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They'll get there, eventually. note 

‘…Of all the rivalries in the world of sports over the years, perhaps none has become so legendary as that of Russian figure skater Viktor Nikiforov and his rival, Japanese Yuuri Katsuki…’
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Twelve-year-old Katsuki Yuuri attends the Junior Grand Prix Final where he meets his idol, Viktor Nikiforov, for the first time… and a bitter rivalry is born. Yuuri spends the next several years of his life dedicated to beating Viktor, but things become complicated when feelings of hatred and rivalry slowly transform into something more…

Rivals by Reiya/Kazliin is a Yuri!!! on Ice fanfic series. The first part, Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches, is from Yuuri’s perspective and the second part, Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts, is from Viktor’s.

Translations for this fic can be found in: Chinese, Spanish, Russian,Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, and Japanese.

There is also a podfic for Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches available in English.


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This fanfic series contains examples of:

  • Act of True Love: After hiding his relationship with Viktor for years, Yuuri publicly confesses his love to Viktor through his skating.
  • Accidental Truth: The Viktuuri RPF shippers are more correct about Viktor and Yuuri's relationship than people (or those two themselves) realize.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: The story is way angstier than its canon counterpart.
  • Adaptational Badass: Thanks to his desire to beat Viktor to help push him forward, Yuuri grows into his strengths earlier in canon. He ends up winning medals in the Grand Prix and Worlds before taking the gold several times from Viktor after Yuuri wins the Olympics.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While Yuri's personality is more or less like in canon, his treatment of Yuuri (and Viktor, as well) is nowhere near as cruel. Even when he confronts Yuuri in a similar manner to the first episode of the anime, his reasons are far more noble, and the way he goes about it is blunt, but not mean-spirited.
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  • Adaptational Origin Connection: Yuuri ends up meeting Viktor when he was 12 during Viktor's Junior Grand Prix. Viktor unintentionally inspires Yuuri after cruelly insulting him, and Yuuri dedicates his entire career to outdoing Viktor out of sheer spite.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Later in their growing relationship, Viktor occasionally calls Yuuri "Солнышко", which translates to "sun".
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Sort of. Viktor has been pining for Yuuri for years, and while Yuuri subconsciously feels the same way, it takes him years to figure it out and to come to terms with it.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of extra information is provided in the author's Tumblr blog.
  • All Take and No Give: Yuuri and Viktor's relationship starts out this way with Viktor being the one constantly chasing after Yuuri and Yuuri inadvertently rejecting him each time.
  • Always Second Best: Yuuri to Viktor until he finally beat the latter at the Winter Olympics. At the same time, everyone else is always third best compared to Viktor and Yuuri — they're only lucky enough to get second best at competitions where only one of the two is competing.
  • Always Someone Better: Yuuri always felt this way about Viktor until he finally beat him at the Winter Olympics, and continued to win consistently against him thereafter (though not always), at which point he could finally regard himself as Viktor's equal. At the same time, per Word of God, Viktor and him are this to the other skaters, opposed to just Viktor being this in canon — Yuuri almost always takes gold at any competition that Viktor isn't in, and vice versa. Case-in-point, Yuuri and Viktor often lose to each other in mere fractions of a point, with the third placer usually significantly behind them, illustrating how wide the gap is between them and everyone else.
  • AM/FM Characterization: Listening to the accompanying music is a must. It plays a huge role in the story, especially Viktor's program music. note 
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?: Both Viktor and Yuuri believe the other only sees them as a hook-up and are waiting to be put aside when they find someone else.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Much like in canon, Yuuri most likely suffers from anxiety: he is socially awkward, doesn’t seem aware how his actions could affect the way he’s perceived by others, has a considerable lack of empathy for others, and a hard time reading people’s facial expressions. He is even diagnosed with said disorder and takes medications for it.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Viktor presumably stays up all night watching Yuuri sleep in Chapter 13.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Viktor wished to have Yuuri's attention and to have some sort of relationship with him. Viktor gets what he wants when Yuuri chooses to sleep with him, but is very hurt when Yuuri admits to hating him and seems to only want sex from him.
    • Chris has expressed the desire to beat both Yuuri and Viktor at a major competition, though it's not as mean-spirited as most examples of this trope. He gets his wish at the 2016 World Championships, winning gold — after the doping scandal emotionally destroys Viktor and Yuuri both and causes them to botch their free skate routines to such an extent that they land at the bottom of the rankings. Chris lampshades the hollowness of his win to Viktor the next night at the banquet, admitting he wanted to win...just not like this.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: One-sided, as Yuuri fiercely hates Viktor and is also obsessed with him. On Viktor's part, he doesn't hate Yuuri at all and is actually in love with him, and wonders how to get Yuuri to be a little nicer.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: After Yuuri finally shows Viktor that he reciprocates Viktor's feelings by confessing in through his skating like Viktor had for years, Viktor and Yuuri run to each other and kiss on the ice.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • Averted. Part of the reason why Yuuri was reluctant to reveal his relationship with Viktor to the public was that he didn't want people to think this.
    • In Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts Yakov is suspicious when Yuuri starts sleeping with Viktor, believing he only cares about winning and is being intentionally manipulative off the ice.
  • Broken Ace:
    • Yuuri is a supremely gifted skater, clawing his way up to the top despite not having Viktor's technical prowess. He is driven, friendly and composed, but he's also infamous for his massive hatred of Viktor and suffers from low self-esteem and anxiety.
    • Viktor is a Living Legend in the skating world with Yuuri being his only challenger... and he's so desperate for a connection that his relationship with Yuuri is the closest thing he has to an actual romance.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Yuuri adored and worshiped Viktor, doing what he can to emulate him in his skating, naming his poodle after him and getting a ton of Viktor memorabilia. Then his parents get him tickets to the Junior Grand Prix to meet Viktor in person. Yuuri is absolutely crushed when Viktor tells him that he’s too fat to be a skater and didn’t believe that Yuuri was one.
    • Zig-zagged with Yuri regarding Yuuri, since despite his admiration for the older skater, he's conflicted on how he should feel due to the spreading rumors about Yuuri being a manipulative playboy and a cheat, even though he himself refuses to believe it. Part of the reason why he confronts Yuuri regarding the latter's relationship with Viktor is because he wants Yuuri to disprove those rumors.
  • Broken Win/Loss Streak: Yuuri finally beats Viktor's long-winning streak when he wins gold at the Winter Olympics.
  • Brutal Honesty: Viktor's well-meaning comment about Yuuri's weight proves that the line between honesty and cruelty is very thin.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: For Yuuri, the day Viktor insulted him and crushed his dreams was the day his life utterly changed. For Viktor, it was another tournament with adoring fans. Yuuri doubts that Viktor even remembers the incident. Which he's absolutely right about.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Viktor tries and tries to talk with Yuuri about his feelings but it doesn't really work out.
  • Can't Catch Up: It's noted several times that Viktor and Yuuri's rivalry has propelled their abilities as skaters to new heights, with both being regarded as the best two figure skaters in history, their feud legendary among all sports. However, because of the extra motivation their rivalry gives them, they've long since left everyone else in the senior division in the dust, with Chris being the only one mentioned as giving them any sort of a real challenge besides each other.
  • Character Development:
    • Yuuri who starts out as a fan, becomes a ball of hatred and angst, and ends up being a better adjusted person by the end.
    • Viktor eventually learns to stop seeing love as an ideal fairytale, to let go of his obsession for a relationship, and to love someone for who they are, not for what he sees of them.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Yuuri, who views himself as nothing special in the looks department thanks to a combination of anxiety and crushing self-esteem issues, even though he has multiple admirers and has the top skater in the world in love with him.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Viktor lets out one of these after Yuuri leaves the morning after their first time.
  • Compliment Backfire: When Yuuri wins gold at the Junior Grand Prix, Viktor attempts to compliment him. However, he does so by pointing out that Yuuri won without using any quads and giving unwanted advice after Yuuri's hard-earned victory. Because he's already so insecure, Yuuri takes the constructive criticism as a mockery instead. He gets so angry that he walks away so he won't make a scene, and this encounter fuels Yuuri's vendetta and solidifies his negative opinion of Viktor.
  • Create Your Own Villain: When the world finally learned about the origins of Yuuri and Viktor's one-sided rivalry, many, fans and celebrities alike, joked that a person should always be nice to their fans lest they 'create [their] own Katsuki'.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Phichit implied that Yuuri had one of Viktor.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Played With. While the fic ultimately stays true to the original anime and does come to the same conclusion regarding the story, it does take a closer look at some aspects of the anime and examines them in depth:
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Viktor was the undisputed champion of men's figure skating with no one trying to challenge him until Yuuri showed up. Yuuri is the only one that can truly challenge Viktor, and he finally proves himself when he beats Viktor at the Winter Olympics and the following Worlds.
  • Demoted to Extra: Yuri Plisetsky barely appears in Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches, though he plays a slightly larger role from Viktor's point of view.
  • Determinator: Yuuri becomes one over the course of the story, clawing his way to the top in order to get a chance of defeating Viktor.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Yuuri's hate for Viktor often feels like this, especially as the story proceeds. Even his fans felt this way when they finally learned about the origin of his rivalry with Viktor, though since it was years after they got married and most of the furor died down, it was mostly remarked on in good-natured jest (hence the many memes about it).
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: Yuuri wins his first gold medal in a major senior competition when Viktor is disqualified from a qualifying competition and forced to sit out the rest of the season due to a leg injury. Contrary to what many fans believed, Yuuri was not happy about this, as to Yuuri, the rivalry was less about winning gold and more about beating Viktor.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: After the first time they sleep together, Viktor starts skating his declarations of love in hopes that Yuuri would understand. Yuuri never watches Viktor's skating in competition or fails to connect the context to their situation.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Yuuri is fully determined to beat Viktor in the rink, not realizing that Yuuri has inspired Viktor to push himself out of his stagnation.
    • After informing Phichit of his relationship with Viktor, Yuuri assures him that there's nothing more than sex between them, adding that Viktor falling for him is the last thing that could ever happen... when Viktor has already fallen for him longer than Yuuri could realize.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Yuuri and Viktor's relationship consisted of eleven years worth of communication issues with three of those years being in an relationship that started with one-sided hate sex and mostly consisted of them pining, for each other. They eventually got over it.
  • Enemies Equals Greatness: Played with, but ultimately deconstructed. Viktor's fans who also tend to serve as Yuuri's haters only serve as even more motivation for Yuuri to beat Viktor; while this drive eventually causes him to succeed in his goal, their constant ridicule even after the fact and his failure to repeat the feat at the Grand Prix Final the following season does a number on his already fragile mental health and nearly drives him to a breakdown.
  • Erotic Dream: Yuuri has one featuring Viktor at the end of Chapter 6.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Viktor's Brutal Honesty and unwanted criticism establish him as cruel and condescending. This colors Yuuri's perception of Viktor even when the latter shows different sides of himself.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: In a way that is not Played for Laughs, reading both stories will have you bashing your heads in at how much miscommunication is going on between Yuuri and Viktor. It's almost as if they're operating on completely different wavelengths.
    • In Viktor's side story, the Russian Team, particularly Yakov, and Chris, are all under the impression that Yuuri is just using Viktor, either to manipulate him so he can win gold or (in Chris' case, since he knows Yuuri would never use underhanded tactics like that) for sex, and that he doesn't care for him beyond that. Even Viktor believed this, and went along with it because he figured it was the only way he would ever have Yuuri. The truth is the exact opposite: to Yuuri, Viktor is the most important person in his life. As Phichit points out, Yuuri has devoted half his life to hating Viktor and outdoing him, obsessed to the point that he keeps a poster of the guy at the foot of his bed to motivate him. Even winning gold is only important to Yuuri because it represents the fact that he beat Viktor. And all of it is to cover up the fact that he never got over Viktor breaking his heart back when they were children — and without knowing of that incident, everyone on Viktor's side, including Viktor himself, are forced to make their own conclusions.
    • In Yuuri's side story, he is under the opinion that he means very little to Viktor. Instead, just like how Viktor underestimates how much he means to Yuuri, Yuuri means everything to Viktor. Viktor's entire life has been skating, and Yuuri is the one who gave value back to it after Viktor was beginning to lose his inspiration and drive. Without Yuuri, Viktor's life loses most of its meaning. To such an extent that, if Yuuri had chosen to retire after the doping scandal, Viktor would have retired alongside him.
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • Everybody back in Hasetsu knew about Yuuri's feelings for Viktor without him saying a word.
    • It seems that the entire Russian team knew about Viktor's feelings for Yuuri as well.
    • Most of the skating world had realized something was going on between Viktor and Yuuri after the doping scandal, especially after Viktor chased after Yuuri after his botched free skate, which was captured live on television for the entire world to see. The only thing preventing them from accepting it as fact was an outright confirmation.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • While Viktor fans and Yuuri fans hate each other and wants the other's respective idol to fail, both sides look at the Viktuuri RPF shippers with disdain.
    • As much as Yuuri hated Viktor in the early part of their sexual relationship, he wouldn't have treated him nearly as bad if he had known Viktor was in love with him. Yuuri may have been vindictive, but that would've been a whole new level of cruelty that he even wouldn't have touched, and he admits as much when he and Viktor have their much needed talk.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Yuuri is so caught up in his misconception of Viktor that he misses all the obvious signs that Viktor is actually in love with him.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: The prologue of Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts is to quote kazliin: "...a 17k crash course in Viktor falling in love..."
  • Famed In-Story: Yuuri is famous as Japan's ace and his legendary rivalry with Viktor. The latter has actually elevated their collective fame to being household names, and increased the overall prestige of their sport.
  • Fandom Rivalry: In-Universe, Viktor's fans despise Yuuri and his fans and the feeling is mutual with Yuuri's fans, while anyone who likes both of them is rejected for not picking a side. Viktor's fans see Yuuri as a wannabe up-start that Viktor should put in his place while Yuuri's fans see Viktor as an over-hyped diva that's given more credit than he deserves. Their vocal fanbases publicize their rivalry, and Yuuri often associates the negative opinions of Viktor's fans with Viktor himself.
  • Fan Dumb: A few of Yuuri's and Viktor's In-Universe fans are as dumb as they are vicious.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: An In-Universe example. Viktor and Yuuri is one of the great sports rivalries with Yuuri's disdain for Viktor being rather infamous. It doesn't stop the RPF shippers from writing Fanfic about them.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Viktor doesn't remember his first meeting with Yuuri where he broke his heart, instead believing his first interaction with Yuuri was when he saw Yuuri crying in an empty room at Yuuri's junior debut.
  • Formerly Fat: Yuuri used to be chubby and was picked on due to his weight. After dedicating himself to ice-skating, he keeps himself in very good shape with his stretch marks as the only evidence of his former weight.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Right there in the summary "A single event changes the course of Yuuri’s life, throwing him into a bitter rivalry with Viktor Nikiforov that spans across his entire skating career." The single event in question is Yuuri's parents taking him to watch the Junior Grand Prix finals, where a callous comment by Viktor massively injures Yuuri's self-esteem and turns his admiration for the older boy into resentment. The sense of rivalry born from this encounter gives Yuuri additional drive in his skating, and his career progresses at a much faster pace compared to canon.
    • Yuuri's presence at Skate Canada for Phichit's senior debut distracts Viktor and causes him to botch a jump and injure himself, putting him out for the rest of the season, which changes the orders of his themes for the following years. This eventually results in the Stammi Vicino routine being crafted the same year as the Yuri on Ice routine, rather than it being the year before.
  • Game-Breaking Injury:
    • Viktor ends up dropping out of the Grand Prix Series one year when he fractures his leg after a botched jump. The injury is so bad in fact that he ends up missing out on the rest of the season as well.
    • Yuuri accidentally knocks himself into Viktor during a tournament warm-up, causing Yuuri to get a concussion on the ice. He skates despite it, but his balance and focus are screwed up so badly that he bombs his performance.
  • Graceful Loser: Viktor is actually very gracious in defeat, mainly because of how rare it is. Yuuri is similarly humble for the same reason... to everyone but Viktor. However, as Yuuri gradually grows closer to Viktor and his opinion for the older man improves, he also begins to feel less sore about his loss and in fact has become able to fully acknowledge that Viktor deserves every gold he won by the end of the series as well as able to smile genuinely at the man despite getting second place - which Viktor enjoys very much.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Both Viktor and Yuuri occasionally, towards each other.
  • Hanlon's Razor: Viktor's Brutal Honesty makes him come across as cruel and arrogant when in reality he's just ignorant and has no idea how to relate to others.
  • Heroic BSoD: Viktor goes through this after the doping scandal, and it takes a month for him to break him out of his slump.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Yuuri, even moreso than in the original anime thanks to having his self-esteem crushed by his idol, years of living under Viktor's shadow, the crushing pressure to catch up, and cruel fans.
  • Hero of Another Story: Viktor in Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts, as the entire story is re-told from his point of view.
  • Hey, You!: How Yuri Plisetsky begins his confrontation with Yuuri in Chapter 12 before outright calling him an asshole.
  • His Own Worst Enemy:
    • There is no one Yuuri hates more than himself, perhaps even more than Viktor — who he views as his greatest rival. His low self-esteem and anxiety blinds him to his own worth, which places him firmly in the dark regarding Viktor's feelings for him or his own feelings for Viktor.
    • Viktor is not much better. His lack of tact and idealization of love has nearly cost him his relationship with Yuuri several times, even discounting the initial interaction that caused Yuuri to hate and resent him in the first place. And when he becomes aware of these issues, he course-corrects into the opposite extreme (not talking about how he really feels at all), which is just as bad, if not worse.
    • Notably, in one of the soulmate AUs the writer wrote for this 'verse in their Tumblr, one is where a person has the name of their worst enemy on one wrist and the name of their One True Love on the other. Yuuri has Viktor's name on both his wrists, while Viktor has Yuuri's name on one and his own name on the other. It was initially assumed by his friends and even by Viktor himself that Yuuri was his enemy and he was his own true love due to his vanity, which was only supported when Yuuri entered the senior division and made it clear how much he hated Viktor. However, after learning Yuuri's side of the story, Viktor realizes that it's the other way around — Yuuri is the love of his life and Viktor is his own worst enemy, because it was his own thoughtless actions that almost irreversibly damaged his relationship with the person he cared for most.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Yuuri's self esteem issues make him believe that he's neither attractive nor charming enough for Viktor and sex is as good as he could get.
  • In Love with Love: Viktor has an idealized and fairytale-like view of love, which raises his expectations for his own love life and warps his perception on how a romance works in reality — which does wonders in his attempts to get Yuuri to reciprocate his feelings. Part of his Character Development is getting rid of this aspect.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Both Viktor and Yuuri are this: Viktor as a teen when he inadvertently broke Yuuri's heart by belittling his weight and not believing that he was a skater, and Yuuri in regards to his relationship with Viktor.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Even though much has changed from the original anime, many events still happen in a remarkable similar fashion. Examples include the banquet sequence, Yuuri skating the eros routine in Viktor's old costume and, of course, the kiss an the end of Chapter 14. Kazliin has stated this was completely intentional.
    • The author also stated that even if Yuuri and Viktor decided to end their relationship after the damage of the doping scandal, they would still eventually get back together years later when they reunite as coaches. The process of rekindling their relationship would be much longer and more careful, however.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Yuuri, Yuuri, Yuuri. Because of his warped perception of himself, he has a truckload of insecurities that carry through all throughout his relationship with Viktor. On the other hand, Viktor has his own fair share of insecurities too, especially while he was under the impression of being only one of Yuuri's long line of suitors. He eventually learns that it's quite the opposite as he's Yuuri's only one and has been since the first time they slept together.
  • Inspirational Insult:
    • The plot begins when Viktor dismisses Yuuri, who was a huge fan, by telling Yuuri he's too fat to be a skater.
    • Viktor insulting Yuuri and giving him unwanted advice after Yuuri wins gold in the Junior Grand Prix, which motivates Yuuri to push aside his self-doubt and further his career by moving to America.
  • Insult Backfire: Yuuri's gloating during the medal ceremony in Chapter 8, which Viktor misinterprets as flirting.
  • It's All My Fault: This is Viktor's reaction when Yuuri finally tells him of their actual first meeting, and why Yuuri hated him. It gets worse when the doping scandal happens, to the point that he has an emotional breakdown.
  • It's Personal: Yuuri's grudge against Viktor was initially thought to be driven by professional jealousy — however, when it became clear that side of himself only came out around Viktor, and that he was generally a Nice Guy (if a bit shy) to everyone else, fan and competitor alike, it was (correctly) speculated to be this. In fact, it seems the only people on Viktor's side who didn't realize this were Viktor's coach and rink-mates, who were too blinded by their affection for Viktor to recognize the possibility that Viktor might have actually done something to earn that hatred, and the fact that Viktor can't remember the interaction that caused it all did not help matters. Chris, meanwhile, who personally knows Yuuri, sees it, though even he is unaware of the true depth of Yuuri's feelings about the situation.
  • I Will Wait for You: Viktor tells Yuuri that he will wait for Yuuri in his apology message which Celestino passes on.
  • Irony: An In-Universe example regarding Yuuri and Viktor's Relationship Upgrade, where many fans comment on the unexpected ending to their rivalry, flashing back to the first time Yuuri and Viktor stood on the podium together and Yuuri was visibly glaring up at Viktor.
  • Jerkass Façade: Yuuri comes across as cold and dismissive to Viktor although he's anything but.
  • Jerkass to One: Both Viktor and Chris have noticed that Yuuri is only ever rude and dismissive to Viktor and Viktor only, and Viktor spent many years struggling to understand why. Even after they become closer and Yuuri acts warmer to him, he still wonders why he acted like that at the beginning.
  • Living Legend: Viktor, of course, but Yuuri as well, by virtue of being the only man capable of beating Viktor in competition. Yuuri is tangentially aware of it on some level, as he recognizes that he and Viktor are above the rest of the competition, but he doesn't fully comprehend the full significance of it. Specifically, he doesn't realize that he is inspiring skaters throughout the world, like Viktor had done with him years before — and even when being told that outright, he doesn't believe it, because he never saw himself as someone special.
  • Love Epiphany: Yuuri has one in Chapter 12 when Yuri Plisetsky confronts him about his relationship with Viktor. He has another one in Chapter 14 as Viktor skates to "Stammi Vicino" and realizes that Viktor has been in love with him and has been skating for him for years.
  • Love Hurts:
    • Yuuri, whose dreams were inadvertently crushed by his idol and childhood crush and spends his time unconsciously and then consciously pining after Viktor.
    • Viktor, who pines after Yuuri despite knowing that Yuuri despises him and seems to only want him for sex.
  • Love Martyr: Viktor spends several years pining after Yuuri who inadvertently rejects his advances.
  • Loving a Shadow: When Viktor first gained feelings for Yuuri, he fell in love with who he perceived Yuuri to be, but not with Yuuri himself. It's only when Yuuri temporarily lives with him in Moscow that he properly falls in love with Yuuri the person, not the ideal.
  • Loving Details: When Yuuri recalls the conversation they had years ago on their not-date and decides to makes borscht for Viktor as a thank you.
  • Married to the Job: Yuuri is so dedicated to ice skating that if it wasn't for Phichit, Yuuri would have no social life.
  • The Masochism Tango: Yuuri and Viktor. While they both have feelings for each other, Yuuri's feelings are buried under years of contempt and crippling self-doubt which blinds him to Viktor's genuine affection for him. Viktor is infatuated with Yuuri and takes what little affection Yuuri gives him due to having nothing else.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Yuuri, according to Viktor. While Yuuri's feelings are as complicated as Viktor assumes them to be, a lot of the "mixed messages" Viktor is receiving are actually due to Viktor's own preconceptions about Yuuri. Chapter 2 of Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts sums it up perfectly:
    Every time [Viktor] thought there might be a chance to make progress with Yuuri the other man did something else confusing and contradictory and Viktor had no idea what to make of his actions. All he wanted to do was ask Yuuri about it, to finally understand why the man seemed to hate him so much when he kept sending such confusing signals. But Yuuri was drunk and not in any state to be answering questions so Viktor resigned himself to living in confusion for a little while longer.
  • Memetic Mutation: Several In-Universe examples. Since both Viktor and Yuuri are Famed In-Story, both are a Fountain of Memes, even more so after Yuuri publicly confessed and they become a couple. When Yuuri released a tell-all book in response to the inaccurate movie about him and Viktor's rivalry/romance, including finally revealing the incident that started it all (something that had been speculated on In-Universe for years), even more memes poured out of the woodwork, including:
    • Warning celebrities to be nice to their fans lest they 'create [their] own Katsuki'.
    • Yuuri's Card of Humanity, which lampshades his disproportionate response to Viktor's unintended insult, and the sheer ridiculousness of how this all ended with him marrying Viktor.
    • Using 'Katsuki' as an adjective, i.e. you can be petty or 'Katsuki' petty, a.k.a. you can have a Dartboard of Hate that you make snarky comments at or you can devote the next ten years of your life to tearing apart everything they've ever worked for in your burning desire for revenge.
    • Pulling a Nikiforov, i.e. falling in love with someone who hates you/you're supposed to beat.
    • 'Nikiforov level pining' — the maximum amount of pining a person could possibly do.
    • Viktor 'skating my feelings' Nikiforov, which stems from people re-watching many of his past programs and realizing that all of them were about his complicated relationship with Yuuri.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: When Viktor walks in on Yuuri taking pills in a secluded area before his performance, he fills in the blanks of the suspicious circumstances and he concludes that Yuuri must be doping. Yakov makes the same assumption and reports Yuuri to the ISU, leading to the doping scandal.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Viktor when he realizes the real reason Yuuri did not defend himself when he was accused of doping. If he had not jumped to conclusions and calmly asked Yuuri what he was doing, the trainwreck that followed could have been avoided. In Viktor's defense, Yuuri did look pretty suspicious considering how he moved to a secluded area to take his medicine from an unlabeled container.
    • Though it isn't explored yet, it is hinted that Yakov also felt remorse for his actions, considering just how damaging the resulting scandal was for Yuuri and especially for Viktor, which later resulted in him walking on eggshells around Yuuri. Their relationship eventually became a civil one, but there's always lingering tension since Yuuri is still wary and distrusting of Yakov, even years after the scandal.
  • Nature Adores a Virgin: Downplayed, as Viktor finds out only after he has a sexual relationship with Yuuri, but he was rather pleased to find out that Yuuri was a virgin until his first time with Viktor because it makes him reconsider the assumptions he made about Yuuri's feelings about their encounters.
  • Nice to the Waiter:
    • The series' impetus is when Viktor unwisely ignores doing this by commenting that a young Yuuri is too fat to be a skater despite said fan already being one. This cruel comment destroys all admiration that Yuuri had for Viktor and transforms it a fierce hatred and burning desire to out do him.
    • With the glaring exception of Viktor, Yuuri makes a point to be kind and understanding to his fans and fellow skaters to avoid a repeat of what happened with him and Viktor. This is unlike in canon, where he doesn't treat Minami well because he doesn't know how to deal with admiration.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Prior to Yuuri's senior debut, Viktor had nearly lost all his passion for skating because he kept on winning and nobody was even close to challenging him. The same applied to Yuuri the season Viktor was injured, partly out of his grudge against Viktor and partly because Viktor was his only actual competition. With him not there, Yuuri swept all three of his major competitions as easily as Viktor had with his when Yuuri was still in the junior division.
  • The Not-Love Interest:
    • Phichit is this to Yuuri. Phichit is the sole person that is not Yuuri's relative or childhood friend that Yuuri is close to, and both show unwavering support and adoration of each other. Phichit is also one of the few people that Yuuri allows to be physically affectionate with.
    • Having shared the rink and the majority of their childhood together, Yuuri and Yuuko are incredibly close though unlike in canon, Yuuri does not have romantic feelings for her. They are close enough, however, for Yuuko to name him her triplets' godfather and is allowed to be physically affectionate with him.
    • Despite their close relationship and rumors of a romance, Viktor and Christophe are simply close friends.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast:
  • Oblivious to Love: Due to his unawareness of his looks, single-minded focus on ice skating, and obsession and contempt for Viktor, Yuuri does not pick up on anyone's interest in him. Notably, he was completely blind to Viktor's love for him for over five years, even after he himself realized he was in love Viktor; rather understandably, learning just how long Viktor has been pining after him shocks him to the core.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Yuuri is determined to be the one to catch up to Viktor and break his winning streak, which he succeeds at after winning gold at the Winter Olympics, and continues to win gold from then on. By then, Yuuri becomes less obsessed with their rivalry and they develop a mutual respect for each other, both motivated to work by their competition.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Phichit questions Yuuri's obsession with Viktor and points out that Yuuri is getting over his head.
    • Christophe asks Viktor if it would be worth it to romantically pursue someone who despises him.
    • Yakov warns Viktor about Yuuri, "Don't let him become a distraction. And if you do, the next time you stand under him on the podium, ask yourself if you lost because of his skating, or if you lost because of him."
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Viktor can't help but unintentionally offend Yuuri through unwanted advice or very poor wording which doesn't help Viktor's attempts to get Yuuri to at least tolerate him. Then Viktor starts to develop the opposite problem so Yuuri would at least speak to him.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: In-Universe example regarding the doping scandal, which completely overshadowed the 2016 World Championships. The backlash was so massive that even months after it happened people were still talking about it; had it not been for Yuuri and Viktor becoming a couple after The Big Damn Kiss at the following Grand Prix Finals, it also probably would've overshadowed their careers.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: In one of their sexual encounters, Viktor catches Yuuri before the latter could get off the bed, and asks him to stay the night instead — to which Yuuri agrees.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The basis of basically the entire fic. Yuuri bottles up both his positive and negative feelings for Viktor until they boil over. Viktor's tendency to act without thinking costs him opportunities to repair their relationship early on, and he ends up withholding a lot in fear of offending Yuuri and losing what little attention Yuuri gives him.
  • The Power of Love: The reason Yuuri was able to land a quadruple flip while skating to "Yuuri on Ice".
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches is the story from Yuuri's point of view, and Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts is from Viktor's. The two fics shows the ways both Yuuri and Viktor mess up and fail to understand the consequences that their actions have on each other. Yuuri's point of view is biased because of his own insecurities, and he fails to see how he's hurting Viktor until much later. Viktor has idealized expectations of love and his optimism often gets him hurt, and he is unaware of the feelings that Yuuri is hiding from him.
  • Questionable Consent: Averted. The fic makes it absolutely clear that consent was established every time Viktor and Yuuri slept together.
  • Race for Your Love: After the doping scandal, Viktor flubs his routine, yanks off his skates, and sprints after Yuuri who turns and walks away.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Viktor ends up being brutally honest to a young fan that wants to skate the same ice as him and tells the fan that he needs to lose weight to become a skater. The young fan being a timid Yuuri Katsuki, he ends up being absolutely crushed by Viktor's dismissal and cruel remarks.
    • The fic also deconstructs Oblivious to Love; having his idol crush his already fragile self-esteem has warped Yuuri's view of himself. He legitimately has problems viewing himself as attractive due to his own world-view rationalizing away any romantic gestures.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • The Viktuuri RPF shippers are correct in that Yuuri and Viktor have a Secret Relationship, though they are also wrong because they think the relationship is more positive than it actually is.
    • The Viktor and Yuuri fans are right in that there's no way the two are secretly in a loving and committed relationship, but they think it's because the two are genuinely just rivals and hate each other.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Yuuri in regards to his feelings for Viktor and Viktor's feelings for him.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Yuuri would frequently win silver in competitions and be extremely disappointed in himself and bitter about it since he still couldn't overcome Viktor. It is stated however that he only gets frustrated when he's second to Viktor himself, since he doesn't mind if he places second in the competitions Viktor isn't competing in.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: With Living Legend Viktor Nikiforov and Yuuri Katsuki competing, it came to be said that getting bronze is just as good as gold. In one Recursive Fanfiction, it's even joked that Viktor and Yuuri are the ones competing for gold while everyone else is competing for bronze.
  • Serenade Your Lover:
    • Viktor skates his heart out on ice for years hoping that Yuuri would notice his feelings. Yuuri on the other hand doesn't notice at all until his epiphany in the last chapter.
    • Viktor singing "Dark Eyes" while Yuuri was asleep in Chapter 10.
  • Sex for Solace: Part of the reason why Yuuri sleeps with Viktor a second time after falling behind him once again in the Grand Prix. At least, this is the case for Yuuri, but to Viktor, it's another proof that Yuuri only sees him as a casual dalliance.
  • Shipper on Deck: Viktuuri RPF shippers adore the idea of Yuuri and Viktor secretly being in a relationship and they are more right than people realize they are.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To the original anime. The Olympic after-party is a shoutout to the original Grand Prix banquet. Yuuri tells Viktor about their first meeting the same year that Viktor was originally seduced by Yuuri at the Grand Prix banquet in canon.
    • Yuuri skating to "River Flows in You" is a shout-out to real-life figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva, who also skated to that song.
  • Sickening Sweethearts: By all accounts, Yuuri and Viktor become this when they finally become a couple.
  • Single-Target Sexuality:
    • Yuuri never shows any interest in anyone, not even Yuuko unlike in canon, which makes Yuuri this towards Viktor.
    • Viktor has had sex with others before, but once he falls for Yuuri, he doesn't give anyone so much as a second glance.
  • Slave to PR:
    • While neither Viktor nor Yuuri really care about their reputations, they do recognize the fact that being unprofessional can have adverse effects on their careers; hence, while Yuuri's hatred of Viktor is well-known, he's never been publicly rude about him.
    • This played a major part in the doping scandal. After the story broke thanks to a leak in the ISU, Viktor's immediate reaction had been to speed over to Yuuri and apologize and beg for forgiveness on bent knee; Yakov stopped him and forced him into a press conference to apologize for the accusations publicly, as the longer he put it off the more damage would be done to both his and Yuuri's reputations, and thus, their careers. The fact that all this happened in Yuuri's home country made it infinitely worse, as the entire Russian skating team faced backlash for what happened, becoming some of the most hated people in Japan, and not liked much elsewhere in the skating world for the following couple of months into the next season barring, of course, Russia. It wasn't until Viktor and Yuuri became a couple did the heat die down for good.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Yuri Plisetsky. He only has two scenes in the first fic, but he makes a huge impact as he makes Yuuri reconsider his feelings for Viktor and lead him to treat the latter more kindly.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The fic uses the more culturally accurate Viktor instead of the canon Victor.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: When Yuuri finally tells Viktor about their first meeting, he ends up doing this.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Yuuri comes across to the public and other skaters as aloof and cold when really it's because he doesn't like socializing and is very shy.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Yuuri when he ponders about Viktor's sex life pre-Chapter 8.
  • Take That!: In-Universe, Yuuri's skate to Lana Del Rey's "Fucked My Way Up to the Top" during an ice show in response to the fan speculation that he was just sleeping with Viktor in order to win.
  • Technician vs. Performer: One of the main pillars of Viktor and Yuuri's rivalry. Viktor is the best technical skater in the men's division, capable of pulling out several complicated jumps and landing them easily. Yuuri, however, is the best performer — he has perfect compulsory figures, and his step-sequencing forced the ISU to clarify their scoring. He even won the Junior Worlds Championships with a quad-less program, which is practically unheard of.
  • Tempting Fate: Christophe sums up Viktor's plans with Yuuri to Viktor himself: find out why Yuuri hates him, win his heart, and live happily ever after with him, to which Viktor innocently replies, "Really, how hard can it be?". Oh Viktor...
  • Their First Time: After Yuuri wins gold at World Championships, he decides to have hate sex with Viktor despite having no prior sexual experience. Thankfully, Viktor was gentle with Yuuri and Yuuri was able to fake sexual confidence that Viktor didn't pick on it; although Yuuri makes it clear to Viktor that it was only hate sex for him by telling him that he loathes him and leaves Viktor after the act.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason:
    • Yuuri refuses to talk to Phichit, Celestino, his therapist or his family about his romantic issues with Viktor despite how badly it's affecting him.
    • Yuuri never admitted to the public that he has an anxiety disorder that he takes medications for because he doesn't want to receive unwanted sympathy, scrutiny or disgust... which happens when his medical history is linked to the public in the doping scandal.
  • Tragic Mistake:
    • Had Yuuri just told Viktor why he stepped away to take medication in private or if Viktor hadn't jumped to conclusions they might not have risked the destruction of their relationship.
    • The entire fic's premise is one; had Viktor been a little more tactful when he was younger, the rivalry would've never happened and he would've had a chance with Yuuri instead of nearly destroying any hope of a lasting relationship with the love of his life before said relationship could even begin. He's aware of it too after Yuuri tells him, so when confronted with the poster that is the only physical proof of the encounter (as Viktor can't remember it while Yuuri's memory of the event is distorted), he looks at as if it were the most precious and venomous thing in the world; while it's what brought him and Yuuri together, it also nearly ruined them both.
  • Twice Shy: While Yuuri and Viktor have a sexual relationship, neither are aware of the other's feelings for each other. Thanks to Yuuri's self-confidence issues, he believes that he's not attractive enough for Viktor. While Viktor just barely managed to get Yuuri to tolerate him after the latter despised him for years, Viktor doesn't want to jeopardize what little he has.
  • Unknown Rival: Yuuri revolves his entire career around his perceived rivalry with Viktor, while Viktor himself sees their relationship in an entirely different way...
  • Unexpected Virgin: Due to his anxiety around people and dedication to getting revenge on Viktor, Yuuri was still a virgin and had never been kissed by the time he sleeps with Viktor. Viktor had no idea that Yuuri was one until Yuuri admits it once they get closer.
  • Unreliable Narrator:
    • Yuuri. His self-esteem, anxiety and misinterpretations result in him having a lot of very inaccurate perceptions, especially in regards to Viktor and Viktor's feelings for him.
    • While not as notable as with Yuuri, it's clear that Viktor isn't completely objective in his narration either.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Yakov. Had Yakov allowed Yuuri to explain why he was taking medication rather than scream at him, the doping scandal wouldn't have had broken out and Yuuri and Viktor wouldn't have botched their performances so badly.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Played with. While Yuuri is immensely satisfied with his initial victories at the Winter Olympics and the following World Championships, he feels that his revenge is unfulfilled until he finally confronts Viktor and explains why he hates him so much, to make the man regret ever dismissing him back when he was a child. Unfortunately for Yuuri, other things get in the way of that. Then he starts sleeping with Viktor, which just complicates the situation even more. By the time Yuuri finally gets around to finally telling Viktor the truth (or at least part of it), he can no longer derive any of the vindictive pleasure he had been seeking from it, as he has long since fallen in love with his enemy. Instead, all it does is just reopen old wounds.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The in-universe movie about Yuuri and Viktor. It's so inaccurate that Yuuri writes a much more accurate autobiography.
  • Vicariously Ambitious: Yakov is rather infuriated that his student Viktor Nikiforov, a previously uncontested and universally-loved gold medalist has competition and controversy in the form of his rival, Yuuri Katsuki. While Viktor and Yuuri's rivalry generates a lot of publicity, Viktor is no longer loved by everyone as people take sides on who they support, a fact that Yakov does not enjoy, and it colors his perception of Yuuri and his relationship with Viktor. This has disastrous consequences, as it eventually leads to the doping scandal, which emotionally destroys both men to the point that they were both on the verge of retirement. Yakov, realizing the damage he's caused to not just a skilled and respected skater but also to his own student, who he loves like a son, subsequently discards this trait out of guilt after that.
  • Victory Is Boring:
    • Viktor prior to Yuuri entering the senior division. He had won so many competitions that victory was a Foregone Conclusion. Nobody was close to measuring up, so much so that it was dangerously close to killing Viktor's love of the sport. Yuuri is the one who changed all that, which is one of the reasons why Viktor falls in love with him.
    • Yuuri during the season Viktor was forced to sit out due to injury. He swept all three of the major competitions that season easily, winning gold, but couldn't find it in himself to enjoy the victories because he didn't beat Viktor for them.
  • Warts and All: In the beginning, there are two versions of Viktor that exist to Yuuri — the concept he adored and worshiped, and the memory he despised and hated. It's only after getting to know Viktor the person, both the good and the bad, that he finally begins to let go of his grudge, and opens up the way to falling in love with him.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Yuuri deeply regrets naming his dog after Viktor after the first meeting. Yuuri attempted to rename Vicchan but the name stuck as the poodle refused to respond to anything else.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Deep down, this is what Yuuri really is to Viktor, a fact that he only really becomes aware of in the last few chapters of the story. His single-minded desire to overcome Viktor is driven by his innate desire to be acknowledged as an equal by his childhood idol, something that has been buried deep down beneath his loathing and resentment. But because his view of Viktor had been so twisted for so long, he never realizes that he always had Viktor's admiration and approval.
  • Weight Woe: Yuuri has to watch what he eats and exercise because he gains weight easily.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 13. Viktor mistakes Yuuri's anxiety medication for performance-enhancing drugs, which Yakov walks in on, leading to Yuuri panicking and fleeing the scene. This results in a doping scandal that gets leaked to the public and emotionally destroys both Yuuri and Viktor.
  • Wham Line: "I hate you. Now fuck me."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Yuri is never seen after he confronts Yuuri, except in a brief scene in the final chapter when he implicitly helps Yuri realize that Viktor has always loved him since the beginning. He does get a bigger role in Viktor's side story, however.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Yuuri started as a ridiculed fan and then was ridiculed for his desire to defeat Viktor. Then, not only does he beat Viktor at the Olympics but takes the gold medal several separate times. The effect is mitigated, however, by the fact that Viktor does not mind as nearly as much as Yuuri thinks he does, a fact that Yuuri does not subconsciously realize until later.
  • Wishful Projection: While Viktor wants to get know Yuuri better, part of why he utterly fails in getting any headway with that goal is that he subconsciously makes his own assumptions about Yuuri anyway (partially influenced by the people around him, who know even less about Yuuri than he does), especially regarding their relationship. Yuuri's a playboy? No, actually Yuuri has only ever had sex with Viktor, to the point that his first kiss was with Viktor. Yuuri hates Viktor for always beating him and doesn't care for him beyond sex? Yuuri hates Viktor because Viktor broke his heart when they were kids; his life since then has revolved around Viktor and beating him, because he's never gotten over what happened, making Viktor quite literally the most important person in his life. Yuuri already knows about Viktor's feelings and rejecting him? Yuuri is actually the poster boy for Oblivious to Love, completely unaware of Viktor's feelings because of his non-existent self-esteem. During Viktor's Heroic BSoD after the doping scandal, he even acknowledges this mistake, and how much damage it did to their relationship.
  • Worf Had the Flu:
    • Viktor was forced to sit out an entire season because of a Game-Breaking Injury.
    • An ill-fated crash with Viktor causes Yuuri to get a concussion at the World Championships and bomb his performance.
    • The doping scandal. The emotional damage causes both Yuuri and Viktor to botch their respective free skate routines at the World Championships and land them at the bottom of the rankings — which would have never happened under normal circumstances. Even after months of healing and recovery after the scandal, they still aren't skating like they used to; Viktor's routine was technically perfect but lacked passion, and Yuuri's was suffering a similar dilemma in that he couldn't get the feel of the routine and thus couldn't skate it to its full potential. It isn't until the Grand Prix Final that they finally manage to nail their respective routines down, after focusing on each other.
  • Workaholic: Yuuri's determination to defeat Viktor causes him to be utterly devoted to his skating career, consequently making him practically unable to establish a proper relationship with anyone (besides Phichit).
  • Work Hard, Play Hard: Yuuri skated his heart out in the Olympics in order to win against Viktor. Despite his intentions, Yuuri parties hard in the Olympic after-party, getting black-out drunk.
  • World's Best Warrior: Viktor is the best figure skater in the world, and only Yuuri can match him. When he retires, the title passes down to Yuuri, and after Yuuri retires, it — presumably — passes down to Yuri.
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite their turbulent relationship, Viktor and Yuuri have a deep respect for each other as competitors and do not tolerate any insult to the other.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: What makes the doping scandal doubly crushing for Viktor is that he had noticed the signs that Yuuri was finally beginning to reciprocate his feelings, which had given Viktor the resolve to finally confess until everything went to hell. Viktor was literally hours away from finally having everything he had ever wanted with Yuuri for years, only for that one Tragic Mistake to nearly destroy it all. It's no wonder he broke down after what happened.
  • You're Not My Father: Viktor says this in irritation after Yakov berates him for his relationship (or what they had at the time to be considered one) with Yuuri.

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