A/N1: I see what you did there, anon. “Gold” indeed. ;D
Anyway, hope this sates the Haku/Shikako hunger for now, anons! (Again, being a SoCal child means I am as familiar with winter sports as I am with capybara… possibly less so seeing as how I’ve actually touched a capybara.)
–It’s said that love can push you to the greatest heights–
“Representing the Land of Water,” says Koyuki Kazahana, Land of Snow’s princess and this year’s guest commentator, “Haku Yuki, performing for his short program, ‘I Follow You’”
There’s a false hush over the crowd, house lights low and a single spotlight on the rink. Poised with statuesque stillness yet, with all the kinetic potential of a storm, the skater waits for the music to begin.
The audience knows this may very well be Haku Yuki’s most ambitious routine.
It’s success has yet to be seen.
–or the lowest lows–
Skeleton is an aptly named sport, as dangerous as it is thrilling. Rigorous and demanding an athlete’s full attention.
Shikako may not be as focussed as she ought to be.
Kakashi-sensei, ever observant, raps his knuckles against her helmet: fondly reprimanding and casually reassuring both.
“There will be recordings,” he says, “and you can trust Naruto to be a loud enough spectator for the both of you.”
Shikako smiles, more for the intended comfort than the words themselves. Though the idea of Naruto raucously cheering at a figure skating competition as if it were one of his hockey games is an amusing thought.
It’s a short lived smile, though less out of melancholy this time around and more out of determination:
She’s an Olympian about to go hurtling over 130 kilometers per hour (if she’s both lucky and unlucky) down an icy track with nothing but a helmet and a sled half her height. She can’t afford any distractions.
And plus, it’s not her fault that their events are scheduled at the same time.
–Passion is a fickle creature–
Timing is key to a routine.
The smallest of lags can throw off a jump. A missed landing can then escalate to a faltering mood. Low spirits can drag down an entire performance.
A poor performance can cost a skater their ranking. Their medal.
But Haku is, above anything else, an ice skater. In his blood and in his bones, inherited from a family he can barely remember, carved into him daily by Zabuza-sama.
Emotions are important–some other coaches may even argue that they’re vital–but they’re not everything. Haku has more discipline than to rely on the budding feelings of a new romance.
The first triple axel is easy as breathing, a move he mastered a decade ago. A decade ago, all he had was the ice and Zabuza-sama. The applause is loud, but expectant.
The combination jump is more difficult, but not actually challenging: a quad salchow into a triple toe-loop. The jolt of adrenaline as he sticks the exit, skates scraping against the ice. He hears the cheers, but sets them aside for now, preparing.
The entire rink seems to hush, too, in the steps leading up to his final jump.
It’s here and now that emotions come into play, for all that it makes Haku’s coach scowl.
If he can pull this off, he’ll be the first skater in history to successfully land a quadruple loop.
Before Shikako, he’d never have reached so high. He was already at the top, his competitors so far away. Before her, there was no point.
–but love can be the foundation for great things–
“Shikako Nara, representative from Land of Fire, has maintained her standing, setting, yet again, a new track record!” the skeleton commentator announces, after a tense and eagerly waiting silence for the time to be posted.
Shikako, sans helmet but plus blanket cocoon, shouts in excitement. It quickly turns into a shriek of delight as Kakashi-sensei, perhaps forgetting his blasé reputation, picks her up and swings her around.
“Her total time is three minutes and fifty one point nine six seconds, placing her at a record shattering two second lead!”
Cameras flashing and the noise of the spectators, Kakashi-sensei puts her down quickly, only for her to be scooped up once more by Sasuke then passed onto her brother without her feet touching the ground.
“First time Olympian, Shikako Nara, has won gold!”
In the crowd, still in his performance costume, she spots Haku cheering and waving. Unpatriotically, he’s holding one end of a Land of Fire flag, and around his neck is a gold medal of his own.
A/N: … please no more for this AU, or at least no more that need me to decipher the regulations for sports that are integral to the AU. I had a lot of help from @lazuliblade’s post here with some fudging about and also because only a few months ago Yuzuru Hanyu literally became the first skater in history to successfully land a quad loop and I don’t really know what that means, but I am impressed as hell.
I’ll be honest, I was a liiiiittle tempted for something to go horribly wrong with the skeleton event. Given… well… Lucky Sevens and all. But that seemed like unnecessary drama and also, why not let them have matching golds.
I also have no idea if skeleton has an area equivalent to ice skating’s kiss and cry but I know barely anything about winter sports in general so I feel like this is a minimal sin in comparison to everything else.