Across the Salt

You Do What You Gotta Do - Part 1
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Author:  mamaboolj [ Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  You Do What You Gotta Do - Part 1

Posting this here for RebelliousRose because one year ago, I promised to post all my Whistler Fic here. Of course, only six people read it wherever I post it :roll: ... but I like to keep my promises. My first fic in over a year. I didn't want to post it as a work in progress, but I'm really stuck after this point. Perhaps I'll figure it out one day and post the rest.

Title: You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do to Survive Part 1/2
Author: Mamaboolj
Fandom: Whistler
Characters: Elias Noth/Nicole Miller, Carrie Miller/Quinn McKaye, Jen Varland (earlier McKaye)
Spoilers: Entire Series
Rating: R
Word Count: ~1500
Disclaimer: Owned by CTV, not me. I'm just filling in the blanks. Please don't sue.
Whistler Background

“You gotta do what you gotta do to survive.” – Ryan McKaye to Nicole Miller “Fallen” Ep 101.

"You'll never guess who I just saw," Quinn said as he pulled a chair to the table where Nicole and Carrie sat sipping hot chocolate.

Carrie pecked his cheek. "Who?"

"That Australian guy, Steve whatever, who used to throw the wild parties at the resort. I haven't seen him in Whistler the past few seasons."

"Newman. Steve Newman." Nicole pushed her hot chocolate away; knowing that SOB was back in town made her sick to her stomach for so many reasons. "Where did you see him?"

"Over near the Four Seasons. He was inviting the Swiss women's bobsled team to a party in his room there."

As Carrie and Quinn tried not to dwell on what had happened the night they last went to a Steve Newman party, Nicole pulled out her cell and pressed nine to speed dial security at Varland.

"What's wrong, sweetie?" Carrie asked. Nicole had always hated the asshole, but that didn't explain why she looked worried as hell.

Nicole held up a finger telling her to wait a minute. "Tim, do we still have pictures of Steve Newman on file? Good. He's back in Whistler. Circulate his photo to all security staff at the hotel, restaurants, and casino. Steve Newman is not to set foot on Varland property."

Carrie pounced the second her sister lowered the phone from her ear. “God, Nicole. I know the guy is a jerk-off, but aren’t you over reacting? It’s not like we don’t have guests just like him all the time.” Hearing Carrie come to Steve’s defense in even a small way brought back disturbing memories of the sick bastard flirting with her little sister and becoming more interested after learning she was underage.

“Promise me you’ll stay away from him.” Carrie immediately felt the knee jerk resentment that rose whenever Nicole tried to play Mom.

“Nicole, I’m not 17 anymore,” although she sounded just like she was.

“Just promise me, both of you.” Nicole looked from Carrie to Quinn, appealing to his even temper and usually sound judgment.

“Sure, Nicole. No problem.” Quinn gave his girlfriend a gentle kick under the table.

Carrie relented. “Fine. It’s not like I planned on hanging out with him anyway.” Nicole pushed her chair away from the table and gathered her coat and handbag. “Wait.” Carrie stopped her. “You haven’t told us what all of this is about? Because if having wild parties and being an asshole keeps you out of Varland, the resort might as well shut its doors.”

“I can’t talk about it.” Nicole waved her hands in the air, brushing off the question. “Client and staff confidentiality and all of that.” Carrie let it go, but she could tell there was more to the story. The younger Miller sister would never have guessed just how more.

Nicole stood at the sink, staring blankly out the window. She had been washing the same pot for at least 15 minutes. Images of Steve Newman kept flashing before her eyes. Steve thrusting money down her shirt, leering as he opened the door to his hotel suite, ripping her clothing as she struggled to push him away, cursing her as she let his wife walk in on him and an escort. But, in a strange twist of fate, Steve Newman had set in motion the series of events that made possible the life she was leading today. She hated him, was sickened by what she’d done with him. But Ryan McKaye had been right. Yes, Steve had used her, but she had used him too and prospered as a result.

Nicole jumped as Sabre’s welcoming bark startled her from her thoughts. She placed the pot back in the sink and dried her hands on a dish towel. The lock clicked in the front door and Nicole savored the sound of Elias greeting Sabre. “Nicole, are you here?” he called as he pulled open the closet to hang his coat.

“Yeah. I’m in the kitchen.”

“I wasn’t sure,” he shut the door, flipped on a light, and walked into the adjoining dining area. “Your car was in the driveway, but the house was dark.”

“I was I here doing dishes. I guess the night snuck up on me.” He tilted her head back as his lips briefly brushed hers.

“It took me forever to get home. The traffic was so bad you’d think the games started tomorrow, not a month from now.” He pulled open the refrigerator door and peered inside. “Have you eaten yet?”

“No, I’m not very hungry.” She hoped her voice didn’t sound as shaken as she felt. “How’d the installation go?”

He gathered the ingredients for a sandwich in his arms. “Like it usually does. I acted like a prick, until the gallery manager told me to do it my own damned self. Then it went fine.” Nicole managed to muster a grin, but the response was not as enthusiastic as Elias had expected. “You okay, Nikki?” He placed the bread, mayonnaise, and lunch meat on the counter, slipping Sabre a bit of roast beef on the sly.

“Rough day at work.” She pulled a butter knife from the drawer and passed it to him.

“Anything you want to talk about?” He turned the lid, dipped the knife into the mayo, and slathered the creamy dressing on a piece of wheat bread.

“Not now. Maybe later.”

He balanced the knife on top of the jar. “You sure?” He wiped away bits of sandwich on the damp towel she’d placed on the counter and faced her. He opened his arms, and she stepped into them, nestled against his chest. The smell of metal, wood, and fabric softener added to the comfort his warmth gave her.

“I’m sure,” she said into this shirt.

“I’m not used to being on this side of this conversation, but I think this is where I’m supposed to say, ‘You know I’m here when you’re ready,’ right?” She nodded her head slowly, as he stroked a calming hand across her soft curls.

Jen Varland sat on the barstool reviewing invoices over a glass of California Pinot Grigio. She prayed she hadn’t overestimated how many cases, kegs, and bottles she would need to satisfy the hungry and thirsty crowds that would soon descend on the The Last Run. It was an old habit, worrying about money and bills, even now that she had the freedom not to.

Sunlight briefly flooded the tavern, backlighting the slim silhouette walking through the doorway. “Hello, stranger.” Jen welcomed. “I didn’t think I’d be seeing you around here for the next six weeks.”

“I have had it up to here,” Nicole raised her hand to eye level, “with reservations, cancellations, and special dietary requests. With Adrian in Montreal on business, I decided to give myself the afternoon off.”

“Then you’ll be joining me?” Jen lifted the bottle and give it a little shake.

“Of course,” Nicole smiled as she slipped off her coat. Jen pushed the paperwork aside, grabbed the cane that hung from the bar, and slid from the stool. Nicole fought the urge to lend her friend a hand as she reached for the wineglass dangling above, but she knew that if Jen wanted help, she’d ask for it.

Jen filled Nicole’s glass and topped off her own. “I’m honored that you’re spending your afternoon off with me rather than that sexy artist of yours.” Her eyes danced above the rim as she raised the wine to her lips.

Nicole wished she had dropped in for some lighthearted girl talk over a glass of wine, but she needed her friend for another purpose now. “Actually, Jen, I need to talk.”

Jen knew the unspoken second half of that sentence was “to someone who isn’t Elias.” Nicole’s relationship with Elias had been “complicated,” to use her friend’s euphemism, from its start, and Jen was one of the few people who knew just how complicated it was. Earlier in their relationship, Nicole had frequently sought Jen’s guidance on how to respond to Elias’s changing moods and his reticence to talk about his past, but these chats had become far and few between as their relationship grew more secure and comfortable. The look that now clouded Nikki’s face made Jen’s heart sink. Something had happened, and it wasn’t good. She prayed it wasn’t Elias’s health. “Is something wrong with Elias?”

Nicole shook her head and managed a relieved smile. “No. He’s fine, thank God.” She stared at the pale yellow liquid, watched it roll around the glass as she tilted the stem. Ryan was the only person she’d ever told about Steve Newman, and that was over three years ago. It was time to tell another. “Jen, I once did something really stupid, and now it’s come back to haunt me, and I don’t know what to do.”

Jen pulled her stool a little closer to her friend. “What’s going on, Nikki?”

End of Part 1.

Author:  rebelliousrose [ Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: You Do What You Gotta Do - Part 1

I commented on LJ, but I thank you for stopping by and writing something new set in the world of Whistler! We may be a (very) small fandom, but it's still great fun. :hugs:

Author:  mamaboolj [ Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: You Do What You Gotta Do - Part 1

Is there such a thing as a fanlet (like ficlet)? If so, we're it! You're very welcome and thanks for reading (there are a few more typos, but I'll deal with them later). Amazing how the eye needs a break to see the small things.

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: You Do What You Gotta Do - Part 1

I know nothing about Whistler, but I like to flatter myself that I know good writing when I read it. This has a lot of nice little touches that make the characters seem more human and the scene more realistic. I especially liked the bits about washing the same pot for 15 min., the description of Elias's smells, and Jen worrying over inventory levels.

BTW, I think there is a 'you' in the 5th from the last paragraph that should be 'she'.

Author:  mamaboolj [ Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: You Do What You Gotta Do - Part 1


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you like the little touches :)

And thanks also for catching the typo. Hope all is well with you.


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