After-effects

Chapter 26

The next few months passed peacefully on Tracy Island. Tin-Tin moved out of the Kyrano's cabin into Alan's room in the main villa. The youngest Tracy boy quietly rearranged his living quarters to be more family-orientated and devoted large amounts of time to simply making sure that Tin-Tin was happy, healthy and comfortable. He flew her to Kansas for her monthly pre-natal check-ups and arranged for her to have a 4D scan which revealed that Peanut was indeed a boy.

John's arm healed well and with Virgil's help he regained the full range of movement in his shoulder. Despite being back up to full health he was reluctant to go back up to Thunderbird 5 and rigged up a computer in the corner of Jeff's office so he could monitor the incoming transmissions from the space station. The system worked well and through experimentation Brains and John worked out that they received messages only twenty three seconds later than they would have done had John been sat up in Thunderbird 5.

Jeff was enjoying having all the boys with him on the island and readily agreed that John could stay 'down' for as long as he wanted.

The Tracy patriarch took the opportunity to test out different crew configurations and sent John on several rescues while Alan was away with Tin-Tin. Gordon pitched a fit when he realised that he'd been almost completely grounded but then surprised himself, and everyone else, when he discovered he had a talent for coordinating the rescues using John's computer.

~#~

The family settled back into a routine over the next month. John remained planet-side and eventually admitted to Jeff that he would rather stay that way permanently. Jeff agreed with him and suggested that John and Alan maybe needed a trip up to Thunderbird 5 to collect the bulk of their personal belongings that had been left up there.

~#~

It was arranged that Alan and John would spend a couple of days aboard Thunderbird 5 a few weeks later. They would carry out some calibrations that Brains had asked for and then pack everything up properly before heading home.

Tin-Tin was tearful when Alan told her that he would be going up to the space station. "I won't be gone long. I promise." He wrapped his arms around Tin-Tin and cradled her gently against his chest. "Gordon and Grandma'll keep you company while I'm away and once I'm back I'll take you over to the mainland so we can start properly getting ready for the baby. He's more than half grown now and he's going to need somewhere to eat and sleep and do…other things. Ask Grandma to help you make a list of what we need to get and see if she has any ideas where to get it all from as well."

Tin-Tin sniffed loudly and then nodded. "Yes, she'd like that. I'll ask her." She giggled softly. "Poor Gordon. He's not going to want to look at baby stuff all day."

"He'll throw himself in the pool if he gets bored," Alan chuckled. "…and it's not like you'll be shopping all day…will you?"

Tin-Tin giggled again. "It might be fun to try but…no. If they were real shops, maybe but online shops…not so much so, I can't imagine anything more mind numbing."

Alan snuggled her closely and kissed her hair. "You work out where you want to go and I'll take you there when I come back. We could pay a visit to Penelope as well, if you want. She was saying the other day that she'd love to see you."

~#~

Alan and John completed the calibrations on Thunderbird 5 and packed most of their personal items into Thunderbird 3 before travelling home. Alan took Tin-Tin to Penelope's the next day and the three of them, plus Parker, spent several days buying everything that Peanut was going need for his first few months of life. Penny insisted on buying the crib that Tin-Tin had picked out along with several cute but highly impractical-looking outfits and everything else went on Alan's credit card. Jeff paid off the boys cards on a monthly basis and had given Alan carte blanche to spend whatever he needed to in order to get the villa ready for Peanut's arrival.

Just before they were due to leave, Parker presented the couple with a box containing a hand-made mobile decorated with the various ships and vehicles that made up International Rescue. The uppermost part was Thunderbird 5 and below it hung thunderbirds 1, 2, 3, the Firefly, the Mole and something small and red that Alan guessed may be supposed to represent the Domo. Thunderbird 4 dangled below everything else, hanging from a thread which hung from the base of Thunderbird 2 and Alan laughed delightedly when he realised that the little yellow submarine was surrounded by tiny fish. "It's brilliant, Parker. Thank you. Peanut's going to love it."

"It's beautiful." Tin-Tin hugged the butler tightly. "Thank you, both of you, for everything. The last few days have been fun." She released Parker and snuggled herself against Alan. "We'll let you know when we get home. Alan, is everything packed?"

Alan nodded. "It's all gone in. We'd better not buy much in New York though or we won't get Mirabel off the ground to get home again."

~#~

Alan landed Mirabel at JFK International Airport and drove Tin-Tin to their hotel. Tin-Tin was shattered by the time they arrived and put herself to bed almost as soon as they checked in. She slept straight through to the next morning and woke to find herself securely enveloped in Alan's arms. Alan was fast asleep and had such a peaceful expression on his face that she was reluctant to disturb him and lay quietly in his arms for several minutes.

Eventually the pressing need to empty her bladder became too great and Tin-Tin gently kissed Alan awake. He woke slowly and leaned into the kiss before opening his eyes and smiling dopily. "Good morning. Are you feeling better?"

Tin-Tin rubbed her cheek against the side of his face and sighed. "I'm fine, I was just super-tired yesterday. It was like the journey took way more out of me than normal."

Alan squeezed his hand between them and rested it on Tin-Tin's stomach. "Maybe coming here wasn't such a good idea. Maybe we'd have been better just going home. It's…I just…" He sighed softly. "We never get any time alone."

Tin-Tin placed her hand on his and smiled sadly. "I know we don't but it's better than it used to be. We've got some sort of privacy once we're shut in our rooms and no-one questioned us about coming out here alone. Did they?"

"No," Alan shook his head. "No-one queried it but Dad can track us at all times so I suppose he thinks we can't get into too much trouble." He gently rubbed her stomach and then snuggled against her. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm fine." Tin-Tin revelled in the closeness for a moment and then groaned. "…and as nice as this is I really need to get up for a minute."

Alan followed her gaze towards the bathroom door and nodded. "Fair enough." He untangled the bedsheets from around them and held them up so Tin-Tin could slip out. "I'll get breakfast ordered while you're in there."

~#~

Alan organised breakfast and made a couple of phone calls while he was waiting for it to arrive. He was halfway dressed when it finally appeared and Tin-Tin laughed loudly as she stepped out of the bathroom to find him hopping towards the door while trying to pull on one of his socks.

"I'll get it," she murmured. "You finish getting dressed before you hurt yourself."

Tin-Tin unloaded the breakfast trolley onto the table and poured Alan a mug of hot, strong coffee. She filled a glass of orange juice and then rifled through her bag and pulled out her antenatal medication. "I don't get why they make these things so big," she grumbled as she tipped the tablets out onto her side plate. "That one particularly." She jabbed her finger at a large, elliptical-shaped yellow, tablet. "I mean, look at it."

Alan walked up behind her, wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek. "You've done great so far and it won't be long before this little one arrives." He stroked Tin-Tin's stomach and cuddled himself closer against her. "We're over half way there, Tin. Just a few more months and you won't need them any more."

Tin-Tin sighed softly and rubbed her cheek against his. "And then everything will change again. There'll be three of us rather than just two and we'll never get any time alone."

Alan didn't know how to answer that so settled on shrugging. This seemed to be good enough for Tin-Tin who sighed again and then picked up the big yellow tablet, popped it into her mouth and washed it down with a sip of orange juice.

~#~

After breakfast Alan took Tin-Tin's hand and the couple took a slow walk down towards the shops. Tin-Tin bought several cute baby outfits in a couple of different stores and Alan treated her to a very expensive lunch in a pleasant but surprisingly quiet restaurant.

When they had finished eating Tin-Tin excused herself and went off to find the bathroom. Alan watched her go and quickly pulled out his phone to make a call.

Tin-Tin returned to the table and smiled softly when she noticed that Alan had paid the bill and tipped the waiter while she'd been gone. She kissed his cheek and then nodded when he suggested that they might want to head back to the hotel.

~#~

The concierge nodded at Alan as he ushered Tin-Tin through the main doors of the hotel. Tin-Tin gave him a puzzled look for a moment but then Alan steered her into the elevator and pressed the button for their floor and she thought nothing more about it.

Alan began to fidget as they approached their room and he clung to Tin-Tin's hand as he pushed the door open.

Tin-Tin stepped inside to find the room in semi-darkness. The drapes had been pulled across the window and the room was lit by numerous tiny candles which flickered merrily from every available flat surface. Alan nudged her further inside so he could close the door and then remained behind her as she made her way towards the table which had been pulled into the middle of the room.

Tin-Tin stopped by the table and glanced around the room with a soft smile on her face. "You arranged all this?"

Alan nodded. "It wasn't quite what I had planned but you were so tired last night that I sort of…improvised."

Tin-Tin turned back to the table which had been covered with a delicate ivory-coloured cloth. Three tall vases filled with red roses spanned the middle of the table and created a floral backdrop for a large bottle of champagne and two crystal flutes. A ruby red napkin sat in front of the glasses on a small, white plate and on top of this rested a deep blue, velvet-covered ring box.

"Oh." Tin-Tin gasped quietly as her eyes fell on the box. She reached behind herself and for Alan's hand and squeezed it tightly. "Really?"

Alan nodded and then realised that Tin-Tin couldn't see him as she was still staring at the table. "I always promised I'd get you a proper ring one day and even though it's probably sooner than we'd planned it feels…right."

Tin-Tin nodded this time and pressed her right hand gently against her stomach. "Yes. Yes it does." She pulled Alan forwards as she moved to sit down on the chair beside the table. "Are you...um…?" She blushed deeply and waved her hand at the ring box. "Would you…?"

It was Alan's turn to blush as he worked out what Tin-Tin was failing to ask him. "You want me to do the whole bended knee thing?" he asked quietly and gently squeezed Tin-Tin's hand where she was clinging to him. "I can do that but you're going to have to let me go first."

Tin-Tin lifted his hand to her lips, kissed it and then slowly released her grip on it. She watched silently as Alan lifted the ring box off the plate and took several paces across the room. The young man looked nervous as he turned back to approach her and then dropped gently to one knee directly in front of her. "Tin-Tin Kyrano," he murmured as he opened the box and held it out. "I have loved you since I was five years old. You've been with me through thick and thin, you've put up with my tantrums, my mood swings and my brothers and now you're carrying my son. I love you more than life itself and would lay mine down for you in an instant. Would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"

Twin tears trickled down Tin-Tin's face as she leaned forwards and sealed her lips against his in an emotionally-charged kiss. She pulled back slightly and nodded. "Yes. Yes, and a hundred times yes. I would be honoured to be your wife."

Alan carefully removed the ring from its satin bed and gently pushed it onto Tin-Tin's finger alongside the promise ring. He then leaned up for another kiss and rested his hand on her stomach. Peanut wriggled beneath his touch and Alan let out a chuckle. "I think he approves."

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.