A/N: Hello, people!

I don't own Yuri! on Ice.

I have no beta.



-| |- For anyone who thinks Deaf figure skaters don't exist, check out David Michalowski,
1st real life Deaf figure skater EVER to skate nationally and internationally. Won 4 Gold,
8 Silver, and 5 Bronze. So the next person who claims that being a Deaf figure skater is
'impossible', check your knowledge. Skaters who can hear aren't better skaters because
they can hear. Hearing doesn't make anyone better than anyone else.

-| |- Yuuri is Deaf. Meaning this is AU to a point.

-| |- There are many who don't like that I have provided links(on AO3) and explained to
some detail, what lives are like for some D/deaf folks. They don't understand why that
was necessary as it apparently only served to 'make them feel bad for never noticing'.
And it's 'preachy' to their delicate sensibilities. Make no mistake, this could have gotten
deep, but it's rather tame, and as I got my point across correctly while with the aid of
several D/deaf and HoH people, I don't care about how some will think explaining the
struggles of a Deaf person is 'preachy'. Beware.

-| |- Italics inside single apostrophes 'like so' are signed sentences.

-| |- This fic is finished already! The complete version, with all the links to the sites,
articles, and blogs I consulted when writing, are on Archive Of Our Own, under the
same title and writer(AKA moi).


Yuuri stared down at the young blond who was no doubt screaming at him. And unfortunately, as he was speaking English with a thick accent, his pronunciation was off. Yuuri could barely understand the words his mouth was forming.

Anyway, Yuuri heaved a great sigh of relief once the teen left. So he'd been caught while messaging his mother and crying about his big failure. At the frustration of all of his hard work seemingly meaning nothing after years of dedication.

Yuuri knew it would be a failure the moment he started. And if it wasn't for the fact that binged on candy cakes the night previous, it was also the fact that he was barely in the middle of processing the death of his beloved poodle, Vic-chan. Not to mention that he was nervous, and he could not see his coach's gestures from out in the center of the rink.

His eyesight was poor and while it usually helped him block out the crowd, it was also difficult for him in a sense.

Yuuri was 'Hard of Hearing'. Or rather bluntly put, Deaf. Had been since very early on in his life.

As such, he could not hear the music and had to rely on visual cues from his coach on when to start. And it wasn't as if that was such a terrible thing to have to do, but he'd let his emotions overrun everything else, which helped him fall so much.

A lot of people had misconceptions on the Deaf Community. They were just as capable as the hearing privileged, they just needed to be given a chance to prove it. Hence how Yuuri could do a Quad jump even though he wasn't a skater who could hear.

Though technically, barely anyone knew that Yuuri couldn't hear. He was good at keeping his life private, whether he was considered Japan's top figure skater or not.

Yuuri had also gone through intense speech therapy for both Japanese and English, so while he could not hear himself, he could feel the vibrations in his throat and knew when to fluctuate his voice to fit the appropriate setting.

A lot of D/deaf people learned how to 'pass' as Hearing on a daily basis. From specific words and lip reading, they could get by without anybody knowing, if they didn't want people to know.

Unfortunately for Yuuri, his vision depended heavily on glasses and usually Celestino wore bright colors for Yuuri to spot him through the fuzzy world around him, but Yuuri had forgotten where the man was when he'd gotten on the ice, and just ruined the entire routine. It was a big disappointment and he never wanted to repeat such a performance. If it could even be called a performance.

Sighing, the man wet a piece of paper towel and carefully dabbed his eyes with it, making sure they weren't red any longer. It was one thing to be sad and completely unhappy with himself, but he wasn't going to let anyone else know that he was crying. And if the teen who had tried insulting him told anyone, there would be no proof in Yuuri's appearance.

Of course when he left the bathroom, he felt slightly better. A good cry after feeling frustrated had always left him feeling sort of numb. And now that he knew how to cry mostly silently, Yuuri didn't have to panic over anyone possibly hearing him.

Well, almost anyone.

Yuuri accepted his iPod from Celestino and slipped the earbuds in. It was a sort of play. Let everyone assume that he was far too busy listening to music to pay them any mind. That was how he got away with Celestino answering most questions for him when the reporters came to call.

Of course Yuuri had to answer now and then, but it wasn't as hard as it used to be. He was better now. And people usually attributed some of his stuttering to his shy character, which was a plus for him. He didn't necessarily want anyone to know that he was Deaf. It usually brought forth annoying reactions he didn't feel like dealing with.

It had nothing to do with embarrassment over how he was born, but more over the fact that he didn't want pity. He didn't want anyone to pity him simply because he couldn't hear. And he could envision the public response if the media learned that he had been competing while Deaf.

They'd turn him into either a freak show or a pity party, and Yuuri didn't want either. Thankfully, his family and few friends respected his decision and chose to remain silent on the matter. If he was going to ever come out, it should be after a major victory.

Either way, he preferred to have the heavy bass thumping in his ear. The vibrations thick and noticeable through the earbuds, allowing him to somewhat keep on with the beat. It was always about timing and usually he was exemplary at it. Today was just a setback he hadn't expected. He'd started late because he couldn't find Celestino for the cue, which left him off with the music.

It was his own fault. He knew who to blame in situations like this. If he wasn't so fragile at heart, it wouldn't have been like that.

He didn't care that people everywhere handled grief differently. Had he been a little more sound of mind, it wouldn't have happened.

Celestino patted his back in comfort, but Yuuri didn't necessarily want comfort. He wanted to talk to his ballet instructor. Someone who'd gone through so much for his sake. She had supported him from day one, even going so far as to learn how to Sign in Japanese just so she could bond with him.

Minako would obviously have the advice he needed, because Yuuri wasn't feeling too great. He failed so spectacularly on international television and already there were screenshots of his failure being shared on Twitter. Everyone knew.

If anything, she might be able to help him. And if not her, than Yuuko probably could.

Celestino tugged on his sleeve and motioned behind them. Yuuri turned and found himself face to face with one Hisashi Morooka. Morooka was an announcer, and was a well known face among the figure skating community of Japan.

His black hair was slicked upward in an array of spikes, and his youthful face was contorted into a serious expression.

"Hi, Morooka-san."

And then, Morooka's mouth formed words that Yuuri didn't think he needed, but appreciated all the same.

"Don't give up."

Just when he had been thinking that he should quit skating competitively because there were more deserving skaters who could take his place, he'd been confronted by such words. Words full of belief in Yuuri's skating ability and his future, no less.

Morooka had always been a pleasant person to be around and he seemed to really admire Yuuri for whatever personal reason he had. More so than a lot of the other Japanese skaters out there.

But Morooka was talking and talking about how Yuuri still had years to go and that he shouldn't stop because of one failure. Meanwhile, Yuuri's gaze was caught on something outside the window.

A puppy. A poodle to be precise. Just like his Vic-chan.

A few tears welled up as his regret over not seeing his own poodle before he passed away, came flooding back. He'd hoped he could keep it together at least until that evening when he finally returned to his own room at the hotel, but apparently that was impossible.

Turning back to Morooka, Yuuri offered the man a small smile in hopes that it would calm his excited worries. He didn't want the man to spend his free time thinking about Yuuri's future. He probably had better things to do.

Spotting something red out of the corner of his eye, Yuuri turned and found himself looking at Victor Nikiforov. The person who had inspired Yuuri to start competing. The figure skater that Yuuri looked up to the most because of how amazing he was on the ice.

Victor gave more than a performance when he was out there, being the center of everyone's attention. His jumps were beautiful, and his overall technical skills superb. It was one of those few times that Yuuri wished he could hear, simply so he could get the full feeling of Victor's performances.

The man walked by, silver hair falling in his eyes as his mouth moved. Beside him was the kid who had shouted at Yuuri in the bathroom back at the rink. Said kid looked annoyed and was rolling his eyes at whatever Victor was saying to him.

Yuuri had no idea what had been said to the blond, but when the kid looked over, his eyes went wide and he immediately turned around as if to hide. So obviously he'd been very rude and had probably said some terrible things while he thought he could get away with it.

Yuuri shrugged, not really caring. He hadn't heard the words and they weren't all that important to him. Many people his whole life had been terrible and one more wasn't going to bring him down.

Though back to Victor, who was literally Yuuri's idol. This was another time in which he could hear, simply so he could talk to the other man and know what he sounded like. What was Victor Nikiforov's voice like? Was it deep or high, or somewhere in the middle?

Yuuko had described it as satin moving on silk, but has Yuuri couldn't really connect to such a description, he wasn't sure.

It was a shame. Yuuri wanted to speak with him at least once.

Though he looked a bit annoyed actually, so Yuuri wouldn't dare such a thing. Not now of all times. Not after such a big failure.

Yuuri sighed, feeling his frustrations rising again. He needed to go home and think very deeply on this. What were his plans for the future? And should he even bother? He'd managed to become a figure skater who competed in international events. That was a good thing.

Maybe a break would do him some good.

Just then, Victor's head turned and his blue eyes landed directly on Yuuri's slumped form. His annoyed countenance melted away and he aimed an incredibly fake smile in Yuuri's direction. So fake, it made Yuuri's stomach curl. Like those cheerleaders from university who pretended to like people in order to get something out of them.

Then his mouth opened, and the English words formed almost perfectly despite no doubt having a Russian accent, spilled out. And Yuuri wanted nothing more than to punch something. Also, he was certain that his left eyes was twitching spasmodically.

He must not punch the Russian skater.

He must not punch the Russian skater.

That was how you made enemies. And enemies could cause problems in the long run.

And the mini-Russian was already in a bad mood, so Yuuri wasn't going to make whatever was wrong, even worse.

No, he did not want a photo. Not today. It would seem like a pity gift if anything else.

Yuuri was simply going to go back to Detroit, finish at university, and then return to Japan. Anything else would be decided later on.

When he could think more clearly and not let his grief overwhelm him so much.


A/N: The first is done!

-I made a note for others on AO3. This is a Deaf character. Only those
who are Hard of Hearing or D/deaf can truly tell me if I have done
something incorrectly. In terms of the characterizations and writing
of a Deaf character, I will only accept criticisms from those who are
either D/deaf or HoH.

-Tell me my grammar is bad or whatever, I already know that. Tell me you
don't like my fic. But if you are not a member of the Deaf Community,
your opinion on whether I'm writing a Deaf character correctly, doesn't

-I was given lists of sites to check out. I was told to spell things certain
ways. A D/deaf and HoH run blog I follow answered many questions
and gave advice on whether to write out what characters signed, or
whether I should mention Cochlear Implants, or gloss over Name Signs.

-The blog in question is deafaq.(tumblr).com! Mod T answered most
of my questions. They confront authors writing D/deaf and HoH characters
often and I took their advice. The full LINKS to everything are over
on the AO3 version of this fic.

How was it? Let me know!

Check out my other fics!

See ya! :D