Hermann Gottlieb had been working for the PPDC for five years before Dr. Newton Geiszler joined the K-science team. As soon as Hermann had heard the name from Tendo dread bubbled up into his stomach. They barely talked for five minutes when they met just three years ago before they were yelling at each other. To Hermann's immense relief, Dr. Geiszler was placed in a completely different lab. But it, apparently, wasn't meant to last. Within a week Dr. Geiszler tracked Hermann down. This time they only made it three minutes before the yelling started; Hermann timed it. Hermann walked away 15 minutes later with hunched shoulders, mouth set into a firm frown, and narrowed eyes. Everyone in his lab scattered after one glance at him and left him alone the rest of the day.

And they were moved from Shatterdome to Shatterdome, the K-Science team diminishing with each move until it was just Hermann and Dr. Geiszler in Hong Kong a year later. Sharing a lab. There was a yellow line taped down the exact middle of the lab by the third day and Hermann did his best to ignore what was happening on the other side of the line. However there were days when he still ground his chalk into his chalkboard because Dr. Geiszler's god-awful music was played too loud or because his lab partner would not shut the fuck up. This was an amazing feat to do when there was food in his mouth. However, Hermann had lost his disgusted amazement at the age of 13 when Bastien wouldn't shut up about the new girl at school.

The first time Hermann ever threw something at Dr. Geiszler in the vain hope to get him to shut up it was because the biologist was ecstatically cutting up a Kaiju liver and almost screaming in his excitement. The piece of chalk hit Dr. Geiszler almost perfectly on his temple. It did do the job for two seconds before he laughed and continued right where he had left off. Hermann huffed and bought ear plugs later that day. It didn't mean that Dr. Geiszler had won though.

The next time it wasn't even really a conscious decision. He and Dr. Geiszler had been working in the lab for almost 40 hours straight and hadn't had something to eat even longer than that. Dr. Geiszler had this horrible habit of talking to himself once he got past a certain hour of wakefulness. Hermann went to the cafeteria to get them both food and to escape Dr. Geiszler's mutterings about the properties of some strange mucus he had found in a kaiju's claws. It was in the early hours of the morning and so Hermann had to make them something himself. He tiredly put together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And he may have put too much peanut butter on Dr. Geiszler's. He got a few moments of almost blissful quiet as Dr. Geiszler smacked his way through the sandwich.

Sometimes it's was simple but harsh dig at Dr. Geiszler's voice, personality, or knowledge on a topic. (It was later when Hermann was going to bed that the guilt which blossomed at the look on Newton's face ate at Hermann's stomach.)

In the next five years there was plenty of chalk, erasers, books, and even a stapler thrown. Hermann had also hit Newton with his cane many times or simply just talked (or more accurately, yelled) over him. He got a whiney Newton in return. Hermann also tried being passive-aggressive and saying 'Okay' to every single word Newton said. That only got him an irritated Newton whom would then play music at an ear-busting level which would bring Marshal Pentecost stomping in. Once, Hermann just angrily stared him down as he tried to explain the importance of his work why it should take precedence to Hermann's. Newton finally fidgeted into silence until Hermann turned around. Hermann took some aspirin and used his ear-plugs again that day.

And there was also that heavenly quiet day after Christmas. Hermann had received a small care package from Bastien and it had a few books, a new pair of glasses, and a huge bag of Riesen's. Hermann didn't even know that there were candy bags that big. The next day Hermann kept secretly (he thought) eating the delicious chocolate and caramel candy he had missed during the past ten years. They had only been working for five hours before Newton seemed to burst.

"Okay! What the heck could you possibly be eating that is so good?" He demanded, hands on his hips and eyebrows raised behind his glasses.

Hermann slowly raised his head as he tried to get the last of the caramel off of his teeth. When his jaw wouldn't come unstuck from the chocolaty-caramel goodness he raised the bag of candies.

Newton frowned slightly and tilted his head. "Raisen? Risen? What are they?" He rocked on the balls of his feet just on the other side of the tape.

Hermann grabbed three and tossed them at his lab partner.

Newton didn't catch a single one, arms flailing.

Hermann ducked his head back to stare at the papers on his desk and smiled.

There was the rustling of a wrapper and then a loud hum as the chocolate began to melt on Newton's tongue (Hermann got a bit distracted for a minute there). And then silence; blissful, complete silence. Hermann looked up.

Newton's jaw was working, trying to chew through the caramel, but like everyone else who ate the candies, his jaw was stuck together.

Hermann grinned triumphantly and finally got his own jaw unstuck. "Having some trouble there Dr. Geiszler? Here, have some more, I could use the silence." He grabbed a handful of the candy and deposited them on month-old reports on Newton's desk.

They both spent the rest of the day eating a third of the bag and in complete silence.

The best way (and Hermann's favorite way) Hermann found to shut Newt up was kissing.

It was barely two weeks after Operation Pitfall had worked and though both Hermann and Newt had caught up on sleep for the past month they were still somehow extremely tired. It was probably from using all their energy to ignore their successful Drift together and the memories that came with it.

They were being forced to pack up the lab when it happened. The Shatterdome was being shut down – the UN no longer saw a use for it with the Kaiju gone for good – and people had to get out of there as soon as possible (Tendo said they had a week). It was easy for Hermann since he was actually organized. It was a bit more difficult for Newt who not only brought and kept papers from his teaching days but had also brought a piano. Hermann wondered when Newt ever thought he'd have the time to play it.

Newt was fuming over the injustice of it all and complaining about the impossibility of packing and sorting it all out.

Hermann, fed up with it all, walked over to Newt, pulled his hands from his already-wild hair and replaced them with his own.

Newt quieted from the sudden contact and stared at Hermann with wide eyes and parted cracked lips.

They shared warm air for a few seconds that stretched on forever before Hermann leaned in and captured Newt's top lip between his own.

Newt's hands were quickly touching Hermann before jerking back and touching him somewhere else.

Hermann huffed against his lips and licked his way into Newt's mouth as he leaned into the shorter, and warmer, frame.

Newt whimper-sighed and wrapped his arms around Hermann's waist, letting the other man into his mouth and greeting him with his own tongue.

They kissed indefinitely, learning each other's mouths and soft spots. Newt shook when Hermann gently (and not-so-gently) bit his lips. Hermann sighed when Newt licked the corners of his lips. They both grinned stupidly as their eyelashes fluttered against each other's skin and Hermann rolled his eyes (but secretly loved it) when Newt did what he explained to be an 'Eskimo kiss'. Hermann loved Newt's fingers touching the back of his neck and Newt loved Hermann's fingers tracing the lines of the kaiju on his arms without needing to look.

When they finally pulled completely apart, torn from the quiet by a cough, their lips were just as red as their faces and sensitive.

Tendo just looked between them. "I'm gonna guess that you two haven't started getting this all sorted out then?"

Newt grinned. "Nope!"

Tendo rolled his eyes and turned to leave. Hermann heard him mutter, "Those guys owe me $50…"

Hermann felt himself redden even more and Newt was happily chatting again (heaven knows what, blood was pumping loudly through Hermann's ears) so he just turned back towards him and kissed him again.

Yeah, he finally found the best way to shut Newt up (because sex only made him louder).