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The first time Newt and Hermann had sex, Newt woke up from a really intense dream about Otachi's flower-within-a-flower fractal marvel of a tongue and found his hand wrapped around his cock, already less than a minute from coming. He shrugged to himself and went with it - he never saw any point in wasting shame on his kinks, and hey, go go gadget libido, already learning how to transmute his newest trauma into something more fun.

It wasn't until after he'd come, when he found himself thinking good going, Newt, jizzing all over the bed like a teenager, Hermann is going to insist on washing the sheets as passive-aggressively as possible, that he remembered watching Hermann collapse into bed beside him after they'd both worn themselves out at the second night running of combined victory party and wake in LOCCENT.

Which meant that presumably Hermann was still in bed beside him, which was when he realized that one of his two hands was trapped under the warm heavy weight of Hermann's torso, and the other one was twisted in sweaty sheets about a foot to his left, and since, according to his memories of his doctorate in physiology, humans generally only had two hands at a time, that meant the hand on his cock must have been Hermann's.

He cracked an eye open. Yeah, the arm now laying across his upper thigh also didn't have any tattoos on it, which was a pretty big hint. He used the arm that had been in the sheets to lift the non-tattooed one off of himself and drape it over Hermann's side. The thing was, it still felt like his hand, just, his hand that wasn't currently obeying his commands, but his brain still thought it was his, part of his body's self-image.

"Go back to sleep and stop twitching, Newton, it's too bloody early," Hermann muttered, eyes still closed, probably at least half-asleep.

If Newt was lucky, Hermann's memory of the last few minutes would fail to consolidate and he wouldn't remember any of this when he woke later, and Newt wouldn't have to deal with him freaking out over it.

"Go back to sleep yourself," Newt said, closing his eyes and leaning back into his pillow. Unfortunately he wasn't going to be sleeping anytime soon - orgasm always left him wired - so he was free to freak out about it himself.

He'd known, intellectually, about the side effects of the drift when it came to body identity. The whole point of the drift for Jaeger pilots was convincing them that they were two brains in one body, and it was the body of a giant fuck-off robot. It wasn't a surprise that some of that confusion carried over into the days after.

Hell, he'd been living through it for the last three days. The first twenty-four hours after they'd drifted, he'd had to be in line-of-sight of Hermann or he'd have a panic attack because he thought half of his arms and legs had disappeared, and it freaked him the fuck out. And not in a sweetly metaphorical "missing Herman is like missing a limb" way, in a literal "TWO OF MY LEGS ARE GONE WHERE ARE MY LEGS WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO MY LEGS GET AWAY FROM ME YOU BUTCHERS" way.

Hermann was slightly better, having been slightly less brain-fucked before their shared drift, but only slightly. The shatterdome medical staff had explained to them over and over what he already knew: that their brains' proprioceptive centers were confused by the drift; that their visual and tactile systems could override the proprioceptive and as long as they kept in contact their brains would naturally recalibrate to account for that data; that depending on the strength of the original drift, the kinesthetic side-effects would be gone within a few hours to a few days. ("Of course," Hermann reminded him every time, "that data is based on trained people using a proper rig. Not two reckless neophytes using one made out of garbage to drift with a dead kaiju." Thank you, Hermann, you could always be relied on to make things worse.)

But the kinesthetic symptoms, half-asleep mistakes aside, had been fading over the past three days. The other side-effects, like the way they finished each other's sentences without thinking, the way they had long silent conversations that weren't actually telepathic - actual telepathy still not being a thing - but were based on a complete and intuitive understanding of each other's body language and thought processes, the way they could read every tiny nuance of context and allusion in every utterance, so that a single, seemingly innocuous word from Hermann opened up a whole story of experience and emotion to him; the bleed-over of implicit memory that made unfamiliar things familiar and boring things colored with deep emotion - well, for most drift partners, that was just what they already had together, only moreso. Much, much moreso. If Newt had ever imagined drifting with Hermann, he might have imagined it wouldn't work like that with them - but they've drifted, so now he doesn't have the luxury of being surprised by it. Of course Newt being so in sync with Hermann feels natural, because it is, because they always have been.

The sexual side-effects of the drift, though--

After a few minutes, when he thought Hermann was probably safely asleep, he rolled carefully out of the bed and wandered over to the desk. He thumbed on the tablet that was sitting there, typed in the unlock code, and then opened up the file he'd been working on most recently, all on automatic. The world didn't end just because the world hadn't ended, after all, and the PPDC had always been designed to convert easily to the Pan-Pacific Reconstruction Corps, as soon as it could.

He glanced down at the file, trying to remember what it was he'd been working on... God, before he Drifted with Mutavore's brain, it would have been. It was a simple text-editor file, and it read:


Newton is being extremely provoking. Again.

As soon as we have time, I am going to slam him into that bloody desk and kiss him until he cries, and then if he asks very nicely I will flip him and fuck him until he has a bruise straight across the front of his thighs to match the ones I'm going to put across his ass.

As soon as we have bloody time.

---

I'm going to have to drift with him. The other choice is lose it all. Damn you, Newton. Damn you for being right.

Newt took a shaky breath and flipped the tablet over in a pointless gesture toward privacy. Okay. This was Hermann's room, then, not his, despite every neuron in Newton's brain assuring him that he'd lived in it for years, he was familiar with every nook and cranny. And Hermann's tablet, and his lock code, and his text file. That was another thing the drift did: it confused your implicit and procedural memory, made you think things were familiar and practiced when they weren't yours.

God damn it. Why hadn't Hermann just fucked him across his work table when they had the chance? They could have been doing that for, literally, years. Why had they made that stupid contract at that stupid New Year's party that they'd hold off on resolving whatever-this-was between them until after they'd taken care of the kaiju for good?

...because if they hadn't, they would have spent the last ten years fucking each other over desks, and then the kaiju would have eaten everybody, because two of the best minds on the planet had distracted themselves with the world's worst romantic relationship. That argument was, in fact, still valid. Newt remembered the sizzling sexual tension between them in those early years; remembered how, over the years, with their promise between them, it had smoldered into something more like the magma down below the Rift, never calm, and never safe, but always, reliably, there, with everything else that they were to each other floating on top of it. It had helped drive their work, had been the secret madness keeping them both more-or-less together while they held k-science together by sheer willpower.

And besides, until these last few desperate weeks he'd never doubted for a moment that one day they would have time.

He tried to imagine Hermann fucking him across his desk, now. It was like when he'd felt Hermann's hand on his dick: like he was fucking himself. Drifting with someone made it so they felt like a part of you, their body was your body, so that you weren't two separate people anymore. And having sex with yourself? Meh. It wasn't awful - orgasm was hardly ever awful, although most of the not-awful in the one he'd just had could probably be credited to Otachi rather than dicktouch - and fucking himself was sort of hot in principle, he'd always voted for 'nail your AU clone' when the eternal debate came around - but that was nothing compared to the spectacular fireworks that he'd been fantasizing about generating with Hermann basically ever since they'd met. It wasn't even the same order of magnitude.

He turned the tablet back over. There were half-a-dozen other files open in the text editor; mostly code, which he could have puzzled through before the Drift and could now probably read like a storybook, and some data readouts. The file with the fucking in it had a created-on date of: yes, the evening of January 7th, he had been particularly provoking that day. He'd wanted to make an impression. Just in case.

The last edited date was right after he'd drifted with Mutavore's brain: he must have written it as soon as Newt had gone off to find Chau. He'd known Newt wouldn't be able to handle another Drift alone. And he'd known what it would mean for them. Of course he had: he'd helped program the first Jaegers, he probably knew all the idiosyncrasies of the Drift right down to his bones. Newt could see him, making his decision, watching Newton run out to find his Kaiju brain, and then sitting down heavily at his own desk, as all the consequences of that Drift unfolded for him - as only Hermann could unfold things. Autobiographical memories were harder to access in the drift hangover, but Newt didn't need to, because he knew Hermann. He would have sat there, staring blankly at the tablet, and then typed that just to make it concrete enough that he could actually do it.

Newt had known the consequences of Drifting too, in theory. He just hadn't ever considered that they'd be relevant to him, personally. He certainly hadn't thought about them in that shining moment when Hermann had offered to share the neural load. He hadn't thought.

Until he realized it was Hermann's hand on his cock and not his, he hadn't thought about the sexual side effects at all.

Which probably should have been its own warning sign, right? Because usually around Hermann he had to fight not to be thinking about sex all the time. Because of Hermann being Hermann at him. But it had been a pretty stressful week; what with the end of the world and all, he'd been in the slow process of coming down from the adrenaline high of his life, not to mention doing a lot of shots with the Jaeger techs, and mourning the deaths of seven people who'd been part of his life for over a decade. So even with what had been going on in the back corners of some of the parties, sex hadn't exactly been the first thing on his mind.

He shook his head. Hermann had fallen back into a deep sleep, his breathing even and heavy, so Newt shut down the tablet and found a washcloth and a replacement top sheet, neatly folded in drawers that his hands found inerrantly even though he'd never opened them before. He carefully wiped up as much of the mess off of Hermann as he could and then slid the bespattered sheet off; luckily there wasn't much of a wet spot on the mattress. Hermann snorted and twitched both hands, but didn't wake, so Newt spread the clean sheet over him. Then he took a few steps back, literally and metaphorically, and then looked down at Hermann.

Beautiful, infuriating, wonderful, horrible, known Hermann, his long limbs barely muffled by the worn PPDC-issue sheet. Newt felt a surge of-- affection, protectiveness, caring, trust, blah blah blah, love, maybe - okay probably love, undeniably love, looking at him with his weird face all scrunched into the pillow and drooling a bit and the long parts of his ridiculous haircut all mussed, but what he didn't feel? Was a single ounce of sexual attraction.

He'd just been waiting until they weren't under such terrible pressure - until they had world enough, and time, to consummate everything properly - and now he knew with the total knowledge of the drift, he knew in every single way that it was possible to know, that Hermann had been waiting for the same thing for just as long.

And now they had the time - they'd made the time, out of their own tears and terror and hard bloody work - and now touching Hermann gave him about as much of a sexual charge as clipping his own toenails. He'd read it in a dozen papers coming out of J-Tech research: when the Pons rig worked its technological magic to shove two brains into perfect correspondence, one of the things it did was shift around all the little things, the neurological and biochemical signals that together made up the mystery of sexual attraction, and reset them all to null. You couldn't pick up on your drift partner's pheromones because the deep structures of your brain thought they were yours: no chemical reaction from mixing a chemical with itself. Nobody ever wanted to fuck their drift partner. It wasn't widely spoken of, but it was one of the most fundamental shared experiences of Jaeger pilots. And that side effect? Tended to be permanent. He'd just never applied it to himself until now.

And Hermann had known. He'd stood there next to the dead kaiju with Newt, and offered himself, and known that even if they won he'd be losing everything they could have been together. And he'd probably known that Newt hadn't even thought about that when he agreed. Had known that he probably wouldn't think about it until three days later, because that was just the kind of thoughtless asshole that Dr. Netwon Geizsler was.

Newt stood in the the door of his bedroom - Hermann's bedroom, even if his brain was still insisting it was his, and at this point he didn't care enough to sort it out - and tried to curse, but it wanted to come out a mix of Hermann's ridiculous British and the German of their childhoods, so instead he gave up, threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt that mostly fit, bundled the dirty sheet and yesterday's clothes in his arms, and went off to find the laundry and maybe some food.

This time in the morning - which, despite Hermann's protestations, was already about 9 AM, but everyone's circadian rhythms were screwed at this point - the laundry was deserted, and the mess was almost as empty. There were just a few of the J-Techs who had iron livers scattered around, which meant - yep, there was Tendo, eating very slowly and staring off into the distance.

Newt grabbed some fried breadsticks and joined him. Tendo refocused as he sat down and asked, "Not sleeping well?"

"I," Newt announced dramatically in reply, "am not sexually attracted to Hermann Gottlieb." Then he put his head down on the table in despair.

"I'd say 'welcome to the rest of the human race,' but, well, it's you, so that's unlikely to be taken as a compliment." Tendo peered at him more closely. "Wow, you're really cut up about this. You had to know it was going to happen when you drifted."

"I never thought it would apply to us," he mumbled into the table.

Tendo patted the top of his head with tender sympathy and agreed, "None of the romantic couples ever do." Then, thoughtfully, he added, "You know, early on in the program, they deliberately looked for long-time married couples as drift partners. They didn't know about the side effects and they figured it would reduce the chances of romantic entanglements causing flame-outs. So, close relatives and married couples." He paused. "Worked out better for the relatives than the marriages, but, you know, there are ways. You two could always try the Kaidonovskys' solution."

Newt limply help out one hand for the ceremonial fistbump with Tendo. The Kaidonovskys had been married for years before they became pilots; their solution to the drift-enforced lack of marital desire was threesomes. Lots of threesomes. You hadn't really become a full member of the PPDC support staff until the Kaidonovskys had dragged you off to their bunk at least once - usually only once.

He let Tendo finish the series of knuckle taps that symbolized the fact that they had both had the most spectacular sexual experience of their lives on a doublewide PPDC-issue bunk courtesy of a pair of crazy Russians who operated in perfect sync and with mind-blowing skill and athleticism. It was probably kind of morbid to still do it now, but Newt thought Sasha and Alex would prefer to be remembered that way, and at this point everybody in the PPDC was all pretty used to memorializing dead Rangers in whatever ways they could.

Then Newt levered his head up half an inch, interest overriding his despair. "Wait, married couples and close relatives? What about Marshall Pentecost and his partner?"

Tendo grinned and waggled his eyebrows. "Well, nobody thought that would be a problem with them, because Pentecost was gay as a daisy in May, and Tamsin was the dykiest dyke who ever wore combat boots."

Newt considered this. "Didn't Tamsin date Herc for awhile, back in the day?"

"Yeah, but that was after they started Drifting," Tendo smirked. "Around the same time Pentecost suddenly found himself attracted to the kind of chicks who play guitar in coffeehouses."

Newt blinked. "The drift swaps your sexuality?"

"Nah, it doesn't swap your sexualities, you just start to share your drift partner's preferences too. Why d'you think the Kaidonovskys could always agree on who to bring in? How did you not know all this, Newt?"

He waved a hand. "I study Kaiju, not Rangers. I mean I checked Hermann's work a couple times, and I read all the basic stuff, but -- wait, does this mean Hermann has a thing for Kaiju now?"

Tendo threw his head back and rubbed at his eyes. "Oh my god, I so did not need to have that confirmed."

"Yeah you did," Newt smirked back at him.

"Okay, yeah I did," Tendo admitted. Newt knew the J-Tech gossip circles had been wondering for years about whether he was serious about the kaiju groupie jokes. "He probably did pick that up from you. You think he's freaking out about it? Nah, he learned to deal with being attracted to you, dealing with fantasies about kaiju blue bukkake will be easy after that."

"Oh, shut up," Newt muttered fondly. He was thinking about Hermann actually understanding his thing for kaiju, and how amazing it would be to finally have a sexual partner he trusted who might be willing to play with that, they could do the most spectacular kinky shit - and then his hindbrain poked him to point out that it wouldn't be with a sexual partner, it would be with Hermann, Hermann didn't count, who would want to have sex with Hermann anyway? That would be like fucking your brother, only moreso.

"AUGH," Newt said, and slammed his head back down on the table.

Tendo patted him cautiously. "You're really taking this badly, huh?"

"Ten years," he muttered. "Ten years of jacking off alone and promising ourselves that after the world wasn't ending any more and we had time, we'd figure out how to be the hottest rock-star power couple in the Academy, and then Hermann has to go and decide to make the stupid fucking last-play sacrifice because hey it wouldn't matter anyway if I was an idiot and got myself killed, and it's not fucking fair that it's my own fault."

"Wait. You haven't been sleeping together already?"

Newt looked up at him abjectly. "We decided to save the distractions until after we saved the world."

"You seriously weren't together? I know you claimed you weren't, but.... You're both complete idiots, aren't you?"

"Look, if that was us not fucking, imagine what us fucking would have been like, and then appreciate the sacrifice we made for the world."

Tendo just looked at him.

"We're both complete idiots," he agreed, and dropped his head back down on the table.

"There, there," Tendo said, and then, "Hey, if you guys drifted with a Kaiju, why do you still think Kaiju are sexy?"

"Pretty sure xenokink doesn't work like that," Newt said, pulling himself tiredly back upright. "No healthy human pheromones and normal brain channels that the Drift can sync up involved there, no sirree. Mild trauma there, yes, but then again I'm pretty sure somebody who was less brainfucked to start with would be having major trauma, whereas my neurochemistry seems to be happily twisting everything back around to libido already, so at least I've got still that, fuckers. God damn it, I really want to fuck Hermann properly."

"Do you?"

"I really, really want to want to," Newt said miserably.

"I feel your pain," Tendo said. "Well, I don't share your pain about wanting to sleep with Doctor Gottleib, but I get that you must be super-frustrated right now. Ten years? Really? Are you both nuts?"

"Yes," said Newt. "Shut up. It made sense at the time."

Tendo slowly shook his head.

"Fuck you," Newt said, and jabbed a breadstick in his general direction.

"Why don't you go ask the Sunshine Twins how they're dealing with not wanting to sleep with each other anymore?" Tendo said, and gestured across the hall. "Not that I know for a fact that they wanted to sleep with each other before, but let's face it, who doesn't want to sleep with those two?"

Newt glared in the direction Tendo had indicated. Sure enough, Raleigh and Mako were just sitting down together with their trays, far too put-together for the morning after that party, still moving in perfect sync, and shooting each other little private smiles. They were like something out of a teen movie. Raleigh was wearing what looked like one of Mako's collection of oversized sweaters. He reached across the table and tucked a lock of her hair behind one ear, and she ducked her head and gave him one of those smiles like the sun coming out. It was nauseating.

"Good idea," Newt said. He grabbed his plate and marched over there.

"Do you regret not fucking Raleigh before you drifted?" he asked Mako. Mako knew him well enough to be used to him by now.

"Newt!" Mako said, and blushed red.

"What?" he asked, as he slid into one of the empty seats at their table. "Look, it's important, I need to know. Do you?"

She shrugged and looked over at Raleigh from under her lashes. "Only a little," she said.

Raleigh's mouth dropped open. "You wanted to... to sleep with me?"

"Of course I did, Raleigh," she said. "Only a little. Not enough to notice. But you're... well, you're," she gestured in a way that Newt understood immediately. Raleigh just looked at her with the expression of a befuddled golden retriever.

"You thought she was gazing longingly at that sculpted, dashingly scarred, throbbing beefcake because she desperately wanted to drift with you?" Newt asked.

"I mostly wanted to drift with you," Mako clarified.

"I honestly didn't think about it at all," Raleigh said. "Look, why do you need to know?"

"Because if I'd realized I was going to wind up drifting with Hermann before the end of this, I would have been sleeping with him for ten years, and now I desperately, desperately regret that I didn't," Newt told them.

"You have not been sleeping with him for ten years?" Mako asked, her face screwed up in confusion.

"We decided saving the world was more important, we didn't want to be distracted, so--"

Mako gave him a look of depthless pity.

"I know, okay," Newt despaired. "I know. But look, do you think we could manage a relationship without something going up in screaming and flames? At least once a week?"

"Okay, you may be right," she admitted.

"You could always try the Kaidonovskys' solution," Raleigh offered.

Newt realized he was going to get very sick of that suggestion in the days to come, but he gamely offered his hand for the ceremonial fistbump.

Raleigh held his hands out of the way and shook his head. "Not me. Me and Yancy were both pretty damn straight, I never saw the appeal of swinging both ways until Mako here showed me the light."

Mako winked at him, and then tapped her fist to Newt's.

"Seriously?" he said.

"It was my first time," she replied. "I was tired of waiting and they were the only people in the Shatterdome who weren't too scared of the Marshall to say yes. It was very good."

"Hey, you go, girl," he said, impressed. "But... I dunno. I don't think that would work for me and Hermann. Sasha and Alexis had time to learn each other before they drifted, you known? And we didn't. Besides, the whole point is that I want to fuck Hermann, not somebody I dragged in off the street."

Raleigh gave him one of those looks that made you suddenly remember he wasn't nearly as empty-headed as he tried very hard to appear. "I don't regret it, you know."

"Huh?" Newt said.

"Not sleeping with Mako. I don't regret it - no offense, you are a very sexy lady," he nodded at Mako.

'Very sexy lady,' Newt mouthed incredulously at her. She ignored him and nodded back at Raleigh, saying "I know," with great dignity.

"But-- look," Raleigh continued. "Back-- before. We were basically rock stars."

"I was there," Newt said.

"Right. You remember what it was like, then. People fell all over themselves for a chance at a real Jaeger pilot. And it was fun, at first, when I was young and stupid, but--" He shrugged. "It got old, fast. And later, I got real good at making people go away, because I was tired of dealing with all that. It was nice for awhile, but then it was lonely." He shrugged again. "And on the construction crews, your only option to push away the loneliness was fast, and hard, and up against the Wall. They didn't set things up to encourage enduring relationships. I got really tired of having to settle for sex when what I wanted was connection. So no, I don't regret it. I'm glad that I know what I have with Mako, and that I know sex never has to be a part of it."

"It must be nice," Newt said, "To get want you want so easily that you don't care anymore."

"It's not about getting what I want," Raleigh said, and shook his head. "It's about knowing what I want. I-- look, maybe you and Dr. Gottleib won't be burning down the 'dome with your lust, but--"

"Anymore," Mako broke in.

"What?" Raleigh asked.

"They won't be burning down the dome with their lust anymore," she said, gazing at Newt with her chin resting on one hand.

Newt waggled an arm indecisively. "There may have been a few fire-related incidents when we were particularly frustrated," he admitted.

"And that thing with the acid," Mako pointed out.

"And the thing with the acid."

Raleigh looked at them both like maybe he wasn't regretting anything about Mako, but he was regretting falling back in with this nest of weirdos.

"They were accidents," Newt clarified. "Mostly."

"Neither of you even use fire in your research--" Raleigh said, and then shook his head. "So maybe you won't be burning down the 'dome with your lust anymore, for which we will all be sleeping more soundly in our beds, but it doesn't mean you can't be passionate about each other. Be in love, even. You've already been as one body together, you know? Honestly, the Kaidonovskys were kind of weird. Most pilot couples just stopped worrying about it after awhile."

Newt pointed a thumb in his direction. "Is this dude real?" he asked Mako.

"He's entirely lovely," she said, patting Raleigh on the arm. Raleigh-- swear to God-- blushed and ducked his head exactly the way Mako did. Newt found himself suddenly missing Hermann on a cellular level, which didn't help at all with his problem.

"I haven't regretted it either, Newton," she added. "It's not very often that I get to be friends with a man who I know for sure is never going to want to have sex with me."

"Hey," Newt said, offended. "I'm your friend."

Mako raised her eyebrows at him, exactly the way Raleigh did.

"Okay, maybe a little. You are a very sexy lady," he admitted.

"I am," she said. "So you see, it's nice. It's... restful."

Raleigh was nodding along. Newt wasn't buying this for a minute. "But ten years," he whined.

"That, we can't help you with," Raleigh said. "But it's not the drift's fault you two are a bit slow."

Newt glared at him. Raleigh spread his hands and shrugged theatrically. Mako giggled.

"I am leaving," he announced, picking up his tray. "I am in distress, I don't need to be laughed at. Enjoy your sickeningly sweet platonic love affair, or whatever the hell you think this is."

"Don't worry, we will," Raleigh called after him as he left.

"Freakshow," Newt muttered to himself, not sure if he meant the Sunshine Twins' display of rainbows-and-happiness or himself and Hermann or, let's by all means be honest, just himself.

The problem with storming out of the mess hall was that he didn't really have anywhere else to go. Oh, well, theoretically he did, but all he really wanted to do was to go back to his room. Their room. Hermann's room, Godverdammt, they were two separate people, no matter how much his proprioceptive system was trying to tell him they weren't and that half his body had somehow wandered off away from his and this was wrong, okay, just so deeply wrong on every level.

He sighed and looked down at the plate of fried bread he was holding. He'd apparently forgotten to eat any of it. Intellectually he knew he was probably hungry, and that he really liked the salty oiliness of Chinese fried breadsticks, unless that was Hermann? It couldn't be Hermann who was hungry, anyway; the drift didn't actually let you sense the other person's feelings, just tricked you into thinking you should. Although Hermann was probably hungry too; they hadn't had anything but alcohol and party snacks since yesterday morning. He could at least bring him breakfast.

Hermann stirred when he put the plate down on the desk. "Why aren't you here?" he muttered.

"Things to do," he said. "You know how it is."

Hermann levered himself slightly more awake, and squinted at him. Newt thought about the clean white sheet sliding over his white, unmarked skin, and winced, because his skin shouldn't be unmarked, and yet-- "Come help me sleep, Newton."

"I didn't know," Newt said suddenly. "I mean, I did know, but I didn't think about it, because I'm not always great at thinking things through. If I'd thought about it, if I'd remembered I would have -- well I would have done the same thing, because saving the world, but I'd have freaked out about it first instead of now."

"I don't care what you're freaking out about, we can deal with it later, we'll have time. I want to sleep."

"Time," Newt spat. "Ten fucking years." But he crawled back into bed, and pulled up the coverlet that had come along with him ever since college - had come with Hermann-him, not him-him - and rolled over until he could feel his heartbeat, and closed his eyes.

"Hey Hermann," he said after a second, "Do you really think kaiju are sexy now?"

"Sleep," Hermann said.

Newt slept.