"Trunk, shmunk," Yuri said dismissively, phone cradled between his ear and shoulder, lying on his back in his bed. He had one leg held up at a sharp 90 degrees to the bed, alternating between pointing his toes at the ceiling and flexing his ankle back the other way, stretching out his calf and hip. "Renting a car makes you sound like a boring old man."
"Alas for my reputation," Otabek answered dryly, "a year's worth of luggage is unlikely to fit on the back of my motorcycle." There was the crinkle of newspaper as Otabek continued wrapping up his dishes.
"I suppose," Yuri grumbled, making sure he sounded very put out even though truthfully it would be much nicer in the new apartment once Otabek brought some apartment stuff. Yuri, having lived with Lilia for two years, owned barely anything practical and was using the same mug to brush his teeth as he'd been making instant coffee in. "Tell me how long the trip is again?"
"61 hours of driving," Otabek said patiently, the answer memorized by now after having talked through the trip so many times. "4,752 kilometers."
Yuri switched legs, glaring at the ceiling. "That's too long. Just have your stuff shipped. A plan takes six hours!"
"I'm coming for an entire year, what difference does a few days of sight-seeing make?"
"FIVE days," Yuri protested, letting his leg flop down. He bit down on all the other stuff he wanted to say like anything could happen and I don't want you to do it and I don't trust your cousins not to accidentally drive you to Kabul instead of Kazan. Instead of all of that, he made an impatient, irritated noise.
Otabek hummed, soothing. "Do you remember the first part?"
"Sixteen hours from Almaty to Astana to stay with your uncle," Yuri answered. "You shouldn't drive so long at once!"
"Father and I will take turns driving," Otabek reassured. Yuri pressed his ear closer to the phone, but didn't hear any more crinkling. He wondered whether Otabek had run out of newspaper or dishes. "He made that trip himself in one shot the first time, do you remember me telling you? He didn't want to stop and spend the money on a hotel. Grandmother nearly skinned him alive when he turned up half a day early. And then where do we go from there?"
"You and your cousins drive to Chelyabinsk, and then the next day to Kazan," Yuri recited dutifully. Otabek had told him the route and made him repeat it back any time Yuri had started to sound anxious, as if they were reciting the steps to a choreography to calm performance jitters. "I know what you're doing, you know."
"Do you?" Otabek asked mildly. "Hm. What next after Kazan?"
"Moscow!" Otabek repeated, as if it had slipped his mind and Yuri was reminding him. "Haven't you mentioned someone you know there? I forget."
"Don't be cute, Beka," Yuri groused. Otabek's cousins would be dropping him off at Yuri's grandfather's apartment and then staying in Moscow a few days before driving back to Astana in the rented car. "As if you driving the last nine hours with Grandpa isn't nearly as bad. He'll try to drive the whole time. He's going to ask you all kinds of personal questions!"
"The horror." Otabek's smile was audible, and Yuri scowled at the ceiling. "He promised to take turns nicely. He emailed me again last night just to check on everything. It's the third time this week."
Yuri paused. "You've emailed my grandpa three times? That's fucking weird, okay."
"I think he's just excited to see you." Otabek's barely audible chuckle made something clench tightly in the middle of Yuri's chest, half anxiety and half anticipation. "Let me think if there's anyone else who might also be excited…"
"Fuck you," Yuri hissed, shutting his eyes to try and ease the ache of so close but not yet. He tried to imagine Otabek was next to him, the voice close to his ear not coming across 4,752 kilometers. Otabek would brush Yuri's hair out of his eyes and be warm against his side and…
Nope, that was making it way worse, Yuri thought. He opened his eyes and went back to looking at the ceiling.
"I miss you," Otabek said seriously, always blunt with his feelings in a way that made Yuri warm and desperate. "All I can think about is waking up next to you and not being able to count the number of mornings we have left."
"Stop that," Yuri ordered, longing trying to claw its way out of his chest and up his throat. How was it that they'd gone years spending months apart at a time, and now in the last week the situation had become excruciating all at once? Yuri turned his head to stare at the green numbers of his clock willing them to change faster, doing the time zone math on autopilot. "Aren't you going to sleep?"
"I don't think I can," Otabek said. Yuri heard the schuff of Otabek moving cardboard boxes around. "At this point I'd only get three hours even if I could. Perhaps it's better just to stay up."
"I don't want to sleep either," Yuri said, even though they both knew he had to. One of them was going to practice in the morning instead of on an Eastern European grand tour. "Help me get to sleep?"
"Yes," Otabek agreed immediately, the raw edge of longing in his voice at least dragging a half-smile out of Yuri. There was the noise of Otabek flopping down on something with a grunt, probably his own bed. "Go do your bedtime stuff; tell me when you're back in bed."
This was the third day Yuri had spent in the new apartment, which was long enough for him to stop turning right instead of left when he came out of his room, but not long enough for him to stop turning on the fan instead of the light in the bathroom on the first try. Honestly, Yuri thought as he brushed his teeth, he'd probably never stop doing that because he'd never lived in a place with the switches flipped like that. Like how his grandfather had switched the silverware drawer in his kitchen about five years ago, and Yuri still pulled open the wrong one every time he went for a spoon.
The apartment felt too big for just him, small wonder after living out of single rooms for so long, and Yuri both disliked the quiet and walked on the pads of his feet as if he weren't allowed to make noise either. When Otabek got here, he hoped it would stop feeling like being in a container he couldn't stretch to fill. Yuri hoped soon it would start feeling like home.
Yuri flipped on the bathroom fan, then huffed a sigh of irritation and slapped both the fan and light switches down.
"I'm back," he said, phone already pressed to his ear as he tried to shake out the messy tangle of blankets with one hand. He climbed in bed and switched phone hands to flip the bedside lamp off. The dark made Otabek's voice seem louder, closer. "I'm in bed."
"Leggings off," Otabek said, more than familiar enough with what Yuri usually slept in. Yuri pushed them down with one hand and kicked them off the rest of the way, grumbling that it was cold. "I'll get you warm soon enough, snejinka."
"Ugh," Yuri protested Otabek's sweet talk, the Kazakh word for snowflake close enough to Russian that he didn't need translation. Otabek had been steadily slipping in more and more of them since they'd gotten serious, but any tolerance Yuri had built up to his quiet aynalayins and zhanyms over the phone was probably going to be worth fucking zippity-doo the first time Otabek looked him in the eye and called him gingerbread in public. "Come on, already."
"Impatient," Otabek said, not quite a scold. He used a different voice for this sort of thing, quiet but firm, and it felt like a shove to Yuri's center of gravity every time. "I can't wait to be there. I'm going to be so warm against your back. I'm going to feel the pulse in your throat with my fingertips and then drag them down your chest, down your stomach."
"Fuck, Beka," Yuri whined quietly. He didn't wait for Otabek to tell him to touch himself, just wrapped a hand around his dick. It wasn't phone sex exactly, when they did this, more that Otabek's voice itself was helpful enough than that Otabek told him to do any particular thing.
"Put me on speaker or you'll drop it again," Otabek told him. Feeling a flash of irritation through the arousal because Otabek was right, that fucking jerk, Yuri thumbed the speaker option and clicked the volume up while he was at it, before dropping the phone on the bed. He rolled over onto his side so it was still nearish his ear. "Hm. That's better."
"What?" Yuri asked, distracted. He didn't exactly think it was better, Otabek's voice filling more of the room, as if he was sitting on the bed and watching when all Yuri wanted was touch.
"I can hear more sound this way, not just your voice," Otabek explained. Yuri's hand froze on his dick for a second, embarrassment flushing Yuri's cheeks and ears warm as he realized what Otabek meant. Otabek's next breath sounded like a chuckle. "Don't stop. I just said I wanted to hear. I really want to kiss you right now."
And just like that, Yuri was fully hard, squeezing his hand around his dick almost involuntarily. "Me too. I can't believe you're making me wait five more days, you asshole."
"It'll be worth it," Otabek promised. His voice was quiet, fervent. "I'll make it up to you. When I'm there I'm going to press you down into your bed and kiss every single place. Your mouth, your throat, your shoulder, your ribs, your navel, your…ankle."
"Beka!" Yuri protested, laughing. Otabek's voice made it impossible not to imagine the heat of his mouth touching the places he named, moving down in a clear trajectory, only to skip exactly the place Yuri wanted. "Jerk. You did that on purpose. Tease."
"Think how I feel. You stroke yourself harder every time you call me a name. I can hear it. I'm going to develop a complex."
"You're so fucking…" Yuri bit down on another laugh. "Fuck, I am doing that. Shit. Well, you can just keep my mouth busy when you're here. Then maybe yours will be too busy to call me gross stuff."
"Surely you can try," Otabek promised. "I miss kissing the most, I think. I doubt we'll get anything else done for at least a week."
"Who needs another quad?" Yuri was trying to be flip, but it was harder to sound unaffected as he got more turned on. Otabek murmured that he couldn't wait to watch Yuri skate every day, and Yuri gave up talking at all, squeezing his eyes shut and focusing on jerking himself off, on Otabek's voice.
"I wish I was there to help. To get my hand around you, over yours so we touch you together. I'm thinking about how your shoulders turn so pink and how easy it is to leave marks on your skin. How I want to practice until I can make you as loud as you were in Toronto."
Yuri whined between clenched teeth. It wasn't fair when Otabek brought that up.
"Mm, you sound close. Relax into it, for me? Let me hear you, bakytym."
Only a minute later Yuri came, knees drawn up in a tense curl and Otabek's voice coaxing him through it. He shivered, skin oversensitive, and grunted in irritation as it turned out that he wasn't quite close enough to grab a tissue without moving. It really sucked without Otabek there to soothe the last of Yuri's aftershocks or help clean him up.
"How do you feel?" Otabek asked, the sound of him shifting making Yuri wonder if he was going to try and sleep a few hours after all.
Cold, Yuri thought as he abandoned the idea of trying to get his leggings back on and just burrowed under his blankets instead. Lonely. "Okay. Maybe a little sleepy."
"Let's both try," Otabek said. "It'll be a long enough week for both of us without being exhausted at the start."
"Nn. Text me when you leave tomorrow with your dad."
"It'll still be the dead of night for you," Otabek protested. He sighed quietly through his nose when Yuri grunted that he didn't care. "All right, for you. We can Skype when I'm at my uncle's house. My father will have my phone while I'm driving, so no scandalous messages!"
"Fly safe," Yuri said, the thing they always said before one of them traveled. Even if it wasn't exactly right this time, Yuri didn't want to break to tradition. It felt like bad luck.
"Skate safe, Yura," Otabek answered properly, voice fuzzy with affection and distance. "Sleep well."
Next up is kira_shadow.