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#11135
Casey wasn't sure what to say, and he hated it. He'd always been the one who knew what to say and how to say it to obtain the end result he wanted. He had never manipulated so far as he was concerned, but he knew how to present his viewpoint. The difference here was that Kara had taken on a huge responsibility and had just made a huge decision on her own. There would be pride involved and a need to defend her decision. He didn't even want to address the situation at this point. He wanted to be normal with her, their normal, personal life selves. Was that even possible right now? And would it do any good to ignore this for either their professional or personal lives? No, obviously. Yet he knew he couldn't change her mind in this situation so simply, and he knew he couldn't simply change his mind that easily either. It was a huge risk to take a mercenary group of wolves into the fold.

She was nervous, though. There was look on Kara's face Casey didn't quite recognize, and she was running her hand through her hair. She just seemed off.... While he couldn't change his mind and how he felt about her decision and the fashion in which she had made it, perhaps he could set that aside for a moment. He didn't want to drive a wedge between them over this. They were two individuals, and that meant they would disagree from time to time. Both of them might have strong feelings involved in this particular instance, but they could come back to it. Right now, she needed to know he was there, right? That no matter what, they were still a couple, he still cared, and he would always be there.

After a moment, he sighed quietly and rolled his shoulders a bit before standing and walking over to where Kara was seated, stopping behind her and giving the top of her head a kiss as his hands slipped over her shoulders in the beginnings of a massage. Merlin, she was tense.
#11139
She kept her eyes down, and when Casey stood up, she wondered if he was going to bolt, make his way out the door and be done with it. They'd said everything that needed to be said, and Fierro was gone, leaving only the two of them in the commons with silence a space between them that felt like a gaping hole of stress and sadness. Kara wondered how things worked with other couples, other people romantically linked in the arena of politics and whatnot. It was just the beginning, a tornado that struck out of nowhere. To her surprise, Casey had walked around the back of her seat, the feel of his kiss at he top of her head sent a shiver down her back. Then he started in on her shoulders. She closed her eyes, letting her arms relax at her sides and she tilted her head down. Kara let out a breath, a combination of feeling relieved and comforted by his touch.

After a long, stressful night, she needed this: The contact. Professional things needed to be set aside sometimes, not to mention the drama that surrounded her relationship with Casey was rather overwhelming sometimes, and she just needed alone time where she could unwind without having to be proper. Instead of being so cold and withdrawn or having to stifle personal opinion by biting her tongue could be set at ease by holding someone's hand or even stealing a kiss. She moved her right hand up and gently placed it over his. She curled her fingers under his hand and turned her head for a moment to kiss the top of his palm, and then set it back down again if he chose to continue the very-much-needed massage. At the very least this was to acknowledge him, and silently express that she was grateful to be around him at all, and grateful they were finally alone.

"I finally get my father back, and that was the price." Dealing with Bryden, she meant. It was a hefty price to pay too, Kara knew, considering that by allowing their admittance into the safe house set everyone to "Red Alert". What was she supposed to do? Turn away the wolves, turn away the deal and get her father killed? Damn, she really didn't want to talk about any of that after Fierro left the room, but it was like the final thought on that she wanted to have, for now. "Sorry, I won't keep beating a dead horse, or however they say--I just..." She ran her fingers through her hair again and sat back, looking up at Casey with a shrug. "Anyway. What's the next step? What are your plans from here, love?" She asked in a broad manner, wondering if he'd take off again for business, mostly to gauge if she had any time left with him before he was gone again.
#13840
Casey smiled lightly as Kara took a moment to kiss his hand, allowing himself to begin to relax as he continued to work on her shoulders. They needed to reconnect, but first, they needed to calm down and relax and shake the confrontational atmosphere of earlier. Maybe some silence, no talking, just to enjoy each other's company before catching up, business set aside. There was intimacy needed that didn't involve the more physical connection they shared. As easy and tempting as it would be to go straight to that, to ignore their lives, it wouldn't make them closer. It wouldn't make things better or stronger, and that's what they needed, especially now that he would be around more often. They needed to learn how to be around each other more often after so much time spent making this thing work from a distance. They had never known different, so it was new territory to explore.

Casey felt himself tense as Kara brought up her father, stated dealings with Jace and his group were the price, and tried to force the reaction away with a quick couple rolls of his shoulders. He couldn't let himself go into that mode right away. It would affect his ability to react reasonably and lead to more arguing rather than a constructive conversation. They had to deal with that, but it wasn't such a good plan to just go on the immediate defensive. As Kara apologized and moved conversation along, Casey gave her shoulders one last squeeze and then made his way around to sit beside her, resting his hands on the back of the sofa on either side but being careful not to make her feel crowded. He didn't want to force contact if she wasn't to a place where she could handle that or wanted that at this moment after the past few moments.

"Well, I'm here now, working with you, whatever that might entail. I'm sure it'll be rocky. I'm not going to change my thoughts on all this in an instant. It'll take time, but I'll do my best to work with them if that's what you need. Ianto's going to continue gathering useful intelligence while we decide a date using that information. Our allies will make their way into the country, and you can meet them...vet them before we bring them into the fold. But I was hoping that we can spend some time figuring out us. We've been so busy with our lives, it's going to be an adjustment seeing each other more often, and I don't want to let that play into our professional relationship or vice versa." It was honest, to the point, and hopefully she would understand and agree.
#13849
Kara hummed softly as he worked through her tense muscles with his fingers. She rolled her neck from one side to the other to help her shoulders relax, and when he was finished she smiled and whispered, "Thanks." She scooted over some to give him a bit of room to sit, but made sure to scoot in a bit closer when he sat beside her. Of course, she'd move away if he didn't want to be too close, unsure of whether or not they were still trying to keep professional appearances or not, even though there wasn't anyone else in the room. It was such a tiring game, the realm of politics, and she was fast learning that she didn't much like that part of it. He was her, for lack of a better term, boyfriend, and everyone knew it. Why hold back that closeness, the innocent affection of sitting beside each other, holding each others hands or anything like that, when it was nothing more than moral support for one another?

Kara let out a deep sigh and listened to him speak. He was showing his support now, and that's what mattered, reinforcing his faith with the words she needed to hear. She even huffed softly when he mentioned it'd be 'rocky'. Damn right it would be, and this debate, this display of unease over the acceptance of Bryden for the sake of keeping Fierro alive was already shaking that faith. She nodded along quietly as he explained his plan, understanding each step of what he was aiming to do, going forward. Kara saw it as a long, outstretched path in front of her. It was at a steep incline, it seemed, and as he said, it would be rocky along the way.

When Casey shifted the conversation, however, she was a bit floored. Kara sat up and looked at him with slightly raised brows. He wanted to talk about them? It probably wasn't, but it seemed as if it was the first time Casey brought them up like that. Usually it was her asking the questions, trying to sort out the 'whys' and 'whens' and 'what ifs', but here he was, laying this out for her, with honesty and hope in his tone. She relaxed and smiled at him, nodding slowly. "Yeah, you're right." She said, agreeing with him wholeheartedly. It was going to be strange going from seeing him every so often; business trips, meetings, out-of-area dealings were now replaced by a live-in companion who was going to be working with her, side-by-side. Even when she was married to Liam, they still had some separate dealings, like the Abbey and what not, but this was going to be somewhat foreign territory. "I think we're grown up enough not to let you being here get in the way of professional dealings, yeah?" She chuckled, "All seriousness though, you're really going through with this then? You're really moving here?" She sounded so hopeful, stars in her eyes. This is what she'd wanted all along, to have him close, and now it was really happening.
#16266
Casey chuckled with her and shook his head. They could definitely keep their personal lives out of their professional dealings. Truth was, he was more concerned about the opposite: keeping professional dealings out of their personal life. Because they would disagree on things whether Bryden or the next huge call that needed to be made or the hundredth. There would be times they didn't see eye to eye, times things would be heated professionally. No one, not even the most amicable friends, were free of disagreements or different views on one another's choices. They would just have to figure out how to work through that. And they could, if they both wanted this badly enough. He knew he did. He had longed for her companionship overseas, had sent owls whenever possible, but being considered dead left that severely limited to the rare time he could borrow Evie's raven without her suspicions or someone else's owl. And going back and forth had been too taxing on the body to consider doing on the regular.

Casey grinned when she asked if he was really going through with this. "Of course!" he replied. "Why wouldn't I? I have nothing tying me elsewhere. Worst that happens is I'm away a few days training our allies, but even that wouldn't be far enough I couldn't come back any given night if we had plans." It was the truth. He would need to work with these people he and Ianto called allies, train them to outwit and outfight their foes, and it was quite possible it was wisest to do that elsewhere in case any were a plant. But for the near future, it would be just them, no need to worry about those allies until they began arriving, and he planned to make the most of this time. "But that means learning to communicate. We're so used to operating on our own..." He took a deep breath and sighed before resting his forehead against hers gently a moment then giving it a kiss before sitting back, his arm outstretched over the back of the couch, an invitation to cuddle if she wanted to take it.
#16268
She had missed him so much... The real him. The kinder eyes that weren't steeled and set to 'work mode', matched with a tensed jawline and a hardened expression. Kara missed the gentler side of him, the one that was peeking out now. Her smile brightened further when he mentioned moving in. Even though it wasn't the same as him moving in to her room or her flat, having Casey reside somewhere closer than miles over the city was exciting for her. "Training. Ah, yes. I think to prevent myself from going mad I'll have to get out and get my hands dirty or you'll come home and find me buried under paperwork or something." She laughed. The administrative side of leadership was something she was going to have to get used to dealing with, but Kara was so happy to have Jaleth back in good health to help her sift through that nonsense.

"Communicate." She echoed with a bit of a smirk, playfully poking him in the chest. That had been one of the worst parts of their relationship early on; a clash of personal and professional missteps caused them to lose their spark. They were younger then, even if it was only a couple of years ago when everything started, but it felt like more. "Yeah, we are." She agreed. Kara had been a lone-runner for so long, before and even during her run with Damien and the Order she'd been introduced to, but now that she was in a different place, mentally, physically, politically... certain qualities were required to keep all of the efforts from collapsing in on themselves. Communication was one of them.

"I thought you hated me for making that call..." was what she wanted to say, but Kara refrained. She didn't want to bring it back up, dive back into the professional discussion when they were clearly trying to move past that. If it came up again, her decision to bring the wolves into the fold, Kara would mention it. Right now she was perfectly fine just being held by him, discussing things that were far more pleasant than the stressful day before. Kara returned the kiss and smiled at him, her sea-green eyes just beaming in sheer bliss. Kara tucked her leg under her on the couch and scooted in closer to him when he invited her over. The closeness, as rare as he'd been able to experience it as of late, was so welcome. Soothing to her nerves, calming to the anxious wreck she'd been for the last twenty-four hours since Bryden arrived with her father. He always smelled so nice, and it made her smile as she cuddled with him.
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