Scott was drowning in paperwork when his youngest brother stormed into the comms room and threw himself on one of the couches. Caught between the supplies estimate and the budget forecast he only spared Alan a momentary glance, but then paused at the distress on his face.
“Alan? You okay?”
The younger man didn’t respond at first, his glare decidedly lasering the floor. But then he looked up, and Scott was horrified to see tears in his eyes. Paperwork immediately forgotten, he stood up and moved towards his brother. “Hey, what’s up?”
Alan’s expression didn’t waver. “Did you know?”
“Did I know what?”
“Virgil and Kayo.” When Scott didn’t immediately answer, he waved in the direction of the pool. “They’re out there sucking each other’s faces off.”
Scott flinched internally at the description, but kept his expression calm. So Virgil had finally taken the final step. Part of him was cheering, the rest was staring at the devastation on Alan’s face.
He sat down beside his brother and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I will admit that I had known they were growing closer. I did not know it had reached this…stage yet.”
“How could he do that?”
Alan stared at him in amazement. “She’s our sister!”
“Screw ‘technically’! She’s my sister! Mine!”
Scott’s lips thinned. “Alan, do you see her as more than your sister?”
“No! Yes! She was my friend.”
“Was? She is still your sister.”
“But she is kissing Virgil!”
Scott rubbed his temple with his free hand. “Aren’t you happy for them?”
“I…I don’t know. I thought…” There was pure anguish on his face. “Why? Why did he have to do that?”
“Because I love her.” Virgil’s baritone was barely there. Scott’s head came up to see his brother standing somewhat forlornly at the top of the stairs at the entrance to the room. There was no sign of Kayo. “I’m sorry, Alan.”
“Yeah, sure you are.” It was said to the floor.
Virgil eyed Scott and took a few steps into the room. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
Alan didn’t answer that.
“Woah, better watch it, guys, something’s pissed off Kayo and her glares are stripping skin.” Gordon stumbled up the stairs backwards and into the room, a blow-up swan under one arm. “Oh, hey, Virg. Alan, my man! I have repaired the swan, your vessel awaits y-“ The aquanaut froze as he picked up the vibe in the room. “What’s going on?”
Virgil shifted where he stood and rubbed his face with a hand.
Alan threw a hand in the air. “Hah, so once again the youngest get left out of the loop.”
“There was no loop, Alan.” Virgil.
“Then perhaps we should get John on the line to make sure everybody knows who’s kissing who!”
“Who’s kissing who?” Gordon’s expression was a mixture of curiosity and concern.
“Virgil and Kayo sitting in a tree-“
“That is enough, Alan!” Scott couldn’t help but react to the pain on Virgil’s face.
Gordon was staring at his second eldest brother. “Virgil? You dog!” And he was grinning before reaching over and gently thumping his brother on the back. “Congrats. We need details, bro.”
Scott cringed as Virgil attempted a smile and failed. “Gordon…”
The aquanaut frowned. “What’s wrong?”
“How can you congratulate him?”
Gordon stared at his younger brother. “Why not?”
“He’s dating his sister!”
“Hell yeah, and she is a fantastic catch.” Gordon smirked. “Though as her brother I do have to give you the talk, you know. Treat her wrong and I’ll have to beat you up.” He looked Virgil up and down. “Well, at least get Scott to try.” He feigned thinking for a moment. “Though technically, you’re her brother too, so you’d have to beat yourself up if you do her wrong, too, you know.”
“I’m not going to do her wrong, Gordon.” Was that a twitch of a smile?
“Good. You had me worried there. I have no wish for you to pummel me. And Scott, he’s kinda useful to have around, wouldn’t want you to smush him either.”
“I’m not going to smush either of you.” Yes, a definite smile was curving Virgil’s lips.
“Great.” And Gordon swung an arm around Virgil’s shoulders and, well, hung off him. Virgil was considerably taller than his fish brother. “So, I wanna hear some of those details, bro.” And he began ushering Virgil towards the circle of the lounge.
Alan made to stand up and leave, but Scott grabbed his arm. “Time to grow up, Alan.” He said it quietly, but firmly. “He’s your brother. She’s your sister. You love them both. Think of them and not yourself. Man up.” It was cruel, but life was cruel and if Alan had had designs on Kayo, it was too late now, and he had to face it. He could not have one brother at another’s throat for such a petty reason.
He watched his little brother swallow, the despair still in his eyes.
Scott squeezed his arm gently. “Times change. Be happy for them.”
“Hey, John!” Gordon was hailing Thunderbird Five. “Virg has got a girlfriend, you’ll never guess who!”
“Gordon!” And Virgil was attempting to swat him.
“Dare I ask?” And John’s cool demeanour was hovering in the middle of the room.
“Guys, please.” Virgil held up his hands. “It’s early days yet.” And his eyes were back on Alan.
Gordon noticed. “Hey, she’s gorgeous, you’re, well, kinda okay, I don’t see a problem.”
“Gee, thanks.” But a smirk had appeared on Virgil’s face.
“Who exactly are we talking about?”
“See? There was no loop. Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, I thought you kept up on the news.”
“Virgil and Kayo, Johnny-boy. It’s the new in thing.”
Green eyes turned to Virgil who suddenly didn’t know where to look. It was a shame to see him just that touch fearful of a brother’s response. But as Scott suspected, only a smile appeared on his holographic brother’s face. “Congratulations, Virgil. I’m happy for both of you.”
“And I still haven’t heard any details. C’mon, bro, dish!”
Scott couldn’t help but smirk at the blush that flooded Virgil’s face.
Gordon kept an eye on Alan the entire conversation. He knew at some point his younger brother would make a dash for it. Scott’s grip on his arm had been quite obvious.
Sure enough, as soon as Scott was distracted by John, he made his break. Gordon followed him down the stairs.
Alan glared at him. “I don’t want to hear it. I can clearly see whose side you are on.”
He grabbed his brother’s arm. “You don’t get to say that. You had your chance and you chickened out. Don’t you dare deny Virgil a chance you were too scared to take. You had every opportunity, and you took none.”
“Too late. Get over it.”
His brother glared at him.
“Fine, go and sulk. But I told you so. You have no one to blame but yourself.” And he let him go. Alan stalked off in the direction of his rooms.
Gordon sighed. God he hoped his little brother didn’t hang onto this. He knew Virgil. Virgil put his heart into everything he did. This would be no dalliance.
It left Gordon wondering whether he’d have to kick a brother or sister’s ass if someone did someone wrong.
But yes, there was romance in the Tracy household. He bounded up the stairs to return to the party. This was going to be so much fun!
Kayo stepped out from behind the stairs, staring after her fish brother. Well, that explained a few things.
She could hear the brother’s talking in the room above, but she didn’t join them. Let them do their boy things. A small smile. She would have plenty of fun later.