By Arashi no Baka
Disclaimer: I do not own. Nothing.
Notes: Just a little something that came to me last night. Not really much to say. Only I have a tendency to mix the Movie and Tv show together ;; In this fic I seemed to have used the Movie ages and yet the popular belief for how Lucille Tracy died. I have no idea, but I'm going by what most people say.
Updated 08/31/04:Thanks to Bograt for pointing out my mistakes :P I went through and proof-read it! That'll teach me for not doing it last night, won't it? Anyway's, it should now be okay. No spelling mistakes! Wahoo!
I used to hate you….
John Tracy stared down at his sleeping brother in barely contained affection. The thought sprang to mind as easily as though it had been conjured, but he wanted to take it back. It was hard to imagine anyone hating the small figure in the bed. There were times when even John found himself disbelieving that he could have ever felt that way.
But it was true.
He sighed slowly and ran a hand through his blonde hair. He didn't know why he'd come in here really. What was he hoping for? To apologise? Forgiveness? His brother wouldn't want either. He was probably still angry, and John knew he had every right to be.
The arguments that had shattered the peace of Tracy Island in the early hours of the morning were still fresh on everybody's minds. But it wasn't unusual for there to be some friction on this day, but the nasty comments and angry yells had been unexpected.
Although maybe not for their youngest.
Alan Tracy had seemed to always be at the centre of the arguments, and John could well understand why. March 13th was always hard on the family. But it was supposed to be a day of joy and happiness. For Alan at least. Hiding his pain and suffering had always been a talent Alan seemed to perfect. Nobody had any idea what he felt.
The quietest Tracy knew well what Alan was hiding beneath the cool exterior. Whilst his brothers knew better than to pry, John figured it his duty to understand what was wrong with his brother. Scott and Virgil, though worried, knew that Alan would never tell them what was wrong. Gordon probably already knew. Despite the four-year age gap, both boys were almost inseparable when they were on the Island at the same time.
John, however, was perhaps the only brother Alan would open up to. Gordon would have accepted Alan's problem in his stride, but he lacked the emotional drive to follow up the admittance. John didn't. And he needed to know what was wrong.
They all did.
The arguments were tearing Jeff Tracy apart. John's father felt the distance between him and Alan widening with every passing day. And John couldn't understand why. Whilst Alan worshipped the ground his father walked on, he always seemed to find a way to make his father angry with him. And Alan himself was aware of this more than anybody.
And John wondered how much it really hurt him.
His smile faded as Alan stirred. The smaller blonde raised his head from the pillow, and John swallowed his words before he could speak them. Alan refused to let anyone see him cry. He saw it as some kind of weakness. He always had. But now, Jon felt his heart clench at the tears stained cheeks of his youngest brother. The red-rimmed and puffy-eyes belied Alan's determined expression.
The words lacked the venom to make them intimidating, but John knew his brother didn't want him in the room.
"I came to apologise."
Alan's snort was derisive and John bit back a nasty retort. He needed to do this. If not for him, then for his whole family.Alan didn't deserve this. He never had.
"Why bother? It'll only happen again next year"
The bitterness in Alan's voice cut straight to John's heart. How could they have missed so much? Their youngest brother had been in pain just the same as them, maybe even more, and they had ignored it all. In favour of their own feelings.
"I'm still sorry. For what its worth."
Jon bristled at Alan's quick sweep aside of his apology, and almost snapped at him, but stopped when he saw the naked pain in his brothers eyes. He hadn't seen that look since Alan had said goodbye to him when he'd left for Thunderbird 5. And it still, even three years later, hurt the same.
Alan spoke again, filling the silence.
"You have no idea how much it hurts John. Today is my birthday. And do you know how I spent it? How Ispend every birthday? Wishing that I had died instead of mom."
The words slammed into John as though Alan had punched him. How could he have been so bloody stupid?! That was the problem! And John hated himself in that moment for not understanding sooner. He gripped Alan's shoulders and pulled him round roughly to look him in the eye.
"Don't you ever say that again Alan! Don't you dare!"
Alan's yell was practically a shriek, and his eyes begged John to give him an answer, even as his mouth spoke words that he has been keeping silent for a s long as he could remember.
"Why not when I believe every word? And You! Don't try and tell me you never wished it either! You hated me! I'm not stupid John. When I was growing up you could hardly stand to look at me! All because you felt I had killed mom! And I know that the others feel the same. Da…"
Alan cut off before he could finish and John released his little brother.
Alan's unspoken words hung in the air and John stared at his brother in silent contemplation. How had they let this sit for so many years? This should have been talked about long ago. He knew that he had never bothered to see how much this day had affected Alan. He, like his family, had suspected that Alan would survive this day that same as he did every other.
"All I ever wanted was a normal birthday. Like you. You don't have to spend the morning wondering what you can say that won't hurt anyone. You don't have to spend your birthday knowing that you're the reason your brothers don't have a mother. Why you don't have a mother."
John watched the tears fall from Alan's eyes. He wanted to hug his younger brother, but knew that Alan had to instigate it.
"I'm so sorry Alan."
It was almost a whisper, but it sounded too loud in the uncomfortable silence that followed Alan's statement. The younger blonde sniffled slightly and brought his eyes to meet Johns again.
"All I wanted was for one of you to ask me what I felt. But you never did. You just assumed I could handle it. but I can't John. I cant…"
Alan sobbed into his hands, and John threw caution to the wind. Reaching over, he grabbed his younger brother in a hug and Alan buried his face in his shoulder. John stroked his brother's hair, not able to find the words to comfort his brother.
As he rocked his brother back and forth, he noticed the door swing open a little. Light flooded the room, but Alan didn't move. He sobbed louder and John's heart ached. The eldest Tracy stood in the doorway.
Alan froze and John cursed. Alan pulled away from his brother, to stare at their father. Before he could move, John spoke.
"Can you give us a minute? Please?"
He added a pleading edge to his voce, trying to make sure his father got the point. Jeff Tracy looked to Alan and then back to John. Nodding slowly, he pulled the door closed. Alan sat back from his elder brother and John wondered if they had suddenly reached square one again.
"I don't know how hard this has been for you Alan. I admit that yes, when you were younger I hated you. But mom had just died and I worshipped her the way you worship dad."
Alan's head whipped round, and John lifted an eyebrow, daring him to disagree. When the blonde said nothing, he continued.
"But I grew up. I knew that you had nothing to do with it. That it was just one of those things. I hate March 13th. But not because it's your birthday. And not because you're here and moms not. But because mom died. And I will never hate you for that Alan. Never again."
Alan stared at the floor for a long time before speaking so softly, John had to strain to hear.
"The others will…"
John snorted and made sure Alan was looking at him when he spoke.
"Don't be so stupid. Scott would kill us if we even suggested it. I don't have to tell you how protective he is of you Alan. And that includes himself. He'd probably shoot his foot off or something if he even thought it."
The smile on Alan's face at that made John's heart feel a little lighter.
"Virgil loves you too much to be able to think that way. He misses mom almost as much as I do, but I do know that he's never hated you. And never will. He spent ages looking after you when you were younger."
Alan's eyes took on a distant look, as though trying to remember.
"And Gordy? You should know better than to believe he could harbour thoughts like that Alan. He's practically your other half. I doubt he could even imagine thinking you are responsible."
He put a hand on Alan shoulder and their eyes met for the last time. But Alan didn't pull away this time.
"I know we haven't handled this well at all Alan. We were so busy wondering about our own feelings that we completely ignored yours. But I know for a fact that Dad would never resent you for living where mom died. He's proud of you in so many ways Alan. And he loves you so much. We all do. And nothing will change that. Ever."
Alan nodded slowly, and pulled John into another hug.
"With all my heart Alan. And you should know that."
"I do now."
They sat their, in their hug, for a little while longer. Eventually Alan pulled away and his blue eyes sparkled with something John understood.
"You didn't have to apologise."
"I know. But you're my brother. And it's the least you deserve."
Alan smiled again and stood up, knowing that he had to face the rest of his family. John sighed slowly and then smiled. Standing beside his brother, he put a reassuring hand on his arm. Alan stared at him in silence for minute. His next words showed John that he was grateful for everything they'd spoken about tonight.
They were the simplest things to say. But sometimes they can be the most heartfelt words you'll ever hear. John knew that they were also spoken for things to come. And by his side John would be. He had to make up for the past mistakes he'd made with his youngest brother.
Mistakes he wouldn't make again.
You made me realise how much you mean to me Al. Thank you.
Oh dear. Why would anyone write that? shrugs R and R? Or not?….