Title: The Barista- 07- Small World
Author: dietcokechic
Email: dietcokechic@hotmail.com
Season: 1
Category: Drabble, Hurt/Comfort
Episode related: 117 Solitudes

I have been contemplating for almost a week now as to what to say to Daniel Jackson the next time I see him. See, I had received a very strange (and long!) email from a friend of mine down at McMurdo and I hadn't a clue what to make of it. I mean the odds that Daniel... I shake my head and go back to wiping down the tables. I figure I'll suss it out by the time I see the guy.

Naturally that was the exact moment the good Dr. Jackson chose to walk through the front door. The guy didn't look so good and I couldn't help but wonder if he goes looking for trouble or if he's just one of those fortunate few who get lucky. Once again he had that lack of sleep thing going for him, and I could see what appeared to be a healing gash on his forehead. I'll say this for the guy though, he might have looked like hell, but he sure seemed happy.

"Good morning Kira!" Daniel says, greeting me with way more enthusiasm than I thought was warranted. After all, it WAS barely 6 am. After observing Daniel Jackson for the last six months, I had come to realize that he only got up before the sun because he was forced too.

"Hey Daniel," I reply, giving him a small smile. "Double tall latt?"

"Better make it a triple," Daniel says, flashing me a grin. "And let's make it a breve."

"Caffeine and artery-clogging calories, eh Dr. Jackson?"

"I've been told that I need to eat more," Daniel explains sheepishly. I pretend to eye him critically. Well, all right. I DID eye him critically, but I wasn't just checking out his ass ok? Daniel always seemed to have that 'Feed Me' look about him.

"Somehow, I don't think 12 oz of half and half is exactly what Janet wanted," I reply placing the cream under the steamer.

"You remember Janet, huh?" Uh oh. Sheepish look again. Hadn't we already been through this?

"She might be small, but that lady had presence!" Daniel laughs.

"I'll say so!" He says with a knowing nod. "Actually speaking of whom, can I get her a double tall latte to go? Better make it with 1% milk."

"Sure." I quickly go to work on the drinks and wondered if I would be brave enough to ask him. I mean what's the worst thing that can happen? He thinks me a total freak and never comes in again? Yeah. That.

"How's school coming Kira?" Daniel asks conversationally.

"Good!" I reply with real enthusiasm. "I've just started a quarter long course centered on the great libraries of Antiquity and am really looking forward to reading everything I can on Alexandria."

"I can loan you a few books on the topic if you'd like?"

"Really?" Whoa. That would be fantastic. So fantastic that I shouldn't blow it by opening my mouth and asking him. Hear that Kira? Don't ask.

"Daniel?" I ask handing over both drinks.

"Hmm?" He answers, handing me a $20.

"Have you been to Antarctica lately?" Naturally the moment that left my mouth there was complete silence in the store. We're talking pin-drop silence. Apparently the Natalie Cole CD I had been listening to chose that exact moment to end.

The look on Daniel's face tells me everything I needed to know but I can't blame the guy for attempting to put a little spin on things.

"Why do you ask?" His voice sounds odd and his face was a kaleidoscope of conflicting emotions. Daniel knew instantly that he had blown it though. He shook his head and made his way over to a table. He motioned for me to follow him. As if I could deny this guy any request...

"Kira? What do you know?"

"It's a bloody small planet Daniel," I reply in explanation, plopping myself into a hard plastic chair. To my surprise Daniel burst out laughing. It took him several seconds to compose himself.

"So spill it," he says.

"Right." I take a sip of the hot chocolate I'm drinking and take a deep breath. "My friend is currently stationed as a GA down at McMurdo."


"General Assistant. It's the lowest paying job on the continent, but it IS still a job. The GA's tend to be the ones to shovel snow, set up field camps- stuff like that. She's been down there for nearly three months now."

"Uh huh."

"Well life at McMurdo is pretty mundane until the supply vessel comes in January. The folks there work 6 days a week, 10 hours a day and tend to watch a lot of videos and drink once off duty. Well, last Monday everything went ballistic. All the Raytheon..." Daniel gave me a weird look.

"Raytheon is the sub-contractor working with the National Science Foundation folks," I explain. "Well, that day at breakfast the dining hall was filled with rumors. Seems the SAR team; the Search and Rescue guys, had been called out on a job at 2 o'clock in the morning. No one knew where they were going or what they were doing, but two helicopters and virtually all the McMurdo medical personal had gone with them. Needless to say folks were curious."

"I can imagine." Came the non-committal reply.

"After breakfast my friend went to work helping a team move furniture into one of the newly built dormitories. She had done quite a bit of furniture moving and had told me it wasn't a big deal. Her words were, 'Beats standing in a gym pumping iron.'" Daniel gave me a small smile.

"Unfortunately on the way out of the building she slipped on a patch of ice and the bureau she had been helping to carry came crashing down on her leg."

"Ouch," Daniel says grimacing. I nod. "Yeah." I take another sip of my drink and glance at my watch. 6:15.

"Marcie was pretty certain her scream was loud enough to wake the dead and very quickly folks had come out of the adjacent buildings to lend a hand. The bureau was lifted up and Marcie was quickly picked up and carried over to medical." I grin. "Daniel, my friend is about 5'2- maybe 110 pounds. She HATES being reminded how little she is. Although her leg hurt like a son of a bitch, to hear her tell it, the humiliation of being carried into the infirmary was the worst part of the whole thing.

It was a little after 11 am when Marcie, her studly savior Thomas and her GA partner Sydney reached the infirmary." I pause and take another big gulp of my drink before setting it down and looking at Daniel as if I'm about to tell him the biggest secret in the world.

"They were stopped 5 feet before the infirmary doors." Daniel seemed to go a little pale.

"They weren't!" I nod. He looks upset at that little snippet of news.

"Yep. And by a pair of military guys none of whom they had seen before! Daniel, it's a mighty small base. Even if you don't know everyone's name, you usually know his or her face. Marcie had never seen these guys before."

"Obviously she was allowed in." Daniel said this very matter of factly. My eyebrows did a funny little arch as I processed the comment. Obviously?

"Of course they had to let her in, I mean her leg was definitely broken and apparently Marcie was contemplating passing out at this stage. I've never broken a bone myself, but I guess they hurt like a mother f.. They hurt a lot." Daniel hid a smile behind his coffee cup.

"Both Thomas and Sydney argued vehemently on Marcie's behalf. Loads of swearing and threatening to sue if Marcie wasn't allowed in for treatment. Eventually the military guys caved. They did however refuse to allow Tom or Syd in but eventually caved and realized that Marcie should probably see a doc. Unceremoniously Marcie was lifted out of Thomas' arms and into one of the military guys'."

"Marcie probably wasn't too keen on that," Daniel surmises, grimacing.

"Definitely." I nod. "She chose to show her appreciation by once again screaming and then passing out." Daniel nodded. Nodded? Nodded as in, yeah- I bet that hurt and was enough to make a person pass out, or nodded as in- yeah I remember hearing that. Curiouser and curiouser.

"She wasn't out very long though because when she came to, someone was taking her blood pressure and asking her to rate her pain on a scale of 1 to 10. She was lying on a bed in a far corner of the infirmary and could hear what sounded to be like a dozen different voices through the curtain surrounding her bed. Someone had just given her a shot and as the pain faded, so did the distinct words associated with the voices. Marcie could tell they were shocking someone, you know like they do on ER. And kept hearing various beeping noises alongside a lot of really worried sounding voices." Daniel had turned even paler and had begun to unconsciously hug his ribs. Damn. I really shouldn't be talking about this should I? I take a deep breath and continue.

"Marcie awoke the second time just as they were finishing up plastering her leg. Apparently someone was very keen to move her out of the infirmary as quickly as possible but the doctor working on her leg refused to do so for at least another hour. Apparently he had some pretty vicious-sounding words with some muckity-muck. Marce was told to keep her leg elevated as the plaster was drying and try and get some sleep. The doc would return in 45 minutes or so.

So there she was lying in a slightly darkened room trying to make sense of everything that had happened and all the strange voices around her, when suddenly someone not medical walks inside. She instantly knew he wasn't a doc and at first thought he was military- but his mannerisms seemed all wrong to be military." Daniel seemed to be shrinking into his chair before my very eyes. Ah Daniel.

"The guy looked like a car-wreck victim she said. He didn't notice her in the beginning and stumbled into the room gulping large quantities of air and throwing himself into one of the chairs in the far corner before covering his face with his hands." I bit my lip. I didn't know if I could go on.

"I know what happened next Kira," Daniel says softly, in a voice that nearly tears my heart in two. I reach out a give Daniel's hand a brief squeeze. Forward? Nahh- I was just trying to be a friend.

"All she told me was that the man's name was Daniel and that he was very, very worried about his two friends." Daniel nodded but didn't offer me any explanations. That's ok.

"I still wouldn't have even thought of you except for one thing."

"What?" Daniel whispers, looking into my eyes.

"As you and Marcie were talking another woman came into the room. She looked over at Marcie with surprise but still came up to Daniel and gave him a brief hug. She then said 'Sam and the Colonel are going to be all right.' Those were the exact words Marcie told me."

Daniel nods and clears his throat. "Marcie doing ok?" He asks. I smile- god, this guy is SO nice. "Yep. She's scheduled to fly out on the next plane and will be spending most of her recuperation time in Christchurch New Zealand. Much nicer than Colorado in the middle of February don't ya think?" Daniel gives a dry chuckle.

The sound of someone clearing his voice gets my attention. Shit! I glance at my watch; it was after 6:30. I quickly pull myself to my feet and head to the counter to ring up Daniel's order. I apologize to the man waiting and quickly count out Daniel's change and hand it over. Daniel drops a $5 bill into the tip jar.

I am already at the espresso machine whipping up a Grande no foam nonfat latt when I realized I hadn't asked Daniel what I really wanted to know.

"Daniel!" I yell over the noise of the machine.

"Yes?" He answers, turning around.

"Are Captain Sam and Colonel Jack really ok?" He gives me a HUGE smile.

"They're going to be fine," he promises. I give him a huge grin in return and get back to work.

Still enjoying? I only have one or two Season 1 Barista fics left I'm afraid. After that everyone must wait until I actually SEE Season 2. lol. I know, I know- they're out on DVD, but I won't allow myself to buy them until AFTER I finish applying to grad school. If I buy them now, I'll never make the deadlines!

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