Title: Barista 26-- Three Questions
Season: Season 3
Spoilers: 100 Days (317)
Category:General fluff, humor

Author's Notes:*does little waive* I'm back! Thank you to everyone who has sent me their support during these difficult, computer free days. I still don't have a computer of my own, but I do have access to one now, and that's all matters, right?

A little Barista background is in order and I apologize in advance at the length- but I'm a big proponent for consistency and without an explanation, the following story might not make sense. For the most part, I take the dates for each of my vignettes directly from the episode air date. I might take a little license with the gap between seasons, but I try to keep dates more or less consistent. Now, in "reality", the last episode for two months (mid-season break) happened on November 10th. When the hitus ends in January, we get Urgo, and Foothold and then 100 days. Which of course messes up everything, doesn't it? So here's where my artistic license comes in. I'm going to rearrange the episode order slightly so we have 100 Days taking place in early November. Which means I'll need to move Urgo and Foothold back to October and everything prior to that gets a little mushed up. Just accept that Jack goes missing in early November and once February comes the Stargate continuum can continue like normal. Everybody straight? (Quiet Stefan, they know what I mean.)

Right. Shutting up now. Enjoy the story! This one is basically for everyone who has written me over the (gasp) past year or so and hypothesized about Kira and Daniel and where this series might go. I'm telling you right now, it isn't quite going to end where/when/how you think it will. BUT, I'm going to give you a little, tiny sneak peak at something that may be important. Maybe. No-no- I'm not saying I'm ending the series anytime soon; I'm just giving Kira a little more information. You'll see.

And everyone take note how nice and long it is, ok? It might have taken me 6 weeks, but I'm giving you all I can now!

"Come on Victor!" I implore my boss as he dumps several boxes of Christmas decorations at my feet. "It isn't even Thanksgiving [1] yet! It's too early for…" I waive my hands distastefully over the boxes, refusing to look down. "This." I finish with a frown.

"It's Wednesday afternoon Kira." Victor say jovially, completely unaffected by my outburst. "You close," he continues. "Which means you need to decorate the store after you lock up so that it will look nice and festive come Friday." He gives me a final wink, grabs a package of chocolate covered espresso beans and saunters out the front door.

You know, if I didn't love the guy, I'd really hate him about now. Wonder if it's too late to switch shifts…? I kick the boxes into a corner and dejectedly make my way back to the bar. Stefan is just finishing up a caramel mochachino and shoots me a look somewhere between amusement and pity.

"Not On Your Life." He mouths as he hands the drink to a customer. Damn. I was really hoping to get his help on this. I raise my eyebrows hopefully at Marcella and give her my best doe-eyed 'help me' look. Marcella just shakes her head and laughs as she counts back change to another customer.

I dejectedly plop myself down in a chair near the back of the store and wonder if I wasn't working with a queen if my powers of manipulation would still work on men. Probably not. I just don't seem to have that inherent ability to look innocent.

Daniel has that look.
Daniel might help me.

Daniel just walked in through the front door! I quickly jump to my feet and can't help but smile. I hadn't seen my favorite customer for a couple weeks now and was wondering what he was up to. Contrary to what Stefan may think, I don't actually lust after Daniel anymore. Really! He has more or less left my fantasy world and is now just considered a really good friend. A good friend who happens to look really good in jeans and has the softest lips I have ever drunkenly laid my lips on.

I'm really not helping myself here, am I?

Daniel still hasn't caught sight of me yet, and I take a moment to really look at him while he talks to Stefan. He looks tired. Thankfully, he doesn't appear bruised, drugged or hurt in any way. Just tired. Tired and worried.

'Dr. Jackson!" Stefan says loudly sending me a not so secret smirk.

"Hi Stefan." Daniel says amicably giving Stefan a small nod.

"Happy Thanksgiving." Stefan continues. "Have any big plans for gobble-gobble day?"

"Huh?" Daniel asks looking a little confused. "Oh, right. Thanksgiving." He gives a little shrug. "I had forgotten all about it actually."

"Forgotten Thanksgiving!?" Stefan says feigning shock. "Man, where have you been these last few weeks?" He looks at Daniel gravely and stage whispers, "You aren't one of those freaky vegetarian types are you?" Obviously that last line was for my ears. Stefan thinks my vegetarianism is "odd and unnatural". This coming from a man who has dated more men than I have!

Daniel shakes his head, "No, I'm not a vegetarian." He says continuing to look uncomfortable. I recognize this as "Daniel Discomfort Look #3"; the look that says, 'there is a perfectly reasonable explanation here, but I can't really share it with you' look. Betcha he was out of town again. Simple, really.

"Oh give it a rest Stefan!" I say coming around the counter and rescuing Daniel. "The guy travels a lot for work, and I'm guessing he was simply out of town and hadn't noticed what holiday was coming up. Right Daniel?

"Exactly." Daniel says nodding. He gives me a thankful smile and asks Stefan for a triple tall Americano.

"For here or to go?" Stefan asks.

"I'll drink it here actually." Daniel says nudging my shoulder. "That is if a certain Barista can sit with me for a bit." I blush (only a little) and nod. "I haven't had a chance to really talk to you in weeks Kira." Daniel explains as we walk towards a table near the windows.

We sit down in the comfortable lounge chairs and I can't help but blurt out the first thing that pops into my head, "Rough day at the office?" Daniel looks at me with one of those coy, 'what do you know' looks of his. I just shrug. "You look tired Daniel."

He sighs. "I am tired." He pauses contemplating his next words. "Jack's missing Kira."

'Missing?" I repeat. As in missing in action? Dead? A myriad of emotions play across my face and Daniel gently places a hand across my own before I can truly reach panic mode. "He's not dead Kira; just missing."

"Oh." I say softly letting that knowledge sink in. Stefan comes by and gives Daniel his coffee. He must have recognized that we were talking about something serious because for once in his life he didn't crack a joke.

"Missing," I repeat. "Do you know where he is?"

Daniel pauses for a moment to again contemplate his answer. "Yes. We think we do."

"But.." There's always a 'but' when it comes to Daniel and his friends.

"But we can't get to him right now." There is obviously way more to the situation than Daniel can probably tell me and although it's killing me not to ask for more details, I know Daniel is letting me know all he can.

"Oh." Big talker Kira. I am pretty much confused here as it seems to me that if they know where he is, why don't they just go in and get him? Obviously I don't know the full story. I never do.

"It's complicated, Kira," Daniel says softly taking a drink of his coffee. "You know I'd tell you more if I were able too." I nod; I know that.

"The military totally sucks Daniel." I say as I slump my shoulders in defeat.

"Don't let Jack here you say that Kira!" Daniel says smiling. "He really is hoping you'll join the Air Force."

I guffaw loudly and shake my head. "Daniel, I am *never* going to join the Air Force." I say forcibly.

"Good!" He says taking another sip. "Jack owes me $10!"

"You bet on me?" I ask incredulously.

"Oh we bet on just about everything." Daniel says eyes twinkling.

"You have a very strange job Daniel." I say finally.

"That I do." Daniel agrees with a chuckle. "So, how's school?" He asks changing the subject. I still want to know more about Colonel Jack, but I guess I can take comfort in knowing that Daniel and Sam will do everything they can to bring him home.

"Actually.." I say straightening up a little. "I'm graduating in a few weeks."

"You are?" Daniel says. "That's wonderful Kira!" If we were standing, I think he would have hugged me. Damn. Missed opportunity! Hey, I might not lust after the guy, but I can still appreciate a Daniel hug, can't I?

"If you had asked me last month, I would have spun this long sob story about how I was 4 credits shy of the 180 credits needed to graduate."

"So what happened?" Daniel asks.

"What happened is that my advisor went to bat for me and managed to convince the Graduate Committee that the time I spent abroad between high school and college should count for something." I give him a big grin. "Apparently exploring Iraq al-Amir [2] is good for four credits! I wrote a 15 page paper on my observations about the region and voila!"

"You never told me you went to Jordan!" Daniel says sounding a little amazed.

"You knew I traveled to the Middle East though, right?" I asked. Maybe he didn't remember? I mean talking with Daniel about Egypt seems like it happened ages ago. Can't believe it was almost three years ago.

"Sure, I remember that." Daniel says waggling his eyebrows up and down. "Back then you had a crush on me."

"Daniel!" I say blushing.

"Yes, Kira?" Pure innocence. Yep- Daniel Jackson does indeed have that innate innocent look.

"If you must know, I still had a crush on Colonel Jack back then." I don't feel the need to tell him that it was only a few weeks later that my er...perfectly normal, er..thoughts about him began.

"Jack?!" Daniel repeated loudly. "But he's old enough to be your father!" Did he have to shout it out so loud the rest of the coffee shop can hear? Geesh.

"Thanks for pointing that out Daniel." I say resisting the urge to find a nice mound of sand to bury my head into.

"Jack." Daniel repeats still chuckling to himself.

"Daniel," I say sternly. "You are not to repeat that to Jack!"

"Please?" Daniel implores. Man, Daniel should really bottle this power of persuasion thing he has going! Maybe he should work as a U.N translator or something- I bet he could persuade just about anyone to do anything. Hey! Maybe I can turn this around to my advantage.

" What will you give me in return Dr. Jackson?" I ask coquettishly.

"3 questions." Daniel replies instantly. "I'll answer any three questions you have about me.." I open my mouth to ask what I am *really* dying to know when Daniel puts in the obligatory caveat. "But, you know there are issues relating to National Security that I just can't talk about."

Damn. So close! Still, there are one or two things Daniel has never told me that shouldn't be a big dark secret.

"Agreed." I say pulling my chair closer and getting comfortable. "Question number 1- How many languages do you actually know Daniel?"

"Speak, read, or write?" Daniel asks. My eyes widen.


"That would technically be three questions Kira; how many languages do I speak; how many languages do I read and how many languages do I write?"

"Oh no you don't!" I quickly reply. "I'd like to know all three, but this is just one question, so if you don't want to tell me how many languages you can read or write, let's just stick to speaking."

"Ever consider the legal profession Kira?"

"Answer the question Daniel."

"Fine. I'll tell you all three for the price of one question. I am knowledgeable in 29 languages. I speak 27, can read 29 and can write 24." Holy crap. My mouth drops open on its own accord and I stare at him in awe. Daniel, you are my hero! My linguistic hero!

"Kira?" Daniel asks worriedly. "You ok with this?"

"Ok with you being probably the smartest guy on the planet?" I retort. "Sure, why not?"

Daniel's turn to snort and shake his head. "I'm not the smartest guy on the planet Kira."

"Pretty damn close!"

"Not even remotely close." Daniel qualifies. "I'm just good with languages."

"I'll say!"

"What's your second question?" Seeing as I'm still reeling from the first question, I'm a little at a loss for words. Daniel knows twenty-nine languages?!


"Gimme a second here." I say holding up a hand. I shake my head and realize what I want to ask.

"How did you and Jack meet?" Daniel rubs his forehead and thinks for a minute.

"There will be holes in this one Kira, but that's because some of it falls under that "national security" thing, ok?" I nod. "But I'll tell you what I can.

"About 5 years ago, a lovely older woman came to me one day and asked me to help translate something. The something in question actually belonged to the military and I had to sign a gazillion papers before they'd let me see it."

"What was it?" I asked.

"Is that question 3?" I opened my mouth to say yes but Daniel quickly shakes his head. "That's one I can't answer for you Kira." I nod; I didn't really think he could.

"I set to work on translating the artifact and what I found made a lot of people nervous." He pauses and looks at me. He knows that I was dying to ask what it was, but he also knows I won't. It's obvious that this is the big National Security thing that he can't talk about.

"Jack was actually called in to lead a team to find out more information about the people who made the artifact."

"This is where Egypt comes in, right? Where you met Sha're?"

"Umm- sort of." Daniel says uncomfortably. "All I can tell you Kira is that we traveled a very far distance and met some people we had never met before."

"Wow. That must have been really cool!" There I go sounding like a little kid again.

Daniel chuckles. "It was pretty cool." He paused in memory. "I think even Jack in all his bad-ass military posturing thought it was cool as well."

"Jack's not a military bad-ass!"

"He was then Kira." Daniel says softly. "The Jack O'Neill you know now, isn't the same one I met back in 1995."

"What happened?"

"That's Jack's story to tell Kira." Daniel says gently. Oh. Ok.

"But you liked each other, right?" I ask.

Daniel shakes his head. "Jack pretty much had me pegged as a geeky scientist, which I technically was, and didn't want anything to do with me. He couldn't stand having a "civilian" on his team."

"So what changed?" I asked. "I mean, obviously you and Jack are good friends now."

"Oh, you know how it goes- I save his life, he saves mine. Things like that."

"Wow." I'm just about to ask another question when his phone rings.

"Sorry Kira, but I need to answer this." He stands up and walks with his cell phone towards a corner. He isn't necessarily trying to hide his conversation from me, just trying to be polite and not disrupt others in a public place. I bet if it wasn't 13 degrees outside, he'd be taking his conversation out there.

"Hello?" He answers as he holds the phone up to his ear. "Hi Sam," he says before pausing to listen. "Yeah, I'm just on my way in- you still there?" Longer pause. "Sam," he admonishes gently. "You need to go home and rest." Daniel shakes his head. "No. Resting on base is not the same thing…" Daniel rolls his eyes. "No, I haven't been talking with Janet. I mean, of course I've been talking with Janet, but not about you." I see Daniel flinch slightly as he says that and bet he *has* been talking to Dr. Janet about Sam.

"We're just worried about you Sam." Daniel continues. "It's been three weeks and you haven't.." Sam must have interrupted him because Daniel's sentence is completely cut off.
" Yes, I know you're the only one who…" Again, Daniel is unable to finish what he has to say.

"Sam, we're going to get him home." Daniel says finally. Suddenly it clicks; they're talking about Jack. Sam continues to talk for a bit and Daniel exhales softly and nods. "Yeah, I can do that for you Sam, but wouldn't you rather have Janet.." Sam says only a few words before Daniel nods again. "That's right I had forgotten. When is she supposed to return?"
Sam doesn't say much more before Daniel agrees. "Ok. I'll swing by your place before heading in. Can I bring you anything else? Coffee? Chocolate covered espresso beans?" He smiles as he listens to Sam's answer. "Well of course I know those are my own favorites." He looks over at me and winks.

"Seriously Sam, I'll pick you up one of those thick corned beef sandwiches you like from Hank's Deli." Sam obviously isn't so crazy about that idea. "I don't care if you're not hungry Sam, you need to eat. And I bet hank's corned beef is a little more appetizing then Lt. Rodriguez' canned bean casserole." Daniel looks at his watch. "I should be there within the hour." Pause. "Bye Sam." He turns his phone off and turns back to me.

"Sorry Kira, question number 3 will have to wait until next time. I need to get going. Sam asked me to pick up a few things from her house before heading back to base."

"On the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving?" I ask a bit surprised that he would even think of returning to work.

"Afraid so." Daniel says apologetically. "If Janet returns home on time, I'll insist on taking Sam to her place for Thanksgiving with Cassie. But if Janet is delayed… well I'll just stay and keep Sam company." He gathers his coat and returns his empty coffee cup to the busing area.

"Great Americano Stefan!" Daniel shouts over the din of the espresso machine as he shoves a couple dollars into the tip jar. Stefan smiles and nods his head in thanks. Daniel puts on his coat and has his hand on the front door when I realize what I want to ask him for my third question.

"Daniel!" I call out. He stops and turns around. "My third question- it's a quick one."

"Go ahead." Daniel says a little cautiously. I know he's thinking that whatever question I ask will either be another "national security" question or else something long and complicated.

"Will I ever find out what it is you actually do?"

"You know what I do Kira, I'm an archaeologist and translator."

"Daniel." I admonish. "Translators do not routinely get beaten up or drugged or.." I resist adding 'kidnapped by aliens' although I want too.

Daniel holds up a hand to stop me. "I see your point."

"Well?" I ask again putting my hands on my hips. "Will I?"

"You know what Kira?" Daniel answers seriously as he opens the door. "You just might."

Hee hee! You like? Please le me know as I'm always afraid my Barista stories will one day fall flat and everyone will go running away in fright. Or something like that. Writers are a very insecure lot!

[1] Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. It's one of only 7 or so universal American Holidays (some only have 6, and others 8). That's right kids, we in the states only get seven paid holidays a year. Needless to say, I'm jealous as heck at the rest of the world for getting more time off then me. [Up]

[2] A set of ancient caves near Amman, Jordan [Up]

Completed February 29, 2004

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