Yuri on Ice, A Roe By Any Other Name

Title: A Roe By Any Other Name [Yuri/Otabek]
Rating/Warnings: PG
Summary: The only thing keeping Yuri on his feet is pure spite and the promise of the 4AM Tsukiji Market trip that the first morning in Tokyo definitely necessitates.
AN: Written for shiritori. The first train trip to Tsukiji is nearly always what I do with the “first morning in Tokyo, can’t sleep past 4am” jet lag. Because have you ever eaten sushi that was in the ocean like an hour ago? It melts in your mouth. Even stuff you usually dislike tastes like the best thing you’ve ever put in your face (sea urchin, oh my god), and then you get sad in the middle because you realize all other sushi can never compare ever again aaaaghhhh. But then you just order more salmon and red snapper and eel and forget about it because that’s tomorrow’s problem.

A Roe By Any Other Name

The only reasons he was staying upright were pure spite and the knowledge that at four in the morning, he would snap awake and be unable to sleep no matter what. Fucking jet lag.

“Ready to give up?” Otabek asked. Jet lag didn’t do much to Otabek, that asshole, as if all the travel in teenage years had made his body give up on a regular circadian rhythm. All it seemed to do was make him a little softer-edged, a little quicker to smile. Yuri snapped that he was NOT, thank you. “Don’t be so stubborn. There’s no prize to staying up.”

“I’ve only got a week here with you, I’m not wasting hours of it sleeping like those losers,” Yuri grumbled.

Victor and Yuuri had gone back to their hotel in Shinjuku after they’d eaten dinner, Yuuri barely managing to stop yawning long enough to eat. Otabek and Yuri had opted to walk through Yoyogi Park and maybe to go shopping in Harajuku a bit if they were feeling up to it. Yuuri had hinted darkly that it was better if they did that now so that Victor was nowhere near either the fashion or the idol shops in the area.

At least the weather was decent, oncoming spring warm enough that Yuri was fine in Otabek’s stolen hoodie, nothing like St. Petersburg had been when they left. They paused in front of a vending machine; Yuri bullied Otabek into buying him a can of coffee. Otabek pondered the confusion of coins in his hand with the slow deliberation of a palm reader, but Yuri let him work it out himself. They hadn’t switched over this machine from hot to cold yet, and Yuri enjoyed as always the warmth of the can with his hands curled around it.

“Why the fuck can’t Russia have these?” Yuri lamented. Otabek gave him another soft-edged smile, which Yuri pretended to ignore. “So what do you think?”

Otabek considered his soft drink, the label a confusion of kanji neither one of them could read. “It’s like…carbonated fruit medley? I should have picked the Fanta.”

“No, moron, about Tokyo.” Yuri rolled his eyes. Yuri had been once before, up on a trip with Victor and Yuuri last summer where they had spent a few days each in several major cities, Victor claiming that he needed to know much more about his country-in-law. It had been brutally hot, though, and not that he hadn’t enjoyed sight-seeing, but his favorite thing had been the cool, comfortable interior of the sleek shinkansen, watching Japan roll by the window. Spring was vastly more comfortable, and he was glad Otabek was here now because it seemed important somehow that he like it here.

Otabek looked around, taking his time to answer, eyes skimming the spring green of the trees, Harajuku bridge, a strolling pair of girls done up in full lolita, and the shops just visible across the intersection. “I can see why you like it here,” he finally said. “Even if I were here alone, it would remind me of you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Yuri grumbled, eyes tracking the pair of girls. One had a pair of cat ears, pinned just sticking out from under her miniature lavender top hat.

“It’s busy and a bit overstimulating, visually. But that’s what makes it appealing, isn’t it?” Otabek smiled at Yuri, unclear whether he was talking about the city or Yuri anymore. “It feels as if I could never be bored.”

“Che,” Yuri huffed, having to look away from Otabek’s expression of fondness. “Shut up and buy me a crepe.”

As predicted, four in the morning found Yuri wide awake despite the way his body ached with exhaustion. It happened every time he did the time change in this direction, but just because he knew to expect it didn’t mean Yuri didn’t find it relentlessly annoying. Yuri pressed his face into the warm space between Otabek’s shoulder blades, willing his stupid body not to be a jerk just this once.

Otabek rolled over, squinting at Yuri in the faint light created by every electronic device they owned charging on the bedside table in a pile. He looked ruffled and annoyed.

“I can’t go back to sleep,” he complained.

“I told you so,” Yuri said, too tired to even be sharp about it. “It’s jet lag.”

Otabek frowned harder. “But I don’t get jet lag.”

“You do in Japan. You’re a lowly mortal like the rest of us.” Yuri yawned hugely, in Otabek’s face. “But there’s good news, because do you know something awesome we can do with 4 AM Tokyo jet lag?”

“A few things, sure,” Otabek murmured, arms sliding around Yuri’s waist to pull them close together, knee to hip to chest. He pressed his mouth to Yuri’s the same way, heedless of their breath, corner to corner.

“Mm, no, not that,” Yuri said, pushing Otabek back with a hand planted in the middle of his chest. Otabek’s narrow-eyed, grumpy expression was adorable, and Yuri never got tired of underhanded ways to make him produce it. He clamored half over Otabek to grab his phone from the bedside table. “Bet you your next medal Victor’s awake too.”

Otabek didn’t even get a chance to answer before Victor was answering Yuri’s text with several in quick succession.

“Yeah, he’s in.” Yuri slid fingers into the longer pieces of Otabek’s hair, angling his face up for a firm kiss, casually possessive. He broke the kiss long before Otabek was finished with it, and rolled over him and out of bed, stretching, the pale length of his back and ass clear in the dim light of the room even before he flicked the light on in the tiny bathroom.

“I don’t understand what’s happening,” Otabek informed the ceiling.

“Sushi!” Yuri called from the bathroom, which explained nothing. “Come on, this is the only day it won’t feel like the absolute worst to do it.”

Yuri could have easily explained, but it was funnier to watch Otabek flounder, eyebrows raised and hands jammed deep in the pockets of his leather coat in the chill of waiting for first train. Victor looked like Yuri felt, hair sticking up and dark smudges under his eyes, but Yuuri didn’t seem to suffer from first-morning-in-Japan disease, which Yuri felt was hugely unfair, half buried in his blue puffy coat and all but asleep against Victor’s shoulder.

Having already given up on Yuri, Otabek turned to Victor to ask what, kindly, the fuck was going on.

“Yuri didn’t explain?” Victor rolled his eyes. “We’re going to Tsukiji—” And just then the train roared in, covering over the rest of Victor’s words. Otabek gave Yuri a dark, narrow look as Yuri smirked in amusement as he hustled them onto the train.

Once they were actually at Tsukiji Market, it didn’t require much explanation anyway. Otabek’s eyes were comically wide at the endless rows of sea creatures, while Yuuri kept an arm on Victor’s elbow at all times to keep him from poking every live thing squirming in styrofoam container pools.

“This all comes out of the ocean every day?” Otabek asked, disbelief written all over his face.

“It’s a big place,” Yuri shrugged as if he was unaffected, but the truth was that he felt the same way the first time Yuuri had brought them here, and not much differently now. “They auction off tuna bigger than me every morning.”

“Ohhh!” Victor exclaimed. “What’s THAT? It’s so spiky!”

“NO, Victor.”

After a little longer, they went back out to the small sushi stalls that lined the blocks around the market, finding one where they could squeeze in to four seats around a tiny counter. They left the ordering up to Yuuri, their conversation a confused mix of the languages in which they had all learned to order sushi. Otabek knew mostly Russian words, Victor had learned an unfortunate mix of English and French from learning to eat sushi from Christophe, while Yuri used almost entirely Japanese names from Yuri and Mari his first summer in Hasestu.

“It’s on the ocean, of course they kept feeding me seafood,” Yuri protested when Otabek told him how impressed he was.

“No, no, the one that looks like this!” Victor was insisting, sketching on the paper placemat in front of him. All of them looked at the drawing. “…Fish mainly all look alike, huh.”

Fortunately the arrival of their food saved them from Victor’s international piscine pictionary punishment game. With bowls of colorful slices of fish in front of them, pointing out their favorites became much easier, Yuuri trying valiantly to teach Victor names he forgot over and over, while Yuri tried to re-learn the Russian names from Otabek. It would have likely been a lot easier if either one of them were willing to stop stuffing fish into their faces.

“Oh my god,” Otabek kept muttering between bites. Yuri pointed. “Skumbriya. Ah, shit, no, in Russian…makrel? Close to English? Tell me what this thing is, we need more of this.”

Tai!. I love tai,” Yuri sighed happily. “Tai wa tabetai~,” he repeated the silly pun Mari had used to teach him the word, blushing a little and scrunching his nose when Yuuri was the only one to start laughing. “Shut the fuck up. I love tai a lot more than you jerks.”

“What’s THAT?” Victor exclaimed in the same grossed-out delight that he’d had when trying to poke bizarre sea creatures in the market. The sushi in question was bright orange and almost gelatinous, barely keeping its shape on top of the rice. Otabek peered at it dubiously.

Uni,” Yuri said. His glasses gleamed with reflected light, eyes unreadable behind them. “Try it. It’s like a flavor explosion.”

Victor popped the whole thing in his mouth and made a high-pitched noise right at the intersection between horrified and amazed.

“I feel like I’m trapped in an episode of that cooking school anime you made me watch an episode of,” Otabek complained in an undertone, but Yuri noted acidly that it didn’t seem to stop Otabek from doing his part to empty the ocean.

Much later, Yuuri and Victor abandoned to shopping, Yuri had no problem at all flopping back into the bed that he’d dragged Otabek out of that morning with such determination.

“If you nap now, you’ll be lagged longer,” Otabek reminded.

“Shut the fuck up and get in here, Mr. I Don’t Jet Lag,” Yuri ordered. He hummed in satisfaction as soon as he could curl up against Otabek’s warmth, one hand already sneaking under Otabek’s pullover. “So this morning, I seem to recall you having some other ideas…”

“Oh, now you love me more than fish?” Otabek asked. Yuri made a noncommittal noise, his hand sliding up higher. “I suppose I could be convinced, my little tai, if you wanted to do all the work.”

“Figures you’d only learn enough Japanese to call me stupid names,” Yuri grumbled.

Mouth already against Yuri’s collarbone, Otabek murmured, “What’s the saying? You are what you eat.”

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