Disclaimer: I don't own the TBs or the Tracys with the exception of Samantha.

A/N: This story has been nagging me for a few days now and won't leave me alone. It won't be as long as some of my others but will be at least 3-4 chapters long.

Family Tragedy

"Jeff, John, Samantha, and I are going for another run down the intermediate slope." Lucy walked up to her husband and smiled when he pulled her close.

"Tonight the kids go to bed early and we have some time to ourselves," he said, huskily. Fifteen years of marriage and six children later, he could still make her knees go weak.

"Last time you said that the end result is at this moment annoying Virgil," she replied. A sudden crash from the family room of their chateau was followed by an angry shout.

"ALAN! Where is my sheet music that I was working on?" Jeff groaned before giving her a quick kiss.

"I'll take care of those two and you take the twins for another run." Kissing her once more, he hurried to the family room. "Virgil and Alan, get in here right now." Laughing softly, Lucy went to the room that John shared with Virgil and Scott. Her second born son was sitting at the desk reading one of his astronomy books that he'd gotten for his birthday.

"John, are you ready?" she asked, looking over his shoulder at the book in front of him. He jumped slightly in his chair, startled.

"Mom, you startled me. I didn't hear you come in," he said. "What did you say?"

"Are you ready to go for another run on the slopes?" she repeated. "Get your gear and I'll go get your sister." John carefully marked the page he was reading and closed the book and then went to the utility room where they had stored all their ski gear.

Knocking on her daughter's bedroom door before entering, Lucy wasn't surprised to see her sitting on the window seat with a notebook opened on her lap and a pen stuck between her teeth while gazing out of the window. Twelve-year-old, Samantha Tracy looked up at her mother upon hearing the soft knock on her bedroom door.

"Hi, Mom," she muttered around the pen in her mouth. Lucy walked over to the window seat, smiling down at her only daughter and third born child. She and Jeff had been surprised when Samantha had been born minutes after John. They didn't know that Lucy had been pregnant with twins and the doctor hadn't picked up on it because Samantha had 'hidden' behind John. If they had been shocked, Scott had been even more so when his parents came home from the hospital with not only the baby brother he'd been expecting but also a baby sister.

"Hi, Sweetie, what are you working on now?" she asked. She and Jeff were very interested in what their children did and often asked them questions about their various activities. Samantha took the pen from her mouth and handed her mom the notebook.

"It's nothing much, Mom, just some random thoughts," she answered, shyly. Lucy sat down and quietly read what Samantha had written. Her penmanship was very legible compared to that of some of her brothers' writing. Virgil was the only one who could match Samantha in neatness where their writing was concerned.


By Samantha Tracy

At first glance they are barely discernible from the mist but wish hard enough and they come to you. Bright and beautiful, they comfort you from heartache and sadness. I've caught glimpses of my grandfather and have been comforted by the thought that he is still watching over us. Even in death, he still shows that he loves us by randomly letting us 'see' him but for a few moments. Those few moments are all it takes to steady our resolve and square our shoulders so that we can be the person that he helped mold.

"Samantha, is everything alright? This is beautiful but a bit sad," she asked a bit hesitant. She knew that Grant's death had been hard on all of them but it seemed that Samantha was still grieving.

"Mom, everything is fine. I just started writing and this is what came out. It's a way for me to remember. I miss Grandpa but I know that he is still watching over all of us." She stood up and put her pen down on the dressing table that doubled as her desk. She had taken the smallest bedroom so that her brothers would be less cramped in their bedrooms. As a result, she didn't have the space for extras in her room. A full-size bed, dresser, dressing table, and a nightstand were all that she needed and had space for. Her brothers had bunk beds with the exception of Scott. He had a regular twin size bed in the room he shared with Virgil and John. Handing her daughter the notebook, Lucy stood up and spontaneously gave her a hug.

"You'll come to me if you ever have any problems, won't you?" Staring into her daughter's blue eyes, she saw the innocent child that she still was inside.

"You know that I will, Mom, because us girls have to stick together with all the testosterone in this family." She hugged her mother back and heard the steady beat of her heart. "I love you." In a family of eight, 'I love you' was something that was heard regularly. Most generally it came from Lucy and Samantha because the males in the family had an image to maintain. Yet, every once in awhile, they would slip and then they would try to cover it.

"MOM! I thought we were going skiing," cried John from the hallway. He looked inside his sister's room and saw his mom and sister hugging. "Hey, what's going on?" He was protective of his twin and couldn't stand to see her upset or hurting. She was the same way about him. The bond that they shared was stronger than anyone even themselves knew. Samantha looked up at him and smiled.

"Calm down, Johnny. Mom and I were just having a mother-daughter moment to fortify ourselves with all of the testosterone in this family." Shaking his blonde head, he walked out of the room and tripped over Alan who had been trying to sneak back to his room to hide from Virgil. The two boys fell on the floor in a tangle of limbs. Alan landed on his back and cried out.

"OWIE, MOMMY, JOHNNY HURT ME!" From the direction of the family room, they could hear someone running up the stairs. Smirking down at his baby brother, Virgil helped John to his feet and then grabbed Alan by his shirt.

"Where is the music I was working on?" he snarled. He was unaware that their mother was in Samantha's room.

"Virgil, let go of your brother," a stern voice sounded from his sister's bedroom. Instantly he released his hold and turned around to face his mother.

"Mom, he took my music again," he said in his defense. Alan had gotten to his feet by this time and was shaking his head.

"I didn't take it, Mommy," he argued. Looking at her children, she did a quick count and knew who the culprit was that had swiped the music.

"Virgil, have you seen Gordon lately?" she asked. "Let me redirect that question. Alan, where is Gordon hiding your brother's music?" Alan's eyes widened and he glanced around the hallway for an escape route. Unfortunately for him, his older siblings noticed it and positioned themselves so that he had no where to run.

"He's in the closet under the stairs," announced Scott as he reached the landing. Jeff had heard him and opened the door under the stairs and found Gordon sitting on the floor with the missing music lying next to him.

"Hi, Dad, are you hiding, too?" he asked cheekily. Motioning for his son to follow him, they went upstairs. Gordon had Virgil's music still in his hand and innocently passed it to his next oldest brother. "Here Virgil, I found this for you." Virgil took the paper and handed it to Scott. Anticipating his son's reaction, Jeff grabbed the back of Virgil's shirt just as he moved to tackle his brother. He continued to struggle against his dad.

"LET ME GO!" he cried out. "The brat needs to learn to keep his hands off my stuff."

"Virgil, is your music ripped or destroyed in any way?" Lucy stepped in between her sons causing him to look up at her.

"No…but…" he stammered.

"Do you think that physically hurting your brother is going to make things right?" she asked. His struggles ceased and he looked down at the floor.

"No, Ma'am," he replied, softly. Scott led John, Sam, and Alan downstairs so that their parents could handle the problem with the two involved.

"Samantha, get your ski stuff on," John said as they went downstairs. "Mom's taking us for another run down the slopes." Alan perked up and ran after Samantha.

"Can I go, Sammie?" he begged. "I wanna go, too." Samantha pulled on her ski pants and jacket before sitting down on the bench to pull on her boots.

"Sorry, Squirt, but we're going on the intermediate slopes," she answered. "You're not quite ready for those yet but if you keep practicing on the beginner slopes you'll be ready next year for sure."

"But Saammmiiee," he whined when John's hand suddenly covered his mouth.

"The answer is no," he answered for his sister. "YUCK!" Jerking his hand away from Alan's mouth, he wiped it on his pant leg. Alan stuck out his tongue and ran back to the family room. "He licked me. Gross." Sam smiled at him and shook her head. Lucy joined them in the utility room and donned her ski gear. Soon they were heading to the slope that they had agreed on.

"One run and then we need to get back. Your dad and I are going out tonight," she told them. Samantha and John glanced at each other and then back at their mother who had blushed a bit. Taking the lift up to the start of the slope, Sam pushed off first followed by Lucy. John took up the rear but caught up with them. They were halfway down the mountain when a loud rumbling sounded behind them. John looked up over his shoulder and saw the mountain come crashing towards them.

"AVALANCHE!" He yelled. Trying to pick up speed the three Tracys had just made it near the bottom of the mountain when the avalanche reached them. A huge tree started to topple towards Sam and Lucy. Lucy saw it coming and shoved her daughter out of the way as the tree fell and the snow covered them.

"Here's another one," shouted one of the rescuer's. John's pale face had a tinge of blue from being limited on his oxygen. The fresh air rushed into his lungs and he gasped. His gaze searched for a familiar face and an explanation of what had happened.

"S-S-Sa-Saman-Samantha? Mom?" he chattered. The rescue worker looked down at him.

"Were they with you?" he asked.

"Y-Y-Yes." He struggled to get up but was gently pushed back down onto the stretcher.

"Lie still," he ordered. "This one was with two others. They should be around here as well." John could hear the renewed efforts in locating his Mom and sister. Two shouts sounded and again he struggled to a sitting position.

"We found them. Two females both were near a fallen tree. Damn, this one didn't make it." John's heart plummeted and he tried to crawl over to his family. His leg was broken and it dragged behind him. Two medics grabbed him and shifted him back onto the stretcher and fastened the straps to restrain him.

"PLEASE LET ME GO!" He cried. "SAMMIE! MOM!" Afraid that he would further injure himself, the medic readied a dose of sedative. John saw the needle and pulled away from it. "I'm sensitive to meds. I can't tolerate full doses and neither can my sister." Seeing no way out of his situation, he stopped struggling as the medic readjusted the dosage and administered the injection. Within a few minutes, John was asleep and carried down to where worried family and friends were gathered as well as ambulances to take the victims to the hospital. Samantha was carried down once she had been pulled from the snow. Lucy's body was completely covered by a green blanket.