I DO NOT OWN THUNDERBIRDS OR THE X-MEN OR THE AMAZING CHARACTERS INVOLVED IN BOTH SERIES. I ALSO DON'T OWN STAND BY RASCAL FLATTS!
"Virg, open your eyes."
The voice danced across his subconscious, a voice that he recognized and treasured almost as much as his own. It had been years since he heard it, and almost couldn't believe what he was hearing. He willed his eyes to open, but his body was just too exhausted for it to respond. He knew that he was changing day by day; he could almost feel it in his molecules. He remembered his older brother saying the same thing to him once. He remembered Scott telling him that he had to leave International Rescue behind; that he had to leave his brothers behind. It was after a trying rescue and both Scott and himself were injured; that's when Scott said he was beginning to change. Scott's eyes had started bugging him, so Brains had performed some tests to see if there was something wrong; but, Brains couldn't find anything. Virgil was scared for his closest brother, but he didn't tell him that. He just comforted Scott in any way he could. One night Scott left the island. Their father didn't say much, but Virgil could tell that he knew where Scott had gone. Virgil questioned him repeatedly, but his father refused to crack. His other older brother John and his younger brothers Gordon and Alan also asked what happened, but he stayed as silent as ever. Virgil could feel his family crumbling around him, but he didn't have the power to protect them; he felt weak… he need Scott to come back home.
"Virg, please wake up."
Virgil wanted nothing more than to answer the voice he had been waiting to hear. But still, his body was too exhausted to respond. He wanted to wake up and see the face that he knew would match the voice.
"Professor, you have to do something." The voice pleaded.
"Scott, I don't what I can do." A strange voice responded sadly, "I investigated your family to see if there was any chance any of your other brothers would have the X-gene, but I came up empty; but clearly, I was mistaken."
Professor? X-gene? What the hell was going on here? Once again he willed himself to open his eyes and this time, it seemed his body was going to respond. His eyes flickered open and was greeted by the sun shining unwelcomingly into his honey-brown eyes. He squinted against the light and tried to look away from it, but he found that he couldn't.
"S-Scott…" His voice croaked.
"Virgil!" He heard his voice, "Am I glad to see those eyes again."
Virgil smiled weakly,
"Long story short, you were shot out of the sky on your way back to base." Scott explained softly.
Virgil vaguely remembered the warning lights going off in TB2 and he remembered the initial impact of something hitting the hull. He also vaguely remembered both Gordon and himself being tossed around the cockpit like a sack of potatoes… GORDON!
He tried to sit up, only to have hands try and push him back down.
"Scott, let go of me." He ordered, "I have to find Gordon, he was with me… I have to see…"
"Shh," Scott ran his hands soothingly through his younger brother's chestnut brown hair, "Gordy is alright thanks to you."
"What really happened Scotty?" He pleaded, "Tell me."
"I tried to protect you from me by distancing myself."
This time Virgil did sit up, but he regretted it; dizziness made the world spin around him, but he ignored it.
"What are you talking…"
Virgil finally looked at his brother and his sentence caught in his throat. His brother looked the same, but different. He was wearing clothes that kind of resembled the IR uniform, but his had a yellow X across his chest and it was black. His brother's blue eyes were hidden by some sort of red visor. He recognized the outfit in some way, but he couldn't place it. He closed his eyes and tried to remember where he's seen it before and then he remembered. He felt the colour drain from his face and was happy that his brother was holding him up.
"You're, you're… oh my god."
"You're Cyclops, from the X-Men," Virgil shook his head, "That's not possible."
Scott smiled softly,
"I wish it wasn't."
"Oh god, oh god," Virgil repeated, "What's dad going to say?"
"Dad already knows…"
"Virgil, is that all you can say?"
He shook his head and pulled Scott into his arms without hesitation. He was relieved to feel Scott's heart beating alongside his own.
"Why didn't you tell me?!" Virgil whispered, "You could've at least said goodbye."
"I know Virg and I'm sorry," Scott apologized, "I just wanted to protect you guys from this world. Some of the people we face, they're worse than the Hood."
"We're already pretty protected; no one knows the Tracys are a part of IR, therefore no one would make the connection."
"I'm aware of that," Scott said stiffly, "I even made sure that I changed my last name so that they wouldn't attack the island. But they found out any way."
"What are you talking about Scott?!" Virgil demanded, "What the hell happened to Gordon and me?"
"The Head of the organization we're facing attacked Thunderbird 2 because they learned that I had family. They knew that you would be my weakness Virg; they knew that if I couldn't protect you, it would tear me apart." Scott spat, "But, you, you gave them a run for their money."
"I-I don't understand…"
"Virg, I'm not the only one with a mutated gene."
"Trust me, it surprised me too; Professor X told me, that my family members were free of the gene, but you… you have it too." Scott whispered.
Virgil seemed to only be capable of one word answers and that worried Scott. The last thing they needed was for Virgil to go into shock in his weakened state.
"Professor, can you come over here?" Scott called.
"I'll be right there."
"Scott what's going to happen to me?" Virgil whispered.
"Nothing," He hugged Virgil to his chest, "You'll just have to relocate, like I did."
"But I still don't understand what I did."
"I know you don't that's why I'm calling the Professor over."
In a matter of minutes, Professor X wheeled his way over to the two brothers. He couldn't help but notice the similarities between the two of them. He stopped next to Virgil and held out his hand,
"Hello Virgil, I'm Professor Charles Xavier," He introduced himself, "I am the head of the Xavier Institute of the Gifted and the head…"
"Of the X-Men." Virgil whispered.
The Professor nodded somewhat solemnly,
"I'm sorry we couldn't help you and your brother sooner."
Virgil looked over at Gordon's still form and he felt panic rise up inside him,
"H-He's not dead is he?"
"No," The Professor shook his head, "He's not thanks to you."
Virgil looked from Scott to the Professor, to the other X-Men surrounding both Gordon and the perimeter and the back to Scott.
"I still don't understand what I did," Virgil's voice quivered, "How did this happen?"
Professor Xavier lifted his hands and went to touch Virgil, but he noticed him flinch.
"Virg," Scott whispered, "He's not going to hurt you; he just wants to show you what happened."
He nodded in permission and leaned his exhausted body against Scott for support. Scott held him close, whispering words of comfort. Virgil didn't even notice that Professor X had touched his head until images started to play across his mind like a movie.
"Oh no," Scott paled, "No, it can't be them that he's after… Professor, I thought you said they would be safe."
"Something must have drawn Magneto to them, but I don't know what it could be. I can't read his mind."
The X-Men watched as Magneto attacked the hull of the green aircraft, causing it to immediately burst into flames. For a moment the team stood frozen; all of them knew about Scott's past life before the X-Men, and they were afraid from him.
"Jean," Professor X called out, "Fly up to the plane and see if you can stop it from falling."
The woman with auburn hair and green eyes nodded in understanding and took flight.
Professor X turned to a woman with long white hair and tanned skin,
"Storm, see if you can smother those flames."
"You got it!"
He turned to a boy no older than Alan, whose skin was blue,
"Nightcrawler, once the flames die down, teleport into the ship and get those boys out of there."
Professor X turned to the silent Scott, who wouldn't keep his eyes off the falling green craft. He put his hand on Scott's forearm and he made no move to shake it off. He just hoped that his brothers were alright.
"Scott, I hate to ask you this, but which brothers do you think are in there?"
He visibly swallowed back his fear,
"Alan would've taken TB1 because he's the most qualified after me, so that means it's either Virgil and Gordon or Virgil and John depending whether or not John is out of the space station."
Suddenly there was an explosion of sound all around the X-Men. The sound was almost musical in a haunting, yet beautiful way. The Professor felt Scott tense up in his grasp,
"What is it Scott?"
"This music…" Scott paused, "Virg used to play a song like this on the piano after a difficult mission."
Both men glanced back up at the green aircraft only to see a yellow aura pulsing around it. Jean and Storm landed beside the two men in shock staring up at the Thunderbird.
"Professor, the sound waves are coming from the hull of the craft." Jean explained.
The flames surrounding the craft instantaneously died out. The sound waves carried the green behemoth gracefully to the ground, without so much as a sound. The X-Men remained frozen until the aura around the craft disappear. Without a word, Scott ran to the plane and punched in the access code he still knew from memory. The door slid open with a hiss and he ran into the cockpit. Virgil was sitting next to Gordon with his eyes glazed over and his hands on Gordon's still chest. Scott thought Virgil was going to perform CPR, but instead the same yellow aura that engulfed Thunderbird 2 had surrounded Virgil's hands.
"It's okay Gords," He heard Virgil whisper, "I won't let anything happen to you."
He noticed that Virgil had started to sing and the aura around his hands started to pulsate. Scott recognized the tune from when he himself used to sing it to his little brothers whenever they got hurt. Scott had gotten the tune from a country station he used to listen to and he used to like the lyrics, they were really inspiring. He was never a really good singer, but hearing Virgil sing now made him realize how magical those lyrics actually were.
'Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend till you break
'Cause it's all you can take
From your knees you look up
Decide that you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you Stand…
Scott watched as the aura disappeared from Virgil's hands. His middle brother shakily ran his hand through Gordon's hair,
"Y-You'll be okay now Gordy."
Virgil's eyes rolled into the back of his head as exhaustion took hold. Scott ran towards him and caught him before his face bounced off the floor of Thunderbird 2. Scott cradled Virgil and rocked him back and forth. He then looked at Gordon and searched for his brother's pulse, and it was so strong, that he probably wake up at any moment.
"Oh Virg," He whispered.
Professor X entered the cockpit himself and rolled over to where Scott held onto his two brothers.
"Scott, was that some kind of force field created by that Brains fellow?"
"N-No," Scott whispered refusing to take his eyes off the brother in his arms, "It was Virgil."
"Now there's a surprise I wasn't expecting," Professor X closed his eyes, "I swear I checked them Scott."
"I believe you Professor, but is there a chance his gift caused Cerebral to overlook it?"
"What are you saying Scott?"
"He uses sound," He explained, "He's always used sound; he was always able to calm everyone when he played and when he was angry we knew through the sound of the piece he was playing. He just healed Gordon by placing his hands on him and singing a song to him, just like he's always done. I told you that before you checked out my brothers, maybe Cerebral sensed something, but we just assumed it was Virgil being Virgil."
"It's possible." Professor X contemplated, "It's rare, but it could be possible."
Silence swallowed the cockpit before Scott spoke again,
"I need to contact my father and tell them the boys are alright or he'll go off his nut and then I need to see my family and explain what's happening to me and to Virgil. They can't have two brothers disappear, plus we can't just leave Gordon all alone or else he'll think Virgil was kidnapped and he'll blame himself and that's not even the worst that can happen."
The Professor nodded in understanding,
"I agree Scott, once Virgil is awake and we explain to him what happened here, I'll let you go to your family and explain everything; who else to trust a secret with than International Rescue."
The memory disappeared from around him and Virgil was once again in Scott's arms.
"So, I am like you?"
Scott nodded solemnly,
"Yes Virg, you're just like me."
He laughed quietly and a small smile pulled at his brother's lips,
"What's so funny Virg?"
"It's just that we shouldn't be surprised, considering how close we are. Of course it would be you and me, it always has been."
Scott ran his hand through his brother's hair,
"Yeah Virg, it has always been you and me hasn't it."
Virgil turned to Professor X and smiled thankfully at him,
"Thank you for taking care of my troublesome brother, I'm sure he's been a handful."
"It hasn't been a problem Virgil; we have Jean here to keep him under control."
Virgil laughed again,
"Of course it would be a woman."
Scott cuffed the back of his head playfully,
"Oh shut up Virgil."
Scott got up and helped his middle brother to his feet. Scott supported him with his hand around Virgil's small waist and they walked to their unconscious brother who was lying in the sand.
"Beast," Scott asked an older blue man, "How's my kid brother doing?"
"He's doing good Scott, he's just tired." The man called Beast glanced at the other IR agent, "You saved your brother's life, you know that right?"
"So I've been told." Virgil smiled slightly.
"Will you be joining us?" The girl known as Jean asked.
"Probably," Virgil nodded, "Got to learn how to control it."
She reached out and touched his cheek gently,
"You'll be fine, I promise."
Virgil glanced up at his older brother, once again wishing he could see his brother's cobalt blue eyes,
"Yeah, I know."
"So Ace," Scott glanced down at his older brother, "You excited to tell father and our brothers the surprising news?"
"No…" Virgil's smile slipped, "What about you Sparky?"
The corners of his mouth twitched,
"I'll tell you when we get there."