“What about Meredith?” Gamora suggested when they were discussing names for their first born child, their daughter. When they found out it was a girl, it was honestly the first name she thought of.
Peter smiled at her, that bittersweet smile that was filled with happiness at their joy and filled with the weight of memories of his mother, how much she knew it meant to him that she suggested that.
It’s a sweet smile, with happiness and sadness there. It’s a good smile.
“I was actually thinking about that lately,” he admitted, and Gamora was happy thinking he was pleased with the idea, and that he meant that he was already considering the name Meredith to honor his mother.
But that wasn’t what he meant.
“I was wondering… What was your mom’s name?” He asked.
Gamora blinked in surprise. No one had ever asked that before- not even Peter. Of course they’d been together for years, and she’d revealed so much of herself to him, so much of her past, but the name of her parents had never come up in spoken conversation. Peter was always so free with his mother’s name- it was something so important to him, something so integral to who he is to this day. The name Meredith Quill has always remained a major part of his life.
Peter has held onto his mother’s name, and it’s still a major part of the person he is. Meredith Quill is still so big to him. All these years, and he’s still held onto her name, it’s still so important to who he is.
That wasn’t the same for her and her mother’s name. Her mom’s name wasn’t a part of her like his mom’s was. She knew that Peter must have thought the name Meredith hundreds of times over the past 8 months.
When honestly, Gamora had not thought of her mother’s name in years. Her mother was just Mother. In her thoughts and out loud. He’d never asked her mother’s name before, and she’d never thought to tell him. It had never come up before. Whenever Gamora was telling Peter memories of her mother, she always called her ‘mom’ or 'mamma’ when she was reminiscing about childhood memories to the love of her life. Her mom was just her mom when she was talking to Peter. She didn’t realize that until this moment.
It took a moment for her to think back, and for a few seconds she was afraid she’d forgotten her mother’s name (a child didn’t call her mother by her first name after all). But then she landed on it like a dream, the memory of the sound filling her with warmth.
“Elspeth,” she spoke slowly, the name feeling foreign on her tongue.
“Elspeth,” he repeated, with even more care than she had taken. “That’s a pretty name.”
Gamora bit her lip, nodding, eyes welling with tears at the sound of her mother’s name spoken out loud again.
“Would it be okay if we went with that?” Peter asked her softly, still so carefully. “I think Meredith might be a good middle name, or maybe we can save that for the next go around,” he said with a smile and a wink, and Gamora let out a wet laugh.
Peter settled down again, his voice dropping back down to something soft and sincere as he wrapped his arm around her, placing his hand on her protruding stomach. “I think it would be nice to have a little green girl with dark hair running around named Elspeth after her people. How does that sound to you?”
He was rubbing her belly so comfortingly, and she’d always loved how warm his hands are.
It didn’t matter that their daughter is still two months away from being born.
Gamora could already see the emerald little girl laughing, playing, running around their ship. And she could already see the proud, strong, beautiful woman she will grow up to be.
She could already see that strong, green skinned woman named Elspeth standing before her.
And Gamora really did start crying at that. Nodding too.
Sometimes it felt hard trying to hold onto the memories of her culture. The culture that she was the only one left preserving, after Thanos had done all he could to wipe every bit of it out. She was the last survivor, and all that’s left of Zehoberi culture are the child’s memories she retained in her head.
It was hard to hold onto the half formed memories that she was supposed to forget, those of her past life.
But she tried. Because she was the only one who could. She was the only one who was able to. She was the only one who could remember any of the Zehoberi culture, to try to keep it from being wiped out completely. All on her shoulders. It all fell to her. Gamora was the only one able to preserve it.
But not anymore. Because their daughter, her daughter, will be able to preserve it too, without even trying. It didn’t matter that her daughter will be born over 20 years after her culture’s been eradicated, that little girl who never got to meet her mamma’s people will be the best Zehoberi legacy yet. Without even trying.
Because Gamora won’t be the last holding onto it anymore, she won’t be the last one who can remember a piece of Zehoberi culture anymore.
So many people are going to remember a piece of Zehoberi culture just by knowing her daughter’s name.
Just by kicking ass and living life to the fullest.
Elspeth Quill is a name no one will ever forget.