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
Part Three: Look At Me Now
Notes: I finally did the third chapter. Woot! A Father/son scene that I've wanted to do for a long time. Sighs Hope you Like. Sorry it took so long.
"…I hated you…"
The words seemed to come from far away. Jeff Tracy hadn't felt pain like this in a long time. His son was struggling to form the words, holding back his tears with strength only Alan Tracy could find. He was pale and his hands shook where they rested by his side.
How Alan had managed to find the courage to tell him all of this was beyond Jeff. His youngest son had never had much time for his father. Their fights with each other bridged the gap that had existed since the blonde's childhood. A gap that Jeff had never managed to re-form.
A gap that was widening with each of Alan's words.
He'd done wrong. He knew that. He'd kept Alan at arms distance for one reason, and one reason only.
Whilst Virgil had retained many of his mothers art, John, bless the kid, had inherited her blonde locks and her love for the stars, but Alan…
Alan seemed to be the living embodiment of his dead mother.
And the pain that Jeff felt every time he saw him had become too much. He didn't have the courage to face that part of his life. He, Jefferson Tracy, named the Man Of Steel in his Airforce days, had been too scared to face his son. And realise that there was never going to be a way to escape his wife's memory.
He forced himself to focus back on his son.
"…I hated you…"
Jeff felt his heart clench. He shouldn't have been surprised and the pain in Alan's voice belied the animosity he always showed whenever Jeff was around. Alan hurt as much as he did. So why were they unable to bridge the gap?
"I never wanted to tell you that."
The words were spoken softly but to Jeff they were like a shout, ringing in his ears.
"Because I loved you too much to hurt you. I tried so often to tell you what I was feeling. That I was hurting. But you ignored me. Always. When I needed you most, I could never find you. And then the arguments started…"
The pain in Alan's voice was all that Jeff could hear. Why had he been so blind to his son's pain? Why had he not noticed that Alan had needed him? The answer was obvious, but still Jeff could not admit it to his son.
And on some level he knew why.
When Jeff was being truly honest with himself, he knew he had spoilt Alan as a child. When they weren't arguing, they were doing something. Even Scott had not seen as much attention from Jeff that Alan had. And in return the tow-headed junior had worshipped his father. Jeff knew how much his son looked up to him. And that was why he could not admit that he could hardly stand to look at his son sometimes.
When Alan had outgrown his junior phase, things had changed.
The blonde had sped through kindergarten and was soon enrolled in the middle school of Kansas State. And from the first day he set foot inside the gates Alan knew he was different.
Many of the other children noticed the absence of either parent and the bullying had begun. Forced to defend himself, and his family name, Alan began to change. Gone was the sweet boy who had cuddled up on his father's knee at bedtime. Gone was the young blonde who had waited for his brothers on the edge of the house steps to come home. Gone was the Alan Tracy Jeff had loved.
In his place was a moody and unpredictable bully, who brought home his rage instead of saving it for school. As the school years progressed, so did Alan's hostility. When he entered Kansas State high school, Alan's notorious behaviour continued, now under the watchful eyes of his brothers.
After a particularly vicious assault on one of the schools pupils, Jeff had been called up to the school, and had brought all five of his sons home, alarmed that they had all been involved. Of course, the antagonist was yet again his youngest son.
The largest argument to date had rocked the Tracy family. Alan's hot temper had flared against his fathers and that was the first time Jeff had gotten an impression of why his son behaved the way he did.
Even now, years on, the memories were still fresh. Alan's words had hurt then, the truth in them like a stab to Jeff's heart. Alan had battled his way through middle school, fighting off students who had fought him over the absence of any parents. They taunted him over being a son nobody wanted, and Alan had taken the words to heart, even going so far as to believe that Jeff had really thought he was a bad son.
And now, Jeff realised what the problem was between them.
As much as they both had liked to think they had gotten past this, they hadn't. Jeff was still never around and Alan still thought of himself as a bad son. The eldest Tracy waited patiently for his son to finish. They would solve this today.
They needed to. For both their sakes.
John hadn't wanted to eavesdrop.
But his brothers had all wanted to know what was going on between their father and brother. John felt it a betrayal of Alan's trust in him, but at the same time part of him wanted to know too.
So, when the door to the room flew open and Alan ran out, it was John he barrelled into, sobbing immediately into his brothers chest. Scott and Virgil looked through the door, at their clearly distressed father. Scott nodded at John to take care of Alan, and slipped into the Office, Virgil on his heels.
Gordon helped John half-carry, half-walk their distraught brother to his room, and closed the door. John pulled Alan away from him, trying to look into Alan's eyes. The young blonde was having none of it, but whispered into John's chest.
"I told him…everything…I told him…"
Alan's voice was startled, and John got the impression that Alan couldn't quite believe what he'd done. The elder blonde exchanged looks with Gordon, who stood next to Alan, and put a hand on his shoulder. Alan tensed underneath it and there was a pained look on his face that made both elder boys wince in sympathy.
"It'll be okay Alan…"
Gordon's words seemed to make Alan even more upset. If it was possible.
"No. And I don't think it will ever be again…"
Scott was fast losing his patience.
They'd been in the room with their father ever since Alan had fled it ten minutes ago, and Jeff hadn't spoken one word. Virgil was standing against the wall, farthest from his father's desk, hand on his head, massing his temples.
"Dad…We can't help if you don't tell us what's wrong!"
Scott words seemed to penetrate the fog of Jeff's mind, and he looked in his sons eyes. Scott felt sick at the amount of pain he saw in them. His father stared at him for a minute, before looking once more at the range of portraits on the wall. His eyes lingered over Alan.
"Since his eighth birthday I never once told him I loved him."
The statement took Scott and Virgil by surprise. They both looked over at Jeff and Scott opened his mouth to speak, and then shut it when he realised Jeff wasn't finished.
"Not even when he was stuck on that bridge and I thought I might lose him. I never told him then either. And I should have. If he'd died…"
There was anguish so deep in Jeff's voice that it cut straight through Scott's heart like a knife. He swallowed and then spoke slowly.
"But he didn't die."
"That's not the point. The point is I've kept him at arm's length for reasons I'm tired of trying to justify. And I keep telling myself that I couldn't look at Alan for fear that all the pain of your mothers death would re-surface. And this morning it came to a head."
Scott winced as he remembered the argument that had shattered the peace of Tracy Island that morning. The words had been harsh. From Alans statement that Jeff was no parent fit to call himself so. And with John, leaping to the defence of his father, and Jeff himself, both hinting at the fact that had Alan not been born they would have Lucille back.
Virgil spoke up for the first time, his words seeming to penetrate Jeff's melancholy mood.
"Then maybe you should be telling him this."
John stroked Alan's hair absently, watching the slow rise and fall of Alan's chest as he slept. It had taken them a while to get Alan calmed down, and it hadn't even been John who'd achieved it. Gordon had climbed onto the bed beside his brother, holding Alan close to him, the blonde's head on Gordon chest. Lulled to sleep by the beating of his brother's heart, Alan was soon fast asleep, and John had returned to the room to find Gordon asleep beside him.
The hurt both boys were suffering cut deep into John. Because he knew that Gordon suffered too. Better at hiding it than Alan, the red-head made sure that nobody knew what he was feeling, but the connection between him and Alan meant that he felt both lots of pain.
And nobody had any idea.
John felt sad at that thought. That Gordon had to hide how much pain he was in, just so that they could focus on Alan, spoke volumes about how much Gordon loved his younger brother. And how far he was willing to go to save him.
He was startled from his thoughts by the door to Alan's room sliding open. His blue eyes stared into his fathers saddened ones. Slowly, he retracted his hand from Alan's hair and stood up, his legs groaning in protest.
"You wanna speak to him?"
Jeff nodded and John reached over to ruffle Gordon's hair. He stroked his brother's face, leaning over so he was whispering in his ear.
"Gordy? Wake up bro…"
There was a moan from the red-head's lips and he turned to face John, his eyes opening slowly. He stared at john, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion until he saw his father in the doorway. He spared a glance for Alan and then pulled away from his blonde brother, who moaned at the loss of warmth.
John slid an arm round the half-asleep Gordon, and slid the door closed behind them as they left the room. Jeff stared silently down at the sleeping form of his youngest son. Sitting in the seat John had just vacated, he sat back. Virgil was right. He did need to tell Alan.
But he didn't know how.
I love you.
Alan stirred the loss of Gordon's warmth, rousing him from sleep. When he saw his father, he jerked off the bed, unsure of what he wanted. Jeff blinked slowly, and spoke just one word.
I want you to know that. I love you more than you'll ever know. More than I can ever show. I clung for so long onto what you weren't that I forgot what you were. And I know that I hurt you. I am sorry. More sorry than you'll ever forgive me for. And I can see now how I've hurt you. How I hurt all of us. It was never intentional.
Alan stared at his fathers strong features, set into an expression of pain and sadness, and every wall he'd built Up against his father broke. Tears fell down his cheeks unbidden, as his father's arms came around him.
I loved her too much.
Jeff stoked Alan's back as his son cried against him. He wondered why he hadn't done this sooner. It was what they both needed.
I saw so much of my beloved wife in you. And I couldn't accept that youweren't her. I blamed you. I admit that. Not to you though. Never to you. But now…now I can see the damage I have caused. You should never have had to bear this pain son.
The words wouldn't come to Jeff's lips. They only played out in his head. But somehow, he knew Alan understood. He tightened his hold on the blonde, trying to keep Alan close. There would be no distance between them now. He'd make sure of it.
And the pain I feel at her death is nothing compared to the pain I feel when I know I let you down.
Jeff sighed slowly. He heard Alans breathing even out, and realised his son had fallen asleep. Closing his eyes, he pulled Alan close, so that the two of them were comfortable on the chair. It wasn't even strange to him that his twenty year old son was sprawled across his lap like a little child.
Because to Jeff he still was. They were back to the beginning again. And this time, they would do it right.
He kissed the top of Alans head, and spoke three last words, before falling asleep.
"Thank You Alan…"
throws hands in air
Done! Yes! That's it. Finito. End . Finished. About time too. Hope you enjoyed it. I know I love it : P
R & R?