1964-01-14 - I Am The Lorax...
Summary: A few people meet up during their walks in Central Park.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
groot quill hope tommy lynette 

Snow: it's a beautiful, peaceful thing that brings silence and pause. It reminds others that things can be calm, silent, and not the insane, madcap existance that it actually was. Aliens were real. Men could fly. Hatred spread from state to state, and the idea of 'reality' and 'normal' had been tossed to the side of some twisting road. But it was snowing in Central Park, and that was enough for some.

One person it was heaven for is a dark skinned girl with flooftastic hair, bundled up in her tan coat (partially blood-stained), and a pale blue scarf. Her partially laced boots shuffles and drive up groves and patterns in the powder, marking her path from start, to finish. She was humming something to herself, a melody without words, and her head bobs from one side to the other, causing her curls to bounce and sway.


Of everywhere in NYC, there is exactly one place where Groot does not feel horribly, utterly and completely out of place. That would be the park. He doesnt' mind the snow. It settles upon his bark as he walks with Quill, adding a certain air of holiday like festive, even if its a month or so late by Earth calendars.

Groot's expression is intent, thoughtful even and he looks to Quill with a question. "I am Groot?"


Peter Quill is not particularly fond of snow. This might be because, despite being from Earth and probably having the requisite knowledge, he did not think to pack appropriate clothing. Oh, the badass coat certainly looks like it could do a decent job keeping one warm, but it's really better at looking cool (and deflecting lasers) than it is at insulation.

Nonetheless, as he walks down the path with his pal the animate tree, he is grinning. "Right. The best thing about Earth is cheeseburgers, Groot. I /know/ there's a great burger joint somewhere near the park, I just got to remember where. Been a while since I've been to New York, y'know."


Tommy has arrived.


Lynette had seen a number of things in this part thus far, and usually it wasn't good things. But this, this was new and curious. Pausing in step, the girl blinks, staring at the pair from afar before glancing around them and rolling her shoulders to settle her coat around her just a bit more. Thinning her lips, she considers her next few actions, her mouth filling out naturally before she starts striding toward the pair.

Standing before them after a few yards, she offers them both a beaming smile, even more so up toward the towering tree that moves all on its own. "Mornin'." The Creole girl begins and then clears her throat. "Ah…sorry. Don' know what t'say afta dat. I, ah, well…wanted t'meet y', I 'spose."


The look that Groot provides to Quill on the declaration about cheeseburgers is one of skepticism. It seems feasible that they may have walked down this path of 'best thing about <insert planet here>' and questionable cuisine before.

There's a huff from Groot. "I am Groot." He notes towards the man and then there is another human standing before them.

There's a pause as he listens to Lynette, watching her a moment and then he offers, rather politely really. "I am Groot."


"No, I promise," Quill protests, in response to the huffy reply he gets from Groot. "It's /way/ better than those qurplofs on Ezbisk Prime. Like, not even in the same league." A brief pause, "Look, have I ever given you reason to doubt me?"

He's saved from having to hear an even more skeptical 'I am Groot' by Lynette's appearance. He blinks, turning to look at her. "Um. Hey. What's up?" He glances at the oversized tree-man standing beside him and sighs. "I suppose I should brace myself for this sort of thing in these parts. You stick out like a sore thumb dude."

Eyes return to Lynette. "I'm Quill. That's-" He jerks a thumb towards Groot, then hesitates. "Well, I think he's got it covered."


"Nice t'meet y', Groot." The girl continues to smile, her attentions focusing on Quill when he speaks. "N' you, Quill. M'Lynette. M'sorry f'jus' walkin' up on y'like dis. He sticks out, sure, but truth b'told? He ain't de weirdest t'ings in dese parts." Introductions out of the way, she reaches a bare hand up and rubs at the nape of her neck nevously. "M'bein' weird. Sorry. Jus' b'careful 'round here, ok? S'crazy city lately. If y'get 'ny hassle fr'm folks, y'let me know, 'lright?" Then, she pauses. "What's a-a qerplufs?"


If there was ever any question about 'can a tree raise an eyebrow', the answer is an unqualified yes at the very mention of Ezbisk Prime.

Groot's shoulders ripple a little as Captian Obvious points out that he is possibly a teeny bit distinctive on Earth and there's a quiet mutter. "i am groot."

Groot's attention resettles upon Lynette and he watches her curiously and listens, but mostly watches her. There's a soft hunh and he offhandedly notes to Quill. "I am Groot."


That's Obvious-Lord, thank you very much.

"Well look, hunny," Quill says, with a slightly lopsided smirk, "I appreciate the kindness, but I really don't think you need to worry about us. I mean, frankly, we've been to a lot weirder places than New York." He pauses briefly, then amends, "Alright, a /few/ weirder places than New York. Hardly anyplace with as good bagels, though."

A brief aside to Groot. "Remind me to get bagels before we leave."

Then back to Lynette. "It's like a.. well, kinda.." He makes a vague gesture with gloved hands. "But more.." Sort of squishing them together. "Look, /I/ think they taste great. Groot wasn't a fan, but there's no accounting for trees."


Snow. It makes for a good run, doesn't it? No, it really really doesn't. The roads get slick, the sidewalks and other places have arying depths of the stuff which mean timing one's footfalls isn't the easiest thing to do, and therefore, rather than running through the streets at high-speed, Tommy's making his way into the park at a far more pedestrian pace. Bundled up in the usual leather jacket and jeans combination — and the thickness of the jeans suggesting they've been layered, he steps with a purpose. He'd come here to meet someone. To test their ability to get around the city without his help, and /not/ get lost in the process. He trusts that person's skills, and his maps.

…but what he /didn't/ account for, is that his eyes would start playing tricks on him. Is that tree /moving?/ No, it couldn't be. It had to be the wind. The wind which wasn't blowing very hard at all. Maybe it was a prankster pulling a practical joke for the ages? Not entirely impossible.

Either way, interest is piqued and Tommy's walking towards the not-so-tall, but most definitely mobile-looking tree, and the people around it. Walking slowly. Eyes trying not to blink, as if he'll miss catching sight of the strings orchestrating the illusion.

That's right. He's definitely staring.


Hope has arrived.


That…explained nothing to the girl. She offers a nod, at least acknowledging that he was saying something to her, but the description of whatever he was talking about is just lost to her. "Well, 'lright den." She finally concludes and presses a smile once more across her features. She's about to say something else before hearing those footfalls and glancing over her shoulder to notice yet another figure in the park. He's staring, she knew that look, and shrinking a bit into her jacket and scarf, she halfway hides her face and looks back up to the pair. "Are y'hungry, den? I t'ink y'talkin' 'bout food, right? Well, de bagels 'n stuff."


The request for bagels comes with a nod from Groot. "I am Groot." He replies and then there's a pause. A thoughtful and considering pause. "I am Groot?"

Staring is a thing that Groot is fairly well accustomed to, not just on Earth, but pretty much everywhere. He turns towards where someone is walking towards them, watching Tommy approach clearly unconcerned. Except that Quill has been to this planet before, so concern is probably warrented.

Lynette's question bring's Groots attention back to her. "I am Groot."


Snow. It makes for excellent tracking, really. Follow the footsteps and there you go, if enough powder lies fresh on the surface to allow for a trail. Sidewalks may be ice but a cookie dusting is enough to follow, especially for someone comfortable following the marching path of prints of a certain height and given size. Crunching footfalls land in the mire, a little bit slower than usual, chasing a given person with very particular footwear and sizes. Is there anything funny about those shoes? No, not particularly.

But out from a side path comes a redhead who simply wasn't there before, possibly because she took a shortcut through the bushes or tramped her way over a tiny ornamental creek, slightly frozen. Or frozen completely solid, in this case, something that maybe allows Hope to skid fairly fast to make her arrival. Either way, arms are held out to her side for balance and she kips up with a hop, landing on a surprisingly firm snowbank. Dune. Whatever you want to call it. "What's happen — " so the question begins, and ends, halted on the edge of reason. "Oh. Yes." She hastily follows up behind Tommy and doesn't really see the need to grab his arm and point out the obvious.


As far as he knows, Quill does not actually have any outstanding warrants on Earth. However, his knowledge is imperfect and Groot has no way of knowing that anyway, so the arboreal man's worry is probably well-founded, if not necessarily correct in this particular instance. He notices both Lynette and Groot noticing something, and turns to peer at Tommy, but he is also used to stares (due to being used to standing next to Groot), so he doesn't think anything of it in particular.

If he notices Lynette's apparent discomfort, he doesn't acknowledge it, instead replying, "Well, the bagels can be a later thing. I /was/ extolling the virtues of cheeseburgers to my friend here prior to your arrival, but I can't seen to remember where the place I was thinkin' of is. You know of any good burger joints in the vicinity? S'been a few years since I've been here, as I mentioned, so it's entirely possible the place I remember ain't even here anymore.."

Hope is just given a glance, but see above re: staring.


Hope has partially disconnected.


The approach had continued until the tree was in earshot.

…wait. Why is a /tree/ within /earshot?/

Perhaps more importantly, why is it making sounds that appear to be actual words rather than 'rustle rustle i'm a big scary tree, behold my glory before my squirrelly minions pelt you with a billion acorns!'?

It's such a transfixing event that Tommy doesn't even notice Hope — a tackling into snow opportunity missed — until she speaks up and that's enough to make him jump in surprise. Fortunately, gravity and balance are one's playthings when one reacts as fast as he does, and thus, landing right back on his feet. "Can you hear it too?" is half-whispered towards Hope, before Tommy decides; yes, definitely a prank. Brilliant one, too, which he'll have to learn the secrets of and use on Steve later. So lips curve into a grin, and a wave is offered towards the other bunch.

"Cut, and scene! That's great special effects you've got going there. You've /got/ to tell me. Is there a little man inside?" He's moving forward. In a circle. Looking for wires. For doors. For anything that suggests control mechanisms. "…or maybe it's a Stark invention? Let's see, G.R.O.O.T…. Giant Realistic…. uhh… Otter Or Tree?" Quick on his feet, but sometimes the mouth moves quicker than the brain.

Okay a lot of times.

"Still, that's just /awesome./"


"Yeah. S'one down d'road. Dunno if dey let Groot in, dough. I mean, dey don' let m'kind in, so, who knows?" A shrug, she eyes the pair and takes a sidestep off the main path. Her dark gaze settles on the red-head, someone she actually knew, at least met, and she offers her a gentle wave. "Hey. Glad y'doin' 'lright, chere. Hope y'found, well…whoeva y'were lookin' f'r." Tommy's questions, however, cause her brows to slope. Her head cants, and now it's her turn to stare at the questioning man. "What 'r y'talkin' 'bout?" Then she eyes Groot, and back toward Tommy. Moving her hand, she thumbs at the tree. "Dat's Groot." All things were Groot. "I t'ink 's jus' a tree. Well, not jus', but…tree." Then, she looks back up to Groot, and glances to Quill, and back again. "Right?"


The tree can, indeed, still raise an eyebrow and it is that expression that Groot settles upon Tommy. His attention follows Tommy as the man moves around him, debating on the origin of his name, and searching for.. Groot honestly has no idea. "I am Groot?" He asks, perhaps just a smidge confused.

His attention moves to Quill then and there's a moment of shrugging. This one is clearly a fairly new one for him. "I am Groot." He notes and then his attention goes back to Tommy and there's a touch more forceful. "I am Groot."

Something in Lynette's words prompt Groot to return his gaze back to her, and there's a frown as he asks. "I am Groot?"


"They don't let cute girls in?" Quill asks to Lynette, sounding confused. "Doesn't really sound like my sorta place, if that's the case. And I mean, Groot ain't exactly a looker, but there's really no accounting for taste."

Tommy is considered, as he approaches and starts circling Groot. "Sometimes," He replies to 'is there a little man inside' "But I don't think he's there now, you'd probably hear a lot more cursing. It's just a talking tree dude, chill. At least he has a face. It's the things without faces that are really hard to deal with."


The redhead hooks her arm around Tommy's, inserting herself as a linchpin for whatever may come. The gentle pressure of motion keeps her pulled in a tidal lock with the pale haired young man, and more or less underlines that hey, they know one another, and comfortably enough to be manhandled. "That was seriously one of the most terrible acronyms I've ever heard. Genuine Realistic Organic … You know, I'll just let you fill out the rest, you figure?" She waves to the tree, because the tone is universal even if the words may not be. "You know, trees are rare and important. Especially after this park got next to firebombed—at least that's what everyone tells me. It got pretty damn scratched up from some… Demons… Not sure I believe that story, but you take what you can get." This, spoken softer, is warning as much as reproof.

The friendly nod in Lynette's direction is timed so as not to distract her from her conversation, but she gives a shake of the head and "Still looking" when the opportunity presents itself.


Well, it seems clear enough that the two people with the tree /know/ of the tree… and know that he /is/ a tree… who /does/ have a little man inside HE KNEW IT. There's a momentary grin that crosses over his lips to that; victory is his. But then again, they're also claiming that beyond being a giant marionette… this is also a talking tree and that there is no puppeteer in residence at the moment.

Blink. Blink. Well. He's seen weirder. Besides, that's… "…pretty awesome. A talking tree. I mean, I've seen some crazy things going on in this city," There's an affectionate patting of Hope's arm when she links hers with his own; both to acknowledge her words and presence. "—right, the demon invasion I heard about." A pause. A wary eye offered towards the others. "…might wanna take about ten steps to the right. Just in case the Park gets hungry and turns into a fiery portal to Hell again. Unless our friend here's flame-resistant too?" …hey, if the tree /talks,/ there's no reason that he can't be fireproof, too.

"So, I'm Tommy. This lovely lady to my side is Hope. Cool to meet you, Groot-and-company." …then a playful grin to the redhead. "At least I /finished/ mine. I don't think either of us has a future in crazy invention naming, though."


Lynette shakes her head toward Quill, but before she explains herself, she watches Hope and Tommy. "Lynette." She greets, offering out her name and taking one more step back, just to be away from the path once more and closer to Quill and the towering tree that dwarfs her easily. "De hellmouth happ'ned, chere." She then comments, her eyes giving a knowing glimmer about the whole ordeal.

The frown on the tree's face isn't missed, and trying to ease it away, the girl offers a fresh curve of her lips. "Ah, don' worry 'bout it. De let cute girls in dere, jus' not n'my color, s'all. Still, s'good eatin' I hear tell. N'deys 'notha place down dey street fr'm dere, too. 'n a bak'ry. Dere y'c'n get y'bagels."


"I am Groot." Is the resigned comment on the fact that he is 'not a looker'. A burden that Groot bears every day.

There's just a little rumble from Groot, possible that it's some of the aforementioned cursing and he shrugs. "I am Groot." He does, indeed, have a face. A surprisingly expressive one, considering that he is a tree.

The mention of 'fire bombing the park' prompts Groot to focus upon Hope, leaning in a touch in her direction. "I am Groot? I am Groot. I am Groot?" Fire bombs, more concerning than demons, apparently. At Tommy's suggestion, Groot shuffles a few steps to the right. Just in case. Not /entirely/ fireproof.

At the mention of colour of humans being a consideration, Groot pauses and now clearly has to examine the helpful collection of humans present. He looks to Quill and notes. "I am Groot."


Quill also considers Lynette's words, with a faint frown. "Oh yeah, I forgot they do that sorta thing 'round these parts." He mutters. Too much time spent in places where 'how many arms to they have' is more likely to be a consideration than the shade of one's skin. He shrugs. "Well. I'm sure there's plenty of places to get some good Earth-grub that are friendly to everybody, all varitiest of human and possible tree included."

He glances at Tommy. "Name's Quill, Peter Quill. How's it goin'?" He sketches something of what he hopes is a roguish bow to Hope as well, though it ends up just looking sort of hokey. Then he follows Groot's example in a brief sideways shuffle. Keep the tree between you and danger, that's a motto that has turned out to be surprisngly useful to him. "Hellmouth, huh? Sounds lovely."


"If it makes you feel any better, the things without faces do tend to be the ones you run away from. Or distrust, generally, as they most often have the hardest patterns of communication." Running her fingers through her somewhat windblown hair, Hope makes a conscious effort to at least look presentable instead of someone out for a winter jog, sprint or the like. She slips her hands in her pockets, arm still entwined around Tommy's, which in part might be thought to imprison him against casual tree groping or running away without having something of an anchor to slow him down slightly. At least a little, not that it makes a difference. "Groot is a perfectly nice name. Good to meet you again, Lynette, and your other friend." A pause registers, giving Quill an opportunity to name himself. She doesn't seem to be suppressing panic mode for meeting a mobile, sentient tree, and the even register of her leaf-green eyes moves between the small group as each speaks. Also, registering whether an enterprising squirrel considers scrambling an offensive in hopes of capturing a grand meal, or that man with the Great Dane seventy yards off is tracking towards them or really just running back and forth while the dog wags its tail and refuses to chase a stick. Such things are important to register, really.

She has to puzzle through the questions for a moment. Certainly things might be easier with English vocabulary wider than three words, but she pauses for a moment. "I wasn't here, not when it happened, but I've got bits and pieces. Demons were in the park, coming out of a hole torn into it. Lots of them were fire oriented, and they harmed the soil and the plants. Lots of felled trees, burnt trees. They replanted some maybe a month ago? Not very good timing, I mean… it's winter. Things don't grow very well with two feet of snow on the ground. But it's gone now, whatever that hole was, and I don't think there's been anything //more/ in here." Earth grub. Wait, hello, Hope's phoning home for a moment. She flicks her gaze towards Quill again, arching an eyebrow. Her lips tighten a little. "Care much for the high springs of Mu Cephei, or more the sunsets over Arima?"


Eyes consider Lynette for a moment. Cher? Well, he's hardly Sonny Bono, and Hope's not exactly Cher — despite the fact that she does have a couple inches on him, although not quite as many as seperated the singing duo that wouldn't become popular for a couple years not — and he's about to point that out, but decides against it. Only /one/ set of memories knows of Cher.

Instead, he focuses on the /other/ thing that Lynette mentions. Rolling his eyes in disgust. No, that part of the past… present… whatever, doesn't sit well with him. "Crazy people. If /I/ ran a business, there'd only be one color that mattered. Green. Lots of it." He'd use it to buy something exotic — like Kraft dinners, but with fancy /dijon/ ketchups to go with it. Pushing that thought aside, "If you want, one of us could probably go and get takeout from that place, and then you could eat their food /right outside the windows./ Can you imagine the looks on their faces? Seriously. People like that don't think."

Of course, in Tommy's head, it's more about the food being some sort of holy grail and less about the eating /in/ the restaurant, with the patrons of a more 'acceptable' color… but he's somewhat new to this being a thing. It'll get figured out in time.

Groot's… what Tommy can only imagine is nervous movement in accordance with his and Hope's words draws a thumbs up from the platinum-haired speedster. "You should be good now, chum. Even if it comes back. Lightning may never strike the same place twice, but portals to Hell? I'm thinking they do." A sage nod to that. Then to Peter, "Well, considering the company at hand?" A brief wink towards Hope, "It's hard to say I could be better right now. The weather's… not exactly my cup of tea, but it can't be beach weather /every/ day unless you're in Malibu or something, right?"

…that actually doesn't sound like a bad idea. Tommy considers it for a few moments. "…wait, did you say… /Earth/-grub?" There's aliens around who can shapeshift and look exactly like people. There's a talking tree right here, but the most obvious possible alien has just become Quill.

Tommy listens to Hope's recollection of the Hellmouth — from what he knows, it had /something/ to do with him coming back here as well.. so gathering up those details is important. If only because he really doesn't want to go /back,/ in a lot of ways. As strange as it is, the backwards era has felt a lot more comfortable than even the time he came from. "That's unless they start talking in your head. In which case they're probably some sort of… ultra-knowledgable demigod or something." A pause. "…like in that sci-fi movie that came out a couple years ago. What was the name…" he trails off and leaves it there. Good save, Shepherd!


"Nah, I don'…I don' wanna do dat." She mutters at Tommy's idea of 'sticking it to the man' with food via line-of-sight. Another nervous rub at her arms now, and nibbling at her lower lip, she watches, and listens, as Hope starts to name off a few words she didn't understand. A glance toward Quill, she doesn't interupt, though something does strike a cord with her. "Wait, don' be mean t'Groot." She replies, a bit too late on the upswing to react in time with Peter's comment on Groot's looks. "I t'ink s'cute." The compliment is genuine as she offers the tree another, more placid, smile.

Then comes the talk about the park and how things can 'talk' in your head. The curve of one nostril twitches ever so slightly, as she reaches around and pulls up her scarf just so, hiding her face away once more. Another wave of silence passes over Lynette as the rest continue their conversation.


The attentive look that Groot provides to Hope at her detailed explinations says that his understanding of English is probably a lot more than the three words that he can utter.

Either that or he's exceptionally good at faking it.

The rumbly growl does not speak to Groot being /delighted/ about felled trees and ruined soil and possibly, just maybe, a touch about the idiocy about replanting in winter. I mean /really/.

Groot has clearly lost track of who was being mean to him, based on that puzzled noise that comes from him towards Lynette. "I am Groot?" He smiles to her. Which is possibly less reassuring than he hopes, all jagged and crackly bark.

As for the notion of being from elsewhere and things chatting in your head, Groot just nods. "I am Groot."


"What, him?" Quill punches Groot in the arm in what seems like a companionable gesture, only to wince and shake his hand out afterwards. "Don't worry about him, he's got thick… bark. He knows I don't mean it."

He eyes Hope as she names off a few places that he may or may not recognize. "I've always been more fond of the Wager Pits of Betelgeuse myself." He winks. Then he looks at Tommy. "That's right. Earth-grub. Y'know, the kinda food they make on Earth? Been a while since I been in the neighborhood. I mean, it's possible to find cheeseburgers on other planets but it's just not the same. No cows, y'see."

Then he pats Groot reassuringly again to calm him down about the felled trees and such, before he starts some kind of a scene. Y'know, other than just being a giant walking tree in the first place.


The fact the trees were completely savaged by the parks department gets Hope nodding, rather sadly. "Unfathomable, I know. I think there was some businessman behind it. Horrible." Sympathy for the plants, it goes a bit more than skin deep.

She releases Tommy's arm anyways, largely for the need to tug on the zipper of her coat up higher, and stay kind of warm. "Ow. You sure that didn't hurt?" Punches to trees often do, and a bit of winced sympathy comes and goes faster than the twitch of a bunny's tail. "You were talking about food. I'm not really very helpful for suggestions but he is." A nod to Tommy, for all his antics, and she glances over at Lynette again. "It's probably better not to eat right out there. Plenty of good benches around to dine, right? I think there should be."


"Up to you, kiddo." Tommy replies, shrugging a bit towards Lynette and deciding that Hope had a good idea — hands go into pockets, though his into the pockets of his jacket. Better to keep them warm than to have the problem of cold and stiff fingers coming up on the horizon. Which would be bad if he needs to… liberate some things from their oppressive owners. Like wallets. Viva la resistance!

Then Quill gets a more appraising look. There's the thought running through his head — could this be one of those aliens that the government is so worried about? …is the government so bad at telling what's from Earth and what's not that someone who calls the food here 'Earth-grub' could be a master infiltraitor undetectable by science?

…deciding anyone who pals around with a talking tree is probably cool enough, Tommy looks left, then looks right. "Uh, Pete? It's cool if I call you Pete? Petey. Word of advice. Don't go spreadin' the whole space-news around. The government kinda wants to lock up all your kind in a box and through away the key… and not some kinda party box, either." Pause. "You'd probably be smart to suggest big G here got too close to a nuclear reactor and fwoosh!" With his arm free, Tommy's hands can pantomime a sudden outgrowth of limbs. Then hands dive back into pockets.

Then there's a pause. And an apologetic smile offered to Hope. "I, uh, should probably tell you the same thing too, Spicecake." Even though he's about 99.9% sure that /she's/ human. As for food? "Sure, there's a diner down the street that's got good food… they put /three/ slices of cheese on each burger patty. You can practically jump rope with it."


"Kiddo?" She questions at first, her brows furrowing as she sets her obsidian eyes on Tommy directly. Then, his advice follows, causing her to give a shake of her head, and sending her curls swaying. "Don' listen t'm. Y'be proud of who n'what y'are. Don' gotta go lyin' 'bout it. Or y'shouldn't 'nyway." Swallowing back her anger, she takes a breath and addresses the gathering. "Y'all 'njoy y'lunch. I gotta be headin' off, 'nyway." Another step back, then away, the girl offers up her hand, waving at the foursome. "Take care now." And down the path she continues.


Lynette has left.


There is a fairly skeptical look from Groot to Tommy at the 'fwoosh' upswing of his hand at him being an unfortunate power plant incident. "I am Groot?" He offers, with the same level of sketpcial. There's a little rumble of acknowledgement on the whole 'xenophobia' thing. Earth isn't the first, or last planet, to suffer from that issue.

"I am Groot. I. Am Groot." Groot comments with a shrug in reply to 'not a party box', clearly /that/ isn't exactly new either.


"See ya," Quill says to Lynette as she makes her exit, giving the young woman a brief wave before turning his attention back to Tommy and Hope.

"Actually I prefer Star-Lo-" he begins to say, then sighs. "Pete is fine. Or Quill." He tilts his head as he listens to the speech about the government and their dislike for illegal aliens, from space. "Hey man, I'm from Earth!" He protests, holding up his hands. "Born in Colorado. I'm a native. I have the paperwork to prove it." He hesitates.. "Somewhere."

"Anyway, thanks for the warning. I guess it's somethin' to keep in mind, although frankly I don't see how being a giant scary talking tree is any different if you were born.. grown? in this soil or some other soil."


There could be so many ways to interpret what the tree, the dark-skinned woman, and the outsider offers. She waves at Lynette, a warm wriggle of her fingers, and then buries her hands back in her pocket. Hey, it's cold.

"They're," and by they, the stress lies on capitalization, "not even putting people on the Moon yet. I mean, the whole idea there are aliens causes them total fits. Read a paper or watch the screen things. That's all anyone talks about now." Lips clamped into a worried line, she gives Quill a once over again. "Get your papers together. That's important. They are obsessed with papers. I've never seen its like."


"Soon, though, I think." Tommy offers to Hope's comment about putting people on the moon — meanwhile waving a hand over towards the departing Lynette. "…and she's right about that, Starlo." …should've finished the line. Because Starlo? Clearly the name that Peter got while spending the summers of his youth in a commune on Venus. These are things that make sense in the wonderful world of Tommy's brain, happily drawing the shortest point from A to B regardless of the ridiculous paths taken to get there.

There's looks given between the space-born Earthlings and Groot, and a brief grumping by Tommy. "Man. Has /everyone/ been in space but me? Not fair." he grousess, before getting to the point. "Like she said, newspaper or the TV news," In present company, he's not going to mention which channel has the most attractive weather girl to Peter; he'll have to discover that one on his own. "You'll want to look up the kinda things the planet's been up through recently." A pause, and a look in Lynette's direction — or at least, the one she left in. "I get what she means about being yourself." More than she knows. "But if people think you're an alien, they're probably gonna call down the super-powered hit squad on you… and that's not trouble you /want/ if you can avoid it, especially if you're one of the good guys." Pause. "If you're secretly space-jerks, feel free to ignore that advice, though." There's a pause and another look offered towards Groot. He kinda really wants to ask if Peter's /sure/ that the tree of awesome isn't a machine of some kind, given the repetitive vocabulary… but this time brain is faster than mouth and lips are held shut.


Groot is thoughtful at the mention of paperwork and then comments to Quill. "I am goot. I am .. groot. I am groot." All probably excellent suggestions, provided no one has 'helpfully reorganized' everything. Or burned everything. Or used it for doodling.

Comments about 'aliens cause them total fits' and 'if you're an alien' prompt Groot to look down at himself and then over to Hope and Tommy both. The timbre of his comment is Sahara dry. "I am Groot."


Quill considers this. "Huh. It has been a few years since I've been back. I guess things do change." He quirks his lips to the side in a thoughtful expression. "Well, looks like we may be headed to Colorado, pal." He says to Groot, quirking a brow. "They /gotta/ have my Birth Certificate around there somewhere. I mean, just a matter of figuring out which hospital it was.." He trails off after a moment.

Then he glances back up to Tommy and Hope. "Hey, thanks for the warning. Don't want any unnecessary trouble." Though he looks slightly shifty-eyed at the mention of secretly space-jerks. I mean.. that depends on your definition.


"I think they will have less of an issue with you than the people who turn green and shoot humans. Those are the ones they make a fuss about." Hope is not green, nor is she anything but a redhead. "You know there are several hospitals in Colorado, right? The state has a few cities. You probably use an office to find it." Help, Tommy, help. Her expression shifts to the indentation of her brows, and the distant shadows gathering over her eyes. "I wish I could be more help, but it's all kind of a big mystery too. There's not much specific I can tell you other than be careful. You seem like a nice pair."

Oh, face it, she's going to grin. "And you're a marvelous tree person. That's a new one for me."


"You definitely /are/ Groot." Tommy offers to the tree fellow along with a cheery grin. Maybe he'll understand that as being a positive impression, alien or otherwise. He tries to put more into /tone/ than words. And another thumbs up, for good measure.

Then a nod towards Quill, and he expands upon Hope's comments somewhat. "You'll probably want to hit a library first, get a look at a map, see if any city names sound familiar — that'll help narrow things down. Some cities have more than one hospital, but most have at least one." He thinks. That might be /his/ time. The brain gets foggy about these things. There's a briefly helpless look towads Hope at the mention of an office. Brows furrow together as he digs through memories. Trying to go back through many boring social studies classes to get the answer. Thomas Jefferson? Nope, not an office. The Liberty Bell? Still not helpful. "…maybe, like, a social security office could point you in the right direction, worst case scenario." Did they have /that?/ Tommy's still unsure. "And hey, no worries. Like she said, you two don't look like the type who want to enslave all humanity." Pause. "And if you /are,/ just remember who hooked you up with knowledge and save us a corner office." He's joking, really!

Then a glance down at his watch. "…aaaand I'm gonna have to run. I've got some people who'll be waiting on me soon — you can tag along if you wanna, Spicecake, otherwise I'll see you back at our place?" …well. His Uncle's place. But still.


"I am Groot?" Groot asks of Quill at the mention of birth certificates and going to Colorado. "I am groot? I .. am groot?" He has a few questions. Possibly like 'What is Colorado?'

Groot looks almost shyly pleased at Hope's praise of his tree personness. "I am groot." He tells her sincerely and then offers Tommy a return thumbs up. Twig up. Sort of.

"I am Groot!" Sounds like a no on 'enslave all of humanity' out of Groot at least. Just the least of which would be the nightmare of logistics.

Groot waves after Tommy at his farewell. "I am Groot."


"I know how hospitals work," Quill says dryly to TOmmy. "I was on Earth through college, I'm not like, some weirdo guy who doesn't know where he grew up. I've been gone a few years, not long enough to totally forget my hometown."

Then the dude is leaving, and Quill gives him another wave. "Right then. Well, thanks again for the info. Have a good day, right?"

He shrugs and glances back up at Groot. Enslave humanity? Well it'd certainly have its perks but it /does/ sound like an awful lot of work.

A look at Hope, then. "So you're from space too, huh?"


Tommy's enthusiasm gets a stifled laugh, dryly caught beneath her sleeve. Some weirdo indeed. The laughter only builds until she is helpless to its thrall, shoulders dropped and quivering, her hair falling over her face as a merciful curtain. It takes her a few moments to get hold of herself, since the twig up appears to tickle her a few shades of pink. At least to her lips and cheeks, albeit not as flushed as redheads often get.

Tommy goes running and she gives him a nod in passing, waving a hand. Forget talking other than "That sounds awesome, sure." She takes a long, deep breath to collect herself, which means he's halfway to Manchester by now.

"Sort of. I've been. But, apparently like you, I'm from the US before, and came back after. It was a phase." A pause. "Sorta."


There are a few things that Groot as been learning in his time hanging out with Peter Quill. Twig up is clearly one of them.

Groot looks quietly, letting hope and Quill chat about being extra terrestrial ex-pats while he looks around, considering the park. Even in winter after a hellmouth, it still holds promise if you ask him.


Quill eyes Hope as she succumbs to a bout of laughter, clearly not seeing what's so funny, although it may just be that he is currently engaged in wondering if the Orphanage bothered to hold onto his records once he 'vanished'. That could be a problem, though he won't actually know until he goes and finds out.

"Oh, gotcha." He replies to Hope, re: space-travel. "We're really just swinging through," He gestures at Groot, including himself. "Y'know, was in the neighborhood, kinda thought I'd stop by for a cheeseburger while we were within a few light years. I dunno though, starting to sound like maybe that wasn't such a good idea."


Running her hand back through her hair, Hope gives a bit of a smile. "In the neighbourhood. I actually do know where to get a good cheeseburger, on the other side of the park on the north side. If you know it's a big rectangle, you head up there. The east side is really, really expensive." She pauses. "All of it is, in money around here." The almost mistake of saying 'now' forms her lips and vanishes away, the merest hint of hesitation. Nope, not smart to tell them about that aspect of things, not at all. She instead shrugs her shoulders a bit. "It isn't a bad idea. Things are just badly jumbled up, you know? They are at this crossroads and everything feels like it's going askew. Maybe you can prove not everything in the stars is terrifying, but they're trying not to have a war or something."


Groot frowns a little and then gestures at Quill vaguely with a few scattered questions. "I am groot? I am groot. I.. am groot." Perhaps those last couple were not so much questions after all.

As for the location of restaurants, Groot looks in the north direction of the park, as if he can see out that far, and it seems unlikely that he can. Even when he grows just a smidge, almost imperceptably, to see over something, but settles again. Right. Aliens bad.


"Mmm. Wars are never fun, so I can see why they'd want to avoid it, but I'm not sure locking all the aliens in a box would be the best way to achieve that outcome." Quill says dryly, then shrugs his shoulders. "Well, anyway.. let's go see if we can find some of those food places, huh? Places that aren't so unwelcoming to talking trees."

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