Title: Barista 40 -- Quarantine
Season: Season 4
Related Episode: 0418- The Light
Category Humor
Rating: PG -13 (for Stefan-inspired innuendo)

Author's Notes: Crazy as it might seem, this is the last story of Season 4. I know many of you want to have some kind of confrontation/resolution between Kira and Daniel with regards to the *ahem* rather interesting last story. However, it ain't going to happen - at least not how many of you would like. No pouting! I think you'll like this one nearly as much -- and it's long!

"You're doing it again, Kira," Stefan says with a grin.


"Doing what?" I ask innocently, as I add the chocolate syrup to the milk pitcher (premiere, high quality syrup, not the imitation chocolate "flavoring" most places use).

Stefan gives me a knowing look and starts humming something ABBA'ish - I shoot him a dirty look and he gives me a friendly leer.

I'm still finding it hard to believe that I took last weekend off. Not only did I miss a Friday afternoon class, but I skipped out on work as well. Very unlike me. Sure, I had found a replacement (and of course it just had to be Stefan now, didn't it?), but the fact that I actually did it is still a bit surprising.

Not that I have any regrets mind you.

I smile stupidly to myself (while consciously refraining from humming). I really had a good time with Kyle. (Understatement) I really never thought we would hook up. I mean, I met the guy over four years ago! Talk about a completely random occurrence.

Kyle was in his last year of school and working as a part time barista at Victors when I first met him. Oh, I always knew he was cute (everyone did) -- but I remember him seeming so much older than me. At 24, he just seemed so.self possessed. And let's face it - at 19, I was anything but! My first week on the job, I heard all about Kyle and his various attributes (he has many!). All the female (and some of the male) baristas thought he was a complete honey. A perfect 6 feet tall with shoulder-length dark hair and murky blue/green eyes - Kyle would have totally fit in as a Bard or something in medieval England. Every morning before his shift, he would go for a run and often come into work with his hair still wet.

Kyle looks really good with slightly damp hair.

Kyle still looks good with slightly damp hair. Even at the grand old age of 28.

We only worked together for a few months before he graduated and I lost track of him. Every now and then he would stop by the shop to chat (usually with Stefan), but we never said more than a few basic pleasantries. That is until I started taking this ridiculously difficult astronomy course and realized I needed a tutor in order to actually pass it. For some completely ludicrous reason, I thought having a better understanding of astronomy might make me understand early human civilizations and their fascination with the skies. What I should have taken was an introductory, undergraduate survey course in Astronomy, not a graduate level course on the History and Philosophy of Astronomy. I'm really not used to struggling with a class and it took several shots of vodka before my friends could convince me that I needed help (with my classes that is - I'm not much of a drinker).

I briefly thought about asking Sam Carter to assist me. As a Doctor in Astrophysics, I'm certain she would find this course a piece of cake. However, judging from Daniel's rather erratic language tutoring sessions with me (this year, it's Aramaic), I didn't think Sam would really be able to commit to helping me on a regular basis. That is, if she even wanted too.

So I turned to the school's handy tutoring bulletin board, and that's where I saw and recognized Kyle's name. Apparently, he was moonlighting as a tutor while he worked as a contractor for some aerospace company in town. Until hired full-time, he needed the extra income to pay for pesky things like medical insurance and play money. I decided it couldn't hurt, and gave him a call.

I am so glad I gave him a call!

I have never really had an instant attraction with someone before. I mean, sure, I have been attracted to loads of guys -- I thought both Daniel and Jack were damn fine looking when I first saw them - still think they are - but it's different when the attraction is reciprocated.

Oh my, is it!

Kyle did help me with my astronomy lessons. But what started out as single hour study session, soon turned into a longer lesson, followed by dinner. Later it became a lesson, followed by dinner & drinks. Then came the inevitable; dinner, drinks, a midnight stroll to procure Ben & Jerry's ice cream (even in January!)..and breakfast.


"What?" I ask petulantly, trying not to turn blush. I totally wasn't paying attention to what Stefan was saying and he knows it.

"I asked," Stefan repeats slowly, "if you have heard from Dr. Yummy lately?"

"You know, you really should stop calling Daniel that." I'm mortified that one of these days, someone at the shop is going to call Daniel this to his face. Talk about embarrassing!

"He really seemed like he needed to talk to you last week," Stefan continues.

"Really?" That's odd. Why would Daniel need to talk to me? Usually it's the other way around.

"Yep!" Stefan says nodding. "I did tell you all about this last Monday, but you seemed to have other things on your mind." he gives me a smirk. "Well, at least I assume it was your mind..."

"Stefan!" I say, blushing. I swear, this is part of the reason why I haven't had a serious boyfriend - Stefan refuses to stop teasing me! Now if I would just quit blushing and acting like a school girl, I'm sure he'd stop.

"Any idea what he wanted to talk about?" I know Stefan has told me something about this before, but I honestly can't recall a darn thing.

"Nope," Stefan replies shaking his head. "But he and a rather concerned-looking Colonel Sumptuous came in seriously in need of talking to you.

Oh way to make me feel bad Stefan!

"I'm sure Daniel will be by sometime this week," I reply trying to assuage my guilt. How many times has Daniel helped me with school work? And the one time he needs me for something (although for the life of me, I can't imagine what), I'm not around. I pretty much feel guilty for the rest of my shift and keep to myself. Stefan turns glum as well once he realizes that he has completely destroyed my Kyle-buzz (thus, nothing to make fun of me with). Neiher of us are disappointed when our shift ends.

I head on home still feeling down. It's too bad Kyle is at a conference this week, I would have liked to have rented a sappy movie or something. I let myself in and frown at the pile of laundry at the foot of the stairs. I knew there was something I was supposed to do this evening. I look at the laundry and then look past the laundry into the living room. There, sitting patiently for me is my shiny new Dell personal computer. Hey, I think buying a computer of my very own is a perfectly valid use of financial aid money! Besides, my crappy Windows 95 hand me down really wasn't working so well.

I look back at the laundry. Hmm - check email or do laundry..? I think the answer here is pretty clear. I log onto the university's email system and scan the various academic related emails. Oh look! There's yet another annoying spam-email. Now why these market research firms think they can get college students to quit (or prolong) their studies by going into the online survey biz is beyond me.

Suddenly, I spy an email "from" name that completely brightens my sour mood - an email from Daniel! Feeling the need to procrastinate just a bit longer (personal emails are way better than school work), I open it up.

Hi Kira,

Sorry I haven't been in this week. I'm guessing Stefan told you I stopped by and I wanted to let you know that I'm fine. I had had a weird day at work last week, and I think I might have freaked him out a little. Take everything he says with a grain of salt, okay? I'm fine. Really.

So how's that literature review coming along? I know you're apprehensive about doing one of those, but I know you'll do fine. The first one is always the hardest. If you like, send me what you have by next Monday, and I'll be happy to look it over for you. Promise! And if you have any of the articles you used in your review, I'd love to read those as well (PDF or Word). There might be a couple that I have read, but I'm guessing there are quite a few that I haven't, and I would love to read something non-work related. I'm worried that if I don't come up with something rather creative, Jack might actually ask me to help HIM do his paperwork. There might not be a greater horror in the galaxy than Jack O'Neill and his paperwork.

Even without seeing you, I can just picture the way you cock your head to one side with the unspoken "?" hanging in the air. I'm so sorry Kira, but I'm afraid I can't tell you much. Again. What I can tell you is that Jack, Sam, Murray and I are in a quarantine of sorts. Sam estimates that we'll be here for another 3-4 weeks, although I'm *really* hoping it takes less than that. On the plus side, "here" is rather a nice place - if you ignore the fact that we can't actually leave at the moment.

I wish I could ask you to send coffee, but the *tragic* reality is that we're not allowed any. AT ALL. Sam even played the friendship trump card with Janet in hopes of getting us at least a little caffeine. Personally, I think Sam was hoping more for chocolate than coffee, but I would have been happy with either (although, naturally the preference would have been for coffee - preferably your coffee) No luck. Apparently we can't have any stimulants at all. Don't ask - I'm way too cranky and caffeine-deprived to think of something even remotely plausible in explanation.

[Kira, this is Jack. Ignore everything Daniel has said. There are worst things in this galaxy than my inability to do paperwork]

Oops. Sorry about that Kira. I left my laptop for only a moment and see what happens? Now Jack is reading over my shoulder, so I can't delete. Anyhow, please do send your lit review and any articles you have handy. I'll take a look and reply next week.


[Hi Kira! It's Jack again. Congrats on the new boyfriend! Stefan says you've known him for quite some time, and I'm certain he's a great guy and all that, but why don't you tell him that you have a friend who just happens to be an Air Force Colonel. And this Air Force Colonel wanted him to know that if he hurts you in any way, he'll break both his knee caps.

Have fun!]

Laughing, I print the email out and bring it into the kitchen with me. Kyle has a great sense of humor and has heard me talk about both Daniel and Jack. I think he'll get a kick out of the email as well. Using some magnetic poetry pieces, I adhere the email to my refrigerator. That night I email Daniel back, sending him my lit review so far (heavens, I hate those!), and seven articles. Some are quite long, so hopefully Daniel can justifiably hold Jack (and his reports) off a bit longer. Wonder where they actually are? I send a much longer and more innuendo-laced email to Kyle and then happily trot off to bed with the laundry still sitting at the foot of the stairs.

The next week at precisely 2:25 PM on a Tuesday (same time as the week before - how weird is that??), I receive another chatty email from Daniel. Heavens, he must be bored! Apparently, he receives new laptops (not new new, but replacement new) every Tuesday and Friday. Any emails he writes externally get sent by his office assistant. I can't imagine what it must be like being Daniel's office assistant!

For three weeks, Daniel and I (and occasionally Jack) write back and forth. Daniel was in some serious caffeine withdrawal (I think a part of the reason he was emailing me was to get some sort of psychic coffee hit or something), and judging from Jack's comments, HE was seriously bored. Dang! I am so curious as to where they were!

Kyle returns from his conference and I have to admit to understanding very little about what he learned there. I adore Kyle, but the work he does is. well. a little boring. He's part engineer and part hard scientist. Being more a people person myself (social scientist) I just don't get the fascination with machinery and what it can do for you. Still, Kyle is pretty jonesed about this new military contract they got (it earned him a full time job!) and his enthusiasm is well...sexy. But then again I'm biased; everything about Kyle is sexy.

I'm day dreaming yet again (this is starting to become a habit) when I hear Stefan clearing his throat. I look up expecting yet another really bad heterosexual joke when I spy Daniel. He's back!

"Daniel!" I quickly look around the shop to see who can take my place behind the espresso machine. Mercifully, Stefan shakes his head and mouths, 'you owe me one' as he gently pushes me clear of the machine.

"Welcome home!" I gush. I look Daniel over and am relieved to see no obvious signs of injury. Not that I really thought he was injured mind you (Jack would have certainly alluded to something like that), but with Daniel, you can't be too sure. He looks ridiculously healthy - like someone who just returned from vacationing in Hawaii and not someone coming home from a forced quarantine. I squint a little and amend that thought. Daniel is definitely tan and *ahem* quite fit looking (not as fit as Kyle a little voice inside my head reminds me). But there's something a little off about him.

"Good to be home," Daniel replies giving me a quick smile before turning his attention fully towards the barista behind the cash register. He takes a few steps forward and frowns.

"Everything all right, Daniel?" Daniel gives me a pained look and sighs.

"No, not really," he pauses and looks down at his feet before looking past me and sighing. "No."

"What is it?" I ask worriedly. Heck, I have no idea what he and Jack were quarantined for - it might have been something really nasty. Daniel sighs again and shakes his head in what looks like a very resigned acceptance to something. He looks away from the coffee counter and focuses his attention entirely on me.

"Kira, I need you to do something for me," he begins. He's looking at me in such a way that now I'm beginning to get nervous.

"What?" I try not to sound apprehensive. Daniel reaches into his pocket and... pulls it back out. Nothing.

"I told you about the quarantine, right?" Daniel begins. He knows that he did, but I just nod politely. "Right," Daniel nods pretty much to himself. "I already told you that." I try to look at him encouragingly, but frankly, he's sort of freaking me out here.

"Well, outside of work and a few assorted books and magazines, we didn't have a lot to occupy ourselves." He pauses and looks back up towards the espresso machine. "In less than a week, Jack had pretty much driven everyone nuts.." Daniel looks at me as if I know exactly what he is talking about.

Nope. Sorry Daniel -not a clue.

"You see," Daniel explains, "Jack is really, really bad at sitting still." I smile. This I can see. "Really bad," Daniel emphasizes. I nod in complete understanding.

"We were limited to about a one block radius for much of the time we were er.. sequestered." I nod again. Not that I can exactly envision where he and Jack were, but I'm getting the idea that they had very limited mobility.

"I mean, every day or so we could escape for a half hour or so, but it wasn't until the third week that we could spend any discernible time away from one another." Daniel shakes his head and holds up his hands. "Never mind," he insists. "What I'm trying to say is that Jack was very, very bored, and Sam and I were willing to do just about anything to get him to just sit." Okay. I give Daniel another encouraging smile. He sighs softly and steals another glance at the coffee behind me.

"So, one day T..Murray of all people suggests that we play cards," Daniel continues. "As long as we varied the games, Jack was pretty much placated and Sam and I could count on at least a couple hours of non-Jack interrupted work." I smile. Gotcha.

"But, the only way to keep Jack happy." Daniel did not pronounce "happy" in a happy way. "Was to vary the rules."

Vary the rules? Oh God, they didn't play strip poker did they? I feel my face go warm and chide myself to stop being ridiculous. If Daniel and Jack (and Sam and Murray) had been playing strip poker, there is no way he'd be telling me all about it!

Daniel gestures. "Yeah, like play for chores and things."

Oh. Well, that makes sense.

"You mean you placed bet?"

"Yeah." Daniel shakes his head and mumbles a few words in something that sounded an awful lot like Egyptian Arabic, but with a really weird accent.

"Fixing meals, taking out the trash - things like that."

"Doesn't sound so bad," I say trying to make Daniel feel better. Judging from his expression, Daniel isn't the world's best poker player.

"You wouldn't think so, would you?" Daniel replies absently, looking at the espresso machine again. He shakes his head. "As I was saying," Daniel starts again, "in the beginning it was kind of fun. Amusing really. But then Jack started to throw in his own 'terrestrial rules' version." Huh?


Daniel drops his head to his chest and slowly shakes it side to side. "This is all Jack's fault!" he cries.

I am so confused.

"Never mind," Daniel says dismissing my obvious confusion and moving on. "The bottom line Kira, is that Jack started betting things like.." he used his right hand to tick them off. "'Picking up my dry cleaning' or 'Spending a weekend with me fishing' - things like that." Daniel chuckled and gave me a sly smile. "Murray really didn't like that one!" His smile fades. "Or," Daniel pauses again and reaches back into his pocket.

"Or?" I repeat. Whatever is in his pocket must be good.

"Rationing my coffee," Daniel gushes in one long breath as he pulls out a well-worn piece of paper. Why do I have a funny feeling this was placed in the betting pool several times?

"Rationing your coffee?" I repeat.

"Yeah, Jack knew all of us were really dying for a good cup of coffee and thought it would be fun to throw a little 'final death' into the betting pot." Daniel didn't sound like he thought it would be fun at all.

"Read," he insists, handing me the paper.

"I hereby certify," I read aloud, "That [fill in the blank] purchased only ONE (1) small cup of coffee (single shot of espresso) and is leaving the store with only ONE-HALF (1/2) pound of coffee. Signed this [fill in the blank] day of February, 2001." In a bright blue scrawled addition was added, "Dr. Daniel Jackson" and "23rd" in the blanks. What really surprised me was the last line.

"Hey, that's my name!" I say, as I notice the "official" signer of this document was to be none other than me!

"Well, it was pretty much a given that either Jack or I would come straight to Victor's, Kira," Daniel explains, giving me a small smile. Jack was willing to amend the coffee shop and/or barista if either Sam or Murray lost." Daniel huffed a little. "He didn't think that was going to happen."

I can't help but grin as I look around for a pen. Instantly Daniel places a beautiful Waterman fountain pen in my hand. "It's been 23 days, Kira," Daniel agonizes. "Please sign the damn thing and get me the strongest single short Americano you can make!"

"Single short Americano!" I call to Stefan. I know he has been listening in to our entire conversation, and for all I know, has already made the darn drink! I bend over to sign the paper, but am afraid of tearing the worn paper against my knee.

"Kira, you're killing me here!" Daniel cries in desperation as he looks longingly at the steaming coffee awaiting him on the counter. Guess, he isn't allowed to drink until I sign, eh?

"Daniel, you really should do something about this coffee addiction of yours." Daniel motions at me to shut the hell up and turns around so I can use his back as a table. I hastily scrawl my signature against his back.

Damn. He has been working out.

"ThankyouKira," Daniel says in a rush as he practically runs towards the counter and reverently takes the Americano from Stefan. I feel like I'm witnessing something vaguely X-rated as I watch Daniel gingerly cup the steaming liquid to his lips and inhale deeply. "Yes!" he says in reverence as he softly blows on his coffee before taking a small sip. "Yes," he repeats, as a very large smile creeps across his face.

"I can't even begin to describe how good this tastes," Daniel sighs as he beams beatifically at me. He turns back to Stefan (who I think needs to take a cold shower now). "Thank you, Stefan."

Stefan, who had witnessed Daniel's nearly orgasmic coffee bliss, replies in the only way he can. "The pleasure was all mine, man." I nearly lose it right there. Luckily, I cover my strong desire to laugh with a few well-timed coughs. Before the situation could get any more ridiculous, I hear the door open and a new customer walk in.

Ah! Saved by the customer.

"Good Morning, Campers!" Jack greets us jovially, as he strides into the shop and slaps Daniel heartily on the back. So much for 'saved by the customer'.

"Enjoying your coffee, Daniel?" Jack asks. Oh, that man is evil. Daniel takes another long drink of his Americano before turning to face Jack.

"Why, yes Jack. I am. How nice of you to FOLLOW me to ascertain this."

'Ascertain?' Jack mouths to me. I try not to giggle. This whole morning is like something out of Shakespearian comedy or something. On second thought, maybe a tragedy.

"Everything signed in proper order?" Jack asks Daniel while looking straight at me. I hand him the signed paper.

"Yes, Jack." Daniel says petulantly. Man! I can only imagine what those last three weeks must have been like! Shaking his head, Daniel returns back to the counter. "Stefan, could you also bag for me one HALF pound of Italian/French blend? Whole bean."

"Make sure that's a half pound only now," Jack adds helpfully.

"Half pound French/Italian whole bean," Stefan confirms to Daniel. "You got it, Dr. J." Dr. J.? I suppose I should be thankful. He could have called Daniel 'Professor Yummy'.

"And while you're at it," Jack asks. "May I also have a cup of drip coffee, please?"

"Do you need a signed note as well?" I ask. Daniel snorts quietly into his coffee. Jack gives Daniel a superior look.

"That would be 'no'," he replies smugly.

"Oh, and would you make it a large cup, Stefan?" Jack asks. The look Daniel gives Jack is positively glacial.

"I'll get you, Jack."

"No you won't, Daniel."

"You have to sleep sometime, Jack."

"I'm a very light sleeper, Daniel."

"Here's your coffee!" Stefan interrupts loudly, as he places a large double-cupped large coffee in front of Jack and a half pound of beans in front of Daniel. He rings up Daniel first, who pointedly does not pay for Jack's large coffee. Jack cheerfully pays for his own coffee and says his goodbyes.

"Oh, Kira?"


"You still have that boyfriend - what was his name. Kevin?"

"Kyle," I supply helpfully.

"Ah, yes. KYLE." Could Jack put any more emphasis on Kyle's name? Geesh.

"Well, I do hope you told KYLE what I emailed you about a few weeks ago." He gives me a rather serious look and I nod quickly. Yeah - absolutely. Sure, Jack!

"Good!" Jack replies jovially as he clasps Daniel on the shoulder again. Daniel doesn't look like he at all appreciates the gesture. "Oh quit being so melodramatic Daniel!" Jack says to his friend. "Let's head on over to Carter's and see if she has finished setting up her pink flamingo lawn ornaments!"

More Author's Notes: And so ends Season 4 Barista tales! I was going for laugh-at-loud reactions with this one, and hope I succeeded.

My vacation was grand (in case you were wondering), and I have returned home with loads of story ideas (some Barista, and some [gasp!] non-Barista). This story is dedicated to Louise, my British SG-partner in crime, who insisted I watch the rest of Season 8 (about ten episodes for me). I can't tell you how inspired I was (to write) by both Threads and Moebius). I will say no more, but highly recommend these episodes! *EG*

I'll have you know I did see Al Hambra (wow!) and a nice little section of Spanish countryside. However, I also spent a rather embarrassing amount of time watching Stargate DVDs on my laptop (again, I blame it on those last four episodes of Season 8). I swear, the next time I'm in Spain; I will NOT bring my laptop and I WILL know more Spanish. Well, at least more than "Dos mas cervathes, por favor". *G*

Completed March 23, 2005

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