when your life is so out of control that you’re posting the next ficlet at 3 am again lmao so sorry guys,,, anyway, enjoy some starmora parenting reflections while they do the dishes!! (bc I’m a slut for domestic shit asfglknf)
Peter actually drops
the plate he’s washing when he hears the words, the dish making a loud klank as it hits the bottom of the sink.
The water continues running over Peter’s soap-covered hands, but he’s too busy
staring wide-eyed at Groot, who’s standing on the other side of the table, to take
He briefly glances at Gamora, who was collecting the rest of the dishes, but has also stopped and
opted to instead stare at Groot. He’s just calmly looking at the two of
them with his gentle smile, handing Gamora his and Rocket’s plates.
“You…remember that still?” Peter questions because,
honestly, he’s never really understood how Groot’s memory worked. Sometimes, it
was apparent that he still remembered everything from his life before the
battle with Ronan, but most times, Groot acted like the age he physically
appeared to be. “You can still say that?”
But now, nearly three years later, Groot’s practically back
to his full size.
Groot nods. “I am Groot.”
“Teamwork is good, yeah,” Peter says. “Not sure if the teamwork required
for doing the dishes is worth an epic ‘we
are Groot,’ though.”
“Thank you for your help, Groot,” Gamora says softly, taking
the dishes from Groot’s hands. “Peter and I have the rest of it handled. You
“I am Groot,” he says, bidding them farewell with a wave—Peter
and Gamora both wave back, per usual, because some things just never change, no matter how much time
passes—before leaving the room completely.
Gamora brings the plates up to the counter beside the
sink and Peter sighs, shaking his head as he picks up the plate and resumes scrubbing it. “Well, that was interesting.”
“I knew he remembered the battle and what happened to him,”
Gamora says, switching to Peter’s other side and picking up the dishrag. “But
that was the only other time he said ‘we’…”
“Glad to know I’m not the only one who was a little caught off guard there,” Peter
says lightly, passing the clean plate to Gamora to dry. “I guess I just…kinda
blocked that memory out, while Groot was little.”
“I did, too,” she admits, running the towel over the plate. “All
it seemed to do was give Groot nightmares.”
There had been a good handful of nights in which Peter had
awoken to rushed, tiny footsteps accompanied by a flurry of knocks on his door.
He’d then open the door to reveal an upset Groot, small tears running down his bark
as he babbled about bad dreams where he or members of the team got hurt.
(Peter can even recall an entire week straight spent with
Groot nestled between him and Gamora in the captain’s quarters, because of a
recurring dream about Ronan where Groot couldn’t save everyone in time.)
“At least he seems to have grown out of it,” Peter says,
absentmindedly continuing to clean. “Well. He seems to have just fully grown up, at this point.”
He sees Gamora nod in his peripheral vision, but as she
starts putting the dishes away, her actions slow. She eventually turns her eyes
up to his. “Does it feel strange to
you at all?”
“Strange?” he echoes, handing her a fork. “I mean, I guess
it’s weird, because it feels like it went by really fast.”
“Sometimes, I almost wish he was small again,” she admits, drying the fork. “I mean, it’s
impractical for the team, as well as his own safety, but…” she trails off,
pausing her drying completely. “It was nice, in a way.”
“It definitely really
enforced the idea of us being a big family,” he says, glancing at her. “It
brought out the best in everyone, in a way, because we all had to watch out for
the little guy.”
She laughs softly. “It felt like we were parents.”
“It still feels
like we’re parents,” he corrects, shaking his head in exasperation, because he’s
certain he’ll have to scold someone at some point during the rest of
the day for doing something stupid. “They grow up so fast.”
They finish the rest of the dishes off in a contemplative,
comfortable silence. Peter really hasn’t thought much about Groot growing up
until now. He calls upon personal familial experience for some sort of
reference to what he’s feeling now: with Yondu, things had been complicated
until the very end, though Yondu never stopped looking over him, even from a
distance, when Peter had finally left; with Peter’s actual mother, well, she’d
never even gotten the chance to see
him grow up.
He helps Gamora put the last of the dishes away. She watches
him stretch his arms up to the highest shelf in the cabinet, handing him the
last of the plates, when she opens the discussion again. “Have you ever thought
The question catches him by nearly as much surprise as Groot’s
remark earlier. Peter narrowly avoids knocking down what dishes are already in the
cabinet down, onto his head, before turning to look at Gamora with a nervous
flutter in his chest. “Um…not much, to be honest…”
That is, he really hadn’t thought about it, until Gamora had
danced her way into his life and he found himself looking after little
Groot with her.
“I think the real
question here is,” he continues, regaining some confidence, “now that we’ve
actually dipped our toes into the ocean
of parenthood, did we each like it enough to ever do it again, but more traditionally?”
She ducks her head to hide her smile at that, but Peter can
still see the corners of her lips pointing upward. “I suppose that is, indeed, the real question.”
“Before the Guardians, my answer would’ve been a hard no,”
he admits. “But now, after I’ve had to coax a baby tree to sleep more
times than I’d like to count…” He shrugs. “I dunno. Doesn’t sound as impossible or really out there, y’know?”
“Yeah,” she murmurs, meeting his eyes.
“What about you, babe?” he asks, closing up the cabinet. “Have
you ever thought about it?”
Gamora holds her arms out on either side of her, looking
more unsure than Peter’s seen in a
long time. She takes a few steps away from him, as if the idea is too large
to be contained in an intimate conversation between the two of them. She turns
back to look at him. “As a child, I wanted nothing more than to excel at
everything, be this warrior. But when
I was forced down that path, in a way I hadn’t anticipated or wanted, and everything changed, I lost sight of myself and
Peter nods along to her words. They’ve both been significantly more open with each other
in the past year or two about their pasts, especially their childhoods—both before
and after their worlds were both turned upside down by the untimely deaths of
their parents—and aspirations.
Her hands fall back down to her sides. “I suppose…things
like parenthood are, as you said, no longer out of reach.”
He smiles then, coming closer to her and taking her hands in
his. “There’s no rush.”
“No rush,” she agrees. “We still have many adventures to go
She leans up toward him then, placing a quick kiss on his
lips, as if to seal their bounded fate.
Maybe they’ll find themselves on a path similar to the
experience of raising Groot someday, or maybe not. There’s still time, and, as
Gamora said, they have much to do. After all, Thanos is still out there, and
Peter knows that until that’s dealt with, Gamora can never truly, completely
relax as the rest of them can.
A crash from another room interrupts their silent moment,
followed by Drax and Rocket arguing. Mantis is laughing. Groot chimes in
with an “I am Groot.”
Peter and Gamora sigh, simultaneously.
“Shall we go check on the kiddos?” he teases.
“Better do it now than when Rocket accidentally blows up the
ship,” she jokes back.