Hermann strokes his arm as he leads him down the corridors. “It’s quite up to you, my dear,” He pets him again, “I would love to have you join us, and you would be so helpful for our operations, but if you do not want it-” Hermann sighs, “I hope you will stay, at any rate.”
“Like anyone wants me.” Newt sighs, pulls absently at his sleeve.
“You can roll them up.” Hermann says softly. “No one here cares- many would envy you.”
Newt leans against him, hesitates, then pulls his sleeves up. It’s familiar, walking with Hermann at his side, his sleeves pulled up and- his heart aches for the Shatterdome, for the war.
“You know I’m gonna stay.” Newt sighs.
“We’ll show you the labs tomorrow.” Hermann smiles. “For now-” he presses a button on the lift. “I have a penthouse which you are more than welcome to share.” His eyes glitter.
Newt’s mouth goes dry, they’d had a- thing, in the Shatterdome, he hadn’t dared hope Hermann would want to continue it after the war, and after he’d disappeared-
“Um- yeah.” He swallows, “I’d- love that.”
“Wonderful.” Hermann ushers him into the lift, presses the top floor. “I apologise for the decor. It was Chau’s and his taste was distinctly-” his lifts his upper lip in a sneer, “tacky.”
The doors open and- yeah. Okay, Hermann is right. The animal pelts and gilt on everything is pretty awful- although the free-standing bar is pretty cool. However, Hermann’s obviously been at the place too, and the wide windows, new fitted skylights and cool, steel furniture is very Hermann.
“Help yourself to the bar,” Hermann waves. “Perhaps you could help me with the jacuzzi, I have no idea how to get it working-”
Newt swallows, hot tub. “Sure,” he squeaks.
Hermann looks at him, and smiles. “I do enjoy some luxuries.”
“It suits you,” Newt manages.
It does. Hermann seems- perfectly at ease here, sleek and comfortable the way he’d been stiff and awkward in the Shatterdome. His clothes perfectly tailored and neat against his body. Newt tears his eyes off him, and goes to the bar, “Do you want something?”
“I put a very nice bottle of champagne in the fridge for your arrival, it should be quite chilled now.”
Newt pulls it out, doesn’t look at the bottle or the date. He’s not sure he can take it.
“Just bring it here with the glasses, I can pour while you get the jacuzzi in order.”
“So- I’m just a handyman now?” Newt tries, walking over with a pair of chinking crystal glasses. None of this feels real.
But then Hermann looks at him, eyes hot and hangry and oh, Newt knows that look. He’d seen it so often in the Shatterdome, second before they fell together in their narrow bunks and forgot- for a little time- the coming apocalypse.
Newt gives him the bottle and glasses without speaking, and kneels down to have a look at the hot tub.
“This does seem rather- pornographic,” Hermann drawls, as he uncorks the bottle. “A rather cliched set up.”
Newt smiles unsteadily, manages to find to panel for the hot tub, and starts it up. The water gurgles as it starts to fill.
“Oh, well done.” Hermann hands him a glass. “I have rather wanted to try it out. With you, of course.”
“Right.” Newt gets up, his head swims, he looks down at his glass, he hasn’t even had any of it yet.
“You’re being very quiet.” Hermann steps closer, rests a hand lightly on his hip. “That’s not like you.”
“Well- none of this is like you!” Newt manages to splutter out. “A crime lord’s penthouse and the bar and hot tub and- do you have a kind of sex room or something somewhere-”
“I’m working on it.” Hermann smiles, sharp and quick.
Newt chokes, swallows. “Just- I’m still adjusting, alright?”
“Do you enjoy it?” And for a moment, the mask slips and Hermann looks- worried, as though Newt might not be happy.
“I love it.” Newt sighs. “Don’t worry. I can get used to seriously expensive booze and a hot tub and-” he waves a hand at Hermann, taking him all in. “You.”
“Good.” Hermann steps in, so close. “Because I intend to spoil you.” He leans forwards, and kisses him, very light and sweet.