Hermann didn't have to worry about Newton's safety anymore. Well, at least from everyone else present in the building.
He made his way down the hall, his footsteps echoing quietly along with his clicking cane. There were doors on either side of the walls that led to rooms, usually used as places for sleep.
He came to a stop to the last door, letting out a deep breath he didn't know he was holding. His hand hovered above the knob, uncertain if he should turn it. He found himself touching it, however, and he thought it'd be best to head in. There was nothing to be afraid of now.
Turning it with a click, he pushed the door open gently, more of the room becoming visible the further it went. He stepped inside the room, looking down to the floor as he did so and shutting the door just as slow when he had opened it, allowing it to click shut. His eyes passed over the lock. After a brief moment of thinking, he shifted it up to lock the door.
The scientist turned around, skimming the room in search for a particular someone, and his gaze paused on them.
At the corner of the room was a bed, and sitting there, next to the pillows, was Newton.
He had watched him enter all the while remaining silent, hands clutched together as he straightened his back from the slouched position he attained moments ago. The time he spent in the room was used to clean himself up and change into clean clothing. And that's what he had done, just as Dr. Gottlieb suggested him to do. He always knew best.
Hermann progressed to him, stopping at the foot of the bedstead. His hands were atop of each other on his cane, which was centered in the middle and front of his legs. He tipped his head downwards a bit without removing his sight from the other man.
Newton didn't look at him. He had his own line of sight directed to the floor, finding it more interesting to observe than anything else present in the room. Not literally, but, the tension between them was starting to rise to an uncomfortable point. It wasn't certain if it was tension exactly, however.
"Heh, hey…" Newton said, refusing to move an inch. "I…uh…" he trailed off, not sure on what to say.
Hermann stepped closer to him, now proceeding to sit on the bed as well. Setting his cane against the stand, he turned his head to look at the other man.
"How are you feeling?" he asked. It was a simple question, yet there was more meaning behind it. It was best to start things slow. Especially for this situation.
"Ehm…I could feel worse," Newton replied, raising his head a little. He couldn't explain what he was feeling; heck, he didn't know what he was feeling. It was all a whirl to him. It felt like he had fallen asleep for just a few seconds, only to wake up and find out he's here, recovering from an incident after 10 years. Ten years of his life stolen from him. Not thinking straight, not knowing what he was doing, pushing away who he loved. No, pushing away the only person he loved.
"Look man, uh…I fucked up…" he said softly, bringing a hand up to the back of his neck. He remained unmoving, eyes flicking over the floor then lifting up to the wardrobe across from them. He bit his lip, clearing his throat, hating the feeling that was lingering deep in his chest.
Hermann raised a brow, his expression unchanging. "I don't see it that way."
Newton turned to look at him now, his face bleak and crestfallen. There was nothing that could kill what he was feeling.
"You don't have to apologize. At least to me," Gottlieb stated with a shake of his head.
"But I still fucked up…did you see what I did…?"
"I indeed saw what you did, Newton," Hermann said. "It does not give me any reason to think negatively about you—"
"Yes it does!" the other man cut in, so suddenly that it was unexpected, he even surprised himself from the rise of volume in his voice. He had his hands up, enclosed in fists that were gradually becoming tighter the more his thoughts spun. "I'm the reason why the Kaiju came back." He swallowed hard, feeling the urge to cry crawling up his throat. "I helped the Precursors, I, I gave them access to my mind and I—"
"Newton." Hermann's sentence was sharp enough to cut him short. "Please do not put yourself at the center of blame. You know very well what happened, both you and I alone. There is absolutely no motive to why you deserve to be attacked."
Newton looked at him incredulously. "I helped them! I HELPED them! I created a plan that would help them destroy all life on Earth! I was blind, I didn't fight back, and I let them control me!"
"They manipulated you, not changed you," Hermann insisted, shaking his head. "You didn't know what you were doing was wrong."
"But I still did it," Newton rasped, his voice straining as he waved his hand in gesture to himself, his hand shaking. "If it wasn't for me there wouldn't have been another Kaiju attack." He held his gaze firmly against the other man, drawing in a sharp breath as he struggled to maintain his composure. He forced himself to look away, squeezing his eyes shut and bringing his hands up passing them through his hair and clutching his scalp. "I had to fuck things up…so many people died…they died because of me…!"
Hermann leaned forward, bringing forth a hand and placing it against Newton's back, scooting over so he was sitting right next to him.
"Listen, Newton…" he tried, his voice being as low as a whisper. "You're going to be just fine."
What happened next was something he wasn't prepared for, or at least expecting to occur within a moment's reach. The smallest of sounds came from him; it was faint, barely audible, but it was there. Hermann's heart dropped as he felt a shake come from his friend, followed by another one. Then, he began to cry – tears brimmed in his eyes as his face twisted to that of deep regret.
"I-I'm a m-monster!" Newton choked, colors swirling in his darkened vision. It hurt. It hurt so much. "People hate me now! They hate me more!" he cried, his body trembling as he began to sob now, digging his nails into his head. "I killed thousands of innocent people…and you say it isn't my fucking fault…!"
Hermann blinked, and without question he wrapped his arm around the young man's waist, bringing him in close to his side. They both felt the increase of heat exchange between them; a method to offer comfort nonverbally.
"Newton, quiet, quiet…" he whispered, bringing him into a sort of embrace. He had his left hand cupped against Newton's right cheek, whom of which had his forehead pressed against his shoulder. Gottlieb had his own face buried into Newton's hair, refusing to release him. He had no intentions on letting him go. He could almost feel the pain his friend was going through, if not worse.
"..I'm so sorry…!" he gasped, breathing in and out roughly for air, leaning hard against his lab partner's body. His lip quivered as he struggled to form sentences, waves of heat surfacing upon his body.
"Newton, I've already forgiven you…there is nothing to be sorry about…please calm yourself," Hermann said, in hopeful attempts to ease his troubled friend. He didn't need him to spiral into an anxiety attack…he knew how those turned out.
"You shouldn't trust me…!" Newton managed to breathe, his voice wavering in between sobs. "Not after what I've done…!"
"It may seem impossible now," Hermann started, pulling himself away and holding the other man by the shoulders. His face was downcast, his vision blurred from the excessive tears that were forming in his eyes. Though, the other scientist lifted his chin using his index finger, prompting him to hold eye contact with one another. "But everything will work out in the end. Do not focus on the past – there is nothing you can do to change it."
Newton swallowed back a sob, attempting to draw away, but he was held firmly in his spot from his friend's hold.
"Stop being so difficult," Hermann sighed. Behind his amber eyes; concern and trust could be seen. "I hate seeing you like this."
Newton closed his eyes, biting his lip as his crying stifled, trying to force himself to stop. "I let you down…I ruined everything and now…it's all gone to shit…I'm not good enough…" he whispered, a tear sliding down his cheek.
"Of course you're good enough, idiot," Hermann replied firmly, passing his hand over the young man's hair. "Never say that…you know I care about you very much."
Newton lifted his eyes to meet Hermann's own. He blinked, sniffing weakly as he held his hands together. He could feel his heart pumping strongly against his chest, his lungs aching and burning from his harsh sobbing.
"…I love you…"
Hermann dipped his head, his eyes flicking between his friend's own.
"I love you, too, Newt."
He pulled him into a hug once again, holding him close. Newton wrapped his arms around him as well. He wouldn't let go. Not for the world, not for anyone.
A/N: This is the final chapter of 'Come Back To Me'! I hope you all enjoyed reading, and thank you for staying until the end. Please review and let me know what you all thought. Feel free to share any ideas for future fanfictions or any tips you may have for my writing! I'd love to improve, and reviews keep me motivated to continue writing fanfictions. Once again, thank you all! Until next time!