Peter Quill is 13 when his soulmate's feelings are written across his body.
By that time, he doesn't care a shit because if soulmates were real, if such a wonderful thing was real, his mother wouldn't have died and Yondu wouldn't make him a Ravager and torture him.
But when his soulmate's feelings are written across his torso, that's when he gets a new feeling about life as a whole.
Peter is washing up after a rather intense fight with an A'askavariian over some booty when he sees writing etched across his torso.
Peter blinks, immediately feeling alarmed. He wonders who in the Ravagers fucking knew English because the only reason Peter understood anything is because of the translator Yondu gave him.
No one definitely knew English here and no one sure as hell didn't own a marker over here.
Peter squints at the writing, blinking with an open mouth when he sees what it is.
'They could do better. My soulmate deserves so much better than me, an utter and complete fuckup. They're a wonderful person who deserves better.' Is written across his torso in messy yet legible writing and Peter can't breathe because a memory from ten years ago is coming back to haunt him.
"Did'ja meet your soulmate, Mummy?" Peter asks, looking at her in wonder.
Meredith Quill smiles down at her son. "Yes. I knew he was the one for me, baby, because I knew how he felt about me."
Peter tilts his head in confusion. "How'dja know, Mummy?"
Meredith laughs and shows him her arm.
"See what's written here?" She asks, fondly.
Peter squints at the unrealistically gorgeous handwriting. "My river....lily who I love very much. She's my everything." He reads out, looking up at his mother when he's finished.
"Was that Dad?" Peter asks quietly.
Meredith nods. "Yes. When your soulmate is near you, that writing will tell you. You'll know when the time comes." She says with a soft smile, ruffling Peter's hair.
"How, Mummy?" Peter asks curiously.
Meredith smiles wider. "When I met your dad, the writing on that part of the skin made me feel good. It made me feel happy."
"...I have a soulmate? Is this what they think about me?" Peter whispers quietly, feeling crushed suddenly.
How could his soulmate think Peter deserved more?
Wasn't your soulmate the person you were supposed to share your life with?
Peter can't breathe, because, what sadistic person made his soulmate think that shit?
He sits down, not minding that a Ravager could come and spot him any minute.
(Speaking of Ravagers...Peter better hide this from Yondu, otherwise, he was toast.
He didn't want Yondu knowing something so intimate and personal about him.)
He wants to cry suddenly, but then blood is roaring through his ears and he feels like he finally found what his purpose in life is.
"I gotta find my soulmate. I gotta find them." Peter whispers out suddenly, gritting his jaw.
No one was stopping him from finding his soulmate.
Peter Quill is 33 years old when he finally confides to someone about his soulmate.
Gamora was right; he's finally got a new family.
The Guardians of the Galaxy.
Gamora is like the older sister he wished he had had from the beginning; he'd go through hell and back for her. He'd do anything for her.
(Sure he found her hot at first but that's before he realised she wasn't his soulmate.)
Rocket is like the bratty younger brother and yet sometimes, the cool uncle.
Yes, he considered a raccoon his uncle and his younger brother at the same time.
Disturbing, but hey, Rocket was family.
Groot...Groot was like the baby Peter felt like he couldn't take his eyes off.
He'd coddle Groot sometimes but hey, not a fan of the twiggy skin.
Drax was like an overbearing aunt who didn't get metaphors.
Disturbing but true.
And yet, Drax was a good dude.
Gamora is the first person he confides to, about his soulmate and it wasn't intentional.
For so many long years, Peter could feel his heart breaking bit by bit every time he sees the writing on his chest.
Which is why he closes his eyes whenever he changes clothes.
Drax has commented on it more than once but Peter's always ignored it.
However, the mistake happens when he puts on Gamora's shirt instead of his own.
"Peter, have you gone blind?" Gamora asks blandly, hands on her hips when she sees Peter wearing her shirt.
Peter frowns. "Why?"
Gamora raises an eyebrow. "Take a look at the shirt. Goodness knows how it's fit for you." She says, rolling her eyes.
Peter scrunched up his face and blanched when he sees that he hasn't put on his shirt.
"Where the fuck was my shirt? Who the fuck put your shirt in my room? Why the fuck-"
"Peter, take out the shirt right now. One of your shirts is right here." Gamora interrupts him, rolling her eyes again and taking out a shirt from a box.
It's Peter's alright.
Peter winces. "Uh...Thanks." He says awkwardly as he turns around and takes out the shirt, handing it to Gamora without facing her.
He did not want her of all the people to see the writing on his torso.
Gamora shakes her head with a tiny smirk on her face, her eyes twinkling with mischief. "It's my fate to be surrounded by the biggest idiots on the galaxy. Now give me my shirt. I'll wash it thoroughly."
Gamora frowns when Peter is handing out her shirt in an awkward angle without facing her.
"Peter? What's going on?" Gamora asks him quietly.
"What do you mean? If there's a funny mark on the back-"
"No, I don't mean that." Gamora cuts him off, frowning a bit more.
"What I mean is, you have a bit of problem walking around shirtless-"
"Wow, Gamora, this conversation is getting awkward fast." Peter squeaks out.
Gamora's frown turns into one of concern. "Peter, you don't have to worry about your scars. We are the last people on the galaxy who should be judging you based on your scars."
"Gamora, just take the damn shirt." Peter growls out now, his body tensing.
Gamora raises her eyebrows and walks up in front of Peter but he turns again, and she's able to get a glance at his face.
It's angry, and anguished.
"Peter?" Gamora asks softly, frowning in concern.
"Gamora, I'm telling you, take the damn shirt." Peter snarls out and Gamora is alarmed because the last time she saw Peter this angry, Rocket had been wary of the man and even Drax had gotten a hint to not cross the man.
"Peter, do you remember what you told me back when he had to transport the Infinity Stone to Tivan?" Gamora asks firmly.
"I don't care, and I sure as hell don't remember-"
"Because I do. You asked me to trust you, because we were partners. Peter, we're teammates now. Family. You can tell me what it is." Gamora says, biting her lip.
A suspicion is floating around her mind about the issue.
It must be about Terra; Peter only ever got that touchy when it was about his Terran family. Or Terran customs. Or about Terra in general.
And if it was about Terra...
But why would Peter be scared about showing his torso in that case?
Peter had been deeply protective of his privacy, in spite of being a, what did he call himself...
A goofball. Yes.
In spite of being a complete goofball, Peter was adamant about his body's privacy; he never bathed with Drax and Rocket and they had to buy three baths whenever they needed to bath on another planet.
You'd be more likely to catch Peter dead than catching a half-naked Peter.
He was far more notorious and careful about his body than Rocket was.
Or rather....His torso.
From what little Gamora had heard of Peter Quill before, he was notorious for not having intercourse with anybody. He could and would flirt with people, sure.
But not once did he have sex with anybody.
Peter certainly could stand the torture of the Ravagers, so it wasn't a scar.
Gamora looked down at her jacket covered arm, suddenly finding out what was the issue.
On her arm, "My soulmate is a queen, the fiercest woman in the galaxy and I'm lucky to have her." was written in an almost illegible manner.
"I could. But I don't want to." Peter hisses.
"Peter, does your soulmate hate you?" Gamora asks directly because there's no two ways of asking about the issue after all.
When people hid certain parts of their bodies, after a cruel session of torture that Gamora would make them undergo reluctantly, it was only to find out that their soulmate called them despicable.
Peter blinks, looking surprised or at least Gamora's guessing because all she can she see is his back.
"I've got two things to say to that; one, no! And two, how did you know it was about my soulmate?" Peter asks, his body sagging and he finally faces her, his arms wrapped around his torso protectively.
Gamora sighs. "I was an assassin, Peter. It's a bit hard not to see what people feel about their soulmate, considering it's written across that person's body," Gamora says, folding her arms.
Peter sighs. "I didn't want anyone to know."
Gamora smiles wryly. "No one would."
Peter frowns. "Gamora, do you know what it's like to have a soulmate who hates their own guts?" He asks, narrowing his eyes.
Gamora blinks. "How do you know what your soulmate feels about themselves?" She asks, frowning in confusion.
Peter scowls and he puts his hands inside his pockets. "Read it." He says coldly, and Gamora squints to read the Terran language.
Gamora bites her tongue when she realizes what's been written.
"Oh." She says, feeling unusually small.
Wow, Peter wasn't jesting when he said his soulmate hated themselves.
"I was thirteen when this came on my body. For twenty goddamned years, twenty years, Gamora, I've been trying to find out who the fuck my soulmate is! Because they're suffering! They're the person I share a soul with! And yet, I'm here, fucking off in space! That's why I don't fuck anybody! What's the fucking point of having saved the goddamned galaxy when you can't save the one person who's meant for you? I saw what was written on your arm, and I realize what's the problem with you guys; you take soulmates for granted!" Peter snarls out angrily, his ears growing redder and redder with each word.
Gamora feels very small.
"Peter," She starts, but Peter shoves the shirt in her arms and grabs the shirt and stalks off, putting it on as he goes out.
Gamora's made a mistake and she intends to fix it. So she follows him.
"Peter?" Gamora asks softly from the entrance to his room, and it's been only ten minutes since Peter had time to cool off his head.
First off, he had better be more careful with his clothes. And other people's clothes.
Second off....he really hadn't meant to shout at Gamora like that, considering she had only joked to cheer him up but he had still seen red at that moment.
"Yeah, come in." Peter says, not looking at her.
Gamora comes in and sits opposite to him on the bed, tentatively putting a hand on his shoulder.
"Hi," Gamora says softly, and her touch is a comfort to him.
"There's a reason we have soulmates, Peter, we're meant to find them." Gamora continues, still in that same soothingly soft voice.
"I tried, Gamora. I tried so hard," Peter says shaking, his voice choked almost as if he wants to cry and Gamora pats him on the back.
"I even...I even sneaked off in a Ravagers ship to Terra, it made it all hurt so bad, I couldn't find anyone who....I don't even know how to find my soulmate!" Peter whimpers out, hiding his face behind his hands.
Gamora doesn't say anything and she lets him cry, lets him grieve over not being able to help the broken soul who was meant for him. She then hugs him slowly, patting his back while he keeps crying, letting out the anguish that made him grieve for so long.
"Peter." Gamora says, softly but firmly and he looks up at her, a broken sight.
"What can I do, Gamora? Just let them suffer shit worse than what made them think that they're a fuck-up in the first place?" Peter whispers out hoarsely, unsure and scared.
"You will find your soulmate. It's just not the right time, yet. Your soulmate may be stronger than you give them credit for." Gamora says reassuringly with a slight smile on her face.
"What will let me know?" Peter asks out slowly, resting his head against Gamora's chest.
It's a testament to how deep their bond is that Gamora doesn't think of slicing his head off.
"I'm not sure, but I think that when you see your soulmate, the writing will react in some strange way." Gamora says conversationally, hugging Peter a little tighter.
"I can't let them suffer, Gamora. I don't want to." Peter says, softly.
Gamora closes her eyes, resting her own head on Peter's.
"You won't be the reason of their suffering, Peter. You're a good man." Gamora says, rubbing Peter's back in an awkward pattern.
Peter Quill is 34 years old when he kills his father, his mother's soulmate.
The only reason he grieves for Ego was because he had a glimpse at his mother's soul mark.
Because for all his countless shit and fuck-ups, Ego was after all, his mother's soulmate.
Some twisted part of Ego had truly loved her and he had thought he was doing her a favor when he put that tumor in her head.
That's the only reason he sheds tears after Ego dies.
"Quill, why are you crying?" Rocket asks quietly.
"He was my mom's soulmate. He really loved her. And I killed the guy she loved." Peter says out staggeringly, taking short and heavy breaths between every choked out word.
"Maybe they're together then, Peter." Rocket says, surprisingly gentle.
"Maybe." Peter says, rubbing at his itchy eyes furiously, not minding the snot that's dribbling from his nose a little.
Surprisingly enough, Rocket doesn't say anything derisive about the snot and instead gives Peter a ratty towel.
"Best thing I could get. You've had it rough, kid." Rocket says, not facing Peter.
Peter smiles wetly, taking the towel though it's dirty.
He doesn't know what he'll do if he lost these guys.
Gamora holds his hand during Yondu's funeral, and Peter smiles at her gratefully.
The others must know how Peter's feeling too, because Drax offers to cook some...delicacies, and Rocket says he wants to clean up the ship.
Mantis helps him sleep that night, and if she's felt any of the anguish he has in his very much fucked up soul, she never mentions it to anybody.
Groot, despite being in his annoying teenage stage, grows him a yellow rose.
"What's this for, Groot?" Peter tries to ask cheerily but it's ridiculously fake and Groot gives him a pointed look.
"I am Groot." "Take it or leave it, boring person. And this is why I don't give gifts that often."
Peter smiles. "Thanks, buddy." He says mischievously, patting Groot's back.
"I am Groot." Though it's said with disgusted annoyance, Peter knows what Groot said.
"I'm not a loser, you are. Get off that video game console and make your room!"
"I am Groot." "Fuck off."
"Watch that language!"
Peter Quill is 37 years old when he meets his soulmate.
He's holding a kid (the voice sounded kiddish, okay?) hostage, a stupidly gorgeous god dude had been in his ship an hour ago, Thanos had kidnapped the one person he considered family above everyone else, and he's beyond pissed.
For some reason, his head clears when he sees a man in red gold armor.
"I'll ask you this one time, where is Gamora?" Peter hisses out, trying to make sure the kid didn't feel his heart beating wildly.
"Why are you nervous?" The kid stage whispers, and Peter stomps on his foot.
"I'll do you one better," A modulated male voice comes from behind the mask, and the mask just makes way for the man's face and Peter can feel the skin, on which those words were engraved, burn pleasantly, his heart beat becoming steady.
"Who is Gamora?" The man asks, looking like he's way too done for this shit.
"I'll do you one better, why is Gamora?" Drax asks, and Peter groans.
Peter can feel the skin burning so pleasantly his entire position feels relaxed and he moans a little. "Man, does that feel good." He whispers, and the kid is freaked out if the flabbergasted look on his face is any indication.
"Terrorizing people, you mean?" The man who made his writing burn says in a strangled voice, although he sounds like he's reluctantly enjoying the strangling.
"Nah, it's just, fuck, it is not the time for this nonsense! Either you stop lying and tell me where Gamora is or I'll show you I mean business!" Peter says irritably, holding his gun tighter to the kid's forehead.
"Okay, let me ask you this." A dude with insanely awesome facial hair asks, and Peter's guessing this guy is some kind of pompous magician.
"What master do you serve?" The dude asks and Peter laughs in disbelief.
"What master do I serve, what, am I supposed to say Jesus?" Peter asks, laughing humorlessly.
"Okay, stop talking! For some reason, you talking is making my body do shit! Are you some sort of sound-controlling alien?" The dude in the armor asks and Peter frowns, looking at the man.
"Uh, no. If anything, you're making my chest burn dude. Anything that controls sound in your armor?" Peter asks, wincing at the pressure in his skin.
"Quill, my skin does not feel anything!" Drax says, and Mantis responds in the affirmative.
"Oh, of all the nonsense, does this have to happen now?" The magic dude asks in disbelief, looking at the armor dude and Peter.
Peter and the armor dude look at the magic dude in disbelief. "What do you mean, Strange?" The armor dude asks, and Peter feels like he wants to piss himself laughing because of all the motherfucking names out there in the universe, the magic dude had to be stuck with the name "Strange".
Ain't that a fucking beautiful irony.
Strange gives the armor dude the stink eye. "I'm starting to wonder if you really are a genius, anyway, we have to deal with this hostile alien group...." Strange shakes his head.
"Anyway, where are you from?" Strange asks, raising his eyebrows.
"Missouri. Strange dude." Peter says, snickering.
"Like that joke isn't expired already. I assure you, make puns of my name, and I will blast you to smithereens." Strange says, rolling his eyes.
"You're friendly." Peter remarks blandly.
"So you're from Earth." The armor dude says, exhaling.
Peter nods. "Pretty much, bro. Wait-" Peter says frowning, and then blinks.
"Is this a tactic to distract me because you know where Gamora is and you work for Thanos?"
"Of all the nonsense he accused us of, this has to take the cake. Sure, we work for the mad scrotum who wants to destroy a random half of the universe and we hold a lady, I'm guessing Gamora's a lady, who we do not even know, hostage. Bravo." The armor dude says, blandly, clapping his hands.
"You must be the ones Thor told us about! Peter, this is the sarcastic man in the red armor!" Mantis says suddenly, looking at him.
The armor dude blinks. "Wait, you guys know Thor?"
Peter grumbles and releases the kid. "Yeah. Muscly dude. Not even good looking."
"Okay, that's just ridiculous. Okay, Strange, you're a doctor, can you tell me why the fuck my back is paining so much?" The armor dude asks, looking pained.
"I'm a sorcerer. Not a magician. And you're just old." Strange says, biting on his lip.
Peter frowns. His chest has been hurting a lot, for some reason ever since he laid eyes on the armor dude.
He blinks and feels the part of his chest on where the writing's engraved, gaping.
Fuck, he feels stupid.
"What happened?" The armor dude asks in some twisted form of concern, frowning.
Peter blinks as he looks at the armored man clearly, his mouth a little ajar.
"You're.....do you have a soulmate?" Peter asks suddenly, his voice hushed.
The armored man blinks, his face angry but Peter can suddenly feel that the man is feeling defensive.
"Really? You're discussing soulmates when half of our universe is at stake?" The man asks snidely.
"I haven't found half of my universe yet, so....yeah." Peter says, smiling uneasily.
The armored man narrows his eyes. "You're ridiculously cheesy." The man says, rolling his eyes.
"Stark, are there words on your back?" Strange asks and Stark (what the heck kinda name is that? It must be a last name) looks strangled.
"Shut up- okay, yes there are!" Stark says defensively, gritting his jaw.
"Then that settles it, that man must be your soulmate." Strange says blandly.
When something you've had a hunch on for a while is confirmed, realization just crashes you the way Rocket would fall down on a person and wiggle down their body.
Disturbing but true.
"Peter Quill, if it helps." Peter says with a slight grin, awkwardly.
The man blinks, biting his lip.
"You're my soulmate." He tries to say it nonchalantly, but Peter can see from the hushed tone of his voice and the hope shining in those expressive eyes-
Okay when did he become a poet?
"Fantastic. Marvelous. Kosher. Śānadāra. Brilliant. Can we get to defeating Thanos now?" Strange asks, looking the very epitome of a bossy boss.
"We need to talk." Peter mouths to the guy with a wink.
"Yeah, we do. I'm Tony Stark, by the way."
Peter feels like he can't wait to test the name on his mouth.
The kid is gaping at him.
"You're Mr. Stark's soulmate. And you have the same name as me?!" The kid asks excitedly.
Interestingly enough, the last time he felt so much of rage, he killed a man precious to the most precious person in his life.
Said man killed the most precious person in Peter's life.
That's how messed up, fucked up, his life is.
Thanos killed Gamora.
He said he had to.
"I had to, Peter."
The thing is, Peter registers hazily in his anger, they didn't have to.
Kids didn't ask much; they just wanted to know that their parents loved them.
"NO YOU DIDN'T! ALL YOU HAD TO DO YOU FUCKING BASTARD, WAS STAY AWAY FROM HER! STAY AWAY FROM THE GIRL WHOSE FAMILY YOU SLAUGHTERED IN FRONT OF HER! YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO KILL HER, YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!" Peter screams so loudly Tony creeps up next to him, holding his waist.
Thanos looks fit to kill but then Mantis pacifies him again with a lot more effort.
"Peter! Peter! PETER QUILL, LISTEN TO ME!" Tony is screaming now beside him but Peter didn't want to care, didn't care that he was causing pain to the man who he had sworn to protect from misery.
Peter aims his blasters for Thanos and Tony stands in the line of Peter's vision.
"Peter, no! Listen to me, for one damn second!" Tony screams, holding Peter's shoulders.
Peter is torn, he's still mad, so mad at Thanos, but then there's Tony.
Tony looks scared, anguished, even though he's pretending he's calm.
"We'll kill Thanos! But you need to stay calm before you do something you regret! We are going to kill Thanos- see, your friend there? She's taking him down! Mantis, Mantis is taking him down! And you can blast away that stupid body of his, soon! But now, now you need to be calm! Or we'll be killed before we have a chance!" Tony is shouting and Peter sags down slowly into Tony's arms, horrified, aghast.
"We'll be killed before we have a chance!" Keeps ringing out in his head, and Peter swallows down bile and disgusting shit that's coming from his stomach.
Shit that's disgusting as he is.
What had he done?
What on earth would Gamora think of him?
He had cried to her about the misery his soulmate had gone through, and now he himself was putting his soulmate through the very same misery.
If he gave into the temptation to attack Thanos now, (he didn't want to attack Thanos, he wanted to tear him apart limb from limb) they'd all be killed.
His soulmate would be killed. In front of his eyes.
"I'm sorry." Peter hiccups out a sob, as Tony holds him closer. "I'm sorry." Peter says again, shutting his eyes.
He doesn't deserve to see Tony.
"It's okay," Tony says, his usually derisive voice (or at least Peter thinks his voice is usually derisive) soft, tender now.
"No, it's not. You'd have been killed." Peter whispers out, not wanting to look at Tony.
"Nothing new, that's like a hobby of mine," Tony says, chuckling humorlessly.
"Don't joke around like that," Peter says harshly, wrapping his arms around Tony's waist, wanting to feel his soulmate.
(not like that you perverts!)
Tony doesn't say anything for a while, but then he gently nudges Peter.
"Hey, open your eyes, Sleeping Beauty. The grand finale is coming." Tony whispers, his voice light with humor.
Peter gets up, feeling his knees again as he opens his eyes, and looks at the little Peter swiping off the Gauntlet from Thanos.
It's the best moment in his life; seeing Thanos stripped of his power.
"Ready, Flash Gordon?" Tony asks sardonically, but he's smirking now and Peter gives back a half smile.
"For my whole life, man."
"So....this is it, Star-Lord." Tony says, smiling a bit, Thanos' corpse behind him.
"Not if you want it to be," Peter says quickly, his hand reflexively touching his chest, the part where his words have been engraved.
Tony bites his lip. "Peter, I'm ten years older than you, this soulmate business...I just didn't expect my soulmate to be...."
"A little shit who nearly destroyed half the universe?" Peter asks bitterly, gritting his jaw.
Tony looks surprised. "No. I meant a young man who's got much more for him than a....man who was called the Merchant of Death. I can't blame you for how you felt about Gamora's death, she was someone dear to you." Tony says, biting his lip.
Peter makes a face. "I've been called a petty thief, so what? Suck it up man, neither of us were saints." Peter says, irritably, ignoring the last sentence.
"You more so, than me." Tony says with a repentant smile, glancing at Drax and Mantis, who along with the little Peter, were pestering Strange for something.
"We are literally within feet of each other, if you wanted to know something about me, you had to ask me!" Peter says in embarrassment, folding his arms.
Tony raises his eyebrows. "I was 14 when I saw my words. You wanna know what it said?" Tony asks, quickly.
Peter gives him a questioning look.
"It said that you thought your soulmate was the most wonderful person to exist, and they deserved so much better than you. You said that they deserved the universe." Tony says softly, looking a bit embarrassed.
"All that and more." Peter says a bit shamelessly, grinning.
"I don't. I've fucked up so much in my life-"
"Shush. You're not the only one, dude." Peter says, punching Tony lightly on the arm.
"You still want to give this a try?" Tony asks disbelievingly.
Peter shrugs. "I do, Tony. I'd give up being a Guardian for your sake. So what if there's an age gap? I mean, it's not like you're a cradle robber or anything." Peter jokes and Tony shudders, though he's smiling a bit now.
"That'd be too much. God, my friends'll be happy to know I finally found you." Tony says, his eyes lighting up beautifully.
"I'm happy. Gamora'd be happy too." Peter says, wanting to hug Tony.
A little silence falls, and Peter realizes, Tony's only being quiet so he can allow Peter to mourn Gamora.
"I'm sorry about Gamora. She didn't deserve that. Being killed by the man she hated the most." Tony says, repentantly.
Peter breathes in. It hurt, Gamora dying. He didn't want it at all.
"Maybe she's happier now. Maybe she's met my mom. Maybe she's protecting her from my dick of a dad." Peter says, looking down on the ground and making patterns on the sandy ground with his foot.
Tony laughs, it's a wonderful sound. "You had a dad that was an asshole too?"
Peter chuckles. "Yeah, pretty much. Join the club, man." He says, and Tony put a hand on his shoulder.
"Are you coming with me to Earth? Just see how it works out....if you're not-" Peter puts a finger on Tony's lips.
"Dude, anyone ever say you talk too much?" Peter asks, purposefully making his voice low as he takes away the finger.
"Just a few."
"Well, it's a good thing. But sometimes you talk stupid. So hopefully with me, that stupid is gonna go away." Peter says quickly, grinning.
"Hopefully with me, that douche bag attitude might go down too." Tony says, smirking.
"Get in the ship, lovebirds!" Strange growls loudly, and Tony laughs so much he bends over.
"That's the most pissed I've ever seen him, God." Tony says, grinning.
His grin is gorgeous, and it makes Peter feel self-conscious before he remembers that this beautiful man is for him and for him alone.
"Well, I wouldn't piss that dude. He's scary." Peter says, casually putting one arm over Tony.
Tony smiles at him with a laugh and Peter feels hopeful for the first time in his life, as they walk up to the Milano.
Maybe this would definitely work out after all.
A few years later...
New York is gorgeous and so is the man who is showing him this city for the twentieth time since they had met.
Peter can't help but grin as he sees the beautiful buildings, the screens showing movie advertisements, movie posters, the flashing lights.
Drax was trying to rebuild a new life in Xandar with Mantis, both of them weirding out about the simplest joys in life.
Rocket had stayed in Wakanda with Groot, and rumor had it that he was still trying to pry off Bucky Barnes' arm and that Groot was still insulting Steve Rogers's beard.
Sure Peter had geeked out once he knew Captain America and Bucky Barnes were still alive, but that didn't stop him from giving Rogers a piece of his mind when he found out about the whole Siberia issue.
And the most wonderful discovery? Tony forgave Steve and Bucky for that.
Honestly, Peter didn't know how Tony could do such a....generous thing.
(Give Peter a second to rephrase that; he knew how Tony could do it. Because Tony was the best person with the best heart ever.)
Peter certainly hadn't forgiven Ego for killing his mother and it was unlikely that he ever would.
The remaining Guardians kept in touch, uniting with the Avengers whenever there was a threat in the galaxy sometimes.
But hell, he and Tony had retired; they weren't stupid enough to risk their lives now they finally found each other.
New York was always gorgeous in the night, Peter thinks, now that he looks around.
But then, Peter thinks with a smile, Tony Stark was always gorgeous day and night.
Tony had once told him that getting over Gamora's loss will always be hard and if Peter really wanted to honor her memory, all he had to do was remember Gamora when the time came to make a choice between right and wrong, remember her when he did something right, remember her encouraging words and smile, remember everything that was good about Gamora, remember what she stood up for and stand up for them as well.
(Peter had joked that Tony should be a Senator; he'd make the best speeches.
Tony had flatly refused, though he had been grinning boyishly when he had done so.)
She would be glad he had found the world's best soulmate.
And the best part?
Peter's words had changed.
"I love everything about Peter Quill and I will continue to do so, because he's everything to me. I don't plan on giving him up ever. He's mine."
Peter always took ten minutes to adore the words before he changed his clothes.