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Is this what family feels like?

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"But I don't want tooooooo....." Yuri Plisetsky was very good at whining. Being 16 helps in that department. And being a grade A dumbass doesn't hurt either.

"C'mon. The competitive season is over, so you have to refocus on school right now." Otabek's voice sounded crackled through the phone. The connection inside the rink wasn't amazing, and Yuri's propensity for yelling wasn't helping his only friend understand him better. Yuri finished packing up his skates, slammed his locker and stared defeatedly at his textbooks in his bag. Yakov said he had some errands to run and couldn't pick him up until later. The rink staff were always nice and let him study in the skaters dressing room for as long as he wanted. Since Yakov was the head coach of most of the Russian team, he had keys to the rink's back door and could go in and out as he pleased.

Before he moved to St Petersburg, his grandpa would help him with his school work, as much as he could anyway. He was a patient man, and always waited for Yuri to finish his temper tantrums before urging him to try again.

And Yuri couldn't blame him. He was never the strongest student. He could never master maths or sciences, books were boring. All he wanted to do was skate.

He growled and slumped into the chair, puling his hood further over his face. He had managed to find the corner with the best Wi-Fi reception and Otabek's face came into (slightly blurry) view. His eyebrows were scrunched together to make that slightly disappointed face he always did when Yuri was being willful.

"What does this have to do with skating? What even is...." He squinted at the cover of the first book in his bag. "Al... Alheb... Algeb..." He groaned. "Algebra?" He finally stumbled into the right word.

Otabek tilted his head and raised an eyebrow. "Yura." The Russian's cheeks flushed. The nickname was a recent update to their relationship, but it made him feel special all the same.

"Bekah, how did you do this?" He whined, resting his head on the table.

"I'm still doing it, remember?" The Kazakh held up his own books.

"Yeah, but you're so much better at this than me... You're so smart." Yuri held his head up on his hands, squishing his cheeks into a very prominent pout.

"You're smart too, you just need help. Okay?" Otabek smiled at Yuri and scrambled to find some paper. "Here, read me the first question you're stuck on." Yuri sighed and complied begrudgingly. Ota scribbled down some equations and flipped the paper around so Yuri could see it. "So see this term here?" He circled it with his pencil. "You can move it over so that...." Yuri nodded along with him, only half paying attention. He had an interesting way of explaining things that just made sense to Yuri. Not just the school work, but everything. Yuri had never been good at emotions, and he would have thought Otabek wouldn't either. But somehow the 18 year-old had wisdom far beyond his years.

They worked through a few more problems before someone entered the locker room. He quickly waved goodbye to his friend and ran a hand through his hair. Yakov always insisted they spent too much time talking to each other.

"You shouldn't spend so much time talking to your competitors." Yakov would tell him. "You have to focus on your training."

Yuri never really cared much what that old man had to say. He had finally made one friend, and Yakov wasn't his dad anyway. Well, he was his official guardian until he turned 18, but he was almost there. Only two more years and he'd be able to live his own life without constant supervision.

But the figure that emerged from around the corder wasn't his coach. It was the Japanese Yuuri. His rival had grown out his hair and now wore it in a half-up bun, the rest cascading down to brush his shoulders. "Oh, hey Yurio." He said, waving a hand. "What are you still doing here?"

"Yakov had to run some errands and probably just forgot I was here or something." He snapped the maths textbook closed and shoved it into his bag. "I'll just walk home." The young skater slung it over his shoulder and stood, stretching from the tangled position he had been sitting in for the past hour.

"You can come to our place if you want. I actually got pretty good grades in college, so I can help you study. I know you have your end of year exams coming up." Yuuri said, digging through his locker for something. He breathed a sigh of relief and pulled out a manilla envelope with large japanese characters scrawled across it.

"Are you making food? I'm hungry. And Lilia's cooking stinks..." He looked up at the older man, an eyebrow raised.

"I was gonna cook, but we can pick up some take out on the way home if you need help studying." Yuuri closed the lock with a metallic click and swung his own bag onto his back.

"As long as I don't have to go back home and get yelled at by Yakov again, I don't care." He shrugged and the two Yuri's exited the rink.

Between the angry yelling in Russian and the sizzling of food in the pans, Yuuri couldn't understand everything that was going on in the living room, but he did know it wasn't going well. Viktor had volunteered to help Yurio with an essay he was supposed to write about a novel he'd been assigned. While he wasn't good with numbers, the skating legend was pretty good with interpretation of themes, as made clear by his successful career. But accepting help, especially from Viktor, wasn't something Yurio was good at. While they had a coach-skater relationship, and a relationship as teammates, the teacher-student relationship was new territory, and breaking the ice, so to speak, wasn't going to be easy.

"I don't understand! Why would she do that if she knew she would die?" Yurio screamed. A string of obsceneties followed, but Yuuri couldn't pick up on them. His Russian was improving, but still had a long way to go.

"That was the whole point! She knew she would die. But it was more important for her to save her family." Now it was Viktor's turn to swear.

Yuuri pulled the pans off the stove, clicked the burners off and set up the table. It was time to intervene before someone started throwing things. He wandered out of the kitchen, pulling the string of his apron loose. "Okay, enough swearing. It's time for dinner. Move it, both of you." Yuuri said, one hand on his hip and the other holding the spatula.

"Yuuri! My love, you always look so cute in that apron!" Viktor pulled him in for a sweet kiss. "But you're wearing far too many clothes under there." He said, matter of factly. Yuuri wasn't sure if he meant to say it that loudly, or if he had just forgotten Yurio was standing behind him.

As if on cue, Yurio made a gagging sound. "You two are disgusting. Keep it in your pants until I leave, okay?" He grumbled and put a single headphone in. Loud rock music drifted out of the dangling earbud as he slouched at the dinner table in his usual spot.

"Hey, no heaphones at the table Yurio." Viktor said, yanking it out of his ear gently as he sat down beside Yurio.

"Stop calling me that!" He growled, snatching his deadphone back and shoving it in his pocket.

"Well there are two Yuris, so he'd have to start calling me one of his pet names he gave me, but I remember you banning those while you're around." Yuuri grinned and set three glasses on the table and poured water into each of them. Viktor chuckled and put his pointer finger to his lips, a Nikiforov pose both boys were very familiar with.

"Ugh, gross. Nevermind..." A loud ding came from the youger boy's phone. He picked it up and smiled softly. A smile that only came from one getting a message from one person.

"How is Otabek doing? He's also study for his final high school exams, right?" Yuuri scooped some rice onto his plate and looked at his counterpart inquisitively.

"He's fine. He was just sending me the answer to a math question we were doing earlier. No big deal." Yurio picked up his plate to lean back into the chair as Viktor delivered an intimidating side eye that made the teenager reverse course.

"Oh, is he helping you study? That's nice of him." Yuuri continued, looking around for the soy sauce he swore he put on the table.

"I guess. Bekah's just better at that stuff. And he offered so it's not like I asked him to." He replied, mouth full of food. There had been enough rule violations at this point that Viktor had given up on trying to correct it for one night.

"Bekah?" Viktor perked up, a grin slowly emerging. "When did that happen?"

Yurio blushed, scrambling for an answer that seemed cool enough to satisfy his teenage rebellion against emotional attachment. "A while ago I guess... It's no big deal."

Blue eyes flashed and silver hairbounced with excitement. "Did he ask you to call him that? Or did you ask him if it was okay?" His excitement over the teenager's only friendship was a little much sometimes, but Yuuri found it endearing that Viktor had taken such an interest in someone that wasn't his fiance. It had become clear to him that Viktor struggled to connect to others in the same way Yuuri used to. It comforted him to know that he wasn't the only skater that had to push out of his shell to make friends.

"Why does it matter so much to you? It's not like we're dating like you losers..." Yurio hid his face further into his hoodie, pulling his hair over his eyes.

"If you're just friends then why are you hiding in your sweatshirt, huh?" Viktor's prodding really was getting on the kid's nerves now. Yuuri put a hand on Viktor's wrist and shook his head, hoping that his fiance would get the message and drop it. But whether he was being purposefully oblivious or his lack of subtlety was rearing its head again, he pressed on.

"Yuuuurioooooo." He sung at the boy, who clearly was reaching his limit in the sharing portion of the dinner conversation. "You aren't giving us an answer...." Viktor's delicate hand brushed aside the unruly tangle of hair in front of Yurio's face, trying to get a better look at him.

"Viktor, he clearly doesn't wanna talk about it. Why don't you leave it alone for now, okay?" Yuuri raised his hands in the signature "make some distance" Katsuki pose.

"Oh come on Yuuri, I'm just teasing him. I remember teasing you a lot too." Viktor wasn't getting this hint. This could get ugly. Yuuri thought, trying to remember anything about his day that could turn the tide of this conversation.


"Viktor, stop."

The tension grew, and eventually the teen smashed his hands against the table so hard it knocked over the pitcher of water.

"I don't know how I feel, and I don't wanna talk about it!" He screamed, panting in frustration. He grabbed his keys and stormed out the door, leaving his books scattered across the living room.

"Viktor." Yuuri said angrily. He picked up the remaining dishes and stormed out of the dining room, still in shock at what his fiance just did.

"Yuuri.... What's wrong?" Viktor called after him, clearly still confused about what just happened. He didn't respond, still angry. He scraped the table scraps into the compost bin before tossing the plates into the sink. Soft padded footsteps approached from behind him and slender arms wrapped around his waist. "Yuu-kun, you know I was just teasing him right?" Viktor said, trying to kiss Yuuri's cheek.

Yuuri sidestepped him, removing his arms and crossing his own in front of his chest. "Don't pet name me right now. I'm mad at you." He took a deep breath to steady his racing mind. "Clearly, he's going through something. He's never had a real friend before and trying to embarrass him isn't going to do him any good. He looks up to you, and you had the audacity to make fun of him." Viktor was clearly wounded.

"I was just joking..." Viktor's eyes lowered, and he wore an expression that was part shame and part guilt. "I didn't think it would hurt him."

"Exactly. You didn't think about his feelings." Yuuri sighed and stepped closer, laying his hands on Viktor's arms, which now rested at his sides. "I know you care about him, and you want him to open up to us but you have to let him do it on his own terms, da?" Viktor answered with a begrudging "da" and ran his hands through his bangs. "Now, go pack up his school things and call Yakov. You're going to go over there and apologize."

"Buy we'll see him tomorrow at practice! And it's so cold out today." Yuuri stopped him and pointed to the living room. Without another word, Viktor swiped his phone from the table and started dialling. Papers rustled and Yuuri could hear his fiance's Russian drift in. He picked up his own phone, surprised to see several texts from Otabek. Pressing his phone into the screen, it unlocked and several messages popped up on the screen.

Otabek Altin: Yuri isn't answering my calls. Is he ok? - 7:56 PM
Otabek Altin: He wanted to go over some of the math earlier. He still isn't answering my messages. - 8:13 PM
Otabek Altin: He won't answer my skype calls either. Did something happen? - 8:24 PM

Yuuri thought it would be more effective to talk to him rather than text. Yurio could be stubborn, but normally he at least sent an emoji or something to acknowledge a message. He picked up on the first ring.

"Yuuri, thank god. Have you seen him? Is he okay?" Otabek sounded frantic on the other end, a display of emotion he didn't let very many people see.

"He was at our place for dinner, and Viktor teased a little too much. He ran off, and he was pretty upset." Yuuri held a finger up towards Viktor, who had materialized in the kitchen holding Yurio's bag.

"Oh." There was a moment of silence. "What was he teasing him about?"

"Oh.. um, well... it was about you.... actually..." He gulped, and took another steadying breath. "We were talking about how you were helping him with school, and he called you Bekah. We've never heard him use that name before, so Viktor got into it a little. Sorry..." Yuuri trailed off at the end, a little embarassed.

"No, don't apologize. It's okay. I started giving him a nickname recently." Another pause. "Maybe it was too much. I don't know a lot about him yet, I guess." The 18 year old sounded nervous.

"Well as much as he says he doesn't like people, I think the three of us are the closest to knowing the real Yuri." He chuckled, reaching a hand out for Viktor's. Their fingers laced together and they smiled at each other. "I can tell that you're really important to him, and you're making an effort to open up just as much as he is. As far as I can tell, it's working. Just be patient. He'll come around."

"Thank you Yuuri. I think I understand now." There was a smile in his voice as he hung up the phone. Viktor kissed the top of Yuuri's head and smiled against his scalp.

"Yakov said he's home now. Locked himself in his room, but that's not strange."

"At least he's home safe. But you better get moving if you're going to make it over there and be home in time for Makka's bedtime walk."

"He said it's okay to bring it to him at practice tomorrow." Viktor put the bag down and pulled the short japanese man into a firm embrace. "I'm sorry I pushed him. You were right, I wasn't being sensitive about how hard this is for him."

"Thank you." He replied, breathing in the sweet smell of cinnamon that seemed to follow Viktor around.

"Were you talking to Otabek just now?"

"Yeah. He was worried about Yurio is all. He really cares about him."

"Is it too late to make a joke about young love?" Viktor laughed. Yuuri just smacked him over the head, laughing along with him.