|ɴᴇʙᴜʟᴀ (cybertronics) wrote in valarlogs,|
@ 2019-09-03 12:50:00
|Entry tags:||!complete, nebula, peter quill (star-lord)|
WHO: Nebula & Peter Quill
WHERE: Nebula's loft
WHEN: Sept 2nd.
WHAT: Nebula shifts to blue, and gets the enhancements Thanos treated her to; Peter comes to help.
WARNINGS: PG13; very mild body horror, swearing.
Waking up wasn't usually a trouble for Nebula, not in the least. She was used to being up like the flick of a switch, wakefulness coming on instantly and getting out of bed near instantly. Several years of crack of dawn training or just Gamora wanting to go surf meant Nebula didn't hate the morning. That morning it was different. It wasn't even the heavy feeling the Dreams left her with, it was something searing and aching and agonising. Like a hot poker had been jammed into her eye socket.
Pressing a hand to her forehead had brought the odd texture of her non-human skin, tough and with grooves, her hair gone just as much as her head was splitting.
The real kicker was requiring Peter Quill for help, but at this point she wasn't sure anyone else would be able to help her, so Peter was her best bet since his little old man friend seemed to have some kind of agenda against her -whatever, fine, she didn't care. She was sure Peter would make a big deal of it all, especially afterwards, but it wasn't like she could do this herself, the optical implant was too complicated to manage with one hand, half her sight and crippling pain.
Nebula was busy hoping that the optical implant would negate the pain once it was properly situated in her skull.
The phone call was probably the strangest one Peter had received.
After his morning workout with Nine, Peter had found himself still very antsy so he'd started working on the backyard, continuing the work he'd started before. He'd forgotten how much he liked landscaping, edging the yard and reseeding. Because he was so busy, he barely made it to the phone in time and when he heard Nebula's screeching voice, he was confused by the anger and the complete nonsense she was saying.
All he could figure out was she needed help with her eye (?), he might need tools and her address was in a kick ass neighbourhood. A shower and sandwich later, he was pulling up to her building, a low whistle escaping his lips. Snazzy. Knocking on the door, he heard a voice from within so he tried the doorknob -- unlocked.
"Sup Nebs," he called out stepping in. Jesus Christ, the place was nice. "Holy shit, how much do they pay you to sell clothes? Do you sell drugs on the side? What's the friend discount?"
The nickname wasn’t the worst she’d heard, but frankly she could do without Quill getting overly familiar. Then again, she needed him to jam an implant into her head, so maybe familiar was beyond them at this point. She was just taking the deep breaths she’d been shown to manage pain, something she was used to growing up how she did, as Quill prattled on.
“Would you shut up and get in here?” Here was the kitchen, where Nebula was sat on the floor, in her sleep shorts (the ones with little cats on them) and a tank top (thankfully not matching), which left the full extent of the blue shift evident. She wasn’t blue like Yondu was blue, her transformation was in numerous shades of blue, with panels on her arms, chest and head in different colours with a distinct indent in her skin. It still felt like skin, although a little tougher she thought.
Of course, she was now bald and there were marks on her head where her eye was different, presumably where the surgery to enhance her had been made, the implant waiting on the floor to get pieced back together and put in her head.
“My father pays for this.” Of course he did, because Nebula wasn’t about to stop using the bank accounts. She didn’t have Gamora around to convince her not to use his money. “I didn’t ask you here to check out the view.”
Entering the room, toolkit in hand, it took Peter more than a few moments to think of a good answer. When he’d last seen the cranky beauty, she was barely recognizable as herself. Now, he could easily see she was who she claimed.
“You know,” he finally said, putting his tools on the table, trying not to comment on the cat pjs, “you’re lucky I’m amazing. I grabbed Yondu’s space tools in addition to my regular ones. And you’re missing an eye, hey.” Interesting. Space him had always wondered about the mechanics of Nebula’s body, even going so far as to ask Gamora once. Looked like this Peter would learn.
Blowing air out, he twisted his lips and kneeled down to pick up the implant. “We should probably sterilize this. Where’s your booze?”
Space tools, if Nebula could she’d roll her eyes, but it was probably just as well. Putting this thing in probably wasn’t going to be as simple as using a screwdriver and a wrench, but she hadn’t exactly had a clear mind. “That’s why you’re here.” Because of said eye. It made her wonder what else might happen. She knew, by the time she faced with her father on Titan with Quill and his band of idiots, she had several modifications to her form.
Would they all happen? Was this going to be a repeat occurrence?
“Cabinet above the sink, there should be vodka in there.” It was a reasonable place for Nebula to keep it, really, she barely drank, but when she did it was good stuff and it was heavily. Lowering her hand from the gaping hole where her eye should be, the other one just a black pool, watering a little from the strain. Nebula could almost feel the cyber enhancements in her mind that would connect up to the implant on the counter.
“Quicker would be better, this is exceptionally painful.”
Peter waved a hand in her direction as he looked through what he’d brought. If he’d know it was eyeball implants, maybe he would have googled. Or thought about this a bit harder.
Instead, he just motioned to her to sit on the kitchen counter so at least they would be more at eye level. Recognizing this would be hard, he tentatively reached out to grasp her arm, hoping that she didn’t have a knife hidden somewhere and she would see he was trying to help her.
Going to the alcohol, he whistled impressively. “Damn. Grey Goose? I’m more of a free booze kinda guy myself,” he said, chatting away. It was Peter’s way of defusing any situation -- through talk. “Plus liquor makes me stupider too, so beer is better. I can drink a bunch of those without wanting to punch someone in the face. ...but then I sleep with random girls so that doesn’t make it any better either. Maybe I just should stick to pot. That seems safer.”
A few moments later, and he felt everything was disinfected properly. His hands too.
“You gotta open your eye, and I’m sorry -- you gotta keep it open. I can attach this, but it’s going to take a spanner to first get the wiring. If we had Rocket, he has those creepy rat fingers and could be doing this in two secs, but you have me and I don’t have dainty hands.” He did actually feel bad.
“So. Do you want a drink before we start? It’s ...going to hurt I think.”
Accepting help wasn’t something Nebula was good at, she was barely able to accept if from the people raised with her as siblings. Accepting help was a sign of weakness, and weakness was a disease. But right then, she needed it, even just to get off the floor and lean onto the counter, shuffling around to the island to hook her ankle on a stool and pull it around to sit on.
“All booze is free booze if you know what you’re doing.” It was almost as if she could blank out who was here, accepting that she didn’t have many choices and having to make do. If Peter needed to ramble in order to get her eye implant in then he could ramble until he was happy.
The mere notion of his fingers in her eye socket was enough to make her need the drink. “Yes, give me a bottle.” She didn’t care what one. “Why is it a problem for you to sleep around? It’s not like you’re attached to Gamora at the hip here.” It seemed like, if she was going to get through this, it’d need to be with background noise.
But after she took a large swig of alcohol, Nebula forced her eye open, even without the actual eye being in there, just a globe on the end of the implant about to get shoved in her skull. “It hurts anyway.”
When Nebula said Gamora’s name, something inside Peter froze. He hadn’t thought about a Gamora being here, not when she existed in his dreams but if Nebula was here … well that made sense.
Like he needed one more thing to confuse him here.
“I’m not talking about Gamora,” he muttered, reaching for the thinnest solder he had. “She’s not here, that’s out there and that doesn’t count here. Pretty sure there’s someone else for this me.” He was still pretty adamant on that stance. And thinking about having a potential soulmate out there when he was falling more and more for Wanda? Nope, those thoughts lead to more poor decisions being made.
He really needed to say something … maybe. Probably not.
Adulting was hard.
Taking a deep breath, his eyes flickered between the implant, the solder and the wound. “Okay….on the count of three …… 1….2…”
And in went the hot red poker for a fraction of a second before he attached the eye. Peter brushed away Nebula’s hand and reached for a cloth that he dabbed into the vodka. “Can you move your eye?” He knew it was probably pretty fucking painful, but fuck if she hand’t take that like a champ. “I think I connected it properly.”
She couldn’t really fault the comments. It was weird enough feeling like she knew him, when in fact she didn’t really. Knowing a version of Gamora and then having memories of her true sister, one she’d reconciled their childhood with long ago, not someone she was still at odds with.
Especially when she knew that some of her alternate self’s issues with Quill was the perception that he’d stolen Gamora, snaring affections and loyalty that Nebula had never been able to get.
It wasn’t really the best time to be thinking about it, while Quill was preparing to shove her implant into her skull and hook everything back up so that one of those modifications her father had made so that she could one day be better, or just as good as Gamora, would start working again.
The countdown was entirely unnecessary, all it did was let Nebula know when the searing pain was going to turn to literally blinding agony as the implant went in, the cybernetics triggering as everything reconnected to itself. She was just thankful that the implants and modifications inside her skull and brain were already there when she woke up.
Her teeth grinding had probably been audible, but she wasn’t one for crying out, not anymore. All it did was heighten the pain and display weakness. The Mad Titan did not tolerate weakness.
Brushing her fingertips against the metal now embedded around her eye socket, Nebula tapped on the plate on her skull triggering one of the recordings in her optical implant to project. A map of a planet the Kree Accusers had already decimated laid out in blue light. “It connected properly.” The pain was dwindling a little too, not entirely, just a different kind of pain.
“I need more alcohol.”
"If you weren't so batshit crazy, I'd totally be turned on right now," Peter commented, rocking back on the heels of his feet. The fact that she seemed to literally blink off an incredibly excruciating procedure to then ask for alcohol so plainly…
Yeah. Kind of hot. In the stabby kind of way, not in the sexy assassin way like Gamora… fuck, now she was in his head. Peter had never believed in fate, liked to live life by his own rules, and yet he found himself thinking of his other self more and more, at conflict with the growing feelings he had for Wanda.
Without another word, he handed her the vodka bottle, straight. She didn't seem like the kind that would need to mix.
"Y'know…...you can't go out in public looking like that. I should ask Yondu where he got his doohickey."
“I don’t fuck stupid.” It was out before she could rightly stop herself, but there it was, at least she was being humorous, rather than ripping off his balls for the mere suggestion of it. Least of all that he would, but she wasn’t the right kind of crazy. Still, her black eyes trailed over him before she took a long swig from the bottle he gave her.
If she paused for a moment, she could understand what Gamora saw. Quill was attractive, for a human, and if you could get around how often his mouth ran, he wasn’t intolerable. She could’ve found things to do with his mouth to shut him up anyway. But Nebula didn’t have the same taste as Gamora, thankfully. Fighting over romantic partners along with everything else would just be too much.
“Thank you,” it was low, barely there, but Nebula figured she should thank Quill for his help, as the pain started to ebb into a low headache that she knew would eventually pull all the way back. She should try to maintain something civil, given that she knew of the other implants that she hadn’t received today.
It was probably somewhat comical, Nebula in her kitchen, in her sleep ware, blue and bald with metal over her skull and eye. She glanced down at herself, “That had crossed my mind between the agonising pain and the realisation that I will eventually become more metal.” How could she even possibly blend in unless it was Halloween? “Because Yondu is clearly my biggest fan and will rush to help me?” If she still had eyebrows, it would’ve been raised in condescension at Quill.
The gratitude was surprising. Peter couldn’t help the growing smile that crossed his face. “Anytime,” he responded, reaching back for the vodka and taking a shot himself.
It went down way smoother than he expected, probably due to the fact that it was decent alcohol and not potato rot. He mulled over her question while he was drinking and finally, he shrugged.
“Nah, you’re right. Yondu fucking hates you and I don’t even know why. I totally forgot to ask him too, because I never think about you really. I’ll have to ask him …. But at the end of the day, he’s not a complete dick. That’s me. And if I’m serious about getting you help? He’ll figure it out. He’ll bitch and moan and remind you of it every chance he gets but…” Peter shrugged. “We’ll get this going. In the meantime...you miiiiight wanna call in sick to work. Maybe.”
She really wanted to avoid having a moment with Quill, she did. But ultimately, at the moment, he was probably the one person she could actually turn to with this stuff. She at least trusted he wouldn’t freak out, since he’d seen her in her full cybernetically enhanced, blue and alien glory.
Leaning on the counter, Nebula nursed the vodka, aware that it was stupidly early but she was likely going to finish off the whole bottle for the day. “I’m used to it,” which, she humanly wasn’t, but in the dreams, that seemed like a common theme. Her black eyes darted over to Quill, an eyebrow raised, not that it was clear given she’d lost her eyebrows in the shift to alien, “That makes me warm and fuzzy inside, really.” Because everyone loved hearing that someone didn’t really think about them.
“You can ask, fine, do whatever.” She had to admit that if there was something that could help her not look blue, just because going out like this was asking for trouble -at least until Halloween, it wasn’t a bad idea to try at least. “I called in this morning when I woke up missing part of my eye.” It seemed like a good time to call and let them know she was in serious agony and wouldn’t be in that week. “I have a week to work out what the hell I’m doing.” Or for Peter to convince Yondu to share the image inducer technology.
“A week hey…” Peter nodded for a while before slapping his hands on his thighs and pushing up to standing. “Right, well, I think I’m done here, because unless you’re interested in cuddling -- which I’m not really wanting but hey, I’ve done worse with uglier women -- I’ve got no reason to stick around.”
He went to his tool kit and started putting things back in place. He’d worry about sterilizing things when he got back to the junkyard.
“I’ll see you around ...and you’ll be seeing me, since you have an eyeball again.” He grinned widely. “Peace out, crazy.”
“Another comment about anything like that, ever, and I’ll be mailing your balls to you girlfriend.” The mere notion of cuddling made her cybernetics seize up, and Quill’s voice was starting to grate on her nerves, now that he’d fulfilled his use.
Right then she wasn’t too interested in seeing anyone. “Shut the door behind you on your way out,” she stretched to wrap her still human hand around the bottle of vodka, already aware that she was going to lose that arm at some point, and that would be something else to deal with in the waking world.
No, Quill could show himself and his annoying disposition out, she had a bottle of vodka to polish off.