Hey all. Back with the next story. This is just a one-shot, a little bit of back story into where the boys' mother went. Just so you know, in this AU their mother is called Isabelle.

This is kind of just to fill in time a little bit, until the next story is ready. I've got the plans for it, and therefore need to start writing. This one was written already and therefore I thought I could post it up. I can understand if you don't like it, it is quite far from the original series' plot lines. Oh, well...

The K+ Rating is because not because there is any violence, nasty language or even suggested mature themes. However the plot line could be slightly hard to follow, thus the rating!

Disclaimer: I do not own the Thunderbirds (they belongs to someone who is not me, I don't actually know who it is now) and I am not making any money from this story. None of the characters are intended to portray any living or dead person and any similarities are entirely coincidental.

May 14th 2044

"You think I wanted this?" The angry shout shook the old barn, scattering nesting birds in all directions. Light flooded in through a high window, bathing the scene in the sunlight's glory, an unfitting scene, considering the event occurring in its presence. "I don't want to hurt the boys any more than you."

"Then why live in Florida? They need you here. I need you… Needed you." The brunette sighed and ran her hand through her hair, the golden light highlighting it and reminding the man in front of her about everything he had fallen in love with, many long years ago. "Forever. That's what this was supposed to be. Forever."

"What do you mean supposed to be?" The young woman sighed again and turned away. A moment passed before she turned back to him.

"It's over. I'm sorry, but it's over."

April 12th 2044

"Look! Look!" A five year old ran down the aged dusty track, madly waving a piece of crumpled paper before him, delight visible in his eyes. Isabelle Tracy pushed the green porch door open and bent down to welcome the excited boy into her arms.

"What did you do, Scotty?" She pulled the paper from his tight grasp and spread it out on the creaking wooden floorboards of the old porch. She looked at it for a short moment, taking a second or two to try and understand what lay before her. "Wow. This is us, right?" She asked uncertainly.

"Uh huh." He nodded his head vigorously. Pointing in turn to each crayon stick-figure before him he explained. "You see this is Daddy, and this is you." The young mother nodded in understanding. "An' then this one's me an' that one next to me is Johnny, see but he's a whole lot shorter an' he's got white hair." He continued animatedly pointing out the markings on the paper. "'And that's Virgie, an' he's holding Gordy, see Gordy's got red hair." A large scribble of red hovered above the second smallest figures head, the proportions were all wrong. Only two years old, the real life Virgil could never have successfully held his brother. But as all loving mothers did, Isabelle didn't even see the mistakes her eldest son had made. "An' finally that's Alan, but he's just a baby so he's just lying there doin' nothin'."

"Just 'cause Alan's a baby doesn' mean he can't do anything, Scott." His mother gently reprimanded the young boy.

"Alrigh' then, he's just lying there 'cause he's tired an' that's what babies do. Get tired." Isabelle decided it was easier to agree than fight with the five year old.

"That's great, honey." Isabelle pulled her eldest son into a tight hug. "You're very clever." The young boy positively beamed. "Why don' you go and fetch your crayons from under the tree and then you could go and show Grandma, huh? She'd love to see it. She's just puttin' dinner on." Scott ran off to show his prized possession to another admiring onlooker and his mother stood up just to see her next two eldest coming back around the edge of the barn. "What have you two been up to?"

"Gran'pa tra'or!" The younger enthused.

"Nuh, uh. He was showing me. You were just there." The other protested, his more developed speech showing whilst he was clearly filling in his brothers missing words in his head.


"He wasn't showing you!"

"Enough, boys! John, I'm sure he was showing both you and Virgie. I hope he didn't let you drive it." Isabelle broke off the argument before it could even start, knowing that allowing Virgil to argue with a three year old brother who held the intelligence of someone at least five years his senior, was always going to be heading for trouble. However, both boys just looked at each other and smirked, their previous dispute forgotten already.

"Sure I did, Iz. They did all my work for me." An aging man with grey hair appeared from around the same corner as the two other boys had, just moments before, but he had a weathered face and a large sack slung across his back. "But all good farm hands have to wash up and lay the table."

The blonde and brunette boys looked up at the older man, puzzlement clear on their faces, but Grandpa's word was law and they left to do his bidding.

"They're really growin' up." Isabelle mused.

"They're two and three, Iz, they've plenty more growin'!" He chuckled, continuing his path back to the house. For a moment the young woman stood there thinking, then Isabelle Tracy turned and walked in the other direction, heading towards the stables, pulling a portable phone from her pocket as she went. She punched in the familiar numbers and waited patiently for the dialling tone. It rang for a few moments before someone, somewhere picked up, completing the circuit and joining two separate worlds.

"Hey." She said softly.

"Hey, yourself." He chuckled back.

"Wish you were here."

"Me too." He paused to sigh. "But you know I can't be. I get a couple off weeks in a month or so. I'll be back before you know it."

"I thought I could come up there for a couple of day's maybe next week. Oh, I don' know." She paused for a moment. "The boys are growing up so much you know."

"They're ranging in age from five to less than a month; I expect they are growing but they've still got plenty of time to grow up!" he exasperated.

"You sound just like your father, Jefferson Tracy, but they're so much more grown up than any other little boys I've met; so kind to each other. And John, he's learning so fast." She paused. "But that's the point. Alan's not even a month old. He'll barely know you."

"I want to be there."

"Then come." She played with a stray lock of hair. Jeff gazed longingly at his wife through the small phone screen, wishing it were he, who was playing with the hair falling about her face.

"I can't." Suddenly the tone of the conversation changed.

"You never can. I wish you'd just grow up and realise that your sons are more important than you're work. One day they'll be gone and you'll be sorry."

"Iz…" She cut him off.

"No, listen. They might have a famous astronaut for a father, but what good is that when they can learn more about him through books because he's never there? They need their father, Jeff."

"Sorry." He didn't know what to say. Hundreds of miles away, the man, in his late twenties, ran his hand through his hair, bringing it back down to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Sorry." He couldn't find anything else to say.

"Whatever. I have to go. Your sons need me."

"Please, don't, Iz…" But he never finished his sentence as the dialling tone rang loudly in his ear as his wife hung up. He really did want to be there. It was just too complicated.

May 13th 2044

"Daddy!" Scott Tracy sprinted down the porch steps and flung himself against his father.

"Hey, Scott. How's my little soldier?" The man ruffled the young boy's hair affectionately.

"Fine, Daddy." He pulled back from the hug and stood looking up at his tall parent.

"And have you been good?"

"Yup. I've done loads of great work for Grandpa and Grandma and I've really been practisin' my math so I can be good when I go to school."

"That's good to hear. How are the others? Have you been looking after them?" The young boy nodded hard.

"Of course, Daddy. Johnny's getting real smart. He can do as much math as I can and I'm five. Virgie's getting real great at his piano too, he doesn' just bash the keys any more. Mummy's teaching him which notes is which, an' he knows he's only got to press one at a time to get a good sound."

"What? John's three and a half, Scott."

"He can still do it. Grandma says he'll be a genius." The five year olds thoughts moved on at lightening pace back to the original question. "An' Gordy's been a pain. He always wants to play with me or so Mummy says. He just waves his toys at me and everything, but I'm five an' he's just one, an' five year olds and one year olds don' play together. And Alan… Alan just cries a lot."

"He just a baby, son. Of course he'll cry. And maybe you should try and find some more time for Gordon. He only wants to spend time with his big brother." Scott went to say something and then stopped. "What is it, Scott?" The five year old appeared to consider whether or not to speak for a while, and then decided that he couldn't lie to his father.

"Mummy says you wouldn' know. That you weren' there for any of us an' that you still aren't." The boy appeared to want reassurance from his father.

"Of course I know, Scott. Your mother's just a bit upset that I can't always be here." The eldest Tracy heir seemed to accept this but underneath Jeff knew that there was more to it than just upset. That there were years of anger and pain, things that couldn't be mended quickly, if at all.

May 14th 2044

A young couple walked back through sun-drenched fields together, hand in hand, fingers entwined. A large farmhouse loomed ahead, graceful yet intimidating in its appearance. But they didn't head that way, instead choosing the secluded nature of the barn. It was a large wooden structure; rot clearly visible in the woodwork but it wouldn't be replaced soon. It was functional and that was what was important on a farm. Not appearances, after all they could be extremely deceptive, and deception could be dangerous, in people and in places.

They sat inside of its huge frame for many hours, talking about all things missed and the future. They talked about their sons and how proud they were. They talked about what lay ahead, about growing old together with a large family around them.

Inside the large farmhouse, whose warmth and comfort had been rejected by the pair earlier, their sons' grandmother was cooking dinner. Scott Tracy was sat at the large wooden table with the brother nearest in age, colouring yet again.

"How many legs does an ant have, Grandma?"

"How many do you think, Scott?"

"Well I know spiders have eight, 'cause there's loads in the barn. An' ants must have less, so four?"

"Nearly, try again, dear." The dark haired boy pondered this for a bit.

"How about six?"

"That's right." The young boy drew a large scribble on his paper, an ant apparently. He set his pencil down next to his work, and immediately his younger brother picked it up to use on his drawing that he had been doing. "Johnny, that's not for colourin' in with! It's for drawin' only."

"Sorry, Scotty." The three year old put the pencil back and picked up a red instead, content to continue with a different colour, neither Scott nor his Grandmother even noticed that John wasn't colouring but practicing something systematically, a series of pencil strokes and circles. Not un-similar to a form of binary code, when squinted at.

"Scott, if you're done could you go out to the barn an' tell your parents that dinner's ready to go on the table. Then you can go an' find your grandfather too; he said he was goin' out to the stables earlier. After you can go an' wash up ready to eat."

"Sure, Grandma." As the eldest Tracy child ran off to do his grandparent's bidding, she turned to her second eldest grandson. "Johnny, I need you to go an' find Virgil, he's probably in the front room, an' tell him dinner's ready. Then go and get Gordon up, he was having a nap in his room, an' help him to wash up."

"What 'bout Alan?"

"Leave him, sweetie. He's sleepin' right now, and the longer he does the more peace and quiet we get."

"Sure, Grandma." The coding was all but forgotten on the wooden table as John disappeared to find his brothers.

Outside the young couple were still sat in the same place, Jeff Tracy's arm draped lazily over his wife's shoulder as she rested her head against his chest. But about the same time as the couple's eldest son reached the barn to let them know dinner was ready, the conversation turned, much as they always did at the moment. The brown haired boy heard the shouting, and realised it wasn't his place to intrude, so instead he passed time kicking stone's around the yard until he felt it safe enough to enter the barn. While he stood outside, witness to the argument that was taking place, he swore to himself that he would never repeat a word of what he heard. Not to Grandpa, not to Grandma and definitely not to his brothers.

Two days later the mother of five children left the once happy farm, never to return as part of that happy family. That day everything changed. Their father left to go back to Florida promising he was going to be back in couple of weeks, explaining he had a few things to take care of. For once he was true to his word and came back two weeks to the day, no longer an astronaut. The five boys slowly learned what life was like without a mother; while years on into the future the eldest son stuck to what he decided that fateful day outside the old barn; his silent promise to the skies.