Disclaimer: I know this is a necessary evil but dang, I really get tired of having to admit to myself and everyone else that I don't own the Thunderbirds, IR, or the Tracys.
A/N: Inspiration can hit at the most unexpected time and by the ones you least expect. I tried for two days to forget about the little boy who sent this rabid little plot bunny my way. And since I'm casting blame - just joking - I must also include Math Girl since she made a comment wondering when I'd write and post my next story. And before I forget, huge, HUGE thanks to Criminally Charmed for reading over this story and offering her opinion for a title. Thanks, CC!
To Infimity and Be On
The ages of the boys are…
Scott, 8; Virgil, 6; John, 5; Gordon, 3; Alan, 2
The occupants of the family mini-van spoke quietly so as to avoid distracting the driver. "Scotty, I don't want to go shopping. I want to play outside with you guys."
"I agree with you, Virg. I really hate shopping but Grandma couldn't leave us at home alone."
"Why not?" Virgil asked. He didn't notice his grandmother watching them in the rearview mirror. She would have preferred leaving them at home with their father. She knew and understood that her grandsons loved - and needed - to run around the family farm over being stuck shopping. Unfortunately, Jeff had been called away to New York City for some business-related problem. Turning into the parking lot, she sighed when she saw the store's oversized target logo.
A quiet and unexpected voice spoke up instead of Scott's louder voice. "Because bad men could come and take us from Grandma and Daddy." John's answer seemed to placate Virgil for the time being. The discussion was ended when their grandmother opened the door.
"Boys, I don't want you wandering off, understand?" Grandma Tracy looked at each of her three oldest grandsons as they clambered from the mini-van. John immediately positioned himself partially behind Virgil and stared at the ground.
Gordon, still in his car seat, kicked his feet against the seat. "Lemme out, Granma. Lemme out." Unwilling to be forgotten, Alan quickly mirrored his brother's actions. His words jumbled together but getting more demanding.
Scott was quick to answer over his youngest brothers' demands. "Yes, Grandma." Virgil absently echoed his oldest brother's words. His gaze following and taking in everything going on around him.
"John?" Grandma waited patiently for her middle grandson to look up at her. He was forever getting lost in his own thoughts. More so now than before Lucy, rest her soul, had died. At last, John gave a hesitant nod in response followed by a very quiet, "Yes, Ma'am." Keeping his eyes down, he reached out and grabbed the back of Virgil's jacket. His older brothers - in his young mind - represented safety and security even if they weren't much older than him.
She unfastened her red-haired grandson from his car seat and deposited him in the back of the shopping cart. "You, young man, are not to try climbing out of the cart."
His trademark grin lit up his face. "Ma'am, yes, Ma'am, Granma. I hafta stays in the cart." His grin widened as he saluted her just as he'd seen people do on television.
"You are a little imp."
Gordon shook his head. "Nuh-uh, Granma. I's Gordon Cooper Tracy, 'member?"
"Me, Granma, me," Alan cried from his car seat. He reached for his grandmother, struggling against the restraints. In one hand, he held tight to a small toy.
Grandma quickly released the restraints and picked her youngest grandson up. "Yes, you are going with your brothers and me, baby."
Alan grinned and laid his head on his grandmother's shoulder. He looked down at his next oldest brother and laughed. "Gory, silly, Granma." Gordon was entertaining himself by making faces at their oldest brother. Scott, for his part, merely rolled his eyes and sighed.
Once Grandma had Alan fastened in the child seat of the shopping cart, Virgil grabbed Scott's hand. The slight tug of resistance on Virgil's jacket alerted him that John had withdrawn again. "Johnny, c'mon, I want to get home so that we can play."
The middle brother tightened his grip and followed his older brother. "Sorry, Virgie," he apologized softly, his eyes trained on the back of Virgil's sneakers.
Grandma had watched and heard Virgil and John. Sighing, she wished – not for the first time – that she could help draw her grandson from his shell. "Okay, boys, let's get this over with." With her list in hand, she focused on the need to get the shopping done before her boys grew restless. Especially the youngest two.
A/N: I know this seems short but the next part will be up – hopefully – by next week. It's only supposed to be two parts but things can change according to the Tracy brothers' whims.