Newt didn't come back — not all the way.
After receiving Thomas's serum, Gally and Minho tie him up to a pole inside one of the tents, whispering consolingly as Newt struggles and attempts to bite them, snapping his jaws loudly.
They swear to keep this to themselves, for now, leaving Thomas to contemplate his decision.
In another week, Newt begins speaking.
"T'tommy…" he grumbles, leaning heavily against the multitude of ropes. "Need water… please…"
A low, overwhelmed laugh escapes Thomas's grinning mouth. "You got it, buddy." Thomas holds up his own waterskin, pressing it to Newt's scabbing, boil-crusting lips desperate for any nourishment.
Eventually, the ropes go back to the supply tent.
"I already know how it happened, Tommy," Newt explains, shifting uncomfortably to the floor. He's permanently blind in one, white-glossed eye, and most of his skin becomes peeled, smelling rotten.
He's more Crank than alive — Thomas smiles affectionately next to him, hooking their fingers.
"I'm really glad you're here, Newt."
Newt doesn't seem to share the sentiment. He doesn't speak about nearly killing him, and mopes around the tent, cringing when there comes time for a new dose of the blue-glow serum injected into his vein.
Thomas groans, checking over his shoulder for the tent's entrance, wiping perspiration from his forehead.
"Hold on. I'm almost done," he insists, pulling out the needle.
Newt growls a little, rubbing at his black-veined forearm. He can feel pain. That's an improvement.
"The blood vessels in your eyes are shrinking. That's good, Newt."
"How long is this supposed to go on for?"
Thomas glances him over, pensively. "As long as it takes," he mutters.
Newt's lips curl over his teeth, exposing the dark, gummy gunk between each one.
"No, that's not an answer. If I hurt someone, or you, then what am I supposed to do? Get tired up again? Turn into a drooling monster again?" He scoffs, motioning out. "I'd rather prevent that from happening."
"Yeah, I remember what you tried to do." There's a deep, grieving hurt in Thomas's eyes. "Do you think I ever stop thinking about that gun to your head?" Thomas snaps, bemused by Newt's now livid expression.
"You don't get to do that. It was the right choice—it was the only—"
"The hell it was, Newt!" Thomas's voice rises, a little too forcefully and loud. Someone could hear them. He's glaring and face-to-face with Newt — barely a physically recognizable version — but it's Newt. All of his self-loathing and harsh, brilliant resolve and god, Thomas just wants him to understand what this means.
To have Newt at all.
A frustrated, Crank-like noise snarls out of Newt's throat, but he's composed and levelheaded.
As he sits back down on the floor, Thomas scrubs a hand roughly over his face and mentally kicks himself. Newt doesn't need the stress anymore. None of them do. "I'm not trying to fight you, hey," Thomas murmurs, kneeling down and grasping onto Newt's shoulder, stroking his thumb over his threadbare shirt.
"I'm already dead, Tommy."
When the sentence hovers off Newt's corpse-pale lips, it feels like the horrific, heavy impact falls onto Thomas's chest. Like he had been the one with the knife impaling him.
To combat it, Thomas makes another klunking shank decision, leaning in and pressing his lips briefly against Newt's peeling, meat-soft mouth, watching as the other boy goes completely stunned. "Let me try," Thomas murmurs again, without disgust or fear or that awful pity for his dearest friend. "At least let me do that."
Newt doesn't answer him like Thomas needs it, but gladly returns the half-kiss, scraping his yellowed, blunt fingernails into Thomas's hair and angling his head for a closer, warmer proximity.
He'll never be like Thomas. Normal. Fully alive.
For now, it'll have to be like this.
The Maze Runner series isn't mine. It's my birthday! Happy birthday to me! I figured I would plan today to be one of my biggest OTPS which ofc is Newtmas! I love them. They hurt me. I love death and dying. Anyway I would love to see any Newtmas shippers reading this and leaving a YAY! if they liked this. Or a couple of words. You know. It would be a cool birthday present. ;D But yes thank you for checking out this fic and I'll see you at the next one!