Who: Nebula and Carol What: Hanging out, showing Nebula some cool things about Earth. When: The other day Where: Out and about. Warnings: None.
There were a lot of things about Earth that Carol was still getting used to. The fact that their technology wasn’t as advanced was one of those things that frustrated her, but she tried to manage without. It did have a lot of up sides though, and that’s what she was trying to show Nebula. Now that the other girl was here on Earth, she wanted to show her that it wasn’t all bad being here. There were some really good things. Today was no exception. Having taken Nebula out of the apartment building where they all stayed, she tried to make a plan of where to take her.
“Okay so we can go a couple of places. I can take you to a place where you can learn more about Earth culture? Museums and stuff. Or we can go get food, or we can go have fun with entertainment. You have a preference?” She wasn’t sure why, but she was sure that Nebula didn’t quite understand the whole fun thing. She was going to have to show her.
They were outside, a novelty since arriving on this planet, in this divergent dimension, with people she - mostly - trusted. So far, anyway. Nebula had stayed in her assigned space and absorbed what she could using the primitive technology available. Admittedly, Stark's tech was more advanced than some, but it wasn't the same as what you could find off-world.
Captain Mar-vell was making the time to share her knowledge of the local landscape. Nebula respected the Captain and appreciated the company. After losing one family - Where are you, Gamora? - it was as if another had found her, whether she wanted one or not.
She was discovering, to her surprise, that she didn't mind.
"Earth culture, its history," Nebula replied. She stood beside the other woman and cast a thorough scan of the area: other buildings, sidewalks, vehicles emitting carcinogens, people, canines on leashes. Next she lifted her face to the stellar entity known locally as the Sun and felt some warmth, despite the slight chill of the late morning air. The season was changing, something Earth did roughly every quarter depending upon where you lived on the planet. At least, according to the Internet. Nebula wanted to experience it first-hand
She looked over at the Captain, who looked like most humans she had met, and added, "Then food, Capta - Car-ell."
Well that was easy. Not that she thought Nebula would be confused about what she wanted, but she expected maybe a little bit of thinking about what she wanted. She knew exactly where to go though, which made this a lot easier. She smiled at Nebula, “Okay, the museum it is.” Giving her a nod of her head, she started down the road for where she knew one of the museums were. The American Museum of Natural History was the best place to go. If they were too far away, they could just take a taxi. No worries.
“Carol, right.” There wasn’t really a reason to get her to pronounce it a certain way. Carol didn’t really give a shit about any of that. “Then food. Oh man there’s so much good food here, you’re going to love it.”
She might be a little biased about that. If there was anyone that understood that whole found family thing, it was her. She didn’t have her own any more, and these people were the closest to her.
Finally when they got to the museum, she paid for tickets and headed inside. “Feel free to ask me any questions. Though just a warning, I might not have all the answers.”
Nebula had several days of research and thinking behind her, so choosing a course of action wasn't difficult. Though she was certainly very curious about the food, especially after watching many programs and Youtube videos about cooking in your kitchen, in the wild and in the studio on TODAY with Joy Bauer, learning more about the planet's history took priority. Barely. If she was stuck here, then the more information she obtained, the ability to make correct decisions improved.
And being out among them was more informative than staying in her room.
The American Museum of Natural History was a bland structure with white walls, columns and a large main entrance. She followed Carol as tickets were purchased and entry permitted. On the way over, a few people had turned their heads to look at them and some more did here, too. Carol looked 'normal', but Nebula? Well, she was blue, part-cyborg and dressed like an extra from Star Wars , so that was to be expected, really. And about six feet tall, too. Still, not many stared and most seemed not to notice at all.
'Interesting," she murmured. To her guide, she asked,"Where do we begin?"
Anyone that gave Nebula a dirty look or something that she didn’t like, Carol flipped them off. She wasn’t into people gawking and being bitchy. “Uh, how about we just start at like the earliest stuff and work our way to the newest.” The beginning seemed like a good place to start. She headed towards the part of the museum that included all of the earliest parts of natural history of the planet.
Whenever there was a question, she tried her best to answer it, but some of the time she was just like ‘hey maybe you should google that’ because she didn’t want to tell her something that was wrong. But she did notice that the more they walked through the museum, the more she realized that there was a lot about Earth that she didn’t remember either. It wasn’t like she had been away for very long, but somehow she just had forgotten.
Once they were done with the museum, Carol led the way to a place they could get something to eat. “Ready to get food? I am starving.” She was always starving.
The museum visit had been more informative than she had thought. Having gained an incredible amount of information from the Internet, Nebula wasn't sure that exhibits with asteroid samples and dinosaur remains and mannequins clothed in period costumes would add much to her knowledge. It was, in fact, quite illuminating to be able to see - and, in some cases, actually touch - some of the items she had viewed on the screen in her accommodations at the Tower.
"Yes," she replied regarding food, while another part of her brain focused on sorting and prioritizing those things Carol had suggested she 'Google'. Nebula had become quite familiar with that search engine. "What do you recommend?" Food was part of Human culture, after all. Aside from being hungry, this was research.
Every time she went to the museum, she often found things that she hadn’t remembered from before. Carol was more of an outside enjoying the sunshine type than someone who liked to be at museums, but she was trying. She liked answering questions and reminding herself that she actually did know things. So that was nice.
“Well, I would recommend pizza. Have you had pizza yet? It’s probably one of the best things about Earth.” Oh how she loved food. Food was definitely the best thing about this planet. “But there’s also burgers? Fries? You tell me what you’ve had, and I’ll make a decision based on that.” There were a lot of really good places though.
Nebula considered the items Carol mentioned and thought about her food experiences on Earth thus far. She had kept her selections minimal and random, sometimes based on what Quill or Drax had on hand or something Friday recommended. She had been mostly focused on rest and processing the information she gathered.
“Toast,” she said, watching a young woman walk by with more metal in her head than Nebula had, and that was saying something. “Broth. Protein powder. Gatorade. Dough-nuts. Something called ‘cheese flavoured poofs’. Captain America Muesli. Stark Raving Hazelnuts ice cream. Steamed rice. Eggs. Cheeseburger. Beer. Shawarma. Coffee. Blueberries. Chow Mein. Cookies shaped like Groot.”
Nebula slid Carol a look. “I’ve heard of pizza, but have yet to experience it.”
That was definitely a list of food. “Well okay then, pizza it is. You’re going to have to tell me which of those you liked, and which you didn’t. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Captain America Muesli. What is that?” Sure Carol knew about things, but she didn’t know everything. “The rest of it sounds delicious though. But probably not all mixed together.” She really hoped Nebula hadn’t eaten it all together.
Heading to the pizza place, she opened the door for the both of them and then went to order. “We’ll start off basic and just get half cheese and half pepperoni. I don’t know about you, but I’m starving.” And she could probably eat a whole half a pizza herself.
“I, too, am hungry, but will leave the choices to you, Car-ell,” she said, enjoying the aromas of the establishment. It was warmer in here, too, as the museum had been. This was a smaller space, though, and people were standing nearby, waiting for their order. Two young men in particular to her right and slightly behind caught Nebula’s attention, as they were staring at her with expressions crossed between fear and awe. One wore a t-shirt with the words, ‘It’s Hammer Time!’ and a simple sketch of Thor on it. The other wore some sort of jacket with a hood, black with a metallic silver interpretation of Captain America’s shield featured on the front. They both held the devices she knew to be mobile communication units in front of them, periodically checking the content.
The one with the shield on his clothing took a step closer to her and said in a pseudo-whisper, as if she might be offended, “Way cool cosplay.” The other drew enough courage from his friend to ask, “Are you, like, one of those aliens from ‘Star Wars’?”
To ‘shield’, Nebula calculated the best response would be ‘Thank you’, so that’s what she said. To ‘Hammer Time!’, she replied, “No. I am from Luphom.” Both youth exchanged a look and seemed to relax a bit. Smiling, one said, “Great in-character!” and the other said, “I told you she’d be cool, dude!” Then their order was ready and they left with several flat boxes made of thick paper.
Turning to Carol, she said, “I feel like I’ve passed some sort of test.”
It was easier to just try and get something simple as far as pizza went instead of just going with the crazy toppings. There was nothing wrong with cheese pizza. Standing in line, she was looking between the menu and then the people who might be looking at Nebula. She was trying to make sure that no one was going to get in her face, or harass her. She was ready to step in though, at any moment. Though these guys looked like they probably were into the Avengers.
She couldn’t help but laugh a little. “Yeah, you kind of did. Everyone thinks you look neat.” Carol grabbed the pizza box. “Hey, she’s in the Avengers,” she told them. They promptly started to freak out. She took the pizza and went over to a table so that they could eat.
“All right. You first. Let me know what you think.” She wanted to watch her face and see if she actually liked it.
She refrained from announcing that Carol was a real Avenger and focused on the food. Simple toppings were fine with Nebula. She wasn't familiar with this round, crisped dough item or cheese, really, so a gradual introduction was great. Having consumed many different types of food throughout the universe, her system was mostly tolerant of the things she ate, which was particularly beneficial when the options were limited.
But it never hurt to be careful when the opportunity presented itself.
Nebula sat across from Carol and picked up one of the triangles, the cheese glistening and the heat registering on her fingers and her mouth as she lifted the pizza and took a bite. It tasted as good as it smelled and when she pulled the slice away from her face, the cheese stretched and didn't break.
"Mmmm," she moaned, her eyes closing to slits. If she was aware of the customers who were taking a photo or some video while she ate, she chose to ignore them. "This is delicious," she murmured and lifted the slice so she could gather the rest of the cheese into her mouth.
Sure Carol was a real Avenger, but that didn’t matter much at the moment. Right now pizza was the only thing that mattered. When it seemed like Nebula really liked the pizza, Carol seemed very pleased with herself. As if she had invented it and was super proud. No, she just liked it when people tried new things. She picked up her own slice and started to eat, trying not to seem like a pig about it.
“You can pretty much put anything on pizza and it’s delicious. And don’t let people tell you that putting certain things on it makes you a heathen. If you like it, then you should eat it.” Down with all the pizza naysayers, was her thought. She ate the rest of her pizza and happily chatted with Nebula about things.
“Thanks for coming out with me and y’know.. Seeing things.”
Nebula mostly nodded while Carol talked, though she did ask some more questions about historical figures they’d seen at the museum, such as Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, female samurai Tomoe Gozen and the like. She remembered to swallow before she spoke this time. Barely. “No, Car-ell, thank you. You have shared your knowledge of this city, of the people and of the pizz-a.” She pointed to the plate between them. ”Can we have another when this is done?” She certainly hoped so. Nebula had possibly found a new addiction which might rival Drax’s love for cheesy snacks. Only time would tell.