Let’s Get Physical (Part 2)
Viktor/F!Reader || 4.6k || Modern!AU + Gym!AU || SFW (for now!)
A beefy gal looking for a better place to workout, your friend Jayce invites you over to his home gym. He offers you everything you could ever want: great equipment, great company, and a ridiculously hot roommate who might just hate you.
The next morning found you sore from the waist down. That sensational burn in your thighs had you hissing as you folded yourself onto the couch, banana in hand and a protein shake tucked into your elbow. With a lid, of course, given your penchant for clumsiness.
In your groggy state, you’d taken to mindlessly scrolling through your socials as you tried to wake up. Kitten reels of the cutest order, vacation pictures from people you hadn’t spoken to in years, and far too many targeted ads passed by in colorful flashes beneath your thumb. Yet nothing piqued the interest of your fickle brain, nothing could be that engaging when it was dawn and your heavy body craved oblivion.
Perhaps the couch was too comfortable. Or the morning sky too drowsily overcast, your living room washed in cozy shades of gray.
Your eyes felt heavier and heavier. You slouched lower into the cushions, tucked a plush blanket into your lap—poised to fall asleep again.
A mealy bite of your breakfast helped, just a little. But a reel of Jayce showing off his push-up form? That helped a lot more.
It got your mind firing on at least half its cylinders. Reminded you of something you’d meant to do last night, except that Jayce had run you so ragged that the moment your head hit the pillow, you went out like light.
Just some light social media stalking. Everyone did it.
You tapped through Jayce’s story first on the off chance your curiosity could be sated so quickly. But it was all fitness infographics, a cute little flexing boomerang time-stamped right before you arrived yesterday, and a shared picture from late last night captioned with three huge heart emojis. Of the most stunning woman, a serene smile on her lips, sitting on a yoga mat in lotus position.
In tiny white letters under the picture: Mel.Medarda.
You clicked through to her profile. Found yourself looking at a collage of beautiful pictures that raised the age old question: do I want to be her or do I want to bang her?
Plenty of them featured Jayce, standing close or with a massive arm slung around her waist. That and the way he looked at her, with the dopiest puppy eyes you’d ever seen? Definitely his girlfriend, you concluded. Toned and lithe to his broad-shouldered brawn, they made a gorgeous couple.
But you were getting distracted.
Navigating back to Jayce’s profile, a quick glance over the rows and rows of tiles revealed nothing eye-catching. Mostly him solo, or with familiar faces. The sane thing was clearly to start scrolling through them, one by one, reading the captions as you tried to scratch that itch in your brain. You just liked to know things. Totally normal.
You scrolled and scrolled and scrolled, skimming over comments from your mutual friends too, until you found a piece of what you were looking for.
A caption, beneath a black and white picture of Jayce in the garage, dimly lit at night, squatting low with a barbell spanning his shoulders. Probably around two hundred pounds loaded onto the bar, but he was clearly trying to look cool by graduating the stack of plates instead of just using two fifty pounders on each side. Very cool, you snorted, delving past the part where he waxed poetic about ‘dedication to the grind.’
What you cared about was just below that, right at the end.
‘Shoutout to the best roommate/photographer a guy could ask for!’
And below it, a comment chain between Jayce and Vi.
knockoutVI: how can i book viktor for my next meathead photoshoot??
j_talis: He’s pretty busy and probably gonna say no cause you called me a meathead. Very rude :(
You tapped on the picture to see if he was tagged, but nothing popped up despite the fact that technically he was in it too. The faintest blip, you noticed, pinching your screen to zoom it in. He was hidden almost entirely by the reflection of the flash, and what little of him you could see was distorted by his poor positioning on the seam of the mirror. Made it look like he had three tiny legs. Told you absolutely nothing about him, besides that he likely wasn’t a boulder of a man like Jayce.
Ten more minutes of digging, and you found nothing else telling. Nothing to link you to this mysterious roommate’s page. You scrolled up and considered looking through Jayce’s following list, but given the four digit number you decided that you didn’t actually care that much.
You just wanted to know who was watching you last night, even if you’d mostly gotten over it. If you were Viktor, you’d probably be curious about a stranger at your house too. No harm done. You weren’t ready to make assumptions about him quite yet.
You’d have to meet him first.
Over the span of two busy weeks, you went to Jayce’s three more times. Once in the morning, twice in the evening, and still you never encountered his illusive roommate. Always there, never seen. Jayce had not said much about him either aside from an initial, offhanded warning to ‘be mindful of Viktor’ if you ever came alone. But you hadn’t yet.
You were with Jayce again that weekend.
Eight AM, Sunday morning. Overcast again and finally a bit chilly, but that hadn’t deterred him from a crop top. You could’ve slept in, stayed in the warm cocoon of your duvet, but showed up anyways. What was that about dedication to the grind?
But, to be fair, it had nothing to do with that.
No, it had everything to do with the invitation to an early brunch afterward at a spot you’d always wanted to try. To meet Mel for the first time after her yoga class too. Intimidating, but at least there would be bottomless mimosas for your nerves. You’d submit to an hour of core torture for that, easily.
Jayce had you listening to his eighties hits playlist, set to a considerate volume since the moment you stepped into the garage. Not that you had a complaint about today’s choice. They were fun classics to sing along to when you could actually breathe, and the energetic synth was exactly what you needed to wake up and get into gear.
That, and the body-weight exercise circuit he immediately threw you into after your bag was properly put up and you’d finished chatting about your week—alternatively known as stretching out together. That sluggish feeling dissipated quickly as a blissful mix of adrenaline and endorphins flooded your system, lunge after lunge and into the weighted portion of your workout.
Just over halfway through, as you took a quick sip from your water, you saw that Jayce had pulled up a timer on his phone. You knew you were in for it then.
“Alright—hold a plank. Ninety seconds or longer. I’ll time you first, then we’ll switch. Easy right?”
Well, okay, maybe two thirds of that increment was easy, but you weren’t about to share that secret.
“Great, then I’m sure you can do it with a weight on your back! Ten or fifteen?”
“Neither.” You scowled at his wicked grin, just to be contrarian, and squatted down on your haunches. “I’d like to live to see a stack of pancakes, thanks. Maybe even be able to laugh at your lame jokes too, unless you’re really out to murder my abs.”
“Ouch, someone’s mean this morning,” he pouted, “Now we’re doing it again at the end, just because you said that.”
“Fine by me,” you shrugged and dreaded it privately. Dropped onto your forearms and bore your weight into the gritty, rubber floor tiles in preparation. “Let’s go.”
The full body tremors came on quickly as you dug your toes, the balls of your feet into the floor, trying to compensate for the worn treads of your shoes. Kept your back parallel to the ground and your head down. Funny, how time only seemed to slow when you were doing something as miserable as this. You resorted to tapping your fist against the ground to the beat of Sweet Dreams, trying to distract from that deep burn rapidly building in your abs.
Jayce distracted you, instead.
“Hey! You leaving?” he suddenly shouted.
Your instinct was to ask him, breathlessly: “What?” Especially since you heard no other response over the music and the throbbing rush of blood in your ears. Saw nothing but the floor in front of you, facing the wrong direction.
“Not you,” Jayce laughed, brushing you off. “Focus. Twenty seconds in.”
But you couldn’t.
You knew who he was talking to.
It certainly wasn’t you as he raised his voice again. Distracted, clearly, by trying to have two conversations and watch the time creep by. “Wait—You are?!” Again, no response, but Jayce said, “Okay! Drive safe!”
And then, to you, as you contorted your body trying to hold the plank and look behind you, down the driveway: “Hey—no cheating, get your ass out of the air.”
“Oh, fuck you,” you hissed, and Jayce, the cruel bastard, only chuckled at your suffering.
You fought to control your breathing as the burn escalated and you genuinely thought about being a quitter. Talking had done you no favors.
Instead you listened. To Jayce, counting down in fifteen second increments. To the music, its steady beat keeping you grounded. To the sound of an engine, sputtering to life, and tires grinding against the concrete.
“Ten more seconds, unless you want to try and hold it longer?”
You could only shake your head pathetically at that point, feeling a hefty bead of sweat slide down your temple.
Typically you’d just collapse into a gelatinous pile, face down on the floor. But you were just so curious. With deep, heaving breaths, you pushed up to your feet. Slowly, so you didn’t stagger with all the grace of a newborn giraffe. Slowly, so you didn’t look overly enthusiastic to get a glimpse of his roommate.
You were too late, though.
All you saw was his car backing down the end of the driveway, a glare on the windshield. And then he was gone.
You were staring. Too concentrated, until you realized the tension in your face and released the little furrow from your brow. Too long, and Jayce noticed.
He was already looking at you with a smile when you pivoted toward him, ready to get back to work. Typical of him, sure, but the arch of his scar slashed brow turned it quizzical and expecting. You got the sense that he knew something you didn’t.
More like he knew someone you didn’t and frankly? It had started to bother you.
“Aw, he doesn’t want to work out with us?” you pouted, casual and flippant, teasing your way around the question you really wanted to ask.
That was: Is your roommate a total weirdo or what?
You worried briefly that he could read your mind, the way he cringed at your question; grit his teeth and sucked in a breath right through them. But he recovered quickly, possibly for your sake, and stuttered out an awkward laugh. Scratched at the stubble on his cheek, looking distantly down the driveway as he said: “He um… He really can’t. It’s not his thing.”
“Oh…” you said quietly; at a loss for words given the distinct impression you’d said the wrong thing. Not sure how to interpret Jayce’s response. You tried, neutrally enough, “I get that, it’s not for everybody.”
He shrugged it off in that easy manner. “Y’know, I’ve really been meaning to introduce you, but—” Jayce looked down at his phone in hand, its screen somehow thoroughly shattered despite the bulky, black case, then to you again, brighter than before. “Wait, why didn’t I think of this before? Hang on just a second.”
He started tapping at it. A text? But as soon as the music cut off, right at the chorus of ABBA’s Lay all Your Love on Me— which, great song, that was a shame—you realized exactly what he was up to.
It rang only twice over the bluetooth speakers before Viktor picked up.
There was a weary quality to his voice. He sounded put upon, the sigh implied, as if Jayce had been petulantly blowing up his phone all morning.
Jayce wasn’t phased by that. Not in the slightest.
He did take Viktor off the speakers though, holding the phone up to his ear and gesturing for you to wait just a minute with the flat of his calloused palm. All before you could hear enough more to decipher that curious accent, which was disappointing.
“—Yeah, sorry, I’m here. Listen, what are you doing…” He wandered out of earshot, just out of the garage. If you strained to listen—which you, nosy thing, absolutely did—you could pick up a few words and phrases.
“…hour…” Yes, brunch was in an hour. “…want you to…” Meet me? you thought. Probably. “…being difficult…” Oh interesting, was he now?
You heard nothing more after that.
But you could guess the outcome, by Jayce’s final stance after a few minutes of failed negotiations. Phone to his ear, fist on his cocked hip—very pissed off suburban dad of him, standing in the front yard like that.
He mashed the end call button with a meaty thumb. Heaved a sigh that was all shoulders before he turned and hustled back toward you, looking overly cheerful about whatever had just transpired.
“Everything alright?” you asked gently.
“Yup, great! All good!” he said with a smile that heralded an eye twitch, though it never came. “I couldn’t get Viktor to come with us. Full schedule, apparently.”
“I mean, it is short notice, Jayce.”
“Yeah… I know,” he said, and it was fraught with an unfamiliar tension. Like there was a lot he wasn’t saying. “It’s just disappointing. I really think you’d get along great if I could get you two in the same room.”
“What makes you think that?”
“Just a feeling,” he shrugged, “Or wishful thinking, maybe. I always want my friends to be friends with each other too. Easier to get everyone together that way. Speaking of which…” He handed you his phone, timer pulled up again. “Last thing before we get back to it: I’m throwing a Halloween party at the end of the month. Low key, costumes optional—it’s gonna be fun and I think you should come.”
“Medium party, if I have anything to say about it. But hey, no pressure! Think about it.”
“I’ll let you know for sure, but it’s probably a yes.” It was definitely a yes, let’s be honest; you had no other invitations to consider. You shook the phone at him tauntingly, back on task and keen to see him suffer a little bit. “Now, if you’re ready?”
“Definitely am,” he said, and proceeded to put your sweaty struggle of a plank to shame.
The week blew by after that. Like you blinked and it was Friday again. Though, with nothing better to do to start the weekend, you pulled out your phone and fired off a quick text to Jayce.
Headed over after work to squeeze in some cardio. You in?
He’d assured you that you could use the gym whenever, but it always felt right to get his blessing. Better to ask first than find out the hard or even embarrassing way that there might be an exception to the rule.
But no response. Radio silence until an hour later and you were sprinting to your car in the pouring rain. Then, of course, you felt it vibrate in your pocket. Damp and freezing as you clamored inside, you still checked your phone before you cranked the ignition and turned on the heat. Priorities.
Gonna be out with Mel, sorry! Have fun :)
You sent him a smiley face and a thumbs up in return. Headed straight over after that, prepared with an extra pair of leggings and sneakers in your car. Alone today, you’d be brave too. You’d wear the cute, translucent crop top that had, up until now, been shoved deep into your closet for fear of drawing attention to parts of your body that could stand to be more refined. Like you weren’t good enough, toned enough, shredded enough to wear it yet; like wearing it with confidence was something to earn and the finish line kept shifting farther away. But if Jayce could do it?
So could you.
He was a lesson in self-confidence, and you were an eager student.
When you pulled up, you saw immediately that you would be well and truly alone today. There were no cars in the driveway, no lights on in the house.
You did another soggy sprint through the rain, got a little wet on your left side as you punched in the garage code and messed it up a good three times before it took. You’d have to shut it behind you today to keep the water out from beneath the floor tiles, but with the summer humidity now past, the garage was pleasantly cool. And as it heated up—or, well, you heated up—there was always the fan.
But first things first, you let yourself into the house.
You’d never been inside before. And it felt odd that the first time was in dead silence, without Jayce, like you were an intruder in his home. Their home, you kept having to remind yourself, because stranger or not, Viktor lived there too.
It occurred to you, then, that perhaps it was inconsiderate not to let him know that you’d be coming too. You’d have to bring it up to Jayce next time you saw him; it didn’t sit well with you that his roommate might think you’re rude. At least this time, if Viktor came home before Jayce he’d know you were here by your car in the driveway. He had to know it, at this point, even if he knew nothing else about you.
You hurried down the short hallway, into the first door on your right, wet shoes squeaking comically on the hardwood floors as you went to change in the tiny powder room off the garage. Nothing fancy, but this was probably the most boring room in the house—clean and simple and tidy, but was it all that way? You had to ignore that shameful urge to explore further. Somehow it felt like a betrayal of trust, though you’d been explicitly permitted as far as the kitchen to get water or a snack.
If you ever wanted to be righteously nosy, you really needed to stop coming so prepared.
Back in the cool sanctity of the garage, you plopped onto the padded floor to do a few simple stretches and meditate briefly on your plan for the next hour, give or take. You were thinking cardio, for sure, but the sweet, sweaty temptation of upper body work called out to you from the weight racks. A few rounds of chest presses, bicep curls, and tricep extensions with mid-range dumbbells would be a great addition to the evening, nothing too taxing or dangerous. You’d probably add more to that circuit after having time to consider it on the treadmill, knowing yourself a glutton for punishment of your own creation.
You hopped on the treadmill, setting the speed to a crawl so that you were walking as you tapped away at your phone. Connected it to the sound system, as Jayce had shown you how, to play your favorite workout playlist.
It wasn’t noticeable, at first. The volume was considerably lower to start, even as you upped the speed from a snail’s pace to a healthy power-walk, warming up your joints for the impact to come. But after you pressed 6, the belt moving faster, your feet slamming down on it, your heart beating harder and your breath coming quicker, you had to make it louder. And you could tell, then, that someone had changed the ratios to boost the base.
It was fucking fantastic.
You felt it in your bones, felt it hammering in time with your heart. It made you feel like you could run faster, push harder; do more and more and more until you were gasping for breath and loving every second of it. But you weren’t there yet.
You kept upping the speed, upping the volume in increments as you fought to hit your top mileage before you could let yourself take a long recovery lap.
You finally, finally reached for that number on the control panel.
And then you were catching yourself on the handrails instead.
Because out of the corner of your eye, you saw the door to the house wrenched open. You heard your name over the music, shouted like you’d never heard it shouted before.
It was the accent, laced with frustration, curling hatefully the vowels of your name.
It was Viktor.
You fumbled in quick succession to turn the treadmill off, then the song, leaving the sound of your heavy, labored breathing echoing through the space. The rain too, pelting against the roof and the metal of the garage door. A strange, awkward ambiance. You tried to mitigate it, lifting your arms and lacing your fingers behind your head. Your shoulders, your biceps felt tight with lingering soreness, and your shirt rode up far too high, but it gave your lungs more room to expand. It helped, just not fast enough.
You felt strikingly uneasy, a little embarrassed, so you said—or rather, tried to say: “I’m—I’m so… sorry…” Did you look like a fish out of water, sucking in air through its mouth? You felt like it. Your lungs burned. “I… just…”
“Catch your breath,” he said. Even and merciful, but it didn’t disguise the displeasure simmering just below the surface. All in his eyes and the heavy, low set of his brow. A look that pinned in you in place, heavier than any weight in that gym, even if it didn’t settle on you for long.
He waited. Patiently or not, you couldn’t tell, but he came no further past the threshold.
You tried not to look at him overmuch. Staring was rude, but it was hard not to.
He was the embodiment of that voice on the phone. Put simply: He looked like shit. Eyes rimmed with the deepest purple, like he’d never seen more than three hours of sleep a night, and thin, especially in the face, like he had the caloric intake of a baby. Probably skeletal under that sweater. Not anyone you’d ever expect to hang around literal health nut Jayce Talis. Let alone live with him.
Opposites, if only in appearance alone. If Jayce was the sun, this man was the moon and the metaphor worked particularly well when you considered that Viktor had qualities you’d attribute to a vampire. Dark and sharp with those amber eyes; lanky and pale and pretty and—
No, no, no. You were so far past your Twilight phase, what the fuck.
But he was.
He was very, very attractive beyond the physical neglect, if wispy nerd was your type. Which it was.
“Okay… Okay, I’m good,” you finally sighed. Let your hands drop uselessly as self-consciousness crept up and whispered a reminder of what you were wearing. Of how red your face usually became when you ran. Of how disgusting you felt drenched in sweat. Suboptimal conditions for meeting someone new, but you mustered up a pathetic, “Hi,” and waved with a wiggle of your stupid little fingers.
He looked so unimpressed, leaning heavily against his cane. Hardly looked at you, like you were the least interesting thing in the room.
You wanted to wither and die on the spot.
“If you would keep the volume down,” he said without preamble, phrased like a question but it was definitely a demand. Added a clipped, “Please,” as an afterthought, but it didn’t help his blunt approach.
“Oh, yes, I’m really sorry about that.” You laughed nervously, in the way Jayce often did to diffuse tension but with none of his success. It was probably a mistake to try being conversational, knowing nothing about him other than he was cute and unhappy with you. But you couldn’t seem to shut up. “When did you get back?”
“I just didn’t know you were back from… Um, y’know, wherever it was,” you gestured vaguely, feeling dumber by the second.
“I never left,” he told you, matter-of-factly like you should have already known that; made you feel entirely to blame for your ignorance, though you weren’t. “But I doubt you would’ve heard anything, regardless.”
“Not unless you walked straight through here. I just… I get so into it sometimes that I can’t tell how loud it is. Especially when I’m alone.”
He shrugged, carefully neutral. “Jayce is the same.” Did that translate to I understand? Or was he calling you both inconsiderate in a two birds, one stone sort of way?
You weren’t sure. But you offered him an olive branch anyways.
“Would it help if I brought headphones next time?”
“If you are that fond of hearing damage, then yes,” he said, dry but not utterly devoid of humor, if you read his tone correctly. Which was difficult, but you really thought he was warming up. “I generally do not mind when I can’t hear it across the house. And I would not have helped install that system if I had a problem with its use.”
You felt lighter. Clearly you were reaching an understanding. It was just a poorly timed accident, you hadn’t meant to disturb the peace. No harm done. Not a damnable offense.
“Fair enough,” you nodded. Smiled at him, small and convincing and giddy, deep down. But adrenaline and that jittery thrum of anxiety made for a bad mix. Made you do odd, unthinking, impulsive things.
You set the speed on low again, sensing the natural end of the conversation. And you—why, idiot, why— threw him a goofy, thoughtless little wink as you said: “Promise not to bother you again tonight.”
He nodded curtly at that and you could’ve sworn you saw the thinnest wisp of a smile. But you had to be mistaken. Surely you saw wrong, because then he said, “Not at all would be ideal, but thank you.” And he had the audacity to sound good-natured about it.
You, blinking mutely in shock, could only stare as though he’d slapped you. He might as well have. That stung. And if you hadn’t felt self-conscious before, you surely felt it now, that overwhelming urge to curl into yourself.
You could read him then, for the shame on his face. Like he’d accidentally said out loud what he was thinking; like he’d accidentally revealed his dislike of you, to your face instead of behind your back. Privately to Jayce, you could only assume. He couldn’t look at you again after that.
It pretty much proved your assumption, the way he turned and wordlessly skulked back into the house. Left you standing there, berating yourself for fucking it all up. For not being able to say the right thing. For, despite it all, feeling that familiar, constricting ache in your chest, though you haven't felt that sensation in a long time. Not looking at another person.
This had to be salvageable. It just had to be.
And it couldn’t get worse than that, right?
Victor x reader - brushing hair behind the reader’s ear or stroking their cheek when he thinks they’re asleep
I kind of went…overboard with this request so I apologize for that my friend 😂 the prompt comes in towards the end of the one shot. I hope you enjoy!
Seeds of Love
Viktor x Female!Reader
Word Count: 3.5k
Warnings: unrequited(?) love, but not really, misunderstandings, out of context conversations, emotional hurt/comfort, love confessions.
The Gala is still in full swing, even though it has been several hours since it started. Fancy drinks flowed in abundance along with dainty hors d'oeuvres and a buffet of food that never seemed to diminish, no matter how much people ate.
High society parties are still something you haven't quite gotten used to, no matter how many times you've been brought as a plus one by Viktor or Jayce. Yet, you loved them all the same.
Maybe not the parties themselves. Quite frankly, you find them suffocating and filled with too many people who never say what they're honestly thinking.
Too many people fawn over Jayce, the Golden Boy of Piltover, while completely ignoring Viktor or turning their nose up at him whenever Jayce tries to include him. It always infuriates you because you see the important things in Viktor.
That's the only reason you agree to come to these events anyway. To spend more time with him. And the fact that you know he appreciates not being completely alone throughout the night as Jayce is pulled in a million directions. So, more often than not, you get to spend ample time alone with the Hextech partner, just like now.
After Jayce was pulled away yet again, you and Viktor retreated to a small balcony. The doors have been propped open, allowing the cool evening air to circulate through the crowded room.
Viktor sighs as you both step out into the open air, and you can't help but agree with his nonverbal relief. Inside was entirely too stuffy, and you could feel the beginnings of a headache coming on from all of the rich perfumes assaulting your senses and the constant hum of conversation and music.
"Remind me why I continue to come to these dreadful events," Viktor says sitting on a cushioned bench facing the city landscape.
A huff of laughter escapes your lips.
"Because Jayce asks you too," you say, gathering your dress in your hands before taking the unoccupied space beside him.
"And you get to spend time with me." You nudge his arm playfully as you tease.
The inventor's lips twitch up into a smile as he looks over at you.
"Your company is much preferred to Jayce's, especially considering he is never by my side much at these events."
Taking a sip from the champagne flute in your other hand, you try in vain to stop the butterflies that flutter in your tummy. You want more than anything for his words to mean more than they do.
Your feelings for him have been shoved down since the moment you met him, and as time goes on, you are finding it harder and harder to hide your affections.
In truth, you've always found the man intriguing. Being friends with Caitlyn Kiramman had inadvertently brought you into the two Hextech creators' lives. And as Caitlyn was to Jayce, you were to Viktor, eventually.
Viktor hadn't said much to you initially, as there wasn't much to say. You had studied Botany at the Academy and are now head of the department, which is vastly different from Hextech. Yet, as Caitlyn was talking to Jayce, you had found your way over to Viktor, who sat hunched over at his desk, muttering to himself about something. He startled when you asked him what he was working on, and the man seemed shocked you were even remotely interested in his work. But as soon as he got started, he didn't stop, telling you about their next project and answering all the questions you had.
Curiosity led to friendship with Viktor and…something much more for you.
Something you had hoped he would return if you could just find it in you to talk to him about it.
But every time you had an opportunity, you were alone, or he was with you in your greenhouse…you couldn't do it. The words would be right there on the tip of your tongue, and then he would look at you, and they would die in your throat. Golden eyes filled with excitement or happiness would stop you from ever saying anything in fear of ruining what you already have.
Like right now.
Viktor has moved on to talk about what he and Jayce plan on tackling next. A larger version of a teleportation portal they have been working on. The Hexgates is what they plan to call them once they get them working correctly.
Viktor is always so animated when he talks about his work; his face lights up, his hands move around frantically in the air…and you want nothing more than for him to talk about you that way.
As selfish as that may sound.
You almost do it again. Almost manage to tell him how you feel when there is a lull in his speech. Finally, you actually start this time; you can feel your lips part as you speak, your heart thudding in your chest.
He looks at you, brows raising in question and a silent request for you to continue. And you just about have the words out when a familiar presence stumbles out onto the balcony, a broad grin on his face.
"There you two are!" Jayce's voice is booming in the soft silence of the balcony, and you can't help the way your shoulders fall slightly at his appearance.
Another chance was gone.
Viktor rolls his eyes.
"You act as if we left you to the wolves."
Jayce scoffs, strolling over to stand in front of you.
"You kind of did,” he defends, leaning against the balcony’s railing. "I have had to explain our next Hextech project like fifteen times. It's exhausting."
You move to take another sip of champagne only to notice that your glass is empty. Frowning at the offending object you stand up and send Jayce a smile.
"Sounds like you need a drink. I need to refresh my own anyways." You turn to Viktor.
"Would you like anything?"
He shakes his head, waving his hand dismissively.
"No, thank you." He gives you a polite smile. "I could go with you if you'd like?"
Butterflies start up again, and you try to school your reaction slightly.
"Yeah, I wouldn't mind-"
Jayce cuts in.
"Actually, I was hoping to talk to Viktor about something, if you don't mind?"
You glance from the taller man back to Viktor, a slight sense of disappointment tugging at your chest.
"Yeah, of course. I'll be right back."
The two men give you short nods as you turn back into the building to seek out one of the waiters handing out champagne.
The search takes longer than expected, and the whole time you try to think of ways to talk to Viktor.
Maybe you've had so much trouble because you're trying to be too forward.
Instead, you could start by asking him out on a date.
Viktor practically lives off coffee, so maybe you could ask him out to the coffee house by your apartment?
You finally locate a waiter just as that thought runs through your mind, and it feels like something finally clicks when it does.
Nodding to yourself, you pick up two glasses of the bubbling drinks, trading in your empty one.
Why hadn't you thought of that before?
Of course, asking him out to coffee or dinner would be easier than confessing your love to him.
Probably a bit less awkward too…
You can't hide the triumphant skip in your step as you head back toward the balcony, a new plan already forming in your head.
However, just as you are about to enter the outside space, the conversation between the two men you are returning to makes you pause.
"She likes you, you know," Jayce says, presumably to Viktor.
"What are you going on about?" Viktor asks, his accented voice unmistakable.
You know you shouldn't eavesdrop, and you are just about to step out onto the balcony when your name falls from Jayce's lips and makes you freeze completely.
"I’m almost positive she likes you. And before you say it, yes, as more than a friend." Jayce's voice is firm as he speaks, like they've had this conversation before.
Have you been that obvious?
Heat rises to your cheeks at the thought.
If Jayce knows…
Then you've definitely been more obvious than you intended. Because that man is oblivious to just about everything.
You hear Viktor sigh as you take a few more steps closer to the open doors, careful to stay out of sight.
"I don't believe you are correct," he says, matter-of-factly. "And even if she does feel this way, it's not like I would not act upon it."
You don't even hear the rest of what he says as your heart starts to ache deep in your chest. It feels like you've gone numb, your fingers tingling with how hard his words hit you.
He doesn't feel the same. Of course, he doesn't.
The familiar burn of tears is what forces you to move, and you practically burst out into the balcony.
The conversation immediately stops as you appear, and both of them look like a pair of startled deer. You quickly hand Jayce his drink, managing to spill a few drops onto his pants due to how your hands shake.
"Here's your drink. Sorry, I took so long. I-"
"Hey, Hey. Slow down." Jayce is up from his seat instantly, setting his drink on the ground and taking the one from your hand to give to Viktor.
"What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost."
You shake your head but can't stop yourself glancing over at Viktor, more tears welling up at the concerned look on his face.
Finally, you drop your eyes to the floor.
"I don't feel well. I think I'm gonna head home." You say simply, brushing Jayce's hands off you to head towards the door.
Turning to leave, you don’t wait for a response from either of them, but Viktor is already hauling himself to his feet, leaning heavily on his cane.
"At least let me walk you home-"
Your rejection comes out much louder than anticipated, and you cringe internally. You try to ignore the startled look on his face as you elaborate.
"I'm fine. Have a good night, you guys.”
You leave before either of them can stop you. Gathering the skirt of your dress in your hands as you walk, you can’t help but worry the delicate fabric between your fingers. Right now, it's the only thing grounding you until you exit the large mansion onto the street.
Only then, when the crowd's murmur disappears behind the doors, and the cool air washes over you, do the tears fall.
While you had told the boys you were going home, your feet had inadvertently carried you to the greenhouse on Academy grounds.
It was the one place you could go to calm down; your plants always had a calming effect on you. Tending them, pruning the dead leaves away, sketching new blooms or new breeds of flora and fauna.
It almost helped drown out the ache in your chest.
You can't help but feel silly sitting on a stool in the plant-filled space, your evening gown still on and trailing against the dirt floor.
You had taken your hair out from its intricate style, letting it lay free as you nursed a particularly picky plant in front of you.
More commonly known as the desert rose.
It's a beautiful little shrub plant with vibrant pink-white flowers when it blooms. You were able to get your hands on one when a foreign market came to Piltover a few months ago.
The flower is supposed to bring good luck. It resembles courage, self-belief, and resilience.
All things you had desperately needed-
Desperately wanted to confess.
But it seemed it hadn't done you much good. It was all in vain anyway.
At first, the plant had struggled to survive. There aren't many subtropical plants under your care, and you worried for many weeks you would lose the little plant. But after weeks of tender care and careful adjustments, the flowers started to bloom.
And you foolishly took that as a sign.
Sighing, you trim away a few dead leaves before opening your notebook to a blank page.
The small shrub is in full bloom, its bright flowers complemented beautifully by its vibrant green leaves.
You had yet to sketch out the plant and decided now was as good a time as any.
Anything to get your mind off the sting still lingered in your heart.
You lay your pencil on paper, trying in vain to occupy your mind with your love of plants rather than your unrequited love of Viktor.
The halls of the Academy are eerily quiet in the late hours of the night. It was just past midnight when you had left the Gala in a haste Viktor did not expect.
Jayce had called it a night soon after that, and Viktor agreed, wanting to go check on you more than anything.
And talk to you after his and Jayce's conversation.
He didn't believe his partner when Jayce told him of your affections. But after you left, the conversation continued, and he felt like an idiot once his partner pointed out all the signs.
The way you found any excuse to be close to him. The way you'd give him your undivided attention no matter the topic.
"Do you really think she cared about the stabilization process of the arcane when she has a botany degree? You didn't even use layman's terms, Vik."
Viktor had always assumed you were just being polite, but the more he realized it, the only polite people to him were his partner, Caitlyn, and Heimerdinger. Everyone else looked down at him or ignored him completely.
But not you.
You always praised him.
Laughed at his witty remarks. Brushed your fingers through his hair, looped your arm through his at events…
And suddenly, as Jayce was laying all this out, Viktor realized that he felt much more for you than he ever knew.
He has always wanted to be around you and craved your presence and words. Loved to listen to you speak of your plants and your work.
For Janna's sake!
He spent the precious time he could have been working on Hextech making an automatic water mister for you when you couldn't be at the greenhouse.
Viktors has been a fool, and he hid all of his feelings behind a wall of 'professionalism' in fear of pushing you away.
…It seems that he's managed that anyway.
He had gone to check on you after your abrupt exit, and when he didn't find you at your apartment, he knew exactly where you'd be.
The greenhouse is one of the only places in Piltover with thriving natural plant life. Most of the greenery scattered around the city was intentionally placed to make the city look brighter and more pleasing to the eye.
But you've made the greenhouse, and the Academy gardens a flourished, lush, paradise.
Even though he's been in the large building too many times to count, it still takes his breath away every time.
Green plants hang from the ceiling, their leaves or vines hanging from pots to create a fantastical atmosphere.
Plants with bright flowers or lush leaves sit on the multitudes of shelves and tables throughout the space, and every time Viktor takes a breath, it feels cleaner than the last.
He understands why you love it here so much. And he feels the worry that settled in his belly dissipate when he sees your form hunched over your workbench in the far corner.
He approaches slowly, the sound of his cane muted against the packed earth of the greenhouse.
He calls your name softly, brows furrowing when you don't respond. Then he understands your silence when he's finally by your side.
You had fallen asleep.
Your head rests on folded arms, a leather-bound notebook scooted to the side with a half-finished sketch of the plant that sits to your left. A pencil is still clutched between your fingers, and Viktor can't stop the smile that tugs at his lips.
You look beautiful like this.
Hair down, face calm, and at rest, cheek squished adorably from where it rests against your arms.
But as Viktor gazes at you, he can't help the way his smile disappears as he notices the faint streaks of mascara on your cheeks and the red puffiness around your eyes.
He reaches up, gently brushing a stray piece of hair behind your ear before trailing his fingers along your cheek.
His touch is feather-light, yet it must have been enough to disturb your slumber, because your eyes begin to flutter.
Viktor knows he should pull away, knows it's more than inappropriate, but he can't bring himself to do so. Not even as you begin to sit up, eyes widening as you realize who's standing before you.
Finally, Viktor drops his hand as you shy away from him, avoiding his gaze.
"What are you doing here, Vik?" You ask, voice sticky from sleep.
His concern never leaves his face.
“Were you crying?" His voice is soft as he speaks, and he reaches up to cradle your cheek again, but you stop him, swatting his hand away.
You ignore the hurt obvious in his eyes at your action.
"Why does it matter? I told you I wasn't feeling good." You snap, turning back to your notebook.
Viktor frowns, placing both hands on his cane.
"I just wanted to make sure you were alright. You were acting…strangely when you left the Gala."
You huff, turning away from him more as tears start to blur your vision again.
Why can't he just leave you alone?
"Well, I'm fine." Your voice cracks, and you don't even care if he heard it. "So why don't you just go? It’s not like you’d ‘act upon it’ anyways."
Viktor freezes at your words, and everything falls into place. Why you rushed out, why you are pushing him away now.
He feels guilt claw at his chest.
"You heard us…." He states, voice low.
"Yes, I heard you." You bite. "So don't worry about it. Forget Jayce even said anything, and I will too. He had no right to even talk to you about that-"
"I shouldn't have said that." Viktor cuts you off, and when you don't say anything, he continues.
"I didn't believe Jayce when he told me how you felt. And it took him talking some sense into me to open my own eyes." He explains, fingers turning white with how hard he is gripping his cane.
"I was a fool to not see it and an even bigger fool for not realizing I feel the same way."
At this, you tear your eyes away from your sketching, sending him a wary glance.
"I love you too." He finally says, never tearing his eyes from your own.
He watches as your lower lip wobbles, and uncertainty fills your gaze.
"Viktor, if this is some kind of joke-"
He takes a step forward then, cradling your face gently in one of his hands.
"I might be blind, but I'm not cruel." He says, lips turning upwards. "It just took Jayce talking some sense into me so I could finally see what is right in front of me."
A shaky breath leaves your lips as you lean into his touch, your eyes slipping closed.
"I've loved you for way too long," you admit, reaching up to cover his hand with yours. "I'm sorry for the way I acted-"
Soft lips on yours stop the apology in its tracks, and you hesitate before realizing what's going on.
Viktor is kissing you.
Viktor is kissing you!
When your mind finally catches up, you return the kiss, surging forward to bring yourself as close as possible to him.
Viktor obliges, leaning his cane against your workbench and wrapping his free arm around your waist.
When you pull away, you want to take a breath and kiss him again, but Viktor pauses - resting his forehead against your own.
"I should be the one apologizing." He tells you, nudging his nose against your cheek.
Shaking your head, you smile.
"All is forgiven." You say, leaning in to press a chaste kiss to the beauty mark below his eye.
"Although I do have to admit, making out in the greenhouse isn't very professional. So maybe we should go somewhere else."
Viktor laughs, pulling away to look at you properly. He brushes a thumb along your lower lip and then your cheek.
"Damn, professionalism." He says, leaning in, so his lips brush yours. "I just want you by my side. For as long as you'll have me."
The way your heart flutters in your chest is unmatched by anything you've felt before, and you can't help the giddy laugh that escapes from your chest.
"If I had it my way, that would be forever."
Viktor hums. "Forever, it is."
Then his lips are on yours once more.
And as he kisses you in the greenhouse, flora all around you, you can't help but silently thank the little Desert Flower beside you.
Maybe it did bring good luck.