Doctor John Watson waited in the courtyard, wanting to leave, yet too tired to move. Why he decided to seek out Doctor Strange was beyond him. After being injured in Afghanistan, he had been diagnosed with PTSD, which caused him to limp, and a bullet wound which led to a frozen shoulder. He drank too much and his career was all but a thing of the past. One night, while he sat on the edge of his bed in a military transition house, he attempted to kill himself with his service revolver. His shoulder had locked up and the gun had clattered to the ground in a useless metal heap. I couldn't even blow my own brains out, he thought, shivering.
A silken voice reached out through the darkness. "Doctor John Hamish Watson, tell me why you have come to study at Kathmandu?"
"Jesus," John swore his heart pounding. He looked around him, seeing nothing. "Alright, I get it. Let's make fun of the crippled Doctor. Well, I don't need this. I only came here after reading some bloody esoteric article in the Metaphysical Digest, while waiting in my therapist's office. But you know what? You and your bloody cult can just go to hell. Screw you." Then as best he could he limped out of the courtyard, muttering to himself. I'm broke. I can't go home to my sister Harriette. We don't get on. Dad's dead and Mum is well who knows where she got off to. Maybe I can make my way to the British consulate where I can get assistance in obtaining a plane ticket home. God, I've messed up this time. No job prospects, no loving family, no money, just a wounded broken spirt. I wish I were dead. He then stumbled out the doors into the dusty street.
His head ached. There were so many people, some many sights and sounds. A man pushed a hand cart to his right, causing him to stumble. Everything seemed too bright, too defined, too noisy. He sank to the ground, putting his head in his hands, then began to rock. Oh, god no, please not here. The smell of frying animal flesh sent him over the edge. His body trembled, then his stomach cramped up and his last meager meal spewed forth out of his mouth. Edging away from his regurgitation, he attempted to stand, only to fall back to the ground. Dust flew around him when his body hit the dirt. Bloody hell, all I need to do is shit myself to make this crappy day complete. When his stomach gurgled, John swore. Dear God above, why couldn't you just let me off myself?
John looked up at a small woman, who looked down at him in pity. Why can't I just lay in my own bloody vomit and die? "Yes, now please just go away."
The woman remained until John, took his cane and shook it at her. "Get out of here. Leave me alone."
Doctor Strange watched the discourse from a distance. The man was a lost cause. Though he knew in his mind that Doctor Watson was too cynical, too damaged and too bitter to help, he paused. He's broken, just as I was, just as I am.
John wanted to cry, but didn't, he just crawled to an empty space beside a building, and curled up into a ball.
"You give up too easy, Doctor Watson, you are going to be a lot of trouble."
John looked up at the man who spoke, shielding his eyes from the afternoon sun. The man stepped to the left so that John's vision was shaded in shadow. He was dressed in some sort of martial arts outfit, with a red cape that billowed around his broad shoulders and lithe torso. "Who are you?"
"I'm Doctor Strange. You give up too easily, Doctor Watson."
"What do you know? How can you possibly know how I feel?"
Doctor Strange held out his shaking hands for John to inspect. "A lot more than you think Doctor Watson." John traced his trembling scared fingers with his own. "Sorry, I was a being a dick earlier. Can you tell me if there is a British Consulate around here?"
"They'll be closed by now, come back with me and rest." He then held out his hand.
John ignored it, attempting to stand on his own. He had just about wobbled to his feet, when a group of children ran by, causing him to lose his balance. In an instant, Doctor Strange's red cape reached out, wrapping itself around his legs, pulling him into an embrace with its master.
Doctor Strange, looked down at the man in his arms, almost dropping him when a jolt of energy raced through his body. What the hell was that?
"What the hell was that?" John asked.
"It's the cape. It does strange things."
John nodded, still folded in Doctor Strange's grasp. "Um, you can let go now."
Doctor Strange studied John's face. He's going to pass out any minute.
"I'm fine, so let go," John ordered, ignoring the feeling of light headedness that assailed him.
"And one, two…
"Why are you counting off?" Then his eyes fluttered and John collapsed.
"Three," Doctor Strange whispered, gathering up John's limp body, allowing the cape to hold them both tight. He then looked down at his gaunt, pale face. You are going to be a lot of trouble Doctor John Hamish Watson.