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Better with You

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It started as a joke between them. “As Captain of this ship, I will marry us right now! I mean it!” Quill threatened as he tried to remove the steak knife pining his sleeve to the dining room table.

“Ha!” Gamora scoffed as she waltzed into the galley and opened the cabinet. “You would not dare. Udonta would be furious if you did not allow him to officiate our union.” She had to stand on her tiptoes to reach the top shelf.

Quill blew a raspberry, “the man only has two moods angry and drunk.” Gamora pulled out a Ninja Turtles lunchbox and gingerly set it down on the counter. She made sure Quill could see it. “This is so not cool! Those are mine!”

“You may recall, there was a club sandwich in the galley just yesterday.” She popped open the latch. That renewed his struggles to break free with urgency. “Today, I found it half eaten in the trash. You ate. My sandwich.”

“You, you just left it!” Quill stammered, trying to stall while he thought of a way out of this. “You didn't put your name on it, or, or, leave a note! Anything in the galley is up for grabs!”

“I'm glad you feel that way.” She pulled out a purple box of cookies. They weren't just any cookies, no, they were Girl Scout cookies. In the great, endless void, cookies are an extremely rare thing. “I'm going to eat these.” God damn it.

Gamora cut open the box with her switchblade and popped a whole cookie into her mouth. Quill yanked hard on the knife. Somehow, he managed to knock the table over without removing the knife. “Ow, ow, ow! Shit!” Quill hissed appearing to be trapped beneath the steel table.

Gamora's expression went blank. She was across the galley in an instant. She removed the knife from the table, “are you alright? Should I contact Mantis?” She sounded genuinely concerned. Quill almost felt bad. Almost.

“Yoink!” He yanked the box of cookies out of her hands. He bolted out of the galley.

“Quill!” Gamora seethed with rage.

Quill didn’t even make it to the end of the hallway. She tackled him to the ground. The cookies slid across the floor and into the open airlock. Gamora and Quill exchange glances. They scramble to their feet and race for the airlock. Gamora gets their first. She punched the button to close the inner airlock door. “No!” Quill bangs his fist futility against the door. The Girl Scout cookies are ejected out into space. “What have you done? You monster!” Quill cried melodramatically and sank to his knees.

Mantis opened the hatch and poked her head down from the upper deck. “I heard a commotion. Is everything okay?”

“I've suffered a terrible loss, ” Quill said while staring out the airlock. “I will never be whole again.”

Mantis’ antenna drooped and her eyebrows knit together. “He will be fine.” Gamora dismisses her concern. “He has to act melodramatic before he can get over it.”

“This is not an act!” Quill yelled even though Gamora was standing right next to him.

“Oh-kay?” Mantis says before backing away slowly and closing the hatch.

Quill sat on the floor, sulking, “Girl Scout cookies are extremely rare. Out of all the stars in all the galaxies, they only exist on one itty-bitty blue planet.”

Gamora sat down next to him. “Why are these cookies so rare? Are they made from these, Girl Scouts?”

He buried his face in his hands. “Yup, that's it, you got it in one, ” he deadpans. Quill raised his head and pointed at Gamora, “you're buying me another box.”

“You are treating me to lunch, ” She replied snappishly.

Quill considers this for a long, quiet moment. Gamora is watching his reaction curiously. Then, he bumps his shoulder against hers. “It's a date then.”

Gamora wrinkles her nose at him, “it’s not a date.”

“You love me, you want to go on a date with me!” He hummed in a mocking tone.

“Stop it, we've been dating for years.” The slightest hint of a smile appears on her face.

“The scariest person in the galaxy has feelings! This has to be so embarrassing, for you.” Quill continued.

Gamora crossed her arms and looked away to hide her reaction. She’s trying to choke down laughter. “You’re insufferable! Am I going to have to listen to you prattle on about this for the rest of our lives?”

“The rest of our lives,” Quill echoed. The starlight catches her maroon hair and she glows. She’s the same hard woman he met all those years ago but everything is different. He can see it in the way her smile touches her eyes. The smile she rarely shows to anyone else. She’s softer around the edges, happier, even. Her gorgeous brown eyes settle on him and for a moment everything is perfect. “You want to spend the rest of your life with me?”

Gamora blinks, her mouth drops open and she snaps it shut a moment later. She’s caught off guard. The silence drags on as she gathers her thoughts and her courage. Vulnerability was never easy for her. When she speaks again her voice is as soft and gentle as a warm summer breeze. “There's nowhere else in the galaxy I'd rather call my home.”

And suddenly it isn't a joke anymore, “Marry me.” Gamora sighs and rolls her eyes. “No, I mean it this time.”

She steals a glance in his direction and tries to keep her expression neutral. “You're certain this is what you want?”

“I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life.” It was the truth. He shifted so he was on one knee. He didn't have a ring, but he did have a candy bracelet in his pocket. Quill took her hand and put on the candy bracelet. “Gamora Zen-Whoberis Titan, would you marry me?”

“In a heartbeat,” and she was kissing him. Quill put his arms around her. He pulls away for air, and Gamora smiles.