Thank you to everyone who's read, reviewed and favourited. Really hope you enjoy the extra long chapter.

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Warnings: Contains sexual references.

Further notes at the end of this update.

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Day 11:

Placing a soft kiss on the head of the man entwined in his arms, Virgil released a contented sigh. "Well, this is certainly a better way to start today!"

"Mm…" Brains replied snuggling in closer, his head resting on Virgil's chest.

"Are you alright?"

"Yes, just listening."

"To?"

"Your heartbeat… It's really fast."

"I'm not surprised," Virgil giggled, running his hand down Brains bare back.

Glancing up at him, Brains offered a warm loving smile, then nuzzled closer to him. "It's s…starting to level out now… B…But it is b…beating."

"Well of course it's… Oh!" Virgil's voice trailed off, realising what Brains was referring too.

"It was h…horrible, the way you t…tripped over that ledge, and then the thud when you hit the g…ground… I couldn't get down that fire e…escape quick enough… I thought I'd lost you!"

"Hey, it's okay," Virgil assured him, "I'm okay!"

"If you or any of the o…others intend on g…going back up there then I insist that there's a safety b…barrier put in place!"

"I'll promise that me and my brothers will get onto it as soon as this day stops repeating."

Brains glanced up at him, a worried expression on his face. "With s…safety e…equipment?"

"I promise… You know," he continued, "even though I'm pleased you remember every repeat, I wish that I could wipe the memory of my fall from your mind."

"I wish I could as well."

After a short silence, Virgil gazed at his clock. "We've still got 45 minutes until John sounds the alarms."

"Oh, have we?" Brains responded in a heightened voice.

"Mm."

"Well, in that case," Brains continued, "how about round two?"

"Sounds good to me," Virgil answered, fervently kissing him.

Brains leaned backwards away from the kiss and waggled his finger at him, "No you don't," with a quick motion he had straddled and pinned Virgil's hands to the bed, "I'll think you'll find I'm the one in control now."

"Oh, you are?" Virgil cooed, enjoying the unexpected dominance that Brains was displaying, "do I have to call you sir?"

"No," Brains replied, gently nibbling Virgil's neck, "Hiram will be just fine!"

"Yes, Hiram!"

"Perfect!"

"Mm…" Virgil moaned, when Brains lips began caressing his chest then stomach.

"Do you like that?"

"Yes Hiram," Virgil gasped out when Brains tongue circled his bellybutton,

"Now, bend your legs." Brains ordered, his hands gliding down Virgil's body, eventually landing on his outer thighs.

"Yes Hiram," Virgil obediently replied.

Cupping Virgil's buttocks with his one hand, the other softly stroking his inner thigh, Brains leaned in and whispered seductively into his ear. "Now, how about I relieve some of the tension that you've been carrying because of these repeats?"

"Yes, please Hiram!"

"Good boy," Brains purred his lips beginning to leisurely move down.

A sudden startled noise sounded from the entrance of Virgil's room, causing both men to scramble of each other and look towards the sound. Max, who had been the bearer of the shocked screech stood at the door, both of his robotic hands covering his eyes.

"Err, hi Max," Brains stumbled out in embarrassment, "I can e…explain."

'No need,' Max said with a series of beeps, lowering his hands when he was certain both men were decent, 'I was just surprised," he beeped again, "but I've been routing for you two!

"You h…have?" Brains questioned with a relieved smile.

Nodding, Max picked up Brains pyjama bottoms and top which had been haphazardly flung on the floor, then released a series of questioning beeps which translated to… 'Would you like me to get you some clean clothes?'

"Yes p…please."

'And the music box?' Max beeped again.

"Oh, so you originally sent Max to collect my music box?" Virgil queried.

"Yes, I a…asked him before I went to bed on the e…evening of the 20th, n…normally he c…collects it before you wake. I knew Max would be much q…quieter than I would be."

"If you want to take it Max then it's just on my shelf, "Virgil informed him, "the first one, just behind the books."

Brains smiled at Virgil while Max trundled over to fetch the music box. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, you managed to get the Ballerina to dance during that one repeat," Virgil answered, stroking his thumb down Brains arm, "I can't begin to explain how happy that made me feel."

"I would do a…anything to make you happy."

"Me too," Virgil replied leaning in and kissing him on the lips which elicited a wolf whistle from Max.

"Okay, okay," Brains chuckled, throwing a pillow at the robot, "take the box to my w…workroom then head back up here with my clean clothes, okay?"

Max obediently beeped his confirmation and then left the room, closing the door behind him.

Glancing at the clock, Brains wistfully breathed out. "Guess we h…haven't got time to pick up where we left off?"

"No," Virgil sighed, "I guess not."

"Do you mind if I use your s…shower?"

"Of course, not. There are clean towels are in the cupboard in my bathroom."

Brains climbed out of bed, eliciting a giant grin and a hum of approval from Virgil at the sight of his bare arse. Looking over his shoulder, Brains offered a coy look. "You know, we could save a lot of time if you join me."

Not needing to be asked twice, Virgil clambered out of his bed and placing a loving arm around Brains, led him to his private bathroom.

… …

With ten minutes spare until the alarm sounded, a very refreshed, and now fully dressed Brains and Virgil strolled into the hallway.

"So, I'll see you in the c…command centre," Brains affirmed, wrapping his arms around Virgil's shoulders and pulling him close.

Stroking his hand gently across his face, Virgil spoke. "Are you sure you don't want my help carrying your Christmas box?"

"No, that's okay," Brains replied, "M…Max will help me, and that way you can tackle one of those tasks that Max p…previously suggested."

"Yeah, getting Penelope here earlier is first on my to do list… Plus, surprising my brothers before the alarm sounds would be great."

"That's t…true," Brains responded with a chuckle, "have you ever been a…awake this early?"

"Yes," Virgil answered, with mock annoyance.

Brains raised an eyebrow at him. "Apart from when you've been called out on a m…mission?"

"Err… Apart from dad's 5am drills then I guess not."

Brains leaned in and kissed him. "You are such a l…lazy arse!"

Virgil returned the kiss. "Good job I love you!"

"Well, you will love me even more when I join you for the d…decorating."

Virgil gave him a quizzical look. "Oh?"

"Yep," Brains chuckled, "I'll do my n…normal morning thing and get you a c…coffee, but this time I'll make sure we both have one!"

"Ooh, you're a star," Virgil replied, kissing him on his nose, "just make sure mine is extra strong!"

"Will do!" Brains responded, strolling away.

… …

Peeking through a small gap in the door, Virgil tittered at the sight of the two youngest with their back to him, both eagerly chattering away to John's hologram. Scott who was sat near them, grinned while simultaneously shaking his head and rolling his eyes at the enthusiasm spewing from them. 'It would be a shame to disturb them,' he silently mused, but the look on their faces at seeing him awake this early would be priceless. Plastering a huge smile across his face, Virgil swung the door open. "Good Morning!"

"What the?" Gordon and Alan remarked while John and Scott's mouths flapped open and closed in shock.

"So, how are you all on this fine day?"

"Err… We're good," Alan croaked out, "are you?"

"Yep, I'm good," Virgil beamed at them, "in fact, I've never been better!"

"But you're awake, fully dressed, you're smiling, and…" Gordon checked his watch. "It's only just turned 7am."

Virgil checked his own watch. "Oh yes, so it as… Shouldn't you be sounding the alarm John?"

"Err… You knew about that?"

"Yep!"

"Well, that was their idea," John informed him pointing to the two youngest, "and it was only to make sure you got up."

"John, shouldn't you be sounding the…" Kayo who had been closely followed by their grandma into the room stopped when she spotted Virgil with a giant smirk across his face. "Oh, you're already awake?"

"Yep, and ready to kick start this day!"

Surprised at seeing her grandson unusually jovial for a 7am start, Sally immediately strode over to him and felt his head.

"It's okay grandma," Virgil assured her moving away from the hand, "I'm not delirious, or sick in any other way… Just in good spirits, and actually looking forward to this day for once."

"Well, in that case," Sally said with a smile, "we should get this Christmas decorating started!"

"Actually," Virgil interrupted, "before we do, I need John to do something for me… and for Gordon."

"What's that?" Gordon and John both curiously questioned.

"You need to let Penelope know that her seminar or whatever it was she was meant to attend today as been cancelled."

"What," Gordon exclaimed, "really?"

Virgil nodded. "The organisers are letting everyone know but unfortunately she's towards the end of their contact list."

A puzzled look spread across John's face. "How do you know this?"

"It's difficult to explain, and not that important. What is though, is making sure Pen knows. If you inform her now, then she'll be able to arrive here today."

Gordon looked hopefully at John. "Would you please check?"

"Yes, of course," John replied, "I'll get on it know."

"Well," Sally sighed when John had signed off, "I guess we're not going to get any work done until we know if Penny will be arriving."

"And we should wait for Hiram before we start," Virgil added.

"Hiram?" Gordon queried.

"Yes," Virgil answered, "that's his name."

"But we all call him Brains?" Alan noted.

Virgil sighed. "He sometimes prefers Hiram."

Scott raised an eyebrow at his brother. "What's gotten into you?"

"Nothing," Virgil smirked glancing at the doorway when it opened.

"Good m…morning," Brains greeted, followed by a chorus of enthusiastic beeps from Max.

"Morning," everyone chorused.

"Oh, just so you know Brains," Gordon continued, "Virgil is referring to you as Hiram."

"T…That's fine with me," Brains replied grinning from ear to ear, "Virg, M…Max as your coffee."

"Thank you," Virgil smiled back taking the coffee from the robot."

"How did you talk him into making you a drink?" Scott queried.

"Probably the same way you talked Kayo into watching yours!"

"Wait… What?"

Ignoring Scott's perplexion, Virgil looked towards the hologram of his space loving brother which had now reappeared. "Hey John, did you manage to contact Penny?"

"Yes," John confirmed, "and," he added focussing on Gordon, "both her and Parker are on their way."

"How are they getting here?" Sally asked.

"In Tracy 2, they still have it from there most recent journey home."

"So," Gordon asked, the excitement in his voice evident, "what time will she be here?"

"My calculations suggest that they will arrive at 3pm." EOS informed him.

"Awesome," Gordon beamed, beginning to jump up and down with glee, "thanks bro, thanks EOS!"

"No problem," John responded, "but I think it's Virg you need to thank."

"You're right," Gordon said, darting over to a bag that was next to one of the Christmas boxes, "Virg, I thought you were going to be late and grumpy this morning, so I was going to make you wear this 'Bah Humbug' hat, but you can have one of the proper ones now."

Virgil accepted the red hat with, 'Ho. Ho. Ho.' on the front and placed it on his head. "Who's getting that one then?"

Gordon thought for a moment and then smirked. "Probably Alan!"

"Hey," Alan whined, "why me?"

"Because you keep teasing me about Penelope."

"That's because most of the things that you say to her are really gross!"

"No, they're not!" Gordon retorted.

"Err, yes they are!"

"That's enough you two," Sally scolded. When she was certain they weren't going to continue the argument, she refocused her attention back on John. "Now, are you coming down later?"

"Yes grandma, it won't be until this evening though."

"You know, you could come down now and join in the fun," Kayo suggested.

"Can't I'm on duty."

"There are no emergency calls today!" Virgil stated.

"Shush…" the whole family replied.

"Virg," John added, "don't jinx it!"

"For some reason," Virgil smirked, "I don't think I will!"

"You really should come down earlier than this evening," Sally said, "EOS is perfectly capable of handling things on her own."

"Actually grandma," Virgil cut in before his brother could come up with another excuse, "John can't make it down here until after 2.30pm."

"That's quite specific," John commented, why that time?"

"Because," Virgil returned, "that's usually when Ridley arrives."

"Err Captain O'Bannon," John choked out, "no, she's not visiting today."

"Yes," EOS chimed in, "she is!"

"EOS!"

"Oh, sorry John," EOS innocently replied, "was that meant to be a secret?"

"Ridley," Scott teased, "really?"

"It's not like that!"

"Whatever you say bro!" Gordon snorted.

"It's really not!"

"I think you are protesting too much their Johnny boy!" Alan countered.

"I hate you all!"

"No, you don't," Kayo stated, "you love all of us!"

"If you say so!"

"Seriously John," Virgil cut in, "stop denying it, I think it's great that you two are together."

"Do you?"

"Yes… She makes you happy, and you love her!"

"Love…" John spluttered. "Well, err… I, err… Don't know about that."

"You do though, don't you?"

John finally, but silently nodded his confirmation.

Virgil grinned. "Well, as grandma would say… That's all that matters!"

"Absolutely," Sally agreed, smiling at John's hologram, "and if that's how you feel about her, then you really should bring her down this afternoon for a visit."

"And I'll make sure this lot don't tease you both." Virgil added.

"You will?" John questioned.

"Of course!"

"Okay then," John responded, this time with more confidence, "I will!"

"So," Scott marvelled, "Gordon and Penny, John and Ridley… What's with all of my brother's dating without my knowledge?"

"I'm not seeing anyone," Alan informed him.

"And neither is Virgil," John added.

"Actually," Virgil broke in, "I am dating someone."

"What you are?" Scott queried, his mouth open in shock.

"Virg," John continued, "have you actually met a decent guy?"

"Yes," glancing towards Brains, Virgil received the nod of confirmation he was hoping for, and then continued, "I'm dating Hiram."

"Yes right," Gordon retorted, "you're having us on."

"No, I'm not."

"Oh, come on," Alan said with a deep chuckle, "as if an intelligent guy like Brains would date you."

"Hey!"

"I'm only joking Virg, you deserve a great guy… And thinking about it you two would make a cute couple, but we all know that Brains is dating Moffy!"

"No," Brains objected, "I'm not s…seeing her."

"If you say so," Kayo teased, "what was it that you said that one-time Gordon?"

"Oh yes," Gordon snorted, "we can all feel the 'Nerd-Trino' energy between the two of you when you are in a room together!"

"I'm r…really not seeing her. She has a g…girlfriend!"

"Oh," Gordon remarked, noting that Brains was being serious, "sorry dude!"

"N…Nothing to be sorry for… Yes, we've always been best f…friends, but n…neither of us have ever seen each o…other in that way… And," Brains added, moving closer to Virgil and taking his hand, "she's r…really not my t…type."

"So, you two are really seeing each other then?" Sally asked.

"Yes," Virgil replied, squeezing Brains hand, "we are."

Sally began hopping excitedly from one foot to the other. "You've both actually managed to get you act together?"

Virgil grinned at her exuberance. "Yes grandma, we have."

Bounding over to them, Sally pulled them both into a warm embrace. "I'm so happy for you both."

"Thanks grandma," Virgil replied.

"Yes… Thank you Mrs T…Tracy."

"How many times do I have to tell you Brains," Sally scolded, leaning out of the hold and frowning at him, "it's grandma for you!"

"Oh, r…right, you said that y…yesterday."

"Yesterday?" She questioned.

"N…Never mind," Brains answered, "but I p…promise from now on to call you g…grandma."

"Good," she stated, hugging them again.

Once she had released them from the hold, Virgil looked towards the others who had yet to make a remark and were all currently gawping at them both in shock. "So, what do you think?"

"You're definitely not pulling some prank?" John quizzed.

"Nope," Virgil responded, placing a protective arm around Brains, "pranks are Gordon's territory."

"Well," John responded with a big smile, "I think it's brilliant!"

"Me too," Kayo said with an equally big smile.

"Sorry for teasing you earlier, but I was being truthful when I said I thought you two would make a cute couple… And," Alan paused, then cocked his head to one side as he observed the pair, "you really do!"

"Thanks Al." Virgil replied.

"I also believe you make an adorable couple," EOS chimed in.

Virgil and Brains both smiled. "Thank you, EOS."

"Brains, I'm sorry for teasing you about Moffy, I really did think you were dating her, but," I'm glad you aren't. Both Al and EOS are right, you do make a cute couple… And," Gordon added, stepping forwards and placing his hands on both men's shoulders, "I've not seen Virgil look this happy in a long time…" Gordon ruffled his big brother's hair. "The duffus deserves it."

"I'm not a duffus," Virgil retaliated.

"Yes," Gordon stated, "you are!"

Brains tittered at the two brothers, then decided to speak. "N…No need to a…apologise G…Gordon… And you're right, Virgil does deserve to be h…happy…" Brains paused, leaned towards Gordon and whispered… "Oh, and yes, he is a d…duffus!"

"Hey," Virgil exclaimed, "I heard that!"

"Well, you really are… But," Brains added leaning in for a kiss, "you're my duffus!"

Virgil returned the kiss, then glanced worriedly at his eldest brother who was yet to make any remark. "Scott, are you cool with this?"

Shaking himself out of his shocked gaze, Scott grinned, nodded, then pulled both men into a hug. "It's great news."

Virgil exhaled with relief. "Thanks Scott."

Releasing them from the hold, Scott looked seriously at Brains. "Don't ever hurt him!"

"I w…wouldn't d…dream of it!"

"Good." Scott answered, then turned to glare at Virgil. "And the same goes for you, Brains means a lot to us all!"

Virgil put his hand on Scott's shoulder. "I also wouldn't dream of it!"

"Good," Scott stated, bringing Virgil into another tight hold before whispering in his ear with a hint of laughter, "I guess we now know what's gotten into you today, or is it the other way around?"

Virgil playfully punched his brother on the arm. "I'm not answering that."

"No need," Scott stated, his laughter increasing, "your blushing face says it all!"

"Okay," Sally said, clapping her hands to gain everyone's attention, "I heard that… And before the tone of this conversation lowers any further, I really think we should make a start on this Christmas decorating. As long as there are no more confessions that is?"

"Actually grandma," Virgil said, stepping away from Brains and towards Scott who had moved back to stand by Kayo, "there's one more relationship that needs to come out today."

Instantaneously realising who Virgil was referring to, Scott and Kayo paled.

"It's okay guys, Alan already knows!"

"Wait… What…" Kayo and Scott choked out in shock. "He does?"

What do I know?" Alan queried.

Virgil smiled at the youngest. "About these two hooking up."

"Oh yes, I've known about that for ages."

"And you didn't think to inform me?" Gordon protested.

"Err… No offence bro, I love you and everything, but you've got a big mouth!"

"Hey," Gordon objected, "I can keep a secret!"

"Since when, besides I had no idea if it was serious or a one-off."

Scott nervously stepped forwards. "How long have you known?"

"About two months ago… I was covering John in five when he had the flu. I was trying to contact you, but you weren't answering coms, so I tracked your location, you were in Thunderbird one, so I projected through, and you and Kayo were… Well you know… You had been too busy to notice me, so I didn't want to bother you with what I saw and because you never mentioned anything, and I didn't witness anything else between you both after that I decided to leave it… And to be honest, all I wanted to do was wipe the image from my mind… Scott your naked arse is not something I'd like to see again!"

"Seconded!" Virgil interjected.

"So, you caught us in one as well?" Scott asked.

"Something like that," Virgil answered, "although, I didn't know until quite recently and now I'm not really sure how I didn't work it out sooner."

"What do you mean?" Scott asked.

"You are constantly 'training' and 'working' together on your birds, and the way you are with each other when you don't think anyone is watching… Well, it's adorable," Virgil stated, "oh, and a note for the future… If you happen to get frisky in Thunderbird One, always watch out for others who might happen to walk in on you, get the shock of their lives at seeing you naked, then fall backwards out of the cockpit."

"That would never happen!" Kayo and Scott laughed.

"I w…wouldn't put a bet on it!" Brains chipped in.

So, you two are actually 'dating' then?" Alan questioned, his eyes beaming.

Kayo and Scott nodded.

"Cool!" Alan remarked.

"Al," Kayo tentatively asked, "do you really feel that way?"

"Yes, of course… Wait," Alan said, noting the concern in Scott's and Kayo's eyes, "is that why you've been hiding it then, because of me?"

"Yeah," Kayo answered, "it is,"

"Why?"

Scott moved closer to his brother. "We know that you've had a crush on Kayo."

"Err, no…" Alan blushed. "You must be mistaken, I've never had a crush on Kayo, and even if I had in the past… Which I didn't… I certainly haven't gotten one now."

Gently holding his shoulders, Scott leaned in, and quietly spoke. "It's okay bro, I can understand why you felt that way… She's one in a million!"

Alan glanced nervously at Kayo, then looked back at Scott. "Yes, she is."

"Seriously, if you're not okay with this just let me know."

"Thank you for looking out for me," Alan exhaled, grabbing Scott in a giant hug, "but seriously I'm good with this… Although, now I know that it's official I'm going to have to give you a warning."

"A warning?" Scott queried, leaning out of the hold and giving Alan a quizzical look.

"Yes," Alan confirmed, "just like the one you gave to both Brains and Virgil."

"Oh?"

A serious glare spread across Alan's face. "Even though you are my brother, and I love you… If you hurt Kayo in anyway, then I'll be enlisting John's, Gordon's and Virgil's help to hunt you down."

"You're so funny!"

Alan eyes twinkled mischievously. "Who said I'm joking."

"I promise I never will!"

"Good, because she means the world to all of us!"

Scott brought his brother back into the hug and softly whispered into his ear. "I know… And thank you for being so understanding about this."

"Anything for you bro." Alan returned breathing in the hug before releasing himself.

Tapping Alan affectionately on his back, Scott returned to Kayo and held her hand. Then solemnly the pair looked at the rest of the family. "How do the rest of you feel about this?"

"Well, you already know that I think it's great."

"A…And so do I."

Scott and Kayo both smiled. "Thanks, Virgil. Thanks Brains."

Sally placed her arms around the pair. "Well I think it's fantastic!"

"Apart from being annoyed that Al didn't fill me in earlier," Gordon informed them, "then yes, I think it's awesome... And I know Penelope will be over the moon!"

"Well, I'm a bit shocked," John admitted, "but I think it's great."

"I also agree with you two dating," EOS chimed in, "although, I'm not shocked."

John gave the yellow light that EOS was displaying from a quizzical look. "You're not?"

"No," EOS stated, "not after witnessing them having sex in Thunderbird 2's cockpit!"

"Err… We can explain," Scott and Kayo stumbled, nervously glancing towards Virgil who had remained uncharacteristically quiet given the revelation.

"It's fine," Virgil stated, "I've already worked out several ways I can desecrate Thunderbird One!"

"You wouldn't?" Scott questioned, a look of pure horror spreading across his face.

"Maybe I will, maybe I won't."

"Okay boys," Sally called out, "I can feel the tone of this conversation lowering again… So, if there are definitely no more revelations?"

"None from me grandma," John pipped up, "but I do need to do a few things, so I'll speak to you all later."

"See you later John," everyone chimed.

As soon as John had signed off, Sally focussed back on the others. "Anyone else?" When she was certain nobody else was going to speak she continued. "Good… Now, we should all get started on this decorating… As the saying goes, many hands make light work!"

"Yes grandma," everyone chorused setting off to work.

… …

A few hours later the family stood admiring their hard work. The island home had been decked out with numerous seasonal ornaments, a variety of flashing lights, and an enormous Christmas tree.

"Well, you've all done cracking jobs," Sally said, looking around the room, "and," she added observing the one box that remained and was now placed beneath the tree, "I believe John will be very touched by your idea Virgil."

"I hope so," Virgil replied, glancing at the box. Originally it had contained the tinsel which now hung around the tree, but thanks to his suggestion it was now filled with a variety of special items chosen by each member of the family, and awaited John's arrival so they could be adorned alongside the others. "I know he doesn't show it, but he does miss these family traditions."

"And there's one more thing to add," Brains stammered, walking over to Virgil.

"Oh?"

"I believe I mentioned it previously," Brains passed him the ornament, "the Christmas Star from my own box."

"Wow, Brains," Scott commented, "that's really kind of you."

"It really is," Virgil sighed, leaning in and kissing him.

"Okay you two," Gordon called out with a hint of laughter while covering Alan's eyes over, "there are children in the room!"

"Hey," Alan protested, moving Gordon's hands away then playfully pushing him, "I'm not a kid!"

"Okay that's enough you two," Sally remarked, standing herself in between them "now, as it's nearly midday I suggest we all tuck into the lunch that Max whipped up."

"And we can also have some of those mince pies." Scott added.

"And hot chocolates?" Alan enquired hopefully.

"Absolutely," Sally replied, placing her arm around him and leading him out of the room.

Taking Virgil's hand when everyone had left, Brains gave him a warm loving smile.

"You seemed to have enjoyed the d…decorating more than you have previously."

"Yes, I have," Virgil admitted, "the previous ones I've either been too exhausted, or I've been forcing myself not to enjoy them."

"Why?"

"Because of dad… It's not really been the same since, but I guess I've come to realise that he would want us to enjoy the day."

"Of c…course, he would," Brains replied, "now how about we go and j…join the others for lunch."

"Yes, I really want a mince pie before they're all gone."

"Mm…" Brains practically drooled, leading Virgil out of the room and towards the kitchen, "I'm g…going to enjoy having a c…couple of those again."

"Especially," Virgil chuckled, "as they don't taste like charred feet!"

… …

It was now 1.30pm, lunch had been consumed, and had been a joyous affair filled with laughter and lots of brotherly jibes. When Sally was happy that everything had finally been cleared away, she shooed everyone off to enjoy their own activities before Penelope and Parker arrived later that afternoon

"So," Virgil began, draping his arm around Brains as they left the kitchen, "your room or mine?"

Brains smiled longingly at him "I was going to s…suggest mine."

"Sounds good to me," Virgil answered with a slight yawn.

"But…"

'Oh no,' Virgil inwardly thought, 'that sounded like a 'but' that he wouldn't like.'

"But…" Brains continued as they made their way towards his quarters. "A…After that yawn, and the other ones that you've been trying to s…supress and hide during the last thirty m…minutes of lunch, I believe a short nap is in order!"

"But I'm enjoying this day so much!" Virgil moaned, stifling another yawn.

"That does it," Brains frowned, instantly making his decision as he led Virgil into his large room, "I really don't want you b…becoming as c…clumsy as you were during the p…previous repeat."

"But…"

"I know you don't want the day to r…rewind," Brains soothed sitting him down on his bed, "but it's only just passed 1.30pm, as long as I w…wake you up before the 3pm stage we should h…hopefully avoid the inevitable… Well, until later today anyway… Now, boots off, undressed and get yourself comfy!"

"Yes, Hiram," Virgil smirked, quickly removing his clothes before lying himself flat on his back with his legs slightly apart, "would you like me to remove my boxers? Or do you want to do that yourself?"

"Oh, you tease," Brains returned, caressing Virgil's chiselled form before gaining control of himself and pulling the blanket over him, "now, get some sleep."

"You're not joining me?"

"No," Brains replied while stroking his hand softly through Virgil's hair, "f…figured I could tinker with your mother's music box while you sleep, that way when I wake you I should h…hopefully have the ballerina dancing again."

"That would be wonderful," Virgil answered, his eyes beginning to close.

"Get some sleep," Brains ordered, kissing him lightly on his nose.

"Mm… Sleep." Virgil muttered, finally succumbing to the tiredness.

… …

Rousing to the aroma of warm coffee and the soft touch of a thumb gently stroking his cheek, Virgil opened his eyes and smiled at the man kneeling next to the bed. "Hey."

"How did you s…sleep?"

"Well, thank you," Virgil responded, rubbing his eyes before checking the clock which displayed the time at 2.35pm.

"Good," Brains replied, tenderly kissing him, "move over."

"Okay," Virgil responded, shifting himself to make room on the bed.

Brains passed him the fresh coffee before getting himself comfortable. "I've got s…something for you."

"Oh?" Virgil enquired while sipping on the warm drink.

Brains reached into the drawer of his bedside table. "Open it."

Virgil smiled when he saw the music box, his grin widened when he saw the Ballerina dancing to the non-existent music. "And the song?"

"Like I e…explained during that one r…repeat, the sound s…system inside is an old d…design. Thankfully, I can e…easily replace it with s…something more up to date and it r…really won't take me long, but as you know…"

"You will need me to play my mother's song."

"Yes, but we can l…leave it if you want?"

"No," Virgil answered, shaking his head, "I'd like us to give it a go."

"Are you s…sure?" Brains questioned. "I know how much it's a…affected you during the p…previous repeats."

"With you by my side then I think I can do anything!"

Feeling his whole-body melt at Virgil's comment, Brains removed the mug from his hands and straddled him. "So, do you want to pick up from where we left off earlier."

"Yes," Virgil purred, helping remove Brains top before layering kisses to his neck and chest.

Both men released a moan as their kissing became more intense and their hands explored each other's physique.

"Ahem"

Virgil and Brains froze at the sound of the cough.

"Err…" A young voice croaked out, "sorry to disturb you guys."

"Al!" Virgil exclaimed while Brains clambered off him and grabbed the blankets to cover them both, "what are you doing here?"

"Grandma sent me, Penelope and Parker will be arriving in fifteen minutes, she wants everyone upstairs ready to greet her."

"Oh, okay," Virgil answered, "we'll be up in a bit."

"Yep, cool." Alan replied quickly leaving the room while muttering under his breath. 'Damn it, first Scott, now Virg… If I walk in on John or Gordon, then I'm going to have to disinfect my damn eyes!"

… …

Penelope strolled into the large living area, Parker obediently following with Sherbet in his hands while Scott, Kayo, Virgil, Gordon, Alan, and Brains had been ordered by their grandma to put their bags away.

"Well, I have to say grandma, everything looks absolutely splendid!"

"Thank you, Penelope."

"The box underneath the tree?" Penelope enquired.

"Oh, that was Virgil's idea," Sally informed her, "it contains some decorations, they are for John to put up when he arrives."

"How splendid, John will adore the thought, and such a sweet idea from Virgil."

"Yes, it was."

Penelope smiled as the other's all made their way into the room, "hello boys, Kayo."

"Pen, it's good to see you," they all said in unison.

"It really is," Gordon remarked walking over to her and taking her hand, "did you have a good flight?"

"I did Gordon, Parker is a wonderful pilot."

"Thank you M'Lady," Parker returned struggling to hold the small mutt in his hands which was currently yapping in Gordon's direction.

"Err… Is Sherbet okay?" Gordon asked.

"Yes, he's perfectly fine," Penny replied, taking the dog from Parker, "he just misses me… Don't you my darling?"

Sherbet barked then proceeded to lick the hand that Gordon had been holding.

"I think M'Lady, he might be a little jealous of Master Gordon."

"Really?" Gordon queried moving next to Penelope which earned him a yelp from the pug.

"I believe that was a yes," Scott remarked with a hint of laughter in his voice.

"He's not jealous," Penelope supplied, "he's just protective."

Sherbet released a small bark, then snuggled closer to her.

"I think you'll have to assure Sherbet that you're not going to hurt her," Virgil contributed.

Gordon glared at his brother who was smirking at him. "I'm not going to do that?"

"Why not?" Kayo chuckled.

"Because…"

"Come on," Alan said, pointing to Sherbet who was now growling at Gordon, "he obviously needs to hear it."

"Because it's obvious…" Gordon stated. "I'd never hurt Penny because… I love her!"

"You do?" Penelope questioned passing the now silent and somewhat appeased looking mutt back to Parker.

Gordon's cheeks blushed the colour of beetroot. "Yes Pen, I do."

Taking his hands in hers, Penelope smiled at him, then kissed him lightly on the lips. "Well, just so you know the feeling is very much returned… Now, I think that's enough displays of affection," she refocussed on the others, "now tell me what's been happening here?"

Alan snorted. "Lots of affection!"

… …

"Well," Penelope remarked, when she had been completely filled in with the details of all of the new relationships, "that is a lot of news… Of course, John and Ridley are not a surprise. I've seen how John gets when he talks about the girl, he's obviously been smitten with her for a while now… Virgil, Brains?"

"Yes," they both questioned, stepping forwards hand in hand.

"I am surprised by you two… Not that you've liked each other, but that you finally managed to get your act together and tell each other how you felt…"

"Wait," Gordon interrupted, "you knew how those two felt about each other?"

"Yes," she answered, "it was obvious!"

"It was?" Gordon, Scott, Kayo and Alan questioned.

"Yes," Sally and Penelope replied in unison.

"Personally," Penny continued, with a slightly firm look towards Brains and Virgil, "I believed it was going to come to the point where your poor grandma would have to bang your heads together to get you two to speak up!"

"Mm…" Sally remarked. "I have thought about it on several occasions."

Penelope smiled at Sally, then refocussed on Scott and Kayo. "Then there's you two."

"Surprise!" Kayo grinned from ear to ear.

"Surprise indeed," Penelope returned, "Kayo dear… You are my best friend and therefore should tell me everything!"

Kayo shrugged. "It was fun to hide it."

"I bet it was," Penelope stated, a slight glint of a smirk in her eyes.

"Besides," Kayo continued, "you never told me that you were dating Gordon."

"Ah, touché!" Penny replied before returning her attention to Sally. "When will John and Ridley be joining us?"

"He called through just before you landed, Ridley arrived around half past two, he said there's a few more tasks that he needs to complete before he can come down…"

"Tasks," Gordon chuckled under his breath, "is that what he's calling it."

"Gordon," Sally warned, "no teasing when he gets down here, okay?"

"Okay grandma," Gordon sighed, noticing he was also receiving a stern look from Penelope, "I promise,"

"Good… Now, as I was saying, he should be down in the elevator just after 4pm… So, I suggest that while we wait we all try one of the muffins that I've baked."

"Oh no, not the muffins," Virgil remarked, facepalming at forgetting to say anything.

"Hey, I'm not that bad… And anyway, I enlisted Max's help."

"Yes, I know, and I'm sure they will taste amazing… The only problem is that Max will have used coconut."

"No, he hasn't," Sally answered, "thankfully Max brought the coconut to my attention before we started baking, and I threw it out."

"He did?" Virgil queried, a puzzled expression adorning his face.

"I told him about yours and Alan's a…allergies this m…morning, when I went to fetch my box."

Virgil placed a soft kiss on Brains lips. "Thank you."

"Err, grandma," Alan enquired, "why did you have coconut in the house?"

"It was left over from that baking competition I entered last month, everyone was given a specific ingredient that they had to use and mine happened to be coconut…"

"Where did you come in that competition," Gordon chuckled, "last?"

"No," she answered, glaring at him with the slightest hint of a wry smile, "I'll have you know that I got an honorary mention."

"Probably for not burning the cake!" Scott remarked.

Shaking her head at him, Sally continued, "I have to say, I'm so glad Max pointed the coconut out to me earlier, I really thought I had thrown it away, and I would have felt awful if Alan or Virgil had a reaction."

"Well, we haven't grandma," Virgil assured, his arm wrapping comfortably around her, "now, you said something about trying the muffins that Max helped you to bake?"

… …

"What time is it?" Virgil questioned, bouncing slightly with impatience as he stared at the empty launch bay set next to Thunderbird One.

"Thirty seconds since you last asked," Scott stated, shaking his head at his brother, "you realise it wasn't that long ago we physically saw John, right?"

"It's felt like a lot longer," Virgil answered, "besides, I know you're equally as excited to see him!"

"Yeah, I am," Scott admitted, "I hate not being able to keep an eye on you guys."

"That's because you're a full-on Smother Hen!"

"I am not a Smother Hen."

"Yes, you are," Virgil stated, a sudden giant beam appearing on his face, "look."

Scott looked up and joined in with his brother's grin as the space capsule made its final descent.

"Hey Scott, hey Virg," John greeted when the doors finally opened.

"John I've missed you," Virgil cried out, bounding over to his brother and gripping him in one of his bear hugs."

"Err Virg," Scott said, tapping him on his shoulder, "I think you're squeezing John a bit too hard."

"No, I'm not," Virgil replied while maintaining the hold he had on John.

"Err… Yes Virg, you are!" John gasped.

Virgil released his brother and smiled apologetically. "Sorry bro."

"That's okay," John replied, "I love your bear hugs, just watch your grip next time, okay?"

"Will do!"

John gazed around the large bay, "Are the others upstairs?"

"Yep," Scott responded, "waiting patiently for you… Unlike this guy," he added signalling to Virgil.

"I haven't been that impatient," Virgil defended.

"Yes, you have," Scott placed a hand on John 's shoulder, "the last five minutes he's been acting like Alan did on that trip to Universal Studios when he was 6!"

"Oh God," John remarked, shaking his head at Virgil.

Virgil pouted his lips. "I just missed you, that's all."

"And I've missed you," John answered slapping his back affectionately before turning and smiling at the woman sitting in the doorway, "you both remember Ridley."

"It's lovely to meet you both again," she replied, stumbling to her feet.

"The elevator takes some getting used to," Scott supplied, taking her one arm around his waist while John supported her on the other side.

"John here was a wobbly mess the first time he did it," Virgil added, walking next to them while preparing himself to catch Ridley if she should stumble despite the support, "but you're doing much better, and you should have found your land legs in an hour or two."

"I hope so," she smiled, tentatively moving with them into the lift that would take them back up to the house.

"Well, there's some warm coffee waiting for you both," Scott informed her, "hopefully that should help as well."

"And," Virgil continued, "some chocolate muffins!"

"Have they been made by your grandma?" Ridley questioned. "John's already warned me."

"No," Scott answered, "thankfully Max helped her to make them."

"And," Virgil added, "they're delicious."

John smiled at her as the lift neared its final stop. "So, are you ready to meet everyone?"

"Yes," Ridley smiled, squeezing John's hand, "well, I think so."

"Don't worry, we're not that bad," Virgil informed her, "well, except for Gordon… You might need to watch out for him!"

"Oh yes, as well as your grandmas cooking, John also warned me about your younger brother," Ridley grinned, "unfortunately I had to inform him that his 'jesting' nature was well talked about the last time I visited the GDF headquarters."

"What?" Scott and Virgil both exclaimed, their faces paling slightly at the news.

"I'm afraid it's true," John continued, "Gordon's pranks have become infamous!"

… …

After John and Ridley had been greeted by the rest of the family, it had been announced by Max, Parker and Grandma that they would be preparing an evening banquet which would be served later that evening, with the added instructions from Sally that their best dress was required. This had provoked Penelope to drag a very reluctant Kayo and equally wary Ridley off to her room, so they could choose one of her many dresses, that she had of course brought with her, to wear. John, who had spotted the box filled with decorations under the tree, and had been overwhelmingly touched by Virgil's gesture, happily displayed the items around the home. Deciding that the final item, the Star that Brains had provided for the top of the tree should be hung after dinner. When he was finished he decided to join Scott, who had been giving Gordon a lecture on scaling down his antics when at the GDF, by the pool.

Meanwhile, Virgil sat at his piano in a world of his own as he tinkered away, only looking up when the door opened. "Hey, did you get it?"

"This will w…work," Brains answered with a smile, flashing the small recordable device in his hands as he walked over to join him.

Returning the smile, Virgil gestured for Brains to sit next to him.

"Don't you want to tell your f…family about the t…tradition first?" Brains questioned. "That way they can join us."

"No," Virgil replied, shaking his head, "I'd like to try something different this time."

"Oh?"

"We've been going under the assumption that the song should be shared with those that I love, as in my family, but I think the song was always meant to be shared between two people who loved each other. First it was the love of a couple. My mother and father shared their love of the song together, just the two of them, a tradition just for them. Then later the tradition continued with me and my dad."

"The love b…between a f…father and a son."

"Yes," taking his hands, Virgil looked into his eyes then slowly exhaled, "now, I'd like to share it with you. That way the song will have come full circle, because I'll be sharing it with the love of my life!"

Squeezing Virgil's hands, Brains leaned in and pressed a short but sensual kiss onto his lips. "I love you so much!"

Virgil rested his forehead against Brains. "I want you so much!"

"I want you too," Brains returned, "but I'm t…thinking song first then we can pounce on each other later."

"Deal," Virgil said with a deep laugh, turning back to rest his fingers on the piano.

Brains fiddled with the device in his hand and then smiled at Virgil. "Okay, I'm ready to r…record."

Virgil nodded, then with a quick thoughtful look towards where his dad would normally be, he exhaled slowly and began to play…

… …

"Wow… That was," Brains breathed out, "it was beautiful…"

"Thank you, that means a lot."

"Thank you for s…sharing it with me."

"I'd like to share it with you again, and on this day every year, if that's okay?"

"A t…tradition just for us?"

"Yes."

"I would be h…honoured," Brains happily sighed, kissing him on the head, "your dad would be very p…proud of you!"

Virgil exhaled as he once more gazed at where his dad should be. "I know he would."

"You k…know," Brains said, smiling proudly at him "that's the first time you've truly accepted a c…compliment, and a…acknowledged how your dad would feel."

"Yeah, I guess it is?"

Brains thought for a moment, "m…maybe that will be the thing that will bring this day to an end."

"Really?"

"It might be… Apart from p…playing the song which you've done, and the other t…theories that Max suggested."

"Which I've also completed,"

Brains checked his watch. "And it's 6.00pm, so it as passed the time when e…everything usually resets… Oh, and t…thankfully you haven't h…hurt yourself."

"Shush," Virgil whispered, "don't jinx it… The days not finished yet."

"That's t…true," Brains admitted, "I g…guess I'll have to keep an e…extra eye on you, especially if you start to become o…overtired again, until I get you into bed."

"You can get me into bed whenever you want!"

"Mm…" Brains remarked, kissing him before standing up and holding out his hand, "maybe after I've f…fixed the music box!"

"Sounds good to me." Virgil said, taking his hand, "you know," he added as they made their way to Brains large room, "there's a part of me that keeps wondering if any of this is real."

"What, like a d…dream?" Brains asked opening the door and summoning Virgil over to the work bench.

"No," Virgil answered placing the music box on the table while Brains selected the tools needed.

"We may not be real."

"What do you mean?"

"All of this could actually be some crazy-arse story that someone's decided to concoct… Like some weird rom-com… Or we could be stuck in one of those fanfiction stories that you used to write."

Brains released a smirk as he began fiddling with the box. "So, in reality we are all f…fictional characters?"

"Yes, and we are being manipulated like puppets to do their bidding!"

"That's one t…theory," Brains chuckled placing his tools down before fiddling with his glasses, "and it certainly would a…answer a lot about our lives… But," he added resting his hand on the back of Virgil's head, his fingers entwining through his hair as he brought his lips to meet his, for a slow lingering kiss, "it feels very real to me!"

"Yep, definitely real," Virgil replied as their lips met again.

Grinning, Brains returned to the box, then after ten minutes of silence where Virgil happily watched him working away, Brains spoke again. "Okay, open it."

"Wait, have you fixed it already?"

"I'll k…know for definite if you o…open it!"

A gasp emitted from Virgil's lips as he opened the lid and heard the sweet candescent music springing forth, and saw the Ballerina contentedly twirling away.

"Are you happy?"

"Happy…" Virgil practically sang out, tears of joy rolling down his cheeks. "Yes… Thank you so much!"

"You can show this to your f…family after dinner, if you want?"

"Yes, I will," Virgil nodded, wiping his tears away before placing the now closed box back on the bench, "now, I believe earlier you said something about getting me into bed?"

"Mm…" Brains purred, leading Virgil away from the work bench and over to his bed, "I believe I did."

"Boys!"

Brains and Virgil instantly blushed as they gazed at the door which had been left ajar. "Hey, grandma."

"Sorry to disturb you, but dinner will be served in half an hour, so I suggest you both get yourselves cleaned up."

"Yes grandma," both men replied.

Virgil looked at Brains. "I'll see you at dinner."

"Yes, see you in a bit," Brains answered, giving him a quick kiss before he left the room.

"You know," Sally said, joining Virgil as he walked back towards his room "it's really good to see you smiling… Not on the outside, you are always there for any of us with your warm smile… But on the inside, I've not seen your eyes shine the way they are right now in the longest time."

"Thank you, grandma," Virgil replied, placing a kiss on her cheek as he opened his door, "I guess I am feeling good!"

"Well, you deserve too," Sally smiled lovingly at him, "now, go and get yourself ready for dinner… And remember," she added, "it's your best dress!"

… …

"Boys," Sally shouted at the top of her lungs, "if you're not here in five minutes I'll be getting EOS to sound the alarms!"

Five Tracy boys, all happily chattering amongst themselves, bundled into the lounge where the larger than usual dining table had been set up.

"Wow, the table looks amazing!" Scott stated, taking in the immaculate setting with an added Christmassy twist.

"Thank you, Parker and Max refused to let me near the food, so I was in charge of this."

"And your dress is very pretty."

"Why thank you Alan," Sally responded, kissing the top of his head, "and all of you all look very nice in those suits, as do you Brains!"

Instantly turning, Virgil's face lit up at the sight of the man before him. "You look wonderful!"

"And you look very handsome," Brains returned, taking in the sight of the well-fitted dark suit that managed to accentuate Virgil's chest muscles and biceps, "in fact," he added wrapping his arms around Virgil's waist and leaning in to whisper in his ear, "how about we skip the meal and head to your room for dessert?"

"Normally, I wouldn't refuse, but," he said with a quick glance to his grandma, who was now helping Max and Parker place the food on the table, "she'll ring our necks."

"That's true," Brains replied, making his way over to one of the seats.

"Allow me," Virgil said, holding out the chair for Brains.

"Ooh…" Brains happily sighed accepting the seat. "Looks like my b…boyfriend is a gentleman."

Virgil slipped into the seat next to him. "I love it when you call me your boyfriend."

"Good evening!"

Virgil and Brains looked up, both smiling at Penelope standing in the doorway in a long glittery pink dress.

"Wow Pen…" Gordon spluttered out, clambering out of his chair and over to her, "You look… Wow!"

"Do you like it?" She coyly questioned holding her gloved hand out to him.

"Yes," he responded taking her hand and leading her to her chair.

Penelope smiled as she sat down. "Wait until your brothers see the other two."

Taking his seat next to her, Gordon looked at John and Scott whose mouths instantly dropped when the other two women stepped in the room.

John was the first to react. "Ridley you look beautiful!"

Ridley, who was wearing a dark blue dress with matching shoes accepted the seat with a loving smile. "Thank you, John," she leaned in and whispered in his ear, "and you look ravishing in that suit."

"Too much?" Kayo questioned a still dumbfounded looking Scott who still gaped at her from his chair.

Shaking his surprise away, Scott stood from his seat and made his way over to Kayo. "You look absolutely stunning!"

"Really?"

Scott gazed at the woman before him dressed in a short emerald dress that clung to her figure. "You really do… Oh," he added with a quick glance at her feet, "and I'm loving the matching shoes."

"It's one thing to wear a dress," Kayo grinned as she flashed the flat green pumps, but I will always draw the line when it comes to heels… The only thing they're ever good for is when I'm extracting information from somebody."

Scott laughed. "That's a good one!"

"Who said I was joking!"

"Oh!" Scott remarked with a slight gulp. "So," he continued, deflecting the conversation, "what do you think of the suit."

"Very nice… Although, it does need a slight alteration."

"What's that?"

Kayo released an alluring smile, removed his tie, pocketed it, then unbuttoned the top three buttons of his crisp white shirt. "That's better… I couldn't see any of your chest before."

"You can see much more later," Scott added leading her over to her seat.

… …

After a three-course meal everyone began sharing a happy, or in the case of Gordon a funny tale from Christmases past. During this time, Brains had slipped out and then quickly returned with the music box in his hands which he passed to Virgil.

"What's that?" Sally asked spotting Virgil resting the item in his lap.

Virgil smiled at the entire group staring back at him curiously. "It's mother's music box."

"The one that used to play her song?" Scott questioned, his arm draped securely around Kayo.

"Yes," Virgil answered placing the box in the middle of the table.

"I can barely remember that song," Alan sighed sadly.

"Then open it."

"But, Scott just said it didn't work?"

"Trust me Al," Virgil said, his smile widening, "open it."

Taking the box in his hands, Alan carefully opened it and emitted a gasp as the Ballerina began dancing and the song began to play. "It works?"

"Yes," Virgil replied, "Brains fixed it."

"Wow, Brains, that was wonderful of you." Everyone chorused.

"H…Happy to do it," Brains returned.

"Well, listening to this as given me an idea," Sally announced, "Virgil, would you mind playing it and some other Christmas songs around the piano?"

"I'd be honoured to!"

… …

With his hand clutched in Brains, Virgil gazed contentedly around the room. The piano playing had gone on for a couple of hours, much to the delight of the family, and had eventually ended when Max had presented them with cheese, biscuits and wine which they decided to enjoy around the tree. 'This has actually been a good day,' he mused to himself. After eleven repeats he'd finally managed to see John. Penelope had also arrived and because of that his younger brother was looking so happy. Scott and Kayo's relationship was not hidden anymore, and the bloody coconut had been thrown away!

Noticing a slight smirk creep on Virgil's face, Brains looked at him quizzically. "What are you t…thinking?"

"That if the day should repeat then I wouldn't want to change a thing"

Brains smiled as he brought Virgil's head onto his chest. "That's good."

"It really is." Virgil replied with a deep yawn.

"Okay, I'm g…going to get this one to bed," Brains announced to the group, as he helped Virgil to his feet, "we all know how he gets when he's o…overtired."

"He becomes his lovable clumsy self," Sally remarked.

"I don't know if I'd call it lovable." Virgil yawned out walking with Brains towards the door.

"Oh Virg," John called out, "before you go to bed, I thought that you might like to put this on the tree."

"The Christmas Star," Virgil said, noting the item now in John's hand, "but Brains put this in the box for you."

"I know, but if Brains is okay with it then I'd like you to do the honours."

Brains nodded. "That's fine by me."

"But why me?"

"Well, if it wasn't for you getting us to confess our feelings and stuff then we probably wouldn't all be sitting here… And I don't know about the others, but this has been the best 21st of December we've had since dad…"

Virgil clasped John's shoulder when his voice trailed off. "Hey, it's okay… And I'd love too."

"Good," John stated handing Virgil the star.

Briefly examining the Star in his hands, Virgil placed it on the top of the tree, then released a big smile at everyone. "Happy Christmas!"

"Happy Christmas!" A chime of delighted voices rang out.

… …

"I can u…understand why you've been so e…exhausted now," Brains yawned falling into the bed next to Virgil, "this has been a r…really long day!"

"Mm… it really as," Virgil mumbled snuggling in closer to him, "and hopefully I'll see you in the morning."

"W…Whether it be the 21st, the 22nd, or some other day," Brains said, kissing Virgil on the shoulder, "you'll always have me by your side."

"And I'll always be by yours," Virgil happily sighed, allowing the exhaustion to claim him.

… …

Virgil moaned at the sound of the alarm ringing out. 'Oh, God… The day was repeating again… But he had Brains with him, they'd get through this together.' Rolling over he grasped out for the man who had been beside him, but couldn't find him. "Hiram?" He questioned forcing his eyes open.

"It's okay," Brains stated scurrying in the room, "I'm here and the a…alarm will stop in a second."

Right on cue silence descended.

"Did you talk my brother's into doing the decorating later?" Virgil asked wearily sitting himself up in his bed.

"Ah?" Brains remarked.

"The day's repeating!"

"Err Virg," Brains said with a very happy smile, "c…check out your clock."

"7am," Virgil sighed.

"And the d…date below it."

Virgil looked again, a huge smile encompassing his face. "The 22nd… Oh, thank goodness… Wait," he added, scrambling to get himself out of bed, "that means there's an actual rescue."

"Not for you there isn't!"

"What, why?"

"You're e…exhausted," Brains stated sitting on the edge of the bed, "so, I'm g…grounding you for a few days!"

"But…"

"No buts… Besides, only T…Thunderbird One is needed, and Kayo's a…accompanied Scott in S…Shadow, just in case."

"Okay," Virgil sighed leaning himself against his headboard, "so, what do you think finally ended the Groundhog Day then?"

"I don't know," Brains shrugged, "like we discussed y…yesterday, you f…followed all the instructions."

"And everyone had a great time."

"You were happy," Brains smiled at him, "I think I r…remember s…suggesting that it was your day that m…mattered."

"Yes, you did."

Brains silently thought for a moment and then released a soft chuckle.

"What?"

"Well, it was the 11th r…repeat, right?"

"Including the original 21st, then yes it was, why?"

"Well," Brains continued with another light laugh, "if you'd not had the G…Groundhog Day then that means yesterday's repeat would have been New Y…Year's Eve, which can be looked at as the end of the old… And t…today would have been J…January 1st, the b…beginning of the new.

"So, you're saying I could have stayed tucked nicely in my bed for 11 days, doing nothing, and it would have still ended on the 11th repeat?"

"Yeah," Brains answered his laughter growing.

Virgil grinned at him. "You're having me on, aren't you?"

"Yes," Brains said his laughter becoming lighter again.

"I'm glad I didn't spend every day in bed," Virgil pulled Brains in and kissed him, "I wouldn't have ended up with you!"

"That's true," Brains remarked, moving away from the kiss and heading towards the open door.

"Where are you going?"

"Nowhere," Brains responded, shutting the door and pushing the bolt across, "we got disturbed a few times yesterday… And," he continued, sauntering back over to the bed, removing his own top and bottoms on the way before quickly straddling Virgil, "I wanted to make sure we don't get disturbed again!"

... FIN ...

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

REFERENCE

* The 'Nerd-Trino' line that Kayo and Gordon referenced is credited to S1 E17: Heist Society.

* The '5am drills' that Virgil referenced is credited to S3 E6: Life Signs.

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For those who've read my other stories and are interested:

I will be returning to my continuation stories 'Lucille' (Chapter 2 recently posted) and 'The Tracy Family' which I'm currently trying to rediscover my love for.

Also keep an eye out for updates from 'Virgil Drabbles' and my short 'Pick & Mix' fics.

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