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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

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Oikawa Tooru is a famous name in the circle of art collectors – for his collection is one of the rare kind. Art pieces collected through out generations in his possession and a few galleries operating under his watchful eye is what made many a rival collector rip their hairs out.

Monet, Renoir, Cézzane, Degas, Pissaro, Sisley are a few more notable names of the Impressionism period; but there are more and Coubert, Goya, Peterssen, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Carravagio, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, Rubens, Raphael, Matisse; also some female artists such as Anguissola, Gentileschi, Vigee-Le Brun and Kaufmann are amongst them as well.

 

To put it simply, if you've heard of an artist, chance's are, he's either got it or it was in his collection at one point.

 

But there is one work of art, an oil painting, style and period – impressionism, believed to be one of Monet's own lost works rediscovered at one point in some basement or the other, that bound Oikawa's name to the world of admirable collectors, making the world fall in love with it – and it's a masterpiece of forgery.

Yes, a fake.

A fake recognized by five top experts on Monet as his original work, but Oikawa knows better – he commissioned it. He knows who painted it and when, for he was there to witness it as well.

For Oikawa Tooru is a special kind of person. Generations of art collectors' blood runs through him, he's the author of some skilfully made reproductions himself, but he's an unredeemable perfectionist and that painting serves to test the eyes of those who seek to be a part of the art world as art appraisers, restaurateurs or simply a gallery curator under his name.

Two people know that painting is a fake, is what he tells himself, when he thinks the person applying for a job could have what he needs and decides to show them that particular work up close.

All of them take their time and put on a show of analysing it, for Oikawa is never in a rush when it comes to find the one who could see the painting for what it is, but so far they all failed. Some do get the job they applied for, if they pass all other tests, and Oikawa merely goes back to square one, wondering sometimes if anyone did deem it a fake but were too cowardly to admit it.

He quickly dismisses that thought, in the end, he doesn't need cowards in his surroundings and at least one of those countless art school graduates would have said something if they suspected something – is what he concludes.

Then there are days he wonders idly – why even do such a thing? Why fool the world and let them think this deception is real? Risk a spectacular crash from the heights of the art world, which can be the worst, people did lose their lives over paintings and other art throughout history, in case one with keen eyes and instinct does appear and has no qualms of claiming: ladies and gentlemen, this piece is fake!

Or in some other form, but he's more for the drama.

Well...

Must be his own ego, for he knows no one would ever believe them. After all, there are generations' of art collectors who came before him, ensuring his name has more than valid and five people before them validated the damn thing.

Oh, how hard it is to be him, sometimes he thinks.

Nevertheless, he still awaits the arrival of that person.

And then it finally happens.

 

On one spring day, overladen with fluffy cotton ball shaped clouds, breaking, clearing from the vast blue skies, temperature around 15 degrees Celsius, slight winds coming in from the north-west, air fresh after a violent spring shower with that distinct ozone freshness lingering all around.

It's around nine o'clock; Oikawa Tooru stands in one of his own galleries, a tastefully decorated building, modern in design, a blend of concrete and glass, metal and various types of stone, easy on the eye with the neutral paint job in and out – with a small rose garden in it's centre.

For Oikawa Tooru is nothing if not extravagant in his sense of elegance and harmoniously fitting forms and colours.

Personally, he loves and hates Monet. His favourite piece of that particular master is Antibes afternoon and the work that pisses him off indescribably is the Garden in Givenry.

He has a habit of standing in front of that particular work and observe it, but the more he observes it, the more it unnerves him. He wants something from it, but he cannot get it.

“You need counselling.” Iwaizumi repeats himself for the...God knows what time when he walks up to Oikawa, finding that nose of his scrunched – again – as he stares into the depth of that painting.

That breaks the self-induced hypnosis Oikawa tends to fall in on his own accord.

Iwaizumi, definitely more that once, thought of removing that painting from his sight. It did things to him. He should know. He's the only one who can put up with his obsessed ass and does so willingly. Maybe he's the one who should seek counselling , he remarks.

A sigh leaves those lips, once again dealing with defeat dealt by that painted garden.

“Why don't you just paint what you want?” Comes an interesting idea from Iwaizumi, the guy's full of those, mind you, but Oikawa dismisses it with a slight smile.

 

He cannot.

 

Because all his attempts to do so end up in countless sketches of Iwaizumi's handsome tanned face – sharp lines, fine nose, intense, deep eyes and that short chopped hair of his, looking like it could cut you on occasions, but is actually heavenly soft and silky to the touch. Sometimes accompanied with a sketch of his fine muscled back and arms Oikawa knows better than himself, to be honest here, sees it clearly every time he closes his eyes.

Monet and whatever the heck he wants from those Gardens of his is not what he actually wants. What he wants stands right beside him, muttering smart insults in his direction.

I see you put up that one again.” Iwaizumi then comments, raising a brow at him in curiosity. It's not often that Thing, as he calls it, is out for public display.

Yes.” Oikawa confirms, turning to face him, Garden of Givenry be damned, for now, looking quite serene for once. “I thought it might use some fresh air and natural light.”

Even though it hangs on a wall where light cannot reach it, per say, but Iwaizumi gets his thoughts. That painting is something that he holds dear, no matter how many times he dismisses that thought with a laugh.

“Still think they might show up?”

“You know I always do.” Oikawa says, but waves his hand, “though I do not count on it today. I just felt like putting it up.”

“I see.” Iwaizumi reaches for his phone in the back pocket of his black slacks. “I'll find you later then, Matsukawa says the other ones have arrived. See you.”

And try not to go even more mad with this one.” He ads warily as he glances at the Garden.

“Promise.”

With that, he's left in the company of that painting and a few more he brought with himself that he likes to hang on the wall by himself. It's a habit he picked up over the years, makes him feel at ease like nothing else.

The sound of slide doors opening fill in the half empty space and footsteps resound as the person walks in, light and stopped abruptly in their path.

Then something happens, Oikawa is to this day not sure what, but he suddenly turns to the person to see a white sneakers wearing, jeans and black shirt clad youth with a grey hoodie tied around his waist, carrying a sports bag and a... volleyball? ...in his hands, standing in front of his commissioned painting with amazing blue eyes wide in confusion as he watches the piece.

 

Oikawa cannot breathe. His body is stiff and rigid to the point of it being painful.

 

The expression on the teen's face then changes into one of doubt with a layer of vivid disappointment as the words Oikawa's dying to hear escape his lips.

A...fake?” The teen tilts his head a bit, as if not sure he's seeing it correctly, but the conviction in his eyes only settles in deeper as another minute passes.

“Probably to protect the original.” He passes the final judgement and shrugs a bit, as if that's the most irrelevant thing on the planet. “But definitely fake.”

 

The poor yellow cat of Matisse almost hits the marble floor, lower left corner first. Almost.