Fan Fiction - Krasobruslení - Povídky

Have You Ever
~by Estriel~

When he’s on ice, he’s 100% focused. Well, usually. But now about a 1% of Eliot’s concentration is drawn to where Johnny Weir is standing by the boards, stretching and warming up before his own group takes the ice. He feels Johnny’s eyes follow his progress as he finishes his footwork and goes into his final spin – scratch, layback, biellmann.

After the half-an-hour assigned to his group is over, Eliot lingers long enough to watch the first few minutes of Johnny’s practice. He watches and admires, because he doesn’t think he’s ever seen a quad this effortless and yet so impressive.

He hangs around the locker room much longer than strictly necessary, takes his time getting out of his practice clothes and into his jeans and shirt. Johnny arrives before everybody else of his group, after mere twenty minutes. He pauses in the door at the sight of Eliot, then shrugs and proceeds to get out of his skates and – while Eliot watches and admires once again – his clothes.

“Um, hi,” he speaks as Johnny strips out of his practice costume – Johnny Weir practices in costumes, not regular clothes like the rest of them – and changes into comfortable sweats.

Johnny glances at him, upside down, because he’s bent to lace up a shoe. After a second – the second that it takes him to assess Eliot as a competitor who won’t really be one until a few years from now – he cracks a smile.
“Hi,” he says in response. “Eliot, right?”

“Yeah,” Eliot nods, surprised and delighted by the fact that Johnny Weir knows his name.

After that, Eliot isn’t sure what to say next, so he sits in silence for another minute, fidgeting on the bench. Then he blurts:
“You watched me.”

Johnny sits up and, wrapping a scarf around his neck, tips his head to the side. He doesn’t roll his eyes but the look he gives Eliot hints that he would if he wasn’t as polite as he is. Eliot flushes, wondering how many kids like him probably bother Johnny every day here in St. Paul.
He opens his mouth to apologize and flit out of the room, but Johnny actually speaks before him.

“I watched your Biellmann,” he says and stands up to check his hair in the mirror on the wall behind him.

“You watched me,” Eliot breathes in astonishment, more to himself than to Johnny – it’s one thing to have Johnny Weir watch you. It’s completely another to have Johnny Weir acknowledge that he watched you. He cannot help but beam.

Johnny does roll his eyes this time – his back is to Eliot, but he’s standing in front of the mirror and Eliot catches the reflection of his face.
“I watched your Biellmann,” Johnny repeats with emphasis on the last word as if Eliot was stupid and failed to see the difference the first time.

In truth, Eliot really does fail to see the difference. He takes a moment to contemplate it, to think about the fine rules that define the world of senior figure skating. Then he shrugs it off and asks:

“So... have you ever tried it?”

“What?” Johnny turns to him, away from the mirror, as if he’s forgotten all about Eliot’s presence already. “The Biellmann spin?” he lifts an eyebrow when he remembers who he’s talking to.

“Yeah,” Eliot mutters and gets up, because Johnny has just clicked his trolley suitcase shut and is about to head for the door. He holds the door open for Johnny to walk through.

“Thanks,” Johnny says and shakes his head a little, clearly puzzled about why Eliot is still there, bugging him. Once again, Eliot feels embarrassed and considers leaving the conversation unfinished in favor of a quick, painless and probably a slightly less embarrassing escape. But, once again, Johnny’s voice stops him. “I tried a few times,” he says with a shrug. He’s staring straight ahead, as if he was talking to himself rather than Eliot, but it’s better than nothing.

“And?” Eliot prods on, desperate to keep Johnny talking, because talking to Johnny Weir is even better than having him watch him. Or his spins. Whatever. Eliot has talked to Johnny Weir a thousand times in his head, but never for real, not until now. It nearly makes him hop and skip as they walk through the hallway.

“I would have had to start practicing those much earlier to be able to do them,” Johnny answers. “By the time I got into skating, it was too late for Biellmann spins,” he explains and Eliot remembers Johnny’s little phenomenon status. Twelve really is pretty late for this sport.

“Right,” he mutters, unsure what else to say, unsure how Johnny feels about that, about not being able to do something just because of his late start.

“I was too old,” Johnny laughs up suddenly and startles Eliot. “At twelve,” he shakes his head with an amused smile that Eliot doesn’t quite understand.

“I’m sorry?” Eliot offers.

Johnny gives him a sideways glance, then waves his hand dismissively.

“I don’t mind,” he says, a little more softly, as if he was talking to a child. Eliot suddenly realizes that that’s what it must seem like to Johnny. It nearly makes him pout, but he catches himself just in time. Pouting is childish.
“I don’t need a Biellmann to win,” Johnny continues and lifts his chin up a bit higher, his jaw set. Funnily enough, it makes Eliot proud. Such determination. He doesn’t really think of Johnny as his competitor. Not now, not yet. There’s no way he can match the quadful battle for the gold, anyway.

“Of course not,” he agrees and turns around, hopping backwards in front of Johnny, so he can watch him as they walk. “You’re gonna win either way,” he chimes.

“I thought you liked Evan better,” Johnny musters him with a suspicious glare.

“No. Well... No,” Eliot stutters. “I- well,” he continues, still struggling for words. “How do you know?” he gasps when the background of Johnny’s sentence hits him.

“Your website?” Johnny offers, lifting his eyebrows at Eliot.

“Oh.” That was unexpected. Talking to Johnny Weir like this might be a fantasy come true. But the discovery that Johnny Weir reads his website... Well. Eliot isn’t sure what to make of that. Or, actually, his teenage mind knows exactly where to take his thoughts from there, but that, Eliot knows, would be a tad too optimistic. Even for him.

Some of his confusion must show in his face because Johnny laughs, which startles him again and nearly makes him trip in his backwards walk.

“Watch out. You might fall down and crack your skull,” Johnny warns, but he’s still amused, way too amused for Eliot’s liking. It makes him blush. It also makes him crave some sort of revenge.

“Are you gonna rescue me, then?” he inquires. “When I fall?” he clarifies.

“What?” Johnny asks with another shake of his head, the smile-smirk never leaving his face.

“Are you gonna resuscitate me?” Eliot continues, surprised by his boldness and proud of it at the same time. “I might knock my breath out, you know? I might need a...” Eliot fishes for most effective way to put this. “Kiss of life, is that what they call it?”

He grins when Johnny’s expression freezes. Score! Eliot thinks to himself. He mentally congratulates himself – there aren’t many people who can say they’ve managed to shock Johnny Weir. It’s usually the other way around.

Johnny stares at him for a moment, green eyes fixed on his and Eliot feels himself grow fidgety again under such scrutiny.

“How old are you, Eliot, exactly?” Johnny then asks, his voice dark. It reminds Eliot of the tone his mother uses when she doesn’t approve of something.

“Er. Seventeen,” he answers, taken aback by the sudden change of mood in Johnny. It was just a joke, wasn’t it?

“Well then, Eliot, I’ll tell you something,” Johnny says and fixes him with that look once more; it nearly makes Eliot flinch away from the intensity. “Get these ideas out of your head,” Johnny says firmly. But then his voice softens and he continues: “You don’t want to get involved in any... mess.” He pulls his lips into a small, weary smile. “Okay?”

Eliot doesn’t know what to say. Partly because he’s not sure what kind of mess Johnny has in mind, exactly. And partly because Johnny has reached out to touch his cheek with a gentle brush of hand somewhere in the process, a gesture that leaves Eliot quite speechless.

“What do you m- ?” he begins to ask, but Johnny’s quiet sigh stops him.

“You’ll find out soon enough,” he says and drops his hand. Then, with one last incredulous shake of his head, he steps around Eliot. “Better later than sooner,” Eliot hears him mutter to himself before he opens the doors under the green exit sign and walks out of the arena.

“I’ll see you later?” Eliot mumbles to the sound of the door closing. He stands there in the hallway for a few more moments, bewildered, thoughts swirling in his head. Then, as Evan Lysacek brushes past him with an impatient excuse me, he realizes that he ought to move.

He shakes his head to clear it. These seniors, he nearly thinks to himself, but then he remembers that he’s one of them now. He shivers – with a mix of anxiety and thrill – when his helpful teenage mind starts providing him with his own interpretations of Johnny’s word. Mess.


Thanks for the beta, Reet and Cel!

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