A/N: Yeah, I know. Another damn one-shot. I am so, so sorry that it's been so long since I last updated Determined, but please believe me; I was trying to get it out, but with a heck-of-a-lot of coursework, as well as a lovely case of middle-of-the-chapter writer's block in the way, I just wasn't getting anywhere. I've got heaps to do uni-wise before next Monday, so this will probably be it between now and then. I've then got exam revision, where I might be able to squeeze a chapter in, but barring that, give me until October eighteenth proper, and you'll be so overrun with updates that you won't know what to do with yourselves. ^_^

This is the product of a rather weird brainwave I had at one this morning. A little odd to my thinking, but you lot might like it.

There are some times where I can't always be unbreakable and strong, as is expected by my brothers. I've heard the phrase 'bend but never break' when referring to life situations and the hard things that are tossed in our way, but I've never been able to think of a suitable analogy that has a concrete basis in the real world. Other than the one with that damn tree in a gale, of course, but it just doesn't fit, somehow.

I sit here, waiting for my brothers to get back in Thunderbird Two so we can debrief. I know that 'One has paced her back, as I have not yet heard her engines.

Father has gone down to the silos to greet them, but because of the blasted crutches I have to use, and the sprained wrist I sustained from the rescue in the Andes two days ago, I'm not exactly all that mobile at the moment. My head pounds with both pent-up tension, and the concussion I got from shielding a victim from further injury. Needless to say, it's not made me at all inclined to move from my seat in the armchair, no matter how much I might want to.

I continue to twist the mangled bit of wire between the fingers of my good hand, ignoring the needle-sharp point that jabs into the web between thumb and forefinger as I roll it in my palm. It's this simple activity that has definitely kept me occupied throughout the suspense, the panic of not knowing if Virgil got hurt when the tunnel above his head caved in, or that Gordy's shout was of relief rather than pain or terror.

My brothers all call me the Smother-Hen, but the thing is, they would all panic too, if they couldn't physically see or even hear that their brother is alright. It's one of the most heart-wrenching feelings, and I really don't like it at all.

It hasn't broken yet, —surprisingly— this piece of silver. Not once during the savage twisting I've subjected it to has it given me any indication that it is going to give up and surrender. A smirk touches my lips. All of this is because I've been bound to the ground; flightless when I should be ensuring my brothers' safety out in the danger-zone, and I'm taking it out on tiny piece of metal.

I know that this is how John feels, up on 'Five, but I somehow manage to forget that fact until I am in this position; again, as it so often happens. He was out there today, manning Mobile Control. Dad had Gordon and Alan bring him down to swap with Brains when we'd realised I'd be of no use if a call came in. I know though, from his patience with my agitated queries, —overriding Dad's commands, admittedly— that he'd understood. John is great like that.

But back again to my musing on adapting. I look at the object in my hand and roll my eyes as I realise that I've found the most suitable object for my analogy.

A paperclip.

Kyrano would no doubt have come up with something a lot more eloquent and philosophical than this, but I've never been known for being the imaginative one in this family.

It's a strange idea, but true all the same.

A/N: Please review. It'll make me happy and perhaps even help me out with this essay I'm supposed to be writing. ^_^

-Pyre Xx