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And they will try to stay away from each other (and fail every time) because what they have is dangerous, shaky. One wrong word and everything will collapse. They are time bombs, ticking closer to each other until they explode and make the world fall into place.
a Nate Ruess fanfiction.
Warning: self-harm

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1. Time Bomb

It was like a time bomb set into motion  

We knew that we were destined to explode 

And if I have to pull you out of the wreckage 

You know I'm never gonna let you go 

We're like a time bomb 

Gonna lose it, let's defuse it 

Baby, we're like a time bomb 

But I need it, wouldn't have it any other way  

 

 Nate is ready.

  It's half past eleven. The city is still bright eyed and bustling. He supposes it is New York, the city that never sleeps. 

The bar isn't very full, people sitting in the booths quietly, somberly. Nate sighs, throws back his shot. He wants to get drunk, so drunk he won't remember this night tomorrow. 

"Another," he slurs to the bartender. The man looks at him and raises an eyebrow.  

"I think you've had plenty."  

Nate scowls. "Fuck you." He isn't a happy drunk. 

"I got it from here," someone says behind him.

He turns. A woman with long red hair and sharp gray eyes is leaning against the wall, arms crossed. As soon as their eyes meet a spark shoots up his spine and the air seems to heat up. He wants to slam her against the wall, force his lips on hers and-  

"Hey, sweetheart," he leers.  "What brings you here?" 

Her nose wrinkles up. "Shut up. I work here. Take care of losers like you." 

He shakes his head. "I'm not a loser, honey. I'm in a band-"  

She sighs, shakes her head. "That's what they all say."

Grabbing his arm, escorting him out into the cool night. As soon as her hand touches his skin fire seems to roar through him. He notices she's shivering and offers her his suit jacket. She takes it reluctantly. 

"Thanks.." 

"Nate," he supplies.  

"Sandra," she tells him, opening the door to a silver Honda. He slides in as Sandra starts the car and backs out.  Nate is more sober now, and he stares out the window, watching as a light comes into focus before flashing away again (they remind him of his thoughts).  

"What's your address?" She asks, braking at a stoplight. He tells her, wondering if she can feel the strange electricity between them, or if it's just him. 

"Are you okay?" Her voice is genuinely concerned. 

He considers telling her what he tells everything (that he's fine) but then doesn't. 

"No," he says honestly, voice strangely raw. She looks at him, slows down and pulls over.

  "I know," is all she says, but it's enough. "Believe me, I know." She smiles wanly, takes his hand. He grips it like a lifeline, something that he cannot let go of no matter what. For some reason tears start in his eyes and he wipes them, hoping she didn't notice. But she did, he can tell because she grips his hand tighter then before. 

"Shh," she murmurs.  

He takes a deep breath (be calm). 

Her red hair is yellow in the streetlights and he can't see her eyes.

Slowly (he doesn't want to scare her away) he captures her lips with his. It's burning, fiery, sends a bolt through his body. He doesn't how anything could feel so... right. Her hands become tangled in his hair as he deepens it, pressing their bodies as close as they can while still be mostly in their seats.  

The tears in his overflow down his cheeks, he can taste them on her lips.

Sandra accidently presses the horn and they jump apart.  

Nate immediately misses her warmth but stays away. 

The rest of the car ride is quiet, but when they get to his apartment there is no question on whether she's coming in or not.

  *

Jack wakes up to the sound of something sizzling.

 He instantly jumps to the conclusion that the apartment is on fire and leaps out of bed, barreling down the hall and into the kitchen. 

Two people (one is Nate and one is a strange redhead) are cooking.  There is something oddly unsettling about the way they moved (in sync, almost). 

The redhead turns for eggs and Nate is already there, handing them to her. He needs milk, she pours it for him. It's uncanny.  "Uh... good morning," Jack stammers, feeling slightly awkward. He notices the redhead is wearing one of Nate's shirts.

 "Oh!" His band mate spins around. "Jack, Sandra, Sandra, Jack."

 "Hi," Sandra sings, flipping over what looks like French toast. 

"Hi," Jack echoes, unsure what to do with himself. He settles for backing away and rushing to Andrew's room.  The pianist is already awake and dressed, typing something into his laptop.

"Nate's got a girl," Jack exclaims, plopping himself down on the bed.  

"I know," is Andrew's cryptic answer. 

"So... what's up with them?" 

He sighs and closes the Toshiba.

"Nate met her last night and, uh, brought her home."  The last three words are said with heavy insinuation. 

"Oh," Jack digests that for a moment. "Okay." 

So he heads back to the kitchen. 

*  

"I don't-"

 "I think-" 

They both stop.  "You first." 

"I think we shouldn't, um, keep in touch."  

Even though that's what he was about to say, disappointment and hurt still make an appearence. 

"Me, too," he agrees (don't go). 

"I mean," she hastens. "I just don't... need this right now." 

"Nor do I."

 "Or you."  

He stops agreeing. "What?"  

"You're just not right for me." 

He doesn't think he's felt anything  more right.

  "What does that mean?"  She looks heaven ward.

"You know what it means." Her voice is sharp.

"Actually, no. Please tell." 

"Nate." 

"Sandra." He knows he's being sort of an ass, but it's his automatic defense.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?"

  "The question is what's wrong with you?"

Now he's just being childish. 

"Stop being a four year old and actually talk to me!"

  "What's there to talk about? We met, we fucked, and now we leave." 

Her gray eyes widen. Nate notices they have green in them, too. 

"Fine. Whatever." She grabs her bag and opens to door.

"Oh, and Nate?" 

He smirks. "Yes, sweetheart?"

 "Fuck you." The door slams shut. 

"You already did!" He shouts, even if she can't hear him. He realizes she left with his shirt. 

He can't tell if that makes him happy or sad. 

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