There is nothing quite as pure and lovely as the friendship between Yuri Katsuki and Phichit Chulunanont. The series gives enough for fan fiction to play with, and that’s what Meg and May are talking about in today’s #yoiconph2017 blog entry. The purpose of fan fiction is to explore what if’s, so what if those two got friendlier and friendlier? Read on for your rarepair reads!
Premise: A what-if fic in which the triplets never film Yuri skating Victor’s routine, and over the next few months, he sinks deeper and deeper into a slump. It all comes to a head late one night when he makes a drunk call to an old friend.
What Makes It Work: Given how important the Stammi Vicino viral video is to the canon storyline, as it’s one of the key things that sets the plot in motion, it’s so interesting to see this fic take the opposite path – the one in which nothing particularly special or life-changing happens when Yuri skates for Yuko. You really feel the depth of his despair here, and it’s so touching to see him coming back to Phichit for support and strength. The emotions in this piece are handled so sensitively all throughout, and for a relatively brief first chapter the author manages to work in so many of the little nuances to their relationship that make it so wonderful–the trust, the deep-rooted understanding, the little bits of humor only Phichit can inject into a situation even when Yuri’s at his lowest.
Currently a work-in-progress, but definitely one to watch for how it’ll continue to split from the canon storyline and develop a narrative thread all its own.
Excerpt: “They talk some more; nonsense and banter and yawns on both ends. Alcohol makes Yuri sappy like nothing else. Phichit decides to blame it all on that: the contented sighs, the whispered I-missed-yous. The occasional Are you really coming tomorrow?, though, is all Yuri, and Phichit can’t help but smother laughter into his pillow every time he says it. Every time he feels his heart open just a little bit more with the next Yeah, I am.
When Yuuri starts to doze off, Phichit stays on the line. He stays and listens to his breathing, low and even, like the wind rustling outside his window.”
Word Count: 1,693 (Ongoing)
Premise: Yuri is constantly distracted by Phichit’s lips. The problem only worsens when he discovers Phichit’s affinity for lipgloss and lipstick. Sexy things happen, eventually.
What Makes It Work: Poor Yuri is an absolute mess in this; he’s so charmed by Phichit and has barely any idea what to do about it, and that’s so adorable. The author does a great job of highlighting his nervousness and confusion (which we can probably chalk up to his initial inability to recognize Unresolved Sexual Tension™ for what it is) and playing that off of Phichit’s total, absolute comfort in his own skin. You can’t help but be happy for Yuri when the smut happens somewhere in the middle, but it’s the ending moment, where things slow down and become sweet and tender and comfortable, that really hooks the heart.
Excerpt: “Yuri burns his wrist on the frying pan staring when he first sees him walk into the small kitchen looking like that. Phichit immediately runs the faucet to cold and jerks Yuri’s wrist under the stream of water. He lets Phichit hold him with the soft tips of his fingers as the cold water soothes the burn, even though there’s really no reason for it.
‘Better?’ Phichit asks, and Yuri nods, feeling his cheeks heat up. He turns back to his pan and starts stirring with a spatula, still feeling the spots where Phichit’s fingers had pressed into his skin. Yuuri thinks that he might be in trouble. Later, when Phichit beams and praises uuri’s meal and wipes a single finger across the dish just to slide it between his lips and suck the sauce from it, Yuri knows that he is in trouble.”
Word Count: 2,209 (Complete)
Premise: After they get together, Victor’s convinced the only way uuri could have become such a good kisser is for him to have gotten some practice. Yuri insists he doesn’t kiss and tell. We learn the truth via flashback.
What Makes It Work: Off the bat, the dialogue in this fic is ace – everyone is so funny, and their different voices really shine through. But more than that, what makes it most memorable is its exploration of the different kinds of human intimacy, and how navigating the many grey areas surrounding that intimacy with different people can be so weird and so wonderful all at once. Much of the time it’s not easy to box the people who are most important to you up into neat strictly-platonic/strictly-romantic categories, and it’s great how that insight is fleshed out here in terms of Yuri’s reflections about his relationship with Victor in the present, and his tentative, kind of clumsy, figuring-stuff-out-together experiences with Phichit in the past.
Excerpt: “They stay makeout buddies for years, whenever they’re bored or a bit drunk or just interested in spending a lazy free afternoon kissing sticky-sweet in the golden warmth of summer. They even fool around a little, and it’s fun in the way that hanging out with Phichit is always fun, not because Phichit is sweet and carefree – although he is, of course he is – but because they’ve got the kind of friendship where they can go from bemoaning the impossibility of landing a triple Lutz to figuring out exactly how Phichit likes it when Yuri bites at his earlobe to navigating all the weirdnesses of American cultural traditions neither of them understand.
And that’s why Yuri’s reticent about sharing the details with Victor; it’s not like he and Phichit were in love, or in a relationship like Yuri and Viktor somehow seem to be, but that doesn’t make it any less important, and Yuri holds it in his heart very fondly.”
Word Count: 2,439 (Completed)
Premise: Middle school AU where eleven-year-old Yuri and Phichit get paired together for a project, and spend a day working on it together at Phichit’s house.
What Makes It Work: The world in which this AU takes place is a huge treat to explore. Not only do you get such a concrete sense of what the greater setting is like – a feat in itself, considering it’s an unidentified city in an unidentified country – but there’s so much detail and care in the way the author crafts Phichit’s house in particular, and identifies all the little things that make it quirky and lived-in and absolutely perfect for Phichit himself. Phichit’s delightful mom and younger siblings figure prominently, as do his hamsters (of course).
Another telltale sign of a well-constructed AU is if the author is able to strike a balance between preserving the essence of the characters, and weaving entirely new situations and environments to drop them into. This is absolutely the case here, as even as kids this Phichit and this Yuri hit all the warm, sweet notes that make their friendship so precious in canon – you can clearly see how happy they make each other and how much they have to learn from each other, and all their interactions ring so true and feel so natural.
Excerpt: “It occurs to Yuri, just now, that he doesn’t want this to end. But he knows that after the project’s over, the two of them will have nothing to talk about—nothing in common again, no reason to laugh or eat ice cream or make music together. Phichit will go back to playing basketball with the seventh-graders at recess, and Yuri will go back to eating with Yuko and Takeshi, trying not to mind when they hold hands. There’s no point in hoping for anything else, Yuri tells himself firmly. Phichit has friends all over the world. He doesn’t even know me.”
Word Count: 4,235 (Complete)
Premise: College AU set in Detroit, in which Phichit is a photography student struggling with his final project for class, and Yuuri teaches a beginners’ class at the local skating rink.
What Makes It Work: To outsiders, it might be surprising just how beloved Phichit is in the YOI fandom, given how little screen time he’s had so far. That said, it’s never an easy feat to get into the head of a side character, but the author absolutely gets it right with this AU, exploring what might lie behind Phichit’s sunny demeanor, and taking his penchant for selfies and reimagining it as his love for photography as a craft, and as a way of seeing the world.
Phichit and Yuri start off as friends here, and it’s a joy seeing them tentatively dance around each other – and seeing how they understand each other, slowly open each other up without ever imposing, and ultimately give each other the boost of courage they need. Apart from being a poetically-written, incredibly sweet and tender Phichuri fic, this is also a story about the personal journeys Phichit and Yuri both take, with some beautiful nods to canon along the way.
Excerpt: “Phichit doesn’t know where Yuri’s hometown—Hasetsu—is on a map, or what Yuri sounds like when he laughs. He doesn’t know why his eye goes to Yuri the moment he walks into a room, when it only makes sense that someone so soft and shy and retiring would melt away into any crowd, disappear in an instant. He doesn’t know if Yuri is his friend—could be, wants to be.
He doesn’t know how to go about learning any of these things, and the hundred-something other things he hasn’t admitted he wonders about yet.”
Word Count: 17,727 (Complete)
We welcome guest posts! If you’d like to write about Yuri!!! on ICE or figure skating for the #yoiconph2017 blog, please contact us!