Confused Emotions 

 

A “Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons” story

By SCARLET LADY

 

Captain Scarlet screamed as his car flew off the road and careered down a hillside.  He glanced at Captain Brown.  Steve was gripping his seat so tightly that his knuckles were white, as he sat with eyes closed and teeth clenched.  The car exploded, and Scarlet felt a terrible pain surge through his body.  'This is it,' he thought...

 

Suddenly, he was on the floor of his own quarters, tangled in a heap of sheets.  Captain Blue rushed in, and knelt beside him.  "Paul?" Captain Scarlet was too shaken to speak.  He just lay there, looking dazed.  Captain Blue helped him up.  "It's okay, I'm here for you." he said, gently, "What happened?"

"I... I... think my memory is coming back."

"You remember the incident with... er... THEM?"

"The crash." Captain Scarlet stated, "I could remember it... MUCH more vividly..."

"Don't worry, it's over." Captain Blue sat down with him on the bed, putting an arm around him.  Scarlet was still shaking slightly.  "Just go back to sleep."

"What time is it?"

"2230 hours." Blue sighed, "I'd only just gone to sleep."

"Sorry, Adam-"

"Why?" Captain Blue demanded, "It's not your fault."

"Well, maybe you should've ignored me."

"Come off it, Paul! I'm s'pposed to be your best friend!"

"You are... But maybe you should get some sleep.  I'm fine, now, why don't YOU go back to bed? You need to get some rest."

"So do you.  Look, maybe you should go see the Colonel.  He'll still be up."

"No.  I'm all right.  I'll talk about it in the morning... IF it's that important."

"'Course it's important! Can you sleep after that?"

"Yes, I'm fine.  You really should go back to bed."

"I'm not leaving you."

"I'm not exactly going to break down, am I?" Captain Scarlet almost shouted at him.

"I said I'm NOT leaving you!" Captain Blue was close to losing his patience.

"Why? I'm a big boy, Adam, I don't need any-"

"You need a friend."

"ALRIGHT! Stay if you MUST!"

"I aim to."

Captain Scarlet laughed, shaking his head.  "Is there any point in arguing with you?"

"Nope!"

"Alright, stay... But I'll sleep on the floor, you take the bunk."

"Paul," Captain Blue had a warning tone to it, "This is your room, I'll sleep on the floor."

"Don't argue, I'm too tired." Captain Scarlet grinned, "Anyway, it's that or you go back to your own room."

"Okay, you win! But don't even think about trying to get me to leave.  I'm staying here with you."

 

Captain Scarlet was irritable the following morning.  He'd had very little sleep.  The floor had been uncomfortable and cold, but he usually would have been able to cope with that.  No, the thing that had caused his lack of sleep was the nightmare - worsened by the fact that he knew it was real - and the thoughts that had sprung to mind afterward.  The main subject was Captain Brown.  He missed Steve, who had been a good partner and friend.  It had been hard to sleep when all that was on his mind was a lost friend.

 

"Hey, Scarlet!" Captain Ochre ran up, "What happened to you last night? I could hear the din you were making all the way from the promenade deck.  I'll bet Colonel White heard it, too."

"Oh GREAT!" Scarlet muttered, rolling his eyes, "That would be all I need."

"What's wrong with you?" Captain Ochre looked concerned, then grinned at him, "I know... one of the Angels crept in and scared the living daylights out of you!"

"SHUT UP!" Scarlet stalked away, before Ochre had any chance to apologize.

 

Scarlet didn't bother with breakfast, he wasn't hungry.  He walked to the Officers' lounge and hoped he would be alone.  He was lucky.  The large room was empty.  He sat in one of the chairs with his head in his hands.  He didn't hear the door open.

"Are you alright, Captain?" Colonel White put his hand gently on Scarlet's shoulder.

"I'm fine.  Leave me alone."

"Captain, what's the matter with you?"

"Nothing.  PLEASE leave me alone."

"Talk to me."

"I AM talking to you!"

"You know what I mean, Scarlet."

"It's nothing, Colonel.  I just want some time to myself."

"Do you ALWAYS hold your head like that?  I thought you weren't feeling well..."

"THAT SHOWS HOW MUCH YOU KNOW!" Scarlet shouted angrily at the Colonel.  He stormed out of the lounge without a backward glance.

Colonel White didn't try to stop or calm him.  He knew Scarlet well enough to be sure that it was better to allow him to calm down on his own.  What he was really concerned about was his behaviour.  Something was wrong, but there wasn't much hope of Scarlet talking to him about it.  He looked up as the door opened, half expecting to see Scarlet coming back to give an apology.  Instead, he saw Captain Blue balancing his breakfast on a tray.  He seemed to be struggling with it.  "Captain Blue, I wonder if you know what's wrong with your partner?"

Captain Blue nearly dropped the tray; "He seemed fine when I saw him, Sir."

"When was that?"

"Earlier this morning, Sir." Captain Blue set the food down on the table, then turned to his Commanding Officer, "Er... why, Sir? Did he act as if something were wrong?"

"I'll say he did.  He was sat in here with his head in his hands when I came in, so I asked him what was wrong."

"What did he say?"

"He flew off the handle."

"Oh no.  Well, I'll go talk to him."

"You know what's wrong, don't you?"

"Ye- I've got a pretty good idea."

"What?"

"I think he should talk to you about it, Colonel, not me.  He needs to talk to someone about it, to sort it out."

"Why not you?"

"I'm not much help."

"Yes, you are."

"Thanks, Sir.  I'll see you later."

 

 

            Colonel White watched Captain Blue leave the lounge. He wondered what was wrong with Scarlet. After all that he had been through, it wasn't surprising that Scarlet was showing signs of stress, he realized. He jumped to his feet and caught up with Blue. "Tell Scarlet I'd like to see you both in the Control Room..." he looked thoughtful for a moment, "And let him know that it's not because I'm angry with either of you." he added.

            "SHOULD you be, Sir?"

            "No, but he may think it has to do with his outburst."

            Captain Blue smiled and nodded. "Yes, Sir, I understand." he laughed, "I guess we both know what he can be like!"

            "I certainly do." Colonel White frowned, "I've clashed with him more than I have any other member of Spectrum!"

            "He doesn't mean it, Colonel, it's just his nature.... he's like it with EVERYONE!"

            "I know. Do you have any idea of where he might be?"

            "Well... no," Captain Blue shook his head, "He hasn't had anything to eat, yet, so he might have gone to get something..."

            "Alright, Captain, I'll wait for you in Control."

 

            Captain Scarlet had returned to his quarters. He curled up on his bed, wishing he hadn't yelled at the Colonel in that way. It wouldn't have been so bad if it had made him feel any better, but it had only made matters worse. For the first time since he was VERY young, he felt as though he was going to cry. He tried to think of something else, but then Captain Brown came to mind again. Why couldn't they BOTH have survived? Was it too much to ask? Then his mind turned to Captain Black and that mission. Why did Conrad have to go and lose his nerve like that? But then, he hadn't been there, so how could he judge Black for his actions? He sighed. He couldn't remember a time when he'd felt such turmoil inside him. Nothing he did could make it go away, and he realized he didn't even have the will to try anymore. He sat up, gripping his knees with his hands and rested his head on his folded arms.

 

            Captain Blue finally thought of trying Scarlet's quarters. When he came in, he thought he was asleep. The captain was led on the bed with his face hidden by his hands. "Paul," he said, softly, "The Colonel wants a word."

            "Oh, GREAT!" Scarlet said in a quiet voice, muffled slightly by his arms, "Now White wants to give me a long lecture about how to behave towards a superior officer."

            "No, he doesn't," Captain Blue sat on the end of the bed, "if he was going to give you any kind of telling off, he wouldn't do it in front of me."

            "He wants YOU as well?" Scarlet didn't turn to face his friend, but he sounded surprised, "What have you done, Adam?"

            "Nothing that would make the Colonel angry." Captain Blue winced at his stupidity, but Scarlet didn't seem to react. He decided to press him, "Why?" he prodded, "What have YOU done, Paul?"

            "He didn't tell you, then?"

            "What?"

            "I was.... RUDE to him... I didn't mean it, I was... upset..."

            Captain Blue put his hand on Scarlet's shoulder. He was surprised to feel him shaking.  "Are you okay?" he asked, gently, "You..." he stopped, wondering what would be the RIGHT thing to say, "You aren't going down with something?"

            "No, I think I'm physically alright."

            "What does THAT mean?"

            "I just feel very emotional... I have so many feelings, and I can't deal with them... I can't even shake them off for a bit."

            Captain Blue took Scarlet by the shoulders and rolled him over. His face was a little red, but apart from that, he seemed fine. "Look, when things happen that I can't deal with alone, you know what I do, don't you?"

            Captain Scarlet frowned, "No, I don't think so."

            "You should. I talk it over with you, or Symphony. Things never seem so bad, after that." Captain Scarlet was looking doubtful. "Okay, maybe the problems don't go away, but it makes me feel better.... less alone...."

            "That's what you suggest?"

            "Yes, that's what I suggest you try."

            "But... it's so hard..."

            "Paul!" Captain Blue exclaimed, "I never thought you'd be afraid of something like that!"

            "LEAVE ME ALONE!" Captain Scarlet shouted, angrily.

            "Sorry, Paul, I didn't mean that."

            Captain Scarlet calmed quickly. "That's alright. It's me, I can't control my emotions at all."

            "Shall we go see what the Colonel wants us for?"

            "Yes, lets get that out of the way."

 

            Colonel White looked up as the two men entered. "Ah, here you are." he invited them to take a seat, "I trust you're feeling better, Scarlet?"

            Captain Scarlet's face reddened, "Uh... yes, Sir," he smiled faintly, "A bit better... Sorry about this morning."

            "The Colonel put a hand on the captains' arm "That's alright, Scarlet, I know you wouldn't behave like that if there wasn't something troubling you... Do you want to talk about it?"

            "Later."

            "No, NOW, putting it off won't help."

            "Is that all you wanted me here for?"

            "No, I thought you might want to take a break. You've been through so much... AND it is very quiet."

            "What exactly has Captain Blue said to you?"

            Captain Blue stared at his best friend. He'd said nothing! Surely, Captain Scarlet didn't think....

            "He has told me nothing. He wouldn't tell me whether there was something wrong, he wouldn't tell me what was wrong when I continued asking questions."

            "GOOD! I'll talk to you about all this when I want to!"

            "You are very stubborn." Colonel White sighed, "What IS troubling you? Have I upset you?"

            "No,"

            "Is it the Mysterons? Are you worried?"

            "No!"

            "Do you miss Brown?"

            "Well... that's part of it..."

            "Ah-ha, NOW we're getting somewhere."

            "It's hard to talk about it.... I feel so... mixed up... I feel terrible, and I'm not even sure I know the reason."

            "Are you afraid?"

            "No..." Captain Scarlet shook his head, "Why should I be? I'm indestructible, I can't die!"

            "That doesn't mean you can't fear." Colonel White wasn't sure how he'd take that, so he added, quickly, "What about the others? Are you concerned about them?"

            "Colonel, I've set you on the wrong track. It's not about what the future may hold." The Colonel looked confused, so Scarlet explained, "My memory started coming back last night. I had this horrible nightmare about the car crash, I remembered everything."

            "Is THAT what's wrong?"

            Scarlet nodded, "I couldn't sleep after that, I just kept thinking of everything that's happened.... Black and Brown."

            "Did you only remember the crash?"

            "Yes."

            "But you could already remember that."

            "It was much more vivid last night. It stirred up so many emotions and thoughts and... and..."

            "I think you should get some rest, Captain."

            Captain Blue had been listening quietly all this time. Why had Scarlet tried to hide all these feelings? He decided it was time he said something, "Colonel, you said about taking some time off?"

            "So I did, Captain."

            "Would that be okay?"

            "Yes, of course."

            "How about it, P- Captain?"

            Captain Scarlet said nothing.

            "Paul?" Colonel White asked, unexpectedly, "Would you like that?"

            "What?" Captain Scarlet snapped out of his trance at the mention of his real name,      "Sorry, I was miles away..."

            "Would you like some time off duty?" Colonel White repeated, "Just you and Captain Blue."

            "I'd like that very much, Sir, if that's alright."

            "Fine, Captain, you can both leave as soon as you're ready."

 

 

 

Captain Scarlet checked his case again, studying the list in front of him. "Hmmm. This'll do for a start, anyway."

After spending an hour and a half arguing with Captain Blue, they had agreed on going to Winchester. Captain Blue hadn't liked the idea of being so close to Scarlet's father, but at least they weren't going to be in the same building. Captain Scarlet hit the intercom button next to his desk, "Remember to pack plenty of warm clothes, Adam, autumn's coming in, now!"

"Yeah, yeah, I know." Captain Blue said, trying to sound irritable, "Anyway," he added, cheekily, "It's always cold in England!"

"Save it, Adam, I've heard it ALL before!"

"When you said about that holiday at Norfolk!"

"Remember what THAT was like?" Captain Scarlet asked, cheerfully, "Warm sun, peace, all the time in the world...."

"Yes, it was good."

"What do you mean, GOOD?" Scarlet demanded, "It was GREAT!"

 

The two men finished packing, and said goodbye to everyone. The last person they met was Ochre. He noticed the suitcases straight away. "Where are you going? Another mission?"

"No, we're taking a well-earned rest." Scarlet replied.

"Some guys have all the luck, don't they, Scarlet?"

"I wouldn't say I was very lucky...."

"Well, YOU wouldn't, would you?"

"Leave me alone, Rick, please..."

"What's wrong with you?"

"Nothing. Look, I'll see you when I get back." Scarlet shook his hand, then turned to go. Captain Blue shook hands with Ochre, "Bye, Rick, see you later."

"See you, Adam." Captain Ochre smiled, "Where're you staying?"

"Winchester."

"WINCHESTER? With Scarlet's parents?"

"No, in a hotel."

"Oh, right.... Well, I s'ppose I'd better warn you..."

"What?"

"The weather down there's not too good. They're expecting snow."

"You have GOT to be kidding!"

"No, I'm serious, Adam."

"Oh, great! And it's only September!"

"LATE September."

"Yeah, I know, I just hope Paul doesn't get any stupid ideas!"

 

 

Captain Scarlet was clearly looking forward to the holiday in Winchester.  Captain Blue smiled at him.  "How long've it been since the last time you went home?"

"TOO blasted long!"

"Paul," Captain Blue began, but hesitated.

"Yes, Adam?"

"Nothing."

"Come on, Adam, what is it?"

"You probably won't like me saying this..." Captain Blue sighed.  Captain Scarlet seemed much happier, now.  Perhaps he wouldn't be so quick to lose his temper.  "Well... I was thinking, if there's something wrong, your dad'll pick up on it..."

"Are you telling me not to see my parents?"

"I'm not TELLING you anything!"

"Good." Captain Scarlet smiled, "You mean I should be careful.  Watch what I say, the way I behave..."

"And don't shout at your dad the way you did the Colonel."

"Even I wouldn't DARE to do that!"

"You wouldn't usually yell at Colonel White that way, either."

"No."

Captain Blue changed the subject.  "Want to know what Rick told me?"

"If it's a rumour about me, forget it!"

Blue frowned at his friend, "Why would he have said anything about YOU?"

"Never mind, it's not important."

"He said England is expecting snow."

"Well, he was obviously pulling your leg.... that or he's not on the same planet as us."

"What's wrong with you?" Captain Blue asked, "Did Rick upset you?"

"It's nothing... He just knows how to make me feel SO much better when things get me down.  He was winding me up, earlier, before I went down to the lounge area."

"So THAT's what upset you.  That's why you were so snappy."

"Sorry about being so difficult... AND last night."

"No problem!"  Captain Blue looked at the instrument readings, "Approaching Winchester, now, Paul.  Want to land at the airport.... or the Air Base?"

"I don't think we'll see Dad yet." Captain Scarlet grinned at Blue, "I know how much he frightens you!"

"He does NOT frighten me!" Captain Blue exclaimed, laughing, "He TERRIFIES me!"

"Well, he's probably not going to turn on YOU, is he? You'll be a guest."

"What do you mean?" Captain Blue asked, suspiciously, "You did book a room at the hotel, didn't you?"

"Sorry, Adam, they were fully booked."

"Oh GREAT.  Where are we staying, then?"

"Do you mind spending ONE night in the same house as my parents?"

Captain Blue sighed, why did he get the feeling Scarlet had this all arranged? Then he smiled "FINE, one night, Paul.  But if I go crazy, it's on your head!"

"Come on, Adam, what could possibly go wrong?"

 

 

Captain Scarlet jumped out of the plane, and turned to Blue.  "Looks like Ochre were right," he commented, "It DOES look as though it might snow."

"Well, let's get indoor!" Captain Blue was shivering, "It's too cold!"

Captain Scarlet didn't really care HOW cold he felt, but he was concerned for Blue, "Alright, Adam, we'll take a taxi home."

"Are you okay?" Captain Blue couldn't help noticing that Scarlet was looking a little miserable.  "Paul, are you feeling alright?"

"Fine, I just need some time."

 

Upon arriving at Scarlet's house, Captain Blue began to feel unsettled.  Captain Scarlet noticed, and made a quick excuse, dragging Blue upstairs to 'unpack'.

"Alright, Adam, what's the matter?"

"Sorry, Paul, I'll be okay in a minute."

"You have NEVER felt at ease with Dad since the first time you met him, have you?"

"No,"

"You should get to know him." Scarlet told his partner, "His reputation is FAR worse than he is."

"You had ALL this arranged, didn't you?"

Captain Scarlet looked out of the window, trying to hide the smile spreading slowly across his face.  "All WHAT arranged, Adam?"

"Don't give me that!"

"I honestly have NO idea what you're talking about."

"Come on, how many hotels are in the area?"

"A few,"

"And they're ALL full? At this time of year?"

"There IS a reason for that!"

"Okay," Captain Blue sat next to him, folding his arms, "What, then?"

There was a reason, but Captain Scarlet didn't want to reveal that, yet.  He shook his head, "It's not important."

Captain Blue stood up, and opened his suitcase.

"What are you doing?" Captain Scarlet looked up at Blue with a puzzled expression.

Captain Blue turned to him with a small smile on his face, "Do you think your parents might wonder WHY we came up here to unpack, and didn't get round to it?"

 

Both captains were quite bored that afternoon.  Scarlet had been hoping for some of the warm weather which England usually got before autumn came in.  It seemed that this time, however, autumn had been skipped altogether.  Blue was more than happy to sit inside and read, listen to music, and watch the TV when the weather was unpleasant, but all Scarlet had ever felt like doing since he had been taken over by the Mysterons was letting off steam.  He stood up, walked to the window, and sighed with frustration.  Snow was falling hard.  Scarlet began wandering, stopping now and then to drum his fingers on the table.

Captain Blue snapped his book shut, glaring angrily at his best friend.  "ALRIGHT, Paul, what's your problem?" he demanded.

Scarlet jumped, "Sorry, Adam, I..." he stopped, sitting down quickly, "Nothing.  I'll... uh... I'll behave."  He picked up a book and opened it, trying to concentrate on it.

Captain Blue sighed.  "No, I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have snapped at you like that." he could see that he'd upset Scarlet.  'Probably didn't expect that from me,' he thought, 'I usually have more patience.'

Scarlet didn't even look up.

"Paul, I said I'm sorry-"

Captain Scarlet got up and ran upstairs.  He sat on his bed, quietly.  He wasn't angry at Blue, just mixed up.  He didn't know what he wanted to do, he wasn't even sure he knew what he was doing now.  He wanted to go outside - run around, kick a ball about, maybe - but he couldn't, because the weather was bad.  Still, there was no point in sulking.  He suddenly realized that his reaction to Blue's outburst probably hadn't looked good.  He was about to go back down to the living room, when Captain Blue came in, sheepishly.

"Paul, I'm sorry," he began, "I didn't mean to upset you."

"It's not you, it's ME." Captain Scarlet sighed, "I'm tired, frustrated... and I can't shake it off!"

"Why did you want to come here?"

"I thought being nearer my family would help..."

"Has it?"

"What do YOU think?" That was rude.  He took a deep breath and said quietly, "No, it hasn't."

"Give yourself time." Captain Blue told him, gently, putting an arm around his shoulders, "You can't get over ANYTHING without allowing yourself a break."

Blue was right.  Scarlet smiled, "Thanks, Adam."

"What are friends for?"

 

A little later, the snow stopped.  Scarlet looked out of the lounge window and smiled.  "Come on, Adam, let's have a snowball fight!"

"NO!" Captain Blue answered, without looking up, "I'm not going to get soaked and cold for your pleasure, Paul."

"Spoil-sport! Party-pooper!" Captain Scarlet tried dragging him out of the chair, "Come on, you old misery!"

"What's wrong with you?" Captain Blue demanded, "Look, I just don't want to."

"Alright, let's go and take a walk," Scarlet said, evenly, "Please, Adam, I'm feeling restless...."

"Makes a nice change." Blue commented, "You're usually restless."

"Be fair!" Scarlet tried using a pitiful tone, "Please, I need some fresh air..."

"Okay, I'm coming, but don't use that tone again, it doesn't suit you."

 

After walking for a while, Scarlet decided to start a snowball fight anyway.  He began working on a large ball.

"This is great, Paul." Blue said, "It's been a while since I took a walk in the snow." A snowball just missed him.  "Right, two can play at this game!"  The fight lasted two hours.  Captain Scarlet was little match for Blue because he couldn't stop laughing long enough to take a good aim.  Finally, he stopped, holding up his hands.  "Alright, Adam, I submit!"

Blue stared at him.  "Are you alright?" Scarlet NEVER gave up, whether the fight was out of fun or not.  "Not sick, are you?"

"What are you talking about?"

"When have YOU ever given up so easy?"

"Now." Captain Scarlet replied, smiling broadly, "I just don't want to die of pneumonia anytime soon!"

"Well you started it!"

"I know! Fun, wasn't it?"  Captain Scarlet grinned, mischievously, then frowned, "Now what shall we do?"

"Go back and change our clothes."

"Did I soak you?" Captain Scarlet asked, suddenly concerned, 'If he gets ill because of me...' he thought, angry with himself.

"Soaked me?" Captain Blue repeated, laughing, "You hardly hit me!" he suddenly looked concerned, "What about you? Are you alright?"

"I'll live," Captain Scarlet replied, laughing too, "A little cold and wet, but otherwise fine!"

 

 

Colonel White sighed, heavily.  It had been a long day.  Captain Ochre had just left for Koala Base, along with Captain Grey.  There was some sort of epidemic going round in Australia, and the base needed every man they could get.  Lieutenant Green had been getting tired, so Captain Magenta had taken over from him for a few hours, much to Green's disappointment.  Magenta looked up from his seat at the computer.

"Are you alright, Colonel?"

"Yes," the Colonel turned, smiling, "Yes, I'm fine, thank you, Magenta.  I was just thinking about Scarlet."

"Ri- Captain Ochre saw him earlier," Captain Magenta remembered, thoughtfully, "said he was in a right mood."

"He's got a lot on his mind, poor man." White said, sympathetically, "He worries me, at times.  He's always trying to get by on his own.... He NEVER wants to talk about it!"

"Must be that stiff upper lip of his!" the captain remarked, cheekily

"You shouldn't talk about him like that, Magenta."

"Sorry, sir, I didn't mean to sound disrespectful."

"I hope not! Now, kindly get on with your work."

"Yes sir!"

The Colonel smiled to himself 'Poor Magenta! It's so easy to startle him!'

 

Captains Scarlet and Blue returned home from their walk.  Captain Blue didn't look much different to the way he had before leaving, but Scarlet was soaked to the skin from the snowball fight he'd started.  Both men hoped they wouldn't run into one of Scarlet's parents as they hurried up the front steps.  His mother opened the front door, as Blue was reaching for the handle.  Scarlet ducked round the side of the house, quickly.  "Ah, you're back then, Adam?"

"Er, yes... Paul's er... just coming...."

"Left him behind, did you?"

"Something like that."

Mrs. Metcalfe looked puzzled, then said, "Well, I'm going out, for a minute.  I was going to do some shopping..."

"I'll go with you, if you like," Captain Blue offered, "I don't mind giving you some help..."

Captain Scarlet shivered in his hiding place "Come on, Adam, hurry up!" He just wanted to get in the house, and curl up in front of the fire.  He was getting colder by the minute "What on Earth is he doing?" he muttered under his breath.

Captain Blue smiled at Scarlet's mother, "Honestly, Ma'am, Paul's fine."

"I just want to see him, before I leave."

"He's just coming and I SWEAR he's fine!"

"Well, then WHERE is he, and WHAT aren't you telling me?"

"Nothing, honestly!"

Captain Scarlet sighed.  What WAS going on out there? It was SO cold...  too cold to hang about in... He sneezed, suddenly.  "GREAT! Hope no-one heard that!"

His mother raced around the side of the house.   She was concerned by her son's appearance, but she was angry, too.  He should have known better than to get himself in such a mess! "Paul!" she scolded, crossly, "What HAVE you been doing?"

"I... I... uh..." he looked at Captain Blue, awkwardly.

"I started a snowball fight, and Paul ran off, to try to find a place where he could get a better shot at me."

"Come off it, Adam, that's not true," Scarlet said, tiredly, "I was being childish.  I..."

"Alright, Paul, that's enough." His mother smiled at him, "Let's get you inside and change your clothes before your father sees you like this!"

Scarlet winced, that was the LAST thing he needed.

 

Captain Blue entered the bedroom.  Scarlet was led on his bed, watching the TV.  He cleared his throat, loudly.

Captain Scarlet jumped slightly, and looked up, "Nasty cough you've got there, Adam." he remarked, chattily, "I didn't get you TOO wet, did I?"

"HA!" Captain Blue exclaimed, "Bit rich, coming from you, isn't it? I'm not the one who-"

"DON'T, Adam, PLEASE!" Scarlet groaned, "I'm not in the mood for lectures.  I'm just glad it wasn't Dad who saw me like that! He would've KILLED me!"

"I thought your Mom was going to, for a minute.  I've NEVER seen her so angry!"

"I think she had a right."

"Is she still mad at us?"

"No." Scarlet shook his head, "Dad's not going to hear about it, either.  I think she knows there's something wrong..."

"Colonel White spoke to them both on the phone, earlier."

"So THAT'S it!" Scarlet exclaimed, "When was that?"

"When we were out."

"I see.  Do you know what he told them?"

"What difference does THAT make?"

"None, I suppose..."

"Are you okay?"

"Yes." Scarlet sounded irritable again, "Why are you asking me that?"

"Well... you couldn't stop sneezing, earlier-"

"Adam, I was cold.  When the air around me is too cold, it makes my nose hurt, sometimes it makes me sneeze... it doesn't mean I'm ill."

"Like when we got back from the North Pole, that time!" Captain Blue said, grinning, "You certainly had Colonel White worried! He had you down in the Sickbay for ages, trying to find out what was wrong!"

"I know!" Captain Scarlet laughed, loudly, "I HATED it! If I'd been kept down there much longer, I think I would've gone mad!"

"So, why are you like that, now?"

"I've ALWAYS been like it, but the cold seems to affect me MORE, now.  Something to do with this retro-metabolism, I think."

"You know, that's the first time you've openly mentioned it."

"It happened, Adam," Scarlet replied, soberly, "and trying to ignore it won't make it go away."

"See, I told you that given time, you'll get over it.  You're starting to, already!"

"It ONLY took me 24 hours to get somewhere!" Scarlet commented, sarcastically, rolling his eyes.

"But you're getting there!"

"Yes, I'm getting there."

 

 

Captain Scarlet awoke at first light and crept to the window.  Blue was still sleeping in the adjoining room.  The snow looked beautiful from the bedroom window, bright and jewel-like, like a sea of bright diamonds sparkling in the gold light of the early morning sun.  He smiled to himself, remembering the walk he and Captain Blue had enjoyed the day before.  Then he frowned. "What EVER made me behave like that?" he muttered, "I haven't acted in such a way for quite some time!"  There was a faint noise in the next room.  He turned, startled, but it was only Blue getting up.  "Morning, Adam!" he called, "Want to go for a short walk?"

"No, thanks," Blue muttered, "If you want to, go ahead, but I'm staying here."

"Are you alright?" Scarlet was concerned for him, now, "Look, if you're angry with me for starting that fight, I'm sorry.  I just...  Why DID I behave like that?"

Blue laughed, "Don't you know?" he asked, staring at him, "It's because you were frustrated, angry, and mixed up.  When you feel like that, you get restless."

"I USUALLY deal with that by kicking a ball around, NOT behaving like an IDIOT!"

"You couldn't charge around in the house, and it was too slippery outside..."

"Stop making excuses for me! You tried to PROTECT me yesterday, by lying for me..."

"Thanks a bunch for caring, Adam," Captain Blue muttered, sarcastically, "I REALLY appreciate it!"

"Sorry, Adam," Scarlet sighed, "I've been a right... BERK!"

"A what?" Captain Blue asked laughing, "You're a WHAT?"

"Idiot.  I shouldn't be like this..." Scarlet looked completely miserable. "I just can't help it... I'm doing my best to come to terms with so much... TOO much to handle all at once, I guess."

"You need to give it time, I thought you understood this..."

"It's so FRUSTRATING!" Scarlet hit the table in front of him, "I hate this! I wish everything could be the way it was, before!"

"Take it easy," Blue tried to comfort him, "You know what the problem is? Your nightmare brought all those old feelings flooding back.  Trying to push it all aside won't help.  It'll make you feel BETTER, but it won't go away long enough."

"Thanks, Adam, you ARE helping." Scarlet smiled fondly at his friend, "If you weren't here, I don't know WHAT I'd be doing!"

"Hitting that same old brick wall, and getting nowhere!"

"Yes, you're right," Scarlet smiled faintly, he felt better just knowing Blue was near, "I need a friend... If I PROMISE not to act stupid, would you take a short walk with me?"

"AFTER breakfast, okay?" Blue grinned at him, "I didn't eat much, yesterday..." he frowned, "Come to think of it, I don't think you ate ANYTHING..."

"Alright, then, after breakfast!" Scarlet said, brightly, ignoring Blue's last remark, "I'm STARVING!"

Blue shook his head, "What AM I going to do with him?" he muttered, pulling on some warm clothes.  He couldn't help wondering how long it would take Scarlet to come out of all this.  'It better be soon,' he thought, 'Because if I have to put up with his mood-swings much longer, I think I'll either go off my head, or kill him... or BOTH!'

Things were quiet at the breakfast table, that morning.  Nobody seemed to know what to say.  Captain Scarlet cleared his throat, "I was thinking of wandering down to that big field..."

"To do what?" his father demanded, jokingly, "Build a snowman? Maybe a spot of tobogganing... Of course, it's good and open, a good place for snowball fighting!"

Captain Blue almost choked, and Scarlet's face reddened slightly, "Uh, NO, Dad," Scarlet said, a bit too quickly, "I was just going to see what was going on down there..."

"What've you been up to, Paul?" his father asked, suspiciously, "You always behave like this when you've done something you shouldn't."

"Nothing, Dad, honestly!" Scarlet exclaimed, holding up his hands, "I was just imaging US having a snowball fight! We're a bit OLD for that, aren't we?"

His mother smiled at him, "Not at all," she told him, "I still enjoy a bit of sport, now and then, just to let off steam."

"Of course, no harm in it." her husband agreed, smiling, "Provided you know when you've gone too far." He looked up at his son, an amused twinkle in his eye.

"You KNOW about it!" Scarlet exclaimed, in a disbelieving tone, "Mum, I thought..."

"I saw you from the upstairs window!" his father gave him a withering look, then grinned at his son, "You looked as though you'd had a lot of fun!"

"Yes, it was great!"

"Then you felt stupid."

Captain Blue cut in, "Well, I went a bit far, I guess," he said sheepishly, "He didn't get much of a chance to hit ME... I guess you felt a bit self-conscious, right, Paul?"

"Allowing you to beat me, hands down," Scarlet laughed, "I'll say!"

Everyone laughed at this remark.  Captain Blue felt much happier around Scarlet's parents, now.  There was real warmth, a far cry from the way his father had often been towards his OWN family.  He found himself hoping that they wouldn't have to return to Cloudbase, anytime soon... It was nice, here.

Captain Scarlet nudged him in the ribs, "I said 'are you coming, Adam?' Come on, stop daydreaming! Are you coming, or not?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming." Blue muttered, getting to his feet.  He grinned, suddenly, "Wanna rematch?"

"Alright, then." Scarlet smiled, "I'll pummel you, this time!"

"Like to see you TRY!"

They hurried out, Scarlet was a little more boisterous than usual, but Blue didn't mind.  'At least he's in a better mood today.' he thought, 'If he was going to be the way he was YESTERDAY again, I think I'd bury him!'

 

When they arrived back, they were both soaked to the skin.  When Scarlet's father saw them, he ordered them both upstairs to shower and change - an order they both obeyed thankfully.  "You first, Adam," Scarlet told his best friend, "I don't want you going back to Cloudbase with a chill! The Colonel would KILL me!"

"If I get sick, we'll have to stay here longer!"

"No, Adam," the captain shook his head, "You'd HATE it.  Anyway, we put our guests FIRST, remember?"

"I'm okay."

"Don't argue, Adam, I'm freezing!" Scarlet was shivering violently, "Hurry up, arguing is getting us nowhere!"

"Alright, ALRIGHT!" Blue sighed, muttering under his breath as he turned away from his friend "Bossy boots! Who does he think he is anyway?"

 

Scarlet felt cold and miserable.  While he was waiting for Blue, who was taking FOREVER in the shower, he wrapped some blankets around his back and shoulders and curled up on the floor with a book.

Blue finally came in, rubbing his straw-coloured hair with a towel.  "Bathroom's free, Paul," he muttered, "Sorry I took so long!"

"About time too!" Scarlet stood up, glaring at him, icily, "What are you trying to do, kill me?" he turned away, sneezing loudly.

"Are you alright?"

"Do I LOOK alright?"

"No, you don't..." Blue put his hand on Scarlet's shoulder, "I'll run you a hot bath, how does that sound?"

"Good, REALLY good!" Scarlet sighed, tiredly.

"Right." Blue wasn't sure whether Scarlet was just miserable because he was so cold, or if there was something wrong.  But he couldn't really ASK him, because the Brit usually got touchy about being asked things like that.  He began running the bath, while Scarlet prepared fresh clothes.  "Here, Paul, everything's ready for you!" he called out, "Paul?"

Captain Scarlet came in, "Thanks, Adam," he smiled gratefully, "but you really don't have to do this!"

"I should've been a REAL friend." Blue told him, "I could see how cold you were, earlier.  I shouldn't have kept you hanging around so long!"

"Forget it, I'm fine!" Scarlet reassured him, "At least, I WILL be, once I get in this bath!"

"SIG." Blue said, stepping outside, "Take your time!"

 

Captain Scarlet emerged less than half an hour later.  He stretched out on his bed, switching on the TV.  He flicked from channel to channel for a few minutes, then muttered, "Why is it, no matter what the time of day, nor what the channel, they always manage to show a load of rubbish?" He switched the TV off again, and tried the radio.  "RAP! Who listens to this stuff?" he played with the tuner a bit, "What's this? Rock 'n' Roll? R&B?" he frowned at the radio, for a while, listening carefully, "I don't MIND it, but I don't think my head can take it, at the moment...." he turned that off again, too.  What DID he want to do?  Someone knocked on the door of his room.  "Come," he muttered, without looking up.

Blue poked his head round the door.  "I thought I heard you!" he stared at Scarlet, "How do you feel, now?"

"A bit better." Scarlet grinned at him, awkwardly, "Sorry I had a go at you, earlier!"

"That's okay, I should've been a bit more considerate." Blue frowned at him, wondering how he was feeling, really.  He put a hand on his shoulder, asking, "You ARE alright, aren't you? The Colonel won't be too pleased with me if you get sick."

"I'm FINE! Don't fuss over me!"

"Look, just because Fawn told you about that theory, it doesn't mean you don't have to take care of yourself!"

"I have NO idea what you're talking about!"

"Don't give me that!" Blue was really angry, now, "You haven't been the same since you were told you can't get sick, anymore."

"Would YOUR attitude toward yourself be the same, if YOU were told that?"

"I wouldn't be so darned quick to risk killing myself, or go pushing my body to the limits! Paul, how long do you think you can do this?"

"As long as I blasted well like!"

"You CAN'T keep on like this!" Blue shouted at him, "You REALLY don't care what happens to you, anymore, do you?"

"In a word, NO!" Scarlet folded his arms, sulkily, "So why should you?"

"Because I'm your friend." Blue spoke gently now, seeing how miserable he looked, "Look, Fawn's theory... It IS just a THEORY, you know... Can you take better care of yourself, until we know for SURE how far you can push yourself?"

"Well..."

"Please, Paul, for my sake? You scare me to death, sometimes!"

"Oh, ALRIGHT, Adam, you win!"

"Good.  It means a lot to me."

 

 

Captain Scarlet was beginning to come to terms with it all, now.  He now realized that he had spent too long trying to forget what had happened to him.  If he didn't try to get used to it first, it would haunt him until it maddened him.  It was time to face the facts.

 

He got up, slowly.  Had he fallen asleep? What was wrong with him, anyway? Captain Blue was not there, anymore.  Where had he gone? Scarlet began pacing, wondering what he should do, now.  He wanted Blue with him, as he was the only one who he could talk to, but the trouble was that every time they started talking, they ended up arguing, and hurting each other’s feelings.  Blue came in.  "Oh, you're awake, then."

"How long have I been asleep?"

"'Bout a half hour, maybe longer."

"The lost sleep catching up with me, I guess!"

"Not to mention the skipped meals, getting soaked to the skin and half frozen!"

"Stop it, Adam, I said I'd take a little more care!" Scarlet felt himself losing his temper, yet again, so calmed himself, changing the subject, "Do you want to play chess?"

"Yeah, okay, I'll give you a game!" Blue smiled, eagerly.

"Please don't say ANYTHING that might annoy me, I don't want to lose my temper."

"SIG." Blue offered him a friendly grin, "I don't want to upset YOU, either!"

 

After playing chess for quite some time, with Captain Blue, Scarlet frowned.  He was feeling the warning signs of a headache.  "Paul?" Blue looked up at him, "Your move."

"Hang on a bit." Scarlet got up, unsteadily, holding his head, "I'll be right back."

"What's the matter?"

"I don't know."

"Stay there, I'll get you a glass of water."

"AND a pain-killer, please, Adam."

"Right."

 

When he came back, Scarlet seemed a bit better.  Blue eyed him with mock suspicion, "You didn't trick me, so you could muck around with the board, did you?"

"No, Adam, it just came over me!"

"Take this, it should help."

"Thanks."  Scarlet downed both drug and water greedily.

Blue watched him, a look of concern on his features.  "Feel any better, Paul?"

Scarlet nodded, slowly, "A bit."

"Want to carry on with the game?"

"SIG... Whose move is it?"

"Yours, I think," Blue looked his friend up and down, carefully, "You know, you really don't look good... If you want to call it off until later, I won't mind."

"Well... I feel alright, now."

"You wouldn't try lying to me and pushing yourself too hard, after this morning, would you?"

"No, I AM feeling better."

"Okay then, but remember what I said."

Scarlet rolled his eyes, "How COULD I forget?" he muttered under his breath, rudely, "You never give me time!"

 

They played a while longer.  Blue finally beat Scarlet, but he didn't feel it was a real win.  Scarlet seemed a bit droopy - he hadn't even been able to concentrate on the game come the end.  'This doesn't look good,' Blue thought.  He smiled at Scarlet, as though he didn't suspect anything wrong.  "That was SOME game!"

"Yes." Scarlet smiled faintly, "You put up a good fight, too.  I was no match for you!" he turned away, walking back to the window, where he stood, looking out at the snow scene below.  "You wouldn't believe that it's only September, would you?" he mused, "It SHOULD still be summer!"

"Well, I'm not going out there in summer wear!"

"No, me neither! I know Fawn said I can't get ill, but I wouldn't want to risk it!"

"You wouldn't?"

"Look, I know I act as though I don't care..." Captain Scarlet sighed, heavily, "But I'm not stupid!" he shrugged "I just put everyone else first!"

Blue put his arm around his best friend, "Oh, Paul, I'm sorry... I can be so hard on you, at times!" he frowned, he could feel Scarlet shivering, "Are you alright?"

"Yes, it's just so cold in here..." he sneezed suddenly, "Sorry, I... uh... I couldn't help it..."

"'Course not!" Blue smiled warmly at him, "Are you hungry?" he asked, to change the subject, "Because I sure am!"

"Uh... no, I'll just have a drink."

"Are you sure?" Blue was really concerned, now.  Captain Scarlet ONLY missed meals if something was wrong.  "What is it? Is it still that incident with the Mysterons?"

"No.  I feel... " Scarlet frowned, as if trying to pinpoint something, "I don't feel well.... but I don't know what's wrong!" he smiled thinly at Blue, "I can't eat, I know that much!"

"I'll get your mom." Blue told him, laying him on the bed, gently, "Do you have ANY idea what's wrong?"

"No."

"Right, stay there." Blue left quickly.  Scarlet groaned.  'Oh GREAT!' he thought, miserably, 'NOW what?' he felt tired and sick.  Trying to get up, he found that he felt dizzy, too.  'I've felt like this before, when the Mysterons were near...' he thought, 'But this time, they're not... unless Mum and Dad are Mysterons, and if that WAS the case, I'd feel like that when they were next to me, which neither of them are!'

 

Captain Blue rushed in, with Scarlet's parents right behind him.  His father took hold of his hand, gently.  "Are you alright, son?"

Scarlet shook his head, not wanting to talk.  Captain Blue handed him a drink, which he took gratefully, with a nod of thanks.  Scarlet's mother sat on the bed, next to him.  "I'll stay with Paul, you go and have your dinner." Captain Blue and General Metcalfe turned and left.

"Mum, I'm sorry..."

"Why, Paul?"

"I've been a real idiot what with one thing and another."

"No, you haven't.  You've had a lot on your mind.  Your commanding officer explained that much on the phone, yesterday."

"What did he say, exactly?"

"That you've had a hard time on Cloudbase and needed a break.  He said to expect odd behaviour due to the hardship you've been put through."

"He said all that?"

"Yes, he was worried about you.  What exactly DID you go through?"

"Colonel White was referring to that crash that happened about a year ago... I lost my memory.... I couldn't remember ANY of it... NOW my memory has started coming back, and it put me in an emotional turmoil...."

"Why didn't you say?"

"What COULD I say, Mum?"

"Alright, I understand." she stood up, looking down at her son, "You're ill, and should get some sleep."

"The Colonel will probably want me back on base, so a doctor can check me over there...."

"I'll look after you here.  I don't want you flying anywhere!"

"They'll send a helicopter."

"I don't care WHAT they send for you, I want you here."

"At least CALL the Colonel, please, Mum," Scarlet asked, trying to sit up, "He ought to know!"

"Alright, we'll let him know.  Get some sleep."

Scarlet led back down with a weary sigh, "S.I.G."

 

 

Captain Scarlet awoke slowly.  He felt fine - all signs of the sickness that had so suddenly overcame him had now vanished.  He sat up, trying to work out what had happened to him.  The Mysterons couldn't POSSIBLY have been involved, this time... He frowned.  When had he first felt unwell? Could he have been poisoned in some way? No.  THAT was even less likely than it being to do with the presence of a Mysteron! Had it just been a bug? If that WAS the case, he would have to be careful - this thing could still be in his system.  He decided to behave a little more sensibly - it was all too clear that he'd allowed his feelings to get the better of him - he would be MUCH more careful.  He smiled, glad that he was finally getting somewhere.  The door to his room squeaked slightly as it opened.  Scarlet jumped and looked up.  "Hi, Paul," Captain Blue spoke softly as he came to the bed, "How are you now?"

"Better." Scarlet smiled, "Much better.  In fact, whatever that thing was seems to have gone, now."

"Well, watch it."

"I intend to."

"I mean it, Paul," Blue was trying to be firm, without sounding angry, "You keep saying that you'll take care of yourself... THEN something happens, and it all goes out the window!"

"Alright, Adam, I know!" Scarlet sighed, shaking his head, "If that... that... THING was anything to go by, I'll have to take a little more care." he sighed again, "Of course, it WOULD help if I listened to you..."

"Yes, it WOULD!" Blue surprised both Scarlet and himself with his sudden loss of temper.  He took a deep breath, calming himself, quickly.  "I've spoken to the Colonel, and he wants us on Cloudbase before you kill yourself."

"Fat chance of that!"

"He has a point, though."

"FINE!" Scarlet muttered, angrily, "We'll go back then!"

"How are you?"

"If you're referring to that illness, I've already-"

"No, no!" Captain Blue laughed at him, "Do you really think I'm trying to make you mad? No! I mean, after the other night..."

"OH! Yes, I've recovered from THAT!" the captain laughed loudly, "That was why I was acting so stupidly, you know, it relieved the tension!"

"You don't say!" Blue exclaimed, sarcastically, "If I only knew!" he grinned, "O'course I knew! I wouldn't have put up with it, otherwise!"

"I wondered what was going on."

The two friends smiled at each other.  Then Blue looked puzzled, "How did you get your head round it?"

"It was either that, or ending up in some mental hospital, Adam," he smiled at his best friend, "and I'm too young for that.  It would be a fate FAR worse than the most horrid death possible!"

"Yes, I guess you're right," Blue grinned, "I knew it would never go THAT far, though."

"How?"

"You're too strong."

"I don't know about that..."

"Even Colonel White finds it hard to combat that will of yours, so don't give me that!"

 

The captains packed up their things, and went out to the helicopter that Colonel White had sent for them.  "Bye, Mum! Bye, Dad!" Captain Scarlet hugged them both, tightly.  Captain Blue had said his good-byes already, and was stowing their bags.  Captain Magenta joined him.  "Well, Ad-" he cleared his throat, "sorry, Captain Blue, we're all set.  Just waiting for Scarlet."

"Good.  Just give him a few minutes.  We're not in any hurry, are we?"

"Well, no... But Captains Grey and Ochre are at Koala Base, so we're kinda short-handed."

"Why are Ochre and Grey in Australia? Is there a problem?"

"Epidemic." Magenta frowned, "That reminds me, Scarlet's sick, isn't he?"

"He was, but he seems to have fully recovered, now."

"Good, because the ride down here in this baby wasn't too great.  Especially for someone who isn't well to start with."

Scarlet hurried up to the two men.  "Ready to go, chaps?"

"Ready!" Blue and Magenta replied in unison.

"Let's get going, then."

When they were underway, Magenta decided it best to ensure the best possible comfort on the long ride back.  He sent Scarlet to the back, without mentioning anything which might get the British captain's back up.

Scarlet wasn't very happy about the arrangements he found in the back.  "Magenta, what are you trying to say?" he demanded, hotly, "I don't know whom you've been talking to, but-"

"What?" the Irish-born captain asked innocently, "I don't know what you're talking about!"

"If I may refresh your memory, there are preparations out here for a hospital patient!"

"Oh, THAT," Magenta exchanged an amused grin with Blue, "Colonel White heard that you were sick, and as he didn't know how bad you were, he told me to be prepared..."

"ADAM, I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!"

Captain Blue laughed, "At least you can get some rest..."

"Why don't YOU get some rest?" Scarlet was furious, now, "I don't need it!"

"Now, come on, Paul!" Blue exclaimed, "What did you say to me, earlier?"

"I know what I SHOULD say, but being a gentleman, I shan't."

"None of that!" Blue said, trying to hide his amusement with a warning tone, "I'm just trying to help you, here,"

"Well, you're NOT!"

 

Upon arrival at Cloudbase, Captains Blue and Magenta stepped out of the large aircraft.  "That wasn't so bad, Pat," Blue commented, "You had me worried when you said about the turbulence."

"It was worse than that on the way down," Magenta replied, "I hit a storm, first time round, but we managed to avoid it, on the way back." he frowned, "What's taking Scarlet so long?"

Captain Scarlet emerged from the back, looking peaky.  "Nothing, Magenta, it's just a headache..."

"Taken something for it?"

"Just."

"Let's go, then."

 

Colonel White looked up, as the three men entered.  "Ah, here you are at last."

"Sorry about the delay, Sir," Magenta began, "There was this storm and-"

"Never mind, you're here now." the colonel gestured to the seats in front of his round console.  "Sit down, gentlemen."  He watched Scarlet carefully, not quite sure what he should say.  Finally, he began with "How are you now, Captain Scarlet?"

"Sir?" the concern in White's eyes had not gone unnoticed by the young captain, but he didn't want to say too much.  The incident in the lounge days before was still on his mind, and he wondered if it was on the colonel's, too.  "I'm alright, Colonel, just a touch of air-sickness..."

"You're quite sure?"

"Yes." the captain nodded, without a moment's hesitation, "Yes, Sir, I'm feeling much better..."

The Colonel was looking at him expectantly.  Then he turned to Blue.  "And you, Captain?"

"Me, Sir?"

"Yes, you.  Did you have a hard time?" Both Blue and Scarlet reddened at this.  They knew all too well that things had gone far from smoothly.  "Like that, was it?"

Captain Scarlet made a noise which sounded as if he were being strangled, "I... uh... I was a bit difficult, Sir..."

"I see."

Scarlet could feel the older mans' eyes going through him.  "I didn't do as I was told... I was irresponsible and silly, I-"

"That's enough." the Colonel put his hand on Scarlet's shoulder, "I think we can safely say it was due to all you've been through."

The captain stared at the Colonel.  Was HE making excuses for him, now?  "But, Colonel, my behaviour-"

"I want to put the subject behind me, and so should you."

"Yes, Sir."

"Now, whether you think you're fine or not, I want you to see Doctor Fawn."

"But-"

"Ah!" the Colonel warned him, "I said 'see Doctor Fawn', understood?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Go. NOW!"

 

 

Captain Scarlet entered the Sickbay, hoping NOT to find Doctor Fawn.  No such luck, Fawn was ALWAYS there, working away on something or another.  Right now, he was going through a file on his desk.  "I'll be with you in a minute." he muttered, without turning around, "Make yourself comfortable, in the meantime."

The Captain took a seat on the bed, wishing that he were ANYWHERE but here.  When the Doctor turned to him, he seemed a little surprised.  "Ah, Captain Scarlet," he smiled at him, "how are you?"

"Fine," Scarlet glared at Fawn, "Colonel White sent me for a check-up."

"You look a little pale,"

"It's nothing!" Scarlet almost shouted, averting his eyes, "I really feel fine!"

"Why won't you look me in the eye, then?"

The Captain sighed.  Fawn was right, of course, there WAS something wrong, but it wasn't anything physical.  His memory was coming back again and he wanted some time alone, to come to terms with it.  He still couldn't remember ANYTHING to do with the Mysterons themselves, but he COULD remember everything on the lead-up to it, also what happened while he was coming out of their control.  He knew that Fawn well enough to be sure that telling him all this would mean being put through tests and questions that he wasn't ready to face.  He tried the 'Air Sickness' plea again, and that seemed to satisfy the Doctor.

"Well, let me check you over, anyway," Fawn told him, "If the Colonel was concerned, I should-"

"Please, Doctor, can't you let me off?"

"Well..."

"Doctor Fawn, I... I need to get some rest.  If I promise to take good care of myself, will you let me off?"

"No.  I can't, Captain.  I'm sorry, but if there's something wrong-"

Arguing would get him nowhere.  Scarlet could see that all too clearly.  "ALRIGHT! If you really want to know what it is, my memory is coming back, or all that is going to come back HAS come back... I'm not sure-"

"That's great!"

"Not for me, it isn't! Do you realize what it feels like?"

"Yes, I can imagine." Fawn said, quietly, then he added brightly, "Still, at least it means we can use you to find out more about these Mysterons, eh?"

"I don't feel ready to be 'used' to find out things about the Mysterons!"

"I'll give you time, OK? There's no hurry.  It just means we're so much closer!"

"I can't remember much... just the car crash, and being... DRAGGED somewhere..."

"If you're not ready, you don't have to tell me this.  Not yet."

"Thank you, Doctor, but I meant I didn't want you try to get extra information out of me-"

"I understand.  Don't worry, I won't do that to you."

"Thanks."

"What else do you remember?"

"Flames." Scarlet stiffened, "Flames and smoke..."

"Take it easy." Fawn calmed him, gently, "Is there anything else?"

"I remember feeling some strong force... I couldn't see anyone, but... I could FEEL someone there..."

"What else?"

"Then I remember falling... that must have been the Car Vu!"

"That's all?"

"The rest may come back, but I have to put all this in order... I can tell you more, then..."

"No.  These memories are painful for you.  I'll have to get as much information as I can out of you, but there's no hurry.  Get used to all this, because you're going to have to, but don't trouble yourself with TRYING to remember more than you want to.  Tell me if anything else comes back, but not before you're ready."

"Thank you, Doctor." Captain Scarlet sounded much stronger, now, "Talking about it seems to help-"

"It helps you come to terms with it.  But you should pace yourself, just the same."

 

 

THE END

 

 

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