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[personal profile] glorious_spoon
Title: a beast half as brave
Fandom: Guardians of the Galaxy
Pairing: Peter Quill/Drax
Warnings: None
Rating: PG
Summary: Humans are frustrating.

The bar is dark and chaotic and the music is unpleasantly loud, distorted to emphasize the bass line. It has, Drax thinks, little in the way of artistic merit, although he knows that Peter would disagree.

He is sitting beside the bar with a drink in his hand because Peter’s instructions were to “blend in, man, just get a drink or something.” The other patrons are leaving several meters of space between themselves and him, though, so he is beginning to suspect that he is not ‘blending’ particularly well. If he actually imbibed the drink, it might assist in the task, but Peter has already consumed several alcoholic beverages in the span of time they have been here, and at least one of them should be capable of walking back to the ship. Or fighting.

Peter is out in the middle of the crowd, dancing with a pretty young Xanderian girl. She is gazing up at him with an infatuated expression that makes Drax’s heart contract sharply in his chest. Kamaria had been just of an age for childish infatuations, and he remembers her watching an older boy with just that expression, and flushing when Hovat teased her gently--

He looks away. He is here for a reason, and that reason does not include watching Peter charm susceptible young girls. They have good reason to believe that there is a slave ring operating out of this bar, and Peter is quite certain, though some circuitous set of contacts, that there is a buy-off happening tonight.

It is Peter’s job to intercept the buy-off, and Drax will trust him to do so even if it looks as though he is cheerfully and obliviously seeking to become intoxicated and engage in a sexual encounter with a stranger. Despite his apparent irresponsibility, he has proven quite capable. Drax is simply here to ensure that Peter doesn’t, in Rocket’s words, “get his stupid ass dead.”

The music changes, and Peter smiles down at the girl, says something that Drax cannot hear over the din. She pouts, and he kisses her cheek, and then he is winding through the crowd back to where Drax is sitting.

“Drax,” he says. “Buddy.”

“Quill,” Drax acknowledges.

“I thought I told you to blend in. This--” Peter waves an expansive hand at the open space that surrounds them at the bar. “This is not blending in.”

“The music is offensive to my ears, and the drinks are unpalatable.”

“Sure, and I’m getting groped by every third person on the dance floor, but you don’t see me--” Peter stops, very suddenly, his entire manner changing. His eyes are fixed at a point somewhere behind Drax’s left shoulder. “There they are.”

Drax goes to turn his head, and Peter stops him with a hand on his cheek. “Don’t look,” he whispers. “Trust me, you’re drawing enough attention. The last thing we need is to spook them.”

“I am not--”

“Drax,” Peter says. He is suddenly much closer. “Shut. Up.”

Drax opens his mouth to argue, but he does not get the words out, because Peter’s hands are on his shoulders and Peter is--

Peter is kissing him.

His lips are soft. It has been a long time since anyone has kissed Drax, and he has forgotten this. The softness.

Peter begins to pull away, and without thinking about it at all Drax follows. Peter makes a noise against his lips--he can feel the vibration of it--and tilts his jaw, and suddenly the kiss is wet, open-mouthed, full of sexual promise.

He is wide-eyed and breathing hard when they break apart, still much closer than Drax is accustomed to him being. Drax can feel his own heart pounding, and this--

--this is one of Peter’s tricks, of course. A distraction.

As if on cue, Peter’s gaze slides past his shoulder again and his expression turns businesslike. “Okay, I think we’re good. Looks like they’re heading out the back, why don’t you--”

“I do not need you to tell me how to do my job,” Drax says. It comes out harsher than he intends. If Peter is bothered by the tone of his voice, though, he is too focused to remark upon it. He steps back, into the crowd, and if the space around Drax feels slightly colder than it did just a moment ago, that is no one’s concern but his own.


***


“Get happy, you big lunk,” Rocket says several hours later, after the kidnappers have been arrested and Nova Corps has finally departed, setting a large, frothing glass of liquid in front of him. “We won. And, more importantly, we’re getting paid. Stop looking like somebody stepped on your puppy.”

“I do not have a puppy,” Drax says. This is certainly another metaphor, but he lacks the energy to chase down the twisted threads of meaning. He misses Hovat--beautiful, blunt Hovat, who always said precisely what she meant and would never have kissed him as a distraction. He is accustomed to spending his life among aliens, but sometimes, like tonight, it tires him greatly.

“It’s a--” Rocket sighs, loudly. “You know what, never mind. Sit there and mope for all I care. I’m getting another drink.”

Drax sits there--he is not moping--and watches Peter Quill speaking to Gamora at the other end of the table. There are many expansive gestures involved, and Gamora is wearing the stern expression she seems to reserve primarily for Peter. After a while, Drax pulls the drink to him and tastes it. It is still unpalatable, but he can taste the bitter undercurrent of alcohol. There is no mission to be concerned about, and his friends are safe; intoxication is an appealing idea at the moment. He takes another, longer drink.

Now Rocket is talking to Peter and Gamora. Peter glances up, and Drax looks down at his hands before their eyes can meet. The glass clasped between his palms is cool and slick with condensation, the tabletop sticky with some substance that is probably better off unexamined, if Peter’s stories are to be believed.

A movement in the corner of his eye; he looks up in time to see Peter sliding into the seat next to him. “So,” he says. “It’s been pointed out to me that maybe I should apologize.”

Drax stares at his glass. “I do not require any apology.”

“Yeah, well.” Peter makes a small, frustrated noise under his breath, then cranes his head around until Drax has no choice but to meet his eyes. They are pale green, darker around the edges. Drax does not know that he has ever noticed the color of Peter’s eyes before. “I’m sorry, anyway.”

If they were not friends, Drax would strike him. “I have just told you--”

“I mean, I’m actually not sorry for kissing you,” Peter says quickly. “But I’m kind of, you know, sorry for how I did it. Yeah.”

“It was a distraction,” Drax says. He knows what the others say about him, but he is not a fool. “You did not wish to risk the buyer recognizing either of us.”

Peter grimaces. “Yeah.”

“I understand perfectly. There is no need for apologies.”

“I don’t think you do,” Peter says. His voice is pitched low, uncharacteristically serious. “I could have figured out some other way to distract him. I mean, you know how many bar fights I started for just that purpose when I was with the Ravagers? I’m just saying--” he breaks off. “Anyway.”

“It would have been most unwise for you to start a bar fight with me.”

“True,” Peter says, “but not exactly where I was taking this. I kissed you because it was something I already wanted to do, but as has been pointed out to me at great length, that was selfish and short-sighted and I owe you an apology, so. Here’s me, apologizing.”

Drax stares at him. He has never met such a confounding race. Or perhaps, such a confounding individual of any race. “You are apologizing because you wanted to kiss me.”

“Not exactly.” Peter grimaces. He looks as frustrated as Drax feels, which is some small comfort, at least. “Okay, look, just--don’t punch me, okay?”

“I will not--” Drax begins, and then he has to stop because Peter is kissing him again. It is soft, and hesitant, and Peter’s hand finds its way to the side of Drax’s face. When they pull apart this time, neither of them is breathing hard, but Peter’s eyes are wide.

Drax breathes in, then out. The room is empty, he realizes distantly, the others having left at some point. “You wanted to kiss me,” he says again, but this time it feels like a revelation.

Peter grins. It’s an unexpectedly lovely sight. “That’s what I was trying to tell you.”
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