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Fall Back | Straight Ahead

[title] AVALANCHE: The Noise Inside My Head [9/?]
[author] kissontheneck [aka fieryrogue]
[pairing] Cookleta
[beta] rajkumari905, who has been a real trooper here.
[rating] PG
[word count] 1714
[summary] David is on a nice holiday ski trip with his family. Unfortunately, he doesn't know how to ski, but a couple private lessons should remedy that problem.
[disclaimer] Surely, I have nothing to do with either of these fine young men, no matter how much I wish I did.
[warnings] None.
[author's notes] That Archuleta kid sure is surprising.

PART ONE: Milk Run
PART TWO: Fresh Powder
PART FOUR: Falling Leaf
PART FIVE: Après Ski
PART SIX: Fall Line
PART SEVEN: Cabin Fever
PART EIGHT: Crashing Down

“Hello? Are there survivors in here? Please tell me there are survivors in here.”

Cook made an annoyed grumble as he let his head sink back into the pile of pillows behind him.

“Should we pretend we’re not here?” he asked David, who immediately looked scandalized. “Right, perhaps it’s better not to let Michael think we’ve frozen to death.”

“We’re here!” Cook called reluctantly, starting to sit up. He peeled the quilt off of himself and instantly regretted it. It was freaking freezing in the cabin.

“Who’s we exactly?” came Carly’s voice, traveling down the hall. She peered into Cook’s room just as he was standing up from the bed. Her eyes went from Cook to David and then back again, surprise growing in them with each transition.

“Huddling for warmth,” Cook said, already knowing what she was thinking. Exactly two seconds later Michael poked his head in behind Carly and whistled lowly.

“Geez, one little snow dusting is all it took in the end, huh?”

Cook stared at his best friend with the heat of a thousand suns. He’d put up with a lot from Michael, but patience was really wearing thin these days. Behind him, David made a weird coughing sound. Carly jabbed Michael hard in the ribs.

“It’s cleared up a little bit,” Carly informed. “Stopped snowing at least. We managed to get a snowmobile up here for rescues. So get your shoes on, we’re bringing people back to the lodge because we got the generators going and stuff. This kid’s family is hysterical, by the way,” she added, nodding towards David.

“Oh no, are they okay?” David asked, panic in his voice.

“Don’t worry,” Michael assured him. “We let them know that if you were with Cook you were in the best hands possible.”

At this, Cook looked down at the floor and cleared his throat.

“Weelll,” he said hesitantly. “That’s not completely true.” He looked up sheepishly through his eyelashes.

“What’d you do?” Michael asked, grinning like an idiot. “Don’t tell me you broke the kid.”

Cook knew Michael implied something else entirely, but considering what had actually happened it was difficult to laugh about it.


“Whatta ya mean ‘yes’?” both Michael and Carly said in unison.

“I went outside to get some wood,” Cook explained quickly. “And I told David to stay inside.” Out of the corner of his eye, Cook could see David cringe in embarrassment. “But he wanted to be helpful,” Cook continued, trying not to sound so accusatory. “Which was very nice, but he slipped on the front porch and I think sprained both his ankle and his wrist.”

“David Cook!” Carly yelped, now pushing Cook out of the way and crawling across the bed so she could inspect David’s injuries. “For goodness sake!”

Cook didn’t mind that Carly accused him of the accident; it was better than having David feel badly. He sighed as he watched Carly inspect every inch of her patient, complete with hand on his forehead and everything.

“Can we even get him back to the lodge?” Michael asked, finally serious.

“I don’t know,” Carly replied, sighing. “It might be best to leave him, though it’s ridiculously cold in here. But it might be easier to bring these guys supplies than to risk further injury taking him down there.”

Michael nodded, pulling a walkie-talkie from his belt loop. “I’ll call down there now.”

He stepped out of the room and Cook could hear him talking to someone who Cook could only assume was his boss. His heart sunk down into the floor, he felt so badly.

“Where are your walkie-talkies, anyway?” Carly chastised, getting up from the bed and tucking the quilt back around David. “We tried contacting you like a hundred times.”

Cook let out a sigh and closed his eyes. The truth was he’d completely forgotten in all the chaos of the night before. Some survivalist he was turning out to be.

“I forgot,” he admitted quietly.

“Cook,” Carly replied, still sounding like his mother but softer. “Please go find them. We have batteries if you need them.”

Cook didn’t want anything more in that moment than to leave the room and escape the heat of embarrassment that had arisen around him. Back to the hallway closet where Cook had been rummaging around the night before, he reached up to the back of the top shelf where indeed, two walkie-talkies lay just waiting to be used. A quick test proved that the batteries had expired and he reached up again to grope for the pack of fresh ones that should’ve been there. Sweeping his hand across he caught something with the tip of his finger, which sent the object falling down to crash right into the middle of his forehead.

“Son of a bitch!” he hollered, rubbing the spot where the pack of batteries had surely left a bruise. “I’m fine!” he added quickly so that no one would come running after him. He felt like a little time alone in the closet would help him at the moment.

Taking his time to unclip the backs from the walkie-talkies and replace the batteries, Cook leaned into the doorjamb, continuing to feel stupid. At least three-quarters of his job was guest safety and he’d totally blown it. He usually tried so hard to remember things like batteries and communication devices, but somehow he’d totally missed the mark this time. It made him feel worse that it was David with whom he’d made such stupid mistakes. He should’ve done better.

He was just snapping the battery covers back onto the walkie-talkies when Michael poked his head into the closet.

“You okay, buddy?” he asked. Michael Johns spent about ninety-eight percent of his life being ridiculous, but right now Cook knew the two percent of absolute serious was greeting him.

“Oh, I just feel like the biggest idiot of all time, no big deal,” Cook replied, grumpily.

“Dude, don’t worry,” Michael assured him. “Little Archuleta’s gonna be fine. Typical sprain, you know very well that’ll be fine.”

“Please don’t call him little,” Cook sighed, letting the back of his head hit the door molding. He glanced to Michael who was smiling pleasantly.

“You like him, don’t you?” Michael asked, still in two percent seriousness. “I mean, even I’ll say he’s pretty cute.”

“Am I insane?” Cook said. “He’s a baby, isn’t he?”

“He’s an adult,” Michael answered, “and so are you. Chill out.”

“I almost killed him,” Cook lamented, now toying with the walkie-talkie antennas. “What a way to start a relationship.”

“You didn’t almost kill him,” Michael replied, chuckling. “You made one little mistake. You were distracted. You’re human.”

“What if it’d been worse?” Cook worried. “Like… just what if it’d been worse?”

“Goddamn it, David Cook,” Michael said, slipping into his joking self. “You were focused on getting him into your bed so you could make out with him, we get it.”

Cook couldn’t help but laugh and punch his friend in the arm. “Shut up.”

“I see you’re not denying it,” Michael replied, folding his arms.

“And what about you?” Cook asked, desperate to get this new attention off of him. “Any snuggling near the lobby fireplace for you last night?”

Michael’s eyes went wide as his cheeks turned even redder than they had been due to the cold.

“Ooooh,” Cook teased. “Lemme guess, third base.”

“That lobby was packed with guests!” Michael defended, his voice cracking. He narrowed his eyes as Cook laughed at him. “Just a kiss, that’s all.”

“That’s all!” Cook said, disappointed. “Nothing new then.”

“Actually, yes,” Michael replied quietly.

“Oh right,” Cook said, disbelieving. “You and Carly haven’t kissed before. Honestly, Johns.”

“Why would you think that?” Michael asked. “I’ve never told you so.”

“Well, I…” Cook trailed, realizing Michael was more than serious now – he was emotional. “I thought maybe on the sly, or… really?”

“Really,” Michael admitted.

“Well, shoot,” Cook replied, sobering. “I’m sorry, man. You guys spend a lot of time together so I figured… Anyway, that’s cool, you know? I’m glad.”

“Thanks.” Michael finally gave a small smile, which made Cook feel a thousand times better.

“Are you guys done making out in here, or do you need another minute?”

Carly appeared at Michael’s side, her eyes narrowed at the both of them.

“Not quite yet,” Michael answered at the same time that Cook said, “Yes.”

Carly rolled her eyes. “You guys are so weird.”

Back in Cook’s room, they tested the walkie-talkies to make sure they were working. Carly promised they’d be back with some other medical supplies and food while Michael made sure plenty of wood got brought into the cabin to keep them warm for awhile. An hour passed before the two rescuers waved goodbye on their way to check the last few cabins they hadn’t visited yet.

Cook secured one of the walkie-talkies to a belt loop, determined not to let it leave his body come hell or high water. Returning to David’s side, he sat on the edge of the bed and reached to brush some hair out of David’s face.

“I’m sorry,” he said sadly. David made a muffled sound and nudged his temple into Cook’s palm.

“Why?” he asked sleepily. Cook figured all the excitement had probably worn him out.

“Because I’m an idiot,” Cook answered. “You could’ve gotten help sooner if I’d’ve just remembered my basic safety training.”

“You’re not an idiot,” David replied, putting his hand out to softly touch Cook’s knee. “I’m an idiot. I went out when you said not to.”

“Let’s both be idiots together,” Cook compromised and David laughed, which was exactly what Cook hoped he’d do.

“I’ll leave you to rest,” Cook said, starting to get up from the bed. “Hopefully Carly will be back soon with some lunch by the time you wake up.”

“They’re funny, aren’t they?” David asked, fighting against his drooping eyes. Cook paused at the door, looking back.


“Michael and Carly,” David answered, yawning. “She said he finally kissed her.”

“They’re ridiculous,” Cook chuckled, shaking his head. “They’ve been dancing around each other for ages.”

“Just about as ridiculous as us,” David said casually.

Cook opened his mouth to reply, but David had already fallen asleep.




( 10 Kisses On The Neck — Win Me Over )
Feb. 13th, 2015 10:51 pm (UTC)
eeeeeeeee, yes!!! you sent this to me so long ago that i totes forgot i had beta'd it and was like ???????? when i saw my u/n lollll

Feb. 17th, 2015 06:52 am (UTC)
Had to make an excuse! haha. Without so much the threat of starving? IDK, you know I'm just winging this thing with no plan. xD
Feb. 13th, 2015 10:57 pm (UTC)
*rolls around in bliss*

I missed this fic so much, oh gosh. This chapter was just djdhdhhdhdhfhfjndjf flailworthy, seriously ♥♥♥
Feb. 17th, 2015 06:53 am (UTC)
Thank you so muuuuch! (Uh, excuse my using my other account to reply since I'm too lazy to switch. Ahem.) THANK YOU. I'm so grateful to everyone who's still excited! <3 <3 <3
May. 29th, 2015 05:24 am (UTC)
Just reread this entire thing from start to finish and I just


Like seriously this is in my top 10 favorite AUs, it's so cute and I love the setting and I wish I had your ability to develop relationships the way that you do because it's so seamless here and it feels so real, which is especially apparent when you read the entire thing in one sitting.
Jun. 1st, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC)
Eeep, this is like, the best comment ever! THANK YOU. I'm also glad it flows as a whole, because I worry about that a lot. (I worry about a lot of things a lot, really.) I need to work on this again! :D
Oct. 7th, 2015 10:24 am (UTC)
"I went outside to get some wood." Yeah, because you totally had wood when you were inside the cabin, didn't you, Cook? LMAO, I love this AU so much.
Oct. 7th, 2015 10:24 am (UTC)
And, omg, I miss Michael Johns so damn much. :(
Oct. 13th, 2015 01:03 am (UTC)
UGH, I was so sad writing his bits. MJ ❤❤❤ May the rest of his role in this fic stand as a loving tribute.
Oct. 13th, 2015 01:00 am (UTC)
*snorts beverage* GOOD LORD. This is why I need you beta-ing these again, for these comments in the margins. (Not to say Prianka doesn't do an excellent job, of course!) YOU'RE THE BEST.
( 10 Kisses On The Neck — Win Me Over )