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 Post subject: Desperation, by mamaboolj, Elias, Sabre, NC-17
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:00 pm
Posts: 189
Location: neither here nor there
Title: Desperation
Author: Mamaboolj
Fandom: Whistler
Characters: Elias Noth, Sabre, Other Characters
Spoilers: 2x06 Always a Bridesmaid
Rating: NC-17; language, references to death, drug use, prostitution (including male), rape, theft, overt reference to a sexual activity.
Word Count: ~ 2,000
Disclaimer: Owned by CTV, not me. I'm just filling in the blanks. Please don't sue.
Author's Notes: Thanks to rebelliousrose and Live Journal user jessicaj703 for the wonderful betas. It was painful to write, so I’m sure it was painful to beta. Thanks for taking on this challenging task. I appreciate it. Takes place a little more than ten years before Nicole Miller meets Elias.

Elias tugs the zipper of his jacket once more to make sure it’s all the way up. He wraps his arms around his legs and pulls them close to his chest, then he folds himself into a seated fetal position. He vaguely registers the mournful bays of Brian’s dog before nodding back into the semi-conscious state that passes for sleep on the streets.

The angry shouts of an elderly Chinese woman three stories above join with Sabre’s increasingly urgent howling to bring Elias out of his stupor. He can’t understand a word the old woman says, but he takes a shot at translating it anyway. “Brian, shut your fucking dog up!” Eyes still closed, he leans back against the rigid brick wall behind him. The lingering effects of smack almost numb him to the hunger gnawing his stomach and the pressure building in his gut from days of not being able to take a shit. That he feels anything at all starts Elias plotting out how Brian and he will get their next fix, but he can’t concentrate with that goddamned dog barking like mad.

Shaking off his drowsiness, he forces himself to his feet and looks to see what Sabre is so upset about. Something is wrong, really wrong. On the other side of the alley, the dog stands next to Brian, barking, pawing the man’s chest, licking his face. Brian doesn’t budge. Instead he stares with unblinking eyes into the misty, grey Vancouver sky.

“No. Oh fuck, no.” Elias shuts his own eyes and holds them closed while he takes a few deep breaths. He tells himself that he’s still a little out of it and just seeing things. When he opens his eyes, he’ll find Brian throwing the nearest piece of trash at Sabre to shut the damned dog up. With one last deep breath, he looks again at his friend. Nothing has changed.

He staggers over to Brian’s side. “Move, Sabre.” The dog backs away just slightly from Brian, as Elias kneels and touches the man’s gaunt face. He’s as cold as ice. The needle they’d been sharing the past few days rests in Brian’s half closed hand, the lighter and cut-off bottom of a beer can lay just beyond his reach. “You fucking idiot.” He spits the words at Brian’s corpse, as anger, grief, and fear descend on him, each vying for dominance in the limited space he allows for emotions.

Confused, he stands and runs his hands through his matted chin-length hair. He tries to focus, to think about what he should do, but the dog is making a racket again. “Sabre, shut up!” The fury in the man’s voice grabs the dog’s attention this time, and his barks become whimpers as he lies down at Brian’s side and places his big black and brown head on the man’s chest.

Brian’s dead. Brian is fucking dead. This cannot be happening. Please let this be a bad dream. He paces the alley, his panic increasing with each step. He’s got to get out of here, away from this place, away from the body, Brian’s body. Elias rushes back and rummages frantically through the dead man’s clothes looking for any junk that he might have stashed away. Finding none, he hightails it out of the alley and into the city streets, Sabre’s howls haunting him as he makes a run for it.

The rain falls steadily on Elias as he aimlessly walks the streets, hands buried deep in his coat pockets, shoulders hunched, gaze fixed on the sidewalk in front of him. He avoids making eye contact with anyone – the prostitutes on the corner, the suburban kids looking to score drugs, the other street people. Especially the other street people. They’ll ask about Brian.

Brian – his partner in crime, his best friend. They make – made – a good team, Brian and Elias, and Sabre too. Well over six feet tall and 20 pounds underweight, Elias stood out in any crowd, making it easy for him and Sabre to distract tourists while Brian expertly picked their pockets or lifted their cameras. Sitting in doorways with empty coffee cups and a dog bowl in front of them, they cracked each other up making smart ass remarks about the self-important businessmen, wannabe television stars, and pretentious art students parading the sidewalks every day. When pickpocketing and panhandling failed to keep pace with their growing need for heroin – only when they got really desperate – Elias and Brian took turns hustling. That way one of them would always be able to take Sabre and search for the other if he didn’t come back in a few minutes, an approach that saved each of them more than once from getting beaten or raped, but only after they had learned their lesson the hard way.

Elias winces as a surprisingly sharp pain stabs him in the ribs. He shivers, only partly from wearing rain-soaked clothes in the cold. He hasn’t fixed in hours, and he needs to score. He quickly considers his options. On a miserable day like this, the tourists are probably holed up in museums, and even fewer people than usual will stop to give up their spare change. And he’s not yet desperate enough to suck off some sorry bastard for ten bucks. He settles for peering into parked cars for cell phones, CDs, loose change, or even a laptop if he’s really lucky.

He finds a car with a cell phone plugged into the charger and a console full of change. Better yet, it’s parked across from a coffee shop which is always a good target because people figure they’ll only be away for a few minutes and carelessly leave their doors unlocked. Hoping for a break, he pulls on the handle. To his relief, the door pops open. With speed gained from lots of practice, he snags the phone and charger and fills his pockets with coins. As he nonchalantly closes the door behind him, he hears a man yell, “Get the fuck away from my car!” Elias runs like hell.

The loose change and cell phone are enough for a hit. Sweat pouring from his brow, he crouches behind a dumpster and reaches into his inside coat pocket. It’s not there – no needle, no lighter, no can. “Fuck!” He stands and pats down his jacket, praying it’s in an outside pocket. Not there either. "Fucking hell!" Shaking with rage and the need to fix, he realizes where he last saw his works – lying next to Brian. He left it when he panicked and took off from the alley, leaving Brian alone with only Sabre to show him the respect he deserved.

Elias wonders when he became such a goddamned prick. When he became the type of person who leaves the one friend he has in the world at the mercy of the rats, strays, and cockroaches. He knows that he has got to make this right, got to let someone know Brian is there so he can return to his people, if they’ll have him.

He'll go go back to the alley, get his stuff, take the edge off, and then find one of the do-gooders doing “outreach to the homeless.” They’ll take care of Brian, and they won’t make Elias answer too many questions or haul his ass into jail. Doing his best to ignore the intense pain throbbing throughout his body, rattling his bones, he hurries back to the alley.

The police had beaten him there. The old woman must have called them about Sabre. Elias figures they’ve been there a while because the area is marked off by yellow police tape and the crime scene unit is taking pictures. He stops and turns to run the other way, but, given the state he’s in, one of the cops standing outside the alley easily overtakes him. The cop pushes him face first against the wall. “Get your fucking hands off me! I didn’t do anything!”

The cop eases his grip. “You don’t want to go in there, Elias.”

Elias recognizes the voice of Constable Daniel Chenoweth, a beat cop who works with the do-gooders to get junkies off the street and into rehab. He turns toward Chenoweth, and before he knows what he’s saying, admits, “I know. I left him there a couple of hours ago.”

“Why did you come back?”

“Had to pick up some things.”

Chenoweth reaches into Elias’s pocket and pulls out the small bag of smack – technically illegal search and seizure. “I think the crime scene guys have already taken care of them for you. Is that the only reason you came back?”

“What do you think? That I came back out of guilt. Out of loyalty. Out of love and respect and friendship. Go to hell!” He tries to sidestep Chenoweth, but an intense wave of nausea overtakes him, and Elias doubles over and vomits, the bile burning his throat and leaving a sour aftertaste in his mouth.

“When was the last time you had a hit, Elias?”

He looks up at Chenoweth. “Fuck you!”

A commotion from the alley draws their attention. A dog growls and snarls just before a woman yells, “Goddammit! The fucking dog just bit me!”

Chenoweth bends under the police tape and rushes to see what is going on. Something inside compels Elias to pass up his chance to run; no one notices when he slips into the alley because they’re all focused on the unfolding scene. Two morgue workers want to put Brian into a body bag, but Sabre blocks them with teeth bared and ruff standing on end, warning all that this emaciated dog and his owner are not to be messed with.

“Someone call animal control. We might have to put this dog down to get the stiff out of here.”

“Sabre!” All eyes turn to Elias, but he looks only at the dog. To everyone’s surprise – including his own – Elias pats his thighs. “Come here boy. It’s okay.” He squats, reaches out his right arm, and with hand and voice gently beckons, “Come here.” Sabre stares at Elias, then at Brian, and back at Elias again. “That’s it. Come here, you goofy dog.” Head hanging, Sabre slowly trots toward him, glancing back at Brian one last time before stopping in front of Elias. He scratches the dog behind the ears and ruffles the fur on his boney sides. In return, the dog licks the man’s hand and nuzzles his legs. That’s when it hits him; he cannot – will not – leave Sabre to fend for himself. For reasons he can’t explain, Elias knows he must take care of this dog, keep him safe and alive. He clasps Sabre’s jowls in both hands and looks the dog in the eyes. “I’ll take care of you, boy. I promise. I’ll take care of you.”

Elias stares at the nondescript building in front of him. No sign announces that junkies come here to get off heroin and into a rehab program.

“You can do this, Elias,” Chenoweth says as he opens the back door of the police cruiser. Elias had spent the afternoon answering questions at the station and at some point had vowed to check himself into rehab – and actually meant it. Chenoweth grabbed hold of that promise and hadn’t let go.

“They’ll let Sabre stay with me, right? Because if they don’t, I’m outta here.”

“Rodney told me they have someplace just outside of the city where you can go through detox; they’ll let the dog come with you.”

“I don’t know about this.” The withdrawal symptoms have kicked into high gear, and Elias changes his mind for the second – third – hundredth time. Sabre sighs deeply and mournfully, drawing Elias's attention from the building to the grieving dog whose head lies in his lap. He pets Sabre, and the dog lifts his head and looks appreciatively at his new owner. Elias musters the courage to change his mind one more time.

Caleb's Hope Donate your time or money or both if you can. Buy beads or t-shirts when they became available. Feel free to PM - mamaboolj - for more information.

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