Greetings!

Yup, it's me, the one and only Little Miss Bump. After almost a month of academic agony - where intellectual struggles within that much-despised land of college exams and revision timetables had me slamming my head against Chemistry text books on a daily basis - I have returned to the pleasurable realms of my own imagination. *celebrates manically*

In short...I'm back! Did ya miss me? Of course you did. *grins*

Standard Disclaimer:I do not hold ownership over the Thunderbirds, be it the TV series or the 2004 movie. Nor am I in any way, shape or form, profiting from this story - well, apart from the excitement I experience when reviews pop up in my inbox (hint hint). Alas *sigh* the boys are only mine to tinker with, not to keep forever.

Now, my dear readers, enjoy!


Scott Tracy loved his bike.

Two years ago, on his eighth birthday, his dad had taken him to the 'Outdoor Pursuits' centre on the other side of town. The giant sports equipment store had been an impressive sight to say the least, filled to the brim with state-of-the-art exercise apparatus and fascinating fitness contraptions that had awed the young Tracy into a highly uncharacteristic level of silence. But on the third floor - the 'practical leisure persuits' floor - he'd found it. His bike. With its sleek, sturdy frame and metallic-blue shine, Scott had been won over in an instant. Oh yes, it had been love at first sight. He hadn't even bothered to think about how fast it went or how easy it was to maneuver - such matters had been irrelevant.

But now, as Scott pedalled as fast as he could along the dirt path, the speed and maneuverability of his bike was very much at the forefront of his mind. The trees and shrubs on either side of the trail whizzed passed him as a short stretch of level ground allowed him to pedal faster and increase his speed. He had to pick up the pace, his pride was at stake here! Although barely distinguishable against the roar of the wind in his ears, he could just about hear the louder 'whizz' of his younger brother's bike only metres behind him.

Oh no you don't.

Pumping his legs even faster, he leaned forwards slightly, allowing the added weight to increase his momentum and carry him swiftly up the gentle slope of the hill. As the noises from John's bike grew fainter, Scott felt a grin break out across his face. Sure, John was fast for his age, but he'd never been good at hills. He'd probably have to get off and walk before he reached the top.

Breathing heavily, Scott stood up out of the seat and strained forcefully against the pedals as the slope became steeper. Refusing to allow his tired legs to stop, his breath coming out in heavy pants and strained grunts, he willed his aching muscles to keep moving. Slowly but surely, he managed urge his bike up to the top of the hill, breathing an exhausted sigh of relief as the ground leveled out again as his tired legs were allowed a brief respite. Keeping his pace at a slow and steady crawl, he spared a glance over his shoulder, hoping to catch sight of the familiar blond head coming up over the edge of the gentle slope. When no such sight appeared, Scott slipped his feet from the pedals, pressing the right brake and coming to a gentle halt. With a long-suffering sigh that only an older brother could truly find the need to utter, Scott dismounted his bike and leaned it against the giant tree stump to the right of the path.

"John!" he called, reaching up to undo the clasp on the underside of his helmet. "C'mon, it can't possibly take you that long to get up an itty-bitty hill."

True to his nature, John arrived right on cue, puffing and panting as he trudged to the top of the slope, pushing his bike alongside him. Staggering wearily over to where Scott stood, he lent his bike against the dirt trail and sat down on the tree stump, pink in the face as he removed his helmet and wiped the sweat from his brow.

"Aw," Scott cooed, pulling off his own helmet and grinning as he ran a hand through his sweat-slicked hair. "Is Johnny all puffed out? Was the itty-bitty hill too big for him? Does Johnny need to take a nap?"

John glared up at his older sibling with all the ferocity a small eight-year-old could muster. Aiming a kick at Scott's shin, his frown deepened as the older boy jumped out of the way, laughing triumphantly at having successfully gotten a violent response out of him.

"Here." Scott pulled the water bottle from its holder on the underside of his bike frame. Tossing it to John, he let out a satisfied sigh as he hopped from foot to foot, willing his stiff muscles to relax a little.

Taking a long drink of water, John glanced down at his watch. "It's nearly five o'clock," he stated, handing the bottle back to his brother. "What d'you wanna do? Mom said that we hafta be home by six."

Scott glanced down at his own watch as he took a swig of water. Wiping his mouth, he beamed cheerfully. "Ah, we've got time before we need to start heading back home. C'mon, I wanna show you something." Securing the water bottle back into its holder, Scott grinned energetically and nudged John with the toe of his sneaker. Putting on his helmet and fastening the straps, he reached for his bike.

John's brows came together in a cross between curiosity and confusion. "Show me what? Scotty, you know we're not s'posed to go further than the stump without Dad."

Scott rolled his eyes, swinging one leg over his bike and putting a foot on the pedal. "I'm almost eleven, John, I'm old enough to look after you. And it's not too far away," he assured the younger boy. "Besides, Dad doesn't hafta know. C'mon, Johnny, please? It'll be fun!"

John looked hesitant. "What is it?"

"A slope."

"A...slope?" John repeated slowly, sounding exceedingly unimpressed.

Scott grinned. "Not just any slope, Johnny. It's the one I was telling you about the other week, remember? The one that Tommy Smith's older brother sledged down last Christmas."

John's eyes widened. "Do...d'you mean-"

"Yup," Scott nodded his head emphatically, "Freewheel Slope."

Sparkling blue eyes widened in awe. "Cool."

"Uh-huh." Beginning to pedal off along the path, Scott smirked as he herd his brother frantically scrabbling to put on his helmet and mount his own bike. Keeping the pace slow for the first thirty seconds, he waited until he could hear John directly behind him before pumping his legs faster.

Soon they were moving swiftly along the trail again, the sun flickering brightly through the gaps between the bushes and trees. Finally, after almost five minutes of silent cycling, they turned a sudden corner in the path, taking an alternative route to the easy downward slope of the regular trail. The ground wasn't so smooth here, the uneven layers of gravel and dirt slowing the boys' pace as they cycled over a shaded area of path, the tall trees above them blocking out the warmth of the sun and rapidly cooling their hot skin.

Suddenly, there was the screech of brakes as Scott came to an abrupt halt. John, not prepared for the immediate stop, only just managed to avoid crashing into the back of his older brother's bike, his feet shooting out towards the ground in an attempt to prevent himself from ditching in the bush that ran alongside the path.

"Scott!" he hissed, annoyed at the way his heart was now thudding uncomfortably within his chest. "Whatta ya do that for?!"

"We're here, see?" Scott pushed himself forward with his feet, moving to the side a little so that the smaller Tracy could get a good look. John wheeled himself up beside his brother, gazing appreciatively at the impressively steep slope that seemed to almost drop vertically from the top of the hill to the wooded area below. John hadn't quite realised how high up they were - but the flat area of ground at the bottom of the slope seemed a very long distance away.

Scott grinned, his mind filled with exciting thoughts and images as he fantasised over what it would feel like to zoom down Freewheel Slope. He loved speed - always had. And freewheeling downhill was really the only way he could experience real speed without getting grounded. His father had firmly told him that the new family jet was strictly off-limits and that if Scott valued his freedom, he would wisely stay away from it unless his dad was with him. But his bike - his bike gave him freedom. Speed wasn't a problem.

And suddenly, the pieces came together in his mind, a bright smile forming on his young face at the thrilling realisation of what this true form of freedom meant to him. What opportunities it opened up to him.

"If Tommy Smith's brother can do it, so can I," he stated aloud, his posture conveying total self-confidence as he reached up to tighten the strap on his helmet.

John's head snapped around to look at him incredulously. "What?!"

Turning to the blond-haired boy beside him, Scott smiled his most winning of smiles. "C'mon, Johnny, it'll be fun!"

John chewed his bottom lip, aqua-blue eyes darting nervously towards the steep dirt path, hands clenching tightly around the handlebars of his bike as he wheeled a little further back from the curve of the hill. The slope looked way too steep from this angle. Plus the area of flat ground at the bottom of the slope couldn't be more than five or so metres in length - hardly a great enough distance to slow down after cycling so fast downhill. John shook his head slowly.

"I dunno, Scott," he said, his tone uneasy as looked up at his older brother. "It looks kinda dangerous."

"Nah, it's fine," Scott replied cheerfully, turning his handlebars from left to right absently.

John glanced down the slope again. "But - but there's not a lot of room to slow down," he said slowly, his young face looking troubled. "What if you go too fast and can't stop?"

"I've already thought of that." Scott's enthusiasm was truly uncontainable as he shifted energetically, his eyes sparkling in anticipation. "You see, all I need to do it turn a little bit to the right when I get to the bottom. If I go sideways, I'll have loads more room before I reach the woods, see? It's easy."

Rubbing his nose as he often did when something was bugging him, John's brow furrowed all the more. "But it's so steep," he stressed. "What - what if you fall off before you get to the bottom? You'd die!

Scott waved away the melodramatic comment casually, rolling his eyes at his younger sibling's naive concern. John would see things his way as soon enough. He just had to realise how much fun it was to freewheel down a slope of this size. And Scott was perfectly willing to give the smaller Tracy a visual demonstration.

Shuffling over to the right, he maneuvered his bike into position, the front wheel positioned a few feet away from the steeply angled path. A light breeze blew upwards towards him, cooling his warm cheeks and making his blue t-shirt and khaki shorts flap about his slim frame. He grinned, his hands gripping the handlebars in excited expectation.

This is gonna be epic!

"Scott," John still sounded hesitant, "maybe we should do this another day. The ground's all dry, it makes the dirt all powdery and - and you can't brake real good. Besides, we're not even s'posed to be here. Dad told us not to go past the old stump, remember?"

Sighing loudly, Scott peered over his shoulder towards the worried eight-year-old.

"Look, I've done this before," he semi-lied, knowing that this was usually a satisfactory statement as far as safety was concerned. "It's really easy. You just hafta freewheel until you get to the bottom and then let yourself slow down along the flat bit. You only hit the brakes just before you reach the edge of the woods, otherwise you end up skidding on your side - or, even worse, going over the handlebars."

John shook his head, his posture uneasy. "Scotty, I got a really bad feeling about this, okay? Can't you do it later when Dad's with us?"

"What?" Scott scoffed incredulously. "Are you kidding me? He'd never let me do this!"

He regretted the words the moment they'd left his mouth. John's eyes immediately narrowed, sharp blue orbs gazing at him suspiciously.

"I thought you said you'd done this before?"

Scott quickly tried to backpedal - although clearly not literally - and gave another nonchalant shrug, grinning with false bravado. I knew it, I should've brought Virge. He never asks these kinda questions. "I never said that Dad was with me when I did it, though, did I?" Another shrug boosted his confidence. "I came on my own."

John's eyes flashed again with eight-year-old stubbornness. "Liar! Mom and Dad only let you go out if I go with you, remember?"

Scott frowned, annoyed at his brother's intellect. John had always been a quick-thinker. He should've known he'd never be able to pull the wool over the eyes of that particular younger brother. Now Gordon...there was a kid who was easily tricked. Scott had recently managed to convince the four-year-old that their mom went out every morning to milk the magic invisible cow, Ermentrude, who lay hidden within the secret realms of their Dad's tool shed. Of course, the fantasy had been shattered when Gordon had finally realised that the milk in the jug at breakfast actually came from the same cartons his mother purchased from the store. Although, Scott mused, it had been amusing when the redhead had tried to question his parents on where they had found their famous 'magic cow'.

"Scott!" John was getting more agitated by the second, angered by his older brother's lack of response.

"Okay, okay, fine," Scott huffed. "So maybe I haven't gone down this hill before. But it's just like all the other ones you and me did with Dad last Saturday, so I don't get why you hafta make such a big fuss about it."

"Because it's dangerous!" John repeated emphatically, a note of near-desperation in his voice. "This hill's way bigger than the other ones, you're gonna kill yourself!"

Rolling his eyes again, Scott reached up to scratch his chin where the strap from his cycle helmet had been irritating the skin. "Don't be so dramatic, you goof. I'll be fine. And you'll want to have a go right after I've shown you how awesome it is."

John shook his head, looking decidedly upset. "No I won't. I'm not goin' down there. I don't want to."

"Chicken."

John's face morphed into the familiar hurt pout - one that would usually have his older brother holding up his hands in reluctant surrender. But not this time. Scott had his heart set on conquering Freewheel Slope and that's what he was going to do.

John, realising that the taller Tracy wasn't going to back down, tried another route. "Scotty, we're gonna be late if we don't head back. It'll be dinner soon and you know how mad Mom gets when we're late for dinner. She told us we had to be back before six, and it's nearly-"

"I know what time it is," Scott snapped, his patience wearing thin. "It'll only take us fifteen minutes to get back if we cycle fast, so pipe down! If you hadn't been whining so much, we could already be on our way home right now!"

Scott winced as a truly hurt expression appeared on John's face. Okay, that was a little harsh. And geez, I sound way too much like Dad.

Sighing again, he shot the younger boy an apologetic look. "We'll head back soon, okay? I promise. I'll just go down once."

"Scotty..." John still wasn't happy with the way things were turning out.

Ignoring the pleading whine, Scott focused his attention on the steep drop in front of him. Adjusting his grip on the handlebars, he put his right foot on the pedal and began to gently inch closer to the edge, pushing himself along with his left foot. His heart thudded faster within his chest as his stomach began to feel strange and tight, the way it does when you go too high on a swing. Scott both loved and hated the feeling. It sent strange, tingling sensations down his arms and legs, almost as though his blood was constantly turning from hot to cold as it pumped around his body.

The front tyre of the bike was over the steep curve, his left foot the only thing keeping him stationary. This was it. Now or never. And he couldn't go back after this, not after making his point to John so forcefully. One, that would make him look like a wuss, and two, that would mean that John had won yet another argument.

Scott gripped onto the handles more firmly. Huh, that's so not happening.

But now that his moment of glory had arrived, he suddenly found himself agreeing with his younger brother. John was right, this hill was steep. At least, it was far steeper than any of the freewheelers he'd tried before. It was huge. A tiny sliver of doubt curled its way around the excited anticipation that had, up until this point, been dominating his thoughts. Maybe - maybe he should wait until another day, when the rain had dampened the dirt a little so that it wasn't so dusty. His brakes would be able to grip better with less dust. Perhaps the ride could wait until another day.

Chicken.

Scott's own insult came back to taunt him and he frowned, immediately hardening his resolve. He would conquer Freewheel Slope or die trying - although preferably not the latter, since it was a Friday and that meant lasagna for dinner.

Taking a deep breath, Scott pushed himself off, quickly bringing up his left foot from the ground and steadying it against the pedal. He instantly began moving downwards, slowly at first but quickly picking up speed as the short, spiky grass on either side of the dirt path flew by in a green-brown blur. He held his breath as his stomach dropped, the light 'whizz' of the wheels and chain almost drowned out by the sound of the wind as it rushed by.

It was the most amazing and thrilling experience he'd ever known. And indeed, Scott would've whooped in delight if he hadn't been so utterly petrified. But the truth was, despite the incredible surges of energy that rippled through him, the speed at which he was now moving was somewhat alarming. He hadn't made it three-quarters of the way down the slope yet, but already he was going far faster than he had ever gone before. He was used to feeling in control of his bike, but now? Now it had a mind of its own. There was nothing Scott could do to slow it down until he reached the bottom - if he lived that long.

Eyes flickering rapidly between the handlebars and the path ahead, Scott had to forcefully ignore the urge to squeeze the brakes. Despite his gut-wrenching fear, that one grain of common sense was embedded too deeply into his being, preventing him from panicking and jumping for the safety line. Pulling the brakes at this speed would practically be a form of suicide. He just had to ride it out. Everything would be fine in a few seconds, he was already nearing the bottom of the slope.

The vibrations that ran up through the bars threatened to loosen Scott's grip as the steep gradient leveled out sharply onto the flat area of sun-baked dirt, where acidic deforestation had left the ground barren and devoid of trees. Small stones and dried sticks beneath the thin layer of granite and dirt made Scott's bones shake as the vibrations jarred one foot loose, the rough edge of the pedal scraping against his bare skin as he scrabbled to return it to its original place. In his panic, he failed to realise that he had forgotten to turn to the right at the bottom of the slope like he had originally planned.

Still speeding forwards at a phenomenal rate, Scott's eyes widened as the edge of the woods suddenly zoomed up to meet him. Slamming on his brakes, he heard the loud roar of crunching gravel beneath him, before his left handlebar hit the solid wood of an unmerciful tree trunk and the whole world turned on its side.

Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion as Scott hit the ground, his bent elbow and right leg connecting solidly with the rough surface and scraping along it as the motion carried him through the outer cover of the trees and into the woods. His bike was ripped from his grasp as the ground suddenly seemed to fall away beneath him, his stomach dropping again as he was sent tumbling head-over-heels, rolling down, down, down. The world span alarmingly as he seemed to tumble for an eternity. Something hard smacked against his knee and a white-hot pain exploded in his leg. In panic, he pushed his palms out against the ground - at least he guessed that it must have been the ground, but he couldn't honestly tell in his current state of disorientation - and pressed the full weight of his tumbling body against his hands. Sharp needles sliced against his skin for one long moment, then...there was nothing.

He'd stopped.

Eyes squeezed tight shut, he lay unmoving for a long moment. Then feeling swiftly returned to his limbs and he sucked in a deep lungful of air - the first breath in what had felt like minutes, but what, in reality, had probably been less than thirty seconds. Eyes opening, he gazed groggily at the swirling wonders of nature around him, willing his head to stop spinning long enough for him to work out where in the world he'd been transported to.

His stomach churned coldly within him as he bit his lip against the tears that sprang unbidden to his eyes. Sucking in another unsteady breath, he slowly pushed himself into a sitting position, staring at the woodland around him. He seemed to be halfway up - or down - a steep hill, trees and shrubs scattered about here and there, protruding grandly from the leaf-strewn carpet of the forest floor. His head still spinning, it took Scott a moment to realise what had happened.

Another slope. I fell down another slope. Ow.

The final musing was definitely the most alarming. He hurt. Everywhere. But mostly down his right side and in the palms of his hands. Man, did they smart.

Raising said hands up to his face, he grimaced as he studied the torn palms. Grey-brown, dusty powder clung to the skin, darkened in places by the blood that had begun to weep from several shallow puncture wounds. The broken skin from the small grazes stuck outwards in white, twisted spikes, revealing the bright-pink wetness of damaged tissue underneath. The burn was unbearable and Scott clenched his teeth, wincing as the light wind blew against his injured hands, intensifying the pain.

His head felt weird. Reaching up, he suddenly remembered that he was wearing a helmet, which explained the strange pressure he'd been feeling around his skull. Breathing a sigh of relief, he carefully dropped his hand back down again. Well, at least he hadn't cracked his skull open.

"Scotty!"

Head snapping up towards the top of the hill, Scott felt his heart begin to thud rapidly within his chest.

"Johnny!" he yelled. "Johnny, be careful, there's another slope!"

There was a short pause then, almost inaudible, "Scotty?!"

"John, I'm down here!" the older Tracy called back, pushing his knuckles against the ground and staggering unsteadily to his feet. His knee seared with pain and he sucked in a sharp breath through his teeth, glancing down at the throbbing limb. His eyes widened.

Blood. Everywhere.

"I'm coming, Scotty, I'm coming!"

Scott barely registered the shout as he continued to stare at the long stream of red that ran down from his knee to his ankle, even reaching the top of his socks before being absorbed by the blue fabric. There was an actual hole in his knee where a small chunk of flesh had been ripped clean away, and the neat lines of friction grazes that marred the right side of his calf had already begun to dribble their own red colouring down the back of his leg, the thin trails joining together to form a thicker droplet that slid down to darken the fabric of the sock.

His chest tightening, Scott tried to steady his breathing as tears threatened to fall. He suddenly began to feel overly hot, although the tips of his fingers seemed to cool rapidly in contrast. The sensation was disorientating and frightening, causing the ten-year-old's breathing patterns to quicken. Scott was going to be sick. He just knew it.

"Scotty!"

The blond form stumbling down the steep wooded slope towards him was too focused on where he was putting his feet to notice Scott hastily swiping his left arm across his eyes. Panting heavily, John came to a halt beside his older brother, terror and relief mingling together on his young face.

"You're alive!" the small boy exclaimed, clearly resisting the urge to throw his arms around his big brother and hug the life out of him. However, as the blue eyes flickered over Scott's body, the relief drained from his face and he paled significantly.

"Scotty," he whispered hoarsely, eyes fixed on the deep wound that was still dribbling blood down his brother's leg.

Scott forced a weak smile onto his face. "I'm okay, John," he put his left arm - the arm that wasn't bleeding steadily from the elbow - around his younger sibling's shoulders, swallowing down the bile. "It's just a scrape."

But John wasn't going to be consoled so easily. Eyes wide and bottom lip beginning to tremble, he glanced down at Scott's leg again.

"But - but you're bleeding."

Despite his pain, Scott couldn't help but apply his usual eye roll to his brother's comment. "Yeah, Johnny, I know."

John was close to tears. "Are you gonna be able to walk on it?"

Scott let out a shaky laugh, his throat feeling tight and painful from the effort it was taking him to control his emotions. He was not going to cry in front of John. No way. He was the oldest, he wasn't supposed to cry when his brothers were watching. He had to stay strong.

"'Course I can," he replied calmly, waving an injured palm towards the top of the hill with only a slight wince. "After you."

Hesitantly, glancing over his shoulder every few steps, John began to slowly make his way back up the steep slope, Scott following behind at an almost-crawl. His knee throbbed with every step, the burning sting of the grazes on his palms, elbow and leg bringing the pain to an almost unbearable level. Sucking in another shaky breath as he swiped the back of his hand across his watering eyes, Scott tried to calm himself down.

He couldn't explain why, but he felt strange and shaky, like he wanted to lie down and rest - and throw up. The latter feeling was causing him the greatest amount of distress. He could practically feel the sick at the back of his throat. An almost feverish heat now burned in his cheeks as he grimaced, trying not to make a sound. John couldn't see him cry, he couldn't. There was no way in-

"Scotty, you're crying!"

Aw crap.

Walking past his stationary brother with greater determination, angrily swiping an arm over his face again, Scott shook his head. "No m'not."

Recovering his composure, he arrived at the top of the wooded slope, locating his bike where it had become jammed between a bush and a tree - completely undamaged. And for a long moment, Scott envied its metallic framework and rubber tyres. Bikes couldn't bleed. The injustice of the situation totally sucked.

Then, snapping out of his groggy musings, Scott painfully reached out towards his bike, hooking his wrists around the seat and frame to pull the contraption upright. Standing still for a moment, he gazed at it dully. There was no way he was going to be able to cycle home in his present condition. If he couldn't even bend his fingers properly without causing an explosion of agony in his injured palm, how the heck was he going to grip onto the handlebars?

Sighing forlornly, he turned to his silent little brother. "Johnny, I can't ride, I scuffed up my hands pretty bad."

"D'you think you'll be able to walk all the way back?" John asked softly.

Scott nodded, forcing another smile onto his face. "Sure, it's only a few miles. We'll be back home before you know it. Where's your bike?"

"At the top of the slope."

Scott scowled at the floor. "Damn."

Blue eyes widened in shock. "You - you just-"

"Yeah, I just," Scott retorted, beginning to wheel his bike back towards Freewheeler Slope. "C'mon, let's get going."

John jogged after him. "But - but-"

"Johnny," Scott closed his eyes and counted to five, "I can walk, it's okay. We just need to get home. What time is it?"

The blond-haired boy looked down at his watch. "Nearly twenty past five."

Scott blinked. Had everything really happened so quickly? Had it really only been fifteen minutes since they'd arrived at the top of Freewheeler Slope? He felt like he'd been suffering through his pain for hours.

"Scotty, let me take your bike," John insisted, stepping in front of his big brother with forceful determination. "You can't walk and push at the same time."

Scott raised an eyebrow. "But you can?"

"Well my leg isn't about to fall off!"

Sighing in exaggerated surrender - but inwardly thanking God for giving him such a thoughtful younger brother - Scott gladly gave up his burden to the smaller Tracy, allowing John to start up the steep slope first before following after him. If Scott hadn't already realised just how steep it really was, he certainly knew now. Scrambling up it with one good leg and two sore hands, he decided that he definitely hated the steep gradient of the grass-covered ground beneath his feet. Why oh why hadn't he listened to John and stayed away from the slope in the first place? None of this would've happened if he'd stuck to his father's rules.

Scott's stomach dropped. Dad. Oh boy. He's gonna be so angry when he finds out what I did! I'm not gonna be allowed out on weekends for a month! Why didn't I just go back home when we got to the stump? Why'd I hafta try and show off? Dad'll ground me forever and Mom's gonna - uh oh. She's gonna be mad. That probably means no dessert for a month. Aw, man!

Suddenly, the ground leveled out beneath his feet. Blinking in surprise, Scott came to a halt, looking around him. They were at the top of the slope. He'd made it!

"Scotty," John was breathing heavily from the effort of wheeling his brother's bike up the steep hill, "I can't take my bike and your bike. Why don't I leave mine here and then Dad and me can come back for it later?"

Wearily, Scott shook his head. "Nah, somebody'll nick it. It's alright, I can take it now. I'll just use my fingers to hold it so it doesn't touch the cuts."

"Okay." Watching his older sibling carefully, John stepped to the side so that Scott could get a grip on the bike. When a wince of pain flashed across the brown-haired Tracy's face, John's expression morphed into one of worry. "Scotty, maybe you should wait here for Dad. I can go back on my own and get him."

Scott shook his head. "Don't be stupid, Johnny. Dad would kill me if I let you go back on your own."

"I'm almost nine!" came the stubborn reply.

Gripping the handles with the ends of his fingers, Scott pushed past his younger brother and began wheeling his bike along the path, gritting his teeth as his battered body protested the steady pace of his walk. As the suppressed tears began to prick at the corners of his eyes again, he paused, turning his head to the side and swiping his upper arm and shoulder across his face.

"You coming?" he called, unable to keep the pain from lining his tight voice.

Hearing John scrambling to heave his bike upright, Scott began to walk away again, exhaling slowly and steadily through his mouth. The ache in his knee had receded to a bearable level now that his limbs had adjusted to the movement. And even his palms weren't smarting quite so much anymore. See? This isn't so bad. We'll be home in no time.

No sooner had this positive thought passed through his mind, when the left pedal on his bike caught against the side of his leg, scuffing the already grazed skin. Sucking in a sharp breath and biting his lip, Scott forced himself to pay closer attention to where he was putting his feet. With a forlorn look at the path ahead of him, he let out a shaky sigh.

Home suddenly seemed very far away indeed.

TBC


So, part one of my two-shot is now written. Now, who out there hates me for hurting Scotty? Well, sorry if that upsets you, but Scott-owies was formally requested by a favourite reviewer of mine, so this is for her. Plus...guess what comes after owies? Yup, that's right, oodles of fluff! Mommy and Daddy Tracy are gonna need to look after their little speed-junky. :^D

I haven't actually finished all my exams yet - there's one more left on Monday. But it's as easy as pi, I could do it with my eyes closed. I probably won't bother looking at my notes until Saturday. And I just had to post this before I went to bed (it's nearly two in the morning now) so - surprise! In answer to your question, TraSan - well, you've just read it. Lol.

Anyway, I should have the second part of this out by Tuesday, I hope. So stay tuned!

Until then...review please! C'mon, my lovely readers, give me some sort of reward for all the hours of torture I subjected myself to on a daily basis. Reviews are like strawberries - but without the dire consequences when you eat too many of them.

See you soon!

LMB xoxoxoxox