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[10.06.2020] New York City; tell me it gets easier

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tell me it gets easier

https://i.imgur.com/sG43x4A.gif  https://i.imgur.com/OEGHLZY.gif

Dr. Magnus Lewis — Dr. Elliott Carlyle
June 2020 • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Why are these two always fighting? You'd say they understand each other like no one else does. But then... maybe this is actually the reason.

[nick]Elliott Carlyle[/nick][status]tell me it gets easier[/status][icon]https://i.imgur.com/twIr8uD.gif[/icon][sign]https://i.imgur.com/6ONlG8U.gif[/sign][lzname]<lzname><a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=431#p32897">Эллиотт Карлайл</a>, 39</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Нью-Йорк; измученный боец медицинского фронта, упрямо рвущийся в бой, чтобы не позволить <a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=427#p32370">ему</a> превзойти себя.[/]

Отредактировано Spencer Jackett (2021-05-28 15:09:09)



Magnus was furious.

Not just annoyed. Not pissed. Not irritated.

Furious. Fuming. Looking for some poor idiot to cross his path and take out his anger.

Of course, something like this was just a question of time. Actually, if Magnus were to be honest with himself, he would have done the same thing if the sides were reversed and would have been perfectly happy to do so, with no guilty consciousness afterwards.

We all just do what we need to survive, right?

However, it was not a question of survival this time. Magnus was too old and too experienced for this. Instead, it was the same thing that had plagued his life for nearly twenty years - that desperate need to be on top. To hear people say that he was «one of the best doctors in the country» or «the best surgeon in this hospital» whenever he would pass by them. He was already that and he knew it well. No one could match his brilliance and skill.


Almost no one.

It was not a question of vain or arrogance.

He just had to be better than Elliott.

Passing back and forth in his office, Magnus was fighting an urge to kick down the door of his rival’s office and punch him in the face. Unfortunately, Elliott would be able to perform surgery even with a broken nose and a black eye and Lewis didn’t want to, once again, have a conversation with the chief of medicine about controlling his anger. Needless to say, doctor Carlyle and he had been getting into a fair number of arguments ever since they’d started to work together again.

Well, not really together. Next to each other. Equals, as others would say.

Still, Magnus couldn’t just leave it be. He had been looking forward to treating this patient for months. A twenty-two-year-old girl complained to her family physician about being dizzy all the time and some troubles with keeping balance about a year ago. Her doctor did the most logical thing and assumed that it was an inner ear issue.

After a couple of months of treatment with no improvement, the girl, whose name is Abbie, was sent to a bigger hospital in a different city. They did every test imaginable but failed to uncover the actual reason for her issues. By this point, Abbie could barely stand straight without having another dizzy spell.

Finally, someone decided to do an MRI because a simple inner ear infection no longer could explain the symptoms. This is when they discovered a small tumour, which decided to make a new home between Abbie’s cerebellum and medulla, pressing down on both and creating these issues with motor functions. 

Luckily enough, the tumour was small enough and seemed operable. On the other hand, the actual location was fairly far from the usual entry point for these kinds of procedures at the base of the skull, which meant a much more complicated surgery. Human brain is a delicate organ - you really don’t want to go around messing it when trying to get deeper inside.

And so everyone knew that they needed a good surgeon. Like a really, stupidly good one. Come to think of it, they needed someone just like doctor Magnus Lewis, thank you very much, of course, he has happy to help this poor girl get her normal life back. She flew in from her home in the midwest last week and the surgery was scheduled for later today.

- Don’t worry, Abbie, I’ve stared at your brain for so long that I could navigate around it with my eyes closed, - smiled Magnus whenever she would start getting worried about the procedure. - You are in the best possible hands. Our team will take care of you, I promise.

Nothing can compare to a rush before a difficult surgery. Nothing, period. It was the feeling Magnus lived for, lived off, flourishing the days before a scheduled procedure as he was feeding off all the praise he was getting. Other doctors and surgical residents went out of their way to try to get to assist him, their creativity never ceased to amaze Lewis. There was everything ranging from constant compliments, seasonal tickets to Mets (too bad Magnus was a Yankees fan anyway), invitations to fancy events and up to one of the senior residents who almost got him to have sex with her in the on-call room. She was pretty enough, but what’s the point of being one of the country’s top doctors if you still have to hook up with your willing colleagues in the crappy on-call room?

- What do you mean I don’t have surgery scheduled this evening? - Magnus looked up from some documents. - Abbie is this evening. You must be looking at the wrong page in the calendar.

- Actually… - Mary, an OR nurse who was one of the few constant companions of Magnus and who was set to operate with him later today, was standing in the doorway of his office and was clearly struggling to say something important. - Well, I was talking to Carrie and she said, that doctor Carlyle will be operating on her today.

- Then Carrie is wrong, - responded Lewis calmly. - You really should spend less time gossiping with other nurses, Mary. You are too good for this.

- No, Mag, you don’t get it. Apparently, Abbie changed her mind. It looks like someone talked to her yesterday and she asked for a different doctor.

- What?! - Magnus jumped up with a look on his face like he was about to kill someone with just fire in his eyes. - Please tell me this is one of your jokes. A really, really shitty one.

Alas, Mary wasn’t joking. A quick check of the nurse’s station proved so.

And so, Magnus was furious.

Not just annoyed. Not pissed. Not irritated.

Furious. Fuming.

He was marching down the hallway and thinking about every single way he can use to destroy Elliott, his life, his reputation, absolutely everything. By the time he’s gonna be done with him, no one in the whole wide world will remember the name of doctor Elliott Carlyle.

- Oh, you’ve really outdone yourself this time, - Lewis opened the door to his rival’s office with a swing, slamming it against the wall and then behind himself. He didn’t give any portion of a damn about being professional. - Is this how you want to do it? Going behind my back and stealing my patient? What did you promise this poor girl? That she will get a once-in-a-lifetime perfect kiss from her knight in shining armour doctor Elliott? - Magnus walked quickly inside and straight to the other one’s desk, slamming his fists on the hardwood surface. - Do you even understand the complexity of this procedure? It has taken me months, actual months to plan and prepare and you want to do it all in just one afternoon? - Lewis suppressed a laugh. - Actually, hold on, it makes sense. If I remember correctly, you were always a lousy student and never tried to study for your tests in advance. Some things never change, eh? Still just trying to catch up, - Magnus couldn’t care less if he was unfair (which he was) or trying to hurt the man in front of him (which he was). Elliott was the only person who could ever get him to be this blinded with rage.

[icon]https://i.imgur.com/8g6hx4S.gif[/icon][nick]Magnus Lewis[/nick][status]truth is never simple[/status][lzname]<lzname><a href="ссылка на анкету">Магнус Льюис</a>, 39</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Нью-Йорк: хороший хирург, заядлый трудоголик, плохой муж и отец. По-настоящему может поговорить только с заклятым <a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=431#p32897">врагом</a>[/]



Elliott was sitting in his chair, staring at the paperwork related to one of his patient's case. He had to fill in some data, transfer it to the computer database and do some thorough thinking to analyse the situation, but he felt quite drained of physical energy to do so and shamed himself for it - come on, it's been what, a few hours? He couldn't possibly be tired! Technically, it wasn't surprising - he had struggled with sleep after all - but he certainly couldn't afford being tired, not with all the patients still waiting for examination, not with all the check-ups and surgeries he had to perform.
Doctor Carlyle tried to refill his energy with an old method, well-known to every single person who was unlucky enough to work long hours and suffer from insomnia: his cup, which was dangerously sitting on the edge of his desk, was sending waves of not-so-pleasant aroma, a smell of bitter instant coffee. Elliott hated it. Hated the taste, the sourness that made his teeth clench, yet he drank it anyway for the sake of staying awake all night if necessary. He always had it black, no sugar, and the coffee brand was luxuriously expensive, too, but it was still shitty regardless of the ridiculous price, because what else can one expect from instant coffee apart from gastric ulcer?
The man took a sip, put the cup back in place and focused on studying the file. When he heard someone's loud footsteps, he stopped reading for a second, listened to the steps and abandoned whatever he was doing altogether. He knew very well who was rushing down the hall, scaring nurses and causing havoc.
"Ah, he's finally learned the news..." - a triumphant smile crept up Elliott's face, but he quickly cast it away: no, not yet. He would savor the moment of victory, of course - how could he refuse himself such a pleasure? - but for now the doctor, perfectly calm and peaceful, concentrated his attention on the papers.
The door almost crumbled, poor victim of another doctor's temper. Magnus started yelling the very second he crossed the doorframe line, and Elliott felt incredibly happy and proud of himself. It was a rare thing to see Dr. Lewis in such a state - screaming at the top of his voice, all red in the face, driven to the farthest reaches of madness; usually Magnus was a cold-blooded, cold-minded man capable of controlling his emotions. The fact that Elliott was the only person in the entire world, the only one who could make the composed doctor lose his mind, seemed kind of flattering.
- I have no idea what you're talking about, - Dr. Carlyle looked up from his papers and actually had the audacity to meet Magnus's ferocious glare with a sweet friendly smile. His puppy-eyed face looked almost angelical, with all the noble-pale skin, crystal-blue irises, elegant nose bridge and beautifully shaped lips. Who on earth in their sane mind would accuse such an angel of anything dirty? Elliott has always been very much aware of his looks and the effect he had on people, especially ladies, and had no problem using this convenient skill to his advantage. Speaking of advantages, maybe Magnus wasn't too wrong in his accusations - Elliott didn't promise the young and naive Abbie anything, because he didn't even have to go that far. A smile and a reassuring touch was enough to make the girl tip the scales in Dr. Carlyle's favour. Even now, reaching his forties, with long bushy hair that desperately needed a cut and dark bags the size of the Atlantic under his eyes, he remained as charming as he'd always been.
As Magnus's fists met the hard surface of the desk, the whole structure shook as if his fists were made of steel. The cup of morbid coffee fell to the ground and cracked in two, while coffee splashed the floor. Elliott winced at the sight; he couldn't care less about the drink, but he did love the cup. His shoulders tensed; he wasn't going to let this wild Neanderthal bastard get away with it.
- No, you don't remember correctly, I'm afraid, - Elliott smiled again, hiding his frustration under the mask of his famous puppy eyes, - I was an extremely devoted student and I always planned my studies in advance. Your memory must be failing you... which is never a good sign, you of all people know it, I am sure. In fact... - he shifted in the chair, choosing a more comfortable position. It was his moment of glory, and he was going to enjoy every second. - ...if anything, I've learned to plan things. Really plan things. In great details.
Elliott's smile grew wider, showing teeth. It transformed out of a sweet gentle line into a warning. He purposefully let Magnus realize he had been planning this all along. He knew what to do with Abbie because he had planned to whisk her away right out of his colleague's grasp for quite some time, and he succeeded. Elliott could never feel more satisfied. Magnus was furious because he knew very well he was helpless, he knew he had lost this specific battle. Elliott understood it like no one else because he would feel the same should he be in Magnus's shoes, which one day he might, because Dr. Lewis wasn't stupid nor was he yielding. He was a clever and dangerous opponent, prone to logical thinking and smart plots, because in many ways Dr. Lewis was just like Dr. Carlyle. Maybe even more similar than he could admit.
Still, right now Elliott felt victorious. He was sitting in his chair like a king on a throne, watching Magnus with a look of self-confidence and self-praise. Magnus's words stang him a little, but he had no intention of showing it.
- Now, if you excuse me, - Elliott nodded to the file, - I've got work to do, while you, Dr. Lewis, should better have some rest. I understand your exhaustion and therefore will not report your obnoxious behaviour to the chief, but would you please send a cleaning lady here to clean up the mess? - he looked at the coffee puddle and the remains of his cup. He damn loved this cup.... - Oh, and be so kind to get me a coffee, would you? Since you're the reason I lost the one I was drinking.

[nick]Elliott Carlyle[/nick][status]tell me it gets easier[/status][icon]https://i.imgur.com/twIr8uD.gif[/icon][sign]https://i.imgur.com/6ONlG8U.gif[/sign][lzname]<lzname><a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=431#p32897">Эллиотт Карлайл</a>, 39</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Нью-Йорк; измученный боец медицинского фронта, упрямо рвущийся в бой, чтобы не позволить <a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=427#p32370">ему</a> превзойти себя.[/]



Just one brief look at this perfect, almost angelic face was enough for the doctor’s mind to go into an emotional overload. This, exactly this very innocent-looking face with a falsely warm smile - this alone was enough for him to lose whatever bits of self-control he had left. It was almost like magic, like a goddam curse that an evil witch decided to put on him - no matter what Magnus did, no matter how hard he tried, no matter how old he was or how experienced and how calm and collected - his composure always failed him in front of these blue puppy-like eyes.

The situation was made even worse by the fact that that he was already fuming.

It took everything in him, every ounce of self-control Magnus had left inside not to grab the man in front of him by the lapels of his jacket and not to throw him out of the window.

No other person had this effect on Magnus - he’s met a lot of people he didn't like, a lot of people he didn't care about, but no one has ever provoked this type of response from him.  Elliott was his personal curse and like any other good curse it followed him around and yet Magnus still couldn't accept the fact that he was never going to be rid of him.

- Look, - he tried to sound a bit calmer, but his voice still showed his agitation. - Just try to stay out of my patient's business. This hospital has so many other doctors you can drive insane.

Lewis knew very well that Elliott had no interest in any other doctors. From what he heard from his colleagues and nurses, Elliott was perfectly pleasant to work with.

Well, as pleasant as a surgeon with an ego the size of a detached house can possibly be.

- Oh and about your coffee, - he couldn't suppress a smile looking at a shattered mug on the floor. - Are you quite certain you want to drink anything I bring to you? Apparently, cyanide tastes like almonds. Nice addition to your afternoon coffee, don't you think? - Magnus slammed the door behind himself and send a few glaring looks at a couple of nurses who were staring at him from down the hallway.

The silent rage still bubbling inside, he went downstairs to the ER having found himself with an open afternoon. Magnus needed something to do only work could distract him from this colossal failure, only work could help him calm down, nothing else. He’s heard a lot of doctors say smoking can help calm the nerves down but being a longtime smoker himself Magnus knew that it was just a short-term placebo effect.

ER always needed help being one of the most understaffed departments in most hospitals and they were certainly not an exception to this rule. Normally other doctors couldn't just walk in and jump straight to seeing patients, but Magnus had a good relationship with most of the attending doctors there and nobody in their right mind would refuse help from the great and wonderful doctor Magnus Lewis.

He was torn between a desire to see Elliott fail miserably and an understanding that if he were to fail, chances are Abbie would not be able to wake up from a procedure. It was risky, it was dangerous, it was experimental, but it was also the best option this girl ever had. Making his hands into fists, Magnus had to admit at least to himself that if any other doctor other than him could successfully do it, it was Carlyle. Of course, he would never admit it out loud, he might as well resign and retire early from work if he were to do so.

ER was busy as usual. It was just one of those places where work never seemed to stop with doctors and nurses always busy running from one patient to the next, always in the middle of treating somebody.

Magnus caught one of the attending doctors and told him that if any surgical cases were to come in, he would be happy to take them and then moved himself to the hospital cafeteria looking for some halfway decent coffee while waiting for the page. 

From time to time other surgeons in the cafeteria shot him an odd look. They knew he was supposed to be in the operating room by now getting ready for the procedure. Then news seemed to be spreading rather slowly today. Normally he would expect everyone who's anyone to know within a couple of hours. Doctors were notorious gossipers, especially when it came to people like doctor Lewis.

Side effects on being on everyone's radar. Flattering, yes, but also horribly annoying.

His pager went off at a quarter past four in the afternoon, when after Magnus had returned to his office after losing any hope of an interesting case from the emergency. Major trauma including a head injury just severe enough for Magnus to accept.

«Severe» ended up a bit of an understatement. More than three hours later when Lewis finally emerged from the operating room, his scrubs nicely covered in blood, was exhausted. He ended up operating all this time on this guy who came in after a major car crash - had to be put him together almost bone by bone. Generally, his specialty pushed him towards more detailed and delicate procedures, but he already agreed to help and there was no back-paddling from that.

He was tired. This was not even close to being the longest surgery he’d ever done, but still - three hours of a tense posture made his neck and shoulders stiff and achy. He found his white coat outside of the operating room and put it back on covering the evidence of a recent patient. He was going to change into clean scrubs, but first, he needed a cigarette.

The smoking area outside the hospital was never empty - a constant rotation of physicians and nursing staff made sure that it was always occupied. And these were people who were constantly nagging their patients about health concerns related to longtime smoking. Bunch of hypocrites.

He exchanged a few words with a couple of dark-haired nurses who soon went back inside and left Magnus there. Finally alone, he put his hand in the pocket of his white coat and fished out his phone. Just as expected - five texts from Elizabeth, progressively more angry at him.

His transfer to this particular hospital was supposed to mean a bit more of a stable schedule, which would allow Magnus to be home in time for dinner. He lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply as if looking for energy and willpower to answer these texts in the greyish curls of smoke.

They just had a fight about his working hours about a week ago and now the same story again.

Magnus wasn't a good husband. He wasn't a good father either. He knew it was one of the most significant shortcomings of his life. And it didn't matter how much he tried to change it - it never worked.

You can change your essence.

And yet, he still kept on trying.

He knew that at home he could expect another fight, one more time he would see his wife upset one more time she is going to tell him that she doesn't know why they were still even married. It was fair and Magnus couldn’t fight the obvious.

However, today's emotional rollercoaster of a day left him exhausted, too tired to deal with any of it. And even too tired to leave the smoking area as he saw a tall and slender shape of a doctor Carlyle emerge from the staff entrance.

- Damn, - he signed too quietly for his colleague to hear. - Not you again, - Magnus wanted to put out his cigarette but instead just rubbed his tired eyes and continued smoking as if nothing was happening. Maybe they can just ignore each other.

Just this once.

[icon]https://i.imgur.com/8g6hx4S.gif[/icon][nick]Magnus Lewis[/nick][status]truth is never simple[/status][lzname]<lzname><a href="ссылка на анкету">Магнус Льюис</a>, 39</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Нью-Йорк: хороший хирург, заядлый трудоголик, плохой муж и отец. По-настоящему может поговорить только с заклятым <a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=431#p32897">врагом</a>[/]

Отредактировано Alasdair O’Mara (2021-07-29 18:31:14)



Elliott was still enjoying the power trip. He raised an eyebrow at his opponent's words, not quite taking him seriously:
- Are you threatening me now, Dr. Lewis? Maybe I should report you to the main office after all.
He then looked down at his files ignoring the presence of the other man in the room completely. The sound of the door creaking under the mighty hit touched his ears, and Elliott smiled. As a qualified surgeon Magnus surely had a lot of strength in his arms.
The surgery turned out to be more complicated than Elliott hoped for, but as a skilled doctor he was always on guard and ready for anything. There are many surprises that can happen in the operating room, and the medical team has to possess enough knowledge and calm demeanor to handle all of them. This specific case, however, was special and took a lot of efforts from Dr. Carlyle; going back to his strategy for this surgey, Elliott couldn't help thinking whether Magnus would've done something differently and if so, how exactly. Not that he wasn't sure of his own decisions - oh no, Elliott had enough faith in himself, maybe even too much at times, so he didn't actually worry about doing things wrong; he just wondered about other possible options, and Dr. Lewis was the only living being in the entire country, if not the entire world, whose professional opinion could seem worthy of notice.
Anyway, regardless of a small unexpected issue that was easily delt with, the surgery was a success. The girl's happy future was saved by Elliott's precise hands, which were now covered in soap and sanitizer after hours of being stuffed in surgical gloves, and though he didn't remember her name, he could draw the map of her brain, with its thick core and curves of dozens of lines spread on the organ's surface like a spider web, keeping his eyes closed.
No wonder such devotion left Elliott exausted when he finally left the operating room.
Though his hands were steady, his legs were betraying him after hours of standing next to the operating table. He'd never desired so hard for a cigarette and another cup of coffee.
Having decided to follow the tobacco urges first, Elliott headed for the exit, checking his phone while walking. A slight shadow of worry cast upon his face when he saw his lover's name on the screen, a total amount of 10 missed calls. A bunch of angry text messages, too.
And then Elliott realized something.
"Wait, what date is it today? Come on, it's not..."
But it was. It was Richard's birthday, and Elliott forgot all about it, like a selfish bitch he was.
He fucked up. Big time.
Elliott scrolled through messages, not even bothering to read their content - he knew way too well what Richard was going to say. And he was right in each word.
Pushing the door with his bony shoulder, Elliott pressed the call icon. Distracted by the unpleasant duty, he didn't really notice another man standing there. 
- Hey, - he quietly said in a tired voice, ready to apologise, which was the right thing to do. As much as Dr. Carlyle hated admitting his mistakes, he had to own the consequences of his wrongly stated priorities. Richard was right to be pissed. Elliott hardly had enough time to pronounce the word "sorry" when Rick, an emotional drama-queen he was, started yelling, describing how miserably lonely he was feeling sitting alone at the booked restaurant table on his birthday evening.
First Elliott felt genuinely ashamed. After minutes of listening to the man's screams, though, he became a bit annoyed himself.
- Richie, - he sighed, - do you think you can stop shouting at me? I'm an ass and I deserve it, I get it, but I also haven't slept properly in weeks and just got out of the operating room after a very, extremely complicated surgery. Please have mercy.
Mercy was something Rick clearly wasn't going to have. "Fair enough", - Elliott thought with a gloomy sadness on his face and rubbed his cheek, not occupied by the phone, with his hand.
He needed to say something to calm Richard down. Something every lover enjoys hearing, words of love and shit. How come it was so difficult? Those were just words, but they got stuck in Elliott's throat as soon as he opened his mouth. He was at work, after all. They could be overheard.
- You know how much I care about you, - the doctor started carefully, but then something Richard said turned him into defensive mode. - But of course I do! I care about my job too, yes, because this is my JOB, Rick! This is everything I've dedicated my life to, don't you see? Everything! - a fatal error. - No-no... come on, I didn't mean it like that, but...
There was no point in arguing or fighting. Besides, maybe Rick was right here as well... If Elliott honestly had to choose between his job and his lover, the choice was obvious. Which made Elliott a great doctor and a terrible partner.
- Look, - he tried to negotiate for peace, - I'll make it up to you, I promise. How about... how about that movie you really wanted us to see together? Something like... the premiere was last week? Remember? - he bit his lip. - What do you mean it was three months ago?.. Well, they should still have it in cinemas, right? - Elliott turned his head and finally became aware of someone else's presence. Someone he would hate to see, but actually felt too tired for hatred. - We'll talk later, okay? I have to go.
He cut the conversation short and stared at Dr. Lewis, slowly approaching him.
- Eavesdropping much? - the man grinned. - Are you spying on me or what? Are you hiding an assassin's blade in your sleeve? I'm not sure what I should expect after our lovely morning chat.
During their earlier meeting in his office Elliott felt like a proud noble king next to a fooled peasant, a sly fox enjoying angry cackling of a trapped chicken, but he didn't feel this way anymore. He felt deprived of energy, void and empty. Clearly in no shape for clashing swords.
And he could tell Magnus shared this feeling.
So Elliott let him be and got himself busy looking for cigarettes instead.
- Not going home? - he shot Magnus a questioning look. - Emergency cases?

[nick]Elliott Carlyle[/nick][status]tell me it gets easier[/status][icon]https://i.imgur.com/twIr8uD.gif[/icon][sign]https://i.imgur.com/6ONlG8U.gif[/sign][lzname]<lzname><a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=431#p32897">Эллиотт Карлайл</a>, 39</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Нью-Йорк; измученный боец медицинского фронта, упрямо рвущийся в бой, чтобы не позволить <a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=427#p32370">ему</a> превзойти себя.[/]



Magnus tried his best to ignore this new presence, as, frankly speaking, he had no desire to interact with Elliott even when he was not exhausted beyond any normal amount. Today, here, now - especially now, when he was tried, when he was still angry, and when he was desperately trying not to pull his own hair out of frustration, - Magnus had to willpower left to say anything to his colleague.

He tried to distract himself by focusing on the sounds around him - a gentle hum of the nearby air duct, a distant sound of cars passing by on the main street, some echoes of unfamiliar voices carried to him by a gust of wind. Magnus liked this feeling of getting a bit lost in these sounds of the city living its usual life as if they absorbed a part of him into this weird symphony, where he need not have bothered himself with such trivial things as missing dinner with his family. Nothing mattered there, nothing could be more important than what was right in front of him. It was similar to being in the operating room, where you are surrounded by rhythmic beeping various monitors and well-orchestrated movement within the room. Everyone and everything had its place and you can just get lost in your part, disappear in your actions, almost merge with them as if your hand and your scalpel were one and the same.

It was hard to say how long he stood there allowing himself to be carried off into the night before he once again heard a familiar voice nearby, which at once shattered his fantasy of not existing.

- Eavesdropping? No, thank you, I have more interesting this to do, - Magnus didn’t even turn towards Elliott instead choosing to continue to stare into the distance, where bleaks of light from passing by cars were being reflected off slightly wet streets. - Well, what else did you expect? - he suppressed half a smile as he continued to turn a cigarette between his fingers. - For me to roll over and play dead? I thought you knew me better than that.

It was true even if it was difficult to admit. You can’t go about your life with the same person popping up every couple of years and not figure them out. And if one were to remember that some long-long time ago these two were young and could call each other a friend, then it seemed almost too fitting that they found themselves in this particular situation - knowing each other a bit too well.

Sometimes Magnus thought that Elliott was probably one of the people who knew him best. It didn’t make anything easier though, even the opposite. When you combine fire with more fire, don’t be surprised that everything around you starts burning down. Maybe that’s why everything is the way it is? Maybe they are just too damn similar and you can’t expect that to work in their favor.

- You would have reacted the same, - shrugged Magnus. His pride was still hurt, he was still mad at the other doctor and he knew that both of these feelings are going to stick with him for a while. However, the sharp and hot moment rage was now gone, replaced by fatigue and a strong desire to collapse onto the nearest horizontal surface for a few hours of rest. - Yeah, some emergency cases. What about you? Why are you still here? A long surgery? Oh, wait, right, - this time he couldn’t suppress a small laugh - you stole one from me today. Must have slipped my mind.

He finally turned and looked directly at the man standing next to him and even in the dim light of a summer's evening Magnus could see that Carlyle looked even more tired than he did. Small conciliation prize, but still. Deep shadows settled in around his eyes and looked even darker in the moody light of a late evening, however, there was something else there too, something different in his eyes. Not just exhaustion, not just a need for a break, but almost a disappointment. Had something gone work with the surgery? His heart dropped a bit - just what Magnus was expecting from such a last-minute transfer, so he couldn’t stop himself from asking.

- How was it? - this was probably the only reason these two could settle their differences and actually talk. Even with their years-long rivalry, they still managed to put patient care above it all. It was probably the only thing he could say he liked about Carlyle. Or maybe not liked, but respected and tolerated well enough. - The surgery, - he quickly added to avoid confusion - how was the surgery?

Magnus didn’t know what he wanted to hear more - that Elliott failed miserably or that the procedure was a success. Either way, he was going to be disappointed, there was no way around that. His own pride and a desire to see a patient's life improve were battling each other inside of his chest.

Did that make him a bad doctor? Ever since he could remember himself, that was the only thing he wanted to be. When both of your parents work in a medical field you can develop a bit of a romantic view of this career, but it wasn’t true for Magnus as he always knew that it is, first of all, a thought place to prove yourself, especially for a surgeon as they are notoriously competitive. Still, his main ambition had always been to be the best doctor he could be and to provide the best care possible. Where his desperate need to see Elliott fail could fit into all of it, Magnus could not honestly tell. Would he be happy to see him fail at an expense of a patient?

His phone vibrated in his pocket again and a quick check showed that it was another angry text from his wife.

- Dammit, - he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. - Nothing ever changes, eh?

[icon]https://i.imgur.com/8g6hx4S.gif[/icon][nick]Magnus Lewis[/nick][status]truth is never simple[/status][lzname]<lzname><a href="ссылка на анкету">Магнус Льюис</a>, 39</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Нью-Йорк: хороший хирург, заядлый трудоголик, плохой муж и отец. По-настоящему может поговорить только с заклятым <a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=431#p32897">врагом</a>[/]


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