Disclaimer: Don't own them…never have and never will.

A Family Distressed

"Thunderbird Two to Base, we're heading home as soon as a few operatives get buckled in." Virgil's comment earned him a couple of glares from his younger brothers but his head was pounding too much for him to enjoy it.

"Safe flight home, Boys. We'll be holding dinner for you," Jeff said, thankful for another successful mission. And to him a successful mission was defined as his boys coming home safe and whole.

No sooner had Jeff and Virgil signed off, Gordon and Alan started bickering. "I'm co-pilot, Al, so get your butt out of my seat." Gordon stood threateningly next to Alan, glaring down at him. With a sigh, Virgil closed his eyes in a desperate attempt to keep his head from exploding as his headache worsened.

"I need the practice and Virgil is okay with me being his co-pilot for the trip home," Alan countered, smugly. It was obvious that he thought that if he used the excuse that he need to co-pilot for practice then all would work in his favor. "Right, Virg?"

"One…two…three…four…five…"

"Thunderbird One to Thunderbird Two, why haven't you taken off yet?"

Flipping the switch to open communications for Thunderbird One, Base, and Thunderbird Five, Virgil glared at his younger brothers. "We haven't taken off because the two jackasses have regressed to three-year-olds. They'll contact you when they settle their bullshit because I'm going back to the sleeping quarters and lying down." Unfastening his safety straps, he stood up and stalked off to the living quarters for something to get rid of the massive headache he had and some much needed peace and quiet.

Staring open-mouthed in shock at their brother's retreating back, Gordon and Alan looked at each other and then back to the monitors that showed the equally surprised expressions on Scott, Jeff, and John's faces. "Gordon, you're piloting in Virgil's place. Alan, you're to follow his orders as he is in charge now. We'll discuss you're behavior when you arrive at Base for debriefing. Base out." Jeff's screen went blank but Scott and John were still staring hard at their brothers.

"What the hell is going on?" Scott's expression was a mixture of annoyance and concern. Gordon and Alan had no problem figuring out who he was annoyed with.

Shrugging his shoulders, Alan spoke up, "I don't know, Scott. He said something about having a bad headache just as we loaded up the last of the victims and dropped them off where the ambulances were waiting."

Thoughtful, John added, "He told me during the flight to the hospital for the critical victims that he felt lousy and that he had a bit of a stiff neck and that his head was really pounding."



"I'll have Brains check him out when we get back to Base," Scott decided. "Okay, Brats, I'm going to pace you home to make sure that you don't do anything stupid. Or more importantly do something to Virg's 'bird."

Glancing at his only younger brother, Gordon rolled his eyes. "Hey, Al, I think we have a leak in the cockpit."

Feigning an innocent yet troubled expression, Alan picked up where his brother left off. "You mean you hear all that hot air getting in here? Maybe we should just close communications with one of the sources to see if that helps." With a flick of his hand, Scott's image disappeared. "See you at the debriefing, Johnny."

"You do realize that your asses are in some serious trouble for that, don't you?" John shook his head at his next youngest brothers.

Yawning, Gordon shrugged his shoulders, "Whatever, Johnny. I'm trained to fly Two when and if Virgil is out of commission and I don't need Scott babysitting me."

"He's not babysitting you. He's worried about Virgil," John said. "You know that anytime one of us feels out of sorts or is injured, he worries."

"Yeah, mother hen Scotty to the rescue," Alan snickered. An insistent beeping from the communications monitor showed that Scott was trying to get in contact again. "Gotta go, John, big brother is trying to get us." Flipping the switches, John's picture disappeared and Scott's appeared. "We're getting ready to take off, Scott. Hold your britches in place."

"What's the hold up?" Scott demanded.

"We're taking off now, calm down," Gordon snapped. "Have a little patience, okay?" Cutting communications again, Gordon heaved a sigh of relief. "Big brothers have a serious problem with bossing everyone around."

"Yep, they sure do," Alan agreed, smiling. "Hey, I'm going to turn the audio on for the living quarters so that we can hear Virgil if he needs anything." Focused on flying the huge transport ship, Gordon nodded absently in agreement. All was quiet during the flight home with the exception of some bantering between the two youngest Tracy brothers. Arriving at Base, Alan went back to the living quarters while Gordon initiated post flight procedures and cleaning of the behemoth ship.

"Virgil, we're home." The only lights in the quarters were the running lights along the bulkheads and they were set at the dimmest setting allowed. Waiting a moment for his eyes to adjust to the dim light, Alan listened for a response. A slight moan followed by some movement directed Alan's steps. He looked down at the curled up form of his brother. Reaching down to shake his shoulder, Alan hesitated a moment just as the lights came on and Virgil groaned louder and grabbed a pillow to cover his head.

"What's taking so long, Alan?" Looking up from where he'd squatted down next to Virgil, he put his finger to his mouth.



"Shh, I think his headache has gotten worse." Gently rubbing his brother's back, he spoke in low tones, "Virg, do you want us to get Brains for you?"

Waiting for the stock answer that each of the Tracy brothers gave when asked if they needed medical intervention from Brains, both brothers were surprised at Virgil's whispered plea.

"Yes."