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 A Spanner in the Works, p: Clem
Mulligan
Posted: Mar 23 2012, 05:34 PM


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It wasn’t late, at least, not late enough. Not to be getting a text like this. Sure it was normal enough for Clementine to get carried away at some part or club, and yes, Alex was accustomed to getting a sweet if tipsy (drunken, but he’d never say that. Never, ever, never) phone call from his little sister asking for a ride or a car or a cab. They had a deal, unspoken but there. She was allowed to do what she wanted, he wasn’t her father or her boss or her keeper, but he didn’t want her doing anything stupid, anything that would get her into trouble or get her hurt. In all things in Alex’s life his career and his place in the city came first, as well as the opinion of it’s citizens, opinions that trickled down and up from his family and what they did. In this, though, with her, she was all that mattered, never any of the rest.

And because of that, because of how much he cared for her more than anything else in his world, Alex couldn’t help but to feel an emotion he was neither accustomed to or comfortable with: worry. The text was just that, a text, and that was odd enough in itself. The phone call was what he expected, if he had been expecting anything, which he hadn’t. It was far too early, as well, and he didn’t think that she’d been going out with anyone or anywhere in particular. All those things weren’t the most damming, though, the most worrying. What was instead was the shortness with which she’d communicated. Two lines, four words; a demand and a location. Not even the signature less than three that she signed all of her messages (at least to him with).

His shower had been taken a couple hours ago, and he had been lounging in his room clad in soft cotton pants which hung loosely from his hips and to his ankles, chest free of any clothing, flipping through that month’s Economist. It was eleven or twelve, and sleep would be soon to come, or so he had hoped, hopes that had changed as soon as his phone had chirped, letting him know that a message had arrived. A message that changed his evening drastically.

With a quick press of his thumb he was calling her back, rising anxiously from his bed as the phone continued to ring, no answer coming. Well. Then. There it was. Panicking in a way that only this could make him panic, Alex rushed through his room, grabbing a sweater and his car keys, holding his cell tight within his grasp as he reached for his wallet, sliding into flip-flops that he never, ever, wore out side of the house. In a dash he was out the door, taking the stairs in favor of an elevator that would take to long and racing to the garage where he found the car that he loved, loved so much that he didn’t drive it, because really, driving wasn’t within his strengths.

Clementine, though, was in need of rescue, one that seemed more needful than those before it, and even the car, his car, wasn’t worth being skipped over in favor of waiting for a safer mode of transportation, no, waiting wasn’t to be allowed at all. With a squeal of rubber Alex extricated the Audi Spyder and himself from the garage, leaping onto the busy thoroughfare, trying to do his best to pay attention to his driving, he really didn’t want a repeat of last time. Using his power wasn’t that much fun at all.

Finding the club was no problem, that he could do. Alex had been raised in the city his entire life, and New York was something he lived and breathed, much less knew like the back of his hand. He loved it, loved it, loved it, enough to give up a lot. Finding Clementine, though, that would prove more difficult, especially if she continued to fail answering her phone. Handing his precious car over to a valet, Alex began to make his way into the club, finding his only difficulty to be his state of dress, or undress, the bouncers not looking very favorably on the sleepy looking forty something who had arrived in sweats and sandals. Spyder or no spyder, he didn’t really appear to be club material.
Clementine Valentine
Posted: Jun 9 2012, 03:54 PM


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She really, really, ought to have known better. The problem was that Clementine Valentine did not often think about what she was doing. Not the real kind of thinking that most normal people did anyway, weighing pros and cons and possible scenarios, or even just taking that all important step backwards to evaluate a situation and wonder if what she was doing was the right thing, or if it was going to land her in some kind of trouble.

Trouble, she cheerfully maintained, was way more fun.

The night had started off pleasantly enough, a flurry of texts with some of her friends resulting in a shared decision to go out to a club that Jessica swore was the best place she'd ever been. Generally one club was much the same as another to Grace, whose biggest concern was the quality of the booze and the attractiveness of the men, shallow thing that she was. Getting into clubs was no trouble for the model, of course, and she and her gaggle of girlfriends were having quite the night thus far.

Right up until Grace got drunk enough to think blowing bubbles in public was funny, anyway.

Generally speaking the blonde didn't use her mutation very much. People on the whole weren't all that keen on mutants, after all, not even pretty, kind of famous ones like her, and even Grace wasn't quite so bold as to ignore that. At least, not sober. Drunk, on the other hand, and with some of her more accepting friends, well what were a few bubbles left dancing in the darkened club air? It wasn't like they could hurt anyone, and it left she and her friends giggling as they sought (clumsily) to pop them all before they floated up out of reach.

Cocooned in her little world, at a table off to the side with her friends, Grace remained blissfully ignorant of the first few mutters and dark looks from those that happened to walk past their table, and frankly had had enough alcohol at this point not to care if she had noticed. People could just get over themselves. Harder to ignore was the drink hurled in her face, shock cutting short the peals of laughter that fell from her mouth, wide disbelieving eyes staring at the man who dared do such a thing to her. When he smirked and called her a dirty mutie, the only thing that stopped her from launching herself at him (as ineffectual as any physical attack from her might be) were the hands of her friends firmly latched onto her skinny arms and refusing to let her go.

His mission accomplished the man disappeared back into the crowd, while Grace was hurriedly bundled off to the bathroom to try and clean up a little. Furious (and more than a little hurt underneath it, not that she would admit it), Grace did what she always did when life was not going her way -- she called for her big brother. She'd had enough of being out tonight, and despite her other failings she'd always had the good sense to take a cab or ask Alex to send a car when she she'd been drinking. Usually she called, but with friends doing their best to mop alcohol out of what had been perfectly styled blonde locks she merely sent him a text (a far more brusque text than her brother usually received, but she could apologize later), before the device was dropped in her purse while she focused her attention on cleaning up.

It was quite some time before she re-emerged from the bathroom, still in an extremely bad mood and having made the decision to wait for Alex (or the car he would send) outside. All things considered it was a good choice of action, only ruined by running into the same lunatic who'd decided that drink throwing was an acceptable way to behave. He smirked, Grace glared, all snooty outrage as hands landed on her hips. "Get out of my way," she snapped, in a tone that clearly demonstrated that she expected to be obeyed immediately. Unfortunately, tonight wasn't really her night.
Mulligan
Posted: Jun 20 2012, 10:30 AM


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The club was posh, prestigious, at least one A-lister present every night. Such status, such fame, made it difficult for anyone to get it. It was unlisted, yes, and you had to know people who knew people in order to even find the location of the place. Alex had all of that, he knew of it because he knew Clementine and his pretty little sister with the rockin’ bod and alluring smile, well, she knew everyone. It was because of this and her that Alex had been introduced to this side of the world some time after his sister had stumbled into her gig. He didn’t frequent it often, it wasn’t really his shtick, but now and again he had been known to accompany her, or, more regularly, to be the one to extricate her from any predicament.

He wasn’t cool, but he was the cool older brother and he was more than okay with that.

Clementine’s name, though, it wasn’t getting him anywhere that night. Tired and frustrated, sick with concern, Alex wasn’t his normal charming self. The smile was banished, the hair far from perfect, and the light sweater to keep out the uncommon chill on the summer night, it was doing him no favors. The bouncer wasn’t either. Grumbling to himself Alex dipped his hand into the bagginess of his pant’s pocket, locating his wallet and his identification. Getting into clubs this way was not a good thing, it would be a bad thing for himself, the club, and likely his sister’s reputation, but it didn’t matter. It would work. It always did. Power was addictive that way.

All it took were words like ‘underage’ and ‘liquor license’ and soon Alex was bypassing the rest of the line and being escorted into the crowd. He was being taken to the manager, and what he was going to say to him he didn’t know, he’d make up something, eventually, on his way, all the while looking for the only person that mattered to him more than his career. The only person who could put him in a position like this, in public like this, and he wouldn’t mind at all. As long as she was safe, as long as she was okay.

But the manager and the explanation and the ruse that he would create for his purpose would all have to wait. Above the din and the music, or under it, Alex didn’t know, he was able to pick out the sound of his sister’s voice. He might not have been there for her first words but he had heard more of her and spoken more to her than he did to any other individual on the planet. What she was saying went unknown, but her tone was unmistakable. She wasn’t happy, she was mad or perturbed, and Alex had to wonder immediately if it had something to do with the message he’d received.

With a dismissive hand gesture at his escort, Alex shouldered his way into the crowd. He wasn’t tall, and in his state of undress he was far from imposing. Determined, though, oh that he was, and no one would stand between him and Clementine, no one or nothing. Suddenly he found an opening, a clearing, and saw the eyes of others as they locked on whatever it was that was about to unfold between them. Her name fell from his lips in a breath of relief, “Clementine.” Uttered as he strode forward (a feat made difficult by the shoes he was wearing) to place a protective hand on her wrist. “You okay?” He continued, his voice low and his words directed towards her ears alone.

In a timing that couldn’t be more perfect the bouncers which had trailed him through the club caught up, looking more impressive than Alex could have even ventured to. “It seems that more pressing matters have come up.” Alex said, pulling himself to his full height and trying his damnedest to be the DA without all the trappings that came with the job. "I'll make an appointment to see your manager and go over the records at a later time." Maybe he could work in a tax cut too, some sort of benefit for helping the city's economy. Something so that he wouldn't totally tarnish Clementine's name.
Clementine Valentine
Posted: Aug 9 2012, 10:32 PM


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Technically Grace was an adult. With a sum total of twenty-two years under her (extremely fashionable) belt anyone in society would call her such. She was old enough to vote, to drink, to smoke...about the only thing she wasn't adult enough to do was run for President, and who wanted a boring job like that anyway? Well, Alex maybe, but he was far more suited to handling that sort of thing, obviously.

So yes, she was an adult, but the number of times she actually acted like it? Next to nil. She was an adult, but a young one, one generally used to getting what she wanted with a pretty pout or bat of her perfectly made-up eyes. She'd never had to learn to be responsible or to be the bigger person, or anything else that would enable her to handle this particular situation with really any sort of dignity at all.

Instead she was glaring at the man across from her, who seemed not at all inclined to acquiesce to her request, and only barely resisting the urge to stomp her foot like an overgrown toddler. "Make me," had been the challenge issued, and she had no idea how she was going to do that but she'd be damned if she just let someone talk to her that way.

Whatever ill-advised action she was about to take was stalled by the timely arrival of her brother, hand on her wrist and familiar voice in her ear. At any other time she would have likely made some sort of horrified face at what he was wearing, at the way he was not anywhere close to the perfectly put-together man the public usually saw. She didn't mind him looking that way at home - home was the refuge where she didn't have to wear makeup, could wear the most tattered pair of sweats she owned and be perfectly content - but in public? No, no, no.

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) she was far more concerned about the oaf blocking her forward momentum, and she pointed an imperious finger at him while addressing her brother. "He threw his drink on me." She was almost comically outraged in relaying this fact, prompted no doubt but the smug look on the man's face. Ruining her hair was no laughing matter. "And now he won't move." And this time she did stomp her foot, not caring if she looked stupid (the alcohol she'd consumed thus far probably helped with that) or if she was making a scene. She would not stand for this type of boorish behavior. (Not that she would even know what that word meant, let's be honest.)

Oh and look! Alex had brought bouncers with him. He was so good at anticipating her needs, though she did look a little confused by what he said to them. Just throw the jerk out of the place and be done with it. "Why are you going over their records?" Subtlety was not really her strong suit.
Mulligan
Posted: Sep 14 2012, 06:47 PM


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From the text that he had received Alex thought that something horrific had happened to his sister, or was about to happen, or in the process of happening. He could have been a little sensitive to the possibility of something else going wrong in his life, or fearing another does of badness, but as he found her, seemingly whole and hale and well enough, relief washed over him. For anyone else agitation would have swelled, followed with maybe a dash of anger. He'd been dragged out of the warmth of his bed and the sanctuary of their apartment looking, well, looking like he did. Alex never came out like this. Never, for anything at all. He was mortified to be wearing what he was, but at the possibility of being able to save Clemmy from harm anything had been worth it.

Now though...

Now that he knew she was safe and that it was something on the Clementine level of severe and serious, Alex could feel the muscles in his back relax and his lungs once more having the capability to expand fully. He wasn't mad at her, he wasn't even irritated, he was just gratefully, fully and totally and absolutely grateful. And exhausted. And wanting to just pat her on her blonde little head and take her home so that he could sink back into his bed and find some sort of semblance of a break from the sudden circus that his life seemed to have become.

But that blonde head was wet, sticky-drenched with something that smelled like booze, and Clementine, who was often prone to fit-throwing due to the spoiled nature of her upbringing, Clemmy was mad. She was mad and that got Alex's hackles up again. She could be silly and, well, not the smartest thing in the world, but she was his and no one, not even him was to work her into such a state, especially not a man. Alex and his father might not agree on a great many things, but they agreed wholeheartedly on that one fact. Women, no matter the kind or the attitude, were meant be be respected fully, and treated in a manner which suited that perception. Throwing a drink at or on his sister did not fall into line with that.

"He threw his drink on you?" His shoulders went back and his tone went down, Alex transforming almost instantly from the sleepy and burdened brother into the corporate attorney that many feared within the court room. Alex looked to the man, and then to the bouncers. "You allowed him to do this? To accost this young lady in your club? I'm afraid that you're either going to need to eject him from the premises , with a permanent ban, or we will have to look into calling the police and pressing charges. Not only against him, but both of you," He singled out the bouncers with a finger that was much less imperious than his sister's, but just as effective, "and the entire establishment. Such gross negligence for the safety of your clientele is really unacceptable, not only to myself, but the city at large."

Part of him was bluffing, part of him wasn't. Dragging the police into this wouldn't be fun for anyone, but when he got going on his lawyer schpeel, people tended to do as he suggested. If they did then it would all be over, Clemmy's reputation could be saved, and they could all end the night in their respective ways. If they didn't, well, that would just make things a tad bit more complicated for everyone. But that was a bridge they'd all cross when they got to it.

"Just some city business, Miss Valentine."
In that mode, his business mode, both his father and and his sister were addressed by their titles. It tended to make things easier. Besides, he was pretty sure that pissed or not, wet or not, drunk or not, she would cut him then and there for calling her Clementine, again, in front of the gathering crowd. "But one thing at a time. We really do need to settle the matter of the blatant violence first."

It was amusing, him acting as he was wearing what he was, but it was business, through and through, and the threat that he so carefully veiled, both of them, all of them, were real ones. His sister would either have things set to rights, and be satisfied, or Alexander Valentine would drag this club through the mud, and ruin it in the process.
Clementine Valentine
Posted: Oct 24 2012, 07:07 PM


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"Yes. He did." And there went a haughty sniff, pouting expression still in full swring. She'd never deny that she was spoiled, it was a fact evident in her attitude towards, well, everything really. She was spoiled and used to being pampered, fawned and fussed over. This brute, though, he was doing no such thing and she did not approve. She knew she could count on Alex to Not Approve, as well, and the disapproval of the District Attorney carried far more weight than that of an airheaded little model.

While she didn't understand what her brother liked about his job, given that it mostly seemed like a lot of boring meetings and paper work and stuff, there was no denying that she was proud of Alex. Proud that her brother was so good at his job that he could go from a lawyer to the District Attorney, and there was a certain smugness in her face when he flipped the proverbial switch between big brother and Mr. Lawyer. The change was practically a tangible one, and Grace had seen it enough to even be able to spot it coming a lot of the time. So when Alex started in with the lawyer voice Grace started with the smug, oh-you-are-in-trouble-now face.

What she didn't approve of was the 'Miss Valentine' that came with it, and despite the witnesses present her nose wrinkled in an obvious expression of distaste. Other people called her Miss Valentine, not Alex. More importantly, she really didn't want to stand here while he did the whole lawyer thing, as fun as it might have been to watch these people squirm. Another time it might have been counted as entertainment, but right now she was boozed up and her fun evening ruined by jerks and worst of all there was still liquid settling into perfectly kept blonde strands and that was something that needed to be rectified post haste. A shower, that was what she needed.

"Maybe," she suggested, drawing out the word as she eyed the bouncers up and down, "Maybe if they throw him out and ban him from coming back, we can consider the matter settled." A decisive nod of the head followed, the words only a little fuzzy around the edges despite the alcohol she'd had thus far. She was, after all, rather practiced at drinking.
Mulligan
Posted: Mar 6 2013, 08:49 PM


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Even though the crowd around them had stopped, the club continued on. Music played and bass thrummed and people danced the night away, ordering cocktails to quench their thirst and trading phone-numbers and twitters @s like most people did gossip. The radius of their trouble hadn’t completely spread across the expanse of the club, but a whisper of the tension was spiraling out and silence was starting to descend. Trouble in a club was never good, people that pumped up, that drugged and that drunk, they were volatile. Panic could spread like fire, and with the vibe that was spreading outwards from the lot of them, Alex could feel the moment coming at them, like the downward swooping of a pendulum, before everything went wrong.

“You better decide quick.” He pressed, looking out at all the people, a third of which were trying to look back as the wave of discomfort rolled through the crowd. “Or you’re about to have a much bigger problem on your hands.” And that wasn’t just an empty threat on his end. Or a loaded one. Even if the manager of the joint hired the best bouncers in the business, a panicked crowd at that number wouldn’t do anyone any good. The police would be called, investigations would be had and licenses checked. It would be likely that they’d be shut down for a night or two, and that would be profit out the window.

All they had to do instead was to kick this guy out. And with Alex standing there staring them down, and Clementine looking far from pleased, and the crowd, the crowd starting to lose that frenzied energy like ozone that crackled before a storm, what other choice did they have? They didn’t, and without another word the larger of the two was pulling at the stupid young man’s shirt collar and dragging him out of the club. Just like that, with a breath and a sigh, the bubble of tension popped and like people had stopped dancing and instead paid attention to that which was occurring, with the same ripple they went back to what they’d been doing before.

Even though they were in the middle of a very populated area, Alex and Clementine were now very much alone. “You okay?” He asked, shoulders still keeping the straight firmness of a man who needed to be in control, but his voice holding the weariness that the last months had brought to him, and the sort that came with the relief in knowing that if not everything, his most important thing, was going to be okay. “Ready to go home?”
Clementine Valentine
Posted: Apr 11 2013, 04:51 PM


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There was no recognition in Grace for whatever disturbance they were causing with their little scene. She didn't care if she was ruining anyone else's night because her night was already ruined and that was the only thing that mattered to her. It was just another display of just how self-centered she tended to be, her complete obliviousness to the way more and more people seemed to be turning their attention towards their little stationary clump. Although given her tendecy to ham it up whenever she thought she was getting the least bit of attention that was probably a good thing. It kept her from turning a scene into a Scene, and that was definitely a good thing.

She would have been happy to cause one, though, to pitch a proper fit to get her way, because she'd learned from an early age that a lot of pouting was likely to get her anything she wanted. Her father, her brother, pretty much any man she'd ever dated, all of them could be twisted around to give her what she wanted with the right amount of quivering lower lip and tears. With Alex present such measures were unnecessary, though, and there was more smugness on her part for the way in which the little thorn in her side was unceremoniously hauled off. Served him right, the bastard, putting his booze in her hair. Did he not know how much money went into making it look this good?

"He dumped his drink in my hair," she pouted, because clearly that was the only answer necessary to express how not okay she was. Vain little thing that she was such a thing was practically world-ending. At least there hadn't been anyone important around to see it. "In my hair." A finger was pointed at said hair, as if she needed to make any further emphasis on the statement.

(So that was a no, she was not okay.)

"Yes," was her answer to the second question, slightly less pouty as she tucked one skinny arm around his, but only slightly. "I need to wash this out before it does too much damage." Her looks were her bread and butter, she was totally justified in worrying about what alcohol might do to her hair. "This place is lame, anyway."
Mulligan
Posted: May 29 2013, 09:50 AM


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For all the tension that had just existed, and the likely firestorm of shit that had just been avoided, laughter found its way into Alex’s chest. He was standing in the middle of a crowd that smelled of sweat and cloying sprays and alcohol, things had almost gotten very, very bad, and his sister, the beloved third of his soul (one of which he owned, one of which belonged to another who wouldn’t have him, and one to her) was concerned about her hair. His laughter was deep and easy, starting in his lungs and moving out his mouth, Alex bringing his hands to run through his own blonde locks, tousling the curls that were generally so perfected.

Nothing about him was perfect, at least not in that moment. Alex was a fastidious man, whose clothes were always pressed and whose hair was always coiffed just so. Tonight he’d run out of his apartment without a thought, and standing there as he did, trying to look as commanding as he could, Alex was still just a man in flip flops, sweat pants and a tee shirt. He must have really loved her to show his face in public like that. There shouldn’t have been a question, she’d been the holder of his heart since that first smile. But lately, in the past couple months, since everything with Nick had happened, there had been an increased closeness between them.

Clementine had become the sharer of his secret. A secret that he was still planning to release to the world, but one in which he just couldn’t yet. Emma had been there for him for so long, had been his support both politically and emotionally and as much as he loved Nick and Clem he also loved her. Not, of course, in a way that a woman like she was deserved to be loved. But it was still unending and eternal. She was his closest friend, his dearest confidant, and he could not simply betray her by coming out of the closet because he was finally ready.

Life, it seemed, was never quite a simple thing.

Patting the hand of the arm that had been looped through his own, Alex smiled at his other mostly confidant, the one from which only one more secret was held, and arguably the most important person in his life. “Come on then. Let's go home.” He was leading them towards the entrance as he spoke, the crowd parting before them like Moses did the seas. She was a stunner, even soaked with some sort of beverage as she had been, and he was a powerful politician, even that, though, had nothing to do with the ripple that came away from them. They were just like that, graceful and regal, even as they both were, and it had been difficult to miss from the start.

“Have you eaten?” The valet approached and nodded, heading off to get the car. “We could get some delivery.” It was late, but for some reason Alex was no longer tired. And having dinner, if a meal at such a time could be called that, with his sister, sounded like a good plan. “I’ll even let you pick” Not that it would have ever been any other way.
Clementine Valentine
Posted: Jun 6 2013, 09:50 PM


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And just like that, her brother had saved the day.

It was something that Grace tended to take for granted, really, after all the times he’d come to bail her out of this or that, the cars he’d sent to get her when she was utterly trashed, the way he was always, always in her corner no matter what new disaster she created or became involved in. There were moments where she stopped being a self-absorbed little princess long enough to acknowledge it, moments where she’d buy him something she knew he’d love just to make up for all the shit she put him through, but these were really further apart than they should have been. And with Alex laughing at her after she declared the crime against her perfect blonde locks, this was definitely not one of those times.

“It’s not funny Alexander,” she pouted at him, bony elbow digging at his side, and it was so easy to tell when Grace was miffed with her brother because it was the only time she called him by his full name. No matter what her parents preferred he’d always been Alex to her, a special privilege afforded her because she was his sister and could get away with these things (except when their parents were around). “What if it does something awful to my highlights?” Clearly she had her priorities straight.

But it was practically impossible for her to stay mad at him for long, and really she hadn’t even gotten to the point of actually being mad in the first place. Not at him, not at her knight in shining armor. For most women that title was reserved for the man they fell in love with, but not with Grace. Other men were not to be trusted outside of the fun you could have with them, not when they might go off looking for someone prettier than you, or decide that you weren’t interesting enough or who knew what else. Alex was the only one she trusted completely, the only one she knew wouldn’t leave her no matter how dumb or shallow she was, and that was important even if she didn’t necessarily acknowledge it consciously.

No attention was given to anyone else around them as she and Alex headed towards the entrance of the club, not even to the friends she was leaving behind, but that was Grace for you, only ever concerned with herself and the newest thing to capture her attention. There would be apologies made another time, offers of a shopping spree to make up for it and for them all to have quality time together, and everything would continue on as it always had for her. In the present moment her attention was solely for Alex and his promises of food, which were far more appealing to a slightly intoxicated Grace than they would have been to a sober one. She did most of her eating when she’d been drinking, packing in as much disgustingly greasy food as she could stand, and then ‘made up for it’ by eating as little as she could possibly stand during the sober hours. Because obviously that was how biology worked.

“Burgers!” was her entirely too-eager answer, before she registered the fact that the valet was off to get Alex’s car, which meant there was no driver, and knowing her brother’s driving ability (or lack thereof) Grace squinted at him a little suspiciously. “Did you drive?”
Mulligan
Posted: Jun 17 2013, 12:44 PM


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Clementine might not have found the situation amusing, but Alex did. And as she pouted and elbowed and used his full name while mourning the possibilities of what might happen to her hair, that laughter that he had within him only bubbled up further and spilled out more. “That might very well be the end of the world.” He replied back, drolly, looking over at his too tall and too perfect sister. Even if anything ill were to happen to her hair, Alex was more than certain that she had an army somewhere ready to fix it. Not that he could really comment, or pretend to not understand, because he was easily just as fussy about his own golden locks.

“I’ve got some neutralizer.” pH was important when it came to science and stuff, or so Alex thought at least, but the only time he actually gave a damn about it was when it came to his hair, or his skin, or any other such part of him that might be effected by it. Right then he was thinking about his sister’s hair and the balance of her highlights and as they walked through the crowd and out into the openness of the sidewalk, Alex was mentally processing the contents of his shower. “And that new stuff from my stylist.” Because of course Alex had one. “It should be able to take care of any consequences.”

“You realize you’re the worst supermodel in the world, right?” Alex, unlike his sister, didn’t get such an amazing degree in biology and knew that a burger would end up equaling more time working out. But a burger (or burgers?) with his sister was more than worth any sort of effort that he might have to put into it. “But we’re getting them to go.” He looked to her and then back to himself and the very pointedly down to his feet where toes were allowed to wiggle freely around the thong that held them in place. “I’m not staying out in this.” Because she might be able to pull off mostly soaked and still be gorgeous but he was in sweats and flip-flops and there was just no way.

None at all.

“What do you think I did, walk?” Alex was an awful driver. He knew he was an awful driver. Just as much as the rest of the world was aware that he was an awful, awful driver. If his father wasn’t a cop (or the chief of police) and he wasn’t the DA, well, him still having his license still probably wouldn’t be a thing. “Speaking of, just how much have you had to drink?” Because Clem, as she was, was probably a better driver than him. The spyder was brought about, and depending on his sisters answer, or opinion on the whole driving matter, Alex waited to see if she’d drive, or if she wouldn’t.

One way or another, though, they were heading for Le Parker Meridien, in the most interesting of styles.
Clementine Valentine
Posted: Jul 11 2013, 10:11 PM


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It was official, her brother was the worst person in the world.

Okay, not really, and it was fairly obvious to anyone who actually listened to her talk about Alex for even sixty seconds that the adoration was strong with this one. In the grand scheme of things he could literally do no wrong, her belief that he was the best person in the entire world so firm and unshakeable that in many ways it made her blind to the faults that he, like everyone else on the planet, possessed. But in the little, every day things, Grace quite often found herself exasperated with him in the way that only a little sister could be, and his making light of the potential damage to perfect hair that cost a small fortune was certainly one of those times.

“You’re mean,” was her rather less than witty retort, face shaping an over the top pout right up until he actually added something helpful. Then she was back to something resembling cheerfulness, because getting someone to attend to her hair in the middle of the night was bound to go poorly (people were so weird about wanting to actually sleep at night), but she could bull her way into an appointment first thing in the morning, and in the meantime washing it with all the chemical-laden solutions in Alex’s bathroom (and, of course, her own), ought to be good enough. She’d been due for a trim anyway.

His question merely made her sniff in a haughty sort of way, a flounce added to her high-heeled steps as she shook her hair in what was supposed to be a dismissive fashion, though it was rather ruined by the remnants of booze still soaked into the strands. “My paycheck says otherwise,” she pointed out, her ego shining through ridiculously clearly. She wasn’t the best paid model in the world, of course, far from it, but she really didn’t need to be. The money was secondary to Grace, who would have flirted and preened in front of cameras for free if that was what it took to get the attention she craved. Certainly she’d had lean days in the beginning, though living with Alex had meant that was never really an issue, but now things were…comfortable. Although her definition of ‘comfortable’ was much different than most people’s, given it included the ability to buy designer clothes frequently and often on a whim and not worry about potentially going broke.

She’d been lucky in that, really, because modeling was a difficult business for most, where work was hard to find and rarely paid well when you did find it, but that was one of the perks of being an Angel. Victoria’s Secret took care of it’s girls, even the wayward mutant one, and it had never bothered Grace for a moment that she was undoubtedly the lowest paid among their number. She made enough, more than enough, considering her career was one where most of her ‘coworkers’ were being cheated out of the majority of their money by agents doing some dodgy accounting and claiming a ridiculous number of ‘expenses’. (She’d been lucky in that, too, because it was difficult to cheat a woman out of her money when her brother was a lawyer, and Grace had at least had the brains to have him look at any contract handed to her.)

His appearance was taken in more fully when he was kind enough to point it out, one of those sunshine bright grins sneaking forth at bare toes wiggling in the air. “Maybe we should find a Wal-mart, you could be on that website! You know, the people from Wal-mart, or something? You’re dressed perfectly for that.” She was grinning too hard for innocence to settle properly on her face, but that was what he got for making light of her hair problems. This was Serious Business.

Almost as serious as his driving ability, and though she rolled his eyes at his first question her head was shaking before he’d even finished the second. “Nope, you know the rule. The second the first drink is down, no driving.” She did, after all, have her moments of intelligence, and perhaps surprising to some, given her airheaded, party girl tendencies, this was a rule Grace had never, ever broken. She took taxis when she went out, and took taxis home too, unless she felt her level of drinking warranted the slightly more discreet town car ride instead. Nor did she let her friends (or the acquaintances she often met in bars because drinking only made her even more friendly than she already was) drive once they’d been drinking.

She may not be the poster girl for much, but at least the M.A.D.D. mothers would love her.

Of course, just like most other things in her life that boiled down to not wanting to mess up her pretty face and sexy body by sustaining any sort of disastrous injury, and of course dying would be pretty horrible too (just not as horrible as being ugly), and if there was any way to convince Grace not to do something it was by telling her it would ruin her looks. So she’d just have to suffer Alex’s horrible driving, which might actually wind up in an accident anyway… Hm. Tough choice.

But no, he’d clearly gotten here in one piece, and Grace’s steps took her unerringly to the passenger seat, from which position (seatbelt securely fastened) she gave her brother her most serious face. “Try not to wreck, okay? I’m too young to have scars.”
Mulligan
Posted: Jul 14 2013, 09:08 PM


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"You're mean." Because the second that she said it, Alex said it back. It was just the sibling thing, their sibling thing, something delayed in the way that they were decades apart but utterly similar in that something were just intrinsic. She was his sister, he was her brother, and they were meant to squabble in little ways just like this.

Alex snorted at the mention of money, rolling his eyes all at the same time. It was funny, for them, the way that money was. He knew that for his father, for his mother, it had been important. They had both come up in a hard way, his dad more than his mom, and when they'd left for the city, Alex kicking his way about in his mother's womb, no money had been had at all. They both worked, tirelessly, trying to provide for themselves and their son. They'd lived in crap apartments and closet sized walk ups and things had been hard. But then they weren't. Because Alex was smart and his father was brave and soon the no money turned into lots of money. Soon being a relative term because it took more than thirty years. But money, it seemed, was no longer a thing, for them. Alex took a severe paycut when he became DA, going from seven figures a year to five. But who needed million dollar salaries and corporate accounts when you could make a difference?

He didn't. And he knew as much as anyone that Clementine wasn't a woman who worked to have zeros on her check. For all the wrongs in the Valentine family and there were a lot of them, it seemed that happiness, pieces of it, contentment and rightness, had a lot to do with their lives and their place in the world.

At least in Alex's rose-colored mind.

"I'll disown you if you ever say anything like that again." He wouldn't, duh, but she knew that as much as he did. He smiled in a mix of embarrassment and amusement, really bothered by how he appeared in public, genuinely distressed about it, but the ribbing from his sister made it just a little bit better. "In fact if you ever say I was out like this, I'll disown you."

If he didn't have to work in the morning, he'd suggest they go get food and bottles of Jameson and then go home and get wasted so that they could both conveniently forget it all. Oh well. Duty called.

"Does the fact I even asked make me the worst DA ever?" It probably did, and his head bobbed up and down a little at the realization of the fact. If he was going to be outright horrendous with anyone, being with Clementine made it safe. She was his safe place, more so than anyone else in the world. Now, Alex trusted Emma with his life, with everything, he had to with the way that she had utter access to everything that was him. And he loved her, and he loved her because there was a relationship there that wasn't born of blood relation or other ties. They had just, in a way, resonated with one another, and joined causes and become what they were. Clementine, though, she was above that, beyond that, and for all that everyone else in the world was not totally safe, because as cheery as Alex was he'd been a lawyer all his life, Clementine was. He had feared that, for a moment, because of his biggest of secrets, but she'd accepted it, and him, and they'd moved on.

There was just one thing left.

Unanticipated, unsettled, and knowing that he was going to tell her even if it wasn't the best time or place, Alex waited until her belt clipped into place, and his had done the same, before he was pulling out (rather smoothly for him) into the flow of traffic.

"You know that whole dormant X-gene thing I tell everyone?" One gear and then another, him slowly shifting up until he settled in at third, thought better about it, and backed down to second, him not even capable of turning to look at his sister as he drove. "Well. It's not true."
Clementine Valentine
Posted: Aug 22 2013, 06:33 PM


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Many people, upon first learning that a full twenty years separated Grace and her brother, felt compelled to ask if it had been weird. The friends of her's who had siblings had them relatively close in age to themselves, and they were somehow certain that the age difference between the Valentine siblings must make for a very odd family unit. It really didn't, though, as far as Grace could tell. Sure Alex hadn't lived at home with her, and there had never really been squabbles over toys or attention from their parents or any of those sorts of things, but as far as the relationship between the two? They were just as close - perhaps even closer - than most other siblings she knew of.

That probably had something to do with the fact that Alex had never really been too dignified, too grown-up for her. It would have been any easy thing to do, to be distant from the sister who was just learning to walk while he was bulling through college, who was entering the first years of the educational system while he was leaving it. The important things in their lives had always been utterly different because they were in such different places in their lives, and yet the most important thing had always been each other.

The banter was therefore something long established, reaching far back into her youth when a little blonde girl in pigtails had stomped her tiny little foot and pouted at her big brother, only to have him mirror the pose right back at her. Now, just as then, Grace's eloquent response was to stick her tongue out at him, and then to grin wickedly as he threatened to disown her.

Well, it really didn't even classify as a threat because it would never happen, she knew that as certainly as she knew her own name. As certainly as she knew her own reaction to being caught out in anything less than perfectly put together would be pretty much identical. Except with about fifty percent more brattiness because being caught out in an outfit she did not plan to be seen in would be grounds for usually cheerful Grace to be the bitchiest of bitches.

"I think we need a picture, just to commemorate the moment," she teased, though no move was made for her phone. She knew better than that, knew which lines would genuinely upset him to have crossed, and that made her glad, actually, that the night was relatively quiet and there was no one around trying to sneak a picture. (Although that was just as much for herself as it was for him, because she did not want her hair photographed right now.)

He might have considered himself the worst DA but Grace's answer was a quick "Nope!" because, naturally, her brother couldn't possibly be the worst anything. "You haven't even been caught up in a sex scandal yet." Which was obviously how everyone should judge elected officials, and she was grinning at him again because they both knew why he hadn't been. Well, besides just being a good, upstanding sort of man who wouldn't do that kind of thing anyway, but being gay and hiding it from everyone (even if Grace didn't agree with that) certainly helped.

Her shoes came off as he pulled away from the curb, as much to allow her feet room to stretch as it was to avoid seeing any collision coming their way by bending over to undo the straps around her ankles, and it was from this position that she snorted and rolled her eyes at his proclamation. "Pretty sure I would have noticed if you had a real power, Alex." Because, duh, they lived together, they were themselves with each other, except...except for that one thing that he'd kept from her for literally her entire life, and suddenly Grace was straightening up again to stare at him with narrowed eyes because if he was going to blindside her with another world-altering revelation she might have to hit him. "...Right?"
Mulligan
Posted: Sep 7 2013, 07:45 PM


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The threat of bringing a camera into the mix had Alex glaring, full force, in his sister’s direction. As if through his glance he could prohibit her from being physically able to move toward the phone he knew she had, a present from a man that was far richer than them and who had all the gadgets in the world, hell, who made all of the gadgets in the world. Alex Valentine had hardly ever been impressed with Tony Stark, and would have had no issue tossing his sister’s phone from the car and running over it several times in order to destroy any evidence of him being in the state that he currently was.

Really. He would. And Alex, when not in the courtroom, was hardly ever aggressive about anything at all. Get between the man and his public image though? Even if it was his sister, oh, he’d never be angry at Clementine, she was immune to such a reaction from him. It would just be the phone that suffered, and no one else.

Narrowing his eyes at her, though, for maybe just a second too long as he traveled down the road, Alex knew that her threat held about as much water as his did, and satisfied that he wouldn’t be breaking expensive Stark Technology any time soon, he returned his attention back to the road (where it should have been all along) once more.

“That would require getting laid.” He deadpanned. Part of him was glad that they could talk about things like this. That he could talk to anyone about things like that. Alex was rather certain that talking about his sex life was not something his baby sister wanted to do, but he couldn’t talk to anyone about his lack of one. She was the only person that he could really feel comfortable talking to about it out of the three people who knew his secret at all. Him and Nicholas, well, that was better not spoken of at all, and it wasn’t like he could bitch to Emma about the fact he’d not wrinkled sheets in years. He could, he supposed, and she had that little trick of hers where she could pull it out of his head like magicians and rabbits and hats. But it just wasn’t okay. Part of Alex felt guilty that he and Emma weren’t more. She deserved it, the ability to be a good man’s wife and to have a good man’s husband. To Alex, a poor naïve man in some respect, Emma was the epitome of a perfect woman. She was wonderful and only deserved wonderful things. He loved her, to the point it hurt, and it was injurious to him not to be able to give her more.

Still. There were no sex scandals to be had if there wasn’t any sex.

For all the lighthearted seriousness of their conversation though, for the up and down doldrumy path that it had taken, the subject that Alex broached without warning or warm up was anything but amusing, and the lead weight of yet something else he shouldn’t have kept tucked away from his sister hung heavy in his gut. “It’s not really the kind you can notice.” He began, fingers white knuckled on the steering wheel, sea-foam green eyes fixed on the point ahead of them, Alex unwilling to even flex towards sister in the slightest. This was not a good idea, but having another lie between them wasn’t either. “And it’s kind of a big deal.” He wasn’t bragging, not really, but without getting into touchy feely revelations of his emotions on the matter, that was about the best way he could explain it.

A swallow, thick in his throat, dry and uncomfortable, and Alex was cutting through traffic, pressing down on the accelerator a little too much and pushing his spyder into speeds that shouldn’t be obtained in the middle of Manhattan. Anything, though, was better than facing this without some sort of distraction. “I can kinda, um, take a mulligan?”
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