Title: Barista Complete Season 4
Author: dietcokechic ( dietcokechic@hotmail.com )
Category: Varied (Gen, Humor, Angst, Romance)
Rating: PG - R (for language, some [minor] sexual content & Stefan-inspired innuendo.

Author's Notes: All Season 4 vignettes together at last!
Date started: August 6, 2004 - Completed: March 23, 2005.

Title: Barista 30--Letters From Egypt
Spoilers: Nemesis (322), Small Victories (401), The Other Side (402)
Category Gen
Rating: PG

Author's Notes: This Barista is a little different, but hopefully just as enjoyable. The difficulty in writing a long-running series is trying to keep everything fresh ( I do try, really, I do!). Every now and then I'll write from a different character's point of view (do I hear any requests for Stephan?) Or go outside the coffee shop for some comic relief (Walk in the Park, Breakfast at IHOPs) For this story, I decided to write a series of letters between Kira in Cairo and Daniel in Colorado. Season 3 technically ended on March 10th (Nemesis air date) and Season 4 technically began on June 30th (Small Victories), so the letters between Kira and Daniel will be taking place between those dates. Give or take a few weeks. I'm playing it a little loose with The Other Side's airdate as I want Daniel and Kira to talk about it (just a little) before Kira comes home in time for Upgrades. Oh yeah. How can I not write a little something about Upgrades?

The historical bits about the Cairo, Egypt and the Library of Alexandria are based on fact.


  • Baksheesh- basically a tip; often used to grease the wheels so to speak
  • Feluka- Egyptian sailing barge/boat

March 15, 2000

Dear Daniel,

I know it is a bit old fashioned of me to be writing you a letter, but seeing as how you're an Archaeologist and I'm studying ancient History, I'd say we're pretty much old-fashioned type of people! I know email is quicker, but there's just something to be said about writing a friend a handwritten letter. Besides. I don't actually have your email address. (Oops!) I know where you work Daniel, and I do have both Jack's work and cell phone number, but I don't actually have your email address. Isn't that kind of funny?

So how are you doing? I was told that you would be transferred back to Cheyenne Mountain the next day-how did that go? I still feel a little guilty for hopping a plane to Egypt while you were stuck in a hospital bed. Outside of birth and getting my tonsils out when I was three, I have never been in a hospital. Except to visit friends of course. ;> But wouldn't it be better to have stayed in Denver? At least there, you had a room with a view- not to mention fresh air! Still, I can imagine it was nice to be back on familiar ground with your own doctor again. Daniel, you do realize how completely bizarre it is that that you *have* your own doctor, right? You know, one who can look at you for three seconds and figure out that your electrolytes are low and you really need to get more sleep. (I know you're smiling at this, because you have told me about what a great doctor and friend Janet Fraiser is. Sure, I have gone to the same doctor for three years now, but I see her only once a year, and I doubt she would remember my name if we passed on the street. So trusting that everything is fine and you are now up and around, I am going to move on to.

Cairo! Oh Daniel, I can so understand how you could fall in love with this country. I mean, not only is it warm and exotic looking, but the smells and languages and history. I think I'm in love! I went to an open market yesterday and bought 100 grams of cinnamon in a cool newspaper cone-like "bag". I love how the spices are wrapped up here! And saffron! Daniel, do you know how much saffron costs at home? Here's it's only a fraction of the price. If I'm not careful, I'm going to have to learn how to cook, if only to find a use for all these gorgeous spices!

Tomorrow we're headed to Giza and I can't tell you how excited I am to see the ancient pyramids in person. I can't believe they were built nearly 5,000 years ago! Just think how advanced we were back then and how far we must have fallen. I can't help but wonder what went wrong? So, Dr. Jackson, which theory do you proscribe to? Were the pyramids built using ramps, or are you more of the block and lever sort of guy? I am currently reading a book about the pyramids and amazed at how many different theories there are as to how it was built!

Next week a bunch of us are taking a long weekend and heading south towards Aswan; I can't believe the last real rain they received was over 5 years ago! Whoa. I'm definitely bringing my camelpak with me. I don't care if I look like an American tourist, rather a hydrated American tourist than a sick one. I'm looking forward to taking a train this time, but have been told that it's actually quite cheap to hire a cab to take you around Egypt a la tour guide. Maybe next time!

I'm afraid I'm as long-winded with the pen as I am in person. Take care of yourself Daniel and give Jack a big hug from me.

-- Kira

March 28, 2000

Hi Kira!

Glad to hear you are enjoying Cairo and Egyptian countryside. Did you know I was less than a year old the first time I visited the pyramids at Giza? I don't remember it of course, but I do have a photo of my mother and I sitting on a camel in front of the Cheop's Pyramid. Did I tell you that my parents were archaeologists? The first five years of my life were spent mostly in Egypt and Tunsia. Now as to my opinion of how the pyramids were built.well, let's just say that I'm part of the fringe group of archaeologists that believes there might be more to the pyramids than just some really large rocks.

You're going to love your visit to Aswan and I can't wait to hear all about it. Make sure to check out Elephantine Island. Yes, I know that's mostly an archaeological attraction, but trust me, it's worth it. It's a bit of a ways away, but you would really enjoy a side trip to Nag Hammadi. It might take a bit of baksheesh, but try and find a local to take you to the place the codices were found. It may not be the ancient library of Alexandria, but there is no doubt Nag Hammadi was also a library of some importance. Also, before you leave the country, you must take a feluka ride up the Nile. Just make sure you and the driver have agreed upon everything (food, water, accommodations) up front first. Believe me, you don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a boat operator demanding more money (been there, done that, and don't have the t-shirt, because the damn feluka driver took it from me!)

I am doing much better and have been released from Dr. Frasier's Hall Of Pain. No, no- Janet is a wonderful doctor and I really do feel pretty much back to normal. Which reminds me.. did I thank you properly yet? Kira, I seriously don't know what I would do without your quick thinking. Jack tells me that if you weren't around, he would seriously consider making me wear one of those kids I.D emergency bracelets every time I left the base. But because I have the good sense to have my "moments" in your presence, he says he'll just trust you to let him know when help is needed. Which reminds me, when did Jack give you his cell phone number?

Life continues pretty much the same over here in Colorado. We did have a bit of a situation last week, but in the end Jack, Sam and Murray prevailed. It was hard from me not to be with them, and I am pretty certain Janet had airmen following me around to make sure I ate and slept. She denied it of course, but I knew something up when Sgt. Siler invited me to lunch one day. Siler is our electrical specialist and he tends to talk Sam's language more than my own. But the man has a good heart and almost rivals me in being accident-prone!

Jack is still pestering me to see my scar and I swear he is looking forward to our next field assignment, if only for the chance to see my scar up close. I haven't a clue what you might think of that last sentence, but just to clarify- Usually when Jack, Sam, Murray and I go on a field assignment, I share a tent with Jack. Next week however, I think I'll ask Sam if she's interested in switching bunk mates for the evening. Just to annoy Jack of course! Besides, I am curious if the rumor of Sam's snoring is true.

I still occasionally go to Victor's for coffee, but I have to tell you that it just isn't the same. Stephan does make a mean mocha, but his blatant flirting with me is kind of hard to take first thing in the morning. Has he met Sam before? I was thinking of asking Sam to pretend to be my girlfriend sometime-maybe then he'd leave me alone.

Just a thought.

Take care of yourself Kira and enjoy the marvels of Egypt! I look forward to pictures and stories when you return.


P.S. I told Jack that you had requested that I give him a big hug, and he just looked at me funny and said, "I don't think so Daniel." He went on to tell me that he'll just collect that hug from you when you return.

April 16, 2000

Hi Daniel!

Thank you so much for your chatty letter! Everyone was envious of me when I was given your letter at lunchtime. I think we (folks my age) have forgotten how much fun it is to get a letter! I betcha at least a few of my classmates headed straight to their rooms after lunch to write their family and friends.

I am now really curious as to your theory on the pyramids and may try and get you drunk sometime and find out! I have seen your drinking tolerance up close Dr. Jackson, and I do believe I would be able to drink you under the table! Just call me Marion, Indy..

Both Nag Hammadi and Aswan were amazing-I didn't get your letter until after my trip, but luckily a friend talked me into going to Nag Hammadi with her and I don't regret it at all (despite the long bus ride).

Least you think I do nothing but tour the countryside, I should tell you a little about my classes. I am taking conversational Arabic (of course) and have even developed a slight Egyptian accent. My Israeli friends make fun of me as their Arabic has a complete different accent. Heck, Standard Arabic is rather different than Egyptian Arabic. Ah, but when in Rome.

Now learning how to read Arabic is much more difficult! True, it doesn't matter which region you live in, all Arabic is "spelled" the same-but man! It is not easy. Arahmaic is LOADS easier. But then again, there are only a few hundred verbs in Arahmaic and several thousand in modern Arabic.

I am also taking an Ancient History course, a modern History course and the requisite archaeological course (grin). I adore all my classes, but am surprised by the level of homework I have every evening. How am I supposed to see the country, if I have to be typing up a paper on the Gods and Mythology of Ancient Egypt! Geesh.

I do have a roommate over here, although she is seldom home. Her name is Helen and she is from England. The first week of school she met an Egyptian boy at a club and they have been inseparable ever since. His name is Mosi and he's super cute! Sorry, I know you don't care if he's cute or not-that just came out. Mosi just invited Helen to meet his parents next weekend and both are looking forward to it. Actually, I take that back. Helen is looking forward to it. Mosi? Well, he's worried about what his parents will think of Helen. Oh, he wants to introduce her to them, it's just that he's never had a Western girlfriend before.

Dang! It's 11 o'clock already. I still have a translation to do, so I had best say goodnight. Take care of yourself Daniel and write when you can!

-- Kira

May 8, 2000

Dear Kira,

Reading your letters makes me nostalgic for the sands of Egypt. Or at least an Egypt-like country. I have asked General Hammond if it might be possible for me to visit my father-in-law sometime in the next few months and he's going to see what he can do to get me the time off.

So how did the meeting go between Mosi (which means 'born first' by the way) and Helen? My first meeting with Kasuf (who later became my father-in-law) was rather interesting and a bit awkward. He too had strong religious beliefs and became alarmed when he discovered that I didn't share in those beliefs. Hopefully Mosi's parents are as open-minded as Kasuf and his people. If all else fails, I find that chocolate tends to be a universal icebreaker.

Wow, you are taking a full load, aren't you? While it's true that there are many more people who speak Standard Arabic over Egyptian Arabic, you'll find that more of the ancient languages tend to sound more like Egyptian Arabic than standard. And considering you're getting your degree in Ancient History, this could be helpful! You'll have to tell me about your archaeology class! Who's teaching it? What are you studying? Will you go on any digs? Can I come?

It has been a very boring May for me so far as I developed a minor infection on a trip abroad and Janet won't allow me out of her sight until it clears up. The good news is that it gives me a lot of time to catch up on my cataloging, but I miss being out in the field. Plus, there's the fact that Jack keeps popping by every other hour to ask me a question or show me his latest yo-yo trick. Sam gave him a Game Boy for Christmas last year and he keeps challenging me to play Final Fantasy with him. Still, I suppose it is better than Yugioh Duel Monsters IV.

Sam is doing well and is actually playing the rebel and growing her hair out! Well, not long or anything, but Jack kinda ribbed her about it the other night at dinner (something about growing her hair out to pick up guys. In Jack's defense [although I know there is very little], we HAD been drinking). Sam just looked at him with that enigmatic look of hers and asked him if her hair length offended him. I believe she said something like, "Sir, do you believe the length of my hair affects my ability to do my job?" And then they shared one of those freaky military moments of theirs before Jack turned away and mumbled something about "No pony tails Major". Murray was highly amused by the conversation, and later I had to draw him a picture of a little girl with pony tails; he was a little confused.

Continue to have wonderful adventures and I look forward to your next Egyptian installment!


May 20, 2000

Dear Daniel,

Now, don't laugh, but I dropped one of my current history classes to enroll in a 4-week crash course in underwater archaeology. I know what you're going to say, and this does NOT mean I am leaning towards archaeology! All it means is that I have nearly an insatiable desire to know more about the library of Alexandria. As I'm sure you know, the "experts" are still arguing as to who is to blame for Alexandria's demise. But one thing we know for sure, is that sometime in the middle ages, a series of earthquakes and floods caused most of the entire palace area of the North East quarter of the city to submerge. I want to see it with my own two eyes, and the only way I can is if I take this course. I don't doubt there is much to learn archaeologically speaking from exploring the submerged ruins, but my interest in it is purely historical. Really!

I hope your minor infection has cleared up and you are able to go on field assignments with the rest of your team. Just as long as you be careful! While I still get confused when you come to the shop sporting a tan in the middle of winter, I would rather be befuddled, then see you with your arm in a sling or a black eye. So try and steer clear of trouble, ok?

Yesterday I took the plunge and visited a Shisha café. While it is true that I don't smoke in the states, I thought I'd try the local thing and see if maybe water pipe smoking tastes/feels better than cigarette smoking; oh how wrong I was! That stuff is just plain nasty! The old men in the café laughed loudly as I felt like I was coughing up my internal organs. Sure, the bubbling hookah pipes look cool, and I (for a brief moment) felt very exotic sitting there in my white linen skirt with an ancient smoking pipe at my side. I could almost pretend like I was in Ancient Egypt, except for the fact that I am a woman and I doubt the ancients allowed their women to smoke with the men out in their tents. No wonder Egyptian women lived longer than men.

I am sorry to say that the meeting between Helen and Mosi's parents didn't go at all well. I thought only Neo-Nazis and Fundamentalists (pick a religion-they're all a little nuts) were intolerant! Oh Daniel, Mosi's parents were downright rude to Helen. They called her "unclean" (not knowing she understood some Egyptian) and threatened to disown Mosi if he continued seeing her. Mosi assured Helen he still wanted to see her, but their relationship is totally strained and I don't see how it will last. How can people be so close-minded? I know, I know-this is their land and culture and not my own. But still! There is no damn place for bigotry in my world!

Sorry to get on my soap box there. It feels better to write it down and get it out though.

Send more chocolate!


(friend 'love' Daniel- nothing more!)

June 10, 2000

Dear Kira,

Just quick note as I am heading out of town for a few days and want to get this in the mail before I go. I am so sorry to hear about Helen and Mosi. I hope you don't mind, but I read your letter aloud to Jack last night. We had a little bit of a cultural misunderstanding here a few days ago, and you put into words something that both Jack and I can agree on. Jack was a bit of an ass and for a while there (and he would readily admit to this), and at the time I began to wonder if maybe I shouldn't look for a different commanding officer. Not that Jack is actually MY commanding officer. Well.. I guess he is- but I'm not really military. Well, I am WORKING for the military.. Oh- you know what I mean, don't you? Bottom line? Jack and I had a major falling out and I just didn't know if it could be repaired. I could see how .wrong everything was at this place we went to- but.. but Jack couldn't. Words were exchanged and I thought.. Well, I thought our friendship was over Kira.

Now don't you panic, because if there is one thing I'll say about Jack O'Neill-when he's wrong, he's not afraid to admit it. Actually, I think he's better at admitting fault than I am. Uber education or something I'm sure.

You coming home soon? Stefan just broke up with his boyfriend and is starting to flirt again.


June 20, 2000

Dear Daniel,

I bet I'll make it home before this letter, but it's a thousand and six degrees out right now and I really don't want to leave this air-conditioned library. I am sad to be leaving Egypt, but am looking forward to heading home. I miss the Rockies and my friends. Travelling has been wonderful, but there's just something to be said about coming home, you know? I even miss Victor and his anal coffee-running ways! I am scheduled to open on Friday June 30th, so IF you get this letter before then, feel free to stop by! I'll be the jet-lagged tan girl standing behind the counter. Uggh- jet lag. I bet you don't miss THAT working for the Air Force.

Ah the military. I don't know exactly what happened between you and Jack, Daniel, but I am glad you fixed it. Because no matter how much of an ass Jack can be (and I'm sure you have your moments as well), the two of you are really two sides of a coin, and I can't imagine either of your lives without the other. I know I haven't known either one of you all that long, but the friendship you two share is pretty intense and I would hate to see anything break that apart.

Whoa. Way too serious. Sorry!

You know Daniel, one of these days you're going to have to tell me what you really do for them. Who knows, maybe I can talk you into giving me a tour of your office! I think next month is "Take your Barista to work day". :> Jack keeps hinting that I should join the Air Force (as if THAT will ever happen), but I wonder, if I DID show an interest, would he take me to his office?

This is Kira signing off. I'll see you soon Daniel.


Author's Notes: Because both Kira (and I) are geeky-here's some links if you'd like to read more about Alexandria:


Title: Barista 31--Out of the Ordinary
Spoilers: Upgrades (403)
Category Gen, Humor
Rating: PG

Author's Notes: I don't think anyone is going to be too surprised at this one. I've been dying to write an 'Upgrades' Barista since I first imagined the series nearly two years ago. Hope you don't find the familiar subject matter/location too redundant! Special thanks to purpleshrub and Sandy for pointing out some rather blatant historical and geographical inconsistancies. I'd like to blame it on the diet coke. Well, that and rushing. ;>


Hello, Colorado! I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be home. Stefan picked me up from the airport and immediately began to fill me in on all the coffee shop gossip.

"Victor is dating a younger woman," Stefan says scandalously, as he maneuvers his 1992 Honda Accord onto I-25.

"How young?" I ask, absorbing all the sights of the Denver suburbs as we head south towards Colorado Springs.

"If she's a day over twenty-five, I'll date a girl!" Stefan declares flamboyantly. I can't help but chuckle at both his choice of words and delivery style.

"Victor isn't that old, Stefan."

"Are you kidding, Kree?" Stefan asks me aghast. "He's at least 40!"

"Right," I reply dryly, "absolutely ancient."

"So," I say casually, tearing my eyes away from the window. "Did anyone interesting come into the shop while I was gone?" Stefan shoots me a knowing look.

"Well, I could tell you all about Matilda and her latest invisible friend," Stefan pauses as I smile. Mattie is a homeless woman who frequents Victors at least once a week. She will come inside when we're slow, and wipe down all our tables for us. In return, we fill up her thermos with hot coffee and give her all the day old Danishes she can stuff into her pockets. I'd love to be able to find Mattie a home off the streets, but she seems to like it there. Mattie often says that the shelters never seem to have room for her and her friend. Mattie's friend changes usually twice a year.

"But," Stefan says as he signals and moves over into the far left lane, "You want to know about Colonel Sumptuous and Professor Yummy."

"God, you're horrible!" I say laughing. Professor Yummy?

"Be nice," Stefan warns, "or I won't tell you all I know."

"All right, spill." I say turning in my seat to give Stefan my full attention.

"Well, I didn't see the professor for several weeks after you left.."

"He was in the hospital," I explain, interrupting. I had forgotten that Stefan didn't know about that.

"He wasn't getting a sex change or anything, was he?"

"Would you stop it?!" I say giving him a hard slap on his thigh.

"Honey, you need to hit harder than that to get me going.."

"Stefan!" I know he's doing this on purpose, but it still tends to get to me. Or amuse me-I frequently alternate between the two.

"Right," Stefan say continuing his tale. "I didn't see Daniel for several weeks, but that cute colonel stopped by a couple of times." Stefan gives me a semi-scandalous look. "Once, he even had a gorgeous blonde lady on his arm." Gorgeous blonde lady? Jack, dating? Well, I'll be! I think about that for a full minute before it finally hits me - he must be talking about Sam.

Hey! Wait just a gosh-darn second.

On his arm?! Daniel would have filled me in if there was some major romance thing going on between his friends. Wouldn't he have?

"She wasn't really hanging on his arm, was she?" I ask with a mixture of fear and apprehension; Jack and Sam? That was just too weird.

"Well," Stefan says searching for his words, "she wasn't so much as hanging on his arm, as standing right next to him." Ha! I knew it!

"And truth be told," Stefan continued, "she wasn't so much as standing right next to him, as saying something like, 'Sir, I'll take a large coffee' as she headed across the street to the Harley shop." "Stefan, one of these days I'm going to hurt you," I say shaking my head.

"Yeah, but I think I'm safe until after you get yourself your own car!"

After Stefan dropped me off at my apt., I unpacked and did several loads of laundry. I called Victor and told him I was home, and got my work schedule for the following week. I cleaned my room, had a much needed short nap and found myself wide-awake and bored out of my mind at 6:30 pm. Ah, the joys of jet lag.

Most of my friends were either home with relatives or spending the summer gallivanting across Europe or Asia. Although I did take an extra two weeks to see a bit of Israel and Jordan, I didn't really have the time (read: money) to do any serious touring this year. Besides, Victor was counting on me to keep the store in one piece when he went on vacation at the end of the month.

What to do, what to do.

I knew that Stefan was home, but as entertaining as the boy-man is, I wasn't really in a Stefan mood. I was in the mood for sitting down at a nice café someplace and getting to know Colorado Springs again. I considered that cute little place on Union Blvd by the university, but wrinkled my nose up and hastily scratched it off my mental list; I had forgotten about Tom, the bicycle messenger. I really didn't want to run into him again.

In the end, I changed my clothes, put on a little lipstick, and caught a cab to O'Malleys.

Don't ask me why I keep going back to this place. I know I'm usually the youngest person there by 10 years or so-but I only have fond memories of the place, and who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky and run into Daniel or Jack.

I am sitting at the end of the bar, when I hear the waitress delivering her order.

"Twelve steaks for table three, Joe," the waitress says, as she hands over her ticket to the line chef. "Don't look at me like that," she says petulantly, "I got the order right."

"Twelve steaks for three people?" The cook says in disbelief. "Is it even possible to eat that much meat?"

"And get this," the waitress says leaning over the counter, "the chick wants a diet coke!"

"You know, I've heard about this crazy new diet that is heavy on meat, but this is ridiculous!" The cook says as he walks away from the counter.

I'll say! I take a moment and carefully scan the dining area in search of the trio who had placed that order. I was looking for a big-boned family, or hungry-looking Europeans-I couldn't find anyone who fit the bill.

There are eight tables filled in the dining room below. Three had 30-something couples, obviously on dates; two were booths full of boisterous college guys obviously gathering sustenance for a night of binge drinking; two held only one person each, and the eighth table.

Holy shit!

If my eyes are not deceiving me, sitting at that last table, is none other than Jack, Daniel and Sam! Jack's leather-clad back was facing me, but I would recognize that silver hair anywhere. Sam seemed to have grown her hair out a bit, but I am positive, the woman sitting next to Jack was the Major Sam. She is dressed in a dark red turtleneck and black leather jacket and is talking animatedly to Daniel who has on a spiffy beige sweater with a zipper. I can't see Daniel all that clearly, but it sure looks to me like he has been working out this summer. I am so shocked at actually seeing them in the bar, (I mean, come on! What are the odds?) that I have forgotten all about that ungodly large dinner order. The arrival of three plates with three steaks instantly answers the question of who was really into red meat this evening.

Maybe, they had just gotten back from hiking through the Amazon for several days without food or water? Or maybe, they had a bet going on who could eat the most steaks? Whatever the reason is, it is taking all my self control not to stare at them while they eat their dinner.

I forced myself to turn back around and order another drink.

Shortly after it arrives (about 30 seconds later), a rather nice-looking guy begins talking with me. Being a rather weak, hormone driven young woman myself, I quickly became enamored with the soft southern drawl of my new drinking companion (he's from Georgia!) and forget all about my favorite carnivores for nearly an hour. Much to my surprise/delight, Bill (the Georgian) doesn't even drink! I mean, he is drinking, but only soda water with his order of cheese nachos. Bill is an intern at Central C.S. Hospital and is actually on call this evening, hence the abstinence from alcohol. He only moved to Colorado Springs the week before, and was in the midst of checking out the local eateries whenever he got a spare moment.

I'm awfully glad, he chose O'Malleys.

I am just about to be so bold as offer my phone number (work, of course), when Bill's beeper goes off. Giving me an apologetic smile, he places $20 on the bar (far more than his nachos and soda water are worth) and hastily writes down his phone number on the back of a napkin. He hopes I will give his a call when I get a chance.

Oh, yeah. I'll definitely get the chance, Bill. Smiling to myself, I order a second cosmopolitan- and that's when I hear a *very* familiar voice.

"I am not going to arm wrestle you, Daniel." Jack says with humor.

"Why not?" Daniel replies huffily. "Afraid, I'll beat you?" Daniel is totally challenging Jack - what in the blazes has gotten into him? I mean, come on, Daniel might be younger, but Jack has that total, 'I can kick your ass without working up a sweat' air about him. Anyone can see that.

"Not now you can't," Daniel replies smugly.

"Oh, please," Jack begins. I swear I can feel him rolling his eyes.

"Guys," Sam warns quietly placing her hand on Daniel's arm.

"What?!" They both reply simultaneously. I cover my mouth with my hand to keep from laughing aloud. Man, I love eavesdropping on friends when they're drunk! Well maybe not drunk so much as tipsy..

"We're off base." Oh riiiggghhht. The old, 'hush, hush, national security' thing again. Oh lighten up, Sam.

"Ah, give it a rest, Sam," Daniel says, pulling his arm away from Sam, and tugging on his sweater sleeve. "Come on Jack, arm wrestle me," Daniel cajoles. "I promise not to hurt you."

Jack makes a 'ttthhhpt' sound, "As if that'll happen."

"I dunno, Jack-I bet these things put us on pretty even ground."

"I've been using mine longer," Jack replies in explanation.

"So?" Daniel shoots back. "Maybe that'll mean it'll wear off faster."

"Or," Jack continues, "It means I am stronger."

What the hell are they talking about? Viagra?

"You're just scared I'll win," Daniel says.

"Am not."

"Are too."

"Am not."

"Guys!" Sam says loudly interrupting the bickering pair. "Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?" Sam pauses, and shakes her head slowly as if trying to clear away the cob webs. "Maybe Janet is right." She says in a quiet voice as she plays with the sleeve on her own jacket.

"Probably," Jack says in agreement, taking another drink of his beer. "She usually is about these type of things."

"I'm.." Daniel begins.

"And if you tell her I just said that, I'll have you setting up camp for the next month!" Jack warns.

Daniel opens his mouth again.

"In the dark, Daniel! Without a flashlight! And I'll make you sleep with Teelk after he has chili!"

"You already make me sleep with Teelk on chili nights, Jack!"

I once remarked (only to myself, but I found it amusing), that Jack and Daniel should have their own show. I completely stand by that statement. Before I can figure out who, or what a Teelk is, Daniel announces that he's thirsty and needs to pee. Seriously, Daniel just flat-out announced that he needs to pee!

"I think the waitress is still ticked at us over our order Danny," Jack says jovially as he finishes his shot of whiskey. "You might have to go get the drinks yourself."

"We should probably think about heading back to base, actually." Sam says almost regretfully.

"Oh, I guess so," Daniel agrees standing up. "Do we have the time for one last round?"

"Shots, only," Jack replies. "Then, we had best be heading back." Daniel nods his head in agreement and makes for the bathrooms.

"Don't forget snacks!" Jack calls out. I giggle quietly to myself and wonder how much they've been drinking.

It doesn't take long before Jack starts to fidget in his chair and pick at something inside his sleeve. Itchy cufflinks?

"Carter, you wouldn't happen to have a bobby pin or clothes hanger with you would ya?"

"Sir, have you ever seen me with bobby pins?" Sam says incredulously.

"Wire hanger?" He asks hopefully.

"No." Sam says as if she were talking to a small child. "I left all my hangers underneath all the clothes in my closet. Sir, what's this all about?"

"It itches." I can see Jack squirm as he fiddles with the sleeve of his shirt.

"Colonel!" Sam hisses, as she slaps at Jack's arm. "We're in public!" Riiiggghhht. Because arm scratching is so not allowed in public. Not. Geesh Sam- it's only his forearm.

"I don't care Sam, the damn thing itches." Excuse me? Did Jack just call Sam, Sam?


"What?" Again with the petulant voice. I could almost be listening to the Jack and Daniel show, except for Sam's presence of course. All three of them sure are acting odd-very unmilitary-ish if you know what I mean.

"Janet is right Sir," Sam says nodding her head in thought. "These things are affecting out judgment."

"Yeah, I s'pose you're right." Jack finishes off his beer and eyes the bowl of peanuts with interest. "Do you think anyone would mind if I emptied that bowl into my pockets?" Jack asked sounding surprisingly serious.

"Yes sir," Sam replied laughing. "I think they'd notice. We'll stop at a convenience store on our way back to the base."

"Snacks! You just can't go wrong with nonstop snacks." Jack says taking another large handful of nuts and throwing them in his mouth. How can he possibly have any room left after that meal of his?!

"Let's grab Danny and head on back." Jack says standing up and putting on his jacket. He picks up his nearly empty pint to take one last gulp.

"Your place or mine?" Sam replies without missing a beat. I swear to God, I nearly fall off my chair. Apparently Jack has a similar reaction.

"Carter?!" Jack exclaims spewing his beer across the floor.

"Gotcha." Sam says giving him a look not unlike the one Helen must have given Paris when she realized her husband (and the Greeks) were coming after her. Whoa! Jack just stares at her slack-jawed while Sam shucks off her leather jacket and picks up a pool cue.

"Whatever happened to finding Daniel and heading home?" Jack asks after gaining a bit of his composure.

"Oh we have time for a quick game." Sam says nodding at one of the guys eyeing her in the corner. He picks up his pool stick and heads towards her. Sam frowns slightly as if remembering something.

"Don't we have time for a quick game, sir?" Sam asks putting the emphasis on the 'sir'. Jack just shakes his head and orders another round of beers.

"Knock yourself out Major." He says clearly amused at seeing his normally calm and collected officer so..cheeky.

Daniel returns with three shots and discovers three more pints of beer waiting for him.

"I take it we're staying?" Daniel asks sitting back down.

"Carter wanted to play a little." Jack said gesturing at Sam.

I watch as Sam plays first one and then a second pool game in quick succession. She is damn good! I know I'm not the only patron in the bar following her rather skillful pool cue. Of course, I'm really watching the game; most of the guys in the bar are watching Sam's ass.

I completely lose track of Daniel and Jack, although I know Sam does occasionally come back to their table to sip her beer. The shots are long since consumed and Jack and Daniel move away from their table in order to watch the pool game better.

By this time the bar is getting pretty crowded, and it's easy for me to move closer to the trio without drawing too much attention. Although my eyes are on Sam, I can still hear Jack and Daniel bickering behind me.

"You're just chicken," Daniel taunts.

"Daniel," Jack explains not nearly as patiently this time, "I might be feeling really good right now, but even I realize that arm wrestling you in public might not be a really bright idea.

Daniel replies by making chicken noises.

"Besides maybe seriously injuring you," Jack explains, "we really might just break a table." He pauses for a moment to let Daniel absorb the comment.

"General Hammond would really be irritated with us if we did that." This time I couldn't cover my mouth in time and let out a strangled laugh.

"Not if we ran out of here really fast."


"Really fast Jack."

Before I can make sense of that last statement, I notice that one of the macho guys has challenged Sam to a "friendly" game of pool. Don't get me wrong- the guy in the tan shirt is cute (I'm guessing he's from the Air Force Academy), but even I can see that he's a total player.

"Sure, I'll play you honey," the cute guy says picking up a pool cue. I'm now glad I had moved away from the bar as both Jack and Daniel are walking that way.

I proceed to watch as Sam completely annihilates the competition. It is obvious to me that she is just toying with the guy, and although she does occasionally miss a ball, she always has her next shot set up; Sam is seriously good at pool!

With only two solid balls left, Sam tells her opponent that she will now sink both of those balls and the eight ball in one shot.

"No frickin' way, lady," the guy says.

"Afraid, I'll win?" She asks.

"Not even a little," he replies.

"Want to put a little money where your mouth is?" Sam asks.

"Carter.." Jack says from behind the table.

"What?" Sam replies sharply. "We're off duty, sir."

"Well, technically Carter.."

"Ah, come on colonel," Sam cajoles. "Let me beat the doolie."

"Doolie?" I mumble to myself.

"Slang for first year cadet," a voice replies next to me. It seems I'm not the only one watching their game. I quietly thank the person next to me and continue to watch the pool game play out.

"It's your game, Major," Jack says holding up his hands in defeat, "but after beating this nice young cadet, we really need to get back."

"Deal," Sam says as she leans over the table and takes a look at her shot.

"$40 says you'll miss," the "doolie" guy says.

"You're on," Sam replies, smiling as she watches the cute marine kid place two twenties on the table. Sam takes a small breath, leans over the table, and sinks all three balls in one shot. Wow.

"How the hell did you do that?" Cute cadet guy asks.

"Want to go double or nothing?" Sam replies pocketing the money and walking towards Daniel who is sitting at the bar.

"I think I'll cut my losses," He replies.

"Smart move," Daniel says smiling as he stands up.

"What are you laughing at, you geek?" Not-nearly-as-cute-marine-guy says angrily. Uh oh. I feel it coming before Daniel has even taken one step forward

"Geek?" Daniel repeats as he slowly turns around.

"Geek?" Jack mouths back.

Daniel turns completely around and looks straight at the marine. "Excuse me?" he asks almost politely.

"Let it go," Jack urges from the background.

"No, not this time," Daniel says sounding rather confident.

"Yeah, what are you going to do?" Belligerent-cadet-guy says from the bar. Sam looks at him almost with pity. Two rather large bodyguard-type guys stand up next to Jack, as two more guys position themselves next to Daniel.

"Well," Jack says looking from one guy to another, "this is a cliché." Jack says sighing as he looks at Daniel, who looks back at Jack and cocks his head slightly to one side. Sam gives Daniel an unreadable look as Jack sighs once again as says, "Well, ok." With that, Jack proceeds to toss one of the muscle men across the room. Seriously! And he wasn't the only one!

I must have had more to drink then I thought, because I swear I saw Jack and Daniel tossing 200 pound guys around like they were a sack of potatoes! Sam even got involved when the cute cadet said something to her that resulted in Sam's knocking the guy behind the bar!

Not even five minutes later it was over, but man-oh-man, was there damage at O'Malleys! Jack, Daniel and Sam were "asked" to go with the owner to a back room as the rest of us were left wondering if we had really seen what we had seen. Everyone was talking about what we had just witnessed, and already they had made out my friends to have been on crack or speed or something. What else could explain their obviously superior strength?

What else indeed?

30 minutes later, the military police arrive and take Sam, Jack and Daniel away. Normal cops have been called in as well, and several of us are interviewed as to what we had seen. I made sure to tell the cop who had interviewed me that the other guys had started it.

Well, they had.

Sort of.

I pay my tab, and after making sure I still had Bill, the Georgian Doctor's phone number in my pocket, ask the bartender to call me a cab home. In two days, I start work, and I am already trying to think of ways of bringing up this bar brawl in casual conversation.

As I'm getting into the cab, I think of the perfect line,

"Hi Daniel, beat up any bullies lately?"

Title: Barista 32--Epiphany
Spoilers: None
Category Humor
Rating: PG-13 (Language)

Author's Notes: I’ve had quite a few emails from folks thanking me for not making Kira “Mary Sue-ish”. Now prior to writing this series, I hadn’t a clue what a Mary Sue was, and still reme mb er sheepishly having to email someone back and asking for an explanation. Kira might be an intelligent young woman, but she does have her faults. Keep that in mind now - Kira has faults.

The idea for this story hit me while I was considering what Season 4 episodes to write about this year. I was mulling over ideas with a friend when the plot epiphany hit me like a brick to the head. I think it was all she could do to sit there quietly and listen as I gushed out The Perfect Barista Story. Naturally I wanted to write it immediately, but the timing wasn’t quite right (Kira had just gotten on a plane to Egypt , and the story just wouldn’t work that well over there.). Ah, but now she’s home, we just witnessed a rather humorous take on Upgrades, and I’m ready for Kira to get loopy. And more than a little curious. {G}

For Donia, who was there when my personal epiphany hit.


“Miss, we’re here.”

Buzzing - I hear buzzing.


No buzzing - voices.

“Miss, you need to wake up now.”

No voices, just a single, gentle voice.

Wake up!” The gentle voice isn’t so gentle now. Owe!

“I’m up, I’m up!” I yell sluggishly. Ah hell, whom am I kidding? I’m not sluggish, I’m drunk. I sit up way too fast and instantly regret it as the world spins garishly about. Damn what's-his-name and that last shot of Jagermeister!

“That’ll be $16.70,” the cab driver says. Shit! Sixteen bucks? Where the hell was I, anyhow? Ah screw it- doesn’t matter anyhow. I give the driver $20 and tell him to keep the change. He thanks me and then waits patiently as I struggle with the back door. Who knew these things could be so tricky?

“Would you like some help?” He asks, trying hard not to sound condescending. At least I think he’s trying.

Not really very hard though.

“I’m fine,” I reply. Not certain if he actually heard the enunciated “eye” sound or not, but I swear I really did say it. I manage to make it out of the taxi without breaking a bone and the cab gleefully (or so it seems to me) speeds off into the night.

I stand there in front of my house and eye the thirteen front steps with disdain. Thirteen steps. Suddenly I burst into laughter, as I imagine Alfred Hitchcock doing a remake of that classic 1935 movie starring myself as Annabella Smith.

Oh wait, that was 39 Steps. Oops. Thank God, I don’t have to climb 39 steps!

Giggling, I stagger to the steps and carefully begin the Herculean climb towards the top. “Put one foot in front of the other…” I sing off-key as I maneuver up the stairs awkwardly. “ And soon you’ll be walking out the do-o-or..” Not really sure why I’m singing old TV Christmas Special songs, but me and Kris Kringle seem to have something in common at the moment. Or was it the Winter Wizard..?

Who knew walking could be so hard? I wish my roommates were home to help.

Suddenly, one of the stairs trips me, and I miss the uppermost step completely and go careening down the stairs, arms and legs windmilling. Miraculously, I land on my ass and not my head.

I’m really glad my roommates aren’t home to help.

Leaning on the handrail far more than is probably best, I manage to pull myself up to the top of the stairs, and stagger towards the front door. I lean against the door and close my eyes as I fervently ask the world to please stop spinning so much. It’s bad enough that gravity is against me, I don’t think I can handle earth’s gyrations as well.

I manage to open the front door and lurch towards the kitchen for some water. I suck down at least a liter of water and ransack the refrigerator for a snack. After consuming a cheese sandwich and a bowl full of garlic mashed potatoes, I feel a bit better.

I head into my bedroom and flop face down on my bed with a loud groan. I pound the pillow a few times for good measure before rolling over onto my back.

“MEN SUCK!” I scream at my ceiling. The date, as they say, did not go well. Bill, the cute young doctor turned out to be a forensic doctor. Now, this isn’t really so bad. After all, haven’t I chosen to study ancient history and cultures, a field that is essentially the observation of the dead? Well, an observation of historic events and customs making up long-dead cultures. Ah, but dear Bill really took it a step further.

First he got me drunk.

Then he got me drunker.

Then he took me to a morgue for the purpose of making out an autopsy table.

Now call me a prude, but that is just *wrong*! I know the bodies in his morgue are more than likely empty shells that once housed a human soul, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still show them respect. I know if I were dead, I’d be rather put-out to listen to human folks necking when I’m… well… dead.

Amazing how philosophical I can get when I’m inebriated, isn’t it? And isn’t it funny that I can *think* the word inebriated, but I don’t have a chance in hell of saying the word aloud.


Have I mentioned that men suck? Well, not all men. The gay ones are all right. And of course there’s my dad and my uncle, plus a few of the cousins seem pretty ok as well. And I can’t forget all the cool male professors I’ve had….

Professors! That’s my problem! I have got to date me a professor. Not one of my own of course, but I think there are plenty of cool, intellectually stimulating (not to mention cute) professor-type guys out there..

Hey, wait a minute!

Daniel’s a professor! And Daniel’s cool.

And cute...

And single….

“Kira you are drunk,” I say aloud as I contemplate me and Daniel as a couple. Oh, he’s cute all right. And don’t you think I have never er…imagined us doing something more than just playing backgammon, but me and Daniel as an actual viable couple? Not gonna happen. Besides, I don’t think Jack would approve.

Hey, Jack’s cute…

And old enough to be your father! Kira, would you stop it? Jack would kill you if he heard you thinking that way. Hmmm. That really didn’t make sense, did it? Jack and Daniel…wonder how those two met anyhow?

Suddenly I roll over and sit straight up as a truly wonderful idea hits me. Unfortunately a truly strong wave of nausea hits me as well and I barely have time to make it to the bathroom before my ever-so-lovely dinner and that liter of water make a return appearance.

After washing my face and brushing my teeth, I pour myself another glass of water and slowly drink about half of it. I stu mb le over to my computer and turn it on.

“Daniel Jackson, this is your life!” I giggle as I log onto the university’s network and access the online databases. When I first met Daniel all those years ago (three years is a long time, ya know), I remember Googling Daniel in an attempt to figure out how many languages he knows. I wasn’t really surprised nothing concrete turned up, but I did manage to find an old CV of his floating around. It was hanging out in the bowels of an old listserve and I was astounded to read that Daniel was fluent in 14 languages by the time he was 19! He also belonged to loads of professional organizations; Egypt Exploration Society (EES), Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (SSEA), Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), Register of Professional Archaeologists, American Schools of Oriental Research.. I could find a couple dozen Daniel references prior to 1995, but nothing afterwards; it was almost as if Daniel had fallen off the face of the Earth!

The few mainstream articles I did find only talked about this tragic wunderkind who was wowing the archaeological community with his amazing linguistic and archaeological acumen. I read a reader’s digest version of the horrible death of his parents and knew he had received a couple of PhD’s before he was 25, but found nothing more after Time magazine ran a little blurb on him in 1994. At that time, Daniel was the shining star of the archaeological community and there were literally dozens of universities who were vying for the young professor. Daniel had been quoted as saying, “I’ll go anywhere where I can continue to explore the secrets of our past”. Good sound byte, Daniel! The picture that accompanied the article showed an impossibly young-looking Daniel looking self-conscious, surrounded by dozens of research books and artifacts.

I tried dozens of different word combinations, but never did find out where Daniel went to teach, or what happened afterwards. The information just wasn’t available on the Internet. At least not on Google.

The University libraries however, have purchased oodles and oodles of subscriptions to online research databases; specifically, scholarly databases. The ERIC database is one of the earliest repositories of educational and social science research. If ERIC doesn’t have anything noteworthy, I’ll do another shot of Jager.

My stomach churns uncomfortably at that thought, and I assure it that consumption of nasty tasting liquors will not be necessary.

I type in “Daniel Jackson and archaeology” and hit the return key. “Bingo!” I say gleefully as my ever-so complex search resulted in 49 hits. Somehow, I have received my results in reverse chronological order, but I don’t really mind much as this will just give me a chance to get to know Daniel from earliest to latest.

I click on the first article and read a copy of one of Daniel’s valedictorian speech from New York University . 17 years old and the guy is the university valedictorian. Whoa. I read a couple articles he published about teaching archaeological methodology to undergrads, but nothing of any substance.

I want substance!

Having exhausted my search with ERIC, I now turn to the Science Citation Index. Most of these articles are likely to be way too scientific for me, but I still might find something of interest.

“Well, this is weird,” I say aloud as I click on the first (technically last) article and bring up a scathing review of “Dr. Daniel Jackson’s Delusions”. The article is from Journal of Egyptian Archaeology and goes on to describe the keynote speech Daniel gave to an esteemed body of archaeologists in the summer of 1995. Sections of Daniel’s speech are reprinted and then an analysis of the speech’s content is supplied below.

The speech starts out extremely scholarly and Daniel uses a hell of a lot of words that I recently learned in my studies. He talks dynasties and kingdoms and I can just imagine him gesturing wildly as he writes down translations on a chalkboard.

It’s a little hard to focus with my eyes jumping around the page like they are (the spinning room isn’t helping either), but I try to focus as I scan further down the article.

Hold on a second.. this doesn’t make sense. I force myself to concentrate and focus and scroll back up to the start of the dialogue.

Dr. Daniel Jackson : “Dr. Daniel Jackson: "Every other major architectural structure at the time was covered with detailed hieroglyphics. When is the academic community going to accept the fact that the pharaohs of the 4th Dynasty did not build the Great Pyramids?””

What?! Daniel, what the hell are you talking about?

“Look, look.. inside the pyramid, the most incredible structure ever erected, there are no writings whatsoever.”

Dr. Edward Higgins: “Dr Jackson, you left out the fact that Colonel Weiss discovered Corrimon’s inscriptions of Kofu ’s name within the pyramid.”

Dr. Daniel Jackson: “His discovery was a fraud.”

Dr. Edward Higgins: “You can prove that, I hope?”

Dr. Harold Smythe: “Well, who do you think built the pyramids?”

Dr. Jackson: “I don’t have any idea who built them, I mean that...”

Voice 1 : “Men from Atlantis?”

Voice 2 : “Or Martians perhaps?”

Oh Daniel! This must have been horrible for you! I mean, sure - you are talking complete nonsense, but that is no reason for those men to be so mean! Idly I draw a pyramid on a piece of scratch paper by my computer. I add a really bad picture of a big-headed alien next to the pyramid picture and continue reading.

Dr. Daniel Jackson: “The point is not who built them, the point is when they were built. I mean we all know new geological evidence distinctly points to an earlier time period. And knowing this, I think we have to begin to reevaluate everything we have come to accept about..”

I mean I have been able to show a fully developed writing system appearing here in the first two dynasties. You know, which, almost as if it were based on an even earlier time..”

Earlier time? What the hell are you talking about Daniel? Diringer dates Egyptian hieroglyphics at 3000 BCE and the even older Mesopotamian cuneiform to 3500 BCE . But those two languages developed independently from one another and there just isn’t anything older than that! At least nothing that we have found. Nothing that survived 5000 years of being stuffed in an airless vessel… ‘Linear B’ didn’t even make headlines until 1200 BCE , only a couple hundred years before the earliest known Chinese scripts were found. I really get a kick out of discovering that several different cultures “invented” written language independently from one another.

The article goes on to interview Dr. Higgins and his take on Daniel’s speech. I read on shakily and my eyes blur with tears as I read the mean commentary from one of Daniel’s supposed colleagues. Dr. Higgins is quoted as saying that Daniel will inevitably become “the laughingstock of the archaeological world”; much like his grandfather, Nicholas Ballard, did back in the early 70’s.

Huh? Grandfather?

I shake my head slowly side to side and try to focus on the issue at hand. “Daniel, you hafta admit,” I say aloud, “giving that speech wasn’t your brightest move.”

I giggle as I trace my picture of the big-headed alien. Aliens building the pyramids of Giza ! Can you imagine such a sight! I finish drawing a big bright sun above my plain-looking pyramid when suddenly I flash back to one of my first meetings with Daniel.

"I was extremely jet-lagged when I was in here last."

"Where'd you fly in from?

Egypt .”

For some reason, I seem to remember Daniel hesitating before he said the “Egypt ” part. Flickers of drunken-induced insight come to me, as I recall conversation after conversation that I’ve had with Daniel that just seemed off.

"My wife was..IS from a more traditional Egyptian family."

"You mean like Nubians?"

"No, not Nubian but something like that. Sha're and her family led very simple lives and physical tokens of commitment were generally not used."

"So what happened?"

"She was kidnapped. It happened about a year ago and I have been searching for her ever since."

"And Colonel Jack is helping you."

"When he can, Jack is definitely helping."

Daniel’s Egyptian wife is kidnapped and a United States Colonel is helping Daniel find her? Doesn’t that seem a little funny? And what about all those other weird Daniel moments? Daniel coming off of drugs; Daniel with his arm in a sling; bruises on his body; gaunt and pale in the middle of summer; tan and fit in the middle of winter.


Why does Daniel have carte blanche to the Colorado Springs University library? Why, when he “goes into the field”, are those trips referred to as “missions”?

Why did Daniel smile when Jack referred to his wounded shoulder as an “archery accident”, and why did both of them nearly burst out laughing when they described Jack’s woefully poor state a couple years ago as a “training accident”?

And what about..

I gasp suddenly as realization hits me.

"Would you believe me if I told you I was kidnapped by aliens and cryogenically frozen?"

What if Daniel was telling the truth?

"Daniel, why did you cut your hair?"

"It was definitely not my idea."

“The alien kidnappers did it huh?"


Alien kidnappers…

“How did you and Jack meet?”

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

"I set to work on translating the artifact and what I found made a lot of people nervous. 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. All I can tell you Kira is that we traveled a very far distance and met some people we had never met before."

Sort of…national security….artifact..very long distance..met some people we have never met before…kidnapped by aliens..

Kidnapped by aliens…

Holy Shit! Daniel’s theory wasn’t just a theory! He’s an alien archaeologist and Jack and Sam are his military body guards! That’s it! I’m right! I know, I am! My heart is thumping like crazy and I feel like my brain might explode at what this realization really means.

Aliens are real. And judging from the occassional sorry state of my friends, sometimes they aren't all that friendly.

I want to find out more- I want to talk to Daniel and Jack and Sam. I want to..

I want to not get sick. I realize that if I am not horizontal in the next five seconds, I'm going to once again be sick. Hastily, I save my assorted searches and shakily climb back into bed. I am never going to drink again!

I lie quietly in my bed and take small, shallow breaths. The nauseau fades a bit and I think about what I have discovered this evening.

Daniel’s an alien archaeologist.

Daniel’s a freakin’ alien archaeologist!

Against my will I feel my consciousness fading and my last thought before falling to sleep is…


Don’t forget.

I wake up with the biggest honking headache I have *ever* had and the random phrase, “don’t forget” floating around my head. Seems to me, I would want to forget all about Bill and his necrophilic tendencies. Gee, lucky me. I didn’t forget a damn thing.

I slowly roll out of bed and groan audibly when my feet hit the carpet and the reverberations shoot straight to my head. I swear I will never drink again. I slowly make my way to the bathroom and marvel at the horrid state of my bathroom. There’s a toothbrush on the side of the bathtub, the tube of toothpaste in the bathtub, and a bar of soap soaking in the sink.

I take out a new toothbrush and brush my teeth, vowing to never drink again. Ever.

I feel a bit better after my shower, but there are still several concertos going on inside my head at high decibel levels. I pad to the kitchen and take a Diet Coke from the refrigerator, purposefully ignoring the sorry state of the kitchen. I head back to my room grateful that my roommates won’t be home until this evening.

I pop open the soda and turn on my computer in order to mail my friend Jeannie the latest in my dating fiascos. I’m a little surprised to find that I am still logged into the University network. Weird. I don’t reme mb er being online last night. Guess, I did forget something after all.. Wonder what I was doing?

I check my Internet history and discover that I apparently played in the school libraries last night. I could see that I'd looked at both ERIC and Science Citation Index, but apparently I didn’t save my searches (or if I did save my searches, I didn't do a very good job of it) and I can’t for the life of me figure out what I was looking for.

I take another sip of my soda and set my drink down on a piece of paper by the computer. I then move my soda and pick up the paper in puzzlement. A triangle, a circle and a really bad stick figure.

I lift the freshly-ringed paper up closer and try to reme mb er what the heck I was thinking about when I drew those very funny-looking shapes. A delta sign? Maybe I was doing bizarre mathematical equations last night? The delta of null is… a funny looking human. Nope. That can’t be right.

I stare at the heavily traced triangle with the big circle on top of it and rack my brain trying to reme mb er just what it was I was trying to draw. After a minute or two, my head seriously starts to throb, and I set the piece of paper back down and go online to check my email. Maybe I’ll remember what the damn cryptic doodle means later.

Author's Notes: Aren’t I evil? I just thought it would be so much fun to have Kira figure things out (sort of) but then forget it all the next day. Obviously, the bits about Daniel’s experience in front of those stuffy scholarly sorts came from my badly transcribed Stargate movies dialog. The additional information Kira talks about with language origins? That comes from Walter J. Ong’s 1996 book, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. I’m currently reading a chapter of his book right now for a graduate course I’m taking on the History of Information. How’s that for coincidence?

All the database stuff is genuine, and both ERIC and the Science Citation Index are actual online databases. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology is the real McCoy as well, although I doubt they would print an article that gave the blow-by-blow account of a lecture!

The funny song about putting one foot in front of the other came from the Christmas Special, "Santa Clause is Coming To Town" (Thanks, Jane!), and will probably be well known to all Americans out there (especially those who grew up in the 70s and 80s), but not so well known to everyone else. Sorry about that-- the song just seemed to fit.

Title: Barista 33 -- Hangover Cures
Spoilers: 0405- Divide and Conquer
Category Humor / Angst
Rating: PG-13

Author's Notes: This takes place the day after the events in Epiphany.


It was probably a good thing I was feeling absolutely miserable the next time I saw Daniel. You know you drank too much, when 32 hours later you're still in pain. Horrible, mind numbing pain.

Actually, if my mind was really numb, I really wouldn't be in such pain now would I?

Have I mention how much I hate Bill and Jaegermeister (order not important)? Not only do I still sport a headache the size of a small moon, but my failure in the art of dating is really starting to get me down. Not to mention this niggly feeling in the back of my mind, like I've forgotten something important. I had put my funny drawing of the triangle/circle/ugly stick figure, into my wallet on the off-chance I had actually stumbled across an alternative fuel source or something. Maybe I had just misplaced the explanatory legend somewhere. I'm not normally a doodler (probably because I am such a piss-poor drawer), so I have to wonder what the hell I was thinking about when I sketched that picture.

If you can honestly call it a picture.

To add to my confusion, in my attempt to do school work yesterday (a dismal failure), I found out that I was online for three hours the night before. Three hours? What the hell was I looking at for three hours? Afraid that I had discovered some sort of previously unknown porn fetish or something, I checked both my Internet history and cookies, and (thankfully) discovered nothing unusual. Which of course begs the question; just what was I doing for three hours the night of July 21st?

I am still mulling over possible scenarios when a familiar figure walks through my doors. Although I still feel like death warmed over, I have every intention of kidding Daniel about beating up those bullies at O'Malleys a couple of weeks ago. I am dying to hear whatever lame excuse he'll try and con off on me this week. Oh don't get me wrong, I really do adore Daniel, but I know for a fact he lies through his teeth. Not on purpose mind you. Well, actually, yes- on purpose. But I'm certain, it's a really good purpose.


Dammit! Have I mentioned that my head hurts?

I have several different "Best of Daniel Excuses" running inside said head. Heh, maybe he'll use the old, "the aliens made him do it" - definitely a crowd pleaser!

Unfortunately, all thoughts of joking die immediately as he walks towards the front counter. First off, Daniel looks good. GQ good. Most definitely not geeky or scientist-like, that's for sure. I blink a couple of times to make certain I am really seeing Dr. Daniel Jackson - Dr. Daniel Jackson in a beautifully tailored dark brown suit with a light blue-gray shirt and shiny brown tie.

My mouth suddenly goes a bit dry, but I'll blame that on dehydration.

"Hi Daniel," I say casually, as I drink in the seriously nice looking figure Daniel cut in his pretty-looking suit. So much for the beating up bullies line.

"Hi Kira," Daniel replies absently and without his usual warmth. He might look absolutely gorgeous, but there's something pretty serious going on inside Daniel's mind right now. He doesn't (thankfully) appear injured, but something is wrong. He stands in front of the espresso machine for several long seconds. I motion for one of the other Baristas to take over counter duty and concentrate on Daniel.

"Can I get you an Americano, Daniel?" I ask quietly, not wanting to disturb his obviously unsettled self any more than it already is. I really don't know what's wrong, but Daniel has come into my coffee shop; the least I can do is offer him a cup of coffee.

"Sam likes double tall mochachinos," Daniel declares suddenly, eyes not really fixed on anything but thin air. I've only served Sam a couple of times, and actually wasn't aware of that.

"Should I make Sam a mochachino?" I ask grabbing the chocolate milk pitcher. Daniel ignores me as he stares off into space.

"Daniel?" I try again.

"Oh. Sorry Kira," Daniel says apologetically as he focuses a little on me and not that dark place he just was. "What was it you asked?"

"Should I make Sam a mochachino?" I repeat. What little color that remained on Daniel's face quickly vanishes.

"No," Daniel replies instantly. He appears shocked that I would even suggest such a thing.

Suddenly, I feel all the blood leaving my face as I realize with crystal clarity what's going on. Daniel is in a suit. Daniel is clearly upset about something, and Daniel just turned the color of starched sheets at the mention of Sam's name.

No, it isn't possible.
Sam Carter is not dead.

"Daniel..?" I feel my lower lip start to quiver. God, please let this just be an over-reaction to lack of sleep and too much alcohol.

"Kira, what's wrong?" Daniel asks worriedly, taking a step closer and looking into my eyes. My breath catches, as I peer into his concerned face and suddenly I feel the need to be outside. Hastily I mumble something about needing a break to the lone barista on duty, and ducking under the counter, grab Daniel's hand and pull him outside with me.

"Kira?" Daniel tries again. "What's going on?"

"Why are you in a suit?" I demand urgently.

"What?" Daniel asks, clearly confused.

"Daniel," I repeat, enunciating each word, "why are you in a suit?"

"I just came from a..um.very important meeting," Daniel replies still perplexed.

"Not a funeral?" I have to be sure.

"No," Daniel says wrinkling his forehead in confusion. "What made you think I just came from a funeral?" Now I feel silly. Relieved, but silly.

"Your suit," I mumble as I feel all the blood rush back to my cheeks. At the rate my blood is moving about, I'm probably going to pass out any moment now.

Daniel is still confused (welcome to the club), but recognizes that I am obviously upset about something. He leads me to a table and makes me sit.

"Kira, what is going on?" Daniel unbuttons the top button on his jacket and sits down across from me.

"Your suit." I look at Daniel anxiously, but apparently "your suit" isn't enough to make him understand. I try again, "Sam's mochachino." Once again, I notice a look of sadness come over Daniel.

"I was right!" I cry out loud. "Sam is dead!" With that, I burst into tears.

"What are you talking about, Kira?" Daniel asks, patting his pockets in search of a handkerchief. "Sam is not dead." He hands me a wad of napkins and I wipe my eyes and noisily blow my nose.

"She's not?" I hiccup, trying to get my emotions back under control.

"No," Daniel confirms, shaking his head resolutely from side to side. "I saw Sam not more than 30 minutes ago Kira - and she was." His sentence drops off as Daniel struggles to find the right words.

"She isn't fine though, is she?" I ask knowingly. I might be a hung over, emotional basket case, but I knew something was still wrong.

"No," Daniel agrees. "She isn't fine." Seeing my face crumple once again, he quickly goes on, "But she will be Kira. Sam will be fine soon." I can see in Daniel's eyes, the he truly believes this to be the Gospel Truth. So if Daniel believes it, than it must be true, right? Suddenly, I get a random flash of that damn funny picture I made.

"What happened?" I ask, shaking my head slightly to dispel that bizarre image. Instantly Daniel gets that pained look on his face that always preludes a rather large lie. Or at least a rather large stretch on the truth.

"There was an accident on the base," Daniel begins. "Someone close to Sam was killed."

"That's horrible!" I exclaim. Daniel nods in agreement.

"It was pretty horrible Kira," Daniel repeats softly. "I might have been able to do something to prevent it, but it all happened so fast."

"Daniel, I might not have been there, but I am certain you did everything you could." Huh. How'd that happen? One minute Daniel's comforting me, and now here I am comforting him!

"Maybe," Daniel agrees. But I can tell he doesn't really believe that yet. Where's Jack when I need him?

"Can I make Sam a mochachino?" I ask at a loss for words. As if that will make her feel better.

Daniel shakes his head. "Sam's going to be out of town for a couple of days," Daniel explains. "She went to visit her dad."

"Did her dad know the person who died?" I ask quietly.

"Yes, actually," Daniel says as if he suddenly realizes this himself. "He did." I can see a little of Daniel's own guilt abate and he gives my hand a little squeeze. "I'm a little warm out here in this suit, how about if we go back inside and you make me an iced Americano?"

"Sure," I reply wiping my nose once again. I lead Daniel back into the shop and hastily run into the back room to wash my hands and face.

"Everything ok, Kree?" Jeanne calls out, as I return to the espresso machine.

"Yeah," I reply, nodding as I pull two perfect shots of espresso for Daniel. "Everything is fine." I pull the shots over a cup of ice, and then add additional ice cubs and water. "You sure you're ok, Kira?" Daniel asks as he finishes paying, and stuffs a few dollars into the tip jar.

"Shouldn't I be asking you that question, Daniel?"

"Maybe," Daniel says with a shrug, "but I'm not the one suffering from a hangover from hell." Immediately I turn bright pink. How the hell did he know that? Daniel looks at my confused (and obviously embarrassed) self and chuckles.

"I'm a genius, remember?" He offers self depreciatively as an explanation. "I might have spent the majority of my college days with my nose in a book Kira, but that doesn't mean I didn't notice what went on around me." Too stunned to speak, I just nod.

"Try drinking tomato juice," Daniel suggests. "Your body is mostly likely dehydrated, but I bet you need the sodium as well."

"Thanks," I stutter looking down at the counter. How the hell did he figure it out so fast?!

"Genius, Kira." Daniel says again, chuckling to himself. Obviously, Daniel is going out of his way to try and make me feel better. Which is kinda crazy if you think about it, as it was his friend who just witnessed a death.

You're a good man Daniel Jackson.

Daniel turns around and heads for the door, but suddenly stops and shakes his head. He turns back around and walks back towards me.

"Actually, Kira," Daniel says sheepishly, "the tomato juice thing is Jack's idea."

"It is?"

"Yeah." There's more coming, I can just feel it.

"And while it is true that I didn't drink much in college.." Yes? Do go on, Daniel.

"I have, unfortunately, had more than a few drunken nights with Jack." Daniel pauses for a moment, "Because of Jack actually." I smother a giggle. I can totally see Jack getting Daniel drunk.

"Which resulted in a hangover from hell?"

"Oh yeah," Daniel agrees, wincing at the memory. "Apparently, I'm a cheap date, Kira."

This time, I'm the one laughing. Unfortunately, a woman in my delicate condition really shouldn't be doing that. Ow! I let out a small moan and grab my grab my head in hopes of keeping it in one piece.

"Tomato juice," Daniel mouths, as he pats my hand sympathetically and heads out the door. I glance over at Jeanne and raise my eyebrows in question.

"I'll be fine Kree," Jeanne says chuckling, as she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a $5 dollar bill. "Go do what the cute young doctor says, and get yourself some tomato juice." Grabbing my water bottle from under the counter, I do just that.


Tomato juice really does help alleviate the symptoms of a hangover. Bloody Mary's however (IMHO), are even better. Thanks to Lew and Susan for beta'ing and my unlikely reviewer for the suggestion of Sam's drink preference. I know, I know- she owes *you* $10.

Title: Barista 34 -- Simple Pleasures
Spoilers: 0405- Window of Opportunity
Category Humor
Rating: PG

Author's Notes: I swear the idea for this story has been in my head for ages. Not wanting this series to be anything but canon, I wasn't going to go into the whole Jack/Sam kiss thing. What I did want, was to write a little something for Jack. After all the poor guy just went through how many months of monotony?? The story idea is mine - some of the ingredient suggestions might have come from others. *eg*


I am having such an odd day.

On the ride into work, my front tire blew. Now this alone isn't so odd, but I swear as it blew, I knew it was going to happen. Kinda a déjà vu kind of thing; only multiplied by a factor of ten or so. Yeah, it was that intense.

I'm a good 20 minutes late for work, and apologize profusely to Victor before washing up and putting on my apron. Victor actually isn't mad - which in itself is a little unusual. And then he tells me (smiling slyly) that there is something he needs for me to do. Now, you can argue that I did indeed know that today was barista training day, but seeing as how I wasn't the one scheduled to train them, I didn't really give it much thought. But, at that moment, I knew Victor was going to ask me to be the trainer. Knew it, knew it, knew it.

Déjà vu.

And so I, lucky me, get to train newbies. Joy.

The good news is that explaining the importance of timed espresso shots and the differences in coffee grinds actually takes up most of my morning. I know I may bitch about training, but I think I actually do a fairly decent job. I do enjoy explaining things to folks, but I'd much rather it be on something, say, more important than the difference between a French roast and an Italian roast. 22 ½ years old and already I'm jaded.

I'm just about to take a break (the "kids" having been sent to lunch a few minutes earlier) when I hear a familiar voice.

"Allow me, ma'am."

I turn towards the voice, and spy a very chipper Jack O'Neill holding the door open for a 20-something young woman. She giggles at Jack's chivalry.

"Anyone else want in or out while I have it open?" he asks the room politely, shifting the brown bag he's carrying from one arm to the other. Hearing no response, Jack walks through the door and saunters over towards the front counter.

"Hiya Kira!" I don't think I have ever seen Jack sound so darn. happy! His eyes are twinkling with pleasure and he is looking around the shop as if he hasn't seen it in ages. Which is ridiculous as he and Daniel stopped by after work just last week. Suddenly my eyes open wide and I can feel my eyebrows nearly disappearing into my hairline as I realize what this means: Jack has a girlfriend!

I mean it makes sense, right? Twinkle in his eye, bounce in his step - Jack's gotten lucky! I'd be jealous, except I'm way beyond thinking of Jack as the "tall cute guy". Oh Jack is attractive all right, but I would feel pretty creeped out if I thought of him in that way. Jack's way more the father-like figure for me. It's one thing to have a crush on my cute 40-something professor at school, but seeing as how I don't actually know the guy makes it all right.

Hey, it makes sense to me, ok?

"Hi Jack," I answer with just as much enthusiasm. "Having a good day?"

"The best," Jack replies, giving me a large smile. Jack doesn't do big smiles often, so I'm standing firm in my assumption that he a new girlfriend. "Anyone I know?" I fish.

"Anyone you know, what?" he answers, sounding confused. He sets the bag down on the counter with a loud clunk.

"Your new girlfriend, Jack," I reply patiently. "Anyone I know?"

"I don't have a new girlfriend," he insists, looking bemused.

"Promotion?" I try again.

"Nope," Jack says, shaking his head.

"Pay raise?"

"Uh uh."

"Discovered a new deep space telemetry astral body?" I'm still highly skeptical about what Jack does up there in Cheyenne Mountain, but "officially" he does work on this deep space project. Somehow.

"That's more Carter's area, actually," Jack replies jovially. His eyes are still dancing around like he can't think of anything better to do than argue with me about why he's happy.

"Kicked some deep space telemetry's alien ass?" I try again. Hey! If Daniel can use the 'alien' line, than so can I.

Jack laughs. "Not this week."

"All right, I give up!" I announce, throwing both hands into the air. "Why are you in such a darn good mood, Jack?"

"I'm just having a darn good day, Kira," Jack replies. He takes a deep breath and blissfully inhales the aroma of fresh ground coffee. "Your coffee smells damn good."

Before I can comment on that rather odd comment, Daniel comes bustling into the shop. In his arms are three bags of groceries.

"You owe me coffee, Jack," Daniel insists, as he sets the bags down on a table.

"Did you get everything?" Jack asks eagerly, sticking his nose into first one bag and then another.

Daniel begins listing items off on his finger tips. "Red peppers, yellow peppers, portobello mushrooms, wild onions, cherry tomatoes."

"What about the steaks?"

Daniel rolls his eyes. "I wasn't finished yet, Jack." He starts counting off items on his left hand, "six t-bone steaks, five pounds of potato salad, blue and red jello and two six packs of beer."

"Wow," I say. "That's impressive."

"And heavy," Daniel adds, massaging his right bicep.

"What about the fruit?" Jack asks impatiently. "I want a pomegranate!"

"Jack, have you ever even tasted a pomegranate before?" Daniel asks, smiling.

"No, but I read up on them a bit during one of my "off" loops," Jack explains.

Off loops?

"Jack, I can't believe you just said that!" Daniel admonishes, looking shocked.

"Oh, give it a rest, Danny," Jack replies cheerfully. "Kira already knows we use weird military jargon all the time. I think she's used to it." He gives me a look. "You're used to us making no sense at all, right?"

"Oh, absolutely, Jack!" I reply, laughing. "You guys often make no sense whatsoever. Don't worry about it!"

"See?" Jack says, pointing his thumb at me, "no sense whatsoever."

Daniel sighs loudly. "Sam is picking up the ingredients for the fruit salad, Murray is bringing some home specialty dishes, and Janet said that she and Cassie will be bringing the dessert."

"Desserts," Jack adds. "Desserts, plural, Daniel." He whips out his cellphone and begins to press some buttons. "Do I need to remind Fraiser?"

Daniel reaches out and snatches Jack's phone. "Desserts plural, Jack," he placates. "Janet heard your "orders" as well as everyone else. She's going to bring at least two different fruit pies, a plate of brownies and a chocolate cake."

Jack nods. "That should work for the time being," he muses.

"Party?" I ask.

"Sort of," Daniel replies a little awkwardly. He has that look on his face that always preludes a really big whopper; a cross between looking constipated and an epiphany.

"You saw us last week, right?" Daniel continues. I nod. "Well, during that week, Jack here participated in a.ummm.a sensory deprivation experiment."

"Really?" I ask, interested. I had read something about those weird water-filled tanks that prevent external feelings of any kind. Part of me finds it fascinating; the other part of me thinks it would be a horrible experience.

"In a manner of speaking," Jack replies, giving Daniel a funny look. I swear I saw Daniel shrug slightly.

"Let's just say, Kira," Jack adds, "that it feels like I haven't had any good food or drink in months." I take a moment to mull that over. It certainly would explain Jack's desire for all those fresh vegetables. I stand up on my tip toes and try to peek into Jack's brown bag. I knew Daniel bought the vegetables, and Sam was getting the fruit - what did Jack buy?

"What's in the bag, Jack?" I ask, eyeing the 'Colorado State Liquor Board' logo on the outside.

"Would you believe wholesome fruit juice and milk?" Jack replies. I laugh and shake my head.

"Not for a moment."

"Months without good food and drink," Jack replies, as he reaches into the bag and pulls out another brown-bagged bottle of something or other.

"You know Daniel's favorite coffee drink, Kira," Jack says cheerfully, "but I bet you don't know mine." He taps the bagged bottle lightly. "Guess."

I smile at the challenge. "Well, obviously that bottle didn't come from the Wholesome Foods shop down the street.." I begin. Jack shakes his head. "And you did say something about your favorite coffee drink.." Jack nods.

"Whiskey," I guess. Jack doesn't strike me a sweet coffee drinker, so that ruled out Baileys or Kahlua. It had to be whiskey and Irish Coffee.

"What kind of whiskey?" Jack shoots back. Oh give me a break, Jack! As if I know anything about whiskey!

"Single malt?" I try. Jack shakes his head.

"That's scotch, Kira."

"Jack, I think I'd be worried if Kira could name whiskey brands off the top of her head." Thank you Daniel!

"It's Jameson's," Jack says, showing me a bit of the label. "Triple distilled and the best whiskey ever for Irish coffee.

"I see," I say, smiling at Jack's enthusiasm for his whiskey. "Well then, we should probably get you some coffee to go with that whiskey."

"Absolutely!" Jack says, nodding his head vigorously. "Get Daniel here whatever he normally drinks, and I'll take two half pounds of a good dark-roasted coffee." I lift an eyebrow at Daniel.

"Ground for drip," Daniel mouths. I smile.

As I'm getting Daniel a double tall iced latte (it is summer, after all) and Jack his coffee, I can't help but watch Jack as he stares around the room people-watching. I notice that Daniel is watching Jack as well. Both of us are clearly getting a kick out of seeing Jack so.. buoyant.

"I know you both are staring at me," Jack says in a sing-song voice, as he watches a young mother with her newborn. He turns to Daniel, "I'm just enjoying things, that's all."

"Nothing wrong with that, Jack," Daniel agrees, nodding. "We're just used to the 'Colonel Hard-ass' persona, so this is a bit of a trip."

"Colonel hard-ass?" He repeats. I giggle. "Carter doesn't call me that, does she?"

"Of course not, sir." All three of us whip our heads around to see Sam Carter standing in the doorway, her arms laden with grocery bags. She's wearing a strappy sundress and sandals and doesn't look military-ish at all!

"Did you get everything, Carter?" Jack asks, standing up and relieving Sam of one of the grocery bags.

"Even the pomegranate sir," Sam replies, smiling. "Hi, Kira," Sam says, catching my eye.

"You weren't part of the sensory deprivation experiment were you, Sam?" I ask. Sam looks first at Jack and then Daniel before slowly shaking her head no. I chuckle to myself as I take in her confusion.

"Would you like a coffee, Sam?"

"No offense Kira," Sam says, "but I'm saving myself for a cold beer."

"Amen to that," Jack adds.

I finish grinding the coffee and ring Jack up. "Enjoy the rest of your afternoon, guys," I say, giving them a wave. I'd love to see a picture of Jack taking a bite of that pomegranate. Wonder if anyone will tell him he's supposed to peel it first..

"It's the simple pleasures, Kira," Jack replies, opening the door for Daniel and Sam. He gives me a little two-fingered salute and merrily follows his friends outside into the late afternoon sunshine.

Maybe sensory deprivation isn't so bad after all.

More Author's Notes: Thanks to Susan for beta'ing, my unlikely reviewer for the idea of Jack's favorite drink, and Neurospych for her unintentional suggestion of a pomegranate. {g}

Title: Barista 35 -- Professor Yummy & Colonel Sumptuous
Spoilers: 0408- The First Ones
Category Humor, slight Hurt/Comfort
Rating: PG-13 for potty-mouth language/imagery

As you might be able to guess from the title {snicker}, this Barista is written from Stefan's point of view. Enjoy!


Mornings bite.

I really don't know how Kree does it. Sure, the tips are a bit better at this god-forsaken hour, but the lack of a full eight hours of sleep has left me feeling grumpy and lethargic. I catch sight of myself in one of the shop's mirrors and grimace - I should have used more moisturizer.

I just need to remind myself that by working today, I'll be getting all of Labor Day weekend off. I can't help the cat-got-the-cream smile the creeps across my face. September 2nd, 3rd and 4th free! Wait until Chris finds out.

My ever so pleasant musings are cut short when the door opens and I instantly put on my quasi-professional face. Sure, I'm young, cute and Gay, but not everyone appreciates that. Best to appear professional first, before one turns to flirting.

Ah! But flirt I shall! Because who should walk through my golden gates? Professor Yummy himself, Dr. Daniel Jackson. Kira absolutely hates when I call him that, but come on! Those lips, that ass, the man will always be Professor Yummy to me.

"Good morning Dr. Jackson," I say solicitously. No need to scare the poor man so early in the morning. I know I make him nervous, and that of course only adds to my fun. Sure, the guy can run rings around my brain, but one little look from me, and his voice gets all squeaky and he tries to run away.

Heh. I'm evil.

"Er..hi Stefan," Daniel replies nervously as he looks hopefully around the room for Kira. Sorry, Doc - all you get today is me. I really do resist licking my lips.

"Kira's not here," I explain as my smile slips just a little. Daniel doesn't look so hot. Correction - Daniel doesn't look well. "Daniel, you ok?" Besides this nasty looking cut across his face, the poor guy has that slightly gaunt quasi-supermodel look about his face. Dehydration?

"Sure," he replies refusing to meet my gaze. Fine, my ass! Honey, you so shouldn't go into politics. You can't lie to save the planet!

"You know," I say conversationally as I pull two shots of espresso for Daniel's Americano. "Kira has a phone number taped to her locker in the backroom." Daniel wrinkles his bruised brow as he tries to decipher that comment.

"Should you be looking in Kira's locker?" he asks. I shake my head. That's so beside the point here..

"The locker isn't important Dr. Jackson," I say as I add hot water to his drink. "The point is that everyone who works here knows about that number."

"Whose number is it?"

"One Colonel Jack O'Neill, USAF." I look at Daniel expectantly and the poor guy blushes a deep crimson.

"It seems," I continue as I start handing Daniel his drink. Daniel absently reaches for it and suddenly I pull it back. This is not the right drink for the dear doctor - not today, anyhow. I'm going to make him something special. In a flash of inspiration, I pull it completely away from Daniel, and dump the contents down the sink drain. I have a much better idea for you my injured lamb..

"It seems," I begin again as I pull not one nor two but three shots of espresso. "That Kira has had to deal with an altered or injured Dr. Jackson on more than one occasion."

"It's only been once or twice," Daniel replies petulantly. I refrain from telling him how damn cute he looks when he pouts.

"I believe it's up to four times, Dr. Jackson." I correct, as I pour the three shots into a tall cup and add a splash of almond flavoring.

"She's only had to call Jack twice," he sulks. Have I mentioned how cute he looks when he pouts?

"That you know about," I add. I put the cup aside and take out a pitcher of chocolate milk.

"Anyhow, Kira was worried that you might show up one day and need some help when she wasn't here."

"I can look after myself you know." Daniel is starting to get a little pissed off now, so I had best tone it down a bit.

"She knows that Daniel," I say kindly as I turn on the steamer for a good thirty seconds. The machine dies down and I continue.

"She was just worried about you," I repeat. "And she wanted all of us "regulars" at the shop to keep an eye out for you. If things ever got really bad, we were to call Colonel Sum.. Colonel O'Neill." Oops. Now that would have been embarrassing.

"Kira just wanted everyone to know what that number was."

I quickly wipe down the steamer wand and pour the chocolaty goodness into the cup with the three espresso shots and almond flavoring. The entire concoction smells heavenly, but it isn't quite right. I sniff at it once more and decide to add just a splash of macadamia nut flavoring as well. I top it off with a dollop of whipped cream and slide it over to Daniel.

"Drink," I order.

"What is this?" Daniel asks wrinkling his nose in distaste.

"Triple tall macadamia almond mocha," I reply.

"I can't drink this!" Daniel laughs, sliding the drink back my way.

"Oh, I bet you can," I answer sliding the cup back towards him.

"Oh no, I can't." He repeats, sliding the cup back at me. I'm about to slide it back at him again (who knows how long we would have kept that up!) when the door opens.

"Daniel, you said you'd just be a min.."

"Howdy," I say smiling over at one Colonel Jack O'Neill. I quickly slide the cup back to Daniel and move away from the counter. "Can I get you a drink?" I resist sighing a happy little sigh as I take in the picture of one casual-looking Colonel striding into my shop. Does he have any idea how good he looks in khakis?

"Stefan," Jack says warily as he looks around the room for Kira. I won't take it personally; the girl is prettier than me, after all.

Although not by much.

"Daniel, are you all right?" Jack asks, as moves closer towards his friend. Daniel holds up an arm to wave Jack away. I can't help but notice the bruising and red welts along his wrist. Daniel! Don't you know you are supposed to use padded handcuffs when you play?

Instantly, I chide myself for thinking such a thing. Obviously, Daniel had a rough weekend, and I don't mean the fun kind.

"I'm fine Jack," he says impatiently. "Stefan and I were just having a difference of opinion on my coffee drink selection."

"What's the problem?" Jack asks casually, as he walks over to the counter and sniffs at Daniel's drink.

"Whoa!" He says taking a step backwards. "I'm not sure Janet would approve of that much caffeine and chocolate.." Apparently, those were exactly not the words to say to one hen-pecked archaeologist.

"This will be perfect Stefan, thank you." With that he picks up the drink and takes a long sip. I think he was prepared for something foul-tasting as the contentment that radiates from his face definitely surprises him.

"This is good!" Daniel says aloud. Ha! Knew you'd like it.

"Glad you like it Daniel. Can we go now?" Jack asks impatiently as he peels off the Velcro surrounding his watch and checks the time. Velcro on watches? Military guys are so weird.

Cute, but weird.

"Really, Jack!" Daniel continues, taking another gulp of the mocha. "This is really good!" Jack can't help but smile slightly at the look on his friend's face.

"I'm glad you like your drink Daniel," Jack says, "but we need to be getting back to the mountain. Janet will kill me if I don't have you back on time."

"She wouldn't kill you Jack," Daniel begins.

"I promised I'd have you back by 0700," Jack reminds him.

"Which I found ridiculous," Daniel adds. "I am perfectly able to take care of myself Jack."

"Ha!" Jack retorts in disbelief. "You really need to wait a few days before you can try that defense, Daniel."

"I kept myself alive!" Daniel fires back angrily.

"Barely!" Jack yells back.

"Um, guys?" I now completely understand what Kree is talking about when she refers to the "Jack and Daniel show". These two are really in a class of their own.

"Sorry," Daniel says contritely. "Thanks for the coffee Stefan; it really was what I needed this morning."

"Thought so," I reply smiling. "You should always listen to your Barista, Dr. Jackson."

"And your Commanding Officer," Jack adds as he accepts a cup of drip coffee from me.

"Give it a rest, Jack," Daniel says tiredly as he pays for both of their drinks, and leaves me a healthy tip.

"Tell Kira we said hi," Jack says as he lightly steers his friend towards the front door. For all of Daniel's bravado, it's obvious that he isn't quite firing on all four cylinders right now.

"I will," I call back. I watch the retreating figures of Colonel Sumptuous and Professor Yummy and let out an audible sigh.

It just isn't fair that they're straight.

More Author's Notes: *EG* Hope you enjoyed that one. I had a lot of fun writing from Stefan's view point and hope it wasn't too over the top. Then again, this is Stefan we're talking about!

Title: Barista 36 -- Putt-putt
Spoilers: 0409- Scorched Earth
Category Gen, Humor, Angst
Rating: PG

Author's Notes: Always in search of creative storytelling, I'm doing this Barista a little different (a la 'Eavesdropping). Kira and her unique take on our favorite team will return in the next vignette. Tis another funny one kids. No snorting loudly at work now, ok?


:: Jack ::

"Jack, quit staring," Daniel says, whacking me with his club.

"I'm not staring."

"You are staring."

"Am not."

"Are too."



"That is enough," Teal'c commands the both of us. Both Daniel and I instantly shut up; we have worked alongside Teal'c far too long not to. Although, he really has lost a bit of his edge- dressed up as he is in plaid golf pants and a starched white polo shirt. Never should have loaned him those PGA tournament tapes after our little impromptu golf game in the gateroom.

"Sorry, T'," I reply, muttering an "am not" under my breath. Daniel doesn't look amused; but then again, Daniel hasn't been "amused" with me in nearly a week. This is of course why I dragged SG-1 to this Putt Putt course in the first place.

Nothing says team building like miniature golf.

I have to admit it wasn't easy getting all of them to come out here. As much as Carter would follow me to the ends of the world (or worlds) as a soldier, she pretty much does whatever she wants off the clock. 'With all due respect Sir..' Yeah, yeah Carter, I get it - you would much rather ride with Hell's Angels than spend time with SG-1 on down time. What she sees in greasy bikes, I'll never know.

Teal'c can always be counted on to try something new if he is convinced we aren't just pulling his leg or something. I think we might have done that once too often during his first year on Earth, so now he seldom agrees to do anything offbase without a guarantee from a neutral third party (usually Ferretti) that it'll be fun or interesting. I swear I'm going to get him to a mud-wrestling match yet.

And then there's Daniel.. Before I can brood too much about the sorry state of my friendship with Daniel, I spy Carter lurking behind Teal'c. She's trying her best not to show amusement (or maybe annoyance) with Daniel and me. I'd call her on that really poor attempt at hiding her smirk (insubordination, of course) except it's nice to actually see her smile. Hell, I'm just glad she's talking to me again. It was freaky having both Daniel and Sam give me the silent treatment this last week.

Not only do I have Daniel upset at me for choosing the Enkarans over the Gadmeer, but Carter is still smarting after being ordered by yours truly to build a naquadah bomb. A naquadah bomb that I purposefully detonated, on a ship that contained one Daniel Jackson.

It was not my finest moment.

"We really should help her, you know," I say as I sneak another glance in Kira's direction. Carter positions her green ball to play.

"Jack, she's on a date!" Daniel says irritated.

"A piss-poor one by the looks of it!" I shout back. I know I shouldn't be yelling at Daniel, but I just can't help myself. I've watched Kira struggle valiantly now for twenty minutes (the guy she's "with" keeps wandering off, apparently to chat with other women). If she is supposed to be on a date with that nimrod of a guy, then I'd be doing her a favor by breaking it up.

"How do you know that?" Daniel shoots back at me. "Have you asked Kira? Talked with her? Maybe tried to find out a little more about what she's doing?"

I open my mouth to reply (although I'm not quite sure what I can say out here in the open), when Carter comes between us.

"Sir, it's your turn." Daniel just looks at me expectantly as I stomp off towards the start of Hole 2.

I want to stay mad. Mad at Daniel; mad at the jerk of a guy who is ignoring Kira; mad at me - but I can't.

At least not at the moment.

For standing right smack in front of me is none other than an overly tall and glitzy Glinda the Good Witch. I can't help but break into a grin.

Cassie had told me about this place a few weeks ago, and I had been dying to take her (or anyone who'd go with me) ever since. What are the odds that someone out there would open a Wizard of Oz themed miniature golf course?

Someone out there (besides Thor) likes me.

I position myself in front of Glinda and take a moment to figure out how I'm going to bank my ball off of the dip on the left and past her moving wand and onto the yellow brick road. If the wand catches my ball, it'll shoot it all the way back to the starting point. I have three putts - piece of cake.

Four putts later I give Daniel a nod. Damn ruby slippers blocking the way.

:: Sam ::

Much to the Colonel's dismay, Daniel makes it past Glinda in just two strokes. I write down his score on the card and give Teal'c a nod that it is his turn. I almost feel sorry for the Colonel, but then I think about what he put me though last week. 'Sorry' is not exactly an accurate description as to what I'm feeling at the moment. What the hell was I thinking, building that bomb..? Sometimes, I truly despise the solider I have become.

"MajorCarter," Teal'c asks, placing his red ball at the start of hole three and looking quizzically at the painted yellow tiles and the stuffed straw scarecrow. "Didn't you tell me that O'Neill's fascination with the 'Wizard of Oz' was.." He pauses in search of the right word. "Unique?"

I will not blush.
I will not blush.
I will not blush.

"What exactly did you tell Teal'c, Carter?" the Colonel asks, doing a freakishly good impression of the Jaffa by raising a solitary eyebrow. Damn. He must have been practicing that one. Probably during all that looping a few weeks ago.

"Only that not everyone on Earth has the same appreciation for the film as you, sir." I'm honestly not making fun of the Colonel. Well not maliciously that is. I have never worked with anyone I respect more, but let's face it - Jack O'Neill's fondness for the 1939 classic is a rather peculiar foible.

For a straight man.

"Carter?" The Colonel looks at me in such a pointed way that I swear he knows exactly what I'm thinking.

"Colonel O'Neill's partiality to the film is distinctive, Teal'c." I say finally, smiling a little. "But it isn't so unusual for miniature golf courses to have themes such as this one."

"I do not recall 'Tiger Woods' playing golf on a course such as this, or with a stick.."

"Club, Teal'c," Colonel O'Neill says absently already distracted by Kira being once again left alone. I have to admit, I'm starting to wonder if we shouldn't rescue her as well. Daniel however is thinking something completely different. He notices the Colonel looking (once again) Kira's way, and becomes noticeably upset.

"Jack, would you stop spying on her!"

"Daniel, I am not spying."

"You are."


"Colonel!" I say loudly, interrupting what was certain to be yet another fight of one-liners. Daniel and the Colonel have oscillated between ignoring and yelling at one another ever since we returned from the new Enkaran home world on P5S-381. It doesn't take a rocket scientist (or an astrophysicist) to know why. "I need for you to hold this while I play." I hold out the score card and with a sigh, the Colonel takes it.

"Knock yourself out, Dorothy," the Colonel says with a flourish as he steps aside.

I really hate when he calls me that.

:: Daniel ::

I know Jack is trying, but I'm still not sure I'm ready for all of this. This being Jack trying to make amends.

Jack being nice.

Jack not asking Sam to build a bomb that was going to destroy an innocent race of beings. I absently rub that growing furrow in the center of my forehead and once again shudder with the realization of how close I came to dying.


Only this time it would have been Jack who pulled the trigger. I can't help the small shudder that washes over me.

"He's trying, Daniel," Sam says, nudging my shoulder as she catches me brooding.

"I know." And I do, too. I know Jack. I know that he was doing everything he possibly could to save the Enkarans.

I just wish he understood that I was too.

:: Teal'c ::

I am not certain if O'Neill was correct in bringing us to this place, but I understand his need to "set things right" between himself, MajorCarter and DanielJackson. I do not like seeing my friends at odds with one another.

"I'm going to talk with her," O'Neill declares, after striking his ball into the representation of a field of poppies. This game is preposterously frivolous. Maybe it will be I who rescues KiraMeyers.

We had barely begun the game when DanielJackson noticed KiraMeyers several "holes" in front of us. She did not appear to be enjoying her game any more than I was.

"And tell her what, Jack?"

"Well, I could just say 'hi' or something," O'Neill answers. He glares at DanielJackson for a moment, but there is little malice behind his eyes. The two of them are equally uncomfortable and hurt. Perhaps this game will end up being the curative O'Neill hopes.

"Oh, I'm sure she'll just love that," DanielJackson answers setting his ball down and hitting it clear past the flowers and into "The Emerald City".

Or perhaps not.

:: Kira ::

I will never go on another double date again. Well, at least not a blind double date.

"They seem to be having a nice time," James (my date) says to me as we watch Sylvia giggle once again, as John positions himself behind her to show her the proper stance for hitting a golf ball.

Puh-leeze. This is a miniature golf course kids- keep the hanky panky for someplace private, ok?

I suppose I should be happy. At least James is actually back to speaking to me again. He vanished completely for two holes, and I later spied him back at the refreshment stand talking with one of the counter workers. Nice to know that my company is so scintillating that the guy prefers to talk to the chick selling ice cream bars.

I resist sighing, and just give James a weak smile as I grudgingly walk up to hole 8 and try to hit my ball past the "flying monkeys".

This is so incredibly lame!

Although, I don't think I would be thinking that if I was actually having a good time.

Which I am not.

At all.

I finish my play (and note that I'm still ahead by two strokes) and motion for Uninteresting Guy (James) to go ahead and putt. Sylvia and John are up ahead in the Wicked Witch's Castle already, starting to play.

With one another's lips.

I so want to go home.

:: Jack ::

"That's it!" I shout, picking up my club like it's a hockey stick and slinging it across my shoulder. "I'm going in." Feels kinda weird saying that without the requisite, 'Cover me'.

"Jack, would you just leave the girl alone?" Daniel tries one last time. I swear he's only arguing with me to piss me off. After all, he likes Kira every bit as much as I do, and I know he's nearly as protective of her as I am.

"Nope." I would think Daniel of all people would recognize when a fellow human being is in date distress.

"T', if I'm not back in five, play for me would ya?" I yell over my shoulder as I start towards hole 9. I notice that Kira and her guy have been left alone- if I squint, I think I can make out their companions up at the castle. I'm thinking those two aren't going to be finishing the game anytime soon.

Well, at least not the golf game.

"Hi Kira!" I say loudly, walking across the yellow brick road and onto hole eight.

"Colonel Jack!" Kira cries, as she turns around and gives me a smile that would light up a room. I so made the right call in coming up here.

"How are ya doing?" I ask nonchalantly, shooting a look at the idiotic suitor on her left.

"Good, good," Kira replies, shaking her head slightly and continuing to grin. Our little Barista is a smart girl; she knows she's being rescued.

"Is Daniel with you?" She asks looking around the course.

"Yeah," I reply, trying not to let my happy-go-lucky facade slip. "He, Carter and Murray are back a ways," I say, gesturing vaguely behind me. "They're trying to get through the field of poppies without falling asleep." Kira smiles.

"Where are my manners?" Kira says suddenly. "Colonel O'Neill, may I introduce James Melton."

"Howdy Jim," I say holding out a hand. I might already have determined that the guy shouldn't be allowed to procreate, but that doesn't mean one should be rude.

"James," the guy says flatly, shaking my hand with a weak wrist. Well, that just seals the deal. Any guy who can't properly shake hands, doesn't deserve to live.


Well, sort of.

"So," I begin rocking back on my heels and shoving my hands into my Bermuda shorts. "You kids having fun?"

:: Kira ::

Am I having fun? Is he kidding? Actually, I know he knows that I'm not. The question is, does he have a plan for getting me away from here?

"Well, I'm winning..." I begin feebly holding out the scorecard.

"Only because that freaky wind pulled your ball into the tin man's oil can," James says quickly, scowling a little. I exhale slowly and count to two-and-a-half before opening my mouth to respond.

"So, Kira!" Jack says, grinning as he interrupts me. "Do you think I might be able to steal you away for a little bit? I know Daniel would love to see you." I am certain unadulterated gratitude is written all across my face.

"I think that would be all right," I say meeting Jack's eye and mouthing, 'thank you' as I turn back towards Uninteresting Guy. "James, how about if I meet you, John and Sylvia by the concession stand. Say in thirty minutes?"

"What about the game?" He whines.

"Why don't you go on ahead and play for all of us?" I suggest. "I know you'll be honest with recording the score.."

"Oh." James smiles a little with realization. "I guess I can do that." The guy is so going to cheat.

"Bye!" I call back giving him a small wave. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

"Jack, I think I love you," I say to my rescuer, as I skip down the yellow brick road towards Daniel, Sam and Murray.

:: Daniel ::

We are just starting hole 6 when Jack returns, leading a very exuberant Kira. Actually, it is Kira who is leading Jack.

"I was right, Danny-boy," Jack says gleefully swinging his club like a baton and heading towards Sam to check out the scores.

"Right about what?" Kira asks. I'd love to lie and totally make something up, but my heart isn't in it.

"Jack thought you needed rescuing," I explain.

"Hell, yeah!" Kira replies. She grimaces slightly at her use of swearing and offers me an apologetic shrug. "I wasn't having the best of times."

"Which I noticed from 100 yards away, I might add," Jack adds.

"Yes Jack, your powers of observation are completely unsurpassed," I reply snidely. The moment the words are out of my mouth, I regret them. Yes, I am still angry with Jack, but that doesn't mean I need to air our "dirty laundry" in public. Maybe Kira won't notice.

"Why are you two fighting?" Kira says abruptly, looking between Jack and I.

So much for not noticing.

Neither Jack nor I say anything, and Kira instantly goes from slightly worried, to full-out concern.

"Daniel?" She says, turning towards me. "What did you do to Jack?"

Why is she looking at me? Jack's the guy with the trigger finger, not me! I want to tell her that it isn't me she should be accusing, but before I can even begin to think of a non-classified way to explain all of this, Sam comes to our rescue.

:: Sam ::

"It's classified, Kira," I say solemnly. I can't believe I'm using the 'classified' line yet again. Poor Kira.

"Oh come on, Sam!" Kira replies back in frustration. "What's going on with all of you? I've been here less than five minutes and even I can see how you're walking on eggshells around one another. What did Daniel do?"

This is one observant young lady - it actually was Daniel who started all of this.

Of course it was also Daniel who saved us as well.

"I found another way," Daniel starts.

"Another way to what?" Kira asks curiously.

"Another way to help some.people." People. People - aliens, it's all pretty much the same these days.

"At risk to yourself!" The Colonel reminds Daniel.

"Jack, contrary to what you might believe, I didn't go up there with the intent of disobeying you.."

"Or blowing yourself up?"

Uh oh. I need to stop this. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Kira paling considerably.

"You were the one with his hand on the trigger," Daniel says angrily, pointing a finger at the Colonel.

"Guys," I say taking a step towards the arguing men.

"And you were the one who wouldn't get off the damn boat!"

"Stop it!" I shout.

"Please," Kira adds softly. Instantly the guys fall quiet.

:: Kira ::

Blowing himself up? Daniel nearly died? Again? And what's this about Jack actually pulling the trigger? I feel myself beginning to hyperventilate and look at my friends desperately for an explanation.

"Everything's fine, Kira," Daniel says softly, giving me a gentle hug.

"Sorry we shouted," Jack adds contritely. Daniel releases me and I look at them both expectantly.

"What happened?" Jack sighs and puts his hands back in his pockets. Daniel rubs his forehead.

"There was a misunderstanding between two groups of settlers, Kira," Sam explains. "Both had every right to be there, but neither could share the land."

"Why?" I ask.

"Waaaay too complicated to explain," Jack says with a trace of humor. "Trust us when we say it was complicated."

"Ok," I nod. "So, what happened?" Jack's face clouds in memory and Daniel sighs.

"We had to try and think of some alternatives for everyone," Daniel explains.

"But it wasn't working," the Colonel continues.

"And we were running out of time," Sam adds. Murray is staying preternaturally silent in the background. I get the feeling he wants his friends to talk this through without him.

The trio is silent for several moments.

"In the end, Daniel saved the day," Jack says simply.

"Again," Sam adds.

"After nearly getting myself killed," Daniel concludes.

"Again," all three say simultaneously. I can't help the half laugh/half sob that escapes me. What the hell do these guys do?!

Apparently whatever pall that had been hanging over all of them had lifted. Jack roughly pulls Daniel towards him and hugs his friend hard.

"You did what you needed to do, Jack." Daniel whispers.

"And you did what you needed to do," Jack adds. He sighs, as he releases his friend. "But could we please try and not have them be mutually exclusive next time?"

"I'm not planning on there being a next time, Jack."

"Ah, but there always is, Space monkey," Jack declares, shaking his head in wry humour. "There always is."

:: Jack ::

So after Daniel and I had our Hallmark moment, the rest of the game actually ended up being quite fun. Kira helped all of us out on our putting, and in the end Teal'c won by a single stroke.

I'm really not one to have emotional outbursts in public (yeah, that's an understatement O'Neill), but this time, I think being in public might have helped Daniel and I.


Or maybe it had something to do with being surrounded by fake yellow bricks and honkin' large statues from the best movie ever made.

Title: Barista 37 -- The Messenger
Season: place during/after 0410 - Beneath the Surface
Spoilers: (slight) Barista 32 - Epiphany; 0320 - Maternal Instinct
Category Gen
Rating: PG

Author's Notes: I drop hints in this one. I know - I'm as bad as Frankenstein, messing around with Kira like this. Sorry! Heh. A little.


I check my watch for the third time in twenty minutes and sigh. There was just no denying it – Daniel was late. And not just, "Sorry Kira, I got wrapped up in a project" late.

He was late.

Daniel has been helping me out on thorny translating assignments and editing history papers for me for almost two years now. At times, I just wish I could touch that brain of his, and absorb what he knows through osmosis (yeah, he's that smart), but Daniel is also a good teacher. He asks just the right questions, and basically turns everything around so that I'm the one doing all the work (very sneaky), even though he's the one who knows the answer. I'll bet you money he's taught at a university somewhere…

Absently I start humming that funny Christmas song about Kris Kringle and putting one foot in front of the other. Haven't a clue why that odd ditty came into my head. Considering the fact that summer isn't even over yet (Labor Day is next weekend); I am forced to reach no other conclusion than I've gone completely bonkers.

Hey! It's been known to happen. After all, what sane, rational woman spends her well-earned scholastic break trying to work out a Sumerian riddle? I'm just having the darndest time getting the difference between the prefix "mu-", (the animate one) and the prefix "ba-" (the inanimate one). This really should be straight-forward, but for some reason…

I look at my watch again and frown. Twenty-five minutes now.

I don't know why I'm so concerned. Daniel has been late before. Actually, he's late a lot. And there have even been times when he hasn't even shown up at all! I wonder if he does that with Jack? Or is he the perfect not-really-military-I-just-work-with-them genius up at that mountain? I shake my head trying to dispel the image of Daniel with a gun. Boy, does that just seem wrong!

Daniel may be late a fair amount, but he has always given me a heads-up if he knows he might be out of town or something. We exchanged cell phone numbers last year - much to my mother's considerable glee I might add. I loaned her my phone one afternoon and she proceeded (in true motherly-fashion) to "accidentally" nose around in my phone book. She immediately glommed onto Daniel's name (it was the only non-family member she didn't recognize) and now keeps calling him my mystery boyfriend. I've thought about trying to explain who he actually is, but I kind of like the idea of having a mystery guy. It keeps mom from continually asking when I'm going to find a nice boy and settle down. Jewish mothers…

I look at my watch again; only three minutes have passed.

If Daniel knows he's going to be running late, he usually gives me a call, or sends me an email. If he thinks he's going to be out of town, he likes to give me a head's up on the off chance that he might be delayed. Again, he does this a lot. Not that we meet up a lot or anything (maybe two or three times a term), but if there is just a slight possibility that he might not make our meeting… Let's just say, that sometimes I get a one-line email telling me he's out of town, and the very next day a much more leisurely email telling me he's back and he'll see me next week. Geeze Daniel! He seriously needs to take a course in time management or something. A trip to Denver or Cheyenne is not (unless it's mid-winter) usually going to result in being late to a meeting with me the following week! Obviously some of these business trips are pretty close to town, so why does he even bother?

Once, Daniel even sent Jack to track me down at the café where we usually meet. I had forgotten my phone, and Daniel apparently was recovering from "bad dreams" or something like that, and didn't feel up to going out. Jack was sent out to explain everything to me. This consisted mainly of, "Daniel isn't feeling well. Bad dreams", and the eating of pie. I smile at the memory.

And then frown. Where was he?

I stare hopefully at the front door, and will Daniel to walk through it.

He doesn't.

However, someone else does. I haven't a clue who he is, but there's a definite military air about him (the starched white shirt with the blue shoulder thingies gives him away). He looks around the room like he's searching for someone in particular. I look at my watch.

It's now 3:30. I bite my lip and wonder how much longer I should wait.

"Excuse me miss," the military guy say kindly, stopping at my table. "Are you Kira Meyers?" Instantly my blood runs cold. I never actually understood that phrase before now.

"Yeah, that's me," I reply cautiously. With my eyes I tell him it's okay to sit down. I don't know who this guy is yet, but he has this very gentle air about him that quickly puts me at ease.

At least about him that is; the fact that he's here and not Daniel has me very worried.

"My name is George Hammond," he says introducing himself. "General George Hammond." I know I should be impressed that he's a General, but right now I'm just worried about my friends.

"You work with Daniel and Colonel Jack, don't you?" Colonel Jack. It's funny how we tend to go back to diminutives and nicknames when we're feeling vulnerable.

"I do," he answers nodding. I just look at him with fearful eyes and wait.

"I bet you're wondering why I'm here, aren't you?" Well, duh.

"I'm kinda hoping it's to tell me about a promotion for Jack or Sam," I pause and look at him expectantly. Ever so slightly, the general shakes his head. "Or maybe," I continue grabbing onto the first thought that pops into my head, "Daniel won some sort of civilian medal for discovering some cool archaeological find deep inside a meteor or something." I can't think what else could have Daniel so enthralled up there in ‘Deep Space Telemetry'. Sure, Daniel has told me that he does translations and the occasional archaeological dig for the military, but that doesn't really explain much.

The general gives me one of those looks I've noticed Jack give me before; a cross between enigmatic and incredulous. What can I say? I do have an active imagination.

"Not this time, Ms. Meyers," the general says with a touch of humour.

"Why are you here?" I ask cutting to the chase.

The general sighs. "Colonel Jack O'Neill and his team are missing," he states.

"Just missing?" I repeat. Missing is way better than dead.

"At this time, that's all I am prepared to accept," the general says firmly. I look into his eyes and for some reason begin to feel a bit better. This kindly-looking man who could probably play a passable Santa during the holidays (as long as someone gave him a wig and beard), honestly believes that my friends (and his too, I imagine) are "just missing".

I like this General George Hammond.

"How did you know I would be here waiting for Daniel?" I ask.

"Occasionally, a member of my command falls ill or is incapacitated in some manner that prevents them from doing their job. It has become standard procedure for assistants to go through the calendars and email of department heads to make sure there is nothing important that needs to be delegated to another team member."

"You went through Daniel's calendar?" I ask, a little wide-eyed. I might not know that much about the military, but I am pretty certain generals don't, as a rule, look through archaeologists' email and read their reports. The General gives me a soft smile and shakes his head.

"His assistant took a look at Dr. Jackson's calendar. He didn't understand what "Meet Kira – Diablo" meant and brought it to me to make certain it wasn't anything important."

"It wasn't anything important," I say shaking my head. I can't imagine meeting me at Café Diablo was something Daniel just had to do.

"It was something important," the general corrects me. "This meeting was important enough for Dr. Jackson, that he recorded it both in his paper appointment book and his electronic calendar."

Wow. This surprises me. I mean, I knew Daniel considered me a friend, but it isn't that big of a thing if he blew me off. I mean, not in the big scheme of things.

"How'd you know what it meant?" I ask.

The general laughs outright.

"Everyone in Dr. Jackson's sphere of influence knows you Ms. Meyers," the general explains. "It seems only your coffee is allowed to be brewed in Dr. Jackson's coffee pot." I can't help it – now it's my turn to laugh.

"It isn't like I actually make the coffee you know," I explain. "Besides, it's Victor's coffee shop.."

"Doesn't matter," the general interrupts, shaking his head. "To the people under my command, it is you who supply Daniel with the espresso he is so fond of. In fact," the General leans in almost as if he is telling me a secret. "On more than one occasion, we have sent Daniel a very special care package of your coffee." He smiles again as if this were really a big deal. I guess it wouldn't be too kosher to spend a hundred bucks to FedEx a pound of Victor's Sumatra-roast coffee to Egypt or someplace.

"I knew exactly what that message meant," the general concludes, eyeing my books and iced tea. "I just wanted to let you know where Dr. Jackson was myself."

"Where is Daniel?" Hey, it doesn't hurt to try, right?

The general shakes his head. "I can't tell you that Ms. Meyers," he says sadly. "But I can tell you we are doing everything we can to bring him home."

The general didn't stay long after that day nearly two weeks ago. He assured me he'd have Daniel give me a call or email after he returned, and I trusted him to give Daniel the message.

For a while, I was constantly on the lookout for Daniel, but after the first week or so, I became fearful and willed myself not to think about either him or Jack. I kept telling myself that the General would let me know if something truly unspeakable happened to my favorite guys.

Well, I told myself this anyhow.

Just when I was seriously considering tracking down the General Hammond's number, my fears were laid to rest. Naturally it would be on a day when I was half-hidden behind the counter placing coffee bean orders. I might be facing away from the counter, but this doesn't always stop some folks from asking me questions.


"Excuse me Miss, do you have…" Oh, here we go again.

"Jonah.." Hey! I know that voice! I whip around just in time to see Daniel looking a bit sheepish at Jack.

"Jack," Jack replies absently back at Daniel.

"Jack!" I shout, dropping my clipboard and running around the counter. I throw my arms around him and give him a big hug. "You've been found!"

"I was lost?" he replies, smiling as he returns my hug.

"You were lost," I answer in a muffled voice. It is so good to have them back!

"Hey, no hogging my barista!" Daniel says, taking Jack's place and giving me another hug. Wow. If it wasn't for the fact that these guys had me worried to tears, I could get used to this. "How've you been, Kira?"

"Better now," I reply reaching up on my tiptoes and giving Daniel a kiss on the cheek.

"Sorry about that," Daniel says contritely. "I'm afraid it could not have been helped."

"Well, it could have been helped," Jack adds, once again supplying me with information without really telling me a damn thing. "But I'm afraid we didn't have much of a say in things."

"Well, you're back now, and that's all that matters!" I say in return. We stand there smiling stupidly at one another for several seconds. I stare at my guys for a few seconds and realize that wherever they were, there must have been a gym or something. Both Daniel and Jack look like they've buffed up a bit.

Especially Daniel.

It really is a good thing that I've completely gotten over my crush on him. Absently, I wonder if he has a girlfriend. They seem to notice my starring and I instantly begin to blush.

"What?" I ask, trying to regain control. "You've been gone for three weeks, can't a girl stare a little?"

"You were looking at my chest, Kira," Daniel says teasing.

"Hey don't knock it, Danny," Jack replies. "It's better then checking out your ass."

"Jack!" Daniel and I say in unison.

"I'm just saying," Jack says shrugging. "We're meeting Thera and Murray for dinner in a few minutes, but we wanted to stop by and say howdy first." Thera? Who's Thera? Judging by how casual Jack seems to be just standing there, he must think I should know who this Thera person is. Next to him, Daniel looks like he swallowed a live toad or something.

"Thera?" I ask aloud.

"Friend of the family," Daniel says quickly glancing worriedly at Jack. Jack in return frowns and lets out an exasperated sigh as his shoulders seem to sag a bit.

"Friend of the family," he repeats sullenly. Whoa. Talk about a mood breaker.

"We really need to be going, Kira," Daniel says a little too quickly. "It was great seeing you!" He leans down and gives me another hug. Heh. I've gotten so many Daniel hugs that I've now officially lost count. Sweet!

"I'm really glad you stopped by," I say to them as I walk them to the front door. "Say hi to Sam for me, okay?" I ask.

"Sam," Jack repeats almost to himself. He seems to shake his head a bit and then shoots me a quick smile. "We'll definitely tell Carter you said ‘hi'," he says.

"Take care of yourselves and try not to go 'missing' anytime soon, all right?"

"Next time I promise not to ask for a demonstration," Jack says mysteriously.

"Jack!" Daniel chastises as they walk outside.

"I'm just saying…"

I smile to myself as I head back to work.

Title: Barista 38 -- Serendipity
Spoilers: 0413- The Curse
Category Gen, Humor
Rating: PG

Are we there yet?

I catch myself looking out the window for the umpteenth time and sigh. Absently, I grab another couple of ice cubes from the near-empty plastic cup on the table in front of me and pop them into my mouth. I draw a vague kind of solace from crunching my ice cubes loudly. I look up at the assorted lights and dials above my head and wonder if they glow in the dark.

Geeze, I'm bored.

Listlessly, I pick up one of my textbooks and randomly thumb through the pages. This is the problem with large, academic texts: no pictures. Normally these things don't faze me, but today..? Never before has history seemed so boring. I know! Complete sacrilege on my part. Maybe if I were studying ancient aviators instead of astronomers... I sigh again as I close the book, and toss it back inside my backpack. Let's face it - life at 30,000 feet is just not that exciting. Now maybe if I were flying the airplane...

I smile at the notion, and absently wonder if Jack or Sam knows how to fly. I mean, they're Air Force, right? Of course, they can fly! Wonder if they can do any of those sweet air tricks like the Thunderbirds do? That would be so cool!

I look at my watch and discover to my dismay that only 45 minutes have passed since we left Denver. So not fair! I've actually been on this airplane for nearly three hours, and all I have to show for it is 45 minutes of air time? Someone up there definitely doesn't like me.

First we were delayed due to a luggage conveyer belt malfunction; then the emergency light came on for no reason and we had to have it repaired before they would allow us to taxi on the runway. And just when we were about to pull away from the gate, we got word that a VIP of some kind was on his way, and we needed to wait just a little while longer. 35 minutes longer, I might add.

And to make matters worse - I'm hungry. Idly I wonder if first class gets any lunch on flights like this. I'm dressed somewhat nicely - maybe I can sweet talk them into an apple or something. Normally the 2 hour, 40 minute flight doesn't serve food for us plebes, and it has been ages since my last pack of peanuts. I study my hands for a few seconds and wish I had brought a deck of cards or something. Maybe some string? Cat's cradle would have entertained me for at least a few minutes. I so need to take up knitting! It might not make my stomach any happier, but it sure would give my fingers something to do. I crane my neck and look down the aisle to see if there are any flight folk or beverage carts in sight.

Completely devoid of human life. Well, isn't this just ducky? I refuse to sigh again, and look back down at my crushed Diet Coke can and empty bag of peanuts.

Are we there yet?

Deciding that enough is enough I stuff my now-empty (and slightly cracked) cup into the seat pocket and fold my table back up into the upright and locking position. I politely excuse myself and take to the streets.

I mean aisles.

I have no real destination; I just need to get up for a bit. Sitting still isn't one of my better traits. First I head to the back of the plane, but a line seems to have formed around the two small bathrooms and to be honest, I actually do need to go. I see they have begun stocking the beverage cart, so I decide to risk heading up to first class. I'm hoping I can use their gild-plated johns before the flight crew makes it up to my seat.

No. I don't know for a fact that their bathrooms are ultra-posh - I'm just supposing here.

Have I mentioned that I'm bored?

I successfully sneak through the closed curtains and make my way past the rich and famous towards the bathrooms. For just 25,000 airline miles, I too could have upgraded to leather seats and genuine cutlery. I eye their honey-glazed cashews with desire.

Have I mentioned that I'm hungry?

I poke my head around the corner of the galley in search of a stray package of nuts or something.

"Miss, you can't be here," a voice says from behind.


"Um, I was just looking for..."

"This is business class," the flight attendant sternly tells me as she motions me to move out of her area.

"I know that," I begin. And I do too. I just wanted to see if this would work. I hear the rustle of someone coming up behind me, but pay it little concern. I am too busy concentrating on trying to sweet talk my way back to the economy cabin with a bag of nuts. "I'm just looking for..."

"Kira?" I whip my head around and gape at the owner of a voice I know so well.

"Daniel?" No way! I mean, it was odd enough running into him in Seattle - but on an airplane bound for Chicago?!"

"Do you know this woman, sir?" The flight attendant asks. I think she is a little put out that I appear to have been rescued. Probably looking forward to sending me back to the masses.

"Maybe a little," Daniel replies smiling.

"Daniel!" I cajole, giving him my best "Rescue me!" look.

"You don't mind if I take my friend back to my seat with me, do you?" Daniel asks. The flight attendant opens up her mouth with what I'm certain would have been a denial, but Daniel beats her to the punch.

"The seat beside me is empty, and I'm sure my friend here won't cause any problems." Uh uh! Not me! I resist grinning at Daniel. Best to wait until I have my seat first.

"Fine," the flight attendant replies, sounding more than a little annoyed. "Go have a seat, miss." She is totally doing her job here, so I don't take it personally.

"Thanks!" I reply gratefully. "You wouldn't by chance have an extra bag of nuts hanging around would you..?"

Two package of nuts and a Diet Coke later, I'm happily seated next to Daniel. Who, I might add is looking particularly nice.

And when I say nice, I mean drop-dead gorgeous. Daniel Jackson, archaeologist, linguist and occasional trouble-magnet, is dressed in a swanky suit that probably cost more than my tuition this quarter. At the very least, the same as the cost of this historical conference I'm attending; it's a really nice suit.

Have I mentioned how nice Daniel looks in suits?

"You're lucky I came along," Daniel begins as I take my eyes off his suit and rip open my prized booty. "Otherwise, you might have starved to death or something." I know he's making fun of me, but frankly, I don't really care right now.

I did say I was hungry.

"I'm hungry," I reply in a muffled voice, as I stuff an overly large handful of nuts into my mouth. Happily, I savor the salt and fat. Sustenance! "You've been on this plane as long as I have," I continue, swallowing the nuts and taking a large, satisfying drink of my soda (served in a glass tumbler, I might add). "You know how long we've been stuck out here without food or water."

Daniel wrinkles his forehead in confusion. "Kira, are you hypoglycemic or something?" he asks seriously. "We only took off 45 minutes late."

"What are you talking about, Daniel?" I reply. "We took off nearly three hours after we boarded!"


"What do you mean really?" The lack of food must be starting to affect me. How could Daniel not realize how long we lingered on that runway? I mean, I know he can be absent-minded at times, but come on! It isn't like there are some enthralling translations to work on out here.

"Um...," Daniel begins uncomfortably. "I only waited 45 minutes."

"You were our VIP?" I ask incredulously. Holy crap! I mean, I know that Daniel is important to Jack and the folks he works with, but to have the power to hold up a jetliner? That's some heavy-duty mojo!

I continue to stare at Daniel in shock as I gulp down my soda and contemplate what all of this means.

"Daniel, you have the power to alter flight traffic?" I ask seriously. I had a cousin who worked as an air flight controller at Dulles - I have some idea of how difficult it is to delay an airplane for a single passenger. Usually, they just ask the individual to wait until the next flight.

Daniel has the good grace to look a little embarrassed. "I was told this was the next flight to Chicago," he says.

"It was the next flight for Chicago," I explain. "But we were already two hours late!"

"Dammit, Jack!" Daniel mutters, turning red. "If it turns out you wanted me on this flight for the frequent flyer miles.."

"What?!" I shout. Well maybe not shout, but I did raise my voice. Daniel shakes his head and sighs.

"I only found out this morning that a professor and mentor of mine had passed away," Daniel begins.

"I'm sorry," I say sincerely.

"Thanks," Daniel says giving me a small smile. "I hadn't actually talked to Dr. Jordan in years, but he really did teach me a lot." Daniel pauses for a moment to gather his thoughts. "I read about the accident that killed him in one of those tabloid newspapers, and when I researched the details, I discovered that the funeral was going to be held today."

"Hence, the suit?" I ask giving him a good-natured leer. At least I hoped it looks innocent.

"Hence the suit," Daniel agrees nodding. "Sam helped pick this out for me earlier this year."

"Sam has good taste." That's about as far as I'll go in letting Daniel know how good he looks.

"I'll make sure to tell her."

I need to get the topic off of Daniel and his fabulous-looking suit. "So you found out about the funeral today and had to make a lot of last-minute arrangements.."

"I needed to head home and pack, so Jack said he would get me on the next plane and make sure I have a car rental and all of that in Chicago," Daniel explains. "The funeral is at 1 PM." A look of sadness passes over his face.

"I'm sure this really was the first available flight, Daniel."

"I'd like to think Jack didn't pull strings in order to hold up an entire airplane for me.." Daniel starts.

"Although it would be something I'd see Jack doing," I admit. I don't have a clue how he'd do it. But Colonel Jack O'Neill doesn't strike me as the type of guy who waits for things to happen.

"That's what I'm afraid of,"he admits. Daniel turns to me and grins, "This is my first flight in business class."

"Mine, too!"

A few minutes later both Daniel and I get served lunch. Guess whatever strings Jack pulled to get Daniel into Business Class, also extended to his wayward companion.

"So Kira, why are you on this flight?" Daniel asks.

"I won a scholarship to attend the AHA Conference in Chicago!" I say proudly. I've never been to a conference before.

"American Historical Association?"

"Uh huh," I nod. There's a special presentation by AAH" I look over and see Daniel nodding.

"Association of Ancient Historians," he fills in automatically. No shocker there - Daniel speaks how many languages? I'm not really surprised that he knows acronym lingo as well.

"Yep," I say, nodding again. "AAH will be sponsoring an exhibit on maps of the old world, as well as doing a panel discussion on fostering international cooperation amongst antiquities museums and research universities."

"You want to do historical research?" Daniel asks.

I shrug. "I still don't know exactly what I want to do with this degree of mine, Daniel," I begin. "But I do know I want to do something a little different."

"Different," Daniel repeats, smiling to himself.

"Don't laugh at me, Daniel," I say a little too sharply. I'm hearing it enough from my parents. If I were standing, I'd be putting my hands on my hips about now.

"I'm not laughing, Kira," Daniel insists.


"Really." Daniel chuckles wryly and shakes his head a little. "I was only smiling because you sounded a bit like I did ten years ago," he explains.

"What were you working on ten years ago?" I ask. I know Daniel has all sorts of secrets about what he does now, but maybe he's not so secretive about the past.

"I was Dr. Jordan's archaeology assistant actually," Daniel explains. "I had all these crazy ideas..."

"You mean about the Egyptian pyramids being built a few thousand years before they were supposed to?" If we weren't in an airplane, I swear Daniel would have leapt from his seat in astonishment.

"You know about that?"

I shrug. "I googled you, Daniel," I explain. "I found a reference to a conference you talked at back in 1994 or 95."

"Google." Daniel repeats, not sounding like he understands.

"It's a slick new search engine," I explain. I had been a beta-tester of Google two years ago, and now used the search engine exclusively.

"I never even considered that," Daniel says to himself.

"Considered what?" I ask.

"The Internet," he answers. "How long have you known about my being the laughingstock of the archaeological world?" There's a fair amount of bitterness in his voice, but it's tempered with something else I can't quite figure out.

"All I could find on you Daniel," I say honestly, "was some random snippets of information about how brilliant you are.." Daniel blushes a little at this. "And an interview from a guy who attended a conference you gave back in the mid-90s."

"That's it?" He asks.

"That's it," I confirm. "You pretty much dropped off the face of the earth after 1995 - I never found out what you were working on after that. I figured you gave the talk, got embarrassed, went to Egypt, met your wife and then, eventually, came back to the States and became Mystery Archaeology man with Jack." I'm totally fishing here. Who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky.

"Something like that," Daniel answers enigmatically. Arrgggh! So much for finding out more. I actually have googled Daniel three or four times since that first attempt at looking for him using Yahoo's search engine. Nothing new showed up on Yahoo or AltaVista or even HotBot! One of these days...

"I think you'd make a great researcher, Kira," Daniel says. Way to change the subject, Daniel.

"Maybe," I concede. "All I know is that I don't want to just do static research. You know, one of those historical projects that gathers data for the purpose of discovering what year exactly men started wearing pants." Daniel lets out a short laugh.

"What?" The prospect of discovering when men decided to wear pants makes Daniel laugh?

"I just know a couple of guys who still don't like to wear pants," Daniel explains, still smiling.

"Well that's odd." There aren't a lot of men who wear kilts these days, but there are a few. I mentally snap my fingers. Doofus! Daniel is also an Anthropologist - I'm sure he knows lots of of non-Westerners.

"What kind of research do you want to do?" Daniel asks with interest.

I consider the question seriously. "I just need to have some sort of goal or something, Daniel," I begin. "I honestly don't need for it to be something as lofty as saving the world from AIDS or anything, but I need to have a goal." I give Daniel a sideways glance. "Do I sound totally ridiculous?" I ask. I might not care if my parents thought I was an idealistic dreamer, but if Daniel did as well... well, maybe I might reconsider my options.

"You don't sound ridiculous, Kira," Daniel replies seriously. "And I bet you'll find the perfect project one day. Who knows? You might find something at that conference." There is absolutely nothing in Daniel's voice that should lead me to this conclusion, but I don't think he's hopeful I'm going to discover my perfect job this weekend.

The remaining hour on the flight passes quickly as Daniel and I chat about history and language. The more I talk to Daniel, the more I wish he were teaching somewhere. The man is just so damn smart, you know? It is an absolute pleasure talking with him.

We land, and Daniel sweetly offers to drive me to my hotel. I know he's on a tight schedule though (it's already noon) and politely decline. I feel guilty with the knowledge that I have never attended a funeral before. I can offer him no words of solace (as if there really are such things), and only give him another hug as we say goodbye.

It is nearly a week later when I see Daniel again. It was one of those brilliant sunny October days here in Colorado Springs, and Daniel walks into the coffee shop looking like something the cat dragged in. There's something just fundamentally wrong with the fact that he looked better on his way to a funeral than he did coming home from one. Once again he had that weird sunburned forehead thing going on and he looked, frankly, like crap. More of that 'weight of the world' air about him.

"Hi Daniel," I say trying not to stare at his forehead. It was all red and blistery, and looked quite painful. How the hell does one go about getting a sunburn only on the forehead?

"Hey Kira," Daniel greets me, sounding a little distant. He isn't cold or anything, but he sure doesn't seem like his usual self. "How was the conference?"

I really don't want to talk about the conference. I look at Daniel critically and notice that in addition to his weird sunburn, Daniel just looks down. I feel a small shiver go through me as he kind of looks like he did when I first met him - and that was right after he lost his wife...

I can see that Daniel is not in a mood to talk. Well, not about whatever happened to him that is. I mentally sigh.You want banal Daniel? I can give you banal.

"I'm pretty certain I was the youngest person there by at least several decades," I say finally.

"That bad?" Daniel asks.

"Oh, the conference itself wasn't so bad -- I just felt incredibly young and stupid."

"You're not stupid," Daniel corrects.

I shurg. "You going to find a platitude about my age as well?" I shoot back. Before Daniel has a chance to comment, I continue. "I had several men tell me I reminded them of their granddaughters!" I knew they meant well, but I found it pretty offensive. I mean come ON! Where's the professionalism? At least they didn't pinch my cheeks...

"The next one will be better," Daniel insists.

"Maybe." I again look at Daniel critically. "Care to tell me what happened to you?" I ask lightly. Can't hurt to try...

Daniel wraps his arms absently around his chest. "Not really," he replies. It isn't just his body language that is saying 'Back Off'; there's whatever that other thing is that has made Daniel seem so sad. I don't press it.

"Dr. Janet knows about your weird sunburn though, right?" I might not milk him for details, but if he's hiding things from Jack or Janet, I might become pushy.

Daniel gives me a slight smile. "Yes, Kira," he says in a slight sing-song voice. "Both Janet and Jack know about my sunburn."

"I'm just saying," I begin, "that it looks kinda painful."

"I'll be fine."

"I don't doubt that for a moment!" I reply. Daniel smiles and orders a shockingly sweet triple tall macadamia nut almond mocha.

"Yowza!" I say in surprise. "What's with the drink, Daniel?"

"Stefan turned me on to it a few weeks ago," Daniel replies in explanation.

"Turned you on, eh?" I repeat suggestively. I know exactly what he means, but I can't help but tease him just a little. Daniel turns bright red and I laugh. Teasing Daniel is soooo much fun!

"You know what I mean, Kira," Daniel says sounding put out.

"I'll just have to ask Stefan," I reply coquettishly, as I make him his drink.

"You do realize I'm injured already, don't you?" Daniel tries, in an attempt to make me stop out of sympathy.

"You said you were fine Daniel," I reply sweetly. I hand him his drink and ring up the change. Despite the teasing, Daniel leaves me a healthy tip.

"I think I liked the hero-worship better," he grumbles good-naturedly as he gives me a slight wave and exits the store.

Author's Notes: All sorts of archaic references in this one! The stuff about Google and search engines is true. I've added yet another layer of understanding between Kira and Daniel, and although it might be obvious to us what's going on with Daniel, Kira really doesn't quite get it. Yet. Be patient...

* Thunderbirds: Elite group of Air Force pilots. They do amazing aerial stunts.

** Cat's Cradle: string game. Details can be found here: http://www.ifyoulovetoread.com/book/chten_cats.htm

American Historical Association (AHA) - http://www.historians.org/annual/past.htm WAS in Chicago in 2000!

Association of Ancient Historians: http://www.trentu.ca/ahc/aah/welcome.shtml

Completed February 6, 2005

Title: Barista 39 -- Recourse
Spoilers: 0417- Absolute Power (I'm not kidding here -- **SPOILER**)
Category Shock and Awe
Rating: R (just to be on the safe side - for language and adult images)

Author's Notes: There really isn't too much I can say here without giving the plot away. I will tell you this much - remember Breakfast at IHOPs and how I experimented with writing the story from Jack's POV? Or the series of letters I had Daniel and Kira write back and forth to one another in Letters From Egypt? Well, this story is like those. Only different. You wouldn't want me to become stale now, would you?.

This story will not be written from either Kira's or SG-1's POV. Instead, I'm going to play story-writer and attempt a third person POV Barista story. There are limitations to writing from the third person POV (IMHO), as you won't be able to "see" as much of each of the characters as you are used to -- what each character is really thinking/feeling. Hopefully, you won't find it too disconcerting, and, dare I say -- enjoyable!

The jarring sound of a $3.99 alarm clock woke Daniel from a very odd dream. Something about world domination...?

"I'll pay you to get a new alarm clock," a voice said sleepily, grabbing hold of Daniel's pillow and covering her face; she hated mornings.

"You say that every morning," Daniel replied, setting the alarm to snooze and freeing his pillow from his companion's face. She scowled and flopped an arm across her eyes - she wasn't quite ready to face the sunlight.

"I'm not here every morning."

"You're here most mornings," Daniel countered pulling the warm, supple body towards him. She had worn a dark blue silk slip to bed the night before and Daniel loved the way it draped across her hips. He ran a hand through her thick mass of dark curls, and began to nuzzle her neck, savoring her scent.

"Dan - iel!" she squealed, as his nose hit a particularly sensitive area. He liked the way she squirmed beneath him and made a mental note to remember that spot.

"What?" Daniel asked innocently, giving her neck tiny little butterfly kisses. He could feel her ineffective attempts to break free and savored the way her silky legs brushed up against his. He had yet to see her face, but Daniel was nothing if not patient.

"Stop that," she murmured, turning her neck ever so slightly to grant Daniel better access.

"Stop what?" Daniel whispered into her ear. The shiver that ran through her had nothing to do with the cold.

"You have to be at work in an hour," she whispered, pulling her arm away from her eyes. Daniel's sky-blue eyes gazed back at her heatedly.

"I could be a little late..." Daniel said leaning down and giving her a bruising, heart-felt kiss.

She moaned softly against him and felt Daniel's smile. Damn the man and his kissing finesse! "I have work in an hour," she attempted half-heartedly. She knew the battle was already lost..

"I'll write you a note."

Forty-two minutes later the sound of the alarm was heard again. Daniel reached over and slapped it quiet.

"Maybe I do need a new alarm clock," he admitted.

"Told you so," Kira replied as she rolled over her slightly sweaty lover and pulled the digital clock closer to her face. 6:42 AM.

"You need new contacts,' Daniel said trying not to be aroused (again) at the site of a very beautiful and naked young woman lying across his lap.

"Look who's talking," Kira countered giving Daniel a knowing look from across her shoulder. She had been trying for months to get him new eyewear. Daniel's glasses had to be nearly ten years old by now!

"I've had them updated!" Daniel replied hotly.

"Only the prescription, Daniel," Kira replied, flopping back onto the bed. "I think it's time you took the plunge and got new frames."

"I thought you liked my glasses."

"Daniel, you could be wearing black, horn-rimmed plastic monstrosities, and I would still think you're the sexiest man on Earth." It was true. She had known Daniel for nearly six years and had seen him at his very best and very worst - he was pretty damn easy on the eyes no matter what he wore.

"I knew I kept you around for a reason," Daniel said leaning over and giving Kira a chaste kiss before sitting up and swinging his feet down to the ground.

"And here I thought it was for my coffee grinding ability," Kira replied with a smile, as she sat up and hugged Daniel from behind.

"You know I could make a really crass comment from that..." Daniel began, savoring the feel of Kira's body against his back.

"Just for that you can make your own coffee this morning," Kira said laughing, as she grabbed the clothes she had already laid out the night before and headed towards the bathroom to shower. As she shut the door behind her, Daniel heard her shout, "And no coming in after me!"

"Whoa!" Daniel gasped aloud as he instantly awoke back in the infirmary. "What the hell was that all about?" He could still remember how he felt having Kira behind him. How he felt kissing her. But that was impossible, right? I mean, she was just his friend - the woman he occasionally mentored and got his coffee from. Right? He knew this was so and yet the vivid rightness of what he remembered...

"Dreams release burdens of pain," Shifu stated, appearing from nowhere.

"Shifu?" Daniel asked, looking at the serene young man before him. Shifu nodded in acknowledgement.

"I'm really confused here..." He definitely was in the SGC's infirmary, but where were all the doctors and nurses? Where was Jack? And what the heck was that dream/vision of Kira all about? Daniel blushed as his body unwittingly let him know how much it had appreciated the dream.

"Lessons were learned, but pain remained." Daniel felt a headache coming on and really wished Shifu would just speak plain English. Humorlessly, Daniel realized that Jack probably felt the same way about him.

"That dream was anything but painful..," Daniel began. Shifu held up a hand and suddenly Daniel remembered.

He remembered everything.

"Don't you think it was strange you got through security with a loaded gun?" Daniel asked looking with disdain at his former friend.

"A little," Jack replied in a resigned voice as he looked at his gun. He never really believed he would get the gun through security, but then again, he never imagined he would ever even contemplate using it on his best friend.

"You never were that bright." Daniel's contemptuous reply cut through Jack more painfully than any knife ever could.

"No." In a perfect world, it would be Carter standing here next to Daniel. If anyone could give Daniel a run for his money in the smarts department, it was Sam Carter. But then again, it was somehow fitting in a macabre sort of way that it came down to him and Daniel.

It always came down to them.

Jack watched as several of the space weapons turned and focused their attention on one target.

"Daniel, think about one thing before you do this," Jack tried desperately. This had to be a bad dream - there was just no way Daniel Jackson was contemplating blowing up a city. "We never proved that kid was a Harcesis." Jack was grasping at straws and he knew it.

"What are you talking about?" Daniel asked absently, as he focused the majority of his attention on the screens in front of him. Jack O'Neill just wasn't worth his time.

"Everything he put in your head!" Jack argued vehemently. "The Goa'uld have used mind control before."

"You think this is some elaborate Goa'uld plot to get me to destroy the world?" Daniel took a moment to contemplate the notion.

"We've seen them use kids, too." Hell, they had seen the Goa'uld use every dirty trick in the book.

"They used Shifu to put a bunch of stuff into my head in order to get me to build the weapons, only to eventually turn them on Earth?" If Daniel didn't have other things on his mind, he might have considered the concept amusing.

"It's possible." Jack didn't really believe it and pretty certain Daniel didn't either.

"There's only one flaw in that theory," Daniel replied arrogantly. "You're assuming this is not what I wanted all along." Giving a signal, Daniel told his controller to fire when ready.

"Don't," Jack tried one last time. "Don't." With no weapon capable of stopping Daniel, Jack knew his words were useless - he was useless.

"System is firing," the controller reported.

Jack watched in horror as the energy flowed out of the satellite weapon and surgically fired, destroying Moscow.

Jack and Daniel locked gazes; one in shock and despair and the other with conceit and pride. Now that Moscow was out of the way, it was time to take care of Jack O'Neill...

"Oh my God," Daniel choked, as the full memory of the Goa'uld knowledge came crashing back to him. He scrunched his eyes tightly trying to stop the assaulting images. Not the actual Goa'uld knowledge (thank God), but the memory of what he did. The evil he had become.

"You asked for the knowledge," Shifu explained.

"That was the knowledge?" Daniel repeated becoming more and more agitated. "I became a Goa'uld! I was evil!"

"This is the path that must be taken. Here lies the answer for the knowledge you seek."

"I blew up a city and was about to kill my best friend!" Daniel cried angrily. Suddenly the urge to become physically Ill was overpowering. Daniel threw off his covers, but before he could stumble out of bed towards the bathroom, he remembered Kira.

He remembered how he felt being with her. He remembered her caresses and kisses. The urge to be sick faded as the memory of her smile and laughter soothed his embittered psyche.

"He who has knowledge without learning has wings but no feet."

"You gave me the memory of the knowledge of the Goa'uld to show how it might corrupt."

"Power corrupts," Shifu replied sagely.

"Power corrupts," Daniel agreed. The lesson had been learned.

"But why Kira?" he asked. This question made Shifu smile slightly.

"Pleasant dreams temper realities of the waking mind."

"But Kira?" Daniel asked. "She and I aren't even romantically involved!" Even as he protested, Daniel realized the ridiculousness of the situation. He was complaining about what really was a very nice dream, a dream given to him by a boy who appeared to be no older than ten.

"Your mind contained many images of women, including my mother."

"I would have preferred Sha're," Daniel replied honestly.

"Many images of beautiful women," Shifu continued. "But all had caused you pain and suffering."

"Not all..." Daniel protested. No, maybe not all, but he had to admit his track record for the last four years wasn't so hot.

"Dreams can both teach and comfort," Shifu explained. "Lessons were learned, comfort was needed." Daniel mulled Shifu's words over. It was true that he was much calmer (for lack of a better word) with the horror that he experienced with the Goa'uld knowledge. He didn't doubt Shifu that some of this might be a result from vision number two. He just wished it hadn't been Kira...

"You couldn't have chosen Sam?" He asked aloud. Instantly he regretted the outburst. Oh heavens, what was he thinking? No, no! Sam wouldn't have worked either. Still, he felt a little like a dirty old man having had that dream with Kira. He had never thought of her in that way. Ever.

"Oma teaches that the true nature of a man is determined in the battle between his conscious mind and his subconscious and that the evil in my subconscious is too strong to resist. The only way to win is to deny it battle." Shifu gave Daniel another small nod and vanished. Daniel blinked and found himself back in the infirmary. Only this time he was surrounded by doctors and nurses.

Jack was antsy. One minute Shifu was strapped to that horrible Zanex machine, and the next, Daniel was standing there telling everyone that the kid was right - the knowledge of the Harcesis can't be shared and Shifu needed to be allowed to go home.

Jack was okay with that.

What he wasn't okay with was Daniel.

"Can you tell me why you feel the need to leave the mountain for a cup of coffee?" Jack asked, as he sat next to Daniel in the locker room. After Shifu had done his glowy-light thing, Daniel had been adamant about needing to head to Victor's. He wouldn't explain why he needed to get off base, but he insisted on going. Fraiser wouldn't let him go without an escort (there was that pesky matter of being coma-like for nearly six hours), so Jack volunteered to escort Daniel to wherever he needed to go.

And apparently it was for a cup of coffee.

"I prefer the coffee," Daniel said as he finished tying his shoes. He grabbed a jacket and without giving Jack a backwards glance, headed out the door. Jack sighed and followed his friend to the elevator.

"So tell me more about these dreams the kid gave you," Jack tried after waiting a respectable ten seconds. He never was too good with silences.

"I'd rather not," Daniel replied staring straight ahead. Jack sighed and shook him head. If there was one thing he had learned from hanging around Daniel these last four plus years, it was that he couldn't be bullied into talking. This was a great trait to have when interrogated, but pretty lousy if you were his friend and needed answers. Daniel would tell him about it when he was ready.

Silently they got into Jack's truck and drove into Colorado Springs. It had snowed the night before and everything was covered in four inches of fresh powder. Daniel stared out the window wondering just what the hell he was doing. It had just seemed so right to head into town and see Kira, but now he wasn't so sure. What was the point? It was a dream. A dream Kira (hopefully) hadn't shared. The whole thing was just nuts...

"We're here," Jack said parking just down the street from the shop. He looked over at Daniel and wondered what he was thinking.

"You all right?"

"Not really," Daniel said shrugging.

"We can just head back to my place if you want. Watch a hockey game or something..." That actually sounded pretty good to Daniel, but he felt ridiculous having had Jack drive all this way (he lived on the opposite side of town) only to turn around.

"As long as we're here..." Sighing, Daniel got out of the car. He was just so confused!

"Good Morning Dr. Jackson, Colonel Jack," Stefan greeted the pair as they walked through the front door. "How are you doing on this fine Wednesday morning?" For a moment Daniel appeared confused (where was Kira?), but he quickly schooled his features.

"Hi Stefan," Daniel replied absently, looking around the shop. "Kira around?"

"Nope!" Stefan said giving Daniel a big grin.

"But its Wednesday," Daniel began. He suddenly turned towards Jack. "It is Wednesday, isn't it?" he asked in a lowered voice.

"Last I checked," Jack confirmed, glancing at his watch. The question really wasn't all that silly. Between gate lag and the assorted comings and goings at the SGC, it was really tough keeping track of what day of the week it was. On earth anyhow.

"Kira always works Wednesday mornings," Daniel explained, feeling a little more confident that he at least got the day of the week right.

"Not this Wednesday," Stefan said with a leer. He was just dying to tell someone, and although he seriously doubted Kira would approve, Dr. Yummy and Colonel Sumptuous here were going to be the first to learn.

"Explain," Jack said stepping in.

"Well," Stefan began, walking around the counter. "Last night Kira came into the shop right as I was closing up."

"So?" Daniel asked.

"SO...She appeared flustered and rather coy and wanted to know if I would take her opening shift tomorrow." He flashed Daniel and Jack a grin. "I told her no way." Before either Jack or Daniel could ask for more information, Stefan continued.

"She then took me aside and explained that something had come up and she wouldn't be able to make it in tomorrow. She really needed me to fill in for her."

"What had come up?" Daniel asked. Stefan was just bursting to explain.

"I'm getting to that," he said waving his hands impatiently. "She looked flustered and rumpled and just not Kira like, ya know? I wanted to know why. Well.." He looked around the store to make sure no one was listening.

"She met a guy," Stefan announced.

"A guy?" This was from Jack. He was always suspicious of 'guys' and young girls. Oh, he knew Kira was a woman over the age of consent, but that didn't make him any less suspicious.

"Yep!" Stefan declared jubilantly. "A guy. And apparently this guy was taking her to Denver for dinner.

"Denver?" Daniel asked. "But that's nearly two hours away!"

"Uh huh," Stefan said wiggling his eyebrows up and down. "She didn't think she'd be back in time for her morning shift."

"Really?" Jack asked, sounding a little concerned.

"Yep." Stefan looks around the room again. "And she was humming."

"Humming?" Daniel asked.


"Do you know anything about the guy?" Jack asked.

"Oh, he's not an axe-wielding rapist if that's what you're worried about," Stefan assured them. "We've know Kyle for years - he's a good guy."

"Kyle?" Daniel asked. He'd never heard Kira mention a 'Kyle'. But then again, it wasn't like they talked about their personal lives that much.

"So she's not here," Jack concluded. He had no idea why Daniel needed to see Kira so badly (he had already figured it out the trip over was not for coffee), but for whatever reason, he did. However, she wasn't here and Jack didn't know what Daniel was thinking.

"She's with a boyfriend," Daniel said, sounding to Jack, rather relieved.

"Glad someone's getting some.." Stefan said forlornly. He'd broken up with his last boyfriend the month before and was feeling particularly down about the whole thing.

"So what did you need to see Kira about?" Stefan asked.

"Um...I had an idea for a paper she might want to do," Daniel replied. Everyone knew he was lying.

"Uh huh." Stefan wondered what Daniel really wanted. He'd have to mention this to Kira when she returned.


"I think we'll take a raincheck," Jack answered, glancing at Daniel and deciding he needed to take his friend home. Daniel didn't look like he was entirely tracking the conversation at the moment.

"Sure," Stefan said. He headed back to the counter.

"You ready to go, Daniel?" Jack asked

"What?" Daniel asked looking up at Jack. He had been entirely in his own universe.

"Let's blow this pop stand and rent a couple of movies."

"Yeah, that sounds good." They walked to the door in comfortable silence. Daniel was now abjectly glad Kira hadn't been around, and Jack was just happy that Daniel seemed to be snapping back to his usual self.

"Humming?" Daniel askeded, as they walk out of the store.

"New boyfriends are always hum-worthy," Jack explained sagely.

More Author's Notes: Please let me know what you thought of this one - I recognize that I totally went out on a limb here. But, after re-watching the episode, I just thought that it was odd the way Daniel was so calm after seeing himself obliterate a major city. I needed a reason why. And me, being me, I made a reason why! Please review.

Thanks to Jeanne, Kath, Liz and Louise for their help on this one. And a special thank you to Tere for pointing out something in an earlier version of this story that really needed to be explained. Also to worldofquotes.com for the Chinese and Latin proverbs that I gratuitously borrowed for Shifu, and StargateWiki for the transcript help.

Completed February 27, 2005

Title: Quarantine
Spoilers: 0418- The Light
Category: Humor
Rating: PG -13 (for Stefan-inspired innuendo)

"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 was 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 on 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 ask. 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. Stefan turns glum as well once he realizes that he has completely destroyed my Kyle-buzz (thus, nothing to make fun of me with). I head home thinking un-romantic thoughts. Too bad Kyle is at a conference this week. Would have been nice to gone out to 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 needed 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 everyt