But their ages are too disparate for me to ship anybody comfortably yet (15, 23, 27) uuuuuugh. So you get this, where Victor suffers from the same frustration as me.
Perhaps he’s listening to his heart, but no matter what the case, his brain hasn’t been consulted. Victor is entirely done with his brain today, hence the bottle of sake and the late hour. Yurio curled up next to him on the floor, warm and slack with sleep, is just as bad an idea if not worse. He's such a funny little thing, Victor can't help but think as he strokes the soft blond hair spilling over his thigh. Even in sleep his features are sharp, his hands curling as if ready to start a fight. He's the opposite of soft, sweet Yuri in nearly every way.
Does he need affection or discipline? Victor honestly isn't sure which would do Yurio more good, which, he thinks as he twirls gold strands around one finger, is the reason he probably should not be Yurio's coach. Yuri is easy to see through on the other hand, and while Victor isn't sure about his skills as a coach, he is completely comfortable offering Yuri affection and encouragement, maybe even filling in some of the gaps in Yuri's life experience that he sorely needs. If that makes it seem like Victor is angling to be Yuri's lover rather than his coach, well, in Victor's opinion whatever helps Yuri's confidence problem is fine.
See, he's terrible, Victor thinks to himself as he throws back the last mouthful of sake. It burns a sharp line down his throat and Victor thinks about how unfair it is that the three of them are together in this place, so close to being what each of them needs, but separated by something as stupid and uncrossable as age. In the last few days of watching the two Yuris train together, it's been on the tip of Victor's tongue more and more often how good the two of them seem to be for each other. If Yuri were a little younger, or Yurio just a little older, they could be…rivals? Lovers?
Both, or either one, Victor thinks, might make both of them so much more than they are. He's seen firsthand how Yurio's cutting remarks and dismissive nature have caused Yuri to toughen up ever so slightly, how the sweet, direct way Yuri asked Yurio to teach him brought Yurio, famously reluctant to practice, to the rink for hours before Victor had expected him, and if his corrections were brusque, he still drilled jumps next to Yuri over and over while Victor watched just out of sight, reluctant to interrupt.
Maybe that was the moment when he started thinking about the frustration of this time that separates them. Watching Yurio land jumps with technical precision, Yuri stumbling but getting up every time, Victor had found himself wondering how different he could have been if they'd been there when he was either of their ages. In the slanting sunlight of the rink, the fantasy had seemed so close, so easy to imagine, having Yurio to tease and sharpen his edge against, having Yuri's shoulder to lean against when things seemed overwhelming. The Victor who had those things all along probably wouldn't be struggling now to find something as mundane as inspiration in a tiny onsen town in rural Japan. The Victor who could curl with both of them, nestled tightly in between Yuri's back and Yuri's chest…
Caught up in his thoughts, Victor's hand tightened in Yurio's hair, and Yurio woke up grumbling, snapping Victor from his thoughts.
"What?" Yurio demands, squinting from his back when he sees Victor watching him.
"Let's get you to bed," Victor says rather than answer, his tongue thick from alcohol, his body sluggish to rise. The traitorous part of his brain still lost in an alternate universe suggests that they go crash Yuri's room, where undoubtedly the blankets are already warm and Yuri would probably not put up enough of a fight to kick them out. It's bad enough that he doesn't stop Yurio from collapsing in bed with him and going right back to sleep almost as if Victor hadn't woken him up at all. He curls back up on his side, his back pressing into Victor's side and Victor thinks, ah what a mess they all are.
What a mess he is, for sure. Is it lucky or terrible that neither Yuri seems to know any better about wanting him to coach them, when Victor can barely hold himself together?
He should sleep, but just knowing that it's true doesn't make it actually happen. Victor lies away for some time, half-listening to Yurio's snuffled breathing, half-seeing the alternate reality where the three of them are within reach of each other. If he were in between their ages, it would be easy for him and Yurio to gang up on Yuri to tease him into blushing furiously, cutely pink, or for him and Yuri to hug Yurio tightly in between them when he's at his most temperamental. Even the idea of it feels so illicit, barely sexual though the fantasy is, that Victor can only hold onto it for a few seconds before it pops like a soap bubble against his finger.
Ah well, he thinks, sake finally muddling his thoughts enough that he can start to drift off. He has the Yuris that he has, and they have the Victor that they have. At least it doesn't seem like the two of them have any complaints about the situation, if they want to fight over him.
In the morning, Victor has regained enough of his balance to only smile into his tea as Yuri and Yurio squabble over who gets to show Victor his work first, what costumes they'll wear, and how much better each of them would look doing the other's half of the routine.
"But we should go early for," Yuri's eyes flick to Victor and then slide away again, "for that shop I wanted to show you."
"What shop?" Yurio asks, not the brightest bulb first thing in morning, and then Victor has to swallow a laugh when Yuri obviously kicks him under the low table. "Oh right, the…shop. Fine, hurry up and finishing eating, little pig."
"It's because I have curves that I get to do Eros," Yuri retorts, with much more snap than he would have had a week ago, and this time Victor doesn't bother to hide the laugh at all.
They're coming along, without or without him, and if they're both terrible at hiding the secret of their illegal jump practice, it honestly only makes them cuter. Victor by contrast certainly can keep his own secret, and plans to, plans to hold it close enough to his chest that only he can hear its faint echo like the schuff of blades across new ice.
For all of their sakes, it's best if he maintains the balance.
Next up is doctoggy!