.

.

It's about finding peace again.

Well… Emil tries to sell the idea to him.

Peace lacks presence in Michele's life recently, with him and Sara having another serious, bellowing argument — over what ridiculous and overprotective thing Michele has done according to his twin, Emil doesn't have the faintest — so here both men are, steadily getting farther away from Italy.

(He considered taking Michele to Prague, through the colorful baroque structures and galleries and exhibition halls, getting pleasantly drunk with staropramen beer and roast pork on their impromptu tour, and… …)

It's better to focus on what Michele needs.

Emil researches — more like Googles on his mobile before scheduling a flight — what is the most peaceful spot to visit, and on the lists, the Netherlands catches his eye. An idyllic village with no roads or cars, using waterways and canals for travel, surrounded by thatched-roof, quaint farmhouses.

"Reminds you of Venice, doesn't it?" Emil speaks up, brightly grinning as Michele shrugs his shoulders and grumbles. They're already seated comfortably in the 'whisper' boat powered by a noiseless engine.

B & B De Galeriet has been accommodating to their request of a double-spaced arrangement, but separate bedrooms. The wifi decent enough and the breakfast oats piping-hot and sewn in red berries and blackberries.

Michele hasn't complained so far. That's good news.

"Do you want to head to the Steenwijk centre, or the national park, or Keukenhof?" Emil asks. He leans back in his seat, arms folding behind his neck and stares, grinning again at the other man as they cruise effortlessly under another massive, wooden bridge-arch, the sparkling waters rippling.

"… What's in Keukenhof?"

"Flowers," Emil tells him, chuckling as Michele's lips twitch, not quite a smile or frown. "Lots of flowers. Seven million flowers to look at."

A slight eye-narrow.

It's… unreal at times how magnificently bright and violet Michele's eyes get. Less dark when he's not angry. This time, they're prismatic and wide-open.

"This is beginning to sound like a date," he mutters, but Emil catches the twitch forming into an amused smirk. Michele's nose scrunches as he glances down, and it's adorable and copper-colored brown, and Emil thinks every part of him is that way… and if he could, he would kiss him to prove it…

The peace breaks, as shouting erupts from the nearby wooden arch.

A tall, potbellied man in a black ski-mask waves a gun high in the air. He tugs on an older woman's purse, ripping it out of her hands.

Emil goes silent, his limbs seemingly frozen in place as the scene registers. But — Michele — he quickly climbs to his feet with an outraged expression, rocking the boat. The yellowed morning-light frames it all, obscures Emil's vision as the thief roars out a command in another language and points his gun.

The next thing he hears is the bang! like thunder echoing on and on. A fleshy impact. The woman's shrieks. Emil's hearing picks out a loud, sudden splash and he's alone.

Alone…?

Michele fell.

He has no idea if the gunman has retreated, but Emil snaps violently out of his daze. The bitter-cold rush of fear floods his stomach. Nausea slicking his throat. "Michele!" Emil screams out, peering over the side of their boat. No bubbles, no signs of life. "Michele! Mickey!"

There's more voices and shrieks in the distance, growing near.

Emil thrusts off his two-tone zipup, balling it up and leaping into the canal. It's only a metre deep and thankfully so, because he discovers Michele easily.

Blood clouds around the other man, leaking from a wound on his left shoulder. Emil heaves him back onto shore, turning Michele sideways, pounding on his back until the other man's body heaves, choking for air, becoming conscious. "You're alright, shh," Emil whispers, dripping wet above him.

He presses down on the bullet-wound with a naked hand, flinching too as Michele chokes again, gasping raggedly from the shock of pain.

Michele's glistening skin feels cool, but his blood is gushing and warm, so warm like the sun-heated grass under Emil's knees. Maybe not as warm than the prickle of tears in Emil's dark blue eyes.

"Don't shh me, asshole."

At the sound of Michele's slurring words, he chuckles and trembles and grins until Emil's mouth feels stretched too-thin.

"Does that mean 'no' to the date, Mickey?" he murmurs, blinking.

Michele's thumb hovers over his cheek, wiping off the new line of moisture.

"We'll go… see your damn flowers," he murmurs back, not smiling but Emil already senses the humor. An urge to sob out, or maybe to laugh, it builds unstoppable in Emil's chest — unreleased as the paramedics whisk Michele from the shore, airlifted to a long, gruesome surgery in Nijeveen.

Emil cooperates with the authorities at the hospital, discovering that — soon after running, the gun-wielding thief had been tackled and disarmed by two local men.

He's 'going away to prison for a long time' supposedly.

To his immense relief, Michele doesn't ask about Lisse and all of its perfumes and gardens in Keukenhof. As soon as he's recovered, Emile orders two plane tickets and leads them home — his home. The streets in Prague are crowded and noisier than ever, smelling like cigar smoke, even up this high.

"No flowers?" Michele asks, eyeing the blues in the skyline melting to pinks and oranges, from the apartment's rooftop. Emil watches him cradle his bandages underneath his jacket, his heart wrenching at the memory.

It's been three weeks, but…

"Just this one," he announces, holding out a single, dewy red rose.

Michele gazes over to him, and then frowns thoughtfully, staring up with raised eyebrows. Emil loosens up his posture, exaggerating a wink.

A snort. Michele's copper-brown fingers pluck up the rose, without inspection or skepticism.

"… You're an idiot."

"I know," Emil says teasingly. He presses into him and whines as Michele groans and shoves a hand into Emil's face, preventing him from a kiss. "Mickeeeeeeeeeeeey!"

.

.


Yuri on Ice isn't mine. It's Emil's birthday! I wasn't sure what I was gonna do but I love him and Michele together so woop here it is. So I'm pretty sure I've filled "Any/Any + rescuing the other!" before... but I've done so many YOI fics now I barely remember what I've done ahaahahaha. Whatever whatever. The more the merrier, right? Any thoughts/comments are very much appreciated! :)