Yuuri is so beautiful.
The night after the marketplace, he dozes at Victor’s side, and his chest is a tempered lull of waves, cresting and falling over and again with every breath. His eyelashes fan out over his cheeks, dark and rich, warm reddish undertones to the same inky black that makes up his brows, the fringe of his hair. There’s a gentle slope to Yuuri’s nose that is nothing like the angular lines of Victor’s own face—Victor traces down the bronzed bridge with the tip of his finger, feather-light. There’s a sunburst in his heart that’s ready to explode and erupt from behind his adoring eyes where they’re fixed on his love, his Yuuri.
Yuuri, asleep in the long lines of light cast through the hotel window. Yuuri, with his gold band hugging his finger, a fierce gleam that is undeniable, unmistakable. Victor puts their hands together to see those rings beside each other one more time, and once more again. He can’t get enough of it, that knowing.
Yuuri is mine. Yuuri wants me. Yuuri asked me to be his.
It’s more tempting than the sway of Yuuri’s hips from almost a year ago, more intoxicating than the dry fizz of remembered champagne. Victor cannot deny anything that Yuuri asks him, whether in drunken lisps and jumbled slurs, or in coy glances and rosy cheeks.
Victor would do anything, oh, anything.
Everything makes sense in retrospect. Victor is an idiot, or maybe they both are.
Of course Yuuri doesn’t remember, of course, of course—
It doesn’t matter, Victor thinks, and it really doesn’t. Yuuri is his now, his to keep. And come better or worse, hell or high water, final or first, he will be Yuuri’s.
But he wants to take it all back, all the angry little thoughts he never said aloud, all the petty, tiny hatreds that were so, so wrong to think that Yuuri could ever hurt him like that on purpose. Hesitant Yuuri. Loving Yuuri. Yuuri, softly slumbering beside him, radiating sleep heat, damp with drool at the corner of his lips.
And he is Yuuri’s Victor. Husband-to-be. Coach. Fiancé. Everything all spread out before him, balancing on a blade’s edge, weighing the worthiness of his love against Yuuri’s glass heart.
I want to be his. I want it more than anything. I’ll swear to never skate again if I can be his. I’ll do anything. Victor’s heart stutters as he scoots closer and settles comfortably against Yuuri’s body, momentarily content.
But in the end Yuuri’s glass heart shatters (as it always does) and Victor realizes that this does matter. Victor falls on his knees in the pieces and he bleeds, because he’d do anything, he said so. He picks up the shards one by one, cradles them in his own arms until he falls apart. Broken and shielding the fractured bits of Yuuri, Victor finally loses hold of himself.
There are pieces that belong to Yuuri that lodge themselves in Victor’s skin. There are bits of Victor that make their way into the jumble. He does his best to give it all back with the words how much longer are you going to stay in warm-up mode? and he thinks then that they both finally get it and it starts to feel real.
They mix. They meld. What emerges from their clash of misunderstandings is neither Victor nor Yuuri, but a whole new pair of creatures glittering and shining under the lights.
They hold each other despite the boards between them, and in front of a million eyes and a thousand cameras, they both cry.
It’s the death of what they’ve known. But It’s the birth of something so much more important.
They get engaged in Barcelona.
It’s the end of a year.
It’s the start of forever.