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by: Casey Winslow
23 March 2016
5:00 p.m.

Casey looked around frantically as he landed near the warehouse and stumbled over toward the nearest building to rest against it. His chest rose and fell quickly with each breath, and his pupils were wide, making the sudden change in lighting all the more painful. After a few moments, Casey dared to rest his head against the side of the building, trying to catch control of his breath. It was difficult to do so, he found, the longer he stood here with the pain quickly reaching a point he could no longer ignore it.

Casey removed his hand from his abdomen and winced at the sight of the blood. He quickly pressed his hand against his abdomen as firmly as he could and set his eyes over toward the warehouse. It seemed so far. Too far, even. He could apparate, but he would risk further injury due to lack of focus. Drawing a hissing breath, Casey removed his left hand again from his abdomen and quickly brought his right over to grab his wand then returned the pressure. He fumbled to gain a good grip on his wet wand before finally sending off his patronus to the warehouse with a message.

Lucy... Shed... Need help. Hundred or so yards from there. East.
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by: Seren Weavers
It had only been a matter of time before Seren had found her niche within the warehouse she now called home. How she was up to full strength, physically if not emotionally, it was time to earn her keep. No one had ever said as much, but Seren knew she couldn't expect the group to look after her without payment forever. Of course she had nothing by way of money to offer, but she did have herself. Of course she knew she was no fighter, she just didn't have it in her, but there were other ways to be useful. At first she had just helped Lucy where she could, fetching or holding while Lucy cleaned cuts and healed bones. She'd have been content enough cutting bandages or heating water, but Lucy had had a different idea in mind.
When she'd first been presented with a wand Seren had almost run for the hills, after all she had been forbidden from touching them for years, but with Lucy's gentle persistence she had come around to the idea.

But that had all been a few months ago and those months had been filled with study and learning. Seren still had far to go, a lot to learn, but it was a start. Besides, Isis could always use another medic.

Bandages floated across the work space as Seren restocked the medical bags. It was a job she'd done before, but now with her own wand it was easier. Lucy hadn't asked her to restock before she left, but Seren liked to be helpful. Besides, Lucy had done so much for her, paying her back in small ways was the least she could do.

The silvery figure was almost on top of Seren before she noticed. She jerked. With her concentration broken bandages rained down around her as the silvery form delivered it's message in a disturbingly familiar voice.
Casey..? Casey was hurt?

In that moment Seren forgot what she'd been doing, forgot even that she wasn't supposed to leave the warehouse alone. It didn't matter, not if Casey was hurt.
She did at least have the forethought to grab a full medical bag before she fled the warehouse in the direction the animal had indicated.
She could see anyone!
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by: Casey Winslow
Casey was sitting now, his back against the shed and his shoulders slumped, not from blood loss but rather from lack of strength to keep himself held up against the pain he was feeling. Sure, the blood was flowing, but it wasn't spurting out. He hadn't nicked an artery or something like that. And besides, the pressure was working, wasn't it? Never mind both his arms and shoulders burned from having had to alternate pressure with that, each time tearing the forming clots open. He knew it, but he was vaguely aware. He was trying to zone out, to focus on breathing, to focus on anything but pain.

The urgent sound of his name being called drew Casey's attention to the world around him. It wasn't Lucy's voice, but it wasn't Evie's. No, it was someone he hadn't expected. He knew she was there, that Seren was there in that warehouse, but was she really outside? Was she in trouble? Casey could feel his heart picking up again as he reached for his wand, which rested beside him on the ground and felt rough in his hand now. Dirt and sand. With a determination that only came with his worry, Casey pushed himself up, calling back, "Ser--!" He swallowed, trying to moisten his throat. "Seren!" He took a few steps forward.
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by: Seren Weavers

There he was! Seren adjusted her run and immediately saw a figure emerge from behind the rickety shed. Casey.... Oh God Casey. Shock slammed into her chest at the blood. Was it someone else's? No, not with the look on his face, the sway of his stance.
Panic swelled in her stomach. This was out of her depth, this was beyond her capabilities. Lucy had only just begun to allow her to practice on real patients under supervision - not... not this!

"Casey, Casey my God what happened?"

She reached the man in a few short steps and attempted to duck under his arm in the hope of propping him up, since he didn't seem to be able to keep himself up right unaided much longer.
"Can you make it to the warehouse?" Seren asked, one hand skimming to find the worse injury. His abdomen oh Lord...
No, moving him was too dangerous.

"I need to seal the wound, how much blood have you lost?"
Seren attempted to push the larger man back so he could lean against the shed. She ignored the heightening anxiety that she'd never mended a wound larger than a cooking knife slip before and continued to probe the area as gently as she could.
"You to lie down for me. Please."
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by: Casey Winslow
Oh, thank goodness! Casey had to fight the slump of relief as the girl attempted to provide him some support. He might not be incredibly tall, but he was heavier than what he thought was easy for the girl. She wasn't running. He hadn't led the woman to headquarters inadvertently in his hasty escape. Though now they were aware. They were aware that there was something in America, though they might not know quite which state or area of a state or whatever it was.

Casey guarded against Seren's hand instinctively. She wasn't going to hurt him. Casey knew that, but it hurt. It hurt to touch, and he didn't want to fall on her. Casey nodded as Seren said she needed to seal the wound. Yes, she did. She did. How much? What? Casey may or may not have half-whispered "What..?" He wasn't sure. He thought he'd heard his voice, yet he wasn't sure entirely. He nodded again as she said he needed to lie down. It was so far, though. "Help?" he said. He could do it with a little support so he didn't simply fall down.

Once he was on the ground, he laid back, momentarily panicking at the realization that he couldn't put much pressure in this position. But Seren was here... Seren, and she would help. He knew she would. To the best of her ability. He moved his hand, trying to let her see the gash...es? (It was hard to tell. He hadn't ventured to figure out in his haste to escape.) from the chain link fence. He had to let her feel, let her figure out what to do. He just wished it didn't hurt so much.
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by: Seren Weavers
At least Casey sat down before he fell down, thank God for small graces. If Casey had fallen he'd have taken Seren down with him and when they'd have both been in trouble. Instead she knelt by his side, taking in the mess of his lower stomach. There was blood, so much blood soaked into his clothes but maybe not as much gushing from the slashes which could have been there.
That was a good sign, right?

A flick of the wrist revealed Seren's wand and a muttered spell ripped Casey's shirt up in two, revealing the mess of the pale skin. The sight sent Seren's panic rising again, but she shoved it away. Panicking now would be selfish, it could mean death. She wouldn't do that now, she wouldn't allow herself too. Casey might have wanted Casey but he'd got her and she had to do her best for him.

"Accio alcahol," Seren mumbled, summoning a small vial of clear liquid into her hand.
Had to clean the wound... She couldn't close the wound, magically or not, just to have Casey die of infection in a week or two.
"This is going to hurt..." Seren warned appoligetically.

She tugged the stopper of the vial out with her teeth as her other hand wiped the worse of the blood away.
"Deep breath in... I need you to stay with me okay?" Seren instructed, setting her jaw, before pouring the liquid onto the wound.

Once the wound was clear Seren fumbled for her wand. This was the part she was nervous about. She'd watched Lucy before, but watching an incantation and completing it properly were two completely different things. Still, she had to try. This was Casey, the man she literally owed her life to. The least she could do was try.
"It's going to be okay..." She promised him softly as she began to whisper the incantation and with each flick of her wand carefully knitted the pieces of skin back together.
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by: Casey Winslow
Casey knew it would hurt the moment Seren summoned the alcohol, but he also knew it was completely necessary. He started to tense in preparation only to have to release the tension in his abdomen. "Okay," he said through gritted teeth as Seren told him to stay with her. He was trying. And then the pour came and with it a loud intake of air and a muffled scream. "Merlin, that hurt!" he managed after the bit it took Seren to clean out his wound. He felt odd, as though he was watching himself, yet he knew he wasn't. Dissociation was not going to do him good here.

Casey looked at Seren then let his head rest back on the ground as he closed his eyes. She had to close the wound, and it would take a bit, he knew. Once he was sewn up, they could get back to the warehouse. Maybe she'd have a pain draught there because he'd need it. Maybe not as bad as he'd needed it after the battle wounds that gave him the multiple scars on his chest or the one on his neck, but he still would need some. And maybe something to help with the light-headedness that was making him feel so odd. He just wanted to sleep, but there was no time for that. He had to get a message to those coming in soon for the meeting with Ianto tonight. It was still a few hours away, wasn't it?
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by: Seren Weavers
Every ounce of Seren's concentration was taken up with the careful flicks of her wand hand and wordless mouth movements which translated into shaky, uneven stitches into the ragged skin. There was a way to charm the needle into doing the work automatically, Seren was sure she had seen Lucy do it, but with no idea where to start it seemed safer to keep control.

Control..? The idea made her want to laugh, which seemed insane in the situation. The situation was just so ridiculous. She had no idea what she was doing, no idea whether this was the right thing... All she could do was her best, Seren just had to pray that would be good enough.

Once she finally finished the stitching, shaky hands slowing her but not stopping, her hand reached up and touched Casey's brow to check he was still conscious. The pain wouldn't be gone, Seren's magic was only the simplest of the simple. She had stitched the skin back together, but it wasn't healed. Casey's body would have to handle that, or Lucy is she returned soon. Perhaps it wasn't enough, but it was all she could do...

"I..." Something for the pain! Seren's hand tugged his hand back and dug inside her bag. The only vial she found was a pain relief draft, but may cause drowsiness.
Was he meant to sleep? Seren didn't know!

A nervous hand gripped the vial, heart thudding as she tried to decide what to do.
"Casey I..."
I don't know what to do!
"I can give you something for the pain but... It might make you sleep. Do you have any other pain I need to know about before You take it?"
What if he'd hit his head? What if he'd broken a limb? Sure there were potions which would deal with pain without drowsiness but she didn't know how to make them! It was her lack of skill, yet again, which could cause Casey's death.

That idea made Seren want to vomit.
"I'm sorry I -" After a quake of her voice Seren forced herself to swallow and take a hold of herself. There was no point in second guessing herself. She unstopped the vial and held it carefully to his lips.

"I need you to take this. Please."
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by: Casey Winslow
As Seren jerked her hand away from his forehead, Casey opened an eye to look at her. He watched her as she contemplated something, obviously more than a little troubled. "Casey I..."

He looked at her, concerned. "You're doing good," he tried to reassure her. He didn't want her to fret over him. She'd done so much already. She'd stopped the bleeding. Half the battle was done. She could relax at least a little. He could deal with some pain while she figured out what to do next. He wanted to ask where Lucy was, but he didn't want to discredit the girl or make her think she'd done something wrong when she hadn't. She'd done exactly what was called for so far as he could tell. He just thought maybe Lucy's presence might help guide her along, make her feel a little more confident. (Admittedly, Seren seemed a lot more confident than she had when he'd last seen her. Life out of slavery was clearly doing her some good.)

Casey shook his head at Seren's question. He was a little worse for the wear. Probably some scrapes and bruises if he examined himself, but that was nothing. He could deal with that, and he hadn't fallen..backward, at least. As Seren pressed the vial to his lips, Casey turned his head. "How long will it make me sleep?" he asked. He didn't want to sleep, partly because of the fact he may have accidentally led someone here if they were that good a tracker and partly because he needed to be sure to make it to that Denny's in time for his and Ianto's meeting with each other's choices.
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by: Seren Weavers
"You're doing good."

Casey, even in the middle of having himself sown back together, was comforting her. Of course he was. He was Casey. Everyone was more important in his eyes than himself. What was that saying..? The most broken men are the kindness? That was Casey. Perhaps he didn't realise it, any other time mentions of it had been left with embarrassment and a shrug off, but he was. Kind, broken and battered of course, but kind.

At the shake of his head Seren let out a sigh of relief. No other injuries, good. Although Seren couldn't help wonder if Casey would tell her the truth if he had further injury. She liked to think so, and Seren had no choice but to believe her mentor. She had to trust him.

"Casey, no you have too..." Seren trailed off with a frown as Casey turned her head away. He had to take something, he needed pain relief. There was no way he'd even be able to walk back to the warehouse (not that Seren felt confident enough to levetate him back - she would need someone with far more skill for that).

"I don't - I don't know... As soon as Lucy gets back I'll make sure she finishes your healing completely but right now you need to rest," Seren touched his check gently in an effort turn his his head back to the vial.
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by: Casey Winslow
"Part," Casey agreed before reaching for the vial so he could have control of how much he took. He trusted Seren but he also knew she was looking out for his health and pain level first and foremost, and without holding the vial himself, it'd be difficult to gauge how much he had taken. He lifted his hand for the vial, hoping Seren would respect his wishes and let him control how much he took. He just needed the edge off, just the edge so he could get back to the warehouse for whenever Lucy returned. She could fix him enough to pass off as uninjured today with Ianto and the others.

While Casey knew how to lose a tail, knew how to avoid being tracked, Ianto would see this as making him too risky to involve, and getting rid of the regime was imperative. Sitting it all out would be difficult, too difficult, after years and years of fighting, always doing, never stopping, especially when the injury wouldn't be the reason.
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by: Seren Weavers
Well... Part was better than nothing. It would have to do.

Seren nodded and supported Casey as he drank the amount he chose from the vial. It was still less than Seren would have liked, but she didn't think she had it in her to push the issue. Lucy, had she been there, would have put on her stern healer voice and demand her patient follow her instructions. Seren didn't have that voice, it wasn't in her nature to boss, so she let it slide. She'd just have to be content with the little which Casey had consumed.

"Thank you."

As the potion, hopefully, worked, Seren hand her hand gently through the older man's hair. She hoped it was soothing, that was the aim. a sensation other than pain to anchor to until it subsided. It was really all she could do for Casey right now.

"Can you tell me what happened?" Seren asked gently after giving the potion a few minutes to work. She didn't think she could move Casey alone, not safely. She didn't trust her ability with her wand. What if she lost control of the levitation spell with Casey of the ground? What if she dropped him and the jarring reopened the wound? Practising on a weather or cup was one thing, but a patient? Casey? She didn't dare.
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by: Casey Winslow
Casey laid his head back against the hard ground. It would do until the potion's effects could be felt and he could attempt to move to the warehouse or at least focus to apparate closer then attempt to walk into the warehouse--at the very least, to the couch. Casey's breaths through his mouth were slightly audible as he laid there, eyes closed and a hand resting on his chest.

At Seren's question, Casey made a face as though thinking then opened his eyes just enough to look at Seren. "I had to go into Diagon Alley this morning. I needed a few potions supplies. The storekeeper bothered to actually study the picture, told me to wait as he walked off. The guard he brought back... Death Eater from my time undercover. He knew right away what was going on. Facial hair... Facial hair, eyes, long hair... not enough to fool him. I tried apparating reasonable distances to escape him, but he kept finding me. I had to make a much larger jump to get overseas than usual. Didn't have time to study muggle transportation flying or sailing over. Ended up facing down a fence, but I lost him. I lost him, so I came here." He winced as he shifted slightly, trying to stretch his shoulder a little, sore from earlier efforts to keep blood loss down.
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by: Seren Weavers
The very idea of a Death Eater being around anyone she cared about sent a shiver through Seren's body. Of course Seren didn't have as much experience with them as Casey, but she had enough. Cold and savage and ruthless. She couldn't believe it was possible, since Casey was currently recovering from a hacked healing job, but he'd been lucky.

Her hand continued it's gentle, rhythmic strokes through Casey's dark hair as he retold his story. She flinched at the description of where he had apperated too.

"You did the right thing, you got away, you - no -" Seren frowned, touching his shoulder gently, "Don't move, not yet. We need Lucy to check you over before any of that."
He couldn't move, not yet. He hadn't been healed, his bleeding only stemmed. Without Lucy's intricate knowledge to stitch him back together, Casey would have to heal the muggle way - which could take weeks. There was no way Casey would allow himself anywhere near that amount of time.
"You're safe. They'res no one after you. It's okay."
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by: Casey Winslow
Casey began to take a deep breath in preparation of a sigh only to stop and release the air. Normal breaths would have to do for now. Amazing what you needed your stomach muscles for. "How...?" he asked. "How long will she be?" He could only hope sooner rather than later. He didn't have any idea how much time had passed in his escape, but he needed to rally the group, needed to prepare to meet with Ianto, and he needed to be as close to tip-top shape to do that. This was nowhere near, but Seren had saved his life with what she had done, and for that, he was more than thankful and forever in her debt.

"What time is it?" he decided to ask, not certain if Seren had looked at the clock at any point prior to his patronus and her search for him. But he needed to know. He wouldn't worry so much if he knew. Or perhaps he would. He couldn't promise either way, but he needed to know regardless. If he needed to delay the meeting any, then he would. Though it wasn't dark yet. He had time, didn't he?


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