“Tomorrow brings a new day, and all that,” Taehyung had said, cheerfully.
Seokjin hadn’t been in the mood to tell him that tomorrow didn’t bring a new day, it literally was the new day. So he’d just poked the fire with his slowly charring marshmallow and then donated it to Taehyung because he was in no mood to eat burnt sugar.
“‘s more than jus’ sugar, hyung,” Taehyung had told him, through a mouthful of marshmallows. Seokjin stared in fascination. It was as if Taehyung was playing chubby bunnies, except he was by himself. “There’s gelatine.” Taehyung chewed, cheeks working. “Eggs.” Swallowed, complete with a very thorough throat bob. “Corn starch.”
“Corn syrup,” Seokjin corrected. “And only some recipes need eggs.”
“Mm,” Taehyung shrugged, and inched a little closer to him. “It’s cold.”
Seokjin turns on his side to look at Taehyung now. The kid’s asleep, ungracefully so. Mouth open, drool on his arm, forehead sweaty and bangs stuck to his face like nobody’s business. Seokjin has half a mind to reach out and bop his nose, but he stops himself. Taehyung’s never slept easy, always waking up with the slightest sound. It’s a miracle he’s almost comatose in the middle of the woods.
“It’s the crickets,” Taehyung had told him last night, head drooping on Seokjin’s shoulder. “They’re making such a racket. I’m sleepy.”
“That doesn’t even make sense.”
“You always say that. Shouldn’t it be a given now?” Taehyun raised his head, eyes half closed. “Kim Taehyung, the guy who functions perfectly well even though Kim Seokjin doesn’t think he makes sense.”
Seokjin smiled a little, reaching out to clear out dried leaves from Taehyung’s fiery red hair. “You do make sense. Sometimes.”
“That’s a charitable comment,” Taehyung said, and his jaw went a little slack, eyes completely closed now. “Not a compliment.”
“Perhaps you’re right,” Seokjin acceded, and dragged him to the tent.
Well, it was tomorrow now, no doubt about that. The sun was beating down through the trees and the tent top, and they were both sweating like they were in the Sahara to show it. He’s in a heat daze and doesn’t want to get up; everything’ll get worse.
“Listen,” Seokjin says, tongue thick and dry in his mouth. “We need to get up.”
Taehyung makes some impossible noise from some impossible depth in his throat.
“I said,” Seokjin grunts, forcing himself into a sitting position. “Get up.”
“Hyung,” Taehyung rasps, and Seokjin relents. Fine. Whatever. Let Taehyung be damned in the hellfire of this tent.
“I’m going out to check everything,” Seokjin tells him, and Taehyung reaches out blindly for Seokjin’s hand, squeezes it, then pulls back and wriggles comfortably under his jacket.
“It was pretty lucky, wasn’t it?” Taehyung had whispered, after they’d settled under whatever meagre covers they could muster. Seokjin’s extra pair of pyjamas, a sweater Namjoon had knitted and given them as a gift that neither of them had figured out who it was actually for, Taehyung’s jacket.
“Mhm,” Seokjin said, lying straight on his back and staring up at the moon, blurred through the canvas.
“And we’ll go back for the others? We’ll help them run away, too, right?”
Seokjin’s heart thumped twice - climbing up once, sinking down once. Then it throbbed and he felt heavy and tight all over. “Yeah,” he said. “We’ve got to try.”
“Tomorrow brings a new day,” Taehyung insisted again, cheer gone and replaced by mulishness. “I told you.”
It made him feel worse, the way Taehyung never gave out. Yoongi would be glaring at Seokjin and joining in with his own two, brash, quiet, stubborn cents if he were here. If if if.
Shit, Seokjin shouldn’t be tearing up.
“Yeah,” he managed to say. “It does.”
“We won’t try,” Taehyung mumbled, sleep stealing over him fast. “We’ll just do it. And it’ll happen.”
Seokjin smiled up into the darkness, moon even more blurred now because of the damned waterworks that he could very well do without. “It’ll happen.”
Seokjin stares vacantly at the smoking campfire, soot spread in a perfect circle within the burnt branches. Then he turns to look at what’s spread before him: laptop, compass, notebook, various pens, a bit of charcoal, four glittering quartz stones and an EMF meter. To the side, a tent with a Kim Taehyung who functions perfectly fine no matter how much Seokjin tells him he doesn’t make sense, who won’t try, who will do.
Seokjin takes a deep breath, thinks about everyone trapped back in the lab.
“It’ll happen,” he says, quietly. His voice shakes, so he repeats himself. “It’ll happen.”
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