by poyznelf

Authors Notes: Inspired by a FB email for my TS fic by a person complaining that I don't write real stories (snort).

Beta Read by A FRIEND who prefers to remain anonymous.

Disclaimers: Do you think if I owned them they would be sitting in mothballs, uhhhhhhh noooooooo. I don't think so. So needless to say I don't make any money on this stuff.

Most of you are probably wondering why I like my coffee strong, dark, thick, and bitter. Hell I even like day old coffee. And that espresso stuff is terrific. They could give me that stuff in a big old mug, and I would be right at home.

But to understand why I drink my coffee like that, you got to go back to when I was a bit younger.

Like ten.

And foster home number twelve.

Yep, add that up. Ma died when I was five. I have been in and out of foster homes and county facilities since. So by ten, I had been in more than two foster homes each year. Then add in the stays at the orphanages, and well I never lasted any one place for more than a few months, tops.

Ahhhh, there was always a reason why I was moved. Most of the foster parents would say it was my fault. And they could be right.

But I say it could be a lot of reasons. And most of them weren't my fault.

But a good portion of those reasons were why I learned to mainline coffee at such an early age.

When you're ten, and you get home from school to a house full of chores, with a backpack full of homework you can't even read but need to do anyway, no matter how long it takes. And you're running on a peanut butter sandwich you had for lunch with a carton of milk. And a dinner of hamburger helper (one, one cup serving). You occasionally need that little zing of energy to help you out. And the only zing a ten-year-old would find is that never-ending supply of coffee that all these places had.

So no matter how cold the area I had to sleep or study in was, and how late I stayed up, struggling with reading my assignments, coffee helped me out.

It warmed up my hands, my body, and gave me that kick in the pants I needed to stay awake and get it all done.

After I ran away from that government provided hell to the streets. Coffee was cheap due to the free refills, and once again kept me warm and awake when I was afraid to go to sleep.

During my time in the Army, coffee became even more important. In many of the countries we went to, drinking the water wasn't an option. Alcohol, tea, or coffee were the smart beverages of choice. Alcohol only if it was safely bottled in a new bottle, was safe because it didn't contain the local water and, well, alcohol kills germs. But alcohol dulls the senses, and reduces reaction times while tea and coffee were made with boiled water so all the bacteria were killed and the drink's safe, but perks you up, warms you up, and helps keep you focused.

But safety wasn't the only thing in the service. Once again we were asked to perform impossible tasks with little or no sleep and in all kinds of weather. Mainlining coffee and chocolate bars was an effective way to stay awake and warm. Focus on our game, accomplish the mission, and get home.

Then came my time as a bounty hunter. Once again I demanded my body do acts that meant staying alert whether I was tired, sick, or injured. Skips did not take my health and well-being into account when they were trying to avoid me. So coffee stayed my loyal friend. When I saw many of my competitors using speed and nicotine to stay awake, I turned back to my tried and true method. Hot, strong, thick, and black coffee.

So now while I don't really need coffee for warmth, or even energy, I crave the caffeine and the local Starbucks is a favored haunt. I make the coffee here at work strong so no one else wants to drink my stash. If they want that weak crap, they can make their own. Me, I want it strong.

Like my friends.