Cynthia Jones was a Terran who couldn't remember her home. All her memories were of space, spaceships and various planets. A mercenary group raised her and as soon as she was able she went her own way. Sometimes she worked alone, sometimes she didn't, whichever was the most likely to keep her alive and her pockets lined.
Currently, she'd just collected a finder's fee for locating an object stolen by someone else. It wasn't really her thing, but it paid well. She glanced around the market deciding what to purchase when her eyes fell on an old partner. An old partner that owed her a lot of money. She wove through the crowd, heading in his direction.
"Rocket," she snapped when she was within snatching distance of the augmented raccoon.
He spun, arms out to his sides as he looked for the threat. His snarl fell and his features softened when his eyes fell on her. "C-cyn?"
She fisted her hand into the front of his clothes and lifted him into the air. "Don't you Cyn me, fur ball."
"Woah, easy there." A smooth voice interrupted her and a hand grasped the arm she held Rocket with. Her eyes darted to the man and looked him over. She had to admit he was handsome. And...Terran? She didn't see many of her own kind out here. "Put the raccoon down and step away."
Rocket's hands came forward to rest on hers, drawing her attention back to him. "This is Quill. Groot and I work with him now." His voice was low, calm. They'd been friends long enough that he knew how to talk to her when she was upset. She was surprised to see a sheen of tears in his eyes.
Opening her hand, she let him fall. He stood up and dusted himself off.
"Now, what's this about?" Quill asked.
"He owes me money."
Rocket looked up in surprise. "That's it. That's all you have to say?"
"You owe me a lot of money. Is that better?"
He stepped forward and fisted his hands at his sides. "That's all you care about is money?"
"It wasn't until my best friends left me alone on some planet so they could keep my share of the bounty," she said through clenched teeth.
Rocket's face fell again and his eyes got wide as he shook his head.
"Let's take this back to the ship, guys. We're drawing a crowd," Quill said. She noticed immediately that he was right and nodded her head in agreement.
They were silent on the way to the ship though Rocket kept looking back over his shoulder with a sorrowful expression. It tugged at Cyn's heart, but she did her best to ignore it.
Peter stepped back to let Rocket and his "friend" enter first. His eyes darted down to check out her ass and he cocked his head to the side in appreciation. Damn. And he'd thought she looked hot from the front. Drax, Gamora and Groot were all waiting for them as they stepped onto the ship.
Groot sat on Gamora's shoulder and his mouth dropped open as he saw the woman Rocket had called Cyn.
"What the hell did you do to Groot?" she asked, gesturing angrily at the tree creature.
Rocket threw his hands up in the air. "Why is it always my fault?"
"Have you met you?" she snapped back.
Peter coughed to cover his laugh. "Sorry," he said as Rocket and the woman both turned to glare at him. He took a step back.
Groot tugged on Gamora's hair and pointed in the direction of the newcomer. "I am Groot. I am Groot."
"I don't care if you are super adorable now, I am still mad at you. You left me," Cyn said and crossed her arms over her chest.
Groot shook his head. "I am Groot."
Her arms dropped and she looked between the treeling and the raccoon. Rocket was staring at the floor of the ship. "What do you mean I was dead?"
"Wait," Peter piped up. "You understand what he's saying?"
She glanced over at him with a look of disdain on her face. "You don't? How long have you been travelling together? It's not that hard, Terran."
He scratched the back of his neck. "Damn. It was simple question. Calm down, lady."
She rolled her eyes and took Groot off Gamora's shoulder and put him on her own.
"I'm sorry, who is this?" Gamora asked, with a tone in her voice. He hated when she got the tone.
"Cynthia Jones. Jack of all trades. Former associate of the tree and the rodent. And you are?"
"My name is Gamora." That was all she offered, but it didn't seem to faze the other woman any.
"And the brick wall over here?" Cyn asked.
"I am not a wall. I am Drax the Destroyer." Peter barely resisted the urge to facepalm.
"And what about you, flyboy?" she asked as she glanced over her shoulder at him.
Flyboy. He liked that. "Peter Quill, but people call me Starlord. This is my ship."
"I am Groot."
Cyn and Rocket both laughed.
"What? What did he say?" Peter asked.
She grinned at him. "He said that you're the only one that calls you that."
Gamora and Drax both joined in the laughter. "It's funny because it's true," Drax added in his booming voice which made everyone laugh harder.
"Come on, guys! That's not cool."
She dropped down to sit cross-legged on the floor of the ship. Plucking Groot from her shoulder, she placed him next to her then motioned for Rocket to sit down. "All right, you two. Start talking."
Rocket shrugged. "The building you were in blew up. We thought you were dead."
"I am Groot."
It was sad," Rocket agreed with a nod of his head.
She raked a hand through her hair and sighed. "Rocket, how many jobs did we go on together?"
"And how many of those jobs did I die on?"
"It would be kind of creepy if you died more than once," Peter said from behind her.
"Fair enough." She glanced at the floor before looking back up at her two friends. "Damn it, Rocket. You know I get myself out of impossible situations all the time. Why didn't you wait for me? I was the one that blew up the damn building. It was a distraction while I stole their stuff."
Rocket and Groot both watched her with wide eyes.
"I came out and saw you two flying off ten minutes early. I thought you just wanted my cut." Her gaze shifted to her hands tangled together in her lap. "That hurt. You were my family."
Rocket hesitated a moment before crawling onto her lap. Groot climbed on Rocket until he was where he could lean against her chest as well. "We are your family," Rocket said.
"I am Groot," the treeling agreed.
"I'm really glad you're not dead," said Rocket softly.
"I'm really glad I don't have to kill you," she said and a burst of laughter came from beside them. Cyn lifted her head and looked over to see the other three sniffing with shiny eyes.
Peter walked over and held out a hand. "So, you ever thought about guarding the galaxy?"