"Dragons? Are you serious?" Yuri tosses his phone onto night stand. They're in Yuri's room, the day before the competition starts, stretched out on Yuri's bed. "I thought you'd read something more cool."
"I like dragons." Otabek looks at Yuri's leg next to his own, Yuri's feet level with Otabek's ankles, Yuri's knee sprawling so close the fabric of their trousers touches. "I like adventure stories."
"Yeah, but I thought that would be spies or crazy road trips or whatever." Yuri's breath snorts out with his indignation at, Otabek can only assume, Otabek's sub-standard taste in literature. "Even zombies."
"What do you like to read?" They haven't seen each other since December, though Otabek's been watching Yuri's hair grow over Skype. It's beginning to fall down his back and Otabek wonders if he'll tie it back to skate.
Yuri shrugs. "I mostly play games when I'm bored. You remember, I sent you that side-scroller last month." He slides down and his hair fans out over the pillow. "You were probably reading your dragon books instead." His foot brushes Otabek's, sock on sock. "Why do you like dragons so much?"
"They're not all dragons," Otabek says. He remembers someone telling him that if you have to explain why you like something, it will make you like it less. JJ. He remembers JJ telling him that, in Canada, and he turns to Yuri before he remembers any more. "You would be a gold dragon. They're fast and shiny and the strongest fighters."
"My god, Beka, could you be any more of a nerd?" Yuri turns his head too and they're side by side on the bed, breathing each other's breath, though Otabek's chest aches like he's been holding his. "You'd be, I don't know, an iron dragon. They're slow and have dark hair and they bump into things when they fly because they're reading about -- what's geekier than dragons?"
"Dragons don't have hair." Otabek wants to smell Yuri's hair. He wants to smell Yuri's face and neck and roll Yuri up in his arms, measure the extra centimetres Yuri has stretched out against his own body.
"Okay, they're dangerous and cool and have no hair at all." Yuri's eyes meet Otabek's and Otabek doesn't feel dangerous or cool, he feels like he's drowning. Drowning and half-hard.
He already knows the words he's going to say. He thinks them every time Yuri's Skype connects, every time Yuri's texts cover Otabek's screen. Just not right now.
"I guess I can read the book," Yuri says. "So I don't have to watch you cry." He grins. "Off the ice, I mean."
This is where Otabek should put in a retort but he's not great at retorts. Instead he stops himself from kissing Yuri's mouth and pushing his leg between Yuri's thighs and pressing Yuri beneath him on the bed.
"Do you want to get room service?" Yuri asks.
Otabek turns and sits on the edge of the bed, feet on the floor. "Let's go out to eat."
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