Title: Alan

Marks Universe

Author: Gumnut

26 Jun 2019

Fandom: Thunderbirds Are Go 2015/ Thunderbirds TOS

Rating: Teen

Summary: He needs his brothers. All of them.

Word count: 2196

Spoilers & warnings: Timeline: Wing!fic, Virgil/Kayo (background)

Author's note: Okay, my brain was doing weird stuff tonight and wouldn't write what I wanted to write. So, we've got angst and a very odd and experimental present tense (something I never do). It is also the Marks WingsAU. I have no idea why I wrote this. I have zero control tonight thanks to a zombie brain. I hope you enjoy it anyway. ::hugs:: Oh, and despite the title of this fic, it isn't all I'm going to write about Alan in this universe. We still haven't seen him spread his wings. So, there will be more at some point about Alan. Many thanks to all of you who have been commenting on my writing. It means so much to me ::hugs you all madly::

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

-o-o-o-

In the soft grey silence, nothing moves. Like the aftermath of an apocalypse everything is quiet. Even his bare footsteps on gravel can barely be heard and the mist prickles his skin. Cloud caressing, taunting cool amongst the warmth, condensing in his hair.

He needs the silence.

To listen.

Beyond reality, he feels two of his brothers. John, orderly, passionate, loving and starstruck. His colours of midnight blue, silver starlight and flame orange flicker on the edge of his mind, a quiet, worried hover wanting to intrude, but respecting Virgil's need of solitude.

The other is burning magnesium sparking, contorting and bouncing about, splashing ripples all over their mindscape. Smooth, slippery and joyous, yet muted by the same concern haunting John. Gordon is aquamarine and sunshine wrapped in love, strengthened by steel.

And himself. He wonders how his brothers see him, what splashes of colour represent his presence. What they feel when they feel him.

He is the focus. The sensitive. The eldest of the three. He knows things.

But not enough.

Because where Scott and Alan reside in his mind, there is nothing. No sense, no knowing. No colour to turn to.

Scott is their leader and his best friend. His relationship with his older brother could not be stronger, yet he senses nothing.

Alan is his littlest brother. Of all of them the one needing the most care and protection, yet Virgil senses nothing.

Not even today. Not when it had been most needed.

The grey is suddenly not enough. He needs storm and lightning, the fury of the sky to compliment his mood. He needs an angry ocean. Mountainous waves crashing against a resolute shore.

He needs his brothers.

All of them.

-o-o-o-

Jakarta.

Earthquake.

Aftershock.

Virgil is running. Thighs strong yet not strong enough. His uniform rustling in the after silence. The after collapse. The after injury.

"ALAN!"

He is screaming his brother's name. The sixteen-year-old had been behind him.

Now he wasn't.

He can't see him.

John can't get a signal.

"ALAN!"

Nothing.

Rubble.

More rubble.

Backtrack.

His boots scuff in the dirt.

"ALAN!"

Distant wailing.

Silence too close.

"ALAN!"

Scott's in his ear. John and Gordon are hovering on the edge of his thoughts, vibrating.

Please, Alan.

-o-o-o-

He is standing on the edge of the Island. The rock falls to the ocean abruptly and decisively, but the water is lost in the fog. Only the hissing of gentle waves against the cliff can be heard in the grey.

He reaches out, stretching as he had done today, searching, knowing he should be able to do this.

And failing.

There is nothing.

Why?

Why can't he reach his little brother? Why can't he be there for him?

A wash of reassurance wafts through from John.

Virgil shies away.

-o-o-o-

A hand.

A small blue gloved hand.

He finds his little brother under a building.

The hiss of his hydraulics moves mountains. Scott appears from nowhere and Virgil is reaching down, his own glove shed, fingers seeking movement.

There is life and Virgil breathes again, but there is also broken bones, injuries, bleeding.

A major disaster becomes a personal disaster and he is too close to the action.

His little brother is wrapped up and taken away.

Virgil can't go with him.

The ground shudders under his feet.

Alan is safe, but so many are not.

The world blurs and Virgil goes back to work.

-o-o-o-

He wants to scream his brother's name into the mist. So he does, teeth grating against the two syllables.

Gordon sparks at him.

John wraps him in a mental embrace.

The mist is disturbed by silent wings, a vast swath of silver grey camouflaged, and his eldest brother emerges to alight on the rock beside him.

The man's hair is tossed, his blue eyes catching Virgil's as bare feet brush against the basalt. Scott is wearing little more than cut-off jeans, giving his grey span, flecked with that same blue, all the freedom it needs.

No words, but the rustle of feathers as his brother's wings fold. A sigh as he absorbs them into his silver mark.

Still nothing is said.

Two brothers standing on the edge of the Island facing the grey of nothing.

Virgil reaches out through the virtual desperate to touch.

Nothing.

Why?!

It's a cry into that nothing.

John flinches.

Gordon snarls.

Virgil closes his eyes.

"He is going to be okay."

Virgil doesn't answer.

"It wasn't your fault."

"Yes, it was."

A shift of bare feet on rock. "No, it wasn't."

"I should have paid more attention to what he was doing."

"You can't be everywhere."

Eyes open and glaring at his brother. "I can at least be there for him."

"You are! You were! He will recover."

"If I had just-"

Scott is in his face, those blue eyes flashing with anger. "No, Virgil. You can't be everything to everybody. It was his choice. It was a chance taken and it failed. You've done it yourself. He thought he could be in and out fast enough. He was wrong. He tried, but it didn't work. It happens." The glare intensified even more. "You've told me enough times."

But this is Alan. He can't say it out loud.

He must have emoted enough, because Gordon flares up in outrage.

Scott looks ready to crack. "Would you prefer he not attempt to save that little boy?!"

"No, I-"

"You would have done exactly the same thing."

"I-"

"Admit it."

"I-"

"Virgil!"

"Okay! Alan did the right thing. He saved that little boy. He was damned lucky they weren't both killed. I..." A swallow. "I am damned proud of him. I just wish…" But he can't say it. How can Scott understand?

"What?"

Virgil sighs and turns away.

Gordon is moving, determination bright and sharp.

Great.

"You better head back to Allie. Gordon is on his way to kick my ass."

A sudden silence from his brother and Virgil looks up at the man.

Blue eyes frown at him. "Is this about your empathy thing with John and Gordon?"

"No." It is about his lack of empathy with his other two brothers. How he can't reach them when he is needed. How he can't touch them.

A swirl of grey mists between them washing Scott's expression out, disappearing him into the background. His brother is fading away from him. It is strangely appropriate to how he feels.

Without thinking he reaches out and grabs Scott's hand as if desperate to stop him from vanishing. His brother frowns at him, but doesn't pull away.

"Virgil, what is it?"

He presses his lips together and stares down at their hands. "I can't feel you. I can't find you. I searched for Allie; I did. I tried everything I could think of and I couldn't find him."

"You found him."

"But how long did it take?! He could have died."

"He could have died the moment the building collapsed." It is sharp. It's a slap. It is meant to be.

Scott's eyes pin him. "I don't have what you, John and Gordon have, Virgil, but I know..." The hand in his tightens. "I know what you mean to me. I know what I mean to you. And I know nothing will stand between either of us when needed. I don't need telepathy to know that."

Virgil is staring, something caught in his throat.

Scott's voice softens. "Allie knows how much you love him, Virg. He knows you'd walk through hell and back if you had to and never doubt that he or any of your brothers would do the same for any of us." Scott's other hand lands on his shoulder and squeezes. "Never doubt." A small smile brightening the grey. "I never have."

"Never doubt." It falls as a whisper from his lips.

Something sparkles in Scott's eyes just as a swirl of mist and crunch of gravel reveals their aquanaut brother. A bounce and he has an awkward arm around Virgil shoulders, his presence emanating confidence, pride and...love. "Hey." A nod at Scott. "Virg being stupid again?"

Scott's lips twist into a smirk and his eyes sparkle. In that moment Virgil knows.

He knows.

He knows what his eldest brother is thinking.

He knows what he is feeling.

He still senses nothing.

But he knows.

An incoherent sound passes his lips and the smirk disappears from Scott's expression to be replaced by a frown. "Virgil?"

He has the sudden urge to grab his brother in a hug.

A shove from behind and he is doing just that. Scott lets out an oomph, but wraps his arms around him.

Gordon's laugh is a rain of bright sparks across his virtual space.

Virgil's eyes are clenched shut and Scott is wheezing under his grip.

God.

-o-o-o-

His pencil scrapes across cartridge paper, the graphite leaving its smooth trail behind and forming another strand of hair. It flicks to a missed detail in an eye before skirting back to the hair, adjusting the forehead, an eyebrow, back to the misbehaving eye.

His drawing is smiling up at him.

It is in shades of grey. It holds no colour, but there is life.

Light sparks in its eyes.

The pencil flicks to and fro, finalising bits and pieces, upping the contrast, deepening the shadows. He switches to a stick of charcoal and the shadows go black.

As do his fingers.

"I hope you're not getting that on my sheets." And as much as he is smiling up from Virgil's sketchbook, he is smiling at him from the bed beside.

"Hey, Allie. How are you feeling?"

"Been better. Leg's aching and my ribs suck, but at least you're not double anymore."

"Good to hear." Standing up, Virgil walks over to the trash bin and blows the charcoal dust from the page and closes the book.

"Hey, don't I get to see?"

Virgil stares at him a moment before flicking the page open again and showing his little brother his sketch of Alan Tracy.

"Cool! You drew me?"

"I'm concerned about the question mark at the end of that sentence."

"Hey, no, bring it closer. I wanna see."

He can't help but grin at Allie's enthusiasm. His little brother is always fascinated by his drawings and Virgil can't help but be encouraged by his compliments.

Alan takes the book carefully, almost reverently, from Virgil's hands and peers at the drawing, his eyes following the lines of pencil. "I still don't know how you do this. It's me, but it is only pencil."

Half a laugh. "I think the human brain is designed to grab those features and add life."

"I don't know." He's tilting the book and frowning in concentration. "I've seen stuff that doesn't look anywhere near as good as yours."

It warms him inside and he's not afraid to admit it.

"Can I keep it?"

"Don't you already have several of my drawings of you?"

"Maybe." A puppy dog grin.

Virgil rolls his eyes. "Sorry, bro, this time no. This one's for me." It is. He wants to keep the emotion that drew it, too.

Alan throws on a pout and Virgil can't help but laugh.

"I dibs the next one."

"Okay, your big toe it is."

"My toe?"

"You didn't specify a subject."

"Viiiirgiiil."

"Yes, little brother?"

Alan glares at him.

"Your left ear? I particularly like that subtle curve."

"You suck."

A snort. "Well, in that case I'll caricature you and post it to social media for some instant infamy."

"Do that and I'm telling Kayo about the toys."

"What toys?"

"The Thunderbird Shadow plushie you have stashed in your studio."

Another snort. "Kay gave that to me. Zero blackmail power, bro."

"Does she know about the figurine?"

Virgil froze. "What figurine?"

"The one of Kayo."

"What the hell have you been doing in my studio? Keep out of my studio, Alan." That broke the rules. No one was allowed in his studio.

"Haven't been in there. Didn't know you had a figurine. Thanks for letting me know."

"What?"

"Hah."

Shit. Flippin' Gordon's protege.

"Aren't you supposed to be sick or something? Do that sleeping thing." He waves a careless hand in his brother's direction. Alan grins up at him.

Virgil can't help but smile back.

It takes a moment, but he forces the hesitation back and reaches out for his brother's hand.

The same hand he found in the rubble.

He squeezes it just that touch harder.

Alan is eyeing him suspiciously. "What are you doing?"

"Connecting with my brother."

The stare intensifies and Virgil can see the question of his sanity flickering behind those blue eyes. He smiles gently, but doesn't let go. A frown flits across Alan's brow, but his fingers curl around Virgil's.

John hovers in query around the edges of his mind, a quiet starlit presence.

Gordon dances in swirls of sea green lit by sunlight, his laughter echoing.

Scott is all blue calm big brotherly love, a voice ever present.

Alan is golden shadows and an impish smile, life under his fingers.

All the colours of his brothers.

Not all sensed, but all there.

All of them.

-o-o-o-

FIN