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by: Casey Winslow
Saturday, 14 April 2012

A sandwich shop was a fairly arbitrary place for a meeting, he supposed. In the ten minutes he'd been here, Casey had watched a couple come in, order their sandwiches, and leave. It seemed almost immediately after the sandwich makers had disappeared to some side room and were talking to themselves. Well, that was good. Meant he and Ianto might actually get some privacy this afternoon. He figured they needed to touch bases, set a date. The way the group operated, they had themselves and what existed of the Order to work with. Lucy and Seren could help with healing in the field, and then they could assist with the Order's gaggle of healers.

He and Ianto knew where Evie kept most of the supplies she had been hosting for the attack. And currently, that was all they needed to focus on in their plan. Trevor was still missing, nowhere to be seen, and he had his doubts that would change anytime soon. For all Casey or anyone knew, really, the whole thing with the letters and the appointments could have been a way to hide his murder. Whoever it had been would have been the sort to not want attention drawn to himself, yet who would fit that bill among the Death Eaters? Probably no one.

Casey took a bite of the six-inch oven-roasted chicken he had purchased. Tasted like a sandwich, he supposed, but still better than the deli meat he had tried the one other time he had eaten here. The tomatoes were a bit under ripe and there was too much mayonnaise, but perhaps he was being a little too critical for a sandwich shop he'd seen a few copies of in his few times wandering through parts of Salem.

With a sigh, Casey sat back and glanced at the clock. 1:22. Eight more minutes until the scheduled time with Kara and Ianto. He was hoping to smooth things over with Ianto, get a plan of action for the three of them, and deal with things. He'd cast a muffiliato so the muggles didn't assume they were plotting something untoward. Better safe than sorry with the nature of the conversation they could potentially have. Perhaps they would prefer walking. Whatever the case, Casey was going to finish his sandwich and crisps and enjoy the strange, dark fizzy concoction that tasted somewhat like super sweet cherry and something he didn't know how to identify until they arrived.
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by: Kara Viridian
So this is America...

Kara had never left England, save for a time she went to Scotland for a bit to visit with Liam's family, but other than that, she'd only heard stories about places outside of their little corner of the world. Jonathan had plenty to say about the wildlife down under, and Jaleth and Elana used to visit their family in Russia which was always an adventure from what she'd heard. But this was her first time away, and she was one hundred percent frightened. Not fearful of her life, because she knew how to protect herself. But things were so different here, from the food, to the people...laws were different here, customs were different too. Especially when it came to the Wizarding part of things. Their government was run a little different than what had gone on in Europe, yet she was still not too sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing as she hadn't done much research outside of what she was accustomed to. She never thought she needed to. Plus, this seemed rather impromptu...even with her days spent preparing for this moment. Casey had given her ample time to prepare, but there were a few more important things, questions even, building up in her mind as she packed and pondered.

Jaleth was wary on letting her fly alone. Jonathan was left to tend to business needs and oversee the infirmary so he couldn't come out either. But they both posed the same question to her, that left her wondering just what the hell gave her the faith to fly out here? Casey hadn't given her the name of the 'organization' he was working with. Casey hadn't given any names, he'd only taken the roster from the Order and their new-found allies. Not to mention the locations of some of the safehouses. Was she foolish for giving up everything so easy, to a nameless, faceless entity? Did she have anything else to hold as leverage? The only thing she withheld were the names of the inactive members, the sleeper cells spread throughout the world, ready and waiting to be called upon. If they answered the call, there could be numbers there but when they answered, she wanted to have substance, she wanted them to have purpose and something to reel them in. The biggest downfalls of the Order before, was biting off more than they could chew. From their, there numbers dwindled because morale fell and she couldn't have that. She needed hope. She needed change. Not to mention, she needed a contingency plan. Jace was already testing her patience back at the safehouse and it had barely been a month since their initial meetup when the deal was brokered...she needed this to go right.

Then it hit her...what if this was all a ruse? What luck that would be, right? Kara takes over, strikes a deal with the garou, tries to actually get somewhere with the Order as their leader, and put things in their place--only to be sabotaged? Would Casey do that to her? She loved him and she assumed he loved her back. That was the faith she was holding fast to. That was her driving factor to get her ass onto the plane and out to America. What slim faith resided within Jaleth and Jonathan for Kara's new beau was just enough for her to trust them both to keep everything standing until her return. They wouldn't let her down. They were reluctant, but they let her go...

The flight over was a little nerve-wracking since she'd never had the luxury of getting into a jet. In the muggle world, in London, they traveled on foot, metro or by cab, or drove themselves if they were brave. And that was about it. Getting thousands of feet in the air in what felt like a steel coffin, with about a hundred other people scared her some, but she made it. Hours in the air, and she made it. Maybe it was because she dwelled on the knowledge that they were high up going thousands of miles per hour, too. She shuddered. Best not think of it, now. She had to fly home after all.

It was a ten minute cab ride from the hotel she'd been housed in, a nice little old-town hotel that wasn't part of a corporate chain. That was fine with her, despite the rumors it was haunted. She had means of protecting herself from that too, if she needed it. The cab driver was kind, at least, and she forked over a fiver as a tip. It might have been a little too generous for that short ride, but she'd blame it on being foreign. American currency was really weird looking, after all. Casey had given her the address to a little sandwich shop downtown and it was just a short walk from her drop off point. It was nice weather out too, a bit different than the season in England. Or maybe it just seemed different because she was in a new place? Salem was a bustling city, but the shop itself was quaint. It was already five til the meeting time, but she'd made it early, for once. As a guest in the country, she figured earlier the better, rather than a late appearance and feeling like a diva or a fool for being so rude. She saw Casey through the front window of the shop and took a deep breath before walking in. Nerves were flowing up and down her body, piled onto the butterflies in her stomach when she saw Casey. He'd been doing so much business elsewhere she just missed seeing his face. It was so lovely...especially in person.

She was smiling when she saw him. Smiling because of the nerves...
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by: Casey Winslow
What was it about waiting that made him anxious? Casey had always preferred being early to everything. That had changed to punctual with the whole marriage to Evie and within five minutes after children. He hadn't really had many appointments since everything had gone to hell in a hand basket in his life, but the few times it had? Well, it made him realize how alone he was. He had Kara, but even then, the war had proven a sort of barrier to the sort of forward momentum he and Evie had had in their relationship. They were still close, still an item, and still progressing forward. But they both had their agendas in the war and their roles in the resistance. Perhaps after this, perhaps once whatever fallout happened with Evie following this attack happened... He'd return to the safe house, the Order. Perhaps then things would progress. Or he'd be driven so crazy by her decisions....

Still, Kara couldn't be any more impulsive than Evie, could she? The whole thing with Bryden and his pack was off-putting, but so far, it hadn't caused anything too... off to happen to his knowledge. Perhaps they could discuss that and such when this did become a legitimate thing. Figure out what each other was comfortable with in the power dynamic. Casey had no problem with Kara being in charge, and he realized she would not be able to consult him in front of others or in things needing immediate decisions. But he would need to know what she was ok with him saying and what she would view as crossing a line. He wanted to be able to speak his mind in front of others without crossing that line, but as it was, the line hadn't been defined, and it had left him feeling very confused as to his place the other day. Still, the upcoming battle was of more concern.

At the sound of the door opening, the shop worker called out she'd "be with you in a moment!" and Casey looked over his shoulder. He was a bit relieved it was Kara arriving first. Merlin knew what Ianto would think if she were to arrive late, though he himself? Was Ianto to show or not show? He probably was a bit put off that he'd not shown for the last meeting, splicing accident aside. Maybe he should tell Kara about that before he got here. Kara probably wouldn't appreciate that suddenly being sprung on her.

Kara stood and held out his arms as he took a step toward Kara. A hug was appropriate for a sandwich shop, and he was quite relieved to see her in one piece and uninjured in light of his current thoughts. "Travels go well?" he asked. It was small talk, but with a sandwich shop worker about to come out at any moment, Casey figured this was the one point where not beating around the bush was both acceptable and necessary.
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by: Kara Viridian
She missed him so much, as he stood there with his arms out, she couldn't help but open her own and ease into his embrace. Kara figured she not show too much affections for him head on, public place and business relations and all that. As much as she wanted to kiss him, Kara refrained.

The professionalism was quite the barrier between them, as it always had been...and she wished for a time they could set that all aside and just...be. It was years in the making, wasn't it? Their troubled, tattered tapestry of a relationship just worn and run down by bickering, arguing, choosing sides, etcetera--and yet, here they were once again, preparing for a battle, taking sides, though not bickering or arguing as of yet. His opinion of Jace notwithstanding--Kara was just glad to have been invited at all. She just hoped it would be to her benefit and to the aid of her dying organization.

"As well as they could be. I can't say I could get used to the...airplane flights, but it's just as jarring as apparition, I suppose." It was. It rattled her to her bones, twisted her insides, but not to the point of wanting to vomit, thank Merlin. Kara lived in the muggle world, in London, but at least that kept her wizarding home and Tutaminis at arms reach. In America, she felt lost and alone. But at least she had Casey.
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by: Casey Winslow
Casey shrugged. "With any luck, we won't be doing this too much longer," he mused. "If all goes well, I don't think there will be a reason to keep operations overseas." The war wouldn't be over--not by a long shot. Even if they won the battle, even if they somehow managed to set a foot in the government... They didn't know everything and who was working for whom, who was imperius-ed, who could be trusted. They'd have to gut everything, and even then, the Death Eaters wouldn't simply give up. They'd proven that when they'd shown up at the school in 2008, eight years after their master's demise. Frankly, if Ianto and any other members were willing to move over to the Order after this battle once it was proven Evie was holding them back? That would make things easier. If they could consolidate the resistance, there would be more numbers and, with that, potentially a lot more power and influence. Dwindling numbers had been an issue from the re-emergence and takeover onward. Those who had joined lacked the drive to do whatever it took in the past. Perhaps that was the one thing that could be nice about Bryden's pack.

Casey glanced up as the sandwich maker came out from the back room. "I'll be at the table," he said as the woman started asking Kara what type of bread. "She's not kidding about the Italian herbs and cheese, by the way," he added at that question before walking the couple more steps and sitting down to eat his crisps. It was interesting to have a potential crossing paths of his current organization and his past with potential consolidation on the horizon. How would Ianto and Kara get along? He didn't see it going well in the long term. Ianto was all measured risks, by-the-books, careful, and methodical whereas Kara could run with her emotions even if she did lace her emotions with some logic. Perhaps that was where the breakdown in communication had always occurred whenever he and Kara had had their fallings-out, now that Casey thought about it. Casey himself tended to go a bit more clinical in his approach to the violence in which he'd had to partake, a side effect of having to go undercover that year, he supposed. It was easier to be almost dissociated with it all. Even Evie had seemed to learn that in the end, after this last attack on her person by Trevor. Yet she was and wasn't Evie because of that attack.

When Kara joined him at the table only a few moments later, Casey looked at her with a small smile. He supposed it was evening back home. She'd probably had dinner a bit ago or eaten on her plane ride. "So, I have no idea if Ianto's running late or not showing after the last meeting got cancelled, but... we'll talk either way. I'll just give him a few more minutes before we get too far into it." He just hoped Ianto didn't have a conniption when they talked and he discovered the reason for his splinching episode was due to having been found out. In the long run, it wouldn't matter, yet Ianto would probably realize the dangers of being near him. Still, a little skirmish wouldn't kill them. It just would ruin Ianto's little under cover operation. Still, if Death Eaters had followed him, he figured they would have made themselves known the second Kara had shown, right?
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by: Kara Viridian
We? Doing this much longer? She wondered. Was it that he expected her to travel back and forth to visit...well, whoever it is standing behind the curtain, pulling all of the knobs and levers to get this meeting going? Even when he stated that there might not be a reason to keep moving between the UK and America, Kara hid her suspicions as well as she possibly could. There was too much cloak and dagger about this, and she was still a little uneasy. Tied in with her jetlag and general uncertainty, Kara had a knot in her stomach the size of Hogwarts Castle and she couldn't shake it. She nodded as Casey excused himself and turned to look at the menu. Unfortunately, Kara wasn't as hungry as she should be, what with all of the nerves going on and the intense stress. Everything looked good on display but she couldn't find her appetite. "Pardon me, I may order something later, but thank you." She smiled at the sandwich maker and turned to head toward the table where Casey had settled in.

"Just not hungry at the moment, but I may grab something later." She repeated the thought to him, as she took her seat. Kara found a great comfort in that faint smile of his.

Ianto... She repeated the name in her head. It wasn't as familiar as she'd hoped; Kara wanted the details and she wanted them wholly. Throwing out the name didn't offer anything else except a bit more anxiety, as she nervously watched for the door in case someone were to walk in. She hated the secrecy, even though that's what all of these organizations thrived on the intrigue, but this pressure cooker in her mind was nearly set to full blast, and she was going to start asking more prying questions to Casey if this 'Ianto' fellow didn't show up soon. Not to mention, she'd have to remember everything and report it back to everyone at Tutaminis. Jon. Her father. Jaleth. Those were really the only ones she trusted so far. Even though Jace should be privy to the information here, she was still unsure how much she needed to explain to the Alpha when it came to Order's tactics. He'd more than likely shrug her off and tell her he didn't have time for their bullshit drama, since the Pack had their own share of business to take care of and for the most part coexisted because of their agreement. Their partnership was wobbly at best, so she'd cross that bridge if it came to it.

Kara just nodded at waiting for a bit longer, even if she didn't like having to wait at all.


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