'Causing a Scene' series

- various 'one and two shots' about the Tracy family, in different situations, but always managing to 'cause a scene' at some point.

For the purpose of this story the boys ages are :-

Scott ...11

John...9

Virgil...6

Gordon...4

Alan...2

(Lucy died in an accident shortly after Alan was born)

Behind Closed Doors

It started out just like any other ordinary day. Jeff Tracy thought it would be, by the colour of the sky as he watched the red haze of the sunrise in the east, covering the land in brightening shades of light. He glanced at the kitchen clock. It was quarter past seven.

She was late.

Again.

He sighed before taking another gulp of coffee. The bitter taste making him cringe as it slid down his throat. He had still not mastered the art of the coffee machine, nor any other kitchen applience. Lucy had finally given in to his lack of 'finese' in the kitchen, and put it down to him being too 'manly'.

Jeff's eyes glanced to the hallway as he heard someone desending from upstairs. The girl Jeff had hired to help look after the boys whilst he went to work, was not turning out as well as he'd planned it would.

Jeff knew the 'cheap option' of child care was not perfect, but he didn't have the money to spare, not with his three oldest boys in school, the younger two in Kindergarden. With his bussiness plans in full swing, he needed some reliable help with the boys and in the house to give him a peace of mind, and to stop him from feeling so guilty about all the extra hours he was doing now.

A few months after Lucy's death, Jeff promised Scott a chance to live his own life, without looking out for his younger brothers all the time. He had noticed that Scott's protectivness of his siblings went way over , when Jeff approached Scott about getting in help, Scott had fiercly insisted that they didn't need anyone to help them. So Jeff had let it drop at his mother's insistance.

Grandma Tracy told him she thought maybe this was Scott's way of greiving, unable to stop the loss of his mother, he simply would not let anything else bad happen to the rest of his family. Scott himself would look out for, and protect them. She thought it was even possible that Scott, himself had no idea he was even doing it.

But lately, things started to change in the house. Jeff's boys were growing up.

Scott found a love and a talent for sports, but he was unable to get to all of the team training sessions because he took care of his younger brothers so much. Scott's coach spoke privately to Jeff and told him that if Scott could not attend all the training sessions, he would have to be dropped from the team.

Jeff imagined how bad Scott would feel if that were to happen, he also knew Scott would play it down, as if he, himself was not as important as his younger brothers.

And so, Jeff brought up the idea of hired help again. Reluctantly Scott agreed that it would help them, casting a tired glance at Alan and Gordon who were both asleep on the sofa, after another long day at the kindergarden.

Jeff refused to ask his own parents for anymore help. He sent them back to their own home a few months ago, insisting that he and his boys could, and would manage on their own.

Scott was great with his brothers and they loved him dearly. Scott never complained about looking out for his siblings, and Jeff relied a lot on his eldest son to help him out. Or rather, take the energetic boys off his hands when he needed to work, which was increasing at such at rate, Jeff barely saw them much anymore during the week.

But Jeff knew he had to sacrifce the time he had now. If he could make this work, he and his boys would never want for anything ever again, and he could spend as much time with them as he wanted too.

But Scott was growing up, and becoming involved in more activites in school. Jeff knew his own sanity would be short lived if he had to look after the four remaining sons on his own. It would be World War Three all over again.

Jeff reassured Scott that if the aupair did the school run, and took care of Alan and Gordon, keeping them entertained until Scott got back from baseball at 5.30pm instead of them going into the kindergarden for such a long time, it would be a big help.

And so he hired a 'nanny', or rather an 'Aupair'. The difference being the 'nanny' would be trained (and more expensive), and the 'au-pair' untrained and cheaper.

Not that he thought there was much difference. A girl to keep an eye on the boys and do some housework like Lucy used to do, was all he thought he needed. Jeff himself, and Scott could manage the rest on their own.

Afterall, Lucy and he, himself were not trained to bring up children. Not many parents were. So really, while they were tight on cash, trained or untrained never really came into the equation.

Jeff's mother had offered to come back over and help out when she found out what Jeff was doing. Jeff refused the offer. He knew his family needed to at least give it a go first. Jeff was not the sort of man to roll over and let other people do work that he could do or work out for himself.

Jeff's mother had retired a few years ago, and he felt she should stay in retirement, not be on call to look after five lively boys and their widowed father. Jeff was a proud man and the last thing he needed was his own mother hanging around telling him how to bring up his sons.

He did everything properly, through an agency. He had references and police checks done. The chosen candidate seemed to be everything he and the boys needed.

Jeff sighed again and heard the aupair making her way down the stairs.

"Morning, Emma" he greeted in his deep voice. "Did you have a good time last night?"

"Good morning, Mr Tracy." The young bleached blond haired woman answered cheerfully. She liked her boss, and tried to impress him every chance she got. "We went down to the bar again. It was great, thanks."

"Thats nice. Look, I'm going to have to rush again this morning, could you, um, please make sure you are down here by seven am tomorrow? I have another important meeting to get to."

"Of course, Mr Tracy. No problem." She cringed inside, but didn't let it show. "I'm sorry if I held you up today."

Jeff smiled at her as he opened the door. "No worries, Emma. Tell the boys I'll be home late again tonight." He stepped out before remembering to say "Oh, and ask Scott to help John with his homework in the park, I won't get time to do it with him myself before the weekend. Bye."

Emma nodded and smiled at her employer as he shut the door behind him, then she scowled at the stairs as she heard the boys talking. She turned and started to get out the breakfast dishes for Alan and Gordon.

Scott appeared at the door with Alan in his arms and Gordon bouncing excitedly at his side. "Emma, Emma, are we having pancakes this morning?" young Gordon ran over to her and wrapped his arms around her legs. "Scott said you'd make us some. Mummy always made 'em on a Wed'day!"

Scott out Alan into his chair before grabbing six pieces of bread and putting them into the toaster, he avoided the glare she sent in his direction.

"Morning, Emma." Scott echoed his fathers greeting, "Virg and John will be down shortly and we'll head off to catch the bus. Has Dad just gone?" He looked to the window to see his fathers car pull away.

Emma untangled herself from Gordon and placed him on the kitchen counter. "No, he left ages ago. Your Dad said you have to take John to the park straight after school." She paused with an after-thought and added, "no baseball tonight."

She smirked inside as she saw his face fall in disapointment. "Don't worry Scott, I'm sure you're coach will understand."

She was lying. He knew she was, but there was nothing he could do about it. She was the adult, and his dad had gone out of his way to get someone into help. Not many people would work for a single man with five kids.

Jeff told Scott, before she came, that he had to make her feel as welcome as possible, and to do everything she told him to do. Not that Scott would do any less.

Gordon stood up on the counter and was riffling through the cuboards looking for flour, "I found it, Emma!" Was the shout of joy before he lost his balance and tipped the whole bag of flour over Emma, himself and the entire kitchen.

"Why you little bra.." She stopped herself in time, throwing a look of hate in Scott's direction as he quickly pulled out the toast and wrapped them up in bundles for him and his absent brothers, knowing she could not get him to clean up the mess.

"Get out of here! Look what you've done! If you can't stop distracting me from my job, just go... before I tell your father!"

Scott left the room quickly and bumped into John. "Hey, what's going on? What did you do this time?"

Scott handed John one of the wrapped up toast parcels, "You really don't want to know." The sound of Alan's laugher floated out the kitchen, "I'm taking you to the park straight after school, so I'll meet you at the gates, ok?"

"Sure. But don't you have practise tonight? I can wait 'till after, if you like?"

Scott smiled at his quiet brother's thoughtfulness, "Thanks, but its fine. Come on, lets get going." They paused at the front door, "Virgil!" Scott shouted as John opened the door and stepped out "Come on, we're going to be late!"

A thundering of feet was heard as Virgil dashed down the stairs and joined them. Together, they walked to the bus stop munching on their toast, unaware that a pair of unfriendly eyes followed them from the house.

TBTBTB

(Later that day)

Ring ring.

Ring ring.

"Tracy Enterprises. Margaret speaking. How may I help you?" Jeff's secretary answered the phone, the woman's voice was friendly, as she continued typing the documents Jeff had asked her to do for him.

A flustered females voice broke through the secretary's concentration. "Please tell Mr Tracy to pick up his children from School. There has been an... inncident, and one of his sons is on his way to the hospital."

The secretary's face fell, "Oh my goodness! What happened? Which one is it?"

The woman ignored the question. "Can you get the message to Mr Tracy or not? If not, is there anyone else I can contact?"

The secretary pulled herself together. "No. I mean, yes, I will tell him right away. You should also contact Emma, she is the boys au-pair, or perhaps Scott..."

The woman on the other line went quiet for a moment. "Well, mam, I'm afraid we can't do that. Emma is... um... well, the police are here..." she trailed off.

"Oh my goodness! I'll get Mr Tracy right now. Can I have your name please?"

"I'm Ms Mason, the school secretary. If Mr Tracy can collect his boys from the Elementary School as soon as possible, I would suggest he goes on to the hospital, after he talks to the police. Thank you for your help."

And with that, the secretary heared the dialling tone.

She blinked as she digested what she'd just been told and wondered what had happened. Pressing the comlink on the desk, she waited for Jeff to answer.

"Yes, Margaret, what can I do for you? Is that document finished already?" He sounded busy, not really focused on her.

"I've just taken a call from the Elementary School, a 'Ms Mason', Mr Tracy. She asked that you collect the boys from school right away."

"Huh? What? Did you say Virgil's school? What has he done?" He glanced at his diary, he didn't have time for this, he had an important meeting to get to in half an hour. "Shouldn't they be home by now?" He asked with a hint of annoyance in his voice.

"Ms Mason did'nt say, only that you need to collect the boys right away. And" she added "One of them is on the way to hospital..."

"What!" Jeff jumped to his feet, and looked at his watch as he strode out of his office and into the waiting room. It was 5.30pm.

"Where is Emma? She should have picked them up hours ago. And Scott? He's supposed to take John to the park for his homework after school? What happened? Who is it?"

Margaret had no answers for him, and as he left, she started to make the calls to cancel all the meetings scheduled for that day, and took the liberty to put on hold the meetings for tomorrow.

Margaret had never seen Jeff ramble before. But the fact that one of his sons was injured, and he didn't know which son, or how bad it was. It would be enough to worry any parent to ramble.

Even Jeff Tracy.

TBTBTB

(Earlier in the afternoon)

Scott walked to the school to meet with John. He could see his team mates on the playing field doing warm-up. He wanted to be with them, but pulled a 'sicky'. He had to take John to the park so he could continue his homework, as Scott walked he wondered how Alan and Gordon were coping today, after the disarster in the kitchen that morning.

He knew that Emma didn't look after them as well as she should. He could tell by the way they reacted to her when he came home from school in the afternon, and how their behaviour had changed.

Emma didn't like Scott. He wondered what he had done, for her to hate him so much. He admitted to himself that he never really like her either. He never did anything to get in her way, not really. But somehow, she always managed to have reason to shout at him (when no-one was about) or get him in to trouble with his dad.

She thought he was a pain, a spoilt brat. She kept telling him so, but never in front of anyone - not even his brothers. Those words were always spoken quietly. The feelings of self-doubt began to creep in.

He knew he should say something, but his dad had gone to so much trouble to get her, and it was all for him. So he sucked it up and kept it in. So long as his brothers were safe, and happy, Scott could cope.

Besides, Emma was always nice to his brothers, from what he could see. Virgil liked her, because she enjoyed listening to his piano playing. She even helped him out.

Scott felt a little jealous of that. She was trying to re-place their mothers shoes.

John liked her because she left him alone. He could work and study without any of his younger brothers bothering him.

Gordon thought she was great because she let him swim most of the day, and Scott was sure she gave him sweets and biscuits all the time to bribe him.

Alan, well Alan was at the age where he was clingy. Scott hated to leave his two younger brothers in her care, hated the fact that they started to ask for her instead of him. But either that or they'd be put back into kindergarden again. That was not an option, as far as Scott was concerned.

So he held his peace and took whatever she threw at him with his head held high, and sometimes his fists clenched behind his back.

That was, until last week, at least.

They had their first big argument.

Scott never normally argued. Not with an adult, and certainly not with a girl.

But what Emma was doing was wrong. She was not their mother, and she never would be. He had acutally shouted the words at her, when he heard Alan call her 'mummy' in the shop. He corrected his younger sibling in front of the cashier - who looked taken back - Emma had been pretending that Alan was hers since the moment she started to work with the family, and Scott had had enough.

He had to stop her before one of his siblings, or his father got hurt by her . He swallowed as he thought about what she'd said.

Who would his father believe when he found out? His eldest son, who Jeff had been told by Emma, that Scott was becoming 'differcult' because of his age, or would his Dad believe the au-pair, who seemed to be becoming the center of the family?

Scott hated it. He found himself not believing that even he had the right to say anything, not when his brothers seemed so happy.

When Scott arrived and stood outside waiting for the fair haired brother to arrive - no doubt he was talking to his teacher again, as usual. Scott looked around for Emma and noticed a couple of familiar figures playing alone on the upper school playground equipment. He looked towards the doors again briefly, before heading in the direction that he saw his two youngest brothers playing - unsupervised.

He guessed Emma was inside the school talking to Virgils teacher. Virgil told him that she did that a lot. Virgil never mentioned to him anything about the younger two being left outside on their own.

He held his breath as he saw Gordon swing upside down from the top of the climbing frame. He started to walk faster, but didn't shout as he didn't want to startle him and make him lose his grip on the high bar.

Alan disapeared from his sight and then a small cry from the bushes spurred Scott into action. He raced across the playing field and shouted out, "Alan!"

Gordon stopped his monkey antic's at Scott's paniced voice, and spotted his eldest brother tearing towards him. Thinking he was in trouble for something he let go and fell to the ground with a startled cry and a soft 'thud'.

Scott paused by Gordon long enough to check he was okay, before darting off towards where he'd heard Alan's voice.

Alan was being dragged away from the park by a woman towards a parked car. A man was anxiously waiting for them with the car door open.

"Stop!" Yelled Scott as he crashed through the undergrowth, "Stop! Let my brother go!"

The woman pulled harder, and the man began to shout, urging the woman to hurry, and to let out a few choice words of disapointment about being seen and caught in the act of kidnapping the child.

Upon hearing Scott's voice, Alan started shouting, screaming and struggling as only a two year old could in full tantrum mode. Thus making it almost impossible for the woman to keep a grip on him, first he started by the swinging his arms and legs wildly, then as Scott got closer he changed from hell cat, to limp and floppy. The woman was not expecting the change and dropped him in shock.

At that moment Scott arrived and pulled Alan by his arm and away from the woman. But in his haste to reach his brother before the woman got him in the car he missed the man approaching from his right.

The man raised his fist and swung at Scott, and all he heard before everything went black was Gordon screaming "No!"

TBTBTB

Emma was in the School chatting to one of the male music teachers.

It was about Virgil and how talented he was musically. The teacher was trying to convince Emma that Virgil should be given extra sessions at home with a private tutor, him for example.

Emma was intrugied, and had met the teacher - a Mr Hill, before.

Mr Hill had called for a meeting- which Emma failed to mention to Jeff, to discuss the boy's future, amongst other things. Both Mr Hill and Emma had been attracked to each other since Emma's first day working for the Tracy's.

But Emma had a dilemma.

Emma now saw herself as the boys 'mother' - all of them except that 'perfect' brat, Scott. Him, she would talk to Jeff about boarding school. Emma was falling for her famous, widowed boss.

Her friends thought she should 'go for it', and said they'd help her look amazing in his eyes. But then, this school teacher was much younger and a very good distraction for her at weekends.

She thought it wouldn't hurt to see Mr Hill, and with him coming over to the house to give Virgil extra sessions, could only score her points with Jeff, and she'd see Mr Hill as well.

Who said you couldn't have the best of both worlds?

She'd get Scott sent away for good, and she'd be rewarded with Jeff's gratitude - and maybe more.

TBTBTB

Emma left the younger boys - as usual, in the school grounds and told them to stay put. What she did'nt know was her 'so called friends' she'd met at a bar had involved some not so friendly types who decided that a little money would be an added bonus.

What they didn't count on was the eldest son.

They thought they'd take the youngest and all they had to do was issue a ransom, and claim that they took him whislt the eldest son was watching out for him, so the blame would lay on Scott.

No-one would get hurt. Everyone would get what they wanted.

The kidnappers would get money, Emma would get rid of Scott, and become an even more relied and needed person by Jeff.

But of course, it never went the way they planned it would.

After Gordon landed, he did the right thing and shouted "Stop!" his voice making the parents of his friends look over, before he himself ran after Scott into the bushes.

Luckily for all of them, Richard Kane, the school president, who was also the father of one of the Tracy boys friends, followed the boys. He knew Jeff well, and he consider Jeff a good friend.

Richard ran into the bushes and heard Gordon shout "No!" He was in time to see Gordon fall on his knee's next to his older brother as Alan was left in a crying heap on the floor, whilst the couple made their gettaway in the car.

"Hey, stop." Richard shouted and knowing there was nothing he could do, so he took the car's plates and typed it into his blackberry before contacting the police himself.

He knelt down next to a sobbing Gordon, and tried to consol Alan as well. He tried to reassure them, but it was no good. He checked Scott, who was unconcious on the ground, a cut on the side of his forehead. After checking for any broken bones, he picked up Scott and Alan, and carried them back the into the school grounds, with Gordon holding onto his trousers next to him.

Some of the other parents saw them coming and a few of them assisted in carrying the distrort boys into the school. Disgust from other carers and parents was aimed at the person who was supposed to be in charge of them. Some blamed Emma, others blamed Jeff. Rumers started to spread like wild fire as people talked.

Ms Mason was shocked to see them coming through her door in such a state. And once Scott was settled on the couch in the nurses office, Gordon and Alan were sent to stay with the secretary until his brothers arrived. An ambulence was called.

It arrived the same time as the police did.

Richard after resucing them, went in search of John, Virgil, and Emma. He found Virgil in the music room after one of the mothers said she saw the boys 'mother' go in there to talk to Mr Hill with Virgil.

He pushed open the door, and was surprised to see Emma and Mr Hill standing a much too close to each other as Virgil played a piece on the piano, unable to see what they were doing as the adults were behind him.

"I think you should come with me Emma. Mr Hill, I suggest you pack up your things,and be prepared to start looking for a new job." He was angry, Jeff's boys had been hurt, and here was their carer flirting with a teacher, with one of her bosses sons in the room!

Emma was shocked at the rude manner of man, who had been kind to her on many occasions, and answered him back "Mr Kane! Who do you think you are? Bursting in here like that! Virgil is in the middle of a music test to see which level he needs to practise at home."

"I'm the President of this school!" He snapped back, "And it's your job to look out for those boys. Now stop flirting with one of my teachers, and get out there to do your job! What kind of monster leaves a couple of babies outside on their own?"

He was on a roll, angry at what he had seen, and how the girl was reacting made his protective parental feelings surface. "If any of those boys has been hurt badly, you will be locked away in hell for the rest of your life! Now come with me, there are some people who want to talk to you."

He grabbed her arm and lead her out of the room, before he left, he realised that Virgil had stopped playing the piano and was looking wide-eyed at him. In a gentler voice he said, "Virgil, why don't you go to the office? Your brothers are there waiting for you."

Turning his attention to the music teacher, he told Mr Hill to stay put, or the police would soon be knocking on his door.

TBTBTB

Jeff made a personal speed record (within the law) from his office to his son's Elementary school.

The suited man pulled to a stop outside and was instantly aware of the police cars parked by the main doors. A group of parents and children had congregated around them and Jeff could not see what they were looking at.

He pushed past them and walked up the steps into the school.

An officer tried to stop him from going in, but he looked the man in the eyes and informed him "My sons are in this building, I've just had a call at work to come and collect them. Let me in."

The officer saw the concerned emotion showing in Jeff's eyes, even though his face was passive and buissnesslike. "What is your name, sir?"

"Jeff Tracy, and my son's are called Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon and Alan. Please, let me see my son's. I need to know they are alright."

"If you would just wait here Mr Tracy, I'll radio the sergant and see if you are allowed to enter the building..."

Jeff suddenly looked furious, but then Richard Kent spotted him outside the door.

He came to the door and pulled it open. "Jeff, you're here. Thank god! Come inside and I'll tell you what happened. What have they told you so far?"

The police officer moved to the side and Jeff walked past him. As the two men walked to the classroom where his children were, Richard explained what he knew to have happened.

Jeff's face became fearful as his friend told him that his youngest son was nearly kidnapped by a strange couple, and that had Scott not been there to rescue Alan, he would be gone by now. He also told him that the two youngest boys had been left alone in the playground, whist Emma had been in the school 'talking' to Virgils music teacher.

As they paused outside the classroom, Richard put a hand on Jeff's arm. "Scott was taken to hospital. He was unconcious when I found him, it was Gordon who shouted out that made me realise something was even wrong. Your boys are all very brave, and little hero's in the making."

Jeff put his hand on top of Richards in gratitude at his comments and for his help. Then they walked into the classroom.

TBTBTB

John waited by the gate, just as Scott had told him too.

He was surprised that his older brother, who was never late, was not there waiting for him.

He heard the police cars and watched them and the abulance pull into the school grounds, stopping outside the main doors. He watched as they all rushed into the school. John looked around at the people gathered by the doors, and thought that maybe Scott had gone over to see what was going on.

Curious, John decided to have a look for himself.

"What's happening?" He asked another boy who was watching the scene unfold.

The boy was older than him, and he looked down at John as he answered, "They're saying some dum kids got dumped by their mother in the playground, and they tried to murder each other."

John looked shocked. "Why would they do that?"

The boy looked like he was enjoying himself, "Sounds like they were mad, probably cannibals, or som'in like that. I heard there was loads a blood..and the kid who did it, is still hiding somewhere in there.." Nodding his head to the school where a police man was standing guard outside.

John's face paled at the thought. He really wanted to find Scott. He moved away from the teenager, and started to scan the crowd for any sign of his older brother. But he found none.

Then the doors of the school opened and the abulance men came out wheeling a trolley with someone on it. The crowd parted to let them get to the abulance, voices hushed as the person was loaded into the van. John stood on his toes to look, he saw a wisp of dark hair, and his brother's unmistakable face, even though it was bruised, bloody and had a mask over his mouth and nose to help him breathe.

John felt his own breath catch in his throat, this was not happening. Scott had been caught by the cannibal! Where were his other brothers? Where was Emma? He had to find them and check that they were safe.

Scared witless, John pushed his way out of the crowd and ran up the steps into the school to see if any of the teachers knew where his brothers could be. Maybe the Cannibal had them. His young, imaginative mind got carried away as he ran in a panic.

He felt someone wrap their arms around his waist and lift him off the ground. He screamed, thinking it was the cannibal. A man's voice was soothing in his ear, telling him to calm down, and that his brother was going to be alright.

Richard had seen the fair haired young boy in the crowd gathered around the cars as he watched Scott loaded into the ambalance. He knew John was smart enough to see that it was Scott on the stretcher, and proberbly had no idea why.

Richard watched the young boy run up the steps, and he called out to the lad, but John did not hear him. So instead he picked John up and carried him to where his other brothers were. As he carried the struggling child, whose heart he could feel beside his chest beating wildly, he spoke calming words of reassurance.

John calmed down and listened to Richard's voice, tears filled his eyes, but he never let them trickle down his face. Richard saw how brave John was being.

"Its going to be alright, John. Your Daddy is on his way. You stay in the class room with your brothers and Ms Mason, okay."

John took a shaky breath, "But what about the canabal? Won't he eat us? Where's Emma? Did he eat her already?"

Richard looked down at the young boy in his arms, not quite sure what he was talking about. "Um, Johnny, there is no cannibal. Emma is talking to the police, she's not been eaten." Then a sudden thought occured to him. "Did you think Scott had been eaten?"

John nodded yes. Bright eyes fixed on the man carrying him.

"Why would you think that?"

John's face screwed up, "The b...boy outside, he ... he said cannibals..., so I came to s..save my brothers..."

Richard was astonded at the loyalty the Tracy boys had for each other. John was obversly terrified, but he still came to look for his siblings.

Jeff Tracy was a lucky man indeed, for having such talented, bright, and good children. Most families could only ever hope of having one, but Jeff had five.

Wonders never ceased to amaze him. He wondered what amazing things the future held for these amazing children, and he only hoped that after all they had been through, they would grow up unscathed by the horrors of this mad world.

TBTBTB

To Be Continued...

I know, I still have 'Mind Games' on the go - and its going. Chapter 25 out soon (I promise!)

Hope you enjoyed, next chapter up shortly...