High Society's Ballroom Notoriety, Part I


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Scene Title High Society's Ballroom Notoriety, Part I
Synopsis The Police Fundraiser's Gala goes smoothly. For most of the evening. This is how it went down in the ballroom.
Date April 9, 2019

The Marriott Hotel: The Ballroom

Once you leave the foyer of the Marriott Hotel and walk up the massive stairs leading up, up, up into the ballroom, you're greeted with an expansive, impressive rotunda of a room. Jazz and classical music is playing, some trick of audio manipulation making the music seem to encase the ballroom without the need for speakers. A chandelier hovers above the large dance floor, where well-dressed couples move in and out of this designated space, dancing, swapping partners, gliding across it.

There are three circular tables dotting around the outside of the dance floor. There are devoted to sporting an elaborate ice sculpture each: a swan, a peacock, and an eagle. For some reason. They're pretty.

All the while, there is a gentle murmur of conversation beneath the music. People mingle and talk, collect drinks off passing waiters, off the long white-sheet covered table off to the side. If you want something better than wine or champagne, you may have to move towards the bar and put in a special request. There are wide open windows, which overlook the stretch of Midtown, the scent of jungle coming from the nearby Unity National Park.

Towards the left, there's the silent auction room, where a few men and women might greet you at the door and offer to show you the items available. Towards the right, three doors open out to one singular, wide balcony than hugs the side of the building.

It's a good night to be in New York. Sure, outside it still has a bite of cold to it, and the clouds hang in the sky, threatening to pour down with rain at any moment, but inside the Marriott Hotel, these things hardly matter.

It's brightly lit and the ball is in full swing. The clink of glasses, the hum of conversation, and the continual music that wraps around the dance floor creates the right kind of ambience the gala needs. Glamour and glitter around every corner, with people mingling, chatting, dancing. The media is here, too, dressed about as impressively as the guests and insidiously moving through the crowds, detected only in pointed questions and the occasional flash of a camera.

Two people stand nearest the bar, one more recognisable than the other, depending. Gabriel Gray and Gillian Petrelli having been chatting quietly for the past few minutes, standing too close together and nursing glasses of wine. They smile amicably, and if anyone could hear their words, that'd be a different story. She fixes his tie, and not so long after, he's striding across the ballroom away from her, headed out to the separate auction room and downing a glass of wine as he goes, losing himself amongst the crowd and all but disappearing.

The party continues. The night's young yet!

Ygraine has arrived.

Zoe is used to the society pages. She was used to it when she was a little girl, an orphaned heiress taken in by one of the most powerful men in the country, and she was used to it when as a grown woman, she'd appear at functions on the Linderman Group's behalf. She even does it to this day, on behalf of Zarek Group, and because she's an heiress, and because she's also married to one of the richest, sexiest men in New York. (A Pause magazine online poll a couple of years ago voted Zoe's husband one of the luckiest catches on the Eastern seaboard. Little do they know.)

Zoe is resplendent tonight in a muted gold tone done in sunburst beadwork. It leaves her arms bare, riding high along the collar, dipping low at the back, slitted high at the thigh, and fitting to a form some have found occaision to be shocked for its curve. Childbearing will do that for you, of course. With her short red hair, she looks like a burning candle, but in a beautiful way, not a pink birthday candle on a child's cake sort of way.

And even then? Most eyes will still draw to the man in the tux next at her side before her.

Eliot is the man in the tux next to Zoe, of course. He looks sharp; his beard is trimmed and his clothing custome suited to his measurements specifically. He looks good, he smells good, and worst of all, he knows it. Flash. Flash. Eliot grins at the cameras. He answers questions with short, concise sentences; and if he doesn't have an immediate answer, he ignores it.

Elisabeth has arrived.

In her long black dress that does nothing to cover her arms or the crest of her busom, Gillian moves away from the bar with a generously filled glass of dark wine in her hand. After a few moments longer next to the bar, she finally moves away, taking another generous sip. She's been drinking quite a bit in the last few minutes, downing an entire glass of wine. It's a wonder she can still walk straight. Eyes scan the area, as if looking for someone. The heel of her shoes add a couple inches to her height, though they make taller. The thick gold, silver, black and diamond bracelets at her left wrist shift and clang together, hiding the tattoo she kept. An expensive looking necklace could draw eyes to her chest (perhaps the point of it when combined with the dress), and the rock and wedding ring on her finger also catch light as she moves. That would also be a healthy flush on her cheeks, indicating she's drank more than the sips missing from the glass.

Not much for parties, Magnes pretty much stays on the sidelines, drinking a glass of something likely alcoholic, and watching people dance. He's dressed up in a plain black suit, tie and all, and he appears completely uninterested as he leans against a wall. He makes no real effort to socialize, he's just waiting for it all to end.

Also in a long black dress - though hers has a plunging halter-neck - Ygraine enters the ballroom, picks a direction at random, and starts wending her way through the crowd. As she moves, she peers curiously to and fro, scanning the throng for familiar faces to seek out or avoid.
She'd been tempted to skip the event, but matters at hand cause her to be present. One of those is the need to keep up appearances if she hopes to make a Senate run in the near future. Cat's done nothing to publicize such considerations, but they do exist in her mind. Not that this is the only thing in her mind as she arrives this evening.

It's a very formal dress she wears, one which reaches and conceals shoes which make her close to five feet ten inches in height. It's a pale gray color, conservative in style. The Medal Of Freedom is around her neck as is customary for her to wear at functions such as this. There's little else in the way of ornamentation; just a simple pair of gold posts in earlobes.

She has the society smile in place, doing the things her late parents taught her twenty years and then some ago. A life she once pushed away from come back to find her and be accepted out of a sense of duty, honoring the memory of someone eight years fallen and the causes they championed which became reality.

Doctor Catherine Chesterfield strides past the flashes of cameras and makes her way to the bar, alert brown eyes taking in what's around her and feeding it into the unerring memory she'd had for seventeen years.

Zoe flashes a smile for the cameras as well, obeying a request from shouted paparazzi to step closer to Eliot. They make for great photos, and they have for years. Once they're finished with the sea of flashes, they make their way inside. "Anyone you need to talk to tonight?" Zoe asks Eliot, a hand curled around his arm. Her tone turns slightly dry. "Do you need alone time to schmooze?" That…almost sounded suspect. If Eliot didn't know any better.

Though her eyes don't find the person she's looking for, Gillian spots a specific officer looking decidedly bored and out of place. Moving that way, she smiles at him politely as she speaks, "Officer Varlane," she greets, huskily, with no slur to her voice. Though she has to speak up a bit in order to be heard. Not everyone has his partner's hearing. "I didn't know you would be here for this."

Eliot raises a brow at Zoe briefly, and then leans over to kiss her forehead softly. "Not that I know of. I'll let you know if I see someone that it'd bequeath me to assault with some schmoozing." He stays close to his wife for now, perfectly content. Hey, they do have two kids; that means he finds her attractive at least, right?!

Social functions are designed with social people in mind, and while Eileen isn't exactly a delicate wallflower, she'd be lying if she told anyone she was completely comfortable amidst a crowd as large as the one in the Marriott's ballroom. She's the only woman in attendance who's dressed in her husband's name, but this also makes her easy to miss as she blends into the background, clothed in a silken gown made from an iridescent monochrome fabric that ranges from darkest charcoal to smoky silver depending on how the light catches the material.

She'd retreated out the balcony to enjoy a quick cigarillo in between dances, only to return to find Gillian futzing with Gabriel's tie, all curled lips and pearly whites. Rather than swoop in to intervene, however, she's been observing the proceedings from her position by the doors leading outside, a palm-sized cigarette tin dangling from between two long, bony fingers.

What are you up to now, Lady Petrelli?

Ygraine's perambulations have taken her in an arc through part of the crowd. Now with glass in hand, she spots Cat and moves to intercept her, offering the other woman a warm smile as she closes the distance. En route, she snares another flute of champagne, offering it to Cat as she comes to a halt adjacent to her. "Doctor Chesterfield, I presume?", she enquires with a grin. "Welcome to the jungle."

"It's charity." Magnes says with frustration in his voice, taking a larger sip, not appearing all that drunk at all, yet. He stares at her, scanning her body with unapologetic eyes, until they finally rest on her face. "It's still boring as hell though. And I heard certain other people are here, so add the stress of having to avoid people on top of that. I'll just be glad when it's over."

That does rather reduce her need to reach the bar, libation is at hand when Ygraine makes contact. Fingers accept the flute; it's sipped from carefully, then Cat makes her reply. The greeting elicits a chuckle. "Quite the jungle it is," she answers. Then her head tilts. "Are we become Stanley and Livingstone now?"

Right now, Gillian is up to exactly what it looks like she's up to. Talking to a SCOUT officer who happens to be a friend, even if one she rarely allows herself to acknowledge in public as a friend. This kind of public function allows her to mingle with him, though, just as she had with his partner a few moments ago. Without the close proximity, or the fussing over his tie. Or drinking nearly as much. She doesn't even mind the fact that he looks. This dress isn't worn if you didn't want someone to look, anyway, right? "There's always one or two that people might wish to avoid," she admits in a softer voice with a smile that's a little closer to genuine than polite. "I saw your partner a moment ago." Still not shot.

"I don't want to keep you from networking." Zoe observes mildly. My, she's in an amusingly sharp humor tonight. "Drinks then, and dancing? It's really the only point of these things, aside from the dressing up and the handing over a big fat check, right? Did Parker come show you her lipstick? I let her dab some on while I was getting ready. I'm surprised there weren't five year old sized kissy-marks all over the walls."

Eliot laughs a bit. "She did. And the walls were saved by Daniel, who happened to pass through. You didn't see him? She smacked one right on his cheek. It was very touching." He starts leading Zoe to the bar, for those drinks.

Ygraine offers Cat an amiable shrug and a wry smile. "I assure you that I have not been paid by a newspaper tycoon to corner you for an interview… but it was the best I could come up with by way of a spontaneous witticism. How are you? Were you delayed by something interesting, or merely fashionable in the timing of your arrival?"

"I'm all good," Cat tells her. "You?" A flash of something enters her eyes, followed by a grin which seems a bit playful. "My life is always interesting, Debater." But she isn't sharing details of the sort of interesting recently finding her. Blasts from the past, people long dead suddenly being present in 2019. "Last week," she muses, "I was at the place where a wall once stood between two cities speaking the same language."

Zoe laughs in turn. "Was he suitably grossed out by it?" she asks, deeply amused. At Eliot's prompting she'll order her drink: "Redcoat, double the voddie, and one of those swizzle sticks, please." She adds sunnily, "I love those little things." Upon seeing Gillian, she lifts her hand in a small wave. "I was hoping Rebecca would be here tonight, but I don't see her."

"Yeah, I'm guessing he's having fun." Magnes says with a roll of his eyes, glancing briefly over at Ygraine, then back to Gillian. Seems he may have recognized someone, but shrugged it off. "I'll just be glad when we're done going through the motions so I can get back to work."

Smooth, leisurely strides carry Eileen away from the doors, across the dance floor toward Magnes and Gillian. No light glints off the jewelry at her neck or studded in her ears because she isn't wearing any — only the stylishly plain wedding band on the ring finger of her left hand. First Gabriel and now his partner. If she knew the truth about their friendship, the raven-haired woman likely wouldn't be cutting a roundabout path in the direction of the exchange, intent on rescuing poor Officer Varlane from what she perceives to be the enemy.

"Excuse me," Eileen murmurs as she skims past Zoe and Eliot, recognizing neither half of the duo, one hand brushing against the redhead's bare arm.

"He was," Eliot says with a smirk. He ran off screaming about cooties to wash his face." Eliot leans into the bar and says, "Bourbon, triple, dry." He looks around. "I don't see her, either."

Ygraine flashes an impish grin at Cat. "Ah, you visited Belfast, then? What did you think of it?", she teases. "I've spent a certain amount of time in Berlin, myself. Rather a grim city, I've tended to find - but my opinion of anywhere I raced is always shaped by a rather odd view. If my first experience of a city was hurtling along gritty streets in the rain…." She shrugs. "The rebuilt Reichstag is one place I remember as having some real… intellectual interest to it. Specifically designed to try to be literally transparent to the electorate - viewers can get up above the debating chamber, and gaze down on their representatives from on high, so that politicians look _up_ to see the people they work for."

Zoe murmurs an amiable sound at the woman who brushes against her, thankfully having enough control on her own ability to prevent casual contact from say, the fabric of Eileen's dress unless it carried some very, very strong emotions from as far back as five years ago. And at the point, it likely didn't even exist, unless it's vintage. (Hey, in New York, two years can be argued as vintage!) "There's Gillian. Who on earth is that dour man with her? If she wanted dour, she should have brought her husband." Not that Zoe has anything against Peter, but he is a moody sort.
"Rather like the way our houses of Congress have balconies for the gallery," Cat states smoothly. The glass is lifted again, with her eyes wandering a bit to take in people present and their locations around the ballroom. There is mingling to be done, a task she'll get to soon.

"He seemed to be enjoying the wine and walking off into the auction room last I saw him," Gillian admits with that same polite smile, unaware of someone swooping in to try and rescue the man she's talking to. At least until she looks over and spots Zoe and her husband, returns the nod with a upward tilt of her head, hair pulled in close and held tight with silver and sparkly combs. Knowing her, those might be actual diamonds in her combs even. "I'm hoping to find where my husband has flown off to, soon," and that may have included literal flying. This is when she notices the tiny bird-talker married to the man's partner approaching. She takes a rather big gulp from her wine, before the woman can get close enough.

"Yeah, that's what we need at a party," Eliot opines. "Peter Petrelli." He rolls his eyes and eyes Eileen's backside subtly as he reaches for his bourbon, taking a sip. "I don't know who that is, though." He smiles at Gilly when she nods at them, though. Hi Gilly.

"The last thing I need is that asshole here, then it'd be the perfect storm of making this thing uncomfortable for me." Magnes is not shy about calling Gillian's husband an asshole in public, right in front of her, he just shrugs it off and nods to Eileen. "Hey, Eileen. You know Gillian, right?"
Ygraine lifts a brow, then chuckles dryly and shrugs one bare shoulder. "There're press and public galleries in Westminster, and in most other parliaments. It's the internal roof of glass over the debating chamber, with public access around and above that, which is considered distinctive and highly symbolic for the rebuilt Reichstag. Not that there was any… extra eagerness to demonstrate an on-going commitment to accountability and transparency, of course."

Another shrug, then she darts a glance around the room. "I just thought it might be a point of greater interest than which corners can reliably be taken without slowing down, or where - a dozen years ago - you should have watched for uneven road surface…. I'm still not used to attending something like this, and having neither politics, the Olympics, nor translation duties on the agenda…"

Abby has arrived.

Abby has left.

"They're an experience," Cat comments mildly as she speaks with the Briton. "I come to events such as this on occasion, showing my support for civic institutions." An easier and perhaps more enjoyable thing to do now that balance has been achieved and the growing tide of apparent fascism she fought against has been thrown down with its architects either executed or in prison.

Topics Ygraine speaks of draw a nod from Cat, along with her reply. "Your life is interesting and busy as well."

In polite society, human interaction is dictated by a rigid decorum — there are rules to follow, manners to mind and standards of etiquette one must adhere to. You don't throw that sort of thing to the wind at a charity ball, especially not when you're standing mere feet away from a woman widely considered to be a member of New York City's royal family.

Eileen doesn't come in guns blazing. She doesn't even come in with guns cocked. Rather than direct her ire at Gillian, she enfolds her companion in a friendly but borderline maternal embrace, her arms making a wide loop around his much larger, broader frame. "It feels like an age since I saw you last," she tells him by way of greeting, then draws back to hold him at arm's length, one small hand resting upon either of his shoulders. Gray-green eyes emphasized by a modest application of smoky kohl eyeliner flick in the other woman's direction, accompanied by the tiniest, most understated of smiles. "Anyone who's ever visited a newsstand knows Mrs. Petrelli," she returns, voice deceptively amicable and steady. "I can't speak for everyone, of course, but believe me when I say we are humbled to have you in attendance this evening. Your contribution means a lot to our family."

Zoe sips her drink. "There's an auction." Zoe remarks. Now that does light up her face, in general auctions are fun for her. Auctions with Eliot at her side? Even more fun. "We should go look and see if there are any knickknacks to add to Zarek Group's collection. Or ours." Angling her Redcoat to the side, Zoe leans in a bit to Eliot, smiling at him impishly - if said imp was dressed like Tinkerbell and had a figure like Marilyn Monroe. "I like to think people quake in their boots when they see us together at auctions. Here they come, the Unstoppable Fords." It suits her sense of whimsy. "So what do you say? After a turn on the floor?" Years with Eliot have taught her the rule: she never escapes without a dance. In the last few the scenario has changed: he never escapes without one.

Ygraine offers a low laugh to Cat. "The Olympics, I tend not to get to talk about so much, these days. As far as potential spokespeople for the movement go, someone who missed her chance to qualify for Beijing because she'd gone insane isn't too highly-rated. But it was while I was competing internationally that I got my first taste of grand events like this, when the athletes were rolled out to meet sponsors, politicians, celebrities and press. If you could string a couple of sentences together with a microphone under your nose, you were likely to end up being grilled on everything that any of the journalists might think was "relevant" - whether it was human rights in Tibet or what it's like to wear lycra in the rain…"

The Briton chuckles softly, then shakes her head. "Now… I'm more likely to get random questions about where I take my wife for a romantic meal, or whether I can swear in Italian." She takes a sip of her drink, then cocks her head. "How about you? Not your talent for foul language, but personally?"

Eliot glances around. Nope. He can't seem to spot a single female figure he hasn't shagged but wants to in the entire damn place. Either he isn't interested, or he's been there, done that. He sips his bourbon, finishing it off, and at Zoe's request, offers her his hand. "Come on then, dance and auction."

"Yes, I know Mrs. Gray," Gillian says, eyes falling on the once delicate little bird that she first saw briefly upon a bridge right before it collapsed. And of course she's seen her before that. The polite buttkissing is seen for what it is, and she starts to shift, moving back a few steps. "I'm glad to be here. I should make my way to the auction hall so I can spend bid on a few of the items to help support the hospital and the police force both. You really do a service to us all." The way she says it sounds like a token line, something she's practiced many times, probably repeated to anyone who she didn't consider herself close to. "It was good to see you again, Mrs. Gray, Office Varlane." And with that, she begins to move away from them, not quick on her feet, but in the general direction of the auction hall.

It's a quiet laugh she starts with. "I find I'm able to name several fowls in each of thirty languages, and I assure you most of them are impeccably clean, Debater." Cat sips from the champagne once more; after lowering it she states "I should be circulating a bit more. Maybe you'll be free for lunch later in the week? I'll give you a ring." Her eyes have perhaps spotted Eileen with Gillian and Magnes across the room.

Deckard has arrived.

Magnes gives Eileen a bit of an awkward smile, happy to see her, but totally uncomfortable for reasons he can't put his finger on as he looks between the two women. "I'd go with you, but who knows who I'd run into in the auction." he says to Gillian, then looks down at Eileen. "We should talk more, I always feel weird talking to you with Gabriel in the room, like I might accidentally break a rule about talking to my partner's wife."

Ninety nine percent of the time, Zoe would smoothe right over the fact that her husband just ignored her effort to be forward, that he more or less scoped the room before deigning to conceed to her request. For some reason tonight, it makes her hesitant, frown a little. "Well," she says briefly as he starts to move forward, "We could always do the auction first, and dance later?" Or, it occurs to her in a surprise fit of mental pique, not at all. She blinks a little bit, surprised at her own reaction. Still, her need to keep Eliot happy asserts itself, and she smiles at him, because she knows he likes her to be pleasant.

Ygraine nods to Cat, darting a glance in the direction the other woman looks, she fails to recognise anyone in that direction. "Sure. Please do. I'll let you get back to schmoozing." She reaches out, gloved fingers momentarily brushing against the other woman's arm. Then she part-turns away and peers out into the crowd once more, searching for any other familiar faces, before plunging deeper into the throng.

Yes. Pleasant is always for the best. Eliot glances over at her and raises a brow. "No no, dancing first. After all, if we get caught up in the auction there might not be any dancing when we're done." He takes her hands and leads her onto the dancefloo.

There's a woman swanning through the ballroom. A woman on a mission. She even has a clipboard, despite the fact she's dressed in glittering eveningwear, and she's looking for someone. When her eyes land on Gillian, coming her direction, she makes a direct bee-line for the Petrelli, smiling apologetically. "Mrs. Petrelli?" she asks. "Sorry to interrupt you but I need you to confirm a bid for me that— I think a gentleman put under your name?"

She shows Gillian the clipboard. Apparently, Gillian has put down a bid for tickets to Cats. A bird of thirty-thousand dollars. Ker-ching.

"Take care, Debater," she offers in parting. By the time she's taken two steps in the direction of the gathered Eileen, Magnes, and Gillian the bride of Petrelli has moved away. Cat adjusts her course to cross paths with her if such a thing is possible. That flute of champagne is still close to full.

There's a subtle tightening at the corners of Eileen's mouth, her body growing tense beneath the shimmery material of her gown. "Oh no, please don't go," she implores Gillian, perhaps a little too loudly should any nearby ears be turned their way, "the evening is still so young, and Officer Varlane and I so rarely find ourselves with an opportunity to discuss our work with someone who cares so much about it."

Magnes' concern about the auction room is one that Eileen shares, though not in quite the same way. Worry creases the lines of her face. The last time she saw Gabriel, he was retreating in that direction with his proverbial tail tucked between his legs — she's not about to let Gillian slither off so easily, not after what she observed mere minutes ago. "Don't be ridiculous," she assures Magnes, giving him a brisk pat on the arm, but whatever she was about to say next is cut off abruptly by the arrival of the clipboard toting messenger. What's this about a bid?

Deckard is looking sharp in a sooty black tux and crisp shirt, dusky grey hair ruffled and stubble collection present with a deliberate kind of disorder to counter the tailoring that's gone into making the vast majority of him positively presentable. He's also looking conspicuously single, which would likely come as no surprise to anyone who didn't already know he should probably be standing awkwardly somewhere in Abigail Baker's vicinity.

He's not far off the tail of clipboard woman. He's on a mission too, see. One that involves standing a few feet off the much shorter woman's shoulder to squint as inconspicuously as possible at Gillian's dress. At/through. Semantics!

Zoe frowns absently - she's still feeling irritated about something, though she can hardly pin on what anymore - Zoe lets Eliot guide her to the dance floor. She presses close because that's how Eliot dances, her hands coming up into familiar positions and fingers twining into his. Body to body, she murmurs absently to Eliot, "It must be a high bid for something that the auctioneers must feel it necessary to confirm the offer with Gillian Petrelli about. I wonder what it is, like a faberge egg or something." Certainly not a ticket to a godawful revival.

Bebe has arrived.

Sonny has arrived.

"Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure she can afford it, so who cares?" eliot rolls his eyes, studying Gillian for a moment before looking back down at Zoe and kissing her quietly.

Finding Gillian's attention captured by the woman with the clipboard, Cat takes the sight in for a brief span of moments before continuing on her way. It's the auction rooms she chooses to enter. Soon she's gone from view, having passed through the doorway there.

Cat has left.

"It's alright, she's busy. She's a really nice woman once you get to know her, though, not like all these plastic smiles." Magnes says, because he knows. Of course, he has no idea what deeper connection Eileen might have with Gillian, so he makes no effort to hide a warm smile that almost no one gets to see anymore, aimed at Gillian.

Cat has arrived.

"I'm curi - " and then Zoe's interrupted because Eliot's kissing her. Oh. Hi! Yeah, that does put her brain on tilt, even if it's a quiet kiss. "Um." she says, letting out a soft laugh and lets him twirl her.

While ignoring Eileen's words, Gillian doesn't turn back for the moment, but the approach of an auctioneer is something she can't exactly ignore. Unaware that a man with X-ray vision is examining her in public, she frowns down at the clipboard and takes a rather heavy drink from her glass of wine. It's halfway finished already. "That…" There's a hint of a growl in her voice, before she catches it, and makes her husky voice a little less hostile, "It's fine," she says after a moment. "They're really good seats," she says with a smile, though there's something snake-like in the narrowing of her eyes.

The fabric of her dress seems to dissolve in one man's eyes (and perhaps Eliot is wishing it would do the same in his) a few tattoos do appear in various locations not easily seen. The biggest one would be a budding vine of curling plantlife trailing around her waist, with little red and violet flowers. As she shifts her leg, a visible biohazard symbol in faded red can be seen on the inside of her thigh (still kept that one, it would seem), and as she turns to scan the area, eyes spotting Cat's approach, and then moving off to the auction room instead, a triangle design can be visible on her hip, at least to Deckard's eyes.

"Hmm?" Eliot smiles and lifts a hand to push Zoe's hair back behind her ear. Nothing says a man can't find his wife attractive. And Eliot does find Zoe attractive. He just… does it after he's made sure there's no one else more attractive (or newer) around! Is that so wrong?

(Hint: Yes).

A trio of new arrivals from the balcony — Sonny Bianco, Bijou Baxter, and Todd the Secret Service agent — bring with them a fresh spring breeze and just a little bit more subtly awkward tension before they delve into the ballroom crowd boldly. The President's son boasts his bride-to-be on his arm and while she's doing her very best to be pretty and spread her polite and sunny smile around the room, it's clear their trajectory is aimed at the exit.

Unfortunately, before they can get there, Bebe experiences a brief moment of misplaced grace and she actually manages to trip over the hem of her own wine-coloured frock, pitching her awkwardly headlong into someone badass standing nearby. OH HI MAGNES.

It is becoming increasingly apparent to Eileen that Magnes didn't need rescuing at all. Once you get to know her? What's that supposed to mean? Expressive brows lift into a mildly perplexed expression, then smooth back out again, resuming a neutral facade. Masks — plastic or porcelain, they're all wearing them. Hers cracks the instant Bebe — sorry, Bijou — collides with the man standing beside her, eyes growing wide with alarm. She reaches out as if to help steady him, but it may be too late—

Zoe is oblivious to the altercation. "Nothing," she murmurs, "Let's go check out the auction, shall we?" Of course, Eliot may notice the whole stumble routine. Or at least the woman stumbling. Damn you, Bijoux!

Whow. Deckard draws in a steep breath, appreciative as ever at a distance until he forces himself to focus on trying to muddle detail out of metal-tainted branches of ink in unfamiliar patterns. Something viny, something triangularly, something…something. She's walking away, and he spends a good ten to fifteen seconds watching her ass end on its way out before it occurs to him that she's walking towards the auction room.

A slender black cell phone is fumbled out of his pocket in the next beat, numbers are filed through, and he's punching out a three letter sequence with all due urgency. Run run run run run run.

Moments after Gillian looked her way and Cat stepped into the auction room, she's reversed course and is making her way across to the balconies, having decided to see what that area holds and looks out over. Her focus takes in what lies ahead along the way, the walking pace unhurried. Eyes linger briefly on the unfortunately falled Bijou where she'd collided with Magnes. Her crossing is halted, she stands still and takes in the woman's features, comparing them with images in her memory.

Eliot doesn't notice; either because he's actually enjoying himself with his wife, or for some other, unspeakable reason. He takes Zoe's hand and says, "Let's. I think it's about time we start cleaning up that auction stage."

Magnes catches Bebe, bracing himself as he takes an unsteady step back. He looks down at her, raising an eyebrow, familiarity suddenly appearing on his face. "Bebe?" he asks for everyone to hear, that's the name he uses, he's not switching just because everyone else does. "It's been forever."

Zoe lets Eliot lead her to the auction room, seeming pleased (and after a look at the new arrivals, maybe a bit relieved), to be headed the way of the shiny pretties.

Zoe has left.

It's a bit like running the gauntlet for Sonny to avoid the people who might want to have a word with him - people who might want to try and influence policy through the president's son. But he's quite set on heading out. A hand folds gently around Bebe's arm as she stumbles. A thank you is mumbled to Magnes, then he's looping his arm with his fiancee and heading for the door.
The collision, a man punching numbers into a phone, but most of this is ignored in favor of Gillian reaching out and grabbing the auctioneer by the shoulder, "Who was the man who filled that out, anyway?" She knows it wasn't her husband, but she… "Nevermind. I think I know who it was. It still stands, either way." It's going to a good cause, and she's going to strangle someone. Don't mind her. She starts to make her way at a brisk walk toward the auction room. Not a run, but a brisk walk.

Whatever recognition of Bijou was had isn't let on, Cat turns away soon after and resumes her crossing toward the balcony.

Gabriel encounters Gillian. Gabriel retreats to the auction room. A mysterious bid is placed in Gillian's name. It isn't hard to piece it all together, as evidenced by the slow sigh blown out through Eileen's nostrils. She watches the other woman's retreating back, torn between remaining rooted in place and following closely at her heels — the former would certainly be easier than the latter, and yet…

"Let Gabriel know if you'd like a ride home," she tells Magnes as she removes her hand from his arm. "We can split cab fare." It's the closest thing to a good bye that he's getting. A moment later, she's gone, swallowed up by the mingling throng. Her destination is anyone's guess, but it isn't the auction room.

Cat has left.

All of the supple muscles that rest just beneath the smooth skin of Bebe's exposed neck and shoulders suddenly tense up like steel cord — and, sure, maybe it's because she nearly knocked heads with a man… or maybe it's because she nearly knocked heads with a man who called her Bebe in front of God and everyone. Maybe if Deckard wasn't so preoccupied sending text messages to idk his bff jill he might realize the that a wrecking ball has begun to swing heavy toward the wall of Bijou's carefully reconstructed lease on life. Thankfully, she's got Sonny there to swiftly whisk her away from whatever sort of painfully awkward moment that might have summarily unfolded there in Magnes's arms for everyone to see. Whew! We now return you to the other drama already in progress.

Bebe has left.

Whew. Crisis potentially averted and bro-duty done, Deckard draws in a slower breath and replaces his finished flute of champagne with a fresh one with the aid of a passing tray before he starts his next message. That could have been a disaster.

Gabe, 3 tats under dress, 1 viney, 1 triangle, 1 IDK on inside of thigh. Y do u care? Drunken nite at tattoo parlour??

One long swallow of pale alcohol later, he itches the rim of the glass through the stubble at the corner corner of his mouth and thumbs over the send button. He does not notice that the message is being sent to Fulk, rather than Gray.

Nope. Other things on his mind. …Wait, did someone say, 'Bebe'? Grey-touched brows knit, he lifts his scruffy head and wrinkles his nose, jaw slacked slightly open.

Having steered clear of the celebrity-by-parent and his attendant not-so-secret goon, Ygraine disappears out of the ballroom, setting off further into the hotel to explore what the other rooms and the remainder of the night might have to offer….

Ygraine has left.

Magnes looks around, searching for anyone he knows since it appears everyone has retreated in a whirlwind of awkwardness. Eyes lock on Flint Deckard, and he starts trying to find his way to the auction room. Anything has to be better than Deckard, but people keep bumping into him, sending him right in the other man's direction. Shit.

Cell phone still out in one hand, champagne glass held a little like a beer bottle in the other, it's mostly by chance that Deckard's search for the source of the Bebe thing is broken off by the sight of Magnes's unwilling approach. "…Hey," greeted in hazy, awkward fashion, he takes a moment to think before hazarding a cautious, "Have you seen Abby?"

Magnes stares at Deckard, he just stares. His look is one that suggests he might be flying into the atmosphere if there weren't people standing around, and a roof. "Why the hell do you wanna see Abby?" he asks, being aware that they know eachother, but not close enough to actually be looking.

"I said — hfff." It seems kind of stupid now, for all that it was pretty fucking funny at the time. Deckard sighs into the next sip he takes, pale eyes unfocused when they find their way back onto Magnes from the glittery chill of the nearest ice sculpture. Pretty. "She introduced me to some guy as her 'significant other,' and I said something like…we were sleeping together." Not…exactly what he said, but he's not quite boozed enough to repeat himself with swarms of other people around. "Who says significant other? Is she embarrassed? S'a party, not a census."

And that… was the wrong thing to say. First, there's a small crack that lines across the floor, right inbetween Deckard's shoes. Then, Magnes approaches, eyes filled with murder, not muderous rage, just pure murder, if such a thing could possibly be condensed into an emotional expression. "You, fucking, you, I…" The blood seems to rush to his head, vein bulging, then he suddenly reaches forward to grab Deckard by the neck.

"Just fucking die!" he yells, a trickle of blood falling from his nose as there's a sudden constriction of Deckard's ribcage and organs, then he moves to just toss him through the balcony.

Those ribs and organs, and gravity itself, might be a bit off for a bit…

W—wow. There's a crack in the floor. In the first wise move he's made in some minutes, Deckard leans back a little, one polished black shoe shuddering back half a step along the fault line. "Hey…just. Take a breath." This might be more effectively delivered advice if it wasn't punctuated by yet another sip of champagne. Then there's yelling and it feels like his chest is collapsing and smooth jazz fades into the whistle of wind past his ears with excessive speed.

It's a nice night, actually. He'd probably say something accordingly if he wasn't busy being in pain and flying inexplicably through the air.

Deckard has left.

Brian has arrived.

Elias has arrived.

There are few things that could've brought Eileen back to the dance floor — someone bellowing death threats is one of them. She moves quickly but not quickly enough, having to elbow her way back through the assembled crowd in order to get a good look at what's going on. And when she does—

— there's really not a lot she can do about it. She arrives just in time to witness Flint soar by, which wouldn't make a lot of sense if it weren't for the man standing where the former arms dealer was just a few moments ago.

Eileen's eyes narrow to slits and she fixes Magnes with a glare that isn't quite as lethal as the one he shot at the erstwhile Mr. Deckard, it comes dangerously close. "What did you do."

Bad idea, to try and murder someone. In public. In the middle of a gala. For police.

As Deckard goes flying through the air and crashing out towards the balcony, security comes out of the woodwork, closing in on Magnes, to grab him and detain him, urging Eileen aside. The music has stopped playing and there's a shout of, "Varlane! What the hell are you doing!" from somewhere.

Chaos, mostly, gala-goers stepping back and giving room, and staring. Cameras flash brightly, press taking in the mayhem.

"What happened— ?"

"He told him to die, I don't know…"

Gabriel has arrived.

Magnes stares at security, sitting his drink on the air, since he's sure no one is going to hold it for him. "He antagonized me, and I'm pretty sure I saw a gun." he says with a completely straight face, as if he's used to having to say this kind of thing, straightening his jacket as he shows no sign of going to catch Deckard. "Someone should go get him, he won't actually land for at least an hour or two."

Apparently, both Elias and Brian have the absolute worst sense of timing, appearing in an empty space on the ballroom floor just in the nick of time to both see and hear both security and chaos make themselves known. And, predictably, both the teleporter and the replicator are left with a situation that is completely devoid of any context.

"You know, Brian," Elias says, "We're really bad at this 'well-timed entrance' thing." Nothing to do now but see how things play out.

Victor has arrived.

Monica has arrived.

And as soon as they arrive, Brian's drunkenish features take in the scene. A flying Deckard, a team of security running at Magnes'. But that's not good enough. Deckard is his friend. And he's drunk. It doesn't take an entirely sober person to figure this out, well it might, but assumptions are fun too. And soon Brian's coat is quickly off and practically shoved into Elias' arms with a gruff. "Hold this."

And then Brian is walking purposefully across the ballroom floor towards Magnes. Unless security grabs him he'll go all the way. "You wanna use powers you little bitch? Come here, let's use powers. You catch him before I beat the shit out of you. How does that sound?" He nigh yells as his pointy shoes pound across the floor, his fists balling up tightly. Angryfaaace.

Not so long after Elias and Brian, Gabriel comes at a purposeful stride out of the auction room, tie untucked from his jacket and red faced from the excessive amounts of wine he's been drinking, but he seems to be moving soberly. Timing. His gaze narrows towards the source of the chaos, which happens to be Magnes, security honing in too around the time Brian is making angryfaces.

"What— "

He wants to get to his partner, and he tries, scowling somewhat when the press continues to flash their cameras. The music has stopped. He focuses on Eileen, giving her a look that pretty much is the epitome of: what the hell did I miss?

Bringing up the rear behind Gabriel comes Vic, who is counting on Monica to be behind or beside him. "Whoa this looks really bad…" he mutters not-so-quietly, and what he means more than anything is the media attention. Not that he's in a position to take any kind of action here, but it's important sometimes to bear witness to events. That kind of thing comes up in court later.

There was no gun. Not this time, at any rate — Eileen likes to think she knows Deckard, and Deckard wouldn't come to a public event with a concealed weapon. Her gaze darts between Magnes, security, Gabriel and now Brian, the latest entrant to the dancefloor arena. This can't get much worse, can it?

With the security team separating her from her husband's partner, she moves to intercept the replicator, aiming to position her body between Brian and Magnes before the situation escalates any further. The hired help has enough to worry about without struggling to hold two people down. "Brian," she hisses through her teeth, straining to make her voice audible over the murmuring din as reaches out to seize him by the arm, "Brian, no. Stop."

"My power only works if you touch me, so, either shoot me, or get the hell out of my way." Magnes says with a dismissive tone, staring at the flashes, more people approaching, Gabriel. He appears incredibly irritated, gently massaging his forehead with his fingers. "I'm not being punished for that waste of air Flint Deckard, that ghoul deserves everything he gets. You didn't hear the way he talked about Abby, like she was some kind of whore. That bastard is lucky I didn't make both halves of his body fall away from eachother."

Cat has arrived.

Zoe has arrived.

Abby has arrived.

Yeah, perfect timing here, Elias. He decides that the best thing to do is stay the hell away from Magnes and instead cast his senses outward. Luckily, Deckard appears to be under control, somehow. He'll leave that fire be for now.

Eileen and Brian is much more interesting at the moment, and just as surely as Eileen aims to stand in Brian's way, Elias is behind him to keep him from going further forward. "Be cool, Brian," he says, laying a hand on the younger man's shoulder, "Be cool. Let security handle this. And if they can't, there's plenty of people here who can. just be cool."

Eliot has arrived.

Getting into the thick of it— "excuse me, no, you— I'm his partner, just let me— thanks"— as best he can, Gabriel glances back at Brian, almost a warning. Don't, is not verbally communicated, or even telepathically, just summed up in a brisk glance. His focus is on Magnes, primarily.

At the words coming out of his partner's mouth, Gabriel can only stare in shock, uncomprehending for several moments. "Varlane," he growls, almost paternal in reprimand. Too bad he can't just knock off several glasses of wine or this would be so much easier. He holds up a hand to security, not to do anything, but as if to confirm that it's a good idea to stay away from him.

Security does fall back, although one moves towards Brian, to prevent this escalating anymore than it should, mostly just standing in his way.

"You're in more trouble than I think you realise," Gabriel says to Magnes, as if placating a wild animal. His eyes dart towards the balcony. He'd heard Baxter, and the rest, so doesn't feel the urge to go running. Seeing to Magnes seems more important.

Zoe's eyes go a little wide at the various and sundry people - it kills her merry mood momentarily, and more carefully, she starts to edge around the room, of all things putting herself in front of Eliot as she skirts for the door. Well, she tries to, anyway.

Monica is right at Victor's side and she can't help but nod a little to his assessment. It doesn't look good. And a quick glance around at the media that is present says it is doubly worse than she would like. As Gabriel pushes his way through, she hangs back a little, but her eyes narrow as she slips her heels off next to her feet just in case.

Whoa whoa whoa. Vic can tell immediately this one's way out of control. Fortunately someone's talking to Varlane so he's not about to add another voice to the plethora of attention-getters. "Everybody back away from Varlane." he calls, doing his part of public safety. "Give him room." Because you do NOT want to have your picture in Newsweek next to Psycho Evolved Man Kills Another At Police Gala. (By-line: Why did the police do nothing?)

As he crosses the dancefloor, he goes to push up one sleeve, and then the other. Then his hands come to the collar, ripping and tossing off that rediculous tie he goes to undo the top four buttons of his shirt. Practically stomping his way at Magnes he is then intercepted by probably the only person in the room who could stop him without him going retardedly apeshit. His arm almost instinctively rips away from Eileen, but a little glance at her stops him. His arm remains in Eileen's grasp as he breathes heavily, staring at Magnes heatedly. His words receive a scowl. "Real cool you little maggot." He growls, slowly cooling under the watch of the E-team. A glare goes to the single security member, a look that quite succinctly says, 'GTFA'.

With one arm under the care of Eileen and his other shoulder secured, a third arm shoots out of the chest of the replicator. Careful to avoid Eileen's head, the extra arm brings up one finger, yes the middle one, before reabsorbing back into his chest. Glancing over his shoulder, the man manages to ask, "Can I have my coat back please." It's more of a statement, really.

A blonde woman in a black modest dress is making her way from the Balcony, honing in on where Magnes and those with him are. Utter fury in the Abigail's blue eyes. At a party. At a party. Baxter is trying to get a hold of his father but that's not going to be enough. Unless Baxter has the ability to reverse the world. Easing her way past people forcefully, cat in her wake, the blonde makes her way to Magnes and the folks trying to cool him down. "you will fix him right now, do you understand me Magnes J Varlane?. God help me I will grab your ear like you were a errant child and make you take me to him and fix him. He hit the //railing and kept on going. What is it with the men and their infantile behavior tonight? Really Magnes? Really?" One arm is up, bared, pointing towards the open doors and the two people who are probably specks in the distance by now. She's waiting, and he's getting the look.

Eliot is sneaking off with Zoe, raising a brow and looking back over his shoulder at all the commotion. A fist fight? Really? Eh.

Felix has arrived.

Yeah, the party's a little more than Zoe can handle. She certainly has far more concern for the parties involved then Eliot does, but that doesn't mean she's sticking around for Evolved Gone Wild. So once they're at the door, out they slip.

Trailing Abby, Cat simply observes her. She can't recall the healer looking this incensed. There's little for her to do or say, however, so she just takes it all in. The security men, Zoe, Eliot, Brian flipping Magnes off with his spontaneous third arm, Gabriel talking to him, Victor Childs, Monica… If she weren't a panmnesiac, this would definitely still be unforgettable.

And Cat suspects at this moment Abby might just suddenly manifest the secondary ability to immolate Magnes with fire from her eyes.

Zoe has left.

"Fine, then I'm in trouble. You still didn't hear how he talked about her! I'm not apologizing for it and I'm not getting arrested for it." Magnes sternly says to Gabriel, sticking to his decision to throw Gabriel out the balcony. Then Abby comes, and he has a dumbstruck look, almost unable to respond until the very end. "But you didn't hear how he was talking about you! Fuck, this is so fucking… Goddamnit!" He suddenly flies above the floor, staring down at her with a look filled with jealousy, anger, frustration, and god knows what else. "Tell Gabriel to fix him, I was defending you. You're welcome! I'm going to fucking Hawaii, all of you can go to hell!" Then he starts flying toward the very balcony he threw Deckard out of, and shows no sign of actually stopping.

Eliot has left.

"I thought the revival they were staging was 'Cats', not 'Peter Pan'." Fel has traded his wine glass for a flute of actual champagne, as he comes in from one of the smaller rooms. He watches Magnes go with a less than pleased expression. Lucky for Mags he's not under Fel's direct command, or there'd be a hell of a lecture waiting the next time he showed up for duty.

"Dude, you could get arrested right now for Disorderly Conduct, Mags. The Chief's in the other room. Do you REALLY wanna play this game?" That's Victor using his warning-the-perp voice. The kind you use to talk drunk people down with.

And like that, the situation appears to defuse itself. "An auction, and a show. Awesome." Elias sounds less serious about this than the situation really is. "But that show? It's over, folks-" He turns around, addressing the rest of the crowd directly- "And there's still plenty of evening ahead of us. let's get back to the party." He doesn't expect much to actually result from his words, but maybe if he can convince some of them to go about their busines, everyone else will follow suit.

Monica doesn't like this at all, but the others seem to be trying to get things under control. She doesn't need to try and talk down Magnes, but she is keenly aware of everyone else in the room and how quickly they could go South. So she holds her tongue, but still stands ready.

Eileen continues murmuring thick reassurances under her breath, even after Brian appears to have backed down. Her hand does not leave his arm. Her eyes don't leave his face, either — at least not immediately. When they do, it's to chance a haphazard glance over her shoulder back toward Magnes, Gabriel and the security team.

It's probably a good thing she's maintaining her grip on her friend's arm because if she's battling the urge to take off after Varlane, then she can only begin to imagine how Brian must feel. He's not— really going to Hawaii, is he?

"Then he's my problem Magnes, not yours. You need help" Spoken to the retreating form before he disappears for Hawaii. Abigail looks to Victor and Gabriel. "Magnes needs help. Do you see that now? he will wake up one morning and commit suicide by criminal. He needs medicine. I can't fix what's wrong with him." A gesture to the floating glass that the gravokinetic has left behind him. "Gabriel, can you please go save the jerk that is my boyfriend. Find him some place to be laid down so I can fix him. Was anyone else hurt?" A glance to the people near, looking for bruises or fat lips, anything. She's still seething. Needs to do something than stand and wait for someone to save deckard.

With Magnes starting to fly away and Abby so angered, Cat seems momentarily concerned the healer might try to snag on and go with him still demanding he undo this, but she relaxes when this doesn't happen. She remains close by the blonde, keeping watch.

A few deep breaths, and the beast in Brian slowly crawls back into his cage. It would probably be bad for Joe to go to college his first day and see his dad on the front page of the newspaper drunkenly brawling a cop. Or a kinda cop. Whatever Magnes is now. His tounge slowly wets his lips as he stands there, his eyes following Magnes go up up and away.

His hand goes up to his arm, brushing down his own arm it goes to set itself on Eileen's hand. Indicating he is mostly calmed down, letting his hand rest there he lets out a heavy exhale. "Do you think he's really going to Hawaii?" Brian asks, a bit dumbly.

"If he is, then he'll probably do less damage than he will here," is all Elias has to say on the subject. No one is going to let this incident die easily, and mostly peaceful resolution or not, it's probably not going to reflect well on the NYPD. As he checks to make sure Brian is not about to flip out and somehow go up, up and away after Magnes, he considers bidding on another item. but Brian seems to be under control, and so he busies himself with distracting what members of the press will pay attention to him, in the hopes that maybe they'll see something shiny and go some place else.

He should go after Magnes. He should, by rights, arrest Magnes. Gabriel stares after the other man as he flies through the window, and stares at Abigail when she underlines the point she'd made to him not so long ago. He sneaks a glance to his wife as if waiting for her to 'I told you so' at him, Gabriel raising a hand to rub the back his neck.

He doesn't go after Magnes. If the world wasn't splitting into two and his stomach wasn't turning with champagne and wine, he might have. Instead, he starts for the balcony.

Then stops. Wait. Wait. Gabriel looks back at the healer and adds, "Flint said to tell you that— he was— his feelings were hurt so he said the— thing." Never mind. The erstwhile serial killer continues making his slightly zigzagging line towards the balcony, not for Magnes, but to do as asked.

Gabriel has left.

Vic seems to mostly relax as Magnes goes floating away, ostensibly to Hawaii. Although if someone asked Vic he'd put money on Magnes stopping before he gets out of the city limits to at least grab a burger for the road or something. He turns to Monica rubbing his eyes. "Somebody in patrol can arrest that guy. I'm homicide. Anyway once he's away from here he'll probably settle down. God, why has he ALWAYS been crazy?"

Magnes has left.

Monica sighs softly and leans over to slip her heels back on. "Yes, well, so am I apparently." Though she was actually looking forward to Homocides versus her work in the Special Victims unit she had been in. That was really starting to wear on her. A glances was given to Victor, "He needs help," she says simply, as if that should explain the crazy. But really…things could have gone dreadfully wrong. So very fast.

Situation diffused. Crisis averted. All clear. Eileen gives Brian's arm a quick squeeze and slides a grateful look in Elias' direction. Thank you. Not just for holding Brian back but for attempting to steal away the press' attention as well. This is going to hit the papers in the morning regardless — the best they can hope for at this point is to enact some good, old-fashioned damage control. "I'm going to go check on Deckard," she says, shifting her attention over to the balcony doors. "Brian, will you come with me?"
Perhaps anticipating Abby will
return to the balcony now and intent on sticking by her, Cat turns in that direction. She takes three or four steps, then looks back to see if what she expects is true.

Slowly, the crowds begin to thin. Some people make to leave. Some people linger, continue what they were doing. Either way, the music has started up again, and organisers and security alike are trying to disperse the crowd, especially the media. Things are grinding back into what they were, someone on a microphone assuring everyone that things are under control.

Things hardly ever are, but that's optimism.

"Lots of people need help." Vic echoes dully, to Abby and Monica. And between them he only expects one to get what he truly means. Everybody needs help, but not everybody can give it. Or should. He's not getting anymore involved in this now that Gabe's gone to do stuff with it. Too many cooks in the kitchen and all that.

Giving a hefty sigh, Brian's arm goes to slide around Eileen's shoulders. "Okay." He heaves as he gently guides them towards the doors. Tilting his head back he does a blurry scan of the room. "I had a date. I think I lost her." He informs Eileen. "She was very pretty, she had a yellow thingie." The replicator's shirt is still undone, and his coat is who knows where, but he doesn't seem to mind. "I could have taken him." He feels it is necessary to add in. "Even drunk. I was gonna punch him with my.. chest hand. And then punch him with my hand-hand." And with that he strolls lazily at her side towards the balcony.

Gabriel's words ringing in her mind. His feelings were hurt.. so he said something about her. The blonde shakes her head before snatching Magnes's champagne glass from it's mid-float to toss back the contents down her throat and swallow. The cups passed to a server with a warning that it's going to stay floating for a while yet and she's walking back with Cat towards the balcony where Eileen and presumably Brian are going. The anger is highly unlikely to leave her anytime soon.

"No, it wasn't premeditated in any way, whatsoever," Elias assures one member of the press. With any luck, more of them will take notice. "What happened was simply unfortunate. Officer Varlane and Doctor Deckard don't get along to begin with for purely personal reasons. Additionally, Varlane is under a lot of stress because of a case he's on, the details of which I can't discuss, because I don't know what they are.

"Both of them were here, had too much to drink, exchanged words which were incendiary and got into an argument." Confident and sure, the perfect answer needed for this. "It was a defenestration of passion, and nothing more. And now, if you'll excuse me-" Without giving them a chance to respond, Elias promptly relocates himself outside.

Monica looks to Victor and glances to Abby. "I hate to do this," she says, but her mood is sufficiently done for a party. "But I really do want to get home." Her son should be sufficiently satisfied that she was out and sociable, rather than at home, and had spent sufficient time in the company of his dad. "It's been…." She thought of something tactful, "…interesting."

"I'll come with you." offers Vic to Monica, walking with her. "I just hope I'm not on any news reports tonight. Captain Bumpus hates when we make the papers…" Damn that Captain Bumpus.

This scene occurs concurrently with High Society's Ballroom Notoriety, Part II and High Society's Ballroom Notoriety, Part III.

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