Okay, this is a break from my usual tough love on Viktor. This time, I’d like to talk about something Viktor does that makes me really, really happy and proud of him.
We see how kind Viktor is to Yuuri. He is thoughtful and careful with him in a way that appears so soft and warm and everything that made us fall in love with them. Somehow, Viktor just seems to do and say the right things. Not all the time, of course, and he has had his slips like what we saw at the Cup of China, but this is because Viktor is still learning. Most of the time though, he seems to have the right words to say.
The best part for me though is HOW Viktor says these things - more specifically, how he comes up with them. It is not as if the responses come naturally, or are top of mind. He had to learn them, because Viktor definitely thought about other things before the things that he does say out loud. How do we know?
For example, in episode 3, Yuuri (and Yurio) struggle with their respective programs. Yuuri, at his wits end, suddenly comes up with the crazy, “That’s it! Katsudon!”
Now look at what happens next:
There must have been a dozen things that passed through dear Viktor’s mind. Remember, he didn’t know that Yuuri forgot everything that happened at the banquet. He didn’t know that Yuuri didn’t know about his own Eros potential. Viktor’s thoughts possibly ranged from “Excuse me?” to “What the actual fuck,” but he does not say these things. Instead, he pauses.
What do pauses even mean? A pause means a person is thinking. Viktor thinks about what he will say to Yuuri. Granted, Viktor does not have the record of being the most tactful person on Earth. We have seen him deliver brutal truths with that heart-shaped smile of his, but that only makes it even more precious that he makes these later considerations for Yuuri.
Viktor did not start off being this considerate. You know when this kindness started? When Yuuri first ran away to skate away his anxiety since Viktor came, and then more and more as Viktor learned that Yuuri was apparently shy and more delicate than Viktor initially thought him to be.
So back at the dinner table, of course we know that what Viktor says instead of, you know, Yurio’s more sensible, “Seriously?” is:
Viktor’s first careful step!
Fast forward to Hot Springs on Ice. Yuuri panics when it is his turn, but eventually, comes up with another gem:
Viktor pauses a bit.
He’s still not used to this type of lines from Yuuri. In the end though, his answer to Yuuri is:
The beauty of what Viktor does is that it’s a considerate way of acting neutral while he tries to understand how this beautifully confusing creature he sort of fell a little in love with at the Sochi banquet ticks. At the same time, whether he meant to or not, he says things that Yuuri seems to need, as proven by the way Yuuri blushes every time Viktor says something that tells him that Viktor is on his side. Viktor is very careful with Yuuri, and what I love about it is that it shows to us that Viktor still wants to stay and get to know this person even though he is not who Viktor thought he was.
Episode 4, as we know, is that wonderful, wonderful episode that spanned the months of Yuuri’s training, during which we are somehow told that Yuuri and Viktor grew closer and got to know one another better. The next Viktor-pause is not so much a consideration for Yuuri as much as it is proof that Viktor picked up the habit of thinking before he speaks around Yuuri, and somehow finding the right words to say within those brief pauses.
The beauty of the pause here is that it seems to be a tentative one. The theme is love? Why did it become love, now when I am working on him with this? Am I somehow making progress with this person? Viktor pauses for his own sake this time, because Yuuri’s theme caught him off-guard.
But after all this time, Viktor is better with Yuuri, and his response is:
He reacts positively to Yuuri and supports his decisions. He has learned to relate with Yuuri better, and continues to be kind to him. He knows how to say yes to Yuuri’s decisions in the best way possible.
Here is another of my favourite scenes, purely because of Viktor’s word choices.
“Perfect” and “the best theme” – Viktor’s words are encouraging and uplifting, and I can perfectly imagine how they can affect Yuuri and motivate him.
Episode 5 is yet another gift of an episode where, for the first time, we hear Viktor think. And boy, he thinks a lot, and now we know that he does think a lot before doing and saying things in regards to Yuuri. We know he does not always agree with his student:
Yet at the end of the day, still makes the conscious decision to accept and support him.
We can see how this endeared Viktor to Yuuri. I mean look at the boy’s face in that last frame. He’s so happy, he actually cried. Viktor’s constant affirmation helped Yuuri grow and be more confident in himself. While I do believe that Viktor is naturally warm and a very kind person deep down, and while providing Yuuri this kind of positive regard is not contradictory to his personality, it’s wonderful to think that he still had to learn and develop these things in himself as well.
Now, of course Viktor isn’t perfect. He slipped in episode 7 and said the wrong thing. But, as Yakov said, Viktor still had a lot to learn, but it’s heartening to see him keep at it, isn’t it?
Lol, he even does this silent pause thing during their engagement. There was a good pause there, but then again maybe it was just shock. He’s been quiet even during the time that they bought the rings, and pretty much just followed Yuuri in a daze (I assume) up to the last moment. He doesn’t even talk until Yuuri prompts him.
Viktor still says something good, though - probably the best that could be said given the circumstances and given what Yuuri said. He has also grown quite a lot. Somewhere along the way, he learned to speak Yuuri’s language, and it is just a beautiful thing to watch.