A/N: First thunderbirds story. The movie made me remember the love I had for the program as a kid. Please review n let me know what u think, if I'm following canon or whatever… no that I actually no what canon is or anything. Um… yeah, anyway, the Tracy boys aren't as old as they were in the TV show, but not as young as they were in the film. Somewhere in between. Dunno why, I just liked it better that way, and hopefully you will too :D.
Standard disclaimer applies, I don't own them, yadda yadda yadda. Enjoy!
Choice & Consequence
"Some choices we live not only once but a thousand times over, remembering them for the rest of our lives." – Richard Bach
"NO!" Jeff Tracy screamed, lunging forwards, desperately trying to free himself from the hold of the large man behind him. "NO!" He screamed again, frantically trying to help the sons he could not reach as they called for him. His third cry was silenced as he watched the scene before him unfold further. He gaped open mouthed. There was a pause, what seemed an eternal silence and life seemed to slow to a stop. Then Jeff felt the wind rush out of him and his legs buckle as the person before him fell. "No."
Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward stared at the man she had once considered to be the strongest and most steadfast of those she knew, and sighed. For whatever foolish reason she'd always believed him to be indestructible, staring at his now broken form she realised how wrong she'd been. "Jeff." She said softly, walking towards him. "Jeff."
"Hmm?" He looked up at her, as though awaking from a dream, tearing his eyes away from his son's portraits on the wall.
"Jeff… you can't stay here. You need to get away, just for a bit."
Jeff looked mildly horrified, his mind too clouded to fully comprehend and cope with what was going on and all the emotions that came with it. "No I can't, I mustn't. I can't leave them Penny. They're just children."
Penny could feel her heart breaking all over again for the, she didn't know how many times, in so many days. "Jeff, darling," She pleaded. "They're gone. You need to let go."
"Penny, they're my kids. They're my whole world. I can't." Jeff told her, his voice watery, eyes clouded, as his gaze returned to his son's smiling faces.
"Jeff, you can't do it again. You can't do what you did when Lucy died. You won't survive, the rest of us won't survive."
"That's okay though." He told her. "Because neither did they."
Penelope closed her eyes and bit her lip, her British upbringing failing once more to keep her emotions in check since… since the boys left.
She shook her head and wiped the tears from her eyes, clearing the all too vivid memory from her mind. She had been there when Virgil and Alan had been taken. Had watched as the youngest had been beaten senseless, and the elder had sobbed desperately, unable to help.
"You bitch! Help him! Forget me, just help him! He's just a kid! Penny, PLEASE!"
Virgil's angry words still resounded in her mind, and the guilt she felt at not helping them began to eat away at her once more. Her eyes returned to Jeff as she tried to comprehend what he must be going through. Unable to do so she hung her head and sighed. "I'll be back tomorrow Jeff." She told him softly, "Try and get some sleep."
The older man nodded and mumbled an affirmative response, but his eyes never left his son's portraits. Penelope sighed sadly before turning and leaving his office.
"Come on Jeff. Choose. One to live, or one to die?"
"I… I can't."
"You can. Because if you can't they all die."
Jeff hesitated and stared at the man forcing him to debate over his son's lives. "Please." He begged, his voice near breaking. "Please, take me instead, leave them. They're just children. Please."
"I don't want you instead Jeff. The only job you have here is deciding what you want. And, of course, saying goodbye."
"Dad! Dad!" Scott's shouts through the glass that contained him drew his father's attention. "Let the other's live. Choose me Dad. Help them and make sure they're okay. Please. Just get them out of here!"
"What the hell Scott?!"
"Dad don't listen to him!"
His three middle son's shouts of protest at their eldest brother's request began immediately, as they pounded against their own glass prisons.
"Dad don't do it." John shouted down to his father.
"He has to do something Jonathon." The Hood pointed out from where he watched over the unfolding events, a suspended platform behind the glass capsules that held the Thunderbird pilots, high above their father. He walked towards Alan's. "Wouldn't you agree Alan?"
Alan closed his eyes for a moment as he tried to build up enough strength to turn around. He pushed himself away from the glass he had been leaning against, leaving patches steamed up where is warm skin had been resting against it, and slowly turned to face his captor. "Fuck you." He breathed heavily, staring the Hood in the face. "Fuck. You." He repeated, closing his eyes and leaning back against the glass, too tired and beaten to do anything else.
"Now Alan," The Hood began, staring at the family's youngest. "That wasn't very polite was it?"
"Leave him alone." Gordon seethed, banging angrily on the glass that contained him. "Stay the hell away from him!" The Hood smiled at him and let out a small chuckle, pleased that his plan had worked so perfectly. Using each of the older Tracy's protectiveness over their youngest he had managed to get them all exactly where he wanted them. True, it had meant that young Alan was a little worse for wear, but that didn't matter now. Now that he would finally get what he'd been aching for, for years.
"I must say Jeff." The Hood began, walking back over to get a better view of their father. "You didn't do a very good job did you? No manners at all these boys, sign of a poor upbringing that is. What sort of a father are you?" He paused, watching as Jeff took in his words, and frowning irritably as the four eldest once again began their protests. "What sort of a parent puts their children in such grave danger all the time?" He paused again. "A bad one. And when your son's die? It will be your fault."
Jeff woke with a start, tears streaming down his face. "No." He choked, his voice scratchy from sleep and tears. He looked up from his desk. His office was empty, dark and silent. "Just a dream." He said to himself, suddenly filled with a new hope. "It was just a dream." He got up and ran to his nearest son's bedroom. "John!" He said loudly flinging open the door. "John." He said more quietly, seeing the bed empty. Thunderbird Five. He thought to himself. John was on Thunderbird Five, which meant. "Scott!" He said more urgently, running into his eldest son's room. "Scott?!" He said again. His heart broke as he saw yet another empty bed. They weren't coming back. His children were gone and they were never coming back. He sat down heavily on Scott's bed, holding his head in his hands. "How could I have let this happen?" He asked himself. "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."