iwaoi · fluff? · 3.5k
“Iwaizumi-san, just this once, please? We’ll treat you to that shop that serves the amazing agedashi tofu you love. You’re the only one we can count on now.”
Iwaizumi peered at his fellow colleagues. It was rare for them to have such a desperate look plastered on their faces. The look where they would literally pluck the moon if you asked them to.
“As long as I get the job done?” he questioned, amused by their reactions.
“Yes!! As long as we get to mark this case as closed, unlimited refill of agedashi tofu at your service!”
Iwaizumi tilted his head at the thought of that agedashi tofu he couldn’t forget. Closing a case and having agedashi tofu? Sounded like a win-win situation for him.
“Yeah, whatever. Remember to keep your words. Now hand me the case file.” he shrugged, extending his hand out to grab the file.
“You’re the best Iwaizumi-san! We’re counting on you!”
What’s the big deal of this case anyway, Iwaizumi thought. There wasn’t a case where he couldn’t close throughout his career as a professional dog trainer.
─── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ───
Iwaizumi let out a heavy, long sigh. Clearly this was not what he signed up for. It had been 2 hours, but they were still at square one.
“No wonder they agreed on an unlimited refill of agedashi tofu so easily.” he muttered.
“Eh, Iwa-chan? What did you say? Let’s take a break, shall we? I’m in need for some iced coffee now. Hachi looks like she needs a break too.”
Looking up to see a mop of golden fur sprawled across the brunette boy, he heaved another long sigh. “Just half an hour. Get back here after half an hour.”
Man, this isn’t going as how he wanted it to be.
“Hachi has been here for two full programs but we just can’t seem to get her moving. We can’t even get her to sit. That’s how serious it is. It’s not like she has behaviour problems, but she’s just too engrossed in her own little world. Her owner has started to question us on her lack of progress, and we’re questioning ourselves and Hachi too. Only if Hachi could answer her owner about her progress on behalf of us.
“So we’re planning to take her back, tell her owner that we really tried our best but it seems that Hachi is beyond our means, and express our regret. Could you do that for us, Iwaizumi-san?”
What his colleagues didn’t tell him that how headstrong Hachi’s owner was.
“Please, Iwaizumi-kun. I know she’s quite a handful to handle, but I just don’t have the time to train her myself. Could you stick with her until she completes her training successfully, please? She’ll get through it one day! I promise!” Hachi’s owner pleaded with a look Iwaizumi couldn’t possibly reject.
Most importantly, no one told Iwaizumi of where Hachi learnt her mischievous antics from.
And boy, having two balls of mischief to handle required more than two hands.
The first encounter with the master of mischief was undoubtedly, a mess.
Iwaizumi was on an evening stroll in the park with Hachi as promised with her owner, when a scream suddenly broke the peaceful atmosphere.
“HACHIIIIII OMG THERE YOU ARE!! MOM WAS NOT AT HOME AND NEITHER WERE YOU! I THOUGHT YOU WERE KIDNAPPED AND WAS READY TO CALL THE POLICE BUT THANK THE HEAVENS YOU’RE HERE!
“AND YOU! WHO ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU WITH MY HACHI? MOVE IT! GIMME THE LEASH. HOW DARE YOU WALK ALONG WITH MY HACHI.”
Iwaizumi swore that if there was no one around them he would smack the shit out of the brunette in front of him. “Hold up, who are you? I wasn’t informed that Hachi had another owner,”
The brunette waved him away dismissively. “Oh shush. Get on your way and give me back my dog, would you? Oh Hachi, are you alright? Were you scared walking with a stranger? Don’t worry, Tooru is here now……” he said, while continuing to babytalk Hachi, ruffling her fur and ignoring Iwaizumi completely.
Iwaizumi had enough. This was not how he planned to wind down for the day.
He tugged on Hachi’s leash and continued walking, leaving the brunette stumbling on his steps. “As a professional dog trainer, I am not allowed to leave my client with a person I do not know, or whose identity was not informed of beforehand. So if you may, please leave my client and I alone as we carry on with our lovely evening stroll, Have a nice day.”
“If she isn’t my dog, how would I know her name?”
“How do I know? Maybe you looked at her collar. Maybe you mistook her for another dog.”
“Nonsense? It’s obvious Hachi knows who I am. Look at her! She’s so happy to see me.”
“She’s a golden retriever. They’re friendly and warm up to everyone.”
“Well, you got a point there. But- Hey! That’s not the main point!”
The both of them bickered their way back to Hachi’s house, where the misunderstanding was cleared by Hachi’s owner, aka the brunette’s mother.
“I’m so sorry for the misunderstanding, Iwaizumi-kun. I should’ve let you know about Tooru if I knew that he was coming back today,” the older woman sighed. “You little brat, why didn’t you inform me that you were coming home today? I could’ve picked up some unagi from the store just now,” she said, smacking the back of the brunette’s head as he yelped.
“Call me Oikawa.”
─── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ───
As the sessions progressed, Iwaizumi got to know both Oikawa and Hachi better, which helped with the development. They were currently halfway through the program, much to Iwaizumi’s surprise. Even his colleagues were stunned by the steady progress made.
“You know, maybe it’s because Oikawa’s with Hachi during the program this round. Going through the program together with someone they’re close to really makes a difference as compared to completing it alone,” one of Iwaizumi’s colleague commented when they dropped by for an observation during one of the sessions. “See how Hachi’s eyes light up at the sight of him? Man, he should’ve been here from the first program. That would save us all the trouble.”
They were right. Hachi indeed seemed more enthusiastic with the brunette around. And definitely more cooperative.
They were like two peas in a pod: The unlimited amount of energy they emit, the glint of mischief in their eyes, the blinding shine they radiate, the puppy look they give to get away with something, the way they whine and laze around when they were tired. No wonder people say the dogs do resemble their owners.
“Well, hopefully he’ll be here until the end of the program. I do hear that models frequently fly around for shoots if they’re top in demand. He looks really familiar though, has he been on major ads before?”
Iwaizumi glanced at the two across the lawn. Oikawa was exhilarated as Hachi placed her paw in his palm for a handshake, showering her with treats. Iwaizumi groaned, burying his face into his palms. How many times has he told Oikawa not to overfeed Hachi with treats?
“No idea. And I don’t want to know either.”
─── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ───
Iwaizumi wasn’t much of a coffee drinker. In fact, he preferred tea over coffee. So why was he on his fourth cup of iced coffee within a week?
“By the way, why did you name her Hachi? Don’t tell me you got the idea from watching Hachiko. She’s not even a Shiba Inu,” Iwaizumi asked, sipping on his iced coffee.
They were currently chilling at the terrace of a pet-friendly café after their session for the day. It had become a routine for them to grab coffee together after their sessions. Not that Iwaizumi was complaining.
“Duh, of course I know she isn’t a Shiba Inu,” Oikawa rolled his eyes. “I named her Hachi because if you turn the figure eight sideways, it represents the infinity sign. I wanted her to have endless possibilities, as well as an abundance of blessings in her life, and that our love towards her would be eternal, whatever it may be,”
Oikawa leaned to the side against his palms, looking far ahead. “Remember when you asked me why I got a golden retriever instead of a chihuahua because you thought chihuahuas reflected my sassiness? Well, that’s because we didn’t have a choice. She came to us first.
“We found her in a box by the roadside on the way home one winter. She was just a small blob of golden fur, trembling from the cold piercing weather, but still breathing. Seeing her fight with all her might to get through the freezing night reminded me of how I should persevere with what I love, although I’m not blessed with inborn talent for it. So, I want her to be blessed with nothing but good things from the day the bond between us was forged.
“Maybe it’s because I kinda see myself in her too, that’s why,” Oikawa’s fingers running gently through the golden sea of fur. “That glimmer of hope she showed me still serves as a constant reminder that as long as I keep on going, I’ll reach the end of the rainbow one day. Nothing is impossible, don’t you think?”
Iwaizumi was taken aback. For a moment his mind went blank, and all he could see was how Oikawa radiated with a soft warm glow, so warm it created a weird fuzzy feeling in his heart. He had always viewed Oikawa as someone simple-minded and carefree. Never would he thought that he would one day find Oikawa to be charming. Maybe his heart had started to bloom for Oikawa little by little without him realising it.
But would he let Oikawa know this new feeling he had? Absolutely not.
“Wow, Oikawa. I never expected you to be so eloquent in such a meaningful and deep topic,”
“So mean, Iwa-chan! What do you take me for? A dumb blonde?”
“Except you’re not blonde. You’re brunette,”
“…But yeah, you take after a golden retriever more than a chihuahua now,”
─── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ───
Iwaizumi tugged on his rolled-up sleeves unconsciously as he watched the scene unfold before him. It was his first time at a shoot, so the way the production crew scurried around with all sorts of equipment was new to him. Hachi seemed to be calmer than he was, sitting next to him unfazed.
He wasn’t sure if it was his nervousness or the lack of oxygen due to the number of people in such a small space that made him start to sweat. What exactly was he nervous for anyway? And why in the world did he choose to wear a dress shirt instead of a casual t-shirt? “It’s not like you’re gonna the one in front of the camera, you idiot.” he muttered to himself.
He would be relaxing with a cup of tea in hand while reading a book in his living room on his day off if it wasn’t for Oikawa.
“Iwa-chan! My manager just called me and said that the client wants Hachi to model with me for the new promotional ad! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Do you think she’ll be able to pull it off? I mean, I believe she will, but I just wanted your reassurance and-”
“One question at a time, Oikawa. I only have one mouth to answer per question.”
“Anyway, as Hachi’s professional and personal trainer, I was wondering if you could come by to my shoot to oversee the process with Hachi? I know that we don’t have any sessions scheduled on the day, but I would really appreciate it if you could be on set just in case anything happens midway. Also, as a source of support for me, maybe?”
It’s all for Hachi, nothing else, Iwaizumi repeatedly told himself. He hadn’t realised a figure walking towards him as he was absorbed in his mantra.
“Iwa-chan! You made it!”
Iwaizumi had seen angels in real life before. Well, anime angel character cosplayers count, right? Or during Halloween you could probably spot at least 5 girls dressing up as angels in Shibuya. Nothing particularly new, he would say.
The person standing before him wasn’t dressed in any fancy angel costume, but Iwaizumi swore that he saw luminous wings arching off his back, and a halo glow softly above his head. The comfort and cosiness radiated felt so much like home, and if he could, Iwaizumi wished to bask in this strangely familiar and soothing warmth, where he felt safe and snug in.
“Earth to Iwa? Hello?” Oikawa waved his hand in front of Iwaizumi’s face. “Why are you burning up red all of a sudden? Do you want me to get you a bottle of cold water?”
Iwaizumi rubbed his neck bashfully, hoping that the warm flush that was spreading to the tip of his ears would somehow manage to cease. “No, it’s fine. Maybe because it’s a little humid in here.”
“But it’s fully air-conditioned in here though? Anyway, thanks for being with Hachi while I was getting ready. I’ll take it from here! Allow me to show you how a top model works.”
Iwaizumi couldn’t quite remember what happened afterwards. Everything seemed to zoom by in a flash throughout the whole shoot.
The next thing he knew was the three of them back in Oikawa’s place, chilling in the living room.
“Kya, nothing beats a fresh shower and ice cream after a long shoot! Oh, and enjoying the perfectly timed sunset out there! Isn’t this just wonderful, Iwa-chan?”
“Shouldn’t you prepare your stomach for dinner at this time? Also, who eats ice cream right out of the tub? I thought models have diets to follow by.” Iwaizumi sipped on his cup of camomile tea he miraculously found in Oikawa’s pantry.
Oikawa waved his hand dismissively at Iwaizumi’s remarks. “You’re no fun, Iwa-chan. The best way to eat ice cream is eating it straight from the tub! Don’t tell me you haven’t tried this before. Also, this is just for starters. Dinner is the main course.”
“If ice cream is the appetizer, what about dessert? Milkshakes?”
“Hey, that’s actually a great idea!” Oikawa’s eyes sparkled. “We could make avocado milkshakes later, I still have some avocado left in the fridge. Or we could try that new place that serves pastries and milkshakes down the street. I heard they’re pet-friendly too, so Hachi can come along too! Sounds like a plan!”
Sometimes Iwaizumi questioned himself how he could get along with an alien like Oikawa, who was clearly from a different planet.
As both of their places were nearby, Iwaizumi found himself hanging out at Oikawa’s place more often, and the latter at his place too. Despite the difference in their personalities, they became closer over the sessions. Not on the instructor-client relationship level, but on a more intimate level. It may sound unprofessional, having the line between work and personal life blurred, but neither of them made the move to set it back in place.
It was as if they forgot the eyes around them, from Iwaizumi’s colleagues and Oikawa’s agency. Will you both still continue seeing each other like this after the program ends, they would ask. Even the both of them were unsure of the answer. Or maybe they were afraid to let out the true answer hidden deep in their hearts; their innermost feelings too vulnerable to be revealed. They became too comfortable in each other’s presence. A sudden halt in this newfound bliss would lead them both hanging by a thread, ready to snap if the loose ends were not tied well together.
There was no turning back.
“Say, Oikawa. I was wondering, remember back when you said you were not blessed with inborn talent for modelling, what do you mean by that? From what I saw today, you were pretty good at your job. The shoot ended on a high note, didn’t it?” Although Iwaizumi forgot most of what happened earlier on, he still remembered how the photographer and production team sang praises about Oikawa throughout the shoot.
Oikawa’s eyes widened at the unexpected praise. “You think so? That’s a really nice thing to hear from you, Iwa-chan. You should shower me with more praises rather than shooting me with your snappy remarks. The more you say nice things, the lovelier you become. Same with growing plants.”
“Don’t change the topic and answer my question.”
Oikawa chuckled at Iwaizumi’s response. He looked at the tub of ice cream in his hands and was lost in thought for a moment. Iwaizumi had never seen Oikawa in such a manner. The twinkle in his eyes became clouded, his usual glow dimmed as though rain from the dark clouds casted in his eyes poured over it. He hated to see this version of him.
“I know it may sound ridiculous and absurd because it seems like I have everything in my hands, but that’s not necessary the case. Yes, I may be blessed with good looks that secures me a spot in the fashion and entertainment industry, but how far can I go with just that?
“I was offered opportunities in the acting and idol field before. I gave them a shot, but I found myself coming back to modelling eventually. But with my looks, I would often score jobs that were just limited to a specific category: being pretty. Not that I disliked it, but I didn’t want to be just a pretty boy. I want to expand my horizons, to try different genres and types. Because I believe I’m more than that.
“That’s why I stayed abroad for most of the time previously. I was fortunate enough to sign with a couple of international agencies and worked wherever opportunities led me to. The modelling scene is different from here, and I’ve grown a lot over the years and experience too. It was difficult at first, being in foreign lands, with different languages and work cultures, being jobless due to lack of experience and having no connections in the beginning stages. Heck, there was once where I was so close to being broke and wanting to give it all up. I even stepped on my pride to beg agencies and clients to accept me.
“But hey, here I am now. Climbing to the top was no easy feat, but I made it, and it’s all worth it. I’m sure you know what I mean. Runway, commercial, fitness, high fashion, I’ve done them all. I was able to fulfil my dreams and desires,” The dark clouds that were once looming around Oikawa cleared up, with a rainbow emerging to bring out the sparkle and glow that had been undeservingly hidden, which Iwaizumi loved.
“Many often ask why I decided to take on this path when I could have a smoother and secure path in the entertainment industry back here. I was more suited in the entertainment industry compared modelling, or I was born with a face to be on screen, they would say. I guess this worthless pride of mine got the better of me, and I don’t regret one bit.”
Oikawa turned to face Iwaizumi who had turned dead quiet after his long explanation. “An unexpectedly interesting and deep story, isn’t it? Come on, don’t be so serious. Were you expecting something more light-hearted? Or some over dramatic life-threatening story?”
It took a few seconds for Iwaizumi to regain back his composure. “You’re always a box of surprises, Oikawa.”
“And that’s what you love about me, don’t you?” Oikawa playfully winked at Iwaizumi, which was returned with Iwaizumi’s eyes rolled up to the celling.
Oikawa kept the now melted pool of ice cream back in the refrigerator and filled a glass of water to drink. “Anyway, I think I’ll be stationed back here for a while. I haven’t been back home for quite some time now, and it feels nice to be back again.”
“Are you sure you’re not staying back because you don’t have to worry about meals thanks to your mom?” Iwaizumi said, rubbing Hachi’s belly as she flipped over to enjoy the massage.
“Excuse you, I believe I can cook better than you. All these years of experience made me a fine man in all aspects, if you were unaware,”
“Besides, I think I found another reason to stay back longer this round.” Oikawa plopped down beside Iwaizumi, joining in Hachi’s belly rub session.
“And that is? To spend more time with Hachi?”
Oikawa looked up to meet Iwaizumi’s eyes. He could look into them all day if he could.
“That’s one reason, but there’s another.”
“What’s that then?”
“Not telling you.”
“Are you serious, Oikawa.”
“Think, Iwa-chan, think! It’s no fun if I tell you everything, right?”
If Hachi and Oikawa were destined to meet, then she would be the reason for Oikawa and Iwaizumi to be destined to cross paths. A destiny in a destiny.
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