“They were very nice.”
Even December in Massachusetts feels warm after the Antarctic. Newt leans forwards eagerly, hands wrapped around his mug of steaming hot chocolate.
Hermann sips his, it’s thick and rich and sweet but- like everything in Innsmouth, tastes slightly of salt. It’s rather good anyway. “It stayed with us through the blizzard. They are that warm-”
“Yeah, I know.” Newt smiles, “We had- some people taken by the army, eighty years ago. They took a sleeping shoggoth too. They woke it up and it broke everyone out. They followed it, all the way back to the sea. Slept against it to keep warm.”
Hermann nods. “I think he got what he wanted though, Lars- father.” It seems wrong to use his given name now. “Something about the Mi-go. What they’re doing.”
“They were pretty angry about the whole Pluto probe thing.” Newt shrugs. “Does that help?”
Hermann sighs. “I don’t know. I’m not sure.” He shakes his head, looks down at the deep brown drink. “I am worried- I don’t think I’ll get to go with him again.”
Newt blinks, “But it went well-”
“If nearly dying in the snow counts as going well.” Hermann says it, it’s a twist in his heart but it’s out anyway, the truth. They nearly died. He feels sick.
Newt’s mouth twists, he lets go of the mug and gently puts a hand on Hermann’s. His mouth opens, then closes. He squeezes his hand gently.
“You can stay here,” he says finally. “It would be great, I could show you around the reef, and we’ve got great SCUBA stuff so we could go down-” He stops.
Hermann smiles sadly, “That would- be good.” He likes it here, but- what there had been with his father had been too new to give up so quickly. He just wishes-
Lars had stayed they’d stay in Arkham well into the new year, but then-
It was Tibet this time, a dangerous place. Too dangerous for him.
Hermann can only stare down into his cup. If it’s too dangerous for him, why isn’t it too dangerous for his father?
Newt looks at him, helplessly then, giving up on words, gets up and sits down beside him, putting an arm around him and pulling him into a hug.
He’s small, solid and strong. his hands press down on Hermann’s shoulderblades pulls him in. Hermann closes his eyes and- little by little, relaxes into the hug. Warm, and sweet and close.
He puts his arms around Newt and holds him in return. It feels- good. Something new and- sweet.