Breathless and pink-cheeked, Tamamori's whole free program is a battle against his stamina. He and Kitayama have been arguing for weeks about whether Tamamori can risk moving another quad to the second half. This season's competition is fierce enough that he might need the point boost, what with Hashimoto making his Senior Division debut, but it's a big risk when anything after the five minute mark has a fifty-fifty chance of Tamamori coming down so hard that he smacks into the boards.
Privately, Miyata doesn't think Tamamori has anything to worry about when he looks so effortlessly beautiful skating in just his t-shirt and sweatpants that it makes you wonder what all the rhinestones and feathers are even for. For somebody who falls on his face just walking twice a week, Tamamori on the ice is lighter than air, all outstretched arms and perfect rotation, the crack of him kicking off the ice making Miyata's heart jump along with him, and Miyata gave up skating his own cool-down to watching openly at least five minutes ago. He isn't even on the ice anymore, just leaning his elbows on the edge of the rink and hoping vaguely that it looks like he's still stretching if Coach Goseki pops up.
He probably won't. Hashimoto has been monopolizing his time, demanding the choreography for a Senior Debut that no one will ever forget, and he's probably going to get it, too.
Tamamori soars past, speeding the lead-up to his third jump, landing the quad flip as lightly as if it's a single, but then muffing the combination by stepping out of the double that comes after it. It's so Tamamori that Miyata can't help but chuckle affectionately at it, and at Tamamori's fierce scowl. Miyata knows it's weird but one of his favorite things is how sometimes Tamamori makes such angry faces at the same time as he skates the most beautifully. It's leftover from their junior days, probably, nostalgic, the way Tamamori used to whine and drag his feet during practices, used to pout after being yelled at by their coach.
"The fuck are you just standing around for?" Fujigaya asks from behind Miyata, kicking his ass with the inside flat of his skate. Miyata glances over his shoulder to grin, unashamed, and Fujigaya rolls his eyes but comes to stand next to Miyata at rink's edge, watching Tamamori. Fujigaya watches Tamamori's grace critically but with a faintly jealous edge; this is likely to be Fujigaya's last season, given his age and the lower back injury he's been quietly nursing for going on two years now. He could have retired last year, but after his single-digit loss of the gold to Kitayama at the Rostelecom Cup, no one was surprised that Fujigaya couldn't resist one last season to try and pry that medal out of Kitayama's hands.
Miyata's heart clenches at the thought of next year, of their home rink without Fujigaya and Kitayama, wondering exactly how many seasons he might have left himself. But maybe they won't go anywhere, Miyata tells himself, maybe they'll turn to coaching or something similar; Miyadate and Kyomoto have already been pestering Fujigaya to choreograph for them. Miyata pushes thoughts of next year away with a deep breath through his nose and goes back to just watching Tamamori skate.
Tamamori sails past in a spread eagle, leaning back so far he can only be seeing the ceiling, and as the breeze of it touches Miyata's cheek it feels like Tamamori is pulling his heart along with him across the ice, like a kite on a string.
"Kitamitsu called him our rink's ace," Miyata says conversationally, like his heart hasn't breaking and reforming all this time. "Isn't that funny? When you think about how we used to call him a one-man Kiss and Cry."
"Ugh, him," Fujigaya says with feeling, pushing away from the boards. "What's his dumb program even about?"
"Oh, he told me!" Miyata says proudly, ignoring Fujigaya's soft snort. "He had the piece written specially. It's about a handsome playboy who—"
"And what are you two doing just standing around?" Goseki demanded by them suddenly, making both of them straighten their spines with an alarmed "EEEP!"
Two hours later, Miyata is supposed to be cooling down, but really is still practicing a little, even though he promised he wouldn't when Goseki shooed Fujigaya and Hashimoto off the ice for the night. The truth is that Miyata always needs more practice, and always practices better when there's no one else watching.
But he doesn't mind it when Tamamori steps back onto the ice and skates towards him with long strokes, so easy they look almost lazy.
"You saw it, right? The program," Tamamori asks. "Tell me what you think."
"I think if you land the flip, Gaya will hardly have to worry about Kitamitsu," Miyata says with a half-smile. "That step sequence that goes into the triple," Miyata does a vague impression of it that only carries him a few meters instead of halfway down the rink like the real one does, "it's my favorite. It's like someone's reaching for you and you're always just past their fingertips."
"Yeah, that," Tamamori says, and Miyata doesn't understand why his mouth is pressed into a thin line. "Do you even get the story at all?"
"Of course I do," Miyata answers, tilting his head. "You told me. There's a prince, handsome and everyone likes him, but he's a playboy, a joker who doesn't take them seriously and no one can catch him no matter how he makes them want to chase after. Just there, you're the prince no one can catch, right?"
"You dingus," Tamamori hisses, with a vehemence that makes Miyata blink. "I'm not the playboy prince, YOU are! It's you that's just out of reach!"
"Yuta…" Miyata is struck speechless for a moment, eyes wide. "Your free skate's about me? Really?"
"Shut up," Tamamori grumbles, cheeks pinker than when he does the whole program straight through. He swings his foot and digs his toe pick into the ice with a dull fwuk. He is just out of reach, when Miyata reaches for him, but Miyata skates a step closer, putting his hands on Tamamori's hips to keep him from drifting away.
"You think I'm not serious about you?" Miyata asks softly. Tamamori makes a faint noise, gaze locked around Miyata's shoulder. "I tell you I love you all the time."
"Yeah but you say it like 'Tamaaaa~~ I wuv youuuu~~~~,'" Tamamori does a gooey impression of Miyata's showy confessions, and Miyata has to laugh. "You only do it when you have an audience! Who would believe that?"
Swallowing a smile, Miyata makes a big show of looking left and then right at the empty rink. He pulls Tamamori closer by the hips, until Tamamori has almost no choice but to look at his face.
"There's no one here now," he says. "And I still love you. Hm?"
"Feh," Tamamori huffs, but his posture relaxes a little into Miyata's grip, and he doesn't resist when Miyata pulls him into a proper hug. Tamamori mumbles into Miyata's shoulder, "For all I know those JET brats are filming us from behind the boards right now."
"Fine with me either way," Miyata says cheerfully, pleased at the tight clasp of Tamamori's arms around his waist. "But seriously, in what reality am I the playboy prince?"
"Should have left you a frog," Tamamori sighs, long-suffering. "My fault for kissing you."
Next up is alchemicink!