Better Homes and Gardens

June 30, 2017:

Secret hideouts aren't supposed to be spruced up.

Shadowcrest Manor


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Shadowcrest Manor…'s obscenely large front lawn. In the ever-changing history of man, it started from very humble beginnings as fodder for livestock, reinvented and dressed up over the course of centuries to become a symbol of inexplicable wealth and high status.

But to anyone who doesn't know or hardly cares about its worth, it's just a huge, spacious piece of grass that gets a flower bed. Or a row of shrubs. Even a few trees can be considered fashionable. And since this particular lawn belongs to Zatanna, one can think she's going for a classic look.

…A classic look with a Tuff Shed that's smack dab in the middle of one giant green half.

But it's not just a Tuff Shed anymore! Its durable panels and roofing have been covered in green, vines and flowers flourishing under the sun, draping every which way as it touches down onto the ground. There's also a small pile of rocks next to a wall, but it seems like a sad afterthought.

All in all, it's a very picturesque scenery. And if you didn't look too hard, that greenery covered shed looks like it was meant to be there the whole time, an actual part of the manor's layout and not some horribly tacky afterthought built out of convenience. Groot's done a lovely job with the place. Too lovely.


The exclamation heralds none other than the smallest of the Guardians as he comes up the walkway carrying his latest loads of gadgetry and pizza boxes in preparation of another long night of techno-outfitting and Netflix binging. He stops in front of the shed, glaring at the flowery, vine-covered thing that's supposed to be their house.

There is only one Guardian who can glam up a a homely shed into a fairy garden townhouse, and the culprit is present. In fact, he's been hiding behind the greenery, slowly peering out from among the mass of flowers. Wait - some of those flowers are attached to his own head, wreathed into a flower crown.

"I am Groooot~?"

With a grin to match his level of childlike enthusiasm, Groot sounds pretty proud of himself. Rocket's reaction is something he expected, but he's surely misinterpreting what his little friend means by it.

Rocket's brow furrows as he spies Groot amongst the foliage. It's like one of those kiddie games where you have to look for the hidden things in the picture. If he didn't have his hands full right now, he would have smacked a hand against his face.

"What are you doing? I know I said we should probably camouflage the place but I didn't tell you to make it all frou-frou princessy!" he grumbles, stomping closer. The effect's pretty much lost when you have tiny, fuzzy feet and are walking on puffy grass. Setting the pizza boxes and his pack down, he reaches up to poke at a few vines and flowers. "I /knew/ we shouldn't have watched that movie. I could just see it in your eyes, gettin' all those crazy ideas the moment those three fat ladies started making the place light up all red and blue! Am I supposed to expect square trees next?" He shoots Groot a look, folding his arms.

The tree pouts a little, the bark around where his cheek should be expanding slightly before deflating back against his face. "I am Groot," Groot says, sounding a little offended as he steps out to the side. In one hand, he holds a copy of the latest issue of the 'Better Homes and Gardens' magazine. "I am Groot!" The cover is tapped lightly, emphasizing the proof that his influences aren't just from three little ladies of small stature.

He does, however, hesitate when Rocket asks him about square trees. "I…am Groot?" Because he wasn't thinking about that at all. No sir.

Now his clawed hand goes up. Presses against face. Slides down muzzle.

"Oh! So you think that's better? Isn't that a magazine for little old ladies and middle-aged women??" Rocket steps over to grab the thing from Groot so he can flip through it. "What is this crap? I hope you weren't going to decorate the inside of this place either! There's no room for- oh hey, apple strudels."

His momentary distraction breaks as he looks back towards Groot, squinting. "Don't even think about it."

He seriously didn't correlate the common themes between the movie and the magazine. It wasn't a perfect correlation, but it made some sense now that he was given these details.

Groot is so used to his fuzzy pal's mannerisms that he naturally shrinks back at the magazine grab, leans forward when the strudels are mentioned, then shrinks back again when the raccoon eyes him witht that raccoon squint. With a thoughtful pause and a squint of his own, he holds up an index finger and a thumb like he's carefully squishing an invisible bean between them. "I am Groot?"

That there's the judgmental stare. Coming from a raccoon (who totally isn't), it's even more severe for the beady eyes beneath the fuzzy brow. Rocket sighs, shaking his head before shoving the magazine back in Groot's direction.

"We're trying to be inconspicuous. Square trees aren't exactly going to help with that, you know? And anyway look, our pizza's gonna get cold." He makes a grab for his stuff again before turning to reach for-


"…great, I can't even find the handle. Or the door for that matter. You don't think you went overboard, just a little?"

A sheepish grin is all Groot can offer in response to the stare. He does sigh when he sees the point Rocket makes about having a 'hidden' hideout, slightly crestfallen since square trees would look rad next to it.

"I am Groot," he nods, cradling the magazine against his wooden chest. The least he can do is spruce up the interior a tiny bit. If it's even allowed at all.

Speaking of interior, Rocket can't find the door. Groot blinks. "I am Groot!" He lumbers over, digging past the vines and leafy bits. As he opens the door, he pauses, tilting his head to the side. "…Hm. I am Groot."

Oh look, they do still have a door after all! Casting a look at the doorway after Groot digs for it, Rocket looks flatly at his tree friend. "You don't say." Shaking his head, he gives it another eyeballing before stepping back. Yeah, he's not going to be able to get through there with all his stuff.

Well. The excess of plant life /does/ pose a problem for entry. After taking another look at it, Groot gathers a handful of long vines, snapping them from the roof with a simple tug. He then gathers it together, tossing it off to the side.

"I am Groot," he says, ushering Rocket in while moving to pick up whatever he can't.

Rocket watches Groot work, nodding. "That works." He slips inside, bracing himself for some kind of interior makeover and secretly glad that Groot hasn't attempted any experimentation with that, given all the television shows he'd been watching. How long that will last….

"All right, hopefully all your overgrowth doesn't dampen the wireless signal," he says as he sets the pizza boxes down so he can dig out the remote for their TV.

He hasn't been able to decide where to begin indoors. There's just so much to do, and so many shows and movies to watch! Groot agrees on that note with an approving grunt, ready for another round of mindless binge-watching.

And if the camo of foliage does mess with the signal, they can always fix that problem with a square tree.

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