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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


A Gift Not to be Wasted. . .

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

The call from the Auror department had been unexpected, given that she had heard nothing from them since the move to Australia. Certainly, Caitlin had offered to assist should her expertise be needed, but she had come to think that finally she'd found some kind of peace and escape from the world of crime, murder and horror.

It seemed not to be the case, as the call had proven. The murder of a local Narragyambie man, whose family had been threatened before by a murderer and criminal whose list of crimes and ability to escape the law meant that even she had heard of him and followed the various cases surrounding him for a time. Cate had not thought that she would be called in to find out if he was involved in something here in Australia though. It was a dangerous territory, but she knew confirmation was needed, that it could prove the difference between more people being hurt or not.

Still, it had unnerved her, and so the woman had traveled across town to a place where she would feel safer. She used a key given to her some time ago to enter the house, and moved straight to the alcohol cabinet, pouring herself a glass of scotch and taking a sip before sighing as she realised Dylan wasn't home right now. To that end, she simply sat down on the sofa and put some music on, soon enough lying down and drifting off.

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

Since he'd arrived back within Australia he'd been dealing with a list of backorders to the point it usually kept him later than he had hoped. Not that managing the various orders for unique styles of wands bothered him, no, it was the occassional random animal that somehow always seemed to escape from Stardust's backroom. Often it meant that a chase scene practically broke out and he often swore that in his mind he heard some form of background music playing just for pure taunts. Granted, that also could have been just one of the many 'fun' pranks a Fae could pull on a person. 

That had been on top of also catching up with Eudoxia when the brief moments would allow. It felt quite odd, leaving for a moment for a manufactured life of sorts only to return and find that things had kept on going forward. He wasn't certain on the true focus of the sensation within as it held a jumbled amount of wonderings and considerations: Fear of settling, hypocritically contentment in it, and the duality of whether this was true a place for him or not. 

Dylan arrived at his home, even before his hand reached to the doorknob he could hear the sound of music that played on the inside. Curiosity piqued as his head tilted slightly. It was quite ballsy for a burglar to pull such an antic which struck that thought from his mind. He clutched the knob and turned to unlatch and open up the door slowly with a smooth inch and slid inside calmly, light of foot. It was then that he saw the familiar face that had been stretched out on the couch with drink in hand. At least he needn't be on his most alert in terms of whom was in the home. 

He placed his keys on a hook that hung close by the door and walked over towards Caitlin as he hovered over here for a moment. The tips of his fingers curl around the glass of wine lightly to steady it in case she'd been in a deep rest. "Well, aren't you the lovely surprise to come home to." He spoke loud enough, yet something inside of his mind told him that she probably had been more aware of his presence than he had been of hers. "You're already prepared for a night as if it had been quite the day. That or you're trying to escape even thinking about it." At times the two thoughts were more mutual he found.  

His hand left from the glass and he made his way towards the alcohol cabinet to pour himself a bourbon. "What happened that you're already reaching for the serenity of a good glass and nurturing music?"

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Although she'd fallen asleep at some point, Caitlin was acutely away the moment that Dylan was near, and she gradually stirred just slightly, enough to get a grip on her glass just before it almost fell from her hand. Luckily, he also arrived to get a hold of it as she yawned and peered up at him through her hazy blue gaze. She shifted to sit a little as her glass was set on the coffee table nearby, before stretching and then breathing out a quiet chuckle.

"I'm sure there could be better surprises than a sleeping woman almost spilling scotch on your carpet," Cate mused softly, and glanced over to watch as Dylan moved to pour himself a drink as well. She waited where she was, expecting that he would probably join her if he was asking questions already. The man wasn't exactly known for asking for no reason, or for leaving anything unanswered when he felt there must be a story. "Hm, something of a day, anyway..." The woman said quietly, reaching for her drink once again in order to take another sip.

"It seems I'm back to working cases," Caitlin then murmured, looking down into her drink, "A murder."

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

With the drink that had be prepared for himself clutched in hand, he made his way towards the sofa where he proceeded to sit down on it right next to Caitlin. A strong silence from him as not even a grunt exuded out while he tipped the edge of the glass against his lips. Sometimes, a stiff drink was necessary just to give a bit more time to consider the words being spoken. Though a small smirk did tug at the corner of his lips. "Perhaps, though it is one of the more welcoming surprises. At least considering what could be waiting on the other side of the door for a person such as I." It wouldn't have been the first time he opened a door to his living space and found the tip of a wand pointed towards him. 

Dylan leaned forward as both hands clasped at the warm drink and his eyes peered down into the murky liquid. "Something of a day that has drawn you back into working cases? That sounds like more than 'Something'. " Vibrating hum resonated at his throat as his gaze lifted up to stare at the wall ahead. "A murder no less. Are you sure that's wise to jump back into after so long? Not doubting whether or not you have gotten rusty." After all, it hadn't been THAT long since she'd stopped officially and yet the edge of a blade took very little to dull. "But it is quite the dangerous choice to get back into that business, no?

There had been concern for her safety on his part, the safety of her niece as well. But he refused to worry and fret like some troops den mother. "If they're contacting you something tells me they've put aside their pride to outsource. And it also means they are dealing with some that is quite quick handed and slippery that their trained forces might actually be struggling and stuck within the confinement of their law."  At this point he mostly spoke as a way to find his place, the proper question to filter towards understanding of what form of murder - how destructive, rather, that it could be. "Do you feel up to it? It may bring a sense of danger that you're all too willing to forget about. Especially with what can hide behind the corners in this place."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"I'm sure the day that you feel like someone might have discovered your cover, you will vanish before they have a chance to catch you offguard," Caitlin raised a brow at the man as he sat beside her, and then hummed quietly in response to his continued words. She understood his concern, but it was not necessarily her concern. She had done this for more than half her life, she knew well the dangers, the nightmares that her work inflicted her with. But the fact was she had a talent, one that few were able to utilise the way that she could. And the fact that it was so close to home made her want to keep those she cared about safe as well.

"They contacted me, because it's a high chance that the murderer is someone who had given them the slip multiple times, both domestically and internationally," The redhead murmured. She lifted a hand to rub her face with a gentle sigh. "Very few know at the moment, I don't think Cass even does, though I know now why Alex rushed out of the house in the dark hours of the morning. The victim was a local man, David Tallenery, Alex's brother in law." She sighed again and her brow furrowed.

"Not only that, but an Auror who was tailing him was also murdered. It was a targeted crime, and quite likely committed by the man behind their reason for having so many Aurors stationed around Narrie this year," A dangerous man, indeed. Caitlin knew that it would be risky if he was as knowledgeable as was indicated. To have known about the Auror tailing David, and to have dispatched of them so easily. "Do you know much about Thomas Sollozzo?" She asked Dylan softly. She didn't expect that all criminals or former criminals knew about each other, this Sollozzo did have a reputation. She would have to be careful, if he caught wind of her investigating then she could end up in more trouble than she bargained for.

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

"Not only I would have vanished." The person who discovered him would have to 'up and go' with him as well. He'd have to find a way to dispose of their body and leads one after the other, covering up the tracks so that others found it much more difficult to repeat them. But that had been the risk of living a life that he had earlier in existence. One couldn't fully escape the grasp of their past when it still haunted in every shadow, every step. "Though it is a lot of work to clean up and make everything look as if 'no one had been here for a while.' That and I rather like this home. Perhaps my nicest yet." Not a hard claim when one dealt with horrible motels and fifth-rate hotels that would make the skin crawl of a Hobo. 

Squinted his eyes for a moment as he listened. "So, you probably feel even more obligated to investigate this crime. It is essentially much closer to home than most cases would tend to be." Well, cases that didn't involve what his own crimes had been that fit the bill. Truthfully, there had been an odd feeling being in such a position where she'd confide in him. It had grown even odder knowing the level of her fervency for the truth when things had been closer to the home camp of tragedy. "If this David Tallenery was the sole target then they should be fine." 'If' - He made sure to emphasize that following the thought that if it hadn't, which often could be the case in the wizard world. "If not then it means things may start to grow more dangerous as the days pass.

"Thomas Sollozzo? No, not personally. The most I know is that he isn't the kind of man you cross. Most likely not the kind of man you -want- to deal with but one who would most likely find a way to make you deal with him." The warnings and alerts had been easy to see on his way to work, being a Wandmaker the various exaggerated rumors often passed through. But the factor that the targets may end up visiting made it more pertinent to make those that would enter be more 'aware' that at any more something could seem off or dangerous. "If a single man warrants this much attention, that many Aurors along with the skill to take out his target and the guard with nary a possible trace? Then I would say you shouldn't investigate it. It means he holds no qualms with eliminating those in the way even if they aren't the primary focus.

He knew of a few men that fit that bill - he'd worked for a man who fit that bill to the very T. Being the arm the 'affirmed' that possibility had made him much more acute to the irony in this situation. "You're going to paint a target on your back. You're not going to want that target since it means Cassandra already has that very target painted on as well, most likely. You'll probably want to start preparing charms and hexes as traps to heighten security for your home." He knew there had been no rights established by him to ask this of her, that in doing nothing it would perpetrate the necessity for the man to slip through and get at whatever he truly had been after. "If you start investigating it also would make it much more. . . Difficult, for me to offer protection or assistance.

The whole ordeal was a stage - Caitlin maybe viably safer in the midst of it all. Yet, he knew for himself, the moment he'd step on the scene the eyes that still searched for him would have a way to track him. He would need to disappear and yet. . . 

A huff exhausted. "But, if you insist on going through with it? Then I shall do what I can."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"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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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

"Hrm. . ." Dylan's gaze turned towards the unlit fireplace as he stood up and started to prepare wood to be placed neatly inside of it. Not for the heat as only a few logs were situated but rather for the comfort of a flame in general. One could stare into the warmth and often find a measure of 'revelation' to the way it burned. He proceeded to light up the dried wood with his wand and stood up slowly staring into the growing flare. "It may suffice to say that they're all targets then. If it's history that is a potential driven force then they may stand in the way." He knew it didn't need to be stated that would most likely count her Niece and her Husband. 

The glass of bourbon had been picked up again and balanced within his grip. A different form of threat that he didn't consider would ever become a legitimate problem. Not beyond what they had already been set against. But things like these are not so easily predicted and even less so when the opponent was someone unknowable in many aspects and ways. He found himself at an impasse on what the next course of action should be. 

"Sometimes it's a necessary action to do so. On the other side of things it would speed up an engagement that would be bound to happen regardless." It was less fear of his safety and more the necessary time to prepare and plot for contingencies that had him hesitate being seen. Among the newer fact that he'd been more engrained in Caitlin's life than initial encounters - his safety wasn't his own if they caught him at the right moment. "Extend not beyond what you're willing to risk." The crackle of the flame filled the soft silence left behind by the music changing tracks. "If I recall, you nearly escaped with your own life from your last job. The thing that prompted you to consider other avenues. One could say this next one could be much more fierce, worse, concise and calculating. To catch someone like that off guard would mean you either had a damn good plan or they wanted you to catch them. The latter meaning you most likely won't escape from death's jaws this time.

As much as he detested on prodding at what a person feels their calling is he also could tell her usually steely nerves were anything but. He placed the glass on the shelf just above the fireplace and sat next to Caitlin, a hand reached out to grasp hers in a tight comfort. "One of your admirable traits has always been your desire for justice to see those kinds of people punished. People like me." Dylan was never one to run away from his past, the things that he'd done. Often redemption seemed impossible and he found he did things only to sew a bit more 'good' in the world. Perhaps this was one of those moments with equal parts selfish.

"But do keep in mind, your life is not your own. Not truly. Those whom you've let in rise and fall with you. Sometimes? It is fine to let another take up the cross of searching. To come out alive in something like this a certain amount of arrogance is necessary. Stubbornness that is help, something that won't risk you being taken from those that care about you."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"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.

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

"Now is slightly different though hardly. In this case her life is threatened by those whom she'd associate with." That was the case at times and he wouldn't reprimand her for something as such. No, the young woman deserved to connect and make a life with people and if she stood by them even in these kind of trials? All the better for coming out with scars and wounds but surviving would help them all grow. "No, it isn't fair. Very few things in the world could ever be marketed as such. Sometimes our actions or the actions of others end up causing the larger threat than we could imagine. It means it will escalate gradually, action will need to be taken one way or another. But the question would lean more towards whether or not you'd reveal your hand now or later.

Eventually, he suspected Caitlin would need to respond in a way only she knew how in defense of her Niece and those that she considered apart of her life. "Remorse, yes. To some extent. I had sworn to not harm innocent people but that. . . Didn't mean those who were less than that descriptor were safe. Bloodying once hand is a hard thing to wash off at any rate.

A snort exhausted from him as a small grin formed on his face. "There maybe others. Of those that I may know? I couldn't tell. I spend my life avoiding the law, remember? I am still not in good standing with them either." He hummed in curiosity of the accusation and nodded without any hesitated movements. "Of course, very selfish. I am not a good person in many ways, Caitlin. Even though I am not sure. . . What we are. I also do not deign to lose you from a madman. What form of dark guardian would I be if I allowed that?" His head then shook lightly afterwards. "But, as I said, if I cannot convince you. If you still feel surged to do so? Then I will follow as I have done no matter what or whom may notice me."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"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.

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

It drew a silence from him hearing her response, while it was sentimental to his mind it also made perfect sense. The first instinct for her had always been to protect what little family had been left and more importantly to protect Cassandra from experiencing those kinds of pains. Eyes closed firmly and the shallow breathing from him slowed, letting the paced air draw up some his own rebuttal in a way. "Fair point. I'm sure I don't need to state the obvious which is that it isn't bad to allow another to look out for you as well. To avoid taking on those loses once again, it shouldn't stop at her just because she's younger." Maybe that had been what he'd been doing to some extent even in this time and moment. Even in the face of more personal reasonings strengthening that particular resolve. "At the very least to make sure she doesn't lose you." 

The darker thought within his mind lingered, that one response that he was well aware wouldn't entirely be taken well. One where he'd be the sacrificial lamb if it meant that it could secure that protection. 

"Your gifts do give you a one-up on a majority of people, this is true. Most are hard pressed to find people who retain the natural talent to even investigate let alone having a much deeper peak, one that draws great attention from all corners that watch." Whether positive or negative there is always the fact that someone had been watching. Eyes that peered and kept a distance to monitor, to mark, to use. Or maybe that was just his own mind that had grown annoying pessimistic to the world around him and the things that he'd experienced. With his arm wrapped around her, it tightened securely to press her against himself. The warmth issued a stark contrast to the usual strong brood that he wore almost at all times. 

And suddenly the question that had been the loading gun, one that it felt they both had attempted to avoid to the best of their abilities. "That's a very cruel tactic to put me on the spot with that kind of a question, Caitlin." Truthfully, he wasn't sure what to think with so many factors. It was a desire to be more, grow further and even in the actions that had been shown between the two of them he could deem them as intimate on a level that equated to some kind of relationship. "I think. . . We act as if we're together. There is an obvious closeness that hadn't been there before. One that has seemingly been growing too." It wasn't an obscured fact that the woman often found a sense of security in his arms in the way that her body would relax when held. 

"But I don't think it is some grand secret that I hold a certain want to be more." After all, he had admitted his attraction and the reactions that barreled afterwards brought them to the bond that they held. "However, I'm more uncertain on the 'What' in respect to Cassandra. I am part of what she hates and part of what keeps terrors in her mind. No matter what either of us thinks I don't believe you have it in yourself to stay even if she doesn't accept. You'd choose her mental and personal stability. Which is a fair choice, she doesn't need to be broken further or estranged from you." 

Needless to say he would always watch whether up close or at a distance. 

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"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."

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

"You are woman, hear you roar, as they say." Lips curved with the hint of levity that lingered around the gesture. Years of doings things one way made it difficult to adjust to another entirely. Especially when the first thoughts had always been the protection of another person over yourself. It was easy to forget how long they'd been engaged in this situation of their lives, both extremely young where the evils of the shadows gripped and controlled like pawns. It shaped their lives and how they chose to address the various trials that would come about. "Then I think I can help a bit more in that arena. Obscuring the information and the many leads that others might try to take towards that route. I've had several years of practice doing something quite similar.

That had been the major portion of his reason following behind the woman and her niece for the past few years after he had left from the criminal world. Sometimes it required that he buried bodies of those that tailed behind them and other times it had been to destroy any messages, evidences that could be documented in some form of journal or magical message. Dirty work yet necessary by every standard to keep innocent people safe from an old world that couldn't accept that others were allowed to be different, a given right by life itself and circumstance to share the Wizarding world. 

Dylan kissed the top of Caitlin's forehead sweetly, a breeze of air followed suit accompanied by a brief sigh. "I wouldn't expect anything different, honestly. It takes sometime to be at the point where the nightmares don't hold such a weight and those that may end up with more time than others might never truly recover from it." The effects of traumatic events in a life set a person down a dangerous road in more than destructiveness. Emotion, more than anything else, had been the most fragile portion of the human psyche. Either it would become too hardened or fractured to the point of the pieces being just too shattered. Silence of guilt bore inside of the man with his eyes trained on the nearby wall. 

"Doing it for much longer could put that relationship of trust and mutual respect in quite a bit of danger. That isn't something I would want to see put in that kind of danger for much longer. What's best for her right now isn't hiding the fact of whom I am. If anything that seems more fit to say that's what's best for us." The longer that it felt as if it was 'unknown' the longer they could be as they are now without any form of judgement behind it. If there had been no one to contest this odd pairing then they could be fine and go on about this illusive play. "You both are in a position where the truth has been hidden due to your families choice and it had drawn a danger you weren't prepared for and knowledge that you must stockpile in order to understand yourselves fully.

It was strange for him to be on the side of truth, the ever 'Dark Avenger in the Shadows'. The man who opted for stalking and subterfuge in order to obtain what was necessary or to conduct something that was better left hidden by the darkness. His hand rose up to rest against her cheek as he rubbed at it soothingly, a genuine smile formed which had been a rarity for the man - A Smile without the weight of pain behind it. "Regardless of what would occur and even though I probably have no need to say this I will do so anyways." Another heavy breath had been taken in as he prepared himself mentally and emotionally. "I will always adore you more than anyone could fathom possible for me. That includes myself, I hadn't expected to feel this kind of affection for anyone. Of the many things that I have regretted allowing myself to feel or engage in this feeling is one of them. But I am glad that it had landed on the perfect person in my opinion."

As skewered as it had been given the flame that never denied. 

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

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.

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

It hadn't been forgotten by him that he'd 'starred' of sorts within many of her novels. He still had to relive in his mind the day the two of the re-connected from the bookstore. How the clerk seemed to beam like a child that found their idol finally visited them after several letters sent. How there apparently had been a long standing 'Fandom' that had written various scenarios that involved the two of them. At this point he wondered if any one of them had been a prophet of sorts since there would have been no way, as the person living, that he'd have predicted this kind of an outcome. 

"When the past nips at your heels for as long as it has for us. . .Well, it's hard to imagine anything else in the world. Being able to build finally after so long will be good for her." By extension it'd also be good for Caitlin in his opinion. But her stand had already been well known by him, Cassandra first. She was young and deserved that right as someone who had been an innocent bystander in everything. "I had often wondered what the route to truly snipping the rose from the ground - to halt the growing. I've unfortunately came to the conclusion that we'd have to wait for them to make their move once more then deal with them." But it wouldn't stop there, no, they would just be the thorn and not the roots. To get to the roots it'd mean he needed to head back to Europe. "After that. . . I will need to head back home."

He'd run long enough and he found that there came a point one must turn and face the tiger. 

"After Christmas?" Dylan's expression changed to question the thought itself. He understood not wanting the holidays clouded but he wasn't sure if he should be a break in the 'New Year'. Truthfully, he also had never had a proper 'Christmas'. What did one even look like? It certainly couldn't have been what he experienced during his Hogwart's days of being constantly drilled in how to kill, maim, or induce curses. "Then it should be quite interesting regardless. I've no idea what the expectation for that Holiday is. In fact, I haven't actually celebrated it. Ever." Not by the standards that people would consider it 'proper'. 

As for New Years he practically forgot that it had been an actual thing. Days, times, the passing of the years seemed unimportant with the types of jobs he'd engaged in. The way her smile shined chipped at the deeper darkness that harbored inside of him. He watched her lean in and then followed suit as their lips connected in a soft touch. Both of his arms by this point had already started to wrap around her to lift her up onto his lap.  Why did something that should be wrong feel right? Was this even proper for the two of them to do? Maybe the question he should have been asking for true introspection, Did it matter? In which case he'd always no - If it was right then it simply was right. 

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"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.

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

What one would consider a burden, Dylan saw as a responsibility that wasn't ignored. She worked hard to try and provide a good life for a person who only had been reminded of a bad life. That form of shadow that hung over every thought or expectancy of the future, things that parents and other family members should be around for will never be so. At the very least, she still had someone that wanted to make those moments as perfect as possible given the circumstances. "Then perhaps we do have a form of chance." He smiled in the usual gentlemanly fashion that he held. "If nothing else, I imagine she seeks for you to have a happy and long life as well. Unless we forget the whole Valentines day occurrence.

The irony still tickled him that Cassandra had been the one to dress Caitlin up in such a fashion, pushed her out the door and practically sent her as a walking  knock out to him. However, the amusement ended as she glanced towards him with that ever so questioning stare. Her words were met with a temporary silence from him, unsure of what would convince her otherwise of not attempting to follow or even trying to beat him first to it. "I would be critical of you, if you decided to let your guard down. But. . . Yes, the plan would be to try and do it alone. Not for any sake of redemption either. To be frank, It's to make sure that you and Cassandra can have that happy life that you're adamant and within your right to build.

He hadn't saw himself as a factor, a requisite to that foundation of happiness. Instead, he saw himself as someone that could hold the chance but the potential of it hadn't met with the need to see that they could do the action itself. 

Yet, the way she spoke it was placed a nail of doubt in the thought. It hadn't come to mind that she'd have wanted to change the fact that he'd never experienced a true Christmas but any standards. "You seem awfully certain and agreeable that you can do something about it. I can't help but wonder what is actually turning in that noggin of yours." He didn't hold the talent to peek into another's mind, the actions and expressions of the body were all that remained of predicting a person. Even then, it couldn't predict exacts only a hypothesis of the moment. In short, the man was stumped like an Oak. 

It had all washed away the moment their lips connected, arms stretched to wrap fully around the woman's waist as he pulled her into chest. That warmth felt like life itself and the gentleness that she often exuded feel over his mind with each advancement of their lips tending to each other. His hand slid along her back slowly and the fingers worked their way through her hair in gentle strokes. Then he broke the kiss slowly, breath seeking to fill the depth of his lungs once more. "I still cannot fathom how it's possible for you to wipe everything from my mind, just from a simple kiss. That and often make me doubt my own certain convictions, things that I know are reckless to perform become. . . Plans that shouldn't  be enacted."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"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."

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

"It is fortunate for you, then, that she does not know the full extent of the details." It had been one things to tease someone about an obvious 'You gave some booty'. But the more intricate details of how it barrel rolled from an awkward moment to a heated bathroom would open up the field even more for target practice. He couldn't help but groan with embarrassment at the thought a she rubbed the side of his cheek. While he hadn't told Doe that things had occurred something inside of him expected that she knew, some twisted woman's intuition. He also wouldn't have been surprised if Stardust knew. As if he needed to give the fairy more reasons to poke fun at him other than being the stick in the mud to her energy. 

Dylan had opened up his mouth, he was about to retort it until the look that she delivered halted him. Lips agape and only a deep sigh could be expressed as they finally closed right after. "Hmph. Here I nearly forgotten how stubborn you were for just a moment." A woman of independence, someone whom he should have expected wouldn't have accepted his preferred way to handle a situation as stick as it had been. He'd always assumed the 'final battle' that would close that chapter of his life would end up with him going to the source alone. It had always been envisioned in that manner the moment the proper amount of breathing room had been offered in this final circulation. Maybe if he had opted to stay more secluded in the shadows. Yet, the current course of actions couldn't be undone. 

While a reckless idea it seemed sensible, she had a life that she could return to. Live it and build on it, where he had been as minimalist as possible to avoid that potential chance. 

The brighter note of the conversation seemed to hold the focus. At least, brighter to others, Christmas felt more like an alien to him just waiting to kidnap him into this environment that he couldn't comprehend. "That all sounds very. . . Hrm. . . Domestic?" Familial? It was an odd insinuation of closeness that he had never practiced. "A roast and dropping present off? People do these kinds of things every year?" It seemed so strange, good natured but it didn't take away from how he expected time with people. "You're going to have to offer me a crash course on what 'Christmassy' things are. It isn't really anything that I have experienced or took the time to learn about." He could admit that he'd been ignorant of much in life. Things that were trademark to families and a childhood just never existed for him. 

A snort flowed from his nose with a smile. "Your magic? Those are the kinds of lines you must place in your books." That or one of the many fanfics that existed out in the world. "Bad? No, it's more of confusing. Hm.. That's not accurate either." Eyes squinted and head turned he attempted to wrap his mind around the true extent of the feeling that came from such newness. "Off guard. I have often prided myself on staying on guard and to be in a position where that isn't the case is perplexing on many levels."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"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."

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

"It's easy to forget when you get that pouty look on your face that shifts to that cute contentment when snuggling." Dylan spoke out bluntly and yet it had been a clear tease. At least as much of a tease as someone like him could offer up when it came to more romantic grounds. He'd still been learning the specifics of how things worked and he'd found that common sense often had been the best course of action to follow. Of course, there were always those rules that were the exception and were ones he'd have to find out with the occasional bump in the road. "And also because I had been thinking something else as a plausible reason to myself." He left it at that as he opted to discard it immediately from his mind. She didn't need to probe around and find that he truly assumed she wouldn't need him around. 

"Good will?" The repeated phrase came out with a slight amusement. He couldn't imagine there were many people that held that kind of trait within themselves. Pessimism issues for certain. "Admittedly, that's quite intriguing. I didn't doubt that there were people around that take that kind of aspect in most things, but to think that were those that saw a single day as magical." The only present he'd given on a Christmas day had been death to many people, the thought alone left a bad taste in his mind if that had been what others expected in their lives. "I mostly thought it was a day where people enjoyed aggravating the necessity for greed or gluttony in presents. Though, my view of the world is also a bit odd compared to the average person." An eyebrow perked upwards at her offer of tutelage. "Why do I feel like you're going to drag me to an actual classroom and make me take tests?" A soft squint formed with a playful smile that accompanied it. 

"So I've seen. Dark Avenger archetype? Really?" Dylan chastised her in a joking tone. "You practically wrote me as someone people couldn't resist as some romantic Batman." If he had any relation to some form of 'Vigilant' it'd be much closer to Red Robin, he occasionally enjoyed the whimsical nature of comic books. Even the refined needed a moment to gain a childhood back that had been stolen from them. "What would I have to complain about? 'She makes me feel.'? That sounds like a pretty bad complaint in any light." Dylan was aware it hadn't been negative and yet it still felt odd, like trying out a new style of clothing. "But now I know why you really keep me around, a surprising spice.

His arms wrapped around her and pulled her further against his chest, one of his hands slid down her arm slowly and grasped hold of her hand securely. "Of course, you don't seem to complaining too much yourself. So, I am sure it's safe to assume you're enjoying the surprise."

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Tally Staff ☆ Counselor, Profiler, Author, Psychologist★ LilyCat
121 year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"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."

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Narragyambie ☆ Assistant Wandmaker✩ Kaitore
40 year old Pureblood Human ☆ HE/HIM

She'd made a well proven point, perhaps the only point he'd should have been considering in the first place. Those that held the puffy and pouty lips typically had a form of hellion streak in them or were just increasingly stubborn as time went on. Much like a Mule, only doing or following something when it fully suit their own needs or that they could agree towards. To show an exemplar of that factor, the push towards the more positive aspect of the year had been tuned more towards - the idea of Christmas and the many plans that would made for it in the very near future. To him, that was a much more uncomfortable discussion even with the much more positive overtones for it. 

Maybe it was because it was positive that it had been like an awkward itch? 

"A day that most people decide it's 'Don't be an asshat' day?" He smiled, quite amused by the thought alone. It still had been an odd concept that there were people who decided that on that particular day people should be a bit more like people to one another. "It's certainly a romantic appeal. Admittedly alluring to have that kind of experiencing, I suppose good will could go quite the long way with people." He hadn't considered that it could be what saved a lot of people from spiraling down the paths he'd walked, that some random face in the crowd unknowingly saved someone from fully collapsing on the idea that humanity had been doomed to some extent. "Oh, it had less to do with my home life. My parents actually didn't celebrate that kind of thing. Back in school, I've dealt with most people who had been more focused on what they gained. Many gripes about not getting what they wanted." For him, at home, year in and year out it had been a constant effort to train and be a servant. Fanciful distractions weren't apart of his schedule, destruction and bigotry hammered deep. A small smirk shaped on his face at her insinuation of him liking the idea of a classroom. "I don't hear you saying you'd be against it, either.

Dylan laughed for a moment. "I wouldn't expect myself to be one with that kind of knowledge either. A person I worked with in the past had introduced me to it all. Curiosity had gotten to me one day and I managed to pick one up. I find that now, I have less reason to study the Arts of War and a bit more to relax." Not too relaxed but it was much easier to read a comic book at work during the slow times, especially with the usual antics of his boss. It meant something could occur and he'd have no problem finding his place amongst the all the chaos. "Well, no, you don't have me trouncing around in tights. That's always a good thing. But it's good stuff, already finished all of the books and just waiting for that next one." He'd been interested in how this new development between the two of them would alter it. 

"So testy. You've that rebellious nature in you more than I do, I believe."  He did wonder why she kept him around, but not for those particular factors. Or more specifically he wondered more on if she'd been happy that he'd been around. It was such a weird road they walked, the way their past shaped and how things had started with them hardly added up in any logical sense. Dylan found himself drawn into the presence of her lips pressed against his own, the calming presence that often took over setting in once more from the affection. "Mmm.. I'm not sure, I don't think that fully demonstrated if it were a complaint or not. . ." Now he'd just been phishing for more of it, but he didn't need to go further. 

The edge of his fingers traced along her arms as a more mischievous grin took place. His fingers traced their steps back down Caitlin's arm and along her waist where both of his hands would settle there. "Oh, then we have many fanfictions to put to shame. This I approve of vastly." He'd lean in and press his lips against hers once more with a much more fiery intention and already had started to shift their bodies to lay her back along the couch with himself hung above her.

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