This started out as a tumblr post. Then I expanded on it because I had too many feelings. I published this to AO3 a while ago and forgot to upload it here.
If somebody had told Victor, before this evening had started, that it would end with a lithe, cute Japanese man snuggling into him whilst falling asleep, he would have probably teased about how it was an ideal end to an evening.
Of course, he would have assumed that it would have come after an exciting night involving more bedsprings and even more skin than he was currently experiencing. Instead, his heart was pounding inside his chest from a vicious and confusing reaction to bright, happy eyes and an open smile and an utterly surprising stilted request to 'Be my Coach!'.
It was a little less exciting that Katsuki Yuri was falling asleep on him in the middle of a ballroom, surrounded by a mixture of amused and disapproving peers. Not even looking down at impressively sculpted, naked thighs could make up for the glare he could see Yakov sending his way or the muttered insults he could hear from Yura, behind him.
'Damn, I was sure I would have beaten him on the pole.'
Chris, however, was obviously taking the entire situation in his stride, which wasn't a surprise since he was the sort of person who travelled with a portable stripper pole that he could gather from his room for impromptu dance battles. But at least he would probably be more helpful than anyone else nearby.
'Do you know who he came with? We should probably get him taken care of.' He tried to remember who was coaching the Japanese skater but he couldn't even remember the routines he had skated. He'd spent most of his time, during the final, napping in the back rooms and he hadn't really interacted with anyone other than Chris, as they passed each other on and off the ice. He was beginning to regret not spending more time around his fellow competitors, both because he had no idea who he could safely hand Yuri over to and also because he couldn't help but wince at the memory of casually insulting the man currently cuddled into him by asking if he wanted a commemorative photo as if he were a fan and not a fellow athlete.
'He's with Celestino, the Italian coach with the long hair,' Victor could vaguely picture him but he hadn't really interacted with the man before, 'But I'm pretty sure I saw him leave early on.'
'He did,' Victor looked away from Chris to see a cheerful teen, proudly holding a pair of trousers like a banner. 'He answered a phone call and left not long after they got here.'
'Wow, Emil,' Chris greeted the man and Victor vaguely remembered him as a Czech skater who had not made it to the final but had obviously come as a spectator, 'You rescued his trousers! You're a braver man than me!'
Victor remembered that the last time Yuri had shed his trousers they had been thrown onto a table of older women who had (barring a couple of ladies who had smiled behind their champagne glasses and pretended not to be looking) tutted disdainfully at the entire scandal and pointedly turned away.
He watched as the younger man knelt down and casually pulled Yuri's legs back into his trousers and pulled them up. He spotted Chris looking a little disappointed that Yuri's legs were covered once more and he could definitely understand the loss. Yuri, however, allowed his calves to be manhandled and simply rubbed his face into Victor's jacket, hands clutching, still, to the fabric at his back.
He realised that his own hand had come to be resting on the small of Yuri's back when Emil nudged Yuri away from Victor's front to do the fastenings of his trousers up.
'You do that often, Emil?' He heard Chris tease, as Yuri brushed off the hands, already finished with their task, in order to turn back into Victor's side, tucked under the arm that was still resting around him.
'I have an Uncle who is an even worse drunk than this guy. Not the first time I've had to rescue articles of clothing.' He winced a little, 'Trousers are a lot better that some scenarios I've dealt with.'
Victor shared a snort of amusement with Chris and Emil before Emil flitted off towards the Italian Skating twins, handing over a phone and keycard before he left. Victor assumed they had fallen out of Yuri's trouser pockets.
Chris took the phone and powered up the screen, only to turn it back to him with a notification showing above a locked keypad. 'Have had to return to Detroit early, Sam has hurt himself in practice. Don't worry he's fine but…' The rest of the notification was cut off by the limited space on the lock screen but Celestino's name was clear above the text and the coach was obviously not in a position to take Yuri off his hands.
'Is there a room number on that card?' Chris asked, tucking the phone into his own trouser pockets. Victor flipped open the folded cardstock, the plastic key card tucked into the cut slits, and was pleased to see the room number neatly printed inside.
Chris leaned over to see the number for himself, and started to slip his shirt back on over his arms.
'Come on, we should make sure he gets back up to his room safely.' Chris slipped the card out of his fingers, and turned towards the exit of the ballroom, leaving Victor to coax the sleepy man tucked into him to move with him so they could follow.
He saw Mila walk over to him, looking down at Yuri in concern before looking back up at Victor.
'Is he okay? He seems pretty wrecked.' Mila looked over to where Chris had stopped by the exit, waiting for Victor and Yuri to catch up.
'Yeah, we'll get him up to his room and get him into bed. Make sure he isn't going to throw up.' Mila's stare didn't leave him and he wondered why she didn't seem satisfied with his answer for a moment before he watched her eyes flick down to where his hand was resting on Yuri's hip, tugging him along slightly, and Yuri's hands grasping at him, one hand having slipped inside his jacket to clutch at his waistcoat. Abruptly he realised where her concern lay. 'Don't worry, neither me or Chris will let anyone take advantage of him in this state.' Pointedly not putting her direct implication into words.
He appreciated that she was looking out for Yuri, even if he felt a little insulted that she would think to question him like that. She didn't know Chris like he did, flirtations and outgoing sexuality often confusing the fact that he was remarkably conscientious in his pursuits, so she didn't know that Chris would be the first person to kick someone's ass for taking advantage of a drunk person. But he would have liked to have thought that she believed him to be a better man than that.
But she looked satisfied with his answer and he realised that her trust wasn't all that misplaced when she stepped aside, waving him off with a remark that she was going to go and calm Yakov down.
The brief stop hadn't helped him with Yuri, however, who had slumped down against him and seemed reluctant to move. He shook Yuri's shoulder slightly, causing him to crack his eyes open and look, bewilderedly, up. His face was relaxed, and he looked at Victor with utter trust, waiting to see what Victor wanted. He swore his heart skipped a beat.
'Come on, Yuri, we need to get you to bed.' He managed to coax Yuri out of the door and into the corridor, Chris a few steps ahead, before Yuri seemed to register his words.
He was utterly unprepared when Yuri seemed to come alive and pushed him back against the wall, thankfully now out of sight of everyone except Chris.
'Hmm...bed sounds nice…' The English was slurred, alcohol and tiredness making the words barely recognisable, but the hand that was resting flat against his abdomen, low enough that he could feel his stomach swooping, and the hand that had reached up to brush into the hair at the back of his head and tug down, slightly, made the meaning so very much clear.
His words to Mira all of a sudden seemed very long ago because his blood was pounding and, god, Yuri really was beautiful and they had danced together so very nicely and, really, his mouth looked so tempting when it was this close and drawing him nearer…
The sour smell of alcohol on Yuri's warm breath as it brushed over his lips coincided with Chris pulling Yuri back away from where he had trapped Victor against the wall, and his head had snapped up even before Yuri's hand slipped out from his hair.
The swear word slipped out of him and Chris looked over, torn between surprise, amusement and disapproval, as he slung one of Yuri's arms over his shoulder and nodded his head in the direction of Yuri's free arm.
'Perhaps we should work quicker to get the little Casanova to sleep.'
He helped Chris wrangle Yuri into the elevator, shame at his brief loss of reasoning, flooding his thoughts as he pushed the button for Yuri's floor. Yuri had, once again, slumped down in a light doze, most of his weight sagging between himself and Chris, and Victor was grateful that the little fire of passion that had awoken Yuri had slipped back down behind a need for sleep.
He couldn't resist looking down at Yuri, eyes tracing his features and wandering down, further, to where his loose shirt was revealing tempting glimpses of soft skin and compact muscles. He wrenched his eyes away, again, when he heard Chris clear his throat.
'Look, Victor, I think this guy is hot, too. And if he was sober I would definitely be working on getting his eyes off of you and onto me.' Victor was pretty sure, from the smug look on Chris' face, that he was glaring at him. 'But no matter how much he flutters his eyelashes at you…'
Victor cut him off. 'I know. I wouldn't.' He sighed a little, as the elevator doors opened on Yuri's floor. 'Come on, let's go.'
Even with Yuri now a dead weight between them, the path to Yuri's room was easy and they had him through the door and resting on top of the covered bed before they knew it. Chris knelt down to slip Yuri's shoes off and Victor tore himself away from the sight of Yuri, relaxed haphazardly on top of the bed covers, legs dangling over the edge, in order to grab a glass of water from the bathroom. On the way back he spotted the open suitcase Yuri must use for his skating gear, skates oiled and drying on a cloth nearby, and noticed a bottle of paracetamol resting inside. He shook a couple pills out and walked back over to the bed, depositing the water and pills on the bedside cabinet.
Chris had swung Yuri's legs onto the bed and seemed to be struggling to get the covers out from under him, so Victor manoeuvred Yuri slightly to make Chris' job easier. He carefully ignored the way Yuri curled towards him when he touched him and placed him back down on the bed as quickly and carefully as he could and watched as Chris pulled the covers into place.
'You think we need to get a waste basket for him?' Chris looked down at Yuri with concern, and Victor forced his eyes away from the way Yuri's hands had started to curl into the pillow in order to check his pallor. Yuri's skin looked warm but with no sign of sweat or distress that indicated he was feeling unwell.
'We can do, but it doesn't look like he's going to be ill.' He recalled the excessive strain Yuri had put on his body as he'd danced his way around the ballroom far below them. 'I'm pretty sure he would have been sick by now if that was the case.'
Chris nodded his agreement and placed the key card and Yuri's phone onto the other bedside table, obviously getting ready to leave Yuri to his rest. Victor looked down and saw that the tie that had been wrapped around Yuri's head was now gone but his glasses were still in place. He reached down and carefully slipped them off, ignoring the feel of Yuri's fringe against his fingers that left a tingling sensation. He folded the glasses and placed them near the water, noticing a pen and pad nearby.
'Victor, you ready?' Chris was looking over at him, eyebrow raised and looking at him a little strangely, like Victor was confusing him. He wasn't alone, Victor was confusing himself.
'Yeah, I just…' He cut himself off as he looked back at the pen and pad and thought 'fuck it' and pulled them towards him so he could jot down a message.
He printed his phone number in neat, careful writing, making sure that it was perfectly legible. Then he added 'Call me, Victor' followed by four little hearts that he regretted doodling as soon as he had done it. But, still, he tore the top sheet off and placed it on top of Yuri's glasses, hoping it would be the first thing he reached for in the morning.
Chris' eyebrow looked like it was trying to leave his face and Victor swiftly walked ahead of him towards the door so that he didn't have to see the surprised look being thrown his way. It didn't stop him from hearing the soft, low whistle and he could feel a blush, a sensation he hadn't really experienced in a long time, prior to this evening, settle on his cheeks.
He heard, rather than saw, Chris close the door behind them, and Victor was both relieved that he was now cut off from temptation and disappointed that all of the strange feelings that Yuri had dragged up out of him were now trapped on this side of the door with him instead of safely locked away.
'Perhaps you should call it a night, too,' Chris suggested, voice teasing and full of suggestion, 'I would offer to join you but I don't think it would be welcome right now.'
He looked over at his friend and tried to imagine how easy it would be to lose himself in a casual night with no strings attached other than a friendly affection and mutual relief. But all he could think of was soft brown eyes and a hand cradling the side of his face as he was dipped down towards the floor and the way he and Yuri had smiled at each other as they circled each other on the dance floor and, no, the offer was not what he wanted right now.
'I have an early flight tomorrow,' he covered the rejection with a white lie, and wasn't surprised when Chris didn't look offended in the slightest, 'I'll message you when I get a chance to watch your free skate video and let you know what I think.'
Chris waved at him and sauntered off, further down the corridor and, presumably, to his own room and Victor looked at the closed door beside him for a brief, longing moment, before making his way back towards the elevator to head to his own floor.
As he leaned back against the wall, watching the numbers tick along, he couldn't help but think of Yuri cheerfully throwing out the words 'Be my Coach' and wondered if it wasn't all that ridiculous an idea.
When Yuri awoke the next morning, he fumbled around aimlessly for his glasses, completely missing the piece of paper that fell to the floor as he grabbed at them.
He couldn't remember much from the night before and couldn't even remember how he'd gotten from the banquet and back to bed. But he noted the glass of water on the table and the tablets resting nearby, so maybe he'd felt unwell and came back early? His head certainly felt a little rough, so he swallowed the tablets and water down before searching around for his phone.
He noted Celestino's message and spared a brief thought for his rinkmate before he opened his phone to see several notifications and alerts. The disappointment from the previous few days seized hold of him and he couldn't bear to see messages of consolation or encouragement right now. So he swiped all of the notifications away before he could even look at them.
His flight was close to midday, but he didn't want to stay in this hotel any longer, where he might be forced to look into the eyes of all of the competitors who he'd shamed by sharing the rink with. He would get packed up and leave for the airport as soon as he could, before anyone rose and tried to be kind and invite him to breakfast or something. Sara Crispino had tried talking to him and Celestino, the night before, and he'd barely been able to sputter out two words of polite response before he'd want to run in the opposite direction. Fortunately her brother had seemed even less interested in having her talk to him and had guided her away.
He vaguely remembered, briefly, Victor Nikiforov's eyes following him around the room and he wondered if he had left early to avoid the man making polite condolances.
He brushed the thought aside and got out of bed, ready to get out of the room and out of Russia.
The note lay untouched and unnoticed on the floor.
Notes: Holy shit...episode 10 changed everything!
Much discussion has been had over how this changes the perspective of many things that came prior. The main things dealt with in this fic is the fact that Victor fell for Yuri four months prior to showing up in Hasetsu and that Chris wasn't being a creepy mccreepster when he grabbed Yuri's ass in China (they were Pole Dance buddies! Sorry for doubting you, Chris. I've now decided you are the ultimate bro to Victor and Yuri). (Also, Emil is totally the sort of friendly and cheerful sweetheart who wouldn't bat an eyelid a redressing the crazy drunken guy who had thrown his clothes around the room.)
I'm sure many fans have been waggling their eyebrows at what else Yuri could have gotten up to when drunk. My brain instantly shut that thought down because, no, he would have been way too drunk to consent. Victor and Chris and Mila all agreed. Yuri himself didn't but he was too drunk to argue effectively.
The title refers to how, prior to this episode, everything was ever so slightly out of place where we were missing that tiny piece of information about what had happened in December. And also the note with Victor's number. Which Victor probably spent two weeks whining to Chris about. 'WHY HASN'T HE CALLED ME? DO YOU THINK THE HEARTS WERE TOO MUCH? DID HE HATE MY DANCING?'
(FYI, I use Yuri for Katsuki Yuri/Yuuri because this is how he spells it himself in the show. I had Victor refer to Yuri Plisetsky in this fic as Yura because it's a common diminutive and I can imagine that, prior to him adopting the name 'Yurio', he would have thought of him as Yura even if he called him Yuri to his face...plus it distinguished the two Yuris in the scene!)