Can't Help Falling In Love (With You, And You, And You)

Summary: "You're not honeymooners, are you?"

Peter almost dropped his tool bag. "W-What?! I– Uh–"

"You caught us," Drax deadpanned. Peter tried desperately not to choke on his own spit. "We are indeed on our honeymoon. Because we are in love, and married."

Or: The 100% platonic Guardians of the Galaxy fake-dating AU.

As things tended to do for the Guardians of the Galaxy, it all started with a misunderstanding, an absurd situation and a truly moronic idea.

While each and every member of their team was capable of being a complete dumbass at times, there usually was a trend to follow in terms of who acted as the most reckless (Rocket), unnecessarily violent (Gamora) or sheer idiotic. (Fine. That last one was on Peter.)

Whenever Groot created a mess he tended to get the benefit of the doubt, seeing as he was still a child and had the mental capabilities and judgement of one.

Meanwhile, Drax sauntered the odd line between Peter's level of poor decision making and Rocket's habit of diving headfirst into situations without a second thought while also shining through the occasional brilliant idea.

Peter couldn't say for the life of him which category their most recent screw-up fit into.

"Um," Peter eloquently said, staring at the guard who had just caught them sneaking about a cultural monument they had absolutely no right to be on.

"I said," the guard repeated, squinting at them from half of his eyes while raising the eyebrows of the rest, "Why are you here?"

Peter's eyes twitched to the bag of loot half-hidden behind Drax' large frame – and almost punched himself for the instinctive (but suspicious) gesture.

He had no choice. He'd have to dial up his charm and try to flirt himself out of the situation – a strategy he didn't particularly like resorting to when he didn't know his target's beauty standard or their species' courting rites.

"You're not honeymooners, are you?" the guard said.

Peter almost dropped his tool bag. "W-What?! I– Uh–"

"You caught us," Drax deadpanned. Peter tried desperately not to choke on his own spit. "We are indeed on our honeymoon. Because we are in love, and married."

The guard's eyes swirled in a nauseating circle of movement that might have been meant to express exasperation. "This is only called the Fountain of Love as a tourist trap. You know that, right?"


"We did not know that." Drax somehow managed to keep a straight face. "I am here with my betrothed because I wanted to show him this fountain. Because we are deeply in love and intended to deepen our affection for one another with a romantic gesture."

"Y-Yeah," Peter choked out. "T-That's. Um."

"Just get out of here. Don't let me catch you lovebirds out after hours again."

Peter's undignified yelp was thankfully covered up by Drax throwing a heavy arm around his shoulders and loudly declaring, "Come, beloved. Let us look for another place to bask in the beauty of our love."

A strangled noise was the only sound escaping Peter's throat.

Later, once they had relocated to the Milano with their limbs intact, their loot secured and without another planet being out for their head, Peter could do nothing but bury his face in his hands while Drax laughed.

"Tell me again how you managed to get out of there?" Gamora said, raising an eyebrow in faux skepticism and failing to cover up the twitching of her lips.

Drax's laughter seemed to shake the entire ship. "It is funny because we pretended to be married, even though we are not!"

"I can't believe it worked," Peter groaned, wishing his face would lose its bright red color. He couldn't believe how useless he'd been down there.

He also couldn't believe Drax had been the one to con their way out of this one.

Peter looked up in time to catch Gamora's smirk, and promptly wished he hadn't.

"Maybe we should always send in you two from now on."

"Lovebirds," Rocket snorted up from the cockpit, and Peter let his face drop back into his hands.

Gamora couldn't claim to be innocent the next time that it happened.

Being a Guardian of the Galaxy may have entailed a pompous title and the credit of having saved the universe once or twice. It did not, however, entail a stable source of income. Retrieving a stolen artifact in exchange for a reward may have been a downgrade from their bigger adventures, but as long as it paid the bills, none of the team was about to complain.

Gamora realized too late that they were drawing attention from the people around them. The people who, at second glance, were all paired up in couples or small groups.

"Hey, you! What are you doing here?" A local confronted them, tightly grasping the hand of their partner and scowling deeply at Gamora and Peter. "This place is sacred. No bondless may tread these grounds."

"B-But we are!" Gamora blurted out, grabbing for Peter's hand blindly. "We are bonded. See?"

Peter's eyes grew to saucers. "Y-Yes. Of course. We are... so in love right now. Ridiculously, insanely in love."

Peter sucked in a sharp breath as Gamora tightened her grip.

The individual did not look convinced. "You do not appear to be bonded," they said, eyeing Gamora's death grip around Peter's hand doubtfully.

"Our customs of showing affection are different from yours." Gamora sounded far more confident than she felt. "You have our apologies. We did not mean to offend."

They did their best to look like a loving couple, rather than thieves caught in the act.

Crazily, incredulously, it worked. The individual's features softened and they stepped back, gently tugging along their own partner. "Your love is welcome here, no matter the form it takes. Enjoy each other's company. You will not find more magnificent of a place to let your affections blossom."

Blood flushed into Gamora's cheeks, and she hoped her face wasn't as dark as it felt.

"Why did you do that?!" Peter hissed once they had moved on. They walked too closely for both of their comforts, but as long as their bodies were touching, nobody cast them a second glance.

"I panicked!" Gamora hissed, and hurriedly twisted her scowl into a cheery grin as a passerby gave her a smile. "It worked, didn't it? Keep walking."

"This is ridiculous," Peter muttered. "This shouldn't have worked the first time. There's no way someone bought it a second time."

The third time was Rocket's fault, and there was no panicking or improvising involved whatsoever. It would appear that, having utilized the strategy twice successfully, there was no going back.

The rest of the Guardians didn't even find out about it until after all was said and done.

"Where'd you get all that loot? I thought we were broke." Peter didn't give Rocket the chance to answer. "And don't even try telling me you stole all of it. You're carrying a shopping bag."

"I got a discount," Rocket said.

"A discount," Peter repeated, and he stared. "Why would anybody want to give you a discount? You've got horrible manners and try to haggle far too much."

"Not this time." Rocket's expression split into a gleeful smile. "Who wouldn't want to give a discount to a poor, desperate lover wanting to court their sweetheart?"

Gamora choked on whatever it was she'd been drinking.

Peter's eyes widened in disbelief. "What exactly did you tell them?"

"I sold them some sob story about my plans to get married. Threw in some stuff about wanting to give my dearest the world, even though I can barely afford food on most days." He snorted. "It was hilarious. They got so teary eyed, they didn't notice me swiping even more of their stuff."

"You're a horrible person," Peter said as though that was anything new. "You are a horrible, despicable person. And I'm using the word 'person' in the broad sense, here."

"Oh, quit moping." Rocket took something out of his bag and tossed it at Peter. He caught it. It looked like some sort of fruit and smelled delicious.

"Next time I'm taking one of you along." Rocket grinned. "Just imagine the possibilities."

Without any of the Guardians intending to – with the exception, perhaps, of Rocket – it started to become a Thing. It wasn't due to the fact that any of them were particularly fond of it, although even Gamora had to admit that after a while each of them played the role of starcrossed lovers perfectly.

It wasn't their fault that the ploy was so incredibly, insanely effective.

They'd never before managed to blend into certain types of alien cultures quite this well. Stealing had never been easier. They needed to keep a low profile? Which bounty hunter would look at a giggling, blushing couple and suspect a Guardian?

Once each of them had gotten over the indignity of it – mostly Gamora and Peter, seeing as Rocket and Drax had embraced it full-heartedly from the start – there was no way of denying the rising success in their various missions.

The first real hurdle they ran into came from within the team.

"I am Groot."

"I already told you, it's not happening." Rocket scowled, pointedly refusing to look up from the mess of wires lying in his lab.

"I am Groot!"

"I don't care if you're feeling left out. You're not joining."

"I am Groot."

"You're literally a child!" Rocket threw him a glare. "I sure as hell ain't pretending to be dating you. Neither is any of the others."

"I am Groot!"

"Well, tough luck. This is crossing way too many lines. You're grossing me out by just making me think about it."

"I am Groot!" Groot stomped his foot, turned on his heel and stormed out of the front part of the Milano. If he'd been tall enough, he would have definitely slammed the door on his way out.

"Oh, go cry about it," Rocket muttered, turning back to his project. "The ideas he comes up with. Gross."

Gamora rolled her eyes. "He just wants to be included."

"If you wanna pose as his partner, be my guest."

Gamora grimaced. "Not a chance. I'm just saying it's normal for him to want to do the same things we do."

"Well unless you know some way of making this any less weird than it already is, he'll just have to deal with it."

Gamora paused. Rocket looked up to her incredulously. "I was joking. Seriously?"

"I'm afraid so," Gamora sighed.

The things they were prepared to do in order to make their brat happy.

"We are on a family vacation. This is our son."

Keli stared at the green lady and the raccoon, each holding the hand of a walking tree between them.

"I am Groot," the tree said.

"He's adopted," the green lady said.

The raccoon raised some sort of blaster behind the tree's and the lady's back and Keli decided then and there that neither did her job pay her well enough, nor was some semi-famous tourist spot worth dying over.

She stepped aside, waved the "family" through and didn't speak a word of the encounter to anyone once they had left.

After a time, each and every one of the Guardians was prepared to slip into their role the second it might give them some sort of advantage.

Sadly it was not quite as easy to convince others of the brilliancy of their plan.

"You want me to what," Nebula asked tonelessly, freshly graduated from her sort-of redemption and having boarded their ship as a temporary ally.

"Just roll with it," Rocket said, stuffing the last of his supplies into his travelling bag.

"Why would I possibly want to–"

"We've gone over this," Gamora interrupted, barely managing to suppress rolling her eyes. "If you want to come with us, you'll do as we say. Otherwise you're waiting on the ship."

"I'm not staying behind." Nebula scowled. "There are clearly far more reasonable strategies to utilize than this... this..."

"This is how we do things," Gamora snapped, having reached the end of her patience. "If you wanna work with us, deal with it."

"Fine!" Nebula's expression was warped in irritation. "Go fetch me that marital jewelry."

In retrospect, they should have left her on the Milano after all.

Peter had to suppress a groan when he was pulled aside for at least the half-dozenth time. Judging by the way Nebula stiffened several stands further away, she had noticed, too.

"Are you okay?" yet another well meaning local whispered, shooting wary looks towards Nebula as though making sure she wasn't looking their way. "Do you need help?"

"I'm fine." Peter forced a smile that did most likely little to reassure the tall, lanky individual who had approached him. True enough, the lines around their mouth tightened in concern.

"Listen," they murmured, taking care to keep their voice low enough so nobody – especially Nebula – would overhear. "I realize that this situation is not one easily escaped. But there are options. If you are willing to ask for help, there are people out there who will help you. Groups that are formed especially for people like–"

"I'm fine," Peter said louder. Widening his smile only made it feel more strained. "I know what you're thinking, but she's not– We're not– It's not what you think."

"Of course," they muttered, a look of pained understanding on their face. Peter wanted to groan.

"There you are, dear," Nebula hissed, having appeared out of thin air and glaring daggers at the local.

Peter flinched and wanted to groan yet again because of the implications he had just made to the local. It wasn't his fault Nebula moved so freakishly silent.

"We're going."

"Nebula– I mean, h-honey–"

"I said we're going," Nebula snapped, closing her fist around Peter's wrist and dragging him along.

Peter threw what was supposed to be an apologetic glance over his shoulder, but probably looked more like a grimace. He didn't want to begin to imagine what they must have thought of the entire encounter – he almost felt bad for them, making them worry and leaving without another word.

Peter squirmed in Nebula's grip and hoped that the mission wouldn't take much longer.

Next time, he'd make sure to take Drax with him.

Nebula should have been their lesson to never include an outsider in one of their brilliant schemes. Nobody had quite expected Mantis and her level of eagerness upon hearing about their mission plan, and by the end of it, nobody'd had the heart to refuse her request to come along.

Rocket didn't care either way. His objective was an easy one: go to the planet's surface, have Mantis act as a distraction, and swipe as much stuff as he could possibly manage before they needed to return to the Milano. Even if Mantis turned out to be the worst distraction in the history of distractions, Rocket was confident in his capabilities to make it work.

As it turned out, there had been no need for worry.

"This fuzzy puppy is my spouse," she explained to the crowd of people that had formed, watching her with a variety of expressions. Curiosity, amusement and bewilderment were only some of them.

Rocket himself didn't particularly care what she called him as long as it drew in the bystanders' attention.

"His soft fur is only one of the things I adore about him," Mantis continued. "I met my spouse on a planet that was also a murderer and who kept me as a pet. When I was rescued, my spouse was there, and I smiled, which made him like me. We blew up the planet that was also Ego and fled together on his spaceship."

"We're totally doing this again," Rocket said after all was said and done, his pockets full and leaving a crowd of disturbed alien lifeforms behind. "You kept them hooked for an hour! Quill barely managed half of that. We're definitely sticking together, we're an amazing team."

Mantis beamed, and Rocket felt no shame whatsoever replacing his teammates with a clearly superior partner in crime.

It came as a surprise to all of them when somebody going along with their plans actually caused trouble, rather than make their objective easier.

"Your plan sounds like a promising one." Thor – pirate angel with a body shape fit for a deity – looked around their group expectantly. "Which one of you is going to be my lover?"

"I'll do it," Gamora said.

"I volunteer," Drax proclaimed.

"I'm clearly the best choice," Rocket stated, throwing a derisive glance at his contenders.

Seeing as he was the only sane person left who didn't fall over themselves trying to fake date some random, not-even-that-good-looking alien god, Peter found it quite unfair that he ended up being the one playing fake spouse.

"Why does he get to do it?" Rocket complained, giving Peter a frankly unnecessarily hostile glare.

"Thor is right," Gamora admitted reluctantly. "He and Peter best fit the society's beauty standards. We'd only stick out."

"Says you," Rocket grumbles. "I would have managed to blend in."

Thor and Peter left for their assignment before they had to listen to more of the other Guardians' ridiculous banter.

Thor made such an offensively great fake husband that he might have ruined the concept of marriage forever by making sure that nobody would ever manage to compare.

Meeting Thanos again was everything Gamora had feared and more.

They'd come. All of them had come, all of her moronic, suicidal friends who didn't have the sense of self-preservation to stay away and let Gamora handle her father by herself.

They'd die. All of them would, and it would be Gamora's fault.

"I like him." Thanos smiled indulgently at Peter in a gesture so mocking it made fury rise up in Gamora's chest. "The boyfriend. Tell me, daughter. Was it worth bringing him along?"

There was a pause in which Gamora was conflicted whether to voice what she was thinking or to simply keep her mouth shut. She saw no way out of this situation, and it scared her.

Her team adding to the fire should not have come as a surprise.

"What are you talking about?" Drax said. "Gamora is my lover."

The panic in Gamora's chest faded momentarily in favor of exasperation and pure disbelief.

"No!" Mantis' eyes widened eagerly in a way that told Gamora she had 'caught onto their plan' and did her best to play along. "Gamora is mine!"

"What?! How could you betray me with these idiots?" Peter wailed. Only his widened eyes betrayed the stress of putting on their charade in front of the Mad Titan himself. He pointed an accusing finger at Groot. "We have a child!"

"Are you kidding me right now? As if she would pick any of you fucktards over me!" Rocket scowled, his eyes twitched around in a mildly frantic way. "Besides, Groot clearly isn't yours. Don't pretend like you're doing any of the parenting around here."

Gamora took the time to level each and every one of her moronic, dumbass friends with a scathing glare. She couldn't think of anything to do other than play along. "I never claimed that our affections were exclusive."

The declaration earned a faux affronted gasp from Peter, an understanding nod from Mantis and a slow blink from Thanos. While none of the Guardians had been worth his attention before, he now gave all of them wary looks.

"All of them?" He paused. "It seems that you have been busy… daughter."

"Can't you see that we're in the middle of something?" Gamora snapped, not needing to fake the irritation in her voice.

Thor slung one arm each over the two Guardians nearest to him. Peter tensed under his touch and failed to suppress a blush. Drax, without so much as looking up, began lightly caressing Thor's arm.

"There is no need to fight," Thor said, flashing a bright smile around the group as though they weren't about to die at the hands of the strongest creature in the universe. "Gamora does not need to choose. Why would she, when there is enough love to go around for everybody?"

Thanos' eyes, if possible, widened further. Gamora tried to enjoy the moment while she could. She found solace in the fact that if they were going out – at this point it looked like a strong when – they were at least going out with a bang.

Gamora slipped in and out of awareness. Her limbs were heavy with exhaustion and she had no will to keep track of time.

It hardly mattered, now that it was over.

The bulk of their injuries had been taken care off – both Guardians and Avengers, trusted friends and sudden allies – but they'd been too out of it to deal with the minor bruises and scrapes. They felt ridiculously inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

Beating the Great Titan himself was a feat that allowed for some well deserved rest – and, frustratingly in Gamora's case, the time to irrationally grieve.

It took her several more dives into and out of consciousness until she found herself lucid and able to muster the will to get up.

Something stopped her from going through with her intention, and it took Gamora longer than she was comfortable with to realize why.

There was an arm slung around her torso and several pairs of legs tangled with her own. An antenna poked into her eye when Gamora tried to shrug all body parts off of her.

Gamora looked down at her impromptu bed as soon as she managed to stumble to her feet, and she snorted a laugh. The Guardians looked like they'd dropped right where they'd stood. The tangle of limbs looked ridiculous and uncomfortable, although Gamora could personally account for that not being the case.

Her shuffling seemed to have woken Groot. He blinked up at her out of sleepy eyes and raised his arms in a clear demand to be picked up.

Gamara laughed softly. "You're a bit too big for that." She settled back down next to the cuddle pile instead, and Groot scooted closer towards her.

"Hrgn... G'mora?" Rocket peered out of half-lidded eyes once Groot no longer laid curled up on top of him. "Groot?"

"He's fine. Go back to sleep."

Rocket muttered something intelligible – Gamora thought she could make out the words 'scam' and 'photon blaster' – turned around and snuggled closer to Mantis. Peter – still vast asleep – whined at the loss of contact and grabbed blindly for whoever was lying closest to him. He ended up with Drax lying half on top of him and grunted from the weight. He made no attempt to move away.

Gamora bit her lip against the smile she felt bubbling up. Once upon a time, she had not known what affection felt like. These days, not a single day seemed to pass without one of her friends luring a smile from her. Even now, only hours – or had it been days? – since they had barely stopped the end of the world.

Not a single one of them had hesitated before joining the fight against her adoptive father. Not one of them had needed a reason other than standing at Gamora's side.

"I am Groot." Groot pulled Gamora's arm over his body, closing his eyes.

"I know." Gamora accepted that she wouldn't be allowed to get up any time soon. Warmth rose up in her chest as she drank in the sight of the reckless, ridiculous people in front of her. She tried to remember at which point of her life she'd decided to call them her family. "I love all of you, too."

A/N: For the prompt: Hey about the prompt, could you do a fake relationship/pretend dating thing BUT they do NOT get together, there are no feelings, it is wholly fake and purely platonic

Pairing wise I don't care (as long as it's marvel) probably weirder the better, like someone pretending to date rocket or groot, or something that seems a bit weird

Beta'd by the magnificent To Mockingbird!

This one was really, really fun to do ^^ If you have a prompt for me (preferably Marvel), just send it to me on tumblr (xxgwenstacyxx) and I might pick it up!