The Price

Title: The Price (Part One)
A Tale of Sotto Voce
Author: Gumnut
29-30 Oct 2018 
Fandom: Thunderbirds Are Go 2015/ Thunderbirds TOS
Rating: Mature (for dark themes)
Summary: They both had a price.
Word count: 1390
Spoilers & warnings: Spoilers for Season 2, Sotto Voce and Il Mago
Timeline: Set sometime after Il Mago and Father.
Author’s note: This one will be posted in pieces as I only have time to write short bits at the moment. I’m also not sure where this is going. Many, many thanks to all my wonderful supporters, I couldn’t do this without you ::hugs:: I hope you enjoy this rather dark start to a story.
Disclaimer: Mine? You’ve got to be kidding. Money? Don’t have any, don’t bother.

-o-o-o-

“It’s him, Scott.”

“It’s him.”

Scott stared at the amber liquid as he tilted his glass in
the dim light. The reflection from the desk holoprojector contrasted heavily
with the general darkness of the room.

They knew who had hurt them. He knew who had hurt Virgil so
badly. Who had violated his mind and tortured his quiet, kind, artistic
brother. Threatened his life, his sanity.

The liquid shook and he had to force his hand to relax or
risk shattering the glass.

Eos had hunted down every detail she could find. Kayo and
Penny had done the same.

And John, with fire in his eyes, had calmly hacked through
medical records, bank records and even the clinic’s internal security network.

So Scott could sit here in the dark and stare at the shell
of a man who had nearly killed his brother.

They had found money. Kayo and John together had traced it
back to known Hood holdings.

They had found scans of the man’s brain. They confirmed
that, yes, Percival Fischler was as augmented as Virgil, if not more.

What they could not find was motivation.

And they couldn’t find the source of the technology.

Scott took a sip of the whisky and let the glass drop to the
table top.

Technology.

John was a great hacker. Scott had no idea how he did it,
but he did. It was one of the reasons why he was on Thunderbird Five. There was
very little information denied his middle brother and Scott never hesitated to
ask him to exercise those skills if it could save a life.

Scott was no amateur with computer networks either, but John
was a magician with code.

He shivered at the thought.

Il Mago.

Scott watched him breathing.

The newsvids had lied. This was not a man on his way to
recovery. His medical file reported an inexplicable stroke that had crippled
him. Best case scenario was locked-in syndrome, a terrifying condition that has
the patient living and conscious, but unable to move at all. Worst case, well,
he wasn’t dead, yet.

He shoved another swallow of whisky down his throat and
fiddled with the computer controls, panning the camera and zooming in.

Yes, John was a damn good hacker. And either intentionally
or not, had given his brother the tools.

Scott could end this all now. With a flick of a switch, the
great Il Mago, mind rapist and attempted murderer, would die, taking all the
threat and terror he currently held over the Tracy family with him.

He would be saving
lives. Most likely that of his beloved brother and best friend. Not to mention
his niece, who apparently didn’t stand a chance against this bastard.

The whisky burnt going down.

It would be easy. Untraceable. It would solve so much.

So much.

And Virgil would be safe.

“What do you think you are doing?”

The voice was calm, baritone and familiar. Virgil appeared
across the other side of the comms room melting from the shadows like a
spectre.

Scott didn’t react. He just took another sip of expensive
alcohol and continued to watch the dead man breathe.

“Scott?”

“What do you want, Virgil?”

“I want to know what you are doing.”

“What does it look like?”

“Nothing good.”

“If you don’t like it, don’t watch.” Another sip of fire
down his throat.

His brother’s footsteps on the hardwood floor echoed through
the dark room. Virgil was pale in the dim light. But then Virgil had been pale
for a long time now.

Because of this man.

A simple flick of a finger.

A hand covered his, warm, but slightly rough to the touch. “Please
don’t.” His brother’s voice was quiet.

“He deserves it.” And he shook off the hand, choosing control.

“But you don’t.”

He shot a look at his brother, anger giving him energy. “And
what? You did? Did you deserve to have that
thing
shoved in your head? Did you deserve all that pain? The bastard tortured
you!” His hands were shaking again. He forced the glass of whisky to his mouth,
revelling in the burn. “He damned near killed you. I almost lost you.” And his
voice broke on that last.

“I’m still here.” So damn calm. Virgil Tracy calm.

Those brown eyes as calm as the rest of his brother. Yes, he
was still here…just. But how much of him was broken? How much couldn’t be
repaired? And how long would it be before the bastard came back and tried to
take him again? How long before he lost his brother?

He reached for the control, but that hand was back and it
grabbed him.

“Please, Scott, don’t do this to yourself.”

He tried to wrest his hand away, but Virgil was stronger in
sheer force. His brother hung on.

“Let go.”

“No.”

“Virgil.”

“No.”

Forcing himself to his feet, he glared at his brother. “Let
go, or I will make you let go.”

“You can try.” A raised eyebrow and those damned calm brown
eyes.

He struggled again and his brother just hung on. A shift in
his stance and he tried another angle, but Virgil grabbed him, using his weight
to counteract Scott’s movement. “I don’t want to fight you.”

“Then don’t. He doesn’t deserve your defence!”

“You do.”

“Goddamnit, Virgil!” And he struck out. Blindly.

His brother dodged, his hold slipping for a moment only to
return twice as strong. Scott fought the confinement, using his height and leverage,
wrangled himself away. Virgil’s hands fell.

But those eyes were tracking his every move.

“It could all end here! No more living in fear. No more
looking over your shoulder. No more waiting for that goddamned bastard to hurt
you again!”

The eyes blinked, and for a moment Scott thought he had him.
But no. Dark brown reflected the holoprojection and the moonlight, and a solid
determination to protect his brother’s soul.

“I will not let you hurt yourself, Scott. He has taken…so
much…I won’t let him take anymore.”

“Even if he kills you?!” He spat the words out, frustration
climbing his spine. “How much do you think he will take then?” Scott didn’t
want to think about it. With Virgil gone… He dropped his head staring at his
shoes, shaking it no. “I can’t lose you, Virg. I can’t.”

“You won’t.”

“Hah!” It was a broken sound. “You have your price. You told
me so.” He glared at his brother. “This is mine. You! You are my price! I can’t
let him…” He shook his head again. “I can’t…”

And he made his move.

Virgil was ready for him, his stocky brother throwing his body
between Scott and the desk, forcing him away, towards the windows behind. They
wrestled, neither truly wanting to hurt the other. Protection the sole
motivation.

Perhaps it was the alcohol, perhaps the instinctual need to
not hurt his brother, but Virgil got the fore, his foot hooking Scott’s leg and
sending them both to the hardwood floor.

Scott let himself go limp, rolling onto his back and closing
his eyes. With his lack of resistance, Virgil’s faded too.

“Please, Virg. I can’t…”

“We save people, Scott. We are not judges and executioners.”

“I want…to save you. I have to save you.”

And Virgil was above him, passion in his eyes. “You have.
You always do. No matter what happens, you have always been there for me, Scott.
I could never ask for more. And I never will.” He visibly swallowed. “There are
lines. Lines that should never be crossed. Please, Scott, promise me. No matter
what happens, you will not cross that line.”

He stared up at his younger brother, all artistic passion
and flare. Virgil was no stranger to the realities of life, the hard decisions,
the loss living entailed. How could he ask him this? “I can’t, Virgil. Anymore than
you could were the situation reversed.”

The spark in those eyes flared and Scott knew he had made
his point.

Virgil opened his mouth to reply, but another voice spoke
from the room’s overhead speakers. “Well, this is all very sacrificing and heroic,
but I have my own agenda if you don’t mind.” And to Scott’s horror, Virgil’s
eyes rolled up in his head and he collapsed limp beside him.

“You said something about your price?”

-o-o-o-
Part Two

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