Category: Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Family
Disclaimer: Thunderbirds are not mine. They belong to Gerry Anderson and co. Any characters that are not from the series, are mine. Please ask if you want to borrow them.
Summary: Alan is worried. Can his older brother put him at ease?
A/N: This ignores my other story "Unwanted Sacrifice"… in a way. No need to read that first.
A/N2: I wrote this a while ago, but for some reason never uploaded it. So here it is.
It was late in the morning when Tracy island finally returned to its normal calmness. For the time of the day, it became even quieter than usual. Usual, that is, for a day when no hard rescues had presented themselves. Today however, something else had happened. Everyone had seen it coming, and most were quite eager to get the experience over with.
Now it was. After some hectic hours, the peace returned, as everyone went to find a bit of well deserved private time. The event had caused the whole family to be awake during the early hours of the morning, from Grandma Tracy to Kyrano, everyone had been up; even Thunderbird 5 had been alerted.
But now that everyone went to get some rest, one man found he was too troubled to do so. The blond young man, currently in orbit, longed for the opportunity to go for a long walk along the beach. Alas, it was not meant to be, because here he was, cooped up in the Space station of International Rescue.
Alan sighed. How he hated being away from the action. Oh, don't worry, he knew this was one of those few moments where John was the one who had to be there. And someone had to man the communication centre. But that didn't make him feel any less left out. This was something major! He should be there with his family, on Earth. But he wasn't.
With another sigh, Alan turned towards the window, from where he could look down on Earth.
It wasn't just the feeling of being left out, or of loneliness. He also knew that with this latest event, things would change for the whole family. All of them. For the first while, Alan would stay up in Five more often, giving John some more time on the ground. Great. He got to spend more time in his favourite place, and the person who'd usually talk him through, would be too busy.
Alan frowned. Maybe that's what he was angry about. Well, not angry per se… just… afraid. Afraid? Why would he be afraid? Sure, it used to be the case that when Alan was up in the space station, John would call in every day to check up on him, and to chat, keeping Alan in the loop. And when the roles were reversed, Alan returned the favour. OK, maybe not every day, but then, Gordon did, so it wasn't much of a problem if he forgot. But if Alan needed to talk, John would be there to listen.
He knew, now that this had happened, that John would have less time. He might not be able to check in with him as often. He knew that… understood it… he'd just have to accept it.
He sat back in front of the computer console, absently noting the wind force over the Atlantic Ocean to pick up a bit of speed, and checking for any emergency lights.
But, what if he needed to talk? Or what if no one called? What if they forgot about him? A sense of dread settled itself in the pit of Alan's stomach. If he looked at it from reasonable perspective, he knew his family would never forget about him, but that didn't take away the fact that the fear was there, gnawing at his insides. As he stared back out of the window, and looked at the vast expanse of space stretching out before him, he couldn't help but feel lonely and very small at that moment.
Everyone at Tracy Island would be doing his or her thing, prepared to take off in case an emergency call came in. And he, Alan Tracy, was trapped in this life-supporting metal box drifting in a sea of vacuum, completely alone with his own thoughts.
Oh, they had tried to let him share as much as possible, but when everyone was allowed into the room, his older brothers had been so excited themselves, they had stood in front of the screen, unconsciously blocking Alan's view. And after that, Brains had ordered rest, so while his brothers were shooed from the room by their small but bossy grandmother, Brains had turned off the camera with a short goodbye.
Alan straightened his shoulders.
He wasn't feeling left out. He wasn't. Now if he would only continue to tell himself that often enough, he might just believe it.
Suddenly there was a beep, signalling an incoming call from the island. Eagerly Alan opened communications, though he was taken by surprise when he saw who was calling.
"John!" Alan couldn't hide his relief or happiness at seeing his older brother. Then he noticed something.
"Hey Alan." A smile crossed over John's tired but happy features as he looked up at the video feed.
"Is that…?" Alan started, awe shining through his voice. John's smile widened as he looked back at the bundle in his arms.
"Yes. Alan, I'd like you to meet Esther Sandra Tracy. My daughter."
Alan looked at the young infant, barely five hours old, and then at her father. The pride, tenderness and love that John radiated towards his newborn daughter was so obvious, Alan couldn't help but be infected by it.
"She's beautiful, John," Alan marvelled, looking once again at the sleeping baby-girl. John looked up at Alan's quiet voice, and when he saw his youngest brother's face, he smiled softly. "I figured you might not have seen a whole lot when the rest crowded around the bed… I thought you might want to see her before you came back," John said, and Alan smiled. "Thanks John."
"You're welcome… Uncle Alan," John said with a wink. The clock on the far wall caught his eyes, and he turned back to Alan. "I'd better get back now, Nicole will have my head if she finds out." Alan chuckled, and added, "You'd better hurry then, or she might call Grandma for reinforcement."
John's eyes widened at the thought, causing Alan to grin. It didn't happen very often anymore that John had cause to be worried about possible repercussions dished out by their grandmother. "Right. Talk to you later then Alan. Bye."
"Bye John. Get some sleep."
John nodded absently as he switched off communications from his side. Alan shook his head in amusement. The knot of fear in his stomach had disappeared, and had made place for an all compassing relieved satisfaction. He wasn't left out, and wouldn't be left out either. John, though he'd have to juggle around his time allocation for a bit, would make sure of that. So, with a satisfied sigh, Alan turned back to the computer screens to keep an eye on that potential storm.
A warm feeling spread through his body as he thought about his brother's daughter. 'Uncle Alan… Who would have thought?'
A/N: for those who haven't read any of my stories which featured Nicole, she is John's former NASA partner, good friend, and in "Unwanted Sacrifice" also his wife… like in this story.