When Hero's Fall
A series of one shots that take us trough the days, weeks, months and years following the Death of Lucille Tracy.
Jeff Tracy adored his family. He and his beautiful wife, Lucille (or as he called her, Lucy) had five gorgeous sons. Scott, who was the eldest at 14 years old, had his mothers eyes, and almost black hair. Virgil, aged 11, looked identical to what Jeff had when they were at the same age. John, 9, had inherited his mothers blond hair and blue eyes, but was built like his father. Gordon, the second youngest at 6, loved the water, and his skinny, orange haired body rarely saw a total of 24 hours without getting wet, and Alan, who was the baby at 5, had inherited his mother's looks, but also possessed a stubborn streak that could only have come from his father. Jeff took every advantage he could to be with his family, although his duties with NASA frequently kept him away, so, when he was give three weeks leave over the Christmas holidays, Jeff proposed they go on a holiday. Lucy immediately suggested they go to the Swiss Alps for a skiing holiday, and the boys enthusiastically agreed.
Five days into the holiday, on New Years Eve, Jeff offered to take the boy's on one of the more difficult slopes. Lucille agreed to stay behind with Virgil, who wasn't really into extreme sports and wanted to paint the mountainside, and Alan, who was really too young to ski that particular slope. Jeff set of, with a packed lunch for himself and the three boys.
Later that afternoon, Lucile was happily bustling around the cabin that they were calling home. Alan was talking happily to her, while Virgil had set up his painting gear and had started sketching the mountains scenery. Every now and again Lucy would look over his shoulder and encourage him, praising how he had captured the landscape. Lucy had been about to read Alan a story when a low rumble erupted from up the mountain. Frowning, she crossed the room to where Virgil was sitting, finishing off his sketches. Lucy's jaw dropped. Far up the mountain, she spotted a rolling mound of snow, growing rapidly in size. Fear seized Lucy as she looked at her children.
"Virgil, put your painting away, there's am avalanche coming." Lucy said, forcing calmness she didn't feel into her voice.
Virgil's eyes widened. "Yes mummy" he instantly put his artwork in to the room he was sharing with Scott. Lucy hurriedly closed all the windows and the curtains, while Alan watched, fear in his eyes.
"What's wrong, mummy is something bad happening?" he asked. Lucy smiled and picked up Alan, groaning.
"Hmm, your getting to big for this, Allie'" Lucy smiled, "There's snow coming down the mountain. We need to hide from it, OK" Lucy grinned. Alan nodded, not really understanding hat his mother had said. Lucy picked up Alan's teddy and passed it to him. Virgil walked to his mother and hugged her; he was almost as tall as her shoulders now. Lucy stroked her older son's face, painfully aware of the growing noise of the avalanche. Lucy sat on the couch, still holding Alan in her arms. Virgil sat next to her, and buried his face in her arm. She could hear the crashing of trees' being destroyed by the approaching snow. Lucy sobbed. There was no way they could survive this. Alan reached up and brushed one of his mother's tears away.
"Don't cry, Mummy" he whispered, "The bad snow will go away soon. Virgy and I will make it, won't we, Virgy"
Virgil nodded, "of course we will, Allie" he smiled. Lucy smiled and kissed Virgil on the forehead and whispered to him
"Virgil. If something happens to me, you have to get Allie out. Be brave. You must keep painting and practicing your music, whatever happens. Tell your father and brothers that I love them, and I will always love and remember them. Can you do this for me?"
Virgil sobbed and nodded. "I will, mummy, I will." Lucy turned to Alan, who was looking more and more scared.
"Allie, I want you to do what your brothers tell you. They'll always be there for you. So will Daddy. Be good for them. Allie, Mummy will always love you. She always has. Remember this. I'll always be there for you'
"Mummy" Alan cried, starting to cry. Lucy hugged Alan fiercely, and the Avalanche hit the Cabin. Lucy heard the splintering timbers and screamed out.
"I love you, Jeff. I love you, Scottie, Virgil, Johnnie, Gordy and Allie." There was a loud crash, and Lucy knew no more.
When Lucy awoke, it was like she had been wrapped in a thick, cold, heavy blanket. She was in pain everywhere. She felt something move beside her. Slowly she opened her eyes. Whiteness, everything was white. 'Maybe I've died,' she thought to herself. Weakly, she turned her head and glanced at what was lying beside her. Alan lay there, still, his eyes peacefully closed, a fresh cut on his forehead oozing blood. Lucy gently touched his arm, and his eyes opened. Lucy groaned as darkness started to swell at the corned of her eyes.
"Allie, are you ok?" she whispered. Alan whimpered in response. Lucy sobbed. She could see little black dots forming in front of her eyes. She sobbed; she knew this was the end. Bracing herself, she spoke, placing all of her emotions into her words.
"Allie, I love you, remember that your Mummy loves you, always. Be brave for your Daddy and brothers. Mummy loves all of you. Mummy loves you, Allie"
Alan blinked, and silent tears rolled down the cheeks of his baby face. Lucy knew he understood what was happening.
"No Mummy, Don't go, Allie doesn't want you to go. Mummy, Allie loves you too" Lucy's eyes drooped as the life within them faded.
"I love you too Mummy" Alan screamed, the last thing his mother heard.
Later that afternoon, Jeff was skiing back to the cabin with the boys. As they turned a bend in the mountainside, Jeff's jaw dropped and tears started to well in his eyes. A blanket of snow covered the devastation. Jeff could only see the tip of the Cabins chimney above the snow. He could see tree's, uprooted by the force of the snow, over a mile further down the mountain from where they had been that morning. Rescue officers were already there, standing where the cabin roughly had been. Beside him, he heard Gordon sob. Jeff glanced down at his three sons. Scott was in shock. His eyes wide with fear. John was shaking his head, unable to believe what he was seeing. Gordon was crying furiously, his voice rising to levels even Alan would've been proud of. Jeff passed his ski poles to Scott and picked Gordon up. He kicked off his skis and strode down the mountain.
By the time they had reached the rescue sight, Gordon's' sobs had subsided into whimpering, the mischievous glint in his eye gone. Jeff strode over to the nearest rescue officer.
"My name is Jeff Tracy. What the hell happened here?" He asked
The man flustered. "Oh, Mr. Tracy is it. Perhaps you'd like to come over to Mr. Ahdefeigt, he'll be able to tell you more than I can." The officer led Jeff and the boys over to a man in a green uniform. Jeff recognised him as the man who ran the cabin, and many others like it, throughout this small part of the mountains.
"Mr. Ahdefeight, what on earth happened here?" asked Jeff.
"Ah, Mr. Tracy, um well, there was an avalanche, and um, your cabin was sort of, crushed. Was there anyone at home, other than one of your boys?"
"Yes, my wife, and, hang on! How do you know one of the boys was there?"
"We've already found him. He had a mild case of Hypothermia. His body temperature dropped to 30 degrees Celsius. He's been taken to the local hospital, but he should recover well."
Jeff let out an explosive breath. At least one of his sons was all right. The question he wanted to know was, which one was it. Scott seemed to be thinking the same thing.
"Sir, which one of my brothers was it?" he asked. The man looked carefully at Scott, than back at Jeff.
"Well, I don't know his name, but he had brown hair"
"Virgil" Jeff murmured, "Has anyone else been found?"
"No, was there anyone else there?" the Suisse man asked. Jeff heavily nodded, his fears rising.
"Yes," Jeff's voice cracked, "My wife and our youngest son, Alan." Mr. Ahdefeight nodded.
"We'll find them, Mr. Tracy, don't worry"
"When did it happen, anyway?" asked Jeff
"Just after lunchtime, about 12:30" came the answer. Jeff glanced at his watch and blinked back tears. It was almost four. Jeff glanced at Scott, and there eyes met. Jeff saw the tears forming in his eldest's eyes, and knew Scott could see his own. Jeff glanced down at John and Gordon. Both had tears pouring down there pale faces. Jeff smiled, trying to encourage them.
"It will be fine. Mummy and Virg and Allie will be fine, I'm sure." Jeff soothed, crouching to John's height and putting Gordon down. Gordon clung to John's sleeve, his lip quivering. Scott knelt down to his brother's level; he gave them each a hug. Inside, he was a mess. He was happy that Virgil was alright, but he was worried sick about his mother and Baby brother. He didn't know he would cope if either of them died. His mother had always been there. To pick him up when he fell, to help him with his homework, to bandage him after he cut himself. Scott remembered the night Alan had been born. Ever since then, the little blond had yearned for Scott's attention. Although his baby brother was very annoying at times, there was still a strong bond between them.
Less than half an hour later, the Tracy family were roused out of there grief by the amount of noise the the rescue workers were making. Jeff asked Mr. Ahdefeight what was happening.
"They've found them, both of them, Mr. Tracy; I'll ask what sort of condition they're in for you."
"Thank-you, Mr Ahdefeight, see, I told you boy's it will be all right" Jeff whispered, happily, bending over to his son's height. He straightened when Mr. Ahdefeight returned, his face sombre.
"Well?" Jeff asked
"They've found your wife and youngest son, and they are alive, but they both have severe cases of Hypothermia, and you wife has numerous broken bones. I'm sorry, Mr Tracy, but there chances aren't good. Once they're stabilized, they'll be airlifted to the local hospital, where your other son is. Will you be coming with us?" Mr. Ahdefeight sombrely asked
"Yes, but I don't think the boy's should come" Jeff murmured, his head bowed.
"We're coming, Daddy" Scott told the two forlorn men, his voice imitating Jeff's voice when he was telling off one of the boys. Jeff smiled in spite of himself. Regardless of who was using tat voice, Jeff knew that they weren't going to budge.
Three hours later, and Jeff and the boys were at Lucy's bedside. They'd arrived to find Virgil conscious and anxious about his mother and brother. Soon afterwards, Alan had awoken, and was no curled up in Jeff's lap, sobbing. Lucy had fallen into a coma, and she wasn't showing signs of waking up. A slight tap on Lucy's room door jerked Jeff out of his melancholy. Passing Alan to Scott, Jeff made his way to the door and let himself out. Lucy's doctor stood there. He beckoned Jeff into one of the seats opposite Lucy's room.
"Mr. Tracy" the doctor began.
"Please, call me Jeff" Jeff batted away the formalities
"All right Jeff. We have you wife's CAT scan results. I'm afraid they're not good. While she was in the cabin, she sustained brain damage. We now know how serious it is. Jeff, she's not going to make it. Her brain was too affected by the cold. I'm sorry."
Jeff felt as if his world was crashing down around him. "Could anything have been done while she was still out there to save her?" he asked, his mouth suddenly dry
"Maybe, if she was found earlier, she might of, but that's not relevant. The rescue teams worked as hard as they could, with the equipment they had. Do you want to let the children say goodbye before we turn it all off?"
Jeff dumbly nodded. He couldn't get over the fact that Lucy, his darling Lucy. The mother of his adorable children was going to die. Jeff stood up and walked back into the room. He stood at the doorway, watching the boys watch their mother. Gordon was dozing in Virgil's lap, and Alan was still whimpering in Scott's arms. Jeff cleared his throat, knowing that this would be the hardest speech he'd ever have to make in his life. He took a deep breath
"Boys…" he began