I'm just crossposting this from my tumblr; this was written over three (3!) days, and is 100% my friend Nancy's fault. I hate it and I love it and it's the most I've written in 6 hours (because the combined total was six hours over three days)

you can find me at three-black-cats and Nancy (bless her twisted, sleeve-obssessed heart) is on tumblr at supergeekytoon

"He's single?" Newt asks, hopes rising. Mako shoots him a look that could mean yes you fucking idiot or I'm done with you, you migraine-inducing moron. He suspects it's the former. Regardless, his stomach is doing anxious flips and he suspects that, if he weren't as covered in tattoos, a bright red flush would be visible creeping up his shoulders.

"Yeah, you should go for it, Newt get over this ridiculous pining phase of yours; it's giving everyone migraines," Mako replies, and, please, pining? Nah, it's more of a I've-liked-you-since-we-were-penpals-and-fuck-this-crush-is-getting-out-of-control sort of thing, but pining? Him? Nope, no siree.

"Including you," he guesses, because who would he be if he didn't manage to give everyone who's ever interacted with him a migraine? Not Newton Geiszler, that's for sure. He's been accused of many things—being too loud, to manic, too much, but calm? That's more Hermann's domain.

"Yes, including me, Newt." The way Mako says it is grudgingly fond, "Now go for it you sap."

Taking a deep breath, Newt breaks away from the line of J-Techs and Jaeger pilots and members of various other departments getting something to eat, making a bee-line for where Hermann is tucked against the wall at a table by himself, clutching his tray tightly, knuckles white. Calm down, Newt, he thinks, the worst that can happen is that he says no and our...friendship becomes estranged and, actually, shut the fuck up brain, you're not helping at all.

A distressed yelp exits his mouth as, in his preoccupation, he trips over his own feet and almost crashes to the ground, righting himself at the last moment. The noise makes Hermann look up from whatever equation he's scribbling, and, alarmed, he asks, "Newton, are you alright?"

"Yeah! I'm fine!" Newt exclaims, practically shouting, and drops his tray on the table on the table, resulting in an echoing bang! Hermann's alarm morphs into something that's a cross between worry and exasperation. "How are you?!"

"I'm doing as well as one can expect when it's just the two of us bearing the burden of putting off the apocalypse," Hermann says, drily, "you?"

"Yeah, yeah I'm doing good," Newt babbles, and then, out of nowhere, "—Alice and I, that is, we're doing good," and what the fuck brain. He practically facepalms as soon as the words exit his mouth, Hermann's lips tightening slightly.

"Is that so?" Perhaps it's just his imagination, but Hermann's voice sounds slightly strangled, and, fuck, apparently this is not his day because the next thing out of his mouth makes everything worse.

"Yeah yeah—we're looking to move in together sometime soon!" Fuck fuck fuck abort mission fucking hells shit shitshit. "Bi! I'm—bye!" he exclaims, grabbing his tray and scuttling away before he can fuck up even worse, as far away as he can to be mortified in peace.

Apparently, fate has a sick sense of humour, because Mako is sitting on the other side of the mess hall, and when she sees his—presumably bright red—she motions for him to sit down next to her. Suddenly, all of his manic energy drains away, leaving him feeling fit to sleep for, like, a year. Seriously.

"Oh my god, I can't believe I told Hermann that," he groans, burying his burning face in his hands, forehead resting against the cold metal, tray pushed to the side.

"What did you tell him?" Mako asks, "it can't be that bad, can it?" The apprehension in her voice is palpable, and, if it where any other time, Newt'd be offended, but, honestly, right now, same.

"I made up a girlfriend—Alice. Apparently, we're moving in together soon," he mumbles, another wave of mortification crashing over him, and, really, what the hell, universe?

"You what now?"

"Yeah, yeah I know, but I don't know what happened—" he groans, "I just got nervous and my mouth started saying things without my permission! I had absolutely no control, dude, it was like—an out of body experience or something."

"Oh my god, you fucking dumbass," Mako sighs.

"Stop it, Mako, I'm already embarrassed enough to want to sink into the core of the earth. Or drink myself silly." Honestly, he can't choose—they both seem like perfectly viable options.

"Well, I can't let you burn to a crisp, but I have a few bottles of fine wine. Or whiskey, if you prefer," Mako offers. Newt immediately brightens a bit because it may only be seven PM, but he really, really needs to get hammered.

"Thank god!" he exclaims, "let's get smashed."

Five hours later, give or take

"Oooooohhh heeeeey Hermann—heeeey Herms, my man wa's uuuuup!" Newton slurs at his lab partner, staring at him intently, slightly cross-eyed, and Hermann bites back a fond smile.

"I'm attempting to work on this predictive equation, as you can see—or, well, I was, until you interrupted me," he shoots back instead, delighting in the way Newton's eyes light up as he perks up. The half-rueful, half-amused look that crosses his face is even more adorable—well, the man in general is adorable, Hermann's resigned himself to that knowledge years ago; one would think meeting your crush in such a disastrous way would've absolved him of such feelings for said crush, but apparently not.

"Oooooh, sorry, Herms—Hermann. Doc'or—do'tor," he struggled with the word for a bit before giving up and continuing, "Gottlieb. Heeeey, is that German?"

"Yes, Newton, that is German, congratulations—" Hermann deadpans, chalk clicking against the blackboard, only to be cut off.

"You know, Alice speaks German—she studied in Germany for two years," Newton says, like he's revealing a big secret. Hermann's eye twitches at the mention of The Girlfriend (yes, capitalized. No, he's not being melodramatic).

"Oh. Oh?" he repeats, voice terse, "that's...nice." He sends a fervent plea to whatever powers may be that Newton leaves it at that, but, sadly, isn't so lucky.

"Or, well, she studied there before she got hospitalized," Newton babbles, unawares of Hermann's increasingly firm grip on the chalk. "That's when we got the dog. She was getting treatment for cancer, and i thought it would cheer her up, to have someone to keep her company." Newton grins, and Hermann melts a bit, wondering who the hell is lucky enough to score a relationship with the biologist.

"Oh? What sort of dog?" he questions, chalk tapping away at the board. He tries to focus on the equations in front of him, but inevitable, his eyes stray back to Newton, tracing the vibrant inked designs that disappear up under his sleeves, rolled up to his elbows.

"Oh, well, I never met him—" Newton stops, deflating slightly. Hermann has the sudden, inane urge to hug the man. Newton continues, "See, I requested that the shelter send him along with someone, but um, a car hit them..." he trails off, eyes shining slightly and stares at the ceiling.

"Oh." Hermann's heart aches for this man—this insane, loud, energetic, effervescent, manic man, covered in colour. He absentmindedly rubs at his chest.

"Yeah, but now we have two kids—adopted, four and seven—Mischa and Mads, and they're fairly similar to dogs!" Newton practically yells, and, what? Since when does he have children? Did he—did he just...never tell Hermann? The thought stings—sure, they mayn't be the most companionable, and sure, the argue about practically everything, but he'd hoped—well, it doesn't matter what he'd hoped; obviously, Newton doesn't see their relationship as anything more than mere acquaintances...though that does bring into question why he's telling all this to Hermann. Perhaps it's simply because he's the closest, physical proximity-wise.

He clears his throat, trying to keep his voice even. "Well, what do they look like?" His words seem to startle Newton because the other man practically falls off of the edge of Hermann's desk where he's perched, knocking Hermann's cane over in the process and diving forward to grab it, barely keeping his balance.

Newton rights himself, flushed (from the exertion and alcohol, Hermann reminds himself sternly, even as he himself flushes at the way the biologist looks, for lack of a better phrase, loose. Happy) and squeaks, "Oh, well, no they're not humans—they're cats. Alice insisted on them, but I'm allergic, so I can't really see them, what with my eyes watering so much—" he yelps as he overbalances, toppling over onto the ground. Hermann rushes to make sure he's alright only to find Newton sprawled on the ground, blinking slowly and grinning up at him dopily—drunkenly, he corrects himself.

"Newton, are you drunk?" Surprise tinges his voice—his lab partner has an alarmingly high alcohol tolerance, and to see him this inebriated is rare, to say the least.

"What?" Newton asks, lifting his head a bit, glasses askew, to squint at Hermann who's standing, awkwardly to his side, braced on his cane. "Oh, no—sure, I've had a few glasses, but I'm not drunk!" He laughs, shaking his head wildly, cheeks dimpled. Definitely drunk.

Hermann sighs. "How many drinks, Newton?"

"Uh...two?" he squints into the distance, dropping his head back to the ground. "Or maybe six...alright, I may be a bit tipsy, but I'm not drunk, man," he protests, clambering to his feet unsteadily, almost tipping over again before Hermann grabs him. Newton sighs, nuzzling into his shirt, and Hermann's mind flatlines before going what the actual fuck? His face is flaming and he silently prays that Newton doesn't notice because if he does, this situation could get a lot more embarrassing.

He clears his throat, starts, stops, and starts again. "The fact that you're clinging to me like a limpet would prove otherwise, Newton." Newton lifts his head slightly.

"Huh? Oh, sorry, man I know you don't much like touch, Herms," he apologizes sheepishly, but clings just as tightly as he was before.

"You still haven't let go of me, Newton," Hermann points out, tying to not let his voice crack. "If someone were to walk in now, I suspect that they would draw conclusions that you wouldn't much like." Conclusions that I wouldn't be averse to, his traitorous mind whispers.

"What?" Newton sounds adorably confused, damn him. The man is like a cat–overly curious, energetic, and wholly unawares of his own devastating charm.

"They'd think we were having intimate relations, Newton, which i doubt you'd much like them to assume, seeing as how you're...involved." The sentence stings—then again, it probably always will.

"Oh, um, actually, she's dead," Newton mumbles, face still pressed against Hermann's chest.

"She's what," Hermann asks flatly.

"Alice, that is—"

"I thought you moved in together and got cats," Hermann interrupts, the hand that isn't clutching his cane wrapped around Newton's upper body for support.

"Well, I mean, she's not dead yet—but, um, she's sick. Deadly sick. The doctors give her a few more weeks, max," Newton rambles, and Hermann feels his stomach churn—obviously Newton is attached to Alice, and now—now to lose her? So soon? Hermann may be carrying a torch for the man but he'd rather see Newton happy in a relationship with someone else than single and grieving.

"Oh," he says softly, running his hand over the other's back in a soothing, circular motion. "I'm sorry, Newton."

"Don't be," Newton flaps a hand as if showing away a fly, turning his head to the side slightly, eyes still closed. "Never liked her much—I mean, like I like her well enough, but I never really wanted to be together with her—the marriage was mostly for tax benefits." Hermann blinks at the words, sucking in a steadying breath. The word seems to be tipped on its axis, the air around him buzzing.

"You...married her?" he questions.

"Uh, sort of?" Newt replies, the intonation making it more of a question than a statement. "Civil union—actually, I have no clue what the difference is, and honestly, it was mostly an accident—what happens in Vegas and all." He lets out a sort of chirpy laugh.

"You. You got married in Vegas?"

"Civil unioned—actually, that doesn't have the same ring to it. But yeah," Newton finishes, and waves a hand dismissively. Hermann tracks the motion, catching sight of the clock on the other side of the room. The face reads 12:48.

"Well, perhaps it would be best for you to get to bed," Hermann suggests. "It's getting a bit late and you'll have a splitting headache in the morning."

"What about you?" Newton questions and Hermann wants to shake the man and yell for once in your life look after you own health, please

Instead, he says, "Well, i have work to get done, Newton—which would've been finished earlier if not for your untimely interruption." Still, instead of letting go of the other, he maneuvers the so that Newton can lean against him, and slowly moves them out of the lab and down the hall towards Newton's quarters.

"Oh. Sorry about that, man," Newton apologizes sleepily.

"Come along, Newton, let's get you to your bed," Hermann says instead, ignoring the rapid beat of his heart at the way Newton's face remains pressed against his shoulder.

"...a'ight," Newton mumbles.

"Where did you wander off to last night, Newt?" Mako questions the next morning, and Newt lets out a grunt, head throbbing. "Oh my god, you went to Hermann, didn't you?" she questions, and shoves his shoulder. Newt whines at the light that hits his face, hiding his face in his sleeve.

"Don't rub it in, Mako, I was smashed," he mutters, "it was a total accident, and I killed Alice."

"You what now," Mako asks flatly.

"Well, I sort of told him that Alice, my non-existent girlfriend slash civil partner is dying of a terminal illness," he replies.

"Oh my god."

"I also may or may not have clung to him like a human limpet," he adds, because, apparently, he doesn't know when to shut up.

"Oh. My. God." Mako's amusement leaks into her tone and Newt groans again.

"I know, I know, but I swear, I'm going to come clean—next time I see him, I'm going to tell him that it was all a—"

"Lie?" Mako questions.

"Accidental construct of my nervousness, but I suppose it is a "lie"," Newt acknowledges.

"Well, you can't exactly make it worse," Mako says, trying to cheer him up.

"Don't jinx me, dude," Newt warns, only to sigh. "Ah, well, I suppose I'm already jinxed."

"Oh, look, there he is—" Mako exclaims, shaking him, and Newt looks up, squinting, to see Hermann across the room. "Go on, you can do it," Mako encourages. Newt sighs, but unfolds himself, rising, and walks over towards Hermann, determined to explain himself once and for all.

"Hello, Newton," Hermann greets, and Newt freezes. Hermann's dressed more casually than Newt's ever seen before—just a pair of slacks, a dark dress shirt, having forgone the waistcoat and tie he usually wears.

"Oh, hey, Hermann, man, what's up!" he exclaims, spitting the words out like they're cherry seeds.

"Not much—"

Before he can think, he blurts out, "I just came over to say that Alice passed away last night."

"Oh. I'm...sorry about that," Hermann says, lips pursed slightly. Newt, however, is apparently in the destroy any possible chance of having a relationship with the man, because the next thing that comes out of his mouth sounds even worse.

"Nah, it's fine."

"Your civil partner just died, Newton, I'd think that you'd be a bit more distraught," Hermann points out. Newt wants to kick himself but the universe just seems to hate him

"Well, see, this means that I can finally get rid of the children—the cats that is," he babbles. Hermann's mouth tightens further.

"You're...glad that she's dead because you want to...get rid of her cats," Hermann says, disbelievingly.

"Well, when you say it like that, it sounds bad, but yeah," Newt admits, tapping his fingers nervously against his leg.

"Well, my...condolences," Herman says, breaking the awkward silence.

"Thanks, man, thanks," Newt replies before beating a hasty retreat back to where Mako's sitting. "Well that went well," he sighs, burying his face in his hands.

"Oh my god, you fucked it up even more, didn't you?" Mako asks, and Newt can't even find a reason to protest because, really, he should've expected it.

"Yes. Somehow. Actually," he says after a moment, "this is all your fault—you jinxed me."

"Well, it can't be that bad, can it?" she asks. Newt grimaces.

"I said Alice died and I was happy because it meant that I could get rid of the cats." Mako sets down her spoon, ignoring her soup in favor of staring at him, stunned.

"Okay, I take that back, that is pretty fucked up."

"Yeah," he sighs forlornly, "my mind seems determined to fuck me over. I just—get nervous, and the next thing I know, I've killed off my imaginary girlfriend slash partner for tax benefits and I'm starting to wonder if I'm ever going to be able to dig my way out of this at this rate." A horrible thought occurs to him, then: what if Hermann, having decided that he's a loser—well, more of a loser than he already thinks of Newt as—proceeds to laugh at Newt if—when he finally manages to explain? Or, worse, thinks that Newt's pulling some sort of elaborate prank on him and finally makes good on his threats to get transferred to a different lab?

"Well, good luck," Mako says, amused.

Newt groans, rubbing his eyes with the heel of his hand while Mako watched. Damn her, she probably sees this as prime time entertainment, doesn't she?

A few days later

Of course, it's just Newt's luck that he'd get trapped in an elevator. Typical Geiszler luck; it's even more typical that he's trapped in an elevator with the object of his affections, whom he has convinced that he's in a relationship. Wonderful.

Eventually, the silence is too much and Newt awkwardly tries to break the ice with, "Uh. So, I guess we're trapped here in the elevator—together." His voice rises steadily higher until, by the end of the sentence, it's practically a squeak—well, more than usual, given that he's had many people compare his voice to the sound of a door hinge that needs to be oiled.

"Yes, it seems so," Hermann says, staring so intensely at the—as they had discovered when trying to call for help—broken panic button he's surprised it hasn't caught on fire. The fact that Hermann left his phone in the lab and Newt's is dead has only worsened his mood.

"I was actually going to see you," Newt says, because he was—contrary to what Mako and Tendo seem convinced of, he hasn't been avoiding Hermann, he's just been…taking time to recover his dignity. (What dignity? Tendo had laughed, which, not cool, dude, not cool.)

"What, did one of the cats try to kill you?" Hermann drawled.

"Er, no," Newt fidgeted with his sleeves, rolling them and unrolling them, "but related!"

"You killed one of the cats," Hermann guessed, deadpan.

A week's worth of frustration finally bursts, and Newt snaps, "No, for fuck's sake, Hermann, I'm trying to tell you that it was all a lie!"

"That's all?"

"Wait, what?" Newt practically gapes at the mathematician, confused.

"It was all a lie? I though you were about to confess murder or something," Hermann says drily, which, given how worked up Newt's gotten himself, is probably a fair assumption, but still.

"Okay, yeah, it was but I'm not some sort of insane pathological liar—at least not as far as i can tell!" Newt replies defensively.

"Of course," Hermann agrees, "you were just pulling my leg, then; wind me up and let me go, eh?" There's bitterness and anger, a story he's not sure he's ready to hear hidden within.

"Um, no, it's a longer story than that," Newt continues to fidget with his sleeves.

Hermann draws in a slightly sharper breath than usual, because snorting is below him, and says, "Well, we bloody well have time, don't we?"

"Er, yes, i suppose we do," Newt agrees.

"Out with it, then," Hermann prompts, tapping his fingers against his cane—restless.

Newt swallows. "Well, see, the other day, I was actually going to tell you something—something that was quite nerve-wracking, actually, but I did not mean to invent an imaginary girlfriend—"

"Newton, what were you going to say?" Hermann asks, straight (well, hopefully not) and to the point.

"Oh, I was just," he pauses, trying to get a handle on his anxiety before continuing, "trying to apologize, I guess—"

"No, no," Hermann waves a hand at him, irately, "before that—the first time."

Newt laughs nervously. "Um. That. Are you really sure you want to do that now? I'm not sure it's uh. A good thing to talk about in an elevator? I mean we're potentially stuck here for, oh, how long did it take them to fix it last time?"

"Three hours, I believe," Hermann replies.

"Three hours. Do you really want to be stuck in here awkwardly for three hours? Yes, Hermann, it would be highly awkward to be stuck in this elevator together for three hours if I tell you, trust me."

Hermann raises a brow, expression speculative. "Well, unless you're going to tell me that you've been slowly poisoning me over the last five years so you can harvest me for body parts to sell on the black market, it can't be that bad."

"Oh my god, and they call me insane." Newt shakes his head, "I can't believe that's the first thing your mind jumped to—" he pauses for a second before blurting out, "wait, that's not what you've been doing to me, is it? Because if it is, not cool man, not cool."

Hermann looks suitably horrified. "No! Absolutely not!"

"Alright, good, just checking," Newt lets out a shaky breath, hoping that he manages to get through this without fucking things up even more royally than he already has. In for two, hold for three, out for three.

When he opens his eyes, Hermann's staring off into the space to the left of his shoulder, staunchly avoiding eye-contact. "Are you going to tell me then?" he questions.

"Are you absolutely certain?" Newt ascertains, once again fidgeting with his sleeves. "Is this really what you want, Herrmann?"

Hermann brings his cane down, hard, and snaps, "Oh for fuck's sake, Newton, tell me before I wring your neck out of frustration." Newt suddenly understands what people mean when they utilize that "Well, mark me down as scared and horny!" gif. Is it just him, or is the room getting a smidgeon too warm?

He snatches his glasses off the bridge of his nose, rubbing at the lenses with his shirt, puts them up as far on the bridge of his nose as he can, and, before he can think about it twice, blurts, "I have a ridiculously long-standing crush on you, alright? Happy? Oh god, I've made this awkward, haven't I? I swear, I can get over it—or! or if it makes you uncomfortable, I can ask for a transfer to a different lab—or—or a different Shatterdome, if you want—"

"Newton—" Hermann tries to interrupt but Newt barrels on.

"I can get over it, I swear—but—but you're my friend, Herms, my best friend, I don't want to lose that—we can just—forget about this, yeah? Everything can go back to normal—"

"Newton, shut up," Hermann commands, and Newt freezes.


Obviously knowledgeable in Newt's tendency to take any opening to continue babbling, Hermann continues, determined. "What if I don't what to forget about it, Newton? What if I do want to change this—us?"

Newt hears the words, sure, but, well, they can't possibly mean what he thinks they mean, can they? "What," he says, flatly, unable to comprehend the possibility—

Hermann rolls his eyes, peering at him over his own glasses, disbelieving expression on his face at Newt's inability to understand what he's saying. "What I'm trying to get through your thick skull, Newton, is that your feelings aren't as unreciprocated as you seem to have convinced yourself they are."

There's a pause before Newt breathes out a stunned, "...wow."

A small smile tugs at Hermann's lips, and, wow, is that a blush? Adorable. "Yes, well—"

"No, I mean wow, you just insulted me while telling me that you like like me too. Well, I mean, wow, I'm glad that you like me too, but like, that's a dick move, dude, to insult me and confess to me at the same time—"

Hermann rolls his eyes. "Newton, shut up."

Newt blinks. "Now? wait, what're you doing—" he's cut off as Hermann practically leaps at him, cane forgotten, and Newt stumbles back slightly, arms wrapping around the other for stability—

And getting the life kissed out of him. To say that he sees stars would be putting it mildly, because if anything, he's seeing whole galaxies here. When they break apart, Newt's glasses are askew, Hermann's clothes rumpled, a blush creeping up his neck, both of the panting slightly.

"Wow, okay dude, whoever taught you how to kiss deserves a fucking award, because I feel thoroughly debauched, and I'm still wearing all of my clothes," Newt mumbles, trying to catch his breath, resting his head against Hermann's shoulder.

"That can be changed," Hermann breathes, and—

"What? Hermann, did you just—did you just suggest we have sex in an elevator?" Newt practically shrieks.

"Well, when you put it like that—" Hermann starts, only to be cut off by the groan of metal against metal, and the doors winch open slightly.

"Doctor Gottlieb? Doctor Geiszler?" someone calls from the other side, and they spring apart, startled. "We're going to get you two out ASAP, just hang on."

"Well, perhaps we should wait until we have access to a bed," Hermann amends, and Newt lets out a laugh.

"You think? Man, I still can't believe that you, Hermann Gottlieb, suggested we have sex in an elevator."

"Don't rub it in, Newton," Hermann says, irritated, but his hand remains around Newt's.

"Well," Newt grins mischievously, "I never ruled out making out in the elevator."

"Oh, and I'm the ridiculous one here," Hermann huffs, shaking his head (fondly? Fondly.)

"Dude you literally suggested we have sex in an elevator," Newt retorts, "I think that in comparison making out in an elevator is significantly more mild."

"Newton, I swear if you keep talking, I will jump on you, bad leg be damned, and that will get you written up—" Hermann growls, and, wow, okay, Newt thought the man had a voice to die for before

The door screeches open further, the bright light from outside streaming in through the opening. "Doctors? are you doing alright in there?" someone asks.

"Yes, we're fine," Hermann assures, and the person steps away.

"Well, that was fast," Newt comments, "I thought you said it would take closer to three hours."

"Well, it's hardly my fault that they decided to get us out promptly for once," Hermann retorts.

"Murphy's Law, man, Murphy's Law," Newt admonishes. A figure blocks the light once again, the door making a horrendous wailing sound as it opens further, and Newt clamps his hands over his ears, wincing. Finally, it stops, and the person on the other side—a tech in a PPDC-issue uniform—comes into view.

"Doctors? Can you get out now?"

"Yeah, yeah—c'mon, Herms, let's get out of here and go someplace more...suitable," Newt finishes, the last part practically whispered, intended only for Hermann, who's ears go a fiery red.

"Thanks guys," Newt says cheerily as they climb out, Hermann's gaze fixed resolutely on the ground.

"No problem doc!" the techs chorus after them. Newt turns around to wave before skipping after Hermann, who's already half-way down the hall.

When he catches up, Newt says, giddily, "I can't believe you suggested we have sex in an elevator!"

"Well it's hardly my fault I want to ravish you when you look like that," Hermann defends, quickening his pace.

"Like what, Hermann?" Newt questions. "This is what I look like every day—"

"Your shirt is not usually that tight," Hermann mutters, refusing to meet Newt's gaze.

"What—Hermann, I swear, is this all because I'm wearing a smaller shirt today?" Newt asks, amazed. "Because if I'd known that's all it took to get you worked up, I would've done it earlier."

"Well it's hardly my fault that I'm not accustomed to seeing you in well-fitting clothing!" Hermann's face is growing increasingly more red.

"It's a shirt, Hermann."

"It's also halfway unbuttoned and exposing your collarbones," Hermann points out, which, fair. They've come to the door to Newt's PPDC-assigned quarters, and Newt digs through his pockets for the key, fumbling with getting them into the lock a few times before it finally clicks open and Newt shoves it open, Hermann following behind him.

"Oh, for fucks sake Hermann you sap, you talk too much—get over here and ravish me now that we're in the privacy of my quarters," Newt orders, because he really, really, really wants to get ravished by this insane man, alright?

Hermann happily complies.

Some time later

"I thought you hated my tattoos," Newt says, sprawled out on his stomach, Hermann propped up on an arm, tracing the designs reverently. His hair is a mess, glasses flung…somewhere, face half-smashed into the mattress. Thankfully, it's the weekend.

Hermann's voice pulls him back from where he's teetering at the edge of sleep. "They're certainly bright and eye catching, but I don't hate them," he defends.

Newt cranes his neck to peer up at Hermann and says, slyly, "Oh, so you do like them."

"Well—" Hermann's blushing full force, and with a groan he buries his face in Newt's shoulder.

"Admit it you sap, it's part of my attraction," Newt says, and he can feel Hermann's smile against his skin.

"Well, I admit, they...do have a certain charm...and they are...slightly distracting when you roll your sleeves up like that," Hermann's voice is muffled, and Newt lets out a gasping laugh.

"Oh my god, you think my tattoos look hot!" he exclaims.

"Shut up," Hermann grumbles, leaning over to kiss him, and Newt wonders if there's any universe where Hermann doesn't make him feel euphoric.

"You're thinking so loudly I can hear it," Hermann says, breath hot against Newton lips and he laughs, pulling the other down once again.