He was still on the ice. But he didn’t know this rink. He blinked again as he looked around. The alphabet of the signs up around the rink told him he was in either Japan or China. He was not quite sure of the difference. He didn’t know more than a few words of either language, so it hardly mattered. There was no one else around, but music was playing from a sound system somewhere. Not the music Victor had just been skating to, preparing for his second season in the senior division - Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, because it was time to prove to his competition that he was only just getting started, that they hadn’t seen anything yet. This was a cheerful little jazzy number. Not Victor’s style: but the minute he thought that he grinned to himself. Nineteen-twenties theme: short hair, girlish pout. Next season. Just to keep them on their toes.
It was playing on repeat. Victor put his hair up into a ponytail and started skating, working it out as he went, using double jumps as placeholders. Someone else might have been worrying about where he was, or what was going on, or how on earth he’d ended up here. Victor decided it wasn’t worth it. No doubt everything would turn out to make sense eventually: and here was the ice, and music playing. Why worry?
He was proved right when someone behind him spluttered loudly and exclaimed, “Victor!”
Victor didn’t turn to look. He nearly had this step sequence, and he wanted it to be right. Light and easy syncopation: lovely. Not what anyone expected from him, either. He turned. “Hello,” he said in his best English. Most people spoke some English. “Could you tell me where I am?”
“Time travel?” said the boy in the ugly tiger sweatshirt. He’d said it three times now, in three different languages, and he kept making wet-cat faces after he’d said it. He also kept giving Victor sidelong glares. Victor smiled at him, which made him scowl harder.
“That’s what I said,” said the coach. Victor was fairly sure either he or tiger boy was named Yuri. They were talking fast so it was hard to be certain. “Victor told me - that is,” he turned to Victor, “you mentioned this was going to happen. I thought you were joking.”
“I’m a very serious person,” said Victor, smiling.
Tiger boy snorted.
The coach cleared his throat a few times. “Well, uh,” he said, “perhaps we’d all better get some food, then.”
Victor let him get ahead a few paces as he led them out of the rink so he could talk to tiger boy, who seemed to speak Russian. “I didn’t catch your name,” he said.
“You weren’t listening, you mean. I’m Yuri.”
“And your coach is -”
“You’re my coach,” said Yuri, glaring at him. Then he looked away and said, “He’s Yuri too. I’m the real Yuri, though.”
“I’m your coach?” said Victor. It was a strange idea. Of course he was not planning to die before retiring, but if he ever thought about it there seemed to be very little difference. What was there but performing, competing, winning? To be a coach seemed to him quite sad. Also, although Russian Yuri was shorter than he was, Victor was fairly sure he was older. “Why do I coach you in Japan, then?” he asked mildly. It felt like inquiring about someone’s distant relative. This life had nothing to do with him. “That seems strange.”
“You could have coached me in Russia like a normal person,” said Yuri. “But no, you had to marry the pig.”
“I - what?” Victor couldn’t have heard that right.
“I said,” began Yuri with a venomous look.
“Ah, here we are,” said other Yuri. Japanese Yuri. Older Yuri. He glanced at them. “Yurio, don’t try to pick fights with Victor,” he said. It had the sound of something said many times before. “Do you want to soak in the spring before dinner? I’d better tell Mari we need to, um, make up a room for Victor.”
“Don’t I have a room?” said Victor.
Japanese Yuri turned slightly red, mumbled something incomprehensible, and disappeared into the depths of the house. Victor blinked after him. A moment or two later a very elderly poodle ambled down the stairs towards him and then sat by his feet, beating her tail rhythmically on the ground. “Makkachin!” Victor said, and crouched to embrace her. Ah, it really was time travel, then. She had lots of grey around her muzzle. “Hello,” he murmured. “Hello, beautiful.”
“Of course you have a room, idiot,” said Russian Yuri. Yurio? It would probably be less confusing that way. “But he’s not going to want you in there if you’re a kid, is he?”
“Mmm,” said Victor, entirely distracted by his beautiful dog. He only got it a moment or two later. “I sleep in his room?” he said.
Yurio favoured him with another unattractive snort. “Of course you do. That’s what I said.”
“No,” said Victor, “you said I married a pig.” It had been quite confusing.
“Well, obviously -”
But the other Yuri came back in, so Victor did not find out what was so obvious. A room had been found for Victor, he said. It would be time to eat soon.
Victor observed Yuri over dinner. He had not bothered really looking at him before. He was - thirtyish, maybe? He was a little chubby; hence Yurio’s pig, no doubt. He had messy hair and glasses and a harried expression. The harried expression, Victor supposed, might have come from having his husband suddenly replaced by a teenager. But he did not look as if being less harried would make him suddenly beautiful. He was not unattractive, but he was not anything special either. He seemed quite ordinary.
Victor, who had been extraordinary since he was a child, could not imagine how he had ended up married to him.
Welcome to Caroline’s first queued post!! Odds are I’ve been busy all day and am dead tired from jet lag, but I wanted to make sure that I still got you guys your fix of Maksyl fanfiction. Send me updates about the important stuff that happened today!!!! Love the fam
Maks couldn’t help but chuckle as he watched the little girl move effortlessly across the ice on the television. Even back then in her dirty blonde ponytail and ruffled skating dress she had been mesmerizing. Some things just never change. “You and Charlie look ready for the Olympics already in this video.”
Meryl shook her head as she giggled. “We were nowhere close. We still had a few more levels and a lot more years of practice before we were even thinking about the Olympics.”
“But you had the cuteness factor going for you. That’s gotta count for something right?” he asked playfully as he smiled down at her.
Meryl laughed, placing her hand on his lower thigh as she returned his gaze. “We were going for mature at this point, thank you very much,” she retorted teasingly. “Plus last time I checked cuteness wasn’t one of the things judges factor into the scores.”
Well I think they should,” Maks replied, his smile growing wider as he continued. “Like if we had a baby, that kid would be so cute they would have to give her extra points.”
“That’s actually a good point,” Meryl agreed, feigning seriousness as she spoke, although she was unable to conceal her grin. “I mean with our genes, we’d have a really adorable baby. It would impossible not to award bonus points for cuteness.”
“Exactly,” Maks replied with a nod, placing a kiss on Meryl’s cheek.
She leaned into him slightly, taking his hand into hers as she mumbled, “But I think any kids we have will end up being ballroom dancers.”
He shook his head, his face scrunching up ever so slightly in a way that caused Meryl to laugh as she looked at him, leaning in to peck his lips before she let him speak.
“We’ll leave the ballroom babies to Val. It would be a crime for a child to have a mother who is an Olympic champion in figure skating but not be a skater. That’s just common sense.”
Meryl rolled her eyes playfully before smiling as she retorted, “But it would also be a crime to keep a Chmerkovskiy out of the ballroom.”
He couldn’t help but grin as he was hit by the fact that this beautiful woman was actually entertaining the idea that she could one day have a child with him. If he weren’t sitting here, having this conversation with her himself, he wouldn’t believe it was happening. He took her hand in his, kissing in before intertwining their fingers. “We could always just let them try both and see what they like better,” Maks suggested with a shrug.
Meryl nodded approvingly as she smiled, leaning her head on his chest. “I like that idea.”
“Well I like that you like that idea,” he replied, his smile widening as he gazed down at her.
“Good,” she added with a giggle at his response.
“Wanna know what else I like?” Maks asked with a grin as Meryl ran her fingers along his arm.
“What?” she asked, her bottom lip catching between her teeth as she looked at him, awaiting his response.
“You,” he responded simply, a flirtatious tone in his voice.
Her smile widened for a moment before she tried to bring herself to maintain a serious expression, her eyebrows rising questioningly. “Oh really?”
“Uh huh,” he answered without hesitation. “A lot.”
“Well that’s a relief,” Meryl retorted teasingly as she turned slightly so that her eyes could meet his, “because I like you too.”
She laughed lightly as his smile widened, the two of them leaning in towards one another until their foreheads met. “A lot?” he asked, his voice a deep whisper against her lips.
She nodded softly, kissing him before a smile broke a cross her lips. “A lot.”