YOI: F is for Family

    It’s my wedding anniversary and Deadpool 2 killed me in so many wonderful ways and a conversation I had with my husband about my parents inspired, well, something. Enjoy? 

    “Sorry I’m late, I was—”

    Yuuri stops, biting back the rest of his sentence. Viktor is there, hovering over the bed, a finger to his lips. Silently, Yuuri pads over, lays down the bag of bento boxes on the bedside table. His mother is turned on her side, fast asleep, and he’s relieved to see the rise of her chest beneath the covers, the color of life in her cheeks.

    “How is she?” he whispers, shifting to Viktor’s side. An arm wraps around him, instantly, tucking him close.

    “Better,” Viktor says.

    Yuuri feels Viktor’s head turn, feels him press a kiss into his hair. He sighs, head tilting against Viktor’s shoulder. The hospital is stuffy, an undertone of bleach wafting in the air. All four walls of his mother’s private room are slate grey, the only spots of color coming from the cheap prints of uplifting scenery.  

    Yuuri hates hospitals. The last time he visited, his father had broken his pelvis from too much drunken dancing on tabletops. (“Youre eighty,” he reminded his father, who responded with a good-natured laugh.) And it doesn’t get any easier, stepping into the too-bright corridors, walking past trollies and white coats and people in checkered gowns ambling about in a daze.

    Mari was the one who called this time.

    Yuuri knew something was off when her words streamed out in a garbled, staccato mess. Mom, he caught, and heart attack, and then it was his turn to lose his words—his breath—as the world spun around him.

    It was Viktor who got them the plane tickets, who settled Yuuri’s skating classes and found a substitute. Who cancelled every TV gig and board meeting to stay by Yuuri’s side, to hold him when the shakes and tears returned.

    “They’re getting old,” Yuuri says. He’s thought it, so many times, but to say it out loud is like a stab to the heart. He thought he had faced all kinds of pain before in his life.

    Those have nothing on this.

    “We’ll be here.” Viktor’s voice is soft, soothing. “We’ll care for them. Help out with the inn until Mari can find helpers, stand on her own two feet.”

    Yuuri swallows. “But your skating coverage, your clothing line…”

    “They’ll find another commentator, and for the clothing line? There’s a couple of handy little things called video conferencing and Facetime.” Viktor reaches for his hand—the one curled tightly into the fabric of his pants—and tangles their fingers together. “Our family means more to me than anything in this whole world.”

    Our family.

    Yuuri’s chest goes tight and hot. He looks up at Viktor—at the softness in his eyes and the warmth in his smile—and without thought, without hesitation, presses trembling fingers to Viktor’s jaw, his mouth to Viktor’s lips.

    “I love you,” he says between kisses. “I don’t know what I’d do without you. I dont- I can’t-”

    “You’ll never have to,” Viktor murmurs, and Yuuri feels as though he’s on fire, and oh – Viktor’s pressing his mouth on his neck, at the pulse point there—

    “Mm, Yuuri-kun?”

    They jolt apart, like teenagers caught in the act.

    His mother is awake, her smile gentle and knowing. “Do I smell katsudon?” she says, brightening, while Yuuri swipes furiously at his eyes.

    “That’s not the best for your heart, mom, so I’ve made some oyakodon instead…”

    As he pulls out the bento boxes from the bag, he hears the rustle of movement when Viktor bends over to embrace his mother, hears her bashful, “I’ve caused you so much trouble, Vicchan,” and Viktor’s accented, much-improved Japanese reply of, “All I want is for you to be healthy, mama.”

    Mari and his father join them later, bringing in flowers and balloons that light up the room with vibrant colors. And watching Mari comment on Viktor’s new hair parting—covers the bald spot pretty well, she says over Viktor’s gasp—watching his father clap a hand on Viktor’s shoulder in a manly gesture of appreciation, Yuuri can’t deny the feeling that fills him inside.

    He’s home, he’s happy, and with Viktor by his side, he can conquer anything.