happy birthday to my son, yuuri katsuki
instead of cake, have some love from your Russian coach ;)
“Victor,” Yuuri said slowly, raising his hands up in surrender. “We can talk about this…”
But Victor didn’t look like he was in the mood for talking. His gaze had Yuuri rooted in place. Neither of them moved. Two heartbeats, then three, before Victor finally opened his mouth. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Yuuri winced. He didn’t expect the topic to be drawn out so easily. He felt like he was about to be roasted alive over an open flame. Despite the growing knot of anxiety in his gut, he knew that white lies weren’t going to help him here. In fact, he didn’t want to lie at all. “It slipped my mind,” he confessed. “I swear. I didn’t mean—I only—I wanted…” He struggled to find the right words. “I wanted to focus on the GP. And I knew Makkachin was more important than my…” He sighed. “Than my birthday.”
Victor let out a sigh of his own. “It frustrates me that you think that way about your own birthday.” He shook his head. “You should know by now that I would’ve appreciated knowing beforehand.”
“I’m sorry. I really didn’t think—”
“No, you didn’t,” he said coolly, stepping forward and closing the distance between them so much that if Yuuri so much as reached out, he could’ve taken Victor’s face in his hands. One heartbeat, then two, and he realised half a second too late. He barely even had time to cry out in surprise when Victor took him by the waist and jumped off the edge of the pool, catapulting them both into the air. The mellow night lights by the indoor pool vanished into a cloud of bubbles and blue, blue water. Yuuri kicked upward, bursting out of the pool with a gasp. He rubbed the water from his eyes with the heel of his palm but it was pointless. Less than a heartbeat later, he was underwater again, pulled underneath by his wrist. And when the whirlpool of bubbles cleared, he found himself looking straight into Victor’s eyes. Yuuri pressed his lips together into a thin line and made for the surface again, but Victor kept him anchored in place. Victor held up a finger and pointed at his ear.
For a split second, Yuuri didn’t understand. But then he heard it—something more than a little familiar. His eyes widened and he opened his mouth to say Victor’s name but only a flurry of bubbles escaped him. Victor looked like he was laughing. Yuuri scowled and kicked at him lightly.
Victor gestured upward and he nodded. They broke the surface together, taking huge gulps of air.
“Stammi Vicino,” Yuuri gasped between breaths. “You… The hotel staff… did this?”
Victor grinned. “It was the closest thing to a surprise that I could get.” He held out a hand. “Shall we?”
Yuuri couldn’t help but smile. “I’m not sure what you want us to do underwater,” he said, taking Victor’s hand.
“Listen,” Victor said, intertwining their fingers. “And follow my lead.”
They went under and Yuuri did as he was told—he followed Victor’s lead. They swam out into the deeper end of the pool. Here, he noticed, the music was louder.
“Questa storia che senso non ha.”
He watched with unabashed fascination as Victor reached up, and turned away from him, taking on a lonely expression. Yuuri knew this. He knew what it all meant by heart.
“Svanirà questa notte assieme alle stelle.”
Was he really doing what Yuuri thought he was doing? Yuuri wondered as Victor spread his arms with a grace that mirrored his skating perfectly. He really is, Yuuri thought, smiling. He’s reinterpreted it. Just for this.
Sure, it wasn’t as showy as the true routine, but just like always, Yuuri couldn’t take his eyes off Victor.
“Stammi vicino,” Victor’s lips moved silently along to the lyrics as he took Yuuri by his hands. “Non te ne andare. Ho paura di perderti.”
Stay by my side. Don’t go. I’m afraid of losing you.
The music enveloped them. Victor’s hands ran down Yuuri’s face.
“Le tue mani, le tue gambe—”
Your hands, your legs.
“Le mie mani, le mie gambe—”
My hands, my legs.
Down his shoulders, his arms, to meet his hands once again.
“I battiti del cuore, si fondono tra loro.”
The heartbeats are becoming one.
Victor drew close to him and if there was one thing Yuuri missed at that moment, it was the feeling of Victor’s nervous breaths fluttering against his lips before they kissed.
They were one, they were rising up and up in a maelstrom of bubbles and silent song. Yuuri ran his hands through Victor’s hair, letting them come to rest on the nape of his neck as they broke the surface for the last time, their lips still entangled in one another. Leaning his forehead against Yuuri’s, Victor pulled away first.
“Happy birthday, Yuuri,” he breathed. “Marry me?”
Yuuri laughed, heady with giddy happiness as he threw his arms around Victor and kissed him again and again and again. “Yes,” he murmured breathlessly into Victor’s lips. “Yes. Absolutely. Always. Forever. Yes.”
Victor laughed too, but it was a shaky laugh that spoke volumes. Yuuri cradled Victor’s face in his hands and kissed away the tears brimming in Victor’s eyes.
“I swear,” Victor said thickly, wrapping his arms around Yuuri and pulling him into a fierce hug. “I will never leave you again. Never.”
Yuuri closed his eyes and let himself be held. “Thank you,” he said softly. “You being here… It’s more than enough.”
He laughed again. It was crazy. He never knew it was possible to smile and laugh and simply be happy this much. “Come on. The man I’ve looked up to for years, pushing me into the hotel swimming pool and asking me to marry him?” Yuuri looked up at Victor, who was beaming. “If I asked for anything more, I’d probably jinx the rest of my life.”
Victor chuckled and ran his thumb affectionately across Yuuri’s cheek. “Ask and keep on asking for more,” he said. “I’ll be the kind of jinx you won’t regret.”
“Cheater,” Yuuri chided. “You know I’d never regret you.”
Victor’s smile mirrored his own. “Exactly.”
And somehow, inexplicably, Yuuri could still hear the music echoing in his ears.
Let’s leave together.
“Ora sono pronto.”