The first time he sees Yuuri casually bring the yellow fruit to his lips, Victor does a double-take. “Yuuri, that’s a lemon, not an apple,” he says bemusedly. “The apples are over—”
There’s a deafening silence as Yuuri bites firmly into the flesh, staring Victor dead in the eye. He chews slowly, savors, swallows, waits while Victor’s mouth hangs open then shuts with an audible click.
He offers three words of explanation: “I like lemons.”
Victor blinks, raises a wry brow. “…Yes, well, I can see that.”
“I like lemons,” Yuuri says firmly with an air of redundancy, of stubborn will. “I know I’m weird.”
To his credit, Victor recovers remarkably quickly and lets his lips slacken into a gentle smile. “Isn’t it sour?” he asks curiously, leaning forward to study the fruit in his trainee’s hand.
Yuuri takes another bite, and Victor tries not to wince as he sees yet another large chunk taken from the lemon’s skin, from its acidic center. “Sour, yeah. And bitter.”
“Then why do you eat it?”
Victor can’t imagine it. It can’t possibly be good. He remembers the last time he accidentally ate a lemon wedge, mistaking it for a pale orange. It had taken half a mug of beer to return feeling to his tongue. “Odd.”
Yuuri can see him staring, though, noting the way Victor eyes each and every bite, every swallow that passes his throat. “Is something the matter?”
Victor doesn’t respond, but Yuuri accepts the silence casually, waits for an answer. He’s got half a lemon left. Maybe he’ll grab another one. The Japanese skater cocks his head and studies Victor’s thoughtful expression before nodding to himself and moving closer to the expensive fruit basket situated on the kitchen counter.
“Mm—?” Yuuri turns around, another lemon in hand, then promptly stiffens as Victor swoops in close, those iridescent blue eyes so clear now that there are only scant centimeters between Yuuri’s face and his coach’s. He swallows a yelp.
Only, the yelp escapes as Victor presses forward, closing the distance and bringing their lips together. It’s surprisingly gentle, oddly chaste in a way Yuuri can’t explain. His heart flutters to the thousandth beat of a hummingbird’s wings, and his eyes soften from their wide initial shock, his body melting as if to blend into Victor’s firm yet pliable chest. It’s liberating, the way he can feel Victor’s own heart thud solidly against his, the time signature of a man who had once been a legend milestones away.
But he’s here now and he’s so close, and oh god he’s tasting Victor in his mouth and he doesn’t think he’ll ever get the smell of his former idol’s cologne out of his memory for as long as he lives.
The kiss lasts a second. It’s short and to the point and ends right when Yuuri’s eyes close, right when he’s ready to give more and feel more. It ends right when his shoulder slacken and his arms come up as if to embrace his coach, and then Victor’s pulling back and he’s got this pensive expression on his face like something’s wrong.
Oh no, what did I mess up this time?
It takes Yuuri a second to process the word. “Uu—aahh, huh?”
Not his best moment.
Victor frowns into the back of his hand, a deep furrow cast between his brows. The feather-lightness between Yuuri’s shoulder-blades sinks for every second Victor doesn’t meet his eyes.
Finally, Victor looks up. “I thought it’d be sweet,” he says.
Yuuri blinks. “The lemon?”
“The lemon,” the Russian affirms with a nod.
Yuuri looks down to the remaining bites of the lemon in his hand, and stares at the wrinkled seeds within as if they hold the answer of what to say, what to do.
Because Victor had just kissed him, only it wasn’t a kiss, it was probably just a random taste test or something or, or, or—
“It’s a lemon, Victor. It’s not going to be sweet.” Yuuri frowns and masks the shaking in his hands with another bite into acidic flesh.
“But you’re sweet.”
“You’re very sweet, Yuuri,” Victor says simply, a goofy smile on his face. It makes Yuuri’s heart flip flop for the third time in thirty seconds.
“I—" How am I supposed to respond to that?
Someone’s watch beeps. It’s probably his.
“Come now, break time’s over. Time to get back to practice.”
Yuuri wipes the sweat from his brow, his chest heaving from the latest run-through of Eros. He can feel his blood singing, his lungs drawing in massive gulps of air to satisfy the deficiency inside him, to ease the ache inside his muscles. Grabbing one more large breath, he twists on his heel and begins to skate back to the edge, back to where Victor stands with a critique ready on his tongue.
Only Victor’s not there, and what’s on his tongue isn’t a cutting review but the vibrant flesh of a plump crimson bell pepper.
Yuuri hears the crunch and flinches despite himself, huffing a laugh under his breath. He adores the man, yes, but Victor can be so weird sometimes.
“Where did you even get that from?” he asks, grabbing a towel and drying off his hair.
“You mother dropped by,” answers the silver-haired man around another bite of the spicy fruit (vegetable?). “She has some lemons for you, too, though I still don’t understand how you can enjoy something so sour.”
Pot, kettle! Yuuri snorts and slicks his hair back again. The rush of Eros still thrums within his body, and he stretches languidly, reveling in the otherworldly sense of knowing Victor’s gaze on his back, on his backside.
Who’s a pork cutlet bowl fatale now? he thinks smugly to himself.
It brings a thought to mind, to the incident that had occurred the other day. He’d thought at first that the kiss would change something somehow, but it seems otherwise, because his relationship with his coach hasn’t shifted in any way. It’s slightly regrettable, but then again, he muses idly, it isn’t that they can really get much closer given how close they already are.
“Victor,” he says sharply, quickly, the syllables gunfire against his lips.
Yuuri sneaks forward, fueled by the sensuality of his previous performance, and bites Victor’s lips, presses an open-mouthed kiss into a slack jaw. He moves quickly, one second, two seconds, lips and tongue and teeth, and feels Victor’s shuddering sigh before pulling back right as Victor leans forward.
He’ll regret it in the morning, when the world feels less like a dream, but right now he doesn’t care. Probably won’t care later, actually, so never mind.
“Huh.” Yuuri lowers his eyelids, licks his lips. “It’s very sweet.“