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It's All Over, Don't Let it Stop

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He wakes up in the front seat of the car, next to his old elementary-school teacher, in front of his best friend, his best friend's (soon-to-be? it's always been ambiguous) girlfriend, and--

 

"It's been such a long time, Yuu."

 

His old teacher, certainly not old in age, turns to him and smiles (he almost wants to tell her, there's a strange premonition telling him to tell her, to keep her eyes on the road, to please keep her eyes on the road).

 

"You still look the same, Miss Yukie."

 

Idle banter. Yuu's seen all of this before, has experienced similar, if not strangely identical events, and he settles back on his seat, always keeping one eye on their surroundings. He doesn't know why, but it seems imperative to do so. There are a lot of twists and turns here, he thinks vaguely, as Miss Yukie does another daredevil side-drift (be careful), tires screeching. Isami laughs, Ai admonishes, and....

 

"We're cramped back here, Yuu!"

 

As always (always, always, always the same), Ai scolds Isami for his thoughtlessness, informing Isami yet again (again) that Yuu came all the way from Tokyo to visit, that it's been so long, and that at least, at the very least, he should have let Yuu sit in the back, next to...

 

"It's a shame Miho didn't get to come, though."

 

There are so many turns on this road, Yuu thinks. Not that it should really matter, because they've been down this road hundreds of times, thousands of times, an infinite amount of times, over and over. They've done this a thousand times. They've been doing this forever.

And besides, in the front is his old teacher that he's been so friendly with over the years, and his best friend, and his best friend's (potential) girlfriend, and most of all, most of all....

 

"Yeah, well, she has to go to a relative's--"

 

They've done this a million times, Yuu thinks, and the one eye that's watching the road sees the oncoming truck, swerving towards them, appearing from behind the blind spot of the curb (Miss Yukie, Miss Yukie, keep your eyes on the goddamn road).

 

They've been doing this forever.

 

The impact throws Yuu out of the car (only him, Miss Yukie crushed by the front bumper of the truck, everyone else wedged between the front and back seats), and his vision blurs, blood dripping down the side of his face.

 

The despair reminds Yuu that this has happened before, endlessly, and the pain in his heart that starts to beat like a drum, reverberating through time and space, keeps on affirming. Whispering. You have seen this all before, Yuu Gotou, his despair murmurs, and he lifts his head to see the bloody hand press itself against the window of the car. The back seat, where...

 

 

"Yuu...Yuu, help--"

 

 

The fingers scratch at the window, and Yuu knows that he's trapped. Yuu has seen this before. All of it. All of it, in excruciating detail, every step fresher than the one before, the blood and the smoke and the eventual fire that will envelop the crumpled car more brilliant with each passing second.

 

 

"Yuu."

 

 

And in a million, in a billion other dimensions, she calls to him, smiles at him, screams at him and cries out to him for help. In every pattern of time, she calls his name, and is wrenched from him, slips through his fingers like passing water.

Yuu's throat is dry.

This has happened before an infinite amount of times, and it will keep on happening.

Yuu can count down the seconds until the last breath is wrenched from...

 

 

"Haruka!"

 

 

The car bursts into flames.

 

 

"Haruka!"

 

 

The force of the explosion knocks Yuu back, and he remembers the heat, the searing pain.

 

Over and over and over.

 

 

"Haruka!!"

 

 

He's screaming, and he's hurting, but somehow Yuu is smiling, is crying and screaming and smiling at the same time. The asphalt under his fingers crumble into ash, and Yuu hears his own screaming spanning every dimension in the fabric of time, reverberating, filling the void with his sorrow, his pain, his desire.

 

 

"Haruka."

 

 

The screaming becomes a low chuckle, and Yuu curls up into a fetal position, cradling his own body, rocking back and forth, feeling flames and feeling Haruka's smile and the soft voice that whispers, that cries Yuu, Yuu.

 

 

 

"Haruka. Haruka. Haruka. Haruka. Haruka."

 

 

 

This is going to happen over and over, Yuu thinks. Forever. The sorrow and the love and the sorrow will go on forever, endlessly, but it all leads to her, and Yuu will love her and lose her forever, as long as she exists somewhere, somewhere, always being loved and lost.

 

 

"My dearest Haruka."

 

 

And there's darkness, a dull period of nothing (it feels like Shangri-la), and Yuu closes his eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He wakes up in the front seat of the car, next to his old elementary-school teacher, in front of his best friend, his best friend's (soon-to-be? it's always been ambiguous) girlfriend, and--

 

 

 

 

"It's been such a long time, Yuu."