Brains wants Scott. Virgil wants Scott out. Scott wants coconuts.

WARNING: Swearing, implied incest, amoral puppet! slash, severe OOC-ness! Thunderbirds like it should never have been seen. You have been warned!

Brains sat back lazily in his sunbed and watched the eldest son of his employer swim lengths in the impossibly blue pool. His own uncharacteristic appearance outside had nothing to do with the heat, and hence the undressed state of... certain people, he told himself; it was important to be aware of the meteorological conditions outside. Brains was there for... observational purposes. The water glistened slickly off Scott's back, his muscles rippling as he pulled himself out of the water right in front of the reclining scientist.

"Oh, hi Brains! Say, pass me that towel, would you?"

Brains was rewarded with a flash of white teeth as he tossed it to Scott (taking care to throw it slightly short and to the side, so as to retain his reputation - you never knew when being considered a weakling could come in handy), and the far more satisfying view of the pilot casually scraping the Egyptian cotton over his firm body, mopping the tantalising droplets from his broad swimmer's shoulders and back. He'd never been able to resist jocks.

"W-wow, Scott, you s-sure do g-g-go fast in that pool!" you hunk of a studmuffin, you, Brains added silently.

The dimple in Scott's cheek deepened as he grinned, and proceeded to present a rather lovely view of his arse as he bent down to pick up his drink, kept cool with a pack of insulated dry-ice - Brains' invention, of course. It could not be left on tables, because of the mark it left, and hence the bending; it was one of those design flaws that could not be rectified, sadly, like the transparent crotch on the aqua-suit, and the extraordinary tight leggings used for anti-grav training purposes. The amount of creative effort that went into designing the outfits actually often took longer than the conception and planning of the actual implements they were used with, although it was far more enjoyable, and the results were usually much more aesthetically pleasing. Not for the first time, Brains reflected that he was certainly in the right job. He was composing an inquiry about the comfort of the seats in Thunderbird 1 which might possibly lead to a testing session, when there was a rustle behind him, and Scott grinned at the figure who appeared from the house behind him.

"Hey, Virgil," Scott said brightly, "how about a game of volleyball?"

Virgil strolled out of the shade of the palm tree and laid his towel on the sunbed.

"Scott, you know I hate volleyball." Brains sighed involuntarily as that pretty face creased in disappointment, like a cloud going over the sun. Virgil pulled off his T-shirt and lay down, closing his eyes luxuriously; he might just as well have hung a 'closed' sign on his head. Scott looked mournfully at Brains, very much resembling a puppy shut up in a kitchen on a summer afternoon.

"He never wants to play volleyball with me any more," he said sadly. Brains wrinkled his brow, hoping to convey sympathy and understanding. The palm tree rustled in a light breeze as Scott picked absently at the bark.

"Say, Brains, why don't we ever get any coconuts off this thing?"

Virgil sighed pointedly.

"It's a fucking date palm, Scott."

Scott flushed, and frowned in his brother's direction.

"Virge, you know dad doesn't like us using bad language..."

Virgil snorted loudly, and Brains thought it best to step in before things got nasty.

"W-well, Scott, if it's important t-to y-you I could m-modify their genetic structure, I'm sure your f-father would mind..." and the sun was out again, Brains thought happily.

"Gee, could you?" said Scott, "That would be swell! Say, do you want to play some volleyball?"

"Scott, I think I hear dad calling you," Virgil drawled, not opening his eyes.

You could almost see his tail wag as he scurried towards the house. He stopped at the screen door. "Are you sure, Virge? I don't see-"

"Maybe you've got..." Virgil's voice died away into a mumble.

"What did you say?"

"I said maybe you've got water in your ears!" projected Virgil. Scott frowned, and rubbed his chin with concern.

"Jeez, Virge, maybe you're right. I should go and get some of Nana's special tea."

"You do that, Scott."

He ambled off, and his younger brother smirked up at the midday sun. Brains watched the crystal pool lap gently at the marble steps, unable to stop himself from feeling rather forlorn at the loss of his favourite distraction. The sun beat down, the sweat making his glasses slip down his nose, and he could feel the beginnings of a headache coming on. There was a shuffle as Virgil turned over.

"Y'know, Brains, sometimes I can't believe I'm related to him."

Brains shrugged, and Virgil rolled his eyes.

"Jeez, you're as bad as dad."

He stuck out his jaw, and said, gruffly, "Virgil, stop teasing your brother. Virgil, give Scott back his keys. Virgil, Scott gets the rocket... coconuts. He's such a moron."

Brains shrugged, and stood up. He didn't quite feel up to rebuking Virgil, and those washboard abs were a little distracting. Besides, his head was beginning to hurt, and he craved the cool shade of his basement. As he picked his way around the pool, he had the uncomfortable feeling that he was being looked over in a rather unsavoury way, particularly when Virgil's charming voice rang across the water, laden with syrupy concern.

"You stay out of the sun, Brains. You know what your migraines are like..."

Brains winced, and dug his bitten fingernails into his palms. Virgil never lost an opportunity to remind him of that unfortunate slip in his usually rock-solid composure. All he really remembered of it now was Alan, the hyperactive little twit, dancing around him and asking about his precious car, and a screwdriver suddenly appearing in Brains' hand. It had been months before Tintin had stopped hiding the kitchen knives whenever he was around.

"Say, Brains", Virgil called, his voice now unmistakably spiteful, "pity you weren't around when we were in high school, you could have genetically modified him to date the cheerleaders, not the science club".

The sound of genius hitting screen door drifted across the water, and Virgil grinned lazily, stretching himself out like a cat. Brains deserved a shake-up, drooling at Scott like some hormonal adolescent. Just drooling was no good to Virgil. Their father wouldn't take his word as proof, and never had; Virgil needed hard evidence, as it were. Luckily, Brains himself had set up a visual-audio monitoring system months ago; it had been easy to tap into it for his own personal use. Easy for Virgil, anyway. Perhaps this last little nudge would get some results, but if not, he could wait. He'd been waiting his whole life. Meanwhile, he'd have a nap.

The horizon was the colour of saffron over the sea when Virgil's watch beeped, waking him up. He squinted at his watch in the light from the fading sun, and savoured the rush of a job well done. He pulled his shirt back on, and sauntered down towards Brains' laboratory. It looked like he had plenty of time.

"Say, now, Virge, I don't think dad has to hear about this..." Scott said. From behind his test-tube rack, Brains had to admire Scott's ability to sound smooth, even wearing only a strategically-placed swab. His heart sank, however, when he saw Virgil show his teeth.

"But Scott, that would be dishonest", he said, turning the corners of his mouth down in mock disappointment. "I think daddy should know that his boy's been dropping the soap a bit too often".

"You swore!", squawked Scott, "you swore on Nana's apple pie!"

"Blow me," said Virgil coolly. "Oh no, wait, you've already done that." Brains heard a choked noise, and realised that he himself had made it. Virgil's grimace widened into a sinister grin.

"You're going down, Scott", he hissed. "There's no Thunderbird Two to save you now. Dad's not going to like this. Maybe he'll send you back to military school, and I'll finally get to show him what I can do!".

Scott drew himself up to his full height, which was considerable, and looked sternly at his younger brother. "Now, Virge, you know dad loves us all equally. Your job is very important."

Virgil's bronzed skin was mottled red, his eyes had an insane gleam to them, and his hair stuck up in all directions.

"I," he gasped, "am an artist! Not that I get any appreciation around here, no more than a glorified box-carrier, just because I took time to develop more important things than 'people skills'. You wouldn't know a plexi-chip if you swallowed one, would you, Scott? Oh no, wait, you've done that too. Ever wondered where your molecular-structure plan for the experimental cure for cancer went, Brains? He's an idiot, but he gets all the credit, because he looks like a hack B-movie star. Well, not any more!"

He swivelled on his heels with the grace of a dancer, and strolled out of the laboratory. Scott shamefacedly gathered up his things, avoiding Brains' stunned gaze.

"I've got to go see dad, Brains. I guess Virge's a little mad...".

He scurried out after his brother. After a few minutes, Brains decided he should probably put some clothes on. He was stuffing his papers into a suitcase when there was a low rap on the door.

"C-c-come in," stuttered Brains apprehensively. Jeff Tracy quietly let himself into the room.

"Don't say anything," he said, holding up a hand to stall Brains' nervous gibbering.

"Scott's just spoken to me, and say, Brains, what are you doing?" Brains looked at him blankly.

"I'm p-packing, Mr T-T-Tracy... I-I figured you'd w-want me to g-g-go."

"Go, Brains? Are you kidding? International Rescue is nothing without you! If a little ass is all it takes to keep you happy then that's just fine with me, even if it happens to be my son's."

Brains found time to wish he'd invented some sort of gadget to allow him to sink into the floor at will, but was relieved, nonetheless. Filling out job applications was such a drag when you had as many qualifications as he did. Jeff flashed him his trademark statesmans' smile.

"Did you really think I'd fire you for nothing worse than anything we got up to in the marines? Brains, you've known me longer than that. Now, how about giving an old man a hug?"

Before Brains could react, he was enfolded in an aftershave-sozzled manly embrace. A little too manly. His eyes widened as Jeff firmly squeezed his arse with one hand, and whispered into his ear, "Now, Scott tells me you can do some pretty interesting things with a test-tube..."

Well, Brains thought distantly, he had always found his boss rather attractive. Scott had to get it from somewhere, after all. If this was what it took to keep him his job, then that was that. He supposed that later Scott would be wanting some comforting after such a traumatic experience, and maybe Virgil wouldn't be averse to taking out his frustrations on someone. Life was good.

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