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Welcome to Tallygarunga, an original roleplay set in the Harry Potter universe. Set in present-day Australia, tensions are high between the Ministry of Magic and the only Ministry-run wizarding school in the country. Become like the other snooty private schools? Not a chance.

Originally established in August 2006, Tallygarunga prides itself on an inclusive and active community. Once part of the Tally family, always part of the Tally family. Whether you're here for the first time, the thousandth time, or returning after a long time---welcome home.
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Tallygarunga
a non-canon au potterverse roleplay
October, 2019 :: Spring

Caitlin Sullivan

Tally Staff
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Everything posted by Caitlin Sullivan

  1. Invite Cornered

    "Actually, making foam is taught in a lot of muggle schools, science projects and all," Caitlin lifted a brow and then shook her head gently, "Students aren't chased for learning something new, it's when someone is very obviously trying to hide something that concerns are raised." She pointed out, "If you had simply asked a teacher if they could help you out then there would have been no cause for concern. Granted, any teacher would be curious as to why you want to learn something as particular as that spell, and rightfully so considering the kinds of trouble once can potentially get into with an invisibility or cloaking spell. It's the job of the staff here to ensure the safety of the students as well as their development, and keep them out of trouble. No one is trying to hinder anyone's learning, we're here to assist with it." The woman inhaled gently, but then she set her notebook on the floor beside her chair and rested her hands on her lap as she listened to Max, offering a nod. "I'm happy to hear that you have an older sister to look out for you, honestly," One of Cate's biggest concerns so far was that Max may have been trying to do everything on her own, and that was no way for a teenager to have to grow up. She relaxed her shoulders as she listened still, and nodded again, "Whatever you would like to do, I'm only happy to assist with. Whether it's contacting your parents for you so that you don't have to speak to them if you don't want to, or if it's gathering all the information that you need to file for emancipation." Caitlin smiled kindly toward the teenager, "My primary concern is for your wellbeing, which... I know is probably a difficult concept considering what I've read from your school records and what you've told me of how your parents view you." No child should be made to feel like their own parents would sell them to a body part collector of all things. "I had, and still have, no intention of reprimanding you for the forgery either," Cate said gently, "So long as we can organise for either a designated guardian who does care enough to be involved in your life and wellbeing, or alternatively emancipation and setting you up to be able to support yourself independently, then no one has to know. You can finish your school year without any issue." The woman watched, could pick up on the cues that the girl had been feeling uneasy, and so had hoped to lessen that somewhat, "And you aren't obligated to tell me everything either, Maxine. I only ask because I see a bright, vibrant young woman who I would like to see do well for herself, despite having been made to feel the way your parents have done to you. You deserve better, and if there's a way I can help with that, then my door's always open." She knew what it was like, to rely on oneself, to feel like only maybe one or two people even cared that you were alive, she'd wrapped herself in her own cocoon as a teenager as well, and still did somewhat. "I'm sorry if I've made you uncomfortable in any way, too. I guess you just remind me a little of myself at your age," A genuine apology was offered to the girl, with a soft half chuckle, before her gaze fell on the girl's hands and something that glinted from one of her fingers. Tilting her head curiously, she realised that she could feel magic coming off of it, and not just any kind. It was Fae. How curious, "That's pretty," She smiled gently as she pointed it out and then looked back to Max, "A gift?"
  2. Invite Path of the Ancients: The First Step

    Caitlin Sullivan
    It had taken a little time to settle back into life after her return, even if it hadn't felt like any time had passed for her. Time had certainly changed a few things here, some of which she was still trying to catch up on. But now that she was back at work and Aisling was going to Tally after some tutoring from her mother on a few basics that she needed to know, Caitlin had finally been able to sit down and work out the process by which she would need to tackle some of the larger objectives that she'd already had before she went missing. Among those was being able to sit and talk to Dylan about all that had happened, which she had decided she would do today while she waited for Alex to come for the healing he required. As it stood, there were seemingly some wizards who already had a vendetta against the Sorceraic families - though perhaps more specifically Adele and her brood - but there were also others out there. Cate and Cassandra still had those who wanted them hunted down, and they didn't even know the extent of the women's genealogy either. And it would help Dylan to better protect them if he did know, the last thing anyone wanted was mistakes that could make things worse due to lack of communication. Having filled a teapot and got a few cups and some freshly baked cookies on a platter, the woman set it on the coffee table in her living room to pour herself a cup while she waited. The front door was open, which would be easily seen through the screen door, as was the door to the backyard, so that the cool spring breeze could flow through the house. Cate took a sip of her drink before setting her cup down and relaxing on the sofa. Perhaps she should have been concerned about telling Dylan too much, but her concern wasn't so much about him knowing, because she didn't believe he would ever harm her. But more that she didn't want to be a larger burden than she may already be. Especially with he having a brother here now that he was looking out for. Yet another thing that Caitlin had missed with her disappearance. She sighed softly, waiting for the knock at the door that would inevitably come, before calling out easily. "Door's open! I'm in the living room!"
  3. Invite Cornered

    "A spell that can make a person there, but not there..." Caitlin's brows rose as she considered the teenager and why she would need that kind of spell or charm, though currently it seemed like it was more about trying to sneak around, which could potentially get her into a lot of trouble with the school. The woman inhaled deeply, before breathing out slow as she thought about this. "Why did you want to test something like that specifically? It's not a standard spell that's taught at this age. And definitely raises a lot of questions," She watched Max a moment, and the girl's reaction to her knowledge of the signature being falsified. The news of her being kicked out, however, instantly caused the woman's back to straighten as she opened her notebook and began writing something down. "But you are not eighteen yet, and if they have already basically kicked you out... including removing all your belongings from their house and abandoning responsibility over you, then they are breaking the law, Maxine. They can receive a fine, and jail time for that," Cate explained as she wrote, "Until you are eighteen, they either have to maintain responsibility over you, or sign the care of you over to a responsible adult." The woman finished taking the notes, which involved potentially calling Child Protective Services, and looked up at the girl. "And it's not about what I would find in your room if I checked there, it's about seeing what happened in there for myself," The woman explained in a way, "That's why I'm asking you to be honest with me, because it will be much better on you to do so. You're nearing the end of school, the last thing I want is for you to be suspended, but you need to work with me so that we can avoid it. That explosion could have harmed more people than just yourself, it was reckless to do in the dormitories, where there are other students around." Still, even as she explained, Caitlin's voice was gentle, the woman genuinely trying to figure out how she could help Maxine and why the girl was not only performing experimental charms that apparently made one disappear, but also learn more of her home life, which was sounding worse by the minute. "It's not about whether you're going to do anything bad by going out, it's the fact that while you're here you are legally our responsibility to keep safe, as well as your parents' unless they have assigned you another guardian, and I've found nothing in your files stating anything as such. And with what you've told me, I think I'm going to have to call Child Protective Services, which is going to get your parents in a lot of legal trouble. It also means you'll need an adult watching over you in the meantime so that they don't try anything," Caitlin nodded gently, already her mind was going over the details of what was going to have to be done, before she placed pen to paper again, "So where are you storing the things that won't fit in your dormitory? There's only a limited space in them, and I'm sure you have more than what can be kept on the school grounds?"
  4. Invite Cornered

    Making sure that they actually were alone before taking her seat to speak with Max, Caitlin then studied the girl as they spoke, watching her carefully for anything that might indicate problems or issues. She couldn't really search for anything physical, since the teen was beat up from the explosion, but any kinds of tells that would give her the idea of underlying anxiety or attempts to falsify anything. Interestingly - and amusingly - enough, she was very casual about being vague with her answer to Cate's question, which made the older woman almost smirk slightly. She'd continued on, however, as though to force the subject to a close, and Cate's brows rose. "Well, that's what I gathered from what I heard about it, but I was actually wondering exactly what kind of spell, since there are not really many that should have the kind of reaction that prevents someone from even having the injuries healed," Caitlin's head tilted as she regarded Maxine, and it was rather clear that the woman was no dope. She had already figured that it was likely a spell that was far too advanced to be practising on school grounds or without proper supervision, or that it was one that was not allowed. She then slipped her fingers into her notebook and pulled out the document that was forged. "I'm going to need your trust and honesty regarding this matter, especially since I also know that you forged your parents' signature here," Caitlin tapped the piece of paper, though there was still no anger or impatience. She was calm and gentle, as though having a feeling that there was likely something deeper going on than simply a student who was acting out or doing what they shouldn't. "I haven't contacted them yet, but the forgery is actually quite serious, especially because of the permissions it grants. I know you've had trouble in a number of other schools, so I want to try and help you out so that you don't have to go through the same thing here," She smiled understandingly toward the teenager. "I really do need some explanations in order to assist you though, and I would rather hear them from you than have to see your room and find out for myself what you were doing, or have to call your family to find out why you feel like you need to have these permissions or why they might not grant them," Caitlin spoke gently, careful because she didn't want to scare Maxine, but to just let her understand that she was trying to keep her from ending up in more trouble than she needed, especially at this time of the year. If she missed her exams or was suspended now, it was going to affect her graduation.
  5. Invite Cornered

    Upon hearing about the incident in the Spencer girl's dormitory, it was of course Caitlin's duty to look up her records... and goodness weren't they some records. It seemed like young Max had a number of issues through her schooling, namely not staying in schools for an overly long time before she had to move on to another due to being suspended or expelled. This was already not good. Though, what had also caught her attention was when her fingertips brushed over a permission slip supposedly from her parent, saying that she was allowed out after curfew, only to discover that Maxine had forged their signature. Normally this was a grounds to contact her parents to discuss the girl's behaviour, however there was something else she picked up from the echo, and once she had read enough, the woman made her way toward the Hospital Wing. It was upon arriving there that she learned very quickly from the staff that the girl had been making something of a nuisance of herself as well, though in honesty, Caitlin could sympathise. She had never enjoyed being cooped up, especially in a medical ward. And it looked like Max knew that she was thereto see her as well, which should have been expected to happen anyway. A student injuring themselves tended to require the attention of a counselor in order to make sure they're feeling alright. Even more so with Cate's further questions she had in mind. "Could we have some privacy for a bit?" Cate asked the nurses gently. After all, it was more likely that Max might actually talk to her if she knew they weren't being listened in on. Besides, this was basically a counselling session, which meant she was entitled to her privacy. Caitling waited until the nurses had given them space, before moving toward the bed with a warm and gentle smile for the girl, "Hello Maxine, I'm Caitlin, the school's counselor. I'm not sure we've met properly before," She said easily as she brought a chair over beside the girl's bed. "I'm just here to talk and see how you're doing. That looks like it was some nasty accident that you were caught up by. What exactly were you doing for that kind of explosion?" She queried, crossing one knee over the other and setting her notebook on top of her lap without opening it yet.
  6. From the Abyss...

    "In case you've forgotten, I work best when I've got a lot on my plate," Caitlin offered a gentle soft chuckle at her herself and her tendency to be a major workaholic, however she shook her head to the question of whether it was a place that played with memories. She didn't know, it wasn't really a question she could answer confidently, and yet she had a feeling that was probably a decent enough guess. "i wouldn't say it if I wasn't certain," The woman sighed and tutted gently at Dylan, wondering if he forgot that she didn't really say or do something unless she meant it or there was a reason. She knew to everyone else it had been a long time, but it hadn't for her. She at least wanted him to trust that nothing had changed on her side between them. Of course, that was a discussion for when they could get some time alone, just the two of them. With any lucky, he might decide to stay the night and they could talk later. But then again, he had his young brother to worry about now as well. Speaking of... "Bitey, aren't we?" Cassandra raised a brow at Senan, but shrugged off his demeanour, waving it off as not her concern for the time being. If the Faerie boy wanted to act like someone had taken a dump in his Cheerios, then that was his prerogative. She had to sigh at Alex as her nose scrunched up a little though and she pouted at him, "Well, I didn't mean right at this moment. I know that things need to calm down a little now she's back and all. Just, you know..." She huffed a quiet breath, resting her head on Alex's shoulder as he squeezed it. Was it wrong for her to want to make sure it didn't get put off for another half a year? Still, it was a conversation she preferred to the one that people were having about her carrying some 'mark' and calling her an Heir and the girls Royals. That was a whole other can of worms she didn't think she wanted to deal with. Anything spoken to Stardust seemed to have maybe followed her out the door, or fallen upon the ears of the distracted as the woman wandered out, Caitlin watching her, and then Senan as the boy apparently decided he was going to follow the Elder Fae. She was at least glad that Dylan agreed on pizza however, and nodded gently as she offered an appreciative smile toward him, before glancing over at the young girl who had come back with her, Aisling sipping her tea quietly and observing. "Well, I missed their birth, I'd say that's an important thing..." Caitlin says softly as she looks at the pair, hand reaching out to stroke gently at the cheek of one, and then the other while they peered back up at her, "Uncommonly aware too, though I should expect that I guess." She murmured. She then looked around at the people still standing, and offered a soft laugh, "Please, sit down and relax or something, or I'm going to feel like you all feel trapped here." She said, before reaching for a menu on the table for a local pizza place. "Oh! Sorry," Cassandra jumped, as though she had been spacing out for a moment until Cate called them out on standing around. She then glanced at Alex, "We're good for pizza, yea-...oh! You have a gig, don't you?" She then remembered, especially with the reminder of his guitar that was slung over his back. Was he late? Had he missed it? Was there still time? "You don't need to stick around if you want to go to the performance, babe." She offered an apologetic look toward her husband as she gave him a small squeeze with her arm and leaned up to press a kiss to his cheek, appreciative that he came here anyway, even though he had already had something on.
  7. From the Abyss...

    "If you need any help, Dylan..." Caitlin began gently, glancing between he and his brother, before then offering him a soft smile as she lifted a shoulder in a small shrug, "I mean, I am an investigator, and do have gifts that are quite handy in tracing back events and individuals." She knew that he would never ask her for help, so she had to at least offer it, though she felt he might try to dissuade her. Likely try to point out that she has enough on her plate already, but he knew her better, that she was stubborn and would find a way to take care of all the things that she needed to as well as help him with anything that he or his brother could use assistance with. "I... honestly can't recall exactly what happened after going out to the garden. I was there on my own, and then I opened my eyes and I was back there with Aisling," Cate rubbed her head a little, it ate at her that she couldn't recall the in-between. Even Aisling, as quiet as she was, while she had answers to some things it seemed she was struggling a little herself, still getting her bearings in this new world she'd never set foot in. "And I want to tell you because I want to," The woman huffed at Dylan. Really, he didn't have to go telling her that she didn't need to tell him things. Not when she'd already implied that she intended to anyway. Releasing a soft breath as she sat down, she realised that agitation was beginning to set in due to the missing pieces. She was a puzzle solver, someone who found pieces, it would drive her up the wall if she kept trying to think on it. "Yes, I have learned," Aisling said gently in response to Senan, offering a small smile to him, "You are kind." She added softly, before also moving to a seat and picking up the tea that suddenly appeared on the table next to her, taking a sip and smiling at the flavour. "Well, I know that you're more Fae than human, for one," Cassandra said candidly to Senan, though there was a hint of concern in her gaze as she studied him a few moments with her own tri-coloured gaze. Unaware of it, her own aura since her arrival was much stronger than it had been months ago, something that Caitlin had noticed already, but had chosen to remain silent on. There was something very similar between Cass' and Stardust's, and she wasn't even sure where to begin with the claim that the clearly ancient faerie had made on them. "And you need to get yourself looked at by Cate sooner or later, babe," Cass murmured to Alex, "I'd feel much more at ease if it was sooner. Especially now that we have the girls." It was understandable, right? Wanting to make sure he would be around for a long time to come. "Oh, absolutely, there's likely a very good reason why Cassandra, who has lived outside of Faerie, carries a mark, while young Aisling doesn't," Stardust agreed with Senan's words with a light nod as she piped in once again, "But I assure you, it's not age that afflicts my mind. I woke up one day, oh... some decades ago? Maybe less? Maybe more..." The short raven-haired fae peered upward in thought, before then shaking her head and casting her gaze straight onto the young lad, and the weight of that gaze could be felt, "And no memory. I surmised quite a long time ago that I likely did it to myself, for what reason I cannot rightly say. Perhaps it is similar to the affliction which leaves gaps in the memories of Caitlin and Aisling." Though she sounded so casual with the lilt in her voice, at the same time there was a heaviness in the air at her very words, as though some of that ancient power stored within the small body was confirming her words. Senan's theory of being one of the 'Firsts' simply drew a slow smile from her as she studied her tea, however, before taking another sip. "Guarding against something coming out," Stardust confirmed Dylan's suggestion with the simple words and nod, "A door unlocked is a dangerous thing to have. There are creatures of Faerie that should not be loose on this world. Not the least of all, many of the Fae kin themselves. When the Old Courts split, there became many smaller ones. Some more monstrous than others..." She then tilted her head to the side, "Hm..." "You don't have to go," Caitlin said softly as she looked up toward Dylan, and then Senan, "I'm rather starving, and we could all have something to eat?" She offered, glancing around, though she watched as Stardust's gaze shifted toward the garden, before the Elder fae stepped out the sliding door to the patio which led out to it. Cate breathed out a sigh, there were still questions, but the Fae was likely to answer them or offer information upon her own whim, so she knew not to press her too much. Caitlin also wanted to see the babies properly, and so the reached over for the stroller to roll it toward her, smiling softly at the girls with their odd coloured eyes and hair, glancing around briefly once more, "Anyone want pizza?"
  8. From the Abyss...

    "I can only imagine," Caitlin murmured in response to the information Dylan shared, even though vague she had some understanding of what he meant. Two sides had been playing games of plot and deception, and this poor boy was the result of it, stuck in the middle. For that, the woman felt for Senan, despite his thorny demeanour. At Dylan's comment of how she felt, however, Cate blinked at him before then shaking her head gently, "There was a lot that happened, that I was still trying to get my own head around before exposing you to the confusion of it all. And then... well, for me it hasn't been seven months, I'm still wearing the same clothes I was when I vanished." She glanced over herself, but offered a look toward Dylan that said she would explain everything to him when they had the chance to be alone. With so many people around, it was too much for her to start talking about all that happened months ago for them. "I cannot argue that," Aisling smiled gently at Senan and his biting remark about curiosity. His attitude seemed to be going right over top of the girl's head, though Cassandra certainly noticed it and a brow rose at the boy as she studied him. "So who took a shite in your cereal?" Cass asked him, before huffing a quiet chuckle and offering a shake of her head, "Let me guess, Sturt." At least, if he was attending school, she imagined that's exactly where he was with all the other brooding, angsty, angry-at-their-parents kids, who needed to bite every hand that was offered. She sighed softly and relaxed into her lean against Alex, "Hey, now Cate's back, she can finish her work on you, you know." The redhead reminded her husband with a raised brow. She was rather aware that while he was learning how to use his magic well, he didn't always think about how much he used, and she wanted to have him around for a long time. "Of course I can, and will... there's a lot I have to do," Cate said almost distractedly as she thought, "I still need to get your father as well... and then he and I can begin working on how to bring Thia back," That was a goal she had set in her mind still, offering Alex a small reassuring smile that she intended to do everything she could to get the woman back to them. Of course, this was all still over the heads of half the room and she shot everyone else an apologetic look. "She has the mark as well," Aisling pointed out, indicating toward Stardust who was still casually sipping her tea before attention was brought her way and her brows rose. In fact, now that Aisling was studying her, there was a slight look of concern that came across the girl's features in the presence of the ancient Faerie. She shifted her gaze away as she appeared to try and work something out in her head. Still, both Senan's and Dylan's words reached her ears and she looked up toward the older man, "Incorrect." She said softly, "The mark can skip generations. It does not show for every Childe who is born of the line. It is like... they get Chosen. You should know this," She says the latter to Senan. "The young one is absolutely correct," Stardust piped up lightly from the background, "I surmise that's perhaps how the Sullivan lasses came to move themselves to this area in the first place. As I said months ago, Dylan. They are mine. I just..." She offers a gentle shrug, "Don't have my memory, though piece by piece is gradually returning." She mused, as though simply discussing the weather. "I'm... a little lost, so... the wand shop owner appears to be a ruler who has no memory, and Cass can potentially create her own piece of Faerie..." Caitlin rubbed her forehead as she moved to a chair in order to sit down. She felt exhausted, and offered a sigh before picking up the cup of tea that suddenly appeared beside her in order to take a sip. "Alright... I guess we just handle one thing at a time then. There's nothing right now that's going to mean the end of the world, right?" "Probably not the end of the world, but Cassandra and I might have to work on keeping that door guarded," Stardust mused, her gaze far off in thought once again.
  9. From the Abyss...

    The comfort that Dylan was able to offer at least set Caitlin a little at ease, especially with her mind still catching up with things and the fact that she now had a daughter that she felt she was going to need to explain as best she could with the little knowledge she had on that matter. So far as she knew, it was possibly a similar scenario to her own mother, which was another part of the puzzle that she had to share with him. There was so much she needed to say, and no doubt there was on his side as well, but it would have to wait until a little later. She knew her return would be felt, and that there would be a number of people here, a couple more than she had expected to be honest. "I can see..." Cate responded to Dylan's explanation of his younger brother with mild intrigue. That his father - who hunted the kinds of beings that she and hers were - would go to bed with one, and then produce a child as well. She had to wonder if there weren't some kinds of shenanigans going on either one side or the other. Perhaps both. Her cheeks did flush a fraction at Aisling's candid questioning, especially with Cass right there too, but she smiled and also nodded in confirmation, deciding that her niece would have to find out eventually anyway. "Yes, he and I are seeing one another... or were... he might have grown cold feet in the past seven months," She offered a gentle joke, but there was at least a hint of concern about whether there was truth in her words as well. "I am truly sorry for whatever your family has done to you... but if you were without answers to an entire side of your lineage, I'm sure you would be at least mildly curious," Aisling responded softly to Senan's biting words. She could understand wishing to be away from something that one didn't enjoy or felt was toxic, but when one didn't have that knowledge at all. How were they supposed to know? As far as she could tell so far though, her mother, cousin, all those who had turned up appeared kind. Even Senan, despite his bitterness. "Proud Papa here can't get enough of them whenever he's home," Cass snickered at Alex's mighty proud proclamation about the twins, not that she disagreed by any degree whatsoever. She'd fallen in love with them long before they were born. The hug her husband received from Cate also caused her to grin widely while he wasn't sure what to do, though she swatted at his shoulder with his joke, "Definitely not a good joke for you still." Cassandra huffed, moving over beside him once he was released from her aunt's hold, in order to lean against Alex slightly, wrapping an arm around his waist while she came to grips with all the suddenness of Caitlin's return, the new family member, her aunt finally admitting she was in a relationship - or... yeah, Cass supposed Cate and Dylan had some talking to do there. And then something about royals? "That was you, Cass? I knew you were testing your abilities out there since over a year ago, but didn't realise your abilities had increased so much," Caitlin blinked at her niece, while she tried to put together the pieces of what Dylan had noted, and what Stardust had said, as well as Aisling. Still, the younger teenager stood and looked around, seemingly understanding that only a couple of people kind of understood what she meant. "She created the new doorway, it means she is the Heir," Aisling said softly, pointing a finger in Cassandra's direction, causing the young mother to stare at her and then around at the others, including her own husband. "I mean... I just, you know... did my thing..." "There are plants out there that only exist inside Faerie," Came Stardust's voice, though much more contemplative than usual as she sipped her tea. There were drinks already made and waiting for everyone else, to their preference without her having even asked. "It's like creating a piece of the Lands here, indeed young Aisling has the right of it. Only an Heir or Ruler has the ability to be able to create such things. That you did it without even the knowledge as well..." She trailed off with a thoughtful hum.
  10. From the Abyss...

    "I'm sorry..." Caitlin was enough in tune with Dylan to know that he had been worried, just by the tender hold and kiss to the cheek which as chaste as it was still even hinted that there was more behind it that would have to wait for a later time, when they could talk in private. She pressed her face to his shoulder for a moment as she gave him another small squeeze before releasing him reluctantly, and nodded in greeting to the small Fae woman who entered, her introduction allowing Cate to determine that this was Dylan's employer. "Everything takes as long as it is meant to," Stardust responded to Dylan's comment with a light wink and amused smile, but quickly busied herself with making drinks for everyone, including the others who were on their way as well. The revelations came as something seemingly expected by her, or she simply didn't want to intrude on discussions while she toddled around, though clearly Cate was surprised by Senan's introduction. "Half brother?" The older redhead queried with a glance toward Dylan, before then offering a kind smile toward Senan, "Well, it is a pleasure to meet you." She said softly, and then indicated toward the others for Aisling, "Well, Senan just introduced himself. The dark haired lass is Stardust, and Senan's brother is Dylan, someone very close to me." Caitlin wasn't sure if that was something she made a point to state because she felt like she should or because she just wanted to, but either way she smiled as she did, before then being almost bowled over by the very not pregnant Cassandra who was as full of energy and vigor as ever, despite the two newborns she was toting around with her. "Are you her lover?" Aisling asked Dylan rather candidly, while Cass continued to squeeze half the life out of her mother. It was merely curiosity, it seemed, though she glanced at Senan who had commented on her apparent 'tampering'. "Would you not wish to find where you came from?" She asked him gently. Her attention shifted quickly, however, at the appearance of another male, one who held a more familiar and similar signature to herself, as well as her mother and cousins. "Seven months..." Cate was almost in shock at the idea of having missed so much time, and pressed a kiss to Cassandra's forehead as the girl finally released her, only to drag her over to see the twins, "Gods, they're gorgeous." The woman gasped. The mixture of colours in the eyes and hair were definitely not human, and yet it was astounding how beautiful the babies were as she bent over the stroller to look them over, before then grabbing Alex's arm before he could try to escape, so that she could pull him in for a hug as well, "Thank you for taking care of them." She murmured to the young man, "I'm happy to see you're doing well too." She knew it must have been stressful at their age, but it seemed they'd got through it all in one piece. "So... you're related... but how?" Cassandra was finally studying the younger redhead who looked a great deal like herself and Cate. And though she'd already made her own guess, she needed a confirmation. She didn't expect the girl to stare at her for a few moments before then kneeling, however. "I... that's new..." "She's your cousin, Aisling, this is Cassandra and Alexander. You can stand up, are you alright?" Cate offered a concerned frown as she offered Aisling a hand in order to try and coax the girl back to her feet. "That must mean you're the one who's really behind the garden, and the doorway," A voice mused from where Stardust was making drinks, before looking at Cass with raised brows.
  11. From the Abyss...

    Though there was clear relief that could be seen in Cate's features at the sight of Dylan, there was also curiosity over his young companion and the sensation she could feel in the air around him. Fae? The slight similarities between the two males weren't missed by the astute woman either as she watched the younger one enter, before hugging the older tightly. Closing her eyes, she allowed herself to indulge for a few moments before being ushered inside with a small sigh. At the same time, she also realised that she was going to have her own things to explain, especially when she spied the red hair of the teenager who was poking her head out from the kitchen to peer curiously at the new arrivals Before the front door could close, however, the return of the strong aura caused Caitlin some pause as she looked behind her toward the cheerful looking raven-haird Faerie, who held up a carton of milk for her to see. "You might want some fresh milk for drinks," Stardust pointed out lightly with a bright smile, "I'm Stardust-..." Her introduction was interrupted as Caitlin spoke up. "The wand shop owner, of course," Perhaps it was simply the fact that Cate felt far more in tune with everything, or sensitive to the world around her, that she was able to truly notice that the small woman was far more than just a simple run of the mill Fae. She gestured for Stardust to join them, her gaze lifting to meet Dylan's curiously once again, before then leading them through to the kitchen where the teenager who was near a spitting image of a younger Caitlin was waiting, quickly shifting her own gaze between the new arrivals. Cate walked over to her and brushed a lock of hair from her features before shifting an arm around her. "This is Aisling," Caitlin said softly as she glanced around, her gaze stopping on Dylan mostly, "She's my daughter... though, we were separated for a long time, since she was a baby I think." Her brow furrowed slightly, clearly struggling with exact knowledge. "I'm really sorry, I hope I didn't cause too much trouble, I-I didn't realise it would pull her in..." The girl spoke softly in apology as she glanced around at the group of people, before her gaze shifted toward the front of the house, along with Cate's attention as well, moments before the door opened and closed and there was a rush of footsteps and... wheels? "OhmygodsCate! You're back!" Cassandra barged into the kitchen, ploughing the way through with the stroller before stopping it a moment so that she could throw herself at Caitlin in a tight hug. Though, it wasn't so much the hug that caught the older woman off guard, as the sight of the stroller itself, as well as the occupants that could only have been a few weeks old at most. Sudden realisation dawned upon the older woman as she began to feel the weight of the time that she must have been gone for, and her eyes shone with unshed tears a moment while she held Cass as well. "H-how long has it been?" Caitlin's voice choked out as she then looked toward Dylan for the answer. Aisling, meanwhile, found her curiosity peaked by the twin girls who were no ordinary Fae babies, by far. She knew who Cassandra was, she wasn't certain how she knew, but she did, and her features shifted into a soft smile toward the babies. "Little royals..." Aisling said softly as she brushed ones cheek with her finger, almost as though in awe. While this had all gone on, Stardust had already begun helping herself to boiling water in order to make tea for everyone, since it seemed there was a load of distractions for everyone else.
  12. From the Abyss...

    Caitlin Sullivan
    7 months earlier... Upon arrival at the home, Stardust had paused and her expression had turned to concern even before entering. She had told Cassandra and Dylan that she felt a shift in the land around it. Something had happened, an opening had been created. It was through her they were able to witness an echo of events as Caitlin seemed to pour through books and drawers like a madwoman, searching for something. What it was they couldn't say, and they followed her frantic searching as she then ran outside into the back yard and than... simply vanished. "She opened a door... no... someone else did..." Had come the soft voice of the Fae woman, before she furrowed her brow. "We cannot follow." Immediately, an argument sparked from Cassandra, but Stardust simply looked at her and then pointed to her barely showing belly at the time. "You cannot risk losing them to Faerie, and I... I cannot remember how to return," This seemed to trouble the small Fae, who then offered her apologies and words that she would let Dylan know as soon as she felt another shift. If Caitlin returned. Today... At the shop, the Fae woman was in the midst of inspecting some new wands that had been crafted, when she paused, her head lifting and gaze staring into the middle distance. She dropped the wand in her hands and ran to the front desk, almost jumping on top of it in order to gain Dylan's attention as she stared at him. There was a mixture of concern, excitement, happiness, and yet fear in her eyes. "The door opened again..." Came the whisper from the dark-haired Fae, "She's returned." Elsewhere, Cassandra felt the shift as well as the familiar tug of her aunt's blood while she was feeding one of the twins and her breath halted for a moment as she looked up. Her chest tightened and relief flooded through her for a few moments. The babe she was feeding stopped, and both turned their strange-coloured gaze to her as though acknowledging that they had felt it too. A soft half-sob bubbled from her lips as she rested back in her seat. She needed to go see her though, and so she summoned the stroller from the hallway and began to settle the two girls in it while reaching out toward Alex with her mind, 'Did you feel it?' At the same time, Cass felt concern... because she didn't just feel the single thread that connected her to Caitlin, but another connecting one as well. In the backyard of the house which had only been maintained by family but otherwise untouched, The red-haired woman blinked, disoriented for a moment as she looked around the back of her home, before then toward the teenager who stood next to her, holding her hand as she fearfully studied the place. The last thing she remembered was that she had been searching for something, and then... then she opened her eyes and found herself here with Aisling. She knew her daughter, naturally, though she couldn't place any memories of her having been living here with herself or Cass. Bringing the girl in close, Caitlin held her while she tried to work out what was missing in her mind, though subconsciously she was aware that it was futile, at least at the moment. She was still dressed exactly the same as when she left, appeared no different, and yet, she knew she had gone somewhere. She didn't like that her garden had overgrown quite a bit, what had happened? "Let's go inside," Caitlin said softly, and then began to lead Aisling in, so that she could at least get them some tea or something, while she tried to straighten her mind which was clearly missing fragments of memory.
  13. Invite An Acceptable Purging

    Caitlin was still somewhat in shock after the whole thing, even though she'd found her feet and thought that she had something of a grip on the situation. There was still a kind of 'buzzing' in the back of her head that was growing steadily more noticeable as time went on. She did see the cake box, however, though not the cake within. Adele's reaction did not give her a lot of confidence in what would be found inside though, and she wondered if she was going to be paying more for coming to their aid, than what she'd bargained for when Cassandra had called upon her. She watched the family though, studying them, the psychologist in her picking up on any small nuances and tells. Immediately, it was easy to see the jealousy of the brown-haired girl who she had already been told about, the daughter of the headmaster of Tally, aimed toward the love and attention that Caleb received from Adele. As well as the apparent close connection she held with another new student at the school but someone she had also been informed about. It was odd how the pair seemed to both fit in and be out of place a little at the same time, and she had to wonder for a moment, at least until she noticed their eyes. Lorelei was aware of the study, but she paid it no attention at the moment. When Lauren's hand squeezed her own, holding tightly, she returned the gesture and then tugged her closer in order to try and get her caught up in Jezebel's hugging too, which would happen if she came within arm's reach of Lorelei's mother. It was just a given, especially with how the events of the day had gone. "Family, hm..." Cate's voice murmured quietly, before a small huff of air was expelled. It was a strange-feeling word to consider when most of her memories of family revolved around the people who she swore were killed. But then, were those people even her family? Had they ever even existed? Or were they something that had been manufactured as a way of coping with memory loss of whatever her true former life had been? Too many questions. But she followed others to the kitchen all the same, before offering Rheldor a small smile and polite nod, "Hello, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Caitlin, Cassandra's aunt." She introduced herself quietly, before glancing over where Cass and Alex had entered, a concerned frown on her lips as she looked at the girl. Cass herself seemed to have decided not to debate too much more over what had happened and where the blame should lie. In the end, she supposed it was Anna's to carry, the woman having intended all along to sacrifice herself if anything went awry. It reminded her of her parents all too much, and their willingness to hide her and take what was coming, rather than risking all of them running and being caught. It left a slight sour taste in her mouth, despite knowing that in the situation with her being the parent she would do the same. Alex would do the same. It was just part of caring for someone who was younger, giving them the chance at life. The mention of her caused her to blink though, the redhead lifting her head a little to glance around before shrugging and moving to the seat, to sit down heavily. "I'm actually not feeling too great, but I guess my husband's going to force me to eat," Cassandra said quietly, a hand on her abdomen. She wasn't lying either, really. After having to watch Alex go through torturous pain, Caleb almost dying... the shock of discovery of her relation to Bethianna, only to watch her fade the same way her own mother had before her eyes. There was a deep nausea in Cass' belly, and a near haunted look in her features now that things appeared to be settling. This was why she hadn't wanted to stop to think, and she wondered if she could get away with excusing herself to lie down.
  14. Invite An Acceptable Purging

    Whatever Millea had expected of Caitlin, the other woman clearly wasn't able to provide. She glanced up at the golden eyed woman with her own deep turquoise, the colour as unnatural and unique as any other Sorceress, and then brows raised briefly as Millea simply left. Feeling as though she may have got her bearings somewhere, Cate pushed herself to stand once again, watching Adele with her son and feeling something like... deja vu? A frown touched her lips briefly, because while she'd thought for a moment of when she'd found Cassandra alive after the attack on her brother's family, the girl that flashed within her mind wasn't her niece. "Over time I can completely seal up the leak in Caleb and Alex for good, but the process does hurt... that was something Thia hadn't worked out how to prevent," Maybe one day someone would be able to work out how to properly prevent the wound that males were born with, or even how to treat it or assist them through Acceptance without causing them so much pain, but right now there was at least the promise that they could be treated so that they wouldn't fade. Cate straightened her shoulders slightly. Although her mind was still trying to organise and process a great deal, she could at least try to keep herself together for now. She didn't know most of the people in the room, and those she did she only barely knew. She did look over at Améa as the woman spoke though, before her hand tightened around the crystals again. "She's not dead... beings of pure magic can't die, they-..." Caitlin's words cut off as her head tilted, a frown on her lips as she suddenly thought how strange it was that the woman's 'end' had been so very similar to that of Cassandra's mother. She recalled the woman having been completely drained, faded. "... fade." She mused. She then opened her hand to look at the crystals again, "Her power was expended, passed on to another, so the nature of her existence changed." And in this case, that took the form of a natural crystal, which she could feel the faintest hint of her Mother within. "She's content with the outcome," She then added quietly, to at least try to offer some kind of comfort. --- "Hey," Cass frowned as Alex said that he should apologise, and her fingers clasped at his chin to make him look directly at her, "You shouldn't be apologising for anything here. And I know what you're thinking... that you're the cause of so many deaths and so on, but that is in no way true. Do you think she came here today without some idea the likely outcome? You can't apologise for being born, for what you inherited. Everyone made choices... and..." She paused and a flash of inner pain caused her to wince, "If anything, it was my fault for not having restrained Caleb better, or not taken him out when it was looking bad... Caitlin's arrival kept Anna from having to sacrifice herself for you, but then he slipped from my hands..." The redhead sighed and shook her head. "I'm going to smack you if I suspect you blaming yourself," Cass said, her gaze narrowing at Alex. However, the contact with the twins at least seemed to remind him that there was still something good in this outcome. He would be here to watch them grow up, to chase the boys away from them and all, though she sighed as he suggested she go check on her aunt and that she could learn more now. Cassandra rolled her eyes as she gave Alex a 'really?' look, and then plopped herself carefully on his lap. "I've got my entire existence to learn more about myself, and Cate... is throwing out some serious 'give me space to sort things out' vibes right now. I'm right where I want to be," The woman assured him, before noticing the movement at the side gate and the man who suddenly appeared. Just Rheldor's appearance alone gave away what his possible project must be and she couldn't help but grin at his enthusiasm and pride as he guessed exactly right on Alex's survival and made his way over. Even if he was oblivious of the current mood, he was a presence that seemed to be uplifting in just his mere vicinity. She would wait for Alex to open the box, and then duck her head with a grin and silent chuckle at the sight of the cake, before burying her face at the side of Alex's neck to hide her chuckling for a moment until she could speak without laughing. "You should have told me what you planned, you could have helped me and Caleb with the one we were making, Pops," Cass said lightly with a small grin to the man, "You can help us decorate it though, we got distracted from that." She then nudged Alex, "Want me to get a knife? You have to take the first piece, you know."
  15. Invite An Acceptable Purging

    Sensing herself that Alex was strong enough to sustain himself now, and with the knowledge that she'd done enough to keep his energy from leaking, Caitlin finally released her hold on him and drew back quickly, shuffling away until her back hit the wall, followed by her head as she closed her eyes. She didn't look over toward the faded shell of her mother - she couldn't - nor could she be in contact with any of the other people in the room right now. Even with so much energy having been used, there was still a store left within her that she didn't know what to do with. Not only that, the shock of everything that had happened, that had been revealed, was almost completely overwhelming her sense of reason and it was taking everything she had to not bolt out of there and hide. Not that she was certain where she would go or if she could even walk right now. "Shit..." Came a whisper from the woman, Irish accent thick with emotion and confusion. She'd known that there was something different about Alex and his family. And now she could feel it. But she wasn't like he or Adele or her daughters who had a mortal parent, nor exactly like the pure Sorceresses, Lillian and Millea, or like her mother had been, though perhaps closer to being like them. She was something else again, and as she brought her knees up to lean her forearm on them, lifting her other hand to her face, she struggled between what her heart knew but her mind had forgotten. She knew she'd been missing Thia for over a century, but she couldn't remember anything aside from the years growing up in this world. Aside from those tiny snippets that flashed during their connection, she had nothing. Cassandra offered Adele a small smile and gently rubbed the other woman's back lightly for a moment, before she then crawled over to Alex. The circle was broken, people were upset, relieved, mixed. She'd just lost a grandmother she'd never known she had, Caitlin was in pain, but clearly in need of space. But Alex was in pain, and not just physical. Cass looked over him, before then lying down beside him and pulling her husband into her arms to hug him tightly, offering comfort that she knew he needed right now. Staring as Bethianna's form shimmered away beneath Lea's hand, Jezebel slowly sank down onto a couch, her own eyes glassy, completely speechless in the light of all that had gone on. Her hand tugged at Lorelei's, to draw her own daughter onto her lap and hold her tightly. This was the potential price for loving a mortal too much... to the point that you would give your life for theirs. It's what Lorelei could have ended up potentially doing, if the curse that had been used had been any stronger. The teenager allowed her mother to take comfort in her, though one hand continued to hold onto Lauren's, a small tug as though to invite her to sit with them as well. Jezebel would gladly hug them both, Lei knew that much. "It is sad for losing Thia," Lorelei's voice said softly, mournful. "But new beginning also. We have two surviving male Sorcerors and Thia's blood family..." She tried to look at some of the more positive aspects, though she knew it would not help to fill the hole that Bethianna had left with those who were closest to her. She watched as the gem was handed to Caitlin, who stared at it in her hand, next to the other she still held that was pale purple. "Three," Caitlin responded quietly, her voice hoarse from the pain she was holding in. "My brother..." She whispered, and as she jostled the gems in her hand and they tapped together, another flash or memory ran through her mind. Bethianna holding two infants in her arms, the boy only about a year or so older than the newborn girl, while he played with the bright violet pendant that hung from her neck. Being told the story of how the boy had given her renewed hope, that thanks to him she would be able to have her twin back once she was able to leave. Caitlin's hand clamped around the gems as she inhaled a shuddered gasp before swallowing thickly. She felt Cassandra's own sudden heartache, as well as mixture of surprise and fear at the mention of the girl's father. All this time they'd believed him to be dead, but Cate knew otherwise now. He couldn't die, not entirely. But he wouldn't be able to bring himself back on his own. "I have to get him..." The woman croaked quietly. He'd been buried for fifteen years, but she knew that his body would be in pristine condition. All this time, there was so much she hadn't been aware of. She wanted to go right now, but even with her reserves, she knew it would be too much after what she'd already done today. That, and she still needed to get her bearings, try to figure out the rush of information that she was trying not to mentally drown in.
  16. Invite An Acceptable Purging

    The distress was so sharp, the woman had never sensed her niece so strongly before and that was what scared her the most. It had led to her teleporting to Adele's house without even a second thought, and letting herself in. What some might perceive as seconds, Caitlin absorbed as though it were minutes for her. From the women surrounding the young man she knew all too well, to the bloodied elbows and obvious signs of pain and the sense that his life was ebbing away. Jezebel - like her own twin sister - was focused on Alex, intent on offering her own willpower as strength for him. While Lorelei observed his life signs, barely aware of the blaze of red that moved like a streak into and across the room. Cassandra sensed it though, she knew Cate had arrived and her mind pleaded with the woman. Cate didn't know exactly what she was supposed to do, she could only get strange inklings from something within Cassandra that she'd never realised was there before, and yet knew it was a part of her. Of both of them. She stopped beside the crouched red-haired woman, and lowered herself next to her, and Caitlin's hand moved forward in order to press over the other woman's. And then time froze for a brief moment. To those who were deeply in tune, those of her blood or of the original Six, it was almost like a pin being stuck into an inflatable castle, which had been full to bursting since the beginning of time, but concealed as though it didn't exist. Caitlin herself stopped breathing as something like a metaphysical shell shattered from around her, the ginger hair brightened and shined in that instant to a sunset colour, and seemingly ordinary eyes transformed into burning impossibly bright shades of turquoise, as her complexion paled naturally. Though the physical changes would go unnoticed compared to what had been brought up from beneath the surface. A well of power that had never been tapped, a century's worth at least, and it flowed easily to Bethianna, who could then use it to sustain Alexander, because of the impossible discovery of what she carried within. Sorceraic magic. Concentrated and mingled with that of Fae. Cassandra continued to hold onto Caleb as she watched, tears beginning to fall from her eyes. She hadn't wanted to believe it, what she'd felt earlier. But she could see it now, and she prayed that it would help Alex to fight through his ordeal. Even so, she knew somehow, through Cate, and through Bethianna, that this extra power was going to intensify Alex's pain only more. She couldn't imagine the agony he had to be feeling, and so she could only cuddle Caleb and stroke the boy's hair gently, as though to try and soothe them both. And she prayed that it was enough. Caitlin herself was caught in something she both knew and didn't. And with the suddenness of the connection and the shattering of the curse which had concealed her for so long, she suddenly received snippets of places she didn't know, times she didn't remember. Her brother was at the forefront of these, the red haired boy, forever jovial, laughing and singing and bringing smiles to others. "What is that...?" A young girl, she could sense something almost like a scar in her brother's energy. It was strange, but important somehow. "Mother did it... to stop me from leaking," Came the response, before he flicked her nose. But then she placed her hand on him to search... and received memories from him. Pain, burning through his veins... a woman trying to hold back tears as she used a method taught to her by one of the Elder ones, to try and repair her baby boy's power leak. A number of times... over a course of weeks... the baby screaming, but she refused to give up. But it worked, gradually, over time, until he was whole. In the current time, Cate was frozen in her spot, knowing that she was offering something important here, but for the life of her she was confused and suddenly quite terrified. She didn't dare look at the woman beside her, she couldn't, because she knew her. She didn't know how, she couldn't remember how, and yet, images flashed in her mind. A mother doting on her healthy son as he ran around. A flash of contemplation over the fate of another child she was carrying. Confliction upon the birth of a girl, and seeing her for the first time. Caitlin closed her eyes and ducked her head, she had to push down everything that had suddenly rose, which was threatening to consume her and draw her away from what was happening here. But she couldn't. She would do anything for Cassandra, to make sure that the girl would have a happy life, and right now that meant offering whatever it was she had that apparently everyone else here did as well, to give Alexander the chance to fight for his life. "When we leave, we'll forget?" "Don't worry, sister. Even if we forget everything else, we have each other and Padraig McBobbin... and maybe... maybe one day Mother will find us on the outside..." Catelin bit on her lip. The memories had to stop, They weren't important right now. And so the woman took a breath and focused purely on Alexander, willing him to remember everything that he was fighting for right now. She may not have understood what was going on, but she could follow the flow of everyone else around her easily enough, as the storage of power she'd held was gradually given to help him hold on for longer, regardless of the extra agony that it would put him through.
  17. A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

    "Pouty people can be stubborn too," Caitlin huffed, though there was an almost impish amusement in her gaze which would give away her own teasing with the knowledge that he was still trying to work his way around how blunt he could be without offending. She didn't need to probe to guess at what he may have been thinking though, and it was something that she didn't know what to think about herself. She'd grown attached, she knew that much. Enough that she would be upset if something did happen. His presence would be missed, and it made her uneasy about his desire to try and take care of things alone. Still, she decided to leave the subject lie for now, preferring to focus on something a bit more positive, like the coming holidays and what they represented. "And why not? I mean, magic is all about belief anyway. As romantic a notion as I know it is, I find comfort in the idea that there's at least one day each year where the majority of people want to give, rather than take," Cate shrugged gently and leaned against him lightly, lifting a hand to summon her glass to it wordlessly. She snorted quietly at Dylan's view on the day, her brows raising as she looked at him, "That's because you grew up in the wrong environment for it." She said gently. While she could understand that more negative viewpoint on people possibly becoming greedy, there were large differences when one saw it from the point of view of people who didn't care about receiving anything, and appreciated the effort that others did go to regardless. She snorted at the idea of actually giving lessons on Christmas in a classroom, "You'd probably like that." She muttered, though rolled her eyes as he picked on her about her books. "I'm surprised you even know who Batman is," Cate poked her tongue out briefly, before taking a sip of her drink. "It's not that bad, anyway," She sniffed. She liked to think that she portrayed as accurate a character as she could, or was allowed. It wasn't her fault that the fans seemed to enjoy the idea of some mysterious bad boy guardian type. "I'll neither confirm nor deny your assumptions, and instead you will have to live with wondering whether that really is why I keep you around," She retorted, lifting her nose a little, before then finding herself drawn in close once again, "Did I ever say that I was complaining?" The redhead smirked then, before leaning forward to press another soft kiss to his lips, "I was already here when you got home, remember." She smiled and set the drink back down before turning to face him better, wrapping her arms over his shoulders, "What say we go put those fanfictions to shame."
  18. A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

    "You're telling me," Caitlin could only agree that it was a good thing that Cassandra didn't know exactly what had happened. Now that she would never, ever live down, not even after she was long dead. Still, the look she'd given him over his apparent decision and her disagreement with it at least prevented him from arguing the point with her and she offered a snort at his complaint, "I don't know how you could forget that detail." It was a major part of her, after all. She may have been mild, gentle and calm, but she held the fierce stubbornness that an Irishwoman was well known for still, and if she didn't think it was a good idea for him to try and handle things by himself, then it wasn't a good idea, and thus she wasn't about to let him go do something stupid. At least the talk of Christmas things lessened that slight tension in the air. "Well, I suppose it is kind of domestic. It's more just about good will toward others. I mean, Muggles naturally have all these traditions and theories about a savior who was born and whatnot, but the real magic of the holiday itself is in how it brings people together and encourages them to be kind to one another," The redhead offered a gentle shrug, though she supposed it would have sounded odd to someone who had never really experienced it. Still, she would have thought that he would have seen others who did celebrate it, even from afar. "I'll teach you all the things that you need to know before the day," She said with a quiet chuckle and patted his arm lightly, before snickering at his comment over her excuse of using 'her magic' on him. "Hmph, I get paid a lot to use all kinds of terrible lines in my books," Caitlin joked, before then snickering quietly. She then listened, however, as he seemed to be trying to describe what she apparently did to him and how he felt about it. "Well, I suppose it's something you're just going to have to get used to then. It's a good thing, anyway. Nothing like a little surprise in life to give it a little spice," She offered a small grin to the man as she gave him a small nudge. "Besides, you're hardly complaining about it."
  19. A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

    "Merlin, she still teases me about Valentine's," It had only taken the mention of it to cause Caitlin's cheeks to turn pink. The reminders of the entire night still made her blush, and she was certain it would still for a long time yet. Cassandra hadn't even asked how it went. The simple fact that Cate hadn't come home until the next day meant that her niece had instantly made a guess that was far more accurate than the older woman liked, and she hadn't lived it down with the teen yet. Though she gave a quiet huff and set her glass down so that she could cross her arms, the woman was aware that he was right. There was a possible chance that Cassandra might not react as adversely as she feared. Perhaps would even encourage it... oh Gods, the girl might start to encourage a lot, and go out of her way to embarrass Caitlin too! The woman didn't know what was worse, now. "Well, I don't think you will be doing it alone," The woman said, rather matter-of-factly, brows raised at the man as though daring him to argue the point. It was a silly idea to try and take care of everything himself, as though he had to be responsible for making sure they had a good life, regardless of his own fate. Caitling was far too independent to allow someone to simply decide that they would take care of her happiness without her say, and there would be no arguing with her, the look in her eyes said as much as well. She reached for her drink again, taking another sip as though that were the end of that discussion, and instead focused on Christmas ideas. "What? Are you afraid of what I'd come up with? It wasn't going to be anything incredibly scary, goodness. I was just thinking, a little decorating perhaps, a nice roast dinner, exchanging of presents, the usual thing. We could drop some presents off at the tree they have in the shopping center, where people leave presents to donate to the less fortunate children. And, I don't know... Christmassy things," Maybe, with it being the season of cheer, it might even be a better time to introduce him to Cass then as well? She wasn't sure if there was going to be a big dinner with Alex's family, but if so then she supposed Cass would tell her she was coming too. She could bring Dylan? Tell Cass the history part later? All thoughts that whirled around her mind, even as she kissed the man, before he drew back and commented on her ability to change his thoughts. "All a part of my magic," Caitlin waggled her brows, before chuckling quietly, "Though I don't think it's a bad thing."
  20. A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

    "Indeed. I have a lot of hopes for her, I mean... she's not just my niece, she's basically my daughter. I just want her to have a long and happy life and be able to do the things that she wants to," Caitlin knew she hadn't needed to say that, but it felt important for her to vocalise it. Even if she had her own children one day, she'd still think of Cassandra as her eldest, they'd been through so much together, had grown together. She was certain that if it weren't for having Cass to raise then she'd have been even more reckless with her work over the years. She'd been her lifeline, when the world had felt like it was crumbling around her. Listening to Dylan speak of having to confront the source of their pain though, caused her lips to purse slightly, even if she knew it would have to be done eventually. "And you plan to do that alone?" Cate asked with a raised brow as she glanced at him. Surely he wasn't quite that reckless, but then she also knew that he would refuse to place herself or anyone else in danger when it came to those people. "I suppose, can't really make that move until they do try something again, at least. I've been waiting, but haven't picked up on anything. I know better than to let my guard down though," Cate sighed and ran a hand through her hair for a moment, but then nodded as they spoke of Christmas, her brows shooting upward at the idea that he'd never celebrated it. "I suppose we'll have to do something about that then," The woman shook her head a little as she tutted. Fancy never having celebrated the holidays. Still, as they kissed and she was drawn over and onto his lap, the redhead pushed aside all those feelings of uncertainty and fear of the future, allowing herself to simply enjoy the moment with Dylan. She may not have known what she was supposed to be thinking, or whether Cassandra was going to react negatively to all of this, but she would allow herself this small indulgence for the care and security that the man offered her. Those other things, she could worry about later.
  21. A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

    Caitlin knew well enough the work that Dylan did in covering for her during much of her investigating, of course she did since she'd practically written a character loosely based around him in her novels. Which reminded her, she had another due within the next month or so, something which made her sigh, but she was already basically done with it. Just another proof read and then send to her editor, who would likely want a few small changes. And then the latest would be on the shelves at the start of the coming year. She had a feeling that this one was going to be very popular with a lot of the fan base. "She will get better eventually... over time. I doubt the nightmares will ever completely go away, but she has grown stronger. I just want her to be able to live a happy life and able to plan her future, without having to worry about being chased by the past," It really was all that Caitlin had ever wanted for Cassandra. Maybe she'd wanted it for herself as well, but at the same time she'd done what she did for a reason, she couldn't allow others to suffer if there was something she could do about it. If she could put those gifts of hers to good use. Dylan was right though, holding onto the secret of their relationship and who he was would only end up damaging her relationship with Cassandra in time. The longer she kept it, the deeper the effect would be, and she didn't want to lose the girl. "I know... I'm going to need to be honest with her. Perhaps after Christmas, I don't want to cloud the holidays with something that could set her on edge," At the same time, Cate wanted Dylan to be involved a bit in the whole Christmas and New Years thing too. She found herself pursing her lips into a frustrated pout as she thought about it all. Though, listening to Dylan, she felt her ears and cheeks turn slightly red as she huffed a small chuckle and looked at her drink. "That's not really helping," The woman murmured quietly. She still didn't know how she felt about all this. She found she cared for him, but a part of her mind still felt awkward, like it wasn't right. But was anything ever really right? Rather than question it all further and potentially driving herself mad, Caitlin simply looked toward the man with a warm smile, before she leaned over to press a gentle kiss to his lips.
  22. A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

    "Yes... I know you're right about that, but I'm just rather used to being the one who looks out for myself and others I suppose," After all, it was what she'd had to do since she was in her early twenties and left with a toddler niece that she had to suddenly be the sole guardian for and raise. There had been so many fears, so many questions back then. The young woman hadn't known what she was supposed to do, so she did what she believed she had to, and simply concentrated on doing her best to provide as good a life as possible for Cassandra, while making sure that less people had to suffer the way they had. "Don't worry, I'm well aware of the attention that my talents gather as well, perhaps the one thing that makes me hesitant. I don't want further investigation leading to Cass and her... interesting biology. There's still so much I need to investigate myself with that," Caitlin sighed and rubbed her forehead. She felt like she was missing a piece to the puzzle there. Perhaps that's why the woman had been willing to question Dylan's thoughts on... whatever it was that they were. She wasn't entirely sure herself, and she needed some kind of confirmation, maybe? She didn't even know. She knew well that they were basically in a relationship, but the fact that they'd been so secret about it made everything feel less solid, she supposed. She offered an innocent look at the accusation, but agreed with a nod that they acted as though they were together... well, most of the time. It was the question of Cassandra that had prevented them from being open about anything, and the woman nodded again. "I honestly don't know what she would think or feel. I mean, she's mature enough that she would want to listen to an explanation of everything, but she does still suffer from the memories and pains that the past caused," Caitlin sighed as she closed her eyes and rested her head on Dylan's shoulder. "You're right though, I would choose what was best for her. Maybe that's why I've been leaving it for so long, telling her. At the same time, I feel like I'm doing her an injustice by expecting the worst case scenario as well, and by sneaking around when I know that she's very aware that I am hiding something." The woman expelled a breath of air with a quietly huffed sigh, "I really need to stop procrastinating over it."
  23. A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

    "Indeed. But if I could protect her from having to lose so much all over again, I'd do whatever I had to," Caitlin knew that Cassandra wasn't the only one who'd lost so much, that she'd effectively lost a whole lot more than her niece because she'd known all their family, grown up around them and had to watch what had happened. She remembered all of it with so much clarity. But it was far easier to focus on Cass and try to make sure that those nightmares the younger woman had would continue to lessen until they were nothing but a faded memory. Perhaps, one day Cate's would become the same, though she doubted it. She would never let on about her own terrors though, she didn't want to worry anyone else, or give them reason to think there was something wrong. "Well... I know for a fact that I'm one of the most popular in the world for calling in for these things. My gifts and experience tend to make me something of an expert, you know," Caitlin's gaze narrowed at Dylan, before she then leaned over a little, against his side and pulling his arm around her. It felt safe there, she realised, and began to wonder when it was that she'd started feeling safe from being around the man. It made her think about what they should do, whether she should introduce Cass to him soon, explain who he was... she still wasn't sure. "What we are?" The woman returned to the conversation and blinked a little before glancing up at him with a raised brow. "Good question, I suppose. What do you think we are?" Perhaps it was a loaded question, but Cate found herself curious of what Dylan thought. She already knew that he would shadow her if he thought she was going to go running into a minefield. She could know a whole lot more as well if she wanted, but she didn't want to go reading his mind. That would be cheating.
  24. A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

    "Not just my life, Cassandra's as well. Not exactly something I would like to repeat, even if this is what I'm good at, what I've done for half my life," Caitlin sighed as she lifted a hand to rub at her forehead a little. She knew that Cass would tell her that they needed to do the right thing. Especially if it was people they knew who were being harmed. They'd lost a family before, and neither of them wanted to go through a repetition of that. To see a family be torn to shreds. "It hits so close to home," She admitted quietly, "A family being targeted, the potential for them to be eradicated. It's not fair." She glanced up at Dylan when he reached for her hand, and offered a small sigh. "I tend to go after the people who have no remorse for what they've done. I'm rather certain you don't fall into that category, at least not from what I've learned over past months," Caitlin murmured, offering a gentle cluck of her tongue, before then tilting her head at him as he went on to imply what she assumed was for her to give the case to someone else, because of the danger it could place her in, and the people who cared about her. "And who else does what I do as effectively?" The woman asked, a brow raised at him, before a gentle huffed breath fell from her lips in almost a half chuckle, "Sounds to me like you just don't want me to place myself in a potentially precarious position for selfish reasons." Not that she minded, really. It was nice to hear, nice to know that someone was selfish enough to want to talk her out of helping others if it meant she would be safe.
  25. A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

    "I believe that the suspicion is that he was a target because he was the husband of Adele, who has a history with Sollozzo. Which, essentially, means that her entire family is at risk," Caitlin explained, already ruling out the idea that David would be the only target of someone who had a vendetta against someone else. It did mean that Cassandra could potentially be in trouble, or at the very least that Alex would become a target. She didn't like it one bit. And she knew that if she got involved then it would paint a larger target on her own back, especially with her track record of finding and capturing these kinds of monsters. The other part was whether she could handle seeing and knowing the mind of yet another monster. Her life in Narrie had been quiet, and near blissful to be honest. She still got nightmares as it was. She still locked all her doors and windows, set up charms and wards. Still worried that someone would find her or Cassandra. This would only cause more anxiety again. But if not her, then who was going to make sure that this man was found, make sure that no one else suffered at his hands? "I wouldn't want you placing yourself under a microscope, Dylan," The woman said with a soft tut. She knew that the right people only had to see a picture or hear about a description and he could be discovered. "But... I started using my gifts for this kind of work, because I could help people. What if I didn't do anything and then someone else died? If I can possibly do something to prevent that, then... I should, shouldn't I?" It was a question she'd asked herself for more than half her life, the question she asked whenever she was unsure about a case, unsure about the risk. And still, Caitlin found herself more unnerved than normal. Her last case had resulted in her almost being killed. She had a bad feeling this would not be far from a similar situation.
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