A/N: I've finally got my sister to role-play with me, which is good for all of you as I get most of my best ideas when role-playing with her. And, much to my delight, she enjoys playing Scott. This is something we came up with that I just thought was super sweet. It is really short, but I hope you all enjoy it anyway.
Please note that this story is best read while listening to "Lull-a-bye for a Stormy Night" by Vienna Teng. This is the song that John is humming, and the lull-a-bye I am referring to throughout the story, though it isn't mentioned by name. I recommend you find a copy if you can while reading.
In The Morning
Moonlight glittered of Thunderbird 1's nose cone, the slightest of shimmers the only thing making the magnificent machine visible in the dark night. The roar of engines would only follow long after it has passed those on the ground, and Scott knew there would be children searching desperately for a glimpse of the famous rescue machine. Except, he wasn't on a rescue. Not one of the traditional kind, anyway, but one far more personal.
The eldest Tracy couldn't even say for sure that their Father would approve of this one, but this was more important than a scolding from Father. Scott could take that if it would make John's smile just a little more genuine.
Flicking a few of the switches to slow his bird, Scott glanced at his blond brother sleeping in Thunderbird 1's copilot seat. His younger brother was still breathing softly, the sound dampening headphones blocking out the roar of the engines, and Scott couldn't help but chuckling to himself. John was normally a light sleeper, but Gordon was an even better ninja and between the two of them they had managed to get John into his bird without waking him. It had been the most difficult part of Scott's plan, but not the trickiest. That was dependant on stuff completely outside of his control.
A press of the button to activate his com, and Scott smiled as he spoke into the small microphone as loudly as he dared. "Still awake over there, Virg?"
This was answered by a barely stifled yawn from his middle brother. "F.A.B., Scott. Everything still looks good for your arrival. Lucky you landed a strong one."
"Luck has nothing to do with it, little brother." Scott chuckled, dipping his control stick down to lower Thunderbird 1 below the dark clouds they had earlier been scraping. Immediately his windshield was speckled with drops of water, and Scott nodded his approval. Perfect. "It's almost four am there, Virg, why don't you go get some sleep?"
"Only if you promise to tell me about his face, or record it if you can."
"You got it."
"Alright, then. Virgil out. Drive safe, Scott."
"Sleep well, Virg." Another press to turn off his com, and Scott shook his head again. Once he'd told his two other earthbound brothers about the incident the other day, Gordon and Virgil had both been more than willing to help with his plan. In fact, if Thunderbird 2 had been fast enough—or Thunderbird 1 had had room—they no doubt would have insisted on coming as well, no matter the hour.
It had started out innocently enough, and in fact Scott doubted that John realized just how much his simple words had rocked his older brother's world. He'd probably seen nothing at all wrong with them, which only steeled Scott's resolve to correct the problem.
Two nights ago, Scott had found his younger brother sitting on the balcony that overlooked their pool just as the sunset. Off in the distance the clouds were stained red with the sunset, and from here Scott could see the lightening striking the water. It made for a beautiful picture, and Scott had been surprised Virgil wasn't out there as well trying to capture it in whatever medium was currently fascinating the young artist.
Scott approached his brother slowly, not wishing to interrupt John's treasured solitude. But John was only down on Earth for a short while, with hurricane season starting Jeff wanted Alan's more experienced hand for the flood of rescues that would no doubt come pouring in. Scott wanted to spend every possible moment available to him with his quietest brother. It wasn't very often lately that he and John got to have more than a couple minutes conversation, and most of those were work related. When he was honest with himself, Scott would confess to missing John, and the quiet companionship they usually shared.
As he made his way closer to where John was leaning on the railing, staring intently out at the storm, a few bars of familiar music reached his ears. A lull-a-bye their mother used to sing them on stormy nights, and one of John's favorites growing up. He'd often heard his brother humming it to himself when he was missing their mother, and for a moment Scott's heart clenched. He almost turned around, deciding to leave John to his private moment, but John must have noticed him as his blond brother turned around with a grin.
"Weather is really awesome, Scott. I don't think you even realize it down here."
A shrug from the eldest Tracy brother as he made his way over to join John in leaning on the railing. "Guess you don't really have it up there in outer space, do you Spaceman?"
"Kind of the definition of, isn't it?" John chuckled, blue eyes turning their way back out to the distant storm. "I don't suppose that will head our way, will it?"
"And spoil Gordon's perfect evening?" At this Scott gestured down to where their red-headed younger brother was currently attempting to race the water itself across the pool as he swam his laps ever faster. "I don't think so, Johnny, don't worry about it."
"Oh, it isn't that," John admitted sheepishly, his pale face tingeing pink in the evening light. "I just haven't been in a rainstorm in a long time. I don't really remember what it feels like. I mean, it's really just like a shower, but I was kind of hoping, you know?"
Scott had found himself completely speechless, only able to stare at John for several long moments as his heart beat hard in his ears. He couldn't remember what it was like to feel rain on his skin? And, the more Scott thought about it, the more he wondered why John would. Because his spells on Earth were always brief and far between, and when he was here he was usually cooped up on Tracy Island unless he took the incentive to get off himself. Jeff so rarely allowed his second eldest on rescues, because of his inexperience, and it had become a catch-22 for John. He couldn't get experience without going, and he couldn't go until he had it.
It resulted in John only feeling useful on 5, and Scott thought bitterly to himself that he'd always preferred it that way as it meant his most accident prone brother was far from harm. But he hadn't thought at all about the potential little consequences for John. Like forgetting the feel of the wind in his hair and rain on his skin.
That was why he had been so determined as he retreated into the house to recruit Virgil and Gordon that this was going to be fixed. He wasn't going to let John disconnect himself so completely from the ground, where he really did belong. The three of them had recruit Alan to use Five's superior tracking system to find them a storm that wouldn't blow itself out before Scott had managed to get John there in Thunderbird 1, and that night Alan had sleepily called in to tell him he found one in Ireland.
Virgil had tracked it as they'd flown, allowing Scott to make small adjustments in his course to land right in the middle of it, and the plan had actually worked. Touching down now in an empty field, the eldest Tracy cut his engine and unbuckled himself before reaching over and removing John's soundproof headphones—courtesy of Gordon—before gently trying to shake his brother awake. "Rise and shine, Johnny. I have a surprise for you."
Blue eyes peeked open, still hazy with the remnants of deep sleep. "Scott? Where are we?"
"Somewhere in Ireland, but don't ask me exactly I lost track." Scott couldn't stop his grin now, unbuckling John like he was still a small child and helping his younger brother to sit up. Hopefully the rain wouldn't be to cold, as he hadn't thought to grab John a jacket in his haste and his younger brother was still dressed only in a pair of dark blue pajamas. Still, a jacket would have spoiled the whole point. "Come on or you're going to miss it."
"Miss what?" John allowed himself to be pulled along out of Thunderbird 1 obediently, his face the very picture of half-asleep confusion. Not that Scott could blame him. Waking up somewhere else then you had fallen asleep was always disorienting.
The two brothers made their way down to the sopping grass, the boots Scott had put on when he quickly assembled his tank top and short outfit sinking slightly in the mud. John froze the minute his bare feet touched the chilled grass, blue eyes instantly awake as he tilted his head up.
A delighted laugh escaped from his younger brother, who instantly spread his arms, allowing himself to be soaked in only moments. And Scott, too, found he couldn't contain a grin that threatened to break his face. It was so rare for John to let his emotions show so easily, and for a moment they weren't two grown men of International Rescue, but children again in their backyard before their mother came to call them inside.
When John lowered his face again, blond hair had fallen into his eyes, which were sparkling with a laughter Scott hadn't seen in them for far too long. "You always take things so seriously, Scott. I hope you aren't going to get in trouble for this."
Scott shrugged in response, putting his hands into his pockets. "There are worse things, Johnny. Besides, you needed this."
"I guess I did," John whispered, and he suddenly dropped down to lay on the grass. "I always forget that the blues and greens mean something, you know? That I'm not looking at a picture. I just…needed to remember it isn't just people we protect. Not just voices but…I don't know if I can explain it."
"People who also know what it feels like to have rain on their face?" Scott ventured, dropping to sit next to his brother on the brilliantly green grass. Ireland, with its rolling hills and lines of trees, really had been the perfect place for this storm to pop up. Even if it was the late evening, there was no one around to see them. Not for miles.
"Exactly." John sighed before turning his head to look over at his older brother. "Thanks, Scott. Really."
He didn't know what, precisely, John was thanking him for, but that hardly seemed to matter. For this moment, at least, John was really here and he was content. That was good enough for his older brother. "Anytime, spaceman."
They sat in their usual companionable silence for several moments, just letting the chilled rain cover them and drip off their noses and elbows. The soft strains of the lull-a-bye once again floated through the air, John's soft humming the only thing that filled the quiet landscape around them. But this time, it didn't seem to Scott nearly so sad.
The humming, quite suddenly, changed to a soft refrain of words. Though nowhere near Virgil's musical talent, John's voice was still pleasant enough, and Scott smiled as his brother softly sang. "The rain will be gone in the morning."
"But I'll still be here in the morning," Scott finished, speaking the familiar lyrics and giving John's sopping hair a friendly ruffling, trying to make sure that John understood what Scott himself couldn't say. And, from the smile John gave him, it was clear his younger brother did.