softly | listen
Yuri has always wondered how Victor was like before performances.
It’s his first time seeing Victor warm up before a major competition, and by first time, Yuri means up close, a red and white RU jacket folded over his arm, and not from a painful distance shyly looking over Celestino’s shoulder.
Just say hi already, Celestino would say in mild irritation, and to which Yuri would answer in a pained groan, over my cold dead body, thank you very much.
“Darling, do you mind?” Victor asks in a gentle, soft tone that is new to Yuri, and that pet name, darling, he’s never been called that before. Victor sits on the matted floor, legs spread almost into a side split, and he’s beckoning Yuri to help him into a stretch.
“Yeah, of course.” Yuri miraculously answers in time because his chest is still feeling as tight as a heart attack at being called darling. He settles in front of Victor and adopts a smaller angle side split. He supports Victor’s position by planting his heels against his ankles and offers his hands forward. Victor slips his hands into Yuri’s wordlessly.
Everything stills for a moment, a mutedness wrapping itself around the two of them, and all that exists and all that matters at that second is the trembling hands Yuri is holding. The quake he is feeling is invisible to the eye but volcanic to the touch–confident outwardly, but scared inwardly. Yuri looks up at Victor, a calm ocean with a destructive undertow.
Are you alright? What can I do? How can I make this better? Yuri’s mouth won’t work, but it seems his eyes do, because Victor’s lips upturns to a small smile.
“Don’t be afraid that I’m afraid, zvyozdochka.” he speaks to him softly, looks at him softly, touches him softly, as if it is Yuri who’s fighting a battle and needs to be placated. “I feel scared all the time. Just doesn’t look like it.”
Zvyozdochka, little star, that Yuri’s been called often. He softens at the words and lets a wall down, thumbs skating circles onto Victor’s hands. “I never knew that about you.”
“You’re the only one who does.” Victor smiles, “I don’t hold hands with just anybody before going into the ice.”
Yuri chuckles under his breath, pulling Victor forward into the stretch, helping him until his upper body is flush against the floor. Yuri drapes himself over Victor’s back, palms gently running across the fabric of his costume.
“You’ll be great, Vitya.”