Authors notes: If anyone knows the correct ages for all of the boys, I'd greatly appreciate it if they could tell me, thanks.

Many different sources have given me various ages, though for simplicity I have chosen to use the following:

Scott: 29

Virgil:26

John:24

Gordon:21

Alan:20

DISCLAIMER: I do not claim ownership of Thunderbirds, I am merely using them in a fictional story. They were created by Gerry Anderson, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him very much. Thank you sir!

TRACY ISLAND: 11:43 am.

"Sleeping bags?" Inquired Scott, a checklist in hand.

"Check!" An auburn-haired man replied, waving one of the five sleeping bags in the air for his older brother to see.

"Flashlights?"

"Here Scott," Virgil confirmed with a brief wave.

"Telescope... Telescope!" Scott immediately looked over to the third born brother with a raised eyebrow, "we're going camping Johnny, not star gazing you know?".

John shrugged from his leaning position against the pool table, located in the games room, "you'd be surprised at how clear the sky is in the forest, it's either bring the telescope, or you will find yourself a man short".

"Fine, but YOU can carry it. Cooking equipment?"

"Yes, Scott, we have everything already! Can we leave now?" Gordon asked impatiently, steadily growing tired of his brother's over-the-top organising for the whole trip. And by the look on Alan's face, he knew he wasn't the only one.

"Sure, we'll just disregard this whole routine, go hiking off into the middle of no where, realize we have forgotten vital equipment and you will be solely to blame. All because you could not be bothered to undertake a simple checkup, right?" Upon receiving no answer, Scott returned to his list and resumed reading.

"Now, John did you pack the cards?"

There was a round of sighs as the five brothers continued to run over everything for the umpteenth time that day.

Eventually, Scott relented and the Tracy brother's made their final arrangements for their trip back to their birthplace. It was mid-October, and business had been quiet as of late. The result being that Jeff had made the decision that they all needed a well deserved break.

Despite his usual apprehension in allowing all five of International Rescues main force to visit the mainland at the same time, they were still a family, and it had been a very long time since they'd all been away somewhere together without having a rescue to complete.

It was agreed that they would be going camping in one of Kansas' fine forests. The first day would be spent hiking, they would then stay the night, and go fishing (much to Gordon's delight) the next day, and finished with one more night in the wild. So, overall the trip lasted three days, including flight time. Plenty of time for brotherly bonding!

Present in the lounge were Jeff, all of the boys, Tin-Tin, and lastly Grandma Tracy. Kyrano and Brains having already bid farewell earlier on that day. All of the sons were clad in outdoor clothing, and each adorning their own extremely large rucksack, (Scott and Alan unluckily carrying a tent each), the boys were finally set to go.

"Now remember boys, be careful, no arguing, fighting OR practical jokes," Grandma glanced pointedly at the two youngest, "and if you get lost...".

"It's because Scott was leading us," Gordon whispered to Alan so that the said man was unable to hear. Though the look from their Grandma and Alan's outburst of laughter made it quite evident that something had been shared.

"I expect you all back here in exactly three days, well enough to restart duty, understood?" Jeff explained, a slight smile gracing his features as his eyes scanned each of his sons. There was a form of acknowledgment from each individual, until Tin-Tin pointed out they should be leaving before it got dark.

After saying goodbye to the remainder of the family, Alan and Tin-Tin taking ridiculously long to perform their 'lover's farewell' as John had put it, they boarded the jet and set off for their destination.

"I knew it, that's the same tree as before!" Gordon exclaimed, pointing dramatically at the huge oak tree that stood before them.

"How do you know that? This whole environment is surrounded by them, we are in a FOREST Gordon!" Virgil retorted, as usual quick to defend his older brother. In accordance to the map, Scott had told them that they should be reaching the lake very shortly... That was three hours ago.

It was now nearing dusk and they had yet to set up camp, the situation was almost desperate.

"Because Virg, it's the one that looks like Brains, remember? Those markings depicted his facial features so well, I certainly doubt there would be another tree in the world with such an uncanny resemblance!"

"OK guys, let's calm it down a little, yeah?" John, always the peacemaker suggested. "Now, if we just stop blaming each other for a moment..."

"Or Gordon stops blaming me".

"Then, we can work together as a team and fix this problem" Spoke John, having ignored Scott's previous interruption.

There was a murmur of what John assumed to be agreement as he signaled for Scott to hand him the map. "Now, where are we on here?"

30 Minutes later...

"Finally!" Alan gasped as they took in the serene view of the sparkling lake, "I thought we were goners".

"Ditto", Gordon seconded from his left.

At last they had arrived at the spot they had been searching for. A smooth slope was where they stood, with various vegetation and tree's of all sorts that covering the area, almost sheltering it. Below the slope was a well positioned log ideal for seating and then even, leveled-land, all beside an almost circular lake. A perfect place to set up, complete with privacy and a wonderful view.

"Come on guys, quit dawdling. We need to get these tents up before it gets too dark to see", Scott called authoritatively from the lower area.

For the first time noticing that they had something to be doing, Alan, Gordon and John made their way down to the numerous pieces of the tent yet to be assembled, scattered randomly amongst the shrubbery.

"Hey you two, why don't you make yourselves useful and get some burning material for us?" Scott suggested looking towards the two youngest Tracy brothers.

With grunts of annoyance, yet no protests, the two agreed, albeit unhappily.

As Gordon and Alan set out to collect some firewood, Virgil, John and Scott were left alone to assemble the sleeping quarters.

"Scott?"

"Yeah?"

"We have two tents, who's sleeping where?" Virgil inquired after forcefully shoving the last peg into the earthy soil.

"Well, you and I of course, and then whatever, probably Alan and Gords together. John you want in with us?"

"Sure Scott... Say, shouldn't those two have gotten back by now?"

Glancing at his watch Virgil nodded, "I think you're right John, they left over an hour ago".

"Did they take their communicators with them?" Asked Scott.

"Uh oh... Knew we'd forgot something," Virgil muttered.

"What? How could we forget, we checked over everything multiple times! And John, did you check the weather report?"

"Er, yeah I did, 19 °C, mostly cloudy and possibly some showers."

"That explains those rain clouds then", Scott signaled to the sky grimly.

The three men peered upwards to see numerous dark grey rainclouds looming not far from their position. "Well that just tops the day off, this is getting worse every hour".

"Come on guys, lighten up, at least the tents are finally up!" Virgil faked enthusiasm.

"Alright, we'll wait for another half an hour, and if Al and Gordon aren't back, we're going to have to go searching for them," Scott explained.

"Sounds good bro, now I know something we haven't forgot!" John beamed as he began fiddling with the side of his rucksack. A moment later he found what he was looking for and yelled triumphantly, "coffee!"

"Thank God for small comforts... Come on guys, lets get inside. Knock that peg back in would you Virgil?" Scott pointed to the ground before unzipping their temporary home and stepping inside.

"Yes sir".

Meanwhile Gordon and Alan were making their trek back to camp, each with a stack of wood in their arms.

"Gordo?"

"Yup?"

"The guys do realize that it's going to rain right, so why are we gathering wood?"

Gordon paused and turned to look at Alan, "I don't believe them! I bet they just wanted to get rid of us for an hour or so."

"Those sneaky little..." However whatever Alan was going to say was unfinished as he sighted the sly grin on Gordon's face, "what?"

"I say we give our dear brothers, something to worry about. How about it?"

"And exactly what do you have in mind?"

Dropping his collected wood unceremoniously into a pile on the floor, Gordon began to inform his younger brother of his scheme. "Well you see it's simple, we don't really have to do anything, except for ensure that we don't get spotted."

"But why?"

"I'm thinking that we should take advantage of our brother's worry. Just imagine it, they'll already be expecting us back. If we can just hold out for a little longer, they'll begin panicking, then we'll stroll back casually as though nothing has happened."

"And they'll regret ever trying to get rid of us..." Alan's features appeared to brighten considerably as he caught on to the plan.

"... Smother us with care, well not too much".

"And give us extra marshmallows!" Alan finished happily.

"Uh huh. And we can always say we got lost, after all Scott did that easy enough. Equipped with a map, and not to mention the fact that he's our field commander."

"Gee I know, I'm not sure I trust him so much anymore." Alan laughed.

"OK, so he may not be great at navigating, but he's second to none with split-second decision making," Gordon admitted.

"Yeah, I guess your right. Are you gonna pick that up?" Alan queried, nodding towards the various sized branches on the floor.

His question was answered as Gordon bent over in order to grab it.

"Now come on Al, if we go back the way we just came, we won't get lost." Gordon provided as he began retracing their steps, Alan trailing not far behind.

"SNAP!"

"Aw Scott, you can't lean that close you cheat!" Virgil exclaimed as the elder man brought his hand down on top of the pile.

"And you keep saying so, stop being a sore loser Virg. It's not my fault you have poor reactions".

"Says the guy who thought the King and the Jack were the same card, turns out you really are getting old. I'm sure Alan won't mind replacing you as pilot of Thunderbird One."

John chuckled at the mindless banter before remembering something, "hey Scott, how long has it been?"

"My word, is that the time! Right, someone is going to have to go and look for them".

"But what about the tents? Someone will have to stay", Virgil supplied helpfully.

"I'll do it", John volunteered with raise of his hand, "leave all that rescue business to the two of you."

"As usual," Scott grinned as he rolled his shoulders back. "You ready Virgil?"

"Sure, whatever you do John don't move away from here, the last thing we need is you going missing as well", Virgil stated.

"OK, take care guys".

"We will," Scott said pushing his way out of the opening, Virgil following.

They hadn't been walking long before the first signs of rain began. "Scott?"

"What?"

"I can feel raindrops..."

"Yeah me too, I was hoping we'd be back before it started," Scott admitted sadly.

"Are you sure this is the right way?" Virgil asked hesitantly gazing at the slightly unfamiliar surroundings.

"I'd say so, besides, by the time we've finished looking, they'll probably be back with John roasting marshmallows".

By now the rain had began to escalate and the wind levels were rising alarmingly, blocking their vision and preventing them from seeing the path ahead of them clearly.

"Oh yeah... I'm sure they're having a fabulous time roasting those marshmallows Scott..." Virgil said through gritted teeth, covering his face from the bitter cold wind.

"How was I supposed to know the weather would change this quickly! One moment it's absolutely fine, then next it's changing like wildfire. We'd best hope everything is still intact back with John".

"Look, this is foolish, we should have just stayed where they could find us. Maybe we should go back, Scott?"

Sighing Scott checked out the area surrounding them, before turning back to the other man, "lead the way Virg".

"Oh, that was definitely lightning that time!" Gordon declared.

"Yes, lightning, in a damn wet forest, and we're hiding at the bottom of a tree Gordon... I'm really having fantastic time," Alan growled sarcastically.

"Cheer up. Help me count the intervals, oh it's not far away now!"

"Well I'm glad you seem to be enjoying yourself Gordon, I on the other hand think we've played this game for long enough".

"Oh quit being a spoil sport Alan, you know what..." Gordon's words were cut short as a fork of lightning struck just metres away from them.

"For Pete's sake! I'm getting out of here!" Alan yelled crawling out from their temporary hiding place, "come on Gords, you've had your fun, this isn't funny anymore."

Gulping, Gordon looked one last time at the place where they'd very narrowly avoided being struck themselves. "Yeah, you're right, we need to get outta here."

Gordon took the offered hand as Alan heaved him up from the ground.

Together the two brothers hurried through the soaked mud and stormy weather, fortunately it wasn't long until they came to the ridge and were once again met with the spectacular view.

"Phew, is that a sight for sore eyes," Gordon sighed in relief.

"Yep, let's just hope the guys didn't come looking for us..."

Not far away were the two oldest, dripping wet Tracy brothers, who wore similar expressions of annoyance on their faces.

"Scott?"

"What now?" Scott demanded, his patience beginning to wear thin.

"Why the hell did we choose this location... When we live on a tropical island?"

Scott grinned slightly despite the situation, "if I'd have thought of that sooner Virg, we wouldn't be in this current predicament".

"Wait! Do you see that?" Virgil turned so he was facing his brother.

"No... Where?"

"Scott, we made it. Thank God, come on hurry up!" Virgil cried happily quickening his pace.

Scott's confusion lasted a moment longer before he caught sight of the reason for Virgil's sudden change in mood.

Only a minute later the two men had sprinted, as much as they could in squelchy mud, towards their tents.

"John!" Scott bellowed as they neared their younger brother.

Just seconds later a zip was thrust down and a curious head emerged from the entrance of the green tent. "Scott, Virgil finally!" John exclaimed.

"We were about to call the rescue services out for the two of you, you can never be too safe with a pair of old men such as yourselves in this weather," Gordon teased from the confines of the other shelter.

"You found the brats then." Virgil stated the obvious.

"Hey!" Alan protested, "I didn't say anything".

"I have no doubts you were about to Alan, now John, are you going to sit there comfortably all day or let Virg and I in?"

"Yes it's freezing out here," Virgil shivered as to prove his point.

Looking his brothers up and down John bit his lip thoughtfully, "I'm not sure, you guys look awfully drenched, and we wouldn't want the sleeping bags getting wet".

"John Tracy, you will let us in right now! And if you don't you can join Alan and Gordon in their's and stay there for the rest of this 'holiday'".

With no further comment John moved out of the way to give access to the both of them.

"Who put you in charge anyway Scott?" Alan yelled from the safety of the other tent, "you're about as much use at leading a camping trip as a blind man is at driving!"

Ignoring Alan's taunts Scott turned to John, "so when did those two get back?"

"About 10 minutes before you two did, apparently they got lost".

"Yeah well I've had just about enough of these mini-adventures, who's up to leaving first thing tomorrow morning.

"Me!" Two immediate replies were heard.

"Thought so," Scott chuckled, "still lets not make it a wasted journey, poker anyone?" Scott asked holding a the now slightly bent deck of cards.

With nods from the other two Scott began shuffling the cards, it'd be a long time before they ever went camping again.

A week later...

After their dreadful break, they had returned home the next morning with no complaints. John had been granted another two days on earth to make up for the missed out holiday, until it was finally time for him to return to the space station.

They'd received only two rescue calls since, one relatively simple, requiring the mole, and then the most recent which proved to be difficult. Even at this time of the year a forest fire had broke out in Australia, begrudgingly the Thunderbirds had arrived and taken care of it.

Scott was sure that he and his brothers wouldn't be visiting any woodlands in the near future. No, right now an island in the sun in the South Pacific ocean would suffice...

Wrote this on a gloomy, rainy day, can't you guess?

Constructive criticism is always welcome, but no flaming please.

Hope you enjoyed.

DeathRealm.