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Title: Coffee, Coffee, BuzzBuzzBuzz!
Author: trillingstar
Rating: PG
Warnings: Handwavey science. A touch of crack.
Word count: ~2850
Notes: Written for prompt #1, coffee, on sga_saturday.
Thank you to my cheerleaders for shaking their double pompoms. Title from the sadly retired Ben & Jerry's flavor (in pint form, anyway. Wah!)
Summary: Teyla tries coffee for the first time. It's addictive.

Yawning widely, Teyla pressed the heels of her hands against her tired eyes, trying to ease the burn flaring behind her eyelids. She blinked blearily, wishing the sun was not quite so bright in its reflections on the water. With a sigh, she relaxed her shoulders, stretching the tight muscles in her neck, and attempting to allay the tension in her lower back.

Seated to her right, Ronon shoveled food into his mouth, chewing steadily. Teyla glanced at him; his eyes were closed. Meeting John's gaze across the table, she shared a brief, fond smile with him, and then she returned her attention to the mug of hot coffee in front of her. It certainly smelled good.

Their mission to M89-RX6 had been fruitless and depressing, the planet empty and barren, covered in clouds of fine dust. There was volcanic activity in the lower half of the hemisphere, so from the safety of the jumper, they'd flown over a large bed of bright orange lava, wisps of steam rising steadily from it. A few miles away, the remains of a settlement stood crumbling and abandoned. The strangest part of the trip had been on return to Atlantis, when they were met in the jumper bay by a team of grim-looking Marines geared up for a search and rescue. It was a brain-twister when Elizabeth informed them that SGA-1 had missed two check-ins and that they'd been gone for nearly thirty hours.

"Heat... time... displacement..." Rodney had muttered, shedding his pack and vest and then racing off to the labs. Teyla knew there were several simulations he had left running, as Rodney had griped about leaving them unattended while they had journeyed off-world.

John had shrugged, then rescheduled their debrief for the next day, which unfortunately turned out to mean four hours later.

So none of them had gotten much more than a few hours' rest, and there was the debrief and two staff meetings yet to attend, and after that she had an appointment to go to the Mainland and visit with Charin. Teyla sighed, wrapping her hands around the mug and enjoying the heat of the ceramic against her palms.

“Coffee, thank god, is that for me?” Swooping down, his hand outstretched, Rodney blinked in surprise when Teyla pulled the mug away.

“It is not for you, though I'm sure that you will find more in the mess,” she said. Ronon preferred sitting outside when they could, and as a team, they'd sat at this table so often that even when the rest of the balcony was crowded, there were always open seats at it.

Rodney's face fell. “But you never drink coffee,” he said, gesturing in a way that Teyla interpreted as and it's right here.

“Do you really think that I am here to fetch you coffee?” Teyla asked, raising an eyebrow, schooling her expression into one she used when dealing with contrary children and adults alike, poised confidence with a hint of severity. She bit down on the inside of her cheek to quell her laughter, knowing it was unkind to tease Rodney when he was sleep-deprived. Still, she could use a giggle before settling into the conference room to endure hour after hour of administrative blather. There were only so many ways to say that the planet appeared uninhabited, that she had agreed with her team not to venture out into the poisonous atmosphere, that M89-RX6 was not worth revisiting, but Elizabeth seemed to want to hear all variations.

“No, no, that's not what I meant at all,” Rodney said, the words rushing out. “Of course not, you're not some sort of secretary or, or, not that all that secretaries are good for is getting coffee, in fact most don't even bother these days, like it's so degrading to know how another person likes their coffee and I take it black anyway, how hard is that to remember-” He gulped, shifting from foot to foot, his fingers moving agitatedly, as though he played an invisible instrument.

“Coffee,” John prompted.

Rodney snapped his fingers, turning on his heel and striding back into the mess hall.

“He's right, though,” Ronon said, eyes open only a crack. “You never drink coffee.”

“I hardly need to defend my choice of beverage,” Teyla said sharply, then softened her tone. “I have heard many remarks on its restorative properties. And I've seen its effects on Rodney.”

Glancing up, she saw John and Ronon exchanging the same sort of affectionate smile that she and John had just shared.

“Well, go ahead,” John said, nodding at her. "Let's see what you think of it."

The first sip tasted bitter, though she had drank more unpalatable liquids, and it was no more pungent than the langon that Halling's kin-brother often made in the springtime. The second sip revealed a loaminess that she had not been expecting, and from across the table, John chuckled.

"Here," he said, offering her a packet of sugar. "A lot of people add this in, or mix it with milk."

Coffee mixed with the sugar tasted sublime, and Teyla made a little hum of pleasure.

Ronon laughed. "Now you sound like Rodney," he said.


Twenty minutes later, Teyla thought maybe this was how Rodney felt, too. She was wide awake, blood thrumming excitedly in her body, and she had to cross her legs at the ankle to resist tapping out a staccato rhythm with her feet. Her eyes still felt gritty, but in a dull, unimportant kind of way. Shifting restlessly in her chair, she kept a watchful eye on the clock. She nearly felt sorry for Ronon, with John throwing an elbow into his ribs when Ronon's shoulders slumped too far down, indicating his failure in the battle to stay awake. He should have had a cup of coffee.

Suddenly everyone was packing up their folders and papers, standing and stretching, and Teyla shoved her chair back, itching to move, to be active.

"Teyla, may I have a word?" Elizabeth called out, and reluctantly, Teyla waved goodbye to her team, then plastered a polite smile onto her face.

"Yes, Elizabeth?"

"I just wanted to make sure you were feeling all right," Elizabeth said. "I know that in the past, we've all had our share of sleepless nights – and days," she continued, grimacing at the memories, "but lately, we've been lucky, and this time shift must have been jarring for you."

"I am fine," Teyla returned graciously. "In fact, I feel quite well, thank you, Elizabeth."

Elizabeth chuckled. "Well, you were certainly more alert than some of your colleagues today, so I can only assume that your training in meditation has prepared you for times like these."

Teyla stared steadily at Elizabeth. Meditation didn't work like that, but Elizabeth had never joined in on any of the sessions that Teyla presided over, so she bit back her first response. "I do find meditation to be quite freeing," she said instead. "Now I must go; I'm meeting Lieutenant Kavars, who will be flying me to the Mainland today."

"Of course," Elizabeth said, smiling indulgently. "I'm so glad we had this chance to talk."

Smiling and nodding, Teyla left the conference room, mulling over the conversation. Elizabeth hadn't inquired after anyone else's health, but perhaps she had instead been remarking upon Teyla's enthusiasm. In truth, Teyla had interrupted John a good deal in order to give a thorough, animated rundown of their mission, so detailed that no one had asked a single question at the end. She had been thirsty, though, after talking so much, and had eyed Rodney's insulated mug with intent. If he hadn't been seated on the other side of the table, she might have lunged for it.

Teyla would have to ask Rodney how she could acquire one of the mugs. For now, though, she detoured into the mess hall, poured herself a cup of coffee, added sugar, and then gulped it down. She had to rush to make her appointment with Lt. Kavars, but the stop had been worthwhile. Caffeine sped through her veins. She smiled.


Teyla's visit with Charin was cut short by bad weather. On the return flight, Lt. Kavars – Jacqueline – had remarked upon Teyla's good spirits, even as lightning flashed around them and hail battered at the jumper. Teyla confessed that she had tried coffee for the first time that day and found it to her liking. Jacqueline was a veritable font of information, explaining that she had spent two years between school and the military working at a store that sold only coffee drinks. After discussing the myriad preparations and flavors, Teyla understood why everyone made such a fuss over the fresh shipments that arrived on the Daedalus. Jacqueline offered to share some of the powder flavoring she liked, and they made plans to meet up later in the week for a coffee break.

Usually after a busy morning combined with a lack of rest, Teyla headed to her quarters for a nap, but when she reached her door, she hesitated. There were no scheduled missions for the next few days, and her obligations had been met. It seemed silly to waste her energy.

So, she cleaned. Starting with the outer room of her quarters and working her way into the bedroom and bath, she swept the floors, changed her bedding, stripped the curtains from the windows, dusted, organized her clothes, and wiped down the bathroom. Previously, she'd shoved laundry into the closet, hating to deal with it, but now she pulled it all out and crammed it into the chute. All she needed to do was walk down eighteen levels to the "basement," as it was called, to collect the clean clothes. She found it perplexing that the laundry facilities were so far away from the residential area.

Well, she had to go down there anyway, so Teyla knocked on all her teammates' doors, swept in and discovered that Ronon apparently rotated only three ensembles; Rodney shoved his dirty clothes into the closet, too, but for longer stretches of time, judging by the smell; John was some kind of secret laundry lover, because the only thing in his basket was a lone red sock.

Seventy-two flights of stairs later, and half of them spent lugging two duffel bags, Teyla reassessed the need for clean linens and clothing. Surely she could simply purchase or trade for new items on the Mainland, or at an off-world marketplace. After dropping off Ronon and Rodney's folded clothing – and John's sock – she returned to her quarters, put everything away, rehung the curtains, and then collapsed onto her bed.

Surviving the basement deserved a reward.

It was past lunchtime, so the mess hall was nearly empty, and to Teyla's dismay, so was the coffee urn. She managed to pull out three-quarters of a cup, but it smelled different than the coffee she'd had hours ago, and even with two packets of sugar, she still grimaced at the taste. She drank it all anyway.

Back in her sparkling clean quarters, Teyla booted up her computer and read every post on the intranet from the past month. She engaged in a rousing anonymous discussion about the differences between leadership and authority, and then perused the Personals section, laughing out loud at some of the profile headlines ("Seeking Ponytail Fetishist." "Must Love Fish." "I'll Name a Cactus After You."). The Bartering Table forum listed nothing of interest, and the Fish title had given her an idea, so she closed everything down and went in search of Major Lorne.


John raised Teyla on her radio as she was returning from Lorne's quarters. He had been most generous in fulfilling her request, and her arms were full of paints and brushes. Juggling everything around, she tapped her earbud. "I'm here, Colonel."

"Haven't seen you all day," John said.

"I've been around," Teyla replied. "I was on the mainland."

"Okay," he said. "Just wanted to make sure you're getting some rest."

"Of course," Teyla lied blithely. Rodney had taught her that white lies were a useful social lubricant. She felt fine, honestly. Better than fine. Anyway, she was on her way to bed, now.

"See you at breakfast," John said, and clicked off.

Truly, she had intended to lie down and sleep, but she was unable to find a comfortable position. After twisting and turning for nearly an hour, Teyla got up, got dressed, filled a satchel with Lorne's art supplies, and took the long way to the gym. If that route happened to pass by the cafeteria, well, she was sure that the third-shift enjoyed coffee, too.

She was correct. Two large urns sat on the sideboard, and from the aroma, she could tell that the coffee had been brewed recently. Teyla poured herself two of the tall paper cups and added sugar, not minding that it burned her mouth when she took a large swallow. And another. She finished the first cup still standing at the coffee station, so she refilled it and then headed out. Not even two hallways later, she felt the prickle of energy under her skin, spreading to her fingers and toes. Yes, that was more like it.


The hours passed in a blur of colors, shapes, and coffee. The wooden handle of the paintbrush felt thick in her hand, and the smell of the paints tripped childhood memories of watching her mother grinding herbs with a stone pestle.

She had to hunker down to fill in the last lines along the space between wall and floor, and she had just finished the last stroke of the mural when she heard the heavy tread of feet approaching at a run. Suddenly she was grabbed from behind and yanked upright, her feet tangling as she tried to kick out, and she writhed against her attacker.


Teyla fell limp. It was only Ronon, probably thinking he'd played a great prank on her.

"Are you all right?" That was John, yelling, and he grabbed her shoulders as Ronon set her down. "You're bleeding! Get Beckett!"

Wobbling slightly when Ronon let go, Teyla hastened to reassure John. "It's just paint. John, I'm fine. I'm okay!"

Ronon had already summoned a medical team, and John's face was still frozen in a mask of worry.

"It's just paint! See?" She pointed to the wall.

"Christ, I thought you were-" John stopped. "Look at yourself."

Teyla looked. Her hands were covered in paint, red and blue and some yellow, and there were streaks of red on her thighs where she'd wiped them, uncaring of her clothing and unwilling to break her creative trance.

"I'm fine," she insisted. "I think." There was a sour knot in her stomach, and she felt woozy, a little light-headed. "What are you two doing up, anyway?"

"We just finished our morning run," John said. "What are you doing up this early?"

"Morning?" Teyla blinked. The hallway tilted, or maybe she did, and spots danced in front of her eyes. Dimly, she heard John shouting again. Oddly, there was no pain when she hit the ground.


Two days later, Teyla was released from the infirmary. She had spent an entire day asleep, and then the next one hooked up to an IV. Carson had explained that her body was dehydrated. He'd instructed her to lay off the caffeine, for at least a couple of weeks. Teyla grimaced. Already, she wanted a cup. A big cup, with extra sugar.

Well, no one could keep an eye on her constantly. Teyla had the coffee break with Jacqueline to look forward to, and she had already put in an order for the next Daedalus run. If all else failed, she still remembered the combination for the lock on the medicine cabinet where Carson kept "all of the good stuff," as Rodney called it. Caffeine pills were sure to be stored there.

There wasn't any need to give it up entirely, and her team would understand if she had some right now, just a cup or two. Rodney drank coffee by the urnful, and he managed. Mostly. She flashed back on the crazed look in his eyes when he'd tried to take her mug.

Teyla loitered near the entrance to the mess for a while, but there were too many people inside to be able to grab a cup and leave quickly. While she waited for the crowds to thin, she went to take a look at her mural. Funny, she hadn't remembered the composition being quite so muddled. The shapes that she'd intended as people looked more like trees, and the trees resembled multicolored, elongated lampshades.

There was an addition to her painting. In the center of the mural, right at the baseboard, someone had affixed a small white card which read, "Teyla's Coffee Adventure. 2006."

Teyla burst out laughing. Okay, maybe she could stand to cut back, just a little... starting tomorrow.



( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
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<<[1] [2] >>
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:05 am (UTC)
LOL!! Oh Teyla,I know what you mean. Love it.

Annie, who mostly only drinks tea these days
Jun. 5th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
Mmmm, I like tea too. And coffee. And Diet Coke. *g*

I'm so glad that you enjoyed this! Thank you.
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:20 am (UTC)
ROFL I loved it!
Jun. 5th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm so pleased to hear that. Thank you!
Jun. 4th, 2011 11:22 am (UTC)
This was great! :)
Jun. 5th, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
Jun. 4th, 2011 11:24 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this very much. Teyla's coffee adventure, indeed!
Jun. 5th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
Apparently it was quite a wild ride! *g*

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed it. Thank you!
Jun. 4th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
Loved this. Such fun and sooo Teyla to use her time so productively.
Jun. 5th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. :)
Jun. 4th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
LOL! Wish coffee made me this productive! God help poor Teyla if she ever discovers espresso :o)
Jun. 5th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
Hahah, I know, right? Of course we've probably built up some kind of tolerance over the years... *g*
Jun. 4th, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
Hee! Poor Teyla and the lure of coffee!
Jun. 5th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
Cannot... resist... *glug glug*

Glad you enjoyed this, thank you!
Jun. 4th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
She did laundry! Holy shee-it, does that mean if I drink coffee I'll find energy to do laundry?? *throws out coffee maker* Fun little story and the ending was a grinner.

Jun. 5th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
I'd have a hard time tackling 72 flights of stairs without coffee... or an overnight bag. *g*

Thrilled that you liked this, thank YOU! HUGS.
Jun. 4th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
hahaha, oh yeah. dangerous in the hands of newbies, for sure. so awesome.

Swooping down, his hand outstretched, Rodney blinked in surprise when Teyla pulled the mug away.

“It is not for you, though I'm sure that you will find more in the mess,” she said.

this moment right here? worth the price of admission. Rodney's faaaaace. because all the coffee in the world belongs to him. hee.
Jun. 5th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
It's all up, up, up! until it's not. *laughs*

Oh, I'm so pleased that bit worked, because yes, the look on his face! Thank you for your lovely comment!

Jun. 4th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
Teyla on coffee... probably a good thing the Wraith didn't turn up!

Nice work with a great gentle, relatable humour.
Jun. 5th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
A good thing for the Wraith, you mean? Bantos sticks double time!! Or did you mean the part where she was so jittery she could barely hold a paintbrush... *g*

Thank you for your lovely comments. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this.
Jun. 4th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, Teyla!!! Pull up a chair, girlfriend! *make a fresh pot*

Seriously - I love how pitch-perfect the voices are, here, how smart Teyla is, all the way through, and the team being just like they were in canon!

I really hope you do make this your Summer of SGA!!! ♥
Jun. 5th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
Glee!! *holds out mug*

Oh, good. Coffee!Teyla was much fun to write, and I'm happy to know that her voice worked, and that the team dynamic was there, and just, yay. Yay!

Thank you so much for all of your encouragement. ♥
Jun. 4th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
Brilliant!!! I love the card added to her mural at the end!!

Oh dear, the perils of coffee and caffeine! Fortunately, I don't like coffee - unfortunately, I do like Pepsi!!
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC)
HEE! This experience has the all the markings of a "Remember when..." story, so I'm glad that someone thought to immortalize her mural ;)

I totally understand the addiction perfectly healthy love of soda, too - it's Diet Coke for me.

I'm so glad you liked this, thank you!
Jun. 4th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
hahahaha ... that was adorable. :D
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
*grins* I'm so glad it made you laugh! Thank you!

Love your icon, too. Hee!
Jun. 5th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
Oh, awesome! And absolutely hilarious.
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the humor! Thank you very much.
Jun. 5th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)

I loved it. She'll be back for more. They always come back... *g*

Huh. Where's my TeamSGA icon when I need it?

ETA: Ah hah! I found it!

Edited at 2011-06-05 02:27 am (UTC)
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
I love that you loved it! Thank you :D

Oh, she already wants to be back. She just has to bide her time...

*mmmm, pretty Team*
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