His steel-metal trowel crunches into hard, reddish brown soil. Its handle snaps completely apart.
Thomas abandons the edible roots he's digging out and swears under his breath, tossing the broken tool in his right hand. He's not much of a Track-Hoe. The rate he's going, Thomas may be joining Chuck as one of the Sloppers.
He pats his hands together, shifting in his crouching position and gazes up. His eyes fixate on nothing at first, skimming along the mossy walls of the Maze in the distance, until Thomas spots one of the cooks. A dark-skinned, heavier teenager.
Frypan, his memory urges. Keeper to the Cooks.
Another Glader walks right alongside him, not particularly caring about any breathing space, his arm slung loosely around Frypan's neck. A couple other Gladers mill around them, carrying a dead pig, and not staring.
Thomas quickly looks back down, fidgeting with the wooden, still-broken handle of his trowel. But then, he peers up.
Winston, he remembers… the Keeper of the Slaughterhouse.
In that distance, Winston says something and leans in, pressing his mouth against Frypan's lips and grinning when they pull away. That's it. That's all he does — it's a little, unassuming kiss and Thomas's entire face feels like it is on fire, his heart rabbiting in his chest.
"See something you like there?" Newt announces right into Thomas's ear, as he tips a bucket of the fertilizer onto the ground. Thomas nearly falls over, scrambling backwards on hands and his butt. It takes a too-long moment to register, but Newt's slow-stretching smile is not so innocent.
Thomas's pulse thrums on the inside of his mouth.
"… H-huh?" he stammers.
His face burns redder, in outright embarrassment as Newt snort-laughs at him. Shit, shit shitshit. "Not especially a morning person, are you, Greenie? Why don't you go help Chuck set up?"
Thomas grimaces, regretting being obvious, wiping his sweaty, dirt-covered palms on the rough patch of grass.
Sun's barely high above them, and there's still so much to do.
There's no more bonfires. No more celebrating and dancing, and Thomas contemplates… what he's been seeing.
He spent most of the day with the Sloppers, lugging around supplies and tidying up Homestead. But every so often, Thomas pauses and notices the behavior of everyone else around him. They're warm and friendly, encouraging and supporting each other, and that feels reassuring. More than reassuring — it gives Thomas hope.
The Gladers are like a family stitched together, he realizes — and within it, there's a need for physical comfort and touch. Hands that shake yours, that grip onto your sides or your shoulders. Thomas catches another two of the Gladers exchange a soft, lingering kiss before returning to their posts from the lunch break.
Before sunset, he watches Newt and Minho lace their fingers, seemingly in deep conversation, eyes never wavering from concentrating on smiling, brave expressions before the Runner reappeared out of the Maze for the night.
There's barely any stars out in the velvety blue skies, or clouds for that matter. Thomas stares out the canopy of the sleeping area, before looking over at Newt strolling over, a very large and thick tree branch in hand.
"Hey," Thomas echoes quietly, no longer interested in the weather.
His dark brown eyes follow Newt until the other boy halts, standing on his left and gazing back. There's a sheen of moisture over Newt's brow. His dusty-looking pullover has a ripped seam in it. He always has a smell on him like cinders and ashy-wood smoke.
"I was being serious earlier…" Newt tells him. The thoughtful pitch in his voice makes Thomas's mouth quirk downwards and his nerves crackle. "If there's something on your mind, you're free to say it."
You're all so different.
Or maybe I am.
"Have you…" Oh, god. He's really gonna do this. Thomas clears his throat, avoiding Newt's eyes, licking between his wind-chapped lips. "… uh, I guess, ever kissed someone… around here? Since you've been to the Glade?
Newt shrugs, his hands folding on the walking branch as he places his chin onto it.
"A couple shanks, give or take," he says, as if this is a casual observation. Maybe it is around the Glade. Somehow, Thomas would not be surprised. "What's it to ya, Tommy?"
It's a new nickname, and only used by Newt so far. He definitely prefers it to Greenie.
"Nothing, just…" Thomas raises a hand to scratch at his eyebrow, glancing at his companion and simpering. "I-I just get this weird feeling that… I should be feeling like it's weird or something."
A flimsy explanation at best, he knows it, but Newt gives him a firm, understanding nod.
"Believe it or not, I had that same feeling when I first arrived," he explains, thumping his empty hand against Thomas's shoulder-blade. "But we all get over it. If that's something that exists from the past, it's gone now. I don't care about trying to find a reason to deny myself something I want."
Thomas blinks, asking curiously, "Want?"
Newt's fingers slide off his back, leaving behind faint traces of heat. Thomas's heartbeat discovers his mouth again. There's an emotion brightening a mischievous light in Newt's eyes.
"Say if I wanted to take you over by the forest in the South end and have it off, I would do it because I wanted to. I don't know if anyone's said it, but you're very easy on the eyes."
Thomas keeps silent, eyes widening, mouth pursing and thinning.
"I wasn't supposed to tell you because Alby put a stopper on it already, but there was a sort of bet going 'round since you showed up in the Box," Newt explains, his smile disappearing around the edges. "Happens sometimes with the Newbies. Everyone tries to guess the turnout — winners don't much of anything besides bragging rights."
He has no damn idea what Newt's talking about, but Thomas dares to ask anyway, murmury, "Did you… did you bet?" Thomas's gut feels twisty, weak like someone's gotten to kick him and he's recovering.
"… I didn't have to." Newt says after a minute, self-satisfied. The top of his head shines with hints of gold in the fading light. "Because I already knew who you were going to kiss first."
He kisses Gally in front of the roaring campfire, because Gally's drunk and so is Thomas.
It's spit and flesh-warmth, and drowning deep in the noxious taste of the liquid. More teeth than any hint of affection. Within his hearing, there's a few hoots and animalistic hollers surround him.
Thomas doesn't know how many bet on Gally, but he's sure it wasn't Newt.
He's not one. Not for the Maze or Grievers, or the people who dumped him in it. Not for anyone.
Thomas is prepared to kiss every single person living in the Glade except Newt, because he's angry — angry with being trapped, angry that his friends betrayed his trust, angry with smug-faced Newt for telling him.
But, he never gets around to it. Ben is stung in daylight, and chases him out of the Deadheads, nearly killing him.
It is absolutely stupid as hell to run into the Maze, but he helps Minho bring Alby back. Back to their friends, back to Homestead, and Newt's wiry-muscled arms throw themselves hard around Thomas' neck.
"You slinthead," whispers against Thomas' neck and his throat, Newt's lips opening to bare, sweaty skin.
He doesn't want to hear it. Thomas grabs his face, angling their heads and kisses Newt with enough ferocity to make his own blood scream for it, his cock hardening, feeling their bodies collide up against a pole. The grabbing turns to cradling, as Newt gentles their kisses, slowing and nudging their mouths together, sucking in air.
No internal voices or feelings inside him coax a weird reaction — only yes, oh shit yes as Newt's whole hand pushes underneath the worn band of Thomas' jeans, rubbing and grinding his palm down against him.
They don't wait for the South gate-end, or any part of the forest.
Newt doesn't talk about the humongous scar that runs along his pale-haired leg. And, Thomas doesn't bring it up.
(One day, he might tell him.)
Thomas hopes… it's not to do with the bitter look of longing on Newt's face when he stares too-long up at the Maze, like at daybreak. Like it has the answers, and refuses, refuses to yield.
TMR isn't mine. I SAW THE DEATH CURE MOVIE. OH MY GODDDDDDD. I've already read the books so I know everything but shittttttttttttttttt. I know it didn't follow books but it felt like the director's newtmas fanfic canon au. Holler in the comment area if you saw The Death Cure too! Or if you still ship Newtmas! I made this fic a while back and finally decided to post it in the honor of the new movie! Thoughts/comments appreciated! :)