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Newt didn't love Hermann for the way he made him feel, because quite often he made him feel like shit. He loved him the way he loved an explosion. To see a fiery burst, to feel its heat and have it singe his eyebrows off again for getting too close. To make Hermann build and build and climb higher and higher until he exploded. And then recreate it, because this was a science after all. Repeat the results over and over. Proof. Burst, fizzle, fall. Burst. Fizzle. Fall.

Like fireworks.

He loved him like fireworks.

It was hard to see in the day, but in the night it was a spectacular show. It was for special occasions and celebrations.

To most people that wasn't love, that was just random bouts of passion. A release of their tensions. Those people didn't understand Newton Geiszler, didn't understand that while he loved the explosion he also loved building the bomb, right down to its basic components. He loved the chemicals of it and the raw materials. Finding and measuring and mixing it all so carefully.

Most people don't think about building the bomb as being beautiful. As being loving. They just see the result as a beautiful bit of destruction. Newt loved the gunpowder and the casing and the unlit fuse. He loved the potential as much as the end result.

He loved Hermann Gottlieb.

And now wasn't the moment to be caught up in that.

They mixed like oil and water, and shot off like a roman candle.

They shared a neural load.

But they did not share love.

The apocalypse was over. Newt could hardly breathe. There is the feeling of extra muscles pulling when he sucks in air and new bones bending when he twists and bends. Hermann buzzed in his head. Hammered in his head with blood and liquor and adrenaline.

So Newt did what he did best and just ignored it. They'd just helped save the goddamn world. Instead, too many drinks into the night, he opted to lean across the table, right into Hermann's face, and say, “Subconjunctival hemorrhage.” He reached out and gave him a pat on the cheek. “We match now.”


They stumbled into their cramped apartment and shed their clothes and fell into bed. Shedding clothes like the itch of Kaiju skin that wasn't his. Exuvia.

Newt was a biologist. He was not a mathematician. So when two became one he didn't question the numbers. He understood the physical, primal need. Animalistic. Human. Yet every nerve in him itched, unfamiliar and just slightly off. Limbs he didn't have pulled, and organs he didn't have names for clenched. And he kept seeing numbers in Hermann's head

Just walls and walls of numbers and equations and problems. Where his own mind, he was sure, was a series of images and memories, Hermann's memories were rare and instead he found himself closing his eyes and finding endless digits sprawling for miles. They were carved into Hermann's head space, and now they were scratched into his.

Somewhere in these digits he could find the end of pi.

Oh, it was just another thing that made him fall in love for the hundredth time in their explosive lives.

Hermann growled in German and kissed him hard. Hard. Hard enough to pull him back. It snapped away the itch and it brought him into the moment.

Something overflowed.

That was how they worked for years. Every strong feeling made them stumble back and lean on their shared crutch. Emotions, strong emotions anyway, it drained all that learned English out of them. It sent them back to the start and the words they were born in. They hated each other in German, and they got lost in their work in German, and when they slipped on Kaiju entrails they swore in German.

And now, clutching each other in the dark they spoke hushed German into the others skin while they fucked.

Anger and pain and passion and the words they spoke first. Wordless cries and moans laced with breathless sounds.

And love, Newton added. Somewhere in that he always managed a bit of love.

And that, oh that, was what was overflowing, wasn't it? He buried his face in the crook of Hermann's neck and there were tears there as they spent themselves and lay sweaty on the sheets.

He sucked in a sharp breath and wiped his eyes with the edge of a pillow. Newt smirked to himself as the emotions fell back and his learned words, his learned behavior took control. “We must look like a wreck.” And he tweaked Hermann's nose and got a punch in the arm for his trouble. He squinted at him with a dirty smile. “Man, I close my good eye, and I can hardly see out of the bloody one. I hope this isn't permanent.”

“Of course it is, because you have poor vision in your left eye. Put on your glasses.”

Newt shook his head and flopped onto his back, shaking the rickety bed frame. “Oh, it's terminal,” he said, clutching his heart with a laugh. “You'll be the death of me, Herm.”

“Don't be over dramatic.”

Nah, dude, he thought. Nah, it's just love.