Summary. . . . . . . . . . . After a stressful rescue, Jeff unwinds the only way he knows how to; by watching his sons sleep.

Disclaimer. . . . . . . . . . Just playing with the Anderson's boys.

A.N. . . . . . . . . . Weird and short little one shot, created after I had a vision of how I imagined Virgil and Scott slept. For some unknown reason I can't sleep tonight, so this was written at two in the morning, if there's any mistakes please forgive me. That being said, I hope you like it. Peanut x

The rescue was disastrous. The earthquake had been strong, registering at just short of 7.5 on the Richter scale, causing buildings to collapse, bridges to fall, and sinkholes to appear in roads, killing many, injuring numerous, burying hundreds, and stranding thousands. Power went down straight away, the bitter winter air, and the snow that fell steadily, quickly increasing the death toll, and making the rescue all the more harder. The aftershocks, when they hit, just as severe; killing many more as Scott landed and before Virgil was even halfway there; and sabotaging their efforts when they did finally managed to get to work.

Not one of his son's had returned without some form of injury. Scott and Alan, had been lucky, both only collecting relatively minor cuts and bruises. Gordon got caught underneath unstable rubble as a tremor struck, the concrete collapsing upon him, pinning him to the ground, bruising bones and pulling the muscles in his back, the pain clearly written upon his face, when he was finally freed, along with fear, a fear that they all felt, that took them back to the past and another accident. Virgil, had yet again, sustained the worst; making Jeff wonder if he should demand Brains make up some form of padding for his accident prone son; a dislocated shoulder from trying to save a much heavier man from falling to his death from an overpass; broken ribs from the same incident, as he threw himself down onto the rubble strewn road, the skin scraped from his forearms where his jacket had ridden up as he slid across the asphalt; and a concussion from falling masonry as he refused to let go even when the earth shook around him, and the bridge above him trembled.

It could have been worse. It could have been so much worse. In the end 356 people were confirmed dead; 126 were still reported missing; 10, 679 sustained injuries; 36,900 were left homeless, and millions left without power. They had stayed as long as they could, Virgil valiantly plodding on despite the nausea swilling in his stomach and the brass band practicing in his head, Gordon insisting he could man mobile control even though he could barely keep his eyes open, the pain was that bad; hours turning into days, until local officials thanked them for their time and efforts, and stressed that nobody else could have survived, no more heat signatures could be seen, no more noises heard, the damage was just too severe, the temperature was just too low.

They'd flown home in silence, John able to tell as he kept the frequency open; Alan in 1, Scott in 2. Gordon passed out in sickbay, and Virgil in the copilots chair next to Scott, after insisting he should be there to help if need be, yet according to his elder brother, falling under within seconds of take-off. I met them all as they disembarked, Alan before the others, exhausted and battered, despondency emanating from them all, covered in dust and dirt and blood. I told them debriefing could wait, to go and get cleaned up, to get checked out by Brains, to eat if need be, then to go straight to bed; that I didn't want to see any of them for a good 10 hours, a testament to how exhausted they were, when not one of them objected. I though, could not shut down, was still awake when John arrived home, TinTin and Brains having gone for him after the boys had retired, Thunderbird 5 on automatic, all calls to be transferred here. Now hours later, I find myself wondering through each of their rooms, watching as they sleep, and thinking just how close I came today to losing them.

It's funny, just how much of their personalities show when they are resting. Scott is regimental, he lays ram rod straight upon the bed, his sheets orderly, looking as though they have barely moved. He awakens slightly as I enter, years of air force training alerting him to even the slightest of noises. He's easy to settle though, that training allowing him to sleep at the drop of a hat, the mantra of sleep while you can cause you never know when your next chance will be, etched deep within him.

John is studious, and as usual when earth side, can be found curled up in a chair, his beloved telescope erected beside him, a book dropped in his lap. He too awakens as I enter, his body still adjusting to the time differences, his mind still alert awaiting for that next call until he realizes he's back home and he can relax. I can see he's still wired, make him promise to go to bed soon, and then leave him in peace, winding down as only he knows how too.

Virgil is calm and steadfast. He's dead to the world, and I want to say an earthquake wouldn't arouse him, but then bitter reminders of the rescue assault me. He's buried under his covers, like a hibernating bear, only his chestnut locks peeking out. I feel for him, the man who normally sleeps on his stomach, I can tell is propped up on his good side to ease his ribs, his shoulder bound to his chest. I want to leave him, but the usual concussion questions need to be asked, his answers are mumbled but the tone still resonates with anger at being awakened. He's back asleep though before I can even replace the covers.

Gordon is energetic. He's a sprawler. Even though he's hurting, he's still spread out like a row of cabbages, arms and legs taking up every inch of his bed, sheets tangled around limbs, quilt discarded upon the floor. His features still register pain even in sleep, and it breaks my heart now, as it did after his accident that I cannot take that pain away from him. Instead I pick up his quilt, and drape it back across his body; as I turn back though, for one last look before I leave, it's already discarded once again, and I can't help the chuckle that escapes me.

Finally I reach Alan's room, he's youthful. My youngest; he's a grown man now, and I'm proud of him, but to me he'll always be my baby, and that comes across in how he sleeps. He's curled up into himself, legs drawn into his body, arms tucked in, looking so small, so tiny upon the bed, that I almost forget for a minute that he is grown, and I'm transported back in time to when we first brought him home. He mumbles as I stand there, but a few soothing words, and my fingers running through his hair, soon have him settling down again.

Tiredness finally assaults me as I walk back past the five doors and back to my own room, my mind now eased that even though it was close today, my sons are all okay. I send a quick prayer up to those watching over us as I clamber into bed and with gratefulness emanating from me finally fall asleep.

A.N. . . . . . . . . . . . As always Thank You so much for taking time out to read this, will be back soon with more. Catch you later. Peanut x