A/N: Something fun, light, and movie verse just because it feels like fun. I remember Loopstagirl mentioning in one of her stories having Alan going to train with John first, and the whole idea of them locked together for extended periods amused me so much that I had to do something with it. Also, I wanted to dabble in a John and Jeff relationship that I just don't see happening in the TV series and is the exact opposite of how I usually write them. Just for a change of pace. Hope you all enjoy the humor and stuff.
Disclaimer: While you are all very aware that Gerry Anderson and not myself owns Thunderbirds, I feel I must also point out that I am not Elton John either and so the lyrics aren't really mine to use and only reference.
Summary: When you're the oldest of five brothers, middle of the night phone calls come with the territory. Movie verse, Scott and John fluff with a side of Alan.
"And I think it's gonna be a long, long time till touchdown brings me home again."
For a moment, Scott couldn't place the sound. It was a nonsensical jumble of words that pulled him from sleep with the gentleness of a dodge ball to the face. Blurry eyed, the dark haired young man fumbled blindly for the source, desperately want to make. it. stop.
"I'm not the man they think I am at home, oh no no no. I'm a rocket man."
His alarm clock, cheery red numbers reading 3:12 AM, toppled to the floor before the wandering hand found its target. Only then did Scott remember what he had even been looking for. It was his cell phone. It had been so long since anyone had used his own number to contact him instead of an International Rescue device that he'd actually forgotten his own ringtones.
That was a little pathetic, and he might even be a little upset about it when he was awake enough to process it.
Flipping over the black device, he blinked stupidly at the letters and numbers until they came into focus. John, it read. Well, that sort of made sense with the song and everything.
Scott flipped the screen to visual, interrupting Elton John in the middle of his chorus, meaning to say hello but yawning instead. He then proceeded to do a double take at John's less than happy face. His blond brother was coated in…Scott didn't honestly know what half of it was. Some was blue, a bit was white powder, and a lot of it was sticky, black, and oozing.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't murder him and let his body drift into space where it has no chance of being found."
By 'him' John could only mean Alan. Fermat had been assigned to train with Virgil, and TinTin could hardly be removed from Gordon's shadow, but Jeff had decided it was John who stood the best chance of curbing some of Alan's energy and getting him to focus on his training and he'd started their newest member up on to Thunderbird 5. Apparently, their father had either severely overestimated John's patience levels or underestimated the damage an Alan trapped in a small space like that could do.
Most unfortunately for his baby brother, Scott wasn't currently conscious enough to come up with a reason to keep him breathing. The best he could get out was, "what did Sprout do this time?"
John sighed in that way he had that made it seem like he wished the lesser mortals would stop asking questions and accept his superior intellect. "It would be easier to answer the question of what he hasn't done. Which is anything I've asked him."
A noise that he'd intended to sound sympathetic, but came out a little cave man. Maybe staying up until midnight having a horror movie party with his brothers and the new trainees hadn't been the best idea. At least not when he was going to be expected to actually function in two hours. If it had been a rescue of the regular variety, he would have been fine because nearly everything was muscle memory and half the time John did all the thinking for them with a strategy for attack that nearly always worked.
This involved stuff like an emotional response that the 22-year-old knew he couldn't afford now that he was supposed to be field commander. At least, couldn't afford on a rescue. Alone in his room on the phone with his disgruntled younger brother was another matter. Sort of.
"I swear, Scott, he's only listening to about two-thirds of every sentence I speak. Like somehow overlooking the don't in the phrase 'don't touch that'." And there John gestured to his right side, which was covered in the gooey black tar. "I managed to shut it off without any major problems, but it could have potentially left us both stuck to ceiling indefinitely."
"Are you really complaining about the chance to enjoy some zero g there, Johnny?" Scott raised an eyebrow, and couldn't quite suppress a grin to go with it. "You weren't replaced with aliens while I wasn't looking, were you?"
"Aw, he can't be that bad. He's just excited to be starting his training. It's hard when you're too little to play." And Alan had always been too little to play with them, only ever coming close to Gordon when they were both teenagers. He'd been too little for their tree house, too little to ride bikes, too little to come see the movie with them. The six year difference between Scott and Alan had always seemed much larger than it sounded. After all, when you're twelve you don't want to drag your six-year-old brother along to football practice, and at sixteen a ten-year-old demanding a ride for ice cream can really cramp your style.
"He isn't particularly enthusiastic about being up here." John sighed and there was some kind of clunk as he must have dropped down to sit on something. "Not that I can blame him. This isn't exactly burning blaze of glory station for his hero train."
"More like apt." His weary brother ran a hand across his face, succeeding only in smearing his new coating of junk still further. "I love it up here, Scott, you know that. But Alan isn't me and he's going crazy. I'd feel worse for him if I didn't have to remind him for the seven hundredth time that the main computers are for IR use only and he's clogging them up with long video chats to Fermat. We do get cell phone service up here, probably better than anywhere on Earth. I rigged it that way."
"As you've proven." Right, this kind of John the oldest Tracy knew how to handle. Let him rant until he'd worked all the pent up frustration from his system, and then life would be good for him again and he'd go back to being his usual laid back, peacemaker self. And Scott could go back to bed, which would be nice considering he'd promised to run with Gordon at sunrise.
John smiled at him with some kind of fond exasperation. "If I wanted to talk to Thunderbird 1, I would have used your communicator. I figured I stood a better chance of reaching Scott on his cell phone."
"Hey, I'm not complaining. Except about that ring tone you set for yourself."
"Rocket man is a classic."
"And you love your category." Now it was Scott's turn to shake his head in exasperation. "If Alan is really being a problem up there for you, I can ask Dad to bring him home. He needs training on the other birds too, and Five can wait."
"Dad doesn't think so." John winced a little, rubbing absently at his left shoulder as he'd lately developed a habit of doing. "He wants to train Alan to replace me sometimes. He says me being up here by myself so much isn't healthy. He wants me down on Earth more."
They both knew the reasoning had nothing to do with the reasons stated and everything to do with the recent attack by the Hood. Of all the boys, John was probably the one closest to their father. He was the one who always managed to get the man to open up, his level-headed right hand who managed nearly every technical aspect of International Rescue alongside Brains.
It had rattled Jeff badly to nearly loose John like that. Hell, it had rattled them all pretty good. Scott sometimes still heard the echo of John's desperate report that he was losing all power echoing in the night. Saw his younger brother's burned at bloodied face from across the room as Scott struggled with one of the fires. Sometimes, Scott knew, his Dad even listened to John's distress call right before the missile hit, although what he hoped to accomplish with that the young pilot couldn't say.
What was true was that Jeff's over protectiveness of John had only increased dramatically. He always had been, a little, as John had been born early and always been smaller and more apt to get sick than his other brothers. Scott could remember countless talks as a child that had involved his father explaining over and over that he had to be gentle with John because Scott was bigger and stronger and might hurt his little brother on accident if he wasn't. This had also happened nearly as often as the talks had.
Now, Jeff was calling John every morning and every night. He was keeping better track of what their astronaut ate and insisted that system checks be sent to Brains every two hours. It was bordering on just the far side of excessive, and if Alan wasn't wearing out John's nearly infinite patience reserves their father just might.
Time to try and lighten the mood just a little. "Dad might be hoping for too much. Even when your feet are on the ground you're nowhere near Earth."
For this, Scott received a small appreciative chuckle, which echoed oddly around wherever his brother was sitting. "I've gotten better."
"True statement." Scott shook his head, trying to clear the urge to yawn again away. "In all seriousness, though, if you want Alan home I'll make it happen. Extended periods of murderous rage can't be good for you either."
"It's only murderous rage when he tries to cook something. Prepackaged in space is the only way to go."
"I'll keep that in mind. Do you want me to talk to him about it?"
"No. He'd be mortified if he knew I called you." John grinned through the goo that seemed to have now dried to his skin as it flaked and cracked a bit at the motion. "You remember being fourteen, don't you? Every little mistake is the end of the world. I get that, honestly, but that doesn't mean those same mistakes don't drive me crazy sometimes."
"Well, you are only human. Sometimes I think we all forget that." Including John, who was notorious for pushing his physical limits to the extreme by denying himself rest or food if it might even possibly keep him from doing his job for even a moment. Maybe training Alan as a replacement from time to time wasn't an all bad idea.
John shrugged noncommittally. "He does do some things pretty well. He's a quick study with computers when he can keep his temper. Which he does better than Gordon at least."
"That's good news." Scott frowned, suddenly realizing he didn't see any of the usual flickering lights of said computers. "John, where exactly are you?"
"Ah." And John's face darkened ever so slightly under the muck. "Well, I'm kind of stuck in the bathroom."
"…Stuck?" He couldn't have heard that right. There was no way he'd heard that right, because astronauts don't just get stuck in places like that.
"I fibbed, a little, about calling you on your phone. Well, for the reason I said. I came in to take a shower but forgot a towel and Alan, well, I don't know what he DID but he said he'd fix it. About an hour ago."
It hurt to laugh this hard, Scott discovered, as he struggled to get control of himself again. It was proving a bit difficult, and he was surprised Virgil and Gordon didn't come in to see why their older brother had suddenly gone mad.
John was looking at him blandly when Scott finally managed to stop the fit and wipe the tears from the corner of his eyes. "You done?"
"Yeah, I think so." A few more chuckles before he managed to school his face into a more serious expression. "I take it that was the final straw."
"Yeah, a little bit." To his surprise, John started to laugh then a grin on his still boyish face. "Okay, I guess it is a little funny."
"It's a lot funny."
"I'd still appreciate if you wouldn't tell the terrible two-some."
It didn't take much to picture how badly the imitations of John languishing in the bathroom would get if Virgil and Gordon ever got a hold of this information, and how quickly it would drive him to attempting to drown them both. "Deal."
"Wait." John disappeared from the screen for a bit, giving Scott a wonderful view of Thunderbird 5's rather boring bathroom ceiling, before reappearing with an expression that couldn't quite decide what it wanted to be. "Alan just slipped me a note and a towel. He said it might take a little longer and I should enjoy my shower."
That nearly set Scott of again, and he struggled to keep from collapsing in useless peals of laughter. "That probably isn't a bad idea. I'm pretty sure you're stained by this point."
John made a face down at himself. "I think you're right. Sorry I woke you up for nothing really."
"You can wake me up anytime you need, Johnny. Unless it's for pizza. Then we will have words."
"Got it." John shook his head, but the gratitude in his eyes was evident. For whatever reason Scott couldn't understand, the talk seemed to have helped him. "Enjoy the rest of your night, big brother."
"Night, John." Scott set down his phone with a sigh, knowing there was no way he'd get back to sleep now. The laughing fits had left him to wired. Getting to his feet, he grabbed for his running shorts and tennis shoes. After all, 3:45 was kind of like sunrise, and Gordon wouldn't mind in a few days.