Disclaimer: I own nothing, all rights belong to their respective owners and I'm just playing.
Been having a bit of a re-watch of episodes and this stemmed half from Terror in New York and half from the conversation that then followed with Angel-Sue. Hope you like it.
Scott yawned as he rolled his neck, trying to alleviate the stiffness to his back. Over twenty four hours of sitting in a command centre, desperately trying to keep two men alive while knowing there was nothing he could really do other than talk was beginning to take its toll. He wanted nothing more than a nice hot shower and a long run, preferably followed by another shower.
But the day was drawing on and darkness was beginning to shroud the island. The only thing he could really handle right now was a date with his bed. He was certainly beginning to feel the lack of sleep. Having just spent the best part of an hour filling Virgil in on all the details his brother wanted to know about the rescue, Scott was feeling more exhausted than he remembered feeling before. It had been worth it though; Virgil had finally agreed to stay in bed only if Scott told him everything. Considering he knew how bored his little brother was at sitting still, Scott had been only too happy to oblige.
He would do anything right now to make sure that Virgil was healing the way he should be. He knew it was going to be a long time before his brother's uncontrolled dive left his mind. It had been bad enough watching it happen and knowing there was nothing he could do. But what was worse than the visual was the sound. Nothing but utter silence, informing him his brother had lost consciousness and wouldn't be able to gain control of his craft regardless of what state she was in. Hearing Virgil's attempt to pull out of the dive might have been the best sound that Scott had ever heard.
Knowing it was over now, the pilot ran a hand over his tired face. Virgil was going to be fine, there was no point on dwelling on it. Scott knew as soon as he got some sleep, everything was going to seem a lot better. Another yawn escaped him as he padded quietly through the lounge, fully intending to head up to bed despite it being early. But as he crossed the room, something caught his eye.
How he noticed considering the darkness, Scott had no idea. But for some reason, he felt the urge to look out of the sliding doors towards the pool. There was just enough light from one of the windows to highlight someone sitting there, feet dangling in the water and head craned back towards the stars. Knowing precisely who it was, Scott changed direction and slid open the door.
Gordon didn't even jump, he just glanced over his shoulder and raised a hand in a lazy greeting.
"What are you doing out here?" Scott continued, stepping out onto the patio himself. If Gordon had been in the pool, he wouldn't have needed to ask. But it was unlike his brother to just sit like this and the worry began coursing through Scott again. Gordon shrugged as he glanced up at his big brother.
"Not ready for bed," he said softly, but Scott wondered whether it was just his imagination that had made that sound more like a question than a statement. Gordon looked exhausted and Scott found himself sitting down next to his brother.
"You need to get some sleep, kiddo."
"So do you, you've been up for the last 24 hours."
"And you mean to say that I was wrong believing that you had got no more sleep than me?" Scott knew how good at deflecting Gordon was, especially when something was bothering him. Once again, Gordon shrugged.
"I wasn't trying to keep those guys talking," he said quietly, refusing to meet Scott's eye. The elder man snorted before he stopped himself. It was enough for Gordon to glance around.
"You didn't sleep a wink on the Sentinel, did you?" He knew Gordon better than that. They were off on a rescue, even if Gordon hadn't arrived yet. Adrenaline would have been pumping through his brother, especially as this was one of the first times they had been able to use Four. He knew it had been more than proving the sub, though. It had been about Gordon proving himself, proving he could do this and they had been right to let him be a member of the team.
"I couldn't," Gordon said softly, his voice so quiet that Scott almost missed that he had spoken at all. That alone was enough to send alarm shooting through him. Gordon was always expressive, even if he tried to change the subject six times before they could get to the heart of the problem. Hearing him like this made Scott realise he wasn't the only one deeply affected by Virgil's crash.
"Because of the rescue?"
"Because of where I was."
"What do you mean?" Scott settled himself down next to his brother in a more comfortable position, letting his feet also dangle in the water. He felt his own tiredness ebbing away now that he knew he had another brother to help sort out. If there was one thing that could keep Scott Tracy going, it was a brother in need of his help. Gordon glanced at him and sighed. He seemed to realise there was no way he would be able to get away with not answering.
"I didn't trust them," he finally admitted. Scott stared. That had not been the answer he had been expecting. He didn't say anything and Gordon seemed to take his silence as an indication that he should continue.
"They shot down Virg. I know they didn't know who we were when they launched those missiles, and I know they destroyed the last two as soon as they did know. But… because of them our brother is lying in his sick bed. If they hadn't acted the way they had, I would never have been on board."
"But… I thought you wanted to get to the rescue zone?" Scott could understand how Gordon felt. Despite the apologies and the later help, he too had no lost love for the Sentinel or her crew. He didn't think it was in him to ever forgive anyone who hurt one of his brothers, let alone nearly killed them and made him watch helplessly from the side lines.
"I did. I knew those guys were counting on us, it was the only reason why I went along with it. But trust me when I say if there had been another way, I would have taken it faster than blinking." Scott found himself staring at the raw emotion present in Gordon's voice. Unless he was mistaken, he was sure it was trembling a little. Luckily, Gordon didn't seem to need any further prompting to keep talking now that he had started.
"But there was no way I could sleep. I didn't trust them. I didn't know what they would do to me, or Four, if I had let my guard down."
"They had promised to help."
"I know. But how can we trust the word of the men who nearly killed Virg? I couldn't… I couldn't take the chance that they would do something else."
"I know I'm being irrational. But I was there on that Command Deck, Scott. I saw the buttons and switches that would have been flicked as soon as they ordered Virgil to be shot down. I know you saw him crash, I thought you would understand how I felt."
Scott found himself staring at his little brother, looking at him properly in the dim light. Huge shadows circled his eyes, a telling sign that Gordon was telling the truth about getting no sleep. Tension forced his body to stay rigid and he was breathing a little fast, a clear indication that he was still angry over what had happened. They were only just establishing themselves as people who would be there to help when no one else could, and they had already been fired upon. Accident or not, it was clear that Gordon was not prepared to let that go.
"Why didn't you say anything?" He asked softly, wishing that he had known at the time. Then again, it wasn't as if there would have been anything he could have done from the distance he was at. Gordon had been in the middle of nowhere; no one would have been able to help him. Suddenly, Scott realised that was the problem. Virgil had been close enough to the island he had made it back. Admittedly, it had been touch and go, but he had done it. Gordon had been worried they would turn on him next, and there would be no lucky escape to the island for him. He would have been on his own. Scott reached over and squeezed his brother's shoulder, wincing at the tension he could feel there.
Gordon glanced over at him, a small smile on his face. "You know why I didn't. This needed to be done. I don't think I even realised what I was feeling half the time, I just know that I couldn't sleep. I put it down to adrenaline but it wasn't. Scott, it was fear."
"It's okay to be scared," Scott left his hand on Gordon's shoulder as he spoke, but his brother shrugged it off.
"No, it's not. You're not. You and Virg fly off into this sort of situation day after day. I do one rescue on my own and I end up scared."
"This wasn't an ordinary rescue, Gordon. Besides," Scott dropped his eyes and looked out across the pool. "Who says that I don't get scared?"
"Watching Virg in that dive, knowing that he couldn't hear me as I tried to get him to pull up. I've only been that terrified once before in my life."
"When do you think, kiddo?" Gordon stared at him for a moment before dropping his own eyes. It was obvious that he knew Scott was talking about his accident and their wait to find out whether he would wake up or not.
"So… it's okay to be scared?"
Gordon sounded so young and vulnerable in that moment that Scott found himself wondering if they were doing the right thing. Day after day they put themselves – put his brothers – in danger to try and save a few strangers. Virgil had been shot down. The tunnels had collapsed on Gordon while he was still pulling Ned to safety, although luckily Four showed that she could more than withstand that sort of impact. There were only a few scratches on her when she had cleared the underground tunnels and the occupants inside were only a little shaken. No one had been hurt. But what if that wasn't always the case?
Glancing at Gordon, Scott knew he couldn't say what he was thinking. To admit it would mean admitting he didn't think his brothers could handle the responsibility, and there was no way he thought that. He knew they could do it, it was just the rest of the world he was worried about.
"Yeah, Gords. It's okay to be scared. Besides, just think of how alert that makes you. Being scared keeps you safe and cautious, so I suppose it's a good thing in our line of work. You just can't let it control you, or keep it bottled up, understand?"
Gordon nodded softly and Scott saw some of the tension leaving him. He had to wonder how long that had been playing on his brother's mind. It was only then he realised they had never really spoken about the danger when they had agreed to this. It seemed the threat came from not only the rescues themselves, but just in their very existence. But now was not the time, not when he finally seemed to have got through to Gordon.
"You know you can tell me when things get too much, don't you? It's nothing to be ashamed of."
"I know," Gordon said, pulling his feet out of the pool and starting to stand up. "But you do realise that works both ways and we're here for you as well, right?"
Scott smiled as Gordon offered down his hand to help him up. Standing up, he didn't immediately let go of the grip.
"I'm proud of you," he said softly, and even in the dim light could see Gordon's blush as his brother quickly pulled his hand free. As Gordon moved towards the house, Scott spoke again.
"Where are you going?"
"Bed," Gordon called over his shoulder, stepping through the doors. "And unless you want Virgil on your case for looking like a zombie, I suggest you do the same thing."
Scott stayed where he was as Gordon vanished, a smile tugging at his lips. It always felt like a job well done when he managed to get an upset brother relaxed enough to actually want to go to sleep. He knew Gordon hadn't even thought of his bed when Scott had first stepped out to join him. Shaking the water off his feet, he followed his brother into the house and let the door slide shut behind him. The soft click as the lock caught made Scott feel like they were truly safe. Nothing could hurt them here.
Still, that didn't stop him from having one last check on Virgil as he made his way towards his own bed. He knew Alan was off with Tin-Tin somewhere and could hear by the murmur of voices that his father was talking to John. He was glad constant contact was maintained with the space monitor, for he knew how withdrawn John could get when given the chance. But that wasn't his problem to sort out tonight, he could leave that to his father and know that John was alright.
Pushing open Virgil's door, Scott smiled. He had left his brother resting earlier that evening, but sleep had claimed the injured Tracy. He looked more relaxed when he was asleep, younger and more vulnerable somehow. Yet Scott knew his brother was made of tougher stuff than anyone gave him credit for and was going to be just fine. They were going to have a battle, for once, keeping Virgil in bed rather than getting him out of it.
The smile remained on his face as Scott backed out, turning off Virgil's light as he did so. It seemed his brother hadn't quite intended to fall asleep. But knowing that Virgil was resting and Gordon was relaxed, Scott knew the mission was finally over. Once again, they had pulled through it despite the odds being stacked against them.
Falling into his own bed and finally allowing sleep to take him, Scott knew he couldn't ask for anything more than that.