Adult Supervision Needed

February 24, 2017:

Juno comes across the strangest pair of kids racing in the aisles of Toys R Us.

Toys R Us, NY

From bikes to trains to video games, it's the greatest toy store there is.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Kitty Pryde


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Toys R Us. The R is backwards, much like the Cyrillic letter 'ya'.

She has been assured, however, that it's a play on the word 'are'. English is weird.

Standing outside of the electric sliding doors, Juno contemplates the framed advertisement on display just inside the vestibule. She can see all kinds of toys, but none of them seem to be the plush creatures that she likes best. Still, it would be good to see what kinds of things there are available. She's been thinking about trying a hobby, because cleaning her weapons over and over is boring and too much television gives her a headache.

Maybe she could build something. There are hobbies about building things. She looked on the internet!

Decision made, she stuffs her hands into the kangaroo pocket of her hoodie and marches into the store as if she's going to find the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Or, you know, some kind of model kit maybe.

There's a strange, motorized sound coming from down one of the aisles. It gets louder as one approaches, but not nearly as loud as the shouting that seems to be coming from the same source.

"Oh /this/ sucks! I finally find a car I don't have to wear stilts to drive and it don't even got a gearshift!!" Rocket growls, stomping angrily at the useless pedals of the red kiddy-Maserati, his clawed hands twisting the wheel about to sideswipe the other, extremely oversized passenger of yet another motorized car. He glances over his shoulder, unable to help but grin a little maliciously. "-although if I beat you to the end of the store then that totally counts as a win for me, and we might not have to go jack a couple of real race cars to prove it. …or we can go do that later anyway."

Following close behind the Maserati, a miniature pepto-bismol pink Coupe covered in strange decals barely evades the purposeful swerving of the fuzzy driver. The unusually large, tree-shaped driver of the second vehicle scowls, turning the wheel to get back on track, shaking a fist at his friend.

"I am Groot!" the deep voice responds to the raccoon's complaints and taunts, shaking the closest displays facing inward from the aisles lining the floor. "I am Groot!"

His giant foot somehow finds the pedal again, pressing into the poor plastic carriage as far as it can go. Its speed barely changes, but there's no way he's losing to Rocket.

It's really terrible when things aren't made to fit you!

Juno, being relatively small, understands this. Maybe not as well as Rocket or Groot, but she has the basics down.

That doesn't sound like a child. Children don't sound like that, do they?? Juno hasn't been a child for a long time. She's already forgotten! Maybe she'd better find out, because she no matter what other things she is, Juno is extremely curious. About, like… everything.

Taking her hands out of her pocket, she strolls leisurely down the long aisles, noting the locations of several brightly-colored displays she would like to investigate shortly. Was that a tiny helicopter? Will it fly?!

And just like that, a small red car whizzes past her. And it's followed by a pink one. And those drivers aren't children, at all!!

Juno stares after a small raccoon and what may be some kind of person with a skin condition. "…" She can go look at the helicopter in a minute. This looks /much/ more interesting! Juno grins and breaks into a run after them, sneakers surprisingly quiet on the smooth floor.

Does she need to have a car to race too? But she doesn't know how to drive one!

"OH don't be like that! You know I'm better at a lotta stuff than you, this ain't any different!" the raccoon shouts over his shoulder before looking forward just in time to jerk the car to the side. "Oh sh- Who the heck put a pillar in the middle of the road?!"

His feet pump futilely at the pedals on the car's plastic floor in an effort to go faster, but the car seems to be doing the opposite, gradually slowing its pace. "Aw, no, no, no! Flargin' battery!" Rocket pounds on the wheel as though it'd help things, earning a series of pitiful squeaky-beeps as he hits the horn. Pathetic.

Craning his head back, he tries to see where about Groot is, which really can't be terrible far considering the cars didn't even hit five miles an hour. Rocket blinks as he sees…wait, is that some kid chasing them? What, she want a ride? There's like a ton of other cars in that aisle!

If they were actually children, someone needed to take them to the doctor's office just to check those thyroid glands.

Groot snorts. "I am Groot," he shoots back, hunching over the wheel in his very tiny seat. It's like he believes this position will help him go faster. Maybe he should have drawn flames on the sides of the car.

Luck seems to favor him, however. As Rocket's car slows, his catches up, the sad motoring sound telling when he passes on by twelve seconds later. "I am Groooot," the tree says almost in a singsong tone, calmly accepting his lead as he keeps his focus on the other side of the store.

Maybe he'll notice Juno afterward. Because there's no chance he's doing that now.

She really doesn't have to run very fast at all. ``

Squeaka squeaka squeaka squeak! IT HAS A HORN?!

Juno doesn't know anything about very small cars, but she likes races, and that is the single fact informing her worldview right now. She's so intent on following them that she nearly runs into the pole too, but swerves out of the way just in time to catch up to Rocket's poor, dying car.

Whoa, it really /is/ a raccoon. …She thinks. It might be a cat.

"Hey, how come you can drive a car?" she asks the smallest, fluffiest engineer ever, peering quizzically down at him. "And talk, too."

If these things were any faster then a lot more people would by them. Or not. Adults are so strange, falling to one extreme and the other.

"NO YOU'RE NOT!" Rocket shouts at Groot as the tree trundles past in his hideously magenta vehicle. "The only reason your batteries aren't dead on that thing is cuz no one wants to ride something that has stubby people with rainbow mohawks all over it!" He waves a fist to no avail, watching as…very anti-climatically, Groot inches past the halfway point of the store and on towards the opposite end.

Meanwhile, the raccoon's vehicle comes to a dead stop by the stuffed animal section. Rocket glares at the rows of eyes from the plush forms that seem to taunt him. So he does the most reasonable thing and flips them off. That's when he hears the voice- and when he turns he nearly jumps out of his seat as he finds the girl that had been tailing them now standing over him. For a moment, he stares.

"…what, it illegal to talk and drive cars, kid? I thought this country was all about freedom!"

She can't help being curious! So many things are new and shiny and exciting.

"I don't think so," Juno considers quite seriously. "I've seen people do it before. It seems like something that people would be allowed to do."

The car doesn't seem to be going anywhere anymore. That's just fine, though, because it stopped in front of So Many New Soft Items. She barely notices Rocket flipping them off!

She's much more interested in reaching out to touch the largest one immediately accessible to her, a giant panda three times the size of Rocket himself. Yes, very soft! She tugs it carefully free of the rack and experimentally hugs it. "Hmmm."

And then, she sees a plush raccoon. She looks at it. She turns and looks at Rocket.

The gears turn behind Juno's eyes. "…"

"Well then." His logic is sound and his argument, irrefutable. And his ride…is currently out-of-service. Rocket clambers out and gives it a kick, which makes it lurch forward with one final breath as though to seek its revenge. It stops horribly short of really doing any damage, but Rocket eyes it suspiciously anyway, making sure his tail is clear.

He turns as the girl has gone terribly quiet, oh wait, no, she's still here, just distracted. That's fine by him, except that when she pauses and looks between plush and the bipedal raccoon, the latter glares.

"Don't. Even."

Without taking her eyes off of Rocket, Juno carefully replaces the panda and reaches for the plush raccoon. Picking it up off of the shelf, she's disappointed to find that it isn't as soft as the panda, and it's also much smaller. Not as good for hugging.

(Secretly she also peeks at the tag. 'Raccoon', it says. So, not a cat after all!)

The black-haired girl tilts her head curiously at him. "Why not?" How does he know what she was thinking about? What kind of special fortunetelling powers does he have?

He knows that look. /Knows/ it. He has probably ripped up many a face for simply trying to pet him. Getting hugged just isn't happening. …okay, so there was that one time with Ribbon but it was on a flippin' battlefield and he was too busy staring at the spider guy wondering why he was wearing a skintight onesie.

"Because," Rocket shoots back, still watching Juno like a hawk, perhaps even tensing just the slightest as she tries out the huggability of the plush raccoon.

Raccoons aren't good to hug. Juno makes a mental note of this, somewhat discouraged, but resolves to go forward with her life anyway. "Oh, okay." The plush raccoon also gets put back onto the shelf. There aren't any Pokemon here like there were at the mall, which is a little disappointing, but there /is/ a giant pink snail the size of a basketball, which is exciting!

"Do you like plush toys?" she asks him, reaching for the snail. Upon further consideration, she pulls down a small cat as well, and holds it up to compare its size to Rocket himself. "Hmmm." Juno crouches down to put the cat into the abandoned electric car. "…You looked cooler driving it," she decides. Apparently she figures that Rocket is going to be her New Friend, because she keeps talking to him!! "I didn't know that raccoons could learn to drive. But I didn't know that you could talk, either, so there's a lot of things I don't know."

An understatement.

"I'm not a raccoon!" Rocket huffs, folding his arms. He does eye the plush that Juno replaces on the shelf, almost in afterthought. That does kind of look….NO. Obviously someone's trying to make money off his look. He should find them and sue them so he can get a share of that. Although what kinda sicko sells naked stuffed animals of him? That's just gross, man. Now he's kind of torn.

Thankfully the Toys R Us shop is fairly empty at the moment, otherwise someone would have surely come down upon him and Groot earlier for taking the motorized cars farther than their section allowed. Groot's probably nearly to the opposite end of the store by now unless the battery finally died on his, in which case he'd probably not say a thing to Rocket, whom he's convinced he's left in he dust.

Rocket and Juno currently debate about who looks cooler driving the now dead Maserati in the plush section of all places.

"No, never cared for 'em," the raccoon snaps, looking at the stuffed snail that the girl plucks from the shelf. Why even?? Terrans are so weird. He makes a face as Juno sets a stuffed cat into the car, although he snorts a little in agreement of her statement. Well of /course/ he looked cooler driving the thing! "I can do lotsa things, kid. But I'm not from Terra so it's not surprising you don't know. Unless you been under a rock all this time."

Raccoons are not good to hug and they are also kinda prickly. If Juno had the emotional capacity to understand it, she might be upset! How fortunate that she doesn't.

"Terra… that's this planet, right?" She thought that the word in English was 'Earth', but she learns new things all the time now. It's great!

She gives the snail a test hug. Oh yeah, even better than the panda. A+++ hug potential, for sure!

Juno looks down at Rocket. How did he get so close? "Oh no. It was a building in the middle of nowhere. How about you?"

"Man. Where the hell did the two of them go…" A muttering man in a red trenchcoat says to himself as he steps though the doors of the Toys R Us just after they hiss open. "They said they would be around here somewhere…"

That's right. Peter Quill was here to find his friends.

"…just how hard it is to find a talking raccoon and a freaking /tree/. Why do they always get lost why….

Three isles over the tip of a wooden head can be seen puttering happily along.

"…well at least I know they are here…" He adds with a sigh as he starts walking into the store. Using the patented and very tried and true method to find them, he raises his voice. "Rocket!! Where are you!! You haven't blown anything up yet have you?"

Rocket nods at Juno. "Yeah. Sounds better'n Earth, but they're pretty much dirt." He watches as the girl hugs the snail. "…are you gonna do that with all of them? You don't know what sticky kid tried doin' that before you. Believe me, I saw a car back there with chocolate smeared all over the seat. …or at least I hope it was chocolate."

He stares at her, wondering if she's pulling his leg, but she seems to be pretty serious, for all the pleasant look she wears on her face. "Wait, what? Really? Someone had you locked up somewhere?" Maybe she and Cindy needed to start a club or something.

His ears twitch at the familiar voice that shouts, the raccoon cringing. "Ugh, does he have'ta go shoutin' like that? I can't take him anywhere," he mutters. "I mean, /sure/, just tell the entire world I blow stuff up!" The last ends up being shouted right back in direct response to Quill, because clearly the moment's embarrassment is meaningless.

You'd have to be pretty terrible at living to lose a sentient tree and a smart-mouthed mustelid. Wouldn't you?!

"Of course I am. I want one that's really, really nice to hug. It has to make me feel good when I hold it." Do raccoons really value hugs so little?? Juno gives the snail another experimental hug. Yes, this may be the one. The Perfect Plushie. …Until she wants to buy another one, in which case THAT one will become the Perfect Plushie. But the snail will still be perfect too. More than one thing can be perfect at the same time!!

She tucks the snail underneath one arm and looks across the store as Rocket angrily calls back at Quill. Oh, another friend? "It was training!" she doesn't explain, smiling and standing on her tiptoes to try and see over the shelves.

"Rocket there isn't a planet in the galaxy that doesn't know you blow stuff up!" Comes the shout back across the store, a voice that might be familiar to Juno as Peter Quill saunders down the isles towards that familiar shout.

As he rounds the corner though he stops and blinks. "Hey! Hoodiegirl!"

Having never gone shopping for stuffed animals, Rocket just stares at Juno, wondering why this is even a thing for them. Maybe it's because the real creatures these things were modeled after wouldn't tolerate the hugs. …or in the case of that snail, wouldn't be very pleasant to hug at all. Okay, no, he just doesn't get the snail at all. That is just weirdness WHO would want to in their right mind, hug a snail?? They don't even have faces!

"Training?" Rocket makes an odd face at that, but any further questions are halted by Star-Lord's arrival. He turns to look at the man, brow arching before he glances between the two.

"You're sure getting your mileage on Terra, Quill. Trying to get to know everyone of the female persuasion while you're here? Guess I shouldn't be surprised."

Huh. Come to think of it, hasn't she heard that voice before? But where?

Peter Quill comes into view. Juno has a revelation. But you know, a small, quiet one. "Oh! It's Rocket Boots Man." She leans over a bit to peer down the aisle behind him. Did he bring Kitty? CAN THEY GHOST RACE AGAIN, THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.

She waves at him with the arm not holding onto the snail. Hoodiegirl again, though. Is it a nickname or has he forgotten her? She'd better remind him. "I'm Juno, remember? Hi! Sorry I was going to shoot you." It got real awkward, real quick. It's so nice of Star-Lord to be a forgiving kind of person.

She nods at Rocket. "Yes. Training!" Juno… does not elaborate. She just smiles. And tilts her head kind of like a bird. "He knows me and Kitty. That's just two females."

"Its not my fault! Its just fate." Star-lord replies towards the raccoon with a smirk as he crosses his arms and looks down towards the Raccoon. "But you know me, Rocket. I get mileage everywhere." A pause. "Took the Milano on a shakedown, and I asked Thor if we can take a field trip. He said we could." This is totally just normal conversation for Terrans right?


"Juno! Right. I remember, and don't worry about the near-shooting. I mean this is the guy that stun-blasted me in the back when I first met him." He hooks a thumb over to indicate Rocket.

He looks behind him though as Juno does…then pauses. "Oh, no Kitty this time. She's back at home."

And surprisingly not mad at him.

Yes. He's stunned too.

"You were gonna shoot him? Pff, don't worry about it, kid. That's practically a standard greeting for him by now." Rocket leers in Quill's direction before glancing at Juno again. "…what kinda training?" Obviously she's got experience with weapons, given that admission just a bit ago.

"Rolling his eyes at his fellow Guardian, Rocket at least looks a little less judgmental at the prospect of being able to leave Terra, if only briefly.

"Yer lucky you were wanted preferrably alive is all, Quill," he grins. "-and no, he knows a crapload more than that, Juno."

It might be! Juno wouldn't really know either way.

Awww, no Kitty. "If you see her again, tell her I want to have another race please. Okay?" she asks/tells Quill, blue eyes bright and smile unchanging. She's going to wiiiiiiin, she's gonna wiiiiin, though maybe Kitty will wiiiiin because Kitty is a quick ghost too.

"I hadn't ever seen rocket boots before. I heard them through a wall and I thought he was shooting actual rockets at her. It surprised me because I thought they were friends." And friends don't shoot rockets at each other!! She's pretty sure!! "Ohhh, so that's why you forgave me. You're used to it," she beams, nodding. The snail in her arms is pastel pink and adurpable, very different from the pistol she'd been holding that night.

What kind of training…? "Gymnastics," Juno tells Rocket, because that's not entirely a lie. She can turn a mean cartwheel. And do lots of other, less wholesome things too. "Did you use a taser? Or a sonic weapon? Those are really expensive!" Juno bounces on her heels once or twice, ponytail bobbing. They're fun too, even if training with them made Sergei throw up afterward and it got on her shoe.

"Its pretty close," Peter's reply has a tinge of amusement to it. Wry and just a touch exasperated. "And I never do anythint to deserve it! You're just mad at the world and like to take it out on people." He aims towards Rocket in a bit of good-natured ribbing.

Whats a few insults among friends.

A pause. "And I don't know what he used, I just know I couldn't feel my legs for an hour. I mean really. That can't be safe to use on someone!" A pause again as he glances from Juno towards Rocket.

Gymnastics she says.

Juno and Gamora might have a thing in common. Somehow he thinks Gymnastics doesn't really cover all the training involved. Most gym teachers don't use tasers or sonic weapons.

Or maybe they do. This is Terra he has no idea how it works.

"Anyway, I'll tell Kitty. You two had a heck of a race. I haven't met anyone else who can do that ghost trick."

"Am no! Just on occasionally," Rocket snorts. "Most of the time I enjoy my work. And of course it wasn't s'pposed to be safe! It's a rifle! You want something quote-unquote /safe/, you get one of those dumb foam-tip launching things that they have two aisles down." Still, he chuckles. Nope, not the least bit sorry about shooting Peter Quill. It's become something more of a proud moment for him.

Glancing at Juno, the raccoon laughs that harsh laugh of his that Quill claims is fake but it's totally real. "Hahaha! Taser, that's cute. Naw, not quite sonic either. I mean, sonic just gets messy after a point."

And he's not going to completely disregard the claim to gymnastics. Use gymnastics just right with a gun or two and you're a regular killing machine.

"Anywho, think we're done here. We should probably get Groot- I think he's reached the wall by now, flarkin' cheater," he mutters.

But he seems like such a reasonable raccoon! …Then again, he doesn't like stuffed animals. Maybe Rocket really /is/ misanthropic wildlife…!

"Great!" Juno exclaims, bouncing one more time for emphasis. "Kitty really surprised me, I didn't think I would meet anybody else who can do it. And you raced too even though you can't!" He busted through two doors! It was awesome.

Gymnastics are a versatile art. You can do a lot of different things with the right application of momentum.

"Oh, okay. I'm going to go look at the toy helicopter. Have fun!" she waves, and walks right through the dang shelf. Rude!

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