summary: throughout his life victor gets three small tattoos. the last is yuuri’s name above his heart. the first was for himself.
a/n: i have a lot of tattoo headcanons apparently. honestly this wasn’t meant to be a fic and just a headcanon but apparently i can’t help myself so here we are
word count: 866
Before he had the Olympic rings on his bicep, Victor had one other tattoo that no one ever saw: on the side of his foot in small black English letters, without any embellishment nor color, the single word HOPE.
It’s faded now as he had been warned that it would be, visible but greyed and worn beneath the callouses and scars of years spent breaking in boot after boot after boot. He never has to explain why he got it, because no one ever sees it in order to ask. Which is probably a good thing – it’s not a question Victor thinks he’d like to answer. I wanted gold, he might say if he had to give one. I wanted to skate forever. I always believed I would.
He shrugs it off when Yuuri asks one day as they’re climbing out of the hot springs. Yuuri never pushes, though Victor sees the frown and furrowed brow lingering long after the subject is dropped. It wouldn’t do any good, Victor reasons. He can still remember: the tension in his back and jaw as the needle scraped his foot, every moment of soul-sickening pleasure that he could feel the heat of it, angry and uncomfortable across the bruises and newly-healed blisters on his skin. Hope. There hadn’t been any irony to it. He’d wanted that reminder that no matter how many times he was broken and remade, he’d still feel alive. His feet were never as worn and tired in each new pair of boots as they felt on the worst days: he could still feel more, could still grow stronger, could still bleed and heal and push until the next day came and everything hard became easy.