theme of king jj
you know the cold kiss of chill air from an ice rink before you realize what it's meant to be truly held in the warm arms of your parents. you know how to skate before you can even walk. being an ice skater is in your blood, not just from growing up around it, but literally from your parents. they were both ice skaters, professional ones, before you were born. even then, your father continued to skate while your mother focused on raising you. however it's not long before you're left in a nanny's care while your parents return to skating together.
you'd never really been given the option to not skate, you were given a pair of ice skates at the age of three and told that you were going to learn. your parents taught you at first, but they had their own skating classes to worry about - not the introductory skating that you needed, but lessons for those that were trying to go professional. you'd always sit in the bleachers and watch when your practices were over, watching the way the pretty girls and boys moved on the ice. it was a dance, a tie between the ice and the skater and the music. a sneak preview just for you before it was shown for competition.
you knew from that day and all the rest, sitting in the stands, that you only wanted to be on the ice.
the ice would be your kingdom and you'd be the king.
you'd even take the throne from your parents if you had to, but that was the price you were willing to pay if it meant being the best. for the next several years all you did was practice and competitions. schooling was pushed to the side as you were told to focus on perfecting your spins and jumps. you're ten before you land your first double salchow. the delight on your face is more than apparent as you crow to your parents about how you did it and you didn't fall.
that season of competition, you work on perfecting your other doubles and adding them into your roster. you can't believe that you did so well for being so young. you easily shoot to the top of the competition pool and before long, you're the top competitor. it quickly begins to feel that no one will ever come close to touching you. no one will be able to knock you off the podium that you've come to call your own.
however that kingdom falls from your grasp at your first world competition. you hadn't thought that the other nations would put forth so much skill, hadn't thought that someone from switzerland would beat you. and yet at your first world competition you fell spectacularly from the throne. your first and last failure, you told yourself. you weren't going to feel the shame of not placing on the podium ever again. you didn't think you'd be able to look at your parents' faces again if you did. you had to place. it was the only thing of value to you by now.
school wasn't something that bothered you. your mother had taken to home schooling you after first grade, the drive to learn to skate and compete too strong to continue with public schools. the ability to be taught from the side of an ice rink in the middle of competition was nice, it meant you didn't have to put all your focus into homework at any give time. it meant you could practice whenever you needed to and fit your education around it. it also meant that you could go to where the best trainers were, you didn't have to stay in canada if you were homeschooled. you spent at least a year in chicago training with celestino, one of the best american skating coaches. after all, there was only so much that your own parents could teach you.
it wasn't until you were fifteen that you began public school again, your parents saying that you needed to be around your peers to be able to grow into a good man. just like on the ice, you think that those around you are lesser. they can't measure up to you. especially not those that play ice hockey - what a brutish sport meant for violence and speed. it's a disgrace to the wonderful ice you skate on, you can almost hear it weeping in distress as it's torn up by skates and blood is spilled on it. it makes you sick to think that these... boys consider themselves lovers of the ice. you can't imagine anyone wanting to destroy your beloved ice in that way.
you can't be around them, you single yourself out on purpose. turn your eyes towards the community and giving back, finding a passion in community service and volunteering. it's something besides ice skating that you can throw yourself into. it's not long before you realize your passion for music as well and you join a band as the lead singer. it's exciting the things that you can do off the ice, and yet you still don't have too many friends. you ask to be homeschooled again as you take to training in colorado for the next couple of years - thankfully your parents agreed and you didn't have to worry about the brutish hockey players anymore.
people don't really like to be around you, often making excuses to leave when you come around. you're not really sure why they wouldn't want to be around someone so awesome. it's a little sad to think about all the people that are missing out on your greatness. but at least you have your fans and your family and the people that you date now and then. you made several good friends when you were in chicago though - leo and otabek among others that rise to the same fame circuit that you compete in. once you're back in canada, you find out that otabek is training near you as well and your friendship continues to grow as you continue to compete against each other. you even teach him how to do a quad salchow, one of your signature jumps that others find difficult to pull off successfully.
you can't always play nice while you're trying to take down the great viktor nikiforov. the only one to consistently keep you from the top place a top the podium. the only king standing in the way of your kingdom. in his shadow, you're nothing more than a little prince whining about the things he wants to achieve. you almost had him at the last grand prix, but a technicality in your free skate knocked you down a few points and pushing you into third behind viktor and christophe. you could feel the gold in your fingers before it slips out of your hands.
you spend the next few months skating as hard as you can, practicing for the next competition to face viktor. only to hear that he has retired?! you can't believe it! that wimp
. you know he just retired because he knew that he was going to lose this year. he was finally going to be dethroned and he knew it. so he quit before his perfect gold medal streak was tarnished. it was almost laughable to think that the great russian, viktor was afraid of you.
of course you heard that that wasn't the reason he retired, but you liked to believe it was. it gave you a drive to think that you were enough competition to drive the king away from his throne. he was afraid of the hungry wolf that was waiting in the shadows for his chance to strike. well, now it was your chance and take it you would.
you place first in skate canada, the first of two qualifiers before the grand prix. you place first against even viktor's supposed replacement protege, yuri plisetsky. that garners you a grin as you beat the younger male. and then comes your second skate at the rostelecom cup in russia. a chance to show viktor just how good you really are on his home ice. you know he'll be there, how could you not. the skate world loves to talk about their precious viktor and his new student, the japanese skater, yuuri katsuki.
at the rostelesom cup, you place first as well. with a wonderful score well above anything the others put up on the board, even beating that damn yuuri katsuki and russia's own yuri and georgi. your smile couldn't be wider as you stand a top of that podium, the gold medal clenched between your teeth.
you know that the world skating competition is yours for the taking. that you're the only one fit to be it's king with viktor out of the way. the young yuri doesn't have enough experience to beat you and yuuri doesn't have the performance skills to beat you. the only ones on your radar still are christophe and otabek, the only ones that might take that precious crown that you can see hovering just over your head.
you normally don't watch the other skater's performances, you're too focused on your own and keeping yourself in the game. you don't need to be distracted before you perform. except you're pulled to watch otabek's short program and you're floored. this isn't the same boy that you knew when you trained together in juniors. he's absolutely stunning in his performance and he lands the quad salchow that had given him so much trouble the last time you'd seen him. he's actually great and it flusters you beyond belief. you'd thought that it would be an easy win, viktor wasn't here anymore, there was no reason to push yourself, but now that you've seen otabek's performance... you're not so sure anymore.
disappointment paints your face as you finish your own short program. you barely landed your jumps and spins, it was the worst performance of your life. isabella cheers for you still, she's always been a great girlfriend and now fiance, always so supportive of you through the good and the bad times. but even now you don't think you can be consoled. you don't want a pat on the back and a 'there there', you want to win. performing badly isn't in line with your plans. at least you have tomorrow to practice before the free skate.
however it seems that the world has a funny trick to play on you as you wake up to practice your routine for the day and instead are greeted by the noises of an unfamiliar setting. the crown that had just been in reach was now no where to be seen as you take in this new place, unfamiliar in every aspect.