Title: Gentle Rain
Warm Rain Series
1 – 4 Mar 2019
Fandom: Thunderbirds Are Go 2015/ Thunderbirds TOS
Summary: Sometimes it is so gentle, you don’t realise it is happening.
Word count: 3000
Spoilers & warnings: Virgil/Kayo, Scott/OC, Gordon/Penelope, 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 And here we are, the last chapter. There will be an Epilogue full of important stuff, I’ve started it. Also, those of you who follow me on Tumblr will have already read the first Tale of Gentle Rain – I kinda jumped the gun and didn’t want to officially publish it until I had finished this fic…which is pretty close now. So, there is more to come. Thank you ever so much to @scribbles97 who has helped me through this entire fic. Also thanks to @i-am-chidorixblossom and @the-lazy-razorsharp who have also answered my frantic calls at various points in time – this fic was a nerve-wracker and I can be really insecure at times 😀 I would also like to give a massive thanks to all of you who have cheered me along the way. Your comments and feedback have kept me going. It makes it so much more purposeful to write if I know what I’m writing is being read and super bonus if it is being enjoyed. Thank you so, so much ::hugs you all madly::
Disclaimer: Mine? You’ve got to be kidding. Money? Don’t have any, don’t bother.
Waking in hospital was not her favourite. She had done it many times in her thirty years and none of those events had been pleasant.
She could smell the hospital around her.
A frown. Vague memories of faces, words, it seemed like dreams, all leading back to that man from International Rescue.
A pair of blue eyes.
She woke with his name on her lips.
And he was the first thing she saw.
“Em?” His voice was soft, tentative, and the hope in his face so strong.
“Hey, yourself.” That smile of his still turned her insides to jelly. “How are you feeling?”
How was she feeling? A quick physical check and she found herself surprisingly good. “Good. I’m good.”
His smile widened.
A snuffled snort echoed through the room. She frowned. “What?”
Scott stepped back and she came eye to eye with Kayo sitting on a couch in the corner. The smirk on her face was amusing, particularly considering the man asleep in her lap. Virgil was snoring softly, curled up rather awkwardly on the too small sofa, still in his uniform. His baldric and toolkit were draped over the back of one of the chairs.
“Is he okay?”
Scott’s smile was reassuring. “He’s fine. Just tired. Stubborn idiot refused to go home.”
He frowned and she realised that he, too, was still in his uniform. “You don’t remember?”
Remember? A blink. “You caught me.”
“Yes, I did. But you were injured.”
Injured? Her brain didn’t seem to be functioning at full capacity. “How?”
His brow furrowed immediately. “You had a laceration on your leg. You lost a lot of blood.”
“I did?” She reached down and peered under the covers. Her left stump was swathed in bandages. Another frown and she forced her mind to think.
Scott speaking to her calmly, but firmly. Strapping her in. She had flown in a Thunderbird. Thunderbird One. Thunder was right. It had roared. So, so fast.
Then the hospital. Perth Hospital. Again.
Scott holding her. Her blood on his hands.
Worried blue eyes.
She shook herself. She must be on something. She was foggy.
“The bridge? The people?”
“We saved as many as we could.”
Virgil snorted again.
She frowned at the man as Kayo stroked his hair. A glance at Scott. “Why are you here?”
His eyes widened and his expression closed suddenly and considering their recent history she realised exactly how that might have sounded.
A blink. “No, you idiot. I’m talking about the broken arm, leg and ribs, not to mention the hole in your side that was stitched up a few weeks before Christmas.”
“Uh.” Now he looked uncomfortable, almost like a young boy who had just discovered he was in trouble.
Her foggy mind still wasn’t registering properly, but it still managed to calculate recovery times. She rubbed her eyes. “And what about Virgil? You know, the man who recently died.” In the corner of her eye she saw Kayo tense.
“It was necessary.” His stance straightened. “Besides, we had backup.”
“I noticed. But that didn’t seem to exclude either of you from the rescue.”
“There wasn’t time-“
“Exactly! You haven’t given either of yourselves enough time!”
Those blue eyes flared. “And what exactly did you expect me to do? Sit back while you fell off a bridge?”
And there it was, the blatant self-sacrifice that was going to kill these men. “You had back up! Let them do their job. Stop risking yourself.”
“I couldn’t leave you there.” It was quiet, but the words were firm.
She stared at him. “Your health is worth the risk, Scott.”
“Yours isn’t.” He glared at her. “I will not risk you.”
“Me? What about the other hundred or so people?”
His lips shut closed and he didn’t answer. Blue simply stared at her.
Her eyes widened. “You didn’t…”
“How could I not?” And suddenly he was so much closer.
“Oh, for goodness sake, kiss her already!” There was a thump and a groan, and they both looked up to see Virgil rolling off the couch. The man was obviously stiff as a board. “Have at it, I’m getting coffee.” And without a glance at them, he stumbled from the room, dragging Kayo with him. Kayo did grin back at both of them, however, her eyes sparkling.
Em frowned. “Are you sure he’s okay?”
Scott smiled. Oh god, that smile. “I thought you’d be familiar with Virgil Sans Coffee by now.” But he was leaning in and that smile touched her lips. As always, he was warm, his energy burning, reaching out and drawing her in. A brush of his tongue on hers and he released her. She didn’t want to let him go.
His smile became hesitant. “I believe I owe you an explanation.”
“Regarding your habit of flashing hot and cold?” God, honestly, she only wanted him to kiss her again. His hot was so hot. Screw it. “I’ve just had a major traumatic incident. I’m injured, and I’m pretty sure I’m high on pain meds. Can we save it for later? I’d really just like to you to kiss me again.”
His grin was as gorgeous as his smile, and god, when he wrapped his arms around her and took her lips with his, all the cares in the world could wait until later.
Em was only in the hospital for a few days, but in that time, she managed to have every Tracy march through her door plus Kayo and her uncle.
Uncle Crispin arrived with Sally Tracy along with Alan. Alan was looking a little green around the gills and the description he gave Kayo of what her uncle and his grandmother had been doing on the plane was enough to turn Em a little green in sympathy.
There were some things that you just didn’t want to know about the generations above you.
Uncle Crispin gave her the third degree on what had happened. This was quickly followed by him cornering Scott the moment he walked through her door on the way back from a meeting with the GDF.
“And what are your intentions with my niece, Tracy?”
It was hard to tell who was more offended, Mrs Tracy or Em.
But Scott didn’t back down. He took a step towards her uncle and looked him in the eye. And he could. Not having seen Scott standing to his full height, Em hadn’t realised he was that tall. Though slimmer in youth, he could match every one of her uncle’s many inches. Wow. “And what are your intentions with my Grandmother?”
“Scott!” Okay, Mrs Tracy was the more offended.
Em glared at the both of them. “If you two gentlemen do not stop alpha strutting in my hospital room, I will ask both of you to leave.”
Scott’s response was immediate, probably feeling like he was already on probation and didn’t want to blow it. He backed down, but she didn’t fail to notice that he stepped immediately to her side. She rolled her eyes at that.
Uncle Crispin glared at him, but also backed off, stepping back beside Mrs Tracy.
“Now, Uncle Crispin, this is my business. While I appreciate your protectiveness, I find it rather ironic that you are attempting to protect me from the grandson of your paramour, and the leader of International Rescue, an organisation you greatly admire. You have a model Thunderbird and figurines, for crying out loud.” She turned to Scott, whose eyes were bugging out a little at her last statement. “And you, give your grandmother a break. Uncle Crispin is a great guy, I can promise you that. Stop snarling at him.”
Neither man commented, merely exchanging wary glances. God, men!
The tableau was interrupted by Virgil waltzing in with a get-well balloon tied to a blue teddy bear. Every face in the room turned to him. He stopped in his tracks and blinked. “Did I interrupt something?”
Em couldn’t help but smile. “No, nothing of importance.”
His eyes darted back and forth between his eldest brother, Uncle Crispin, Em and Kayo. “Okay, good, because Scott bought you a get-well bear.” He strode up and plonked it on the edge of her bed.
Kayo elbowed her brother. “Yes, you did, because that is what good boyfriends do when their girlfriends are in the hospital.”
There was a silence for a moment and Em stared at Virgil. The engineer smiled at her.
“Yes. Yes, I did and I do.” Scott said the words, but looked a little stunned.
Em bit her lip, but couldn’t help grinning at his expression. She picked up the bear. It had blue eyes and a perpetual smile. Reaching out a hand, she snagged Scott’s and pulled him towards her. “Thank you, Scott. It was a very kind thought.” And she was grinning up at him.
He rolled his eyes. “You’re welcome.”
“Can I give you a thank you kiss?”
She couldn’t help but grin at the grin that immediately split his face. He bent down and, oh, oh, thank you. Thank you, indeed.
The bear was dropped to the bed covers and one hand was in his hair, the other on his shoulder feeling the flex of muscle through his shirt.
“My god, I’m surrounded by a bunch of lovebirds. Okay, that’s it, I’m making a point of being somewhere else for some time. Em, get better soon. Enjoy…my brother.”
Scott broke off their kiss just in time for her to see Alan shudder. Mrs Tracy grabbed the youngest before he could escape and said something quietly to him Em couldn’t hear before kissing his cheek. Alan rolled his eyes and stomped out of the room.
Em had a grip on Scott’s shirt and didn’t want to let go. Virgil was grinning ear to ear. Kayo had a smirk on her face. Mrs Tracy was smiling. Uncle Crispin, surprisingly, wasn’t glaring, but was thoughtful instead.
Scott was staring down at her in amazement.
She grinned. “Can I say thank you again?”
Virgil cracked up laughing.
Escaping from hospital did not equate to escaping from the Tracys. Kayo, despite being heavily involved into the investigation surrounding the bridge bombing, found the time to accompany her back to her apartment. Virgil had declared her hoverscoot deceased and promptly acquired her a new one. Her protest at the cost was met with a flat-eyed stare, and yeah, billionaires, money no object, yada-yada-yada.
It was a relief to slip back into a hoverscoot. The hoverchair from the hospital was just clunky and cumbersome.
While Virgil packed the car, she took the opportunity to sit down with Kayo for a moment in her own loungeroom. “I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I can’t believe…” And she ran out of words.
“Em…” Kayo held up her hand. “Trust me, we are equal on all scores.” Virgil stuck his head in the door and grabbed two more of the small bags she had hastily packed and disappeared again. Kayo smiled just a little, her voice quiet as she stared after him. “We’re equal.”
“If there is ever anything I can do for either of you. Just ask.” She reached out and grabbed the woman’s hand. “Please.” She tried her best to covey how much it all meant to her.
Kayo turned to her and tilted her head a little. “If you do the same.” A small smile. “I hear rumour that is what friends do.”
Em couldn’t help but grin just a little. She felt like a teenager swapping friendship bracelets. The thought was just ridiculous.
But it meant so much more.
“Oh, I’ve got something for you.” Kayo reached into her pocket. “You should keep this on you at all times until Brains can set you up with something a little less conspicuous.” The security officer handed her the IR comm she had worn in New Zealand.
Em stared at it. “Are you sure?”
Kayo arched an eyebrow. “I’m sure.”
Em held it in her hands, the embossed IR logo catching the light. “That is something I’ve been meaning to ask. I left this behind in Wellington. How did you know I was on the bridge?”
“I planted a tracker in your hoverscoot.” There was no apology in Kayo’s expression.
Em stared at her. “What?”
“You became an IR concern. I needed to know where you were.”
“We are primarily a rescue organisation. However, our technologies are advanced and there are people out there who will do anything to get their hands on them. You know this, it has already affected your life drastically.”
“You think they might use me to get to you?”
Kayo shrugged. “Maybe. Possibly. There are a range of vulnerabilities in the equation. The tracker was to protect you and IR. In this case, we knew you were on the bridge and could act accordingly.”
“Is that what happened? Were they after me?” Her heart stuttered at the thought. To be honest, she had already considered some of the dangers involved. It was obvious. She had lost her family to a man who had wanted what the Tracys had.
Something flashed in Kayo’s eyes.
“No, a group has claimed responsibility. Lunatics. Don’t worry. Penelope and I are working on it. We’ll find them.” And Kayo stopped there, obviously unwilling to reveal anymore.
Her apartment door opened again and Virgil walked back in. “Anything else? I think I’ve about covered my rehab for today.”
Em mentally shook herself and smiled.
The stop at her apartment was exactly that, just a stop. She needed assistance and the doctors had only released her with the reassurance that she would have company.
So, bags packed and loaded, Kayo flew her back to Tracy Island, and she found herself in the same room she had spent Christmas. Cecil arrived to attend to her every need. The man was a like a clone of Gordon Tracy, though taller and skinnier. A ray of sunshine who never stopped smiling.
Scott bounced back and forth from the island every day, horribly busy, both with the GDF and the Thunderchick squads. Then a tsunami in Japan took every hand IR had available.
All the brothers came back from that pale and dead-eyed.
She caught him before he could escape to his room.
Even though she was prepared for it, it still hurt when he brushed her off. “Em, I’m tired. It’s been a long day. You should be resting.” His natural reflex was to lock it all up and process it alone, the same way he had when Virgil collapsed.
She hadn’t missed Virgil beelining to Kayo. Hadn’t missed her wrapping her arms around him, his head dropping to her shoulder in pure exhaustion. Her leading him away to their quarters.
Scott had glanced at them while removing his baldric and dumping it on the couch before throwing himself down beside it.
She steeled herself. “I’m fine. It is you who needs the rest.”
He looked up at her and the exhaustion and pain in his eyes broke her heart. Reaching out, she ‘scooted forward, dropping the ‘scoot directly onto the couch and took him into her arms, lying his head on her chest.
He resisted at first, his muscles tense, and she was forced to wonder how long it had been since this man had been comforted. She knew a good percentage of his history, had seen the care he doled out to his family, but who cared for the carer? Virgil, most certainly, but he would ever be younger.
Em would ever be older.
She pulled him tighter, running her fingers through his hair, and slowly his arms crept around her and returned the embrace. He didn’t fully relax, no doubt that would take time, but his breathing evened out and he rested his weight on her.
“I love you.” The words came out unbidden. She didn’t mean to say it, but it was said.
His reaction was immediate. He sat up, pulling away a little and staring at her.
Em felt the blood drain from her face. “I’m sorry, I-“
And he was kissing her, his strength pulling her close. His tongue begged entry and she let him in, as he crushed her against him. His cologne was overlaid with sweat and dirt, he desperately needed a shower and a shave, but he was in her arms and loving her in his own way.
She didn’t expect the words, not yet. If there was one thing she had learnt over the last few months, it was that Scott Tracy had a large family, but ultimately, he had been alone for a long time. As alone as she had been.
It was going to take time.
The kiss broke off, his breathing heavy, eyes glistening in the evening light. “Em…”
She reached up and placed a finger across his lips. “You don’t have to say anything.” He kissed her finger, his breath hot on her skin. “I will only ask you for one thing.”
His eyes widened in an expression very similar to the last time she had made such a demand of him.
“Ping me. Come to me. Seek me out.” Her fingers drifted into his hair and she leant forward to kiss his forehead. “I’m here. You are not alone. You don’t have to say anything, I won’t force you to talk, I promise. Just be…with me.”
It was all she could ask.
He stared at her for a moment, words bouncing about his eyes, but none finding his mouth. Eventually he drew her into his embrace, a soft kiss to her jaw, her cheek and her lips. There was no smile, no charm, no Commander of International Rescue, no big brother.
Just Scott Tracy.
He dropped his head to her shoulder, exhaustion in every line of his body. Em stroked his hair and just held on.