“Who was that?” Yuuri hisses, pulling on sweatpants with more force than is strictly necessary.
“Volkov,” Victor sighs, sounding very tired. “An old friend.”
Yuuri recognizes the sarcasm immediately and abandons his frantic attempts to tie the tie at his waist. He curls up next to Victor on their hotel bed, pulling Victor to his chest and baring his neck so Victor can nuzzle into the scent glands there, breath feather-soft. Victor makes a very pleased noise, running his thumb along Yuuri’s collarbone.
“Volkov,” Yuuri mutters, “Why does that name sound familiar?”
“If you’ve read anything bad about me in the last eight years,” Victor laughs humorlessly, “There’s a good chance you’ve run across something by him.”
“I would never!” Yuuri gasps, sounding very affronted. This time, Victor’s laugh is genuine, and he holds Yuuri tight, listening to the pounding of Yuuri’s heart in his ear. It’s soft, comforting, just like the way he smells. Victor drowns in it, blissfully.
“I know, love, I know,” Victor assures him, pressing a finger to his lips. He pauses then, and cups Yuuri’s cheek, meeting his gaze properly to ask in a trembling voice, “Did you mean it? That you’d donate your winnings to Athletes Against Sexual Assault? I know, I mean, I have more prize money than you do, and it’s not gold-”
Yuuri gives him a look . A very, very irritated look. Victor isn’t afraid, though, not of this look, because he’d never be afraid of Yuuri. Precious Yuuri.
Yuuri who pokes him on the head, right at the whorl of his hair part, indicating he’s annoyed at Victor’s callousness. Victor supposes he deserves that, but it doesn’t stop him from whining and burying his face in Yuuri’s shoulder.
Suddenly, soft hands cup his cheeks and lift his chin up so that they’re staring at each other, meeting each other’s gaze.
Yuuri kisses his forehead. “Yes,” he breathes, watching the light flicker in Victor’s bright blue eyes, “All of it. I know how much it means to you.”
Victor lets out a choked gasp and brings their lips together. He slides up Yuuri, slides his hands along Yuuri’s bare chest, trying his best to memorize every inch of Yuuri’s mouth.
Yuuri squeaks in surprise, and Victor pulls back, lips red and cheeks flushed and eyes slightly glassy.
The prize money is only a small part of his figure skating income, so this is more symbolic than anything, reminiscent of how Victor has donated most of his prize money to his charity in the three years it’s been active. And anyway, Victor has never been one to ignore symbolism.
They shower together, Victor’s hands working wet, soapy circles into Yuuri’s hair. The bathroom perfumes with the scent of their bodies, and as he admires Yuuri’s porcelain limbs, defined with beautiful muscle, arousal builds in the pit of Victor’s stomach.
When they have sex, make love, whatever - it’s always warm. A steady thrum of heat that curls around him, cozy as a blanket. Whether Yuuri is just pleasuring him with his hands, his mouth - or whether Victor is inside him (because bottoming is still out of the question, and Yuuri understands), it’s like the feeling in his belly after a bowl of hot katsudon, or the tug of emotion he’d felt when puppy Makkachin had finally crawled out from under Yakov’s couch and curled up to sleep on the bed beside him.
It’s nice to feel like this again, to know that he can .
Yakov discovers Victor’s first Myspace when Victor is sixteen. The next day, at practice, he snatches away Victor’s bright pink flip phone and gives him perhaps the most intense lecture of his career.
On that Myspace were catalogs of pictures - Victor with various boyfriends, Victor in various states of undress, pictures he’d clearly taken himself or asked the boyfriends to take for him.
“I don’t get it,” Victor cries, stamping his feet in fury. “What’s so bad about me being confident? You let me do whatever I want in my routines, Yakov. So why can’t I show off off-ice as well?”
“I couldn’t stop your routines even if I tried, you hate my choreography,” Yakov growls, sounding like he’s reaching into the depths of his soul to find the patience for this conversation. “But Victor, you’re not even an adult-”
“I’m legal in Russia!”
“And once something’s out there, you have no control over what people do with it!”
Victor pouts. He’s wearing his favorite skating outfit, a crop top and skin-tight athletic leggings, and was definitely planning on taking a few choice mirror pictures after practice, all sweaty and hot, but now he feels stupid and wants stupid Yakov to leave him alone.
“I read the comments people left you,” Yakov snaps. “Can you honestly say you like getting things like that?”
No. That’s a firm no. Victor doesn’t mind being told he’s gorgeous (and hot, and sexy, and even fuckable) but there’s been more than one occasion where Victor has gotten a comment from an alpha, or sometimes even a beta, that was too crude even for him. Too gross. Things like, I can’t wait until you’re legal so I can turn you into the slutty omega fucktoy you are and I want to tie you up in my house and make you have my babies .
He keeps silent, though, face burning.
“I’ve never had so much trouble with any of my other omega skaters,” Yakov shouts.
Victor feels like Yakov has dunked him in icy water. His breath hitches, and he takes a step back, furious as his eyes start to burn. It’s hard for him not to notice that there are only two or three other omegas at the rink, how they seem to slowly dwindle in numbers as the years go on. How the scent of alphas is thick and strong because rink protocol demands all omegas wear scent blockers.
Yakov’s face drains of color as he seems to recognize his mistake.
“I’m sorry,” he says, gruffly, sincerely. “Victor, you’re the best skater I’ve seen in decades, but that won’t be enough to get you sponsorships - or worse, it’ll attract the wrong kinds of sponsors. It’s unfair, but it’s so much harder for omegas. So much harder.”
“How is it my problem that they’re a bunch of stuck up jackasses?” Victor shouts back, hiding his embarrassment behind anger.
“It’s not,” Yakov concedes, “But they will make it your problem anyway. It’s easier to change things when you’re already at the top.”
“What do you know about that?” Victor hisses, furiously.
It’s a fair question. Yakov seems to realize that, and he rubs the back of his neck, a little embarrassed.
Yakov hides guilt behind his gruff exterior, but because Victor is sixteen and has always been petty even if he didn’t have a reason to be, he storms off the ice and doesn’t speak to him the entire trip home, and barely says anything over dinner, even when Yakov offers Victor a chocolate croissant, a rare treat especially during a skating season.
The next day, he practices his quads again and again and again, despite Yakov telling him to fix his footwork before even thinking of jumps.
He does delete the pictures, though.