Title: The Barista- 17- Breakfast at IHOPs
Category: Drabble, Humor
Season: Season 2
Rating: PG

A/N: Bowing under the barrage of requests to continue the story at IHOP, I'm doing just that. BUT me being me, I had to do something a little different. SO, instead of telling the story from Kira's point of view, it'll be from Jack's. Please let me know what you think!

And yes, you'll see a little jab at myself included in here. You'll recognize it when you see it.

Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. An accident-prone archaeologist, a Jaffa warrior, an alien orphan and yours truly taking a coffee shop girl to breakfast. A coffee shop girl with absolutely no military clearance what so ever.

This should be interesting.

In front of me I notice Daniel talking animatedly to both Kira and Cassie. Doesn't matter what planet we're on, Daniel always seems to be surrounded by girls! Maybe it's his after-shave? Some day I'm going to ask Carter what Daniel has that makes women go all mooney around him. Not that he'd notice or anything.

"You are pensive O'Neill," Teal'c says next to me.

"N'ah," I reply shaking my head. "Just thinking." Teal'c raises one of his patented eyebrows at me. Daniel and Carter usually just roll their eyes at this point and sometimes I wonder if they really do think I don't know what I'm saying. But Teal'c knows. He's a damn smart guy actually, despite the snake in his gut. He's the only person I know who can speak volumes with just one flick of his eyebrow.

Do eyebrows flick?

I shake myself out of my random thoughts and concentrate on the problem at hand. Yes, I said problem. Kira Meyers is joining us for breakfast. Now don't get me wrong, Kira is a really great girl. Really. She saved Daniel's butt (and probably delayed the onset of my gray hair by at least a few weeks) on more than one occasion and literally brought Jacob back from the brink of death. She's smart as a whip and although she knows something a little hinky is going on over at Cheyenne Mt. she is content to let us double-talk her if necessary. I wasn't kidding when I mentioned her joining the military; she'd be a wonderful asset.

But I know it won't happen- Kira has already been seduced. And no, I'm not talking about the wiles of Daniel Jackson here. But rather by books and education. It's a sad but true fact- most of the really smart kids end up in the private sector. Better paying jobs. Hmmm. Maybe I'll have Carter chat with her. If there is one person on this planet who gives Daniel a run for his money on smarts, it's Carter. AND she's military.

Of course, the fact that Kira probably weighs 100 pounds soaking wet would probably mean she wouldn't make the best field soldier. I swear I can already hear Daniel's voice telling me not to be a sexist pig. I'm a hell of a lot of things, but sexist I'm not; I'm just stating a fact. I'm sure Doc Frasier would agree with me that on strength alone, (we'll forget the different experience levels on hand to hand combat) Sam would kick her ass. I smile at the image of Doc and Carter sparring.

"What's so funny Jack?"

Oops. Didn't realize Daniel had fallen back from his fan club.

"Nothing," I reply. "Just wondering what Carter and the rest of the SGC ladies are up too."

"And that made you smile?"

"I'm a happy go-lucky guy Daniel."


"We're here!" Cassie says enthusiastically as she shoves the door of the restaurant open. In most aspects Cassie acts like a normal American teenager. But every now and then I'm reminded that she really didn't grow up around here. Her enthusiasm for American chain restaurants for one thing. Usually it's 6, 7, or 8 year olds who gush over restaurants and going out to eat. By the time they hit puberty the thrill is gone. Or so I've been told. I forcibly push the thought of Charlie never reaching puberty firmly out of my brain.

"I'm going to wash up," Kira says as she excuses herself. Good! A chance to lay down the law, make sure everyone realizes that Kira is NOT a member of the SGC. Not that we'd talk openly about what we do outside of Cheyenne Mountain or anything, but we do tend to talk about missions or aliens in a loosely-veiled sort of way when we go out. Can't happen today kids.

The four of us are led to a back booth and are handed very large laminated menus. With pictures. Teal'c finds the menus nearly as fascinating as Cassie. Aliens! Can't take 'em anywhere. I open my mouth to talk but Daniel beats me to the punch.

"Cassie, are you sure you're ok?" Daniel asks taking the young girl's hand and giving it a light squeeze. "I know being suddenly knocked to the ground by Jack can be pretty scary."

"And he knows this from experience Cass," I add helpfully. Daniel isn't amused. Hey! At least I didn't bury his head into my chest! Although come to think of it, I've done a little of that as well.

Cassie shrugs. "It happened pretty quick Daniel- I just over-reacted a little after it was all over." Cassie says sighing.

"Your actions were very normal Cassandra Frasier." Teal'c says in his no-nonsense just-the-facts-ma'am voice.

"I probably was responsible for freaking you out more than anything Cass," I say seriously. I know that covering Cassie's body with my own must have seriously wigged her out. I mean Cassie, is what? 4'10? And here I am nearly a foot and a half taller than her, that's gotta be a little intimidating. All I can say in my defense is that it was completely instinctive. It's like parents and kids in cars. The car stops short and dad thrusts his hand out in hopes of preventing the kid from bashing into the dash board. We know the kid is using a seat belt, but yet we still do it. That's how it was with Cassie. Actually, I'm a bit like that with Daniel as well, but I'm not going to tell him that. All I know is that there was no way I was going to allow a Goa'uld to get to Cass. None. They would literally have to go through me. The fact that we were on Earth was just a little something I forgot.

As did everyone else at this table, which reminds me...

"You just had to tackle her, didn't you Daniel?" Cassie gives another small giggle and all eyes turn to 'Ladies Man' Jackson. Actually I might have to change that. Apparently whatever pheromone (yes, I know the word pheromone) Danny possesses isn't gender exclusive. I quickly file that away for future ribbing.

"Jack.." Daniel begins turning red. I'm telling you, the kid can blush on a dime.

"Actually Danny, you did good," I reply sincerely. "I know you may not like to admit it, but you really are turning into a decent soldier."

"Thanks Jack." Daniel ducks his head, embarrassed. Have I mentioned that Daniel doesn't take compliments well?

"BUT, your little stunt did nothing to squelch the crush Kira has on you."

"Kira does not have a crush on me!" Daniel says indignantly, blushing slightly.

I am not the only person at the table who rolls his eyes. "Wake up and smell the French roast Daniel, Kira totally has a total crush on you."

"Jack, just stop it!" Daniel pleads, reddening even further. "She does not."

I look to Cassie for support; she nods. "I say she does Daniel."

"Not you too!"

"Cassie, you have a crush on Daniel as well?" Cassie giggles. Although I wouldn't put it past the kid (and I'm talking about Daniel here not Cassie) to affect Cass as well, in this case I'm pretty certain Cassie views Daniel as an older brother and not a romantic interest. God I hope so.

"I was just agreeing with you Jack!" Cassie says giving me a toothy smile. She turns towards Daniel. "But Kira does have a crush on you Daniel."

"How can you think that?!" Daniel asks incredulously. "You just met Kira 30 minutes ago."

Cassie shrugs. Teenagers and their shrugs eh?

"Look Daniel, the gay kid not withstanding.."

"Jack!" Daniel is absolutely appalled at my choice of words.

"For crying out loud Daniel! The guy is a 20-something kid and he happens to be gay. There is nothing derogatory about my comments!"

Daniel sits and glares at me. The waitress chooses that moment to make her appearance. She's a chipper young woman in her mid 20's with bleached blonde hair (I can see dark roots) and bright pink lipstick. Thankfully I can see no bubblegum.

"Can I get y'all something to drink?" She asks, in a soft southern drawl.

"Hot chocolate with lots of whip cream please," Cassie says instantly.

"T?" I ask turning towards Teal'c. He is still wearing that god-awful ski cap. A purple pom-pom?! What the hell were they thinking! I should have known better than to allow Cass to help Teal'c with his hats. Thankfully not too many people are brave enough to make fun of a 6'3 black guy wearing a girly pom pom hat.

"Water will suffice O'Neill."

"He'll have a chocolate milkshake," I say making a decision. It's time Teal'c experienced one of life's simple pleasures- milkshakes. I know without looking that Teal'c is doing one of his eyebrow raise thingy's. I really wonder how he does that. I've tried it and let me tell you that raising a single eyebrow is damn hard.

"And he and I," I say pointing to Daniel and myself. "Will take two coffees."

"What about Kira Jack?"

"Make that three coffees."

"Kira doesn't drink coffee Jack."

Huh? I turn towards Daniel. "She works at a coffee shop and doesn't drink coffee? Isn't that a little weird?" Daniel shrugs.

"I'll have a Diet Coke please," a voice says from behind the waitress. Speak of the devil. Kira has obviously washed her face as well as her hands. She has that freshly scrubbed co-ed look to her. With her dark hair and green eyes, I bet you anything she has some Irish in her. Knew I liked her for a reason. Daniel squeezes closer to Cassie in order to make room for Kira.

The waitress nods and writes down everyone's orders. "I'll be back with your drinks in a jiff."

"Jiff?" Teal'c asks.

"She'll be back quick T..Murray," Daniel replies. A little slow- but the oversight isn't bad considering my Mr. T explanation earlier. I cannot believe no one remembers the A-Team.

"How come you don't drink coffee?" Cassie asks. Thank you! I was wondering the same thing myself.

Kira looks a little embarrassed and then cocks her head slightly to the right. "Do you want the short or long version?" She asks.

Both Daniel and Cassie say 'long' just as I say 'short'. I know Teal'c probably won't weigh in here so with a flick of my wrist I acknowledge that I am out-voted and indicate that Kira should continue. I might be the leader of the military's number one galactic task force, but even I know when to acquiesce. (Yes, I know words like acquiesce as well)

"When I was a little kid I was kinda hyper," Kira begins as she plays with her silverware.

"Sounds like someone else I know." I give Daniel a pointed look.

Daniel pretends like he ignores me, but I can see the little twitch above his right eye.

"Well, some of my grammar school teachers thought it might be best to put me on medication."

"Like Ritalin?" Daniel asks. Before anyone can ask the question Daniel explains further. "Ritalin is a stimulant used to calm hyperactive children with attention deficit disorders."

"Only works on kids huh?" I ask. This time Daniel shoots me a scathing look. I hold up a hand. Geesh! I was just asking.

"Actually Colonel Jack.."

"Jack." The girl's gotta learn that! It's Jack. Jack, Colonel, O'Neill, Colonel O'Neill or Sir. But not Colonel Jack. Sounds like a racehorse or something.

"Actually Jack, it does." Sounds like a racehorse? Oh! She means the Ritalin.

"Damn, and I was this close to getting you some help Danny." Both Cassie and Kira are smiling openly. Apparently I'm entertaining. I think that's why Thor likes me.

"Although Ritalin is used on adults," Kira continues. "Some adults with ADD find that Ritalin still continues to help them as well, but for the most part the drug affect adults like it does kids. And the reason it wouldn't is because Ritalin is a stimulant and stimulants tend to.. well.. stimulate adults." She blushes slightly as she says this and don't think I missed the way she shot Daniel a quick glance. Nope. I didn't become a Colonel for my harmonica playing.

"But it calms down kids?" I ask. Weird.

Kira nods. "Yeah, it does. Usually."

Our drinks arrive and I realize that we haven't even cracked the menus. "We need another couple of minutes," I tell the waitress.

"Short version," Kira says as she opens her menu. "My mom didn't want to put me on some trendy drug and asked the doctors if there wasn't something else that could be done. They told her that a simple cup of coffee might do the trick as caffeine is also a stimulant."

"Coffee and Ritalin are related?" I say in amazement. "Daniel, I guess you've been dosing up for years and didn't even know it." Again with the eye rolling! Better cut that out Daniel or your eyeballs will freeze that way.

Kira nods again. "Yep. They're related. And so every day for three years I had a cup of coffee with my dad every morning. What's funny is that I honestly don't remember any of this. All I know is that although I love the smell of coffee, to this day I can't stand the taste." To make her point she took a long satisfying slurp of her diet coke. Ewww! It's only 10:30 in the morning and already she's drinking that crap?

We open our menus and check out the colorful choices. Actually, seeing as there are pictures under most of the selections, most likely Teal'c will keep his odd-sounding queries to himself. Actually, I'm starting to think he only mangles up English for amusement. Our amusement.

"Belgium waffle with fresh strawberries and whip cream," Cassie decided within moments. Gotta love a girl who can make up her mind.

"I don't think they'll be fresh strawberries Cassie," Kira adds as she pursues the menu herself. "Strawberries aren't in season." She adds as an explanation.

"They are in New Zealand," Daniel mumbles under his breath as he awkwardly turns one of the menus large laminated pages. Does he ever turn his brain off?

"That's ok," Cassie says as she closes her menu, and waits patiently for the rest of us to make up our minds. Me? I'm easy. Biscuits and gravy with sausage, eggs and toast. Reminds me of the breakfasts my mom used to make. Except edible. Mom wasn't the best of cooks. But she did like to experiment with biscuits and gravy.

"You know what you're having Daniel?"

"Yep. Country omelet with extra hash browns." I'm about to ask Kira if she's ready when the waitress returns.

"Y'all ready?" She asks. We all nod and go around the table letting her know what we'll have. Kira goes for French toast with a side order of fruit. She checks to make sure it's fresh. She also asks for a refill on her diet coke. The girl likes her fizzy beverages.

The waitress gathers are menus and leaves.

"When you get a chance, could I get a refill on the coffee Miss." Daniel asks politely. Sometimes I wonder how the hell he managed to stay polite. I mean bouncing about from foster home to foster home isn't exactly conducive to turning out polite kids.

The waitress nods and leaves.

"Have you gained a new coffee preference Daniel?" Kira asks, eyeing Daniel's empty cup.

"Kira, you have nothing to worry about. Your coffee beats their sludge hands down. It's just been a few days since I've had real coffee." Oops. Strike one for Daniel. How're you going to get out of this one Daniel? Tell Kira you were trapped on P2X-442 for 72 additional hours due to a freak lightening storm? I think not.

Kira raises an eyebrow (both actually- nice to know she can't do it either) in question. And the awareness of 'Geeze, I blew it again' flashes instantly across Daniel's face. If I ever convince Daniel to play poker with me, I'm going to win a fortune!

"Commissary ran out of coffee and I was stuck on base working," Daniel answers glibly. Wow. I'm impressed. Although I'm not sure if I like the fact that he's becoming so adept at lying.

Kira nods, but I can see that she doesn't quite buy it.

"Next time you come into the shop, we'll make sure you pick up some beans for work." Kira says helpfully. "In fact," She pauses and I can see the same wheel turning brain movement that I catch every now and then in Daniel.

"Daniel, I have a great idea.!"

Uh oh. I tend to get nervous when brainy people get great ideas. Carter's usually shock me, and Daniel's usually mean an extra day on some planet surrounded by trees. Kira continues on oblivious to my apprehensive look.

"Every week I get a free pound of coffee."

"But you don't drink coffee!" Cassie adds.

"Exactly!" Kira says pointing a finger at Cass. "Usually I give the coffee to friends, or trade it in 1/4 pound increments for other stuff, but.."

"Like what?" Cassie asks. Maybe I should step in here. Kira is what, 21? 21 and in college? I mean when I was 21 (and had I not already been in the military) I would have exchanged free coffee for beer. Others I know would have done it for dope. Of course, I truly doubt Kira will blurt out that she barters coffee for joints but you never know.

"I have one friend who works in a bakery, and another who's a pizza delivery driver. All of us get free stuff from work and we tend to trade back and forth depending on what we need."

"Kira's a Communist Cassie," I add helpfully.

"Jack!" Daniel scolds in his 'I'm completely shocked at you' voice; Kira just laughs.

"What is a Communist O'Neill?" I shoot Daniel a look. His turn to field the question. He shoots me back with another look. Damn; my turn.

"Communists were made popular after World War II Murray. There were several really large countries who didn't believe in electing their leaders and decided life would be peachy keen if everyone just shared everything. The story does not have a happy ending."

"I'll give you some books on it Tee..Murray." Dammit Daniel! Would you just remember his name! I can see the little mice running frantically through Kira's head. But before she can open her mouth to ask a question, the tantalizing aroma of food saves us. Or Daniel anyway. The waitress sets down our plates and grabs Kira's glass for yet another refill of diet coke. My god, how many can the girl go through?

Daniel sighs as his coffee is refilled, and dives into his breakfast with gusto. Guess I'm not the only one who never feels really full on MREs.

"So what's your idea Kira," Daniel asks in between mouthfuls. At least he swallowed his food before talking.

"Well," Kira says after swallowing her own mouthful of French toast. "I have a proposition for you."

I nudge Teal'c and make eye contact with Cassie. See? Proposition. Daniel isn't even looking at me and yet he kicks me under the table. What I'd do?!

"For every paper you proof read Daniel, I'll give you a free pound of coffee," Kira says with a sparkle in her eye. Daniel takes a moment to ponder this.

"I'm not always going to be available Kira." That's right. There's aliens to meet and Goa'uld butt to be kicked.

"That's ok!" Kira says amicably. "But for every paper 15 pages or under that you proof read, I'll supply you with a pound of coffee of your choice.

"Including Jamaican Mountain Blue?" Daniel asks. Jamaican wha? Totally sounds like a drug.

Kira nods. "I can only get a pound of that a month, but it's yours for the proofing."

"I think that's a fair exchange," Daniel says smiling. "What are you taking this quarter?"

"Ancient Greek 350, Mesoamerican Civilizations, and .." Kira ducks her head slightly as if embarrassed. "Archaeology 101."

"You haven't taken archaeology yet?!" Daniel asks incredulously. "Kira, you have taken advanced courses in ancient history and religion and yet you haven't taken any archaeology?!"

"uh..no." Hmm. Maybe I was wrong about the crush. I mean if she was truly ga-ga for our resident rock hound, wouldn't she have enrolled in archaeology earlier?

"Can I ask why?" Poor Danny. I see he isn't taking this personally at all.

"All the previous classes conflicted with the other courses I wanted to take." See? A perfectly reasonable explanation. Daniel doesn't look convinced. Kira suddenly snaps her fingers. "I haven't told you yet!"

"Kira, take a breath, chew your food and THEN tell Daniel what you haven't told him yet." Kids! Why is it the smart ones always forget about the little thing like eating and sleeping? I so bet Kira has lousy sleeping patterns.

Kira gives me a guilty look and shovels several forkfuls of French toast into her mouth. She slurps on her diet coke and pops a few grapes into her mouth for good measure. She looks up at me as if to say, 'There, all done!' I give her a small nod and try not to smile.

"It looks like I'm going to Egypt next fall!" Suddenly I feel a head ache coming on. Geeze, this girl could be the SGC poster child!

"What?" Daniel asks instantly interested. Even Teal'c raised an eyebrow at her pronouncement.

"I got accepted on an exchange program with the American University in Cairo!" Kira gushes. "I'll be only a few hundred miles away from where the great library of Alexandria stood!"

"That's fantastic Kira!" Daniel says, giving her a one armed hug. Kira smiles. Don't think I missed that blush missy.

"I'll be taking Arabic next quarter, and hope to do an intermediate intensive level language during the summer."

"Ambitious much?" I ask taking a bite of an over cooked piece of bacon.

"I'm kinda thinking I want to become an expert on the library of Alexandria and the lost tomes of the ancient world." I rolled my eyes. I just couldn't help myself. Hopefully Kira didn't catch it.

"If these texts are lost, how can you hope to become an expert on them Kira Meyers?" Right! Nice catch Teal'c.

"While it's true that some are honestly lost Murray, many are just sitting un-catalogued in university and museum libraries, while others are hidden away in private collections. I'd like to try and catalog everything that is still remaining and maybe gather them together in one place. I know there must be so much information to be gleaned if only we knew what was out there!"

A piece of toast becomes logged in my throat and I start to cough. The girl is a female Daniel! Kira gives me a funny look as Teal'c hits me (hard) on the back.

"Thanks Murray." I take a drink of water and shoot Daniel a smug look. I remembered his name.

The rest of the meal passes by without incident as Cassie shares with all what she is doing in school and Daniel actually tells a surprisingly funny story about camel racing. I pay for the meal on a credit card and we all get ready to go.

"Thanks for the breakfast Jack," Kira says politely. Another polite kid. Maybe it's an IQ thing? I'll ask Carter later. Kira turns towards Cassie.

"I had a nice time meeting you Cassie."

"Me too Kira!" Cass gushes in return. "Maybe you can come over some time and watch Buffy with me. Mom still insists on adult supervision if she works late."

"You mean a babysitter?" Kira asks; Cass wrinkles her nose. She so doesn't like that word.

"Yeah," Cass grudgingly admits. "And usually if she works late that means these guys (she's pointing to me, Daniel and Teal'c) are working late too." Of course what Cass isn't saying is that often when Janet works late, it's both DUE and often ON us.

"I'd love to come over and 'adult supervise' you sometime Cass," Kira says warmly.

"That'd be cool." Cass zips up her coat and gives Kira a quick hug goodbye.

"Do you need a lift home Kira?" I ask.

"Nahh, I only live a few blocks from here." I nod and decide not to insist. Had it been dark, THEN I would have insisted. Hey! I'd do it for anyone.

Kira waves goodbye and sets off for home.

"I still say she has a crush Daniel," I say as we head back to the park and our awaiting vehicles. I picked up Cass in my truck while Daniel and Teal'c met us in a motor pool car. Maybe one of these days Daniel will get around to buying one of his own.

Daniel doesn't seem to have heard me- he's off in his own archaeological world mulling over ancient libraries and exotic sandy locations.

To each his own.

More author notes: That stuff about caffeine and Ritalin is pretty much true. Please let me know what you thought of this.

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