"It can't hurt," Newt says encouragingly, or at least as close as he gets, and the spliff in his fingers smoked a little as though in agreement. Hermann eyes it with unease and a little fascination. The problem with his usual painkillers was that they had side-effects that often were simply not worth the freedom from pain. Sacrificing a day to nausea, or two days if he absently mindedly missed a dose, having to feel like a zombie on certain meds, well sometimes it wasn't worth it. Today was a bad day. Today was the sort of day where he'd woken up and felt like taking a double dose of pills, crawling carefully into bed and lying there in complete silence until night came. Only his job didn't work like that, and even though by all his calculations there wouldn't be another incident for eight days, he couldn't throw away a whole day like that. So, after being increasingly grumpy and several times threatening obscene and life threatening things that he'd do to Newt with his cane if he didn't keep the noise down, Newt had hit upon this solution.
"You're in pain right," he said rhetorically. "Weed is good for that, I promise you. I got a papercut once, pain was gone in minutes," and he had laughed unapologetically when Hermann glared at him. "I'm kidding. This is the good shit and it works. Friend of mine swears this is the only thing that does anything for them, and they're pretty hard up at the moment when it comes to pain." He takes a drag himself and waves it enticingly. "C'mon. Everyone's asleep, no-one's going to know you actually took my advice."
Hermann eyes it. On the one hand, he is far too happy in possessing an exceptional brain to want to take drugs, on the other hand he is in a great deal of pain, and it doesn't seem to have harmed Newt. If anything on the rare occasion Hermann had seen him broiled, or baked or whatever it was the kids were calling it these days, he'd calmed right down and been a great deal less noisy. He thinks it is politeness in the end that makes him take it. No point letting it burn down like that, a terrible waste of what Newt had intimated was rather expensive 'dope'. He fails on the first inhale, coughs his lungs out, jarrs his leg and only just stops himself from snapping at Newt, that this was a useless idea, about as useless as Newt's theory that the second layer of kaiju skin had an application as a beauty cream (which apparently wasn't so useless, and now Lancome were claiming it as a special ingredient, so perhaps Newt had had a grain of a good idea in there somewhere.)
He's going to pass it back and say it's not for him, but Newt's looking at him with something that's uncomfortably close to worry (though he'd deny it forever naturally) and Hermann doesn't want to look at that too closely, so he takes the path of least resistance and takes another lungful. Newt nips it out of his fingers, as neat as you please, half horrified and half amused. "You've had about half of it," he says, faintly accusingly, and takes a bit himself. Hermann, who has had practice with a number of inhalers, is pretty good at keeping hold of a breath when he has to, and it's long seconds before he's done, thankfully with no coughing this time. He thinks he feels different already but it's not the easiest thing to measure and he gets a little bit caught up in that thought, feels a little bit drowsy already, and wonders if that's the most he'll get out of it. To make sure, he evades Newt's groping fingers and takes a third go (he knows Newt calls them hits, but that sounds ridiculous). Now he begins to think there's a change.
He sort of forgets about documenting reactions soon after that, and Newt claps him on the shoulder, congratulates him on chilling out successfully making it sound like it's a level that Hermann has unlocked on one of Newt's ridiculous handheld game machines (Hermann doesn't use them often. Only when Newt isn't looking, or if they're in a briefing that's gettting everything wrong as usual, and then he pretends that it's a tablet and he's making notes. Newt occasionally shouts pieces of advice that Hermann ignores because what does Newt know about making fifty pizzas in a minute for fifty customers. Nothing.)
He kind of gets stuck on that idea for a bit, he thinks, and Newt has to wave his hand in front of his face in all earnestness, and ask him if the weed is helping. Hermann thinks about that for a second, and then looks down at his leg as though to check that it is still there, before he realises that Newt was right. The pain is, if not gone, then only a dull ache compared to the raging pain it had been in earlier, and he can feel the muscles in his back untensing as though now that he was in less pain, he could relax a little more.
He hadn't even realised how tense he was until the main source of his discomfort was gone, and tentatively he stretches, feels his vertebrae click and subsides back against the cushions that Newt had decided were the best interior decoration available to a Shatterdome. He's grateful for how Newt had provided him with extra for his leg, bent at a little bit of an angle to prevent it from stiffening up and making it unable for him to stand, and in the sense of happy well being that the lack of pain has brought on, he can't help smiling, and when he starts he can't stop, because it feels so good.
Newt being Newt has to ruin this tender moment of union between Hermann and his leg, by poking his face up close and inquiring anxiously, "no really, is it helping?”
"Yes," Hermann says, and he thinks his smile probably says it all. Newt looks pleased, and he's looking down at Hermann's leg thoughtfully.
"You've been standing on it all day. Would a massage help?" He's in earnest and he looks kind of insulted when Hermann starts laughing, a cracked sort of sound caused by a dried out throat. "Don't be a dick. I massage like a god. They say I have healing hands."
"Who says?" Hermann says in return when he's stopped laughing.
"My mom," Newt responds, like weed has flipped off his ability to lie. "She used to say that when she had a sore neck."
Hermann manages to stifle another laugh that threatens to turn into a hiccup. "I don't doubt your ability Dr Geiszler," he manages to get out, "but my leg is painful and kind of hard to work with." He doesn't mention the thick raised scar that on cold days goes almost white hot with pain, or how touching the knee itself is an exercise in masochism for himself some days, apparently weed doesn't make him as loose-lipped as Newt and it's a small mercy.
"Would you mind if I gave it a go?" Newt asks, and Hermann half realises he's serious, and that's an odd enough sight in itself that he shrugs, and Newt grins. "I promise I'll stop if it hurts," he says, "but it's good to keep in practice."
Turns out he didn't lie. The weed is masking most of the pain, but Newt's hands are getting rid of the rest, more delicate than Hermann would have assumed he could be, but with a sense of unerring accuracy at pinpointing the troubled spots. Hermann had managed to squirm out of his trousers, with Newt's help (not a big deal, kaiju acid had meant that both of them through direct exposure- Newt- and indirect exposure -Hermann- had had to change in the lab too many times to count, and Newt takes great care in avoiding the scar, the warmth of his hands sinking into the muscles, a slow careful movement that's completely in tune with the mood. Hermann thinks the weed might be wearing off a little, he's less inclined to laugh than he had been, and he feels clearer headed, but the pain isn't returning and it's like Newt's worked a really small miracle tonight.
Newt is concentrating hard, and when Hermann looks closer he can see the muscles rippling in his arms which are deceptively strong. The tattoos move a little along with them, a slow interplay that's pretty mesmerising- and perhaps he may still be feeling some effects. He's not sure what it is though- the complete lack of pain for the first time in weeks, the weed or just the intent expression that he generally only ever sees on Newt's face when he's hip-deep in a kaiju cadaver that makes him suddenly want to kiss him. Perhaps even more, his brain supplies logically after all he's about 30% undressed and that makes everything easier. Of course the logical bit of the brain is also reminding him that this is all a bad idea.
It's a bad idea because they're in the middle of a war, it's a bad idea because they're colleagues, it's a bad idea because they share a lab. But being here at all is a bad idea. Hermann has been offered more money than he knows what to do with to work with big firms. Various governments have not so secretively waved big cheques under his nose to come work on some top secret defense projects, only in part to get him away from working on the Jaeger program that they want on the scrap heap. He's here, and Newt's here but they're here because they're already a little bit crazy. What's a kiss on top of that.
So he leans forward and Newt looks up from where he's poring over Hermann's leg, and they're inches away from each other, the air frozen and breathless, and Hermann closes that gap even though it makes his back ache, and kisses him firmly. Newt's mouth tastes of weed, thick and heavy and smoky, a little bitter and Hermann still knows it's a bad idea but it feels good. Better than good, it feels like the sort of thing that's been missing from his life for quite a bit of time. Newt kisses back, and that's good as well, not hesitant but careful, like weed has slowed every single one of his natural impulses. Usually he's filled with so much energy that he bounces off walls, but now his hands are slow and gentle on Hermann's leg, and his mouth is the same. Their kisses are as lazy and slow as their work is hectic, and it's not long until Newt is actually in his lap, knees either side of Hermann's thighs, careful not to jarr him, and Hermann appreciates that more than he can say.
To show his appreciation he kisses Newt harder, and Newt responds enthusiastically, doubts slipping away, until they're rubbing awkwardly against each other, and Newt appears to be regretting not getting rid of his trousers now because he's standing up and kicking them off with a muffled curse, and then settling right back down, their cocks only two thin sheets of fabric away, and Hermann can't resist thrusting up every so slightly, and rejoicing that his leg doesn't seem to care. Newt anticipates that need though, grinds down against him, cock against cock, wet and heavy and soaking through his boxers, until hestops just like that, mid-grind, and asks. "Are you okay with this? The weed and everything you know," and Hermann doesn't want to hear it because if he stops and thinks about it, he'll do the sensible thing and put back on his trousers, try and forget that he ever dragged a good working relationship into this, and right now there's nothing that he wants less. So he nods and yanks Newt down again, bites at his lip until Newt is moaning into his mouth and achingly hard against him, and then shoves a hand down Newt's boxers, and starts to fist his hard cock, thick and wet and slippery, all of which just sends a hotter spark of arousal down his spine, one he hasn't felt in too long if he's honest with himself, and Newt is helplessly jerking his hips up, and although Hermann isn't getting as much friction as he would like, this is almost the hottest thing he's ever done.
The angle is all wrong, it's awkward and imperfect, not logical in the least and that's the least of his thoughts as Newt comes over his hand, and leans gasping into his neck, warm breath on his neck, and Hermann jerks upwards just a little, strokes himself off with the hand he jerked Newt with, comes in an embarrassingly short amount of time considering that from everything he's ever heard of weed it should apparently slow arousal down. There's an awkward moment right after, when reality settles back in and he realises he's half naked with a lap full of kaiju scientist, when his family had always wanted a physicist for him. Newt however spends all day up to his arms in remains and is thus immune to sticky, sweaty, uncomfortable situations, and leans back in and kisses Hermann again before he stands on legs that look distinctly wobbly.
This right here is actually the bit that Hermann dreads. Not Newt seeing the scar- he's seen that before in their various workplace mishaps, not even the embarrassing sensation of still being in a fully buttoned up shirt with no trousers underneath. It's the inevitable struggle to get up from the floor.
Sure he has a stick, and there's a firm surface near by to get a hand on, and his leg feels rested enough and thanks to the careful angling and Newt's massage, flexible enough to move around on once he's up. But in that grey-area between the floor and being upright, he feels unaccountably vulnerable, irritable at his own weakness. There's not really a right way to aid him though- someone watching as he tries is frustrating, someone helping is belittling, but Newt handles it like he does anything at all, and as Hermann rises he offers a helping shoulder, until Hermann can stretch out the leg and walk firmly on it. He does it without a word as though he does it every day, no fuss, and Hermann is more grateful than he can say, especially when Newt sweeps back the covers of the bed and gestures. He's still sticky in his boxers but Newt has anticipated even that, throws him a baby wipe from a contraband container of them, and lets Hermann arrange himself in the illicit double bed first before he flops down next to him.
"See I was right as usual," he said, an edge of sleep threading through his words. "Now will you trust me on my kaiju brain analysis?"
"Not in a million years," Hermann mumbles back because sex is sex, and science is science.