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A Place at Home in the Stars

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Peter was still trying to wrap his head around having an actual Terran on board. Especially one so into everything. Literally, for the most part—from all the buttons he could lay eyes on, the workings of the guidance system including doing something to where it’s not quite broken but he can’t put his finger on what exactly. Like right now, Tony and Rocket were deep inside the innards of one of the ship’s weapon systems which meant wires everywhere. He hoped they didn’t need to shoot anything before that got buttoned up, but with their luck, he wasn’t going to hold his breath.

“Wait, are those capacitors from the last job that you were specifically ‘Not to touch under any given circumstances?’” Peter pointed at the parts in question and placed his hands on his hips. He doubted it looked very intimidating judging by Groot’s head tilt. “Because we’ve totally done this before.”

“Is he asking you or me?” Tony muttered.

“Both?” Rocket stage whispered.

“Not it,” Tony declared and tucked himself a little more behind Groot while grabbing a soldering iron and getting back to work in the mess of wires. Peter was just a little bit charmed. Despite the air of nonchalance, Tony kept glancing over, brow furrowed like he was assessing how upset Peter was or wasn’t.

“But it totally worked out that I had stole those coils,” Rocket said. “Coils that are totally different than capacitors.”

“You blew up a planet!”

“You’re still weird about it because it was your dad,” Rocket said, dismissive hand flap. “Go away. The grownups are busy with dangerous tools. Go be weird somewhere else.”

“I am Groot.” Groot shrugged.

“Dad stuff is generally pretty weird,” Tony allowed.

“Oh pal, you don’t know the half of it,” Rocket started.

“Are we talking about Peter’s biological father the egomaniac?” Drax asked, flopping his kit and various weapons down on their dinner table.

“I am Groot.”

“Okay, that was just rude buddy,” Peter said, pointing at Groot who simply grunted.

Tony met Peter’s eyes and gave him a look like, what can you do? Peter gave a half smile as if to say these are the a holes I’ve ended up with and made his way down to the bunks.

He’d noticed a few things about Tony Stark. Despite all the talking— near constant and about mostly nothing of any real substance— and the cool, nonchalant hand-waving about being on a different planet and stuck with the Guardians, Tony Stark looked scared shitless. Pete knew all about that look. He’d sported it himself back after he’d first been taken by Yondu. Easier to hide behind a smart mouth, chin jutted out in defiance, than tuck into a corner crying.

Sure, Tony might be a little less scared than he started and yeah, Tony called to some part of him—something a little homesick at the very least and okay. If he was gonna be completely honest, a feeling—something baser inside Peter, a heat pooling low in his belly.

“You’re doing that thing again,” Gamora said, sliding off the ladder and moving to stand beside him.

“No I’m not,” Peter objected on principle. “What thing?”

“That thing where over think a thing and then just ignore it,” she said, face passive, with something shrewd tucked into the corners. Gamora was lethal at the best of times, even worse when feelings were involved.

“I’m not ignoring a thing. I’m looking right at a thing. A thing—which we should totally stop losing that word before it loses all meaning—.”

She lifted an eyebrow and derailed his rant.

Peter rallied. “A thing that might just remind me of some stuff. Just like a little. And I’m just weighing the pros and cons of involvement and the level to which I-we should get involved other than this whole infinity stone business.”

“Ah,” Gamora said. “You want to keep him when this is over.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“He might not want to be kept,” she said, adjusting her cuff on her wrist, avoiding his eyes like it would soften the blow.

“Yeah,” Peter said, slumping.

“But he won’t know to consider it unless you talk to him about it.” She gave him a small shove back toward the engineering mess. “Be Kevin Bacon. Be footloose. Life is too short to listen to you moon about it.”

“Mean,” he frowned.

Gamora just smiled.

****

Peter does not talk to Tony that day, which he’s totally blaming on the brief encounter with the planet cave dwellers starting a fire fight with them and nothing to do with him avoiding the whole messy situation. Ugh. Feelings are the worst.

Peter does not even talk to him the next day—well, at least not anything to do with substance and everything to do with quips and how all Peter’s references are totally uncool now and “Is that seriously a Zune?!?” But that did end in Tony going on a glories rambling about classic rock and sitting close enough that their elbows kept brushing as they shared one set of headphones.

Anyway, day after that, everything got serious on multiple levels. They’re on a job. Specifically a small job, one that’s not supposed to be much more than an exchange of information for credits, easy in and out kind of job. Which, of course, goes completely sideways not even halfway through.

So anyway, they’re in the middle of a damn shootout, that Gamora, of all people, started—Peter’s money had been on Drax talking an insult a bit too literally about his mother and now Peter’s out fifty credits but that’s neither here nor there.

“Oh Tony, you won’t need your armor,” Tony mocked, doing an awful impersonation of Peter. His shoulder brushing Peter’s as they sank a little lower behind the bar they were using for cover. “It’s just a little exchange. A meeting of the minds, Tony.”

“First of all, I don’t sound like that,” Peter protested.

“That’s your focus,” Tony said, unimpressed, fiddling with some sort of device in his hand. Peter didn’t know whether to hope it was an incendiary device or not.

“Second of all, the plan was solid. This,” Peter said, gesturing as rifle blasts rang out above them taking out a couple more brightly colored bottles, “was not in the plan.”

“The shooting rarely is,” Tony muttered, sighing as what might have been one of his suit’s pulsors he was fiddling with sputtered and started smoking.

“Besides,” Peter checked one of his blasters and handed it to Tony, “your suit isn’t even operational right now after that last thrilling heroic stunt you pulled back on Feldlore.”

“That is entirely beside the point,” Tony argued, pocketing the device then looking the blaster over and squinting up in the bar mirror. He squinted, probably trying to get a more precise location as to where the shooting originated to return fire. Peter was just gonna pop up and hope he got someone before they got him.

“That is my whole point!” Peter said, rolling his eyes.

“Are you two done shout flirting at each other?” Rocket yelled.

“I am Groot,” Groot agreed and Pete heard his, “Just kiss already,” loud and clear.

“Most meddling crew this side of Pluto,” Peter grumbled.

“What?” Tony asked, freezing. “Wait. Do you like me? Like, like me like me? Because I kinda got that vibe? And then I didn’t. And then you listened to my entire rant about Led Zeppelin so I was mostly kind of confused?”

Peter groaned, cheeks heating. “Look, we’re gonna have plenty of time to talk about this later when we’re not being shot at.”

“What if I don’t want to talk about it later?” Tony asked, pushing even closer to Peter, daringly. “What if I want to talk about this now?”

“You should stay, with me—I mean, with us,” Peter blurted and it’s not where he meant to start at all. He’d meant to close the space and brazenly kiss Tony using just enough tongue to be a promise for later at the very least. He hadn’t meant to bring all his feelings into this at the start. Feelings were the worst.

“Yeah?” Tony asked, hint of tease in his voice, but something serious tucked into the corners of his eyes.

“Yeah,” Peter agreed. “I mean, we’re not some sort of giant business or even a team focused on one planet. We’re a family. You should stay awhile. Besides, Rocket would be sad if you were gone.”

“Sure! But if you don’t start shooting, you’re gonna miss all the fun,” Rocket yelled over the machine gun he was shooting back at the bar entrance while Groot and Drax roared joyously as they knocked down several fools still left.

“Are you kissing yet?” Gamora shouted from somewhere across the bar, firing her own blasters. “You should be kissing now! Like Princess Bride!”

“What are you teaching these people? Princess Bride?” Tony asked incredulous.

“To hell with it,” Peter muttered, reaching out and grabbing Tony by his vintage t-shirt and pulling him in for a kiss.

Well, kiss was a generous estimation. It was more of a smashing their mouths together until Tony tilted his head just right deepening the kiss, mouth opening a little to tease at Peter’s lips with his tongue. He might’ve moaned a little.

They probably would have kept going, but that was about the time that Rocket blew up the front of the bar much to the cackling delight of Drax.

“Wait! Didn’t I tell you to leave all explosives back on the ship?” Peter hollered, standing up and yep, whole wall of the bar was gone and the last of the other crew scattered.

“Like, I ever listen to you about that,” Rocket laughed.

“I am Groot,” Groot said.

“You’re right, it was an excellent and well-time explosion and I am pretty great!” Rocket agreed.

They high-fived like a couple of a-holes.

“You know,” Tony said, standing up and surveying the damage, “with all the explosions, I do feel kind of at home.”

“Yeah?” Peter asked, fighting the hopeful look that threatened to overwhelm his face.

“Yeah,” Tony answered, smiling, charmed. “I guess I could hang out. Might be a little easier to work toward common goals from here anyway.”

“Connivence would be a perk,” Peter agreed, trying his best to play it cool.

“The making out is also a pretty-good bonus too,” Tony grinned. “Meet you back at your bunk, Starlord.”

Tony smacked Peter’s ass and walked out with a skip in his step.

“You should go before he gets distracted with the Iron Man suit,” Drax suggested. “I’ll keep these three entertained.”

“Entertained with what?” Rocket asked. “I destroyed the bar!”

“Yes, but some of the best swill is intact!” Drax bellowed triumphantly, dusting some glass off of a bottle containing something noxiously green.

“He’s not wrong,” Gamora said, giving Peter a little shove toward the missing wall. “I’ll keep an eye on our brothers.”

“I owe you one,” Peter said, running off after Tony.

“You owe me three!” Gamora shouted at him. He was too busy laughing to care.