I Am Christmas Tree

December 20, 2016:

As per usual, Peter Quill has a great 12% of a plan. This time it involves trimming their resident tree friend. They just need decorations.

Shadowcrest Manor - Crest Hill - Bristol - Gotham

Zee's front lawn.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Zatanna Zatara


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Christmas is a time of joy, wonder, amusement and unity. It is a time of presents and feasts with family. It's a time of getting together.

And of course. Decorations. So many decorations. And lights.

And of course Peter Quill who is in need of a ride. Now he /did/ get a ride. He got pancakes. And he got a new friend who comes complete with glowing tinsel.

Ribbon and Quill made it back to Gotham and to Zee's house. Rocket and Groot were there. A few quick introductions before he noticed the 'borrowed' Christmas decorations. A quirk of an eyebrow from Quill before he eyes Groot and Rocket.

Then comes the brainstorm.

To prevent Groot from wondering off after Christmas decorations…well you bring the decorations to Groot.

And so Ribbon and Rocket had been conscripted into a brilliant plan.

…well…its at least 12% of a plan…

Operation Dress Up The Tree

"Alright," Standing outside of Zee's house, peering up at the giant treeman. "I think this is a brilliant plan." He does. It's his. "Now…we…just need decorations."


"Well don't look at me," Rocket offers helpfully, crunching on the last bit of a microwave-warmed taquito. "Me an' Groot already brought those things over. Okay, mostly Groot because he thought they were fun." He shrugs, because who was he to argue? It wasn't like anyone was doing anything with the inflatable snowmen, just having them sit out on the lawn. He even patched up a leak that had been causing one of them to woefully tilt over. With duct tape. Of course he also had to do some rewiring for the electrical plug since Groot kind of tore those apart, but that hadn't been a big problem, really.

"Anyway, you're the expert on this crazy Terran practice. For the record I ain't seen no lights and stuff in there. Either Zee's not very festive or she's got 'em stashed good."


He told her they were going to decorate a tree. Hikari had thought that Quill meant… a Christmas tree. You know, a noble fir or whatever! But… but then she'd met a talking raccoon, and then the TREE had introduced itself…!

And kept introducing itself.

Hikari isn't sure how tree society works. Maybe this is normal. Either way, if she's going to be a superhero, she should learn to roll with the punches, right? "Don't worry too much. I can take care of, um, some of it!" Just not the glass balls or the fake icicles or anything. She's… she's basically just got the garland.

And that's how Ribbon ended up pointing at a talking tree. "It shouldn't hurt. You'll tell me if it hurts?" He'll just tell her his name again, but maybe he'll do it in a hurt-y, emotional way! Yeah. Yeah, that's what'll happen.


Groot can be just as noble a fir. He's tall enough and he's willing to participate in this decorating activity Terrans seem to be fond of during this odd holiday season. As Quill formulates a plan (or 12 percent of one), the sentient tree looks down at him, smiling dumbly as he is wont to do.

Oh yes, he is finally going to have those decorations. They are his and his alone.

"I am Groot," Groot says cheerfully, proud of what he and Rocket have pilfered— er, rescued from the yards of families who leave things outside for anyone to pick up. He doesn't understand the point of inflatable snowmen either, but they seem so jolly. Placing them inside of the mansion standing sentry on either side of the doors is also the best idea they had.

He then looks over at Hikari again, still smiling away. "I am Groot," he adds, unhelpfully, repeating himself for the umpteenth time since they've first started talking to each other. He sees no problem with this garland business at all. Hopefully she can tell if there's something wrong once she gets the nuances in the delivery of those three little words.


"Like we could look in every room. There has to be something somewhere." Peter glances back towards the house. "I can go look! I'm sure I'll find something…" A longer pause. "…or I'll just find something in the ship. I mean come on." He glances at Rocket. "I mean you can make a gun that can /crack a planet/ you have to figure out something that can light up or sparkle with what we have on hand." He tosses towards the Raccoon. "Or all you loosing your touch?" He adds with a grin.

A look back towards Ribbon then. "Just to say, you're rolling with the fact that there is a talking furry engineer and a fir tree with a personality here pretty well. I think most people would be running to a therapist by now."

He looks up towards Groot then before he narrows his eyes in thought. "Hrmm. I think one thing you need is a…a star. A good Christmas tree has a star."


Rocket rolls his eyes as Hikari tends to Groot with care. "He's a tough guy, he can take whatever you give." Thinking that people might feel awkward talking to them never occurs to him until they either stare too long or someone like Quill points it out. He shrugs, noisily crunching the rest of the taquito.

Tossing a glare at the man, he snorts, casually showing Quill the bird before he jams his clawed hands into his coat and stalks off towards the doors. "Just don't blame me if we end up with a city-sized crater," he says as he goes to see what all he can scavenge.


Well, at least he CAN talk! Hikari would feel just AWFUL if she learned later that she'd caused a sentient tree measurable discomfort. "One day I woke up and really understood the concept of 'lines'," she shrugs, tugging her scarf a little tighter around her neck. "I mean, I was a little weirded out by strange goons with net guns, but you've got to learn to roll with the punches, right?" After all, what would Wonder Woman do?

She waves as Rocket leaves to hunt for Science Things, perhaps too nearsighted to notice that he's throwing Peter the most adorable bird ever. "Have fun! We'll be here when you get back! Probably!" Because if he gets distracted by an apple or someone's shiny metal arm and takes an hour, that's his own fault. "All right!" Hikari announces cheerfully, cocking her index finger like a pistol, "Let's get festive! BANG!"

And then there was light. Yards and yards of it, unspooling from nothing into streamers and lines, ribbons and ropes. Glittering brightly, they wind and loop around Groot's branches. Her expert eye ensures a comfortable fit. It'd be no good if Groot just LOOKED good… he has to FEEL good, too!


He's definitely fine, he's had plenty of practice standing around. Being a good tree is what he is meant to do. "I am Groot," he confirms, ready for more decoration.

And then he gets a finger-gun. LO, there is LIGHT. Groot feels extra shiny. And pretty. It's like a Cinderella transformation! Nothing silly about this at all, no siree. He does tilt his head at Quill's suggestion, however, curious about this star business. "I am Groot?" Whatever it is, it sounds good to him.

If only he could go with Rocket to find it! But no, he continues staying where he is. "I am Groot!" He calls after his little friend, wishing him luck.


"Don't blow up the house!" Quill calls after Rocket. "If you do it wasn't my fault!" He adds as he watches the Raccoon trudge back inside. "And bring me something to drink when you come back out! Since you're going in and all!"

The man turns back towards his new friend and his old friend and smirks. "Lets see what you can do—"

And then. BANG. Let there be shinies.

He blinks at the lengths of glowing ribbons that suddenly wrap around Groot. "So what do you think big guy?" He adds with a grin as he looks back towards Ribbon.

"Well yeah, some days you just wake up and things just seem right. Easier to understand. Not that I can ever understand the concept of lines. As a pilot straight lines totally get you shot." A longer pause. "Actually a lot gets you shot, but that's just how life it."

He ceases to wax thoughtful after a moment and looks back towards Groot. "Yeah buddy, a star. Goes on top. Usually really shiny. Like a crown or something…I gotta have something…"

A pause.

"Wait! I got it!" He starts patting his jacket down before he pulls what looks like a heavy ruby pendant out of one of his multitude of pockets. Letting it dangle from the bright silver chain, the gem catches the light and he smirks. "We can totally make a star out of this."

A longer pause.

"I really wish I remembered why we had it."


Groot is Groot, and ribbons are ribbons, and Ribbon is Ribbon. "I'm going to take that as a success, okay?" she beams, because surely Groot would make some sort of sign if he were greatly inconvenienced by her powers. Probably.

"Mm. I guess I'm all about lines." Hikari thinks fondly of the wrap of a single string around her index finger, of the three-dimensional path thread makes as it's run through a sewing machine. "I like them," she finishes sagely, and watches Quill tug a strange shiny jewel from a pocket. "Hey, doesn't that look a little expensive…??"

Nah, it's fine. After all, who would use something really important as a holiday decoration?


It's obvious Groot likes everything so far, too. He can't stop grinning like a big idiot because it's all so shiny. Shiny will never get old at this point.

Bright black eyes also glance over at the thingamabob Quill pulls out, his mouth forming an 'oh' shape in awe of the jewel. "I am Groot…" He knows nothing about the prices on special items like that. Hikari may have a point, but having that as a star is awesome.


"This? Sure it does! But its the brightest thing I got. Just look how its glowing. Warms of cocoa pretty well too." Quill comments as he lets the ruby dangle from his hand a long moment. "I'm sure Zee is going to like what we've done with the place too. It didn't look like it really had been decorated much. So…we are totally helping."

Yup. Always helping. He's a helper he is.

"Hrmmm. Gotta figure out a way to make it look proper though. See Groot…" He glances up at the tree. "…Christmas trees usually have a specific shape, and the star goes on a point on top…I'm sure we can rig something up. Gimme a lift up there buddy will ya?"

Zee's house is going to have so many lights on it by the time they are finished.


"Maybe some tin foil?" Hikari murmurs thoughtfully, thumb tucked against her lower lip. "You could put the red gem in the middle!" And tin foil is surprisingly adaptable to all sorts of projects.

She watches the two of them, hips cocked to one side like a fashion illustration; her combo of jeans a and a warm sweater are sadly not the things Coco Chanel's sketchbook was full of. "Maybe Rocket found something to help!"


Groot thinks, then nods. He does remember how triangular the other highly-decorated trees looked, all pristine and colorful in their festiveness. "I am Groot," he says thoughtfully, thinking the foil border around the ruby would look great. Another pause is taken before he decides to grow some more little bristly branches on his body to mimic what he's seen. There. He looks a little fuller (or fatter) now.

After he does this, he reaches out for Quill. "I am Groot," he chimes, letting his arms stretch out and act as a lift so that he can get his star and the rest of the house can be covered in wonderful lights.

This is the greatest holiday ever.


"Huh that might work, I forgot about that stuff…" Quill admits as he clambers onto Groot's arm. He shows a surprising amount of agility as he moves up said arm and onto the back of the treeperson. "Yeah…that stuff might just work…" A glance down again and he grins. "…ha! Yeah there ya go. Getting into the spirit of all this…"

A glance back towards Ribbon then before he just smirks. "Oh yeah, I'm sure he found something. I'm just hoping whatever he found doesn't do more than spark." A pause. "And thanks for your help again, earlier, with the bounty hunters."

A pause.

"Oh yeah! Groot, there are bounty hunters after us! No idea why!"


"Waaait, we had bounty hunters after us? Out here?!"

Not two seconds after that leaves his mouth does Rocket realize that it's probably not at all that unusual a thing. But then he didn't think that Terra got many visitors from outside. It sure seems like no one went very far from this end, anyway. Being kidnapped by people from space doesn't count.

Anyway, that exclamation signals the reappearance of the raccoon as he steps back outside, an old wooden box taped over with what could have been ancient masking tape or faded arcane seals plastered all over it. Most of it's flaked off. Rocket's obviously already cracked the thing open for a peek.

"Didn't find anything to hotwire that wouldn't become accidentally flammable, and I could feel the beheaded chicken glaring at me when I was eyeballin' the chandelier- but it looks like you guys got lights covered. …waaaay covered. Eesh! Where'd you get all that?" He shakes his head, dropping the box unceremoniously in front of Groot and company. "So yeah. I found this box of stuff. They're all bobbly doohickeys and things that look like the crap we saw on those other houses and trees."


It's so nice that trees have special holidays just for them! Imagine how long she might have gone without knowing that if bounty hunters hadn't tried kidnapping Peter Quill from off the side of a road.

What kind of holidays must raccoons and strange humanish people have?!

"Oh, don't mention it," Hikari waves off Quill's thanks with closed eyes. "I didn't really know what I was doing, but I'm glad nobody got hurt!" Those goons don't count. They were probably fine afterward.

Bounty hunters? In MY solar system?? "It seems more likely than you'd think," she nods at Rocket, despite not… really having much frame of reference. "Oh, did I overdo it?" Twirling a single finger in the air, she watches a thin streamer of glittering light circle 'round and 'round it.


In the span of being climbed onto and being told the news about bounty hunters, Groot's pause draws out between the two presently in his company. His mouth twists a little. "…I am Groot!" He sounds more annoyed than concerned, and Rocket's exclamation pretty much sums things up for him. He's sure hoping those bounty hunters are a little cooler than described or else it won't be worth their time.

That all passes again when Rocket brings up the box he found inside the mansion somewhere. "I am Groot," he wonders aloud, eager to see the contents of the box while he's standing there. One branch extends further out, curiously snooping about the box to see if it can open it.


"Naw, its not bad at all. Groot likes it don't ya buddy?" Peter calls as he balances on the treeguy's back. "But yeah. Got jumped when I was checkin' on the ship. And before you ask it wasn't Yondu that sent em after us. They weren't Reavers." He adds as he fiddles with the gem, trying to get the angle /just/ right.

Leaning back slightly. "They were a bit pathetic, but they were goin' on about how I needed to give them 'The Star of the Sun' or something like that. They were jerks and I wasn't paying attention."

He shrugs. "You think if we had a sunstar we would know about it."

He pokes at the gem again to get it to hang just right.

"Awesome though, if you found a box and it didn't explode I'm sure it'll be just fine." A longer pause. "And don't be too hard on the chicken, I mean he's not that bad for a fuzzy bird thing. Can't be easy just hanging there all day."


Rocket shakes his head. "Idiots. You sure they were after us? Maybe they just wanted your ride. Which reminds me, you needa take me by the ship so I can get some stuff." Namely his guns. How's he going to blow up dumb bounty hunters if he doesn't have those!

"You sure they just didn't screw up yer name again?" It seems like a valid question- after all, it had 'star' in the title! "And that guy smells funny. And he shouldn't be making a big fuss anyway. It's not natural." Says the talking raccoon.

He helps Groot with the lid, letting it fall to the side, but his attention goes wandering towards Hikari's little finger-light display, furry brows lifting. "Well that's a neat trick. But yeah, it might be a little overdone for one tree. …not that he thinks so. Hey, how long's that stuff last?"


"They were really gross," Hikari nods in agreement with Quill. "I don't even feel really terrible about them getting shocked with their own net." Watching the other(?) human(??) climb around on Groot's back, the lavender-haired college student critically eyes the sway and placement of her ribbons on the sentient tree's branches. "And that sounds like something you'd be very aware of having. It's probably really bright, or made of starlight or something."

Hmm. Maybe she did overdo it a bit, but Groot just seems so happy about all the shiny-ness. "Well, as long as my client is happy!" Hikari beams, shrugging philosophically. "It should be good for a couple of days at least, as long as nobody messes with them too much. I've never managed to make permanent lines, but I did get one to last three weeks one time…" Because she was carefully tending it in the privacy of her dorm closet.


Groot grunts, nodding to confirm that yes, he's fine with this arrangement. Being stood on is one of his many uses. More tiny branches sprout off of the side of his head as Quill adjusts the jewel, lending little helping hands to angle it just right. That's a little creepy, but this is Groot. He's helping.

The other little branch by the box twitches, shrinking back and stretching out again once the lid is off. It then rummages around, picking out one of the strange ornaments. "I am Groooot."

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