Yuuri looks up from where he’s sorting out his laundry, a sock in one hand and a shirt in another. He puts the sock to one side and begins folding the shirt, Victor’s shirt that he keeps forgetting to give back. “Oh, that? I got that keyboard a long time ago—before I went to Detroit, even.”
Victor tilts his head from where he sits on the bed, feet stretched out before him. Blinks and looks at Yuuri. “Do you still play?”
“Play for me?”
Smiling, Yuuri sets aside one of Victor’s scarves and stands. “Any requests?”
“Your song,” the Russian says decisively after a heartbeat of thinking. “Yuri on Ice.”
“Hmm. I never learned it,” Japan’s top figure skater admits. He shakes his head and pulls out the keyboard from where it sits propped against his closet. “But I can try.”
“You can do that?” Victor asks. The words, You’re that good at playing? go unsaid.
Yuuri shrugs, plugs the keyboard into the wall and turns the machine on. “Sure,” he answers, fingers running over scales like water pouring from a fountain. The sound is crisp and clear, and Victor finds himself pleasantly surprised. He wonders why.
“I’ve skated to this song so many times it’s practically engraved in my head,” the brunet continues, moving into arpeggios and rhythmic exercises. The keyboard moves slightly as Yuuri presses into the keys, the device pushing into the yielding mattress. “Just give me a second to warm up.”
As Yuuri’s fingers drift over the keys, Victor swings his feet back and forth. “How did you start playing?”
Yuuri’s fingers don’t stop, unheeding of or perhaps disregarding the conversation. Yuuri turns to look at the older man and hums. “I saw a video of someone playing the piano and decided to learn.”
“Did you take lessons?”
“For a time, yes.”
“How old were you when you started?”
Yuuri huffs a laugh from his nose and tests out various chords. “Is this an interrogation now?”
“Well, I never knew you could play. Is it so wrong to want to learn more about your boyfriend?”
“Mm.” Yuuri pauses, looking down at his hands. “I started when I was relatively young. Six, I think?”
“That is young.”
“Well, I stopped being so serious about it when I began taking ballet lessons. And then skating took up most of my time after that.”
“But you still play?”
“I still play.”
Yuuri begins then, starting with the sixteenth note triplets, and Victor closes his mouth and just listens. It’s lovely—reminds him of when he first listened to it, half asleep and with Yuuri excitedly leaning over his lap. Reminds him of his former student, of his lover before they became lovers.
“You’re very good at this.”
Closing his eyes and letting himself visualize the music inside his head, Yuuri leans back and feels his lips quirk into a half-smile. “I’m not the type to let a skill atrophy without practice.”
“That’s not you, no,” Victor agrees.
And they both listen, then, to the music pouring out of the cheap keyboard roused from its sleep. He times his breathing to the swelling of the melody, to the rise and fall of the notes, to the cadence of the moment. Victor leans against Yuuri’s shoulder and Yuuri leans back, the two of them content to relive their memories through the passage of sound.
It’s a peaceful moment filled with peaceful feelings. Victor tells himself to ask Yuuri to play more music for him from now on.
Reflecting on my 19 year old self when my very first album, #SongsInAMinor, dropped, 15 years ago today!! WOW!! Look how far we’ve come! Thanks for joining me on this incredible ride! I love y'all 4 REAL!!! 💜💜💜 I’ll see you tonight 8pm EST / 5pm PST at the #BETAwards 😉