Abandoned at birth, Park Jinyoung was given the name by the orphanage that took him in once the police found him in the garbage bin. This was a secret, for the most part, once the adoption process came under way. And for Jinyoung, it could have stayed that way. But, life takes its turns and blows and he's come to terms with this, now that he has come to understand it. The story of reaching that understanding is another entirely.
Charlotte Petit (née Faure) was a woman who always wanted children. So, when Mathieu and her decided it was a good time to have some, early on in his career when they were still adjusting to changes anyway and they could grow a child as their marriage grew it was a shock to her to find out she couldn't have children. As a child she'd been a ballerina and some complications with diet and injury had made it impossible for her to have children naturally. They tried, of course they did, but it amounted to nothing. In the end, they had no options, except for when Mathieu told her how happy he'd be to have any family with her if she wanted it. They turned to adoption, then, in quite hopes that bringing in a child that would have gone without might make their transition into the idea that much easier. For Mathieu, it was, and he loved Jinyoung the moment the tiny bundle was placed in his arms.
It was different, for Charlotte.
Not being able to have a child gave her troubles. For a long time, she dealt with it in quiet, raising little Noa — as they had named him to make him their own — took up a great chunk of her time. As did studying Korean, so her child would be raised with his own heritage somewhere in mind, a tip the family had been given when adopting from South Korea. So, Noa had himself a rather fulfilling youth. Days with a mother who had time to take him to parks and teach him, nights and weekends with a father who took them on trips around the world. It was much better than the life Park Jinyoung would have had as an abandoned child in South Korea. Much, much better.
From a young age, Noa had the best. Educated in Lycée Ombrosa through his infancy and Fontainebleau through his formative years, he was always immersed in culture from around the world to make sure he was never isolated in being a foreign born child. While he was French by nature, French by raising, Noa never had to forget that he was Korean and loved by his parents all the same. It made him grow up with a diverse group of friends, American students studying while their parents worked, English and Australian boys, children from Asia like him all across the board. It was a wonderful youth, the kind of thing that lead to new names and experiences he never would have had locked away in a Parisian home with his mother.
It even got him a nice go-to nickname from an Australian boy who ended up flunking out of school: Junior, a play on his Petit surname.
After school clubs and programs, studies at home in language and arts, Noa's schedule was always pretty full even at a young age. Which was what made it so easy for Charlotte's depression to find purchase and grow. For a woman who hated that she had never even been able to have children in the first place, suddenly getting hit with a kind of nesting syndrome for no reason wasn't a great thing. She'd begun to take medication for her stress about it in secret and, in that same secret, she'd begun to self medicate in other means when the men of the house were out at work or school. Addiction lead to shifting moods and that, that was where the problems really came in.
It as a slow process; Charlotte began to reprimand Noa for things that normally went without any issue. Then, she began to punish him. And when Noa asked why, an ever curious child, he was taught his place with swift hands and cracking belts. It was something to figure, he thought later. Kids were punished by their parents. His own friends probably had to deal with the same things, trying to sit in class the next day with bruises on their thighs. But they became regular more than not and that, that was an odd thing.
Which was why Noa tried to go to his father about it like, maybe, something might be going on that could still be explained. That, in the end, was a mistake.
What came to light was careful and awful. The pills, the alcohol, the temper. And Charlotte wasn't there to hear about it. She lost herself in an outrage; she charged down Noa and blamed him for, well, everything. Out of her mind with it, she didn't even let herself be stopped by Mathieu with his strong voice and stronger presence. He wound up with a knife to his stomach on the floor and Noa, Noa wound up down the hall from him, trying to hide in a closet and screaming in terror before he the door lock gave out and she found him.
Even when Noa saw more black wings in his fading vision than his screeching mother overhead he loved her, and Mathieu, who were so dear and near to him. The emergency workers who showed up supposed that Mathieu dragging himself after her was the only reason Noa was able to actually wake up in the hospital the next day. What came next none of them could rightly explain though, when Noa looked over toward his ailing father with his clammy skin and his fading eyes.
Noa knows it, though, what happened. He saw the glow around his father and he knew that it was something cold and unforgiving. Knew that it would come, too, if someone didn't help light an ember against it. So, Noa willed for it, fought in his head and heart as he watched the way his father's wedding band still managed to sparkle in the hospital light. And he heard his father's heartbeat somewhere in his thoughts and he thought, he thought it could be good, if Mathieu could live for Charlotte and Charlotte could get better.
It'd be really nice, if love could be what they had promised him it was. It was a fortune of children to believe it and, in the end, it worked. Gradually both of the Petit men recovered from their injuries and Charlotte, well. She had her own things to deal with. Not alone, though, as Mathieu tended to his wife in paying for her care and treatments. Six months into her rehabilitation she asked to see Noa; he wasn't ready, not yet, not then, but he wrote her a letter.
And for a few years, that was what they had. Handwritten sentiments to one another that began to bleed into a trade of books: Noa learned he prefered the feeling of books his mother had read already and she liked reading his notes in the margins of those he sent her way. Secondhand became, well, a preference. For both of them. As he grew up with Mathieu and began to understand what had happened. The organization that contacted him helped much more than he had ever imagined a thing would; they helped him learn to not ache so much, to not feel all the time. It was a wonder that he had survived until the first week of training, really, or that he managed through a step into the mansion; to this day just stepping into the training facilities comes with such a wave of trauma from everyone that it's hard for him not to cry.
When Noa was able, of age and working small jobs here and there, it was when he came to terms more with Charlotte. Going to see her was the last step before she let herself come back to them. The last step before she reunited a family together. There were tears, too many, and Noa could see in a heartbeat that everything about her was her: the mother who'd raised him and taught him to cook and love and know. Forgiveness was gradual but he found it easier to dish than he had imagined. The letters helped with that, so many letters piled away in boxes he kept.
After about a year of living back with her and his father the now secretly immortal, ever bound to his wedding ring, Noa had a life changing decision. If Charlotte had fallen apart over never being able to speak her truth then Noa would never bite back his own and, in that, he spoke to both his parents clearly and surely. He loved them, would until the day he died, but Noa Petit was not the only boy to live in his chest and maybe, just maybe, it was time to try to figure out who Park Jinyoung was. It took a few weeks to get them on board completely but they complied, happily then, and did their best to help their son get a flight to Korea the following summer break so he could search for the orphanage and the people who'd originally found him.
The problem was that records were slim. They had his blood work and that, well, was about it. It wasn't exactly the news he'd hoped for when he landed in Korea and got to Jinhae to try and find out information about his family. Genetics was fine, of course, the guesses doctors could make off his blood samples as a baby and new tests now that he'd grown. But it wasn't as far as he could get to understanding who he was; if there was something one of his parents had in their family, Park Jinyoung was never going to get to find out. Noa was what remained, completely, and Jinyoung thought maybe that was just how it was supposed to be.
But he had a summer to kill and misery to break apart from the core so, he let himself have some fun as long as he could. Back to Seoul he went, Park Jinyoung spending his parent's money on a nice hotel room and going out. The clubs in Seoul were a little more difficult to have a good time in than back home in France but that was only because Jinyoung's tongue was better at body language than actually speaking Korean aloud through drunk hazes. Getting in was easy enough, though, with the right flirt and persuasion in his eyes. A few people were interesting enough, fun, even, and Jinyoung was able to forget a little bit that he was just secondhand and even that wasn't good enough to stop the trouble that'd brought him through to where he was today.
The feeling was hard to shake. Almost impossible. He got lost in the feelings of others instead, lusted this way or that, laughed at moments that felt out of place. It wasn't until he ran into a strange new someone that things changed. Jinyoung felt himself when he approached the stranger who'd come to be named Jooyoung. Attracted to how he looked rather cute, like Jinyoung usually felt in these places, and the vague traces of ink that ran along the hems of his shirt.
It was hardly a whirlwind romance but, well, it was a romance. A budding, building thing. Summer love bled out of a drunk night dancing together and feeling too much like himself so that, when it came time to return home, Jinyoung was actually kind of sad. They kept in touch though, talked to one another overseas with shows and video games and streaming to one another endless nonsense. It was hard to even entertain the thought of someone else when Noa was coming home at night to try and time a nice morning message for Jooyoung; it was hard to care about anyone else.
School finished -- with flying colors, of course. And early in 2014 he came back to Korea after a hard application process and fighting for his dual citizenship; his training would suffice the service he needed anyway and he had plans, big plans. Petit Gâteau was an easy success, word of mouth spreading through Hongdae fast enough to get him a constant income from people who were buying and ordering. In just six months Jinyoung was able to buy out the back end of the shop and turn his dream goal into a reality: a secondhand bookshop that accompanied his cafe and made the open double leveled space into something warm and welcoming.
A thing all his customers were desperately in need for, each for their own way, coming in to borrow their secondhand warmth and happiness.
And happiness was in him in abundance. When Jooyoung proposed marriage it was accepted, without hesitation; then it became a reality, a true thing that was going to happen if they really wanted it to. Plans were set into motion and family back home was prepared. Family all over, coming together, and Jinyoung came to forget that there was a boy abandoned on the streets there was just -- just the man lucky enough to be marrying one Kim Jooyoung for all his flaws and awkwardness. It was an overwhelming joy that overtook him as their vows traded for one another and his heart reached out for Jooyoung to lock them together.
Until death do they part, ever connected and bonded.
Two children and one large move later, Park Jinyoung lives in France all over again, raising his two boys as his husband works on getting a degree in veterinary medicine as his cafe has grown into a full enterprise: there are twelve locations worldwide now and the chain of them has become a growing franchise along with the inclusion of award winning coffees, delicate dessert wines from Soft Notes LTD, and the sales of organic health snacks that are branded with the Skinny Boys logo and brand name all over them. The larger things grew, the more Jinyoung could trust it to automation, to employees who he had taught and grown, and these days he gets to spend more time as house wife with his name and image on things than anything else; which is good and useful when both your sons can turn into tigers mid-wrestling match together in the yard.