A series of one-shots concerning the lesser known SSX cast. Each chapter probably isn't going to be too long, I plan on about eight chapters, as explained; I won't be featuring everyone.

SSX is owned by EA Sports. I am in no way afflicted with EA in any way all characters are owned by them but the ideas and writing is my own. Nor do I own any song featured.

The time will turn
And you will learn

There ain't no way but the hard way
Get used to it
I said there ain't no way but the hard way
So get used to it

Airbourne - No way but the hard way


First one way and then another. Skye twisted and turned this way and that, the flashes of several cameras blinding her.

"Skye this way!" Hand on your left hip! Look up for me now!" Skye did as she was instructed; feeling much like a worn out marionette as she moved into a new position. She was completely worn out, her usual hyper; outgoing attitude had just been drained out of her, she was a sponsors dream; but it came with downs as well as ups. Whilst she received tons of free merchandise, good pay cheques and coverage on TV adverts; magazines and billboards, it was on a demanding basis.

She had been going non-stop for three weeks. In between skiing in fierce competition, travelling to photo shoots and meeting fans; she hadn't had any free time for herself to chill and recuperate. Too many late nights and early rises had taken its toll on her body.

"Ok take five everyone!" The director of a well known surf/snowboard company cried out enthusiastically. "Someone get me a change of film!"

Skye was handed a towel and a bottle of water, before being ushered away to change for the umpteenth time.

She was barely listening as her stylist chatted and started redoing her hair. Usually it was messily drawn back for practicality. Today there were more pins in it than she could count, her stylist carefully began to move and rearrange them, much to Skye's irritation.

"Emily." Skye stated, "Can't you leave it? I need these five minutes."

"Oh but just one moment-" She was ignored as Emily continued to do what she did best, make Skye look beautiful.

"Leave it!" Skye snapped, "I need a break!"

Emily stepped back surprised as Skye stormed out of the changing area, past several stunned people who had heard her outburst and slammed the door behind her as she stepped out into the comfortable reception area of the studio. She gave a frustrated yell and flung herself down, taking a moment to reflect as she rubbed her temples and tiredly closed her eyes.

She was very mush used to working hard and pushing herself to find the limit, but currently it was all just unbearable. Having an outburst was extremely unlike her, but she was past caring.

All the girls on the circuit had to work, but some more than others.

Kaori, was lucky, she had the best of both worlds, since she was Japanese, a lot of Japanese clothing lines and sponsors held her rights, as such Kaori only had to do her extra work in Japan and in the summer, leaving her plenty of time to practice and chill out and compete during the SSX season.

Allegra, had somehow gotten away with doing the bare minimum. She worked for SSX and SSX only, she was so above herself she refused to do any trend setting for any company; as far as she was concerned, she was helping them out, not the other way around. If they wanted to Sponsor her so be it, she would wear the gear they provided her on the podium and in competition, there was no way she would be eating into her valuable training schedule to pacify their modelling requests.

Zoe on the other hand; worked for herself. She had come up with her own clothing style and as such had created her own clothing company, she wore her own designs and no one else's; drumming up business for her own online store and reaping the benefits of not having to employ anyone to do the modelling work for her. Boy did it work well; having her own unique style had been the clincher, if anyone wanted to look like Zoe and wore what Zoe wore, well they'd have to buy it from her. Essentially it was perfect business plan.

Then there was Elise, who basically came and went as and when she pleased, modelled for who she wanted, when she wanted on her own terms. Fundamentally, because as Queen Bee; everyone wanted her, and they would fight over her constantly, Elise was constantly going back and forth between top companies to get her own way. Skye for one had never seen her buy any clothes or make-up brand new, she was always having boxes of things delivered and casting them aside in favour of something else she'd been sent from elsewhere. Skye didn't really mind this too much; as Elise's room-mate, she benefited highly from this. It was like having a very rich big sister who liked giving her hand me-downs.

But it was herself that bore the brunt of the work. Since Allegra was far too lazy to be a good cover girl, and some companies hated dealing with Elise, they all picked her out, but she was tied into so many contracts now it was proving to be far too much.

"You look tired kiddo."

A familiar sounding voice, snapped Skye out of her thoughts and she looked up to see a bored looking Elise Riggs, stood with a hand on her hip, a bag strung over her shoulder and a very bored expression on her face.

"I am tired." Skye sighed. "I'm shattered, I feel drained to the maximum."

Elise shifted her bag and went to sit down beside the younger girl. "Well I've got a few minutes to spare so make it quick."

For Elise, this was her way of saying 'I'm slightly concerned, and I'm listening.' So Skye did, she told the older more experienced woman of her troubles and her struggle with balancing too many responsibilities on her shoulders.

To be fair to the Ice Queen, she listened in silence nodding here and then when she felt the need. Once Skye had finished Elise patted her on the shoulder in sympathy and shrugged, Skye waited for the answer with baited breath. "You're just too nice, Kiddo."

Skye stared, if there was an answer she had been expecting; it certainly wasn't that she was too nice. The look of shock and confusion must have showed on her face because Elise nodded earnestly, "Well think about it." She explained, "You never say no."

Skye thought about it, and it dawned on her that it was true. "So what do you suggest?" She asked.

"Well, just be more... assertive." Elise answered. "You're aggressive and passionate enough when racing, just explain that unless you're given more free time on your schedule, you simply won't be in form enough to compete and win. They really can't argue with that."

"Oh I see." Skye said, musing over her suggestion. Elise was far more experienced than her, but she didn't want to be known as a total bitch. "But everyone knows I'm the hyper, outgoing girl from down under!"

"You still will be." Elise sighed, "But you're also going to be known as the drained worn-out pushover if you continue the way you're going. No amount of make-up in the world could cover up those dark circles kiddo."

Kiddo had been Elise's nickname for her; Skye had grown to like it. She had to admit at first she was somewhat apprehensive about sharing with Elise but there was no other way for it and she was the only person on the tour who had anything at all in common with Elise, which was simply their shared hatred for Allegra. It was funny how the world worked.

Admittedly, Skye hadn't noticed how drained she looked, she supposed she hadn't had the time to check what she looked like in the mirror, she'd been far too busy for that; and there was simply not enough time for her to be able to do something pleasurable like a bath rather than a shower. "Do I really look that bad?" She asked.

Elise gave her a sympathetic pat on the knee. "Nothing a good week in a spa can't solve." She answered, "Take a week off, there's no competition next week, check yourself into the Royal Cosmopolitan and pamper yourself. Demand it!" She winked and stood up. "It's not easy, I know that. It was rough for me at first, but I'm no quitter."

"Me either." Skye answered standing up. "I'd best get back in and apologise."

"Good luck Kiddo." Elise shrugged her bag back onto her shoulder and then headed off in the direction of a separate Set; obviously she too was here for some type of shoot... though Skye wasn't sure what as she made her way back down the corridor to the changing rooms.

"Skye there you are!" Emily cried as she walked in. "We were worried!"

"I'm sorry." Skye answered, trying to ignore all the interested eyes on her as Emily pulled her towards her and started on her hair again. "I'm too drained, I need a week off."

"Ohh..." The girl trailed off and turned around to the director who shrugged.

"It's no problem, we can reschedule it's no good shooting if you're tired, we'll finish this session then leave it at that for now."

Skye blinked in surprise and then nodded; changing into new clothes quickly and making her way back to her shoot. As the flashes started all over again, she smiled, a new found energy in her, a week's break in a luxury spa would be heavenly. She may have to take Elise up on that offer.