Actually, Now That I’m Looking At Your Medical License, Who Is ‘Doctor Sawcon’? Are You Sure You’re Qualified For This?

Glass adjusts his glasses, doing his best to pointedly ignore the loud crunching.

“It’s, ah, it’s good to see you.”

“Sure.”

“…And on time for once…”

“Yeah.”

“Is, there, uh. Is there any reason you, uh. That he’s…?”

Clef shoves another fistful of Flavor Crazed Southwest Ranch Bugles into his mouth, crumbs spilling on his shirt and the floor, apparently unaware of the occasion.

“…l-listen, uh, he’s not scheduled to be here for another half hour, and, uh, since the last time I really, just kind of would rather—“

“—I made him leave the rifle in his office. Swear it.” Kondraki leans forward on his knees, scowls deeply. “Listen. Simon. You gotta help me.”

You don’t say? Glass manages to swallow down, and instead responds, “With… with him, I presume…?”

“It ain’t a dirty word, Simon.” A ukulele that smells distinctly of cigarette smoke and loose change is shoved towards him. “Go ahead, say my name.”

After four tries, Glass successfully strums an A major. Clef continues to chew with his mouth open, not acknowledging it.

“We’re not on speaking terms as of this morning.” Kondraki crosses his legs and props them up on the table, accidentally (?) kicking a handful of folders to the floor.

“Uh huh.” Glass types “fhsjcbskfh;hfskcn” into a fresh Word document, attempting to seem important. “And why do you think that is?”

“Fuck if I know!” Kondraki explodes. “He—he woke up this morning, like next to me in bed, and he just says to me ‘I’m leaving you’ and I go ‘Alto what the fuck, why’, and the fucker goes ‘Dunno, felt like it’. And now he won’t talk to me.”

“I, uh.” He begins to click a pen open and closed. “…I see.”

“Do you?”

“That’s—that is, classified.”

Kondraki rolls his eyes. “Fuckin’ hell, Simon. Can you just get him to talk to me?”

“Relationship counseling isn’t really my, ah, I’m not actually educated in the field so I might—“

“You wanna pick at my brain, don’t you?” He lurches out of his chair like it’s burned him, begins pacing the room. “You’re a good enough shrink for this whole freakshow, don’t see why two of us in the same room is such a big issue.”

“Well—“ Glass spends longer navigating to the personnel records than strictly necessary, hoping stupidly that he’ll be able to kill this entire half hour without having to actually engage with either of them. “…According to the records it, seems like you haven’t actually declared a relationship right now?”

“Yep.”

“And this is…” He squints, adjusts his glasses. “…the… ah…. seventeenth? Time? That you’ve ended an official relationship declaration with Dr. Clef?”

He’s handed the ukulele again, and barely avoids rolling his eyes as he struggles to press down the strings.

“Give or take a few.” Kondraki abruptly slams both hands on Glass’s desk. “Simon, come on. Help me out here.”

“I mean… at this point, are you sure you even want t—“

“Yes, goddamn obviously!” he snarls, stealing a glance at Clef (half-asleep, toying with a small bottle of window cleaning solution from an unclear source) behind him. “I still love him and shit, that doesn’t change. Never changes. We just, y’know, we have rough patches.”

“…The listed reason for the end of Relationship Declaration #14 Clef-Kondraki is ‘attempted murder via firearm’.”

“Like I said! Rough patches! Don’t have to get all specific!”

“‘Car stolen’, ‘stated intent of larceny’, ‘infidelity with—‘“ Glass blinks at the screen. “‘—with a broom’? How does that even—“

“We talked it over.” Kondraki is audibly gritting his teeth. “Help me talk it over and it’ll be fine.”

“…Okay. Okay.” He rubs his temples for a solid thirty seconds. “Okay. Doctor, uh, Doctor—“ and he strums it again, halfheartedly— “is there any particular reason why you’ve stopped talking to your—husband?”

“Partner,” Kondraki corrects, back to pacing.

“…partner?”

Clef shrugs exaggeratedly enough for his hat to fall off. “Felt like it.”

“…That’s it.”

“Yup.”

“No other reason at all.”

“…Fuckin’, I dunno. He’s just been kinda cringe lately.”

Kondraki looks seconds from hitting the wall.

“…uh huh.”

Clef’s expression arranges itself into something resembling a pout. “He stopped making breakfast.”

“I already told you, it’s because I’m working earlier and I can’t—“

“—I like when you make breakfast.”

To Glass, the look on Clef’s face is some hideous half-grin half-grimace faintly reminiscent of a decompressed blobfish, but to Kondraki it must register as the most endearing thing in the world because he stops pacing, then smiles and shakes his head. “Is that really all it is, Alto?”

“I mean, that and I did kinda just feel like it.”

“You’re crazy. You’re such an asshole. Come here.” Kondraki closes the distance between himself and the seated Clef by nearly folding himself in half. He plants a kiss on Clef’s head, and Clef grins and shoves another handful of Bugles into his mouth, and Glass pretends to be intensely interested in a particular speck of dust on his monitor. “I’ll wake up earlier if you do too, alright?”

“Swear to shit I’ll beat your ass with a wet salmon if you so much as try to move me before eight AM.”

“Great,” Glass manages weakly, kicking at the height control on his swivel chair. “So that’s all resolved?”

“Yeah. Thanks, doc,” Kondraki replies gruffly, and at the same time his partner pipes up “No, and I’m sueing you for malpractice.”

“Cool, awesome, great.” He sighs deeply, recalling a self-help book on assertiveness he’d forced himself to read last summer. “…Can you please get out of my office now?”

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