This was written for a prompt on the kink meme: "After their experience with the infinity gem, the team finds that sometimes they get the shakes/moments of total disorientation. The best way they've found to alleviate these symptoms is through touch, and the best and fastest way to do that is handholding. So it becomes a thing, one of the team is feeling shaky/weak and they just randomly grab someone else's hand to ground themselves and make it go away."
So it becomes a thing, one of the team is feeling shaky/weak and they just randomly grab someone else's hand to ground themselves and make it go away."
I was nervous about writing a gen/OT5 fic – maybe no one could tell, but I ship Peter/Drax super hard, lol – but I think this turned out okay and the OP liked it, so I decided to post it here :)
Usual disclaimers apply. I don't own GotG, but if I did, I would cuddle them. A lot. Every day.
She thought she had lightning reflexes and impeccable balance. And thanks to Thanos' oh-so-helpful genetic modifications, she's never been ill a day in her life. But a few days after the team's encounter with the Infinity Stone, she finds herself feeling dizzy for the first time in…actually, she can't remember the last time she felt this dizzy.
She's in the room that the Nova Corps have assigned her, where she's supposed to stay until the Milano has been fixed. And she's alone. Very alone. So naturally, when she begins to feel dizzy and so off-balance she can barely stay upright, it scares the living crap out of her.
This is how Peter finds her five minutes later. He's come to take her to dinner-the Nova Corps have been providing food for them as well-and finds her leaning over her dresser, clutching the sides for support. "You okay?" he asks, immediately jumping into "captain" mode.
She shakes her head. "Can't see straight," she manages to explain. "Can't stand up."
Without hesitation he goes to her, puts both arms around her and gently guides her over to her cot. "Okay, okay, lean on me," he urges, and she does, and she realizes, almost absently, that she might actually be starting to feel better. He sits her down on the cot and sits beside her, one hand on her shoulder, the other on the inside of her elbow. His touch grounds her in reality and it's not long before the dizziness passes. She looks up and into his eyes. "Thank you," she says softly.
"I didn't do anything," he replies, confused. "Do you want me to go get a medic?"
"No. I am better now. Thank you." She stands up, testing her balance, and is pleased with the result. "See? All better."
"Good." He too gets to his feet. And then immediately sits back down. "Whoa. Headrush."
"Oh!" She quickly sits beside him. "Is it contagious? Do you think it's a virus that can be passed through touch?"
"No." He looks at her, a little sheepishly. "I…kind of haven't eaten all day."
"What? I've been busy. Someone has to help them clean up the mess that Ronan made," he says defensively, and she can't help the rush of affection she feels towards him. This is the sort of thing that makes her believe he is a good man. Yes, he's still arrogant. And yes, he can be stupid—not eating all day when doing manual labor never has good results; she knows this from experience—but Gamora has to admit that, all right, maybe Star-Lord is less of a "legendary outlaw" and more of a…well, she'd never say it to him, but more of a hero.
So she stands up again and links her hand through his, taking him up with her. "Well, let's go to dinner, then. Perhaps hunger caused my symptoms as well."
"Then let's go fix that." He leads her down the hall, and to their mutual surprise, neither of them is in any hurry to let go of the other.
Like Gamora, Drax prides himself on his physical condition. Unlike Gamora, however, he has been ill before. So it's not quite as much of a shock to him when, just as the team is boarding the newly-rebuilt Milano, he experiences a headrush and has to lean against the doorframe to keep himself upright.
What's surprising, and what makes him a little nervous, is that it doesn't go away. And Drax starts to wonder what in the hell is wrong with him as he feels his way into the ship, leaning on the wall for support…until a hand rests on his bare shoulder and he hears Gamora's voice inches from his ear. "Drax? Are you all right?"
"I am not sure." He leans into her touch, hoping it will help him steady himself. "I feel…unstable."
"Hey, hey, what's going on?" Peter suddenly comes into Drax's line of sight. The problem is, as Drax can see, there's three of him. "You okay?"
"He's got the same problem I had the other day," Gamora explains.
Drax sways on the spot, and automatically Peter reaches out to help Gamora steady him, taking Drax's hands in his. But before they can decide where to go from there, the dizziness eases, and Drax is able to stand straight on his own. "Thank you," he says, looking between the two of them. "I…do not know what that was. But I hope it doesn't happen again."
"I don't know either," Gamora says slowly, "but if I had to guess, could it be because of what we did with the Infinity Stone? Peter, have you experienced any dizziness or headaches lately?"
"Not really," he starts to lie, but Gamora stares him down. "Okay, once, yeah," he admits. "I almost passed out a couple of days ago. Some Nova Corps guy caught me when I dropped. Then he took my pulse and everything was suddenly fine…" Peter cocks his head, trying to remember something. "Wait. Gamora, didn't it feel better for you when I put my arm around you? Like, the dizziness stopped then, right?"
"Yes." Gamora looks at Drax. "And you began to feel better when Peter and I laid our hands on you."
"Yes, I did…"
They all turn around on cue, looking at Rocket, who's standing in the doorway, clutching the stick in the pot that was once Groot. "Yeah," he admits, shuffling his feet against the floor. "Happened to me too. Last night. Took forever to go away."
"Because no one was there to touch you, and make it go away," Peter realizes. "Okay. So obviously until whatever-this-is goes away, we have to stick close to each other."
"And if it never goes away?" Gamora asks, raising her eyebrows at him.
He shrugs. "I guess we'll have to stay close forever, then."
The four of them contemplate that. Somehow it doesn't seem quite as terrifying a prospect as it would have a few days ago, when they'd first met.
The Nova Corps expanded the ship enough for each Guardian to have their own room, but in the end, they never stay in their own beds more than three or four nights in a row.
Drax is up later than any of the others one night and as he's passing Peter's room on the way to his own, he hears a low moan and decides to investigate. He enters to see Peter curled up in a ball on his bed, one hand clutching his head. "Are you feeling well?" Drax asks gently, but Peter only whimpers in response and Drax is sure he knows what this is about.
Without hesitation he enters the room and reaches for Peter, who hears the footsteps and blindly stretches out a hand. Their hands are joined before Drax has even sat down on Peter's bunk, and soon Peter's heartbreaking whimpers have entirely disappeared. He lifts his head and smiles weakly at Drax. "Thanks. I needed that."
Drax does not let go of his hand. "I will stay with you tonight, in case of further complications."
"No, you don't have to do that-" Peter begins to protest, but Drax has already pushed back the blankets and slipped into bed beside him, and Peter is too tired to really press the matter, so he lets his head fall on Drax's shoulder as they both drift off to sleep, their hands still intertwined.
Groot has regenerated and has already begun to grow arms when Rocket has the worst attack he's had yet. It couldn't come at a worse time, really, because he's driving the Milano when it happens. Suddenly he has no idea which end is up and his head is aching like never before, and he's seeing double, maybe triple, and this is really bad when he's trying to operate a heavy piece of machinery.
The ship veers badly off-course. Luckily he doesn't hit anything, but now the Milano is going in circles and Rocket can't figure out how to make this go away because he has no idea where Drax or Peter or Gamora even are right now, let alone if they'd hear him if he called for a hand to hold.
Then he hears Groot's squeaks and he thinks maybe, just maybe, he's still got options. After all, Peter was able to recover when that corpsman took his pulse; could it be that it doesn't have to be one of the people who touched the Infinity Stone in order to have an effect on the symptoms? "Groot," he says, fighting hard to stay calm, "I need you to grab my hand, buddy. Can you do that?"
Groot is squeaking in panic—he still can't really talk, not yet—but when Rocket takes his hand off the wheel and reaches in the vague general direction where he thinks he might've strapped Groot's pot to the console, he feels a little wooden hand grasping desperately at his.
The relief is almost immediate. Within ten seconds the headache and dizziness is gone, and he can see straight enough to get the Milano back on-course. "Thanks, buddy," he says softly, and Groot squeaks happily in response. "Hey. Let's not tell the others about this, okay? Maybe they didn't notice."
But later on, Gamora scolds him for driving alone before she takes him into her arms and asks if he's all right. And Rocket's more embarrassed than anything else. He accepts her comforting caresses, but at the same time he mentally curses himself out for thinking none of them would notice the ship veering off-course and going in random circles.
It becomes a common thing, holding hands or curling up around one another in the bunks. Rocket almost always sleeps with Groot's pot clutched in his arms, but on occasion Peter will wake up with a face full of fur, or Gamora will be jolted awake by the sensation of something soft and warm curling up against her side. Peter, meanwhile, will crawl into Drax or Gamora's bunks whenever the need strikes him, and he's woken up a time or two with one of them draped around him. At this point, he's almost disappointed when he gets a full night to himself.
One day Drax stays behind with Groot's pot while Gamora, Peter, and Rocket go out to get some criminal from a backwater planet and deliver him to the Nova Corps. When the three of them get back they hear Groot squeaking softly and rhythmically, unmistakably trying to comfort someone, and they rush into the sleeping area only to find that Drax has pushed all of the bunks into one room. That's when they see that he is leaning against one of the bedsteads, while Groot has put both of his tiny hands into Drax's much bigger one.
Almost as soon as they've entered the room, Drax recovers. He smiles down at Groot, who chirps back up at him happily, before looking to his friends. "I understand we all sleep in one another's bunks anyway. I thought it might be more convenient if we all slept in the same room to begin with."
"Good thinking." Peter looks around the room. "That way no one has to be awake and alone if a dizzy attack hits."
The bedroom soon becomes their rec room as well, because Peter rigs up a viewscreen and an audio player and soon they're having team movie nights every few days, when they aren't on missions. And soon after they start cooking together as well, because it just doesn't seem fair to let everyone fend for themselves food-wise, not when there's any danger of fainting in the middle of preparing one's meal.
By the end of a few weeks, they spend every moment of free time together, and everyone is surprised by how few fights this causes.
In the heat of battle is probably the worst time for the dizziness to strike. So of course it has to happen when Rocket is trying to take out seven opponents at once. Peter is nearby, fighting off three or four, but when Rocket feels the now-familiar wave of dizziness hit him, he's not sure he can make it to Peter.
Peter, meanwhile, has no idea that his teammate is in danger, until he feels a tug on the hem of his jacket. He hits the last thug with his blaster and looks down. Rocket's small hand is straining up towards his. But the bigger problem is that the three opponents that Rocket didn't manage to take down are bearing down on them, and Peter is furious with himself for not seeing what was happening sooner.
He switches his blaster from his right hand to his left. It's harder for him to shoot left-handed, but it's what he has to do right now. He takes Rocket's tiny hand into his and holds on tightly, letting Rocket lean against him until he can stand on his own. With his other hand, he nails every one of the surrounding thugs. "Thanks," is all Rocket can say.
Peter squeezes his hand one more time. "It's what friends do."
Peter is the only one who has actually passed out from the dizzy spells. The Guardians have deduced that this is because Peter was the one who held the stone the longest, and because he was the only one to hold the stone alone. But it really doesn't matter how many times he faints.
Because Drax or Gamora is always there to catch him.
Because oftentimes he will feel Rocket's small hand slip into his before it gets bad enough to actually make him pass out.
Because even Groot, if he is close enough, will stretch out his still-developing vines as far as he can and wrap himself around Peter's hand.
Because the few times he does actually faint, he always wakes up with an ice pack on his aching head and one of his teammates is always there, with a hand firmly clasped around his.
Peter may be sick—he might be the sickest of his teammates—but he cannot remember the last time he felt this safe.
Peter is teaching Drax to make spaghetti one night when it hits him. He staggers backwards and leans against the wall for support, but Drax's hand has already closed around his. Not two feet away, Gamora is leaning against the wall as well, Rocket's paw enclosed in her hand, both of them relying on each other until the worst of the dizziness has passed.
Groot is still in his pot on the table, but he looks at his friends and wonders if this will ever end. Because he never held the Infinity Stone, he has never experienced the tremors, the dizziness, or the headaches. He's never felt the sudden panic that comes with the disorientation. But he knows, from watching the others, that it is awful. He has woken up to feel Rocket clutching him in his sleep. He has seen the stricken look on Peter's face as he stumbles backwards into the waiting arms of Gamora. He has seen Gamora and Drax gripping each other's hands, leaning on one another, just trying to get through it.
Groot may not have experienced the power of the Infinity Stone, and he may not be experiencing any of the aftereffects. But he still sees how close it has made his teammates. And he is happy to be a part of it. If anyone ever needs to hold onto one of his branches, he's completely fine with that.
Just as he has that thought, Rocket comes over and scoops him up, pot and all. "You're a trooper, you know that? I haven't heard you complain once about me grabbing at you in the middle of the night." Rocket pauses and then adds, "Then again, maybe you'll complain when you start talking again. Who knows? You could be thinking go away, Rocket and I'd have no idea."
Groot can't make himself grow too much. Not yet. But he can stretch up and press his mouth to Rocket's cheek, the way he has seen Drax and Peter do with Gamora. And just like Gamora, Rocket is visibly flustered by the gesture. "Yeah, yeah. Love you too. Now come on, we have to get food on the table before Peter gets distracted and forgets to eat again."
"Oh my God, that was ONE TIME!" Peter complains. Drax laughs. Gamora swats him on the arm, and Drax casually swats her back. This naturally leads into friendly arm-wrestling, with Peter and Rocket egging each of them on in turn. As the two of them fight it out, Peter feels a small pair of arms wrapping around his. He looks down, expecting to see a disoriented Rocket waiting out a dizzy spell. Instead he sees his laughing friend, cheering for Drax, who is now on the verge of winning. Peter smiles and pulls Rocket a little closer to him, just as Gamora surprises them all by slamming Drax's arm to the table.
Everyone expects Drax to be a sore loser. But he only stares at Gamora with admiration in his eyes. "I suppose I ought to inform you that the last woman who did that to me, ended up as my wife?"
Gamora rolls her eyes. "Well, don't expect this woman to meet the same fate," she snarks, and skilfully ignores Peter's "ooh, burn!" as she goes to get the plates and set the table.
As they eat, Drax casually drapes an arm around Peter's shoulders. Peter reaches out and holds Gamora's hand under the table. Rocket keeps a protective hand on Groot's pot and isn't surprised to find vines curling around that wrist. And every single one of the Guardians, without realizing it, is thinking the exact same thing: that if it weren't for that damn Infinity Stone, they never would have become this close.