Bite-Sized

January 28, 2018:

After a very strange night, Rocket somehow finds himself back at their place with a pint-sized tree pal.

Casa de AsGuardiana, aka the house that Phil built. Or something.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jane Foster, Atli, Rusalka Stojespal

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It had run out of things to rage at, but its anger had remained at a simmer and its form stubbornly held on. A tiny twig person had come up in front of it and waved. It opened its mouth and the twig vanished, only to reappear a moment later in a slimy wet puddle of slobber. The behemoth squinted at the tiny twig thing as it seemed to attempt beating it up. Then it climbed onto its back, and as though some rite of passage or some even stranger understanding had passed between the odd pair, the smaller climbed onto the larger, and the larger tromped off from the scene.

…it's the morning after. The previous events of the evening now past are a blur, and his head feels much like it does after having way too many drinks. What he does notice not long after is that it's cold and wet, and the reasons soon become clear to him for the fact that he's outside and had apparently been collapsed on the front lawn of their house. His clothes are in tatters, he's missing his guns-

"What…the…glarkin'…"

His words trail off, interrupted rudely by the sudden urge and subsequent follow through of a sneeze. "Ugggh…."


For the record, being inside of someone's mouth wasn't the greatest experience in the world. But it was different! And gross. Being as small as he was now, Groot should have been grateful he wasn't swallowed down whole by his bilgesnipe-raccoon buddy.

As Rocket sits in the haze of his memory, Groot ends up somewhere on the ground next to him. He's still asleep, tightly curled into a ball as if to keep himself warm from the elements, only twitching after the other Guardian sneezes. Dark eyes flutter open as he flops over and stretches, looking surprised and somewhat disturbed at the noise. Those eyes then turn upward at Rocket, big and questioning and who knows what.


Rocket scratches his head, his other hand absently tugging at what strips of cloth remain of his uniform. Blearily he turns his head as he notices the movement nearby, and at first he squints, then rubs at his eyes. He's got to be dreaming.

Slowly the memories trickle back in, the emotions that had accompanied the events gripping him even before the images come into focus. Groot, standing behind Jane, his branchlike arms embracing her in a futile effort to stop her, to get her to snap out of whatever power had overtaken her. Groot, with black flames exploding through those branches, the efforts to regrow, regenerate, far too quickly overtaken by the dispersion of destructive darkness, ripping him into splinters. Nothing was left, his pal was gone…

But then what's this sitting there, staring up at him. "Wh…." Rocket's voice hitches, his expression looking both lost and hopeful as he stares back. He has no idea what happened. He's almost afraid to voice it. But questions beg to be asked.

"…Groot…?"


The once-towering Guardian meets the staring, unblinking as he rolls onto his seat. Short legs splay outward toward him, wiggling as if they were numb from their previous position. From what he can tell, Rocket is trying to piece together what has happened hours ago; being able to read past the confusion is another story. Emotions had their turn of running high and low throughout the night for Groot, exhausting him since he is only a fraction of the vessel that could have contained them better.

Right now, though, he feels fine. A little less of a mess than Rocket, perhaps.

With the tilt of his rounded head, a small hand rises and waves. "I am Groot," comes a high-pitched response.


There's really no name to the sound that escapes the formerly smallest Guardian's throat as the tiny Groot responds, in a way undoubtedly like the Groot he's come to know so well. The meaning in those simple three words is even simpler, but for the size of the Groot in front of him and the mere fact that he can even parse anything from it at all are super effective.

"Groot!!" Rocket gasps as though just seeing the tree tyke for the first time, and he scoops the little thing up in a hug.


And suddenly the world blurs, its brightness swirling before turning dark. And furry.

Groot's voice is muffled in the hug, but he takes the cue from Rocket, hugging him as best as he can with his little arms. Once he frees his face from the fur, he gives Rocket one of his smiles, looking clueless yet aware of everything at the same time. "I am Groot?"


Rocket pulls Groot back, the little thing dangling from his hands like a doll. "Uh, I think? I…have no idea- wait." He gives Groot a shake, his brow furrowed. "What the heck happened! Why are you small? I saw you explode! And th- Ah…ah…."

He shakes his head, trying to hold back another sneeze. He fails, turning his head to miss sneezing all over Groot by mere inches. "Yeaugh. Let's continue inside. How long was I out? …why were we out here anyway?" Grumbling, Rocket drags himself to his feet, tucking Groot under an arm as he stumbles towards the door.


The tree blinks, his legs still dangling even if the motion of pulling him back for a better look finished seconds ago. "I am Groot," he says as he squints, blessing the sneeze that could have covered him from head to toe. Because that is what the Terrans say whenever someone sneezes. They also have tissues or a handkerchief to use. Or a sleeve. Groot has none of these items to give.

He means to continue talking, but Rocket has seniority in the way the conversation moves both figuratively and literally. "I am Groot," he gets in as he's shifted into another carried position, clinging onto the raccoon's arm. "I am Groot. I am Groot." He lets one arm gesture for a bit. "Iii am Groot."


It's okay, Rocket's got his arm. Well, he needs a bath anyway. And new clothes. Really, what even happened there.

"What? Wait- yeah. I remember that part. But…I don't get how…this." He shifts his arm a bit, lifting Groot in emphasis. "This is too weird. Also don't explain why I feel like I got thrown around in the Milano after an abrupt reentry," he mutters.

Indoors is comparably more comfortable than out, and Rocket's all too happy to close the door behind them. He tosses Groot onto the couch and all but collapses face-first onto a beanbag chair, his hand feeling around the side to hit the switch for the heating mechanism.

"I'm afraid'ta ask where my guns are," he murmurs, muffled in the upholstery.


"I am Groot!" At this point, Groot raises both arms up, wearing an expression that may be read as exasperation. Of course, being pint-sized means his explanations are no better than what he'd be saying if he was full-grown. His hands and arms fold back down onto his little tree hips, nodding as he looks at Rocket. "I am Groot."

And what does he get for helping? Nothing more than couch cushions. Bouncing, the tree skids into the next divot, struggling to sit himself upright as Rocket beanbags it up. "I am Groot," he grunts, sounding tiny and a little annoyed.


"That don't make sense!" Rocket snorts at the exasperated remark. "And you're weird! Lookit you! You're like…bite-sized!"

He pauses in his attempt to curl up and get comfortable in a bean bag nest when he hears Groot's response about his guns. "-you what?! Hey! They work fine! Why would you kick them! Brat!" he growls, pushing himself up as though making ready to go after the tree bit- and then collapsing back in place.


Bite-sized! The nerve of it all. And it does too make sense - even if he is missing a large chunk of why he grew back in the first place. But that doesn't matter, what matters is that he knows what he's talking about.

"I am Groot!" Groot has every right to kick something if it doesn't work. It's a free country! Finally getting back up onto his feet, the little ent balls his hands into tiny fists, ready to take on a raccoon that's three times his size…

…Only to be disappointed by Rocket's lack of energy. That aside, he still runs over to try swinging anyway.

In doing so, he ends up on the floor.


At the very least, Rocket turns his head so he doesn't accidentally suffocate himself on the chair. That would be pretty embarrassing and he's pretty sure Atli would be upset when she found him. And probably declare war on Sokovia or whatever Stooge-pal's land was called.

"No, because you might've exploded again if you actually did any damage to it. You know how I make those things," he mutters. A hand reaches over the edge of the bean bag cushioning, vaguely grasping in Groot's direction. "An' tiny'r not, I don't wanna see that happen again. You're so small right now that if you 'sploded, there'd be nothing left to piece together."


Scowling, Groot wastes no time in trying to get back up again, only to be grabbed for by Rocket's vaguely human-like paw before he can do anything more. While Rocket makes logical sense, he makes it a point to try flailing around. It doesn't last long, fortunately.

Slumping, Groot frowns, tightly folding his arms over each other. "I am Groot," he insists, not quite understanding his friend's concern but sort of getting the gist of what he means by 'nothing left to piece together.' Pieces are small. He is small. Any smaller and he can't do cool things.


Rocket deposits Groot on the bean bag seat's armrest before rolling over, his bushy tail nearly threatening to accidentally knock the tiny tree tot off again. "I'd say we go back and hope my stuff's still back there but between you an' me, I don't think I'd make it out the door. 'sides, it's cold. …an' something stinks."

He sniffs under an arm, scrunching up his nose. "Oh. Well that 'splains that at least." It seems that identifying the scent is all that he'd been concerned about as he closes his eyes and nuzzles into the warmth of the chair.


Once is enough. He grabs onto Rocket's tail as it brushes against him, legs working to keep his balance on whatever part of the armrest he's still standing on. He then clambers inward, still holding on despite being safe from falling again.

"I am Groot," he agrees, both with the plan to go out later to find stuff and of Rocket being smelly. His non-existent nose wrinkles, but he doesn't move his face away from the fur. Instead, he looks back over at Rocket, tilting his head slightly now that he's sleeping again.

Then Groot yawns. Following suit, the tiny ent decides to nestle into his friend's bush tail, using it as a makeshift bed. A few more hours of shuteye doesn't hurt none.

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