Chapter 1: Relax
The war is over. It's won, and the clock stops, and the entire Shatterdome breaks into thunderous cheers and jubilation.
It's not imagined, the contact. The eager way that Newton wraps his arm around Hermann's shoulder, shaking him in excitement over the fact that they stopped the clock. They saved the world, together.
But this is not that moment. This is the moment a few minutes after, in which he and Newton manage to escape the din of celebration to nurse their mutual pains. In this state, he isn't sure whose quarters they enter, but he knows one thing: the two of them need to rest, on a subatomic level.
They collapse into the bed, and breathe out joint sighs of relief. If they hold each other close, that's a moment for tonight and tonight alone.
In the darkness and calm, the war over and understanding achieved, Newt and Hermann can finally relax.
Chapter 2: Kiss
Prompt: Kiss. From rnainframe's Kaiju Newt AU.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Spending an afternoon with Newton should, in theory, be relaxing. But most relaxing things, for Hermann, are only theoretical, and it isn't long before he feels the telltale sliminess of Newt's absurd tongue on his face.
Unlike normal, however, it doesn't stay there for more than a moment, Newt pulling back in surprise at the pale tan stain on his tongue and the taste of it. "Wha'th thith?" His tongue continues to stick out as he examines the pale powder on it, and the smudge of blue on Hermann's face.
"Concealer, Newton. The concept surely isn't foreign to you." Hermann resists the urge to wipe the alien spittle off of his cheek.
He pulls his tongue back into a mouth with a shudder. "Sure, yeah, but why are you wearing it? You can tell me if you got a weird face tattoo, Herms, I'm the last person who'd judge you." He takes a moment, seemingly trying to get the taste out of his mouth. "Ugh, that tastes awful. Are you wearing it so I won't kiss you? Because that's pretty rude."
Hermann rolls his eyes. "It's not an intentional deterrent, though it is related." He uses a tissue to wipe the makeup off of his face, showing a splotchy blue stain, centered on the spot where Newt just 'kissed' him. "If you continue to do such things, I fear my skin will never be the same."
Newt blinks before chuckling. "Well, damn. Guess I have to kiss you the old fashioned way."
As Newt presses his lips to Hermann's cheek, Hermann's entire face goes brilliantly red, making the blue mark look almost purple.
"...I suppose you will, Newton. I suppose you will."
Go check out rnainframe's tumblr if you like kaiju Newt content!
Chapter 3: Trespasser
Prompt: Trespasser. Takes place pre-film.
"For the last time, Newton, the line is there for a reason." He pokes (thankfully neutralized) kaiju entrails back onto Newt's side of the lab, only to scowl when Newt kicks them back over without a thought.
"It's there for dumb reasons. It's not like there aren't other labs here, all of them are empty since we're the last ones left. If it really gets to you, just leave!" Newt throws his hands in the air in exasperation.
Hermann huffs in indignation. "The Marshal does not have time for two separate briefings, and I will not be the cause of inefficiency simply because you have an unfortunate tendency to bother me with frivolous and juvenile pursuits."
Newt stomps up to the line. "Frivolous and juvenile? That's rich, coming from y-" His words are cut off as Stacker Pentecost enters, their argument cut short as they give their reports on the state of their research.
And really, Newt is right. The reasons for the line are flimsy at best, if one pokes through them. Hermann's been trying since the incident to maintain distance. Personal, professional, physical. It's a defense mechanism, really.
But Newt's a serial trespasser, crossing over every line he draws, every wall he builds.
And really, even if he'd never admit it, he wouldn't have it any other way.
Chapter 4: Treason
Prompt: Treason. For rnainframe's Precursor Newt AU. (Not technically Newmann, but all things I do with them has it implied.)
"...it's all your fault, it really is, in which case I also won. Sort of." Pause. "I'm going in in three... two... one."
A drift with a kaiju is a messy, chaotic beast, similar to the alien itself, but Newton Geiszler was expecting that part. What he was not expecting was to hear the voices of his creators, clicking in unison in a language no one else on Earth would be able to parse.
But Newt wasn't from Earth.
YOU ARE BETRAYING YOUR MASTERS AND YOUR PURPOSE.
Newt's blood goes cold.
TRULY A PITY. THE REST OF YOUR EXISTENCE WILL BE BRIEF.
The visuals of the drift are scattered frames, only flickers of thumbnails as he starts to truly comprehend his history, but as he's pulled out of the drift, he hears one last clear message. All of their messages were clear, but that's how it is when you're being directly spoken to.
YOUR TREASON WILL NOT GO UNPUNISHED.
And then the drift is done, and Hermann's harshly hissing at him, asking Newt what he's done.
He's done the right thing. But he definitely hasn't done the smart thing.
Chapter 5: Ichor
Prompt: ichor. Guardian Angel Hermann AU, also from rnainframe.
He's developed a habit of covering his wounds with haste. Every nick, every paper cut, every tiny little slit, covered with a hand while it heals. He's sure it looks odd to Newton, but a lot of things about him look odd nowadays.
Gold flecked irises and halos of sunlight, misfitting blazers and gilded canes, too warm touches and too bright eyes. All of this should add up to something, but it doesn't.
He grits his teeth when he gets a paper cut, turning a page in a notebook, and he covers the little slice. It heals in moments, like anything else. Nothing can truly harm the dead, but he covers it anyway, hiding that it was ever there at all.
Newton's far too trusting of his little habits, really. He assumes it's all just Hermann being himself, but it's hard to say if he's himself at all anymore.
He recalls, faintly, from his studies. He's more of a scientist than a linguist, favoring mathematics over folklore, but he recalls.
They say that ichor, the blood of the divine, is like liquid gold. Beautiful and inhuman, even when in pain.
Hermann Gottlieb, despite his name, is no god. He's not divine. But he's not human anymore either. He's something more ethereal, something he never asked for.
If he covers his wounds, he never has to see what he bleeds.
Chapter 6: Supernovae
Prompt: Supernovae. Guardian Angel Hermann AU.
Okay, so maybe he should've listened when Herm told him to stay in.
Chapter 7: Hiraeth
Prompt: Hiraeth (a feeling of homesickness for a place you've never been or can't return to). Takes place during the pen pal days.
Chapter 8: Petrichor
Prompt: Petrichor (the smell that comes from rain after a long dry period). From rnainframe's Treason AU.
The rain thumps heavily outside the little apartment, a comfortable little place for two without much protection from the noise. The sheer weight almost feels like a god trying to smite the building, but the two inhabitants of this particular apartment don't pay it much mind.
The scene is simple. Almost domestic. Well, no, that's not true. It's very domestic. Hermann is settled into the couch with a pleasant ease, reading a novel he's been meaning to get around to, as Newt makes himself some unpleasantly strong coffee in the kitchen.
The window of the kitchen creaks open, and Hermann looks over at Newt with an unspoken question.
The response he gets isn't aloud. Given how connected they are, there's rarely any point to using their voices anymore. You like the smell of rain.
Petrichor. That particular thought is in unison, and Hermann smiles as he stands, shuffling over to be close to Newt and bask in the comfort of his presence.
I wonder if the Anteverse will have rain, he muses. The memories of the place are a blur, so he can't recall precipitation.
Maybe. At least you can enjoy it now, right? Newt leans over to press his face into Hermann's neck, and Hermann lets out a pleased hum.
I can. Thank you. He brushes a kiss across Newt's hairline, and their mental affection goes wordless as they melt into each other. There's nothing more to be said. Only love to be expressed.
Chapter 9: Cold
Prompt: cold. Guardian Angel Hermann AU. Warning for mention of/temporary character death.
Everything's been warm for Hermann since... the incident. He refers to it by no other name. 'The Incident' makes it sound less permanent than it was. Certainly a much better choice than calling it... well, he won't so much as name it.
He feels the death of Newton Geiszler before he hears anything about it. It's the spike of ice through his very core, choking him and making him fall to his knees. For a moment, he thinks he might be dying again, but then he realizes.
His connection to Newt is gone.
He grasps at his chest with shaking hands, as if to try and tug on a thread that no longer exists. No matter what he does, the soft warmth of knowing Newt's feelings is just... gone.
Hermann's frozen for a long time, until the flutter of white wings going dark catches his attention.
"...I'm sorry, Herm."
Hermann practically throws himself at Newt. Being newly fallen means his angelic warmth is still leaking away to cold, cold, cold, but Hermann can't care about the cold, not when he has Newt in his arms.
"Never do that again," he croaks out, trying not to sound like he's on the verge of tears.
"I won't, I promise. I'm here to stay."
He's not sure if he's imagining the warmth returning as he softly kisses Newt's face, but it doesn't matter. Hot or cold, dead or alive, right or wrong, they're there for each other. Until the very end.