We Are Family
Within two days Katana regained her full strength. It was amazing seeing her recover so quickly. Sam and Jack, as well as the rest of SG-1 visited daily.
Sam was on stand down for nine months but Landry permitted her to continue with her projects on the base, since she insisted she couldn't just abandon her work.
A month before the wedding, Sam started moving in with Jack. SG-1 had volunteered to help, insisting that Sam had to sit the whole process out.
"Come on guys! I'm not an invalid!"
"You just sit tight, and don't move!" surprisingly it wasn't Jack who actually insisted but Cameron and the rest of the guys.
"You're being pampered Sam, I can't understand why you're not enjoying it!" Vala didn't understand a lot of things about Sam, but her reluctance to relax was most puzzling.
"You wouldn't, would you…" Daniel teased quietly.
Passing Sam where she sat on the couch, Jack suddenly stopped and stared at her and at the same instant both of them said, "Hey, I've got an idea!"
"What idea?" Vala insisted.
Jack grinned at Sam before facing the team. "Come on, guys, let's head to the base, I'll fill you in on the way." So they headed to Katana's quarters to give her the surprise she was sure to love.
When they arrived, Katana's door was open and they found her watching "The Simpson's" to Jack delight.
"Hey!" Jack entered first. "Whatcha doin'?"
"Hello," instead of an answer she just pointed to the TV since they already saw what was on. "It's interesting," she said in response to Jack's intrigued look.
Jack raised his eyebrows. "Just interesting?"
"Fascinating!" Katana offered dramatically, making them smile.
He seemed satisfied with that response, "Fascinating," Jack repeated, "You never saw the Goa'uld but Mr. Burns – exactly like them."
"So you've said," she rolled her eyes.
"Yes, you did."
Jack tried to remember when he even mentioned the Simpson's to Katana, while Daniel seized the opportunity to interrupt.
"Katana, we have a surprise for you," Daniel kept cutting his eyes towards Jack.
"Ah, yes," Jack said finally understanding. "C'mon," he tilted his head to the door in invitation.
"You'll see," Jack answered going out.
With her typical big goofy smile Vala gave Katana a hand.
With mischief in their eyes they brought her to the elevator, and she smiled at their childhood behavior.
Somewhat hesitant Katana let them lead her onto the elevator. Jack punched the control buttons and she realized they were going up.
Tenth floor. Ninth. Eighth.
Jack watched Katana's reaction to the digital numbers. Fifth. Ground floor.
Katana started hopping with joy. She was going outside! She waited while Jack filled up a paper the SF gave him, her impatience growing.
With a big lopsided smile he told everyone, "Now we can go!"
Katana tried not to run, but couldn't help herself. Feeling the ground underneath her feet was thrilling. Reaching a small patch of grass near the fence she closed her eyes letting the sun rays wash over her face, breathing deeply she sat down on the grass, touching the earth, fingers caressing the blades of grass, wanting to lay on it, but the cough behind her startled her. She'd forgotten about the people who were following her.
Sam and the others smiled while Jack watched weirdly.
"Should we leave the two of you alone?" Jack pointed to the surroundings.
Before he knew it, Katana was hanging around his neck screaming. "Thank you, thank you! You have no idea what this means to me!"
She was trapped under ground ever since they've been back from Atlantis and even there, she didn't get the chance to go to the main land.
"Hey! It wasn't all the General's doing!" Cameron said rebelling, obviously hoping for a hug of his own.
Katana laughed sincerely at his words, switching to hug him, placing a kiss on his cheek.
"But, you know, this isn't your surprise," Sam said.
Katana pulled back to stand in front of them. "Than what?" What more could she want?
"It wouldn't be a surprise if we told you," Vala stepped in.
"Time to go," Jack said, heading for the parking lot.
Katana watched them for a moment, than quickly caught up, "Where are we going?"
Jack put his sunglasses on, took a quick glance skyward and hurried on, "Just follow the yellow brick road."
Katana rode with Jack and Sam in his truck, while Daniel was behind the wheel of the other car.
"So," Jack turned the music down, "you could've gone to the surface any time, without us knowing, why didn't you?" he thought that she might have done it, but seeing her joy at the open space, he was sure she didn't.
Katana was looking through the window and sighed at his direct question. "I wanted you to know you can trust me not to break an order," she finally said. It was ironic that now she actually followed Jack's orders, or Sam's for that matter, while in the past all she did was undermine their authority.
There was a small silence that Jack found incredibly awkward. "What's with that grass thing?" he asked curiously with a trace of mocking in his voice.
Katana chuckled as Sam pushed him in disapproval of his tone.
"I like being 'in touch with nature' as you would say it," she smiled.
"That's … cool," he tried not to laugh, "you know, Carter here talks to her plants!"
"Hey!" Sam gave him a punch in the shoulder. "That's supposed to be between us!"
"What?!" he asked rhetorically, "I just found you a friend, and you're hitting me?" his tone was so naive someone might think he really didn't know what he'd done wrong.
They continued to argue playfully making Katana smile. Life was good.
Half an hour later, they stopped at Sam's house. A young woman opened the door and waved at them.
Katana thought she looked familiar, but couldn't really place her face with any specific name.
The girl came to meet them, greeting everyone, than turning to Katana. "Hi, I'm Cassandra," she extended her hand.
Of course. "You look so young," Katana accepted the hand looking in wonder.
"Well, um, thank you… I think," she said confused.
"Don't worry Cassie, Katana has the tendency to tell that to people," Jack interrupted.
"Oh, right, you probably know me in the future, or will know me, or… knew me?" Cassie remembered Jack and Sam telling her about the visitor.
"I know you," Katana simply said not wanting to go into semantics.
Cassandra was the only person, besides Kathryn, Katana allowed to get close to her. Over the five years they've known each other, she had become a very good friend despite the age difference.
The group went inside while Katana still awaited her surprise.
In the living room Jack stood in the center with his hands wide open yelling "Surprise!"
Katana stepped in closer. "I don't understand."
"This is my house," Sam started explaining, "and since I'm moving in with Jack, and you'll need a place to stay… we thought this will do nicely," she finished smiling.
Katana wasn't sure she understood them all that well, so she held her joy back until she was sure. "So this means I'll be able to leave the base as I wish?"
"Yep." Jack nodded.
"That and more," it was Cam's turn. "Since Sam's on maternity, we're going to need a fourth. And who better than the girl who can only stay 10 months," he stated smiling.
"Ha!" now she was genuinely surprised. "I'm gonna be a member of SG-1?! That's great!"
"You already are," Jack smiled at her enthusiasm. "The papers came through this morning."
"And this is for you," Cameron handed her the SG-1 patch for her uniform.
"Thank you, thank you!" she realized she was repeating herself, but this time it was Cameron she hugged first, than Daniel, Teal'c and so on. Even Cassandra got a big squeeze.
"This is awesome! I can't wait to go on a mission with you guys! And I have a place to live…"
"That's under one condition," Cassandra cut her off, "you let me crash here when I'm in town."
'That is one damn good condition,' Katana thought. "No problem!"
"And," Jack added, "there will be tests - for your skills."
Katana nodded smiling. 'That's going to be a breeze.'
"Oh! And no using your powers on our people! That's frowned upon," Jack injected.
"It's forbidden to use any sort of powers against people who don't have them, unless it's in self defense," she explained.
They sat comfortably, talking, trying to get to know the newest member of their family.
"I have a favor to ask you," Sam addressed Katana.
"Sure, fire away."
"You see, the wedding's in less then a month, and Cassandra will be the maid of honor, Vala accepted to be a bridesmaid, and I'm missing one… so I was wondering if you'd be the third bridesmaid?"
Katana couldn't believe her ears. That's going to be weird, not just being at her parents wedding, but actually participating! "Yes!" she yelled in excitement. "I mean, I'd be happy to help," she said more calmly, still visibly thrilled.
"Good. Now that that's settled, we're going shopping!" Vala rubbed her palms together matching Katana's excitement.
Daniel flinched at the word 'shopping'. "You're not getting my credit card!" he snapped and everyone laughed.
"Don't worry Daniel, I got my own credit card," Vala proudly pulled her valet and from it a real credit card. "General Laundry gave it to me yesterday; apparently I'm finally getting paid for this job."
"Do I have to go?" Katana never did like shopping; she considered it a waist of time.
"Of course! You're not gonna be wearing that for the next ten months!? And you'll need something for the wedding!" Vala insisted. She couldn't believe that anyone could pass up the opportunity to shop.
Katana looked down her clothes, realizing Vala had a point. She only had SG issued clothes and that's not really a broad choice. "Alright, I'll go," she caved in.
Turning to Sam and Jack, Daniel changed the subject. "So, have you decided on the names?" He felt relieved knowing his bank account would remain untouched. The last time Vala went shopping with his credit card, he'd had to close that account when she went way over the limit!
"Yes," Sam and Jack said in the same voice, smiling.
"Janet and Kathryn," Sam continued. "In honor of the two women that meant a lot to both of us."
They all fell silent remembering their dear friends. Cassandra felt a great gratitude her mother was remembered so dearly.
"What if one or both of the children are boys?" Daniel asked again, breaking the silence.
"We already know they're girls," Jack flipped his hand through the air, annoyed. "Teal'c blurted it out."
"I have already offered my apologize to you O'Neill. I did not realize Earth women do not know the gender of the child from its conception."
"It's fine Teal'c, really," Sam knew he didn't mean to do it, and it was actually nice knowing in what color to paint the nursery.
"I wanted to be surprised! I like surprises!"
Daniel clearly remembered several incidents with the Tok'ra when they surprised him. "Jack, you hate surprises."
Katana saw the stare Jack gave Daniel and decided to divert his attention, her curiosity was killing her. "Are you happy you're gonna have two girls?"
"Hell yeah! I'm gonna spoil them rotten!" he answered with a big smile, apparently he had already planed it all out.
Sam frowned at those words. "You'll do no such thing!"
"Oh, if it's up to you, they're gonna grow up to become these brilliant scientists," waving a hand around in midair he paused, "they're gonna have fun before they go all dull on us."
"Are you saying I'm boring?" Sam asked trying to sound angry, but not really accomplishing it.
"No, Carter, you're not like other scientists, you're loads of fun," he said unconvincingly, knowing fully well she wasn't mad.
"You know Jack," she had a devilish look in her eyes, "I might keep my last name after all, given you're so used to calling me by it," Sam knew all the plans he had about messing with people after they get married, and how much time he spent developing them.
"Sam, you're fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!" he quickly said, "did I mention Fun?!"
Now that's more like it.
After three hours of walking from one store to the other, they were at their last stop. Sam had picked out the wedding dress and made the arrangements about the delivery after a few alterations were made.
They were headed to the coffee shop, pared off. Vala was hand in hand with Sam, while Katana walked beside Cass in silence.
"So," Cassandra decided to ask the question that was bothering her ever since she met Katana, "what am I like in the future?"
Katana giggled, knowing Cass so well, that that had been on her mind for a while now. "Curious, just like now," she looked at this young woman, full of life, her spirit hadn't changed much. "Actually you're a very good friend of mine."
"Really? Wow. It's so freaky thinking you know me, everything that's going to happen to me, and I don't know you."
"You will," Katana smiled again, "and you're gonna help me a lot."
Cassandra's curiosity was getting the better of her, Sam warned her she shouldn't ask, but couldn't help herself, what can it hurt. "Like with what?"
"Like, I can't tell you."
Cassandra understood, but still felt disappointed. "What about Sam? Are you close to her?"
"No," Katana said abruptly causing Cassandra to look at her strangely. "I mean… well, no," she said more softly.
"But you know her, right?"
"Yes, that I do."
"What about Sam's children, are you close to them?"
"To one of them," Katana thought of her twin sister. She never could let her other siblings into her life. James and Patrick understood, and were always at arms length, but Gracie being only eleven when they first met couldn't possibly get the pain Katana felt being alone for all those years, while all of them enjoyed all the benefits of what a family can provide. Katana still remembered the look of pain and tears forming in Gracie's eyes when she told her to get lost and don't bother her again. She didn't see Gracie after that. She's sixteen now, and probably doesn't allow people to call her Gracie any more.
Katana never understood why it was so easy to allow Kathryn to get close to her. After all, they were twins, exactly the same, accept Kathryn had everything Katana desired. But she was never jealous of her. Kathryn is a brilliant diplomat. She managed to mediate in several sensitive disputes by the time she was twenty. She had the same brain structure as Katana, but never learned to use her powers as well as her sister. The fact is, she never had to fight to survive, and in a way Katana was grateful for that.
'The O'Neill children,' Katana often heard people refer red to her family, 'are destined for greatness.'
James and Patrick both wanted to be pilots, and by the time Katana's second year of living on Atlantis finished, they've accomplished their goals. James is two years younger, and Patrick three, but the boys looked so much alike people thought they were twins also.
"Hey!" Cassandra called out. "You spaced out."
"Oh," Katana tried a smile, "sorry."
"Sooo, what are they like?"
Katana shook her head. "Who?"
"The twins! Man…"
"Oh, well, one of them is great… the other's gonna make some problems for Sam and Jack… but she'll come around," Katana said sadly thinking of herself, and everything she missed out being angry. "And I can't tell you anything more, so stop asking!" she regained her control.
"You two!" Sam yelled. Her and Vala were several feet in front of them. "Stop falling behind!"
"We're coming, we're coming!" Cassandra shouted back.
The following days Jack went back and forth from DC to Colorado, getting everything ready and switching to training the SG teams, so he could have more time for his family.
He was entering Cheyenne Mountain complex escorted by Sam, when his phone rang.
"Jack, are you in the base?" Daniel's voice came through.
"We're just coming in," Jack answered giving his ID card to the guard.
"You have to get down here! This is amazing!" Daniels excitement didn't really make a difference to Jack. For all he knew, Daniel's excitement was about some archeological discovery he thinks everyone should know about.
"Danny boy, slow down, come where?" Jack's tone didn't escape Daniel.
"To level 25. Don't worry Jack, it's not some spectacular archeological discovery, I wouldn't call YOU for that. Katana's having her fighting skills tested and she's beating the crap out of everybody!"
That is his kind of fun. "We'll be right there."
"What's up?" Sam caught up with him once she passed the security check.
"Oh," he placed his arm around Sam's neck, "apparently Katana's a mean machine."
"What?" she frowned.
"C'mon," Jack winked at her, and headed to the elevator.
By the time they got to the training level there was cheering and yelling all around. Daniel spotted them by the entrance and waved.
They made their way through the sea of men and women finally arriving at their destination. "What is this?" Jack asked annoyed. "Is everyone here?"
"Actually yes, the night shift decided to stay after seeing her fight," Daniel still looked at Katana who stood in the center, surrounded by four men.
Cam turned to face them, from his position near the front. "Her hand to hand skills are amazing! We couldn't have picked out a better person to replace you Sam!" his hands were restless, flying around. He returned his attention to Katana in anticipation.
"It's good to know I'll be missed," Sam teased.
"Oh, no Sam, you know we'll miss you," Cameron turned again, "it's just that she's… you'll see, the next fight is about to start."
Jack flipped through the crowd finally resting his eyes on the young woman. She seemed to be tired, but still had the strength to fight. "How long has she been at it?
"The whole morning! After a while she got bored and told two people should attack, than after a while three, and now we're on the four," Daniel said like he was explaining rules of how the game is played.
"Ahm. Isn't that a bit unfair?"
"Trust me Jack, its fair."
Vala came at that moment offering popcorn to everyone.
"Vala? What are you doing?"
"It felt like eating popcorn, want some?" she placed the bag right under Daniel's nose. His hands reacted immediately, pushing away the bag.
"No, thank you," he couldn't believe how resourceful Vala was. She wanted popcorn, she got popcorn. 'Who knows what she had to promise the Cook to get it,' he frowned at the thought, 'No, she wouldn't,' he tried reassuring himself. 'SHE WOULD, SHE WOULD!' a voice inside him screamed.
"Shhh Daniel, they're starting."
'No, no, she wouldn't… not for popcorn
A man from behind Katana attacked, but she turned instinctively, grabbing his arms, using his weight and flipped him over herself onto the Marine who was already running towards her. The third airman tried tripping her, but she jumped avoiding her while, punching the Marine - who'd popped up again - with her left leg as she was coming down.
The first airman, the biggest of them came back at her and threw a fist in her direction but she stopped it, he tried again but she stopped that as well. Katana retaliated with a left hook which the man stopped, making a mistake expecting her other hand instead of the knee which went straight for his groin. The airman yelped and "ouch" was heard around the room as he went down.
The whole fight lasted only minutes.
"Woohoo! That's my girl!" Jack yelled attracting Katana's attention. She waved at him with a smile.
"You're girl?" Sam raised her eyebrows.
He looked down at Sam. "Our girl," he pointed to the SG-1, "I meant our girl," Jack emphasized the last two words, and placed a hand around Sam's neck. "You're MY girl."
"I better be you're only girl," she teased loving ever minute of his squirming.
"Next" they heard Katana yell out.
The fighting continued for one hour more while everyone watched in awe.
"She is a formidable warrior," Teal'c commented. "You should be very proud ColonelCarter."
Sam looked at him surprisingly, and so did Jack. "Why?"
Teal'c realized he had just made an indiscretion. "I can not comment at this time," he stated, returning his attention back to Katana.
"Why not?" it was Jack who asked this time.
"I am watching the fight," it was clearly all he was going to say.
Sam and Jack looked at each other. "You know T, you're acting strange," Jack said, "well, stranger than usual."
"Indeed," Teal'c said eyes still locked on Katana.
"You kick ass!" Cameron shouted offering his hand to Katana in congratulation, making her laugh, as SG-1 – including it's newest member – headed out of the gym.
"We are very proud," Jack pointed to Sam and him, "Aren't we Sam?"
"Very," she said jokingly glancing at Teal'c.
"Are you proud of Katana Teal'c?" Jack made an innocent face.
"Extremely," he said and walked ahead without explanation.
Katana didn't understand a thing. "What was that about?"
"Oh nothing, nothing at all. C'mon, let's get some cake! It's on me."
"Jack, the cake is free," Katana stated the obvious.
"I knew that."