thothmes: Jack sniffs the coffee Walter gave him.  Legend:  I swear sir, I didn't let Dr. Jackson touch it! (Poisonous Coffee?)
[personal profile] thothmes
Title: C is for Coffee for On World Alphabet Soup

Author: Thothmes

Season: Any season before Season 8, excluding Season 7

Warnings: Uhhhh... make sure you don't burn your tongue?

Disclaimer: Instant human, just add coffee. Oh, you mean a disclaimer about the fic, not the author. Well, I guess then, that I feel constrained to point out that I did not keep, misuse, permanently maim, or profit from any of the characters in this story - except inasmuch as I may garner some reviews. In fact I have merely caffeinated them, and put them back more alert and ready for action, able to give their full and undivided attention to matters at hand. Oh, and I know it may be indelicate to mention this, but they may also need to take a break to avail themselves of the facilities soon...




C is for Coffee



Jack O'Neill woke, as he usually did, a few moments before his alarm sounded, and seeing that it would soon be making that really, really annoying buzzing sound, he turned it off. He took a moment to savor the absence of pain anywhere, knowing that as soon as he rolled over and began the process of getting up and getting going, his body would start to complain. Too many injuries, too many hard landings, too many years. He was home, though, and didn't need to protect his image. so he rolled over with a groan, and slowly, stiffly, pushed himself into a sitting position, and then gathered himself for a moment before standing, and walking as slowly and as shufflingly as the old man he felt like, he made his way to the bathroom, to shower, shave, and otherwise complete his morning routine. First thing, though, were a couple of ibuprofen. With the painkillers on board, a hot shower, a shave, and a few agonizing stretches, he would be able to present a picture of a field ready soldier, lithe, limber, and at the peak of physical condition. This was one of his bad days though, and he chose to take extra time in the shower over a chance to make coffee. He'd pick something up in the commissary when he got to the SGC. Even if it was bitter, black, and strong enough to eat its way from his stomach straight through to his heart, it was going to be better than the uselessly boneless instant stuff that was currently inhabiting his cabinets. He was looking forward to finishing the jar and buying something better soon. He had his eye on the espresso powder Daniel had pronounced to be the only mildly civilized alternative to "proper" - read chi-chi - coffee. He just didn't want to get it too soon, or Jackson might think that he was taking his advice and get all puffed up.

********************

George Hammond listened to the ringing of the old fashioned wind-up double-belled alarm clock that had been his parents before it became his. It still kept good enough time, and it certainly was loud enough to wake the deaf, let alone the dead to the world, but that was not the reason he kept it. No, he kept it for the dent in the top corner, left from the day that his brother Will, dead these many years, and memorialized, for those who took the time to notice, on the dark, polished wall of the Vietnam War Memorial in D.C., lost patience with the teasing George had been aiming at him all day, and used the closest thing to hand and chucked it at his tormentor. He kept it for the memories of hearing that strident ring, muffled by distance and the covers pulled over his head, indicating that his father would be making his was in soon to wake George and Will for school, for the memory of his father, checking his pocket watch, adjusting the time and the alarm, and slowly, carefully winding it, always being careful not to overwind. His granddaughters might scorn the thing as old fashioned and less accurate than a modern electronic model, with one of those annoying buzzing alarms, but George remembered his own grandfather, a man born when Victoria was still queen and Russia had a Czar, and he knew beyond all doubt that being old fashioned was not necessarily a bad thing. He reached over, flipped the toggle that would block the hammer and stop the clangor, he sat up, and running one hand over where his hair used to be, a habit he had somehow never lost, at least not before his first cup of coffee, he began to prepare himself for whatever crises the day would bring. At least the perks of being a general meant that he had no need to make himself a lonely breakfast. An airman would bring him something at his desk as soon as he got in.

********************

Walter Harriman slipped out the door of his modest one bedroom apartment, and made his way down the covered walk, past his neighbors' units, and found his way blearily to the garage space assigned for unit 5B. It was part of the reason he chose this apartment. It might be small, with a kitchen barely big enough to make toast, but then Walter was never much of a one for cooking, and a garage for his car was a delightful luxury. In one hand was a clean, empty thermal coffee mug. Ordinarily he would have pinched his pennies by making himself a cup of whatever instant was on sale at the grocery store, whitened with milk and sweetened with sugar, but he had been assigned a double shift today, because no matter how many of his fellows were out with the nasty cold wending its drippy way through Colorado Springs, the gate still needed to be monitored at all times. It would be a long day and into the evening before Walter could come home, and he'd promised himself a a treat. He would drive through Starbucks and get himself something involving plenty of cream, sugar, and caramel, and you bet it was going to be venti today!

********************

Daniel Jackson picked his head off of the page, reseated his glasses back in front of his eyes, and tried to figure out where he had stopped reading to close his eyes for a moment. It would help if he could figure out what he had been reading. He reached without looking with his left hand for his coffee cup, and bumping into it, seized it and raised it to his lips before he could register how cold it was. He stared into the black mug with horror, and after a pause for consideration, swallowed the mouthful of room temperature swill, rather than spit it back. Iced coffee was sometimes a sad necessity in hot climes, but this stuff! This stuff was a crime against humanity! He dumped the remaining liquid unceremoniously into a wastebasket, and picked through his collection of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters k-cups, and began the business of filling the mug with hot fresh brew. While he waited for the machine to finish, he pulled open a desk drawer, and pulled out a jar of sugar, another of coffee creamer, and pawed around his desk in search of his spoon. It was not in the other mug with his pens and pencils, as it should have been. By the time he found it, somewhat less curved in the handle than it should have been under his massive copy of Lewis and Short, Latin English Dictionary, the brewing process was done, and soon he was back at work, blowing gently on the fragrant hot liquid, and happily anticipating the moment when it would be cool enough to not burn his tongue. He knew that soon it would be washing the last of the morning mustiness out of his brain.

********************

Sgt. Siler finished the last bite of his muffin, finished the last swallow of coffee in his cup, and stood up. As he settled his cap on his head and put on his jacket before leaving, Sue poured the last of the coffee from the carafe into a plastic travel mug, stirred in two generous spoons of sugar, and carefully put the lid on, checking twice to make sure it was properly seated. She loved the man dearly, and with all her heart, but he was just a weency bit accident prone, and there was no sense in tempting fate. Once it was securely closed, she handed it to him, and stood on her tiptoes to kiss him on his nose. His expression changed from his usual deadpan to the grin he kept just for her.

"Don't forget that I'll be back late tonight. There's that double shift. You'll remember to tape the Simpsons for me?"

She assured him she would, and then he was gone. She refilled the reservoir on the coffee machine, dumped the old grounds, and once she had put in a new filter and poured new grounds in from the can and started the new pot brewing, she went to wake the kids for school.

********************

Airman Valenti pushed the trolley with its three large stainless steel commercial urns of coffee, decaf, and hot water into the commissary, and stopping for a moment to move a similar trolley out of its place next to the large upright dispensers of milk, skim milk, and orange juice, moved the new trolley into its place, and then spent a moment moving the glass dispensers of sugar, the insulated carafe of half-and-half, and several baskets, one containing artificial sweeteners, one full of assorted and individually wrapped teas, and the last one containing packets of instant oatmeal and cocoa. He lined them all up in even ranks, and then checked the level on the half-and-half. For now there was enough, but he should probably check it a half hour or so, sooner if the traffic was heavier than usual this morning. It was early yet. Before too long the first guys would start trickling in, but now, while it was quiet, he had time to grab a cup for himself, while it was hot and hadn't been turned into the spoon-eating wicked dark sludge it would be after a few hours of over-brewing. He grabbed one of the thick-walled white mugs out of the stack of dishwasher racks of clean mugs nearby, and poured himself a mug, and doctored it with a yellow packet of sweetener and some skim milk. Stirring it with one of the thin, stamped and fluted stainless steel spoons familiar from diners and institutional dining halls across the nation, he settled himself down in the nearest seat with a sigh. Damn, but it felt good to take a load off!

********************

Sam Carter rolled out of bed, and hit the ground running. Her hair was sticking out at all angles, like ruffled blond feathers on a molting bird, but she hardly noticed. Three hours was definitely not enough rest, even for her, but the answer to the problem of the heat loss had come to her as she slept, as these things sometimes did. She had been counting on it. She needed to make herself presentable and find herself a large cup of sweet black coffee, in that order, and if she hurried, she could dip into the commissary and grab a cup and make it to her lab to jot down the mathematics of what she had discovered before her briefing. She dragged her brush through her rebellious tufts of hair just long enough to tame the worst of it, and stuffed the brush back into her toiletries bag, and started trotting, boots in one hand, bag in the other, for the locker room.

********************

Gen. Hammond shared an elevator car from the eleventh floor checkpoint down into the SGC with his second, and his yo-yo. Fortunately, there was no one else in the small space, because for someone who seemed so devoted to the toy, Jack O'Neill certainly didn't seem to have mastered its use. The General hadn't been struck by it yet, but it was a near run thing. After one particularly crooked toss, where the yo-yo refused to rise in response to Jack's tug, his 2IC looked up ruefully, the drying hair on his head busily reasserting its independence and escaping from its slicked-down state.

"Haven't had my coffee yet today, sir," he offered.

George thought smugly about the coffee, piping hot, dark, and very, very sweet, and the two doughnuts, one sugared, and one plain, that would be waiting for him on his desk by the time he reached it. Rank certainly had its privileges.

********************

So it was that Sam Carter was double-timing it out of the commissary, with a mug of coffee in one hand, a piece of dry toast balanced on a cup of yogurt in the other, her mind on her calculations when she walked smack into her commanding officer, who was rounding the door on his way in seeking out a cup of joe. He got much more than he bargained for, most of it below the level of his second's navel, where she had been carrying her mug. It was nice and hot, just the way he took his, but definitely not delivered where he wanted it.

It was a very impressive growl he let out. Sam's eyes, taking a lesson from the Grinch's heart, grew two sizes that day, and she began to utter a flustered series of "Sorry, sir! I'm so sorry!"

Ordinarily he would have stopped her after the first cycle or so, but he was too busy fending off Felger, who had grabbed a napkin, and was attempting to help sop up the spill. The very last thing the Colonel wanted was that looney pressing scalding hot cloth into the more sensitive portions of his manhood, which was quite frankly none of his business, not now, not EVER!.

"FOLGER!" Jack roared in a voice that had carried across chaotic battlefields at need.

Felger froze and cringed, and a profound silence spread through both the hall and the commissary. Felger made a retreat reminiscent of a peasant leaving the presence of an emperor, cringing, bobbing, backing, and apologizing all at the same time. Sam picked up the toast from the floor and put it in the trash bin, and the now-empty mug and its spoon in the rack for dirties by the door. She peeked from under her bangs at the Colonel, who was flapping his BDU jacket about with both hands, working to cool things down. Her own jacket was more than a little damp.

"I think I'll hit the locker room," he offered, curving one thumb back the way he had come.

"I will too," she said. "Mind if I come with, sir?"

There was a silence while O'Neill's eyebrows rose gently ever higher, and the ghost of a smirk flitted across his lips.

He bowed ever so slightly.

"Ladies first," he said, and fell in by her side.

As for the commissary, the rest was silence, at least until they were out of earshot.

********************

George Hammond was seated at the head of the briefing room table with his second cup of coffee, savoring it, when Teal'c came in and after greeting the General, took his customary seat. There was a companionable silence, interrupted briefly by greetings for Sam, who carried a steaming mug of coffee and a folder with a pad of graph paper within. As soon as politeness allowed she sat down, unclipped a pen from the front of the folder, and began to jot down notes and sketch curves. Jack O'Neill was next, clomping up the stairs two at a time, his hair still damp. After greeting everyone he moved to the coffee on the table in the corner, and he poured himself a mugful, and immediately downed a large swallow, and let out a sigh of satisfaction.

As usual, Daniel was last to arrive, and as he rose into sight, rumpled like he had slept in his BDUs, he sipped from the mug he was holding and grimaced. Immediately crossing to the coffee he topped up his mug, sipped again, and smiled. All was right with his world again. Glancing about the room, his eye settled on Teal'c.

"Shall I get you some coffee, Teal'c?" he asked.

"You shall not. My symbiote does not care for coffee. It finds it disturbing."

"I knew there was a reason I don't like those guys!" said Jack.

And the work of the day began in earnest.






Find the rest of the entries for this Alphabet Soup Here in complete form on DW

and here, abbreviated but with links on LJ

Date: 2014-02-11 09:29 am (UTC)
ivorygates: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivorygates
This is absolutely adorable!

Date: 2014-02-14 06:44 am (UTC)
fignewton: (humor)
From: [personal profile] fignewton
Eeee, this is just delicious! There's so much to love here: the different alarm clocks, the varying ways of starting the day, the sly bits of humor (silence in the commissary until they're out of earshot!)... and SILER with a happy family life! YES.

Thanks so much for this pinch-hit. :D

Date: 2014-02-19 05:33 pm (UTC)
magickmoons: (Default)
From: [personal profile] magickmoons
This is delightful :) I love how you gave us such interesting peeks into their lives & characters in such a concise manner - I guess mornings really do tell you a lot about a person, huh?

And that was a perfect Felger cameo. I can totally see that!!

Date: 2014-03-03 11:27 pm (UTC)
sid: (stargate George flare)
From: [personal profile] sid
George remembered his own grandfather, a man born when Victoria was still queen and Russia had a Czar

Gosh, I'd never thought about it, but the Czar part applies to all my grandparents, and the Victoria part applies to 3 out of 4.

I especially liked the story of George's alarm clock, and Siler's Sue. :-)

Date: 2014-03-29 06:44 pm (UTC)
maddersahatter: Meeting MS (Default)
From: [personal profile] maddersahatter
An army may march on its stomach, but it seems the air force soars on caffeine! I seem to recall Selmak not being fond of coffee either. Nice touch.

Date: 2014-08-31 06:13 am (UTC)
fignewton: (humor)
From: [personal profile] fignewton
I just had the pleasure of reccing this! Sadly, I no longer have my Daniel coffee icon. ;)

Date: 2014-08-31 07:35 am (UTC)
badfalcon: (Lucifer)
From: [personal profile] badfalcon
I actually sat clapping and squeeing as I read this - so muc love. And I love the little details that made it so real. Fantastic! :D

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A Few Words From The Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.
-The Maxims of Ptahotep

In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.
- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.
-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.
-Wendell Berry

Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
-Robert Burns

Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui

Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.
-Ch'ien Ch'i

Mistress of high achievement, O lady Truth,
do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.
-Pindar

Every Gaudy colour
Is a bit of truth.
-Nathalia Crane

I counted two-and-twenty stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks.
-Samuel Coleridge