2

Tommy Bane and his “big fat neck.”

"I’m getting old and it’s getting more difficult to get out and train; lifting weights, putting on weight, fighting. I think it might be that moment there (points at a picture of Bane and Batman battling on the streets), the first time I ever heard Christian say he was tired. Six months into the shooting.

"I pushed a lot of weight, I ate a lot and I didn’t do any cardio for about a year. So I ended up being really fat and now I am suffering the consequences. I have a big fat neck in it, yeah."

— Tom Hardy, Fitzness.com

Art/Fic Swap #2 with GluetheGure

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The bleeding is a shock. He’s half out of his clothes, trying to see how extensive the changes are, and the sleeves of his sleep shirt are dappled red. Newt looks in the mirror and the blood’s coming from his nose- bright red, and when he wipes the worse of it off he can feel the grainy flesh where the membranes inside his nose are sloughing off.

He’s not dying. At least, he doesn’t think so. He’s never seen symptoms like this. The blood is slick and metallic in his mouth and he hunches over the sink to keep from choking on the stuff-

"No." It’s barely a whisper behind him and Newt spins around.

Hermann is ash-pale, shivering. He takes two step forwards and nearly falls; “No, god Newt please-“

"It’s okay." Newt tries to say, but it comes out in a meaningless burble of fluids.

Hermann reaches him, clings so close Newt’s getting blood all over him and he doesn’t seem to care hanging on to Newt as though he’d slip away if Hermann loosened his grip. Newt swallows the hot metal of his own blood and tries again, “Herms, it’s not-” His voice is thick even to his own ears.

He doesn’t need to continue, Hermann stops, freezing so suddenly Newt nearly loses his balance. His hands come up to Newt’s face, thumb drawing down his lower lip.

Even that slight pressure is too much and Newt struggles not to cry out, the pain suddenly blinding as a tooth pops free. He grits his teeth instinctively and tears spring from his eyes as his teeth shift loose, as the sharp new teeth pushing through prick the inside of his mouth.

Hermann isn’t crying any more. He’s staring at Newt, lost. Newt has never seen him look so lost. Not when his numbers were wrong, or when he found Newt after the Drift, or even when the doctors gave him their prognosis.

And now, like then, it’s the last straw.

"I don’t know what’s happening-"it’s half a sob, the words blunted and deformed by his tears, his shedding teeth, the blood filling his mouth and nose.

He reaches out to Hermann, trying to just- hang on- and his nails are gone too, bloody little bone hooks protruding in their place and he doesn’t know what to do he he can’t touch Hermann or anything and he’s terrified to move because something else will happen and he’d almost prefer to be dying because at least he’d understand what was happening to him-

And Hermann is there, his arms around Newt’s shoulders and Newt stiffens because he can feel the skin of his back grow loose at the contact. “I don’t care.” It’s muffled, Hermann digs his nails into Newt’s failing body to keep him here. “Whatever happens. Just don’t die. Don’t leave me, god.”

Newt closes his eyes, puts his hands on Hermann’s shoulders and feels his new little claws snag on the cotton of his pajamas, opens his eyes to see that the blood still running sluggishly from the pits where his nails had been is slowly, steadily turning blue.

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