“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.
Her mouth pops open in a nice little yawn with soft petal lips, and Gamora’s heart clenches because even their daughter’s yawns sound cute.
She’s two days old, and all she does is sleep (which Gamora totally understands). Sleep and eat, really. Or mindlessly smack her lips in her sleep, like she’s doing right now. She’s so cute it’s almost unbearable.
Gamora is an assassin, she does not squeal. But she’s come awfully close just looking down at her child’s sleeping face.
To be fair, Peter has squealed many times (not just at their cute daughter, but throughout the many years she’s known him). But yes, their daughter is no exception for his propensity to make high pitched sounds. The past two days have been filled with smiles and laughter and the occasional squealing (the last one is always from Peter. Like she said, Gamora does not squeal).
“You look so happy,” Peter states almost dreamily from where he’s laid out beside her on the bed. She’s had this soft smile of wonder on her face ever since their daughter was born, and he’s never seen her look more beautiful. He thought he couldn’t possibly love her more, but then Elspeth was born, and seeing Gamora cradle their little baby in her arms- it’s like falling in love all over again.
She looks up at him and sees her expression mirrored in his. Peter has this dreamy contentment on his face, and she knows exactly how he’s feeling. This is unreal. Almost too good to be true.
They are parents, and their daughter is absolutely perfect.
“Have you given any thought? On what you’d like to do with the name Meredith?” She asks him, worming her finger into their daughter’s palm, her face lighting up at the way her tiny green hand grasps in her sleep.
When they decided on naming their daughter Elspeth after Gamora’s mother, it was only after Gamora had suggested Meredith for the first name of their as-of-yet unborn daughter. Peter had said that he thought Meredith would be a good middle name, or saving it for the ‘next round’. He hadn’t told her which he would like to do yet.
But he was 100% sure that Elspeth for the first name was the right choice to go with, and that was only solidified by how Gamora kept saying their daughter’s name to her in a sing-song voice, again and again, as she cradled their newborn in her arms. Gamora kept murmuring the name over and over, whispering it like her own personal lullaby as she brushed the full head of hair Elspeth Quill was born with.
“Do you actually wanna do a round two?” Peter asks, somewhat surprised. After the two days of labor Gamora had to go through (that she made it through like a champ, by the way) he wasn’t so certain she’d know so soon that she’d want to have more than one child.
“Maybe,” Gamora says with a sly smile.. “Possibly. Eventually. Maybe. Definitely. Yes. In a few years. At least two or three, but… yes…”
Her smile only grew, looking down at her baby’s sleeping face.
How could she not when she knew what their perfect little family felt like?
“So would you like to save the name for a little bit more down the line?” She turns back to him.
Peter thinks for a moment, then nods. “Yeah, I think Meredith is a better sibling name than middle name for Elspeth.”
“I agree. Two pods of peas,” she says, and Peter chuckles at her butchering of earth idioms.
He scoots closer to her then, laying his head on her shoulder, just to get closer, because Gamora had totally been hogging their baby for hours.
He can’t bare to try and lift her up after she’s fallen asleep in Gamora’s arms, no matter how much he wants to hold their baby girl. Elspeth just seems to conk out after snack time, and unfortunately Peter doesn’t have boobs, so when their daughter is hungry and wants to nurse, and then immediately falls asleep in the arms of whoever’s holding her, those arms tend to be Gamora’s.
He’s not really complaining though. Cause then he gets to snuggle up next to Gamora and wrap one arm around the love of his life, and wrap the other around the baby girl bundled up in her arms and he gets to hold them both at the same exact time. So yeah, life’s pretty good.
“I would like to see a smiling Meredith Quill one day,” Gamora confesses, feeling it must be a beautiful sight, if the smile of her son was anything to go by. There are a lot of things Peter has gotten from his mother- his love of music, his propensity for dancing, his kind heart, and Gamora suspects his smile is more of the same.
Peter swallows, his throat suddenly thick, cause he couldn’t agree more. He’d love to see that again.
Gamora places a soft kiss on the crown of his head, and he tightens his arm around her.
“Is Meredith a strictly female name on earth?” She asks out of idle curiosity.
Peter just shrugs- he’s never really thought about it before. “I unno. The only person I knew named Meredith was my mom. Yeah, I think it was a mostly girl name.”
“Oh well,” she shrugs in return (but only the shoulder he wasn’t resting on). “Even if that’s so and our next child is a boy, we can still give it to him. No one will know in space,” Gamora says, winking at him like it was their little secret.
Peter couldn’t help but laugh, burying his face in Gamora’s neck. Things couldn’t get more perfect.
When he hears babbling, Peter immediately pops his head up, smiling so wide that their daughter was awake.
“Gimme gimme gimme,” he says, already grabbing for her. “You’ve been hogging her all morning.”
He’s been waiting for her to wake up ever since she last fell asleep, cause he couldn’t risk moving her when she was just a sleeping little angel in her mama’s arms. But she’s been asleep for hours, even though she slept all night, cause all she does is eat and sleep and smack her little baby lips and look adorable.
Gamora affectionately rolls her eyes as she passes their daughter over to him.
That’s what the past two days have been. Them mostly laying in bed and passing their daughter back and forth.
“She always wants her papa when she wakes up anyways,” Gamora mutters, jokingly begrudgingly. Peter absolutely glows at the child in his arms, and she doesn’t have a word for how heartwarming the sight is.
Peter grins, making a happy face at the wide eyed infant in his arms as he teases Gamora, “Yeah, cause I’ve got the voice of an angel and can sing her back to sleep.”
“Do you think her skin is always gonna be this light? Or that it’ll get darker?” Peter asks idly, brushing his fingertips along Elspeth’s arms as if he needs to be in constant contact to reassure himself that this is real, that she’s real.
While their daughter was much greener than he was, she wasn’t the same tone as her mother.
No, Gamora’s skin color was green like the typical depiction of green alien space babes from Terran pop culture. Their daughter’s skin was a pale green, almost like a fairy. She looks ethereal.
“I think it’s likely. If her skin is anything like mine, it will darken with exposure to the stars,” Gamora responds, equally taken with Elspeth’s unique coloring. She’s made of beautiful shades, like a mix between her and Peter, skin tone, hair color (definitely brunette, but much darker than Peter’s). She has Peter’s eyes, though. They’re beautiful.
“Me too!” He exclaims. “Oh, I wonder if she’ll get red like me if she gets a sunburn.”
“With my genes, ultraviolet radiation won’t be a problems,” Gamora proclaims quite proudly. Totally bragging.
“She looks so much like you,” Peter breathes in wonder, surprised by how much he can recognize Gamora in their daughter’s features and even mannerisms. “Like the way her mouth pops open as she snores when she’s asleep- that’s 100% you all the way,” he tells her, and Gamora laughs.
“Well, she has inherited your Terran ticklish response,” Gamora smiles, because she thoroughly enjoys the way their daughter squeals with laughter when tickled. Little baby laughter and little baby smiles have become the light of her life these past few days. All she wants to do is hear their daughter laugh.
“I don’t know where the heck that nose came from,” Peter says all of the sudden, pursing his lips and mock serious.
“Yes, it is disconcerting,” Gamora agrees with a straight face.
It’s about 0.5 seconds before they both break out laughing.
When both parents get the giggles out, Gamora tips her head onto his shoulder.
“She’s so beautiful, Peter,” she murmurs, fawning over their daughter in his arms.
“Yeah, she is,” Peter can’t help but smile, nodding his head. 100%. No doubt about it. “She’s perfect.”
Anon ask: the birth of Peter and Gamora's daughter Elspeth Quill
A follow up chapter where Elspeth is born has been requested on both AO3 and fanfiction.net, and I actually wrote 80% of this back in May, but turns out the anonymous ask on tumblr was what I needed to finally push me over into finishing this little thing. Hope you like :)
prompt: Elspeth Quill gets a new sister
Elspeth has just turned 6 when they break the news to her. Her eyes widen in wonder once they tell her, and her mouth pops open in the cutest little gape as she stares at where Gamora's hand is resting.
Whether out of returning habit or instinct, she's been laying her hand on her stomach a lot more lately.
She doesn't really have a bump yet- it's still pretty early on.
Gamora's had some noticeable fatigue lately, and some slight bit of nausea on and off (plus having like three breakfasts every morning and always snacking), so they figured they might as well tell their daughter that her momma's pregnant and she's gonna have a baby in a couple months- and then Elspeth will be a big sister.
Before Elspeth had kinda froze, staring at her mom's stomach in awe, but then she starts again, darting forward to her mother and clearly excited about the news if her expression and smile was anything to go by.
That's good. They hoped she would be happy finding out she was getting a little sibling cause momma’s got a baby growing in her belly right now.
As is, she's a bundle of energy, zipping straight to Gamora.
“Make it a girl!” She shouts at her mom. Then she zeroes in on Gamora's stomach, shouting at it and bouncing on her toes. “Make it a girl! Make it a girl make it a girl make it a girl!” Elspeth orders, clearly under the impression that Gamora has control over what gender the baby will turn out to be.
“She can be my Nebula! I'll be her ‘Mora!” Her voice raises even higher, to the point that Elspeth is really just squealing, the way only a 6 year old who was absolutely thrilled could.
Honestly, Gamora isn't sure if she picked up that pronunciation of her name from Peter, or if Elspeth had heard the other guardians calling her by her first name and Gamora really was that hard for a 6 year old to say. It's the way Elspeth always pronounces it, though, when she tries to say her mother's name.
Apparently, she's not done giving orders yet, though. “I'll be her green ‘Mora, blue baby Nebula! Make her blue, Mommy! Make her blue!”
Gamora laughs, lifting her little girl up in her arms to stop her shouting, and Elspeth becomes a fit of giggles as Gamora dips her back until she's upside down, hair brushing the ground, then brings her rightside up again.
She doesn't know if she has the heart to tell Elspeth that she might get a green baby brother, if not a green baby sister.
It's just too cute, her drawing the parallels between Gamora and Nebula. Elspeth's skin is a bit lighter than Gamora's, but still very green.
The genetic contribution her Terran father provided just led to her being a lighter, paler shade of green than Gamora.
Any future children Gamora and Peter had would be much of the same. She didn't know how to tell Elspeth that if she did end up getting a baby sister, her sister was gonna end up looking a lot like her, not like aunt Nebula.
So she didn't tell her. Elspeth probably wouldn't even remember making the request in two weeks, much less months down the line when the child was was actually born.
Still, it was so unbearably cute.
By the time they find out the baby is indeed going to be a girl, Gamora is definitely showing. Now, when her hand goes to her stomach, it's not out of habit, it's because it's genuinely much more comfortable supporting her pregnant belly with her hand underneath it.
As of the moment, Gamora is the only one who can feel the baby moving. She's far enough along that the fetus has developed past the fluttering movements and doing somersaults inside her- now Gamora can feel very specific movements of limbs that they've been able to see on the sonic imaging at the prenatal doctor appointments (usually it was just Peter and Gamora at these appointments, but they took Elspeth last time because she asked to come, and she absolutely loved all the attention of the med techs fawning over her and giving her a sucker- and asked if she could have a picture of the baby too for herself, which the doctors gladly gave her a small printed out version of the imaging).
Elspeth touches Gamora's stomach an awful lot now, always trying to feel for the baby kicking, even though Gamora has told her that it probably will be another month before anyone but Gamora will be able to. She remembered how disappointed Peter was during her pregnancy with Elspeth when he found out it would be over six months before he would be able to place his hand on Gamora's belly and feel their baby kicking.
It seems like their daughter has taken up the mantle of fastidiously waiting and checking with hopeful hands. Gamora doesn't mind. It's adorable.
Elspeth, Drax, and Mantis are all playing a game when Peter and Gamora come back from the doctor's that day. Their daughter drops everything when she sees them standing in the doorway and runs over to them, following like a little duckling as they move to the table so Gamora can sit down and rest her feet.
“How'd it go? How's the baby?” Elspeth asks the question to Gamora's stomach rather than either of her parents.
Peter grins. “You wanna tell her, or should I?”
“Tell me what?”
“It's a girl,” Gamora says. “You're having a little baby sister.”
For a moment, she's afraid she broke their daughter, cause Elspeth's eyes just keep widening and widening in absolute silence, checking both Gamora and Peter's expressions like it might be a prank, or just something too good to believe, but when it finally sinks in, she's over the moon.
“Thank you thank you thank you!” Elspeth shouts, smothering both of her parents in kisses, and kissing Momma's belly for the baby just like Daddy did every morning.
Today's baby day. Elspeth's so excited. Even though she has to stay home with Auntie Mantis and everybody else while Mommy and Daddy go to the hospital to have the baby.
She wanted to go to, but Daddy said it might be hours and hours, and that having babies was kinda hard sometimes, so it would help Momma if she said good luck and stayed home with the rest of the family.
Elspeth knows she can be distracting sometimes with all her energy- uncle Rocket always said something like ‘keep the kiddo out of my fur’ when he's trying to focus on something and concentrate really hard.
So she promises to be good for Aunt Mantis so Momma can concentrate on having a baby.
Plus, Daddy said he'd call right away whenever her sister was born so she could come to the hospital and meet her.
Even Peter looks exhausted greeting Elspeth and co at the hospital entrance, but he still has the energy to lean down and pick Elspeth up after she runs into his arms to give him a bear hug. He settles the 6 year old on his hip and carries her down the hall, to the elevator and up to Gamora's hospital room.
That doesn't last long though.
She squirms out of his arms in the elevator (instead of just asking to be put down), wanting to walk herself. She runs ahead to Gamora’s hospital room, counting out the room numbers aloud one by one until she reaches 311. When she finds it though, Elspeth hovers in the doorway, standing there all shy.
Momma’s in bed, and she looks even more exhausted than dad does.
Her hair's all messy and shiny and wet like after a hard fight, and Elspeth thinks wow, having babies must be really hard.
Momma's holding a blanket in her arms, smiling down at it.
“Hey baby, come meet your little sister,” Gamora beckons her closer once she sees her daughter wavering in the doorway. Elspeth zooms over to the hospital bed, but Peter takes a little longer to get there.
He picks Elspeth up and helps her to sit on the bed next to Mommy and see the blanket in her arms.
Elspeth leans in, with wide eyes, looking closer. She looks curious and reverent at the same time, like she's waiting with bated breath, but when she leans in and sees what her mother’s actually holding in her arms, Elspeth frowns, screwing up her face all funny in confusion. “I thought she was gonna be blue,” she sounds more than a little disgruntled as she peers at the little green baby her momma was holding.
Gamora laughs, kissing her scrunched up little forehead, and Elspeth loses the troubled crease at the familiar and comforting gesture of affection.
“No, she looks like you when you were born, little girl,” Peter tells her, bopping her on the nose. He's reclaimed his seat beside Gamora's bed, leaning over the side so Elspeth is effectively nestled between them, his arms almost wrapped around her and Gamora.
The bed is a little crowded now, with their four person family, but Gamora doesn't mind. She loves how crowded her bed is right now. Feels like home.
Elspeth looks between her mother and father, and down at the little green baby. It's asleep, and kinda gurgly, and blowing spit bubbles at the corner of her mouth.
She doesn't know why the baby doesn't wake up, because it's been asleep for months, and she'd be bouncing off the walls like Daddy always says if she was asleep for months and this was her first chance to wake up.
But Momma looks exhausted and even Dad looks tired, so maybe having babies was hard work for everyone involved.
She's glad she stayed home and didn't have to help out then. If havin’ babies was that exhausting.
Maybe having babies was hard work for the baby too, and that's why she's still asleep right now. Her little sister needed sleep.
“Who is she?” Elspeth asks, which was an awful weird way of asking what to call her baby sister. Wanting to know what her name is.
“Say hello to your little sister Meredith.”
Even though Peter just wants to hold Meredith nonstop, he's content at letting her rest in Gamora's arms for a large amount of time, knowing she finds comfort in sleeping with their daughter in her arms.
Elspeth is enamoured with her big brown eyes when she finally opens them, and she tries to blow raspberries on her chubby little cheeks like daddy blows raspberries on her tummy, but she doesn't seem to be able to quite get it right. She'll have to ask him how to do it later, she wants to be funny and blow raspberries for the baby too.
Instead she moves onto just hovering over her sisters face, up and down, and petting her head all nice and soft like, being very gentle cause she knows babies are breakable and you have to be careful with ‘em when they're all new. No roughhousing.
“Momma! Momma!” Elspeth gasps, hitting Gamora's arm to get her attention. Even though they're still in Gamora's bed, so she's literally right there.
“What is it?” She asks, humoring her daughter even though Elspeth is literally in her lap right now and staring down at Meredith, so it's not like it's a hard guess as to what this was about.
“She smiled at me!” Elspeth beams, and okay, yup, her heart is officially melting.
They had such a sweet little girl. She was gonna be the best big sister ever.
Peter was planning on taking Elspeth home that night, doing the whole bedtime routine, and tucking her in tight before coming back and spending the night in the pullout armchair that was actually incredibly comfy.
But then Elspeth fell asleep all curled up in Gamora's side, and he couldn't just wake her up when she was sleeping like an angel.
It was something like 7 PM when she fell asleep, and Peter decided he'd wait for her to wake up and then take her home whenever that happened to be.
Gamora had been intermittently dozing in and out, and it's very clearly the middle of the night when she awakens this time.
Her husband is asleep and softly snoring, his head resting on his arm on the side of her bed.
Meredith is a warm weight still cradled in her arms, and appears to be sleeping like her father.
Now Elspeth- Elspeth is awake. Still curled up and pressed into her mother's side, and looks to have been awake for some time. She's so calm and quiet though, much more subdued than the rambunctious child she usually is.
Her face is hovering right over Meredith's sleeping head, softly cooing at her and brushing her hair.
“It's okay you're not blue, baby,” Elspeth assures her, whispering to her little sister. “I'll still love you anyway.”