This one is for Vegetacide for her prompt 'Popcorn and a movieā€¦' This was supposed to be much more lighthearted, but Virg just didn't feel that way. That is probably because this is Sotto Voce sometime after 'The Price'. I hope you enjoy this little ficlet. ::hugs you::


It was the top of the world.

Or the bottom.

It depended upon your perspective. In any case, it was time off, a treehouse, five brothers, one sister and an AI in the middle of a rainforest.

Virgil stood on the balcony and stared out at the sea of trees. In the very far distance he could just see a hint of the Pacific Ocean, but other than that smudge on the horizon, it was tropical rainforest horizon to horizon.

The last of the Daintree.

The Treehouse, with a capital T, was extremely isolated and a very privileged place to visit. Of course, money to the Tracy boys was just a means to an end, and this end was something they all needed so much.

Of course, it was really only a Treehouse in name. It could more readily be described as a penthouse minus the lower floors. A tree did branch up through the structure, but the level of luxury just blanked out the traditional concept of a treehouse.

At this point, Virgil didn't care. He just wanted to enjoy the change of scenery and put his feet up for a while.

Eos had made a point to step back a little, to keep her emotions away from him, give him time to himself, and despite missing her, he did appreciate it.

He needed time.

Leaning on the balcony, he closed his eyes and let himself just feel. The breeze teased his hair, the warm moisture soft on his skin.

They had escaped here simply to get away from the Island. Virgil was extremely aware of his brothers watching him. He had scared them so badly. Again. He swallowed and opened his eyes, somewhat desperate for distraction. He tracked a parrot leaping out of the forest and flying across treetops.

He had terrified himself.


Scott's voice was quiet and tentative. Yes, definitely scared.

"I'm good." But the roughness of his voice betrayed him.

His eldest brother reached out, placed a hand on his shoulder, and turned to share the view with him. "It is beautiful isn't it."

His vision blurred for a moment, but he blinked it away. "Very much so."

"Want to come watch a movie with us?"

He turned to his brother, to find blue eyes earnestly begging him to come. "Sure."

As he straightened from his slump on the railing, Scott's arm slipped around his shoulders and hugged him close for a moment. Virgil took advantage and simply let his head drop to his brother's shoulder and closed his eyes. He felt like saying sorry, but he had said it so many times before and he knew Scott would just frown at him.

He was sorry anyway.

"C'mon." And Scott steered him around and back into the house. Virgil straightened, but Scott didn't let his arm drop, just held it across his shoulders casually.

The main room sported a massive holoprojector of the highest quality and John was just adding the last of several large beanbags to a semi-circle around it. Gordon had acquired six large bowls of popcorn, fresh and warm by the mouth-watering aroma in the room, and was setting them down in the middle of the semi-circle. Alan and Kayo were discussing something, already holed up in beanbags. They all looked up as Scott and Virgil entered.

Virgil didn't miss the concern that flickered across all their faces and was quickly hidden. He sighed internally. There was so much to work through, so much that may not ever be right again.

The arm around his shoulders squeezed gently, and he realised his posture had sagged a little.


He straightened. A little less of the self pity would help.

Blue eyes were assessing him again.

"Virg, what do you want to watch?" Gordon had perched himself in the middle of the pile of beanbags and already had some popcorn heading towards his mouth.

Forcing himself to get into the right mood, Virgil stepped away from Scott and into the circle of beanbags, taking up a spot next to Gordon. Scott sat down beside him a moment later.

"What have we got?"

Gordon pulled up his tablet. "Oh, pretty much anything you could ever ask for."

Virgil peered over his shoulder, and sure enough, the list of networks they had access to pretty much covered anything and everything they could ever want.

"Something funny?"

They could all do with a laugh. He thought for a moment, mentally going through his options, searching for exactly what he wanted to watch, or at least suggest. There were the classics, but he didn't feel like old right now. Something spunky, something to break him and his brothers out of this funk. Something to make memories to.

The room was silent and he became aware of five pairs of eyes staring at him in even more concern than before.

The holoprojector was flickering. Virgil stared, until it settled on his choice. And it was his choice because he had inadvertently connected with the network with his mind.


He froze, suddenly terrified of their reactions. "S-sorry." And he wanted out of the room.

He made to get up.

But Scott's arm wrapped around his shoulders once again, holding him in place.

Gordon piped up. "Cool, choice! This is the one with the talking cow!" And his brother shoved another fistful of popcorn in his face. Alan lobbed a single kernel at Gordon's head and suddenly there was popcorn flying around the room.

Kayo hit the play button and smiled in his direction.

Gordon shoved popcorn down John's shirt only to have the bowl dumped on his head. Now there was popcorn all over the floor.

A very large cow mooed at all of them.

Scott squeezed his shoulders yet again.

And Virgil blinked away the blur.