This is the separate part of the story that I said didn't fit into Autonomy for some reason. It's short, just one other part to come I think. This is set between the boys heading home and the funeral. If you haven't read my other story, I would suggest you do, just for understanding of what is going on here.

The K+ rating is based on the inclusion of some mild coarse language.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Thunderbirds (they belong to someone who is not me, I don't actually know who it is now) and I am not making any money from this story. None of the characters are intended to portray any living or dead person and any similarities are entirely coincidental.

This disclaimer applies to all chapters posted for this story.

1. Suggestions

Some days, when life started to get bored with running smoothly, it'd throw a spanner into the works. However, today, it'd exceeded itself, and thrown the whole damn toolbox in.

For the eldest Tracy son, the tropical, leafy-green paradise that was Tracy Island was just coming into view, a rapidly growing pinprick on the horizon. After everything that had shook itself out back in South Dakota, Scott had decided to fly back home alongside his brother; just for support and all.

He'd had an interesting conversation with their father after the VTOL jets had powered both Thunderbirds into the gem-sparkling, blue sky. Needing to call in with ETA's and other important information, Scott had failed to find any other reason for why he was flying escort, except for the truth.

"Wait just a moment, Scott, let me get this straight. No misunderstandings. You've allowed your brother to fly home, when he's busy dealing with an event that has extreme, emotional consequences?"

Feeling more than a little abashed, but trying not to look it, the young pilot had answered his powerful father, trying to stare him down as best he could, through a small, smart glass video feed.

"Well, yes, sir." No matter how well his father had chosen his words to shed the worst light, in all honesty he was right. Scott wasn't about to completely back down though. "However, Virgil seemed to be perfectly capable of piloting, and I trust his judgement. Otherwise I would have insisted on Brains flying back."

"I admire your loyalty somewhat, Son, but if you felt Virgil was 'perfectly capable of piloting' would you really be flying only just ahead?"

And there, his father had got it; hook, line and sinker.

Scott had let Virgil fly because it was easier than arguing, and besides, he hadn't seemed that distracted, or anything. Focused enough to get home at any rate.

The journey back wasn't a long one, even at what Thunderbird One would have called the stately, pedestrian pace of it's larger sister; and by this point in the conversation they'd been just flying out of United States of America water space, an excuse Scott had made to kill the conversation.

He maintained radio silence for as long as he could. Knowing that if he put a call into his younger brother, Virgil would think he was checking-up on him, and that if he called in to home, the inquisition would start all over.

There was, however, only so long he could put off landing protocol, and eventually had to use the comm. device to state his intentions to get back on terra firma.

And so, with the Island's largest pool now draining of water, as he continued to rocket towards home, Scott began adjusting settings to allow for the switch to vertical flight, and the painful debriefing he knew was coming.

Tracy Island, Jeff Tracy's office, continuing on;

Yet again, the world found Jeff Tracy standing at the window, beside the noticeably over watered pot plant. Just out on the horizon, he could see two dark specks, growing in size. His sons.

Watching the magnificent, fresh, reasonably (considering they had just left a rescue zone) shiny crafts, which he had been responsible for the inception and construction of, land, was something the self-made businessman never tired of.

Calling up Kyrano and asking him to watch the data flows, and yell if there was a problem (not that Jeff had ever heard the retainer raise his voice), he turned away from the panoramic view, and headed out for the balcony to observe the aircrafts set down. Upon notification of Scott's imminent arrival, he had set the cogs in motion, to drain the four hundred and eight cubic metre capacity pool, and to have it dragged out of the way of the landing silver arrow, leaving only the blast-shield protected face of the swimming pool next to the housing silo.

The pinprick in the sky was growing larger by the second – if Jeff had wanted to, he could have held out his hand and his smallest fingertip would have only just covered the craft.

Leaning casually on the balcony wall, the Tracy family patriarch watched as his eldest son flew in over the island, slowed and held a hover, high up in the cloudless air, before twisting his plane about on it's axis and slowly descending down into the silo deep in the island. Okay, so the computer made a lot of trim-adjustments, but there was no denying Scott's ability as a pilot.

He definitely took after his father, and even, Jeff had reluctantly conceded some time ago, surpassed his parent's skill in the air.

As Thunderbird One sank below the retracted pool, the air filled with the thunderous roar of it's sister ship, who was just making it home too.

Jeff turned to rest upon the far side of the balcony now, and watched as the giant, green behemoth slowed to almost stalling speeds, and his middle son, distraught or not, clearly emptied his mind, and floated the flying beast down gently onto the short runway, and stopped with plenty of room between the stubby nose and the soon-to-be-open cliff face.

Heading back inside to the office, he would ensure that the hanger opened, and then Virgil would drift Two in, and turn it about, ready to launch again if needed.

And there, the simple resolution of the just-finished-rescue ended; to come was explanations and probably a fair few angry comments.

Thunderbird Two's silo, Tracy Island;

Virgil shut down the generators of his Thunderbird through the buzzing control panels, whilst Brains leant over a different array of screens, his PDA linked up to the system, downloading the telemetry and data from the aircraft, ready for analysis and evaluation later.

Behind them, the cockpit door hissed open, sliding back on it's runners, revealing a tired figure.

"You guys need any help?"

Virgil looked up from where he had moved on to completing the electronic flight log, half of the illuminated fields filled in, half still empty and waiting input.

"Scott? What are you doing here?"

Gesturing widely around the cockpit, he replied,

"Offering help."

"Oh." Virgil then turned back to where he had been previously focusing, settling back in the pilot's seat. "We're fine, Scott. Shouldn't you be filling in your flight data?"

"Done. Mine was a lot simpler, seeing as One only took two flights. Plus I've had much more practice."

The middle son was normally slow to temper, but his emotions had been taken out the figurative box and played with a little too much in the past twenty-four hours, and he had failed to recognise the signs that something was bothering Scott too; his artistic soul as a rule was good with understanding and valuing other's feelings.

"Hell, Scott, I can do a flight log. I'm not about to break apart. Life dumps on people a lot, so you deal with it. Okay? I'm dealing with it. Move on."

"I was just offering a hand, Virge. I wasn't suggesting you needed help because you were incapable."

"Yeah? Well it sure sounded like it."

The younger sibling didn't even turn around to look at his older brother, continuing to focus on the smart-glass windscreen programme. Instead Scott gave Brains a quick glance, who appeared to be busying himself with something else, in order to try and ignore the Tracys, and then walked over to the chair Virgil was sat in.

Half sitting, half leaning against a console to the left of Virgil, Scott tried again, his voice much lower and quieter.

"Virge, look, I don't know what went on in the bus, and I'm not going to pretend I understand, unless you try and help me. Dad's been chewing me out though, about the whole thing, and I've got no answers. Not unless you talk to me."

Not troubling to keep his voice down, the pilot of Thunderbird Two looked up at Scott.

"So that's what this is about. Dad's yelling at you, and you need someone to bale you out, or to turn to, or whatever. Well count me out, Scott. I've had a lifetime of listening to your problems, and right now, I don't need to hear it."

Nearly shouting now, Scott replied,

"No. That's not what I wanted. I wanted to help you, but hey, you know what, Virgil? If you're going to be such a jack-ass, I'll leave you to it."

And then he stormed out, leaving the cockpit via a punched release button for the door, and heavily, stomped footsteps.

Still fuming, Virgil made a few last keystrokes, and shut the programme he was working down with a secure code.

"You done, Brains?"

Pale, skinny and uncomfortable with the raging exchange he'd just been witness to; the engineer merely nodded in reply, disconnected his PDA, and straightened up as much as he ever did.

Virgil held out an upturned palm towards the door through which his elder brother had just left, suggesting the architect-slash-inventor was to lead the way out. Not wanting to be the next subject of the middle son's angry blow up, Brains followed the indication and exited the craft.

Virgil Tracy's rooms, later on the same day;

Each son had been given the chance to choose the decorations of his own room. Gordon had painted his shades of azure, cobalt and turquoise; John had masked the ceiling black, and illustrated the surface with the stars, each carefully, painstakingly, accurately positioned in relation to each other.

Virgil, however, had just asked for his rooms to be left white. From there he had slowly been building up colours, each part of the walls meaning something different and disarmingly personal.

Blocks of colours were his moods and most of the walls; lime and yellow when everything had seemed to be okay, black and purple when things had begun to get out of hand. Interspersed between, murals of images important to Virgil were placed. The centrepiece was a portrait of himself and his four brothers, taken from a photograph captured some years ago, when the family had first visited the island.

Fragmented around were other family images, his brothers alone, doing what they loved, and landscapes and buildings he'd been awed, humbled by. Then tucked away in a corner, behind the chest of drawers beside his bed, a final portrait – one that was never meant to be seen by anyone else, considering all that she'd done to the family.

His mother.

It was to this painting that Virgil rushed into his room to. Pushing away the furniture, he practically hurled himself to the floor in front of it, and thought.

It'd crossed his mind to call her, ask to come and stay for a few days. Nevertheless, sitting before the self-created image of his mother, Virgil realised that he'd never wanted to hurt Scott like he already had today, and to call the person his older brother felt had abandoned the whole family would just cause more pain.

With a long sigh, he re-took his feet, replaced the chest of drawers, and headed off to his washrooms. After he'd go and see Scott.

Around Tracy Villa, same time;

Incensed and ablaze, Scott stalked through the villa, leaving doors to slide or slam closed in his wake.

Following the sounds of devastation, and the noisy passage, Jeff sought to hunt down his son, and (before the debriefing with Virgil present) give him a piece of his mind. Rounding the corner to face Scott, though, the words burnt down and died as the man before him stiffened and stopped.

He cleared his throat quietly,

"Scott?"

He'd not always been the perfect father, and had spent much too large an amount of his time at the office in past years, but Jefferson Tracy had and was trying to make it up to his children, and learn to understand them.

Looking up, Scott simply hunched over a little more, but his face cleared slightly.

"Father?"

"Are you okay, Son?" A large, well-weathered hand briefly clasped down on his shoulder, but Scott squirmed away; something he hadn't done since he'd left single figured ages.

"I'm fine. I was just going to clean up, Father."

Knowing he should investigate further, but without the knowledge of how to attempt it, Jeff backed down.

"Of course. Kyrano's preparing some food for you and your brother, and then we'll have a meeting in my office."

"Yes, Father."

From there, they made their separate ways, Jeff's determination as hard as a craggy cliff side, Scott's disillusionment growing stronger with each passing moment.