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Story [Guardians of the Galaxy] "Carry on Wayward Son", Peter & Yondu, Vignette - Up 6/29

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Mira_Jade , Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Title: "Carry on Wayward Son"
    Author: Mira_Jade

    Fandom: Guardians of the Galaxy
    Genre: Angst, Family
    Rating: PG
    Time Frame: Pre-Movies
    Characters: Peter Quill, Yondu Udonta

    Summary: The Ravager captain is very clear, very early on: he's not Peter's friend, and he most certainly is not a stand-in for Peter's father. But, Yondu Udonta seemed the least likely on the ship to actually eat him. In Peter's eyes, that was enough.

    Notes: Since Vol. 2 gave me a ridiculous amount of feelings, I had to get this out of my system. I wrote this vignette back during the spoiler cap for the movie, and am only just now moving it over, but I hope that you enjoy. :)

    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words.

    "Carry on Wayward Son"
    by Mira_Jade

    Sometimes, Peter Quill imagined that this was all a dream, and when he woke up he'd be safe and sound in his bed in Missouri. He'd always had an overactive imagination, this could have been one long nightmare his mind made up. He'd try to explain it to his grandfather in the morning; he'd write it down to better remember the details when telling his mother at the hospital. Lately, she needed reasons to smile, and she loved talking about the idea of life amongst the stars.

    Yet . . .

    Instead, he was thrust into consciousness on the wings of an honest to goodness no holds barred nightmare. His heart raced like a galloping horse; his lungs panted in his chest as if trying to escape his body; he couldn’t seem to find enough air. Lingering after-images, leftovers from the dream, raced across his mind's eye, but opening them to focus his gaze on the shadows of his cabin was but little better. He was far, far from home, the shadows taunted, and he'd never go back again. He'd never explain another dream to his mother; he'd never see that look of fond bemusement on his grandfather's face. Right then, Peter would even settle for a glimpse of the familiar woods and rolling fields of Missouri; nothing on this ship resembled anything on Earth, not even the people.

    Choking on an old, familiar despair – one he'd desperately tried to ignore his last several weeks aboard the Ravager ship, he closed his eyes, and counted to ten. Then, he opened them again.

    . . . but there was no change. He was stuck here, and the faster he accepted that the better. Earth was gone, as was his old life. It was time to make do with reality now.

    So, Peter laid in bed and tried to force his stomach to settle. His nightmare still lingered, cob-webbing over his mind and threatening him with further torment if he dared close his eyes again. The distant glow of red lighting underneath the grates of his floorboards pulsed, slow and steady, like the heartbeat of some great, dozing beast. He could feel the far off rumble of the engines like a growl to match. Sometimes, the ship felt alive to him; he imagined that it stared at him now. His room wasn't anything more than a closet, really, and Peter felt as if the walls were closing in on him, coming closer and closer. Soon, he wouldn't be able to breathe.

    There was a ruckus in the hall beyond, where a gaggle of Ravagers were arguing and shoving each other - they would have been cut off in the mess by now, and looking for sport. Peter heard a body slam outside his door, far too close for comfort, followed by a short howl of pain - then laughter. One of the rowdy voices chortled, asking Peter if he was sleeping; he'd only be suitable for eating if he rested up proper and let himself grow.

    Peter considered staying awake out of spite: the more scrappy and scrawny he stayed the better, then.

    Yondu gave him a knife, his first week away from Earth, with the firm instructions to use it if he ever needed to defend himself; Kraglin even went a step further and taught him a few basic moves. He was here by the grace of the captain, and any who forgot that deserved what would happen next. Peter would feel safer with a blaster in hand, and had said so, but Yondu had smiled a toothy grin and pointed out that Peter could get lucky with a handgun; not so much with a knife. The alien steel would remain a cold comfort until he proved he was loyal enough not to shoot the captain in the back and try to escape.

    Escape. As if the void of space between . . . wherever they were and Earth wasn't a death sentence anyway. And, besides . . . what was left for him on Earth but for a gaping void where his mother no longer lived and breathed? Home was empty to him.

    The thought was enough to bring back a raw, hiccuping sob of grief. Peter clenched his eyes closed and bit his lip until the urge to cry passed him by; he couldn't show weakness of any kind. His ribs still hurt from the last time the crew saw him sniffling over his mother. That brawl, however, he'd gotten in a lucky shot of his own – his knees were skinny, and the Ravager hadn't been wearing groin armor. He'd made more than a few men pause and think twice before moving in to help; he wasn't such easy pickings, and he'd prove that as he grew.

    Yet, until then . . .

    The rumbling sound of the engines ebbed as they reduced speed to better glide over a patch of rough space. Outside of his room, the high spirited pushing and shoving had taken on a note of violence, of danger. The newly installed translator underneath his skin couldn't keep up with some of the more wordless alien snarls, and the gibberish tore through his ears like claws; unfamiliar and bizarre.

    Peter wanted to close his eyes and bury his head under his pillow, but he had to stay awake; he had to stay aware. He didn't want to dream again, anyway. His fingers curled over the knife he kept underneath his pillow as his heartbeat hammered in his chest.

    Then, just as quickly as they arrived, the group passed on by and dispersed. There was silence but for the thunder and growl of the ship ambling through space. The red glow underneath his flooring flickered, growing brighter; he could see the color behind his eyelids when he futilely closed his eyes again. He wasn't going to sleep, but he needed to. He could feel the want for rest in every inch of his sore body – and he'd be useless for his chores in the morning otherwise. The last thing he could afford to be with the Ravagers was useless.

    The nightmares waited, though; they wanted him to sleep again. He could hardly crawl into bed with his mother now, and let her sing the bad dreams away. (His mother would never sing again.) He'd been growing too old for that, even on Earth. Yet . . . he could remember the feel of her hands stroking through his hair . . . the warm comfort of her arms and wanted. His nightmares taunted him. The skin of his palms was clammy.

    The engines made a distressing sound, and Peter's heart skipped a beat. The ship gave a shudder, and he felt a swooping feeling in his stomach as they dropped before leveling out again. Cosmic turbulence, he knew from the last time it happened, but it still felt like they were going to drop out of space and fall into the nothingness between the stars. Impossible, a part of Peter's human mind still insisted – spaceships and aliens were nothing like any science fiction movie he'd ever seen, after all. This entire alternate reality was just bizarre, and he couldn't wake up.

    There was another, far off sound of an argument amongst the crew escalating into violence. But it sounded like it was coming his way. The ship shuddered, and dropped again. A pulse of fear notched in Peter's chest before his hot, hurried blood cooled. Fine, then. He'd take care of this himself.

    Grabbing his knife, and slipping it into his belt, he then slung his jacket on over his sleep-clothes. It was frigid in space, he'd quickly learned, and the halls of the ship were always uncomfortably cold. He shoved into his boots without lacing them - as one of the only crew-members assigned to cleaning, he knew better; he didn't want to risk his socks on the floors outside his room. The batteries for his walkman had died, and he'd ran out of spares, but the weight of the device in his pocket and the feel of the headphones resting around his neck comforted him. It was familiar; a reminder; a good-luck charm, even.

    One breath for courage, and then he opened the door. He looked, and found the hall clear. While it remained so he started walking, careful to sway with the turbulence as it came and went. He was still clumsy at times, both from his own growing limbs and the unfamiliarity of his environment, but he was learning.

    Thankfully, it was a short walk to the captain's cabin. Peter distantly suspected that, as the closest thing he had to a caretaker now, it made sense for Yondu to keep him relatively close by – lest the crew get any ideas about him otherwise. The alien pirate was very clear, very early on: he was not Peter's friend, and he most certainly was not a stand-in for Peter's father. But, Yondu Udonta seemed the least likely on the ship to actually eat him. In Peter's eyes, that was enough. Yondu was the devil he knew, and certainly more frightening a presence than any of his nightmares.

    If he was very, very quiet, the Centaurian wouldn't even know he was there . . .

    . . . so he stayed very, very quiet.

    He was one of the few – the scant few on the ship who had the codes to Yondu's cabin; just he and Kraglin, Peter thought. Anything else would be asking for trouble. But, if trouble came for Peter when the captain said otherwise, well then, Peter just had to rely on his wits to get himself to this safe-point. He could do that, and, if he couldn't, there wasn't any use in keeping him around after all.

    He punched in the code, and slipped into the dark room before the door could fully open. He could hardly see in the cabin; the few streams of light from the emergency fixtures glittered to reflect off of trinkets and various other odds and ends, lining the space like a magpie's nest. Peter didn't spare a glance for the tiny, mismatched figurines lining the top of the cargo crates that served for furniture. He'd been surprised to find a forgotten box of honest to goodness toys, during one of his first cleaning assignments, and he couldn't help but ask about its purpose. Yondu's eyes had gone very, very cold before he muttered that it was none of his damn business, and that was that. Peter knew better than to ask twice.

    Now, he simply swept his gaze over the sleeping alien on the bed, and quickly looked away again – he wasn't half convinced that the captain couldn't feel his eyes, after all, and he didn't want him waking up.

    Instead, Peter tiptoed all the way to the foot of the bed, and, holding his breath, he laid down on the cold grating of the floor. His bruised sides protested the hard surface, but his heartbeat was already calming as he curled his limbs into a ball to make the most use of his body heat. This was not the same warmth home security of crawling into his mother's bed, not nearly, but it was a comfort enough. He knew that he was safe, at least; from his dreams and anything else.

    He moved his knife so that he wouldn't stab himself in his sleep; his walkman remained a familiar weight against his hip, even if it wasn't singing to him. Then, settled in like a cat in the dark, Peter closed his eyes and allowed his body to sleep.



    The boy thought himself sneaky, but Yondu Udonta hadn't survive a Kree war colony and then some ten odd years as a Ravager without developing the ability to wake up at the slightest of whispers.

    At first, his instincts rose like the hackles of a dog and a whistle waited on his lips; he was ready to confront the unfortunate soul who thought they could get the drop on him while he slept. But it was just the Terran kid, Peter, moving as quietly as could be. At first, he was puzzled by the human's presence – and that bewilderment only grew when the boy simply dropped to the floor at the foot of his bed with, to Yondu's best guess, the intention of sleeping.

    Strange, strange folk, Earthers could be – even more so than most humans in the galaxy. Yondu felt his exasperation with this particular child, always there and simmering just underneath the surface, rise up a notch.

    Initially, he toyed with the idea of barking for him to wake up and go back to his own room. He even sat up with the intention of doing so. Yet he hesitated when he saw the tiny ball Peter had shaped himself into - as if trying to make the smallest possible target out of his body. He was shivering, Yondu saw next; either from the cold, or from -

    “ - boy, are you hurt?” concern seized his voice before his brain could, and Yondu rolled his eyes – unseen in the dark, of course. His exasperation tripled.

    Peter shot up like a blast from a handgun, swaying on his feet for just a moment before he clasped his hands behind his back and managed to stand at ready. A part of Yondu was pleased by that, at least. The boy could be taught. “No, sir,” he answered, his voice rough from want of sleep. “I'm not hurt.”

    “Then why are you here, trying to sleep on my floor?” It seemed the next logical question to ask, and Yondu wasn't quite sure what prompted the look of quiet defiance he received in return. Peter clearly didn't want to answer him. Though he was no longer the kicking and screaming ball of fury they had first picked up from Terra, he maintained a sort of stubborn independence – so much so that Yondu butted heads with him more often then not in his attempts to beat that streak of defiance away.

    Some things were not to be tolerated. Not on his ship, and most certainly not in his own cabin.

    “You'll answer me when I ask you a question, son.” Child or no, Yondu didn't much care to ask anything twice. “Best you learn that sooner, rather than later.”

    Still Peter hesitated – long enough that Yondu considered sending him out the door with a boot to his backside before he muttered, “nightmares,” so low that Yondu couldn't first hear him. He blinked, and had to make sure he understood correctly.

    “Say again?”

    “Nightmares,” Peter repeated, sounding miserable to admit. “I couldn't sleep in my room . . . and, back on Earth . . . my mother, she used to sing to me.” Once he started talking it seemed as if he could not stop. Yondu heard the lump in the child's throat as it grew. “But she's not here now, and I . . .” yet he couldn't manage anything more than that, his grief was still too strong.

    One of these days, Yondu would stop feeling so damned weary around this boy; old, too. Unbidden, he remembered his first few months with Stakar's team – waking up in the middle of the night from his own memories and just staring at the stars. Aleta used to have a sixth sense for his night-terrors, Yondu had thought then - she was always up to sit in silence with him, and her husband was rarely far behind. Or, more likely, he'd since understood, they quite simply had demons of their own to slay. He was no unique being in the 'verse in that regard.

    “Everyone's got things what plague them at night,” Yondu echoed his thoughts aloud. “Ain't no shame in that.” Images from his younger years blinked before his eyes, ever waiting as fodder for his own dreams. There wasn't a Kree overseer who ever felt pity for a child that couldn't be solved by a whip in hand, and Yondu had fast learned to fend for himself. Those who hadn't, simply died.

    This was a weakness, he knew, it was indulgence in the plainest sense – for both himself and the boy . . . but he had the blood of too many children on his hands not to give this one a nudge in the right direction. He owed it to all of those little ghosts to do what he could for their brother.

    Even so, Yondu didn't say anything more than that. Instead, he reached over and flung one of the blankets off the bed. A pillow, too. If the kid felt that sleeping on a cold grate would help, then Yondu didn't have the heart to turn him away. Not that night.

    “Ya won't do me no good tomorrow if you freeze in the middle of the night,” he grumbled. “Lay down and go to sleep.”

    At first, Peter didn't understand. “Sir?”

    The kid really wanted him to repeat himself, didn't he? “I didn' stutter, did I?” Yondu growled. “Now, go to sleep.”

    But a thought hit him, and with a long-suffering sigh through his teeth, he reached over to riffle through the drawer of his bedside stand. He found what he was looking for, and tossed the power-pack over, trusting Peter to find it in the dark.

    “Here,” he huffed. “Kraglin put this together for you.”

    “What's this?” Peter did not immediately understand. Dumb and skinny, Yondu thought. All of Ego's numerous offspring, and this was the one he'd saddled himself with?

    But Yondu found himself explaining anyway, “It's for yer watchamacallit – it shouldn't die on ya now.” Another thought hit, and he made a face. “I ain't yer momma, and I sure as hell ain't singin' to you . . . but if that helps, then there it is.”

    He could feel the weight of Peter's smile in the dark; his eyesight was better than any human's, and he watched the way the child ran a gentle, reverent hand over the power-pack before sliding it into place. “Thank-you,” Peter whispered – softly so, as if anything louder would have the gift snatched away again.

    Yondu merely grunted; it was just a battery - no need for the kid to get all mushy on him.

    Having had quite enough of that, Yondu ignored the child, and laid back down himself. He'd wasted enough of his night on this foolishness. Even so, he kept half an ear out for Peter as he made a nest for himself on the floor. His breathing sounded deeper, then; content, even. After another minute or two, just to be certain, Yondu fully relaxed himself; he released a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding.

    “An' just remember, boy,” Yondu found himself muttering anyway, “I'm ten times scarier than what any ol' nightmare can throw at ya . . . so you sleep, hear me?”

    “Oh, I know,” Peter did not hesitate to agree. That trust, of a sort, warmed a part of Yondu that was deep and cold. He made a face, little liking the feeling as it spread.

    “An' this won't become a habit now, will it?” Yondu had to add. His reputation required it.

    “No, sir,” Peter affirmed.

    “Didn' think so,” Yondu concluded gruffly. He felt his equilibrium return, but only just.

    Silence fell in the cabin but for the distant rumble of the engines and the creaking of the ship through the solar storm. For a long time, Peter was quiet, only occasionally whispering a lyric or two under his breath, as was his wont. “Oooh, child, things are going to get easier.” Yondu heard him mumble. Just that once, he was the last one to draw attention to the tears choking the boy's voice. They'd go away on their own, in time. “ . . . ooh, child, things are going to get brighter . . .”

    For that moment, unseen in the dark, Yondu almost believed the words of the song. Even as Peter eventually nodded off, and sank into a deep sleep, his music still leaked from his contraption. Yet Yondu found rest eluding him for himself. Instead, he stayed awake, and kept the nightmares away.

    ~MJ @};-
  2. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    Oooo, Mira_Jade, well done! A little mush, and yet the characterizations seem spot on, especially Yondu! No great battles, no life-altering destinies, just a snippet of daily life as Peter tries to adjust to a new life and Yondu tries to deal with the consequences of his decision.

    I just love the inner dialogue of these two, Peter trying to be brave and Yondu not wanting to go soft. Awesome job!
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    I agree wholeheartedly with Mistress_Renata. I do not think there is a fandom invented or characters conceived that you can not and will not be able to turn into pure, unadulterated gold! [:D] =D= [face_love]
    pronker and Mistress_Renata like this.
  4. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Peter considered staying awake out of spite: the more scrappy and scrawny he stayed the better, then. I like how Peter thinks practically. He's in pain and wants a fellow human being creature nearby, and still has plenty of grit himself. Sweet about him getting his music back.

    I saw a trailer for the film and it's unlikely I'll see it, but the bare bones of the plot shone through. It was great to see Kurt Russell doing his thing once more, excellent casting![face_love]
  5. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    This was very, very good; and you captured the emotion and feels of the second movie.

    The Ravagers still had a way to go in your story, but I really liked how you portrayed Yondu. You captured the gruff being with a heart of...well with a heart anyway.

    Nice touch introducing a power source for Peter's music, though I don't know if I trust Yondu's stated originator.

    Easy 10/10
  6. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Yondu: He's Mary Poppins, y'all.
    pronker likes this.
  7. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 18, 2012
    Great story here. Like everyone else, I thought you captured Yondu perfectly. Yondu and Ego are my favorite characters from Vol. 2, so I enjoyed this. :cool:=D=:cool:
    pronker likes this.
  8. AnnaKenobi

    AnnaKenobi Jedi Padawan

    Sep 22, 2019
    Never did I imagine that I would find Marvel content on these boards, and I'm such a big fan. Vol.2 left me with too many emotions as well. Yondu, our very own "Mary Poppins " is so well portrayed here. Very well written! :D
    Mira_Jade likes this.