How Phichit Got His Groove Back @ 09:29 pm
"Good morning!" Phichit greeted the doorman with a smile and allowed himself to be ushered into the Chrysler House. He had no real idea what happened on the higher floors of the good-sized-for-Detroit skyscraper -- some kind of corporate thing, probably -- but the lobby had a mall-like atmosphere and housed a number of shops and restaurants. He assumed. To be honest, after Phichit had discovered the Dime Store, he hadn't bothered to explore any further.
The little brunch café was never terribly busy on Sunday mornings, doing most of its business during the work week, but that only made it more appealing to Phichit. It was a great place to unwind and catch up on his social media feeds. Not that he was ever more than an hour or two behind, of course, but the food was great, and his weekly visits had become a comforting ritual almost without him even realizing it.
The hostess waved him toward his usual spot at the corner of the bar. "Are you going to surprise me this time?" Jeff asked from behind the counter.
"Nope!" Phichit said happily. "I will have the duck reuben with a side of brussels sprouts. And tea."
The bartender rolled his eyes with a smile. "You do know we have other menu items, right?"
"And miss the pinnacle of culinary creation?" Phichit affected horror. "Maybe next week!"
Shaking his head, Jeff left him to his feeds. Humming contentedly under his breath, Phichit immersed himself in the lives of his family and friends -- and even some fans that he had found interesting enough to mutual. He'd been accused of thriving on drama before, but really the young skater just loved surrounding himself with people, and becoming an endless font of selfies, comments, and emojis was almost as good as the real thing. It was hard to get homesick while you were embroiled in three dozen conversations at once, after all.
And if, as Ciao Ciao insisted, it was also good for his personal brand? That was a nice bonus.
After spending a good several minutes replying to comments on his Facebook fan page -- where it appeared that a fierce pun war was starting -- Phichit flipped over to Twitter.
Hmm. JJ has a new video out. And of course everyone's wondering if Nikiforov is planning on retiring, no surprises there. Oh, and that Yuri's trending, too. He must have gotten into a shouting match in public again...
Katsuki, not Plisetsky. My Yuri's trending? He tapped the link.
The video was everywhere. Yuri Katsuki -- weary-eyed and more than a bit out of condition in a weathered navy track suit, but still quite recognizable as the former Japanese Grand Prix finalist -- was skating a flawless echo of Nikiforov's long program, the one that had earned him the gold medal on just the night before. There was no music, no lighting, no audience but for the invisible videographer, leaving nothing but the skill and raw emotion of the skater's performance.
It was perfect.
The video ended. Phichit watched it again. Then a third time. His food arrived and he barely noticed, actually forgetting to Instagram it as he ate mechanically, the wheels starting to turn on an idea. And the more he considered it, the better he liked it. This... This was going to work.
Because while Phichit Chulanont wasn't really the drama king that his reputation implied, even he couldn't deny that he was both a hopeless romantic and an incurable matchmaker. It was a constant source of teasing among the Detroit skaters, and Yuri had even given him an absurd Japanese superhero nickname last year during one of his rare laughing moods. But although his endearing dark-eyed friend didn't lack for his share of fans, Phichit had never managed to make any of his prospective pairings for Yuri stick.
Until now. Divine Force Shining Matchmaker Phichit go, he thought with supreme satisfaction.
He settled the bill and walked out to the street, barely glancing upward from his phone as his feet automatically carried him back toward the student dorms. The skating video had been viral for only a couple hours, was that enough time?
He needn't have worried. The fan editors were out in force, and a quick YouTube search offered a nice selection for Phichit's consideration. The majority of the edits had cut the length down to bracket the skate itself, removing the opening dead time and excluding the post-skate conversation that most Western viewers wouldn't understand anyway. A few added music or lighting effects, but those detracted from the emotional punch, at least as far as Phichit was concerned. A side-by-side comparison video showing Yuri's skate against Nikiforov's? Promising. The one with a promotional still of Victor's head 'shopped sloppily onto Yuri's body was useless but hilarious, and he bookmarked it for later use.
Then he found it. The video opened at the end of the original footage, with a close-up of Yuri's face. He was dripping with sweat, still breathing hard but smiling serenely. He said something in Japanese, and Phichit could have kissed the unknown fan editor when the English subtitles appeared. "I lost my love of skating. And I wanted it back." Then the performance faded in. It had been cleaned up a bit, the ambient lighting tweaked to make the skater more visible, but nothing artificial had been added. It was just as raw, just as powerful, as the initial recording.
Yes. Phichit started spamming it out to every feed that he had. But how to ensure that Nikiforov would see it? As disaffected as the champion had been of late, he might not even be googling himself, let alone keeping tabs on what the rest of the skating world was doing. And anyway, he had to see this version.
Hmm. Who do I know that's close enough to Nikiforov to contact him directly? Definitely not any of us Detroiters... Oh. Of course. He pulled up the texting app. -u there?- he tapped out. Phichit could never remember the difference between US Eastern Standard and whatever they used in Switzerland... or was Christophe still hanging out in Sochi today?
Fortunately, the response came back within a few minutes. -YOURE ALIVE!!!-
-that weird tumblr that collects your duck sandwich pics is telling ppl youre dead bcuz you didnt post- -some of them also think the restaurant burned down-
Phichit laughed. -not dead ok but srsly i need u right now- It was an obvious straight line, but it never hurt to put Chris in a good mood when you needed a favor.
Christophe didn't disappoint. -AT LATS MY HOT BOD HAS WON YOU OVER WHEN SHALL THE WEDDING AND OR HOOKUP BE-
-after u meet my parents like i keep asking- -for reals tho i need ur help now go see the vid i just posted-
Now Phichit had to wait. As tempting as it was to check on how his funerary services were progressing on tumblr (okay, maybe he was a bit of a drama llama), he didn't want to lose focus. The stakes were too high.
-wow thats the kid from last years gp huh-
-i need u to make sure vn sees THIS EXACT VIDEO-
There was a long pause, and Phichit held his breath.
-omfg victor will shit himself this is the best you are the best i am the best for helping you-
There was a bit more back-and-forth conversation after that, but it didn't matter. Phichit was going to triumph. He was going to reign forever victorious as the author of figure skating's ultimate power couple. He was going to wear purple to the wedding. And, in the meantime, he was going to get so much new Snapchat material.
Superhero title? After this I'm going to need my own theme song!
2016 was going to be great.