The ramblings of a Nut who should be doing something else – Adelaide, South Australia

Gentle Rain (Part Four)

Title: Gentle
Rain

Warm Rain Series

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Author: Gumnut

21-22 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: 2852

Spoilers &
warnings: Virgil/Kayo, 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  This is a challenge to write. A little different from my norm and
proving challenging. Thank you for all your wonderful comments regarding my
first original character in this fandom. I hope she doesn’t disappoint. And thank
you all for your wonderful support, I couldn’t do this without you.

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

-o-o-o-

Kayo stared at the ceiling. Virgil had long
ago painted a beautiful pale abstract across the plain white plasterboard.
Swirls of pastel swooped in lazy whorls like the surface of water at dawn, a
calming pattern to trace with tired eyes and she was sure he used it in
unconscious meditation to get to sleep some nights.

As usual she had awakened early, the light
in the room disturbing her, but unlike most mornings she hadn’t climbed out of
bed. Virgil was thankfully still asleep beside her, his soft snoring somewhat
reassuring. His hair was mussed and his face mushed into his pillow as usual,
but he was lying on his side facing her, rather than on his stomach and it
occurred to her that she should have realised that she hadn’t seen him sleeping
on his stomach since the accident. The stretch to get his arms under the pillow
must be too much. How had she not noticed?

She reached over and touched his hair. She
couldn’t help herself. But he stirred suddenly and she pulled her hand back. He
needed his sleep.

Did men ever grow up? Did they need
mothering all their lives? She sighed.

He was a challenge, but so worth it.

A hand reached out and sought hers. “Hey.”
His voice was rough with sleep.

“Sorry, love, did I wake you?”

“No, no.” He yawned. “Dream.”

She frowned as he rolled onto his back
stretching, and, yes, there was the flinch. Damnit, Virgil. She reached over
and touched his bicep. “Come here, love.” She pulled gently and he rolled over.

Slipping her arm under his neck, she lay on
her back, drawing his head to her chest and stroking his hair. He wrapped his
arms around her and she was enveloped in him.

“Love you.” His voice was breathy against
her breast.

“Love you, too.” Her voice equally soft.

They simply lay there for a while, not
speaking, his breathing evening out as he drifted. She didn’t sleep, but let
her thoughts wander, as she stroked his hair.

They had been lucky again. Oh, so, lucky.
So close to losing Scott. Losing their big brother. Scott was an irreplaceable
presence. They all were, but Scott was the Big Brother, the one they all looked
to and followed. She had to admit that Virgil would likely be lost without his
brother. In no way did she mean that as a negative, it was just simply how it
worked. Virgil was strong, a powerhouse and she adored him, but he wasn’t a
leader quite like Scott and he never wanted to be.

And for a long time Scott had been the
centre of his world. That centre had shifted now to include her, but she would
always stand alongside his eldest brother. The love was far from the same, but
it was still love, and she could respect that.

Especially when she loved Scott too.

“You’re thinking too loud.” It was muffled
and petulant.

She smiled, letting her fingers trace his
ear and drift to his cheek. “I’m thinking about your brother.”

“Which one? And do I need to remove him
from your attention?”

A grin. “Scott, and no, trust me, love, you
have my full attention.”

He nestled in closer to her in response.
“Good. Love you.” A moment later. “What about Scott?”

She rolled her eyes before sobering a
little. “Just how lucky we were this time.”

He muttered an affirmative into her skin,
his breath warm.

“Do you know what she did to save him?”

She felt his brow crinkle against her neck.
“What?”

And she was back in the dark of that hole,
Scott’s breathing harsh in the dim light.

“Kay?” And he was looking down at her. When
did he move? “Are you all right?” There was concern in his brown eyes.

She blinked. “Fine.” But then she realised
she wasn’t. She hadn’t witnessed what the doctor had done, but her imagination
was quite capable of filling in the gaps. “She pulled herself from the rubble
and dragged herself over to Scott to stop his bleeding.” When Virgil’s
expression didn’t change, she pushed further. “She is a paraplegic, so she felt
none of the damage that had been done to her legs and none she did by moving.”
She swallowed. “Em Harris lost her legs, Virgil. The damage was that
extensive.” Kay closed her eyes.

His voice was quiet. “How is she taking
it?”

A sigh. “I don’t know. You saw her, she
seems fine, but I don’t know how she can be. She has no family.” A pause.
“She’s alone.” Perhaps that is what struck her and prompted her to visit the
woman. Her background check had come up clean except for the incident that had
led to her paraplegia and that was hardly her fault. She had a practice south
of Perth and a steady client base in partnership with another doctor. She was
managing.

But there was something…

His fingers touched her cheek, trailing
down to her jawline. She turned and kissed their tips before leaning into his
hand and closing her eyes. “She shouldn’t be alone.”

Leaning over, he kissed her forehead. “Then
invite her over for Christmas.”

She stared at him. “Really?”

He stared back. “Why not? You’ve done the
background check. If you’re concerned, ask Penny to double check for you.”

“She will need medical support.”

“Scott will be needing the same.” He
brushed her hair away from her face. “We can ask Andre to bring his partner.
He’ll jump at the chance.”

He was right. Andre would love to spend
Christmas with the Tracys. Even better if he could bring Cecil with him. “You
would risk Cecil and Gordon in the same mile radius for an extended period of
time?”

“Gordon will behave. Penny will be here.”

“Point taken.” She bit her lip.

“C’mon, love, you can invite a friend over
for Christmas. This isn’t Fort Knox.”

She stared up into his chocolate eyes.
Concern sat under a slight frown. She reached up and drew him back down to her
side, wrapping her arms around him, bringing his head back to rest on her chest
again. “Love you.”

“That’s because I’m very lovable.” He
smiled into her skin.

A gentle tap on the shoulder was enough to
get her reply to that communicated.

His smile widened.  “Love you, too.”

Her thoughts turned back to Em sitting up
in bed, verbally sparring with her brother.

Well, it would be interesting. Friend? She
hardly knew the woman. But that could be changed. Something about Em Harris
drew Kay towards her. She had saved her brother, but that wasn’t the only factor.

She stroked Virgil’s hair and let her
thoughts take her.

-o-o-o-

“Oh, c’mon, you have got to be kidding me.”

Kay peered around the door of Em’s room.
The woman was sitting up in bed glaring at her tablet.

“In no way is that a plausible argument,
Scott Tracy. Not in a million years.”

She couldn’t quite hear her brother’s
answer.

“Well, I prefer a little sense over a lot
of fantasy.” More strong, but unintelligible words from the tablet. “Yeah,
well, that’s a fool’s argument.”

Kayo blinked, suddenly glad she had left
Virgil down at the cafe getting them coffee.

“Fine. Be that way.” Em caught sight of
her. The frown turned immediately to a grin. “Hah! I have re-enforcements!
Kayo, come and tell your doofus of a brother that ‘The Force’ is not the answer
to everything.”

Another blink and a sigh of relief. “You’ll
need to speak to John about ‘The Force’, though you may want to book yourself
out for a day or two, he has a ten thousand word essay on it.” She waved a hand
in the direction of the tablet. “The reason sits before you.”

Em snorted. “Yeah, well, this one can rave
about Star Wars as much as he likes. Trek still trumps it.”

And yes, she had her arms crossed in front
of her and the glare was back.

“You definitely need to speak to John. He’s
been a Trekkie all his life.”

“Kayo, there is no way you are teaming
those two up.” Scott’s voice was small coming from the tablet’s speakers, but
his tone was still alarmed.

She stepped into the video pickup. “My dear
brother, I will do what I need to do.”

He glared at her. “Han Solo could so kick
Jim Kirk’s ass.”

A snort. “Don’t aim your arguments at me,
Scott. Remember the Spock vs Chewbacca vs Virgil debate?”

He shut up, but Em straightened up next to
her. “Oh, I’d like to hear this one.”

She grinned. “Again, you should speak to
John and start with the Kirk vs Picard vs Scott discussion. It is the first in
the series.” Her grin widened as Scott groaned.

“Okay, that’s it. I don’t need to listen to
this. You ‘girls’ can go play now. I’m going to go and watch a real movie.”

To Kayo’s surprise, Em stuck her tongue out
at her brother. “See you when boredom strikes.”

He grunted at her, but there was a glint of
humour in his eyes and he smiled just before he cut the connection.

Kayo stared at the tablet a moment before
turning her gaze to Em. “He been bothering you?”

The doctor grinned. “No, he is rather
entertaining when he wants to be.”

A raised eyebrow. Oh, yes, the Scott Tracy
charm was well at work. Kayo took a seat beside the bed. “And how are you, Em?”

The grin faltered, but stayed in place. “As
best I can be. I can’t ask for more than that.” She straightened. “How is
Virgil?”

Okay, so Virgil was going to be a
deflection from her own issues. “You can ask him yourself.” And on cue, her
fiancé knocked gently on the door, three coffees in a cup holder in one hand.
“I bring sustenance of the gods.” He held up a large paper bag. “And muffins.”

“Yes, there are three members of our
relationship. Myself, Virgil and coffee. Coffee gets him on early mornings with
no competition.”

“Hey.”

She smirked. “Em, this is my fiancé, Virgil
Tracy. Virgil, this is Em Harris.”

Virgil fumbled the muffins into Kayo’s lap
as Em held out her hand. “Nice to finally meet you in person, Virgil.”

“Likewise. I hear you’ve been saving the
hospital staff from the cranky Tracy.”

A smile. “He’s been entertaining.”

Virgil deposited the coffee tray on her bed
table and handed one first to Em, then to Kay before taking the last one for
himself and grabbing a chair. “That is not a word I have heard in relation to a
convalescing Scott Tracy, ever.” A sip of his coffee, and, yes, there was that
expression she only saw at one other time.

There was definitely a third member in their
relationship.

Kayo placed the muffins on the table. “I
hope you don’t mind us dropping in unannounced.”

“No, you are welcome. I’m happy to have the
company.” She placed the coffee back on the table, untouched. “Actually, I was
going to contact you.”

“Oh?”

Em turned to Virgil. “You were injured
about six months ago?”

Virgil froze, suddenly wary.

Em held up her hand. “No, don’t worry, I
haven’t been spying on you or anything. Scott gave me a little detail.”

“He did, did he?”

Uh oh. She reached out and placed a hand on
Virgil’s knee. “He didn’t say much, love. Just that you were injured six months
ago and your ribs were broken.” She looked back at the doctor, whose eyes had
widened. “Em ascertained most of that herself anyway.”

Brown eyes hit pale blue. “How?”

“By watching you. It is subtle, but you are
favouring your right side, even now.” Virgil self-consciously straightened and
a faint wince flickered across his face. “And there you have it.”

-o-o-o-

She watched the man slump slightly in
defeat. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be intrusive, but I want to help. I don’t
know enough detail as yet, but I would like to assess you and see if something
can be done.” She lowered her voice a little. “You shouldn’t have to be walking
around in pain all the time.”

Her eyes darted between the couple. There
was no way she was going to admit that she and Kayo had planned this. When Kayo
had asked for specialist recommendations, Em had simply volunteered herself. Sure,
she couldn’t practise from a hospital bed, but she wouldn’t be here for much
longer and Virgil needed help.

It was the least she could do.

But Virgil was eyeing Kayo. “See a
specialist in the morning, huh?”

Kayo didn’t flinch, her expression remained
the same. “I didn’t lie.”

“I didn’t say you did.” He sighed. “Fine.
What do you want me to do?”

“I will need your medical records at some
point, but in the meantime, if you could give me some background, it would be a
start.”

So, for the next fifteen minutes she learnt
about how the two rescue operatives had fallen off a mountain and Virgil had
gouged himself up his right side. With prompting from Kayo and with the room’s
door secured, he unbuttoned his linen shirt and she got an eyeful of the
massive scarring down his right side.

“My god, Virgil.” Okay, it wasn’t
professional of her to say such a thing, but bloody hell. There were scars on
top of scars. How much did this family have to pay to rescue all those people?
She swallowed. He was staring down at her, an oddly hurt expression on his
face. Shit, she should know better, sitting here with both her legs missing.
Crap, damn…oh, hell. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.” And suddenly
there were tears on her face. Shit, not now!

“Em.” There were hands on her shoulders.
“Take a deep breath.” And that same man, the man with all those scars, was
looking at her with kind, calm eyes. “It’s okay. You’re okay.”

No, she wasn’t okay. She was far from okay.
Losing it in a simple consultation? It wasn’t like she hadn’t seen worse. Look
at herself for example.

Was that sob one of self pity?

Screw it.

“I’m sorry.” She took that deep breath,
another, and forced it out with a trembling sigh. “I’m okay.”

He was rubbing her shoulders gently. Kayo
was pouring a cup of water.

Mortification set in. Oh, god.

Kayo handed her the drink and Virgil sat
back giving her space. She took a long drink and hid behind the plastic cup.

She cleared her throat. “So, I guess I
shouldn’t consult while in hospital.” A half-hearted smile.

“It is completely understandable.” His rich
baritone spoke only to reassure. She could imagine him using the same tone
while rescuing terrified people.

Was she terrified people?

Maybe she was.

“Though I have to say that isn’t the
reaction I’m used to when I take off my shirt.” There was a lopsided smirk. “I
guess my bikini days are over.”

It worked. She couldn’t help but smile just
a little. If only it hadn’t been at his expense.

“I can help you.” She forced strength back
into her voice. She was Em Bloody Harris the survivor. Get over it already.
Another deep breath. “We can at least start some scar massage and I will look
into exercises that might help. I presume you had some exercises prescribed?”
He nodded. “If you could give me the detail, I’ll look into alternatives. I
have no doubt you’ve kept up the routine?”

“When not interrupted by call outs, yes.”

“Well, they don’t appear to be working as
well as they could. Give me details and I will adjust the prescription
accordingly.” Another breath. “After I’m out of here.” A forced weak smile.

He reached out and touched her hand. He was
a very tactile man “Thank you.”

“It’s the least I can do.”

He frowned. “You don’t owe us anything, Em.
You don’t have to do this.”

She looked up at him. “Kayo and Scott
weren’t the only people you saved from that hole, Virgil. I have the right to
thank you and I will do so in the best way I can.” She straightened her spine
just a little. “Even if I have to conspire with your wife-to-be to do so.”

And that did it. A small smile spread
slowly across his features. “I’m going to regret this aren’t I?”

He eyed Kayo and she smiled smartly back at
him. “Possibly.”

Pushing back the chair, he stood up. “Okay,
with that I’m making a strategic retreat.” He held up a hand as if to fend them
off. “Thank you, Doctor Em. Your conspiracy worked, I will do your bidding.
Kay? You and I will have words later.” The words were serious, but the tone was
light. When Kayo’s grin widened into a laugh, Em found herself smiling.

“I will be with Scott, likely
commiserating, if you need me.” And buttoning his shirt, he left.

-o-o-o-

End Part
Four

Part Five

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