Title: In his place

Marks series

Author: Gumnut

24 May 2019

Fandom: Thunderbirds Are Go 2015/ Thunderbirds TOS

Rating: Teen

Summary: "It was supposed to be me!"

Word count: 1373

Spoilers & warnings: Virgil/Kayo, Wing!fic, not my usual fare.

Timeline: TBA

Author's note: I had a nasty migraine this morning and it blew my day out of the water. I'm mostly better now, but ever so tired. So, tonight you get weird fic rather than any continuation of any of my WIPs. This is what it is, which is odd. I hope you enjoy it anyway ::hugs::

There will likely be more of this from me, but in the meantime the-lady-razorsharp has written a fic in this universe :D Go read it after this one :D

Disclaimer: Mine? You've got to be kidding. Money? Don't have any, don't bother.

-o-o-o-

The wind was brisk as she followed him up the stairs. She knew he and his brother had hewn those steps out of the basalt themselves, John ever wanting the highest point for himself and Virgil too kind to deny him his help.

So, it was John who usually took the steps, his little astronomical hideaway hidden in the top-most rocks, a platform equally as hand hewn as the steps to his make-do observatory. But today it was Virgil, bare-chested and angry, his boots solid on the rock, his pace aggravated.

She didn't blame him. John did what he did to save his brother, but it still hurt. Virgil was the calmest of them all. But not today. Kay was holding it together only because she knew he wasn't. She had to be strong for him. Had to keep him safe. Had to face his grief when he couldn't face it himself.

He didn't speak. He didn't even look at her. He had fled the building as Scott had given them the diagnosis.

That John had saved Virgil's life.

And paid the price.

It was devastating. Kay held back her own reaction, strangling it in her throat, and had run after him.

It wasn't his fault. He had done his best. Her uncle was cruel and heartless and had taken the opportunity to pick the wings off a fly.

John had just preferred it wasn't Virgil, and had taken his brother's place.

It had been surprising, yet not. She knew all her brothers would do anything for each other. Anything for her, their family. She would do the same. But the red haired, pale and nerdy John, the quiet one, the least physical of them all, had been able to shove his biggest brother out of the way. Pure adrenalin. Pure love.

Virgil had screamed.

A sound she never wanted to hear again.

But the sound torn from John...

She shivered in the wind, her halter-neck top insufficient against the cold.

She followed him up here. His thoughts so obviously of his brother and what he had lost. He was shirtless and the evening sun, dipping below gathering cloud, cast him in gold. Skin marred by pale scars stretched over taut hard-earned muscle, rippling as he climbed the last of the stairs. That same sun caught the lines of his mark, sparkling the dark etchings into iridescence.

His mark was truly a beautiful one. A reflection of the man within. It was as large in comparison as he. Fine, dark lines sketched over his shoulders, cascading over his biceps and down the small of his back. Moving as he moved. Leaving his back more black than not, yet shimmering in the light.

And more a reminder of John's sacrifice than anything else.

"Kay, I need to be alone."

"No, you don't." She swallowed. "If you don't want me here, you can have Scott, but we are not leaving you by yourself."

"Kay." And with her name he turned to face her, the brown of his eyes flickering in the same light as his skin, golden and aflame. Dark stubble shadowed his cheeks as much as the circles under his eyes. Butterfly bandages held part of his forehead together and exhaustion skulked under his anger.

"It wasn't your fault." She took the matter by the horns. He could wallow in his grief and self blame, but she wouldn't let him do himself damage because of it. "The only person to blame in this is the Hood." She swallowed and ignored the implications of that and how it related to her own guilt. Virgil was the important factor here, not her. "He was the one who hurt John. Not you."

"It was supposed to be me!"

And there it was, the guilt.

"It wasn't supposed to be anyone, Virgil! You were there to save people, and you did."

He stared at her a moment, before turning away and resuming his climb up the stairs.

"Virgil!"

He didn't stop and she hurried after him. "Virgil!"

He made it to the platform well before she did, his stride and his thigh muscles used to his advantage and fuelled by anger. But once he got there, he stopped.

She almost collided with his back, his mark inches from her eyes, sparkling. A step back, and she walked around him, only to find his expression lost, as if he had no idea why he had come all the way up here.

"Virgil?"

He glanced at her as if snapped from a trance, but then his eyes landed on the platform itself, tracking over telescope supports, notations vandalised into the basalt, an abandoned stylus that had rolled into a corner, and his face crumpled.

She couldn't help but reach for him, her fingers brushing against that dark stubble. "He's alive, love. He will go on."

"But how?"

"Brains is working on it. He will find a solution."

Virgil's mouth opened, but whatever words he had wanted to utter were lost as more grief flickered over his expression and he, once again, turned away.

The wind grabbed coldly at his hair, tossing it about and, for a moment, he was silhouetted by the setting sun.

She heard his gasp, his groan, and knew what he was doing. "Virgil, don't!"

He didn't listen.

His mark lifted from his skin, its darkness forming sharp relief as the fine lines of feathers rose and were caught by the breeze. Another gasp, a whine of pain and his beautiful wings unfolded, their deep, shimmering black wider than the platform itself.

The action brought him to his knees.

Because he wasn't recovered. Because he had almost been as wounded as his brother. But most of all, because he was an idiot.

"You idiot. You're not supposed to lift for another two weeks." She threw herself down beside him, reaching for his shoulders, doing her best to not touch his feathers, not touch his injured wing, but reach the man regardless.

He lifted one pinion so it brushed against her forearm, its feathers stiff, but soft. "Kay."

The single syllable of her name contained so much.

She scrabbled across the stone, sliding beneath his uninjured wing, not caring for the scratch against her own back or the dirt in her hair. She got herself into his personal space, up front, and took his head in her hands.

No words. She simply kissed his forehead, his cheek, a brush of her lips against his, and she drew him close, drew his head down to her shoulder and held him.

The great expanse of his wings arched and flapped once, an exhaled breath hot against her bare shoulder, he moaned, and a single sob escaped. His arms wrapped around her, his sheer mass enveloping her slight frame.

His left wing curled to encircle them both. His right could not.

"Love, let them go. You're hurting yourself."

"I deserve to hurt."

"You do not!"

"John-"

"John survived! John loves you and would be ripping you a new one if he knew what you are doing to yourself. Let them go."

"I-"

The sun dipped below the horizon and the shadows suddenly became deeper. He shivered in her grasp. There were no stars tonight. Cloud obscured everything.

Rather appropriate since the starmaster wasn't here and wouldn't be for some time.

The dark came in quickly and the rain, when it came, was equally appropriate for her mood. The first drops touched feathers almost silently.

"Love, please let them go."

She was stroking his hair.

His feathers rustled softly as he folded them against his back. His right wing folded slowly and he trembled under her touch. "Let them go." Whispered into his ear.

He shuddered, let out a sigh and the feathered shadows, deeper than the night around them, faded back into his skin. His mark shone briefly and was taken by the darkness.

Rain began hitting her face.

He still held her, almost clung to her, his forehead on her shoulder.

She let the rain come. Perhaps it was with the hope that it could wash it all away.

The grief. The pain. And the memory of their brother and his beautiful white wingspan being torn from his body.

-o-o-o-