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There's No Place Like Nome

There's No Place Like Nome

Author: Monte


Rating: G

Type: Response to Jenny's Vacation Challenge

Summary: The guys head north to visit a former client

Warnings: None, it's pure fluff

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of TAT. I made no money from this work of fan fiction.

Comments: Please

Note: Lauri and Leah are based on me and my older sister, I got her permission to use her name before I wrote this. Most of the details about Nome are real.

Thanks: This one's for sissy, without her I'd never have gotten to see Nome.




The March morning air was crisp and cold as the men stepped off the plane onto the snow covered tarmac. They hardly noticed the temperature, however because it took all three of them to carry their unconscious companion. Fortunately for them, the airport's main building wasn't far. They deposited the large man onto a chair against the wall and split up. Face and Murdock went to gather their luggage while Hannibal walked over toward the front entrance.


Two phones hung on the wall in front of him. He pulled a piece of paper out of his coat pocket and read the information. Picking up the receiver for the corresponding cab company, he asked for Leah Thompson.


Fifteen minutes later, a young woman entered the room. The hiking boots, blue jeans, Carhartt jacket and black baseball cap she wore were clues that she wasn't a mere visitor to the northern land. Visitors tended to wear half a dozen layers of clothing even in the spring months. She waved at the airline employee behind the counter as she walked over to where Hannibal stood.


"It's nice to see you again, kid. Looks like Alaska agrees with you."


"Hey, Hannibal. How was the flight? BA give you much trouble?"


He shook his head and motioned over at BA. "Slept like a baby the whole way."


Leah walked over and leaned against the wall beside BA's chair. "Woke up every few hours crying, did he?"


BA began to stir in his chair. He opened his eyes, looking around in suspicion. "Hannibal, you put me on a plane, didn't you?"


Before Hannibal could answer, Leah replied, "Nah, he strapped you to a dog sled."


BA glanced up at her and smiled, "How ya doin', little mama?"


"Never been better, my friend." She pushed away from the wall and checked her watch. "I've got half an hour left on my shift so I'll take you guys into town so you can drop off your stuff, then maybe we can grab a bite to eat."


The men followed Leah outside to where an orange minivan sat idling. "Your cab company uses minivans?" Murdock asked.


"Yep. They all do up here. The more people you can pick up the better the fares."


Hannibal and BA loaded the luggage into the back of the van as Face and Murdock got into the back seat. BA took the middle seat and Hannibal chose the front. As they pulled away from the airport, Face asked, "Is it always this cold up here?"


Leah had to laugh. "Cold? This isn't cold. We're in the middle of a heat wave. It got all the way up to 17 yesterday. My neighbor's kids were running around in tee shirts yesterday trying to squirt each other with their water guns." She glanced in the rear view mirror at Face's expression of incredulity. "Granted, for the last three weeks it's been -29 on average so that's part of it."


The radio squawked as the dispatcher called for Leah. She picked up the mike and answered. "Hey, Leah. I've got a pickup down at the BOT. Got room for one more in there?"


"Sure thing, Gerry. I'll get right over there." She turned onto Front Street and headed down toward the BOT. Pulling up beside the line of cars parked outside, she stopped beside them and applied the emergency brake.


"Isn't it illegal to double park?" Hannibal pointed out.


"Technically but I'll only be a minute. Besides, we all do it." She hopped out of the van and walked into the old building. A few minutes later, she re-emerged with an old native woman. She slid the door open for her then walked around to the driver's side again. As she started to get in, the chief of police came out of the building and waved. She smiled and waved back. When she was in the cab, she said, "See guys, nothing to worry about. Bret wouldn't give me a ticket for double parking. At least not when he's got his Police Bronco parked in front of the fire hydrant." The guys all turned around and noticed Leah was right.


Leah glanced back at the woman and asked, "So how was bingo last night, Mary?"


The old woman smiled brightly, showing off her missing teeth. "Pretty good, Fred won't have anything to complain about when he gets home."


"He's down in Shaktoolik, isn't he? Or did he go out?"


"Shaktoolik. He went down to see his niece. She just had a baby a couple weeks ago."


Leah nodded. She slowed the van and pulled over to the side of the road. Mary handed her some cash, grinning as she said, "Keep the extra."


"Quyana Chucknuk. I'm calling bingo next Thursday at BOT, maybe I'll see you there."


Mary waved as they pulled away.


"What language was that?" Hannibal wanted to know.


"Yupik. It's one of the native languages. I said thank you very much."


Murdock piped up from the back seat. "My turn. What did you mean by Fred being out? Out where?"


She chuckled, "It's what we say when someone's gone down to the lower 48. When you're not in Alaska, you're out."


They rode in silence until they reached the house where Leah lived with her sister. The four men stared at the house with an array of emotions. Face was the first one to comment. "It's... yellow."


BA shot Face a look that seemed to say, "No kidding."


Leah sighed, "Yeah, it's very yellow. Canary yellow according to the paint can. I didn't do it though. The inside is better. Plain old boring white. Nothing to worry about there."


They brought the bags into the house and Leah gave them a mini tour. "There's a bathroom upstairs and a couple of bedrooms. Down here's the living room, kitchen, the other bathroom, and the other bedroom. I'll bunk with Lauri down here cause it's the smallest room. I'll leave it up to you to decide who gets the small room upstairs, who gets the couch and who shares the big room upstairs. We've got a cot for whoever is in the big room. Now, I've got to take the cab back. I'll only be about five minutes."


The guys wandered around the house, checking out the bedrooms while they waited. When they heard a rig stop in front of the house, they made their way back to the living room.


Leah stepped down out of the big black Suburban and walked around to the rear of the vehicle. She opened up the back end and two dogs sprang from the interior. They both jumped around excitedly as they followed her inside. When she stopped, they both sat beside her. Motioning to the tan colored one on her right, Leah said, "This fella is Sandy. And this lady is Vix." She patted the red and cream colored dog on her left.


"Nice animals. Are they sled dogs?" Hannibal asked.


Leah smiled. "They seem to think so. They have the breeding but not the proper training. They love to run." Glancing at her watch, she asked, "You guys getting hungry? We can head out and grab a bite to eat if you want."


Murdock grinned. "Sounds like a good idea to me."


"You always hungry, Fool," BA griped.


Murdock simply shrugged.


Leah picked up the telephone and dialed a number. "Hey, sis, you up for some lunch? I was thinking maybe Fat Freddie's. Yeah? Alright. See you in a bit."


They all piled into the Suburban and headed back down to Front Street. Finding a spot to park in front of the restaurant was a stoke of luck. The group walked into the restaurant and found an available table beside the window overlooking the ocean. A few minutes later, they were joined by another young woman.


Leah stood up and introduced the men to her older sister, pointing to each of them in turn. "Hannibal Smith, BA Baracus, Templeton Peck the Faceman, and HM Murdock. He's the loony one. Fellas this is my sister, Lauri."


After Lauri took her seat between Hannibal and Face, the waitress came over and wrote down their orders. They had just finished eating when a man in coveralls stopped on his way to the door. He and Lauri bantered good-naturedly for a while before he spoke to Leah. "You still think Rich will make it in before the Washington guy?"


Leah nodded, "Rich has a great team. As long as he doesn't have sled trouble, he should do just fine. It may be his first time in the race but he's local. I think that might work in his favor."


"No way, you're losing this bet."


"We'll see soon enough."


Lauri shook her head at her friend. "You can't stand the thought of losing a bet to a couple of girls, can you?"


"Oh, I won't lose. I'll see you both later."


The group watched him walk away. Lauri gazed over at Leah. "Girl, I really hope Rich gets in before the Washington guy. I really, really don't want to shovel Harry's sidewalks for the next month." Leah groaned at the thought.


After paying the bill, they wandered out to the parking lot. Lauri opened her car door and yelped. "Harry, you snot!" Muttering under her breath, she quickly brushed the pile of snow out of her seat. All four of the guys started chuckling when Leah discovered the same surprise in her Suburban.


The girls both grinned at each other. "We'll get him later," Lauri said.


Leah nodded, "We'll get him good."


"See you tonight, girl."


For the remainder of the afternoon, Leah acquainted the men with Nome. She took them to see the museum, some of the native shops, the roadhouse, gold dredges, and the small cluster of houses outside of town known to the locals as the "suburb" Icy View. As they drove past the snow covered baseball diamonds, she pointed out the high school and the correctional center, which was practically across the street.


"Anvil Mountain Country Club. At least, that's what most people call it. You could just as easily call it the jail at the bottom of the hill." She glanced over at Anvil Mountain. "I'm sorry, but that is no mountain. It's just a good sized hill."


"So what did you have in mind for tonight? You said something was going on in town?" Face asked.


"Yeah, the Miner's and Musher's Ball is tonight. It's not fancy but a lot of people like to get costumes and dress up for it. Tomorrow we're doing a Polar Bear dip."


Murdock looked puzzled. "What's a polar bear dip?"


"You'll see tomorrow." Her smile was absolutely wicked.


That evening as everyone was donning their costumes, Hannibal stood facing a full length mirror in BA's room. He turned to the younger man, shaking his head. "I can't believe that you talked me into this. Remind me again why you get to be the sheriff and I have to be the convict."


"Stripes look better on you, man," BA said, trying not to laugh. He winked, "Sides, I like to take charge once in a while." They walked downstairs to wait for the others to finish changing.


Murdock was the first to join them. He was dressed as a cowboy. Plastic pistols hung in holsters strapped low on his thighs. His black hat was pushed back from his face. Face followed soon after. His ruffled shirt, red arm bands holding a couple of playing cards, along with the black jacket and pants made him the picture of a Mississippi riverboat gambler.


"Looking good, Facey. Maybe I should just keep you here. Don't want someone to steal you away from me."


Face grinned at Murdock. "I don't think anyone would dare take on a gunslinger like you."


Lauri and Leah emerged from the back bedroom wearing Civil War style gowns. Lauri had on a pale lilac off the shoulder gown while Leah had chosen a royal blue short sleeved dress. Both were wearing small,dainty hats in matching colors.


"Looks like we'll have the best looking ladies at the dance, guys," Hannibal said.


The Miner's and Musher's ball was enjoyable for them all. The girls both danced with the guys as well as other friends they saw. Face and Murdock both had their share of attention as well. By the time they returned to the house, it was into the wee hours of the morning. Yawning, they said goodnight to one another and stumbled into their bedrooms. Or in BA's case, the couch.


They all slept in that day. Around 6:45, Lauri managed to drag herself out of bed long enough to feed the dogs and let them outside for a few minutes but she quickly returned to the comfortable warmth of her bed and was sound asleep again before 7:00. It was after 10:00 before the occupants of the house began to stir. Leah put on a pot of coffee while Lauri started making breakfast.


"Are you guys gonna do the Polar Bear dip with me?" Leah asked.


Murdock nodded. "Sure, I will, if you tell me what it is."


"Oh, it's just a quick dip in the water. You don't even have to swim, just as long as you get all the way under it counts."


"In the ocean? In these temperatures?" Face gasped.


"Yep. That's why they call it a Polar Bear dip. There'll be a big bonfire going and it's really not bad."


"Eh, I'll think about it. But I'm not promising anything."


"Ah, come on, Facey. It'll be fun. I'll let you have the best, warmest, fuzziest towel," Murdock offered.


"I said I'll think about it."


When noon came, they had all gathered at the beach with the crowd of participants and onlookers. Face finally gave in and agreed to join Murdock and Leah in their quick dip in the frigid water. After getting thoroughly drenched, they raced back to where Hannibal, BA and Lauri were standing holding their towels and coats.


Eyes wide and teeth chattering, Face stared at Murdock. "I can't believe that you talked me into this!"


Murdock slung an arm over Face's shoulder. "Cheer up, good buddy. Let's go stand over by the fire."


As they walked away, Lauri told Hannibal, "You guys should come back in the summer for the Midnight Sun Festival. We could take you out to see more of the county, the villages, the Last Train to Nowhere. And there's plenty going on in town, too. We have sidewalk sales, games, midnight barbecues, a bank robbery."


Hannibal raised his eyebrows at her.


"Oh, it's not real. Although at one point someone actually did rob the bank but they didn't plan it very well cause they had no way out of town. So we re-inact it every year. It's hilarious."


Hannibal lit a cigar and nodded. "We might just have to take you up on that. It sounds like a good plan."



There's No Place Like Nome by Monte



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