Fan Fiction - Krasobruslení - Povídky
Therefore, when he steps onto practice ice in St. Paul for the first time, this time not just as our Eliot, but as a Senior competitor, he isn’t really all that intimidated.
The comfortable feeling lasts exactly three minutes. That’s how long it takes Evan Lysacek to land a big, loud and definitely two-footed quad toe right beside him.
Evan throws him a dark look, the get-the-fuck-out-of-my-way-kid kind, and Eliot suddenly realizes how tall Evan actually is. It makes him look a little... menacing. Eliot doubts he’d survive a collision – or any other direct confrontation – with those 6’1”. Suddenly, he feels out of place – small, short, inferior.
He stumbles through the rest of the practice until Ted tells him to stop and call it a night. Ted isn’t very happy with him, Eliot can tell, even though Ted does not say anything to directly voice his displeasure. He pats Eliot on the shoulder and begins with his encouraging couch-talk routine, which Eliot only half listens to. He’s glad when Ted finally dismisses him and he stalks off into the locker room, more than a little ashamed, while the other skaters from his group are still practicing.
He sits down on the bench and bows down to unlace his skates in silence. He thought it would be fun, his first Senior Nationals here, in his hometown. Now the prospect doesn’t look so bright, after all, when he realizes that he’s probably going to place poorly because there is no way in hell he could compare to the likes of Evan-6’1”-I’ve got a quad-Lysacek.
“You shouldn’t let him get to you.”
Eliot’s head snaps up at the voice that comes from beside him. Johnny Weir is sitting there, working on his own boots. He’d been so absorbed in the deep depths of his misery that he didn’t even notice him coming.
“Huh?” he says intelligently.
“Evan,” Johnny cues. “I saw how you fell apart after he gave you The Glare,” Johnny chuckles a little. “Just ignore him the next time.”
“He’s so tall,” Eliot says and hates his traitorous voice – he sounds like a whimpering puppy.
“Look at what it does to his axel,” he winks at Eliot. He pulls his skates off and slips out of his socks, then starts un-bandaging his feet while Eliot sits and goes through the video-archive in his memory in an effort to visualize Evan Lysacek’s triple axel.
Johnny stretches his legs and wiggles his toes. Eliot notices that his feet are not half as ugly as most skater feet he’s seen in his life.
“You don’t have any calluses or anything,” he mumbles without thinking.
“What?” Johnny laughs. “Yeah, well, I hate having ugly skater feet,” he says and flexes his toes. “A salt-bath every evening does the job.”
“Oh,” Eliot says and glances down at his own feet. Ugly.
“Hey, do you think you could – “ Johnny stands up and gestures towards his back.
It takes Eliot a moment to understand and he blinks in surprise when he does.
“Yeah. Um. Sure,” he manages. The floor feels cold under his feet when he stands to reach the zipper on Johnny’s costume. He carefully tugs at it, inching it down slowly, so he doesn’t inflict any damage. He bites his lip in concentration, because it suddenly becomes hard to keep his fingers steady, to stop them from accidentally brushing across the newly revealed skin, to resist tracing the curve of Johnny’s spine.
“Your spins are pretty,” Johnny compliments over his shoulder and Eliot tears his look off the smooth exposed back to catch the smile in Johnny’s eyes.
“Thank you,” he smiles and feels the blush heat his cheeks. “Your – “ he begins, but stops mid-sentence because he’s not sure what he should say. How could he possibly choose what to compliment? Johnny has now proceeded to strip out of his costume and Eliot finds it impossible not to gawk. “Well,” he swallows and bites his lip.
Johnny turns to look at him, amusement evident in his eyes, his lip twitching as he’s trying to resist laugher. Eliot’s blush deepens as he realizes that he sounds completely dumbstruck. He takes a breath.
“You are pretty,” he says, proud of his own courage. He gladly joins in on the soft laughter that finally erupts from Johnny’s mouth, and grins widely at Johnny’s thank you.
It’s long after Johnny has left the locker room – while Eliot just stayed where he was, sitting on the bench and trying to wipe the goofy smile off his face – that it hits him. Johnny Weir has just flirted with him.
The table they assigned to them is too small and they’re squished together, signing skates and posters and every once in a while even a strip of bare skin. Eliot has never thought that he’d be this happy with his choice of skate-brand, but he now feels like sending a long grateful letter to Riedell. Not only is he being treated like one of them, the stars, asked to sign his name until his hand hurts and pose for pictures until his jaw does, too. What’s even better is Johnny’s soft, sweet tone as he exchanges a few phrases with each of the throng of fans who’ve come to see him, the way their knees bump together every now and then under the table, and the tiny sparks of excitement that sizzle through Eliot like electricity whenever his fingers brush Johnny’s when they reach for a pen or an autograph card in the same moment.
When the time is up, Johnny gets up, but instead of leaving instantly like one might expect from most spoiled skater-divas of his caliber, he goes over to the group of fans still left and apologizes that they didn’t get their turn. He encourages them to catch him later, once the job is done on the ice.
“You’re so nice,” Eliot remarks later, after Johnny has posed for five more pictures before finally saying goodbye to his fans. They are on their way to the bus shuttle, walking side by side, and Eliot feels so grown up, so part of the senior world like never before.
Johnny shrugs. “It doesn’t hurt to be nice. I like to give back at least a little. I get so much support from my fans. I owe them big time.”
“You don’t owe me anything, though,” Eliot points out and Johnny shoots him a puzzled look. “You’re nice to me, too,” he explains.
Johnny ahs. “Well, you haven’t given me reason not to,” he says with another shrug of his shoulders. “And I don’t believe in being rude just because we’re competitors. Besides, you remind me of myself a little bit.”
“Oh,” Eliot breathes. Not the reaction he’d been envisioning.
“See, I had Timmy to keep an eye on me when I was your age,” Johnny continues and holds the door open for Eliot. “Tim Goebel,” he adds, correctly reading the question off Eliot’s face. “I figure you might need someone to light the sparkle in you, too,” Johnny chuckles and bats his eyelashes at Eliot.
“Huh?” Eliot shakes his head, bemused at first. Then it starts to dawn on him and his first reaction is more a result of instinct than honest thought, a defense mechanism he’s developed over the years kicking in. “You mean – you think I’m gay?” His voice comes out squeakier than he would have liked.
Johnny stops mid-stride and turns to fix Eliot with a firm gaze; Eliot backs up against the wall under its intensity. They’re alone in an empty hallway now and his heart does a somersault in his chest when Johnny takes a step towards him, his eyes blazing. He holds his breath and waits, but Johnny stops before he gets too close, before their bodies touch, and stands still.
“You’re not?” he asks in a velvety whisper and Eliot can feel his breath on his mouth. It makes his world tilt a little, turn into some other reality in which he could do the things he’s dreamed of, like kiss boys and touch boys and –
Before he can finish that thought, his body acts of its own accord. Suddenly, he’s reaching out for Johnny’s shoulders – conveniently, Johnny’s not much taller than Eliot – and tugging him closer until they’re crushed together in all the right places.
He stands on his toes and tilts his head, so Johnny can reach his lips easily... Except Johnny doesn’t do anything like that. Instead, he grins and ruffles up Eliot’s hair with one hand. He carefully pulls Eliot’s arms off.
“I’m never wrong,” he says and nods his head towards the door at the end of the hallway.
Eliot feels the shock wash through him, quickly joined by intense humiliation; he’s sure his face has turned the color of a red beet.
He peels himself off the wall and catches up with Johnny. He balls his hands into fists – he’d punch Johnny if he knew how... But he doesn’t and he’d probably just end up with a hurt hand if he tried, so he settles for an angry hiss: “Why did you do that?”
Eliot hates his voice once again – he sounds accusing, whiny like a girl. No wonder Johnny would know that he’s gay, his voice would be indicator enough.
“Just to prove a point,” Johnny shrugs casually as if it was nothing, not Eliot embarrassing himself more than he’ll ever be able to live down. The anger flares inside him, but Johnny turns to him once again and places a hand on his shoulder, his face sincere and friendly.
“No need to feel bad, Eliot. You’re seventeen. I remember how it felt to be seventeen,” Johnny gives him a wink and drops his gaze meaningfully. Eliot just barely resists the reflex to clasp a hand across the bulge in his jeans in panic.
“You’re safe with me, you know,” Johnny sighs and rubs at Eliot’s shoulder through his shirt. “I wouldn’t try that stunt with others, though. In fact, you shouldn’t...” he lets his voice trail off, thinking. He then sighs. “Let’s just say that not everybody will be quite as understanding as me. You know what skaters are like, don’t you?”
Eliot nods. Of course he does. Driven, narcissistic, vindictive drama queens. Sometimes, when he’s very honest with himself, he realizes that he’s like that from time to time, too.
“Good. Then you know that you can’t trust them?”
“What about you?” Eliot asks, quietly. Isn’t Johnny one of them, too?
“I’ll be gone in two years,” Johnny says as if it explained anything. “Like I said – I’m safe.”
“Thanks,” Eliot mumbles. “And you trust me?” he then wonders, thinking back to all that Johnny’s done in the previous moments and how extremely dangerous such behavior could be if he’d been wrong about Eliot.
“For now,” Johnny answers cryptically and starts walking again, making it clear that the discussion is over.
It’s 2009 Nationals and Eliot sneaks away from the banquet and makes it to Johnny’s room without anyone noticing. He knows all about sneaking around unseen by the officials. Johnny explained all about that back in St. Paul and Eliot’s had the whole season to practice, getting together with Kevin Reynolds at Skate Canada and Patrick Chan at NHK. It was all new and exciting, this life as a senior and as a boy who’s no longer scared by his attraction to other men, no longer worried that he’s the only one among the skaters. It’s become almost easy to tell them apart, to tell an interested look from a casual one. But then, Eliot has learned from the best.
Johnny opens the door and his surprised look is quickly replaced by a smile.
“Hi,” Eliot greets. “Congratulations,” he adds as he passes by and into Johnny’s room.
“To you, too. Fifth at your second Nationals is pretty good.”
Then, when Eliot plumps down on the bed and kicks off his shoes, suspicion creeps into Johnny’s voice. “Why are you here, Eliot?” he asks and crosses his arms over his chest, standing astride in front of Eliot.
“For my next lesson,” Eliot announces and shrugs out of his jacket. Johnny watches him with wary eyes, his calm a mere facade. “I had fun at the Grand Prix,” Eliot continues and licks his lips to make it completely clear what kind of fun he has in mind. Still no reaction from Johnny. “You were right – all one needs to do is be a little careful around the reps. It’s easy.”
“When I told you these things,” Johnny says solemnly, “I didn’t do it to turn you into a slut, Eliot.”
There’s something wrong in his voice – anger and guilt and disappointment. Eliot never wanted that.
“I didn’t!” he exclaims. Johnny looks up, eyebrows flying up. “Turn into a slut,” Eliot mumbles, ashamed, because that was SO not the impression he was aiming for. Self-confident, that was the plan. Adult. Worthy of Johnny’s attention.
“Kevin and I just kissed,” he begins, wringing his hands in his lap. “And Patrick... well, we...” he blushes when he thinks about the way Patrick’s nimble fingers had felt on his cock.
“I don’t need to hear that, Eliot,” Johnny sighs and sits down beside him. “It’s none of my business. I didn’t mean to.... judge you,” he says and gives Eliot an apologetic smile that makes Eliot feel a little less embarrassed.
“But you still haven’t told me why you came,” Johnny returns to the original topic.
Eliot lifts his eyes to meet Johnny’s inquiring look.
“I’m 18 now, you know,” he whispers. “I’m legal,” he adds to make sure Johnny understands exactly where he’s going with his hints.
“Oh?” Johnny tips his head. “And you came to me because?”
“Because I trust you?” Eliot simply offers.
Johnny nods, pondering. “Do you really think this is a good idea?” he asks softly, as if he was talking to a petulant child.
“Yes,” Eliot nods vigorously, sure of that at least. “I’d like it to be you. Rather than some random...” he doesn’t finish. He’d thought about this all through the Grand Prix, about how easy it would be to ask Kevin or Patrick... He chose not to do it, although his body had a slightly different opinion on that matter.
“Don’t you think you should wait for someone you’ll be in love with?” Johnny sounds sad when he says that and Eliot wonders what his first time was like.
“I am in love with you,” he then says in a hushed voice. It’s the truth, though. The more he got to know Johnny – at the Champs Camp and at (or after) Team USA meetings, through calls and e-mails that Johnny allowed Eliot to send – the more attracted he felt to him, not just the pretty on the outside, but mainly the fascinating person that Johnny was.
The expression on Johnny’s face takes Eliot by surprise – he expected him to roll his eyes and laugh (in the worst case) or to smile and appreciate the honesty, or even to be flattered. He did not expect Johnny to profess his love, too, but he certainly dreamed about it a few times.
Instead, Johnny frowns as if in pain, mutters a quiet fuck and turns his face away for a moment.
“You don’t want to be in love with me, El,” he sighs.
“But I am,” Eliot insists and touches Johnny’s shoulder, then moves his shaking fingers to Johnny’s neck, up to his jaw. “Please,” he whispers, leaning forward until his lips touch Johnny’s warm skin. “Please,” he repeats and his voice breaks a little because god, does he smell nice.
“I can never give you what you want,” Johnny warns, but Eliot can tell that his resolve is crumbling. It fills Eliot with excitement and expectation, but it also startles him a little to realize that he can have such an influence on Johnny, Johnny who always seems so sure of every single thing he does or says.
“Give me tonight,” Eliot pleads and shifts closer, curls his hands around Johnny’s nape and nuzzles his neck.
“You have to promise not to hate me for this later,” Johnny demands, the resignation clear in his voice.
Eliot nearly laughs. As if he ever could. “Never,” he vows and sighs in content when Johnny’s fingers close around his chin, so he can press his lips against Eliot’s.
“Hey,” Eliot smiles; he’s been smiling non-stop since he got his bronze medal, a bronze that was just 4.5 points worse than Evan Lysacek’s silver.
He expects Johnny to return the smile – he has more than one reason to be happy, after all. He kept his title again, has been assigned to the Olympic team, he’s been skating better than ever before. But Johnny’s expression stays grim.
“Eliot,” he says coldly. “You can’t be here,” he adds and blocks the door with an arm when Eliot steps forward to walk in.
“What?” he asks incredulously. They’re not together, of course not, but they’re friends at least. And lovers, he adds in his head, even though they only had sex three times – the first time at last year’s Nationals, once more in the summer, and then – though Johnny was very reluctant – at Cup of Russia. Eliot likes to think of Johnny as his lover.
“We don’t have to – “ Eliot starts, trying to figure out what Johnny’s problem is, “We don’t have to fuck or anything.”
Johnny shakes his head. “It’s not that.”
“Then why? What’s wrong, Johnny?” he raises his voice without really intending it. This scares him – Johnny’s never been like this towards him and Eliot doesn’t like it one bit.
Johnny glances down the hallway and sighs. “Come in.”
“What’s the matter?” Eliot asks again once Johnny closes the door behind them.
“Nothing. And everything,” he says and sinks down into an armchair. He lifts his hand to rub at the bridge of his nose.
“Stop being cryptic,” Eliot demands and sits down on the carpet at Johnny’s feet, his palms on Johnny’s knees. For some reason, that simple gesture seems to trigger something inside Johnny.
“Don’t you see, Eliot? This can’t go on,” he spits in frustration. “You’re fucking in love with me!”
“So?” Eliot glares, but quickly realizes that that’s childish. “Look, I’ve been in love with you for quite a while. You know that. It was never a problem.”
“It was. Being in love with your competitors is always a problem,” Johnny mutters darkly. “But you were a kid, Eliot, so I thought – I hoped you’d get bored and come to your senses,” Johnny shakes his head. “And now look at you. You’re in the top three, they’ll probably send you to the Olympics and... you need to stop.”
“I don’t understand,” Eliot says, but then a thought crosses his mind. It’s ridiculous, of course, but who knows. “You aren’t afraid that I might beat you, are you?” he prods carefully, hesitantly.
“No,” Johnny very nearly rolls his eyes, then apparently realizes how rude that was. “I mean, you’re talented, Eliot, and you’re a great skater already. But I just... we’re not the same level quite yet?”
“I know,” it’s Eliot’s turn to roll his eyes. “I’m just trying to find out what your problem is. Because honestly? It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
“This infatuation,” Johnny begins and lifts his hand to stop Eliot when he opens his mouth to protest against the word. “Is a hindrance to your skating. Trust me on that. You can’t have... attachments if you want to win. Besides, look. It’s Vancouver for me and then I’m gone. We won’t even see each other anymore, Eliot.” He smiles and strokes Eliot’s hair.
“We could,” Eliot objects, but Johnny just shakes his head.
“You know it wouldn’t work. And... I want to settle down. I want to have a life. I want to find someone to live with, someone to – “
“Why not me?” Eliot interrupts.
“You’re too young, El,” Johnny says gently. “You’re not the kind of person I’m looking for. I need someone… strong. Steady.”
Ouch. That hurt. So Johnny still sees nothing but a kid in him, a boy he cannot take seriously.
“I’m not weak. I could… I would be there for you, Johnny,” he tries to explain, because he’s positive he could do that if he tried. He could be a mature, grown-up version of himself if that’s what Johnny wants.
“You’re skating. You’ll be skating for several more years – five, at the very least; you want a shot at an Olympic medal, don’t you. I can’t sit around waiting for you, Eliot.” Johnny sounds sad, as if it was draining him to keep reasoning with Eliot.
“But – “
“I don’t feel that way about you, Eliot,” he finally says the words he’s apparently been trying to avoid all this time. He shakes his head lightly and gives Eliot a poignant look, as if he was saying: Happy now? Is that what you wanted to hear?
No, he didn’t. That was the last thing Eliot wanted to hear. He didn’t want his hopes crushed so completely and irreversibly. It had been so nice to dwell in that dream-world he constructed around Johnny.
“Then why…” his voice breaks when he tries to speak and he swallows to stop the tears that are stinging in his eyes. “Why did you…”
“Why did I sleep with you?” Johnny finishes and squares his shoulders defensively. “Because you asked me to?” he offers, chin stuck out.
“I know, but… I thought… Didn’t it mean anything?” he asks and feels like one of those characters in stupid romance novels, but still cannot help it. He really thought Johnny cared.
“You thought I’d fall in love with you just because I fucked you?” Johnny asks and tips his head to the side with a weary sigh. “Eliot, I’m sorry, but… It doesn’t really work that way in real life. I like you well enough, but… ” He reaches out to touch his cheek, but Eliot flinches away. He scrambles back until he’s out of Johnny’s reach, then hops to his feet.
“How can you be so... How can you not care at all? After everything?” He accuses, anger and disappointment flaring inside him.
“Eliot,” Johnny stands up. “I do care for you. But I told you I can’t give you any of the things you want. I thought you knew that.” He sounds consoling, gentle… As if he was talking to a kid who lost a lollipop.
“Fuck you, Johnny,” Eliot spits and turns on his heel, slamming the door behind him on exit. Johnny was right. One can never, ever trust figure skaters.
“You promised,” Johnny says into the bang of the closing hotel room door. He was right about everything, of course. There are two things that should not happen to you in regard to figure skaters.
First, you should never, ever trust them. He can’t believe he was naive enough to make an exception.
And second, you should never, ever fall in love with them. He can’t believe he was stupid enough to let that happen to him again.