since I was talking about languages headcanons, let me share an actual fav of mine: Yuuri actually started studying Russian when he first fell in love with Viktor (’s skating).
A starry eyed little Yuuri, glued to the small bulky television in the living room of the onsen, watching the recording of a young Viktor’s Junior World Championship in Bulgaria, his ponytail whipping around as he twirls and cuts the air in a perfectly executed jump; there’s nothing more Yuuri wants than to be like him, to know what this person made of starlight looks like inside. How can this beautiful angelic boy do what he does, how is it even possible to glide so effortlessly on the unforgiving ice when all Yuuri can do is fall and cry and bruise?
So he starts info dumping, collecting scraps of rare skating magazines, reading article upon article about him and interviews; but then again, there’s only a certain number of them that’s in Japanese, a little more in English, of which Yuuri’s knowledge is still wonky at best. Most of them are in Russian, because you know, Viktor is Russia’s prodigy, so of course. It’s not easy to find them.
Their dial up connection cable whirrs ominously and sucks money and energy, but he doesn’t desist, finds some approximation of a skating fan site with grainy images and pages and pages of minuscule writing, so much it makes his head hurt. Even then, he doesn’t give up. Yuuri is twelve, and stubborn, so he goes to the library and brings home a dictionary, sits down in front of their outdated computer and squints at the screen, flips through the yellowed pages and reads, painstakingly, his vision going fuzzy in between kanji and cyrillic. It’s not the best, but it’s all worth it when one day he realizes he actually can recognize some of the words without even cracking open the ratty dictionary.
When Yuuri is eighteen, he places his heart and dreams in Detroit. He slices himself open and drips red on the pavement of the rink, strips his feet raw and never stops thinking about the force that drives him, locks a wish too big to be contained into the small space between lungs and ribcage. He signs up for a Russian Language course.
When asked, he tells Viktor he had to choose an extra class to take in college. He doesn’t tell him about the little kid hunched over a shitty dictionary at two am begging to know more about his idol (he’ll tell him, a whispered confession in the middle of the night, but now it’s too much, too early). He doesn’t tell him that he knows exactly what he’s doing when he brings a tub of ice cream home and Viktor beams delightedly, exclaims “that’s my favourite!” Yuuri smiles, replies he had a hunch it would be. The old article is clear in his mind, a stolen piece of memory of a Katsuki Yuuri that wanted nothing more than to know exactly what Viktor Nikiforov’s favourite ice cream flavor would be, not knowing there’d be a time where it would become as simple as asking. Viktor laughs, makes grabby hands at it. “I love you,” he sighs wistfully, wrapping his lips around the spoon, and Yuuri flushes, takes a spoonful too, feeling incredulous and warm.
The wish that was trapped inside crawls up his throat and takes off in a huff, no more than a whisper. It has no use now, for it’s fulfilled, at last.
The ice cream tastes better than anything he’s ever had.