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GOTG fic: Apocalypse Never (1/1)

December 11th, 2017 (03:47 pm)
crazy

feeling: crazy

Title: Apocalypse Never

Disclaimer: Nope, not mine.

A/N: Set post GOTG2. Peter/Gamora. No beta. Fills my apocalypse square for hc_bingo. This is not a death fic, nor is it dark or particularly unsettling. Just Peter being oh-so-very dramatic and prone to trouble.

Summary: Peter tries to die. Gamora has other ideas.



-o-

It’s apocalyptic.

Somehow, in a hazy state of pain, that’s the best description Peter can think of.

After all, the sky is full of ash and the trees are burning. Gunfire spews overhead, and Peter watches as a transport pod streaks across the sky before crashing into the brush with an explosive force that feels hot against Peter’s skin. He’s not exactly safe here, downed in the middle of a battle, but he also doesn’t exactly have the ability to move.

On account of the blood, that is.

Because the sky is full of ash and the trees are burning and gunfire spews overhead and Peter’s bleeding from a jagged cut in his leg so fast that he can actually feel his heartbeat staggering to a close.

You’re dying, the rhythm says as his breathing hitches. You’re dying, you’re dying, you’re dying.

Peter, given the current state of the burning world around him, doesn’t have the strength to disagree.

-o-

Gamora, of course, has her own ideas.

Peter’s always liked that about her, that she’s strong and independent and knows her shit. It doesn’t always make things easy, but he loves everything about her.

But honestly, he’d just like her to give him this one.

“It’s a damn apocalypse!” he insists again.

She grimaces as she rips open the shredded fabric to take a better look at the wound. Peter didn’t see what hit him, but the cut is deep and jagged, so he’s guessing it’s debris from the planet that is being actively destroyed around him.

“They never told us this,” he says, looking away. The sight of blood is making him queasy, so he looks up where he sees Rocket flying across the sky blasting his gun. The smell of blood makes him queasy, too, so maybe being queasy is just part of dying. “They should have told us this.”

Gamora is very serious as she rips the rest of his pant leg off, hastily making it into strips. “They told us that it was a guerrilla faction that was occupying this moon,” she says. “They were very explicit about the danger it would take to liberate the local occupants and break up the radicals.”

“They never called it an apocalypse,” he grits out, lifting his head up again.

She lifts his leg enough to thread some cloth under it. “This isn’t an apocalypse.”

“The world is ending!” he says, making a vague, general gesture to the planet around them. “Or did you miss that part?”

“The fire is localized,” she says, snaking the two ends together. “The resistance is nearly controlled. Honestly, if it weren’t for you, going and getting yourself shot every job--”

“So this is my fault?” Peter asks incredulous.

Her reply is to tighten the bandage, cutting it tight into his thigh.

The pain is overwhelming, and Peter is momentarily galvanized as his vision goes completely white. The scream in his throat is stuck, somehow, as if the small effort it would take to give it voice would be more than his flailing body could handle.

When he finally comes back to his senses, he wishes he hadn’t. The nausea is worse now, and it feels like he’s on fire along with the rest of the world.

“You have a propensity to underestimate your fragility,” she says, and seriously, she’s lecturing him now as she applies more pressure.

He’s crying -- damn it. And shaking, too. Peter recognizes it as shock. “Because we keep taking jobs that are apocalyptic.”

“We call ourselves the Guardians of the Galaxy,” Gamora reminds him. “What did you expect?”

Peter hates logic most of time. He hates it even more when he’s in this much pain and there are no painkillers in sight. “You can’t give this to me?” he asks -- whines, really. He slumps back to the ground with a half-sob. “Just this once?”

“I give you this often,” she says, and she sounds undeniably unamused. “I give you this often.”

He brings his brows together. “Pity?”

“Life-saving care,” she says. “Or have you forgotten about getting shot on Regalia? Or when you crashed your pod on Everon? Or how about the time you fell down a hill and sliced open your stomach on Wananda?”

“Hey!” Peter objects. “Wananda was supposed to be a date!”

“A date that ended, and I quote, “With the whole damn apocalypse.’”

Peter feels annoyed at that, but he can’t deny it. “I was in shock,” he huffs.

She adjusts the grip with a little more force that seems necessary. “You usually are. I have learned enough that I could practically be a doctor back on your Earth!”

The increase in pain makes black dots dance across his vision, and when he blinks, they don’t clear. It makes it hard to focus on her.

Harder still to hold a train of thought.

But he remembers enough.

As in: this is the end of the world.

And: “But I’m dying.”

“No,” she counters calmly. “You’re attempting to die, and I am refusing to let you. Again.”

He sniffles, and he feels a shiver wash over him as his fingers and toes start to go numb. “You could sound a little less annoyed about it,” he mutters.

“You would rather me let you die?” she asks, eyebrows up.

“No!” he says, “I’d rather have some sympathy!”

“You are more fragile than I would care to admit!” she returns. “To offer you sympathy would be to feed your delusions that you are entirely able to stop the apocalypse on your own. If I am to love you, Peter, then you need to stop tempting fate, and trust me, when I say unequivocally, that the world is not ending. Because you are not going to die.”

He hears it now, the fear that underpins the whole damn thing. Gamora is not a cold hearted killed, but it’s the fact that she has emotions that threatens to undermine her. Loving him is hard and complicated because they’re two imperfect people living dangerous lives.

And because Peter’s always a heartbeat away from disaster.

All the times he’s almost died with this team.

Are all the times she’s had to hold him together with her bare hands.

It makes him damn lucky.

Her…

He half gapes at her, not sure what to say. Not sure he even has the energy to say anything if he knew what it was.

She leans closer to him, and her gaze is penetrating now. “You aren’t dying, Peter,” she tells him, she orders him, she begs him. “You are not going to die.”

Peter’s never been one to follow rules, but damn it all if he won’t follow that one.

It figures, then.

When he feels like playing by the rules, he can’t.

See, Gamora’s grip is strong, but Peter’s wound is deeper. Her will is impenetrable, but Peter’s body is mortal. He’s losing too much blood, and he’s slipping away with it.

“Peter,” she says, and she uses a free hand to cup his cheek. “Look at me, Peter. Look at me.”

He blinks and tries to obey, but the flames are in slow motion now. The sound of gunfire is suddenly distant, and he feels his control over his body diminish by staggering degrees.

Above him, her confidence visibly wavers. “Peter,” she said, and her voice stops as the emotion chokes her. “You’re not dying.”

He opens his mouth but he knows no words will come out. He wants to tell her she’s right.

Even as he passes out and proves her wrong.

-o-

When he wakes up, he’s back on the ship.

In the medical bay.

Oh, and it seems he’s alive.

The thought occurs to him belatedly, even as he looks up at sees Gamora seated to his side.

“Told you so,” she says with a smirk.

A smirk.

Smirks are not what one expects after a near-death, apocalyptic experience.

Peter furrows his brow. “What?”

“You weren’t dying,” she says. She sits back, arms crossed over her chest smugly. “And the world didn’t end. In fact, the damage was remarkably contained. The local population will be functioning at full capacity within two days by Rocket’s estimation.”

This is, of course, good news.

He swallows and does his best to make sense of it.

“As for you,” she continues. “You severed your femoral artery, which is why you bled so much. Once we got you back to the ship, we were able to infuse you with artificial blood and repair the damage. You’ll be up on your feet within two days, too.”

She makes it sound so damn simple. Peter looks absently at his leg. It doesn’t look as bad when it’s nicely bandaged. And it doesn’t feel as bad when he’s got as many drugs in his system as he does right now.

Maybe that’s why he smiles.

That and the fact that he’s pretty glad he’s not dead.

“You know,” he says with a satisfied nod. “Usually I hate it when you say I told you so.”

She arches her eyebrows.

“But what the hell,” he says, and he doesn’t hardly care that his words are slurring. “I hate dying more.”

She snorts with bemusement, but there’s relief there, too. She’s not going to talk about that, because Peter’s convinced her to say some things, but there are some parts of herself that will need to stay unspoken. And Peter knows what it’s like to be vulnerable. He knows how it’s a risk to put yourself in the line of fire when you haven’t got much to cover you. He’s learned to do it, all dangers be damned.

Gamora’s a different story.

Because not one of her enhancements has fortified her for where they’re at now. Peter’s the one most likely to fall in battle.

She’s the one most likely to fall apart right after him.

So maybe it’s the drugs; maybe it’s the fact that she really has saved his life again.

Maybe it’s just the fact that he loves her so damn much that none of the rest really matters.

He smiles. “You saved my life,” he tells her, although she already knows this. “You saved my life again.”

She rolls her eyes, which just means she doesn’t have to look at him. “Well, you do seem to make a habit of needing it.”

Earnestly, he keeps his gaze on her. “I am trying to stop the world from ending most of the time, so it’s seems like part of the job description.”

“And my job seems to be keeping you alive,” she says, shaking her head. “Not that it’s a contest, but I think mine may be harder.”

“What?” he asks, grinning stupidly. “Are you complaining?”

At this, she rolls her eyes again, but this time she leans forward, pressing a kiss to his lips. “Maybe a little,” she tells him in a low voice.

He lifts his head just a little to kiss her back. “Maybe that’s okay.”

-o-

Peter recovers for two days, as Gamora predicts. He spends the first cooped up in the medical bay under constant observation. The rest of the team takes shifts, and by the time Peter’s 24 hours are up, he’s probably more exhausted than when he started.

The next day he’s actually feeling a lot better, but Gamora is rather insistent. In the privacy of his quarters, she props him up on pillows and turns on his favorite playlist from the Zune before curling up in bed carefully beside him.

Peter smiles.

Because that’s not the first apocalypse Peter’s lived through.

And, with the help of his fellow Guardians, it sure as hell won’t be the last.