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Daniel Jackson absent-mindedly peered over the rim of his glasses and met a set of bright blue eyes.
She had spoken to him, that he knew, but he had been so engrossed in what he was reading he had not caught what she said.
Amusement seemed to grow in her gaze, burning brightly, like it did every time she had to speak to him more than once to get his attention; and that was often.
"Coffee?" she asked, holding up the pot she held in her hand.
Shifting on the red vinyl bench seat under him, Daniel nodded. "Yes, please, Addy."
He pushed his coffee cup closer to the petite brunette. She didn't look at him, but it was obvious she was still entertained. That twinkle in her eyes danced as she lifted one dark brow.
Daniel had been frequenting this diner at least two times a week, when he wasn't away on a mission, for a year now. And this was not even close to the first time that he had known she was silently laughing at him. At first, he had not known quite how to take it. Social cues sometimes – or most times – eluded him and she was not easy to read. In his defence, it was unsettling when someone seemed to be laughing at you before you had even finished ordering your dinner. He had stumbled over his words for a moment and reached up running his hand down his face. When she walked away, he had grabbed the napkin dispenser and peered at his reflection just to make sure there wasn't something stuck to his skin. Now he did not even need to speak, she knew the three things he liked best on the menu and just asked "One, two or three?" and as for the laughter, he saw it was just her nature.
"Pie tonight, Professor?" she asked using the nickname she had given him. She grabbed the empty plate that had held his dinner from the other side of the table.
A smile tugged at the edge of his lips. "Sure." He believed the moniker was a reference to the Absent-Minded professor movie, but had never asked. And if he was being honest, it didn't matter, he liked it when she called him that anyway.
Addy nodded, "I figured. I'll be right back."
Daniel observed as she made her way to a booth a few spaces away, unknowingly fidgeting with the pen in his hand. Two older men he had seen here many times before occupied the faded red bench seats. Addy gave them the same laughing look as she had just given him. The oldest of the two, with a cowboy hat resting on the seat beside him and faded wranglers on, lifted his cup towards her, his lips curving up under his bushy moustache.
For some reason Addy reminded Daniel of Dorothy Gale. Not in looks; she had dark hair, but much shorter than Judy Garland's, nor was it the powder blue waitress uniform, with the little white apron that she wore. It was that she was just an ordinary everyday person. The girl with ever present laughter in her eyes and a long life ahead of her. She had, like almost everyone else he encountered in the civilian world, no idea just what sort of danger they lived in. Daniel's brow furrowed and he pursed his lips. He had never really thought about it until this moment but maybe that made him Dorothy in this instance?
Leaving the thought behind, he continued to watch her as the oldest of the gray-haired gentlemen leaned closer, wrapping one arm around her narrow waist. He said something that caused loud laughter to emanate from her and faint color to stain her pale cheeks.
"If I was forty years older," she lamented dryly as she extracted herself. She looked in Daniel's direction, her smile growing before she turned and made her way toward the counter again.
His smile broadened even more, as his attention dropped back to the text on ancient Sanskrit on the table before him and the notepad beside it. He pulled a photo from the notebook, studying the symbols on the pillar found there, before he put it away again. They had recently come across an uninhabited world on which he had found tall stone pillars covered in carvings along with tablets written in a dialect very similar to the Sanskrit of India.
Given those tablets described an ancient race with the ability to travel by air, and in possession of many God-like qualities, Daniel was certain they were dealing with "gods" but had found no indication they were Goa'uld. Daniel was actually thinking these aliens might just be some of the Ancients Thor had spoken of that had left the galaxy long ago. Or at the very least had a connection to them. All he was certain of was that the text was about death or Mrtyu and a seal or Mudra and that the stargate was referred to or he loosely translated the text to mean Death Seal.
Daniel pulled the book closer, carefully reading the text on the bottom of the page, before he flipped to the next.
Addison Palmer, Addy to those who knew her, made her way behind the counter, placing the pot of coffee she carried on the warmer. Her attention moved to her coworker and friend Grace who stood a few feet away, filling paper napkin dispensers lined up on the bar. "Hey, will you get me a piece of Dutch Apple, while I take these in the back?" she asked, lifting the dishes in her hand.
The blonde gave her a scowl that didn't quite reach her eyes. "Whatever will I do when I no longer have your job to do too."
"You're such a peach," Addy gushed, winking as she backed threw the faded yellow doors to the kitchen.
Addy hurried back out less than a second later. Grace was just placing the plate of pie on the white formica counter. When Addy reached for the plate, Grace moved it out of Addy's reach. "Not so fast. Are you going to ask him or not?"
Color stained Addy's cheeks but she still played obtuse. "What?"
"You have two days left after today," Grace said as if that explained everything.
Addy opened her mouth, she had been prepared for this. "What would be the point?"
After all, she wasn't just quitting. Commuting back and fourth to Fort Collins was no longer an option. Addy had been just about ready to point that fact out to her over opinionated friend before said friend spoke again.
"You turn into a bubbly blubbering idiot, every time the man walks through the door."
"I do not. And I am leaving in five days."
Grace just arched her delicate brows, and placed a hand on her hip. "Yes, I know. I think you have told everyone but him…." Her words trailed off and she gave Addy a scrutinizing look. "Why is that I wonder?" Grace finished, then added less than a second later, "And. Oh. Yes. You. Do."
Addy didn't say anything, not certain of what to say, but mostly because no matter what she said she knew Grace would not drop the subject.
"Oh, come on Addy, we all know he flusters the hell out of you. He's very seldom sitting in your area and you still wait on him. Even, I might add, if your own section is full." Grace looked pointedly in his direction, drawing Addys eyes in that direction also. "Don't get me wrong," she continued, meeting Addys gaze again, "I get it. Those blue eyes and that beautiful mouth of his? I wouldn't mind pulling those glasses off and distracting him from his books."
"Then why don't you?" Addison countered. She gave him a sidelong glance this time and tried to grab the plate from her friend once more.
Grace turned, pushing the pie further down the bar. "Because a guy like him doesn't want a career waitress and that's a fact. And besides, you seem to enjoy his bookish nature. You always ask him questions. I swear you would listen to him talk half the night."
Color stained Addison's cheeks. Addy knew he always seemed to have time for her questions, but she was certain he would be the same with Grace if she showed any interest. And she was equally certain that if he liked someone, he would not care if they were a waitress or not. "He is interesting if you care to listen and he is just a nice guy, Grace."
Grace gave a doubtful look. "It is more than that. Look, I am no expert on guys like Doctor Jackson, but maybe he just needs a little encouragement," Grace shrugged. "You know, more than batting eyelashes and thinly veiled flirting. He doesn't really seem all that confident."
Addy cocked an eyebrow, "Can I have the pie?"
Ignoring Addison's words, just as Addison had ignored hers, Grace pushed, "Just admit that you are interested."
Growing exasperated with her friend, Addison gave Grace what she wanted. "You already know I am." Her eyes darted to where he sat across the diner, at this second, glad that he was never all that observant of the world around him. Her attention returned to her friend. Grace knew very well Addison was interested in him. Addy might always deny it, when Grace teased, which she did frequently, but they had known each other a few years now. Truthfully, he made her second guess herself. Usually, she would just tell a guy if she liked him, but with him it was not so easy. There was something about his manner that made her uncertain, made her feel jittery, gave her butterflies. As if sensing what rabbithole Addy was presently falling down, Grace spoke, her voice softer than before. "Why wouldn't he be interested, you're smart, Addy. You're educated and in the spring, you will be a a PH.d of your own. Believe me Addy, I don't think the attraction is one-sided. I have seen the way he looks at you sometimes. He might not pick up all the signals but he would be intrested, with very little real encouragement."
It was on the tip of Addy's tongue to point out to her friend that his Doctorate in Archaeology and hers in Veterinary Medicine were not the same thing, until Grace spoke her last sentence. Her heart gave an odd little flip in her chest.
"And no excuses about the differences in your respective fields. We aren't talking anything more than asking him on a date, not marriage or to grow old with you." Grace finished with a shrug, before she went on, trying to add some levity, "Besides, if it's awkward or someone has bad breath or you fart, you might never see him again."
Addy took the plate her friend finally handed her. "Fart?" she asked dryly.
Grave shrugged. "Some people fart when they get nervous and our Doctor Daniel Jackson makes you nervous."
Yes, he did, more than Addison wanted to admit even to herself. Grace interrupted her thoughts. "Oh, knock it off. I am giving you such a hard time because I know you. You will regret it if you don't or I could do it for you? If you prefer?"
Grace's facial expression was serious and even without that expression, Addison knew her friend capable of doing exactly as she had threatened. The phrase "plausible deniability," came to mind. And for a moment she felt like she was in junior high again and asking Grace to ask for her was incredibly appealing.
"Ultimately, it's your choice, but either way, he would probably like that pie now."
The phone rang ending whatever would have been said next. Addy watched as Grace moved a few feet down the counter to answer it.
Addy knew Grace was right as she turned, taking a deep breath to calm the fluttering in her stomach. Her attention moved across the restaurant to where he sat and her steps faltered, the chaos in her stomach swirling tightly. Taking another deep breath, she let it out through pursed lips and stepped around the end of the counter. His brow was scrunched up as he studied the text on the table in front of him. he rubbed the pad of thumb across the pad of his middle finger, like he sometimes did, when he concentrated.
The wings in her stomach beat all the harder as she made her way toward him. Grace was right. He was handsome, but it wasn't that that made Addison hesitate where she normally wouldn't. She truly wasn't even certain what it was. He was quiet and self-contained, but he wasn't the first man of few words that she had been attracted too. It was this, the way he was right now, that had first garnered her attention. He was so engrossed and distracted, he was oblivious to the world around him and it was adorable, for lack of a better way to put it. And she had teased him. She certainly couldn't help but continue when she saw how off-balance her teasing threw him. She had not, however, planned on the effect his reactions would have on her or how interesting she would actually find him.
And as for why she had told everyone but him in the last couple weeks, she didn't want to tell him she was leaving. Truthfully, she did not want to think about it.
Addison's steps faltered at the same time he looked up. Still rubbing his fingers together, his movements stilled as their eyes met. Brows lifting, his attention dropped to the plate in her hands. "What kind do we have today?"
She usually just brought him whatever she chose besides cherry. He was apparently allergic to cherries. "Dutch Apple Crunch," Addy began. "Hank got them from Hyatts Bakery, this morning," Addy added the last part because she knew he liked the pies from Hyatts.
His eyebrows lifted. "Sounds good. So how's school?" He asked as she placed his desert on the table and pulled clean silverware from her apron pocket, handing them to him.
"Good," she began with a nod. Her eyes drifted to the open book he had been reading. "More ancient Egypt?" She was normally always curious about what he was studying, but the tone of her voice was not so much curious as distracted tonight.
She gave a nod of her head, "India?" She questioned, lips turning up a fraction. She had always wanted to go there.
"That's right," Daniel said with his own nod, continuing to hold her gaze. At first her interest in what he was reading and the fact that it was genuine had surprised him. An image of Jack O'Neill flashed through his mind. Most of the people, in his life these days, really did not get his fascination. And when he was explaining something, they only wanted to hear what they deemed relevant. She never seemed annoyed if he rambled, in fact, she usually had questions of her own.
"Are you going to be in the next couple days?" Addison found herself blurting out.
"No, I am actually leaving tomorrow," he was going on a research mission with SG-11 tomorrow. "I won't be back for a week," he replied. A look very much like disappointment entered her eyes, bringing Daniel up short for a moment. She had never looked at him like that before and he suddenly wanted to know why she was. "Why, do you... Do you need something?" he questioned, watching her closely.
She smiled faintly and shook her head, "No. Um…," she stammered, "no, my last shift is two nights from tonight..." Her words trailed off before she told him she was not just quitting, she was moving.
Daniel remained silent. Her declaration had caught him completely off guard and left him uncertain how he felt, but before he could formulate a response, she was speaking again.
"This year is going to be so hard. Just the clinical last year was awful," Addy trailed off before she told him this also meant she was relocating.
"I can imagine," Daniel said with a nod. He remembered her being exhausted. And sitting at the bar when the restaurant was mostly empty, doing homework. Her book work was less this year but her clinical was much heavier. And unlike last year she had been commuting to Fort Collins for her it this year. The graduate and undergraduate class work and the amount of clinical hours to become a veterinarian vastly exceeded that of medical doctors, especially their final two years. This was the time that made or broke most doctoral candidates. In his final two years he had been so overwhelmed he had questioned over and over again if the degree was worth.
"I have some money saved and my dad said he would help me out…" Her eyes dropped as her words trailed off again. "I was just wondering if I would see you again before."
"It doesn't seem so." he said, before instantly cringing at his own choice of words. He stammered: "But I will be sorry to see you go," his words trailing off at the end. He wanted ask if he would see her at all or tell her that he would miss her but they did not come out.
Suddenly appearing almost shy, her gaze dropped, "Would you…" Her words trailed off, as her gaze lifted back to his. "Would you maybe," she paused a second time, smiling nervously.
"Would I what?" Daniel heard himself encourage without giving her a chance to speak.
Letting out a deep breath, she went on, "biting the bullet" as Grace would suggest. "I am off in an hour. Do you want to maybe do something with me tonight?"
"Are you sure?" he asked first in surprise. "Well, I mean of course you are…" He stammered looking down, "I mean, of course you are, you asked. So, so, how do mean: like friends or a…" Daniel looked up at her, whatever he would have said next died on his lips. She was looking at him with that same soft smile playing about her lips, he had seen there before. The one that if he were being honest, made his chest feel tight.
"Ah," he said. "Yeah," he nodded. "Yeah, that would be good. What..." He paused, then stammered again, "What did you have in mind?"
"We'll figure it out?" she asked with a shrug.
Thanks for reading!
A/N: Hey ya'll, I just want to let you all know, I am rather new to Stargate. That being said, there might be some things a little off.. I mean off from canon. This is set in season four around episode 9 or 10 and I haven't even had a chance to finish watching season five clear through.
My lovely beta introduced me to the fandom and Daniel was almost immediately my favorite, haha! All of his stumbling and stammering and rambling and facial expressions are great.
Anyway, I hope at least some of you enjoyed the first part. The story is a short one and nearly finished!