Disclaimer: I do not own the Thunderbirds.
Alan hated the location of his locker. The headmaster must have hated him. There was no possible way to get from his locker to track on time. He had tried every possible path through the school and nothing got him to practice on time.
"Where's the fire, Blondie?" Wesley appeared out of nowhere.
"I can't be late to track again or I'm going to get stuck running the bleachers after school." Alan rushed.
Wesley had been friends with Alan since he started at Wharton's. Shortly after the incident with the hood Fermat's father had pulled him from school. He was now getting home schooled. Alan and Fermat had drifted apart other than the occasion conversation. Tin Tin's parents were still working for the Tracy's while Tin Tin attended school in London. She was currently living with Lady Penelope.
"You could always drop track." The brunette suggested.
Alan shook his head. "My dad would kill me."
"Don't tell him." Wesley was not on good terms with his family either. His father had been in prison since Alan knew him. Alan often wondered what the boy's father had done to land himself in jail.
Alan decided the only choice he has was to run. He loved to run. It made him feel safe and untouchable. He always invited his brothers and father to come watch his track meets. Unfortunately, they were usually unavailable and unreachable due to IR. If running to practice helped him make up the time, then that's what he had to do.
Alan's gut retched as he reached the track. It only took him a few minutes to get changed and join the team.
"You're late again, Tracy." The coach quipped, but didn't reprimand. "Five laps boys."
Alan had always enjoyed track. To him it wasn't work it was a way to blow off steam. When he reached the finish line he slowed to catch his breath. His body felt numb from the run and his vision started to blur. Something was wrong with him. There was a sharp pain in his side that caused him to fall onto his knees in pain. His chest was constricted. Alan could see blurs of faces, but couldn't distinguish anyone. Then his world went black.
When he woke up he was in the school's clinic on a cot. It took some time to convince the nurse not to call his father. Thankfully she let the matter drop. After Alan was given permission to leave the nurse he went back to his room. Matt, Wesley, and Sam were all waiting for him.
"Where have you been?" Matt snapped.
Alan groaned at the older boy. Matt and Sam were roommates and Wesley and Alan were roommates. Matt was more like an older brother than a friend. He was the responsible one of the group. He made straight A's, participated in every sport he could, and was an honors student.
"I passed out during practice." Alan admitted throwing himself on the bed.
Wesley laughed, "I told you to quit."
Matt smacked Wesley upside the head playfully. "Are you okay?"
"Did the nurse call your dad?" Sam Hanson had been kicked out of every boarding school he'd attended. He was a foster kid that was at Wharton's on a scholarship.
"I finally convinced her I was fine." Alan breezed.
"You don't look fine." Matt commented.
Alan rubbed his eyes. "It's just a headache."
Wesley pulled a joint out of his front pocket. "It will help with the headache."
"Is pot your solution to everything?" Matt scolded.
Wesley shrugged before lighting the joint and passing it to Sam. Matt and Sam left right before curfew. "I have some Vicodin if you need something." Wesley offered.
Alan nodded at the suggestion. Suddenly Alan's computer buzzed and Scott's picture popped up on the screen. Alan slammed his laptop closed before the connection was finalized.
"Have you thought about telling them?" Wesley wondered.
Alan shook his head in denial. "There's nothing to tell." The younger boy lied.
The following morning Alan felt ten times better. He had gotten up before his alarm and showered.
"I heard you passed out in track yesterday." Dr. Lancaster stated with concern.
Alan pressed himself further into his locker. "It was nothing."
The professor reached out and touched Alan's arm gently. "You should stop by after last period."
Alan tensed at the suggestion. This was the way things were since he came to Wharton's Academy. "I can't today I'm behind on homework."
The history professor smirked, "I could help you get caught up. After all, we wouldn't want you to fail."
Alan turned his face away at the threat. Dr. Lancaster had been threatening to get Alan expelled for over two years now. "I'll see you later." He mumbled before rushing off.
Wesley was the only one that knew about Alan's relationship with their history professor. Wesley had caught on pretty quick in regards to Alan's situation. Wesley wanted to tell the headmaster, but Alan refused. He knew that Dr. Lancaster would get him expelled. It would be Alan's word against the professors. That was the last thing Alan needed. Then his father would truly ashamed of him.
"Are you okay?" Wesley nodded his head towards the professor.
Alan hesitated, "Just drop it, we're late."
When Alan entered the professor's office he was instantly thrown off guard. The professor pressed him into the wall angrily. "Who did you tell?" The man growled.
Alan struggled to loosen the grip on his wrists, but failed. Dr. Lancaster had always been stronger than Alan. "I didn't tell anyone." He promised.
"You need to switch rooms." The history professor demanded as he released his grip on Alan.
"Wesley is my best friend." Alan reasoned. "He won't tell anyone."
Dr. Lancaster pulled back and slapped Alan's face. Alan fell to the floor at the force of the slap. "Don't test my patience, Alan. You move rooms or I will have Mr. Pierce expelled for dealing and using drugs."
Alan knew he needed to protect his roommate. Wesley would get arrested if Alan didn't intervene. "I'll put in the request tomorrow." He looked at the floor as tears rolled down his cheeks.
"You are so special." Dr. Lancaster ran his hand along Alan's reddened cheek. "No one else cares about you the way that I do."
Alan flinched away from the touch. The professor ran his fingers along his shoulders. The boy closed his eyes at the man's words. He would always mutter things while touching him. Alan zoned out during moments like this. They were the moments where he felt powerless and useless.
When Alan returned from Dr. Lancaster's office he took another shower. This was his process. He needed to get rid of him. It was the only way Alan could look at himself in the mirror.
"Your phone has been going crazy." Wesley informed.
Alan sat down on the bed as he dried his hair with a towel. He checked his phone to find a few missed called from Scott and John. "I'll call them back later."
Wesley stared at Alan's bruised cheek. "What happened?"
"I can't room with you anymore. I'm so sorry." Alan broke down onto the floor.
Wesley ran over and attempted to comfort his friend. "You can't keep doing this Alan. It's killing you." The brunette begged.
"He threatened to get you expelled." Alan explained.
Wesley sighed, "I don't care."
"I do." Alan admitted. "I can't let him hurt you too."
Within the following week Alan had changed rooms. It was lonely and isolated. Sam had become angry at him for ditching Wesley. Matt on the other hand grew concerned. But between the honors program and sports Alan barely saw him. Wesley still saw Alan in class and occasionally passed him some pills. He wasn't happy about the room change, but understood that Alan was protecting him.
Alan went straight back to his room after track. He was about to swipe his keycard when he noticed the door was open. Scott was sitting on his bed waiting for him. Normally Alan would be ecstatic to see one of his brothers. Their visits were few and far between.
"Hey Sprout!" Scott greeted.
"What are you doing here?" Alan didn't mean for his words to come out as harsh as they did.
Scott's eyebrows furrowed in concern. "Well in my defense I did call you. You never called me back." The older boy reasoned.
Alan couldn't believe he forgot to call his brother back. Scott had been calling Alan for the past three weeks. "Sorry I've been really busy." Alan lied.
"Do I at least get a hug?" Scott smiled.
Alan hesitated, but allowed Scott to embrace him. "Are you feeling okay?" Alan could tell Scott's smother hen sensors were in overdrive.
"I'm fine." Alan responded.
That night Scott took Alan to eat off campus. It was nice to get away from everything. No Dr. Lancaster, no friends that he had turned his back on, just him and his brother. Alan pushed the food around on his plate. He didn't really have an appetite since he changed rooms.
"Why did you switch rooms?" Scott interrogated.
"How did you know about that?" Alan wondered.
Scott shrugged, "The school had to call to get Dad's approval."
"Oh," Alan sighed.
Scott was on a digging mission. That much was obvious. "Oh?" The man questioned. "What's going on with you?"
Alan tensed at the opportunity. He could tell his brother what was going on right now. Maybe Scott would listen to him. "I don't like school. I want to be home schooled." He pleaded.
Scott threw his napkin down and ran a hand through his hair. "We've talked about this, Alan. Dad said no shortcuts."
"I'm not trying to take a shortcut." Alan started to argue.
"Stop," Scott ordered. "I don't want to hear any excuses okay. I'm not here to argue. I'm here to spend time with you. Now tell me why you switched rooms."
Alan wanted to cry. Not even his closest brother would listen to him. How was he ever going to get out of this? "My roommate and I weren't getting along." He had given up on telling his brother.
That night Scott had allowed Alan to spend the night at the hotel with him. It was the safest that Alan had felt in two years. Being away from Wharton's Academy for the night was a blessing. For one night he didn't have to worry about Dr. Lancaster.
Scott was on his laptop going through some paperwork when he heard Alan whimper. He closed his computer and listened intently to make sure his brother was still sleeping.
"No, no, please…" Alan wrestled in his sleep.
The older brother hesitated as he watched his little brother. He was having an nightmare. Scott thought Alan had stopped having nightmares.
"STOP! NO!" Alan's tension began to rise as he struggled.
Scott went over and lightly shook his brother awake. "It's okay, Allie." He comforted.
Alan jumped at Scott's touch and started crying. He started to hyperventilate when he saw his older brother sitting next to him. "I'm sorry I woke you up."
"I hadn't gone to sleep yet." Scott pulled the blankets up over his brother. "Was it about the hood?"
After the family's island had been invaded Alan had nightmares. They were mostly about his family dying or the hood hurting him. Dr. Lancaster had already come into Alan's life by then. Alan nodded in confirmation. It was easier than telling Scott the truth. Alan often wondered what his brothers would say if they knew the truth. Dr. Lancaster always told Alan they wouldn't believe him.
Scott brushed the hair from his brother's clammy forehead. "We're all okay, Sprout. I promise." He soothed as Alan fell back asleep.
Alan knew his brothers and father were all safe. It was his own safety that worried him. The following morning Scott dropped Alan off at his dorm then headed home. It was a short visit, but it gave Scott some relief. He missed Alan when his father sent home off to boarding school. The island wasn't the same without Alan. Of course, when Alan is home all his did was fight with their father. It was obvious to Scott that Alan had no intention of setting up roots at Wharton's. Alan missed home. Scott often worried about Alan being so far away from the family. He wished he could take Alan home with him instead.