Gentle Rain (Part Six)

Title: Gentle
Rain

Warm Rain Series

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Author: Gumnut

24 – 26 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: 2937

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  I had so much fun with this one sitting on my back porch on a
gorgeous sunny day. Many thanks to both Scribbs and @the-lady-razorsharp for help
on this bit. Also for @vegetacide for some plotwork we did for further into the story. Next chapter is half written and I’m still having fun 😀 I hope
you enjoy this fic that has a mind of its own.

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

-o-o-o-

It was like some kind of daydream caught in
a whirlwind.

The week had passed with medical
consultations and chats with Scott over the network. His eyes lit up when he
smartly inquired about Kayo asking her to Tracy Island.

“So you coming?” Was that expression
hopeful?

“I’m considering it.” She bit back a grin.
Why should she make it easy?

His eyes narrowed at her. “What could I
offer to entice you?”

“Oh, you’d like to entice me, would you,
flyboy?”

He really did have a beautiful smile. “I
think I could.”

“Then entice away.”

He posed thoughtfully. “Now what would a
gorgeous looking young woman like yourself find attractive on a tropical
island. Let me think.” He tapped his lips with a finger.

She choked on a laugh. “Really?”

He held up a finger as if struck by a
thought. “Marshmallows. We have the biggest, fluffiest marshmallows in the
Southern Hemisphere. Absolutely delicious roasted over a slow fire.” He licked
his lips.

Her eyes almost fell out of her head.
“Scott Tracy, you are a flirt.”

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

“And brazen about it.”

“Do you mind?”

That brought her up short, but she didn’t
hesitate. “I think I can handle it.” And she was grinning.

His voice dropped an octave. “Good.”

She shivered.

Wow.

She still got one over him. He never did
find out if she was coming to visit or not. She held him at arms length the
entire week, taunting him.

He seemed to enjoy it.

Kayo picked up the game and swore Virgil to
secrecy. Virgil threw up his hands and refused to be drawn in to any of it. The
fact he was called out to a rescue two minutes later aided and abetted her
little conspiracy.

Scott left the hospital two days before she
did. Now it was her turn and she found herself aboard the Tracys’ private jet,
all leather and luxury. Virgil was flying while Kayo attended to her, and it
was just the three of them flying over the stark red brown landscape of the
Australian Outback.

She had luggage, a new hoverscoot, and a
belly full of butterflies. There were popular rumours about where exactly Tracy
Island was and what you would find if you ever managed to actually get there.
Mansions, a secret city…heh, one website claimed Tracy Island was on the other
side of a wormhole somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. Another claimed it was
easy to find by tracking birdlife.

Em didn’t really know what to think. The
concept of a tropical island was steeped in stereotypes in any case. Perhaps
palm trees would be present. The rest was likely up for grabs.

Kayo sat opposite her, occasionally looking
at her with just a touch of concern. Em hadn’t said much since they had left
Perth airport and she probably looked terrified.

For crying out loud, you’re a fully
qualified professional, you’ve faced down much more in your life than a family
of billionaires. Hell, she once stared down a patient holding a knife in her
face. She was Em Bloody Harris, stop being such a wimp.

A little focus and a little spine.

She straightened and Kayo looked up. “Are
you comfortable?”

“Yes, thank you.” Conversation. “Are you
all pilots?” A frown. “Do you fly?”

A small smile crept across Kayo’s face.
“Yes, and I most certainly do. Though I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of my
Thunderbird.”

Em’s eyes widened. “You pilot a
Thunderbird? Which one?”

“Thunderbird Shadow.”

The Thunderbirds were well known across the
world as angels of mercy. They appeared at the most desperate moments, often
long before any other rescue organisation could possibly have made it. There
was the grey, blue and red rocket plane, the green behemoth that nursed all the
equipment, a red rocket, a yellow submarine and the Voice Who Answered. There
was also rumour of another plane, but sightings were rare and little was known
about it. Em’s eyes widened. “You’re the ghost Thunderbird.”

The smile widened just a touch. “You could
say that. We take our security very seriously.”

“Yet you’ve invited me.”

Kayo raised an eyebrow. “You checked out.”

It was hard to work out how to feel about
that.

“Em, I don’t invite on whim. I thought you
would like to visit and I know I will enjoy your company. The background check
was just procedure.”

Em dropped her voice to a harsh whisper.
“Please don’t tell them. They don’t need to know.”

She could tell by the security specialist’s
reaction that she knew exactly what she was talking about. Equally quiet. “They
won’t hear it from me.”

“I don’t blame International Rescue. It
wasn’t your fault. The only one deserving blame was the bastard who caused it
all. I hope he rots in hell.”

“He is.”

Em stared at her. “He’s dead?”

Kayo’s expression was horribly cold. “Yes.”

“How?”

“Classified.”

Blink. “Okay.” She swallowed. “I hope he
suffered.”

The other woman didn’t answer, but
something sad flickered briefly over her face.

“It is awfully quiet in here. Should I be
worried? You two aren’t plotting a mutiny or anything, I hope.”

It was like a switch had been flicked.
Kayo’s expression changed completely, smiling up at Virgil as he entered the
cabin. “No need for a mutiny, love. I have plenty of other ways to get what I
want.”

Virgil didn’t quite roll his eyes, walking
past to grab a drink from the fridge. “Can I get you anything?” He waved a
bottle of water in their general direction.

“No, thank you.” They chorused together.

Virgil looked back over his shoulder. “Do
you have any idea how creepy that sounds?”

Em bit her lip, but couldn’t help parroting
the sweet innocent smile Kayo sent her fiancé’s way.

His gaze darted back and forth between
them, more alarmed by the moment. “Okay, I’ll just be upfront piloting the
plane. Don’t summon the devil by accident.” And he stepped smartly back into
the cockpit.

Em turned to Kayo to find the woman
fighting back a grin. Em’s lips twisted as their eyes locked. A heartbeat and
they both burst out laughing.

-o-o-o-

“Skies are clear, winds 20kph and from the
south. You are cleared to land, Tracy Two.”

Through the open patio doors, John could
hear the distant engagement of T2’s VTOL. Nowhere near as loud as her
Thunderbird sisters, but strong enough to lower her safely onto Thunderbird
Two’s runway.

He estimated no more than fifteen minutes
before Kayo and their visitor would arrive in the lounge.

Sooner the better before Scott burnt out
Thunderbird imPatient’s hover jets with his irrational ‘pacing’.

The slickly repainted hover chair now
sported a pale blue-grey chassis with a slash of cherry red and sky blue down
each side. The number one had been neatly inscribed in Thunderbird font on both
sides. How Virgil had fit it in the last three weeks, John had no idea.

They had been horribly busy. Alan had been
forced to take on Thunderbird One much to Scott’s annoyance. They simply could
not function without her. As it was, Virgil had been burning most days at both
ends, between rescues, hospital visits, and Tracy Industries on top of his
regular duties.

They had only just gotten back to rhythm
after Virgil’s accident. Now they were a man down yet again for at least
another two months, probably more.

At Christmas.

Christmas never failed to increase the need
for International Rescue. It was called the silly season for a reason. The
collective IQ of the planet appeared to drop around this time of year,
regardless of religion. If John could believe in astrology, he might have been
inclined to blame the cosmos, but in reality it was often just stupidity.

At the moment he was seriously considering
leaving the missing fishing boat caught in a cyclone off Broome, in the north
of Western Australia, to the local authorities. They should never have been
out, they had received clear warning, and yet had gone out anyway.

But IR’s sensory systems were far more
advanced than any other. He had already interfaced with TB5 in an attempt to
short cut a location, but the electrical activity in the cyclone denied him a
lock at that distance. Thunderbird Two should be able to get a fix on the
fishing boat’s transponder within a few hundred kilometres and with TB4 on
board she should be able to render any assistance required.

He watched Virgil bring the light jet into
land smoothly knowing that in a moment he would have to ask his brother to fly
out again.

Gordon was already on his way to the
hangar.

And Scott was spinning around in circles.

“You’re going to make yourself sick.”

“I can take eight Gs in a spiral dive. This
is nothing.”

“Fine, but can you stop anyway?”

His big brother sighed and slowed to a
standstill, staring at the toes of his left foot, stuck out awkwardly in front
of him.

Over the last hour John had become acutely
aware that something was bothering his brother above and beyond his injuries
and resultant incapacitation. He had become fidgety, restless and agitated. It
was out of character. Scott was a ball of energy at most times, but it was
controlled energy, channelled and targeted at need.

Apparently, he had sprung a leak and, like
a dropped garden hose, was bouncing around the room, out of control.

“Is there something wrong, Scott?”

“No.” Sharp and abrupt and so obviously a
lie, John was almost insulted his brother thought it would work at all.

“Could have fooled me.”

“What?” He was poking distractedly at TB
imPatient’s controls. The hoverchair did a sudden donut and backed ungracefully
down the steps into the sunken lounge.

“Can you please not kill yourself on my
watch. Virgil would be pissed.” That usually meant a pissed Kayo, never a good
thing.

It was so much more peaceful in space. In
space there was a comms off switch.

-o-o-o-

One minute there was a massive expanse of
Pacific Ocean, next an island appeared out of nowhere.

Em stared out of the window at the dual
spiked volcanic rock in the middle of blue water. As they drew nearer, she
could make out the remains of the volcanic caldera, the hints of coral beneath
the lagoon and the house amongst the rocks.

As the jet angled into land, her side of
the plane dipped towards the ocean giving her a stunning view of the little
island paradise. Knowing the pilot, probably on purpose.

Yes, there were definitely palm trees.

“Wow.”

Kayo smiled at her. “It’s home.”

The runway came into view, lined by palm
trees. Em frowned. That didn’t quite look long enough…or wide enough. “K-“

The underside of the plane echoed
mechanical movement, and a sudden roar above that of the jet engines started
up. Their speed dropped off abruptly and Em felt her stomach shift inside her.
The nose of the plane lifted and they descended vertically.

Kayo was watching for her reaction.

Em arched an eyebrow. “So not your average
personal jet?”

The other woman smirked a little. “I’m
sorry, but you’ll find that the Tracys don’t do ‘average’.” Was that pride?
Perhaps just a little?

Em couldn’t help but grin.

Several butterflies were firmly stomped on.

Their speed slowed to almost a standstill
as the ground approached, the jet hovering before gently touching down on the
tarmac. Then, to her surprise, the jet’s wings folded back on themselves and they
taxied between two lines of palm trees towards a cliff face.

She couldn’t quite see from her angle, but
it appeared the cliff opened because moments later they were trundling through
an entrance.

And past the massive bulk of Thunderbird
Two.

She couldn’t help but stare.

“Damn.”

It was whispered, but Em heard it anyway.
Kayo was up and out of her seat in the next breath and disappeared into the
cockpit without another word.

Em was left to frown a little and stare at
the giant green plane as the jet slowed to a stop in its hanger off to one
side.

Thunderbird Two was high up on its landing
struts, but as their jet came to a halt, there was a rumble of machinery and a
chain of green cargo crates trundled past. One labelled with the number four
settled beneath the giant green plane and the craft lowered, swallowing the
crate whole.

Thunderbird Two was even larger that touch
closer.

Kayo entered the cabin once again, her
expression annoyed. “Virgil needs to fly out.” It was very clear the woman was
not happy. “Some idiot went fishing in a cyclone.”

Virgil Tracy flew Thunderbird Two. It was
well known. But now she had met the pilot she had trouble reconciling the
kindly man with the gentle baritone, the soft smile and so much expression in
his eyes every time he looked at Kayo, with the image of the superhero rescue
operative of popular myth. He wasn’t what she expected.

But then a mental image of the saviour
wrapped in metal, tossing brickwork with giant claws, as he busted into that
hole beneath the collapsed hotel in Perth, flashed up.

Well, Superman did have his Clark Kent.

There was a hiss as Kayo enabled the cabin
exit, an apparently automated set of stairs rolling into place. Virgil hurried
from the cockpit, flashing her a quick smile before pausing in front of Kayo,
his hands landing on her shoulders. Em looked away to give them privacy as he
leant down to kiss her.

A whispered ‘fly safe’ and his boots hit
the metal stairwell.

Moments later, the hanger was filled with
the stirring roar of Thunderbird Two’s engines and she watched as the behemoth
taxied out into the daylight. She couldn’t see the runway from where she sat
and she had no idea how the huge plane managed on such a narrow tarmac, but
seconds later, that roar swelled into a crescendo and the plane around her
vibrated with the power being expended as the craft no doubt launched.

As the roar disappeared off into the
distance, she looked up to see Kayo still standing at the exit, her back to Em.

“Kayo, are you okay?”

“Fine.” And the woman turned around a smile
forced onto her face.

“Yes, Virgil.”

That earned her a glare. “Let’s get off
this plane.”

That shut down the conversation. Em tried
her best not to take it personally. It was obvious that Kayo wasn’t used to
sharing her problems and honestly, it wasn’t any of her business.

Not much was said as Kayo helped her into
her hoverscoot. The device was a smaller version of the hoverchair, less bulky
now she had no legs to support. It had variable height so she could look a
person in the eye if necessary. The harness supported her back, keeping her
upright, while the remains of her legs were cushioned with anti-pressure in the
small seat. She had chosen to wear what would have been a knee length summer
dress today, the convenience of covering up her injury taken to full advantage,
her stumps wrapped in soft socks beneath. The sleeveless dress hugged her
overall slim figure, and was appropriate for the tropical clime

This was made abundantly apparent the
moment she descended the stairs into the hanger. The hanger doors had since
closed, the metal structure towering above her. In fact, the entire hanger was
massive. But where she would have thought the air should be cool, it was gently
warm, perhaps a remnant of the recent exposure to the outside.

Saltwater lingered in the air.

The cavern echoed with smoothly operating
machinery. Some kind of automaton was interfacing with the cargo section of
their jet and offloading their luggage and in the distance there was more
movement of an unknown purpose. Kayo secured the plane before joining her and
leading her over to an elevator.

“Gordon left with Virgil, but Scott, John
and Alan are upstairs.” Kayo shot her a smile and Em managed to corral the
butterflies just a little. “Did Scott ever work out whether you were coming
today or not?”

“Heh.” Okay, so she was grinning now. “I
strung him along quite nicely. He offered me all kinds of things to get me out
here.”

Kayo actually let out a laugh. “Really?”

“I think the last offer was a Lamborghini.”
Not that she would ever accept such a thing, it was hilarious to play the man.

“He offered you a Lambo?” A frown. “What
colour?”

“Oh, I had a choice. Green or yellow.”

“Hah. Don’t trust him. He’s offering you
Virgil or Gordon’s.”

Em’s eyes widened. “Really? You have
Lamborghinis?”

Kayo snorted. “They’re boys. Did you expect
anything less?”

She thought a moment as the elevator rose.
“I don’t know. I never considered luxury in relation to International Rescue.”

The elevator slowed a moment before
changing trajectory and travelling up at an angle. The movement was so smooth,
her ‘scoot hardly reacted.

“Oh, they work for it, but the boys do have
their toys.” Kayo’s smile was infectious.

“I told him I would only consider a blue
one.” It had been teasing and off the cuff, but those eyes of his prompted
everything.

“Points to you, Em. You picked his colour.”

And the elevator slowed to a smooth stop.
She barely had chance to think before the doors opened and Kayo led her into a
large lounge area.

Just in time to see Scott Tracy collide
with a wall.

-o-o-o-

End Part Six.

Part Seven

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