Part 3 of 6, following Live
5 Aug 2018
Fandom: Thunderbirds Are Go 2015
Summary: For the world is unkind and it needs your touch.
Word count: 747
Spoilers & warnings: None
Author’s note: This is not a happy fic, I’m sorry, Virgil.
Disclaimer: Mine? You’ve got to be kidding. Money? Don’t have any, don’t bother.
It was a well-known family fact that Virgil Tracy did not sing in public. Scott and John knew why. Gordon and Alan had been purposely kept in the dark.
There had been humming during piano compositions. Tapping of fingers, the occasional whistle, a clicking of tongue, but other than his sudden and remonstrative overture to his brothers a few weeks back, no words, not even a single happy birthday in the crowd.
Not even in the shower.
Even Scott sang in the shower, rather badly. Gordon was also well known for wailing extremely off key, though Kayo threatening to come visit him if he didn’t shut up usually fixed that.
No, Virgil, for all his musical skill, hardly sung a word.
So it was rather startling to hear Brahm’s Lullaby in his soft baritone whispering over the comms.
Scott was shin deep in mud at the time. Another mudslide, another tragedy from which they had managed to save many but had lost far more. He’d just managed to haul a young man out of a house that had trapped just enough air for him to survive. The man’s terror had only been matched by his gratitude on being found. Scott had muddy handprints all over him, a reminder of how the man had not wanted to let go of him.
His brother’s soft singing had only just now caught his attention.
Virgil did not respond, the almost whispered words of the song gentle in Scott’s ears.
Every alarm bell available in Scott’s vast repertoire immediately screamed at him. Something was wrong, very wrong.
“Thunderbird Five, give me a location on Virgil?”
“Two hundred and thirty-three metres due west of your position.”
Scott looked over in that direction. It led to the edge of the village. A flick of his wrists and he activated his jetpack…jetpack number three for today. He really needed to speak to Brains about extending their range. They were definitely useful in this situation, enabling him to coast over obstacles, but their range was limited.
He lifted up over the ruins of the house and the wash of sludge and vegetation. The air was full of wailing and the occasional scream, the groan of heavy equipment and the squelch of mud and dirty water.
Virgil continued to sing softly.
“John, do you have a read out on Virgil’s vitals.”
“No more than the usual stress indicators, Scott, why?”
Scott frowned. “You can’t hear him?”
“Hear what? Give me a sec.” Scott could almost hear him hacking comlines. A whispered, “Damn. Any ideas?”
“Here? Could be anything. I’m on my way.” The village flew beneath him, Thunderbird One and Two far off to his right. Virgil had been assigned to the heavy lifting as per usual, removing major obstructions with the pods and his exo-suit, Gordon assisting, while Alan had backed up Scott. He’d left Alan herding survivors towards the medical tents. He could see Gordon clearing access to a badly damaged building with his pod. The other pod sat abandoned on the side of the road.
Virgil wasn’t to be seen.
“John, specific location?”
“Behind the building on your left.”
It could have been called a building once. Now it was little more than a pile of broken wood and stone half buried in mud. He drifted just above the ground to avoid the mud, coasting around the wreckage. A mud smeared flicker of blue and green was crouched below the tangled limbs of a fallen tree.
Scott landed and approached his brother quietly.
The singing stopped and Virgil looked up at him. His helmet was beside him in the mud so there was nothing to hide the red strain of his tear-bright eyes. “Hey, Scott.” His voice was rough and he swallowed to clear his throat. He reached a hand down into the mud before grabbing his helmet and unfolding to his feet. “We, uh, we lost another.” Virgil wiped his wrist across his face, leaving a mud streak across both cheeks. His lips twitched in what was sure to be an attempt at a reassuring smile, but it failed. Instead, his eyes drifted away from Scott’s, he let out a breath and turned away, his shoulders automatically straightening as he made a beeline back to his pod.
Scott’s eyes darted back to where his brother had been kneeling. A little blond-haired boy lay as if asleep. Asleep, if it weren’t for the tree.
Scott closed his eyes.