By Arashi no Baka
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: This is a one-shot but it has a sort of prequel multi-shot thingy that's sitting on my hard drive at the moment. I will upload it eventually, but I want to get Judas, Thank You and Brother out of the way first.
Whatever 'Verse you want. I like Movie…but that's me…
Summary: We thought he would live forever. He knew he wouldn't. And there was still one thing he needed to teach us. How to let go…
The rain was relentless against the windowpanes, as the darkness of the small room lit up once more with the flash of lightening from the raging storm. The white tiled walls seemed to reflect the feelings of the occupants within them, and their dull shine only made the atmosphere more tense.
The bed in the centre of the room held the attention of its four occupants. Their faces full of pain and suffering and tired eyes red-rimmed from the tears shed in quiet moments when they were alone.
"I keep expecting him to wake up…"
The words were harsh and unwelcome in the silence. But they hung true for all of them. The eldest of the four remained silent, his back still against the wall. He hadn't moved in the last hour and none of them expected him too.
The speaker sighed slowly, and sat back in the room's only chair, his legs curled underneath him as he continued his vigil by the small bedside. Beside him, leaning again the chairs arm, was his elder brother, blonde hair dishevelled from the snippets of sleep he'd managed to claim.
"He looks like he's sleeping…"
The almost childish-tone to the words, almost broke the blondes heart. His youngest brother was sitting on the floor, his back against the opposite wall, knees to his chest, and arms resting on top. His features were drawn into a tired frown and the small sniffles were concealing tears.
"We will survive this….right Johnny?"
John Tracy had no answer. He wasn't even sure himself. He vaguely risked a glance at the eldest Tracy boy and the naked pain on his brother's face made him feel sick. Scott was supposed to be the strong one. He was usually the first to re-assure a brother, but perhaps this was just one time to many.
Gordon took the silence as an affirmation for his worst fears and climbed to his feet. For the first time in an hour, Scott looked up from his constant vigil at the door. His eyes met those of his younger brother and a shudder ran through him.
"Gordy? What's wrong?"
The harsh glare from his red-headed brother, made Scott frown.
"What do you think is wrong? Our father is dying in case you hadn't noticed!"
Scott opened his mouth to retaliate with an equally harsh reply, when the small door opened to a small knock. The petite nurse who had been attending to the family all day stood in the doorway, her eyes and stern expression belying her small frame.
Sensing she had interrupted something, she spoke as soon as they turned in her direction.
"Your brother is out of surgery now."
Gordon and Scott immediately forgot their argument as news for their youngest overrode any sense of hostility they felt.
"Really? Is he okay? Can we see him?"
The nurse held up her hands at Gordon's tirade of questions and shook her head slowly.
"The injuries your brother sustained were extensive. We managed to fix the broken leg and the cuts and bruises will heal in time. His hands…they were far more difficult."
Virgil shuddered at the thought of the injuries described. When he had seen the blood on his brother and the pain he was in, he had felt, not for the first time, their real vulnerability.
"Both hands were broken. The right, broken at the wrist and with three broken fingers. We managed to graft the skin back too. We hope they'll heal well, but there are no guarantees. He took one hell of a beating."
John couldn't say anything. His little brother wasn't supposed to get injured like that…
"Is he awake?"
"He should be coming round now, yes. I would ask, though, that only one of you visit him at a time. He's going to be a little disoriented from the surgery and I think it best if only one of you describe the situation…"
The nurse looked hastily at the small bed in the sterile room but they knew what she meant. Scott sighed slowly, and made as if to follow the nurse, but Gordon stopped him.
Scott looked set to argue, but the look on his brother's face made his heart ache.
"Please Scott. I know you feel this is your duty, but please. I need to do this…"
Scott looked at his brothers, trying to feel their decisions. John was first to answer. He already knew how Gordy felt. And he knew he couldn't do it.
"Gordy needs this Scott. "
Scott turned to the middle brother, his eyes searching Virgil for any clue as to what his answer would be. But Virgil had managed, for once, to hide his feelings from his brother.
"You know as well as I do who this has to be. I could never find the words to tell Alan. John couldn't do it anyway. And Alan…Alan worships you. He'd listen but he wouldn't truly understand. If you tell him he'll think there's a way to stop it. Because it's what you do. But Gordy…Alan trusts Gordy far more than we realise. He'll believe it then. It needs to be Gordy. If he's too accept it."
It was the most Virgil had spoken all night but they knew how true his words rang. And Scott, finally nodded, letting Gordy fulfil this task that was meant for him. Gordon was truly grateful. But he felt more protective of Alan right now than anyone-even Scott-and he also felt guilty.
Because he was indirectly responsible for all of this.
He followed the nurse down the quiet corridor. Visitor's hours were over already but the Tracy's never left. They had ignored every rule and attempted otherwise and the nurses hand doctors finally relented, knowing that to let them be, would be the best course of action for everybody.
The room that held Alan was no different from the one that held their father, at least, In Gordon's eyes. He wa struck by how small his brother looked and felt his heart constrict. The hands that lay on top of the blankets were heavily bandaged and Gordon was forced to remember the way Alan had looked after the rescue. The blood had been everywhere and his brothers pained face had cut though him like a knife. Alan's blonde locks were plastered to his forehead and Gordon slid into the room, bending down beside his brothers waking form.
Blue eyes opened slowly, and blinked several times. Gordon smiled into his brothers face and received a small smile in return. Alan opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. He coughed a little and then tried again.
Gordon could have hugged his brother senseless but held himself back.
"Hey kid. How you doin?"
"I feel like I was run over by a truck…"
Gordon smiled but didn't laugh. Alan sensed his joke missed, and knew something was up.
The red-head swallowed. He knew this was the hardest thing he would ever have to do. After all of Alan' heard work, there was no way out of this…
"Allie…you did a great job on the cliff. Really you did. But the injuries….when we got you and dad back, they rushed both of you off. It was so fast…they told us they were fixing you up nicely…but dad…there's nothing…"
He broke off, unable to finish. But Alan knew.
The harsh cry that cut through the silent hospital didn't sound human to any that heard it.
It was a cry of gut-wrenching grief and pain.
"I willnot let you go…"
Alan's defiant glare melted Jeff's heart. There was little he could do to persuade his son. He knew that. But that didn't mean he couldn't try. He sighed slowly, and gripped the rope in his hands tighter.
"Alan…you can't hold onto me forever!"
his youngest son grunted and shifted against the rocks, his broken leg cracking once more against the rocks. Alan didn't make a noise of a pain, but Jeff knew it was extremely painful for him. For them both. Jeff felt helpless in his situation, but there was nothing either of them could do.
He looked up and saw the fear on his sons face for the first time.
"We'll get out of this…right? Both of us…"
Jeff nodded, not sure but knowing he had to reassure Alan. They couldn't lose their heads. Not now.
"Yes Alan. We will.Both of us."
John's heart broke for the hundredth time that day.
Alan Tracy made no sound of recognition. He didn't even acknowledge his presence. They had all been in to check on their little brother. When they had heard the cry, all three boys had rushed to see Alan, and found Gordy, on the floor against the wall, crying into his hands.
Alan was crying and screaming, throes of grief washing over him like water, and sending him into bouts of hysteria. The hospital staff had tried –in vain- to clam him, and even the Tracy boys had no affect. It had taken a shot from Gordon to get him to clam down.
Five day on and Alan still hadn't moved or spoken.
They had all tried to get him to react. All of them except Gordon. The red-head, disheartened by his attempt to fill his brother in, had retreated to their fathers room and hadn't been back to see him since.
Nothing. Not even a flicker. John took a deep breath and resigned himself for the reaction. He put a hand on Alan's cast. He felt the almost barest recoil but shook it off, knowing this was going to be tough on Alan. Tougher than knowing his dad was going to die.
"Alan…Dad isn't going to wake up….You know that…but they…they want to pull the plug on him tonight…"
The speed with which Alan whipped his head round startled John. His blue eyes were burning with barely contained fury.
The word was spoken with an unyielding sense of finality. John had known this would take a while. He had reacted much like Alan when he had heard. But he also knew that there was no way Jeff was going to wake up. Not now. He had reach the report-like Scott- and certain words tended to stick in your mind.
No hope of recovery. Brain damage. Loss of motor-functions.
"John. I don't think you understand me. I will not kill my father. Ever. And I wont let you do it either."
"You thinkI want this? He's my father too! I love him as much as you!"
Alan shook his head angrily, Johns anger no match for his.
"I didn't spend six fucking hours stuck on a bloody Cliffside, saving us both, so that you could kill him!"
John stood up, staring down at his younger bother.
"Do you think it'll be easy on us having him lying there day after day, waiting for a recovery that may never come?"
"Do you think it's easy having to watch him die? Knowing we were responsible?"
John didn't answer his brother, he turned and walked out of the room.
The startled yell made Alan crane his neck upwards, in time to watch the rope slip once again. H arced himself for the pain as the rope shot through his fingers, rubbing against his skin, burning them with the friction. He cried out as his body was slammed against the wall with the force of his fathers fall. There was a sharp crack and pain lanced through his wrist. His cry of pain seemed to echo throughout the cliffs and rebounded back to his ears.
"Alan? Are you okay?"
He forced himself to talk, looking doing at his father
The look of open concern on his fathers face shocked Alan. For the first time since the rock had cracked, Alan felt that he and his father were once more in accord. It was ironic in a way. Here they were, on a cliff about to die, andfinally he and his father were starting to get closer.
"Really Dad. I'm fine."
"So are you? Right?"
Jeff fought the smile trying to appear on his face. He knew he hadn't fooled his son in the least. He tried to see the damage done to his son and saw the strain on Alan's hands. The thought of his son, holding them both up, was like a knife to the heart of Jeff.
And the fact that Alan hadn't yet let go of the rope, not even when he was suffering injury after injury, wasn't lost on Jeff either.
"Alan! What are you doing?"
He ignored their cries of alarm. Why did he have to stay cooped up in bed, when he needed to see his father? All day he had been trying to make them understand. But they couldn't. And so he had taken matter into his won hands. He would show them. They wouldn't let Jeff Tracy die. Not while Alan Tracy still lived.
"I had to see him."
He didn't elaborate. Didn't want to. He was still angry with his brothers for giving in so easily. Since when had a Tracy given up on a family member? It was the one thing they had always relied on. The one thing that got them through every rescue. Knowing that there would always be the family to protect and rely on.
When he told them so, the response he received was immediate. Virgil and John looked startled at his comment. Scott didn't say anything, just looked at his younger brother in barely contained anger.
But Gordon shot off the floor, the anger on his face spilling out into his words.
"You stupid little shit! You think this is easy?! Do you know how hard it was sitting in here waiting for news on you or dad? We thought we'd lost you both! And when we heard what was happening to dad we didn't like it either…but you know what? You got to say goodbye! We wont even have that!"
Gordon's outburst stunned Alan. For a moment, he stared into his brother's eyes and saw the naked pain, grief and anger in them. Looking at Scoot, Virgil and John he saw the same thing. He realised belatedly that he had been selfish. This was affecting them all. Like a dam, his walls were pulled down around him, and the tears came. Fast and hard. Gordon was first to react. Ignoring his previous anger, he swept it all aside and bent down, bringing Alan into his arms.
John and Virgil were next to join the hug. They each held the two youngest, looking up at Scott as he joined them. The five of them cried. Cried for a future that's seemed uncertain.
"Dad? Don't go to sleep okay!"
Alan's voice sounded panicked and Jeff forced himself to look at his son. He lifted up a hand and weakly stroked a blonde lock off of Alan's forehead.
"I'm so sorry…"
"Bringing you out here…putting you through this…"
Alan fought the tears and tried to look angry.
"It's not your fault. Lets blame Gordy…"
"He set this up"
Jeff tried to smile but couldn't through his pain.
"Dad? Thank you. For coming with me."
Jeff nodded slowly and looked his son in the eyes.
"I love you Alan"
"Oh no you don't. Don't you do that…."
Alan needed him. They all did. But he couldn't see past the pain.
"I love you all. But you have to learn to let go…I didn't. I kept it all bottled up and I took it out on you. I'm so sorry Alan. I'm so sorry. I love you…I love you all…"
"Dad? Dad it's Virgil…"
Alan couldn't tear his eyes away from his brother's face. Virgil was crying. They all were. The middle Tracy choked on his tears and continued to hold his father's hand, so tight his knuckles were white.
"I just wanted to say thank you…for everything you did. I'm so proud of what you've done with the thunderbirds. I wouldn't have traded you for anybody else in the world. Not even in your worst moments. But I guess you'll be happy now...right? You'll get to be with mum again. And grandma and grandpa. I'll miss you dad…so much…"
Virgil broke off, unable to continue. The tears were falling faster than he could speak, and Scott reached over instinctively to pull his brother into a hug. John, pale and shaking took his place beside their father.
"I don't even know what to say dad…this is so hard…I never got to do this with mum…I just…there are a lot of things I wish you'd done differently. Like talking about mum. I wish you'd; done that more often. It might have helped. I wish I could have been able to see you more often…talking with you over the satellite link isn't like talking face to face. I'm going to miss you so much. What are we supposed to do without you? You were the best father anyone could ever want…and now you're gone…"
John trailed off. His tears were making silver tracks down his face and Alan watched his brother waver. Once again, it was Scott who reached over to comfort him. Alan was struck by Scott's behaviour. Even now, filling the last moments with their father, Scott was putting their welfare before his won. Even watching the death of his hero…
Scott was ten times the man Alan was ever going to be.
"I'm so sorry dad…this is all my fault.."
Alan's head shot to his brother. Gordy was crying by the side of the bed and his hands were entwined with Jeff's the open grief on Gordon's face made Alan want to cry all the more.
"If I hadn't sent you and Allie on this stupid trip…"
Alan moved closer to his brother, leaning against him, trying to give emotional support to Gordy. The red-head accepted it, leaning against Alan in return as he spoke to his father.
"There are things I'm not sorry for though. Like the Thunderbirds. I think they're the greatest creation in the history of mankind. And you mad them dad. That makes me prouder than you'll ever know. That I can say I'm the great Jeff Tracy's son is the best gift you have ever given me. I'll miss you. That obvious. But I just wanted you to know. That I'll never stop thinking of you dad. Ill always wonder what you would have thought about something…or what you would do. And I hope that you'll still be here, even though we can't see you…"
Gordon cracked. Crying he hugged himself into Alan and the blonde brought his brother closer, meeting his eldest brother's eyes. Alan nodded and Scott accepted it was his turn. Slowly letting both of his brother's go, Scott stepped closer to his father's bed. Alan felt pained just looking at his brother. This was Scott's hero…
Scott didn't need words for this. He knew that his father would have known what he wanted to say. But he felt that he should be talking. If only to show his brothers what he was feeling Scott mind unconsciously turned to Alan. His little brother needed to hear this more than any of them. Scott was his hero...just like Jeff was Scott's. And if Scott fell to pieces…Alan would fall just as fast.
"If I could take back everything that's ever happened to this family, I would do it in a heartbeat. It not fair that we have to suffer. We have so many lives every day and this organisation has already stolen one of our number. Who would have it expected it to claim another? After mum died I never forgave you for leaving us alone. Not me really. But them. It was as though we had lost both parents. As I grew up I began to understand your grief. But I still resented it. You were their father, not me. But now...now I think I can see why you did it. Losing someone you love isn't easy. Especially not when you don't even get to say goodbye…You were my hero dad. And I think on some level you knew that, didn't you?"
Scot trailed off. He wanted to say more. But where did he begin? He realised he'd been talking for longer than his brothers, but he wanted to say so much more. There wasn't enough time to say it all…
"You did it again you know…left me to look after everything…And for that I don't think I'll ever forgive you…I love you…and its seems nasty and irrational but I cant forgive you this time…I so sorry…I love you…"
Scott stopped talking, aware of all his brothers looking at him. All except Alan. Scott forced himself to look at the young blonde.
"I don't know where to start. I never meant to make you mad at me all those times. I just…I wanted you to love me. Every time you looked at me I could see the pain in your eyes. And I know its because you saw mum in me. You told me that yourself. Remember? And I'm sorry that I made you hurt. I just wanted you to love me. I didn't want you angry at me anymore. Guess that's why i was looking forward to this holiday so much. Because I got to spend two whole weeks with you. Just us. But now…Now I wont even get that…"
Alan cried against his hands. Gordon reached over, and put a hand on his back, comforting his brother. Virgil and John looked at their youngest brother in deep sadness. Scott couldn't from words to comfort Alan. He had been the last to se Jeff alive. And if Scott knew his father he had known what was going to happen. And he must have made some last words to Alan.
"I hated you so much on that cliff…. You were telling me you were dying...after everything I'd done to keep you alive…you were dying anyway! It'll take me a while to tell them what you wanted me too….But I promise I will…someday…Just. I don't think I'm ready to let you go just yet. I know that's what you wanted us to learn wasn't it? How to let go…That's what you told me..."
Alan paused, looking at each of his brothers. They weren't quite ready to hear their father's last words yet either, it was still too soon. To accept he was gone. Or to accept that he would never again be there for them.
"I love you so much dad…I always have. And I hope you knew that. Even when I told you I hated you. I loved you so much I used to cry over hurting you. I'm so sorry…I don't…"
Alan couldn't speak through his tears and allowed Gordy to envelop him in a hug. Scott wordlessly reached for the plug. The doctor attending to Jeff was standing in the doorway with the two nurses. They watched in silence as the eldest Tracy prepared to pull the plug on their father.
The five Tracy boys stared at their father, and one by one leaned over to kiss him. With a final burst of courage Scott pulled the plug. The heart monitor slowed its constant beeping and Alan reached over, placing his head to his fathers chest.
He ignored everything but the beat of his fathers heart.
The wail that escaped his lips was taken up by his brothers.
The plug lay forgotten on the floor as the five of them mourned the loss of their beloved father. The doctor and nurses slowly backed out of the room, sensing they weren't wanted. They shut the door on the resounding sobs of the five heroes'.
Oh dear. Not another one. Yeesh… I have the background story to this…want it?
shrugs Hope you like. R & R?