JJ’s just finished and getting off the ice when Otabek shows up. Yuri has been waiting for his private practice slot and analyzing the Canadian’s routine. JJ has spent a solid twenty five percent of his ice time mugging at Yuri between jumps and spins, like he’s a kid showing off on the playground. Which, seeing as how JJ isn’t even twenty yet and usually acts half that is pretty accurate. Yuri has been rolling his eyes so hard he’s given himself a mild headache.
Otabek’s practice was much earlier so Yuri is surprised when Otabek leans on the barrier next to him, bumping their shoulders by way of greeting. “Hey.”
Yuri doesn’t turn but he can see Otabek’s small smile out of the corner of his eyes and his heart thumps painfully in his chest like it always does when Otabek smiles.
“You came to bask in my glory, huh?” Yuri taunts solely to see that small smile stretch into a smirk.
“Something like that.”
When he first met Otabek - well, the first time he remembers meeting Otabek - Yuri had been electrified, excited that someone like Otabek wanted to be friends with him. Two days and about a hundred text messages into their friendship it had occurred to him that maybe he should try to back off a little. Yuri had been accused on more than a few occasions of being too intense for anyone’s good. It would suck to make an awesome friend and scare them off right away.
He really had tried but Otabek had always texted back, had asked Yuri to video chat, had never looked askance at Yuri’s tirades or foul mouth or relentless ambition. It took a year for Yuri to relax and realize that Otabek might just be nearly as intense as he is.
Yuri scoffs and sails out onto the ice to warm up in graceful loops, Otabek’s dark eyes tracking him around the rink.
If his feelings were strong then it was nothing compared to now - now that he knows the shape of Otabek’s shoulders under his hands, the rich smell of his cologne like herbs and forest, the taste of his mouth. Sometimes Yuri feels like he’s burning when they’re together, an endless conflagration of emotion roiling under his skin, pink flush everywhere Otabek touches him. They have never really been obvious about their relationship in public, never announced anything or let themselves get caught making out like Victor and Yuuri but pretty much everyone knows. Yuri thinks they might be the worst kept secret in figure skating. Otabek thinks it’s amusing.
He sees JJ lingering at the rink, attention half on Yuri, half on chatting up Otabek. Yuri abruptly swoops out of a lazy figure eight and into a sky high quad salchow landing right in front of where they’re standing. JJ startles visibly and Otabek laughs and Yuri speeds away grinning, satisfaction glowing in his chest.
Yuri takes his starting position for his free skate, moving through the first movements in a sensual glide to the glissando of the first notes. It’s a story of seduction, a smoldering but subtle invitation, an obvious (to Yuri anyway) map of his feelings. This year everyone will know exactly how Yuri burns.
Passing the baton to chuyeol!