Title: Always Come Home

Summary: A rescue turns disastrous for International Rescue. Will all of the Tracy brothers come home alive? movie-verse

Disclaimer: I don't own them, I'm not lucky enough.

A/N: Set quite a while after the movie. John's back in the rebuilt/repaired Thunderbird Five. Also, it may take a while for the real action to start, but it's worth it (I hope). I started it and then it just took on a life of its own. And, although it may be very near completed, I have no internet where I live and the only way I can post is when I drag my laptop to a sports bar with WiFi access. I can't guarantee how often I'll get to post.

I'm going by the ages provided by the site, with the exception of Alan. So the ages are: Scott- 24, John- 22, Virgil- 20, Gordon- 18 and Alan- 16 (the site had Alan at 14, but that didn't seem right to me at all).

Virgil sat on the patio, stretched out on one of the chairs. On the small table beside him, there were a bowl of strawberries lightly sprinkled with sugar, a glass of lemonade, a small notepad and a blue pen. On his lap was a book about the artist Goya, and he was jotting down notes in the notepad. There was a small music player on the ground beneath the table, softly playing Beethoven.

It was a quiet day, something he'd long ago learned to enjoy, especially when Alan was home from school. His youngest brother had arrived back home a few days earlier, and had spent almost all of his free time with Tin-Tin. Scott and Gordon were down at the beach, their father with Brains in one of the Thunderbird silos. Virgil didn't mind the time to himself, it helped him calm down and center himself. It also allowed him the chance to think without constant interruptions.

When his hands weren't busy, they were drumming against the sides of the chair to the melody of the piano. He knew the piece well and could easily play it from memory. It was something he unconsciously did when he was nervous, bored or just concentrating on something that didn't require the use of his hands.

Jeff Tracy had long since finished in the silos and had gone off in search of his sons. He knew he didn't need to, but he felt like doing it anyway. He considered it his right as their father. He'd already found Alan, keeping Tin-Tin company while she worked on one of her father's gardens. He knew Gordon was with Scott, and didn't feel a need to go all the way down there just to check up on them. And he'd resisted the urge to call John since they'd spoken earlier. He'd expected to find Virgil at the piano since he knew Virgil had been working on something earlier. But he wasn't too surprised to find him by the pool. Jeff stood watching his middle son for a minute, before deciding that Virgil seemed to be just fine without any company. And Jeff knew he really needed to get some Tracy Industries paperwork done.

In the notepad, among other things, were the names and locations of paintings that Virgil wanted to see. Most of the paintings were in a museum in Madrid, Spain, so he began to think of when he could get there. He'd have to ask his father, since he wouldn't be able to respond to rescues while he was there. And he'd have to brush up on his Spanish, since what he'd learned in high school had long ago deteriorated due to disuse. He knew that wouldn't be a problem, he only had to ask John.

He knew his solitude was about to be interrupted when he heard Scott and Gordon coming up the path. He'd hoped they'd just go right into the house and leave him be, but knew it wasn't going to happen. And he was right.

"Strawberries!" Gordon exclaimed, immediately going for one with Scott following suit.

He loved his brothers, he really did.

"And what were you two doing?" Virgil asked, forcing down the sigh that was about to come out.

Gordon immediately launched into the story, and Virgil listened intently. The story was soon over, and Gordon announced that it was time for his laps.

"I'm going to see if dad needs us to do anything," Scott said as Gordon dived into the pool.

Virgil nodded, silently thanking his brother for volunteering him without permission. Instead of dwelling on it, Virgil just went back to his book. He looked over at the bowl of strawberries and found only sugar left. He didn't even try to fight that sigh.

"At least they left me the lemonade," he said to himself.

A breeze swept over the patio, and Virgil decided that he wanted inside. He put his T-shirt back on, gathered his things, and headed back into the house. He went into the kitchen first, leaving the bowl and refreshing his lemonade, then went up to the piano. He'd heard a song from earlier in the century, long since considered an 'oldie' but he liked it a lot. Plus, it was a piano-based rock song, something that appealed to him despite his classical training.

He sat on the floor with the music player in front of him, wading through the songs until he found the one he was looking for. He'd already listened to it a few times and was confident that he could play it back without a problem. But he wanted to hear it again, and also he wanted to listen to the lyrics.

That was one thing he had yet been able to do. He could write music, he couldn't write words. That was one thing he wanted to do, sooner rather than later. He wanted to write a song complete with lyrics. Of course, he'd written the cheesy and embarrassing things he'd called songs when he was small, things he'd rather not see the light of day. He'd already endured enough teasing from his more athletic brothers, except John. John didn't tease him for it, spending his own time studying the stars instead of pursuing athletics.

He laid on his back, his hands clasped behind his head and closed his eyes. He not only wanted to listen to the music, he wanted to feel it. It was something one of his piano teachers impressed on him at the beginning of his lessons.

After a couple rounds of the song, Virgil sat up and went over to the piano. He pressed record on the player, wanting to be able to hear back what he was about to play. His fingers rested on the keys, and he centered himself. With his eyes closed, he let his hands go to work. When he was finished, he opened his eyes in order to stop the recording. He was about to play it back when he heard Onaha calling the household to dinner.