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Flare Knight

Yuletidings (IC)

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The chilly wind blew across the roof of Powerhouse's apartment building as he sat on the center of the roof, crossing his arms. He was actually wearing clothing today, a heavy brown long-coat, a scarf wrapped around his throat, but no hat. On his feet were a heavy pair of boots, and thick jeans covering his legs. Powerhouse's powers were turned off right now, he was just too tired, too annoyed, to bother focusing on having them active right then. This meant, of course, that he would have been freezing if he wasn't wearing his clothing. Instead, he wrapped his arms around his legs and looked into the sky.

With a sigh, Powerhouse put his head on his chin and stared at nothing, being too far from the edge to look down, so he instead stared at the building across from his own. "I don't understand this season. People are spending time with each other, and those weird colored packages. I don't get it." He finished, collapsing on his back, staring into the sky, and frowning. "I need help...is anyone there? Someone who wants to help?" He asked the sky, not expecting an answer.

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"That is like the most perfect cue I have ever gotten."

There was Sil, standing quietly at the door of the roof. She hadn't been Sil for most the trip up the appartment building, though she was able to duck the blind spots of one of the cameras in the stairwell. She was black clad as always but carrying a plastic bag.

"Though I have to say, it's a rather unusual question you've got, I thought all of corperate America has plowed the 'meaning of Christmas' into people subconcious with all the ad campaigns, specials and songs."

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Upon hearing the familiar voice, Powerhouse jumped and twisted, rolling onto his belly and staring at Silhouette, pushing himself off the ground- half way a push up- to a sitting position, grinning at her. "I aim to please, Ms. Silhouette." He said, inclining her head at her, then to the bag, obviously interested in it. "Christmas? I've never heard that word before." He said, slowly standing up, not really concerned with her ability to sneak around him- he was well aware he wasn't the best at paying attention to his surroundings, and he knew she was good at hiding- and brushing dirt off his front and back. "It is good to see you, however. Are you well?" He asked, still looking at the package.

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If her face could be seen her eyebrows would be far higher then what previously seemed possible and her mouth stood agape. She took a few seconds to respond before approaching quietly on the rooftop and saying,

"What, did someone just drop you off in a cornfield and wish you the best of luck? How can you not of heard that word? It has been on everyones lips for the last five weeks. Every television station has a broadcast of corny holiday specials, every radio have an overplayed set of carols built into there line up, and every street and store has been decked out in green and red for the most popular holiday of the year."

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"Not a Cornfield, no, a Dumpster, actually. And it wasn't really 'best of luck' so much as 'only half dead after escape', but yes, pretty much I suppose." Powerhouse corrected, then agreed with her, thinking back to what he'd seen recently. He didn't have a Radio, but his TV had seemed to be fond of that one movie with the kid with the Red Ryder BB gun- whatever that was-, he had just assumed it was just educational programming about why you always had to be careful with loaded weapons built into a carefully constructed framework.

Considering the new information he had gained in this conversation and nodding thoughtfully, he looked out at the Red and Green on the street, craning his neck to see it. "So it was a Christmas special...I thought my cable had gone out again and it defaulted to that same movie over and over again...that explains why the Cable man was so mad at me when I called him up that second time after he said nothing was wrong with it..." He spoke to himself out loud, as if he had forgotten someone else was there with him. "So...this is a...Holiday. Like a Weekend? And people wear Red and Green to be visible in the Snow? It would suck if a Car hit them." Powerhouse was obviously having trouble thinking about all the information, but he continued his questions despite it. "Tell me more Ms. Silhouette, I'm intrigued at this festivity." He said earnestly, taking a step forward and smiling broadly.

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While last thing his said surprised, she honed in about the half dead in a dumpster part,

"Wait what?"

She got closer and looked at his face,

There is definitely a story about that, but apparently not much angst. Given, he might not understand he's supposed to have any, I am after all having to explain the meaning of Christmas to a grown man.

Bringing a gloved finger to her face she started to scratch a bit at her nose through the mask out of habit.

"Umm, I'm not exactly sure if that's why people wear red and green. It's more probably because well that's the color of holly, umm a plant with green leaves and red berries and poinsettas, a red flower that blooms in the winter. As for the holiday themselves, it's umm, a christian holiday whose time was based on a pagan holiday, and who's mascot was based on a Saint Nicolas, a figure from christian lore. Umm,"

She let out a breath, and looked towards her bag,

"The usual trend for the holiday is greatly emphesized on gift giving. Usually in the form of wrapped packages, there is also several running themes for it, the colors red and green, decorating pine trees, umm, good will to others and general selflessness, as well as visiting family."

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Some of the words that Silhouette spoke to Powerhouse were those he didn't quite understand, but, through careful working of the words around them, he got the jist of it. People celebrated this plant called Holly, based on Christan and Pagan people, and Saint Nick was the Saint of Holly. Watching the masked woman intently as she kept speaking, he took a step back and nodded, processing what he had been told. Powerhouse learned fast enough, he was just a bit thick on what some things meant, so he considered for a time, working through a map in his head on what everything meant. "Okay! I think I got it!" He said loudly, sticking one finger into the air."People buy presents to give to their friends and families to show their appreciations for dealing with them for such a long time, while being nice to everyone and not caring what it costs you, so long as someone else ends up happy!" He said, starting slow, with heavy pauses between each word, then building to a massive crescendo and practically shouting the word 'happy'. He even did little finger puppets to show what he thought was going on. Then, as rapidly at he had began, he got silent again, and his face compressed back into deep thought. "...Wait..." he scratched his head, like a plane hit a brick wall and came to a dead stop right before it lifted off, as all the steam he had been building dissipated. "A Family is like...brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers...right?" That was what one of those shows he watched said. "I don't have any of those...or...well...no, I don't have any. Who am I supposed to go visit?"

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She was sort of thinking that maybe he didn't when he first exclaimed so, but the explanation pretty much covered it as strangely as that whole explanation came out. Though the next part about having no family, that sort of got her a little as well and felt a little bad,

Great, I'm feeling bad for a guy who doesn't understand he's supposed to feel bad.

"Well, umm, you visit friends then. Well you can't visit me, you don't know what I really look like or my real name and you don't know where I live and, umm,"

She looked at him for a second,

"Have you made friends with anybody who isn't a hero?"

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Powerhouse, after spending some time considering the question he was being asked, finally shook his head at the masked hero's question. "No, I don't think I have. I mean, from what I've read in those comics, people who are friends with heroes always end up getting kidnapped and then the hero has to save them. I wouldn't want to put people like that in danger" He said, then said something completely different, like he abandoned his thought process for something else. "Plus, I'm worried about it. I'm always busy being a Hero, you know, so they'd eventually forget about me, yeah?" plus, they could be spies he added to himself at the end, then shrugged. "There's ways to spend Christmas without having friends and family, aren't there?"

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Putting her her face she leaned it to a bit,

"Powerhouse, you can't, you need, you..."

Letting out a breath she looked at him just standing there like he had just asked the weather or something.

He needs concousling.

Looking at the bag again she let out a breath,

"How, how did you make it this far without making any friends? I mean, you aren't this all the time? You have clothing and you've been shopping, and a place to live? Do you just live by yourself? Do you have a land lord, what about a job? You're telling me out of all these people, all these encounters you haven't made a single friend? That's NOT healthy."

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The questions were becoming more confusing to Powerhouse, and rapidly. He didn't really understand why it was strange, so, with a puzzled look on his face, he tried to answer her questions, thinking out every word as it passed his lips. "I...well, I never needed friends before. Not that anyone would talk to me, but whatever. I did all my homework alone, not that they allowed help" He said, idly dismissive. He had gotten this far by only understanding the definition, after all, plus, he didn't want people getting hurt. People were fragile! "but yeah...I mean, I am this all the time. Isn't everyone?" He asked, then got really quiet for a bit again. "I mean...this is me, you know? I'm not a guy who just happens to run around in Spandex..." He explained, looking a bit sad at that part, though he perked up not much longer after. "But I have a great routine for life! I go to work, get my work, and head out. I turn in good pages, so the boss usually doesn't mind if I do my work somewhere else, so sometimes I'll just find a roof to work on, and I go to the grocery store every Tuesday to buy my meals for the week. I put the money in the Landlord's Slot every month, and I know he gets it because he hasn't knocked on my door." He said, excited to have someone interested enough in his life to ask him how his life went, but he shrugged off the statement of a lack of health. "I don't know how it's not. I mean, I have the Superhero people I always end up saving the day with, those are friends, right? And you're my friend, I mean, you asked me about my life! It's been like, 12 years since someone asked me how my day was going! I mean...I think I'm pretty well adjusted." he added happily.

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She leaned down and fell back onto her stomach and just watched him speak. He wasn't lieing, who would lie about something so freaking outragious. It was like he was avoiding the world, and he was happy doing it. He was happy, apparently for the first time in a while.

Twelve years, no one has had an interest in him in twelve years, where in the world was he for that amouth of time.

Letting out a sigh, she pulled up on knee and wrapped around it with one arm trying to sit comfortably on the roof. Her tone was even, and her next words were soft almost like a whisper,

"You say you're happy with this? Is it comfortable, not talking to anyone, not getting close so that they won't get hurt, or so you won't get hurt? Is that really all you want?"

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"Welll..." He said, then got quiet once more. It was normal for him to pause before answering a question, but at this point, he went completely silent for a long time, opening, then closing his mouth repeatedly, before falling to a seated position and thinking. He ignored the cold and the wind, and almost completely the other person on the roof, looking up from time to time to make sure she was still there, before finally nodding. "Well...I suppose I've never gotten to think about it before..." he said, slowly, as if each word was a tooth being pulled him an impacted gumline. "...I...I think it would be nice. To be able to talk to people..." He agreed, finally. "I suppose I can meet people when I'm pretending to not be myself too."

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Letting out a sigh she pushed herself up again,

"It's your choice."

She looked at him quietly through the expressionless mask,

"Regardless, you can always call me if you need someone to talk to, also"

She held out the bag to him,

"Merry Christmas, and happy New Year while I'm here. It's a coat, not expensive but plenty warm."

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Taking the bag and putting it next to him, Powerhouse nodded. "So...that's what a Present is." he said. "Probably should have asked before I started talking about them." he finished, smiling, then got quiet and sat on the ground. "I..don't have a present for you though..." He muttered dejectedly, then continued. "But...there's a word...I don't know it, but I'm...grateful? Maybe. My Chest feels good when you say you'll listen to me. I've never been told that before." he mumbled out.

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"That's because whoever raised you clearly didn't show you any love. Weird feeling, hard to pin but people generally like it. Course this is more the friendship flavor, there are a couple of different flavors, you can look that up online if your really need to. Seriously though, wherever you've been where no one will listen, you're not there anymore. Listening is one reason people have friends. You have to listen to them in return, maybe add to the conversation but yeah."

She was a bit curious where exactly he was raised to be so socially and emotionally ignorant at such an advanced age, mad science lab came to mind almost instantly, but there was probably a couple of choices. Given, speculating would probably be rude if he didn't want to talk about it.

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"...No...I suppose they didn't.." He agreed, considering. "Right. So this is Friendship. I kind of knew that much, a little. I have other Super Hero people I talk to." he admitted, poking at the roof a bit, then grinning at the masked heroine. "Yeah, I know I'm not there anymore, and it's great!" He exclaimed happily, raising his arms into the sky and opening them. "No more oppressive forest, no more watching my every move! No more Chains!" He exclaimed, then touched his neck reflexively. "mostly." he mumbled, much quieter, and with a darker look on his face, then perked up again. "

But it's great to be here!" He said, happy once more, then decided to apply his new teachings. "So, how are you?" He asked, staring intently at the masked woman.

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"Little tired, but there's no use for it. Got a busy next few days afterall, not really anything you can help with being as you're a bit underdeveloped emotionally. Yeah, with what I have scheduled for today, I'll have to be armed to the teeth in some prebuilt emotional barricades and duct tape."

Honestly, she was surprised she had managed to slip away since she wasn't officially sleeping in her own appartment for the next few days. The combination of a wedding plus usual holiday festivities usually garuenteed at least one emotional breakdown, several shouting matches between each of her respective cousins who have come to visit, and usually at least one new unplanned reninivation to her parents condo. Well at least she knew her father had plenty of spackle.

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Powerhouse nodded as the woman spoke, attempting to be a good listener, he took orders well, so it was probably mostly the same thing to his mind, and for his effort he actually did listen to what the woman was saying, though some of it was a complete blank to him, he knew enough about personal mind barricades to offer his help. "Just imagine yourself climbing a mountain!" He offered, smiling. "Climbing mountains is really easy, you know? So just imagine yourself as doing it, and it won't seem so bad because you'll be done before you know it!"then he got quiet again. "Ah...wait...I forget people can't climb mountains like I do...then just think of something else easy!" he amended. It had worked for him, so he assumed his advice would work very well for everyone!

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Sil sort of just burst out laughing,

"It's a nice thought but my imagination is far more cynical than simply me thinking that I can just do it and be done with it. If interaction with my family is like mountain climbing you can expect to be short on the rope and fasteners, have to search thirty minutes for each stable hand hole and have an earthquake knock you down the side of the mountain right before you get to the top."

She shrugged a little bit,

"But as much as I can complain about the complexity, I can't complain that I have them, all of them and that they love me and that's starting to fall out of trend."

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"That sounds rough..."Powerhouse said, not realizing mountain climbing involved all that stuff at all- he thought it was just jumping in the air!-, but nodding. "I kind of get it...though I'd probably end up causing the earthquake instead of being caught by it." He offered as a joke, not really sure how to respond regarding what she was saying- he was having that problem a lot with Ms. Silhouette, he noticed-, and smiling at the mention of Family. "I kind of had a family once...I think. Well...It probably wasn't your type of family, and it wasn't as nice as yours sounds, but I kind of think it might have been one." He said, shrugging and looking at his hands. "But I bet it's lots of fun spending time with them."

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"Fun, tiring, emotionally challenging, there are a lot of words to describe my family and most families really."

She stretched a little,

"Family like mine is nice to have, because I know that if I make a mistake, like the biggest mistake possible, I can go to them for help and they won't question it. They'll tease me to freaking death, I'll never live it down and it will be brought up in every other conversation but they'll still love me, still accept me and still do whatever it takes to help me get through."

She smiled lightly then her tone changed,

"Though it probably helps that they are absolutely crazy, though I can't say I'm much different now can I."

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"Awesome. It sounds like so much fun." Powerhouse said, grinning. "But I don't think you are crazy Ms. Silouhette...well maybe a little, you do put up with me." he said, poking fun at himself a little. "But it must feel like a lot of responsibility, to not let them down, doesn't it? How do you deal with it?" He asked, intrigued at the idea of actually not trying to let people down- something he had mostly abandoned many years ago-. "Doesn't it feel like, sometimes, the whole world might come crashing down?"

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She shrugged,

"Well it sort of helps that I look into other peoples worlds far more often than my own."

Thinking about what she said,

"That was a weird phrasing, I guess it helps that I realize my whole world isn't a bad one to live in. I've seen people living in worse worlds a lot, some of them put themselves to ridiciluous standards that makes a single mistake really feel like the end, some of them, actually live in a world where a single mistake will be the end of them, and some of them find themselves so fixated on a single thing that the rest of the world could go to hell for all they care as long as they can achieve there own goals. Regardless of the world, it's going to comes down on everyone at some point. That's sort of when you have to learn to get back up again, roll with the punches, rebuild, while it may not seem like it, the world only really ends when you choose it too."

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"I don't know if you can say the world only ends when you want it to." Powerhouse argued, trying his best to make a decent point. "I mean, you can decide for it to end and it does, but sometimes things happen that you don't want to happen, and then maybe your world ends up over and done with and you couldn't do anything to stop it. So really, isn't it that it ends when it ends if you want it to, but sometimes it can end even if you'd rather it didn't?" he attempted to make his point, but even he felt it was a little confusing, but maybe that was just because of what the topic was.

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