Hiya folks! I can't believe that this is my third story! Time has flown by so fast over the past couple of months. But after a very short break, I'm back again, and I'm ready for the next Tracy tale!

This story takes place over four years before 'Unknown Dangers' - therefore, Alan is five years old and Gordon is just turning ten. I will mention these ages in the chapters, but I find that it's easier for the reader to picture the scene if they are not left wondering about the height and age of the characters. Hopefully, your own imaginations will do the rest for you. Picturing a small and cute-looking Gordon isn't as easy as picturing a small and cute-looking Alan, but I hope you'll give it a try! Lol.

Again, I do not own the movie or the superb original series of 'Thunderbirds' or any of the characters therein. They are merely Jerry Anderson's wonderful creations that I have gratefully borrowed for the time being.

Big thanks to everybody who has expressed an interest in reading my latest story. I hope it will not disappoint. And I had a great time at the wedding, thank you! I am now fully energised and ready to type! Enjoy the first installment of 'The Price of Paradise'!

Gordon Tracy sat on top of the diving board, his legs dangling a couple of metres above the glistening water of the pool. The young copper-haired boy was not happy. Not happy at all. In less than five minutes, he and his father and brothers would be leaving their cosy mansion forever. And Gordon did not want to go. He'd lived in this house all his life, and it was the one place on earth where he always felt safe and secure.

"Gordon! Gordon, are you out here?"

The forlorn boy raised his eyes at the sound of a familiar voice calling his name. I guess it's time to go, then. But why? Why can't I just stay here on my own? I don't wanna go to a stupid island! I like this house!

A tall, brown-haired figure jogged around the side of the mansion quickly and came to stand beside the pool. He did not spot the small boy above him, and instead proceeded to shield his eyes against the afternoon sun as he glanced around at the grounds of the house.

"Gordon, where are you?!" he demanded desperately.

"Up here, Scotty." the younger boy called. Scott's head snapped upwards sharply, his shoulders sagging in relief, and his tense face relaxed into a warm smile.

"What are you doing, kiddo?" he asked, climbing up the ladder swiftly and coming to sit carefully beside copper-haired boy on the diving board. The sixteen-year-old put an arm around his younger brother and smiled at him. "There's no time to go for a swim, squirt. Dad's about to fire up the engines. We've gotta get going."

Gordon felt his eyes sting as they filled with tears, and he looked away hurriedly. Scott frowned at him worriedly, giving him a gentle squeeze. "Hey, what's up? Are you feeling okay?" he asked, concern lining his voice.

Gordon brought his knees up to his chest and hugged them. "Scotty, I don't wanna leave." he murmured, his voice wavering slightly. "I like it here. I don't wanna go to a stupid island in the middle of the ocean. It's miles and miles away from all of my friends, and coach Stevens said that he would put me in the head team at my school next September if I carried on practising my swimming at home. But now Allie and me are gonna be home-schooled over the comm by a teacher who we don't even know! It's not fair!"

Scott regarded his distraught younger brother with sad eyes. Pulling the small boy into a gentle hug, he sighed deeply. "Gordon, you won't always feel like this. I promise. Just give the new house a try, okay? For me? Dad's been improving and expanding it all year, and the villa is even better than it was when we used to go there on holiday in the summer. Dad's even built a second pool, and this one's a lot bigger than the first one. You can still practise your swimming at home, and then you'll be in great shape for joining the team when you go to boarding school in a couple of years. You'll like our new home, I know you will."

"But it won't be home, Scotty!" Gordon complained miserably. "This is our home!"

Scott sighed again and ran a hand through his brother's hair, his fingers playing with the copper locks. "Gordon, we can't stay here. You know that."

"But why not?" Gordon demanded. "Nobody has even old me why we're moving! Nobody ever tells me anything!"

Scott put a hand either side of Gordon's face and looked into his sad, tear-filled eyes. "We have to go so that we can forget about what happened last year." he said gently, a wave of pain passing over his face.

"But that's why I wanna stay, Scotty!" Gordon insisted desperately. "If we leave here, I'll forget all about mom. Everything in this house makes me think of her. How she used to bake us cookies and make us pancakes in the kitchen, and how she used to tuck us into bed at night. And the garden has all of her favourite flowers in it, and if we leave I won't have anything to remember her by!"

Scott felt a pang of sadness over how seriously his younger brother was being affected by the prospect of leaving their house. Brushing away the hot tears that had leaked from Gordon's eyes, he smiled lovingly at the younger boy.

"Gordo, you're not gonna forget mom, I promise." he said softly. "Not ever. She's always gonna be with us, no matter where we live. And she's watching over us right now, you know? Up in heaven, she's looking down on us and making sure that we're okay." Gordon smiled slightly and sniffed, leaning his head on Scott's shoulder.

"But why do we have to go?" he asked quietly. Scott rubbed Gordon's back and thought for a moment, trying to work out the best way to word his reply.

"Gordon, you know you said that everything in the house reminds you of mom?" he began. Gordon nodded his head, frowning in confusion at what his big brother was trying to tell him. "Well," Scott continued. "That's why we have to go. It hurts dad to remember mom so much. You know that he's been working quite a lot over the past year?"

Gordon nodded again, his frown deepening. Their father had spent most of his time in his office at home or away in New York for business conferences. He was aways doing something - anything - and he never seemed to stop working unless he was asleep. He didn't have the time to play with Gordon or the others in the pool, or watch a movie with them in the evening, or read them stories at bedtime. He was always so busy.

"Well," Scott said. "He only works that hard because he's trying to distract himself from thinking about mom, you see? He planned for us to move away to the island months ago, but the villa wasn't quite finished yet. He wanted to make it as good as this house, so that we wouldn't need to come over to the mainland very often. But dad needs to get away for a while, you understand? The maybe he won't need to work so much any more."

"You mean dad might be able to play with us like he used to do before mom died?" asked Gordon, his eyes lighting up a little. Scott nodded, smiling slightly.

"Yeah, maybe." he confirmed. "But he'll need to settle down first. Give him some time, and he'll start to feel better. You'll see. And besides, there's always me, right? You and I can race in the pool together, can't we?"

Gordon giggled and swatted Scott on the arm playfully. "You're not gonna win, though!" he grinned. "I'll be ten in two weeks, and then you won't be able to beat me in anything."

"Oh no?!" Scott asked, grabbing Gordon in a headlock and giving him a noogie. "Are you certain about that?"

Gordon giggled and pulled away from Scott's grasp, wobbling backwards slightly. He would have fallen off the diving board and into the pool had Scott not grabbed him at the last second.

"Steady on there, fish-feet." the older boy chuckled. "I know you like water, but now is not the time to go for a swim. We're already late as it is. C'mon, we'd better get going."

Scott inched his way sideways along the diving board, standing up when he reached the ladder and descending it quickly. Gordon followed a little more slowly, knowing that it would be the very last time he saw this particular pool or climbed down it's ladder. When his feet reached the ground once more, he felt Scott's arm come around his shoulders.

"You ready to go, buddy?" his older brother asked kindly. Gordon took a deep breath, his eyes drinking in the familiar scenery one last time.

"Yeah, I'm ready." he replied. Scott smiled at him and gave him a gentle squeeze.

"C'mon, then. Let's get going."

They made their way quickly towards the landing strip at the side of the huge mansion, where the family jet, 'Tracy One', was already whirring to life. Gordon ran up the steps into the jet, Scott just behind him, and jumped into the nearest seat. John, who sat in a seat next to Alan, smiled at him encouragingly.

"Alright dad, we're all set." Scott called, sealing the hatch and striding towards the front compartment.

"Good work." Jeff called. "Let's get going, then. I've got some papers to go over when we get to the island, so I'd like to arrive there as soon as possible. Did you give the keys to the estate agent?"

"Yes sir." Scott replied, shooting Gordon a warning glance. The young copper-haired boy, upon hearing the mention of 'papers to go over', had been about to complain. However, after seeing Scott shaking his head firmly, he closed his mouth and looked down, buckling himself in moodily. As Scott disappeared into the pilot's compartment, Gordon crossed his arms over his chest and pouted.

Dad's never gonna change. All he ever does is work. Even when I've been bad, he doesn't tell me off or punish me. Scott does that now. It's not like dad shouts at us or anything, but he just isn't the same as he used to be. He talks to us, but not about the stuff we did at school or the stuff we want to do over the weekend, like he used to do before the accident. I wouldn't even mind it if he yelled at me over something, but he doesn't seem to care about me any more. Scott and John are the ones who look after us now. Scott does most of the work, except the cooking 'cause he set it on fire last time. Johnny does a lot of the cooking, and he's actually very good. I didn't know he could make food like that, but Scotty said that it's because he and mom used to make stuff together before she died. I wish mom could come back. Dad was so happy when she was here with us.

The jet began to move off down the runway, gathering speed steadily. Gordon stared unseeingly out of the window, the grounds of their house rolling by in a colourful blur. Suddenly, the plane tipped slightly and they ascended into the endless blue sky.

"Gordy, look! The house is getting smaller!" Alan cried delightedly, bouncing up and down in his seat and leaning towards the window. John chuckled and smoothed down his little brother's blond hair.

"Maybe you're just growing bigger, Sprout!" he joked fondly. Alan giggled and straightened in his chair, putting a hand to his head and measuring himself against John's side.

"I'll be lots bigger than you when I'm growed up, Johnny!" he said proudly. "And then you won't be able to send me to bed early, 'cause I'll be nearly as old as Gordy!"

Gordon smiled at his younger brother, forgetting his anger and disappointment. "Nuh-uh, Allie." he said. "My birthday's before yours. Whenever you get a year older, I'll already be year older. See?"

"Yeah, Al, I'm afraid that you won't ever be the same age as Gordon and me." smiled Virgil, leaning forward in his seat and peering over the headrest at his youngest brother. "But you'll be six by the end of the summer. And that's practically grown up, right John?"

John and Virgil shared a knowing smile, and the older blond nodded his head seriously. "That's right, Virge. Positively ancient!"

"Yup, you can fly the jet soon!" Gordon added cheerfully.

Alan's eyes lit up, and he bounced up and down in his seat. "Really, Gordy? Really and truly? How old do I have to be before I can fly the plane with daddy?"

Gordon pretended to be thinking very hard, stroking his chin and putting on a very serious expression. "Hmm, I dunno, Allie. What do you think, Virge? How 'bout tomorrow?"

Alan grinned. "Tomorrow?! Can I?" he turned in excitement to his older blond brother. "Can I Johnny?"

Virgil butted in before John could deny the request. "Sure you can, Al." he smiled. "We'll have to tie John and Scott up in the closet before we go, but you, me and Gordon can steal the jet and go exploring, what d'you say?"

"Yeah, Allie, shall we do it?" grinned Gordon, his eyes flashing.

Alan looked a little hesitant, leaning towards Gordon and lowering his voice to a whisper. "But Gordy, Scotty said that it's bad to steal stuff. I don't wanna get into trouble."

"Don't worry, Al, you won't get into trouble." Gordon joked. "I mean, you're old enough to fly the jet, so you should be allowed to - um - borrow it, right?"

"Virgil and Gordon Tracy," came a warning tone from the front of the plane. "Stop teasing Alan. He isn't old enough to understand sarcasm just yet, and he's believing every word you say. Now tell him the truth."

"Why, Scott?" Gordon asked cheekily.

"Gordon, stop it." Scott replied. "I've told the two of you on countless occasions not to tease him like that. Now say sorry. Don't make me come back there."

Gordon and Virgil glanced nervously towards the front cockpit, knowing that Scott wouldn't warn them again. "Sorry, Scott." they murmured in unison.

"Don't apologise to me, squirts. Apologise to Alan for lying to him." Scott instructed. Virgil frowned in defiance.

"Oh c'mon, Scott, we were only joking." he complained. "We didn't mean any harm. It wasn't a lie, it was just a joke."

"Virgil, I don't wanna here it." Scott replied calmly. "It doesn't matter what you thought you were doing, Alan believed every word you were saying. And John, next time can you please try and stop them before they go this far? You know that Alan doesn't like it when you guys lie to him."

"Sorry, Scott." John called, looking a little guilty. Alan glanced at each one of them with a confused expression on his face.

"You were lying to me?" he repeated incredulously. Virgil hung his head a little.

"Yeah, sorry Alan." he mumbled. "We were only teasing."

"You were teasing me, too?" Alan cried, a look of hurt passing over his face. "You were lying to me, and you were teasing me?!"

Gordon felt a little ashamed upon seeing his younger brother so upset. He really hadn't meant his playful teasing to hurt Alan, but apparently Scott was right. Alan didn't understand their jokes.

"Sorry, Allie." he murmured, reaching out to squeeze his younger brother's arm. "We shouldn't have teased you. Do you forgive us?"

Alan looked up at him with pain-filled eyes, and Gordon could almost see the cogs turning in the little boy's head as he contemplated the question. After a long pause, Alan nodded reluctantly.

"Okay." he said softly. "I forgive you, Gordy. And I forgive you, too, Virge. But I don't like it when you tease me. It's not nice." He sighed deeply and rubbed a hand over his eyes. "Are we there yet, Johnny?"

John chuckled and put his arm around Alan's shoulders. "Not just yet, Sprout. We've still got a few more hours to go until we reach the island. It's right in the middle of the ocean. Do you remember the island from our holiday a couple of years ago?"

Alan thought hard for a moment, screwing up his face as he tried to recall the event. "Not really." he admitted. "I remember looking at the nice pictures that daddy took, though, 'cause Scotty showed them to me instead of a bedtime story last night. There was a really funny one where Virgil and Gordy are digging you into the sand."

"You mean burying me in the sand?" John corrected. Alan nodded and grinned.

"All I could see was your head and your neck." he said energetically. "And Scotty was putting some shells and stuff in your hair. You looked really silly!"

"Oh did I?" John grinned, holding his hand a few inches away from Alan's chest and wiggling his fingers. Alan giggled hysterically as though being tickled, which caused both Gordon and Virgil to laugh along with him. Alan had a very contagious giggle, and even John could not suppress his amused chuckles at the sound. The older blond moved his hand to the left, his wiggling fingers still hovering several inches away from the squirming figure beneath them, and louder giggles began to erupt from the small boy.

"What are you doing to him now?" Scott called, but Gordon could here the smile in his voice as he spoke.

"John isn't doing anything, Scott!" Gordon protested, chuckling in amusement. "He isn't even touching Allie, honest he isn't."

"Then why does Alan sound as though he's being tortured?" Scott asked. John grinned over at Gordon and winked.

"Who says he isn't being tortured?" he smiled evilly. "Gordo said that I wasn't touching him, but that doesn't mean I wasn't inflicting torture on the little tyke."

He increased the speed at which his fingers wiggled, moving his hand closer so that the fingertips brushed over the loose fabric of Alan's T-shirt. The small boy laughed loudly and tried to curl into a ball, putting his hands against his ticklish ribs in order to protect them.

"John, he's only just had breakfast." Scott chuckled. "Don't make him sick."

With a resigned sigh, John poked Alan once in the ribs, then sat back to admire the result of is action. Alan sat awkwardly on his seat, shaking with laughter and hugging his sides tightly as he panted for breath. Gordon grinned at the sight.

"Alan is nearly as ticklish as Virge." he stated. "At least he doesn't scream like a little girl!"

Virgil glared at him. "I don't scream like a little girl!" he declared firmly.

"Do too." Gordon retorted, smiling at the outraged expression on his older brother's face.

"Do not!" Virgil replied angrily

"Do too." Gordon repeated, knowing that this was the easiest way of getting the middle-Tracy wound up into a temper.

"DO NOT!" Virgil yelled, going slightly red in the face.

"Do t-" the copper-haired boy began, but a stern voice cut him off.

"Gordon Cooper Tracy, stop antagonising your brother!" Scott ordered, poking his head out of the forward compartment. Gordon clamped his mouth shut upon seeing the firm expression on his eldest brother's face. Scott then turned to look at Virgil. "And Virge, you're getting too old to act like this. Next time, just ignore him, okay?"

"But he started it!" Virgil complained, pointing in Gordon's direction. Scott's frown deepened.

"Virgil, are you twelve or five?" he asked. "I know Gordon shouldn't have said what he did, but there was no need for you to yell your head off, was there? Only five-year-olds can get away with that sort of behaviour, and you haven't been that young in a long while. Now, both of you were acting stupidly, weren't you? I want you to apologise to each other."

Virgil blushed shamefully and looked down at the floor. "Sorry Gordon." he muttered.

"That's okay. I'm sorry too, Virge." Gordon replied, feeling the anger ebb away. He could never stay mad at Virgil for very long, he liked him too much to do that. "I didn't mean what I said, really I didn't. I was only joking. You'll forgive me, won't you?"

Virgil smiled and nodded, and Scott let out a satisfied sigh. "That's more like it. Maybe we can get to the island in one piece now."

A short but comfortable silence fell over the jet, broken only by the voice of an angry five-year-old boy.

"Hey, what's wrong with being five, Scotty?!" he demanded furiously, obviously thinking that he'd been badly insulted in some way. "I'm that old, and I don't scream like a girl!"

The other Tracy boys burst out laughing at Alan's lack of understanding. He had clearly missed what the conversation had really been about, but his innocent response had helped to bring back the cheery atmosphere on the jet. As John set to work trying to explain the argument to his youngest brother, Gordon sighed and leaned back in his chair.

Maybe living in a new house won't be so bad. After all, I've got Allie and Virgil and John and Scott. And if dad doesn't work too much, then we'll be able to do more stuff together. I have the best brothers in the world, even if Scotty has to punish me sometimes. And Allie can be a bit annoying when he gets cranky, but I still love him. The new house won't be too bad, I guess, as long as my family is there with me. Yeah, maybe I can get used to living on an island after all.

In the next chapter, we discover how Gordon is coping with island life a few weeks after arriving in his new house. Will everything have settled down? Will Gordon be satisfied? Will Jeff have stopped working 24/7? Find out tomorrow!

Okay, just as a note, this chapter (being a prologue) was more of an introduction than an actual chapter. I just thought that you would better understand Gordon's personality and character if you knew what he was thinking before coming to the island. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!

The next chapter will, as I said, be posted later tomorrow. After that, I will be updating every two or three days, if possible. I go back to college next week (hurray!) so I'll be out most of the day and won't have time to type except late evening. I've also got a couple of essays that I want to tweak into perfection - just in case. (I'm somewhat of a work-addict, by the way. I like pushing myself. That's why I'm quite excited about juggling college and fanfiction at the same time! I really respect other authors who do that and still manage to post regularly, so I'm gonna give it a try!)

Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll like this story as much as you did the first two! PLEASE REVIEW and tell me if you enjoyed the first chapter or not. Thanks! x x x x