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shot right through with a bolt of blue

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At first Newt barely notices the bumps. End of the world and everything, forgive him if he's not been so attentive as usual to his bits and pieces, you know? When he does notice them, he figures he needs to change his underwear more, dusts on a little talcum powder, gets back to work.

A day or so later the bumps are bigger, and though they don't hurt, they feel kind of tender. At this point, somebody sensible would go see a doctor- like, of human medicine- but things are still crazytown in the Shatterdome, people and equipment everywhere, and Newt knows Medical are swamped. They're probably too busy with actual injuries to bother with whatever's incubating in Newt's pants. Anyway, Newt's a doctor! Several times over! They make you do a ton of human biology before they let you even look at the cool xeno stuff, so he totally knows about human parts.

So he grabs a lab stool and a light and the adjustable mirrors he uses for dissection and he locks the door to his quarters and he takes a look. The bumps seem bigger already; raised, angry-looking, almost the size of a dime (9.6mm in diameter; good thing he snagged his voice recorder, he can make notes) and a deep, infection-y red around the edges, darkening to purple in the centres. Newt probes, gently, with his gloved hand. The area affected is fairly contained; the bumps spread out in an approximate circle, spiraling out from his balls, reaching the base of his dick and halfway down his taint. Almost concentric. Like a crop circle.

Okay, this looks bad. Okay. Okay, scientific method, what's happening here? Newt flicks the switch on his voice recorder.

"Doctor Newton Geizler, self-exam, 1400 hours," he says to it. "Crazy warts emerging from my genitals is bad, right?"

He rattles off his observations to the recorder, noting colour, approximate time since appearance, strange tingling sensation. As he examines himself, he can feel how warm they are- how much hotter the growths are, compared to the surrounding skin.

"The growth rate of these is incredible! I barely knew they were there two days ago, and now their average diameter is nine, uh..." He grabs his calipers to check his measurements. 12.4mm. "Holy shit," he breathes.

Maybe he should go to Medical. Newt's not particularly knowledgeable about human diseases, but warts (or whatever the hell these are) should not grow at this rate. He tries to think about stuff he's heard of with sufficiently rapid incubation periods; New Scientist hasn't been publishing for a while, but surely he'd remember an infection that manifested weird fast-growing bumps with blue tips.

Wait a minute. Blue? Newt spins the tape back.

"-red around the edges, no doubt that's inflammation, purple in the middle. Kinda like big pimples," his tinny voice says. He stops the tape, and looks back down at his crotch. Well, they're blue now. Bright, fresh-bruise blue. The purple has receded to the edges, and the blue tips almost seem to glow in the harsh fluorescent lighting of his bunk. Over the panicky ringing in his ears, Newt wonders if he should grab a camera.

Under his fingers, the bumps quiver and swell.

Scientific method, scientific method. Probably not any conventionally communicable infection; somebody smarter than Newt would have gone to Medical by now. There'd have been an alert. Site of infection suggests sexually transmitted, but that's, ha, no. Saving the world is a very time-consuming occupation. He's barely had time for his right hand, let alone- hell, he's probably spent more time with his kaiju parts than... oh.

Oh, God.

Newt squeezes his eyes shut tight. No. No no no no no. It can't be. Human and kaiju genetics are so radically different, nothing communicable could affect him, surely? People all over the world have handled kaiju tissue countless times, and none have reported weird stuff happening to their privates. No. It's just one of those superbugs. Something normal. Human.

Something brushes against his thigh.

He can't look. He can't look he can't look he can't-

He looks.

To Newt's credit, he doesn't scream; he doesn't fall off the stool. He does cram a fist in his mouth and emit a high-pitched whimper, but he feels that's excusable under the circumstances because there are goddamn tentacles growing out of his balls. They wave gently, like sea anemones.

When the waves of crippling panic subside a little, he realises he can feel with them. Where they brush against his inner thighs and the underside of his dick, he feels the touch reciprocally, like rubbing his hands together. Gingerly, he reaches a hand down to touch them. A few tendrils, glowing faintly, twine around his fingers. Sensation, but no conscious control. That's interesting. Newt rubs one between thumb and forefinger, horror receding beneath the thrill of discovery. The tentacle pulses in time with his heartbeat; the shiny, tender skin, for all that it's blue and bioluminescent, feels undeniably human.

He probably shouldn't think this is cool.

Newt's still exploring his new appendages (yeah, he's got the recorder running, this is scientific history) when someone bangs on his door. Scratch 'someone'- nobody but Hermann uses that quickfire one-two-three rhythm. Jeez. Of all the people Newt wants to find him half-naked and surrounded by lab equipment, Hermann is- actually, Hermann's pretty high up that list. It wouldn't be the first time, even, but that was in wartime, and Newt didn't have his new little friends waving hello.

"Just a minute!" he yells, kicking over a mirror as he dashes for his pants.

"Doctor Geizler!" Hermann bangs on the door with his cane. "Doctor Geizler, unlock this door immediately."

"Gimme a second, will ya?" Having located his pants, if not his underpants, Newt tries to manoeuvre himself into them without falling over, making too much noise, or damaging his new wiggly buddies. Not an easy task- note to self: buy looser pants- rendered even more difficult by the distraction of Hermann's insistent knocking.

"Doctor Geizler, there is a woman in- what on earth are you doing in there?"

"Nothing!" Newt hops towards the door, hurriedly pulling on his other shoe. He flings the door open, using his body to block Hermann's curious gaze, and edges around it until he can slam it behind him. "Nothing of any interest whatsoever. At all."

Hermann squints at Newt's red face and heaving chest suspiciously.

"I was, uh, napping," Newt says. Behind his back, he pulls off the nitrile glove, and drops it surreptitiously on the floor. "What can I do for you, ol' buddy ol' pal?"

"There is a woman in our laboratory, Doctor Geizler," Hermann snaps, moving off down the corridor. "A frightening bald Chinese woman, who says she wants to speak with you."

"Oh!" Newt scurries after Hermann, trying to walk like someone whose junk definitely isn't squirming. "I think she works- or worked, I guess- for Hannibal Chau. Did she say why?"

"I don't care why a dangerous black-market organ dealer's flunky is in our laboratory. I want you to remove her from it, post-haste." He's not really mad at Newt- the displeasure Newt can feel twanging off his synapses is all intruder-alert, not the warm prickling of the fond frustration Hermann reserves for him. The intensity of their weird Drift hangover empathy thing perplexes the hell out of the techs, and they're not totally sure as yet whether or not linking their minds into an indescribably vast extradimensional hivemind has done them any permanent neurological damage, but it's gonna be killer for poker night.

Oh, jeez- the Drift! What if the kaiju hivemind is what's brought on Newt's... condition? Some kind of genetic hitchhiker? What if it affects Hermann? Newt's played around with enough kaiju guts (and, let's be honest here, seen enough weird hentai) that while he'll probably need a stiff drink and a lot of therapy later, right now he's too busy itching to study his new additions to really freak out about them. Hermann, on the other hand, is fastidiously neat and a little bit germphobic, and he really, really hates kaiju parts; if he starts growing some, he's likely to screech and throw things and get Newt in trouble with Medical for failing to report the infection.

Still, the only thing coming off Hermann is annoyance; that there's an interloper in his lab, that Newt's bunk is so far from K-Science, that his leg hurts today. Newt probes a little, but he's not getting oh-shit-my-junk-grew-limbs levels of panic or worry- wait, maybe a tickle-

"Newton." Hermann stops abruptly outside the laboratory door. "I mean- Doctor Geizler-"


"...yes. Well. Are you- are you quite alright?"

Newt starts. He and Hermann have been working together for ten years. Granted, a lot of that wasn't so much working together as it was shouting and sniping and deriding each other's work, but, point stands, in that time, Newt can't remember Hermann ever, ever asking him that. Why start now, when he doesn't need to?

"I'm fine, buddy." Newt smiles weakly. "Come on, let's go see what the Hong Kong underworld wants with me."

Their lab- the last fragments of the PPDC's K-Science program- looks like a Jaeger hit it. On Newt's side, that's pretty normal, but even Hermann's strictly organised workspace is a mess.The Shatterdome has been one huge, boozy, bittersweet party since the Breach closed, equal parts celebration and wake; it looks like some of the party made it in here. In the middle of Newt's side of the lab, the bald woman he... encountered at Hannibal Chau's sits perched on his remaining stool, picking her nails with a slim flick knife.

As they enter, she folds the knife away and stands. "Doctor Geizler," she says, her English accented but precise. "Mister Chau wants to see you."

"He's alive?" Newt goggles. "He got eaten!"

"You should know, Doctor, that kaiju digestive systems are very inefficient." Her mouth quirks; it could be a smile? Maybe? "Mister Chau requests your presence. He requests also that you return his shoe."

An argument, as always, ensues. Intimidating Gangster Lady is very insistent that Newt goes with her to see Chau. Hermann is very insistent that Newt stays here and involves himself no further with shadowy underworld figures. He calls Hannibal a 'disreputable malefactor', like, he actually uses those words, which is adorable. While Hermann's yelling, Newt fishes around in the shitstorm of notes and samples and plastic cups on his desk until he finds the ugly-ass shoe in question; when he's got it, he grabs his jacket, tucks his shirt in, tries to do something with his tie. Showing up all crazy and bloodstained is fine in wartime, but Hannibal got eaten by a kaiju. Least he can do is show a little respect.

Hermann follows Newt and Hannibal's emissary all the way out to where the spooky black towncar is waiting, grumbling and pinging his worry off Newt's worry in a deeply irritating feedback loop. Because, y'know, that's really helpful. It gets so bad Newt has to give him a comforting shoulder squeeze kind of thing, which is practically indecent by their normal standard of touching, and even so Hermann stays outside watching the car until it drives out of sight.

It's a nice car. Pre-war, maybe, well maintained. Newt grips the leather upholstery and tries not to make smalltalk, pretending to watch the lights of Hong Kong flashing past, and not the frightening bald woman staring at him over her knife. There have been better rides. Eventually the nice car drops them in the bone slums, and Newt follows his guide through a shadowy door and a series of corridors into Hannibal's lair.

Looking around at Hannibal's insane collection of kaiju bits, it dawns on him that maybe this wasn't a terrible idea. Chau's gotta have specialists, right? People who know about kaiju. Not as much as Newt knows, obviously, who does, but if they've been playing around with parts this fresh, they might be able to shine some light on his downstairs situation. On the other hand, he's a criminal; it's not outside the limits of possibility that he'd sell Newt's bits to a collector if he got the chance.

Newt should really have gone to Medical.

Not that he gets long to dwell on it, because he's being ushered into a room at the back, which, shit, Newt regrets blowing "lair" on the workroom outside. This is a full-on Bond villain setup, all dark lacquered furniture and sumptuous rugs, with an honest-to-God red leather partner desk and moody downlighting. Over by the wet bar (who actually has a wet bar in their actual office what the hell) stands Hannibal, fixing a drink. He's all in blue, glittering with gold embroidery; to look at him, you'd never think a kaiju tried to eat him a couple of days ago.

Hannibal turns, a drink in each hand, and nods to Newt's escort, who half-bows and backs out of the room, closing the door behind her. Shut in a dimly-lit crime den with a flamboyant crime lord. Awesome. Said crime lord hands him one of the glasses, and taps the desk meaningfully. "Shoe," he says.

Newt puts the shoe on the desk. He hasn't cleaned it or anything, so there's still gunk crusted on the plating, and he feels kinda bad for the two seconds between letting go of the shoe and looking down at the shoes Hannibal's wearing now. "Those are exactly the same!" He stares at Hannibal accusingly. "You have multiple pairs of gold-plated pimp shoes?"

"Gotta have more than one pair of shoes, kid," says Hannibal, reproachful but not, thank God, annoyed. "Foot fungus is bad for business."

"You brought me halfway across Hong Kong to give you back a shoe of which you have an exact replica. I gotta tell you, big guy, you're really working that eccentric gangster angle."

Newt was hoping that would get a laugh, but Hannibal just smirks, leaning against the desk and clinking their glasses together. Whatever's in their smells pleasantly alcoholic, and probably isn't poisoned- really, there are more convenient ways of killing people- so Newt thinks fuck it, show of good faith, and takes a sip. It's unsurprisingly good scotch, and Hannibal seems pleased that he's drinking it; maybe the Dutch courage will smooth the way with asking for some professional advice on the whole tentacle thing.

Except, haha, oh shit, shouldn't have thought about it, because his little buddies perked right up the second he started paying attention to them, which while scientifically fascinating is super inconvenient and highly distracting.

"If I just wanted the shoe, I got people for that," says Hannibal, pulling Newt's focus back out of his pants. "What I don't have is more kaiju, and for that, they tell me, I got you to thank."

Newt swallows hard, and looks down at his drink with renewed suspicion.

"Relax," Hannibal chuckles, "I'm not threatening you. Think I'd do that to good scotch? Nah. Short term, no more big ugly bastards climbing outta the ocean is good for business- less dead customers, a whole lot less competition- but long term?" He clicks his tongue. "Needs planning. Needs brains."

"B-brains?" God, this is bad, this is really bad. Whatever it is Hannibal wants, he's asking for it in this low, velvety rumble, and he's inching his way into Newt's personal space while he does it. It's probably intended to be menacing, and it might be if the whole gigantic-steampunk-crime-baron-Hannibal-Chau thing didn't do it for Newt on a variety of levels, and most especially if Newt didn't have a bunch of writhing tentacles pressing his dick against the zip of his pants, but that's definitely a thing that's happening. He's getting a boner in front of Hannibal Chau.

"Yeah, kid. Brains like yours." Newt's so busy trying not to squirm, he barely notices what Hannibal's saying. "Smart guys who ain't afraid to get their hands dirty."

"Wait, what? Are you trying to poach me? Seriously?" Oh jeez, oh jeez. Marshall Hansen's going to kill him. Hermann's going to threaten to kill him, though that's barely a concern, I Am Actually Going To Murder You being one of their favourite arguments. He's got to get out of here right the hell now before he does something really dumb, but Hannibal's between him and the door, all big and insistent, and the warm smell of him is driving Newt's tentacles crazy. They're wriggling around like they're trying to bust out of his pants, and he's starting to sweat.

"You got a problem with that?" Hannibal's face moves like he's narrowing his eyes behind his shades. He puts his drink down. "This is the polite approach, Doctor Geizler. I suggest you consider your tone."

"No, I, no, sorry," Newt babbles. "Well. I'll consider your extremely courteous offer and get right back to you as soon as I-"

He tries to make a break for the door, but he doesn't even make two feet before big, warm hands close around his upper arms. Evidently that was the wrong move. "The hell's got into you, kid? Am I making you nervous?"

"Haha, nervous? Why would an oversized racketeer trying to lure me into a life of crime make me nervous?" Oh, running his mouth, this is going so well. "I mean, uh, a legitimate businessman-"

Hannibal snorts, amused, and Newt's relieved for a fraction of a second; then Hannibal's brow wrinkles, and he leans right into Newt's space, taking a deep breath in through his nose- smelling him, which has no right to be as ridiculously hot as it is. Neither does the rumble of discontent he purrs out right next to Newt's ear, but Newt just shivers and goes limp anyway. "Ammonia," Hannibal growls. "You forget to wash up before leaving the lab, Doc?"

Ammonia. He can't smell it himself, and, hey, Newt generally doesn't notice how he smells- Hermann has had to remind him to shower enough times- but if it's strong enough for Hannibal to smell it on him, the crazy kaiju crap happening in his system must be altering his hormones significantly. "Can't smell anything," he blusters, pulling ineffectually against Hannibal's iron grip. "Chemicals and everything, must just be used to it, but if it's bothering you, you could just, y'know, let me go, and I can come back later."

"You smell like kaiju." Hannibal looms impossibly closer, hands bunching in Newt's shirt. "Explain."

"Nothing to explain! Lab smell! Definitely not an unprecedented xenobiological crossover possibly resulting from Drifting with kaiju brains, which I never mentioned, and you didn't hear that."

"I think I heard." Hannibal pushes Newt, just a bit, until the backs of his thighs hit the desk. "All sorts of fun words in there. Xenobiological, in particular, caught my attention."

"Classified!" Aw, man, Newt hates it when his voice goes all squeaky, he sounds prepubescent, but this is so bad. "Probably. Probably classified, I mean, I didn't, like, tell anyone or file a report so technically it's not PPDC property but if I had it totally would be."

"Classified, huh?" Oh, oh shit, that's a knife, that's a knife in his hand, Newt's got too much to do to die like this. He scrambles backwards, ending up halfway across the desk with one of Hannibal's giant paws pinning him in place. "You're gettin' on my last nerve, boy. Now, you can tell me what you got, or I can hand your body to my crew and have them tell me."

This, this is why Newt is science guy, not action guy. He's a rock star in the lab, but right now he's on his back on a table with an angry black market dealer flashing a balisong in his face. If he were, say, Raleigh, or Mako, he'd have sweet Jaeger jutsu moves to help him out, or at least basic survival skills, and he probably wouldn't still have a boner. This is why Hermann says he shouldn't be allowed out alone- the life skills thing, not the boner thing, although now they've Drifted together maybe he means that as well, ha ha, oh God.

"Hannibal, man," he says, flailing ineffectually. "Hannibal, I can't, you'll kill me."

The cold flat of the knife caresses his cheek.

Newt squeezes his eyes shut, takes a deep breath, and goes for his fly. Here lies Dr. Newton Geizler, Ph.D, he thinks hysterically, died as he lived: doomed by the lethal combination of xenoscience and his dick.

Above him, Hannibal has gone very still. The knife slips down past his jaw to rest somewhere near his collarbone; Hannibal's attention is elsewhere. Between Newt's thighs, his tentacles are pushing at the open V of his jeans, competing for space in the open air.

"Holy jeez." The hand lifts off his sternum, and moves to push Newt's shirt up out of the way. "You tattooed everywhere, kid?"

"Really? You wanna talk about the ink? I have tentacles! Glowing crotch tentacles!"

"I'm working up to those." Thick fingers sweep over the vibrant colours of Newt's belly, and delicately circumnavigate his, at this point, ludicrous hard-on to brush against the tips of the tentacles. The tentacles seem to be into that; they wind around Hannibal's fingers, twitching and rubbing ecstatically, exploring the different textures of his skin and his rings.

Newt's head thunks back against the desk. The nerve endings in these babies are even more sensitive than the surrounding skin, and Hannibal's hand is rough and warm. It feels incredible. This is so inappropriate. "Come on, man," Newt grits out. "I showed you my freaky secret. You can let me up now."

"How'd you cultivate these?" Hannibal shows no indications of doing anything like letting Newt up, or letting go of the blue tendrils snaking curiously across his palm. "My crew have tried some wild stuff in terms of cross-species applications, but nothing like this."

"I didn't cultivate them!" It's really difficult to concentrate with Hannibal's hand there, just- stroking gently, like he's petting them. "I don't know how they happened! I'm guessing it's a post-Drift thing exacerbated by exposure to kaiju remains but I haven't had time to do any further study on it because some guy called me into his den of sin and won't stop touching my junk."

That, apparently, merits a laugh. "Doesn't look like you mind all that much." Hannibal's other hand comes down- not holding the knife, thank God- and he runs his thumb up the underside of Newt's dick. Newt twitches violently. "Sure you're not holding out on me, Doc?"

"What in our brief but colourful acquaintance makes you think I have any kind of brain-to-mouth filter?" Newt tries to prop himself upon his elbows, but Hannibal's still touching him enough to make control over his body difficult, so he settles for craning his neck and glaring. Hannibal pinches his thigh sharply, and Newt yelps. "Seriously! If I knew, I would be bragging about it!"

"That, I can believe." Hannibal leans forward, his dark glasses and glinting teeth looming into focus. "Now, if we're not gonna talk science, are you gonna take your pants off?"

Newt stares at him. Hannibal doesn't look like he's joking, and, hello, still touching his dick, so you know what, fuck it. He shimmies out of his jeans. Hannibal doesn't help, of course, that would be beneath him, but he watches with great interest, and once Newt is bare-assed against the leather of the desk he crowds in between his legs, grinning his golden grin, and letting go of Newt's dick to run his hands up under his shirt. It seems the obvious thing to take that off, too, so Newt just does it before he can think about it. Sure, there have been more romantic propositions than 'take your pants off', but Newt is above all things a practical science guy, and ending up naked in a crime den with a gangster pinching his nipples is- okay, maybe it is on the high end of the Shit Newt Gets Himself Into scale, but it feels awesome.

"Most people aren't that stoked on the tattoos once they see them up close," Newt says, hissing as Hannibal scratches his blunt nails over his ribs. "But I guess you're not most people."

"Ain't that the truth." His hands are huge and warm on Newt's hips. "I made a lot of money off monsters when most of the competition was running for safety. I looked you up, Doctor Geizler. Six doctorates, first author on a whole pile of research papers; I figure you could have gone anywhere, but here you are. With the monsters."

"Aw, come on, no," Newt whines. "Don't start with the sales pitch, I'm naked here."

Hannibal chuckles again, but he does wrap a hand around Newt's dick, so call it a win. His other hand he twines into the tentacles, squeezing and stroking; there's no hesitation in his touch, and it's amazingly hot, how he just goes for it. The tentacles love it, winding over his knuckles, tickling at the softer skin of his wrist. It's incredible how much Newt can feel with them- they're as sensitive as fingertips all over, and really, it's almost a waste to have them down there instead of somewhere he could really study their capabilities without jizzing all over himself. Hannibal's got this rhythm going, steady but not too slow, with a nasty little twist under the head, and the hand in his tentacles flexing in counterpoint.

God, his jerk-off sessions must be some next level shit. Either that, or Newt's not the first innocent young thing Hannibal's felt up on this desk, but before Newt can decide which of those ideas is sexier he's coming in hot, shuddering pulses, all over Hannibal's gigantic hands.

It takes Newt a minute to get his breathing back under control; Hannibal stays with him, rubbing his knuckles idly over the now-quiescent tentacles until he settles. The touching's really nice, but there's a tang of ammonia mixing with the smell of Newt's come, so they should probably clean up before Hannibal's skin burns off.

He gives Hannibal a push, and he moves off, returning with a couple of damp washcloths. Newt stares at him. "This is a sex den! Nobody just has washcloths lying around their office. You lured me into your sex den to sex me into working for you, you creeper."

"Who said anything about working for me?" Hannibal dabs at his rings nonchalantly.

"Yeah, sure, you bust out that monster-chasers-with-brains routine for every passing tourist." Newt finishes wiping himself off, and dangles the soiled washcloth from a finger. "Are you gonna get weird if I ask for a sample container for this? I figure it's a fluid, it's scientifically relevant- oh, you son of a bitch," he says admiringly, as Hannibal takes two plastic sample bags out of a drawer and hands him one. "If you're planning on analysing my jizz, it'd he polite to get me in on that."

"I do strive to be polite," Hannibal murmurs, sealing up the sample bags and tossing them onto a chair behind him. He leans over Newt, who's still perched on the desk- very flexible with the personal bubble, this guy- and grins.

"You do know I can't actually work for you, right?" The expression on Hannibal's face changes abruptly. "Nothing personal, dude, but I'm still PPDC property as long as they need me. Consulting, though, definitely, if that's on the table?"

"Hmm." It's not a happy noise, but it's not a growl, either, so Newt hooks a leg around his thigh anyway, drawing him closer still.

"And... other things on the table, maybe?" He can feel his tentacles exploring the front of Hannibal's pants, mapping out the heavy curve of his erection through the slippery silk. Hannibal's breath is hot in his ear.

"Depends. You're not packin' anything else classified, are you?"

Newt laughs. "Not yet."