Fan Fiction - Krasobruslení - Povídky

What You're Best At
~by Estriel~

Where dating is concerned, Johnny has a list of rules and requirements.

Rule number one: Only date skaters. It’s not that he wants to discriminate against 99% of world’s men. It’s just that he knows from experience that non-skaters will never be able to understand, let alone accept his life – or, rather, the lack of life outside the rink. He’s tried, several times, to detach himself from skating enough to be able to do the things boyfriends usually do without endangering his career. It never worked. In skating, it was all or nothing. Eventually, Johnny came to the conclusion that he wants the Olympic gold more than he wants that cute art history major from UDel.

Rule number two: Only date skaters of your level. Johnny’s not an elitist bitch, not at all. He’s definitely not going to judge prospective boyfriends by whether or not they can land a clean triple axel. Unfortunately – and experience has taught him this, too – skating boyfriends tend to get envious and eventually break up with you if you’re younger, smaller, have been skating for less time than they have, but still easily kick their ass every time you both compete in the same event.
Johnny wasn’t even aware that Vitali had been jealous of him ever since they’d started dating back in 2003 – he didn’t think about it that way, didn’t measure their relationship in scores and placements. That was, Johnny now muses, probably because he had always been the one with the better scores. When he finally found out what was going on, it was too late – Vitali dumped him and Johnny was left alone with his heart in pieces. He’s not sure if dating people who are real competition could work, but he’s quite certain that he doesn’t want history to repeat itself.

Rule number three: Only date skaters from other cities (countries). Johnny often daydreams about having a boyfriend he could see every day. It would be wonderful, no doubt. But, with respect to rules one and two, that’s not gonna happen. Or, more specifically, Johnny’s not going to let it happen, and he has several reasons for it. First, in the unlikely case that he and his elite skater boyfriend from the same town would be forced to go to sectionals, regionals or some similarly ridiculous event, it could happen that only one of them would get a pass to Nationals. Naturally, that has to be avoided. The logic is simple – the further apart from the boyfriend, the less often they’ll compete against one another, the less opportunities to get mad at each other because of placements, the less fighting, the happier they’ll be et cetera. This is why, Johnny figures, he should probably date some non-American skater. Which means a European, because Johnny likes taller men and the Asians aren’t exactly known for their height.

Another reason why he should date somebody who doesn’t live nearby is that the chance of them sharing a rink has to be ruled out. It would be distracting. Besides, he doesn’t fancy the idea of a competitor seeing his programs while they are being formed and polished. Also – and Johnny only thinks of this in the blackest of moods – if they had a bad break-up, an I-hate-you-you-asshole one, he’d be safer if his ex-boyfriend didn’t have perfect knowledge of and free access to the rink, the locker room, the gym... Johnny tries very hard to always believe the best of people, but – probably like every skater of his generation – he still remembers Nancy Kerrigan’s wails of why me?

There’s a whole lot of other rules, some serious ones, some just jokes that originated during evenings with friends when he was sixteen. He doesn’t even remember all of them, but he’s sure there has to be one that states: Never date your best friend. There’s probably even one that advises never tomake out with your best friend.

However, that one night in late September when Johnny comes home from practice, exhausted and sore, he ignores most of his rules. He lets Paris make him a drink strong enough to kill a horse. (Galina would skin him alive for getting tipsy when he has another practice the following morning, but Galina doesn’t have to know.) Then he shifts his exanimate body to the side a little to make room for Paris to sit on the edge of the couch, his thigh warm against Johnny’s side. He doesn’t protest when he feels his friend’s hands on his shoulders and sighs happily when they begin to rub at his aching muscles. He gasps in surprise, but doesn’t pull away when, moments later, Paris plants a kiss onto the nape of his neck.
Then, before he realizes what’s going on, they’re both stretched out on the couch, bodies pressed up against one another, and Paris is kissing him, touching him, holding him... And damn, it feels good. Maybe it’s the alcohol, or the fact that he hasn’t gotten laid for months, or maybe it’s because Paris is one of the few people he actually trusts and feels safe with these days... Either way, he lets the kisses and caresses flow, oblivious to the fact that there’s the morning, the next day, weeks and possibly months in which he’ll have to face Paris and the memory of this night. We’ll figure it out, somehow, he thinks to himself and hopes that this won’t break their friendship as had once been the case with an old friend who fell in love with him (there is a plausible reason for the not with the best friend rule, it seems).

They do figure it out, eventually. The morning after feels a little awkward, true. They don’t talk when Johnny’s alarm wakes them both up, still naked and entangled in Johnny’s bed. But by the time Johnny gets back from his morning practice and finds Paris nibbling on breakfast, things look a little better already. He sits down at the table and Paris hands him a cup of his favorite Starbucks latte. Johnny chances a smile and whispers a thanks and is relieved when Paris returns the smile and hands him the paper bag from the bakery. He sips at the coffee and ah, it’s still hot and the croissants in the bag are warm and crispy. I love you, Johnny almost says, like he’d done so many times before, in a strictly friendly way, of course. He catches himself mid-sentence, realizing that, in the light of recent events, it’s probably slightly inappropriate. He blushes and squishes the croissant he’s holding in his fingers a little. Then he hears Paris’ amused giggle and suddenly he can’t help but burst into laughter. Suddenly, it doesn’t feel like a morning after, but like a morning before, and it feels so exhilarating and so right that Johnny can’t believe he’s never even considered Paris as a possible boyfriend before. It feels so right that Johnny forgets all about his rules. He’s never been one to play by the rules, anyway. Actually, if there’s one thing Johnny Weir is better at than figure skating, it’s breaking rules.

Thanks Reet for beta-reading.

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