Getting home safe after a rescue is a good day, but sometimes the Tracy brothers aren't so lucky. This is a short TAG 2015 story about poor Virgil getting injured and his brothers coming to the rescue.
*Please forgive any errors with his injuries and however rough around the edges this story is, it's my first dip into the Thunderbirds fandom and my first time writing about them so I hope you enjoy it even with these errors :) *
Disclaimer: The only character I own is the nameless doctor, the rest belong to someone else and I hope they don't mind me borrowing them for a short while.
The first thing he was aware of was the inhalation of dusty air, his lungs protested at the tiny particles and he began to cough weakly. As he tried to ease the irritation and steady his breathing, Virgil blinked open his eyes but there was nothing to see. He tried to remember what had happened, tried to focus on where he was but the pain in his legs became all too clear and he cried out long and ragged. He needed to see, needed something to give him an idea of just how much trouble he was in. With his left arm achingly painful, he reached above his shoulder to draw down his light and hoped it would still work. With a silent wish, he flipped the switch and thanked whoever was listening for his first small mercy. The light was bright enough to show just how much trouble he was in, the cave had collapsed, his legs were pinned and the claustrophobic notion of running out of air suddenly had him breathing heavier. Calm, Virgil, stay calm.
Virgil let his head fall back, shifting and twisting to assess just how stuck he was. Pain shot through his body and he quickly stopped trying, he tapped his communicator and hoped that the same luck applied to that as it did with his light.
"Thunderbird Five, can you hear me?"
He waited for an eternity, he breathed slow as he begged John to hear him.
Virgil sucked in a breath, eyes squeezed shut to hold back tears. The connection was bad, but it was there. A half-broken lifeline, but so very, very reassuring.
"…gil, can…ear me?"
"John," Virgil said, relief poured in with one small word.
"…ld on… signal." The words were too broken, but he knew their meaning anyway, John was trying to clean up the transmission.
"Virgil, can you hear me now?"
"Yeah, I can now."
"Good, that's good. You had me worried, we haven't been able to reach you for almost an hour. Are you okay?"
Virgil swallowed, his mouth dry with fragmented rubble. "Not really, but I'm alive so that's something."
John paused for far too long, knowing him as Virgil did he was probably already briefing everyone to Virgil's situation. Or at least that's what he told himself, because having John lose his composure over his brother's predicament didn't help keep him calm.
"Don't worry, they're on their way. How bad are you hurt?" The momentary wobble in John's voice unnerved him, John never wobbled, always focused and on task.
"My legs are pinned, they're hurting something fierce. I think I hit my head pretty hard too, I'm feeling a little sleepy." Virgil shuddered, the cold he knew was shock started to creep in. "I'm going into shock too, can't keep warm."
"You're going to be fine, we'll get you out little brother, just hold on a little longer for us, okay?"
"Hmm," he replied, every word seemed to drain him more, short, easy answers hurt him less. "How long?"
"Scott and Gordon are almost there, just ten minutes more and they'll be with you. You fell further down when the quake hit, they've been digging the entire time you were out. Keep talking to me, Virg."
"Really cold," he said, his voice getting weaker no matter how loud he tried to be. He tried to move again, desperation forcing him to escape. He needed to get out, now. The pain shot through him, his spine ablaze as he screamed with the agony of the movement.
"It hurts," he cried, "John, I can't."
"Virgil, please listen to me. You have to stay still, you can't move, you understand? They're coming, if you try to free yourself you'll make it harder for Scott and Gordon to get you out. You know the drill, little brother, just be still."
The pain ebbed, still very much there but now Virgil could breathe again. As he gulped in deep breaths on dusty air his mind began to cloud over. All the energy he had was seeping out with barely anything left to hold on to, his breaths began to shudder, his light grew dimmer, or was that his eyes?
"I know, but don't sleep. Stay with me."
"Trying," Virgil turned his head slowly to the left, the small movement had what he could see spinning wildly around. He closed his eyes to try and stop the vision from bringing up the contents of his stomach but it didn't help much at all. He found it comforting and quiet, closing his eyes helped to shut everything out and let him rest more. The spinning stopped and he knew he should keep his eyes open but it was so nice to have them shut, he was so sleepy, he could stay like this for a little while.
"I can't hear you, Virg, talk to me."
He didn't want to talk, he wanted to sleep. "Sleep."
"No, no, stay awake."
Virgil knew John was saying more, he could hear his brother's voice but it didn't help keep him awake. Sleep was much better. A few minutes, that's all he needed, just until they got here.
"Virgil? Open your eyes for me, come on little brother."
He could feel warmth on his cheek, so lovely and warm that he turned his head to get more of it. The rest of his body shuddered in envy, he wanted more of that warmth, so much more. "Cold," he whispered.
"I know, I know buddy, but we just need you to be awake for us, come on."
Virgil frowned, it wasn't John's voice, "Scott?"
"That's it, come back to us. No more sleeping."
Virgil blinked open his eyes for a second time, but the little light he had before was replaced with a blinding amount of light that had him squinting his eyes against it.
"There you go, nice of you to join us." Scott was staring down at him, a smile on his face. Virgil couldn't see beyond him but he recognised the sound of moving rubble.
"You're making a habit of scaring me, Virg." John replied, Virgil could tell he was smiling.
"Sorry," he said, letting out a tired sigh. "How bad am I?"
"Your vitals are good, Gordon's moving the last of the debris so we'll have you out of here in no time." Scott said, his gaze turned down to Virgil's lower body. Virgil may be out of it but it wasn't unnoticed that Scott didn't mention his legs.
"Will be fine," Scott answered quickly, another reassuring smile but Scott's eyes showed his uncertainty.
"Hey Virgil, you ready to get out of here?" Gordon appeared behind Scott, a hand falling onto his shoulder. "He's all clear." He said to Scott.
"Then let's get this show on the road."
Virgil started to feel a whole lot better by the time he was inside Thunderbird Two, Scott had given him something for the pain, wrapped a blanket around him and then he was strapped in and ready to go. Both Scott and Gordon had splint his legs, neither too sure of the damage but both knowing the basics to make sure they didn't make things worse for him.
He glanced around as Scott rummaged through the metal cabinets in the med bay, muttering to himself as whatever he was after eluded him. Virgil smiled and turned back to staring at the ceiling, this was usually his job so watching his brother fumble around was amusing. Virgil considered how promising it was that he had time to consider things funny in his current state, but he didn't want to get his hopes up just yet.
"Is Gordon flying Two back?"
His comment startled Scott, he obviously thought Virgil was asleep. "Afraid so, as much as I'm sure you'd love to, you're in no fit state." Scott replied as he walked back over to Virgil's side. "I'll be here with you, Thunderbird One is staying put until I can come back and get her with Kayo later."
"Hmm," Virgil listened to the sound of his bird firing up, as she started to lift away from the ground he let the relief finally wash over him. "Scott?"
Scott rested his hand on his shoulder, pulling up chair to sit beside him. "How're you holding up?"
"Been better," Virgil replied. He could feel his chest tightening as the tears he held in threatened to fall. "Thought that is was it, you know?"
"You knew we would come for you," Scott said softly, the reassuring older brother trying his best to calm Virgil's nerves.
"I know," Virgil said as he blinked the tears away. "Just didn't think I'd be able to stick around long enough."
"But you did, and that's all that matters. You're strong, Virgil, don't ever doubt that." Scott ran his hand through Virgil's dusty hair, giving him another warm smile as the warmth of the blanket pulled Virgil into a dreamless sleep.
Virgil knew he wouldn't be heading for Tracy Island, his physical condition was something they wouldn't be able to deal with. So, when he next awoke, it was at the nearest GDF military hospital, a completely unfamiliar building with the same unfamiliar faces around his bed. He wanted his family nearby, something to keep him grounded to normality but he also knew that realistically they had to finish the jobs they all started and probably didn't want to get in the way of the doctors that were busy treating him.
When one of those unfamiliar faces came into view with a warming smile, Virgil tried to lift himself up more.
"No, no, none of that Virgil. You just stay where you are." The doctor placed a firm hand to his shoulder. "You have nothing to worry about, everything is just fine."
"Am I?" Virgil said as he allowed himself to relax. "Will I be fine?"
The doctor gestured for his staff to leave the room and smiled again, he nodded as he pulled a stool towards the bed. "You've done a fair bit of damage but we've managed to put it all right, you'll need to let yourself heal and then there'll be some physiotherapy required but no lasting damage as far as we can see. You were extremely lucky, the injuries sustained to your legs were severe but we don't foresee any long-term effects."
Virgil nodded, breathing out heavily with the news. "Thanks, doc."
"You're welcome, now if you're up for visitors there's a few outside who have pestered my staff all night that are eager to see you."
Virgil looked sheepishly at the doctor, giving him an apologetic look. "Sorry, I hope they weren't too much trouble."
"Nothing I'm not already used to. So, shall I send them in?" The doctor replied as he stood.
The doctor nodded as he headed for the door, he pulled it open and gestured with an arm. "You can come in now."
Virgil was surprised when all four of his brothers and one worried looking Grandma walked inside, the doctor was most likely understating just how pestered his staff were. Scott pulled the stool closer and gestured for their Grandma to sit, as she did she took Virgil's hand and squeezed it tight.
"That's my cue to leave, I'm sure I don't need to say it but please try not to stress him too much. If you need anything just give me a call." The doctor said as he started to pull the door closed.
"Thanks again, doc."
"You're welcome, I'll be back later to check on you." The doctor pulled the door shut and Virgil took a moment to take in all of their faces.
"You all look exhausted," he said gently, he turned to his Grandma, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you."
"Don't you dare be sorry, I'm just glad my boy is safe. All my boys." She reached her free hand up to stroke his hair softly. "You had me very worried, but you're a Tracy and whilst I don't like to see you boys get hurt, I'm proud of every one of you for everything you do. John kept you with us, Scott and Gordon got you out, Alan kept me sane as we listened to everything happening and you? You kept fighting. I couldn't be prouder than I am right now."
"I don't feel much like a fighter, I didn't at the time." Virgil said as he closed his eyes. His chest tightened, memories still fresh and raw as he fought back the emotions and tears. A hand landed on his shoulder and Virgil was pulled back to the now.
Scott squeezed his shoulder reassuringly. "You're here," he said as he stared into Virgil's eyes, "it's okay, you're here."
Virgil nodded, taking deep breaths to gain back some control. "I'll be okay."
"You sure will be," Gordon said brightly, "and until you're back on your feet I get to fly Thunderbird Two. I could do with the practise."
Virgil groaned, the very thought of Gordon flying his bird for more than the odd occasion didn't fill him with confidence.
"You need all the practise you can get," Alan said with a grin, "Brains is still trying to knock out the dent you made on her when you landed her yesterday."
John slapped his hand to his face as Scott's jaw dropped open. "Alan!"
"Dent?" Virgil said as his eyes widened in dismay, "you dented my ship?"
"My bad," Gordon replied sheepishly as he backed towards the door. "How about I get us some drinks?"
"How about you go and fix that dent before I'm home to see it!" Virgil yelped, he hissed when the sudden movement jarred something he was sure wasn't meant to move for a while.
"Okay," Grandma said as she eased Virgil back down. "How about we do as the doctor said and not stress Virgil too much?" She leaned in close to Virgil and stroked his cheek, "I'll make Gordon test out my new cookie recipe tonight, will that make you feel better?"
Virgil smiled at his Grandma before giving Gordon a wicked grin. "Yes, much better. Thanks, Grandma."