not under the circumstances, and instead would only cause more problems for that branch of the family.

“The next year we didn’t go to the family reunion, though it had been made clear that the boys and their branch of the family hadn’t been invited. It wasn’t the same though, and the family reunions stopped after that. A part of me knew it was my fault. If I hadn’t been born an omega it would have never happened.”

Victor paused.

“I returned to training late that year. I suffered multiple panic attacks every day for weeks, wondering when my body would betray me like that again. I was medicated for them, and that let me go back to training at least. But I still would have to take breaks from the ice in Yakov’s office to wait them out, and my mother had to sing to me almost every night. Between the nightmares and my fears about my instincts I was terrified to even sleep.

“The ice became my refuge. It was the one place I had control. Sure I fell, and messed up, but I was still in control. I could all but smother the omega part of me with the cold.

“Another heat passed, and it was better. No torturing alphas, and the injured part of me latched onto that. My body wouldn’t betray me as long as I was left alone. Making sure that I was absolutely alone during my heats was how I coped. It was ok. My parents would protect me, and I just needed to get through it.

“Then my dad got a job offer in Moscow, one that was impossible to refuse. They moved two years after... it ... happened. They wanted me to come with them… But Yakov is the best coach in Russia, and I’d just won the Junior Worlds under him. Me leaving would mean a step back in my career. It would mean leaving my refuge when training and competing were still how I held my demons at bay. Even under a new coach, with new ice, I knew it wouldn’t be the same.

“So I stayed, alone, in St. Petersburg.”

Victor paused and took a deep breath. Yuri took the opportunity to kiss along his forehead and hairline.

“My first heat after my parents left was in September. I was trying to get as much practice as I could before it started, my debut Grand Prix series as a senior was starting only a couple weeks later. I wanted to make a good impression.

“My heat was still more than twelve hours away, but I felt it clawing at me and decided I needed to go home early, rather than wait for Yakov to drive me as we’d originally planned. I showered, and used a strong masking soap, but the streets were crowded that day. Somebody was too close and was able to smell the pre-heat on me.

“He said he was in town for a few days, but would love to extend his stay for a pretty omega like me. I could smell that he was nearing rut, and my body wanted it so bad. I was losing the battle again. I tried to leave but he followed, persisting, filling the air around himself with pheromones. The longer I was around him the more I wanted it.

“Somebody finally noticed that I was being harassed and moved to step in, but it only made things worse. The second man was closer to rut than the first, and when he got close enough to smell distressed, pre-heat, omega, it sent him into prowl mode. An alpha fight broke out right in front of me, and I was paralyzed by the pheromones. I wanted to run, but the omega inside me knew that they were fighting for me, and it kept me there, ready to be claimed by the victor.

“The police managed to break it up, somehow, though the cops were bloodied in the process. I was still frozen, waiting for a winner, and it took another cop to scream at me that my scent was making it worse before I was able to move.

“My scent, the filthy smell of a whore omega wanting to be bred had caused an alpha fight. That’s not what they said, but it’s what I heard.

“I ran home and locked the door, shutting myself safely inside my apartment. But I never pushed it so close to heat again. Even twelve hours before it started I was vulnerable, at the whims of the omega. I wasn’t safe.

“The panic attacks came back after that heat. I hated the omega part of me. I even begged for surgery to remove anything that made me an omega. No doctor was willing to perform the procedure as it wasn’t absolutely medically necessary. Even if we had found one, I soon realized I would be unable to go through with it. The recovery period was too long for a major surgery like that. I would have to give up an entire season or risk still healing internal parts opening up on me.

“So, at sixteen, I begged for suppressants. Most people my age wouldn’t present for more than another year, and I was already so terrified of my secondary that I had to do anything I could to tame it. The only way to be safe, was to not be an omega as much as possible.

“I still wasn’t safe though. Locked in my apartment wasn’t enough. My scent leaked out into the hall six months later, the first heat after I started suppressing, when doctors were making sure that there were no negative side effects.

“My door was almost broken down by a prowling alpha. I replaced it with a sturdy steel door and frame, but the heavy dents left in it after the following heat made it clear that, as long as they could smell me, they would try to get at me. I didn’t have the protection of an alpha, nobody who could cover my scent with their own and keep me safe. Those flimsy physical barriers were the only things that kept them out, and I knew that if they ever got in I would readily submit.

“I started to get major sponsors after my first Olympics, and channeled that money into a penthouse apartment in a small building. At nineteen I was the only resident on my floor. It took a special key in the elevator, or the stairwell, to even reach my apartment and I renovated with another steel door.

“I still didn’t feel safe. I’d only replaced one flimsy barrier with another. All it took was me succumbing to instinct and it would all be for nothing anyway. That… that’s when I started pushing the limits of my suppressants.”

Victor was crying again, and Yuri could tell that he was somehow done. He kissed his omega’s face, his hair, anywhere that he could reach.

“I’m sorry Yuri. I’m sorry that I’m so weak. I want to control that part of me and I can’t.”

“Vitya,” Yuri cooed. “Vitya. You’re not weak. You didn’t give into it. You fought back. Believe me, I know how hard it is to fight against yourself. I know you’re not weak.”

“Yuri!” Victor clung to the smaller man, stifling sobs against his shoulder.

“I’m here Vitya, and I’ll always cherish you. You’re the best omega a man could ever ask for.”

Victor shook, and soon stilled. When he spoke again his voice was small and weak. “You’re not going to leave me are you?”

Yuri ran his fingers up to Victor’s jaw and lifted his face until he could lean in and kiss his mate. It was awkward in the dark, but he felt the omega relax under the gentle touch.

“I’ll never leave you Vitya. I love you too much.”

Silence, then a question, timid and tiny. “What did you say Yuri?”

Yuri thought and realized what he said, but he had no intention of taking it back. “I love you Vitya. I’ll always love you.”

He leaned in and claimed the omega’s mouth once more. Victor kissed back, hot and desperate.

They separated, and Yuri felt joy fill his heart when Victor replied.

“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

I love you.

It was out there. Yuri had finally voiced what he knew in his heart. It was far from the romantic moment he’d long thought such a confession would be, but he knew that it was the right time. His mate, his love, needed to know how he felt.

The way Victor returned his kisses made it clear that the words had helped. Then Yuri’s heart sang when Victor admitted that he loved him in return.

Their mouths came together as if it were the first time, and in a way it was. The pain that Victor had kept buried for so long was in the open. Though it didn’t change Yuri’s feelings, he was seeing a part of his mate that had been hidden for too long.

The kisses were soft and gentle. They explored the change in their relationship slowly, moving from chaste presses of the lips to tongues dancing between open mouths. They curled into each other, desiring the closeness.

Fingers ran over faces and down necks, up arms and across shoulders. But when Victor’s hand traced down Yuri’s chest he broke the kiss.

“Yuri?”

Yuri nuzzled into his mate’s neck. “Hmm?”

“I… I think we should go shower.”

Yuri chuckled and kissed the Russian’s jaw. “I was thinking that too, but didn’t want to say anything.”

They kissed for a few more minutes before climbing out of bed. Once they had donned yukata and slippers they kissed some more. They walked through the silent halls leaning against each other, hands tangled together.

At some point they passed a clock, and Yuri knew that morning practice was likely off the table. It was slightly after three in the morning.

The changing room was understandably empty as they stepped in. Victor was already tugging at the sash on his yukata when Yuri stilled his hand. The younger man rose up and kissed his him softly. “Let me take care of you Vitya.”

Victor stared for a moment, then smiled softly.

Yuri sank back down on his feet and loosened the sash on Victor’s yukata. He smiled at his mate then walked behind the taller man. His fingers brushed up the Russian’s back until they grasped the hem of the garment, which he slowly drew down over alabaster shoulders. He dropped kisses onto the bare skin as he exposed it, making the omega shiver.

Once Victor was nude, Yuri made quick work of his own yukata before snuggling against the older man’s back for a few seconds. He loved him, and there was warmth in his heart knowing that the emotion was returned.

They slipped into the washing room, and Yuri was glad that the late hour gave them privacy. The only sounds were the soft drips of water as steam condensed on the ceiling and cooled again until it fell. The soft night lighting gave the area an intimate feel.

Yuri silently led Victor to one of the washing stations and had him sit on the stool. He then filled a tub with hot water and draped a washcloth over the rim. He made sure that the soap and shampoo he grabbed were Victor’s favorites, then knelt in front of his mate.

Yuri knew it would be faster to simply spray Victor’s skin, but he wanted to take his time and truly let the man know how precious he was.

Yuri plunged the cloth into the hot water, wrung it slightly, then wet his mate’s face with it. He washed away trails of tears and smiled when Victor closed his eyes and relaxed into the gentle treatment. He moved down to the omega’s neck, and when the cloth started to cool he refreshed it in the hot water again.

He moved slowly, giving his full attention to every part of the beautiful omega. He wiped away the dirt of the day, and made sure that the cloth stayed warm. He massaged into the touch as he drew it down Victor’s back, and acted almost in reverence as he moved to the front again and wiped clean the mingled trails of cum from earlier. He rubbed circles in the man’s legs and smiled at the way Victor squirmed when Yuri accidentally tickled between his toes.

Yuri rose once the first rinse was done, tossed out the water and refilled the tub with fresh, hot, clean water. He then repeated the process, lathering soap onto the man he loved. It was only when it was time to rinse that he stopped using the washcloth, preferring instead to pour clean water over his omega.

Yuri felt it was symbolic in a way. He was washing his mate, but washing away the fears of abandonment as well. He tried to wash away as much pain as he could, but knew that it would be a longer process.

Soap rinsed, he refilled the tub once more and poured some of the water over Victor’s hair. Once the fine strands were sufficiently wet he squeezed a small amount of shampoo into his hand and started working it through the sea of platinum. He massaged Victor’s head, and felt the Russian relax underneath him.

Yuri hummed softly as he worked, and as Victor joined in he realized that the song was Stay Close To Me.

After the shampoo had a minute to sit he poured the remaining water over Victor’s hair until it was rinsed.

With Victor taken care of, Yuri turned a sprayer on himself, lathered and shampooed as quickly as possible and rinsed. He didn’t want to keep his mate waiting for long. As soon as he felt that he was clean enough he offered his arm to his love and silently led him to the outside baths.

The lighting outside was low and soft, just enough to keep from falling as they stepped into the pool. It was a moonless night and stars dusted the sky as they moved to a secluded corner of the bath. The chill of the November air made them hurry to the refuge of heat.

They sat in the hot water and nestled together, silently relishing the other’s presence. Eventually their mouths found each other’s again, and they kissed, fingers brushing against faces and cradling heads.

“I love you,” Yuri murmured as they separated.

“I love you too,” the Russian whispered back.

The words still felt precious and new. Saying them, hearing them, it took Yuri’s breath away. For a moment he wondered if he was dreaming, but the nibble on his lower lip as another kiss deepened was enough to let him know it was real.

The gentle sound of falling water as Yuri moved from sitting beside the man he loved to straddling his lap. Victor gave him a look of shock, to which Yuri replied by taking the Russian’s face between his hands and kissing him passionately.

Yuri pulled back and stared into the omega’s eyes. The white’s were still reddened from crying, and it hurt that he couldn’t erase the pain that had built up over the years. He wanted his mate to feel only love and happiness.

He leaned back in and kissed Victor’s eyelids, forehead, cheeks; whispering words of love between them. He couldn’t make his mate’s painful past vanish, but he could accept it as part of the man he cherished.

To truly embrace the man in front of him meant accepting him as a whole; the star, the coach, the goof, and the traumatized omega. He would love every part, passionately, with all of himself. To disregard any one aspect of Victor’s life experiences would change him, and Yuri couldn’t imagine anything less than the Victor he knew.

Yuri didn’t have the words to properly convey everything that Victor meant to him, so he kissed him instead. Gentle longing with chaste presses of the lips, swirling to heated, passionate desire with deep, tongue-tangling, bouts that left them both breathless. Between them he whispered the only words that mattered: “I love you.”

Hands explored, Yuri’s across Victor’s shoulders and chest, while the Russian searched for undiscovered nuances of the younger man’s back.

He was getting hard again as they kissed, the alpha within urging him to take his injured mate back to bed to make him feel good. But the rational side suppressed it. There was time for that later.

Then Victor’s hand drifted lower, cupping his ass. Fingertips brushed over his still-sensitive entrance. Yuri gasped and jolted, and felt the press of the omega’s erection against his thigh.

“Is this ok Yuri?” Victor asked softly, rubbing at his hole.

Yuri realized that it was the first time the omega had asked to be inside him, the other times he’d asked for himself. Yuri nodded and pressed back, encouraging his mate to lead. He buried his face in Victor’s shoulder and moaned as softly as he could as a long finger pressed inside.

He was still fairly loose and open from their earlier activities, but Victor took his time stretching him and massaging his sweet spot anyway. By the time the fingers were removed he was already in a state of deep pleasure.

Victor guided him to kneel at the edge of the pool, head resting on his arms as he laid against the stone perimeter. The contrast of chill air and heated water only made his nerves more sensitive to the moment. There was a dry burn at first as the Russian pushed in, but he still was lubed enough on the inside to quickly have the comfortable push and pull.

Victor moved slowly inside him, and it felt so good. He stifled his moans against his arms with each deep thrust, and the Russian hadn’t even sought out his prostate yet.

Victor leaned across his back, kissing at the skin between shoulder blades. “I used to dream about bringing you down here in the middle of the night and making love to you just like this,” he admitted softly. “When I realized you were an alpha I thought the fantasy had died with it. Then… you wanted me inside you and… Yuri… you’re too good for me. I love you so much and… is this moment even real?”

Yuri smiled and moaned from a deep thrust before he found words. “It has to be real, even my dreams never felt this good.”

Victor stilled for a moment and shook with emotion.                                               

“Mmm, Vitya… don’t stop,” Yuri whimpered. “You feel so good.”

Victor wrapped his hands around Yuri’s middle and hugged him as he pressed as deep as he could. “I love you Yuri.”

Yuri smiled as Victor started moving again. “I love you too.”

They tried to be as quiet as possible. The lapping of water at the walls of the pool sounded the pace of deep and languid thrusts. Soft moans were swept away by a gentle breeze.

Victor found Yuri’s sweet spot and rubbed against it with each movement of his cock. Soon the alpha was shaking with pleasure. He pushed up from the side of the pool, arching his back.

“Kiss me,” Yuri demanded, knowing that the only way to contain his moans was with Victor’s mouth.

Victor leaned in and Yuri turned his torso enough so that they could kiss. Victor’s left hand braced Yuri’s stomach and his right wrapped around his cock. Yuri gasped and moaned deeply as the hand started stroking in time with the thrusts.

“I’m not going to last long if you keep doing that,” Yuri warned softly between kisses.

Victor smiled against his lips. “Good. I’m not far off myself and I want to feel it.”

“Vitya…” Yuri moaned as his mouth opened for another round of kisses.

The pace increased slightly, but the tender nature stayed the same as Victor thrust into him. It wasn’t just sex, it was strengthening the new bonds between them, pulling them together a little bit more.

Yuri’s orgasm came up in a rolling wave, gentle, building on itself, until he was drowned in ecstasy. He moaned into Victor’s mouth, senses whited out as everything but pleasure was stripped away. His very essence was laid bare to the man inside him, and he trusted completely that it would be well cared for.

He heard his name as he came back from the plateau, Victor moaning it over and over. He felt the pulse deep inside and hummed appreciatively.

Victor leaned against him, trembling with aftershocks of bliss. They stayed that way for several minutes before separating and cuddling in the warmth of the water again.

There were no words between them as they sat, enjoying the solitude, the quiet and the presence of each other. No words were needed.

They kissed and cuddled, and after a while made their way back to their bedroom. It was with silent understanding that Victor laid back and Yuri moved to cover him.

Yuri hovered over the omega before leaning in and pressing a kiss to his lips. His mate was spread beneath him, waiting, wanting. He pushed into the warm heat, and savored the moan that left Victor’s lips, burned into memory the sight of his head thrown back in pleasure.

The night had exposed new cracks in the man he cherished, and he was going to fill them with a love that only he could express.

Chapter Text

Yuri leaned forward to kiss his sleeping and blissed out mate before slipping from their bed. He was tired and wanted to curl up next to Victor, but not dying by his sister’s hands was more critical.

He couldn’t keep his promise to never leave Victor if he was dead.

He wrapped his yukata around himself and made his way back to the outdoor pool. Luckily Thursday was one of the normal cleaning days, so at least he wouldn’t disturb the plans of guests. He turned on just enough of the outdoor lighting to see, and switched the diverter that controlled the flow of spring water to bypass the bath. He waited to see that it was draining properly from the low side, set out the ‘closed for cleaning’ sign, then went back to his room while the water level dropped.

Yuri flicked on the light and changed into some clothes that he didn’t mind cleaning the pool in, then sat at his computer. He thought for a moment about what he wanted to say, then composed an email to his representative in the JSF.

He decided on a summary of the prior night’s events leading to the fight in the park and provided the information about when he would be giving his statement to the police and included contact information for the responding officer.

He glanced at the clock. It was slightly before six in the morning.

He pulled a sheet of paper next to his laptop, wrote down his representative’s email address, and returned to the outdoor bath. The water had almost completely drained, and he knew that by the time he gathered the cleaning supplies it would be ready for him to work.

Yuri sighed as he looked out at the empty bath. He’d always hated the chore, and had managed to avoid it since Victor’s arrival. He stepped into the basin and hissed at how cold it was under his feet. He strode to the far end, knelt on a small mat that allowed him to at least keep his knees drier, and dipped a stiff brush into a bucket filled with a mix of water and vinegar.

He worked from the far end, moving back and forth from one wall to the other, scrubbing the rocks, floor, and all surfaces.

As much as he hated the early morning chore, it also gave him time to think. More than ever he was determined to remain by Victor’s side. A long distance relationship was out of the question. His mate had been hurt too badly, and needed to know that his chosen alpha would always be there.

But he still wanted to skate, and he wanted to let Victor skate as well.

I don’t have a choice. I’ll have to talk to Coach Feltsman. Maybe I can convince him to take me on for Victor’s sake. I need to win though. I won’t be able to make a good argument if I don’t.

Yuri scrubbed between the rocks and down along the floor of the bath. He noticed that his bucket of water and vinegar was running low. He stood, carried the bucket back, refilled it with a new mix, then resumed where he had left off.

Decision made about what to do after the Grand Prix Final, Yuri turned his thoughts to more pressing matters. Victor’s revelation about his past brought up a new uncomfortable question, and Yuri knew that he would have to talk about it while he still had time. He didn’t want his own rutting behavior to hurt his mate.

“Yuri?”

Yuri cringed, he knew that voice, and he’d hoped to have more time. He turned, a sheepish look on his face. “Ohayo Mari-neesan.”

Her eyes narrowed immediately. “You hate cleaning the baths, and I know you’d never do it this close to a competition.”

Yuri made an uncomfortable noise before offering a weak, “I was restless and thought I’d help?”

She glared, then her eyes opened wide with realization. Yuri blushed.

“I’d kill you both if it wouldn’t cause an international incident. You know that, right?”

“It just… kinda happened.”

“Oh god!” She threw her hands in the air. “I don’t want to know.” She paused and stared daggers at him. “You better not be slacking on the cleaning. If even one guest has a complaint I’ll have your head.”

“I know.”

“And this had better never happen again.”

“I know.”

She studied him for another moment before storming back inside the warmth of the inn.

Yuri sighed with relief. It had gone far better than expected. The fact that he was well into cleaning had likely helped.

He continued working, mind wandering to what they’d have to do that afternoon. He wasn’t looking forward to giving a statement to police, and was nervous about what the JSF would say. He knew he had done everything right, but there was still the tinge of fear.

He had scrubbed nearly three quarters of the pool, and yellow morning sun was making the job slightly easier. He heard the door from the washroom slide open.

“So this is where you are.”

Yuri smiled and stood. He walked over to the edge where Victor stood and looked up with a smile. His mate leaned over and kissed him softly.

“I was wondering when I woke up and you were nowhere to be found.”

“I needed to clean the pool, but wanted to let you sleep.”

“Doesn’t Mari usually clean the pools?”

Yuri smiled softly, hoping that he wouldn’t have to explain it. Victor stared for a moment, then he started to understand.

“Oh my god Yuri. I wasn’t thinking.”

Yuri tilted his head in a way that begged for another kiss, which Victor granted. “Don’t worry about it Vitya. I had a choice to stop you and I didn’t. I knew what I was doing.”

Victor frowned softly, but nodded. “What can I do to help?”

Yuri smiled. “First, stay away from Mari. I’d rather the man I love stay alive.”

Victor beamed at the title.

“There’s an email address next to my computer. It’s my representative in the JSF. Since you were there last night and you’re also my coach, it would be a good idea for you to send in a statement for him to review before he decides if he will join us this afternoon or not.”

Yuri paused, worried about Victor having to remember the night before. “Is that ok, or do you want me there for that?”

Victor set his jaw. “I think I’ll be ok. I’m calmer now.”

Yuri nodded. “We’ll have to switch practice to this evening. I need to sleep at some point or I’ll just hurt myself. So could you text Nishigori and let him know he can run the maintenance on the chillers this morning? He was waiting for your heat, but this will give him an extra few hours to determine if anything needs ordered.”

Victor nodded. “Anything else?”

Yuri smiled. “Yes, something for both of us.”

“Oh?”

“Start packing for this weekend. I want to be there when you pick which of my things you want for your nest, but I’m sure you have your own favorite items.”

Yuri saw happiness in his mate’s eyes at the request, and granted another kiss before the Russian walked off to do what he had asked.

Yuri smiled as he turned back to his chore. A part of him wished that Victor had slept longer, but him being awake meant that they could curl up for a nap together later.

Almost two hours after he started, Yuri finally finished scrubbing the pool. He took a deep breath, then carried the bucket to the cleaning storage and grabbed an almost identical one. He filled the new bucket with clean water, dropped a ladle into it and walked back to the bath. He splashed the water, rinsing the scrubbed dirt and cleaning solution in the reverse direction, from the entrance to the outlet, returning to refill the bucket several times.

Finally he turned to a sprayer hose and carried it to the side of the pool. He dropped it along the side, went into the washroom to thoroughly wash his feet, then back outside to the pool. Starting from the entrance again, he sprayed gently, making sure that the entire surface of the bath was well rinsed all the way to the outlet. The sprayer was generally an extra step, but he didn’t want to leave Mari any room for complaint.

He put the sprayer away and walked along the perimeter to the outflow of the bath, noted where the dam was at and lowered it to keep water from rushing out as the pool refilled. He returned to the diverter, and once more directed the spring water into the onsen. He took the temperature as it flowed in and determined that it was fine without addition of cool water.

He put the supplies away as the pool refilled, and noted that he would probably have enough time to check on Victor. He made his way up and found the Russian finishing up an email. He wrapped his arms around his mate and kissed the side of his head.

“You doing ok?”

Victor turned enough to smile softly. “Yeah. I’m ok.”

“Good. I’m waiting for the onsen to refill, then let’s have some breakfast. Ok?”

Victor nodded.

Yuri nuzzled into his mate’s neck and breathed deep the omega’s scent, masked slightly with his own.

“I like your scent on me,” Victor murmured.

“I like yours on me,” Yuri purred in return before kissing Victor’s hair and standing. “I’ll let mom know we’re ready for breakfast and meet you there in a few minutes.”

Victor smiled and Yuri walked back to the pool.

Steam was rising from the fresh water, and he saw that it was almost to full. He walked around to the dam again, waited a couple minutes then drew it up to where it had been when he started. He watched to make sure that the flow was equalized, quickly showered in the washroom, checked the level of the pool again, and once he was satisfied that everything was as it should be, made his way to the dining room and sat next to Victor.

Victor nuzzled into Yuri’s neck while they waited. “You smell good.”

Yuri smiled. “I decided I had to shower before breakfast. Cleaning the onsen always makes me work up a sweat.”

Victor kissed his temple.

Yuri turned and beamed at his mate. “Did you start packing?”

Victor grinned and nodded.

“Can I see what you picked out?”

Victor’s grin widened and his eyes sparkled at his alpha’s interest in his nest.

They ate then made their way to their room. Yuri sat on the bed and smiled as Victor showed off the things that he had chosen for his nest: one of the omega’s favorite scarves, a sweater, several poodle plushes and a couple blankets.

Once Victor had finished showing off his selections he stood at the edge of the bed and Yuri wrapped his arms around his mate’s middle.

“You’re more excited than I expected,” Yuri said fondly. “I… I was worried that this would be hard for you.”

Victor leaned over and kissed Yuri’s forehead. “I’m still scared Yuri. But things feel different this time. Nesting used to be one of those things that instinct said I had to do, and the part of me that hated the fact I’m omega would push back. I’d put it off until I was almost distressed at the lack of a nest. But seeing it meant that I was so close to that vulnerability again.”

Victor ran his thumbs over Yuri’s cheekbones. “But this time you’ll be there, your scent will be in my nest.” He blushed. “The omega part of me is excited about that. I feel safe. You helped me find a place that I’ll be comfortable at, you’ll be there to protect me, and…” Victor’s blush deepened.

“And?” Yuri asked, confused.

“And I don’t need to worry about you taking advantage of me. I’ve asked you to be there, and you told me that you’ll leave if it’s too much. It’s so different that the part of me that was always scared is losing the battle against my instincts. I want to nest, I want to see your reaction to it. I want that safety in your arms, and it makes me excited that you’re pushing me to do what’s right for me.”

Yuri smiled, and had to stifle a yawn. His eyes drifted to the very soft blanket that laid on top of Victor’s pile.

Yuri reached for the blanket and snatched it, carrying it up the bed with him.

“Hey!” Victor protested. “What are you doing?”

“Testing it out and making it smell like me,” Yuri mumbled as he flopped sideways and stretched out on the bed.

Victor strode to the head of the bed and smiled down. “Is that so?”

Yuri reached out and snatched his mate’s wrist, tugging him down onto the bed. He pulled the blanket over them both. “Making it smell like us…” he murmured as he closed his eyes, sleep swiftly overtaking him.

Victor chuckled and nuzzled in. “You could have just asked.”

“Nope,” Yuri replied.

Victor kissed his forehead and pulled him close. “ Sladkikh snov , moya lyubov'.”


 

Victor was delighted, sitting on Yuri’s bed and sifting through the blankets, sweaters and clothes that the younger man had pulled out.

Yuri sat on his desk chair and smiled, watching his mate sniff at the offerings and put them into piles depending on how likely he was to choose them. Every few minutes the Russian would glance at the suitcase that they had chosen for nesting materials, deciding if they had enough room.

Once the omega had sorted the pile and was determining how to pack it, Yuri decided that it was time he spoke.

“Vitya?”

Victor looked up at him, a questioning look in his eyes.

Yuri licked his lips nervously. “Before I start, I don’t want you to freak out or worry. Just hear me out, and let me know what you want me to do. Ok?”

Victor scowled, but nodded.

Yuri took a deep breath. “I’m wondering if I should take an emergency suppressant…”

“What? Why?” Victor cried, distress filling the room.

Yuri reached out and released some pheromones from his wrist near his mate’s face. “Shh Vitya. I’ll still be there, there’s just some rutting behavior of mine I’m worried about. I don’t want to dredge up old pain.”

“But everybody I know who has taken an emergency suppressant says that they’re incredibly uncomfortable,” Victor replied, concern in his eyes.

Yuri nodded. “I’ve heard it too, but I want this to be a good heat for you, and… I’m worried about the language I use when I’m rutting.”

Victor cocked his head to the side. “Language?” he asked confused.

Yuri blushed crimson. “I… when my rut is nearing and at peak I… I say things…”

Victor blinked, still confused.

Yuri squirmed under his mate’s gaze and stared at the floor. “I talk about breeding… and babies…” his voice dropped, “and stuff like that.

“Vitya, after last night, I just don’t want to say anything that would bring up bad memories, and it’s hard to control. I can try, but… I talked about that stuff even when rutting alone and the only omega was in my head. I’ll do whatever you want. If you want me to take a suppressant I will, if you want me to hold back without a suppressant all I can offer is a promise to try.”

Yuri lifted his gaze nervously, not knowing what to expect from his mate.

Victor was blushing and blinking rapidly.

Yuri stood and took the two paces to the Russian’s side. “Vitya, are you ok?”

Victor looked up at him. “I… I…”

Yuri stared, and slowly realized that his mate wasn’t stressed about the thought, but was blushing because he’d imagined it. “Vitya?” he asked cautiously. “Do you want me to say things like that?”

“I don’t know,” Victor admitted. “The omega part of me does, it almost scared me how excited it was about the thought, especially about you saying those things. The rational part of my mind isn’t so sure.”

Yuri nodded and kissed platinum hair. “The decision is yours Vitya. I might not be able to control it, so if you don’t want it to happen then I should take an emergency suppressant.”

Victor wrapped his arms around his middle and clung tightly. “Don’t suppress Yuri,” he whispered after several minutes.

“Are you sure?”

Victor looked up again and smiled, though Yuri saw a bit of strain about the decision. “I’m sure.”

“Promise you’ll tell me if you can’t handle it? Maybe I can force it down. If not, I’ll go to the alpha suite.”

“Yuri. I can barely speak when in heat. Your name, alpha, if I’m lucky one or two more words. That part of my brain is just… overwhelmed… with the hormones and heat haze.”

“You understand though, right?” Yuri asked.

Victor nodded.

Yuri thought back to his classes on omega care. “What about… sign language? Do you think we can come up with some signals so that you can communicate your needs?”

Victor grinned. “I think so!”

Yuri smiled. “We’ll come up with something that works then. Then you can tell me what you need, including if you need me to shut up.”

Victor’s eyes shone as he nodded.


 

Yuri squirmed on the uncomfortable plastic chair. The police translator had taken Victor and the JSF representative to another room for the Russian’s statement. However that left him sitting with the responding officer from the night before, and his anxiety was growing the longer the process took.

“You don’t need to worry about arrest,” the officer declared after several minutes of watching him fidget. “The restaurant manager corroborated your story about what happened there, and the video proves that you were assaulted in the park after attempting to leave peacefully. Considering that even your masking soap can’t fully conceal how close you are to rut, you showed amazing restraint at being challenged for your omega.”

Yuri smiled nervously, the officer was much calmer when not facing two alphas who had just been fighting.

“Thank you, but that was only half my worry.”

The officer raised an eyebrow. “Really?”

Yuri nodded. “My career is on the line. The Japanese Skating Federation highly disapproves of physical violence, and as a representative member… how they view this could mean suspension or even expulsion. I have a competition next week, and what they determine decides if I go... if I can even continue figure skating competitively.”

“Even though everything we’re seen points to you and your omega being the victims?”

Yuri shrugged. “It’s a judgement call for them. They’ll decide if I acted inappropriately, even given the circumstances.”

The officer shook his head and flipped through the paperwork. “You didn’t cause injury. When the other alpha woke up hungover this morning he said he was a bit sore, and our medics confirmed that there had been no damage. I don’t respond to many alpha fights, this was only my third in ten years, but both others, and the ones I’ve heard about, all tend to require ambulances, stitches and sometimes casts.

“If the lack of injury wasn’t unusual enough, usually the larger alpha is the clear victor.”

Yuri laughed. “Well I am an athlete. I may be small, but I train almost every day.”

The officer shook his head, and Yuri stood when he saw a familiar head of platinum hair heading his direction, accompanied by the female translator and the male JSF representative.

Victor looked slightly pale after recounting the events, and Yuri couldn’t help but take his hand. “Are you ok?”

Victor nodded. “Yeah. I just didn’t like thinking about it was all.”

Yuri stared at his mate, then nodded. He turned to the translator and the representative and bowed before they took their seats.

The translator moved to the officer and recounted Victor’s statement, then sat on the other side of the Russian to translate the conversation. The JSF representative asked several questions about the incident and what the police had determined, and viewed the video that the girls had taken in the park.

Yuri couldn’t tell what the representative was thinking as he scowled throughout, taking notes. When the video was complete he asked for a copy, which the officer provided.

“Katsuki-san,” he began, and Yuri felt Victor tense beside him. “Given what I have seen and heard, I will be recommending a verbal caution to be issued, and it would be noted in your file. If the panel accepts my recommendation you will be reminded to avoid instances that could lead to violence, but it would not be a warning or reprimand.

“Unfortunately, even in cases where a member was clearly assaulted without provocation, it is the lightest punishment I can suggest for a physical altercation. It will be the determination of a final review panel as to whether it is accepted, a harsher judgment issued or if the matter is dismissed entirely.

“In my judgement you acted appropriately, and only resorted to violence when attacked. You managed to show enough restraint as to not injure your attacker. However, the panel will have the final word on this matter.

“We are well aware of your tight competition schedule, and will have a determination for you by tomorrow afternoon. But I wouldn’t worry. I don’t see anything that would make them bar you from competing.”

Yuri breathed a sigh of relief, stood and bowed. The others made similar motions. Yuri and Victor were just turning to leave when the officer called out.

“Katsuki-san?”

Yuri turned back. “Yes?”

“Good luck on your upcoming competition.”

Yuri smiled and bowed again. “Thank you.”


 

Yuri grumbled as he skidded to a stop next to the barrier. He’d been putting his hand down on the quad flip all evening.

“Damnit, I thought I had it yesterday!”

Victor leaned on the barrier and smiled. “Yuuuuri… how many hours of sleep did you get? Four? Five? It’s amazing you’re only putting your hand down.”

Yuri glared and Victor laughed. The Russian leaned across and kissed the alpha’s cheek. “Run your programs, mark the jumps. I’m not going to push too hard considering the day you’ve had. So let’s work on tightening up your step sequence. There are still a few places where your footwork could be cleaner.”

“I need to clean up this jump, Vitya,” Yuri argued.

Victor smiled and grabbed Yuri’s forearms so that they were facing each other. “Yuuuuri, trust your coach. You’re tired, and I don’t want to see you make any mistakes that could lead to you being injured.”

Yuri felt his will to argue start to shift as Victor’s thumbs worked small circles on his arms.

“Do it for me?” Victor pressed.

Yuri’s resolve crumbled and he nodded. “Ok Vitya, you win. I’ll run programs and mark jumps.”

Victor smiled fondly, and Yuri couldn’t help but smile at his mate.

Yuri moved to center ice and started. He’d just reached the beginning of his choreographic sequence when he heard the email alert on Victor’s phone.

Victor yelled out suggestions, and as he ended he quickly filtered through what he could remember hearing.

“Let me check this email, then we’ll run it again,” Victor called.

Yuri nodded and took a few deep breaths as he waited for the Russian to read and respond to the email.

“Yuri, it’s here!”

“What’s here?” Yuri responded, confused.

“The music for the exhibition skate.”

Yuri was even more confused. “What do you mean? I’m skating Stay Close to Me.

“No, no. For our duet.”

“Then we’re skating Stay Close to Me.

“Exactly! The duet version has arrived.”

Yuri skated to the barrier. “What duet version? I thought you were just getting it shortened.”

Victor grinned. “Didn’t I tell you? I asked my composer to turn the aria into a duet for our skate.”

Yuri blinked. “Vitya, it was fine before.”

Victor pouted. “No it wasn’t. A skating duet with you required a singing duet to go with it.”

Yuri laughed at his mate’s ridiculousness, then kissed him softly. “Ok Vitya. Let's hear it then.”

Victor beamed and opened the sound file on his phone. The tiny speaker barely did the piece justice, but somehow it was even more beautiful than before. The plaintive pleading of the original was replaced with a fierce longing tone, each voice calling the other closer. He could see the symbolism in his mind, the way they entered the ice separate, but would leave it together.

The piece ended.

“Well?” Victor asked.

Yuri smiled, leaned in and kissed his mate. “It’s perfect Vitya.”

Chapter Text

Yuri knew even before he fully awoke that the earliest stage of his rut had started. He wouldn’t be fully rutting until the next day, but every instinct he had was screaming at him to make sure that his omega stayed at his side.

He could tell by the gentle breathing that Victor was still asleep. He rolled over and cuddled him, nuzzling his shoulder as near the scent gland as he could.

He was hard as a rock, and could tell from the feeling in his cock that the last of the suppressants had worn off and he would be able to knot at any time. A part of him couldn’t wait to share that bond with Victor, and he groaned when he remembered that they still planned to skate that morning.

“Yuri?” Victor mumbled sleepily, turning into the alpha’s embrace. “Smell good.”

He ran his hands up Victor’s chest, mapping the lines of muscle with his fingertips, allowing himself the fantasy of tasting the same skin, and he growled deep in lust.

“Yuri?” Victor asked again, ocean-blue eyes cracking open in the dim morning light.

He hummed in satisfaction at seeing that his omega was awake. He kissed and nipped at his jaw until the Russian gasped and turned into the touch.

Yuri growled, pushed Victor onto his back and moved to straddle him in one smooth motion. He leaned in, a deep rumble in his chest as he claimed his mate’s lips. At the same time he pressed his hips down to let the man beneath him know exactly how much he was desired.

He pulled back from the kiss and saw both shock and need in Victor’s eyes.

“Fuck…” Victor whispered.

Yuri leaned in and nibbled his boyfriend’s ear. “That’s the plan, if you’ll let me.” He rolled his hips, letting his mate feel how hard he was.

Victor shuddered underneath him. “Oh god yes,” he moaned needily.

Yuri claimed Victor’s mouth again, thrusting his tongue into the warm cavern at the same pace he rolled his hips against the other man’s rapidly hardening length. He broke the kiss to suck and nip along the Russian’s jaw and down his chest, careful not to leave marks.

Soon. Soon I’ll decorate all my favorite places on your skin.

He took Victor’s cock into his mouth at the same time he pushed a finger into his slick wettened hole. He could feel how close his partner was just by the movement of his hips, and he pressed a second finger in quickly, searching for the sweet spot as he opened him up.

Yuri sucked and bobbed his head while his fingers massaged and opened up his mate, and he growled in praise when he tasted the warm flood of Victor’s cum on his tongue.

Delicious.

He swallowed and knelt between spread thighs. He lined his cock up with the omega’s entrance and pushed in at the same time that he leaned across and claimed Victor’s mouth again.

He could feel his mate’s moan rumbling through his mouth and into his chest, and answered with an appreciative growl of his own. He sheathed himself fully in one smooth motion, Victor opening easily so close to heat. He only gave his partner a few seconds to get used to the feel before he started pistoning his hips.

Yuri shifted his angle until Victor threw his head back with a cry of pleasure. Having found what he was looking for, he continued to thrust hard against the sweet spot and watched the man below him fall to pieces in ecstasy.

All too soon he was overwhelmed with the instinct to fill his omega, and he came with a growl, thrusting in deep and holding there until his cock stopped pulsing. He kissed Victor throughout, hands tangled in platinum hair and holding him exactly how he wanted.

They stayed that way for several minutes, just kissing, before Yuri pulled out and laid next to the Russian. He folded him into his arms and resumed kissing for several more minutes before his instinct finally calmed down enough to let him relax.

They cuddled, Yuri growling low in satisfaction and Victor humming happily. Their mouths sought each other out every time they thought they were done.

“I could get used to that kind of wake up,” Victor finally murmured.

“Let’s skip practice today Vitya,” Yuri replied. “We can do that until we have to leave for the hotel.”

Victor smiled and kissed him again. “As good as that sounds, you have a competition next week.” He thought for a minute. “But show me three perfect quad flips, and we’ll leave early so that you can ravish me again before check-in.”

“Deal,” Yuri rumbled.


 

“Yuko?” Victor asked as they walked in to see her sitting at the counter instead of Takeshi. “What are you doing here? Don’t you usually help the girls get ready for school?”

“Hi Victor, hi Yuri,” she replied with a wave. “Takeshi suggested that we switch today. So he’s at home with the girls. He’ll be in this afternoon after the two of you leave.”

Yuri smiled in gratitude, but could sense the confusion from his mate.

“Why?” Victor asked.

Yuko laughed. “Because of Yuri.”

Victor looked over and blinked. “Yuri?”

Yuri sighed, rose to kiss his omega then tried to explain. “Vitya, did you notice how close I’ve been all morning? How I had my hand on you in the coffeeshop, and around your waist on the walk here?”

“Yes?”

Yuri blushed, and Yuko laughed in amusement.

“He’s going to be like that all day Victor. I bet you had a very nice wake-up call too.”

“Yuko!” Yuri protested, which only made her laugh harder.

“Takeshi does the same thing the day before his rut goes into high gear. He gets super protective and possessive, and makes sure I have no room for complaint.

On the flip side, he doesn’t want any other alphas around me, even those he trusts. Since this is your first heat together, Yuri will be even more on edge to make sure you’re happy and that there is nobody to rival for your attention. Takeshi decided it would be better for him to just give you two the space this morning.”

Victor stared mutely, glancing from Yuko to Yuri and back again.

Yuri sighed. “Thank him for me please. I was prepared to see him here, but my instincts are definitely more at ease now.”

Yuko smiled. “Of course, though I bet Victor would have loved how clingy you would have gotten. It’s obvious how much he likes that kind of attention from you.”

“Yuko!”

“So how many marks has he left?”

Victor blinked again. “None?”

Yuko’s eyes went wide. “He hasn’t marked you?”

“I was waiting!” Yuri argued.

“Yuri?” Victor asked, confused.

Yuri squirmed under his boyfriend’s scrutiny. “She’s asking about love bites and hickeys. It… it’s supposed to be the most pleasurable for you a few hours before your heat starts… so I… was waiting.”

Victor stared a moment then smiled. “I thought you were holding back on something! Glad to know it wasn’t just my imagination.”

“I’m impressed Yuri,” Yuko said. “Normally I’d be covered in them by this point in his rut. Takeshi can’t hold back when he wants to mark me.”

“I don’t need to know that!” Yuri protested.

She laughed and turned back to something behind the counter. “The rink is ready for you two, go get your practice in.”

They put on their skates and made their way to the ice. “You’re... already rutting?” Victor asked cautiously once they were out of earshot.

Yuri smiled. “Technically. Remember, ruts are longer than heats. I’m in what most call the ‘prowling’ phase. I’m ok to be out and about, though previously I would have used a nasal spray to dull my senses to the smell of omegas nearing heat. I didn’t use it this time because I want to smell you.”

“But… you didn’t knot me this morning,” Victor asked, confused.

Yuri smiled, fisted his hands in his boyfriend’s jacket and pulled him close for a kiss. “Oh believe me Vitya, I wanted to. If you’d agreed to stay home in bed I would probably be knotting you right now.”

Victor blushed. “Wow. Where is this energy in your eros performance?”

Yuri blinked, then chuckled. “Maybe that’s what I should think about in Russia, all the things I want to do to you in the hotel room that night.”

Victor purred and laid his hands on Yuri’s waist. “I think that sounds like a perfect idea.”

Yuri kissed his omega. “Three perfect quad flips?”

“Three. If you can do that we’ll head back early.”

“Challenge accepted.”


 

Yuri had only managed two quad flips without putting his hand down, and was angry at himself as they sat in the udon restaurant. He was ravenous, and had ordered an extra-large plate of yaki-udon. But as he dug into the steaming pile of noodles he saw that Victor was barely touching his small bowl of miso soup, merely sipping the broth.

“Not hungry?” Yuri asked gently.

Victor smiled. “No. My body doesn’t want solid food right now.”

Yuri frowned. “I’m sorry. I should have remembered and suggested an early lunch so that we could get more into you.”

“I barely touched breakfast too.”

Yuri reached across the table and tangled his fingers with his boyfriend’s. “Do you think you might be up for a smoothie on the way to the hotel? I’d like to get as much into you as possible before tomorrow, since I remember you didn’t even eat the brothy soup last time until almost halfway through.”

“If you order one I’ll take a couple sips.”

Yuri smiled. “I’ll take what I can get.”

They ate in silence for several minutes before Yuri’s phone buzzed with a notification. He looked and saw that he’d received an email from his JSF representative.

“The determination…” he said as he unlocked it and waited for the message to load.

His eyes flew over the characters before he sighed in relief. He turned to Victor, smiled and read from his phone. “After review, the panel has decided to take no further action. The evidence clearly proves that Katsuki Yuri was attempting to de-escalate and remove himself and his coach from the area in a peaceful manner. Even after being assaulted, he showed restraint in his actions and caused no lasting injury to his attacker. The incident will be noted in the skater’s records as having occurred, but will be of no consequence except in the event of future altercations.”

Yuri looked to Victor and saw the joy on his boyfriend’s face. “No caution! Nothing! I can skate without worry!”

Victor’s eyes shone. “Yuri!”


 

They walked down the hall, rolling suitcases behind them. The bigger one, Victor’s, was stuffed with items for his nest. Yuri’s had the clothes they would leave in, and more nesting material. They had determined that they’d spend most of the time either in the inn’s yukatas or nude, so had devoted space to giving Victor the best nest possible.

Yuri slid aside the screen at their assigned room and they stepped into the narrow holding area as he opened the locking door on the other side.

“Yuri? What do these buttons say?”

Yuri looked at the row of buttons near the door. “The first reads ‘In heat,’ the second ‘remove cart,’ and the third is a call button to ask for supplies, see the speaker next to it.”

“This is a heat hotel though, isn’t it? Why do they need the button indicating heat?”

Yuri smiled. “Remember what Takeshi said about food? We’ll order a bunch of stuff in advance and they’ll keep delivering on a schedule, but once everything is over we can turn that off and stop it. Then we can order from the regular menu.”

“Oh.”

Yuri wrapped his fingers around Victor’s wrist and tugged him into the room. They allowed the inner door to close as Yuri wrapped his arms around his mate’s neck and pulled him in for a kiss. He could feel his omega trembling slightly.

“Vitya,” he cooed, looking into the Russian’s eyes. “Just remember, I love you, and I’ll do what you want. This is your heat, and the only thing I want is for it to be a good one for you. You’re safe, and I’m here to protect you.”

“Yuri!” Victor cried as he wrapped the alpha in his arms. The change was immediate, and the smaller man smelled relief and even a tinge of excitement in his partner.

They took a few more steps, and Yuri saw Victor’s eyes flicking between the nesting bed and the outdoor bath, trying to decide which he wanted first. He moved to wrap his arms around the omega’s waist from behind.

“Let’s build your nest first Vitya,” he suggested. “That way it’s to your liking before the heat hormones make you want to rush.”

It was what the omega needed to hear. He broke into a huge, heart-shaped, smile and nodded excitedly.

Yuri kissed his shoulder. “You open the suitcases, and I’ll grab the pad and liners from the closet.”

Yuri walked over and grabbed an armful of soft materials, then carried them to where Victor was waiting. He knew better than to touch the nest area until invited, but offered to help his omega by fetching whatever he wanted.

Victor placed the absorbent pad on the round mattress, then several easily removable liners on top. With the base in place he moved to kneel in the middle and surveyed the space.

“Pillows?” he asked Yuri.

Yuri smiled and grabbed as many pillows as he could carry from the closet. He passed them to the omega and watched them become the first wall. The second step involved Victor weaving blankets in-between the pillows to stabilize them, then another layer of pillows.

The nest built in as Victor continued to add materials from the closet, and soon Yuri realized that the low rumble he heard was a growl of approval. His omega was building what looked to be an extremely comfortable nest.

There was a pause, and the Russian turned his ocean-blue eyes to the suitcases. “Sweaters?” he asked.

Yuri grabbed all the sweaters and carried them over, watching the colorful fabrics disappear and reappear as they were woven into the existing walls. Victor’s blankets were next, then Yuri’s practice clothes. Finally all that was left were the poodle plushes, and Yuri could see where the omega had left places for them as they were carefully wedged into the openings and completed the nest.

Yuri growled approvingly. His mate had built a beautiful nest, but the sound died as he realized that the omega was whining softly.

“Vitya? What’s wrong?”

Victor looked at him. “Yuri…”

Yuri blinked and stepped as close as he dared. He hadn’t been invited into the nest, and getting into it without permission would stress the omega.

“Vitya? Are you ok? It’s a fantastic nest.”

Blue eyes locked on him, and Victor smiled. He crawled to the edge of the nest, wrapped his arms around Yuri’s waist and tugged him down into fluffy construct of pillows, blankets and assorted soft things.

Yuri started growling again immediately. “You could have asked,” he joked.

Victor hovered above him and smiled. “Nope.”

The Russian leaned in and claimed Yuri’s mouth, kissing him deeply. One hand ran down Yuri’s front, over the front of his pants and massaged at his crotch.

“Needs your smell.”

Yuri smiled and released his pheromones, but stopped when the omega whined.

“Not that smell…” he said rubbing harder on Yuri’s growing erection. “This smell.”

He’s in deep. He wants the smell of his aroused alpha.

“Whatever you want Vitya,” Yuri purred. “I’m yours.”

Victor made a happy noise and kissed Yuri while he continued to rub at the alpha’s cock. At some point his hand drifted inside his briefs and he continued to stroke.

The slow hand-job was amazing. Victor kissed him breathless while he worked, and he could practically feel his arousal seeping into the nest.

“Vitya!” he gasped when a particular motion brought him right to the edge.

Victor curled into him, burying his face near Yuri’s scent gland. He made the same motion with his hand again. “Alpha…” he purred.

The word did Yuri in and he spilled in Victor’s hand and his own pants, shaking with the intensity.

When he came back to himself Victor was purring happily against him, sucking softly on his scent gland.

“Is your nest done now?” Yuri asked softly.

Victor lifted his head and smiled. He nodded.

Yuri hooked an arm around his mate’s neck and pulled him in for a kiss. “Good,” he whispered against the omega’s lips. “It’s perfect.”

They curled into each other to kiss in the cocoon of warmth.

Chapter Text

Yuri was comfortable. He was sitting propped in Victor’s nest, wrapped in a yukata, his arms around the omega’s waist, his boyfriend’s back against his chest. It had been awkward at first, with the taller man in front, until the Russian scooted down into the nest a bit

Then it was perfect.

They’d spent a couple hours developing a handful of simple signs that would allow Victor to communicate while in heat. They covered the basics first: yes, no, stop, food, water, bathroom, and one which Yuri insisted on, leave. After that they’d expanded the vocabulary with: more, faster, slower, knot, talk, shut-up, and need. They finished with a game of charades in which Victor would use one of the signs that required more information, and have Yuri guess what he meant.

Despite the serious nature of the activity, it had led to laughter and fun. It was a moment in which they’d just enjoyed themselves before settling down to cuddle.

The light was quickly fading in the room, but neither wanted to move to turn on a lamp. The quiet time before instinct took over was dwindling, and they just wanted to savor the other’s presence.

Yuri noticed a tremble through Victor. “Are you cold?” he asked, nuzzling his boyfriend’s hair. “There’s a blanket free up here.”

Victor shook his head and stared out the glass doors.

Yuri squeezed. “Are you scared?”

“No…” Victor lied. A moment of silence. “Yes.”

“Can I tell you something?”

“Hmm?”

“I am too.”

Victor sat up enough to twist and look at Yuri. “Why are you scared?”

Yuri made a motion in the dim light that he wanted his partner to face him. Victor turned and straddled his lap.

Yuri took his mate’s face between his hands, thumbs rubbing lines on strong cheekbones. “I’m scared that I’ll mess up.” He leaned in and pressed a chaste kiss to Victor’s lips. “I’m terrified that, despite all our planning, I’ll say or do something that will hurt you without realizing it. I love you Vitya, and the thought of hurting you is almost too much to bear.”

Victor’s breath caught in his throat.

“Do you know why I know it’ll be ok though?” Yuri continued.

“No…”

Yuri leaned in and pressed their foreheads together. “Because I trust you. I trust that you really want me here, and I trust that you’ll believe in me enough to stop me if things aren’t going exactly as you like.”

“But I don’t trust myself Yuri.” Victor choked. “I’m afraid that once instinct takes over I’ll ask for things we’re not ready for.”

Yuri kissed him gently. “Then set those limits now. I’m here, I’m listening. Tell me what’s not allowed, no matter how much you beg.”

“Yuri…” Victor shook and fell silent.

“Victor, do you remember my anxiety attack from earlier this week?”

“Yes?”

“I felt better after it, because I trusted you. Instead of shoving the dark thoughts back into the corners of my mind I let them run their course. I went to you because I knew you could help keep me grounded. It was selfish, but I trusted you would be there. I’ve never allowed anybody to be that anchor before. And I felt better for it, because I didn’t keep it all in.

“Do you understand what I’m saying Vitya?”

Victor shook his head.

“You’ve bottled up your instinct for years. But if you can trust me, trust that I’ll protect you, even from yourself, then maybe you can let go too.”

Victor leaned into Yuri’s embrace and nuzzled the alpha’s neck.

“No bonding,” Victor whispered after several minutes.

“No bonding,” Yuri repeated, rubbing his cheek over his omega’s hair.

“I’ll beg,” Victor warned. “Even now I want your bite, but I know we’re not ready for it.”

Yuri kissed platinum locks. “I want to bite you too, but I agree. We’re not ready.”

Victor shook, but Yuri could feel him relaxing in his arms.

“Don’t make me submit unless you absolutely have to. I already feel that I don’t have control.”

“I promise. I won’t make you submit unless it’s a matter of safety.”

“I can’t think of anything else right now.”

“There’s time. And I’ll say no to anything I think you’d object to outside of heat.”

Victor brought his face up from the alpha’s neck and kissed him deeply. “Yuri…”

“Is there anything you want? ” Yuri prodded. “No need to be shy about it now. What do you want me to do to you, with you?”

Victor groaned with lust. “Anything… everything.”

Yuri grinned. “That narrows it down.”

Victor laughed. “Everything I think of right now is just making me hard. I think heat me likes it kinky.”

Yuri thought for a moment, noticing that Victor had started to grind against him. “What if… not an order to submit… but at the start of your heat I tell you that I like it when you let me know if you don’t like something. Would that work? Rather than you giving into my desire for whatever I’m doing, you have a stronger desire to make me happy by standing up for yourself.”

Victor nodded. “It’s worth a try.”

Yuri kissed his mate. “Do you trust me Vitya? I know you won’t truly be able to let go unless you trust me.”

Victor leaned in until their foreheads were touching. “I trust you.”

“Good,” Yuri said softly, pressing kisses to his boyfriend’s face. “Now, is there something else you want?” he asked, fingers drifting over the Russian’s grinding hips.

“You,” Victor breathed.

“I’m right here, and I’m all yours.”

That was all the omega needed. He immediately claimed his alpha’s mouth, fingers tugging at the sash on the yukata.

Yuri hummed happily and leaned against the wall of the nest, giving Victor access as the sash was loosened and the edges of the garment pushed open. The Russian quickly discarded his own clothing then pressed their chests together, body curving sensually as his flexibility allowed him to conform to the still mostly-sitting younger man.

Yuri’s hands drifted to his boyfriend’s ass, and he massaged the flesh, noting the toned muscle underneath. He lifted and spread the cheeks, and was surrounded in the smell of cinnamon as the omega’s slick was exposed to the air.

“God that smells delicious,” he groaned.

“Yuri?” Victor asked, taking a break from nibbling the alpha’s neck.

“Your heat scent. It’s amazing. It mingles with your normal scent perfectly, but with added sweetness.”

Victor returned to Yuri’s neck, nipping and moaning as the younger man continued to knead his ass. “What does it smell like?” he asked as he moved from the neck to the shoulder.

“Cinnamon,” Yuri moaned as he felt teeth on his skin. “It’s incredible with the normal oranges and snow.”

Victor stopped, sat up slightly and chuckled.

“What’s so funny that you had to stop?” Yuri complained.

Victor laughed. “You say I smell like cinnamon during heat, and your smell takes on that of cloves when you’re rutting.”

Yuri smiled. “Cinnamon and clove, sounds like a good mix.”

Victor leaned in again and kissed Yuri. “Mm-hmm.”

One of Yuri’s hands drifted between the cheeks, and fingers teased at the Russian’s entrance.

The older man gasped and pressed back, begging.  

“What do I normally smell like?” Yuri asked as he pushed two fingers in immediately, noting how easy his mate stretched so close to heat.

Victor rolled his hips against the fingers, hands clenching against Yuri’s chest. “Sawdust, and summer rain on freshly turned earth.”

“And you like it?” He pushed a third finger in.

“Mm-hmm.”

Yuri was hard, and the omega writhing against his erection was a slow torture. After a few minutes he was finally granted relief as Victor pulled himself off Yuri’s hand and straddled the hard cock, lowering himself onto it.

Victor moaned as he sunk down, taking Yuri in one smooth motion. He purred in contentment when he bottomed out.

“Better?” Yuri asked softly.

“Almost,” was the soft reply as his boyfriend started riding.

Because of the way Yuri was sitting he didn’t have the leverage to thrust much in return, so he enjoyed the feel of Victor rising up and dropping down, the way his body shuddered as he ground against his sweet spot. The moans created a soundtrack for his ears only.

“You’re so sexy,” he praised, one hand on the Russian’s hip, the other caressing his face. “And you feel amazing.”

Yuri pulled his boyfriend close and kissed him deeply. They exchanged heated moans as Victor’s hips rolled in his lap, taking his cock deep with each thrust.

“Yuri…”

The alpha couldn’t help but growl at the needy and lustful moan of his name. He kept his fingers on the back of the omega’s neck and brought him in so that he could suck on his mate’s scent gland.

“Yuri!” A hard thrust accompanied the cry.

Yuri growled again and pulled the skin between his teeth. “Mine.”

Victor cried out as pleasure overwhelmed him, thrusting hard.

“That’s right Vitya,” Yuri praised as his hand drifted from Victor’s hip to stroke his leaking cock. “Let yourself feel good.”

Victor buried his face in the crook of Yuri’s neck, riding hard. A few moments later he came with a shout, biting Yuri’s shoulder as ecstasy flowed through him.

Yuri stroked his mate’s cock throughout the orgasm, and thrust as best he could. Then the clench around his own length proved too much and he pressed in deep to spill inside of his partner.

Victor collapsed bonelessly against Yuri’s chest, breathing heavily. The younger man took a few deep breaths to clear his head, then started running his fingers through the waves of platinum hair.

“You’re amazing Vitya,” he murmured.

Victor nuzzled into his chest, purring happily.

They stayed that way, Yuri softening inside, until his stomach rumbled.

“Ugh… I think that means it’s time for dinner,” he complained.

“At least you have an appetite,” Victor immediately countered. “Yuko said the food here is amazing, and I won’t want any until my heat is over.”

“She said the heat soups were good too though, didn’t she?”

Victor nodded. “Hopefully I’ll be able to handle it.”

Yuri kissed his forehead. “Take what you can. I know male omegas are supposed to have even less of an appetite than females right before heat.”

Victor moved to stand. “And all alphas are ravenous before rut. You’ve been eating constantly for days. I swear you grew an extra stomach.”

Yuri smiled and pulled his boyfriend in for another kiss before the Russian could climb off him. “I’ll go on a diet on Monday if necessary.”

Victor laughed against his lips. “Is my little piggy coming back?”

“I doubt it. I’m already preparing for a hefty workout this weekend.”

Yuri felt Victor smile against his lips before their tongues sought each other out again.

They kissed until Yuri’s stomach rumbled a second time. Victor climbed off and Yuri felt him leave the nest. A moment later a lamp flicked on and he was greeted by the sight of his sexed out boyfriend, a vision that made him growl appreciatively.

Victor was still flush, hair a mess, and when he turned just right Yuri could see a trickle of cum down the inside of his thigh.

“Fuck, you look better than any food right now,” Yuri purred. “I’m tempted to pull you down here with me again.”

Victor smiled, a soft expression that Yuri knew was reserved just for him. He offered his hand to pull the alpha out of the nest. They kissed for a moment before Yuri finally looked at the room service menu. They placed their order, a brothy soup for Victor and chicken teriyaki for Yuri. As they waited they decided on what they wanted delivered over the following day and a half.

They ate slowly, savoring each other’s presence as much as the meal, and when the food was gone and the cart ready for removal Yuri knew he wanted to make his mate feel cherished again.

He led the omega to the suite’s washroom and once more took his time bathing him. By the time he rinsed the shampoo from Victor’s platinum hair the Russian was thoroughly relaxed, but when he turned to rinse himself he learned that his partner wanted to treat him in return.

Victor took as much care in his bathing of Yuri, and as he relaxed into the older man’s touch he realized just how intimate an experience it was from the receiving end. He made a note to never forget it for special occasions.

Once they were both clean they stepped outdoors and into their private bath. They cuddled in the hot water, enjoying the crisp air and sky full of stars. They kissed, and whispered words of love.

Eventually Victor’s scent changed, and Yuri knew that his heat was only hours away. It would overtake the omega before dawn.

Yuri stood from the pool and offered his hand to his mate. They didn’t need words, both wanting the same thing. Each could smell the desire for intimacy on the other.

They dried each other, and Victor took both of Yuri’s hands as he guided his alpha back to the nest. They kissed in the warmth of pillows, blankets and soft things that smelled like them.

When Victor moved to lay on his back, Yuri knelt in the space between his legs. He gazed down at the beautiful man beneath him. The one he had fantasized about during ruts was there, and he was an omega, waiting, wanting. His eyes traveled over the expanse of alabaster skin, a fresh canvas without a single blemish.

He couldn’t hold back any longer, he had to leave his mark.

He leaned across the Russian’s chest and kissed him before trailing his mouth down his mate’s jaw to his neck. His lips found the pulse point and he sucked on it.

“Yuri!” Victor gasped, back arching in pleasure.

Yuri nibbled, then pulled back long enough to admire his work before leaning in again. He tongued smooth skin, mouthing at it until he found his next target, a patch just on the front inside of the shoulder.

Long fingers wove into his hair as he nibbled on hardened nipples, keeping him there. They remained as he moved, tugging, letting him know how much Victor liked being marked.

Yuri kept moving down his omega’s torso, marking his mate and loving the way he squirmed in pleasure beneath him. With each blossoming declaration he grew a bit harder, and the length pressing back against him was proof that his boyfriend enjoyed it equally.

He decided to give the hard cock in front of him some relief as it bobbed, and took it into his mouth. He sucked and licked, his name and sounds of pleasure pouring from Victor’s lips.

Yuri pulled off and eyed the alabaster skin of Victor’s cock. He smirked and lifted it until he could suck and nibble a tiny mark on the underside of the base, making his mate cry out from intense pleasure.

“You’re amazing Vitya,” Yuri murmured as he moved down to mark the Russian’s thighs. “Everything about you is amazing. You’re strong and beautiful, masculine and feminine. You never fail to surprise me in the best of ways, and I know I’ll never have enough of you.”

Yuri moved back up and once more took his boyfriend’s cock into his mouth. He sucked and bobbed, listening to the volume of Victor’s moans increase as sensation flowed through him. He growled around the length, letting his mate feel the vibrations.

His name, called over and over, moans and cries of ecstasy. Quickened breaths and fingernails clawing into the soft material of the nest. Every one of his instincts was attuned to hearing the pleasure of his omega.

He pulled off again with a pop, he had to see how Victor reacted before the heat hormones kicked in fully. “You’re the best omega I could ever imagine,” he purred. “You deserve to know that every day.”

Victor’s eyes were wide and staring, and Yuri knew he had spoken to that scarred part of his mate. “You deserve only the best Vitya. Any alpha who doesn’t recognize how incredible you are is not worthy of you.”

“Yuri…”

“What do you want from me Vitya?”

Victor’s head fell back, his hips lifting as he gave into himself. “Knot me. Be the first.”

“You’ll tell me if it’s too much?”

Victor nodded, his chin bobbing just at Yuri’s field of vision. “Yes.”

“Ok.”

Yuri returned his attention to his mate’s cock, licking, sucking and bobbing. The fingers of one hand curled into Victor’s hip, holding him steady as the Russian started bucking back into the wet heat. The other hand drifted between alabaster cheeks and quickly stretched the omega.

“Mmmm,” Yuri moaned around the length. It was enough, and the salty-sweet flavor of Victor’s cum coated his tongue.

He drew a powerful and lengthy orgasm from his omega, swallowing each pulse in his mouth, and continued to work until Victor whimpered from overstimulation.

Yuri rose up and knelt between the Russian’s legs. He drew one thumb across the skin just under his lip, gathering the drool and cum that had escaped his mouth, and lewdly sucked it clean again, drawing a fresh moan from his boyfriend at the sight.

He gazed down. The perfect canvas of skin now bore an array of love bites and hickeys on all of Yuri’s favorite places. His mate was flush from his cheeks to his shoulders, hair strewn across the base of the nest. He growled in satisfaction.

Yuri knew that the best position for him to knot in would be spooned against Victor, on their sides, so that he wouldn’t get uncomfortable while waiting for it to recede. But he wanted to look at the man beneath him; watch, and kiss him while they were so intimately joined for the first time.

He grabbed Victor’s hips, and tugged his perfect ass so that it was resting right where Yuri wanted it. He slid easily into the tight heat and groaned in satisfaction. He thrust several times, then shifted to lay across and kiss his mate.

“How’d I get so lucky?” Yuri asked between kisses. “A part of me still can’t believe that I’m here, in bed with the best man in the world.”

Victor smiled as Yuri moved slowly within him. “I think you’re confused. I’m the lucky one.”

Yuri blushed and thrust deep, eliciting a moan from the Russian. “Vitya…” he moaned in response, moving faster and harder.

He gave into instinct as he fucked his omega. Each sound of ecstasy drove him wild and he wanted more. His mate was in the throes of pleasure, and the alpha inside was screaming at him to make sure that his Victor, his Vitya, only knew bliss.

His cock started to swell, and he growled as the movement in and out squeezed him in new ways. He looked to Victor’s face and saw the man gasping at the increased stretch, but the noises weren’t pained. He knelt again then looked down. He watched the place where they were joined, his length disappearing and reappearing again.

The sight of Victor beneath him in ecstasy, his own cock buried in the Russian’s ass was enough to push him over the edge. He thrust in deep, and roared in pleasure. The same pulses that pushed his seed into the omega moved blood into his cock and formed the knot.

It was the strongest orgasm Yuri had ever had. The feeling of his knot in the tight heat was more pleasurable than he’d imagined, so vastly different than his hand on it that there was no comparison. He was lost as his entire body shook with the pulses.

When he came back to himself he saw that Victor was writhing and groaning beneath him, which stimulated his knot further. He had to struggle to collect himself.

“Viyta, are you ok?” he managed to ask, leaning across to look at his mate’s face.

The movement brought fresh gasps. Then he saw the way the omega’s hands were fisted into the lining of the nest.

Yuri leaned in and growled next to Victor’s ear. “You’re so beautiful when you’re lost in pleasure.”

Yuri started thrusting as much as the knot would allow. It was more a press and release, but it was enough friction to make his mate cry out as the knot rubbed incessantly at his sweet spot, stimulating it in different ways.

“You’re the most beautiful omega I’ve ever seen,” Yuri growled. “I love you and want only the best for you.”

Victor’s back arched and Yuri felt warmth across his middle as his boyfriend came again. The clench around his knot was incredible, and it drove him to another orgasm as well.

“Vitya,” he moaned as he came down again, still moving in shallow thrusts.

He stilled and rested on his partner’s chest, then moved to kissing as the Russian finally got used to the constant pressure of the knot against his prostate.

“You doing ok?” he asked as their mouths came apart.

Victor nodded, eyes revealing that he was too blissed out to trust his voice.

Yuri kissed him again, and pressed in as he deepened the kiss.

“You feel so good Vitya,” he moaned, on the verge of tears from the intense pleasure.

Victor reached up and touched Yuri’s lips, then held up two fingers.

“Me too?” Yuri guessed.

Victor nodded.

Yuri smiled and kissed his mate again. “I love you,” he murmured.

He curled into Victor’s chest, and the omega wrapped his arms around him. Yuri was glad that his first knot with his boyfriend wasn’t a breeding knot. It gave them a chance to make sure that everything felt good for both of them before dealing with the significantly longer duration.

They cuddled, locked together, until Yuri felt the need to move again, to fill his mate one more time before the knot receded. He thrust, still cuddled in his partner’s arms, kissing gently and savoring the sounds of pleasure.

His hand drifted between them and wrapped around Victor’s hardened length. He stroked it to the same gentle pace as his thrusts, and the added stimulation quickly proved too much.

“Yuri…”

It was a beautiful sound, his name moaned in pleasure as his partner clenched around him.

“Vitya…” he replied, allowing bliss to overwhelm him, coming inside his mate again.

He collapsed against Victor, exhausted as his knot receded. When he thought it was safe he pulled out, and growled in approval at the thick trickle of cum that immediately followed.

He laid next to his boyfriend and pulled him close so that they could resume kissing.

“That… felt amazing,” Victor said after a few minutes.

Yuri smiled. “You liked it?”

Victor nodded and licked his lips. “It was so intense… and incredible.”

Yuri kissed him gently. “I thought so too. And being with you like that…”

Victor nodded again, words not needed to describe the connection.

Their kisses slowed, exhaustion settling in, instinct demanding that they sleep while they could.

Yuri led Victor to the washroom again, and they cleaned each other. Not the intimate slow cleansing of earlier, but a loving caress all the same.

He brushed his teeth and returned to the main room, waiting for the omega to invite him to the nest again.

Victor appeared a few minutes later.

“You ok?” Yuri asked gently.

Victor nodded and blushed. “Extra cleaning,” he explained simply as he tugged Yuri toward the nest.

Yuri wondered for a moment, then recalled the small box in his boyfriend’s toiletry bag, and the reason male omegas in particular ate next to nothing before heat. Even with birth control, his instincts insisted that he do everything he could to insure no complications to pregnancy.

Victor pushed his alpha toward the nest, then moved to turn off the lights. Yuri let him turn off two of the three lamps in the room, but stopped his mate when the third was merely dimmed.

“Leave it Vitya,” he said softly, opening his arms and asking his omega to join him in the nest.

“Yuri?”

“We both know it’ll start before dawn, and I want to be able to see you.”

Victor smiled, and nodded. He climbed into the nest and curled up against his alpha.

Yuri tugged a thin blanket over them, only enough to trap the warmth already radiating from the omega.

They kissed until they fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Hands roaming his chest, a whine in his ears, and the scent of heat surrounded him. Yuri growled as he opened his eyes and was greeted by the sight of wide, ocean-blue eyes gazing back at him, intense need reflected in them.

“Yuri…” Victor whined, grinding against the younger man’s leg. “Alpha…”

Yuri’s inner alpha awakened as if summoned by the omega’s voice. The heat pheromones were almost suffocating in the warmth of the nest, and he immediately felt the overwhelming urge to breed. He growled low and possessive, eyeing his mate.

Yuri’s alpha side was extremely impressed. He flipped the omega onto his back and studied the man whose nest he was in, seeing him anew as rut hormones coursed through him.

Platinum hair shone in the low light, the omega’s features were delicate yet masculine and perfectly balanced. Strong muscles led to slender hips, not the best for bearing, but not bad either. His marks decorated the soft skin, and he could detect his own scent on the man.

He leaned in and kissed his mate roughly. He had been chosen prior to the heat, enough so that the omega had laid claim in return, making sure that no other could steal away his chosen alpha. It was high praise from a creature as beautiful as this.

He was hard, and ground against his omega, letting him know that he would soon be taken care of.

Something caught at the back of his mind, a promise made before the hormones flooded him. He looked into his mate’s eyes.

“Do you remember your words Vitya?” he rumbled.

Victor took his hand and made the symbol for ‘ yes ’ in his palm, even as his hips rose to beg the alpha.

“Do you want me to stay?”

Another ‘ yes .’

Yuri kissed him fiercely, tongue claiming the warm cavern of the omega’s mouth. His fingers tangled into platinum hair and tugged, setting the man’s nerves on fire with pleasure.

He broke the kiss, making Victor whine in need.

“You’re such a good omega Vitya,” he said between nips to the Russian’s neck. “And I know you want to make me a happy alpha, right?”

He pulled back enough to see Victor nodding, hand flashing the ‘ yes ’ sign.

Yuri growled in approval. “I’ll be a very happy alpha if you stop me if I do something you don’t like. Good omegas are happy omegas, and if you’re an unhappy omega then I’m an unhappy alpha.”

Victor whined and squirmed.

“Will you be a good omega and stop me if you don’t like what I’m doing? Will you make me happy and tell me what you want?”

Another nod and ‘ yes .’

“Good,” Yuri purred as he leaned in and took one of Victor’s nipples into his mouth. He sucked and nibbled at it until his mate was gasping in pleasure. He then turned his attention to the other one. He moved down, licking at pale skin, tasting it.

Yuri let his alpha side take over, giving into his own instincts. He wanted to flip over the man beneath him and fuck him hard, but a part of him knew that the more he pleasured the omega now, the more receptive he would be to the breeding knot later. Simply fucking him wouldn’t be enough. He needed to make the beautiful man come over and over, wear him down with ecstasy.

It would take several waves of heat to exhaust the omega to the point where he would be able to rest long enough for a breeding knot. The earlier he started the better.

Victor was still grinding as best he could as Yuri slid one leg between alabaster thighs laid partially on him, kissing him passionately.

Victor gasped and moaned, so close to release already just from the slight friction and abundance of hormones coursing through his body. Yuri ground down in return, letting his mate feel his hardened length.

“You’re already close aren’t you Vitya?” he purred. “It’s ok, don’t hold back. I want it all, your scent, your voice and your pleasure. Come for me, come as many times as you need.” He nipped at the Russian’s ear between words.

Victor’s hips rose and shuddered as he came hard, crying out, warmth spilling between their bodies. Yuri growled in approval.

“Mmm Vitya, you’re such a good omega.”

Victor whined and reached for Yuri’s cock. “Alpha…”

Yuri kissed him again, pressed close and took both their lengths in hand. He started stroking them together and resumed kissing his mate. “Soon love, soon,” he promised. “I’ll take good care of you, but I want to see you come a few more times for me first. Ok?”

Victor exhaled shakily with a barely perceptible nod.

“Good,” Yuri growled before kissing his omega again, nipping at his lips as he did.

He set a fast pace on both their cocks, careful to keep his own release at bay. He soon added a twist of the wrist near the end of each stroke, a motion that caused his boyfriend to cry out and thrust into the touch.

“You’re so gorgeous when you come Vitya,” he murmured from somewhere along the Russian’s jaw. “Can you do it again for me?”

Almost immediately he felt the warmth of cum over his hand. He pumped, and nipped at skin, prolonging the omega’s orgasm as long as he could.

Yuri’s rational mind was quickly losing grip as he stayed in the nest. The two orgasms had flooded the fabric with more heat pheromones. He needed more, more of his mate, more of the sounds of pleasure. More of everything.

He released their hard cocks and brought his hand to his mouth. Victor’s eyes widened as he lewdly licked the cum from his fingers, sucking each one clean and growling appreciatively at the flavor.

He needed more.

He kissed down skin and lapped at the cum decorating the omega’s stomach. The rumble from his chest was almost constant, two things on his mind, devouring everything about his mate and drowning him in pleasure, then fucking him senseless; filling him with his seed.

His mouth reached the hardened alabaster cock. He licked the tip and sucked the skin along the sides. His omega was moaning and crying at the stimulation, begging for more. He sucked on balls, still heavy with seed.

He wrapped one hand around Victor’s length, the other went to his hip and encouraged him to start thrusting.

“Fuck my mouth Vitya,” he urged, flicking his tongue out to tease at the slit. “I want to taste you baby.”

He wrapped his lips around the head and the omega wasted no time doing as asked, thrusting into the wet heat. Yuri growled in approval, letting the vibrations further stimulate the sensitive skin. He bobbed and tongued in response to his mate’s movements, and when long fingers wound into his hair so that his mouth could be used exactly as Victor needed he rewarded the Russian by sliding a finger into his hole and massaging the sweet spot.

Victor came with a shout, thrusting hard enough to hit the back of Yuri’s throat and filling his mouth with each shuddering wave of his orgasm.

Yuri swallowed greedily, wanting even more. He sucked and bobbed, and his finger worked inside, trying to extend the omega’s pleasure as long as possible. When the flow finally stopped he noticed that the cock in his mouth had finally started to soften slightly. He pulled off with a pop and looked at the beautiful man spread before him.

He wanted more. There was a smell, and he had to find it, had to taste it. It was close, but it wasn’t the flavor that coated his tongue. He sniffed, and found a trace on the omega’s inner thigh. He licked it, the taste was what he was craving.

He hooked the leg over his shoulder and licked until the skin was clean.

He wanted more.

He turned and tasted the other leg, and was delighted to find it similarly coated. He draped it over the other shoulder and cleaned it with his tongue. The more he licked away the more he could smell the source. He worked his way up until he was tonguing the flesh of Victor’s ass, devouring the slick. The omega bent at the middle as he pushed up, trying to find the best angle. He spread the cheeks with his thumbs and licked them clean, until there was only one place that hadn’t been touched.

Yuri’s eyes flicked up and met Victor’s startled ones. There was only the tiniest hint of blue around the blown out pupils, the Russian’s jaw quivering at the action and how it felt. Yuri smirked and drew the flat of his tongue across his mate’s entrance.

“Vkusno,” he growled, licking his lips as he brought his face up.

Victor’s eyes rolled back and his head fell onto a soft pillow at the sensation.

Yuri delved back in. He wanted more. He licked and sucked at the ring of muscle, lapping up every trace of slick that his tongue could find, and when it was clean he poked the tip into the hole, seeking the source.

The omega’s entrance opened easily under his probing tongue, and he thrust in, devouring as much slick as he could. The sounds that echoed in the nest were beautiful. His mate was almost screaming his name and ‘alpha’ over and over as his body was wracked with pleasure.

He needed more.

He braced one of the omega’s thighs, and reached around to wrap his fingers around the dripping cock in front of him. He stroked to the same pace that his tongue explored, and the volume of his mate’s cries increased.

The clench around his tongue was perfect, and he imagined it around his aching cock. It was accompanied with a fresh burst of slick, and the warmth of cum on his hand again. He devoured the slick, savoring the shuddering of the omega, then sucked his fingers clean. He lapped up the cum from his mate’s chest, then claimed his mouth, hips thrusting against the man beneath him, barely holding back from filling him.

He knelt and growled approvingly. Four orgasms had wrecked the omega. His hair was disheveled, his chest rose and fell with rapid breaths, and a flush spread from his face to his chest. Even better, the beautiful alabaster cock was only half-hard.

Yuri moved just enough to flip Victor onto his stomach, then pulled him to his knees. A needy whine immediately filled the nest, and a perfect ass was thrust at him, begging to be filled. He growled, grabbed one hip and thrust two fingers inside, stretching immediately and loving the way the omega ground against them.

It didn’t take long before the ring of muscle was loose enough to take his hard cock. He pulled his fingers out of the way and stared at the way the hole clenched and fluttered, wanting to be filled.

Victor howled in pleasure as he was finally claimed.

Yuri kept pushing until he was fully sheathed in the tight heat. He kept a tight hold on Victor’s hip, and reached around to jerk his mate to orgasm again.

It was only as he felt the squeeze of Victor’s release that he started moving. He drew nearly completely out, then snapped his hips forward, thrusting back in hard and fast.

The sounds of slapping flesh mingled with his growling and the mewling cries of the omega. He pounded into his mate, punching the sweet spot with every thrust. He was relentless, not letting up and determined to pull as many orgasms from his partner as possible.

Another howl of bliss, and another tightening as Victor came again.

It felt so good, and he was getting close.

Victor’s front collapsed into the nest, giving Yuri a view of the way his back curved, and an even more delicious position in his beautiful ass. He was so entranced that he almost missed seeing hand movements in the dim light.

Knot .’ Victor was making the sign over and over.

Yuri growled lustfully. “You want my knot Vitya? You like being filled like that?”

Yes .’

“Mmm, I’ll give it to you then. I love the way you feel around my knot.”

He saw the omega’s eyes close, jaw slack as he gave into the pleasure.

Yuri fucked him hard, letting the sensations build. He stopped holding back on a knot. It wasn’t a breeding knot, but he couldn’t refuse when asked for one, the alpha part of him wanting to keep as much seed in the omega for as long as possible.

His growl filled the room as he spilled into his mate, his knot growing with each pulse, preventing any cum from leaking back out.

He was locked in. He leaned across the omega’s back and kissed between shoulderblades. He wrapped his arms around his mate, and maneuvered them so that they were spooning on their sides.

He could feel the exhaustion in Victor’s muscles as the first wave finally started to pass. His free hand drifted to the Russian’s cock. It was almost spent for the time being. He knew once more near the end of his knot would probably be enough.

“Yuri…” Victor croaked, throat dry from the intense first wave.

Yuri nuzzled his back and growled low in this throat. “You did so good Vitya. Such a good omega.”

Victor purred, trembling as waves of pleasure coursed through him from the pressure of the knot.

They stayed that way until Yuri had to come again. He moved carefully with shallow thrusts and let his free hand empty his mate’s cock.

The omega was already dozing as he pulled out, recharging before the next wave. A part of him wanted to wake the beautiful man and clean him off, but he was also feeling the pull of sleep.

He’d managed to draw seven orgasms out of his mate in the first wave. He curled up against the warm skin, nestled against the larger man. He needed his own rest, they could clean up later. The next few rounds would have to be almost as intense if he wanted his partner ready for his first breeding knot.

Chapter Text

The second wave of Victor’s heat started only about twenty minutes after the first ended, and the omega made it clear through gesturing that the only thing that would satisfy him that time was fast and hard. Yuri managed to pull another four orgasms from him before they both collapsed in a sweaty heap in the nest.

They were into the third wave when the sun came up. Some of the initial desperation had passed by the end, and Yuri could smell the faintest bit of exhaustion on his mate. It wasn’t near enough yet, but if he could wear down his partner a bit more with each wave he’d likely be able to have a long enough period of rest between waves for a breeding knot.

The fourth wave was more subdued. They kissed lazily while Yuri gently stroked the Russian through three orgasms, then entered facing his omega so that they could continue to kiss and touch each other as he fucked another two out of him.

They were dozing in the soft morning light when Yuri heard the soft chime that signalled a cart in the holding area. He brushed the hair from Victor’s face and saw ocean-blue eyes staring back at him. He leaned in and kissed his mate’s forehead.

“Food and water have arrived Vitya. Is it ok if I get out of the nest for a bit?”

Victor whined, and Yuri saw that he was still slightly hard. He leaned in and kissed his partner through another hand job, and when the Russian was finally spent for a few minutes he allowed his alpha to retrieve the cart.

Though nowhere near Victor’s number, repeated orgasms had allowed Yuri’s head to clear. The intense desire to fuck the omega had receded enough for him to focus on other needs. But he knew that the pheromones would likely overwhelm him again once the next wave hit.

Yuri was famished and was glad to see food. He wanted to dig in immediately, but seeing to Victor was a higher priority. He snatched the large bottle of orange juice and carried it to the edge of the nest. It had been watered down to not be as acidic, electrolytes and proteins added to help omegas through heat.

“Can I come back in Vitya?” Yuri asked carefully.

Victor opened his eyes and nodded.

Yuri climbed into the nest and helped the omega to a sitting position against his chest. He opened the bottle and handed it to his mate. “Drink as much as you can. You need the water, and it’ll help you from getting too worn out.”

Victor managed to drink nearly half of the large bottle before handing it back. Yuri put the cap on it and set it on the frame of the nesting bed. “It’s right there when you need it. Just ask if you need me to give it to you.”

Victor nodded his understanding.

“I have food. I know it’s probably too soon, but do you want anything to eat?”

Victor shook his head, closed his eyes and leaned into the embrace.

Yuri held Victor for a few minutes, until he was almost asleep. “I’m going to go eat now Vitya, while you rest. Can I come back into the nest without asking?”

Victor smiled softly and nodded. Yuri could see that though the hormones made it hard to speak, he was otherwise lucid enough to recognize how careful the alpha was being of his needs and emotions.

Yuri kissed his forehead. “I love you. Rest until the next wave hits.” He then helped his boyfriend to lay down. By the time he sat at the small table he could hear soft snoring from the nest.

Yuri downed an entire bottle of water and half a bottle of a sports drink before he even took the cover off his food. Luckily it was well insulated and his breakfast was still warm. He’d chosen a traditional breakfast, with extra protein, and was pleased with what was presented. The miso soup would give him extra hydration, the rice would give the carbohydrates for fast energy and the two pieces of grilled fish would sustain him for several hours. Combined with the side dishes it was a sizable meal. As he ate he was as impressed with the flavor as with the quantity.

He devoured it as if he hadn’t eaten in days, and chased it with several cups of strong coffee to add a caffeine boost. Finally he placed the empty dishes back on the cart, set additional bottles of water and sports drinks along the edge of the nesting bed and wheeled the cart back into the holding area. He hit the button that would alert room service that the cart was ready and slipped back into the room.

He sniffed the air. Victor was still dozing, and he could tell by the smell that there was just enough time before the next wave hit for him to shower off some of the mess from the morning’s activities.

The hot water felt divine on his skin, and he couldn’t remember a time when soap felt so heavenly. He’d enjoyed every second of what they’d done so far, but had never felt so sticky from sweat and cum before.

As he towelled dry he let a small basin fill with warm water. He then carried it and a washcloth to the main room.

Tired blue eyes gazed at him from the nest. He smiled in return, set the basin on a part of the bed frame wide enough for it, then climbed into the nest again. He wet the cloth, wrung it out and crawled to where Victor laid.

Yuri leaned in to kiss his mate, then moved him just enough so that he could start wiping the alabaster skin clean. As his eyes drifted to Victor’s face he saw the heat haze clouding his mind again.

“You’re such a good omega Vitya,” he murmured as he drew the cloth over the man, pausing every few strokes to rinse it. “You deserve to feel comfortable and clean too.”

Victor hummed and relaxed into the careful treatment. Yuri cleansed as much as he could without disturbing the Russian’s rest too much, then returned the basin to the washroom.

The pheromones hit him as soon as he stepped back into the bedroom. He groaned, hardening immediately. His omega was already squirming with need in the nest. Some part of his mind estimated that somewhere in the realm of forty minutes had elapsed since the end of the previous wave.

“Alpha…” Victor whined, holding out his hands and beckoning him closer. Begging him to return.

Yuri growled, climbed into the nest and crawled forward until his lips were pressed against Victor’s. He wanted to continue moving against his mate until he was firmly inside him, but the last gasp of his rational mind insisted that there was one thing left to do before they got going again.

“Move to the side for a minute Vitya,” he rumbled. “I want to take off the top liner so the nest stays nice and dry.”

Victor whined, already hard and obviously under the influence of the next wave.

“It’ll just be a moment, I promise. Then I’ll give you whatever you need.”

Victor looked dubious, but moved to the side of the nest. Yuri took the edge of the topmost liner in hand, and was glad that the nest had been built while they could still plan far enough ahead. He tugged it off and tossed it aside. Though it had done its job well, he could tell as soon as he felt the fresh liner under his knees that it had absorbed about as much as it could.

He felt almost predatory as he turned back to his omega. His own cock was hard, and the food had given him a boost of energy. With the basics taken care of, there was nothing to argue against giving in again.

He crawled across to where his mate was waiting and claimed his mouth at the same time his hand wrapped around the alabaster cock. “What do you need baby?” he purred between nips to the lips.

Victor’s hand wrapped around his cock and squeezed, making him growl with lust. “Already?”

The whine was all the response he needed. He flipped Victor onto his knees and was fully inside in a matter of seconds, the omega still open enough from repeated rounds to not need stretching. He reached forward and tangled his fingers in platinum hair, pulling the omega’s head back.

“I love it when you ask for my cock Vitya,” he purred. “You feel so good, and I love making you feel good too.”

Victor whimpered and ground back.

“You want it don’t you baby?”

A hand sign flashing ‘ yes.

“God I love it when you’re a horny cockslut,” Yuri growled, pulling almost all the way out and slamming in again.

Victor cried out, and signed ‘ more .’

“More what? You want more of my cock, or more dirty talk?”

Yes.

Yuri chuckled. “Both?”

Yes.

“Mmmm, you got it. I’ll fuck this sweet hole of yours so good it’ll never be the same. You’ll feel like it’s perfectly shaped for my cock for weeks, and when you leave here you’ll have trouble walking.”

Victor groaned, and cried out as Yuri fucked him hard.

“That’s right Vitya, let the neighbors hear how much you like it. Prove that no amount of soundproofing is enough for you.”

Victor came quickly with the fast and hard approach, hands clenching in the nest as he did so.

“Does my cock feel that good Vitya?”

Yes.

“Good, cause it feels absolutely amazing when your ass clenches around it and tries to milk it dry.”

Another groan. ‘ Knot.’

“Such a needy omega,” Yuri purred. “You really want my knot baby?”

Yes.

Yuri leaned over and wrapped his hand around Victor’s still hard cock. “You’re gonna have to earn it Vitya. I want you to keep coming for me until it feels so good I can’t hold back. Milk my cock with your sweet ass.”

Yuri ran his thumb across the slit of Victor’s cock and smiled at the full-body shudder that ran through his mate. “Let’s see how many times you can come for me before this beautiful cock of yours is empty.”

Yuri released his grip on Victor’s hair and pressed between his shoulderblades until the Russian’s head was down in the nest and his back arched beautifully to his raised ass. He grabbed the omega’s hips in both hands and held almost tight enough to leave bruises. He pulled out and slammed in again, over and over, setting a punishing pace into his mate. Each thrust was accompanied by the chorus of slapping skin and pleasured cries.

He saw Victor move one hand to his own cock, and start stroking to Yuri’s thrusts.

“Mmm, that’s right baby. Make yourself feel even better while I use this hole. The harder you come the more I like it.”

Yuri could feel Victor tiring after the fourth orgasm, and he decided it was the perfect time to try and push the omega to continue going between waves.

“It would feel amazing if you were sitting on my lap, riding right now,” he growled suggestively. “Do you wanna take over and see if you can coax the knot that way?”

Victor shuddered, and nodded. Yuri leaned over, pressed a kiss to the middle of his back then wrapped his arms around the omega and pulled him up until he straddled his lap, keeping his cock buried the entire time.

“Go ahead Vitya,” he purred. “Ride me until I can’t help but knot and fill you up.”

Victor groaned and started bouncing on his cock while Yuri leaned back and enjoyed the view. Platinum hair flying, and strong muscles rippling, seeking another orgasm.

“Fuck this is a beautiful sight.”

Yuri could smell the exhaustion, but the omega kept riding hard, needing more. However, two orgasms later, he slowed again.

Victor started gyrating his hips, the omega side of him needing to feel filled by the alpha. And that felt new and wonderful on Yuri’s cock.

“Mmmm, just like that Vitya,” Yuri growled as he sat close again and started stroking the Russian's cock. “That feels so good.”

Victor whimpered and ground. Yuri knew he wasn’t going to last long with the way his mate was moving. He stroked faster, eager to feel the clench around him again.

“Alpha…” Victor begged.

Yuri kissed his back. “Is that all I am baby? You know my name. What’s more important?”

Yuri started kissing, sucking and biting marks on the omega’s back.

“Yuri!” Victor cried when a particularly sensitive place received a mark.

“That’s right Vitya. I love hearing you call my name. I’m more than your alpha.”

Victor bounced slightly as he ground his hips, and it was too much. Yuri groaned, which only encouraged him.

The slide over the thicker girth of pre-knot, the way the stimulation changed with the angle of the Russian’s hips.

Yuri growled and held Victor’s hips tight as he thrust in deep and gave into their needs. His knot grew, and he felt the omega on the precipice of release. As soon as he came back down from his own orgasm he stroked his mate, the clench as he came drawing another orgasm from Yuri as well.

They sat, Victor straddling Yuri’s lap for several minutes. Yuri continued to leave marks on the skin of his mate, which made him grind and writhe in pleasure.

Fuck that feels good. I think I’ll have to have him ride a knot later.

About halfway through the duration of the knot Yuri braced the omega and maneuvered them onto their sides to spoon. He’d pushed his mate to keep going long after the wave passed, and the exhaustion was strong.

If I can push one more wave like this he should be ready for the breeding knot. Once this knot goes down I’ll get started early on the next wave and make it go long again. He should be tired enough to rest on the following wave.

“Yuri…”

“What is it baby?” he asked, moving his hand to where Victor could sign into it.

Instead of a word, the Russian tangled their fingers together and sighed contentedly. “Yuri…”

“Mmm, that’s right.” He kissed his mate's back and they dozed lightly while locked together.

Chapter Text

Yuri roused from the brief rest knowing that it was time. The next wave was approaching, but Victor’s exhaustion tinged the air. His alpha side took over fully, pheromones flooding the nest.

He growled deep in his chest and moved to straddle his mate. He’d cleansed them both again after the last wave, and he loved the feel of the omega’s clean chest against his own. He hovered over Victor, and licked his lips as the Russian stared up at him with wide eyes.

He claimed Victor’s lips at the same time he ground his hips down. His boyfriend moaned into the kiss, and his body responded immediately, submitting to the alpha.

Yuri pulled back, looked at the omega, and paused. The ocean-blue eyes were unsettled, and he could smell confusion. His rational mind leapt to the front again.

He took shallow breaths, fighting the urge to continue. He wanted to give in, but he had to ensure that the man he loved was ok.

“Vitya…” he gasped. “What’s wrong?”

Victor put two fingers to his lips and tapped twice. ‘ Talk.

“About what?”

Victor whined, his body responding but mind fighting. He tapped Yuri’s chest, and touched his scent gland.

Yuri struggled to comprehend the meaning, every part of his instinct demanding he fuck the omega senseless then lock into him with the breeding knot. “I don’t understand Vitya.”

Victor’s whine increased in pitch, and a stressed scent started to creep into the air. It cut through Yuri’s haze and let him focus a tiny bit. Victor had touched him, then his scent gland.

“You want me to talk about my scent?” he groaned, instincts at war as part still wanted to fuck the omega and another part needing to ensure that his partner was relaxed and ready.

Victor whined, and tapped his lips again. ‘ Talk.

“I don’t understand.”

Talk. ’ Victor then held up two fingers, then tapped his own chest.

“Talk to you?”

Victor nodded.

“About what?”

Victor tapped Yuri’s chest, seemed to think a second, then tapped his wrist where a watch might be.

“About me and time?” Yuri was thoroughly confused.

Victor scrunched his face in frustration, then patted Yuri’s cheek with one hand while running his other hand along the younger man’s side, tracing the curve of his body.

“About me… right now?”

Victor nodded.

Yuri blinked, and suddenly understood. Alpha pheromones filled the nest, and Yuri was the aggressor rather than responding. Victor had submitted instantly, and it scared him. He’d never had an alpha during heat, and wouldn’t know how aggressive they were about the breeding knot.

Combined with his history it only made sense that he was unsettled.

Yuri forced himself to close his eyes, take a deep breath, count to ten then release it again. When he opened his eyes he’d managed to fight back his instincts a bit more. He leaned in and kissed Victor’s lips softly.

“It’s the breeding knot Vitya,” he explained, his cock aching and protesting the pause. “My body wants to knot you now, since I can smell that you’re about to need a longer nap.”

He took another breath and held it, fighting to keep the haze at bay. His instincts screamed at him to breed the omega.

“You have to decide. Now,” he gasped, hands clenching in the liner. “I won’t be able to hold back long. Do you want it or not? If I have to go to the alpha suite you’ll have to lock me in there.”

Victor’s eyes were as wide as saucers, and Yuri felt guilty about forcing him to make a decision like that without warning.

He took a breath, and the combination of the omega’s heat pheromones and scent of exhaustion almost proved too much.

“Vitya…” he groaned, cock aching, forcing himself to wait for a reply. He squeezed his eyes closed to keep from giving in.

Hands on his face. He opened his eyes. Victor stared up at him, fear still around the edges of his expression, but he seemed to have made a decision.

Knot.

Yuri gave in immediately, grinding against the omega and kissing him fiercely. Victor responded, becoming pliant with the understanding of what was happening, and moaning his alpha’s name.

He was so hard it hurt, but the length pressing back against him was a reminder that male omegas needed extra care before a breeding knot.

He pushed back again and looked at his mate. He growled in approval, imagining what the man would look like heavy with child, wondering what their babies would look like. He groaned with the thought, and dropped kisses along alabaster skin. Starting with the lips, then sucking on the neck and scent gland, down to the chest.

He paused to suck and nibble on Victor’s nipples, envisioning them nurturing his children. Meanwhile the omega writhed in pleasure beneath him, the smell of slick mingling with the oppressive alpha pheromones and making Yuri even harder.

He licked and sucked on the clean skin of Victor’s stomach, tracing the lines of muscles with his tongue. His hands ran over the taut skin almost reverently.

“Mmm, I wonder what you’ll look like here, round with our babies…” he murmured between kisses. “I bet our children will be beautiful.”

An uncomfortable silence filled the room, the omega stilling and his gasps of pleasure stopping.

Yuri realized immediately what he said. He looked up to see Victor staring at him again. He reached out and took his mate’s hand in his own.

“I’m sorry Vitya, I wasn’t thinking. Are you ok?”

Silence, then ‘ yes’ against his palm.

“Do you want me to stop?” He didn’t want to, but had to ask.

He waited, but after several funny faces from the omega he realized that Victor didn’t know what he wanted.

Yuri decided that he would just have to force the thought of breeding from his mind, despite his alpha side demanding it.

He started kissing again, murmuring about how good an omega Victor was, and how beautiful. The change in subject managed to turn the mood around again.

Victor cried out as Yuri took him into his mouth and started sucking. He needed to distract the omega from the language that had made him uncomfortable, and he needed to pull as many orgasms from him as possible before knotting so that he would be more inclined to rest and not have the intense need of another wave.

Victor came quickly, sensitive from so many rounds. Yuri was pleased that there was very little cum, knowing that the closer his mate was to spent the better. He continued to suck and bob until he came again, barely managing a trickle. When he pulled off with a pop his mate’s cock flopped back lazily.

Yuri slid his leg between the Russian’s as he moved back up to kiss his boyfriend. He ground against the man until the omega was gasping with need.

“Yuri…” Victor begged.

Yuri nipped at his partner’s strong jaw, then turned him onto his side and pressed so that he was curled up half on his side and half on his stomach. He slid in and started thrusting.

He pressed against Victor so that he could nip and suck on the bonding spot. There was a moment of tension, but as soon as the Russian realized that he was only stimulating it and not biting he relaxed and the moans increased in volume.

It was good. His cock was so hard, and the sounds of pleasure from the omega fantastic. The friction alone would normally be enough. But something was missing.

Yuri growled and shifted, hoping a different position would be enough to make him lose control and knot. It worked for Victor, who cried his name over and over as his sweet spot was pounded into.

It wasn’t enough, and Yuri was getting frustrated. He needed to knot so badly it was painful, and it wasn’t working.

“Yuri…”

A change in Victor’s tone. He slowed and reached across so that his mate could take his hand.

Victor curled Yuri’s fingers so that two were stretched and the rest tucked against his palm. He brought the hand up and used the fingers to tap his lips twice. ‘ Talk. ’ He then moved Yuri’s hand to rub on his stomach and finished by pulling it back and making rounding motions.

Yuri released a shuddering breath, almost afraid to hope. “You want me to talk about babies?”

Victor nodded and brought his hand up again. ‘ Talk.

A wave of relief passed through Yuri. It was what his alpha side craved. He curled against his mate, pushing in deep.

“Do you want my babies Vitya?” he asked carefully, thrusting again.

Victor moaned and ground back.

Yuri growled and thrust in slow, deep, motions. “Mmm, you’re so beautiful.” His hand ran down the omega’s side and across his stomach. “I know you’ll be radiant when you’re round here.”

It was what Yuri needed. His voice dropped in pitch and he moved so that he nailed Victor’s sweet spot with every deep thrust. The lustful cries of his mate spurred him on. He could imagine it again; his omega heavy in pregnancy, the pale skin and delicate features in their children.

“You’ll make such beautiful babies Vitya,” he purred. His hand drifted up to his mate’s chest, thumb teasing over the nipple. “Healthy and strong, just like you.”

Victor moaned, and a new scent filled the nest. Yuri’s alpha side immediately recognized it as the smell of an omega ready for the breeding knot.

“You want my babies, don’t you?” He pushed in deep, and nipped at the bonding spot.

Victor cried out and ground against the cock inside him.

“Let me hear you Vitya.”

“Yuri!” he gasped as the alpha drove in again.

Yuri growled deep in his chest, pinned the omega, and fucked into him fast and hard.

“You want them, don’t you? Let me know how much you want my babies.”

Victor cried out and pushed his ass back as best he could for better penetration.

“You’ll be so pretty and round, then we’ll have our own family. And our babies will be beautiful, because they’ll be yours.”

Victor’s hands clenched in the sheets, and Yuri could feel and smell how close he was to a powerful orgasm.

“Think of it Vitya. Your babies, and not just any alpha, but my babies too. Let me know how much you want them.”

Victor screamed as he came, clenching down hard on Yuri’s cock and body curling into the nest. A burst of pheromones accompanied his orgasm, and it tossed Yuri over the edge as well.

He came hard, roaring and shooting deep into his omega, the knot filling even more than normal. He gasped with pleasure as his cock continued to pulse, his mate shaking against him as his own orgasm continued with the additional pressure of the knot.

He leaned in against Victor’s back, licking, sucking and kissing the bonding spot. The omega purred as the gentle stimulation kept him in a place of bliss.

Yuri’s hand drifted over the taut lines of his mate’s stomach, continuing to imagine what his mate would look like when carrying. The gentle rumble that echoed through his chest was a sign that he approved of the thought.

After a few minutes he carefully maneuvered them both onto their sides so that he could spoon his partner. The increased size of the knot made it difficult, but Victor didn’t seem to mind as the changes in pressure brought out fresh gasps of pleasure.

Victor’s hand sought his, and their fingers tangled together against the omega’s stomach.

Yuri’s eyes drifted shut, and he felt his mate relax as well. The constant pressure inside would make Victor orgasm again every fifteen to twenty minutes, and the clench would be enough against his knot to make him come again as well.

He kissed between Victor’s shoulder blades as the need to rest overtook him. “So pretty…” he mumbled. “Vitya’s such a good omega.”

Except for the orgasms that would overtake them, they would finally rest for a full hour.

Chapter Text

Yuri roused, his knot was receding, and Victor was signing into his hand.

More knot.

He could smell that the omega was between waves, but the hormones that made him receptive to the breeding knot were still flowing through him.

Yuri kissed his mate’s shoulder. “I’m sorry Vitya. I know it wasn’t long enough, but the doctor told me no more than an hour.” He pushed in deep, drawing a moan from the Russian. “I’ll probably have two more breeding knots though, one this evening and one tomorrow morning.”

Victor whined and ground back, wanting that connection. Yuri nuzzled against his back. “I’m sorry baby. You know I would have held it longer if I wasn’t worried about hurting you.”

Victor whimpered, but seemed to accept the explanation and that the knot was almost completely gone.

Yuri rolled them so that Victor was partially on his stomach again and slid out. A stream of cum accompanied his cock, and his alpha side immediately wanted to shove back in and knot again to keep it in. Then he envisioned using a plug after the knot and a growl formed in his throat. His cock hardened again at the idea of seeing something in his mate’s hole.

Victor whimpered again at the loss.

She said no longer than an hour on a knot, but nothing about fucking him again right after.

Yuri slid back in and started thrusting, eliciting gasps and pleasured cries from the omega. “I know the knot wasn’t enough. Does this help?”

Yes. More.

Yuri leaned in and growled in Victor’s ear. “As you wish.” He thrust hard, angling to hit his mate’s sweet spot.

The Russian cried out with increasing volume, his hands curling into the liner of the nest. He came quickly, and Yuri fucked him through the first and into a second orgasm before coming himself.

Yuri collapsed against his boyfriend’s back, still buried inside. “Mmm Vitya. You’re so good.”

They stayed that way for a couple minutes, and Yuri realized that he was getting hungry again. A glance toward the door indicated that a second cart with food and water had been delivered.

“Food and water are here Vitya,” he said between kissed to the omega’s shoulders. “Is it ok if I go?”

More.

Yuri chuckled, already hard again after their short rest. He pushed up on his arms and set a fast pace, slamming into his mate. Victor’s cries of pleasure mingled with Yuri’s growls and the sounds of skin slapping.

When Victor came, he came hard. Yuri didn’t know if it was due to oversensitivity or because the hormones that helped him accept the breeding knot were almost out of his system. The omega screamed, and almost immediately passed out in the nest.

At first Yuri was worried, but when he saw the look of blissful peace on the Russian’s face he knew it was ok. He pulled out and helped his mate to lay on his side before getting out of the nest. He could tell by the smell that Victor would be sleeping for a bit.

Yuri’s cock was still half hard and bobbing as he walked to the holding area and retrieved the cart, an annoying side effect of being between his first and second breeding knots. The intense waves of heat from his omega would mellow to smaller, but frequent urges and he needed to be consistently ready as the desperation would be worse and he wouldn’t be able to work up to it.

At least it wasn’t the final stage of rut yet. Between the second and third breeding knots he’d be almost constantly hard and buried in is beautiful mate, ready to be used as erratic bursts of need overtook one or both of them.

Yuri ate and showered, letting Victor sleep as long as possible. When he emerged from the shower and could still hear soft snoring he decided that letting the Russian rest was more important than rousing him for cleaning or food.

He removed the empty bottles of water and sports drinks from the perimeter of the bed, replacing them with full ones from the cart. He set the chilled soup that he hoped Victor would be able to eat on the table, then returned the cart to the holding area.

Finally he walked back over to the large window that overlooked their private bath and courtyard, and drew the sheer curtain across most of it, muting the light somewhat.

Yuri climbed back into the nest and curled into his mate, kissing his back gently. His own urges were starting to become stronger, rather than just a response to Victor’s needs.

He leaned in and breathed deep the smell of his omega. It soothed him and he managed to fall asleep for a few minutes.

He was awakened a short time later by Victor whining and calling his name. He shifted just enough in how he was spooning the Russian to slide his cock inside and his partner immediately started thrusting against him.

Much of the afternoon passed in a similar manner. A few smaller waves of heat had them going for longer bouts, but for the most part it was filled with naps and frequent fucking.

Yuri managed to convince Victor to eat the mostly broth soup as the sun was going down. The effect was both good and bad. It gave the omega a burst of energy, but also caused several intense waves.

They were between waves, both alert for once, when the chime announced dinner. Victor took his soup in the nest while Yuri ate, and afterward the alpha was able to coax the omega to the bathroom for a shower and to relieve himself.

Yuri wanted to rest and digest. The sun had gone down some time earlier, and he could feel that the hormones for the second breeding knot were building. However, his mate had other ideas. Victor whined needily beside him.

Yuri turned and faced his love. “What part of you needs attention Vitya?”

Victor took Yuri’s hand and curled it around his cock.

Yuri kissed the Russian as he stroked. It would give him a head start on wearing out the urge for Victor to fuck into something.

Fuck… into.

Yuri licked his lips.

“Does this feel good Vitya?” he purred.

Victor nodded.

“Don’t you want it to feel better?”

The omega gave him a puzzled look.

“Wouldn’t it feel good to thrust into me? To feel me all around you and to spill into me?”

Victor’s eyes widened.

Yuri leaned in and kissed his mate. “There’s lube on the edge of the bed somewhere,” he growled. “Open me up Vitya, and give into that urge.”

“Yuri…”

Yuri kissed him again. “It’s ok baby, I want it. Your alpha wants this, so don’t hold back. Use me until you’re exhausted, then I’ll give you my second breeding knot.”

Victor took shallow breaths, licking his lips at the thought. Yuri’s eyes followed the pink tongue before he leaned in and nibbled on the lower lip.

“Do you want to?”

Yes.

Yuri released his hold on Victor’s cock, rolled onto his stomach, grabbed one of the free pillows littering the nest and put it under his hips so that his ass was on display.

He felt the omega scramble to find the lube, and shivered as long fingers first massaged then started opening his hole.

Yuri’s nerves were on fire as he was stretched. The rut made sex feel better, and the sensation of Victor’s fingers inside him was incredible. He was quickly a moaning mess.

“Yuri?” Victor asked as he pulled his fingers out and lined up, his instincts still unsure about plunging into his alpha.

“Mmmm Vitya,” he growled. “I want it. Fuck me hard baby. Don’t stop until that beautiful cock of yours is empty.”

“Yuri…” Victor moaned as he pushed inside.

Yuri’s hands clenched into the liner as he was breached. The stretch was immensely pleasureable, and the brush of the omega’s cockhead against his prostate was like liquid bliss through his veins.

“Vitya!” he cried out, legs falling open even more and making it easier to take his mate.

He shook with pleasure as Victor bottomed out and held himself long enough for the alpha to adjust.

Victor pulled almost all the way out, and, unable to hold back any longer, snapped his hips forward again.

Yuri cried out, and pressed his ass back for more. Victor fucked him hard, gasps, and moans of ‘Yuri’ falling from his lips.

The drag, and the pressure inside was incredible, and when Victor stilled with an orgasm he wanted more. He cried out when the omega started again.

Yuri gave himself over to the pleasure. His mate was inside him and it was better than he even imagined, the motion creating friction on his cock as he was fucked hard into the nest. The feel of his omega’s seed inside as he kept coming a huge turn-on.

Yuri growled and clenched hard when he came, cock almost painful with the strength of his orgasm.

Victor became even more forceful after Yuri came, encouraged by his alpha’s response. Yuri lost count of the number of times the omega spilled inside, but his own orgasms only got stronger as the pummeling to his sweet spot continued, and he came three more times before the Russian collapsed against him.

Yuri reached for a bottle of water while his mate was still inside. He drank almost half, then passed it back. He was glad to hear the sound of Victor finishing the bottle.

“That… was incredible…” he croaked, voice strained from moaning and crying in pleasure.

“Yuri…” Victor whimpered, kissing the alpha’s shoulders and neck.

“How’d I get so lucky?” Yuri murmured as he curled his arms under his head and closed his eyes to relax for a few minutes. “I somehow got the best omega in the world.”

Victor nuzzled along his back, purring at the compliment.

“Such a wonderful omega, such a wonderful man. You’re incredible Vitya.”

Victor made happy noises, then started squirming. The movement made Yuri gasp as the omega’s softened cock was still inside.

Victor reached around, found Yuri’s hand and curled his own fingers into it. ‘ Knot.

“Mmmm, I did promise that, didn’t I?”

Yes.

“It’ll be a breeding knot. Do you think you’re ready?”

Yes.

Yuri growled low, the permission all he needed. His pheromones flooded the nest, and a moment later he’d flipped the omega onto his back and was kissing him passionately. The smell of readiness soon filled his nostrils, and he fucked into his mate again, murmuring words of love and dreaming of a future family with the man beneath him.

Chapter Text

Yuri started thrusting as soon as the breeding knot had receded enough for him to move, making Victor cry out and writhe in pleasure. He was hard, so hard, and fucking his beautiful mate was the only thing that promised relief.

He growled and shuddered as he came, but didn’t stop moving. The first orgasm had only taken the edge off.

More, more… fill him more.

“Yuri!” Victor cried as he came hard, clenching around his alpha.

“Mmm, that’s right Vitya. It feels so good when you come for me.”

The tables had turned in terms of need. The intense waves of the omega had mostly subsided, but with the platinum-haired man close to exhaustion the alpha roared to life. Yuri wanted to keep buried in his partner, to keep coming in him. His instincts screamed at him to breed his mate.

He was still hard after the third orgasm, but felt that he could rest. He curled his arm around Victor’s waist and dropped kisses along his back. His hips thrust every few minutes, seemingly on their own, keeping the omega from getting uncomfortable and squirming away.

Yuri’s alpha side was in full control, and it continued to be impressed by the person whose nest he shared. There was an almost constant rumble of appreciation low in his throat, and he nipped often at the skin of his mate’s shoulders.

Victor was soon purring under positive attention of his alpha, leaning back into the nips, and whining to let Yuri know when he needed to be fucked again.

Consumed by his own hormones, Yuri wasn’t talking much. However, he showered his omega with praise in other ways between the frequent bouts of activity. Gentle touches to the fair skin, tracing fingers over the lines he loved so much. He gave Victor his fill of water before he drank any himself. He made sure that the only times his mate wasn’t purring in contentment were when he was sleeping.

The chill air of the room nipped at his back, but his chest was warm, pressed against the man he loved.

“Yuri…”

Yuri nuzzled between shoulder blades and slid his fingers down Victor’s arm until his hand was wrapped around the Russian’s.

Food.’

Yuri curled his hand into Victor’s, more content to sign at that point than talk. ‘ Need food?

He hoped that the question was implied.

Yes.

Yuri looked up and saw the light for the cart, meaning that at some point the midnight delivery had arrived. A blurry look at the clock seemed to indicate that the time was in the single digits.

He slid out for the first time in hours, and Victor immediately whined with the loss. His omega side wanted to be filled through the end of heat, but the rational part of him had started to get hungry.

Yuri kissed his shoulder and climbed out of the nest. He wanted nothing more than to rejoin his mate, but had promised to take care of him. If Victor needed food he’d get it.

Yuri returned a couple minutes later with a full bottle of water, as well as a mug of chilled soup and a couple pieces of fruit. He was pleased when Victor drank all of the soup, he was thrilled when the Russian actually ate a few slices of apple and a handful of grapes.

He showered his omega in kisses. Eating solid food within the first twenty-four hours was an extremely good sign. It showed trust and a belief that the heat was going well enough to need the energy.

After he ate his own mid-night meal he returned to the nest and showed his appreciation by making slow love to his beautiful mate through several orgasms. They fell asleep with Yuri’s head resting on Victor’s chest.

Yuri woke up to Victor writhing beneath him, which felt wonderful. The omega purred as his alpha nuzzled his chest and started thrusting.

Victor rotated his hips, wanting a better angle, and asked for a knot. Yuri smiled, knowing exactly how he wanted to knot his partner. He wrapped his arms around the Russian, and using the strength from training flipped them so that Victor was straddling his lap.

Yuri grabbed his boyfriend’s hips, and moved them in a way that indicated he wanted the man to ride.

Victor knelt and started riding, even as he signed, ‘ knot? ’ the whine in his throat making it clear it was a question.

Yuri nodded and thrust up into the blissful heat. Victor rode hard, and it felt so good that Yuri knot on the first orgasm.

At first Victor whined and started to still, but Yuri quickly pressed on his hips, telling him to keep going.

Both men gasped and moaned as the omega gyrated over the knot, changing the angle and pressure. The feeling was intense, and Yuri quickly came again. Victor soon followed, but didn’t stop riding the knot until it had almost receded.

“Yuri...” Victor moaned as he laid on the alpha’s chest, purring as Yuri stroked his back.

They kissed lazily, then shifted so that Yuri was sitting propped against the edge of the nest with Victor in his lap. They went again like that, the movement causing fresh need, before Victor curled against Yuri and laid his head on the alpha’s shoulder.

They found that the position was comfortable for both of them, allowing Victor to set the pace and for them to kiss and touch each other. Between bursts of need they curled together and savored the closeness.

The softest blue light of pre-dawn was just starting to seep into the room as Yuri softened inside of Victor. He knew that it meant his body was preparing for the final breeding knot. He wished he could put it off a little longer, until closer to the end of Victor’s heat, but his body had its own opinion on the matter.

Victor whined as he pulled out. “Yuri…”

Yuri kissed him softly, and maneuvered the larger man so that his side was against his chest, back braced against a raised knee and long legs draped over the other leg. He dropped kisses onto platinum hair.

They cuddled like that until an intense burst of need overtook the omega. He squirmed and clawed at the alpha’s chest, desperate for release. Yuri reached between his mate’s legs and slid fingers inside, massaging the sweet spot. Victor gasped and moaned, rubbing his cock as Yuri worked. He came quickly, ribbons of cum falling over both of them.

Yuri nuzzled into his neck and kept massaging inside, he needed to tire his partner one more time. Victor gasped and moaned, and seemed to understand as he continued stroking himself.

By the time Yuri could smell the exhaustion on his mate he was starting to get hard again. He laid Victor back in the nest, making love to him. After an orgasm that had the omega dragging fingernails down his back, he turned the Russian onto his side like he had for the other breeding knots.

He slammed in, growling and nipping, need too great for language. Victor writhed and screamed, calling Yuri’s name over and over as oversensitivity led to repeated orgasms.

Then they were tied together for the final breeding knot of Yuri’s rut. Victor moaned and shook, wracked by aftershocks of pleasure.

Yuri knew that when they separated there would still be several hours of lingering heat left, but he could smell that the worst of it had passed. In his rut addled mind he estimated that it would be over that afternoon.

He curled his arm around Victor’s waist and rested against the omega’s back. He’d have to sleep while he could. Once the knot was over he’d need the energy to keep up with the intense bouts of need that would overwhelm his mate.

He hoped he’d have enough time after the knot for breakfast. He could use the fuel for his stamina during the final hours.

“I love you Vitya,” he murmured as he closed his eyes and breathed in his mate’s scent.

Chapter Text

The connection felt too good, and the naps between orgasms too necessary, so Yuri let his final breeding knot go a few minutes over the hour limit. Victor purred when he woke up enough to realize that he still had it.

Yuri knew that as soon as it was over the sex would develop a frantic edge, the last gasps of hormones driving them to breed. Exhaustion would urge them to sleep almost immediately after each round, bodies trying to get just enough energy for one more go. So he took the time before the frenzy set in to shower his mate in affection.

He kissed Victor’s back, arms, anywhere he could reach, until the omega was purring and sighing with contentment.

“You’re so beautiful Vitya. You’re wonderful and I love you so much. I’m the luckiest man alive to be with you, I want you to know that. Not just the luckiest alpha, the luckiest man.”

Victor cried out as he came again from the pressure of the knot, the clench making Yuri come as well as the knot started to recede.

They stayed nuzzled like that for a moment before Yuri slid his hand over Victor’s.

“Do you need anything before the urges hit again?”

Water. Food.

Yuri kissed between pale shoulder blades. “Of course. Anything else?”

More talk.

Yuri felt a pleased rumble in his chest. “Do you like knowing how much your alpha cherishes you?”

Victor pressed his back against Yuri’s chest, so that the younger man could feel the purring as well as hear it.

Yuri nuzzled his back. “You know that’s high praise, you purring. Nothing makes me happier than to know that you’re a contented omega. Somebody as wonderful as you deserves to feel so good.” He nipped at the skin. “You’re the best omega. I’m lucky to have you, and I love you more than I can properly put into words.”

Victor continued to purr and Yuri kept praising his mate for several minutes, until the Russian asked for food and water again.

They had both ordered chilled soup for the morning, knowing that urges could easily interrupt a solid meal. Yuri carried the mugs and a plate of fruit back to the nest and they drank their soups together, only having to set things aside once as an intense wave overtook Victor.

The food gave them a bit of energy, and they decided to use it for just connecting between bouts. They curled up, facing each other, fingers exploring faces. They kissed, and for a while when need overtook one or both of them they used their hands on the other, not wanting to break the soft moment between them more than necessary.

Even when the need got so great that hands were no longer sufficient, they were focused on one another. Yuri propped along the edge of the nest, Victor riding in his lap so that they could continue to touch and kiss. Between bouts the omega world curl into the alpha, face pressed into the crook of Yuri’s neck.

They napped, and fucked, then napped some more. Taking care of the other during the waning hours became their priority.

Lunch arrived, and Yuri just managed to drag himself from the nest. He was exhausted, the only thing keeping him awake the increasingly infrequent but overwhelming need to spill into his mate. The smell of stale hormones filled the room.

They were almost too tired to drink their soup, and Yuri hoped that they would have a few minutes to rest after. His hopes were dashed though when he returned from moving the cart, half hard and needing to chase another orgasm. He turned Victor onto his side, spooning and thrusting into him until they both came, then fell asleep.

The bright light of afternoon poured through the sheer curtain into the room, and both men knew that it was all but over. Even the frantic lovemaking had been reduced to little more than exhausted grinding.

Victor was riding, sweat clinging to his skin as his body warred with itself. He desperately needed another orgasm, and Yuri could feel it in the movements.

As soon as Yuri let his knot grow one more time the omega screamed in ecstasy, needing that little push. After an orgasm that wracked his body with shudders, Victor collapsed on his alpha’s chest, contentedly connected.

They kissed, mouths coming together sloppily as they tried to stay awake long enough for the knot to go down. Victor failed, and was asleep on Yuri within a couple minutes.

Yuri laid the sleeping omega on his side as he slid out. He climbed from the nest, turned off the light that indicated a heat was in progress, and drew the thicker curtain over the window, thrusting the room into near total darkness.

All he could think about was sleep as he climbed back into the nest, found a blanket, and covered both himself and Victor before curling up against his mate and finally allowing himself to rest.

***

Yuri guessed he had managed a couple hours of sleep when he awoke. The light seeping in around the curtain had turned from the bright yellow of afternoon to the burnt orange of sunset.

Victor was crying.

Yuri scooted closer and bundled his mate against his chest. He released as much of his scent as he could, and rubbed small circles on the omega’s back.

“It’s ok Vitya,” he murmured into sweet-smelling hair. “I’m here. You’re safe. It’s over.”

“Yuri…” Victor hiccupped.

“Shh. Not now Vitya,” Yuri cooed, kissing his love’s hair. “Just rest. There will be plenty of time to talk later, I promise.”

Victor nodded and nuzzled into Yuri’s chest. The alpha waited until his omega was asleep before resting again.

***

The sun had set when they woke, but Yuri’s body told him that it was still early in the night. He moved just enough to squint at the clock and saw that it was a few minutes before eight.

He was ravenous, and was confident that Victor would be too. He carefully climbed out of the nest, managing to not disturb the Russian and clicked on the lamp on the far side of the room. He squinted at the room service menu, trying to find the marks they had made prior to heat, finally deciding that he’d need his glasses.

He padded back to the nest, smiled when he saw that Victor was still asleep, and removed his glasses from the nightstand.

Sliding the bridge over his nose, he was finally able to read the menu. He picked up the in-room phone and placed the order, a moment later he was informed that it would take about half an hour.

Once their dinner was ordered, Yuri set his post-heat plan into motion. He reached into a slender, zippered, pocket in his suitcase and pulled free a small package of tea-light candles and a lighter. He set them aside, and went into the washroom to refill the basin that he’d carried water in over the past day and a half. He rinsed himself as it filled.

He let the steaming water chill a bit, and allowed Victor a few more precious moments of sleep as he spread the candles around the room and lit them. Once done he turned off the lamp, thrusting the room into the soft, flickering, glow of the tiny flames.

Yuri was careful as he wiped the sweat and cum from his mate, rousing him as little as possible. At some point he saw a change in Victor’s breathing, and knew the omega was awake and accepting the care.

He glanced at the clock when he finished, and saw that the food would arrive any minute. He kissed his boyfriend’s forehead and carried the basin back to the washroom. When he returned he helped Victor into a yukata and out of the nest to sit at the small table.

“Candles?” Victor croaked, voice with a touch of amusement.

Yuri smiled, walked over and cradled the Russian’s face in his hand. “Our romantic night last week went to pieces. I know this doesn’t make up for it, but I wanted to give you a good evening.”

Victor smiled and kissed the inside of Yuri’s wrist. “Yuri.” He reached out and wrapped his arms around the alpha’s waist, drawing him close and pressing his face to the younger man’s stomach.

Yuri carded his fingers through Victor’s hair until the chime announced the cart. “You hungry?”

Victor nodded.

Yuri lifted Victor’s face and kissed him gently. He retrieved their food and placed it on the small table.

Even in the dim, flickering, light Yuri could see how exhausted Victor was. He wished they could take an extra day for recovery, but they had to leave for Moscow in only a few days. Practice time was critical.

Fingers flirted and played across the table, and they played footsie underneath. Neither wanted to push strained voices, so they let small gestures talk for them.

The meal was as excellent as Yuko and Nishigori had said, and Yuri decided that the hotel was a place he’d definitely want to bring Victor to again.

Once dinner was finished and the cart marked for removal Yuri led Victor to the washroom just as he had before the heat started. After cleaning them both they retreated to the outdoor bath and allowed themselves to relax.

Victor was dozing in the hot water, and Yuri decided it was time for them to really sleep. He pulled the second to last liner from the nest and they climbed into the comfortable space, curling into each other and falling asleep almost immediately.

***

Victor was awake. Yuri could feel it even in his sleep, his alpha side attuned to the omega. He roused, fumbled in the dark until his hands found his mate then moved to cover him in kisses.

“Yuri…”

“You should sleep Vitya. As much as we both want to connect tomorrow we don’t have that luxury. We’ve got practice in the afternoon.”

Victor nodded into Yuri’s hand, then moved close. They kissed for several minutes.

Victor started crying again, burying his face against Yuri’s chest in the dark while the younger man held him close.

“I’m here Vitya,” Yuri murmured. “I’ll always be here.”

Victor cried for a long time, relief mixed with longstanding pain in a way that left his emotions raw.

“Yuri…” Long fingers curled against the alpha’s chest.

“Shh. When you’re ready. I’ll wait as long as you need.”

Fresh sobs of relief wracked the Russian.

Tears eventually gave way to frantic kisses, and Yuri replied by deepening and lengthening them. His omega was scared that he would leave, his past making him question his worth, and the biological need of rut no longer a guarantor of the alpha’s presence.

“I love you Vitya. I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere.”

They kissed until they gasped for breath and lips were swollen.

“Am I a good omega?” Victor asked, voice tiny with fear.

Yuri kissed the side of his face and forehead. “You are the best omega.”

“Really?”

Yuri kissed his mate again, long and deep. “I couldn’t ask for better.”

Yuri could smell need and slick. His alpha side understood immediately. His omega needed to know he would be wanted outside of heat.

Yuri shifted and straddled Victor. He started by kissing the Russian’s face, then down his neck to his chest. He whispered words of praise as he moved.

He took his time preparing and opening Victor, turning his mate into a moaning mess and drawing out an orgasm with his hands before sliding into the wet heat. He moved slowly, purposefully. His thrusts were long and deep, each hitting the omega’s sweet spot.

After two days of nearly non-stop sex, this was the time that mattered. Each orgasm stripped away a bit more of Victor’s insecurity, pushed him a little closer to that place of pure, raw, feeling; each word of praise and love from Yuri hitting closer to the mark. By the time the alpha spilled inside his mate the raw insecurities of the omega had been exposed and soothed to the best of his ability.

The healing was far from over, and Yuri knew that his mate might never fully recover from the emotional injury of the past. But if he could repair the damage a little more each time, then he would do so without hesitation.  

Chapter Text

Soft blue light filtered through the sheer curtain, filling the room. Yuri woke because his body was used to getting up at the early hour.

He glanced at his sleeping mate and smiled. Victor was backlit by the light shining into the room, giving his platinum hair a soft silver glow. His face was peaceful, lips parted, and a weight seemed to have been lifted from him.

Yuri ran his fingers along the Russian’s arm, and could feel how, even in sleep, the heat had exhausted the omega. He wished that they didn’t have to return to training that afternoon. He wondered if he could convince the coach to work from the barrier and not join him on the ice that afternoon.

Sleep tugged at Yuri, and he tried curling back up against Victor, but after a moment realized that half the reason he woke was to pee. He slipped from the nest, careful not to wake his boyfriend. However when he snuck under the blanket again he saw tired blue eyes staring at him.

Yuri leaned in and nuzzled Victor’s face. “Go back to sleep Vitya, check-out isn’t until noon. Let’s get another hour or two of rest.”

Victor nodded and pulled Yuri close, tucking his face against the alpha’s neck. Yuri giggled as a deep breath against his skin tickled. But he knew what Victor was after and allowed some of his scent into the nest, making the omega purr contentedly as he fell back asleep.

When he woke again the light was brighter, though still early morning. Yuri squinted at the clock and saw that it was just past eight. He noticed that Victor wasn’t beside him and sat up quickly, looking for his mate.

He breathed a sigh of relief when the Russian quietly stepped from the bathroom. Blue eyes held a fond look when Victor saw Yuri.

Yuri crawled to the edge of the nest and Victor leaned over to kiss him. The younger man reached up and cupped his boyfriend’s cheek. “How are you feeling?”

Victor smiled softly. “Tired, a bit sore.”

Yuri made a concerned face. “Was I too rough?”

Victor chuckled, “No more than I wanted. Don’t worry, it’s a good sore.”

Yuri relaxed and moved aside as Victor climbed back into the nest. They both moved to the opposite edge and sat against the firmer base of the bed frame, legs twined together as they slowly kissed.

“I ordered breakfast while you were still asleep,” Victor said between kisses. “I hope you don’t mind. I’m starving.”

Yuri chuckled against the warm lips of his mate. “Why would I mind? It means I don’t have to wait as long.”

Victor smiled and they resumed kissing, fingers roaming along necks and chests as they did.

A few minutes later their breakfast arrived, and Yuri was treated to the sight of his mate’s exuberant side returning. Frequent smiles and declarations of ‘vkusno!’ accompanied each new flavor, and Yuri only realized that he had abandoned his own meal to stare fondly when Victor started eyeing his favorites on the alpha’s side of the table.

Yuri smiled, accepted Victor’s empty plate, and shared the items the omega seemed the most interested in.

Yuri poked at his own food, and managed to eat a few more bites. He was hungry, but seeing Victor happy was far more satisfying than the meal. He reflected on the past several days, from the stress leading to Victor’s heat, to the ruined dinner, through the sobbing in the nest the night prior, and he realized that it had been far too long since he had last seen the truly happy man in front of him.

Victor noticed him staring again and had a bite halfway to his mouth when he paused. “Yuri?”

Yuri reached across the table and brushed the fringe away from Victor’s eyes. “Just thinking it had been too long since I’ve seen you happy like this. I’ve missed it.”

Victor blushed, a look that Yuri loved.

Yuri smiled, and finally managed to finish his own food.

Once they had finished eating they joined their hands over the table, and simply stared at each other.

“Should we take apart the nest first, or relax in the bath?” Yuri finally asked.

Victor tilted his head to the side and brought one finger to his lips in the way Yuri adored, trying to decide. “I say bath, teardown, then another bath.”

Yuri laughed. “I don’t know if we can fit all that in, but sure.”

A few minutes later they were sitting in the hot water, listening to the gentle breeze through the trees and the chatter of birds. The November air nipped at their faces, but they kept warm by kissing.

It was quiet, peaceful, and Yuri was determined to enjoy the time with his mate before they returned to their hectic schedule that afternoon.

When they went back inside Victor headed straight for the nest and climbed in, trying to decide where to start taking it apart. Yuri was provided with a stunning view of the Russian’s ass, and his cock stirred at the sight.

A low growl was in his throat as he climbed into the nest and wrapped his arms around his omega’s waist.

“Yuri?” Victor asked.

Yuri nipped at pale shoulders and ground his erection against his partner.

Victor gasped in surprise, then moaned as he ground back, the scent of slick filling the air. Yuri sucked marks on his mate’s back, trailing the fingers of his right hand to prep his lover, while his left hand went to Victor’s mouth so the Russian could suck on his fingers.

The omega opened quickly, still loose from heat, and only a couple minutes later he was moaning as Yuri slid inside and wrapped the spit covered fingers around Victor’s cock.

“Fuck Yuri,” Victor managed between gasps and cries as the younger man thrust hard and fast. “You’re insatiable. How can you still get hard after the past two days?”

“Do you want me to stop?” Yuri teased.

“God no,” Victor groaned, shifting slightly to take his alpha even deeper.

“Good, cause you feel so incredible I don’t want to.”

Yuri pounded hard and fast into his mate while stroking the omega to a quick orgasm.

“Yuri!” Victor shouted, and the younger man continued his deep thrusts until the Russian’s pleasured shudders stopped before coming himself, growling in satisfaction.

They collapsed into the nest, panting and sweaty. Victor pulled off, and turned to face his alpha. They kissed for a moment.

“What was that about?” Victor teased.

Yuri smirked. “I saw your ass, and noticed it wasn’t wrecked.”

Victor laughed. “So you’re saying I should get dressed?”

“Who suggested that? I’m saying you have a fine ass and I feel the need to wreck it.”

“I think I underestimated the drive of an alpha around rut.”

“Is that a problem?”

“No.”

“Good, because I need more.”

Yuri flipped Victor onto his back and pressed in again, kissing the Russian passionately as he fucked him to another fast orgasm. They cuddled after the Japanese man collapsed onto his mate’s chest.

“Mmm, Yuri, you’re going to ruin me you know.”

Yuri pushed up and smirked at his partner. “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

“You’re just setting a high bar for yourself,” Victor teased.

Yuri claimed his lips in a kiss. “Guess we’ll have to see how high my off-ice stamina is at some point then.”

Victor’s eyes widened slightly, and Yuri started thrusting again.

“I love the way you feel around me Vitya,” Yuri praised. He dipped his head to suck and lick at the omega’s chest. “And the sounds when I hit just right inside you, I could listen to those all day.”

Victor’s fingernails dug into Yuri’s back, and the painful pleasure made him thrust harder. Soon the sounds of skin slapping and Victor calling Yuri’s name filled the room.

Yuri finally felt sated after the third round. He collapsed next to Victor, but, after a few minutes kissing, the Russian started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” Yuri asked.

“You’re nowhere near done, are you?”

Yuri smirked again. “Never, as long as it’s you. But how did you know?”

Victor laughed harder. “You were grinding on my leg!”

Yuri felt a blush creep across his face, and kissed Victor hard again. “I’ll give you a few minutes to rest.”

Victor grinned, and his eyes developed a devilish cast. “Oh Yuri, you’re not getting off that easy.”

“Oh?”

The Russian easily flipped the smaller man onto his stomach and soon had a lubed finger pressing against the puckered opening of the alpha. Yuri pressed back. “I like your idea of revenge,” he teased.

Victor nipped at Yuri’s ear as he slid a finger inside. “Good.”

Yuri was moaning long before his mate determined him open, and barely had the patience to allow his body to adjust as Victor slid in. Yuri reached to stroke himself to Victor’s thrusts, but the Russian had other plans and pinned his hands against the mattress.  

“Oh no, Yuri,” he purred, purposefully dragging his cock over the younger man’s sweet spot. “I’m not the only one with an ass that needs wrecked.” He thrust in again in a way that kept constant pressure on Yuri’s prostate. “And I think it’s my turn to wreck you.”

Yuri squirmed, but Victor’s hold meant that he could only take what his mate was willing to give, and what he was giving was good. So good. Every deep thrust dragged just right, and the pleasure built until that was all he was aware of.

Victor, his mate, felt so good. Victor was so good. Victor… Victor. Victor.

Victor.

Everything was gone except pleasure and thoughts of the man giving it to him.

“You’re in a good place, aren’t you Yuri?” a voice asked from the edge of awareness.

Vitya.

Yuri tried to answer, but was pretty sure the groan that escaped his lips wasn’t a word. Maybe he was wrong, since his mate seemed to understand anyway.

“Mmmm, good.”

The touch to his strained cock was like a spark igniting the fuel in his veins. He screamed as the added stimulation finally tossed him over the edge. He was falling, and it felt so good. There was no bottom, the pleasure endless as the omega kept thrusting and stroking.

When he finally managed to come back to himself the slightest bit he felt the pulse of Victor inside, and heard the omega’s trembling voice calling his name.

They collapsed into the nest again, and Yuri was happily spent. He turned to face Victor as soon as his mate pulled out. He saw bliss written on the delicate features, but there was a touch of insecurity in the ocean-blue eyes.

“You win,” Yuri proclaimed with a smile. “That was incredible and I feel truly wrecked.”

Victor smiled, the unease vanishing. Yuri blinked. “Were you worried about taking control?”

“You’re an alpha.” Victor blushed, and Yuri had to resist the temptation to kiss his omega senseless. “I thought you’d be ok with it after asking for it during my heat, but I wasn’t sure. Omega’s are naturally submissive, moresore with their alphas.”

Yuri couldn’t hold back any longer, taking Victor’s face into his hands and kissing him deeply. “I like that you think of me as your alpha.”

Victor’s blush deepened, and Yuri showered him in kisses.

Finally spent, they were able to focus on dismantling the nest, and even found the time for one more soak in the private bath.

They were dressed and making sure that everything had made it’s way back into their luggage when they finally decided to turn on their phones.

Victor wrapped his arms around Yuri for a kiss while they waited for the splash screens and startup sequences.

“Ready for the world?” Yuri asked softly.

“Hmm, I’d much rather stay here in bed with you.”

Yuri sighed. “Same. Maybe when we don’t have a competition within a few days.”

Victor smiled and they kissed again.

Yuri’s phone was the first to detect a signal, and he immediately heard the sound of a text message. He chuckled. “Guess our retreat is over.”

Then there was the sound of another text message, and a few seconds later another. Yuri made a face and glanced at his overactive phone. The startup continued, then the social media notifications added to the chorus.

“What the…?” Yuri started, heading to his phone.

Then Victor’s started.

They shared a glance as the notification sounds continued from both their phones. Then Yuri’s phone rang.

“Moshi moshi,” he said, noticing Yuko’s name on the caller ID.

“Oh Yuri, thank god,” she replied, a strained tone to her voice. “You finally turned on your phone. You’re still at the hotel I hope?”

Yuri glanced to Victor, who was staring. “Yes, we’re still here.”

“I know check-out should be soon. Catch up as much as you can before you come back. I’ll call your family and let them know I got ahold of you. We’ve been telling the media that you’re on a private training retreat and are purposefully not online so you can focus before Rostelecom. But there are rumors swirling, you two need to decide what you’re going to say before you come back into town. There are press hanging around both the Ice Castle and Yutopia.”

Yuri blinked, a stone settling in his stomach. “Yu-chan? What’s going on?”

There were muffled sounds, and he could faintly hear Yuko talking to somebody. Something about somebody not being there.

He realized that Yuko was talking about him and Victor.

“Sorry Yuri, I’ve gotta go,” she hissed as Yuri heard Nishigori in the background. “I texted you a link yesterday. That should answer your questions.”

The call ended and Yuri stared at his phone, the cacophony of notifications from Victor’s still echoing.

When his own notifications started to annoy him he muted the sounds, and a second later Victor did the same.

“Yuri?” Victor probed.

“Yuko said we need to check out a link before going back, and that the press is gathered both around the rink and the inn. She texted it to me, but had to hang up before she could say anything else.”

Yuri winced when he saw the number of missed texts. He scrolled past messages from Nishigori, Phichit, Yurio, Mari, Chris, Minami, and several friends from college before he found the one from Yuko. He noticed that there were more unread texts underneath. He opened it and glanced to where Victor was scrolling through his own phone.

“How bad is it on your end?” Yuri asked before clicking the link.

“My parents, Mila, Chris, Yuko, Takeshi, your sister, Yurio, Mila, Georgi, Minako.” There was a pause. “Yakov… who was still mad at me in China. He rarely texts too. Plus it looks like at least a hundred missed calls.”

Wide blue eyes focused on Yuri. “Yuri, what happened?”

Yuri shook his head. “I haven’t clicked the link yet. It appears to go to trashy paparazzi site.”

Yuri sat at the table, and Victor pulled the other chair around to sit and look over his shoulder.

The link loaded, and immediately Yuri’s stomach dropped.

“Katsuki Yuri and Nikiforov Victor attacked in park…” Yuri read the headline. “Oh, the subheading is even worse ‘Is Katsuki in heat?’”

Victor’s arms snaked around his waist, and Yuri felt a tiny tremble from the omega.

“Following an altercation that apparently began over dinner, the figure skaters were assaulted in a public park. Katsuki received a punch to the stomach before subduing the attacker, and no injuries were reported.

“While the audio isn’t clear, the words alpha and omega are heard at the start of the video. Additionally the attacker appears to have been in a rut rage.

“There are questions as to why Katsuki was attacked instead of Nikiforov, but many theorize that it was intended to outrage the presumed-alpha. While uncommon, there are instances in which omegas are targeted in order to antagonize an alpha into fighting.

“Though unconfirmed, it has long been assumed that Katsuki is an omega.”

Yuri sighed before continuing.

“The tables were turned when Nikiforov allowed Katsuki to fend off his own suitor, standing confidently to the side and observing as the Japanese figure skater avoided continued attempts from the enraged alpha. The fight ended when Katsuki subdued the attacker without landing a single blow in return, instead choosing to restrain the unnamed alpha.”

An embedded video appeared directly beneath the paragraph, but Yuri scrolled past it to keep reading.

“Both Katsuki and Nikiforov were unavailable for comment, those close to them indicating that they had planned to train at an undisclosed location in preparation for next weekend’s Rostelecom Cup. However, given the nature of the video it is possible that the young omega is in heat…”

Yuri skimmed, growing angry, until he found something worth reading again. “I skipped over a lot of instances where people I don’t know point to my physical or mental traits as proof that I’m an omega.”

Victor nodded into his shoulder.

“We reached out to the JSF for comment as to whether this incident will affect Katsuki’s status as a competitor, and representatives indicated that the matter had already been reviewed and settled with no negative consequences to the skater.

“Katsuki Yuri will be competing this coming weekend in Moscow at the Rostelecom Cup, where he hopes to clench his ticket to the Grand Prix Final.”

Yuri growled and scrolled back up to the video. “You ready?”

Victor nodded and Yuri pressed play. He immediately recognized that the video was a slightly different angle and farther away than the one the girls had taken.

The only clear words were ‘alpha’ and ‘omega.’ Combined with the dim lighting and distance it was nearly impossible to determine who was being addressed by the drunk alpha, and what Yuri knew to be Victor’s instinct to stay and submit to the winner looked like quiet confidence in the smaller man

Victor trembled against him as the video ended.

Yuri turned and kissed his mate. “It’s ok Vitya. We’ll be ok, you’ll be ok.”

Victor nodded into Yuri’s shoulder.

Yuri rubbed his cheek over platinum hair. “It’s small, but there’s a dining room for guests who don’t want to eat in their rooms. Let’s take the bags to the car, then have lunch here. We can decide what to do before we go back.”

Victor squeeze Yuri around the middle.

“Your secret seems safe, they still think I’m the omega. We’ll just decide what to say, and not say, and let them keep guessing. Ok?”

Victor nodded and they stood.

“Look at the bright side,” Yuri said as they both looked wistfully at the room. “We didn’t find out about this until after everything was over, and we’d reserved private time at the rink this afternoon and into the evening.”

“Yeah…” Victor replied in the way Yuri was starting to understand meant that something was on the Russian’s mind.

Yuri looked up, rose up on his toes and kissed his mate, holding on until strong arms wrapped around him.

“How about you let me be the anxious one Vitya? It’s what I do best.”

Victor stared, then smiled at the joke.

“Come on,” Yuri said. “Let’s fuel up and catch up before doing this.”

Victor nodded and they left the private sanctuary of the hotel room.

Chapter Text

Yuri’s eyes flicked to Victor as they walked back in from the parking lot, hand in hand. The omega was doing better than he expected, but he knew that his mate was skilled at hiding his true emotions. He wondered what turmoil was beneath the surface. He squeezed his boyfriend’s hand, and smiled when the Russian turned to look at him.

Victor squeezed back, and Yuri saw gratitude in his eyes.

Yuri wished they could go back to the room to soothe his mate’s worries. But checkout was too close to give his partner the attention he deserved. He stroked his thumb over knuckles.

He stopped walking in the quiet parking lot, earning him a confused glance from Victor.

Yuri rose on his toes and kissed Victor softly. “I love you. I’m here.”

Victor smiled fondly and wrapped his arms around Yuri’s waist so that they could look into each other’s eyes. They kissed again, though not enough for either of them.

They returned to the lobby, and informed the employee at the desk that the room was vacated for cleaning, but they would settle the bill after lunch.

“Just a moment,” the young woman replied. “The manager wanted to talk to the two of you.”

Yuri and Victor exchanged a glance, but were relieved when a smiling middle-aged woman who reminded Yuri of his mother appeared a moment later. She led the men into a small office.

“Thank you Katsuki-san, Nikiforov-san. I won’t take much of your time,” she said in English.

The duo waited for her to continue.

“We received calls from a couple of people who knew you were here, asking us to have you call immediately on checkout.”

Yuri blushed. “We’ve already contacted one person who was likely on your list. We’re… aware… that there is currently media interest in the two of us.”

The woman smiled, relieved that she wasn’t the one who had to break the news. “That’s good to know. Well I’ll move onto the main reason I wanted to talk to you then. I just wanted to remind you of the hotel’s privacy policy. We do not reveal the identities of guests, and your visit this weekend will not be disclosed unless you choose to do so. We held a staff meeting Saturday morning, after everything started on Friday night, and all employees have been reminded of this. I doubt it was necessary, I have a strict hiring protocol that focuses on discretion, but this would have been the first test.”

“It started on Friday?” Yuri choked.

The woman gave them a glance. “Yes, I thought you said you knew.”

Yuri reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone, he looked at the date on the article and sighed. Sure enough, it was several days old.

“No wonder our phones blew up,” Victor murmured.

“Being as you reserved a short stay, we decided to wait until checkout to inform you so as not to weigh on the heat and following hours.”

The men exchanged a glance, but neither could fault the logic. It was good they didn’t know before Victor’s heat started, and they recognized it as the proper course of action.

“Thank you,” Victor said softly, bowing deep.

She smiled. “That’s all I wanted to discuss Katsuki-san, Nikiforov-san. We didn’t want you blindsided when you returned, and we’ll treat your visit with the utmost discretion.”

They all stood, bowed, and the men made their way to the dining room. A few minutes later they had ordered and had started to slush through the onslaught. Victor was searching to see how far the video and ensuing madness had spread, while Yuri tried to find them a safe place to hang out once they returned to town.

Yuko said both the rink and inn were mobbed. I wonder if the dance studio is safe.

Yuri called Minako’s cell, and thought it was about to go to voicemail when she finally answered.

“Hai, Okukawa speaking.”

Yuri blinked, it sounded like he woke her up. “Minako-sensei?”

A second, then. “Yuri! About time! What was that video about? Why didn’t you tell me?”

Yuri heard shuffling noises and what sounded like a man’s voice in the background.

“Minako-sensei, before all that. Is your studio safe? Victor and I are still at the hotel, but Yu-chan says the rink and inn are both mobbed. We want to fully figure out ourselves what’s going on before talking to the press, but I don’t think we’ll be able to sort through everything over lunch.”

Another moment of silence. “I’m currently… not in Japan. I came to France for the weekend, so I don’t know if the studio is safe or not. Give me a minute to call my neighbor and have her check for me?”

“Of course.”

Yuri hung up and stared at his phone.

“What did she say?” Victor asked, looking up from his own phone.

“She said she’s not in Japan. Apparently she went to France for the weekend.”

Victor blinked. “Another trip? Didn’t she go to Nagano last weekend?”

They stared at each other for a moment before it clicked. “Nagano… now France?” Yuri laughed.

“Care to share?” Victor teased.

“The ladies side of the finals, and Jazzy.”

“Jazzy?”

“Oh sorry, Jasmine. She was a rinkmate under Celestino. She did well last year and he had high hopes for her making the final this season. She was assigned to the NHK Trophy and the Trophee de France.”

It took Victor a few seconds, but when he made the connection he started laughing too.

“I know she’ll say she was checking out the competition, especially with us… occupied… this weekend. But, a part of me thinks she could have done that from the livestream,” Yuri laughed.

“Told you they were flirting,” Victor said triumphantly.

Yuri smiled, grateful for the distraction, when his phone rang again. He saw it was Minako. “Moshi moshi.”

“Yuri? Apparently there was a crowd Saturday and yesterday morning, but since I wasn’t around to answer questions they cleared out. It’s supposedly safe, though I’d drive by first to make sure.”

“Thanks Minako-sensei. This will give us some breathing room to figure out our next steps.”

“Of course. If you decide you need to refresh your scent masking soaps there is a spare key to my apartment in the studio office. Top drawer in the filing cabinet, curl your fingers around the upper edge of the surround toward the right side, it’s taped in there just for emergencies. I don’t have masking soaps, but maybe somebody can bring them to you.”

Yuri breathed in relief. “Thank you again. We had already showered when we found out, and I don’t think we used strong soaps since we intended to go to practice. It might be a good idea to cover up a bit more, though…”

“I know kiddo. You weren’t planning on scent being an issue for a few days.”

Yuri sighed. “Thanks again. I should let you get back to sleep.”

For a second he thought about telling her to say hi to Celestino, then thought better of it.

“I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully you’ll be all sorted by then.”

“Agreed.”

They said their farewells, and hung up. “The studio is safe, and Minako told me where there is a spare key to her apartment so we can use scent-blocking soaps.”

“That’s a good idea,” Victor replied, staring at his phone, eyes flicking as he read.

“What’s the damage?” Yuri asked, bowing in thanks as their food was set on the table.

“Mainstream media seems pretty focused on the assault, and whether it will impact your performance this weekend. There are a few rumors on the fringes about it being similar to the Kerrigan and Harding thing.”

“Ugh… Like a punch to the gut is really going to disable me?”

“He did try to do a lot more you know. If you’d been badly injured you’d likely have had to withdraw.”

Yuri picked up his chopsticks and started eating while Victor talked.

“Luckily, most of those theories seem to be being knocked down almost as fast as they pop up.

“Now the tabloids… they’re having a field day,” Victor sighed.

Yuri swallowed. “Oh?”

“They’re all over the audio, as bad as it is. I’ve mostly skimmed, but they all seem to have latched onto the pseudo-psychologists to explain why an alpha would attack an omega. They don’t even seem to entertain the possibility you’re an alpha. A couple have gone so far as to float the theory that you’re pregnant, and that he punched you in the stomach to make you miscarry and send you into heat again.”

Yuri sighed. “How far has it spread? The…” he waved his hand, “not trashy stuff.”

“Seems to be front page on some Russian and English-language Japanese news sites, or at least above the fold on sports sections. The figure skating sites are all pretty focused on it. Worldwide it’s not too bad. Below the fold on most of the American sites I’ve looked. Haven’t gotten to Europe yet.”

“It’ll probably trend the same.” Yuri sighed.

Yuri looked at Victor, and while the Russian seemed to be handling it well he still worried. Victor's secret was at risk, and there wasn't anything he could do about it. Anxiety wound in his gut.

I failed to protect my omega. I’m a bad alpha.

Yuri focused on eating, tried to focus on his mate’s voice.

“Yuri?”

I failed. His secret is at risk. I’m a bad alpha.

“Yuri!”

Yuri didn’t even know that he was whining as he looked up into Victor’s worried eyes.

Victor moved around the table and put his hands on either side of Yuri’s face. “I can smell your distress. It’s going to be ok.”

“I failed you…”

Victor finally showed emotion, snapping at the alpha. “You did no such thing! How were you supposed to know that the paparazzi were still following us?”

Yuri whined.

“Look at me Yuri,” Victor cooed, rubbing lines on Yuri’s cheeks. “You couldn’t have known. You didn’t fail me. We’ll get through this together. Ok?”

Yuri looked up, anxiety gnawing at him and combining with his alpha instincts to safeguard his mate. “I didn’t protect you.”

Victor seemed to catch the problem. “You’re a good alpha Yuri,” he murmured, leaning in and resting their foreheads together. “You protected me when it mattered. We’ll be ok after this. I’m not in danger, only my secret is. I don’t want it to come out, but if it does I know you’ll keep protecting me. You’ll always be my alpha.”

Yuri swallowed. “I didn’t fail?”

Victor kissed his forehead. “No Yuri, you didn’t fail. You’re a good alpha.”

Yuri leaned into his omega, feeling drained from the attack.

Victor kissed him, then smiled against his lips. “You weren’t kidding about letting you handle the anxiety, were you?”

Yuri chuckled, reminded of what he had told his mate less than an hour before. “Told you it was what I do best.”

“I think you might skate better,” Victor lowered his voice, “and this past weekend was pretty impressive.”

Yuri laughed.

Victor kissed him again. “Feeling better?”

“A little.”

“Good, cause I can use your help. We need to figure out who needs responded to before we leave, and who can wait until we reach Minako’s studio. Also, the people who texted both of us, let’s have one of us reply rather than waste time on saying the same thing to the same people.”

Yuri nodded, and Victor returned to face him across the table.

“Ok, looks like the Nishigoris, your sister and Minako seem to just want us to contact them immediately,” Victor said, scrolling and tapping at his phone.

Yuri looked at his own texts. “Same. Since Yuko was going to let my family know, and we talked to Minako we can put them off for now. Who else do you have again?”

Victor studied the screen. “Yakov, Mila, Yurio, Chris, my parents, Georgi, there are more, but those are the important ones.”

Yuri nodded. “I’ve got Phichit, Yurio, Chris, Minami, some friends from college,” he scrolled, and his eyes widened. “I’ve got Hishashi Morooka. That could be useful.”

Victor’s eyes widened slightly. “A friend in the press is exactly what we need right now. What’s he asking?”

Yuri skimmed the text. “He wants to know if the video is real or fake, and whether it’ll impact my chances in Russia.”

“Nothing about why we were out of communication or our secondaries?”

“He said that he’s been informed that we’re out of communication for training, and to contact him when available.”

Victor was silent a minute. “Let’s promise him an exclusive next week in the leadup to the Grand Prix Final in exchange for some help.”

“Vitya?”

“We need to take control of this. If we’re being ambushed wherever we go it’ll only make training impossible. We’ll answer on our terms only.”

“What are you thinking?” Yuri could see his mate planning.

“Press conference tomorrow, at the rink during morning practice. We’ll pivot it from this, to focus on your upcoming competitions.”

“Are you sure about that?” Yuri felt anxiety at the extra attention.

“It’s the best way,” Victor replied, seeing the look on the alpha’s face. “Let’s work that mainstream angle: asking if this will affect your performance in Moscow. We’ll show off some training and assuage the conventional media. Fringe elements like tabloids can come, but let’s make it clear that we won’t answer any questions about secondary gender.”

Yuri nodded.

“How’s Morooka as a moderator?”

“He emceed the conference where we announced our themes, and I think he did ok.”

“Good. He’ll know who to call on. I don’t know the Japanese press, and it probably had some shakeups when you were in Detroit.”

“Morooka’s one of the newer ones,” Yuri said sheepishly. “He’s your age. I think he was reporting for his college when I left.”

Victor grinned. “Good. That means he’ll have the energy and drive to do this right. We want there to be as few questions from the tabloids and trash press as possible, and if he’s young he’ll want to keep a reputation of fair reporting.”

“Ok, so corral everybody and get it over with all at once. Then what?”

“Let them see a bit of practice, that way they know that you’re up to competing.”

“That should quash any pregnancy or miscarriage rumors at least. I wouldn’t be able to skate if that had happened. But let’s not do the quad flip in front of them. I’d like to practice that as much as possible but I’m still unsure.”

Victor nodded. “I understand.”

They looked at each other, made sure neither had questions, then set their plan into motion. Victor called the Nishigoris to discuss logistics, while Yuri called newscaster Morooka. They needed the mainstream press to have more visibility than the tabloids, and that meant getting the announcement out immediately.

Once the press conference had been arranged, with Morooka agreeing to send out the details, they looked to each other again.

“Now we need a cover story,” Victor said. “Everybody has been saying we’ve been out of town for training. Let’s stick with that. But… where?”

Yuri thought a moment. “I have an uncle who lives on Ogawashima. It’s an island to the northwest. Many residents have their own boats, so if he’s agreeable we can say that he picked us up and took us there so that I could spend a few days focusing. My anxiety isn’t news, so we can say you thought I’d benefit from the break. Since we practiced Friday, and will practice tonight I only missed one day of regular time on the ice. It’s a small island, with plenty of trails to run on, so we can say we were working on my endurance while we were there.”

Victor nodded. “That sounds plausible. But won’t the residents refute it if they didn’t see us?”

Yuri smiled, and pulled up a map of the island on his phone. “Here’s his house. See it’s off to one edge of town near the treeline. Unless we were running directly through town we’d be easily missed.”

Victor nodded, and Yuri placed a call to his uncle, who immediately laughed at being included in the plan and promised his support.

By that time they had finished their meals. They decided to relocate to the studio, and give the announcement of a press conference the chance to spread. They’d work out who would reply to which texts in the car.

Chapter Text

Yuri drove past the dance studio, both him and Victor on alert. The street was clear, but they rounded the block to be sure before pulling into the narrow alley and parking behind the building.

They got out carefully, but when nobody appeared they made their way inside and quickly discarded their shoes at the door.

Yuri headed toward the office, but Victor stopped him.

“Let’s sit on the floor instead.”

Yuri rose an eyebrow at the request, and Victor blushed.

“I would rather be able to cuddle against you right now,” the omega said.

Yuri smiled and nodded.

They made their way across the polished hardwood floor and Yuri sat under one of the windows with his back against the wall. Victor laid down and put his head on the alpha’s lap.

“Comfortable?” Yuri asked, brushing the fringe from his mate’s eyes.

Victor hummed happily. “The circumstances could be better, but considering… yeah.”

Yuri smiled and kissed his boyfriend’s forehead. “So who’s likely to be up?” He pulled his phone from his pocket and glanced at the screen. “It’s half past one.”

Victor was silent for a second. “That’s half past seven in St. Petersburg, and six-thirty in Switzerland. So I think everybody who texted us from Europe should be up by now. Yakov starts practice at seven, and Chris would be up early too given the Final is in a little under two weeks.”

“You sure you want me to take Yurio?”

Victor nodded. “He’d just dance around things like he always does with me. He doesn’t know how to tell me he figured it out.”

“Wait… you knew he knew?”

“Yeah? Wait… you knew he knew?”

“He… umm let it slip a few months back.”

Victor stared a moment then chuckled. “No wonder he only snarled at me over text about costumes, rather than going full angry kitten. He must have figured out I was in heat when neither of us responded.”

“So how did you figure out that he knew?”

“He… accepted my more nurturing instincts after my first reactive heat. He was always a prickly child, so a sudden shift like that was a surprise. It didn’t take me long to realize that he’d be as grumpy as usual with everybody else, then soften when it was obvious I just needed to care for somebody other than Makkachin.”

Yuri smiled. “He really does care.”

“Don’t ever let him hear you say that. He’ll claw your eyes out.”

Yuri laughed. “Well… let’s do this.”

“Wait. I have an idea.”

“Oh?”

“When you’re talking to Yurio, find out if he’s at the rink.”

“Why?”

“Might as well get Georgi, Mila and Yakov all at once. I think the wi-fi in here is good enough for a video chat.”

“Good plan.”

Yuri decided to start with Phichit. His best friend had known that they were planning to be out of communication, so had been far more restrained in his texts than he’d otherwise have been.

Friday 10:53 pm - Yuri! Yuri! What’s that video about?

11:47 pm - Yuri!!!! Tell me!!!!

Saturday 2:08 am - Yuri! You know that article is full of crap right? Don’t let it bother you! Nice takedown by the way.

10:23 am - Oh, that’s right! You said you were going no-tech this weekend. :-P Call or text when you get this.

Sunday 12:36 pm - Yuuuuuuuri! Are you still offline?

8:17 pm - Yuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Monday 10:35 am - Yuri!!! Talk to me!!!!

Yuri sighed, at least he’d had the foresight to let Phichit know they would be out of communication. He didn’t want to even think about how many hundreds of texts his friend would have sent otherwise.

Monday 1:55 pm - Hey Phichit. Just got back, and we’re catching up ourselves. This whole thing took us by surprise.

1:56 pm - YURI!!!!! Thank goodness! I was about to start calling all the onsen ryokans in Hasetsu until I found the one owned by your family.

1:57 pm - LOL wouldn’t have had to call many, I told you my family’s is the last one.

1:57 pm - :-/ not a time for jokes

1:58 pm - What do you mean that this took you by surprise? Is the video fake?

1:59 pm - No the video is real. It happened last Wednesday.

1:59 pm - Why didn’t you tell me?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

1:59 pm - Are you hurt? Can you skate?

2:00 pm - Besties tell each other these things!

2:00 pm - Is that asshole the reason you were out of communication?

Yuri sighed, he already felt like his hand was going to cramp, and he knew Phichit was just getting started.

“Vitya?”

“Hmm?” Victor replied as an incoming text notification came in on his phone.

“I think it’ll be easier if I just video chat Phichit. He’s going to wear me out with questions and there is still Yurio to face. Are you ok with it?”

Victor nodded. “Yeah, Chris is being far more subdued. He’s asking a bunch of questions at once and waiting for me to answer.”

Yuri looked down at his mate, and smiled when ocean-blue eyes met his own. He reached out and brushed the back of his fingers across the Russian’s cheeks. “How are you so calm?”

Victor smiled softly. “I’m scared Yuri. But I’m forcing myself to put some distance between the situation and my emotions. I know my secret is far safer if we approach this in a measured manner. And… you’re here.”

“Me? How am I of any help?”

“Just by being you. You’re my alpha. Knowing you’re here and that you’ll protect me is important.”

Yuri blushed, and Victor sat up just enough for a kiss. Yuri’s phone was going crazy with an ignored Phichit, but the omega was more important.

2:03 pm - Yuri!!!

2:03 pm - Yuri!!!

2:03 pm - Where are you Yuri?

2:04 pm - Answer me Yuri!!!!!

2:04 pm - Yuuuurrrrriiiiiii!!!!!!!

2:05 pm - Video chat?

The phone rang immediately with the incoming call.

“Yuri!” Phichit cried as soon as he answered. “Why didn’t you tell me that you and Victor were attacked?”

Yuri ran a hand through his hair nervously. “Honestly, we just wanted to forget about it. Nobody was hurt and there were more important things to focus on.”

“You swear you’re not hurt?”

“I’m fine. It winded me more than hurt. And if you saw the video you know he never got a second punch in.”

“Yeah, where’d you learn to move like that?”

Yuri felt Victor’s head shift at the question, obviously listening to the answer.

“Mostly all those ballroom dance classes I took. I didn’t get to follow often, but when I did I had to learn how to read and interpret the lead’s cues and translate them to movement immediately. And when I was the lead I had to pay attention to the signals from my partner of what they were and weren’t comfortable with.”

“Seriously? I thought you took them to get other dance styles!”

“I did, but partner dance is a lot of nonverbal communication. Eventually you learn to read tiny body movements.”

“Now I’m wishing I’d have taken some with you.”

“You should have, you’d have had a lot of fun!”

“Maybe when I get back to Detroit, though it won’t be the same without you.”

“When are you planning to go back?”

“Probably after I kick your butt at Worlds.”

Victor sat up enough to see the screen. “Hey, my Yuri is going to win!”

“Hi Victor!” Phichit said cheerily. “Nice try, but I’m winning.”

Yuri sighed and Victor laid his head back on the alpha’s thigh. “What else did you want to ask Phichit? We’re trying to get everything under control, but there are more people to contact too.”

Phichit made an annoyed face. “No fair, best friends take priority!”

“And that’s why I contacted you first.”

“Oh! Well…” Phichit took a moment. “So what happened anyway. The article I read mentioned something about a restaurant being where it started, and other articles seem to back it up.”

Yuri took a deep breath and released it slowly. He knew that the media would have a lot of the same questions, so Phichit was a good test. “Yeah, Victor and I were at dinner when this drunk alpha comes over...”

“I guess some people have found his name now, though I don’t remember what it is.”

Yuri pinched the bridge of his nose. “Just what we need. I’m sure he’d like to forget it too.”

“So what was it about?”

“Apparently he smelled us while we were waiting. And he was close enough to rut to be prowling.”

One of Phichit’s eyebrows rose. “I thought you were on suppressants. How did he smell you?”

“My suppressants stopped working, so I stopped taking them.”

Phichit’s eyes widened slightly. “So this… training. You were in rut? Right before a competition?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m surprised Victor allowed it.”

Victor rose up again. “Better before than during.”

“Point,” Phichit conceded, and Victor settled down again.

“Anyway…” Yuri continued. “He smelled us. We’d used masking soaps after training, but you know how sometimes scents seep through that close to rut.”

“You always did have a rather delicious scent for an alpha,” Phichit said dreamily. “Most smell so pungent. You smell earthy. I’m still surprised he mistook you for an omega though.”

Yuri was mid-sigh before he realized the Phichit hadn’t clued in on the fact that Victor was an omega. He glanced down at his mate, and saw a similarly startled expression.

I’m not going to say anything.

“Do you wanna hear the story or not?”

“I wanna hear!”

“Well it got tense in the restaurant before the employees managed to kick him out. Afterward, Victor and I were walking home and he came up to us again in the park.”

“He’d figured out you were an alpha I take it and wanted to fight?”

“Something like that.”

“What an asshole.”

“He was drunk Phichit, and in the prowling stage of rut. Near the end too. He probably shouldn’t have been out, really shouldn’t have been drinking, but I can hardly fault him for wanting to take the edge off if he didn’t have someone to share it with. It was a series of bad decisions, not something malicious.”

“Still, it’s amazing you weren’t hurt. Every alpha fight I’ve seen has ended with one or both going to the hospital. I’m impressed and scared at the same time. How did you keep from leaving him a bloody pulp if you were going into rut yourself?”

“I have to skate this weekend Phichit! I can’t do that if the JSF bars me from competing. We’ve been working too hard. Besides…” Silence.

“Oh?” Phichit was definitely intrigued.

Yuri rubbed the back of his neck. “I was pissed off. I was so mad the only thing I could think about was humiliating him. He kept calling me a baby alpha and saying I wouldn’t be able to defend myself. In alpha fights, a pummeled loser at least looks like he put up a good resistance. The pain is a sign that you at least tried. He’s got no marks, and no injury. He doesn’t even have a bruise to show for his loss.

“In alpha terms, he got his ass handed to him in the worst way. He submitted to a smaller alpha, after being unable to even land more than the first, cowardly, blow. He tried to provoke a fight, failed spectacularly, then was probably in the worst rut of his life a few hours later. I think he’s got plenty of regrets over that.”

“Wow.” Phichit was silent a moment. “But you know, besides not being barred from competition, you did yourself no favors. The few people online who have floated the theory that it was an alpha fight and not an alpha attacking an omega have all been shot down by the lack of blood. A bloodless alpha fight is rarer than a unicorn, so it obviously wasn’t one.”

Yuri sighed.

“Why not just reveal you’re an alpha?” Phichit suggested. “Put all these stupid heat rumors to rest… even if you were in rut.”

Yuri shook his head. “No. It’s not a good time. I’m worried enough about competing without being on suppressants.”

“Oh yeah…”

Victor sat up. “Oh yeah?”

“Hi Victor! Forgot you were there. Yeah, I moved to Detroit not long before Yuri started suppressing. Anyway, Yuri had just qualified for Four Continents. Since I don’t have competition to speak of in Thailand I was going too as my country's sole representative.

“Yuri was using some pretty strong masking soaps, and sprays, I think he had a lotion too. He’d rutted something like a week and a half before, but his pheromones hadn’t evened out again yet. He had enough stuff masking the scent that nobody could pinpoint it was Yuri, but he’d walk into a room and competitors would be on edge. If he’s not on suppressants I’m sure you’ve sensed how powerful his pheromones are.

“Anyway, it was like a switch had been flipped wherever he went. An alpha with a capital ‘a’ had just walked in. Meanwhile Yuri had his normal pre-performance jitters.”

“It wasn’t a good mix,” Yuri said.

“I dunno. You managed bronze, and were seeded into the Grand Prix series. Almost made the final too.”

Yuri smiled. “I was nowhere near the final.”

Phichit scowled. “You had two fourth place finishes in the series that year. Out of twelve skaters per event. You only needed to flip one of them to a first, or move up to a second and a third to qualify.”

“And yet I wasn’t even close enough to be an alternate. Stop making it sound like it was better than it was.”

Phichit huffed.

“What else do you want to ask?”

Phichit sighed. “I guess I’ll let you contact others now. But you better tell me everything, in person, in Barcelona.”

Yuri smiled. “You got it.”

Yuri ended the call.

“So that’s when you went on suppressants?” Victor asked.

Yuri nodded. “I had been thinking about it anyway, but seeing how much my pheromones impacted the other skaters. I felt bad. It was like the worst sort of psyche-out tactics. There were a lot of little mistakes from competitors who normally don’t make them.”

Victor sat up and ran his thumbs over Yuri’s cheeks. “You know it’s not your fault, right? You weren’t scenting on purpose, were you?”

“Of course not! But it doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad about it.”

Victor kissed him. “You’re such a considerate alpha.”

Yuri smiled. “Chris have all his questions answered?”

Victor nodded. “My parents too. I’ll have longer calls with them tonight.”

“I guess I should text Yurio then.”

Victor settled down with his head on Yuri’s shoulder. “Mmm-hmm.”

“I guess I don’t need to hide his his texts since you know he knows.”

“Why would you need to hide them?”

“He threatened me if I ever let it slip.”

Victor chuckled. “I thought I should tell him for a while, but it seemed a point of pride. So I left it alone.”

“Who else at the rink knows?”

“Yakov. Georgi doesn’t have a clue. Mila has her suspicions, but isn’t sure. I’m not close enough with the others to know who assumes what.”

Yuri nodded, it gave him a base of what would be safe to say. He opened the texts from Yurio.

Friday 11:47 pm - Oi! Katsudon! What the fuck is that video about?

Saturday 12:13 am - Hey, I lived with you for a week! I know you’re not asleep yet. I was amazed you could skate as late as you went to bed.

12:31 am - Katsudon! Do you want another fight? I’ll hop a plane just to make you regret ignoring me!

12:42 am - Fine asshole. Text me when you wake up.

1:15 pm - KATSUDON! I KNOW YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS BY NOW!

1:43 pm - Hey Pig! Some of the press is starting to think you won’t be able to skate. I’ll kill you myself if you don’t show in Moscow.

3:25 pm - Fuck. The press started calling Yakov, and he’s in a vile mood.

7:33 pm - Oh my fucking god the audio on that video is horrible. The breathing of whoever shot it is louder than hell. But I could hear ‘alpha’ and ‘omega’ pretty clearly. What the fuck Katsudon? Are you a fucking alpha? Why else would he attack you like that? He’s clearly in rut rage, and betas know to scramble.

7:35 pm - SHIT!!! Shit shit shit! Don’t tell me. It’s been three months! Is Victor off his fucking suppressants? Was he going into heat? Was that a fucking bloodless alpha fight?

8:41 pm - OMFG! You two are disgusting. You know that right?

Sunday 2:47 pm - Are you two done being gross yet? Yakov is losing his shit.

5:15 pm - I’m going to kill you. First I’m going to kick your ass this weekend, then I’m going to kill you. Yakov took his worry over Victor out on me and MIla. We thought it was going to be just a half day to prep for next weekend, but he drilled jumps. He saw wobbles in my landings I didn’t even feel. Apparently Yakov copes with worry by trying to kill his skaters.

11:23 pm - STOP BEING GROSS ALREADY!

Monday 11:17 am - SERIOUSLY ASSHOLES! YOU HAD THE WHOLE WEEKEND TO BE GROSS. NOW FUCKING ANSWER YOUR TEXTS!

“Awww, kitty cares,” Victor said with a chuckle.

“He’s mad you know.”

“That’s how you know he cares. If he didn’t he’d be indifferent. It’s the cat way you know.”

Yuri rolled his eyes. “You’re horrible.”

Victor kissed him. “You wouldn’t have me any other way though, would you?”

Yuri smiled and blushed. “No.”

“Let’s soothe the kitten.”

Yuri nodded and typed out a reply.

Monday 2:28 pm - Hi Yurio. Got your messages. Yes, I’m an alpha, but please don’t mention it. I’m sorta private about it. Don’t worry. I plan to take gold this weekend. Victor is here, and we were thinking that if you’re at the rink with Yakov, Georgi, and Mila we’d just do a video call and get everybody answered at once rather than disturb you all with texts.

Yuri waited only about thirty seconds before there was a reply.

2:29 pm - About fucking time. You two are disgusting you know. I’ll get everybody gathered. I’m sure Yakov would rather get it all over with at once too. I’ll call when we’re all together.

Victor sat up and squeezed close to Yuri so that the small phone camera could capture them both. It rang a moment later.

The first thing Yuri noticed as soon as they answered the call was the noise filling the rink behind the gathered skaters. It was a sharp contrast to the relative quiet of the Ice Castle. The second thing he noticed was how Victor’s face brightened at seeing his old rinkmates.

I really can’t keep him any longer.

“Vitya!” Yakov bellowed as soon as the call connected. “Pochemu ty pozvolil Katsuki vstupit' v boy pryamo pered sorevnovaniyami?”

“Hi Yakov!” Victor said cheerily. “Yuri’s right here, so if we could speak in English that would be best. As to why I let him get in a fight, it’s not as if the guy who attacked us gave us much choice in the matter. We were just trying to have a nice dinner.”

Yakov scowled. “So it’s true that it started in the restaurant?”

Victor nodded. “Da. We were trying to have dessert when this nasty drunk alpha came up to us. The employees got rid of him for us, but he followed us into the park and… well... That happened.”

Yakov pinched the bridge of his nose. “Vitya, you should be more careful.”

“Hey, we were being careful.”

“And what if your skater had been injured? What if the JSF or ISU bars him from competing him for fighting?”

“You know we would have appealed any such decision. We were the victims, not the instigators. The JSF knew about it immediately though, Yuri contacted them, and we’d been notified that there would be no consequences before we left for our weekend away.”

“So you were really out of town and had no idea about this story?” Mila cut in. “You just weren’t laying low hoping for it to blow over?”

Yuri shook his head and decided to try out their cover. “No. Victor thought it might help my nerves if we went somewhere quiet for a few days, so we went to stay with my uncle on Ogawashima. It’s a tiny island with plenty of trees and trails to run on. It was only when we left and turned our phones on that we learned of this. It’s been… an interesting day to say the least.”

“What if the ISU says differently?” Yakov cut back in. “The JSF clearing him is fine, but it still doesn’t look good.”

“Yakov, have you even watched the video? My Yuri was punched in the gut, didn’t return a single blow, even though many were aimed at him, then took the guy down in one move. Nobody’s even hurt.”

“Could have fooled me. That other guy is screaming bloody murder in the video.”

“Trust me, I was there, and the JSF representative was there during questioning at the police station. There were no injuries. I’d fight tooth and nail as his coach if the ISU tried to suspend him for defending himself, and managing to do so without anybody getting hurt.”

Yakov grumbled.

“Oi Katsudon!” Yurio finally cut in. “Are you going to be able to skate this weekend?”

Yuri laughed. “I’m fine Yurio.”

“That’s not my name!”

“The punch winded me more than hurt. It didn’t even leave a bruise.”

Yurio nodded, then stared at the screen. “Where are you? That’s not your place, and it’s not the rink either.”

“Ah, Yuko told us that the media is camped out at both the inn and Ice Castle. We’re laying low in Minako’s studio for the time being.”

“You haven’t talked to the press yet, have you?” Yakov cut back in.

Victor laughed. “Of course not. We were blindsided, and need a chance to figure out what’s going around.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“One of Yuri’s contacts in the press should be sending the details of a press conference any time now. We’re going to take tonight to figure out what’s what, then address the press as a group tomorrow so that we can avoid the ambush interviews.”

Yakov nodded. “At least you know how to handle the press. This contact is somebody you can trust?”

“He seems to be a fan of Yuri’s, and he’s interviewed us both several times now. Seems to be an honest guy.”

“Good. I’ll send you the email addresses of some Russian reporters that have been bugging me. Once the word got around that you were out of communication for training a few took a chance and boarded flights to Japan. They would probably like that information too.”

“I’ll pass them along to newscaster Morooka,” Yuri replied.

Yakov grunted and nodded. Then, “Yura, can I borrow your phone?”

Yurio blinked and handed it over, and camera focusing on Yakov alone. He held it down a minute, giving Victor and Yuri a good view of the ceiling. “All of you back to practice. You can catch up with Vitya in Moscow now that you know what’s going on.”

The sound of blades could be heard as Yakov carried the phone to what appeared to be an office.

“I heard the audio Katsuki.” He was quiet until Victor nodded. “Are you an alpha?”

“Yes, but I’m private about it.”

Yakov grunted again. “I’m a bit shocked. I’d always assumed you were an omega. So are you going to tell the press that?”

Yuri and Victor exchanged a glance. “Ah, no… I think it’s better if the press goes on believing whatever they want. Questions of secondary gender won’t be answered.”

Yakov visibly softened. “I think it’s for the best.”

Yuri nodded. “I know how private Vitya is about it. And honestly, it’s none of their business. If they want to get us backwards, then I’m fine with it. I’ve been assumed to be an omega for so long that it rarely bothers me. And now, I have a reason to not argue against it.”

Yuri tangled his fingers with Victor’s between them.

“Vitya… were you going into heat? Is that why that alpha was in a rut rage?”

Victor nodded.

“You should be more careful.”

“We used the strongest soaps available!” Victor protested.

Yakov huffed.

“It’s true,” Yuri scolded, defending his mate. “I was sitting less than a meter away, and could barely smell him. I don’t know how that other alpha could unless he was right next to us in the waiting area. That’s the only thing I can even think happened. It was crowded enough, but once we got to a table he had to come in from another room.”

Yakov stared, then nodded. “I need to get back. I’m still angry with you Vitya, but… you seem happier. We’ll talk in Moscow.”

Victor smiled. “Thanks Yakov.”

“Katsuki, thank you for protecting him.”

“Of course.”

The call ended, and they both breathed sighs of relief.

“Who’s next?” Yuri asked.

“Us,” Victor replied, leaning back into the alpha.

“Oh?”

“I just want to relax and it be us for a few minutes.”

“I like that plan.”

They sat in silence for several minutes, leaning against each other.

“Yuri? How many kinds of dance do you know?”

Yuri laughed. “Well ballet is what I know the best. But I added Jazz and some other solo styles while in Detroit.”

“How many partner dances?”

“Hmm… Waltz, tango, a bit of Argentine tango, it’s just different enough that I’m not as comfortable with it as regular tango. Cha-cha, merengue, couple more salsa styles. Foxtrot, lindy hop, jitterbug, and Charleston. Then bits and pieces of other stuff.”

“Wow.”

“Why?”

“Just thinking of the first time we met.”

“Oh? Did you want to dance with me?”

Victor leaned in and nodded against his shoulder.

“Do you want to dance now Vitya?”

Victor nodded again.

Yuri scrolled through a music app on his phone until he came to an old playlist he’d set up to practice to. He kissed Victor’s cheek. “Up.”

The music started, and Victor’s smile lit up the studio. Yuri settled his right hand at the omega’s waist and took his mate’s right in his left.

“Tango ok?”

Victor nodded, a look of nostalgia in his eyes. Yuri was confused, but didn’t ask.

Yuri smiled, counted to the start of the next phrase then led his mate around the studio, Victor smiling the whole time.

Chapter Text

They danced for nearly an hour in the empty studio, lights off and blinds drawn so that nobody outside could see. Tango gave way to waltz, to swing, to salsa, music pouring from the tiny speaker of Yuri’s cell phone. When their legs finally protested they curled into a corner and kissed until their lips were red and swollen.

At some point they sent texts to the remaining people, and decided to give the news of the press conference time to circulate.

Eventually they fell asleep, Victor curled against Yuri’s chest.

Yuri awoke some time later to the buzz of his phone on the hardwood floor. He picked it up to see a text message from Yuko.

He looked down to the man sleeping in his arms and smiled. Somehow the noise hadn’t woken the omega, and the peaceful smile on his face was beatific. He’d never get enough of the sight.

Yuri returned his attention to his phone and unlocked it with one hand, the other rubbing circles on his mate’s back. He read the message from Yuko.

Monday 5:11 pm - Hi Yuri, the news of the press conference worked. The reporters have mostly cleared out, except for a handful of questionable ones. I think you could easily ignore them. I called Mari and she said the inn is mostly clear now too.

Yuri smiled, and replied quickly.

5:15 pm - Great, thanks. We’ve not eaten since lunch so we’ll grab something and be there in a little while for practice.

5:17 pm - You have your keys with you?

5:18 pm - Yes.

5:18 pm - Good. I’ll be here for a while closing out the day, but it’ll be time for me to head home soon. Takeshi is on the zamboni now, so you’ll have fresh ice when you get here. Let yourselves in if we’re already gone.

5:19 pm - Thanks Yu-chan.

5:19 pm - Of course! See you tomorrow if not in a bit.

Yuri set his phone aside and stared at his mate for a few more moments. He was loathe to wake his omega, but if they wanted to practice then they needed to get going.

“Vitya,” Yuri murmured, drawing his thumb over the Russian’s pale cheek.

“Hnnn,” Victor replied, burrowing into the alpha’s chest.

Yuri chuckled. “Come on Vitya. Yuko texted. The rink is almost press free. Let’s go get something to eat then get a few hours of practice in.”

Victor curled his arms around Yuri’s waist and squeezed. “Comfy.”

Yuri laughed. “You might be now, but I bet your body will yell at you later for falling asleep in such a weird position on a hardwood floor.”

Ocean-blue eyes cracked open and Victor stared up at Yuri. “Are you calling me old?”

Yuri blinked, then smiled. “Who said anything about age? I’m just saying that the way you’re curled around me is probably not the best for sleeping, especially on the dance floor.”

Yuri leaned in just enough to kiss Victor’s forehead. “Let’s get a few hours of practice in so that tomorrow isn’t my first time back on the ice. Need to look good for the reporters.”

Victor grumbled, but pushed himself off the alpha’s chest. He stood and offered his hand to Yuri, then wrapped the smaller man in his arms. They kissed for a moment before Yuri reached up and placed his hands on either side of his mate’s face.

“I know,” Yuri said softly. He could see need in Victor’s eyes, and it was eating at him as well. “This is supposed to be a day when we just enjoy each other. I’m so sorry.”

Victor shook his head. “I knew it would be hard. We don’t have enough time before we have to leave for Russia. It’s just…”

Yuri kissed the side of the omega’s mouth. “I know. We weren’t expecting to have to hide from the media on top of it.”

Victor smiled softly. “The dancing helped.”

Yuri nodded. “I think we’ll have to dance more often.”

Victor’s smile widened into his heart-shaped grin. “Really?”

“Until our legs fall off. Just… not right before a competition.”

“Deal!”

They kissed then made their way outside. The afternoon was quiet behind the studio, and Yuri led them to a secluded restaurant he knew nearby. After a brief meal they drove to the rink, using the mobility of the car to check out the handful of reporters milling about before determining that it was indeed reasonable to go inside.

As Yuri was parking he received a text from Yuko.

5:56 pm - Saw your family’s car drive by and park. Takeshi is waiting at the back door to let you in. There’s nobody back there. ;-)

Victor had already taken a few steps toward the front of the building. Yuri jogged a few paces to catch up and steered him toward the back door where a frazzled-looking Takeshi was waiting.

“You just had to go show what a bad-ass you are when you want to be, didn’t you?” Takeshi teased as the men slipped inside. He hugged Yuri. “Yuko said you had to go to the police for some reason last week, but an alpha fight wasn’t what I was expecting.”

Yuri rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “Honestly I didn’t think it would blow up like this. We didn’t know that the paparazzi was still on us. Sorry for all the trouble I caused.” Yuri bowed deeply.

Takeshi laughed. “Don’t worry about it. Just next time, bloody the guy up a bit so people realize it’s an alpha fight. I’m tired of them asking if you’re in heat or pregnant.”

“Nishigori!”

The older alpha laughed and started walking toward the front. “Ice is ready for you guys. Yuko and I are headed home.”

Yuri smiled. “Thanks for your help.”

“Anything for you, you know that.”

“Thanks Nishigori.”

Yuri was enveloped in the circle of Victor’s arms and they nuzzled into each other in the quiet hallway for a moment before heading to the lobby and the locker that Yuri had stored their skates in.

Yuri put on his skates, and was happy to see that Victor didn’t do the same. The alpha part of him wanted his mate to rest and recover after the heat, and the dancing had been plenty of exertion.

Luckily his own muscles felt loose from dancing, so Yuri only stretched a bit.

Victor looked unsure as Yuri took to the ice. The younger man skated to the barrier, kissed the omega then put on a serious face.

“What are we starting with today coach?” he asked,barely holding back a bit of mirth at the end.

Victor smiled and leaned on the barrier. “Let’s see how several days off affected you. Warm up, then let’s run the programs.”

Yuri grinned and couldn’t help himself as he grabbed Victor’s shirt and pulled his boyfriend up for another kiss.

“Starting with seduction? I like what you’re thinking.”

Victor smiled against his lips. “Don’t you have it backwards? Aren’t I supposed to seduce you today, to keep you in my nest?”

Yuri chuckled and kissed his mate again. “You’ve done that you know. You’ll have to kick me out if you want to be rid of me.” He moved and nosed at the omega’s scent gland, nipping at it softly until the older man gasped and shivered.

He didn’t stop until Victor was purring and nuzzling back into Yuri’s scent gland.

When Yuri pulled back he ran his thumbs over the Russian’s cheekbones. He stared into ocean-blue eyes. “Stop me if you need to. I know this is far from ideal, that we should be curled together and reconnecting.”

Victor closed his eyes and nodded into Yuri’s hand.

“Think we can do three hours of practice Vitya?”

Victor nodded again.

Yuri kissed him again. “We’ll go home after, relax in the onsen for a bit, and spend some time connecting in bed. Does that sound nice?”

“Mmm.”

“Good.” Yuri took a breath, still unsure about how Victor’s thoughts on their dynamic might have changed. “Your alpha is here Vitya. I’m not leaving.”

Victor opened his eyes and looked at Yuri with a smile.

When Yuri started through his runthrough of Eros a few minutes later he reflected on their weekend, and used the movement to tell his mate that he would never stop seducing him.


 

Yuri was at war with himself. The warm water of the onsen was soothing to his tired muscles. But it conflicted with the itch under his skin. Though Victor leaned against him, he felt he hadn’t been paying enough attention to his mate.

He knew it was nonsense, but his alpha side protested that too much time had passed since they’d been intimate. A small voice within insisted that since the omega hadn’t courted him all day that he had been wanted only for the heat.

It was hard to reconcile the reality of daily life with the pull of instinct.

The sound of cascading water as Victor stood. Yuri looked up and the Russian put his hand on Yuri’s shoulder, giving it a slight squeeze. Join me.

Yuri nodded and stood, silently following his mate They rinsed, dried and dressed in silence before making their way back to their room.

As soon as the door slid closed they came together, kissing desperately as if afraid that the other would leave any minute. Arms wrapped around each other, hands clenched in fabric, holding the other close, fighting to keep the other from turning away.

As the kisses lengthened and deepened, hands worked at the sashes on their yukatas. Yuri loosened Victor’s first, drawing the fabric down and off the omega’s shoulders so that he could suck fresh marks into the skin.

Victor gasped and moaned, even as he pushed back against the alpha’s mouth.

Yuri’s chest rumbled in approval. His omega wanted his marks. He continued to move his lips, sucking and nibbling on pale skin until a fresh crop of blooms mixed with the slightly faded ones of days earlier.

“Yuri…” Victor whined.

Yuri pushed his mate until the back of his legs were against the bed. Victor sat and wrapped his arms around the younger man’s waist, nuzzling against the skin that showed through the loosened yukata.

He slid his fingers underneath the omega’s chin, and lifted until he could stare into the Russian’s eyes. They held that pose for several minutes, studying each other, the smell of slick slowly building in the air.

“Yuri…” Victor whimpered.

The sound was too much and the dam broke. Yuri kissed his mate passionately, and as Victor scooted back on the bed he followed, keeping their lips joined. It wasn’t until the Russian laid back on the pillows that they came apart.

Yuri quickly removed the rest of their clothes and bent down to savor his mate. He kissed and licked the smooth skin, touching it, smelling it, tasting it. Victor’s moans were music in his ears. He pulled back and watched the omega’s face contort in pleasure as he slid first one, then two fingers inside, opening him as quickly as he could without hurting him.

“Vitya,” Yuri rumbled, pulling his fingers free and pressing his aching cock into the welcoming heat, “you’re the only omega I want.”

Victor’s back arched as the alpha filled him and started moving, fingers digging into Yuri’s arms.

Yuri rocked in a deep, steady rhythm, drawing his cock over the omega’s sweet spot with every thrust. He was unrelenting, driving anything but pleasure from his mate’s mind, and he growled in approval when his partner came with a moan, cum spurting over his chest.

“You’re so beautiful Vitya,” he crooned as he continued to move. “Do you have more in there for me? Will you come again?”

Victor’s hips rose in reply, inviting the alpha even deeper inside. Yuri growled approvingly and snapped his hips forward, setting a faster stronger pace.

His knot was swelling. He leaned over, reaching with one hand to brush the scent glands on Victor’s neck.

The omega understood immediately. He rose up on his elbows and offered his neck, flexibility helping to make up for their height differences.

Yuri pressed in, fucking hard and fast. He leaned to kiss and suck on Victor’s scent gland, appreciating the increased volume of his mate’s sounds.

He pulled the skin into his mouth and bit, not hard enough to puncture but enough to provide intense pleasure to his mate. He growled possessively. 

Mine, he thought before instinct demanded he say it aloud.

“Mine,” he declared, releasing the skin. He nipped and sucked at it. “My omega. My mate.”

Victor came hard, cum spreading warm on the skin between them. The clench was enough to send Yuri over the edge and he spilled into his mate while his knot grew.

They both trembled with aftershocks for several minutes, Yuri’s jaw locked on Victor’s scent gland, until the omega was too weak to support himself and collapsed back against the bed. Yuri laid on his chest, content to listen to the heartbeat of the man he loved.

He felt, then heard a whine from Victor. Yuri smiled and pushed up. Victor propped himself on his elbows again, and Yuri exposed his scent gland to his omega.

Victor nuzzled into Yuri, nosing the spot. Yuri released his pheromones, making the Russian purr.

I’m yours Vitya.

Yuri gasped as the feel of kisses against the sensitive skin built fresh pleasure in his core. He closed his eyes, a pleased rumble in his chest as Victor nipped, then a satisfied growl as his omega bit softly into the skin.

His mate wanted him, and it was the most wonderful feeling imaginable. He lost himself in the sensation of being touched like that.  

“Mine… my alpha… my mate.”

Yuri gasped and growled as the words pushed him over the edge. He came again, spilling inside his omega.

He shook, but as the aftershocks of pleasure dwindled he had the intense need to hold his partner. He urged Victor to lay back, then wrapped his arms around the larger man and used his strength to pull him so that the omega was sitting in his lap, knot still firmly in place.

They alternated between kissing and stimulating each other’s scent glands until the knot receded.

For several minutes they sat there, Yuri still inside Victor. They weren’t bonded, but there was a definite shift in their relationship. They had each declared the other as their mate.

Ocean-blue eyes met chocolate brown, and an entire conversation took place in the silence of the gaze. There was new awareness, their love had been declared in a different way.

Yuri reached up and ran his thumb over Victor’s cheekbone. “My mate…” he murmured.

Victor mirrored the motion and words before their lips came together softly, hands sliding from cheeks to rest at the nape of the other’s neck.

It was a quiet thing, deeply personal. A promise to the other. Bonding would come later, and they both knew it as fingers teased at the back of their necks.

Yuri was still hard as he laid Victor back down on the bed. He rocked into him slowly, drawing several orgasms from the omega before the Russian passed out from pleasure.

When Yuri laid down beside the platinum-haired man he drew his fingers over the delicate features. “My mate…” he murmured.

Chapter Text

Yuri realized that he’d fallen asleep when his mind protested the lamp still being on. He scrunched his face and rolled to turn it off without opening his eyes. He was stopped by a hand on his shoulder.

“Not yet,” Victor said softly.

Yuri turned back and opened his eyes to see Victor staring at him.

“I like watching you sleep,” the Russian murmured.

Yuri smiled and settled back under the covers. They looked at each other, just taking the other in for several minutes before they came together with chaste kisses.

“Yuri…” Victor whispered between kisses. “How’d I get so lucky to have you?”

“Hey,” Yuri chuckled, “that’s my line.”

Victor smiled, and they resumed just staring at each other, fingers trailing over faces and chests. As they continued Yuri realized that there was something on his mate’s mind.

Yuri shifted just enough to kiss Victor’s forehead. “Are the post-heat emotions settled a bit?”

Victor nodded under the alpha’s lips.

“Good.”

“Yuri?”

“Yes Vitya?”

“Thank you.”

Yuri ran his cheek over platinum hair. “You’re welcome, but I don’t know what you’re thanking me for.”

Victor tugged on Yuri’s arms until he scooted back down enough for them to look into each other’s eyes.

“Thank you Yuri, for saving me from myself.”

Yuri leaned in and kissed his mate. Victor smiled in return.

“I don’t remember doing anything that big,” Yuri whispered.

“Because you didn’t do it in one big show, but in the tiny things that built up. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived all those months ago. What I got though, exceeded what I would have ever imagined. I have a second family here, your parents and Mari, Minako, Takeshi, Yuko and the triplets. I showed up with no notice, and everybody accepted me.

“And somehow you gave me even more than that. You accepted me, but you trusted me too. You put your career in my hands, even though I’d never coached before. You had no way of knowing if I’d be a good coach or a bad one. I’ve made mistakes, some of them pretty big, but you’ve flourished despite my shortcomings. I’ve watched you grow from somebody almost broken with self-doubt, to a man who has the strength to shine every time he steps on the ice.”

“I’m not that strong…”

Victor kissed Yuri softly. “Yes you are Yuri. Stop underselling yourself. You’re incredible.”

Yuri made a noise, but hushed as Victor kept talking.

“I would have fallen in love with you anyway, I had already started to. You’re such an amazing person I don’t know if anything would have prevented me falling in love with you.

“Then I had that heat, and I was terrified. I didn’t want you to see me that way. I felt so weak, unable to even control my instincts. Because of my history I felt worthless as a person during my heats. I was scared you would hate me and abandon me. Who wants to be coached by an omega?

“You walked in, and I realized you were an alpha. For a moment I thought that all my worst fears would come true. Not only was it presumptuous for an alpha to be trained by an omega, but I would not be able to refuse your advances if you made them, my body would win. That part of myself I so hated, that I tried so hard to overcome, would win.

“I was unable to fight against my instinct, and you were so close I know that it was affecting you. But you were strong, and instead of giving in, you protected me. You made me submit, but for my own sake. When I realized, even in that hazy state, that you were close, keeping me safe from other alphas, it made me love you even more.

“You never treated me any different. You absorbed the information that I’m an omega into our interactions, but not to belittle or diminish me, but just as a fact of who I am. You were patient, giving me the space to find out how I felt about my own nature.

“I’m still scared of my omega side, I don’t know if that will ever change. That fear is rooted too deep, but I can accept it when I’m with you. You manage to say without words that it doesn’t define me, but that you love it without question as a part of me. You don’t let it determine our relationship. I feel I have the room to be myself in your arms, whether it’s the skater, the coach, the man I am, or the omega. You accept them all.

“I was terrified when I asked you to share my heat. Even my love and trust for you couldn’t push those tiny voices from my mind. I’d been too hurt, too damaged. Once the hormones took over I’d have no control. My instinct would demand that I submit to you if necessary, anything to sate that overwhelming drive.

“But you gave me a way to communicate, to tell you what I needed. You insisted that my comfort was necessary, and that you would put my needs first. You held to it. After so many heats locking myself away in fear, pushing my body to the breaking point, not wanting to leave my nest for even the most basic things, you took care of me. I’d normally be severely dehydrated and shaking from lack of nutrients after a heat. I’ve not come out of a heat in as good as condition as these last two since I was a young teen and my mother would look after me.

“The entire time, you made me feel loved. When I wasn’t sure about the breeding talk you forced yourself into silence, and I could feel how much pain you were in. Your alpha side needed it so much, but you didn’t want to upset me. But even then, after you started talking it was full of love and praise. It wasn’t demeaning, it was hopeful, gentle expectation for our future. It wasn’t about just using me for children, it was about starting a family.

“You have hopes and dreams, and somewhere along the line I became a part of them, and you’re a part of mine.”

Victor paused for a minute to take a deep breath.

“You saved me from myself Yuri. Before you I was broken. Skating was all I had, but it was no longer enough. The medals, so hard fought for, weighed me down. Each one was a fulfillment of expectation, and each only made the fans clamor for more the next season, the next performance.

“I was on a path of self-destruction. I’d lost my inspiration, but all I knew, all I trusted was skating. The thought of retirement was terrifying, and a part of me thought that the slow decline of skating past my prime was preferable to the chasm of the unknown.

“I was desperately lonely, I wanted a connection so badly, but I refused to reach out because I couldn’t bear the thought of being hurt again. Who could love me? All my achievements were nothing in the face of my biology.

“Then you crashed into my life. You wear your emotions on your sleeve, and you skate them even clearer. You’re nothing like I expected, but everything I needed and more. You called to me, and I’m so very glad I answered.”

Victor paused and ran his thumb over Yuri’s face. “Yuri, I don’t know if I’ll ever be comfortable with myself, especially my omega side. But I’m comfortably with you. I trusted you with my deepest secrets and fears, and instead of turning away you embraced me and all my flaws.

“So thank you Yuri. You saved me from myself, and I can’t imagine life without you.”

Yuri realized that he was crying. “Vitya…” he choked out.

Victor leaned in and kissed him.

They kissed for several minutes, overwhelmed with emotion.

“I’m none of those things you describe though,” Yuri protested when they separated. “I’m just me.”

Victor smiled softly. “You’re far more incredible than you give yourself credit for Yuri.”

“You’re given me a lot to live up to you know.”

Victor scooted down in the bed and laid his head on Yuri’s chest. “You can handle it, and exceed it. I wouldn’t give you more than you can bear, and when it weighs heavy I’ll help you carry it.”

Yuri laid his hand on Victor’s back and rubbed small circles on the warm skin. “I’m just afraid of disappointing you.”

“You could never disappoint me Yuri.” Victor looked up and their eyes met. A smile passed between them before their lips came together again.

Chapter Text

Yuri woke a short while before his alarm was set to go off. He thought about watching Victor sleep until it sounded, but when he turned and opened his eyes he found that the Russian was already awake and watching him.

Yuri smiled and moved in for a kiss. “I guess we had the same idea.”

Victor smiled and pulled the smaller man into his arms. “Mine,” he murmured as he nuzzled Yuri’s hair. “My mate.”

“Mmmm, all yours,” Yuri agreed, closing his eyes and breathing deep the scent of his omega.

They kissed until both their cocks were hard and aching, and when they couldn’t stand it any longer Yuri pushed Victor onto his back and made love to him until their alarm went off. Even then he didn’t stop until the first few snoozes had elapsed, savoring the way his name rolled off his mate’s tongue in ecstasy; the way Victor’s hands curled into the sheets as pleasure overwhelmed him.

Their hands linked together as they strode to the rink, Yuri’s head on Victor’s shoulder. They knew the chances were high of being photographed, especially with the press attention. Somehow they couldn’t bring themselves to care about such a simple thing as holding hands or leaning against each other being in the press. They’d kissed on international television so it wasn’t a surprise after all, and they had more important things on their minds.

They’d declared their love for each other in a new way by claiming one another as mates. It was a different dynamic and so much more meaningful than the label of boyfriends. There was a quiet reassurance in the act, and the entire walk to the rink there was a low rumble of satisfaction coming from Yuri, and an equally pleased purr from Victor.

Yuri turned his head up to look at his omega, and Victor returned the glance with a smile. They were stronger together, and they knew that no matter what the press threw at them, they would be able to weather it. They kissed softly, and finished their walk to the rink in the soft light of the morning.


 

There were a handful of paparazzi waiting when they arrived at the rink a few minutes after seven. They pushed past easily and informed the pushy tabloid writers that no questions would be addressed until the press conference, which was scheduled for ten that morning.

Yuri managed two hours of practice before he had to leave the ice and prepare. Takeshi had transformed the lobby into an impromptu conference area, placing a small platform with a lectern and chairs at one end, and turning the benches to roughly a ‘V’ shape in front of it.

Morooka arrived about the same time that Yuri was leaving the ice, around nine-thirty. The skater noticed that Victor was conferring with the journalist, and from the snippets of conversation he heard, the omega was agreeing to point out the reputable Russian journalists so that the Japanese one would know which of his foreign peers were more likely to ask questions that stayed away from the gender dynamic issue.

When Yuri returned from a short shower, during which he used some of the strongest scent-masking soaps he could, he paled to see that in addition to the normal crop of milling reporters and photographers, an assortment of videographers were setting up behind the back row of benches.

“This is really a big enough deal for television?” he squeaked, walking up to where Morooka and Victor were still discussing logistics. They were squeezed into a corner so that they could talk softly while others set up. Morooka’s eyebrows rose when Yuri came near, and the skater had the impression that the newscaster could faintly smell Victor, despite the strong soaps. So soon after rut he could likely smell them both and had figured out the true dynamics between them.

“It seems our absence this weekend only fueled speculation,” Victor explained with a sigh. “We missed the window in which a statement would have been sufficient.”

Other videographers were setting up additional cameras rinkside, coming and going from the ice.

Yuri scrunched his face. He didn’t mind Morooka knowing so much, he trusted the journalist’s ability to keep the knowledge secret. But he didn’t want to take the chance of others crowding in. He tugged on both their sleeves. “I know a place where we can talk out of the way of people coming in and setting up.”

The other men nodded, and Yuri lead them to the far side of the ice, to the storage area, half-empty with the platform and other meeting items in the lobby. The zamboni stood still and silent in the other half of the space.

Realizing that Morooka could smell his mate had unexpectedly put Yuri on edge. He knew that it was due to their proximity earlier, but he wanted to keep that delicate scent to himself.

The scheduled start was quickly approaching, and there was just enough time for one last review of what they would and would not answer. Morooka looked at his notes and ran it over with them, making sure that they weren’t missing anything. Then the trio returned to the lobby and the mass of reporters waiting for them.

Victor squeezed Yuri’s hand as they watched Morooka take his place at the lectern and lay out the rules and what would happen.

“It’ll be fine,” the Russian whispered, noticing the slight shake in Yuri’s fingers. “He was extremely professional and I trust that he’ll handle this perfectly.”

Yuri’s eyes flicked to the crowded room and back to his mate’s face. “I’m just worried. My instincts are on edge, and I’m not the most comfortable person with the press anyway.”

Victor kissed his forehead, and Yuri was glad that they were in the shadowed hall. “I’m right here. We’ll get this over with as quickly as possible.”

Yuri nodded, and they turned to wait for Morooka to finish outlining procedures. They had agreed to hold as much of the event in English as possible, but they knew that there were a handful of reporters that only spoke Japanese or Russian. Luckily there appeared to be translators present for those who needed them.

“Ready?” Victor whispered.

“Yeah.”

Victor lead the way to the makeshift stage, taking the chair closer to Morooka and the lectern.

“Thank you for coming today,” Morooka said, officially starting the proceedings. “Let’s get started with a review of the facts before we move onto questions.”

Yuri tensed. He’d allowed Victor and Morooka to discuss most of the details so he didn’t know exactly what was coming.

Morooka glanced to his notes and started. “On Wednesday November eighteenth skater Katsuki and coach Nikiforov were out to dinner at Cafe Paris . At roughly twenty-one thirty an intoxicated alpha in obvious pre-rut approached their table. A few words were exchanged after a refused advance. Employees removed the alpha from the restaurant, and it was assumed that the incident had concluded.

“Following their departure from the restaurant Katsuki and Nikiforov took a path through a nearby park on their return path to Yutopia Katsuki. It was there that they were re-approached by the alpha. There were additional words exchanged, and both Katsuki and Nikiforov were attempting to leave peacefully when Katsuki was attacked. The ensuing fight has been widely viewed via the video posted online, and bears no recounting.

“The police were summoned. After evidence and witness testimony were evaluated on location Katsuki was released, and returned to the precinct office the following day to make statements. There were no injuries, a fact that is proven by the police reports. No charges are pending on any parties, as Katsuki declined to file them against the attacker.

“At that time the matter was considered concluded by both the local police as well as the Japanese Skating Federation, with no action taken against skater Katsuki for his involvement in the incident.

“Following their statements Thursday, Katsuki and Nikiforov prepared for a pre-planned weekend away for training and focusing on the upcoming Rostelecom Cup, and were unaware of the leaked video to the internet on Friday night. They were made aware on Monday morning, and at that time called for these proceedings in order to address questions about this matter.”

Morooka turned slightly. “Skater Katsuki, coach Nikiforov, we appreciate your time today, especially given your tight schedule in advance of this weekend’s competition. Is there anything you would like to add before I open the floor for questions?”

Yuri and Victor both stood and bowed to the assembled press. “Thank you for coming,” Yuri said for them both before they sat again.

Morooka nodded and chose a sports reporter Yuri recognized from a rival Tokyo station for the first question.

“Katsuki-san, there are no reported injuries, but do you think this incident will affect your upcoming competition?”

“Thank you,” Yuri replied. “No, I don’t expect this to affect my performance at the Rostelecom Cup. I am uninjured and feel in top form.”

The reporter sat, and Morooka called on one of the Russians for the next question. The man asked Victor a question that Yuri couldn’t understand, but he could see the blue eyes mulling it over as it was repeated in English for the benefit of the room.

Mr. Nikiforov, as a coach how do you think this incident will affect your skater?”

Yuri was internally grateful that at least some of the Russian media were taking Victor’s switch to coaching in stride and treating him with respect for it.

“Thank you,” Victor replied. “I’ve seen no decline in Yuri’s ability as a skater since this took place, he was in prime condition during this weekend’s training and I expect that to hold through to the competition in Moscow.”

Yuri didn’t recognize the next reporter, and from the look on Victor’s face he didn’t was well, but Morooka seemed only mildly hesitant about calling on him. Yuri realized that he was an American as soon as he spoke, the southern accent giving it away.

“Mr. Katsuki,” he drawled, “could you please elaborate on any previous interaction with Mr. Takahashi?”

“Who?” Yuri asked, confused.

“Itsuki Takahashi,” the reporter drawled, drawing out the ‘u.’ “The man who attacked you. Was this someone who you were previously familiar with, perhaps a past suitor?”

Yuri saw Morooka flinch slightly.

“Ah,” Yuri responded quickly. “No, this was not a person previously known to me. Additionally, we would appreciate that his name not be used. We, and we assume he as well, would like this incident to be quickly forgotten.”

Yuri’s admission that they did not know the attacker seemed to cause a number of additional questions, and several pens were held in the air as reporters clamored to ask the obvious.

“Katsuki-san,” the next reporter asked. “If you were not previously acquainted with your attacker, how did he know to approach you in the restaurant? Employees indicate that neither you nor Nikiforov-san had a strong presence that evening.”

Yuri had to resist the urge to sigh with frustration. “We assume that he smelled one or both of us in the crowded waiting area prior to becoming intoxicated. We had been training intensely in advance of this weekend’s competition, and our scents may have been detectable despite strong masking soaps.”

“Are you not currently on suppressants?” another asked.

“I’m sorry,” Morooka cut in. “That question verges on the rule of no questions pertaining to secondary gender, and I will not ask either Katsuki-san or Nikiforov-san to answer it.”

The reporter sat back down with a huff.

Yuri was grateful for Morooka’s skill at moderating the discussion.

“Katsuki-san, will you comment on why you declined to press charges in the assault?”

Yuri nodded. “While I am disappointed that this incident occurred, I feel that there was no malice in the attack. I’m fully of the belief that the other man acted in response to hormones, and would not have been so violent at any other time. Because of this I felt it wrong to punish him further for something he is likely already regretting.”

There was a moment of silence before another pen was raised.

“Katsuki-san, Nikiforov-san, you indicated that you had already been scheduled to be away over the weekend for training, but there is no evidence of this. Can you direct us to a hotel that can confirm that reservations were made prior to the attack?”

Yuri shook his head. “Apologies, but we made arrangements with an uncle of mine who lives on Ogawashima, so there are no hotel reservations to confirm.”

“How can we be sure that this was a planned retreat and not a reaction to this video then?” the same reporter pressed. “Do you have anybody besides friends or family who can confirm that you were planning to be out of communication?”

Victor and Yuri looked at each other, trying to remember who they had told outside of the Nishigoris and the Katsukis.

“Umm,” Morooka said, interrupting their thoughts. “I may be able to help with that.”

Yuri and Victor both turned in surprise.

“I contacted Katsuki-san last week, prior to this incident, asking for a phone interview on Friday evening,” the newscaster explained. “He informed me that he would be out of communication as of Friday afternoon, and offered a statement by email instead. With Katsuki-san’s permission I will make the exchange available, so that you may all verify the date stamps on the email.”

Morooka turned to Yuri, who nodded. “Of course.”

There was another murmur among the journalists.

Mr. Nikiforov, is there a reason you allowed Mr. Katsuki to handle the attacker on his own?

Victor smiled at the reporter, the same expression Yuri recognized as fake. “We all know that any time an alpha is raging the more people involved the worse the situation becomes. I would have stepped in had Yuri looked like he needed the assistance, but, as you can see from the video, he handled the situation expertly.”

“Katsuki-san, would you have made this incident public knowledge had the video not been leaked to the internet?”

Yuri blinked a few times while he tried to determine an answer. “While that is a hypothetical at this point, I think the answer is probably ‘no.’ As there were no injuries, and no long-term repercussions to either myself or my attacker I feel that this incident would have been of no consequence in any other circumstances.”

“Do you believe that this attack was perhaps not an unplanned rage, but an attempt at sabotaging your upcoming competition?” another American reporter asked.

Yuri laughed and waved the question away as if it were ridiculous. “No, I highly doubt that there is anybody attempting to sabotage the competition.”

“What about Yuri Plisetsky? There are rumors that he views you as a rival after the Hot Springs on Ice event, and you are both scheduled to compete in Moscow.”

Yuri scowled, and Victor wore a similar frown. Yuri’s voice took on a dangerous edge as he replied. “I will not stand for such insinuations against a fifteen year old. Furthermore, he contacted me by text himself to ensure that I was up to competition standards. Our rivalry is, and shall stay, where it belongs, firmly on the ice. Outside of that I view him as an extended member of the family.”

Morooka was about to call on another reporter when Victor cut in. “I am also outraged that there could be any question of Yura… Plisetsky’s integrity. I have known him since he came to train in St. Petersburg at the age of ten, and while he is a fierce athlete, he sees strong competition as an advantage rather than a hindrance. He works and trains hard to develop his own skills and would never resort to such shameful tactics.”

The mood in the room had changed drastically, and though the masking soaps stripped the scent, the effect of angry alpha pheromones lingered in the air. One of the men on the stage was clearly incensed at the mere suggestion that the attack had been coordinated by the teen. Reporters coughed nervously, trying to decide if it was worth it to continue with additional questions.

Morooka quickly called a close to the questioning, and invited interested parties to observe a bit of practice.

Yuri was livid as he stormed to the locker room and pulled on his skates. The implication that he had been attacked in an attempt to impact his skating was absurd, but to implicate Yurio was an outrage. He struggled to keep his alpha side in check. The teen was not his child, but a part of his nature wanted to protect him anyway.

Victor joined him in the locker room as the reporters made their way rinkside.

“How dare anybody question Yurio’s integrity?” Yuri seethed, trying not to punch a locker. The edges of his vision were becoming blurry with rage. “He’s just a child. And he’s a damn fine skater. He doesn’t need to resort to dirty tricks.”

Victor hovered a moment, then pulled Yuri into his arms, hand pushing the alpha’s nose against the omega’s scent gland.

“Now’s not the time Yuri,” Victor cooed. “Let’s go out there. You show them some skating, and be over with this. Da?”

Yuri took a deep breath, the scent of his mate soothing the raw edges of his emotions. After a moment he nodded. “Yeah. Let’s get this over with.”

“Are you ok now?” Victor asked, running his thumbs over Yuri’s cheeks. Concern was plastered on his face.

“Yeah, I just… It made me so mad when they asked that question about Yurio. I don’t care what they say about me, but… he’s just a kid. He doesn’t need this crap looming over him.”

Victor nodded and kissed Yuri’s forehead. “I agree. I think you put them in their place for that though.”

Yuri chuckled. “That poor kid. First you mother-hen him, then I go all protective sire at a press conference.”

Victor returned the laugh. “And the angry kitten just wants to claw our eyes out.”

Yuri laughed, for real that time. “Let’s do this.”

Victor nodded.

A few minutes later Yuri was practicing the Eros routine in front of the reporters who had decided to stick around. After they left he and Victor thanked Morooka for his assistance, and helped Takeshi return the podium and lectern to the storage room.

When they left they ignored the shouted questions from the paparazzi, who had been ignored during the press conference. Questions of gender, and rumors of Yuri being pregnant assaulted their ears, but they didn’t stop.

They would have lunch, a bit of dance practice then another slice of time on the ice before they had to pack and leave for Moscow the following day. Absurd questions had no place in their tight schedule.

Chapter Text

The thing Yuri loathed about travel wasn’t the time on airplanes and trains, at least then he felt like he was making progress. But nothing could be done about the hell that was the airport wait. Miserable people sat uncomfortably on the hard chairs, waiting for their flight to board.

It didn’t help that they’d had to leave Hasetsu at five that morning in order to make their eight AM flight.

Yuri yawned and leaned against Victor. He was exhausted from the early hour after the hectic day before. After the press conference they had scrambled for every scrap of training time before hastily packing and falling into bed.

Meanwhile, both of their hormones were still high so soon after heat and rut, and Yuri just wanted to take his mate home and make love to him. It seemed a much better use of time if he had to be awake anyway.

Victor put his arm around Yuri’s shoulder, and pulled him close. Yuri hummed softly when he felt lips against his hair. He felt no shame at the public display of affection, too tired and too much in love to care.

“Did you sleep at all?” Victor murmured.

“A little,” Yuri replied, closing his eyes and trying to get comfortable against his mate.

“Nerves?”

“Mmhmm, and just still frustrated about the video fallout.”

“It’ll blow over,” Victor replied softly.

“Mmm.”

Victor kissed Yuri’s hair again, and he felt more than heard the whispered words, “My mate.”

Yuri blushed and turned to look into Victor’s ocean-blue eyes. He placed one of his hands on the Russian’s cheek. “Mine,” he whispered in return.

They leaned their foreheads together, relaxing in each other’s presence for several minutes.

“I got a text from Yakov,” Victor murmured after a bit. “He’d like to talk to us tomorrow morning.”

“Should I be worried?” Yuri felt fear twist in his gut. The Russian coach intimidated him.

“The text wasn’t in all caps. I didn’t know his phone had a non-caps function. I think we’ll live.”

Yuri laughed. “Does he only have the volume settings of yell and loud yell?”

“Pretty much.”

“So which one is the volume I need to be concerned about?”

“Probably yell. Loud yell is his normal volume. Yell mean’s he’s quiet and mad.”

“What if he speaks in a normal voice?”

“Hell froze over and we’re all dead, so no need to worry.”

Yuri laughed loud enough to garner looks from those nearby. He leaned in again and Victor tangled their free hands together while they waited to be called for boarding.

“You’ve never been to Moscow, have you?”

Yuri shook his head. “No. Anything I should expect?”

Victor hummed in thought for a moment. “Not in particular as a visitor. It’s a gorgeous city. However…”

“Hmm?” Yuri turned his head slightly.

“Just thinking that this won’t be like my exhibition skate of a couple months ago. The public knows I’m coming. I expect there will be significant media attention.”

Yuri tensed, more media was the last thing he wanted.

“It’s ok Yuri. They’ll probably be focused on me until the competition starts.”

“I don’t know if that’s any better.”

Victor nuzzled Yuri’s hair again. “It’ll be fine. I know how to handle the Russian press, and I’ll keep the focus where it belongs.”

“Oh? And where is that?”

“On your beautiful skating.”

“I don’t know if that’s meant to make me feel better or worse.”

Victor chuckled. “I don’t know either.”

Yuri was about to ask what he meant when they heard the call for their boarding group over the loudspeaker. By the time they got in line and found their seats the question had slipped from his mind.


 

After eighteen hours spent between flying and airports a part of Yuri just wanted to collapse into bed. At the same time he’d slept on the plane so was in a half-zombie state, both exhausted and alert.

Victor, on the other hand, seemed energized. His eyes sparkled with excitement at being back in his home country. Yuri could hear the satisfaction in his mate’s voice at speaking Russian on a regular basis again, rather than English and the small amount of Japanese that he had picked up.

Yuri was reminded how much of a social creature his omega was, and felt guilty at the amount of solitude that he must have felt in a foreign country where only a handful of people surrounded him.

Soon Vitya. I’ll win the Grand Prix Final, and I’ll ask Yakov to be my coach so that you can skate again. I really can’t keep you from it any longer, it’s wrong.

The taxi dropped them off at the hotel, and one of the bellhops immediately recognized Victor, moving to help with the luggage. There was a short exchange in Russian, then the omega turned to Yuri.

“He says the press is camped out inside. Most of them probably won’t recognize you with your glasses and mask. I’ll go in, you wait here with him for a minute then he’ll go with you to check-in.”

Yuri nodded, and watched as Victor pulled out a pair of sunglasses, put them on and strode confidently through the glass doors.

The bellhop smiled and watched Victor, then turned his attention to Yuri. His expression was unreadable for a moment before he smiled politely.

Yuri had the distinct impression that he was being evaluated, that the man was trying to determine if he was a good enough reason for the Living Legend to have left his country to train a foreign skater. He shuffled nervously under the intense gaze until the other man waved for him to follow.

As soon as they walked in Yuri could see that Victor had indeed drawn the attention of the press. He had pointedly ignored them and was standing in line to get a coffee from the stand nestled into a corner of the lobby. All eyes were waiting for him to be ready to speak.

Yuri quickly followed the bellhop to the reception area, and he soon had key cards in hand. He glanced to where Victor was still in line and figured he’d get the bags taken care of before rescuing his mate from the press.

A few minutes later Yuri was standing in their room, trying to ignore the curious gaze of the Russian helping him as he noted that the room had only a single bed for the two men. Yuri quickly tipped the bellhop as soon as the bags were off his cart, and sank onto the bed in relief.

It was only a few minutes later, wondering when Victor would arrive that he realized that Victor didn’t know the room number. He could ask at reception, but Yuri decided to see if he could somehow slip him the information. He made his way back to the lobby and looked around.

When Yuri slunk to where he could see Victor still surrounded by press the omega had his arm slung around Yurio, a cup of coffee spilled on the floor beside him. Yuri sighed, Victor would probably want a fresh cup.

Somehow the press’s eyes were trained on Victor and Yurio, but Yuri was able to catch his mate’s attention. He held up nine fingers to indicate that they were on the ninth floor and saw Victor’s mouth tick up slightly.

It was only as he was making his way back to the elevators that he realized that he could have texted the information instead.

As he waited for the elevator to arrive Seung Gil Lee walked over and stood beside him. Yuri was reminded that there wasn’t anybody he was close with for the competition. Yurio was the exception, but he figured the teen would likely keep his distance.

The elevator doors slid open, and Yuri was first greeted by the site of the Crispino twins arguing about dinner with the Czech skater, then an excited Sara Crispino asking if Seung Gil wanted to join them. When the Korean skater bluntly declined another argument seemed on the verge of breaking out.

Luckily, the next elevator chimed it’s arrival and Yuri tried not to draw attention as he moved toward it.

He thought he’d made a clean escape when a leopard print shoe wedged between the doors,

“Why are you sneaking around?” Yurio demanded as the elevator doors opened again to let him in.

Something about seeing the teen felt right, and Yuri’s face brightened. “Yurio, it’s good to see you again.”

“Tch!” the teen grumbled before allowing the doors to close behind him, shutting out the continuing argument between the Crispinos and Lee.

Silence filled the space as the elevator rose through the floors, and Yuri was eager to cut the tension. “Umm, good luck to both of us in the Rostelecom Cup.”

“Huh?” Yurio snarled. “You’ll suffer a miserable defeat here in Moscow. I’m going to have Victor stay here in Russia.”

Just like that, Yuri’s anxiety over his and Victor’s future roared up from the depths. He was reminded that they’d never really discussed what would happen after the Grand Prix Final, or what would happen if he didn’t make it.

If I can’t rank higher than fourth in this event, I won’t make it to the Grand Prix Final. And if I don’t, what will Victor do?

Yuri felt the nerves twist in his gut. He remembered that he wanted to approach Yakov about taking him on as a student, but the past week likely hadn’t helped, and if he didn’t place well in the Grand Prix Final then it was likely an impossibility.

But I can’t keep him from the ice any longer.

Yuri shrank in on himself as worry twisted through him. Yurio was right, if he didn’t do well over the coming days his mate would be disappointed.

“Are you really an alpha?”

Yuri looked up from where he had been staring at his feet. Yurio’s fierce green eyes peered into him.

“What?”

Yurio pressed the stop button on the carriage. “Are you really an alpha?”

“Yes?” Yuri squeaked as the elevator ground to a halt.

The blond pushed into Yuri’s personal space, and sniffed the air. “That masking soap smell is disgusting.”

Yuri sighed, and released a bit of his scent to assuage the teen. “Better?” he knew the scent itself would be stripped, but the pheromones would still have an effect.

Yurio pulled back and studied him, body posture subconsciously submissive. “You really are an alpha. Why do you hide it? Most alphas are proud to be at the top of the social ladder.”

Yuri sighed. “Do I look like an alpha? Do I act like one?”

“No.”

“Do you want to know what was said in that video?”

Yurio’s eyes widened slightly at the question.

“The drunk who attacked us, he called me a baby alpha. He made it clear that he didn’t think I was worthy of Victor, and that he’d steal him away because he needed a real alpha.

“It wasn’t the first time I’ve been assumed weak because of my size or personality. The weak pick on those they perceive as weaker in a foolish attempt to soothe their own egos. It’s a means of asserting dominance if they win. That wasn’t my first alpha fight Yurio, it was my first over an omega, but not the first time an alpha had decided to try and put a smaller alpha in their place. I got sick of it, so I let people think what they want.”

“And if they call you an omega?”

Yuri shrugged. “I don’t care. At least now those rumors are helpful. The press still doesn’t have a clue about Victor, do they?”

“No.” Silence fell for a moment before a flash of something passed over Yurio’s face. “He needs an alpha who understands him.”

Yuri nodded without thinking about it.

Yurio’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t you dare hurt him. If you do, I’ll hunt you down myself.”

Yuri blinked, suddenly reminded of the conversation with Chris after the Cup of China. “Chris would join you, you know.”

Yurio scowled. “I’m serious pig. I’m pissed off at him for leaving, but they’ll never find your body if you hurt him.”

“Wow Yurio, I didn’t know you cared so much.”

Yurio snarled and slammed his fist against the button to make the carriage move. A moment later it stopped on the eighth floor and the teen stepped off. As the doors were closing he moved between them again.

“Listen,” the teen’s voice was surprisingly subdued. “Thank you.”

Yuri blinked.

“You didn’t have to defend me at that press conference, and definitely not in the way you did. I’m not a part of your family, but…”

Yurio paused and looked around.

“Some of the media were starting to hound me after that ridiculous idea got floated. I can’t imagine why any legitimate outfit would buy into such a stupid theory, but a few seemed about to. That outburst, and Victor’s too, set them straight in a hurry.”

Yuri let out a breath that he hadn’t realized he was holding.

“I’m still kicking your ass this weekend though,” Yurio concluded as he stepped from the elevator and allowed the doors to close, the smooth metal of the doors obstructing Yuri’s view of the teen.

When the elevator stopped a few seconds later at Yuri’s floor he was surprised to see Victor sitting on one of the chairs in the elevator alcove.

“Hi!” the Russian exclaimed. “I was wondering if I needed to call maintenance?”

“When did you get here?”

Victor grinned. “I saw you and Yurio get into an elevator together. I thought about joining you, but he looked like he wanted to talk. I was able to get into the elevator with the Korean skater after the Crispinos left. They’re good on the ice, but the brother has a serious sister complex.”

Yuri laughed. “You can see why I stay clear.”

“You’d think Nikola would have figured that out by now.”

Yuri laughed. “I think half of him just likes riling Mickey up. And Mickey is so focused on protecting Sara that he doesn’t even notice she’s not where Emil’s eyes are.”

Victor studied Yuri for a moment then burst into laughter. “I think you’re right. He was doing the same thing at Worlds this past year.”

Yuri flinched at the mention of the missed competition.

Victor’s face immediately softened. “Oh Yuri, I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”

Yuri shook his head and smiled at his mate. “No, it’s ok. It’s my own fault I missed them.”

Victor stood, placed his hands on either side of Yuri’s face and ran his thumbs over his cheeks. “You’ll be there next year though,” he said softly.

“Yeah,” Yuri agreed.

I just have to win. I have to prove to Yakov that I’m worthy as a student. Then I can skate beside you Vitya.

Victor seemed uneasy. “How about I make it up to you?”

Yuri blinked and looked into his mate’s eyes.

“I know a fantastic restaurant just down the street. Do you like mushrooms?”

“Uh, yeah?”

Victor grinned. “Great. They have an incredible stroganoff.”

Yuri smiled, thoughts of sleep pushed from his mind. A date with his mate seemed like the perfect conclusion to the day. He nodded, and rather than head for their room Victor grabbed his arm and pressed the call button for the elevator.

“One thing though…” Yuri said as they waited for the carriage.

“Hmm?”

“Well two. Just us, and nowhere near the Crispino twins if they’re at the same restaurant.”

Victor grinned again. “Of course.”

Victor’s here. We’ll figure it out. I’ll skate my best this weekend, earn my spot at the final, and soon we’ll be skating together.

Chapter Text

Yuri felt good, confident, during the morning practice on the day before the short program. The days off for the heat and rut seemed to not have significantly impacted his skating.

A few of the rumors surrounding the tabloids had followed him to the competition, and he had to dodge shouted questions about a possible pregnancy as he went inside, but he hoped that the practice would put the absurdities to rest.

Yurio seemed excited as he worked on part of his own program, something which both Yuri and Victor noticed.

“He’s fired up,” Yuri mentioned during a brief break at the barrier.

“His grandfather lives here,” Victor whispered. “I think the old man is supposed to come tomorrow.”

Yuri smiled and turned his attention to the teen again. He could see the joy in Yurio’s skating, it was freer than it had been during the Hot Springs on Ice, and lighter even than his performance at Skate Canada.

“You’re looking good out there Yuri,” Victor murmured. “Just keep skating like you are, ok?”

Yuri smiled at his mate.

The sound of blades scraping to a stop. Both Yuri and Victor turned to see Jean-Jeaques Leroy standing there, studying them intently. The Canadian’s eyes narrowed slightly.

Yuri opened his mouth to ask what the other skater wanted, but he pushed off again before he could speak.

“What was that about?” Victor asked.

“I don’t know,” Yuri replied. “Do you two have a history?”

Victor was silent for a moment. “No? I mean we shared the podium last year, but we never talked. Chris said he’s sort of a jerk, so we didn’t try to engage.”

Yuri blinked. “I don’t think I was even on his radar last year. He pretty much ignored me.”

Victor shrugged. “Maybe you taking down a raging alpha got his attention.”

Yuri gaped, then laughed. “That has nothing to do with my skating though. Isn’t that what he should be worried about?”

Victor smiled. “It has everything to do with your skating. You were calm and collected. If you can bring that focus to the ice you’ll be unstoppable.”

“The ice is a very different place Vitya.”

Victor leaned in, murmuring so that only they could hear. “You can do it Yuri. You’re my alpha, I know you have it in you.”

Yuri blushed and pushed away from the barrier. “I’m going to practice quads.”


 

Victor and Yakov had decided to hold their meeting over lunch so as not to cut into practice times. Yuri felt underdressed as they entered the restaurant a short ride away from the crowds and press jumble near the arena.

Luckily some of Yuri’s fears dissipated as he spied Yurio in jeans and a t-shirt on the far end of a white tablecloth draped table. The teen had his hood up, his eyes darting from one side to another in search of fangirls.

“Yakov!” Victor said cheerily as he sat in the seat opposing his old coach.

“Vitya,” Yakov replied dryly.

Victor pouted. “Are you still mad at me Yakov?”

Yakov sighed and leaned his face into his palm.

“What do you think dumbass?” Yurio replied. “Of course he’s mad.”

“Come on Yakov,” Victor prodded. “You have to admit that my Yuri’s a beautiful skater.”

“Who had a fully competent coach who would have probably taken him back on.”

Victor pouted again.

“Um…” Yuri ventured after a short silence, trying to break the tension. “Coach Feltsman… why… why did you want to see us?”

“Right,” Yakov started before he was interrupted by a waiter.

Yakov and Yurio rattled off their orders easily, followed by Victor, who hadn’t even opened the menu.

He obviously knows the restaurant.

All eyes turned to Yuri, who quickly opened the menu and blinked at the Cyrillic. “Umm…”

Yuri turned to Victor for help. He didn’t want to hold everybody up by asking for an English menu.

Victor rattled off another string of Russian, the waiter smiled and walked away.

“What did you order for me?” Yuri asked.

Victor grinned. “You’ll love it I’m sure. I ordered you a cup of borscht, and a plate of assorted blini.”

“Blini?”

“They’re like crepes, except savory. The ones on the plate here are smaller so you can have several flavors. If I remember correctly you get a smoked salmon, a creamed mushroom and a caviar.”

Yuri smiled, it sounded tasty. “Thank you Vitya.”

Victor smiled, and they stared at each other until Yakov cleared his throat and snapped them out of it. Yuri blushed as they turned back to the Russian coach.

“Tell me everything Vitya,” Yakov demanded.

Victor sighed. “There’s not much you don’t already know, or probably haven’t figured out.”

“Tell me anyway.”

“Well I had a reactive heat in September…”

“Oi!” Yurio interrupted.

“Shut it Yura,” Yakov ordered. “You’ve known for a while so don’t act surprised.”

Yuri had to keep from laughing as he saw Yurio’s face at realizing that he hadn’t been as discreet as he’d thought.

Victor nodded, and the teenager slunk in his chair.

“Anyway,” Victor continued, “I had a reactive heat in September. It came on so fast that I was in my room at Yuri’s parent’s inn.”

“You dumbass,” Yurio grumbled. “That’s probably one of the worst places to have a heat.”

Yuri nodded in agreement.

Yakov looked between the two, trying to put the pieces together.

“My family runs a traditional inn,” Yuri explained softly. “Sliding doors, no locks, paper walls…”

Yakov’s eyebrows rose in understanding.

“My Yuri was the one who found me,” Victor said, reaching over and tangling their hands together.

“So he claimed you…” Yakov accused.

Victor laughed. “No Yakov, he protected me. He blocked the hall so nobody could get to my room. He took care of me and brought me food and water. He was the perfect alpha, and I didn’t even know he was an alpha before then.”

Yuri blushed under the praise of his mate.

Yakov turned to look at Yuri. “You… were able to restrain your alpha… with his scent?”

Yuri fidgeted. “Yes?”

Yakov shook his head. “First you’re an alpha, then you’re a strong one too. Meanwhile the whole world seems insistent that you’re an omega.”

“It was the right thing to do,” Yuri protested, unsure if he was being praised or chided. “He couldn’t consent like that, and I don’t care if the world thinks I’m an omega if it protects Victor.”

“Yuri!” Victor cried, tossing his arms around the alpha’s shoulders. He nuzzled into Yuri’s neck until the smaller man was able to push him off.

“Vitya, we’re in public.” Yuri squirmed until the Russian let him go.

Yakov shook his head. “Victor’s scent in heat is strong. I’m a beta and even I find it alluring. I didn’t think any alpha would be able to resist.”

“It wasn’t easy…” Yuri said softly.

“I imagine not.”

“After the heat Yuri dragged me to the doctor…” Victor continued.

“At least somebody did,” Yakov interrupted. “I know you wouldn’t have gone on your own.”

“Hey…” Victor pouted.

“Get on with it,” Yurio demanded.

Victor sighed. “The doctor said my suppressants weren’t working anymore, and refused to give me a new prescription… for a whole year Yakov! She wants me to have normal heats for a year before she’ll put me on suppressants again.”

“That’s what you get for over-suppressing dumbass,” Yurio accused.

“Shut it Yura!” Yakov ordered.  He turned back to Victor. “He’s right though. If you’d have followed an approved schedule it wouldn’t have happened.”

Victor slumped in his chair, a frown on his face.

Yuri sighed. “Unless you want to know our day to day lives, that brings us to last week.”

Yakov waved in a ‘let’s get on with it’ way.

Yuri nodded. “We’d been at practice all day. But we knew that our scents would be… well… elevated. We used the strongest soaps I could buy, and a spray as well. I thought it would be ok to go to dinner.” Yuri motioned at the depth of the table. “Even this close I could barely smell Victor. The waiting area was crowded though. That’s really the only place I can imagine that guy smelling us.

“He was pretty drunk, and tried to convince Victor to go with him while we were having dessert.”

Victor hugged Yuri. “My Yuri protected me again!” He then scrunched his face. “That other alpha reeked too.”

Yakov sighed.

Yuri mimicked the noise and concluded. “He came up to us in the park, said some words about a ‘baby alpha’ like me being unworthy, then when we tried to walk away… well… you’ve seen the video.”

Yakov nodded, and was silent a moment before he spoke again. “The story about an uncle?”

Yuri smiled. “Fake. My uncle loved being in on it though. We were… umm…”

“Yuri took me to the most wonderful place!" Victor exclaimed. "They have these things called heat hotels in Japan, they're designed just for alphas and omegas to be able to enjoy themselves in peace and safety. It was wonderful Yakov. It was so quiet, and safe and we just had the best weekend.”

“Oi!” Yurio protested. “I don’t want to hear about shit like that!”

Yuri blushed crimson. “Vitya!”

“I assume you’d turned off your phones, and that’s why you didn’t know?” Yakov said.

Yuri nodded. “Not that either of us was in a condition to deal with it.”

Silence fell over the table, then Yuri jumped when Yakov bowed in his direction. “Thank you…. Umm…”

“Katsuki, sir, or Yuri,” Yuri replied blankly. “Either is fine.”

“Katsuki then,” Yakov said. “It’ll be less confusing with Yura here. Thank you Katsuki, for taking care of Vitya, and for you and your family accepting and taking care of Yura when he went to Japan.”

“Y… you’re welcome?”

Yurio gaped at Yakov, and Yuri turned to see a similar expression on Victor’s face. He blinked.

“You… know how to thank somebody?” Yurio gasped after a moment.

“What the hell do you think Yura?” Yakov bellowed in reply. “I just don’t get a chance to express it with people who never listen to me.”

Yuri squirmed. “I only did what was right.”

Yakov turned to Yuri. “I may be mad at Vitya, but I’ve known him for a long time, and there's no reason for me to take out my anger with him on you. I assume he’s shared at least a bit of his past with you?”

Yuri nodded.

Yakov smiled softly, which garnered more looks of shock from Victor and Yurio. “He trusts you then, and I haven’t seen him this happy in a long time.”

Yuri blushed and squirmed in his seat as the meal was placed in front of them.

“I have something else to thank you for,” Yakov said after a few minutes. “You as well Vitya.”

Victor blinked and looked up.

“Thank you both, for speaking in defense of Yura. While those allegations were complete nonsense, the media was looking for any way to spin the story into a scandal.”

“I know Yurio had nothing to do with it, and honestly… it angered me that anybody would even suggest something so dirty of him," Yuri said.

“Yura is a fierce competitor,” Yakov said, “and some members of the press wanted to give you a larger rivalry than you have.”

Yuri smiled. “We can have as big a rivalry as he wants, but I know it’ll be only on the ice. Because that’s where it belongs.”

Yuri had to hold back a laugh when he saw a slight blush tint Yurio’s cheeks.

Yakov nodded. “Da. I’ve never seen him work as hard as he did after returning from Japan.”

“Oi! Yakov!” Yurio protested.

Yakov ignored the teen. “I know he wants to beat you fair and square, but it seems others might not see that angle.”

Yuri saw movement out of the corner of his eye and caught a fork stealing a bite from his plate.

“Vitya!”

“Less talk, more eat!” Victor grinned before popping the bite in his mouth. “Vknuso!”


 

Yuri released a sigh as the hotel door closed behind him. The day had somehow been packed between a morning practice, lunch with Yakov and Yurio, press interviews, and another practice in the afternoon.

It was finally evening and he was looking forward to an evening with his mate.

He took a few steps into the room, but was stopped by a hand on his sleeve. He turned back. “Vitya?”

Victor tugged Yuri back into his arms for a passionate kiss, which the alpha gladly reciprocated. As soon as they separated Yuri saw that the omega’s pupils were blown wide with lust.

“Yuri…” Victor whined.

Yuri smiled. “Yes Vitya?”

Victor pushed until Yuri’s back was against the wall, and slid his thigh between Yuri’s legs. “It’s been three days Yuri,” the Russian whined. “My mate hasn’t made love to me in three days, and it’s the week following my heat.”

“It’s only been two days,” Yuri countered. “Remember? It was before the press conference. Besides, I’ve got to skate tomorrow.”

“Two and a half days, plus the time shift, means we’re close to seventy hours,” Victor whined. “That’s three days. Please Yuri.”

Yuri smiled, and he had to admit that the way Victor’s thigh was rubbing against him was quickly swaying his opinion. “Who knew my omega was so needy?” Yuri teased.

Victor dropped his head slightly and peered up at Yuri from under his lashes, quite a feat as he was several inches taller. “You did call me a cockslut.”

Yuri sputtered. “I did not!”

Victor whined again. “Yes, you did!”

“When?”

“During my heat.”

Yuri struggled to find words. He knew he had a mouth during rut but only remember his exact words about half the time. “Vitya… I… I’m s…”

Victor leaned in close and purred in Yuri’s ear. “I liked it.”

Yuri was confident that all the air had been sucked from the room. Suddenly he couldn’t breathe.

Victor nipped at his ear. “I think I am a cockslut, for you, my Yuri, my mate.”

Yuri was shaking, his own words turned against him so effortlessly.

“Please Yuri?” Victor nosed at his scent gland. “Alpha?”

Yuri wrapped his hands around Victor’s hips and pulled him so that their clothed and hardened lengths were pressed against each other. He growled low in his throat. “That’s not fair Vitya.”

Victor moved so that he could look Yuri in the eyes, and one of the younger man’s hands left his hips and tangled into platinum hair. He brought the omega in for a bruising kiss, while grinding against him.

Yuri didn’t let go until they were both panting with need and gasping for air.

“Hands and knees, on the bed. Now.” Yuri ordered.

Victor nodded and moved to take of his shirt.

“Now.”

Victor blinked, walked to the bed and crawled to the center, fully clothed in the position Yuri demanded.

Yuri ignored his mate’s stares for a minute and strode into the bathroom. He grabbed a towel, thought about it, then a second one just in case. His omega had demanded that the alpha wreck him, but there was nothing preventing them from sleeping in a warm and dry bed afterward.

Victor’s eyes widened slightly when Yuri returned and spread the towels underneath him.

Yuri walked around the bed, evaluating the man before him. When he got to a delicious view of the Russian’s clothed ass he reached between the spread thighs and palmed at the obvious bulge in the trousers until Victor was moaning with need.

He walked around, started rubbing at the trapped erection again and purred in Victor’s ears.

“How many orgasms do you want baby?”

“Three,” Victor whimpered, struggling to find his voice.

“Hmph,” Yuri replied, slightly put out. He stopped rubbing at his mate. “Only three? And you call yourself a cockslut?”

Victor whined. “Yuri…”

Yuri smirked, and rubbed at the bulge again. “How many do you want Vitya?”

“Don’t stop.”

“Hmm?”

“Don’t stop Yuri. Even if I beg. I want as many as you can give me.”

Yuri growled in approval. “I like that answer.”

Yuri released the fly on Victor’s trousers, slid his hand into the omega’s briefs and took him in hand. He ran his thumb over the slit of the Russian’s cock, gathering the pre-cum there.

“Mmm Vitya,” he murmured, nipping at his mate’s ear. “I like that you’re already so excited. But remember... when you have trouble walking tomorrow, you asked for this.”

Victor shook, and Yuri was pleased to see his legs spread a bit wider unconsciously.

Yuri moved and got on his knees in front of the Russian, opened his fly and pushed his pants and boxers to his knees, his hardened cock springing free. Victor looked up at him, and licked his lips before Yuri slid his fingers into the soft hair of his love and pushed pale lips toward the head.

Victor understood immediately, opening his mouth and taking Yuri’s length into it.

Yuri moaned at the feel of the wet heat on his heated flesh. His grip tightened in his mate’s hair and he started rocking his hips, careful to not thrust too deep as Victor’s tongue worked the head, sides and veins.

“Your tongue is so talented Vitya,” Yuri growled. “I’m going to fill up that pretty mouth of yours, then I’m going to open you up. I’ll enjoy the feeling of your beautiful, tight ass as you keep coming around me, and I’ll fill you there too. And I’ll keep fucking you, and filling you, until you’re loose and sloppy, and even then I won’t be done.”

Victor moaned around Yuri’s cock.

“Does that sound good baby?” Yuri teased.

Victor hummed.

“I guess we’ll see how much of a cockslut you really are.”

Victor groaned, and the vibrations sent Yuri over the edge. He held Victor’s head firm, and came into his mate’s mouth.

When Yuri pulled his cock free he looked down and growled in approval. His mate already looked debauched, and he hadn’t even undressed him yet. Platinum hair was a mess, eyes were blown with lust, and a trickle of cum leaked out of one side of his mouth.

“You already look so good Vitya,” Yuri praised. “I can’t imagine how beautiful you’ll be by the time I’m done with you.”

Yuri reached out, swiped the line of cum with his thumb, and held out the digit for Victor to lick clean.

His own first orgasm taken care of, Yuri turned to the matter at hand… fucking his mate absolutely senseless. He tugged the shirt over Victor’s head, and helped him balance so that it could be discarded on the floor, then repeated the process with trousers and briefs.

Once Victor was on display Yuri stood back from the bed and took an appraising look at his omega. He was getting hard again just admiring the faint sheen of sweat on pale skin, and the proud angle of the Russian’s cock as it leaked pre-cum onto the towels below.

Yuri left him like that and returned to the bathroom. He rummaged in their toiletry bag until he found the lube, and spread some on his fingers, warming it and carrying the bottle in the other hand as he returned.

“Such a good omega,” Yuri purred as he eyed his mate again. He pressed a single finger to the cleft of Victor’s ass and trailed it down to circle his entrance.

Victor whined and pressed against Yuri. The alpha responded by pushing the teasing finger inside, pumping it slowly into the Russian. He growled appreciatively when he discovered a small amount of slick inside.

“I’m going to open you up nice and slow Vitya. I’m going to make you feel so good. Then I’ll give you what you want.”

Victor whimpered, and Yuri responded by curling the finger to press against the omega’s sweet spot. The Russian’s whole body shuddered with pleasure.

Yuri allowed himself to harden again as he opened up his partner. He started stroking himself when he added a second finger, making Victor pant and moan, and he was achingly hard by the time he slid a third finger into the well-stretched hole.

Victor whined with the loss as the fingers were removed and Yuri stood to remove the rest of his own clothes. Blue eyes flicked from Yuri’s face to his stiff cock and back again as he set his glasses on the nightstand.

Yuri crawled onto the bed and situated himself between Victor’s legs. He guided his cock to tease at the omega’s entrance with one hand, while the other reached out and tangled into platinum hair, yanking Victor’s head back.

“I want to hear you,” Yuri demanded as he pressed in.

Victor gasped and moaned as the head slid in, then cried “Yuri!” as the cock pressed into his sweet spot.

Yuri pushed in slowly, unrelentingly, until he bottomed out, buried inside his mate.

“Mmm, Vitya. You feel so good. So tight.”

Victor moaned.

Yuri waited, then there was the tiniest movement in Victor’s hips, an unconscious signal that the omega needed him to move. He dropped his hold on his mate’s hair, grabbed onto pale hips, pulled out and slammed back in, making Victor howl in ecstasy.

Yuri set a relentless pace, pounding into his mate, nailing the prostate with every thrust, and making Victor shake in pleasure. Words were quickly lost to the omega, reduced to noises of bliss as the sounds of slapping skin filled the room.

Yuri knew that Victor was already on the verge of his first orgasm, and the words that Victor had liked the dirty talk rushed to the fore of his mind. His alpha side liked it too, so it was time to indulge.

“Such a good mate, taking my cock like this. If feels so good inside you Vitya, but I bet it would feel even better if you came right now.”

Victor gasped and bucked back, hole clenching as he came.

Yuri leaned over his mate’s back slightly and reached around to take the pulsing cock in hand. “Such a good omega, coming without being touched.” He stroked, making fresh cries of pleasure fall from his mate’s lips. “I bet this makes it feel even better though.”

Victor shook, whole body tensing, muscles rippling as pleasure overtook him. The whole time Yuri kept his pace fast and furious, and when the orgasmic tremors stopped the visible tension in the taut form below him was enough to show him that the omega was already well on the way to a second.

Yuri pinched the base of his erection each time that the clench of his mate’s pleasure was enough to undo him. He’d push his stamina to the limit to completely undo his omega.

Yuri finally allowed himself to spill inside his mate somewhere after Victor’s fifth or sixth orgasm. He wasn’t nearly done, but could hear the raspy tone in the omega’s voice. They both needed water.

A rumble from Victor’s stomach as the alpha was draped over his back indicated that they needed more than just rehydration.

Yuri chuckled and pressed a kiss to the middle of Victor’s back. “Stay just like this Vitya.”

Yuri pulled out, and stumbled into the bathroom. He found that there were still a few unmelted cubes in their ice bucket, and filled a glass with water from the tap. He carried it to the bed, and helped Victor drink it.

“Do you need more?”

Victor shook his head.

Yuri nodded, returned to the restroom and refilled the glass. He drained it before refilling it again. He carried it and a coaster to the nightstand so that they would have it nearby if necessary.

Yuri rummaged in the nightstand, and finally found what appeared to be a room service menu.

“Do you think you can order dinner for us Vitya?”

Victor swallowed. “I… think so.” His voice was rough, fucked out sounding, and Yuri loved it.

Yuri grabbed the phone and handed the omega the handset. After a minute Victor nodded and told him the number to dial.

There was a brief exchange of Russian, but not long enough to order. Yuri looked at the clock and realized it was probably a busy time, and Victor’s bored face seemed to indicate that he was on hold too.

Yuri knelt on the bed and pressed a kiss to Victor’s shoulder before sneaking his hand around and sliding two fingers into his mate, making him gasp.

“Don’t mind me,” Yuri teased. “You looked bored.”

Victor groaned as the alpha rubbed his sweet spot.

Yuri heard the tinny sound of a voice on the line. He thought of removing his fingers, or at least stopping, but decided to just keep teasing his mate. He watched with amusement as Victor struggled to keep his voice under control as he placed the order.

He knew that the person on the other end had hung up when the omega let out a deep groan of pleasure.

“Yuri…” he whimpered, but there was a touch of something else to his voice. “That was mean.”

Yuri pulled his fingers free and put up the phone and menu.

“You did so well though Vitya. Besides...” he continued. “You liked it. Didn’t you?”

Victor blushed crimson.

Yuri smirked, and he moved to slide into the warmth of his mate again. “Something told me you had an exhibitionist streak. Glad to know I was right.” He started thrusting again, and Victor cried out. “How long do I have until food arrives.”

“Half an hour,” Victor gasped.

“Good. Just enough time.”

He watched Victor’s fingers curl into the sheets. “Time for what?”

“A preview of tomorrow.”

“Oh?” Yuri could hear genuine curiosity.

“I think tomorrow I’ll be thinking about tonight, what we’re doing right now.” He started gyrating his hips, the music building in his mind.

Victor groaned with the new sensation.

“I’ll be thinking about this, and what else I want to do to my lovely mate.”

Victor’s chest dropped toward the mattress as he moved from resting on his hands to his elbows, giving Yuri a new angle.

Yuri hummed the Eros music as he thrust, hips moving as if he were dancing. The new motion quickly lead to Victor coming undone again several times before they had to break for dinner. 

They greeted room service in robes, and ate quietly. Victor had ordered Yuri something called pelmeni, and it was as delicious as the rest of the things that the omega had chosen.

Once they had finished their dinner Yuri declared that Victor’s cock was dessert, knelt in front of the Russian and sucked him off before they moved to the shower.

After a shower in which Yuri only fucked his mate through a single orgasm they moved back to the bed. Yuri grabbed a pillow and placed it underneath fresh towels before directing Victor to lie down, his hips elevated as Yuri slid inside again. They kissed, Yuri moving in and out, until they lost track of time and lost count of orgasms, too exhausted for either to continue.

Chapter Text

Yuri’s chest rumbled in contentment as they moved around the hotel room getting ready. Victor looked absolutely wrecked, with tired eyes and a careful step after being made love to until well into the night.

The alpha was extremely satisfied with his omega’s appearance, insisting that it was the proper look for his mate in the days following a heat. If he didn’t have to skate that afternoon he’d have pushed the Russian to the bed again and kept going.

“You’ll have to stop purring like a pleased alpha before we get to the arena, or it’ll only be more obvious what we did last night,” Victor said with a tired smile.

Yuri smiled, took several steps across the room and fisted his hands in his mate’s shirt, dragging him closer so that he could claim the man’s lips in a kiss.

“I can’t help it,” he breathed against Victor’s lips. “I am a pleased alpha.”

He turned his attention to Victor’s tie, something the omega seemed not to have the fine motor skills to deal with that morning.

“For once I’m glad that the men’s portion is in the afternoon,” Yuri purred. “It means I can bring you back here tonight and do it again.”

Victor groaned and a single shudder wracked him. “I’ve created a monster.”

Yuri’s eyes flicked up from where he was tightening the tie, and he smirked. “Second thoughts?”

Victor’s arms wrapped around his waist, and he smiled. “Not at all. But let’s grab a few bottles of water on the way back, da? That tap water leaves something to be desired.”

Yuri grinned.

“Are you feeling good for your skate?” Victor murmured as Yuri released his tie. He nuzzled into the alpha’s neck. “You didn’t wear yourself out did you?”

Yuri tugged the collar of Victor’s shirt aside just enough to nip at his mate’s scent gland. “I’m feeling good, and extremely inspired for the short program.”

“Is that so?”

Yuri growled. “Don’t take your eyes off me Vitya. From the moment I take the ice the performance is for you. Every movement will tell you exactly what I’ll be doing to you tonight.”

Victor groaned and pressed his hips forward just enough so that Yuri could feel the slightly hardened length concealed under layers of clothing.

Yuri smirked. “Now I’m even more inspired. I have a feeling today will be a personal best.”


 

Yuri was tired of running the press gauntlet. Paparazzi and those without credentials shouted questions as they approached the competitor entrance. Many were still focused on the incident of the prior week, and on his relationship with Victor.

However the bombardment didn’t stop once they stepped inside the building. The tone changed, questions on personal matters stopped, and the only references to the fight were about whether he felt it would impact his performance.

Unfortunately the target changed as well, with more questions shouted in hurried Russian, and obviously aimed at Victor.

The omega was looking more harried by the minute, despite his obvious attempt to ignore the onslaught. The only questions the coach answered were ones where Yuri knew that he was the focus of the question, a praising tone in the voice of his mate.

Eventually a smell of distress started to seep from the omega, and Yuri couldn’t take it any longer. He tugged his mate to the locker room under the pretense of inspecting his laces.

There were a few men showering  and a handful more changing after their performances in the ice dance competition, but Yuri felt that it was vastly preferable to the mayhem of the holding area.

“Are you ok?” Yuri said softly, brushing his fingers over Victor’s cheek.

Victor nodded and took a deep breath. “I knew it would be bad, but this is worse than expected.”

“Do I wanna know?”

“You probably already have an idea.”

“The questions were in Russian, so I’m assuming that they want to know when you’re coming back.”

Victor nodded.

Yuri felt the eyes of a couple ice dancers on them. He didn’t care. He wasn’t planning to take the conversation into gossip territory.

“They should be more respectful of what you’re doing right now. You’ve always been good with the press, they know you’ll announce future plans when you’re ready.”

“A couple also asked about us, and why I didn’t defend you last week.”

Yuri cringed internally a bit, he hoped he could shift things back to safer territory with other ears around. “They should already know the answer to that. You didn’t want to make things worse.”

Victor’s eyes widened the tiniest bit before flicking to see the other athletes in the room.

“I guess they expected more of me,” the omega replied, a note of understanding in his tone.

Yuri smiled. “I think what you did was exactly the right choice.”

The other men quickly lost interest in the conversation as Victor steered it to focus on Yuri’s performance. Eventually the room quieted, the mens competitors already mostly prepared for their skate, and the ice dancers finished with showering and changing.

Yuri knew that they’d be missed if they stayed out of sight for much longer, but he couldn’t resist taking advantage of the opportunity. He pulled Victor into a kiss.

“Make me forget Yuri,” Victor breathed as they separated. “Make me forget the expectation on me. Tell the world what they refuse to hear from my lips. Right now I’m Victor Nikiforov the coach, not the Russian figure skating legend.”

“Are you happy to have me as your student Vitya?”

“You know I am.”

“You show the world how happy you are with me, and I’ll give them a reason not to question it.”

Victor nodded and they kissed again before heading back out to the corridors of the arena.


 

Victor disappeared sometime between the end of JJ’s performance and the scores being announced. Yuri found him a moment later, tucked around the backside of a pillar and away from the eyes of the press.

“You ok?” he asked cautiously. The omega had a troubled look on his face.

Victor tried to smile at Yuri, failed, then nodded. “Yeah…”

Yuri glanced around, he wanted to kiss his mate but there were too many cameras, too many opportunities for fresh gossip from the tabloids.

“Wanna talk about it?”

Victor glanced around, took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. His voice was low when he started speaking. “It’s just… a bit much… to simultaneously be held up as the standard, then seemingly bested in the same breath.”

Yuri flinched, knowing that his unexpected quad flip had garnered the same reaction in China. “Oh Vitya, I’m so sorry. I should have thought…”

Victor shook his head. “Not you Yuri. I couldn’t be happier for your achievements. But the competitor in me wants to fight back, especially against somebody like that. The way he purposefully tried to get your attention, then ignored you before trying to intimidate me was uncalled for. He should be willing to stand on his own skills without the head games.”

“Vitya…”

Yuri was interrupted by his phone buzzing in his pocket. He reached for it, but then there was a roar from the crowd.

“Sounds like the scores are about to be posted,” Victor said softly. “Let’s go see what place you’re in.”

They walked around to where they could see a bank of monitors.

Yuri’s phone buzzed again, but before he could answer it the press clamored for a statement.

When it rang again less than a minute later Yuri felt something twist in his stomach.

“Excuse me,” he said to the gathered reporters, and managed to duck away as they turned their attention to some of the other competitors.

“Yuri?” Victor asked as they walked away.

“Somebody’s trying to call,” Yuri replied. “Everybody who has my number knows I’m competing right now, so it must be important.”

Yuri unlocked the phone and saw numerous missed calls from his sister. “Mari?” he asked, blinking at the phone.

The phone rang again as if on cue. “Hai,” he answered, concern tinting his voice.

“Oh Yuri...” Mari said, each word laced with worry. “Sorry to bother you during an event, but Makkachin stole some steamed buns and they got stuck in her throat. We’re at the vet right now, but we’re not sure she’ll make it.”

The world froze.

Some part of Yuri’s brain registered the fact that JJ’s scores had been announced.

“Sorry, what do you want us to do?” Mari asked in desperation.

His mind drifted to thoughts of Vicchan.

I can’t let my mate go through that pain!

Yuri turned to face the omega. “Victor! Go back to Japan right now. I’ll face the free skate tomorrow on my own!”

Victor looked at him, shock and confusion evident on his face. “Yuri? What’s going on?”

Yuri whined, there wasn’t time. His mate had to go, he had to go and take care of a member of their family. He had to go be with his companion of more than a decade.

Yuri could smell confusion and worry from his omega.

“Yuri, please. What’s wrong?”

Yuri took a deep breath. Victor doesn’t know. The conversation was in Japanese. I have to tell him.

“That was Mari. Makka got into the steamed buns and one got caught in her throat. They rushed her to the vet, but she might not make it.”

Yuri saw the moment when Victor’s heart split in two, torn between rushing to his dog’s side and staying with his student and alpha. He saw when the choice was made.

“I can’t go back Yuri,” Victor said, pain etched across his features. “You need me here. You need a coach.”

“But you have to go back!” There was a whine to his voice, he didn’t care. Makkachin was too important to his mate.

“Like I said, I can’t.”

“You have to. Makkachin needs you!”

“And you need a coach!”

They were starting to draw the eyes of a crowd.

Please Vitya. Please listen to me. I can’t have you go through that pain.

Victor held his face in his hand, torn between two impossible choices. When he looked up Yuri saw his eyes widen, and the omega rushed to where a confused Yakov was standing.

“Yakov! Thank God!” Victor declared as he strode toward the elder coach, Yuri’s eyes following the movement. “You’re the only coach for me.”

Yakov blinked, but immediately put on a confident air. “What? You want to come back?”

“Can you be Yuri’s coach tomorrow, for just one day?”

Yakov blinked. “Huh?”

Yuri realized that he hadn’t heard wrong. “Huh?”

Yurio echoed the expression.

Yuri watched the Russian coach quickly apprise the situation. He grabbed Victor’s sleeve and led him toward a quieter section of the arena.

“Katsuki!” the beta demanded.

Yuri startled, then jogged to catch up, falling in step with Yurio and a stern-looking lady whom he didn’t know.

Once they were out of immediate sight of the cameras Yakov turned back to Victor. “What the hell are you talking about Victor? Coach for a day?”

“It’s Makkachin,” Victor choked, trying to hold back his emotion. “She has a steamed bun stuck in her throat and might not make it.”

The stern look melted off Yakov’s face, and even Yurio and the woman’s expressions softened.

“Please Yakov,” Victor begged. “Yuri says he’ll do it alone. But I can’t leave him without a coach. He needs the support!”

“Victor, just go!” Yuri said. “I’ll do this on my own.”

“Shut up Katsuki,” Yakov commanded.

Something about the tone made Yuri not want to argue, and the elder coach nodded before switching to speak to Victor in Russian.

Yuri couldn’t follow the fast pace of the conversation, but quickly understood by the gazes shot at him that Victor was outlining the reasons why he couldn’t be left alone at a competition. Something changed in both Yurio’s and Yakov’s expressions, and it made him squirm uncomfortably.

After a few minutes some sort of agreement was reached, and Victor’s tone took on an informational slant. Yakov nodded as he listened.

Yuri realized that this was happening, and his best bet was to be useful. He quickly looked up flights on his phone. The earliest flights were a few minutes before seven, and it was just past six. There was no way Victor would be packed and to the airport by then. He narrowed the time, and saw that the last flights out were just before nine.

He cringed at the last-minute prices, but knew the omega would easily be able to cover it.

“Yuri,” Victor said.

Yuri looked up and into the distressed eyes of his mate.

“Yakov has agreed to be your coach tomorrow. He’ll give you the support you need.”

“I can do this Vitya.”

Victor shook his head. “Yuri, please. Accept Yakov’s help tomorrow. For me.”

Yuri softened. He nodded. “Ok. I trust you.” He passed over his phone. “I looked up flights for you.”

Victor accepted the phone with a weary smile.

“Yura,” Yakov called.

“What is it?” Yurio demanded.

“Go back to the hotel with them. Stay with Katsuki for a few hours. Don’t let him get in the cab to the airport.”

“Huh? Why do I have to do it?”

“Because Mila will be skating soon. I have to stay here, so it’s your job to make sure Katsuki doesn’t do something stupid between now and when I get there tonight.”

Yurio grumbled, but there wasn’t the normal edge to it.

“Lilia…” Yakov said, a pleading tone to his voice.

She spit out a string of Russian, then turned back toward where the press was assembled.

“She’s going to go let the rest of our team know what’s going on,” Yurio whispered. “So they’re not surprised when you join us for training.”

Victor handed back Yuri’s phone. “I booked the thirteen hour flight. The eleven was already full,” he said, obviously not wanting even an extra minute in travel.

Yuri nodded, and Victor wrapped him in his arms.

“Go,” Yakov said. “Get to the hotel, pack and to the airport. There’s probably not much time.”

Victor nodded and took Yuri’s hand, leading them toward the exit.

“Katsuki,” Yakov blared before they were out of earshot. “I’ll speak with you tonight.”

Yuri could only nod mutely.

They pushed their way past the press, Yurio close behind, dodging cameras and questions. Behind them they could hear Yakov start to inform the reporters that Victor had been called to Japan for an emergency and that Yuri would be under his supervision the following day.

Yuri called Mari while they were in the taxi and informed her that Victor was on his way, and to let Makkachin know.


 

Yurio grumbled, but turned his back when Victor and Yuri started kissing desperately in the hotel room, seeking any connection before the sudden separation. They moved around the room, collecting Victor’s things in a haze.

Then they were in the lobby, Yurio keeping a respectful distance as they tried to not cling to each other.

“Ask Yakov anything you don’t understand,” Victor said, a note of rushed desperation as he turned from where he had been looking outside for a cab. He took a couple steps and put his arms around Yuri. “If you’re in trouble, just hug him, and he’ll help you.”

I don’t want you to go!

Yuri wrapped his arms around his omega, and pulled him close. Suddenly he couldn’t let go, and felt tremors in the arms wrapped around him as well.

“I’m sorry Yuri…” Victor whispered, voice shaking. “Even if I’m not here, I’ll always be with you in spirit.”

Don’t go. Don’t leave me. My mate!

A valet cleared his throat, and said a few words in Russian.

Victor hugged Yuri harder, and the alpha understood that the cab had arrived.

Don’t go!

“Make sure Makkachin is ok,” Yuri whispered, squeezing his eyes shut. He had to be strong for his mate.

“I love you,” Victor whispered back. “I believe in you.”

“I love you too.”

The warmth in his arms was gone. His omega was walking out the door.

Yuri took a few steps to follow, and was stopped by a hand on his arm.

“Let me go Yurio,” he said without looking to see who was holding him back.

“You can’t go,” the teen hissed. “If you leave now you forfeit. Do you want that? Does he want that?”

Yuri whined. His mate was getting into the cab, he could see him through the glass doors. Blue eyes stared back at him, then were gone as the door closed and the car drove off.

“Let’s go get dinner in the restaurant,” Yurio said after a minute. “I’m hungry and I bet you are too.”

My mate’s gone.

“I’m not hungry…” he whispered.

“Well I am. If you’re not going to go to the restaurant with me then we’ll just have to get room service.”

“I don’t want to go back to my room.”

Victor’s not there.

Yurio snarled. “Then we’ll go to mine.”

The teen practically dragged Yuri back to the elevators. As soon as they were in his room he locked the chain on the door and pushed the alpha into a chair. He rummaged in his suitcase for a minute, eyes flicking to Yuri every couple seconds, pulled something out and thrust it at the Japanese man.

“What’s this?” Yuri asked.

“My Vita. Play.”

“But…”

“Play!” Yurio ordered. “I know it’s not the MMO’s you’re used to, but you need a distraction right now.”

Yuri accepted the device, flipped through the game selection and finally chose one that seemed interesting.

“Why’d you put the chain on the door Yurio?” Yuri asked as he waited for the title sequence.

“Because it gives me an extra two seconds to catch your sorry ass if you try to run after that idiot.”

Yuri quickly realized that the reasoning was sound.

“I’m going to order for you too, because you need to eat,” Yuri said. “What are your food allergies?”

“None.”

“Anything you don’t like?”

“I don’t care, I’m not hungry.”

“Bullshit.” Yurio turned, called in to room service and a few minutes later had placed an order.

Yuri was trying to understand the forced storyline of the fighting game he’d chosen, but quickly gave up and decided to skip it to get to the duels.

Soon the repetitive sounds of punches, screams and special effects filled the room.

“He loves that dog you know…” Yuri said after a while.

Yuri felt a tear slip down his cheek as thoughts of the evening flooded him and dredged up memories of Vicchan.

“Whoah Katsudon! She’ll be fine.”

“It’s not that… well not only.”

Yurio sat on the edge of the bed, eyes curious, and Yuri knew he had to tell the teen something.

“When you stayed with us, did you ever go into the room with the little altar?”

“Yeah? There was a photo there, looked like you and a dog from a long time ago.”

“Vicchan…” Yuri said softly.

“Isn’t that what your mom calls Victor?”

Yuri nodded. “Vicchan was named after Victor, when I was younger than you are now and wanted nothing more to be a figure skater on the same level as him.”

“That’s some creepy level of fan right there,” Yurio joked. “Not quite as bad as some of my angels, but getting up there.”

Yuri half-smiled for a moment before turning somber again. “When I left to train in the United States I always thought I’d have time to go home and visit. But there was always something to do. Class, exhibitions, training, competition. Even the couple times I found myself in Japan I couldn’t justify the trip home.

“On some level I felt I hadn’t earned the support they gave me, and for five years I stayed away.”

Yuri took a breath, and noticed a slightly shocked look on the teen’s face.

“I remember the way Vicchan whined the day I left. Mari had to hold him. He’d always whined before I left for competitions. But I always came back a few days later.

“That time I didn’t come back.”

Tears were streaming down Yuri’s face, but he didn’t care enough to wipe them away.

“I got the call the day between the short program and the free skate in Sochi…” he continued. “Vicchan had gotten out somehow and had been hit by a car. It didn’t look good.

“I had to skate the next day, there was no way I could get home, say goodbye, and get back, even if it wouldn’t have left me exhausted.”

“Oh god, Katsudon.” Yurio’s voice was shaking.

“Mari called me the morning of the free skate. Vicchan had held out as long as he could, whining in the tone he only ever used for me. He held on, far longer than most expected, because he wanted to see me one last time.”

“And you still skated?”

“I had to.”

Silence.

“So that’s why you made Victor go… isn’t it? You couldn’t stand to see him go through that?”

Yuri nodded.

“Does he know any of this?”

Yuri shook his head. “It hurts too much to talk about.”

“Fuck Katsudon, all that... No wonder you were crying in the bathroom. Then I barge in and start screaming at you.”

Yuri sniffled. “How could you have known?”

“Still.”

“It’s ok Yurio, I forgave you a long time ago.”

“I don’t need to hear that from you.”

“Too late.”

They were interrupted by a knock on the door. Yurio let in the person from room service, keeping an eye on the alpha the whole time.

Yuri didn’t feel like moving, didn’t feel like eating. His omega was gone.

A plate was shoved into his hands.

“Eat,” Yurio commanded.

Yuri didn’t feel like arguing. He took the plate and somehow managed to swallow the food, not tasting any of it.

He lost track of time, sitting in Yurio’s room. Eventually the teen realized that the alpha was withdrawing and stopped trying to engage him in conversation.

At some point Yakov arrived. Yuri answered questions almost on instinct, mechanical answers devoid of emotion.

Yakov escorted him back to his room.

He could still smell Victor faintly in the air.

Yuri collapsed onto the bed and curled himself around the pillow that his mate had slept on the night before, breathing any trace of his omega’s scent.

He cried until he fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Banging on the door.

Victor wasn’t there. He’d left. His side of the bed was empty.

The rational side of Yuri’s mind tried to insist that they’d be together again soon. Victor had gone back to take care of Makkachin, and Yuri only had to finish out the Rostelecom Cup before they’d be reunited.

The rational thoughts were quickly overwhelmed by instinct. He’d been abandoned by his mate. The mating had failed, and he’d been rejected. He’d failed as an alpha.

Banging on the door.

He didn’t care, his mate wasn’t calling for him. The smell of abandoned alpha filled the room.

I’m a failed alpha.

Yuri whined as he remembered the past several days. His alpha insisted on trying to find the source of the failure, the reason his omega left. He remembered leaving the nest too early, finding places to hide rather than to be comfortable, people and microphones intruding on their privacy.

He remembered his mate complaining that three days had passed between the times they made love.

I didn’t pay enough attention to him. I wasn’t attentive to the needs of my mate.

The banging stopped. The sound of a key card, and the lock opening.

Victor?

Yuri poked his head up from where he was still curled around the pillow that smelled like his mate, but whined and dropped back down when Yakov strode into the room.

The Russian sighed.

Yuri expected yelling. Every time he’d seen the coach he was yelling. Instead the old man turned a chair and sat near the bed.

“I was afraid of this…” Yakov said. “You shouldn’t be separated yet, especially after the stress of the past few days. What the hell were you thinking by declaring each other as mates so close to a competition? And right after a heat too, you of all people should know that all the instincts are at their strongest right before and after.”

Yuri whined.

He’s right. The timing was bad. That’s why my mate left.

I’m a bad alpha.

“Look at me Katsuki.”

Yuri turned his eyes up but kept his nose buried in the pillow.

“Vitya hasn’t abandoned you.”

Then why isn’t he here?

“Do you remember why he left?”

Yuri thought about it, through the haze of instinct he remembered a phone call… and Makkachin.

He nodded.

“Do you remember that you told him to go?”

Yuri vaguely remembered that.

“He didn’t leave you,” the coach repeated. “You sent him away because you didn’t want him to get hurt. You protected him. You’re being a good alpha to your mate and shielding him from pain.”

Somehow that cut through the tiniest bit and Yuri whimpered.

Yakov relaxed slightly. “Listen to me Katsuki. I’m here because Victor asked me to be. He’s taking care of you too, even though he’s not here. He wants you to do your best today.”

Victor’s taking care of me? Through Yakov?

Yuri uncurled slightly. The beta was a man his mate trusted, he knew that.

Banging on the door. Yuri whimpered and curled back around the pillow.

No more. Only Victor.

Yakov stood and stomped to the door. There was a string of angry Russian words. A moment later Yuri heard another voice.

“Oi! Katsudon. Get up. It’s time to go to practice.”

Yuri whined, squeezed his eyes shut and curled further into the pillow.

Victor… Victor…

“Damnit Yura. I told you to wait with the others.”

Footsteps.

Somebody was tugging at the pillow. Yuri let out a strangled cry and clung tight.

Don’t take him away from me.

An angry snarl and the tug was gone.

If you insist on being here then stop making things worse and help.” Yakov growled, Yuri listened to the words in Russian but couldn’t understand them. “ Look for something, anything, a sock, underwear. I don’t care. Try to find anything you can in here that smells like Victor.

Yuri perked up at the sound of his mate’s name, the only word he understood.

Why do I have to do it? ” Yurio spat.

Because you came up here and barged in like an idiot. I’d managed to get him to listen, and was working on getting him moving when you decided that you couldn’t listen to me even this once. Now he’s retreated even farther. So you either start looking, or you’ll be stuck on triples only for practice.”

Yuri heard a faint scramble of movement. He wanted to cover his ears, to shut out the sounds of a language he didn’t know, to focus only on his mate.

A hand on his arm… gentle.

“Katsuki… Yuri... “ Yakov again. “Think of Vitya. What can you do to help him right now?”

Yuri whined. Victor was gone, how was he supposed to help him?

“Does your family know he’s coming?”

Yuri dredged up memories of the night before, the last time he’d seen his mate. He remembered a call with Mari in the taxi back to the hotel.

He nodded.

“Talk to me Katsuki. When he gets to Japan, what will he have to do before he can see Makkachin?”

Yuri took a breath. His beautiful mate was going to see Makkachin. Makkachin was hurt. What did Victor have to do?

Yuri’s mouth was dry, his voice rough from crying himself to sleep.

“Land at Fukuoka,” he croaked. “Catch train to Hasetsu.”

“That’s good Katsuki,” Yakov said gently. “What about after the train? Does he know where the vet is?”

Yuri whined. They’d never taken Makkachin to the vet, there hadn’t been a need as his shots were all up to date. Victor didn’t know where to go.

The sounds of Yurio rummaging around the room.

“He doesn’t know where the vet is…” Yakov concluded. “What can you do to help him Katsuki? How can you be a good alpha to your mate?”

Be a good alpha, help Victor.

“Is your home between the station and the vet, or will he need to take his bags with him?” Yakov prodded. “What public transportation is best? Or should he take a taxi?”

Yuri closed his eyes and forced himself to think. The vet wasn’t in the opposite direction from the inn, but they weren’t on the same path.

Yuri turned his attention the nightstand and saw his phone. It was out of reach from where he was curled around the pillow. Yurio saw him reaching and handed over the device.

Yuri unlocked it, and scrolled through his contact list.

Yuko answered on the third ring. “Yuri,” she said softly. “Makkachin made it through the procedure, but hasn’t woken up from the anesthetic yet. That’s the biggest worry right now. Her age makes it dangerous. Once she wakes up they’ll start looking for any signs of brain damage. Your parents had to go back to the inn to take care of guests, but Mari is with her and will stay until Victor arrives.”

“Yu-chan,” Yuri whimpered. “Help me… Help Victor.”

“Oh god, Yuri!” she cried. “You mated, didn’t you? Is it bad? Are you ok?”

“Help me Yu-chan.”

“What do you need?”

Yuri squeezed his eyes shut, trying to remember the flights he had looked up the day before. He couldn’t recall anything except that it left just before nine in the evening and lasted almost thirteen hours. He struggled through some basic time conversions.

“Victor’s plane… should land around three-thirty in the afternoon. He’ll be on the train soon after. Can you meet him at the station and take him to the vet? He doesn’t know where it is.”

“Of course. Either me or Takeshi will make sure he gets to Makkachin right away.”

“Arigato.”

“Yuri-kun?”

“Hai?”

“You’re being a good alpha. I know it must hurt right now, but you’re being a protective alpha for your mate. I know he’ll see what a good alpha you’ve been.”

“Thank you Yu-chan.”

Yuri pressed the ‘end call’ button. He was exhausted, just that bit of conversation had worn him out.

There’s nothing that smells like that idiot left, ” Yurio stated.

Yakov sighed at the teen’s words, and Yuri wondered what they were talking about.

I’ll see what I can do. He needs the scent of his mate right now. You stay here and try to coax him out of bed. Focus on Victor, on what he would want him to do. Right now the only thing that matters to him is making Victor happy. Do you understand?”

“Da.”

Yuri heard the sound of a phone being unlocked, then Yakov speaking. “ Lilia? Take the others to the arena for practice please. Yura and I will be there as soon as possible, as soon as we can get Katsuki to be responsive.”

Footsteps carried the elder man into the hall.

“Katsudon?” Yurio asked, kneeling near the bed. “Can you get out of bed?”

Yuri squeezed the pillow tight and curled around it. The teen had tried to take it away before and he didn’t trust him not to try again.

“Come on Katsudon. Victor would want you to skate.”

Victor?

“Victor wants you to do your best today. Can you do that for him?”

Yuri looked up into concerned green eyes.

“Come to practice. It’ll help you skate good tonight. It’ll make Victor happy if you skate good.”

I need to make my mate happy.

Yuri uncurled and shifted to the edge of the bed.

“That’s it Katsudon. Just remember, you’re skating for Victor. You’re going to make him happy with a good performance.”

Yurio kept prodding until Yuri was up and getting dressed.

If I skate good I’ll make Victor happy.

Yakov came back into the room as Yuri was pulling on his shirt. He flinched, but he was focused.

Where the hell did you go? ” Yurio demanded.

To make some phone calls. Is he going to be able to skate?

I hope so. He’s at least put on practice clothes..”

Yakov nodded. Then, “Katsuki. You can’t take the pillow, but do you have anything else that smells like Victor, or maybe a gift from him?”

Yuri looked around, then remembered the scarf in his bag, the silver one that Victor had chosen just for him. He walked over mutely and picked it up.

“That’s perfect,” Yakov said. “He picked that just for you didn’t he?”

Yuri nodded.

“It shows how much he cares.”

Yuri looked at the floor.

“Bring it to the arena for practice so that it’s close.”

Yuri nodded, having a gift from his mate, even if it didn’t smell like him, helped.

He allowed the Russians to guide him through the rest of getting ready and to the door.


 

Practice hadn’t gone well. He’d fallen on a quad and popped his triple axel. He couldn’t focus.

I can’t skate. I’m a bad alpha.

Yuri ended up doing the only thing that he could manage to focus on, school figures. He traced patterns in the ice, switching feet and edges.

The other competitors stared at him as he glided in the repeating shapes.

An announcement over the loudspeaker that there was only ten minutes remaining before the men would have to vacate the ice for the pairs practice.

Yuri looked up, and saw Yurio watching Yakov. The man was standing near where the public was allowed to watch, talking with a couple in their late forties to early fifties.

“I wonder what they’re doing here.” Yurio mused as he slid to a stop near Yuri.

“Who are they?” Yuri asked, trying to keep his mind focused on anything other than feeling the absence of his mate.

“You don’t know?”

Yuri shook his head.

“They’re Victor’s parents.”

Yuri panicked.

No. No no no. They can’t see me like this.

He skated to the barrier and grabbed his guards.

I’m a bad alpha, I’m not worthy of their son. I can’t skate. He’s not here.

Yuri nearly tripped over his own feet but managed to stumble into one of the competitor tunnels and found a bench.

Yuri sat down and held his head in his hands, knees bouncing with anxious energy.

My mate’s parents saw me. They know I’m weak, that I’m a failed alpha. They know I can’t protect my omega.

Nobody wants a bad alpha…

The edges of Yuri’s vision started to go blank.

A low whine echoed in the hall.

“What the hell Katsudon?” Yurio asked, clacking from his blade guards filling the hall. “There’s still ten minutes of practice left. You should use it.”

Yuri whined more. He couldn’t go back out there.

“Katsu…”

“Shut it Yura!” Yakov bellowed.

No, no no no. Nobody else. It’s too much.

I’m a bad alpha.

“Yakov…” the teen started to protest.

Do you listen to your tutors or do you just regurgitate whatever they try to stuff into that stubborn brain of yours?”

The sound of more footsteps, women’s voices. The stern one… Lilia, and… a younger one.

Mila, part of his brain supplied.

What the hell Yakov, I’m just trying to help.”

“And you’re doing the exact opposite. What did you do to set him off?”

“Me? Nothing. He wanted to know who you were talking to, and I told him.”

“Do you have any clue how stupid that was? Do you not see him right now? Were your ears stuffed with cotton yesterday when Victor was talking? They’re newly mated, less than a week.”

“What does that have to do with you talking to that idiot’s parents?”

Yakov’s voice went up in volume, echoing through the concrete tunnel. “It has everything to do with it. His mate’s not here, and his alpha side is insisting that he did something to lose him. They shouldn’t be apart for more than a few hours right now. Most newly mated couples can’t stand even a half-day at work, and it’s already been almost twelve hours.

“He’s feeling abandoned, every one of his instincts is working against him, even if he’s the one who told Vitya to go.”

Yuri looked up at the sound of his mate’s name. Victor? He looked around for his mate.

Mila sat down next to him and put her hand on his knee. “He’s not here Yuri.”

Yuri looked back to the floor as the conversation in Russian continued around him.

... then like an idiot you tell him that those were his mate’s parents. Even if it’s not the truth, his alpha side is insisting that he’s failed to take care of their child. Now he thinks he’s failed both Victor and his parents.”

“But that’s bullshit and he knows it Yakov! He sent that idiot away to protect him!”

“Yes, but it’s still too close to when they mated. Instinct doesn’t respond well to reason, and it’s taking everything he has to not fall victim to it.”

“So we’ll just try to…”

There was a snarl, and a scuffle. Yuri looked up to see that Yakov had pushed Yurio against the far wall of the tunnel.

He didn’t care. He couldn’t protect his mate, how could he be expected to even defend the teen.

He was cold. The numbness pricked around the edges. It was soothing, promising the bliss of nothing.

“I’m tired of cleaning up after you Yura. You obviously weren’t listening yesterday, or just now. They mated, less than a week ago. Even under ideal circumstances they shouldn’t be separated yet, and this week has been far from ideal. He’s pining and feeling abandoned, and on the edge of falling into a standstill. That’s before you factor in that he has severe anxiety.”

Mila was kneeling in front of him, holding his hands and rubbing her thumbs over the back of them.

Do I need to remind you what a standstill is?”

“Nyet.”

“Too bad. I will anyway, because you obviously need to be told everything twice. Alphas who feel abandoned by their mates are fragile. The only things that rouse them are thoughts of making their mates happy again, but push a little too far and they fall into apathy. Once that happens the only thing that can bring them back is their omega. Do you understand now? If he falls into a standstill he won’t skate, he won’t eat, he won’t even talk. If you’re lucky he’ll blindly take direction and be able to walk. Alphas die from standstills, do you get it? I’m not joking when I say you need to back off. I’ll tell you when and if you can help.”

The string of Russian words ended. There was a commotion in the tunnel, feet walking past, some in shoes, others in skates. Sounds quieted as they saw him, a failure, sitting on the bench, but picked up again once they had passed.

Once the people had passed there was a pair of shoes in Yuri’s field of vision.

“Look at me Katsuki.”

Yuri looked up at Yakov. “Yurio told you who I was talking to?”

Yuri blinked. Nodding was too hard.

“They’re not disappointed. They think you’re a strong alpha. Not many alphas would even be able to get out of bed like this. They like that Victor chose you.”

Yuri didn’t know if he believed the Russian coach.

“I called them this morning, and had them look around. He visited them after worlds but before leaving for Japan. They found one of Vitya’s suit handkerchiefs. It’s clean, but he’d worn the suit to a banquet and it must have fallen out of the suitcase at some point. It still smells like him. They wanted you to have it so that you have Victor’s scent with you today.”

Yakov held out a sealed plastic bag. Inside was a folded square of blue cloth. Yuri took the bag and opened it. It was faint, but he could smell Victor’s scent coming from it.

“Vitya…” he cried.

“Katsu…”

Yakov hissed at Yurio as Yuri folded the bag with the scent of his mate against his chest.

Yuri inhaled the sweet scent.

“They want you to do your best today. They know that Vitya would only choose the best alpha, and he’s talked so much about you to them. You’re a good alpha, they want you to know that.”

Tears were streaming down Yuri’s face.

Ringing. Yuri’s cell phone was ringing. He looked at the caller ID. Yuko’s face filled the screen.

It was about to go to voicemail when Yurio took a few steps over and snatched the phone from Yuri’s hand.

“Da.”

A look of surprise on Yurio’s face, then the phone was handed back.

Yuri stared.

“Take it.”

Yuri stared.

“Take it!”

Yuri took the phone and held it to his ear. “Hai?”

“Yuri!”

Victor! My mate!

“Yuri! I’m so sorry. I forgot to charge my phone, and then my charger was in my checked baggage. I meant to call you from Seoul.”

“Vitya!” Yuri choked out.

“Thank you Yuri. Yuko came to the airport and picked me up. She said it’s a few minutes faster than the train, and she’s taking me right to the vet. You’re so good to me, asking her to make sure I got there ok.”

There was a moment of conversation and Yuri could hear the sound of car noises.

“She says we’re about to hit an area where the reception isn’t good. I’ll call you again later. I love you. I wish I could be there with you. My beautiful alpha, I miss you...”

There was static, then the call was dropped.

Victor hasn’t abandoned me.

Yuri barely heard the sigh of relief from Yakov.


 

Between the handkerchief that smelled of the omega, and brief calls from his mate, Yuri started to feel better. A part of him still insisted that he’d been abandoned, but whenever that voice reared its head he called Mari’s phone. She’d left it with Victor and taken his to charge at the inn.

Yuri was able to stumble through a brief stint with the press, mostly asking about the morning’s practice. Then he retreated to a quiet area and called his mate.

“You’re taking the ice soon, da?”

“Mm-hmm. It starts at three thirty.”

“Do your best for me Yuri.”

“I will.” Yuri felt like just getting onto the ice would be an achievement. “How’s Makka?”

Victor released a sigh of relief. “They’re keeping her overnight for observation, but all signs are good. She came out of anesthesia a bit later than they would have liked, but they said that it wasn’t a problem. So far she’s alert and active, and they think that Mari found her in time.”

“That’s good.”

“Thank you. I… I don’t know what I would have done if I’d lost her like that.”

“I love you Vitya… I couldn’t let you go through that.”

“I love you too Yuri.”

An announcement over the loudspeaker, the sound of cheering from the audience.

“Sounds like things are getting started. I’ll be watching the stream.”

“Thank you.”

“I’ll talk to you a bit later.”

“Yeah.”

Yuri tried to focus, he needed to skate well, and earn his spot at the Grand Prix Final. That would make his mate happy.

Seeing Seung Gil Lee after his skate, and the look of disappointment on his face, reminded Yuri that it wasn’t that simple. He had to skate clean, and he had to place at least fourth.

His mate wanted a good skate. What would happen if he didn’t make the final?

He would disappoint his mate if he didn’t make the final… would Victor stay with an alpha who couldn’t skate?

The edges of his vision started to blur as he made his way to the ice, the music of Yurio’s performance echoing through the tunnel.


 

He’d made fourth. By some miracle he was going to the Grand Prix Final.

He’d made it, but his mate wasn’t beside him to celebrate. He wanted to feel the strong arms wrap around him, wanted the smell of snow and oranges to fill his nose.

“Congratulations Yuri, I knew you could do it.”

Yuri turned to the congratulatory voice, and hugged the person.

It’s not Victor.

He turned to the next person, hoping they’d be able to give him the contact he desperately craved. The smell of confusion was enough to tell him that it wasn’t what he needed.

He kept hugging, anybody he could get his arms around. He needed the contact, needed to find somebody who could give him the same feeling that being in Victor’s arms did.

He gave up after cornering Yurio in a hallway.

Nobody could satisfy him like Victor.

At some point Yakov, maybe Yurio, had tucked the handkerchief into the scarf that Victor had given him. They wound it around him after his hug rampage, the scent of his mate in his nose.

It let Yuri think again.

He packed up his costumes and skates. Then wandered outside.

He’d managed a place at the Grand Prix Final, but he knew he’d never be the skater that Victor was. His mate wanted to compete again, he’d said as much the day before. He couldn’t keep him from it any longer.

Yuri knew he couldn’t ask Yakov to coach him, not after the disaster of a day. The coach had said it himself, he’d expected lower scores. He knew winners, and obviously recognized that Yuri wasn’t one.

The Grand Prix Final was a week away. He’d skate, and announce his retirement. He’d let Victor go back to the ice in his place.

It was the only way they could be together. One of them had to give it up, and Victor had more potential.

A couple minutes later he was knocked to the ground by a kick.


 

Yuri looked up at the clock from a hard airport chair. His flight would be boarding soon. The same departing flight that Victor had taken the night before. He had a longer layover in Seoul, the earlier flights already booked, but he was headed home… to Victor.

Yakov had managed to convince the ISU officials that since he hadn’t made the podium it made no sense for him to stick around for the formalities.

Yuri knew that the Russian coach had been as discreet as possible, but had made it clear that he needed to return to his mate. For that Yuri would be eternally grateful.

You’ll have Vitya back soon enough Yakov. He’ll be my coach for one more week.

Chapter Text

Exhaustion overtook Yuri on the flight from Moscow to Seoul. The plane had only been in the air a few minutes when he curled up under a blanket and fell asleep.

Unfortunately not much could be done for his layover. He had almost seven hours to kill in the Korean airport. He talked to Victor until his phone’s battery was drained, but couldn’t find a good place to charge the device in the busy hub.

He ended up wandering the mass of shops, picking up omiyage for everybody back home. He knew that it wasn’t the same as gifts from Moscow, but was better than nothing.

Yuri was tired, and all he wanted was to see his mate. He felt empty without the omega beside him. Hearing his voice had helped, but now the only thing that would sooth his aching heart was to be folded into his arms.

He thought about the future of his skating career. He didn’t want to give it up. He’d been on the verge of doing so just a year before, but Victor had brought fresh inspiration. He’d found his love of the sport again and wanted to hold onto it.

However, there was no way to make it work. Even fewer than forty-eight hours apart had been unbearable. The rational part of his mind knew that once the post-mating hormones had settled it would be easier for them to be separated, but the mere thought of months at a time without touching his mate was almost enough to induce fresh waves of anxiety.

He couldn’t do it. He had to stay with Victor.

A part of him wondered if maybe he should reconsider and ask Yakov anyway. The coach had to know that he hadn’t been at his best.

“...higher than I expected…”

The memory of Yakov’s words in the kiss and cry haunted him. The Russian had seen him fail before, in Sochi. He knew that Yuri had bombed nationals after that, and he’d watched him barely squeak out fourth place in Moscow.

Yuri had a history of spectacular losses, while the Russian coach only produced winners. He would only be a drag on the man’s reputation.

Besides that, the one day had been enough for Yuri to know that he never wanted another coach. He wanted Victor, and his guidance, to carry him through to retirement. But coaching and skating at the same time was madness, and he knew it was time to let his mate go back to the ice for the few years he had remaining before he was too old to compete.

He’d found his love if the ice again, but if the choice was the ice or Victor, he’d choose Victor.


 

The period between landing and when the flight crew finally opened the doors was torture. Weary travelers crowded into the aisle, glad to have finally arrived, more than an hour late after an unspecified delay.

The stress of travel and that of being separated from his mate finally made Yuri snap a