Genre: Romance, Angst, Drama
Summary: No matter what universe or lifetime they live, they still end up meeting. (aka my excuse to write a bunch of mini Soulmate AUs) Inspired by this gifset.
Warning: Character Death (sorta)
A/N: see end notes for all names and explanations~!
They’re placed at nearly the same level this time.
Both heirs to the throne of their family’s wealth, chaebols before chaebols even had a name. Yoochun: the young face of old money and hotels while Jaejoong was the new star, his family restaurant exploding into a chain of restaurants when he was only seven years old.
Jaejoong hated dealing with business. He hated smiling for everyone, hated all the pictures and cameras. Hated that his sisters said no and left everything to him, that he always had to look good, for the sake of his parents, and now seemed to forever live in a suit.
His world was back in the restaurant with his mother, back when they only had one restaurant with loyal customers and were closed Sundays. But the day that the tv station found their little hole in the wall, the day that big black camera zoomed in on his semi-toothless smile and stained red apron, things were always different.
Today, though, he had a major appointment. His parents had been contacted by The Plaza in Seoul, one of the famous hotels under the Park family. They wanted to add one of the Kim restaurants into their hotel and Jaejoong’s parents jumped at the opportunity.
Don’t come back without a perfect deal,his mother said, straightening his red tie and smoothing his shoulders.
This is exactly what we sent you to Seoul National for, his father said, sitting next to him on the taxi ride over. One word from the Parks and we’re finished. Don’t screw it up.
The ride up the elevator was quiet. His briefcase full of notes and numbers forgotten as Jaejoong tried to remember to breathe properly. A glance in the mirrored walls showed the clear panic on his face, but by the time he reached the 30th floor, a smile was on his face and he was ready.
What he wasn’t ready for was who Park Yoochun was.
“Kim Jaejoong-sshi, it’s nice to meet you. Your smile is as pleasant as I’ve heard.”
Jaejoong’s stomach twisted at Park Yoochun’s smile, the gentle firmness of his handshake, and the kind way that he started the meeting. There was something so familiar here, something that tugged at all Jaejoong’s senses and nearly drove him out of his mind.
He didn’t realize that he was actually feeling sick until he lost focus and fell out of his seat.
The last thing Kim Jaejoong saw was Park Yoochun’s worried face hovering above his.
His eyes were too sad for two business men that just met.
His window ledge doesn’t seem all that high. All he has to do was jump down and he’ll be free.
Free from the screams above their tiny apartment and the cries he heard from his mother in the bathroom. Sure, Micky was only twelve years old, but he knew enough that his life wasn’t the best.
It took two more weeks before he gathered his courage and finally jumped. He nearly twisted his ankle on the fall, but with thirty dollars in his backpack and the wind at his back, Micky felt invincible.
The park was home for a couple weeks, the summer air warm enough to keep him safe. But by the third week, the police found him.
“Where are your parents, son? It’s not good for a boy like you to be alone in New York like this.”
Micky kept quiet though and with no identification on him, no matches to any past or recent missing child reports, no schools that say they recognize him, the police had no choice but to place him in foster care.
With most foster homes in New York City filled, he ended up in a church with some nuns. They didn’t force him to speak after the police told them that he seemed to be mute (or by the look of his face, too foreign to even know English) and simply smiled and gave him a new change of clothes.
His new room was with seven other boys and after two weeks, he still hadn’t said a word to any of them. Instead he slept most of the day and stared out the windows at night, memories of the wind on his back too strong to ignore.
He broke the lock on the window when the fall air came, the orphanage too small, too packed, too loud for him to withstand anymore.
“I wouldn’t try that if I were you.”
Micky turned around, searching for the voice, Jay or “JJ”, as he liked to go by. The older boy stood right behind him, dark eyes looking even colder in the moonlight. He had been at the orphanage most of his life, or so the other children said.
“You’ll just be dragged back here by your hair. And this time, they’ll make you speak.”
He tilted his head at Jay, wondering how the other knew he wasn’t actually mute, but shut the window and slid down to the ground anyway. Jay held out his hand, a worn, red woven bracelet hanging from his wrist. Cautiously, Micky took it.
Their beds were small, but Jay seemed to know the right way to hold him to make him feel...warm. The way he used to feel when his mother hugged him when he was younger. It was the first real connection he’d made with any of the other children and it just felt…right.
They spent the next couple weeks attached at the hip, the nuns laughing at Jay trying to get Micky to speak or at least smile.
By the time he did laugh at one of Jay’s dumb jokes, Micky was ready. He opened up his mouth, his throat and vocal records more than a little rusty, but still usable.
“JAY KIM. COME HERE THIS INSTANT.”
Jay smiled at him, wide and bright and beautiful, before running off.
An hour later, Jay was adopted.
Without the lock, the window opened too easy.
Muwon was late for his noona’s wedding.
It was bad enough that she decided to have it in Hawaii, no matter if his new brother-in-law’s family lived there.
It was the middle of the summer and the worst time of day to be wearing a black suit. The locals stared at him like he was crazy, laughing at the sweat rolling down the sides of his face as he tried to find the location of the wedding. He’d told the taxi driver to let him off by the main beach but-
There was beach everywhere and after taking his money (too much, in Muwon’s opinion), the driver left him in the dust and sand.
At least the view was pretty.
He shrugged off his jacket and unbuttoned a few of the buttons on his tuxedo shirt, staring at the endless stretch of beach and small houses. Muwon sighed.
Thirty minutes later, he found himself back in the same spot, more lost than ever. It was a big wedding. He doubled checked with a local that he was on the right island. The sweet grandma had just smiled and nodded at him- before pointing him in the wrong direction.
He sat down right on the sand and sighed again, pricey rental suit be damned.
“From the sound of your sigh, you don’t seem to be my niece that’s hiding from me.”
Looking behind him, Muwon saw a man and his dog. From the sunglasses and tanktop to the flipflops in his tattooed hand, it was obvious that he was a local. And it was obvious that Muwon wasn’t.
“Well, I’ve had people call me pretty before, but never a little girl.” Muwon replied shortly. It was bad enough that he couldn’t find his noona’s wedding, but here he was, made a fool of by some beach bum.
The man frowned at his answer and shook his head. “Sorry, I wasn’t trying to insult you. Usually Haru’s harness makes it obvious to people.” He patted the golden retriever’s red harness before raising his sunglasses.
His eyes seemed normal, a pretty brown lighter than Muwon’s own, but then he noticed it. That the man wasn’t looking at him. He was looking to the spot right next to him. His eyes seemed unfocused and constantly drifting-
“N-no, I’m sorry. I just-” Muwon scrambled off the sand, shaking out his jacket. “I’m grumpy and late for my noo-uh, sister’s wedding because I’m a little lost. Seoul doesn’t have beaches like this.”
The other man smiled at him as fixed his sunglasses. “Wedding, you say? Well, no wonder it’s so noisy around here.” He turned, staring (wait looking- aish, Muwon’s brain hurt trying to correct himself) down one of the streets Muwon had tried before. “There’s a bunch of people on the other side of the beach. I thought it was just some family party, but now that you said wedding, I suppose they both sound the same. If you’d like, Haru and I can show you?”
The man’s voice sounded hesitant and it made Muwon feel awful. And for more than just one reason.
“I...would love that.” He dusted the rest of the sand off his pants (there was nothing to do about the sand in his shoes and socks now) and walked over to the two, about to pet the friendly looking golden retriever until he hesitated.
“Haru loves to be pet, don’t worry.” He told Muwon with a small grin. “But I think we should get you to your sister’s wedding before she’s too upset.”
In the end, Muwon was really only a few kilometers away from the wedding. It took them about 25 minutes to walk, but it was peaceful. Muwon talked about Seoul and the city while the other talked about Hawaii and the islands and the beach. Despite a rocky introduction, Muwon was surprised at how calm and relaxed and...well, natural he felt around the other.
Everyone in his family was so loud and yelling for him, he had no clue how he hadn’t heard them before. The minute they saw him, they immediately surrounded him, pulling him into hugs and grabbing his face, asking if he was okay.
It wasn’t until they relaxed after a couple minutes that he turned back to his new friend.
“Hey if you want, you’re welcome to join-”
But the blind man and his dog were gone.
Muwon had never gotten his name and it haunted him for the rest of his life.
They’re born on the same day, in the same town, to mothers who are best friends and hoping that their children can be the same way.
The most they get is sleeping together on a new red blanket, unconsciously curled toward each other. Their families had wished that one could have been a girl, to join their families together, but sons, first sons at that, were even more of a blessing.
Little did they smell the oil or smoke or fire until it was almost too late.
They both make it out alive, but not without the consequences.
Jaejun’s face was permanently scarred and, as an effect, had to be hidden away from everyone for life. Sunjoon grew up alone, under his father’s harsh instruction, and became a lonely life scholar.
“They could have been best friends,” Sunjoon’s mother sighed, gazing through the stalls with Jaejun’s mother. “They could have been happy. Just like us.”
Jaejun’s mother hid her glare. She thought of her poor son, lonely and hidden away. Dead to everyone except a few.
“Happy, of course.”
Jaye was bored at the cafe. His shift didn’t end for another two hours and then he had that promise he made to his mother.
“I can’t take off work this week and I promised that I would help out her son. She helped me out when I first had you and I left her before Yoochun was born. I owe her this, Jaye. My little blue jay~ Please?”
He never could (or would) say no to his mother.
Soon enough he was standing at the train station, lighting his second cigarette with a stupid hand-written sign in his hand.
Jaye had nothing to go off of but this stupid paper sign. His mother might have been smart and wonderful enough to be one of the first Koreans to work at The Louvre but that didn’t mean she always thought ahead. He exhaled a huge cloud of smoke, using the side of his hand to scratch his forehead.
All he wanted to do was go home and paint and drink some wine and be a miserable artist like he’d been the past five years. Being 27 in Paris and out of art school wasn’t the exactly the most exciting life.
“E-excusez-Moi? Je suis- Uh Je suis Park Yoochun.”
It was the worst French accent that Jaye had ever heard in his life.
“That was the worst French accent I have ever heard in my life.” Jaye replied, turning on his heel to the voice behind him.
“And that was the worst Korean accent I’ve ever heard in mine.”
Jaye laughed, taking a last drag on his cigarette and then stomping it out under his heel.
“Jaye Kim.” He stated, holding out his hand. “Well, Kim Jaejoong to you I suppose, but that’s only my name on my birth certificate. As you stated, my Korean accent sucks and I’m as French as I can get in everything but blood.”
Yoochun smiled, eyes curving behind his glasses. “Park Yoochun. Studied French for three years but...my accent is….well. Merde.”
“Not how you use that but-” Jaye stopped to laugh. Maybe this week wouldn’t be so awful after all. “Ah, well. You’re here for a while, yeah? You fix my Korean, I’ll clean up your-” He had to laugh again. “Merde accent. Deal?”
Yoochun finally took his hand, his smile a little wider. It made a dimple in his cheek that was more than cute. “C’est une affaire.”
“‘C’est conclu’, not ‘C’est une affaire’. We have a lot of work to do.”
Five months later, Yoochun’s French accent still sucked.
But, as Jaye learned, he was better at sucking when it came to other things.
Their romance was a slow one, building from that first day. Yoochun lived together with Jaye and his mother for the first couple months, something that Jaye actually enjoyed. He became the unexpected muse that Jaye was missing in his life and even his mother commented on how much better his paintings were getting.
“They have so much more life in them than before,” She told him one day, gently touching the surface of one of his canvases. There was only a light sketch on it so far, the color palette undecided just yet. “Before Yoochun’s mother contacted me, I was about to kick you out on your own for inspiration. I was worried about you.”
Jaye nearly tackled her then, grinning and hugging her hard as she screamed about her nice clothes getting dirtied by him and his paint-covered smock. But she was right. He’d been in a huge rut before Yoochun. Now he had more ideas and images in his head than he could handle.
It wasn’t until Yoochun moved out to his own place that Jaye made a move. While he acknowledged Yoochun’s presence in his home a good thing, but wasn’t until he was gone that Jaye realized why it was a good thing.
After a stressful shift at the cafe (his part time job that helped display and sell some of his paintings) thanks to shitty customers and disgusting flirts, Jaye had marched right over to Yoochun’s new flat, and without thinking, pulled the man in for one of the best kisses he’d ever had in his life in the middle of his doorway.
They spent the next three days in Yoochun’s flat, making use of every sturdy and soft surface they could.
Jaye heard time and again from various outsiders that Paris was the city of love; that people come to “find love”, thinking that there’s some magic in the air or that Cupid (who’s not even French) is waiting right around the bend. Growing up in Paris, Jaye disagreed.
A little more than disillusioned to the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower and the weary ways of the art world, his view on love was a little tainted. He had the love of his mother and his own love of art. That was it.
But in Yoochun’s arms, in his kiss and touch and stare- Jaye felt a little of that magical love he’d heard of so much.
Nine months later, Jaye’s Korean was better than Yoochun’s French.
Jaye had all about moved into Yoochun’s flat by that point, half of his paints and easels occupying a corner of the main room and his clothes filling more of the closet than Yoochun’s own.
He was painting when Yoochun got home from his work. Jaye was never terribly interested in Yoochun’s job, remembering that it some dull museum related thing that gave him flexible hours and a very nice pay. That was all Jaye needed to know.
Yoochun knew better not to disturb him while painting, but it was easy for Jaye to tell when someone was watching him. It was a little egotistical of him, but he loved the feeling of being watched. Yoochun knew that too.
He painted for another hour or so, the sun setting killing the natural light he liked to work in, hand shaking and body thrumming as he finally set down his palette. Yoochun was there in a heartbeat, arms wrapping around him from behind, lips pressed against his neck.
“Someone’s a little anxious to see me…” Jaye laughed, turning in his arms to properly kiss Yoochun. He pushed them away from his wet painting, fingers smearing the leftover red paint on Yoochun’s cheek and neck.
There was something different and a little desperate in Yoochun’s eyes when they finally parted, but it disappeared under a smirk.
“You made me dirty.”
Jaye grinned back, dragging his red hand down Yoochun’s white button up. “I can make you even dirtier.”
It was then a race to see who could strip faster, Jaye winning as Yoochun tripped and fell over his pants. They didn’t even make it to their bedroom...or the couch.
With Yoochun already on the floor, so it was too easy for Jaye to drop on his knees and help him out of his pants. Red paint was getting everywhere, but that was something that Yoochun had accepted about Jaye. He was sort of a mess; literally.
“Maybe I should just paint you one day. Like that stupid boat movie everyone loves,” Jaye commented, fingers brushing images up Yoochun’s thighs and across his hipbones.
“Titanic, Jaye.” Yoochun laughed, leaning on an elbow and reaching out to tuck some of Jaye’s bottle blond hair back. “I wanted to take you to see it but you said no.”
“It’s stupid. You don’t just fall in love in a few days like that.” He said to Yoochun’s stomach, kissing a trail up to his sternum. “It takes time.”
His words made Yoochun sit up, shifting to pull Jaye fully into his lap. They stayed that way for a moment, staring at each other in the silence of their flat.
Jaye didn’t know who moved first, but soon enough they were kissing again. Soft, light presses that turned firmer, harder. He could taste the bitterness of espresso on Yoochun’s tongue, his own tongue searching for more of the flavor in Yoochun’s mouth.
It came out of no where and Jaye froze. Despite their feelings and kissing, despite their fucking and living together, not once had they ever spoke of their love for the other. They showed it through actions, the words left caught in their throats, unneeded.
But the raw honesty in Yoochun’s voice was what bothered him. Bothered Jaye more than the words themselves.
Instead of a spoken confession, it sounded more like a goodbye.
Instead of Jaye’s heart soaring, instead of smiling and thinking that yes, this was it- Yoochun was it, his answer to his life-
It felt wrong.
Everything moved even slower after that. Every touch and kiss lingered, hands and legs clenched tighter.
They made it to the bedroom after catching their breaths and Yoochun reminded Jaye what he was good at sucking at.
By the time they finished, Yoochun was asleep on Jaye’s chest. He smoked a cigarette as he stared out the window into the night. The nervous feeling remained though everything seemed to be perfect and so so right.
Jaye fell asleep tracing words (confessions) and pictures (desires) into Yoochun’s back.
When he woke, there was a red heart painted over his real one and a letter in his hand.
Je suis navré. Je t’aime. Je t’aime Je t’aime Je t’aime Je t’aime.
Sleep became worthless over the next three days as he worked on and finished the first and only portrait painting he would ever paint. When Jaye finally finished, he took a shower and brought it to his mother.
She deemed it his best work and right after, he finally broke down.
Even after Jaye left Paris, his mother still kept the painting in storage. “Not a French Boy” would live to see the light again, once Jaye healed and moved on.
Only- Just like the bleeding and broken heart he painted in his self portrait,
He never did.
To part 2 (lj limits, please T_T)