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I've Got You Deep In the Heart Of Me

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“I want to take out my body modifications.”

Peter blinked, then his brow furrowed as he gazed at the silver etchings on her face. “Oh.” He swallowed thickly and slowly reached out to touch her elbow. “I mean, are you ok? They hurting you, or something?”

She shook her head, turning her gaze toward the large window of the Milano’s cockpit, in which they stood alone on ‘night’ watch. Or, at least, it had been Peter’s turn, until Gamora joined him to tell him her plans. “Every day, these have helped me to bring so much pain upon my sister. And many other people. You told me how you rejected Ego's offer at immortal life, to be like everyone else.”

“Yeah....” Peter said, “sometimes I kinda think that was a mistake, especially when Rocket takes apart the ship.”

Gamora glanced at him, her expression unamused. “I'm being serious.”

“All right,” he said, taking his hand off her elbow to run it through his hair. “If that's what you want.... I get it.”

She turned to leave, and Peter felt like what he said hadn’t really been enough to comfort her.

“Gamora!” he called to her, and to his relief, she turned to face him. “Thanks. For telling me.”

She didn’t smile, exactly, but she wasn’t frowning anymore.

 

The next time they flew to Xandar, the Nova Corps covered the cost of removing Gamora’s body modifications, since she had been instrumental in saving their planet. When Gamora was released, she had thin, white scars where her previous silver markings were. She told the group they would go away soon, and to Peter’s surprise and silent gratitude, everyone was supportive of her decision. Mantis told her she looked beautiful, and Rocket announced that they should celebrate with lots and lots of liquor. 

“I know it’ll take some getting used to,” Gamora told Peter, later, when they went on one of their walks around the city, near the fountain where they first met and fought over the orb. She touched the new scars on her face, looking a bit insecure. “But I’m glad I did it.”

Peter gently took her hands away from her face, as if she was hiding her scars, and he brought down her hands down, still holding onto them. “Me too. And you’re still the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.”

Gamora didn’t blush, but she looked away, biting her lip but unable to hide a smile. “Thank you, Peter. That means a lot to me.”

To his continued surprise, and immense pleasure, Gamora didn’t break away from his touch. She held hands with him as they walked around the city square, joking about their battle over the orb, and they took in the sights and sounds, food and drinks of Xandar before retiring to the hotel which the Nova Corps happily paid for.

It had been almost a month after the Guardians had destroyed Ego, and Peter lost his real father. He was still healing from the pain, but was able to laugh and smile again, especially whenever Gamora was around. She listened to him, talked with him, and held him when he cried with grief. They had grown even closer since she acknowledged their ‘unspoken thing.’

Though they started sharing a bed about a week after Yondu’s funeral, Peter had not been quite ready to.... proceed to the next step of his relationship with Gamora. He wanted to, but he needed time, and so did she. She was also healing from her years of being forced to murder others in her kidnapper’s name, and privately, Peter wanted to face him one day and destroy him, so he could see her truly free and happy.

But that would come later.

As he got into the large bed with Gamora, snuggling up next to her, he couldn’t help but feel awed again by her bravery, and how she chose to free herself from the modifications that were forced into her.

As they lay together, she confided in him that her only regret would be that she might not be as fast, or strong, in battle anymore. But Peter assured her that she was still a valued member of the team, and no one thought any less of her. Especially him.

She scooted up on the bed to capture his lips in a kiss: long, slow, and sweet. This day was full of surprises, but he was very pleased. Hell, he was always pleased when they kissed, even though they only did just that, and didn’t venture any further.

They had kissed already several times, mostly while dancing, and he treasured each time they did. He used to think, back in the early days with the Guardians after departing Xandar, that while he most definitely wanted to sleep with Gamora, his feelings for her probably wouldn’t last long, as his relationships ended right around morning coffee. But as time went on, and as he spent more days with her than all his previous ‘relationships’ combined, watching her wake with her luscious hair tousled from sleep, or teaching her how to dance, he realized that he would happily spend the rest of his life with her, and ask for nothing more.

Okay, more units would always be nice, but in the end, riches came second to her. Everything did.

Their first kiss had felt like time literally stopped to revolve around that singular, perfect moment. She had gone to his room on the Quadrant after a rough mission, barely a week after Yondu’s passing, and without a word, she reached up on her toes to kiss Peter. And after that it was like things were clicking into place again, he began to feel like himself again. After she turned to leave, a satisfied smile playing on her perfect lips, Peter felt guilt creeping into his warm cloud of joy. He felt like he shouldn’t be content, like he was disrespecting Yondu’s sacrifice in some way.

It took Peter a while to come to terms with that. Yondu wouldn’t have found it disrespectful at all; in fact, he might’ve congratulated Peter (or in actuality, thumped him on the back of his fool head for taking so damn long with her.)

But after that, being around Gamora was like living in a dream. It was amazing how he could just walk up to her (in private, as she preferred that), put his arms around her, kiss her, and get a kiss from her in return. Her lips were so soft, he could never get tired of them. He hadn’t ever appreciated being in a real relationship with someone, until he was finally in one.

After they made out for a few blissful minutes on their shared bed in the Xandar hotel, Peter stroked Gamora’s hair while she fell asleep, and he gently pressed another kiss over one of the healing scars on her cheek.

 

Peter wouldn’t tell the others his secret because he knew they would make fun of him, but he loved watching Gamora fight.

Watching her battle was like looking at a supernova. She swung her sword around in a mesmerizing, deadly arc, felling a handful of Saelpha goons in one sweep as Peter blasted another two by her side. He’d stopped trying to keep track of their kill count, though Drax would’ve insisted he had the highest number.

The others were all fairing pretty well in the fight, Peter surmised as he glanced around the large, ancient cavern. Little Groot had listened to him for once, and ran back to the ship after generating light spores for everyone to see better. Drax was laughing his ass off, Rocket was using Drax as a perch as he nailed more foot soldiers with his machine gun, and Mantis was on board the Milano, hiding outside the cave around their pre-plannned rendezvous coordinates. After she would train some more with Drax and Gamora, Peter was certain she’d be another excellent battle partner.

As missions went, this one seemed to be going pretty smoothly. They’d retrieved a scepter that belonged to the Stouvalp, a polite if pampered species who loved its traditions and resided on the other side of the planet. The scepter had been stolen from them by a violent, chaotic species called the Saelpha, and so the Guardians had been recruited to return the scepter to its rightful owner.

No biggie. All Peter and his crew had to do was make it out of the cavern alive, with the scepter, and....

“Shit!” he yelled.

One of the Saelpha, a seven-foot tall blue humanoid with a tail, knocked one of Peter’s elemental blasters out of his hand. He then got kicked in the back from behind by another asshole Saelpha. Peter rolled over in the dirt, and got slammed back down with a whip-fast tail, the wind completely knocked out of him.

Dazed, he still managed to reach down and activate his jet boots. They fired, giving him enough momentum to slide along the slippery cavern’s ground and out of the Saelpha’s hold.

He knocked over a couple more of the gross dudes, but his rockets were extinguished when he skidded backward over a puddle.

“Ew,” he said, shaking off whatever foul liquid had covered both his boots, but his disgust suddenly vanished when one of the biggest dickwads in the cavern loomed over him.

“Time to meet your maker, Humie!” he hissed down at Peter, brandishing his razor sharp claws.

But Peter saw someone else approaching the Saelpha from behind him, and Peter said, “I think it’s time for you to meet yours, dude.”     

Gamora’s roar reverberated through the entire cavern as she used her sword to slice up the Saelpha right in half. Both sides fell apart, revealing Gamora behind him in a triumphant stance.

“That was awesome!” Drax bellowed as he punched another Saelpha several yards back, holding onto the scepter with his other hand.

Gamora stepped over the two halves of the Saelpha she killed, and leaned toward Peter, reaching out her hand.

“Thanks,” he said, letting her pull him up onto his feet. She couldn’t see the awed expression on his face, because it was covered by his mask. Then his expression changed when he noticed how the puddle had soaked through his jet boots and his pants. He was filthy.

“Anytime,” Gamora said. Her scars were healed, and she was almost smiling. But then she turned to check on Drax, sighed, and said, “Maybe one of us should relieve Drax of the scepter, before he ends up keeping it.”

Drax laughed uproariously as he used the scepter to bash in another Saelpha’s skull.

“Good idea,” Peter said.

Rocket blew a hole clean through another one, and the remaining five blue meanies decided that they didn’t really want the scepter anymore. They ran further into the cavern, screaming their promises of vengeance which echoed throughout the rock walls.

“Yeah, yeah,” Peter said, waving them off and then holstering his blasters. He tried shaking off the gross liquid from his boot, and watched Gamora sheathe her sword while walking over to Drax.

She managed to talk him into handing the blood stained scepter over to her. She studied the scepter and said, “Luckily, this isn’t damaged. Come on, let’s head back to the ship and get this cleaned up.”

“And go get our units!” Rocket added with glee as he shouldered his gun, which was almost as big as him.

Peter shook his head in amusement as he followed his fellow Guardians out of the cavern. Drax and Rocket drove him crazy sometimes, but he wouldn’t replace them for all the riches in the universe.

And Gamora....

As if she could tell he was thinking about her, she paused, letting the other two bound ahead to the opening of the cavern.

When Peter caught up to her, she looked down at his pants. “Think you’ll have to throw those away?”

Peter turned off his mask and crinkled his nose as the stench hit him full on. “It’s pretty bad, but I think the washing machine on the Quadrant can handle it.”

“Lucky for us that Rocket managed to fix it,” Gamora said, “I don’t think we could’ve....”

She trailed off and blinked a few times. Then, in an instant, she stumbled sideways. The cavern floor was pretty even, lots of smooth rock and dirt, so Peter was alarmed when he watched her seemingly trip on nothing.

“Woah!” he said, and darted forward, managing to catch her in time before she hit the ground. “Gamora! Are you okay?”

For a moment, he was worried she had passed out, but she blinked again, and she regained her footing. Peter kept his arms around her just in case.

“Yes,” she said, but her voice was shaky as she held up the scepter. “Good thing I didn’t drop this. Here, you take it.”

“Do you need to see a medic?” He took the scepter and held it in his free arm as he slowly lifted her with his other. “I know the Stouvalp are old-fashioned and all, but they should still have one.”

“No,” Gamora said, this time in a firm voice, which Peter was relieved to hear. “No, I don’t think I need to see one. I just.... might need to get some rest after we return the scepter, is all.” She looked down, suddenly realizing Peter had his arm around her, and she was back on her feet. “You stopped me from falling.”

Peter was just glad that she was all right, that was his main concern. But, being in such close proximity to her, one arm around her waist as she regained her footing, his heartbeat started to race, and he felt himself starting to get a little.... Ok, yes, he was getting aroused, even though he knew he shouldn’t be. He could barely even register the stench of the liquid seeping into his pant legs and boots. Gamora’s hair, even after a pretty lengthy battle, was overpowering the stench.

He kept that thought to himself as they slowly made their way back to the ship. Peter figured Gamora wouldn’t want to appear weak in front of the others, and he almost expected her to bat his hand away out of instinct. When they were in public, or with the rest of their oddball family, she usually didn’t prefer that he get all mushy over her.

But Gamora put her arm around his shoulder as they made their way toward the cavern’s entrance, and eventually boarded their repaired M-ship.

“Took you two long enough,” Rocket shouted down at them from the cockpit. “Let’s get goin’!”

He started up the ship and they took off like a shot across the desert. Peter helped Gamora get settled on their shared bunk, which had been modified for both of them to lie down on when Peter had taken in the ship for repairs.

“You need anything?” he asked, making sure to check under his feet because Groot had developed a tendency of running around his legs when he came back on board after a mission. “Water? Medical kit?”

Gamora shook her head, swinging her legs up, even with her boots on, to lie down.

He realized he was hovering over her, due to his inability to sit next to her on their bed, and that she probably needed some space. She didn’t look like her condition had worsened, but her skin did look a shade paler.

“Okay,” Peter said, swinging his arms and noticing that he was still carrying the scepter. “Well.... Do you want me to stay?”

“No. Groot wants to see you, and I think I’ll be fine after resting for a bit.” Gamora closed her eyes and rested her hands over her stomach. “Just feeling a little hot right now. Not thirsty,” she said quickly when Peter began to move toward the door to get some water, as if she knew where he was headed. “But hot.”

“Well,” Peter said, trying to keep his tone light, “that’s because you’ve been around me for so long.”

“Mm hm,” Gamora responded, turning over onto her side so her back faced him as she murmured, “That must be it.”

Peter stood near the doorway for half a minute, wondering if he was supposed to ignore her and stay.

But she fell silent after a while, and Peter felt something tugging at his pants leg.

He glanced down, and saw Groot tugging at the cuff on his pants, looking up at him adoringly.

Then, Groot’s adorably eager expression quickly turn into a horrified one as the smell hit him.

“I am Groot!” he wailed, running in the opposite direction as Peter sighed, then touched the button to close the bedroom door before he headed off to find some clean clothes.

 

Peter was the first to board the ship after the Guardians returned the scepter to its rightful owner and Rocket collected the units. Peter had beaten all the others back and was panting as he pressed the button to their bedroom door. She had still been sleeping when they arrived, and he didn’t want to wake her, but he wanted to make sure she was ok before he hopped in the shower, which he didn’t have time to do since they made it back to the Stouvalp pretty quickly.

Peter saw that Gamora had turned over on her other side so her front was facing the doorway, and when he saw that she was breathing, still a little pale but otherwise looking ok, he heaved a long sigh of relief. He realized the others would be back soon, so he ran to the head, thankful to finally get a hot shower and not have to deal with Rocket, Groot and Drax making fun of his smell for any longer, despite him changing his clothes. He would tell Rocket to head to Xandar so Gamora could see a doctor after his shower.

Soon, blessed hot water was running over Peter’s body. He usually took up more hot water than he needed, letting the steam fill up the stall as he belted out a cheerful tune (and okay yeah, more often than not he took that time to pleasure himself while pretending Gamora was with him.) This time though, he focused on cleaning himself up and ridding himself of the puddle’s stench, scrubbing his feet and ankles hard and barely using any shampoo.

He exited the shower swiftly, toweling until he was dry, then threw the towel around his waist and cinched it before he balled up his second pants that needed to be washed, leaving the rest of his clothes lying on the floor. He’d deal with them later, after talking to Rocket about going to Xandar. He made sure he wasn’t dripping on the floor anymore so Groot wouldn’t slip and fall, then left the head, extending his arms to hold out his pants.

He didn’t have to make a long trip to stuff the pants in the makeshift hamper, over the really gross ones, and he shut the lid, then started to make his way to the cockpit, foregoing getting changed for the time being. The others were used to seeing him roam around the ship like that and stopped commenting on it. (Well, mostly. Rocket let out an occasional snarky remark, and Gamora would cast his half-naked body a fleeting glance that made him swell with a bit of pride.)

He made it barely two steps toward the cockpit before there was a blur of green, black, and pink racing right at him.

Before he knew it, he was knocked off balance. He barely had enough time to react, but he luckily avoided banging the back of his head against the floor.

His elbows and back bore the brunt of his fall, though. “Ow! Hey, what the hell?” he asked, then realized he was staring right up into Gamora’s eyes.

They looked..... different. Unlike her. Her eyes had always been sharp and focused, like one of them birds of prey Peter remembered looking at pictures of in the library on Earth. In the rare moments he had gotten her to smile, her eyes softened, and he vowed to see that side of her more often.

But her eyes looked anything but ‘soft’ now. They looked even more intense than when she was slicing their enemies, and this was a different intensity. There was only one word for how they looked: predatory.

“Gamora, what are you doing?” Drax yelled at her from the other side of the ship.

Peter realized, then, that she was....

Gamora was....

“Hey! Get off Quill!” Rocket shouted.

She was attacking Peter. But in a very specific way.

A year ago, he honestly wouldn’t have minded having a woman pounce on him. Maybe even a couple months, ago, if Gamora were doing this right now (burying her lips against his neck, sucking his skin with fervor as she ground her hips against his), he would be on cloud nine.

Maybe even a part of him, okay, a not so small part in particular, was starting to enjoy the sensation of her practically humping him. He was still trying to get her off him without hurting her, but she was too strong. And he could smell her hair, a scent that was overpowering, that he couldn’t get enough of.

“Groot, don’t look!” Mantis cried, and Peter snapped out of his trance, catching a glimpse from around Gamora’s vibrant hair to see Mantis picking up Groot and taking him to his room.

“Gamora, what are you doing?” he mumbled, and she responded by lowering her hand and clumsily grasping at his....

“Stop!”

Drax leaned forward into Peter’s line of sight, lifting Gamora off him from behind. But he had to strain himself to pick her up, since she was struggling to get out of his grip. She broke free from his grip and lunged again, down toward Peter, was still lying on the floor and completely stunned.

Drax wrapped his arms around her and held her in a vicelike grip, though to Peter’s relief, she didn’t immediately (and literally) turn on him.

“Gamora, what’s going on?” Rocket demanded as she growled and strained against Drax’s arms. “The hell is up with you?”

To Peter’s utter shock, Gamora panted a few times, and looking right at him, she said, in a tone that sounded nothing like her, in a soft whimper, “Please.... Please let me....”

Everyone stood there, frozen as Gamora finished her sentence, saying something Peter never expected to hear her say in front of the others.

He looked at Mantis as she cautiously came back out of Rocket’s room, closing the door behind her so Groot couldn’t see what was happening. Peter knew what he was supposed to do. He knew he had to ask Mantis to make Gamora sleep.

He opened his mouth to say something, anything.

He couldn’t.

“Mantis, come on. Make her sleep, already!” Rocket snapped.

Mantis, looking terrified, slowly approached Gamora, who kept twitching and jerking and trying to break free of Drax’s armlock.

Slowly, hesitantly, she reached out her hand and Gamora snapped her head backward, darting her eyes in Peter’s direction.

“I’m sorry,” Mantis murmured and put one palm on Gamora’s forehead.

Instantly, Gamora slumped over, boneless, in Drax’s arms.

Everyone stood in silence for a long, long time.

“Shit,” Rocket finally said, one of the only times Peter saw him looking unnerved.

“Yeah,” Peter said, nodding as he brushed one hand through his hair. “We need to get her to a doctor. Fast.”

“Uh, Quill?” Rocket said after a moment, and he looked down. His towel had been ripped in a couple of places, a piece or two was on the floor. He hadn’t even noticed.

He also didn’t notice, until Rocket said something, that he was standing, completely naked, in front of his crew-turned-family. And Peter was unquestionably at half-mast.

He could have told a joke. He would have told one, if his heart wasn’t going a thousand miles a minute and if he wasn’t scared half to death about Gamora’s wellbeing. This wasn’t like her at all.

“Chart a flight,” he muttered to Rocket, picking up the remains of his towel and holding them in front of his groin. “We’re taking her to Xandar. They’ll figure out what’s up with her.”

 

“We don’t know.”

Peter tried swallowing past the lump in his throat, but no dice. “What?”

The Xandarian medical specialist shook her head slowly. “Let me rephrase that. We’re not entirely sure what the diagnosis is. We’re not.... Overly familiar with her species’ biology. But we can make an educated guess, based on our findings.”

“Right,” Peter said, desperate for any kind of answer. “So, what did you find?”

“After we managed to bring her to a lucid state, we ran some tests and it appears that her.... ah, condition, is related to her previous cybernetic modifications.”

“Thanos,” Peter muttered, his blood beginning to boil.

“And we have a theory,” the specialist says, her eyes darting nervously at everyone in the group.

“So? Spit it out, already,” Rocket said, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Under doctor-patient confidentiality, I’m afraid that we can divulge no further information.” The specialist looked directly at Peter. “However, Gamora requested to speak with you about it.”

Peter nodded, his heart heavy in his chest. “Yeah, all right.”

 

The door slid open automatically as Peter approached Gamora’s bedside. She looked so small in the hospital bed. Not weak, though, he would never call her ‘weak.’ But Peter hated the sight of tubes sticking into her wrists. It gave him a pit in his stomach, and reminded him of a time long ago, which he did not want to think about.

Gamora didn’t belong in a hospital bed. She belonged on the Milano, admonishing Drax and encouraging Groot to grow flowers. She was supposed to be charting their next course while telling Rocket and Peter not to argue so much, and then making sure her weapons were in tip top shape. Then she would go over contingency plans with Mantis, assuring her she’d be fine before patting her shoulder, a bit awkwardly but still comfortingly. Then, after completing the mission and enjoying some good food and listening to Drax and Rocket argue over which bar they would go to, she’d be swaying slowly in Peter’s arms as they listened to one of her favorite songs on the Zune.

She belonged on the battlefield, slicing up anyone who was idiotic enough to come charging at her or the other Guardians, her vibrant hair swinging in an arc, shining as brightly as the tip of her blade.

She murmured, then slowly opened her eyes as he closed the door behind him and approached her slowly. “Peter?” she mumbled, looking up at him.

“Hey,” he said, drawing up a chair beside her. “Glad you could make it back to us.”

She tried stirring a little, and he said, “Mantis had to make you sleep. She’s sorry.”

Gamora swallowed and it sounded like she was having trouble, so Peter took the glass of water on the table next to her and held it to her lips so she could take a small sip.

“You’re heavily sedated,” Peter said, wishing he didn’t have to do this. Hating this, hating Thanos, wanting to run right out of the room to go kill him slowly and painfully. “It’s all they can do, for now.” He waited until she took another few sips, then set the water back down on her bedside table.

“They told me what’s going on. Briefly. I wasn’t.... quite lucid earlier.”

“Yeah,” Peter said, hoping he was conveying comfort to her through his eyes.

“What’s wrong with me?” she asked, looking up at him with an expression that was so vulnerable, it made Peter’s heart clench.

He sighed. Ran a hand over his face. He couldn’t sugarcoat this. He knew she would want him to be up front with her.

“They think your.... condition is linked to your body mods,” he said softly. “They didn’t tell me exactly what happened, but I think....” He stopped, unable to speak for a moment.

Gamora slowly raised her hand, and Peter instantly took it.

“I can’t.... I wish....”

“Peter. What is it?”

He drew in a deep breath before continuing.

“I think it has something to do with your biology,” he said, trying to make it as gentle and clinical as possible. He wished he could find a doctor right now to explain it to her again, but he had the feeling she didn’t want to talk to anyone else. “You’re in some sort of.... cycle that makes you want to hook up with someone. I mean....” He shook his head, wishing he could have worded that better.

She blinked at Peter. Then, she sighed.

Peter looked at her with wide, surprised eyes.

“Yes, that seems like what the specialist was trying to explain. And I didn’t want to admit it, but I thought it might be an issue when I got my mods taken out,” she murmured, lifting one of her hands to cover her brow. “I’ve never felt like this before, but now, it’s like.... I can’t stop thinking about one thing.”

For the first time in a long, long time, Peter couldn’t bring himself to speak.

“Well, the good news is, you’ve got options,” he said, trying to make himself sound as optimistic as possible.

She snorted. “Yes, using inhibitors for the rest of my life and making me slow and weak sounds like an excellent plan.”

He slowly reached out and, when she didn’t flinch away, put his hand over her other one, that was resting on her lap. “Hey, look at you, you’re getting better at the whole ‘using sarcasm to hide your pain’ thing.”

Gamora offered him a small, brief smile, then sighed again. “Of course, I can go with the other alternative. Get my body altered for good. Never have the chance to have children.”

“You wanna have kids?” Peter had to admit, he was pretty shocked.

A brief, yearning look flashed in her eyes, then passed before she shook her head. “Not now. But perhaps in the future.”

Peter was dumbfounded. Well, more than usual. And he also couldn’t help but feel.... hopeful.

“I’m going to go with the third option,” she said rubbing the back of his hand lightly with her thumb. “You.”

He took his hand away from hers, standing up so abruptly he almost knocked his chair to the floor.

“No,” he said, staring down at her. “No, no way. I can’t do that to you!”

“If you don’t want to, I could fulfill my needs with someone else,” she said, lowering her other hand to fold it over her other ones. “A random, male volunteer. So long as they have the sexual organs that, like yours, are compatible with mine.”

Even just hearing the possibility of that… some stranger fucking Gamora without knowing her, or caring at all that her favorite food was a sour melon from Cancrius III, and that Frank Sinatra was her favorite Earth singer.... made a lump form in the back of Peter’s throat.

“They also have a machine,” Gamora continued, breaking into his thoughts. He could tell that she was trying to sound casual, but she was utterly failing. “One that’s.... just as capable of satisfying my urges.”

Peter wiped his face with his palm, dragging it down. He cleared his throat.

Then he pulled his chair closer, taking Gamora’s hand in his.

He searched her eyes. “Hey. Look, I.... What matters is what you want. If you want a machine, I’ll tell Nova Prime. If you....” His breath hitched, but he continued.

“If you want it to be another guy, I’ll, uh.” He blew out a long, shuddering breath. “I understand.”

“No, you don’t understand,” she said softly, squeezing his hand. “Because I don’t want them. I don’t want a machine. I want to be with you, Peter.”

He took a long, shaky breath. “Are you sure? I mean, we haven’t…” Jesus, he couldn’t even say it to her.

“But you want to, right?” she asked, a knowing smile on her face.

“Are you kiddin’ me? From the moment I first saw you, I’ve wanted....” Peter stopped himself, having said too much, as usual. “I wish it wouldn’t be like this. I wanted to do it the right way. The way that was best for you.”

“That’s why I want it to be with you, Peter. I trust you. More than anyone else.”

He took a deep breath, wished again that he could teleport out of here, go back in time, stop Thanos from putting those damn mods in her, stop Gamora from being ripped away from her family, her home.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“Peter, you’re my best friend. There is no one else I’d rather be with.”

A long moment of silent passed between them as he stared at her, looking so small in the hospital bed.

“Okay,” he finally said.

With a slight catch in her breath, she slowly sat up from the bed, taking hold of his hand, and he gently lifted hers to his face, placing a long, gentle kiss on her wrist.

Then when she uttered a soft, pleading moan and began to reach forward, her eyes drifting down toward the button on his pants, he backed away.

“If we’re gonna do this,” he said, after drawing in a long, slightly trembling breath, “it’s not gonna be here.”

 

They entered a special, private room.

It was small, not unlike the studio suites the Nova Corps provided for them during their visits, but this was a special suite, connected to the medical facility.

There was a table with chairs about ten steps from the door, and next to the chair was a small refrigerator, filled with fresh food, snacks, and pre-made meals that could be heated in the small machine on the counter next to the fridge. Another ten steps away from the table and chairs was a king-sized bed, which surprised Peter because of its soft, comfortable looking bedspread. It did not look clinical and sterile, like he expected. Opposite the bed was a holoscreen on the wall, with a built in communication app with which Peter could use to call the Nova medical officials if he and Gamora needed anything.

He didn’t think they would. As they explored the room for several minutes, Peter stepped into the small bathroom, appreciating that there was a shower installed with a seat embedded against the wall, under the nozzle.

As he joined Gamora in the center of the room, his heart beat faster with anticipation. He wanted to show her the best part of the room.

She gave him a curious look, now standing in a light robe that almost looked like a dress. She requested it before coming up to the room, dismissing anything else she might need. Peter had asked for a few of his items to be sent to the room, mostly a spare set of clothes and his Zune. It sat on the small table, along with a remote. He picked it up and pressed one of the buttons, having discussed its functions as Gamora was signing the documentation acknowledging her consent for their following.... Activities, as well as for the medical officers to request an interview and checkups after her ‘session’ with Peter. They weren’t going to be video taped or anything, Peter made sure of that, but this suite would be free of charge any time they needed to use it, so long as the Nova medical officials could scan Gamora’s biometrics before and after the sessions so they could further study her physiology. There were undoubtedly numerous species with a similar biological imperative, so it ended up being a good deal for Gamora, and the medical staff.

But Peter didn’t much care for legal deals. All he cared about was that Gamora was feeling well, and that she wanted to do this. He hoped to make the experience less scary and more comfortable for her, so he pushed a button on the bottom of the remote and watched Gamora’s face as the walls changed.

They were made out of a special material that could reflect any precoded visual. Peter had already picked out the scenery, so the walls were changed to look like bright forests, with mountains in the background.

Gamora gasped. “It’s Zehoberei.”

“Yeah,” Peter said, “I asked them to look up your world and replicate it.”

She walked in a circle, gazing at the calming greenery around them. Peter smiled, glad that she looked more at ease.

But Peter knew she only had so much time until her temporary inhibitor wore off, and she wouldn’t be lucid anymore. He didn’t want this to just be about them fucking, though. He wanted to make this special, for her.

He went over to the fridge as she stared at all the trees surrounding them, and pulled out a couple boxes of food. Peter checked the labels and placed them on the small table.

After opening them and pulling out the small utensils from the drawer in the counter, Peter presented the food to Gamora with an exaggerated bow as she turned around, noticing his movement.

“Hungry?” he asked, and when she smiled, it brightened up the whole room even more.

He held out the chair for Gamora to sit on and pushed it in for her. She thanked him, looking deeply flattered. He went around the table to sit in his chair and raised his water bottle to the air, offering a toast to them. Gamora indulged his antics and tapped her water bottle against his.

They tucked into their meals, and after a while, Peter realized with a sinking stomach that he wasn’t excited about the food. The meat wasn’t fully cooked through the middle, the way he liked it, and the vegetables were too bitter for his liking. He tasted the rust-colored grainlike food on the side, but could barely swallow half a bite of it.

Gamora’s eyes went wide as she ate, thanking Peter with tears in her eyes that he requested a typical meal from Zehoberei during harvest season, when everyone got to enjoy a full meal. Gamora explained the traditions as she nearly inhaled her meal, then finished off Peter’s vegetables. He was happy to see her in high spirits, with her eagerness to share more about her home world with him. He felt guilty about not liking her people’s food that much, though. Gamora laughed at his sheepish demeanor, telling him, “It’s all right. You don’t have to pretend for my sake. But it’s sweet that you asked for this.” Peter opened up a couple more boxes, each of which had a dark brown bar, half of which was covered in a fine golden powder.

Peter took the smallest bite of the bar, and while it didn’t taste like chocolate, like he imagined, he was pleasantly surprised. Gamora told him how she vaguely remembered the bars and how they were a coveted delicacy in her hometown. She had only eaten one once before but still remembered its rich flavor. Peter thought it tasted good, like a mixture of bananas and caramel. At least there was one thing he liked from her home world. She looked like she was completely content as he cleared away the boxes and plastic utensils, throwing them all in the miniature incinerator next to the mini fridge.

Peter knew time was running out. He wanted to do one more thing before Gamora’s inhibitors would wear off.

He turned on his Zune and chose a song. Luckily, he was able to connect the Zune to the speaker system in the suite. He began to play a song, one especially chosen for Gamora, and set down the Zune, standing next to Gamora’s side and offering her his hand.

Recognition brightened her eyes, and Peter smiled as she got up from the table. They moved to the empty portion of the room, swaying from side to side as her hands fit naturally into place around him and she danced with Peter with an ease he hadn’t seen before.

“it’s not the one you like,” Gamora pointed out after a while.

He twirled her, catching her when she spun back to him, much more smoothly and with more ease than when they’d first danced on Ego’s…. on the balcony. “Yeah. My favorite one by this singer is I Did It My Way. But I wanted to play the one you like.”

She nodded, proudly declaring, “Prank Histrana.”

Peter started to correct her, but chuckled and said, “Yeah. Yeah, that’s his name.”

As they spun around the room, Gamora tightened her grip on Peter’s arm and looked into his eyes so he could see was still there with him. “I want this, Peter,” She said. “If it weren't for my.... Condition, I might not have gotten up the nerve to start sleeping with you.”

“But you already did,” he said, gently, and she smiled, shaking her head.

“You know what I mean. And you didn’t have to go to these lengths to make me feel comfortable. I feel right at home just with you.”

She leaned up to kiss him and Peter met her halfway. As his lips moved against hers and the air in the room grew hot, Gamora was kissing him with more fervor. Her inhibitor was wearing off.

She sensed this too and lowered her hands to his, then, breaking away from the kiss, she lead him over to the bed and told him to lie down on it.”

“All right. Just.... don’t break me, ok?" He asked, and she smiled at him.

“Don't worry. I'll take care of you.”

Since he was wearing more clothes, she stripped him first and explored his body, licking his muscles, and he let her have her way with him.

He could smell her hair again, more flowery and noticeable than before, and when he opened his eyes, the room looked hazy, the music on his Zune sounded fuzzy, and Gamora was the only part of the room he could focus on.

“Whass happenin’?” he mumbled, and Gamora, who was straddling him and sucking the skin on his chest, looked up, panting.

“Peter?” she asked.

“Your hair,” he slurred, lifting up his hand to run it through her thick, gorgeous hair. “It smells.... Amazing. Even more than it did before.” He leaned forward to press his nose against the violet highlights and there it was again. It reminded him of a planet he’d crashlanded on when he was 14. Lost and scared, he ended up in a field of flowers, bright yellow and dark brown ones that slowly opened their petals in the sunlight and closed at night. Peter found out after several hours that they were edible, but it was their smell that got to him, made him feel at least, like he knew everything was going to be all right until Yondu picked him up. He could only describe the flowers’ scent, and Gamora’s hair, as bottled lightning, with a hint of citrus. Like lemons and electricity.

“Oh.” Gamora said. “Right. The doctor explained it to me while I was signing the paperwork.”

“What’d she say?” Peter said, slurring his words as he kept nuzzling her hair.

“It must be some sort of.... mating scent. Through my pheromones.” He watched Gamora touch the top of her head. “It affects whomever I want to be intimate with, and who, the doctor theorized, wants to be with me. That’s why I didn’t turn around and start.... well.... trying anything with Drax.” She made a face that looked so horrified at the idea, Peter couldn’t help but giggle.

But then, Gamora went back to sucking on his chest, and he stopped giggling.

She must have been right about her hair, because it made Peter wild with lust. He started to understand just how out of control she felt. In a flash, he flipped them over so she was panting, looking up at him as he leaned over her, nestled between her legs.

She nodded as he looked at her for approval when his hands got to the bow that was cinched around her robe. He undid the bow, and her robe fell open, revealing her naked body to him for the first time.

He gasped in awe at the sight of her. She was even more gorgeous than he dreamed. He gazed at her breasts, down her muscular abdomen, then down to her hips, and his cock twitched when he first laid eyes on her pussy. She lifted herself up a bit on the bed, squirming from the inaction, and Peter realized he had been staring at her for so long she was growing restless.

He wouldn’t make her wait any longer.

He dove forward, kissing her without abandon on her neck, then down to her chest, where he took his time laving his tongue against her nipples.

Then, Peter went lower, pressing his lips against her slicked skin.

She cried out, a gasp of unmitigated pleasure as he flicked his tongue out, pressing it against her clit, but she began crying out weakly, “No, later.... I need you to.... Please, Peter.”

He wouldn’t show it to her but he was a little let down. He wanted to take his time with her, not jam himself in and start pounding away like an animal. But the scent of her, the sight of her curves and the openness and utter yearning in her eyes, for him, not anyone else, not a machine, made him start to change his mind.

When she pleaded for him again, he couldn’t refuse her.

She spread her legs farther apart and put one of his hands on her breast, looking up at him, her lids lowered halfway.

“Please, Peter,” she begged, her voice so low it was almost a whisper. “I need you inside of me… All of you.”

That did it.

He took his cock and lined himself up against her, slowly inching in, bit by bit and she let out an almighty moan, leaning her head backward on the mattress as he shifted his body over hers, covering her slight frame with his much broader one. He knew her size was misleading (hell, she could throw him across the room if she wanted), but he didn’t want to cause her any discomfort so he made sure to balance himself appropriately on the mattress, splaying his hands out on the sheets on either side of her head as he angled his hips for a deeper thrust.

She groaned in need, tilting her hips toward his in a mixture of frustration and anticipation. He lifted one of his hands from the mattress and cupped her cheek, suddenly overcome with an intense wave of adoration. This was a big moment, for both of them, and he wanted to treasure it forever as he gazed down at her, while making sure he wasn’t crushing her with his body.

He watched her face as he kept sliding in, goaded on by her soft cries, and her long, thick eyelashes fluttering.

She felt magnificent. She was warm, and inviting, and felt so fucking good that Peter’s breath caught in the back of his throat. This was one of the happiest moments of his life, the moment that made him forget he was Star-Lord, legendary outlaw, and was really, when you got down to it, just a fool in love, head over heels for the woman who actually loved him back. He was so damn happy his heart could’ve exploded right then.

She spread her thighs even more, inviting him in as he slid in another inch deeper, and she wrapped her legs around his back as she murmured into his ear, “I need you, Peter. Please.”

It was like one of his best wet dreams amplified to eleven. Never in his wildest imagination would he have thought he’d end up here, making love to the only woman he’d ever wanted to actually use the term “making love” without laughing or gagging. He locked eyes with her as he pushed in even more settling with his entire cock fully inside her, and she looked like she was right there, with him.

And then the haze took over both of them, the smell of her hair hitting him with full force as her temporary inhibitor faded away, and they completely lost control.

There was nothing else that mattered, only them, only him inside of her sweetness and she urged him on as he rolled his hips against hers, then ended up thrusting in and out of her with so much force, a part of him was worried. But when he looked at her face, barely lucid himself, he could see that she was drenched in a similar euphoria. Her nails dug into his back as she urged him on with soft cries, each of them growing louder with his increased thrusts.

He leaned forward until his chest pressed against her breasts, breathing in her intoxicating scent as he kissed her hair, her eyelids, her mouth as moans and cries continued spilling from her throat.

The bed rocked underneath them at an almost alarming rate, Gamora’s head nearly hit the wall against the bed, but Peter noticed it and pulled her away from the wall before she ended up with a concussion.

When tears began streaming from her eyes, he stopped for a moment, fearful that he was hurting her or being too rough, or maybe he was accidentally suffocating her with his entire body lying on top of hers, but she turned her mouth against his ear, nipped his lower lobe, and said, “I’m fine, I want this, please. Please, don’t stop, don’t ever stop, Peter. I need you to come inside me.”

Ten minutes later, he did.

And then, somehow, after another twenty minutes of passionate sex, he came inside her again.

And again, not long after that.

He fulfilled her how she wanted, any way she wanted, with him on top of her, her riding him, from behind, sideways. He even picked her up and fucked her senseless on the table where they’d just eaten. Once they got started, it seemed like they couldn’t stop.

And neither of them wanted to.

After Gamora nearly collapsed onto the rumpled sheets beside Peter, both of them sated and still running their hands all over each other, he gasped, “Damn, this is amazing. You’re amazing.”

“So are you,” she murmured, kissing him fiercely.

They had both been informed of the potential amount of time Gamora’s ‘heat wave’ could last. No one was certain when it would end, but after hours of going at it, she was still clearly in heat, so Peter would stay with her as long as she needed. She seemed to regain awareness, enough to take a break.

Peter glanced at the time, the haze lifting a little when he saw how much time had passed. “Woah, that was almost five hours!” He got up from the bed, and realized he really needed to relieve himself. Gamora used the bathroom first as he tidied up the bed a little, running the quick steam-clean process on the mattress and then throwing the pillows and blankets back onto the bed.

He raced into the bathroom when Gamora exited it, making a beeline to the bed and crawling onto the mattress, sighing at its warmth from the steam cleaning.

Peter came out of the bathroom, glad they managed to regain enough awareness to take a break. He headed to the mini fridge, taking stock of their food source and pulling out a bowl of cut fruit and nuts.

“I think we should set an alarm,” Peter suggested, heading over to the remote to check the settings on the holo screen. As he finally got the settings right for the alarm to go off every four hours (just in case they fell asleep), he absently stuck out the bowl of food toward Gamora, still looking at the remote. “Still can’t believe it’s been that long. I mean, I knew we’d be good, but not that good! How’d we both lose track of time?”

“I don’t know,” Gamora said, and when Peter turned to look at her, he noticed that her knees were drawn up under her chin. She was staring at his back, and his forearms. He looked down at his naked body, noticing the scratches, bite marks, and hickeys she left all over his body.

He finished programming the alarm and set down the remote. “Hey,” he said, looking at Gamora. “It’s ok. I wanted this too, remember?”

“I didn’t want to hurt you,” she whispered.

“Aw, no, baby, you didn’t,” Peter said, hurrying over to her side and rubbing her shoulder. He was glad to see that she leaned into his touch, but he wanted her to feel better. “Wanna see a neat trick?”

Gamora looked down at the pieces of fruit and nuts in the bowl next to her. “I am not throwing these in your mouth, Peter.”

“Just humor me. Please.”

It took several minutes of Gamora tossing food at his face for it to work. She went from amused to competitive in record timing, and Peter had fun trying to move around, making it more of a challenge for her to aim at his mouth.

Gamora ended up dozing not long after Peter convinced her to eat the rest of the bowl. He was wide awake as she slept beside him, so he decided to take the opportunity to hop into the shower.

He hadn’t been in there for five minutes before Gamora ended up nearly breaking down the glass door to get to him. Luckily, he was able to open the door, letting her in and lifting her up on the raised platform. She was nearly sobbing with desperation, completely different than how she’d been before she fell asleep, begging him to fuck her.

“It’s okay,” he mumbled, through his own haze of shock and renewed lust. “It’s okay, baby, c’mere, I got you,” as he carefully took her in his arms and slid back inside her warmth. She threw an arm around his back as she sighed with relief when he entered her once again. He inched his way deeper into her, filling her completely, her hands gripping his shoulders as the water cascaded down on them, adding more intensity to their frantic coupling. 

 

After another several hours of sex, Peter managed to take a shower all by himself as she slept deeply in the next room. He examined his body, noticing that he had even more bruises, scratches, and bite marks littering his skin than their last three missions combined.

He wasn’t lying to Gamora earlier, he truly didn’t mind. He supposed he should have felt guilty at this being their first time, that it was due to a biological impulse multiplied by ten, thanks to her piece of shit kidnapper. But watching her in the moments between their frenzied fucking, watching her actually smile and laugh, and feeling her cuddle close to him.... if he could help her in that small way, fulfill her every need without causing her shame or embarrassment…. Well, then, Peter would.

There was one thing he wanted to make sure they were on the same page about, though.

“Do you want kids?” he asked her again when they were lying in bed together, cuddling after a third steam cleaning.

“Not now,” Gamora said, echoing her previous answer, sounding just as certain. “I requested an injection that would prevent my egg from being fertilized within my heat.... this time frame. You could come inside me another four hundred times over the next few days, and I still wouldn’t get pregnant.”

Peter didn’t know whether he felt relieved, or a little sad about that. He felt ashamed at feeling sad. She didn’t say she never wanted them.

She must have seen the expression on his face, because she put her hand on his cheek and said, “I know, I was wondering if I’d have any regrets. But this is our first time together like this, Peter. This is the first time I’ve ever been with anyone and felt like this. Even when I can think straight, I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“I know, I feel the same way,” he said, turning onto his side to face her, moving her hand to his mouth so he could kiss the back of it. “But I don’t want you to feel like you have to have a kid. Only if you want to.”

He let her look into his eyes to see he was telling the truth. He would love to have children with her. He’d love to see what their kids would look like, seeing Gamora be a loving mom while Peter could be a good dad to their kids, and teach them all of his mother’s favorite songs. But, at the same time, Gamora was right. Their relationship was still fairly new, and they had only just started having sex.... Because Gamora had to. Peter knew she was The One, but he knew because she was more practical than him, she was thinking of their future, not just the present.

So he showed her, by looking into her eyes as she kissed his hand, that he wanted whatever she wanted.

 

She sucked the side of his throat as she rode him.

She screamed, most of the time it was from the force of his thrusts as he pumped into her at just the right angle from behind, as she clutched the pillows she’d used to support her elbows or fisted her hands in the sheets.

Other times she moaned his name toward the ceiling, or into the pillow, or against his shoulder before she bit it, meeting his hips in a strong, rapid rhythm.

The headboard thumped against the wall as he kept pounding into her, completely losing track of time as it was just them two, no missions, no jumps, no one else. It was just her, the smell of her hair, her soft green skin under his, the way she pulsed and tightened around his cock as she came, crying out, one hand clutching his back and the other tugging his hair, and how she couldn’t get enough of him, she needed him more than air, it seemed like.

After they both came together, shaking and sweaty, this time on the floor, Peter realized that Gamora was really looking right at him, and that she was completely lucid. Her heat wave must have been waning.

When they got up and took stock of their surroundings, they realized the bed had caved in a couple of spots, the furniture creaking underneath them when they sat on it. The table had moved about ten feet from its usual position, the blankets were laying in a shredded heap on the floor, and they must have disabled the holo screen.... By crushing the base box up into the wall.

“We’ll probably have to pay for all of this,” Peter sighed, but for once, Gamora didn’t look worried about units.

“They have all of the amenities covered. All they wanted in return was to keep track of my biometrics.”

“Woah,” Peter said, wincing as he caught sight of a hole in one of the walls. “Yeah, maybe next time, we don’t have to go all out.”

After they showered and exited the pod (it felt almost weird for Peter to put his clothes back on), Gamora cinched her robe back together and took his hands in hers.

“Thank you,” she said. “For everything. You made this all so much more bearable than it ever could have been.”

He brought one hand up to her cheek. “You okay?”

She brought her hand up to gently examine his throat. He’d seen himself in the mirror. He had so many hickeys on his neck, it looked like it was painted purple.

She sighed, sliding her hand up to cup his jaw, frowning at the light bite marks on his earlobe. “I should be asking the same about you.”

He took her hand in his and lowered hers to his lips. “Gamora, I’m good. I’m always good when I’m with you. I just wanna know if you regret anything about what we did.”

She hesitated before answering. “I don’t. I’m happy that you were here with me, but I don’t think it’s good for me to lose control like that. Not around you.”

“I can handle it,” Peter said, suppressing a wince as he shifted over to one foot. It was a small miracle that he could even stand up, much less walk. Even his freaking balls felt like they had been sucked completely dry.... well, yes, they had been, but he was beginning to doubt he literally had any sperm left over. He was thinking of getting that checked while Gamora was getting her biometrics scanned.

“Still. The next time this happens, we’ll need to take more precautions. And if you end up wanting to have a baby....”

“Hey, no, c’mon. That’s all up to you, babe. We’ve got all the time in the galaxy, we can figure out all that stuff later. Ok” He kissed her forehead and she sighed, but it sounded like a happy one as she leaned against his shoulder.

“Ow, yeah, that’s still a sore spot.” He winced, and she instantly shifted her weight off of him.

“I can still hug you, though,” he said, shifting closer as he visibly exerted effort to wrap his arms around her. As he snuggled his face into the crook of her neck, he felt Gamora laugh.

She might have to deal with a new part of her physiology, and Peter knew it wasn’t going to be without its challenges.

But, whatever came their way, he knew they could handle it as long as they were together.