Virgil was sitting in the rain and he was soaked to the bone.

But he didn’t care.

His eyes were closed and there were raindrops splashing on his cheeks.

Fortunately, it was warm rain. Tropical Tracy Island warm rain. But it was wet nonetheless.

He was laid out on one of the pool loungers, t-shirt and long pants plastered to his skin. He wore no shoes and his toes wriggled as they were splattered with water.

And he was humming.

It was an old song about rain and he found it rather appropriate.

For a moment he stuck out his tongue, giggling just a little at the tickle and the taste of the summer storm.

The underside of his eyelids lit up in a blaze of light, quickly followed by the sharp crack of thunder. It rumbled through the lounger rattling his bones.

Virgil laughed.

“Is that the best you can do?!” He shouted it up into the dark sky. The rain fell harder. “I dare you to do more. I dare you!”

Lightning struck the palm tree nearest to him.

The sound was all encompassing. The ground shook and it rained cinders as he fell off the lounger and scrambled back towards the pool. “Holy-“

An arm grabbed him and he was being pulled away. He struggled, feet slipping on the tiles, but his assailant was persistent and he was slowly but inevitably pulled back inside, back into the light of the house and out of the rain.

Two arms wrapped around him from behind and a forehead dropped down onto his shoulder. Virgil stiffened.

Quiet. “Why, Virgil?”

“Because I can.” He was dripping on the linoleum.

“There is no point in endangering yourself.”

Virgil shook him off, turning to face his brother. “Endangering myself? Really, John. An evening by the pool? Hah! Inter-national Rescue operative braves danger and excitement, fried by lightning while moonbathing in a rainstorm…at the pool.” He shifted from one foot to the other. “Actually, that sounds like a fitting epitaph.”

John’s eyes closed for just a moment. “Please, Virgil.”

For a moment, just a moment, John’s pained expression broke through his defences. “I’m sorry, John.” He turned away, walking back towards the weather outside. “I’ve got a date with a moonbeam.”

“Please don’t.”

“You’re gonna wanna, because I’m gonna.” He waved a negligent hand in his brother’s direction.

Sure enough, there was a sharp pain in his neck and the world started to get fuzzy again. “Thanks, John, for being so predictable.” He slipped sideways as his right leg gave out before his left and he ended up on his back staring up as his brother approached, tall, lithe, calculating, so John. Even with the gun in his hand.

A simple wish for blue eyes instead of green, and the world faded out.

-o-o-o-

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