The first time the truck hit Taehyung, Yoongi thought he was dreaming. Actually, he was sure he was, the moment he woke up in a cold sweat at noon on the same day.
He remembers looking at the clock with a frown, passing a hand through his sweaty bangs, trying to erase the gory image of Taehyung's bloodied body in the street. He stood up on shaken legs, as he tried to follow his usual routine cautiously. The dream had unnerved him, he's not gonna lie. It's not like Yoongi isn’t familiar with nightmares (he had his fair amount of them over the years) but he never had to face one that felt unbelievably real. He could almost still smell the sickening mix of blood and gas smoke as he breathes right now.
The sun is hot outside, the summer heat had reached its peak in Daegu (which must be a sign for the man to not wear his usual dark colored clothes, but Yoongi has never been good at reading signs, or caring for them). The other doesn't want anything more than to stay home all day under an AC while watching trashy dramas or making some music. But he knew it wouldn't do since he had promised to meet Taehyung the moment he was free from classes and could visit him.
He won't lie and say he wasn't looking forward to it, but he's never admitting that out loud.
He met Taehyung in the same place he previously had in the dream, at the park, Taehyung's favorite spot in their hometown since they were children. The place wasn't packed with kids and moms like it usually was. It was summer and it was hot, way too hot, to be playing outside, he muses. Maybe they were the only fuckers crazy enough to burn under the killing sun for a change.
Taehyung's presence was refreshing in the same way it was warm. The boy’s smile was contagious to Yoongi. But today the elder was not smiling.
Looking at it right now, the scene was so eerily similar to his dream, it was almost scary.
Taehyung was waiting for Yoongi at the swings (the same way he was in the dream). And he was wearing light clothes, probably to have a chance in the hot weather (the same ones he wore in the dream). The moment he saw him, the younger smiled (the same boxy smile he did in the dream).
He felt himself relax at the sight of Taehyung, smiling softly while patting Yeontan, a little fluff ball the other decided to take care of some months ago, on his lap. (Sometimes the two boys would compete of who had the more photogenic baby — Taehyung’s Yeontan or Yoongi’s Holly, resulting in files upon files of dog pictures in his cellphone. He can't deny Yeontan is a worthy rival to Holly's cuteness).
He looks so much better this way , Yoongi thought as he remembered the gruesome image of dull, unfocused eyes, and blood slowly painting the road pavement.
Yoongi usually tries hard not to show his true emotions towards the younger so openly, preferring to remain cool and reserved, but he couldn't stop himself from smiling and giving a sigh of relief, slightly surprising Taehyung.
After that, it all ran smoothly, the way it was supposed to be. They talked about the summer, talked about their classes starting in some weeks, talked about how hot it was and how it called for ice cream. Talked about Yoongi's experience in Seoul, about his friends, his roomate and his music. They talked about how the stars seem to shine brighter in the summer sky, and how nice it was to lay on the grass and just watch them. Taehyung talked about meeting again to try it together.
''Y'know..'' Yoongi started, after a lull in their conversation. And as much he appreciated silence, as much he appreciated just relishing in Taehyung's presence, something kept bothering his mind.
Taehyung made a humming sound to show he was listening, tickling Yeontan under his chin as it kept licking his fingers.
''I had a weird dream last night..,'' he continued slowly, thinking, unsure. Should he tell him? It wasn’t something a NICE topic to bring up in a lighthearted conversation, but maybe if he put it out there instead of bottling his worries in, then maybe it would ease his thoughts. Maybe then he could start to believe it really was just a dream, and Taehyung was safe and sound in front of him right now.
Taehyung turned his head from the dog to look at him, his eyes questioning and curious.
''You--,” he was about to continue when suddenly, Yeontan barked, wiggling out of Taehyung's hold, and running out to the streets.
''Tan-ah!” he yelled surprised, quickly standing up to follow the dog.
Ah. Yoongi thought, a mixture of dread and deja-vú filling him.
Taehyung ran after Yeontan, with Yoongi close behind.
''Aah.. Seriously.. Tannie...'' Taehyung breathed, looking around looking for the pup while Yoongi used the chance to take a breath. It was too hot today.
''Damn... dog...'' Yoongi said, hands trying to take away the sweat from his face. Too hot.
Taking sight of the dog some distance away, Taehyung let out a sigh of relief. Yoongi was still catching his breath when he noticed Taehyung crossing the street after Yeontan. And maybe if he was a little quicker, recovered a little faster, or if it wasn't for the unbearable heat haze that clouded his sight, maybe he could have noticed the truck making its way down the street.
It was too sudden, too fast. The moment Yoongi's ears caught the screeching of tires, his head shoots up. In the middle of the crosswalk, he sees Taehyung’s eyes widen before he gets hit by the truck at full force.
Suddenly, everything is red.
At that moment Yoongi was sure time froze. It's not possible for a body to take this long to hit the ground, or for blood to start spilling, or for someone (was it him?) to start screaming.
He was completely frozen in place, his mind blank but also running at a mile a minute, trying desperately to process the image in front of him. Not even a sound comes out of his open mouth.
Yeontan is across the street, head tilted slightly and tail wagging, dark eyes set on Yoongi as if he isn't aware of the body of his own owner in front of him.
Yoongi is not sure if it was the panic, the fear, the dread making its way through his throat in the form of bile that causes him to hallucinate, but he thinks he hears a voice, very much like his own, whispering softly something.
' Ah. Too bad.'
The buzzing of summer cicadas and the smell of burning tires fades.
He doesn't remember moving, but Taehyung's wrist is suddenly in his hand, the latter’s pulse thrumming softly against Yoongi’s fingers. He pulls the boy toward himself.
''Yoongi hyung?'' He called a little surprised by the sudden action, gaze shifting between his wrist and Yoongi's face.
''Let's just go home for today, okay?'' He said, proud his voice didn't shake, unlike he was sure his hands were doing right now.
''He knows the way home, right? It's hot, he always plays in the grass when it’s hot. We can get him later,'' Yoongi said, not giving time for an answer as he is already pulling Taehyung with him to the opposite direction, away from the swings, away from the crosswalk. ''Let's just... walk a little, yeah?''
If Taehyung noticed the other's odd state he didn't comment on it, but rather followed him quietly anyway.
When they reached a busier street, Yoongi felt himself being able to breathe again. He hadn’t realized he had held his breath since getting away from the park. Realizing the latter's obvious relaxation, Taehyung was quick to speak up.
''Never saw you so happy to be walking the main street hyung,'' a teasing smile on his lips. ''You are always all about avoiding it. Seoul has really changed you!''
He couldn't deny that it was true, the main street was too crowded for his liking, and was where the towering buildings and stores were. It’s not like Yoongi HATED the place, but if he could avoid it easily, why go through the trouble to pass through it?
With his mind still recovering from the state it was before, he didn’t pay attention to where they were headed. He just wanted to take Taehyung away from there as soon as possible. The crowded street sounded like a heaven safe haven to Yoongi right now.
''I guess it’s become a refreshing sight,” he ended up saying. On the way there, his hold had went down from his wrist to actually holding the other's hand, he realized. Taehyung didn't seem to care. Neither did he.
''This? A refreshing sight?,'' the other asked incredulously. Smiling, he points with his chin at the loud traffic on the street, while they struggled to pass through the crowd. Then, it became a playful frown, his tone almost amused. ''Hyung, I think the heat is making you go insane, you are all weird today.''
Yoongi could only give him a tight smile, voice rough. ''Yeah maybe it is.”
He doesn't consider himself neurotic. He may be more cautious and mindful of his surroundings than the average person, but he's not neurotic . Yet, he can't help from feeling like he is being way to careful and borderline insane when he realized how he kept looking back and forth, getting the other as close as possible, like he's waiting for a truck to just come in and hit Taehyung at any second.
The day barely started and he's exhausted already.
He felt someone bump into him by accident, making him loosen his hold on Taehyung's hand. He pretended he didn't feel the loss. He didn't have the courage to grasp it again.
Taehyung didn't either.
Taehyung then started talking, remembering he wanted to take Yoongi out to the park today for some pictures but had forgotten to bring the camera. The younger walked a little ahead of him while talking, Yoongi carefully behind (just for good measure. Call him crazy, he doesn't care), and looking side to side while they chat. His lips went up a little when he saw the way Taehyung complained about the heat with a pout.
‘’Aren’t you, like, dying in those clothes hyung? I put on my lighter ones and still feel like melting,’’ he says, turning to look at the other while fanning himself exaggeratedly.
‘’Meh, that’s nothing,’’ he shrugs, chin high.
He’s fucking dying inside but he won’t let it show.
Taehyung then snorts like he doesn’t believe a word he says.
‘’You are like the summer version of the saying ‘hoes doesn’t get cold’.’’
‘’YOU-’’ He comes closer to hit Taehyung in the arm as the other lets out a loud laugh while trying to protect himself from his hyung.
They were passing through a more commercial area, where buildings were higher, fancier, and more modern structure. Taehyung’s house wasn't much farther.
They are walking, the street got less crowded since they first entered it and Yoongi thanked the gods for that small mercy. It was ten times more bearable to walk in the sun without twenty noses breathing hot air onto his neck.
There’s still some people passing by. He heard them murmuring something, the words barely audible under the loud sound of traffic. He looks between them, and realized they were all looking up at something.
Then, out of nowhere, he heard the screams.
He saw they were all pointing to the sky, frozen in place. Barely having time to see what it was everyone was screaming about, it happened.
He heard it before he saw it.
Again, it was too fast but at the same time, too slow.
In front of him there was a big office building, the blue glass windows reflecting the sun in a glaring way, making it even harder to look up. The structure goes all the way up, at least ten floors high, he had to squint his eyes to be able to see the top of it.
The top was incomplete. There were big machines, bundles of iron poles and wires as people worked.
Or that’s how it was supposed to be.
The cables that tied the poles together had snapped, and had come crashing down from the sky in a rain of deadly shadows.
Yoongi doesn’t know which sound was worse, the deafening sound of iron poles crashing hundreds meters down to the street, or the sound of several of them piercing straight to Taehyung's body.
This time he wasn't the only one screaming.
People scatter left and right, while Yoongi stood frozen in place, looking unblinkingly at the other's body on the floor, small spasms wracking their body, making an effort to look up at Yoongi as the rest of the poles keep falling. More of them hit the boy, some of them fall to the pavement and run off the street.
He doesn't want to look. But he can't move.
This can't be happening. Not again.
He didn't feel the tears running free on his face nor his lips trembling like crazy. He saw Taehyung coughing blood and he felt like throwing up.
This can't be real. This can't be FUCKING real.
Taehyung is mouthing something, he thinks. He's not sure. He’s not sure if he’s awake right now. He's not sure of anything. He's not sure if he heard it right. He's not sure if he heard him calling hyung.
It's just a dream. Just another fucking nightmare.
you will wake up in the morning and everything will be ok
fucking breathe Yoongi
is just a dream.
‘It's not a dream,’ his own voice said.
Everything goes dark.
Yoongi wakes up in a cold sweat, his breath heavy and his face sweaty. When he looks at the clock this time, bright numbers displaying ''12:00'', he doesn't hesitate to stand up, barely being able to put on some jeans as he run through the door. He finds Taehyung in the same damn park, petting the same damn dog. He didn't have time to finish saying Yoongi's name as the other was already grasping the younger’s arm and pulling him up with him.
Yoongi's breath is heavy as he runs, taking the other with him. He doesn't know if the sweat on his face is from the strain, the dread or the heat.
Taehyung was too surprised to react for a second or two, but once he got over it he started talking in a worried tone.
''Hyung! Hey, what happened?'' His voice deep with concern and confusion. The other doesn't think of what to respond, he just needs to take him away from here. Fast. He's not taking the same way as before, he is going to the opposite direction.
While making their way towards the footbridge, Taehyung gets tired of Yoongi's lack of response, and tries to shake his hands off to get him to stop. The older is having none of it as his grasp only get harder. He doesn't know if it makes a difference with the way his hands are shaking.
He is not thinking, the only thing on his mind is ' gotta take him out of there' 'shit' 'fuck fuck' . Maybe if he wasn’t so deep in thought, he would have realized he no longer felt Taehyung's hand in his grip anymore.
He turns around just in time to see the other pulling his hand back, getting out of Yoongi’s hold. The force of the pull makes him lose his balance, his body tipping back and, after misstepping the stair level, falls from the footbridge staircase. His eyes wide and his hands still stretched out as if trying to grab hold of something.
This time he doesn't see the final result, he doesn't see the blood nor Taehyung's body. He's looking forward, frozen in place as he realized they are not alone on the footbridge.
The shadow is standing right where Taehyung was seconds ago, before he fell too fast to even let out a scream. He realized then he was not looking at a shadow, but at himself .
The thing has his exact same features — same hairstyle, body, and clothes. But something was missing, as if he was looking into a foggy mirror. He is not close enough but he can almost feel heat radiating from it .
This time, Yoongi is sure he's fucking dreaming, it's not possible. Because the thing , because he , is just standing there. His mouth, a mocking smile. He looks Yoongi dead in the eye.
His mouth moves but the words echo only in his head .
'Too late again'
He realized it was a cycle by the fifth try. The first three ones had him too paralyzed to understand, and he was still in denial by the fourth. The fifth one was a moment of acceptance for Yoongi. This was happening.
A pattern. A repetition.
August 15, mid summer, was repeating itself over and over. And Yoongi is fated to see his best friend die every single time.
Yoongi has always been a “facts first” type of person, he was never a fan of the supernatural, unlike Taehyung. He would keep distance from horror movies and sure, he would check up his daily horoscope once in a while, but that was it. So when a situation like this happens, something so surreal, he doesn't know what to do.
Sometimes he still thinks it’s a dream (a long and confusing as fuck one), or a drug induced hallucination Hoseok’s cheap marijuana had conjured, and will wake up any time now on the dirty floor of his dorm room, with a headache and the bad taste of weed on his mouth.
He is feeling calmer than the past few “cycles”. He's not FINE per se, but he's not at the point of a cardiac attack so he counts this as something.
This time around he sits up on the bed almost robotically, his face staring at the time on his phone with tired, blank eyes. This time around, he calls Taehyung to hangout at his house instead. This time he tries to change something.
He won’t freak out. He won’t get rushed and desperate. He will play it cool. In his head, he thinks that if he deals with this calmly, it won’t be as bad. Maybe this has happened six times in a row now because he keeps doing the same thing, the same mistakes.
Maybe if he changed something, no matter how minor, he can save Taehyung.
It’s hard to be rational in such irrational situation, but Yoongi is willing to try. He has to.
When Taehyung arrives, he's carrying ice cream in a plastic bag. The sight of Taehyung had always helped to calm his nerves, seeing him well always made he feel more secure. But now that he had accepted this...fucking nightmare of a situation or whatever, seeing him just makes him more anxious. His heart rate spikes, and not in the good way.
Taehyung sits on his couch and throws his head back, letting out a deep groan as he combs his hands through his sweaty scalp, pushing his hair out of his face.
''I swear hyung, it’s SO hot outside. Please turn your AC on, I’m literally DYING just from walking here.''
''And you wanted to meet on the park today?'' Yoongi let out a snort as he puts the ice cream on the coffee table, and makes his way to turn on the air. ''Outside is overrated, being inside is much more cool.”
Taehyung lets out a bark of laughter, takes a second before he lets his head hang down again, and looks at the others direction.
''Just say you hate it and go.'' He takes one of the ice creams and starts to open it. “Being an insider doesn't make you cooler Yoongi hyung. It just makes you seem like a vampire.''
Yoongi makes his way to the couch, sitting next to Taehyung as he turns on the TV. He doesn't reject the ice cream that is being held in his direction.
''You say that, but you are in MY house, on MY couch and using MY air. Quit judging.'' Strawberry flavor, typical Taehyung.
Taehyung grins at this, and drops his head on Yoongi's shoulder, surprising the other.
''Aah, you are right hyung. I will stop since hyung is being SO nice today.''
They stay like this while they watch TV together. Taehyung's hand changes its position on the couch, and make its way around the older's shoulder. They press their sides together, a content smile on Taehyung’s lips. Yoongi thinks this time, it will be different.
Three hours later he finds Taehyung’s body on the bathroom floor, half naked, the almost full bathtub edge stained the same color as the dent on his temple as the water slowly starts to gain a sickening shade of red.
Yoongi wants to laugh, but the only sound that comes from his mouth is a choked sob.
Yoongi is surprised of how many times someone can “accidentally” stab himself. This one is new though, washing the dishes, putting the plates in the overhead dryer, and “accidentally” bumping into the dried cutlery, making a knife fall and stab you straight through the neck.
He must congratulate the sick, sadistic motherfucker of an entity that is behind this that they are getting more creative.
This time, it was Yoongi’s mistake.
He should have known better than to take Taehyung out to a diner. He was too confident in his luck this time around, as the day was as normal as it could possibly get.
He should have known better to not feel so happy when Taehyung's fingers intertwined with his under the table as they shared idle conversation, not even noticing that the sun had set hours ago.
He should have known better than to get curious over the weird sounds coming from the dark alley.
He should have known better, he thinks, as he stood alone in the alleyway. No money as the robber took it all with him, and Taehyung’s body a crippled mess on the ground, a bullet hole through his head.
He doesn't need to look to know behind him is himself, probably looking at him disapprovingly. Or maybe laughing, that’s sounds more fitting.
He was too careless.
They tried escaping once.
Yoongi managed to convince Taehyung to come back to Seoul with him this time. Maybe, he thought, maybe Daegu was the problem. It started the moment he stepped foot in Daegu, so it would only be natural for the torment to end the moment he gets aways from Daegu, right?
He was resolved to bring Taehyung to the big city, coming up with multiple excuses to convince the boy.
‘’You will meet my friends,’’ he had said ‘ ’You will see my room and see Holly again’’.
‘’You can listen to my music’’ was what won Taehyung’s approval.
He should have expected it, really, it was predictable. Going to a train station to try to run from a “supernatural murderous butterfly effect” wasn’t the smartest choice Yoongi could have made.
So while they were are waiting for the train, as he tells Taehyung about Seoul and his friends, he shouldn’t be as surprised as he was when he pauses to look for his ticket for a second, and looking back to see that Taehyung wasn’t beside him.
He finds him tripping over the train platform in front of him the exact moment a fast wind of movement cuts the air.
He feels something wet and hot splattering his cheeks the moment the train arrives the station.
He lets the ticket together with his wallet and baggage slip from his hands as he tries to assimilate what happened.
He takes a deep breath.
That’s a shame , his mind thinks, scarily calm. Taehyung would have found long lost brothers in Jungkook and Jimin. He would have gotten along so well with Seokjin and Hoseok. And for sure, he would have loved to hear Namjoon’s long, deep stories.
This thought makes Yoongi feel some type of longing. He hopes they get to meet some day.
He’s determined to make it happen.
Sometimes Yoongi wonders why he is here; He thinks that maybe this is a chance for him to fix his mistakes, a way of doing the right thing and saving Taehyung, of preventing this tragedy. Sometimes, though, he feels sick just to wonder if it’s all due to an external force, something that is just playing with them, laughing at his face every time he fails his game.
There’s always a Reset button but never a Game Over.
Yoongi have always been bad at games.
Whatever is the answer, it always gets a way to surprising him each time.
He never knew Taehyung was allergic to shrimps until he had a reaction so strong his throat had closed up. He’d died from the lack of air right on the table they shared, skin blue and mouth foaming.
If everything was normal like before, outside of this cycle of eternal days, would this have happened as well? Could they really have gone to a restaurant and Taehyung would've died like this, drowning in his own spit on the table? No reset button?
Sometimes, Yoongi thinks there was no use to avoiding this nightmare.
Maybe Taehyung was supposed to die, no matter what he does to try to prevent it.
But if he lets these thoughts take him now, he could never forgive himself. Only he could save Taehyung. He wishes he could kill all these intrusive thoughts like it kept killing Taehyung over and over.
This time, Yoongi would be lying if he said he wasn't impressed.
It was by far the longest it had taken to happen (specifically 10 hours and 23 minutes). For a hot second, Yoongi let himself hope. But he must admit when he called Taehyung to come sleep over he never expected to witness someone dying because of a toast.
So he's more surprised than shocked when he walks into the kitchen after coming back from the bathroom, not expecting Taehyung to be awake (instead of sleeping like he previously was on the couch), making himself a snack on the toaster.
He's shocked, though, when Taehyung’s body started trembling like crazy, his movements so unnaturally stiff but his body still shaking vigorously. He is about to call his name and ask what the hell he was doing when he takes a better look at what's in front of him.
There's Taehyung, in front of him sits the toaster still plugged in, the bread still wedged between the metal, and in Taehyung's hand is a fork.
A metal fork. Touching the toaster.
Yoongi is too slow to react this time. He just can't believe his eyes as he sees Taehyung being fucking electrocuted to death because him. Taehyung, in his sleepy dumb haze, tried making a snack, made a toast that was probably too hot to take out with his bare hands, and in all his idiocy, decided using a metal fork to push it out was a great idea.
The motherfucker just put a fucking fork inside a fucking TOASTER.
The choked air sound coming out of his mouth is what makes Yoongi come to as he runs to unplug the damn machine from the socket.
The moment it’s out, Taehyung’s body slumps, not hitting the ground as Yoongi is next to him to catch him in time. The younger’s eyes are rolled to the back of his skull, spasms and tics wracking his frame. And Yoongi simply doesn't know what to do. He's passing his hand through Taehyung’s locks as a useless way to give some kind of comfort. It takes less than two minutes for the other's movements to come to a total halt, and he lets out a final breath.
Taehyung had never died in his arms before.
Yoongi thinks he will never forget the way his body laxes, looking more like a doll in his fragile arms.
It takes less than five minutes until he starts to lose warmth.
He’s too still, too silent, too cold. He’s too not Taehyung .
Yoongi thinks that's what breaks him, and he starts crying.
He had stopped crying (he never actually cried much, the majority of the time he was too shocked to even do so) by the twentieth time or so. It’s not like he got used to it per say (he doesn’t think he ever will) but he just.. expected it. He knew it was going to happen some way or another.
So he doesn't see it coming when he starts crying, sobbing , desperately hugging Taehyung's lifeless body close, his forehead touching his. He ever cried like this — Hard. Deep. Messy. Exhausted.
Maybe that's what it was. Yoongi was exhausted .
It takes long until he stops, he hasn’t blacked out to finish this day's cycle yet. He likes to think of this as a small reprieve to his torment, like they were giving Yoongi time to mourn before saying goodbye once again.
He's tired of saying goodbye.
He looks up and see s him sitting on the counter. Usually, he holds a straight face, lowkey smug almost, a face so ugly in the moments he expresses it. Today though, he's not looking at him saying something like ' ah, again' or 'took long this time' or just looking smugly as he waits for the new day to begin, no. He's looking at Taehyung in his arms first, then he looks at Yoongi. It’s not the same face as before, Yoongi realizes. His expression shows something akin to sympathy.
Yoongi wants to scream. Scream right in his ugly face.
' FUCK YOU ' he wanted to yell ' YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LOOK AT HIM LIKE THIS. NOT AFTER EVERYTHING.'
Instead, he just keeps quiet, eyes burning holes on the other as he tilts his head a little, as if not sensing Yoongi’s hostility at all. Yoongi gives a last look at Taehyung and realizes none of the other days, the others deaths, have hurt him so much.
The most ridiculous death ever and he will never forget it.
‘’You idiot….’’ He says, giving a wet laugh as he looks Taehyung in his arms. He start to feel the darkness flooding his vision.
He never wants to know what someone dying in his arms feels like again.
How many times can someone die from a traffic accident? Yoongi discovered that it can be more than thirty-five. Different ways and with different kinds of transportation.
This time it was a beetle and Yoongi almost didn't want to count this as a day.
He wakes up tired.
Exhausted. Once again.
He tries it again, he keeps under the sheets until he can. He pretends he doesn't hear Taehyung calls, and frantic 'where are u??' texts. He stays in bed. Pretends to sleep as the day progresses.
He’s tried it before. Tried to avoid Taehyung, pretend he doesn't exist. Maybe if he wasn't near him, he won’t die, maybe he was the one causing all this bloodshed.
The thought makes him sick but he held onto it.
It takes some hours but Taehyung always finds him. In some way.
Sometimes he just come to visit anyway. Two times Yoongi ignored the door, he could still distinctly hear the moments a lamppost falls onto him and paints his door red.
Sometimes he leaves the door unlocked and pretends to be sick, or really deep asleep so Taehyung would go away. He never does.
Today he doesn't even know what the plan is. Yoongi is just tired.
Not physically of course, since he always gets the same amount of sleep every day.
He's not surprised when is doorbell rings two hours later. He lets him in.
He says he's tired today, Taehyung says he understands and keeps him company anyway by reading quietly on one side of the room, saying the older is much too stubborn and knows he doesn't like being alone.
He tries to sleep through it, feigning ignorance once.
He can hear it anyway, the moment the ceiling fan gives up and concludes this day's cycle.
Yoongi doesn’t even bother to get up from the bed, numb from the smell of blood and plaster.
He closes his eyes and waits.
They are drunk.
Taehyung brought up the idea to go to the bar later that day, when Yoongi mentioned he missed the buzz of the alcohol. The younger wasn't much of a drinker, he was aware, but the proposal was too good to deny. He really did miss it.
He used to do runs of drinks with Jimin and Seokjin every Friday while he was still in Seoul. They say it’s a tradition, since they did something like it the very first time they met on their first night in campus, but really they just wanted an excuse to get wrecked.
After some nights, Namjoon and Hoseok got into it as well, less of drinkers but more of talkers. So chill drinking nights eventually became loud talking nights. Jungkook joins in later, but he’s there more for the food than the talking. The gang made him the designated driver during those nights.
He hadn’t touched a single bottle of alcohol since the first August 15. He doesn’t even know how many drinking Fridays he’s missed.
So there they were, some hours later, at the nearest bar and sitting on a table. A half-eaten plate of fried chicken and six already empty bottles of soju sat between them. Taehyung was a giggly drunk, everything seemed to amuse him. It’s kinda cute.
He never has many chances to see Taehyung drunk, so when it does happen, he tries to enjoy it as much as he can. They haven’t had the chance to have nightly hangouts since Yoongi moved to Seoul and started college. They prefer to pass the day talking while strolling through the familiar streets of Daegu, or sitting in the park and telling each other what they had missed until the sky goes dark. He doesn’t remember the last time he went out to drink with the other.
The last time they’ve had something like this was probably back when they were still high schoolers, playing video games way past curfew, and sneaking bottles of soju under their parents noses to Yoongi’s room. (Taehyung vowed never to touch another bottle of alcohol after waking up with a splitting headache the next morning). So it’s a rare sight to see, Taehyung’s flushed face pressed to a bottle of alcohol.
When he sees him going for another bottle, it’s inevitable that the first thought that came to his mind was:
'Is this time going to be of overdose?'
He mentally curses himself, not wanting to think about that right now. Not when he has a moment to breathe. He reaches across the table, Taehyung making a funny face as Yoongi takes the bottle from his hand, and downs it in one go.
The place is kinda getting crowded as voices keep getting louder then the music playing, but he hopes Taehyung can still hear him when he says, ''Keep drinking like that and you’ll regret it later, kiddo.” He pours himself another cup of soju . His words holding more meaning than Taehyung will ever realize.
''Pftt. You're always like this when you drink, hyung,'' the other slurs, feigning annoyance. His eyes are sharp as he tips back the newly opened bottle.''Trying to act all tough and scary'' he smacks his lips. ''If it wasn't so hot today I bet you'd be wearing your leather jacket, huh? You always wear it when you’re trying to make an impression, tsk tsk.”'
Yoongi’s eyebrows raise at that. Is not as if his words affected him, but more of he never knew that the normally innocent Taehyung could sound so smug.
''What makes you think I’m trying to make an impression?'' Yoongi sounds, curious. It’s not like he left home thinking of getting something out of tonight, aside from some shitty alcohol and the other’s company, until the inevitable happens.
Taehyung leans closer to him (as much as he can since he's on the other side of the table). He looks at him with glittery eyes and red-stained cheeks. Yoongi tries to maintain eye contact.
''It’s hot as fuck right now but you choose to go out in tight jeans and one of your nice shirts. One of your LONG-SLEEVED nice shirts!,'' he says, tone higher, and garnering the attention of nearby patrons. ''If you were after a hookup tonight, you could have at least told me. At least then, I could have tried to match your effort.''
Yoongi doesn't mean to blush, but the words took him by surprise. He really hadn't intended his wardrobe tonight, having only thrown on the first pair of pants he found, but Taehyung's insinuation makes him feel weirdly flustered.
''I-I really wasn't--,” he coughed, trying to hide his embarrassment as he sees the other’s smile getting wider. He changes the subject.''What you are talking about though? You are the one who is always so well dressed, but I don't just randomly accuse you of looking to get laid every time just because you look handsome, damn.''
He then takes another long chug of soju , pretending not to feel Taehyung’s stare. He must have drunk more than Yoongi realized because he's sure his eyes looked even more glassy.
''You think I’m handsome?'' is what he says, and Yoongi stops drinking midaction and turns to look at the other.
Jus what was happening today?
''Yeah. Of course I do…,” the older says, almost hesitant, his words getting out slower (and more awkward) than they should.
‘Who wouldn't ' is left unsaid.
''Huhmm..'' He keeps looking at Yoongi, straight in the eyes. Then he closes his eyes, almost as if he was thinking something over, and then looks back at Yoongi again. ''How handsome?''
Yoongi is at a loss. How are you supposed to respond to that?
It’s not like he’s never realized how beautiful Taehyung is. He’d caught himself, on multiple occasions, simply admiring the youngers profile while the other was talking distractedly. Or unconsciously counting the moles on his face when they talked too hushed, too close. He gets inexplicably happy when he discovers a new one he hadn’t realized was there before.
Actually, it’s something he’s thought about so much, that it makes his cheeks burn a brighter red. He hopes Taehyung can’t tell it wasn’t from the copious amounts of alcohol they’d consumed.
Yoongi had known Taehyung since they were kids. He had seen him lose his first baby teeth, and had witnessed a new one grow in its place. He had offered his shoulder to Taehyung the first time he failed a test, and had been the youngers confidant. He was there for him the first time he had kissed a girl, and not soon after, when he kissed a boy for the first time too.
So Yoongi knows Taehyung, he had basically seen him grow up. He saw, after the summer break of Taehyung’s second year of high school, when he lost his lanky teen physique, and appeared one day almost a different person, with his new haircut and branded clothes. Yoongi swore he felt something fluttering in his insides that day.
So it's not like he doesn't notice, it’s that he tries not to, for fear of noticing too much.
Especially now that he got to see how much more pretty he looked when his face was not painted red from his own blood.
But it’s one thing to think of it himself, it’s a whole other story to try to explain his feelings without sounding like a total creep. And he's not in a good enough state of mind right now either, not when he can’t filter his thoughts, much less his words.
So he keeps staring. No words coming from his slightly agape mouth as he just takes in the way the other's cheeks are red and his eyes half-lidded. But a smile is threatening to appear on his lips, the same lips that are being moisturized as the other swipes his tongue over them, and Yoongi can't help but follow the action.
''What?'' Taehyung asked, after something not more than a whisper escapes Yoongi’s mouth.
''Way too much,’’ he says a bit louder. “You are way too handsome. It’s not fair.'' The alcohol may be making him delirious, but the way Taehyung was looking at him, and how the dim lighting of the place accentuated the the bridge of his nose, everything seemed more quiet, more intimate, as if it were only the two of them in that moment.
It makes a weird shudder run all the way down the older's spine.
He is repaid with a smile, his eyes almost disappearing and turning into crescents from the action.
''I always thought you were the pretty one between the two of us hyung,'' he answered, deep voice laced with alcohol, words bumping together, but sounding sincere nonetheless. ''Skin so fair, always getting red so easily when we play outside…,'' his hand then makes its way up his forearm, fingers touching the skin like it was something so delicate and precious. Then, it glides down until it’s touching the back of his hand. ''And such nice hands, too. Big and calloused, but with beautiful fingers. You always wear rings, right Yoongi hyung? They suit you.'' At this point Yoongi doesn't know where this is going anymore, but he knows he doesn't want it to stop as he stares down at Taehyung, studying his hands like they were an important piece of jewelry, his own warm hands engulfing his slightly colder ones.
Then there's a hand on his left cheek, smoothly palming the skin, eyes meeting his once again.
''A cute face, with a cute nose, and even cuter lips. However, your eyes are piercing and sharp like razors” he whispers, thumb gently caressing the skin under the elder’s eye. “When you look at me, I feel powerless.. like there’s nothing I could hide from you, hyung. How do you do that?'' His thumb rests on the apple of his cheek. And suddenly Yoongi is out of breath. Taehyung though, doesn’t stop talking, looking unable to do so.
''Such a thoughtful hyung... never failing to make me feel safe. I really missed you, Yoongi hyung.'' For this Taehyung, Yoongi and him have only met twice since the beginning of the summer, blissfully unaware of how summer had seemed to exist for the other when Yoongi had lived through the same day over and over; everyday is still August 15th. And everyday he still needed to say goodbye.
'I miss you too'
He can't stop the thought from passing through his mind.
Looking at the other right now, seated by a crowded bar surrounded by drunken patrons, it was far from romantic, but all it took was the slight hitch of Taehyung’s breath for his mind to formulate one thing:
‘I want to kiss him’
Taehyung must have come to the same realization as well, as he sees the other's eyes tracing a path from his eyes, to his nose, and to his lips.
‘This has never happened before. Is this supposed to be happening?' he can't help but wonder.
It’s not the first time Yoongi thought of kissing Taehyung (he won’t tell him about the one unfortunate incident with Jungkook. His drunk ass almost making out with the boy, as his mind's eye could only conjure Taehyung’s lips. He was lucky Namjoon was there to prevent the worse from happening. But he woke up the next day hot with embarrassment, and heart feeling a little lonely), but it’s the first time that Taehyung looked like he wanted to reciprocate.
He can see his phone light up because of a notification and by accident, he sees the time.
‘23:12 pm. Is that a new record?
He shakes away his thoughts when he feels himself suddenly being pulled up and rushed outside by Taehyung, callous hands on his arms. He realized they were outside, the night was hot, and the air stuffy thanks to the summer weather. His back hits the brick wall of the building, the alleyway is dark and there's trash cans and a lot of crooked shaped and broken pipes lining the building. He doesn't have much time to observe his surroundings much else as Taehyung is in front of him, out of breath and hands still on Yoongi's upper arms.
''Im sorry,'' he says. ''It was too hot inside there and I-I…,'' He leans closer.
''Tae, you are drunk,'' he says in a breath. He is not too good either. ''Taehyung, you —''
''I like you so much hyung…,'' the younger hangs his head, voice barely a whisper. He's looking down like he's afraid of meeting Yoongi's eyes. ''And today was fun, and I missed you, and I’m so happy we get to enjoy the summer together.''
''I couldn't stop thinking about you when you left for Seoul. A-and then the way you were looking at me in that weird way all day, and then-- then in the bar and I just--''
He looks up. There is uncertainty in his eyes, and Yoongi doesn’t know where to focus.
''Taehyung...'' Is this supposed to happen? Is this how Taehyung had been feeling? The older could not comprehend what was happening. Maybe it was the alcohol flooding his system, or maybe it was the way the other's words were jumping around in his mind, but all he could understand is that he really wants to kiss Taehyung right now.
So he does.
His hands are on Taehyung's face when he surges forward to meet his lips. It’s almost like a switch went off for the both of them in that moment, as Taehyung is fast to respond, kissing the older back with such vigor its like he had wanted to do this for a while. Taehyung’s lips are soft and they taste of the alcohol they had been drinking some minutes ago, but a layer of sweetness lies underneath it. Strawberry lip balm, typical Taehyung.
The other removes his hold on Yoongi’s arms, placing them instead on the elder’s neck, his fingers playing with the soft tufts of hair on his nape, pressing him further into the wall. Yoongi let's himself forget about everything, about the situation he is in, and let’s his mind just think about Taehyung, and Taehyung only.
He is always thinking about Taehyung.
Maybe that was a mistake.
They separate for air some seconds after, Taehyung letting out a breathy laugh. When Yoongi looks up, Taehyung’s eyes are opened wide in mirth. Yoongi didn’t know eyes could be so bright. Or maybe they have always been like this. Seeing them up close, Yoongi couldn’t deny it.
What was Yoongi even thinking, he always noticed it. He always noticed how big and sparkly Taehyung’s eyes were. Had always noticed how tall he had become, yet still maintaining a healthy slimness. Always noticed his facial features that ran between dangerous and innocent, strong eyebrows on a soft face. He had always noticed how he seemed to smell of strawberries and the sun. And how he had never failed to be a safe place, a safe thought, when Yoongi was at his lowest point, when he was about to give up and couldn’t stop frustrated tears from running free in the middle of the night.
Yoongi had always been in love with Taehyung. The latter always knew that too.
Then Yoongi dives in again, Taehyung's hands roaming everywhere. Yoongi pulls away from the wall, and starts pushing the younger back, hands on his shirt, making them get even closer, chest to chest. The other’s feet start stumbling as he is forced to take steps back.
''Taehyung I —,'' He says between kisses.''This is... I have I-I..'' another kiss '' I like you so much I—see you everyday but I—'' another, ''I'm so so tired of this I just want to—'' and another, '' be with you and—''
''Yoongi.'' is the only thing Taehyung says as he licks Yoongi's lips, making the latter gasp softly. Yoongi couldn’t even focus on the fact that the boy had called him something other than “hyung”.
Taehyung is about to deepen the kiss when his foot catches on an empty bottle on the ground, and he feels himself ripping away from the others touch.
He stumbles a little before falling back first onto the ground. It wasn’t supposed to be anything more than an innocent fall, something that would only result in a little bruising on the back, and lots of ass-aching complaints.
But it wasn’t.
Yoongi opens his eyes the moment he felt the absence of the others lips, and wished he hadn't when he sees the way Taehyung had fallen back against a broken pipe protruding from the wall.
''A-Ah—'' Taehyung's mouth and eyes are open in shock, his body in an awkward position as he is being held in place by the metal coming out of the wall, and his hands go up slowly as he takes notice of the bloody pipe impaled straight through his chest. ''Y-Yu-Yoon—''
Yoongi's eyes bulge, mouth agape. He hesitantly takes is phone out his pocket and looks at the time.
23:47. August 15.
Yoongi was naive. He let himself believe for a moment that things were back to normal. He let himself get lost in the moment with Taehyung, and played around when he knew this would happen in the end.
Yoongi was fucking dumb.
Taehyung’s eyes were rolling back, blood bubbling in his mouth. And that was the moment the older decided he couldn’t bear to look any more.
He gets down, crouching, his hands on his face as he tries ignore the gurgling sounds the other lets out. He tries to even his breath. Breathe in, hold, breathe out.
It takes some seconds for Yoongi to realize that the other is in front of him again, back resting on the opposite wall, and arms crossed. Yoongi gets up then.
It's not the first time he’s tried to punch it in the face, he’s attempted at least other twenty-four times. But today, he is feeling especially pissed as he comes toward it, throwing a fist in the other’s face.
As in the previous times, his hand merely passes through it like it was air, and lands on the brick wall. Knuckles bleeding red from the force of the action, Yoongi barely registers the pain as the only thing he feels is anger.
He’s angry he has to go through this trial, or whatever it was. He is angry he has to live everyday knowing how it’s going to end, and still wanting to throw up everytime he witnesses it, no matter how many times. He’s angry with himself, he’d done everything, but nothing seemed to change. He’s angry he is starting to forget what life outside of this loop was like. He’s angry he always seeing that thing , just standing there, doing nothing. He is angry he had kissed Taehyung, and once the cycle begins again, and he would have no recollection of it. He's angry he once again let himself hope that this time it would be different, that this time, he would be happy.
He's angry to have to see Taehyung die and die and die, being powerless to it every single time.
He's angry he still gets hurt every single time.
He lands another punch, and another, and another. He knows it does nothing to harm it , he knows he’s just making dirtying his fists with blood, but right now, he can’t find it in him to care. He just really wants to PUNCH something.
He’s tried screaming to the other him before. Many times, really. He had screamed ' why's and 'please stop it's and 'I will kill you' s . The thing never really responded to any of them, he knows this time will still be futile.
But he screams anyway.
He doesn't remember what he yelled, he was just angry, and letting his fury out. The thing just stood and stared, unfazed.
He wonders if he could yell his lungs out, putting an end to it all.
But then, who would save Taehyung?
He doesn't realize when things got dark again.
This is the second time he’s kissed Taehyung.
Unlike last time, they are sober. Unlike last time, it wasn't in an alley behind a dirty bar, but rather in the comfort of Taehyung's home, on a soft, clean couch. However, Yoongi stills feels dirty. He feels dirty because he felt like he was just using Taehyung.
The morning after the loop they shared their first, when he woke up on the same damn day once again, Yoongi couldn't stop thinking about it. He had tasted Taehyung once, and now he feels like crying when he watches as the other greets him like nothing had happened, like nothing had changed their relationship.
Like it was supposed to be. Because for this Taehyung, Yoongi was still a coward.
He let himself cry when he realized they could never take their relationship a step forward. The second they could even attempt to, they take several steps back, always resetting to zero. Nothing could ever develop from this.
Realizing he was in love with Taehyung was the worst mistake he’s ever done, and that’s saying something, given the hundred or so times he’s failed to save him.
Then, he had to watch his best friend die over and over, and now, he has to watch the love of his life die over and over.
Sometimes, Yoongi doesn't know how to cope and break down. Like today.
It’s not the usual broken tears, or the anxiety induced panic attack like usual. This time he breaks down by pinning Taehyung to the couch and kissing him senseless.
'Just for today' he thought ' let me have just this one day.’
God, he felt so dirty. But it was too good, it was so nice to feel Taehyung kissing him again. He can feel the other's surprise and confusion as he suddenly straddles lap and pushes him down the couch, licking into his mouth.
''H-hyung— wait—” He doesn't wait as he press harder against the taller's lips. He felt the other sigh against his mouth, starting to respond slowly and hesitantly, his hand holding the elder's head firmly.
Being like this with Taehyung, not having to worry about what's comes next, he wants to drown in this feeling, instead of thinking of how the day is going to end.
His hands travels down the expanse of the other's clothed chest, caressing his torso and tummy, making the other gasp slightly. Then Taehyung’s hands begin to do the same, exploring what he can, and Yoongi is too caught up in it to even begin to understand what they were doing.
He lets out a breathy moan as Taehyung uses his teeth to bite down his lower lip.
Yoongi's hand goes under the others shirt, palming his fevered skin. He goes as far as he can, making sure to remember everything, every dip and valley, from his sharp hip bones to the lean muscle on his stomach.The other throws his head back against the arm of the couch, letting out a deep groan as Yoongi’s finger finds his nipples.
His lips are now suckling on Taehyung’s jaw, gliding down to his throat, leaving a trail of wet kisses as the other lets put a low moan. Yoongi’s hands rest on the other's belt, hurriedly trying to undo it.
''Yoongi hyung—'' he gasps, his hands resting on the elder’s arms as he tugs on his belt..
Just for today.
He can do whatever he wants, and he won’t even have to pay the consequences for it.
Because he knows Taehyung won’t remember a thing from today anyway, so what difference would it make.
That’s when he abruptly stops.
He can feel Taehyung’s labored breaths fanning his face as he looks up at him, confused, at his sudden stillness; hands still on his belt and eyes downcast, bangs hiding his expression.
His lips open to ask what happened, when he feels something wet hit his collarbones, and realizes Yoongi was crying.
It started as a wet groan, and slowly progressed into soft whimpers. He removes his hands from Taehyung’s belt, instead clenching his fists hard, and bowing his head low enough for his forehead to touch the taller chest as he keeps crying.
''Hyung... what happened..?,” he asks gently, hand going to caress the other's head softly..
''I'm so sorry Taehyung,'' he hiccuped. ''Im s-so fucking sorry.”'
Taehyung is silent, hand still resting on the other' hair.
''It's okay hyung,'' he pushes the others bangs from his face, in a gesture he hoped would comfort the elder.
''No it's not,” Yoongi murmurs, “I shouldn't have done that. I'm so fucking selfish, I just wanted to do it, I didn't stop to care about the consequences. I didn't care about you, I didn't even ask you because I knew it wouldn't make any fucking difference but—'' he stops, trying to even his breath. '' That doesn't give me the right to do that, not like..''
Like it’s convenient for me that you won’t remember a thing tomorrow.
Like I’m using you .
Another pause. “I'm so sorry Tae…”
The younger is quiet for a minute, not sure if he understood everything the other said, and what was left unsaid. He was caught out off guard, and although it did creep him out for a second because of how sudden it was, he couldn’t bear to see Yoongi like this. His hyung was looking so remorseful, the other decided to go easy on him.
''I was really surprised, that's for sure,” he spoke in a soft tone, as if speaking to a frightened animal. His hands caressed the other, a small smiling playing on his lips, ''I never knew you felt that way about me, hyung..Next time, give me a little heads up, yeah? I would gladly reciprocate if you’d warned me beforehand you wanted to shove your tongue down my throat.''
Yoongi snorts, his head lifting up to meet the other's eyes, vision still clouded. He moves to get off the younger’s lap.
‘’How are you so calm about this?’’
‘’I’m not calm, I’m terrified. How do you think I would feel if all this time I’d thought you were just trying to get in my pants? I must have a hell of an ass if it took you ten years to give me some action.’’
That’s makes Yoongi chuckle as his head hangs down again. Taehyung is smiling down at him.
''You never stop, do you?''
''Welp, you are smiling now, aren't you?,” his smile so bright, it practically blinds Yoongi.
''I guess. It’s because you are too stupid, it makes me laugh.'' This makes Taehyung throw his head back in laughter, and Yoongi is too weak to stop the smile from showing on his face when he looks at him.
''Just say you love me and go,'' he says, his laugh dying down.
''Yeah..,'' he whispers, smile not quite reaching his eyes this time.
I really do.
And he still does when hours later, he finds Taehyung sprawled on the bathroom floor, a sizeable indent on his temple.
He doesn't kiss Taehyung anymore.
He wants to, but he shouldn’t.
And he misses it.
Just like he misses his normal life.
Just like he misses his friends from Seoul.
Just like he misses Taehyung, even though he sees him everyday.
He misses a lot of things.
He stopped counting the days long, long ago. Maybe he just stopped caring. Or maybe he’d lost all hope.
One day he dropped everything just to just make some music —something he could always run back to, and make him proud. But there is only so much you can do in one day, and it’s always a bummer to wake up the next day only to lose all your work.
But he does it anyway, he likes the process of it and the feeling of writing a score. And Taehyung keeps him company in his room, singing some verses here and there.
Music was unchanging, unlike his circumstances.
He also misses music.
Yoongi stopped crying long ago. He couldn’t expend what little energy and feeling he’d had left to shed more tears. More pointless, pointless tears.
He’d gotten tired of it. He’d gotten used to this life.
The thought makes him sick to his stomach. So fucking sick. It shouldn't be possible for someone to get used to something like this, it was almost inhuman.
Yoongi thinks he had stopped being human.
Humans were supposed to feel something when they see their special someone getting stabbed eight times in a row, or when seeing them getting hit by a car a thousand times,a thousand different ways. Or when seeing their eyes losing their light, and skin losing it’s glow the moment they give their last breath.
Yoongi doesn't feel it anymore. He is almost unfazed by it.
The more he thinks about it, the more he becomes like the other him . The one made of the summer haze and shadows, is just as indifferent about this routine as him.
The only one who still feels things, the one who remains constant throughout, is Taehyung. And Yoongi wished he wasn’t. So maybe then he would stop suffering so much in so many ways.
Yoongi had given up and accepted this as his personal hell, his own chamber of torture.
And failure after failure, he starts to become more numb to the torment.
He deserves to live through every second of this.
So he does.
Sometimes he falls in a weird state of dazedness. He doesn't realize five cycles had already gone and passed. He wakes up, waits for Taehyung, snacks, waits more, and sleeps. Rinse and repeat.
The days pass faster like this. Not like he has a specific outcome to look forward to anymore. Maybe it just helps him stay sane.
Coping by locking himself up in his room.
Seemed like the perfect alternative to all the grief.
Taehyung says something weird this time.
He was joking and messing around with Yoongi while they were in the park, this time on a picnic. The summer sun was momentarily cooled by a cloud overhead, the pair laying on the ground watching as it does. Yoongi doesn't know why they were here. It’s hot, and they are both probably really sweaty and sticky, but he still listens as Taehyung rambles on about the rabbits on the moon, just because he knows the other appreciates it.
They were silent for a while when Taehyung says it.
''I love you, d'you know that?''
He blinks, once, twice, then he is turning his head to look at him, the latter still looking at the sky, a smiling playing on his lips.
''... what,'' he says, not knowing if he heard it right.
''I said I love you,'' he repeated, then his eyes move to meet Yoongi's, face being illuminated by specks of sunlight filtering through the cracks in between the tree leaves. He’s beautiful as always. Taehyung is beautiful. “D'you know that?” he repeats.
He has no words. It's the first time Taehyung had said it, out of the blue and with so much honesty . Yoongi thinks something is wrong.
''Why are you saying it right now..?''
''What? Can't I express my love for my favorite hyung?'' His smile only grows by the moment, teasing lilt to his words.
''I mean — Yeah but... Why right now..? Out of nowhere?'' The others eyebrows pinch together in a frown. His chest suddenly feels so tight, he doesn't want to feel it, doesn't want to feel a thing at all, not like this.
Not when he couldn’t.
''I was just... Thinking,'' he says, then a pause, like he was looking for the right words. ''Being away from you for a long time made me realize that.. uhm, even though sometimes you get caught up in your own life, even though you’re miles away, you are always there for me, in whatever way you can.'' His hand makes its way to the older’s nose, poking it playfully.
“Thank you for always being here and taking care of me, Yoongi.”
Yoongi stares in silence, brain trying to process the heartfelt words. The other is smiling so brightly, he’s tempted to squint his eyes to avoid getting blinded by it, but he can't make himself look away, either. A smile like Taehyungs needed full, undivided attention.
But he wasn’t taking care of him well enough if he’d let him die painfully countless times.
He doesn’t deserve these words. He doesn’t deserve Taehyung’s love.
''Ah,'' he replies, clipped and awkward, making the other laugh. Taehyung grins again, eyes wide.
''Oh boy, did I just make the Min Yoongi tear up over an emotional speech? Damn, who knew you could be so soft, hyung!” he laughs, his tone teasing. Yoongi is confused.
''Wha—'' then he feels it, the single tear that runs down his left cheek, dripping past nose and onto the grass. He touches his wet cheek tentatively, surprised to feel the wetness of it. As if it’s the first time he’s cried in a long, long time.
Taehyung continues to laugh and coo, but Yoongi is too distracted to pay him much attention.
''I love you, d'you know that?''
''Just says you love me and go''
But when I do, would that change anything?
He felt more tears stinging his eyes and making their way down his face.
He had almost forgotten what happiness felt like.
Until Taehyung. It’s always been Taehyung.
''I love you, too.'' His voice shaking, dripping sincerity.
The others giggles slowly die. He looks at Yoongi with wide eyes and an ''o'' shaped mouth.
They stare at each other for a while, until Taehyung’s face softens, wet eyes meeting wet eyes. How silly they must have looked, two grown men crying in the middle of a park.
But Yoongi couldn’t care less when he realizes it’s the first time he says he loves him.
He loves Taehyung.
But telling him won’t matter.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter.
Yoongi wakes up at twelve noon. The day is hot, as summer is supposed to be, like all his days have been for a long time now. He stands up without rushing, goes to the bathroom and quietly cleans himself. Pressing a hand down his face as he looks at himself in the mirror, he thinks he would have dark circles under his eyes by now due to how drained he actually felt.
He was not physically tired (one of the pros of resetting everyday he guesses), but mentally exhausted. He had been for sometime now, it almost began being his natural state now.
His hand slides down from his face and rests on the sink edge, as he stares at himself in the mirror. Looking at it now, he can almost see his resemblance to the other him on the other side. They are so similar now. Unfazed expression, hollow eyes, an empty shell. It’s like his reflection was mocking him, and he felt the urge to punch it, but he had done it before (countless times, he believes, he doesn't remember) so he decides against it.
He sighs, head hanging between his shoulders, as he stares at blankly at his feet.
He thinks. And he thinks. Sometimes it's all he can do, and something he can't do at all. But today, he closes his eyes and remembers.
He remembers the first time, the day it started, when he thought it was nothing but a dream. He remembers the second one, so long ago, when he was sure it wasn't. He thinks over all his trials and errors, all his still ongoing mistakes. He thinks of when he realized his feelings for Taehyung, and how much he wished he had done it sooner, before all of this. He thinks over how much he’d changed since the beginning of this, and how he can't even tell if it was for the better or worse. He thinks about time, and how he’d lost all semblance of it. Living each day, and knowing the futile outcome each time.
He thinks, with a shudder, at the times Taehyung had died. Sometimes, his mouth would look like it was smiling, mocking him, making a cold run up his spine. He thinks over about the other him , the thing he still doesn't quite fully understand, the way he gets on Yoongi's nerves, snorting and playing with him every fucking time. Like it was all just a game.
'You can't change anything' He once said, with a voice so much like his own. It infuriates him.
He storms out of the bathroom with heavy steps, dressing up in a haste, and leaves his home in the direction of the park.
Taehyung is by the swings with Yeontan when he gets there, like he was the first time, and he greets Yoongi the same way he’d greeted him countless times before.
Yoongi lets himself sit and hear the other out, the same spiel about summer and fireworks and all things Taehyung. It had been some time since he’d let himself go for this ''route''. The initial one.
Looking back now, it was kinda nostalgic. Not the good kind of nostalgic, but more like he’s meeting this version of Taehyung for the first time after so long. It feels like so long ago since this started, he doesn't even know how much time had passed. Has it been months? Maybe over a year? Even more? He has no fucking clue.
He hears it then, the tale-telling bark from Yeontan that sets Taehyung’s fate.
He observes quietly as Taehyung gets up to follow the dog, he had seen it before, too many times to make him nauseous to be honest.
He takes his role, and follows him with a sigh.
They stop when they reach the crosswalk. Yoongi is filled with a sense of deja vú and can't help the goosebumps that make its way through his body. PTSD his tired brain provides.
He just watches as Taehyung runs across the crosswalk, the traffic light deeming it safe to cross. The screech of tires, the wild chirping of cicadas.
How many times has it been. How many times had he seen this scene. How many times had he tried to change this outcome. How many times had he heard the mocking snort of him , laughing at how badly he had failed.
He grinds his teeth.
They are just puppets to the game of this “min-yoongi-wannabe” asshole of a ghost.
Taehyung doesn't deserves any of this. HE doesn't deserves any of this.
They both don’t deserve it.
'You can't change anything!'
Oh yeah? Fucking watch me.
For the first time in forever, he doesn't think. He lets his body, filled with all the determination and anger he felt over those nightmarish of days, over this hell of a summer, propel toward Taehyung.
He doesn't think when he takes Taehyung by the arm, using all his remaining strength to pull him back and pushing himself forward, taking his place in that dreaded crosswalk.
The smell of burning rubber intensifies, permeating through the summer air.
Like the first time, it was all too slow and too fast.
Before the truck hits him, he sees it. Taehyung’s expression when he realizes what Yoongi had done. Eyes and mouth wide in surprise as he stumbles back a little due to the force of the others push. Was this the expression he had on his face that first time? Probably. He wished Taehyung didn’t have to witness it. He wished there was another way.
But a little voice at the back of his mind tells him ‘you know he couldn’t have been saved otherwise’.
A few paces from him, Yoongi can see him as well. For the first time, he sees emotion flash on his normally unfazed face —surprise, disbelief, shock, betrayal.
''Fuck You.'' Yoongi mouthed the words directed to the thing . He smiles victoriously, before the truck hits him full force.
He knows he's bleeding, he can see the red blooming all over. His limbs, twisting like branches. He can hear a slight ringing, and Taehyung’s pained cries.
Thank god you’re alive.
Yoongi had always imagined how it must’ve felt like to die, but he never would have guessed something like this. He doesn’t feel anything, but at the same time, his body is feeling too much in too many places that he can’t even comprehend. It’s like he can’t control his body, his eyes or his senses. It’s as if, for a second, he is not Min Yoongi anymore, he was just an ‘’ it ’’.
An ‘it’ bleeding out in a random crossroad —insignificant, and hidden behind the bright, lavish buildings of Daegu.
He was looking at the other him when he realized it’s expression of distress, hands gripping its own head in disbelief. Such a weird expression for something like him . He just then realized that the other him is yelling.
His hand raises, like it was trying to reach toward him, before his whole body disappears in a haze of heat.
Yoongi thinks he’s smiling, he can’t tell.
Ah. Its finally over.
His eyes try to find Taehyung (or what he think is Taehyung), the blood and the heat clouding his vision.
He tries to say goodbye, the last one, the real one.
He wished his last time looking at Taehyung wasn't of his wide eyes full of tears.
Yoongi attempts to move his jaw, force his voice out to comfort the boy.
He wished he could say it, but he couldn’t.
I love you
All this was too cruel.
I always did
Not even allowing a last goodbye.
In that moment, just as he is about to black out that he sees it .
It stands behind Taehyung, he wonders how he didn't notice it sooner.
It’s too late to be shocked when he realizes exactly what he’s looking at.
Looking exactly like him , looking exactly like Taehyung, the heat haze.
It frowns at Yoongi.
And then nothingness.
He wakes up at twelve in the afternoon. He doesn't need to look at his phone to know.
It’s a hot day, expected of summer. Expected by him as well.
His bangs are glued to his forehead, so he brushes a hand through his hair to dry it out, messing it all up.
He sits up in the bed then, head hanging low as he lets out a wet sigh.
''Again.'' He felt the tears start to build up in his eyes.
Suddenly, there's a movement under the bed covers, shuffling messily here and there, he barely noticed it until he felt a wet stripe on his hand.
He lifted the small dog onto his lap, petting it idly.
''I failed again,'' whispered Taehyung, as a single tear streaks across his face.
It's a hot summer day.