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Crazy Hearts

Seattle, Washington

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a part of Crazy Hearts, by Inno.

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Inno holds sovereignty over Seattle, Washington, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for Crazy Hearts
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Seattle, Washington is a part of Crazy Hearts.

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Clarisse Morel [0] An up and coming dancer with a clear mind, shadowed eyes, and an open heart.

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#, as written by Inno
May 18th




“I’m just…”
Layers of thick, dark mahogany waves tumbled fluently down past her slender shoulders. They swayed, curled, and brushed along the bends of her rigid arms with each shift and turn of her body. She had curled her hair today.
Irises a cloudy blue, wide and alert, blinked in his relaxed posture, absorbed his calm smile, and took in his motionless pen as her clear-coated fingernails flexed nervously against the rough texture of her faded blue jeans. With each slow intake of breath, her chest swelled, and then slowly shrank to its previous stature as she exhaled.

Clarisse wasn’t sure how to answer his previous question about her dance class. She didn’t know where to start, where to begin, and she certainly didn’t know where to end.
Dance was her life, her home, where she felt like she really belonged and could do no wrong. The smell of the vast ballet studio, the echoes of each step, of each movement, of each breath, she loved every inch, and every nook of it all. But today… Today her instructor had made her second guess all of it. Today, for the first time of ever being a part of the dance community, Clarisse had marched out of her dance class, and not looked back. Today, Clarisse had yelled and undermined the one woman she truly looked up to; the one woman’s approval she struggled to receive. Today, Clarisse had insulted her mother.

As the tip of her tongue flicked along her already dry lips, as her nostrils flared from the cool air, she tipped her gaze down to her navy blue flats, studied her clear-coated toenails, before casually focused on his gleaming black shoes; eyes traced each twist and turn of their laces.

“I’m just upset.”
She pulled the sentence out of her own chest with such daintiness, with such a lack of emotion that those that don’t know her would think her words were memorized, that they were not her own, and that she was hesitant. But she had meant it. She was upset with what had happened. She thought it unjust, unfair, unreal, and she was upset.

“I just… I just want her to apologize, you know? I want her to just look at me and say for once she was in the wrong; that she’s sorry.” Her quivering bottom lip was between her teeth as the last word dropped from her lips, and she chewed childishly.

She looked around his office, looked anywhere but directly at him. She didn’t want to talk about this longer so her gaze finally locked with his. She didn’t want to talk about the strained relationship between her mother and herself. She didn’t want to replay the entire scenario with how the other girls gasped from shock and excitement. She didn't want to repeat her mother's vile words. Instead, she wanted to study his features, wanted to look him in the eyes, wanted to see his lips curve in that secret smile he had when he was pleased with her, wanted to hear the light chuckles he exhaled when he was perfectly comfortable. She wanted to look at him and see the lines of fatigue vanish from his forehead, wanted to reach out with both thumbs and caress the dark circles under his eyes away.

However, she merely watched as he nodded, watched as he pulled his pad back on his lap, and scribbled God-knows-what down.

It was probably the worst part of it all, excluding him not being hers, not knowing what’s being written down, not know if there’s improvements or failure.
She turned her gaze to the ticking clock on his desk, then frowned when she was unable to read the time. He does that on purpose. She thought to herself as her eyes returned to his. So I don’t have to worry about the time I have left...

“I just want her to stop finding only flaws...” Her thin shoulders rose in what was meant to be a nonchalant shrug. “I don’t know.”

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May 18, 10:45 A.M. Clarisse had what I've interpreted as an argument with her instructor. This is the first I am hearing of this. This fight is obviously stressing her nerves. He jotted down. Then turning his gaze towards her as she began looking around again. "And you feel that she, your instructor was in the wrong?" He asked with a grin, trying to assure her. "If you wouldn't mind, could you tell me what she said?" His hand moved toward his other arm, slowly unstrapping the watch. He placed it in his briefcase and turned back to her, their eyes meeting.

"You don't need to worry about time today. You're my only appointment so you can stay as long as you want or leave when the hour's up. I'll let you know when it makes it there all right? So please tell me what happened today." He wrote more on his pad without breaking eye contact. Concerned with time. Whether it's due to her wanting to leave early or stay late, I'm unsure but it seems to bother her that she can't see the time from here.

"Or if you'd rather, you can take up a book from the shelf, any that suites you, and read to your heart's content. But I'd like to hear what you have to say." He set the pad down on the side, the writing slightly visible from Clarisse's angle. He pulled a cloth from his jacket pocket, took his glasses off and cleaned them. He walked to the couch and sat on the arm, smiling gently at Clarisse. "But unless something comes up that could be considered dangerous, to you or others, it's all off the record. Right now, we're just friends talking, not a doctor and patient, boss or employee or anything else."

"Nothing else... right?" he asked himself.

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#, as written by Inno
His movements were fluid, simple, easy, as if he unfastened his wristwatch on an everyday basis, like he him tucking it away was the norm. She basked in it all. With all his bustling, he was distracted, and Clarisse took the opportunity to gaze adorningly over his figure. She allowed her eyes to skim over his features, capture in his set eyes, his shapely lips, even the laugh lines hinting at the corners of his eyes; she saw it all.

Then their eyes met.

"You don't need to worry about time today. You're my only appointment so you can stay as long as you want or leave when the hour's up. I'll let you know when it makes it there all right? So please tell me what happened today." He said making sure to not break eye contact as more writing occurred.
She could only nod, her tongue suddenly feeling very heavy in her mouth.

"Or if you'd rather, you can take up a book from the shelf, any that suites you, and read to your hearts’ content. But I'd like to hear what you have to say." He set the pad down on the side, the writing slightly visible from Clarisse's angle, and she leaned forward somewhat as she polished off his glasses.
Her eyes barely had time to thoroughly scan over his notes before he was up on his feet, and making his way over to her. He walked to the couch and sat on the arm, smiling down at her, and she had to pinch the inside of her palm to refrain from reaching out to him.
Her gaze dropped to his lips, lids lowered as her mind drifted elsewhere.

"...You or others, it's all off the record. Right now, we're just friends talking, not a doctor and patient, boss and employee or anything else."

“Hm? Oh...” She paused, glanced down at her folded hands before looking back up at him.

“She likes to use the words useless, and pathetic, and ‘you’ll amount to nothing.’ Of course I know she’s saying it out of anger. But...” Clarisse shrugged, and reached a hand up to hug a stray curl behind her ear before continuing. “It gets old after awhile. It’s like... we argue, we make up, we argue, we make up. On and on. But she’s never wrong. Ever. And that gets old.”
Her cheeks flushed up with sudden embarrassment at realizing she was ranting. She released a soft chuckle, and folded her hands back neatly on her lap, her gaze lifted up to meet his. “Yeah...”

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He smiled at her again. "Clarisse, dear I'm here to listen. And from what I've gathered, it's this teacher of your that seems t be causing you the most trouble. Now I personally have no idea what she's putting you through, what with being a psychiatrist and all, but it seems to me that she's causing a lot of stress to you." He put his hand on her shoulder, trying to calm her down a bit. "Maybe you should take a break from dancing, just take a few days off to stay home and rest, where people won't pressure you."

His hand slid off her shoulder and onto his glasses, an annoyingly small smudge still there. "Blasted lenses. Can never keep clean for more than a moment." After cleaning them for a few more seconds, he sighed and lifted them up to his forehead. "Darned things." He said with a grin. "But back to the matter at hand, I'd suggest a respite from your lessons, even if it's just for two days. That or..." He hesitated, unsure of how to put the next sentence. "Or you could bring her in with you one day. We talk this whole thing out like civilized adults and hopefully come to an understanding that benefits everyone."

He noticed her face was a bit brighter than it had been a few moments ago. "Clarisse, there's nothing that you can say here to make me think about you in any negative way. If you're withholding something, just let me know all right? I'm here to be a 'verbal punching bag' as I call it." His mind raced, trying to come up with a follow up to anything she would say next, but the only thing he could hear himself thinking was "Well maybe more than that, but I might as well start somewhere."

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#, as written by Inno
"Maybe you should take a break from dancing, just take a few days off to stay home and rest, where people won't pressure you."
She was sure he hadn’t meant it. She was sure he was simply joking, trying to lighten the tension in the room.

"Or you could bring her in with you one day. We talk this whole thing out like civilized adults and hopefully come to an understanding that benefits everyone."
While he spoke, Clarisse pushed up from her seat and paced to the door, her hands folded below her bust. He was serious. He was serious about her bringing her mother in to one of their sessions together, in to the only place she could be alone with him; he was serious. And that irritated her.

“Why would I do that?”
The sharp question was out of her mouth before she had the time so cool her stretched nerves. “Why would I bring my mother? First off, she won’t even WANT to come if I asked her. Second, she’d make it seem like I was the bad guy, like I was the one causing there to be problems. So sorry but big fucking no.”
He didn’t understand. He didn’t realise how much coming her meant to her, how much she enjoyed being able to talk to him, and laugh with him, and just see him. Clarisse smiled at the thought, and turned back from the door to look at him.

“It’s not going to happen. Sorry.” She shrugged her shoulders and moved a curl behind her ear once more before stepping over passed him and to his desk. She trailed her finger easily along the smooth wood of his desk, the leather chair, the books behind the desk before looking up at him.

“And I’m not pausing on dancing. Not for a day, not for two days, not even for fifteen hours. It’s my life.” Her eyes locked with his, her gaze blurry. “I might not be good at most things, but I know that I do my best when it comes to dancing, and I know that I’m good at it. So no. I can’t do that either.”
Irritated, Clarisse searched around the room for a clock, her willing and open personality suddenly a closed and shut off one. “Damn it, what time is it??”

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He sighed with a grin. "Ah well it was worth a shot." He stood up and clacked the suitcase open. "You've got about fifteen minutes left. It's entirely up to you how you want to spend it if you even want to spend it here. And I'll leave the talk about taking a break out of it all." He fished out the watch and a small box alongside it. Shutting the case, he strapped the watch onto his arm. He rolled the box in his fingers, fidgeting with it as the lid popped up and back down between his fingers.

"Clarisse, believe it or not, I understand how you feel about dancing. My work feels the same way to me. Now I won't get into it, seeing as how I'm the shrink here, but I propose a little... field work, I guess you could say. I've been planning to go south,to California, for a while. It's just for a weekend," he walked over to his desk, standing next to her with a smile and pulling a small calendar out of one of the drawers.

He pointed to next weekend. Both days were void of any appointments. A few left over smudges showed that he had cancelled them but they were old. What Clarisse didn't know is that those days were cleared after Warren's wife died. The hospital director made him take the weekend off to relax and hopefully take his mind off Katrina for a while. But she didn't need to know that. "Why don't you come with me? I've got two hotel rooms side by side since my friend that was supposed to come with cancelled, the weather should be nice except for on Sunday, when there's supposed to be a rainstorm. We could see what a change of scenery does for you, even if it's just for a few days." He locked eyes with her and smiled, genuinely, not like that cartoon grin that he had when he walked in. "What do you say?"

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#, as written by Inno
" I've been planning to go south,to California, for a while. It's just for a weekend," She watched with silent hope as he moved over to his desk, and stood next to her with a smile before he pulled a small calendar out of one of the drawers.

As he pointed to the next weekend, Clarisse took the chance to study his face a moment before she dropped her gaze to his pointed finger. Both days were free of any appointments, and Clarisse looked back up at him as he spoke.

"Why don't you come with me? I've got two hotel rooms side by side....”
But she had stopped listening. He was inviting her on vacation with him. She could feel her heart hammering in her chest and nervously looked over to him, as he continued to chatter, to see if he could hear it. But he continued talking, unaware of his affect on her, unaware of the smile she hid with her hand.

“...even if it's just for a few days." He locked eyes with her and smiled, genuinely, not like that cartoon grin that he had when he walked in. "What do you say?"

I say yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes. She thought but instead, Clarisse slipped back over to the couch and took a seat, her eyebrows frowned in thought as she lowered to a sit and laced her fingers. “I... I don’t know.” She looked from her folded hands back up to him. “I don’t want you to think of me as a burden. She had to bite the inside of her cheek to calm the sudden need to shake, and shout with joy. “I can’t just drop everything. My kitty...” She blinked, her mind wandering to her newly adopted pet cat Rufus, a smile pulled her lips up.
Clarisse shrugged, and reached down for her discarded purse on the carpet before standing back up, and slipping it on her shoulder. “I’ll get back to you, but thank you for the offer.” She nodded at him, smiled, and silently stepped out of the room.

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When she left Warren sighed, the light gone from his face. "Back to the paperwork I suppose." He muttered, sitting in the comfortable leather seat. He tossed a few papers into some piles, Sorted, Typed and the like, then turned to the picture he kept of Katrina on his desk. Unsure why, he took it up, slid it out of the frame and put it in his jacket pocket, right above his heart. A few more hours of sorting papers, typing up files and taking minute calls from the hospitals two other psyches, He picked up his suitcase and turned to leave, taking up the small planner in the process.

He left the office, locked the door and sat in the hall for a minute, re-living the days events. Just then, the maintenance worker that told him about the elevator, passed him by. "The lift's back in working order again Mr. Madigan, sir." He said with a smile. As insignificant as it seemed, Warren felt like it could've been a good omen. Straightening up and thanking the man, He made his way to the elevator. He took out his phone, scrolling through the few contacts he had. Alan, Barry, Clarisse- his thumb stopped as the little orange name was highlighted. "Maybe she will, maybe she won't. Purely business either way." He said aloud, as if trying to convince someone. He kept going and stopped at Katrina's just as his other hand hit the elevator button. Was he doubting what he had done earlier, asking Clarisse? No, why should he. She was just a friend and his wife... well he couldn't change that.

The doors slid open and he stepped into the lift, his eyes watering up a bit. Trying to clear his head, he pulled out an old CD he and Katrina made out of their favorite songs, a keepsake that was always in his case. The doors slid open, he walked to his car and placed the CD in the car's player. As he pulled out, the music grew louder. By the time he was out of the garage, you could hear "Live and Let Die"'s opening chorus, melding with the scenic sounds of the highway from the roof.

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#, as written by Inno
Her back was to him.
Face tipped to the California sun, Clarisse basked in the fresh air, and welcoming sun from the open window of his office.

When he had first asked her to join him, Clarisse had thought it a very twisted joke; a twisted, mean, and very not funny joke. Nevertheless, she had called the next day, after much thought, and he had confirmed that he was very serious. So she packed her bags, and met him at the airport.

He was behind her, and she could feel his presence, could smell his haunting cologne, could hear him breathing, but all that vanished when she looked out into the vast landscape.
“This is a perfect place for an office.” She gushed out, releasing a light giggle before turning back to face him, her hands against the windowsill. “The scene is beautiful, really.” She lifted her right hand to her hair, and ran her fingers through her straight locks.
She hadn’t stopped dancing, goodness no. However, when she decided to join him on the vacation, she promised herself she wouldn’t dance, wouldn’t call her mother, wouldn’t do anything to ruin her trip. She was relaxing in California.

Clarisse moved back to the plush couch before carefully lowering down to a sit. Everything she did, the way she moved, talked, even laughed was controlled, and organized much like the way she danced. And, sometimes it bothered her, that she couldn’t just relax.
Clarisse trailed her hands slowly over her knee length pale green skirt before looking up at him, a smile on her face.
“Thanks again.” She said hands folded on her lap. “For inviting me, I mean. I think you’re right...” Her back tensed as she straightened her posture. “I could use a break from everything.”

She studied his face for any disagreement, watched his movements for any disapproval. Finding none, Clarisse settled against the cough, her exposed back pressed against the cook cushions.

After this... the beach. She told herself, already toying with the hair band around her wrist.

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"Well it wasn't my first choice," He joked. California was a mash up of all his favorite places. You could go from the beach, to the mountains to a five star restaurant in just a few hours, come home and do something entirely new the next day. "But I think it works." The sun seemed to caress Clarisse's form as she moved around the room, a glow that seemed to pulsate from her instead of the sunlight. "Simply beautiful." He whispered to himself. As she moved, he watched with a smile, the way her lithe figure slid around the room fluidly.

"Thanks again. For inviting me, I mean. I think you’re right... I could use a break from everything.” He smiled again at her and nonchalantly walked around the side of the couch. "Well sometimes, doctors really do know what's best." He joked. He crossed his arms on the back of the couch, behind her head and to the left a bit. Leaning forward, he stared out the window, his head a bit higher than hers. "What do myou say," He started, turning towards her with a grin. "That we go down to the beach? There's a real nice spot, not too far from here that's almost never visited by anyone."

He lowered his arms and put his hands on her shoulders, his head sliding down right next to hers. "Imagine, the crystalline water, lapping against the shore. Not a soul in sight for miles. Not even a seagull that stops here for more than a minute before he's off. The sun-baked sand, a few scattered palm trees and just you and me. There you can really relax, just let go and rest. How about it?" He lifted his hand back to the couch and pushed himself gently upwards, straightening and stretching. "The beach bag is packed, it's just up to you if you want to go." Under the smile, Warren felt a twang of emotion. Guilt perhaps? Maybe, but it didn't seem as b ad. Maybe just nervousness, he couldn't really tell. He just waited for Clarisse's answer.

((Sorry for taking so long, I've been SO tired lately from working on games for animation. Really drained my creative battery ya know?))

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#, as written by Inno
Clarisse pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and nervously chewed on it. How badly she wanted to say yes, wanted to go with him and just relax at the beach; the warm air, heating sun, soothing sand. All of it. She straightened her form and looked over at him with worry. He could be just testing you, she thought, with a hurt expression as she turned her eyes to the cream shaded wall. Testing to see if you’ll open up about things…

Clarisse’s mind drifted a moment before she lifted her hands to her hair and quickly ran slender fingers through her straight locks. “What would we do there?” She wanted to ask. “How would we act?” Questions roamed through her head. She pushed her hair back from her face and slowly settled her hands back down in her lap; fingers interlaced.

“Just me and you..?” She mentally kicked herself for sounding so hopeful, for seeming so damn desperate. With a quick shake of her head, Clarisse looked back up at him, and lightly chuckled, one hand raised to swat at the air as though pushing her previous question out the window. “Haha. What I mean is…” She started, but couldn’t finish because what she had said was exactly what she meant. “I mean…” She looked at his door and shrugged. “Why?”
Clarisse nervously cleared her throat and glanced over at him. She wanted to know what he thought of her but asking so bluntly could get the answer she never wanted to hear. Grabbing her bag filled with items for her beach adventure, Clarisse pushed from the couch and hooked her bag on her shoulder, a smile plastered already on her face; not giving him a chance to answer.

“I’m ready.” She nodded, and quickly turned to his door before glancing back at him. ‘Yes.. I’m ready.’ She thought before asking him, “Are you coming?”

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Warren smiled inside, watching her subtle little movements. It was odd, but he continually felt closer to Clarisse. "Come on Clarisse, it won't kill you. Just one little day trip down to the beach. Pack your stuff and let's go." he sighed silently and turned back towards his room. "No it wouldn't be right to make her do this. It's a vacation, she's supposed to relax."

He could hear her body shifting in the momentary silence, her hands moving upwards, brushing the sides of the leather couch. The sound stopped as her hands slid through the air like a leaf, dainty and silent. The only thing he heard for a moment was his heart beat then the soft puff of air as her hands settled in her lap. He was relieved when she finally spoke.

"Just me and you..?" came from the other side of the plush leather cushion. "Haha. What I mean is... I mean...." "What do you mean Clarisse? Tell me. I'm dying to know." Then he heard the single word, like a weight dropped on him from somewhere above. "Why?" He spun around, nearly losing his balance just in time to see her stand up with her bag. "Well that went over pretty well. Could've gone worse I suppose." He smiled back at her, slightly headstrong at this point but somehow managing to keep himself constrained.

“I’m ready.” She nodded, and quickly turned to his door before glancing back at him. ‘Yes.. I’m ready.’ She thought before asking him, “Are you coming?” He nodded to her. "Just let me get something first. I'll be right behind you." He nonchalantly walked into his room and a small fist pump came from nowhere as soon he was out of her line of sight. "I'll need this now more than ever." He rummaged through his back pack for a moment and pulled out an old wooden bead bracelet. The beads all looked the same, round and dirt colored with small black spots over them. Nothing special, but a friend had gotten it for him on a trip back when he was in high school, assured him it was a good luck charm. It hadn't failed him yet.

He popped back out of the room, slipping the beads on and grabbing his towel. He made a loop with his arm, like an escort only jokingly, trying to make Clarisse smile. When he left the building with her, he felt... different than he had in a long time. Not like a mindless, work-oriented robot, but like a normal man. He wasn't a suit and tie, just an average man with a small little summer cottage-esque place in California, going out to the beach with a... a friend.