Title: The Barista- 11- Coming Down
Category: Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Season: Season 2
Episode related: 205 Need
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: adult themes, minor language

The Barista
11- Coming Down

Labor Day sucks.

I mean sure it's great to fire up the barbeque for one last hurrah before summer officially ends, but it absolutely bites when you have to work. And the irony that I am working in a store that really should have remained closed is not lost on me. Why the owners, in their infinite wisdom, decided to keep a business district coffee shop open on a day when all the businesses are closed is beyond me....

At least I'll have a comp day coming. Comp days- the new trend in corporate management. Actually, it isn't a bad deal at all. I work 4 mind-achingly dull hours today and I get 4 additional hours off whenever I want. I open my copy of The Odyssey (in Greek) and begin to read.

I had just finished throwing out the first pot of coffee (barely touched, but we do have a policy of fresh coffee every hour) when I spotted him. Actually I did a double take because although the man bore a striking resemblance to Daniel, he sure didn't act like him; the guy looked scared.

I watched as Daniel (or his clone) nervously glanced to the right and then left before opening the shop door and slipping inside. He quickly stepped away from the windows but continued to glance furtively towards them.

"Daniel?" I ask. I had to ask; I mean this too skinny, twitchy, fearful guy just didn't seem AT ALL like the Daniel I knew.

"Hey Kira." Daniel said absently as he began to rub that web-like space between his thumb and forefinger. Frankly, it was freaking me out. I continued to take a long hard look at Daniel and I suddenly realized what I was seeing; Daniel had, somehow, in the span of 3 weeks, become a junky. I mean it all fit. The gaunt face and body, the nervous repetitive habits, the way he was not focusing on me. My God- Daniel was an addict.

"Can I help you Daniel?" I ask timidly. Please Daniel, let me help you.

"Coffee." He says in a low voice still glancing at the window.

"OK." I say turning around and pouring him a cup of decaffeinated coffee. Daniel SO did not need any more stimulants. Even I could see that.

Silently I gave him his coffee. Daniel's hands shook as he cupped the warm beverage and lifted it to his lips. He took a sip and instantly made a disgusted face.

"Ah come ON Kira!" Daniel said sounding vaguely like himself. "The least you can do is give me the real stuff!"

"You sure that's a good idea Daniel?" I say softly as I take back the offensive mug.

Daniel sighed and glanced again at the window. "I know what this looks like Kira, but you're wrong."

"What does it look like Daniel?" I say again in dulcet tones as I hand him a new cup of coffee (half full).

"Like I'm some sort of freakish drug addict." He says gesturing wildly with his hands. "I'm NOT." His eyes are vaguely unfocussed as he shakes his head as if to clear his mind. He takes a large sip of coffee and sighs.

"God that's good." Daniel closes his eyes briefly before opening them up again and scanning the room. He decides on a table the furthest away from the windows. What's with the window fixation Daniel? Please don't tell me you're waiting for your dealer, because I SO cannot deal with calling the cops on a friend. But I will Daniel. You need help.

"I just wanted a cup of coffee Kira," Daniel explains, sounding like a 5-year-old boy. "Just a simple cup of real coffee. Is that really so much to ask?" He sounds almost normal again and I can see how hard he is struggling to overcome whatever chemical or medicinal urges he may feel.

I continue to watch him surreptitiously as I try and figure out a way to call Colonel Jack without letting Daniel know; he (Daniel) obviously isn't in a talkative sort of mood. I watch as he drains the cup with a self-satisfied smile. Within a few seconds the smile and all the color in his face disappears.

"No.." He moans softly clutching his stomach. I can see the beads of sweat breaking out on his forehead and quickly move the restroom key to a very visible location.

"No dammit!" He shouts nearly in tears as he springs up out of the chair and grabs the key. Moments later I hear the telltale sound of someone (Daniel) getting sick. I nearly cry myself. I realize I'm shaking a little now and I mentally give myself a slap. Stop it Kira! Daniel needs help and you're the only one around at the moment. Call Jack!

I take a deep breath as I wince at the sound of obviously painful dry heaves. I turn the music up slightly as I reach for the phone.

That's when I hear the door open.

Dammit! I don't have time for a stupid customer! With the phone firmly positioned between my cheek and neck, I whip around to hastily take the order.

"He's here, isn't he?" I register the voice before the face. It's a worried voice. Next comes facial recognition- instantly I recognize the face that belongs to the voice. Colonel Jack. Thank God!

I nod mutely as I hang up the phone. My shaking hands do not go unnoticed.

"He didn't hurt you, did he Kira?" Jack asks in a deceptively quiet voice. His hands are balled into tight fists by his side.

"No-o." I stutter. Get a grip, girl! I take another breath. "He didn't hurt me Jack." I point towards the closed bathroom door. "He's in there." Jack nods and takes a phone out of his pocket. Keeping his eyes firmly on the door he presses a speed-dial number (#2 I notice).

"Carter, it's me." He pauses for only a brief moment. "I found him." He listens briefly to the person on the other end (Captain Sam I bet). "You were right. He ditched us in order to get a damn cup of coffee." He nods. "Yeah, at the coffee shop." More listening. "Same one as before Captain." He sounds bone tired. "See you soon." He ends his call and pockets the phone before turning back around towards me.

"How long?" I know exactly what he's asking. How long has Daniel been in the bathroom?

"Maybe 5 minutes?" I answer.

"What happened?" Jack asks with a resigned sigh. I notice he's wearing a black leather jacket and jeans. Under normal circumstances, I'd ogle a bit- but this is anything but usual.

"He wanted a cup of coffee," I begin. "It was obvious to me that Daniel was feeling, um, under the weather." Jack knew that I knew, but he gave me a tight-lipped nod to let me know he appreciated my euphemism.

"I gave him a cup of decaf, but Daniel instantly knew it wasn't the real stuff. Seeing as it IS just a cup of coffee, I gave him 1/2 a cup of regular." I saw Jack shake his head in disapproval. "I just wanted to keep him in the store until I could get a hold of you Jack." I say sounding a little desperate. I didn't want him to think badly of me.

Jack took several steps towards me and laid his hand on mine. "You did good Kira." He says sincerely. He gives my hand a brief squeeze and glances again at the closed door. It had been quiet now for several minutes. Oh god! He wasn't suicidal was he?!

"I have a spare key!" I blurt out.

Jack gives me a very small smile. "That would be great Kira." I give him the key and I watch as he heads over to the bathroom door. Tentatively he knocks.


"Go away Jack." Came the muffled reply.

"Not going to happen Daniel." Jack says calmly.

"Please Jack," Daniel pleads. "Just go away."

"Sorry Danny," Jack answers softly. "You know I can't do that." Silence.

"I'm coming in ok?" More silence. I watch as Jack inserts the key and turns the knob. Daniel apparently offers no resistance and Jack carefully closes the door behind him.

Naturally that was the exact moment Captain Sam came running breathlessly into the store. She looks around the shop before settling her eyes on me.

"The Colonel?" She asks. I notice that Sam is dressed in jeans and a sweater. I can't help the twinge of envy as I notice her legs. My god, that woman has legs that go up to my armpits! Lucky wench.

I point towards the bathroom. "He's in there with Daniel."

"Ah." Sam stands stiffly surveying the empty room. We both look everywhere but at one another for several long moments before I break the ice.

"Daniel's sick." It was a statement, not a question.

"Yeah," Sam confirms, running a hand through her short blonde hair. She looks at me as if wanting to say more and tiredly shakes her head. "I know you probably have a lot of questions Kira.." I smile despite myself.

"That's what Colonel Jack said." Sam nods. "Did he also mention that there isn't too much we can tell you?" I frown slightly and can feel that wrinkle in the center of my forehead puckering. No, he didn't say that exactly. Although when you consider what little I know about these three, I'm really not surprised. I let out a shaky sigh willing my anger to dissipate.

"Can you at least tell me if he's getting treatment?" I ask calmly. Sam nods and looks at me with wide blue eyes.

"He's through the hard part Kira," she says softly. "Actually, today is the first day Daniel's been allowed off the base since his..." It's clear Sam doesn't know exactly how to finish that sentence.

"Since it was found out that he had a problem?" I try. Sam nods gratefully.


"So what happened?"

"Daniel convinced us that he needed to head home and pick up some stuff. Janet, Doctor Frasier that is, thought the fresh air would do him good, but would only agree if someone went with him."

"And you and Colonel Jack were it," I finish. Sam chuckles softly.

"Daniel wasn't so keen on the idea, but the Colonel talked him into it."

I take up the story drawing the obvious conclusion. "Daniel talks you two into a walk around town and then proceeds to ditch you so he can get himself a cup of coffee." The very edges of Sam's mouth curl in a half smile as she nods. I notice that the smile goes nowhere near her eyes.

"Yeah." We stand awkwardly near one another both concentrating on the closed bathroom door and the soft murmur of voices coming from within. I pour Sam a cup of coffee, which she accepts gratefully. Seeing as Captain Sam and I were kinda stuck with one another for the time being I realized that this was as good a time as any to ask what I really wanted to know. I cocked my head to one side and eyed her critically.

"So Captain, you a natural blonde?" Sam nearly spat out her coffee and I couldn't help but grin slightly as she sputtered and looked confused.


"Ice breaker." I reply shrugging my shoulders.

"You are a very strange young woman Kira." Sam says shaking her head and looking at me with real humor in her eyes. "And you can call me Sam."

"So Sam, how do you know Colonel Jack and Daniel?" She didn't need to give me all the details, but I'd love to know just what the three of them have in common.

"I'm Air Force like the Colonel and I'm his Second."

"Second what?" I can't resist asking. Sam rolls her eyes.

"Second in command." I nod as if understanding - which I don't.

"What do you do?" She might be a professional soldier, something I was pretty certain Colonel Jack was, but I kinda doubted that.

"I'm a Doctor of Astrophysics actually." Sam replies matter-of-factly. Huh?? I can feel that pesky wrinkle once again forming in the center of my forehead as I knit my eyebrows together trying to wrap my mind around the facts.

Fact: Daniel and Jack are obviously very good friends.
Fact: Daniel is an Archaeologist, Anthropologist and Linguist.
Fact: Jack is a Colonel in the United States Air Force.
Fact: Sam is a Captain in the Air Force AND an Astrophysicist.

What the bloody hell are they all doing together?! Before I can open up my mouth and ask further questions the bathroom door opens. Daniel walks out first looking extremely embarrassed, Jack is right behind him.

"Sorry again Kira," Daniel says as he pauses in front of me. I want more than anything for him to get well again and impulsively I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him down to me for a brief hug.

"Get better soon Daniel," I whisper as I release him. Daniel looks like he might cry and I know it's more from the withdrawal than anything else, but I want him to feel comfortable around me.

"I have a new paper that needs proofing Dr. Jackson, so come back and visit as soon as you're able to, ok?" I receive a slight Daniel smile for my trouble and feel all warm and tingly inside.

Sam walks Daniel out the door but Colonel Jack lingers a bit in order to talk to me.

"Daniel didn't say anything, uh, nutty did he?" Jack asks, looking both calm and nervous at the same time. I shake my head. This is the second time you've asked me something like that Jack.

"He just asked me for the coffee and said it wasn't what it looked like." Jack stuffed his hands in his pockets.

"He's kinda right Kira," Jack says after a long moment. I shake my head.

"Jack, it's obvious Daniel is suffering from withdrawal. I may not know from what, but the physical symptoms are unmistakable." I unfortunately speak from experience. My best friend in high school became addicted to painkillers after a skiing accident. It wasn't pretty.

"Yeah, I suppose," Jack says, sighing heavily. He straightens his back and I can see he is getting ready to leave.

"Jack, I know Daniel is your friend, and I know you probably already know this, but hear me out, ok?" Now it's Jack's turn to nod. He looks at me quizically.

"I can guarantee you Daniel never wanted to become an addict. And however angry and frustrated and sad you and Captain Sam become, always remember that Daniel must feel ten times worse." I take another breath.

"I don't know how or what he became addicted to, but I can almost guarantee you he won't ever EVER do it again. Smart people make mistakes, but because they ARE smart, they seldom make them twice. Trust in your friend." I finish knowing my cheeks must be tinged red. I always did have a flair for the melodramatic. I mean it though. Jack just stares at me with these unfathomable chocolate brown eyes of his.

"You're one smart young lady Kira," Jack says finally. I shrug. I mean, come on! What else was I to do?

"We'll take care of him Kira. I promise." He turns to go and then stops and turns back around.

"We owe you one Kira."

"I'll just put it on your tab," I reply with a smile. Jack laughs and disappears down the alley.

A/N I've been thinking about how I would do a post Need story for quite some time. Hope this wasn't too over the top. Feedback always appreciated.

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