Two Old Friends
Chapter 2—Friends Again
Author's Note: This is a continuation, if you will, of the previous chapter. A user requested that this little story be expanded. So that I will do. :) Be aware that it's a little more depressing than the last chapter. Maybe one or two swear words as well, but nothing serious. Enjoy!
Although Curt kept a watch out for him, Otto didn't come again. Surprisingly, the one-armed scientist was more disappointed than relieved that he didn't come back. He had liked talking with his old friend; it had almost been like their college days again.
But still, Doctor Connors couldn't help but think about Otto every once in a while; when he was working, when he walked through the city, when he was in bed and couldn't sleep. Once in awhile Curt would even go up to the roof and just watch the city pass him by below, wishing that his friend would come back. He was worried about him; there weren't too many places for a criminal to go that wouldn't cause unwanted attention from the city's many gangs or any one of the superheroes. Curt almost wished he could help him somehow, but he knew he couldn't. And so the weeks passed.
One day, several weeks after their talk on the rooftop, Curt hurried through the back streets of Manhattan in the early morning dawn. Long, yawning shadows loomed over him; it was barely even light out yet, and the street lights still shone brightly.
He shouldn't be taking the back alleys, but he needed to hurry. He needed to get to his office early today; he had papers to grade, and he had left the said papers in his office the night before.
Curt was such in a hurry that he wasn't even aware of his surroundings. He wasn't looking where he was going, so it was a surprise to him when he tripped over something hard in the alleyway, falling on his face with a small cry of exclamation.
"Hey! What do ya think you're doin'?" a voice snarled. "Watch your step, bozo!"
The one-armed scientist slowly got up and brushed off his coat as he looked himself over. Thankfully he wasn't hurt. He turned to give the homeless scumbag who had tripped him a piece of his mind...
And his jaw dropped. "Oh...oh my... Ot-Otto?" he said in disbelief, but he knew that's who it was. His old friend was slumped against a wall, his tattered trench coat wrapped around him like a blanket. Several empty glass bottles were strewn around him. Otto's trademark tentacles were laying on the ground, and Curt realized he had tripped over one of them.
The tentacle in front of him reared up as if to attack the one-armed scientist, and he nervously backed up. "Otto!" he exclaimed. "It's me! It's Curt, Curt Connors!"
The mechanical arm stopped and fell back down onto the ground. Otto took off his sunglasses with a hand and looked at him in disbelief. "Curt? Holy shit, is that you?" he said, his words slurred a little.
Doctor Connors kneeled down next to his old friend. "Yes," he said softly. His job and the papers that needed to be graded were instantly forgotten. Otto was a mess. Upon closer inspection, he looked even worse. Blood-shot eyes, matted, greasy hair, and stubble told Curt that Otto had been homeless for at least a week.
Forgetting who his friend had become, Curt touched Otto's sleeve. "Are you alright?"
Doc Ock recoiled and nearly attacked him again, but then just turned away from the other scientist. "Go away, Curt," he said bitterly. "I don't want you to see me like this."
"I just want to help you, Otto," Curt protested. He was worried about him; if he wasn't careful, Otto was going to destroy himself. He didn't like seeing his friend like this. Even if they had fallen out of contact after Otto's accident, that didn't mean Curt didn't care about him.
Otto still had his head turned away in shame. "Maybe you do. But even if you have the best intentions, Curt, you know helping me will just make it worse."
"Nonsense. As your friend, Otto, I insist on helping you." Doctor Connors leaned down and held out his only hand to him. "Let me help."
"Curt..." the other man said with a sigh. "You really consider me your friend? After all... after all I've done?"
He nodded. "I know what it's like... to be considered a monster, Otto. I'm here for you. That's what friends are for."
After a little hesitation, Otto reached out a hand of his own and took it. He shakily stood up, his tentacles holding him steady and preventing him from stumbling or falling over . "Where are we going?" he asked. He narrowed his eyes. "We're not going to your apartment, are we, Curt? You know that wouldn't work. You have a wife and kids."
Curt smiled. "I won't put you or myself in danger, Otto. Don't you trust me?"
"Then come on. Let's go when it's still dark out." Curt put his remaining arm around the shoulder of his friend's. Surprisingly, he didn't react violently at all; to Curt's astonishment, he put his human arm around the other man's shoulder, actually leaning on him a little.
And so the two super-villains walked away out of the darkness of the alley. Looking past their appearances, they were just like anyone else. They were just two friends.
And that was all that mattered.
Author's Note: Well, that's that! I hope that this was a fitting two-shot and that both Doctor Connors and Doc Ock were in-character here. This chapter, much like the first, was a spur-of-the-moment, "I'm bored and have nothing to do" ordeal. But it was fun. Thanks for reading!