There's been a lot of talk about that.
Yuuri Katsuki understood the world in simpler terms, not so long ago.
He knew death would be less violent and eventual, but controllable. He should have died that night on the glamorous cruise ship, with the emptied, unlabeled pill bottle neatly tucked in his coat pocket, and quietly in his sleep. Not during a catastrophic, white-hot explosion somewhere below deck, among screaming passengers and whimpers and tonnes of cold, murky seawater gushing in and pulling them all down into the nothingness.
Needless to say, drowning had not been planned.
Until — Yuuri suddenly lived. His lungs clearing, filling with stale, underground air. He vomited up his stomach's contents on his hands and knees, harshly between gulps, as others did the same. Their eyes rimmed red and widened open with terror.
The floor pulsed living too, appearing like steel, grey and smoothed, but abnormally warm.
He remembered bubbling, dark water surrounding him and… a crimson glow. Coming from himself. Remembered no longer being trapped, but exposed to an open, damp area with mile-high ceilings patterned in symbols. Nausea rose up once more.
The panels of a steely, illuminated wall in front of him rippled apart, morphing into a huge, unrecognizable face.
Yuuri thinks he's still getting used to teleportation… no, really. Alien teleportation.
(Aliens are real, and he should be dead by now.)
He waits off the faint, spinny vertigo. Yuuri's ears pick up a tinny sound, increasing and blaring louder. Soon enough, the paneled wall lights up, forming into that huge, but pleasant-looking, face. "Hello, Rangers," it — he announces. "This is the Voice Input Kinesthesis Technology: Operating Restoration Rate—"
"It's just me, Viktorr," Yuuri says from the inner steps, holding back his amusement.
The eyes blink, as if processing this.
"Oh," he murmurs. A soft, human-like grin spreads across V.I.K.T.O.R.R's expression. "Hello, Yuuri."
Yuuri doesn't answer. He gazes down pointedly, throat squeezing hard, fingers cradling his jagged, glowing red coin.
V.I.K.T.O.R.R — what's left of humanoid memory placed into an interface — he's the one who summoned them to escape their deaths that night: him, Guang-Hong, Leo, Mila, Sara, and Yurio. In exchange, they learned about their powers and capabilities, and about their mission to face together. Supposedly, V.I.K.T.O.R.R and his old team failed their own missions at a great cost, a very long time ago.
"What's troubling you?"
"Do you really think we can do this?" Yuuri rasps, his dark eyes peeking up. "Be… heroes? Work together?"
"I believe in you, Yuuri. Nothing more, nothing less."
His voice washes over him, heady and rumbling. Yuuri sucks in a deep breath, cheeks flushing hotly. After all of these months training to fight, physically and mentally for the evils coming, and listening to V.I.K.T.O.R.R's advice… it's not possible to have these feelings for a talking WALL, is it?
"None of us have anything in common."
"You're wrong," V.I.K.T.O.R.R insists, his grey, illuminated face shifting left-ways, directly across from Yuuri. "This is your home. Your planet. All of you have something worth fighting for." The solemn, knowing nature behind V.I.K.T.O.R.R's gaze makes the surface of Yuuri's skin heat with embarrassment but also, a genuine anger. "Even you."
"I gave up fighting a long time ago," Yuuri tells him, frowning. "You took that from me."
Without denying it, the humanoid interface tilts his chin a little and examines him, also beginning to frown.
"… It was not your time."
"So this isn't about… getting free for you?" Yuuri raises his eyebrows, almost barking out a laugh when there's a glimpse of disbelief out of V.I.K.T.O.R.R's next look. "Everyone else thinks so. That it's not only about protecting the crystal here and keeping the apocalypse from happening. They think the only thing you want is to get yourself out of the ship."
"Ask me, Yuuri—and I'll answer truthfully," V.I.K.T.O.R.R says without hesitating. Yuuri's cheeks heat up once more.
"As the Red Ranger, you are the leader of this team. I've come to understand my connection with you reaches beyond a mentor. I could never lie to you." Yuuri dips his head as he hears this, scrubbing his face with one palm. Trembling. "Never."
The word leaves Yuuri's lips so easily.
V.I.K.T.O.R.R goes hush. The tinny returns, as the wall's panels slow their ever-constant movement. Yuuri lifts himself from his sitting position on the inner steps, heading towards the entrance-way.
Glancing back, Yuuri tosses a close-lipped smile.
"I already know the answer," he whispers. "It's okay."
The ruins of Mila's and Guang-Hong's zords, with their bodies and helmets, yellow and pink, CRUSHED within. Leo's eyes glazing over, DEADENED, and that's when his brilliantly shining, blue armor de-materializes from existence. Sara, a green speck in the distance, VANISHES into ashes when the crackle of electricity strikes her, muffling out her shrieks. He carries what remains of Yurio across the threshold before realizing he's COLD and MOTIONLESS, unresponsive to any hoarse whispers.
Everyone is gone, dies, and yet, he still is denied it.
Yuuri's face-plate dissolves. Somehow, he manages to keep upright, shuffling and bleeding a path down deep into the ship. His crimson, heavy armor matches the hue of what gushes out of his mouth as Yuuri utters, "We failed."
The floor no longer pulses, but quakes uncontrollably.
"Yuuri… wait… " V.I.K.T.O.R's expression scrunches with shock and fear when Yuuri collapses midway onto the steel-dais, his eyes rolling to the back of his skull, revealing the whites. Blood-gleaming saliva dripping off his lips.
There's an odor like burning wood and linen, wafting thickly into his nostrils. His lips feel dry, peeling apart when he wakes to a nameless cushion, sprawled out on his back. Yuuri smacks his lips unconsciously, audibly, eyelids fluttering.
A man hovers over him — around Yuuri's age, maybe a little older, with strands of long, platinum-colored hair framing him.
"Thank goodness," he breathes out. "Oh, Yuuri…"
Hands. Hands tracing over the shape of Yuuri's face, thumbing over his cheekbones.
The shape of the man's pleasant face and his eyes… the tone of his rumbling voice…
"Viktorr?" Yuuri mumbles out, bewildered. He has the strength to get up, no longer bleeding copiously, but remains lying down, peering out a window. The clouds are too-thin streaks, blending a dark violet haze against an amber-golden sky. The grass swaying and a rich turquoise color, poking out in bushels from grains of sand covering a nearby road.
"Where is… this?"
"A memory," Viktorr says, his pale lips quirking. "The place I once called home."
A pair of luminously blue eyes dart over him, as if appearing guilty. "I took death from you a second time," Viktorr explains, brows furrowed, combing Yuuri's sweat-sticky, black bangs off his forehead. "I am selfish, Yuuri. They were right. Forgive me."
The gentle motion soars a new warmth into Yuuri's chest.
"S'alright," he whispers, leaning into the tips of Viktorr's lips brushing his mouth. "Think… I already knew that."
(Everything ends at some point, won't it?)
Real or not, Yuuri means to revel in this — pulling Viktorr in, dragging their bodies together until it aches him, sucking and nibbling kisses, touching every metre of exposed, soft flesh on Viktor's collar and throat, and the peek of his abdomen.
It's gone, as much as they are.
Yuri on Ice isn't mine. LET ME TELL YOU. THIS IS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED TO DO FOR MY 500TH FIC, AHAHAHA. But I love two things in life about writing fanfiction: Disappointing people and breaking expectations. When I can do both, it's a good day. (I'm lying about disappointing people omg I like disappointing haters and antis only. Like when I live my life doing whatever I want regardless of the whining bc I learned they hate that. GOOD. STAY MAD.)
Anywhoozles, y'all voted for Viktor/Yuuri in YOI by a huge margin and we're all not surprised and it's great! This is a more unusual take of an AU, by making it a Power Rangers reboot crossover and touching on darker and more personal themes to me, but this is also MY fic and what I wanted to take away from it.
I hope whoever ended up checking this out enjoyed number 500... WOW, it's really happened. I'm here. You are here. We are here to see this. Never in my life did I think I would reach this point in my life or live long enough to see it TBH. Wowowowow. Um... yeah, this is pretty much amazing. I'm still writing more fic and got plenty more to get up, but I wanna thank every single person who has contacted me or reviewed bc you have impacted my life. You really have.