Rooftop Space Gossip

July 17, 2018:

Rocket and Groot come by Valkyrie's rooftop hideout for a visit.

A Hell's Kitchen Rooftop That Did Not Explode

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Captain Marvel

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The fates have not been kind to Brunnhilde of Asgard in several centuries. But they threw her a bone recently. The Hell's Kitchen bombings could have easily damaged or levelled the building her cloaked ship sits atop. That would have damaged her already-wobbly ship at best - destroyed it and revealed her at worst. As it stands, the nearest explosion with several blocks away. Still, things have been a mess. She would never consider herself heroic - not anymore, but in the days after the disaster, she did what she could to assist.

And considering she can lift considerably more than a human being, she did manage to help quite a bit. For awhile, that is, until other heroes and the authorities rolled in. Then she made herself scarce. She's already drawn enough attention to herself.

She's sitting now on the edge of her cloaked ship, so it looks like she's hovering a few feet off the ground. She is, naturally, drinking. It's out of a stainless steel bottle rather than glass, so she may have found some bootleg off-world liquor.

*

And they say he's the volatile one. They go on one space trip to take care of some crazy god-killer or something and get back to find a part of New York smoldering and in ruins. By then most of the fires were out and the rubble cleared out or yet in the process of. Still, what a wreck. Terrans can still be the worst, so far as Rocket can figure. They go at it with each other, no need for foreign influence of the extra-terrestrial kind.

"Well, looks like you lucked out."

The voice speaks up from behind Val, the raccoonoid landing lightly on the roof as he deactivates his aero-rig. Seemed a better option than flying any ship out, and surely Valkyrie would appreciate keeping things on the down-low. He slings his backpack over his shoulder and sets it down, unzipping it. "Hey, we're here."

*

From within the confines of the backpack, a small yawn escapes a small tree friend. He rubs the sleep from his eyes as he notices the shift in their means of transportation, slipping away from earlier dozing into a more conscious state of wakefulness.

A few seconds later and a tiny, twig-like hand reaches out from the zipper, quickly followed by another hand and a wooden head with dark round eyes peering up and out at his new surroundings. Groot is curious enough to clamber all the way out, thankfully, bouncing down next to Rocket as he looks at Val.

A pause. And he waves. "I am Groot."

*

There's a moment when Val's hand goes to the sword at her side, but she calms when she sees the approaching figure is both small and familiar. She lets go of the hilt and relaxes a little. Her eyes are a touch glassy, but she's not too far gone. "We? Who's….?" She pauses, tilts her head, squints at the small twig, squints at her bottle, squints at small twig. She slides off the invisible ship and lands steadily if a bit heavily. She approaches. She kneels. "A Groot. Huh. Hello there." Then she looks up at Rocket. "Now I wish I'd taken that Groot elective in school. It's one of the few languages that doesn't seem to parse with Allspeak."

*

"Quill and Kitty are who knows where so I figured it couldn't hurt to bring him along," Rocket says, straightening as he turns his head towards Val. At least from where she'd been he can roughly figure out where the rest of the ship is for all its invisible glory.

"Huh. Didn't know it was a thing." He figured Groot-ese was just…Groot. But not like he's come across any others to know, and it had taken him a while to get a handle on it himself.

"So how's it been? You find all your uh…cargo yet?"

*

"I am Groot," Groot seemingly repeats as Val kneels to get a better look at him. He does the same, puffing out his chest a little as he tries to match her height with little success. He also sounds somewhat surprised that the language elective is a thing. He learns new things every day.

Standing turns into circling around the Valkyrie, his attention span easily swayed now that Rocket continues things from here.

*

"I've given up on that. Or rather, given up on the idea of tracking them down myself. I've offered my services to planetary security. While they're keeping their eyes out for big, organized threats, they're not necessarily capturing the criminals who slip in the back way." Valkyrie grins a little at Groot. She doesn't do that easily, but apparently she has a few soft spots after all. She straightens, then offers the bottle to Rocket. It's heavy, and the liquid inside is…potent, but not unpalatable for non-Asgardians.

She looks down at the small one, then reaches into a pocket on her belt. She produces a small clear ball. She drops it. As it hits the surface of the roof, it bounces and lights up.

*

Furry brows lift at that. "Oh yeah? Huh. Planetary security, eh? How much they payin'?" Rocket seems honestly surprised at the occupation shift, but then he supposes it makes sense, especially if someone's stuck here for an indefinite time. And maybe it's better overall this way for… Well, maybe not everyone, but the ones who'd gotten freed when Valkyrie crash-landed might have a better chance finding their own way home so long as they didn't cause too much trouble.

He takes the bottle that's offered to him, sniffing at it before he has a swig. One mouthful's all it takes, and it burns all the way down. Rocket manages not to sputter, but he does gasp a bit after a cough, wiping off his mouth with the back of a clawed hand. "Wow…" Eyeing the bottle again, he takes another drink, with similar results.

*

A grin for a grin! Groot is pleased to meet new people. New people means new friends. Of course, not many people instantly become new friends, but at the moment Groot has his priorities sorted out.

Then those priorities change course when Val lets Rocket take a swing of her bootleg bottle of hooch. Miway through trotting circles around Val, he trails back over to his furry friend, wanting a sip since it seems like the thing to do. Luckily for Rocket, Groot's attention is captured once again the moment Val bounces the ball of light, turning fully to look up at it. "I am Grooot."

*

"Right now I'm only asking that they not deport me. Or throw me in some maximum security prison." 'Right now.' "I need to prove my worth, I suppose. Show that I can provide a service they need. And maybe at some point, I'll round up my prisoners and bring them back to the Grandmaster. But the time in which he would have been wholly forgiving of my absence has passed. Going back now is a risk. Going back empty-handed?" Valkyrie reaches for the bottle, perhaps because she saw the small one eyeing it. She takes a swig of her own. If it burns her, she doesn't show it. "…well, let's just say he has a giant stick that he likes to melt people with." She really did set that up to be vague. That wasn't vague.

She swigs again, then bounces the ball once more. She lets it fly up into the night air, then deftly catches it before it hits the roof again. She looks to Rocket for permission, and if the other alien doesn't disapprove, she'll hand the shiny orb to the small creature.

*

Rocket is saved having to explain to Groot why he can't drink this and Rocket can. He grins slightly as the little tree tyke has something else to entertain him, so the grown-ups can talk. Hopefully Groot doesn't go chasing the thing off the roof.

"Deport? How're they gonna do that? Our ships are better than anything they've got anyway. We could leave if we wanted to." But as Val goes on, he nods slowly. "Huh. Yeah, guess that's a thing." He hands the bottle of booze back. "Melting people? Eesh. Why can't he just shoot or blow people up like normal?" Because that's totally normal to do.

"-wait, who'd you run into? Or maybe I should ask, who're you working for?"

*

Yes. Shiny, good. He's definitely grabbing for the shiny orb now, eagerly clinging onto Val's hand for a brief second before taking complete hold of it. "I am Groot!" Excited, he tries a few experimental bounces of his own. The ball seems to do the same thing, sparkling a bit every time it does so. "I am Groot!"

He'll be fine. Don't worry.

*

"He likes theatrics. And I will say, the melting stick does tend to only melt what it touches." Valkyrie makes a vague hand motion. She offers the bottle out again. "My ship is technically better, but it's still got the problem of missing chunks of hull. I could probably fly it to the other side of the planet with a few more repairs, but breaking atmo is still a challenge."

She looks down at the bouncing ball and Groot. She mouths, 'Don't worry, it's deactivated,' to Rocket. Hey. She's not carrying around a toy. That's some serious bounty hunting equipment. "I'm not sure which acronym she's with. Have you ever met a species more infatuated with making words spell other words?"

*

"Theatrics, that what they call it?" Rocket makes a face. Clearly this Grandmaster guy's off his rocker. With a name or title like that? Most definitely seems the case. "Well if any surprise ships drop into Terran atmosphere again, I'll keep an eye out for some good hull replacements." It's not at all impossible, especially considering that not a few weeks ago one such ship had appeared at the X-grounds.

He flicks a look between the bouncing ball and Valkyrie at her reassurance, not looking too concerned, but grateful nevertheless. Really, he's not one to talk when it comes to child safety or lack thereof, considering everything that he keeps around his own place.

"…acronym? Oh, like SHIELD? Yeah, no kiddin', these Terrans! —waaait, wait, was this she wearing red and blue or something and going off about being illegal and concerned about if you'd be causing this planet trouble?"

*

Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

The last bounce is a doozy, especially since they're on a roof. Big eyes watch where the ball goes as his little stump feet move under it, the catch rough enough to push Groot down into a seated position. But that's not his main concern. He picks up on the thing about 'breaking atmo' from Val and the description Rocket throws out, the latter pinging his memory in an instant. "I am Groot?" Which may have sounded like 'Ursula?' turned sidesways if one really listens for the nuances.

*

Valkyrie snap-points at Rocket at the description. "That's the one. I know her type. As do you, I'd imagine. The Nova Corps is full of that particular personality." She suddenly leans back into what would be a dead drop normally. Instead, she leans against air on a slight angle. At least the cloak is holding strong. There's only a faint crackle of energy around her back. She looks down at Groot, then up at Rocket with a questioning expression.

*

Rocket takes a large swallow from Val's liquor bottle, coughing but not regretting a thing. "Yeah!" he says, maybe louder than he'd intended as he responds to Groot. "Her! Comes over to our little spot in the hangar and goes off about all this crazy stuff like she's the space police." He grumbles, shaking his head. "Nova Corps…ugh. Yeah, that's her all over, now that I think about it."

He watches as Val leans back on her invisible ship, smirking slightly at the image. Then he takes another drink.

*

Groot makes a disgusted noise, throwing the ball down harder to punctuate his thoughts on the matter. But he does remember that she sang with him for one song. That's about the only thing that makes him feel a little better.

Well, that and the ball.

"I am Groot," he huffs, shaking his head as the ball drops down, prompting him to run after it.

*

"Mhmm," intones Valkyrie. "I had a feeling when I met her that I'd either need to work with her, or she'd be on my ass until I could get out of here." She looks behind her at her invisible ship. Then she looks back to Rocket. "What about you? I do hope you were far away from this neighbourhood when it exploded." She eyes Groot, but she's not going to play babysitter. At least not with Rocket standing right there.

*

Casting a brief glance at Groot, Rocket follows the little guy's movements out of his peripheral. "Hey, don't go too close to he edge there!" he warns, then looks back at Valkyrie, offering her bottle back. He's already feeling it, a lot faster than he would after knocking back several times the amount of Earth booze.

"For now I think we got her off our case. 'cept now we got someone keeping a close eye on us, waiting for a slip-up." Nothing too unusual in his experience. Still annoying. At Val's question he nods. "Yeah, guess we missed all that. Weren't anywhere near it- so at least no one could blame us for it."

*

"I am Groot!"

His voice echoes a bit, the ambiance settling in again shortly afterward. He soon comes tottering back into view with the ball is held a ways in front of him. Because his arms look longer. Inches longer. And they're sort of drooping once he stands still.

*

Valkyrie is a little wobbly herself, but she's been at it a lot longer than Rocket. Hence the ship leaning. "Listen…" she sniffs once and taps the toe of her boot against the ground. "I suppose I owe you. I'm not a big fan of that. But if you need a favor, you do know where to find me." She thumbs behind her. She lolls her head a bit and looks at Stretch Twigstrong. "Is that normal?"

*

Kids. Rocket shakes his head, watching Groot amble off before he goes to pat his hands around by where Valkyrie lies, trying to find the lines of the ship to lean on. Or avoid should he accidentally run into it.

"Heh! Naw, I get that. Of course, I ain't gonna complain about anyone owing me favors either," he grins. When Groot comes back, he glances over as Val does the same.

"…eh. Kinda."

*

Groot, oblivious, smiles widely back at the two. He lifts the ball over his head, twice as high now thanks to his stretched arm length, and bounces it again.

Yup. Completely normal.

*

Eh. He's not also spitting acid, so Val's definitely seen weirder. She slides a little to the side. It makes a sort of windshield-noise and she stumbles to keep herself upright. "Mhmm. Look, I don't mean to be rude, but I think I might need to lie down. I'm afraid if I stay up much longer, someone will scream for help and then I'll have to help. And in the process of helping, I'll accidentally break someone's collar bone." Again, oddly specific. She pushes a bit of hair back from her face from where one of her braids came loose. "If I track down a bounty, do you want in? I'm sure we can arrange for some decent payment."

*

Watching Groot play, Rocket takes a moment before he realizes Val's talking to him. "Wha, huh? Oh, right. Yeah. Sure, no prob. Can't be too careful around here. All these crazy Terrans and their hobbies, and just bein' nosy in general," he says, waving a hand vaguely.

He decides not to ask about why collar bones.

Feeling his way back from the ship, he turns to go and retrieve his backpack. "Bounty? Oh yeah, I'm always in fer that kinda stuff! Hey Groot, give Val back her thingamaball. Time to go."

*

Bounce. Tall catch. Disappointment crosses Groot's gnarled features when Rocket calls to him, wrapping the ball close to his chest. "I am Grooot," he whines, hesitating the return of the fun object that is definitely deadly if used in the right context. "I am Groot!"

Still, going home sounds good. Just not now. But he already did this dance with the Raccoonoid Guardian before; considering the last result, he knows how it's going to end if he doesn't comply.

The pause continues. Scuffing a foot on the roof, he shambles over to Val, slowly extending his grasp so that she can retrieve the clear orb. "I am Groot." With that, he turns to amble, then run into the backpack head-first with a soft crashing thud.

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