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Tiffany Korta

Good Company and Good Cheer [Open]

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As well as being a responsible city Freedom City was also a place that knew how to let it's hair down, and like everything, Superheroes liked to party. Thought of often very different beliefs, many of them gathered to celebrate the Holiday season in the superhero equivalent of an Office Party.

 

At various point through Freedom City heroes, in and out of costume gathered to celebrate the Holiday season together

 

Morley's Pub, West End

 

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Voin Zhenshchina, Morley's Pub, West End

 

For Klara, the Holidays were all about family, she would spend the actual day(s), having two different Christmases to choose from, with her wife and daughters celebrating all that she had around her. After all the years of this, it has yet to get old.

 

But it was also a time to gather with friends and celebrate the season so she had gone to Morley's, the closest to the kind of pub they had back home, to have a few pints and hopefully meet up with a few other heroes to celebrate!

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Moe had been to the West End only a couple of times since she'd been in Freedom City. She never really needed to be here in the first place. But a place called Morley's got a lot of good talk. It was an Irish style eats, drinks, dart, pool. Of course Moe was too young to drink, but the ID check at the door made sure she got one of those nice little Xs on the back of her hand. The place was quiet. Christmas music softly wafted through the air.

 

There were some obligatory games, darts and billiards. She would have wen there, but she saw something... someone. A giant woman. Moe didn't mean to gawk. She'd just never seen an actual giant person before.  "Hello," she said looking up to Voin. Even though she wasn't right up on her, she still had to turn her head upward.

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Though he (along with his companion) were in similar company to Moe, right down to the Xs on their hands, Riley had gotten to Morley's early that Christmas. "C'mon!" he was declaring as he pocketed a fairly substantial wager from a disgruntled-looking guy with about six inches of height on him. "Who'll step up and have a friendly wager against the reigning champion?" Riley wasn't usually this relaxed in public - but what the hell, it was Christmas and his best girl was at his side. The short sleeves on his plaid jacket showed off his muscular arms, while an innocuous hand-knit red and green hat perched on his closely-shaven head. When nobody seemed interested, he headed back to join Robin at their table, leaning close to plant a big kiss on her cheek. He had egg nog and he had swagger, and he had the prettiest girl in the bar. If he was back home the egg nog would have had liquor in it - but on the other hand it probably wouldn't have tasted very good. 

 

"Don't worry, baby, you treat me nice, I'll share some with you," he grinned as he set his money down on the table. Most of the money was probably going to go towards one of Robin's missions at the end of the night. But that was still some time off. 

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"My hero," Robin grinned at Riley, leaning into the kiss on her cheek. Curled into one corner of their booth, she'd been watching the match with interest and no small amount of pride. She was smiling, her dark curls piled up on her crown in twists and the brand new wine colored sweater complementing her dark skin. It might have been the softest thing that she owned; it was certainly the warmest, and thus far it was definitely Robin's favorite Christmas gift although the sturdy boots she was wearing under the table were a close second. 

 

"I always treat you nice," she pointed out as he scooted into the booth to join her. Robin would likely avoid the bar games as unless it was a meta human, it was probably highly unfair, and if it WAS one of the super human friends, they'd not exactly keep a low profile. 

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Klara had gotten us to the way some people reacted to her height, after all, she had experienced it for five decades. Even though every time it made her smile

 

"We should find a way we can talk face to face, things will be much more civil that way." she knew that kneeling down like she was dealing with a child might be considered a little insulting

 

"Whilst we figure that out let me buy you a drink to celebrate the upcoming season." she looked and gave a little smile "Though I think for you a soft-drink is in order."

 

She downed the black liquid in her glass and turned to the bar, adding as she turned.

 

"And please call me Klara, tonight is not the time for formalities."

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Lynn Epstein and Gretchen McDaniels entered Morley's together, holding hands; Lynn was beaming, and even her introverted partner was looking more or less comfortable, very different from last year's heroic get-together when Gretch felt compelled to leave early. Lynn looked liked she just come in wrangling cattle in a suede cowboy jacket, jeans, and riding boots, topped with a black Stetson, while Gretch was in her usual black motorcyle jacket, tattered jeans, Doc Martens and a hoodie. As was often the case, the pair were communicating mentally.

 

- Nice. This is much more my speed. -

 

- I agree. I'm glad you agreed to come, especially considering how things turned out the last time. -

 

Noticing the conversation between Moe and Klara, Gretchen couldn't help but smile at the size discrepancy.

 

- That girl needs a good pair of stilts. -

 

- Oh, it's Klara! I remember her from last year! -

 

The two brunettes made their way over to Voin; in truth, they were not much taller than Moe, and also had to look up at her to speak.

 

"Greetings," Lynn began in a thin, reedy voice, holding herself stiff and erect. "We are emissaries from Munchkin Land. We come in peace!"

 

"Please ignore her." Gretchen said as she shook her head. Then she acknowledged Moe with a friendly nod. "Hey."

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Of course, any big hero gathering meant that Bonfire almost had to show up. It was a lot smaller scale than the one last year, where he’d managed to get some good networking done, but it still was an event specifically for FC’s hero community, and those were always interesting. And considering he didn’t really know most people too well even at this point in his career, it was important for him to remind his colleagues of his existence, too.

 

And the best way to do that was, of course, to dress sharply. So when Bonfire entered the pub, he was wearing a properly fitting white suit, complete with a nice black vest, and an orange button-up and tie to go along it. It was the more casual of his fancy outfits, and one that fit in situations like these. Helped make him look more fancy than he really was (he’d just gotten it out of the closet for the first time in months).

 

He entered the room, and realized he was quite early, with only a few familiar faces so far. Lynn and Gretch were already talking, and from what he understood, the latter wasn’t too fond of large conversations, so for now, he just went to grab some egg nog, just watching the room in the meantime.

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"Thanks, Klara," she said before ordering a peppermint eggnog. Non-alcoholic, of course, she flashed the X on her hand. "I really enjoy reading the stories about your exploits. I uh," well I'm not new I just-" She was interrupted by the cute couple. Moe still thought there was some beautifying agent in the water she wasn't getting. She smiled at the munchkin joke. She'd heard worse! "Oh, no," she laughed and flipped her hair playfully, "I'm just a Barbie in training." She looked to Gretchen with a polite nod back, "good evening."

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"I have raised three girls, trust me I have had many dealing with such things." Klara laughed at Lynns's comment as she gave her friendly hug "I will take a seat if it will make everyone more comfortable, everyone should be happy at this time of year. Talking off..."

 

Klara turned to the bar and added to order, the Embassy might have a little surprise when they got the bill for her generosity.

 

"Two drink for these fine ladies and two for the young lovebirds over there..." she gestured to Robin and Riley "Such things should always be celebrated." she even gestured to the stranger in the white suit, she was in a good mood and planned to share it with everyone!

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Riley kissed Robin in public, basking in the moment - then did it again. "That's 'cuz you're so nice," he said with a grin. "And 'cuz I'm so cute." Maybe it was just the holidays, or maybe it was just the freedom of the tow of them being out together without worrying about any judging looks - well, not worrying too much, anyway. "Let's go get some-hey, thanks!" With the order placed, he decided to saunter over to Klara and greet her properly. "Much obliged," he said, looking at the taller woman. Glancing around, he recognized Moe from Claremont and nodded to her in a friendly way, then ran his fingers through his own teenager's goatee. "Merry Christmas!" 

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Mali walked through the front door and scanned the room. She recognized a couple of people and grinned. The air was festive, the drinks were pouring, and she was ready to relax and enjoy herself. She wore a stylish, knee length red dress, a pair of slender black leather boots, and, at first, her riding jacket. She hadn't ridden her motorcycle, but it was her best defense against the cold of Freedom City. 

 

She was all smiles as she walked into the bar. She waved at Lynn and Gretchen as she walked towards the bar. 

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Just go in already! 

 

Shivering in the cold--his overcoat was real, but the clothes beneath it were just leaf-like fabrications of his own body--and wearing someone else's face, Tristan Delacroix had been spying on Morley's Pub and the heroes entering it for over an hour now.  He knew full well that a halfway decent Cowl would spot him if he wasn't very careful, so instead of a traditional stakeout, he kept making loops around the block, cycling through different disguises on each pass.  The doctor told himself that he was being cautious, but mostly he worried that he wouldn't fit in here.  He missed last year's party for similar reasons; although he had a good excuse of spending most of December at the bottom of the ocean, hard at work, he also just couldn't overcome the intimidation he felt from all the famous, well-established heroes.  He just knew he'd get in there, meet one of his idols, and make a fool of himself.

 

Well, if I stay out here, then eventually someone's going to notice me, assume I'm lurking around planning to cause trouble, and kick my teeth in before I can transform or explain.  If I blow it, then I'll just have to leave town and change my identity.  So, no pressure.

 

He slipped away again and made a final change to his body, more dramatic this time, and retrieved a bundle he had left hidden in case he summoned up the courage to attend.  Yesterday, Leviathan thought this would be funny, but now, as he got dressed, he mostly felt like a dork. 

 

Moments later, through the pub's doors squeezed a gigantic lizard monster whose head almost scraped the ceiling, dressed in the world's biggest custom-made Santa suit.  He couldn't just show up naked, could he?

 

"Ho ho ho," he announced himself, uncertain despite the impossibly deep bass in his voice.  Leviathan's curly white beard was so huge that a toddler could get lost in it, and the bell jingling on the end of his red hat was as big as a fist. 

 

Almost immediately, Leviathan realized to his dismay that he didn't recognize anybody out of costume except for Bonfire, who probably told him about this party in the first place.  He felt even dorkier heading straight for his only friend here, rather than trying to meet new heroes, but for the moment he couldn't help it. 

 

"I've been watching you this year, Bonfire," he joked.  "The bad news is, I know the sorts of things you get up to.  But the good news is that you might actually like coal in your stocking."

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Lynn rubbed her hands together at the mention of the free drinks. "Ooh, what should we get, what should we get?" Suddenly she stopped and sniffed the air before turning to her girlfriend with a big smile. "Dude...have you ever had wassail before?"

 

Gretch frowned and shook her head. "I am sure I'd remember drinking something called that."

 

"Oh ho ho, you're in for a treat! Be right back!" The changeling quickly doffed her coat and hat, set them on a chair, and mouthed a quick 'thank you' to Klara before scampering over to the bar, where she did indeed find a great punchbowl full of the potent, fragrant Yuletide delight. "Two wasssils, guv`nah," she chimed in her best Dick Van Dyke Cockney, grinning like a little kid. "An' put 'em the giant's bill, eh?"

 

Noting Bonfire's presence, she turned and beamed at him. "'Ello, luv! Holiday greetin's an' all that!" The elfin girl hopped up to give him a quick peck on the cheek before snagging her drinks and dropping a five dollar tip for the server. "Cheers, mate!"

 

By the time Lynn got back to the table, Gretchen was mutely staring up at 'Leviathan Claus,' barely noticing the drink she was handed even as she sipped it. Somehow Lynn was oblivious, and she frowned at her girlfriend's dazed expression. "What is it, what's wrong?"

 

The young barista merely nodded as she took another sip, her eyes never leaving the amazing sight. "The Kringle from the Black Lagoon."

 

"The Kringle from...oh, holy s###."

 

"Yep."

Edited by Heritage

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The one advantage of being a good head and shoulder above everyone else was that she was a good rallying point. She gave a friendly wave to the newcomers to bring them over to the gathered heroes. Luckily she had deep pockets, or the ministry did at least, so she could provide refreshments to everyone who entered the bar.

 

"Really don't do that accent! It's a bloody terrible London accent." after many decades in the UK her accent was near flawless

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Riley had no idea what accent they were doing - he supposed it was supposed to be British, but the only British person he knew at all well was Cathy; who sounded nothing like any of the people in the room. He did know about monsters, though, so he did go tense and give a single cold, hard stare to the Christmas creature that had just arrived in the door before he forced himself to pay attention to the party and not the probably perfectly nice superhero. "Huh. Guess word got out about the party." Oh well, heroes tended to be a tolerant bunch - most of the time, and he didn't see any of his usual Claremont tormentors out here tonight. "Come on!" he called, his voice a little higher than usual from the tension. "Let's party!" 

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One of the best features of turning your head into smoke was the fact people couldn’t read your expression. Which was something that Cass was more glad about than usual when Leviathan arrived. The fact he’d even arrived was already quite a surprise, and the way he’d done it, even more so. One of those times where Cass really had to keep himself from laughing. It was such an amazing idea.

 

His response to LeviSanta was done in a light-hearted, perhaps slightly mocking tone. “I know, crazy what you gotta do to get some coal in this economy, right?” And then, he switched back to his usual tone, raising his glass shortly. “Great to see you here! You certainly made an entrance. I get the feeling this is gonna be an amazing evening.”

 

After a short gesture of thanks towards Klara, Bonfire responded to what Riley said, also speaking to the entire room. Standing at the bar meant that one was easy enough to do. “Agreed! Did anybody make any plans? Also, does anybody know if there’s a jukebox in this place?”

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Sitting alone at the very back of the pub, Replica responded to the later of the young man's questions. "Yes," she said, with a monotone. "There is indeed a jukebox directly located to your left by the bar. I'll activate it for you." Instantly, everyone in the pub started to hear a time-honored Christmas choral playing at just right volume. Loud enough that they could enjoy the music regardless of how far away from the jukebox they were, but still low enough they could still talk to one another. Just another one the many mundane conveniences that technopathy can bring Replica noted in her internal logs.

 

The man thanked her the jukebox and Replica responded with a "No problem" and a smile that actually managed to not come across as kind of Stepfordy as one of colleges at ASTRO Labs had once noted. 

 

Perhaps this social outing would indeed be informative after all Replica thought. She had come to the pub mostly to test her new sociability algorithms, but she also found the possibility of experiencing a real Christmas celebration to be strangely inciting as well. 

 

 

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Pleasantly surprised by the (relatively) warm welcome, Leviathan gave the other heroes a lopsided grin and moved to join the crowd.  He almost immediately turned back to the bar for a drink first.  Even though he wasn't cold any longer, a night like tonight was perfect for something nice and hot. 

 

"Spiked cider," he rumbled to the bartender.  "...In a bigger glass, if you can."  The standard cups were much too small for him, and thirst aside, Leviathan didn't want to shatter his beverage accidentally. 

 

And so, soon holding a 60 ounce pitcher like it was a beer can, the jolly red-and-green giant sauntered across the bar to the Christmas tune from the jukebox.  "Don't think I've worked with any of you before," he said with a gesture that included everyone but Bonfire.  "I'm Leviathan."

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