Hey everybody!

Yup, it's me, I'm finally back. Been away a little longer than I had originally planned, but family stuff has been getting in the way of my creative flow recently.

For all of you who have been with me for a while and haven't heard the news yet, I must sadly inform you that my grandma, who has been gravely ill for almost two months, passed away on February 28th. I just wanted to thank all of you who've helped to cheer me up, your support really was appreciated. And, although it's been hard laying her to rest, I think I'm okay with it now. Don't worry, your ever-energetic LMB is still the same girl she was before. She's just a little more...sidetracked.

Standard Disclaimer:I do not own the Thunderbirds TV series/movie, nor any of the characters therein. All credit for their creation goes to the wonderful Gerry Anderson and his superb production team.

- Just as a note, this story is an alternative (a VERY alternative) ending to the movie. I'm also gonna be tweaking the events that took place in the movie itself (the Hood's scene in particular). It starts off soon after the scene in the Bank of London, and from then onwards I'll just let the story unwind itself.

This is working off a request from my good friend Ruth, who shared my view that the movie didn't have nearly enough family/brotherly interactions in it to suit us fangirls. So, to compensate for that, I've written it the way that I think it should've been. Thanks for the request, hun!

Now please, read on and enjoy!

Jeff Tracy powered up Thunderbird 3's boosters, feeling the gentle rumble vibrate up through his body as the rocket began to ascend towards the beautiful blue skies overhead. His hands gripped the controls tightly as he gritted his teeth, self-hatred and guilt bubbling up inside of him.

This is all my fault. I'm such an idiot! How could I have allowed this to happen?

Amongst the turmoil of thoughts and feelings, Jeff knew one thing for certain: creating a rescue organisation had been a stupid idea. In the space of a single day, he had almost lost everything he held dear. His sons, his precious boys, had nearly been taken from him. And he had almost died right alongside them. What sort of a life had he created for his children? And then there was Alan-

Jeff felt his stomach churn as the images assaulted him, flashing through his mind and burning through his very soul as he blinked forcefully, trying to hold back the tears. His youngest son, his baby boy, had almost been killed right before his very eyes. Jeff had been forced to watch, heart in his mouth, trapped behind the iron bars of a secure bank vault, utterly powerless to save his child as Alan had struggled against the Hood's hold in an attempt to suck in another breath, hanging ten feet above the floor and choking to death.

And when the teenaer had begun to climb up onto the teeth of the Mole-

'Alan, no!'

Jeff closed his eyes momentarily at the painful flash of memory, breathing deeply as he tried to calm himself down. He was going to end up crashing the rocket at this rate. Opening them again, he glanced down at the diagnostic panel and tried to focus on flying, attempting to push the images far back into the corners of his mind. But just as quickly as he pushed them back, others would leap forward, building up a painful accumulation of guilt and sadness within Jeff's chest. Images of Thunderbird 5 flashed before his eyes, it's shining metallic exterior rotating slowly as pieces of damaged machinery drifted aimlessly about the station. The site had been truly horrifying, the extent of the damage far worse than Jeff could ever have anticipated. And John...John had been a sitting duck. Despite having all that power and technology under his control, the young man had been utterly defenceless. And they'd nearly lost him.

Jeff's heart wrenched within him once more as the emotions from the day's events churned sickeningly within him. Before he had heard his son calling to him over the comm-line, Jeff had feared that his second-eldest had been killed during the explosion. Words could not descibe how relieved he had been to hear John's desperate and pain-filled voice filtering through the speakers on-board Thunderbird 3.

"Uhn...Dad! Thank...thank God. The backup generator's failed, I - I can't sustain life support much longer! Dad, I - I'm losing all power! Repeat, I'm losing all power!"

The relief over discovering that his son was still alive had been short-lived. The moment that the Hood's smirking face had appeared on the station's main monitor, Jeff had known that they had walked right into a trap. After the immediate anger at having his home invaded had died down, Jeff had been stricken with a heart-stopping fear over the realisation that Alan, his youngest boy, was still trapped on the island with that monster. That thought, more than the knowledge that there was a good chance he and his older sons weren't going to make it, was the thing that had panicked Jeff more than anything else. Jeff could scarcely begin to imagine what his son had been going through as he fought against all odds to save his family.

"Scott to Thunderbird Three, come in."

Jeff was startled out of his thoughts as his eldest son's voice filtered through his earpiece. Clearing his throat and swallowing hard, Jeff glanced down at the readings on the control panel.

"Thunderbird 3 here, receiving you loud and clear," he answered automatically, pushing his emotions to the side for a moment - and only for a moment. Fatherly concern soon battled it's way to the forefront of his mind. "How're you boys doing?"

"Systems are still green, Dad," Scott replied, but Jeff could hear the concern and weariness in his voice. "Alan and I were gonna pace Thunderbirds One and Two back to the island, but Virgil's asked me to go on ahead and prep the infirmary. He wants John treated as soon as possible."

"Good idea," Jeff agreed, remembering the injuries that his second-eldest had sustained during the explosion onboard Thunderbird 5. "I'll pace 'Two back to base, you go on ahead. Are you sure you boys are okay?"

Jeff emphasised his question carefully, trying to get Scott to understand what he was really asking. He needed to know how Alan was. Although the teenager had managed a weak smile as Jeff had pulled him into a firm embrace following the incident at the Bank of London, the haunted look in Alan's eyes had worried him. He didn't know what horrors Alan had faced that day, but they had clearly taken their toll on the youngest Tracy. Jeff only hoped that the teenager wasn't badly injured on top of everything else.

But he surely must've been hurt when he was fighting off the Hood in the bank. I could see the pain in his eyes. Dammit, I should've thought about this sooner. I should have made sure he got checked out at the rescue zone. Dammit! How the hell could I neglect him again?!

"I think so, Dad," Scott replied, sighing softly. This only served to heighten Jeff's worry. Scott sounded concerned - very concerned. And, although his eldest son was always fussing over his younger siblings, he only did it when there was cause to worry; which meant that something was very wrong with Alan.

"In that case, increase thrusters to maximum and get 'One back to base," Jeff instructed, trying to keep the concern out of his voice. "We'll call in when we're approaching the island."

"F.A.B, Dad," Scott replied. "Thunderbird One out."

As the call disconnected, Jeff sighed deeply, gripping the controls even harder. Anger and guilt continued to course through him as he leaned back into his pilot seat and shook his head sadly. What have I done?

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Alan Tracy unclenched his fists and leaned his head back against the headrest as the sound of Thunderbird 1's engines faded around him. Closing his eyes, he let out sigh, shaking his head slowly. This wasn't real. It had to be a dream - a hallucination - no, a nightmare of some sort. An exceedingly vivid, realistic and painful nightmare. Because this sort of thing wasn't supposed to happen. Not to his family. Not after what had happened to his mother.


The blond teenager opened his eyes again, glancing sideways at his older brother. Scott had removed his safety harness and now sat with his body turned towards Alan, his smudged flight suit wrinkling as he bent forward, concern shining in his eyes. Reaching out, the older Tracy squeezed Alan's shoulder gently.

"You okay, Sprout?"

Alan swallowed, dropping his gaze to the floor of the cockpit. He couldn't - wouldn't - meet his brother's eyes. The level of pain and emotion they bore was enough to make Alan sick to his stomach, the sight of the expressive cobalt-blue orbs only serving to make Alan's situation all the more vivid.

Nodding mutely, Alan raised his hands from his lap, shakily unbuckling the safety harness and pushing it off his shoulders, his body numb and tingling as he moved on auto-pilot. He almost seemed to be in a dream-like state as he stood to his feet and carefully followed his brother out of the aircraft, the sound of his sneakers as they clanked softly along the metal platform somewhat dulled by the pounding of blood in his ears. He hardly seemed to feel himself anymore, his legs carrying him slowly over to the access panel on the other side of the walkway as sounds echoed around him.

The walls and floor swirled by in a blur of light, the dizzying rapidity of it all making Alan's head spin. He didn't even register that he'd stepped into the lift until it's sudden motion jolted him forwards. Caught unawares, he lost his balance, stumbling forwards slightly.

Scott, who had been running a hand wearily over his face, saw Alan topple forwards and, using the lightening-quick reflexes that he had acquired through so many years of being an older brother, reached out swiftly to grab Alan around the middle and pull him upright.

Alan had not spoken a word since they had taken off from London and, other than the occasional nod or shake of the head, the teenager hadn't made any sort of vocal response to the world around him in almost forty-five minutes.

That was probably why Scott nearly jumped out of his skin when Alan suddenly let out a pained yelp, stiffening in Scott's hold and pulling away. Something dropped to the floor with a loud 'thunk'.

"Alan! What is it, what's wrong?" the older Tracy demanded, watching fearfully as Alan wrapped his arms around his midriff and bent forwards, panting heavily.

Alan shook his head, unable to form words. With the sharp flare of deep, throbbing pain, he had been kicked roughly back into the present, pulled from the less daunting realms of his dazed mind with a sudden and unwanted jolt.

His side hurt. His side really hurt.

Blinking through tear-filled eyes, he groggily focused on a strange object that lay beside his right foot. His vision cleared and he beheld the lifeless lump. It was one of the small stones he had picked up from the beach that morning, its smooth, sandy-brown surface staring at him, seeming so solid, so resolute - and so very, very real.

And just like that, Alan was thrown full-force into the sickening acceptance of reality. Oh God, it happened - it really happened.

He felt Scott's arm come around his shoulders, heard the worried calls as the pilot tried to coax a response out of him. He hadn't even noticed the lift doors opening, but suddenly he was being carefully guided through the Command and Control Centre, his feet stumbling clumsily as his legs seemed to lose their energy. Then he was being pushed down to sit upon the large couch at the far end of his father's office, the soft cushions beneath him supporting his weight as he sagged back, exhausted.

"C'mon, kiddo, look at me," Scott coaxed, crouching down in front of his baby brother and reaching out to touch the teenager's cheek gently. Alan blinked owlishly, his stunning aqua-blue eyes wide and open, showing the turmoil of emotions running around within the boy's mind. Scott's heart clenched painfully within his chest. Gripping Alan's forearms tightly, he edged closer. "Alan, talk to me, c'mon."

When he again received no response, Scott moved to sit beside the younger Tracy, wrapping an arm about the slighter frame. He could feel Alan stiffening against him, and a soft gasp of pain escaped the teenager's lips. Brains and Onaha, who had remained a short distance away from the two brothers up until this point, hastily took a step forward, their faces equal pictures of concern.

"Alan?" Scott pressed, not trusting himself to hug his younger sibling at this point in time for fear of hurting him. Instead, he softly rested a hand upon Alan's denim-clad knee, brushing his thumb over the fabric gently.

Alan clutched at his side, blinking away tears as he tried to soothe the painful throb. He hadn't really noticed just how much he hurt until now. Why hadn't he felt it before? And damn, it hurt. Something wasn't right, he should have felt something earlier. When had he injured himself? He honestly couldn't remember.

"Alan, please," Scott pressed, fear and desperation lining his voice. "Talk to me, buddy. What's wrong?"

"Ouch," the teenager croaked, figuring that this was the simplest way of summing up his present condition.

Scott's fear merely increased tenfold. "Al, what hurts?" he demanded.

Alan shook his head again, forcing himself to 'suck it up' as he roughly pushed his emotions aside, scrabbling desperately for that dazed feeling he'd felt before. He'd liked that feeling. It hadn't hurt. Sitting a little more upright, he swallowed down the bile and tried to slow his pounding heart. Avoiding the adults' worried gazes, he lowered his eyes to the floor.

"It's nothing. I'm fine," he murmured tonelessly, hating the way that his voice wavered.

"Fine my ass," Scott grumbled, the fear and concern pumping at full-force through his body. His tone softening slightly, he rested his other hand on the back of Alan's neck, much as he had done when Alan was younger. "C'mon, kiddo, I'm not buying it. I know something's wrong."

Alan couldn't take much more of this. He couldn't face Scott - or anyone - right now. He needed to be alone, he needed to think about...things. He wasn't ready to accept reality just yet. His throat was already beginning to ache as tears stung behind his eyes. He didn't even know why he wanted to cry. Teenagers didn't cry, and especially not if their surname was 'Tracy'. He didn't understand it - he should be celebrating right now. His family was safe. His brothers were alive. They'd all survived the attack.

But all that Alan could focus on was the enormity of what had happened. He hadn't thought about it before, he'd simply been acting on instinct, but the reality of his situation was that he'd almost lost his entire family. His brothers, his father, his best friends...even his own life. And it had all happened so quickly.

Scott bit his lip as he studied Alan's pale features. He was worried, not only by the lack of response from his stereotypically loud younger brother, but also by the look of pain and fear that shone in the teenager's eyes. The kid's been through too much. He's only fourteen, for Pete's sake, he's not supposed to face this kinda stuff. How could I have let this happen?

Wrapping an arm about Alan's shoulders again, he carefully helped his little brother to his feet. "C'mon," he murmured. "Let's get you down to the infirmary."

Alan shook his head mutely, but Scott ignored it. Whether Alan liked it or not, he was going get checked out by Virgil when the medic arrived back on the island. Turning towards Brains, the pilot flashed the older man a weak smile. "Could you look after Command for me? Al and I need to get the infirmary ready."

Brains nodded, stepping forwards and putting a hand on Scott's shoulder. "D-d-sure thing, Scott," he replied softly, his eyes flickering over to Alan's downcast features. "I'll send your father down when he, uh, g-gets here."

Nodding his thanks, Scott guided Alan out of the Command and Control Centre, steering him slowly down the corridor. Alan seemed so small and fragile against him, and Scott strengthened his hold, brotherly protection at maximum efficiency. The Hood and his goons might have departed hours ago, but Scott wasn't about to let the kid out of his sight. Alan needed him - and dammit, Scott needed the kid, too.

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Virgil pushed the hover-stretcher in front of him, Gordon and Jeff keeping up with his swift pace as he guided John down the corridor and towards the infirmary. He could practically feel the concern that radiated off his father's form as the Tracy patriarch walked beside him, the older man's eyes constantly flickering over John's body. The astronaut had fallen unconscious in Thunderbird 3 on the way to the accident scene in London, his body unable to battle the exhaustion any longer. And, although John's blow to the head had worried Virgil, the young medic knew that the concussion wasn't serious enough to require any immediate emergency treatment. John would benefit more from sleep than from anything else as far as his head injury was concerned. It was the small gashes on his arms and the large burn on his back that would require the most attention.

But Virgil knew that he had more than one patient to worry about. Brains had contacted him and told him that something was wrong with Alan. He hadn't specified what, he had simply stated the Alan's ribs seemed to be "causing him a g-great deal of p-p-discomfort". This information had frightened Virgil more than he'd let on. Alan would never show his pain to anyone - at least not unless it was really serious - as the teenager considered it to be a sign of weakness. Virgil only hoped that Alan had made an exception to the rule this time. He really couldn't cope with having another brother badly injured, especially - especially not his kid brother. Alan was too young for this, he didn't deserve it. It simply wasn't fair.

Jogging alongside the hover-stretcher, Jeff ran a hand through his hair. He was almost frantic with worry, and it was taking all of his inner strength not to show it to his sons. He should've known that Alan had been injured in the bank. He should've done something about it sooner. It was all his fault.

Oh Lucy, I'm sorry. I put our baby in danger. I promised I'd take care of him, and now look what I've done? He nearly died, Luce, my little boy was nearly taken from me! Please, Lucy, don't let this happen. He can't be too badly hurt. It's just bruises and scrapes like the rest of us have. It's nothing - internal. Oh God, please don't do this to me.

Practically running the last few metres, ignoring his the protests from his own bruised muscles, Jeff was the first to arrive at the doors to the infirmary. As they slid open before him, his eyes immediately locked onto the form of his youngest son, his heart wrenching painfully within his chest as he caught sight of the withdrawn posture and downcast expression. Alan sat on the bed on the far side of the room, Scott perched beside him with an arm wrapped protectively about the teenager's shoulders. The younger boy made no reaction to his brother's presence, his eyes distant and glassy as he stared at the floor.

Walking swiftly across the room, Jeff stopped directly in front of his youngest child and carefully wrapped his arms around the boy's shoulders. He felt Alan start in his embrace, stiffening slightly, before the smaller form slowly sagged against his chest, seeming to lose all energy in an instant. Leaning his head down, the Tracy patriarch exhaled heavily and closed his eyes, planting a soft kiss in the blond mop of hair atop Alan's head. His baby was still there. He was still alive. He'd made it.

Jeff shot Scott a grateful smile as his eldest son hopped off the bed, moving over to help Brains, Virgil and Gordon in transferring John onto the second infirmary bed. The Tracy patriarch glanced over at the small group momentarily, before carefully pulling back and regarding his youngest child with a worried expression upon his face, his hands gently squeezing Alan's shoulders.

"Are you alright, son?" he asked softly, keeping his voice low enough for only Alan to hear.

Alan swallowed to ease the ache in his throat, dropping his gaze to his lap. He didn't trust himself to speak right now. What the hell was wrong with him? Why was he constantly fighting tears? He hadn't cried - or at least properly cried - in almost a year. And the last occasion had been out of happiness, when he had cheered with the rest of the crowds as Gordon accepted his gold medal and grinned over at him from his position atop the podium.


Alan jumped slightly, brought sharply from his own thoughts and back into his painful present predicament. Raising his head slowly, he peered up at his father, the pain and sadness in the Tracy patriarch's eyes causing his throat to tighten painfully.

"Are you alright?" Jeff repeated. Alan swallowed again, the blood pulsing loudly in his ears as he felt the tears prick at his eyes again. Dropping his gaze once more, he gave a slight shake of his head, too tired to fight the truth anymore. Dammit, he just wanted to go to sleep and forget about what had happened to him over the last seven hours. He wanted to erase the painful memories. He wanted to wake up to discover that none of this had happened.

"What did ya do to yourself this time, Sprout?"

Alan glanced up again as Virgil stepped up to the bedside, his cheery 'doctor' expression in place. Even with the convincing smile and light-hearted tone of voice, Alan knew that Virgil was worried about him. He still looked and sounded like Virgil, but it was clear that he was pretty shaken up about - everything. Alan sighed. But who isn't? After all, it's not everyday a total psychopath breaks into your home and tries to murder your family.

Alan's heart clenched painfully again, and he looked away, willing his brother and father to just leave him alone. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Brains and Fermat standing on the other side of the room, the taller genius' arm slung around his son's shoulders. Onaha and Kyrano stood slightly behind them, next to the door, Tin-Tin sheltered in between them as they looked over at Alan worriedly. And with Gordon and Scott watching him like hawks from John's bedside-

And just like that, the room became too crowded. Alan wanted to be somewhere - anywhere - other than in the infirmary. He wanted to find a spacious, solitary place - like the beach - where he could just sit down and think. He felt like a specimen being studied and scrutinised by his spectators. It was beginning to make his head spin.

Virgil regarded him silently for another moment, before clearing his throat and turning around to address the occupants of the room.

"Guys, I'm gonna need space to run the x-ray on John's arm. Would you mind stepping outside for fifteen minutes or so?"

Onaha, Brains and Kyrano nodded, understanding the family's need for a little privacy.

"I'll go make us all something to eat," Onaha stated quietly, guiding her daughter out through the infirmary doors. Kyrano and Brains nodded in agreement, offering their services as they followed the Malaysian woman out into the corridor.

As he was being gently lead away by his father, Fermat shot his best friend a worried look - and although Alan tried to smile, he didn't actually succeeded in doing so. As the doors slid closed, Alan sighed slightly in relief and closed his eyes. His whole body felt numb and unresponsive once again, like he wasn't in control anymore. The only thing keeping him grounded to the present was the fact that his ribs were hurting like hell and his stomach was churning uncomfortably with a cold, sickly feeling. He just hoped he wasn't about to hurl all over the place.

"Dad, why don't you go change out of your flight suit and come back here in a few minutes?" Virgil suggested. Having changed into civvies on the way to the island, Virgil had no need to do so now. "The guys'll follow in a sec, I just wanna talk to them about something."

Jeff frowned slightly, glancing between the medic and his youngest son. A light of understanding dawned in his eyes and he nodded slightly, reaching out to gently run a hand down Alan's arm. However much it killed him to leave his boy for even a minute, he understood that Virgil had a better chance of getting an answer out of Alan at the present time. Jeff knew that, on occasions, his youngest son found it easier to open up to his brothers than to his father. And Jeff honestly didn't mind who he opened up to right now, as long as they found out what was wrong with the silent teenager.

Catching hold of Virgil's wrist, he took the medic over to the opposite corner of the room, turning them to face the wall and dropping his voice to a low murmur in order that Alan wouldn't be able to hear him.

"If he's injured himself in any way, it was probably when the Hood threw him against the wall," he stated, hating the worry and fear that suddenly shone in Virgil's widened eyes. "I'll explain everything later, son. Just - just don't push him too hard, alright? He's been through a hell of a lot today. Far too much for a kid his age."

Virgil nodded tightly, reaching forwards to squeeze his father's shoulder. "Just give us five minutes with him," he replied softly. "If he wants to open up, he will. I think I already have a good idea what's wrong with him. From the way he's holding himself, and from what you've just told me, he's probably bruised a rib or two. With any luck, he won't have fractured anything."

Stepping back, Virgil turned towards Alan's bed and shot the younger boy a warm smile. Alan returned it somewhat shakily, and Virgil felt his heart soar. If Alan was able to smile, it couldn't be too serious. Waiting until his father had left the room, he slowly walked back over to where Alan sat. He came to a halt in front of his brother, reaching out to squeeze his arm gently.

"Okay, kiddo, they're gone," he smiled. "Now spill."

Alan managed to meet his brother's gaze, relieved that Virgil wasn't being overly 'smotherish'. But how the heck was he supposed to 'spill'? So much had happened, he barely knew where to start. What did Virgil want him to say? The turmoil of thoughts, feelings and emotions within him were far too confusing and personal to describe right now. He needed time to think before he opened up. A very long time.

Virgil, noticing Alan's difficulty, brushed his thumb over the short sleeve of the teenager's T-shirt and elaborated, "Where abouts are you hurt?"

Alan was unable to look away from the warm, tender honey-burnt eyes that were gazing at him steadily. Swallowing, he twisted his hands together absently. "My ribs kinda smart," he stated quietly, feeling a little of the fear and pain ebb away as Virgil sent him another smile.

Gordon suddenly popped up beside Alan on the bed, grinning cheerfully. "Honestly, Sprout, can't you do anything without injuring yourself?"

Alan turned to look at the prankster and the corners of his mouth turned up slightly. The world around him seemed to brighten somewhat as he sensed the familiar pattern of playful teasing begin to set in. He immediately felt his nerves ease. Why the heck was he so on edge? His brothers would understand. They always did.

"C'mon," Scott added, stepping up to Virgil's side and smiling warmly at his younger sibling. "Let's take a look at the damage."

Gordon grinned, swinging his legs to and fro over the edge of the mattress and ruffling Alan's hair gently as Scott reached out to lift Alan's shirt. "Hey Sprout, d'you wanna know something useful? There's a hidden bonus in being molly-coddled by these two," he stated lightly, pointing towards his older brothers with his free hand. "They're always within kicking distance, see? So, if they really start to pi-"

He froze, the words dying on his lips as he eyed the massive blue-black bruise that lined Alan's right side, stretching from the lower part of his ribcage and down his hip, disappearing beneath the hem of his jeans.

"Holy shi-" he began, only to break off with a yelp as Scott reached over and cuffed him automatically around the back of the head. Glaring daggers at his eldest brother, he closed his mouth and returned his attention to his younger sibling. Alan winced as Virgil reached out to run his fingers gently over the bruise.

"Does it hurt to breathe?" the doctor inquired softly, concern shining in his eyes. Alan shrugged, wincing again.

"A little," he admitted. "But it's nothing, Virge, it's just a bruise."

"Maybe so," Virgil agreed absently, allowing Alan's shirt to fall back down. "But I'm not taking any chances. I'm just gonna run a few x-rays, okay?"

Alan nodded mutely, again lacking the energy to protest. What was the point? Virgil would win anyway, he always did. Leaning his elbows on his on knees, he bent forwards to push the heels of his palms into his eyes, sighing heavily. He still wasn't quite willing to accept what had just happened to his family. It all seemed like a blur now, a distant memory, something that had happened long, long ago. But that wasn't right. Not two hours ago, he'd been hanging from a walkway in the Bank of London, the Hood's smirking face looming over him as the Mole's high-pitched whir sounded beneath him, the sharp teeth mere inches from his dangling feet.

Alan felt the bile rising once more. Taking in a shuddering breath, he tried to hide his distress, biting down on his lip as more tears pricked at his eyes. He hated himself for being so weak, for not taking it like his brothers were, for being the only Tracy son who couldn't keep himself together. Man, he was pathetic.

Dropping his head into his hands again, he scrubbed at his eyes. He had to pull himself together. He was a Tracy, dammit! His family was the Thunderbirds! Why couldn't he just suck it up like the rest of his brothers?

'Because I'm not like the rest of my brothers,' Alan thought numbly. 'I'm just a pathetic teenager. I'm not even a Thunderbird. No wonder Dad didn't want me on the team, look what nearly happened? A few more seconds and Thunderbird 5 would've hit the atmosphere, and the guys would be-'

He shoved the thought roughly to the side, feeling even more nauseous than before. Why was he doing this to himself? He wasn't pathetic, he'd managed to save his family before it was too late. They were here, on earth, alive. He, Fermat and Tin-Tin had done it. What was his problem? It was like he wanted to be seen as a failure. He didn't understand what was wrong with him.


The blond-haired teenager jumped again, wincing as the movement jarred his sore muscles. Glancing up, he noticed that Virgil had wheeled the large portable x-ray machine to his bedside, and was now standing just in front of him. The young doctor smiled.

"Now comes the fun part, Sprout," he stated sympathetically. "Where you get to lie in total discomfort on top of this," he held up a large, rectangular board, "for five minutes, whilst I snap pictures of you. Sounds great, huh? But it'll be over before you know it. Just keep real still for me, okay?"

Alan nodded mutely once again, allowing Virgil to help him swing his legs up an over the side of the bed. Once he had Alan lying flat on his back, the thick (and cold) board placed beneath him, he picked up the control and took a few paces back. Although the x-ray machine automatically absorbed any excess electromagnetic waves, it was still better to be safe than sorry.

After what felt like an eternity of discomfort, Alan was finally allowed to sit upright. And he did so - but just a little too quickly. Grunting in pain, he put a hand to his side, grimacing as he bit his lip. Scott was at the bedside immediately, concern and worry shining in his eyes.

"You okay?" he inquired, reaching out to squeeze Alan's shoulder. Alan nodded, trying to hide the pain as he swung his legs over the side of the bed, hopping down carefully and making a lame excuse about needing to go to the bathroom.

Well aware that all three of his conscious siblings were watching his every move, he made his way stiffly over the the infirmary bathroom, closing the door behind him softly. Walking over to the window, he reached up to open it, wincing as even that single, small movement stretched the muscles in his right side. Pushing the window open as far as it would go, he closed his eyes, breathing deeply as a cool evening breeze hit his face.

Evening? Was it really evening? Yes, he supposed it was. They'd arrived back on the island just after six, so it was probably nearing seven o'clock now. If his watch had been working, he would be able to confirm his theory. But the gadget had been cracked when the Hood had slammed Alan into the wall, and now the screen was too badly damaged to read the numbers. He'd have to ask his father for another one later on.

Pushing aside the blinds and leaning his forehead against the cool glass, Alan sighed heavily. He wished he could forget. He wished he could rewind time and the start the day all over again. He'd do things differently and, somehow, he'd stop the Hood from causing so much damage in London. He'd stop the madman from putting a massive black spot on the Thunderbirds' name. He'd stop Thunderbird 5 from being so badly damaged and, consequently, prevent John from getting hurt.

But he couldn't do anything right now. Everything was in the past, and no amount of wishing would change that. But dammit, it couldn't prevent him from wishing that it had all just been a terrible dream.

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Jeff stepped back into the infirmary, having grabbed a quick shower, a clean change of clothes and a cup of coffee to keep him going. Glancing around the dimly-lit room, he frowned slightly. Virgil had drawn the drapes and dimmed the lights to a lower setting, darkening the room considerably.


At Virgil's hushed whisper, Jeff looked sideways and spotted his middle son standing at John's beside, data-pad in hand. John, who slept propped up by pillows on his side, was breathing softly, his face relaxed and peaceful. At some point, Virgil (or one of the other boys) had changed him into a pair of blue pyjamas, and he looked a good deal better than he had done in his ripped and torn flight suit.

Virgil put a finger to his lips, pointing at his older brother. Stepping around the bed, he approached Jeff silently. Only when he was on the other side of the room did he raise his voice to a low murmur.

"I sent Gordon and Scott to get changed and grab a bite to eat," he stated. "They needed something to do to distract them from...you know...things."

Jeff nodded in understanding, reaching out and putting an arm about Virgil's shoulders. "Good call, son," he stated. Then he paused, glancing around the room. "Where's Alan?"

"I sent him off to shower and change into his PJs," Virgil stated, leaning into his father and sighing heavily. "He's pretty roughed up, Dad."

Jeff felt his concern spike again. "His ribs?"

Virgil nodded. "From what I can tell, he's bruised at least three of them. One of the lower ones could have a small hairline fracture, but it's hard to tell. I'll need a second opinion on that one. I'll get Brains to take a look at it later. When the kid gets back, I'll bandage up his ribs and keep him in overnight for observation. He's exhausted, so I doubt he'll put up much of a fight."

Jeff turned his worry-radar onto Virgil. His middle child seemed to be coping with things fairly well - far too well, in fact. "Virge, are you alright?"

Virgil paused, before shaking his head softly and looking down at the floor.

"No," he replied truthfully, sighing as he ran a hand through his chestnut-brown hair. "But I will be. Right now, I just wanna make sure the guys are alright. That's the most important thing."

Jeff smiled at him proudly, hugging him tightly against his side as he had done when Virgil was younger. "That's my boy."

Virgil sighed again, his gaze drifting around the infirmary as his mind buzzed over the events of the day. After a short silence, he turned his head towards his father and asked the question that had been poking at the back of his mind for several minutes now.

"How bad's the damage?"

Jeff chewed his bottom lip for a moment, before shaking his head and letting out a heavy puff of breath. "The damage to 'Five is gonna take at least a couple of months to repair," he stated. "And both 'One and 'Two received minor damage. And although Onaha and Kyrano, bless them, have managed to clear up most of the mess in the house, a few things are gonna need repairing or replacing. I have a feeling that Gordon's gonna be particularly upset when he finds out that Kyrano's drained both the pools."

"Oh boy," Virgil deadpanned. "We're screwed."

Jeff smiled and nodded mutely, although there was actually a certain degree of truth behind his son's words. Gordon used swimming as his outlet whenever he was upset or stressed. Without a pool, Jeff's second-youngest would soon crack. And it had been years since Gordon had done that. The redhead would just have to find another way to release his stress. And even if it meant that the teenager pulled every prank under the sun, Jeff didn't mind. His sons were alive, and for that he would be eternally grateful. Against all odds, they had survived the onslaught of the Hood's attack. But now came the hard part for all of them, particularly for Alan:

The recovery.

In the next chapter, how is Alan coping with his ordeal? Will he lower his shields and accept his brothers' help, or continue to shut out the pain and fear and withdraw into himself even more? Find out next time!

Yup, this stories gonna have a number of chapters to it. I haven't finished the layout yet, but it's looking to be five or six chapters, probably. I intend to take it up to my own little version of the party (the original ending of the movie, but with a difference). And yes, a number of the scenes I will be referring to did not actually feature in the movie. But, as requested, I have decided to re-write the ending of the 2004 film, because it sucked. If you got a problem with that, that's fine! Feel free to yell at me, I can take it. Lol.

And look CC, Phx, Lissy, Ruthy...I torture Alan for you! I hope you're happy. It kills me to hurt him and not to hurt Virgil instead. (Man, I sound psychotic again!) I'm really not that cruel. Honest!

See you on Monday/Tuesday with the next update! Please review!