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A Tale of Two Doctors

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4 Months Later

John looked at his reflection in the mirror, while he finished getting ready for work. Though the green scrubs set off his blue eyes, making them sparkle, they also accented the bags that lay in round puffs beneath them. I look old, tired, sad. He’d lost weight, a lot of weight. ‘You’re as thin as a rake,’ one of his colleagues had said the other day. I look like Jack Fucking Skellington, the Pumpkin King. He smiled, recalling a song or two, but the titles eluded him. Strange would know. He would know the dates and probably the times each song was recorded and published. Strange…His smile faded, replaced with a grimace. I look like my father just before he had his heart attack. Fuck, I’m a mess, can’t wait to get to work, to heal the broken and ease the pain of the dying. I’m John Hamish Watson, trauma surgeon and soldier. Maybe I should re-up, back to the desert—death. Christ, I’ve got to get going.

He then ran out the door and to his motorcycle. His heart beat faster, when he powered it up and dodged through traffic, daring someone to cross his path, daring them to take his life in a crunch of metal and glass. Just before he reached his destination, someone cut him off. “Hey, cocksucker, watch where you’re going.”

The man flipped him off. “Fuck you, mate.”

“No, fuck you. I only hope you end up in my emergency room, so that I can sew your dick inside your mouth, asshole.”

The man drove off and he had the quell the desire to drive after him, to force him off the road, beating him to a jelly.

“Nice.”

John turned to see Launa, one of his colleagues standing at the entranceway. He grinned. They had a one night stand, where they’d fucked like rabbits, where he’d satisfied his lust but not his soul, making her scream, going down on her, letting his mouth and tongue ravage its way through her soft folds until she came undone. Finding her spot over and over, thinking that if he penetrated her, peaking her sexual satisfaction until her body arched into a frenzy beneath him that it would be enough. It wasn’t. He’d been honest, telling her that all he wanted was a quick release, but it didn’t stop either of them from wanting more. But when they showered, dressed and the first rays of the sun peaked through the window, they both knew that it was what it was, nothing substantial.  

She’d asked if he wanted her to stay, but he shook his head, then with a kiss on the forehead, and a parting comment about how his cock should be registered as a national treasure, she was gone.

“Hey, where are you?” she asked.

John blinked, looking around him. “I was just remembering our night together.”

“You want a repeat?”

He shook his head. “No.”

She tucked a stray strand of hair behind his ear. “Come one, let’s get in there before someone reports you as the foul mouth Doctor out front.”

He smiled, hoping for an adrenaline filled day.

***

Strange went about his day, reveling in its precise schedule, no deviations, no surprises, just training, teaching, studying, sleeping and eating as little as possible.

“You don’t look good,” Wong stated with his usual bluntness.

Strange grinned, acknowledging him with a grunt. “I’m busy.”

Wong shook his head. “Busy or not, you look like a creepy wizard. Why don’t you email him?”

Strange continued to look at the book he held in his hands. “Email who?”

“You know who, John.”

“John made it perfectly clear that he never wanted to see me or this place again.”

“Maybe, you should tell him that you accept his apology. You do, don’t you?”

Strange looked up. “Of course.”

Wong pulled a small tablet underneath his desk. “Then do it.”

Strange sighed, “No.”

“Come on.”

Strange sighed again. “If I do it, will you be quiet and leave me alone?”

Wong folded his arms across his chest. “About this matter, yes.”

“Fine, give me the damn tablet.”

Wong handed it to him, then Strange accessed the internet, and typed in John’s last known e mail address. He then stared at the screen in front of him. Subject line, what should I put in the subject line? I forgive you for being an asshole, have a nice life? Hmm. Then he typed: John, I accept your apology and hope you are well. No that sounds too trite. After all, it’s been 4 months, 2 days and 38 minutes. He stared at the screen, until Wong came around behind him.

“Sounds good, Strange, send it.”

“It’s too blunt. It will just piss him off.”

Wong rolled his eyes. “Just send it.” Then before Strange could stop him he pressed send.

***

John rubbed the back of his neck. I can’t handle these 18 hour shifts like I used to. He stripped off his scrubs, then checked his phone messages. His heart beat faster when he noticed an email from Strange. He read it, then re-read it. Of all the fucking things, what an arrogant, asshole. He then typed back, his hands shaking from exhaustion, anger, and frustration. Wow, big of you. I’ll skip confession, your holiness, thanks for the papal blessing, fuck you too. Then he pressed send hard enough to be glad that he had a tempered glass screen protector.

***

Strange read the message, bowing his head, then deleted John from his contact list. He was about to go back to reading, when a crackling sound filled the air—magic. Wong ran to its source, stepping back when a vortex filled the space in front of the eye of argamotto. Mordo appeared his hands raised above his head, making signs until a dimension screen stood in front of him. “Good evening, Strange, Wong.”

Strange ran to the eye of argamotto, making shields of protection. He then reached for the eye. His cape attempted to pull him away but he fought it off.

“Strange, don’t touch it,” Wong screamed.

Strange ignored him and grabbed the eye. His body jerked, then fell to the ground. Mordo then laughed and disappeared through his vortex. Wong knelt beside Strange, the eye of argamotto glowed red, and Strange lay still, eyes open staring, red like the eye of argamotto that stared unblinking back at him.