By Arashi Doragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Thunderbirds. That right belongs to Gerry Anderson, and to him I am eternally grateful for bringing Thunderbirds into my life
Notes: This fic is a little something I thought up after watching the movie. If you haven't seen it yet and you love Thunderbirds, then you're probably better off. It doesn't stay true to the show (sadly) but then, when has an adapted movie ever stayed true? Anyway, I loved the Television Show, and I love the movie, but I was disappointed that it didn't follow. This is kinda a what If?.. fic, that takes place when They've just broken out of the freezer and are in the Control Room trying to save the Tracy family.
Alan Tracy skidded across the marble floor, his heart racing. He couldn't see past the fear dancing in his vision. A fear that could spell doom for the Tracy family. Why, oh why had his father taken all three of his remaining brothers? Now they were all trapped in the great space Craft, and…
As they ran into the main control room, Alan pushed all thoughts out of his head, focusing instead on his best friend, who headed straight for the computers lining the desk.
"Get in there Fermat and save my family"
Alan's strong voice belied the pain and fear in his heart. What if Fermat couldn't save them? Then what? He didn't think he could handle what would happen…if…they…. What? died? Alan couldn't let himself think that. He gripped the edge of the desk, his knuckles whitening under the pressure. He felt a reassuring weight of Tin-Tin's hand on his shoulder, but he suddenly resented her touch. She was here, with her family, and his…his where stuck on Thunderbird 5, headed for danger. He roughly shook her off, ignoring the pained look on her face. Fermat worked feverishly at the controls, his father beside him.
Alan felt the bitterness well up within him again. Pushing past Parker and Lady Penelope he came to stand beside his best friend. The mechanical voice of the computer signalled access denied and Alan's fear increased. No. This was not happening.
"Fermat? What's going on?"
"Alan…I can't…they slipped a backdoor on the access codes…I don't think I can…"
The defeat in Fermat's words brought it home for Alan. He felt the world slip out from under him and he shoved Fermat out of the way, trying to reach the controls himself. But he didn't have a clue what he was doing. His hands shook as he reached for the comm panel. This was wrong…
"They don't have long…."
Alan ignored it all and yelled into the comm system.
"Dad? Dad can you hear me? DAD!"
Alan's yell brought winces to faces but they all heard the impending panic in the youngest Tracy's voice. And their hearts ached. Alan felt tears welling up in his eyes, even as he continued to yell, over and over again into the comm system. Eventually Lady Penelope reached over and grabbed his shoulders, pulling him round to face her.
"Alan! If you keep yelling you'll never hear their reply!"
Alan's voice cracked and he looked at the floor, unable to let them see him cry. They turned back to the screen, hoping to at least hear…something. Eventually, they heard a weak sigh from Thunderbird 5.
Alan leapt at the screen, practically plastering himself against it.
"Dad? Are you okay?"
Jeff Tracy turned to face the screen, staring at his youngest son. Alan felt his heart constrict, knowing what he had to say to his father would be harder than anything else he'd ever done.
Alan couldn't help the tears falling down his face and he choked on the next words. Jeff seemed to understand what Alan was trying to say and turned to face the other occupants of Thunderbird 5. They had all awoken at Alan's constant yells and were staring at each other, knowing full well what was coming. Jeff was proud of them all. None of them gave away how afraid they were of this.
The five occupants of Thunderbird 5, and those gathered in the Control room, all glanced at the blonde facing the computer screen.
"I screwed up. I thought I could save you all…that I could be a Thunderbird…but…I just made things worse…"
"Don't say that!"
Scott's yell made Alan freeze, but Jeff noticed that not even Scott's denial could wipe the self-hating expression from Alan's face. Jeff's youngest son continued to look at the base panel, not even daring to look his father in the eye. The mechanical voice on both Thunderbird 5 and on Tracy Island decided to not just break the silence, but pulverise it.
"Re-entry in three minutes"
Alan's head shot up and he shook as he stared at his father,
"No…this is too soon…"
Jeff felt his heart break as he looked at his son. There was nothing he could say to make Alan feel better. He knew what was coming, and denying it to himself wouldn't change it. He could face the inevitable. He had faced it since the very first day he had started the Thunderbirds.
"Alan you know as well as I that there…"
The young wild-child cut across Jeff before he could finish.
"There what? Was a risk of death? Sure I knew."
There was a note of bitterness in Alan's voice that Jeff couldn't bear. He was dimly aware of his sons coming up around him, all of them looking at their younger brother sorrowfully.
"But it never mattered you know…because you were always there when I came home. I never had to live the consequences. And now…now you're all going to die and leave me here alone…"
Alan's voice cracked and tears fell, his sobs racking his small frame and making the hearts of his brothers and father break as he did so.
Virgil stared at his younger brother, unable to stop his own tears falling. He was going to die. He knew it. And yet, he wasn't afraid. The only thing he feared for now, was his younger brother. How this would affect him. Hadn't he suffered enough? He'd lost his mother, hell, never even known her, and now he was about to lose the rest of his family. Virgil had always had a soft spot for his youngest brother, in truth all of them had.
John rarely saw his younger brother, and in truth his heart broke more for the fact that he never would get to spend any more time with his brother, rather than the fact that he was dying. Sure, he was afraid, who wouldn't be when faced with death this way? But…how was Alan supposed to cope with losing his brothers and father all at the same time? John felt for his brother, the small carbon copy of himself and he wished more than anything that he could hug his youngest brother one last time.
Gordon didn't know what to say or do. He was scared shitless at the thought of dying but at the moment all he could think of was Alan. Of all his brothers, he'd spent the most time with Alan and was the only one of the brothers to remotely understand why Alan behaved the way he did. He and Alan were close, and he was frightened more for Alan's sanity. There was no way he could handle losing all his family in one day. Gordon knew he sure couldn't. And Alan…
Alan was just a kid.
Oh Alan…Scott couldn't tear his eyes away from the screen, even as his three younger brothers did so. His eyes were glued to the sobbing form of his youngest brother. Scott had always been closest to Alan, next to Gordon. They're age gap had never mattered to them, and Scott had found himself protecting his youngest brother constantly, and Alan could always be seen tagging after his elder brother. When Alan had reached his eighth birthday his closeness with Scott had turned to complete affection. Alan had worshipped the ground Scott walked on and Scott was completely devoted to his youngest brother, going out of his way to spend time with the youngest Tracy. Even Virgil, who was the only other brother close to Scott, had endured a pushing aside when Alan was home from school.
When Alan had left for boarding school at the age of ten, their relationship hadn't dwindled. In fact it had gotten stronger, with Alan constantly, and in direct disobedience of his fathers orders, contacted his brother at Tracy Island despite many a reprimand from the Tracy patriarch.
"Re-entry in eighty seconds."
Alan's eyes looked panicked as he regarded his family.
Those gathered behind Alan, turned away from the screen, unable to witness the raw emotion on Alan's face, and the faces of his family. Jeff touched the screen on Thunderbird 5, tracing the features of his youngest son. Nothing he could say would make this easier for the young blonde, and Jeff knew that he could never find the words anyway. He stared at his youngest son, unable to contain the grief on his face, making Alan break down once again, tears cascading down pale cheeks. Alan was only fourteen, and Jeff couldn't remember a time when Alan hadn't been fantasising about becoming a Thunderbird.
He'd grown up most of his life watching his brothers and father rush of to rescues, manning the greatest craft on earth, and it was the only thing Alan had ever known. And it was a reality that was fast slipping through his fingers. When Thunderbird 5 entered earth's atmosphere, Alan would lose everything he had ever had.
And that frightened Jeff and his sons more than anything else in their lives.
Without International Rescue, Alan would die. And he had hardly started to live.
"I'm so sorry…"
Jeff's words seemed to be the only thing Alan could focus on.
"I don't understand…"
"There's nothing more I could ever want than to see you grow up Alan…I love you so much…"
Alan choked and his fingers gripped the table harder.
"Dad…I can't do this…please…I love you too…all of you, …but…you can't die…you just…its not fair.."
Alan's voice was filled with such emotion, that Gordon broke down. Virgil put an arm around his younger brother trying to comfort him. Scott moved up next to his father, gripping Jeff with a strong hand. He could read the pain in his father's actions and knew that looking at Alan in such a state was only getting harder for him.
"Take care kid…"
Hearing the final goodbye from his eldest brother did it for Alan. He gripped the screen, yelling and screaming at his father and brothers to not leave him and to come back, tell him it was okay. But they couldn't. And none of their yells could penetrate Alans rant. Not even Fermat, Tin-Tin or anyone in the control room could cease Alan's tirade. The mechanical voice informed anybody listening that Thunderbird 5 had thirty seconds to re-entry. This snapped the Tracy's on the spacecraft back to Earth and they knew that to spare Alan any more grief, they had to cut the comm. Despite not being able to hear them amidst his screams and cries, Alan knew that his brothers were saying goodbye. And that his father was telling him not to blame himself.
And then there was silence.
Above in Earth's atmosphere, the Thunderbirds Control station imploded.
Below, on an Island in the Pacific, a young blonde closed his eyes, gasping.
An image of a young blonde, hugging his father.
An image of two elder boys, teaching their brother how to swim.
Never Give Up…
A brown-haired teenager tending to a young blonde's cut knee.
Live Your Dreams…
Two boys playing in the pool, as their elder brother looks on.
We'll Be Watching…
A rushed conversation between two blondes, one barely four, the other miles away on a space craft.
You have So Much To Give…
A boy and his father, standing at a grave.
And so Much To Live For…
Four boys and their father trapped on a doomed spacecraft, speaking to a young blonde.
We Love You Kid…
"Terror struck the hearts of many this evening as news surfaced that the great heroes of our time, the Thunderbirds, have perished in a terrible attack on their base. The family behind these great machines were revealed last night, after their family friend, Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, informed the world that they had died. Many will no doubt be familiar with Jeff Tracy, the billionaire astronaut, who retired years ago. He was the mind behind these machines, manning them with his four eldest sons. Aiding the family were the award winning Professor Hackenbacker, and his son Fermat. But tragedy also still plagues them, as there was one survivor of the family, heir to the Tracy legacy and fortune. Alan Tracy. He will be mourning…"
The Transmission abruptly ended in static, and was followed by a crash. Penelope sighed and walked through the sullen villa, to find the television set smoking, a gaping hole in it where the remote had crushed the screen. On the other side of the room, a blonde had slid to the floor, hugging his knees to his chest.
Penelope felt her heart tighten as she saw the small from of the last Tracy. It had been four weeks since the death of his father and brothers, and Alan was making no effort to come to terms with what had happened. After Thunderbird 5 had been destroyed, Alan had fallen to the floor of the control Room, and hadn't moved. Still aware that the Hood was headed for London with Thunderbird 2, Penelope and Brains had contacted everybody who knew that Jeff was the head of the Thunderbirds, and warned them of the impending disaster. The Hood had been apprehended, and Thunderbird 2 had been recovered, and been flown back by Fermat and Brains.
The last three machines, the lost legacy of the Tracy Family, were still safely in their homes, and for the first few days Tracy Island had been swamped by mourners and inquisitive minds, flooding the shores with flowers, gifts and well-wishes. The Tracy Island beaches hadn't been empty since and Penny was aware that they weren't likely to clear any time soon. She had made an announcement from the Island to the press, about the state of affairs and arrangements had been swiftly made for the funerals of the Tracy's.
People all round the world mourned the family's passing, and had all sent their respects in various ways to the Island, during this difficult time. Many of these people had sent gifts and flowers for Alan, aware that he was the only family member left.
But Alan Tracy was not aware of any of it.
Not even when the family's lawyer had attended the island, and called everyone into the room. Even though he had been forced to attend, in the arms of Kyrano as the loyal Manservant to the Tracy family hadn't been able to sufficiently get the younger boy to move.
Not even when the lawyer announced that as the sole remaining member of the family, Alan had inherited the Tracy fortune.
Not even when the funeral had taken place.
Through it all, Alan made no response to anything. And it had been starting to worry Penny, until today. By making the unprovoked attack on the television, showed that Alan was starting to at least vent his frustrations.
Penny was aware that Alan would more than likely not answer her. Not even Fermat and Tin-Tin, Alan's best friend's, had been able to rouse the blonde, and the dejected way with which they travelled the villa, more than showed their distress at Alan's reaction. True to form, Alan ignored her requests. Sighing, Penny stood and stared at the decimated Television set. Shaking her head, she left the room, unable to bear the dejected form of Alan Tracy.
Kyrano looked at Alan as he sat against the wall of the living area. He hadn't moved in three days, since his attack of the television. He was afraid for the young Tracy. He only ate when they practically forced the food down his throat, and he was incredibly thin. There was no colour to his face and his eyes were red-rimmed from the constant crying.
The Tracy's loyal manservant approached the young boy, aware also of how much his daughter was affected by Alan's emotional turmoil. Kyrano wasn't alone in the room. Lady Penelope was worried also for the youngest boy, and was currently watching him from the safety of the kitchen, conversing quietly with Parker and Brains. The three of them had been instrumental in sorting out the legal and financial side of the Tracy legacy, and were trying their hardest to keep hold of the Tracy fortune.
Kyrano understood why. He knew that there was some doubt as to whether Alan was entitled to hold the fortune due to his young age. He knew that Lady Penelope was even considering adopting Alan until he was old enough to claim the Island and fortune, in his own right. But for now, all they were worried about was Alan's well being.
He was also aware of Tin-Tin and Fermat hovering by the pool. Listening to the conversations in the room.
And, at last, there was a reaction from Alan.
"Don't call me that!"
The reply was snapped and Alan's head immediately came up.
"That was my dads name! And don't ever use it on me!"
Kyrano was taken aback by then anger in Alan's voice, and Lady Penelope chose to intervene.
"Alan, Kyrano's only trying to help"
"Well don't! I don't want help! I can't handle this now…I just can't…I want them back Lady P! I want them back…"
Penny approached Alan and embraced him in a hug, and Alan finally gave in to their prodding, and collapsed against the family's friend, grief-ridden and fearful for what was happening to him.
"I can't handle this…I just want to die….I wish I'd been up there…."
Lady Penelope shook Alan and pulled him away from her, as there were startled mutters and gasps from those gathered.
"Now you listen to me Alan Tracy! I never want to hear those words from you again! Do you understand me?!"
Alan nodded through his tears, but he still couldn't deny that he wished he had. It was too hard living without his family.
"I miss them so much..."
"I know Alan. They were your family. You can't not miss them. But they're not really gone. As long as you still love them, they're still here. And they're still watching you. And they wouldn't want you to be acting like this. And I know its hard, Alan, but you've always been strong. It was one of the things you're family loved about you."
She smiled so fondly that Alan was struck by a pang of pain that he had never known his mother.
"And you're not alone. We're always here Alan."
Tin-Tin and Fermat stood up from where they were hiding and approached Penelope and Alan.
"All of us."
Alan choked on his tears as he looked at those gathered in the kitchen. He struggled to pull himself together before falling back onto Penelope and crying once again. But, as Penelope observed, these were tears of healing, not tears of continuos mourning.
"I promised myself that I'd never come here. It was to final accepting that you were actually gone. But I have to face this now. Or I'll never be able to get past what's happened. I think you'd be proud of me. And of the others. You don't have to worry about the Island anymore. It's mine. Lady Penelope fought them hard."
" You should have seen her when they tried to take it away from me. But then, you always knew she was like that didn't you?"
"She adopted me. I'm glad of it in a way. She's like the mother I never got to know. And Brains is helping too. He wants to rebuild a craft like Thunderbird 5, but I don't know if I can handle that. He really wants to, and I know that it would be best. But…I don't think I'm ready."
A deep sigh.
"They wanted to take the Thunderbirds away from us. For 'testing'. But I wouldn't let them take them. They wanted to take everything from me that was all I had of you. I think I know now why you stayed away from them for so long. There are times when I want to scream and yell at them for their disrespect of you. But they wouldn't listen. Would they? I've flown both Thunderbird 1 and 2. I know you'd disapprove but I had to do it. And it was so brilliant. Because it meant I was in a position that brought me closer to you. And for that I'll be eternally grateful. I won't deny there are times when I wish that I'd died up there with you…"
A sad frown.
"You can't imagine what it's like waking every morning, expecting to spend the day with your family, before realising that they're gone…it almost broke me. But then I remember you guys. How strong you always were. And how strong you always thought I was and I realise that…no matter how strong I think I am, when I think of you, I know I'm strong. Because you taught me it. But I miss you all so much."
Alan Tracy paused, aware that talking to gravestones was stupid, but it had helped. And he stared for a second at the Island around him.
"I told them to bury you here. Well, not bury exactly, because you're bodies were never found…but you're sprits are here. With the Thunderbirds. And they're something I'll never get rid of. Because they're part of you. I think it might help to rebuild the Thunderbirds, and there's no shortage of helpers."
He smiled, remembering the people that still surrounded the Island, even now.
"I want people to remember you better. That even death can't stop this family. So maybe Brains was right. Maybe we should rebuild Thunderbird 5. I hope you don't object. But I doubt you would. After all, you gave your life top them didn't you? So…How can I do less than that?"
He sighed, crouching down.
"I love you dad. And you guys too."
He smiled fondly at his brothers headstones.
"I don't think I should stay any longer. I promise I'll come back."
Alan bent down and caressed the headstone, turning dejectedly from the gravesite and making his way back up the track, where Fermat and Tin-Tin were waiting.
In the Sun, six headstones glittered in the sunset, their names forever immortalised, until a time when a seventh would join their numbers. A family of heroes buried on the site where their great machines rested.
Jeff Tracy. Lucille Tracy. Scott Tracy. Virgil Tracy. John Tracy. Gordon Tracy.
And eventually, Alan's would join their number. But for now, he headed up the cliff, heading for an uncertain future, but one he knew would continue to feature his family, as they stood by him in whatever he chose to do.
And somewhere sometime, a Father and his sons smiled.
If Tears Could Build A River, And Memories A Lane,
I'd walk Right Up To where You Are, And Bring You Home Again…
Hmm. Not sure I like that. . But hey…what can you do? sighs oh well. Hope you like it and I do have another fic to upload. A multi-chapter epic. But we'll see how this one does first…