Title: Barista 2- Scruffy No More
Season: Season 1
Spoilers: None
Rating: G
Category: General/Drabble

It is nearly a month later when I see him again. Scruffy I mean. He came in alone without tall cute guy, but I was ok with that. Scruffy isn't nearly so scruffy in clothes that actually fit. Plus he had lost that vulnerable, just-been-mugged look to him.

It is barely 6 am and I have the shop to myself for another hour. I actually like working the morning shift. Ok, maybe like is too strong a word, but it really isn't so bad. Lots of regulars who tip nicely. Best of all, I don't have to share it with anyone. What can I say? College textbooks don't grow on trees.

"Good morning." I pride myself on not being one of those saccharine happy people at the crack of dawn. Sure, some folks might find that refreshing, but it's my shop (at least for the next 65 minutes) and I'll be damned if I'm Miss Cheerful.

"Good morning," he says pushing up his glasses. I get the feeling he does that quite a bit. He is dressed in non-descript khaki pants and a button-down chambray shirt. I think I'll change his nickname to professor. He has that professory look to him.

"Double short Americano?"

"How'd you guess?!" He answers, sounding surprised. I love it when I catch them off guard. I give him a big smile.

"You were in once before."

"I was?" He asks, confused. Uh oh. Head case?

"Uh huh. Last month. You came in with a tall, cu.." (oops, nearly gave tall cute guy's alias away) I close my mouth, smile and try again. "You came in with another tall customer." Ha! That sounds quite convincing.


"Yeah, that was his name." Phew- the guy isn't mental. I hate it when the cute ones are freaks. And he is cute. Actually, if ever got around to getting a haircut, I am pretty certain he would usurp tall cute guy on his nickname. Besides, tall cute guy (Jack) is old enough to be my father. Professor here most definitely not.

"So this is where we came huh?" He asks almost to himself looking around the shop. He notices me looking at him strangely and pushing up his glasses again as he offers an explanation.

"I was extremely jet-lagged when I was in here last." Hey! That actually explains quite a few things. Rumpled clothes, no money--doesn't help fill in the blanks on the sad look though.

"Where'd you fly in from?" I ask conversationally. Bigger tip if they think you're interested in them. And hell, I was curious.

The guy suddenly looks unsure of himself. He swallows once and licks his lips. Is it just me or does he look a bit pale?

"Egypt," he answers finally.

"Really?" I gush. "God, I loved Egypt!" This is true actually, but did I have to be so cheerleaderish about it? Geeze.

"You're been to Egypt?" He asks with a big smile. Ooo. Like that smile professor.

"Yep. After graduating high school I lived in Israel for a year and spent nearly a month in Egypt. I'm a big ancient history buff I'm afraid."

"Me too actually." Professor answers rather shyly. Suddenly I hit my forehead with my hand- his coffee you dufus!

"Let me get your coffee for you."

"Thanks." Professor walks around the small shop as I pull two perfect 22 second shots of espresso and add some hot water.

"Can I ask what you did in Egypt?" This could backfire on me, but I really am curious. Some folks don't mind being friendly but they don't want you to be too friendly if you know what I mean.

"I'm an archaeologist," he explains as he walks back to the drink counter.

"No shit?" Ah man! I can't believe I just said that. God, Kira- have you no sense of decorum?

"I'm so sorry!" I sputter apologetically. Swearing on the job is definitely frowned upon.

"No shit," Professor repeats, giving me a huge smile. I laugh and hand him his coffee.

"I worked on a dig in Israel actually," I explain somewhat shyly. I don't want him to think I'm bragging or anything.

"Really? Where?" He actually sounds interested. Cool!

"Up in the Golan heights area. It was a late Hellenistic tel." I just can't help it. I am trying to impress him. Only real nerdy folks and archaeologists know that "tel" means "mound".

"Find anything good?" He asks, taking a sip of coffee. He lets out a small sigh as he swallows the warm liquid. I smile smugly - I make a damn good cup of coffee.

"The usual pottery shards and unexploded bomb shells," I answer. And get this, he doesn't ask for an explanation! I guess if he worked at all in the Middle East he'd know that finding bombs in the middle of digs were somewhat normal.

"Been there, done that," he answers with a chuckle. Before I can say anything back, I hear the faint beeping sound that can only be one thing- pager.

"Darn it guys!" Professor mutters, as he pulls the offensive object out of his pants. He checks the message and rolls his eyes.

"Gotta go?" I ask.

"Yep," he answers attaching a plastic lid to his drink. "Although they can't really start the meeting without me!"

"Ah power." I smile leaning down onto the counter with my elbows. He flashes me a small smile in return as he heads towards the door.

"See you later," he calls giving me a small wave. It is only a few minutes later that I realize he forgot to pay for his drink.

Ah well, he'd be back.

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