Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, Marvel does.

Of Ships and Strings and Ceiling Wax

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

It was the most shattering experience Adam Warlock had ever had. Worse than the Infinity Gauntlet, worse than any war he had been witness to. It was possible he might never recover.

"So... many..." he whispered haltingly.

"You know we need this," Thanos said, encouragingly. If, for the moment, you can imagine a hulking purple-skinned alien dressed in gold and blue to be encouraging.

"But..." Adam's voice was full of uncertainty. "Which one do we need?" His hands raised to his head and he slowly bent forwards. "Can't.. .decide."

Around them, people bustled briskly about. They all had purpose, a sense that there was a rightness to their world. And they knew which brand of sugar they were buying. If they were buying any, that is. The fluorescent lights in the ceiling above shown down mercilessly. Adam's golden skin was tinged a greyish green by more than his suddenly destroyed mental state.

"We need sugar. Remember? Sugar, milk, eggs, and chocolate chips." Holding out the piece of notepaper the list was written on, Thanos waved it in emphasis. "Gamora thought we could handle this."

"Can we?" There was a patheticness to the tone of Adam's voice now.

"I'll go and find the milk and eggs, when I get back, you have the sugar ready."

"Yes, Thanos," the artificially-created being said meekly.

With a superior air, the Titan stalked off to discover the whereabouts of the cold comestibles. Behind him in the aisle, Adam Warlock, a man created to be a superior being, slowly succumbed to a fetal position on the floor.

He didn't even seem to mind the dust that hadn't yet been swept up.

...Four hours later.

Gamora was not in a good mood. It could be said that her mood could easily have been averted with a microcosm of chocolate, and a good backrub. But this could as easily be wrong.

"Adam!" She said, her tone angry.

The subject of her anger did not release itself from his fetal position.

Several curses coloured the air around her blue. Which went well with her green skin. "WHY are you on the floor?"

"Too.. many.. choice...s."

She reached out to the shelf, and grabbed the first package of sugar. "It is a very SIMPLE thing, Adam."

"Is it?"

A growl came from her lips. "Yes."

"But did you want granulated, baker's, brown, light brown, or generic?"

"ANY." With another curse, she reached down a hand to him. "Now get up."


Grabbing the back of Adam's cape, Gamora heaved upwards. For a moment, gravity seemed about to protest, and then Adam Warlock was flopped over her shoulder, hands hanging down her back. "You're always so difficult."

"...I am?"

"Yes." Turning, she stalked to the cash register, sugar in hand, Adam in the other.

Meanwhile, Thanos had decided that grocery shopping just wasn't for him. So he went to Vegas.


Um. It's Timey's fault. However, it is damned amusing.