Whatever this means to John is lost on Scott, but he doesn’t miss the way his brother’s eyes widen slightly. John takes the tablet and starts to skim through its contents. Scott watches as his brother sits back in his chair, lapsing into what seems like a fairly troubled silence as he reads the provided report. For lack of another likely opportunity, Scott takes advantage of the distraction to steal his brother’s pastry. Penelope takes another sip of tea. And a long minute of silence creeps by, as John does what he does best.
April 18th, 12:54AM EDT
Words: 5971 / ??,???
Chapters: 2 / 20ish
“I don’t think we should do this.”
Scott scoffs and just about rolls his eyes clean out of his head. “Really? Funny, that hasn’t been even remotely evident in the way you’re carrying on. Not at all. Nope. Would not have guessed.”
April 19th, 8:24AM EDT
Words: 7500/ ??,???
Chapters: 3 / 20ish
It’s probably for the best they’re not dependent on Penelope for a
ride out to the manor. Scott can only imagine it would be an awkward
tableau, the three of them in the back of FAB1. And he misses driving,
to the point that landing TB1 at Heathrow and renting last year’s Aston
Martin—in a gleaming cobalt blue, with a leather interior and the sort
of horsepower that feels comparable to a jet engine, even if he
knows better—had seemed like an entirely justifiable luxury. It lies in
wait, one of Scott’s only natural predators, by the curb outside the
tearoom. Raindrops glisten on its jewel-toned paint job and despite
everything, the sight of it is enough to pick Scott’s spirits up, just a
“This is all mine and you don’t get to drive it,” he
informs his brother, as is required by the time-honoured tradition of
elder siblings lording their possessions over their younger.
April 19th, 2:33AM EDT
Words: 8814/ ??,???
Chapters: 4 / 20ish
an ugly enough thought that it makes him feel a little bit sick inside,
almost dizzy, like a sudden attack of vertigo. Although, in fairness,
it’s hard to say how much of that is down to the gravity of the
situation—and not just plain old, actual gravity, up to its usual
malicious tricks. He’s only been down for a couple days. The nausea
might just be some latent jet lag, the result of jumping halfway across
the world from the island, when Scott insisted they should to pay a
visit to Penelope. Well, now he knows what that had been about, at least. Theoretically, he shouldn’t
be jet-lagged. TB5 runs on the same timezone as England, GMT,
Coordinated Universal Time. Theoretically this is his own timezone.
Practically, he’s been awake for something like a full twenty-four
hours, and hasn’t eaten much more than a chicken salad sandwich in the
past eight of those. Realistically, there are plenty of reasons for the
way he feels ill.
April 20th, 3:09AM EDT
Words: 10101/ ??,???
Chapters: 4 / 20ish
Eventually, playing the courteous host in Penelope’s stead, Parker returns to ask if John would perhaps care for a drink. When the answer is a wearily affirmative “Yes, please” Parker seems to take it as an indication that this should be a double, and comes back bearing a highball glass filled with ice, vodka, and just enough tonic water to suggest that the latter was an afterthought. And a wedge of lime.
This is probably unwise.
April 23rd, 12:25AM EDT
Words: 11299/ ??,???
Chapters: 4 / 20ish
John glowers at his brother, and if Scott got their father’s voice, then John has echoes of their mother’s, that don’t-make-me-come-up-there, you’re-pushing-it-buster, put-your-brother-DOWN type of tone that warns away from the danger zone. “You really have to fucking stop that.”
shrugs. It’s that same flippancy again, the sort that the eldest
employs when he wants to get under John’s skin in particular. Gordon
does it too, but Scott’s definitively the expert. “Whistling in the
“Glaringly offensive disregard for the gravity of the situation, Scott.”
April 30th, 2:35AM EDT
Words: 13,321/ ??,???
Chapters: 5 / 20ish
John’s never gone so far as to call Scott stupid, exactly. It’s
possibly a little bit telling that he hasn’t, actually. Ever. That he’s
always been very, very deliberate about never actually putting the words in that specific order.
Instead it’s always, “Don’t do anything stupid,
Scott” or “Abort your landing or crash your Thunderbird, Scott, up to you” or the ever popular “Just making absolutely sure you’re aware of the mountain you’re about to fly into, Scott.”
Ofcourse you’re not stupid, Scott.
You sure do a lot of really fucking stupid things, though, is what it is, Scott.
May 1st, 2:20AM EDT
Words: 14,847/ ??,???
Chapters: 6 / 20ish
Scott yawns in answer, though after only nine hours in flight after a
full night’s sleep, John imagines this is boredom and not tiredness.
“Nothing to report. Nine hours of auto pilot. Alan’s lucky I know he can actually fly, or I’d be really, really unimpressed with him right about now. His ‘bird does most of the work.”
so does mine,” John comments, making an idle defense of his little
brother and feeling a prickle of homesickness for his station. “And so does yours, for that matter. Al’s
only seventeen, it’s still pretty impressive that he flies a rocketship
in the first place.”
Scott scoffs at this and folds his arms across his chest. “I’m only twenty-eight, no one’s ever impressed with me.”
it’s an opportunity he’s rarely ever afforded, John’s not gentle as he
cuffs his big brother in the back of the head. He pushes nimbly out of
range as Scott automatically reaches back to swat at him. “Right, nobody. Never. No one’s ever
the least bit impressed by Scott Tracy, fourth richest billionaire in
the world, and the richest under thirty; leader of International Rescue,
pilot of Thunderbird One, and heir apparent to Tracy Industries.”
May 2nd, 3:53AM EDT
Words: 16,628/ ??,???
Chapters: 6 / 20ish
Scott’s still drifting lazily nearby as John wonders aloud, “Have you
ever figured out if he’s just fucking with us? With the names thing?”
Scott scoffs. “I’ve given the old bastard a list of our names every single time we’ve seen him, it just doesn’t stick.”
John’s not convinced. “I mean…we’re named after the Mercury Seven, though. I don’t know how he could fail to parse that, the man’s a career astronaut.”
“He called me Virgil the last time I saw him. Consistently.”
The notion of anyone mixing up Scott and Virgil is a pretty compelling point in favour of John’s argument, in John’s opinion.
May 3rd, 3:43AM EDT
Words: 17,444/ ??,???
Chapters: 7 / 20ish
Sometimes, and these past few days especially, Scott wonders if John Tracy might not get a little bit lost in Thunderbird Five.
Thunderbird Five is unfailingly cool and detached and professional, hard to surprise and harder still to unsettle. Thunderbird Five has the entire Earth at his fingertips, takes it in and understands it at the barest
glance, can reach down out of the heavens themselves and changes the
course of the world beneath him. Sometimes even Scott manages to forget that
there’s a person behind that persona, and that that person is his nerdy,
introverted little brother, who’s allergic to penicillin and who
freckles within five minutes when exposed to sunlight; who built his
first telescope when he was fourteen, and has a bookshelf full of
dog-eared, vintage sci-fi, gathering dust in the bedroom he almost never
“I don’t know what kind of baseball you’ve been playing, but the best pitches are works of art produced by the pitcher and the catcher working as one. I’ll draw out your full potential. You just need to trust my mitt and throw your best pitches. It’s that simple.”