Summary: Movie-verse mostly, but it could go TV-verse too, because they all had to learnsometime. Discussions among the brothers-in the way only siblings can-after Alan's first attempt at flying Thunderbird Two outside of simulation.
For not-so-wee-Hamish. Do as I say, not as I write.
Disclaimer: Nope, still don't own them. Just play with them and put them back-okay, Five was over there and Three
over here, oops, Jeff fell over, and Murdock . . .Murdock? Wait a minute! Get back in your own story!
"It's okay, Sprout. You'll get the hang of it."
Alan wasn't so sure, as he automatically ducked Virgil's attempt to ruffle his hair. His first official attempt at flying Thunderbird 2 hadn't gone too bad. That is, until he'd tried to land International Rescue's behemoth.
It hadn't seemed that hard at Jubilee Gardens. But then, he'd had lots of space there. The island runway was much, much smaller, and several of the folding palm trees-along with two of the real ones-were now permanently bent. Not to mention the palm-tree-like scratches on Thunderbird 2. He could guess what his father and Brains would have to say about that.
Virgil was still grinning as they entered the pool area. John wasn't there, having returned to Thunderbird Five a couple of days ago, but Gordon and Scott were. Gordon swam laps, while Scott worked on his computer at a nearby table, ignoring the ostentatious flips with which his brother occasionally succeeded in splashing him. He glanced at the newcomers, noting Alan's sheepish expression and Virgil's smirk. "How many?" he asked.
"How many what?" Innocence might help momentarily, but Alan knew he wasn't going to get away with it for long. Not with Virgil right next to him, anyway.
"Eight," said Virgil.
"Eight?" echoed Scott, "That's a new record."
"Eight?" Just in time to hear both question and answer, Gordon had pulled up to the edge of the pool. "Whoohooh!" He raised both arms in a victory sign, ducking himself-which cut off the whoop abruptly.
"Real ones or fake?" Scott asked, after a cursory glance to insure Gordon hadn't managed to drown himself.
Refusing to answer, Alan threw down his towel and kicked off his sandals. He dove into the pool, barely missing Gordon, and swam furiously to the opposite end.
"Both," Virgil said, "Six fake and two real."
"That won't make Kyrano happy," Scott said, "Dad, neither."
"Who cares?" crowed Gordon, "My record fell."
"What record?" Alan had surfaced nearby, treading water just out of Gordon's reach.
"Gordon had the record for most palm trees with Two," Virgil informed him, "Seven fake palms." He grinned at Gordon. "He can swim a straight line, but he can't park for squat." He ducked a splash aimed at him by his brother.
Intrigued, Alan pulled himself to the edge of the pool. "Seven palm trees?" he asked.
"Yeah, well," Gordon said, "John had the record before me. For a long time."
"John can't defend himself," Scott put in. Turning his "big brother" look on Gordon, he added, "and you were the reason the library got repainted last time." He shifted the laptop slightly, protecting the screen from the errant splashes of his brother.
"That wasn't totally my fault," Gordon protested, "I had a booster out. Besides, it only needed repainting. Virg's the one who remodeled it."
"Virgil?" said Alan, "What'd he do?"
"Didn't line up Three right. Set 'er down on the library." He ducked under water, then resurfaced, flinging water at the two on the deck. "Right after Dad remodeled."
"Yeah, well," Virgil shrugged, "It didn't used to open that far, either."
"True," Gordon conceded. He stretched out on his back, and grinned knowingly at his eldest brother. "Anyway, you're the reason we've got two pools."
"We always had two pools." Puzzled, Alan looked from Scott to Gordon with interest.
"Uh-uh. Scott wrecked the pool-the only pool-the first time he landed Thunderbird One," Virgil informed him, "Forgot to retract it."
"He did?" His hotshot brothers? This was definitely new territory for Alan. Why didn't he remember this stuff?
Briefly abashed, Scott recovered quickly. "The engines were hot," he quipped, then added pointedly, "At least I don't knock off the diving board.
"Only twice," Virgil retorted, "John's done it three times, and so's Gordon. You take out a palm tree every time you land Two." He kicked at a puddle on the deck, trying unsuccessfully to splash Gordon, who was floating just out of reach.
"Which is why I don't fly it," Scott grinned. "And I don't crash the computers on Five trying to play online games. Or," he looked over at Gordon, who promptly dove underwater, "set the galley on fire."
Virgil reddened briefly. "John does something to 'em before he leaves," he grumbled.
Gordon returned to the pool's edge. "I know what it is," he taunted.
"You do?" Virgil feinted, causing Gordon to kick away from the pool edge in self-preservation.
"He does?" Scott glanced from Gordon to Virgil, then scowled at the computer screen.
Gordon looked at Scott. Comprehension dawned, and he threw back his head, laughing as he tread water. "That was you? John wouldn't tell me."
Virgil glared at Scott. "I got blamed for that?"
"What?" Alan's attention swung between his brothers, trying to follow the conversation. "What?"
It was Scott's turn to reddened. "He said he didn't do anything to them," he grumbled, then muttered softly at the computer, "Next time, John." A muffle squawk answered.
"What?" Alan insisted. And I'll punch the first one who says I sound like a light bulb.
"Never mind," Scott said, quickly closing the laptop. But he didn't turn it off.
"I owe you," Virgil threatened.
"You owe John," Scott corrected.
"You can pay him for me," Virgil said, grabbing his brother in an attempted headlock.
Hampered by his seated position and the table, Scott fought back. His chair shifted, throwing both of them off balance. Scott and chair rolled into the pool, followed by Virgil. The table rocked briefly, as if it would join them, then settled back into place.
Virgil surfaced first. Shaking the water from his head, he scowled at his younger brothers, snickering well out of reach,. He swam to the edge of the pool and hoisted himself out. Seated there, he raked his hair back, and eyed the water suspiciously.
The water stilled, except for those small waves from Gordon and Alan. The chair lay on its side, incongruous in its position. Beside it was a still form . . .
"Aw, shit!" said Virgil. He and Gordon glanced at each other, then dove to the bottom.
Alan froze, watching them. Although they'd all had their share of knocks while wrestling, he could count on one hand the times things had gotten this out of hand. Half-formed prayers whispered in his mind.
The water convulsed, roiling and churning, and Alan wondered what was going on. Its action rose, closer and closer, until the surface broke. There were gasps for air, and . . . laughter? His brothers swam for the side of the pool.
"You son-of-" Virgil choked. His head bobbed briefly under water, cutting off his words.
"Ah-ah," Scott cautioned, coughing and laughing. He grabbed for the pool's gutter. "Not . . . in front of . . . the kids."
"We owe you," Gordon promised.
Scott hauled himself from the pool. He sat on the edge, feet dangling in the water, until he'd caught his breath. Laughing underwater wasn't exactly a recommended activity, and his lungs didn't appreciate the attempt. He waved a hand at the sunken chair. "Better get that up before Dad sees it," he said.
Virgil scowled at him, then glanced at Gordon.
"Uh-uh," said Gordon. "I didn't do it."
A rueful smile crossed Virgil's face. "What if I drown?" he said sarcastically.
"We'll sent Alan down," Scott assured him, "And if that fails, we'll get John."
"He'll call out International Rescue to help you," Gordon added.
"Right," Virgil snorted, then dove for the chair.
Once he'd retrieved it, Gordon and Alan swam over and helped him haul it to the edge. Scott pulled it out, and dragged it to the far side of the deck. The other three hoisted themselves from the pool. Dripping and jostling, they headed into the house.
Scott watched them go, then settled onto a dry chair and flipped the laptop back open. From the screen, his brother's image grinned at him.
"You're wet," John noted. "Eight, huh?"
"Eight," Scott confirmed, ignoring the other comment.
John whistled. "Wait'll he gets back in One," he said, "He'll take off both VTOL's"
"You wait," Scott retorted, "He'll send Five in orbit around Mercury"
Mock fear flitted across John's face, then his smile returned. "He hasn't hear the topper yet, I take it?"
Scott shook his head. "We're saving it," he said, "Maybe if Dad's too hard about the palm trees."
"Nah," said John, "Wait till he knocks down the library."
"Sounds good," Scott agreed. "It's worked for the rest of us. Sinking Four is something none of us has done. Unless," he added, "Alan manages to." He paused, sniffing appreciatively. "Gotta go, supper's ready."
"Take care," John said, "Eat some pie for me." The screen went blank.
"F.A.B." Scott signed off, tucked the laptop under his arm, and headed toward the house. Maybe, just maybe-if Dad's too hard on Alan-I'll remind him who sank Four on its first trip.
Author's note: No, I don't know what Scott did that Virgil got blamed for when it was John who really caused the problem that Gordon knows about regarding Five. Like Alan, I'm in the dark.