He will pretend to be surprised when the knock comes, polite at first, rapidly transforming into something demanding; impatient.

He will take his time in getting to his feet and moving to the door, ensuring that his footsteps, mockingly slow, a contrived sort of casualness, are clearly audible from the other side of the threshold.

Wyatt will be leaning against the door frame, crowding it awkwardly, his hat pulled down in an abortive attempt to hide his face, and he will look ashamed for a moment when Doc finally pulls the door open-

'speak of the devil…'

A gentle knock on the door- daa da da dum. A pause. Three beats pass. Then, again, more insistently -daa da da dum- not quite pounding yet, but getting very close, at which point he will give up any attempt to feign subtlety and graduate to shouting Doc's name for all the world to hear-

"Hush now, I'm coming." he calls sardonically, all silk and honey. It's a perfect vocal poker-face, really, just enough of that shaded humor for the target to flush and take his attention from Doc long enough to examine himself for whatever flaw Doc is taunting him for. It doesn't seem to work on Wyatt, though. The mulish bastard.

He hauls himself to his feet, makes his way to the door, silver cup still glinting in his hand, and unlatches it before leaning back against his desk. Wyatt barrels into the room, half falling almost, stopping dead upon seeing Doc, and the stillness is weird after the invasive flurry of motion with which he entered. Wyatt's mouth opens, working silently for a moment, as if to speak, but he can't seem to find the words.

Doc throws back the remainder of his bourbon in response. It burns a welcome path down his throat like the infernos of hell, and he smiles.

It's a wonderfully cold, reptilian smile- one which speaks not of any measure of happiness- and it's immensely, sinfully satisfying when that familiar, fleeting nervousness crosses the weather-beaten face, eyes dropping to the floor like a schoolboy called to carpet.

It's hilarious, considering that Wyatt has a few years on him, at least.

"Now what could be so urgent as to require such barbaric treatment of my poor door?" he drawls, deliberate, spinning his empty cup around his finger. Wyatt tenses predictably for a moment, drawing his chin up, eyes seeming to smolder in the low light. Something in Doc's brain snorts inelegantly at the thought, and he wonders idly if Wyatt's planning on decking him.

He sort of hopes so.

Instead, Wyatt's posture relaxes and he places his hat on Doc's desk, annoyingly close to where Doc himself is currently perched, runs a hand through his hair absently, then straightens his back and plants himself a respectable two feet away, eyes latching onto his, tenacious.

"Ain't here for a fight, Doc."


Wyatt rolls his eyes. "How stupid do you think I am? You'd best me dead drunk with one hand tied behind your back." his tone is almost normal, playful, and that grates fiercely on Doc's nerves.

"I'm unarmed." he points out helpfully, not sure why he's pushing this, but unable to let it go. Silence.

Wyatt looks uncomfortable again, but it's a different sort of nervous, much less satisfying than the first. Doc propels himself forward off the desk, stopping just inside Wyatt's personal space, smooth and disconcertingly quick, measured despite all the bourbon.

"Then what, pray tell, are you here for? Surely you've already said everything you needed to say." he mocks, cold and clipped, lips stretched into that odd smile that Wyatt says reminds him of a grinning skull.

Wyatt sighs, averting his gaze once more, and suddenly looks very old. Doc has him backed up into the edge of the bed, no longer able to escape with a simple step backward. He glances into the other man's gaunt face again- Doc has his head cocked slightly to one side, birdlike, studying him.

"Where's Kate?" he asks, dodging transparently.

Doc waves his hand vaguely, in one of those oddly intricate gestures that mark him as being utterly out of place here. "Procuring herself a shiny new meal ticket, I would presume." he says blackly, but it lacks the appropriate malice. He reaches out blindly behind himself, eyes never leaving Wyatt's face, and grabs the half-decimated bottle of bourbon, lifts it to his lips, and takes another burning swallow; his communion. A single amber drop lingers on his lower lip, and his tongue swipes out to catch it. Wyatt's eyes follow the motion seemingly of their own accord, remaining fixed on his mouth for half a second too long, and something clicks into place in Doc's head.

This is a new development.

Experimentally, he lowers his gaze and traces his lower lip with the tip of his tongue, coyly drawing hooded eyes back up to Wyatt's, the way Kate so often did. Wyatt stares, clears his throat, visibly shakes himself. Pushes past Doc roughly, mumbling something about 'sorry I bothered you, can see you're busy'-

Doc's laugh, full and loud, a rare and bright burst of sound, cuts off the words midstream. He should just let him go, but Doc cannot help but propel himself toward chaos, and this is no exception.

"Wyatt, I'd never pegged you as a fool." he shakes his head, is the perfect counterfeit of sadness, but for his eyes, sparking, predatory. "You think I betrayed you." It isn't a question.

Wyatt whirls around, and finally, finally, he's all coiled muscle and fisted hands, itching for a fight. "You did betray me." he growls, reminding Doc of nothing more than a wounded bear. The corner of Doc's mouth quirks up as he places the bottle and cup gently, slowly, almost lovingly on the nightstand. When he turns back to Wyatt again, he's red faced, jaw clenched, a vein beginning to throb near his left temple. Doc considers it for a moment.

"I saved your life." he responds finally, and he'll be damned if the very first selfless act he's ever had the dubious honor of committing isn't about to lose him his only friend. No good deed, after all, goes unpunished. He snickers again, but it transforms into a wet, painful cough halfway out of his throat. Wyatt ignores it, too caught up in his rage and hurt to notice anything else.

"Bullshit, Doc. You lied to me. You looked me right in the eye and you lied to me. Used me, used my… my badge to make it legal, come to find out the worst thing the poor bastard did in Dodge City was make a bet he couldn't pay!" Wyatt is in his face now, inches away, those blue eyes boring into him like so many daggers, his hand drifting up as if to curl around Doc's throat, and part of him craves it, wants to provoke it-

"You are a fool, Wyatt Earp," he says quietly, "the biggest I've ever met."

Wyatt snarls something inarticulate and turns away, disgust emanating from him- disgust and disappointment somehow so much worse than any hatred Wyatt could've ever expressed.

Doc sags to the bed, legs suddenly unable to support him.

"He was here to kill you, Wyatt." He intones flatly, and his voice sounds raw and exhausted, even to him, "You hanged his brother; he wanted revenge. He'd been shooting his mouth off about it 'round the faro table for days. I knew you wouldn't do anything about it, you're too-" he pauses, staring at Wyatt's steel cable shoulders, bitterness rendering him uncharacteristically at a loss for the right words, "noble to take care of a man like that. Protect your damn self. So I did it for you."

Wyatt is silent for far too long, and Doc surveys him quietly, barely breathing.

"And the money he owed you? That didn't play into your equation at all?" Wyatt finally asks, almost gently, like a twisted benediction.

Doc sneers, trying to cover the sensation of being punched in the gut, "Dead men don't pay debts." he says with exaggerated slowness, as though explaining a concept to a particularly dull child.

Wyatt spins around, realization dawning, but Doc has had more than enough of his righteous judgement for one night, and stalks to the window, leaning his sweaty forehead against the cool glass.

"Get the fuck out, Wyatt."

A pregnant pause, then the too-loud click of the door latch and a hollow slam as Wyatt lets the door fall shut behind him.