Anyway! Here is Yuri and Yuuri and ramen.
“out to eat?”
“Huh?” He had just barely caught the tail end of Yuuri’s question, a combination of jet lag and introspection brought on by travel occupying his attention.
Luckily, Yuuri was usually nice to him whether he deserved it or not.
“Victor won’t be home until late tonight, do you want to go out to eat?” They had only been in the door long enough to drop his bags in his usual guest room but it was well into the evening, food was probably a good idea.
He grunted an affirmative, content to let Yuuri lead the way. He hadn’t asked if Yuri wanted anything specific. Yuri fucking loved Japanese food. He’s not quite sure how that happened, maybe it’s just that Mrs. Katsuki is a really good cook and he imprinted early but he rarely encountered a new dish that he didn’t like.
It was weird how a place could be so foreign and so comfortable at the same time. He supposed that now, in his fourth year of regularly visiting Japan that he was officially past novice tourist whatever stage but Japan was still very different from Russia. Traveling for competitions was one thing. You flew into a city, threw yourself into practice the day or two before the competition, competed, collected your medal (at least you did if you were him), and flew out. Maybe you had time for an afternoon of sightseeing or a chance to try a local delicacy (if it was in your prescribed diet which it almost never was) but it wasn’t like you were there to enjoy the place.
Well, some skaters did. But it was rare for him. Maybe someday he would feel like he could rest a little on his laurels and lighten up a bit but not yet.
Anyway Japan was different for Yuri. Hasetsu was the first place outside of Russia that felt like home. He would never willingly admit it to Yuuri and Victor but he’s glad they decided to split their time between Japan and St. Petersburg after they retired (for good this time). He liked having a convenient excuse to visit - after all, he couldn’t always expect his choreographers to come to him. Nevermind that Yuri Plisetski, reigning men’s world champion absolutely could. He just liked the change things up sometimes.
He let Yuuri’s quiet stream of family news wash over him as they turned down a shopping street to stop in front of a shop with a red sign. Ramen Yuri could tell that much and he was fucking stoked. Suddenly his stomach informed him that he was famished and nothing sounded better than a giant bowl of carby goodness.
They ducked into the place and were confronted with a small lobby and a vending machine. One of those places - the kind where you barely had to interact with people if you didn’t want to. He voiced this thought out loud and Yuuri paused in the middle of feeding money into the machine to grin at him, “You don’t know the half of it.”
Yuuri waved a handful of tickets to indicate that he had taken care of ordering and Yuri followed him through a curtain into a narrow hallway lined with stools. Stools that were separated by partitions? They found two next to each other and folded back the wooden shutter meant to separate their seats. There was a little spout with a glass under it for cold water, a container of disposable chopsticks, and a box of napkins all waiting. They sat down facing a bamboo curtain.
Yuuri laid their tickets down at the scant few centimeters below the curtain and they were whisked away by a mysterious hand to be replaced moments later with what seemed to be a form of some kind. Yuri knew Japan had a lot of quirks but this was pretty fucking weird.
“You weren’t kidding about the no contact thing,” Yuri muttered. “You’re sure we’re getting dinner and not joining a cult or something?”
“Here,” Yuuri slid a form in front of him, little bubbles all filled out. “I filled it out for you already.” His spoken Japanese was getting better but reading kanji was still beyond him for the most part. Yuri flipped it over to reveal English which was better but he’ was sure Yuuri knew what he was doing.
There were spaces for indicating how strong you liked your soup, how firm the noodles, the amount of garlic or hot spice seasoning, and spaces to order additional toppings. The variation was a little overwhelming. In any other circumstance Yuri would throw fits over anyone breezing over his head to make his choices for him but he and Yuuri had a personal understanding that when it came to Japanese food, Yuuri had standing orders to take charge.
After a moment the forms disappeared as well a few minutes later the curtains rose just enough to reveal someone’s midsection and hands holding a tray. Yuri accepted the large bowl from the mystery noodle bringer and inhaled deeply and appreciatively.
“This is one hundred percent not on my diet.”
“I told you I would take care of you.” Yuuri smiled mischievously. Victor doesn’t care so as long as you don’t post oily ramen and fried food pictures all over your instagram Yakov will never know and you should be fine.”
Yuri glanced balefully over the top of his phone, raised to the perfect angle to take a picture of his noodles - bathed in chili oil and topped with an extra large portion of garlic roasted pork. “Maybe they won’t check.”
That earned him an amused snort. “Whatever you need to tell yourself.”
They both inhaled the first couple of bites in quiet bliss. Yuuri broke the silence to remind him to pour the small container of tangy black vinegar in and the conversation stalled again amid contented slurping sounds.
Just as he was finishing the last mouthful of noodles the mystery staff person plunked down a second serving of noodles. He was absolutely sure Yuuri had caught the small crow of delight that escaped him but he was past caring.
Bowls empty and stomachs full they headed back out into the night. Luckily it was a short trip back to the house, Yuri could feel the pull of sleep making slowing his steps and clouding his thoughts. He was already half out of his sweatshirt on his way to bed when he paused in the doorway of his room to look at Yuuri who was tucked up on the couch with a book.
He was so comfortable, his limbs suffused with tired warmth and the promise of a soft, imminent bed. “Thanks. For dinner.”
“It’s no problem.”
“And, you know. Everything else.”
Yuuri smiled that sweet smile that very few people got to see. Yuri would never admit out loud that he considered himself lucky to be one of them. “Of course, Yuri-kun. Welcome home.”
Over to you, chuyeol!