theglassheart: By Existentially (Until we die)
[personal profile] theglassheart
It takes Yuri all of about two minutes to realize that down might have been just as bad an option as up.

That downstairs in the hotel, at the buffet, involved a world of national jackets. Dozens and dozens of men and women, in various states of dress around and under and without those jackets, some picture perfect and some all but in pajamas and bare feet still, in various states of awake and asleep. Still on their feet, putting food on plates, sitting on their own and others, carrying them back upstairs. Not to mention those fans who could afford to stay here, watching from nearby tables and occasionally thrusting one of their own with a pen and napkin at some skater's table.

There are so many more of them here. There hadn't been this many last time.

(But, by last time, he means in October.

There were totally this many last time
- this time, two years ago.
A sea of people.)

His body snags back and forth between the urge to clutch his plate full of food to his chest, and gulp each bite down, while dragging it under the table with him, and just to slide under the table, without it or someone else, especially Victor, noticing he's vacated his seat and relocated there.

It doesn't help he can't quite seem to focus right. To hear what Victor is saying. To know what to say when he can. When he can't seem to more than flit his gaze that way and away. (That he was an absolute idiot, and jumped like he'd been hit, or expected to be, the first time Victor threw an arm around his shoulder headed to the elevator to come down here. Even though Victor's been nothing but sane and sober and normal since they woke up.)

People keep laughing and talking. Nails on the chalkboard inside his skull. His jacket feels odd at the edges of his shoulders. The booth is too big. The room is too small. He watches the clock. Time is slipping away already. Practice, then performance. Practice, then performance. Breakfast ends. Uncertain if he ate too much. Trying to counter that he didn't eat enough last night. (Or maybe sleep enough. And what if he crashes on the ice because he didn't take care of both of those?

What if he's ruined it all because he couldn't even manage his first twenty hours in the Prix Qualifier even?)

They leave when they have to. Early enough to look at everything. Early enough to make sure everything is ready for practice, and practice is practice. He's so in his head. He can't stop watching the people around him as they practice their routines. His skin prickles at just the bite of the air on it. He can't outrun the itch in the back of his head.

It's like a wall in front of him, always two inches in front, no matter how fast or how slow. Goading him to run, with sharp prods, but staying two inches away. Always two inches away. Never closer. Never in reach. His feet are a hiss on the ice, jumps a little too sharp, and his mind still won't stop tossing up and out, in front of his skates, all the things that don't belong out here.
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勝生 勇利, Katsuki Yūri

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