Imagine being the daughter of Addison Montgomery and Derek Shepherd, and meeting Stephen Strange during your residency.
Requested by: @jenandoli
Fandom(s): Doctor Strange/MCU & Grey’s Anatomy
Word count: ~1900
Warning(s): Secondary character death (background) – no depiction of death.
I knew I was going to go into medicine from a young age. Having Addison Montgomery and Derek Shepherd as parents’ sort of cemented the deal.I grew up in the hospital; playing with medical dolls and drawing on old charts. The hospital became my safe space, especially when Derek and Addison’s fights got bigger and bigger. Some way or another I’d always find my way back to the hospital. More often than not, Derek and Addison would find me tucked away in some room looking over scans.
Addison wanted me to go into Obstetrician-Gynecology, fetal surgery, or neonatal medicine; like her. Derek however, wanted me to experience the different disciplines and pick the one I felt most drawn to, or happiest with.
This is probably the reason I got along better with my dad.
As I got older, Derek and I spent a lot of time together looking at brain scans, him showing me what different things were, different techniques, and such. I fell in love with Neuro.
Which makes the fact that I chose to stay with Addison when they got a divorce, surprising. I got to see Derek once a month, which increased to almost every day, when Addison chased Derek to Seattle.
But when I got accepted to med school in Seattle, at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Derek and Meredith invited me to stay with them, and I did, much to Addison’s disapproval.
It was rocky at first, but Meredith became like a cool aunt to me.
Derek, Meredith and Cristina coached me through med school, and were probably the reason I graduated head of my class.
Being head of my class, and having done my internship at Grey-Sloan Memorial meant that I could do my residency almost anywhere I wanted to, which is why I applied for Grey-Sloan Memorial, not just to stay close to my family, but also because it had one of the best residency programs in the country, and Metro-General in New York, where the famous Doctor Stephen Strange worked.
Stephen and my father constantly were in a battle for neuro supremacy, and he was my medical idol, which made Derek roll his eyes at me. I mean, I was his daughter and I idolized his rival. Cristiana, Meredith and I used to gossip all about Doctor Stephen Strange though, talking about his medical techniques to how hot he was. This almost always ended up with Cristina and/or Meredith telling me to sleep with him, since both of them couldn’t.
When Derek died, to say I lost it was an understatement. By then, I barely saw Addison; all I had was Derek and his new family. But without Derek, the house was too quiet, too dark. I knew I should have stayed, been there for Meredith. But I couldn’t look at any of his things. Grey-Sloan Memorial became less of a safe, happy, place for me, and more of my own personal hell.
Which is why I accepted the residency at Metro-General.
Moving across the country to New York was difficult. Meredith had completely shut down, and Cristina stayed with her to make sure she didn’t hurt herself. That left Alex Karev and Miranda Bailey to help me. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, they were both nice and happy to help. I saw a lot of Alex at home, and he was a weird brother to me. Of course, Miranda attempted a few more times to have me take a position at Grey-Sloan, but I declined, and explained that I needed to be in a new place where Derek never touched, in order to recover. I also told her that, in a few years, might return as a Neuro attending, which she accepted.
My first day at Metro-General was neve racking, to say the least.
My always steady hands, that I prided myself on, would not stop shaking.
I knew the chances of me having Doctor Strange as my attending right off the back were slim. I knew the chances of me standing out, or of him even liking me, were even slimmer.
I just had to make sure I didn’t make a fool of myself in front of him.
When I got to the hospital, I found that the Residency program was smaller than I was expecting. Each Attending had two residents instead of four.
While this surprised me, and somewhat frightened me, I was also excited, all for the same reason: I would be spending more time with Doctor Strange.
A couple minutes passed and the working attendings filed into the locker room.
My breathe caught in my throat being so close to him. My first thought was that he was taller than I expected.
After the Chief of Surgery gave a big speech about new beginnings, and that we were the new generation of medicine, what we would see, what we would do, what were expected of us, and do on; the doctors, one by one, began listening off their pair of residents.
“Doctors Anderson and Montgomery-Shepherd.” Doctor Strange read, not looking up from his clipboard, though a small smirk played on his lips.
When all the doctors finished calling out their residents, we all moved out.
“Anderson, there is a long list of patients in the pit, see to them.” Doctor Strange said quickly, not even look up from the chart he was holding when he pointed to the pile of charts for the pit, which were on the desk next to us. And just like that, Anderson was gone.
This was the work of residents. I knew it was coming, but I still wasn’t looking forwards to it. No one liked doing resident work, the long shifts, barely leaving the hospital, doing research, and doing your attending’s dirty work.
“Montgomery-Shepherd, you’re with me.” Doctor Strange finished, and quickly began walking.
I kept telling myself I should be saying something. Anything.
But I couldn’t.
I hatred myself for being stuck in a star struck fashion, I really did.
If Cristina was here, she would have kicked my ass already.
Or pushed me into him.
I don’t know which is worse.
“I’m sorry about your loss.” Doctor Strange, said, surprisingly.
I knew him to be arrogant, not caring about anyone but himself; his comment took me off guard.
“Thank you.” I replied quietly.
“Are you always this quiet?” He asked, stopping to look at me.
Unsure of how to respond, I gave a small shrug. “I guess so, Doctor.”
He sighed, “we’re going to have to work on that. You’re a doctor. You need to act like it.”
And with that we were walking again.
“Your father was a brilliant man. Our rivalry was just for show; I want you to know that.”
I nodded. I had hoped that there would be no comments about Derek here. But I suppose if I wanted that, I should have unhyphenated my name. But my name was the last real part of Derek I had. I couldn’t let that go.
“Head of your class at University of Washington School of Medicine, outstanding work, you should be very proud of yourself.” Doctor Strange continued.
My heart began to beat faster. Why did he know, or care so much about me?
“I’ve read your dissertation about providing oxygen to dying cells to prolong the time period before nerve damage occurs, almost twenty-times.” I said quickly, trying to change the subject back to him.
He furrowed his brows.
“Twenty-times, a little excessive for someone who knows subjects like that like the back of your own hand.”
Again, his comment surprised me. This time, I found my voice.
“I’m sorry? How, and why, do you know so much about me?”
“Derek used to talk all about you at the Neurosurgery committees. He wouldn’t stop bragging about how smart and beautiful you are. How you had the Shephard gene for Neurosurgery and that you were going to peruse it. Follow in his footsteps. He was insanely proud of you.” The Doctor’s voice softened the further he spoke.
I was stunned silent and stopped walking.
“That is why I asked for you. I see now that Derek was not exaggeration your beauty, which means he must not have been exaggerating your intelligence. I’m going to make sure you live up to your father’s legacy and create your own. And luckily for you, you’ll be working under the best surgeon in the hospital, me.” Doctor Strange smirked at him, his arrogance seeming to come back.
He patted me on the shoulder, in an almost robotic sense.
Everything took a minute to process. When it did, all I could do was nod.
Then it hit me.
Did Stephen Strange just call me beautiful?
I guess that Doctor Strange came to the conclusion of my thoughts, because he gave a small laugh and smiled at me before nodding his head towards a long hall, before beginning to make his way in that direction.
I quickly walked after him.
Residency wasn’t looking too bad at the moment.
And I couldn’t stop myself from remembering all the fantasies I had about this man, Cristina’s “words of wisdom”, and that Meredith and Cristina had both married their attendings.
Maybe, just maybe, the mention relationship I have with the great Doctor Stephen Strange would evolve into one of sex or romance.
I was snapped out of my thoughts when Doctor Strange guided me into a scan room and put up a scan of a large spinal column tumor.
“Normally, we aren’t supposed to let residents in on such complicated surgeries so soon. But I need an assistant.” Doctor Strange smiled at me, placing his hands on his hips. “What do you say?”
He just keeps surprising me, and I’ve been with him for under an hour!
“Shouldn’t you get someone who’s more qualified than me? Another Neuro attending?” I asked quietly, keeping my eyes fixed on the tumor.
My brain had already begun developing theories on the best way to approach the tumor, without damaging the spinal cord it was resting against.
“You’re more qualified than the other Neuro surgeon in this hospital. Trust me.”
“Nick told me that this tumor was impossible to remove. I think otherwise, and I’m not one for taking on cases I don’t think I can fix. After all, I don’t want to damage my perfect record.” Again, I could hear the arrogance behind his words, but I was used to it from Mark Sloan. “And I can tell by the way you’re looking at it, that you agree with me.”
We spent the next few hours discussing tactics on how to approach the tumor, only ending the session because Doctor Strange wanted lunch.
He invited me to sit with him during lunch and we discussed a range of topics over the short break. One of which being my name.
“Montgomery-Shepherd is a mouthful. Can I call you by just one of those? Or your first name?” He asked in, what I can figure, the nicest way he could.
“Shepherd works for me. Or Jennifer. Or Jen.” I shrugged.
Doctor Strange smiled and nodded.
“Welcome to Metro-General’s Neurosurgery, Doctor Jennifer Shepherd.”
He extended his hand to me, which I took.
“Thank you, Doctor Strange.”