Disclaimer: The cannon characters depicted below are not my own creation; however original characters do belong to me. Thanks to Gerry Anderson for creating these wonderful characters and allowing us to continue their exploits.

Authors Note: This is the product of a conversation with MCJ, who I must thank for her continuous help and support.

Date of Disaster

A Valentines Fic by Kim

Whilst a father learns a lesson in love, his teenage son's run of bad luck leads to a life threatening situation… …

Prologue

Windscreen wipers swished at the falling sleet as Jeff Tracy pulled into the driveway and heaved a heavy sigh. The trip home tonight had been particularly draining; the conditions were awful. Winter had dragged on this year, seeming to just get colder and colder.

He shivered, as if reminding himself that even in the middle of February, spring seemed so far away. With a shudder, he turned the windscreen wipers and the lights off, and reached for the ignition.

He swiped a hand over his face and leant against the steering wheel.

"Valentines weekend," he mused sadly.

He remembered pulling into this very driveway ten years ago, to face a very different Valentines weekend.

In the years that had followed, it hadn't seemed to get any better. Instead, it was getting worse.

The fact that it was also Gordon's birthday usually served as an adequate distraction. These days he only had to contend with the constant reminders around him that, traditionally, this weekend was a weekend about love.

Love between partners, love between couples and love between a man and his wife. Valentines weekend had always been the weekend when his children went to spend time at their Grandmothers, while he and Lucy got to spend a very special evening alone.

He supposed at least the actual day was over now; he missed his late wife more than he could ever explain, and if it hadn't been for his precious sons needing him, he was sure he would have just given up after her death. His boys were what kept him going now, that and the memories of the good times he'd shared over the years with his beautiful young wife.

Not only did the thought of Gordon's birthday remind him of his five motherless little boys but also the struggle that, despite his best efforts, they all had to endure. He had to admit over the years, he'd come to hate this time of the year with vengeance; there were constant reminders everywhere.

It was the simple things that reminded him just how much he'd lost. The elder boys had developed an interest in female company early; he remembered Virgil receiving a mystery valentine's card and Scott ordering flowers for his girlfriend.

He smiled to himself; that one certainly hadn't lasted too damn long.

The smile faded. His mother had comforted him last year, as he reminisced in silence about the days when he sent flowers and chocolates, and had received nothing but a card signed with a question mark. Despite knowing the card had been from Lucy, he had always pretended to be surprised.

Valentines was over commercialised now; he frowned at the thought; the numerous billboards he'd passed on the way home, all depicting happy couples, and what a person needed to purchase to produce those magical happy smiles. They were all testament to the very concept that valentines was no longer about love; it was about who could make the most money.

Even the street vendor had offered to sell him an extortionately priced red rose and he'd sadly had to turn him down. The restaurants too, with their romantic music and subtle lighting were places he'd just had to walk past.

It all brought him to the same conclusion; the world stank when you didn't have a woman in your life.

If you didn't need red roses to send and you didn't have a need for restaurant reservations, it was just downright depressing. Quite frankly, if you didn't have anyone to love in your life then you didn't need anything worth while. And if that was indeed the case; reality was the cruellest revelation of all, because this weekend, he concluded, like the ones it had followed, there would be no love, there would be no togetherness and there would be no Lucy.