Sam stood together with her team staring out on their new view; the Golden Gate bridge.
“Weird to be back on Earth.” Lt. Joshua McCoy commented with his distinct Scottish accent. The rest gave various grunts of agreement to his statement.
They were one of those teams that really shouldn’t work, but had defied everything and was actually Atlantis’ second best team after Colonel Sheppard and his team. They were all from different branches. Sam was Air Force, Danny an Army Ranger Captain and Josh British SAS. Their fourth member was an American mathematician. Not the most logical choice on a first contact team, but neither was an astrophysicist, and that worked great on Sheppard’s team. And Charlie had saved their asses more times then they could remember.
But that wasn’t the only reason new recruits looked at them funny. The CO, Sam, was the youngest member on the team, a Captain actually; the same rank she had possessed when she was cloned, just like O’Neill’s clone would hold the rank of a Colonel when he decided to return to the fold. She wasn’t the only captain on the team, but she had more SGC experience so she won the command.
They were also pretty laid back. Some of the scientist had come up with the theory that it had something to do with the strength of the ATA-gene. Everyone on her team had a pretty strong version of the gene and if you also looked at General O’Neill and Colonel Sheppard you could see that it was a occurring trait. Maybe that was the reason why she and John had gotten so close so fast. Sam had to smile as she thought back to the first time they met.
She had been lucky and managed to evade almost everyone she didn’t want to talk to or see. Okay, maybe it wasn’t luck that did it, more like long experience in black ops, but she had managed to finish the rest of the trip with minimal contact with anyone she didn’t chose to be with. And if they managed to corner her, in the mess hall for example, she gave them her best impression of the O’Neill-glare and answered their questions with as few words as possible.
Sammy had told her that the higher-ups had been ecstatic to hear that they would get her back ahead of time, so unlike the others Sam wasn’t very surprised when they reached Diego Garcia and was met with a bunch of unfamiliar Marines. What did surprise her was the presence of a tall, dark haired man in their midst that clearly wasn’t a Marine. She had heard enough about him to know who he was and what it meant for her. She was going to Atlantis!!!
“Major Lennox?” Colonel Sheppard inquired as he stepped out of the protective circle the Marines had formed around him.
“Yes? Sir.” Lennox hadn’t been as observant as her, but quickly added the sir when he noticed that he was speaking to an superior officer, no matter what branch he belonged to.
“So you are the one that kicked Galloway out of the plane.” Sheppard didn’t ask, he stated, face serious.
“Yes, Sir.” Lennox answered hesitantly.
“Congratulations.” Sheppard broke out in a huge grin. “I have no idea how many times I have wanted to do that myself to politicians in general. Or perhaps just shoot them” It was obvious that the Air Force officer’s reply confused everyone, not only the Major.
“But that is not why I am here.” He continued, his voice suddenly more commanding when spoke next, “Witwicky!”
Sam made her way around the confused NEST personnel until she found herself in front of her presumably new commanding officer and gave him a sloppy salute. «Present and accounted for.» She grinned. Just after she had done so did she realize that it might not have been the right way to great her CO. Her time as a civilian was clearly showing.
But Sheppard didn’t seem to mind, instead he grinned at her. “So you are Samantha Witwicky. I’ve hear a lot about you.”
Sam cringed, there had been a reason why she so quickly befriended those pranksters. “You really shouldn’t believe all you hear. Sir.” She actually remembered to add the Sir at the end this time.
“Oh I don’t know. It all seems to be correct thus far.” the Colonel gave her a loop sided grin. “So what do you say. Wanna take the stick?”
Sam looked from the Colonel to the helicopter and back again, she hadn’t flown anything since before she had encountered the rouge Asgard. “Are you kidding me? Ya sure ya betcha!” she exclaimed, then added a hasty Sir.
Sheppard laughed out loud and winked. “You know Witwicky, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.”
When they started to walk together to the chopper Lennox grabbed her wrist and held on. He looked at her questioningly when she slowly turned around. As did the other people standing behind him and she was pretty sure the Autobots would do too if they hadn’t been in their alt-mode. Her gaze landed on them all, glaring extra hard on the truck that was the Autobot leader, before she settled her eyes on Lennox’ own brown ones.
“You never specified which base I had to stay on.” she stated icily. The Ranger opened his mouth to say something that most likely would have been a protest, but she cut him of. “And if I was you, I would let go before the trigger happy Marines behind me start doing something you don’t want them to.” Lennox looked surprised at the Marines that had raised their P-90s when he had grabbed her. Slowly he did as she had suggested, but his eyes never left her.
She happily fired up the aircraft, exited over her first flight in years, getting an update from the Colonel on what had happened since she dropped out of the program. She sent her friends and the men she had fought with a last look and saw something she couldn’t have seen. For a second she thought she saw pain and fear in Major Lennox’ face, but she wrote it of as her imagination playing tricks on her and took off, heading towards the coordinates Sheppard had given her.
John had been right about them becoming good friends. They had actually become so close that many had mistaken their friendship as an romantic affair. Something that everyone close to them knew was utter rubbish; they were close yes, but it was more like siblings. They were closer to each other than they had ever been to their biological siblings. But that didn’t mean Sheppard went easy on her and her team, no way, more like the opposite. He expected more from them. And maybe that was why AT-5, her team, was the second best team. Or it could have something to do with all their team bonding.
When the scientists had heard that Sam had been denied going to college they had taken it upon themselves to teach her what they knew. It being language or science. The rest of her team didn’t want to look lazy and decided to join her when she had her lessons. It was hard work for sure, but she didn’t have to work that hard on it as one side effect from her connection with the all spark and matrix of leadership, and working together they almost always managed to help the other members that had problems. Soon they made it all into a game, where they spoke different languages each day. The game served two purposes; it was easier to learn when they actually tried to speak it and they could say whatever they wanted and almost nobody understood them. It was also a tactical advance on missions since nobody in the Pegasus Galaxy spoke German, Italian, French, etc.
Even though it was easy for Sam to learn everything they taught her it was Charlie that was the true genius in their group. She had some alien magic that helped her, he didn’t. He was the same age as her, but what he could do with math sometimes dumbfounded even McKay. And those two together sometimes scared her.
“So, Boss… what’s up?” Captain Daniel Duhamel asked when the silence stretched out after Josh’s statement. They had searched her out after her meeting with John and Richard, the two leaders of the expedition.
“I’ve got a new assignment.” Sam started. “As the Autobot liaison out of Diego Garcia. At the same time I’ll be the Homeworld Security’s unofficially representative there and the Presidents adviser in all things Cybertronian.”
“What about us?” Charlie asked with anxiety. This team consisted of the first non-academic people that had treated him as an equal instead of a kid, and he did not want to lose any of them.
“They didn’t want to split up such an extraordinary group of people,” Sam said and the rest of the group smiled widely by the praise and waited for the punch line. “So they are offering you a chance to come with me as my advisers.”
“As long as you don’t make me do all your paperwork I am in.” Josh was the first to agree to the new assignment, but the others wasn’t late to give their affirmative as well.
“Don’t worry Josh, we’ve got assistants that takes care of most of the boring stuff. The SGC have managed to sneak in a few of us, not as active NEST personnel since Lennox seems to be extra picky there and he doesn’t have high enough security clearance to look up their records, but we’ve got a few desk jockeys that we can trust. We have also got our jumper at our personal disposal as long as we hide it well and nobody is able to stumble upon it.” The group chuckled when they thought about the reactions to the poor bastards that would come to a sudden and painful stop if they walked into a cloaked jumper.
“We’ll leave tomorrow morning. Go pack, we might be gone for a while.” Sam told them after giving them the information she hadn’t already shared on the Autobots and NEST.
“You got it Boss.” Josh grinned at her and Danny ruffled her hair affectionately. Sam just grinned at them. The gestures was a part of their team dynamic and it only made their change into serious work-mode more impressive.
None of them had noticed that the entire conversation had taken place in Chinese.
She smiled and tuned towards the Golden Gate bridge and California behind it. It was with mixed feelings she looked forward to her next mission.
“You going to be okay?” John asked her quietly. “Woolsey only gave in now because we are back on Earth. When we were in Pegasus it was easy to make up reasons why you couldn’t come, but now that we are here, I think that the higher ups wants to put a stop to the nagging from the autobots and NEST in general.” Sheppard looked over at his civilian boss and he nodded his agreement.
“If you don’t want to go I can give them an excuse for why you can’t go.” Woolsey told the young woman in front of him. While she had grown to be a sister to his military commander, he saw her more like a niece. She was family, and if she said she did not want to go he would figure something out. One thing he had learned after arriving on Atlantis was that they were all family, and family stuck together through anything.
“Thanks guys, but I’ll be fine. I’ll admit that I am not happy about it, but I’ve had some time to think about what happened. I had just died a few days before and I am sure they only did what they did in reaction to that. I have mostly forgiven them. The only people I am still pissed at is Major Lennox and Prime. They should have taken me aside and spoken to me about it before springing it all on me the way they did. And looking all smug about it as they did it.” Sam reassured them with a smile. Maybe not a big one, but it was genuine.
“A good thing then that you don’t have to take orders from any of them.” John grinned. “You are independent from NEST and only takes orders from me, Woolsey, or anyone higher up in the Program.” Sam could see that both of the older men was worried about her.
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll have my team with me and I had a lot of friends there that I look forward to meet again. And if I need it, and can’t get to the jumper, I’ll request immediate beam-out.”
“You do that.” John stared at the young woman he thought of as a sister. “And if anyone bothers you tell me. I’ll be there with Ronon within an hour and we’ll beat the crap out of them.” John had not been the only one to hit it off with the Air Force clone; she had also been adopted by the rest of his team pretty quickly. Her whole team had actually.
“Yes Sir!” Sam saluted. “I’ll let Ronon come and have some fun if I can’t take care of them myself.” Both Woolsey and Sheppard chuckled at that. They knew that the chance was slim to none that anyone at Diego Garcia could beat AT-5’s CO. It was not only in science and languages she had worked hard. Nope, she had also trained with both Ronon and Teyla, and they both thought of her as a worthy opponent now. Her young agility and old experience had combined and helped her greatly.
“Have fun, okay? And keep your comm on you, you never know when you’ll feel chatty. Or when things are going slow here and I need to let out some steam, to prevent me from kill any of the scientists.” John gave her a sad smile, yet still full of mischief.
“I’ll just be jumper ride away, not on another world. You can come and visit whenever you feel like it, and I would love it if you brought Teyla and T.J.” Sam said into his shoulder as she gave him a brief hug, knowing he would never initiate such an intimate gesture, but feeling that they both needed it.
“I know, but I’ll miss you anyway.” John confessed.
“You better.” Sam grinned. She looked around and saw that Woolsey had left them and they were alone on the balcony.
Neither of them was particular comfortable with emotionally stuff so after their little show of emotions they just stood there and chatted about nothing and everything while they admired their new balcony view. But all to soon John was called away and Sam was left alone with her thoughts and she still stood at the same place when her team found her.