'Base calling Thunderbird Five' Jeff Tracy growled, for the third time, Jeff liked to think he wasn't an impatient person but his son was really trying his patience.

This was the third time, he'd tried to contact John. His communicator was switched off, and he wasn't answering the calls from base. Jeff knew he was only angry to mask his worry, it was very unlike John not to answer when called.

Jeff had called to check if things were alright up there and had recieved no reply. It was midnight, John wouldn't sleep through the alarm would he?

Jeff couldn't take not knowing, he quickly sent the alarm to all his son's watches.

Seconds later Scott arrived, prompt as usual, 'what's the situation father?'

'Scott I can't seem to raise your brother, thunderbird five is not responding.'

Virgil arrived next and noticed Scott's frown, he tightened his bath-robe belt, 'what's the matter Scott?'

Scott told Virgil.

Virgil matched Scott's frown, he was the most serious of the Tracy brothers, 'that's not like John' he said quietly.

Alan and Gordon entered the lounge looking thouroughly disgruntled. Alan's pyjama top's buttons were undone, and Gordon who always slept shirtless, was scowling, his hair sticking up in tufts.

'This had better be good.'

Jeff frowned disapprovingly at his youngest children who threw themselves in a heap on the settee, 'Boys i wouldn't wake you if this wasn't important.'

'Where do we have to go, what's the disaster, who needs to go?' Alan sighed.

Scott declared, 'it's John!'

'JOHN?' Alan and Gordon both sat upright suddenly awake at this.

Virgil spoke up, 'yeah he isn't answering the call.'

Alan and Gordon exchanged an irritated glance, 'well maybe he's asleep'.

Jeff's tone was worried, 'well then he should still answer his communicator!'

Gordon got serious, 'we spoke to him earlier' he offered gesturing at Alan, 'he was fine then.'

Scott's eyes narrowed, 'what time was this?'

'About five' Alan replied.

'And why were you calling your brother?' Jeff asked

Alan and Gordon struggled to keep the smirks from their faces, 'um....' Gordon attempted, 'we wanted to see if he thought thunderbird 3 or 4 was better.'

Jeff heaved a sigh, 'boys for goodness sake, that isn't important.'

Alan and Gordon looked offended, 'it is to us!'

Jeff looked at his eldest sons, 'well why didn't you just ask Scott and Virgil then?'

Alan sighed, 'We did Dad, but Scott said thunderbird three and Virg said Thunderbird four....' at this point he glared at his traitorous brother, '...so John was the deciding vote.'

Virgil was curious, 'what did he say?'

The youngest Tracys exchanged annoyed looks, 'he said he wasn't going to answer because either way he'd have one of us mad at him' Alan replied.

'But I could see it in his eyes, he was going to say thunderbird four' Gordon jumped in.

Alan glared, 'no he wasn't!'

'Yes he was!'

'No he wasn't!'

'Boys enough!' Jeff growled, 'if he was answering at five, then something must have changed in the last 7 hours.'

Scott shook his head, in full big brother mode, 'there must be something wrong dad!'

Jeff nodded, 'I think you're right Scott' he answered, he didn't see the two youngest Tracys pretending to stick their fingers down their throats. Jeff and Scott always agreed on everything.

'I'll try and raise him one more time, and if he doesn't respond, I want, you and Alan to take Thunderbird three and see what the problem is.'

Alan groaned, so did Gordon.

'Gords,' Virgil said, 'why are you annoyed, you're not going anywhere.'

Gordon looked at his brother, 'exactly, i could have stayed in bed, I'm wide awake now!'

Jeff and Scott had ignored the others and turned to the desk,

'base calling thunderbird five,' Jeff tried again, he was about to give up when he heard a voice.

'Um....hello?'

Everyone in the lounge fell silent, were they hearing things?

'Who is this?' The voice asked.

Jeff let out a breath in a whoosh, 'I think the more important question, is who are you?'

'Oh my name's Heather' the woman said, 'now um, who is this?'

Scott and Jeff stood wide-eyed, Virgil, Gordon and Alan were frowning at one another in disbelief.

'Is John there?' Scott growled.

'Oh yeah, but he's sleepin at the moment.'

'Sleeping?' Jeff asked, incredulous, 'does he not have his watch on him?'

The woman sounded confused, 'watch? Oh watch? That's what it was, I thought it was some odd alarm clock going off at a really strange time, so I turned it off, so it didn't wake him.'

Gordon and Alan started laughing.

Jeff was seething, 'can you put John on please?'

'Oh but he's asleep'.

Jeff had had enough of this, 'Put him on....now!'

The girl sounded annoyed, 'fine....jeez...no need to be rude.'

Virgil, Alan and Gordon burst into laughter.

Scott looked shocked, Jeff was furious.

A moment later, they heard her again, 'John, hey darling wake up'.

'Heather, what are you doing?'

'There's a mean man on the line, and he wants to talk to you.'

John's reaction was priceless, a string of curses erupted, 'did you talk to him?'

'Well yes'.

'Oh god,'

Then the sound of footsteps and then a very tentative, 'Dad?'

The Tracys in the lounge watched for the explosion.

'Is she around?' Jeff asked deathly quiet.

'No.'

'Who would that woman be, John?'

'Um....she's a fellow scientist, she thinks I'm working for NASA.'

'AND YOU JUST DECIDED TO BRING HER UP TO OUR TOP SECRET SATTELITE STATION?' Jeff's shout was enough to wake the entire household.

John was more calm, 'Dad do you ever really think how bored I get up here? I have to find something to occupy my time.'

Alan muttered between laughs, 'I bet!'

John heard Alan's comment, 'oh jesus, don't tell me you're all there?'

'Yes we are John' Scott said irritated, 'we thought something had happened to you when you didn't respond to your communicator'.

'Communicator?'

'It seems your little girlfriend thought it was an alarm clock and turned it off!' Jeff said sarcastically.

'Oh'.

'Big Oh!' Virgil offered.

'Now I know why you like it so much up there John' Gordon giggled from the sofa, 'I think I might swap duty with Alan next time.'

'No way' Alan replied, 'I'm taking Tin-Tin up.'

'BOYS!' Jeff shouted, 'no one is taking anyone up to the space station. John, you and I will be having serious words next time I see you.'

'Alright' John muttered unhappily.

'And your girlfriend goes back first thing tomorrow, you understand me?'

'Yes Dad.'

'Right' Jeff replied, 'off to bed with all of you!'

Virgil walked to the sofa and held a hand out to each of his younger brother's hauling them to their feet.

The three went off giggling.

Scott stood next to his father, 'I'm sure this won't happen again father.'

'Yes Scott I hope you're right, now off to bed with you.'

Scott nodded, 'night dad' he mumbled, struggling to keep the grin off his own face as he walked away.

Well who would of thought it, well-behaved, quiet, unproblematic John!

Jeff remained seated at his desk, a shadow emerged from the kitchen, and watched him.

Jeff started, 'mother? what are you doing up?'

Josie walked towards her son, 'Jeff you're shout was enough to wake the dead!'

Jeff hung his head, 'sorry mother, I take it you heard that!'

'Of course Jeff' his mother replied, 'now why were you getting so annoyed at young John?'

'Mother you know why.'

His mother peered intently at her son, 'and you think you have any right to comment on that area?'

Jeff averted his eyes, 'mother that was different.'

'I fail to see how you and Lucille canoodling in a rocket is different Jeff.'

Jeff finally grinned, 'you're right mother, but I can't have my boys seeing me as any less than professional. I needed to reprimand John or the others would follow his bad example.'

Josie nodded knowingly, 'well at least John wasn't discovered by NASA officials, I've never been more embarrassed than when the police brought you home that night, for trespass!'

Jeff bowed his head, 'sorry mother'.

'Yes well......you just remember that Jeff, when you tell those grandsons of mine off, they are just boys, they have needs and desires like any other.'

Jeff nodded.

'And besides they have something in them you should be much more worried about.'

'What's that mother?'

'You Jeff.'

Jeff grinned, 'I knew I kept you around for something mother.'

'I'll give you something Jefferson Tracy, you're not too big to go across my knee.'

Jeff laughed, Josie's stern expression slipped into a smile, she reached forward and hugged Jeff to her.

Jeff marveled at how even though his mother was less than 5 foot tall, she could still take any one of them to hand.

Josie pulled away, 'alright Jeff off you go, it's late.'

Jeff nodded, 'yes mother'.

'Goodnight son.'

'Goodnight mom'.