disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to les, to chloe, to sonya, to emily. you're my manic pixie dream girls, and I love you so, so, so much.
notes: I guess this is a continuation of in the house of flies, but I don't even know. it might not make a lot of sense, but then again, I don't make a lot of sense, so it's okay.

title: nerve endings (the manic pixie dream girl remix)
summary: Or, that time two rich kids tried running away together and accidentally fell in love. — Sasuke/Sakura; 46/5o.






She was insane, that morning.

Up before the sun, and she was tripping towards the door with make-up smeared red-rimmed holes for eyes. Sakura ran her fingers through her hair, from pink roots to ragged pink tips, and the dark loose straps of her tank top slipped down her shoulders as she moved through the tiny hostel room.

They were in the middle of fucking nowhere, and Sasuke watched the line of her back from the bed. She was restless, as though her bones had got too big for her skin and she paced and stretched and cringed like a rat in a trap.

"Not here, not here, not here—where even can we go?" she asked, but it was more desperate and more to herself than to anything else. She didn't look at him as she spoke, stumbling over her words and her heels.

Sakura was so out of place in this dingy little motel, tottering on high heels and obscenely expensive clothes, he nearly had to laugh. But her eyes were a little mad, and he thought maybe it was better that he didn't.

"We haven't run out of gas, yet," he said quietly. "We could keep going."

"I know, I know, I know," she said, and went to the window to press her fingers against the glass. The car—his car—her car—was the nicest one in the lot, and she'd be damned if someone keyed it up. She wanted to drive fast and get in trouble and eat exotic food and—and—something that wasn't boring. Something new. Something real.

Sakura whipped around. "When are you going home?"

Sasuke shrugged. "When you kick me out."

She tipped her head at him, blunt-cut bangs falling into her eyes. It was the newest fashion, and she hated it the way she hated a lot of things. Sakura studied him, this dark man who'd helped her run away, and thought that maybe he wasn't so bad.

"You make me sound like a crazy-bitch girlfriend," Sakura said.

Sasuke gestured to the trashed hostel room. "You are a crazy-bitch girlfriend."

"But not yours," she said.

"No," Sasuke replied. "Not mine."

Sakura nodded. This was satisfactory. He had no claim on her and he knew it, and for now, that would suffice. She turned back to the window and drummed her fingernails against the sill, tap-tap-tap-tap, the last sound harsher and sharper than the others combined. Engrained habit, probably, because she was always waiting for something.

She flopped back on the bed, and looked at Sasuke.

"Why?" she asked.

He shrugged again. "It was something to do."

Sakura studied him again. It was cloudy outside, and the light in through the window was cold and unkind. It left gaunt hollows where his cheeks ought to have been, and his eyes were sunken holes in his face, and she thought—he's as fucked up as I am.

"So, where to next?" she asked.

"Wherever you feel like," he replied, careless.

Sakura grinned sharply with all her teeth. "Then come on. Get that gold card you're so proud of out, and let's pay and get the hell out of here!" She reached down to pull him off the bed, and when she pulled him up, her energy was catching.

And that was when Sasuke finally understood the rumours that had always flown about her at school. Sakura was beautiful and dangerous, infectious as a virus, always moving except when she was still as a statue.

She'd cut out a person's heart, laughingly leaving them to bleed, and they would love her still.

Sasuke had no desire to be one of those people.

But at this point, he wasn't even sure if he had a choice.

They left the East Coast blazing down the interstate too fast in their expensive car. Sakura took unholy glee in filling the thing, spending money that wasn't hers on ridiculously expensive gas and ridiculously cheap clothes.

"We don't fit in," Sakura laughed, and clicked the heels of her faux-leather boots over washed-out skinny jeans that she'd already accidentally torn at the knee. She was sketched out too-thin, and Sasuke's heart did a terrible thing like squeezing.

You wouldn't ever fit in anywhere, Sasuke thought but didn't say.

Her hands twitched around the steering wheel, and when she gunned the engine, it was violent sharp. She smiled at him out of the corner of her mouth, and that was violent-sharp, too; it was like she'd planned all along to trap him in the middle of nowhere with her, and he wasn't even given a chance.

She was harmful like a cigarette, and when they stopped again in a nameless town in a nameless state, she held his hand and dragged him along. Sasuke thought that maybe he ought to have protested, but the only thing he could do was stare and watch as she did as she pleased. She tore holes in the world waiting on him, eating through the fabric of reality.

Sakura was gold against the moon against the snow; she looked at him with tired knowing eyes, and she was the most beautiful thing.

And the winter days never seemed to end.

"What made you like this?" she asked him, one day. They were somewhere near the ocean, though which one neither Sakura nor Sasuke could tell you. There was salt on the breeze, and they drove with the windows cracked to let in the air. Sakura turned the heat up, and sang loudly, off-key, and wrong to everything that came on the radio.


"What made you dumb enough to come with me? I mean, most people wouldn't even think about just taking the interstate and just, y'know, going, but you didn't—you didn't even question it, you just… came. Why?"

"It was something to do," he said, which wasn't quite a lie.

Sakura's fingers trembled. She tucked her hair behind her ears, the pink shining fluorescent in the winter sun. "Something to do, huh…?"


"…D'you wanna stop for a burger? I'm kinda hungry," she said.

"Whatever," Sasuke replied.

He thought he would follow her forever, if he could.

If only she knew.

But she didn't, so that was sort of moot.

They turned into a dingy diner. Sakura was probably the first ray of sunshine through that place in a decade, and the air stank of cigarettes and old sweat.

"Is there anywhere I can get a burger in this place?" she laughed.

Sasuke watched as they all turned to look at her. He watched as they all got hungry. Maybe she reminded them of someone—of someone they'd left behind, of someone they used to love, maybe even someone they hadn't met yet.

He hated it, but he didn't know why.

Sakura got her burger.

She grinned at him around a mouthful of greasy sizzling-hot meat and ketchup. It was horrible.

Sasuke wanted to reach across the table and kiss her until she stopped breathing.

He didn't, so that was sort of moot, too.

"You're such a mess," she said, almost affectionately. "Eat something, already!"

"I don't—"

Sakura stuffed his face with fries, and then laughed herself to tears at the look on his face. This probably was a decent reaction, but it was very unfair.

"Thanks," she said at last. "I needed that."

"I'm not even surprised, Sakura," Sasuke replied.

She shot him a smile as wide as the whole sun.

Sasuke's whole world collapsed around him. She was going to consume him, entire, and he wasn't going to do anything to stop her.

I love you, he thought.

She was never going to know.