Their meeting was a little less meet-cute and a little more,,, meet-ugly sort of thing.
Mainly because they both read the situation very badly and ended up trying to kill one another. Completely accidentally, but.
And really, can you blame Tony? Their ship does crash-land in the middle of a crowded highway, and barely manages to avoid civilians. Then they pop out, and they’re armed to the teeth, looking pretty threatening and…well… alien.
People end up calling (what’s left of) the Avengers- which happens, at the time, to be Tony and Tony alone.
Except the Guardians crashed in Florida; when Tony got the call he was in New Orleans at a science convention, and the suit was still in New York.
But he went anyway. Suit or no suit, he had to try. He was the only line of defence now, after… everything.
So, armed with a sophisticated watch-gauntlet and a gun he always kept tucked in his jacket pocket, he takes the jet and leaves to try and stop them from potentially, y’know, annihilating the world or whatever.
Except things don’t really happen like that, in the end.
“Listen, what are the chances you’re gonna do as I say when I order you to drop your weapons and leave?” tony asks wearily, as he holds the gun at the biggest guy’s weirdly patterned face and the gauntlet at the woman holding the largest gun he’s ever seen in his life. He doesn’t even bat an eyelid toward the talking walking raccoon or… the tree…thing.
Just another day in the life, at this point.
Although it would be kinda embarrassing if he ends up getting murdered by the raccoon. What the damn hell would they put on his grave? Here lies Tony Stark- saved New York, but unable to protect himself from the dangers of the Mighty Raccoon?
As soon as he’d spoken, about 13 different weapons were pointed in his face. Which hardly made sense, considering there were five of them and they all only had two hands. But whatever.
“How’s about we ask you the same? Except more forcefully, considering we got all the guns,” the raccoon said.
Tony rolled his eyes. “Where the fuck would I go then, what with me being a human being who lives here? Just fling myself into the void of space? And yes, tempting as that might sound, I’ve been there done that. Not as appealing as I would have thought, to be honest.”
The five stared at him in confusion for a moment, before what looked to be the only actual human stepped forward, head cocked. His eyes were bright and beard scruffy- Tony thought it suited him.
Tony also thought he should probably focus on the task at hand, and his ever-growing chances of imminent death, rather than how pretty his opponent was.
“You’re just a human, huh?” Hot Scruffy Man asked.
Tony raised an eyebrow, and then pointed the gun at him when he took another step. “What gave it away? The fact that I have the same composition and structure as every other human on the planet? The fact I look just like you, who is also a human?”
“What was the other half, pure asshole?”
“Actually… kinda, yeah.” The Hot Scruffy Man paused, and then shrugged. “Daddy issues.”
Tony had a brief moment to wonder what the fuck he was doing before an involuntary snort of laughter had escaped out of him. “Yeah- rode that train before, buddy- still doesn’t explain why you’re on the planet I protect, waving your guns around at innocent people and causing millions of dollars worth in property damage.”
The team in front of him paused, and then the man looked back at the green lady, who just shrugged and put down her gun. “We were told there was an imminent threat to your planet. We were in the neighbourhood, so we thought we’d come save you.”
Tony stared at them, contemplating. “Where are your sources from?”
“The fine NovaCorps,” Massive Bulked Alien Dude spoke up.
Tony squinted, running a hand across his forehead. “Am I… supposed to know what that means?”
“Fancy space police,” Raccoon told him.
“You seen any apocalyptic aliens round here lately?” Hot scruffy Man asked him again, slightly confused now.
Tony just sighed. “Nope. And if there were, I would handle them. You can go back…wherever you came from, guys, it’s fine, Earth is fine-“
“You? You’re gonna protect the Earth? With your fancy little handgun and hand-firey thing?” The Raccoon laughed, and Tony scowled.
Luckily, because he had been counting the seconds in his head since he’d called it, he knew he was about to do something really badass, and it wiped the scowl off his face, replacing it with a little smile as he stared at the stupid talking Raccoon.
“No,” he said, shrugging as he heard the familiar whirring sound of metal moving at hundreds of miles an hour up ahead of him.
The aliens looked up, one of them pointing their gun at the source of noise, like it would do anything. But in the space of a few seconds, it had already reached its intended target, slowing down just enough to not vaporise his body and wrapping around him, every piece fitting in a way that made Tony want to give himself a round of applause.
“I’m gonna protect Earth with this,” he said, raising his two repulsors and loading them right in the Raccoon’s little face.
There was complete silence for a second, before Hot Scruffy Man made a noise that should really, for the sake of Tony’s sanity, be kept in the bedroom. “That was literally the coolest and most attractive thing I have ever seen ever. In my life.”
Tony couldn’t help himself; he smirked and cocked his head Hot scruffy Man. “Sweetie, I appreciate the sentiment, but you’re gonna have to keep it in your pants until we can sort this out.”
Green Lady sighed, and walked forward to smack Hot Scruffy Man around the back of the head. “You know what we talked about, Peter- no flirting with potential targets. It’s in bad form.”
“This guy certainly hasn’t got a bad form,” Hot Scruffy Man- Peter- nodded over to Tony and smirked.
Green Lady sighed, and then turned to Tony. “Listen. You want to protect your planet. We want to protect your planet. How about rather than pointing our weapons at one another, we try and… you know, do what we set out to do?”
Instantly, the smile slide off Tony’s face, not that any of them could tell behind the faceplate. “I work alone. Sorry. You’re gonna have to l-“
And that was when the world sort of exploded around them.
Without even thinking about it, Tony shot forward and wrapped his arms around the two closest to him- the Green Lady and Peter- rolling them to the ground and hoping that the rest of his team, especially the more flammable ones, were okay. Green Lady yelled at the sudden-ness of his approach, but Peter just sighed. “Here we go,” he muttered into Tony’s shoulder.
Tony was inclined to agree, there.
Half-way through the battle, Peter AKA Starlord AKA Galaxy’s Number One Asshole asked him out.
Tony looked at him for a good four seconds before he got tackled to the ground by… (Dracula? Dracker? He was having to learn the names on the go, and his mind was currently on other, more explosion-based things) the Massive Bulked Alien Dude.
“THAT IS VERY UNPROFFESSIONAL, PETER!” He yelled, before looking down at Tony. “Are you well? I thought you may have been hit with a paralytic beam of some sort.”
Tony nodded, and then sat up. “No paralytic. Just your team-mate.”
Massive Bulked Alien Dude nodded wisely. “He does tend to have that affect on people.”
“What? Endangering their goddamn lives on the field?”
Massive Bulked Alien Dude paused, and then shrugged as he rolled off Tony. “I was going to say rendering people speechless with his idiocy, but that too.”
“Hey, that’s not fair, I’m actually clever, Tony, I promise! Boyfriend material, right here!” Peter yelled across the battlefield, looking over to them and grinning as he shot an alien in the back of the head without even looking.
“You’re a god damn alien!” tony yelled back exasperatedly, trying to keep the smile off his face as he jumped high into the air and then landed on an unfortunate opponent.
“Yeah- think of all the new tricks I must know, then,” Peter countered, winking as he dived behind a car and then threw what must have been a fancy bomb over the bonnet.
Tony’s mind briefly short-circuited at that (Holy mother of God) astute observation- but he quickly regrouped and fired a repulsor at an alien attempting to sneak up behind Rocket. “I’m gonna need a few examples before I agree to anything, sweetie,” he replied.
Peter laughed and opened his mouth, but then the Tree hit him over the head. “Ow!” he complained, looking betrayed.
“I have enough issues dealing with one distracted team-member whilst in the middle of a battle, I will not be dealing with two! Cut the flirting out!” Gamora yelled, as Tony watched her utterly destroy two different aliens at once.
“She thinks we should be ‘professionals’ and ‘focus on the mission’ when we’re in battle,” Peter said grumpily, wiping a cut across his face and then shrugging. “I respectfully disagree.”
Tony had to cut the conversation short again in order to swoop up and laser his way into the main hull of the ship that loomed barely even twenty meters over the battlefield, but he still had the team in the comm that FRIDAY had patched him into. “So what about Monday? You sticking around until then?” He asked.
Rocket swore at them down the line, but Peter just laughed. “For you, baby, of course I am.”
“Good. I’ve got a meeting with… let’s call him an ex. Be nice to have an excuse to blow him off.”
Peter whistled, “Oooh, want me to sweep you off your feet and declare battle with him for hurting you? I’m always up for it.”
“Much as I would like to see that, he’s kind of peak physical perfection. Plus I’d rather just make out with you,” Tony admitted.
“That’s fair. I want to make out with me too.”
“You’re an asshole.”
“Yep- welcome to the Guardians- we’re all assholes here. You’ll fit right in,” Peter told him.
“I am GROOT!” Came a rumbling voice that Tony could hear even off the comms, and he looked down in time to watch the tree grab Peter around the wait and haul him, flinging him up in to the sky with a yell.
It was a perfect throw, to be fair to Groot. Peter’s momentum cut out just as he was level with Tony, who grabbed his shoulders and lifted his faceplate, just for a second, in time for Peter to plant one on his mouth with a grin and a raised eyebrow, before he began falling again, right into Groot’s waiting arms.
Through the comm, Gamora just sighed. “Idiots. All of you.”
Okay at some point Carolina and wash go back to the wreckage of the moi and go to their lockers and rooms. Carolina hears a sudden scream and rushes to check on wash. He's found his heelies and skateboard. Carolina groans and laughs
When Dylan tells them about the wreckage on Sidewinder—says that it’s still there, abandoned, waiting—Carolina and Wash exchange a look.
The island has been peaceful. Quiet, but not in a way that’s reminiscent of empty halls, corridors for ghosts to pass through. The wind whispers at night through the trees, but the cadence is soft. Soothing. The shadows are not thick with despair here. Rain falls, not in a deluge, but light showers, leaving the air fresh afterwards. Clean.
They like it here. They’ve adjusted to lush green, to damp earth and blue skies. Neither are prepared for the unforgiving, frozen hell they each left behind.
They both still know they have to go.
and then we’re skipping the fucking angst we’re not gonna talk about it
well actually there is this:
The trek up to the crash site is quiet.
Every time Carolina expects Epsilon to end the silence, she has to remind herself he’s gone.
soRRY!! moving on:
“No fucking way,” Wash says, voice cracking.
Carolina ignores the fear that grabs her throat in a vise. There’s no one here. There’s no one here. Still, her feet drag her closer, as though behind that locked door—bashed in by who knows what, barely hanging on to its hinges now that Wash has forced it open—is some kind of threat. “What?”
Wash laughs, and it sticks in his throat, like the lump that’s been sitting in hers has managed to occupy two spaces at once. “I don’t believe it.”
She steps around the door, and groans.
It’s his skateboard—and the ridiculous shoes he was so fond of.
She rolls her eyes. “Seriously?” You scared me, asshole. It wasn’t rational. But a lot of things about this place weren’t.
Wash laughs again; though she doesn’t, Carolina has to admit, his amusement is contagious. It’s good to see him laugh, though she knows it must have hurt, suddenly facing yet another relic of simpler times.
“I kind of want to bury them,” he says.
Now she’s laughing. “That is sofucking dramatic.” She wishes Epsilon were here to have heard that. “Besides, you hate snow.”
Their helmets are on—it’s fucking cold—but she can almost see the smile touching his lips, just barely there, cradled in the corner of his mouth. “I really do.”
“Just take them,” she says, tugging gently at his elbow. She wants to leave, while there’s still a good note to end this on. “You can teach Caboose to skate.”
Laughter stutters out of him once again. “That’ll be a fucking mess.”
“It will,” she says. “He’ll love it.”
Caboose accidentally snaps the board in half, but Wash can’t say he really minds.
Keith: *breathes deeply* i would die for lance i would fling myself into the void of space a thousand times to see him happy i would set myself on fire just to see him smile if i spent every second of the rest of my life telling him how much i love him it still wouldn’t be enough time i would
My fellow Pidgance shippers we can now happily say for a fact these two would go on a mall date to buy a video game then immediately run home and have a gaming date playing hours of Super Smash Bros or Mario Kart or whatever.
What sterotypes do the aliens have about humans? What does each species overall think about humans? And are their any qualities that humans have that the aliens wish they had?
Look…. I’ll be honest, I have no interest in making my universe into one of posts about how aliens are agog at humans eating their pasta salad cold and tolerating monsoons. All of the aliens in Staraways have unique physiological and cultural traits, but these are not necessarily causes for envy and wonder… there’s a whole range of interaction here, depending on context. Differences can also inspire fear, hatred, indifference, amusement, and resigned annoyance that ferret ships are always going to be cold and stuffy, aren’t they. Humans being different from them on levels like temperature tolerance and personality started being mundane after the first couple years, and now everyone is right back to arguing about specific politicians and their fiscal plans for planet/spaceport 30X-E.
Avians in general think that humans are sex obsessed, a little too handsy and talkative, but not nearly as bad as ferrets. Ferrets think we are much more personable than avians, but still rather like talking to a recording of a child played at 50% speed. Centaurs tend to regard all aliens with the same resentment, but humans are the most similar to them physically and emotionally, so if they hang out with anyone it’s probably them. Everyone’s a little horrified with the level at which humans are willing to modify themselves and their own children, including a fair amount of humans who have been trying to put more regulations on the GMH industry for years.
All of the aliens have unique sets of skills associated with them in terms of the sciences… humans are notorious for their biochemistry and terraforming talents, and they’re one of the leading species in creating planet bubbles, garden ships, and entire livable planets. They also brought the food printer and lots of medical advancements to the intergalactic table. They’re also easily emotionally attached to non-human living things, and have a lot of conservation efforts going on for their homeplanet and others.
Ferrets are notable for their computer programming, exploratory ships, and being in space the longest…. many star portals were set up hundreds of years ago by ferret slower-than-light crafts, making things much easier for everyone else. While humans spread out like little dandelion weeds to nearby systems, ferrets will happily fling themselves into the void for a 300 year voyage on a hamster tube maze the size of Rhode Island. Also, a lot of the major programming languages and ship AIs are ferret in origin, their talent for intricate language serves them well there. They were the first to develop quantum computers and consequently AI.
Avians are known for their work in physics, especially flight physics (lmao), and have a very good innate understanding of how gravity, drag and lift work on objects. They also tend to be talented pilots, though most ships are controlled by sapient AI now. Avians also have a large community of astrophysicists and rocket scientists, and make a lot of advancements in ship technology and understanding the universe (although they are just as prone to getting in century long spats about string theory and whatever as humans)
Centaurs are still catching up with everyone else, but tend to be talented athletes and engineers. They don’t have the same endurance as humans or flight abilities as avians, but are certainly the fastest runners and furthest jumpers. They are also champs at starving– being large predators they usually don’t eat more than one big meal a day at their most pampered. They are very tactile, like to tinker, and have a good sense of practical design and material physics. Their eventual niche in the galactic sciences with probably be commodity design, construction, and material engineering. Building stuff, basically.