Disclaimer: I own nothing, all rights belong to their respective owners.
Wow, I haven't done this for a while. One very very belated birthday present for Angel-Sue! Hope you like it and sorry I'm so late!
Virgil sighed, leaning his head miserably on the railings as he stared down at his 'bird. There were not many sights in the world that managed to take his breath away on a daily basis, but the hulk of Thunderbird Two did. At least, it did on most days. Today, Virgil couldn't even say for sure he was looking at the machine – it was just the direction his eyes were pointing in. He had said he was coming down to do some maintenance, knowing it was a guaranteed way of getting Gordon and Alan to leave him alone. Scott normally would have noticed, but with their father away on business, he had his hands full – not only with International Rescue but with the fact the two youngest brothers seemed to have regressed to children now their father wasn't here. If John was earth-bound, he would have known. He would have followed Virgil down to help with the checks and realised his brother had no intention of working on the thunderbird.
How could he work when his head was throbbing and he felt dizzy? He hadn't felt right for days, although he couldn't put his finger on anything in particular. He just felt off. But he had woken up with a headache and when Gordon had been trying to get a rise from him over hinting towards pranks, he knew he had to find a way to avoid his brother for the rest of the day. He thought it was going to be a challenge avoiding Scott – his older brother was already giving him strange looks as Virgil had unenthusiastically pushed his food around his plate – but then John had connected and Scott's attention was diverted.
Virgil had never been so grateful for a call-out to be a hoax. Or rather, a hoax that John uncovered before they had got as far as launching the 'birds. Virgil wouldn't have been much good on a rescue and he had vowed to tell Scott – he couldn't endanger his brothers by not being on top of his game if a real call came through – but then Alan had started yelling about something and once again his brother was distracted.
That had been when Virgil had fled to the silos. Now he was here, however, he was wondering if it was such a good idea. He couldn't get warm, even running his hands over his arms did nothing to rid him of the chill. Coming down in only a t-shirt when he knew it was cool down here wasn't the best of ideas. But he had never noticed just how cold the silos were and Virgil huffed as he turned. So much for escaping. He couldn't stay down here unless he could stop shivering.
Turning to leave, Virgil was forced to put his hand out and hold the railing for a moment. Everything seemed to spin and there was a slight blur in his vision. Blinking rapidly, Virgil swallowed as he forced himself to focus, adamant that he wasn't about to pass out where he stood. The sensation eased and Virgil shook his head to clear it as he continued on his way. He kept his head resting against the wall as the elevator whisked him back up to the villa and instantly moved through to the kitchen to get a glass of water.
Thankful that neither his grandmother nor Kyrano were around, he fetched his drink and searched the cupboards. The result made him groan; he was going to have to get to the infirmary if he wanted anything that would help his head. Hoping that Gordon and Alan were still running rings around Scott, Virgil moved swiftly. The sooner he found something to take, the sooner he could hide in his room and hope that everyone still thought he was down with his 'bird.
Luck seemed to be on his side as he stole along, feeling like a fugitive in his own house. The dizziness had eased but the headache had increased. As soon as he entered the infirmary, Virgil dimmed the lights. Unlike his brothers, he knew what was kept where and didn't need to read the labels to know what he was picking up. His eyes relaxed in the softer light and Virgil rolled his neck, placing his glass down as he moved to where he needed to go. He reached for the cupboard, wondering why he had decided it would be a good idea to keep the aspirin on the top shelf. Maybe it was a sign of how often the brothers hurt themselves more severely than that? Virgil cursed as he fought to get his fingers around the bottle.
When it eventually came into his grasp though, the idea of opening it and getting the tablets out was too much. The dizziness was back in force this time and Virgil swore as the bottle fell from his hand. For a moment, he had to rest his hands against the counter as he dropped his head, hoping it would be enough to clear his vision again. It seemed to work and he straightened up. Whatever this was, telling Scott would have to be on his to-do list. First things first though and Virgil groaned as he reached down to pick up the tablets, thankful the lid hadn't come off.
But the process of bending over took him over the edge. Before Virgil realised what was happening, he was on his knees. He vaguely had a feeling getting to his bedroom was now out of the question. There was only one thing he could do. Fingers fumbling, he managed to hit the button on his watch before he gave in and slumped to the floor. The tiles were cool under his cheek and Virgil wondered when he had gone from cold to feeling so hot.
Then he passed out.
Scott was halfway towards the silos when his watch vibrated. For a second, he was tempted to ignore it. He needed to find Virgil. He really hadn't looked well at breakfast but he had vanished before Scott had had the chance to check he was okay. But the temptation passed and Scott realised it was Virgil calling him.
"I was coming to see if you needed a hand," Scott said. He didn't want to admit he was coming to check on his brother. But Virgil didn't answer. "Virg?"
When silence still met him, Scott cursed, taking the stairs two at a time and leaping out onto the platform over-looking Two. Virgil was nowhere to be seen and Scott only had to glance to know he wasn't down here. None of the service hatches were open and no tools had been moved. It was also silent - there was none of the music Virgil normally liked playing while he was working. Turning on his heel, Scott sprinted back up towards the house.
He checked Virgil's room first. Then the kitchen. Then the lounge. Finally, he glanced out at the pool but there was still no sign of Virgil. Wondering where the man could have got to, Scott looked down the corridor towards the infirmary despite himself. Surely he wouldn't..? Virgil hated it in there as much as the rest of them. But the oldest brother had run out of places to look and knew he had to check. Slowly, Scott walked down the corridor and sighed when he saw the door was open slightly. Pushing it open properly, Scott glanced around.
Silence met his query, but something caught his eye.
Hurrying across the room, Scott dropped to his knees beside his brother, his hand finding Virgil's neck as he checked his pulse. It was strong even if a touch erratic and Scott rolled Virgil over. His brother was flushed and Scott sighed. He knew something hadn't been right for a few days now but every time he had tried to ask if he was feeling alright, Virgil had shrugged it off. It seemed Scott had been right all along. Hooking his arms under the younger man's shoulders, he hauled him up off the floor and onto the bed before resting the back of his hand over Virgil's forehead.
"You've got a temperature," he informed the unconscious man. "Judging by those tablets, you've also got a headache. I knew something was wrong. Why didn't you tell me? Now it seems you've gone and got the flu. You know you always get it bad."
"Who has the flu?"
Scott turned to see Gordon entering the room, looking confused. Before he could ask his brother why he was here, Gordon got there first.
"I heard you talking. What are you – Virgil!" Scott didn't realise he had been blocking Gordon's view of their brother before he shifted. Gordon hurried over, staring down at Virgil.
"Is he okay?"
"He's burning up," Scott admitted. He had basic medic training. He could deal with a bad wound more than he could deal with a fever. Gordon nodded seriously before turning and opening the cupboards. When he eventually pulled a bottle out, Scott stepped between Gordon and Virgil.
"What is that?"
"It's a liquid form of aspirin. A shot of this should bring his temperature down."
"How do you know that?"
"I have my ways." Gordon grinned but his eyes were serious. Scott nodded and stepped out of the way. He trusted Gordon when he got that look in his eye. He wouldn't attempt unless he was sure it would help Virgil. As Gordon set about doing what needed to be done, Scott fetched a cloth and soaked it in cool water. Moving back to Virgil's side, he sat down and rested it across his brother's forehead. After a few moments, he moved it to cool Virgil's neck before returning it to his head. Gordon moved closer, rolling up Virgil's sleeve and inserting a needle into the crook of his arm. Once he was done, he disposed of the needle and picked up another cloth.
"We need to keep him cool."
"You never cease to surprise me," Scott said. Gordon had certainly known how to handle it better than Scott could. His brother shrugged.
"When you and John left home, Virgil taught me a few things. He knows how bad he gets the flu, I guess he wanted someone to know what to do."
"Doesn't mean you would have remembered it."
"Yeah, well. I did."
Scott didn't have anything to say to that and for a while, the two brothers concentrated on bringing Virgil's temperature down. When his face relaxed and he seemed to be sleeping rather than unconscious, Scott knew they had managed it.
"Why didn't he say something about how he was feeling?" he mused out loud. Gordon shrugged.
"Maybe to avoid three days of you smothering him?"
"I would not!"
"Really?" Gordon only had to glance to where Scott had automatically adjusted the cloth over Virgil's forehead to make his point. Scott flushed as Gordon smirked.
"If the alternative is finding him unconscious on the floor, I know which I would pick any day," Scott said quietly. Gordon adjusted his cloth one last time and stood up, momentarily leaning over to squeeze Scott's shoulder.
"He'll be awake soon. Then you can make him pay for that one."
Scott smiled as Gordon left, knowing it meant that he was satisfied with how Virgil had responded to the drug. Scott sighed and stared down at his little brother.
"Those two were keeping me on my toes enough, you know," he murmured. "You didn't have to join in."
Settling into a more comfortable position, Scott didn't care how much Gordon teased him. He was not leaving until he knew Virgil was awake and alright.
"But why can't I leave?" Virgil knew he was whining, making him sound like the ten year old who had hated that Scott got to go out on his own and he didn't. He drew the blanket closer to him as he spoke, trying to hide his shiver. He preferred being cold again, for he knew there wasn't a chance of passing out when he was shivering compared to when he felt hot and flushed.
Scott, however, didn't seem to be having any of it. Virgil knew that look on his big brother's face; Scott wasn't letting him out of the infirmary.
"You put yourself in here."
"I didn't! I just came to get something. Honestly, Scott, I would have thought you knew by now that fresh air is the best medicine for anything…"
"Funny how you think that when it is you in the bed and not me."
Virgil scowled. He was sitting in bed, the blankets pulled up around him and another draped around his shoulders. He hadn't been unconscious for long for as soon as his temperature fell, he had woken up. Scott had held back on the lecture while he made sure his brother was alright and then had fixed Virgil with a look that told the younger man he was in big trouble for not saying anything before.
"This isn't fair," Virgil settled for saying. He didn't think sulking was going to get him anywhere, but he had tried putting on a front and tried begging. Scott wasn't letting him out. Instead, the older brother was sitting on the edge of the bed, practically on top of Virgil's feet as if that was going to stop him from making a run for it.
"I know," Scott said softly. "You always have reacted badly to things like this. John does as well. Apparently Mom did."
"I never thought I would have rather take after Dad with something," Virgil admitted, dropping his gaze rather than meeting Scott's. His brother squeezed his shoulder lightly.
"I know. I would have preferred it as well. But it was never going to happen."
"That would involve making my life easy. You couldn't possibly want that, could you?"
"Nope." Virgil lent back against the headrest with a grin. He was glad the lecture was out of the way, but he had a feeling Scott was going to hold it over him for a while. Especially considering the pilot's nature to get himself into trouble and refuse to tell Virgil about it. "But at least Dad doesn't know about it."
For as long as he could remember, Virgil knew his father always worried whenever he or John came down with something. They always seem to get it worse than their brothers and it had freaked their father out when they were young that he wasn't able to help them. Luckily, their fit and active lifestyle meant it was rare any of the brothers got sick anymore. It was why Virgil hadn't said anything; he hadn't realised what he was feeling.
But then he looked up and saw Scott's face.
"Alan did. Gords must have told him what happened and the next thing I know, I've got Dad calling demanding to know if you were okay. He even threatened to fly back."
"Please tell me you persuaded him otherwise?"
"Of course. What do you take me for? He calmed down, realised you were a grown man and could handle this yourself and he was over-reacting."
Virgil breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe he would forgive Scott for his overbearing nature considering he had persuaded their father to calm down and not try and cancel his trip. Virgil knew if that had been the case, he never would have lived it down. His father would have returned only to realise his son was indeed fine.
Silence fell between the brothers for a few moments and Virgil found himself playing with the edge of the blanket as something to do. He didn't like having nothing to occupy his hands and was already planning a way to persuade Gordon or Alan to slip him a sketch book when Scott wasn't looking.
"Next time, tell me."
"I thought we had gone over this," Virgil said, bracing himself for another lecture. Scott shook his head.
"I know. It's just… you scared me, kiddo. Finding you on the floor like that, having no idea what was wrong. If Gordon hadn't known what to do…"
"How did he know?"
"You taught him. When you were kids, apparently."
"Do you really think I would have done that?" Out of all of the siblings, Gordon was the least likely to sit still for a lesson on medicine. Scott gaped at him, the same realisation dawning on the older brother. Scott glanced towards the door as if he expected Gordon to be standing there before turning back to Virgil.
"Then how did he know what to do?"
"Kid must be smarter than we give him credit for." Virgil said with a shrug. He knew Gordon was full of surprises and when Scott had told him who had helped, he hadn't been stunned.
"He can never find that out," Scott said seriously although his eyes were smiling. Virgil grinned back and found himself yawning. Finally, Scott stood and rested a hand on his shoulder.
"Get some sleep, Virg. You'll feel better when you wake up."
"Bossy," Virgil muttered, but he let Scott help him lower the bed again and relaxed against the pillows. If Scott thought he was sleeping, it might be Virgil's chance to slip out…
But although Scott did indeed leave, Virgil found a slight flaw in his plan. The tiredness was no act and before he had thought further than where he was going to hide, he had fallen asleep.
Escaping came second to napping.