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"Okay," Newt says the instant Hermann’s through the door of their shared lab space. His hands come up and he’s stepping into Hermann’s space, eyes wide in the look he adopts when he’s trying to pretend he’s not a complete menace to society. "Okay," he repeats as he mimes patting at the front of Hermann’s shirt. "The thing to remember right now is that it’s important to not panic."

Hermann closes his eyes, counts slowly to ten, and visualizes the ulcer that’s currently happily eating away at his stomach slowly shriveling up and disappearing.

"What," he asks carefully, "am I not panicking about?"

Hermann’s eyes are still closed, but he doesn’t need them open to know the grin that’s on Newt’s face right now. It’s an infuriating mixture of guilt and smugness.

One of these days Hermann’s going to slap it right off his face.

Pentecost would probably give him a raise.

"There was a small—a teeny tiny!—problem with that replication experiment that I was working on and one of the samples may have gone missing."

There’s a slow, thrumming pulse of tension steadily growing stronger at the base of Hermann’s neck, and he reluctantly slits open his eyes enough to glare narrowly at Newt.

"I don’t even know where to begin with how many things are wrong with that sentence."

"Grammatically," Newt begins, a hopeful lilt to his voice, and Hermann cuts him off with a slash of his hand.

"Replication experiment?"

Newt’s face falls for a moment, before he gathers it back into a defiant expression. “You know I believe the best way to deal with the kaiju is to study them as extensively as possible.”

"Replication," Hermann repeats, biting out every syllable with sharp, snapping teeth.

Newt tips his head back to direct his words toward the ceiling and continues as if Hermann’s not said anything. “And of course I’ve been unable to find or obtain a full sized, relatively undamaged specimen to study or perform experiments on.”

"Newton, please tell me you aren’t cloning kaiju."

There’s a creaking groan from the direction of their filing cabinets, then an ear ringing crash as the metal hits the concrete floor. The smile Newt turns on him then barely conceals his excitement over the very real disaster that’s happening in the vicinity of Hermann’s favorite chalkboard.

"Well, I’m trying not to say that.”

The second crash of the morning is nowhere near the mini kaiju, and Hermann considers it to be completely worth the HR meeting he’s forced to attend later that week.