Title: Back in the Saddle

Author: Macx

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: none, really

Author's Voice of Warning (aka Author's Note):
English is not my first language; it's German. This is the best I can do. Any mistakes you find in here, collect them and you might win a prize g> The spell-checker said everything's okay, but you know how trustworthy those thingies are.....

Disclaimer: John's not mine. Crap. Neither are Scott, Virgil, Jeff, Gordon, Alan and the rest of the TB cast. Bummer. They all belong to someone else and I just happily play with them. Don't we all? :)

Archive: sure, archive away

Universe: Movie

Feedback: empty inbox seeks emails g>

Author’s Voice the second:

Since the Movie Scott doesn't really have a whole lot of character exposure and lines, this is my interpretation of the character. He's a bit of a mix between the TV and the Movie version, but since the Movie Scott is younger than the TV one I put in some of that age difference as well.

There is a lot of conflicting information concerning the age of the movie characters. The reference book gives John as the oldest, but the Fanderson website claims it's Scott, followed by John. Well, John's more mature in my eyes, but having Scott being the oldest works for me in this story. So much better, even ;)

This is a companion piece to Recovery. At least it fills a few blanks and continues after Recovery for a few more scenes. Hope you have fun. I sure did.

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She was a beauty.

115 feet long with a wing span of 80.

15,000 mph at top speed.

Sleek and fast and a metallic silver that glistened in the artificial light of the hangar bay. No other rocket or plane could reach her speed. She was highly maneuverable, able to perform like nothing else anyone had ever built or flown, and she was his. His plane, his Thunderbird.

Scott Tracy stood on the catwalk that led to the hatch of Thunderbird 1, International Rescue's reconnaissance aircraft, looking at his machine, his plane, though calling her a plane or a jet was actually close to a sacrilege. She was a Thunderbird. There was no other designation for her.

Running a loving hand over the smooth finish, Scott let his eyes travel over the unblemished exterior, taking in the red nose cone, the blue stripes with the bold letters of 'Thunderbird 1' and the silver shine of the hull. Gone was the slimy substance, the tracer The Hood had applied. Gone were the scratches and bruises from the latest mission. Alan might be able to fly, but he sure didn't know how to land.

He smirked a little at that. Alan meant well and he could fly them all, but only as much as a simulator could teach him. There was a difference between simulating Thunderbird 1 and actually feeling the power of the engines as they rumbled underneath you, as the steering vibrated ever so gently, as the 'bird waited to be released, to fly full speed, to be allowed to show what she had.

Brains had had a few repairs to make to the hydraulics and landing gear, but Scott didn't feel anger or outrage.

Alan had saved their lives.

His lips curled into a vague smile. His youngest brother had pulled their bacon out of the fire, had saved the day, had done what every Tracy would do. One day he would make an excellent addition to their small team of rescuers, though at the moment Alan had other problems. One of the most prominent ones was school, a problem they all had mastered somehow. Some with more grace than others, he added silently, chuckling at the memories.

Yes, Alan was growing up, but he had a lot more to do still. Dad would take care of that, and his brothers. Scott had no intention of letting the teenager slack off, play hot jock, and believe that he could fly when he was barely able to pass math classes, let alone physics. He could understand perceiving literature and associate subjects as superfluous, but a pilot needed more than the passion of flying. He needed the basic knowledge what it meant to be airborne.

Still resting his hand against the cool metal, reveling in the feeling of his 'bird, Scott wondered when their father would allow Alan to co-pilot Thunderbird 2. Sure, the kid had flown her, but that had been short distance in almost perfect weather. Let him battle a thunder storm or adverse winds, then they could talk.

Grinning more, he finally completed his rounds, admiring the perfection that was his 'bird. Alan would never get to fly her as the primary pilot. Probably not even the secondary. Scott was possessive where his bird was concerned. Not that Virgil was any better when it came to Thunderbird 2. He usually shared her with their father when he came along. Jeff Tracy was about the only person who could fly all ‘birds without the primary pilot griping about it. Scott wasn't even going into what Gordon and John thought about theirs.

He stopped and froze for a moment, none-too-recent events coming back.

Thunderbird 5 was a wreck and John looked little better than his beloved space station. His brother had suffered severe injuries from the missile impact and while John tried not to show it, he was fighting with the pain, especially the headaches. He slept a lot, was forced to inactivity while the others took care of TB 5, and he was grounded.

Scott shuddered a little.

Grounded.

The worst word for a pilot. While John didn't fly his 'bird, he was still her pilot. Thunderbird 5 was as important, maybe even the most important, as the others. She was the space monitor, the central relay station, the heart of the communication, their coordination throughout rescues, and their eyes and ears in the sky. Scott relied on his brother's guidance, his calm information as to the danger zone and conditions before they even entered it.

Thunderbird 1 was their reconnaissance, but Thunderbird 5 was their safety net and anchor.

Now she was out of commission and rescues would be severely handicapped. For the first time Scott felt crippled, half dead, half blind, and underneath all that unease was the residing fear of what had happened.

He leaned his head against the rocket ship, gazing at the ceiling of re-enforced concrete high above. Just past the layers of steel and stone was the swimming pool where he and his brothers had been swimming and horsing around only a few days ago. They had returned from a mission well done, saving six oil rig workers from certain death. Alan had come home for spring break and had promptly butted heads with their father again; nothing new there. They all had gone through that phase. So everything had been so wonderfully normal.

Days ago.

He smiled wryly.

It felt like weeks. It felt like another life.

The Hood had been in control of International Rescue for a few hours only, but the consequences would be forever.

One was his fear. The fear to go out onto a rescue while everything was still in tatters, broken and barely working, while Brains and Fermat were working on their equipment, while Kyrano and Onaha tried to clean up and run Tracy Island like normal.

While John and Thunderbird 5 were out of commission.

Scott closed his eyes, feeling that tremor again that usually accompanied thoughts of his injured brother. Throughout the space station's decline, the crisis aboard the monitor, he had lost only a thought or two where John was concerned. His brother had been able to stand, move, had been coherent, and all worry had been shoved away. Scott had done what needed to be done, even though he had fought his own fear and terror all the time.

No second thoughts.

No thoughts at all.

Just action and reaction.

He had them now, those second thoughts. Well, he probably had a lot more than just second thoughts. He was thinking way too much about past events to be completely comfortable with it.

The moment the adrenaline had dissipated, when exhaustion and pain and worry had flooded back, a virtual tsunami of signals assaulting his mind, he had for the very first time taken notice of his brother's serious condition. Sure, he had noticed that John had been hurt, had needed oxygen, had needed Virgil to keep him upright, but Scott would never have guessed the severity of the injuries...

John had collapsed in London, pale as a sheet underneath all the soot and sweat and grime and... blood. Scott had seen the wounds hidden by the torn uniform, had looked into a pair of glassy eyes that reflected nothing but pain and bone-deep exhaustion, and his stomach had clenched in fear.

He was okay now. Healing. He would be fine soon, but for the first time Scott had been terrified to lose a brother. All their other rescues had gone off without much of a hitch. A few scrapes and bruises, a broken bone here or there, but never a situation where death had been so close at their doorstep. For all of them.

Even his little brother.

The shudder came back and he refused to succumb to the fear once more.

Alan was fine. John would be fine.

All of them... were fine... all of them.

And if he kept repeating that over and over, he might just start believing it.

Just maybe...

tbc...