An Hour Later
A rumbling sound echoed around Tracy Island, echoing off the islands three extinct volcanic peaks to reverberate through the tropical forest and valleys of the island.
Hearing the sound Alan looked up towards the sky, though he couldn't see what was making the noise he knew what it was. The sound belonged to the engines of Thunderbirds One and Two. They must have flown back together, he thought, they weren't gone to long. That rescue whatever it was must not have taken very long at all. He made a mental note to get the details of the rescue out of his brothers when he saw them in the morning, hopefully they wouldn't brush him off like what had happened in the past. Though to be fair to them they had been a lot nicer to him since spring break when he'd formerly joined International Rescue, and since his first transformation. Especially the latter, after that it had been as though he had crossed some invisible line that had been dividing them.
He looked over at where his father was sitting near the side of the small stream whose valley they were both exploring. The valley sides were quite steep, rugged and heavily overgrown with a variety of vegetation. To a human the valley would have been extremely challenging to get in and out of, but to a fully transformed werewolf it was no problem at all. The steep sides of the valley funnelled and amplified the sound of the approaching aircraft making it easily possible to determine the individual sounds. Not for the first time Alan noticed that the sound made by Thunderbird One's engines was considerably higher pitched than the sound Thunderbird Two's made.
"There almost home," Alan said telepathically to his father. "That didn't take them long at all."
"About three hours in total. Must have been a relatively easy rescue with only the location being the obstacle," Jeff agreed. "We'll get the full details out of your brothers in the morning. They'll probably head to bed as soon as they land."
"Probably as it is around the time we normally all head off to bed. Though I'm not tired at the moment, but I guess that's because of what form I'm in and the effect of the full moon."
"Exactly right," Jeff answered sending a mental smile image to Alan. "That is always why it catches up with us when we change back into humans. So you ready to move on Alan?"
"Sure thing Dad," Alan replied sending his own mental smile image to his father. Jeff emitted a playful growl then started running again; Alan followed his father running back into the forest.
Command and Control
Tracy Villa, Ten Minutes Later
Brains smiled when he saw the lift alcoves open allowing four tired looking Tracy sons to step out into command and control. Normally matter how severe or minor the rescue the boys always seemed to be tired but in reasonably high spirits when they returned.
Yet this time they seemed to be more tired than anything, the normal high spirits weren't there. Brains had noticed it in the past; now that he thought about it was always on nights like this that they came back tired, nights when there was a full moon. That has to have something to do with it, Brains thought, maybe going from being in a place where the full moons shining to being in daylight and coming back again in the space of a few hours plays hell with there biology. Given the many subtle differences in the biology between normal humans and werewolves Brains would not be at all surprised if that was the case.
"W…w…welcome back," he said in greeting. Scott looked at him and smiled.
"Thanks Brains," Scott answered. "Is everything secure on this end?"
"Yes the T…T…Thunderbirds are refuelling as we s…s…speak," Brains replied. "I will run post flight c…c…checks on t…t…them in the m…m…morning."
"That's fair enough Brains," John said smiling. "We're all tired. I would suggest that we all head to bed."
"That sounds wonderful," Gordon agreed. "I take it that aside from yourself Brains, Dad and Alan everyone has gone off to bed."
"Yes Gordon they h…h…have," Brains replied even as he stood up before hitting a control.
Immediately the room around them began to transform from the high tech control centre of International Rescue back into the personal office and inner sanctum of Jeff Tracy. In moments the change was complete and the room once again projected the image that Jeff wished to portray to any idle visitor to the island. That it was the office of a reclusive multi-billionaire and nothing else. Like the Tracy's themselves, Brains thought with a mental smile. The parallel being the room's ability to change form and function and the Tracy's being werewolves was uncanny sometimes.
"Then lets go and join them," Scott said before turning around and leaving the room. One by one his brothers followed him out of the room.
Brains followed last, making sure to turn the light out behind him. He watched as the four Tracy boys disappeared in the direction of the wing of the villa complex that contained there bedrooms. Goodnight, Brains thought with a smile before heading out of the villa, turning lights off behind him. It wasn't as if the Tracy's needed the lights on anyway they could see perfectly well without them.
Stepping out onto the sundeck, Brains took a deep breath inhaling the cooler, fresher air of the night. Then he yawned feeling the call of his bed, still yawning he made his way across the sundeck onto the well lit path that led away from the villa towards two chalets elsewhere on this particular mountain peak. Brains lived in one of them with Fermat; the other slightly larger chalet was inhabited by Kyrano and his family. They both preferred it that way as it gave them there own space away from the Tracy's and everyone else. Smiling at the prospect that he would soon be comfortable in bed Brains made his way along the path towards his home.
Scott didn't bother turning the lights on as he entered his room. It wasn't like he needed them to see what he was doing and they would only be an inconvenience when it came to turning the things off. After making sure he'd closed the door he went over to his bed and started to get out of his uniform.
As he slowly got undressed Scott glanced at the patio doors and the bright moonlight visible through them. He could feel it energising him to a degree and he felt the familiar instinct welling up inside, the familiar call to go out into the moonlight, to let its energy fill him and to transform into his werewolf form. Scott ignored the instinct though he could feel parts of the werewolf inside him coming towards the surface. I wonder how Alan's doing, he thought as he finished getting out of his uniform, before shrugging off his underwear.
"I wonder where Dad's taken him," Scott said to himself, his voice becoming inhumanly deep, the words more growled than spoken. Simultaneously his eyes changed from there normal blue to the warm amber eyes of a werewolf. Scott knew what was happening to him, it always happened to them on a full moon night when they were about to go to bed. Holding up an arm Scott watched as the muscles there rippled and before his eyes almost double in size, simultaneously he felt himself grow slightly in height, felt his ears alter shape slightly so they became more triangular and poked through his hair which rapidly turned into fur, finally a familiar tingling raced down his spine and a line of dark brown fur appeared.
Now looking slightly less human, though not quite transformed into a werewolf Scott sighed, which came out more as a low growl than a human sigh, went over to the curtains in front of the patio doors and closed them. Then he returned to his bed and climbed in, feeling a slight static tingle down his spine where his fur met the bed sheet and on his head where the fur that had just replaced his hair met the pillow case.
For a few moments Scott lay there in bed, amber eyes looking up at the ceiling, thinking about his youngest brother. Part of him wanted to go out into the night, transform completely and go find him to see how he was. But another part of him was urging him to just close his eyes and go to sleep, arguing that Alan was alright and in good hands so he shouldn't worry. The conflicting sides raged in Scott's soul for a moment before Scott sighed again, the urge to sleep was to strong. Slowly his eyes drifted closed and his breathing became quiet and even as he surrendered to the inevitable and fell asleep.
Four Hours Later
The faint sounds of someone moving about outside, and the feel of another werewolf being close by, roused Scott out of his sleep. Whose up at this time of night, he sleep fogged brain wondered for a moment before he twigged what time it was. The absence of silvery light coming in through the patio doors and the feel that he once again appeared fully human told Scott that the full moon was gone, had vanished over the horizon taking its liberating influence with it.
Throwing the bedclothes off Scott eased out of bed, grabbed his dressing gown and put it on before moving to the door. Opening the door he stepped out and the buzzing in his ears and tingling in his head that signalled another werewolf was close vanished as he saw them. His father and youngest brother moving slowly along the hallway towards their rooms, their posture signalling their exhaustion.
"What are you doing up Scott," Jeff asked spotting his oldest son immediately.
"Nothing Dad," Scott replied. "I was only sleeping lightly and felt you coming."
Jeff nodded he had expected that. Tired from a rescue in a place a few time zones removed from the island or not Scott would still worry about Alan and not sleep properly until he was sure he was alright.
"So how did it go," Scott asked moving over to join them.
"I failed," Alan said looking down at the floor glumly. Jeff was about to reply but Scott got there first gently putting a hand under Alan's chin and forcing Alan to look up at him.
"You tried though squirt," Scott said. "It's a very hard thing to learn, none of us ever got it right the first time. Not even me."
"In fact Scott here was harder to teach than any of you," Jeff added grinning remembering how difficult it had been to teach Scott how to control the transformation. Part of that had been due to Jeff's own lack of experience at teaching something that he had by then been doing for years really without thinking about it. The rest though had been the fact that Scott had been an even more rebellious and strong minded teenager than Alan, a teenager who'd liked the fact that he turned into a giant, awesomely strong humanoid wolf, and hadn't wanted to learn how to control the change. At least not the first month that Jeff had endeavoured to teach him.
"Really," Alan asked.
"Yes really I was a pain for Dad to teach," Scott replied. "I'll tell you about it fully again squirt, but suffice to say I was not the most model student in the world." Alan grinned feeling slightly better at finding out that even Scott – Mr Perfect himself – had had difficulty learning to control his transformation. Though Alan also clearly heard the inference that at first Scott hadn't wanted to learn, it would be interesting to find out exactly what Scott meant by that. But as Scott had said that was a conversation for another time. Alan yawned at that moment feeling sleep pulling at him again.
"Come on boys lets get into bed," Jeff said. "You can talk about all this in the morning."
"F-A-B, Dad," Scott and Alan said in almost unison. Jeff chuckled and then made a gesture that told his oldest and youngest sons to get a move on, which they did both heading towards Alan's room. Jeff shook his head and made his way towards his own bedroom knowing full well that both boys would be okay.
Alan led the way into his room and immediately started to get out of his clothes for the second time tonight. He had only put them on loosely when he'd changed back into his human form after the full moon disappeared. He glanced over at Scott as he took off his shirt and got started on his jeans.
"You don't have to stay Scott," he said. "I don't need anyone to tuck me into bed anymore."
"I know," Scott replied watching as Alan got out of his clothes. "I just want to be sure your okay. Don't be disappointed that you didn't control your change tonight Alan, you tried that's all anyone can ask of you."
"I wish I didn't have to learn it," Alan admitted as he slipped off his jeans before getting started on his underwear.
"We all wish that one squirt," Scott replied. "But it's a must for our kind in the modern world, we can't transform every time there is a full moon anymore. As nice as that would be."
"Tell me about it. It's just so hard."
"I know but you can do is squirt." Alan smiled as he finished taking off his underwear and climbed into bed. The absolute certainty in Scott's voice really made him feel that he would be able to do it, would be able to control his instinct to transform.
"You're welcome," Scott replied moving up to the side of the bed and putting the bedclothes over his brother. "Go to sleep now Alan we'll talk in the morning. Whatever time we all get up." Alan nodded even as he yawned expressively, before making himself comfortable and closing his eyes.
Scott watched as his little brother drifted off into a deep restful sleep with no sign of any stress at all. After a moment Scott left the room to return to bed himself. Alan will soon learn what Dad is trying to teach him, he thought returning to his own bed and shrugging off his dressing gown. He knew his little brother; Alan would be determined to learn control over his werewolf transformation just to prove that he could do it. Like the rest of them there was no real barrier to what Alan could accomplish when he put his mind to it.
Slowly Scott closed his eyes and in moments was once more asleep. Asleep and dreaming about being in werewolf form and running through the woods under the silvery light of the full moon.