Inspired by the above photo.
Yeah, as if I needed another prompt, but I stalled and felt like a photo (taking notes out of @the-lady-razorsharp ‘s books :D).
This is Warm Rain, but years into the future, beyond ‘Give & Take’. It just happened. So Virgil/Kayo, a little angst and an expanse of ocean.
It took everything Scott had to hold his brother back.
“Gordon has this Virgil. You know that. He will do everything possible.”
The muscles under his hands flexed with potential energy. Scott knew the truth. It wasn’t his strength holding Virgil back from the water, it was his words. They were all he had. If they weren’t strong enough, there would be no stopping his stronger brother.
It was always words with Virgil.
From the moment Thunderbird Shadow hit the surface of the ocean, his brother had been desperate to follow.
But he couldn’t.
All he could do was stand on the open module door staring at that same rolling surface and trust the love of his life to his aquanaut brother.
“Gordon will find her.”
Scott held his brother with his eyes, pinning those desperate brown irises with his own.
And those muscles shifted, relaxing just slightly, only to wind up into an different formation. One of silent angst.
Virgil turned away.
The module rocked up and down with the swell. The continual roar of Thunderbirds One and Two above them drowned out everything, encapsulating them in a dome of sound, shutting the rest of the world out.
“I’ve located Thunderbird S. Retrieving now.” Gordon’s voice echoed through his helmet, breaking the moment, and Virgil shifted just slightly, his whole frame tightening.
One hand shifted to finger the rings beneath his glove.
Scott said a silent prayer.
“She’s alive, guys, she’s alive. She’s signing now. Comms down. Cockpit watertight. Woah, such sign language, Tin. Oh, she’s pissed. Aww, c’mon, Tin, that is just rude!” A clap of hands. “Ah, Virg, she’s all yours when we get up there. I’m not going anywhere near her in this mood. Securing Thunderbird S now. Incremental return to surface in progress. ETA fifteen minutes.”
Both Scott and Virgil were seasoned responders and there had been many an occasion when one or the other of their family had been a life threatening situation. But that never made the next time any easier.
So it was no surprise when the sudden relief set his brother shaking. Scott didn’t hesitate to wrap his arms around him, taking those minutes they had while Gordon brought his wife back to the surface, to comfort his brother.
Virgil was breathing hard.
“She’s okay, Virgil, she’s okay.”
It had all been so sudden. Scott had been ahead of them, on the way back from Tokyo, Shadow hanging back to keep Two company, when Kayo had suddenly yelled into comms, Virgil had shouted her name, and S had fallen out of the sky.
By the time Scott had backtracked, Thunderbird Two was already deploying the module onto the surface. There was no sign of Kayo anywhere.
John had been yelling location coordinates at all of them. Gordon launched into the ocean faster than Scott had ever seen him do it.
Virgil had zip-lined down to the water’s surface.
His brother hadn’t hesitated to follow, and now they were here.
Scott dragged Virgil over to the wall of the module and sat him on an equipment locker. “Take a moment.” His brother sagged. Reaching up he detached his helmet and took a breath of the sea air, closing his eyes. Scott could see him forcing calm, almost drawing it in from the environment.
A moment of hesitation and Scott sat down beside him, shucking his helmet as well. “How the hell did this happen?”
“I don’t know.” Virgil’s voice was hoarse. “One minute we were talking tonight’s dinner, the next she was yelling for help. There was no warning, no sign. She just went down.” He ran his hands over his face and through his hair. “Wasn’t expecting it.”
He eyed his brother. They were both running on adrenalin, burning reserves that had been used up by the earthquake in Tokyo. A coming crash was inevitable.
Quietly. “All I could see were their faces when I returned home without her.” Virgil looked up at him. “How could I do that to them?”
“She’s fine, Virgil.”
“But what if she hadn’t been?”
“But she is. She’s safe.”
Virgil looked away and Scott knew there had been an impact. There would be discussions. Likely arguments. Possibly changes.
“They would understand.”
Virgil’s head shot around faster than he would have thought possible. “Would they? I don’t recall being particularly understanding when that mountain took Mom, or when the sea took Dad. In fact, I still don’t understand, so how could I possibly expect my own children to understand any better?”
There was no answer to that. Losing a parent was nasty on all fronts. But still…
“They are so proud of you two, you know that, don’t you?”
His brother didn’t answer immediately, looking back at the rise and dip of the ocean. Quietly. “It wouldn’t be enough.” And Virgil stood, walking away towards the edge of the water, setting himself into a resting posture and staring out at the ocean.
End of conversation.
They stayed that way until ten minutes later the surface of the water was disturbed by yellow propellers and the sleek gray-black form of Thunderbird S as Thunderbird Four lifted her from the depths. The yellow ‘bird turned her gently in the water until her nose rested on the door of the module.
There was no holding back Virgil anymore. He leapt onto Thunderbird S and clambered over her fuselage to the cockpit just as Kayo released it from inside. There was a moment of visual assessment, Virgil’s eyes combing her for injury. She smiled just a little at him, and he scooped her into his arms, holding her so tight, Scott winced. But she returned it with equal gusto, wrapping herself around him.
Lifting her into his arms, he carried her back to the module, his large boots surprisingly nimble on her ‘bird’s nose.
“You can put me down now, Virgil.”
He kissed her forehead.
He was obviously still reluctant, but he let her go. “You’re sure you’re okay?”
She rested a hand on his shoulder. “A few bruises from the harness, but other than that, I’m fine. Brains builds well, you know that.” Scott raised an eyebrow. Obviously, Kayo was aware of her husband’s likely reaction in this situation and was doing her best to calm him down. “I need to see to Shadow.”
“Uh, guys, you might want to see this.” And Gordon was turning S around, bringing her rear into view. Or he would have, if she had any rear left. Both rear thrusters and tail plane were missing. All that was left was broken and burnt metal stumps where they used to be. They had been amputated.
“I don’t think the water did this. I think it was done in the sky.” And god damnit, it did look like they had been lasered off.
“What the hell?” It was Virgil who said it first. “Why?”
Scott sighed, unfortunately experience taught him that it was never that simple and he knew that Virgil knew it in his heart as well. He was just denying it.
“It is not so much why, Virgil, but who?”
Who wanted to kill them now?