Oikawa Tooru was, for lack of better words, free falling into a never ending pit of sorrow and exhaustion. Maybe it was the fact that he was only nineteen and one of the most sought after exotic dancers at the club Seijoh Palace, a popular club on the upper east side.
Now maybe it's the constant leering from costumers or overly warm and sometimes itchy costumes that make this job horrible, or perhaps it's the fact that he doesn't have much self-confidence now unless he's dancing on that stage or performing in the private rooms. He is used to the bright lights making his skin glow as he arches his back and moves with such fluidity that he might as well be water, used to the chuckles of Alpha's and betas who seem to have enough money to blow on dancers and drinks every night. It's always the same.
Well... until it wasn't.
He remembers the sound of a loud hoot, a collective group laugh coming afterwards. They stood at the door for a moment, waiting to be seated and Tooru took a deep breath, knowing he was currently the only free omega on the floor, which meant that he would have to seat, serve, and dance for their party.
He stood from his seat at the bar and slid off his robe, handing to the Alpha behind the counter, saying a small word of thanks to the tired looking man. He put on his brightest smile, walking over to them and trying not to make evident the pain in his knee from wearing heels at every waking moment.
"Hello~ Welcome to the Seijoh Palace! My name is Oikawa, though you can call me the Grand Queen if you so please! I will be your dancer and server today unless you gentlemen have an appointment?"
"Oh, we don't have an appointment, we're just here for this guys bachelor party!" One of the Alpha's chuckled, giving who he assumed was the groom a noogie. God. What is that hair?
"Well, congratulations on the engagement! You are the groom, huh?" Tooru dropped his voice a little, giving a sultry glance at the man with duoc-oloured hair and almost laughed when he saw the way he frantically nodded. "I'm sure the bride is very happy."
"Oh, ecstatic..." The oddly haired man purred, almost looking like a cat. A stray cat.
"You know I think you would like?"
"They call him Moonshine. He's a real treat." Yeah. A salty treat.
"Sounds interesting... does he work on the floor?"
"He's right over there. He's doing a team dance with Glitter Bunny."
All of the men looked over to the main stage, one gasping at the sight of the two omega's dancing and rubbing against each other, the lights twinkling and highlighting pieces of hair and bits and pieces of costume. They were covered in body oil and had clearly been wearing the costumes that accented well, one gold and one pure silver. Others may say it's beautiful and erotic, but to Tooru and the other omega's who worked the floor, it was daily occurrence. And since Tooru had to train the new ones, he didn't really see the appeal of the shimmering costumes and single dollar bills tucked into straps and g-strings.
No. To him, this was business. And he was sure that to the men before him, paperwork was much the same as dance routines were to him.
"I can request them to come to your service when are finished with their routine, if you'd like?"
"Um, wouldn't that just create extra work for you?"
"I'm flattered but I am only one person, I'm afraid I can't take a group this size by myself." He winked. "Now, would you like a table booth or to sit at the bar?"
"Alright, follow me this way."
"Oh, by the way, we have another person who will be coming in later! You know how it is being the boss! Can't always get away from business!"
The boss...? They must have a pretty good relationship with them if they could get someone of such high ranking out of his office... ew. He's probably an old bald guy... the dancers hated dancing for older customers because they always make some of the worst comments, sometimes even being rude to them over their choice of profession, not that all of them had a choice.
"That's fine, does this boss of yours have a name?"
"Iwaizumi...? Why does that sound familiar...?"
"He's the owner of the Aoba Group. You know, the electronics group?"
"Oh! That's why!"
"Yeah, a buddy of ours took over for his father last year after the old man got sick. He's been working everyday ever since."
"Oi! Tooru! Get back to work or I'm docking your pay and taking all of the tips from your favours! Stop all the small talk!"
"Yes, sir!" He whinpered, rubbing his neck and turning back to his customers with a red face. "I'm sorry about that, what can I get you to drink?"
They must have all noticed the thing about favours then... oh, God.
"Favours are, um... they..."
"No, no! We don't want anything like that! It's just... is he allowed to do something like that? Dock your pay?"
"I wouldn't really know, this is the only job I've ever had."
"If you don't mind me asking..." A man with dark blue eyes and raven hair said, voice dropping lower, "How long have you worked here, Oikawa-san...?"
"Well, I turn twenty in July, so..." He counted on his fingers, "I've worked here for almost four years."
"F-Four years!?" The groom exclaimed.
"Mmhmm, why do you ask?"
"It's just... you were only sixteen and you have been working in a strip club...?"
"Oh, yeah! It's common in this part of town for omega's to start working at that age! Besides, the age of legality here is fourteen so it's one hundred percent legal! In fact, our three youngest dancers are only seventeen! That one from earlier, Moonshine, he only just celebrated his seventeenth birthday last month!"
"So, who are the other ones?"
"We call one Sun Child. Pretty cliche, though he is very small and has bright hair. You'll know him the moment you s- ah!" He was then taken down in a hug. "There he is. Hello, Shou-chan!"
"Oikawa-san! We have a problem!"
"One of the new dancers may or may not have said something very unkind to Yahaba-senpai..."
"Shou-chan, this is very important, so I need you to tell me what happened." He turned to look at their group. "I am so sorry, if I could have just one second!"
"Nah, it's cool, take your time!" The groom smiled.
"Well, you know how Yahaba-senpai was dating that Alpha who cheated on him?" Oikawa nodded. "Well, it turns out the person he was cheating with works here with us! She said something like, 'clearly you weren't enough if he had to come and see me every night after work!'"
"Oh, fuck... tell him to come here." He whispered before turning back to the group. "I can take your orders now. And in a moment, my favourite kouhai will be out here, though he might be angry."
It didn't take long after Tooru delivered the drink ticket to Matsukawa and to walk back over to the table, sliding into the both himself, resting his head on the table for a moment, making sure his boss didn't see him. He let out a deep sigh, wondering if he could handle Shigeru's yelling. But... that didn't seem to matter... because he wasn't yelling... he was crying... oh, shit...
"Oh, Shigeru-chan... come here..." He stood up, holding out his arms, his chest tightening when the other man jumped into his arms and sobbed. "Honey, what's wrong?"
"T-That stupid S-Sona-chan... it's all her f-fault..."
"What's all her fault...?"
"S-She...! S-She took him from me...!"
"No, no. Listen, sweetie, I promise that isn't true! Besides, that guy was an asshole to begin with, right? You just haven't met the right guy yet..."
"W-Will I ever...? After all, I'm just a s-stupid stripper with daddy issues..."
"Shh, don't say that... if you're stupid, that means I'm stupid too and I prefer the term 'exotic dancer'! It sounds prettier like that, right?"
"Ok, no wipe your tears! We have a bachelor party here and I need some help with it! I'm sure they'd tell you how stupid that guy is, yeah?"
"O-Oikawa-senpai, you know we aren't supposed to mix work with personal affairs..."
"Oh, honey, they don't mind! They're all really sweet!"
And so he lead Shigeru over to the table and all of the Alpha's tensed up at the smell of a distressed omega. They were born to protect and that made them want to hold the slightly shaking boy until he stopped being sad. But there was something about one of them that made Tooru nod his head.
"Shigeru-chan! Sit between the oversized cat and the wannabe bumblebee!"
"Hey! Fuck you, I'm not a 'wannabe bumblebee'!"
"Kyoutani! Watch yourself!"
"Ok... I'm sorry..." He grumbled, pretending that he totally hadn't just looked so sad for the omega who was now sitting next to him, resting his chin on the table. "Um... are you ok...?"
"No, not really. I mean, my boyfriend of three years cheated on me with some dumb whore and it turns out that I work with her and not to mention the fact that I broke my foot last year and still have to wear heels everyday, even though it's excruciating."
"Could I, um, look at your foot?"
"Hah? What are you? A pervert?"
"Says you! You're a stripper! I-I mean... I'm sorry, I should introduce myself. I'm Kyoutani, I'm kind of a doctor..."
"How can you be kind of a doctor?" Shigeru asked, a ridiculous grin on his face and Tooru realized he made the right choice to put them next to each other.
"C-Can it! It's hard to focus when someone smells like that!"
"Like sex?" He wiggled his brows.
"No, you smell sad!"
Tooru laughed at their exchange before he realized he was being flagged down by Matsukawa. And so, he stood up, making his way before he tripped and somehow landed in big, sturdy arms.
"U-Um, thank you..."
"Ah, do you need a table?"
"No, I'm meeting my friends here."
"So, you're Iwaizumi, then...?"
Oh, boy. This was going to be interesting.