That was the fastest two weeks in history, I think,
Daniel quietly remarked to Teal'c, who was standing beside him,
who was standing beside a nervous Jack, who was standing 'at the
altar' (i.e. the front of this unreligious room that had been
dubbed 'the chapel of the SGC').
The time was not unnaturally rushed, DanielJackson,
Teal'c whispered back in a hushed voice.
I do not understand
such a comment.
Daniel gave a grimace: sometimes Teal'c could be so literal!
I didn't mean that some invisible source affected the
timeline, Daniel patiently explained.
I meant that so
much happened in such a short amount of time that the last two
weeks seemed to have gone by very quickly. But I know that it
was just an illusion, nothing more. Time was completely normal -
I was just busy.
As you say, DanielJackson, Teal'c replied out of the
corner of his mouth.
That was when Jack tapped the watch strapped to his wrist,
then glared at the timepiece, and cut Daniel's answer off to ask,
Is she late? I don't suppose anyone has a watch or
Daniel pointed to the watch on Jack's left wrist and
Is something wrong with the watch that you're
Jack shook his left hand, watch included.
No. It just
seems like it should be later than my watch says it is. I was
wondering if it had stopped or something.
Nooooo, Daniel said as he gazed at the watch on his
I seem to have the same time that you do.
Which meant they had some time yet to wait before Sam's side of the wedding party arrived in the room so that the rehearsal could commence. Jack heaved a sigh.
Teal'c glanced at him out of the other corners of his eyes.
You have nothing to fear, O'Neill, he stated in a flat
ColonelCarter will be here, and on time.
Daniel leaned in to whisper to Teal'c
It's obligatory for
the groom to think the bride is late for her own wedding.
I thought this was just the wedding rehearsal, Teal'c
Am I incorrect? he asked.
Nope, Daniel informed him.
But if you're thinking
that something will happen, like it did at Car'ryn and Ry'ac's
wedding rehearsal, you have nothing to worry about.
It's not that, Jack answered for Teal'c.
concerned that the 'Gate will choose this moment to break down or
something, and the SGC will desperately need Samantha Carter's
amazing brain in order to solve the problem.
Teal'c once again stared at Jack.
The Stargate is an
inanimate object... How can it 'choose' this moment to break
down? he curiously asked.
Jack sighed, then did a little jump in order to work off
some of his nervous tension he was feeling.
It's a figure of
speech, Teal'c, he said. Then he looked at his watch again.
Are we sure that it's only 1530?
Teal'c sighed as well this time.
Looking at your time
piece will not cause time to move faster, he sagely
It's called a watch, and you know that, Jack told
him, then jumped again.
Well, we could be like regular guys, and talk about the
latest football game, Daniel suggested after another silent
moment had gone by, and Sam still hadn't appeared.
We've never been regular guys, Jack instantly
Do you suppose she changed her mind?
Teal'c gave a long-suffering sigh.
That is the third
time you have asked such a question, O'Neill. ColonelCarter
would not change her mind at this late date, he repeated his
soothing promise once more.
She's wanted this forever, Daniel next informed.
Why would she skip out now? he rhetorically asked.
Teal'c went on in a firm, knowing tone,
She will be
Just then, the door to the chapel burst open, and Jonas Quinn appeared, walking quickly up the aisle at his usual hurried clip.
Behind him, at the door, Cassie Fraiser loudly stage
Slower, Jonas! This isn't a race!
Jonas smiled, and slowed to almost a crawl.
Cassie could be seen by the three men standing at the
'altar' to roll her eyes and instruct Jonas,
A little faster
than that, you alien geek from another planet!
Jonas was seen by those at the front of the room to grimace.
Like you can talk! he retorted.
Hey! Cassie retorted back.
At least I don't watch
The Weather Channel!
Jonas seemed to take offense at that statement, for he
stopped walking and turned to face Cassie.
he stage whispered back to her.
There's nothing wrong with
watching The Weather Channel, I'll have you know! he put his
hands on his hips in aggravation.
Sam rigged up a whole
machine to take back with me so I can watch some of the
recordings that she made of The Weather Channel, so she
doesn't think it's so weird! Why do you?
Yep, Jack was busy thinking. They'll end up getting hitched. They've got the fighting-as-flirting thing down already.
Cassie scowled back, but looked like she wanted to smirk at
Oh, just walk! You're ruining Sam's wedding!
Sam's wedding? Jack had been under the impression that he needed to be here at the rehearsal for a wedding to happen, too. I guess that I don't count, he thought.
Jonas did smile back at Cassie then.
I'm walking, I'm
walking! he sang out to he walked backwards down the aisle at
a double-quick pace, then took his place on the side opposite
'the guys' when Jack pointed to it with his index finger.
Thanks, Colonel, he whispered, then shook his head,
grimaced again, then corrected,
I mean, General. Then he
shook his head again, and added,
Jack. Then he looked
What am I supposed to call you now?
Old married man, Daniel quipped.
Jack scowled at a smirking Daniel, then told his alien
friend who had only just stepped through the Stargate in the SGC
'General' is fine, Jonas.
That was when Cassie joined the growing group of people at
the front of the room.
Hi, Jack! she enthusiastically
whispered, and giggled before moving to stand next to Jonas.
Hey! Jonas instantly objected.
How come she gets
to call you 'Jack?'
Jack took in both Cassie and Jonas standing beside him. He
eyed Cassie, then asked Jonas,
And how successful were you at
telling Cassie what to do when you lived here?
Jonas remembered for a moment, then said,
Ah, I see your
Call me 'Jack,' Jack said then.
Jonas rolled his eyes this time.
The higher rank didn't
scramble your brains, I see, he said.
They were already
scrambled: You haven't changed a bit.
The rank didn't do that; the Ancient Downloads did that
scrambling part, Daniel whispered.
Jack turned on his friend.
Daniel! he hissed.
not good memories to be dredging up right now!
Daniel leaned over to whisper,
Just give me another
minute, and I'll bring up Ba'al! he said with mock menace in
Threats are inappropriate at a wedding, Teal'c
If you do not desist, DanielJackson, I will
have to sit on you in order to make you watch another Star
Yeah, what he said! Jack told Daniel in a low voice.
And I'll help him with the sitting part!
Well I.., Daniel began to retort, but that was the
time that Sam and General Hammond stepped around the corner to
begin their slow walk up the center aisle. Sam was dressed in
her long-sleeved black t-shirt, and a long burlap sack.
Jack burst out laughing the second he saw Sam.
don't believe you remember me saying that bit about the sack in
the Briefing Room! he yelled, still laughing so hard that he
had to wipe tears from his eyes.
Sam smiled up at General Hammond walking beside her, holding
her arm in his, and also smiling.
I think the sack thing was
a big hit, Sir.
Hammond continued to grin: he couldn't help himself.
long as you don't wear it at the wedding tomorrow, I'd have to
agree with you, Colonel.
No ranks! suddenly bellowed Master Bra'tac, who was
standing in front of Jack, Teal'c, Daniel, Jonas, and Cassie,
ready to begin co-performing the ceremony with Daniel. He turned
to closely regard Jack.
If I recall, that is what you asked,
O'Neill of Minnesota, he said.
So I did, Jack spluttered, bending over now, still
Hey! Jonas then objected, but no one paid any
attention to him.
Still laughing, Jack moved down the aisle to meet General
Hammond and Sam. He hugged Sam, sack and all, and laughed in her
That was great! he declared.
I just hope...
Splutter splutter laugh laugh.
... you listen to... Full
out belly laugh.
... to George... Gasp.
... and wear
something more appropriate tom... Laugh, gasp, laugh again.
Tomorrow! he finally got out.
Jack's laughter was infectious, and Sam giggled, though
she'd had two weeks since she'd first thought of doing 'the sack
thing' to get used to the idea.
Don't worry, she said.
I have a normal wedding dress for tomorrow. Just ask Cassie
if you don't believe me.
You're gonna love it, Jack! Cassie enthused.
Daniel cut her off.
Don't tell him! he screeched.
It's bad luck! Then he looked around in puzzlement at
everyone gathered in the room.
Isn't it? He asked.
Cassie shrugged when he looked at her. Jonas shrugged.
you're on alien: you wouldn't know, Daniel said, dismissing
Besides, you watch The Weather Channel.
Cassie smirked at Jonas out of knowledgeable eyes.
But Teal'c shrugged as well when Daniel next glanced at him.
So Daniel gave up.
Jack needs all the good luck he can
get, he said then as a defense for his question.
Thanks, Daniel, Jack managed to say as he drew Sam up
to the 'altar.' Then he turned back.
Oh, the General is
supposed to give you away or something.
Well, that giving me away part is better
than throwing me away, I suppose. She smiled.
But Jack was going on,
Thanks, George, he said as an
But General Hammond was still grinning.
Oh, don't mind
me, he suggested.
I'm just the man who's handing the
Colonel over to you. No one of any importance... until I decide
that you're an unfit scoundrel who doesn't deserve her.
I already know that I don't deserve her, Jack said
For some reason, she's taking me anyway.
Bra'tac loudly cleared his throat.
This isn't going to
end like Car'ryn and Ry'ac's rehearsal, is it? he boomed,
then asked another question,
You aren't going your separate
ways, are you?
Not a chance! Sam called back.
But Bra'tac was watching her in suspicion
certain? he inquired.
Is there something that I should
Nope. Sam pulled off her sack, then unrolled her
pant legs. She threw the burlap contraption to Cassie, who
caught it, and tossed it into the corner.
We'll be good, we
promise, Sam said to Bra'tac.
Once more, he eyed them distrustfully, but went on to begin
I call us to attention, then remark on my first
impressions of O'Neill, an arrogant youngster who I 'whipped' at
Hey! noted Jack.
This isn't 'bash the General'
day, ya know!
Daniel and Sam laughed out loud, and even Teal'c smiled.
Remember Jack, that 'whipping' he gave you wasn't bad for an
'old man,' Daniel said.
Master Bra'tac is not.., Teal'c began.
Daniel cut him off to say,
I was talking about
Sam snorted more laughter.
All right, all right! he growled.
Let's get on with it!
Obliging, Master Bra'tac turned to Sam.
And after I
finish recounting how I 'trounced' O'Neill... He bowed his
head in Teal'c's direction.
And thank you, Teal'c, for
teaching me how to use that word, and more importantly, what it
Teal'c bowed his head to Bra'tac in response.
Bra'tac continued as Jack kept scowling and Sam kept
No giggling, Colonel, Jack whispered out of the
side of his scowling mouth, beneath what Bra'tac was saying about
duty, love, regulations, the Air Force, the SGC,
Hammond-of-Texas, the original team of SG-1, and their all around
Sam didn't feel very noble just then. She was too conscious
of the man standing near her, and that just standing so close to
him was making her blood hum. She restrained her urge to do some
nervous jumping herself, and ignored what Bra'tac was saying long
enough to whisper back a responding challenge to Jack,
stop giggling if you'll slap Daniel's butt when he walks up to
take Bra'tac's place.
Jack smiled at her comment.
I'd do it, but it might
shock him so much that he might trip and break his ankle, and the
whole time thing would be all messed up, and... Can't do that at
your wedding, Colonel.
That's 'Colonel O'Neill' to you, buster, Sam intoned.
As of tomorrow at 1600.
To cover up the grin that Jack sported then, he asked,
Aren't we supposed to be paying more attention to our own
Sam immediately replied,
We can pay attention
Daniel will never let me hear the end of it if I don't
listen to him, Jack predicted.
It might be the only time
that he's sure I'm actually listening to him.
Ever since he got ordained yesterday, it's
gone to his head.
Jack leaned closer to her and whispered,
I hardly think
that Universal Ministry On-line...
That's 'The Universal On-line Group of Balance Lovers,'
Sir, Sam corrected.
Jack rolled his eyes this time.
I don't think that the
universe actually meant for it to go to his head, though.
Sam leaned in even closer yet to him, all the while
thinking, I won't do any jumping! I won't do any jumping!
Did you hear that this group advertised that he would be
ordained in 24 hours, but when a week had passed, and he wasn't
ordained yet, Daniel and General Hammond flew to this group's
Pasadena headquarters and the General scared them into ordaining
Daniel on the spot, even though there were still 200 applicants
in front of him?
Jack quietly chuckled.
A week? Why was it taking them
so long if they promised 24 hours?
The on-line ordination data entry was
being done by two little old lady volunteers who only spend
winters in Florida, and who can't type.
Jack finished for her.
And slow typing meant slow
The way Daniel told it, the two ladies were so stunned
when a three-star General wearing his dress uniform walked into
their tiny workplace, they nearly coughed out their false
Jack did laugh at that, a loud guffaw that caught Bra'tac's
attention. He glared at them and yelled,
Will the two getting
married be silent!
Jack innocently asked,
If I'm silent, how will I say 'I
Bra'tac instantly asked back,
What is this 'I do?' What
do you plan to be doing, O'Neill? He quickly looked at the
I thought this was a bonding ceremony...
am I wrong? Is there some crisis going on?
Jack laughed helplessly. Only aliens could help produce
such a memorable rehearsal for a wedding ceremony. Coughing in
order to cover his fit of hilarity, Jack looked to Sam to help
him deal with this situation. But she only sent him a stare that
was so blank, she might as well have said 'You're on your own
with this one.' So he tried to say the right thing, and explain
everything, but what came out was a sputtered,
continued to gaze at him, and raised her eyebrows this time.
You're no help, Jack finally mumbled, feeling more
helpless as time went on. He turned from staring at Sam to
staring at Bra'tac, to staring helplessly back at Sam again, to
gazing at Bra'tac...
Uh... What was a wedding ceremony
without the 'I do' part?
Daniel stepped in to save him.
The 'I do' part... that's
where I come in...
* * *
Exactly twenty-three hours and forty minutes later, Sam sent another critical look to the image of herself in the full-length mirror that she had plastered to the back of the door leading into her SGC quarters. The full length, cream colored wedding dress she wore set off the pale tone of her skin to perfection without completely washing her out. The sleeveless underskirt rustled when she moved, and the lacy overskirt of pearls and eyelet caught the light in a most entrancing way.
But still, she stared. Something wasn't quite right... Sam smoothed one hand down the outside of the dress, peeked at the toes of the shoes she was wearing for the wedding that Cassie had insisted that she buy to go with her dress, claiming that they would drive Jack wild, though the teenager had neglected to impart how badly such shoes were sure to hurt Sam's feet by the end of a busy day.
But something still wasn't right. Sam moved one lock of blonde hair just a smidge further back from her forehead, then smoothed down the strands that lay tucked behind her ear.
Sam wrinkled her nose. She thoughtfully turned her head
first one way, then the other. After another pensive moment, she
grinned, then carefully untucked one lock of hair that had lain
behind her right ear. Still grinning, she gave a firm nod of her
I'll leave that one out for Jack to stare at the entire
wedding, she murmured to herself. Still staring, she took an
That lock of hair is gonna drive him
crazy, she predicted.
Samantha Carter, you are too
cruel. One more look, and she was forced to draw another
appreciative breath. Then, she amended her last comment to
whisper to her image,
Cruel, but sexy.
The sharp rap on the door cut off her critical study.
Unless you're Jack, come in, she called through the closed
door, and stepped back so whoever was visiting her could
General Hammond peeked into the room from around the door frame. He smiled when he caught sight of Sam standing gravely at the foot of her bed, and entered the room. He soundlessly closed the door behind him.
Sir! Sam said, smiling, her gravity disappearing in
the hug she gave him.
Colonel! Hammond said appreciatively. He returned
her hug, and added,
Sam! to what he chose to call her.
Your father would be stunned to see his little girl in the
beauty you've become!
Sam rolled her eyes even as she hugged him.
talking to Jack, I see, she deadpanned.
Only a little, he admitted.
But even in that little bit of conversation, Jack was able to
worm in three compliments to you in particular, and two for the
dialing program for the 'Gate that you and Dr. Jackson wrote all
those years ago.
Sam laughed, her tone ironic now.
You're probably lucky
it was only three compliments that he gave me. It's usually more
than his listener wants to take the time to hear.
Hammond leaned back to give her a good, assessing look.
Yes, Jacob would surely be proud, he told her.
not talking about what we can see on the outside, though that's
turned more than one head over the years, too, he divulged.
No, I'm talking about all the good that you've done for the
world... are still doing for the world.
Sam peered at him through her lashes.
Now, General, you
have to know that Jack proposed before he was ordered to
do it by President Hayes, and...
A puzzled expression on Hammond's face cut her off. He
stared at her in confusion.
But Hayes never ordered Jack to
Sam continued to look as if she were dealing with a
recalcitrant child who refused to mind. She heaved a breath,
The Joint Chiefs gave the order then. She
shook her head as if to clear it of an overlying fog.
rate, whoever he talked to should be...
Hammond interrupted her again.
But Jack didn't take
orders from anybody concerning this wedding. He gazed at her
I thought you knew that.
Sam felt the ground under those damned shoes that Cassie
loved, but were killing her feet, shift just slightly with the
news he had imparted.
What?... What do you mean? she
stuttered as she asked.
Hammond continued to peer at her as she stood at the end of
her bed in her cream colored wedding dress.
I mean, he
That... He tried again.
President and the Joint Chiefs were unable to come to any
decision regarding this marriage/timeline problem posed by Dr.
Jackson. They decided that, even for the good of the country,
even the entire world, they couldn't expect to ask two people to
marry if they might be opposed to such a union. He gave a
It smacked too much of an arranged
marriage for a good many of the Joint Chiefs to be comfortable
with such an order. So they instructed the President to tell
Jack that it was entirely up to the two of you, that no officer
under their command should have to worry about any marriage for
the good of the country as well as defending that
But... the timeline, Sam weakly protested.
That was a risk that everyone decided to take,
There's a possibility that this timeline
will vanish, as it did in Dr. Jackson's two previous experiences.
There's also a chance that nothing will happen at all, and
getting Dr. Jackson ordained was just one attempt by those of us
involved to help create the desirable outcome of this whole
Sam was momentarily too flummoxed to speak.
weakly protested again. Her mind was spinning now, and she had
to concentrate just to focus.
Jack spoke to President Hayes
on Tuesday morning. I know he did.
Were you in the room at the time? Hammond gently
Sam thought back to that morning.
Well, no, she
I was in the Briefing Room with Daniel and Teal'c
while Jack was on the phone in his office... She turned her
attention back to Hammond.
But, Jack said...
Jack never said one way or the other what your orders
were, if I recall, Hammond reminded her.
True. Sam looked taken aback by this information.
all just assumed that he... that we... She floundered on,
I mean, Jack was sure to tell me and Daniel that he had
proposed before he'd even spoken to the President that Tuesday
morning. But... Sam stood still for a moment, again too
dumbfounded at the General's news to finish her sentence.
Finally she asked,
Sir, can I ask a huge favor of you?
Perplexed but willing to be of any use he could on this busy
day, Hammond said,
You know you can ask me anything,
Sam licked her lips. She and Jack needed to talk about what
had really happened last Tuesday morning before this wedding
could take place, she had realized.
Could you get Jack for
me? she asked.
I need to talk to him about
But Hammond negated,
Isn't it bad luck for the groom
Sam sent him an exasperated glare.
I'm not the
superstitious sort, she said.
Mom and Dad were never
superstitious, either, she explained.
I'm just carrying
on Dad's illustrious tradition of the Non-superstitious Carter
Hammond stared at her, and saw how serious she was being.
Finally, he gave in.
All right, if it doesn't bother you,
he doubtfully said.
Sam smiled a tiny smile that she sent his way.
bother me a lot more to go through with the wedding before this
point is cleared up, she said.
Thank you, Sir.
Hammond nodded, then strode to the door. But with his hand
on the doorknob, asked,
If you don't mind explaining it to
this understanding-challenged old General, what should I say that
you want to talk to him about? He eyed her suspiciously.
You're not planning to leave him at the altar, are
Sam rolled her eyes again.
There isn't any altar that I
know of, she said under her breath. Then she gave her reply.
True, that would be like something I would do, she agreed
But no, my forté deals with breaking engagements,
not ruining weddings. She smiled.
I just want to ask him
a few things, she assured.
Hammond nodded again, then disappeared through the door.
* * *
Inside the room set aside as the SGC version of a chapel, Jack once again stood with Teal'c and Daniel at the front of the room, waiting for the arrival of the bridal party so that they could begin the ceremony and get the events of this long-awaited day started. If Teal'c had thought that the tension was high the day before at the rehearsal, it was nothing to how O'Neill was behaving this time around.
Except, oddly enough, the higher the tension level, the calmer O'Neill grew. After anticipating so many battles, the warrior in Jack O'Neill had taken over when his nerves threatened to explode an hour before. By moving into combat mode, Jack had successfully managed to slip into his dress uniform that he was wearing for the ceremony, and to calmly wait for Sam and General Hammond to appear. He looked the picture of the placidly waiting groom. Only his two friends knew him so well that they weren't fooled for a minute.
Jack, try to breath, Daniel cautioned in a whisper
that even Master Bra'tac standing a few feet away couldn't
Yes, came Teal'c's rumble of agreement.
not be advisable for you to faint at this time.
Not to mention that it would be a bit
Jack spoke then, forcing the air passed his lungs.
not gonna faint, he told them, then added a much more
That was when Jonas Quinn, standing at the open door to the chapel, motioned with his index finger that Jack should follow him into the corridor outside the room.
The rest of Jack's meager breath left his body in a one whoosh. His heart stopped, and for one terrifying second, he thought that he really was going to faint. Then his eyesight tunneled down to focus only on Jonas standing innocently in the doorway. He was able to send an interrogatory message that still managed to convey the question, 'Me?' When Jonas nodded, Jack moved to walk down the side aisle to the door.
Daniel's forehead was wrinkled with consternation.
Uh-oh, he said as Jack tried to move passed him and
I'm sure it's nothing, Jack said in the most
unconvincing voice either Daniel of Teal'c had ever heard him
I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere, and... Don't
start without me, he helplessly instructed. Then he was
gone, meeting Jonas at the door with a questioning expression on
Daniel sighed, and stuck his hands in his pockets, even
though he'd been specifically told that he should avoid the
action if he could.
What I wouldn't do for a cup of coffee
right about now, he mumbled to Teal'c at his side.
* * *
Jack gave a hesitant knock to the door of Samantha's
quarters, and called,
Can I come in, or should I go far away
and never show my face around the SGC again?
Sam's low laughter carried out into the corridor and
surrounded Jack and General Hammond in soothing vibrations. The
sound relieved Jack in an instant.
Come in, she called.
I'll wear my cloak in case you're the superstitious type and
don't want to see my dress.
Well, that was something. Then Jack did a double-take.
Wait... Her what?
You're what? he inquired in
Sam pulled open the door, but didn't wait for him to enter
behind her. Instead, she ran to the middle of the room, pulling
a black velvet dress cloak closer about her body.
feel safe to come in, ya know, she called.
Jack cautiously entered the room.
I'm not gonna see your
dress and be reduced to smoking cinders for it, am I?
I hope not, but stranger things have
happened around here, she reported.
You can open your
Jack slowly complied with her suggestion.
said while he blinked at the sudden light, and the sight of Sam
dressed from head to foot in black velvet.
I don't even want
to ask why you have that thing on a military base, do I? he
So... I heard that you wanted to
talk to me?
Um... Sam squinted her eyes at him for just a
Jack cut her off before she had he chance to go on.
Samantha, if you're planning to 'leave me in the lurch,' shall
we say, just tell me now and get it over with, so I can go drown
myself in a convenient pool and...
Smiling, Sam instantly said,
No pools, no drowning, no
'leaving you in the lurch,' I promise.
Jack peered at her, mystified.
Sam drew breath, then blurted,
Were you ever ordered to
Jack stood silent for a moment, carefully regarding her,
looking as if he expected her to spontaneously combust at any
second, then was finally able to sputter,
Uh... No... Uh...
I said as much... that day... to you and Daniel.
Sam rolled her eyes.
That's not what I mean.
Still confused, Jack asked for clarification,
do you mean?
Sam answered as quickly as she could, for she could sense
the Jack's patience with her and with this issue was beginning to
I mean with the Joint Chiefs, after you spoke to
President Hayes last Tuesday morning.
Jack was befuddled at why she was interested in those events
now, of all times.
Uh... No, he managed to say.
There was never any order to... Why the questions now? he
asked, and stared hard at her. He still couldn't quite make
himself believe that she didn't plan to duck out at this last
But Sam smiled at him, her heart filling with unmarried
affection one final time. If he hadn't been ordered to agree to
this wedding, then that meant that his proposal was just as
genuine now as it had been when he had asked her. Still grinning
like a maniac on drugs, she shook her head.
I didn't mean
anything by asking, she told him.
I was just
Jack gaped at her.
Curious? he queried, and she
Now? Sam nodded again. Huh. That
certainly hadn't been expected... Jack vigorously shook his head
in order to clear it.
You look great, by the way, Sam cut him off to
Still slightly befuddled at her earlier questions, Jack
Uh... Thanks, he gruffly said, then went on,
I'd say the same about you, but I haven't seen you yet
Daniel suddenly rapped on Sam's quarters outer door, and
Is everything all right in there? You're not killing
each other, are you?
Jack couldn't help grinning now as he answered his friend.
'No, we're both fine here... How are you?' he quoted.
Daniel didn't sound amused by Jack's antics.
Jack. Maybe I should just tell Sam to go ahead and maim you for
life, he suggested.
Sam giggled at Daniel's reply.
For the sake of the
doctors on duty in the Infirmary, I'll resist, she told
Daniel went on.
Well, if you guys are ready..? he
There are a lot of... uh... aliens... who have
traveled about a billion miles or so to see you two get hitched,
We're coming, Daniel! Jack assured in a yell through
Just keep your pants on!
In a low voice, Sam said,
He would look awfully funny
performing a wedding ceremony without any pants. Maybe we should
Jack scowled, but the smile that instantly took over from
his scowl ruined the effect of the negative gesture.
tell him of you won't tell him.
I promise to be good, Sam said, then added,
Jack gave her an appreciative laugh.
I love the way that
your evil personality is coming through, he told her.
Just don't tell Daniel about it, Sam said, laughing
Ah, the poor guy, Jack said as his hand reached for
her door knob.
He probably already knows. Then he
Though he probably would have figured it out quicker
if it was written in some dead language or something. Sam
So, you're sure that this was all you
needed? Jack asked again before he left.
I was just curious, she assured him.
I didn't mean to scare you.
Rats, Jack whispered as he pulled the door open again
and prepared to exit.
And I thought I was doing such a good
job at covering all my feelings up. He smiled one last smile
back at her.
See you in a few minutes... dress and all.
Before she had an opportunity to reply, he was gone.
* * *
Daniel hopped up the steps that had been installed several
years ago at the front of the SGC 'chapel' room.
folks! he said as he regained his balance and beamed at the
gathered crowd. With just a quick glance, he noticed Ishta
sitting with Car'ryn and Ry'ac near the back. He blinked, and
this time caught sight of Thor with Heimdal and two more Asgards,
all of them seeming to look alike in the fast glance he was able
to give them before going on.
I know that Jack and Sam don't
remember us ever doing this wedding thing before now, but I
remember things well enough to try to do things right this time.
So.., And he turned to face Master Bra'tac standing a little
behind him and to his right.
If Bra'tac can keep me from
tripping..? At all costs..? The Jaffa master nodded, though
he had a slightly perplexed look on his whiskered face.
Is this some Tau'ri custom that I am not aware of?
Bra'tac inquired in a low voice, though he moved marginally
closer to Daniel, watching so closely for a bob in Daniel's
balance that he nearly looked cross-eyed.
Daniel shook his head.
No, no custom, he genially
I'm just glad that this marriage is finally going
forward, and as Sam can attest, I'm as clumsy as a Jaffa on
But Jack couldn't keep from asking,
How clumsy is a Jaffa
Bra'tac still appeared confused.
What is this
Sam grinned for the thousandth time in just that last few
Ignore him, Bra'tac, she suggested.
just Daniel being Daniel.
Daniel carried Sam's comment a bit further.
sure I don't break my ankle, he instructed the Jaffa
Another strange ritual? Bra'tac inquired, to which
Daniel simply grimaced and replied to his question.
It's a ritual only to me! Daniel turned around to
face front again, but said to Bra'tac,
Stay ready! Then,
smiling, he said to the mostly quiet crowd,
Okay, I think
we're ready now...
Daniel, Jack warned.
Going on, Daniel quickly said.
Uh.., Daniel stuttered.
I thought you had the wedding ceremony memorized, Sam
hissed through her teeth at her hesitant friend.
Daniel looked at her in apology.
In all the excitement,
I forgot to memorize it. Sam rolled her eyes in irritation,
but Daniel was too thrilled at even being there to let something
as little as Sam's irritation get to him.
sarcastic comments can't ruin my mood today, he teased.
Hey! Jack bellowed back in annoyance.
I'm only a
little sarcastic... every now and then! he explained.
Daniel rolled his eyes this time.
Whatever, Jack, he
But... Dearly beloved...
You already said that, Jack reminded him.
Or am I
being too sarcastic already?
Silence! Bra'tac then thundered, and he glared at the
humans before him. Then, without saying a word, he only motioned
to Daniel to continue.
Thank you, Daniel politely told Bra'tac. Then he
Now, if there will be no more interruptions from the
floor..? He waited, but both Jack and Sam remained quiet
this time. So he went on. Half to the crowd, and half to
Bra'tac, he said,
And this is the part where they say 'I
It better be a quick 'I do' before it
turns into an 'On second thought, I don't' when an army of free
Jaffa come through the 'Gate, demanding to know my
Okay, Daniel agreeably said.
There were candles lit, there were vows shared, there were
rings traded, there was a sudden 'Gate activation, for which
General Hammond apologetically left the room at a trot. When
General Hammond didn't immediately return, Daniel said,
the really bad feeling that the 'Gate just malfunctioned and Sam
will be called away soon, so I'll just skip the middle stuff and
say that by the power that really is invested in me this
time, I now pronounce you husband and wife, and I'd say that it's
time to kiss the bride, but I know that you already know that
part, and Master Bra'tac, please don't let me..! And that's
when Daniel took one step back, tripped on the step just behind
But Master Bra'tac wasn't known as the oldest, wisest, and most famous Jaffa of skillful reflexes for nothing. His hands shot out the second the Daniel stumbled, and he easily caught the SG-1 team member before Daniel could stumble any further, before Daniel could hit the floor, and definitely before Daniel had the chance to do any damage to his ankle bone at all.
Daniel teetered in Bra'tac's arms for a second, then
Thanks, Bra'tac, he automatically said.
I've got it now. He heaved himself back onto his feet,
and pulled his suit coat back down over his hips. Then he gave a
breathless pause, and looked up towards the ceiling of the
Is something still amiss? Bra'tac wanted to know.
Is there something more that I'm meant to do?
When that breathless moment had passed, and nothing more
than Siler poking his head through the rear door to the 'chapel'
room, and saying,
I'm sorry to interrupt, but... Then the
Sergeant turned to Sam.
I knew it! Jack exploded in a yell. He grabbed onto
Sam's lacy and bejeweled arm.
We're not quite finished
here... you can't have her yet!
Then Siler broke out into a huge grin.
Congratulations Sir, ma'am! With that, he was gone.
Why, I oughta.., Jack began to threaten under his
Later, Sam told him. By then she had grabbed his own
coated arm and pulled him close.
I have a General to
kiss, she explained.
And that's exactly what she did.
The second wedding ceremony held two days later at the Academy Chapel was a much more solemn event than the one held at the SGC, but Jack at least said that he was allowed to see Samantha in her wedding dress one more time. The ceremony would not have been any fun at all except for the big smiles on the bride and groom's faces during the entire time of the short ceremony performed by the usual Academy chaplain.
Another spark for Jack was finally meeting Mark and Penny Carter and their two children.
You're much taller in reality than you are over the
phone, Penny said to him with a hand shake and smile.
Welcome to the family.
The reception was duly attended, where Jack and Penny talked
a great deal more, and even Mark had a nice time, spending an
hour talking to Sam about the happier times he and she had spent
in their childhood on the many military bases around the world.
Less than a nice time was when the rice was dutifully thrown by
relatives and friends who were none the wiser that Jack and Sam
had already been married for several days by the time of the
second wedding ceremony. Jack was still diggin rice out of his
hair when he and Sam returned to the SGC the next day after a
brief get-a-way vacation at an undisclosed location. Jack
grumbled at the security personnel who met him and Colonel
O'Neill - Sam giggled every time she heard the name uttered by
anyone - at the first guarded entrance.
Don't say anything to
us! Jack immediately demanded of the guards.
person to talk to us can look forward to six months of latrine
With that threat still ringing in the air, lest anyone forget, Jack and Sam instantly became known as General and Mrs. O'Neill with only a tiny amount of tradition and pomp. By then the SGC personnel were all used to the stabilizing of the timeline, and their worried looks went unnoticed by the couple who had eyes only for each other as they departed for their new quarters.
Just let me see if I have any mail, Jack told his new
wife later that day, long after the wedding, long after the
reception, and when latrine duty-or-else loomed before everyone's
Then we can leave for the honeymoon I promised
you the other day.
Sam grinned at him from the bed where she sat in the new
'married' quarters that General Hammond had gifted them with, on
approval by President Hayes, and suggestively muttered,
be gone too long.
Jack considered that he had helped to create a monster as he pushed through his office door and entered the room that he had spent the minimum amount of time in lately after the first wedding. He'd much rather spend time with Samantha than do paperwork any day! But one last peek...
And that was when the single envelope sitting innocently in the middle of his desk caught his eye. It bore the greeting 'Starsky... or Hutch... I can't remember.'
Jack quickly made a lunge for it, his heart in his throat at seeing two names that could only mean that this envelope was from Maybourne, or Jonathon, his clone made by the Asgard Loki.
Either way, Jack didn't waste any time in ripping the envelope open, afraid that something that could only mean complete and utter doom to him, to Sam, to them together, or to Earth as a whole was hidden in the confines of the innocent looking envelope.
A piece of paper and a computer disc tumbled into Jack's waiting hand. He quickly unfolded the note and read,
Watch the disc. You're lucky I saw the announcement in the paper the way I did. You owe me.
Starsky... or Hutch... #II
A chill swept over Jack, but he did his best to reign in any feelings of terror that he was suddenly experiencing. Without further contemplation, he booted up his computer, inserted the disc in the video player, then sat back in his chair to watch the drama unfold.
The scene was clearly of the second wedding ceremony that had been at the Academy yesterday. The camera... the video shot by Sergeant Siler on the SGC video camera from the rear of the chapel... was clear and unwavering as it was suddenly juxtaposed with a view of the same scene from one of the rear Academy security cameras. The images flickered for a moment, then stabilized, as the sounds from Siler's taping of what had been a fairly dignified event in spite of the two grinning idiots who had participated in that event filled the office for a moment. Then, a figure moved into the range of the camera at the back of the chapel. That figure was too small for Jack to identify who he was, but then another, smaller figure slipped out of the last pew and approached Siler, unseen by the sergeant, but clearly captured on the security tape for posterity.
Siler's camera view swiveled back to center on the first figure, and the scene zoomed in to focus on the that figure. The suddenly jiggling camera settled onto the form of Pete Shanahan.
Another chill swept over Jack, this time one that was
decidedly malevolent, but he forced himself to not react in any
way except to watch the scene unfold as the minister finally
reached the point where he said
If anyone has any reason to
object to this union, speak now or forever hold your peace.
Jack watched in increasing dismay as he wondered how the detective had even been free to attend his and Samantha's wedding. Only those quests with an invitation had been allowed entrance to what had been a highly secured event, and Pete had most definitely not been invited.
Whatever the case was behind Pete's inexplicable appearance,
he now took a step forward, and had just opened his mouth to make
some kind of an objection when Jonathan-the-clone sedately walked
up to Pete's form. He threw an arm around the cop's shoulders,
arresting his attention enough to make him hesitate for just a
second. The chaplain's pause ended, and his voice droned on at
the front of the sanctuary, unseen by Jack as he just barely
heard Pete stutter to Jonathan,
Who... who the hell are
Before he had time to get too incensed at the man for
cursing at his wedding, Jonathan replied in a slightly louder
I'm no one of any importance, but don't mess with
me, Jonathan warned.
Just hear me out before you go
objecting to this union and all. You better take a look at
this... unless you actually like being embarrassed to
He dug in his front pocket, then pulled out a single sheaf
of paper, which he also unfolded and held out to the detective.
He didn't let Pete take his paper offering, but held it up so
that Pete could undoubtedly read the words on whatever he was
showing to him. A moment later, after Pete's face had begun to
grow a pastier shade of white, Jack heard Jonathan mumble,
Read the date.
Pete did. And then Pete's face finished fading to a very pasty white, and an utterly horrified expression fell over his features.
Shanahan didn't say a word, but Jonathan clapped the man
lightly on his shoulder, saying,
And Dr. Jackson is an
ordained minister... I checked. So you can see that you're two
days too late. Sayanara, buddy.
Jonathan returned to Siler's side, where he whispered something into the man's ear, and the camera slid back around to take in the final comments of the ceremony until, the wedding ended, the picture shut itself off.
Feeling slightly sick to his stomach, but grateful for Jonathan's 'interference' at the same time, Jack calmly stopped the player in his computer. Then he rose, gathered the envelope, the letter, the disc, and headed back down to his and Sam's quarters. He was already there when he realized that he had forgotten to go through any mail that had collected over the last few days prior to leaving for his much-publicized honeymoon.
The second he opened the door, he said,
have to see this.
She was sitting on their bed, actually wasting time reading a magazine and relaxing, all while in the confines of the SGC... If Jack hadn't been so flummoxed by the sudden events that he had just witnessed, he would have marked this day down on his calendar as astonishing. But he was too amazed himself to notice what Sam was... or was not... doing.
Look, was all Jack said as he immediately crossed to
sit beside Sam on the bed. His new wedding ring flashed in the
dim light, but he ignored it as he handed the package he had
found in his office on to Sam.
She took the envelope, read the note, then watched the DVD,
all without saying a word. When the DVD was finished playing,
she ejected the disc, returned it to the envelope, then powered
down and shut off her computer that was never very far from her
at any time. She calmly regarded Jack sitting beside her. After
a moment of this silent contemplation, she said something that
Jack had never anticipated.
I kind of thought something like
this might happen.
Jack gaped at her.
You mean that you knew?
Sam heaved a sigh, and slid her computer over to the small
table beside the bed.
No, I didn't know, Sam
explained to him.
But I suspected that something like this
might happen. And I prepared for this eventuality. If it didn't
happen... She gave a graceful shrug of her shoulder.
Jack stared at her in consternation.
What did you
do? he asked, almost afraid to hear her answer.
Sam gave another disarming shrug.
Nothing much. I just
asked Thor if he had enough of my DNA to clone me, but that he
needed to halt the aging process at about twenty Human years or
so. Then I asked him to beam both this new clone and your old
clone to your cabin in Minnesota, and... She shrugged a
What happens next is up to them.
Jack stared at her in thunderstruck amazement. Finally, he
found enough of his voice to ask,
Sam did grin when he uttered that name.
sighed, and looked very pleased with herself. It was a
frightening thing to behold.
Pete met the small squad of SFs
that I had asked to wait for him outside he chapel. Since he
must have had some kind of an invitation to get into the Academy
Chapel in the first place, they couldn't arrest him for stalking
again. But they did put the fear of my wrath into him if there's
ever the case that I hear of him again. Then she looked a
But I am afraid that we need to decide where
else we would like to spend our honeymoon. She settled
further onto the bed.
I know how much you like beaches and
sun and sand... How about Hawaii?
Ten days later, Jack found another white envelope that had somehow found its way onto his desk in the time between when he had left his office to see off SG-7 off to PCX-441, and the time he returned. He grabbed at the envelope, ripped it open, and read the single note that had been included.
Carter, you rock!
That was all it said, and it wasn't even signed. But then, it didn't need to be.
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