THB: Vignette for fanfiction.net
1 November 2002, edited 2 November 2002
Summary: After Virgil is shot down in "Terror in NYC", Scott has trouble sleeping, until a few words with Jeff Tracy help him out. A short vignette (spoilers, Terror in NYC and Atlantic Inferno)
By Olivia Sutton
"No, Virgil! Noooo!" Scott awoke with a start, shaken, it took him a moment to realize where he was, but he was home, safe, in his room in the family home on Tracy Island. It was a dream, just a dream, Scott thought, as he lay quietly in the dark room. He knew Virgil was resting comfortably in the sickroom nearby. So Scott closed his eyes and pulled the covers over his head. But the minute he lay down and tried to sleep all he saw was his brother's fiery crash. I'll never get to sleep now. Then he threw on a robe and some slippers and quietly made his way to the round observation room at the far end of the house. Once he arrived, he left the lights off in the room and sat on one of the window seats, watching the ocean through the glass. The bright halogen lights of the Island's private runway lit the ocean with a harsh white glow. Scott sighed and continued to stare outside.
"Who's here? Scott?" Said a voice from the doorway.
Scott turned towards the door, "Father?"
Jeff Tracy turned on the room lights, on the dimmest setting, then made his way over to his oldest son. "What is it?"
Scott sighed, "I'm sorry I woke you."
"It's okay, son, just tell me what's wrong."
"Nightmares," answered Scott, quietly.
Jeff sat next to Scott, and put an hand on his arm.
"I…I can't stop thinking about what happened…to Virgil, the crash…I couldn't do anything, Father."
"Virgil's going to be okay, Scott."
"I know, I know. It's just…I felt so helpless. I was delayed on takeoff from the danger zone. Maybe if I had been able to leave right away, I could have done something, and The Sentinel wouldn't have mistaken Thunderbird Two for a missile or enemy aircraft, or whatever they thought it was. All I could do was talk to him, to try and talk him through it so he wouldn't crash into the ocean. And urge him on, so he'd make it to base."
"I know, son, I know. But Virgil told me that if you hadn't kept at him, if you hadn't kept telling him to pull up, he never would have made it. You have more experience with maneuvering an aircraft out of a dive like that."
"I know. It should have…"
"No, Scott, you can't think like that."
Scott turned away and looked out at the ocean.
"Scott, listen to me. All of you know the risks…"
But Scott interrupted him, "That's different, when I'm in the danger zone, I'm too busy to think. I can't think about the risks I'm taking, much less what my brothers are doing. I have to concentrate on the job, because if I don't people could die. Maybe even Virgil, or Alan, or Gordon. Even John, every once in a while, or Brains. I've accepted that."
"But this was different."
"Hell, yes, it was different. We were on our way home, to base. And there was no reason for the Sentinel's missile attack. And all I could do was watch, with TB 2 on fire and Virgil crashing. There was nothing I could do to stop it. If he had hit the water, I wouldn't have even been able to land anywhere to pull him out."
"And even when he landed. I was the last one to see him. The last one to find out if he was okay."
"And I was the first." Said Jeff, quietly.
"Huh?" asked Scott, "I thought Alan and Gordon were in fire control?"
"They were, but once we could get into Thunderbird Two I didn't let them in to follow me. Not right away. Scott, TB 2 was a blackened hulk. I had no idea what condition Virgil was in. Once the wheels gave out, we received no transmissions from him. I…I decided that I would be the one to go in first. I made Gordon and Alan wait outside. I…I was afraid, Scott, afraid of what might be inside that ship."
"You were afraid?" he said, quietly.
"Scott, do you remember the last time Penny convinced me to take a vacation?"
"What?" said Scott, startled by the apparent non-sequiter. "You mean, during the SeaScape Affair?"
"Right. How did you feel about being in charge?'
"Well, I…I mean, aside from the fact that I made a few mistakes. Handled things different than you would have, uh pretty good."
"That's not what I meant. What did you think about being here, at home, safe at base when…"
"Oh, I see what you mean. Actually, something like I did with Virgil-- but Alan, Virgil and Gordon weren't in quite so much danger. Still, it was hard being of out the danger zone, knowing they could be hurt."
"So you're saying, the way I felt…that helplessness, and guilt. Father, do you mean you feel that way all the time?"
"Not so much the guilt, Scott, but fear, yes. Fear and I are old friends. Every time you or your brothers leave this Island, I know I could be sending you to your deaths. I console myself that we've agreed that the risks International Rescue takes are worth it. But believe me, I still worry."
"So you're saying, it's okay that I was worried about Virgil."
"Frankly, Scott, I'd be worried about you if what happened hadn't bothered you."
"But you can't let worry and fear prevent you from doing the job, right?" Replied Scott.
"Exactly. Now, I think you had better get back to bed." Said Jeff, getting up from the window seat.
"Yeah, thanks Dad. And thanks for listening."
"Anytime, Scott, anytime."
Scott hopped down off the window seat, and walked with his father back to the bedroom area of the house.