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The first time it happens, it’s entirely unintentional, because Hermann isn’t thinking much about what he’s doing. He’s lying in bed, trading kisses with Newt, and the only words that come to mind are keep going and yes.

“Lie back,” Newt murmurs. He nudges Hermann’s shoulders, then unbuttons Hermann’s shirt.

They’ve been slowly divesting each other of clothing for fifteen minutes. Newt is still wearing boxers, and Hermann considers taking them off, but it seems like a lot of work. Besides, the fabric is paper-thin. Newt is grinding into him so deliciously, and Hermann can feel his warmth, the shape of him—

“God, that feels divine,” he groans. He slides a hand down the back of Newt’s boxers and encourages him to keep moving. Newt is breathing heavily. He layers kiss after kiss to Hermann’s neck, then gives one very well-placed thrust.

“Oh, fuck,” Hermann gasps.

Newt comes with a shocked whimper.

 

---

 

Ten minutes later, Newt is wiping the corners of his mouth, and Hermann is recovering from a truly spectacular orgasm. He opens his eyes when Newt flops down next to him, and leans in to kiss Newt’s bare shoulder.

“You, like—never swear,” Newt says, sounding dazed.

Rarely,” Hermann corrects. “You’ve heard me more than a few times in the lab.”

“And you said—what did you say?”

“Hmmm?”

“You said, ‘That feels divine.’” A slight shiver rolls across Newt’s skin. Hermann arches an eyebrow.

It had been quick—unusually quick. Newt had seemed particularly wound up, and now, Hermann starts to wonder why. He looks over at Newt, who is gazing distantly up at the ceiling. There’s a wide smile on his face, and his skin is still flushed. Hermann waits for him to speak.

“Hey, could you—could I ask you something?” Newt’s cheeks blush a deeper pink. “It’s like—a sex thing.”

“Go on.”

“Could you maybe do more of that? More talking, I mean? I really like hearing you—like, say things.”

Hermann nods slowly. “All right. What sorts of things?”

"You know, sex stuff. I don’t want to feed you lines. I can’t really think of—” Newt sighs and runs a hand through his hair. “Forget it, it’s not even a big deal. It’s—”

“Newton, just say it.”

“You’re not gonna be into it.”

“Would you please stop answering questions for me before I’ve even heard them?”

Newt rolls onto his stomach. He buries a long, muffled groan into his pillow.

“I really like dirty talk,” he says.

“Excuse me?”

“Dirty talk.” When Newt lifts his face, his cheeks are bright red, and he won’t meet Hermann’s eyes. “You know, like shitty porn dialogue. Kind of really dumb and gross and degrading? Like the complete opposite of what you are.”

Hermann flinches a bit at that, and Newt rushes to correct himself.

“That’s not what I meant, that’s not—” He sighs, and lays his head back down on the pillow. “The sex we have is amazing. Like, seriously, no one’s ever—it’s never been this good or this satisfying, and I just really like being with you. The dirty-talk thing is just a stupid kink. We could never do it and I’d still be totally happy, it’s just—it’s something I fantasize about.”

Hermann nods, thinking. He strokes up and down Newt’s arm, then twists his hand and captures Newt’s fingers in his own. “What specifically do you fantasize about?”

Newt swallows. “Um. You whispering in my ear while we’re having sex. Telling me—telling me how good it feels, and what you want to do to me.”

“Surely I can manage that.”

“Yeah?” Newt looks up with hope in his eyes.

“Yes. I know I’m not very vocal, and this isn’t something that particularly arouses me, but if it’s something that you would enjoy, then I’m certainly willing to indulge you.”

Newt smiles and nuzzles into Hermann’s neck. “Thanks,” he murmurs.

They lie together in silence; the only sound is their even breathing. Just as Newt closes his eyes, Hermann gives him a gentle nudge.

"Am I really the best you've ever had?" he asks.

Newt snorts a laugh. "You're so full of yourself."

 

---

 

Hermann never goes into anything unprepared. He’s fairly certain that satisfying Newt’s kink is no more difficult than simply voicing what he’s thinking at any given moment, but he needs to be sure. He doesn’t want to fall short of expectations. The next evening, he settles into bed with his tablet, intending to do some research. He had invited Newt to spend the night, but Newt needed to finish a dissection first, and wouldn’t arrive for another couple of hours. This should give Hermann just enough time.

Hermann puts on his glasses and hovers his fingers over the tablet’s keypad before Googling dirty talk how-to. He is instantly barraged with a number of results, mostly articles from women’s magazines and conversations from unsavory message boards.

“God,” he mutters. “There’s certainly no shortage of first-hand accounts.”

Hermann skims through a few articles, but finds them insipid and mindless. He tries the message boards, but they only strike him as offensive and vulgar.

“How can this possibly be so difficult?” he wonders.

He’s five pages deep when he gives up and decides to amend his search terms. Surely the best way to acquire information is to observe the situation first-hand. Well—if not first-hand exactly, then as close as he can get.

Hermann clicks on the search bar and types in dirty talk pornography. Instant results.

 

---

 

When Newt stumbles through the door, all Hermann needs to do is give him a slow look up and down. Newt grins and drops everything to climb into bed. Hermann runs a hand through his hair—it’s damp.

“You showered in the rangers’ locker room,” he murmurs, mid-kiss. “You know you’re going to get caught one of these days.”

Newt laughs. “It’s past midnight—there was no one there.” He shrugs out of his shirt, and Hermann takes a moment to admire his chest. “Besides, if I do get caught, I’ll just tell them who it was who hacked the passcode so we could have shower sex.”

“That’s not why I hacked the passcode. I hacked the passcode because you smelled like entrails and I couldn’t stand it any longer.”

Newt isn’t listening. He tosses the sheets to the foot of the bed and toys with the hem of Hermann’s t-shirt. There’s a soft smile on his face as he gently pulls the shirt up and over Hermann’s head.

“Were you reading?” he asks, gesturing to Hermann’s glasses, crooked now, on his nose.

Hermann takes them off and sets them aside. “I was doing some research.”

“Always working.” Newt leans in for a kiss. It starts soft and tender, but then Hermann wraps one arm around Newt’s waist and lowers him down onto the mattress. The kiss becomes hungry.

“Say something to me,” Newt urges. “Please.”

Hermann takes a breath and steels his resolve. He crawls up, leans in close to Newt’s ear, and whispers.

 

---

 

It’s a full minute before Newt can stop giggling. The only thing that's keeping Hermann from feeling mortified is the fact that Newt has his arms wrapped tightly around him, and between giggles, he’s pressing kisses to Hermann’s cheek.

“I’m sorry,” Newt laughs. “I’m so sorry, dude.”

“Oh, don’t be sorry. By all means, continue to mock me.”

“No no, I’m not mocking you!” Newt kisses Hermann again, and Hermann reluctantly admits to himself that cheek-kisses are a personal weakness. “Hermann, I am so totally not mocking you, it’s just—you definitely did not come up with that on your own.”

“So what if I—”

“Have you been watching porn?”

“Shut up.”

Newt breaks out into giggles again. “You have! Is that what you were doing when I came in? Oh my God. Het porn or gay porn?”

“Both, if you must know.”

“Oh, dude, you’re so dumb.” Newt gives one final laugh, then sighs and curls closer into Hermann until they’re pressed tightly together. “You’re the dumbest, you are the absolute dumbest,” he murmurs. “I love you so much.”

Hermann’s breath catches in his chest. Newt’s voice has sobered.

“I mean it. I really, really do. I can’t believe I’m saying it now, after you just quoted some stupid porn line at me, but—ugh. Even though you should know not to get sex advice from internet porn—I mean, that’s like the most obvious thing ever and I can’t believe someone as fucking intelligent as you can be so dense, but—I still think it’s really stupidly cute that you even tried. Like, that you did that for me.”

Hermann snorts. “I’ll endeavor to remember not to in the future.”

“I hope you do, dude, because I want your moves, not porn-star moves.” Newt smirks. “Now can we try this again? Because for some reason, I still really want to have sex with you.”

“Oh, for some reason.” Hermann kisses Newt while he’s smiling.

 

---

 

They continue on as if nothing had happened, but Hermann can tell that Newt hasn’t forgotten his request. Hermann allows himself to make little sex noises—gasps and grunts that he doesn’t normally let out. Every time he does, Newt’s eyelashes flutter. He doesn’t ask anything of Hermann, but his reactions are enough to build up Hermann’s courage until he's confident approaching the topic on his own.

“Tell me what to say,” Hermann whispers. “I want to to do this.”

Newt licks his lips. “Okay, uh—well, I can’t tell you what to say—that sucks all the fun out of it. Just talk about...I don’t know, tell me what you like. What do I do to you that you really like?”

Hermann’s stomach is full of butterflies. Newt is looking at him expectantly, and Hermann feels an intense desire to please him.

“I like it when you suck me,” he says, quietly.

Newt’s eyes light up. “Good! That’s really good, actually, because blowing you is definitely one of my favorite things to do.”

Hermann gives a shy smile.

“What do you like about it? The way it feels?”

“Well, yes. Your lips are perfectly suited.” Newt’s cheeks turn pink, and Hermann feels a confidence boost. “But I also enjoy watching you. Your eyes glaze over; you look drugged.”

“That’s probably ‘cause I’m majorly getting off on it.”

Hermann glances down to see a slight bulge growing in Newt’s jeans. “I like that it brings you as much pleasure as it does me.” His hands wander lower. “When you take my—my prick into your mouth—”

“Oh God—”

“It feels like heaven. Warmth and pressure and—”

Newt surges forward and smashes their mouths together, almost painfully. Hermann can feel his inhibitions falling away. He pushes Newt onto his back.

“Tell me something else,” Newt says. “Tell me what you like to do to me.”

Hermann palms Newt’s erection with one hand.

“Everything, Newton.”

“Okay, that’s great, but could you be a little more—”

“I like the way you look when my fingers are inside you.”

Newt’s face turns red, and his eyes open comically wide.

“Yeah?” he squeaks.

Hermann smiles devilishly. “You’ve always been enamored with my fingers. Even before we were together. I’d often caught you staring while I held a piece of chalk.”

Hermann tugs Newt’s jeans down just a bit. He traces the length of Newt’s cock through his underwear.

“God, Hermann, please give them to me.”

Hermann leans away to reach for the lube in the nightstand. Newt pulls off his own pants, then gets to work on Hermann’s. When they’re both blessedly naked, Hermann shoves a pillow beneath Newt’s hips. Newt keeps stretching up for kisses, but Hermann just pushes him back down.

“Stay still,” he says. “Allow me to at least get started first.” He slicks one finger and reaches down between Newt’s legs. When he slips inside, Newt arches his back and moans.

“Tell me about you,” Newt says, his voice breathy. “Tell me—tell me about a fantasy you have.”

Hermann feels himself blush.

“Please.” Newt’s eyes are wide and imploring. His lips are parted, so Hermann leans down to kiss them.

“Sometimes I think about you like this,” he says, quietly. “I wonder if you could come just from my fingers. Without even—without even touching your cock.”

Newt’s eyes squeeze shut. Hermann starts feeling bolder.

“You’re so desperate, but you always hold out until the last moment to touch yourself. I wonder what would happen if I didn’t let you. If you had nothing but my fingers sliding in and out. My voice in your ear, telling you how good you are.”

Newt reaches up and grips Hermann’s shoulder. Hermann slips another finger inside of him, and Newt gives a short cry.

“You’re so good, Newton, so very good like this.” Hermann bites and sucks at Newt’s earlobe. Newt starts murmuring under his breath—tiny broken pleas and repetition of Hermann’s name. Hermann is achingly hard. He presses his erection against Newt’s hip, rubbing against him for some sort of relief.

“I think about you all the time,” he says. It feels cathartic to admit. He nods towards the bottle that’s fallen between them. “Could you—please—”

Newt grabs it and blindly squeezes more lube onto Hermann’s fingers, still half-buried inside of him. He smears some onto his own hand, then starts stroking himself with quick, erratic pulls.

“Do you have the slightest idea what it does to me, seeing you like this? You’re beautiful, Newton. Just gorgeous.”

Hermann kisses the scruff of Newt’s cheek. Newt makes a quite keening noise. When Hermann presses a third finger against him, Newt arches up, cries out, and comes.

“Yes, perfect,” Hermann purrs. Newt turns towards him, eyes squeezed shut. He breathes out a shudder, then starts to squirm. Hermann removes his fingers and is about to use the excess lube on himself when Newt takes hold of his wrist.

“Let me,” he says. He rolls Hermann over onto his back and settles between his legs, then gives him an enthusiastic blow-job that has Hermann grasping at the sheets and sucking short breaths into his lungs. It doesn’t last long. When Hermann comes, his whole body shivers. He stares up at the ceiling afterward in mild shock.

“Oh my,” he sighs.

Newt chuckles. “Yeah. Yeah, that was….” He laughs, then crawls up next to Hermann and lies down beside him. Hermann still feels dazed.

“I’ve never said anything like that before.”

“You were great, man.”

“I’m a bit embarrassed.”

Newt props himself up on his elbows. His face is still flushed, and his hair is a mess.

“Dude,” he says. “You have nothing to be embarrassed about. That was easily one of the top three orgasms of my life.”

Hermann sighs. Newt probably keeps a list.

“Besides, the stuff you said wasn’t that dirty. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was hot, but you didn’t say ‘fuck’ that entire time.”

Hermann can barely remember half the things he said. He watches as Newt gets up to clean himself off in the bathroom. There’s a bounce to his step, and his skin is still a rosy pink. Hermann takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. He grumbles a bit when Newt crawls back into bed and nudges him.

“Roll over, I wanna be the big spoon.”

Hermann does, and Newt lies down behind him, wrapping one arm around his waist and squeezing, gently. He rubs his cheek against the soft fuzz of Hermann’s undercut.

“I love you, too,” Hermann whispers belatedly.

Newt is quiet for a moment, then Hermann feels a smile pressed against his shoulder. Newt kisses his neck over and over until Hermann falls asleep.

 

---

 

The next day in the lab is distracting, to say the least. Newt keeps looking over at Hermann with large, adoring eyes and a sappy grin. Hermann tries to face the chalkboard, but somehow, he keeps finding himself watching as Newt does infuriatingly attractive things, like stretching and bending over. Hermann starts to think that Newt is doing it on purpose, especially when he arches his back more than is strictly necessary while grabbing supplies off a high shelf.

They eat lunch together in the mess hall, sitting across from one another at an otherwise-empty table and attempting to avoid the topic that’s on both their minds. Newt is the first to break.

“So was it weird for you?” he asks. Hermann chokes on his congee and coughs into his hand. “I mean—you seemed happy afterwards, but you also said it was embarrassing, so—”

“Must we do this here?”

“Dude, no one’s listening.”

Hermann rolls his eyes.

“So like—is it something you’d want to try again?”

“Yes, Newton, of course.” Hermann sighs. “Your proclivities aren’t half as scandalous as you seem to think they are.”

“Okay, well you’re the one who tripped up your words while trying to talk about your own dick.”

“It’s not the words that—” Hermann realizes he’s raising his voice, and quickly looks around to make sure no one is eavesdropping before starting again. “It wasn’t the words that had me flustered. It was the subject matter.”

Newt frowns over a forkful of pasta.

“I’ve never told anyone what I fantasize about.”

Newt snorts. “You know, that kind of makes it even hotter.”

“Well I’m glad that’s true for you.” Hermann scowls down at his bowl. He can tell that Newt is watching him, but he’d rather just drop it and end the conversation. He pokes at a piece of egg with his spoon until Newt reaches across the table. They’ve been together for four months, but somehow, it still makes his heart skip a beat whenever Newt takes his hand.

“Hermann, I get it if you don’t want to share that stuff with me. And you don’t have to—what goes on in your head isn’t any of my business. But you should know that you have nothing to be embarrassed about. I really appreciate you sharing with you did with me, so...thanks.”

It sounds like a finality. Newt squeezes Hermann’s hand once, then releases it. He goes back to eating his dinner.

“I don’t—I didn’t mean to say that I disliked it.” Hermann looks to the side, sheepishly. “I do like the idea of sharing these things with you, it’s only—”

“Dude, you really gotta make up your mind.”

“Oh, shut your mouth.” Newt snorts, and the atmosphere between them lightens a bit. “I’m just saying that it’s not something I’m used to sharing, so I’ll need some...encouragement.”

“Okay, well there won’t be a shortage of that, so I think we’re good to go.”

Hermann smiles—a small, private smile, but a smile nonetheless. Newt beams, and they move on to topics better suited to lunch.

 

---

 

It turns out that Newt is right—there is no shortage of encouragement or enthusiasm on his part. They’re together again that night, probably because sex has been on both their minds. Hermann initially feels timid, but Newt lavishes him with sweet kisses and soft touches, and Hermann’s mind slips into a daze. When he regains the ability to string words into coherent sentences, he whispers to Newt about how long he had been waiting for this—how he had been thinking of Newt all day, and how it took all his focus to keep from getting distracted in the lab. Newt listens with rapt attention.

“Really?” he asks, a smile playing on his lips. “I was trying to tease you, but I didn’t think it had worked.”

Hermann shakes his head. “You didn’t have to tease. I can get aroused just from looking at you.”

Newt whimpers.

They spend long, luxurious minutes making out and grinding into one another before Newt asks what Hermann had been thinking about. Hermann slides a hand into Newt’s pants and strokes him slowly, describing at length how he had longed to pull Newt away from his experiments and push him up against the first clean wall he could find.

“Your hands would be dirty, as usual,” Hermann murmurs. “But I wouldn’t want to waste time washing them, so I’d pin them above your head. Have you completely at my mercy, stretched out in front of me.”

He’s amazed at how little it takes to turn Newt into a whimpering mess. When he uses the word cock, Newt groans and leaks in his hand. When he says fuck, Newt’s jaw drops, and he comes.

Hermann brings himself off as Newt is recovering. It only takes half a dozen strokes before he’s gasping against the bedsheets.

“God, you’re good at this,” Newt whispers.

Hermann feels a frisson of pleasure.

 

---

 

They start having sex more frequently. Exploring Newt’s kink brings them closer, allows them to expose each other’s desires and vulnerabilities. It makes them more confident and more willing to experiment. It makes them fall a little more deeply in love.

Although they still keep separate quarters, they spend their nights together more often than not, even when only sleeping. Hermann starts finding Newt’s socks under the bed, and Newt’s hair products in the bathroom. A thought comes to him as he's scrubbing Newt’s toothpaste from the sink—Hermann hasn't ever been happier than this.

 

---

 

They don’t talk about Hermann’s fantasies every time, though it’s obvious that it works well for them. There are some nights when Hermann speaks only Newt’s name. There are others when he just gasps and moans against Newt’s ear. It isn’t long before he realizes that Newt gets off on being praised, and—after a moment of chuckling to himself about how entirely unsurprising this is—he takes full advantage of this newest discovery.

“That’s perfect, Newton,” he sighs, dragging a hand through Newt’s hair. “That feels so good, you look beautiful.”

Newt moans, a crease forming in his brow as he sucks Hermann’s cock.

“You’re amazing, love, so good at this. You’re a treasure. My treasure.”

Newt abruptly pulls back. Hermann hadn’t even realized that he had been touching himself, but then Newt presses his open mouth to Hermann’s thigh and gasps heavily.

“Oh my—oh my God—”

He comes into his hand. He needs more time than usual to recover.

 

---

 

Hermann never knew that sex could be so much fun. He starts initiating in ways he never would have dreamed of before, and Newt is overjoyed and eager every time. Hermann finds that he can indulge Newt in secret—by whispering into his ear in public, or by leaving lascivious voicemails on his phone while they’re apart. Newt’s kink is perfectly portable, and Hermann likes to test its limits.

The next time they’re taking the Mass Transit Railway back to the Shatterdome, there is only one thing on Hermann’s mind. He’s seated in a back corner, with Newt standing in front of him. There are four other people in the train, but in true human fashion, no one is paying any attention to each other. Hermann reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone.

Newt’s text alert goes off, and he checks it, mindlessly. Hermann tries to keep a calm, neutral expression.

 

5 Oct. 2024
20:34
Do you know what I’m thinking of right now?

 

Newt swallows visibly and glances along the train to make sure no one is paying attention. He looks down at Hermann and shakes his head.

 

5 Oct. 2024
20:35
I’m thinking that if you moved closer by just one more step, it would be so easy for me to lean forward and press my face to your hardening prick.

 

Newt’s cheeks turn bright red. Hermann chuckles.

 

5 Oct. 2024
20:38
I would mouth you through the fabric. Feel you lengthening against my lips. If we angled ourselves just the right way, I don’t think anyone would be able to see.

 

“You’re a dirty old man.”

“I’m only a year older than you.”

Newt shakes his head, lips pursed to hide a smile. Hermann eyes his crotch, trying to make out the shape of him beneath the fabric of his pants.

“What are you looking at?” Newt murmurs.

The train stops, and Hermann leans back in his seat. Two people get off, and three more come in. Thankfully, no one sits too close.

 

5 Oct. 2024
20:42
I would pull your trousers down just enough to expose your undergarments. What are you wearing today?

 

“Boxers,” Newt mutters. He’s facing the other way, now, chewing on his bottom lip. He shifts his stance slightly.

 

5 Oct. 2024
20:45
I’ll bet it’s those ratty blue ones that I keep insisting you throw away. Though that might be for the best. They’re missing a button, so it would be all too easy to reach into the opening and pull you through. Expose you to the cool air before taking you into the warmth of my mouth.

 

Newt closes his eyes and shoves his phone into his pocket. He sits down next to Hermann with his legs spread wide, a ridge just visible where his erection is trapped in his pants.

“Keep going.” he begs. He leans into Hermann, hiding his face from the other people on the train. Hermann combs a hand through Newt’s hair, leaning down towards him and speaking under his breath.

“I want to taste you so badly. I want to feel your most sensitive skin on my tongue.”

“Hermann—”

“I’ll bet you’re aching with need. I’ll bet you’re throbbing.”

Newt clutches Hermann’s shirt. He takes a slow, deliberate breath through his nose.

“I can’t,” he says. “We gotta stop, I’m gonna come if you keep doing that.”

Hermann kisses Newt’s forehead and pats his hand, gently.

“We’re almost home,” he says. He crosses his legs. The loose fit of his trousers is slightly more forgiving.

 

---

 

Back at the Shatterdome, once they’ve both been satisfied, Newt chuckles into the curve of Hermann’s neck.

“You totally have a public sex kink,” he says. “It’s so super obvious now. You’ve fantasized about doing it on public transportation like literally five hundred times.”

Hermann rolls his eyes. Newt’s grin is too smug.

“I mean, you don’t have to be embarrassed about it,” Newt continues. “I think it’s pretty hot.”

“You think everything is hot.”

“Uh, everything involving you, yeah.”

Hermann gives a weary sigh, which only makes Newt giggle.

“It’s only fair that I learn something about you,” he says. “You know my thing, now I know yours.”

“Public sex is not my thing.”

“Whatever you say, dude.”

It’s hard to be irritated while Newt is nuzzling into his hair, but Hermann manages to find a way. When he finally admits to himself that—all right, maybe there is a running trend of almost being caught in more than a few of his fantasies, he gives in. He touches his fingertips to the back of Newt’s neck, and Newt gives a delighted hum.

 

---

 

After a couple of weeks, the passion between them drops back down to a normal level. Hermann continues to vocalize his thoughts during sex—he’s found he enjoys himself much more when he does—but he doesn’t take it to quite the same level as he had before. Newt doesn’t complain. He seems to be in a constant state of satisfied happiness, and he doesn’t ask for anything.

When a shipment of kaiju parts arrives in Hong Kong—hand-me-downs from the recently-closed Shatterdome in Tokyo—K-Sci is instantly working overtime. Nights spent together are sacrificed in favor of work, and when they do happen, they don’t involve much other than falling asleep.

It’s Hermann’s second night in a row eating dinner alone. It doesn’t bother him, but he wishes people would stop glancing at the empty space next to him, making assumptions. He’s prodding at whatever passes for chicken when he sees a shadow cast over his plate. Tendo is standing on the other side of the table, peeling the skin off an apple with a pocket knife.

“Where’s the better half?” he asks.

Hermann snorts. “I think we both know that I’m the better half.” Tendo offers him a slice of apple, which Hermann takes, gratefully. “Newton is finishing up a few experiments. I offered to bring him back something to eat, but he was elbows-deep in viscera, so he declined.”

“And now you’re eating alone?”

Hermann shrugs. “If it were new data on the Breach that had arrived, and not leftover bits of gut, then I would be in his place right now, and he would be eating alone.”

“Birds of a feather, I guess.”

Hermann takes a few bites of rice, aware that Tendo is still watching him.

“You know, he asked me about applying for shared housing the other day.”

“He—what?”

“Yeah, just about the paperwork—what it involved and how long it took to go through. I had to submit it when Alison moved in with me.”

Hermann stares down at his food, blankly. He had been wanting to broach the topic for weeks, but every time he tried, he just couldn’t find the words. He had been worried that it was too big a step too soon.

“Anyway, just thought I’d let you know.” Tendo eats the last bite of his apple with a devilish grin. “I’ll see you around, yeah? Tell the little guy I said hi.”

Hermann’s stomach is doing flips. He waves belatedly as Tendo disappears, then finishes his dinner alone.

 

---

 

Later that evening, Hermann somehow manages to convince Newt to leave the lab at a respectable hour. As they walk back towards the residence wing, he reaches out and takes Newt’s hand, squeezing it gently.

“Are you interested in spending the night?” he asks.

Newt smiles. “Yeah, totally.”

They start walking closer together; Hermann isn't sure if it's a conscious decision. He releases Newt’s hand in favor of putting an arm around his waist. Newt looks a little surprised.

“What’s up?”

“Nothing.” Hermann is hyper-aware of the placement of his fingers, pressed firmly against the thin fabric of Newt’s shirt.

By the time they reach Hermann’s quarters, there’s something growing in the air between them. Hermann has been stroking Newt’s side with his thumb, and Newt keeps glancing over at him out of the corner of his eye. Hermann hopes he’s made his intentions obvious. He opens the door and locks it closed behind them.

“You’re up to something,” Newt says. He leans against the wall, smirking, with his arms crossed over his chest. Hermann smiles.

“Come here.” He doesn’t hold back when they kiss. He bites at Newt’s lip and swipes his tongue into Newt’s mouth. Newt’s eyes are dark when they part; his pupils wide.

“That was a pretty filthy kiss.”

“I wanted you to know what you’re in for.”

Hermann smoothes his thumb over Newt’s rounded cheek, then walks towards the bed. He takes off his jacket as Newt watches, then props his cane against the nightstand.

“I’d like to do an experiment,” he says. He sits down and pulls his sweater vest up and over his head. Newt wanders closer. “I’m not going to touch you tonight.”

“Uh...I think it’s a little late for that.”

“I’m not going to touch your cock, Newton.”

Newt swallows. It took some getting used to before Hermann was comfortable saying the word. Now, he marvels every time he sees Newt react to it.

“You said on the metro that, had I continued speaking to you, you would have come. Did you mean that? Do you think you could come just by having me speak to you, without any physical stimulation?”

Newt’s knees wobble. He takes a deep breath for stability, but doesn’t answer.

Hermann smiles. “Would you help me with my shoes?”

Newt scrambles towards him and kneels at Hermann’s feet. He looks up with parted lips, and Hermann watches with rapidly growing arousal as Newt pulls off his loafers.

“Hey,” Newt says. “Remember that time we had sex while you were wearing socks?” He pulls Hermann’s socks off pointedly, and gives a teasing grin. Hermann rolls his eyes.

“I was chilly; there’s no crime against it. Now come lie on the bed.”

Newt laughs to himself, then does as he’s told, reclining into the pillows and stretching his limbs luxuriously. His shirt pulls up—just barely staying tucked. Hermann licks his lips.

“Can I trust you to undress, or will you be too tempted to touch yourself?”

“You can trust me.”

“I don’t want this experiment to fail, Newton.”

“It won’t, I swear.” Newt starts removing his clothes before Hermann can argue. His movements are clumsy, and he fumbles over his buttons. When he takes off his pants, he’s already hard from sheer anticipation.

“Aren’t you lovely,” Hermann murmurs. He puts a hand on Newt’s chest and drags it down over his sternum. He rests his palm over Newt’s stomach, then trails his fingers over Newt’s freckled hip. Newt pulls Hermann closer. They kiss over and over until Hermann is dizzy with it. He pulls back just enough to speak.

“Newton,” he whispers. “I’m going to make you come so hard you see constellations imprinted against the backs of your eyelids.”

Newt lets out an incoherent whimper, and Hermann pushes him down into the pillows. He finds a comfortable position pressed up against Newt’s side, then rests his head close so that he can speak into Newt’s ear.

“You’ve gotten harder,” he says. “Don’t think I haven’t noticed.” He runs his fingers up and down Newt’s chest. “I always notice, Newton. I see you in the lab, when you glance up, across the room. I know what you’re thinking.”

Newt swallows. He grips the bedsheets with both hands, keeping them stubbornly at his sides.

“It’s a distraction from my work. You’ve made me redo calculations, turn in paperwork late—”

“That’s my fault?”

“You broadcast your filthy thoughts for all to see.” Hermann trails his fingers over the inside of Newt’s elbow. “You make me think about fucking you.”

Newt takes in a sharp breath. His eyes are half-lidded, and he draws his legs up so he can twitch his hips more easily. Hermann looks down to see that Newt’s cock is dark red.

“I think about taking you bent over my desk. I think about pushing you into the supply closet and tasting every inch of your skin.”

Newt’s whole body is tense. He reaches up and grabs Hermann’s hand in his own, squeezing tightly.

“Are you alright?” Hermann asks.

Newt nods. “Yeah, yeah I’m good, just—fuck Hermann, I feel like I’m gonna explode if you don’t touch me.”

Hermann smiles. He reaches up and takes off Newt’s glasses, then folds them and puts them safely on the nightstand. He kisses Newt’s eyelids, then his mouth. Newt grabs at Hermann’s hair, rubbing his palm over the fuzz at the back of his head and burying his fingers in the longer strands at the top.

“You gotta touch me,” Newt moans. His words are broken up as Hermann continues to layer kisses over his lips. “You have to touch me, please just touch me—”

Hermann slides one palm along Newt’s throat and down his chest. He teases at one nipple, then keeps stroking Newt’s side over and over.

“Your skin is warm,” he murmurs. “And so soft, Newton.”

Newt’s breaths become ragged.

“I adore seeing you like this—desperate and swollen, lengthening and—”

“Hermann, you gotta—please—”

“I can’t, love. You can do this.”

“No, I—it’s impossible—”

“You’re perfectly capable.” Hermann decides to appeal to Newt’s penchant for praise. “You’re brilliant. The most accomplished man I know. Surely you can finish one little experiment.”

“I can’t keep my hands away. I can’t not touch—”

“It’s all right, it’s fine. I’ll keep hold of your hands.” Hermann kisses the insides of Newt’s wrists. “You’re so close, Newton. Please.”

Newt squeezes his eyes shut. He’s wriggling his hips, pulling his legs up, and trying to touch himself any way that he can. Hermann pins Newt’s hands over his head, then strokes Newt’s body—up and down his chest, over his hips and the tops of his thighs—narrowly avoiding where Newt needs him most.

“Please,” Hermann whispers, breathing heavily. “Please, please, please.”

Newt’s whole body twitches, and Hermann knows what’s coming. He presses a messy, open-mouthed kiss to Newt’s lips. Newt’s breath shudders. His back arches almost clear off the mattress, and he comes in long stripes against his stomach.

“I knew it,” Hermann says, watching in admiration. “I knew you could do it.”

Newt groans, deep and long. When he opens his eyes, he stares up at the ceiling, dazed. His cock twitches against his stomach. Hermann is salivating.

“Amazing,” he says. “Beautiful.” He lets go of Newt’s wrists and rubs himself through his trousers.

“Let me,” Newt says. “I want to.”

Hermann swallows, thickly and rolls onto his back. Newt unbuttons Hermann’s flies and pulls him out, stroking him slow and languid.

“That was so hot,” he says. “Now it’s your turn.” He slides a hand through the smeared mess on his stomach and uses it as lube. Hermann breathes a startled oh.

“You like that?” Newt mumbles. He sounds drunk. He kisses Hermann’s jaw and neck, licks over his Adam’s apple. His hand moves in long, lazy pulls.

When Hermann comes, he doesn’t say a word, doesn’t make a sound. His mouth drops open, but all he can do is breathe.

 

---

 

They lie in bed for a long time, bodies pressed close, Newt’s breath warm against Hermann’s neck. Hermann traces equations over Newt’s back. Newt turns his head every now and then to kiss a freckle on Hermann’s skin.

“Let’s sleep in tomorrow,” Newt says. “I’ve been working late every night. I deserve extra sleep and morning sex.”

Hermann snorts. “Morning sex? A little ambitious, aren’t we?”

“Hey, you have the next ten hours to recover. You should be good.”

Hermann chuckles. He slows the movements of his fingers, then lies his palm flat against Newt’s spine. He clears his throat.

“I—that is, would you—er, when would you like to move in with me?”

Newt stiffens, and for a moment, Hermann wonders if maybe he was misinformed. Maybe Newt’s question to Tendo was only out of curiosity. Maybe Hermann was a fool to assume. He’s just about to stumble into an apology when Newt lifts himself up on his elbows. His smile is huge and contagious.

“Who says I’m moving in with you?” he asks.

“Well, I do have the bigger bed. And bathroom. And I’m fairly certain your quarters are some sort of health hazard soon to be condemned.”

Newt laughs—a sharp, loud burst that never had hope of being contained.

“You’re a jerk,” he says, still smiling. “I don’t know why I would want to move in with a jerk like you.”

Hermann’s chest feels light, like he’s floating. Newt is gazing down at him with dopey, lovesick eyes, and though Hermann hates to admit it, he’s pretty sure he looks the same.

“Live with me,” Hermann murmurs. “I want to wake up beside you every morning. I want to fall asleep with you every night. I don't want you to be a guest.” He brushes a strand of hair away from Newt’s forehead. “If you’re not a guest, then I can feel free to yell at you for using all the water in the kettle and not refilling it afterwards.”

Newt giggles. His face is caught between tears and laughter, and Hermann’s sure he’s never looked more beautiful. “Okay,” Newt says. “Yeah, okay.”

They kiss, closed-lipped, and Newt lies back down.

“What did Tendo say about the paperwork?” Hermann asks.

Tendo? God, I knew he wouldn’t keep his mouth shut.”

“You should know by now that if you don’t want Tendo to share something, then you need to tell him in no uncertain terms. Otherwise it’s likely to be Shatterdome gossip within hours.”

There’s a short pause.

“Wait, you don’t think he—”

“No, I—well, honestly I’m not...”

Newt laughs into Hermann’s neck. “I’ll go after him tomorrow,” he says. “Right now, I wanna fucking cuddle you into oblivion.”

Hermann smiles. He smooths a hand over Newt’s back. The room is cozy and warm, and both their eyes easily drift closed.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” Newt mumbles. “Then the morning after that, and the morning after that…” His voice trails off into incoherent mumbles.

Hermann sighs, and they both fall fast asleep.

 

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