Title: The Barista- 13- Training Accident
Category: Missing Scene, Hurt/Comfort, Humor
Season: Season 2
Episode Related to: 207 Message in a Bottle
Rating: PG

13- Training Accident

I hate working afternoon shifts.

While it is true that there are a lot of tired, cranky people in the morning, they just don't hold a candle to the tired, cranky people at the end of the day. Joe-customer just wants to get back to his spouse/kids/television set, and isn't so keen on the small talk. Doesn't tip so well either. I try not to sigh aloud as I glance at the clock on the back wall; ten more minutes.

Normally I always get the coveted morning shifts, but I switched shifts (not my idea I assure you) with a friend and now found myself counting the seconds until 6 pm. On the plus side, the store was nearly dead and I was almost done with the post-closing checklist. With luck, I should be well on my way home by 6:15- plenty of time to go for a run before hitting the books.

I sigh and wish Daniel would suddenly materialize to proof my latest translation attempt. Aramaic is a very straightforward language, but I was still getting messed up with the gender endings. At least with Greek, I could listen to real people speaking; it's a little tougher with a language that has been out of commission for nearly two millennia.

I hear the door opening behind me and turn around with what I hope is a believable smile.

I stare loudly at the two figures before me. Who knew I had the ability to make wishes come true?

"Hey Kira!" Daniel says warmly as he happily walks up to the counter. Someone is in a damn fine mood.

"Kira." Jack says with a tired nod in my direction. He eyes one of the chairs near the window and unceremoniously plops himself down. Guess the happy warm feelings aren't for everyone.

"What the heck are you guys doing here?" I ask. Truth be told, it might be normal for Daniel to come by after work, but I really didn't believe that. He's more of the work all night and stumble home in a daze sort of guy. Besides, I had tactfully asked some of my closing shift friends about him and no one recognized my descriptions. Several asked if they could change shifts with me in order to get a better look at him though. I smile slightly at the thought.

"Could ask you the same thing Kira." Daniel says raising one eyebrow slightly.

"I switched shifts with a friend."

"So this isn't a permanent change." Daniel says eyeing the espresso machine with longing. Yep, longing. I'm really glad Daniel is over whatever drug addiction he had in the past, but he still has a serious problem when it comes to coffee. Not that I would ever say anything. What would I do with myself without my Daniel fix?

"Nope- I'm still mostly a morning shift sorta gal."

"Good!" I smile. Daniel likes me!

"So what can I get for you Daniel?"

"Double tall latte and half a pound of French roast. Whole beans."

"I haven't replaced my coffee grinder yet Daniel." Jack says tiredly from the table. I glance over and eye him critically. Jack doesn't look so good. Actually, Jack looks like shit. While I always knew he was old...er, I still considered him young enough to well... oogle. Tall cute guy will always be alive and kicking in my little head. But not today. Today he definitely looks old enough to be my dad. His faced is heavily lined and there are dark smudges under his eyes.

"Jack!" Daniel whines as he took the news as if it were a body blow. "You promised you'd replace it!" And people say teenagers have the art of whining down to a science?

"Daniel," Jack says patiently while rubbing his forehead. "It only broke a week ago and I hadn't actually planned on having you over quite this soon." Daniel just grumbles.

"AND as you RIGHTFULLY know, I haven't actually been home a lot in the last seven days." Daniel has the good grace to look ashamed.

"Fine!" He says with a light huff as he turns back towards me. "Can you grind the coffee for an espresso machine Kira?"

"Sure." I say. I turn to tamp down Daniel's coffee for the latte. "Can I get you anything Jack?"

"A new head?" He replies tiredly.

"Sorry, all out at the moment." Poor guy. I busy myself with Daniel's coffee. "So why'd the Army spring you guys so early?" I ask.

"Air Force." Jack says automatically. Oops. I give Jack an apologetic tilt of the head.

"I get to take Jack home!" Daniel says happily.

"Geeze, Daniel, do you have to sound so damn cheerful about it?"

"Sorry Jack." Daniel says not sounding particularly sorry. "But you have to admit, it's a nice change from having YOU baby-sit ME."

"You are not babysitting me Daniel." Jack says standing up with a very quiet groan. His face is pinched in obvious discomfort and I notice how pale his normally tan complexion is. He really must not feel good.

"Poor choice of words. Sorry." Again, he does NOT sound sorry. "But Jack, you have to admit that it's usually me that ends up in the infirmary and this time I didn't get hurt at all!"

Jack rolled his eyes. "Yeah, way to go Danny."

"Ah, come on Jack- it's just a little concussion and some, uh.." Daniel wrinkles his eyebrows in concentration. "Confused red blood cells. You're not seriously hurt."

"Would you rather I be laid up in a hospital bed Dr. Jackson?" Jack looks quite irritated.

"Of course not Jack! But you gotta admit, usually when you get hurt it's really serious." Daniel's eyes cloud over and I'm positive he's remembering Antarctica. I didn't get all the details, but I betcha it was Jack who was on the receiving end of those electric paddles in McMurdo. I barely suppress my own shudder at the thought.

"But this time you're fine!" Again he gives Jack a wide grin.

I couldn't resist. "So what happened?" I ask.

For a very long heartbeat the pair look at me like a couple of deer in headlights. And then, much to my astonishment, (and theirs) they answer. In unison.

"Training exercise." For the first time since walking into the shop, Jack breaks out in a large smile. As does Daniel. They grin stupidly at one another for several seconds as some silent discussion is waged back and forth. It is blatantly obvious that they made up that answer on the spot but I give them double points for random spontaneity. I honestly don't think it was planned.

"As long as Jack is all right." I reply finishing up Daniel's drink and weighing out the coffee beans. I pour them into the grinder and tell Jack to be prepared. Obviously loud grating noises will not help his head. Over the whirl of the machinery I hear Jack complain some more to Daniel.

"I really wish Janet hadn't insisted on a chaperone tonight." Jack groused.

"Come on Jack!" Daniel says incredulously. "Do you have any idea how many drugs are in your system right now?!" Jack glances over to where I am blithely holding a coffee bag under the newly ground beans.

"Daniel..." Jack warns.

"What Jack?"

"We aren't alone here." I may not be able to see them now, but it doesn't take a genius to imagine Jack gesturing towards my back.

"And all I'm saying is that you have had a VERY traumatic event happen to you and there was no way Janet could send you home alone in good conscience. Hell, it was only after I promised to keep an eye on you that she agreed to release you in the first place!" I finish my grinding and walked over to the register. I happily noticed the neon time display on the consul. 5:59 pm.

"Fine!" Jack says shoving his hands into his jeans. "But I still plan on watching the hockey game tonight." He says this as if he's daring Daniel to take his television away.

"And I still plan on waking you every two hours once you fall asleep." Daniel says very matter of fact like. Jack is back to mumbling obscenities under his breath.

"You take it easy Colonel Jack." I say sweetly as I had over Daniel's coffee and beans. Jack nods and gives me a weak smile. Absently he scratches at a spot below his right shoulder.

"Thanks Kira!" Daniel says accepting the goods as if they were a rare treasure. He leaves me a nice healthy tip.

"I promise to be quick Jack." Daniel says as they head towards the door. I follow, as I need to lock up behind them. No more customers for Kira! Hurrah!

"You know, you already have most of what you need at my place." Jack says sounding more and more tired by the moment.

"True, but I just received the latest issue of Archaeology Digest and there's this great article discussing...."

"Daniel, please, I really DO have a headache."

"Sorry Jack." This time he sounds a little apologetic.

I see them out and begin locking the doors. As they rounded the corner I overhear Jack say the strangest thing.

"Next time it's Teelk's turn."

A/N As I was writing this, I realized that in the span of four, maybe five weeks SG-1 has had nearly ALL their members possessed by some sort of alien contraption (both organic and inorganic). First was Sam with Jolinar, and then came Daniel and his sarcophagus, and finally Jack and the strange alien globe thingy!

Just an observation....

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