Hello there! This story is for Baao, and I'm kind of nervous about it. I just wanted to write the younger boys, and it was really fun, but I'm still pretty nervous about it! I hope you enjoy it. Once again, here you go my lovely Baao, I hope you enjoy this :)
Disclaimer: I don't own the Thunderbirds. Yet. One day. It's my life goal. Shhh, don't tell anyone.
"We're running away."
When Scott had asked his younger brother what he was doing, he had not anticipated this answer from Virgil in his wildest dreams.
"Well, me and Gordon are at least," Virgil continued, and the redhead standing next to him nodded at hearing his name, a big smile on his face. "Alan was gonna run away with us too, but he's decided he's too tired to today so he's gone to sleep instead."
Scott regarded the pair of them with mystified amusement for a second, before he smiled slightly. "Right."
Virgil frowned. "We're serious, Scott," he snapped. "We've packed everything we're going to need. We can leave right now."
"Or maybe tomorrow night instead," Gordon suddenly suggested, looking up at Virgil with a slight shrug. "Johnny's cooking sausages tonight."
Virgil shot Gordon such a strong look of disgust that Scott had to bite his tongue to stifle laughter.
"Where are you going?"
"Can't tell you that," the ten year old replied smartly, folding his arms across his chest. "Otherwise it wouldn't be running away, would it? It'd be running-to-a-place-Scott-already-knows-about."
"What are you taking then, by way of supplies and all that?" Scott enquired, a slight trace of amusement showing in the quirked ends of his lips.
"Sketchbook, some pencils, and some pork scratchings I found in the cupboard that have never been opened."
Scott wrinkled his nose. There was a reason those had never been opened. "And you, Gords?"
"Donkey," the seven year old replied in a slightly sleepy voice, holding up a cuddly killer whale toy. Scott had tried to convince him to call the toy something else, but the name had stuck, and so Donkey the killer whale had too.
"He's brought other things as well," Virgil added hastily, and Scott raised his eyebrows. "You know, useful things."
"What about clothes?"
"I have my pyjamas," Gordon said brightly, though Scott could see by the way his hand was covering his face that the boy was growing tired. "Virg has Blankie to keep us warm. I brought my swimming trunks too!"
"We're not going to go swimming, Gordon," Virgil snapped, and Gordon's face fell. Scott bit his lip.
"You're running away, okay, I get it," he said, and Virgil gained a triumphant smirk. "Can I ask why?"
"We're going to find Mommy," Gordon announced with a beam so bright that Scott's blood ran cold.
"No we're not, Gordon," Virgil replied in a cold voice that made the little redhead look up in confusion.
"But you said we were looking for Mommy to tell her to come back," Gordon said in an accusing tone. "You said that we were going to tell her that Daddy wasn't being a very good Daddy-"
"No, I told Alan that to get him to come with us," Virgil said, and Gordon pouted. "Mom's gone, Gordon. You're seven. You should know that." He folded his arms across his chest before looking back up at Scott. "We're going to go and find someone who still cares about us, because Dad clearly doesn't."
It was as if a fist was closing around Scott's heart, squeezing it so hard that an ache seemed to permeate his entire chest, making it difficult to breathe. "Virgil, that's not true," he started quietly, but when the ten year old looked back up, the eldest Tracy could see the hurt in his eyes.
"Then why doesn't he show it?" he asked, his tone anguished. "He never talks to us anymore, he's always working, or, you know, working." He used his fingers to make inverted commas, and Scott flinched slightly. "If Daddy doesn't love us anymore then that's okay, but I just… I just want to find someone who does."
It wasn't his words that hurt the most; it was the earnest tone with which he delivered them. Scott felt as if someone had plunged him into ice cold water in an attempt to drown him. There was an torment so intense in the ten year old's eyes that he looked far older, looked as if he was seeing the world through an adult's eyes rather than the innocent pair of a child. Something had to be done about the hurt in Virgil Tracy's eyes, and it had to be done fast.
Divide and conquer. "Gords, buddy, you look sleepy," he said softly, and Gordon shook his head, about to open his mouth in protest when a yawn caught him by surprise, the hand clutching Donkey brought up to his mouth to stifle it. "Why don't you go into the kitchen and ask Johnny to make you a hot chocolate? And if Johnny says no," he added as the redhead all but bounced off in the direction of the kitchen, "tell him that I said he has to and that I'll give him five bucks later." Gordon nodded eagerly and left, and Scott smiled slightly at his retreating back, before turning back to Virgil, dropping onto one knee to get on his eye level. Virgil might have been ten, but he was small for his age, and Scott was pushing six foot two.
"I'm still running away," Virgil announced, and Scott smiled slightly at the stubborn tone. "Even if Alan's too sleepy and Gordon's too fickle, I'm still going."
"Fickle's a posh word," Scott said with a smile, and Virgil shrugged. "Where'd you learn that?"
"Book that John leant me."
"He cares about you a lot, does our John," Scott said, and Virgil looked up, frowning once again. "He's always looking out for you, you know. Has he given you the poster paints he bought you today yet?"
Virgil's eyes widened, and Scott grinned. "Oops. When he does give them to you, remember to act surprised."
Virgil almost forgot himself and smiled, before he frowned. "Well, I'm running away."
"So I can't collect his stupid poster paints," Virgil continued, ignoring Scott completely, and it was Scott's turn to frown.
"That's rude, Virg," he admonished, and Virgil glared, before seeming to come to his senses and pouting, dropping his head forwards. Scott took this opportunity to put a hand on his shoulder, leaning closer to him. "What's this really about, Virg?"
"I just," Virgil began, but he seemed to be having trouble voicing whatever it was he wanted to say, and so he took a deep breath in, before he finally realised what he wanted to say. "I just want everything to go back to normal. I just want Dad to care again."
"Hey," Scott said, moving his hand to tilt Virgil's chin upwards, forcing the ten year old to look at him. "He does care. I know you think he doesn't - believe me, I get it. But he does care, Virgil, don't you ever think he doesn't. And anyway, what would running away achieve? John cares about you – I care about you. Hell, Alan and Gordon care about you enough to run away with you. Well," Scott backtracked thoughtfully, a slight grin lighting up his face, "if they were both more awake they'd come with you."
Virgil snorted, but he looked a little less upset. "I miss her," he whispered.
"I know," Scott replied, his voice just as quiet. "I miss her too."
They stayed in that position for a moment, Scott kneeling, his index and middle fingers gently propping Virgil's chin up. Then Scott moved slightly, moving his hand to the bannister and holding the other out towards his brother. The gesture was almost imperceptible, and Virgil stared at him for a moment, the frown back on his face, when all of a sudden he threw his arms out and launched himself at Scott, wrapping his arms around him in a tight hug, sobbing into his shoulder. Scott immediately enveloped the ten year old in a hug, one hand rubbing his back softly, his other stroking his little brother's hair comfortingly as he made soothing hushing noises. "I miss her too," he whispered to him. "I miss her too."
He couldn't have said for how long they stood there - Virgil sobbing and Scott soothing – but he knew it was a while before a noise interrupted them.
Scott bit his lip, swallowing the urge to swear, before leaning his head away from Virgil's to avoid blasting him with the shout of reply. "WHAT?"
John entered the hallway, a giggling Gordon in tow, looking completely frazzled and unamused.
"Apparently it's now customary for stuffed animals to have a drink too," he said, folding his arms across his chest. Scott turned to look at Gordon, who had already repainted his face with an expression of unquestionable innocence.
"Donkey was thirsty," he said lightly. John looked as if he was having a very hard time not hitting the redhead with the spatula he was clutching.
Scott bit his lip, trying not to laugh as Gordon held up a very chocolatey looking Donkey. "Donkey's going to have to go for a swim in the washing machine tonight then, isn't he, Gords?"
Gordon looked at Scott for a second with confused horror, before he held up a finger. "One second, please, Scott." He lifted Donkey up to his ear and nodded. "Uh huh. Uh huh. Oh really?"
"What are you up to now?" John asked with a sigh, but Gordon hushed him.
"Shh, John, Donkey's talking," he told his older brother, and John pinched the bridge of his nose, almost hitting a sleepy looking Alan in the face with the spatula from where he was creeping down the stairs. Finally, Gordon lowered the hand clutching the cuddly toy and looked up at his eldest brother with a smile. "Donkey says he's fine thanks, Scott."
Scott couldn't help the laugh that escaped him. "I'm having none of that, monkey. You go help John clean up the mess. Donkey and I need to have a little chat."
"But you need me to tell you what Donkey's saying," Gordon said in a desperate attempt to wriggle out of trouble, but Scott simply held his hand out, raising his eyebrows until his second youngest brother sighed and handed it over.
"If I need an interpreter, I'll let you know," Scott told him as he held up the toy at arm's length, wrinkling his nose slightly at the damp of the rapidly cooling hot chocolate now soaking his hand.
"Well, I don't know if I'm gonna help," Gordon replied smartly, and Scott rolled his eyes.
"Scotty," Alan's sleepy voice interrupted, and Scott looked up the stairs, his face splitting into a smile as he saw the little blond clutching at his blanket. "Is it eat time yet?"
"John, is it eat time yet?" Scott asked, grinning at his other blond brother, and John sent him a glare. "Come on Al, you go with Johnny and sit down. Not so fast, Gordon," he added, the redhead stopping in his tracks with a dramatic sigh from where he had been attempting to sneak off, "you need to go clean up your mess."
"Donkey's mess," Gordon corrected him, and Scott sighed.
"Whoever's mess it is, it would be really cool and helpful if you could clean it up, yeah?" he replied, and Gordon smiled, before nodding and scurrying off after John and Alan.
Turning back to Virgil, he sighed, a grin on his face. "You know, I get the strangest feeling that Gords is going to be a lot of trouble when he gets older," he said to Virgil, and Virgil giggled slightly. "Are you ready for dinner time, or are you still running away?"
Virgil paused for a second, before shrugging. "I suppose I could run away tomorrow night. John is cooking sausages, after all."
Scott grinned and ruffled his hair, only laughing more when his younger brother protested, before straightening up. "Go and get some grub then, and make sure Gordon's doing what I asked him to, yeah? Also, save us a sausage, will you?"
Virgil shrugged once again. "Maybe I will." He turned to leave, and Scott smiled, before he span around on his heel, ran back up to Scott and kissed his cheek quickly. "Don't tell anyone about that," he ordered Scott in his most threatening voice, and Scott made a gesture to cross his heart. Virgil's face melted into an easy smile. "Thank you."
"Go and get some dinner, stupid," Scott replied as he dropped the soggy Donkey, straightening up and cupping his hands over his face to breathe in deeply once the door had shut behind the ten year old. Sometimes it was a real struggle looking after four other kids. He took a moment to compose himself, before looking upwards.
"I miss you," he mumbled, just as a crash was heard from the kitchen.
"NO - GORDON! NO!"
Scott couldn't help the smile that split across his face as he rubbed a tired hand across his face. There was never a quiet moment in this household, never a chance for Scott to become too overwhelmed. He was far too busy to be. "You could have used some better protection though, bloody hell," he muttered through a laugh, but it was in jest. They really were an awful lot of trouble, but they were an awful lot of fun too.
Sometimes it may have been a real struggle looking after four other kids, but he wouldn't exchange them for the world.
I hope that was okay, despite the rubbish ending!