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forever is the sweetest con

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It’s been three days. 

It’s been three days, and they’re not letting him see Newt. 

He supposes he should be grateful that he’s even here. That Minho had the brilliant idea to take Newt’s body with them, and that while Thomas was passed out in the Berg, they found a weak pulse in his wrist and the soft flow of blood indicating that he was still alive, still breathing, though definitely walking the fine line between life and death. According to Minho, they spent just as much time patching up Newt as they did Thomas. 

But Thomas woke up. 

And Newt hasn’t. 

There’s a part of him that’s disappointed in himself for allowing hope to shine through the infinite feeling of grief and loss. Just because Newt was hanging on by a thread, didn’t mean the thread wouldn’t snap. He should have prepared himself for another blow, another death. Yet the moment he found out Newt was with them and they were trying to save him, he couldn’t help but feel hope again. He’s been an optimist his whole life, and now it’s backfiring. 

He watches from afar as a few Right Arm doctors enter the medhut. It’s not the ideal place for a doctor’s treatment, but it’s all they have. A few twigs and branches braided together to provide privacy and peace to the lone patient inside. There’s another medhut to its right - the one where they keep all the supplies, and where Thomas had laid for several days. It kills him to know they were so close together, yet so far away. 

There’s a doctor on the island that has taken a liking to Thomas. Her name is Sara, and she takes care of Newt. He’s been begging her to see him since he first met her three days ago, but she hasn’t budged. Too dangerous , she says. We don’t know what he’ll be like if he wakes up. 

Sometimes, late at night, Thomas seeks out the medhut. Once, maybe even twice every evening. After the sun sets. There’s someone guarding the door, always, so he tiptoes around the building to peek through the window. There, every night, without fail, the moonlight shines onto Newt’s hair, and if he listens close enough, he can hear his choked breathing, and the soft beeping of medical machines. 

Today, it’s been three days. Three days without Newt, and it feels like it’s been a year. Thomas had no idea how much time he spent with Newt until he lost it. 

Three days of wishing he’d wake up. Three days of watching Minho’s pale face turning sour every time he turned in the direction of the medhut. Three days of nervously opening the necklace he’d received on day one, and reading the letter until the paper turns soft and he’s scared of tearing it.

Three days, and Newt has woken up. There’s a commotion around the medhut there hasn’t been before, and Thomas can hear the shouts of doctors, even see them bring equipment from hut one to hut two. He hasn’t heard Newt, hasn’t seen him, but there’s enough puzzle pieces for him to figure out he’s woken up. 

Sara has the cure. He knows she does, as he gave it to her the moment she told him Newt was still fighting for his life. Has she given it to him yet? Are they giving it to him now? Is that why there’s such a commotion - does he still have the Flare?

Minho sits down next to him quietly. There’s been a lot of silence between the two of them. Thomas figures neither of them know how to properly function without Newt around. 

“He’s awake,” Thomas says, following Minho’s gaze to the medhut. 

“That’s good.” Minho smiles. Nothing else. Thomas can see his own fear reflected in Minho’s eyes - the idea that Newt still might not make it, or that he’ll still be infected. And without Teresa, there’s no hope for a cure. 

“You think they’ll let me see him?” Thomas asks, and Minho just shrugs. 

Later that day, the commotion dies down. Sara comes in during lunch, eyes tired, and tells him they’ll be removing the security from Newt’s hut. She says it with a wink, as if she wants Thomas to sneak in. 

So naturally, he does. 

It's late afternoon. The sun is setting behind him, and Thomas opens the door to the medhut. 

The head of blond hair lifts up the slightest bit, then falls back to the pillow with a groan. 

“Hey,” Thomas says, suddenly unsure of how to act. He comes closer, and sees Newt’s small form, eyes closed, covered in sweat. His hand is shaking, but it’s one without black veins, skin paler than ever before. 

Newt’s response is another groan, opening his eyes just the slightest bit to look through his eyelashes. There's a tube up his nose, and Thomas hates the look of it. 

He sits down on the floor next to Newt’s bed. It’s low enough for him to still see the side of Newt’s face. “How are you feeling?”

When Newt speaks, it’s with a rasp. “Bloody fantastic.”

Thomas smiles, and Newt opens his eyes fully now. “It’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you, too,” Thomas says, hesitantly reaching out to brush hands. “Glad to know you didn’t die on me.”

“Someone has to look after you,” Newt says. He turns his head the slightest bit. “Can’t leave you alone with Minho. This place would burn down within a week.”

“It’s been three days, so you’re just in time,” Thomas says, and Newt manages a weak smile before returning to his previous position, eyes closed again. 

“The doctor says I can’t leave bed for another week.”

“You did get stabbed in the heart,” Thomas supplies helpfully. Newt snorts. 

“Still sucks, though.”

His palm turns, and Thomas takes it as an invitation, intertwining their fingers. They’ve never done anything of the sort before, but it feels only natural, as if going through near-death experiences together forms some sort of unbreakable bond. Newt seems to agree, as he makes no move to turn away. Or maybe he’s still too weak to do that. 

“Technically speaking I’m not allowed out of bed either,” Thomas says, and Newt makes a weird noise. 

“Why?” comes from the bed, and Thomas remembers Newt doesn’t know anything that has happened. He lets go of his hand to stand up, hovering over Newt, who opens one eye. “What are you doing?”

Thomas lifts his shirt and shows him the bandages. Newt makes another noise that Thomas takes as surprise. “Janson.”

“The bastard.” Newt opens his other eye. “We’re safe now, though, aren’t we?”

Thomas nods as he sits down, cross-legged. Newt doesn’t offer his hand again, and Thomas doesn’t ask. “We’re in the Safe Haven. WCKD has fallen. Janson… dead.”

Newt turns his head. “Who else?”

He wants to meet his gaze, really, but finds it impossible to do so. The floor gets his attention as he answers; “Lawrence. Paige. All of WCKD really, most of the civilians.”

He scrapes his throat. “Teresa.”

When he looks back at Newt, he finds a sympathetic look in his eyes. He’s not sure what to do with it. “I thought we’d lost you, too.”

“Well.” Newt sort of half-smiles. “Miracles happen, I s’pose.”

“Yeah,” Thomas smiles back, and that’s it. 

Sara forces Newt to stay in bed for six more days. Both Thomas and Newt dislike her strict rules, but she’s a woman with a strong mind and doesn’t even consider lifting the restrictions once. Though Thomas is allowed to visit daily now, it still doesn’t feel right. Like something’s missing. 

Newt feels it, too. Sometimes, Thomas leaves the door open for Newt to see into the Safe Haven, exploring the tiny bit he can see by vision alone. Soon enough, he promises, you’ll be able to explore it by foot. Newt always smiles at him, and never stops looking. 

They removed the tube two days after he woke up. He looks much better without it - more like a normal human, almost as if he’s completely healthy. It’s only his pale skin and weak muscles that give it away. Thomas can’t even see his injury, as it’s always carefully hidden under a thin hospital shirt, but occasionally, the bandages peek out at his collarbone. 

Three days after Newt wakes up, he’s able to sit up in bed. Thomas is not entirely sure it’s allowed, but there’s no stopping Newt, and he looks much happier once he’s able to function somewhat normally. Minho visits often, too, and brings little chairs they can sit in. He massages Newt’s bad knee and helps him to freshly picked fruit while Thomas holds Newt’s hand and starts up conversations about the Safe Haven, or their past. It feels strangely comfortable, even slightly domestic. Minho doesn’t say much, other than the occasional sarcastic remark, and Thomas can’t help but remember this is a rather familiar situation for both of them. But they don’t speak of it, and neither does Thomas. 

After five days, one day before Newt’s allowed outside, Newt shows him his wound. It’s hidden behind thick bandages that Newt says they’ll change soon, and he carefully lifts them off. 

It doesn’t look big at all. It’s a thin vertical line, held together by black stitches. If it wasn’t for its position - right next to Newt’s heart - it would look almost harmless. 

“Does it hurt?” Thomas asks, breathlessly. Newt shrugs, touches his chest gently. 

“A bit. I guess I’m used to it.”

Thomas reaches out, strokes the area surrounding the stitches, and Newt doesn’t stop him - just watches him with a strange look in his eyes that Thomas doesn’t pay too much attention to. 

Day six. Sara lets him in with a smile, and Newt is already waiting for him. He’s sitting upright with a smile on his face, and Thomas feels his heart light up at the sight of him. 

“You ready?” he asks. Newt nods enthusiastically, reaching for Thomas’ hand. It’s warm and slender in Thomas’, and Thomas reaches out to take the other as well. 

Newt turns sideways, swinging his legs over the side of his bed. He’s wearing different clothes now. An outfit that looks more suitable for this place - thin, loose shirt, soft pants. Thomas tugs at his arms the slightest bit and Newt finds the strength to stand up. 

“You okay?” he asks. Newt’s face is scrunched up in concentration, staring at the floor. 

“Fine. Just a little unstable.”

Thomas takes Newt’s right arm and swings it around his shoulder, feeling Newt’s weight settle against his side. He doesn’t weigh much at all, something that’s both unsurprising and concerning. His hair tickles the side of Thomas’ face. He should get a haircut soon. 

Minho waits for them outside, and so does everyone else. There’s Gally, smiling - a rare occurrence - alongside Frypan, who whoops when they leave the medhut. There’s Brenda, and Harriet, and Sonya, the three of them huddled together, having formed a bond Thomas never really understands. Maybe it’s a female thing. 

Newt manages to find the strength to wave at them all, though he’s still leaning on Thomas heavily, and their friends all look slightly emotional. There’s a round of “good to see you”, “I missed you”, “I’m proud of you”, each of their friends coming close for a moment to express their genuine happiness of Newt being back, and being alive. Newt takes it well, patting shoulders and accepting cheek kisses from the girls, smiling and nodding along. 

When the group leaves, he leans on Thomas more than ever before. 

“They’re happy to see me,” Newt comments as they start walking. Thomas promised to show him the Safe Haven, and so he will. 

“Of course they are,” Thomas says, guiding Newt around the roots of a tree sticking out of the grass. “Everyone was worried about you.”

“Well, I did get stabbed in the heart,” Newt says, a smile on his lips, and Thomas chuckles. 

They walk in silence for a bit, Thomas pointing out things such as the kitchens, the hammocks, the few private huts, Newt taking it all in with a dreamy look on his face. He holds onto Thomas tightly, fingers digging into his shoulder, as if he’ll break down if he lets go. Thomas just lets him. 

He’s leaned on Newt his whole life, it’s only fair to return the favour. 

Thomas forces them to a stop at the edge of the Safe Haven, where the sand meets grass and rocks, and only a few people can see them. The shower block stands here, and they move past it to sit down on the grass, the building separating them from most of the Safe Haven. Though Newt hasn’t shown discomfort once during their walk, he lets out a sigh of relief as soon as he sits down. 

“You okay?” Thomas asks, taking place next to him. Newt squeezes his eyes shut, shaking his head the slightest bit. His fingers reach for his collar, and Thomas makes a decision in the spur of the moment. That seems to be his thing, now. 

“Here.” He shuffles backward and turns to the side, takes a hold of Newt’s torso, and forces him to lay down, head resting on Thomas’ legs. Newt makes a surprised noise, but doesn’t protest. 

“Better?” Thomas asks, and Newt nods softly. 

“I never thought walking would be so hard.”

“Hmm.” Thomas leans back on his hands. “You did get stabbed in the heart.”

That elicits a laugh from Newt, who turns his head to look at Thomas. “Are you making my very serious life-threatening injury into a running joke to make me feel better?”

“Maybe.” Thomas smiles. “Is it working?”

Newt’s smile softens as he looks at Thomas, and his right hand comes to rest on his chest, right next to his wound. “Yeah.”

For the next ten minutes, Newt rests in his lap, and Thomas looks at the sky, finding patterns and shapes in the clouds. When he points them out to Newt, they have a few lighthearted discussions about what they could mean, and before they know it, the sunset catches their attention instead. 

Thomas takes Newt’s hand to help him sit up, and Newt leans into his side as they watch the sun turn a deep shade of orange. The residents of the Safe Haven all come out to sit at the shore, enjoying the view just as much as them. 

The sky turns a mixture of orange, purple and pink, and when Thomas looks at Newt, the colours are reflected in his eyes. He looks more alive than ever despite his trembling hands and pale skin, and Thomas' heart lights up with a strange sort of happiness he’s never felt before. 

It’s only when Newt looks back that Thomas realizes he’s been staring. The sun is near the horizon now, turning more of a red colour than orange. It illuminates Newt’s whole face, and Thomas can’t bring himself to look away. 

As he looks at Newt, he remembers this might be the first pretty sunset he’s seen since the Glade. 

“You wrote me a letter,” he says to break the silence. Newt blinks, looking slightly taken aback, then nods. His eyes don’t leave Thomas’ face. 

Thomas reaches under his shirt, finding the necklace where it always is; resting against his chest. Newt’s eyes follow his hand as he takes it out and unscrews the top. His expression turns slightly sad, as if the simple sight of the letter makes him feel the pain he was in when he wrote it. 

The letter falls out and unfolds by itself, thin lines indicating where the folds had been. Thomas has seen the words many times now, but still never gets used to them. They’re all he thinks of, all he dreams of. Sometimes he wonders what Newt was trying to say by writing it. 

“I didn’t think I’d make it,” Newt says, perfectly reading him as he always does. “I wanted to make sure you’d know how…. that I cared for you. That I didn’t blame you for anything.”

“Thank you,” Thomas says, stroking the place where the ink spells out the one sentence he can’t get out of his mind. If I could do it all over again I would, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Newt finds it, too, and gently takes the letter from Thomas. He folds it back up, places it inside the necklace, and presses it into Thomas’ hand. 

“It’s true,” he says. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Thomas doesn’t know what to do with that information. 

Hours later, Thomas brings him back to the medhut. It’s dark and quiet in the Safe Haven, the only people still out being their friends. Gally’s putting out the campfire, and Harriet and Sonya stumble to their hammocks together, incredibly tipsy and in love. It took Thomas days to find out that their relationship was like that, but now it’s so obvious it seems to shine off of them, radiating their happiness to all of their friends. Newt watches them, too, then turns to Thomas with a strange smile. 

“Come on,” Thomas swings his arm around Newt’s back. “Let’s get you back to bed.”

“When did you become the mom friend instead of me?” Newt asks, but he allows Thomas to help him to the medhut, not too far away. 

“I stole that role when you decided to get stabbed,” Thomas says, and Newt laughs again, a sound that vibrates through his whole body. Thomas can feel it against his side. 

Newt’s been laughing a lot more recently. Thomas isn’t sure he’s seen him this happy in all the time they’ve known each other. He figures that’s what happens when you find peace and safety after a life of terror and death. It’s relieving to see. Newt’s smile lights up his whole face, his whole body - Thomas can’t help but smile along when he sees it. 

Back in the medhut, Newt lets go of him, a bit more stable on his feet now. He carefully walks around the small room, opening the cabinet next to his bed to take out what look like his pyjamas. Thomas is ready to wish him a good night and turn away when Newt reaches out and takes hold of his arm. 

“Can you help me?”

And that’s how he finds himself crouched next to Newt’s bed, gently dabbing at his wound with iodopovidone - desinfectant of some sort that he found inside the cabinet. Newt watches him, breathing deeply, and helps him find the bandages. Thomas is not entirely sure what he’s doing, but it’s better than having Newt do it himself, so he grits his teeth and tries his best. 

When Newt is all wrapped up and clean, Thomas reaches for the pyjama shirt. It’s a dark blue colour, and looks very similar to the one he wore when entering the Safe Haven for the first time. Maybe it’s the same - he doesn’t know. 

“Up,” he softly says, and Newt stands up with a smile, lifting his arms up. Thomas carefully pulls the sleeves over them, then stands up on his tippy toes for a moment to pull the rest of his shirt over his head. 

When he returns to a normal standing position and lets go of the shirt, Newt drops his arms and lets out a shaky breath.

Thomas can feel it blowing on his face. 

Newt looks down at him, the height difference between them much more prominent up close. It’s only a few inches, but it’s enough for him to notice. 

Newt doesn’t move, and Thomas can’t bring himself to look away. Have his eyes always been this dark, or were they only like this at nighttime? The scar on his cheek has faded the slightest bit, but there’s a new one on his neck. Moles dot his left cheek, more visible now that his skin has paled.

In a moment of impossible bravery, he leans in to softly press their lips together. 

He’s not sure why he does it until he does it, and is rewarded with a surprised noise from Newt. The moment they touch something jumps in his chest; something that’s been waiting to be discovered for ages now, something that was probably there all along. It’s warm and slightly terrifying, but that terror turns into contentedness when Newt takes his face in his hand and kisses him back. 

They break apart way too soon for Thomas’ liking. Newt’s smile has grown impossibly wider, and he caresses the side of Thomas’ face. He leans into it, and Newt kisses him one more time before letting go. 

“Goodnight, Tommy.”

Thomas can’t contain a smile as he answers; “Night, Newt.”

He leaves the hut with a happy heart and the thought that maybe, this is how it was meant to end all along.