Gentle Rain (Part 8)

Title: Gentle
Rain

Warm Rain Series

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Author: Gumnut

27 – 28 Jan 2019

Fandom:
Thunderbirds Are Go 2015/ Thunderbirds TOS

Rating: Teen

Summary:
Sometimes it is so gentle, you don’t realise it is happening.

Word count: 3298

Spoilers &
warnings: Virgil/Kayo, Scott/OC, spoilers for Warm Rain up to this point in the
timeline.

Timeline: Six
months after ‘The Proposal’, almost a sequel.

Author’s note: For @scribbles97 Many thanks to both @scribbles97 and @the-lady-razorsharp for
their assistance on this chapter. This fic is different to anything I have ever
written and it is teaching me much. Thank you for sharing this journey with me
and for all your wonderful support.

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

-o-o-o-

He didn’t let go.

He kept her hand warm in his through the
entire tour of the huge villa the Tracy family lived in. She didn’t comment,
simply enjoying his touch. She listened as he explained how the Island had
become their home, how his father had a vision and the money and passion to see
it all to reality.

He smiled at her, made her laugh and was
genuinely charming.

And he still kept her hand.

She met Sally Tracy, the island’s
matriarch. The woman took one look at their clasped hands before wishing her
the best and excusing herself on the flimsiest reason Em had ever heard.

Em also didn’t miss the look the older
woman sent her eldest grandson. Whatever she was trying to get across hit home
because Em had the pleasure of watching Scott flush scarlet.

Apparently, there were things of which only
grandmothers were capable.

He didn’t comment, though, and shortly
after they were in yet another elevator.

There was a silence and she looked at him
sideways. His expression was thoughtful, staring at the wall, but so obviously
not seeing it.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

He blinked and that smile came back. “I was
just thinking about you.”

“Oh? Were they good thoughts?”

His lips quirked. “Most definitely.” One of
his fingers rubbed across the back of hers.

She arched an eyebrow, but before she could
comment, the elevator doors opened and with a whir of hover jets, he led her
out into a massive gallery.

One wall was entirely glass, at least two
stories tall, and on both sides it curved around behind them.

The view drew her forward. They were at one
of the highest points on the island. The villa lay sprawled below them, the
caldera lagoon sparkling in the late afternoon light.

“God, it’s beautiful.”

“That it is.”

She looked over at him. His eyes reflected
the shine of the windows and just a little pride.

“You’ve accomplished so much.”

His smile slipped crooked. “We do what we
can.”

“And you do it well.”

He looked up at her at that, his eyes
thoughtful, but he didn’t say anything before returning his gaze to the view.
“I owe you a thankyou.”

She blinked. “You do?”

He looked at her again. “For our
conversations in the hospital. They made my stay not only tolerable, but
enjoyable.” Again with the soft smile.

She grinned. “So, you planning on
converting to Trekdom?”

A soft laugh. “Maybe. Though I will need a
little more convincing.”

“Oh?”

He let her hand go and reached up to touch
her cheek. “I have wanted to touch you for days now.” A finger moved to her
temple and traced a line down her cheek bone across to the corner of her mouth.
Her eyes closed as that finger brushed her bottom lip.

Warm breath and the finger was replaced by
his lips, ever so gentle, asking, needing. She parted her own and let him in.

Oh.

His hand was on the back of her neck,
tangled in her hair. Her hands found his shoulders, smooth muscle moving
beneath her fingertips through the thin material of his shirt. His tongue…

And then he was gone.

She blinked, the air suddenly cold on her
sensitive lips. What?

He was leaning forward, groaning.

Shit.

“Scott?”

“Ow, damnit.”

He had been stretching his left side. Her
shoulders slumped. “Oh, you silly bugger.” Reaching over she helped him
straighten up.

He sat back and panted through it. “Well,
it’s not easy being romantic with a hole in my gut.”

She rolled her eyes and moved herself
closer, brazen despite everything. Those gorgeous blue eyes were staring up at
her. She would call them puppy-like except it would have to be a puppy with one
hell of an attitude. A smile crept onto her lips. “Then perhaps you should call
for help.”

An arched eyebrow. “Help?”

She smiled, leant down and took his lips
with hers. His response was immediate. His arm wrapped around her, drawing her
close. His right hand, caught in its cast, hovered at her waist. His tongue
brushed hers.

He tasted warm, an energy burning beneath a
calm surface.

She gasped in air when they finally broke
apart, her heart thudding in her ears.

His arm stayed around her waist, holding
her to him and she bit her lip, reflecting the smile that spread across his
face. He looked as if he was about to say something, but was interrupted by a
distant roar.

Instinctively they both looked up just in
time to see Thunderbird Two fire her VTOL, coming into land on the other side
of the island. Immediately, she felt him tense, the Commander slipping into
place.

His smile was considerably weaker when his
eyes returned to hers. “Duty calls.”

She felt daring, but she couldn’t resist
touching his face, echoing the line he had traced across hers, her finger
brushing his lips.

A brush of her mouth against his and she
pulled away.

He let her go, but caught her hand once
more.

Nothing was said in the elevator, and she
expressed no surprise that it deposited them directly into the lounge. They
whirred as a pair into the room. John still sat at the desk, murmuring softly
to someone over his comm, Kayo to one side of him, obviously on edge. Alan sat
sprawled across one of the sunken lounges. He looked up as they entered and
shot to his feet. “Doctor Harris!” His eyes landed on the hoverscoot and she
saw the calculations wash through his mind. His brow crumpled and his shoulders
slumped. “Oh, I am so sorry. I hadn’t heard.”

The hand in hers tightened.

-o-o-o-

Kayo leant against the edge of Jeff Tracy’s
desk, her hands gripping the Art Deco curves of wood involuntarily. It had been
coincidental that she had been in the room the moment John had let out a rush
of expletives in three different languages. She expected he hadn’t realised she
was there, far more used to monitor duty with only Eos for company.

But she was there, so she was standing at
his shoulder when TB2’s external cam’s threw a wall of holographic seawater at
them. She had stopped breathing as the camera had disappeared under that same
water for a matter of solid seconds. Her eyes had tracked the readouts from
Two’s systems. She had seen how close it had been.

And the vitals signal from Virgil’s
uniform.

She only wanted him back in her arms, to
check him over for herself.

Scott and Em entered the room hand in hand
and were greeted by Alan, but she only paid them minimal attention as Virgil
and Gordon, still in their uniforms, strode in from the elevator behind them.

She met him halfway and he smiled at her
with tired eyes. Slipping an arm around his waist, she nudged him towards the
lounge and took a seat beside him. He let the couch take his weight and lay his
head back with a sigh.

In contrast, Gordon bounced down the steps
to take his seat next to Alan, clapping his younger brother upside the head
when he neglected to greet him, still frowning up at Em and Scott as the latter
two made their way into the circle.

Brains entered from the direction of the
kitchen, followed by Grandma, just as John stepped into the lounge from the
desk.

Virgil’s hand suddenly found hers and held
it tight. She flicked a glance in his direction. Her fiancé was pale in the
afternoon light, a concerned frown on his face as he watched John flick through
the record of the mission and summarise it for discussion.

Two and Four’s sensors recorded Gordon’s
rescue, his being dumped into the swirling ocean by one of the stupid fishermen
and the resultant scuffle as he dragged the terrified man back to Four. Alan
made a point of high-fiving Gordon with a yell of ‘score!’ Scott glared at the
both of them enough to shut them up.

The sensor network recorded Four’s safe
transit far under the waves.

And they relayed what followed.

“Holy shit!” Gordon stared at the massive
wave that almost engulfed Thunderbird Two and ate the module. They watched her VTOL
flicker as she struggled to keep herself airborne. The module swung free from
the water like a pendulum in the wind, staggering Two sideways. The
Thunderbird’s status flickered beneath the hologram, Virgil’s desperate actions
blatantly obvious.

Her hand tightened in his. His eyes were
closed, head still draped over the back of the lounge.

As TB2 climbed out of the cyclone, John
froze the recording. The silence in the room was ominous.

A soft baritone broke it. “Brains, we need
to work out a better way to do that.” Virgil didn’t even bother to open his
eyes. “Oh, and Two will need a thorough maintenance check. Those stresses were
way over her tolerances.”

Across the other side of the lounge, Scott
had paled. Gordon’s eyes looked as if they were about to fall out of their
sockets. “Bro, that was close.” His voice was a notch higher than usual.

“Yes, it was.” And he straightened up,
finally opening his eyes to look at his brothers. A snort. “Can I have tomorrow
off?”

Tomorrow was Christmas Day, but no one
answered him.

“Brains, we definitely need a much safer
method to deploy and retrieve Thunderbird Four in storm conditions.” Scott had
recovered his composure, but his eyes hadn’t left Virgil.

“I will get on to it immediately.” She
could see the cogs spinning in the engineer’s mind already. No doubt she would
find both him and Virgil buried in design work over the coming days.

This could never happen again.

John ran through the mission one more time,
highlighting decisions that were made well, or could have had alternatives.
Ultimately, the mission was marked a success, but with reservations for
equipment improvements.

Gordon added his own note to the mission
report at the end. “Virg’s flying kicks ass.”

Virgil snorted, but Kayo knew her younger
brother was clearly unnerved at exactly how close it had been otherwise the
compliment would never have been admitted.

The debrief was declared to be at an end
and everyone began to disperse. John made his way back to his father’s desk, and
Gordon stood, claiming a hot shower was in his future. Walking past Virgil, he
squeezed his brother’s shoulder. “Thanks, Bro.”

“Anytime.” Virgil had let his head drop
back against the couch again, his eyes closed once more.

Grandma nipped in and kissed him on the
cheek and he smiled, her hand squeezing that same shoulder.

His eyes stayed closed.

Alan, to her surprise, stood and approached
Em, the two of them talking quietly, as Scott whirred his way over to Virgil.

His voice was quiet. “Are you okay?”

Eyes still closed. “I’m fine, Scott. Just
need a shower and a good night’s sleep.”

Predictably her older brother’s lips
thinned. “You look like shit.”

“I feel like shit. But as I said, a shower
and a good night’s sleep will fix that.”

“How’s your injury?”

“In need of a shower and a good night’s
sleep.”

Scott’s glare was useless against someone
who wasn’t even looking at him. “If so, then why are you still sitting here.”

“Just taking a moment, Scott. Give me a
break.”

The worry on Scott’s face was obvious. “I
can ask Em-“

Virgil straightened immediately, his eyes
fixing on his brother. “I’m fine, Scott. I’m tired. Just leave it. Please.”

When Scott didn’t answer, Virgil threw
himself to his feet and stalked out of the lounge. “I’m grabbing that shower.”

Kayo stood to follow, but Scott grabbed her
hand. “Keep an eye on him.”

Exasperation. “As if I’d do anything else.”
For goodness sake, they were as bad as each other when injured. “I’ll take care
of it.”

With that she stepped away and followed
Virgil from the room.

-o-o-o-

Scott stared after his brother, worry
coursing through his veins. Virgil looked awful. He hadn’t seen his brother
today until now. He had attended a landslide in China with Alan in the early
hours of the morning, before returning only long enough to pick up Tracy Two to
collect Kayo and Em from Perth, the former having stayed overnight to assist
the latter with preparations.

And then this shitfest had happened.

Scott hated being off the roster and having
to watch his brothers wear themselves thin. Hell, he knew Virgil had hated the
same deal for the weeks on end after his accident six months ago.

He sighed. He had to trust Kayo on this. He
had to believe that she could hold him back and stop him from doing anything
stupid.

“Scott?” Em approached him, her expression
concerned. Alan had obviously left. “Are you okay?”

He turned to her, his lips thinning. “What
exactly were your injuries in Perth?”

She froze. “What? Why?”

“What exactly are you attempting to hide
from me?” Perhaps his voice was sharper than he had intended, but he had things
on his mind.

“I’m not hiding anything from you. What you
see is what you get.”

“Then what were your injuries? Why haven’t
you told me.”

“Perhaps because they are none of your
business.”

He bit back his response, the emotion
clogging his arteries. He needed to move, to get out of this chair. He needed
to run or punch something. He needed-

“Scott?” Her voice was gentle. “Take a deep
breath before you explode.”

He blinked, those ice blue eyes were
staring at him in concern. He let a breath go and his whole body sagged. “I
hate this.”

She lowered herself to his eye level,
reaching out a hand to cup his jaw. “It will pass.”

A huff of frustration. “I know that. But in
the meantime, Virgil is working himself into the ground.”

“Did you want me to have a look at him?”

“Stubborn bastard stormed off when I
suggested it.”

“Leave it to me. I’ll speak to Kayo in the
morning.” To his surprise, she leant in and kissed his forehead. “Now my
current concern is you. You’ve been in that chair all day, haven’t you.” It
wasn’t a question.

He looked at her and again those pale eyes
caught him in their mystique. There was something about this woman. She gave no
ground and kicked his ass on a regular basis, yet he found himself anticipating
her company, relishing the challenge. She had been a splash of colour in the
grey of injury and illness. For the first time he had found his hospital stay
tolerable simply because she was on the other end of the line.

A sigh. “What do you want me to do?”

“I want you to go to bed and rest for at
least an hour. Then perhaps we can have dinner? Together?”

He smiled at that, reaching out to wrap his
arm around her waist and bring her closer. “Will you come visit me?”

She snorted. “Only after an hour, and only
if you behave, flyboy.” And to his astonishment, she tweaked the tip of his
nose.

“Oh, well, when you put it that way…” He
grinned.

“Go, Scott, go rest.” And she raised
herself back to standing height and conveniently out of his reach.

He sent a mock glare that morphed into more
of a pout, but she had crossed her arms across her chest. “Go.”

“What about you?”

“I’m sure John can keep me company, or
point me in the direction of someone who can.”

Scott blinked. He had forgotten his brother
was in the same room. He glanced over at the desk and sure enough, there sat
the space monitor, apparently busy, but he had no doubts that his brother had
‘monitored’ their conversation.

His eyes returned to the woman who was so
occupying his attention of late. Those use blue eyes and raven dark hair, curls
falling to her shoulders. She smiled at him. “If you don’t go now, I’ll ask John
to called that handsome nurse of yours…Andre? And get him to drag you off by
your toes.”

Scott frowned. “Handsome?”

“Move, you silly bugger.”

He opened his mouth, but she glared at him.

Perhaps doing as she suggested wasn’t a bad
idea at all.

-o-o-o-

In the end, Em marched him to the elevator,
pushed him in, and thumped the button for the residential areas, before
stepping out and waving him goodbye.

His frown was hilarious.

Once he was gone, the lounge settled into a
quiet, disturbed only by the sea breeze, birds, the distant waves, and the soft
beeps and John’s voice as he spoke quietly into his collar.

Occasionally, a woman’s voice would answer.

Em wandered out onto the balcony, still
enamoured of the view. She had always loved the sea. Living in Perth had given
her ample access to the Indian Ocean and a holiday’s drive to the Southern
Ocean. Here she stood staring at the Pacific and it was just as beautiful under
a tropical sun as a temperate one.

“Dr Harris?” His voice was quiet,
polite,…and she had heard it before.

She didn’t turn. “You’re The Voice Who
Answers, aren’t you?”

“Some people call me that, yes.”

“You’re the one who chooses who to save.”

“Sometimes.”

Now she turned to find him just inside the
great glass doors. “How?”

His face was honest, but kind. “Triage.
Level of crisis, our capability to help, how many are in danger.”

“So it is all numbers?”

“No.” He looked down a moment. “It is never
just numbers.” He looked back up at her. “I am so very sorry for your loss.”

She shrugged, forcing nonchalance, not
surprised that he knew. “Couldn’t be helped. I was one among many.” She tilted
her head. “There are only six of you. How can you possibly save us all?” The
pain was there, but then it always would be. Blaming this man for a choice he
had to make wasn’t going to solve anything. The madman was as dead as her
family. There was no-one left to hate.

“We can only try.”

“And kill yourselves in the process? Look
at you now. Scott nearly died. Kayo was bloody lucky. And you nearly lost
Virgil and Gordon today. Is this your regular modus operandi? Should I expect
Alan or you to be on the line tomorrow?”

“Possibly.” He straightened. “Doctor, we
took on the mission long ago. We are aware of the risks and we have accepted
them.”

“I’m sorry, John, but Scott was not
accepting the risk Virgil was exposed to today. Even though I’ve only known him
a matter of weeks, I can see that much.”

She barely heard his sigh. “Doctor, I don’t
have the answers. I wish I did. We do our best and that is all that can be
asked of us.”

He was right. She knew he was. But having
met Virgil, having laughed with Kayo, to watch that wave nearly swipe him from
the sky…the myths and legends of International Rescue both came true and
dissolved into fear at the same time. This was a hard life. There were no
fairytales or myths or happy endings. This was cold, hard reality that could
end so badly.

And now she was investing in it. Scott was
grounded for weeks, but what happened after that? He would be out there facing
the same dangers as his brothers.

Could she handle that?

She had lost so much already. Why should
she set herself up to lose more?

She wrapped her arms around herself. “I
don’t know, John. I think the world asks you for too bloody much already.”

-o-o-o-

End Part Eight

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