Title: Barista 42 -- Another Day in the Life
Season: Season 5
Spoilers: 0504 -The Fifth Man 0506 -Rite of Passage
Category General/Humor
Rating: PG-13 (Language)

Notes: I think this will appease both those who wanted something longish, and those who thought I should stick to one barista per SG episode. There's a theme in this one. ::smile:: Really!

It's been three weeks since I sent out those applications. So far, I have heard a 'thanks, but we're not hiring' reply; 'send us an updated resume after you've graduated' reply; and a promising request for a translation sample from the London foundation. I never really thought I'd hear back from the CIA (3,000 resumes a month!), and I think I'm kinda happy about that.

"Kira, phone!" I cringe as I hear Stefan shouting my name. I have no idea why Victor even bothered to buy these phones with transfer buttons -all anyone does around here is scream at one another.

Due entirely to the noisy espresso machine of course.

"Got it!" I shout in return not feeling even remotely hypocritical; the machine is running after all.


"Kira?" I smile to myself. Why if it isn't my favorite archaeologist!

"Hi, Daniel," I reply in a far better mood than I was in just moments ago. "We still on for this afternoon?" Daniel has been such an amazing help with this course I'm taking in linguistic classification systems. He keeps bringing up these crazy 'what if' scenarios that leaves me chomping at the bit to try to solve. This is by far my favorite class to date, and I'm seriously contemplating doing my thesis on alternative paradigms in the cataloging of ancient languages.

I am so the nerd.

"Yeah, about that..." Daniel's voice trails off. "I'm going to have to cancel on you, I'm afraid."

I try to hide my disappointment. "Should I even try and ask why?" After hearing years of both believable and unbelievable excuses (my favorite is still 'kidnapped by aliens'), I always give Daniel an easy out.

"Probably not," Daniel says with an audible sigh. "Hold on a second, Kira." I can only imagine that Daniel is now covering the phone, for all I can hear are muffled voices. Ah, but unbeknownst to Daniel, I have great hearing. Plus, the whole linguist thing means I'm pretty good at discerning conversations.

Even conversations I'm probably not supposed to hear.

"I'm going to ask her."

"Daniel, you can't!"
"I'm not going to say anything Sam -just ask."
"This is really not a good idea."
"And hacking into base security was?"

I'm doing my best not to laugh as Daniel comes back on the phone. "Kira, have you ever heard either Jack or I mention a Lt. Tyler in the last couple of weeks?" I think about it for a moment.

"No," I say finally. "Who's Tyler?"

"Er, no one," Daniel says too quickly, as he deftly changes the subject. "I'm not sure how long I'm going to be stuck on base, but I'll try and stop by in the next couple of days, okay?"

"Sure," I reply. "Take care of yourself, Daniel. And tell Sam hi from me." Daniel says goodbye and hangs up. I spend a couple of seconds staring at the phone.

I really do have weird friends.

I'm behind the counter when Jerk Number 351 comes through the front door (yes, we do keep track). Instantly I know he's a Jerk because of the way he's talking on his cell phone. Yeah, I know -cell phones may be the wave of the future, but they sure can be annoying.

"I don't care if you are caught, piggy back on the hack and give me a name!" Had this guy been in an office, he so would have slammed down his phone.

"Idiots!" he mumbles to himself, as he gets in the short line to order. I take the order of the woman in front of me, as I ponder the well-dressed Jerk behind her. I know I'm staring at him, but I can't help it -the guy looks really familiar. I have just finished counting back the nice lady's change, when it hits me.

"Q!" I say aloud.

"Excuse me?" Jerk sneers with a huff, as he steps up to the counter.

"Has anyone ever told you that you look a lot like the character 'Q' from Star Trek?" Jerk frowns and does not look amused. I wonder if it is because he hears it all the time, or heck, maybe he is the actor who played Q!

"No," he says finally, glaring at me with poorly hidden scorn. Guess he's not an actor. I also don't think Jerk 351 likes me.

"My mistake," I say sweetly in return. It always throws these rude guys for a loop when I'm uber nice girl. It doesn't hurt me for karma either. "What can I get you?"

"Double tall Americano." He says it in a tone that implies I'm a lowly servant girl and he's the Lord of the Manor. Two or three years ago, that probably would have offended me, but now? Hell, I might even be more educated than him!

Even if I don't exactly know what I want to do with all this education.

I really wish he hadn't ordered Daniel's favorite drink though, it almost seems blasphemous, ya know? I (grudgingly) ring up the order and am not surprised when he gives me the exact change, and then only drops a few (lightweight) coins into the tip jar. He is just picking up his drink at the end of the bar when his cell phone rings.

"Simmons." Ah, so Monsieur Jerk has a name. He listens for a few moments and then smiles. It isn't a very nice smile.

"I knew it had to be one of the Wonder Twins who did it," he says with contempt. "Too damn smart for their own good..." He listens for a few moments. "How much did she see?" Apparently, whatever it was, it doesn't seem to concern Jerk Man. Er, I mean 'Simmons'. "A four digit number isn't going to tell them a damn thing," he replies cryptically. I really need to stop eavesdropping -it's always so unsatisfying to hear just one side of the conversation!

"And there is still no medical reason for their group delusion?" Obviously, he doesn't give a lot of credence to this particular delusion. Wonder what it is? He pauses while the person on the other end replies. "Good!" he replies, flashing that superior-looking smile (so similar to 'Q' I'll have you know...) "Keep me informed of anything new -I'll be on the base in 15." With that, he hangs up the phone, stuffs it into his suit pocket and picks up his coffee.

Base huh? I sure hope he's not heading to Cheyenne Mountain - I don't see him and Jack getting along too well. I hope he's like some kind of visiting Washington oversight guy or something (the suit is a dead giveaway), and will leave in the morning. He totally gives me the creeps.

Even if he does look like Q.

Stefan is behind the counter, and I'm on the machines when a cute teenage couple comes in a few days later. Rather than go straight up to the counter, they stand in the back of the store and contemplate the overhanging menu. I always laugh when I see folks do this -it's a coffee shop for crying out loud, I mean, it isn't like there are things on it you've never seen before.

"Damn, too young." Stefan murmurs under his breath as I take the order from a 30-something guy in line. It takes all my self-control not to cringe at his comment. You know for a minority himself, Stefan is completely un P.C.

"Plus, the kid is straight," I add, when I turn my back to get the 30-something's coffee bean order. Both of us know that we're talking about the cute 16-year-old boy and not the equally cute young woman hanging on his arm. I glance at the lovebirds behind my shoulder, and then turn back around and do a complete double take. Hey! She isn't just doing the teenage "hanging on your boyfriend's arm" thing; she's really hanging on his arm. I'm contemplating asking her if she needs help, when her boyfriend beats me to it.

"Cass, are you all right?" cute kid worriedly asks, giving his girlfriend additional support around her waist. Points for the boyfriend!

"I'm fine," she replies, sounding every inch a petulant teenager. Ah man! When did I get so old? "Just need some caffeine."

"You sure?" he asks not sounding convinced as he tightens his grip on her waist. "You feel a bit warm..."

"Don't you start with me, Dominic!" she says angrily, pulling away from his embrace. "It was all I could do to convince my mom to let me go to school today."

"You have been sick this past week."

"It was just a cold -no big deal." Boyfriend Dominic doesn't look like he believes her. "Besides," she croons (totally laying it on thick), "if I hadn't convinced her I was better, she wouldn't have agreed to let me go out tonight."

"She wouldn't have made you stay in on your birthday!"

"You don't know my mom," she mutters shaking her head. "Consider yourself lucky she didn't lock me an ICU or something."

"Oh, come on Cass -she can't be that bad." Wow. A boyfriend actually sticking up for mom -wonders never cease.

"Ha!" Cass replies, shaking her head. "Remember when I got the chicken pox last year? My mom totally took me back..." her voice trails off, and she shakes her head as if trying to dispel the memory. "It doesn't matter," she says finally. "Let's just say that I wasn't exactly sitting at home watching soap operas during the week I missed school."

"Bummer." Now he's sounding like the 16-year-olds I remember! They have just stepped up to the counter when I realize...


"Oh my gosh, Kira!" Cassie replies, all smiles. Wow! I seriously don't know if I would have recognized her had we just passed casually on the street. Cassie was a little girl when I saw her in the park a couple of years ago. And now? Well, let's just say I'm not surprised she has a boyfriend.

"How are you?" we ask at the same time.

"You first," I urge. No one is behind them, so there's no rush.

"Oh you know -school..."

"And boyfriends," I tease. Cassie blushes.

"Dominic, this is Kira," she says, introducing us.

"Hey," Dominic greets me, in that ever so effusive way teenage boys tend to have. Damn, there I go again! I am old!

"How are you?" Cassie asks. "Every now and then I hear about what you're studying from either Jack or Daniel."

"Really?" I can't help it -knowing that Jack and/or Daniel mention me to others makes me feel all warm and glowy inside.

"Oh yeah -the stories we heard from Daniel when you were in Egypt last year! I thought Jack was going to shove Daniel back thru the...well, back to the desert!" I grin.

"What would you like to drink?" I ask them.

"I'll have a tall iced mocha," Cassie says and Dominic..."

"I'll have an almond latte," Dominic finishes.

"Hot?" Cassie scoffs, "it's at least 80 degrees out!"

"I like my coffee drinks hot," Dominic explains. Fair enough. Cassie and I continue to chat about our favorite military guys (I'm smart enough to realize that I won't be making her happy if I ask how her mom is doing) as Stefan makes the drinks. I try to prevent them from paying, but Cassie won't hear anything of it. She is certain Jack would find out that I hadn't allowed them to pay for their drinks, and give her hell. Yeah, right.

Cassie is handing me over a ten-dollar bill and two quarters (total charge: $5.50) when all of a sudden I yelp and drop the coins on the counter; I've just been shocked!

My fingers might be smarting, but poor Cassie looks like she might faint. "Cassie, should I call your mom?" I ask, resisting the urge to shake my hands to stop their tingling.

"I'm fine," she whispers, looking at my fingertips. "Sorry, Kira."

"That'll teach me not to handle coins without being grounded," I joke. Cassie doesn't seem to find it particularly funny. They pick up their drinks from Stefan, and after assuring me that she'd tell her mom, and all those I know hello from me, left.

Right as she exited the door, our lights flickered. I look at my reddened fingertips and make a mental note to talk to Victor about having the store checked out by an electrician.

It's late when I get home. I eat leftover Chinese food directly out of the carton and power up my laptop for another rousing evening of linguistic literacy. I'm nearly ready to call it a night when I notice three new messages in my "junk" folder. I never get anything except spam in this folder, but haven't quite opted to have it all automatically deleted -- you never know when that cute TA from Antiquities is going to drop me a line...

I delete an advertisement for hair growth and another for GIRLS XOXOX. The third one just says, "Regarding Linguistic Position". I'm positive it's going to be a "position" that isn't exactly wholesome, when I read whom it's from.

No WAY. I blink and rub my eyes in disbelief. This so has to be a joke.

I read it again.

No joke.

"Dear Applicant,

My name is Judy, and I assist with the recruitment for the CIA's analytic component, the Directorate of Intelligence.

We want to thank you for submitting your resume to the CIA, and to ask you to complete the following documents as a next step in working with the Central Intelligence Agency."

The email goes on for another few paragraphs discussing how I made it through the first part of the application process and describes in detail what more they need from me. I read thru the entire email message twice and check out the three attachments. Apparently they want me to fill out an initial security form; school transcripts; and an original analytical or linguistic writing sample. Whoa. I sit in the dark and stare at my computer for several minutes in complete awe. It's one o'clock in the morning and I've just passed the first hurdle towards working for the CIA. I think words like "surreal" were invented for just such an occasion. I want to call a friend (or two), but still am not certain if that email will be there in the morning. What kind of name is "Judy" for a CIA recruiter anyhow?

I power down my computer and head to bed. I'm certain I'm going to dream about Mulder and Scully tonight. Oh, I know they're FBI and this is the CIA -but both are just so completely outside my league...

What the heck as I going to do next?

That's two completed post term. See? I am loads better when I don't have to juggle full time work and full time school. I said I'd post three by July 4th, and I'm going to do my darndest to stick to it. I will be travelling over the July 4th holiday, so while I probably will have it written, i might have to wait until I get home to post (the downside of hosting your own website). Stay tuned!

Completed June 22, 2005

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