The Thunderbirds are not mine. They belong to Gerry Anderson. Here's to all for the fun and joy of writing about the Thunderbirds. The variety is amazing. Hope you enjoy this as well.
now, I do NOT have a beta, so any mistakes are mine alone.
Again, I don't have a beta, so any mistakes are by accident-also, the spell check on my computer is busted, so that doesn't help. -_-
The next morning when Ruth advised her son that Alan would abide by his wishes, at least for now.
Jeff just smiled and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "I can see I still have a lot to learn from you."
Ruth smiled at her son. "Jeff, I told you before, don't underestimate him. You still think of him as the young nine year old you left with me. Alan is still young, and makes misstakes because of youth, but he has matured more than you are willing to admit to yourself. And he is every bit a TRACY. Do you actually know what brought this situation about?"
"Well I know he was upset about a lot of things. Then we had a mission and I couldn't take him to the school myself, but that is no excuse! He..."
"Did you really try to send him in Lady Penelope's PINK car?"
Jeff looked at his mother a dumb-founded look on his face. "You are kidding me? He did something so incrediablly stupid because of a pink car?"
His mother gave him a disconcerning look, "Jeff, have you drifted so far a way you can't remember what it was like to be entering a new school at that age? Think about the day your dad dropped you off at the start of junior high school, you didn't have anything new to start with. You had to use left over supplies from previous years, evan your clothes were from the second hand store. It had been a bad year for crops so we weren't able to get the newer things we had planned on. We almost lost the farm." She paused letting him recollect the painful memory. "You had wanted him to let you off a few blocks away, because of the beat up old truck and not having new clothes."
Jeff bowed his head, shamefully he remembered his embaressment. "Dad wouldn't though. He told me to just hold my head high. Things would get better and at the end of the day you and he would be there for me. After school we had a long talk about how clothes and material things don't make the man. That I should never be afraid to work hard and never give up on my dreams, because of a few setbacks. That I should think of this as a learning oppurtunity to see how to measure true friendship. The only thing really important was the love and support of family. Everything else would fall into place in it's own time. But what does that have to do with Alan?"
Ruth placed a hand on Jeff's arm. "Alan was going to be dropped off, to face a totally new situation without a support system to fall back on. Think about it, Jeff. I know that is not what you intended, but it was a part of what brought about this very near tragedy. Alan has suffered teasing much more than you or his older brothers realize. When the teasing started this time no one would be there. Due to all the previous mishaps, he felt alienated from his family. He wanted to prove to you that he could do something, he had hoped would make you proud of him."
Jeff sighed, "but I am proud of him...I,,,I didn't want.. I mean..." He looked into his mothers eyes, "mom have I lost him? I just wanted him to be safe, but still experience life, how could I have..."
"No Jeff you haven't lost him... yet."
"I guess I can figure out a way to home school though..."
"That will not be neccessary... Alan is in many ways more mature than you give him credit for, but he is young and will have relapes in shown maturity. He has agreed to try the boarding school. With Fermat going too, I think it will work. But Jeff, don't let oppurtunities to help him understand ..."
Before more could be said, the rest of the family started gathering for breakfast.
It was obvious that Fermat was estatic at the idea of going off to a new school. He had barely been able to sleep due to his excitment, after Brains surprized him with the news of going to school off the island with Alan.
Alan rolled his eyes, he was about to say something when he caught his grandmother looking at him and giving him a small shake of her head. He closed his mouth and endured the playful jabs of his upcoming departure.
"Maybe Fermat's love of learning will rub off on you sprout." laughed Gordon.
"I never said I didn't like learning." Alan retorted back, I just like the practical stuff better."
"But the grades in school now are what count and what will get you into the best colleges, so you can understand the pratical things and how they work. later," piped up Virgil.
Scott and the others laughed. Scott playfully rubbing the top of Alan's head. Alan for his part trying to bend out of reach.
Virgil asked, "how are your feet today,"
"A little sore, but nothing I can't handle."
"I'd like to check them and your arm a little later this week, then confer with Dr Naurcheck, I doubt he would be pleased if he saw your feet right now."
Alan started to say something, but the look from his grandmother helped him to let it slide. "fine."
Virgil smiled triumphantly, unawares as to the battle grandma had stopped, before it had the chance to take place.
:"Thank you Alan. I appreciate your cooperating with your brother. I don't want a repeat of last night, or they will never heal," said Jeff.
Alan stayed quiet as the look from grandma told him. He ate a quick bite, drank down his orange juice and asked to be excused.
Jeff okayed his departure, adding he should make plans for leaving the last Sunday of the month.
Just as he was about to go out the door, Alan turned back and smiled, "just remember grades are just letters on paper." then hurried out.
"What's he mean by that?" asked Gordon.
The boys caught their father give his mother a questioning look.
Scott asked, "what gives? Grandma,... you know something we should?"
Grandma just smiled, "just remember I warned you all not to underestimate your youngest brother." then she rose to help clear the table.
Alan went with Virgil to the infirmery, the following week, without any further fuss, If he were lucky maybe he would get the heavy cast off today, and his feet were healed enough that he could now wear his loafers at least without discomfort. He sat waiting for Dr Naucheck, Brains and Virgil to review the new x-ray was begining to get very bored and was thinking of running off to see if Gordon were doing anything more fun. Just as he headed for the door, Virgil and Brains came back in the room.
"Well Alan looks like we can take the cast off, though both Brains and I agree with Dr Naucheck after reviewing the new films, you will need to wear a cock-up splint for a at least four more weeks. So looks like you'll have to start your new school with it; however, when you finish your antibiotics tomorrow you'll be done with them."
Alan was disappointed about the splint, but replied good naturedly, "Well I guess it could have been worse news. At least I'll be done with the pills."
Brains and Virgil set about removing the hard heavy cast and replaced it with the lighter cock-up splint. When they were done, Alan was pleased at how much less cumbersome the brace felt, and thanked them both before heading out to show off his slightly increased freedom.
The next couple of weeks found Alan trying to pass the time sitting with his feet dangling in the pool, watching his family and friends swim, unable to participate due to the splint and his still weak arm. He did play some board games with them, but mostly he waited anxiously for a special package to arrive.
Living on an island did have it's disadvantages he found, as overnight delivery didn't apply. If the package wasn't delivered today he would not be able to put his planned surprize for his father and brothers into action before being ferried off to boarding school.
At breakfast he was releived when Scott came in and anounced that operation cover up was going into place as a delivery plane was asking to land.
"Who ordered special delivery? You all know..."
"Sorry Jeff dear," interupted grandma before an angry word could be spoken, "but I didn't think it would be a problem and I gave Alan permission to order a few things."
"We're heading to the mainland tomorrow afternoon, could it not have waited untill..."
"Jefferson, I appolgize for the inconvinence." Her voice a little sharper than intended.
"It will be fine,mom." then turning to Alan, "but in the future Alan, please let me or your brothers know so we can be better prepared."
The others kept their faces down so the smiles didn't show as they loved it when grandma made their father toll the line.
Ruth didn't say anything, and only she caught the term Alan used when he answered.
Alan hurried off with his package to his room, once the delivery plane had left. He felt quite smug as he began to put his plan together. It was quiet a bit later when he emerged carrying a small object.
The family had gathered round in the lounge, about to enjoy a late afternoon snack. When Alan walked in their curiosity spiked at the object that had to be 'special delivery'.
Holding it in his hand he innocently asked, "grandma you remember the 'AT 11' door/cabinent lock I told you was going to be coming out?"
"Yes dear," smied grandma, "I believe you mentioned it a few times, before my stroke."
"Well, I was able to acquire this one," he held it out for every one to see. "I wanted it for the dorm room for Fermat and I. No unwanted guests guarenteed."
His brothers began to laugh and tease. "This is what you had to have special delivered? Are you kidding? Like that little thing is going to keep anyone out?" They were practaclly doubled over with laughter.
Fermat and Brains took it to have a closer look, Fermat quite relieved at the prospect of no one having access to their room to play jokes on them.
Tin Tin laughed with the older boys, Jeff looked disgruntled and grandma just sat and observed, giving Alan a quick wink.
"Go ahead and laugh, but if this works as well as predicted; it will be on the top ten gifts for Christmas once it hits the open market."
"It does have a very unique locking mechanism," said Brains, as he fiddled with the lock and to his amazement could not make it unlock itself.
Still laughing Gordon asked, "how did YOU get to get a hold of one, before it gets to the open market?"
"I requested to be a tester for future products when we installed the AT-11 home security unit. This is for an individual door or cabinet." replied Alan casually.
"Sprout you really take the cake," laughed his brothers. "What makes this so special"
"When it is slid into place and set, it literally locks into the knob, you are unable to turn the knob at all. If you mess with it, like guessing numbers wrong or taking to long to open it, a computer chip in it self resets."
"How much time do you have to open it?" asked Fermat.
"Depends on the setter. But it can go from ten seconds to one minute. It also has an another computer chip so you could program it to voice activate, if say; your hands are full. But of course that will be an opptional purchase."
"Th-that w-wou-would be v-very a-ad-advanced technology. If it w-works as w-well as you s-say, it w-will be v-very p-po-popular." added Fermat.
"Yeah if it works." laughed the others in the room aside from Jeff and Ruth.
"Well the AT-11 security system worked. As I recall you have first hand experiance." Alan smirked.
"Don't remind us," said John who had just joined the conversation via a live feed from Five on Scotts watch.
"So when is your testing going to start?" asked Virgil.
"Tomorrow? You won't be in you dorm until monday!" laughed Gordon
Alan just smiled, "you're right." None noticed the wink he gave his grandmother.
Everyone gathered early for breakfast as Jeff and Brains were flying the boys to their new school and then flying Grandma Ruth back to Kansas, before returning to the island..
"Are you sure you want to stay back at the farm, Mother?" asked Jeff for the hundredth time. "I think it would be much better if you lived here on the island."
"Posh, I am able... and I want to be in my own home. There may come a time when I won't be able to be there, but for now that is where I want to be and you know my two friends are also going to also live there. You have already arranged for the fields and work around the house to be done, so I won't really be alone. It also lets both Mable and Gertrude to be on their own. We will look out for each other."
Alan quickly finished breakfast, as he was very excited at wanting to get started on his project. "Can I be excused? I want to finish a few things before we go."
"Okay son, but I want to leave by noon."
"I'll be ready." Alan assured him. Then hurried off.
"Man you'd think the sprout was almost looking forward to going." said Virgil.
"Yeah, a few weeks ago you and he were at each others throats over it, dad," Gordon added..
"As I recall he was a little upset with you three also for not backing him." replied Jeff with a raised eyebrow.
Scott laughed, "I think his teenager weirdness is just kicking in early."
Everyone laughed. Then grandma added "maybe he's more mature and clever than you give him credit."
The older brothers nearly fell off their chairs with laughter. "Oh Grandma, that's a good one!"
"Just remember I warned all of you not to underestimate him."
Jeff and the brothers laughed again."Oh grandma, you always say that."
Scott and Jeff went to finalize the flight plans, while Virgil, Gordon, and Tin Tin went for a swim. Fermat and Brains went to their housing unit for some alone time, before Brains' only son would for the first time be away from him and the island.
Alan set about putting his testing surprise into action.
All the bags were on board and last minute hugs were passed around as Jeff and Brains readied Tracy One for take off.
"Where is Alan?" asked Jeff looking at his watch.
Before anyone could say anything Alan came strolling out. "Hurry up Alan," called Scott. "What was taking you so long, You knew the schedual."
"Should have known you'd be last again," laughed Virgil and Gordon.
"Oh just finishing up a project." He let the others rub his head and took their teasing in stride as he climbed aboard, then turned back as he reached the top step, "Hey guys, an early thanks for your help with the testing." he called. Smiling as he went to his seat to buckle in. Jeff closed the walked up to the cockpit.
Scott, Virgil and Gordon looked at each other. Concern over what Alan had said to them as he and the others were boarding, starting to sink in. "What testing? What is he talking about?"
"Testing?" a frown covered Scott's face as he tried to figure out what Alan had meant.
"Something tells me we've been had," said Virgil.
"But how is the question," groaned Gordon. Realization dawning, that they had probally just been pranked by their youngest brother, who was fast being taken out of their reach.
Jeff started to taxi down the runway and soon they were airborn and on their way.
"Testing?... Oh no, the LOCK!" all three said in unison and raced back indoors. Not finding anything out of line, they had pretty much convinced themselves that they were reading too much into what Alan had said. It was not until they went to their bedroom to ready for bed, that they discovered 'AT-11' door locks on their bedroom doors, with a note - "the locks are VERY EASY, if you know the combination! Good Luck!" Dispite all their efforts they soon realized, tonight they would not be getting into their bedrooms the traditional way.
Tracy One was ready to land when the call came from base. "Tracy island to Tracy one."
"This is Tracy One. We are on final approach, unless this is an absolute emergency, we will contact you once we are settled at the hotel."
It was easy to hear the exasperation though Scott tried his best to stay professional. "FAB -Tracy -One. Just make sure a certain little brother contacts us ASAP."
"FAB. Tracy One out." replied Jeff. Then he asked everyone to secure for landing.
Once they were down and ready to head for the hotel he asked, "Alan you can explain why you brothers are so anxious to talk with you. Especially since it is so late on the island."
"Can't imagine, dad!" replied Alan showing his most innocent face.
Grandma whispered to him "did you do what I think you did?"
"Why grandma whatever do you mean?"
"Don't think you can fool me with that inocent face, I know all to well how you boys like to prank each other." smiled grandma.
"Don't worry Grandma...nothing dangerous. Just a minor inconvinence, so to speak."
Once they were settled in the two suites Jeff again addressed his youngest, "okay Alan do you want to fess up as to what you did to ruffel your brothers feathers, before I call."
Alan shrugged his shoulders, "I'm just letting them help me test the new lock."
Jeff ran his hand through his hair as he dialed up the island, determined to keep the peace and get Alan off to a good start at his new school.
"Scott, just returning your call. Alan is here, what seems to be the problem?"
"Let me call the others, we'd all like a piece of him right now." growled Scott.
Jeff looked at his youngest. Though Alan gulped a little at the obvious anger in Scotts voice, Jeff couldn't help but notice the smirk his youngest son was trying to hide.
Alan sat up straight as he looked at his gathered brothers. "What's up guys?"
"You know what's up, you little twirp." yelled Gordon.
Scott gave his second youngest brother the look that said I'll handle this, as Virgil pulled Gordon down on to the couch.
"Okay sprout what are the combinations?" Scott asked trying to keep his normally professional demur. Though he really wanted to throttle his youngest brother.
"Combinations?" Asked Alan as he pretended to scratch his chin in deep thought. "Combinations? Whatever do you mean?"
"Okay Alan you got us back. Now give us the combinations." Scott demanded.
.This time Alan couldn't hold back as he laughed at the older siblings. "What's the MAGIC word?"
"Alan I'm gonna ring your neck, now stop with the games." growled Scott.
"No, that most definetly is NOT the magic word." laughrd Alan.
"Sprout you give us the combinations or we'll kick your a-a-as, ah I mean rear end." growled Gordon and Virgil.
"Boys, watch your language." commented grandma from the background.
"Sorry grandma." said the three brothers in unison. Now they really were really getting upset, because besides being inconvinenced, now Alan was getting them in trouble with Grandma Ruth.
"The magic word?" laughed Alan outright.
'Aaaaugh,... okay,... PLEASE." said Virgil in exasperation.
"What cominations are you talking about?" asked Jeff trying to hide his own enjoyment over the fact that it would appear his youngest had just pulled a good one over on his older brothers.
"That," replied Scott hottedly, "would be the combinations to the locks he placed on our bedroom doors. We had to go over the roof and through our balconies to open them from the inside, and now we can't shut the doors tight until we can get the locks off, or we will have to go over the roof again!"
"I guess that would mean they just passed the testing as to how well they will work," said Alan as he tried to controll his laughter. "I'm sure the company owner will be happy to hear it."
"Yes, little brother they passed the test. Now the combinations."
As Alan gave Scott the the combinations he heard Virgil and Gordon in the background, "just remember sprout paybacks are hel..."
Jeff had a hard time keeping a straight face as he said, " boys language."
Alan laughed harder as he replied, "yeah, they sure are! I'll have three months before I come back and have to worry."
Jeff bid his boys goodnight and ended the discussion. "Okay Alan it's time to get some sleep. You and Fermat have a new adventure starting in the morning."
"Okay dad. Good night." He headed to his bed.
Grandma came in to give him a good night kiss and tuck him in.
"You know grandma, dad actually took the whole thing better than I thought he would."
"Sweatheart I told you your father loves you, and he does have a sense of humour."
Alan smiled, "I hope your right grandma, cuz he's going to need it when he gets home and finds out I put a lock on his liquor cabinate."
Possible sequel to follow if enough interest shown.