"Oh for crying out loud!" Katana said giving herself a mental slap for using those words, its what HE always said. But there was no time to think about that now, she had to escape.
Glancing at the sky, filled of electricity, she realized there's no choice.
She made 180, stopping completely and thus confusing her pursuers. They held their weapons up, aiming for her, but not firing - trying to capture her unharmed.
"Well, that's not gonna happen," she murmured to herself.
At least this weather's gonna serve for something, Katana opened her hands towards the sky, making all the electricity come to her.
The enemies realized immediately her intentions and panicked, since they knew all too well of what was she capable.
"Fire! Fire now!" the leader yelled at his men, and they quickly followed his order. But it was too late.
Katana slowed down the time around her, bending it, making sure that she'd complete the transition. She saw a blast coming her way, slowly, and she was ready. Suddenly, the time resumed its previous course, and she pointed her palms towards the 'hunters', emitting energy which moved in a wave like manner, destroying the blast and knocking down the attackers.
'Good, that will buy me some time', she made sure to leave them unarmed.
Spotting another group of hunters, Katana felt tired, but being so close to salvation she didn't intend to give up.
However, making it to the 'Gate was one thing, establishing a worm hole was another. She looked at the sky again, wondering why the hell did this had to happen today.
The storms on Hala meant that the sky will be filled with electromagnetic energy which manifested itself through thunders, and constant flow of bluish lines – high voltage. No ships could go through, and the Stargate, being the super conductor, was the least safe method of traveling.
Of course, she had no choice in the matter. It was either that, or surrendering, and the latter was not an option.
She tried various addresses which were near by, but nothing happened. Than she tried Atlantis with no luck. Finally she thought, why not try SGC. But luck, tricky thing, failed her again.
The other group moved in on her, and she felt hopeless, maybe going to the 'Gate wasn't such a good idea after all.
The lighting hit the great circle, making it the same bluish color the sky was displaying, and the gate started turning on its own. Moving to the DHD, she sighed with relief, realizing it was dialing the last address, Earth.
"Stargate Command, this is Katana, transmitting my code, lower the force shield," she spoke into the device locked around her wrist.
"Your code is not accepted, please identify yourself," the voice that came through didn't seem familiar to her.
"This is Katana from Atlantis," she emphasized, "I am in urgent need to come through. I'm transmitting my code again! Please lower the force shield," she said annoyed. The hunters were now laying fire all over, and the only refuge was behind the DHD.
"Your code is NOT accepted, I repeat, your code is not accepted. The iris will remain closed, I advise you not to proceed," the same voice informed her.
"The iris?!" she frowned not understanding. There was no choice, and no time. She had to disable 'the iris' from here, and she hated using telekinesis on long distances; what came naturally to her people was very hard for her.
She made a run towards the Gate concentrating only on the solid object on the other side. She was surprised to really feel the solid object instead of energy that a shield would emit and that would be a lot harder to penetrate.
At the SGC
"Close that iris Walter," General Landry said seeing the iris open on its own.
"I'm trying sir.. We have an incoming traveler."
The SG-1 entered the control room, followed by General O'Neill, and instantly Sam took a seat next to Walter.
"Colonel?" Landry gave her the 'seal it' look.
"Sir, the program that controls the iris is showing it shut."
"Carter, not that I doubt you, but could it be some sort of a… mistake?" Jack asked rhetorically.
She looked at him wanting to smile, almost forgetting the situation. "Well, what ever is coming we'll know in a few seconds," Sam pointed to the tracking program, and Landry grabbed the mike.
"Marines be prepared to fire!" he said into the device. "Who knows what monstrosity will come out of…" his voice trailed off as the beautiful girl, all dressed in white, came out of the worm hole, and the boys with guns did their jobs, pointing their weapons at her.
"Wow," Cam said excited. "This is mine kind of a monstrosity!" he smiled, breaking the silence that young woman's arrival has caused. Everybody looked at him disapprovingly.
"Sorry sir," he said, and than added: "Sirs," his enthusiasm now at bay.
General Landry made his way to the Gate Room with SG-1 and Jack at his six.
"Who the hell are you?!" Katana asked surprised.
Landry's lips formed a smile against his wish. "Since you're the uninvited guest, I suggest you introduce yourself first."
Katana just spotted his escort, and couldn't believe her eyes. "General O'Neill?"
"Have we met?" Jack's voice came behind Sam.
She was even more surprised now. "General O'Neill?!" she repeated.
"Is she..." he made a gesture towards his ears, indicating that she mite be deaf, talking to SG-1, than facing her. "Are you…" he made a same gesture.
"What are you doing here, and… why are you so…" Katana paused, trying to figure it out, "… young?" she made a step forward to make sure her eyes were not playing a trick on her, only to be stopped by the marines.
"Young, huh?" Jack said with pride, earning an annoyed look from Daniel.
Suddenly all the weapons in the room were taken away, hanging in the air, pointed in the very people who were holding them a second before.
"Who are you?" Katana asked, " And what have you done with the SGC personnel?" the look from her deep blue eyes gave them assurance she meant business, and it was apparent she was in control. Immediately, the word Ori came to Landry's mind and monstrosity again settled in.
"I am General Landry. I am the Commanding Officer of this base. We are the SGC personnel." he said. "Are you from the Ori?"
Jack flinched at the word. He didn't even thought of it; but why not? He couldn't put his finger on it but it seemed like they were missing something. She knew him, and he felt he knew her too.
"The Ori?" Katana frowned. "What are the…" she stopped talking, absorbing the look of the gate room, turning around, a thought finally sinking in.
Sam looked at Jack following his trail of thoughts. "Maybe she's from an alternate universe," she whispered.
"I'm not." Katana cut her off. "What year is it?" she directed the question to Landry.
"It's 2007," Landry answered amused.
"Oh." she sighed, "My name is Katana and… I'm from the future." she stated simply like it was the most normal thing in the world.
This has got to be the lamest excuse I have ever heard, Landry thought to himself.
Katana was not pleased with herself. She paced nervously through the room they assigned her. They wanted to put her under lock up, but she explained it would have had no use, since she could escape when ever she felt like it.
"We have a device we can use to stop you from using your powers," Landry said to her.
"That device was tuned to stop someone else, not me, I am aware of it. You can not use it against me," she remembered saying, and it wasn't a lie. She was shown that device… and than it hit her. The Ori, it was for them. McKay had showed her that machinery, but it was very crude in her opinion. He said it was something they used in their fight against someone – probably the Ori.
The fact that she didn't know anything about them was something that peaked her curiosity. This was the year she was prohibited to read about. No SGC reports, or the reports of Atlantian teams. She remembered trying to hack into the main computer, but there was no trace of anything relating this year.
On the other hand, Katana felt concerned. The fact that there was nothing she could refer to know what's going to happen, worried her, and it wasn't a good sign. Did they know she was going to be here?
It would have been better if she dealt with the men that hunted her like pray, than to take this unnecessary risk, traveling through the Gate during a storm, so irresponsible.
"So she's human?" Landry looked at doctor Lam.
"Very advance human. She's using 65 percent of her brain. That's how she's able to move objects with her mind. There's no telling what else she can do," Lam said. "Unfortunately she didn't allow us to take her blood. We could've learned more."
"Why wouldn't she allow it?" Daniel asked.
"She says it's against the beliefs of her people."
"We have to know if she's carrying any infectious diseases…" Landry started.
"Believe me, I've tried, but she… well, she disappeared right in front of me." Lam's voice gave away her discomfort.
"What do you mean disappeared?" Jack sounded uninterested like he didn't really believe what he just heard, and on cue Dr. Lam turned on the presentation monitor, showing security video from the infirmary.
"I told you! I'm not agreeing with this!" Katana's voice came from the video.
"I'm sorry, but we need to determine that there's no danger…" Lam's figure froze. There was no one in front of her.
"I told you, I won't allow it."
Lam turned around in search of the source of the voice. "Fine." She finally resided and Katana showed herself standing in the corner of the room.
The briefing room was silent.
"Wow. That's cool."
"Yes, you'd think so Jack," Daniel said annoyed, reminded of the time when Jack was invisible, making them nuts.
"It is a grate tactical advantage to make yourself invisible at will. This can be very dangerous," Teal'c added.
"But its still cool," Vala sounded excited.
Jack smiled at her. "Thank you!"
"Well, I don't like it," Cam looked serious.
"Neither do I," Landry said. "Is there anything we can do to stop her from using her, powers?"
"Sir, I believe that the device we used on Reetu…" Sam started but was interrupted.
"It won't work." Katana's voice came out of nowhere. "You can't see me because I'm tricking your mind, not because I'm out of faze, or because I'm using some sort of an invisible shield."
Everyone's head jumped towards the sound, and Landry was getting angry. "Show yourself."
Katana was never one to listen to orders but she had no choice, they still didn't trust her, and she needed their help. So she did as she was told.
Facing the gate room, it gave everyone time to study her for a moment. Black, straight hair, tense posture. She still wore her own clothes, which were a clear display she had a fight with someone.
She turned with opened mouth, wanting to say something but changed her mind seeing the looks pointed at her.
Something in those eyes made Sam's heart ache. So much pain. The woman looked like she was going to cry, but the tears were quickly replaced by a cold stare, studying them in return.
They were all so young. Unlike the last time Katana saw them. Than again, she only met them a few years back, and the last time she saw them was roughly a year ago. The memory of that encounter brought her back to the pain she'd been trying to forget. The day of her husbands funeral, Jack and Sam came, trying to console her. But she threw them out.
It was a shameful memory, but at the same time an angry one.
Katana still remembered Jack's words: "You're gonna regret doing this one day."
'Yeah, well, there's a lot of things I regret doing, so get a grip Katana,' she tried to put aside the memory, and the feelings it caused.
They were still studying her.
"I need your help to get back," she said coldly.
"Get back?" Jack asked.
She looked him in the eyes for the first time since the gate room. "Yes," her voice sounded indifferent, but he felt all the anger she directed at him.
"Get back to…?" he decided not to back down.
"To the future."
"Now, there's a classic cliché right there! And that's how it's done kids," his sarcastic tone wasn't lost on her. "How do we know you're telling us the truth?"
"You're just gonna have to trust me?" Katana almost smiled at her words. She knew it won't be that easy.
Jack eyes studied the newcomer for a moment. "Why?"
"That's your answer?"
"Stop it!" Landry had enough of this; he tried to calm his growing anger by placing his hands on his head , but it didn't work, and this little banner between Jack and Katana didn't help things at all. How's he going to explain this to the president, he had no idea. "Is there any way that you can prove you're…" he placed a hand over his eyes, "... from the future?"
"I can't tell you anything in respect of the future because of the grandfather…"
"Paradox. Yada, yada, yada," Jack finished for her, "You don't have to tell us what's gonna happen, maybe something that only we'd know," he talked slowly, "…something that we'd tell you knowing that you're going to come back, and haunt us."
Sam nearly broke a smile. She knew from his tone that he believed her, and from their experience he would have made sure Katana gets the information she needed. But the girl stayed silent.
Katana was still thinking. She should have paid more attention when they were trying to get to know her. She should have paid attention to their stories.
"Teal'c has a son Ra'ayc,"
"It is a well known fact," Teal'c said.
"Everybody knows that," Jack said ironically. "The wedding happened here!"
"I know. I was just thinking out loud! Okay, okay… lets see. Colonel Mitchell is in love with his high school sweet hart at this time.." she was grasping for straws.
"Okay, that's not exactly a revelation," Cam said.
"Oh for crying out loud…"
"What do you want from me!? I didn't really spent that much time with all of you… I know! Mrs. Jackson has a birth mark on her back, in shape of a heart!" Katana said with excitement that she finally remembered something.
"Mrs. Jackson?!" Daniel was stunned. "Sorry, but there is no Mrs. Jackson."
"I have a birthmark on my back," Vala said. "Does that mean I'll marry my Daniel?"
Everybody looked at Katana. "Oh, boy."
"A! Ha-ha! I knew it!" Vala hugged Daniel. "I knew it!" she was kissing him by now, and Daniel was trying to recover from the shock.
"Vala! Calm down!" Landry yelled.
"I'm calm, I'm calm," but her hands and lips were dancing of joy.
"Look there's no way that's gonna happen, I will not marry Vala."
That took the smile off of Vala's face. "You're gonna regret those words," she threatened. "When we get married I'm going to make your life miserable!"
"Yeah, that's a good way to make a guy marry you," he responded ironically.
Everybody chuckled at their little fight, and Jack even caught a glimpse of Katana smiling, instantly reminding him of Sam's hidden smiles reserved just for him.
"And, besides, almost everyone has seen Vala's back, so that story about a birthmark doesn't really have credit," Daniel tried to put things in perspective.
"I resent that," Vala added pretending to be mad.
"Anything else?" Jack continued sarcastically. He wanted to believe her, but the girl just didn't pan out. "Okay, you can now make your disappearing act, because your credibility just flew out of the window."
Katana stared at him for a long moment, and at that time she reminded him of Teal'c, and his stare that can make anyone talk the talk.
"What's the date?" she asked him still staring right into his eyes.
"We already told you."
"Month?" she asked again.
"What? You're gonna guess the weather?" Jack was annoyed. "It's April."
She panicked. It was the only thing that she knew to convince him, but unsure whether or not to bring it up.
"Well?" Jack's voice revealed his impatience, which made her spite awaken.
"Well," Katana started, taking in a breath, "you and Colonel Carter are having a love affair. Is that good enough of a secret to convince you?"
Everyone fell silent, stunned. Jack looked at Sam, his hand instinctively reaching for her, but he stopped not really knowing what to do. It was her call, it has always been her call. He understood her fears of declaring to the world they were together, but it still didn't stop him from wanting the world to know.
"Will that due?" Katana enjoyed every second of their squirming. "No? Okay, so… General O'Neill," she addressed Jack, but it was apparent her words were meant for Sam as well, "from the very moment you saw Sam Carter, you liked her, more so, you loved her. Because of the regulations you never could do anything about it. Pathetic really, loosing all those years…" she waved her hand off. Since everyone stayed silent she decided to continue. "Anyway, after eight years of pining and wining for her, you two finally decided to become lovers…"
Sam could feel herself blushing. She now looked at the girl wondering how did she knew all those private details.
"…not letting anyone know about your 'relationship', going back and forth…"
"That's enough," Jack said with a clear message 'if you continue, anything can happen'. The way she talked about the love between him and Sam was so demeaning that he was close to losing control and just strangling her, grandfather paradox and all.
Katana knew she went too far. The look on two exposed lovers displayed pain, caused by her words of judgment over their relationship.
"Is this true?" Daniel was the first to speak. "Are the two of you together?"
Sam, on the other hand, couldn't speak; she was suffocating from her efforts to contain the tears. The last thing Katana talked about was the thing that hurt her the most. All the time they lost. All that time. They could have had a family by now. Beautiful children. It was the thing she wanted the most. His child.
"Jack?" Daniel pushed for an answer.
He took hold of Sam's hand, looked her right in the eyes assuring her it would be alright. "Yes Daniel. It's true," he turned his attention to the younger man, not letting go of the woman he loved.
With those words Sam let go of the tears that were now covering her face.
"Excuse me," she said and stepped out of the briefing room. She just needed some air.
"All this time? And you two never said anything?" Daniel was still shocked by this revelation.
The question that was going through everyone head was 'How could have they missed it?'
"I… we… oh for crying out loud Daniel, I don't," Jack tried.
"We didn't want to put anyone in danger, or to have me considered as some general's girlfriend," Sam's voice came from the door as she approached her seat, visibly calmer.
"In danger? We're your friends!" Daniel said getting more and more confused.
"If you knew, it would've changed everything."
"Like what Sam? Like what?" Daniel sounded offended.
"Jack is your friend," she tried to explain.
"And you're not?"
"But…. You'd do anything for him," Sam tried again, but the words just didn't come to her.
"I'd do anything for you too!"
"I believe what Colonel Carter wants to say is that we would start considering her as O'Neill's woman, and not as a capable solider that she is," Teal'c spoke, while Daniel frowned disapprovingly.
"That would've never happened…"
"I believe it would Daniel Jackson."
"So what, even if it did happen. So what?"
"It would result in protecting her even when it is unnecessary, or not respecting her orders when we may consider she is putting herself in danger."
"I agree," Cam said, "I for one wouldn't like to come back and tell the General," he pointed to Jack, "that something has happened to Sam no matter what the reason was."
"Besides," Sam gathered the strength to continue, "we didn't want anyone to be able to blackmail us into anything by using Jack against me, or the other way around."
"You don't have to worry Colonel, Jack.," Landry finally spoke. "None of this will leave this room. And I personally am happy for the two of you. I feel like congratulations are in order!" Hank's heart was filled with joy for them. Being apart for so long, and loving each other... it must have been horrible, and yet they stuck it trough, waiting until the threat to the planet was over. He had found a new respect for them.
"Not just yet Hank," Jack said, making Sam smile.
"Well, I guess we've established that she's from the future," Landry pointed to Katana.
She felt the fury of everyone's eyes again focused on her. Sam and Jack were the only ones not looking.
"Look," Katana started, "I didn't want to hurt you…"
"I think you did," Sam stopped her explanation. "I don't know why, but you meant it," her anger was apparent, and Katana didn't blame her. She felt like crap. Yes, that was the word earthlings used. Crap. She finally understood why, and than a thought came to her.
"Oh crap," she said out loud.
Jack looked at her. "What?"
"I just remembered a better example to convince you."
"What is it?" he asked again.
"The foothold situation."
"Great timing to remember that one," Daniel said sarcastically.
"What's a foothold situation?"
Daniel was too angry to explain now. "Vala, lets just forget it, okay? And you," he pointed to Katana, "don't say another word."
"Indeed," Teal'c added.
Just what she needed, being silenced by Daniel Jackson.
Daniel on the other hand was thinking how he's becoming more like Jack every day – seemingly rude, but the girl had it coming for messing with his friends, and it served as a good diversion from his own guilt for not seeing the change in both Sam and Jack for the past two years. Two years.
"Fine," Katana almost whispered in response to Daniel's attack.
That one word made everyone sorry for the treatment they were giving her, but they placed it aside very quickly reminding themselves of what she just did to Sam and Jack.
"So," Landry started, "how can we get her back. Any ideas?"
"We know that the ideal way would be to predict a solar flare of sufficient magnitude, but, we have no means to do that," Sam said.
"What about that jumper with the time…"
"Time device," Sam completed Jack's sentence. "I've already thought of that, but after we received the video message from the past it was decided to be dismantled and put to study."
"Why can't we just… you know… put it back together?"
"It's too dangerous. We still don't fully understand how that technology works, and if we make a mistake, it could potentially trap Katana in space and time. Or even worse, she could be blown out of the sky," Sam finished.
"And that'd be bad, why?" Jack tried to joke, and earned a small smile from Sam as well as the disapproving look.
"It would be bad."
"So, what are we going to do with her?" Landry asked.
"You know, I'm still here," Katana finally spoke.
"Yes, yes you are," Jack continued with his sarcasm.
"Why don't we use the equipment on Atlantis? I don't have to end up at the same place I started from, just in my time."
"Yeah, but as far as we know, there's no such machine on Atlantis that can do what we need," Landry said.
"Yes there is. I've worked on it over the years," she said surprised, "but I guess you're still pretty new to the Atlantis. I know that city like the palm of my hand, I can find it. Besides, it's more of a program than a machine."
"I think its time for you to explain just what did you do on Atlantis, how did you get here, and is there a mini you running around."
"General O'Neill, I don't think it'd be prudent for you to know all those things."
"I would have to agree sir," Sam added.
Jack looked at Sam, than to Katana, and the resemblance was apparent to him once again. For all he knew, this girl could be Sam's kid. Sam's kid. The sound of his thought echoed in his ears.
"I think it would be 'prudent' to know. But it's your call Hank."
"I agree," he said after a small pause. "Katana?"
She sighed shaking her head off. She could've just refused, but she needed them, as much as she hated to admit it, but she did. So, she decided to tell them the truth. At least the half of it. "Four years ago I saved a life of a man that lives on Atlantis. He brought me there to… establish diplomatic relations with my people. My master,"
"Your master?" Cam asked slightly disgusted.
"It's an equivalent of your teacher."
"Oh, sorry. For a minute there I thought… nothing, continue."
"So, my master came there to retrieve me, but since Atlantians wanted to make an alliance, he decided to leave me there so that I could get a better understanding of your people," she was on a roll here, not a single lie yet. "I stayed, got to know all of you over the years,and Atlantis," she finished feeling quite relieved.
"How old are you?" Sam asked.
"Twenty fife. And, no, there's no mini-me running around just yet," she referred the last statement to Jack.
"That's good to know," he responded calmly.
Daniel looked at her, and there was something so familiar in her face, her look. Something… what… it was at the tip of his tongue when he was startled from his thoughts by general Landry. "How did you end up here?"
"I… I was running away from," she paused, "some people, and my only escape was through the Gate. Unfortunately there was a storm, which makes the gate travel almost impossible, but I gave it a shot. It didn't work at first, but the lightning stroke at the gate and it started to dial the last address. I had no choice but to go through," she said. "Well, I had a choice but this was better than the alternative. At least at that time it was… now, I'm not so sure."
"Who were 'the people'" Vala spoke up.
Katana sighed again. She didn't have to tell them, but than, it would make no difference. "They are, um, how do I explain this… If a woman is a widow in my culture," she started from the beginning, "a man who wishes to marry her can't just ask her on a date. He has to capture her. He cannot do this by himself, but he puts his best hunters on the job."
"Hunters?!" Sam asked.
"Yeah, but they only have one chance to catch the 'perspective bride', and if they fail, the man looses the right to that woman. It's usually done with the future bride's approval, but this was not the case with me."
"Talk about primitive behavior," Vala said.
"No, my people are very advanced, but there are certain traditions that have held on. Of course, these traditions only apply to warriors, and being one, I have to live by those rules. Besides, it beats the place where I grew up," Katana immediately regretted those words.
"Where you grew up?" Jack was the first to comprehend the last statement. "So, your people aren't really your people?" it gave him hope, that his belief she was Sam's child wasn't wrong after all.
Damn it! No big deal, it still doesn't change anything if I tell them. "Well, no. I grew up on a planet where children without parents are considered less than slaves. We were forced to sleep outside, without beds, maybe a blanket if your lucky," the words came easy, but even so, the memories were painful, "I was assigned to a very rich family which was good, because it meant there'd be more children, and it could be easier to warm up when it was cold. We were not allowed to receive any form of education, allowed to eat only once a day and so on," her voice was beginning to shake by the memory and she didn't want them to know just how badly she's still hurting because of it.
"So how did you ended up – where you ended up?" Jack asked throwing away his previous thoughts.
"My brain is much more developed than in other humans, there are things that come naturally to me."
"Like?" he asked again.
"Like building a power source for the Stargate that allowed me to escape not just to another planet but to another galaxy. That's how I ended up on Calisa, and a man was kind enough to take me and my sister in."
"Wait a minute. Are you telling us that you can build ZPM's?" Sam asked in shock.
Daniel was intrigued just as anybody, but there was something that interested him more. "How old were you when you escaped?"
She looked at him. "Nine."
"You were able to build ZPM's at the age of nine?!" Sam couldn't believe it. "That's amazing."
"Easy there," Jack touched her hand jokingly trying to calm her. He loved the way she got excited over new discoveries. Oh, heck, she got excited over old discoveries too. He loved that side of her. Not that there was anything about her that he didn't like, but that was his favorite.
"I could've build a ZPM long before that, I just didn't have the parts."
Sam was beyond shock. "You have to show us how! I mean…"
"Colonel, I agree with you, but wouldn't there be some sort of paradoxes, changing the future and all that?" Landry had to ask, even though he really agreed with Sam.
"We have no way of knowing sir, but this is way too important."
"There'll be no need for that. You have the specs for them on Atlantis. You probably just didn't find it yet. I imagine that the city is pretty much unexplored?"
"Yeah, basically," Sam answered. "This is just amazing!" her eyes still glowed from excitement and it caused Katana to smile. "Do you realize how special you are?! I mean, to naturally know how to build that kind of things, it's, it's…"
"Amazing, we know," Jack finished making everyone laugh.
"Okay, SG-1, be prepared to go to Atlantis to accompany Katana. You'll move as soon as I get the clearance from the president."
"Yes, sir," Sam and Cam said, getting up along with everyone else.
Laundry left for his office leaving everyone standing uncomfortably. All the news have been starting to sink in, and nobody knew what to do with themselves.
Jack clasped his hands. "We should eat. I hear there's a cake in the mess hall."
"No thanks sir. I'll go catch up with some paper work. I'd like to leave for Atlantis with that one done," Cam said exiting the briefing room.
"Okay… Teal'c? Vala? Daniel?"
"I am going to meditate. I have eaten before this meeting. But I would also like to express my happiness over your relationship," Teal'c stated looking at both of them. "I am sure there is no one more suited for one another, than the two of you."
"Thank you Teal'c," Jack smiled and Sam immediately hugged her friend. "Thank you Teal'c."
He bowed, and left them.
"I'm in," Vala said, "and as the future Mrs. Jackson, I say that Daniel's gonna eat too."
Daniel frowned, not able to fight with Vala at this time. "I am never gonna live this thing down," he said following them.
As they were leaving, Jack turned to Katana, "Are you coming?"
She hesitated. That would not be a good idea.
"You haven't eaten anything since you came here. You have to be hungry. Come on," he sounded truly concerned.
"You're right," and with that Katana followed them as well. It had been quite a day.
They sat at the corner making sure they had some privacy. Everyone were glancing at the newcomer trying to keep their curiosity under control.
"The food ain't much, but its better than most," Jack said. "But the cake," he pointed with a fork to his trade, "that's something you don't wanna miss out."
"Yes General, I heard you the first fifty times," she responded jokingly. "That's why it's on my trade too."
"Okay, for the hundredth time, call me Jack," he said to everyone's surprise, even Sam's. Just ten minutes ago, Katana was the enemy, and now - his best friend. Sam didn't understand one bit what was going on, but didn't mind.
Jack himself was amazed at how easy he forgave Katana for hurting Sam. With that one word when Daniel burst out on her, she achieved what only two persons have succeeded until now. To soften him up. Charlie, Sam and now her.
"You have made several attempts on me to call you that. I just can't call you 'Jack.'"
"Carter got used to it," he said playfully making her blush.
"Lets just go with General for now," Katana blushed herself at his last words.
"Fine, have it your way."
"So Katana, can you tell me when I'm going to marry my Daniel?"
Daniel gave her an annoyed look. "You know," he just thought of something, "she never said that you married me! There are a lot of people with the last name Jackson! Who knows with whom you're gonna end up!"
She looked at Katana with concern. "Do I marry Daniel?"
Katana just stuffed her mouth with food. "Gosh, I'm so hungry!"
"Do I marry Daniel or not?" Vala was pissed.
"Look, I really don't want to say anything that will cause trouble again. I've already said more that I should have," remorse in her voice was obvious and it left them silent. She turned to Sam and Jack who were sitting next to each other. "I'm really sorry 'bout the way I said. what I said, and you're right," she was now only talking to Sam, "I was aiming to hurt you, and I regret it."
Jack lowered his eyes only to feel that rage again, but Sam, she looked Katana straight in the eyes. "Why?"
It was a logical question, but how could she ever answer it. She should have left well enough alone.
"I…" the discussion within showed on her face, "… I can't tell you why."
"You mean you can't tell us because you don't know, or because it could change the history as we know it," Jack finally looked at her, forgiving her all over again, "or, as will know it."
"It's kind of both, I guess. Ever since we met… I… I don't know," she lied, she knew.
"Apology accepted," Sam simply said not needing an explanation. All of a sudden she felt the need to hug this strange girl, to comfort her as she felt her pain, and tell her that everything is going to be fine. But she didn't. She raised her hand to Katana's cheek instead, and rested there for a moment before returning it to her lap.
Katana trembled inside, but managed to return the smile. It was the first time she allowed Sam to touch her. Well, that wasn't exactly true. The first time Sam O'Neill touched her, she was in shock and quickly pulled away. Katana didn't want to be close to her then, but now… Now, all she wanted was to be hugged by this woman and never leave that comfortable place she imagined it to be. But the touch ended, and Katana missed it immediately.
"Jack," Sam gestured her eyes.
"What?" Jack asked making Sam frown. "Oh, all right," he waved his hands trough the air. "All is forgotten."
"Yes, all is forgiven," Vala repeated. "And now that you are all good and happy, its time to make me happy! Do I marry Daniel or not?" and all of them chuckled at her persistence.
"Wait," Sam stopped eating, "in the control room! You said 'General O'Neill' twice! Jack was behind me, you saw me first!"
Katana was hoping no-one would remember that one. But you could count on Sam to remember everything. "Um…"
"I'm gonna marry Jack! And I'm gonna be a General!" Sam didn't know which news made her happier. In the second she had to think about it, the first one won out..
'Oh crap', Katana thought, 'Is there anything I won't say.' As for the grandfather paradox she hasn't killed anyone, yet. "Um… I can't really…" she tried again to explain, but couldn't think of a way to get out of this.
"Carter," Jack stepped up, " I would be surprised if you don't become a president one day! Let alone a General," everyone smiled in approval. "And there's no surprise about me wanting to marry you," and instead of laughs, on their faces was shock.
'Oh crap', Jack swore in his mind. He didn't mean to say that; well, he did, but not here, not now. He had everything planned out. Dinner, candles. The Works!
Sam tried to compose herself, and speak before Daniel says something like 'I'm so happy for the two of you.' "Actually that is a surprise," she managed to look at him.
He looked back as naively as he could. "Really? You're surprised?" he asked in the same tone his look was giving away. "Oh, for crying out loud," Jack looked around, coughing a little. He could do it now, it's not like she'll allow him to change the subject.
So he got up, than down on one knee, taking out a little ring box he always kept at his side, opened it and coughed again.
All the people watched in awe. Only Daniel spoke. "Oh my God," which earned him a 'shut up' look from Jack. Vala's hands were on her mouth, Katana held her breath in disbelief she's witnessing this, and Sam… if she could smile around her head, she would.
"Okay," Jack started nervously, "I did plan this to be more of a private thing," he looked around again, "but my plans have changed," he paused. "Sam, I love more than the Simpson's, Marry Steenburgen, and beer combined," he tried to joke, making everyone laugh, but they all knew how he cherished those things, "I love you more than life itself," he continued seriously, "I cannot imagine spending the rest of my life without you in it. If you would do me the honor of becoming my wife, I would do everything to make you happy so you'd never regret making that decision." He finally finished, and the attention of the room was now on Sam, awaiting her response.
Even though her smile was a clear display of her happiness, and approval, she didn't say a word. Jack coughed, yet again looking around. "You know, my knees aren't as they used to be. If you don't say something soon, I mite stay like this forever," he whispered, but everyone heard, and laughed.
She took hold of his face, with her smile still intact and her eyes filed with tears of joy. "Yes."
"Yes," kiss, "Yes," kiss, "Yes," she kissed him again more passionately, helping him to his feet.
Jack hugged her, kissing her in return, while everyone whistled, and cheered.
The rumor flew over the base, and in a matter of minutes, the whole Cheyenne Mountain knew that Sam said yes to Jack.
Daniel first came to Jack shaking his hand than hugging him, while Vala hugged Sam so tightly she had trouble breathing. Only when Daniel pulled her away that Sam could catch her breath. Vala hugged Jack much in the same way, and Daniel stopped before hugging Sam, "Congratulations. You two deserve to be happy. I'm sorry I didn't see it Sam, I'm sorry I didn't see the change in you that's so apparent now. Congratulations!" and than he pulled her into his arms.
"You have nothing to be sorry about. Thank you!" she whispered in his ear.
After that, every single person came to offer their congratulations to the happy couple, some making jokes, other taking on a more serious note, but all of them sincerely happy for the two.
Somehow, they were left alone. Everyone felt the need to go out and spread the news. Only Katana was there. She didn't make a sound, letting the tears fall down her face. She stood up and hugged them both resting her head between their shoulders.
"Congratulations," she whispered, released them, and headed to her quarters.
The SF's assigned to her have been released. There was no point of having them there when she could sneak in and out anytime. She sat on the bed not even trying to hold her cries. She knew what awaited them, and wondered whether or not to tell them. She knew she couldn't.
Katana wondered, if she had known what awaited her when she first came to Atlantis, would she wanted to change it. No. She would have still wanted to be married to Duncan, even for the short time they were allowed to have. She missed him terribly. It wasn't until after his death she could understand her parents. Knowing the pain of loosing a loved one made her finally let go of the anger she felt for being abandoned.
Of course, it wasn't easy to overcome it. Even now, she felt the need to hurt them, but that need was smaller every time she actually did it, and the shame and sorrow for giving them pain – bigger.
When she was a child, she would dream how she is a princess and her parents had to leave her on that horrible planet to protect her from an even greater evil. Or, that she was a child of ordinary parents, who died fighting some evil enemies, or whatever. Much like every other child that lived with her for the first nine years of her life.
Eventually, she got tired of waiting, imagining something that surely wasn't true, and she suspected that Risi, the newest addition to the family slaves would not survive the winter outside. She was three years younger than Katana, and in the short time they knew each other, Katana had come to love her as a baby sister. So they escaped. It was then that Katana left all dreams of her parents coming for her behind, and the anger took over.
When she first met them, the shock was greater than anything. They were happy to see her, happy that they have found her. "We've waited for this day for so long," Sam told her. "The day when we'll find you again, and be able to hug you, call you our daughter," by than Katana was in her arms hearing the words she waited for so long. She could sense the tears Sam was shading and it just didn't seem enough.
"But you didn't found me, I found you," Katana paused making her way out of Sam's hug. "And a bit late I'd say," she could see Sam backing away not understanding, and than the realization of Katana's words dawned on her. Sam turned to Jack, who was standing near by, watching. He understood immediately, the first moment he saw her; she won't forgive them so lightly. He tried over the years to forgive himself, justifying how there was nothing he or anybody could do, but he had failed.
Katana remembered the look on her parent's face, pure pain written all over. She didn't care, not than.
Now she cried. For them, for herself. She curled on the center of the bed trying to protect herself, trying to stop the shivering, but it didn't help. She was slipping into sleep, and didn't mind. She welcomed the rest.