the bell tolls for thee

How Unfortunate // Atticus & Cass

Cassandra Wood had been asked to write an article for an APA journal. It was an honor that nearly made her scream with delight. In fact, it did receive an excited giggle and dance that consisted mainly of several jumps into the air. She’d chosen to write a paper on exploratory drug prescription and the dangers accompanied with it. At first she wanted to write about her ventures into amnesia but she didn’t feel as though she’d made enough progress with her patients to really write a well rounded paper. Sure she could have talked about what had been done, and what she was going to continue to do but there was nothing to really prove she was a decent doctor. 

However, as she looked at the clock, the deadline approaching, word document still relatively bare, Cassandra felt nothing like a decent doctor. She wondered why she thought she had the time to write a thirty page paper in three months. It seemed easy at the time despite knowing what her schedule was like. She angrily raked her hands through her hair, letting it fall over her shoulders in a way that usually comforted her. It was of no help. She had twenty pages to do and three days to do it. 

posted 1 year ago

It’s a good day || Atticus & Dr Cass

fiery-inferno:

doctordispassionate:

fiery-inferno:

Atticus sighed a little, all these questions and the way she was talking, she was digging around in his brain once again like in the sessions. “What is it you want from me? I told you why I’m happy and just let me be in a good mood for once.” He leaned down and potted two before missing one of the last ones. “Fuck.” She had certainly brought her A game with her but she had caught him off guard with her questions and psychoanalysing as usual.

“You may as well finish off the game, good game though, I didn’t exactly have you down for a pool player.” He chuckled to himself. “Just shows you how little I know about you beyond your office.” 

“I’m not trying to change your mood,” Cassandra said, feeling as though she was talking to her teenage son rather than a patient who was a grown man. “I want to know what makes you happy. I’m not criticizing, it’s a genuine interest.” In a professional sense at least. “People ask others what they like all of the time. You discuss what television shows you like, what foods you prefer. And need I remind you that you,” she pointed the cue at him, though she kept the bottom on the ground, “invited me over.”

She finished the game and put the pool cue on the table. “I played a lot when I was younger.” Atticus didn’t know much about her, that was the point of the sessions or rather he was the point of the sessions. He wasn’t going to get better by knowing about her. Even people who weren’t her patients didn’t know about her. “You say that like I’m an illusive person. I’m your doctor who is trying to help you. My pool playing abilities aren’t exactly going to help you on the path to recovery.”

“But I like to get to know people, it’s in my nature to…well it’s in my nature to read people and your body language says you’re a workaholic, own a dog and haven’t been laid in…two…three years. Also you have dry skin on your forehead from wearing your hair up too much.” Atticus leaned against the table a bit with a raised brow. “I know you’re not here to make friends and just help us but it does help a bit to get to know you.” 

He put his cue down on the table and pushed himself away from it. “Ever thought that might help your patients relax by pretending you might relate to an issue of theirs?” Atticus offered, he wasn’t trying to tell her how to do her job, he was just trying to suggest a new approach.

“I would work on me…you know that aloe vera thing has really settled my skin down…it doesn’t feel as tight now.” He rolled up his sleeve to show her, it didn’t look any different but it sure as hell felt like it.

Cassandra sighed as Atticus attempted to show off his skills of psychoanalysis. When he was done she looked at him, “Finished?” she asked, not waiting for an answer. “Your skills at ‘reading people’ need a little work, Atticus. Body language displays how a person feels or is thinking at the present. My body language couldn’t possibly tell you whether or not I have passion for my work. My clothes could indicated that I find looking professional important but you cannot base how much I work on how I hold myself in a conversation near a pool table.” She held her hand up in case Atticus wanted to interject before she was done. 

"This," she said pointing to her hair line, "is an allergic reaction from recently trying a new shampoo. Your skills in dermatology could also use some refinement. Of course I own a dog - you needn’t be Sherlock Holmes to figure that out. I have four lint rollers in my office and I’m constantly getting dog hair off my skirt. It’s easy to spot a dog owner. And lastly, your stereotypes are based completely in myth." 

She found it annoying that Atticus felt like he needed to tell her how to do her job. Other patients knew tid bits about her, she simply didn’t share much with Atticus because she was too busy trying to keep him on the damn couch. “My patients know things about me. But they aren’t there to know me. I tell them things that relate to what we discuss. My skills in pool don’t usually come up,” she said. “I’m glad the aloe is working. Perhaps I actually know what I’m talking about.”


It’s a good day || Atticus & Dr Cass

fiery-inferno:

doctordispassionate:

fiery-inferno:

He rolled his eyes again at her statements and the fact that she was sinking the shots still. “No, I don’t only just smile when I beat someone, I smile because I want to. I woke up in a good mood for once in my life, don’t ruin it now.” Atticus gripped his own cue a little and went in for his own shots, noting she had missed on purpose once again.

“You don’t have to miss on purpose because I’m a man and think I’d have a sore ego for a little while, yes I WILL have a sore ego but I’ll get over it eventually.” He pocketed three before missing with a small growl. “I’m very rarely in a good mood so it’s better to relish in it.”

“Just trying to see what makes you happy,” Cassandra replied, watching the man shoot. “We’ve not talked about that. Should I only ask you about what makes you unhappy?” She made a noise of disapproval as Atticus completely missed the mark on why she was fouling on purpose. The woman shook her head. “Firstly, I don’t subscribe to that stereotype of masculinity. Even if I did, I wouldn’t care about your bruised ego as personally, you could stand to be knocked down a peg.”

His growl was amusing even if it wasn’t supposed to be. She took her shot and skipped a ball over the eight ball, careful not to even touch it. “Perhaps that’s why I’m fouling on purpose, Atticus - to give you time to enjoy being in a good mood, to realize that it’s actually quite nice to be pleasant. Perhaps I’m drawing the game out to speak with you in a more informal setting. Not everything I do is to break you down.” She stood up and leaned against the table, “Since my intentional fouls are bothering you just take your turn, I won’t pretend that I’m not better at this than you.”

Atticus sighed a little, all these questions and the way she was talking, she was digging around in his brain once again like in the sessions. “What is it you want from me? I told you why I’m happy and just let me be in a good mood for once.” He leaned down and potted two before missing one of the last ones. “Fuck.” She had certainly brought her A game with her but she had caught him off guard with her questions and psychoanalysing as usual.

“You may as well finish off the game, good game though, I didn’t exactly have you down for a pool player.” He chuckled to himself. “Just shows you how little I know about you beyond your office.” 

"I’m not trying to change your mood," Cassandra said, feeling as though she was talking to her teenage son rather than a patient who was a grown man. "I want to know what makes you happy. I’m not criticizing, it’s a genuine interest." In a professional sense at least. "People ask others what they like all of the time. You discuss what television shows you like, what foods you prefer. And need I remind you that you," she pointed the cue at him, though she kept the bottom on the ground, "invited me over."

She finished the game and put the pool cue on the table. “I played a lot when I was younger.” Atticus didn’t know much about her, that was the point of the sessions or rather he was the point of the sessions. He wasn’t going to get better by knowing about her. Even people who weren’t her patients didn’t know about her. “You say that like I’m an illusive person. I’m your doctor who is trying to help you. My pool playing abilities aren’t exactly going to help you on the path to recovery.”


It’s a good day || Atticus & Dr Cass

fiery-inferno:

doctordispassionate:

fiery-inferno:

As he put the last ball down, he raised a brow at how many she had managed to pocket already. “What the fu-” Now he was starting to regret teasing her into playing with him. His brow stayed raised, telling that she had missed on purpose. A short scoff escaped him before he shot a couple of the balls into the pockets, cursing to himself when he missed the last one.

“Because I won the last game.” Glancing over at her as he straightened up, he added a shrug. “Can’t I laugh? Is it really THAT unusual to see me happy for once in my life?” He had a bit of a serious face on but he couldn’t hold it any longer until he broke into a smile, it wasn’t forced either, it was actually genuine. 

A smirk crossed her face as Atticus seemed to be surprised and somewhat annoyed that she wasn’t someone he could hustle. The doctor’s mother had many a rich man and rich men usually had a pool table some place in their house. While her mother would do God knows what with the men, Cassandra would play pool and pretend she was some young street tough in a biker bar. It distanced her from the reality of her mother’s world.

“By all means laugh,” she replied lining up a shot. “Laughing at someone who has lost isn’t really the most polite thing to do but at least you’re showing that you’ve got the ability to enjoy something.” She sunk another ball into a corner pocket. “But it’s unusual for me to see this reaction yes. I knew you were capable.” She hit another ball, it hit the wall and banked around one of Atticus’ set before landing in a pocket. She looked at him as she prepared to miss another shot on purpose, “Do you only smile when you defeat someone in some way?”

He rolled his eyes again at her statements and the fact that she was sinking the shots still. “No, I don’t only just smile when I beat someone, I smile because I want to. I woke up in a good mood for once in my life, don’t ruin it now.” Atticus gripped his own cue a little and went in for his own shots, noting she had missed on purpose once again.

“You don’t have to miss on purpose because I’m a man and think I’d have a sore ego for a little while, yes I WILL have a sore ego but I’ll get over it eventually.” He pocketed three before missing with a small growl. “I’m very rarely in a good mood so it’s better to relish in it.”

"Just trying to see what makes you happy," Cassandra replied, watching the man shoot. "We’ve not talked about that. Should I only ask you about what makes you unhappy?" She made a noise of disapproval as Atticus completely missed the mark on why she was fouling on purpose. The woman shook her head. "Firstly, I don’t subscribe to that stereotype of masculinity. Even if I did, I wouldn’t care about your bruised ego as personally, you could stand to be knocked down a peg."

His growl was amusing even if it wasn’t supposed to be. She took her shot and skipped a ball over the eight ball, careful not to even touch it. “Perhaps that’s why I’m fouling on purpose, Atticus - to give you time to enjoy being in a good mood, to realize that it’s actually quite nice to be pleasant. Perhaps I’m drawing the game out to speak with you in a more informal setting. Not everything I do is to break you down.” She stood up and leaned against the table, “Since my intentional fouls are bothering you just take your turn, I won’t pretend that I’m not better at this than you.”


It’s a good day || Atticus & Dr Cass

fiery-inferno:

doctordispassionate:

fiery-inferno:

“Fine…fine.” Atticus stopped with the puppy eyes and put the cue down. “I was kidding about the bets, I just thought you could have a little fun, show us that the doctors around here can and will have some. I know you have a job and you have keep up this professional front of yours…but it won’t kill for one game.”

Shrugging, he turned his back to her, taking all the balls out and put them on the table before he took the triangle out and placed one at a time into them, setting it all up properly. “The offer for you to break first is still there though.”

“Doctors can have fun. It’s just not supposed to take place at work,” Cassandra replied. Why Atticus could not grasp the idea she didn’t know. Or perhaps he did and felt like being an ass and insinuating she wasn’t able to have ‘fun’. His cliched use of ‘it won’t kill you’ made the doctor stare at him. He really was trying every trick in the book of coaxing. She watched him as he made a show of turning his back to her. 

Cassandra wanted to know why he was so enthusiastic. She couldn’t say she wasn’t interested in what was making the man who usually stared daggers at her, smile. He wouldn’t admit it in a session and frankly, she needed to know what made him happy if only for professional purposes. She took the pool cure he’d offered for her and waited until his hand placed the last ball down. Immediately she shot, a solid color ball going into a corner pocket, another nearing the middle pocket. “You were laughing when I came in,” she said, lining up her second shot. She hit again, sinking another ball. Not wanting to cripple the man’s ego she purposefully missed her next shot, but allowed the ball to near the pocket. “Why?”

As he put the last ball down, he raised a brow at how many she had managed to pocket already. “What the fu-” Now he was starting to regret teasing her into playing with him. His brow stayed raised, telling that she had missed on purpose. A short scoff escaped him before he shot a couple of the balls into the pockets, cursing to himself when he missed the last one.

“Because I won the last game.” Glancing over at her as he straightened up, he added a shrug. “Can’t I laugh? Is it really THAT unusual to see me happy for once in my life?” He had a bit of a serious face on but he couldn’t hold it any longer until he broke into a smile, it wasn’t forced either, it was actually genuine. 

A smirk crossed her face as Atticus seemed to be surprised and somewhat annoyed that she wasn’t someone he could hustle. The doctor’s mother had many a rich man and rich men usually had a pool table some place in their house. While her mother would do God knows what with the men, Cassandra would play pool and pretend she was some young street tough in a biker bar. It distanced her from the reality of her mother’s world.

"By all means laugh," she replied lining up a shot. "Laughing at someone who has lost isn’t really the most polite thing to do but at least you’re showing that you’ve got the ability to enjoy something." She sunk another ball into a corner pocket. "But it’s unusual for me to see this reaction yes. I knew you were capable." She hit another ball, it hit the wall and banked around one of Atticus’ set before landing in a pocket. She looked at him as she prepared to miss another shot on purpose, "Do you only smile when you defeat someone in some way?"


It’s a good day || Atticus & Dr Cass

fiery-inferno:

doctordispassionate:

fiery-inferno:

“Come on Cassie…” He waved the cue to her and patted the table with his other hand. “If you win you get me in your room with no protests for the next three sessions.” Atticus offered. “IF you win that is, if you don’t, I get to walk out when stuff comes up that I don’t wanna talk about…deal?” When he said that word after a slight pause, his brow went up, almost challenging the woman.

By now, he had taken the cue out of her face, it had been a mere inch or so away but that was the element of surprise he was going for, instead he had been greeted by a pissed face. His brow dropped and his eyes turned a bit bigger than usual. “Please?”

“Doctor Wood,” Cassandra corrected. She pointed a finger at the man, “You cannot play for the right to walk out when you feel like it, Atticus,” she said sternly. The idea that he thought he was entitled to ‘win’ his way out of sessions. It was an insult to her professionalism and any work they had started or would start in the future. She wanted to reach out, grab the cue and break it over his head.

She held back the repulsion she felt as the man attempted to give her his version of puppy dog eyes. Not only did she feel annoyed that Atticus thought it would work, she lost respect for anyone on whom it had worked before. She’d stood up to far better attempts. “I do have a job, Mr. Arkin,” she replied with a sigh. “Can you not find someone else to play pool with you?” 

“Fine…fine.” Atticus stopped with the puppy eyes and put the cue down. “I was kidding about the bets, I just thought you could have a little fun, show us that the doctors around here can and will have some. I know you have a job and you have keep up this professional front of yours…but it won’t kill for one game.”

Shrugging, he turned his back to her, taking all the balls out and put them on the table before he took the triangle out and placed one at a time into them, setting it all up properly. “The offer for you to break first is still there though.”

"Doctors can have fun. It’s just not supposed to take place at work," Cassandra replied. Why Atticus could not grasp the idea she didn’t know. Or perhaps he did and felt like being an ass and insinuating she wasn’t able to have ‘fun’. His cliched use of ‘it won’t kill you’ made the doctor stare at him. He really was trying every trick in the book of coaxing. She watched him as he made a show of turning his back to her. 

Cassandra wanted to know why he was so enthusiastic. She couldn’t say she wasn’t interested in what was making the man who usually stared daggers at her, smile. He wouldn’t admit it in a session and frankly, she needed to know what made him happy if only for professional purposes. She took the pool cure he’d offered for her and waited until his hand placed the last ball down. Immediately she shot, a solid color ball going into a corner pocket, another nearing the middle pocket. “You were laughing when I came in,” she said, lining up her second shot. She hit again, sinking another ball. Not wanting to cripple the man’s ego she purposefully missed her next shot, but allowed the ball to near the pocket. “Why?”


It’s a good day || Atticus & Dr Cass

fiery-inferno:

doctordispassionate:

fiery-inferno:

Laughing at the fact that he had just beaten someone at pool, he put the cue up in the air and let out a cheer, pissing the other guy off who tossed the cue onto the table and stomped off in a mood. Reaching over, Atticus snatched the cigarettes he had won from him, not like he could smoke them at the moment but he’d find a way. 

Looking around for his next victim, he scanned the day room then pointed the cue at a familiar face, Doctor Wood. “Hey Doc come and play with me.” It didn’t look as if she was doing something to him so he motioned to get her to come over, offering her the other cue. “I’ll let you break.” He said that as if he was trying to make it sound tempting. 

Cassandra had told a patient that she would put their books back in the day room. The patient was very attached to the books and as they were being carted away by guards, they yelled out that they wanted the books they’d brought returned to the day room. Cassandra wasn’t sure why they didn’t want the books in their room but she didn’t really get to ask any questions. 

She hadn’t expected another patient to put a fucking pool cue in her face. Cassandra frowned, unable to hide her displeasure with the stick’s intrusion of her personal space. “As tempting as that is, Atticus. I’m not in here to play games.” He was in a peculiarly joyous mood. It was odd and in a way, it worried her. Atticus Arkin was never happy to see her, nor she him but there he was, pool cue in hand, offering to let her go first.

“Come on Cassie…” He waved the cue to her and patted the table with his other hand. “If you win you get me in your room with no protests for the next three sessions.” Atticus offered. “IF you win that is, if you don’t, I get to walk out when stuff comes up that I don’t wanna talk about…deal?” When he said that word after a slight pause, his brow went up, almost challenging the woman.

By now, he had taken the cue out of her face, it had been a mere inch or so away but that was the element of surprise he was going for, instead he had been greeted by a pissed face. His brow dropped and his eyes turned a bit bigger than usual. “Please?”

"Doctor Wood," Cassandra corrected. She pointed a finger at the man, "You cannot play for the right to walk out when you feel like it, Atticus," she said sternly. The idea that he thought he was entitled to ‘win’ his way out of sessions. It was an insult to her professionalism and any work they had started or would start in the future. She wanted to reach out, grab the cue and break it over his head.

She held back the repulsion she felt as the man attempted to give her his version of puppy dog eyes. Not only did she feel annoyed that Atticus thought it would work, she lost respect for anyone on whom it had worked before. She’d stood up to far better attempts. “I do have a job, Mr. Arkin,” she replied with a sigh. “Can you not find someone else to play pool with you?” 


It’s a good day || Atticus & Dr Cass

fiery-inferno:

Laughing at the fact that he had just beaten someone at pool, he put the cue up in the air and let out a cheer, pissing the other guy off who tossed the cue onto the table and stomped off in a mood. Reaching over, Atticus snatched the cigarettes he had won from him, not like he could smoke them at the moment but he’d find a way. 

Looking around for his next victim, he scanned the day room then pointed the cue at a familiar face, Doctor Wood. “Hey Doc come and play with me.” It didn’t look as if she was doing something to him so he motioned to get her to come over, offering her the other cue. “I’ll let you break.” He said that as if he was trying to make it sound tempting. 

Cassandra had told a patient that she would put their books back in the day room. The patient was very attached to the books and as they were being carted away by guards, they yelled out that they wanted the books they’d brought returned to the day room. Cassandra wasn’t sure why they didn’t want the books in their room but she didn’t really get to ask any questions. 

She hadn’t expected another patient to put a fucking pool cue in her face. Cassandra frowned, unable to hide her displeasure with the stick’s intrusion of her personal space. “As tempting as that is, Atticus. I’m not in here to play games.” He was in a peculiarly joyous mood. It was odd and in a way, it worried her. Atticus Arkin was never happy to see her, nor she him but there he was, pool cue in hand, offering to let her go first.


Atticus & Cass

fiery-inferno:

doctordispassionate:

As Atticus dropped his arm, Cassandra figured he was done and stopped applying the aloe to his shoulder. She listened to him, staying quiet as long as he was speaking. Her questions had been answered. Atticus’ scars did serve as a reminder but they were a pleasant reminder to him. They were similar to the wounds inflicted by devout religious men who sought to punish themselves for their sins. 

“Why do you think you need to be punished? What do you need to be punished for?” She asked softly. Cassandra didn’t want to seem like she was pushing the man but rather inquiring in a gentle, conversational way. 

“Because I killed people in the fires I starts, many people but I didn’t care at the time until I came to my senses.” Atticus picked up his shirt and pulled it back on then along with his jumper. “Well it’s not exactly loosened the skin but it’s soothed it a bit.” He flexed his fingers which looked a bit tough to do but the more he did it, the looser they became.

“That’s much better, it feels like they stick some times you know?” Atticus picked up his jumper but hesitated, there no need to hide them now she had seen it so he put the jumper on his lap. “I am a good man you know? I just put up that front to keep people away. I need to keep them away because I never know what will happen if they got too close.”

Cassandra first addressed the issue of her patient’s skin. “Well perhaps over time it’ll help. It’s good for burns. If you want I’ll get you a bottle that you can keep here.” She knew if she kept a bottle for him rather than prescribe him one that Atticus may eventually be more inclined to not pitch a fit during his sessions or office visits. He would begin to associate the visits with his comfort or so she hoped. 

"When you say come to your senses, you mean that you lose yourself when you’re manipulating fire? Sort of like a black out?" Cassandra knew that many addicts had similar experiences, out of body experiences in which it seemed like they were being driven into something by a force beyond their control. When the man confessed to purposefully pushing others away, she was not surprised. She could tell from the moment she met Atticus that that was his game. 

"You admit you don’t know, so how can you be sure it wouldn’t be a good thing to hold people close?" It was always odd, telling someone to let people in. Cassandra had no personal life and many people in her position had issues with their own personal lives. It was strange telling a patient to let someone in when she herself thought it was a lost cause. But Atticus was different. She could see how some of her patients would benefit from intimacy and that was why she suggested it. 


Atticus & Cass

fiery-inferno:

doctordispassionate:

“Regret letting me do this,” Cassandra repeated with a small smile as she continued to rub the aloe into the man’s shoulder as delicately as she could. “I’m not torturing you, Atticus. I’m trying to help. You can relax.” 

The doctor listened to the man as he described the incident which had given him his scars. She was glad that he was answering her. She knew that eventually he would but she was slightly surprised to hear his honesty so soon. Cassandra reached down when he showed her the underside of his arm and held it gently so they both could look at it as she asked, “Was this before or after you discovered that you were drawn to fire?”

The woman wondered if it had been the cause of his penchant for flames or if it was a result of it. She also wondered why, if it did occur after he realized his love of fire, Atticus didn’t recognize how dangerous his addiction was. “How did you feel after, immediately after and presumably after you’d been taken care of medically?”

“After…YEARS after, I knew I liked fire from like…five, six years old when I set fire to a foster parents house.” He shrugged. “It was fun at the time…there we go, it felt fun.” Atticus looked at her. “It still feels fun even though I’m 36 years old and a grown arse man.” He pointed to himself then dropped his arm now he was done.

“I feel sometimes that I need to be punished so when I burn myself, I feel so much better about it.” He pointed to the various scars and burns he had inflicted upon himself in places.

As Atticus dropped his arm, Cassandra figured he was done and stopped applying the aloe to his shoulder. She listened to him, staying quiet as long as he was speaking. Her questions had been answered. Atticus’ scars did serve as a reminder but they were a pleasant reminder to him. They were similar to the wounds inflicted by devout religious men who sought to punish themselves for their sins. 

"Why do you think you need to be punished? What do you need to be punished for?" She asked softly. Cassandra didn’t want to seem like she was pushing the man but rather inquiring in a gentle, conversational way.