Title: Transitions
Author: Silver Dragonfly
Genre: Sentinel AU, Drama, Romance
Rating: PG-13 
Fandom: Yuri on Ice x Sentinel AU
Character Focus/Pairing: Yuuri Katsuki, Viktor Nikiforov 
Warnings: Non-Consensual Drugging (off-screen), ROUGH DRAFT, Incomplete (WIP)
Challenge: Rough Trade July 2023 – Natural Disaster / The Sentinel
Words: 3,719

Summary: The figure skating world is rocked on its axis after Russian figure skater Viktor Nikiforov comes online as a guide during his exhibition skate at the 2009 World Championships. An investigation is launched by the International Skating Union(ISU) and quickly uncovers a conspiracy within the Russian Skating Federation(RSF). Viktor is advised not to return to Russia for his own safety. Viktor is sent to the Sanctuary in Hasetsu, Japan and this is where he meets Yuuri Katsuki for the second time.

Banner art by Silver Dragonfly for the fanfiction, Transitions
  • Story
  • Glossary


September 30th, 2006 – Hasetsu, Japan


Katsuki Yuuri set down the of solid wood shutter he had been carrying to where it was needed to finish boarding up the windows and various doorways, Yu-Topia Katsuki, his family’s hot spring inn. Several of the local families had come to help them as they all prepared for the upcoming brush with the Typhoon Atsani as it moved through the Sea of Japan miles off the shoreline, but still close enough to be a threat. There were no predictions about Atsani shifting direction to come inland toward Japan, but the people of Hasetsu were still boarding everything up despite the lack of any sort of evacuation warning.

Yu-Topia Katsuki was the second to last of the once many hot spring resort inns that the town, Hasetsu, was once known for. As a result of the reduced interest in the hot springs, tourism for the area had been focusing more on the historical feudal castle, commonly known as Hasetsu Castle. The castle overlooked the town from an island in the middle of the river, which ran through the middle of the valley that Hasetsu was tucked in, on its way to meet the sea.

Yuuri’s older sister Mari came around the corner. “Dad says you can head off to Ice Castle to help the Nishigoris once you finish bringing out the shutters.”

Yuuri sighed in relief. He had been feeling the need and itch to skate and Yuuko had promised him ice time if they got the necessary boards and finished preparing Ice Castle for the coming storm. Others would likely question his need to practice with the pending storm, but Yuuko understood that skating was one of his ways of coping with the often times cripping anxiety and self doubt. She had been one of his biggest supporters ever since he first decided he wanted to pursue competive figure skating after they watched Viktor Nikiforv win the Junior World’s chamionship. Yuuri had been working toward the goal of competing on the same ice as Viktor ever since. 

Last season he had made it to the international circuit, even if he was still only in Juniors. Yuuri had three more years at most that he would complete at the Juniors level, though he was old enough now to move up to the Senior’s Division. He was not ready to move up yet, even though that would bring him closer to his goal. Yuuri had competed in two events but had not scored well enough in those events of the ISU Junior Grand Prix to earn an invitation to compete at the JPX Final, but he still had plenty of work to do before Japan’s Nationals competition if he wanted to be selected again to represent Japan at Junior World’s this season and next season’s Junior Grand Prix. 

Of this season’s events, he had managed a silver at Budapest, but had only scraped by with 5th place at Miercurea Ciuc just six days ago. It wasn’t a bad score exactly, just not good enough to take him to the JGPX Final, despite how much of an improvement it was over the previous year. Regardless, he had a lot of work to do and the anxious itch to be on the ice had been bugging him all day. If it wasn’t for the coming storm and needing to help secure Yu-Topia, he would have been on the ice hours ago.

“This is the last of the shutters here.”

Mari smirked, “Get going then. We all know you’ve been itching to get there all day.”

Yuuri bowed his head and rubbed the back as he gave her a bow in apology. She laughed and gave him a nudge toward the main building. “Get going, let us know if the Nishigori family needs any extra help and we’ll send the crew from here once they finish up.”

Yuuri murmured an affirmative even as he pulled the sliding door closed behind him as he headed inside to get his skating bag. The jog to Ice Castle served as a good warm-up and he slowed and stretched outside the building as he took in the large sheets of plywood that now covered the front entrance and windows. He finished his stretches and jogged around to the side and the employee entrance there. He used his key to open the door and slip inside and nearly ran into Yuuko herself.

“Yuuri! I was worried you’d get here too late. Dad wants to defrost the rink for the next few days as a precaution. He said he could give you two hours before they need to get it started.”

Yuuri nodded, “Thanks. Give him my thanks!” He called as he quickly headed down to the locker room where his skating gear was stored. He quickly geared up but still took the time to check and recheck the blade, boots, and laces. He could not afford an injury due to being too hasty to properly check his gear now. Satisfied, he headed out onto the rink, put his earbuds in place, started his skating mix and took a deep breath of the cool air, his nerves already settling. 

He started, as always with figures and getting lost in the careful attention of turning, shifting from inside to outside edges and precision. It was the basic of basics, but it grounded Yuuri in a way nothing else ever had. He soon began working on other footwork and choreography he made use of in his programs. Testing and trying out the different ways the elements could be woven together into a seamless whole. 

He was contemplating if he should try any jumps when there was a loud rushing sound and his ears popped. He blinked as the precise cuts his figure practice had cut into the ice at the start suddenly sharpened into focus. He blinked again and the detail faded, but it was not the white-pale blue blur that it was normally. He looked up then as a piercing whistle of air filled the air, his head snapping around to the east. He frowned as he tried to figure out what he was hearing.

A red-crowned crane backwinged onto the ice in front of him and Yuuri stared in surprise. What was a red-crowned crane doing here? The birds were endangered and were not known to be in this region of Japan except perhaps during migration. And why was it here? Inside? The bird stared at him, tilted its head, and then step-hopped closer. It was then that Yuuri noticed the faint blue shimmer across its feathers. This was a spirit guide.

A spirit guide. 

Yuuri’s eyes widened as his eyes snapped back to the blade-traced figures now visibly sharp again in the ice. His mind raced as he considered the meaning of what was happening. The crane gave a trilling caw as it stepped closer. The sound of gusting wind and waves filled his ears and his attention was pulled again to the west and a terrible sense of danger built in his very core. 

The storm had changed direction, and Yuuri had come online.

Chapter 1

December 7th, 2009 – Tokyo, Japan

Viktor looked up at the sudden commotion down the hallway where several of the skaters who be skating in tonight’s exhibition skate were stretching and warming up. He spotted his fellow GPX Final medalist, Christophe Giacometti glomping onto an asian skater. Viktor didn’t recognize the asian man, though it was clear Chris did which meant they’d likely been in the Juniors divison together. Viktor didn’t remember any stand out skaters from Japan this year though, and he was certain he would have heard about it from his rinkmates in Russia. As to why the skater was here now and looked to be ready to skate in the exhibition, that was a mystery. 

Viktor continued with his own stretches and just kept a casual eye on the goings on, amused at the blush that spread on the young asian man’s face as Chris continued to all but cuddle him. Viktor had to admit, he was adorable and Chris clearly thought so to. They seperated before long and the asian skater soon disappeared from view. Chris meandered back up the hall and settled just down from Viktor and began his own stretches. 

“Who was that?” Viktor asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.

Chris grinned with clear glee, “That, my friend is Yuuri Katsuki, Japan’s rising start in men’s singles, or at least he was until three years ago.”

Viktor frowned, puzzled, then blinked in surprise as he remembered what had been all over figure skating news just a few years back. An internationally recognized junior skater from Japan who had come online as a Sentinel. The first known competitive figure skater to ever do so. There had been a few who had come online as guides in the past, but never a sentinel, it was what had made the news so catching. “He’s the Sentinel Skater?”

Chris’s grin didn’t dim at all. “You got it. He had to retire from competition, but rumor is he’s still skating and if he had time to devout to competition, would be taking medals regularly.”

“So why is he here?” Viktor asked, intrigued.

“Special invitation to perform during the exhibition since Japan hosted the GPX Final this year,” Chris explained. “I can’t wait.”

Viktor leaned down into a deep stretch and considered the information, it was interesting, to say the least, and he was a little saddened that the adorable Japanese skater wouldn’t be joining them in the future. Viktor blinked as feelings of fond affection and anticipation rolled through him and then faded. He shook his head and finished the last of his stretches before heading out to the rink-side space saved for the skaters to watch their fellow competitors skate. As the Gold Medalist of this season’s GPX Final, Viktor would be the last to skate, so he had time to watch the others before beginning his final gear checks for his own skate.

He always enjoyed watching his fellow competitor’s exhibition skates when he could. It gave new insight into the skaters themselves since the exhibition skates had none of the rigidness or formality of the competitive programs. This was where they pulled out the music that would likely never suit a competitive program but the skater enoyed or just found inspirational. A program where they could show off, have fun, and perform just for the sake of the performance and the joy of skating itself, no rules, limitations, or judges. It was fun, a way to destress, and learn something new about his fellow competitors. To have someone who was not part of the competition perform an exhibition skate when they when they weren’t a part of the competition at all was unheard of. 

Viktor’s curiousity and interest was peaked as he watched his peers skate, barely recognizing it was time to for him to step out for a warm up after the first six exhibitions were done. He checked his boots and blades before stepping out onto the ice, waving as a cheers shot up form the audience as he did so. He nearly stumbled however at the roar that burst from the crowd shortly after when Yuuri Katsuki stepped onto the ice. Clearly the skater turned Sentinel was still a recognized favorite in Japan.

Viktor put it out of his mind for now and focused on his own warmup. Causing an accident during the warm-ups because he couldn’t keep his eyes off the Japanese skater would have Coach Yakov on his case for years. They soon cleared the ice and Viktor settled to watch the remaining exhibitions before his own. Christophe was entertaining as always and seemed to be embracing a sensual presence even more than in his competitive programs. 

Viktor stepped out onto the ice embracing the emotion and feeling he thought he could feel coming from the audience. Anticipation, excitement, joy, and hundreds of other complicated emotions all layered over each other in a jumble that just built into a rising tidal wave of energy. Viktor felt nearly drowned by it all but he remained calm and focused on the feel of his blades on the ice as he slid gracefully into his starting position. A beat, then two and the music started and he danced across the ice, weaving back and forth and telling the story he had felt inspired to share by the music. In what seemed like no time at all, it was over and he was breathing hard in the final pose. He blinked coming out of what felt almost like a trance as he waved at the audience and skated to the waiting gap in the barrier around the ice. 

Viktor paused as he stepped aside to allow Yuuri Katsuki to pass him. “Yuuri, I look forward to your skate!” Viktor called out in English, hoping the other skater would understand, not even sure why but the sentinment resonated and he couldn’t deny the truth of it. 

Yuuri paused, faced Viktor for a long moment then blushed and averted his gaze as he gave a sharp nod and headed out onto the ice. Viktor felt his lips spread in a wide grin, Yuuri had understood. His first assesment of Yuuri’s adorablness reinforced. He quickly slipped on blade guards and accepted his team jacket from Yakov even as he focued on the ice where Yuuri was begining his performance. He could barely take his focus off long enough to register the announcer introudcing the skater and his chosen music.

“And now, by special invitation, we present Sentinel Katsuki Yuuri, skating to ‘The Strength of Hasetsu’, a tribute to his hometown.”

The music was haunting, beautiful, and dangerous. Yuuri’s movements on the ice were easily a match as he glided, spun, jumped, and just flat out danced across its surface. His footwork was impressive, and the sequences were equal to or better than many of Viktor’s peers. A flickering of white, black and a spot of red danced around Yuuri on the ice. It was almost as if Viktor could see a faint glowing image of a red-crowned crane dancing with Yuuri as he moved back and forth across the ice. Viktor could swear he could feel the emotions Yuuri was putting into the performance, and he wondered what it would be like to skate against or even with Yuuri competitively. He wished for a moment that he was part of the Sentinel and Guide community and could meet Yuuri equally. 

The last notes faded as Yuri came to a graceful stop. The crowd roared, and Viktor flinched at the wave of sound and emotions behind it. 

A hand resting on his shoulder pulled his attention away from the ice. “Vitya, we need to go.”

Viktor did not pull away from the rink edge or from where his gaze followed Yuuri as he took his bows. 


“Da, I’m coming.” He finally pulled his gaze away as he was guided back down the hallway and away from the rink. He was soon changed into street clothes with his skating gear safely packed away and they were heading out to leave for the airport. Yakov’s effenciency and their red-eye flight back to St. Petersburg Russia keeping them moving. There was a moment of delay as an unexpected media crowed surrounded them at the exit of the ice rink arena. Eager questions about Viktor’s plans for what comes next. Would he be representing Russia in the 2010 Olympics and the World Championships as well? Viktor smiled and waved but made no comment rather than inviting Yakov’s wrath if they missed their flight. It was at that moment that Viktor paused, midstep, staring at what he thought had been a crane, much like what he had seen dancing with Yuuri on the ice. This one wasn’t the same though, how Viktor was so certain of that, he couldn’t say just that he was.

“VITYA! We are going to be late!”

Viktor blinked and frowned, the crane no longer in sight. He hurried forward, then after his coach. 

Two days later he was back on the ice at the Ice Palace in St. Peterburg, home of the skating club run by his coach Yakov Feltsmen. Viktor had been given a single day of rest and then ordered to practice footwork only for the next few days. He could still hear Yakov’s admonishments of ‘Absolutely NO JUMPS!’ echoing in his head. In the past he probably would have mostly ignored that order, but he kept replaying the various footwork sequences and combinations he had seen performed by Yuuri Katsuki. The more he worked on them, the more impressed Viktor was as the combinations were incredibly intricate and took a lot of very precise bladework.

“That’s not from your program!” An excited and outraged ball of emotion shouted at Viktor, breaking his concentration. He did a quick half turn to catch himself as he nearly over balanced. He turned to face the ball of emotion and then grinned. “Little Yuri, does Yakov know you have run away from the novice group?”

“SHUT UP!” The young prodigy yelled. “You saw him skate! You don’t get to steal his footwork!”

Viktor caught the somewhat irate child and turned their momentum into an easy twirl. “Oh? And what do you know about it!”

The ten-year-old huffed and let Viktor guide him through several more half spins. “The loser has my name. I have to be better than him, even if he did quit.”

Viktor couldn’t help the laugh that escaped. “You’ll have to clean up your footwork then, little tiger. It’s clear Yuuri Katuski never gave up skating, even if he stopped competing.”

The younger skater seemed to settle as he thought about it. “What was it like?” 

Viktor released him and stepped away into a spin of his own. “It was incredible! I’ve never seen anyone do anything like it! The footwork and sequences and composition of his program was incredible even before he did a single jump!”


Viktor slowed to a stop and pouted even as Yuri laughed and quickly skate off to begin his own practice. Viktor watched the younger Yuri go and smiled before he pushed off to head to the barrier where Yakov was waiting.

Yakov stared at him and Viktor just shrugged, like he could help it that little Yuri had sought him out. Yakov huffed and then began to review items on his task and schedule list he always kept rinkside with him. “Vitya, you need to keep focused on what’s ahead of you. You will have plenty of time to have your head in the clouds after the season is over.”

Viktor frowned, “But Yakov! I’m so inspired!” 

“You need to focus on what’s ahead of you, Vitya! Nationals, Olympics, Worlds! Do not get distracted with daydreams now!” 
Viktor took a deep breath, like he could forget about the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. It was all the media seemed to want to ask about lately. Would Viktor be representing Russia again? Did he have a special program planned just for the Olympics? What did he think his chances of gold? Viktor was definetely ready for that part of the lead up to be done with. They all acted like he hadn’t represented Russia four years ago, just one short year after he moved up to the Men’s Senior Division. He had won several golds in the 2005-2006 skating season, but had fallen short at the GPX Final, the Olympics, and Worlds with two bronze medals and an Olympic Silver Medal. Of course he wanted to go to the 2010 Olympics, but he as well as anyone that anything could happen between now and then. He refocued on what Yakov was telling him.

“They are expecting you at physical training this afternoon along with a review of your trainging goals before Nationals. The RSU is requiring a full blood workup before then as well. Staff will meet you there for a blood draw.”

Viktor frowned. He never the blood draws for the mandatory testing, it always seemed like the officials needed more and more each season, but Viktor also understood it was a necessary evil. “Is there something specific they are looking for this time?” Viktor asked.

Yakov frowned. “Not that I’ve been told, but with this being an Olympic year, they are probably being extra precautious.”

Viktor nodded, he didn’t like it, but he understood it.

“Now, what was that nonsense out there with Yura?” Yakov asked.

Viktor shrugged, “The little tiger recognized the footwork I wasn’t testing out from Yuri Katsuki’s program. He was rather angry at me for daring to steal it.”

Viktor fidgeted as he met Yakov’s scrutiny. “No day dreaming! Olympics! Gold! Not pretty Japanese skater who already retired!”

Viktor pouted, “But Yakov! That program! His sequences!”

Yakov growled and turned to yell at another skater on the far side of the rink. Viktor smirked. Yakov hadn’t disagreed despite with Viktor’s enthusiasm, even if he tried to refocus him to his own programs.


March 29th, 2010 – Turin, Italy

Viktor stepped out onto the ice for his last exhibition skate of the season and waved to the audience as his program was introduced. He took a loop around the rink, absorbing the atmosphere, the emotions, all of it. The last few months of the season had been stressful, emotional, and sometimes so busy he could hardly keep the days straight in the middle of it. But now it was done and he had claimed three more golds for his record; Russian Nationals, the 2010 Olympics, and the World Championship.

Now he could skate for the audience’s enjoyment and just for the simple pleasure of it. His mind drifted back to the GPX Final, and seeing Yuuri Katsuki’s exhibition, and Viktor smirked. Yakov was going to be so mad that he had changed his planned skating program for this. Music swelled and Viktor’s emotions and the presence of the audience with it. 

Victor no was simply skating. He was dancing and expressing everything he had held contained since watching Kastuki Yuri perform just those few short-long months ago. 

ISU: International Skating Union – The International Skating Union is the international governing body for competitive ice skating disciplines, including figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating.

GPX: ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating –
– run at both the Junior(JGPX) and Senior(GPX) levels.
– consists of six international events and a final. Skaters are seeded to two of the six based on their standings from the previous. Each competitor earns points based on how they rank at each event they participate in. Only the top six overall of each discipline can qualify for the GPX Final.

JSF: Japan Skating Federation

RSU: Russian Skating Union

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Silver Dragonfly

reading ~ writing ~ doodling ~ that's me Working day by day to bring creativity back into my day-to-day life when it's been lost to the monotony of work and bills.

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