title: dig up the bones

summary: kissing death and losing my breath – SasuKiba

dedication: for Les, because BIRTHDAY. Happy 21st my darling buttercup burrito. HAVE APOCALYPTIC FEELS TO DESTROY YOUR SOUL. Maybe.

dig up the bones

It starts as a game, because there's nothing else left.

He burns like a pretty thing, savage and bloodthirsty. It's like looking in a mirror, almost –

but not really, never really, nothing can compare to the chasm split wide open in the cavity of his chest with whispers of Sasuke-chan Sasuke-chan foolish little brother Sasuke-kun stop –

but Kiba is just a crack across a smooth dark surface, a spark. Sasuke is an inferno. The rain comes pouring down, a deluge, wet and cold. On the other boy's face, it looks almost like tears.

He wonders why this boy is crying, when Sasuke is the one who's heart, blackened and withered as it is, has been now shredded beyond repair.

Sasuke-kun, Sasuke-kun – don't you love me better than this? Sakura's ghost asks, elusive and what he wouldn't destroy to stop her, to make her go away forever, to bring her back. Her blood is slick and wet on his hands and he remembers the dark stain at the corner of her mouth, eyes wide. She didn't scream, not even at the end.

Sasuke tilts his head, considering. Rain drips from his drenched bangs, down the bridge of his nose, but the smile that slips out is a crazy thing, slow and poisonous. He thinks of moths wings fluttering under the moonlight. Her startled, gurgling breath.

This could be fun, he decides, and the smiles widens. He leans against the chain link fence and pictures blood on the concrete.

"I thought Naruto would be the one to come."

And the thing is, he heard her last words.

She wasn't defiant, like Sasuke knew she could be. They tell him she was a fighter, that she killed the Puppet Master for him. They say she learned to wield guns like she would a scalpel, that she refused to be relegated to the backroom where her aunt stitched them up and sent them back out into the streets.

Since that night of gunshots and broken glass six years ago, Sasuke has known his life was going to end in fire and blood – but not before he put a bullet through his brother's head.

He never wanted this life – this death – for her, but she got it all the same.

"Sasuke-kun, I love you."

"He is. He will," Kiba says, and there's mad gleam in his dark eyes that Sasuke knows like the back of his hand. A wound not quite cauterised, grief raging in a splash of blood. "But I got here first."

"You think you can kill me, Inuzuka?"

Better killers than Kiba have tried and Sasuke put blades through their chests, tore their hearts open and let their insides fall out the wet, shredded space let behind, blood slick to his wrists, almost.

"I loved her," Kiba snarls, guttural and unfair. The words hit Sasuke like bullets, but his skin is steel and what should tear him open only ricochets off him. "I loved her and she never listened, she never listened and it was always you. It was always you she wanted."

And Sasuke remembers the way her hand fit perfectly in his, how her eyes always found him in the room, even when they were children. He remembers how her skin looked almost translucent in those quiet moments when they hid under the stairs.

("I will follow you until the end of the world, you know that, right? Right, Sasuke-kun?")

"I know."

Sakura's ghost smiles, blood running from the bullet hole in her forehead. He will kill them all, for this, will make Konoha burn.

"You're the reason she's dead," his voice is more a sob than a snarl now, and it's so beautiful and tragic, like fireflies burning out. Sakura would love Kiba now, Sasuke thinks. She had a weakness for beautiful, broken things.

"Fight me then," he dares, and he would cry if he knew how to anymore. What comes out instead is maniacal laughter. Sakura is dead.

"Fight me," Sasuke repeats, and the look in Kiba's eyes explodes to something like lightning.

Two slow heartbeats, and the gleam of a curved knife smiling up at him. Kiba's rage, all angry lines and jagged edges is the most beautiful thing he's ever seen and he wants to shatter him beyond repair.

Sakura was his to mourn, and his to love. Only his.

("You cut me open," she says. "You make my heart bleed.")

The slash of the knife coming down is the first thing he's felt in days. Sasuke tips back his head and laughs.

It happens like this: two boys fighting under heavy rainfall, down by the canal.

A knife slides up and in-between Kiba's ribs, and Sasuke twists. Kiba's breath comes in the same wet, sucking sound as she made when the first bullet went in.

Beautiful. The way his spine collapses in on him, exquisite. Sasuke is still laughing as they tumble to the ground, and he's straddling the dying boy's hips.

"I hate you," Kiba hisses, really spits it up between bloodstained teeth. There's a bubble of it at the corner of his mouth. Sasuke licks it clean, leads into a bruising kiss.

"She was mine."

And even in those early days, while Sakura watched him, and Kiba watched Sakura, Sasuke watched this boy admiring the only thing that's ever belonged to him. He was a brash and loud, utterly uncouth and Kiba never deserved Sakura. (Neither did Sasuke, but that's a different story entirely.)

Sasuke bites, nips, sucks – punishes. Blood slides slick and wet between their bodies, over Sasuke's red hands. It'll never come off.

The world is going mad inside his head, and there's no going back now, not ever. They were children together once, lost children clinging to each other as their city ignited. Kiba was his friend, once, and they shared cigarettes on those endless nights when Karin prostituted herself for information, when Ino disappeared and never came back, when Suigestsu got himself killed in a raid gone wrong.

Sasuke kisses Kiba into slow death, and can't work out if it's a kindness or a travesty.

The body beneath him goes still and cold. Sasuke blinks once, twice, and reaches for the knife stuck under Kiba's ribs.

"Soon," he murmurs against unresponsive lips, to the ghost hovering over his shoulder. There's only vengeance now, before it's over.

There's only ever vengeance in the end.

notes: this is erratic and empty and kind of twisted and not what I wanted at all.

notes2: sorry Les.

notes3: BUT HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARS. MARZIPAN. Omg, new nickname.