A/N: Hi there everyone! This is a collection of completely random one-shots about the Thunderbirds boys when they were still, well, little boys. All of the chapter titles are prompts I assigned myself from a random word generator, but if you have suggestions I'm willing to take them. All chapters will be dated for your convince, but will not be written in any semblance of an order. Enjoy, everyone!
Growing up Thunderbirds
July 22nd, 2053
"The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us to become our best while looking our worst." ~Marge Kennedy
"It's your move, Virg."
Scott was grinning at the younger Tracy, and it took all Virgil had not to send his eldest brother a scowl for that gleeful tone of his. The small hand-carved chess pieces weren't helping either, as the sheer number of Scott's black to his white was in itself a mockery. John always said that the reason Scott always beat him so easily was because Virgil didn't have the patience to plan ahead, but who could with all this pressure on them anyway?
Besides, he didn't even really like chess, and liked being cooped up inside on such a beautiful day even less. It was warm and sunny, the normally oppressive Kansas heat having eased off somewhat so that a person could actually want to do something without thinking they were going to melt. It was the perfect kind of day for summer vacation at Grandma and Grandpa's farm.
Given the option of what he would rather be doing, Virgil would have preferred to take the new pencils his Grandmother had bought him yesterday and gone out to the fields behind the house to sketch the new colt that was there with his mother. Instead he was stuck here, sitting in an uncomfortable chair in front of their grandfather's antique chess table, all because Scott had said he was chicken if he didn't play.
And Virgil Grissom Tracy was no chicken.
He was just losing terribly, which wasn't something he exactly enjoyed either. What would help him most right now was a distraction from one of his brothers, but the chances of that happening weren't very good. The only other person home at the moment was John, as Gordon and Alan had gone to the grocery store with their Grandparents, and since he had a new book he was not very likely to get his hoped for distraction. Nothing could save him from his inevitable loss.
Nothing, it turned out, except for a yelp and something that was quite distinctly a splash from somewhere on the second floor. It had to be John, but Virgil couldn't remember a time in his life when his blond elder brother had made that much noise.
Scott frowned for a moment in obvious confusion before he bolted to the stairs, and Virgil paused only long enough to rearrange a few pieces before following. With any luck, Scott wouldn't notice.
At Grandma's house, like at home, Scott and Virgil shared a room next to the bathroom and John had his own room in the attic. But John wasn't in their room, and the door to the attic stairs was firmly closed. In fact, the odd splashing was coming from the room that Gordon and Alan shared across from their grandparents.
The mystery of what, exactly, was causing the noise was solved the moment the two brothers peered around the doorway. Somehow, in a way that Virgil was instantly sure he would never know and did not want to, the spot where Gordon's bed had once been beside the door now had a round shallow plastic blue pool. It was very much like a toddler wading pool, in fact, but slightly taller. Just tall enough that John couldn't get his feet on the ground from where he had apparently fallen in.
For his part, John looked just as confused to be where he was as his brothers were to see him there. He was drenched head to toe, jeans and navy blue t-shirt clinging to him from where he sat in the water, trying to push himself up on his hands but not able to keep his hands from slipping on the bottom long enough to actually get up.
From here, it was easy for Virgil to see what Gordon had been going for and appreciate the effort it must have taken. Gordon's end goal had rather obviously been his own water park in his room. He'd tipped his mattress on top of Alan's, and a yellow slip and slide ran the length of it into the pool John had fallen into. From the door hung a bucket that had obviously tipped once John opened it, as the carpet all around was sopping wet. The final piece was the hose and sprinkler attachment hanging in the window, and no matter which way he twisted his head Virgil just couldn't figure out how it had gotten to the second story without any of them noticing.
He could also see, however, why the beautiful simplicity of Gordon's design would be lost on John. After all, it is difficult to see much of anything with hair hanging in your eyes.
"If Grandma sees this, even Gordon's pouting won't save him," Scott muttered under his breath, and Virgil didn't quite manage to stop his snort of laughter.
"Will someone please," John coughed midsentence, taking a moment to get the water from his mouth, "get me out of here?"
Virgil now found himself helpless to stop his laughter, as John reminded him a little of a half-drowned seal pup, and his elder brother's useless splashing wasn't helping the image any.
There was a good smack delivered to the side of Virgil's head, courtesy of Scott, before the eldest Tracy dropped to his knees to offer their flailing brother a hand. "You okay, Johnny?"
"I lost my book."
Not a response acceptable from most people, but then this was John. He was never okay when there was no book in his hand.
Something grey and white was floating in the pool, and Virgil stooped to fish it out. 'The Anatomy of Constellations', read the title, and a few of the waterlogged pages fell out as Virgil lifted it to safety. "I found it. Mostly."
If he didn't know better, Virgil would have sworn he heard John whimper, but surely his hearing must have deceived him. No self respecting Tracy would ever make a noise like that.
By this time, Scott had managed to haul John to his feet and gave the slighter boy a few firm pats on the back, as if to reassure himself that John was alright. It must have worked, because he broke into a teasing grin. "Didn't see this one coming, did ya?"
"Well did you?" John raised a hand to remove sodden bangs, and reveal the full brunt of his scowl. "It's not every day a water park springs up in your little brother's bedroom."
Reaching out tentatively, John took the book from Virgil's hand, and watched with mournful eyes as a few more pages fell into the water. "I suppose it's too much to hope that you'll let me kill him."
"If we just leave this here, you might not need Scott's permission, 'because Grandma will do it for you," Virgil grinned, his amusement at the whole affair settling down to a more reasonable level. After all, John's threats to harm anyone had to be taken semi-seriously, as they didn't happen all that often.
"What were you doing in here anyway, Johnny?" Scott tilted his head, short dark bangs falling across his forehead as he did so. "You know Gordon and Allie are out."
"Well," and John shifted uncomfortably, suddenly looking so embarrassed that it was all Virgil could do not to laugh at him again. Sometimes, even Virgil found it to believe that John was his older brother because, at times like this, he could look just so young with that sheepish look on his face. "Gordon and Alan stole my star charts yesterday. I still haven't found them. So…I thought I would hold Fishie hostage until I got it back."
"Fishie," Scott dead-panned, and Virgil found himself automatically looking for the small yellow squeaky toy that Gordon absolutely could not sleep without. He was sitting quite harmlessly at the top of the slide, where Gordon had no doubt left him in anticipation of actually using his strange amusement park.
John simply hung his head in response, already looking so remorseful that Virgil wished he could rewind time just to see if John would actually be capable of taking the thing. Both John and Virgil jumped when Scott burst out laughing. It wasn't just a mild chuckle either, but a full out laugh that had their oldest brother nearly doubled over and using one hand to support himself on the doorway so he wouldn't go toppling into the pool.
After a few minutes, Scott righted himself and began to wipe away the tears of mirth that had accumulated in his eyes. "Johnny, that is absolutely devious. Maybe I should be a bit more wary of borrowing your things from now on, huh?"
A helpless shrug from John earned his still dripping hair an affection ruffling from Scott, who then turned to face the room with hands on his hips. "Well. I say that, as punishment for cheating, its Virgil that has to clean up this mess."