Before Landing (-1435): Your New Shadow
Summary: Lionel and Hector meet for the first time, and Lionel is assigned to be Hector's shadow.
Date: 28 June 2016
Related: None
Hector Lionel 

The Valentine Clubhouse
In poses.
1,435 (4 Years) Days Before Landing

It's not often that the Council seeks to give any kind of direct edict to any of the guards. But word has come down that someone has been threatening Elle V's boy. Hector ended up in the infirmary two weeks ago with a broken hand from an 'unknown assailant.' The Valentines have their own protection, of course, but when an assailant comes up against bodyguards, that only racks up the crimes rather than preventing them. On the Ark when all crimes are punishable by death, it's…problematic.

There aren't too many secret places on an overcrowded space station that's been occupied for nearly a hundred years - but Hector has found one. Or rather, it was passed down like so many other things in his family. It's an access panel not far from the reclamation centre. An air exchanger used to exist behind the panel, but it got broken down when a larger exchanger was built further down the hall. That leaves a nook the size of a walk-in closet behind a loose grate. It's been the clubhouse of the Valentines since his great-grandfather. There are makeshift beanbag chairs, old lights strung from the ceiling and a cupboard full of contraband. The guards who patrol this section know it exists, of course - but they also know they're not supposed to touch it. It's here that the boy wonder reclines with a bottle of still whiskey resting against his chest as he pages through a book that's nearly in tatters.

Captain Tyler Adams has a cruel sense of humor. After a rather poor overuse of bravado and stupid decisions, Lionel was facing yet another disciplinary censure that could result in a full dismissal from the guard. This assignment was one of those get your act together, or else kinds, so the young Weeks was taking it very seriously. Or as seriously as you can take casually knocking at the access panel that leads into the Valentine clubhouse. He is all guard today from the neat brush of his brown hair all the way down to his well-cleaned combat boots. HIs stun baton is at his hip, alongside his pistol — which has been clipped and safety on. He is looking quite serious, though his eyes flash with curiosity and interest as he starts to lean in.

"Here to see Mister Valentine," he says, voice light despite the serious set of his expression.

Hector looks up with the slow reaction time and bleary-eyedness that is the mark of the slightly inebriated. He sits up a little from his epic slouch on the makeshift beanbag. The bottle of liquor slides down his chest and hits the floor. Fortunately, the cap is on, so none of the precious, precious liquor gets spilled. "You the new official bodyguard, or have you come to slap me in irons and float me?" He's wearing the usual attire of the Ark - clothes that have been patched a dozen times. He may get a lot of privileges, but there's no factory making clothes. Even he has to deal with holey socks and ripped jeans.

Lionel steps in — a high step that also includes a crouch, to clear the frame of what had once been an access panel. He gives the collar of his stiff guard armor a small tug once he straightens back up, and he casts a dubious look around. Being a guard is a new elevation of status for the Weeks family, considering his mother is just a laborer. He looks around at the reclaimed beanbag chairs and lamps, and then finally those bright blue eyes set upon the young Valentine. His gaze unabashedly sweeps up Hector's frame from head to toe, and then back up to the man's face. He starts to smile a lopsided grin that matches the slight tilt of his head. "We can start in column A and see how long it might take us to get to column B."

"Will it stay in column A if I offer you a drink?" asks Hector as he holds out the bottle and swishes it back and forth invitingly. "And there's more where that came from." He lifts a hand and pushes fingers through a bit of an unruly mop of hair. "What's your name then? I'd tell you mine, but I have a feeling you know that already."

The guard arches his brows at the offer of drink, and he finds himself unable to resist that temptation. He saunters forward a step, and then another. He shakes his head even while his feet guide him forward, "I won't do you much good drunk, but…" Lionel's grin widens, and then he shrugs a shoulder. "One drink." He is now only a few feet away, and he flattens his hand at his chest, over the flexible plates of his armored jacket. "Lionel Weeks… Guardsman Lionel Weeks." Then his grin turns to a small smirk. "And yes, I was given some information about you, Mister Valentine."

"Oh," says Hector with arched brows and a wry smile. "'Information' about me, huh?" He clucks his tongue. "What kind of information would that be? That I'm a spoiled brat who can do whatever the hell he wants? That I'm a mama's boy? Believe me, Guardsman Lionel Weeks, I've heard it all." He un-caps the bottle and holds it out to the other man with a grin and a headtilt.

Lionel takes the bottle, advancing the last few steps to sweep into a crouch beside Hector. He takes a swallow from the bottle, not speaking until he grimaces past the burn. Then he glances over to the Valentine. "It was a pretty boring read, actually… very dry. Lacking in the way of flavor." He shakes his head then, not minding to take another nip before he offers back the bottle. He resists a third.

"I'm actually a very hard worker," says Hector with a note of amusement in his tone. "I spend most of my day doing honest work like sorting scrap metal." He doesn't go into what the dishonest work is, but the glimmer in his eyes say that they both know. "I don't imagine they would have given you this job if you had a stick up your arse and/or you were inclined to see me floated." He takes the bottle back and swallows a small mouthful and tips it right past his gums. Best if you don't try to taste it.

Lionel sets his forefinger across his upper lip, smiling slightly against the digit as he regards Hector. He shakes his head then. "Yeah, it is the stuff you do on the side," the guard offers. He crisscrosses his fingers together, elbows on his thighs. "I don't know… I got the sense that this job was punishment." The words are offered in his own wry note. "So, I think they gave me this job because, if there's not a stick up my arse, you're going to be a pain in it regardless."

Hector flashes a white-toothed smile. His dark eyes dance with amusement. "Oh, yes? Fascinating. It's interesting that they consider this duty punishment, when I can be very good to my friends." He reaches over his head into a set of cubbies, then feels around until he withdraws something small wrapped in foil. He tosses it to Lionel. It's very small and somewhat chalky, but…it's chocolate. Just a tiny morsel. Just enough to make the tongue happy before it's gone.

Lionel is not a clumsy oaf, but he does fumble a bit with the chucked bit of foil. He blinks in surprise when he opens it to reveal chocolate. It is probably over a century old, but here it is, fitting like a treasured pearl in his palm. He then looks at Hector, giving him a slightly narrowed look. "Not a bribe," he says, stating instead of asking. "I'm here to watch you, guard you… not become the guard in your back-pocket." He closes his hand around the piece of chocolate however.

"Not a bribe. Just a bit of hospitality," says Hector. He sets a hand over his heart as he speaks. "A show of good faith. I don't mean to be a pain in the ass, Guardsman Weeks. You're doing me a service, and I will endeavor to appreciate said service and repay you when I can. I realize I am taking you away from other duties."

Lionel can handle hospitality. He starts to mosey into a seat rather than crouching down. He doesn't unwrap the chocolate piece, but tucks it away as if he plans to savor it for later. He drops into a beanbag chair, listening to it wheeze and shift under his weight. He shifts a bit himself, pulling out the baton to set aside his leg. He turns his gaze to Hector once more, setting his first two fingers at his temple, thump posed at his jaw. "Other duties," he repeats. Then his smile starts returns, the grin splitting his face easily. "I'll keep a running tab."

"A running tab. Should I do the same?" Hector nods towards where he saw the chocolate disappear to, then to his bottle. "Or we going to have a gentleman's agreement and consider it tit for tat?" He takes another pull from the drink, then offers it out to the guard.

Lionel drops his hand, shaking his head slightly. "Gentleman's agreement," he says, words chuckled slightly. "Yeah, alright. Gentleman's agreement." He then leans forward, offering out a hand to Hector, as if this is something he expects them to shake on.

Hector pauses for a moment, then shakes his head and reaches out to shake. "So formal. I suppose that's clearer than wink wink, nudge nudge. I appreciate a straightforward man." He wriggles back in his beanbag, a bit like a cat. "So. Apparently someone wants to kill me. I appreciate my mother's concern, but people have been wanting to kill Valentines as long as there's been an Ark."

Lionel does his best to just smile casually despite the urge to grin broadly with that boyish nonchalance. Nope, he's here to behave himself. He will not get into trouble, even if there is no doubt a whole lot of trouble is seated across from him in the other beanbag chair. He shakes his head then, and he offers, wryly, "Your family has always been very popular." And not all popularity is good, by his tone. "My question is," and he points vaguely at Hector with his first two fingers, "how did a guy break your hand, but you don't know who it was?"

They have these inventions, you know…" Hector mimes pulling something down over his eyes. "They can hide your face. What are they called?" he taps his lip sarcastically, then snap-points. "Starts with an 'm.'" He looks pointedly at Lionel, expressive brows arched high.

Lionel smirks then. "M… M… My Big Pain In The Ass," the guard replies. Then he shifts again in the beanbag chair. Guard armor and a beanbag chair do not make for much comfort no matter how comfortable Hector makes it look. "Alright, so he… or she," because let's not be gender-biased here, "wore a mask and broke your hand. You gotten death threats before?" Look at Li, being all professional even while two healthy swallows of alcohol warm his belly. "I'd ask if you have any enemies, but I then would need to ask you to alphabetize it." And his professional demeanor breaks slightly to make way for a wry grin.

Hector shrugs and wobbles his head as he concedes the enemies question. "Look, I have a lot of friends, too. Believe it or not." He lifts a hand and lets it fall. It's a little sloppy, which is a clue that the booze is doing its job. "My family deals fairer than some others. We don't run drugs or prostitution. My great-grandfather was a brilliant man, a statistician. Did some other stuff with high level math. Game theory or somesuch." He shrugs dismissively. Clearly he didn't inherit said smarts. "He figured out that the Ark needs a market like ours. You can't rely on rationing to fill everyone's needs. Because it is human nature that some people will want things badly enough to sacrifice other things. A rationing system doesn't account for that, and we're too small for above-board commerce."

He takes a swig again before continuing, "I think…it isn't one of my customers. I think it's someone who wants my business."

"I'm sure you do," Li replies to his remark about friends. He listens though, fingers resting at his temple again and thumb at his jaw. His attention remains steadily on Hector, managing not to interrupt despite the temptation. He starts to shake his head toward the end. He sighs, sinking further into the beanbag. Then he starts to heave himself upwards, standing so he can begin to shrug out of the armored jacket. "And since you are your mother's," he clicks his tongue, searching for the word, "heir, getting rid of you is step one." He rolls his shoulders once his jacket is set aside, and he glances down at Hector. "That means that it could be someone in your business." His thick brows lift. "Which is going to make this a whole lot of fun, as now we get to be suspicious of everyone." His tone becomes dry, and his smile remains in place. "I'm going to need another drink."

Hector watches as Lionel stands up and shrugs off his jacket. He clucks his tongue. "Do I get a striptease for my chocolate tip?" He chuckles and shifts, then swigs from the bottle before offering it over again. "It could be someone in my organization, but I doubt it. We treat our people well. We've got a waiting list of people who want to work for us." It's the only criminal gig that won't get you floated, after all. If you're smart about it.

Lionel cannot help himself. He offers a lopsided smile, head tilted the same. "Chocolate buys you a jacket… I'm going to need more if you want more. I am not a cheap date." Then he sets the jacket aside, and his attention starts to wander around the room that Hector calls his clubhouse. He casts a glance over his shoulder at the Valentine's information. "Greed is greed is greed… it builds. You treat people well, okay… but that doesn't mean they don't notice that that you probably get treated the best." He then sets his hands on his hips, looking up at the ceiling thoughtfully.

Again, Hector shrugs and nods in an agreeing manner. Yep, entirely possible. He hefts himself forward and wobbles a little. He leans forward on his knees. "That chocolate I gave you is worth a month's rations to the right person. Just saying."

The 'clubhouse' shows a long history of habitation - and through various stages of life. There's signs of juvenile scrawlings, of slightly more mature etchings, of children's games and maybe a bit of porn here and there. Imagine if you had a clubhouse and you kept using it, but you had nowhere to move your stuff to update it. That's pretty much the feel.

The guard just grins at Hector. "Noted." Then he shakes his head, chuckling to himself. He is notes some of the etchings, stepping up toward them to get a closer look. Then he turns back toward Hector, and he advances to offer the man a hand-up if he's wanting it. "Here's the rules," he says then, whether Hector is on his feet soon or not. "I'm your shadow until this is over… you don't leave your dorm until I'm there, and I don't leave you alone until you're back at your dorm. I'll let you piss in peace, though."

"Gee, thanks," says Hector once he's on his feet. He doesn't seem particularly happy about this arrangement, but it's what Elle V wants. And no one messes with her. "You're a bit…blonde to be my real shadow. Maybe you should dye your hair? I can get you the stuff." His eyes twinkle in amusement.

"Anytime, man," Lionel says, giving the man's shoulder a squeeze. Then he steps back, hand going up to his hair almost defensively. "No way." He pats eitther side of his head, making sure his hair is still neat. "I have perfected this color." He even makes a slight show of preening, and then starts to laugh again. He seems at ease now, which could be good… or very bad.

"Yeah? Well, I can get you the stuff to help it stay the perfect colour, too," says Hector with a grin. He rocks on his heels. "You're gonna get bored, I tell you. Following me around. I'd be safe in the shop, Too many people around. Too many of my people. Unless they're all out to get me, in which case I'm screwed regardless, right?"

For a moment, Lionel actually looks intrigued. Then he starts to wonder how many vain people are scoring ancient hair dye to keep up their lustrous locks. Not his mother, surely… in his relaxed state, thanks to booze and Hector not being a total pain (despite previous conclusions), he easily replies with, "I'm sure I will enjoy following you around." His grin returns easily.

"I wish I could record you saying that so I could play it back when you're sick to death of me," says Hector. He weaves on his feet a little, then tucks the bottle back on the shelf. It's a testament to his family's power that no one sneaks in here to raid it. "Well, as your first official duty, do you want to see me back to my quarters?" He offers his arm out jokingly.

Lionel watches him weave, and looks prepared to grab the man should he make for tumbling. As someone very experienced with booze, he knows when to help and when to let a person wobble. Then Hector's words sparks a low chuckle. For a moment, Lionel looks as if he might take the man's arm, but no… he instead just gives him a gentle shake at the shoulder, and nods him along. "Lead the way, Mister Valentine." Despite the words meaning to be professional, they are accompanied by a playful little smirk. Oh yeah, this is going to lead to a whole lot of trouble.

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