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Coming Home With Stardust

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   Toni’s stomach fills with nervous butterflies as The Milano lands just outside the compound. She can see everyone waiting for them below through the glass of the cockpit. Bruce offers her a supportive smile as she leans into Peter’s reassuring hand on her shoulder. Jarvis hums from within her mind.

   “As always ma’am, I shall stand with you. I have several protections in place should the captain decide to try anything, ill advised.” He informed her, seeming cheerful at causing Rogers harm. She lets out a laugh.

   “I think we need to have a serious talk about these violent tendencies of yours J. I can’t have any of my babies going out and becoming supervillains. I don’t know where you get it from.” She shakes her head in mock concern. She looks at Peter as he raises an eyebrow at her.

   “Oh yeah, I wonder.” He deadpans. “It’s not like he has a beautifully terrifying mother to learn it from.” He chuckles as she pushes him playfully. Everyone sways slightly as the ship lands.

   As soon as Toni steps out of the ship her arms are full of a certain spider-baby who was holding on to her for dear life. She smiles as she holds him just as tightly. After a moment they separate and she turns towards Rhodey.

   “Miss me platypus?” He laughs as he pulls her into a hug.

   “More than you know Tones,” he squeezes her tight and looks her in the eye, “Don’t you ever do that to me again, ya hear?” She smiles as she wipes a few tears away from her face.

   “Yeah, I hear you honey bear.” He nods and lets her go to greet Pepper, Happy, and Vision. Each one filled with laughs and tears.

   She turns towards the Ex-Avengers and gives each of them a nod in greeting. Rogers seemed disappointed with the lack of greeting while Natasha seemed hurt though she covered it quickly. Barnes just kept giving her guilty looks with annoying puppy dog eyes. Clint and the others didn’t seem to care. Peter placed a hand on her shoulder and she took a breath.  

   “These guys are the ones who’ve been carting me around, they call themselves The Guardians of The Galaxy. I’ll let them introduce themselves.” Peter now stood next to her with his arm now wrapped around her. Rogers shot a glare at him that he matched with a grin.

   “Peter Quill, also known as Starlord. I’m the leader of this ragtag team.” He started to gesture towards the rest of the team, introducing each of them. “The green one with the knives is Gamora, The muscular one that has a thing against shirts is Drax, The racoon with the gun is Rocket, The teenage tree is Groot, and last but not least the wide eyed girl with anteni is Mantis.”

   There were some suspicious glances and surprised looks thrown at them as each was introduced. Most of them at Rocket and Groot. Rhodey gave Toni a curious eyebrow and she replied with a single sure nod. He stepped forward with his hand out towards Peter. He grasped it in a shake.

   “I hope I don’t have to make this abundantly clear to you, but if you hurt her in anyway, I will find you and I will hurt you eighty times worse.” Peter let out a chuckle and winced as Rhodey gripped his hand.   

   “I wouldn’t dream of it. I already know she can kick my ass into the next galaxy.” Rhodey let out a laugh and clapped him on the back. Toni looked over her shoulder at Bruce who was still standing on the ship. She motioned her head towards the group and he let out a defeated sigh and stepped out.

   Natasha stepped forward and tried to pull him in a hug but he stepped out of her reach and the guardians formed a lax protective circle around him. When he first got onto the ship he was surprised how everyone went out of their way to make him feel included and comfortable. It wasn’t long till he, like Toni, came to see them as family.

   Rogers coughed loudly trying to bring the attention all on him. Everyone but the ex-avengers, minus Bucky, looked at him unimpressed. With his wish granted he quickly slipped into his ‘holier than thou’ Captain America persona.

   “Thank you for finding and taking care of our teammates, we were worried sick about them.” Peter’s friendly grin quickly melted into a frown as he glared at Rogers. He pulled Toni closer and slightly behind him, ready to keep her out of Rogers’ reach.

   “Really? ‘Cause I thought you left one of them to die in an enemy bunker in a malfunctioning suit in below freezing temperatures. That doesn’t sound like something a teammate would do.” Rage was burning in both men’s eyes, one cruel and uncaring, the other warm and protective.  Letting out a huff, Toni stepped between them to try and defuse the situation.

   “I realize you guys need to sort out your macho alpha dog energy and all but my kids are dying to meet you Mr.Starlord, and I don’t wanna keep them waiting so c’mon.” She grabbed Peter’s hand and started leading him through the compound and towards her lab. He stopped as they entered the lab and pulled her into a fierce hug.

   “He’s an asshole who needs a good punch in the face and to be put down a few pegs. And that’s just to start.” She took a small step back and brought his lips down to her own and gave him a quick kiss.

   “My bots really do want to meet you ya know.” She turned around and addressed the bots in their charging stations. “Mama’s home!” The three bots instantly lit up and rushed to greet their creator. Peter chuckled as she crouched to their level and tried to hug them all as close as possible. He sat down next to her and rubbed soothing circles on her back as she cried.

   “I thought you were gonna introduce me beautiful? You’re hogging your kids.” She laughed as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

   “This is Dum-E, U, and Butterfingers. My chaotic, beautiful hellions.” They each beeped or hummed a greeting as their names were called. “This is Peter Quill, he’s a friend of mine and is gonna be staying with us for a while. I want you to be nice to him, ya hear? No motor oil smoothies or setting him ablaze.” Dum-E drooped at the mention of the smoothies and Butterfingers somehow seemed disappointed at the no setting anyone one fire. Peter laughed at the reunited family’s antics.

   “It’s nice to meet you,” he made sure to address them as the intelligent AIs they were. “I think i’m gonna enjoy hanging out with you guys.” He sat cross-legged and pulled Toni onto his lap, inhaling her scent as he held her close.

   “I’ll introduce you to my other three, Vision, Spidey-Pete, and Harley, later when we’re all together. But right now I just wanna sit here with you.” Peter hummed in agreement and held her closer, resisting the urge to back and eviscerate captain jackass. They eventually moved to the couch and fell asleep in eachothers arms.