This is my take on Yondu Udonta. I wish there was more fics with him, being all fatherly to Peter.
Also, now I want a fanfic, when - for a change - Peter is the one who saves Yondu.
Of father figures
Peter was growing up without father. Of course, his mom was sometimes mentioning him with distant eyes and soft smiles but it didn't change the fact that he wasn't around. Growing up, Peter wondered why was that. Being younger, he have made a theory that his father was a secret agent who was constantly in a move, so he couldn't be with his family because of the dangers of his (all in all very cool) job. It didn't change the fact that when kids in kindergarten and later – in school – were talking about their dads, he felt kind of sad, not knowing where his dad is and what he actually do. And his classmates didn't believe Peter, when he was telling them about his cool, secret agent dad.
Either way, a child – especially a boy – should have a father figure, a male role model… at least that's what psychologists are saying. And Peter had this kind of role model in his grandpa. His grandpa was like most grandpas – caring, funny and wise. He taught Peter many things, like how to use a fishing-rod, how make simple repairs or how to play sports. He taught the boy that he should respect other people, especially elders. He was also taking his grandson to the movies, buying him candy and playing baseball. Peter had lots of fond memories connected to his time spent with his grandpa and still wondered if the old man was alive after all those years.
However, as wonderful and cool as his grandpa was, he still wasn't his father. And when his mom was slowly dying of cancer, Peter couldn't help but wonder where was his father all this time. Even though, mom was constantly telling her son that he will meet his father, the man still wasn't showing up. At this point Peter abandoned the theory of his father being a secret agent on the benefit on the one that said he was a giant… jerk, who didn't care about mother of his child being grievously ill. Even with her dying breath, Peter's mother claimed that his father will come for him but it didn't matter for the boy, anymore. What did matter was that his mom was dying and he didn't want it to be true.
And then came Yondu Udonta.
Of course, when you're an eight-year-old, who has been abducted by aliens right after death of your mother, you're not in good shape to make friends, especially with blue aliens with raspy voices. So for a few days (maybe even a weeks) Peter tried to cope, not only with the loss of his mom, but also with the whole idea that he's on a spaceship, flying in unknown direction. These aliens seemed to be completely different than what he expected – they weren't grey, slim nor they have big heads with black eyes. They looked more like human-like aliens from Star Wars… except they – according to this weird device that was translating their language in his head – apparently liked to eat humans (later Peter had found out that they were simply screwing with his head). And that was the moment when Yondu came in. He yelled at his men, making them fringe, and they didn't want to eat Peter, anymore.
They did, however, take his backpack… but after few minutes gave it back, only this time without few things. Peter later retrieved them either by force, or by trick (and in both ways it seemed suspiciously too easy…). Still, his first attempts in doing so, were futile and left him only with few bruises.
The feeling of hostility towards him, combined with confusion and grief, made him stay in his quarters. This solution at least seemed to be safe and for some reason aliens were keeping him well fed.
One day Yondu finally entered Peter's room. At first he just rolled his red eyes around it, like he was estimating the level of the mess the boy made, but then he just looked at Peter, who crawled in his bed and took the empty tray to defend himself. The blue alien just smiled at this sight and sat in front of the kid. Peter was still holding the tray but he also watched with surprise the alien, who was just sitting there and observing him back. In that weird moment Yondu didn't seem to be menacing, angry or as if he intended to do the boy harm. He was just… curious. Sympathetic even.
"Sorry, kid, for not coming earlier." He said suddenly.
Another moment of surprise for Peter. Who was this guy? Well, the captain, of course, that's what Peter realized earlier, seeing the aliens interacting. But why he apologized for not coming to his prisoner sooner? For sure he wanted something from Peter, but the boy didn't know what.
"Come on, kid, you can throw that thing away." Yondu added, pointing the tray. "I have no business to harm you, besides, the tray isn't good weapon anyway."
But Peter kept it.
"I-I don't trust you…" He mumbled, still looking at the alien.
Yondu smiled even wider.
"It's very wise of you. I guess, I need to give you something as a sign of a good will."
He extended his arm, showing Peter his walkman. Then he observed with emotionless eyes as the eight-year-old threw the tray away, snatched the device from Yondu's hand and attached it to his side. Only then – realizing that he's now completely open to any attacks – he looked at Yondu, not knowing what would happen next.
Red eyes seemed to have some odd warmth. Peter realized it right now.
"It must be really valuable. You were fighting for it more fiercely than for the other stuff." Said Yondu and leaned closer to his prisoner. "You know, I have a feeling that it's more valuable to you than anyone else. Am I right?"
It seemed that the blue alien tried to be nice. Peter could see in his eyes compassion, and he suddenly remembered that this guy for some reason didn't let his comrades eat him. Even though, it was Yondu's fault that he was still far away from home, in that very moment Peter really considered trusting him. Actually, he didn't talk with anyone about this whole mess, so maybe it wasn't so bad idea at all.
"My mother gave it to me." The boy replied quietly. He suddenly felt tears threatening to be spilled.
"Ah, mother…" Yondu smiled with understanding, but then his expression saddened. "You must really miss her."
And then Peter started to cry. He cried earlier, in the corner of his quarters, thinking about Earth, about the fact that he's in that horrible place, with this horrible people… but mostly he was thinking about the last time when he saw his mom.
Right now he was crying for this very reason. She only wanted him to take her hand and he ran away from the hospital. He felt so ashamed of himself… Not because of the fact that he was whimpering like a baby in front of blue alien, but because in his mother's final moment he couldn't bring himself to grant her one last wish. And now she was gone and she will never know how much he regretted his actions.
"You know, I've lost my mother too." Yondu said suddenly.
Peter stopped sobbing and raised his watery eyes on him. Yondu continued:
"I was younger than you, kid, but I still can remember it."
"How it happened?" Peter asked, curious of the alien's story.
"She fell ill. You probably don't know what kind of illness it is or how it's called. The point is that she was dying slowly. It was very… heartbreaking to watch." Yondu's voice was calm but Peter could see deep sorrow in his eyes.
"Do you… regret something?" The boy asked carefully. "You know, that you didn't tell her that you love her?" He looked down with shame. "Or that you didn't do what she asked you to do?"
"Oh, yes." Yondu answered with another sad smile. "But are we all not regretting things we didn't say or do for our dead loved ones?"
There was a moment of silence, when Peter was contemplating Yondu's words. They were making sense, but didn't help much. However, the fact that the guy before him also lost his mother due to illness, was quite reassuring. On this small aspect he and the blue alien was the same. There were connection between two of them. Yondu knew what Peter was going through and that was more than what he was expecting from an alien who abducted him from his home planet.
Everything in Yondu's presence was telling the kid that captain came here to help Peter. Suddenly the boy thought that he could open to the guy more. He looked at the alien and asked:
"Why am I here?"
He had to wait for an answer. First Yondu straightened on the chair he was sitting on, and then he looked at Peter once again, this time with more grim expression.
"Do you know who we are, kid? What we do for living?" Seeing that Peter shook his head, the starship captain continued: "We're the Ravagers. We deliver things from one side of the galaxy on the other side. Sometimes legally, sometimes… less legally."
"So I am a cargo?" Peter asked and Yondu could clearly hear a shade of agitation in his voice.
The alien was only observing the kid for a few seconds, before he finally stood up and gave a response:
"No, you're not the cargo. There was a job we had to do on Terra, but after a heated discussion, we decided it wasn't worth it." For a moment his eyes were distant and Peter could clearly see that Yondu was thinking about something intensively.
"So… why I'm here again?" Peter repeated his question.
Yondu's face lit up in a way that Terran boy suddenly felt uneasy.
"Well, it's your lucky day, kid. You're one of us now."
Peter's eyes widened, then he frowned.
"But… but I don't want to! I want to go home."
"Believe me, kid, you'll be better off here."
"No, I won't." Peter stood up and right now his eyes were on the level of Yondu's belly. "I have to go back on Earth."
Yondu gazed at him. Once again there was a silence between them. Then the alien sat back on the chair and with a wide smile he said:
"You do know, you have a debt, kid? I've stopped my men from eating you, so if you want to defy me, remember that I can give you back to them. And trust me, they will be more than pleased. They never tasted the Terran before."
And suddenly all the sympathy Peter had for the Ravager's captain disappeared. In this very moment the boy both hated and feared Yondu. He even started to suspect that this whole story with a sick mother was a lie made up to take him on the blue alien's side.
Yondu patted Peter's arm with playful manner and said:
"Hey, kid, cheer up. After all, it's a beginning of an adventure."
Right after that day Peter's Ravager training has began. Yondu and his men were teaching him how to shoot, fight, use their cosmic devices and even – pilot their ship. They gave him new clothes (red coat included) so he would be treated as a Ravager. Peter admitted that some of the things he was taught, was actually pretty cool, however, he still hated Yondu and wanted to go back home. He even made a plan that when his training will end, he will escape, steal some ship and fly right back on Earth.
The time was passing and Peter was getting older. He had visited various places in the universe and had seen things he would never imagine to see. He even liked his life with Ravagers. He liked the thrill of an adventure, the fact that he could see cool places and participate with weird entertainment. Some of Ravagers were really fun to hang out with, although, they weren't very fond of Peter. They did, however, considered him their teammate. Soon Peter had abandoned the idea of coming back on Earth, fearing that everything there had changed so much that he had nothing to come back to. So he decided to stay in space.
Through all those years, Yondu proven himself to be the most confusing boss ever. There were times when he acted like a real jerk, yelling at Peter for even tiniest mistake, sending him on dangerous missions, when the kid was only ten (because certain missions required the assistance of someone small or innocent-looking) and drawing the "I Didn't Let My Men Eat You" Card every time the boy wanted to argue with him.
But Yondu was showing also his other face, and he was showing it actually pretty often. Every time, when Peter was doing something right, he could see a prideful smile on alien's face. Every time, when they were coming to the new place, the guy tried to teach Peter something about its cultures (not to mention – warning him about local dangers). Every time, when Peter got into serious trouble, Yondu was suddenly charging to save him. In Peter's younger years, if somebody attacked him or even just threatened him in any way, Ravager's captain let that person feel his wrath.
Hell, there was even that time, when the kid got captured and Yondu broke into his capturer's base, telling the guy:
"You mess with one Ravager, you mess with all of them. Now, give back the kid, before I lose patience."
The determination and anger was flaming in Yondu's red eyes like never before. Peter, who was tied up and guarded by two thugs, felt the cold duffer on his right temple as the main capturer pointed his gun at boy's head.
"It's kind of cute that Yondu Udonta cares so much about that Terran weakling." He said, smiling smugly. "Someone could say that you have become soft."
"Well" Yondu returned the smile. "I can't say, I didn't warn you."
He started to whistle and before the guy could realize it, all his men and he himself had a holes in their chests, because of Yondu's arrow.
Peter had been untied and taken by Ravagers to their ship. On their way home, Yondu once or twice was eyeing the kid and he even asked at one point how Peter feels. The boy could see in his captain's gaze a flicker of worry and protectiveness. Yondu was even scolding him for being reckless, but he couldn't hide the relief of having Peter back.
Soon Peter realized that – as crazy as it sounded – he considered Yondu his father figure. The blue alien had most of the qualities of regular parent – he cared for a child under his wings, he tried to teach them life, he was protecting his charge when they were in danger, and expressed pride if said charge did something impressive. Even his rants were more or less fatherly. And – to his personal astonishment – Peter didn't mind to have Yondu as his father figure. The guy was – all in all – a badass, who could take care of himself and others.
Nevertheless, as most kids in age of adolescence, Peter started to test the boundaries. He was talking back more, he was making fun of Yondu and doing things his own way. The captain was scolding him, calling him an idiot and even punishing him, but for the most part he wasn't doing anything too harsh or banishing the kid from the crew. After some time Peter had left the Ravagers and bought his own spaceship, but he never lose the contact with Yondu. The man was many times ordering him to do some jobs and Peter was happy to obliged.
And even now, when Peter Quill, known as Star Lord, had his own crew, called Guardians of the Galaxy, he never forgot about Yondu and Ravagers. And he really was grateful to the blue alien. Not because he didn't let his men eat him, but because he made Peter the way he was now.
PS. I can try to write a full story of Peter's kidnapping and Yondu rescuing him, if you would like to see it. Because I feel like I didn't use the full potential of this idea.