Fandom: Thunderbirds Are Go 2015/ Thunderbirds TOS
Summary: Golden tipped waves stretched to the horizon with no sign of his beloved younger brother to be seen.
Word count: 3082
Spoilers & warnings: Virgil/Kayo, Wing!fic, not my usual fare.
Timeline: Before 'In his Stead', but it might pay to read the other fic first to get an idea of the universe.
Author's note: For godsliltippy cos I can :D This is part of the Marks universe, part of the original story I had planned that I have now adapted to align with the universe the-lady-razorsharp and I have developed. It actually occurs before that story. Parts of it may even seem familiar as I've merged something I've written before into this :D This is mostly an exercise in exploring this new universe and its capabilities. Thank you for tolerating my delusions and I hope you enjoy this :D
Disclaimer: Mine? You've got to be kidding. Money? Don't have any, don't bother.
"Virgil! Come home, please!"
The voice that pleaded over his comms obviously didn't know what it was asking. "No! I will not give up. He's here, somewhere."
"You've been out there for hours. You're tired, I can't...please come home before I have to declare you missing as well."
"John, if I don't find him now, I never will. He couldn't help it. He didn't mean it."
"I know, but it is irrelevant now. How are you going to find him? He could be anywhere and anything."
"I'll find him. I'll know him."
"I just will."
The wind up high was blustery and John was right, he was tired. His pinions ached and his bare chest and legs were cold in the late afternoon wind. Perhaps he should have launched his 'bird, but he knew he had to do this manually, knew he had to reach out without the interference of the roar of engines and artificial flight. He had to listen. He had to feel.
And goddamnit, he had to find his brother.
Endless miles of ocean stretched out before him. He had been flying methodically, his jet black wings beating efficiently to conserve energy, spiralling out from Tracy Island. So much ocean and so little sign of Gordon.
It had been a stupid argument over nothing, but things had been said that should never have been said on both sides. Gordon had stormed off, throwing himself off the cliff in front of the villa. This was nothing out of the ordinary, the man was literally a fish, but he hadn't come back.
He had been gone for hours, and Virgil had been searching for hours more.
John voice was pure pleading worry.
"I'm sorry, John." He followed the words with an impression of love and apology.
The sense that was his brother wilted, resignation floating on the air currents. "Please be safe."
"Will do my best."
Scott and Alan were on the other side of the moon attempting to save a freighter from colliding with that same orbiting body. Virgil had no doubt that John, currently grounded on Tracy Island with a broken ankle, had been keeping his brothers updated on Virgil and Gordon's antics. He also had absolutely no doubt that if he didn't return soon, John would call in Kayo to rip him out of the sky with Shadow.
He stretched the aching muscles across his chest and shoulders, his whole eight metre span flexing as he let himself drop a few metres in exchange for a little relief. A warm updraft curled around his bare chest, tantalising his senses, and he couldn't help but reach for it, pinions arching up and forcing him into the welcoming air current. It caught his wings and he lifted
A sigh passed his lips as he banked, his flight path calculated to efficiency, taking full advantage of the sudden warm boon.
Golden tipped waves stretched to the horizon with no sign of his beloved younger brother to be seen.
Gordon, where the hell are you?
For a moment Virgil closed his eyes. Perhaps if he searched with something other than his sight? Evening light played across his eyelids.
Since the day Gordon was born, Virgil had been aware of his brother. The rapscallion little boy, mischievous little brat and water baby had been on the second eldest's mind from day one. Virgil had never told anyone that he had 'heard' his little brother's surprise and alarm at being born. Virgil had been asleep and really too young to understand what had woken him up. It wasn't until many years later that he realised exactly what he had felt.
When he finally met his little brother, there was that same sense he had with John, but different. Little Gordon had been screaming his lungs out in his father's arms. Virgil had clambered up on to the bed beside his parents and reached for his brother's hand. The moment they touched, Gordon stilled, his fingers wrapping around Virgil's and there was that sense, that familiar warmth.
It was that sense Virgil was looking for now.
Out here, somewhere in the blue was his odd little brother, the one who had fins instead of wings.
The boys' marks had become apparent early in their lives. The trait came direct from their mother. Memories of being wrapped in the white down of her wings were cherished by all of them. They were also the reason why the family lived on a hidden island far away from prying eyes.
Jeff Tracy was many things, but he did not have a mark. Despite this, the trait bred true in all five sons. With the exception of Gordon.
Gordon's mark was different from his brothers and from early on it had been thought that perhaps he wouldn't be able to lift. There was concern Gordon would be left behind, that he wouldn't feel the wonders of wind beneath flight feathers, that he wouldn't be able to fly beside his brothers.
It wasn't long before the true nature of his little brother's mark surfaced.
Perhaps it was ironic that it had been a stranger, another little boy who forced the issue. A rip on an open beach while the Tracys were visiting on business. The chance that both Gordon and Virgil were on the beach at that very moment.
People screaming for help, Virgil's little brother the expert swimmer already earning medals in the pool hadn't hesitated, diving into the surf to save the little boy.
Halfway out, Gordon disappeared. Virgil, a much slower swimmer despite his strength didn't notice at first, except perhaps a flicker of surprise amongst the adrenalin pumping through his veins, but the little boy soon had his hands wrapped around the dorsal fin of a dolphin, surfing towards shore.
Gordon was nowhere to be seen.
Virgil had panicked, but then the boy was being lifted from the shallows by the sun tanned limbs of his brother. Virgil was dumped by a stray wave as Gordon turned around, his eyes searching for him.
The elder brother made for shore and Gordon met him in thigh deep water, eyes dark with something. Virgil sensed shock, but there was wonder and amazement and that night the two of them had a very long talk.
Now Virgil was often the one waiting on the shore for Gordon to return. Their brothers grew to accept Gordon's ability quite readily, though Scott, being Scott, worried more than all of them combined. And Virgil understood why.
Because Gordon was alone. None of them could follow him and one day he just simply might not come back.
God, please, let it not be today.
He banked towards the north, following his ever-widening search pattern. He fought the urge to yell his brother's name, knowing it would be useless from this height or any height really. But he did try to call to him. They had never been able to speak to each other telepathically, but there was that sense. They could feel each other and it had helped in the past, and please let it help now.
The wind shifted slightly and Virgil fell into a spot of turbulence. Normally it would have been nothing. He would have bounced off it and skimmed across the top, but he was very tired and it snagged him, wrenching him around, breaking his beat and tangling his flight. He lost some of his momentum and fell.
He didn't fall far. He was an experienced flyer, but he had to work his flight muscles hard to stabilise and, god, it hurt.
John was right, he had been out here too long.
Gordon, where are you?
He closed his eyes again, desperate to find that connection.
And was blindsided by sudden terror.
Virgil stumbled mid-flight and lost even more height. As his wings struggled to regain pace, his mind darted about, desperate to find the source of the fear.
Gordon. It was definitely Gordon.
He abandoned thought and simply flew. He swooped low to the water, skimming just above the waves, a manoeuvre that would have had Scott tearing him a new one if he caught him. The smallest error would see him catching a pinion on an errant wave. The result would be nasty. But Gordon, Gordon was here somewhere.
And there. Gordon was there. He couldn't see him, but he was there.
Virgil back-winged, his massive span stirring up enough wind to disturb the water beneath him. A single stroke to push himself higher into the air, and he dove, folding his aching pinions and letting them go, feathers dissolving into his mark just as he hit the water.
Muffled silence enveloped him.
The sun was still at an angle to light the depths, though it was slowly fading. The yellow of the late afternoon shifted the water towards emerald. Virgil dove through the liquid beryl, bubbles of air refracting the light into shades of turquoise and aquamarine. Far below, in the shadows, was a shape.
Virgil's shoulder muscles worked hard, pushing him deeper and deeper.
As he drew closer, the shape became that of a large squid. Far bigger than Virgil, tentacles stretching off into the distance, as alien as any cephalopod could be.
Yet undeniably Gordon.
Virgil's lungs were already burning. He could swim, but he was no natural in the water. Not like his little brother. But he had to reach. He had to touch...
His fingers brushed across soft skin.
He had to return to the surface.
With as strong a kick as he could give, he pushed himself back up towards the light, climbing as his lungs burned until he burst through waves to gasp in the air he desperately needed.
"John, I've found him."
"You have? Where?"
"Can you locate me? About fifteen to twenty metres below."
"You're over hundred kilometres out!"
Virgil spat water. "Am I?" A blink. "Something happened. Did you feel it?"
A sigh. John was never comfortable with sensing his brothers. Virgil could feel his consternation from here. It wasn't fear or dislike, more a wariness as if he hadn't quite accepted that others could sense how he felt. Virgil thought it quite baffling considering his brother was a communication specialist.
"I need to get down to him again. Report momentarily."
Several deep breaths and Virgil dove beneath the waves.
A more considered descent this time saw him reach his brother with more time to spare. He hovered beside the huge squid. In the distance a cloud of ink was dissipating.
What the hell happened?
He brushed his fingers across soft inhuman skin. Chromatophores lit and followed his touch, before he, again, had to climb for air.
He burst through the surface, gulped, over-oxygenated his system and dove yet again.
Gordon had slipped closer to the surface, but he was still quite a distance down. Considering his form, it was highly likely he wasn't supposed to be this shallow in any case.
A giant eye was staring at him.
While Gordon was in form, Virgil could not sense him as clearly. It had something to do with the process, perhaps a change in thought as well as shape? Virgil didn't know. So, the feel of his brother was unclear, the expression in that patented dark eye somewhat hidden.
Virgil reached for him anyway, placing his bare hand on his brother's mantle. The colours immediately danced, dots and streaks homing in on his touch, outlining his hand to the point that when he once again had to let go, a hand print was left behind.
It persisted until Virgil could see it no longer, his climb towards the sky imperative.
When he dove again, the squid was gone.
Instant panic was not calmed by the eventual sight of his limp, now humanoid brother drifting in the water column.
If he could breathe water, Virgil would have screamed his brother's name. As it was, he felt both his brothers flinch at his reaction anyway.
Virgil was often teased for his massive arms, but he was ever so thankful he had them as stroke after stroke drew him nearer until he was able to wrap those arms around his little brother and drag him towards the surface. He hoped to god he wasn't deep enough to trigger decompression sickness. He hoped to god he could reach the surface in time.
He burst into the cooling air, gasping in breath and turning to his limp brother, desperate for signs of life.
Heartbeat. Slow but regular.
A moment of worried breathlessness before Gordon gasped as much as Virgil had and rolled in his grasp, spitting out seawater.
"Vir-gil?" Half-lidded brown eyes looked up at him as the swell rolled them in its embrace.
"Gordon, what happened?"
His brother blinked slowly, his eyelids clinging shut for a moment. "Argu-ment wi' a whale." Those eyes slipped closed again and Virgil had to clutch him tighter to stop his brother from slipping back under the surface.
A quick investigation of Gordon's body found bleeding teethmarks in his side.
"John! I need Kayo. Now."
"Already on her way."
Leaning back, there was little he could do for his brother other than support him. He managed some pressure to help with the bleeding, but the cool water was helping a little.
Gordon's skin was cold.
The swell rose and dipped, lulling. With only the sound of wet lapping and no sight other than sea and sky, the ocean had never felt so vast. Virgil had never felt so small.
But he had his brother in his arms. His fish brother, who loved the water with his very soul. Virgil clung to him.
He kept them afloat with the occasional kick, but stayed as still as possible, because despite not having the marine knowledge that Gordon possessed, he knew what blood in the water meant. It could have been minutes, probably was, but time was warped by circumstance. In any case, it wasn't long before the first shadow beneath the surface was outlined by the sinking sun.
"Kay? You out there?"
"Ten minutes, Virgil." She had been on assignment, after all.
"Any chance of making it less?"
There must have been something in his voice. "I'll do my best."
Another dark shape joined the first.
Virgil had a healthy respect for the sea and its inhabitants. He knew enough to know not to mess with most of them. Particularly the ones with teeth.
His options were few. Getting lift this low in the water was pretty much impossible much less while dragging his brother. He could put up a good fight, he had feet and muscle, and living with Gordon had let a few important shark facts lodge in his brain. But ultimately, they were both very vulnerable and their only real hope was Kay.
A third dark shape had joined the circling by the time Thunderbird Shadow appeared on the horizon. One shark of unknown variety dared to swoop in and Virgil had to nudge it off with a good foot in the face.
His heartrate was unlikely to recover any time soon.
Gordon continued to lie slack in his embrace.
TBS came to a hover above them, and her engines frightened off their spectators. Virgil drew an uneven breath as his girlfriend inflated the floats on her 'bird's grappling claws enabling her to lower to a soft landing on the surface of the ocean.
Silence for a split second and Kay was climbing out of her cockpit and down onto the floats. Virgil made an awkward attempt to propel himself and Gordon towards her Thunderbird.
A line landed with a splat in the water beside him.
He grabbed it and clung.
Kay drew them both to her side.
"Thanks." His voice was breathless.
Kay was all business. "Status?"
"He's injured. Puncture wounds on his left side. Consciousness intermittent." Virgil slipped under a moment as Gordon's weight was taken from his arms, Kay hauling him up onto the float. He fumbled for a moment, limbs stiff, before his arm was grabbed, pulling him to the surface. Another fumble and he grabbed the float himself.
Okay, her tone said everything. She was pissed. Probably scared-pissed, but pissed nonetheless.
"Tired, but functional."
She didn't acknowledge his statement, continuing to attend to Gordon, medpack in hand.
The floats were wide enough to support all of them and the moment she had Gordon secure, she reached down and helped Virgil out of the water. He flopped into a sitting position against a landing strut while Kay lowered the cockpit between the floats.
Shadow could only carry two, including her pilot.
They didn't need to speak, which was probably just as well. Kay's expression was enough to rip the skin off his face. Together they manhandled Gordon into the backseat and secured him.
"You fly him home. I'll wait here." Her voice was firm.
"No." Visions of those shapes in the water came to the fore. "I'm fine. I'll fly myself."
"Kay, he needs to get home fast. I'm not leaving you out here alone in the dark." Because yes, the sun was dipping and the waves were becoming little more than silhouettes. "I can lift and will meet you there."
"It is over a hundred kilometres, Virgil! Equally in the dark!"
"Not the first time, unlikely the last." And equally unpleasant. "You can always meet me halfway. In any case, no time for argument." A brush of his lips against hers and he was clambering up Shadow's landing strut, leaping onto her wing.
As he turned to look at her, he lifted, his feathers sprouting like shadows. He swallowed a groan as his painful pinions spread. This was going to hurt.
He forced a smile. "Race you home."
Jump, step, leap and he was in the air, wings clawing upwards in great aching strokes. He was going to pay for this tomorrow, but there was no way he was leaving Kay out here by herself.
He made note of the sounds behind him as Shadow retracted her cockpit and fired her engines.
Okay, so perhaps he was going to pay for this in more ways than one, but as Shadow shot past him, he returned his focus to flying, making a beeline for that sense of John, Gordon and the island he called home.
End Part One