Title: If I Could See You - Part 2
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice
Summary: When Yuuri impulsively buys a ring as a good luck charm, he never expects to be haunted by the ghost of his late idol, one Viktor Nikiforov. Yuuri isn't a great ice skater, but he knows Viktor is, and the world deserves to see his skating. Ghost Viktor AU.
Notes: Illustration by kiyutsuna at the end! :D Inspired by Ginban Kaleidoscope and Hikaru no Go.
Yuuri doesn't go jogging on the banks along the Ambassador Bridge as planned, and he nearly doesn't make it to morning practice. Waking up with his idol sleeping in the same bed as him destroys all semblance of a normal morning. He still thinks it must be a dream, all the way until he wobbles on his landing and crashes onto the ice. It stings. It really stings.
It's not a dream.
Celestino tells him to cool off; he's clearly off his game today. Even though he still can't give Celestino his decision, Yuuri apologizes and promises he will try harder during the next practice. Phichit's worried gaze follows him as he skates over to the side of the rink. The reason for his distraction sticks to him like a shadow, yet neither Celestino nor Phichit makes any comment about suddenly having a deceased world famous skater appear on their rink.
Neither can see him. It's only just starting to sink in that he's really the only one who can.
The same thing happened the previous night when Phichit burst into his room, worried about Yuuri's sudden screaming. Because scream he did, once he finally found his voice. Yuuri floundered then, waving his hands in the air and pointing and gesturing, mouth gaping like a fish, but Phichit only stared at him instead of the very naked Viktor on his bed.
At the time, Viktor placed a finger on his mouth and shrugged, saying, "He doesn't seem like he can see me."
"V-Vi..." Yuuri had stammered, pointing at his bed. At Viktor. Who by all means, was dead. Should be dead.
Phichit had only murmured, "Did you wake up from another dream about Viktor? I'll make you some tea." In response to that, Yuuri could only accept the mug of steaming tea that really did end up appearing on his desk. Phichit had a drink of his own and stood next to him as he chattered about movies, music, and a whole bunch of random topics, but none of his words really made it through Yuuri's brain. All Yuuri could do was stare when Viktor got up from the bed and meandered around the room, hands ghosting across the walls. He eventually stopped in front of the poster of himself.
Yuuri's breath stilled.
As if sensing his distress, Viktor looked over at him and smirked. Yuuri didn't know where to place his eyes; he wanted to avoid Viktor's heated gaze but looking down didn't help at all. His face flushed red, likely all the way to the tips of his ears. Phichit even asked if he was okay.
Perhaps taking pity on him, Viktor turned back to the poster of himself. He touched the poster gently, tracing the outlines of his outfit, and suddenly, Viktor was dressed in the outfit depicted in the poster from his championship win. The shimmering black hugged his body, and the delicate crystal shards on his shoulder and waist accented his hair and eyes. Although Viktor wore an old outfit of his, and his hair was just as long as it had been when he'd first taken Yuuri's breath away, the mesh that covered—hah, covered—the right side of his body clearly told Yuuri that Viktor was no longer that same teenager from the poster. Yuuri never thought he'd get to see Viktor wear that outfit again.
"Better?" Viktor asked, bringing his hands up to tie his hair. The black material of his outfit smoothly followed his motions.
Yuuri gulped and stared. Better? It was no better at all. All Yuuri could do was stare. And stare some more, unable to tear his eyes away.
Phichit had to shake him to reanimate him from his frozen state, thinking that maybe the chamomile tea had been too effective.
It definitely wasn't the tea.
Shaking himself out of his reverie now, Yuuri steals a glance at Viktor, who accompanies him off the rink and is seemingly deep in thought, so much that he doesn't notice Yuuri's attention. He is still wearing that dazzling outfit, as if he's only moments away from taking the stage. But there's no longer a stage for him, only Yuuri, the only one who is able to see him.
The thought freezes Yuuri, the responsibility too heavy and suffocating. He wills himself not to panic. The receptionist wishes him a good day, and he fumbles a reply and half a bow through quick, short breaths, to which she quirks an eyebrow, but there is no response from her to Viktor's enthusiastic, "Bye bye!"
The crisp air outside does little for Yuuri's panic and only shocks him more. He tries to walk it off, with Viktor following him the entire way, never more than a few meters from him. When walking doesn't help, he pulls the necklace from underneath his shirt, clenching it in his hand. Even when he doesn't turn around, he knows Viktor is there right by him. It's not a dream, but how does he know Viktor is real? How does he know he isn't hallucinating? Why does Viktor come to him, of all people? Katsuki Yuuri doesn't even know if he will continue ice skating. Katsuki Yuuri is no one to Viktor Nikiforov. Katsuki Yuuri is—
"Yuuri?" Viktor asks and moves closer, hand reaching out, as if to touch him.
Yuuri flinches. The necklace thuds against his collarbone. He stumbles back, unsure if he wishes to know whether he will feel Viktor's touch, or if he won't be able to feel it. He's not at all sure which one would disappoint him more. Then, he recalls waking up next to Viktor, which means it's likely he already has his answer, only that his panic has eclipsed his understanding. Which, when it comes down to it, sucks.
He was so close.
Viktor gazes at him, hand dropping to his side, waiting.
Yuuri finds that he does want to understand, after all.
He wants to push past his confusion. If he allows himself this, if he can pull aside the last threads of impossibility and let himself believe, then Viktor is right there by him. It means having Viktor smile at him. It means hearing Viktor call his name. It means having Viktor with him. It means seeing Viktor. It means actually getting to know Viktor. It means maybe meaning something to Viktor.
All Yuuri has to do is reach out.
So he does.
His breath hitches when his hand passes through Viktor's, and his heart plummets, weighed down by disappointment. But Viktor smiles and takes it as an invitation. He comes closer and pretends to swing an arm around Yuuri, and he almost thinks he can feel his cold touch.
"So Yuuri, what's there to see here?" A cheerful wave of Viktor's free hand, gesturing at their surroundings, accompanies his words.
Yuuri doesn't really know. Phichit would know more. In all the time Yuuri has been here, all he really does is practice, train, and study. And let Phichit drag him out of the apartment from time-to-time. So, Yuuri doesn't really know the place, but he does have a few locations he enjoys.
The suspension bridge stands tall and runs far, all the way to Windsor. It's a grand sight rising above the great lake, reaching for the blue skies, heading to a destination Yuuri has never been. What Yuuri loves best about the bridge is jogging along it, with the water reflecting the bridge in the distance, especially in the mornings when it's quiet and the world fades away. It feels a bit like being back at Hasetsu then, enveloped by a peaceful solitude, except everything is much bigger, much more expansive. No matter how far Yuuri jogs, there's always more ground to cover.
Viktor is quiet, taking in the sight. He walks ahead of Yuuri, one step at a time. When the sun glitters across the water, Viktor pauses and looks out into the distance. There's a slight breeze that causes little ripples in the water and makes Yuuri shiver, but not a hair is out of place on Viktor. Yuuri stops rubbing his arms, instead twisting the fabric of his sleeves.
"I like to jog here," Yuuri blurts, breaking the silence, wishing for Viktor to look his way instead of looking so lost.
"Do you?" Viktor responds and does turn his way. "Why don't you show me?"
Show him he does. Walking didn't help, but jogging does, and Yuuri feels his unease finally settle down into a much more manageable fizzle. He does get his morning jog, after all, even though it's not quite as planned. The pace is easy enough that he can still converse with Viktor, though more than one passerby gives him a strange look for seemingly talking to himself. The first time it happens, Yuuri abruptly stops talking. The second time it happens, Yuuri sticks one of his earbuds in his ear and pretends he's talking on the phone. He doesn't want to have to stop talking with Viktor, especially when Viktor seems to hold on to his every word, always ready with teasing comments.
It's almost too much for Yuuri, how easily they fall into a peaceful rapport once he lets it happen, like he's known Viktor much longer than this. No longer is Viktor so out of reach like the teenager who danced across his television screen and made Yuuri fall for the world of ice, or the man on the rise to becoming a legend, making Yuuri wish to stand on the same stage. Yet at the same time, he still is.
He still is.
Yuuri's feet eventually leads them to a nearby park. Towering buildings give way to a beautiful oasis of green with plenty of trees surrounding it. They stop by the water fountain near the center. Yuuri sits down to catch his breath. He pats the necklace underneath his shirt.
"And? What do you like about this place?" Viktor asks.
Yuuri shifts and gestures at the north lawn. He can see the transformation in his mind.
"Between November and March, that entire grass area is transformed into an ice rink. It's really amazing," Yuuri says, lips tugging upward. "In the winter, twinkling lights surround the rink, setting the trees aglow under the open sky caressed by white."
It's nowhere to practice, not with how many families take to the ice, laughing, falling, jostling, yet it's one of the few places that still make Yuuri feel that ice skating can be fun.
"It's too bad the season isn't right," Yuuri concludes.
"Well, we'll just have to come back again when the season is right," Viktor says. The hope those words give Yuuri is almost too much. Everything about Viktor is almost too much. Viktor's intense gaze on him is the same. It's too much. Yuuri thought Viktor would be looking at the grass, imagining the skating rink. He's not. Instead, he's staring at Yuuri.
Studying him, taking him in, figuring him out.
"But for now..." Viktor rises from the side of the fountain, urging Yuuri to follow him to the grass.
What can Yuuri do but follow?
There is no rink, but Viktor doesn't let that stop him. Viktor's ice skating has always been like dancing to Yuuri, and Viktor dances now. There is no ice, but Viktor dances anyway, his jumps and spins landing gracefully, long hair fluttering behind him. This is Viktor. This is Viktor, and how Yuuri wishes everyone could see Viktor like he does.
It's not fair that Viktor doesn't get to continue on. It's not fair that Yuuri is the only one who can see him. It's not fair. Viktor deserves so much more.
When Viktor stops and catches Yuuri's gaze, daring him to look away if he can—how can he?—it's to ask an abrupt question. "Yuuri, why aren't you participating in the qualifiers?"
Celestino asked Yuuri for his decision just this morning. Yuuri's response was lackluster.
Yuuri gulps and clenches his hands. He longs to grip the ring again. He almost does. "I... I don't know. It's just that me and ice skating... I was thinking of stopping..."
Even as he speaks, Yuuri wishes he could take his words back, especially because of the shuttered expression that falls upon Viktor's face. How can he say such selfish words in front of Viktor, who doesn't even have the choice?
Viktor drifts close, cold fingers teasing Yuuri's chin. He's so close that Yuuri can almost imagine Viktor's voice tickling his skin. He's not entirely sure that the whisper of coldness he feels is the result of the wind when it feels a lot more like Viktor.
"If you're not participating," Viktor murmurs, "give your body to me then."
to be continued
/screams at Kiyu's drawing