John Smith rubbed his bleary eyes and sighed. He had been working on his doctoral dissertation for hours and his computer screen was becoming difficult to focus on. Perhaps it was time to wave the white flag and quit for the night. Standing up, he took note of the time: 2:13am. Another evening had blown by without him noticing.
It was too late to text Jack back. His old friend had pleaded with him earlier for a night away from his books, but John was determined to finish his paper. He was close to earning his doctorate in physics and couldn't be bothered with a meaningless night at bar after bar where Jack would attempt to distract him with pretty faces. Jack tended to attract women that cared more about reality TV than books, and John just couldn't handle the vapid conversations that followed. Besides, he was perfectly happy alone, thank you very much.
He checked his phone and, sure enough, there were several texts from Jack along with pictures of the night out that he had missed. John never understood why Jack tried so hard to get him to talk to these women. Most of them stopped talking as soon as they got a look at his ears and nose; the daft face usually scared them away (not that he cared).
Nope, he was perfectly happy sipping his now cold cuppa and brooding in the silence of his flat. It was better this way. He was far too grumpy and damaged to make anyone happy. Hell, he didn't even know how Jack managed to survive his presence.
But, that was alright, he always reasoned with himself. John didn't mind being alone so long as he had his books and his research. He was far happier contemplating the universe than trying to fit into societal norms.
John fought a large yawn as he washed his mug. He supposed it was time to try and get some sleep. Early morning lectures kept going despite his insomnia, after all. He padded to his bedroom and slipped under the sheets. Hopefully, the dreams would be uneventful tonight and allow him a few hours of rest before he had to tackle another day.
A bright light invaded his closed eyelids as John drifted awake. He could have sworn he closed the curtains before he had gone to bed. Squinting, he blinked a few times to adjust to the harsh environment and promptly became confused.
He was sitting in a hospital bed with wires and tubes attached to his body. For a moment, he figured he must be dreaming, but then he felt the pain; there was a dull ache in his lower left leg and several tender areas around his ribs. But that paled in comparison to the agony radiating from his forehead. It felt as though his skull may split open at any moment and he welcomed the idea if it would alleviate the vice around his temple. John groaned and heard movement to his left as he became fully conscious.
"Doctor!" a female voice cried. "Oh my god you're awake!"
John grunted, "Yes, a doctor might be a good idea - oof!" His sentence was cut short as a pair of arms suddenly surrounded him and blonde hair engulfed his face.
"Oh! I'm sorry! Stupid! You're in pain, and I'm makin' it worse!" cried the blonde attacker. She pulled back, looking at him with the largest smile he had ever seen and trailing her fingers through his beard (when did he grow a beard?). John blinked and stared at her caramel eyes as he tried to figure out what was going on. He had no recollection of how he got here or how he became injured.
"That's, ah, that's ok," he croaked and coughed the roughness from his voice as he surveyed the room. There was a large chair to his left covered in blankets and pink pillows. Next to that was a table with untouched food and a purse. His boots appeared to be against the wall next to another pair of shoes he didn't recognize and his leather jacket was draped across a small couch.
"Are you the nurse? What's going on? What happened to me?" he queried.
The blonde furrowed her eyebrows. "Doctor, you were in an accident, don't you remember? Hit your head pretty bad on the steerin' wheel. Stupid airbag didn't deploy," she explained.
"I'm sorry, did you call me Doctor? I'm not a doctor. Any chance you could get my doctor?" John's panic over the situation was rapidly escalating.
"What? John, I always call you Doctor." She grabbed his hand and squeezed. He jumped and yanked his hand back, glaring at her.
"What? Look, miss, I have no idea who you think you are but could you kindly stop fondlin' me?! What on earth is goin' on?" John's voice rose in volume as a nurse and doctor rushed in. The blonde girl now mirrored his own confusion.
"Ah, Mr. Smith! You're awake! Mrs. Smith was starting to worry you'd never wake up, but I had faith!" The doctor smiled and flipped through his chart.
"I'm sorry, what? Will someone tell me what happened and how I got here? And who the hell is Mrs. Smith?" he roared. His patience was wearing thin, but it wasn't very thick to begin with.
Three sets of eyes stared at him. The nurse nervously flicked her eyes to the blonde to this left, and the doctor began to look concerned.
"Doctor? What's the last thing you remember?" It took John a moment to realize that the voice to the left was addressing him and not the actual physician in the room. He frowned at the stranger.
"Why are you callin' me "Doctor"? Name's John. I'm not a doctor. Seriously, what is wrong with your nurses?" he barked at the man standing at the foot of the bed.
The doctor glanced back and forth between him and the blonde. "Um, John? She's not a nurse."
John turned to the confused woman and took a good look at her. Shoulder length blonde hair was the first thing he noticed, and it was in desperate need of a good brushing. Her eyes were glassy and lined with smudged makeup. Rumpled and wrinkled clothing was stretched over what he presumed was a growing baby bump. Overall, he could see she was very pretty even though she looked exhausted, but he had no clue who she was or why she kept touching him.
The blonde in question opened and closed her mouth several times, seeming at a loss for words. Her eyes started leaking moisture and she muffled a sob with her hand. The movement caused light to glint off of a wedding ring that was now in view. His turmoil reached a new high when he glanced down and noticed a ring on his hand as well.
The doctor cleared his throat in the growing silence. "Mr. Smith, that's Mrs. Smith. Your wife."
John stopped breathing. "What?!"