Rating: Another nice PG. I am PROUD to say there is no Obligatory Crichton Bashing and no Danny Whumping!!...well not from me anyway...
Archiving: Kitsah's wonderful site, and anywhere I've been asked about.
Disclaimer: Oh, there are a whole boat-load of characters in here I have just stolen from their respective shows. Only J.L. and the Coffee Shop itself belong to me, every other character belongs to someone else. A lot of someone elses. So please don't sue me! All rights reserved, void where prohibited, do not taunt happy fun ball.
Special Thanks To: George, for his wonderful suggestions and comments, and for turning my verbose fic into something a bit more concise…to Kelly for some great comments and assuring me over and over it's funny…and to Mandy for everything!
Author's Notes: This is the third story in the "Coffee Shop Series" If you haven't read the original Coffee Shop story, then go read it so you know what this place is all about! Thanks! :-) This story is jam-packed with lots of references to Farscape, Stargate, and MST3K...as well as a few BBoard references...so don't feel bad if you don't get everything. In the Farscape universe this takes place between Nerve and Hidden Memory. Small spoilers for Nerve.
One of the interesting facts about the Character Null Void Coffee Shop is that, like the Uncharted Territories, you never know who will be there and what will be happening. Between the vast variety of patrons and the randomness of their arrival and departure, an infinite possibility of situations are available.
As John Crichton rounds the corner towards the main entrance, he muses from the sounds inside that one of those situations must be going on. The large windows reveal the Coffee Shop is packed with a tremendous number of patrons all in the middle of a wild party. A massive banner hangs from one wall that proclaims "Congrats on a Wonderful 10 Years!" and while Crichton can't imagine how the colossal variety of people inside could be from the same show, they all appear to know each other.
Crichton notices that most of the patrons are well dressed, or at least have attempted to look nice, and looking down at his own clothes he grimaces. He appears terrible; his stolen Peacekeeper uniform is grimy and just a bit rank, his eyes as red as a homicidal Delvian on a pale face, and worst of all his hair is a complete disaster. But his manner indicates he is in no discomfort, only apprehensive about walking into a party dressed like a corpse. He runs a hand through his hair, sighs, and says under his breath "I look like dren, I smell like dren...let's party!" Resolutely he pushes open the main entrance.
Immediately Crichton is confronted by a wall of partiers, and slowly he tries to snake his way towards the counter. Accidentally he bumps into a tall man with the biggest knees John has ever seen.
"Sorry 'bout that." Crichton says, "I'm a bit tired, should be watching where I'm going."
"That's Ok." The man says, his voice rising and falling in a strange cadence that sets Crichton's teeth on edge. The stranger looks John up and down and asks "Hard day at the office?"
"Yeah, it was one of *those* episodes." Crichton says, then is grateful as the crowd pushes him away. He does his best to surf the waves of people and is rewarded with a stool at the counter.
J.L. comes over smiling, but his smile drops at the sight of the IASA astronaut. "What happened to you?"
"I got caught." Crichton says, a hint of bitterness in his voice.
"Ouch." J.L. says sympathetically. "Shouldn't you be recovering or something?"
"Not till after the season premiere." Crichton says, "Next chance I get Rockne and I are going to sit down and have a long chat about my medical bill."
The owner rolls his eyes. Crichton isn't the first hero to enter his Shop complaining about getting hurt, and he won't be the last. Trying to keep the tone light, J.L. says "Bring SACC along. I'm sure they'd be happy to help."
Crichton groans and looks about to make a sarcastic remark when suddenly he starts to laugh. "I'd love to see Rockne try to deal with a couple dozen protective self-inserts! Especially if they show up in those Amazon outfits! We'd have to pick his jaw up off the floor."
"After your done putting him back together." J.L. says. "I'm sure SACC isn't happy about what the last few episodes have done to you."
"Well for once I agree with them! This gig can be as painful as Wile E. Coyote's worst day!" John says, then shakes his head, "Listen, I came here to relax not whine. What's good today?"
"Everything's good. I'll get you a cup of coffee and you can mull it over. As you can see I'm a bit busy right now, so I don't have time to make recommendations."
"Fine with me."
Quicker than bad news, John has his coffee and J.L. is rushing off to deal with some other patrons. Crichton takes the cup in both hands, savoring the warmth and aroma, and then sips in pleasure. For a few moments he closes his eyes, shutting out the raucous party behind him to enjoy some inward peace and quiet.
The sound of a stool being moved next to him brings Crichton back to the present. To his right a young, blond man in army fatigues plops onto a stool with a sigh. Now instead of the sweet aroma of the coffee all Crichton can smell is smoke, and after a moment realizes the back of the young man's jacket is the source of the smell.
"Hey, smokey bear!" Crichton taps the man on the shoulder, unable to resist himself, "You do know this is a non-smoking facility."
For a moment the other man looks lost. Finally he gives Crichton a grimace and says sarcastically "Oh thanks, next time I get barbecued I'll remember not to come here." and turns away to try and get J.L.'s attention. With his back turned, Crichton can now see the smoke is rising from one really big, really ugly burn.
Crichton whistles in surprise as J.L. arrives with coffee for the younger man. "Ouch, sorry about that. How'd that happen, get attacked by the bar-b-que or something?"
After taking a long drink, the younger man says "Shot in the back." He pauses to look at Crichton a moment, "And how about you? Run out of Visine or something?"
"Ah, I see the two of you are getting along well." J.L. comments mildly, trying to head off the sarcastic comment on Crichton's lips.
J.L.'s comment and the still smoking wound take the bluster out of Crichton's next jab, "Sorry. I've had a rough few episodes, and getting tortured tends to put my nerves on edge."
"No problem," the other man says with a small smile, "I can relate."
J.L. takes the initiative to make introductions, "Commander John Crichton, meet Dr. Daniel Jackson. I'm sure you'll relate on quite a few things."
As the two men shake hands, they are suddenly surrounded by the stench of alcohol. J.L. sighs as Daniel waves a hand in front of his face and Crichton whistles again in surprise. They turn to find a large, oily man in jeans and a button down shirt that looks more than a bit grungy. The man appears half drunk, and leers at J.L.
"Ya got any beer back there?" he says with breath that could kill a healthy skunk.
"The only beer in this building is the six-pack you smuggled in here Mitchell!" J.L. says angrily, "If it wasn't for your friends and their party, I'd kick you out!"
"I'm an offisher of the police!" Mitchell slurs indignantly, "Ya can't touch me!"
"I wouldn't want to touch you." Daniel says quietly as he goes to sip his coffee. Crichton snickers.
"Wha' did you say?" Mitchell turns unfocused eyes on Daniel.
"Ah come on, don't start with him. I just had the place renovated!" J.L. pleads with the young man.
"Why don'cha start with me!" Mitchell challenges, "I could take ya, ya geek!"
"Or you could also make everyone happy and take a hike!" Crichton butts in.
"Mitchell, I think Pearl has some vodka in her purse, why don't you go try her?" J.L. says, trying to head the fight off before it starts. The idea of vodka makes Mitchell forget about both Crichton and Daniel, and with a happy smile he wanders into the crowd looking for Pearl.
"Sorry about that." J.L. says to both men, "He's been like that all afternoon. What can I get you?"
"An air freshener!" Crichton says, causing Daniel to chuckle, "Seriously, give me the biggest burger you got, hold nothing."
"One with the works." J.L. nods, then turns to Daniel and asks, "You want anything?"
"Just the coffee's fine, thanks." Daniel answers.
As J.L. nods and walks away, Crichton asks "So, did you get that from the show or a fanfic?"
"Fanfic." Daniel answers shortly, "I was lucky this time."
"That's lucky?" Crichton says in surprise.
"Well at least I didn't die." Daniel rolls his eyes.
"Ah." Crichton suddenly grins, "Been there, done that."
"Got the t-shirt." Daniel continues, "Had the t-shirt cut off when Dr. Fraiser started doing CPR."
"Now you see, there is an upside to death." Crichton's smile turns mischievous, "The chance to be revived by a beautiful woman giving you CPR."
"Yea, well if that was the way I was revived I wouldn't mind getting killed so much." Daniel says whistfully.
"Here here!" Crichton says, and the two men clink their coffee cups in agreement. As they take a drink their attention is diverted behind them where someone is hitting a spoon against a glass. Both turn, coffee in hand, to find an average looking blonde male in a blue jumpsuit climbing up onto a chair. The huge crowd quiets down as someone shouts "Speech! Speech!"
"Any idea what's going on?" Crichton asks Daniel.
Daniel shrugs, "Their show finally went off the air. Guess they're having a party."
The man in the blue jumpsuit holds up a hand to acknowledge the crowd, then says "Thanks everyone! I'll make this short!"
"That'd be a first!" a small golden robot to the speaker's left shouts out. There is general laughter as the man on the chair looks agitated.
"Crow! You promised not to riff my speech!" he says.
"And you promised not to make it long and boring, Mike!" Crow replies.
"But I just started!" Mike protests.
"Just get on with it boobie!" a frazzled looking mad scientist in a green labcoat shouts out. There is general agreement as Mike now looks incredibly embarrassed.
"All right...all right!" Mike says, "I just wanted to say thank you for 10 great years. You've given us lots of pain and pleasure..."
"Mostly pain." a red, gumball machine shaped robot interrupts.
Mike ignores him, "...and we'll always remember the hours of laughs. Thanks again, and remember to keep circulating the tapes!"
This causes an enthusiastic cheer to emit from the crowd, and as they throw confetti and generally get back to partying a small, dorky looking band in the corner with the words "The Del-Airs" on the bass drum take their cue to being playing. They start jamming on some cheesy 50's music that, despite it's corniness, makes Crichton smile. He can't help but bop along a bit, sipping his coffee.
"Hey, John." Daniel taps the astronaut on the shoulder, "Your burger is here."
Turning around, Crichton finds his hamburger and fries sitting on the counter. Muttering a quick thanks to Daniel he grabs the juicy delight, closes his eyes, and almost sighs in pleasure as he takes a big sloppy bite.
"Beats MRE's doesn't it?" Daniel grins at the blissful look on Crichton's face.
"Beats food cubes too." Crichton agrees. After a moment to sip his coffee and clear his pallet, he goes in for a second bite.
Crichton is so wrapped up in the burger by the third bite that he doesn't notice an imposing figure in a black Peacekeeper outfit burst into the Shop. The intruder pauses, taking in the chaos with sharp eyes, before his gaze falls on the two humans sitting at the counter. He strides through the room purposefully, pushing aside anyone in his path. Within seconds the man stands behind John and in a deep, imposing voice shouts out "Crichton!!"
The sudden yell makes both Crichton and Daniel jump in their stools, and with startled looks they turn to face the man. John relaxes slightly when he recognizes the face of the yeller. "Jezz Crais, are you trying to give me a heart attack or something?!"
"You!" Captain Crais thrusts an angry finger into Crichton's face, "You were supposed to be back 2 arns ago! How are we supposed to start the next Aurora Chair scene without you?!"
"Friend of yours?" Daniel asks mildly.
"One of the reasons I need some Visine." Crichton answers, then looks at Crais, "Relax, so I'm a little late. Everyone could use a break anyway!"
"Are you completely fharbot?!?" Crais says in shock, "Rockne is so mad he practically drenned Seaquest!"
"Ouch," Crichton snickers a bit, "Tell him next time to just have a cow. It'd be less painful."
Crais looks ready to spontaneously combust, and says menacingly, "Rockne told me to come and bring you back as quickly as possible, and by whatever force necessary!"
"Listen Bialar!" the smile falls from Crichton's face as his anger rises, "I've just have a very rough episode, and I've come here to relax before part two. I am not leaving until I finish my burger. Got it?!"
"Uh, John are you sure..." Daniel starts, but it cut off by Crais.
"You are the one that misunderstands!" the Peacekeeper Captain growls at Crichton, then reaches out and grabs the human's arm to pull him from the Shop. For a moment John simply looks down at the tight grip Crais has on his left arm, then without a word he punches the Captain in the jaw.
As Daniel stares in shock Crais reels backwards from the blow. Crichton calmly turns around to continue his meal, throwing the young doctor a grin. Crais rubs his jaw with one hand, a look of shock on his face.
"I will enjoy teaching you what a mistake that was!" Crais says.
"Go run crying back to Rockne." Crichton calls out as Crais stalks off to the exit, then mutters under his breath, "It's a good thing for him I'm strapped in the Chair most of the episode or I would do more than give him a sore jaw!"
"I may not know exactly what's going on between the two of you," Daniel begins, "But do you think it's such a good idea to taunt him like that?"
"Hey, I gotta put up with him in the show, I ain't gonna let him push me around while I'm on break!" Crichton gives Daniel a confident grin, "Don't worry."
"Famous last words." Daniel says quietly.
Chuckling, Crichton returns to his meal. This time he attacks the French fries with gusto. A few relatively quiet moments pass with the only noise in the Shop the sounds of the party behind the two men at the counter. Suddenly the main doors are forced open and in returns Captain Crais with an entire squadron of Commandos pointing pulse rifles. A few shots to the ceiling and some rough pushing forces the majority of party-goers against the buffet table.
"Oh for crying out loud..." Crichton mutters under his breath.
"I think your your friend hopes to change your mind." Daniel says mildly as Crais once again approaches them.
"Ya think?" Crichton's voice is heavy with scarcasm.
"Now who will go running to Rockne?" Crais says with a smirk, his pulse rifle held casually in one hand.
"Hey, you can't do this!" Crow yells angrily from one wall.
"Yea, we have rights you know!" Mike joins in.
There is a murmur of agreement from the huge crowd as they stare angrily at Crais and the Peacekeepers.
"Just cooperate and no one will get hurt!" Crais announces in an authoritarian voice. This only antagonizes the partiers, who far outnumber the Commandos. They begin to advance slowly.
"Looks like you don't get me without a fight." Crichton says with a smile.
"This is ridiculous!" Crais shouts out, "I will not be intimidated by a bunch of lower life-forms!"
"Lower life-forms?!" Pearl Forrester says in shock. She reaches over to the party table and grabs a Pecan Pie. "This is for you, from a lower life-form to a low-life scum!" Pearl launches the pie with deadly accuracy. It flies through the air with the speed of a major league fast ball to splat Crais right in the face.
For a moment the only sound in the room is the restrained snickering from Crichton, but then Mike Nelson grabs a pie of his own and rallies the troops with a cry of "GET 'EM!"
Almost immediately the air fills with pastry of all kinds, and the well trained yet vastly outnumbered Peacekeepers retreat in shock at the unconventional attack. Crichton wastes no time; he vaults over the counter, grabs what's left of his burger, and ducks down to watch the chaos. For a moment Daniel simply watches with a mixture of awe and confusion on his face, then as a chocolate cream puff narrowly misses his head he quickly retreats as well.
"Well this is...different." Daniel comments as he watches The Brute Man spray Cheez Whiz into the muzzle of a pulse riffle.
J.L. crawls over to where Crichton and Daniel are squatting below the counter, ducking as a pie crashes into a pile of coffee mugs. "You couldn't just go quietly could you?"
"You can't blame this on me!" Crichton says with a laugh, then points to where Mike is still launching pies rapidly into the air, "They started it!"
"John, I just redecorated the tables and chairs!" J.L. complains.
A rather loud crash echoes from one corner, and Daniel winces, "Ah...chocolate cream washes out, right?"
The food fight rages for several long minutes, the party-goers enjoying themselves quite a bit, until the Peacekeepers finally retreat. Crais is helped out by one of his lieutenants since he is so covered in whipped cream he looks like the Stay-Puff Marshmellow Man. A few enterprising Teenagers from Outer Space chase them through the exit, but everyone else stays to cheer over the victory.
"Hamdingers for everyone!!" Dr. Forrester shouts with glee, only to be pelted with pies. Moments later the band strikes up again and the party is in full swing.
Crichton jumps back over the counter to finish off the last bite of his hamburger and wipe his face with a napkin. Daniel takes a few extra glances around then slides over to the customer side as well, removing a donut from his coffee with a sigh. J.L. slowly appears from his crouching spot, a wild look on his face as he surveys the damage.
"You owe me John. Big time!" J.L. says in a shaky voice.
"I'll send a few dozen DRD's over to help with the cleanup, OK?" Crichton offers, "Charge the Scifi Channel for anything broken."
J.L. finally can't help but laugh, "All right, but you get those DRD's over here pronto!"
"You bet." Crichton nods, "I guess I'd better scram." He raises a hand to pat Daniel on the back, but then pauses as he remembers the smoking wound and simply holds his hand out to him, "Pleasure meeting you Daniel."
Daniel shakes his hand, "You too." As the IASA astronaut surfs his way towards the door Daniel turns to J.L, "Do things like that always happen when John is around?"
"He has a way of attracting...interesting situations." J.L. admits, then grabs a mop to try and clean up some of the mess.
"I can relate to that." Daniel mutters to himself, then returns to his coffee.
At the double doors marking the main entrance to the Coffee Shop, John Crichton turns around for one last look at the pie covered chaos. "I've got to take my breaks here more often!" he says under his breath, then with a push he opens the doors and heads out.