Luck has a funny way of working. A hundred billion little decisions work themselves into every birth and Hugo's was no different. Adoption, death, loss all tangled into one another until one marriage that shouldn't have worked managed to make him; a third attempt at a child, or fourth, because secrets are as commonplace as shadows in the Hwang family. Most parents get the worst of their mishaps over with from the first child. They make their mistakes and learn from them, take on the second child with a kind of penchant for understanding now. But Keira and Richard alawys followed the beats of their own drums.

Being a military brat had its perks. Hugo always had access to books and traveling always gave the kind of happy joy that made his family seem warm, inviting. They had money, they would shop in whatever country, treat the whole of life like a vacation. Hugo's parents were always different and he couldn't really tell why — their own gifts were the kind to stay hidden underneath, a quiet touch of glory that had gotten Richard to find a golden apple in Europe that gave them a few extra years of youth, abundance of warmth and luck. Luck that, maybe, had Hugo turn into what he would eventually become — but that would come later. As a child, it was just moving in the shadows of larger, more dominant people.

From Dubai to Osaka, Vegas, Cologne and finally, Vancouver; Hugo moved with his family so far and so many times over within the cities that he never really held onto friends for long. Never held onto anything as too imporant besides what he could pack into a box and carry with him on the way out. It was the best way to thrive: with summers in Kent and every school year another drift, it was the kind of habit that Hugo figured life was always supposed to be like.

Vancouver became different. It became home. Richard's time enlisted was ending finally and they used his money to buy a small old redstone that housed a storefront on the main floor. Keira got to settle her work down and opened her own shop and the Hwang family started to make a kind of sense. It was never easy for Hugo but he had a roof over his head and food on his plate mostly, he had people to rely on.

But even for a kid whose luck was strange — who often had bad things happen only to barely scrape by — some things can get out of hand. As Hugo began to age out of shadow and into person, Vancouver was a shelter and a cage. A promise that left itself unfulfilled. Fights with his parents began and then came the awkwardness with school. Trying to date, trying to embrace himself completely, became a little strange. Hugo was great at shallow, at surface, but digging into people and being dug into was too awkward to make sense of. Still, he tried, even let himself be caught in a shadow of a would-be straight boy who liked him in private.

It is the only mistake his golden life would ever let him make, he thinks. That's the only way to see it.

The party was awful enough. Bad beer, worse music, and a bunch of classmates that Hugo didn't care about. But Baz was there and that was nice... until it wasn't. Things got hazy and Hugo barely recollects what happened. All that is true, sincere, is the voices before he felt himself thrown onto a bed and the calloused laughter with rough hands pulling, holding, forcing. And then came the light. Bright, bursting light. Purple lightning that painted the walls and spread through the room. Luck and disaster broke and the bed exploded beneath Hugo, boys blown through windows and room, whole upper end of the house wrecked with water, storm and freight.

A requite, they said; it'd finally hit, 16 years into life. Some kind of magic, some kind of undoing of reality, some kind of misfortune and manipulation. Between the gifts and the weight of what'd happened, Hugo shifted. Fights with his parents, skipping class, doing anything to try to change and shift. It wasn't easy, but once West Point Grey Academy kicked Hugo out at the end of his junior year, things changed. He started going to therapy, got himself a job away from his own parents and transfered to Lord Byng Academy. In just six short months he formed himself back together, even made a buddy at the new school he got to hang out with between classes, and has since found himself accepted to École hôtelière de Lausanne.

Safe Haven has done what they can to get the boy figuring out his gifts, but the day to day is still a struggle. He makes his way to school, to work, to therapy; he trains and tries to ignore that he stubs his toes three times a day, that his parents are nicer now that his suffering means new fortune for them, and that he isn't really sure who is worth holding close anymore. Because there are dreams to be had, still. There is hope in all the luck that has kept him alive and with comfort enough, more than others have.