Two Old Friends

Author's Note:

Just a simple one-shot; a break from all of the other stories I am writing. Just read and enjoy, my friends. Read and enjoy.

The one-armed scientist was hard at work; research papers all around him. He scribbled frantically on some of these papers, his head bent in concentration.

He was so engrossed in his work that he barely noticed the knock at the door, and when he did, he ignored it. He was very busy right now. He would let Martha get it.

But when the knocking sound came again, much louder this time, he grudgingly stood up. As he did so, some of the papers fell off of his desk, fluttering to the floor.

A little irritated at whomever had disturbed him, he yanked open the door and—

And stared, dumbfounded, at the man at the door. What the hell…?

He composed himself and greeted the man. "Oh, hello! It's nice to see you!" he said, faking the enthusiasm in his voice.

"You seem surprised to see me, Curt," the other man noted emotionlessly.

"Well, of course! Why wouldn't I be?" Curt said nervously. "What do you want?" he added in an undertone.

"I bode no ill feelings," the other said flatly. "I am not going to hurt you. Or your family." The man attempted a smile, but failed miserably, resorting to his stoic frown. "I only wished to talk. A chat between two old friends…"

Curt could tell that the man was telling the truth. He smiled. "I don't see any harm in that," he said.

"May I come in?" the other asked.

"Uh…" Martha and Billy were home… "Probably not the greatest plan," he said sheepishly. "But I have an idea."

Curt emerged from the apartment a few minutes later, holding a bottle of wine. "How about the roof?"

So that was how Doctor Curt Connors found himself sharing a drink with Doctor Otto Octavius, an old friend and colleague of his.

Respectively, they were better known as The Lizard and Doctor Octopus, but they did not say anything to each other about that. They were here to simply talk about the past.

They chatted for nearly an hour on the roof, and the conversation had began to peter out into idle chatting. "So, how have things been faring for you, Otto?" Curt asked.

Otto laughed bitterly. "Please. Don't ask such mundane questions, Curt. If you would read the newspapers, you would know that I am having a hard time keeping the police off of my back."

Curt didn't know what to say to that, so he said nothing at all. He kept glancing at his old friend, marveling how much he had changed.

How much both of them had changed.

Curt cleared his throat to break the awkward silence that had formed between them. He raised his wineglass. "A toast," he declared. "To the past."

"To the past," Otto echoed. "And to old friends."

"Agreed," Curt said, smiling. They clinked glasses. "May we have bright futures."

Otto snorted derisively. "There you go again, Curt. Practically mocking me. 'May we have bright futures…' Ha!" He gave a short bark of a laugh. "My fate is already sealed."

"Not necessarily."

"Oh, really? Tell that to the goddamn police. Tell that to Spider-Man. Tell that to the public," Otto retorted, a razor sharp edge creeping into his voice.

"I'm sorry, Otto," Curt apologized sheepishly. He guessed it wasn't too hard to piss off Doctor Octopus.

"No need to apologize," he replied. Another silence fell between them.

Otto turned and looked at Curt, his emotions hidden beneath his dark sunglasses. "It never ceases to amaze me how similar we truly are, Curt."

"What?" Dr. Connors spluttered. "No; I believe you are wrong there, Otto."

His former colleague smiled, as though he was expecting this answer. "Think about it, Curt," he said. "We are both the living example of humanity's greatest flaw."

"And what would that be?" Curt asked, curious despite himself.

Otto finished his wine before replying. "Ambition, Curt. Ambition. Ambition drove us to who we have become. Who we are now is simply a result of our blind, enthusiastic ambition."

Otto stood up, his trench coat billowing a little in the wind. "And now I must make my leave. Perhaps we could do another little chat like this again. I quite enjoyed it."

And before Curt could reply, he was gone across the rooftops, his metallic arms carrying him.

Doctor Connors watched him go and thought that perhaps he was right.

Author's Note: Thanks for reading, and don't forget to review!