A Good Day

Title: A Good Day

Author: Gumnut

18 – 21 Jul 2018

Fandom: Thunderbirds Are Go 2015

Rating: Teen

Summary: “What’s been bugging you enough to bug the rest of
us? C’mon, you ripped John a new one yesterday, Alan has been hiding from you
for the last week, and if Scott asks me one more time if I’ve done anything to
set you off, I’m going to leave something flammable in his bathtub. What is
wrong, Virg?”

Word count: 6000

Spoilers & warnings: Nothing specific other than a
mention of a character from 1.08

Author’s note: This fic was not supposed to end up like
this. I’m blaming Virgil and Gordon, they wrote this thing and I was just along
for the ride. Not beta’d. I don’t know if it works, I’ve been staring at it too
long, but I hope you enjoy it.

Disclaimer: Mine? You’ve got to be kidding. Money? Don’t
have any, don’t bother.

 

“Get your feet off the dash!”

Gordon, of course, paid him no attention. Laid back in the
co-pilot’s seat, he languished, reading his tablet.

Virgil stalked across the cockpit with his coffee,
thoroughly satisfied with his decision to grab the last piece of cake. “Get
your feet off the dash, or I will remove them myself.”

“Geez, Virg. Take a chill pill.” The feet stayed on the
console.

Sitting down, Virgil reached over and retracted the
co-pilot’s seat, sending it flying backwards. Gordon’s feet hit the deck with a
thud.

“Ow! What is your problem?” The aquanaut glared at him.

“At this very moment? You.”

“Huh? Well, you just need to relax, man. C’mon, we’ve got an
hour at least. Put your feet up and take a moment. It’s not like we get many.”
Gordon returned to his tablet, a slight frown on his face. A foot lifted up…

“You put your foot anywhere near that console and you are
swimming home.”

The foot dropped back to the deck and Gordon turned his back
to his brother.

Virgil sighed and closed his eyes for a moment, leaning back
and letting the sound of his girl vibrate through his bones, to shake away the
aggravation. Gordon was right about one thing. It was a rare moment to sit and
do nothing. They were returning from a boat rescue in Norway. A ferry had
collided with a fishing boat and both were taking on water. Fortunately,
Thunderbird Two and the two brothers were already in Scotland assisting with a
North Sea exploratory station when it happened and were able to dart across to
Scandinavia and rescue the three hundred and five people involved. A very
successful rescue had been had despite the freezing cold.

Now they just needed to cross two oceans to get home again.

“So, boxers or briefs?”

“What?” He turned to look at his younger brother.

“Boxers or briefs? Which is it?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“It’s not me, its these IRFs. They are having a discussion
about our preferences.” An eyebrow raised as he peered closer at his tablet.

“Irfs?”

“International Rescue Fans. C’mon, Virg, get with it, you
know we have groupies.”

“If you say so.”

“So, boxers or briefs?”

“If you had lifted a finger in your life to assist with the
laundry, you wouldn’t have to ask.”

“I do laundry.”

“You do piles of unwashed clothes.”

“They get washed eventually.”

“Yes, but not by you.”

“Eh, washed is washed, Virgo.”

Virgil sputtered into his coffee and turned towards his
brother. “Virgo?” There was enough warning in his tone to arm a nuclear
warhead.

Gordon smiled up at him. “Virgo.” A glare full of dare.

“Say that again.”

“Virgo.” Gordon grinned. “Virgo, Virgo, Virgo.” Then he
laughed out loud. “Virgo!”

-o-o-o-

Alan Tracy was chasing a demented autovac when the
holographic system in the comms room flashed on. He stood up, fully expecting
to see John, but was surprised to encounter a giant foot flickering in the
middle of the living room.

He snatched up the autovac before it could escape, but
jumped when the comms shouted in Virgil’s voice, ‘Get your feet off the dash!’

He stared. Definitely Gordon’s boot, yellow stripe and all. ‘Get
your feet off the dash, or I will remove them myself.’

‘Geez, Virg. Take a chill pill.’

There was a clunk and suddenly the boot disappeared to be
replaced by an angry Virgil and an exasperated Gordon. It became immediately
clear that they had no idea they were transmitting. Alan stepped back and
around the transmitter making sure to keep out of range of the holoprojector. A
quick look at the channel reassured him that it was secure to International
Rescue, he could see it, the team could see it, but no one outside the
organisation had access, thankfully. He reached out to kill the connection.

‘So, boxers or briefs?’

His hand hesitated.

-o-o-o-

Virgil glared at his brother. He could kill him, but that
would be messy and the paperwork would suck. “You are so not worth it.” He
turned back to his coffee.

“Virgo. Hey, Virgo! Virgo. Virgo. Virgo!”

“WHAT?!”

“Made you answer.”

Maybe the paperwork would be worth it. “What is it with you?!”

“What is it with you? You’re the one who is all grumpy
pants.”

“I wonder why.” He buried his face in his coffee, fighting
against the tension in his shoulders.

“So do I. You’ve been like a bear with a sore head all day.
It has been a good day. We’ve saved hundreds of lives. Nobody died. We have a
moment of peace and you’re a grumpy ass.”

The knots twisted tighter. “There has been no moment of
peace, Gordon. You simply won’t shut up!”

“This is not you, Virgil! What the hell is wrong with you?”

“There is nothing wrong with me! It is you! You’re being an
irritating pain in the ass. Why don’t you shut up and leave me in peace!”

“Fine.”

Gordon grabbed his tablet, shot to his feet and stormed out
of the cabin.

Oh, thank god.

-o-o-o-

Scott was halfway across the Pacific when the transmission
came in. He was on his way back from Japan, having been requested to speak at a
seminar for GDF first responders. It wasn’t often IR appeared anywhere but at
rescues, but this had been a special request from Colonel Casey and having
personally met some of the attendees at said rescues, he had made an exception.
He may not be able to share their technology, but shared experience could help
save many more lives. Security had been tight, but Kayo had insisted on going
with him in any case. Her ‘Bird was pacing him a few hundred metres behind.

The sight of his brother’s footwear caused a smirk. He
opened his mouth to interrupt, but something held him back.

It was worth a laugh at first, ‘Boxers or briefs?’ But then
something soured, it all went wrong, his brothers were yelling at each other.
Gordon was being his usual jerk self, but Virgil was…Virgil was not Virgil.

Virgil was angry. Really angry. Something so out of
character, so raw, it stunned him for a moment.

Gordon cracked and stormed out.

There was silence for a moment, and Scott saw all the
energy, all the anger suddenly drain out of his brother. Virgil’s body slumped
in his seat, his eyes closed, his face crumpling to one of anguish for just a
moment before letting his head drop forward into his hands.

Oh god, was he crying?!

Scott’s mind blanked for a moment. What the hell had
happened? What was wrong? Where had this come from?

Why hadn’t he seen it coming?

He reached out to contact his brother, but a hand landed on
the holographic man’s shoulder and once again something held him back.

-o-o-o-

Gordon paused by the hatch, looking back at his hunched over
brother. Well, that had failed absolutely brilliantly. He should have known
better. Virgil was not Scott, he was not Alan, and nobody was John. Poking the
bear could have worked, but obviously it didn’t.

He sighed under his breath.

He’d been watching his brother all day. Grumpy was a word,
but it wasn’t quite the right word. His performance was excellent, of course.
You don’t save three hundred odd people from the Norwegian Sea by being sloppy.
He would never expect anything less from Virgil. But his spark had been
missing. Even while in Scotland, even underwater in the new sea station
surrounded by the vibrant life of the ocean, there had been a dead look in his
brother’s eyes. It had bugged him. This wasn’t Virgil. Something was wrong. The
gentle energy that poured off the man was absent and it left Gordon adrift.

So he poked the bear.

And somehow made it worse.

He wasn’t good at this. Damnit.

In the shadows of the cockpit, Virgil’s shoulders were
shaking just that little bit.

Oh, man. He was so not the right person for this. Scott was
going to kill him.

But there was something wrong and he was the only brother
available. Drawing in a breath he stepped back into the cockpit, walked softly
over to his brother and put a hand on his shoulder.

The uniform under his fingers jerked, and Virgil looked up,
tired but dry eyes staring at him.

Oh, thank god. Tears were so far beyond his skill set, he
would have ended up crying himself and then where would they have been? There
was something about seeing his older, usually steadfast brother vulnerable that
just tore as chunk out of his chest. A chunk he usually needed to breathe.

He crouched down by his brother’s seat, his hand slipping
from the man’s shoulder to his thigh. Brown eyes tracked his movements, a
slightly puzzled frown forming between them.

Well, honesty was apparently the best policy. “Tell me what
you need, Virg. I want to help, but I’m not good at this. What is wrong?”

A slow blink. A deep voice, laced with a thread of strain.
“Nothing is wrong, Gordon. I’m just tired.” His brother straightened in his
seat, the façade falling back into place.

Aww, c’mon, Virg, I know I’m not Scott, but I’m not stupid
either. Though, at least he wasn’t yelling at him anymore.

His hand tightened on tough fabric.

“I’m fine. Honest, Gordy.” Virgil sat up straighter in his
seat. The façade got thicker, and Gordon couldn’t help but feel a tendril of
rejection winding up his spine. It twisted as Virgil put a hand on his shoulder
in reassurance. “It’s okay.”

“You don’t need to go all big brother on me, Virgil. I’m old
enough to know when my brother is hurting, and I love you enough to try and do
something to help you.”

The hand on his shoulder froze. And retreated.

Those brown eyes widened and, for just a moment, the vulnerability
welled up, surfaced and was exposed.

-o-o-o-

Sally Tracy had her heart in her throat.

As the holograms played out before her she had been ripped
from amusement, to worry, to fear, all wrapped in that all-encompassing love
for her grandchildren.

She had an idea of what might be upsetting Virgil. Today had
been a good day, but there had been weeks before today, that hadn’t. She’d been
watching him, knowing he was prone to neglecting himself, knowing he tended to
take in more than the other boys, his professional façade just that slightly
more porous to the emotions of others.

She had planned to speak to Scott. They were due for another
shopping trip. Due for a little time out.

But apparently Gordon had stepped up to the plate.

All her instincts were screaming to go to her boys, embrace
them both, protect them from the world, but they were somewhere on the other
side of the Pacific, several thousand metres up in the air. She only had
holograms to reach out to.

And she dare not interrupt.

-o-o-o-

Virgil looked down at Gordon and saw the years of experience
behind those eyes. Eyes not unlike his own, but framed by such a different face
and personality, and just for that one moment, every thing washed away and all
he felt was love for his little brother.

But the question was still waiting to be answered.

Virgil broke eye contact, looking down, and let his body go
slack. “I don’t know, Gordon.” His voice was quiet, almost husky with
exhaustion. “Maybe I am just tired.”

The hand on his knee tightened again. It wasn’t enough.

An exasperated sigh. “I don’t know! Maybe. It’s been a long
stretch this time. Again.” His hands shot out for emphasis. “You said it
yourself – it’s been a good day because nobody died!” And he was raising his
voice again. “Is that really how we gauge our good days? Is the bar really that
low?” Is this what his life was? Running from one misery to the next,
desperately trying to keep his head above the terror and the pain? “Is this
really a Good Day?”

-o-o-o-

John floated in space, his hand poised to reach for the off
switch, frozen.

‘Is this really a Good Day?’

Something in his stomach curdled. His whole mind, body and
self cringed away from the question. That way lay doubt, and loss, and change,
and a multitude of other factors he was unwilling to consider.

Things are as they are because that is the way they are
meant to be.

Elsewhere lay weakness, and reasons to be not as he is now.

Gordon didn’t answer immediately. His gaze drifted down as
if marshalling his thoughts, before looking back up at his brother. ‘I don’t
know, Virgil.’ He pressed his lips together. ‘All I know is that I have you, I
have Scott, John, Alan, Kayo, Brains and Grandma.” He looked away, nibbling his
bottom lip before turning back and latching onto his brother’s eyes. ‘We live
an amazing life, Virg. We give up a lot, but there are people on this planet
who will never see what we’ve seen. We have been everywhere. I mean Everywhere.
And we make a difference. You make a difference. You have saved so many people,
Virgil. So many souls. So many brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers and
fathers.’ He swallowed again before turning back to Virgil and pinning him with
his eyes. ‘We have our health and we have each other, so, yes, Virgil, it is a
damn good day.’

Gordon sat back on his heels.

‘And I know you know that, because you’ve told me on so many
occasions that I can now spout it by rote. So tell me, what has my big brother
forgetting one of his core mantras?’

John’s hand dropped to his side.

-o-o-o-

Virgil was forced to smile. He couldn’t help it. Part of him
was so proud, so gobsmacked, so lucky to be family with this man. “I so love
you right now.”

Gordon’s eyes widened and he stumbled backwards to his feet.
“Aaw, man.”

“Hey, hey.” Virgil reached out and snagged his hand. Gordon
tried to pull away, but for once, Virgil played on his strength. “Come here.
Look at me.” Very much now the usual resistant younger brother, Gordon
reluctantly looked down at Virgil. “That means a lot. You mean a lot. To me.
Never forget that.” He gripped his brother’s hand a little tighter for emphasis
before letting go.

Gordon rolled his eyes. “How could I with you around?” He
shifted his feet. “Now spill. What’s been bugging you enough to bug the rest of
us? C’mon, you ripped John a new one yesterday, Alan has been hiding from you
for the last week, and if Scott asks me one more time if I’ve done anything to
set you off, I’m going to leave something flammable in his bathtub. What is
wrong, Virg?”

“Apart from you calling me, Virg?”

“It’s a pet name.” Virgil glared. “A sign of fondness?” He raised
an eyebrow. “Would you prefer Virgo?”

“I’m a Leo.” Thank god he had been born a couple weeks
early.

“I noticed. Several times today as you tried to tear my head
off with your teeth.” He waved his hand in the direction of Virgil’s head. “And
then there is that mane thing you’ve got going there.”

Virgil sighed, letting his shoulders drop, but didn’t
answer.

“C’mon, Virg, tell me, so we can fix it.”

Virgil sighed. “Gordon, I appreciate what you are trying to
do. I do, honestly. But-“ He threw his hands up in the air. “I don’t know.
Everything is just-“ He frowned. “I’ll speak to Alan and Scott when we get
home, apologise. I can call John. I-“ A swallow. “I’ll try to be less of a
bear.”

“I thought you were a lion.”

Virgil rolled his eyes. “Okay, smart ass.” A more serious
tone. “I will do better, I promise.”

The scepticism on Gordon’s face was anything but
encouraging. “I don’t want you to do better, I want you to be happy.”

-o-o-o-

There was a flicker of pain in Virgil’s eyes before he
looked away.

Goddamnit! The guy just didn’t get it. This wasn’t about
altering his behaviour, this was about finding the problem and getting help to
fix it.  Was it his innate selflessness
or his pig-headed refusal to let anyone in?

Gordon turned his back on his brother and sat down in the
co-pilot’s seat. So, honesty didn’t work. Check. There was even a dash of
sensitivity in there for bonus points and that failed as well. Well, his
toolbox was completely blown. Guess this would need to be handballed to Scott.
After all the two eldest had that bond thing going. Maybe old blue eyes could
talk some sense into him.

Of course, now the cockpit was ominously silent. Well as
silent as it could get with those massive thrusters roaring out their backend.
He eyed the navigation panel. Damn, still a good forty minutes to go before he
could escape.

He eyed his brother sideways. Virgil was staring out the
window, a lost look on his face, his fingers absently tapping out an agitated
beat on the side console.

At least if they were home, Gordon could shove the man in
front of his piano. The distraction couldn’t hurt. And hey, free music.

Virgil’s fingers continued to tap to an unseen beat.

Actually, come to think of it, he hadn’t heard Virgil
playing the piano recently. He tried to think back to when he’d last heard or
seen his brother playing his instrument. He frowned. There was Alan’s
birthday…but that had been interrupted by that power plant in Saigon. Grandma’s
birthday. He’d played that new composition just for her.

But that was over six months ago.

Damned if he could remember his brother sitting down to play
at any other more recent time. Sure, it was a background thing for Gordon, he
didn’t pay that much attention. Virgil played the piano, it was his thing, he
was pretty damn good at it, and as long as it didn’t collide with what Gordon
wanted to do, whatever.

But he knew enough to know that it was important to Virgil.

Like the water was important to Gordon.

He eyed his brother again. Virgil ran a tired hand through
his hair. “What, Gordon?”

“Nothing.” He pointed towards the cockpit door. “I’m just
going to go check on Thunderbird Four. Just remembered she hit some ice with
her left thruster. Want to make sure there isn’t any damage.”

Virgil’s eyes betrayed him. He knew an excuse when he heard
one. “Let me know if you need a hand.”

Gordon held back a flinch. “Will do.”

He escaped.

-o-o-o-

Brains jumped when the call came in. He hurriedly shut down
his view of Virgil staring out the windows of Thunderbird Two, the guilt making
him trip over his own chair.

“G-Gordon! Uh, what can I d-do for you?”

“Need your help, Brains.” The bright yellow of Thunderbird
Four’s cockpit haloed the second youngest Tracy. “How is Virgil’s birthday
present going?”

Blink. “Uh, as-sembled it yesterday. I’d still like to do a
f-few last tests.”

“We need to give it to him today.”

“W-why?”

“It needs to be today, Brains. It can’t wait until next
month. He needs it today. Can you upload it to Thunderbird Four?”

He did the math and considered the equipment specs needed.
“You will need a secondary projector.”

“Will the one in TB4 do the job?”

“Yes.” He was going to cannibalise his own craft? But then
considering what Brains had witnessed earlier…this might be a viable plan.

“Send it up. I’ll set it up.” He paused a moment. “I’m sorry,
I know you’ve put a lot of work into it, but trust me. He needs this. He really
does.”

“I trust you, G-Gordon.”

“Thank you. I owe you big time.”

“Y-you owe me n-nothing, Gordon. Just help him.” Yes, Brains
had been a witness to the second eldest Tracy’s issues recently. All the boys
had their moments, but Virgil in particular had been having a bad time. It was
times like this that he missed Jeff the most.

Gordon signed off. Brains took a breath, let it out, and set
to work.

-o-o-o-

Virgil’s coffee had gone cold. The cake still sat beside
him, but it was forgotten.

What the hell was wrong with him?

He could not ask for more. There was no more. He had
everything he could ever want. Gordon had proven that.

So why did he feel this way? Everything felt grey,
lacklustre, colourless. He wasn’t sleeping well. Faces, so many faces.

He told Gordon he didn’t know because, honestly, he didn’t.
Perhaps if he did, he could fix it himself, but so far, no clue.

The human body didn’t come with a manual.

“Virgil.”

He jumped. He hadn’t heard Gordon return. “How’s TB4? Any
damage?”

“She’s good.” Gordon had something bundled in his hands.
“Uh, I’ve got something for you.” He raised a hand full of electronics. “No,
stay there. Here, just let me set this up.”

Gordon reached around him and put something yellow on the
side console. Virgil frowned in alarm. “Is that Thunderbird Four’s
holoprojector?”

“Yup. Here hold this while I plug this in.” Gordon reached
around him again, plugging a cord into the main console. He then reached down
and pulled the pilot’s chair back to it’s furthest distance from the dash.

“Hey. What are you up to?”

“Trust me, Virg, you are going to like this.”

“That’s exactly what you said when you decided Thunderbird
Two needed a camouflage paint job.” He eyed the yellow holoprojector. “And
Brains wanted to scalp you that time, too.”

“Brains, knows what I’m doing.”

“He does?”

“I said trust me, Virg.” He reached around to the other side
of the pilot’s seat and placed down another holoprojector. “That should do it.”
Another plug slid into the dash. Gordon stepped back and flipped a switch.

The two projectors threw out strands of light that met in
the middle. They interwove above his lap, forming the familiar haze of your
average hologram.

Virgil sucked in a breath.

“Wait for it.”

Secondary pulses of energy shot out and followed the
tracings of the first display. The hologram focussed and intensified.

Into a piano keyboard.

Virgil looked up at his brother, vaguely aware that his
mouth was open.

“Go on, touch it.”

He reached out a finger and brushed it against a single key.
It touched back. It felt solid. “H-how?”

“Brains. He has been working on it for a while.” Gordon
grinned. “Happy birthday, big brother.”

He couldn’t speak. He reached down and played a single note.
It rung around the cockpit, echoing off her hard shell. He played another and
it chased the first.

“Brains said you can make it as long as a full piano or
shorter, depending on your needs. It is tied into the ship’s sound system here,
but it will support a proper instrumental amplifier and all the gizmos you
could want. Fully portable, of course. We can rig it up with its own
specialised projectors when we get home.”

Virgil grabbed his hand and held it tight.

Gordon’s lips curved into a small smile.

Softly. “Play me something, Virgil.”

-o-o-o-

Kayo wasn’t one for crying. She was more likely to go out
and injure a piece of gym equipment, but there was no punching bag in
Thunderbird Shadow’s cockpit.

Her second eldest brother touched the keys. Hesitantly at
first as he got a feel for the holographic instrument, testing the sound and
response. A note here, a chord there, a simple tune, a practise routine. His
lips parted, drawing in breath.

Then he closed his eyes, and feeling with only touch and
sound, began to play.

Familiar notes, an old favourite. His fingers danced across
the keys. As he fell into the music, she watched his face, his frown smoothing
out and a slight, occupied smile curving his lips.

Gordon stood in the background, arms crossed over his chest,
his own smile and just a hint of hope on his face.

The comfortable tune morphed into a more complex
composition, the notes interweaving over and under each other. Grandma’s
special piece made an appearance, Virgil’s smile deepening as the love behind
it vibrated the air around him.

But soon it began to fade. Darker notes started to take
precedence. The frown reappeared on her brother’s face. His fingers moved
faster, the sounds became more strident and, suddenly, all familiarity was
taken by emotion.

-o-o-o-

Scott sat in the dark of the hanger.

Oh, Virgil.

His brother’s fingers played as if of their own volition. Lost
to the music, Virgil swayed gently in his seat. One hand spoke anger, the other
spoke pain, but amongst the notes a single spritely tune spoke of hope. It
interwove, dancing back and forth, teasing, only to be joined by a partner,
then another.

All harmonised with the persistent background roar of
Thunderbird Two.

-o-o-o-

His grandmother had tears running down her face.

Alan looked up at her, his own heart wretched. He had never
heard his brother play like this. He was no classical music fancier, but this
said so much more.

So much pain, but so much hope. It was as if the music was
trying to save someone, reaching out with all its might, its fingertips
straining to keep someone from falling.

It kept trying and trying.

-o-o-o-

Space wasn’t silent. It was crying.

John had his hand resting gently on EOS’ frame and his eyes
closed. She had stopped asking him questions, stopped querying his reactions.
She didn’t understand, but trusted that he did.

His other hand reached up to cover his eyes, whether to hide
from the expression on his brother’s face or to try and comfort himself he
didn’t know.

Virgil was bleeding music.

He hadn’t heard his brother cry in years, but this was, this
was the sound of tears. How long had this been building up? How long had his
brother been feeling this way?

But amongst all the pain, there was so much hope. A
searching, a need, a determination. John looked up at his brother to find him
biting his bottom lip, his frown of concentration so intense it looked painful.

“EOS, prepare the elevator. I need to go home.”

-o-o-o-

Gordon stood behind his brother getting worried. Had he
screwed this up too?

It was like Virgil was throwing all of himself onto the
keys. They were taking one hell of a pounding and Gordon hoped Brain’s
handywork could support the abuse.

But it seemed Virgil needed to do it.

What appeared to be a little downer Gordon thought he could
poke out of his brother, now seemed so much bigger. Gordon didn’t understand
music much, so not his thing, but this was so primal, so raw…

It ached. It hurt.

The music rose suddenly to a yell, and some of the darker
notes fell away. Virgil’s right hand danced across some of the higher pitched keys
and the music began to lose weight, began to rise, the hope slowly overcoming
the loss.

His brother’s head tipped slightly to one side still swaying
just slightly, as the metre ticked the seconds by.

The song changed as the pain gradually slipped away. A
strident single dance of keys became the lead, idly waltzing across the
keyboard, back and forth. His left hand slowed leaving Virgil’s right to the
majority of the tune, until it too began to slow.

Both hands came together, notes dropping like autumn leaves,
the sound softer and softer, until there was five, then four, three, and two.
One.

And silence.

Virgil slumped over the keyboard breathing heavily, his head
in his hands.

“You have no idea how much I needed that.” It was muffled,
but Gordon heard it.

No, dear brother, but I can see.

They sat in silence. No words. None wanted. Thunderbird Two
continued her song.

Tracy Island appeared on the horizon.

“We’re home, Virg.” It was quiet, but Virgil heard him.

He sat up wearily, looking down at the keyboard, then back
at his brother. “How?”

“Oh.” Gordon quickly cut the power to the hologram,
unplugged and removed the projectors. He said nothing about the unshed tears in
his brother’s eyes, just secured the precious equipment in preparation for
landing.

Virgil shook himself, sat up straight, engaging his seat
with the console, and was suddenly completely the professional pilot and
International Rescue Operative he always was. Numbers started flying about the
cockpit as autopilot was disengaged and Thunderbird Two began her descent
towards home.

-o-o-o-

As his ‘Bird finished her rotation in her hanger, he cut off
her engines and for the first time in so many hours, there was true silence.

He looked down at his hands, aware of what he had likely
exposed to his brother, but ever so, so grateful. “Thank you, Gordon. For
everything.”

“No thanks needed, bro.” Gordon climbed out of his co-pilot
seat. “I’m just going to go and see to my little yellow submarine.” And he
wandered off, as nonchalant as ever.

His big brother couldn’t help but smile.

-o-o-o-

Virgil was exhausted, but he had to check up on Scott and
Kayo. For some reason they hadn’t reported making it back yet. He hoped it was
only a communication glitch, because he didn’t think he had the energy to save
anyone at this moment.

He was completely drained. Of everything.

It had been such a release to finally let himself fall into
the music. Let it out, break the dam. He hadn’t realised it had been so long
since he had played. He should know better. His art was his outlet. It was the
only way to relieve the stress of his occupation and he hadn’t had time over
the last few months to really sit down and let himself go. To busy, too tired, too
interrupted, too everything.

He had to make a point of making time. He needed this or it
would all fall apart. He should have recognised the signs, but again, too much
of everything.

He had never thought Gordon…

God, he was a lucky man to have such a family.

Speaking of family…

He came up behind Gordon who was standing just inside the
entrance to the comms room. Still in his uniform, like Virgil, he was standing
almost at attention.

“Gordy, what-“

Then his eyes caught the tableau.

His entire family, including John and Brains, even Max and
EOS were standing in the lounge staring at the two of them.

Grandma had tears in her eyes.

What the hell? “What’s wrong?” He dropped the bag he was
carrying and rushed forward. “Grandma?” His hackles rose and he looked around
the room attempting to find out what the source of the trouble was. His eyes
latched onto Scott’s and found worry.

His grandmother reached up and gently turned him to face
her. Her eyes were glistening. Her voice was rough. “You are a most wonderful
boy.” And she had her arms around his neck, pulling him down into a tight
embrace. “I love you. We love you. Never forget it.”

He looked up at Scott, getting more worried by the second.
“What happened?”

It was Gordon who answered, his voice so quiet. “They heard
it, Virgil. Heard it all.”

“Heard what?” Would someone please tell him what the hell
was going on.

Scott moved closer to him. Virgil looked up as he
approached, his brother’s wary expression setting off alarm bells in his head.
He straightened, gently letting his grandmother find her feet as he turned to
face his older brother.

A hand reached out and rested on his shoulder. “Virgil,
Thunderbird Two’s comms have been open for the last hour. We all heard you and
Gordon…and your music.”

Virgil’s heart dropped and his eyes widened. He took a step
back, Scott’s hand falling from his shoulder. He swallowed to find his voice.
“How?”

“Gordon’s feet on the dash.”

He spun around towards his co-pilot. Scott caught his arm.
“Did you know?” Anger and acute embarrassment welled up.

But Gordon looked as horrified as he felt. His arms shot up
defensively. “No, god, Virgil, no, I swear. I’d never –“ He took a step back.
“It was an accident.”

“Virgil.” Scott was pulling him gently backwards. He turned
to face his brother, his face flaming. “Are you okay?”

He grit his teeth. “I’m fine.” He moved to pull away, but
Scott held him fast. “I’m fine!” Again he moved to pull away, but to his
surprise, his brother pulled him into his arms and embraced him.

No words, Scott’s arms just tightened.

Virgil’s heart leapt up into his throat as he automatically hugged
back. “Scott?”

The arms tightened even more before his brother finally
pulled away, obviously fighting for composure. “You…you need to take better
care of yourself.”

Embarrassment warred with regret. “I’m sorry.”

“No, you don’t get to say that.” Kayo stalked over into his
personal space, her expression angry. She shoved a finger into the centre of
his chest. “Don’t you dare apologise and don’t you dare be embarrassed. That
was the most powerful piece of music I have ever heard, and it was all you.” A
breath. “You have no need to hide yourself, Virgil. We’re your family and just
like Gordon we love you enough to want to help. I don’t know how long you’ve
been bottling all that up, but if that help requires me to hogtie you to your
piano every morning I will.”

He stared at her wide-eyed, but some of the embarrassment
lifted. “You are truly scary.”

She stabbed him with her finger again. “And don’t you forget
it.” A fond smile crept onto her face and it was her turn to wrap her arms
around him and bury her head into his chest.

“I’m okay.” He held her tight.

“You better be.”

-o-o-o-

Alan let a breath out, finally letting himself relax. He
didn’t want to admit it, but for a bit there, he had been scared. He knew
Virgil was the artistic type, the only one amongst the six of them, he knew
that sometimes made him react just that more to a situation, sometimes weirdly,
but the emotion in that music, the pain on his brother’s face…he hadn’t known
that was possible, much less that Virgil had been carrying it around with him.

As John walked over to his dark-haired brother and placed a
hand on his shoulder, Alan saw Virgil finally, truly smile.

Alan found himself grinning with relief. And he wasn’t the
only one – there were a whole range of goofy faces around the room now.

Except for Gordon.

His water brother was still standing outside the circle of
the lounge, his expression worried.

Stepping around the sofa, Alan climbed up the steps,
reaching out. “Hey, you did good.”

“I did?” He was still staring at the huddle of family. “But
will he ever forgive me?”

Alan stood beside him. “He’s forgiven you for a whole lot
worse. Remember the tarantulas?”

“Which ones?”

“Exactly.”

Gordon looked at him and a smile finally broke through. Alan
grinned back.

In the circle of the lounge, Virgil had broken away from his
sister and was now bear-hugging their hapless engineer. Brains almost looked
frightened. Alan’s grin widened. “Do you think he needs rescuing?”

“Nah. He can handle it. Serves him right for coming up with
that idea anyway.”

They stood there for a moment, side by side. “You know we’ll
have to keep an eye on him.” Gordon’s voice was quiet.

“No more than he does on us, bro.”

Half a laugh and Gordon wrapped an arm around his shoulder
and squeezed.

Yes, it was a Good Day.

A damn good one.

-o-o-o-

FIN.

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