theglassheart: By Existentially (And judgement taught us)
If Yuri thought the night before this one never ended, he was wrong. It's this newest night that feels like it never ends. Oppressive, pressing, darkness, digging into his eyes, his mouth, his nose, his ears, while Victor breathed heavy and easy in the adjoining bed. Yuri had tried to sleep. Turning this way, turning that way, staring at the backs of his eyelids toward the ceiling, pressing his face into his pillow. He tried and tried and tried (and most of all found himself trying not to let his breathing race so fast it might wake Victor).

The evening had been bearable, if not entirely enjoyable or unenjoyable. Less stressful than the one before it, if only marginally, while Phichit and Victor drug him from place to place. Too late for museums or anything with middaytime, there had been rather quick tours through the Yu Garden, the Oriental Pearl Tower, and the Jade Buddha Temple, and in the cases of closed doors, pictures with their iconic buildings. As well as everything else that looked interesting between them.

It took forever, and then it was just over.

He'd enjoyed some of it, but none of it stuck for long.
Not even the late calls from his family and Yuu-san had.

Not with the Free Skate looming. Not with every single person he was skating with gunning for where he was standing, and every person watching wondering if he could somehow pull out o f himself the miraculous performance that had seemed to come from almost nowhere. Like it hadn't even belonged to him. How many times had he performed Eros and it'd never been that?

How badly would it be when (if - when) tomorrow couldn't match it?
What would they say about him, then? What would they say about Victor, then?

Yuri would fall asleep only to startle awake what could only have been seconds later, nerves sharpening with each new jolt, until it felt like ice was splintering more and stabbing up harder through every part of his veins, until each second asleep seemed to only contain the certainty he would fall, he would fail, he would forget. He could never reach whatever he'd touched for that brief two minutes and eighteen seconds.

It'd been a fluke. He'd only dreamed it. He couldn't explain it. He couldn't sleep.
Every minute in that dark reaching, but, also, clutching his pillow.
Eyelids clenched tight, or eyes open, staring at the other bed.


Over and over, he counted his breaths down.
Over and over, he repeated that he had and he could.
Over and over, he told himself this was all in his head.

Over and over, he slipped right back as soon as it finished.




That morning comes at all only changes the color of the sky.

Breakfast is a blur, piling food into himself, like maybe it would give him any solidness. Weigh him to the seat, to the ground, to reality. It should be impossible, but his head feels even heavier than his body. Hot water had shaken some tension from his skin, but none at all from his mind. It hadn't mattered whether he was in the bed, in the shower, in a booth, at a table.

His foot tapped under the table, all the way up to his knee and thigh, and in the moments he could make himself stop, his fingers drum against the side of his thigh or the seat instead. Desperate to try and keep it from Victor's sight, when Victor won't stop looking at him, smiling like that, talking about how Eros was perfect, and what he should do as soon as they arrived at practice.

How would he look when he realized Yuri couldn't reproduce what he done. Couldn't even look at the things that compounded to get him there. Words Victor'd said, but entirely in a different way than he'd said them. That Yuri'd blown them out of proportion and reality out there, during Eros. What would he do if Yuri couldn't place at all?

What would he do when everyone no longer was cheering his name as the reason Yuri had done so well? When there would only be that gut-wrenching pity on every face and Victor's name was smeared with his failures the same as his already was? Why was he even going to put himself through that? Why was Yuri?





Practice is a comedy of uncertainty.
He doesn't even want to return to the wall and Victor during it.

His feet hardly feel like they belong to his body, and thinking about love doesn't produce his love, his family, Hasetsu, or Victor, it brings up more and more knots in his guts. It tears up the ice under him with images of last year, of every fall, of every day spent in his bed, avoid being awake, avoiding the rink, Celestino, Phichit. The flip of what that could -- will -- look like again.

Except at home. Except with his parents, and Minako, and Yuu-san, and his family.

Their sad faces, their disappointment, as Victor's back went vanishing away in the background of his loss.

Even the ease of his long earned and long loved turns seems to be slipping from him when his focus won't pull itself together. At full speed it makes it a fumble of something he hasn't fumbled in half his life, even if he doesn't fall. It's better the next time, and gone the third, but it still there. He can do this. He can. He's done it how many hundreds and thousands of times.

It makes him sloppy. It makes him reckless. It makes him stubborn. It makes him hesitate.

It ends all too soon. The alarm sounding for them to come in, and he trails in.
theglassheart: By Existentially (Until we die)
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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