I Dreamed You Were Gone
It all starts with Yuuri opening his eyes. He’s in his home in Japan, cozied up in warm blankets that rustle gently as he lifts his arm to cover his still sleepy eyes. His room has brightened from the morning sunlight and from outside he can hear walking feet and rattling as busy hands readied the inn for a new day.
When he sits up, he looks at his side and Victor is gone.
His heart skips a beat that leaves him gasping until he’s thought it through and decides that he’s being silly about it and that Victor just probably got up first. He chuckles to himself, wondering what had gone into him. Victor would never do that to him.
He puts on his glasses and ruffles his already messed up black hair as he stands up to get cleaned up and ready for the day.
It feels weird, moving about without Victor’s sleepy comments coming from the direction of their bed. Their bed because after the finals, Victor had decided that they needed to bond even more to “...improve our dynamic and understand each other better. Maybe then I won’t have to repeat my instructions a hundred times before you get it, Yuuri. Teehee,” or so he says. Yuuri had just given in because after months with the man, he’s come to be more comfortable with him.
Sometimes the places where those long fingered hands would go would make him blush when he wakes up in the middle of the night ensconced in a too warm embrace on a summer night but now he just takes the hand and pins it somewhere safer and goes back to sleep.
And they’ve gotten closer as each day passed enough so that somehow, Yuuri thinks as he looks back at the empty bed as he walks out the door, he’s become unused to waking up without the man still beside him.
It’s early at 7:00 am but there’s steaming breakfast prepared on the table. Everyone else who works for the inn had already eaten and Yuuri assumes that Victor had too as he looked at the single serving of grilled fish, miso, and steaming rice waiting for him.
He folds his legs and takes his first bite, letting the salty flavor of the fish wake him up a bit more before he turns to his mom who’s tidying things up by the cabinet with her apron on.
“Mom,” he calls with a mouthful. “Have you seen Victor?”
“Oh!” his mom exclaims moving to face him and cradling a duster to her chest. “He left this morning with his bags. He told me he’s coming back to Russia...to prepare for the next season? I thought he told you and that’s why you didn’t come down with him...since…”
Yuuri gulps faster than he should and ends up choking, his chopsticks clattering to the table. When he looks back up to his mom, he pretends that the tears in his eyes was just because of that.
But he must have looked too desperate for it to pass.
“Oh, Yuuri!” His mom comes padding towards him, kneeling and hugging him so that his head is cradled at the crook of her neck and he’s able to cry without her seeing it. His eyes move, looking at the floor, the cabinets, the ceiling as if searching, restless and unable to find what they’re looking for.
Then it is dark as he gives in and just let the tears out on the cloth on his mom’s shoulders, his glasses askew and digging into his forehead..
“Ma…” his voice croaks. “Ma…”
Victor has left him.
He knew he was being selfish when he asked Victor to stay just so he could skate one more year and give Victor a gold medal even after he said he would retire, after he made Victor cry, and after he made Victor promise that he would skate again and make his comeback after his stint as a coach.
He should have known that Victor will one day realize what a bad human being he was and go back to the promise of his career and in the company of much better friends who would not be using him and taking advantage of him.
Because Yuuri had. He had gotten used to Victor’s indulgence and seeming affection for him that he’s taken too much. He needed Victor and had asked Victor an unreasonable request that he’s already once talked himself out of just because he didn’t get what he wanted.
A gold medal.
He still needs Victor.
But more than that, he loves Victor.
He’s always loved Victor. When he was young, he’d looked up to him, watched his every performance, and felt his heart rise and fall with every victory and every controversy. He’s always had his eyes on him even when he’d become a professional figure skater himself. As he got closer, seeing him from the stands while he watched the senior division and from the side of the rink when Victor cheered for Yurio, all he’s ever felt was love for what the man has done and for what he is.
He’s always been Yuuri’s ideal, and as such, he knew he would never have him.
Before Victor came to him, Yuuri never once thought he’d approach him, at least not while he’s still with his proper senses. That’s why it was such an ordeal for him when the world-famous skater came and introduced himself as his new coach and even more of a surprise when he learned what he did drunk at the last after-party.
But perhaps what shocks him most is how in the end, no matter what he’d thought about it, he came even more closer to the man until he’s been coached and he’s been taught that he can be friends with a man as great as Victor Nikiforov.
Yuuri’s come so close and while he’s declared his love for the man to the world, he’s never thought of declaring it to the man himself. Even when sometimes he felt as if maybe there is a chance. Even when he’s done everything except that.
Now Victor’s gone without even a goodbye.
It’s too late now, so he pushes himself away from the comfort he might not deserve and excuses himself from his mother’s concerned calling of his name and walks back the hallways that now seem longer, much more quiet.
Even Maccachin’s gone, he realizes when nothing bumps his legs as he went, because of course he’s Victor’s dog and never has been Yuuri’s…
Shakily, he opens the door back to his room and lies down on the bed, the soles of his feet feeling rough against the smoothness of the clean sheets because he’d forgotten his slippers in the kitchen when he stood up in haste and walked all the way back here barefoot.
The tears don’t stop falling from him eyes even as he closes them and the pillow feels wet when he turns his head to burrow into its softness.
He falls asleep.
He doesn’t know how long he’s slept but as wakefulness drags him from the blackness of a deep sleep, he feels soft flutters that land on his cheekbones, his nose, beside his mouth.
In the end, it is the sound of someone’s voice that makes sense first in a way that doesn’t make sense.
Because it’s Victor’s deep voice sounding urgent and a little scared as it calls his name in-between the flutterings.
He lets out a soft sob and furiously fights the clinging drowsiness because he needs to see this, to know that the man really was there with him.
When he finally opens heavy, wet eyes, he sees Victor hovering close above him, warm hands cradling his face and thumbs brushing his hair away from his face.
“Finally!” Victor exclaims and Yuuri has to close his eyes as Victor kisses the lids of them.
He realizes that Victor had been kissing his face all this while and he would blush but he could not feel any embarrassment when he’s still crying, although this time, from the sheer joy of seeing the man before him. He would call his name but his throat is tight and all that comes out are gasps and soft whining sounds every time he tries.
Victor shushes him with a small smile. “You’re awake. It’s okay. It’s okay.”
Yuuri knows that Victor’s truly shaken when his reassurances get a mix from his native tongue, his words rambling into a long line of calming sounds that has Yuuri finally breathing long and deep and proper.
It takes a few moments, but when Yuuri finally feels more like himself, he gives a shaky smile and whispers that’s he’s okay. He’s okay now.
Still, he pulls hards so that Victor lands with an ‘oof’ on top of him and he nuzzles the man’s long neck, smelling the subtle sweetness of his skin and the clean smell of his hair. “Victor…” he whispers.
Victor settles himself against him and whispers back. “Yuuri…?”
“Please don’t go,” Yuuri chokes and he feels like maybe he’s not okay after all as his chest heaves unsurely. He’s being selfish again, he knows that. He’s taking advantage again and it’s worse because he’s crying and he knows Victor can’t say no to him. Not right now. Perhaps he’ll even lie but Yuuri has to hear…
“Hey...Shh...I’m here... I won’t go, I promise,” Victor says and he’s kissing Yuuri again on wherever he could reach, his hands grasping tightly on Yuuri’s upper arms like he’s the one holding for dear life and not the other way around as Yuuri grasps just as tightly at his back.
Yuuri breathes and breathes as much as he can until he feels as much as he hears Victor humming a little desperate song to bring him back. He makes a decision.
Another selfish one that makes his heart clench and his eyes water still.
“Victor…” he speaks shakily. “Victor...I’m sorry…I--”
Victor immediately tries to reassure him but Yuuri is not yet done. He pushes Victor slightly just so he can smile uncertainly at the handsome face with its blue eyes framed by brows bunched up in concern, its sharp angles striking and its pink mouth inviting even with the small frown. He hesitates because of all the reasons why he always does--because he might be too full of himself, too assuming, and maybe he’s reading this wrong because there is a reason why he’d never planned this--because the man is Victor Nikiforov.
But...as Victor kisses the tip of his nose, he resolves himself because whether or not Victor stays, the man has to know.
“I love you,” he breathes.
Victor pauses over him, centimeters away, his eyes wide and his cheeks suddenly warm with color. Yuuri waits for him, waits for him to move, until Victor is closer, closer, closer until he’s there and both of their eyes are closed and their lips are locked and when Yuuri presses his together, he can feel the softness of Victor’s in between them, a little damp.
Yuuri hadn’t stopped crying.
When Victor pushes up, his arms bracketing Yuuri’s head and his silver hair sticking awkwardly to where sweat has formed on his face, he’s chuckling softly. Yuuri thinks he’s beautiful.
“You know…,” Victor starts in a quiet but fond voice. “Whatever you dreamed about, even if it’s not true because I won’t leave you ever ,” he makes sure to emphasize, “I’m kind of glad it happened if it made you say you love me.”
Yuuri grins while Victor fusses over him, telling him to stop crying as he wipes at his eyes and fixes his dark hair behind his ears even though it’s useless since he’s still lying down. “I do…,” Yuuri says because he’s already said it once and now he feels like saying it always that it’s ridiculous.
Victor leans down and kisses Yuuri’s lips softly again like he can’t help it. “And I love you too.”
The morning has just begun and Yuuri can hear the goings-on of the inn. He thinks he can spend a bit more time on the bed before he stands up even if he won’t sleep again because somehow he feels tired and invigorated at the same time.
Victor is having none of it.
When Yuuri turns, he’s already at the side of the bed, stretching his arms up and taking his yukata off. Yuuri immediately sits up gulps nervously before he realizes that Victor’s heading to the bathroom to shower.
“Come on Yuuri!” Victor calls just as he’s crossing the threshold. “I feel like skating my heart out today!”
Yuuri flops back down the bed, and thinks that of course, it always comes back to that because that’s what they’ve always been about. Love and ice. With a grin on his face, he replies.