.

.

The arena is blistery cold, but somehow it's too stuffy. Yuuri's collar drenches in perspiration.

It is going to be one of those I don't wanna be around people I don't know days of the week. Yuuri can feel it happening already.

"Hm, I'm gonna check on Yurio," he tells Viktor.

When Yuuri frowns thoughtfully and squeezes their hands, Viktor kisses his cheek, the sensation of his lips warm and featherlight.

"Go on, hurry," Viktor says in a low voice, winking. There's no real hurry to do anything on their free day, besides enjoy the local ice rink. But he doesn't bother asking what Viktor means. Yuuri steps outside the double, glass entrance-doors, shivering a little, pulling his crocheted, wine-colored scarf against his mouth and nose.

Not far off, Yuri grumbles loudly over his cellphone, taking a puff of his cigarette.

"This is fucking unbelievable." He glances up at Yuuri, thrusting out his phone and scowling. "Do you see this? I'm so tired of this crap."

Yuuri examines the Instagram photo and its caption, and the first few comments of it.

"Your exhibition skate?" he asks. Yuuri vaguely remembers black leather and smoky, smudged eyeshadow and glitter. "What about it…?"

"They said it was too revealing!" When his companion only stares in bemusement, Yuri's scowl deepens. "That was the goddamn point!" Yuri cries out, clamping his teeth down around his cigarette. He takes another long, frustrated drag. "It was about me and trying to express myself during my skate—NOT them and how they're blowing this shit out of proportion. I don't need anyone to defend me on my behalf, or treat me like a child, because it's STUPID."

A mother of three escorts her squealing, hyperactive children faster towards the doors, glaring outright at Yuri's use of language.

He glares back.

"I knew what I wanted to skate to or how to skate it," Yuri adds. "So why are these assholes harassing my fans who actually loved what I did? Because I got to do it for me? Are they paying attention, or is their heads so far up their—"

"Maybe it's not about that," Yuuri interrupts, trying to keep their conversation low and calm. "Maybe… they don't agree with other people's interpretations when they see them? Shouldn't they be allowed to feel like that?"

Yuri ugghs, rolling his eyes.

"Nobody is saying they can't! But that's why you block people on social media! Limiting creative freedom and expression will only serve as a reminder that there are fuckwits out there who never want us to reclaim agency of our bodies or control over our lives. Why shouldn't I dress how I want and skate to the music I want?"

"My fans shouldn't have to put up with this either. They're just supporting me." Yuri shakes his head, kicking and scraping a bit of dirt from the bottom of his Converse. "I swear to god, it's these people who are the real problem on here," he says. "The pieces of shit who can't draw the line when it comes to having a discussion with a person who actually exists on the other end of it. Telling someone to piss themselves on my Instagram? Really? It's so fucking gross!"

Yuuri offers a small, encouraging smile.

"You're right," he reminds him quietly. "But you also do exist, which means you have the power to block them right back."

Another uughhh comes out of Yuri's mouth, as if slightly disappointed by that touchy-feely response.

"Shut up, katsudon," Yuri mutters, flicking his burnt, red-glow cigarette onto the concrete.

Unoffended, Yuuri rubs his bare hands together frantically, shivering again. "You wanna come inside to skate, Yurio?" Yuuri's lips quirk up. "Or are you gonna get into another fight online with a troll?" he asks, raising his eyebrows.

At this, Yuri stomps past him, elbowing him aside and curling his top lip in mock-glee.

.

.

Back on their shared bench, Mila fiddles with her aqua green skate-guard, blowing a gigantic, pale blue gum-bubble.

As soon as it pops and deflates, she chuckles at them approaching.

"Where were you two? Gossiping?"

Yuri swats away Mila's finger reaching out to poke his face. "None of your business, baba," he mumbles, grabbing his leopard-print bag.

After a moment, Yuuri scratches his neck and gazes around. "… Where's Viktor?"

Mila shrugs dismissively, hands raised, her lips streaking with pale blue gum once more. He's about to ask when she saw him last, when the overhead speakers switch abruptly mid-lyric:

YA~~LL READY FOR THIS!~~

Between a set of twin girls holding hands and an adult in a parka, someone in an inflated, brown dinosaur suit gracefully twirls onto the ice.

Well… as gracefully as possible, with its tail slapping into the hip of a confused bystander.

No.

Yuuri watches in undisguised horror as Viktor attempts to skate himself around the rink, his massive dinosaur head flailing around.

He trips at one point, slamming onto his back and waving his legs gleefully in the air.

The other community ice-skaters bellow out encouragement and clap him on, seemingly only fueling Viktor's ego and antics, as he climbs up. Mila records the entire incident, grinning, while Yuri collapses onto the bench, sob-laughing and quivering and wiping his eyes.

Viktor waves in direction, to Mila's camera-phone and to Yuuri, as the other man covers his face with his palms, reddening and groaning.

Is it too late to take back the rings, Yuri half-considers, tuning out the blaring music and neon, rainbow spotlights and Viktor's yelling for him. Maybe if I call up Maria Dolores before noon… …

.

.

"Why did you do that?"

Viktor's silvery, damp bangs tumble against his forehead. He reeks of sweat inside the dinosaur costume, as he peels it off in the locker room.

"I wanted to see you smile, Yuuri," Viktor announces, shimmying and beaming.

Yuuri gives him a skeptical look. "Sure I wasn't just for everybody else's attention?" He presents out his cellphone, opened to the familiar bright red of YouTube on mute. "Mila's video went viral in less than an hour."

Viktor lets out a breathy noise, shoving the phone away and staring into Yuuri's dark eyes.

"I don't care," he repeats softly. A little bit of fondness and heat stirs in Yuuri's gut, when Viktor flashes a wider and more admiring smile. "I care only about Yuuri. That's all."

Yuuri forgets about the body odor, embracing the other man as Viktor buries his face into Yuuri's throat, humming comfortingly.

"I haven't been feeling good…" Yuuri admits. His anxiety comes and goes in bigger flare-ups.

Viktor nods and presses his lips over and over to Yuuri's pulse-point. "How about we stay in? Just the two of us?" he suggests. "A bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and Netflix… a long, sloooow foot rub… all for my young, beautiful fiancé…?"

Yuuri's mouth twitches into a wistful smile.

"Sounds really good…"

Viktor can always make things less worse.

.

.


Yuri on Ice doesn't belong to me. MORE SECRET SANTAS I'VE TAKEN PART OF! This one was the Victuri Gift Exchange and I've been in a Mood so... there's that. It comes a little bit in this story. But mainly was focusing on the Viktuuri love and their silliness. Thoughts/comments appreciated!