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the water's always changing [always flowing]

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It started after Victor asked Yuuri to help him find a receipt. Something about wanting to return a pair of ill-considered and badly fitting shoes, or something similar. Yuuri was a little too amused staring at his husband flipping through various books scattered around the living room searching for it, as he had the habit of using receipts as bookmarks.

 

Yuuri decided to hunt through the books in the bedroom, patting Makkachin as the old dog slumbered at the foot of the bed.

 

He looked through a steadily-growing stack of books on Victor's nightstand. If it was the receipt he thought it was, it was likely to be found among something Victor started reading recently. This particular stack was a mix of English, French, and Japanese paperbacks ordered online, each of them bearing a unique bookmark. 

 

One had a grocery list from...Wow. Five months ago, probably. 

 

How does he even keep things like this around for so long? Victor had to hoard these bits of paper in advance for whenever he started a new book. That had to be it. 

 

Yuuri was holding back a laugh and called out, "It's not in here either!"

 

"Check the drawers, please!" Victor called back. "I think I have one or two books in there!"

 

Of course he did. 

 

Kneeling and pulling one drawer open, Yuuri saw that there were indeed two books inside. The one on top was a worn copy of Brat'ya karamazovy that had been in Victor's possession for nearly two decades.

 

The second was...incredibly familiar.

 

Even so, Yuuri felt as though his heart came to a complete stop in his chest at the sight of it.

 

Breathing hard he quickly picked it up, staring at the cover intently to make sure his eyes weren't fooling him. 

 

Adoption: What Couples Need to Know and Discuss

 

He opened it to a page near the beginning, eyes widening at the red ink markings littering the paragraphs, a few attached to notes scribbled in Cyrillic. They were mostly translations of some unfamiliar word, as the book was in English.

 

He couldn't believe it. This was...

 

His heart was racing so fast he almost felt dizzy.

 

They'd discussed children once or twice, very briefly, agreeing a couple of years back that they weren't quite ready for that commitment just yet and putting off the actual discussion until they both felt better prepared.

 

Well...he found the receipt in question, at least, marking Victor's place. He was about three quarters in, and it looked like there was not a page without his notes on it. It was remarkable, considering the fact that Victor took excellent care of his books. 

 

Yuuri looked up at the sound of rapid footsteps heading his way, and saw Victor come to a stop at the door, a wide-eyed and frantic look on his face. God, he looked nervous, his face turning paler when his gaze fell on the book Yuuri held in his hands.

 

"...You found it," Victor said quietly, color once again rising to his cheeks as he bit his lip. "I forgot that was in there."

 

"Y-yeah," Yuuri replied, surprised by how shaky his voice was. When he got to his feet he was smiling, so close to just breaking down and laughing.

 

Victor stared at him, still nervous and confused about his reaction. "Give me a second," Yuuri said to him, holding on to the book and pulling his phone out of his pocket and pulling up his e-book library and clicking on a particular title before handing it to Victor with a grin.

 

Victor frowned slightly as he took the phone, looking at the screen for a few seconds before surprise widened his eyes and he looked up at Yuuri with a widening smile. "Yuuri, you're kidding!"

 

He didn't bother containing his laughter and neither did Victor, both of them clutching their stomachs and sitting on the edge of the bed as they tried to get themselves back under control. Makkachin raised his head and stared at his humans, blinking at them as they carried on. Once he was able to speak coherently, Victor remarked, "I can't believe you're reading the same one!"

 

"Neither can I," Yuuri exclaimed, still looking at the paperback in amazement. "God, how does this even happen?"

 

"I have no idea, solnyshko." Victor swiped the phone screen, finding the individual bookmarks Yuuri had in place. "How long ago did you start reading it?"

 

Yuuri gave a shrug. "A month ago, I think." It was his turn to bite his lip a little guiltily, and he added, "I didn't say anything about it because I didn't want it to seem like I was pressuring you into anything, even if I was starting to feel a little bit ready about...all of this. Especially after..."

 

"My ankle and my retirement," Victor finished for him, his smile fading slightly at the reminder.

 

"And starting to coach Yuri and Mila," Yuuri added quietly. "I-it's not like I feel a hundred percent ready, or anything, I just wanted to...start getting ready, you know? Still, I wanted to be sure you were ready before I said anything."

 

"I think I was doing the same," Victor said, taking his copy and tracing the spine with his fingers. "I feel silly after hiding it like this, but I didn't want to scare you either."

 

Yuuri laughed softly. "I think we're bound to be scared anyway. This is a huge decision."

 

"I agree. So...what do you think?" Victor asked, turning to look at him. "Should we start talking about it or keep putting it off for a little while longer?"

 

Yuuri wondered what the right answer was. So much had changed since they first met, and they'd faced a few hard moments, but they'd faced them together. They'd grown together, making something beautiful out of something so unlikely. "Are we ready?" he asked, knowing the question sounded foolish. Who was ever actually ready for the reality of raising a child?

 

Victor hummed thoughtfully, quiet for a moment before replying, "I think...we're more ready than we were a few years ago."

 

That was certainly true. Victor wasn't competing, and Yuuri had at least two more years left in him. It would be difficult and would take a lot of time and compromise from both of them, but... "I really want this with you," Yuuri murmured, leaning into Victor and laying his head on his shoulder.

 

Victor's arm wrapped warmly around him as he pressed a kiss to the top of his head. "I do too," he said quietly into his hair, Yuuri able to feel his soft smile.

 

He looked up into those blue eyes. Some things never changed, and one of them was Victor's immense capacity for love. The future was completely open, and in a way it was a little overwhelming, but Yuuri knew he wasn't going to be doing this alone. "Let's do it. Let's start talking about it," he said, drawing away to look back at Victor determinedly.

 

Smiling back and nodding once in agreement, Victor turned towards a quiet Makkachin. "What about you, Makka? Are you ready to become a big brother?"

 

Makkachin merely replied with a short whine, getting comfortable again while Yuuri and Victor gazed at him indulgently. 

 

Yuuri couldn't stop smiling, excitement spreading through him at the thought of them starting a family and becoming fathers. It had his heart racing in a good way. "Wow...We could actually be some kid's parents one day."

 

"I can't wait to meet them," Victor said, his eyes bright with joy as he looked at Yuuri before leaning in to kiss him.

 

Kissing Victor back, Yuuri couldn't agree more.