Scott and Virgil take a trip to Paris to see an art exhibition.

Author's Notes: My thanks to Jules for letting me borrow elements of her stories 'There's Snow Business Like the Rescue Business' and 'The Virgil Card'. And thanks to Dawn and Jules and quiller for reading the story over, making it better, and correcting all my errors. Any errors you may think you see are mine alone.

Virgil literally pushed Scott up the steps to the VIP entrance of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Being sons of the billionaire Jefferson Tracy had its perks and using VIP entrances was one of them.

VIPs still had to go through security screening, just like the ordinary folk. Scott and Virgil had discussed this with their father. They decided that, as it would not be difficult to find Scott and Virgil in the museum if an emergency arose, neither would wear their IR wrist comms. If they did wear them, they would have to take them off as they went through the security check point; it wouldn't be prudent to have the security guards examine the comms too closely. Security was so tight these days that most anything could be looked at as suspicious.

The guards might look at the comms and wonder, "Why are they thicker than regular watches?" and so on until Scott and Virgil would give in and leave before their patience, and tact, ran out. Or most likely until Scott's ran out. He wasn't the most patient or tactful of people when it came to being interrogated. And there was no reason to take any chances.

So they put them in the hotel's vault for safe keeping until they returned and donned the old Timex watches they had brought with them for this trip to the Louvre.

As a consequence, for a few hours Scott and Virgil could wander through the halls and galleries of the vast and great museum without the concern of being suspected of sinister motives.

"Scott, I have the schematics of the wing of the museum with the exhibit I want to see. Man, this is so well planned, so well engineered. See how the various gallery doors lead you from one end to the other but with ... "

"Stop it already, Virg. You dragg--, uh, brought me here to see thisfabulous exhibit of late 19th century nature art. So lead on, brother. Let's get to it."

"You can't go around here with the attitude of ‘If we go at supersonic speed we can see it all in an afternoon,' " Virgil complained. "We take it easy, enjoy the atmosphere and gentle flow of the people as we wander through these magnificent galleries."

"Yes, Virgil," Scott smirked. "That is what I meant to say."

With Virgil leading the way, they made it to the gallery with the exhibit of paintings of the naturalists he was so excited about.

"Now see this, Scott, see how in the foreground the grazing sheep are true-to-life while the background is more the pseudo-impressionist style. And in the next painting, we have the ...."

The young woman who was standing slightly to the right of Virgil listened with interest.

"Excuse me, you sound as though you have some training in the various styles of the 19th century artists. Do you think the combining of two disparate styles is somewhat distracting or do you ..."

Scott rolled his eyes ceiling-ward and turned away. He just hated it when Virgil got started on his dissection of a painting, which encouraged others to join in, pushing him off to the side. He could see these two had gotten quickly involved in a passionate discussion of ... whatever ... and figured Virg would be there for some time.

"I'll just move around in this gallery and take a look at the other pictures here. And there's a comfortable chair over there I can relax in while Virgil expounds on the virtues of ... whatever."

Scott wandered around in the gallery. As he approached the door that lead to the next gallery, a painting caught his eye and he moved through the door and over to it. He looked at it, sort of leaned his upper body to the right to get a different point-of-view of the subject. Then over to the left, and decided it was a pretty cool picture.

He wandered around in this gallery and then started into the next when he remembered that he was there with Virgil and didn't want to get too far from him. Virgil was always wandering off, ending up in obscure alcoves and was hard to find. They didn't have so much time that Scott could spend it searching for Virgil.

Scott returned to where he left Virgil who, of course, was nowhere to be found. Except, this wasn't actually where he left Virgil. He didn't recognize the pictures here. He spotted a museum guard and asked, "Where is the gallery with the picture of the flying geese. You know, the one where they are flying in the V formation with their landing gear, uh, feet starting to descend in preparation for making a splash landing on the lake?"

The guard looked at him very oddly. Not because he couldn't understand English but because he had never heard that particular painting described in such a way. Sounded like a pilot describing a group of planes, but what did he know about that.

"I believe the painting you are attempting to describe is in the next gallery over, là bas," explained the guard.

"Merci." Scott thanked the guard and went in the direction he had pointed.

Unfortunately Virgil couldn't be found there, either. Scott started to wander through the galleries until he decided this just wasn't getting him anywhere. He formulated a plan and found an unoccupied small alcove (no sign of Virgil there, though). He figured John could help him find Virgil, since his solitary attempt had failed. He raised his left wrist to his face, and as he started to mouth "John, come in please, it's Scott," he saw that the little hand was on the two and the big hand was on the four.


Scott left the alcove quickly as a young couple, startled by the cry, looked in, only to see an anguished, angry looking young man staring at his watch.

"Where is that son of ... our father!" It's getting late, we can't stay here much longer. Where is he?! Merde."

Scott next found himself in a small gallery and was drawn to the wave of people undulating in front of a particular painting. As he approached it, the wave parted for a brief moment and he found himself staring at the Mona Lisa.

"Sure, you can smile. You know where you are."

Finally, dejected and frustrated nearly beyond his capacity, he wandered into the museum restaurant. He figured he would just have to leave the museum and wait for Virgil to show up back at the hotel.

"Boy, will he get an earful then."

But first he would get something to eat, to soothe his grumbling stomach.

Scott walked over to the coffee and stopped short of his goal. There, at a cozy table for two, was Virgil and the woman who had started talking with him way back at that first painting.

Walking slowly and calmly, Scott got fairly close to Virgil's back and stood there, glaring.

"Virgil, don't turn around, but there's a man standing behind you and he looks really angry. Maybe we should get up and leave here."

Virgil slumped, and sighed. He turned around and threw Scott a hearty smile.

"There you are, Scott. We've been looking all over for you. How did you get so lost in such a short span of time?"

"And just how long have you been here, sitting, eating, enjoying the company of this lovely young woman? How do you do, I'm Virgil's big brother, Scott. It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss ....?" Scott returned to glaring at Virgil.

"Look," Virgil started to explain, "we got separated and I couldn't find you. I knew that eventually you'd make it to the museum restaurant. You can't go that long without eating. So we waited here for you. And here you are. See, it all worked out." Virgil hoped his rational explanation would pacify Scott.

Scott wasn't really buying any of it and was about to tear into Virgil. Virgil could see the storm about to break so he played the IR card.

"Scott, you're not the one who gets lost. You're the one who finds lost people, remember?"

And in what amounted to a moment in the passage of time, Scott recalled the look of relief and sheer joy on a ten year old Virgil's face when Scott was the one who found him after he had gotten lost in the woods near their "Aunt" May's house. In fact, he also recalled the same expression on his "nephew" Sam's face as he recently rescued him from near the same area, although this time he had his wrist comm and John's help.

Scott smiled, a small smile, but enough to let Virgil know he had played the right card.

"Okay, Virg. You're right. I just hate it when you're right, you know."

Virgil grinned widely. The young woman just sat there, seeing the affection between the two men, and knowing better than to say anything.

"Look," Scott said. "I'm going back to the hotel. I'm beat. All this art is overwhelming me. You stay and enjoy the rest of your lunch. I'll check in with home. But come back to the hotel before going out again for the evening. There may be some things we need to discuss."

"Okey doke, Scott. See ya later."

Scott stood there for a moment, looking around.

"Uh, Scott, the exit to the street is that way. Just go toward the dessert section and turn right and there's the door to the outside."

"Thanks, Virg," Scott said, his eyes narrowing.

His facial expression turned sinister.

"And Virg, don't linger too long here. You know how you get in an unfamiliar city when it's dark. It may be scary but perhaps your friend will escort you to the hotel so you won't have to be alone. In the dark. In a strange city. All alone."

Leaving the museum, Scott smiled and wondered how Vigil would explain that without embarrassing himself.

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