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Vital: Part Two - Space

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It's your first evening on the Eclector II.

You had a chance to look at Kraglin earlier in a little room off the docking bay and were finally able to get some stitches and pain killers in him. He seemed a lot better afterwards and he was called away by to attend to things elsewhere. You were given a short whirlwind tour by Yondu, but he was also whisked away on official Ravager business before you were finished.

You place the speckled stone on the shelf above the small desk in your private cabin, next to the pictures of your family. You’re lucky, Yondu had said, to have your own cabin. Most of the Ravagers sleep in shared barracks. Even luckier, you have your own private bathroom, complete with shower.

You sink onto the bed, looking around. It's a little bigger than the size of your bedroom back home, with a dresser, a small bedside table, and a chair and desk, with one of those holoscreens above it.

There are two doors to your room - one leads out into the hall, and the other, on the same wall as your bed, leads directly into the med bay. Both are lockable from the inside, thankfully, and that's the one thing Yondu was able to help you with before he was called away - programming your locks. It's a number-pad vein-reader combo, which you've just been hearing about. It reads the veins in your hand instead of your finger prints. It's new tech on Terra, but Yondu seems to think it's pretty outdated. "Fine for a Ravager ship," he'd said.

You smile softly as his grin slips into your mind, and you wonder where he's gone to. He asked you to keep to your room and the med bay until he had the chance to give you a real tour, so you've been stuck here for several hours now. You were busy unpacking and getting settled into your room for the first hour or so, but you've been pretty idle for since then. Idleness is not good for you; you think too much when you're not busy, and that's when you start to worry. You begin to worry about things back home, and then you worry that you might have made the wrong choice, then you worry that you're worrying.

You jump up from the bed with a frustrated huff at yourself and dig in your medical bag – the only thing you didn’t unpack, in case you need to grab it in a hurry. You did not make the wrong choice, you berate yourself, pulling out a pair of medical gloves and sticking them in your jeans pocket. You haven’t really taken a good look at the med bay yet, and you might as well do something to stop yourself from going crazy.

 You lift the bolt on the door leading to the med bay and step into your new work space. The door opens with a slight suctioning noise – it’s double-walled and vacuum sealed from the rest of the med bay for safety reasons.

Rectangular in shape, the med bay is a set of four interconnected rooms. Each room also has vacuum sealed doors separating them from the other rooms in case of quarantine, as well as exits leading to the outside hallways, in case of emergency. The rooms have translucent walls, so if you were to stand in the first room, you could see all the way to the back of the third room.

This third room is holding area for patients and extra supplies; there are just a couple of floating cots shoved in there right now and a rusty cabinet. The second room is the surgery room, with bright lights lining the ceiling, and a broken curtain hanging from rungs along the perimeter. There are drains in the floor, which you understand the necessity for, but it still unnerves you a little. The first room is the largest, and is used half for another holding room, and half for examinations. This is also where the diagnostic equipment would go, you think.

The fourth room is the one you are currently standing in – connected to your quarters, it’s the smallest of the four, and unlike the other rooms, the walls are opaque, so no one can see inside. You surmise that it is meant to be used as a private examination room, or a maybe an office, or both. There are connections for holoscreens above the lone L-shaped desk, but the holoscreens themselves are absent.

You walk through the office – your office – and into the first examination room. The floor is some kind of epoxy resin, and is a dingy, dirty grey-brown. You throw your weight against a metal chest of drawers nearby to budge it, revealing that the floor was once an off-white. You gaze around, and the more you look, the dirtier you realize it is. Dirt, broken medical equipment, and – are those blood stains? 

You sigh, putting your hands on your hips. It's going to take a lot of work to fix this up.

You shrug at yourself. Might as well do something to keep myself busy until my spaceman swings by. With the thought of Yondu to make you smile, you pull on the gloves, tighten your ponytail and get to work.


“All set, Cap’n,” Kraglin says. “Wanna try it out?”

Yondu whistles, and the Yaka arrow leaps from Kraglin’s palm and into the air. It flies around his quarters smoothly, and there’s no variation or falter in its lights. With a soft trilling note, the arrow zips back to Yondu’s hand. He nods. “That feels right. I was damn sure I had it fixed.”

“Ya had it pretty close, Cap.”

Yondu sticks the arrow in his holster and lets out a scoff. He sidles over to his private bar, where he pours two glasses of alcohol. He pinches the glasses between the fingers in one hand and grabs the bottle with the other. He nods to the padded chairs around a low table in the foyer, to the right of the bar, and Kraglin sits. “Good thing I got ya to fix all my shit,” Yondu smirks, and Kraglin laughs. “Cheers.”

“Cheers.”

They both down their glasses with a sigh, and Yondu refills them. “Ooh, that’s good stuff. So. Any promisin’ opportunities ya seen while I was away?”

“Well, we been lookin’ fer ya mostly,” Kraglin admits, “But looks like there might be some deals goin’ on near K’ai.” He navigates to a page on his holopad and hands it to Yondu.

“K’ai, huh?” he scans the information on the page, and nods. “A’ight. We’ll look at that tomorrow and start preppin’ a team based on the intel.”

“Sounds good, Cap’n.”

Yondu pauses, and just looks at Kraglin. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe how long they’ve known each other, and everything they’ve been through. Sometimes when he looks at his First Mate, he still sees the young boy he brought on board all those years ago.

Kraglin seems to notice the silence and looks up sharply from his holopad. “Cap’n? Everythin’ all right?”

Yondu coughs a little, and nods, glancing away. “Yeah.” He takes a long drink, then licks his lips and places the glass back down. He sits, and gestures for the First Mate to do the same. “So.”

Kraglin raises an eyebrow. “So?”

“Whatcha ya think about [y/n]?”

Kraglin rolls his glass between his palms, giving Yondu a soft smile. “As a doctor, or on a more personal sorta level?”

Yondu takes another sip of his drink, letting the alcohol mellow out on his tongue. “Personally.”

Kraglin nods. “I like her.” He almost laughs at the spark of joy in Yondu’s eyes. “I mean, I don’t know her much yet, but she seems real sweet and caring-like. And she’s got some spine, that’s fer damn sure – goin’ after the Kree like that.” He shakes his head. “Whew. I was surprised.”

“You and me both, boy.” Yondu sips on his drink, smiling at the thought of you. “She’s somethin’ else.”

“I can tell ya really like her,” Kraglin offers tentatively, and Yondu smiles wider into his glass.

“Like ain’t a strong enough word fer it,” the Captain replies quietly, and sits in silence for a moment before shifting uncomfortably in his seat and clearing his throat loudly. “And what ‘bout you?”

The First Mate gulps down a sip too large, and coughs. “Me?”

“Yeah, you. I seen ya, eyein’ lil’ Ryx.”

Kraglin busies himself with his glass, but he can’t hide the blue flush that creeps up his neck and into his ears. “Oh, well, she – she ain’t gonna be interested in no one like me.”

“Ya kiddin’? I seen the way she looks at ya, boy.” Yondu chuckles, reaching across the table to slap the First Mate’s uninjured leg.

Kraglin’s eyes grow wide, and a shy smile flits over his lips. “Really? Ya think so?”

“Boy, I know so,” Yondu says. “Offer to buy her a drink the next time we go planetside. Give ya anythin’ she says yes.” He gets to his feet again, and Kraglin does likewise. “I gotta go check on my darlin’ doctor. She’s been by her lonesome fer awhile now. I’d like ya to gather up the crew – anybody that’s not on necessary duties. I want to introduce her as the lead medic.”

“Yessir.” Kraglin places his empty glass on the table and turns towards the door.

“Hey, uh. Krags?”

The First Mate turns just before he reaches the doorway, coming back towards him a few paces. “Cap?”

“I…” Yondu rubs the back of his neck, and Kraglin swears he sees purple tinge the Captain’s cheeks. “I, uh. I did a lot a’ thinkin’ while I was down on Terra,” he says. “And, well. I never realized how much…I mean. I jus’ wanted to say that I’m – well, I’m damn lucky to have ya, boy.”

Kraglin ducks his head shyly, but smiles.

“Hell. C’mere.” Yondu tugs the man’s arm and pulls him into his arms. “I call Peter my boy,” he says softly, cradling the man’s head against his own, “But you were my boy first. I’m real proud a’ ya, son.” He hears Kraglin breathe in shakily, and the First Mate’s arms wrap around him tightly.

“Thanks, Cap’n,” he whispers after a moment. “Ya…ya’ve been more of a father t’me than anyone in my life, sir.” The words sound slightly strained, as if he’s fighting back tears. “Don’t know what I’d do without ya. Ya sure done me a frighten, goin’ off like that.”

Yondu chuckles, slapping his back. “Dontcha worry. I won’t go disappearin’ on ya again.” He pats the back of Kraglin’s head, and the First Mate backs out of his arms, furtively wiping at one eye.

“So, do I gotta call ya Dad like Pete does, now?” he asks with a smirk.

Yondu slaps a hand over his eyes, his groan turning into a laugh. “Might be better that ya didn’t,” he replies with a grin.

Kraglin looks relieved. “Fine with me, sir. I’ll go and gather up the crew.”

Yondu nods. “Have everybody meet me in the mess in oh, twenty minutes.”

“Yessir.” With a salute over his heart, Kraglin smiles, and leaves the room. Yondu follows him out, but heads in the opposite direction, towards the med bay.


You’re hard at work. You found an empty bin wedged on the bottom shelf of a mostly-empty medical cabinet, and it’s filled nearly to the brim with whatever you thought looked like garbage - pieces of uniforms, tattered bedsheets, discarded pill bottles, broken pieces of tech equipment, and what looks suspiciously like a large chicken bone. You are very careful as you find broken scalpels, old syringes and snapped needles, securing these in a plastic bag you had in with your medical supplies. You’ve been at this for a while and are just thinking of getting your phone and some earbuds when you hear a voice behind you.

"Damn, darlin'. Not even here a full day and yer workin' already?"

You turn happily - and gasp.

Yondu is standing there, but he's not wearing the black t-shirt and jeans he was earlier. He's dressed in dusky purplish-brown leather pants and shirt, with buckles crossing his chest and waist. Peeking out at his side is the Yaka arrow, firmly secured in a custom holster. At his throat is an off-white neckerchief, covered by a leather jacket with offset lapels. Over it all is a maroon duster that hangs nearly to his ankles, upturned at the collar. A gold badge, shaped like a flame, shines over his left breast.

The red of the duster plays off his eyes, brings out his blue skin, and makes him look bigger, more powerful. You feel heat flood your cheeks, and you hope faintly that Yondu doesn't notice. But he grins that shark smile at you, and it makes you weak at the knees.

Sliding the med bay door closed behind him, he saunters slowly towards you, leather creaking and heavy metal-toed boots thudding on the floor. You smile, playfully backing up until you feel your backside hit the counter at the other end of the room. He's suddenly right in front of you, hands on the counter on either side of your body, trapping you. "Whatcha blushin' fer, baby?" he asks, leaning in.

You smile and trace your fingers teasingly over the flame badge. "I just think you look damn fine, Captain."

Hooking his hands around your thighs, he lifts you onto the counter, and draws your legs around his waist. "Issat so?"

You circle your arms around his neck. "Yes sir."

He makes a satisfied hum as he leans his head to your neck, licking the skin all the way up to your jawline. You clutch his shoulders and moan. "Yondu...."

"Mm, baby." He grunts and pushes away, stepping back. He lets out a low, shaky breath. "Damn, girl. Now look what ya did." He nods down at himself, and you see the leather between his legs is bulging, the buckles straining. "Sadly, I don't got time fer that right now. I came to getcha to meet the crew, and there ya go gettin' me all horny n' such."

You laugh and slip down from the counter. "I think it's really your fault, coming in here looking like that."

He smirks. "Guess I'm guilty, then." He lets the smile fade and stands up straight. "I'm gonna take ya t'meet the crew now, sweetheart. But first I gotta lay down some ground rules."

"Okay.”

"I'm the Cap'n of this ship, and yer technically crew. So - at least fer now, no huggin' or kissin' me in front a' the rest of 'em."

It makes you a little disappointed to hear him say this, but you completely understand. You wouldn't want him hanging over all over you while you were trying to do your job, either. "Okay, no PDA. Got it."

He squints. "What now?"

"PDA - public displays of affection."

He chuckles. "Right. No pee-dee-ay. Unless I initiate it first."

"Oh." You frown slightly. "So, I can't initiate it, but you can. Because you're the Captain."

"Ya got it." He smiles, but it falters as he sees your frown deepen. He sighs a little, then comes forward, rubbing his hands up and down your arms. "Look, it ain’t always gonna be like that, but this crew is new, I'm still feelin' 'em out, and I don't wanna give 'em any reason to think I'm - that I'm...."

"Affectionate?" you prompt.

"Soft," he says with a shake of his head. "Weak." You open your mouth to protest, but he holds up his hands. "I know ya think bein' affectionate ain't weakness, but Ravagers is different, baby. And like I said, I gotta get to know this crew. I gotta keep control."

"And that includes keeping control of me?" you ask, crossing your arms.

"No, ya don't-" he sighs again, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Look I know it's hard fer ya to understand, but let's jus' give this a try, huh?"

You unfold your arms, and taking his hand, give it a squeeze. "Okay, spaceman. I want to make this work," you say, gesturing between the two of you, "So I'll play by your rules. But I don't want you to feel...” Your shoulders lift as you try to find the right words. “I don't want people to think you're ashamed of having me. I don't want you to feel like you have to hide what we have going on."

He bends slightly to look you straight in the eyes. "I ain't ashamed a' ya. Yer a treasure t'me, [y/n]. I'm jus' askin' ya to give it a lil' time." He lowers his gaze to the floor, and his eyes move back and forth in thought, trying to put his thoughts into words. "I'm tryin' to feel out this crew," he repeats slowly. "Fact is, I don't know if I can't trust 'em one hundred percent yet, and I can't take the risk that they'd use ya - or hurt ya - to get to me because they think I'm weak, understand?" He looks at you again. "If anythin' ever happened to ya, I don't know what I'd do, sweetheart."

“Yondu.” Taking his face in your hands, you lean forward and press your lips against his. You hear his breath catch, and feel his hands clench in your shirt, pulling you against him. This is the first time you've kissed since this morning, when you told him you wanted to go with him, and he's hungry for you. 

When you break apart, his eyes are still closed, and his tongue sneaks out to run along his lower lip. When he opens his eyes, his eyes are glowing. "I may not always be affectionate in front of the crew, girl," he says, and his voice comes out in a growl, "But ya jus' wait until I getcha alone." He pulls you against him again, and his voice is husky in your ear. "I'll keep ya plenty satisfied."

With that, he releases you, and steps away, straightening his duster. He turns for the door. "Now c'mon, the crew's probably wonderin' where we are."

You nod, and dust off the knees of your jeans. You reach up to redo your ponytail again. "Do I look okay?"

He turns as he opens the door and looks you over. "Ya look damn fine t’me."

You roll your eyes and laugh, following him out into the hallway. "Now, pay attention where we're walkin’, we're goin' to the mess. Yer probably gonna visit it a couple times a day, so ya should know where it’s at. It's one of the biggest spaces on the ship besides the hangar, so I use it for gatherin’ the crew, stuff like that, besides eatin’.” He stops and gestures up a stairway on your right. “Listen up, doll, ’cause this is very complicated. Ya take these stairs to the top, make a left, then a right – and yer at my quarters.”

“Wow, I don’t know if I can remember that,” you say with a smile and roll of your eyes.

He chuckles. “Like I said, complicated.” He winks. “If ya ever need anythin’, ya come n’ get me, ya hear? And if I ain’t in my quarters, I’m most likely in the control room, but I like to wander the ship, so I’ll get ya one of these to wear.” He raises his wrist, showing off his communicator brace. You notice that there’s a thin, wide knife strapped onto the back of it. He nods, then continues walking the way you were going, heading down a long flight of stairs that branches off on several levels. The further you go down, the more you can hear a dull roar of voices. “I’m gonna introduce ya, did ya want to say anythin’?”

The idea of addressing this alien crew sends huge butterflies fluttering around your stomach, and your heart starts to beat faster. "Um...I - I don't know."

"Well, jus' think about it. Here it is.”

A huge space opens before you, filled with tables and hundreds of Ravagers, all dressed in different modifications of the maroon Elector uniform. The crew are made up of all shapes and sizes, all heights, all skin types. Some have four arms, some have none. You spy wings, tails, horns, multiple eyes, and other features that you can’t even begin to explain. In addition to the varied appearances, many of them have scars, prosthetic appendages and everyone has a general air of gruffness to them. You glance at Yondu. Considering he’s their Captain, with his cerebral implant and scarred head, and Kraglin is the First Mate with the scars on over his eye and tattoos all over his neck, you shouldn’t be that surprised that their crew looks much of the same breed.

Still, you can’t help but swallow nervously as Yondu leans over the landing, one flight above the room. “Listen up, y’all!” he roars.

“Quiet down!” you hear Kraglin bark and see the First Mate seated on top of a table nearest the stairs. “Cap’n’s got somethin’ to say!”

More instantly that you expect, the crowd falls silent, all faces turned towards Yondu.

“First off,” the Captain begins, “I wanted to give y’all my regards on takin’ care a’ the ship and keepin’ her runnin’ while I was gone. And to the rescue team – that was some good timin’ and sharp work takin’ care a’ those Kree. Ya know who ya are.” You follow Yondu’s gaze down to Jesper, who’s standing near Kraglin. The First Mate gives him a soft punch in the shoulder, and the young man’s cheeks turns a bright shade of blue. “Kraglin and I been goin’ over some missions in the area that look promisin’, so we’ll be stealin’ shit and rollin’ in units in no time!”

The room cheers and laughs, some of the Ravagers pounding their fists against their chests, some thumping the tables.

Yondu grins and holds up a hand. “But the big reason I gathered ya up, is that we finally got ourselves a proper medic.” There’s a cheer, and you feel like you’re going to throw up as Yondu reaches for you, pulling you to the railing alongside him. You take a deep breath and give what you hope is a confident smile to the crowd. “This is [y/n], she’s a trained doctor. Y’all are to report to her in the med bay if needed. If I find out one a’ y’all is hurt or sick and didn’t go to the Doc, and it’s impactin’ the business, then we’re gonna have a problem. She’s gonna keep on top of y’all to make sure yer healthy, too.” He turns to you. “Got anythin’ to add, Doc?”

You want to scream no and run from the room, but you feel yourself nod and straighten up, squaring your shoulders. He steps back slightly, giving you a nod.

You swallow and clench the railing to steady your nerves. “It’s probably pretty obvious that I’m new to this whole – Ravager – thing,” you say, projecting your voice loud enough so the whole room can hear. “It’s going to take me a while to get up to speed on how to care for a Ravager ship.” You swallow as you hear murmurs through the crowd. C’mon [y/n]. You’re not on Terra anymore. I’m a Ravager now. Act like it. “I just want to make one thing perfectly clear,” you say sharply, and see some of the Ravagers look up at you, surprised. “I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You treat me right, I will take care of you. But you cross me, and I can easily make your life a nightmare.” You feel Yondu’s eyes on you but keep your eyes on the crowd. “On Terra, we doctors have a rule about doing no harm. But we’re not on Terra now, so if you make an enemy of me I will not hesitate to leave your ass bleeding on the floor.”

You see Kraglin shift out of the corner of your eye, and as you glance down into his face, you see he’s grinning. It gives you a little boost of confidence. “I really don’t want that to be the case. I want to take care of you, and I want to be on good terms, but that is totally up to you.” You shift your weight and continue. “In the coming months, I’ll be scheduling exams to make sure you’re all in top shape. I’m looking forward to getting to know you.” You’re out of words now, so you just nod, and step back.

Yondu gives you a wide smile as he steps back into place, leaning his hands on the railing. “Now, I’m sure I don’t have to tell y’all to behave yerselves, especially in the examination room,” he begins, and there’s a chorus of laughter. “But,” and his voice darkens to a growl, eyes glinting. “With regards to the Doc, she is off-limits. If I hear y’all talkin’ to her some way I don’t like, or gods forbid one a y’all touches her in a way she don’t like–” he gives a sharp whistle between his teeth, “– this arrow is gonna be so far up yer ass yer gonna be chewin’ on it! Y’all got that?”

There’s a resounding mix of yes and aye cap’n throughout the mess, all eyes fixed on the Yaka arrow zipping around in the air above Yondu’s head.

He scans the crowd for a moment before whistling the arrow back into its holster. “Good. Now git back to yer business.”


Yondu has a few things to attend to, so you backtrack to your cabin and prepare to turn in for the night. You change into your pajamas and climb into bed. You draw the blankets over yourself. So much happened today. Was it only this morning that the Kree attacked the cabin? It’s only been a day? And it’s only been a few weeks since I met Yondu. Everything’s happened so fast. You shake your head. By all rights, you should be exhausted, but you’re wide awake.

You lower the lights, trying to induce sleep, but the precarious creaking of the vessel around you, combined with the knowledge that you’re on a ship in the depths of space, and realizing you’re part of a team of pirates and are going to be their doctor and first line of defense against disease and injury has you so nervous that you almost feel sick.

On top of it all, you’re cold.

You try to fight off the feeling. You put on socks and an extra layer of clothes, curling up with your knees tucked up against your chest, but you’re still freezing.

If ya ever need anythin’ ya come n’ get me. I’ll get ya one of these to wear.

You free your hand of the blanket and reach for the wrist brace communicator Yondu gave you before you retired to your room. It’s sitting on your bedside table. Hesitantly, you push the button to call Yondu. It chirps a couple times, then his aggravated voice says, "Yeah, what?"

"Oh - sorry, I-"

"Darlin'? Shit, thought you was Luggh again. I swear I'm gonna take his com away. Whatcha need, sweetheart?'

"Do you store extra blankets somewhere?"

"Aw, shit darlin'. Yer probably freezin'. I'll bring some to ya."

"I don't want to bother you-"

"Honey, y'ain't no bother. I'll be down in a few minutes.”

"Thank you."

As promised, you hear a chime at your door a short time later. You open it, and Yondu has a bundle of blankets and a couple pillows in his arms. "Didn't know what ya needed, so I brought it all. Keep what ya like."

"Thanks," you reply quietly, hugging them to your chest.

"Hey now," he says softly, hooking a finger under your chin. "What's the matter, sweetheart?"

"I'm...I'm just a little nervous, I guess," you say, hanging your head.

But Yondu can tell by the tremor in your voice and downcast eyes that you're more than just nervous. You're scared. He sits on the bed, and pulls at your hand, taking the blankets out of your arms. "C'mere." He hooks an arm under your legs and seats you on his lap, leaning his forehead against yours.  “Tell me what’s wrong, baby.”

“I’m – I’m just afraid I’m not going to be able to cut it. I can’t believe I said what I did out there – I don’t know anything about this crew or being a Ravager. I can’t read your language, I don’t have the materials, and everybody’s gonna know, I’m gonna be a complete failure-”

“Hey, hey now. Calm down, sweetheart. Lookit me.” You raise your eyes to his, blinking back tears. “Y’aint alone in this. I’m gonna help ya, okay? I said I would. I ain’t goin’ nowhere. Ya need anythin’, I’m right here.”  You loop your arms around his neck and lean into his shoulder. He shakes out one of the larger blankets and wraps it around the both of you snugly. "I'm gonna getcha everythin' ya need, don't ya worry none. Yer gonna be the best Ravager medic in the whole fleet, I know it." He sees a smile creep into the corner of your mouth, and chuckles softly. "And ya know what's better than all that?"

"Hm?"

"Yer all mine, and I get to kiss ya anytime I want to."

Your cheeks flush and you can't keep a wide smile from blossoming across your lips. Leaning forward, you aim to kiss his cheek, but he turns his head at the last second, and cradles your head as he places a long, gentle kiss on your lips. After you break apart, he stares into your eyes, and you're once again captivated by all the shades of red in his ruby eyes. His eyes search yours for several moments, as he combs his fingers gently through your hair. "What are you thinking about?" you ask quietly.

He lets out a little, embarrassed-sounding laugh. "Jus' how lucky I am. I can't believe yer really here with me, on m’ship."

"Believe it," you say, giving him a soft, swift kiss. "I'm not going anywhere."