Summary: you and Hayes claim to be just bestfriends.
Note: I decided to go ahead and post all my Instagram imagines first and then finish up my written ones. Also to the person who requested the Pride and Prejudice imagine, I’m going to make it into several parts if that’s alright :)
A sampling of some of the many, many universes in which Viktor Nikiforov and Yuuri Katsuki didn’t somehow manage to avoid each other for TEN+ YEARS and are already happily married (Inspired in part by the musings of @kiaronna and @pearlo on this topic from this post):
In 2010, Viktor is leaving an Olympic after party because it has just more or less dissolved into an orgy and that’s not Really his scene. In this universe, he decides not to go back to his room and instead finds his way to an outdoor seating area, which is not very heavily utilized given the fact that it’s February. There is only one other person out there–an athlete with his back turned, curled up onto a bench. The lettering on his jacket says Japan. “Mind if I join?” he asks, and the other man turns to reveal dark hair and the deepest eyes Viktor has ever seen. “Oh,” he squeaks. “No. Go ahead.” They sit, and talk, and three hours later exchange phone numbers. Instead of going to America to train, Yuuri Katsuki goes to Russia to train under Yakov Feltsman. He takes National gold in 2011 and marries Viktor in 2012.
Phichit accidentally posts a video of Yuuri doing a bit of Viktor’s 2013 free skate to Instagram, instead of the hamster video he meant to post. The video makes its way through the figure skating grapevine until, obviously, reaching Viktor. Viktor immediately DM’s Phichit, begging to know who the man in the video is. Yuuri wakes up to six missed calls, 609 Instagram notifications, 49 texts and a DM from Viktor Nikiforov. “I WAS ASLEEP FOR AN HOUR,” he shrieks. Phichit takes complete credit for their marriage in his speech at their wedding less than a year later.
Through the careful and judicious saving of money for several years, and because in at least one timeline the main waterline in the onsen and the transmission on the family car don’t go kaput in the same year, Yuuri’s family is able to send him to one of Yakov Feltsman’s ice skating boot camps when he is fourteen years old. Viktor is there, all shining hair and huge smile and new celebrity. He has just placed at the Turin Olympics and is on his way to becoming a Russian household name, and Yuuri has been in love with him for two years already. “Yuuri!” Viktor coos across the ice, over the heads of the fifteen other skaters in the bootcamp. “Keep your hips even! It won’t make it so hard to turn into your Axel!” “Yuuri! Don’t hunch your shoulders on the spread eagle!” “Yuuri! Your thigh should be parallel to the ice on that sitspin!” “He’s incredibly skilled for his age,” Lilia tells Yakov in the back of the rink one day. “And Vitya has been behaving remarkably well, since he came here.” She fixes her eyes on Yakov, deep and determined. “He’ll be old enough to make his senior debut next year. If we groom him through his last year of juniors, he could bronze in his first GPF, or better. I want him, Yasha.” Yakov Feltsman is not in the habit of denying his wife those few things she asks of him. Yuuri Katsuki returns home after that bootcamp to pack his things and collect his dog and hug his parents goodbye. “I’ll take good care of him, Mr. and Mrs. Katsuki,” Viktor assures from a Skype call. “He’ll be getting the best training in the world. I even have a poodle, so Vicchan won’t be lonely during the day!” Hiroko and Toshiya just smile knowingly. Yuuri Katsuki is newly fifteen when he moves to Russia and begins sharing a condo with Viktor Nikiforov. He is sixteen when he wins his first GPF silver, and eighteen when the Vancouver Olympics roll around and he stands below his best friend on the podium and accepts silver for Japan as Viktor accepts gold. He is nineteen when, after five years of glances and touches and shared secrets and tears and laughter, Viktor pulls him into bed. “About time,” is the general consensus to that. They have only been dating, dating-dating, for five months when Viktor asks him to marry him. “I know it’s quick,” Viktor says, “but I feel like–I feel like we’ve known each other all our lives, anywa, so what’s the point in waiting?” Yuuri, of course, feels the same way.
Viktor makes a split-second decision to touch up his make-up before a press conference at the Trophee de France 2011, and as he’s patting the sweat marks off his temples hears the definite sound of someone crying. “Um,” he announces to the otherwise silence bathroom. “Are you okay?” “Yeah!” comes the answer, shrill. “I’m totally fine!” “You don’t sound fine,” Viktor says, and ducks his head to see which stall has feet under it. In the last stall, he sees a pair of badly-abused sneakers. He straightens up and knocks on the door. “I’ll leave you alone if you want me to, but I can–if you want, I can show you a better place to cry. Than here.” It takes a moment, but the door opens. The man in front of him has watery eyes and puffy red cheeks and Viktor isn’t sure he has ever found someone so beautiful. “Okay,” he whispers, and Viktor leads him onto the roof where instead of crying, he stares out over the skyline and tells Viktor about his home town. Viktor never does discover why Yuuri was crying, but he does get his phone number–and he does visit his hometown with him, a year later, to tell Yuuri’s family that they’ve decided to get married.
Yuuri is somehow convinced by Phichit to go out with a group after Skate America in 2013–Phichit is in his element, leading people around the city with expansive gestures and the effortless social confidence Yuuri has come to know of his best friend. “You’re from this city too, aren’t you?” asks someone at Yuuri’s shoulder, and Yuuri turns from Phichit’s monologue to see Viktor Nikiforov of all people. Yuuri, distantly in the back of his mind, realizes that he didn’t see Viktor before because he is wearing a hat, scarf, and enormous sunglasses. “Um, not from here,” Yuuri says, trying not to squeak, “but I–we both live here, Phichit and I.” “But you know the city,” Viktor says, “so that means you would know a place where I can get the most disgustingly greasy food imaginable and you and I can go there and my coach never needs to know?” “Yes,” Yuuri says immediately, because he may be timid around most people, and especially around his idol, but he has more than enough sense to realize that His Time Has Come. “I can absolutely do that.” Yuuri takes Viktor to American Coney Island, where they eat loose burgers and chili fries and drink diet coke, which is the only cession to their diets. “Oh Yuuri,” Viktor laughs at the end of the night, a speck of chili cheese still at the corner of his mouth, “I could fall in love with a man like you.” And he does.
Celestino wins a radio lottery and receives tickets to Champions on Ice in Las Vegas–he decides to take Yuuri and a rinkmate. Yuuri’s rinkmate is nice, but he doesn’t know her very well, and he’s several years younger. She also has friends in Nevada who she wants to meet up with, and Yuuri doesn’t know anybody in the state for obvious reasons. On the first day they are there, Yuuri’s rinkmate disappears with her friends and Celestino takes his wife and goes exploring on the strip. Yuuri stays in his room and plays Pokemon and Skypes his mother. On the second day, Yuuri goes shopping for souvenirs for Yuuko and his family, and stares far too long at the billboard of Viktor Nikiforov’s face that is advertising the ice show. That night, he debates which of the three posters he brought with him he should bring to have Viktor sign, before deciding on none–the odds that he will meet Viktor Nikiforov tonight are practically not any higher than they were when the were on opposite sides of the world, and Celestino won’t want to wait in the long autograph lines. “Don’t you want an autograph, Yuuri?” Celestino asks after the show, and Yuuri thinks it’s nice of him even though they both know that the polite thing to do is say no. “No,” Yuuri says, staring at the long line, and continues out of the building. They branch off then–Celestino has dinner plans with his wife, and Yuuri’s rinkmate is meeting back up with her friends for some clubbing. Yuuri is walking back to the hotel when he bumps headlong into somebody’s solid chest. “Oh, sorry,” they say, and steady him with hands on his shoulders. Yuuri looks up and finds the same icey blue eyes frm that billboard yesterday staring back at him. “Oh,” Yuuri whispers, wide-eyed. “You’re–” “Shhh,” whispers Viktor Nikiforov, pressing a finger to his own lips. “Don’t give it away, I’m hiding. “VITYA,” someone from the alley leading back towards the ice center screams. “Come on,” Viktor laughs, and tugs Yuuri away by the hand. It’s the spring before Viktor will cut his hair, and it flies out behind him in a magnificent cascade as they run. They find their way into a club, where Viktor buys them drinks and laughs and laughs no matter what Yuuri is saying, and then drags him out onto the dance floor. Yuuri has not yet met Phichit Chulanont, who will drag him to pole dancing classes and teach him how to move his hips like a weapon, but he and Viktor get by in the crush of bodies, pushing against each other. “I think I love you,” Viktor breaths against his neck, and they’re both three sheets to the wind, but Viktor is Russian and Yuuri is a college student and their tolerance is astronomical. They aren’t even stumbling. “I know we only just met, but I think I love you.” “Then let’s get married,” Yuuri blurts before he can help it, and Viktor beams. “Yes!” he cries. “Yes, let’s do that!” It isn’t hard to find a place that will marry them–even though Viktor’s signature on the certificate looks more like a drawing of a tree, and even though Yuuri’s tie ends up around his forehead halfway through the ceremony. In the morning, Yuuri wakes up with the worst hangover of his life, fully-clothed next to Viktor Nikiforov, and says, “We can–this happens all the time, we can have it annulled.” Viktor stares down at the ring on his finger, tangled hair all over one shoulder. Yuuri realizes that he doesn’t even rememer where the rings came from. How much did they cost? “I would rather not, if that’s okay,” Viktor murmurs, and so they don’t. Yuuri carries out the rest of the year in Detroit, wearing the ring around his neck on a chain and thinking about his husband, half a world away, waiting for him.