Phew, it's been a while since I last used this site!
Yuri glances around him in the crowded room, searching for a familiar face. He doesn't really care who, he'd take even Katsudon right now. He'd prefer Otabek, sure, but in the middle of unfamiliar reporters and photographers the only thing he needs is an excuse to get away without the reporters following him. Because they will follow him because this is Russia and the media loves him about as much as he hates it.
He sees Mila chatting with some dude with a microphone, Viktor on the other side of the room and the Swiss pervert flirting at a camera. There's a young-looking female reporter eyeing Yuri like she's gonna come talk to him any second and at least three more who, to him at least, look exactly like they're preying on him. So he leans back against the wall and tries to ignore the fact that his palms are sweating and he feels like shit and he's actually terrified that he's going to puke in front of a roomful reporters. His heart is hammering against his ribs.
Yuri crosses his fingers inside of his pockets and prays that he can hold on until the end of the press conference and that no people will come to talk to him anymore. He's already given three interviews with the same questions he's been asked every single time since he made his senior debut and answered some odd ones from a few reporters asking random questions from every skater, coach and manager in the building. The variety of papers and magazines represented is ridiculous.
A tap on his shoulder startles him from his thoughts and he nearly jumps. Otabek is standing next to him with a concerned expression on his face and his finger above Yuri's shoulder just about to tap again as Yuri turns his head.
"Are you okay?" Otabek asks after briefly greeting him with a curt nod. Yuri returns the gesture, just a small, sharp movement of his head which at this point, he notices, is starting to first of all hurt and second of all feel kind of dizzy.
"Peachy," he grumbles as Otabek settles next to him against the wall, assuming approximately the same position. Yuri turns his gaze to the tips of his shoes while Otabek cranes his neck upwards and stuffs his hands into his pockets.
Yuri looks pale, even paler than usual from where Otabek is standing. He's curling in on himself just a little bit, shoulders hunching along with his back. It's a complete opposite of the way Yuri otherwise carries himself, back straight and shoulders in line, and the pallor of his skin worries Otabek. But there's really nothing he can do if Yuri insists on being stubborn, so he just has to wait.
It takes a surprisingly short time for Yuri to give up, but maybe that's just a testament to how bad he feels.
"I feel like shit," Yuri whispers, still facing the floor.
"Look like it, too." Yuri ignores this.
"They're gonna follow me outside." He states this almost like a fact, but there's also a plea for Otabek to do something about it. He's feeling worse by the minute, although he still doesn't really want to admit it, and his stomach is really starting to hurt now. A soft belch bubbles up his throat and he does his best to stifle it, but Otabek notices anyway. He finally turns his eyes back to his friend.
Yuri's light hair color doesn't usually look very different from his fair, northern skin tone, but at this moment his skin is quickly going ashen and his hair looks, in contrast, nearly yellow. He swallows thickly and pales even further.
Otabek pushes himself up and nudges Yuri's arm for him to do the same. It's becoming increasingly clear that he needs to get the younger boy out of the room, the quicker the better. He secures his arm tightly on Yuri's shoulder, giving him the slightest push forward but Yuri is, thankfully, moving on his own. On their way out of the door Otabek gives a look to a few reporters who look like they're about to follow them, just like Yuri said.
Yuri is so grateful for Otabek getting him out of the room. He's still hoping he'll feel better when he gets somewhere where he can breathe better, but he's quickly proven wrong as another burp bubbles up his throat and he tastes bile. He's feeling more and more nauseous now, and the churning in his stomach is getting alarming. Thankfully Otabek is steering him right towards the bathroom.
By the time they reach the blessedly empty bathroom, Yuri has his hand in a fist pressing his lips and his legs are shaking. His hands are shaking. His whole body is shaking and he feels himself break out in cold sweat. His t-shirt is sticking to his back and shoulders under his jacket and Otabek's hand is still on his shoulder, hot and pressuring. He's hot and he's freezing and he's sweating and he wants it to stop.
Yuri feels his stomach turn and suddenly something is crawling up his throat. He shakes Otabek's hand off his shoulder with all the quick desperation of a sick person and bolts for a open stall. His head is spinning, or maybe it's the room and not his head and he's actually fine and everything is because of his surroundings. It's an almost comforting chain of thoughts he doesn't get to end because he needs to open the toilet lid before he pukes all over it.
A belch turns into a retch and brings up strings of foul-tasting saliva. Strands of long, blonde hair hang around his face, limp and lifeless and very much in danger of getting covered in vomit because his hands are too busy clutching his turning rolling churning aching pit of a stomach to do anything about his hair. In his misery Yuri almost doesn't notice as Otabek gently gathers his locks into a loose ponytail with a rubber band he probably just found from the bottom of his pocket.
Yuri retches again, still getting nothing but saliva, but then again it's not like he's had much to eat today anyway. Finally though, his stomach seems to decide on getting rid of its contents and Yuri heaves,this time bringing up a surge of undigested breakfast that both looks and smells so disgusting he gags again, bringing up another wave of vomit. Very little and mostly liquids and stomach acid that burns his throat, but his body is determined to keep turning itself inside out.
Otabek runs a soothing hand along Yuri's spine as the younger skater continues dry heaving into the toilet bowl. Yuri is shaking like a leaf under his touch and Otabek might be getting a little worried about his friend. He says nothing, though, not until Yuri is finished.
"Are you done?" Otabek asks when the dry heaving finally ends. Yuri rests his head on the wall of the stall and gives a vague grunt that could mean literally anything, but he's not moving back to the toilet bowl so Otabek reaches to flush. Then he pushes himself up and offers Yuri a hand.
"How about we get you cleaned up?"
Reluctantly, Yuri takes Otabek's extended hand and raises to shaky legs. He doesn't know how he manages to walk to the sink (with Otabek's generous help, that's how), but the water on his clammy face feels heavenly and getting rid of the disgusting taste in his mouth makes him a little less reluctant to speak, although his voice is rough and raspy.
"Uh, thanks," he mumbles, averting his eyes. He still doesn't feel good, exactly; he's cold, his head is swimming and his stomach still feels upset. He has no desire to go back.
"It's nothing, really," Otabek answers with a crooked smile. "Are you gonna be okay? Do you need anything?" he then asks, voice getting a concerned tone. Yuri doesn't look much better than he did before. Otabek takes a step closer and puts his hand on Yuri's forehead.
"Don't feel too good," Yuri murmurs, leaning into the touch. "Think I might've caught something."
"I think you might be right. You've got a fever."
"Do you want me to go get someone? I think I saw your coach earlier." They should get Yuri somewhere to rest, Otabek thinks, and Yakov is probably the best bet.
"I came with him. Could you?" Yuri raises his head to look at Otabek, and there's something akin to relief in his eyes.
"Sure I could. Just hang on."
Otabek disappears through the door and all Yuri can think about is how much he wants to go home. He wants to go home and see his grandpa, but they're nowhere near Moscow. Yakov is the second best option, but right now, sick on the wrong side of Russia, he misses his grandpa more than anything.
He doesn't know how long he waits, leaning on the sink and and staring at nothing with glassy eyes, until the door opens again and in walks Yakov with none other than Viktor Nikiforov in tow and followed by Otabek.
Yakov walks straight to Yuri and lifts his chin up, other hand going for his forehead first and then moving to his cheeks and neck to confirm the obvious fever. He frowns and sighs and shakes his head and Yuri is so past caring about what Yakov thinks. He's starting to feel lightheaded on top of everything else and he just wants to go to sleep.
"Otabek here told me that you were sick," Yakov starts, as if it wasn't obvious already. "I didn't expect it to be this bad, though. I'm gonna take you back to the hotel, okay?" Yuri barely nods in response. Then, belatedly, he realizes something and raises his head.
"What's he doing here?" he asks, gesturing at Viktor. Talking is starting to feel like a chore. Thinking is starting to feel like a chore.
"I was worried!" Viktor pipes, voice way too cheerful for Yuri's taste.
"And now you can stop being worried, he's alive," Yakov retorts. "Now, Yuri, let's get you back to the hotel."