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[Private 1x1 between PsychoticBunny and SleepingInTheGardens]

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Introduction




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"because you loved me when I couldn't even love myself"




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A young dance instructor lives alone in his one bedroom apartment, perched on the second floor of the very building he holds dance classes for the local students. He's a handsome figure, adored by the town, with a beautiful girlfriend, perhaps even set to be famous one day. He's got no business allowing a stranger into his life, but when a light night walk puts him in the path of a young boy; alone, beaten, confused, with no place to go and not a soul to take care of him, his heart tells him otherwise. He merely offered a place to stay the night and a hot meal, but one night eventually tuns into several weeks and what started out as compassion soon turns into something much heavier. Something the old fashioned, conservative town of Lawrence is entirely against.




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T H ExxD A N C E R
played by SleepingInTheGardens
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T H ExxL O S TxxB O Y
played by PsychoticBunny




[Please DO NOT post here unless you are SleepingInTheGardens or PsychoticBunny]

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Character Portrait: Halden Crowe Professional Bum. Drugged Out Loser. Throwing my life away. Not that it's your business.

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CASSPER MOON

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"I'm sorry Cass...I promise I didn't plan on staying this long but...I got a really good offer."

Cassper's almond eyes were glued to the ceiling as he listened in silence to his girlfriend's voice coming through the speaker. He let a sigh escape him, but not loud enough for her to hear. Was he upset? Yes. Because it had become painfully obvious that his girlfriend was choosing her career over him, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. And yet, somehow it felt like he wasn't as upset as he should be. "Alright."

"You're angry..." her voice came again. Cass got to his feet, plucking the small cell from where it rested on the pillow and bringing it to his ear. "I'm not." he said plainly. It may have been bending the truth a little, but it wasn't a lie. Although common sense told him he should be throwing a fit right now, it just wasn't in him. "I know how badly you wanted this, so, don't worry about me. I'm a big boy, I can take care of myself." he added, letting a playful smile stretch over his face even if the girl couldn't see it.

"You're the best."
"I know."

The rest of the conversation turned into small talk and simple goodbyes until the call came to an end. Cassper's eyes remained on the black phone screen for several silent beats before it was placed back into his pant pocket. It was now five minutes past midnight, and the notorious dance professor had to be up early the next morning for a class, and yet he was wide awake. The majority of the town was probably long since asleep, but Cassper knew that laying in bed would only result in his gawking at the empty ceiling for countless hours until, only managing to get two or three hours of rest. Instead, he opted to take a walk, as he usually did in cases like these.

The weather was perfect for a stroll, not too cold, but just cold enough. And no matter how long Cass walked, the streets remained empty. Perhaps a couple of cars drove by every now and then, but the nightlife in Lawrence had always been practically non-existent. Not a single soul except himself and a lone shadow up ahead that resulted in him slowing his pace. The air felt heavy with something Cass couldn't really place and his footsteps eventually stopped all together. The shadow seemed to be wavering from side to side, and it took only a couple more seconds for Cassper to realize said shadow was a person who, by the looks of it, was really badly hurt.

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Halden Crowe

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"Halden, mate, you're too smart for your own good. You've got to learn to keep outta trouble," His mother said, frazzled one afternoon, "You've got a younger brother who thinks the world of you, and How are you going to feel when he gets himself suspended for telling a teacher to study Pi instead of eat it?"

"Well, Just because you're insecure because you're about as useless as tits on a bull, doesn't mean you have to run around slinging your cock and balls like you're something special, mate," had been Halden's keen and sharp tongued response to the Jock cunt who'd called him a nerd in front of the entire party. Apparently those were fighting words. Halden had got a couple good blows in, but ultimately, the prick's friends had taken a couple dirty shots. Halden found himself kicked out of the party. In his drunken anger and self destructive nature, he'd tried to do a handspring... That hadn't ended well.


"I hate this stupid motherfucking piece of shit town. I fucking hate it. I hate everyone in it," Halden grumbled to himself as he stumbled down the road. His nose was most likely broken, and he was 98% certain that he had sprained his wrist. Drinking plus parkour is never a good combination. He stopped, lighting a cigarette, completely unaware of the fact that his face looked like something out of a horror scene. He felt the nicotine hit the receptors in his brain and he exhaled heavily.Nicotine is a stimulant. When you're exposed to toxic levels of organophosphate, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine builds up at synapses and disrupts nerve impulses. Acetylcholine is able to imitate the electrical stimulation you'd normally associate with your vagus nerve, and all that excess acetylcholine overstimulates the neurons. Because nicotine is so similar to acetylcholine, it too binds to nicotinic cholinergic receptors.

His brain ran rampant as he stumbled down the street, not really paying attention to his surroundings before it was too late. It was just his luck to run into the only pedestrian in fucking Lawrence. "Shit, mate. I am so so sorry. I was not paying attention to where I was going. I'm sorry," Halden slurred.

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CASSPER MOON

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Some part of Cassper knew he should probably take the apology and continue walking, because whatever this guy had been involved in was clearly ugly and not something the twenty-three year old needed in his life. The other part, however, to;d him that he would feel like absolute shit if he turned a blind eye and ignored what was now in front of him. His rounded eyes strained through the darkness in an attempt to see the stranger's face better. He was tall...really tall, but his face looked young. Too young to be in a situation like this anyway.

"Uh, no, it's fine- don't worry about it, I-" Cassper's eyes scanned the stranger again, something indescribably turning in his stomach at the sight. "Are- are you alright? Do you need any help? Want me to call an ambulance?" And there that voice came again. Common sense that told him to not get involved, but how could he not when he had a this young man in front of his covered in blood and bruises? "Here, just- stop walking and lean against this wall for a second." It was an undeniable fact that the guy was drunk, and judging by his height and overall look, Cassper assumed he was around his age, maybe even older. All the more reason to walk away before things got even more messy, but Casper's feet were glued to the pavement.

"Seriously, you need to get to a hospital..." Cassper added, his words dripping with alarm.

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2730511.

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Halden Crowe
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Is he calling me an ambulance, is he going to take me to hospital? I don't need hospital. I need a glass of water, some ibuprofen, and a bench to curl up on or a tree to set a tent up at. You're a fucking failure, Halden. A right fucking fail- Did he say ambulance? Is he calling me an ambulance? I don't need hospital. Water will rehydrate me, causing the hangover to be non existant. Hair of the dog is bullshit.
Halden's keen but intoxicated mine struggled to keep up with the stranger's ramblings, catching only "Ambulance, and hospital."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow your roll there..."Who're you talking to there, mate?
"I, Am quite fine, mate," Halden replied drunkenly, before catching his reflection in a parked car's window. He let out a laugh, and met Cass' eyes. Finally the inside reflects the outside. congrats you piece of shit.
"I probably gave you a fucking heart-attack. I look like stuck me face into a blender... Most of this blood is from my nose. That's all. Some Bull's tit and his friends beat.. threw a couple of lucky shots. I promise I don't need to get to hospital. Please don't take me there, mate. You can just pretend you never sawr me. and I'll be on me way. Have a great rest of your night."" He pulled down on the tip of his nose, straightening it out again with a slight groan. He was drunk enough that he didn't really feel it too much.

Halden looked down at Cass and gave sort of a half shrug, a friendly smile on his face. He turned around to walk off, adjusting the backpack, the one was basically living out of, on his back.

His home life had been rough since he'd been kicked out by his father. His mother left the backdoor unlocked... Not that it mattered. He would've picked it anyways, during the day when his father wasn't there. It was to ensure he was still fed. But she didn't really speak to him, and he made a point to make sure she wasn't home. And when he did, he locked the door back so that he'd hear her enter again, so that he could sneak away while she was doing something else. He was able to keep up on his laundry when his mother went to her Yoga class every Thursday. Halden didn't care. He worked a job waiting tables in a diner 2 nights a week. He was surviving.

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CASSPER MOON

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Cassper's tired brain struggled to keep up with the stranger's explanation. Most of the blood was from his nose, but he still looked like he would collapse at any moment from the lack of red liquid in his body. Regardless of where it came out of, blood loss was still blood loss. Not to mention, he was taking it as if this was an every day occurrence. And well, for all Cass knew, it sure as hell could be. That still didn't mean he could comfortable walk away knowing that someone was walking out and about in this state.

Cassper's eyes were large when they met the boy's, probably making him look as if he'd just seen a ghost or two. "Wait-" he took a step forward the moment the boy tried to walk away, his eyebrows furrowing together."I won't call an ambulance, but if you keep walking around like this eventually someone will. Or worse, they might call the police." Towns like Lawrance didn't handle sights like these well, and there's no doubt in Cass' mind that sooner or later someone would see him and have him arrested without asking any questions. "At least get cleaned up a bit..." Cass suggested, his voice hesitating over his next few words. It's not that he distrusted the guy, because he hadn't known him long enough to brew distrust, but he couldn't exactly trust a complete strange either.

"My uh...my apartment is just two blocks down..." he added, hoping the boy would put the rest of the pieces together. Taking a couple more steps forward, Cass lifted his chin to meet a pair of stormy eyes obviously lacking sleep, and extended his hand. "I have food and hot water." The soft smile that spread across Cassper's face was not only for the stranger's sake, but for his own sake, to remind him that he had made the best choice.

Nothing to see here. Move along, 2730685.

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Halden Crowe
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Halden stopped as Cassper told him to stop, and turned to look at him carefully. He took in every detail. Height? Around six-foot. Weight? one-...fourty five... one-fifty... Hair? brown... does he style it that way? or does it just do it's own thing? Eyes? Brown? it's too dark to tell. indicate some sort of asian lineage. perhaps korean? He looks nervous. Speak, Crowe, you dog.
Wait! Don't speak! He's speaking.


Halden's mental analysis took mere seconds, but the time seemed to slow down simultaneously. Had his brain not been fogged by the Jack Daniels rolling around in his gut, Halden would've had him pegged instantly.

There's not a mean bone in this man. Is he inviting me to stay with him? but I'm a piece of shit. Why would anyone help me?

Halden couldn't help but smile when the stranger smiled at him, and offered his hand. The whole time he'd lived in Fucking Lawrence, he'd felt outcast. He'd felt alone. The only time people gave him the time of day was when they needed something. Hey, Crowe, can you help me with my physics homework? Halden, wanna come over to my place and help me with chem homework? It seemed almost weird that someone was coming to his aid in a time of need. But he was also really intoxicated and the thought of crashing on a couch seemed more appetizing than the campground outside of town.

Take his hand, Halden. He's not going to hurt you. A couch would be nice. A cigarette would be nice. Nicotine is a stimulant. When you're exposed to toxic levels of organophosphate... Not now brain. Take the guys fucking hand before someone sees you two, assumes you're lovers, and then the homophobic cunts will beat you even worse.

Halden reached out and took Casspian's hand, and smiled at him again. "You won't regret this. I promise," He said softy, a weird tingle down his spine as their skin contacted.

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CASSPER MOON

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Cassper's nerves riled as he watched and wait for the boy's response. Had he said something wrong, or did he just look that untrustworthy. Lawrence citizens typically trusted Cass, regardless of how well they knew him, and he always tried to come off as amiable as possible. But the male in front of him now seemed to be giving his offer a lot of thought. Then again, if he were offered to stay at a complete stranger's place, he would also think twice before accepting. Cass almost gave up, opting to let the guy continued on his way like he so wished, but a touch of skin quickly changed that.

Cassper smiled, his eyes forming into small crescent moons, as he took in the guy's response. "I'll hold you to that." he said with a nod. The cold air circulated around them,slapping Cassper's bare cheeks and hands. It was only the start of fall, but it already felt like snowflakes could start dropping at any moment. "come on, it's freezing out here." he added, letting the male's hand fall to his side before turning around to lead the way.

The walk was hardly a distance, but the dry air seemed to get colder and wilder as they walked. Relief washed over Cassper like a wave when his apartment building finally came into view and he didn't hesitate to pull out his keys and open the small door that led to the dance studio. Having it usually be filled with students, it felt so empty now. The lights were off, curtains drawn and windows locked. Though in all the time he'd lived in Lawrence, there never has been a need to lock anything, but it still felt like the sensible thing to do. "My apartment is just up the stairs." he explained, his voice somewhat echoing off the studio walls. It may not have been the most luxurious place in Lawrence, but it was clean, warm and secure and that's exactly what this stranger needed right now, if his appearance was anything to go by. "Oh-" once inside his apartment, Cass suddenly turned on his heels to face the boy, his eyes reaching up to meet his. "I'm Cassper...or Cass. Whatever works for you." he said, trying avidly to ignore how much worse the male's face looked now that they had better lighting.

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Halden Crowe
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Halden followed behind Cass, his mind running at a million and a half miles an hour. He paused for a moment, and pulled a cigarette out of the pack in his pocket. He light it briefly before he put the pack back in his pocket. Cass was about fifteen paces ahead of him at this point. Halden sprinted drunkenly towards the other boy, stopping a couple paces in front of him. He let Cass catch up and began to follow him again. Once they reached the door, Halden put out his cigarette, and winced at his reflection in the windows.

He followed Cass into the studio, looking around carefully. Every time a dancer jumps on pointe, three times his or her body weight is carried on the tip of their big toe. That means that he must have really strong toes. A male dancer lifts over 1-1/2 tons worth of ballerinas during performances. That means that he's doing about 10-15 lifts every show. Imagine the leg- Cass' voice almost painfully separated his brain from his thoughts. The other man's apartment was neat and homey, and gave Halden some sense of comfort. He smiled slightly, feeling a bit awkward.
"Halden. Halden Crowe. Pleased to meet you mate," He replied, slurring slightly. He was starting to sober up, and his face was starting to become slightly painful. He looked at the other man, contemplating how much he'd be pushing it if he made a few simple requests.
"Cassper... Cass. Would it be pushing my limits to ask you for a couple things?" He spoke awkwardly, feeling his palms sweating, "I don't want you to feel I'm taking advantage of your kindness... But I just need a washcloth or paper towel, some water, and if you've got it, some ibuprofen... A bathroom would be pretty awesome too... I'm sorry if I'm being needy." Fuck, you're a complete piece of shit, Halden. Just a complete and total piece of shit. He offers you his home and you're totally fucking abusing it. Offer to pay him. Kick him some bucks. Don't be a piece of shit. Also, ask him where you can go to smoke.

"I can pay you," He drunkenly offered, pulling his wallet out of his back pocket. He opened it, and pulled a twenty out.
"I don't want you to feel like I'm taking advantage of your kindness. I can give you more when I get paid on Friday. Also, does that door lead to a balcony that I can smoke on, mate?"

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CASSPER MOON

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Cassper took in the name- Haiden- tucking it away in the back of his mind and smiled the the introduction. As much as Cass tried not to stare, Haiden's wounds were beginning to look worse and worse by the second. Granted, he could only see his face, but no doubt there were some more marks hidden underneath his clothing.

"Cassper... Cass. Would it be pushing my limits to ask you for a couple things?" Haiden's voice came though, pulling him from his thoughts, he stared back at the man that was becoming less and less of a stranger. He wasn't going to lie, the question brought a bit of an uneasy feeling to Cass' stomach. Half of him expected for Haiden to ask for money, while the other half imagined the worst. But just as soon as they came, the worries vanished the moment the boy explained. Judging by the list he was given, Cass deducted that all Haiden wanted was to get cleaned up, and something to help with the pain. "I can pay you-"

The dancer's eyes shifted from Haiden's face to the twenty-dollar bill in his hand, and back up. He allowed Haiden to finish his request before letting a soft chuckle escape him. "Keep it." he instructed, gently pushing the hand holding the money back towards it's owner. Cassper may not have been rich, but he at least had enough to let the guy stay at his apartment for free just for a night. "I'm the one that offered you my place, remember? Why would I charge you?" and maybe it made sense to Haiden, but Cassper couldn't in good conscience take any money from him. "You can use whatever you need-" Cass begins, his hand lifting up in a pausing manner. "My only request is..." he pauses, trying to quickly remember where he had placed his first aid kit, and how long it would take him to find it. "that when I come back in a couple of minutes...you'll still be here."

Maybe he was the one asking too much now. Haiden had no obligation to stay. He could just as easily leave as he had come. Really, Cass' only hope was that his kindness had been enough to convince him to stay.

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HALDEN CROWE
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Halden watched Cass' reaction as he request the few simple things. Ibuprofen will reduce the swelling and help alleviate some of the pain. Water will flush the toxins out of my system, and cleaning the blood off of my face will hopefully make me look less fucked up. Nicotine would be nice. So would some sleep. I wonder where the bathroom is. He looked a bit awkward and confused as Cassper told him to keep his money, but he stuffed it back into his pocket again.

Halden stuffed his hands into his pockets, and looked around. Cass' request was simple, and Halden stood in the exact same spot. Cass had offered him a place to stay.Get Cass something nice. Get him a new pair of flats. Payday Friday first. Work tomorrow at two. Buy some weed with my cash tips. Mmmm. Smoking. Cigarette. Nicotine sounds amazing. Triggered. Nicotine addiction. I'm a piece of shit. Buy him a nice bottle of chocolate liquor. Prove that you're not a piece of shit.

He waited for a while longer before he took a seat on the sofa, resting his elbows on his knees. He rested his chin on his elbows and closed his eyes.

Warm lips pressed against his, and he smiled into the kiss. His hand tangled into soft auburn locks as the kiss intensified.His brain was blissfully silent, and that moment was beautiful. He pulled away gently, and met intense amber eyes looking into his.
"Halden, I have bad news," Selena said softly, looking up at him. Her crimson bottom lip stuck out in a pout. He frowned and looked down at her, pulling out a cigarette. He lit it, waiting for her to explain.

"My dad's being moved again. We're leaving next week," She said, tears welling in her eyes. He frowned, feeling like someone had taken his heart out of his chest and he swallowed a hard lump forming in the back of his throat. He forced a sad smile onto his face.
"Then we'll have to make the best of it, won't we?" he said, and kissed her cheek.
He shook the memory from his brain, wiping the tears from his eyes. Fuck you brain.

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CASSPER MOON

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The bathroom. Caspper thought as he worked to remember where he had stored his first aid kit. His medicine cabinet was stocked. Bandaids, pain killers, muscle relaxers, anything and everything needed to help with swollen muscles and broken bones. So it seemed Halden had found the perfect place to spend the night. Cassper searched high and low, hoping that his house guest wouldn't get tired of waiting for him, until a small white box's edge was spotted in the corner of one of the higher cabinets.

After getting it down, (with some trouble), the dancer made sure everything needed was in there before grabbing a bottle of Aspirin and Ibuprofen, and a couple of small, thin cloths. If these things could help with Cass' never-ending muscle aches and sore feet, they would certainly help with Halden's face.On his way back, Cassper came to a brief stop by the kitchen, his eyes focusing on the small amount of leftovers there was from his dinner as he picked up a bottled water, and imagined Halden would probably need some food to help him stomach the pills. He thought for a moment on what could be made that was quick and easy, but hurriedly shoved that to the back of his mind. Right now, taking care of his face was priority.

Once he stepped out into the living room, Cass' felt the smallest glint of relief to find the guy was just a few feet away from where he had left him. "These are 650 milligrams." he said, handing Haden one of the pills from the Ibuprofen bottle and the water he'd picked up for him. "Whenever I get pains or muscle cramps, all I need is one to do the trick." As he finished his statement, he pulled up a stool, seating himself in front of Halden so their faces were at even level. "Mind if I...take a look?" he asks, albeit a little cautiously, not sure of how much Halden is willing to let him do. But Cass' figures it's probably better to have someone patch your wounds for you, especially when that someone is having to patch his own wounds on a weekly basis.

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Halden Crowe
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Halden looked up when Cass spoke, smiling slightly as he handed him the ibuprofen and the bottle of water. He swallowed the ibuprofen and half the bottle of water.Ibuprofen works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, substances that the body releases in response to illness and injury. Prostaglandins cause pain and swelling, or inflammation. They are released in the brain, and they can also cause fever. Ibuprofen's painkilling effects begin soon after taking a dose. The anti-inflammatory effects can take longer, sometimes several weeks. His thought was cut off and he looked Cass over again. His intentions were pure, and Halden could tell. Still, he felt wary.

"Can I go wash my face first, please?" he asked softly, "I'd rather do the rough scrubbing. Then you can look at it?" He gave sort of a half grin, chewing his lip thoughtfully. Halden looked around, anywhere but Cass' almond shaped eyes. He was intimidated by Cass' kindness and compassion. He was, so far, one of the only people he'd ever met in this shitty little town that was just nice.
"Is there a place I can smoke? Pretty please." He pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket and showed them to Cass. He felt very awkward and like he was pushing some boundaries, but he'd had a rough night.

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CASSPER MOON

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Cassper's dark eyes drifted from Halden's face to the bathroom just around the corner. It's not that Cass was bad with blood and wounds, not at all in fact, but he did think it was a a relatively better idea that the guy go wash his face on his own first. Of course, the dancer wouldn't be letting him go just like that. He would have to inspect him once he came back. "Down that hall to the right." the brunette explained, referring to his first question about the bathroom.

He eyed the cigarettes warily. It's not that he was against smoking, per say. He truly just never saw the need for them. But who was he to judge? Somewhere in the back on is mind, Cassper felt that he couldn't even begin to imagine all the shit this stranger had been through to get to where he was now. "And that door leads to the balcony" he adds, his hand gesturing to the door Halden had pointed out before. "But-" he continued, his full attention back on Halden. "Face first.". There you go sounding like a dad again. is probably something his girlfriend or his students would say right about now, and maybe he did, not that it mattered to Halden. He could just as well do whatever he wanted.

"I'll be in the kitchen" he adds as he gets to his feet, his thumb gesturing to the spacious entrance behind him. "Yell for me if you need anything else."

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Halden Crowe
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Bathroom, down the hall on the right.Halden grabbed a couple of the clean rags on the table, smiling at Cass. He got to his feet carefully, to head to the bathroom.He paused as Cass spoke again.
"And that door leads to the balcony, but face first,"Cass directed. Halden nodded, his previous smile still playing on the corners of his lips. A subtle warmth had wormed its way into the pit of his stomach in the friendliness and concern had displayed.Balcony door is in the living room. Face first, then nicotine. He turned to walk away, as Cass got to his feet.
"I'll be in the kitchen. Yell for me if you need me."

"Roger that," Halden answered and headed to the bathroom. He started the tap, getting it to a warm temperature before wetting the towel he'd been given. He made quick work to cleaning his face. Once the blood was cleaned up, his wounds became more apparent. There was a cut above his left eye from the prick that hit him's class ring, which gave him a minor black eye. His bottom lip was swollen. And there was mild bruising on either sides of his nose. But the ibuprofen had already helped with the swelling. He rung the rags out and cleaned the counter with them carefully. He rested them on the side of the tub to dry. God you're such a piece of shit. There's a time to open your mouth and time to shut it.
He wandered back into living room and through into the kitchen.
"Uh, Cass, I washed my face. I'll be out on the balcony," He swallowed hard, shifting awkwardly, "Be back inside in a minute..."
He turned and headed outside to get his nicotine fix. He walked out onto the balcony and pulled his cigarettes out again. He pulled one out, holding it between his fingers for a moment before he lit it. He inhaled heavily, his face falling into a scowl of self loathing. His mind ran over every mistake he'd made. In his mind, it was a lot.

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  1. possible duplicate content

    2017-11-09 00:53:21 by PsychoticBunny

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Halden Crowe
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Bathroom, down the hall on the right.Halden grabbed a couple of the clean rags on the table, smiling at Cass. He got to his feet carefully, to head to the bathroom.He paused as Cass spoke again.
"And that door leads to the balcony, but face first,"Cass directed. Halden nodded, his previous smile still playing on the corners of his lips. A subtle warmth had wormed its way into the pit of his stomach in the friendliness and concern had displayed.Balcony door is in the living room. Face first, then nicotine. He turned to walk away, as Cass got to his feet.
"I'll be in the kitchen. Yell for me if you need me."

"Roger that," Halden answered and headed to the bathroom. He started the tap, getting it to a warm temperature before wetting the towel he'd been given. He made quick work to cleaning his face. Once the blood was cleaned up, his wounds became more apparent. There was a cut above his left eye from the prick that hit him's class ring, which gave him a minor black eye. His bottom lip was swollen. And there was mild bruising on either sides of his nose. But the ibuprofen had already helped with the swelling. He rung the rags out and cleaned the counter with them carefully. He rested them on the side of the tub to dry. God you're such a piece of shit. There's a time to open your mouth and time to shut it.
He wandered back into living room and through into the kitchen.
"Uh, Cass, I washed my face. I'll be out on the balcony," He swallowed hard, shifting awkwardly, "Be back inside in a minute..."
He turned and headed outside to get his nicotine fix. He walked out onto the balcony and pulled his cigarettes out again. He pulled one out, holding it between his fingers for a moment before he lit it. He inhaled heavily, his face falling into a scowl of self loathing. His mind ran over every mistake he'd made. In his mind, it was a lot.

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Character Portrait: Halden Crowe Character Portrait: Caspian Moon
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CASSPER MOON

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Cassper watched as Halden disappeared down the hallway and into the bathroom before turning on his heels, kitchen bound. It was late. Almost midnight, but Cass thought maybe his guest might be hungry, or at the very least dehydrated. There were some leftovers from the Thai food Cass had ordered for himself, but not enough to make a meal. The dancer stood stock still in front of the heated stove for a good five seconds before his hands began to move, grabbing an empty saucepan, the leftovers and a couple more ingredients to make a nice stirfry. It wasn’t the most elegant disj he could make, but it was quick, easy and those that had tried Cass’ cooking had nothing but praises for him. So the man set out to work, quickly bringing everything together into the perfect blend of meat, vegetables and spices. Once he was done, he left it on a low heat to keep warm, just in time for Halden to appear on the doorway.

Finally, Cass was able to get a clear look at the damage. It wasn’t as gruesome as he imagined it to be, but there was still some heavy dents in Halden’s otherwise youthful face. And possibly for the first time since they met, Cassper wondered exactly how old this stranger was. ”Sure” he replied, easing a soft smile his way and watched as the tall figure left the kitchen and exited out into the balcony. For several long minutes, Cassper just stood in the kitchen doorway, body leaning against the doorframe, as he looked out into the balcony where Halden was and tried to make sense of it all. He didn’t want to be nosy, but the question of how someone like Halden could end up in a situation like this still hung around in the back of his mind. Granted, Cass knew nothing about him. But he didn’t come off as a trouble maker, if his way of behaving new was anything to go by.

”Did the medicine help?” Cass questioned once Halden had made his way back inside. At the very least his face looked only mildly swollen, and so much less alarming without all the red liquid smeared on it. ”Can I take a look now?” he asked, a bit less cautiously than the time before. ”Then maybe you can get something to eat… and take a hot shower. Sometimes that helps” the dancer bit his bottom lip to keep himself from rambling yet again. A habit that had developed overtime mostly whenever he felt at a loss for what to do. The corners of his lips tilted upwards as he nervously ran a hand through his straight, brown locks. ”If you want. I mean…” His eyes locked on Holden’s for a few seconds and there was something there. Something that Cass himself could relate to at the moment. Pure confusion.

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Halden Crowe
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Halden took another deep inhale from the cigarette finishing it off.
His fingertips shook as he pulled another from the pack. His stomach rumbled. He lit it carefully, and took a deep hit. He smoked the second cigarette in record speed, before putting it out. He put both the butts in his pack, and returned inside. Cass was standing in the entryway between the kitchen and the living room. Halden smiled slightly, and met Cass' eyes as he returned to the sofa where he had been sitting previously.
"Did the medicine help? Can I take a look now?" Cass questioned once he was inside. Halden nodded.
"Ibuprofen works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, They cause pain and swelling, or inflammation. I think they're working, but please feel free to get me patched up the rest of the way," Halden grinned, catching his own ramblings. His stomach growled to answer the offer of food. Halden awkwardly rubbed at the back of his neck, and he looked away awkwardly as the brunette held his for a moment.
"I'd love food, and a shower and all. No offense, But what's the catch? What do you expect from me?" Halden's confusion was out in the air, and he didn't want Cass to feel like he was taking advantage of his kindness. But he also didn't want there to be an unspoken catch that he was missing.
God, you're a piece of shit, mate. You owe him whatever he asks for, period. Don't be an asshole.Halden rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably again.

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CASSPER MOON

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"Ibuprofen works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, They cause pain and swelling, or inflammation. I think they're working, but please feel free to get me patched up the rest of the way," Cassper blinked a few times, taking in the small amount of information that had just been thrown his way, before letting an amused smile spread over his face. He couldn't tell if Halden was rambling nervously or if this was just something he did on a regular. Either way, he set that aside and got to work, dabbing some healing ointment onto the deeper wounds. The odd mixture had been a gift from one of his students, and it always seemed to do the trick.

His upper body leaned forward, large eyes scanning every inch of Halden's face to make sure each and every wound was clean. There was a swollen eye still very visible, but nothing the ibuprofen and an ice pack couldn't fix. There was a short silence, but was quickly broken by the sound of Halden's stomach. Well that answered that question, Cass thought, the soft smile that had vanished slowly coming back. But before he could comment, Halden spoke again, his question leaving the dancer at a bit of a loss for words. Cassper's dark yet transparent eyes stared back at his house guest with genuine confusion.

"Um- nothing..." he finally responded with a tilt of the head, making it almost sound like a question rather than a statement, because what could Cass possibly what of him? He bit his bottom lip in thought before dark eyes locked on Halden's again. "Do people usually expect something back when they do things for you?" he asked, though he probably already knew the answer. Cass was old enough to know that most people didn't do things for others without expecting anything back. Lucky for Halden, Cassper was not most people. "I don't want anything from you..." he clarified in case Halden hadn't gotten the message clearly. "I just want to help...because I can."

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Halden Crowe
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Halden winced as Cass dabbed something that stung like hell into the deeper wound on his face. He forced himself to sit there, gripping the couch cushion, and endure whatever needed to be done to ensure his face healed decently. As Cass leaned forward, Halden could feet the heat of the other man's body, and it gave him goosebumps. He leaned back slightly, awkwardly almost.

"Um-nothing..." Cass responded, tilting his head like a puppy. Haldenwas still uneasy, as he hadn't been treated with much kindness during the entirety of his school career.

"Do people usually expect something back when they do things for you?" Cass asked him, and Halden cocked his head to the side, mulling over his answer. Is he serious right now? In general, Everyone is only doing something so they can get something back. Kohlberg's scale of morality is a perfect example of this. Stage two reasoning shows a limited interest in the needs of others, but only to a point where it might further the individual's own interests. As a result, concern for others is not based on loyalty or intrinsic respect, but rather a "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" mentality.
"I don't want anything from you... I just want to help... because I can" Cass fortunately spared Halden the need to answer what would appear to be a rhetorical question.
"Have you heard of Lawrence Kohlberg, mate?" Halden asked softly, smiling slightly as his flood of personal intellect rushed forward,[color=#097a3a]"He was an american psychologist at Harvard and University of Chicago. He spent his time developing a moral scale, based off of Jean Piaget's account of children's moral development. Anyways there are six different stages of morality. Most humans operate on a solid level two. It's the 'if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours,' stage. It's just curious to see someone operate on a higher lever of morality..." Halden ended his rambling there, turning a bright red. He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly.

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