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Stealing from Captain Udonta

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Carmen was desperate and angry. She wanted to break something because of her frustration so she threw her wrench to the wall. The metallic clang didn’t give her the satisfaction she had hoped. She sat on the captain’s seat and leaned back holding her head. She wanted to cry but she hadn’t cried in years and still couldn’t. She had had to learn not to show any weakness.

She had been so close to get the data plate but just when she ran to get it, group of ravagers had entered the building to get it and she had to hide. Angrily she watched how her passage to a new life walked away from her reach in the pocket of a ravager. Weeks of planning to get it and when she got nearly close enough to get it, it was taken away in front of her. And not just by any ravager but Yondu Udonta himself.

Yondu Udonta. Just his name gave her chills. She’d heard tales of him. He was extremely dangerous. With few whistles he could kill anyone before they realized what had happened. He was ruthless. It was widely known what had happened to his last crew who tried to do a mutiny. Not a single person was left alive when he he had destroyed most of the Eclector with few friends of him. His right hand man Kraglin Obfonteri and two guardians were the only ones to walk out that ship alive.

Based on these facts she knew it was a suicide mission to try to steal the plate from Yondu. And it was the only thing to do if she wanted to stay alive. She was dead woman in any case. She had nothing to lose so she started to plan how to steal the plate. She didn’t have much time to plan because Yondu would find a buyer for the plate and if it ended up in wrong hands, she would be dead among many others.

She had a small ship of her own. She repaired it for herself after she had found it abandoned in old scrapyard years ago. It took almost a year for her to repair it but when she finished it she was finally free to go wherever she wanted.

She had been hiding in Alaria. It was a small planet near Kree territory. She had managed to escape there after been years a slave in Kree ship. They took her from Terra when they attacked into research facility where she had worked. She had been a lead mechanic there and the Kree saw her potential to keep one of their motherships running. After working for five years in their ship someone had attacked against the ship and she managed to escape there. But the escape pod she took had low fuel so she didn’t get far.

She managed to get into Alaria and hid in there for two years. She had worked in a factory after she managed to prove she was an excellent mechanic. She had shaved her head and painted her skin grey so they wouldn’t recognize her race. It had luckily worked out and after two years, she finally managed to leave that miserable planet behind and begin a new life.

There was only one but. The plate. Someone had stolen a data plate from the Kree when they attacked the ship Carmen had been. It contained a lot of information that was extremely important to the Kree. Among other things there were location information of all slaves that had worked in motherships. They had planted a chip in her brain when they took her so they could locate her where ever she was. It was impossible to remove the chip so her only chance was to destroy that data plate.

The plate had been hidden from the world for years but about a month ago she heard someone had found it and was about to sell it to highest bidder. She had gone after it instantly. She was ready to do anything to get it and destroy it.

**

Yondu was extremely pleased. The gig had been almost too easy. He couldn’t help but wonder how something so valuable was so badly guarded. He needed only kill two guards and walk to get that plate. It was like someone had wiped out all the resistance before they came into the scene. But there was no-one who tried to go for the plate. He started to doubt the disc wasn’t as valuable as he had heard. But Kraglin had convinced him it was what they were searching for and it indeed was valuable if they found the right buyer.

He was pleased but in the same time he was frustrated. His crew had tried to find out what the plate was but it was so well encrypted that they couldn’t decrypt it. He didn’t want to sell it before he knew how valuable it was.

”Captn, sry to say but we can’t get anythin’ out of it. Aeron tried everythin’ but it’s no good. We should just sell it to the highest bidder,” Kraglin said giving the plate to him.

He frowned looking at the plate. ”Allright. I’ll call to some guys to find out who’s willing to pay some credits from this. In the meantime we could stop by the Iron Lotus. It’s been a while.”

”Aye Captn,” Kraglin said and hit his chest with his fist. He walked to the main deck to take the ship to Contraxia.

After saving his ass back when Tazerface did a mutiny, Kraglin had become his first man and a good friend. He was one of few people he really trusted. Past few years Kraglin had been his deputy when he needed to be off the Eclector, and he’d done a damn fine job.

Yondu put the plate in his pocket and walked to his quarters. He had a bad feeling about the plate. He needed some time to think before selling it, so best way to distract the crew was to take them have some fun. He walked through corridors frowning deeply in his thoughts and didn’t even notice how everyone stood aside from his way. Some of the new crew was still afraid of him.

It was both amusing and annoying to have those crew members who was afraid of him. He liked that he didn’t have to deal with idiots like Tazerface had been. He was fair to his crew. Everyone got their fair share. But many times he was annoyed when soneone winced if he raised his voice. Fucking pussies…

He tapped his code to the keypad and entered his quarters. He put the plate on his table and went to bathroom. He brushed his face with cold water, but it didn’t help. He decided to take a shower since he wanted to be fresh when he went to Lotus. Hot water relieved the tension in his body and finally he felt relaxed, but still he didn’t feel like going to lotus.

The robots were good substitute when one needed just sex, but still they were only robots. He liked to go there when he needed rough sex since the robots were not as vulnerable as living beings, but he wasn’t in the mood for that. He would just get drunk and pass out at his quarters.

**

It was a rushed plan and she knew it. But it was her best chance by the given time. She had bugged The Eclector before it departed from that planet where the plate had been. She had managed to eavesdrop that they were heading to Iron Lotus so it was her only chance. She was going to sneak into the Eclector and steal the plate.

The idea sounded so surreal in her thoughts. Like someone could just walk into the Eclector and steal something. But that was the point. They would never suspect someone was so damn stupid to try something like it, or so she hoped.

There were few possibilities where he could possibly keep it. Both were equal bad. If it was in the main deck there would propably be someone all the time which meant that she had to get rid of them somehow, and silently. She had ordered chloroform from one supplier who had been in earth reacently. Luckily the man had found it and she got a bottle of it. She hoped it would do the work and she didn’t have to fight anyone.

She didn’t have any combat training so she was weak against battle hardened ravagers. She had to learn to defend herself in the Kree ship because regularly some of the crew decided to try her. Luckily no one managed to rape her because she was not to be harmed too badly. She was the one who knew their ship the best so she kept it running. She was valuable to them, so after few attempts that left her unable to work for a while she was left alone.

The second and unfortunately the more obvious place for the plate to be was Yondu’s quarters. To get there she needed to override the keypad and sneak in. But the worst thing was that she was alone in his quarters and if he came back before she got out she would be dead. If Yondu found her in his room there would be a red flash and she would bleed to death in seconds.

But there was no other way. She landed to the planet and went outside to examine her surroundings. She had some hours before the Eclector landed there. She had left her ship in the furthest corner where there was some wrecks. Her ship disguised perfectly in betweeen of them. No one would separate her ship from the real wrecks.

The ship was dirty and ugly from the outside but in the inside, it was completely different. She had built it so it was extremely fast and swift. Perfect for escaping. It was just the right size for her and cheap to maintain. No one would guess it was very good ship when looking it from outside. And that was exactly the point.

Finally she saw the Eclector entering the atmosphere. It was huge. She was in trouble if she got lost inside it. She had found some old blueprints and had some clue about the layout but she couldn’t be sure if the new ship had been built the same way.

She waited for the ship to land and sneaked closer to it. Dozens of crew members walked out but she didn’t see Yondu or his closest crew members. She stood in her hiding place and waited. Crew members kept coming out of the ship but after half an hour she still didn’t see Yondu. Doors were open and she sneaked closer. For minutes no one came out so she managed to sneak to the door. She peeked in and saw no one.

She decided it was her best chance to get in the ship so she sneaked in. The corridors were empty, but she was cautious and walked from hiding place to another. Luckily there were perfect spots where she managed to hide. Some crew members walked past her along the way, but she managed to stay hidden. She noticed the ship was mostly same as it’s predecessor, so she knew where to head.

She heard rasping voice closing from one corridor, so she hid again. Finally, she saw Yondu who was walking and talking with some crew member. She assumed it was Kraglin since he looked like what she had heard of him.

”Nah I don’t know if I’m into robots today. Might just get drunk and go to sleep afterwards. Maybe tomorrow…” Yondu rasped frowning.

”Oh come on captn’. When’s the last time you fucked properly? I know I want to have a woman tonight,” Kraglin told him.

”Yeah, that’s the point. Not into robots today,” Yondu sighed.

She stood absolutely still when the men passed her. She was terrified to get caught by those two. And she was certain he had some extra sence, so he would see her even it was impossible. But he had to have some seventh sence since he could make the arrow fly perfectly where he wanted without seeing it.

The men passed her, and she sighed in relief. The first obstacle was behind. She waited for few more minutes to make sure they were far enough, so they wouldn’t hear her. Carefully she started to sneak to the deck. Luckily there were only some men left behind so it was easier to move unnoticed. She decided to look from the deck. The engines were off so to her surprize there were no men in the deck. She searched for few minutes but there wasn’t any place it could be kept.

She had to hide twice when some ravagers came to deck. After the men left the deck she came out of her hiding place. She held the plastic bag in her pocket. She had a chloroform soaked cloth in there ready for use. She had a gun with her, but it was her last straw. She hoped she didn’t have to use it.

It took longer than she had hoped to get to Yondu’s quarters. When she finally got there a lot of time had passed and she was afraid he might come back before she got out. The keypad was easy to override since she was an expert handling ship mechanics and computers. When she was inside, she started to search for the plate instantly. She looked through shelves and closets but didn’t find what she was looking for.

She wanted to scream in relief when she saw it on his desk. She took it and put it in her pocket and walked to the door. To her horror, she heard how someone used the keypad. She heard some beeps, cursing, some beeps again and more cursing. Someone was obviously trying to get in but couldn’t press the right buttons.

She searched for hiding place with her gaze but before she managed to hide the door opened. She stared in horror how the man of her nightmares walked in. I am a dead woman.

Yondu saw her instantly and pulled his jacket aside ready to use the arrow. He was drunk as hell, but he was still fast and surprizingly sharp. He was ready to whistle the second she made any movement. She thought her options and tried the first thing that came into her mind.

She looked at him flirting. ”What took you so long? I was told you would come sooner,” she said hoping her voice wouldn’t thremble as hard as she was. She wished she had thought some backup plans for situation like this, but she had so many things in her mind she forgot to make a decent plan.

He frowned and looked at her intently. He was still in the position ready to whistle if she made any wrong move. ”What the hell are ya talking about girl?! How did ya get in here?” he rasped suspiciously. He was looking at her suspiciously and confused.

”Well the man told me you didn’t want a robot so he paid me and told to come here… I think his name was Kraglin or something,” she told him. She was terrified and was sure she would be dead in minutes. She was amazed when he let his jacket fall down and smiled wickedly at her. He was clearly drunk since he staggered a little. He actually bought it!

”Well done Krags… He really knows me too well. Well what are ya waiting for. Let’s get to business,” he said in low tone and walked to her. Her heart started to race. She didn’t have experience of men. She didn’t have a boyfriend back on terra and after the abduction there hadn’t been any chances to meet anyone. And now she had to act as a whore who knew exactly what to do. She was in trouble…

She thought hard of what she could do and remembered the chloroform in her pocket. She needed to pull it out and keep it on his face enough to make him pass out. Easier said than done…

She walked to him and when she reached him she pulled his jacket off his shoulders. She put her hands on his cheeks and kissed his neck. Gods he smelled good! Oh shit now’s not the time for this!

He growled and circled his hands around her and squeezed her butt. She pushed him towards the bed smiling and he let go of her. He took few steps backwards. She put her hand slowly to her pocket and pulled the cloth ready to use. Her heart was beating so hard that she heard it in her ears and she was thrembling. She took few steps towards him and smiled despite her feeling.

She touched his chest lightly and whispered to him, ”Turn around gorgeous..”

He looked at her for a moment and she thought he wasn’t going to do what she asked. She prepared for the worst. But then he turned around and Carmen saw that her opportunity had come. She pulled the cloth from her pocket and jumped to his back. She put the cloth to his face and pressed it as hard as she could.

Yondu was drunk and not as sharp as he usually would be so Carmen managed to keep the cloth on his face a monent before he realized to fight back. But by then it was too late and he started to pass out. They fell to the floor and he hit his head hard on the ground. His fin made a metallic clang that echoed through the room. Carmen was terrfied she had injured or killed him. She checked his pulse and was relieved to find his heart beating. There was some purple blood on the floor but the cut on his head wasn’t deadly. He would have massive headache when he woke up.

She stood up and ran to the door. She glanced back to look at Yondu for the final time before she escaped the Eclector.

Chapter Text

Yondu woke up to worst hangover he had ever had. His head was pounding and he realized he had passed out before reaching his bed. He saw some of his blood on the floor and tried his scalp. There was nasty cut on his forehead. He stumbled to his bed and rested there for a moment. He laid on the bed and the room was spinning around him.

He had seen the strangest dream. There had been a blonde woman who had seduced him. The woman had been exceptionally beautiful and they were going to have sex at his quarters. Like he would bring some woman in his cabin… But the dream had been so real. He could remember how she smelled of something sweet and her butt had been firm and nicely round. And her voice had been the sexiest he had heard. The low hoarse voice had whisperd to him and gave him chills. Unfortunately he didn’t remember the rest of the dream.

His dreaming was interrupted by Kraglin, who called him through the intercom. ”Captn’ there’s a call for you. Want me to connect it there?” Kraglin asked him.

Who the hell would call him now. He had not called the buyers yet and he knew Peter and the guardians were on a mission. He stood up and walked to the screen on the wall. ”Go ahead Krags,” he rasped.

He saw only black screen. He frowned and thought there was something wrong with the connections again. ”Anyone there?” he asked irritated.

”So you’re ok?” he heard a familiar hoarse voice asking. Flashbacks from previous night came to his mind and he was stunned. The voice was just as sexy as he remembered and he could almost smell her scent. So the woman was real so the rest of his dream had to be too…

”Who the fuck are ya?” He roared to the screen. He was frustrated he couldn’t see her.

”I… I just wanted to make sure I didn’t hurt you too badly…” the voice said.

He remembered how she had persuaded him to turn his back to her and how she had put something on his face that made him pass out. What had she done in his quarters? How did she manage to get in there?

”What did ya do here? Who are ya working for?” he rasped.

He looked around the room but saw nothing out of ordinary. She had not been there to kill him since he was still alive. She could have easily slit his throat when he was out. There had to be another reason.

”You haven’t guessed already? I came to steal your heart,” The woman laughed and the call ended.

The word steal rang in his ears. His head snapped towards the desk and he saw the plate missing. He took the intercom and shouted to it. ”Kraglin, To the main deck, immediately.

He put his jacket on and ran to the deck. Kraglin was there waiting for him already. He was surprized to see the captain so pissed and wonderd what had happened. Someone was about to get killed based on the look on Yondu’s face.

”So...Ya didn’t happen to send a woman to my quarters last night did ya?” he asked Kraglin.

Kraglin looked genuinely lost so he had his answer. ”I take that as no. Lets go look at last night’s records.”

They watched from the screens how a woman sneaked in the ship and went along the corridors hiding from anyone who walked by. They saw how she hid from Yondu and Kraglin when they walked out of the ship. He remembered how they were talking about how they were going to spend the night.

”So that’s how she knew I wasn’t into robots yesterday…” Yondu rasped to himself.

The woman went to the dock and was clearly looking for something. She didn’t find what she was looking for so after hiding from couple crew members she sneaked out of the deck. Somehow she knew exactly where she was heading and he wondered how. She was definitely not part of his crew and he was certain she had never been in his ship before. He would remember that face and body.

She headed straight to his quarters and he was stunned how easily she passed the electronic lock on his door. He opened a new window to the screen and set a password. A video from inside his quarters begun. She went through his stuff constantly peeking at the door. She was clearly terrified the door would open any minute. She had seached the whole room before she had found what she had come to get.

She had totally relieved look on her face when she held the plate on her hands, not victorious as he had expected. She wasn’t smiling or laughing, but rather almost crying. She squeezed thr plate hard before she put it in her pocket. They saw her running to the door but she stopped suddenly. She was totally horrified. She was clearly looking for a place to hide but the door opened before she could react.

Their encounter had gone just the way he had remembered. When he had passed out they saw how she gently searched for his pulse and wiped blood to her sleeve to find out how bad the cut had been. She had stroked his cheek few times before placing his head gently back down. Then she ran to the door and looking at him one more time she went out and left the Eclector. They didn’t have to look the rest of the videos. It was obvious she had managed to leave the ship as unnoticed as she had entered it.

”Oh fuck…” Was all Kraglin could say.

”Yeah. She had heard our conversation and I was drunk enough to believe ya had actually bought ’er. And I had no idea someone could pass the security at my quarters. She made it look too easy,” Yondu said. ”I want ya to trace that call. I want to find ’er. And I want ’er alive. Tell the crew someone stole our payday and we’re gonna get ’er and make ’er pay.” Yondu said icily.

Kraglin shivered. He wouldn’t want to be the woman when they found her. ”Aye Captn’ right away sir,” He said and went to the intercom.

Yondu stilled the picture to her face. She seemed desperate. No single living being would try to steal from him without bringing an army with them. And yet she did and even succeeded. He’d have use for someone like her. So when he found her, he would give her a lesson and make her work for him. No-one crossed him without consequence. She had his full attention now.

**

She ran to her ship as fast as she could. She was amazed how well her plan had worked. Not in her wildest dreams did she think she could do anything like that. She had knocked Yondu fucking Udonta down and stole a precious item from him!

She thrembled when she finally got into her ship. She collapsed to the floor and laughed. She was free! She took the plate to her hands thinking to smash it to the floor. She hesitated. There was so much information in this plate that would make much damage to the Kree. All she needed to do was to decrypt it and destroy the slave chip information. The rest she could sell to the highest bidder and disappear with the money. There would be enough credits for the rest of her life.

But there was so much in stake. If someone stole it from her she would be in danger again. And right now there were countless of people after her. Even the thought of that made her shiver. And to know one of them was Yondu made it even worse. She looked at the plate carefully. She could hide it inside her ship so deep no-one would never find it while she found out how to decrypt it. She wanted to make the Kree pay. She wanted to destroy the plate for good. She had no idea what she should do.

After considerate thinking she decided to hide it. She built a container for it. It was filled with explosives and if someone tried to open it, it would explode destroying the plate completely. She hid it deep in her ship. She was nervous to be so close to the Eclector but she couldn’t leave unnoticed. Hours passed but she couldn’t sleep. She half expected the ravagers to rush into her ship. She winced every time she heard even small voices.

She had dyed her hair light so she wouldn’t be as easily recognized afterwards. She decided to dye it back to black. She didn’t want to cut it because after years she had hair and she loved her flocks. She watched herself through a mirror after dying her hair. Dark hair looked better on her. She ran her fingers through her hair and remembered Yondu.

She felt bad she had hurt him. She never meant to hurt anyone. She wanted to know he wasn’t hurt too bad. She decided she could call him, but it required some preparations. She knew exactly how to hide her location when making a call.

In the morning when enough time had passed she decided to make the call. She was nervous to talk to him. When Kraglin answered the call, she lied to him that her camera was out of order but she really needed to speak with Yondu.

When Yondu finally answered she felt her insides twist. His rasping voice gave her chills and she was happy he wasn’t too badly hurt. She hadn’t actually thought what to say to him. She just wanted to know he was ok, but now she had no clue what to say.

”So… you’re ok?” She asked hesitantly.

”Who the fuck are ya” He asked sharply.

”I… I just wanted to make sure I didn’t hurt you too badly…” She just answered.

”What did ya do here? Who are ya working for?” she heard him rasping. He was clearly angry at her. Very angry.

”You haven’t guessed already? I came to steal your heart,” she teased him and ended the call. She giggled when she shut down all the electricity from her ship. She hoped she could see how he reacted to her call. If he ever found and killed her, at least she had won this round. She put her hand to her mouth to muffle her giggling. What on earth made her say she had been after his heart?

The hours turned to days. After two days the Eclector departed from the Contraxia and Carmen started to relax a little. She decided to wait for few more days before leaving. She followed from the screen where the Eclector went and when it was far enough she decided to leave.

When week had passed she heard an alarm from her computer. The warning on the screen told her they had found her bug on the Eclector and destroyed it. She couldn’t follow their movements anymore and it made her feel extremely uncomfortable. She knew it had been only matter if time they found it but she had hoped it would have lasted even a little longer.

She needed to be even more careful now.

**

”What the fuck do ya mean?! Untraceable? How the hell can she hide from me? Put a bounty on ’er head and make sure they understand I want ’er alive!” Yondu growled to the intercom.

”Aye Captn’.” Kraglin answered.

They had tracked the woman for two days now but she was nowhere to be seen. She had propably sneaked to some departing ship or had a place in someone’s crew. They had searched everywhere and she had completely disappeared without a trace.

He had been right. The plate had to have high value since someone came after it so soon after he got it. When he found the girl he would have his answers from her. One way or another…

**

Several weeks later.

Yondu was pissed. He had put a high bounty on her head weeks ago but no one had contacted him about her. Yes, the galaxy was a huge place, but he knew lots of guys around it and the word spread fast. The woman had disappeared as mysteriously as she had appeared out of nowhere. The bounty was high enough for dozens of bounty hunters to trace her, but none of them had called him.

Yondu had to admit he was impressed. The woman was constantly in his thoughts. He was angry at her that she stole from him but he was interested in her at the same time. His dreams were filled with her. She was a challenge to him and he was going to beat her in the game. He grinned at her cheekyness when she had told him she was after his heart. She was definitely playing with the fire and she did it with style!

”Captn’ sir. We’re soon at Myal. The crew is ready for the gig.”

”Allright. Let’s get this over with. We could use a nice payday,” he said putting his holopad down.

Kraglin saw that he had been watching a picture of that woman again. He had noticed him watching her often. She had definitely got Yondu’s full attention with her actions. He partly hoped they wouldn’t find her because Yondu’s revenge was something he hoped for no-one. She had been avoiding getting caught for so long that she was propably far away already. Yondu had admitted he was impressed what she had managed to do and Kraglin agreed. The woman was totally something different.

They landed on the planet and Yondu and Kraglin along with thirty other crew members walked to the building nearby. It was heavily guarded but Yondu sent his arrow in the air and killed the guards in a matter of seconds. They rushed in and the hell broke loose. Everyone was shooting and men fell around him, both enemies and their crew members. Yondu whistled and killed several enemies and after few minutes the show was over.

”Dammit! There were way more resistance than we thought there were. How many we lose?” Yondu asked frowning and looked at the piles of corpses around them.

”Three down and seven hurt, one badly, sir,” Kraglin reported. He was helping one crew member to get up. The man was cursing loudly and held his side. ”Yora and your team. Take the injured back to the Eclector!” Kraglin commanded and walked next to Yondu.

”Damn we should have prepared this better. Never thought they would hire more backup. Lets go get it and get the hell out of here,” Yondu said and sighed. He walked to the end of the room and opened a double door there. Behind it they found a small room where they held the animal.

It was a Kwark. There were only few of those left in the universe. They produced some chemical that was extremely valuable. It was used to create medicine for space madness. The animal was stolen from Nova Corp laboratory some weeks back and the Corps were paying extremely high credits to whoever brought it back to them. They took the animal and returned to the ship.

”’Captn, is everything ok? You seem more distracted than usual.” Kraglin asked him when they walked towarda the ship.

Yondu frowned. Kraglin knew him too well. ”No.” He answered grumpily.

”Oh come on. You think about ’er and you know it.”

Yondu glanced at him. ”I’m… Fuck. Ok. She haunts me. Can’t stop thinking about ’er. A fucking woman beat me.”

Kraglin muffled a chuckle. ”Quite a woman.”

Yondu looked at him sternly. If it was anyone else than Kraglin he would be angry. But seeing how he tried to hide his amusement he laughed. ”Yeah… Quite a woman.”

Chapter Text

Carmen started to relax eventually. It has been months since she stole the plate from Yondu and she had been totally out of the radar. No one had come after her so she started to believe she was going to survive. She hadn’t figured out how to get the data out of the plate. And she had been too busy with other works she didn’t have time to focus on it. It was safe and hidden so she had accepted few jobs improving some factories. She had managed to create nice reputation with her skills with all kinds of machines and systems, that she was often asked to do these kinds of jobs.

The hard part in his job was that she had to use the gray body paint she had used back on Alaria because everyone knew her as the gray mechanic. She used a bald wig to conceal her hair because she still didn’t want to cut it off. She hated she couldn’t be herself while working but in the same time it was a good disguise not to be recognized if some bounty hunter saw her.

On one morning she was getting ready for work again. Sighing, she tied her hair and put the wig on. She took the spray bottle to her hands and looked herself through a mirror. She closed her eyes and sprayed her face. The paint felt uncomfortable before it dried out and she frowned. She waited for a moment before she opened her eyes. The paint had dried and she touched her skin with her other hand. The paint would stay on perfectly until she wiped it off with a removal liquid. Wincing she sprayed the rest of her body and waited for a while before putting her clothes on. Finally she put contact lences on to conceal her green eyes. She was no longer Carmen from the Earth. She was the Gray mechanic.

The guards greeted her when she entered the factory. She’d been working there for a month now and she had almost finished her work. Maybe a week or so and she would have a nice payday. She went to control room and saw the workers had worked through the night to make the improvements she had suggested. She had to admit that these guys were very hardworking. They had managed to replace all the components she had bought in one night.

She sat to the mainframe and begun working. Her fingers ran through the panels while she was working. Some hours passed, and she didn’t notice how his employer had walked behind her.

She winced when she heard his sharp voice behind.

”Hey Gray. I’ve got another quick job for you.” His unpleasant voice squeaked.

She turned around to face him. She hated the man. She had had to fight to get what she had asked to do her job. She knew she wasn’t asking too much but the man had tried to underestimate her skills and put the price down. She had refused to work for him even she needed the money but eventually he had accepted her price.

”What do you mean? I’m still working on your systems.” She asked frowning.

The man smiled, and his smile gave her goosebumps. And not in a good way.” Someone came to ask you and told he would pay me if I loaned you for a quick job and of course pay you yoo.” He explained.

She was surprized. The man had actually given her opportunity to earn some extra credits.

”Uh… What kind of a job are we talking about?”

”He wants you to fix his systems and security in his ship. Is that a problem?”

Carmen smiled. That was what she was best at. ”Not at all. What’s the payment?”

”I got mine. You negotiate your own. Just be quick with it and then return to finish this.” He said and turned around. ”Well, are you coming?”

Carmen walked after him. She was excited to get to fix a ship and she hoped the job was difficult enough to keep her busy for few days. She would be glad to have a few days break from that asshole of an employer. He walked to his room and she followed. When she walked in the room her heart stopped. The blue large figure that was standing in front of a window looking out was no other than Yondu Udonta himself. She stopped to her feet and almost ran out.

She had few seconds to calm down before Yondu turned around to look at her. She didn’t even breath when she expected him to recognize her. Seconds felt like weeks. She let out a breath when nothing happened.

”Well now I know why they call ya the Gray mechanic.” He said smiling.

Could it be he didn’t recognize her? She couldn’t figure out a proper answer and she was afraid her voice would reveal her identity. Coughing few times she made her voice sound a little different and higher than normally hoping for the best.

”Yeah, It’s quite obvious. So you have a job for me?” She answered keeping her answer as short as possible. She didn’t want to talk too much.

He was as magnificent sight as she remembered. She didn’t remember she had ever been attracted to any man and now she had to be attracted to him. She heard her hearbeat in her ears and she hoped the others didn’t notice how nervous she was. She tried to concentrate looking normal and sounding not like herself.

”Yeah. Heard ya’re good with these kind of things and I could use your skills in my ship.” He explained her.

She hoped her face looked normal. Her insides twisted and she was ready to vomit. She was going to have to go in his ship and work with him. She was screwed.

She saw the men were watching her expectantly and realized she must have stared at him and forgot to answer.

”Uhh.. Yeah. I can fix it.” She answered.

”The girl must be excited to meet a celebrity like you mr. Udonta.” Her employer laughed.

Yondu smirked at that and for the first time Carmen was grateful to her employer. The idiot had just saved her ass. The men agreed to the deal and Carmen followed Yondu to his ship.

**

Carmen was afraid. She was excited and terrified. She felt thousands of feelings in the same time. Walking next to her worst fear knowing he could notice her any second made her extremely nervous. All she wanted to do was run out and leave the miserable planet behind. She wanted to be anywhere else than there. Well… Not anywhere. The Kree ship was worse.

She had survived from the Kree ship. She would survive this. She had to just calm down and put a working mode on. Taking few deep breaths, she counted to ten in her mind and concentrated. When she managed to calm down a little she realized she had an opportunity of a lifetime. She could program his ship however she wanted. She could make a backgate for herself if she ever ended up in his ship again. She could do almost anything she wanted, but she didn’t wish to harm him or his ship. He was a battle hero after all and she didn’t wish any harm to him.

”So, what’s the job?” She managed to ask a little higher pitch tone than her normal voice.

Yondu glanced at her. ”The ship is quite new since I had to build it almost completely again, but it seems the builders weren’t as good making security as I had hoped. There have been security issues, so I want the system fixed.” He explained.

She had to fight not to show any emotions. She was amused and terrified. She was playing with fire when she stole the disc and now she messed with his ship. The Kree ship would be heaven compared to the situation if he ever found out and found her…

”Ok. I need to get to your mainframe. It’ll take some time to find out what’s the problem.” She told him.

”Guessed as much. Let’s go to the deck.” He said walking towards the deck. The path there was all to familiar to her, altough this time she didn’t need to hide behind every possible thing. Again, she had to fight not to show any emotions. She had almost giggled hysterically before she managed to calm down again.

It seemed to last forever until they reached the main deck. He walked straight to the mainframe and pointed her to sit. She walked past him as far as she could and sat down. She begun to tap the panels feeling his burning stare at her neck. She hoped she had managed to add the paint evenly all over her body so her own skin wouldn’t show. He didn’t obviously trust her enough to let her work alone. She’d have to be extremely careful when adding her own little add-ons to his system, so he wouldn’t notice she was doing something out of ordinary.

She slowed down her pace a little, hoping he would grow tired of watching her working. He seemed to be percistent not to leave alone and since she didn’t know how much he understood of what she was doing, she didn’t do anything suspicious. She was already too in too deep waters. She sighed in relief when he finally walked away from behind her. He went to sit to captain’s seat and watched her from there. She felt uneasy under his staring.

She winced when she heard him talk suddenly. ”Have we met before?” He asked still staring at her.

Her heart skipped few beats and she took sharp inhale. She stopped working and slowly lifted her gaze to him. Luckily her years in the Kree ship had thaught her how to control her reactions. Otherwise she would have exposed herself in a second. She knew he had noticed her reaction already and she had to make up something.

”I’m sorry. I was so focused I didn’t hear. What did you ask?” She said hoping she sounded normal.

He frowned and repeated his question. She bit her teeth and scolded herself not thinking any answers if he happened to ask anything from her.

”Well, I’ve obviously seen picture of you but I don’t believe we’ve met. I think I would remember meeting you.” She answered.

He didn’t seem convinced. ”There’s something about ya that reminds me of someone. Where do ya come from?” He continued his questioning.

She thought of everything she could to figure out the best answer. She couldn’t tell she was from earth. Or Alaria since Alarian’s were humanoids that had almost white skin.

”Well I’ve worked in several factories around galaxy past years. Before that I Lived in Alaria where I was left by the ship I had been for as long as I can remember. Luckily though, since the idiots ended up too close to a rainbow planet and you know how it ended.” She told him. She decided to stay close to the truth, so she could give more details if needed.

She felt like she was under a microscope whem he stared her.” Well, Ya must remind me of someone else then. Can’t just remember who.”

She returned to her work hoping the interrogation was over. Her fingers thrembled and she had to concentrate hard to calm down. After a while she had her work mode on again. She had a perfect moment to make her little backdoor to the system. She glanced Yondu and noticed he was looking elsewhere. She was sweating, and her fingers ran through the panels. It didn’t take long for her to finish what she was doing. Se returned to make the system better. She spent hours by the mainframe and when she finally finished, she looked up and noticed she was alone. She stood up and stretched. She had been so stiff, and the working position was not the most erconomic so she felt stiffnes in her muscles.

The rest would take at least a day or two and she would have to access all their main computers. She wasn’t too happy about it since she needed to return to Eclector again. One more day to be near him and in constant fear of being elicited.

Yondu walked back to the deck and noticed she was off the mainframe.

”Okay, so the password protocol is weak. I’m changing it quite a bit and then I need you to enter the main passwords. This will take some hours and then I need to manually go through some other terminals. I need you to show me where they are. It’s getting late, so if you don’t mind I would like to do it tomorrow.”

”Fine by me. I’ll show the terminals to ya tomorrow.” He said and walked to her. She tensed when he was near her. ”I would like ya to join me for dinner if that’s ok with ya.”

Oh fuck.

She knew shee had no other choice than accept his offer, so she wouldn’t sound suspicious. She had hoped she could return to her ship and prepare herself for the next day. But she answered as it was ok to her. ”I’d like that. Do you wish to eat here or somewhere in town?” She asked and hoped he wanted to be off his ship. She felt extremely uncomfortable being in there.

”I spend time in this ship enough so town is ok. Let me go and ask if Kraglin wants to join us.” He said.

Fuck. Another person who might recognize her…

”Ok, I’m heading out already. I’ll wait for you outside.” She said without thinking. She realized she shouldn’t propably know how to get to the landing door.

”Ya remember how to get out?” Yondu asked her and looked at her cautiously.

She kept her face straight and aswered. ”I believe so. Stairs down and along the bridge. And the I turn left from the second corridor.”

”…And end up to the upper engine room. I’ll call the guys through the intercom and we’ll wait for them outside. No need for ya to roam around the ship.”

He gestured to walk with him, so she walked by him outside. They waited for the others to accompany them. Carmen counted in her mind to keep herself calm. Yondu had not recognized her but his friends might. She didn’t know how many people had seen the records of her intrusion.

She knew there were people searching for her. But she could only hope her disquise was as good as she thought. It had kept her safe past years.

Kraglin and some other crew member walked out and came to them. They were obviously interested about her.

”So here’s the mysterious mechanic evryone’s talkin’ ’bout. I’m Kraglin and here’s Maggs.”

Carmen sighed in relief. Kraglin didn’t seem to have any clue who she was. ”Yeah. You can call me Gray.”

”Let’s get to eat. I’m starvin’.” Yondu growled.

Carmen walked with the men to nearby pub where was decent food. They talked about their work and Carmen told about her own. She ordered something familiar from the list, she couldn’t concentrate to the food. It took all from her to keep her act on and look like the situation was normal. In different circumstances she would have really enjoyed having supper with them. They seemed to be really nice guys and she missed having people around her.

She was amazed how well the evening went. She had managed to act normal and the guys didn’t seem to recognize her. She was extremely tired and wanted to go to sleep. Luckily, Kraglin started to yawn constantly too and the men decided to leave too.

”Ya wanna us to escort ya home?” Yondu asked.

”Nah, I’m good. It’s not long way and the town’s safe. See you tomorrow. When do I come to your ship?”

”Eight hours from now.”

She walked back to her ship making sure no-one followed her. She was keeping her ship at the end of a nearby dock. Again, it was near the wrecks to keep it unnoticed. Nobody was interested in those so her ship was left alone.

She headed straight to her bed when she got in the ship. She needed all the sleep to stay sharp the next day. She hoped she could finish the job tomorrow so the Eclector would leave as soon as possible. She was not safe as long it was near though she was probably never safe in her life. She programmed the ship to wake her up early enough to fix her disquise and get ready for the day.

Chapter Text

Yondu walked back to the Eclector with Kraglin and Maggs. Something bothered him but he couldn’t figure out what.

”Ya think Gray is familiar from somewhere? She seems familiar to me somehow.”

Kraglin seemed to think. ”Naw. Don’t think so. I’ve heard of her though. Girl’s got quite a reputation fixin’ things.”

”She’s very reserved. But I guess It’s understandable. Bet it has not been easy life for her. And even she’s good at what she does, with your reputation it’s probably not easy to fix your ship.” Maggs replied looking at Yondu sideways.

”Yeah, she probably thinks you’re gonna do something to her if she fails.” Kraglin agreed.

”Some days it really pisses me that everyone thinks I’m gonna kill them for the smallest reasons. Ya know the other day that woman in red horizon almost pissed herself in terror when she realized it was me she was gonna spend the night with. Stupid wench. Like I was gonna kill her if I was gonna fuck her.” Yondu growled gritting his teeth.

Kraglin tapped his shoulder. ”Ya just gotta get used to it. It’s not gonna pass away any time soon. Ya did quite a show back then and left piles of corpses behind.”

”Turnbacks and murderers.” Yondu snapped.

”True. But it doesn’t change what many think of ya anyway.”

Yondu thought about Kraglin’s words. ”Ya think she’s so tense because of that?”

”I think she looked at ya several times when she thought ya or us wouldn’t notice. I think ya interest and frighten ’er.” Kraglin told him.

”Yeah, noticed that too.” Maggs agreed winking at him.

Yondu frowned and glanced at them. ”I still think I’ve met her somewhere. Maybe she thought about it too.”

Kraglin rolled his eyes to Maggs. ”Yeah. That must be it.”

**

She woke up before the ship alarmed her to. She didn’t get much sleep. She had woken several times to nightmares where they had found out her identity, and the last thing she saw before she woke up screaming, was the Yaka arrow flying towards her. It was the same dream that had haunted her weeks after stealing the disc from Yondu. She thought the dreams were past already, but now they were back.

The gray paint hid the dark circles around her eyes. She put few eyedrops to her eyes before putting contacts on again. For a moment, she thought of leaving the planet and hiding somewhere before no-one realized to come after her. But that would ruin all. Her hard work for creating a good reputation as the gray mechanic would be for nothing. She’d have to start all over again. If she even managed to escape in the first place…

Sighing she looked herself through the mirror and made sure her paint was even. One more day. One more time she’d have to be near him and then he would be on his way. She relized she was sad to see him go. In the different circumstances she would have asked him to… To what? She shook her head to clear her thoughts. One final glance to the mirror and she walked out and to the Eclector.

The door to the ship was closed. She smiled to herself thinking it was probably because she had managed to sneak in. She pressed a button in a terminal next to the door. After a moment she heard Yondu’s rasping voice.

”Who’s there?”

”It’s me. Gray. Came to fix the rest of the system.”

”Right. Come on in. Kraglin comes to get ya.”

The door opened and she stepped in. Her heart begun to beat faster instantly. She stood inside waiting for Kraglin to come. Some crew members walked by and watched her interested but no-one came to talk to her. They all seemed busy doing their jobs. After few minutes she saw Kraglin walking towards her. She nodded her head and walked to him.

”Hi. Captn’ asked me to take ya to him. This way.”

They walked the same path to the main deck as before. Kraglin was tapping his holopad while they walked. ”So ya gonna finish with the system today?”

”Yeah. Just need to access some remote terminals to make sure the system updates everywhere. You are taking me to these terminals?” She asked hoping he would take her to those instead of Yondu.

Kraglin glanced at her and tried to hide his smile. The girl definitely seemed uncomfortable aroud Yondu, but he doubted it was not only because she feared him. ”Naw. The captn’ wants to take ya.”

She kept her face straight. She was terrified to spend another day near him. ”Right. Doesn’t he have something more important to do than show me the terminals?”

Kraglin chuckled. ”More important than the security of his ship. Don’t think so.”

Carmen looked at him and laughed. ”Guess you’re right.”

Yondu was already waiting for them. She tried to look normal even seeing him twisted her guts into a tight knot. He turned around when he heard them entering the room. His crimson eyes locked to her and again she felt he saw through her. She braced herself for the worst and looked back. Their eyes met and shivers ran through her spine.

”Reporting for duty captain.”

She saw a strange flash in his eyes before he smiled a half smile. ”Well let’s get to business then. Kraglin, Jax was looking for ya.”

Kraglin left and Carmen saw a flash of grin on his lips when he glanced at her. Something was going on. She gave a quick glance at Yondu’s direction but the man didn’t seem to be any different than the previous evening. He gestured her to come with him and she followed him. They walked along the corridors to the first terminal. She programmed the terminal quickly since it was a minor terminal at one corridor.

”How many terminals are there?”

”What terminals ya need to access?”

Carmen thought for a moment. ”I need all the terminals where you have access to the main system.”

”That makes seventeen terminals total.”

Seventeen… It takes almost whole day to go through them all. It was going to be a really long day if he was going to stay with her the whole time.

”It’s gonna take most of the day.” She said carefulley hoping he would have some ore important business to attend.

”Yeah, guessed as much. That’s why I’m here today. One day off my normal business is nothing.”

So much for that hope…”Ok. I’m ready with this one. Just add your password.”

Yondu leaned forward to tap his password to the terminal. He was so close she could smell his scent. It was just as good as she remembered. She realized he really didn’t need to lean so close to her. But he seemed to do it totally subconciously. He didn’t seem to notice how it affected her whem he was so close to her. After he finished he leaned back casually.

”So where have ya learned to be so good tech?” Yondu asked her while they walked to the next terminal.

Shit. She really should have created waterproof backstory…

”I was with my father in that ship I spoke of. He had always been good with that kind of stuff so he taught me everything. And after he passed away it was my duty to keep the ship running.” Carmen explained. It was the best explanation she came up with. She had never met his father so she would have to improvise more if he asked more about him.

”Were ya ravagers or what? What did ya do?”

”Oh no. It was a rather small ship. We did all kinds of stuff, or I should say they did. I just took care of the maintenance. Few years after my father passed away I ended up in a bad fight with the captain. They became too reckless and we ended up in bad situations more and more often. They left me to Alaria after I refused to improve our system so we might go near rainbow planet. They went anyway and that was the end of their story.”

They reached the next terminal and Carmen focused on it hoping he would end his interrogation about her past. Luckily her answed was enough for him and he let her work in silence. It took longer to program that terminal and Carmen noticed how Yondu became restless. He stared at the screen clearly deeply in his thoughts.

”I’m sorry this takes so long. Just few more minutes.”

Yondu seemed to snap out of his thoughts and looked at her.

”Take yer time. Better it takes time and ya make it properly.”

”This is ready. Again, add your password.”

After he finished, they walked to the next one. The next several hours passed when they went from terminal to terminal. They didn’t talk much. Yondu seemed to be in his thoughts and she was happy she didn’t have to explain her past anymore. She focused on her task and thought of possible answers if he happened to ask anything else.

They were at the engine room and Carmen was fixing the second computer there when Kraglin called Yondu through the intercom.

”Umm.. Captn’ ”

”What is it Kraglin?”

”We got a call from some bounty hunter. The woman has possibly been seen not far from here.”

Oh hell no!

Carmen winced and pressed few wrong buttons. The terminal gave an error message.

”Shit!” Carmen cursed under her breath.

Yondu took few quick steps towards the terminal.

”What? Where?” He asked excited.

”Two jumps from here. In Hakar.”

”Get us ready to leave immediately!”

”Aye Captn’ ”

Carmen didn’t even try to work anymore. Her hands were trembling so badly she couldn’t hit the right buttons. She tried to calm down before Yondu turned back to look at her.

I’ve been through worse. I survived in the Kree ship all those years. I’m gonna survive this. I just need to calm down.

She took a deep breath and finished the terminal just before Yondu turned back to her. She glanced at him and saw he was extremely excited. There was fire in his crimson eyes and scary smirk on his lips. She saw his sharp crooked teeth and he licked them with his tongue.

She cleared her throat. ”What was that all about?” She asked hoping her voice didn’t thremble as much as she did.

His smile was scary. ”Something I’ve waited for months. We’re visiting Hakar.”

Oh hell no! She needed to get out of there. Right now!

”Oh. Ok. Shall I finish these last terminals first? Or are you coming back? There are still some terminals I haven’t checked.” She asked him. She hoped he would tell her that they waited for her to finish and be on their way.

”No time. We leave now. Ya can fix them when we’re there.”

Oh no. No. NO!

”I’m sorry, but I need to get back to the factory to finish my job. It was the deal that I’d return there today.” Carmen said seriously. She was not going with them. She would finish what she started after they came back. Or finish her job in the factory quickly and vanish.

”’The hell ya are. I’ll call the man. He’ll wait if I tell him to wait. Paid him enough so he can wait a day or two.”

Carmen realized it was useless to argue. She could just stay in the Eclector and hope for the best. She knew the woman they talked about was her. They thought they’d find her where they were going. And when they got there and found out she wasn’t there, what would happen then? Would they find out her identity?

She needed to get out!

Chapter Text

Carmen walked behind Yondu to the main deck. Her thoughts were lightyears away from her and it was a miracle she managed to walk behind him without stumbling to every obstacle or the stairs. She didn’t see how some crew memebers slowed their pace to stare at her.

When they reached the control room Yondu took few quick steps and begun to give strict orders to his crew. It didn’t take long before they were in the space. She looked at Yondu who was tapping a holopad on his hands. She gulped when she saw herr own picture on the screen. She had been an idiot not to make up herself back then but she had had no time to think about those things. She did just what she could by given time.

Yondu turned a little and she saw his face. The look on his face was scary. She hoped she didn’t need to face him in the circumstances that the woman was about to be. It wasn’t impossible that she had a doppelganger and the poor woman was going to pay for her sins. Could she watch from aside how they tortured her to gain information?

Yondu turned to glance at her. ”Ya can sit over there. It takes some time before we get there.” He said pointing one chair near him.

Carmen nodded and sat to the chair. It was a relief to sit since her legs were thrembling making it hard to stand. Minutes passed and she was so deeply in her thoughts that she didn’t pay attention of what happened around her. She leaned back and glanced at Yondu. He seemed pleased and it terrified her. How would he react when he saw it wasn’t her? Or if she was her doppelgonger, what was he going to do with her?”

Her thoughts were interrupted when they reached Hakar. The ship shakel slightly when they landed on the planet.

”They are taking her here. Open the door for them. Kraglin, bring them here.” Yondu commanded.

”Aye Captn’ ”

Carmen couldn’t stay still anymore. She stood up but was too afraid to go anywhere so she just stood there tapping her foot. Yondu walked near her. She took a deep breath and released the air slowly.

”So care to tell me what are we doing here?” She asked him.

”Something, or rather someone I’ve searched for some time. She stole from me and she’s gonna pay for it. I’m making her regret the day she was born.” Yondu said smiling wickedly.

Carmen shivered at the thought. She could not stay aside if he tortured the poor woman. She didn’t know what she was going to do. She hoped that the woman looked nothing like her. She heard steps from the stair leading to control room. She closed her eyes and counted to ten. When they entered the room she opened her eyes and looked at them. Her worst fears came true when she saw the chackled woman they brought in. It looked like she herself was walking in the deck with the men. Only difference were the eyes. The woman had brown eyes. She had short blond hair that was similar what she had back then. Her mouth was taped over but her eyes show how terrified she was. It was a miracle she had not passed out already.

***

Yondu turned around whem he heard Kraglin bring the bounty hunters and the woman with him. He locked his eyes to the woman. Wicked smile spread to his lips when he saw that the woman seemed to be what he was looking for.

”Where did ya find her?” He asked the bounty hunters.

”She was working on a local farm here. Our crew member recognized her from the photo. Can I ask why a man like you is searching for her?” The man asked.

Yondu was still looking at her. She tried to struggle against the men holding her but when she saw him she stilled. If she was scared earlier, she was now terrified. She breathed rapidly through her nose and Yondu saw she was about to pass out.

”Take the tape off her mouth. She’s gonna pass out.” He commanded the men.

One of the men ripped the tape off and the woman shrieked in pain. She took few deep breaths before she started to talk.

”Please, just let me go! I haven’t done anything! I know nothing. I have nothing! I’m just a regular Hakar woman. I have nothing you need. I’ll give everything I own as long as you let me go! Please don’t kill me! I’ll do anything!” She cried.

Yondu frowned. She sounded nothing like the woman back then. He took few steps closer and the woman started to cry. One of the men holding her pushed her to make her stop. It didn’t help and the woman started to sob harder.

”Please! Just let me go! I won’t tell anyone. I’ll…”

”Shut the fuck up!” The other man shouted at the woman. ”Well, Is she the one? Do we get our payment?”

”Let me look at her closer.” He walked in front of her and pulled her head up so he could look at her in the eyes. She had closed her eyes and refused to look at him. ”Look. At. Me.” He rasped at her.

The woman opened her eyes and looked at his crimson eyes. Her eyes darted from heye to eye. They were warm brown and he saw she didn’t recognize him. She didn’t even sound like her. Yondu wanted to shout in frustration. He wanted her to be the woman he was looking for but it was obvious she was the wrong person.

”She’s not the one.” He said letting go of her jaw.

”What? She looks exactly like her!” One of the men shouted.

Yondu took a holopad to his hands. He tapped few times and show them part of the record. They heard her talking to him in his room. Her voice was clearly different. Then he show another part where they saw she had green eyes. There were some other small details thet proved the woman they had was not her.

”Close, but she’s not the one we are looking for.” Yondu said. He was pissed. He had already redied himself to face the woman who haunted his dreams and had his payday. He had been so excited.

**

Carmen had been frozen to her feet waiting for what was going to happen. When the woman started to scream and beg for her life, Carmen felt terrible. It was her fault she was there and she was going to pay for her doings. She couldn’t look at her. She was so ashamed. She didn’t have the courage to stand out but she knew she needed to help her somehow.

When Yondu walked closer to her Carmen held her breath. She was about to take step ahead and tell them to release her when suddenly the scene ended and he released the woman saying she wasn’t the one they were looking for. She released the air out of her lungs. That was close! Too close.

She saw Yondu was beyond angry. He was frustrated and pissed. The men took the woman out and Kraglin followed them. His crew members clearly avoided him. Everyone was afraid of him. He walked to his chair without saying a word. Carmen sat back down to her seat and waited. After a while Kraglin walked back and went to Yondu.

”Captn’ want us to get ready to leave?” He asked him.

Yondu just growled and nodded. Kraglin hit his chest with his hand and started to prepare for them to leave. Yondu just sat in his chair staring in front of him wihout even blinking. She didn’t see his face but she could guess what he looked like judging the expressions his crew had when they looked at him. He was in a dangerous state of mind and no-one wanted to annoy him any more so everyone avoided him.

She decided it was best if she sat still and let everyone forget she was there. They were quickly back in space and on the way to the planet they picked her from. Carmen spent the time thinking all possible answers if someone asked about her past. Soon they were at their destination and Kraglin landed back where they left some hours before. She stood up and waited for orders.

Yondu rose and walked to Kraglin. They talked for a while before Yondu turned around and came to her. He looked like he’d been through hell. He stopped when he reached her.

”You can go home. Finish my ship tomorrow. I need to get drunk.” He said and walked past her.

”There’s a nice bar nearby. Ask for Dole, she has this amazing booze that doesn’t give a horrible hangover. I’ll be here tomorrow morning.” She said to him. She was relieved she didn’t have to work with him until the next day. She needed a while to clear her head.

She turned around to walk out of the Eclector but she was stopped by a large hand that landed on her shoulder. Her heart skipped few beats and she almost begun tu run away.

”Hey why don’tcha join me there? Could actually use some company.” Yondu asked her still holding his hand on her shoulder.

Not in a million years!

She wanted to say no. She wanted to get back to her ship and rest. She was so tired and afraid. But still she knew there was only one answer. ”Well, why not. I can join to have one drink before I need to go to sleep.”

He took his hand off her shoulder and gestured her move ahead. She walked out of the main deck and out of the Eclector. They walked side by side to the bar she had talked about. Neither of them talked anything. When they came inside Dole came to greet her immediately.

”Hey Gray! How are you? Who’s your friend here?” She asked cheerfully.

Carmen smiled to her. ”Hi Dole, I’m fine thanks. This is Yondu, I’m working for him. Got any of that good stuff? He really needs a drink, it’s been a long day.”

”Sure hon. Sit there, i’ll bring you your drinks.” Dole said and went back behind the desk.

Carmen walked to the table next to a window. Yondu followed her and sat in front of her. He was deeply in his thoughts and Carmen was relieved. She believed she was quite safe right then so she could take a drink and have a drink with him. Dole brought their drinks and went to serve other customers. She winked at her meaningfully before she turned around. She clearly misunderstood their relationship but right then it didn’t matter.

Yondu drank his drink. ”This is actually good. What is it?” He asked.

Carmen smiled. ”It’s her secret recipe. No one knows what it is, but they always come back to buy it from her.”

He took another sip and nodded. She watched out of the window not knowing what to talk about. He stared at his drink and spinned the glass in his hand. ”Ya know I really thought it was her.”

Carmen winced and almost chocked on her drink. ”Sorry…” She coughed few times to buy some time. Was she going to talk about it with him? How could she talk about it without revealing herself?

”Who did you think she was?” She asked him.

Yondu stared at his glass still. ”She’s… I hoped she was someone I have searched for months. I’ve put a high bounty on her to find her. For months… and nothing. This was the first time someone thought they found her.”

Carmen knew he had searched for her. It was just her luck someone thought they found her when she was present. She had to keep up with the conversation not to rise any suspicions.

”Why is she so important?” She asked. She actully wanted to know the answer. She wanted to know what would he do to her if he ever caught her.

”She stole something from me. And I’m gonna find her and make her pay for it.” He said with certain voice.

Her hand stilled on the way bringing her glass to her lips. So she really needed to make sure she was never to be caught by him. She took a sip from her glass. Part of her wanted to know more but she didn’t want him to think about her too much. She could say something that revealed her identity so she just looked out of the window and remained silent.

Neither of them talked for a while. Yondu drank his drink fast and went to get another. When he came back and she saw he was in a better mood. He sat back to his seat.

”So what are ya gonna do after ya’re done with this shithole? Bet ya don’t wanna work for that idiot for any longer than it’s necessary?”

Carmen smiled a half smile. ”Oh you’re right. The second i’m done with that factory I leave here. I have some other requests but not the kinds I’m interested. I have one gig after this one already planned but after that.. Who knows. That’s the good part for being good at what I do. I can choose where to work and when.” She rolled her eyes. ”I was a total idiot for accepting his offer but he pays well.”

He seemed to think about something carefully. He looked at her preoccupied. ”What about coming to work for me?”

She almost choked to her drink again. What? Did he actually ask her to work for him?

She cleared her throat. ”Work for you? And do what?” She asked.

For all those years alone she’d hoped she had a place where she could be around people. She had hoped she would find a nice ship and crew to work with. And now Yondu Udonta offered her place in his ship. Before stealing from him, this would have been a dream come true. But now…

”Could use yer talent around the ship. Keep it running. I could pay ya quite well.” He said looking at her intently. He was clearly expecting her to accept his offer.

She tried to look like she considered it. She knew she could never accept his offer. ”Well I need to think about it. I must finish my work here and the next job before I can even consider it. Is a ravager ship right place for a woman?”

”If I say it’s ok, it’s ok.My crew knows not to cross me. Ya’d have to prove yerself to them but they won’t dare to touch ya if ya don’t want it.” He said and he sounded very convincing.

She must have done something terrible in her previous life for destiny to mess with her like this. She wanted to say yes. She wished there was a way to make it possible but she couldn’t risk everything.

”Sounds nice but I need to think about it. I have my own ship and everything. It means I would have to sell it. You don’t mind if I think about it do you?” She asked him hoping he wouldn’t take it as an offence.

”Naturally. Contact us after ya finish yer gig and we’ll talk about it.” He said smiling. He raised his glass to her and she did the same.

If he ever found out he raised a glass to her, he’d be pissed. She giggled at the thought.

”What?” Yondu asked.

Oh shit. Think fast!

”Oh nothing. Never thought my skills would possibly take me to a ravager ship.” She told him and smiled.

Yondu smiled too and drank his glass empty. He went to get another and Carmen saw how he took few shots with it. He would be very drunk soon. He came back bringing two shots with him. He gave the other to her and lifted his.

”To possibilities!” He said and drank his shot. Carmen followed his example and coughed when the liquid burned her throat. Yondu smirked at her and sat down.

It didn’t take long before Yondu was very drunk. They decided to leave. Yondu was stumbling to his feet so Carmen took his arm and guided him back to his ship. At the door she stopped.

”You manage on your own from here?” She asked him.

”What if I say no?”

She laughed. ”Then it seems you must sleep outside.”

He grinned and took few steps towards the ship. Carmen turned around and started to walk to her own ship. Before she managed to take two steps he stopped her, spun her around and kissed her. She was so surprised she didn’t know what to do. He smelled just as good as she remembered. The kiss ended just as fast as it had begun and it left her breathless. He just winked at her and went to his ship. She stood there mouth open for a second before she snapped out of confusion. Shrugging she turned around and went to her ship. Her lips tingled all the way back.

**

The next morning she woke up and she had a headache. Damn shot. Shouldnt’t have taken it.

She looked at her watch and saw it was almost time to go back to Eclector. She blushed when she remembered the last night. Will he remember kissing her? She touched her lips and smiled to the memory. It had been years since she was kissed last time. Even if it was him and the situation was very complicated.

She went to shower and washed herself. The paint didn’t go off even in the hot stream of water. After the shower she ate some breakfast and left to the Eclector.

The door was still shut and she pressed the button to call Yondu. She heard Kraglin’s voice through the speaker.

”Gray is that ya?”

”Yeah, it’s me.”

”Great, come in. I’ll come to get ya right away.”

She stepped in and waited for Kraglin to arrive. She wondered where Yondu was. Was he so embarrassed of last night that he didn’t want to meet her?

She saw Kraglin coming and she walked to him.

”Morning, Captain’s at the dining hall. Let’s go there. Gotta warn ya, he’s in a bad mood.”

He must have hell of a headache since he drank a lot more than her and even she had a hangover. They walked along some corridors and ended up in large hall full of tables. She saw Yondu sitting nearby and drinking a large glass of water. He didn’t look like he was having a hangover but the waterglass revealed him.

He turned to look at them when they approached him.

”Ya said that the booze doesn’t give ya hangover.” He said accusatively.

She grinned. ”Yeah it doesn’t. But you took several shots with it. They gave you headache.”

Yondu growled and took a sip from his water. He had a holopad on the table and Carmen saw her picture on the screen. So much for him not thinking about her… She sat on the bench and leaned her chin on her hand. She was tired and the damn headache was getting worse.

”So, I have some terminals to finish and then I’m ready. Shall we go?” She asked hoping he was in too bad shape to join her.

”Yeah, let’s get this over with.” He growled.

They circled around the Eclector to finish the last terminals. Carmen counted that they had only one left. She was relieved because it had taken hours to fix all the remaining terminals and she was very tired. Her joy was short when she noticed they had arrived to Yondu’s quarters. Her stomach twisted in tight knot and she felt sick. She couldn’t go in that room.

Yondu tapped his password to the keypad and the door opened. He walked in and went to his bed and laid on it. He held his head and moaned.

”For fuck’s sake. What were those shots I drank last night?” He mumbled.

Carmen hesitated a moment before walked in the room. She went straight to the terminal and fixed it. It was her chance to finish her little add-on to ensure her escape if she ever was caught. She tapped the keypad as fast as she could so she could finish it before Yondu came to put his password. She managed to finish it and the system.

”All finished. Come and put your password and we are ready.” She said and stood up from the computer. She was glad she was ready but it was sad she’d never see him again.

Yondu went to the terminal and tapped his password.

”So the system is now ready?”

”Yes. Now you can sleep your headache away and I can go finish my work with that asshole.” She said. ”So guess this is goodbye. It’s been nice to work for you.” She continued and offered her hand.

He looked at her hand frowning. ”Oh, right.” He walked to her and shaked her hand. ”And hey, I was serious last night. Come work for me.” He continued looking her in the eyes.

”I’ll think about it.” She said smiling.

”Kraglin has transfered yer credits to ya. We’ll be in touch.” He said pressing her hand. He didn’t let her hand go. ”Did I kiss ya last night?”

Carmen giggled nervously. She thought he had forgotten the kiss. ”Uhh. Yeah you did.”

Yondy grinned. ”Thought it was just a nice dream. Sorry ’bout that. Don’t let it affect yer desicion about coming work for me.”

He let her hand go and they walked out of his quarters. He walked her to the exit. Carmen walked out of the ship and waved goodbye. She hoped things had gone differently and she could be in the Eclector when it departed.

Chapter Text

It took a lot longer to finish the factory than she had thought. She was exhausted but happy to finally leave the planet behind. She took her course towards the next gig. She had thought she had few days holiday but the delay in that shithole forced her to begin next job immediately. Luckily it was supposed to be easy and it was going to take maximum three weeks to complete it.

After traveling for two weeks to her destination she finally saw the planet far ahead. She was happy to get solid ground under her feet after constant traveling and jumping in space. It was a small planet in Sarlak system far from everything. The humanoid race habitating it resembled men back on the Earth so she would stand out weaing her disquise.

She had worn her disguise every time she left her ship since she stole the plate fron Yondu afraid to be recognized. But now she wanted to be herself and she thought it was time to go out as herself. She would work first and then have a holiday being just herself.

Her black hair had grown quite long. She watched herself through a mirror. She looked totally different from what she had looked back on Contraxia. It was time to start living again. She wanted to be around people again. She had been so lonely for so long time.

Sighing she put her wig on to cover her hair. She ran her hand through her now bald head. She looked ugly with no hair. She took the paint and started to paint her body once again. Just few weeks and the job would be done. Then she could go and have a break.

***

Three weeks later she was finally free to do what ever she wanted. Her job was done and she had enough credits to have a few months break before going to another factory job. She had travelled few days to Oxx. She had discovered it while working in the factory. It was even more like the Earth and more isolated so it was perfect for her to finally step out of her ship without the paint. She had heard there was a nice earth-like bar in there and lots of forests where she could hike and enjoy the nature. She would spend the first night in the bar and the next day she would leave hiking for few weeks. After living years in spaceships she yearned to breath fresh air surrounded by nature. She couldn’t go back to Earth but Oxx was a nice replacement. The nature was similar to Earth.

There were some kind of festivites in the town and the night club was packed with all kinds of creatures. She sat by the bar and drank some alcohol drink deeply in her thoughts. She was thinking of settling down for a while. After the next job she would have enough credits to live nicely for the next couple of years. Yondu’s offer was always in the back of her mind. She had imagined all the possible scenarios what could happen if she accepted his offer. They all ended badly.

She missed having people around her. Living alone in spaceship was a very lonely life. It had been nice for some time after leaving Alaria but now she missed her life even there. She had friends back there but she had to leave that life behind to get further from the Kree.

She snapped out of her thoughts when she thought she heard a familiar voice. It cannot be! She looked around but saw nothing. The club was too crowded. She was probably just imagining things. She was just nervous to be out without her disguise. The chance was close to zero for him to be there. She smiled to herself. She just couldn’t have such bad luck to bump into him so far from everything.

She heard that rasping voice again and chills ran through her spine. No. This is not possible. She scanned the whole club carefully. Her blood froze. At a corner table she saw all too familiar blue man with a red fin. He was looking at her curiously. He was clearly wondering who she was. She froze and couldn’t move a muscle. She had thought she would never see those piercing red eyes again. Those eyes had haunter her for months and now they were locked to her and she was terrified. She saw the moment when the realization hit him. His eyes widened and his mouth opened slightly. He was clearly gasping.

She snapped out of her trance and stumbled off the chair and ran to the door. She was luckily near the exit so she managed to get out very fast. She ran aimlessly as far from the club as she could. She heard her heartbeat in her ears and she felt dizzy. She ran for a long time before she stopped and looked back. No one was following her. She was too afraid to go to her ship so she decided to walk even further away for the night.

Of all the places and all the times he had to be there same time as she was. And now when she had given up her disguise. The fate must really hate her.

**

Yondu brought his crew to relax after hard gig. There was a small brothel nearby but he wasn’t in the mood so he decided to go to have few drinks with Kraglin and Maggs. They went to Green Vessel to have some drinks. It was usually too crowded but he knew the owner and they got a nice table to sit.

”That was one hell of a job!” Kraglin said and lifted his drink towards Yondu.

Yondu smiled and nodded. It had been one of the best jobs they’ve done with the new crew. They got a nice payment and the crew was excited.

”Yeah.. The crew did a damn nice job back there.” He answered, lifted his drink and drank it. He slammed the glass back to table and wiped his mouth.

He looked around the club. He had noticed a woman sitting by the bar when they came in the club. She was still sitting on the same spot and seemed to be deeply in her thoughts. She had an amazing body and beautiful black hair. There was something in her that drew his attention. He turned back to the others when they spoke to him. He talked with them and cheered with them but his attention was drawn back to the woman again.

This time she had moved so he could see her face. She was staring at him and she had very strange look on her face. She looked familiar somehow but he was sure he hadn’t fucked her. He’d remember fucking suck a nice looking girl. She had locked her eyes to him. She probably knew him by his reputation. Many women had tried to hit on him after he’d become one of the guardians. He had turned all of them down. He wasn’t interested in having a relationship and all of those women had been weak. Ravager life was hard and only few women he knew were strong enough to work and live in the Eclector.

He noticed she wasn’t looking at him like she was flirting with him. It seemed she was terrified of him. He knew his reputation scared many but he had done nothing to the woman, so there was no reason for her to fear him. Then it hit him. He gasped in surprize and before he managed to react, she was already running out.

”Kraglin! She’s here! We are going to get ’er!” he yelled at Kraglin and ran after her. She had good lead since she was close to the door. They ran out of the door but she had disappeared. Yondu swore hard. He would tear the planet to pieces to find her.

”She has long black hair and green clothes. Kraglin go to the right! Maggs left. Find that girl!” He shouted at them and ran straight himself.

He went to landing dock. She had left the planet somehow last time so it was probable that the same ship was there now. He walked among the ships but there were no familiar looking ships. He was frustrated. He wasn’t going to let her run away this time. She’d haunted him for too long time. He walked past some old wrecks that was left behind after they broke. He had walked past them when something started to bother him. He walked back to the wrecks and looked one of them closely. He’d seen it before. He felt chills going through his body. Jackpot.

**

Carmen was tired, and hungry. She had walked around all night. Finally after hours of wandering she decided to head back to her ship. She saw the Eclector from far when she approached the dock. It was still early and she saw only few creatures walking at the dock. She sneaked carefully towards her ship and watched around all the time. She sighed in relief when she finally reached her ship unnoticed. She was safe. She would just hide for days and they would be gone just like last time.

She would have to be more careful this time. Now he knew what she looked like. Just when she thought she could leave her gray days behind this had to happen.

She opened the door and stepped in. She walked to the cabin. She was too afraid to put the lights on if they were still looking for her. She sat to a bench and pulled her shoes off sighing. Her feet were killing her for walking for hours.

She heard a noise and stilled. Was someone outside searching for her? When she heard a second noise she tried to listen from which direction it came from. She didn’t want to make a sound that could expose her so she stood up quietly took few steps towards her comfy chair so she could rest her hurting feet. She didn’t hear any sounds anymore and it was totally quiet. Perhaps even too quiet. She had a bad feeling that something wasn’t right. She took few quick steps towards the door before the lights suddenly flashed on. She gasped and tried to run to the door. She heard a whistle and saw the arrow fly in front of her head. She stilled and sighed. She was a dead woman…

”Ah, ah, ah. Not so fast girl,” she heard him say. ”Turn around.” He said. She could hear satisfaction in his voice. Like a cat that had trapped a mouse.

She turned around. He was smiling wickedly at her. He clearly knew she had no chance against him. He looked totally relaxed and pleased. She stood absolutely still knowing that the arrow was next to her head and with a single whistle he could kill her with it.

”Gotta admit ya have managed to get my full attenrion girl… That little trick ya did back there. I’m imprssed. And I’m not often impressed,” he said still smiling.

She didn’t answer. She just watched him. If the situation had been different she would have been glad to see him. He was an amazing sight. But now she looked at him terrified. She had seen this moment in her nightmares dozens of times. She had woken up dozens of times screaming when she saw that arrow coming to her and kill her.

”Lost that sweet tongue of yers? Not whispering sweet words to me?” He said and rose up. He walked confidently closer to her.

Instinctly she took a step back and stumbled. She had forgotten how huge he was. She felt he filled the whole deck and she felt so small standing in front of him.

”Well?”

She lifted her gaze and looked to his eyes. Those crimson eyes locked to hers and she couldn’t look away. She felt overwhelmed. She was exhausted and her blood sugar was low. She had forgotten to eat before going in to Green Vessel and she had walked for miles after leaving there. All that was just too much for her and she felt the room starting to spin around her.

”I’m gonna fall…” Was all she managed to say before she collapsed to the floor.

Chapter Text

She woke up in a strange room. So it wasn’t a bad dream this time. She touched her cheeks with her hands. He hadn’t killed her. Which meant he took her as a prisoner and wanted the plate back. She rose to sit on the bed and looked around her. It wasn’t a cell he had brought her. It looked like a spare room and to her luck it was electronically locked. At least she had some luck even everything else went straight to hell.

Deep down she knew this day would come. Galaxy was not big enough to stay hidden from him forever. But she was amazed how well he had treated her. She thought he would torture or kill her to get the plate. Or revenge her. But he had done nothing bad to her yet. She thought it was strange based on what he had done to those who did a mutiny against him. She thought she would wake up in some torture chamber tied up and there was a row of all kinds torture equipment next to her. Just like in movies she had watched back on earth.

She knew she had little time to get out so she ran to the door and tapped the panel some time. The door opened and she almost screamed in relief. She peeked outside and saw there were no one. He must really trust Gray’s skills for not putting anyone to guard her. Silently she sneaked out and ran to her left. She heard someone coming so she hid behind some stuff that was left leaning on the wall. Two ravagers walked slowly pass her and talked loudly.

”Did you hear? Captain caught her. I never would have guessed he’d find her. Wouldn’t want to be in her shoes when he confronts her.” One man rasped.

”Yeah. Almost feel sorry for that poor lass.”

They walked further away and she couldn’t hear them anymore. She was not going to stay in the ship when it departed. She sneaked further and sighed in relief when she recognized where she was. She had been in some new part of the ship that she didn’t remember from the blueprints or their tour when she fixed his terminals. It didn’t take long before she reached the exit. She had to hide several times on the way there but managed to stay unnoticed.

She made sure the way was clear before she ran to the panel. She tapped the codes to open the door but the panel gave error code. She was stunned. She was certain she gave all access to herself so it was impossible that the door refuced to open. She tapped the codes again but the red error note kept flashing on the screen. She began to panic. She tried one more time and pressed every button carefully. She heard how the door began to open. When it had opened enough she squeezed put and ran for her life. Her legs hurt but pure adrenaline kept her going. There was a two men examining her ship. She ran past them and went in her ship and closed door. Luckily the men didn’t see her until it was too late.

She started the engines and the ship was in the air in no time. She steered it blindly to space and jumped off. It took a while to get the Eclector to the space so she got a small lead. She had no idea where she could go so she just jumped from place to another. Her whole body ached for taking too many jumps but she didn’t care. All she thought was getting as far as she possibly could before Yondu went after her.

Her plan had worked! Her escape route had actually worked! Her reputation as the Gray mechanic got a scratch but she was alive and free. At least for now. She needed to get a new disguise and hide somewhere for a long time. But the space was not large enough to get out of his reach. She had thought she was safe at that small planet but apparently she had been wrong.

She needed to take a break from jumping. Her body was at it’s limit. She looked at the starmap and saw a small moon rotating an inhabitable planet. She could hide there and rest. She took the last jump close to the planet and took the ship to the moon. She landed on it and hid in a cave. In the cave she shut down all power from her ship to make it invisible. Afterwards she collapsed to her bed and fell asleep instantly.

**

”Uh.. Captain. She has escaped.” Careful voice said through intercom.

”WHAT?” Yondu yelled. He ran to the mainframe and put the records on the screen. Kraglin came next to him to look at the records.

They saw how she opened the door as easily as before and sneak to the exit. The man guarding the door wasn’t where he was supposed to be. He had just written his death sentence. The same pattern repeated itself. She hid from his crew members and headed straight to the exit. How the hell she always knew where she was supposed to go in his ship?

”How the fuck she does it?” Yondu asked Kraglin.

”Don’t know Captn’” Kraglin replied astonished.

Yondu pushed a button on the panel. ”The woman escaped! Get her! Don’t let her get to her ship! We are going to cut this place into pieces to find her!” He shouted to the intercom.

”Uhh.. Captain. I believe she just took her ship and left.” Voice said through the intercom.

”Kraglin. Get. Us. After. Her. Wherever she went we go after.” Yondu said with icy tone.

Kraglin got them up in record time and they started to follow her traces. She had done a lot more jumps that was healthy for anyone which showed how desperate she was. She hadn’t been very careful so they could follow her easily. At some point the traces begun to be harder to find and finally they reached point where they couldn’t find her jump point anymore.

The deck was almost empty. Everyone avoided Yondu in case he begun to find who were guilty for letting her escape. He looked calm but everyone knew he was about to explode in anger. Kraglin was the only one to stay near him.

”There are traces here that she’s been here. But she propably continued without jumping to leave as little traces as possible.” Kraglin suspected.

Yondu looked at the starmap.

”There are no habitable planets nearby and she used most of her gas running away from us. She may not have noticed it yet. Let’s stay here for a while. She may need ’help’” Yondu replied.

Kraglin nodded. ”That’s true. We took quite a few jumps and her ship is small. Want me to send patrols out to map the area?”

”Do that. And tell the crew that the bounty is still on and whoever finds her get’s the payment.”

Yondu sat on his bench. He had to admit the girl was good. He admired her for opposing him for so long. He had been so sure that he finally got her that he couldn’t have imagined she could get away again. How did she pass Gray’s codes? She had to be an expert with tech. He would contact Gray when he has time to tell her that she had failed to secure his system. He wanted her to check how that woman managed to pass her codes so easily. Next time the woman was going to be tied from angles to neck, he would not take risk with her again.

He was still wondering how the woman knew where to go in his ship. He had an idea and he needed to confirm it.

”Hey Kraglin. Tell Maggs to get a list of all workers that were building this ship. The woman knew too well where to go in here so she must have been here before.”

Kraglin turned to look at him. ”That’s a very good idea Captn’” He said and went to look for Maggs.

He saw how his men flew off the Eclector and started to check the area. He himself was interested in the two moons orbiting the nearby planet. There was a possibility she was hiding on one of them. He steered the Eclector near one of the moons and ran scans on it. There was a lot of space junk but nothing that looked anything like a spaceship.

He could just wait. She couldn’t be far so it was a matter of time before they found her.

**

Carmen woke up several hours later. She felt horrible. She got up and went to check the terminal. She had to take a risk and put on minimal power so she could see if Yondu had managed to follow her.

She put emergency power on and turned the main terminal on. She saw instantly thay she had a massive problem. She had taken too many jumps too far in the rush. She was out of gas. She calculated her possibilities and with her leftover gas she couldn’t get even near the closest habited planet. She was screwd.

She saw only one option and it was the last thing she wanted to do. Dying in his hands was better option than starving or choking when food and air went out. She had just managed to get out of there and had used her ace from her sleeve to do it. He wouldn’t do the same mistake letting her be unguarded. She hit the desk with her fist and screamed. She wanted to cry. She wanted to break something. Sighing hard she put her headgear on and dialed a call to the Eclector.

”Yes?” She heard his rasping voice answer.

She couldn’t believe she had to do this. She had two possibilities and both of those lead to her death. But she had a little better chance to survive with Yondu.

”Uh… Hi.” She said hesitantly.

She almost heard how he started to smile. She bet he had that same pleased look ok his face he had in her ship when he caught her.

”Well. You must be desperate to call me.”

She sighed. ”You know why I’m calling. You are the last man in the galaxy I wanted to call but it seems that the universe hates me.” She gritted her teeth before continuing. ”I’m surrendering. I know you are near so I’m coming out.”

She started the engines and flew out of the cave. She saw the Eclector and flew towards it. It turned around and dock entry opened. She flew in and landed in the middle of the dock. There were several ravagers waiting for her so she shut down the engines. It took everything for her to open the door. She walked to the door and looked at the men waiting for her. None of them were armed. They probably knew she was desperate so she wouldn’t try anything. She stepped down to the floor And saw Kraglin walking towards her.

”The Captn’ wants to see ya. Follow me,” he said calmly.

She followed him. ”Is he gonna kill me?” She asked him.

Kraglin glanced at her and smiled. ”Dunno. Guess we’ll have to figure it out.”

Carmen shivered. She forced her feet move despite every cell in her body told her not to. She could only hope death would be fast and painless.

Chapter Text

They entered the main deck where Yondu was sitting on his chair. He didn’t turn his head when they entered the room but she knew he had noticed them.

”Sit.”

She knew it wasn’t a question. She sat down to a bench in front of him and looked at her hands laying on her knees. She didn’t have the courage to look at him.

”So… Where is it?” He asked. He sounded calm but she knew he was dead serious.

”Gone.” She answered trying to sound as calm as him.

He bore his eyes to her but she refused to look at him. ”Look at me.” He said.

She spinned her head few times. Instantly she felt how he put his hand under her chin and made her look at him.

Where is it?” He asked again. She sensed he was losing his patience.

She hardened herself remembering how much the plate could cause harm. ”Like I said. It’s gone. Destroyed.” she answered thrembling.

He looked at her sternly. He was clearly trying to find out if she was telling the truth or not.

”Okay. Let’s say I believe you. Tell me why then?”

”It was best for everyone.” She answered plainly.

”Okay, here’s the deal. Cut the crap and I might be nice to ya. My crew haven’t tasted human flesh for a long time so if ya don’t co-operate here we’ll have a grand feast tonight.” Yondu said clearly becoming irritated at her avoiding.

She winced and looked at him stunned. He wouldn’t do that would he? He looked at her seriously and she couldn’t say if he was joking or not. Her throat felt dry and she swallowed hard to make the feeling go away. She had hoped he would end things quickly but now it seemed that it would have been better if she just had stayed on that moon and waited for death. The idea of being eaten was awful and repulsive. Old movies from back home came to her mind and she shivered. She looked at him desperately trying to figure out what to do. She knew there was only one right thing to do so she decided to go on with her original plan. She couldn’t let him have it.

”Okay. All I can say is that there was a personal reason.” She said. She knew she was playing with fire but she was in a situation where she had everything to lose.

He was losing his temper.”Right. So how about my crew cut yer little vessel to pieces to find out if ya’re telling the truth?”

”Be my quest! Since I’m dead anyways, I don’t care what you’re going to do to my ship.” She snapped back.

”What makes ya think I’m gonna kill ya?” He asked surprized.

”So are you planning to cut off all my limbs and let me live to see how you eat them? And it is quite widely known what you do to people that cross you. And after all I knocked you down and stole a precious item from you and I…” She answered but stopped in the middle of a sentence. She had almost revealed her alias.

”Oh no girl. I have other plans for ya. But first I want that plate.” he said smiling omniously.

Her heart skipped few beats. What was he going to do to her? She looked at him terrified. Every cell in her body told her to run but she knew it was useless. She hoped she had a killing pill behind her teeth like in some movies so she could end everything before the torture begins. She had prepared to die but she wasn’t sure if she was ready for the pain.

She had a bad feeling kn the back of her mind but she refused to think about it. She didn’t want to think she was in a spaceship in the middle of nowhere with dosens of males who had needs. She would do anything, anything, to avoid that. She had heard of terrible rumors of ships that held women captive for that reason. She had prepared to die but she had not prepared for that. She started to panic.

”There’s no way I…” She bit her tongue. She had almost slipped to him that she got it. ”There’s no way I could give it to you since it’s…”

”Yeah yeah. That’s what ya keep telling. And I aint buyin’ it. Krags. Cut that vessel to atoms. Find the plate.”

She smiled at that. The second they touched it the wrong way it would explode. It would be finally gone. She was relieved but in the same time she was frustrated that she couldn’t use it against the Kree.

Minutes passed and she knew it was only a matter of time they found it. He was looking at her expectantly but she remained calm despite the storm inside her head. She didn’t want to give him any hint of her thoughts.

”Captn’ the men found something in the scans. There’s something hidden within the ship’s wall. We’re gonna dig it out.” She heard Kraglin say through the intercom.

”No! Don’t let them touch it!” She whispered before she managed to stop herself.

She put her hand to her mouth and glanced at Yondu. He looked at her intently. She tried to think rapidly but her head was a mess. Could she find another way? She wanted desperately make the Kree pay for what they did to her and many others.

She needed to think fast. If it exploded, there would be a huge mess and his ship would be badly damaged. He wouldn’t be pleased with that. And she didn’t want to hurt anyone. She liked Kraglin and he would be vaporized if he was near the plate when it exploded. If she told them not to touch it there might be time to think how to get it before they managed to open it safely. Her thoughts went back to torture and being a slave. She cursed hard.

She decided to use her last straw. She looked Yondu straight in the eyes and said sternly. ”How can you sell it to anyone based on your past? How can you do it to anyone knowing yourself what it is?”

He looked at her strangely, frowned and asked. ”Whaddya mean?”

She saw hesitation in him and realized he had no idea what she was talking about. He didn’t know what the plate was. She was stunned. How could he not know what it was since he went to steal it.

”Are you telling me you were going sell it without knowing what it was?” she asked angrily.

”No. I was gonna figure out what it was and then sell it. What ya mean what I would do to anyone? Speak.”

She sighed. She had no clue what she should do but her best option was to trust him enough to tell him what it was. She hoped he would understand. The other option was to let it be destroyed.

”It’s a Kree data plate. There’s, among many other things, the location informations of their valued slaves including me. And that’s what you wish to sell to the highest bidder.” she said bitterly.

He looked at her stunned. His mouth was slightly open and it seemed he was speechless. In the different circumstances his expression would have been extremely funny.

”And I can assure you. I am not going to let them have it. For myself and many others. I’m more than willing to die to make sure it won’t end up in their hands.” She added.

He was sill looking at her but his expression had changed. ”So that’s why ya risked everything. Ya had… have nothing to lose.”

”And that’s why the second your men touch the container, there will be a quite a mess. So I suggest you tell your men to back up.” She said.

He took the intercom. ”Krags! Everyone back up from the vessel.”

She looked how he came back to the seat next to her. He leaned back looking at her frowning. She had no idea what was going on inside his head. She had been sure he would torture and kill her to make her give the disc to him. But he just watched her for a while and then leaned forward to look at her more closely. His eyes were more curious than angry.

”Now. Tell me everything.”

Chapter Text

Yondu listened carefully how she told him everything. About how she was kidnapped and forced to work for them, about the years in the Kree motherhip and the attack. Her life after she had escaped. He felf terrible that he had almost helped those fuckers get their slaves back.

She looked relieved to finally tell someone about it. She had been alone for years and he could only imagine what her life had been in the mothership. She was very talented with ships which explained how she had managed to escape his ship. Though he thought Gray made the system so well that it should have been impossible to hack it. He wanted to know how she did it. There were holes in her story so there was something she didn’t tell him.

”Ok. So let’s make a deal. I guess ya don’t trust me enough to let me have the plate. So ya keep it for now and we find a way to get the data out of it and destroy part of it and sell the rest.” He said after thinking a while. ”Just make sure whatever ya’ve done doesn’t blow up in my ship.” he added sternly.

He fought a laugh when he saw the look on her face. She could not have looked more surprized. He could have almost guessed what she had thought he’d do to her. After the mutiny at Eclector before the fight against Ego everybody always thought the worst of him. He wasn’t a bad man. But it wasn’t a bad thing they thought he was. Easier to keep disipline in the Eclector.

”Why… So you’re not not gonna hurt me? Or kill me?” she asked him hesitantly.

He grinned. ”No girl. I’m offering that we find out more about the plate. And in the meantime ya could earn yer living helping with the ship. Interested?”

**

Carmen was amazed. She’d expected for him to torture and kill her to make her give the plate - And now he was offering to help her despite she had attacked against him, stolen from him and deceived him.

She was even more surprized that he was offering her a place in his crew. She’d be around people and not alone anymore. Things had gone way too well. She’d never imagined she would work for him or find a solution for the plate problem. With him. Yondu Udonta.

She looked at him carefully and saw he was sincere. He offered his hand and she took it. His hand was rough and warm and she felt a jolt through her body when their skins touched.

”Allright. Lets go. I’ll show ya yer room. Ya can take yer belongings there from yer ship.” he said raising up from his seat.

”Why? Why are tou being so kind to me after what I did?” she asked him before she followed him. She needed to know.

”I knew something was wrong with the plate even before ya took it. Ya made me a favor for not letting me sell it. But don’t think I’ve forgotten the little incident we had here back then. Ya are gonna pay for that.” He said winking at her and smiling wickedly.

She looked at him frozen and felt shivers going through her spine. He was clearly teasing her but she noticed he was dead serious behind his laughter. She didn’t want to know what he had planned for her.

He show her a small room and she couldn’t help notice it was close to his quarters.

”Yeah, so there aren’t any women at this ship right now so I don’t put you to sleep with the rest of the crew. We need to think about shower practice but I think we’ll figure out something.”

”Thank you Captain Udonta,” she said to him.

”Hmm. Like the way ya say that,” He teased her. ”Hey. Yer name, what’s yer name?”

”Carmen.”

”Welcome to the crew Carmen.”

**

She was afraid to leave her room but she was hungry and she needed to go to dining hall. Yondy had told her she needed to be alert but she should be fine in his ship. He had no tolerance for real violence between crew members. Of course there were brawls and fights but actual fighting was prohibited. He had warned her that some of the crew would probably try to touch her but she needed to make it clear it was not welcome. He would handle the situation if they didn’t get the hint.

She walked outside and saw a man walking towards her. She’d seen him sitting with Yondu at the Green Vessel.

”Hi. Wanna come to eat? I can take you there. I’m Magronthey, but you can call me Maggs. Kraglin told me to get you since you must be hungry.” The man said to her.

She felt instantly that she was going to like this man. He had kind eyes. He looked like a human so she thought he might be Xandarian. ”Yeah, thanks. I’m starving!”

They walked towards the dining hall and she noticed everyone was looking at her. She felt uncomfortable but knew they were going to do that for some time before getting used to have her in the ship.

Maggs noticed her squirming. ”They’ll get used to you after some time. You just need to make it clear you are off limits,” He said. ”I’m introducing you to some good guys. You can trust them and stay with them until things settle.”

She smiled at him. ”Thank you.”

They walked to the dining hall. She noticed how talking stopped and everyone staredat her and there were variety of expressions. Maggs lead her to get food and they sat on one table. There was three men sitting there and they smiled at her when she sat down. She felt immediately that she would like these guys.

”So here’s the woman who caused so much trouble for our captain. Gotta say girl, you’ve got guts.” One of the men said to her and smirked. ”I’m Nola and these guys are Jox and Jax. They are twins as you may have noticed.”

Carmen looked at the men sitting in front of her. Nola was a very handsome man. His pink skin and beautiful purple eyes meant he was a Krylorian. And the twins were clearly Easiks. It was easy to recognize them with the scaly skin.

”So tell me how you managed to get Yondu to give a job here. What you do?” Nola asked him.

Carmen glanced at Maggs, uncertain what she should say.

”It’s ok. You can tell them.”

”I’m an expert mechanic and extremely good with computers. So I think he thought he could use my skills here.” She told them. She still wasn’t sure of how much she should tell about why she was with them.

”How a human like you get so good with that kind of stuff?” One of the twins asked.

She hadn’t prepared for that question. She didn’t know what to say for she was afraid of what would everyone think knowing she had been in a Kree ship for a long time. Before she could think for an answer, Kraglin came to sit with them.

”Hey guys, give ’er a break. She’s starving. You can bother her with questions later.” He said and smiled at her.

She was relievd. Kraglin had given her time to think her answer and she thought she should ask Yondu what he thought she should tell everyone because Yondu might not want everyone to know what she was hidin in her rooms. She ate her food listening to others. These people around her seemed nice and she was happy to be surrounded by them. She wasn’t alone anymore. The fate didn’t seem to hate her as she had thought when she saw Yondu at Oxx.

**

Days passed and she started to get used to live in the ship. She hadn’t seen Yondu since he had shown her her room. She had brought her belongings to her room the next night she arrived to Eclector and hid the box inside the wall. She knew there was a camera in her room and she had disconnected it the moment she was alone. She knew he would be pissed but she would make it clear she didn’t want to be looked at when she was naked in her room.

She had clothes of her own, but Maggs had suggested her she should get a ravager suit so she wouldn’t stand out in the crew. The tailor had not been excited to have to make womens clothing since he didn’t have a pattern. But he was a talented tailor and the clothes fitted perfectly when she put them on the first time. Red and black suited her well.

The first time she saw Yondu in days was one morning when she was walking to the dining hall. He was standing on an upper level talking with some crew member. She couldn’t help staring at him. He was a good looking man and she had to admit it to herself, when she had vivid dreams of him, that she was very interested in him. He paused talking to the man and looked straight at her and she blushed and tore her gaze from him. She really shouldn’t dream about him. He was her captain now.

Chapter Text

He let her get used to his ship for few days before calling her to him. He urged to know how she had passed his security codes in a heartbeat. There was something about her that bothered him greatly and it was strange that skilled woman like her was so unknown. With her talents, she could choose where she wanted to work and any ship would take her gladly.

She was still haunting his dreams. After he got her into Eclector, he had seen multiple dreams of her and had woken up with a raging hard-on. He had to focus on other things not that the ship was on the move again but every time he saw her he couldn’t keep his eyed off her. He had made clear to everyone that she was part of the crew now as a technic and she was not to be touched unless wanted to taste his arrow several times. Again, his merciless reputation had helped and no one had dared to try her, yet at least.

He went to his terminal and went through her files. He had made a background check on her but nothing came up. He knew she was a human and what she had told about her past, but something was missing. Her story had holes and he was determined to fill those holes.

”Carmen, to the main deck.” He commanded through the intercom.

It didn’t take long for her to walk to him. She was wearing a ravager suit now and it looked damn good on her. The tight red leather was like a second skin on her and looking at her made him feel felt his pants becoming uncomfortably tight and he shifted in his seat to adjust them.

”Reporting for duty Captain.” She said carefully.

The pants became even tighter. Just how sexy can it be when she called him captain.

”Sit down.” He commanded and put his leg on the other leg to cover the visible bulge on his groin.

She sat to the nearest bench and glanced at him shyly. He saw she was still quite reserved around him and she was very nervous. She rotated a ring on her finger subconsciously and bit her lip. Looking at her now, it was hard to believe that she had managed to trick him several times, and had acted so boldly towards him when she stole the disc. He would have never believed it was her if there wasn’t a video footage to prove it.

He took a holopad to his hands, glanced at it and looked at her intently. ”So… As yer first assingment. Tell me how ya passed my systems so easily.”

**

Carmen hardly managed to keep straight face.Oh shit. She hadn’t prepared for that question. She should have known he would ask it and she really should havr planned her answer but she had been so stunned of how things had turned out that she forgot the situation.

”Uh. Like I said I…” She begun but Yondu interrupted her immediately.

”Oh no. Not that. There’s something ya’re not telling me. I demand one hundred percent truth.” He said strictly. She squirmed under his stare and felt like he saw right through her. How did he make her feel so vulnerable just by staring at her like that?

”I am familiar with multiple systems like yours so it is not hard for me to override them.” She said feeling bad for lying to him. He had been so fair and she gave him dishonesty in return.

Yondu was even more interested. ”I don’t believe the Kree has same system as I have. There’s something yer not tellin me. Were ya part of the building team? That’s how ya knew where to go and knew my system?”

That was her way out of the questioning. She could lie and her alter ego was safe and she could return to be her if she needed. She could just scratch Gray’s reputation and hope he buys her explanation.

Yondu frowned. ”Ya know. I’m calling a friend of mine so she comes to find out how ya did it. Or ya can just tell me.”

Carmen struggled not to smile. He called her his friend. And he was going to try contact her. Luckily she had not given any information about where she was going so no one knew where she was supposed to be.

She couldn’t tell him. She needed some backdoor if things went to hell and she needed to change her appereance. She had spent years to build her reputation as Gray and she just couldn’t ruin everything.

”Not just Kree ships. They captured multiple ships along the years and put me to salvage anything useful fron them.” She felt bad for lying to him. Well… Technically she wasn’t lying, for she had had to salvage those ships, but she left Gray out of her story.

Yondu frowned and looked at her straight to eyes. Carmen tried her best to look calm, even she felt he saw through her with those piercing eyes. She was almost certain he didn’t believe her story but to her surprise he just nodded.

”Ok. I don’t understand a thing about those security systems but I want ya to talk with my friend when I call ’er to visit us. Ya can explain ’er how you passed ’er systems.”

Keep straight face! Carmen repeated in her head. ”Yeah, of course. I must admit I was quite sure I wouldn’t make it when I couldn’t hack the exit door immediately. I thought there was something else done there and I couldn’t pass that system. Who is this friend of yours?”

”Oh Grey, she’s an excellent tech for what I know. It was hard to contact ’er and she was busy all the time. Tried to get ’er fork for me but she wasn’t exited about that thought.” He explained.

That’s what he thinks… ”Grey… I have heard of her.”

”Well, ya’ll meet ’er when we figure out where she is and get ’er to visit us.”

That might take some time…

He seemed to think something a while and tapped his holopad few times. ”But then the other thing. How did ya know where ta head in the ship? Ya walked in here like ya knew exactly where ta go.”

Luckily there was a good explanation to that so she would not have to come up with another lie. ”I got my hands on an old blueprint of your first Eclector. It was my luck you built this one similar to your old one.”

”That wasn’t exactly my idea to build it that way and I’m startin’ to regret accepting the idea of using old prints. Where’d ya get those?”

”I located a collector who had a copy of the original drawings. I have them in my ship if you want them? I believe there aren’t any more of them.”

”Yeah, I don’t want them to end up in wrong hands. Someone might sneak up into my quarters and stun me.” He teased.

She coughed and blushed hard. He was not going to let that go any time soon.

He watched amused her reaction before continued. ”Ok. So in the meantime we wait for Gray to answer us, ya’re gonna work with Malor. He’s our mechanic and he’ll show ya how things work around here. I’ll take ya to him later.”

”Sounds good. I’m eager to do something. Livin’ on my own, I used to always have something I needed to do. Except when you saw me at Green Vessel. I was having a long waited break there, and I thought I was far enough from everything to be safe from you.” She grinned.

He smirked. ”Well ya were the last person I expected to see there. To be honest, I was sure I wasn’ gonna find ya anymore. When I saw ya there I was ready to cut that planet to pieces to find ya.”

”Yeah, guessed as much. Stupid move from me not to change my ship’s appearance. You were very perspective to recognize it. I made it look like scrap so it wouldn’t attract attention.” She complimented him.

”I’ve had months to think of every detail. I was gonna search you ’till the end. It was just matter of time when someone recognized ya. I’ve had dozens of bounty hunters after ya this whole time.”

That made her shiver. She had guessed there were some people after her but knowing there were dozens of them, made her uncomfortable. A picture of her face had been spread across the galaxy and everyone propably knew she had stolen from Yondu. She was afraid some Kree would recognize her from the photo and come look for her. She believed they thought she died when the mothership was attacked, and now it was possible they found out she was alive and searched her.

”What is it?” Yondu asked. He had noticed her discomfort.

”I… How wide have you spread my photo?”

He grinned. ”Oh, I may have overdone it a little. But dontcha worry, it’s a good picture of ya. Ya look good on it.”

She put her hands on her face and took a deep breath. ”Fuck!” She cursed under her breath.

”Don’t worry ’bout that. I’ll have them taken off.”

”It’s not that. Though I’d appreciate if you do. I’m afraid they come after me if they find out I’m alive.”

That made Yondu’s grin fade. ”Didn’t think ’bout that. I’ll have them taken off right away. And dontcha worry, the Kree don’t attack my ship. Not after I took down one of their units so easily.” He told her frowning. ”Ya’re part of my crew now and I look after my people.” He continued looking at her seriously.

”Thank you Captain. You have no idea how grateful I am to you. This feels like a dream that after everything, I’m sitting here next to you and you tell me you got my back.”

”Just remember, nothin’ comes free.” He teased her grinning wickedly.

Carmen tried to swallow a lump from her throat that appeared there when she saw teasing grin on his face. How the hell was she supposed to reply that? She wasn’t sure what he meant by teasing her that way. It seemed like he was almost flirting with her but she was sure that was impossible. He was the captain and she was… What was she to him?

”Uh… I’ll do my best to make it up to you.”

”Ya bet ya are. Now let’s go meet Malor. He’s probly waitin’ for us already.” He told her and gestured her to follow him.

Chapter Text

Malor was a tiny, strange-looking man. Carmen hadn’t seen anyone like him before and she had no idea what race he was. He had silverish uneven skin and black eyes. Even though he was small, Carmen could see he was extremely muscular and well built.

”Malor, here’s Carmen. She’s an excellent tech and mechanic. She’ll work with ya from now on.”

Malor turned his eyes to Carmen and looked at her from head to toes.

”Well. Gotta say I was not expecting to see you from this close. Ya fooled us so well that I was sure we would never see you again.”

Carmen grinned apologetically. ”Well. I did my best, but it seems the universe had something else planned for me.”

”Just admit I was just cleverer than ya. Ya never got a chance.” Yondu teased her, which made Malor glance at him strangely.

”Hey, it was pure luck you came to Oxx when I decided to have a hol… ah, to visit there.” She complained. Shit. She really needed to separate herself from Gray. She almost revealed she was on a holiday there.

Yondu poked her shoulder with his finger. ”Oh no. Like I said, It was just a matter of time I got my hands on ya. Sooner or later someone would have seen ya somewhere.”

She turned to look at him. ”Was it the first time you saw me after… you know?”

”We thought we found ya once before. Scared the shit out of some farmgirl.” He said laughing.

”Gods.. Poor girl.”

”Ok. So lets begin then. Come and explain what you can do.” Malor interrupted and went back to his desk where he was fixing some component.

”Is it ok if I tell him about my past?” She asked quietly from Yondu.

”Sure. Tell him whatever ya feel comfortable.” He replied and walked out from the room.

Carmen walked to the desk and saw Malor was struggling with repairing an intercom. She saw immediately what was wrong with it and that Malor was doing it all wrong.

”Uh, I think the problem is in that part. You can see that black dot on its side. It means it’s fried.” She said pointing a condencer.

Malor stopped and looked the part she was pointing at. ”Well I’ll be damned…” He glanced at her and smiled. ”Seems you know something about these? I thought Captain put you here just to keep you busy. To do some simple tasks.”

She sighed. Of course she would need to prove herself again. She wasn’t Gray anymore. ”Ok. Let me explain. I was a Kree slave. I maintained one of their motherships so I’m pretty good with all kinds of machines and systems. The spaceship I had, was built by me from scrap. So yes. I do know quite lot about things…”

”Whoa, whoa. Easy there girl. Was just teasing you. Figured you’d be good after I saw how easily you escaped here. You should have seen him after you were gone. He was so sure our systems would keep you in.” He said still smiling.

She blushed. ”Sorry… I’m just. I’m tired of always having to prove myself just because I’m a human woman.”

Malor stood up and patted her shoulder. ”I can imagine that. Terrans are not very… highly concidered around the galaxy.”

She smiledat him. ”You guys seem so nice around here. I would have never guessed my life could be turned so upside down. I was sure Yon… Captain Udonta would tortured me to death when he caught me.”

”You did piss him off quite badly. But I think you impressed him when you managed to do something, that no one else could even dream of.”

”People do stupid things when they have nothing to lose…”

**

Carmen loved to work at Eclector. The ship was quite new so there wasn’t much that basic work to repair the ship and keep it running. There were more things to fix because they weren’t made well from the beginning. She fixed some minor bugs from the systems. There was always someone with her to look what she was doing, but it didn’t bother her. She knew the crew and Yondu didn’t trust her enough yet and for a reason.

She hadn’t seen Yondu in several days but she had heard he was frustrated for not hearing from Grey yet.

She ate most of her meals in tech room. Kraglin, Maggs and others were on a mission so she didn’t want to go to lunch room alone. She had noticed some of the crew members looked ar her like she was a juicy piece of meat and it made her uncomfortable.

She knew she wasn’t allowed to carry a gun but she knew she didn’t want to roam all over the ship unarmed. Malor had left to eat with others after he had asked for her to join. She refused politely and after he left she went to take her secret project under her table.

It was a tazer prototype. It was almost ready but she had needed the informtion to adjust it correctly so she wouldn’t kill anyone. There were so mane species on board that she needed to study what voltages each could stand.

The tazer was small enough for her to hide in her sleeve, so she could use it quickly. It could stun anyone now and she felt much safer after she hid it under her clothes.

”Hey, Carmen! Don’t hide down there and come to eat with us!” Kraglin’s voice called through intercom.

She went to intercom and pressed a button to reply. ”Just a sec. Be right there.”

She adjusted her sleeve and looked herself through a reflector. No one could ever know she had something under her sleeve.

**

”Hey guys didn’t know you were back.” She said when she sat on their table. ”Gods, Jox, what happened to your face?”

Jox looked at her strangely. ”Why do you think I’m Jox?”

”Oh, come on. Anyone could tell the difference between you two.” She said smiling.

Jox and Jax glanced each other. ”Nope. We are identical twins. Even our mother couldn’t tell us apart.”

Nola seemed interested. ”How can you tell them apart? They look exactly the same.”

She smiled sadly. Memories from home flashed to her mind. ”It’s probably because I’m a twin myself. Was a twin.”

She saw the sympathy in their eyes. ”It was a long time ago. The Kree blew up the whole facility after they took me and left. She was a doctor there.”

”Shit. No wonder you hate them so much.”

Carmen was happy to spend time with the guys. They made her feel she was part of them and they seemed to respect her. She listened them when they told about their gig and how Jox got the scars on his face. After spending days buried in engine room it was refreshing to be out.

Guys ate their food and one after one they departed. Nola and Kraglin were the last to sit with her.

”We’re heading to Contraxia in a few days. There are shops if you needed to buy anything. I have promised to Yondu to escort you if you want to go get something.” Nola told her.

”Sounds good. The pharmacy there has some meds I could use. Your med bay doesn’t have too many Terran meds.” She said thinking about everything she could need next months. She had no idea how often Yondu took the crew to these bigger planets where one could find various items. ”And some clothes.” She added.

”Ok. Just come find me when we land.” Nola said and left to take his plate back to kitchen.

”Kraglin… Is it really of for the captain that I go out? I mean I would never cross him, but does he trust me enough to let me go out?” She asked the first mate.

”Sure. Actually it was him that suggested Nola that he would take you out. Dontcha worry about that. You got credits? Haven’t been on boar long enough to get yer salary yet.”

”Oh I have plenty. I did some… smuggling jobs with my ship since it’s quite unnoticeable.”

Carmen knew Kraglin noticed the pause when she spoke but he didn’t say anything. She wanted to kick herself. ”Well, I need to get back to work.” She said and stood up to leave.

She glanced around the room when she walked out. Few bad looking guys looked at her the way that made her shiver. She would need to stay out of their way. She felt their stare on her back when she stepped out of the room and she hoped they didn’t dare to follow her.

She walked quickly to her room and glanced behind her before entering the room. She had a bad feeling those guys would cause trouble and she really needed to try and stay away from them. It wasn’t late yet but she was tired and decided to go to sleep.

First time in a long time she saw nightmares that woke her up in the middle of the night. She couldn’t remember what was it about but she was sure it was something about those shady guys. it was obvious she couldn’t sleep anymore so she put her clothes on and. She was sweaty and in desperate need of shower so she took her toiletries and a spare underware and left to take a shower.

It was nighttime so there weren’t many crew members around. She sneaked to the shower and made sure the door was locked. The shower was refreshing and her heart rate went down slowly. She felt like a new person when she stepped out of the steaming water stream.

She put on her clothes and dried her hair. Afterwards she took the tazer from her pocket and put it on. She made sure it was on high voltage to put down even the biggest guys.

She left the showers and left to the engine room. When se was half way there she heard noices from ahead and stilled. She didn’t want to bump into anyone in the middle of the night so she turned around and toon another route. She walked silently so she wouldn’t draw any attention. The last corridor before the stairs to the engine room was empty and she sighed in relief.

”Hey wench! Whatcya doin out yer lil’ room?” Dark repulsive voice asked.

Her blood froze. She turned around and saw those three shady men walking towards her. She should have stayed in her room. She was a total idiot.

Chapter Text

Yondu woke up in the middle of the night. The alarm in his holopad rang loudly and he almost jumped up to take it. The alarm on Carmen’s door had been activated and she had left the room.

He tapped the pad rapidly to have a sight where she was heading. He saw she was carrying something on her hands and he became suspicious. Would she betray him? Did she carry the plate with her and would she try to go to her ship?

He felt betrayed. He had trusted her and let her in his crew and this is how she repaid him. He watched how she headed towards the hangars and his anger grew every second. Just when he was about to go after her, she turned left towards the showers. He watched how she went in one of the shower rooms and locked the door dehind her.

He let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. She went to shower. It was just her clothes. He sat back to his bed and sighed hard. He felt quilty for expecting the forst from her. She wanted to find out how to revenge the Kree as badly as he did. She wouldn’t betray him. He stood up and put his clothes on. He could’t sleep anymore so he could as well go to check the main deck. He went to see the screens and saw several people walking along the corridors.

After twenty minutes she finally came out of the shower. She didn’t head back to her room but instead she headed towards the engine room. Working at this hour?

She walked towards a group of men. He zoomed to the guys and frowned. Mole and his friends were those type of people he regretted hiring. They were troublemakers but they were good at what they did: robbed dangerous guys. He wasn’t sure if it was worth having them on board and he didn’t like the way he had seen them looking at Carmen.

Carmen stopped suddenly to listen to those guys. She tensed and changed her direction to avoid meeting those guys. Clever girl.

Unfortunately the men had heard her and started to follow her. He didn’t like where things were heading and decided to go to check that those fuckers left her alone.

”Kraglin!” He growled thrpugh the intercom.

”Aye Captn’?” Sleepy voice asked.

”Meet me on the way to engine room stairs. There may be trouble.”

**

One of the men, tall human like man with black eyes came closer to her and she backed against a wall.

”So how come a little wench like ya think, ya can steal from us and get away with it?”

Her heart was beating dangerously fast but she really needed to keep herself together.

”That’s between me and the captain. You wish to disobey him?” She snapped back at the man.

”No, no, no. It’s our business because it’s our money. Here’s what we do. I’m gonna fuck ya senseless, then my friends got their share. And then ya give that thing to us.” He threatened and drew one finger on her cheek.

She turned her face away, repulsed. ”Go fuck yourself. What do you think the Captain will do when he finds out you’ve stepped on his toes?”

Those bony fingers closed around her throat and the man leaned closer. His breath stunk awful and she tried to turn her face away.

”Oh we’ll have to tell the Captain that there was an accident. You sumbled on those stairs and broke your pretty little neck.”

The fingers squeezed her neck and she struggled to breathe. She struggled under his grip and the men laughed at her efforts. She realized they were going to fulfill their threats so she decided to use her last straw. Subtly, she pressed a button on her tazer and activated it. He moved closer and started to rip her jacket off and she put her hand on his neck and gave him a full strike.

The man dropped down like a stone and the other two looked at him stunned. She used their confusion on her advantage and stunned another guy. The last guy was a way bigger than the first two and he was wearing a full outfit. She couldn’t use the tazer on him unless he brought his face closer.

The man looked his friends on the groung and then looked at her. ”Yer gonna pay for that.” He growled and took his gun from his holster. She froze when he pointed the gun at her.

”No more tricks. Now ya pay for my friends too. Strip.” He commanded and gestured her clothes with his gun.

She hesitated and calculated her chances. Before she could move a muscle, she heard a high whistle and the man in front of him screamed. A red flash ran through his head and he fell down dead as a doornail.

She heard fast steps coming closer and saw Yondu walk towards her with Kraglin. They looked the pile of men on the ground and then looked at her questioningly.

”Ya ok?” Yondu asked.

She nodded. Her throat was hurting like hell so she didn’t want to talk. She coughed few times and held her throat. Yondu walked closer and lifted her chin surprizingly gently up. His eyes flashed with anger and he drew breath slowly.

”Kraglin. Get some guys and drag those two fuckers to hold. And throw the corpse out of the airlock. I’ll take her to med bay.”

”Aye Captn’ ”

Yondu took her arm and lead her towards the med bay. He didn’t say anything on the way there but she knew he was beyond angry. At the med bay, the medic came to look at her and huffed angrily. ”Damn these guys..”

He went to get some gel and put it on her throat. She felt instant relief and sighed. Yondu looked at her intently but he didn’t seem as angry as before.

”Thank you, Captain. You probably saved my life. Again.”

”None of that. It’s my job to keep discipline ’round here and I don’t stand any unfair violence between crew members. And three big men against one small woman is hardly a fair fight.” He growled.

”Well, they thought I was an easy target.” She said quietly, afraid her throat would hurt if she spoke louder.

”How the hell did ya manage to put down two ravagers like that?” He asked curiously.

”Would you believe me if I said I got them with my right hook?” She asked trying to keep a straight face.

He chuckled. ”With those spaghetti arms? No. Those two were tough bastards.”

”Well, I know you don’t trust me enough to have a gun. So I kinda built a tazer for security purposes after I noticed those guys staring at me suspiciously.” She admitted.

He looked at her frowning and she felt like a schoolgirl who had been caught of cheating on a test.

”But I assure you. It was purely for security. I never wanted to use it on anyone. And I…” She blurted but he put his finger on her lips to silence her. He took it away instantly, but his touch keft a tingling sensation on her lips. She fought the urge to touch her lips.

”I’m sorry.” He said.

She stared at him, mouth open. Did he just offer an apology?

”I shoulda known better. Of course I shoulda given ya a gun or something to protect yerself with.” He said absently.

”Oh… I thought you were angry at me for carrying this.” She said showing the device on her wrist.

He took her hand and examined the device closer up. He turned her hand around to see it from both sides. ”Cleaver girl.” He complimented her smiling.

She found it hard to concentrate on anything when he touched her like that. His warm, scarred and calloused hand held her hand gently and she felt like her skin was tingling under his touch.

”What were ya doin’ out yer room at night?” He asked suddenly.

”Had a nightmare and couldn’t sleep afterwards. I thought I could go to finish the work I started yesterday. Thought I could sneak there unnoticed but I think they spied me or something.” She explained. ”I know. It was stupid thing to do. I’m sorry.”

”No apologies. I made it perfectly clear what happens if somethin’ like this happened. We’ll make an example of them tomorrow.” He said ominously.

He walked to take a holopad from a table and tapped several times.

”Uhh.. Captain. How did you know to come there?”

”Was working and saw unusual movement on the screens. Then I saw ya and them followin’ ya. Left immediately to check on ya.” He told her, still tapping the holopad. She saw a variety of emotions on his face: irritation, anger, rage and… Suddenly he chuckled. He tapped several times more and started to laugh.

”What is it?” She asked carefully.

”Guys are gonna laugh them asses off when I’ll show them this. The looks on them faces. Can only imagine them thoughts when ya dropped the first one.”

”Umm. Can I have a request?”

He looked at her questioningly.

”Can you keep this in a small group of people? It’s better I have the advantage of them not knowing about my tazer.”

”Like I said earlier. Clever girl. This stays between us. And Kraglin. He needs to see this.” He said grinning.

She hid a smile. He was like a little boy wanting to share a joke with a friend.

”So I take it you’re not angry with me for making a weapon-like thing for myself?”

He shook his head. ”Quite the opposite. Proves yer smart. Just keep it far away from me. I may not be as understanding this time if ya stun me.” He joked, but she knew he was dead serious.

”Ok. I’m all done here. This salve will keep the pain away, but there will be lots of bruising.” The doctor said and put a jar of salve to her hand.

”Thanks doc. Appreciate this.” She thanked the man and followed Yondu out of the med bay.

”Carmen.” Yondu said when they walked through a corridor leading back to her room.

”Yes Captain?”

”I want ya to know ya can come ta me if ya have problems with the crew. Or anything. I’m yer Captain. Ya should trust me.”

Carmen glanced at him. He looked thoughtful and serious. She was walking on his side and for the first time she realized the scarring on his head. There were dozens of scars that zigzagged on his scalp. She knew about his past and she knew exactly what had caused those scars. She had seen it many times in the Kree ship and it had made her sick.

She had her fair share of scars that the Kree had caused. They ran along her back creating uneven patterns from neck to butt. Time had made them light thin lines that, luckily, barely could be seen. But his scars. They had made sure his scars would stay visible to remind him that he belonged to them. And the worst part was that they had torn his fin away.

He carried his prostetic fin with pride. It looked damn good on him. It was scarlet red like his eyes and she remembered how it gleamed whenever he whistled to make the yaka arrow fly. He glanced at her and she blushed and turned back to look forward.

”Yes Captain. I promise to work on that. I’ve been alone for so long, that it’s hard to trust anyone. But I’ll try to remember from now on.”

They walked back to her room. It was obvious he didn’t want her roaming around the ship anymore and to be honest, she was tired again. On her door, he used his card to open the door and pushed her gently inside.

”I don’t wanna see ya working fer couple o’ days. Maybe after Contraxia.”

”Aye Captain.”

”And girl. Ya lookd’ hot as hell when ya put those guys down.” He said winking before he walked away casually.

Carmen could only grin after him when she closed the door. The man was a tease.

Chapter Text

She slept amazingly well given the circumstances. Her throat was swollen and sore but the salve helped the pain. She looked herself through a mirror and gasped. There were visible, deep purple marks on her neck and she could clearly see where his fingers had pressed. She looked terrible.

She was about to put a cloth around her neck to cover the bruises but decided to let them show. It would prove everyone that she had been in a fight and survived to tell tales about it.

Keeping her head high, she left her room to join the guys at breakfast. Everyone who walked past her looked at her neck curiously but no one asked anything.

”Damn girl, what the hell happened?” Nola asked her when she sat next to him at the table.

”Mole’s group decided to try their luck with her last night. Needless to say they didn’t succeed.” Kraglin told them before Carmen had time to answer.

Jax and jox growled angrily and Nola squeezed his water cup into pieces. Maggs joined them just to hear his words and looked at her to see how she was. His brows drew together but he didn’t say a word. Carmen guessed he had seen the record of last night and heard the whole story.

”How are you? What happened?” Nola asked.

”It looks worse than it is. And doc gave me some salve to help the pain.” She explained and purposefully didn’t answer to the second question. She wasn’t sure what Yondu wanted her to tell everyone.

”They cornered her last night when she left her room for a moment. Mole tried to strangle her and probably rape her but she had few tricks in her sleeve and she knocked him down. And Zorg too. Varis got pissed and tried to shoot ’er but then Captn’ entered the scene and killed him.” Kraglin explained.

Carmen was relieved. Kraglin and Yondu had probably discussed what to tell everyone.

Jax looked both her and Kraglin to see if Kraglin was telling the truth.

”Are you telling us she knocked down two ravagers? With what?”

Kraglin just shrugged. ”It’s best to keep secret so she can use it next time.”

Kraglin pulled a holopad to the table. He had a sly smile on his face when he tapped the pad several times. ”But I have something to show ya guys. Look at their faces.” He said laughing.

The others looked the holopad and all of them started to laugh loudly. Guys from other tables looked at them frowning but none of them came to look what amused them. Carmen looked the pad, too, and grinned. She didn’t remember much about those guys or how they reacted. Seeing their expression was priceless. Two large men looking totally stunned in front of a small woman, who had just knocked their friend down.

”Almost worth of these bruises.” Carmen said grinning.

”That’s the spirit!” Kraglin laughed and patted her back several times.

Carmen looked at the guys around him. They were making faces trying to mimic those two on the picture. In a short time they seemed to accept her as one of them. The looks on their faces when they saw her neck show thaat they genuinly cared for her. For the first time after she had been kidnapped, she felt like she was home.

They ate their breakfast talking and joking. She enjoyed spending tine with the guys. It was over too soon, and one after another left to do their jobs.

Kraglin was just about to leave when Carmen remembered something. ”Hey, Kraglin! Do you have any idea where I might find the Captain? I have something to tell him before… you know.”

”Think ya might find ’im at the main deck. If he’s not there, go to his quarters.”

Like she could go knocking on his quarters door. ”Ok, Thanks. I’ll go find him.”

She headed towards the main deck. She hoped Yondu would be there because there was no way she’d go to his quarters. Memories from last time she was there, as herself, gave her shivers.

Universe seemed to hate her again. Yondu was nowhere to be seen and she turned to leave. She knew, however, that she really needed to talk with him so she needed to head to his quarters. Heavily sighing, she turned around and forced her legs to walk towards the door she wanted to avoid.

She stood in front of the door, counting to ten to find her courage that seemed to have disappeared. She knocked the door and waited for an answer. She heard noices from inside and lowered her head to stare at her feet. She felt how her cheeks were in fire and she shivered.

The door opened. ”Who the hell thinks it’s a good idea… Oh. Carmen! Whaddya doin here?” Rough voice asked?

She looked up and saw he was wearing only his pants and his upper torso was bare. ”Uh.. I. Ahem. I needed to…”

She saw he started to smile teasingly and her voice betrayed her. ”Oh, Wanted to refresh some memories, did ya?”

Her blush even deepened. She should have known he would make the situation even worse. Gods he had an amazing body.

”I… Perhaps it’s better I’ll wait you at main deck.” She said with a husky voice.

”Oh come on. Ya weren’t so shy last time ya were here. If I remember correctly ya almost…” He continued to to tease her but his words died.

He frowned and leaned closer. ”Fuck that looks even worse than last night.” He growled and it took a second for Carmen to realize he was talking about her bruises. His moods changed so suddenly.

He caressed her neck gently which made her flustered and out of breath. He seemed to do it totally subconciously and there was nothing sexual about the touch. Even though he had teased her just seconds ago.

”I wanna gut them..” He growled under his breath.

”I… Well at least they need to live with a fact that a girl kicked their asses.” She tried to joke to conceal her bewilderment.

”Hmph. They’re not gonna live long. They broke the code. And they will pay with them lives.”

The situation seemed to finally hit him too. Him caressing her neck without shirt, in his quarters. He leaned back and started to grin again, and Carmen knew he was about to tease her again.

”Captain, I know how inappropriate it was for me to come here. I’ll just wait you on the deck.” She said quickly before he had time to speak.

Yondu was smiling knowingly. ”Oh, Not so fast. Ya haven’t thanked me yet. Ya know. For savin’ yer pretty lil’ ass.”

”Actually, Captain, I did say thank you.” She tried to shoot back. ”But. You have saved my ass twice so thank you for that.” She admitted.

”And Captain… I realized I never apologized for what I did. I am sorry I hurt you,” She continued quietly.

He gestured dissmissvely. ”Don’tcha worry ’bout that. Ya should be proud to success in something no one else has.” He replied, but started to smile that wicked smile again. ”And like I said girl… You’ll pay for it one way or another…” He came closer and she froze solid.

He leaned closer. She felt his hot breath on her skin and it sent shivers through her body. His scent was still as good as she remembered. She was mesmerized by his crimson eyes and couldn’t look away. She almost stopped breathing. His smile grew even wider at her reaction. And then he just leaned away and walked to his room to put on his clothes.

She blinked few times before she realized he was gone. He had teased her again and she fell for it. Or was it just teasing?

Her thoughts were interrupted when Yondu walked back to her, now fully dressed.

”So, what ya wanted to tell me?” He asked when he walked past her, towards the main deck.

Shit, she had totally forgot about that. ”Those guys. They were after the plate. They said I stole their payday.”

”Fuck. Shoulda known. So they though it would be a good idea to disobey ma direct order and try ta steal the plate from me?”

Carmen knew she had added a last nail to their coffins and she felt bad. But she knew it was inevitable anyway. He had said he’d kill them anyway because they broke the code the worst way by threating life of another ravager. She was a ravager now! She really was one of them.

”Tell me exactly what was them plan?” He asked.

She tried to remenber all the details. ”They were going to rape me and make me tell the location of the plate. And to cover their tracks, they were going to throw me down the stairs and say it was an accident.”

He stopped to look at her. ”Ya say it like it was nothin’.”

She shrugged. ”Remember where I spent several years of my life.”

She saw how he bit his jaw. ”How bad was it?”

”I was never raped. I think. Hard to say for sure because at the beginning I was beaten multiple times so badly I was out for days.”

”Fukin’ animals.”

”Yeah. But it’s in the past now. And I’m not planning on returning. Not alive at least.” She said lifting her chin and started to walk again.

**

Yondu watched how Carmen walked past him. His life had been hell when he was their slave. He could only imagine how bad it was for a woman. To her luck, Carmen had been valuable for them so luckily she had not suffered the worst way.

He had seen the fire in her eyes when she told him she would not return to them alive. He made a promise to himself that he would do anything to make sure they won’t get her.

He walked behind her to the main deck and saw Kraglin waiting for them.

”Captn’ Everythin’s ready for the announcement.” He said giving him a speaker.

He pressed a button on the speaker and made an announcement. ”I want every single ravager to the bridge room Immediately!”

He saw Mole and Zorg by the door and smirked. The twins had clearly paid a visit to them. Both of them were beaten half dead and he could see the brothers’ signature mark on them. In a short time Carmen had been on his crew, she had made friends among his trusted crew members. Mole and Zorg had made a terrible mistake hurting Carmen.

”So guys. Ya really thought it was a good idea to attack on ’er? Disobey my direct order? Tryin’ ta steal from me?” He asked the guys.

Zorg avoided his stare, but Mole looked at him with expression of pure hatred. ”That fuckin’ whore stole from us! She should be dead!” he snarled.

Yondu took a step closer to them angrily. Zorg tried to take step back but thr guy holding him pushed him back forward.

”Ya two broke the code. Ya disobeyed my order and threatened and hurt another ravager…”

”That fuckin’ whore ain’t no ravager!” Mole snapped.

”She is a ravager and part of My crew. And I gave a direct order not to touch ’er. And ya threatened to rape and kill ’er. AND ya tried to steal the plate.” He growled.

”Bring them to the stairs.” He told two ravagers who were holding Mole and Zorg.

He walked to the bridge, where dozens of ravagers were waiting for them. Some of them looked surprized when they saw totally beaten up duo and the rest of them. Most of them, however, knew what was going on and there was variety of emotions.

He cleared his throat. ”Listen up. Ya all were there when I told Carmen would be part of our crew. And by that I meant that she’s one of us so she’s out of limits if she wanted ta be.” He let his gaze roam on everyone of them.

”So these two and their friend thought it would be a good idea to try to rape and kill her to get that artifact she’s holdin’. Three big men against small terran woman. Someone could say that wasn’t a fair fight.” He said pointing at Carmen, who was standing next to Kraglin. There was nodding and mumbling among the ravagers. Everyone agreed it was not a fair fight and against the code.

”When I got to the scene, she had knocked down Zorg and Mole. Varis was pointing ’er with his gun, clearly going to kill ’er so I put him down.” He explained and whistled, making his arrow fly next to his head. Like always, it got everyone’s attention.

”So. I’m gonna make them an example. What happens when ya break the code and disobey a direct order. When you threat a fellow crewmember.”

He turned to face Mole and Zorg. ”Any last words?”

Zorg shook his head. He looked really defeated and sincerely sorry. Mole, however, took a step towards Carmen and snarled at her. ”You fucking wench! It’s all your fault! You stole from us, you should be standing here!” He turned to face Yondu and stared at him eyes full of hate. ”And you. You must be desperate to have a wench like that as a part of your crew!”

Yondu smiled ominously. ”Is that all ya wanna say?” he asked sarcastically.

”Fuck you Yondu Udonta! You were a pathetic captain!” He shouted as Yondu whistled and a red flash ran through his head. He fell to the floor and blood poured from his head around him. Zorg jerked backwards away from Mole and the arrow. He stared at his friend lying on the floor and he shivered visibly.

Yondu whistled another time and the arrow flew back to him. ”Well?” He asked.

Zorg lifted his gaze to look at him. ”I’m… I never meant to… I’m sorry.” He pleaded and glanced at Carmen.

”I have a certain reputation caused by what happened at the first Eclector. It happened because of a mutiny. I’m a fair guy and I treat my crew fairly. Mole and Varis got what they deserved. But Zorg. I’m gonna let ya decide what to do with him. Death or the council at Contraxia?” He asked looking at his crew.

People looked at each other and mumbled. He let then talk for a moment before he cleared his throat to gain attention. ”So. Everyone who thinks he deserves to die, say aye!”

There were decent amount of those who shouted, but he wasn’t sure if it was more than a half.

”And now, everyone who thinks he deserves the council?”

There was almost equal amount of replies.

”So, we got about half and half. So in my opinion Carmen gets to make final decision. Is that ok?”

There seemed to be a mutual agreement to that. Carmen looked at him surprized. She glanced at people around her and looked uncomfortable. He should have warned her he would do that.

She coughed few times and looked at him uncertainly. He nodded.

”Mole strangled me and Varis almost shot me before Captain got him. They got what they deserved. Even though Zorg was with them, he however, did nothing. So I believe it’s fair that he faces the council.” She said with surprisingly strong voice.

He saw crewmembers looking at Carmen approvingly, proving she had made the right choice. Zorg turned to her and thanked her sincerely before he was taken back to his cell. People started to leave but he wasn’t finished yet.

”One final thing!” He said making everyone turn back to look at him.

”To make things clear. The artifact Carmen stole from us before, and what she’s having right now in her possession, is extremely dangerous. It’ll blow up if any of us touch it. We’re working on finding out more about it, because knowledge of it will make it dozens of times more valuable.” He said and saw everyone eyeing Carmen curiously. ”It is our deal that she keeps it safe so no one will blow us up with it. And when we figure out more about it, we all will get a lot of credits! Is that clear?”

Everyone shouted ”aye” in unison.

”Dissmissed.” He said and everyone, except Kraglin, Carmen and Maggs left.

He walked to them and looked at Carmen. She looked flustered but in the same time she seemed happy.

”Ya ok?” He asked her.

She looked at him and smiled. ”I believe so. Thank you Captain.”

Chapter Text

She had been terrified when Yondu made her make the desicion. He really should have warned about that. When everyone’s eyes locked to her to see what her decision would be. She didn’t have time to concider her decision but an old terran phrase came to her mind: violence causes more violence, and she decided to end the violence there.

She gave them a good explanation why she decided to spare Zorg’s life, and most of the crew seemed to think her decision right. Maggs squeezed her arm to reassure her, and when she glanced at him, she saw him nodding a little.

She saw how Zorg gave her thankful glance before they took him away which made her feel even better about her choice. She left back to her room after the others scattered from the meeting. Maggs was walking besides her and she wanted to ask something from him.

”Hey, do you knkw what happened to those two? I mean… I didn’t beat them up and it seemed someone had mugged them.”

Maggs chuckled. ”Well… I don’t know if you noticed but the twins left quite suddenly after they saw you at breakfast. They paid a visit to them.”

”Oh. Why would they do that?” She asked surprized.

”Carmen, you still don’t understand that we are your friends? Those two hurt you and your friends weren’t too happy about it.”

Carmen looked at Maggs and saw he was smiling at her teasingly. She smiled back softly. ”Didn’t think about it that way. It’s still hard to believe that I’m here with you guys and I’m one of you. I mean. Not a long ago you would have caught me and brought to the Captain in chains.”

Maggs shrugged. ”Guess you’re right. You never know what plans the universe has for you. But right now you are our friend and we look after you.” He said and put his arm around her shoulders.

She tried to walk towards the engine room but Maggs tightened his grip around her shoulders and walked past the corridor. She looked back at the corridor and then Maggs, who seemed determined.

”Don’t even think about it. We are in Contraxia tomorrow evening and Captain gave orders that you do not work until we leave that planet. So now you go back to your room and rest.”

She sighed. ”Ok. Luckily it’s just a short time or I would be bored to death.”

She went to her room and stood there for a moment. Luckily it would be just one day before they arrived at Contraxia. She wasn’t used to do nothing and a whole day just laying sounded boring. She took a book from her bag and went to bed to read it.

She spent the day reading, eating and hanging out in her room, and when it was late enough, she went to sleep. She wasn’t exactly sleepy, when she had done nothing to gett tired, but eventually she fell asleep.

It was a difficult night. She had nightmares that kept her awake half of the night.

**

The next morning she woke up early and she was very tired, but something kept her from sleeping properly. They would arrive at Contraxia in nine hours and she wasn’t in a mood to stay in her room any longer, so she decided to go to her ship to get some books and other things.

Her ship was left untouched. They had moved it to a corner of the deck so it would be out of the way. She had not talked with Yondu, about what she would do with it. She walked to it and touched it’s side. It would be difficult to give up on it, but she was sure Yondu wanted to get rid of it.

She pressed a hidden button next to the door and it opened. She climbed in and took a deep breath. It was nice to be home again. She looked around her ans saw that the interior was a total mess after the crew had searched the disc from there. She decided to clean up the place a littlle to spend time, so she started to take things from the floor and put back to their places.

Suddenly a thought came into her mind. The paint, wig and her contact lences were still in the bathroom for anyone to find. She rushed there and saw it was a mess too. The paint was ln the floor and one of the lence containers was broken in the sink. Quickly, she threw the lences to trash can and took the paint. She had no idea what to do with it but she knew it needed to be hidden.

She thought a while and wrapped a cloth around it and tossed it to trash can too. It was not the best solution but it would seem much more suspicious if she tried to hide it somewhere else. She looked around the room to see if there was something else that could reveal gray.

She felt bad. She knew she should tell him about gray but she didn’t know how. He had taken her part of the crew, trusted her and helped her. And she repaid his actions with keeping information from him. She really needed to find out a way to tell him before he found out it by himself. She decided she would tell him before they left Contraxia.

She went to her bed and found a book she had read before she was caught. She took it and went to sit to her steering chair, took a comfortable position and continued to read. It didn’t takr long before her eyes grew heavy and she fell asleep.

**

Yondu saw how Carmen went to her ship. He was curious what she was doing there but decided to wait a while before going after her. There was a tiny suspicion in the back of his mind that she could still run away. He trusted her, but he knew there was something she didn’t tell him. There were too many holes in her story and he had noticed her stumbling with her words several times when she had explained something.

When an hour had passed, he decided to go check on her. He couldn’t just ignore his suspicions so he needed to see what she was doing in her ship.

He climbed to the ship and tried to listen where she was but he couldn’t hear a thing. He walked quietly towards the ship’s mainframe and saw a figure sitting on the steering chair. Frowning, he walked closer and peeked over the chair to see what she was doing.

She had a terran book on her lap and she was sleeping calmly. He walked silently around the chair to look at her properly. She looked more relaxed than he had ever seen her. She was so reserved around him that it irritated him greatly. After the first encounter with her, he had purple balls for days. He had dreamt of her for weeks after, fucking her in every possible way in his dreams. He woke up every morning with a raging hard on for weeks.

The woman he saw in front of him right now wasn’t the same person. She was very reserved and tried to be very proper with him. He saw she wasn’t immune to his teasing and he was determined to renew those memories from that night.

She shifted in her sleep and the book fell from her lap, waking her up. She winced and looked slightly disoriented for a second and jerked up when she saw him.

”Captain, I’m sorry. I came here to spend some time and it seems I fell asleep.”

Still so reserved. ”Calm down, just came to see yer ok.”

”Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just used to do something and I was told not to do anything until we leave Contraxia. Couldn’t just roam in my room.”

”Workaholic.” He stated, smiling at her. ”I actually never looked at yer ship properly. It looks nice, and to know it was made from scrap makes it even more amazing.” He complimented making her smile.

”Yeah. I spent every minute awake making it after I found it. It took a whole year to finish it.” She told him distant gaze on her face.

”Care to show me around?” He asked.

”Sure.”

She took him to look at her mainframe and explained some details about it. After that she toured him around the ship, explaining where she had gathered all the parts to it. Finally, hesitantly, she showed him her sleeping part and bathroom. She was explaining about the water system when he got an idea.

She was looking away from him, so he took a step closer to her and leaned closer.

”Ya know. It would be fair that I get to tease ya in yer bedroom, since ya did that to me at mine.” He rasped softly into her ear.

She jumped to air and let out a scared breath. She turned around to look at him, unsure look on her face. He grinned at her reaction and ran a finger on her cheek. He loved to tease her and see her flustered face.

”Ah. Captain. There’s something I need to…” She began to mumble but was interrupted by Maggs, who shouted something outside.

There was a hassle outside and Yondu marched out to look what was happening. He saw several ravagers running back and forth, clearly panicking of something.

”What the hell is goin’ on?” He shouted at Maggs and jumped off the ship.

”Sir, There’s a random meteor swarm ahead of us. The computers didn’t warn us about it. There’s something wrong with the systems.”

Yondu cursed loudly and ran towards the main deck. Carmen ran after him with Maggs, who seemed very worried. She had to run very fast to keep up with Yondu, who was surprizingly fast runner.

**

When they entered the main deck, Yondu sat on his chair and took the ship’s control to himself.

”Kraglin, report!” He rasped at his first mate.

Kraglin tapped his screens rapidly. ”Doesn’t look good sir. It looks like something’s blown up here. These shouldn’t be here according the maps. Ya need to try to steer through it manually.”

”Fuck!” He cursed loudly and took an intercom. ”Ok everybody! Hol’on tight! It’s gonna be a rough ride!” He shouted, threw the intercomaside and started to steer them through an impossible ride.

He had to use all his talent to avoid hitting any of the larger pieces. Every time something hit the ship he cursed loudly. Minutes passed and he had to make several rapid twists that sent all loose goods shatter everywhere. The whole ship would be a mess if they made out of there alive.

Red lights flashed everywhere and computers beeped warnings of damage. ”Kraglin! Shut down those damn alarms! They make me crazy!”

Kraglin struggled with the terminals but couldn’t shut the alarms down. ”Sir, I can’t get them off.” He replied apologeticly.

He cursed again. The alarms distracted his focus which was very dangerous in the current situation. ”Fuck I’m gonna break them if ya can’t shut them!” He growled and whistled his arrow ready.

Carmen ran to Kraglin. ”Stop! I’ll shut them down.” She said and leaned to the terminal. Her fingers ran oon the keyboard and alarm after alarm shut down one by one and eventually it was quiet. Again, she had managed to use Eclactor’s systems like she knew them.

He couldn’t think about it any further as he had to make several dodge moves, that sent Carmen to the floor. ”Sorry ’bout thay. Ya ok?” He asked her.

She stood up holding her wrist, grimanced and he frowned. She had hurt herself.

”I’m ok captain.” She lied and went to sit a nearby chair.

”Bullshit ya are. I’m not blind. We’ll take ya to medic once this is over ”

It was much easier to concentrate when the ship was quiet. He managed to dodge most of the rocks but he knew there was damage on his ship. Several more dodges and finally they passed the area. Yondu let out a breath he had been holding and heard several others doing the same thing.

He leaned back and tried to calm down. That was too close.

”Kraglin. Damage report.”

Kraglin tapped the terminal for a while. ”Three bigger cracks on the shell and several smaller. And the whole ship is a mess. Well done captain! Not bad result after that disaster.” He complimented.

”Why the hell didn’t our systems warn about that earlier?” He asked.

Kraglin shrugged. ”No idea sir. There must be something wrong with the systems.”

”We need to find Gray! Call our contacts and tell them to hind her for me. She’s been on a holiday long enough! And everyone, go fix everything you can while I take us down to Contraxia.”

**

Carmen paled when she heard his words. He was determined to find Gray and they really needed her. She knew it was time to reveal her last straw. All others left the deck except her, Yondu and Kraglin.

”Uhh.. Captain. There’s something I need to speak with you.” She said. She felt how her pulse rose and she started to shiver.

”Yeah. Oh, right. Kraglin will take ya to med bay so ya can have that wrist checked.”He replied.

She had forgot her wrist pain. It was sore but she really needed to tell him first.

”Ahh, yeah. But before that…” She started, swallowed hard and continued. ”There’s an important thing I need to tell you.”

He put the ship back to autopilot and turned around to look at her. She hoped he would have stayed turned so she would not be under his stare. She took a deep breath.

”I know that you know that I haven’t told you everything.” She begun before she could chicken out. ”There’s something about my past I haven’t told you because it has been my last straw if something happened. It’s something I’ve kept to myself in case the worst happens.”

She saw she had his full attention now. He stared at her and she felt likke she was under a microschope.

”I need you to understand I did it to protect myself and telling you this, means I trust you. I… I know Eclector’s systems because I’ve dealt with it before.”

He grinned. ”I knew you had! Where? When? You were building my ship didcha?” He said thiumphantly.

She wanted to say yes. But she knew it was time to repay his trust and kindness. ”No. It was actually just a while ago. I…” You shut your eyes and took another deep breath.

”I accept your offer of joining your crew, Captain” She said with the voice she used when she had been with him as Gray.

”What the hell are ya talkin’ ’bout? You’re already….” His voice faded away when he realized what her words meant.

”Oh! Why you little…” He growled and walked in front of her. She glanced at him and took a step backwards but his stare stopped her from going any further. She was glued to the floor and almost stopped breathing.

Oh shit…