I Am Groot

February 10, 2018:

Dani goes to visit Rocket and Groot with apologies, beer and pizza.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

There are many things to find in the hangar at the Trisk.

Planes. Vehicles. People.


Along with what can be found within is also what can be smelled. Fuel, cleaning agents, and what's that?

Pizza too! There's the scent of melted cheese, tomato sauce and various forms of meats - like pepperoni, bacon, sausage.

It's that smell of food that precedes Danielle Moonstar's approach, as she appears with three large square boxes carefully held upon one arm, whereas her other holds a six-pack of beer. It's a sort of peace-offering she brings with her, realizing that the two she approaches sacrificed a lot during that final battle.

Peace of mind and almost the life of a friend.

So, while pizza doesn't necessarily fix everything, it's what Moonstar brings with her as she makes her way over to the Guardian's 'home' away from 'home'.

Technically 'home' is in the next hangar just a ways across, the Milano having been just as good a home as any place that Rocket and Groot had ever dwelled in. But here in the adjacent hangar where is housed one of the many quinjets, the space looks very 'lived in.' Literally.

There's a couch and what appears to be a home entertainment system with a screen projector in place of a television, because with all the blank wall space, what better way to put it to use? There's some odd speaker-like device sitting off to the side, only identifiable because it's playing music of the classic rock sort, and for once not blasting to be heard clear into the neighboring offices. Crumbs and things, signs of recent and past habitation, are scattered here and there.

Rocket's easy to spot, his tail sticking out from a hatch just below one of the quinjet's wings, the sounds of tinkering apparent. It's been nice to get back into the swing of things, normal things, things that he can wrap his head around.

After spending enough time in the hangar as the Guardians have, the giant walking tree was welcomed (well, sort of welcomed?) as a normal presence among those who were employed there. Of course, with the way things had gone within the last few weeks, it felt like something was missing.

Something big, in this case.

But somewhere on that lived-in couch in front of the home entertainment system lingers a familiar tree-like presence, crunching away on a bowl of popcorn. Or, to be more specific, the miniature tree-like person is somewhat sunk in between the couch cushions with the bowl of popcorn tipped toward him, spilling the fluff and kernels all over and around the spot he's made a home for himself in.

Despite his small stature, he can still smell a pizza from yards away. One, two sniffs, and the Baby Groot looks up from his absent-minded eating, wondering where it's coming from.

Dani's arrival is understated - just that smell of food heralding her arrival.

Of course, upon stepping into their particular hangar the black-haired woman can't quite miss that tail sticking out from a hatch.

A raccoon tail sticking out from that hatch. While Dani has seen *many* things in her short lifetime, there are just some things that make you stop and stare. This is one of them.

Thankfully, she doesn't stare long. She has seen things, after all, and she has manners.

Still, she's here for a reason and so, Moonstar clears her throat softly to announce her presence. Then she says, "Knock knock, anybody home?"

It's a rhetorical question since she can clearly see they are, but it's still asked.

"I brought pizza and beer." She continues with, staying near the entranceway of the hangar. Waiting for the two to be fully aware of her before she steps in further.

The slight movement upon the couch brings Dani's eyes over to it as Baby Groot looks up from his eating of popcorn.

The tinkling of metal and tools abruptly ceases once Dani speaks up, and Rocket ducks out of the open panel to look outside, his furry brows lifting. "Oh hey, look who's here," he says, a grin tugging at the corner of his mouth. He hops down the ladder, setting his wrench down before strolling over to greet the woman. Nearing the couch, he scoops Groot up to set over a shoulder, an odd reverse of the usual configuration for the two.

"Heya Dani. All this way'ta feed us? …can't say I'll complain." Pizza and beer? Practically a staple for them. Mmmmaybe a little less of the latter for Groot, given his current state.

"So um…how's…things?" Rocket asks, scratching his head as he tries not to be so awkward about it. He's not too sure how much anyone wanted to be reminded of what had happened, although at the same time he kind of wanted confirmation that everything turned out fine. That Dani's here is at least a positive thing, right?

Upon meeting Dani's gaze, Groot just stares up at their approaching guest. His brain then clicks, making the connection just as Rocket comes over to pick him up. The popcorn in his mouth and hands fall, boucing off of the raccoon's shoulder and suit onto the floor.

Now making himself comfortable on his friend's shoulder, the little ent clings, staying as steady as he can with each movement. Too used to being the one doing the walking, this is a much harder feat than it looks.

Still, he can appreciate free food and drink. He makes light grabbyhand gestures toward the pizza and beer, but it turns into a wave once he looks back up at Dani. "I am Groot," he says to her, not sounding anything like the big, tall Groot with the deep voice.

Dani hasn't really known Groot and Rocket long. And what she does recall is mostly from the days she was possessed, but even so, that doesn't stop the black-haired woman from seeing the juxtaposition between the two friends now.

The small one now tall. The large one now small.

It causes the briefest flashes of guilt to skitter across her features, before that's tucked behind a smile to the both of them. That awkwardness isn't lost on Dani, as she too feels the edge of that, but it likewise doesn't stop her from replying to what Rocket says and asks. "Things are okay." She answers, stepping closer to the two as they walk over to her. "Quiet now, thankfully." Which might possibly confirm for Rocket that things are all okay. "I thought I'd stop by and see how you both are doing. Along with an apology and thank you pizza." She says with a touch of a wry tone of humor to her voice, "Beer too, because beer makes everything better."

"Where do you want this?" She asks for the food and the beer, then her gaze turns to Groot when he offers that typical statement of his. "Hey, Groot. How's it going?"

The feeling's pretty mutual. What Rocket knows about Dani is mostly superficial; has a horse, uses a bow and arrow, used to be controlled by Bear, has some link to Bear (?), wanted to take down Bear. Quite frankly, the last part had been all that Rocket needed to know before he and Groot had jumped on board with the strange and mismatched band of fighters who had gathered that snowy day.

He holds his hands out to take the pizza boxes, nodding towards the coffee table that had probably previously found its use in one of the S.H.I.E.L.D. lounges. "There's fine. Uh…and yer welcome, I guess." This is all very weird for him. Usually people don't come bearing gifts or apologizing unless they wanted something, but then the apology still kind of sat there in its own little unusual spot. "Eh, I guess we're good as can be." He glances at Groot as he says this, because any Groot is better than the alternative, even though he's still at a loss for how this Groot came to be when all he'd seen left of his friend had been kindling.

"Glad to hear that everything's…okay, then." Really, that should be fine, right? No need to be filled in on the last half of the battle that he seems to have blanked completely upon for whatever reason.

His smallness has made lots of everday activities a challenge. Falling into sinks isn't that great, but it's a good size for a makeshift jacuzzi. Other than that, Groot has been doing pretty good.

Sometimes it feels like nothing's really changed after all that has happened, but it doesn't mean he's left unaware of the fact that he and the others had gone through drastic events. Although everything is still fuzzy around the edges, he can recall the finer points better than he could at the time he regenerated into…this.

Big, black eyes meet with Rocket's for a second, curious of the raccoon's awkwardness before returning to look at Dani. A nicer, non-possesed Dani. Her features are different from his current perspective, but he's slowly recognizing that this is the same person he's briefly met before.

"I am Groot."

He's okay. He's doing all right? He feels fine, anyway. Mostly.

When Rocket offers to take some of the pizza boxes Dani allows two to slide into his hands.

She continues to hold the third and the beer and when the coffee table is nodded at, that's where she heads to.

The six-pack of beer is set down first, then the pizza box, and once the pizza box is on the table the woman opens it. Inside is a cheese pizza, while the others hold a veggie pizza and then finally a meat supreme pizza. She sort of got one of everything as a just in case.

After all, do trees eat meat? Are they vegan? Those thoughts DID GO through her head as she ordered the pizza.

Groot's answer to Dani's question earns a glance from the woman, before she shifts her gaze to Rocket, then back to Groot again. "Good." She says to both of them, even if she can't quite parse exactly what Groot is saying, but since both are acting calm, Dani will assume what Groot said was a positive versus a negative.

For Dani, she reaches for a beer first and as she pops the tab, she can't quite stop herself from saying, "This is awkward, right? Sometimes battle is so much easier to deal with." And with that mention of battle the woman's brown eyes flick back to Rocket.

There's a thoughtful look from the woman, though she doesn't quite ask some of the questions that are floating around her head. After all, they deserve a slice of pizza and beer first.

Given that Groot seems to have no problems with chewing on bits of himself, veggie is probably fine. Rocket naturally goes for the meat supreme once he's flipped the boxes open. He plucks Groot off of his shoulder, setting him on the table to have at it.

"Eh, tell me about it," the raccoonoid snorts, seeming in agreement with Dani. He takes a moment to scarf down his current slice of pizza, licking off cheesey fingers. "Easier shooting and 'sploding things until your problem's gone, and then you go back to life." He eyes the other pizzas before deciding he'll help himself to a beer first, fingers hooking the tab for that refreshing *hsst* as he cracks the can open.

"'cept this battle, I wasn't really sure, you know? I remember shooting, but the problem didn't get taken care of." Would he have been upset if he'd harmed Jane or Jane's body at that moment? He probably wouldn't have cared. All that had mattered then was revenge. Except all he remembers after that point is fuzzy. Scowling at himself, he lifts his can of beer for a long swig.

As soon as the pizza boxes are set and open, Groot is already distracted. His little legs are kicking back and forth when Rocket picks him up, teeter-tottering the moment he's free to run across the coffee table.

Like a small drunken man, the tree goes stumbling over to the nearest pizza, yanking a slice free for consumption. He's content to sit there, too, taking a huge bite as Dani and Rocket continue to speak over him.

Not that he minds - preoccupying himself with a slice that practically covers him like a pizza blanket is all that matters at the moment. It beats trying to wrack his brains in an attempt to understand what went down during the battle between friends.

Groot running for the pizza pulls a grin from the black-haired woman. When he proceeds to pick up a slice that's possibly bigger than him, well, that earns a chuckle from her as well.

She'll watch the little guy gobble down that slice, before her attention shifts back to Rocket. It's that last part of what he says that causes Dani to nod. Her expression likewise sobers at that thought, even as she sits herself down upon the floor, versus towering over the two Guardians.

"You weren't the only ones wondering whether we were going to win or lose." She says, her hand reaching for a slice of pizza finally. "We all shared that worry." The slice of cheese pizza is set upon her jean covered knee, unmindful of the grease that immediately soaks into her pantleg. "But we defeated the Bear and got both of them back. For that I wanted to say thank you." She says, formally stating her thanks to both Tree and Raccoon.

Dani snags a second beer and pops the tab and while she was just about to set it near Groot, the woman pauses, glancing over to Rocket for a minute. A non-verbal question there - can he have a beer?

And while she waits for that answer, the Cheyenne continues with a more verbal question. "At the end there -" She says, a pointed look at Rocket, "What happened to you? What I can get from Brightwind is you smelled like home to him." Which means Asgard, or Asgardian Magic to the Agent of SHIELD.

That should keep the little guy out of trouble for now. When Dani looks like she's about to give Groot a beer, Rocket shakes his head emphatically. Oh, he knows the kid'll complain about it but dangit if he's a baby then no alcohol for him!

His fingers hovering over another pizza, cheese, he sighs in relief at the news. "Oh good. That's…that's good." He means it, because Jane and Bucky had been something like friends. Not terribly close, but they were all right.

He chews on this slice a bit more slowly, ears perking as Dani looks at him with the direction of her next question. "Buh?" he asks, cheese strung between his mouth and the bit of pizza in his hand. He frowns, resuming his chewing, but he's thinking on what Dani says. There's a lot of info he's missing here, and what Dani mentions doesn't really explain enough to him. He probably hasn't even realized he's dealing with another Asgardian.

"Honestly, that's a question I'd like to know. I blacked out or somethin' after that bot-suit came down and took my shots instead'a Jane. Woke up on our front lawn with Groot in bite-sized form and my clothes all torn to shreds. Was kinda hoping you could fill me in on that. …and where'sactly's home?"

For something so tiny as Groot is, he makes the pizza disappear quickly. As Dani almost gives him a beer, Groot is already reaching out with a hand for it. (As if he can actually grab the whole can with one hand at his height.) When the beer is denied once again by his current Parental Guardian, his hand closes up again, drawing it back toward his body. His mouth presses into a firm line, emitting a noise that sounds like a low, child-like rumble of displeasure.

One day. One day he'll be able to drink the drink.

Just not today.

"I am Groot," he adds once he's thoroughly distracted by the pizza again, his own account not any clearer than what Rocket remembers. He just knows Rocket didn't look like Rocket for a while.

That empathic head shake from Rocket causes Dani to retract that offer of beer.

"Sorry buddy." The woman says quickly enough, even as she sets that second can of beer near her first. "Maybe next time." She adds, even as she returns to her slice of pizza.

Then it's back to Rocket as Moonstar considers how to explain what she saw that night. Even for her there are parts from the battle that blur together and other snippets that are remembered with a terrible and almost painful clarity. One shard of memory clearly recalls the beast that attacked the Bear. The bilgesnipe.

And while she could start with that, Dani instead answers that very last question. About where exactly home is. "Brightwind is from Asgard. He sensed something that reminded him of Asgard, which I suppose brings us to our next question of - have either of you ever been to Asgard?" Dani asks, a look sent between Groot and Rocket, even as she finally manages to take a bite of pizza.

Rocket eyes the tree tyke, but at least Groot doesn't throw a tantrum for being denied a drink. He's enjoying his own beer in spite of that, sitting on the floor and leaning against the couch so that he's within easy range of the table and another slice of pizza.

"….uuuuh…" Well, that's a promising response. At least it seems Dani nor her horse are familiar with the antics that had gotten them grounded on Terra.

"Eeehhhhyeaaaah….but that was like, over a year ago. Although we also live with an Asgardian and her goat," he adds, although he has no idea why that would make a difference that the horse would smell some whiff of Asgard at such a point. …unless…

He accepts Dani's apology…for now. He'll probably go wild on something trivial later on while Rocket is keeping an eye on him. Or maybe he'll do it when Peter Quill is around. Who knows.

Groot does, however, look back at Rocket as he chews his pizza with his mouth open. Because pizza mush. Be glad he's not getting it everywhere.

The question about Asgard does bring the plant to pause for a bit, causing him to blink. Asgard? He's sure he's heard of that before. Rocket seems to know about it, so that means he does know, but not exactly? Because he knows who Atli is. And her goat. But what does that have to do with pizza? Asgard. "…I am Groot?"

A few more bites of pizza are taken as Rocket picks up the thread of conversation. At the revelation that another Asgardian is here upon Earth, with a goat, Dani's eyes widen. It's enough for her flick a sharp look between Rocket and Groot, as she asks, "What this Asgardian's name?" There's a note of curiousness to her voice, but the question might become something more rhetorical, as Dani realizes Rocket doesn't understand what necessarily happened there at the end of the battle.

She considers for a brief moment how to explain what was seen. IT's enough to possibly cause a short lull in the conversation, even after Groot offers his question. Or is that concern. Or maybe it's just his thoughts? There definitely needs to be a Groot translator for what the little Tree is really saying.

"At the very end of the battle." Dani explains, "There was a creature that attacked the Bear. It's this creature that Brightwind impressed to me came from his home. Let me see if I can show you -"

And carefully now, with hands free of pizza or beer, the woman cups her palms together. A mote of magenta energy appears and while she's only ever made weaponry with her psionic powers tonight she strives for something more. Instead of spear or bow, arrow or dagger, Moonstar pushes her powers to take shape of a creature from legend.

A bilgesnipe.

The psionic energy shifts and twists and eventually takes the shape of that antlered beast. It's a terrible thing, deadly and scary, and caught in a silent snarl.

Sweat beads upon Moonstar's forehead as she strives to hold the psionic construct before the two. "This. Does this look familiar to you both?"

He's taking longer with this slice of pizza, his chewing even slowed as Rocket starts to run through the possibilities. They've had very few instances with Asgardians here on Terra, so it's not difficult to run through such in his head. Distractedly he nods at Groot's question, apparently having understood it despite the phrase being delivered in typical Groot-ese.

"Yeah, that's right. Atli," he says, confirming for Groot, and in turn answering Dani's question to follow. His eyes focus back upon the woman as she speaks about the battle again, but by then Rocket's already started to get an inkling of what might have happened, and he's not so sure of how he feels about it.

"….." Red-brown eyes watch as Dani begins to recreate the creature in question with her power, his brow furrowing in displeasure. There's no doubt about it that the beast looks familiar. "…yeaaah. That. Um. That explains a lot, actually."

Scowling, Rocket slips a hand into his pocket, drawing out some kind of old looking rectangular pendant, engraved with a pair of stylized serpents entwined with each grasping the other's tail in its mouth. He makes a face. "A good long while back, we ran into this guy who had this, he turned into… that and then turned back after we beat him around a bit. Atli said it was Loki's or something and we were lookin' for him but that's a long, whole other story so I'll spare the details."

At first, Groot is enraptured by Dani's ability to conjure up a magenta-colored energy thing. He can't do that, and he doesn't know anyone else who can do that on the fly. Plus it's pretty to look at. Pretty enough to let him drop the crust of his pizza slice. "Aaah…"

It's the image of the bilgesnipe makes Groot jump to his feet, clattering around until he's stable. He sort of screams-gasps at it, jabbing a stubby finger in its direction. "I am Groot!" The flash of a memory falls in step with Rocket's, but the pause then leads him to point at Rocket afterward. "…I am Groot!"

The name of the other Asgardian - Atli - is set aside for later consideration. For now, Dani stays focused upon the shape she's created from her own powers.

The creature stays solid for a handful of seconds more, before it finally starts to weaken, to fade, and then with a slight pop of pink light, it disappears all together. Thankfully, though, both Groot and Rocket had enough time to see the animal she had made.

Dropping her hands, Dani takes a moment to compose herself, to wipe off her forehead, before her attention shifts to Groot with his scream-shout. Even if the topic at hand isn't necessarily something to smile about, the little tree's reaction still garners a small smile from the Cheyenne. Until, that is, her gaze moves back to Rocket and the amulet he holds in his hand. The mention of Loki brings her brown eyes up off the necklace and to the raccoon's face, "Loki's." She states, an edge of concern there, since Dani has some familiarity with the Asgardian Pantheon. "Better be careful with that." She adds with a soft mutter, her eyes dropping back to the medallion that Rocket holds.

"Magical artifacts have a way of causing trouble. Is it bound to you?" She asks, attention shifting between both raccoon and tree.

Rocket stares at Groot's accusation. "What- you knew?! Why didn't you tell me I was a big slobbering monster! That coulda helped explain a lot, you know!"

He glances back at the thing in his hand, shrugging at Dani. Then he reaches over to offer her another beer. "Neat trick there. But uh…yeah. Not that Loki seemed to have any idea of what Atli was accusing him of when we found him, but I think from the start we were sorta on a wild zarglaf chase.

"Anyway, I have no idea. I don't think it's bound or anything? Atli had it for a while an' passed it off to me to hold and we sort of all forgot about it." Shaking his head, he reaches for his beer again. He's going to need…another.

"I am Groot!" Groot yells at Rocket, stomping a little foot on the coffee table. With that, he toddles a few steps back to pick up the crust he dropped earlier, tossing it in the raccoon's direction with gusto.

And it skids across the table before rolling off onto the floor.

"It's good that it doesn't seem to be bound to you." Dani states, "Otherwise we might have had another magical problem on our hands." Now she looks to Groot, "When does he usually change?" She asks, "Just during high emotional states?"

As for that proffered beer, Dan is never one to pass up the opportunity for another beer, especially in this type of situation. Awkward from what occurred during her possession and now slightly awkward again as the two friends argue between one another.

At least, Dani thinks they're arguing. It's hard to tell when she can only understand /half/ of what's being said.

A sip or two of the beer is taken before the Cheyenne says aside to Rocket, "I can't say I understand any of what he's saying, but that sure did sound just a little angry there." She muses, her gaze tracking that pizza crust as it skids across the table and subsequently falls.

Rocket just looks at the tantrum-throwing tree tyke, his eyes shifting towards the skidding pizza crust as it fails to hit its mark altogether. Then he looks back at Groot.

"You were tryin' to throw that at me." Pause. "An' no you didn't, and how dare you call me that."

He looks at Dani with an expression that seems to ask 'see what I have to deal with now?' "The little turd definitely has some anger issues. Normally he's the mellow one. This is weird," he mutters as he takes another long drink.

Seeing how the pizza crust attempt fails to do the job, Groot is left standing there with his little fists balled up, staring at the dotty grease trail it leaves behind.

Dark, black eyes shoot a quick look in Dani's direction as if he takes offense to what she says about his height vs. emotional state of being. It just as easily changes when Rocket goes on ahead with the 'little turd' comment; as soon as the Guardian finishes saying that, the pint-sized ent runs and jumps onto the couch in a rage, scrambling up the cushions to mindlessly punch Rocket's thigh several times. Fortunately, his punches are too weak to do any real damage, feeling more like bark-covered cat paws trying to catch something.

A curious look turns to Rocket and almost Dani asks 'what did he call you', but before she can even think about really asking that question, Rocket continues to talk and Groot takes offense.

When the little Tree turns a /look/ upon her, the Valkyrie does what any good Valkyrie would do in this situation. She just raises her hands upward in a rather apologetic manner. A 'sorry man' silently sent with that gesture of hers.

It's only when Groot runs at Rocket that Dani sets her beer aside. Though what's she going to do in this situation she isn't quite sure of. The X-Men never prepared her for a talking raccoon or a talking tree, especially fighting ones.

"Perhaps we should switch topics."

Rolling his eyes as Groot further proves his point, Rocket half-heartedly bats the little one's attacks away with a hand.

"You keep that up and I'm gonna stick you in my armpit," he says. Nodding at Dani, the raccoonoid then pauses at the continued attempted beating from the little Groot. "…. Okay, that's it."

He reaches over and scruffs the flailing twig, stuffing him under an arm.

Groot would have accepted the apology…if he were paying close attention to Dani at the time. His older self would have nodded and be appalled by his current actions.

But even that doesn't stop tiny Groot from doing it. He's still growling as Rocket scruffs him, arms and legs windmilling, everything blurring into black. And fur. And stench.

A muffled scream is heard, but it won't help him. He did it to himself.

'Stick you in my armpit' -

While that's not necessarily the weirdest thing Dani has ever heard it still causes the woman to open her mouth to say something. Anything. But, really, what can you say to that? So, the woman watches and takes another drink from her beer.

The only way this could get any worse is if Brightwind joined in and thankfully, the pegasus is elsewhere in his own little 'stable' here within the hangar of the Triskelion. She considers the two next to her, the Raccoon and the Tree, "What is he upset about?" She asks, her question low, as if that might make it less likely that Groot will here. Though perhaps he won't hear what with being shoved in Rocket's armpit.

"Eh, who knows. I think he's just cranky," Rocket says with a shrug. He seems to ignore the squealing tree otherwise, or at least for the moment. "Give it a few, he'll be fine."

Seeming unbothered by his treatment of his friend, Rocket grabs another slice of pizza to inhale. "Oh- I needa ask. What happened to the soul gem?"

Cranky is something she can understand. It's enough to settle the Valkyrie back down as she considers that last question of Rocket's.

"Jane still has it." She finally answers, her beer set aside. "I think once everything is all said and done they'll give it back to Kitty, but I do know there was an issue they wanted to wrap up before sending it back to you guys." Namely the fact that Jessica Jones, PI, was trapped within that gem.

"The demon bear aside, it seemed like you and your friends kept that gem pretty safe. I'd imagine -" And she knocks her knuckles against the coffee table the trio is near, "We won't be running into something extreme like that for some time, so hopefully you won't have too much trouble with it."

And here is where Dani's expression shifts slightly, "Though that brings up a question - Doctor Strange, for all his power, needs help against these sorts of incursions. I'm asking the people who fought against the bear to be a frontline sort of force against future craziness. I'd be happy to have you there with us, though I completely understand if you'd rather not. You both paid a heavy price that night." That last line holds a grim note from the woman, before she adds, "Which I'm sorry for."

Under the discussion of the gem stone, the flailing tree baby slows to pitiful hits against the raccoon's arm. After another handful of seconds, he goes limp altogether, tired out by all of the activity brought on by overabundant anger.

…Or maybe he's dead from inhaling too much Rocket funk.

He'll be fine; the talking is more important than Groot's newfound sullenness.

So the thing's still around. Rocket nods, glad that at least they know where it is. "I hope said issue don't involve any more soul-suckin' monsters," he notes. He would have been pretty surprised to hear that Jessica was stuck in the thing though. It's been a while since he'd last spoken to her much less seen her.

"Oh, that's mostly been Kitty. Honestly I think it woulda been better if the thing disappeared with everything else." Less things coming after their friends that way.

Rocket finally glances back at Groot's little form now that he seems to have quieted a bit. He loosens his hold around the tree bit, setting him down. And then as though to forestall a second round of tantrums, the raccoonoid all but covers Groot with another slice of pizza- which to be fair is about all one can do when said pizza is nearly as big as your former big bud.

"Strange… Oh yeah, the guy with the cape? Weird taste in clothes? Huh… Well, I dunno. I mean…usually we Guardians ain't against fightin' overpowered super beings and megalomaniacs an' monsters but this was kinda off our usual scale." His eyes fall thoughtfully towards Groot again, especially in reflection as per Dani's words. He nearly lost his friend, and still isn't sure why Groot is still here at all.

Better if the thing disappeared - for those words of Rockets, Dani can't stop a nod of agreement.

There are some things better left alone and things that influence the soul, or steal them, are definitely on that list.

The mention of Strange and his clothes earns a grin from the woman. "I think that's a prerequisite for his job." She remarks in a wry tone, obviously amused at what the Raccoon says. Though that amusement sobers soon enough with Rocket's next words.

"I think we were all caught off guard by this beast." She begins, before she shakes her head, "Or perhaps from the power of it." She shrugs, her beer reached for again, even as she too shifts her attention to the little Tree. "It's up to you and your group and it's no pressure. If you guys say no, then no it is. I understand."

Sliding out from the raccoon's armpit, Groot slumps back down into the cushions, his posture somewhat corrected with Rocket's help. He inhales, pausing as another slice of pizza is draped over him. He immediately digs into it, chewing away at its edges.

Large eyes do roam from the original pizza focus, however, glancing back over at Dani when she looks his way. While he missed a chunk of the conversation, he has an inkling there is business to be done. Stuff to fight off. Danger.

All things interesting, in a way. Another bite, and Groot looks back up at Rocket to see what he says.

Rocket absently pats Groot on the head. "…well. I know there's really no warning for stuff like that happening. An' we're stuck here for now, so it'd probably be in our best interests to do something if any threats came around anyway…"

It's difficult to shake the 'what's in it for me' mentality, but in this case Rocket's making excuses. They've risked their lives for others before. They were even considered heroes, sometimes. And so far they've been able to stand against the things thrown at them. Definitely not without some close calls, but none of them were, for a fact, pushovers. Of course, they weren't exactly with their full team, but that hasn't stopped them yet.

"Talk to Quill and Kitty. They're goodie-goodies and will probably say yes or somethin', but I'll go along with it, whatever the answer might be."

A smile is sent in Groot's general direction, before Dani turns her attention back to Rocket. "No, there's not often a lot of warning, but when has that ever stopped any of us." Jokes the black-haired woman lightly, "But I understand." She continues with, her beer quickly finished off with a few last gulps. "I'll talk to Quill and Kitty and see what they say and then we can go from there."

And while it's clear Dani is starting to wind this particular visit down, the Cheyenne pauses before she offers her farewells.

"Whether you join or not I wanted to make sure you both knew how much I appreciated your help back there with the Bear. Thank you. I owe both of you for the help back there."

"I need to get back down to the lower levels, but you two keep the pizza and the last of the beer. I'm sure we'll catch each other later."

"…glad we were able to do something," Rocket replies. Maybe it may have been mostly out of a self-centered desire to get back at something that dared to mess with his friends, but he and Groot hadn't jumped in without realizing the threat on the larger scale. They'd helped, and somehow their team ended up on top. That's good enough for him, and Dani's sincere in her appreciation and thanks. She even brought them food and stuff!

"All right. See ya around, Dani." The fuzzy Guardian waves after her, and then scowls at the little tree being beside him. "That's gross, you know that?"

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