The Tracy Family and Thunderbirds are the creation of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson
His first thought was, of course, that his father needed him in the lounge immediately to liase on some mission aspect and that, perhaps, Jen was also needed to advise casualties on what they could do to help themselves until help arrived but then, that couldn't be! There had been no alert siren sounded, so International Rescue hadn't been called out.
A more worrying thought then came to him, one much closer to home. Perhaps it was Grandma! Something had happened to Grandma and Jenna was needed for her nursing and medical expertise and he, just because it was his grandma!
"Hey Al……," Scott had started to ask, wanting to ascertain the nature of the apparent urgency. But his youngest brother had already disappeared, leaving the young couple exchanging somewhat puzzled looks. Fearing though that there may, indeed, be some sort of emergency, there was only one thing to do. "Guess we'd better get up to the lounge and see what this is all about!"
On approaching the villa's family room, the couple were met by an ominous silence. Under any other circumstance, it wouldn't have been given another thought but since there was supposed to be some sort of urgency, it seemed rather odd there wasn't any kind of activity whatsoever! Perhaps all the activity was taking place elsewhere.
Jenna gave the eldest Tracy son a bewildering shrug in response to his silent questioning, furrowed brow. Deciding not to delay any further however, the couple hurried into the seemingly quiet lounge.
They were instantly met with sudden loud popping and, next minute, were engulfed in a colorful shower of paper streamers and sparkling confetti, followed by the popping of champagne corks and shouts of, 'Surprise'. And surprise it was indeed, so much so, it left the couple completely stunned and totally speechless in those first few moments.
As the initial 'shock' began to wear off, the lovers could now see that the lounge, the parts they hadn't been able to see from the hallway, had been transformed into a celebratory party, complete with balloons, bearing their names. A beautifully made cream silk banner, with the words, 'Congratulations Scott and Jenna' in gold lettering, which had Virgil's artistic hand all over it, hung across the large panoramic windows that led out onto the balcony. Off to the side, a long table covered with pristine white linen was laden with a sumptuous spread of mouth-watering delicacies; its center crowned with the most breathtakingly beautiful arrangement of tropical flowers and greenery. Into the arrangement two very special flowers were woven, significantly the Rollins Rose and some rather striking fire-red spiky blooms, representing, appropriately enough, the passion that is Scott Carpenter Tracy and the flower that Kyrano had named for him. Here and there, throughout the room, other smaller arrangements, made up of the same two flowers were set, filling the lounge with delicate tropical scent. Bottles of champagne along with sparkling crystal flutes stood to attention on another nearby cloth covered table.
Clearly a lot of effort and much love had gone into these preparations and it had all been for them. This whole 'urgency' had been merely a ploy, for the sole purpose of getting them up to the lounge at just the right moment, for just this occasion.
Jenna couldn't help that her eyes suddenly became a little watery, as she filled up with emotion and, on turning to her fiancé, Scott instinctively took hold of her hand, in a silent statement of complete togetherness.
It was clear he, himself, was overwhelmed by such a gesture, as he gazed around at all the gathered family, including John, who had joined them by live-feed transmission from Thunderbird Five. "Hey, guys…everybody. We…we…really don't know what to say…! I mean, we weren't expecting anything……" Scott turned automatically to his lover while talking, knowing she felt the same way and that he spoke for both of them.
"Son…you didn't think we could let such an important event, like your engagement, pass without marking it in some way…," his father spoke out on behalf of the family. "…not to mention the fact we have a lot to be thankful for that you're both safe. That makes it a double celebration. We just wanted you both well enough to be able to enjoy it."
"Yeah, Scotty…and then there's you, giving up your freedom. We thought the least you deserved, for being so brave, was a party!" Gordon joined in, with a mischievous grin.
"And…every 'condemned' man gets to have a 'hearty meal'!" the youngest blond-haired Tracy quipped cheekily, bringing amused smiles from every one in the room.
Their eldest brother, though, refused to be baited on this occasion; he was far too happy and, subsequently, returned a flash of cobalt blues eyes, full of ultra cool contentment.
"Guys…I was a 'condemned' man from the moment I opened my eyes and saw this beautiful lady," the gallantly romantic pilot, unhesitatingly, called their bluff, turning to his lover and giving her a warm and provocative little smile. "And as for me 'giving up my freedom'! I haven't given up my freedom. In fact…I found it!"
At that, Tin-Tin promptly burst into joyful tears. "Ohhh, that is so beautiful. Isn't that a beautiful thing to say, Alan?" the raven-haired young woman gushed and looking pointedly to her companion, probably in the hope he would learn some valuable lessons.
The youngest Tracy wasn't exactly on the same wavelength, more like that of a juvenile delinquent, for his immediate reaction was to stick fingers in his mouth and pretend to gag, with a jovial quip of, "Puleeease…somebody get me a bucket. I think I'm gonna puke!"
That brought about a snort of laughter from his equally juvenile compatriot, the copper-haired resident joker but only earned Alan yet another reproving scowl and poke in the ribs from Kyrano's exasperated daughter. You'd think he would have learned his lesson by now, at least, enough to start wearing body armor to prevent him becoming black and blue!
When all was said and done though, Scott took the bantering with good grace and the light-heartedness with which it was intended, for this was a happy and joyful occasion. Pulling his fiancé to him, the Field Commander slipped his arm protectively around her waist and again surveyed his family.
"Thanks, Dad…everyone…for all this. It really means a lot to us," Scott stated, with warm-hearted appreciation, to which Jenna also added her own thanks and added how wonderful it all looked.
"We all wanted to do something for you both…..," Virgil smiled, reaching out and clasping his elder brother's shoulder. "…..so we all helped out. Even John's been busy up on Five!"
Curious as to what that could possibly mean, the happy couple spun round, with a look of quizzical bemusement, to find John smiling down at them from the live-feed that had replaced his portrait.
"Yeah, hi guys…I guess you could say, your engagement party is also, 'out of this world'!" the blond-haired astronaut grinned happily, as he indicated the interior of IR's monitoring satellite that he had decorated in their honor.
Sure enough, as John moved a little to the side of screen, they could see a large banner hung with their names and 'congratulations' written on it and, though there were no balloons, the intrepid Tracy had managed to find some Christmas tinsel and streamers that were kept stored for whoever was pulling the seasonal stint up on Five.
The very idea that even Thunderbird Five had been decked out in celebration brought laughter from the happy couple, along with much appreciated thanks.
"That's not quite all," John then confessed rather modestly, a little blush rising in his face, which only brought further curiously interested looks from the couple. "You see…last week, I made something of a discovery. And it's actually quite exciting…..," the blond-haired Space Monitor started to explain, his face lighting up with obvious delight, being on his favourite subject. "….because I discovered a new binary star system…out in the…..well, that doesn't really matter right now…."
"Well gee, John…that all sounds real interesting…..!" Scott interrupted with some amusement, at not quite seeing the connection and what this all had to do with them.
Thunderbird Five's monitor smiled, with quiet patience. "You really know nothing about stars, do you, big brother!"
"Only that they're pretty enough to 'make out' under!" the handsome pilot grinned wryly, which brought smiles of admiring approval from the Tracy men and exasperated sighs from the girls.
"Then you should like this," John replied in amusement. "A binary star system is usually two…
could be more but in this case, it's two…stars that are locked in continual orbit around each other, bound by gravity. Each star is the other's constant companion and destined to be locked together for…eons…as long as stars last!" he went on in explanation, giving them and the assembled audience a brief crash course in astronomy.
He could see now he was gaining their attention.
"Anyway…when I discovered them, I thought of you two…and when I heard you had made it all official…! Well…I wanted to mark your engagement in a special way…and since the discoverer gets to name his 'discovery'…I named this new star system – Scojen. That's…ehh…an amalgamation of your two names, by the way….," the modest astronaut felt the need to explain, a flush again rising on his pale complexion. "While the stars are separate entities in their own right, they are also a complete and unique star system, inseparable from each other…so, I…eh…thought it was kind of appropriate!"
Well, that would surely teach Scott to make light of his stargazing brother's astronomical studies! To say the couple were stunned and speechless was an understatement.
Jenna was the first to find her voice, not to mention being more than a little teary-eyed…again. And the significance of what he had done was not lost on her, for she had known from her early days here on the island just how seriously John took his study of the stars and had listened with genuine interest when he had shared his passion. "Oh, John…that is so thoughtful and such a beautiful thing to do…thank you."
Scott really knew too, of course, the importance of his brother's studies and, indeed, as a family they were all proud of the books he had published on the subject. "Yeah, John…I just don't know what to say. I mean …you've totally blown us away with this. Thank you just doesn't really seem enough but…thank you," the dark-haired Tracy offered in appreciation, at what he knew to be an extremely generous gesture and then feeling somewhat apologetic, "….and hey, John…about earlier! I didn't mean to make light of…."
"Relax, big brother…I know that," his slim, blond-haired sibling assured him, with a broad smile. "I'm just glad you both like it."
"Like it! We love it, Johnny. Don't we, baby?" Scott readily assured, giving his lover a warm smile and hugging her to him. Somehow the romantic in him couldn't fail to find the pleasure in knowing that somewhere, up there in the vast heavens, were two stars bearing their names, forever bound together and destined to be inseparable.
"And don't worry, I'll give you both a crash course on where to find your star system, when I get home," the knowledgeable astronomer added in promise, with a happy smile.
There was always one, of course, who could be guaranteed to lighten any highly charged emotional moment, for it seemed he could find the humor in practically anything. Call it…a gift, though his brothers might want to call it more of an annoying trait!
"So…you guys have your own star system now, huh! That's some pretty heavy-duty responsibility. Calls for some serious homage paying…wouldn't ya think, Al!" Gordon Tracy grinned, his eyes sparkling with pure mischief, as he caught his younger brother's eye for both then to nod in agreement.
Now just why did Scott get the feeling he was in for some serious ribbing over this! Probably because he knew his little brother only too well and he wasn't far wrong.
The next moment, the younger boys had the room in stitches with their hilarious antics of feigning homage, exaggerated bowing and scraping with outstretched arms and their, "All hail, mighty rulers of 'Scojen'….we are, forever, your humble and obedient servants", in deeply serious and overly dramatic voices.
Jenna had to put a hand to her mouth to stifle a laugh, while her Field Commander lover could only roll his eyes heavenward before turning to his space-bound brother with a light-hearted sarcasm of, "Well thanks a bunch, John…now look what you've condemned us to!" and to which the Space Monitor could only return a laughing apology.
But sympathy was at hand as Virgil clapped a hand on Scott's shoulder and helped his eldest brother to see that there might actually be some distinct advantages to his new 'role'! "Never mind, buddy …think of it this way….! With you being 'ruler' of your own world…you've always got somewhere to banish the little pests to, when they become really annoying!"
Two audible, nervous gulps could be heard.
And the Field Commander liked this idea; he liked it very much, bringing his laser glare to bear on his two youngest brothers.
Turning to the fount of knowledge in all things space related! "Say, John…just how long would it take Thunderbird Three to get out there!" the dark-haired pilot inquired, with wicked delight, bringing laughter from everyone else at seeing the pouting frowns of the Tracy pranksters.
Those two were just going to have to try harder if they were ever to get the better of their older brothers.
Attention then turned back to the celebratory occasion.
"Come on…..," Virgil added with a laugh. "Grandma and Kyrano have been busy, cooking up a storm,"
"So I see…it really all looks so delicious," the young nurse acknowledged, her eyes still moist like big wet pools and to which the quietly serene Kyrano gave a gracious little bow.
"Think nothing of it, my dear. Why…I've just been waiting to do this for one of my grandsons," Grandma assured, while giving the young woman a hug and then turning to the tall, handsome man at her side, with a mocking scold. "And if this eldest grandson of mine had let you go…why, I'd been tanning his hide with a paddle."
A quiet, reflective smile lit the eldest Tracy son and heir's face. "And I would have deserved it too, Grandma," he returned, leaning down to engulf the diminutive woman in a big hug. "Thank you for all this. And thank you for everything, Grandma…you're a very special lady. Don't know what we'd ever have done without you all these years," Scott added, in quiet, grateful thanks, bringing little tears of emotion to the elderly, stoic matriarch. And thank you too, Kyrano."
"It has always been my pleasure to be of service to you, Mr Scott. And now, for Miss Jenna also," Kyrano replied graciously.
Now, after all the obligatory 'thanks' had been given the Tracy patriarch felt it was time to get official proceedings underway and perform, what was for him, one of his more pleasant and happier duties. It was indeed a proud moment for any father, tinged with only the slightest sadness that his beloved Lucille wasn't here, in person at least, to share this happiness with her eldest son, though he liked to believe she was very much here in spirit.
"Virgil, Gordon, Alan…would you please see that everyone has a glass of champagne," Jefferson Tracy requested, turning to his boys.
Like the dutiful sons they were, the brothers began to fill and hand around the champagne flutes to the family, including Kyrano, who was feeling he really should have been the one doing the serving, since, after all, that was normally his duty but graciously accepting nevertheless. That was one of the things about this family he felt privileged to serve; they were never above doing simple and ordinary tasks for themselves and including him and his daughter in every family occasion.
It was as Brains was being handed his glass, however, that his sometimes laboratory assistant, Tin-Tin, couldn't help noticing a little look of bothersome vexation. "Why, Brains…whatever's wrong?"
"O.o.oh dear….I'm not sure wh.wh.whether I will ever…a.a.a.a…enjoy champagne," the bespectacled scientific genius bemoaned. "Not unless I…i.i.invent some that…eh…eh…eh…has no bubbles to go up my…a.a.a.a…nose."
At that the family burst into amused laughter, with Tin-Tin offering her friend a sympathetic smile. "Oh but, Brains…champagne just wouldn't be champagne without the bubbles!" And, of course, she was right.
It had been seen, too, that John had not been left out of this part of the proceedings, as IR's Space Monitor happily assured his father he had his celebratory toast ready, albeit a glass of soda, since there really wasn't much cause for having champagne kept aboard Thunderbird Five! The important thing was though, it had the required element of bubbles and that was really all that mattered.
The Tracy patriarch then turned to the happy couple and Scott instinctively drew his lady tighter to his side.
"Don't worry…this isn't going to be a long speech," Jeff quickly assured, wanting to put the couple at their ease.
"Good…cus we've got a party to start," the second youngest Tracy quipped, with a cheeky twinkle.
Jefferson grumped a little and cleared his throat, despairing of the fact that the impatience of youth seemed to lack any ability to grasp a sense of occasion
"Jenna. I feel that it's safe to say, this isn't exactly how we would have liked you to be introduced to the family. You came to us at an extremely distressing and anxious time but showed us nothing less than your caring, compassion and encouraging support, not to mention your total dedication to my son…even if it did mean we butted heads a few times in the early stages!" Jeff began quite formally before adding that last little wry comment, which brought an embarrassed smile from the young nurse and amusement from everyone else. "But and I think I speak for all of us as a family, that we were more than happy to have you here, helping Scott through a most difficult time. And I'm sure Scott would more than agree with that."
The embarrassment just continued for the young woman, at the chorus of 'here, here's' that resounded around the room, with her gallant, dark-haired fiancé planting an affectionate kiss on her forehead.
"Yeah, Scott…just think! You could've had the dreaded Nurse Ruth Hiller instead," Alan quipped, barely able to contain his amusement.
"Yeah…and then look where you'd be. We'd be offering our commiserations instead of congrats," came the laughing rejoinder from that other Tracy 'comedian'.
As if Scott would ever even have contemplated such a commitment with anyone other than the woman standing beside him right now. "That's cute, guys…real cute," he shot back, good-naturedly through narrowed eyes.
With the amused laughter dying down, Jefferson Tracy once again, picked up the threads of his speech.
"And then I think we all know just how things progressed! You may not have known my son for very long, Jenna but…I know that when two people are drawn together and feel they are meant to be together, as much as you two have felt, then there is nothing that will keep them apart…..," the Tracy patriarch continued, speaking very much from experience. "….and, that's as it should be. You are a very capable and strong-minded young woman…all of which you'll need in dealing with my son!" Jeff wryly reminded her, after expounding her qualities and bringing smiles of knowing from the young couple, before continuing. "You are honest, trustworthy and loyal…all the qualities I know my son admires…so it's not hard to see why he fell in love with you. So, it is with pleasure that I welcome you into this family, young lady."
At that, Jenna felt her bottom lip quiver and her eyes, once more well up with emotion, at her future father-in-law's words.
Jefferson Tracy, though, had saved the last part of his speech for his eldest son.
"Son, I don't think any father could ever be more proud of his son than I am of you. I have watched you grow into the young man that you are today…overcoming tragedy and adversity in many areas of your life, with courage and fortitude, strength of will and heart. You've been selfless…prepared to give up a lot in order to help me realise my dream of International Rescue and, more than once, putting your life, along with your brothers, on the line….you've done more than I ever had the right to ask. Don't think I haven't appreciated everything you've done. And you've had your fair share of unhappiness too, so I can't think of anyone more deserving of this happiness you've found, Son. I just wish your mother were here to see this day…I know she would be so proud of you and would want to wish you both every happiness," his father finished off, having just about kept his dignity in check and leaving everyone feeling somewhat teary-eyed.
And, just like he promised, Jefferson Tracy had kept his speech to a minimum. He had never been one for flowery, rambling speeches at best; it wasn't his way. No beating about the bush with a lot of fancy, frivolous words when all was needed was a few well chosen ones that would get right to the heart of the matter.
Jenna could feel her lover try his best to choke back his emotion and gave him an encouraging little squeeze.
"Thanks, Dad. And yeah, I know she would…but I know mom's here with us and always will be," his eldest son returned, reflecting quietly. "And thank-you, thank-you for everything," Scott added on, with warm-hearted sincerity, knowing his father knew just what he meant by it. "I know we haven't always seen eye-to-eye on everything and butted heads a few times…but then, I guess that's because we're so much alike!"
Along with Jenna, Scott crossed the room, closing the distance between them, to wrap his father in a tight, emotional embrace. Whatever anyone may say or think about Jefferson Tracy and his seemingly gruff and austere persona, he was, underneath it all, a warm and giving person and a loving, devoted father and family man, whose pride in his sons knew no bounds.
"So…does this mean we can get the party started now!" a cheeky voice piped up, belonging to none other than one mischievous aquanaut
And how could Jenna fail to smile at the loveable rascal's impatience, while his father could only sigh in quiet exasperation. "In just one moment, Gordon……"
"..…after I've asked everyone to raise their glasses," the Tracy patriarch then requested, to which everyone duly complied, including John, watching from his place on the wall. Jeff lifted his own glass from the desk. "A toast. To Scott and Jenna…a truly remarkable young couple, who found love and happiness in the most difficult of circumstances. May all your troubles be few and far between…may the strength of your love only grow stronger…and may you enjoy a long and happy life together. Scott…and Jenna."
Their names were chorused in unison, as the family toasted the happy young couple with champagne. Even Brains endured the tickling bubbles up his nose, in order to complete the toast. Virgil then quickly handed his brother and future sister-in-law glasses of the sparkling refreshment for them to join in and together, in their first official duty as a couple, they went around the family, thanking them all for their good wishes.
The party was now well and truly under way and, with the consuming of the delicious refreshments, genial conversation and the obligatory piano recital, to which dancing was encouraged, the proverbial, 'good time was had by all'.
Some time later, during the festivities, Jenna found herself out on the balcony, alone with her thoughts. Having felt a little heated and giddy with happiness, though the giddiness had probably a lot to do with the champagne, she had felt the need of some fresh air and, not wanting to disrupt the mood of the party, had slipped out unnoticed.
The young woman smiled quietly to herself, at hearing the happy, joyful sounds of celebration emanating from the room she'd just left, from her new family, drifting out into the night air, as she stood, looking out over the darkening ocean. Her new family! It had been a lot to take in. So much had happened in such a short time, it positively took her breath away. But she knew now, there was no other place she would ever call home. She would live with Scott wherever he wanted to be, of course but somehow, she could never, ever see him leaving this place.
Jenna smile broadened, as a pair of strong arms suddenly wrapped around her from behind and a face, familiar by its feel, coupled with subtle musky scent, nuzzled down into her neck. Folding her arms over the dark-haired forearms, she rolled her head back against him, with a contented sigh, as the soft kisses stirred her senses.
"What are you thinking, Jen?" came a husked whisper against her ear.
"Oh…just how much has happened since I took this 'assignment'….how much my life has changed since I came here!" the former nurse replied in quiet reflection.
"But you are happy, aren't you, Jen?" Scott murmured against her face, just to hear her tell him so, once again.
"I've never been so completely happy," his lover quietly reassured him.
"Yeah, me too," the Field Commander simply returned.
Scott automatically tightened his embrace, while Jenna snuggled more back into him and together they remained in companionable silence; the dark-haired pilot lost for a moment in his own reflective thoughts.
This had been a long road to recovery, in more ways than one! It had been a journey of, not only painful physical recovery but of deep emotional healing, both in forgetting the hurts of the past and allowing himself to be loved and dealing with some extremely difficult and traumatic events of the past that he'd been forced to relive. While the latter might be a little harder to accomplish, he at least felt he was on his way down that road of recovery as well, thanks to the love and support of the woman he held in his arms.
All in all, it had been a journey full of twists and turns but in the end, he felt he had emerged the stronger for it and had found complete happiness and contentment along the way. And who knew now, just what lay ahead of them!
The evening had been balmy and pleasant when Jenna had first come out onto the balcony and when they had stood together quietly gazing out over their island home. The ocean, with its endless restlessness had an almost hypnotic, soothing effect; the sky awash with the subtle colors of fading light, as the sun was gradually sinking below the horizon.
Suddenly and inexplicably, Jenna shivered.
Her handsome lover, though, was instantly attentive and wrapped his strong arms even tighter around her. "You cold, baby!"
"Hmm, just a little," she had to admit, feeling a slight chill on the parts of her skin that were still exposed.
The Field Commander looked up, his experienced eyes now scanning the sky. He frowned.
It had been barely noticeable at first, the subtle change in the weather but that's the way it could be sometimes in the Pacific. An eerie darkness was rolling in, making the ocean look almost inky black; the white breakers out on the reef just barely visible. The breeze too was picking up, blowing through the canopy and causing the trees to sway and dance helplessly to its tune.
"I think we'd better go in, baby," Scott suggested, brushing a kiss against her face. "There's a storm coming."
And indeed…..there was!
The End…..Fin…..Finito…….or is it!
Author's Notes: Would you believe it! We have finally reached the end of the road…well, this one anyway. And what a long and epic journey it's been. I know I have enjoyed the writing of it immensely and I just want to take this opportunity to thank all you guys for hanging in there with Scotty during his recovery.
So, from all you guys who've been with us from the start, to those who joined along the way, I just want to say a great big thank you for your infinite patience and all your encouraging and helpful reviews. Until next time……!